Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Indian Mutiny, also called Sepoy Mutiny, widespread but unsuccessful rebellion against British rule in India in 1857. Begun in Meerut by Indian troops (sepoys) in the service of the British East India Company, it spread to Delhi, Agra, Kanpur, and Lucknow. The rebellion posed a considerable threat to Company power in that region, and was contained only with the fall of Gwalior on 20 June 1858. The rebellion is also known as India's First War of Independence, the Great Rebellion, the Revolt of 1857, the Uprising of 1857 and the Sepoy Rebellion.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Interior of the Secundra Bagh after the Slaughter of 2,000 Indian Mutiny Rebels by the 93rd Highlanders and 4th Punjab Regiment. First Attack of Sir Colin Campbell in November 1857, Lucknow.

By the time it was over, hundreds of thousands or even millions of people had been killed. The British home government had disbanded the British East India Company, taking direct colonial control of the British Raj in India. Also, the Mughal Empire ended, and Britain sent the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar\into exile in Burma.

To regard the rebellion merely as a sepoy mutiny is to underestimate the increasing pace of Westernization after the establishment of British paramountcy in India in 1818. Hindu society was being affected by the introduction of Western ideas.

The immediate cause of the Indian Revolt of 1857 was a seemingly minor change in the weapons used by the British East India Company's troops. The East India Company upgraded to the new Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle, which used greased paper cartridges. In order to open the cartridges and load the rifles, sepoys had to bite into the paper and tear it with their teeth.

RARE PHOTOS OF INDIAN MUTINY / SEPOY MUTINY / INDIAN REBELLION / UPRISING OF 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Begum Kotee, Lucknow

The Begum Kotee (or Begum Kothi) palace complex was severely damaged during the Indian Mutiny. During Sir Colin Campbell's final capture of the city it was the scene of fierce fighting with around 600 rebels being killed there. Major William Stephen Raikes Hodson, the controversial founder of Hodson's Horse, was mortally wounded leading an attack there on 11 March 1858.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The mine in the Chutter Munzil exploded by Indian Mutiny rebel forces at the first attack of General Sir Henry Havelock.

Three men stand amid the ruins of the Chattar Manzil or Umbrella Palace at Lucknow. The palace's construction was started during the reign of Nawab Ghazi Uddin Haider and it was completed after his death by his successor, Nawab Nasir Uddin Haider. The imposing building was topped with a dome surmounted by a gilt umbrella which gave it its name. When Major-General Sir Henry Havelock's relief column fought its way into Lucknow on 26 September 1857 the rebels exploded a large mine at the palace. Although Havelock reached the besieged Residency the heavy casualties his force had sustained on its way there meant that it was too weak to evacuate the defenders.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The image depicts the exterior wall of the Secundra Bagh, a small, walled garden on the outskirts of the city of Lucknow. The figure standing in profile on the right of the building marks the position of a breach which was opened on 16 November 1857, allowing the British to gain access to the garden.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The 32nd Mess House. First attack of Sir Colin Campbell in November 1857, Lucknow.

According to Francis Cornwallis Maude, a British officer who observed the attack on the Mess House, Campbell "treated this building to a bombardment of 10 hours after it had been abandoned by its defenders." The white marks in the photograph are the repairs later made by the rebels. The rows of embrasures in the garden wall were also added by the rebels prior to the final capture of the city in March 1858.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Aftermath of the Siege of Lucknow. The damaged gate of the Chhota Imambara at Lucknow, with members of the Madras Fusiliers in front, shortly after the British finally regained control of Lucknow in March 1858. The Chhota Imambara was built by Muhammad Ali Shah in 1837 as part of a famine relief project and was intended to serve as his own mausoleum.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Gateway leading into the Qaiser Bagh, Lucknow

Built by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah between 1848-1850, Qaiser Bagh was one of the most remarkable palace-garden complexes ever made, consisting of huge courtyards with fantastic buildings on all sides. Pathways through the various courtyards of the garden were intended to be indirect and zig zaging to confuse visitors. The palace complex itself was an exotic blend of styles with Ionic columns, Moorish minarets and Hindu arches and pediments.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The execution of Indian Mutiny Rebels

As the British re-conquered rebel areas they took a terrible revenge on the Indian population. Stories of atrocities were greatly exaggerated by British soldiers and the press, ensuring that retribution was harsh. Trials of any prisoners were arbitrary and brief, and usually resulted in a sentence of death. Those convicted of mutiny were either hanged, or lashed to the muzzles of cannon and blown away.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Indian soldiers at an army barracks during the Indian Mutiny, 1857. The final spark was provided by the rumoured use of cow and pig fat in the newly-introduced Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle cartridges. Soldiers had to bite the cartridges with their teeth before loading them into their rifles, and the reported presence of cow and pig fat was offensive to both Hindu and Muslim soldiers.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Nawab Tafazzul Husain Khan, Nawab Of Farrukhabad. He was exiled to Mecca for his role in helping rebel forces during Indian Mutiny 1857.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Small mosque in the Qaiser Bagh, Lucknow

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The place in which General Neil was killed in the Chinese Bazaar, Lucknow

Brigadier-General James Neil was shot and killed at Lucknow on 25 September 1857. The 'Chinese Bazaar' was at a place called the Lal Bagh. Neil had earlier put down a rebellion at Allahabad, before joining Sir Henry Havelock's Lucknow relief column as commander of the 1st Infantry Brigade.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The road by which Sir Henry Havelock entered the Residency, Lucknow

A relief force of 2,500 soldiers under Major-General Sir Henry Havelock left Cawnpore and fought its way into Lucknow on 26 September 1857, but after sustaining heavy casualties it was too weak to evacuate the defenders of the Residency.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The Chutter Munzil Palace wall in Lucknow, India, which was destroyed by mutineers. In the foreground is the king's boat in the shape of a fish

The Chattar Manzil used as a Field Hospital, showing the King's Boat, Lucknow, 1858.

Anchored on the River Gumti beside the Chattar Manzil palace is the Nawab Sadaat Ali Khan’s boat, shaped like a fish, an ancient symbol of sovereignty that has been associated with the Lucknow nawabs for more than a century.



Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Gateway and Banqueting Hall inside the Residency, Lucknow used as an hospital by the garrison

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Bailey Guard Gate, Lucknow taken from the inside and showing the Clock Tower

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The Residency taken from the Redan, Lucknow

The Indian Mutiny rebel forces began attacking the Residency compound on 4 July 1857. Sir Henry Lawrence, Chief Commissioner of Awadh, was killed almost immediately when a shell exploded in the room where he was resting. Command passed to Colonel John Inglis of the 32nd (Cornwall) Regiment of Foot, which formed the main British part of the garrison. The Residency itself stood on high ground above the River Gumti, overlooking the city.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Church yard and the Residency in the Distance, Lucknow

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
View of the New Battery taken from the Stone Bridge, Lucknow

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Stone Bridge and the New Fortifications, Lucknow

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
View of the Iman Rasah and New Battery taken from the road to the Nukhee Khan's house, Lucknow

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Rumi Darwaza, Lucknow

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Southwest View of the Bara Imambara, Lucknow

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Asafi Mosque, Bara Imambara, Lucknow

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Chhota Imambara, Lucknow

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Musa Bagh, Lucknow

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Part of Outram's Camp, Lucknow

Sir James Outram's camp was located at the Alumbagh, a large enclosure situated just outside the city of Lucknow. It was occupied by Outram and 4000 of his men in November 1857 after the evacuation of the Residency. His presence at the Alumbagh prevented the rebels in Lucknow undertaking offensive operations. In March 1858 Outram was joined there by Sir Colin Campbell's force from Cawnpore for the final capture of Lucknow. It was during this period, immediately before the attack, that Lance Corporal Jones took his photographs of the British encampment. Although the condition of these photographs is not the greatest, they are unique Indian Mutiny (1857-1859) images, having been taken at the time of the actual fighting.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The Bailey Guard Gate in Lucknow

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Sikh and British Officers of Hodson's Horse

This picture shows members of Hodson's Horse, a body of loyal Indian horsemen formed during the Indian Mutiny (1857-1859) by Lieutenant William Hodson. Their distinctive uniforms included scarlet turbans and shoulder sashes over beige tunics. Beato probably took this photograph shortly after the final capture of Lucknow in March 1858. Hodson was killed during the assault. There is some confusion over the identity of the two British officers, but it seems most likely to be Lieutenant Clifford Henry Mecham (standing) and Assistant Surgeon Thomas Anderson (sitting). Anderson cared for Hodson after he was wounded and was with him when he died on 11 March 1858.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Indian Mutiny Rebel Leader Babu Veer Kunwar Singh, Jagdhishpur, Bhojpur district, Bihar

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Kashmiri Gate was evidence of the heavy fighting between the British army and the Indian defenders. This was a double gateway to Delhi, built in 1835, on the north wall of Delhi, by a British engineer, it suffered from major assault by British forces. Later this became a major draw for British tourists. In 1858, Delhi was besieged by British, and this gate was the scene of the final assault on Delhi by forces under Brigadier John Nicholson.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Indian Mutiny Rebel Mummoo Khan, Lucknow. He was jailed for life in Kanpur.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Aftermath of the Siege of Lucknow. The ruins of the Temporary Officers Mess at the British Residency in Lucknow. The British Residency became the last British point of defence in Lucknow and was besieged by Indian rebel forces from 2 July 1857 until its evacuation on 19 November. The posed figure on the far right stands in front of the room where the Chief Commissioner of Awadh, Sir Henry Lawrence was fatally wounded by shellfire on 2 July 1857 after organising the defence of Lucknow. He died on 4 July. British civilians, including women and children sheltered in the cellars during the long drawn out siege. British forces commanded by Sir Colin Campbell finally regained control of Lucknow on 21 March 1858.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Kashmiri Gate was evidence of the heavy fighting between the British army and the Indian defenders. This was a double gateway to Delhi, built in 1835, on the north wall of Delhi, by a British engineer, it suffered from major assault by British forces. Later this became a major draw for British tourists. In 1858, Delhi was besieged by British, and this gate was the scene of the final assault on Delhi by forces under Brigadier John Nicholson.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
This picture shows a ravaged Lucknow Residency banquet hall after Indian Mutiy Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Afghan Sikh Officers of Hodson's Horse, a cavalry regiment of the British Indian Army, during the Indian Mutiy Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar in 1858, just after his trial in Delhi and before his departure for exile in Rangoon

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Indian Mutiny Rebel Gungoo Mehter who was tried at Kanpur for killing many of the Sati Chaura survivors, including many women and children. He was convicted and hanged at Kanpur on 8 September 1859.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Sons of last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. On the left is Jawan Bakht, and on the right is Mirza Shah Abbas

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Photograph of an elephant pulling a field gun, Indian Mutiny 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Photograph of Flag Staff Tower Delhi where European survivors of the Rebellion of 1857 gathered on May 11, 1857.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Nawab Mahdi Khan of Awadh, a general. One of the Indian Mutiny rebel leaders, Lucknow

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The Great Gate of Qaiser Bagh, Lucknow

Built by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah between 1848-1850, Qaiser Bagh was one of the most remarkable palace-garden complexes ever made, consisting of huge courtyards with fantastic buildings on all sides. Pathways through the various courtyards of the garden were intended to be indirect and zigzaging to confuse visitors. The palace complex itself was an exotic blend of styles with Ionic columns, Moorish minarets and Hindu arches and pediments.

The Qaiser Bagh, with its many enclosures, courtyards and pathways, was the scene of fierce fighting during the Indian Mutiny and proved difficult to capture during Sir Colin Campbell's final assault on Lucknow in March 1858. Once it was secured, the British ransacked and looted the complex.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The King's Palace in the Qaiser Bagh, Lucknow

Built by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah between 1848-1850, Qaiser Bagh was one of the most remarkable palace-garden complexes ever made, consisting of huge courtyards with fantastic buildings on all sides. Pathways through the various courtyards of the garden were intended to be indirect and zigzaging to confuse visitors. The palace complex itself was an exotic blend of styles with Ionic columns, Moorish minarets and Hindu arches and pediments.

The Qaiser Bagh, with its many enclosures, courtyards and pathways, was the scene of fierce fighting during the Indian Mutiny and proved difficult to capture during Sir Colin Campbell's final assault on Lucknow in March 1858. Once it was secured, the British ransacked and looted the complex.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Photograph of Hindu Rao's House in Delhi. This house was built in c.1820 for William Fraser (1784-1835), agent to the Governor General in Delhi. It was bought by Hindu Rao after Fraser's death. Hindu Rao was the brother of the Baiza Bai of Gwalior, the widow of Daulat Rao Scindia. During the Uprising, this house was strategically important to the British and was held by Major Reid and a force of Gurkhas, who suffered severely from enemy artillery. This building is now a hospital.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Clock tower in front of the Bailee Guard Gate, Lucknow

The Bailee Guard Gate was the main entrance to the Lucknow Residency compound. It was named after Major John Baillie, who was the British Resident in Oudh from 1811-1815. During the siege it was occupied by a force under the command of Captain Atkinson of the 13th Bengal Native Infantry.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Aftermath of the Siege of Cawnpore, showing the remains of the Bibi-Ghar (the House of the Ladies). The massacre of more than 200 British women and children which took place there on 15th July 1857  during Indian Mutiny Of 1857.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
General Wheeler's entrenchment at Cawnpore

When news of the mutiny at Meerut reached Cawnpore, General Sir Hugh Wheeler built a fortified position, based around two barracks, outside the city as a possible refuge for the European community. In early June 1857 all the Europeans made for the entrenchment, whose enclosing wall, built of dry crumbly earth, was not yet finished. The subsequent Siege of Cawnpore lasted just over three weeks, and took place in June when the sun is at its hottest. The entrenchment had almost no shade, and contained only one well. This was in an exposed position, covered by enemy fire. Beato's photograph of the ruins in the entrenchment, with its carefully posed soldiers, was taken several months after the siege and subsequent massacre.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
British soldiers on the roof of the Alumbagh, a large walled enclosure situated on the outskirts of Lucknow near the Cawnpore Road. It contained a palace, mosque and gardens. During the Indian Mutiny, it fell briefly under the control of the Indian Mutiny rebel forces. When British forces under the command of Havelock and Outram retook the Alumbagh on 23 September 1857, they continued to fortify it and use it in connection with military operations associated with the Relief of Lucknow. In November 1857, a force of c 5000 men assembled there.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The Gate House of Alumbagh near Lucknow. The Alumbagh was a large walled enclosure situated on the outskirts of Lucknow near the Cawnpore Road. It contained a palace, mosque and gardens. During the Mutiny, it fell briefly under the control of the Indian mutineers. When British forces under the command of Havelock and Outram retook the Alumbagh on 23 September 1857, they continued to fortify it and use it in connection with military operations associated with the Relief of Lucknow. In November 1857, a force of c 5,000 men assembled there. General Sir Henry Havelock died there on 24 November 1858 during the final stages of the fall of Lucknow and was buried nearby.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Aftermath of the Siege of Lucknow. The Begum Kotee or Queen's House which formed part of the besieged enclave of the British Residency, seen here with a number of Madras Fusiliers in the foreground. Prior to the Mutiny, the Begum Kotee served as accommodation for the families of British officers and as a store. During the Indian Mutiny itself, women and children crowded into the cellars for protection from rebel bombardments.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Aftermath of the Siege of Cawnpore, showing the restored well at the Bibi-Ghar (the House of the Ladies). The massacre of more than 200 British women and children which took place there on 15th July 1857 during Indian Mutiny.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Aftermath of the Siege of Lucknow. A view of open country seen from roof of the Alumbagh, a large walled enclosure situated on the outskirts of Lucknow near the Cawnpore Road. It contained a palace, mosque and gardens. During the Mutiny, it fell briefly under the control of the Indian mutineers. When British forces under the command of Havelock and Outram retook the Alumbagh on 23 September 1857, they continued to fortify it and use it in connection with military operations associated with the Relief of Lucknow. In November 1857, a force of c 5,000 men assembled there. Major General Sir Henry Havelock died on 24 November 1858 during the final stages of the Siege of Lucknow and was buried under the two trees in the foreground.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
British soldiers on the roof of the Alumbagh, a large walled enclosure situated on the outskirts of Lucknow near the Cawnpore Road. It contained a palace, mosque and gardens. During the Mutiny, it fell briefly under the control of the Indian mutineers. When British forces under the command of Havelock and Outram retook the Alumbagh on 23 September 1857, they continued to fortify it and use it in connection with military operations associated with the Relief of Lucknow. In November 1857, a force of c 5000 men was assembled there. This photograph was taken shortly before the final assault on Lucknow in March 1858.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Aftermath of the Siege of Cawnpore, showing the remains of the British entrenchment de fences to barracks at Cawnpore which General Sir Hugh Massy Wheeler surrendered in June 1857. Cawnpore was the British military headquarters for the District of Awadh. The massacre of British women and children which took place there was one of the worst atrocities of the Mutiny.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Mosque Picket, Delhi. This Mosque was strategically at a vital position, approximately the centre of the Ridge, thereby covering the most vulnerable segment of the British camp.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Indian Mutiny Rebel Mummoo Khan, Lucknow. He was jailed for life in Kanpur.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Chattar Munzil, Lucknow

The city of Lucknow was a remarkable mixture of palaces and public buildings, mosques and tombs, and was described by many visitors as one of the finest cities in India. One of Lucknow's greatest monuments was the Chattar Munzil palace, located near the Residency. It consisted of a series of interconnected buildings, and was built by the Nawab Saadat Ali Khan.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The Nuchee Bawan or Old Citidel of Lucknow at first held by Sir Henry Lawrence of Lucknow

The Nuchee Bawan was abandoned by Sir Henry Lawrence and partly- blown up when he took up his position in the Residency. The mutineers began attacking the Residency compound on 4 July 1857. Lawrence, Chief Commissioner of Awadh, was killed almost immediately when a shell exploded in the room where he was resting. Command passed to Colonel John Inglis of the 32nd Foot, which formed the main British part of the garrison.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The Battery near the Begum Kotee, Lucknow

The Begum Kotee (or Begum Kothi) palace complex was severely damaged during the Indian Mutiny. During Sir Colin Campbell's final capture of the city of Lucknow it was the scene of fierce fighting with around 600 rebels being killed there. Major William Stephen Raikes Hodson, the controversial founder of Hodson's Horse, was mortally wounded leading an attack there on 11 March 1858.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Photograph of St. James's Church in Delhi. St James Church was commissioned by Colonel Skinner (1778-1841), a distinguished military officer, famous for the cavalry regiment Skinner’s Horse, known as the Yellow Boys because of the colour of their uniform. While lying wounded on the field of battle he made a vow that if he survived he would build a church in thanks for his life being saved. The church was started in 1826 and completed ten years later. During the Uprising of 1857 the Chruch was damaged by shellfire. The dome of the chruch is topped by a copper ball and cross, which was used by sepoys in 1857 for target practice.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Indian soldier supporting the British during the Indian Mutiny 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
A group of Sikh sappers (combat engineers) of the Indian Army during Indian Mutiny of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Members of the Sirmoor Battalion (later the 2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles) outside Hindu Rao's house on the Delhi Ridge

Photograph of Hindu Rao's House in Delhi . This house was built in c.1820 for William Fraser (1784-1835), agent to the Governor General in Delhi. It was bought by Hindu Rao after Fraser's death. Hindu Rao was the brother of the Baiza Bai of Gwalior, the widow of Daulat Rao Scindia. During the Uprising, this house was strategically important to the British and was held by Major Reid and a force of Gurkhas, who suffered severely from enemy artillery. This building is now a hospital.
Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Dilkusha Kothi, Lucknow

This photograph depicts DilKusha Kothi, a hunting lodge in Lucknow built by Nawab Sadat Ali Khan (1798-1814). It was used by Sir Colin Campbell as a HQ when relieving the Residency in 1857. During the subsequent evacuation, it served as a staging post for the women and the sick during their journey from the Residency compound, on their way to Cawnpore via the Alambagh. It was also the place where Sir Henry Havelock died of dysentery on 24 November 1857. Sir Colin used the DilKusha again in March 1858, when making the final assault on Lucknow.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
La Martinière, Lucknow

La Martinière was built by Frenchman Claude Martin in 1795, though he died before its completion in 1802. Initially designed as a country house, it was converted into a school for boys. At the start of the Indian Mutiny (1857-1859) it was occupied by the insurgents, but evacuated in November 1857 with the news of Sir Colin Campbell's advance. During Sir Colin's second attack in March 1858, it was found deserted and was thus one of the few monuments in Lucknow to escape damage. During the siege, the students helped in the defence of the Residency. After the rising, the masters and boys received the mutiny medal for their services. The school still functions today under the name of La Martinere Boys' College.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Begum Zeenat Mahal, Wife of last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar exiled to Rangoon after the Indian mutiny against British rule in 1857

This is one and only portrait or photograph of any Mughal Emperess. After their victory in The Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, the British captured Delhi and last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Jafar along with his family surrendered to them, this photo was taken at that time. The Badshah spend last years of his life in exile in Rangoon, capital of Burma(now Mayanmar). Begum Zeenat Mahal had a son Prince Jawan Bakht and she stayed throughout with her Husband.

Bahadur Shah Zafar tried his best to ensure that after his death Begum Zeenat Mahal and Prince Jawan Bakht would not be treated badly. The English reassured him that they would be looked after, however, due to the ugly events in aftermath of the first war of Independence these undertakings were no longer upheld and Begum Zeenat Mahal and her son both died and were buried in Mayanmar(Burma).

The last King of Delhi along with his wife and son were buried far away from the land of their ancestors The Great Mughals.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Sati Chaura Ghat, Kanpur

On 27 June 1857, Europeans who had been promised safe passage from Wheeler's entrenchment arrived at the Sati Chaura Ghat to take the boat out when Nana Sahib's army ambushed them and killed many.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Photograph of the Marble statue by Marochetti over the Memorial Well, Kanpur. The Memorial garden was intended to commemorate the tragic events of the Uprising of 1857, in particular the fact that many women and children died at the site of the Bibighar well, as they were trying to draw water. The Well with Marochetti's Angel, surrounded by Henry Yule's Gothic screen, was originally situated in the Municipal Gardens covering the Bibighar Well, but was relocated to the Memorial Church after Indian Independence.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Photograph entitled "Outside of well, Cawnpore, Kanpur". The picture shows the outside of the Bibighar Well in Cawnpore (Kanpur) where British women and children died. By 1860, a memorial had been built at the site. In 1948, after India's independence, the memorial was moved to another site.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The Delhi Bank building wrecked during the Anglo-Indian War of 1857. The Delhi Bank, set up in 1847, owned by the Dyce Sombre family in Delhi, had other local businessmen as shareholders, was housed in this stately building. In May 1857, the manager of the bank, one Beresford, was killed by the rebels during the fighting. British forces took back the bank in September.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Photograph of Hindu Rao's House in Delhi . This house was built in c.1820 for William Fraser (1784-1835), agent to the Governor General in Delhi. It was bought by Hindu Rao after Fraser's death. Hindu Rao was the brother of the Baiza Bai of Gwalior, the widow of Daulat Rao Scindia. During the Uprising, this house was strategically important to the British and was held by Major Reid and a force of Gurkhas, who suffered severely from enemy artillery. This building is now a hospital.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Photograph entitled, "The Hospital in General Wheeler's entrenchment, Cawnpore," taken in 1858. The hospital designed by General Wheeler was the site of the first major loss of British lives.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Photograph of a mosque in Meerut where some of the rebel soldiers may have worshiped

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The Jantar Mantar observatory in Delhi, damaged in the Indian Mutiny fighting

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Mess House of the 32nd Regiment, Lucknow

The 'mess house' was originally known as the Khursheed Manzil (House of the Sun) and was a large two-storeyed mansion built by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan and his son Ghazi-ud-Din Haidar. After the British annexation of Awadh in 1856 it was taken over by the officers of the 32nd (Cornwall) Regiment as a mess house. It subsequently witnessed fierce fighting during the Siege of Lucknow.

The defenders of the house were eventually forced to retreat to the Residency compound, where the 32nd, under the command of Colonel John Inglis, formed the main part of the British garrison. During the siege the regiment lost 15 officers and 364 other ranks killed and 11 officers and 198 other ranks wounded. The 32nd also won four Victoria Crosses during the siege.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The Nusseree Battalion (later 1st Gurkha Rifles), 1857

The Nusseree Battalion was raised in 1815. Although it went through several name changes in the years up to 1891, when it was designated the 1st Gurkha (Rifle) Regiment, it had a proud service record that included the Indian Mutiny. This is reflected in the regimental motto 'Kafar Hunu Bhanda Marnu Ramro' (Better to die than live like a coward). The British officer depicted is Captain Alexander Bagot (1822-1874).

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar rare pic with sons Jawan Bakht & Mirza Shah Abbas in exile in Burma in the aftermath of the Indian Mutiny (1857-1859)

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Indian Mutiny Rebel Leader Nana Sahib Peshwa

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Kashmiri Gate after the pounding by cannons during the 1857 War

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Major-General Sir Robert Napier (1810-1890) (seated) confers with his ADC, Major E.H. Greathead. During the Indian Mutiny (1857-1859) both men served with Sir Henry Havelock and Sir James Outram at the Relief of Lucknow and then took part in the mopping-up operations in Awadh & Gwalior in 1858. Napier later served as Commander-in-Chief in India between 1870 and 1876.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Old cross from top of St James Church, Delhi. January 1891 Riddled by mutineers shot in 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Sikh officers of the British 15th Punjab Infantry regiment, shortly after the Indian Rebellion (also known as the Indian Mutiny)

In 1857 Bengal soldiers of the East India Company army shot their British officers. The incident, caused by a disregard to religious beliefs and traditions, triggered an uprising that lasted until June 1858. The Sikh princes of the Punjab backed the Company by providing soldiers, a group of which are pictured here shortly after the war.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
The Delhi Bank building wrecked during the Anglo-Indian War of 1857. The Delhi Bank, set up in 1847, owned by the Dyce Sombre family in Delhi, had other local businessmen as shareholders, was housed in this stately building. In May 1857, the manager of the bank, one Beresford, was killed by the rebels during the fighting. British forces took back the bank in September.

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Charles John Canning, 1st Earl Canning Governor-General of India during the Indian Rebellion of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Field Marshal Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Indian Mutiny Rebel Leader Tatya Tope, after his capture in 1859

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
Shah Najaf Imambara, Lucknow

Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857

Rumors began in 1856 that the grease on the cartridges was made of a mixture of beef tallow and pork lard; eating cows, of course, is forbidden in Hinduism, while consumption of pork is haram in Islam. Thus, in this one small change, the British had managed to seriously offended both Hindu and Muslim troops.

The revolt started in Meerut, which was the first area to receive the new weapons. The British manufacturers soon changed the cartridges in an attempt to calm the spreading anger among the sepoys, but this move backfired as well - the fact that they stopped greasing the cartridges only confirmed the rumors about cow and pig fat, in the sepoys' minds.

On March 29, 1857, on the parade ground at Barrackpore, a sepoy named Mangal Pandey fired the first shot of the uprising. His unit in the Bengal Army, which had refused to use the new rifle cartridges, was about to be disarmed and punished. And Mangal Pandey shot a British sergeant-major and a lieutenant.

In the altercation, Mangal Pandey was surrounded by British troops and shot himself in the chest. He survived, and was put on trial and hanged on April 8, 1857.

Of course, as the Indian Revolt spread, it took on additional causes of discontent among both sepoy troops and civilians of all castes. Princely families joined the uprising due to British changes to the inheritance law, making adopted children ineligible for their thrones. This was an attempt to control succession in many of the princely states that were nominally independent from the British.

Large land-holders in northern India also rose up, since the British East India had confiscated land and redistributed it to the peasantry. Peasants were none too happy, either, though - they joined the revolt to protest heavy land taxes imposed by the British.

Religion also prompted some Indians to join the mutiny. The East India Company forbade certain religious practices and traditions, including sati or widow-burning, to the outrage of many Hindus. The company also tried to undermine the caste system, which seemed inherently unfair to post-Enlightenment British sensibilities. In addition, British officers and missionaries began to preach Christianity to the Hindu and Muslim sepoys. The Indians believed, quite reasonably, that their religions were under attack by the East India Company.

Finally, Indians regardless of class, caste or religion felt oppressed and disrespected by the agents of the British East India Company. Company officials who abused or even murdered Indians were seldom punished properly; even if they were tried, they were rarely convicted, and those who were could appeal almost indefinitely. A general sense of racial superiority among the British fueled Indian anger across the country.

The Indian Revolt of 1857 lasted until June of 1858. In August, the Government of India Act of 1858 dissolved the British East India Company. The British government took direct control of the half of India formerly under the company, with various princes still in nominal control of the other half. Queen Victoria became the Empress of India.

The last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, was blamed for the revolt. The British government sent him into exile in Rangoon, Burma.

The Indian army also saw huge changes after the revolt. Instead of relying heavily on Bengali troops from the Punjab, the British began to recruit soldiers from the "martial races" - those peoples considered particularly warlike, such as the Gurkhas and the Sikhs.

Unfortunately, the Indian Revolt of 1857 did not result in freedom for India. In many ways, Britain reacted by taking firmer control of the "crown jewel" of its empire. It would be another ninety years before India (and Pakistan) gained their independence.

PROMINENT LEADERS OF INDIAN MUTINY / SEPOY MUTINY / INDIAN REBELLION / UPRISING OF 1857

INDIAN MUTINY REBEL FORCES

Bahadur Shah Zafar (Last Mughal Emperor)

Nana Sahib Peshwa

Bakht Khan

Rani Lakshmibai, the Rani of Jhansi

Tatya Tope

Begum Hazrat Mahal, Awadh

Babu Kunwar Singh

Ishwori Kumari Devi, Tulsipur

Rana Beni Madho Singh

Maulvi Liaqat Ali

Rao Ram Bakhsh Singh

Amar Singh of Jagdishpur

Pir Ali of Patna

Khan Badur Khan Rohilla

Mangal Pandey

Baba Shahmal Tomar

Maulvi Ahmedullah Shah

Tafazzul Husain Khan, Nawab of Farrukhabad

Nawab Mahdi Khan of Awadh


BRITISH SIDE

Colin Campbell (British Commander-in-Chief of India)

John Nicholson

Frederick Roberts

Henry Havelock

Charles John Canning

7 comments

  1. txs for sharing this here and pls never remove

    ReplyDelete
  2. This are the awesome pictures,please never remove,
    One thing more,
    India of today still standing stronger than ever.
    Thanks to our forefathers who fought against British
    Their martyrdom will never be forgotten

    ReplyDelete
  3. Long Live the Spirit of Revolution; Inquilab Zindabad!

    ReplyDelete
  4. SIKHS ARE ONE OF THE MOST COURAGEOUS AND DARING PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.EXTREMELY LOYAL N BRAVE.

    ReplyDelete
  5. ^
    Yet the Sikhs supported the British in 1857 -- really loyal and brave to the British indeed.

    https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/the-british-seeds-of-secession/299757

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great collection of photos, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great collection. Great treasure.

    ReplyDelete

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