The river frontage at Benares with the Panchganga Ghat in the centre and Aurangzeb's mosque rising above it
Artist: Sita Ram (fl. c.1810-1822)
Watercolour of Varanasi's Panchaganga Ghat on the Ganges river from 'Views by Seeta Ram from Patna to Benares Vol. II' 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 Hindus. The waterfront of the city 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. Panchaganga Ghat, originally was constructed at the location of Bindu Madhava, a Vishnu Temple which later was replaced with the Aurangzeb Mosque. An idealised view of the Ganges River bank with the Panchaganga Ghat in the centre and Aurangzeb's mosque rising above it. Inscribed below: 'Benares.- Musgid built by Aurnuzebe and the Minaret belonging to it.'