Part of the ghats at Benares
Artist: Sita Ram (fl. c.1810-1822)
Watercolour of Varanasi ghats along the Ganges River 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) on the river Ganges is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus. Ganges was said to have descended from heaven to earth and is regarded by Hindus as amrita, the elixir of life; those who touch the water are said to be absolved of sin. The waterfront of Varanasi is lined with over 100 ghats, with long flights of stone steps where residents and pilgrims come to perform their ablutions and worship in the temples. An idealized view of the ghats, possibly Manikarnika Ghat, and temples in the background. Inscribed below: 'Another view of Benares with Munkunca Ghaut to the left and a Mundell dedicated to Mahadeo to the Right.'