Banaras Region  -  A Spiritual & Cultural Guide

Banaras Region - A Spiritual & Cultural Guide

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Author: Rana P B Singh
Pravin S Rana/
Publisher: Indica Books
Year: 2006
Language: English
Pages: 403
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8186569243


This book is the first compendium of cultural sites in and around Varanasi. It covers a very wide range of places and subjects and provides a huge quantity of information, being a veritable small encyclopaedia of the Banaras region.

The first section includes Setting, Historical background, Religious landscape, Cosmogony, Festivities, Riverside landscape, and seven detailed Area walks along the ghats and the old city. There are also sections on the cosmic circuit of Panchakroshi, Ramanagar, Sarnath, the Jain places, the Muslim sacredscapes, and the rural landscape.

The second section 'Around Banaras’ covers the sites lying at less than 80km, like Chunar and its medieval fort; Ahraura, with an Ashokan inscription; Lekhania, having pre-historic rock paintings; Vindhyachal, the Goddess’ a area; Kaithi, an ancient Shiva temple; Shitala Dham, a site of a folk goddess’s area; Jakhini, the site of a pre-Aryan goddess; Bhadohi, a centre of carpet weaving; Sitamarhi, a site of puranic antiquity; Jaunpur with its important Muslim monuments; Chandraprabha and Kaimur Wild life sanctuaries.

The third part covers the places in the range of 100-300 km, like: Allahabad, the city of the Kumbha Mela festival; Ayodhya, the place of Sri Rama; Chitrakut, Lord Rama’s halting site; Khajuraho, the city of lived monuments; Banvasi Seva Ashram, an NGO: Mundeshvari, a 7th century goddess temple; Sasaram, with a 16th century royal tomb; Ballia and sonepur, sites of sacred bath and cattle fairs; Varanasi to Vaishali by road-via Ballia, Sonepur and Hajipur; Deo and Madanpur, the 12th century Sun temples; Gaya the City of Ghostscape; Baijanath Dham, city of Shiva.


Preface & Acknowledgements
Sacred Ways and Spiritual Walks
A call for Co-pilgrimage

1.Geographical Setting & Nomenclature
2.The Historical Background
3.Kashi: Cosmogram and Sacred Journey
4.The Religious Landscape
5.Festivities and Seasons
6.The Riverside Landscape: The Ghates


7.Area Walks
1.Asi Ghat – Sankatmochan
2.Sonarpura – Kedara Ghat
3.Manikarnika Ghat – Vishvanatha (Golden) temple
4.Siddheshvari Area
5.Raj Ghat
6.The Banaras Hindu University, BHU & Environs
7.The Old City and the Special Places
8.Seeing the City, other Places of Attraction

8.The Panchakroshi, Pilgrimage on the Cosmic Circuit
9. Ramanagar, across the Ganga
10. Saints of the Medieval period
11. Sarnath, Where the Buddha Preached
12. The Jains and their holy places
13. The Muslim Sacredscapes
14. Indian Village: Rural Landscape and People
Utility Services & Information
Accommodation – Hotels
Selected Biography:books on Varanasi City
(less than 80km from Varanasi)
1. Chunar
2. Ahraura
3. Lekhania
4. Vindhyachal, the Goddess’s Sacredscape
5. Kaithi
6. Shitala Dham
7. Jakhini
8. Bhadohi
9. Sitamarhi
10. Jaunpur, the Muslim Sacredscapes
11. Chandraprabha
12. Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary

(at 100 – 300km from Varanasi)
1. Allahabad (Prayaga), the City of Sacred Baths
2. Ayodhya, Lord Rama’s birth place
3. Chitrakut, Lord Rama’s Sacredscapes
4. Khajuraho, the city of lived monuments
5. Banvasi Seva Ashram, a hermitage in the forest
6. Mundeshvari, a 7th century Goddess temple
7. Sasaram

8. Ballia and Sonepur: sites of Karttika Purnima fair a. Ballia:Sacred bath and fairs

9. Varanasi to Vaishali by road

10. Deo and Madanpur, the Sun temples

11. Gaya, the City of Ghostscape

12. Vaidyanatha Dham

List of table
1. Varanasi: Notable Dates in History
2. Banaras Region: List of Figures
3. Varanasi: Hindu Festivals and Roman Dates, CE2001-2005
4. Kashi: The period of Panchakroshi Yatra
5. Varanasi: Air Flights and Fare
6. Varanasi: Railway Time Table
7. Mughalsarai: Railway Time Table

The Authors