Every time, I landed up in countries that had thriving art scene, I would wonder, why don’t we have some in India. I know we have lots in India to be proud of and not many would have thought about street art or murals but I am a sucker for street art, so I do have my whims and fancy. Well, Mumbai has done its best to keep pace with the rest of the world but still we were far behind a few years ago. The unsanctioned paintings or an art work or graffiti was not even taken seriously by the next door neighbors, why would anyone talk about them. The local artists who were capable of giving life to blank walls had no recognition at all. But now, we are killing it. Our cities, from Jammu to Goa, are experimenting in full flow. Some individual as well as groups projects are making a color-splash all over the country. The city of Varanasi is the new addition to the list. Next time, when you are there, just go out for an art walk. I had definitely not anticipated this kind of makeover via street art. I absolutely loved it. So will you.

Varanasi has always been known as a city of dance, music and culture.
You must go for a street art walk in Varanasi!
A street art showing a saint in Varanasi.
The paintings are inspired by local people, heritage and history of the city.
Varanasi and its street art
The street art has added a new perspective to this colorful city.


Colorful imagery, urban sentiments, old traditions, people & faces!

This was not the first time when I noticed street art work in the alleys of Varanasi but this was definitely the first time when every wall was speaking its own story and it was not just me but everyone else was also noticing and taking pictures. This is when I felt street art has arrived in India, in Varanasi. I had seen Godly figurines and religious messages around the ghats, in my previous visits too. But the present scenario is overwhelming. The city has been decked up with street art, literally. A city which is already known as vibrant and colourful for too many reasons, is shimmering with freshly painted wall art, these days. During my recent visit, I noticed this huge change. Even the water tanks looked resplendent with colors. Every dull space looked bright and beautiful. Some of the works were extremely inspiring and interactive that one couldn’t resist taking a picture. If this is happening in the name of development and beautification, I must congratulate the admins for taking it up. And of course, the artists deserve a bigger applaud.

Colorful imagery, urban sentiments, old traditions, people  & faces make for street art.

Colorful imagery, urban sentiments, old traditions, people & faces make for street art in Varanasi.
A water tank in Varanasi which has been made bright and beautiful with street art.
This is definitely one of the best ways to beautify the city!
Shiva wall art in Varanasi
A worn out wall can be infused with life, with some colours and creativity.

Now, Varanasi has— temples, ghats, food, music, culture, and street art too.

Wall art on houses in Varanasi
Some of the paintings made the walls come alive.
Some of the works depicted the vibrant ghats!
Some of the works depicted the vibrant ghats!
Kachahari road is the place to go for exploring street art in Varanasi.

Where to find them?

I am not sure I saw all of it but there were three areas, beyond the ghat, about which I would definitely like to mention. If you can manage a quick walk around the Kachahari Chauraha, Hamrautia, do go for it. This is the court area of the city and lately, it has been swarmed with street art. Stroll around the whole circle of the area and I bet, you will not get bored. Every art piece suggests something good about the city. It touches upon its musical connect, the ghats, the spiritual side, Lord Shiva and the famous personalities who have hailed from the city. The other area which also impressed me was the colony where the trade facilitation center exists, Maqbool Alam Road, Sudhakar Rd. Last but not the least, don’t forget to look for some impromptu art on the water tanks, at important cross roads, under the brides, on the sides of flyover walls. There is some around the Mall Road in Cantonment area too. So the crux is that next time when you are in Varanasi, you must keep your eyes open and keep them fixated towards the walls, I bet you will be amused.

Do look out for this one on Assi Ghat
Varanasi has undergone a makeover with street art.
This colurful makeover of the city is very refreshing!
Look for this one near the
The Mall 
RoadVaranasi Cantt 

The growing street-art scene in India is heartening…

It feels great to share that India has finally woken up to the idea of street art and I am super glad that the local artists and their creative works on the city walls is lending a new, positive and significant perspective to our contemporary art and culture. For centuries, some of our cities and towns have been known for their architecture, history, culture and tribal art but soon they will also be known for street art. I mean, look at Varanasi. The city has been an epitome of timelessness. There is so much history and heritage to talk about, but the modern twist to the city with progressive paintings has given it an amazing makeover. I recommend a street art walk for the city. People should go looking for some of the paintings just like they do in Penang in Malaysia.

Happy Traveling!

Keep sharing street art pictures with me, whichever city you are in! Follow my #travelandart project on Instagram.

12 thoughts on “The new and artsy Varanasi. 50 street art pictures!”

  1. This is wonderful! You are right that the street art movement wasn’t a big thing across much of India that I had seen on my previous visits, so it’s wonderful that it’s now growing in popularity. I have not been to Varanasi for many years, and love these beautiful murals that have sprung up. Great photos to show them off!

  2. Great article! I enjoyed reading it, and I love how the murals represent the culture and the history so well. The artists’ creativity really comes through and gives a great spectrum of variation with their different styles. I’m glad street art is becoming more prevalent in India, and your photographs show it off excellently. I’ll have to try and make it to Varanasi next time I’m there!

    I especially love the lady with the dress that becomes the plants that the fish can swim among 🙂

  3. Wow, these are so unique and beautiful. I’d live to spend an afternoon on an art walk. It sounds so perfect. Thank you for sharing your adventure.

  4. Varanasi is such a beautiful city. The city is so vibrant. These colourful graffiti and street must add to the vibrancy. I wish to see them and will soon plan a trip down.

  5. I love how these street art pieces are inspired by local people and local life. They are so vibrant! I’d love to take a walk and explore for myself

  6. Looking all these murals and street art scenes is nearly a religious experience. I love how vibrant and how each one tells a story. These are truly beautiful and I’ll definitely seek some out when I’m in Varanasi.

  7. Amazing how many street art you managed to photograph and I suspect many wonderful more that did not make it into this blog. The colourful art is definitely a reflection of the India that I see on the television where the people also likes colourful beautiful clothing articles. Varanasi is definitely what I would check out should I ever make it to India.

  8. I’ve always loved street art. It’s a pleasure just walking around a town which has interesting and colourful art works. Varanasi looks just like my type of place. Loved the pictures, would really like to visit someday.

  9. Varanasi is as such a vibrant city as you righty mentioned and this street art campaign has added some more shades to this historic city. Glad that it is an assortment of rustic, contemporary and religious strokes and designs. I particularly liked the colourful water tank and the green Shiva doing the thandav!

  10. This reminds me of some street graphics in Kolkata. Very beautiful and true to the roots. I love how you have captured the art and culture of Varanasi.

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