Western Himalayan Temple Records
While numerous studies exist on major South-Asian temples, surprisingly little is known about ‘minor shrines’ and ‘lesser states’. Here fifty-five new documents, in a western-Himalayan script and language, and belonging to a small Siddha shrine, redress this remarkable gap in our knowledge. The documents cover a wide spectrum—from revenue grants to those dealing with ritual, pilgrimage, legality and temple-economy—thus building a picture of the relationship between state and shrine, and particularly so for the minor centres: their popularity and relationship with major temples; mundane matters; notices, petitions, and law-suits. It becomes clear how ‘lesser states’, despite their limited resources, patronized numerous small shrines, along with major temples; and the role played by the Nath-Siddha-ascetics in creating consent-to-rule, acculturation, and constructing hybridity between the Hindu and Tibetan-Buddhist traditions.