View of valley and city of Khatmandoo from the hill at Sumbhoonath
Photographer: Taylor, Clarence Comyn
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph with a view of the Kathmandu Valley from the Hill of the Swayambhunath stupa; 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. This image was 'No XIV in Taylor's List of pictures.
Swayambhunath rises to 300 feet on Singum hill on the outskirts of Kathmandu, and is Nepal's most venerated Buddhist shrine. Taylor took this photograph on a misty day and subsequently the Himalayas which would normally have dominated the background in this view are completely invisible.