Artist: Rattray, James
Medium: Lithograph, coloured
This lithograph is taken from plate 8 of 'Afghaunistan' by Lieutenant James Rattray.
The fortress of Kalat-i-Ghilzai stood 81 miles from the Kandahar on the high road to Kabul. It held a British garrison under Captain Craigie of the 43rd Bengal Light Infantry, which was put under siege by the Ghilzais and cut off for six months from all other garrisons. Success in Kabul had given the Ghilzais so much confidence that their women waited in the ravines close by to share in the plunder. The garrison was finally relieved by a brigade from Kandahar in May 1842. Rattray was among the relieving troops, and wrote: "Far distant from any other station, exposed to sharp and piercing winds and visited by terrible sandstorms, surrounded as far as the eye could reach by bare precipices, tremendous defiles and ravines, heaped together in the most chaotic confusion, like the great breakers of a winter ocean suddenly frozen in belts of mountains, all smitten with the curse of barrenness."