To a weary traveller or parched soldier in 19th-century India, there was perhaps no sight as welcome as the approach of a bhishti. A quick untwisting of the mouth of the mashaq slung over his shoulder, and cool clear water would splash into a grateful cupped palm.
This photograph, by Francis Frith (1822-1898) & Co, is of the Madras Harbour. This vista of commercial facilities and warehouses on the Mardas beachfront illustrates Britain’s extensive commerce with the world. In 1639, a British trading corporation was granted permission to establish a factory on a three-mile-long stretch of the shore on the Coromandel. The Nayakas,… Read more »
This photograph, from the late 19th century, is of the Mowbray Road in Madras (Chennai), Tamil Nadu. The long avenue lined with trees on either side got its name after a house built by George Moubray, the Moubray’s Cupola (presently, the Madras Club). George Moubray served the EIC (East India Company) and was the first… Read more »
Titles from the Sarmaya library that will draw you further into the heart of Tamil Nadu’s culture through music, architecture, photography and art
Postcards began at the end of the 19th century as a new kind of crossover between photography and the popular print market. In a collaboration with Picture Postcard Empire, we bring you a virtual exhibition of intriguing postcards from the city of Madras
The history of the Madras Presidency is also the history of an embryonic nation finding its identity under colonial rule. We take you through some key moments, movements and personalities that shaped Madras and what would in time become India
We dive into a study of family portraiture with a set of three albums belonging to John Sinclair, the First Lord Pentland, and the Governor of Madras between 1912 and 1919—and draw out the themes that emerge from this treasure trove of 20th-century photography
The East India Company (EIC) had established themselves in the village town called ‘Madrasapattam’ (now Chennai) in 1639-1640. This became the first major English settlement in India. In 1687, Aurangzeb’s conquest of Golconda and Bijapur led to the introduction of silver coins in southern India. The EIC sought permission from the Mughal Empire to mint… Read more »