Temple manuscripts of Kerala and Karnataka

The knowledge in the palm-leaf manuscripts of the Sri Mookambika Temple allows the study of the rites and rituals performed in the Ceremonies. The project built understanding of preservation practices in the community, and digitised 50,000 palm-leaf pages, making them available to a wider audience.

Sri Mookambika Temple in Kollur, Karnataka is one of the most prominent temples of Southern India. It is the only temple dedicated to Parvathi in the guise of goddess Saraswathi, goddess of wisdom. The project aimed to digitise the full collection of Sri Govid Adige, the Temple’s Chief Priest. The manuscripts date from the 13th and 14th centuries and contain information on rites and rituals performed at the Temple, as well as records of the Temple’s history. The manuscripts are considered sacred, and, as per tradition, must not be touched by female hands nor must they be left to decay in the temple. The material, therefore, is at risk of being consigned to the sea or fire, as tradition demands. The project was significantly delayed, as the team faced protests during the scanning process. As the material is sacred, there was a lot of resistance from local people. The project aimed to save the knowledge in the manuscripts through documentation and digitisation. The project digitised 50,000 palm-leaf pages and created an electronic database of the collection. The original material has been properly preserved and it is currently stored in the Temple.

Project Details

Location: India, Southern Asia, Asia Organiser(s): Endangered Archives Programme (EAP) Project partner(s): Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £9,940 Commencement Date: 04/2017 Project Status: Completed
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