Varanasi (3)

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City of Varanasi through ages, culture , tradition, ghats and architecture .

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<ul><li><p>banaras-the study of waterfront </p><p>g.sriraj prasun kumar shivangi agrawal vikrant rahi </p><p> b.arch. iii yr (a) </p><p> BANARAS IS OLDER THAN HISTORY, OLDER THAN TRADITION, EVEN OLDER THAN LEGEND AND LOOKS TWICE AS OLD AS ALL OF THEM PUT TOGETHER", </p><p> Mark Twain </p></li><li><p>banaras-the study of waterfront </p><p>g.sriraj prasun kumar shivangi agrawal vikrant rahi </p><p> b.arch. iii yr (a) </p><p>ACCESS TO THE CITY By Air The airport is at Babatpur , 23 km from the city centre and is about 30 km from the ghats. Pre-paid taxis are available outside the airport to transfer you to the city within 45 minutes. By Rail Varanasi is linked to all major cities of the country and is the focal point for the Northern and North-Eastern Railways in India. Varanasi Cantt. is the main railway station of the city and is located on the Grand trunk Road. Pre-paid taxi and auato rickshaw service is available at the railway station. By Road Varanasi is situated at the junction of three national highways -NH2 from Kolkata to Delhi, NH 7 to Kanyakumari and Nh29 to Gorakhpur and undoubtedly it is one of the busiest roads of India. Public Transport Auto rickshaw and rickshaw are the prime modes of communication in city and you will love to travel through the congested lanes of Varanasi. Mini buses run in the outer region of the city. Small boats and small steamers are also used by the common people to cross the river Ganga. </p></li><li><p>banaras-the study of waterfront </p><p>g.sriraj prasun kumar shivangi agrawal vikrant rahi </p><p> b.arch. iii yr (a) </p><p>INTRODUCTION </p><p>The city of Varanasi is known to the world over as the sacred city of India and it is recognized as the most ancient conti nuously living city of the world. The city is unique in the architectural, artistic and religious expressions of traditional Indian culture and is, even today a living example of this culture. As fat as continuity of cultural tradition is concerned Kashi surpasses all civilization centers. </p><p>These zones and circumambulation paths have Ganga River as a distinct edge. The river is an essential component of all the scared ritual practices on the ghat area. </p><p>The riverfront of Ganga comprises of a series of 84 Ghats as a special chain of sacred places Ghats bear testimony to the uniqueness of Ghat architecture which is a mosaic of different cultures. </p><p>The old city is densely populated and lacks open spaces. The ghat area offers relief to high densities of the old city and serves as a breathing space. </p><p>The Ghats which are the focus of all religious and other activities form an integral part of the culture varanasi. All the circumambulation paths include the Ghats and invite millions of devotees along this sacred route. </p><p>CLIMATE </p><p>The city enjoys sub-tropical monsoon climate. The temperature varying between 5c 45 c in a year. The relative humidity is high during monsoon reaching up to 82-85%. Annual rainfall in varanasi is around 1000 mm. </p></li><li><p>banaras-the study of waterfront </p><p>g.sriraj prasun kumar shivangi agrawal vikrant rahi </p><p> b.arch. iii yr (a) </p><p>Evolution of the city during 1830-1880 Among the changes that took place in the later half of the nineteenth century, one of the most significant is the -increase in the pakka mahal which rapidly encroached upon the kachcha houses. Also all vacant spaces in the immediate neighbourhood of the Ganga were filled in by Pakka houses. The two ill-drained areas, formerly occupied by the Godaulia Nala and the Misra Pokhra Jhil 'tank( in the south and the Maidagin and Machhodari tank in the north seem to have disappeared . The site of the Maidagin tank gradually came to be replaced by a park known as the Company garden, north of the present a center of the city. The Machhodari tank was drained into the Ganga though an underground channel and its site was turned into a park with a small tank left in the middle. </p><p>The Godaulia Nala and other tanks and depressions were filled in and the Dasaswamedh road became an important landmark in the urban landscape of the city. A significant development however, was the development of the cantonment and civil lines areas which lay south of the &amp;arria and north of the Grand Trunk road. Although established much before, its major development took place in the later half of the nineteenth century. To cater to the growing needs, suburban bazaars and a few hotels sprang up. </p></li><li><p>banaras-the study of waterfront </p><p>g.sriraj prasun kumar shivangi agrawal vikrant rahi </p><p> b.arch. iii yr (a) </p><p>The river Barna was bridged at two points viz. the Chaukaghat and the Civil coizrts.The cantonment area was extended to the north--east of the civil lines in the vicinity of Pandepur and a small bazaar called Hukulganj began to grow on the eastern margin of the civil lines not far from the river Barna and the Pandepur cantonment. A new jail, many ,missionary establishments, a few churches and missionary service areas were among the notable additions to the white part of the city. The first railway link came into existence towards the closing decade of the last century. This period thus, is marked in general by the slow growth of the c~ty with no appreciable addition of new areas except by way of building over the gaps and vacant spaces in the outer zones of the city. </p><p>A mohalla near dasaswamedh ghat A scene of assi ghat A potters shop near tulsi ghat </p></li><li><p>banaras-the study of waterfront </p><p>g.sriraj prasun kumar shivangi agrawal vikrant rahi </p><p> b.arch. iii yr (a) </p></li><li><p>banaras-the study of waterfront </p><p>g.sriraj prasun kumar shivangi agrawal vikrant rahi </p><p> b.arch. iii yr (a) </p></li><li><p>banaras-the study of waterfront </p><p>g.sriraj prasun kumar shivangi agrawal vikrant rahi </p><p> b.arch. iii yr (a) </p><p>TYPOLOGIES OF THE CITY. Over the years Banaras has developed a range of urban sequences, witness to seceding dominations which have shaped its urban space by their structuring lines or their built form in accordance with their prevalent ideologies of space. On observation of the architectural form of the city, it can be divided into a number of typologies on the basis of its structuring of its architectural form. These are as follows: 1. The urban band that developed along the river from Asi in south to Raj ghat in the north and is composed of river facing buildings 'mainly palaces( and ghats. 2. The distinctive urban fabric flanking the river-front urban band and developing westwards from it. Known as the pakka mahal, it consists of a web of mohallas, intricately weaved together. 3. The gardens and pleasure residences of the rich merchants on the lines of the Mughal gardeiLs, situated on the outskirts of the 18th century city. 4. The recent plotted development extending from the outskirts of the 18th century city to the cantonment. 5. The ancient cantonment lying south of the Barna and north of the Grand Trunk road. Besides the remnants of the British </p></li><li><p>banaras-the study of waterfront </p><p>g.sriraj prasun kumar shivangi agrawal vikrant rahi </p><p> b.arch. iii yr (a) </p><p>The pre-urban physical landscape consisted natural forest cover and wss carved out by the ganga and its left hand tributary streams. Notably amongst which even today re the varuna in the north and the Asi in the south, forming the limit and the physical terrain of its habitat. </p><p>The high concave bank of the ganga formed of lime concretions washed by the perennial deep water channel did furnish protective as well as attractive site of human occupancy. </p><p>Such a physical landscape induced the origin and growth of a multi-nuclei urban settlement ' the pre-urban nucleus referred to earlier( to start with, as clearings amidst the forests which later afforded their names to different mohallas. In fact, the sages and thinkers first established their retreats in the forests and became engaged in their scholastic pursuits along with their disciples, from sarnath in the north beyond the general precincts to Assi in the south, along water bodies including the sides of the tributary streams. </p></li><li><p>banaras-the study of waterfront </p><p>g.sriraj prasun kumar shivangi agrawal vikrant rahi </p><p> b.arch. iii yr (a) </p><p>The city of Banaras can be divided into different zones based on its sacred geography. The three forms of Lord Vishvanath namely, Omkareshvar, Vishvesvar and Kedareshvar formed the three main nuclei of ancient Banaras around which the three Khandas of the city evolved in course of time. Starting first from the nucleus of Omkareshvar in the north under the shadow of the Reajghat Plateau, the highest place in the city, being above the flood limit and subject to minimum erosion. This zone lay between the varuna in the north and the Mandakini in the south. The vishvesvar Khand forms the central One developed around Adi vishveswar established at the highest point in the central zone and in its central most square. </p></li><li><p>banaras-the study of waterfront </p><p>g.sriraj prasun kumar shivangi agrawal vikrant rahi </p><p> b.arch. iii yr (a) </p><p>This zone is hemmed in between the Mandakini in the north and the Godavari in the south which met the Ganga at the Dasasvamedh ghat forming a fan which is the most sacred and spcaious bathing place on the river, and even today accessible by a vehicle because of the earlier river-site having been converted into a faintly wide road in the 19th century. Kedar Khand Is the third zone developed around the Kedaresvar temple on the bank of the Ganga with reasonable proximity to the confluence of the Saryu with the Ganga. </p><p>The oldest core of the city is definitely in the northern zone which is for the most part practically unhabitated, with an elongated projection along the ganga to a little north of the dasawamedh ghat. </p><p>From the nature of the bend of the ganga it is obvious that the minimum river erosion would be in the northern zone of the Dasaswamedh and as such, the first settlement must have been in that area. However, as the settlements grew larger in size and number, the expansion of the city proceeded southwards at first and then west and south-westwards, taking advantage of tanks and relatively better drained sites which were above the flood level of the rivers.. </p></li><li><p>banaras-the study of waterfront </p><p>g.sriraj prasun kumar shivangi agrawal vikrant rahi </p><p> b.arch. iii yr (a) </p><p>VARANASI TODAY </p><p> THE EXISTING PATTERN OF THE URBAN HABITAT The introduction of various branches of the Northern and the North eastern </p><p>railways along with the construction of the railway bridge near Rajghat, installation of water works and provision of improved sewerage and drainage works widely modified the cultural landscape of Banaras in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Many educational institutions, various public establishments 'such as hospitals, 'anathalays', clubs, dharamshalas( besides other institutes catering for public welfare sprang up throughout the city. The deep devotion of Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya to the cause of learning found expression in . </p><p>the well planned, semi-circular university township in the southwestern extremity of the city.. </p><p>Along the riverside as many as 84 ghats provide magnificent gateways from the river to the interior of the city. The water pumping station at Hhadaini ghat and the Differ in bridge are the other recent additions on the river. </p><p>LAND ABOVE FLOOD LEVEL NEAR GANGA </p></li><li><p>banaras-the study of waterfront </p><p>g.sriraj prasun kumar shivangi agrawal vikrant rahi </p><p> b.arch. iii yr (a) </p><p>The existing urban form of the city can be studied by dividing it up into three zones on geographical basis viz. The Inner Zone, The Middle Zone and the Outer Zone The Inner zone is the most congested zone of mostly pakka builtup with numerous narrow lanes, the over congestion as a result of the proximity to the river. The middle zone is primarily medieval in growth with comparatively recent. settlements on its outer fringes. This is also for the most part fully built-up but with a few Kachcha houses and open spaces towards its outer fringes. The outer zone is characterized by numerous open spaces in the form of orchards and groves, large patches of cultivated lands, tanks and depressions, together with good residential houses with attached gardens, lined along some of the finest roads of the city. Most of the dwelling houses here are Kachcha indicating the poverty of their inhabitants and standing in .It has been realized that the cultural and natural heritages are increasingly threatened by destruction not only due to the traditional causes of decay, but also by changing social and economic conditions. Varanasi is under similar threats of rapid transformation. </p><p> There are an immense pressures from tourism, economic development and population pressures which are now threatening the unity and integrity of the cultural landscape and atmosphere, and the urban skyline of the ghat area. This increasing population is over burdening the carrying capacity of the urban environment and the river ecosystem and unplanned mass tourism could potentially have a hard impact on the cultural carrying capacity of the old city centre,. Social hygiene and sanitation methods too are beginning to bend under the pressure of a growing resident population and a constant large floating population. </p><p> The ganga river and the riverfront and old city heritage zone of Varanasi being proposed for nomination to the world heritage list of UNESCO Some work is being carried out for the same propose. </p></li><li><p>banaras-the study of waterfront </p><p>g.sriraj prasun kumar shivangi agrawal vikrant rahi </p><p> b.arch. iii yr (a) </p><p>The urban area of Banaras continued to expand along the riverfront through the 19 th century. Masonry bridges were built of the Ganga and Varana; ponds like Benia, Maidagin, and Machhodari, and Godaulia Nala were drained and replaced by parks or streets; many houses were demolished so as topermit road widening in the centre of the city. Broad thoroughfares were cut through the city where formerly there had been narrow lanes. The Dashvamedh-luxa raod was built running west from the river toward Cantonment Railway Station. The north-south artery called Chauk was cleared though the business district. Slowly the city came to have its present shape....</p></li></ul>