The ghats of Varanasi and their buildings are the most famous skyline of India marking the threshold to the holy Ganga from the narrow lanes of the old city. Amita Sinha will take us on a virtual walk on the ghats introducing the architectural language of temples and palaces and of small shrines and other structures. The ghats will be seen as a canvas of artistic expressions in graffiti and silt art and in the rich colors and textures of everyday objects. Their vibrant public life in worship rituals and ordinary activities will be examined as the mix of the sacred and the profane. Stories of the Ganga’s descent of Vishnu’s penance and of Shiva’s abode giving places their meanings will be narrated. The talk will conclude with describing cultural practices that celebrate the cycle of death and life on the ghats.
Amita Sinha is a former Professor of Landscape of Landscape Architecture and South Asian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign USA and has taught at the Indian Institutes of Technology at Kharagpur and Gandhinagar. She has studied Varanasi Ghats extensively in field visits and two design workshops and is the author of planning reports book chapters and journal articles on their aesthetics cultural heritage and conservation.
1 month ago What a fabulous and informative talk that was, about a history that I never really hear about except just knowing the names of the historical characters from having heard my previous generation refer to these - (the betrayal of) Mir Zafar, Jagat Sheth, Siraj ud Daulla...