Ganges Sentinel

Ganges Sentinel

A once grand palace stands as a nighttime sentinel,  watching over the sacred River Ganges as it flows silently by Benares, more popularly known as Varanasi, on its way to the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean.


The Ganges is no ordinary river. Instead she represents the essence of a civilization, form of culture and substance of a faith. She is in fact, a way of life. She is a living goddess whose importance in the day to day life of a believer cannot be described in words or through pictures.

Vijay Singal, author


Varanasi Sentinel

This, the Bhonsala Palace, has watched over its portion of the Ganges and her devotees since 1795. Seeing it today, neglected and falling into disrepair, one can only imagine life along this holiest of rivers in the early 1800’s. Little has changed. The pilgrims by the thousands still come to Varanasi for their spiritual cleansing and to die. But the grandeur that once was, is falling down. Literally, and at times falling into the Ganges.The Bholsale Ghat, where the palace stands, was built in 1780 built by the Maratha King Bholsala. A few years later the palace was constructed along with a temple to Laksma and several other shrines.

Varanasi Sentinel

Ron Mayhew

Fine Art Photographer specializing in Still Life and Commercial Photography.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. What an amazing palace that must have been. Even in such disrepair, your photo more than hints at some of its former beauty. Great shots, Ron. 🙂

    1. So much of the grandeur that was India is falling into disrepair. Apparently not the money or interest in keeping thinks up. Thanks for you comment Sylvia.

  2. Just imagine how it must have been, living in that palace on Mother Ganga, back in the 19th century. Talk about rooms with a view! 🙂

    1. Indeed, we spent much time imagining what life must have been like in many palace, forts, temples. Thanks Meredith.

  3. Love the 2nd shot, that green doorway and crispness of the shot make it something to imagine about… Really a nice post, makes me think/dream about the past.

    1. Thanks Randall. It is very easy to think/dream of the past in India, a country that is very modern in many ways but many grand old buildings are being neglected.

      1. It always surprises me a bit to see grand old buildings neglected…as while there are reasons why they are in that state of decay (business & political), there are people who would take care of them and keep them grand if given an opportunity. **sigh** just the way life is 🙂

        1. Your right, of course. The incentives and earnings potential for a developer to build a skyscraper in Mumbai (or Hong Kong?) are much greater than those to restore a centuries old palace. The Indian government is woefully bad at caring for its treasures, in my opinion.

  4. While its sad that it is in such poor condition, I am drawn to the beauty of it in decay – especially the coloured image.

    1. Exactly. So many wonderful buildings in India are not being maintained and that deterioration adds another layer of beauty. Thanks for your comment Jean.

  5. Beautiful photo, Ron. I love these old decaying buildings that speak of a glamorous past. 🙂

    1. There is beauty in decay. Its curious how we are attracted to it.

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