Over the last decade traditional Indian temple towns have transformed into centres for urban lifestyles and tourist activities. One of these is the historic temple town Vrindavan in North India, on which this study focuses. Exploring the multiple socio-cultural realities present in the town, the author engages with the narratives of the residents as they respond to the socio-environmental changes against the backdrop of national and regional modernisation processes. Here the imaginaries of a mythic Vrindavan, with its pristine and sacred environment, are evoked in narrations on contemporary modernity.
Samrat S. Kumar is an independent researcher holding a PhD in South Asia Studies from the University of Oslo. He has been studying religious and cultural life in Vrindavan for the last 10 years.