From the Jacket:
This book expounds in a colourful way the diverse literary images that Banaras, the city known as the Cultural Capital of India and the holiest city for Hindus, has inspired and continues to inspire in different writers in the course of history. Few other cities in the world have so sparked the imagination of the artists as this paradoxical and undescribable city which seems to integrate all contradictions.
Kabir, Tulasi Das, Mirza Ghalib, Bhartendu Harishchandra, Rudra Kashikeya, Bishma Sahni, Raja Rao, Shivprasad Singh, Abdul Bismillah, Kashinath Singh and Pankhaj Mishra, all wrote about the Banaras of their time or of the past. Rana P.B. Singh analyses their literary images and the cultural traditions described therein, interpreting them in the purview of cultural symbols and lived traditions which have maintained their continuity since the ancient past. Each of the fifteen essays describes a time in the history of the city along with its culture, illustrated with Puranic sources. This work will certainly be helpful to understand the complexity and multiplicity of belief systems, and the historical perspectives of metaphor; symbolism and milieu.
About the Author:
Rana P.B. Singh is Professor of Cultural Geography at the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, and Founding President of the Society of Heritage Planning and Environmental Health, as also of the Society of Pilgrimage Studies. He has been studying the city of Banaras/Varanasi/Kashi for most of his life, and is today an undisputed authority on the culture, geography and history of the city.
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