Deen Dayal, Raja, 1844-1905Alternative names
Raja Deen Dayal (1844-1905) was born in Sardhana, Uttar Pradesh, to a family of jewellers. In his early career, he trained as an engineer, but while working as a draughtsman he was introduced to photography. In the mid-1870s, he started taking photographs professionally. His reputation grew quickly. At 30 years of age, he won the patronage of Maharaja Tukoji Rao II of Indore. He then photographed the Prince of Wales' visit in 1875. Meanwhile he also traveled extensively to document India's natural vistas and monuments. In 1885, he became the court photographer to the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad, Mahbub Ali Khan, Asif Jah VI, and was also appointed to the Viceroy of India. He was bequeathed with the title Raja and Queen Victoria honored him with a Royal Warrant. He also set up studios in Mumbai, Hyderbad and Indore. At his death in 1905, he was a leading photographer in India, known especially for his unique visual perspectives not only on the court, but also on India's monuments, natural vistas, and archaeological sites.
From the guide to the Raja Deen Dayal photographs, circa 1870s-1905, (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)