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Vignettes of Varanasi

Varanasi, aka Benaras, is an ancient city, a Hindu pilgrim’s final worldly destination prior to his eternal journey. Over the years, Varanasi has lost much of its importance strategically, yet it is known to be one of the most frequently photographed cities in the world. Varanasi is a veritable treasure -trove, a paradise for both photographers and painters. The irresistible visual charm of the eternally beautiful city mesmerised lensman Nilanjan Ray who ventured to capture the myriad moods of this ‘city of dichotomies.’ Exploring with his camera every nook and corner, every lane and by-lane, and of course, the ghats with their unique architecture, Ray’s sensitive eyes have captured an astonishing variety of human activities, from the sacred to the profane, in black and white. Ray’s keen sense of composition and a deep empathy with his subjects are reflected in his monochromes and are a feast for the eyes. The tonal quality of the photographs add to their visual richness. An exhibition of Ray’s collection of photographs, titled Varanasi — An Eternal City, will be inaugurated by veteran artist Paritosh Sen today at 6.30 pm. The photographs will remind viewers once again that despite having been exposed millions of times before, Varanasi has lost none of its eternal visual charm.

When: Till August 27; 10 am - 9 pm

Where: Oxford Bookstore, 17 Park Street

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