Photographer's Note

Benaras, Banaras, Kashi or Varanasi is one of the most iconic & sacred places of India. Unlike most other holy India cities, Varanasi is a unique package for spirituality and devotion. Since its inception it is rightly called as the 'Religious Capital of Hinduism'. Written records as contained in the Mahabharata and other ancient epics mention its existence at least 3000 years old.

Architecture in the old city area dates back to just after Afghan invasion, while in the central and new city it is less than 150 years old. In the 2nd century, for the first time we find a description of Dashashvamedha Ghat with reference to the great horse sacrifice ritual performed by the kings of the Naga dynasty. During the Gupta period (3rd to 6th century), the ghats became the centre of economic and cultural activities. By the 17th century the riverfront landscape (ghats) became prominent in the overall arena of Varanasi. The palatial buildings along the ghats were built under the patronage of the Marathas during the 18th-19th centuries. Even in 19th-20th centuries, many ghats were reconstructed, renamed and reshaped.

During the period between the late 18th and 20th centuries, along the riverfront many monasteries (ashrams), Sanskrit schools, temples, and pilgrim resthouse were built by principalities of different parts of India, such as the Peshvas of Pune, Holkar of Indore, and Scindias of Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), the Bhonshalas of Nagpur (Maharashtra), the Sursand, Bhabhua and Darbhanga estates of Bihar, the Rani Bhavani of Bengal, and the kings of Nepal.

Varanasi is a photographers’ paradise…With my limited capabilities in this field, Varanasi presented an unique opportunity for me to learn this art. My quest was to see & show this oft photographed city slightly differently…yet keeping the basic soul of this place intact.

A man sitting in one of the ghats in afternoon…wonder what he was contemplating or maybe he was enjoying a moment of solitude.

Cropped the picture at the top.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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