Plate 12 from the second 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. Of this plate he writes: 'The head masons or Rajmistrees employed in the construction of temples and edifices of a superior description, have generally in their possessions, a number of plans and elevations, handed down as heir-looms in their families, along with extracts or detached leaves of the Silpa-Shastra, which few or more of them in the present day are able to read...These plans, along with a variety of designs for mouldings, scrolls, lattice work etc. supply materials for all modern buildings of the purer Hindee taste...The order or the proportion of the several parts, is most clearly developed in the central compartment of the elevation, on both sides of which is continued though a multitude of retiring and salient angles, in accordance with the contour of the ground plan'.