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View of the N. face of the Fort, Gurramkonda, with a key attached

View of the N. face of the Fort, Gurramkonda, with a key attached

Artist: Fraser, Thomas (1776-1823)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1802

Shelfmark: WD506

Item number: 506

Length: 46

Width: 65.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Painting

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Water-colour sketch of the Fort at Gurramkonda, with a key attached, by Thomas Fraser (1776-1823), c.1802. Inscribed on the front in ink is: 'View of Gurrumcondah taken from the N.W. angle of the Pettah Wall-shewing the North Face of the Lower Fort and various works covering the ascent of the only accessible Face of the Rock. T. Fraser. Engineers'; on the back in ink: 'A. No. 8. Gurrumcondah.' This is one of a series of plans and drawings completed by Fraser, c.1802 when he appears to have been inspecting and surveying forts in the Ceded Districts of Bellary, Kurnoo, Anantapur and Cuddapah.

The fort, supposedly built by the Golconda Sultans, stands on a hill which is 500 feet high with three almost perpendicular sides. Fortifications guard every assailable part of the hill while a long wall, curving and winding through the rocks connects the upper with the lower fort. According to local legend Gurramkonda (‘gurram’, horse and ‘konda’, hill) was named because a horse was believed to be the guardian of the fort rendering the place impregnable so long as the horse remained there. The story goes that a Mahratta chief eventually succeeded in scaling the precipice and in carrying off the horse and although the thief was captured before reaching the base of the hill, the spell was broken and the fort when next attacked, fell.

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