Abstract: Urban growth is a worldwide phenomenon, but the rate of urbanization is very fast in developing countries like India. It is mainly driven by unorganized expansion, increased immigration, rapidly increasing population. In this context, land use and land cover change are considered central components in current strategies for managing natural resources and monitoring environmental changes. Uncontrolled momentum of urban sprawl and land use change raises many issues which might have both positive and negative effects. This sprawl can be effectively monitored using remotely sensed data from different dates by digital analysis of the imagery using change detection techniques.
The present study aims to examine the change in urban sprawl, land use/land cover (LU/LC) over a time point and assesses the pattern of sprawl through GIS technique. The geographical area of Varanasi district is 1535 sq.km including 1,371.22 km² rural area and 163.78 km² urban area, its population is 3,676,841 persons in 2011. It consists of eight blocks namely Baragaon, Pindra, Cholapur, Chiraigaon, Harahua, Sevapuri, Arajiline and Kashi Vidyapeeth. The spatio-temporal study of LU/LC as well as settlement is carried out for two time points 1990 and 2016. The data source used for analysis is Landsat MSS and Landsat OLI. The analysis mainly focused the urban growth along with landuse/landcover changes using digital image processing techniques like Maximum Likelihood Classifier algorithm for Supervised Classification and NDVI vegetation index. The trend of sprawl is notably higher in the urban centers than in the revenue villages.