N. view of Manikapatam ferry on the Chilka Lake (Orissa)
Artist: Schencks, J.H. (fl. 1819)
Watercolour painting of a view of Chilka (Cilika) Lake by J.H. Schencks, part of the MacKenzie Collection, c. 1819. Inscribed on the front in ink: 'North View of Maneekapatam Ferry in the Chilka Lake. Copied by J.H. Schencks.'
Colin MacKenzie (1754-1821) joined the East India Company as an engineer at the age of 28 and spent the majority of his career in India. He used the salary he earned from his military career as a captain, major and finally a colonel to finance his research into the history and religion of Indian and Javan culture. During his surveys he collected and recorded details concerning every aspect of Indian history, architecture, language, life and religion, resulting in thousands of drawings and copies of inscriptions. Cilika Lake is a shallow lake on the eastern coast of Orissa, joined to the Bay of Bengal with a narrow sand bar. The largest brackish-water lake in the country, it varies in size depending on the season and is approximately 70 km long and averages 15 km wide. As there are varying degrees of salinity throughout the lake, the fauna is diverse, and the animals have adapted to marine conditions to survive. The lake is home to a large number of migratory birds some travelling from as far a-field as Iran, Central Aisa and Siberia.