Chapter

Framing the Pilgrimage

Saurabh Mishra

in Pilgrimage, Politics, and Pestilence

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780198070603
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080007 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198070603.003.0002
Framing the Pilgrimage

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This chapter sketches an overall picture of the pilgrimage from the Indian subcontinent and outlines the broad trends and changes that occurred within the period under study. It compares the colonial government's stand on internal Hindu pilgrimages and the Haj. It shows how the pilgrimage underwent a massive transformation due to technological breakthroughs such as the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, which represented a huge watershed in the world of marine navigation. The canal not only ‘joined the East and the West’ but also allowed European shipping companies to operate in Asian territories, as a result of which the Haj traffic became a potential source of commercial profit for these companies. The opening of the Suez Canal also marked the point where the perceived great medical threat presented by the pilgrims to European nations emerged, due to which quarantines had to be imposed.

Keywords: Haj; Hindu pilgrimages; colonial government; Indian subcontinent; medical threat; pilgrimage; quarantines; Suez Canal

Chapter.  16529 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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