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View at Dacca 10192

View at Dacca 10192

Photographer: Johnston and Hoffmann

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1885

Shelfmark: Photo 1019/(2)

Item number: 10192

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of ruined monuments at Dacca (Dhaka) taken in the 1880s, from an album 'Architectural Views of Dacca', containing 13 prints by Johnston and Hoffman. Dhaka, now the capital of Bangladesh, became prominent in the 17th century as a provincial capital of the Mughal empire, and was a major centre of trade, particularly in fine muslins. Its history, though largely obscured, is ancient, and it was brought under Islamic rule by the 13th century, first by the Delhi Sultanate then by the independent sultans of Bengal, after which it was taken by the Mughals in 1608. In the 18th century Dhaka was eclipsed by Murshidabad under the Nawabs of Bengal and its population diminished. As the fortunes of the Nawabs declined, the power of the East India Company became a new factor. Queen Victoria’s Proclamation in 1858 brought all the territories held by the Company (including Dhaka) under British rule. Dhaka has many remnants of buildings from its Mughal period. Tradition states that the ruined Lal Bagh Fort in Dhaka was founded in 1678 by Prince Azam Khan, the son of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, when he was governor here. It was added to by Shayista Khan, Mughal governor between 1679-1688. The complex contains many structures including a huge mosque and the building called Pari Bibi's Tomb, which is believed to be that of Shayista Khan's favourite daughter, the death of whom is said to have caused construction to be halted, resulting in the Lalbagh remaining incomplete. Its interior follows closely the plan of Mughal mausoleums.

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