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Muttra. From the river.

Muttra. From the river.

Photographer: Impey, Eugene Clutterbuck

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 971/(32)

Item number: 97132

Genre: Photograph

Photograph from an album of 80 albumen prints taken by Eugene Clutterbuck Impey. Mathura, on the banks of the river Yamuna 150 kms south of Delhi, is a sacred city for Hindus. Established as far back as 600 BC, it was famous as an important city of the Kushana empire in the 1st century AD, and when the Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang visited it in the 7th century it was well-known for its Buddhist monasteries. It was an artistic centre for several centuries, producing images for all the great religions of India, Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Its influence on Indian art declined when it was subjected to upheavals, most notably the sacking of the city by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1018. Mathura's fortunes revived when it became a centre for the Vaishnava cult by the 15th century and it is celebrated now above all as the site which Hindu mythology designates as the birthplace of Krishna, the popular incarnation of Vishnu.

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