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Banaras: The City Revealed

George Michell (Editor) Rana P B Singh (Editor)
Synopsis This volume of Marg is dedicated to the physical environment of Banaras as embodied in an extremely diverse series of historical monuments that overlook the ghats lining the river Ganga or are tucked away in the crowded streets and lanes of the city. Dating from the last eight hundred years or so, these buildings were erected by the Delhi sultans and their successor, the Mughal emperors, as well as by Rajput princes and Maratha kings and queens, and rulers of a local dynasty based at nearby Ramnagar. Wealthy merchants of the city and even officials of the British government also contributed to the city’s architectural legacy. Such intense constructed to the city’s architectural legacy. Such intense constructional activity testifies to the sustained prestige of Banaras as the pre-eminent holy city of India, a reputation that it maintains to the resent day. The volume opens with an account of the growth of Banaras over a span of more than 2,000 years, and provides a detailed account of the city in the 18th and 19th centuries, when the majority of the city’s noteworthy structures were erected. The following chapters concentrate on different architectural categories: mosques and tombs; ghats and riverside palaces; temples and shrines; houses and mansions; wells, tanks, and gardens; churches and civic monuments. The authors describe representative architectural examples, many of which are illustrated here for the first time. Their chapters are accompanied by a historical chart and a set of city maps locating all the buildings. The volume concludes with a plea for an effective conservation master-plan to preserve this unique architectural heritage for future generations.
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About the authors

George Michell

George Michell obtained his PhD in the field of early western Chalukya temple architecture from the School of Oriental African Studies, University of London, in 1974. From 1974 to 1977, he directed courses on Asian architecture at the Architectural Association, London, and was the co-editor of Art and Archaeology Research Papers from 1972 to 1982. Since the 1980s, he has co-directed an international team of scholars and students at Vijayanagara, the medieval Hindu site in Karnataka. George Michell has also lectured at universities and museums throughout the USA, Europe, India and Australia. Among his many Publications are The Royal Palaces of India, Islamic Heritage of the Deccan, Architecture of the Islamic World: Its History and Social Meaning and Hindu Art and Architecture.

Rana P B Singh

Rana P.B. Singh, the other guest editor, is Professor of Cultural Geography at 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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Bibliographic information

Title Banaras: The City Revealed
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Marg Publications
Language: English
isbn 8185026726
length 152p., Tables; Figures; Plates; Bibliography; Index; 31cm.