Sacred Complexes as Centers of National Integration: A Case Study of the Kaveri Basin Area of Karnatka

Though there were a few anthropological studies on sacred complexes in India after the pioneering study of Gaya by L. P. Vidyarthi there was no such study on any sacred river complex. The studies so for conducted focused only on the interactions between pilgrims and religious specialists. The present study was conducted covering nine pilgrimage centers on the sacred river complex of the Kaveri river spread over at last three linguistic areas. This study focuses on the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of the pilgrims and the local people and the sectarian diversities of the specialists. This study shows that these pilgrimage centres on the sacred river complexes act as centres of integration for the diverse linguistic, cultural and religious groups of the Hindus.