Built in 1137, the Purushottam temple at Jagannath has remained a popular seat of Tantric, Vaishnav, Saiva, Sakta and even Buddhist cult. In one of the popular tales, it is said that Tulsidas had a vision of Ram in Jagannath. Such heterogeneous tradition has led to the writings of numerous texts and given rise to a vibrant oral culture around the famous deity. Such a liberal manifestation of the image of Jagannath and a number of popular traditions around the deity has attracted the researchers around the world.

The seminar proposes to explore the representation of Jagannath in the literary texts, oral songs, tales, popular Vaishnava music tradition, and dance. What are the various ways of representation? How is it represented? Also, our objective is to examine the frank representation of sexuality in popular songs around the deity. Further, we aim to have a discussion on the popularity of the deity among the diasporic community. Particularly referring to the recent events of the Rath-yatra celebration at London Trafalgar Square, we aim to bring in scholars who can discuss religious experiences of the diasporas.

  • Sub Themes 
  • Gender and Religion
  • Folklore around Jagannath
  • Dance and Music Tradition around Jagannath
  • Jagannath in Popular Bhakti movement
  • Religious Experiences of Diaspora
  • Making of Oriya Identity