Watercolour by Hyder Young Hearsey (1782-1840) of Almora, the capital of Kumaon, Uttar Pradesh, dated 1815. Here the town is seen from the side of the ridge, with the 'cantonment' and fort in the distance, and another smaller fort crowning the nearer summit. The sheet is watermarked: 'J. Whatman 1804.' 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, and was wounded, captured and imprisoned at Almora. Gardner's force attacking Almora had been reinforced by regular troops under Col. Nicholls, and the Gurkhas were obliged to surrender. By the terms of a convention signed on 27 April, they had to withdraw beyond the Kali, to surrender the whole of Kumaon, then incorporated into British India, and to release Hearsey. 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.