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View of the Shirawati river, Garsoppa, with encampment. April 1806. Preparatory drawing for WD593.

View of the Shirawati river, Garsoppa, with encampment. April 1806.  Preparatory drawing for WD593.

Artist: unknown

Medium: Wash

Date: 1806

Shelfmark: WD850

Item number: 850

Length: 24.6

Width: 38.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Wash drawing of a camp by a river in Karnataka by an unknown artist in April 1806. Inscribed on the front in ink is: 'View of the Shirawatty River at Gairsoppa. April 1806.' Compare WD593, for which this is the preparatory drawing.

The Sharawati River runs through the Western Ghats before plunging spectacularly in four cascades, the highest of which (Gersoppa Falls) is c.830 ft (250 m). Gersoppa is an ancient town, the chief ship of which seems very often to have been held by women as almost all the writers of the 16th and early part of the 17th century refer to the Queen of Gersoppa. In the early 17th century the dynasty ended when Bhaira Devi of Gersoppa was attacked and defeated by Venkatappa Naik, the chief of Bednur. In 1623 the Italian traveller Della Valle describes the place as a once famous city, the seat of a queen and the metropolis of a province. The region was so famous for its pepper that the Portuguese called the Queen of Gersoppa Rainha da Pimenta of the Pepper-Queen.

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