Varanasi has attracted pilgrims from all over India for over 2500 years. A number of landscape artists, almost entirely from Britain, began coming to India towards the end of the 18th century, and made 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 impressions 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.