The Agency House, [Dhar]
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Agency House at Dhar, Madhya Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in c.1902. Dhar in the Malwa region of central India was once the capital of the Hindu Paramara dynasty, known for their patronage of literature, from the 9th to the 13th century. It was conquered by the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th century and then became part of the independent province of the Sultans of Malwa before passing to the Mughals in the 16th century. With the decline of the Mughal Empire, Dhar fell to the Marathas in the 1730s. In the early 19th century the Peshwa divided the territory of Malwa amongst his chieftains and Dhar was given to Anand Rao Punwar. It became a centre of resistance during the Uprising of 1857 after which it came under direct British control, although they granted it back to the Punwars in 1860. It remained a princely state until merged with independent India in 1948. The house is an example of British colonial architecture in the form of a bungalow, the usual form employed for provincial colonial residences and guesthouses. ‘Bungalow’ is an anglicisation of the Indian word ‘bangla’ and originally referred to a lightly-constructed, single-storey dwelling with a verandah, built for colonial officials. It was erected by the Public Works Department and was one of the principal modern buildings in Dhar at the time.