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Ranamahalghat [Benares].

Ranamahalghat [Benares].

Photographer: Prasad, Madho

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1905

Shelfmark: Photo 17/3(9)

Item number: 9

Length: 21.1

Width: 29.1

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

View from the River Ganges at Varanasi of the Rana Mahal Ghat with a walled palace beyond, built by the Maharana of Udaipur, photographed by Madho Prasad, c. 1905. The river was said to have descended from heaven to earth, it is regarded by Hindus as amrita, the elixir of life; those who touch the water are said to be absolved of sin. The waterfront of the city is lined with over 100 ghats, with long flights of stone steps where residents and pilgrims come to perform their ablutions and worship in the temples. Varanasi, founded in the sixth century BC is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus and is known as a tirtha, or ‘crossing place’ which allows the devotee access to the divine and where gods and goddesses can come down to earth.

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