Luminous Kashi To Vibrant Varanasi

Luminous Kashi To Vibrant Varanasi

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Item Code: IDF105
Author: K. Chandramouli
Publisher: Indica Books, Varanasi
Language: English
Edition: 2006
ISBN: 8186569561
Pages: 486 (B & W Illus: 101,Maps:4)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.4" X 5.4"

From the Back of the Book:

Scriptures gives a distinctly unique place to Kashi / Banaras / Varanasi by declaring it to be a place not situated on the earth. Its importance in the history of Indian culture and religion will never be sufficiently extolled. It is a world of its own, symbolizing and embodying a whole civilization, a veritable mini India, unique in all most all respects. Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. Today, Varanasi is a busy and congested city, afflicted with many problems. The resulting contradictions can be seen in its blend of spirituality and darkness, sanctity and filth, purity and deceipt, culture and grossness. Even then inexplicable charm holds sway.

Luminous Kashi to Vibrant Varanasi presents, as no other book has done before, all these aspects of this paradoxical and fascinating city, and gives an amazing quantity if information on the city, its history, culture and people; its temples and tirthas, mathas and institutions; its scholars, some of them the best in the country; its festivals and lilas; it its literature, music, painting and culture; its silk trade and craft; and its typical inhabitants: sadhus, pandits, pandas, babus, raits, thugs and gundas. The book covers a breathtaking variety of topics, from the low to the high, the ordinary to the extraordinary, the blind faithful to the awakened, and the mundane to the divine. More than all, the book finds out, with the help of mythology and metaphysics, the essence of Kashi- its luminosity and its vibrancy! It finally says: walk not in the dark alleys, plunge not in the shallows, but move into the luminosity, and dive deep into the oceans of knowledge. The Kashi you find depends on how far you walk, how deep you dive!

About the Author:

K. Chandramouli (born 1941) comes from Chikmagalur, a district headquarters town in Karanataka, 3 hours drive from Srngeri, the famous centre founded by Adi Sankara. Many were the holy persons received and revered in the pious parental home. A good preparatory career led to admission the B.H.U. (Banaras) and a degree in Mechanical Engineering followed by M. Tech from I.I.T. Kharagpur.

Writing is one of Mr. Chandramouli's hobbies and he has so far published over a dozen of books in the language. He is a recognized writer of hum our in Kannada having published 'Hendatiya Gulama' (Wife's Slave), 'Asambaddha Kathegalu' (Absurd Anecdotes), ' Minukavali' (The Flickering Lights), 'Airavatada Kathegalu' (Stories From Airavata), 'The Gentleman's Collar' and 'Nam Benglooru' (Our Bangalore). Leading Kannada periodicals frequently publish his humorous skits and essays.

K. Chandramouli is one of a select band of writers in Kannada in the genre of travelogue. His travelogue "Onti Prayanikana Kathegalu" (The Lone Traveller's Tale) has been very popular and has been translated and published in Marathi. His Pravasa Kathana on U.P. and Bihar are other interesting travelogues. His cultural studies on cities like Mumbai (Bannada Bombayee- Colourful Bombay), Banaras (Kasi- The City Luminous) and Bangalore (Bengaloorina Notagalu- Scenes of Bangalore) have not only proved to be very popular but also have received much appreciation from scholars. One of his short plays, 'Party' was telecast from the AIR (Dharwad Station). His novel 'Beligalache' (Beyond the Fences) shows again his wanderlust, this time in search of sublime supreme. He has been honored with many awards in many places in Karnataka and in Delhi.

Not content with his editor with his earlier study of the 'Personality of Kasi' in his English book 'Kashi-The City Luminous' (1995), he has now delved deep to reveal the 'Soul of Kasi' in the present book. In the process he has answered many questions about the Luminosity of Kasi and the Vibrancy of Varanasi.

The pursuit of a busy professional engineering career, social service activities through Rotary and his concern for the environment added zest in the development of these hobbies of Mr. Chandramouli. He is now retired after servicing in senior executive posts of several industries in the country. He resides in Bangalore and may be contacted on E-mail: kcmvcm @


  Blessings 8
  Humble Submission 10
  Grateful Acknowledgements 14
  Transliteration of Sanskrit and Hindi Words; Notes 18
1. The Search 19
2. The Creation 22
3. Two Paths 30
4. Luminious Kasi 34
5. An Explanation 39
6. Siva 45
7. Jyotirlinga 49
8. Holy Kasi 52
9. Kasi's Charm 59
10. Antiquity 63
11. Name 68
12. Divodasa's pot 72
13. Early Religions 77
14. Jainism and Buddhism 89
15. Vaisnavism &…. 95
16. The Bhakthi Movement 100
17. Temples 106
18. Tirthas and Yatras 121
19. Avimuktesvara and Visvesvara 130
20. Kala Bhairava 147
21. Hanuman 151
22. Mathas or Monasteries 155
23. Saints and Sadhus 165
24. Scholastic Traditions 190
25. Sastrarthas 205
26. Pathasalas 212
27. Ayurveda 223
28. Literature and Journalism 228
29. Festivals and Melas 246
30. Ramalilas 265
31. Ganga, Ghats and Galis 276
32. Pandas 284
33. Thugs and Gundas 288
34. Tourist Interest 293
35. Trade 302
36. Banarasi Silk 308
37. Arts and Crafts 313
38. Painting 320
39. Music 325
40. Musical Moments 339
41. Banarasi Babu 348
42. Mauj Masti 359
43. Elite 372
44. Banarasi Mehfil 383
45. Akhadas 391
46. Mahamana Malaviya and Banaras Hindu University 398
47. Historical Background and Chronology of Events 409
48. Pages From History 415
49. Travellers and Writers 431
50. Old Times and New 444
  Notes 449
  Bibliography 456
  List of Persons Interviewed 466
  Glossary 470
  Index 479


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