TOURISM - An International Interdisciplinary Journal

Volume 59 / 2011 / Number 3 ISSN 1332-7461 

Jonathan MILES-WATSON, Sukanya B. MILES-WATSON

Conflicts and connections in the landscape of the Manimahesh pilgrimage



Abstract:
There is a significant, established, record of academic discussion of Himalayan pilgrimages, which when taken together, direct understandings of pilgrimage in this region in a way that draws attention to some aspects of the landscape of Himalayan pilgrimage while ignoring others. This paper seeks to add something new to the everexpanding literature on pilgrimage in this region by disrupting this process through the presentation of a collaborative autoethnography, which focuses on the landscape of a locally important, yet hitherto internationally ignored, Himalayan pilgrimage: the Manimahesh pilgrimage of the Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh. It emerges that, while fellow pilgrims mutually constitute each other's pilgrimage experience, the exact nature of that experience varies depending on the pilgrim's skill to reckon with the environment that they are entering into. What is more, the conflic-ting nature of pilgrimage experiences becomes intensified after the pilgrimage during the pilgrims' structured attempts to narrativise their experience for others.