Stone elephant near the Palace, Delhi
Photographer: Beglar, Joseph David (1845-1907)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a statue of an elephant at Delhi from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, taken by Joseph David Beglar in the 1870s. This is a general view of one of the pair of life-sized black marble elephants which once stood outside the Delhi Gate at the Lal Qila or Red Fort. They were once mounted by riders representing Jaimal and Patta, two heroic Rajput chiefs who defended the fortress of Chitor against the Mughal emperor Akbar (r.1556-1605). In ‘Archaeological Survey of India: Four reports made during the years 1862-63-64-65’ (Simla, 1871), Alexander Cunningham concludes that the statues originally stood outside the fort at Agra and were brought from there to Delhi. At some point they were moved from the Delhi Gate but were later reinstated by Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India between 1899 and 1905. Print 878 from the same collection is a view of the sculptures of the two riders, made of red sandstone, which had become separated from their mounts.