Deendayal Hastkala Sankul

Varanasi, 22 Jan 2019 - 27 Jan 2021

An exhibition by DAG
In collaboration with Ministry of Textiles
Government of India

Indra Dugar


Oil on canvas

For millennia, Banaras has captured the imagination of poets, writers, philosophers, and artists. Its sacredness, music, textiles, and food have been extensively explored and commented upon. It has been a muse for countless artists, who have found an abundance of inspiration on the ghats that skirt the Ganga, and in the city's narrow streets and crowded alleyways. ​

This exciting collaboration between DAG and the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, brings to Banaras some of the finest works from DAG's collection, showcasing the vision of artists and photographers from over two centuries.​

Manu Parekh

Duet of the Doms

Oil on canvas

The Ghats in Paint & Print

By the end of the eighteenth century, Banaras had already captured the imagination of travelling painters like William Hodges and Thomas and William Daniell, who worked in the picturesque tradition. The ghats and the river change their mood at different times of the day and of the year, and artists have responded to each: whether we think of the pastel-twilights of Lalit Mohun Sen or Indra Dugar, or the vibrant chaos painted by naturalist painters. The shapes and forms of the ghats enlivened by creatures great and small, come through in the jagged rhythms of Husain's serigraphs, and on Manu Parekh's canvas, the contradictions of spirituality, degradation, and death come alive in bold colours.

The Descending Steps

Husain's Lines & Lives on the Ghats

Parekh's Muse in Life & Death

Through the Lens

While the colours of Banaras have moved artists and poets over the years, the photographer's lens – particularly in black and white – has discovered some of the most compelling geometries and forms on the ghats. 

The Colours of Banaras

The Eternal Muse for Artists

'From colonial to contemporary, "Eternal Banaras" charts how this ancient city has been visualised in art.'

– The Hans India,  4 September 2019

In association with