PRASAD, Babu Jageswar - SINGH, Prabhu Narayan (1855-1931), Maharaja of Benares. Views of Benares from the River Side Presented by the Maharajah of Benares. ca 1883-1926
Small oblong folio (4 6/8 x 6 inches). Fine gelatin print photograph portrait of Prabhu Narayan Singh and 19 further photographs of views of Benares from the Ganges, each mounted on heavy stock, surrounded by a red ink border and with a printed caption pasted beneath. Contemporary black morocco, decorated and title lettered in gilt on the front cover.
Provenance: inscribed on the front free endpaper: "Benares 23 Janvier 1926, Capitaine Sirija P. Singh Ramnagar - Benares state", and signed by Singh.
Though the album was presented in 1926 the photographs have been included in albums dated from the mid 1880s. Including views of Fort Ramnagar, Assisangam Ghat, Rhadaini Water-Works, Batsraj Ghat, Shivala Ghat, Kedar Ghat, Amrit Rao Chutter Ghat, Dhunrao Panth Ghat, Ranamahal Ghat, Munshi Ghat, Ahilya Bai's Ghat, Dasaswamedh Chat, Observatory of Manmandir, Lalta Ghat, Burning Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Ghosla Ghat, Minaret, Panchiganga Ghat, and Sumer Mandir Ramnagar.
Prabhu Narayan Singh (1855 – 1931) was ruler of the Indian Princely State of Benares State (Royal House of Benares) from 1889 to 1931. He would reign for 42 years as Maharaja; in 1891, he was knighted with the KCIE, later becoming an honorary colonel in the Indian Army. In 1911, he became the first Maharaja of the newly created princely state of Benares, including the parganas of Bhadohi and Keramnagar, Chakia and Ramnagar, together with certain limited rights within the City of Benares. He donated 1,300 acres of land to establish famous Banaras Hindu University. Given Benares's close ties to Nepal, it was not surprising when Sir Prabhu Narayan married a daughter of Jang Bahadur, the first modern Nepali prime minister, as his first wife. He later married a distant relation of the family, a sister of Babu Jagdep Narayan Singh. Dying in 1931, aged 75.
Varanasi, also called Benares, Banaras, or Kashi, city, southeastern Uttar Pradesh state, northern India. It is located on the left bank of the Ganges (Ganga) River and is one of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism. Varanasi became an independent kingdom in the 18th century, and under subsequent British rule it remained a commercial and religious centre. In 1910 the British made Varanasi a new Indian state, with Ramnagar (on the opposite bank) as headquarters but with no jurisdiction over the city of Varanasi. In 1947, after Indian independence, the Varanasi state became part of the state of Uttar Pradesh. See India Office library collection.