Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad
December 12 - 21, 2002

According to Indian mythology, the gods and the demons joined effort to get the kumbh (pot) of amrit, (nectar that makes one immortal), that was in the great ocean. They churned the ocean with Mainak, the mountain, using Vasuki, the king of snakes, as a rope.

Fourteen precious things came out as the great ocean was churned, the last of which was the amrit kumbh. The gods and the demons had a fight over its posession. The gods finally won and became immortal.

However, during the tussle four drops of amrit dropped at four places on Earth. The sangam, confluence of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna in Prayag (Allahabad) is one of them. That makes it one of the holiest places!

The logo shows the amrit kumbh in the ocean, depicted as a drop of water. The pot, being topologically a disc, symbolizes the open string; while the closed string world sheet at the boundary of the droplet is triangulated by the holy rivers.

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