Shrines and Their Role and Significance in the Cultural Landscape through Its Religious Festivals, Leisure, Recreation and Promotion of Integration-

Monday, 16 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Pirzada AMIN, Kashmir University, India
Rifat PIRZADA, Civil Society, India
Shrines are vital institutions of faith structure in the sacred geography of the world, therefore, given the emergence, significance and role of Shrines in the different socio-religious settings one can hardly afford to underestimate their vital role at the macro and micro level .Right from times immemorial the religious, social, cultural and leisure requirements of the communities and societies across the spectrum of faith structure are met by the institution of Shrines.The pilgrimage sites associated with different worldviews such as The Mecca, the Vatican, Jerusalem, Medina and the other significant pilgrimage centers like Varanasi, Haridwar, and Ajmer are frequented by the faithful and tourists in order to serve their religious and socio-psychological needs. By virtue of the religious significance the pilgrimage centers have emerged the vital source of mobility and social integration. The pilgrimage has an internal and external dimension which helps in the collective consciousness of the humans. The sacred institutions owing their origin to different faiths have offered numerous avenues of functions in shaping the behavior of the pilgrims as rightly called communitas by Turner. Thus the pilgrimage sites across the world have had a crucial role in the integration and coexistence of communities and societies cutting across their socio-economic, sectarian and geographical inequalities.The pilgrimage does not only serve the spiritual needs of faithful but enable the pilgrims and visitors to serve their socio-psychological needs. Thus role of pilgrimage sites need to be seen beyond the ritualization of faith as they continue to serve as the catalyst of integration, recreation and harmony.