The Tykhana, Lucknow (U.P.). February 1870
Artist: Chevalier, Nicholas (1828-1902)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil and pastel drawing of the Tykhana at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh by Nicholas Chevalier (1828-1902), dated February 1870. Inscribed on the front in pencil is: 'The Tykhana. Quarters of the women of H.M. 32d. Lucknow. The underground space was occupied by the women.'
'Tykhana' are subterranean apartments of houses used in hot weather. This image depicts a part of the Residency complex at Lucknow. The Residency was conceived in 1780 by Nawab Asaf-ud-daulah to a European design for the British Resident at his court; the building was completed 20 years later by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan. It was situated on what was then the highest elevation in Lucknow in the northern part of the city. During the 1857 Uprising, the Chief Commissioner Sir Henry Lawrence withdrew with a small British garrison and the European occupants of the city to the Residency and thus began the famous siege of Lucknow. The beleaguered group held out alone for three months, and despite the arrival of a relief faction were besieged for a further two months. In the course of the seige the tykhana apartments were alloted to the women and children while the fighting was taking place.