Vintage pictures

Travel and Culture

Forts and Palaces in Rajasthan – Pictures from the 19th century Part1

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By Somali K Chakrabarti “Sublime wonders lie in store, I am shown a regal residence; a mighty kingdom, an empire with more grandeur than before …”   – E.A. Bucchianeri, Poetry for the Phantom of the Opera Forts and palaces never fail to fascinate me. These rare examples of architecture offer a glimpse into the past grandeurs and reveal many a story of kings and their kingdoms, the wars they fought, the courts they held, and the way they lived. Here are some pictures and photographs from the 19th century that capture the oriental magnificence of the historic forts and palaces of Rajasthan. . Amber Fort, ca 1860 Amber Fort, part of Raj mahal & Maota Lake, watercolours by William Simpson ca.1860 Eleven kilometres to the north of Jaipur, is the town of Amber. The impressive fort and the palace complex, on a hill overlooking the Maota Lake was built at Amber, in the late 16th century by Akbar’s famous general, Raja Man Singh (ruled 1592- 1614). Alterations and additions to the palace structures continued throughout the 17th century and beyond, until the fort was finally abandoned in 1727.

Travel and Culture

Delhi in the 19th century – Vintage Pictures

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By Somali K Chakrabarti I asked my soul: What is Delhi? She replied: The world is the body and Delhi its life. ~ Mirza Ghalib An excerpt from Delhi : A Novel, by Khushwant Singh. Delhi, a city with a rapidly changing skyline, has been a part of India’s ancient history. Indraprastha, the legendary capital of Pandavas, is described in the epic Mahabharat and it is believed to have existed where the present day New Delhi is. The city that has witnessed the rule of many dynasties over centuries, has been plundered, destroyed and rebuilt several times. Hindu kings from the dynasties of the Maurya, Kushan, Gupta, Tomar Rajputs and Chauhan Rajputs ruled Delhi till the 12th century. The end of the 12th century saw the onset of the Delhi Sultanate, and marked the beginning of the rule of Islamic rulers including Ghori, rulers from the Mamluk (Slave) dynasty, Khiljis, Tughlaks, Lodi, and later on the Mughals. Delhi passed into the direct control of British Government in 1857 after the First War of Indian Independence, and became the capital of British India in 1911. Here is a collection of Vintage Pictures of Delhi from the 19th century. The pictures are mostly of…

Travel and Culture

Kolkata in the 19th century – Vintage Pictures

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By Somali K Chakrabarti Kolkata, the ‘City of Joy’, is a city with a glorious past! For those who live there, Kolkata is also about its alluring spirit, emotions, heightened sensibilities and creative energy. It is a city with fabulous heritage architecture where the old merges with the new. Going back a bit into the history of Kolkata (previously Calcutta), we find that Calcutta was developed by the British by merging three villages – Kalikata, Sutanati and Gobindapur. Calcutta became the headquarters of the East India Company by 1772 and was the capital of British India, from 1858 to 1911, before the British relocated their capital to Delhi. The 19th century saw a socio-cultural resurgence and intellectual awakening in Kolkata, known as the Bengal Renaissance, which continued up to the early 20th century. During this time prominent literati of the city contributed immensely to the art, architecture, literature, science and philosophy. Charles D’Oyly, (1781–1845), a public official of the British East India Company, and painter from Dhaka produced numerous images on India. In 1848, Dickinson & Co., London published his drawings of Calcutta in a large folio-size book titled Views of Calcutta and its Environs. Here are some vintage pictures depicting the landscape of Kolkata from the 19th century. . ON THE RIVER – INDIA…

Travel and Culture

Mumbai in the 19th century – Vintage Pictures

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By Somali K Chakrabarti History has its own charm! Vintage pictures of Mumbai, from the 19th century evoke a sense of nostalgia. These pictures, with their old world charm and enticing simplicity tell the story of how life would have been in those times. The images, though may not be of practical significance, have an expressive value and a cultural significance. These broaden our horizons beyond what we have seen since our childhood, as we get transported back in time, away from the hustle and bustle of the day to day life, to a quaint world that is hard to imagine today.   Panoramic view of Thana Creek painted by James Wales.ca. 1791   Paintings by James Wales, a Scottish artist who arrived in Bombay in July 1791.  Back then, Bombay was a smaller and less affluent market than Calcutta or Madras for a British painter. James Wales made portraits and captured the glimpses of old Bombay in his drawings and paintings. .

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