Benares The Hindus’ Holy City

Second edition of Newell’s guide to Benares (Varanasi) – the spiritual capital of India.

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“Of Benares, with its labyrinth of narrow, tortuous streets, its myriad shrines and saints, is wide, wonder-working Ganges, its unparalleled wealth of tradition, and vast accumulation of legendary lore, many volumes might be written, and yet the half has not been told.” [Introduction]

Founded by Shiva (according to Hindu mythology), the city of Benares is one of the oldest continually inhabited settlements on the planet. Now commonly known as Varanasi, the ancient city is situated on the Ganges River in the modern-day state of Uttar Pradesh and is a major pilgrimage site for both Buddhist and Hindus. This guidebook, the second edition, was written and published in Bombay by Lt. Colonel H.A. Newell; apparently, a well-traveled English officer based on his other works noted on the cover – ‘Footprints in Spain’, Topee and Turban’, plus guidebooks to Delhi, Agra, Calcutta, Florence, and Venice!

The sixty pages offer an interesting overview of the holy city under the British Raj; including a local history, photographs, details on locations of interest, and other descriptive text reflecting a slightly imperial attitude. The guidebook includes a folding map of the city that emphasizes locations of interest to a Western tourist. Railways, historic sites, British institutions, churches, and other buildings of authority (police stations, jails, military facilities, etc.) are noted.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1925

Author: H.A. Newell

Sheet Width (in): 11.75

Sheet Height (in): 12

Condition: A

Condition Description: Folding map disbound from 60 pp. guidebook with stapled binding and original orange paper wraps. Map is creased along fold lines and shows light toning. Guidebook in similarly good condition, with light wear on the covers and some toning and soiling consistent with age and use. Very good overall.

Out of stock