Monday, September 1, 2014

Merchant mansion in Varanasi

While walking from Manikarnika Ghat towards Vishwanath Temple, I saw this lovely house. It has made such beautiful use of maroon, cream-yellow, gold and pink. I went closer and spotted the stylized numeral lettering on the house, which says "1978" in Gujarati script. The house must belong to a Jain or Hindu Gujarati merchant.

Here is a closeup of the previous picture. Notice the half-lotus design on the top centre, which has been highlighted in gold and maroon. The semi-circle arch stucco work has a very Art-Deco feel to it. On the left and right, there is a depiction of a mashaal (torch). On the mashaal too there are lotus designs. There is a small Ganesh idol on top of the doorway, surrounded by carved grape vines: this reflects either Gandhara influence or British influence. European influence can definitely be seen in the capitals: they seem sort of Ionic or Corinthian or something!

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