Posted on: 20 February 2015

View of Nandidrug (Bangalore), with the batteries firing during the siege - 1791

Water-colour painting of the hill-fort of Nandidrug in Karnataka made during the siege of 1791 by Colin MacKenzie (1754-1821). Inscribed on the front in ink is: 'No.1. View of Nundidroog with the Batteries firing on' 'the Place during the Siege of 1791.'

Nandidrug is set on top of an imposing perpendicular rock 1,500 feet high composed chiefly of granite, gneiss and hornblende. On top of the rock is a broad plateau on which is situated a tank fed by natural springs called the Amrita Sarovar or Lake of Nectar. The fortress was considered impregnable by the various native chieftains and princes who ruled in the area. During the time of Haidar Ali (c. 1722-1782) and Tipu Sultan (1753-1799) the fort was encircled by a double line of ramparts. It was attacked and taken by the British army under Lord Cornwallis on 19 October 1791. The artist, Colin MacKenzie, was congratulated by Cornwallis for the part he played in this siege. The position of the batteries had been largely determined by him.

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