Plate 1 from the first part of James Prinsep's 'Benares Illustrated'. Prinsep (1799-1840), an antiquary and colonial administrator was assay master at the Benares Mint between 1820-30. The lithographs published in this collection were based on his original sketches of the various views of the 'holy' city of the Hindus. 'This sketch was taken before the river bed subsided to its winter level, so that only the upper half of the steps of the Ghats is visible. Boats are compelled, at this season, to navigate on the opposite shore, in order to avoid coming in contact with the sunken piers and murhees (small temples) of stone. The minarets of the Madhooray Musjid are seen towering aloft from behind a massive stone house, nominally belonging to the Jypoor Raja, but tenanted by a family of Brahmans or Poojarees...About the centre of the drawing stands Ram Ghat, above which is seen a Bythuk or shaded terrace, where Sudanund Byas, a celebrated preacher, used to lecture to large congregations on the Vedanta...The white conical spire, with gilded Kulsa, belongs to the Jyn Mundil...'.