Rana P.B. Singh

Rana P.B. Singh
Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, UP 221005, India · Department of Geography, Institute of Science

Prof.

About

125
Publications
355,973
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
563
Citations
Introduction
Rana P.B. Singh, earlier worked as Professor (spel. Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Studies) at the Department of Geography, Institute of Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, UP 221005, India. Rana Singh does research in Cultural Anthropology, Mythology and Folklore, and landscape studies - Sacred Landscapes, Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Landscapes and Planning, illustrated with field studies in India (north), South Korea, Japan. Their current project is ' Understanding Place & Envisioning the Cosmos' and related aspects of cultural and sacred landscape and cosmic geometry.
Additional affiliations
January 1978 - June 2016
Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, UP 221005, India
Position
  • Professor
June 1977 - December 2016
Banaras Hindu University
Position
  • Head of Department
Description
  • During last 45-years, since 1974 having PhD, I studied Sacred places, Pilgrimages, Cultural Landscapes in north India, and in Japan, Rep. Korea, emphasising landscape geometry, cultural astronomy, ancient geographical thought – Hinduism and science.
Education
July 1969 - October 1974
Banaras Hindu University
Field of study
  • Cultural Landscapes, Pilgrimages, Sacred and Heritage Landscapes

Publications

Publications (125)
Article
Full-text available
The city of Ayodhya represents is an example of holy-heritage city of India, recording variety of cultural landscapes and multi-cultural religious sites in the form of sacred landscapes. The sacredscapes are known as tirtha in classical Hindu literature, and in general is translated as a sacred or a holy place. For the sacredscape history matters,...
Chapter
Full-text available
Cities, in the developing Global South, draw people, from their hinterland due to various reasons. Kashi/Varanasi or Banaras a few names by which the same city is still known and addressed across has been drawing hundreds and thousands of people, many of whom stayed back and adopted it as 'their' place. Everyone has her/his own story and experience...
Chapter
Full-text available
This essay presents an account of Professor Rana P.B. Singh's academic contributions, professional growth and career, and academic recognition. He is well-known as a leading academic figure in Indian geography. He has enriched the discipline of geography through his immense contributions, especially on cultural geography, from the perspective of an...
Article
Full-text available
The care, concern, and understanding of heritage in Indian culture has a deep root in the past, initiating in the Vedic period, and continuing till date. The metaphysical and metaphorical narration of heritage was linked to salvific sites, which over time represented in a different form of icons, symbols, and performances. The Nature-Culture interf...
Chapter
Full-text available
Culture is central to human beings to the extent that the history of their evolution is incomplete without the consideration of cultural attainments across time and space. However, in the domain of geography as a discipline, its conceptualisation and place do not appear clear. The sub-discipline of cultural geography having its roots in late 19th c...
Article
Full-text available
Historical-cultural cities expose to those human settlements strongly conditioned by a physical structure originating in the past and recognizable together representing the evolution of their people and making an interlinking pathway of existence, maintenance, imprinting on the landscapes, and continued the symbolic marks and traditional expression...
Article
Full-text available
Varanasi, one of the sacred-heritage cities in India, manifests the cosmic symbolism in its planning with the form of multiple concentric sacred layers as territory. These sacred areas are being circumambulated by thousands of pilgrims during sacred periods of the Hindu calendar, where the Pañchakroshī pilgrimage represents one of these sacred cosm...
Article
Full-text available
This paper narrates a historical description of the Vishvanatha Shiva (Vishveshvara), the patron deity of the holy-heritage city of Varanasi (also called Kashi/Banaras)-how over time since its first reference in the 6th century BCE till date the temple has faced destructions, demolition, and contestation, but ultimately it reached to the phase of r...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The paper first introduces the cosmic symbolism of Shiva and his iconic representation “Linga”. This is followed with historical description of the Vishvanatha Shiva (Vishveshvara), as to how over time since its first reference in the 9th century BCE till date the temple has face destructions, demolition by the bigoted Muslim invaders and the Musli...
Article
Full-text available
The basic metaphysical frame of life in ancient India, that of sacred water (paviṭra jala) and the notion that "Water itself is life" (jala hī jivan hai), can be illustrated with case studies of two cities. Settled continuously since 1000 BCE, the cities of Varanasi and Ayodhya have been eulogized as the salvific holy-heritage cities in India known...
Article
Full-text available
Religion (dharma) plays a vital role in the Hindu (Sanātana) quest for understanding and practicing harmony between nature and humanity that results in the formation of a global understanding, i.e., ‘transcending the universe.’ The importance and applicability of such new consciousness is a sign in promoting global humanism in the 21st century, whe...
Article
Full-text available
This study identifies the varying components of cultural heritage and analyses the scenario within the perspectives of notable sites, different issues, potentials, and prospects for tourism development, and finally the scope and strategy of holistic development in the Purvanchal region of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Uttar Pradesh, consists o...
Article
Full-text available
Professor R.B. Singh (1955-2021) had been the first Indian Geographer to have the dual distinction of holding the position of the IGU Secretary General and ICSU Scientific Committee Member. He was the first Indian and second Asian Secretary General and Treasurer of the IGU (2018-2022). Professor Singh was a distinguished geographer of the 21st Cent...
Article
Professor R.B. Singh (1955-2021) had been the first Indian Geographer to have the dual distinction of holding the position of the IGU Secretary General and ICSU Scientific Committee Member. He was the first Indian and second Asian Secretary General and Treasurer of the IGU (2018-2022). Professor Singh was a distinguished geographer of 21st Century...
Article
Full-text available
Ganesha is one among the group of five Hindu gods, and considered as initiator and protector of all the rituals and happenings. His birthday is celebrated most popularly as Ganesh Chaturthi, falling on Bhadrapada Shukla (waxing-light-half, August-September) 4th in the lunar calendar. Installing idol of Ganesha, and followed-up rituals, group chanti...
Chapter
Full-text available
India (Bhārat), being one of the oldest cultures with continuity of traditions has introduced cultural diplomacy in the ancient past, and constantly followed the path of cultural dispersal as illustrated with diffusion of Buddhism during the 5th century BCE-the CE 12th century in southeast and east Asia. One such example was marriage of princess fr...
Chapter
Full-text available
The idea of manifesting the environment as sacred space goes back to the ancient tales of the Vedas, which continued as a tradition of pilgrimage. Many of the spots considered possessing special intensity of sacrament, that's how they became places of pilgrimages. This whole system becomes part of sacred geography. Unique features of landscapes, e....
Article
Full-text available
This report-cum-appraisal of the life-journey, works and contributions of (late) Prof. Ravi S. Singh (b. 8th Sept.1971 ~ died: 21st April 2021 at 10:50AM IST), a distinguished and senior Professor of Geography at the Institute of Science, Banaras Hindu University- India, who died so young, narrates the academic story, lifeworld, experiences and exp...
Article
Full-text available
The concept of Cultural Landscape refers to a complex cultural mosaic and network of spatiality of time, temporality of space, sacrality of nature and overall, the encompassing manifestation of transcendence of man who since time immemorial is trying to make a strong bridge between conscious mind and super-conscious divine. This way the interplay h...
Chapter
Full-text available
India (Bhārat), being one of the oldest cultures with continuity of traditions has introduced cultural diplomacy in the ancient past, and constantly followed the path of cultural dispersal as illustrated with the diffusion of Buddhism during the fifth-century BCE—the CE twelfth century in southeast and east Asia. One such example was marriage of pr...
Chapter
Full-text available
Hindu pilgrimage, as the most important and meritorious rite of passage, involves three stages: initiation (awakening to take the journey), liminality (the voyage itself and experiences), and re-aggregation (the homecoming); altogether they converge into a cycle. Pilgrims’ experiences and faith-healing helps to experience the spirit of place and di...
Article
Religion (dharma) plays a vital role in the Hindu (Sanatana) quest for understanding and practicing harmony between nature and humanity that result into the formation of a cosmological awakening, i.e. 'transcending the universe.' The importance and applicability of such new consciousness is a sign in promoting global humanism in the 21st century, w...
Chapter
Full-text available
The sacred landscape combines the absoluteness of space, relativeness of places and comprehensiveness of landscape; thus altogether results in a ‘wholeness’ carrying the inherent and imposed spirit of ‘holiness’, which is to be called ‘sacredscapes’, and are regulated and survived by the faith involved in and the sacred rituals. We begin the sense...
Chapter
Full-text available
Following the UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) Target 11.4, focussing on ‘Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, cultural heritage and urban sustainability are now considered inseparable part of holistic development. Religion had played an important role for controlling power in Indian monarchy in the ancient p...
Chapter
Full-text available
Religious heritage as religious properties and sacred places can be an integral part of larger ensembles, such as historic cities, cultural landscapes and natural sites. Religion had played a role for controlling power in Indian monarchy in the ancient past, and in contemporary India too it played a role in the formation of religious nationalism an...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we explore the relationship between intangible cultural heritage and historic urban landscapes, using the ideas of heritage in the context of India. The basic concept of heritage in Indian context is referred as dharohara that projects and maintains roots and identities of cultural landscapes. This is further explained as ethical c...
Article
Full-text available
The interfacing links between Ayodhya (India) and Gimhae (Korea) goes back into two thousand years, illustrated with marriage of princes Suritatna from Ayodhya with King Kim SURO of Gimhae. This is now taken as frame for bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Through the legendry book of the Samguk Yusa (삼국유사) this story has been re-inter...
Chapter
Full-text available
In the technocratic era of the 21st century Gandhi is taken as icon for global humanism, harmony and peace. Gandhi has not given any theoretic frame per se, but his sayings and life-style are the signposts for sustainable development through human service. Gandhi’s ahimsa (‘non-violence’) is an alternative path that would save humanity from its cri...
Chapter
Full-text available
Abstract. In Indian thought the intrinsic value is posed in the basic quest to know the role of humans with respect to the interrelatedness of ecological cosmology, i.e. ecospirituality, as was re-interpreted through Vedantic thought by Swami Vivekananda. The importance and applicability of such new consciousness is a good sign in promoting the Sus...
Chapter
Full-text available
From India 37 sites are enlisted in the WH List (as of 12 July 2018; on 6 July 2019: 38, Jaipur added); however, 'The Riverfront Ghats of Varanasi' has not yet been proposed for inclusion, mostly due to the political complexity and a lack of strong support from the stakeholders. Framing tourism and cultural development for national and internationa...
Chapter
Full-text available
The mountainous villages of Shirakawa­gō and Gokayama are well known for the unique architecture of their "Gassho" farmhouses and were enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995. These villages with their Gassho­style houses subsisted on the cultivation of mulberry trees and the rearing of silkworms. The large houses with their steeply pitc...
Chapter
Full-text available
According to UNESCO, urban governance is the process that leads and takes into account the various links between stakeholders, local authorities, and citizens. It includes written and unwritten policies, procedures, and decision-making by units that control resource allocation within and among institutions. Heritage-inclusive development (HID) poli...
Article
Full-text available
Banaras (Varanasi), known as the cultural capital of India, enriched by more than three thousand temples; most of them eulogised in the puranic literature and are linked by the pilgrimage routes. Among several of such pilgrimage routes Panchakroshi is the most popular and well documented too. This route is divided into five parts symbolised with ni...
Article
Full-text available
Banaras (Varanasi), known as the cultural capital of India, enriched by more than three thousand temples; most of them eulogised in the puranic literature and are linked by the pilgrimage routes. Among several of such pilgrimage routes Panchakroshi is the most popular and well documented too. This route is divided into five parts symbolised with ni...
Chapter
Full-text available
Ayodhya-Faizabad twin city (Urban Agglomeration/ Metropolitan City, population: 256,624 in 2011 census) extends between 26¬0¬ 47’ North to 260 80’ North Latitude and 820 12’ East to 820 20’ East Longitude. These two twin cities are divided by a pilgrimage route of Panchakroshi Yatra, and the entire sacred territory is demarcated by the Chaudahkrosh...
Article
Full-text available
In Indian thought the sense of intrinsic value is posed in the basic quest of knowing the place and role of man with respect to interrelatedness of ecological cosmology, i.e. ecospirituality, receiving more attention today under New Age Movement, and re-interpretation of Vedantic thought as conceived by Swami Vivekananda. Religion (dharma) plays a...
Article
Full-text available
Most of the visitors (pilgrims in the majority) and the dwellers (mostly Hindus) perform some sorts of rituals at varying degrees and become involved in the religious activities to gain solace or soul healing. Of course, as sidetrack visitors also perform other activities of recreation and side-show. However, these are the marginal activities. It i...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract . Most of the visitors (pilgrims in the majority) and the dwellers (mostly Hindus) perform some sorts of rituals at varying degrees and become involved in the religious activities to gain solace or soul healing. Of course, as sidetrack visitors also perform other activities of recreation and side-show. However, these are the marginal activ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Varanasi, the city of history and continuity, is one among the oldest living cities in the world, recording settlements since ca 1000 BCE, and eulogized in the followed up mythological literature. Recent archaeological investigations in its vicinity date it back to 1500 BCE. Visit of the Buddha in the 5th century BCE is a testimony to its importanc...
Chapter
Full-text available
Through a combination of theoretical and case-study chapters, this volume focuses on religious routes and trails in terms of their spiritual, cultural and economic meanings, and considers the opportunities and challenges arising from their recent increase in popularity. The book is divided into three sections. Part I (chapters 1-5) deals with conce...
Article
Full-text available
It has been realised that the cultural and natural heritages are increasingly threatened by destruction not only due to the traditional causes of decay, but also by changing social and economic conditions. It has further been decided to adopt a general policy, which aims to give the heritage a function in the life of the community, and maintaining...
Article
Full-text available
Situated along the crescent bank of the Ganga River, Varanasi has been primarily an ancient tirthas (riverfront sacredscapes) and salvific city that records settlement continuity since at least ca 800BCE. Under the purview of Smart City development strategy through the interfacing programmes of HRIDAY (Heritage city Development and Augmentation Yoj...
Article
Full-text available
The 'ritual landscape' is result of maintenance of sacredness and of reciprocal and interfacing relationship between human faith and landscapes in the trajectory of 'time-space-ritual' routines through variety of rituals and performing functionaries. The bank of the Sarayu River at Ayodhya consists of a number of sacred places where devout pilgrims...
Article
Full-text available
Ayodhya for a period of over two thousand years has borne witnessed to the presence of Jainism, Buddhism, Shaivism, Vaishnavism, and Islam (Sufism) too projected city as place of religious solidarity. According to the ancient history, Ayodhya was one of the holiest cities where the religious faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam flourishe...
Article
Full-text available
Ayodhya for a period of over two thousand years has borne witnessed to the presence of Jainism, Buddhism, Shaivism, Vaishnavism, and Islam (Sufism) too projected city as place of religious solidarity. According to the ancient history, Ayodhya was one of the holiest cities where the religious faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam flourishe...
Article
Full-text available
Concept of ‘multifunctionality’ of cultural landscape can help envisioning landscapes that cross urban-rural divides in sustainable and an integrated way – characterised by wholeness and ecospirituality that developed in the cultural history of landscapes converging into creation of National/Cultural Identity. That is how, the idea of ‘wholeness’ (...
Article
Full-text available
According to the ancient history, Ayodhya was one of the holiest cities where the religious faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sufism (Islam) and united together to build a place of enormous sacred importance. Ayodhya History is a chequered one (see Table 2). In the Atharvaveda, this place was described as a city that was made by gods and wa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the mystical tradition of India, the creation is considered as the consciousness of intermingling of masculine and the feminine powers of nature, in which the latter is considered as primordial and the basic source, prakriti. The Goddess is viewed as omnipresent and omniscient in the sacredscape of Varanasi. The city-dwellers believe that "witho...
Chapter
Full-text available
The mountainous villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama are well known for the unique architecture of their " Gassho " farmhouses, and enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995. These villages with their Gassho-style houses subsisted on the cultivation of mulberry trees and the rearing of silkworms. The large houses with their steeply pitched th...
Article
Full-text available
In its convention in 1972 UNESCO instituted a special body called World Heritage Committee. Until July 2017 there have been 167 State Parties (countries) as members. In the World Heritage List, 1073 (July 2017) properties are enlisted. It has been realised that the cultural and natural heritages are increasingly threatened by destruction not only d...
Article
Full-text available
Religion had played a role for controlling power in Indian monarchy in the ancient past, and in contemporary India too it played a role in the formation of religious landscape and religious heritage, through commonly using processions, pilgrimage, religious assemblies, religious fairs (melā), and sacred places. Ayodhya-Faizabad represents an aesthe...
Article
Full-text available
The tīrthas (holy places, sacredscapes) of India provide examples of self-amplifying interactions between people and their cultural landscape. The five pilgrimage routes, developed during CE 5th – 9th centuries, in Banaras symbolises the manifestation and archetypal representation of five koshas, the ‘sheaths’. That is how koshas are analogous to t...
Article
Full-text available
In its convention in 1972 UNESCO instituted a special body called World Heritage Committee. Until July 2017 there have been 167 State Parties (countries) as members. In the World Heritage List, 1073 (July 2017) properties are enlisted. It has been realised that the cultural and natural heritages are increasingly threatened by destruction not only d...
Chapter
Full-text available
From India 35 properties are enlisted in WH List (till October 2016), however 'The Riverfront Ghats of Varanasi' has not yet been proposed for inclusion, mostly due to political complexity and lack of strong movement from the stakeholders. Framing tourism and cultural development in holistic frame for national and international resource within the...
Chapter
Full-text available
In Indian thought the sense of intrinsic value is posed in the basic quest of knowing the place and role of man with respect to interrelatedness of ecological cosmology, i.e. ecospirituality, receiving more attention today under New Age Movement, and re-interpretation of Vedantic thought as conceived by Swami Vivekananda. Religion (dharma) plays a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Urban regeneration is the attempt to reverse that decline by both improving the physical structure, and, more importantly and elusively, the economy of those areas. In all regeneration programmes, public money is used as an attempt to pump prime investment into an area. In the context of urban regeneration, the term 'culture' seems to refer mainly...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The concept of Indian Cultural Landscape refers to a complex cultural mosaic and network of spatiality of time, temporality of space, sacrality of nature and overall the encompassing manifestation of transcendence of man who since time immemorial is trying to make a strong bridge between conscious mind and super-conscious divine. This way the inter...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Hinduism is experienced through its spirituality, sacredness, architecture, and landscape. Hindu temples are Hinduism's coded religious messages, constructed of symbols, designs, iconography, and depictions of historic and literary events. Combining and unifying these elements, Hindu temples communicate the divine. Eight of the 36 UNESCO's World He...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
From India 36 properties are enlisted in WH List (till 12 July 2017), however 'The Riverfront Ghats of Varanasi' has not yet been proposed for inclusion, mostly due to political complexity and lack of strong movement from the stakeholders. Framing tourism and cultural development in holistic frame for national and international resource within the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The mountainous villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama are well known for the unique architecture of their " Gassho " farmhouses, and enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995. These villages with their Gassho-style houses subsisted on the cultivation of mulberry trees and the rearing of silkworms. The large houses with their steeply pitched th...
Article
Full-text available
The whole of human life, says Nobel-laureate Ernst Schumacher (1973), is a dialogue between humans and the environment, a sequence of questions and responses. We threat the universe by our action and progress, and, in consequence, universe reacts in an effort to harmonise the cosmic order with its law, or even violate them (Chaitanya 1983: 131). If...
Article
Full-text available
The liveability of India’s cultural capital, Banaras (Varanasi/ Kashi). Noted Cultural Landscape geographer, heritage scholar, professor and author of 6 books and 125 research papers on Banaras, Rana P.B. Singh (B.H.U., Varanasi, India) talks to Vinayak Bharne (USC Los Angeles, USA) about the multifaceted personality of India’s cultural capital – i...
Chapter
Full-text available
Attempts have also been made to elucidate the geography in ancient India, however most of such works considered the notion and framework of concept of the universe and the earth, astronomical and climatic aspects, the places known and the settlement patterns. The description of regional identity and regional geography (natural and cultural landscap...