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Travellers on the road approach the sacred city of Gaya, the river Phalgu in the distance.

Travellers on the road approach the sacred city of Gaya, the river Phalgu in the distance.

Artist: Jackson, Welby Brown (1802-1890)

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1830

Shelfmark: WD4453

Item number: 4453

Length: 25.8

Width: 40.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Pen-and-ink and sepia wash drawing of travellers approaching Gaya in Bihar, north-eastern India by Welby Brown Jackson (1802-1890) in 1830. Inscribed in ink on the reverse is: 'Gya from the Mungla Goree Temple. Welby Jackson 1830.'

Gaya is a significant pilgrimage centre for Hindu’s who come here to honour their parents a year after death by offering pind, a gift of funeral cakes. According to legend, a demon called Gaya, appalled by the sorrow caused by death died for the world as a protest. Vishnu was so impressed with this sacrifice that he bestowed upon Gaya the power to absolve sinners. The town has many sacred shrines which attract Hindu travellers at Pitrapaksh Tarpan in September to October when pilgrims offer prayers for the dead before taking a dip in the holy river Phalgu.

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