Sunday, May 22, 2022
Uttar Pradesh

Arts and Architecture


The Sankat Mochan Temple's music festival (April-May) is quite famous and concerts are held through the night till dawn. Reputed and masters of vocal and instrumental music take part in it. They have founded their Gharanas (schools) in the city. They promote instrumental arts like sitar, shehnai and tabla etc. A research centre (RIMPA) was established in 1978. Present day Banaras is famous for its Magahi Paan and Bhang (Cannabis). Another distinctive feature of Banaras is its akharas a sort of gymnasium plus wrestling rung. Special bouts are arranged during the festival of Nagapanchami. The Buddhist Jatakas and Chanakya's Arth Shastra are full of reference to the silk and cotton products of Banaras. They had silk, brocade, copper and brass industries. Zari, also known as Kalabattu (filament spun from gold and silver) is renowned here. Objects of ivory with fine filigree work and charming designs are also made in Banaras. Bhodi which is a town near Banaras is famous for woolen carpets.

Another tradition which is slowly disappearing, peculiar to Banaras is its ekka (one horse-driven cart) with no roof and seats for only three persons including the driver. When British Empire came to power, Banaras became the centre of Christianity too. Many churches were constructed here. The president of the Theosophical society Mrs. Annie Besant made Banaras her head quarters. The city is the head quarters of the Indian section of the Theosophical society.