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f.15b A fort by the river, perhaps Chunargarh.

f.15b   A fort by the river, perhaps Chunargarh.

Artist: Blunt, James Tillyer (1765-1834)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1788

Shelfmark: WD156

Item number: 15b

Length: 14

Width: 21

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

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Water-colour drawing of a fort by the river, perhaps Chunargarh by James Tillyer Blunt (1765-1834). Blunt was employed on survey work with the Bengal Engineers from 1783 to 1810. This is one of 31 drawings (29 folios) of landscapes in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Madras and Mysore taken between 1788 and 1800.

The fort at Chunar in Uttar Pradesh occupies a commanding position high above a meander in the Ganges River. There is evidence of settlement here from 56 BC when the site was occupied by Vikramaditya of Ujjain. The almost impregnable citadel has massive ramparts which look down over the river and were built of local sandstone which is still quarried in the area today. In c.1538 it became the residence of Sher Shah Suri who built a pavilion here which was used as a gatehouse. Emperor Akbar stormed the fortress in 1575 and it was presided over by the Nawabs of Avadh until the British took it in 1764. Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General of India (1773 to 1784) took refuge at the fortress from an uprising led by Chet Singh in 1781.

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