f.2v-3 'View of Part of the Fort of Vellore, from the Glacis.'
Artist: Cussans, Thomas (1796-1870)
Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink
Sketch of part of the fort at Vellore by Thomas Cussans (1796-1870). Cussans served in the Madras artillery in 1814, then the Horse Brigade from 1817 to 1829. This is one of 19 drawings (22 folios) of scenes in Mumbai (Bombay) and the south of India together with a few miscellaneous sketches taken between 1817 and c.1822. Inscribed on the cover of the album is: 'Thos Cussans Lt. Madras Artillery. Janry 1817'; and on the title page: 'Thos Cussans, July 30th, 1817'
According to tradition Vellore Fort in Tamil Nadu was built between 1274 and 1283 by Sinna Bommi Reddi. It is an imposing structure with double walls of blue granite incorporating round towers and huge gateways with Hindu motifs. The fort is surrounded by a moat which was once filled with crocodiles to create a formidable additional line of defence. Within the walls of the fort is a parade ground flanked by two great mahals (two storey houses with large internal courtyards) and the Jvarakandeshvara Temple (c.1566) which is a beautiful example of Vijayanagar architecture. The fort has been the scene of many battles and sieges. In the 17th century it fell to the Muslim Adil Shahis of Bijapur and then to the Marathas. The British gained control of the fort in 1768 and defended it against Haider Ali in 1782; after the British defeated Tipu Sultan in 1799 Tipu’s family were detained here.