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Banaras: City of Light
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Banaras: City of Light

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  85 ratings  ·  9 reviews
This is the acclaimed study and interpretation of Banaras, the holy place of the Hindus.
Paperback, 448 pages
Published August 11th 1999 by Columbia University Press (first published April 12th 1982)
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Passport - check
Indian visa - check
Vaccinations - check
Airline ticket - check

and now I KNOW where I am going:

"Kashi may be located on the plains of North India, on the banks of the Ganges, on the tip of Shiva ' s trident, or where the nose and the eyebrows meet. Wherever that place is, it is the place where one is able to see into the true nature of things. 'In Kashi,' it is said, 'one sees one's own soul.'"

Namaste ya'll
Rather dry but incredibly detailed, and presumably well re-searched, this provided me with more information about Banares than I could ever want, or need, to know. 2 stars because it would be an excellent resource but far too involved for someone like me who was looking for a travel book in a more general sense.
Cathy Douglas
There's nothing wrong with this book, it's just boring. Some of it is good, when she discusses the various Shiva cults and so forth. But a lot of it is details: town geography, details of who-worshiped-whom-when, and other things that weren't that interesting for a non-Hindu general reader.
Chris Lemig
Not your standard bathroom reader to be sure. Dense, scholarly but suprisingly readable. Recommended to anyone traveling to Bararas (the holy city of the Hindus) in the near future. (Oh, I'm so witty!).
I learned much, much about Hinduism via geographical, architectural and historical details about one of the spiritual centers.
fairly well written, but easy to get caught up in the sanskrit terms and various names of deities... i couldn't finish it.
This is a great book and after reading it I had a better grasp of Hinduism. It is not light reading though.
Zachary Krug
nice introduction to banaras; good balance of mysticism tempered by solid historical research
Lowell Brower
If you're heading to Varanasi, read this first. It will enliven every step of your visit.
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