Anuradha Goyal pens a must-read guidebook to India’s temples

For author and noted travel blogger Anuradha Goyal, who has penned the book ‘Lotus in the Stone: Sacred Journeys in Eternal India’ on India’s most sacred sites, temples contain vignettes of our history, heritage, art history, folk tales, aesthetics. Condensing years of her travel into writing, Goyal presents a travelogue rooted deep into Indian history and culture.

Published and launched by Garuda Prakashan, the book holds in its pages a testimony to Indian art, culture, civilization and spirituality. It makes for a rich, fascinating guidebook to India and its temples and hidden gems. Goyal narrates her mystical and magical experiences at places like Kumbh Mela, Ayodhya, Khajuraho, Thanjavur, Kolhapur, Odisha, Himalayas, and many more.

She holds that their grandeur is the testimony of our prosperity and that they were the centers of our social, cultural as well as economic lives. “We need to understand temples and their roles in our lives as it was and as it can be in the future. They are not the places to seek quick blessings when we need them, but we need to keep them alive enough for us to be able to go there to seek blessings. I have highlighted how ancient engineering and architecture should inspire future engineers and architects, as these are rooted in this land, and in sync with our climatic conditions. The chapter on languages introduces you to the common metaphors that are well understood across the country despite us having a plethora of languages,” the author told IANSlife in an email interview.

With her experiences and adventures in crisscrossing India for decades, the author shows us how ancient India’s surviving heritage and living traditions are a testimony to her history and the invisible threads and sacred geography that bind her people together. The book draws from the author’s travels and personal pilgrimage to sites across the country, and from reading books on India — from ancient scriptures to modern renditions, and correlating both.

According to Sankranth Sanu, Founder and CEO, Garuda Prakashan, the book is a celebration of India’s plural syncretic culture.

The book gives readers a thorough peek into the India that was — unhurried, trusting, simple and full of devotion and life — and the one that still continues to be so, when it comes to the lives around its sacred spaces and ancient temples. The camaraderie and the devotion generated in these sacred spaces, the trust and respect for the fellow traveler — the book has endearing insights for one to appreciate these hidden aspects of life.

Image courtesy of (Image courtesy: Anuradha Goyal@Twitter)

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