Relics of a romantic past - Tower of Victory (15th cent.) and royal cenotaphs, Chitor, India
Photographer: Ricalton, James
Medium: Photographic print
Stereoscopic photograph of the Tower of Victory and the Royal Cenotaphs at Chittaurgarh in Rajasthan, taken by James Ricalton in c. 1903, from The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India. The Jaya Stambh, or Tower of Victory, is the taller of two towers at Chittorgarh, which measures approximately 37.2 m (122 ft). It is situated in the impressive hill-top fortress, which was ruled by the Guhilot (later Sisodia) Rajputs from the 8th century until the 16th century. This tower was erected in 1448 by Rana Kumbha (r.1433-68) to commemorate his victory over Mahmud Shah I Khalji, the Sultan of Malwa, in 1440. The walls are decorated with carved images of Hindu deities. It has nine storeys articulated by mouldings, openings and balconies, with a dome at the summit (a modern addition) and an interior staircase. After the fort was sacked in 1567, by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, Udaipur was chosen as the new capital of the Mewar state and Chittorgarh was abandoned. This is one of a series of 100 photographs, designed to be viewed through a special binocular viewer, producing a 3D effect, which were sold together with a book of descriptions and a map. Stereoscopic cameras, those with two lenses and the ability to take two photographs at the same time, were introduced in the mid 19th century and revolutionised photography. They cut down exposure time and thus allowed for some movement in the image without blurring as subjects were not required to sit for long periods to produce sharp results.