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.
Mahim Church, Bombay painted by James Wales.ca. 1791.
Flora Fountain ca. 1890
Flora Fountain, named after the Roman Goddess Flora, was built in 1864. It is now a heritage building that sits alongside the Hutatma Chowk memorial that was constructed in 1960, in honor of the martyrs, who laid their lives during the formation of Maharashtra state.
Panorama of Bombay Back bay – The Queen’s Necklace
Photograph taken by an unknown photographer.
Old Back bay from Malabar Hill,Bombay, ca.1860
Source-Southern Methodist Univ
Dwarkadhish Temple at Kalbadevi
The Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, was built in 1875. The temple is decorated with murals and sculptures and has monkeys carved on its facade. This prompted the British to call it the ‘Monkey Temple’. The temple can still be found in Kalbadevi.
Bombay Stock Exchange
View of Bombay Harbour, in absence of the present landmarks in ca.1880
The place is almost unrecognizable in absence of the prominent landmarks – The Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal Palace.
Anjumen – i – Islam High School, ca. 1893
Designed by James Wilcock, the school was built in 1893. Replete with arches, domes, spires, tracery and minarets, it is representative of Indo-Saracenic architecture, which combined elements from Gothic and Mughal styles.
General Manager’s room at Times of India, Bombay in 1898
Pic- Source EOS.& Company
This photograph was taken on occasion of newspaper’s Diamond Jubilee. The period furniture, arches on the door and windows and the cloth fan are reminiscent of a bygone era that can be seen only in the period movies.
These pictures were shared on twitter by Mumbai Heritage (@mumbaiheritage) and Abdul Ghaffar (@ghaffar12) and Sunil Baboo (@sunilbaboo).
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