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Almorah No. 5

Almorah No. 5

Artist: Hearsey, Hyder Young (1782-1840)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1815

Shelfmark: WD4473

Item number: 4473

Length: 33.9

Width: 53.9

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour by Hyder Young Hearsey (1782-1840) of Almora in Kumaon, Uttar Pradesh, dated 1815. Almora, the capital of Kumaon, sits on a saddle-ridge, with the town and temples in the middle, and the old fort Lal Mandi, renamed Fort Moira, in the distance. What appears to be a new cantonment with a flagstaff is on a ridge to the left. 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 seriously underestimated the fighting power of the Gurkhas, was wounded, captured and imprisoned at Almora until its surrender at the end of April. Hearsey accompanied two expeditions, through the hill country and in to 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.

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