History of photography in Nepal
“ Photographer Bikram Neupane ”
नेपालमा फाेटाेग्राफीकाे इतिहास
नेपालमा फाेटाेग्राफीकाे सुरूवात कहिले भयाे ? नेपालकाे पहिलाे फाेटाेग्राफर काे हुन ? नेपालकाे पहिलाे व्यवसायीक स्टुडियाे फाेटाेग्राफर काे हुन ? उक्त स्टुडियाे कहा थियाे ? नेपालमा फाेटाेग्राफी कसरि सुरू भयाे अादि विषयमा अाज अाफुले विभिन्न स्वदेशी तथा विदेशी लेखककाे लेख एवं पुराना फाेटाेग्राफरहरू संगकाे व्यक्तिगत अन्तरकृया बाट बुझेका नेपालकाे फाेटाेग्राफीक इतिहासहरू अाज यहाहरू माझ अाफ्नाे भाषामा लेख्दैछु अतः केहि कमि कमजाेरि वा अपभ्रम्स भएमा सल्लाह सुझाब समेत दिनुहाेला । अाउनुस अब त्यतै तिर लागाै जब १९ अाै शताव्दीकाे अन्तमा फाेटाेकाे प्रवेश भयाे तब चित्रकला र फाेटाेग्राफी संगै अगाडी बढिरहेका थिए फाेटाेग्राफी संग रिटर्च अर्थता फाेटाेलाइ रङ्गहरू बाट रङ्गाउने प्रविधिकाे पनि शुरूवात उक्त समयमा भैसकेकाे थियाे । वीर शमशेरका कान्छाे भाइ डम्वर शमशेर (इ.सं.1859-1922) लाइ नेपालकाे पहिलाे फाेटाेग्राफर भनेर चिनिन्छ । डम्वर शमशेरले बुबा धीर शमशेरले दिएकाे पैसाले दरबारमानै फाेटाे स्टुडियाे स्थापना गरेका थिए । उक्त स्टुडियाे राणाहरूले अाफ्नाे तस्वीर खिचाउने गर्थ्ये भने सर्वसाधारण नेपालीहरूकाे लागी भने त्याे बेला यसरि अहिले जस्ताे फाेटाेखिचाउन र खिच्न चै सहज थिएन ।
When did photography start in Nepal? Who is the first photographer of Nepal? Who is the first professional studio photographer of Nepal? Where was the studio? How did photography start in Nepal?
Today, I am writing the photographic history of Nepal in my own language. Let's move towards that direction, when the fabrics were introduced at the end of the 19th century, then painting and photography were moving forward together with photography. Dambar Shamsher (AD 1859-1922), younger brother of Bir Shamsher, is known as the first photographer of Nepal. Dambar Shamsher established a studio in the palace with the money given by his father Dhir Shamsher. In that studio, the Rana used to take pictures, but it was not easy for ordinary Nepalese people to draw and take pictures like now.
Dambar Shamsher created the photographic art of that time. In the middle of the 1870s, he learned from European photographers Barn and Shepherd who came to Nepal via India. Dambar's son Samar Shamsher and grandson Balkrishna Sama were no more than the modern founders of Nepali photographers. Purnaman Chitrakar was a famous painter at that time. Dambar Shamsher kept him in his studio to help him in the printing of pictures. Purnaman got the opportunity to learn photography. Apart from a few pictures, we have not been able to find other excellent pictures because the pictures taken by Purnaman were kept in the white palace on the south side of Narayanhiti Darbar. This white palace was later taken by Bir Shamsher as his personal residence and later his children shared it. This palace was destroyed by a big fire in 1933, so his works were also destroyed by this fire. At the invitation of Purnaman chitrakar, Neel Madhab, a Bengali photographer from India, brought more photographic art to Nepal, so even if we think about it, it is clear that the first photographer among the Nepali citizens is Purnaman chitrakar.
According to the writer, Hari Gopal in an article published in Sadhana magazine, the Grand studio which was established by Bishnu Dhoj Joshi earlier in Marupafal is considered to be the first studio in Nepal, which later on was transferred to Newroad and was closed in 2018. This studio was trendy at that time. Bishnu Dhoj Joshi was the personal photographer of King Tribhuvan. At the beginning of 1890, the late painter was employed in the art branch of Sinhadarwar under the patronage of Chandra Shamsher. In 1908, he went to Europe along with the famous painter and brought many cameras to Nepal.
Photographer Dirgaman Chitrakar is known as the first photographer who established a photography studio for the common people in Nepal, but this is also found to be a little confused by historical evidence. After coming from Europe, he also established an enlargement studio in his own house in Bhimsensthan, establishing a studio where ordinary Nepalese can also take photos. He increased the photographic knowledge of many people including his family. He is also the main source of inspiration for many young people today. Although Dambar Shamsher is known as the first Nepali photographer, the first photographer to establish a studio in Nepal was Bishnu Dhoj Joshi.
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Author Photographer Bikram Neupane
Image Credit: Social Networks