Plate 3 from the third 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 original drawing was executed in outline to show more correctly the delicacy of the sculptured stone fretwork; but the artist at home thought to improve it by shade, and has accordingly represented the bed-chambers, or rather beds, as if they were dark within, and consequently as if covered over with a roof: whereas they are merely light screened enclosures of carved stone elevated in the most prominent points of the roof, open to the sky above, and to the gentle night-breeze on the four sides, yet effectively secure against the prying peep of inquisitive neighbours. In the present view, there are exhibited three such air-beds on the terraced roof of the house from which other samples of elegant Indian domestic architecture have before been selected'.