Biography: Documentary photographer Lala Deen Dayal

Biography: Documentary photographer Lala Deen Dayal

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Lala Deen Dayal (1844–1905) was an Indian photographer. An engineer by education, Dayal was drawn to photography as early as 1875.

Those were early days of photography, and Deen Dayal used primitive equipment and chemicals. His first patron was Maharaja Tukoji Rao II of Indore, who introduced him to Sir Henry Daly, the British Agent at Indore, which eventually led to his appointment as “Photographer to His Excellency, the Viceroy”. Deen Dayal’s albums of India views and ancient monuments became very popular and were bought as memorabilia and gifts by the British and Indian Royalty.

Lala Deen Dayal, often referred to as “Raja Deen Dayal” after a title bestowed on him by the Nizam of Hyderabad, died in 1905. His intimate glimpses into the lives of princes, and the British, ordinary fold and tribals, as well as vistas of archaeological sites, monuments and the architectural heritage of the country are collectors items today.

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