2012 | 14 | 35-60
Article title

Constructing the eternal city of light through history and society: evolution of the image of Kāśī in the 18th - 20th centuries “picture maps”

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No account or discourse on Kāśī goes without claiming the extraordinary status of the place; the city is considered the eternal tīrtha, where all notable places of Indian sacred geography are represented by local replicas; moreover, according to Puranic tradition Kāśī dwells on Lord Śiva triśūla, surviving the universal dissolution for it exists outside space, beyond time. The perception of the historical place gets often confused with the mythical image forged by the māhātmya tradition and supported by different actors in the course of time (sacred specialists, “new Hindūs”, nationalists, orientalists and tourists). The paper deals with the image of Kāśī beyond time and space and analyses its construction through history and society. Basing our reflections on the phenomenological approach to the study of spatial dimension, we want to highlight the interactions between the struggle of creation of a mythic space of the city and the inevitable intrusions and contributions of lived places and their practices, as depicted in the visual sources on Banāras.
Physical description
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