Malcolm's Kothi at Nalcha
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a ruined Islamic building at Nalcha, Madhya Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in c.1902. The building is known as Malcolm’s Kothi (mansion) because it was once the residence of Sir John Malcolm (1769-1833), a British army officer who served in India in various high-ranking capacities including those of Political Officer, Resident to Scindia’s Court and to Mysore, and Governor of Bombay between 1827-30. He lived at Nalcha, which lies to the south of Dhar, between 1818-22 while in charge of the province of Malwa. Afterwards the house was used as a travellers’ bungalow and was at one time a tehsil (district) headquarters before falling into disrepair. This historic province in central India had been the stronghold of the Hindu Paramara dynasty from the 9th to the 13th centuries with their capital first at Ujjain and then at Dhar. Malwa fell to Muslim rule first under the Delhi Sultanate in the early 14th century, then later under the Sultans of Malwa when the governor of Malwa declared his independence from Delhi. It was embellished with a distinctive provincial style of Islamic architecture. The province was taken over by the Mughals in 1561, and when their empire disintegrated was annexed by the Marathas in the mid-18th century. It was taken over by the British when the Marathas agreed to a subordinate role under their control.