The Sacred Tree of the Hindoos at Gyah, Bahar (Abbey 420 no.16; Archer I, pl.15)
hand-coloured aquatint, May 1796, on thick paper laid down on a slightly larger sheet of thinner paper)
P.532 x 700mm.
March 1790: "Gyah is a place of great antiquity, much resorted to by the Hindoos..." In addition to the Vishnupad Temple, many other shrines were visited by the pilgrims who flocked to Bodhgaya, a site South of the city where Buddha's enlightenment is said to have occurred.
The Akshai Vata, or undying banyan tree, stood half a mile South. As Thomas Daniell observed, "fragments of mutilated idols, the work of Mahomeddan intolerance..[were] still regarded with veneration."