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A

HAND-BOOK

OF

BENARES,

BY THE

REV. ARTHUR PARKER,

LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY.

WITH A MAP OF THE CITY.

Second and Revised Edition.

Triban drun;

PRINTED AT THE TRAVANCORE GOVERNMENT PRESS,

1901.

Ind 7814. 15.2

HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
FROM THE LIBRARY OF
HORACE FLETCHER

THE GIFT OF
WILLIAN DANA ORCUTT

JANUARY 11. 1921

PREFACE. İn this second edition of the 'Handbook to Benares there are several important alterations. The Historical sketch has been to a great extent re-written and a number of corrections made here and there in other parts of the book, while the itineraries have been revised and, it is hoped, improved. · It is grievous to a lover of the grey old city to hear of so many visitors whose anticipations have been greater far than their realizaticn. These are not usually people of an artistic temperament, for to such Benares, with its wonderful river front, is a mine of wealth. But to those who come from Agra, Delhi and Lucknow with their gorgeous and massive specimens of Muhammadan architecture, expecting to find here similar evidences of Hindu art, a great disappointment is inevitable. In truth the distinguishing feature of Benares is neither architectural magnificence nor artistic beauty in any form, and what it possesses of either of these is purely accidental, but as the home and shrine of the religious faith which sways the Hindu nations it is unique and unrivalled. Wonderful and fascinating, nay even aweinspiring, Benares truly is, but she does not yield her secret easily. A guide-book can do little more than point out the beaten tracks and indicate where the treasures lie hid. Happy is the traveller who brings with him the wise and discerning eye and the sympathetic mind. Happier still if, in addition, he have the aid of a living guide-be he Indian or European--who will gently draw aside the veil which hides from the vulgar and hasty the secrets of the city's past glory and presert power. Should the visitor be fortunate enough to meet such an one then this little book must be content to drop into a secondary place, and serve in after days to recall the out-line and retain the main features of a city of wonders.

ARTHUR PARKER,
Trivandrum, Travancore,

March, 1901.

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