The Banaras Gallery imparts the glimpse of Varanasi city which is known
by various names as Banaras, Kashi, Varanasi and sometimes as Anandavana.
It is regarded as one of the earliest' and holiest cities of India.
Saints and seers, propagators of different religions, sects and those
desiring salvation have been coming to Varanasi since times immemorial.
Being the seat of learning Kashi attracted a large number of students
and scholars. King Harishchandra of Satyug sacrificed everything in
Lord Buddha gave his first sermon in its suburb at Sarnath. The Jataka stories repeatedly make the mention of Kashi. The first Shankaracharya had his canonical discourse with Mandana Misra. The place is also considered as the birh place of the 23rd Tirthankara Parsvanatha. Being situated on the left bank of the sacred river Ganga flowing towards the northern direction, the religious sanctity has considerably enhanced and the city is also supposed to rest on the Trisula of Siva. In the recent past Varanasi has been the cradle of a number of events of great significance.
It was but natural that archaeological explorations
and excavations were conducted from time to time to reveal its past
glory .Several habitational mounds were destroyed while laying the railway
line and construction of the bridge. Even then the pre-history and the
history of ancient Kashi or Varanasi is amply unfolded by the antiquarian
remains including the early ceramics, Asokan capital with lustrous polish,
etc. Among the stone sculptures, the notable are one-faced Sivalinga
from the Gupta period, Karttikeya from the post-Gupta period and Rishabhanath
(first Jaina Tirthankara) from the medieval period. There are some important
archival documents including the firmans and temple grants issued
The maps and charts give a fairly good idea of the topography of the town like the fact that the city had a number of water reservoirs, most of which have been encroached and leveled as a result of growing urbanization. The town is also known for the wooden toys, ceremonial items and masks. These are used while performing Ramalila and other plays which are still popular in the region. The Gallery also presents some rare paintings and sketches of kings, noblemen, architecture during the British period including the famous ghats. The founder of the Museum late Sri Rai Krishnadasaji himself being an art connoisseur and literary figure had close association with artists, writers and poets. Varanasi has been particularly known for its memorable contribution for the development of Hindi language. Some of the notable figures are on view through photographs. The city played a vital role in the freedom fight and this fact is testified by a good number of early dailies which were proscribed by the British Government.