Kashi/Banaras/Varanasi is a world of its own, a veritable mini India, unique in almost all respects. Its contradictions can be seen in its blend of spirituality and darkness, sanctity and filth, purity and deceipt, culture and grossness.
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 of 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; its literature, music, painting and culture; its silk trade and crafts; and its typical inhabitants: sadhus, pandits, pandas, babus, rais, thugs and gundas. 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 more 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!