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Devaprayaga and a rope bridge across the Bagirathi, Garhwal (U.P.). 'Slit-eared' ascetics sitting on the rocks in the foreground and a woman washing her clothes. 11 May 1808

Devaprayaga and a rope bridge across the Bagirathi, Garhwal (U.P.). 'Slit-eared' ascetics sitting on the rocks in the foreground and a woman washing her clothes. 11 May 1808

Artist: Hearsey, Hyder Young (1782-1840)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1808

Shelfmark: WD345

Item number: 345

Length: 36.2

Width: 54.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour by Hyder Young Hearsey (1782-1840) of Devaprayaga and a rope bridge across the Bagirathi at Garhwal in Uttar Pradesh, dated 11 May 1808. This image, also containing three ascetics sitting on the rocks in the foreground and a woman washing her clothes, was taken while Hearsey accompanied Lieutenant Webb and Captain Raper on an expedition to discover the source of the Ganges. Raper's journal was communicated to the Asiatic Society by the President and published in Asiatick Researches, volume xi, 1812. Of Devaprayaga, he wrote, "It is one of the five principal prayags [confluence of two rivers] mentioned in the sastras, and is considered by all Hindus as a place peculiarly sacred. The town is situated at the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alacananda rivers, and built on the scarp of the mountain, about one hundred feet above the water. It forms two sides of a square, one face looking towards the Alacananda, and the largest towards the Bhagirathi. The foundation is a soil of hard rock, in which a flight of steps is cut, leading from the water's edge to a considerable distance up the mountain, which rises eight or nine hundred feet above the town. The houses are in general two stories high, with a coarse cancar cement [containing limestone nodules], and covered in with a sloping roof of shingles."

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