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Boorwa Mungul Festival, at Benares.

Boorwa Mungul Festival, at Benares.

Artist: Prinsep, James (1799-1840)

Medium: Engraving

Date: 1834

Shelfmark: X751/3(10)

Item number: 751310

Length: 19.1

Width: 26

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Print

Plate 10 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: 'On the first Tuesday after the Holee, the worship of Doorga is prescribed in the Kashee-Khund, partly in consequence of which, and partly for the desire to protract every holiday amusement as much as possible, a large Mela assembles on this day, in the neighbourhood of Doorga Koond...The garden walls, from Bheloopoor to the tank constructed with balcony terraces of stone, are seen covered with well-dressed spectators, while those, who can sport a suwaree, prefer moving in the crowd, or richly caparisoned horses and elephants. There is no regular procession, but parties of strolling actors, dressed up as Jogees, with earth rubbed over their faces, and bunches of peacock's feathers in their hands...when the evening approaches the crowd adjourns to the banks of the river, which now begins to afford one of the prettiest spectacle of which the fete of Kashee can boast...The whole river is covered with boats of all descriptions, fitted out with platforms, and canopies, covered with white cloth, and lighted with variegated lamps, torches and the lights...'.

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