Making Rain under the Mallas



Records of rainmaking performances offer potentially useful data for climate history. In the Kathmandu Valley, rice cultivation is a central feature of socioreligious life, and references to rainmaking performances and the droughts that accompanied them are found in Buddhist writings going back to the Malla period and the late fourteenth century. One manuscript, now kept in Cambridge University Library, documents four previously unstudied rainmaking rituals taking place between 1551 and 1628. These records provide historical climate information that cannot be obtained from other sources.

Author Biography

Iain Sinclair, Nan Tien Institute, Australia

Iain Sinclair is a lecturer and researcher at Nan Tien Institute, Australia, and an honorary research fellow at The University of Queensland School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry. He studies the history of religion in the Himalayas, South Asia, and the Malay Archipelago using primary sources. His published research focuses on Buddhist ethics, Asian art, Sanskrit manuscripts, and contemporary religion.