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The principal top gate, Gwalior

The principal top gate, Gwalior

Photographer: Deen Dayal, Lala (1844-1905)

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1882

Shelfmark: Photo 2/4(72)

Item number: 2472

Length: 26.9

Width: 20.1

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Hathia Paur Gate at Gwalior Fort in Madhya Pradesh, taken by Lala Deen Dayal in 1882. The great hill fortress of Gwalior is one of the most famous in India and has been described as "the pearl in the necklace of the castles of Hind". Its ancient origins and tumultuous history can be traced back to the eigth century, since when it has been the contested possession of a succession of rulers including the Rajputs, Mughals, Marathas and the British. It rose to great prominence during the period of Tonwar Rajput rule between 1398 and 1518, particularly during the reign of Raja Man Singh (1486-1517). The fort stands on a long, narrow, sheer-sided hill with the main entrance on the eastern side, where a long ramp leads up through six gates to the summit of the rock. The Hathia Paur Gate (1486-1516) is the last of the series and forms the principal entrance of the Man Mandir, built by Man Singh and considered to be one of the most remarkable early Hindu palaces. It takes its name from a life-sized statue of an elephant which once stood outside the stone gate. The gate is set between cylindrical towers crowned with cupola domes at the south-east corner of the palace’s long east façade. This is a close-up view, showing its corbelled arch below an arc of stone beading. The palace façade is decorated with ornamental friezes of bright blue tiles and inlaid geometric tiles can also be seen on the brackets supporting the arch and a balcony above. The photograph is from an album containing architectural and landscape studies of various sites in central India. The majority of the photographs were taken by Deen Dayal while on tour with Sir Lepel Griffin (1838-1908), who served as Resident at Indore and Agent to the Governor-General of central India between 1881 and 1888. Many are reproduced in autotype in his ‘Famous Monuments of Central India’ (London, 1886). The album was formerly in the collection of Sir William Lee-Warner (1846-1912), who served in the Indian Civil Service and was a Member of the Council of India between 1902 and 1912.

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