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Sketch map of the Barna river from Garstin's bridge to the Old Fort, Benares

Sketch map of the Barna river from Garstin's bridge to the Old Fort, Benares

Artist: Prinsep, James (1799-1840)

Medium: Wash

Date: 1824

Shelfmark: WD4284

Item number: 4284

Length: 82

Width: 31

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Pen and ink and wash sketch map of the Barna river from Garstin's bridge to the Old Fort at Varanasi (Benares) in Uttar Pradesh, by James Prinsep (1799-1840), dated 1824. The image is inscribed: 'Part of the Burna Nala survey in Janry. 1824 by James Prinsep', together with the scale and main places identified.

Varanasi stands on the left bank of the Ganges and at its highest point stood well away from the river, but as the ground receded towards the water stagnant pools and marshes formed near the most densely inhabited areas during the rainy season and became a danger to health. Prinsep devised a plan to drain the city and built a network of drains and a tunnel which were considered a great feat of engineering. The sewer was opened in 1824 and the tunnel, in 1827. Prinsep came from a family who served in India for three generations; five of his brothers were also in the country. James, also a noted scholar and antiquarian, was Assistant Assay Master at the old Calcutta Mint in 1819, and after occupying the position at the Benares Mint from 1820-30 finally became Assay Master of the Calcutta Mint in 1832.

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