Pancheshwar will be our home for the next 5 days. It is an amazing part of India that is soon to be permanently changed by the construction of a massive dam. The towering blockage of the river will stand as the second or third tallest in the world and will submerge more than 50 miles of two separate river valleys. It will erase history, famous temples, and thousands of homes.
Before the pandemic forced us out of India early a few years ago, a group of students was set to study the impacts this dam would have. The young scholars developed plans to quantify the environmental destruction, the cultural loss, and the daily lives that will be uprooted. We never got to complete that project then but this group will carry the knowledge and intention into our time here. We will explore the same issues our project was designed to.
Being here will also set the stage for our time on the Ganges, where large dams already impact that waterway. It will help us begin to think about big issues and give us a reference point.
It will also help us prepare for Agora. The people who still live around Pancheshwar live very traditional lives, much like the Garwhali people. We will be looking at a disappearing way of life but also feeling why it has endured so long. We will start feeling how strong the community-oriented culture is, even if it is not long for this world. I believe we will be even more appreciative for our Indian home.
We will not have great cell signal in Pancheshwar but we will update as actively as we can!
Until then, we wish you could see this!