Photography at Hampi 3
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Daily, Starts 13 Nov 2008
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Immigration Museum

Photography at Hampi [1] [2] [3]

Short history of photography at Hampi:
In mid-19th century photography provided a new medium and was considered essential for the documentation and preservation of these historic sites. Photographers at Hampi were undaunted by technical, physical and logistical challenges of accessing the site, to leave an extraordinary record of scientific genius and commitment.

Alexander Greenlaw was considered the first photographer to reach Vijayanagara in 1855. In 1981 some 60 waxed-paper negatives of his were discovered offering a unique insight into imperial Hindu kingdom. Greenslaw tirelessly capturing temples, shrines, palaces and pleasure pavilions and, the dramatic landscape surrounding. Subsequent photographers included Edmund Lyon and Nicholas & Co. This collection belongs to the Alkazi Foundation and is held currently New Delhi. Refer to a new publication:

VIJAYANAGARA; Splendour in Ruins, George Michell et al, Mapin Publishing (for Alkazi Foundation), 2008.

Re-Tracing:
In 1983, taking the same angle and light condition John Gollings retraced the positions from the Greenlaw set of images from 1855 and captured these exact scenes, some 127 years later. In the comparison of the two images, one can observe the changes that have taken place in the monuments over time. This material does not appear in the exhibition but is published in:

Gollings, J., 1988, Greenlaw Pictures: An Appreciation. In, Vijayanagara Through the Eyes of Alexander J. Greenlaw 1856 [and] John Gollings 1983, edited by M.S. Nagaraja Rao, Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore.