In late May, another pilgrimage season came to an end at one of Sri Lanka’s highest points. Tens of thousands of pilgrims, the very old and the very young, make the journey each year. Most of them climb at night up an illuminated staircase. Refreshments stalls and resting places make the climb easier, though the sacred atmosphere is marred (for some) by the sound of radios carried by young people, and litter is liberally scattered. During the months outside the pilgrimage season the mountain is bleak and rains make the trail treacherous.
Romila Thapar addresses invitees at the
Southasian relaunch of Himal Southasian,
IIC, New Delhi, January 2013.
Flickr / girl.from.melbourne
An early monsoon
On June 16 2013, the India Meteorological Department confirmed the early arrival of monsoon rains across the whole of India. Full coverage was not expected until the middle of July, making farmers hopeful for a bumper crop.
From our archive:
C K Lal discusses the fixation of Southasia's political leaders with 'monumental waterworks.' (September 2007)
Somnath Mukherji explores the sights, sounds, smells and feelings that monsoon evokes. (June 2007)
Venu Madhav Govindu notes the 'fundamental importance' of a good monsoon for both city and rural dwellers. (August 2003)