View of fort walls in the Bawan Ganga Defile, Rajgir
Photographer: Beglar, Joseph David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the fort walls west of the Bawan Ganga Defile at Rajgir, taken by Joseph David Beglar in 1872-73. Rajgir is surrounded by forty to forty eight kilometres of walls which are situated on the crests of the surrounding hills. This consituted only the first line of defence for the city, as a large inner wall surrounding the town itself was constructed around the same time. The walls date to the fifth or sixth centuries BC, when Rajgir first became an important city. No cement is used to hold the undressed stones in place, which are up to 2 metres in length. The maximum height of the walls today is 3.5 metres and it seems likely that this would have been their original size in most places. In this photograph the wall can just be made out in the background, running along the top of a ridge.
In the report he wrote at the time this photograph was taken, Beglar said, 'From the summit or peak strech out three long arms; the one west carries the main chain of hills onwards to the west; the south or south-east one slopes down to the south gate or Bawan Ganga defile; the eastern one, however, juts out into the interior of the outer fort, and divides the southern portion of the space between it and the inner ramparts into two portions...It will thus be seen that the great fort consisted of an outer fort with walls running along the crests of the surrounding hills, and an inner fort consisting of ramparts in the valley on all sides, except the west...'