A View of the City of Benares(019XZZ000000307U00045000)
Artist: Hodges, William (1744-1797)
Medium: Aquatint with etching, coloured
This is plate 45 from William Hodges' book 'Select Views in India'. Hodges first visited the city of Varanasi (also known as Benares) in 1781. This holy city was built on the west bank of the river Ganga, and is famous for its stepped banks or ghats. Because some Hindus consider bathing in the water to be an act of purification, pilgrims congregate at the ghats to perform ablutions. In this print, one can discern (from left to right) the Lalita Ghat, the Jalsain Burning Ghat, and the Manikarnika Ghat. In the distance, the two minarets of the Alamgir Mosque are also visible.