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Part of the Palace, Ulwur.

Part of the Palace, Ulwur.

Photographer: Impey, Eugene Clutterbuck

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 971/(50)

Item number: 97150

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Palace at Alwar from an album of 80 albumen prints taken by Eugene Clutterbuck Impey. In the description by James Fergusson which accompanies the photograph, 'This is one of the entrances to the Palace of the Rao Raja. In the foreground are the various state conveyances used by him, from the light chair borne by men to the ponderous carriage drawn by four elephants.' The principality of Alwar is in the north-east of Rajasthan, bordering the Delhi region. Alwar town is sited in a valley overlooked by a fortress stretching along the high ridges of the Aravallis to the north-west of it. Alwar's strategic position resulted in it changing hands several times, it was fought over by the Rajputs, the Mughals and the Jats from the 10th to the 19th centuries. However, the city itself is more recent, founded by the Kachhwaha Rajput prince Rao Pratap Singh in the 1770s as the state capital. He had wrested the 10th century Bala Qila Fort from the Jats of Bharatpur who had briefly overrun it. The City Palace lying below the Fort was begun by his successor Bakhtawar Singh in the 1790s. The Palace is a collection of buildings in various Mughal-Rajput styles, dating from the Old Court of c.1793 to the New Court of c.1850, and facing a large rectangular reservoir. The buildings now house government offices and a museum which is a storehouse of thousands of Mughal and Rajput manuscripts. At the time of Impey's visit (he was actually Political Agent in Alwar in 1858), the Raja was the young Sheodan Singh (ruled 1857-74).

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