On Holy Ground: The Politics and Myth of Sacred Geography

Leah Renold

in A Hindu Education

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195674835
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081493 | DOI:
On Holy Ground: The Politics and Myth of Sacred Geography

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This chapter discusses the importance of the University's location in Banaras or Varanasi, one of the holy cities in India. It explains the procedure involved in buying the land for the University (a land acquisition order) and examines several records of the land acquisition order. This procedure is then contrasted with the myth of the University's origins, which features a common theme in Hindu myths, where a just raja gives a poor Brahman a charitable boon. It shows that both Indians and Europeans believe that due to its location, the university was given an air of Hindu sanctity. Furthermore, the Europeans' portrayal of Banaras was created from both indigenous and Western perceptions of Banaras. This chapter also examines several manifestations of Hindu belief and ritual and the significance of the campus' design.

Keywords: location; Varanasi/Banaras; land acquisition; Hindu myths; Hindu sanctity; portrayal of Banaras; perceptions of Banaras; campus design

Chapter.  7345 words. 

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