Cultural Landscapes of South Asia
Studies in Heritage Conservation and Management
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The pluralism of South Asia belies any singular reading of its heritage. In spite of this diversity, its cultural traditions retain certain attributes that are at their core South Asian—in their capacity to self‐organize, enact and reinvent cultural memories, and in their ability to retain an intimate connection with nature and landscape.
This volume focuses on the notion of cultural landscape as a medium integrating multiple forms of heritage and points to a new paradigm for conservation practices in the South Asian context. Even though the construct of cultural landscape has been accepted as a category of heritage, its potent use in heritage management in general and within the South Asian context in particular has not been widely studied. The volume challenges the prevalent views of heritage management in South Asia that are entrenched in colonial legacies and contemporary global policy frameworks.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Imagining the Future of Conservation in South Asia (Rahul Mehrotra), Introduction (Amita Sinha), Part I: Reimagining South Asian Cultural Landscapes, 1. Conservation of Cultural Landscapes in Bhutan (Françoise Pommaret), 2. Blurring Boundaries and Moving Beyond the Tangible/Intangible and the Natural/Cultural Classifications of Heritage: Cases from Nepal (Neel Kamal Chapagain), 3. Cultures of the Landscape: A Paradigm of Enriching Diversity Un-recognized in the World Vision of Heritage in Pakistan (Anila Naeem), Part II: South Asian Historic Urban Landscapes, 4. The South Asian Shahar: Reimagining Shahariyat as Urban heritage (Jyoti Pandey Sharma), 5. The Historic Urban Landscape of Old Dhaka, Bangladesh (Farhana Ferdous), 6. ‘All the world coming and going’: the past and future of the Grand Trunk Road in Punjab, India (Manish Chalana), 7. The Modernist Historic Urban Landscape of Islamabad, Pakistan (Farhan Karim), Part III: The Intangible Heritage in Cultural Landscapes, 8. The Landscape Theatre of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka: Interaction of the Regal, Natural and Agricultural Landscapes (Nilan Cooray), 9. The symbolic authenticity of Kandy, Sri Lanka (Kapila D. Silva), 10. The Cultural Landscape of Pohela Boishakh Festival and the Making of a National Identity in Bangladesh (Nubras Samayeen and Sharif Shams Imon), 11. Tourism, Liquid Modernity and Bhutanese Traditional Festivals (Wantanee Suntikul), Part IV: Managing Cultural Landscapes, 12. Bhaktapur, Nepal: Heritage Values and Conservation Practices (Kapila D. Silva), 13. Getting the City Back to its People: Conservation and Management of Historic Ahmedabad, India (Debashish Nayak), 14. The Public Realm of Heritage Sites in India: Sustainable Approaches Towards Planning and Management (Amita Sinha), 15. Grounded Speculations on Cultural Landscape Conservation (Amita Sinha), Epilogue: Prospects for Conserving South Asian Cultural Landscapes (Kapila D. Silva)
Kapila D. Silva is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Kansas, USA.
Amita Sinha is a Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.
This book is a welcome addition to an ever growing lexicon of material on cultural landscape and the expanding body of knowledge we now associate with it. It is also timely in that the book’s focus is South Asia with its rich cultural mosaic of living history and traditions. As with other recent cultural landscape publications the focus is not famous high art/high aesthetic monuments and archaeological sites. Its focus is everyday settings of such places and everyday places – cultural landscapes both urban and rural – that are not in heritage registers and the human values that reside there. The focus on values, intangible aspects of heritage and broadening understanding of what authenticity means.
Ken Taylor, The Australian National University, Canberra
"[t]his book provides an original and a much needed contribution to the body of literature on cultural landscape and its conservation in South Asian region. The logical categorization of the chapters into four parts, each dealing which a different aspect of conserving historic cultural landscapes, could be helpful to any reader unfamiliar with the concept of cultural landscape."
Vaisali Krishna Kumar, University of Kansas, International Journal of Heritage Studies