A Mosque, Chunargarh by Thomas and William Daniell


A Mosque, Chunargarh


Thomas and William Daniell

Ref GM1768
Type Fine Art Print
Image Size 15" x 9" (38 x 23 cm)
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The fort of Chunar, on a hill overlooking the Ganges up river from Benares, was substantially developed, from older foundations, by the Mughals. It subsequently belonged to the Nawabs of Avadh, and was annexed by the British after the Battle of Buxar in 1764. Close to the fort is the dargah of the Muslim divine Shah Kasim Salaiman. He had been imprisoned in Chunar fort by the Emperor Jahangir, for supporting the Emperor's rebellious son Khusrau, and he died there in 1606. His followers built a tomb for him in the town and established it as a centre of pilgrimage. From an architectural point of view it is the gateway of the dargah, shown here, that is the most impressive feature. The quarries of Chunar are a famous source of sandstone, and the material has been used here to superb decorative effect. The Daniells arrived at Chunar from Benares on 29 December 1789 and stayed over the new year. They have shown the gateway from a oblique angle and have emphasized the aspects that they admired: 'The effect of this gate, at a distance, is grand, from the bold projection of its superior parts; and its ornaments, though numerous, are applied with so much art and discretion, as to form the happiest union of beauty and gandeur'.