Sanskrit College is the oldest college in Benares, established in 1791. This entrance gateway was a gift from the Babu DFO Narayan Singh in 1849, and is a wonder of Indo-Saracenic architecture.
Further inland from the river, beyond the ghats, lie two different parts of Benares. The first is its sprawling, bustling old town; the second, lying even further afield, is the Cantonment, built by the British when they too, found their way here in the 1800s.
This gallery provides a glimpse into the hustle and bustle, and the eclectic architecture of the old town west of Shivala Ghat; as well as some of the major monuments that still remain in Benares Cantonment, particularly along Mall Road and Nadessar Road.
Unfortunately, of the buildings remain unnamed and unlabelled.
Old Town Varanasi
Commercial structures in the Old Town.
Art Deco in the Old Town – fusing elements of local and European architecture.
Shophouse architecture, reminiscent of shophouses in Southern China and Southeast Asia.
Beautiful Mughal-style building with arches and latticed balconies. The Arabic script marks this out as a Muslim establishment.
Another magnificent though crumbling building in a Mughal style.
Shophouse with beautiful latticed balconies.
Another example of a shophouse style commercial building.
A third example of a shophouse building with protruding balconies in a Mughal style.
Spectacular entrance gateway to a residential villa.
Just across from it is a stately home.
A street of once-stately residences
Close-up of one of these residences.
Judging from the small minaret to the right, this was probably formerly a mosque.
Beautiful but desolate white and blue residential structure.
The New Hotel Broadway is a European-style hotel in the Old Town.
Varanasi Cantt Railway Station was opened in 1872.
The former Hotel de Paris, off Mall Road is now disused and empty.
Just across from the Hotel de Paris stands a magnificent church, now disused and its grounds overgrown. You can just about see the church spire and a bit of the foundations here.
The Clarks was one of the more reputable historic hotels in Benares. It stands on Mall Road.
St Mary’s Catholic Church.
Nadessar Road plays host to a row of commercial buildings, including the Allahabad Bank building.
Shophouse style commercial building on Nadessar Road.
Another Shophouse style commercial building on Nadessar Road.
And finally…a backward glimpse and the wonderfully Gothic Sanskrit College Entrance Hall.