Saffron Citadel: Powers, Print, and the Creation of a Modern Hindu Identity


ACLS Fellowship Program


Middle East, South Asian, and African Studies


“Saffron Citadel” questions what were the contributing factors for the political rise of the Gorakhnath temple complex in Gorakhpur as the modern epicenter of Hindu nationalism in North India. Examining colonial ideologies, enumerative modalities, nationalism and democracy, and the rise of Hindi print culture, the project analyzes how Nath Yogis perceived their communal identity in premodern India and how that identity was reformulated as rigidly Hindu in the twentieth century. Considering the early modern Hindi manuscript tradition, historical documents, colonial gazetteers, surveys, and Hindi printed temple literature, this book investigates how a religiously porous community came to envision themselves as the martial defenders of the Hindu nation.