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INDIA – RAJASTHAN – ORIGINAL WATERCOLOUR VIEW – Kumbhalgarh Fort, “Fort & Town of… Marwar”.


An attractive late 19th Century original watercolour view of Kumbhalgarh Fort, one of the most impressive of the Rajasthan ‘Hill Forts’, probably drafted by a British soldier.

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This pleasing original watercolour view depicts Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan, from the perspective of the banks of the Sadri River.  Kumbhalgarh Fort was built during the mid-15th Century by Ran Kumbha (d. 1468), the Raj of Mewar, an occupied a strategic location along the border the states of Mewar and Marwar (Khumba also held territories in the latter).  As depicted here, Kumbhalgarh sits upon a prominent hill, 400 feet high, and boasts 36 kilometres of walls.  Its interior features over 300 temples, most of which are dedicated to the Jain faith.  It has the distinction of being the second largest of the famed Rajasthan Hill Forts (after Chittaurgarh), and possesses the second longest unbroken stretch of stone walls, next only to the Great Wall of China.  In 2013, Kumbhalgarh Fort was added to the UNESCO list of world heritage sites.

While unsigned and undated, by its style this view was likely drafted in the late 19th Century by a British soldier stationed in Rajasthan (which was then composed of princely states allied to the British).  It was clearly inserted into an album, the creation of which was a common pastime for members of the Anglo-Indian Army – their prized mementos of the years in India.  While the artist was clearly not a professional, the view is quite an attractive and faithful rendering of one of the great wonders of Rajasthan. 

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