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Belagavi, Karnataka

Valentine Blacker1818

Kalakriti Archives

Kalakriti Archives

During Brigadier General Thomas Munro’s mission to reduce the Southern Maratha territories, on April 10, 1818, he encountered the great medieval fortress of Belgaum, in the foothills of the Western Ghats, which he dared not leave in enemy hands in the wake of his progress.

While Munro’s forces took the pettah effortlessly, as Blacker describes in his book, the fortress appeared much more intimidating: “It was found to be in perfect repair, possessing a broad and deep wet ditch, surrounded by an esplanade of six hundred yards; and was garrisoned by sixteen hundred men”. With Herculean effort the British constructed breach batteries of heavy artillery and only after almost three weeks of constant bombardment, after which the fort was severely damaged, did its killedar surrender. The fall of Belgaum allowed Munro to resume his campaign.

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Details

  • Title: Belagavi, Karnataka
  • Creator: Valentine Blacker
  • Date Created: 1818
  • Date Published: 1821
  • Location Created: India
  • Physical Dimensions: 29 x 20 cm
  • Type: Map
  • Publisher: The Book titled on " Memoirs of the operations of the British Army in India during The Mahratta War of 1817, 1818, and 1819", Valentine Blacker, Londan, 1821.
  • Medium: Manuscript, in pen and ink, with watercolour on paper
  • Title (Original): Plan of the Operations of the Reserve of the Deckan Army under the personal Command of Brigadier General Thos. Munro before Belgaum from the 20th of March to the 10th of April 1818.
  • Creator's Lifetime: 1778/1826
  • Creator's Bio: Valentine Blacker was a lieutenant colonel who served in the British East India Company during the first half of the 19th century. Blacker was born in 1778 in Armagh, Ireland, and came to India and joined in the Madras army in 1798, then started his career with the Mysore campaign. Later, he was employed in Wayanad district under Col. Stevenson in 1800 and given charge of cavalry troops; he was then under Col. Agnew, and in 1802 acted as the secretary to the Col. Pater, who was then commanding the southern divisions. In the subsequent years, due to his sheer merit, he commanded and participated in many campaigns. Finally, he was appointed as the Surveyor General of India. Valentine Blacker died in 1826 and was buried in the city of Calcutta.

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