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The Tank, and part of the fortifications, Ulwur.

The Tank, and part of the fortifications, Ulwur.

Photographer: Impey, Eugene Clutterbuck

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 971/(47)

Item number: 97147

Genre: Photograph

Photograph from an album of 80 albumen prints taken by Eugene Clutterbuck Impey. Alwar is in the north-east of Rajasthan, bordering the Delhi region. The town is sited in a valley in the Aravalli hills, overlooked by a fortress stretching along the high ridges to the north-west of it. Below the ancient Bala Qila Fort is the 18th century City Palace comprising buildings and courts in Mughal-Rajput styles, facing a rectangular pool with steps on all sides and 12 ornamental pavilions or chhattris protruding into the water. Alwar's strategic position resulted in it changing hands several times, it was fought over by the Rajputs, the Mughals and the Jats from the 10th to the 19th centuries. From this it is evident that the state of Alwar has an old history, with tradition linking it even further to the ancient kingdom of Matsya associated with the Pandava brothers of the Hindu epic 'Mahabharata'. However, the city itself is more recent, founded by Rao Pratap Singh of Machheri in 1771 as the state capital. He was from the clan of Kachhwaha Rajputs of Amber and wrested the fort of Alwar from the Jats of Bharatpur who had briefly overrun it. The water for the tanks of Alwar was supplied via an aqueduct from Siliserh lake nine miles west of the city.

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