Kashi as Cosmogram: The Panchakroshi Route and Complex
Structure of Varanasi

Rana P.B. Singh & Masaaki Fukunaga

( ) The navel base of Madhyameshvara and the radial point of Delhi Vinayaka converges to form the circular territory of Kashi Mandala. As the most popular pilgrimage route, Panchakroshi symbolizes the abbreviated form of the cosmic circuit. Along the route existing 108 holy shrines and spots archetypally connote the integrity of cyclic time (e.g. zodiac, 12) and planets (in Hindu mythology, 9). This circular route is an unique example of 'mesocosm' where the celestial atmosphere (macrocosm) meets with the devouts' consciousness or the miniatures representing the whole (microcosm). The alignments of various spots on the route with the corresponding spots on the other pilgrimage routes inside the circuit area indicate the pattern of complexity in space. Finally, the total network and alignments support the idea of 'self-organized principle'. This form of existentiality is continued and maintained by the experientiality of pilgrims' faith, the rituals used and the pilgrimage performed.

* Dr.Rana P.B. Singh
Reader, Dept.of Geography,B.H.U.
email: rana@banaras.ernet.in

* Dr Masaaki Fukunaga
Director : S.H.P.E.H., Asia
Akutasu Chofu 206;35-34 Tobitaku-1 chome
Chofu-shi, Tokyo 182-0036. JAPAN
email : - jp-sas@tokyo.email.ne.jp

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