Entrance to Gaya on the road from Shergati (Bihar). 22 February 1823
Artist: D'Oyly, Sir Charles (1781-1845)
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
Pen and ink drawing by Sir Charles D'Oyly (1781-1845), of the entrance to Gaya on the road from Shergati in Bihar, from an Album of 80 drawings of views in Bengal and Bihar taken between January 1823 and May 1825. The largest group of drawings consists of sketches made between 26 January and 27 February 1823 during a journey from Calcutta to Gaya (Bihar) along the 'New Military Road'. This road passed through Manbhum district (Bihar) to Hazaribagh (Bihar) and through the hills to the N.W. to join the present Grand Trunk Road near Sherghati (Gaya district, Bihar). Begun in 1782, it had semaphore signalling towers built along it in the early years of the 19th century.
Gaya, near the sacred Buddhist site of Bodh Gaya, the place where Buddha achieved enlightenment, is also a very important site for Hindus and Muslims. This image is the original drawing for plate 13 of 'Sketches of the New Road in a Journey from Calcutta to Gyah' (Calcutta, 1830). D'Oyly wrote, "Sheergotty, distant from Gyah about 24 miles, offers no temptation to the Pencil, being situated on a flatland with a few distant Hills, bounding the prospect to the South West. Between this station and that of Gyah, the country is even and well cultivated, and in the vicinity of Chirkee about halfway are some patches of Gungle well stocked with Game. Approaching Gyah, the land begins to rise, and the view of distant hills proves the Scite of the sacred City. The view here represented gives the general character of the Town, which is built on Rocky Hills."