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April 2000 Issue
The Geographical Review
April 2000, Vol. 90 (2), pp. 222-237
WILBERT M. GESLER and MARGARET PIERCE
Keywords: geography of religion, India, pilgrimage, sacred space, Varanasi.
Representations of Hindu faith in the built environment and pilgrim activities in the city of Varanasi, India, are explored through an analysis of the sacred geography of the place, of pilgrim travel to the city and activities within it, and of the act of crossing over from life to death through cremation. The roles of reconciling what seem to be paradoxes or contradictions and of the transcendence of geographical scale in reinforcing faith are also examined.