Skip to main content

Ancient Paintings of Chittagong

Chittagong is my home town. I would never know how much I love it if I did not have left this place. I found these priceless paintings of my beautiful home town (along with the captions) in the Facebook photo album of Nazmul Chowdhury Sharun. I immediately thought I should share them with everyone here. I have put them here just the way I found them. Have a look...

A view of Chittagong (Bengal) with river in distance. March 1813

[Water-color of Chittagong with a river in the distance by James George (1782-1828) in March 1813. Inscribed on the front in ink is: 'Chittagong. J. George. March, 1813.'
Chittagong, located in Bangladesh at the point where the Karnaphuli River empties into the Bay of Bengal, is a significant port and has been used for centuries by Arakanese, Arab, Persian, Portuguese and Mughal sailors. Under the Portuguese in the 16th century the town was known as Porto Grande and became an important trading center. It was captured by the Nawab of Bengal in 1666 and fell to the East India Company in 1760; 60 years later it was claimed by the emperor of Burma (now known as Myanmar) and this led to conflict between Burma and the United Kingdom in 1824. After Independence in 1947 Chittagong was part of East Pakistan but became part of the new nation of Bangladesh in 1971. Today Chittagong is the second largest city in Bangladesh, an important commercial center and the site of a steel mill and oil refinery.]
View of Chittagong c.1825, showing the Washing Green.

[From an album compiled with his brother William

Watercolor by Thomas Prinsep (1800-1830), of a view of Chittagong, in Bangladesh, dated c.1825. This image, from an album compiled with his brother William, shows the washing green, where cloths were laid out to dry in the sun, and is inscribed in the original sketch book: 'Chittagong looking inland'. Thomas was in charge of the surveying of the Sunderbunds; a large area of fresh and saltwater mangrove swamp in Bengal covering sixty to eighty miles and consisting of flat marshy islands covered with dense forests, inhabited by crocodiles and forming the final retreat of the Bengal Tiger. In 1826, after the outbreak of the First Burmese War, he was sent to Chittagong, formerly in East Bengal.]
Moored boats from Arakan or Chittagong

[Watercolor by Thomas (Prinsep, 1800-1830) of moored boats from Arakan or Chittagong, dated c.1828.
The image is inscribed on the album page: 'Mugh boats'. Mugh is the name commonly applied to natives of Arakan or Chittagong. Thomas Prinsep came from a family who served in India for three generations; five of his brothers were also in the country. Thomas was in charge of the surveying of the Sunderbunds; a large area of fresh and saltwater mangrove swamp in Bengal covering sixty to eighty miles and consisting of flat marshy islands covered with dense forests, inhabited by crocodiles and forming the final retreat of the Bengal Tiger. He made a detailed survey of the area and his maps of the 24 Parganas District formed part of the Hodges map of the Sunderbunds published in 1831. The limits of the Sunderbunds forest is known as 'The Princeps Line'. Thomas was sent to Chittagong in 1826.]
Village scene with thatched hut, villagers, bullock and river (Bengal)

[Pen-and-ink drawing of a village scene with a thatched hut, villagers, a bullock and river (Bengal) by Jane Blagrave (fl. 1809-1840) in 1837. Inscribed on the front of the mount in pencil is: ' J. Blagrave. Chittagong. 1837.'
Jane Blagrave was married to Charles George Blagrave (died 1836) of the East India Company's Bengal Service on 26th January 1809. This drawing is one of several that she made between 1820 and 1837 to be included in an album which originally included flower drawings signed 'JMAB'. The title page of the album was inscribed 'Mrs. C.G. Blagrave, 1837' and, opposite, 'C. Blagrave 1876'. The dealer who acquired the album was told that Jane Blagrave left India about 1840 and went to Ireland.]
Fragment of map of Chittagong (Bengal), 23 January, 1818, by John Cheape, Bengal Engineers.

[Pen-and-ink and water-color fragment of a map of Chittagong by John Cheape(1792-1875) in 1818.]

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Heroin: The Deadly Addiction

“People believe that heroin is super, but you lose everything: job, parents, friends, confidence, your home. Lying and stealing become a habit. You no longer respect anyone or anything.”- Pete

"Heroin", one of the deadliest drugs of this world. According to BBC, there are 50 million regular users of heroin, cocaine and synthetic drugs worldwide. In most cases, these 50 million users didn't even realize when they became addicted. They started taking it as fun, as experiment, as accompanying someone who was already addicted.
Let's hear it from the voice of some people who eventually got addicted to heroin. For privacy issue, names or any kind of IDs of those people are not disclosed here.
Story 1:
"Was already mentally addicted to oxy, with the beginning point of some mild physical addiction symptoms. Oxy was expensive though, and my tolerance was going up. One day I was with my friend (who has become the biggest heroin user I know fwiw) and we were getting some …

What Color Is My Parachute?

Inspired by the 'Self Inventory' chapter of 'What Color Is Your Parachute?' by Richard N. Bolles, last night I started drawing my thoughts on paper. I wanted to identify my real passion. It turned out to be something else though. Something more important. It gave me a picture of how my life has changed over the last two decades. 

I explored my memory - as far as I could. I tried to think what I used to do when I was in primary school (Grade 1 to 5). Then what happened in high school (Grade 6 to 10), how things changed in college (Grade 11-12), during my Bachelors and Masters, and what impact did 'moving to Canada' have on me. Then the obvious ones - how my life has changed with marriage and parenthood.


Though I was not surprised to look at the outcome, I must admit - I was not very conscious about all the changes that happened over time. Over the last 10 years or so, the changes have been dramatic. I have achieved some important characteristics, but probably a…

টং দোকান (Tong Dokan)

Since I moved here in Canada, I have been missing so many things... My family, my friends, that easy life where my parents used to take care of everything, those endless hangouts and so many other things... I even miss those things which I used to hate back in my country... like load shedding, traffic jams and so on... But I am not gonna write about these things... Today I will babble a bit about 'Tong Dokan'. I know those who don't know Bengali, don't have any idea what I am talking about... But don't worry... I will write a whole post about it now.. I am gonna tell about how this is related to my life, how this is related to every person in Bangladesh..
--------

A busy highway. There is a lot of noise. Loud horns from different type of vehicles. Apart from cars and buses, a lot of Rickshaws are moving slowly in the road. Some passers-by are anxiously looking left and right to cross the road. There are some banks and departmental stores beside the highway. A lot of …