Panoramic past

Print edition : May 17, 2013

A view of the Annamalaiyar Temple complex at Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, by Wiele & Klein, the leading photographic studio in South India from the 1880s to the Second World War. During the War, Klein, a German citizen, was declared an enemy citizen and the studio was run by the Custodian of Enemy Property. Photo: Archaeological Survey of India.

An 1864 signed photograph by Samuel Bourne of the temples and bazaar of Chamba, Himachal Pradesh.

This 1862 photograph of the Bailie Guard Gate is by Shepherd & Robertson, the studio established by Charles Shepherd and Arthur Robertson in Agra in 1862.The ruins of the Bailie Gate of the British Residency in Lucknow were an iconic symbol and reminder of the happenings of 1857 and this image evokes the strong British sentiment connected with the event. Photo: Archaeological Survey of India

An early photograph of Virupaksha Temple in Vijaynagar at Hampi, from the ASI's Madras Albums, Volume 58. Photo: The Archaeological Survey of India

Teli-ka-Mandir at Gwalior Fort, by Lala Deen Dayal. Repairs to the temple between 1881 and 1883 were supervised by Major Keith (possibly he is the Englishman on the steps in the photograph). In 1880, Keith, an officer of the Royal Scots stationed at Gwalior, had rescued the temple from being used as a coffee shop by the other officers. Photo: The Archaeological Survey of India

Excavations at the Indus Valley Civilisation site of Mohenjo-daro, now in Pakistan (though the ASI albums on this remain in India). This image is marked Block 2, House 4, Room 49. The ASI officer in the photograph is Rakhal Das Banerji, who excavated Mohenjo-daro in 1922. Photo: The Archaeological Survey of India

The seated Buddha at Kasia, Kushinagar district, Uttar Pradesh, making the Bhumisparsha mudra, or earth-touching gesture. This was possibly photographed by Ghulam Nabi, a draftsman with the ASI, in 1911. Photo: The Archaeological Survey of India

Sher Shah Suri's tomb at Sasaram from the ASI's Bengal Albums. One of the noblest specimens of Pathan architecture in India, this monumental mausoleum stands in the middle of a square tank, reflected in its waters. This was the largest Islamic tomb in India at the time of its construction around the mid-16th century. This photograph of the site, by Joseph David Beglar of the ASI, is from the 1870s. Photo: The Archaeological Survey of India

The book showcases treasures from the ASI’s archives—among them, works of well-known photographers, some never published before.
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