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Three roofed Temple of Bhairub an incarnation of Shiva, at Bhatgaon, erected AD 1717

Three roofed Temple of Bhairub an incarnation of Shiva, at Bhatgaon, erected AD 1717

Photographer: Taylor, Clarence Comyn

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1863

Shelfmark: Photo 855/(10)

Item number: 85510

Length: 33

Width: 33.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the temple of Bhairava at Bhaktapur (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 X. Three-roofed Temple of Bhairub an incarnation of Shiva as the Destroyer, at Bhatgaon, erected about AD 1717.' 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. The three-roofed Bhairava temple is on Taumadhi Tol which is linked by an alleyway to the eastern end of Darbar Square. Dedicated to a fierce form of Shiva, it was originally built by Jagatjyotir Malla (ruled c.1614-37) as a single-storeyed edifice, and was then given a further two tiers by Bhupatindra Malla in 1717. The entire structure collapsed in an earthquake in 1934 and was rebuilt.

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