Posted on: 11 March 2014

Is this the Residency?
By Serish Nanisetti
The Hindu

That age, this day, when the grandeur got a reality check after Hyderabadis attacked the might of British Empire on July 17, 1857. Serish Nanisetti finds out how geography has been changed by history

The river’s tent is broken; the last fingers of leaf Clutch and sink into the wet bank.T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland Nostalgia has a quality of poignancy that only reality can outmatch. On the top right is the artist’s take on the Residency building on the banks of Musi five years after its completion. Capt. Robert Melville Grindlay drew it in 1913 showing all the pomp, ceremony and grandeur of the British might with rearing horses, camels, caparisoned elephants and all the pillars and buildings that showed the people on the other side of the Musi who was calling the shots in their country. The painting shows the history as well as the geography.

The other image of reality is to the right bottom where the Residency building is just a dome and a few Corinthian pillars to be spotted from the fourth floor terrace of Shankarlal Jain’s house in Esamiya Bazar.

The road leads on to Moulvi Allauddin road which skirts the Musi from where perhaps Grindlay sat down with his paper and pencil (the coloured engraving was done much later by William Fredrick Miller). Now, the river has receded like Eliot’s Ganga and edge of the river has been filled up for temples, shops, garages and homes. It was skirting this road that Moulvi Allauddin led a few hundred people after the namaz at Mecca Masjid to attack the Residency building on July 17, 1857.

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Plate from:
Scenery, Costumes, and Architecture, Chiefly on the Western Side of India, 6 parts in one vol., first edition, hand-coloured engraved general title, 36 hand-coloured aquatint plates after Grindlay, Westall, Stanfield, Roberts, Daniel and others, all on thick paper.

"Next to Daniell the most attractive colour plate book on India. One of the few books in which the name of the colourist is mentioned. viz. J.B. Hogarth" (Tooley). The work was originally issued in six parts comprising 6 plates each, taken from a collection of sketches and drawings made by Grindlay while he was in the service of the East India Company.

Source: Bonhams

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Please Write Complete Name : Captain ROBERT MELVILLE GRINDLAY I have handled the folio and open it for Restoration & framing As Manager Art & Antiquity (Curator) at for The Imperial Hotel New Delhi

what is this scene about? Is it Calcutta - when etc.

Thank you Arindam Sen for this most appropriate article.

There are two pictures in the article...Then and Now.



A further, extended series of photographs that detail the increasingly dilapidated state of the former British Residency at Hyderabad -- designed by Samuel Russell c. 1803 -- as below :

Julian, these pictures were taken when restoration work had commenced or just prior.