Thursday, 17 November 2011

Rare pictures of Mysore -- Part I

Found some old rare photographs of Mysore. Here are a few of them:
Full-length standing carte-de-visite portrait of a young prince of Mysore, from the 'Album of cartes de visite portraits of Indian rulers and notables', taken by Bourne and Shepherd, early 1870s. Mysore was the capital of the Wodeyar rulers, who were governors of southern Karnataka under the Vijayanagar Kings. The Wodeyar dynasty ruled almost uninterruptedly from 1399 until Indian independence, except for the 38 year rule of Haidar Ali and his son Tipu Sultan, in the 18th century.

This photograph of the Palace, Mysore taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'.The note accompanying this photograph reads, ''The view shown here is the east face of the palace which was burnt down in 1897 immediately after the marriage of the first Princes[s]. It was built in the ultra Hindu style. The front, which was gaudily painted in primary colours, and supported by elaborate carved wooden pillars, comprised a spacious porch [seen here] and in rear the Dasara Hall, an open gallery, where the Maharaja showed himself to the people on occasions of state seated on his throne." The courtyard is crowded with mounted state troops and other officials.

This photograph of a Main Street, Mysore taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'. Mysore, once the dynastic capital of the state, was superseded by Seringapatam as the seat of the court from 1610 until Tipu's death in 1799. In 1831, upon British occupation, the seat of administration was transferred to Bangalore. At the end of the street a small way-side shrine can be seen.
This photograph of the interior of the Jubilee Institute, Mysore taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'. "Constructed in 1887, in commemoration of the Jubilee of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, Empress of India, as a museum for exhibiting the arts, economic and other products of the country. It contains a library of ancient oriental literature and the latest productions of the west. The foundation stone was laid by H.H. the late Maharaja on the 20th June, 1887. The exterior of the building is decorated with figures of Hindu mythology.", reads the note accompanying this photograph.

Photograph of the temple on Chamundi Hill in Mysore. The Chamundi Temple complex is situated on the homonymous hill that overlooks the town of Mysore and is dedicated to the guardian goddess divinity of the ruling Wadiyar family who built the shrine in the 17th century. Two gopuras constitute the access to the temple. The outer gateway, which can be seen in this photograph, is a steep pyramid built over an earlier stone wall. A mandapa leads to the shrine where the goddess is enthroned.
This photograph of the Government House, Mysore taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'.The caption notes accompanying this view reads, "..was formerly known as the Lower Residency, but is now reserved for European guests of H.H. the Maharaja. The front portion of the building was erected in 1805, under Major Wilks and is of the Doric order of architecture. The old and handsome portico with the verandah was later enclosed to form an extra drawing-room. The back of the building was added a few years later, by Sir John Malcolm, and comprises one of the largest rooms without pillars in Southern India. It was designed by De Haviland."
This photograph was taken by Del Tufo and Company in the 1890s and published in the 'Souvenir of Mysore' album that forms part of the Curzon Collection. A caption accompanying this view of market buildings from New Market Road reads, "The photo shows the two faces of the Market with the Dufferin Fountain on the left. All articles of daily consumption as food are vended here. The building is fireproof, having arched roofs."
 This photograph of the Public Offices, Mysore taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'.A caption note accompanying this photograph reads, "Designed and built by Col. (now Sir) Richard Sankey, 1864-1868, for the Mysore Chief Commissioner's offices. The Mysore Government now holds its offices in the building, and the Council of Regency meets weekly in the large central hall upstairs."
Photograph of a collection of elaborately embellished tombs at Seringapatam in Karnataka, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1860s. These are the tombs of the Wodeyar Rajahs, the ruling dynasty of Seringapatam, whose sovereignty was taken over by Haider Ali, the Commander of the Rajah's army, on the death of the contemporary ruler. The Wodeyar Rajahs were later reinstated by the British after the death of Tipu Sultan, Haider Ali's son, at the storming of the capital in 1799.
 Full length studio portrait of Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore and his brothers and sisters by M. Burahnudin in 1895. This photograph is from the Elgin Collection: 'Autumn Tour 1895. Vol II'. Mysore was the capital of the Wodeyar rulers, who were governors of southern Karnataka under the Vijayanagar Kings. The Wodeyar dynasty ruled almost uninterruptedly from 1399 until Indian independence, except for the 38 year rule of Haidar Ali and his son Tipu Sultan, in the 18th century. Born June 4th 1884 the Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV succeeded to office as a minor on the death of his father. He is regarded as one of the most enlightened rulers of modern India; he is credited with transforming Mysore (modern Karnataka) into a model princely state and his period of rule has often been called the ‘Golden Age of Mysore’.
This photograph of the Jagan Mohan Palace, Mysore taken in the 1890s by M. Burahnudin, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'. The view is from the garden looking towards the main fa├žade of the Jagan Mohun Palace. Notes accompanying the album read, "..is a lofty building with tall Ionic columns in the verandah, reaching to the second storey. It was built by Krishna Raja Wodeyar III, as an ornament to the town and a place of amusement for European officers. The walls of the upper storey are painted with pictures, verging on the grotesque, representing the Raja in procession at Dasara and on shikar expeditions."
This photograph of the Amba Vilasa, Mysore Palace taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'. "This portion of the palace [called the Amba Vilasa], which was rebuilt in the Indo-Saracenic style in 1895, was also burned down with all its treasures of pictures of the Krishna Wodeyar period which consisted principally of officers connected with Mysore, painted by European artists, in the fire of 1897; the walls, columns, and iron girders alone remaining."
Photograph of the car & temple on Chamundi Hill in Mysore. The complex of the Chamundi Temple is situated on the homonymous Hill that overlooks Mysore. It is dedicated to the guardian divinity of the ruling Wadiyar family who founded the shrine in the 17th century. This is a view looking towards the gopura of the Chamundi Temple, with a temple car standing in the foreground. This ornate carved wooden car is surmounted by a throne standing on the back of a carved lion figure. The car was presented to the temple by the Maharaja of Mysore in 1848.
This photograph of the Sita Vilasa Chatram, Mysore taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'.General view from the street of the Sita Vilasa Chatram or resting house .
This photograph of the H.H. Maharani's Temple, Mysore taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'.The view depicts the single-storey hospital building and an accompanying note reads, "Erected to the memory of H.H. the Dowager Maharani Depajammuni, C.I., the fourth Maharani of H.H. Krishna Raja Wodeyay III, who was invested with the Order of the Crown of India in 1878. Her Highness was...for some years, the Guardian of H.H. the late Maharaja. Although Her Highness lived to the advanced age of 89, she retained all her faculties to the end, and made charitable bequests on her death-bed."
 Photograph of the granite bull on Chahmundi Hill in Mysore.Chamundi Hill overlooks the town of Mysore and is named after the shrine dedicated to the homonymous goddess, the guardian divinity of the ruling Wadiyar family who built the temple in the 17th century. On the road ascending the hill there is a huge monolithic statue of Nandi, the mount of the god Shiva, with ceremonial bells and garlands. It dated from 1659.
Photograph of the temple at Nanjagud in Karnataka, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1860s, from the Photograph album of Major General Jackson Muspratt Muspratt-Williams.
The photograph shows the multi-storeyed pyramidal gopura or entrance gateway to the temple. The storeys are decorated with mouldings and architectural elements and end in a barrel vaulted roof with arched ends. The style of architecture is typical of theone that developped in Karnataka in the sixteenth century. From this period onwards entrance gateways became the dominant feature of the religious complexes. These monumental compositions consist of a granite basements finely carved and pyramidal towers decorated with fully modelled plaster sculptures.
Photograph of the Nandi bull on Chamundi Hill near Mysore in Karnataka, from Taylor and Fergusson's 'Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore', taken by William Henry Pigou in 1856. Chamundi Hill, overlooking Mysore, takes its name from the goddess Chamundi to whom a temple is dedicated near its summit. The goddess, a form of Shakti who as Chamundi slew the demon Mahishasura, is the tutelary deity of the Wodeyars, rulers of the former princely state of Mysore. Nandi, the sacred bull, is the vehicle of Shiva, the consort of the goddess, and symbolises great strength and virility, the animal force in man. The massive Nandi sculpture on the road that ascends Chamundi Hill is 5 ms tall and the largest of its type in India. It was carved from a single rock at the behest of Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar (ruled 1659–72).
Photograph of the Chamundi temple with the temple car to the left, near Mysore, Karnataka, from Taylor and Fergusson's 'Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore', taken by William Henry Pigou in c.1856. The granite hill overlooking the town of Mysore is called Chamundi Hill after the goddess enshrined in the temple near its summit. Chamundi, the slayer of the demon Mahishasura, is a form of the mother goddess Shakti, and is the family deity of the Wodeyar princes of Mysore. The temple is the oldest at Mysore, with local tradition relating that it was founded in the 12th century, but its gateway with its pyramidal tower or gopuram was completed in 1827. The shrine itself is a small structure with a small porch. Outside the temple is the chariot used during ceremonies to carry the statue of the goddess. It is adorned with the lion which is her mount.
Full length studio portrait of Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore by M. Burahnudin, 2nd February, 1895. This photograph is from the Elgin Collection: 'Autumn Tour 1895. Vol II'. Born June 4th 1884 the Maharaja succeeded to office as a minor on the death of his father. Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV is regarded as one of the most enlightened rulers of modern India; he is credited with transforming Mysore (modern Karnataka) into a model princely state and his period of rule has often been called the ‘Golden Age of Mysore’.
This photograph of the Temple Car, Chamundi Hill, Mysore taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'.The view shows a temple car in the foreground with the gopura (the great pyramidal tower over the entrance-gate to the precint of a temple. S India) of the Chamundi Temple beyond. The car was presented to the temple by the Maharaja of Mysore in 1848. This temple was dedicated to the goddess Chamundeshwari, who was believed to have killed the evil demon-king Mahishasura.
Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. Karnataka has a long tradition of paintings used to decorate the walls of temples and palaces, although most surviving paintings date from the post-Vijayanagar era, after the 16th century. Srirangapatna, the seat of the Mysore Wodeyars who made it their capital in 1610, was a cultural centre and source of paintings. The tradition continued in the era of Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan who took over from the Wodeyars in the second half of the 18th century. The walls of Darya Daulat Bagh, the summer palace of Tipu Sultan, are covered with impressive paintings. On the west wall are portraits of Haider and Tipu and scenes from the second Anglo-Mysore war in which they were victorious over the British, and on the east wall are portraits of Tipu's contemporaries and scenes from everyday life. Lyon's 'Notes to Accompany a Series of Photographs Prepared to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India' (Marion & Co., London, 1870), edited by James Fergusson, gives the following description: '[this] - shows the Paintings on the wall at the east side of the building. The subjects represent different scenes and ceremonies of Mussulman life, though in direct violation of the second commandment to which Mohammedans generally strictly adhere. These paintings are singularly interesting, as exhibiting, at the end of the eighteenth century, exactly the same mechanical stage of art as was reached by the Italians in the end of the thirteenth. The frescoes in the Arena chapel at Padua show exactly the same mode of dividing and depicting subjects, and the same imperfect notions of perspective, as here shown; though the sentiments in the two cases are very different'.
This view of Mysore from the Jagan Mohan Palace, taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'. The photograph was taken from an upper storey of the palace and shows the palace gardens in the foreground. Notes accompanying this print read, "The view shown is a portion of old Mysore with the west gate of the fort in the distance. The street in the centre has been named 'Lukshmi Vilasa' in honor of the bride of H.H. the Maharaja." The palace was built in 1861 by Krisnaraj Wodeyar IV.
Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. The walls, pillars, arches and domes of Darya Daulat Bagh are covered with a profusion of paintings. Located in Srirangapatna in Karnataka, this building was the summer palace of Tipu Sultan, ruler of Mysore, 1782-99. Lyon's 'Notes to Accompany a Series of Photographs Prepared to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India' (Marion & Co., London, 1870), edited by James Fergusson, gives the following description: '[this] is a view of the large room on the upper storey, which is fitted up as a drawing-room being carpeted and well furnished. The same style of ornamentation is continued on the inner as well as on the outer walls. Anyone at all familiar with the palaces of Agra and Delhi will easily be able to trace the origin of every feature in this building. It is purely Mohammedan in its form, with the slightest possible admixture of Hindu taste in its details. Its worst defect is the attenuation it exhibits as compared with the manly vigour which is seen in the works of Akbar and the earlier Mogul Emperors of India. There is nothing else now at Seringapatam worthy of a visit, as every vestige of the old palace has disappeared. The mosque is quite modern, having been built by Tippoo just before his death. The unhealthiness of the place is such that the population of the town is every year decreasing. There is a ruinous, poverty-stricken air about the place which warns the visitor truthfully of its condition, and foolhardy will lie be if he tarries here one hour longer than necessary, especially after the sun is down. Both the Deria Dowlut and the fort may easily be visited the same day. The latter is interesting in an historical sense only. The place is still shown on the south side where the great breach was made, and where the British troops advanced to the storm. Here, too, Tippoo fell. Close to this is the building where the European prisoners were confined, and so many gallant hearts pined in captivity.'

1 comment:

  1. hey hi dear..want to enjoy this week end with your family..Blindly you can choose br hills resort and also near by place bandipur resorts..damn sure you can enjoy a lot..because its really an awesome place..

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