Entrance to the palace of the Raja of Benares, Ramnagar
Watercolour of the entrance to the palace of the Raja of Benares, Ramnagar in Uttar Pradesh, by an anonymous artist working in the Murshidabad style, c. 1790-1800. Inscribed on the back in pencil: 'Gateway at Ramnagur opposite Benares, entrance to Cheyte Sing's Palace;' in ink: 'Gateway at Ramnuggur opposite Banares on the Ganges, the entrance to Cheyte Sing's Palace.'
Ramnagar Palace is situated on the right bank of the Ganges River and was made the capital of the former princely state of Benares (Varanasi) by Raja Balwant Singh (r. 1739-1770) in 1750. The fortress of Ramnagar was constructed mostly by this Raja, who governed the province of Benares on behalf of the Nawabs of Avadh (Oudh). The rebellion of his son Chait Singh in 1781 against the exactions of the East India Company caused the province to be annexed by the Company. The palace was later returned to the family, who became known as the Maharajas of Benares.