Revisiting Late Eighteenth-century Banaras: Babu Jagat Singh and the Rebellion of 1799
Dhrub Kumar Singh
THE LOST HERO OF BANARAS: BABU JAGAT SINGH by By H.A. Qureshi and Shreya Pathak Primus Books, Delhi, 2023, 350 pp., INR 1195.00
June 2024, volume 48, No 6

The history of Varanasi is a burgeoning area of scholarship. The city has been variously characterized as ‘city of light’, ‘city of death’ and ‘city of moksha’. Varanasi is also the ‘the abode of Shiva’ or ‘the shamshan of Shiva’. Its sacred geography and history have been explicated, explained and examined in various works of scholarship. The region in and around Varanasi has been a cradle to many faiths, religions and sects of different persuasions. It has been a great seat of the Bhakti movement and is also considered a land of akharas.

Sociologists and anthropologists underline it as a place where the ‘little’ and ‘great’ traditions of Hinduism interacted, interrogated and impacted each other. Interestingly, while attending to all these fascinating aspects of the city, historians have not been able to accord adequate attention to Varanasi as a site of competing polities and politics of power.

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