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View of the village and fortress of Urki (Simla Hill States) and the Gurkha cantonments spread over a hillside with a fortress above. 1815.

View of the village and fortress of Urki (Simla Hill States) and the Gurkha cantonments spread over a hillside with a fortress above.  1815.

Artist: unknown

Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink

Date: 1815

Shelfmark: WD4459

Item number: 4459

Length: 446

Width: 593

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Drawing

Pen-and-ink and water-colour drawing of the village and fortress of Arki (Simla Hill States) and the Gurkha cantonments spread over a hillside with a fortress above by an unknown artist, 1815. Inscribed on the facing page is: 'South. South view of Erkee and the Goorkah cantonment. The Fort is in the situation of A' [marked on the drawing] 'but not visible from the south.'

Arki is a small town located in the foothills of the Western Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, India. It was made the capital of the former Baghal State by Rana Sabha Chand in the mid-17th century. The fort, situated on a hillside overlooking the town, was built by Prithvi Singh between 1695 and 1700. Between 1806 and 1815 it became a stronghold of the Nepalese General Amar Singh Thapa until he was driven out by the British General Ochterlony, with the help of Rana Jagat Singh of Baghal and Raja Ram Saran Singh of Handur (Nalagarh). The town was developed by Raja Krishan Singh (ruled 1840 -1867) who was regarded as a far sighted ruler and a patron of the arts and learning. He built horse and mule tracks to connect Arki with neighbouring towns and brought in artisans, artists, scholars and businessmen to further the prosperity of Arki.

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