Exterior of a temple at Benares
Artist: Sita Ram (fl. c.1810-1822)
Watercolour of a temple in Varanasi from 'Views by Seeta Ram from Benares to Nazibghur Vol. III' produced for Lord Moira, afterwards the Marquess of Hastings, by Sita Ram between 1814-15. Marquess of Hastings, the Governor-General of Bengal and the Commander-in-Chief (r. 1813-23), was accompanied by artist Sita Ram (flourished c.1810-22) to illustrate his journey from Calcutta to Delhi between 1814-15.
Varanasi (Benares) situated on the west bank of the Ganges river is one of the holiest cities in Hinduism. Varanasi, founded in the sixth century BC is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus and is known as a tirtha, or ‘crossing place’ which allows the devotee access to the divine and where gods and goddesses can come down to earth. Varanasi has several hundred beautiful temples. This is an idealised view of a temple exterior with a courtyard with a pink sandstone gateway. Above and further back is a gallery or 'naubatkhana' with drums lying ready. Inscribed below: 'Rohillabye ka Mundell with a Nobutkhanah the west Door of Entrance.'