history of Varanasi

What did Varanasi look like in the 19th and 20th centuries?  Check out these 15 rare photos

At that time, the rich people used to travel with a hand painted canal.

Banaras is considered one of the oldest cities in the world.  People reach Shiva's Kashi to attain peace and salvation.  Some call it a 'city of temples' and some a 'religious capital of India'.

In true sense, this city runs not with religion but with celebration.  This is the reason why death is also celebrated here.  Varanasi has always been a favorite city of photographers due to its amazing architecture and culture.

In such a situation, we have brought for you very rare pictures of this spiritual city, which were drawn many years ago.

1. The royal elephant of the King of Kashi

The king of Banaras (Varanasi) lived a very luxurious life.  Even today, their fort exists as evidence.  In this picture, an elephant is seen in their royal fleet.  The 'Howrah' that can be seen above the elephant can still be seen in the museum in the Ramnagar Fort.

2. Pontoon Bridge of Rajghat

The bridge which appears today from all the Ghats of Varanasi was built in 1887.  Earlier, a bridge was used by boats.  This picture was clicked from the dome of the Alamgir Mosque.

3. The well of knowledge

The Gyanvapi well is also known as the well of knowledge, which is located inside the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi.  It is a very sacred and heavily guarded place and only Hindus are allowed to be around it.

4. Alamgir Mosque Minarets

Alamgir Mosque is one of the specialties of Panchganga Ghat and is visible from a distance.  There were also two skyscrapers.  Many people died due to the collapse of one tower, while the other was removed by the government due to security reasons.

5. Durga Kund and Temple

The famous Durga Kund of Durga temple was not always barricaded.  Previously, people used to sit on the stairs in winter and sunbathe.  At that time the view of this ghat used to be different.

This is the time when people used to go by waterways.  Hundreds of umbrellas were visible around the Ganges, whose view was very amazing.

6. Lalita Ghats and Sailboats

It may look like a circus today, but it was a common sight at the ghats of Varanasi.  Earlier sadhus used to attract travelers in similar ways.  However, it was later found that this kind of bed with nails is really beneficial for people suffering from back pain.

7. Man Singh Ghat

This frame, clicked in 1890, describes how the landscape of the Ghats has changed within a century.  The Maan temple (on the right) is still in better condition and the vacant space on the left has been converted into Rajendra Prasad Ghat.

8. Manikarnika Ghat Cremation Ground

It can be understood from this picture how much the cremation ground has changed today.  Today Manikarnika Ghat has pucca land and a lot of shops around.  Stairs have also been made well.

9. Hand painted boats on Scindia Ghat

In this picture beautiful boats painted by hand can be seen.  They were used by the Rahis people of that time.

10. Sage lying on a bed of nails

11. Snakebill

Seeing this picture, it can be understood that why people of Pashmichi countries used to call us country of snake charmers.  Even today, on the occasion of Shivaratri, we see a group of snake charmers on the streets.

12. 19th century class

In the 19th century, the appearance of schools used to be something like this.  At that time, the status of the teacher was not just above to say, but he used to sit above the children.

13. Ratneshwar Mahadev, a leaning temple

This picture was taken in the 19th century.  The structure of the temple is constantly leaning in one direction, which should be a matter of concern for the administration.  However, no special steps have been taken for this.  If you look carefully, you can also notice people worshiping Shivling inside the Ratneshwar temple in the picture.

14. Excavation of Sarnath

This picture was clicked in the initial phase of excavation at Sarnath in 1905.  Parts of the Ashoka Pillar can be seen in it.

15. Crocodile on the pier

It seems that soaking your feet in the Ganges may not have been a really good idea in the early 19th century.  However, in view of the polluted river, even today it is not such a good idea, but today there is no danger of losing feet.

So how did these rare and stunning photos look?  Tell us in the comment box.


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