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Dadhar and the entrance to the Bolan Pass (Baluchistan)

Dadhar and the entrance to the Bolan Pass (Baluchistan)

Artist: Atkinson, James (1780-1852)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1839

Shelfmark: WD2393

Item number: 2393

Length: 249

Width: 367

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Painting

Water-colour view of Dadhar and the entrance to the Bolan Pass in Pakistan by James Atkinson (1780-1852) dated between 1839 and 1840. This is plate 3 from the album 'Sketches in Afghaunistan'. Inscribed on the mount is: 'The Encampment at Dadur with the Entrance to the Bolan Pass.'

This drawing was made during the first Anglo-Afghan war of 1839-42, when Atkinson served as the official Superintending Surgeon of the Army of the Indus, a combined force of British and Indian troops that marched on Kabul in 1839. The troops entered Afghanistan through the Bolan Pass, a passage 60 miles long and 5,880 feet tall at its highest point. It took the army two weeks to pass through it. Atkinson wrote: "As the torrent in the Pass runs deviously from one side of the gorge to the other, the Army was compelled to cross it six or seven times, thereby adding to the hardships already experienced during the march into this Pass." The troops suffered great losses from hostile Baluchis, "who had secreted themselves in dens hewn out of the stupendous mountains overhanging the Pass".

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