Theses (South Asia Studies)


Linda Wiig

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


South Asia Studies

First Advisor

Ludo Rocher


From the introduction:

Māhātmyas are collections of legends and myths which for the most part relate to pilgrimage practice and to local "histories" of holy places throughout India. They are associated with Purānas, a more widely known branch of Sanskrit literature, in two ways: (1) in a general way, i.e., Purānic legends were often used or adapted to a local environment in the compiling of the "history" of that place, and (2) in a specific way, i.e., Māhātmyas as texts often assert to be a part of a particular Purāna. Some Purānas consist almost entirely of Māhātmyas, others have but one or two attached to them. The connection between these two branches of literature is very close; so close that Māhātmyas for the most part have not been regarded or treated as a separate genre.