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 @ rediffmail.com.
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