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of whitewash which the present low order of priests consider the most
appropriate way of adding to the beauty of the most delicate sculptures.
Notwithstanding this, however, their outline can always be traced, and where
the whitewash has not been applied, or has been worn off, their beauty comes
out with wonderful sharpness.

The richness and variety of pattern displayed in the windows of the porch
are astonishing. These are twenty-eight in number, and all are different.
Some are pierced with merely conventional patterns, generally star-shaped,
and with foliaged bands between ; others are interspersed with figures and
mythological subjects — for instance, the Varaha avatar, and other scenes
connected with the worship of Vishnu, to whom the temple is dedicated.
The pierced slabs themselves, however, are hardly so remarkable as the
richly-carved base on which they rest, and the deep cornice which over-
shadows and protects them. The amount of labour, indeed, which each
facet of this porch displays is such as, I believe, never was bestowed on any
surface of equal extent in any building in the world ; and though the design

' This dome fell in and is now beinsr rebuilt.


is not of the highest order of art, it is elegant and appropriate, and never
ofifends against good taste. [The names of some of the sculptors are
Balligrdme Ddsuja, his son Chdvana, Chikka Hampa, Malliyanna, Mdchdri,
Mdyana, Yallana's son Masada, and Kdtoja's son Ndg6ja.]*

The sculptures at the base of the vim.-ina, which have not been white-
washed, are as elaborate as those of the porch, in some places more so ; and
the mode in which the undersides of the cornices have been elaborated and
adorned is such as is only to be found in temples of this class. The upper
part of the tower is anomalous. It may be that it has been whitewashed
and repaired till it has assumed its present discordant appearance, which
renders it certainly a blot on the whole design. My own impression rather
is, that, like many others of its class, it was left unfinished, and the upper
part added at subsequent periods. Its original form most probably was that
of the little pavilions that adorn its portals, which have all the peculiar
features of the style— the flat band on each face, the three star-like projec-
tions between, and the peculiar crowning ornament of the style. The plan
of the great tower, and the presence of the pavilions where they stand, seems
to prove almost beyond doubt that this was the original design ; but the
design may have been altered as it progressed, or it may, as I suspect, have
been changed afterwards.

Somnathpiir. — The building at Somnathpur is a single but complete
whole. The temple is triple, the cells with their sikharas being attached
to a square pillared hall, to the fourth side of which a portico, now in
ruins, is attached, in this instance of very moderate dimensions. It is
impossible without illustrations to give an idea of the elegance of out-
line and marvellous elaboration of detail that characterizes these shrines.
The temple stands on a raised terrace intended to correspond with the
ground plan of the temple, each of the numerous angles being supported
by an elephant. The whole stands in a court-yard, surrounded by an
open verandah, containing a cell between every set of columns. The
exterior walls of the temple are carved with an elaborate profusion of
detail, the arrangement of the subjects being similar to that at Halebid.
The small canopies with pendants, which cover each compartment of
the antarala, are all, like those of the Balagami temples, carved with a
different design, on which the architect has expended the utmost fertility
of his skill.

Malnad. — The temples of the Malnad regions in the west are of a
totally different style, corresponding to that of Canara. The frame-
work is of wood, standing on a terrace of lateritc, and the whole covered
with a tiled and gabled roof. The wooden pillars and joists are often
well carved, but not in the highest style of art. Better specimens of

» One of them has sculptured to the life a fly, of the natural size, as if settled on
one of the figures ; thus rivalling the feat of Apelles, the most celebrated of the
Grecian painters, and the one who accompanied Alexander the Great into Asia.


this order of architecture must most proljably l)e souf^ht Ijcyond the
western limits of Mysore.

Saracenic style. — The best examples of Saracenic architecture in
Mysore are to be found at Sira, and are doubtless to be classed under
the Mughal style. It is true that the Pathan state of Bijapur, distin-
guished for its architecture, was the first Musalman power that subdued
the north and east, but the governors of its Carnatic possessions being
Mahrattas, no buildings of note seem to have been erected in the
I'athan style. At Sante Bennur is an imposing mosque erected by
Randulha Khan, together with some elegant pavilions in the centre of
and around the tank in front of it, built on the original Hindu work of
Hanumappa Nayak.

]>ija23ur was taken by the Mughals under Aurangzeb in 1687, and
the subjection of the Carnatic provinces belonging to it immediately
followed, ending in the establishment of Sira as the capital of the new
territory acquired in Mysore. The architectural remains now existing
are the Jama Masjid at Sira, and several tombs, partly ruined, both
at Sira and Goribidnur. The domes at Sira are not large, but of
a very light and elegant design, being well raised on a sort of floral
cup, the petals of which press close round the base. These struc-
tures have survived through being of stone. It is on record that a
palace was erected by one of the governors of Sira, named Dilavar
Khan, of such elegance that it was adopted as the model on which
Haidar and Tipu built their palaces at Bangalore and Seringa-
patam. But all three were of such perishable materials, though richly
decorated with gilding and colour, that hardly anything now remains
of either of them.^ We have, however, some buildings of the latter

^ The Bangalore palace was used for the offices of the Administration until 1868,
when, being no longer safe, it was abandoned, and the greater part has since been

Of the palace at Seruigapatam, Buchanan says that it was a very large building,
surrounded by a massy and lofty wall of stone and mud ; and though outwardly of a
mean appearance, containing some handsome apartments, but ill-ventilated. The
private apartments of Tipu formed a square, in one side of which were the rooms that
he himself used. The other three sides of the square were occupied with warehouses,
in which he had deposited a vast variety of goods, for he acted not only as a prince,
Init also as a merchant. These goods were occasionally distributed among the
amildars with orders to sell them, on the Sultan's account, at a price far above their
real value, which was done by forcing a share of them upon every man in proportion
to his supposed wealth.

The apartment most commonly used by Tipu was a large lofty hall, open in front
after the Musalman fashion, and on the other three sides entirely shut up from ventila-
tion. From the principal front of the palace, which served as a revenue office, and
as a place from whence the Sultan occasionally showed himself to the populace, the
chief entry into the private square was through a strong narrow passage, wherein were


period still maintained in good order. They are the Makbara or
mausoleum of Haidar's family at Kolar, the great mosque at Seringa-
patam, with the Gumbaz or mausoleum of Haidar and Tipu in the
Lai Bagh at the same place, and the summer palace known as the
Darya Daulat. Of this latter building, Mr. Rees, who has travelled
much in India and Persia, says : — " The lavish decorations, which
cover every inch of wall from first to last, from top to bottom, recall
the palaces of Ispahan, and resemble nothing that I know in India." '
There are also tombs at Channapatna and a mosque at Nagar.

The mausoleum of Haidar and Tipu is an effective building. The
central apartment, containing tlie tombs, is covered with a great dome,
and is surrounded with a colonnade of pillars of polished black
serpentine, the inner entrance being enriched with doors of ebony
inlaid with ivory, the gift of Lord Dalhousie. The same Governor-
General, on his visit to Mysore in 1855, directed the restoration and
repair of the Darya Daulat, then falling to decay, in commemoration of
its having been the residence of the great Duke of Wellington. An
account of it will be found under Seringapatam in Vol. II.

Li)igdyits. — The Lingayits have adopted what seems to me a some-
what distinctive style in their pul)lic buildings, such as mathas, tomb.s,
etc., which is a combination of the Hindu and Saracenic. The best
specimens perhaps are the tombs of the Coorg Rajas at Mercara, but
there are buildings at Nagar, Chitaldroog, Nayakanhatti and other
places which may serve as illustrations.

In connection with Hindu architecture may be mentioned the rude
Ijut substantial and durable bridges across the Kaveri at Seringapatam
and at Sivasamudram. The latter are said to be 700 years old. The
former was erected under the regency of Purnaiya, and by him named,
as stated in an inscription at the place, the ^^'ellesley Bridge, in honour
of the then Governor-General. It is composed, as also is the other, of
rough stone pillars, firmly let into the rocky bed of the stream. These
support stone brackets, on which rest tne stones forming the framework
of the bridge, upon which again the floor of the roadway is laid.

Of Anglo-Indian architecture perhaps the less said the better. \'et
there are structures deserving of remark. Among these is the de

chained four tigers. Within these was the hall in which Tipu wrote, and into wliioh
very few persons except Mir Satiak were ever admitted. Immediately behind this
was the bed-chamber, which communicated with the hall by a door and two wintlows,
and was shut up on every other side. The door was strongly secured on the inside,
and a close iron grating defended the windows. The Sultan, lest any person should
fire upon him while in bed, sle])l in a hammock which was suspended from the roof
by chains in such a situation as to be invisible through the windows. The only other
]>assage from the private square was into the zenana or women's aiiarlmenls.
^ The Duke of Clarence in Southern India, ji. 8l.


Havilland arch at Seringapatam. This engineer officer seems to have-
been of somewhat erratic genius. He proposed the construction of a
brick arch, of a span greatly exceeding anything that had at that time
been attempted, and on his design being set aside as visionary, resolved
to demonstrate its practicability, and thus built the great arch (112 feet
span) across the garden attached to his own house, where it still stands-
as a monument of his skill. ^ But, as a rule, it is perhaps not too much,
to say that in public, no less than in private, buildings erected under
European direction all pretensions to architecture were too long ignored
as being totally unconnected with engineering. Of late years, however,
under Colonel (afterwards Sir Richard) Sankey as Chief Engineer, and
his successors, more attention has been paid to this point, and several,
effective buildings have been erected, those on the largest scale being
at Bangalore and Mysore.

Engraving. — Of the art of engraving the best examples are to be
found in the numerous inscriptions on copper or stone scattered over
the country. Some of the oldest on stone (as those of the Bana kings-
at Srinivaspur) are deeply and heavily cut, on ponderous and massive
slabs, as if by the hands of a giant race. But the Kadamba inscription
of the fifth century on a stone pillar at Talgunda is a beautiful example
of regular and ornamental engraving in the so-called box-headed
character. Some of the old rock inscriptions at S'ravana Belgola are
also fine specimens. The Ganga grants on copper of the fifth to the
eighth centuries are most artistically incised, both as to form and
execution. Many of these are the work of a Vis'vakarma, and as the
Kadamba inscription of about the third century on a stone pillar at
Malavalli, in the Cave character, was also engraved by a Vis'vakarma,
it is evident that there was a family of this name attached to the court
as engravers, first under the Kadambas and then under the Gangas.
With the Chalukyas the style improves, and later on the Cholas
covered some of the eastern temples with inscriptions in old Tamil
deeply and well cut. But it is under the Hoysalas, perhaps, that we
find the most perfect specimens. Their inscriptions, on beautifully
polished slabs of hornblende, are masterpieces of the art. The letters
are of ornamental design, varied to suit their positions, and the whole
so well fitted and harmonized together that no space is left where a
single additional letter could be introduced. Sometimes the initial
letters are formed into designs imitating birds or other animals.

Wood carving. — Mysore is famous for its ornamental sandal-wood
carving. It is done by a class called Giidigar, who are settled in the
Shimoga District, chiefly at Sorab. The designs with which they

^ He also designed the large room without pillars in the old Residency at Mysore^
and the wide circular roof of St. Andrew's Kirk at Madras.


entirely cover the boxes, desks and other articles made, are of an
extremely involved and elaborate pattern, consisting for the most part
of intricate interlacing foliage and scroll work, completely enveloping
medallions containing the representation of some Hindu deity or
subject of mythology, and here and there relieved by the introduction
of animal forms. The details, though in themselves often highly
incongruous, are grouped and blended with a skill that seems to be
instinctive in the East, and form an exceedingly rich and appropriate
ornamentation, decidedly oriental in style, which leaves not the smallest
portion of the surface of the wood untouched. The material is hard,
and the minuteness of the work demands the utmost care and patience.
Hence the carving of a desk or cabinet involves a labour of many
months, and the artists are said to lose their eyesight at a compara-
tively early age. European designs they imitate to perfection.

Many old Hindu houses contain beautiful specimens of ornamental
wood carving in the frames of doors, and in pillars and beams.

Inlaid work. — The art of inlaying ebony and rosewood with ivory,
which seems to have been cultivated by Muhammadans, and of which
the doors of the mausoleum at Seringapatam are good examples, has
latterly been revived at Mysore, and many useful and ornamental
articles are now made there of this kind of intaglio. Similar work is
also met with in choice musical instruments, especially the v'lna.

Music. — It is perhaps not superfluous to refer to this subject, as
Captain Day, who is an authority, says : — " There are two distinct
systems of music in use in India, the Hindustani and the Karnatik.
The latter, practised chiefly in Southern India, may be called the
national system ; the Hindustani shows traces of Arabian and Persian
influence. The Hindu scale has, possibly from a natural transfor-
mation tending to simplicity, become practically a half tone one,
allowing of the performance of expressive melodic music capable of the
greatest refinement of treatment, and altogether outside the experience
of the Western musician. As regards the apparent similarity of the
Indian and European scales, it must be remembered that the latter
were evolved in process of time from those of ancient Cireece. It is
tolerably certain that the music of the whole ancient world consisted
entirely of melody, and that harmony or counterpoint, in the modern
acceptation of the word, was altogether unknown. The historian
Strabo shows that (Ireek influence extended to India, and also that
Greek musicians of a certain school attributed the greater part of the
science of music to India. Even now, most of the old Greek modes
are represented in the Indian system.'" The study of music in this

' Notes on Indian Music, a lecture deliveretl before the Musical Association in


country originutcd, perhaps, in the chanting of the Sama Veda, and
sacrificial rites, it is said, lost their efificacy unless three Brahmans
were present, two playing on the vina and the third chanting.' The
designation of the seven notes by the initial letters of their names is
older tlian tlie time of Panini (fourth century n.c.) This notation
passed from the Hindus to the Persians, and from these again to the
Arabs, and was introduced into European music by Guido d'Arezzo at
the beginning of the eleventh century. Our word gamut, indeed, is
supposed to come from the Sanskrit grama, Prakrit gdma, a musical
scale. ^


The most generally practised industrial arts of native growth are those
connected with metallurgy, pottery, carpentry, tanning, glass-making, the
production of textile fabrics or the raw material for them, rope-making, the
expression of oil and saccharine matter, and the manufacture of earth
salt. Other arts have doubtless sprung up in the large centres of popula-
tion, chiefly in connection with the wants of Europeans or under their
instruction, but the above are the principal ones extensively practised
among the people, except the last, which is now partially prohibited.

Gold-mining. — The most remarkable industrial development of late
years in Mysore has been in connection with gold-mining. This State
is now the principal gold-producing country in India, the output for
1894 being valued at 14^ million rupees against only Rs. 86,352 from
other parts. Mysore has thus acquired a definite place among the gold-
fields of the world.'*

The main source of the metal at present is the Kolar gold-fields,
situated to the east of a low ridge in the Bowringpet taluq. The
existence here of the remains of old workings has long been known
(see above, p. 32).^ But it was not till 1873 that any special attention
was directed to them. In that year Mr. M. F. Lavelle, a resident in
Bangalore, retired from the army, with some knowledge of geology,
applied to the Government for the exclusive privilege of mining in the

February 1894; sec also an article by E. Stradiot in Mad. Joiirn. Lit. and Sc,

' Stringed instruments played with the bow were considered vulgar, while wind
and percussion instruments were left to the lower classes.

^ See Weber's Htst. Ind. Lit. , 272.

•'' The output in the principal gold-producing countries in 1895 ^"^s valued at —
United States, ;iC9)348,ooo ; Australasia, ;^9,i67,ooo; Transvaal, ;,{^8, 896,000 ;
Russia, ;^7,o8i,ooo ; Mexico, ;^i, 167,000. Join. Soc. Arts, xxiv., 525.

Nothing has been found in the mines to show at what period they were excavated,
or why they were abandoned.


Kolar District, his thoughts being principally directed to the possibility
of finding coal. His request was granted on certain terms, the
principal of which, in addition to the maintenance of existing rights,
were, — liberty to select separate pieces of land, not in excess of ten, no
one piece to exceed two square miles in area ; each block to be leased
for twenty years, with exclusive mining rights ; a royalty of 10 percent.
on net sale proceeds of all ores, coal, &c., and of 20 per cent on
that of precious stones, to be paid to the Mysore Government. If the
land should be arable waste, a premium of thirty times the assessment
was to be paid, besides the annual rent fixed by the revenue authorities.
On these conditions Mr. Lavelle commenced operations by sinking a
shaft in 1875 near Urigam. But finding that large capital would be
required for carrying out the work, he next year, with the approval of
Government, transferred all his rights and concessions to Colonel
Beresford. This officer, with some friends among racing men, formed
a syndicate known as the Kolar Concessionaires, who took up the
matter in earnest. Certain modifications were made, on their
representations, in the terms of the concession. Thus the time for
prospecting was extended to 1883 ; the selected lands were leased for
thirty instead of twenty years; and the royalties of 10 and 20 per
cent, were reduced to 5 and 10. On these terms twenty square
miles, forming the Kolar gold-field {see above, p. 43), were from time to
time taken up by the Concessionaires, and the royalty and rent claimed
by Government were further optionally allowed to be commuted by a
present payment of Rs. 55,000 per square mile.

By 1 88 1 the Concessionaires had secured the valuable aid of Messrs.
John Taylor and Sons, a firm of mining engineers in London. A
general rush was made for gold, and rules for mining leases in other
parts were drawn up on similar terms, with the addition (in order to
discourage mere speculators) that a deposit of Rs. 1,000 was to be paid
for every square mile applied for, and an assessment of eight annas an
acre paid on all unarable land. If after two years the Government
were not satisfied with the working, the right was reserved to levy an
assessment of Rs. 5 an acre in lieu of royalty,

Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 62 of 98)