Gateway, Sambhal (U.P.). 20 March 1789
Artist: Daniell, Thomas (1749-1840)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil drawing of a gateway at Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh by Thomas (1749-1840) and William (1769-1837) Daniell, 20 March 1789. Inscribed on the back in ink is: 'Sumbul. Mar 20 1789.'
Sambhal and the surrounding area has experienced a turbulent political history. Tradition asserts that it was near to Sambhal that Prithvi Raj Chauhan the last Hindu ruler of Delhi, finally defeated Jai Chand whose daughter (Sanyogta) he is alleged to have galloped away with. Earlier, in the 11th century a battle was said to have taken place between the Raja of Delhi and Saiyid Salar Masud Ghazi, the nephew of Mahmud of Ghazni. The area was sacked by Kutb-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim Emperor of India and Firoz Shah III appointed an Afghan governor to Sambhah in 1380 with orders to invade Katehr every year and ravage the whole country till Khargu the Hindu chief who had murdered some Saiyids was given up. In the 15th century Sambhal was the subject of conflict between the sovereigns of Delhi and the kings of Jaunpur, and on the fall of the latter Sikander Lodi held his court here for some years. Babar, founder of the Mughal Empire which dominated India between the early 15th and 18th centuries appointed his son Humayun to be governor of the palace and is said to have visited it himself. Under Humayun’s son, Akbar the Great, Sambhal was a regional centre but in the reign of Shah Jahan its importance began to wane and Moradabad took its place.