“Delhi in the time of the last Mughal emperors was the site of extraordinary intellectual activity, laying the foundations of a modernity that drew on both Western and Indian ideas.” Swapna Liddle is a historian with a special interest in Delhi. As a scholar, she has studied the development of Delhi as an imperial capital… Read more »
This hand-painted engraving by an unidentified artist shows a view of the Diwan-e Khas with a red, decorated canopy inside the Red Fort, Delhi. The Diwan-e Khas is a rectangular marble structure that was given the name Shah Mahal by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan (1592–1666) and embellished with gilded gems, inlay work, and floral patterns.… Read more »
An initiation into the Sarmaya team involves the confrontation of and acclimating to certain books from our library. New ‘uns are told this is necessary reading meant to familiarise them with the genres of the collection. Each object inhabits a world that is resonant and multi-faceted and it’s impossible to know where to start. “Today… Read more »
As the title suggests, this map is a plan of the siege of 1857 and was printed after the British recapture of Delhi, on 22nd September, 1857. This map shows Shahjahanabad prominently and precisely points to various battalions and batteries by their placement and their respective commands. The position of the British camp and the… Read more »
This map of India probably first appeared in The Illustrated London News in 1857. While some of the magazine’s illustrations were provided by artist-travellers or proprietors, others were contributed by men stationed abroad with specific designations, such as soldiers, naval officers and government officials on foreign stations. They became sources for visual information on India’s… Read more »
The monument was constructed as a hunting lodge and an observatory by Firuz Shah Tughlaq. The observatory was at the centre of the action during the siege of Delhi, in the Uprising of 1857. It was occupied by the British and used as an outpost. The heavy battery used by the British, was stationed very… Read more »
We review rare books from our collection that document the Uprising of 1857 from a decidedly British point of view
Sir Henry Tombs was gazetted to the Bengal Artillery as a Second Lieutenant and served in the First and Second Anglo-Sikh wars, as well as the Uprising of 1857. More about the Uprising here and fascinating insights from the frontlines and on the ground by Prof. Rudrangshu Mukherjee here. Felice Beato was a European photographer renowned… Read more »
The map shows the route the army of Tantia Topi took when escaping after being defeated at Gwalior. Tantia Tope, an employee of the Peshwa Bajirao, was a prominent leader of the 1857 Uprising. For a while, he made Gwalior his stronghold, from which he was defeated by Colin Campbell. He kept escaping the British… Read more »
The map traces a decisive battle between the British forces led by Colin Campbell and Tantia Tope, an old associate of Nana Sahib. In November 1857, Tantia Tope, who had been active in Central India with the Gwalior Contingent, headed towards Kanpur to recapture it. They were defeated by the British army and Tantia Tope… Read more »
This map was published by William Mackenzi, London, showing the plan of the city of Lucknow and highlighting the routes taken by British troupes to carry out relief operations. The red lines mark the routes of the operations led by General Havelock, Colin Campbell and James Outram, accompanied with dates. Prominent locations and areas of… Read more »
Zarina Hashmi, who goes only by her first name, is a master of the art of printmaking. Born in 1937 in Aligarh, she studied mathematics and statistics before finding her artistic calling on the road. While accompanying her husband on various diplomatic missions around the world, Zarina studied the art of printmaking and woodblock printing… Read more »
The leaders, battles and victories of the Uprising of 1857, aka India’s First War of Independence. Accompanied by rare archival material from the Sarmaya collection
By the time Felice Beato arrived with his camera in 1858, the actual fighting had stopped. How then did he create such evocative photographs of war?
The first Indian Uprising broke out in the East India Company’s army in May, 1857 and the campaign to suppress it lasted till April 1859. The course of the Uprising followed five distinct phases; first came the outbreak and the measures taken immediately; this was followed by the capture of Delhi and the two reliefs… Read more »
Thomas H. Sherratt’s original engraving and etching, The Storming of Delhi is based upon a design created by Matthew Somerville Morgan (M. S. Morgan), depicting the siege of Kashmiri Gate (Delhi) during the Uprising of 1857. After weeks of planning from the ridge under the leadership of John Nicholson, the British captured the city of… Read more »
This book commemorates and celebrates the assumption of the title Empress of India by Her Majesty the Queen. It documents the historical Imperial Assemblage at Delhi which took place on lst January, 1877.
This book gives an elaborate account of India which includes her history, topography, geology, climate, population, chief cities and provinces, tributaries and protected states, military power and resources, religion, education, crime, land tenures, staple products, government, finance, and commerce.
This book gives a detailed account of sepoy insurrection in India along with a concise history of the military events that led to the consolidation of British Empire in India.
This is a print of the map showing the plan of the British attack on the city of Delhi, during the Uprising of 1857. Various clusters of directional lines with coordinates mark areas where the British troupes advanced. Landmarks such as the Landlow Castle and the ‘rampart’ hint that the advance is from the Ridge… Read more »