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The Fort & City of Chumpawut Capital of Kalee Kumaoon

The Fort & City of Chumpawut Capital of Kalee Kumaoon

Artist: Hearsey, Hyder Young (1782-1840)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1815

Shelfmark: WD4471

Item number: 4471

Length: 33.8

Width: 53

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour by Hyder Young Hearsey (1782-1840) of Champavat in Kumaon, Uttar Pradesh, dated 1815. Formerly the seat of the Chand Rajas, the capital was removed to Almora in the 16th century, leaving Champavat as the chief town in Kali Kumaon. Hearsey accompanied two expeditions, through the hill country and into Tibet, to discover the source of the Ganges. The first was in 1808 with Lieutenant Webb and Captain Raper. During the second, in 1812, he and William Moorcroft became the first Europeans to reach the sacred lake of Manasarowar. The Nepal War began in 1814 and in December Lord Moira , the Governor General, decided to attack Kumaon as a diversion from a number of unsuccessful advances towards Kathmandu. Hearsey was in command of a small body of irregulars and advanced in February 1815 from Pilibhit up the Kali into the hills and captured Champavat in March 1815. He later gravely underestimated the fighting power of the Gurkhas, and was wounded, captured and imprisoned at Almora until its surrender at the end of April of that year.

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