Mountains of Life

Come join us on a journey through India’s mountains

With the planet in turmoil and climate crisis spilling into and affecting our daily lives, a coming together of global citizens is needed to address the human impact on nature.

The climate festival of Azim Premji University, after exploring the distant rivers of life and ancient forests over the last two years, is once again back to ignite a ray of hope in the efforts to protect planet Earth. The new generation, while rolling up their sleeves, will surely need all the support to understand and respond effectively to the challenges of a planet in crises.

This year, the Mountains of Life festival will be held between 11 – 22 November 2024 in Bengaluru and subsequently in other towns and cities. The festival is an expression of our belief that critical life support systems such as mountains, rivers, wetlands, grasslands, and forests that together make up the mosaic knitting our world will be conserved by the children, for the children.

The festival will see the coming together of interns, students, activists, artists, researchers, young professionals, teachers, experts, family members and community members to create a multi-layered narrative of mountains as a critical and inseparable part of nature.

The interns who have begun their journeys to document the mountains come to us with their thoughts, perplexed at the state of the earth and at our struggles to cope with the growing crisis — on why discussions around nature are often sidelined. On why we are hurting our own life sustaining systems when we understand its intrinsic value. On why some communities resist and conserve despite the challenges. On how they changed as a person during their journeys. But also with the hope that their efforts will affect someone significantly enough to think about the environment even as they go about their daily lives. 

At the festival, using various forms and media MoL interns, as they are called in conversation, will create individual tapestries documenting the complexities of our natural world.

The festival will see the coming together of interns, students, activists, artists, researchers, young professionals, teachers, experts, family members and community members to create a multi-layered narrative of mountains as a critical and inseparable part of nature.

We are also engaging with NGO partners to bring out their stories and experiences of living and working in the mountains. We will also have stories of villagers conserving seeds, of idealists who set up influential civil society organisation to conserve hills and mountains, and of children who will grow up to inherit the hills.

Young children will have fun-filled newsletters to look forward to in the months leading up to the festival. Quiz competitions on mountain ecosystems, social media updates, real-life yatras during World Environment Day, YouTube series on guardians of the mountains and mountain ecowarriors, workshops with teachers on interpreting nature, and endless competitions — all this and more will be held before the festival in November.

As we prepare to host the festival, we hope that thousands of young children and adults visit the festival to see the numerous photo documentations, infographics, real life installations, traditional folklore, contemporary music around mountains, workshops, talks and more and join the effort to respect and conserve nature.

As nature completes one of its many millions of life cycles on an everyday basis, as the rivers flow as they have always flown in their ever-changing manner, as the forests breathe and provide valuable life support systems, so have the mountains stood forever. Magnificent, majestic, eternal, ethereal, they have been around for millions of years. Giving birth to rivers and enveloped in layers of forests, mountains seem to be more alive than still.

As we celebrate this journey of rediscovering our mountains of life with a coming together of its many traditions, its people and the many geographical complexities that make a mountain, we attempt to do so through stories of everyday importance. In the process, the mountains teach us.

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Know more about our Research Centres here.

Explore our earlier festivals in the Climate Awareness series