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Gateway in the Fort at Vellore.

Gateway in the Fort at Vellore.

Artist: unknown

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1784

Shelfmark: WD644

Item number: 644

Length: 35.6

Width: 52.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Painting

Water-colour painting of the fort at Vellore by an unknown artist, c.1784. Inscribed on the front in ink is: 'Vellore'; on the back in ink: 'View of the Gateway at Vellore.'

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 extra 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.

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