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Ballabgarh Fort on the road between Delhi and Mathura

Ballabgarh Fort on the road between Delhi and Mathura

Artist: Anonymous

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1823

Shelfmark: Add.Or.3252

Item number: 3252

Length: 32.5

Width: 55

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour of the Ballabgarh Fort on the road between Delhi and Mathura, by an anonymous artist working in the Delhi style, part of the Hyde Collection, c1820-1826. Inscribed on the front in Persian, Nagari and English characters: 'Bullum Ghur on the Route between Muttra and Delhi;' and on the back in ink: 'Bullum Ghur the Fort and Stronghold of the Bullum Ghur Rajah on the route between Muttra and Delhi;' in pencil: '26 plates.'

The town of Ballabgarh is located 38km from Delhi and the main gateway of the Fort is composed of honey-coloured stones flanked by elaborately carved stone pillars. The fort originally included several palaces, including that of one of Ballabgarh's most powerful rulers, the Raja Ballu, after whom the town is named. Construction of the Fort was complete by 1750 and Ballu used its strategic location to incite the fury of the mighty forces of the Mughals. He sacked the city of Sikandrabad and the Mughals retaliated by severing Ballu’s head and displaying it prominently on the Grand Trunk Road. What remains today of the fort is a square double storied building made of albino sandstone. This drawing shows villagers walking in the fields in front of the fortified walls.

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