சேலம் ‘மலைகள் சூழ்ந்த இடம்’


Virabadra Drug as seen from near the site of the last view. [Virabhadradurgam]

  • This photograph of a view of the Virabhadra Drug, taken by Linnaeus Tripe in 1858 and published in an album entitled ‘Photographic Views of Ryakotta and other places, in the Salem District…with descriptive notes, by J.A.C. Boswell, Esq., M.C.S.’ (Madras, 1858). In this place existed one of Tipu Sultan’s forts or ‘droog’, meaning fortified hill. Tipu Sultan (1750-1799), the eldest son of Aider Hali, ruler of Mysore, was the most powerful enemy of the British at the time of the East India Company. The four Anlgo-Mysore Wars were fought between him allied with the French and the British who formed an alliance with the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Marhattas. These campaigns ended with the defeat of Tipu Sultan in 1799. The numerous forts and palaces he built were destroyed by the British after his death. Tripe was in charge of one of the battalions of the 12th Madras Native Infantry, a regiment funded in 1824 and stationed in Madras. In 1855, Tripe was commissioned to take photographs for the British East India Company and the Madras Presidency which resulted in six albums.
  • Plate 7 from the fourth set of Thomas and William Daniell’s ‘Oriental Scenery,’ which they called ‘Twenty-four Landscapes.’ The views progress northwards from the far south at Cape Comorin to Srinagar in Garhwal in the Himalaya mountains. Sankari Drug is an isolated hill-fort 2345 feet above sea-level, standing 1500 feet above the plain of south-west Salem in Tamil Nadu, and the summit is defended by no less than ten successive walls and gates. It was fortified from at least the days of the Vijayanagar kings, and successive rulers of Mysore added further defensive works. William wrote in his Journal, ‘…on the Top are several reservoirs of good Water which we were informed was sufficient to supply 5,000 men for Six Months-there are also Granaries for Rice, Sugar, Ghee, Oil, Powder &c.’

  • This photograph of Ryakotta hill was taken by Linnaeus Tripe in 1858 and is part of a collection entitled ‘Photographic Views of Ryakotta and other places, in the Salem District…with descriptive notes, by J.A.C. Boswell, Esq., M.C.S.’ (Madras, 1858). General view of the hill from below: ”The view represents the hill looking N.N.W. It is about 900 feet high, and the table land of the Baramahl is about 1200 or 1300 feet above the level of the sea”. Tripe was in charge of one of the battalions of the 12th Madras Native Infantry, a regiment funded in 1824 and stationed in Madras. In 1855, Tripe was commissioned to take photographs for the British East India Company and the Madras Presidency which resulted in six albums, one of which was of Ryakotta.

  • Plate thirty five from ‘Picturesque Scenery in the Kingdom of Mysore’ by James Hunter. This aquatint is based on a picture by Hunter depicting hills north-east of Salem in Tamil Nadu. This area was know by the British as Baramahal, but this name is no longer used. A mosque can be seen cradled into the lower level of the hills.

Remains of the Fort at Palkod. [Palakoddu.]

  • fort at Palakoddu was taken by Linnaeus Tripe in 1858 and is part of a collection entitled ‘Photographic Views of Ryakotta and other places, in the Salem District…with descriptive notes, by J.A.C. Boswell, Esq., M.C.S.’ (Madras, 1858). The accompanying text reads, ‘As represented here the Fort is now a complete ruin. Every where throughout India the memory of past dynasties is passing into oblivion, and the traditions of by gone days have little interest for the people. The numerous ruins of ancient strongholds scattered throughout the land, tell their own tale of the anarchy which generally prevailed, when each chieftain held his own by force, and provided himself with a castle for defence….’. Tripe was in charge of one of the battalions of the 12th Madras Native Infantry, a regiment funded in 1824 and stationed in Madras. In 1855, Tripe was commissioned to take photographs for the British East India Company and the Madras Presidency which resulted in six albums, one of which was of Ryakotta.

Avenue of Banian Trees [Salem District]

  • This photograph of an avenue of was taken by Linnaeus Tripe (1822-1902) in 1858 and published in an album entitled ‘Photographic Views of Ryakotta and other places, in the Salem District…with descriptive notes, by J.A.C. Boswell, Esq., M.C.S.’ (Madras, 1858). Descriptive notes accompanying the album read, ‘In planting avenues along the sides of the public roads we have followed the example of our Muhammedan predecessors when they held the country…’ The precise location of the scene is unidentified. Tripe was in charge of one of the battalions of the 12th Madras Native Infantry, a regiment funded in 1824 and stationed in Madras.

Oosor [Hosur], Salem District.

  • Salem from the ‘Vibart Collection of Views in South India’ taken by an unknown photographer about 1860. King Rama Natha of the Hoysala Dynasty founded the town of Hosur in the year 1290; this Dynasty came to an end after the death of Pallavaraya III. During the period of British rule in India, the Salem collector Walton Illiat Lockardt made Hosur the head quarters for the Salem district. This view shows temples on the hillside.

Gate of Hill Fort at Ryakotta

  • This photograph was taken by Linnaeus Tripe (1822-1902) in 1858 and published in an album entitled ‘Photographic Views of Ryakotta and other places, in the Salem District…with descriptive notes, by J.A.C. Boswell, Esq., M.C.S’. (Madras, 1858). Tripe was in charge of one of the battalions of the 12th Madras Native Infantry, a regiment funded in 1824 and stationed in Madras. In 1855, Tripe was commissioned to take photographs for the British East India Company and the Madras Presidency which resulted in six albums, one of which was of Ryakotta.

Gopura and stambha of the Kailasanatha Temple, Taramangalam 2700

  • Kailasanatha Temple at Taramangalam, near Salem in Tamil Nadu, taken by an unknown photographer in c.1870, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. This temple, dedicated to Shiva, bears inscriptions from the Hoysala, Pandya and Vijayanagar periods. Part of the temple existed as early as 1260 but the majority was built in the first half of the 17th century. The temple consists of many enclosures or prakarams, entered through a pyramidal gopura, a five tiered gateway covered with stucco figures of the various divinities. This view shows the gopura with a stambha or pillar in the foreground.
  • The temple is embellished with remarkable sculptures depicting scenes from the epic of the Ramayana, and tortoise, fish, monkeys and crocodiles carved on the walls and the granite roof.

Hill fort, Turnacoonda. 6 May 1792.

  • Pencil drawing of Turnacoonda hill fort by Thomas (1749-1840) and William (1769-1837) Daniell, dated 6 May 1792. Inscribed on the back in ink is: ‘226. Turnacoonda’; and in pencil: ‘No.30.’ The fort is perhaps Munesvarakonda. William Daniell refers to ‘Teermacoonda’ in his journal on 6 May, a hill-fort between Anchettidurgam and Niligiridurgam (Salem District).
  • Thomas Daniell and his nephew William arrived in Calcutta in 1786 and spent the following nine years travelling through virtually unknown parts of India observing and recording with skill and accuracy the diverse scenery and architecture they encountered. William kept a journal which along with the notes inscribed on their pencil drawings, colour wash, watercolours and oil paint provided a thorough record of this strange and beautiful country for an eager western audience.

Small temple and swing at Bikampulli.

  • This photograph of a small temple and swing at Bikampulli was taken by Linnaeus Tripe in 1858 and published in an album entitled ‘Photographic Views of Ryakotta and other places, in the Salem District…with descriptive notes, by J.A.C. Boswell, Esq., M.C.S.’ (Madras, 1858). The volume is one of a series of publications issued in 1858 from Tripe’s work as Government Photographer to the Madras Presidency. Descriptive notes accompanying the album read, ‘The little village of Bikampulli is situated in the Denkenikotta Taluq and is about eleven and a half miles from Ryakotta. The small temple represented in the view, is dedicated to Mariyamma one of the inferior goddesses whose worship is particularly popular in the Salem District. It was erected about 20 years ago…The swing which occupies a prominent place in the foreground, was also erected for performance of a vow by which a woman named Balasami had bound herself in a time of severe sickness. On her recovery she erected the swing for the recreation of the goddess’. Tripe was in charge of one of the battalions of the 12th Madras Native Infantry, a regiment funded in 1824 and stationed in Madras. In 1855, Tripe was commissioned to take photographs for the British East India Company and the Madras Presidency which resulted in six albums, one of which was of Ryakotta.

Namakkal

  • Pencil and wash drawing by Thomas (1749-1840) and William Daniell (1769-1837) of a scene, possibly near Cotumba in South India, dated c.1792. The image is inscribed on the back in ink: ‘Nr 68. Near Cotumba:’ in pencil: ‘No 61.’ This drawing might represent Cottumpallee, between Tiruchengodu and Namakkal, which the Daniell’s passed on 30th May, 1792.

  • This photograph of a view of Namakkal, was taken by Linnaeus Tripe (1822-1902) in 1858 and published in an album entitled ‘Photographic Views of Ryakotta and other places, in the Salem District…with descriptive notes, by J.A.C. Boswell, Esq., M.C.S’. (Madras, 1858). Tripe was in charge of one of the battalions of the 12th Madras Native Infantry, a regiment funded in 1824 and stationed in Madras. In 1855, Tripe was commissioned to take photographs for the British East India Company and the Madras Presidency which resulted in six albums.

View of the country looking N.N.W. from the top of Ryakotta Hill.

  • This photograph of a view of the country as seen from top of the Ryakotta hill, was taken by Linnaeus Tripe in 1858 and published in an album entitled ‘Photographic Views of Ryakotta and other places, in the Salem District…with descriptive notes, by J.A.C. Boswell, Esq., M.C.S.’ (Madras, 1858). View looking across the summit towards distant hills: ”There is a magnificent view from the top of the Ryakotta Hill that will well repay the difficulty of ascent. The whole country is spread out below as a map. It is pleasing to see the large amount of cultivation with its artificial irrigation of tanks and channels, all betokening the progress of industry…Everything speaks in language that cannot be mistaken that a brighter day has already dawned on India”. Tripe was in charge of one of the battalions of the 12th Madras Native Infantry, a regiment funded in 1824 and stationed in Madras. In 1855, Tripe was commissioned to take photographs for the British East India Company and the Madras Presidency which resulted in six albums, of which one is of Ryakotta.

Shevaroyen, from Yercaud

  • Photograph taken by Nicholas and Company in the 1870s, of the Lake in the Shevaroy Hills of the Eastern Ghats near Salem in Tamil Nadu. Now a busy tourist resort, in the 19th century the little town of Yercaud was established near the Lake as a hill-station for the British. At 5000 ft, the climate was salubrious, and it became famous for its schools for European children, and silver-oak shaded coffee estates surrounding the imposing bungalows of the plantation owners. The Shevaroy hills are rich in minerals such as bauxite. Before the British ‘discovered’ the hills in the early 19th century, the original settlers were the hill tribes known as Malayalis. The highest peak has a natural cave which is used as a temple in which the deities Servarayan and Kaveri are worshipped (perhaps rooted in ancient tribal gods), and which attracts huge numbers of devotees for its annual festival in May.
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