Ruins of Bheems Chaori in the Mokundra Pass
Engraver: Finden, Edward Francis (1791-1857)
Engraving of the ruins of Bheems Chaori in the Mokundra (Mukandwara) Pass by Edward Francis Finden (1791-1857) and Patrick Young Waugh (1788-1829). The frontispiece of James Tod's: 'Annals and antiquities of Rajast'han or the Central and Western Rajpoot States of India' published in London in 1832.
In 1818 Mewar and other princely states of Northern India signed a treaty with the British, and Colonel James Tod became the first Political Agent to the Western Rajput States. Along with his official duties, Tod became very interested in the genealogies of the Rajput Kingdoms as well as the art and architecture they produced. The Mukandwara Pass is situated 25 miles south of Kota and cuts through the mountain range at 1500 feet above sea level. At this location, there is a dilapidated structure that may date as far back as the 5th century, yet there is no inscription to corroborate. The ruins of a columned mandapa (hall) with elaborately carved lintels and consoles are all that remain. The columns are 10 feet high and are decorated with animal and foliate motifs. James Tod recorded: ‘It was by mere accident that, some distance up the valley, we heard of some ruins, termed the Chaori of Bheem (one of the most striking remains of art I had yet met with). It is the fragment only of a quadrangular pile, of which little now remains... The columns possess great originality and appear to be the connecting link of Hindu and Egyptian architecture.’