Dr Nanditha Krishna will highlight India’s traditions of nature conservation and sacred ecology at IIT Gandhinagar

Gandhinagar: A historian, environmentalist and author Dr Nanditha Krishna will be at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) to give two lectures on “Sacred ecology of India”. These lectures are part of the fourth edition of the Indian Knowledge Systems semester course being conducted at IITGN on the theme of ‘The Ancient Idea of India’. The lectures are scheduled on February 12 and 13, 2020 at IITGN campus, AB 1/102, from 3:30 to 5 pm.

Through these lectures, Dr Nandita Krishna will highlight the essence of nature conservation interwoven in traditional Indian cultures and how it helped protect the environment through several millennia. The wisdom of ancient India recognised the importance of nature and natural resources. Every aspect of the environment was regarded as sacred — plants, animals, mountains, forests, rivers, water bodies and even entire cities. The Sacred Ecology was universal in all Indian cultures and thus it was automatically protected. It still exists, but the importance of nature is somewhat sidelined by the demand for development and the growing consumerism, which has given birth to problems like global warming and climate change.

Dr Nandita Krishna is currently President of the CP Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation and Founder of its many constituents, including CP Art Centre and CPR Institute of Indological Research (affiliated to the University of Madras) and several educational institutions. In 2001, she established the Shakunthala Jagannathan Museum of Folk Art at Kanchipuram. She was responsible for the revival of the painting traditions of the Kurumba tribes and pottery traditions of Kota women. She has been documenting India’s ecological heritage traditions; revived traditional drawing and painting in Mamallapuram, and Tamil folk art forms in schools. In 1990, she was deputed to the Archaeological Survey of India’s restoration of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. She has researched the Khmer temples and reported on the restoration process.

She is the author of several books including ‘Life Lessons from Mahavira’; ‘Hinduism and Nature’; ‘Sacred Plants of India’; ‘Sacred Animals of India’ (Penguin); ‘ The Arts and Crafts of Tamilnadu’ (Mapin), among others, besides several research papers and popular articles. She is the winner of several awards including Nari Shakti Puraskar, Stree Ratna and Outstanding Woman of Asia.

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