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Friday, 18 November 2011

Rare pictures of Mysore -- Part II

Another batch of rare pictures of Mysore:
This photograph of the interior of the Karikal Thotti Palace, Mysore taken in the 1890s by M. Burahnudin, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'. Text with the album reads, "The room is at the extreme end of the Palace on the west. Its construction is in the Hindu style, with carved wooden pillars, spaced 10 feet every way, connected at top with arched carved panels, and roofed with ceiling planks. It is furnished in the European style, and is the room chiefly used by the late Maharaja for receiving visitors and the chief officers of state."
Photograph of Ramasawmy's Bridge over the Cauvery in Mysore. This photograph was taken by an unknown photographer in the 1860s and is part of the 'Photograph album of Major General Jackson Muspratt Muspratt-Williams.' The Cauvery River rises in the Western Ghats, Karnataka State, flows south-east across a plateau through Tamil Nadu to the Bay of Bengal, South India. It splits in two twice and forms the sacred islands of Srirangapatnam and Sivasamudram in Karnataka.
Photograph of the temple perched on the summit of the Shravana rock near Yelwall, Mysore, Karnataka, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1860s, from the Photograph album of Major General Jackson Muspratt Muspratt-Williams.
This view show a small temple built in the Dravidian or South Indian style of architecture situated on top of a large boulder characteristic of the landscape of Karnataka. This region is very rich of temples. The Chalukyas of Badami built many rock cut caves and ancient temple complexes in the 6th-7th century AD. The subordinate rulers of the Chalukyas were the Gangas and the Kadambas. The colossal monolithic statue of Gomateswara was built by the Gangas in the 10th century AD. The Chalukyas of Badami were succeeded by the Rashtrakutas and the Kalyani Chalukyas. In Southern Karnataka the Hoysalas built great temples at Halebidu, Belur and Somanathapura decorated with a profusion of sculpture.
The Vijayanagar Empire, situated nearby, marks the period of great temple building activity in Karnataka. These temples have many pillared mandapas or hall and lofty entrance towers called gopurams. The Vijayanagar Empire was destroyed by the Deccan Sultanates in the 16th century and the ruins can be seen at Hampi. The Mysore Maharajas (Wodeyars) who ruled from around 1400 AD through the British period, with the brief lapse during Tipu Sultan's rule, have also made contributions to temples in this State. The temples of the coastal region have a very distinctive architectural style and resemble the Keralite temples to a larger extent.
This photograph of the Memorial Fountain,Mysore taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'.A general view of the memorial fountain dedicated to Maharaja Chamrajendra Wadiyar, with the Lansdowne Bazaars in the background. On 25 March 1881, at the age of 18 years, the Maharaja was publicly entrusted with the administration of the state. During his reign, the state experienced high levels of modernisation of its infrastructue, such as irrigation, railways and roads.
 This photograph of pupils attending Maharani's Girls' College, Mysore taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'.A note with the photograph reads, "This College, named in honor of H.H. the Maharani-Regent, was established in 1881. The institution is unique in its class in Southern India, educating, as it does, young ladies of the middle and higher classes of the high caste Hindus, and providing new walks of life for their widows...A Lady Superintendent selected in England, with University honors, presides, and the standard of education includes the first in Arts Degree of the Madras University. There are also special classes for preparing Brahmin widows for the Education Department and for the instruction of married ladies in subjects of domestic economy and accounts."
Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. View along the south-west façade of the mid-12th century Hoysaleshvara temple at Halebid in Karnataka, showing rich sculptural and moulding details. 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 of this photograph: 'The figures in the bas-relief, immediately above the horsemen, are exquisite specimens of sculpture, and are more like carvings in ivory than anything else, in fact, it is difficult to believe they are really cut in so hard a material as stone. Above this, Vishnu will be recognised in his boar incarnation, holding the Goddess Lakshmi, as already seen at the Mahavellipore [Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu]. On the projecting pavilion, is Shiva with Parvati on his knee, and above them, Shiva standing alone. The same groups are repeated on both sides of all the six projecting pavilions of this front'.
Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. Halebid is a site in the Hassan district of Karnataka, once famous as Dwarasamudra, the capital of the Hoysalas, from the 12th to the 14th centuries. The Hoysaleshvara temple in Halebid dates from the mid-12th century and represents the apogee of the Hoysala style of architecture, richly decorated with finely wrought carving in the grey-green chloritic schist of the region. The temple was sacred to Shiva and consists of twin structures that are linked and form a complex with two sanctuaries and two pillared halls or mandapas built on a stepped plan. Lyon wrote in his 'Notes to Accompany a Series of Photographs Prepared to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India' (Marion & Co., London, 1870), edited by James Fergusson, that this photograph '...is another portion of the west face of the temple, one of the chief figures here seen, is the God Pulliar or Ganesa, said to be one of the sons of Shiva...Attached to his right, is an unfinished representation of Shiva, and the same god appears on the extreme right of the picture, riding on his bull Vahana'.
Photograph from the Elgin Collection: 'Autumn Tour 1895. Vol II', taken in 1895. This is a view of the tank near the Government House in Mysore with Chamundi hill in the background. Mysore is situated in Karnataka in Southern India in a valley with two ridges on either side. Government house was begun in 1800 by Colonel Wilks and completed in 1805. It is a fine example of a European style house of the period. Chamundi Hill is approximately 3000 feet high, situated to the southeast of Mysore and is topped with a temple dedicated to the guardian deity of the Mysore Rajas, the goddess Chamundi, or Durga.
Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon.View looking towards the mandapa (hall) of the Chennakeshava temple at Belur in Karnataka, showing the elaborate carving on the enclosing walls. The temple, dedicated to Krishna as Chennakeshava or the Beautiful Longhaired One, was built in 1117 AD by the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana apparently to mark his independence from the Chalukyas of whom he had been a vassal, and to commemorate his victory at Talakad over the powerful Cholas. Belur was the early capital of the Hoysalas in the 11th and 12th centuries. They shifted subsequently to Halebid. They evolved an unique style of architecture, of which the temple at Belur is an impressive example, built on a star-shaped plan and embellished with sculpture. It stands within a walled courtyard, and is surrounded by smaller shrines and columned mandapas. Mysteriously, it lacks a tower over the sanctuary, appearing flat-roofed. In his 'Notes to Accompany a Series of Photographs Prepared to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India' (Marion & Co., London, 1870), edited by James Fergusson, Lyon wrote, 'The temple is built on a platform raised about three feet from the ground. It has three entrances, the one on the east side being here shown. There are two others, one on the south, and another on the north side. That shown in this Photograph is the principal one, as it faces the sanctuary.'
Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. Belur, a small town on the banks of the Yagachi in the Hassan district of Karnataka, was the capital of the Hoysalas in the 11th and 12th centuries, before they shifted to Halebid. The Chennakeshava temple at Belur is considered one of the finest examples of early Hoysala architecture. It was built in 1117 AD by King Vishnuvardhana to mark his independence from the Chalukyas of whom he was a feudatory, and his defeat of the powerful Cholas at Talakad. This is a general view of the central shrine in the courtyard of the temple. 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: 'From this Photograph, it will be observed that the architecture of the temple is in a totally different style from any of those previously described. The tower is no longer square in plan, and divided horizontally into storeys by ranges of cells, or what were originally intended as such, but is divided vertically into four compartments, by great flat bands, between each of which nestle fifteen repetitions of itself, five on the top of each other, in three rows. The dome on the top is a modern repair, but its original form can easily be restored from the numerous models of it shown in the following Photographs. The style of its architecture is one with which we are perfectly familiar, as existing in the north, and especially the north-west of India, and its being found here is sufficient to prove the existence, at the time of its erection, of a colony of some northern race among the Dravidians, to whom all the preceding examples belong. Fortunately its date is perfectly well known. It was commenced in 1114, by Vishnu Verdanna Bellala, to mark his conversion to the Vishnave faith from that of Jaina, to which he and all his forefathers had belonged since 984, when their name first appears in history'.
Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. This is a view along the façade of the Chennakeshava temple at Belur, showing bands of intricate carved decoration and mouldings, with pierced stone window openings above. Belur, a small town on the banks of the Yagachi in the Hassan district of Karnataka, was the capital of the Hoysalas in the 11th and 12th centuries, before they shifted to Halebid. The Chennakeshava temple at Belur is considered one of the finest examples of early Hoysala architecture. It was built in 1117 AD by King Vishnuvardhana to mark his independence from the Chalukyas of whom he had been a vassal, and his defeat of the powerful Cholas at Talakad. In his 'Notes to Accompany a Series of Photographs Prepared to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern India' (Marion & Co., London, 1870), edited by James Fergusson, Lyon wrote: '[this] view of half the South Façade of the porch of this temple,...gives an excellent idea of its peculiar construction. The small tower on the left is in front of one of the entrances at this side, which was shown in the last view. This Photograph also shows four out of the thirty windows which give light to the interior of this porch. Some of these, like that on the left, are covered with sculpture, - this one representing the Narasinha [Narasimha], or fourth Avatar of Vishnu; but the three beyond, as well as most of the rest, are only slabs pierced in various patterns, and adorned with scrolls and flowers of infinite variety, and all of great beauty in detail. The figures of dancing girls who on brackets support the cornice are also worthy of admiration, not only for their grace and freedom, but also for the beauty of the details by which they are surrounded'.
Photograph from an album of 40 albumen prints by Edmund David Lyon. The Chennakeshava temple at Belur in Karnataka, dedicated to Krishna as the Beautiful Longhaired One, was built in 1117 AD by the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana to mark his independence from the Chalukyas of whom he had been a feudatory, and to commemorate his victory at Talakad over the Cholas. Belur was the early capital of the Hoysalas in the 11th and 12th centuries. They shifted subsequently to Halebid. They evolved an unique style of architecture, of which the temple at Belur is an impressive example, built on a star-shaped plan and embellished with sculpture. It stands within a walled courtyard, and is surrounded by smaller shrines and columned mandapas (halls). 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 of this photograph which shows a small shrine at the base of a tower: 'The base of the Vimana and Tower being solid, differs considerably in design from the porch which was illustrated in the seven preceding views. As will be observed,....to each of its three faces a projecting pavilion is attached, in which are the windows that admit light to the sanctuary. As architectural objects they give variety of outline and play of light and shade to the otherwise solid base. They are, besides this, objects of extreme beauty and variety of detail in themselves, and worthy of the temple to which they are attached. Under the upper cornice will be observed that curious imitation of a wooden framework, which was noticed in speaking of the cornices of Avadea Covill [Avudayar Kovil in Tamil Nadu] and Tanjore. Being in the shadow, the Photograph hardly does justice to its details; but looking upwards to the temple, it adds immensely to the richness of effect.'
Photograph of the Chamundi Hill temple, taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'. It shows a view looking towards the temple gopura. The caption notes read: ''The temple is held in great veneration by the Maharajas of Mysore. It was built A.D. 1128, and the Maharaja, Krishna Raja Wodeyar III, repaired the shrine and furnished it with a tower in 1827, and in 1848 presented the temple car used in religious processions. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Chamundi...''The Chamundi hill is a rocky hill about two miles south-east of the Fort of Mysore and takes its name from the Goddess Kali or Chamundi, the consort of Siva worshipped on the summit.
Photograph of the Chamundi temple with the temple car in the foreground, near Mysore, Karnataka, from Taylor and Fergusson's 'Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore', taken by William Henry Pigou in c.1857. 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.
Photograph from the album of Major General Jackson Muspratt-Williams, of the entrance gate to the Summer Palace of the Maharaja of Mysore, at Mysore in Karnataka, India, taken by an unknown photographer some time in the 1860s. Mysore was ruled by the Hindu Wodeyar Maharajas from c.1400 until the 20th century, save for the period from 1761 until 1799 when the Muslim Haider Ali and his son Tipu Sultan seized power. There are a number of palaces in the environs of the city built by the Maharajas which date from the 19th and 20th centuries, after the labyrinthine old city was demolished and rebuilt by its Muslim conquerors; the most famous is the main palace in the centre of Mysore, the Amba Vilas, a spectacular building designed in the orientalist “Indo-Saracenic” style by the British architect Henry Irwin. There were two summer palaces in Mysore, the Lokaranjan Mahal, situated in south-east Mysore, and the Rajendra Vilas Palace, situated on the summit of Chamundi Hill to the south-east of the city. This view shows a gateway to the palace built in a Hindu architectural style.
This photograph of the Lansdowne Bazaars, Mysore taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'. This two-storey range of bazaars was named after Lord Landsdowne, Governor-General and Viceroy, to commemorate his visit to Mysore in 1892. It measures over 1,050 ft in length.
This photograph of the Maharani's Girls' College, Mysore taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'. A note with the photograph reads, "This College, named in honor of H.H. the Maharani-Regent, was established in 1881. The institution is unique in its class in Southern India, educating, as it does, young ladies of the middle and higher classes of the high caste Hindus, and providing new walks of life for their widows...A Lady Superintendent selected in England, with University honors, presides, and the standard of education includes the first in Arts Degree of the Madras University. There are also special classes for preparing Brahmin widows for the Education Department and for the instruction of married ladies in subjects of domestic economy and accounts."
 This photograph of the Marimallappa's High School, Mysore taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'. The view shows pupils and staff posed in front of the school, built to European designs. A caption note gives the following details, "Marimallappa was a Bakshi, or head of a department of the palace under Krishna Raja Wodeyar III, who, having no heirs, left his wealth for the promotion of education. The building was erected in 1886 and educated boys up to the Matriculation standard."
This photograph of the Dasara Hall with throne, Mysore Palace taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'.The note with the photograph reads, "This throne is one of the articles of interest in the palace. The original structure, which was of fig-wood overlaid with ivory, is generally stated to have been sent by Aurangzeb to Chikka Deva Raja in 1699. The Palace legend, however, runs that it had once been the throne of the Pandus, that Kampula Raja brought it thence and buried it at Penugonda, from which place the founders of the Vijayanagar Empire, to whom its locality was revealed by an ascetic, recovered it, and that it was handed down from dynasty to dynasty until it came into the possession of Raja Wodeyar. It is certain that the ivory throne was used by Chikka Deva Raja and his successors up to the accession of Tipu Sultan, and that, after the downfall of Seringapatam, it was employed at the Coronation, by the British, of Krishna Raja Wodeyar III."
Photograph of the Jain temple at Somnathpuram in Mysore. The view shows the entrance and shrines of the Hindu Keshava Temple, from the south-east, with a European and several Indian figures posed in the foreground. The bearded European may possibly be Williams himself. The temple, completed in 1268, is one of the best preserved of the temples built in the Hoysala period. It is dedicated to Keshava, the god Vishnu under his three aspects and consists of three shrines approached through a columned mandapa. On the outer walls of the temple and at the lower levels, there are decorative sculptures. A procession of gods richly encrusted with jewels and ornaments is set in the various projections of the walls created by the stellate plan of the sanctuaries.
 Photograph of the first flood over the Sultan Cody or weir, of the Nursamboodi Tank at Mysore in Karnataka on June 12th 1870. This print was taken by an unknown photographer in 1870. The precise location is unidentified but this view looks across the newly-completed weir. The weir is 600ft. long and was designed and built by Colonel J.M. Williams.
Photograph of the Raja of Mysore's bathing ghat on the River Puckshewan, a branch of the Cauvery at Srirangapatnam from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections: India Office Series (volume 21, 'a' numbers), taken by by Henry Dixon in the early 1860s. Srirangapatnam is an island set in the River Kaveri in the modern day state of Karnataka in the south west of India. The Vijayanagar rulers built a fort here in 1454 and in 1616 it became the capital of the Mysore Wadayar Rajas. Later it was the capital of the renowned Rajas of Mysore, Haidar Ali (c. 1722-1782) and Tipu Sultan (1753-1799). Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan were responsible for turning the small state of Mysore into a major Muslim power. The heavily fortified island boasts attractive formal gardens and many interesting buildings such as the Jami Masjid and the tomb of Haider and Tipu which suitably reflect the wealth and power of the Rajas.
 This photograph of General Wellesley's House, Mysore taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'.A note accompanying the photograph reads, "This building, though not pretentious architecturally, awakens interest from the fact that is was built, and for some time occupied, by the great Duke of Wellington, then Colonel Wellesley. It is situated opposite the west gate of Government House."
This photograph of the interior of the Amba Vilas Palace, Mysore taken in the 1890s by M. Burahnudin, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'. A note with this photograph reads, "The hall is used on all minor festive occasions for holding durbars, and, during the ten days devoted to the Dasara feast, the Goddess Chamundi is installed here and daily worship offered."The Dasara festival is celebrated in most parts of India in commemoration of Lord Rama's victory over the demon-king Ravana. In Mysore however, it is held in celebration of the goddess Chamundi who killed the demon-king Mahishasura.
This photograph of the Royal Marriage, Mysore taken in 1900 by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'.Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar and his bride Maharani Pratap Bai are seated beneath the canopy in the durbar hall, with dignitaries seated on the floor and along the sides of the hall. The various articles and foodstuffs used in the ceremony are arranged on the ground in front of the couple. The letterpress slip pasted beneath the image describes the occasion as the "The Navagali or Fifth Day Ceremony of the Marriage."
This photograph of the European Durbar at the Royal Marriage taken in 1900 by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'.A durbar is the court kept by an Indian ruler; a public audience or levee held by a native prince, or by a British governor or viceroy in India. This is a formal group portrait with Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar and his bride Maharani Pratap Bai seated beneath the canopy in the durbar hall, with European and Indian officials gathered round.
Photograph of the bathing ghat in Seringapatam, Karnataka from the 'Archaeological Survey of India Collections: India Office Series' collection, taken by Henry Dixon in the 1860s. Seringapatam, a small town near Mysore, is an island fortress surrounded by the Kaveri River that was ruled by Haidar Ali (r. 1761-1782) and then by his son Tipu Sultan until his death in 1799. Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan were responsible for turning the small state of Mysore into a major Muslim power. This photograph looks towards a bathing ghat that predates both of these rulers and shows the ghat as well as the associated buildings, with people washing clothes in the river in the foreground.
 This photograph of the Law Courts, Bangalore taken in the 1890s by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'.This note taken from the Album reads, "The courts of the district and sessions judge, the sub judge, and the munsiff (a junior-grade judge) are held in these buildings, which are built in the new portion of the city named Chamarajpuram after his late Highness."

5 comments:

  1. Beautiful experience to view the pictorial records of Mysore and its wodeyar rulers.

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  2. superb collection its just awsome :)

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  3. EXCELLENT VERY VERY ...EDUCATIVE

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  4. EXCELLENT VERY VERY ...EDUCATIVE

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