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Near Shivala Ghat, Benares (U.P.). 17 December 1789

Near Shivala Ghat, Benares (U.P.).  17 December 1789

Artist: Daniell, Thomas (1749-1840), and Daniell, William (1769-1837

Medium: Pencil on paper

Date: 1788

Shelfmark: WD167

Item number: 167

Length: 355

Width: 485

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Drawing

Pencil and wash drawing of a scene near Sivala Ghat, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh by Thomas (1749-1840) and William (1769-1837) Daniell, 17 November 1789. Inscribed on the back in pencil is: 'Near Sewalla Gaut, Banaris, No.13'; in ink: 'Nr 6. Near Shuwallah Gaut, Benares.'

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. The river banks at Varanasi are lined with continuous stone steps or ghats. Each of the hundred or so ghats has a lingam and occupies its own special place in the religious geography of the city. Early morning bathers occupy the ghats as do Brahmin priests offering puja together with people practising meditation and yoga.

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