Old Town Varanasi and Benares Cantonment

1 - Sanskrit College

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

2 - Old Town I

Commercial structures in the Old Town.

3 - Old Town III

Art Deco in the Old Town – fusing elements of local and European architecture.

4 - Old Town V

Shophouse architecture, reminiscent of shophouses in Southern China and Southeast Asia.

5 - Old Town VI

Beautiful Mughal-style building with arches and latticed balconies. The Arabic script marks this out as a Muslim establishment.

6 - Old Town VII

Another magnificent though crumbling building in a Mughal style.

7 - Old Town VIII

Shophouse with beautiful latticed balconies.

8 - Old Town IX

Another example of a shophouse style commercial building.

9 - Old Town X

A third example of a shophouse building with protruding balconies in a Mughal style.

10 - Old Town XI

Spectacular entrance gateway to a residential villa.

11 - Old Town XII

Just across from it is a stately home.

12 - Old Town Street

A street of once-stately residences

13 - Old TOwn XII

Close-up of one of these residences.

14 - Mosque

Judging from the small minaret to the right, this was probably formerly a mosque.

15 - Mosque

16 - Old Town

Beautiful but desolate white and blue residential structure.

17 - Broadway Hotel

The New Hotel Broadway is a European-style hotel in the Old Town.

Benares Cantonment

18 - Varanasi Cantt

Varanasi Cantt Railway Station was opened in 1872.

19 - Hotel de PAris Mall Road

The former Hotel de Paris, off Mall Road is now disused and empty.

20 - Disused Church

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.

21 - Clarks Varanasi Mall Road

The Clarks was one of the more reputable historic hotels in Benares. It stands on Mall Road.

22 - Methodist Church

Methodist Church.

23 - St Mary's Church

St Mary’s Catholic Church.

24 - Allahabad Bank NAdessar Rd

Nadessar Road plays host to a row of commercial buildings, including the Allahabad Bank building.

25 - Commercial building

Shophouse style commercial building on Nadessar Road.

26 - Commercial Building

Another Shophouse style commercial building on Nadessar Road.

27 - Sanskrit College

And finally…a backward glimpse and the wonderfully Gothic Sanskrit College Entrance Hall.


About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
This entry was posted in Art & Architecture, Cities & Regions, Culture & Lifestyle, Heritage, India, Landmarks & History, Photography, Sociology & Urban Studies, Travel & Mobility and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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