Old choultry at Ennore near Madras
Artist: MacKenzie, Colin (1754-1821)
Water-colour drawing from the MacKenzie Collection of an old 'choultry' at Ennur, near Madras in Tamil Nadu, dated 1786. Inscribed on front in ink: 'Old Choultry at Ennore near Madras in 1786.'
This watercolour depicts a ruined travellers' rest house, known in South India as a 'choultry' situated on the bank of a river. Colin MacKenzie arrived in India in 1783 to join the Madras Army. His carreer in India as a captain, major and finally colonel allowed him to pursue researches into Indian history, religion, philosophy, art, ethnology, folklore and mathematics. During his surveys of South India he collected innumerable details concerning every aspect of South Indian history, language, life and religion, and, together with a large team of draughtsmen, produced as many as two thousand drawings.