Visualizing Space in Banaras: Images, Maps, and the Practice of Representation

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Martin Gaenszle, Jörg Gengnagel
Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, 2006 - History - 358 pages
The city of Banaras is widely known as a unique, impressive and particularly ancient historical place. But for many it is above all a universal, cosmic, and in a sense timeless sacred space. Both of these seemingly contrasting depictions contribute to how the city is experienced by its inhabitants or visitors, and there is a great variety of sometimes competing views: Kasi the Luminous, the ancient Crossing, the city of Death, the place of Hindu-Muslim encounter and syncretism, the cosmopolitan centre of learning, etc. The present volume deals with the multiple ways this urban site is visualized, imagined, and culturally represented by different actors and groups. The forms of visualizations are manifold and include buildings, paintings, drawings, panoramas, photographs, traditional and modern maps, as well as verbal and mental images. The major focus will thus be on visual media, which are of special significance for the representation of space. But this cannot be divorced from other forms of expressions which are part of the local life-world ("Lebenswelt"). The contributions look at local as well as exogenous constructions of the rich topography of Kasi and show that these imaginations and constructions are not static but always embedded in social and cultural practices of representation, often contested and never complete.
 

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Contents

Introduction
7
Social Practice and Everyday Life
15
Ravi S Singh and Rana P B Singh
41
Annette Wilke
69
Sunthar Visuvalingam and Elizabeth ChalierVisuvalingam
95
Maps
126
Jorg Gengnagel
145
Sumathi Ramaswamy
165
Niels Gutschow
191
Joachim K Bautze
209
Sandria B Freitag
233
Stefan Schutte
279
Martin Gaenszle in collaboration with Nutandhar Sharma
303
Vasudha Dalmia
325
Contributors
349
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