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ARC works with Hindu leaders on Green Pilgrimage Network in India

October 31, 2012:

Ashrams on the banks of Mother Ganges at Rishikesh

The launch of an Indian Chapter following a meeting in Hyderabad, India on October 14, 2012, marked an exciting development for the Green Pilgrim Network. Representatives from a number of sacred Hindu sites across India had attended the meeting and expressed an interest in joining the network as part of their commitment to improving the environmental impact of pilgrimage to their sites.

And to show that the Indian Chapter means business a second meeting has already been called for November 23/24, to be held in Rishikesh, Uttrakhand and jointly hosted by the Bhumi Project and ARC. It is to be hoped that representatives from as many as 20 different Hindu pilgrimage sites will attend the meeting to discuss and share the challenges and opportunities for making religious towns and cities more environmentally friendly.

The event will take place at the Parmarth Niketan ashram on the banks of the sacred Mother Ganges river at the invitation of Swami Chidanand Saraswati. In his letter of invitation to representatives the Swami observes:

"Hindu pilgrim cities and towns attract hundreds and thousands of pilgrims every year. Over recent years we have seen a significant increase in the number of pilgrimages across India. This unfortunately puts increased pressure on city infrastructure and resources. Issues such as water, waste, energy and wildlife conservation are pressing issues for many of us. As representatives of religious sites, we have a duty to ensure our towns can accommodate our pilgrims to ensure their experience of pilgrimage is as joyful and spiritually uplifting as possible. ... I humbly request you to bless this auspicious gathering and to work with us in ensuring the sanctity of our holiest places for future generations."

Links to further reading

You can read about the original Hyderabad meeting of the India Chapter here.

Click here for more information about the Green Pilgrimage Network.

Click here to learn what Hinduism can teach us about ecology.

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Green pilgrimage network members
The vision is of pilgrims on all continents and the pilgrim cities that receive them, leaving a positive footprint on the Earth
Hindu ecology
An outilne of Hindu teachings on the environment
October 15, 2012:
PRESS RELEASE: India Chapter of the Green Pilgrimage Network launched
Eleven holy towns and cities in India came together yesterday to launch the India chapter of the international Green Pilgrimage Network (GPN). The meeting, which took place on the seventh day of the United Nations COP 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, was hosted by ARC and ICLEI.