Nrsimha, Hampi, pic courtesy Dr Vijay Sriram

The vast city of Vijayanagar, capital of the eponymous empire was brought to its knees in 1565. Thereafter, it remained a ruin, long forgotten until Capt AJ Greenlaw stumbled upon it in 1856. One of the pioneering photographers of India, Greenlaw took several pictures of the place, all of which today rank as the first modern views of the city.

In 2009, the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Mysore, brought out a book wherein the photos of Greenlaw form the principal focus, with contemporary views of the same places featuring alongside, taken in 1983 by John Gollings and in 2008 by Dr R Gopal and MN Muralidhar. It is an excellent work.

I have been long fascinated by Vijayanagar and have been reading up quite a bit about it over the years. In the last decade I have had the opportunity to travel there and last year I took a group with me, which was memorable in many ways. In the process, I have put together some interesting facts about the place, based on the historical accounts, literary works and the songs associated with Vijayanagar. I came to know about Greenlaw when I was working on Brotherhood and Benevolence, the story of Freemasonry on the Coromandel, which I co-authored with Karthik Bhatt.

On 2nd November, I am presenting, under the auspices of the Madras Photography Society, a talk on AJ Greenlaw and His Vijayanagar.

Time: 5.00 -5.30 pm – Tea

5.30 – 6.30 pm – Lecture

Venue: Jaigopal Garodia Vivekananda Vidyalaya School Auditorium

U-6, 7th Street, Anna Nagar (near Ayyappan temple)

Chennai 600040

While admission is free, prior registration is a must at – you need to just send an email. Please do not expect a reply.