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Yarkund Mission, 1873. - Indus Valley, Leh.

Yarkund Mission, 1873. - Indus Valley, Leh.

Photographer: Chapman, Edward Francis

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1873

Shelfmark: Photo 355/1(87)

Item number: 355187

Length: 9.6

Width: 16.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

This photograph, looking along the valley towards the camp of the Mission to Yarkand of 1873, was taken by Edward Francis Chapman and is part of an album from the collection of Sir James Robert Dunlop Smith. The official purpose of the mission was to conclude a commercial treaty with the Amir of Yarkand and Kashghar. The mission had a deeper purpose, it was also to gather sufficient intelligence about this largely unknown area so as to be a step ahead of the Russians in what came to be called the Great Game, the struggle between Great Britain and Russia for mastery over Central Asia. The Mission would obtain geographical and historical information on the area, as well as survey its natural resources, while pressing diplomatic relations on the principalities that they traversed via Kashmir through Tibet into Chinese Turkestan. The mission was under the command of Sir T. D. Forsyth of the Bengal Civil Service, who wrote an accompanying report, Forsyth, T.D., 'Report of a Mission to Yarkund in 1873' (Calcutta 1875). This view is entitled 'The Indus Valley from Leh, Eln. 11500 feet, view from Joint Commissioner's Garden' in Forsyth's report. Situated at the crossroads of Asia in the high Himalayas, Leh is the capital of the cold desert region of Ladakh, in the eastern part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

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