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Ghat & Bridge of Pushputtinath the place of the Royal Suttees

Ghat & Bridge of Pushputtinath the place of the Royal Suttees

Photographer: Taylor, Clarence Comyn

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1863

Shelfmark: Photo 855/(5)

Item number: 8555

Length: 33.2

Width: 33.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph with a view at Pashupatinath near Kathmandu; part of a collection of albumen prints taken by Clarence Comyn Taylor between 1863-65, which constitute the earliest photographs of Nepal.Taylor, a soldier in the East India Company's army, was badly wounded in the Indian Uprising of 1857 and turned to Political Service, arriving in Kathmandu in 1863 as Assistant Resident. At this time the British had started a project to document the people and monuments of the Indian sub-continent using photography. Taylor fortuitously was a capable photographer and took images of Nepal for the Government of India. Taylor described this image in his List of pictures as, 'No V. The Ghat and Bridge of Pushputtinath shewing a part of the Bagurutty where all the members of the Royal family of Nepal are burnt after their decease and where the Royal suttees used to take place'. Pashupatinath, on the Bagmati river, is the site of the famous temple dedicated to Shiva, which is one of Nepal's most important places of pilgrimage and dates from about the 5th century. The temple complex overlooks a series of ghats or stepped embankments on the river, which form cremation areas where last rites are performed for Hindus and their dead bodies are burnt. Sati refers to the practice of Hindu widows being burned on the funeral pyres of their husbands.

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