Nilam Tope at the Uparkote [Junagadh]
Photographer: Solankee Studio
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from the Curzon Collection: 'Presented with feelings of friendship and sincere admiration to Lord Curzon of Kedleston, Viceroy and Governor-General of India, by H.H. Rasulkhanji, Navab Junagadha. 1900', of the Nilam Tope at the Uparkot in Junagadh, Gujarat, taken by the Solankee Studio, Rajkot, in c.1900. The Uparkot is an ancient fortress in north-east Junagadh dating from the Maurya empire in the fourth century BC. It was rediscovered and repaired by Muslim conquerors in 976 AD and subsequently underwent many sieges. On the western wall are two colossal guns. The larger of the two, the Nilam Tope or cannon, is shown on the left in this view. It is over 5.2m (17ft) long, with a bore of 25cm (91/2 ins). It was cast in Egypt in 1531 and was brought to India by Admiral Sulaiman Pasha when the Turkish fleet participated in the siege against the Portuguese at Diu fort on the coast of southern Gujarat in 1538. It was later brought to the Uparkot by a Fouzdar of Junagadh.