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Varanasi Vista: Early Views of the Holy City

Jagmohan Mahajan (Author)
Synopsis One of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and the holiest in India, Varanasi has attracted pilgrims from all over India for over 2500 years. No account of the travels of Indian visitors and pilgrims to the city, however, is available because of the non-existence of the tradition of recording impressions of such visits by Indians.  Nor is there any record of foreign travellers visiting Varanasi until four centuries ago. It was then that travellers from the West started visiting Varanasi on a regular basis, and left animated accounts of their visits. Later a number of landscape artists, almost entirely from Britain, began coming to India towards the end of the eighteenth century, and make superb sketches of Varanasi when they visited the city. The views of Varanasi by the visiting landscape artists gave not only the outside world but also the Indians themselves the first ever visual impression of the scenic splendours of the holy city. Until then no such visual record existed because of the lack of the genre of landscape painting in an otherwise rich Indian art.  Assembled from public and private art collections in India and abroad, these views are now being published together, along with a short survey of travellers' accounts of their visits to Varanasi, for the first time.
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About the author

Jagmohan Mahajan

Jagmohan Mahajan has been engaged in a study of the Ganga for the last several years. He is the author of The Ganga Trail: Foreign Accounts and Sketches of the River Scene and the text of the illustrated The Eternal Ganga, besides several articles in various well-known magazines and newspapers in India and abroad. His other main interest is the work of British landscape artists in India. He has written extensively on this subject, and his publications include Picturesque India: Sketches and Travels of Thomas and William Daniell, The Raj Landscape: British Views of Indian Cities, The Grand Indian Tour. Travels and Sketches of Emily Eden, Annexation of the Punjab, and Splendid Plumage: Indian Birds by British Artists.

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Bibliographic information

Title Varanasi Vista: Early Views of the Holy City
Format Hardcover
Date published: 26.05.2007
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Indica Books
Language: English
isbn 8186569715
length 90p., Illustrations.
Subjects History