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Chandni Chauwk

Chandni Chauwk

Artist: Wilson, Horace H

Medium: Lithograph

Date: 1841

Shelfmark: X724(10)

Item number: 10

Length: 25.5

Width: 38

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Print

This is plate 10 from HH Wilson's 'The Oriental Portfolio'. The collection was published in 1841 in the belief that a "comprehensive collection of drawings illustrate the scenery and architecture of India is still a desideratum in this country."

Wilson writes about Delhi as "containing a great number of handsome buildings, Mosques ... The streets are in general narrow ... but there are one or two exceptions. [D]elineated in the accompanying drawings, is the principal Market Place, the Chandnee Chowk, or Moon-light Square... The view presents two objects, of widely different interest. In the water-course on the left is a branch of the Canal of Ali Murdan Khan, a Persian nobleman, in the service of Shah Jehan, by whom a cut was made from the Jumna ... During the declining state of the Mogul government, the Canal was suffered to fall into decay to the great distress of the inhabitants of Delhi." Its restoration was commenced in 1817 under the administration of Marquis of Hastings and completed in 1820.

Williams continued: "The mosque on the right teaches the population of Delhi of a government that can defend them from the horror of barbaric warfare as well as secure for them the benefits of peace. When Nadir Shah in his invasion of India, occupied Delhi, he took up his residence in the Fort. A tumult having occurred in the Market in which some of his troops were slain, the conqueror marched out of the Fort to this Mosque, the Mosque of Roshun-ud-dowla, and from its porch directed an indiscriminate massacre of the inhabitants."

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