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Stone bridge at Bhatgaon, a large city 8 miles from Kathmandu

Stone bridge at Bhatgaon, a large city 8 miles from Kathmandu

Photographer: Taylor, Clarence Comyn

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1863

Shelfmark: Photo 855/(9)

Item number: 8559

Length: 32.3

Width: 34

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a stone bridge at Bhaktapur (or Bhadgaon); part of a collection of albumen prints taken by Clarence Comyn Taylor between 1863-65, which constitute the earliest photographs of Nepal. Taylor, a soldier in the East India Company's army, was badly wounded in the Indian Uprising of 1857 and turned to Political Service, arriving in Kathmandu in 1863 as Assistant Resident. At this time the British had started a project to document the people and monuments of the Indian sub-continent using photography. Taylor fortuitously was a capable photographer and took images of Nepal for the Government of India. Taylor described this image in his List of pictures as, '[No IX] Stone bridge at Bhatgaon, a large city situated about 8 miles from Khatmandoo. In the background is a part of the City'. The youngest of the three city-states of the Kathmandu Valley (the other two being Patan and Kathmandu), Bhaktapur grew in prominence from the 9th century AD, due to the opening of a new trans-Himalayan trade route. Like Kathmandu and Patan, it has a Darbar Square at its centre, endowed by succeeding kings with monuments both sacred and secular. This view of the bridge across the Hanumanthe river shows the spread of the city in the background, with the five-tiered Nyatapola temple and Bhairava temples rising in the mist at the centre. The two temples were built by King Bhupatindra Malla (ruled 1696-1722).

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