Volume 73 (2008) Issue 623 Pages 153-160
This paper focuses upon the spatial formation of mohalla in Varanasi city. Mohalla is traditional neighborhood unit common in North Indian cities, and it was the elemental component of the city in Mughal period as an administrative tax unit as well as an autonomous organization. Nowadays, however, it has lost the administrative meaning and its geographical extent and boundary are becoming unclear.
Based on our field survey, this paper clarifies the spatial formation of mohalla such as allocation, size, boundary form, distribution of facilities and street structure, and links them to the historical formation process of the city. The mohallas of Varanasi can be classified broadly into two types. One has linear or tree shape formed along streets, and the other has broad territorial shape. The spatial features of those two types are different in various aspects, in reflection of the degree of urbanization at the time the mohallas were established.