'… it was determined to have a nautch, and some of the most noted dancing-girls were engaged. To carry out the idea fully the performance was to take place in the Shalimar Gardens, created by the famous Delhi emperor Shah Jehan, and in the very building described by Moore, where Noor Mahal had sung “and oh! if there be an Elysium on earth It is this, it is this!”… the nautch girls arrived, each with her baji-wallahs, or musicians, and were ready to begin. The first song was “Taza-be-taza” — “Now be now” — While the dance went on our thoughts only turned to the time of Jehangir and Noor Mahal. The illusion was complete. For the moment we seemed not to belong to the nineteenth century…..Goolee, the principal performer of the evening. Her name means “rose” or “rosy”.' (The Autobiography of William Simpson, R.I., London, 1903, p.155)
Fishtail Braid for a nautch girl at the Shalimar Gardens. Painted 1875. Also love the colour and fluidity of the garments.
Notes: Noor Mahal is Nur Jahan.
The quote "and oh! if there be an Elysium on earth It is this, it is this!" is normally correctly attributed to Amir Khusrau.
Goolee is likely Gulabi.