In 1960 Ram Kumar visited Banaras for the first time and was inspired by its fecund yet desolate landscape. During this period Kumar moved away from his figurative images, and the Banaras trip has frequently been presented as the formative period in his evolution as a landscape painter. Over the past forty years he has continued to visit Banaras and create images inspired by the city.
Ram Kumar explains: "It was at that point in my life, I happened to visit Banaras and it was all there before me...Banaras' uniqueness lies in its age-old associations and the faith of millions. During my several visits to the city, my effort has been to fathom a little of its mysterious depths which I could interpret in my paintings." (Ed. G. Gill, Ram Kumar: A Journey Within, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, 1996, p. 191)
For a similar work of the same subject matter, see p. 74.