The notion of a holy place as an idea - consciously and deliberately constructed - is the topic of this paper. This notion of place is not inherent within the idea but is imagined and ascribed by people’s agency. Here, I will explore the construction of the sacred image associated with the major pilgrimage centre of Prayag (modern day Allahabad). I examine how the organisation of this particular space and the use of knowledge about it has had an impact on the pilgrimage to which it is linked. A preliminary study shows that often the notion of sacred space and sacred time is invoked in order to give an impression that pilgrimage will provide the pilgrim with religious merit. This paper examines the beliefs and rituals associated with Prayag and concludes by showing how sacred literature created and reaffirmed its hallowed status.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.