Arnab Das, Suman Nath, and Subrata Sankar Bagchi: Banaras in a Narrative of Nostalgia and Kitsch


An ethnographic study on the Indian city of Banaras, one of the “oldest continuously inhabited cities” of the world, helps us experiencing it as a multivocal, multilayered network of heritage, pilgrimage, and tourism that is either continually engaged with the revivalist construction of space or deconstructed by the postcolonial discourse envisaging a tangible and dynamic order of space. The article intends to make an analytical inquiry into pilgrimage, tourism, and heritage in the context of space and time, while relating it to the popular everyday event of Ganga Aarti in Banaras, which can be seen as a manifestation of nostalgic kitsch.

[India, space, nostalgia, heritage, Hindu/cultural nationalism, kitsch, tourism, pilgrimage]