Saturday, April 2, 2011

[3]of 9--Glimpses of old Bombay and western India, with other papers (1900)












[PART 10]

                                                   press ctrl and + to see larger images

                                  DEDICATED TO THE FIRST CITY-MUMBAI-[BOMBAY] ;OF INDIA.-PART3

            Glimpses of old Bombay and western India, with other papers (1900)

                                                                BOMBAY CRICKET ,1883, AT HOG ISLAND, ON BOMBAY HARBOR;AND CRICKET ON HORSE BACK;3RD PHOTO SHOWS[SOME PLAYERS ARE IN LUNGI];

Cricket Players, in Costume with Cricket Bats[SOME PLAYERS ARE IN LUNGI]

                                                   What is a bombay chest:-

The history of the bombay chest

Bombay Photo Images[ Mumbai]: What is a bombay chest:-The history of the bombay  chest explains the unique look and Chinese art captured on each piece. It  is said that these pieces go
bombay chest ...

explains the unique look and Chinese art captured on each piece. It is said that these pieces go back to the 1700’s and the French Regency period. With young Louis XV in waiting for his eventual place on the throne, the furniture makers and artisan had time able to be more casual and creative with their work. The furniture makers built storage cabinets that were bowed and rounded, and added the beautiful art of the Orient. By the time that Louis XV was old enough to take the throne, the bombay chests had grown in popularity and remained that way through the 1750’s. Modern Bombay Chest The modern day bombay chest is still beautifully crafted and designed, but a wider variety of woods and colors used than in years past. Many newer, but classic, art designs are found hand-painted on these chests, to this day. Tratitional Bombay Chest The traditional bombay chest usually offers numerous drawers for storage, and the larger models have doors concealing the treasures. Queen Anne style feet are often found on these pieces to add to the antique look. Gorgeous hand-painted floral designs and ornamental hardware also accessorize them. Asian Bombay Chest The Asian bombay chests are true replicas of their ancestors. The art of mythology and the culture of Asia detail this type of chest, too. Landscape scenes of of the Orient with flowers in deep reds, blacks, and golds will inevitably be found on these models. Contemporary Bombay Chest Contemporary bombay chests combine the original French charm with modern day trends to bring a new look to an old favorite. The use of distressed leather, metal studs, marble, detailed inlay work, and the special veneers and finishes gives the pieces a look of modern antiquity in a class all their own. Painted Bombay Chest There are also the fully painted bombay chests available for the more adventurous individual. These models are bold and big in any setting, so a person should be sure on the color and actual size and style of bombay chest they choose. The painted bombay chests represent the modern departure from the old, but the classic bowed and rounded look remains the same. Some accent painted bombe chests depict exotic pictures of tigers, lions, jungle scenery, Asian culture, floral and vine arrangements, and colorful birds. Asian and tropical images are found on these magnificent pieces. Most are hand painted and can be one of a kind. Bamboo or other woven natural material can be incorporated into this style.

The distinctive chinoiserie style of this period inspired by the Orient gave rise to some distinctive, ornate images not seen before in furniture. Thus, bombe chests of this period often featured intricate floral decorations with exotic animal, bird and dragon motifs.

When Louis XV ascended the throne, the curvaceous and opulent bombe chest was already quite popular. Highly favored by Louis XV and his famous mistress, Madame de Pompadour, the bombe chest became all the rage in 1750's Paris.

Modern Bombe Chests
Modern bombe chests offer a twist to the classical, French design. These days, bombe chests are available in a choice of finishes to complement your indoor decor. No longer limited by laborious lacquer technique, these pieces are often hand-painted and are available in a wide range of color, style and cost.


[india-mumbai-marine] Bombay. Bookmark and Share Mumbai's scenic and breezy Marine Drive curves along the coast. Stretching from Chowpatty Beach to Nariman Point, Marine Drive is one of the most famous views in Mumbai. This card was printed in Germany but published by an American firm.
nk on the website or 'Accept', you agree to the use of cookies and other technologies to process your personal data (e.g., IP address) to enhance and personalise your experience across eBay's portfolio of brands, including eBay or third-party advertising tailored to you, on and off our sites. Additionally, third-party companies, who we partner with, may store cookies on your device and use similar technologies to collect and use certain information for advertising personalisation, measurement and analytics. You may decline consent or make granular choices by clicking 'More information'. You may withdraw your consent at any time by visiting

[parsi-marriage] Parsi Marriage Procession, Bombay. Bookmark and Share Parsi marriage celebrations are divided into three parts: pre-wedding rituals, wedding day ceremonies and post wedding rituals Parsi wedding rituals come to an end with a lavish post wedding reception with good music good music, wine and dining. This wedding image was made around 1900.

Bombay, From Harbour.-1910


Lonavla: How Raja Ravi Varma's art was merchandized ... › City News › Pune News

Oct 31, 2018 — PUNE: Vikram Marathe, an artist, has curated an exhibition on the life and work of Raja Ravi Varma at Balgandharva Rangmandir on JM Road. ... City · Pune ... “He built his printing press first in Mumbai, and then shifted it to Malavli, ... artist from South India made a Thanjavur-style painting,” Marathe said.

Municipal Buildings Bombay




History Of Tram Service In Mumbai | MeMumbai
History Of Tram Service In Mumbai ...


A wealthy [British] Indian merchant's home; man and woman at dining table served by turbanned natives 1880--HAND PULLED MAT PUNKAH(HAND POWERED FAN)SEEN ABOVE

ADvertisements OF 1940's BOMBAY

Panama Cigarettes advertisement from 1945

Paillard. Tomatic Record Changer. Operated 110 or 280 Volts AC, 40-60 cycles or Universal.
 Plays 10 records automatically. "Swiss Made" Thougout.

Paillard. Swiss Made. It stands at the top of all.
Available for AC, AC/DC and for AC/Battery (6 volt car battery)
with Magic eye and entracingly beautiful wooden cabinet.

RAP 1939 ModelsEstablish New Records in Performance.RAP. Care-Free British Radio

Hear the Latest "Younf India" Records.
The National Gramophone Record Manufacturing Co. LTD.

HMV "High Q" Radios. 1940.

HMV 7-Valve "World Tourer" superhet Autoradiogram with fluid light tuning indicator.

"His Master's Voice" New 'New Q' British Radio. Price Rs. 285/-

Keep in touch with the world-with "His Mater's voice" British made World Tourer Radio. 1940

Lansing Shearer Horn Sound System. 1940.

A wartime ad  Philips Amplifiers and Loudspeakers. 1941

12  for Rs. Six.
REX Record Depot. 1939.

HMV Model 6212A, 6-Valve A.C. Spread Band Receiver.
Full Spread band Tuning on the 13, 16, 19, 25 and 31 Metre Bands.
Rs. 495/-

Bauer "Hi-Lo-Phonic" Cellular Speakers for high class theaters. 1939

Ad for film  music recorded on Columbia Records. 1945.

HMV Auto-Radiogramophones Models 690 AC/DC and 692 A.C.

HMV gramophones Ad year 1940

My Goodness!
My Kraisler

HOW ICE CAME TO INDIA 1833-"How this ice make grow in your country? Him grow on tree? Him grow on shrub - how he make grow?"asked Indians at calcutta and Bombay harbour

In 1833, fellow Boston-based merchant Samuel Austin proposed a partnership for selling ice to India, then some 16,000 miles and four months away from Massachusetts. On May 12, 1833 the brig Tuscany sailed from Boston for Calcutta, its hold filled with 180 tons of ice cut during the winter. When it approached the Ganges in September 1833, many believed the delivery was an elaborate joke, but the ship still had 100 tons of ice upon arrival. Over the next 20 years, Calcutta would become Tudor's most lucrative destination, yielding an estimated $220,000 in profits.
 People thought Tudor was crazy when he first began sending ice to different parts of the world, but hewas actually very smart. The first place he sent ice was the West Indies. That was in 1805.The difference was that he harvested his crop while the land farmers were huddling about their firesides.

-SEEN AS A WHITE  ROUND HOUSE AND A WHITE ROUND ROOF.The ice-house was a double-shelled structure,twenty-five feet square on its outside dimension, nineteen feet square on the interior, and sixteen feet high. It held about 150 tons of ice. ICE WAS  HARVESTED FROM PLACES  NEAR TO THE NORTH POLE AND FROZEN LAKES.,BROUGHT BY SHIP AND KEPT FOR USE.[ ELECTRICITY /REFRIGERATON NOT YET DISCOVERED                                 

Once inside, the blocks were piled together as closely as possible to prevent all unnecessary meltage. The workmen in the ice-houses pried loose the stored ice by means of chisels.Wenham Lake ice enjoyed its greatest popularity in England between the year 1844 and the early years of the 185o's. It was in demand everywhere, and it grew into such vogue that London hotels put up signs informing their customers that Wenham Lake ice was served there.Main customers were the local coffee-house owners who bought the ice for the manufacture of their ice-creams.

It was meant to store ice and hence it got its popular name, the Ice House.Mr. Frederic Tudor, the 'Ice King', built three houses in Kolkata , Mumbai and Chennai to keep ice under proper insulation so that it could be stored for months together. Amongst the three buildings the one at Chennai alone stands today. It was built in the year 1842. Tudor maintained his business in Chennai from 1842 upto around 1880. After the invention of making ice by 'steam process' in India, his business collapsed.Then the Ice House was sold to Mr.Biligiri Iyengar, a prosperous advocate of the Madras High Court. He remodeled the house adding circular verandahs and provided it with many windows to make it fit as residential quarters. Also he named the house 'Castle Kernan,' as a tribute to his friend, the famous Justice Kernan of the Madras High Court. Apart from being his residential quarters, this house served as a shelter for poor and educationally backward students. The structure failed as a residence, probably because of inadequate ventilation.Swami Vivekananda's Visit
Castle Kernan acquired historical and cultural value after Swami Vivekananda's stay there. Swami Vivekananda came to Tamil Nadu twice: first as an unknown wandering monk (December 1892 to April 1893) and then as the famous Swami Vivekananda, after his appearance at the Chicago Parliament of Religions and successful preaching work in the West.


An Ice House

- Image ID: BAXBH8
An Ice House
Contributor: unknown / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: BAXBH8
File size: 
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Dimensions: 2200 x 3200 px | 18.6 x 27.1 cm | 7.3 x 10.7 inches | 300dpi
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This image could have imperfections as it’s either historical or reportage.
Cottages & Villas of the English Countryside in the adaptation from foreign influences in design with a painting of the home and a basic first floor plan
Date taken: 1852
Location: Britain


As early as 400 BC, Persian engineers had mastered the technique of storing ice throughout the summer months.  The ice was brought in from the mountains during the winter and stored in large, specially designed, naturally cooled underground “refrigerators” with six-foot thick walls of special insulating mortar.  This ancient practice of harvesting ice was the beginning of what was to become, during the 19th century, a major commercial enterprise here in New England.

Ice blocks (also called "cakes") are manually placed into reefers from a covered icing dock. Each block weighed between 200 pounds (91 kg) to 400 pounds (180 kg). Crushed ice was typically used for meat cars
                                                STORY OF ICE IN INDIA:-

Harvesting Ice on Jamaica Pond — Jamaica Plain Historical ... › locales › harvesting-ice-on-jamaica-pond
Jun 2, 2004 — ice house. The first evidence of a commercial ice operation on Jamaica Pond is found on an inset of an 1855 map of Suffolk County showing the E.M. ... Smith was later the president of the Jamaica Pond Ice Company. By 1880, the Jamaica Pond Ice Company had 22 icehouses on Jamaica Pond with a storage capacity of 30,000 ton


In 1833, he determined to try a enterprising venture, and, accordingly, he dispatched 200 tons of ice to Calcutta on the ship Tuscany;from U.S.A.
Indians saw ice for the first time in 1833 and asked "does it grow on the tree"

One of the first of the shipments to India, made by Captain Codman in the ship Nantasket, brought disbelief and amazement to the large crowd of natives gathered at the wharf to witness the unloading of these
"crystal blocks of Yankee coldness."
One of the Indians braved to touch a piece of the ice, and, believing that he had burned himself, wrapped his hand in his robe and rushed away followed by a number of the alarmed onlookers. At another time, a native was supposed to have asked Captain Codman,
"How this ice make grow in your country? Him grow on tree? Him grow on shrub - how he make grow?"


A Calcutta historian, in speaking of the ice, eulogised, "I will not talk of nectar or Elysium, but I will say that if there be a luxury here, it is this - it is this. ... A block of pure ice weighing 2 maunds," he continued, "was a sight Calcutta had never seen before."35 The only ice that had ever before been seen in Calcutta was a Hooghly-Plain ooze made by skimming surface ice from water in unglazed pots placed overnight in reed-lined pits.
Do you recall Rudyard Kipling's story entitled "The Undertakers" from the Second Jungle Book?

The block of ice is stored
"From the insides of this boat they were taking out great pieces of white stuff, which, in a little while, turned to water. Much split off, and fell about on the shore, and the rest they swiftly put into a house with thick walls. But a boatman, who laughed, took a piece no larger than a small dog, and threw it to me. I - of all people - swallowed without reflection, and that piece I swallowed as is our custom. Immediately I was afflicted with an excessive cold which, beginning in my crop, ran down to the extreme end of my toes, and deprived me even of speech, while the boatmen laughed at me. Never have I felt such cold. I danced in my grief and amazement till I could recover my breath, and then I danced and cried out against the falseness of this world; and the boatmen derided me till they fell down. The chief wonder of the matter, setting aside the marvellous coldness, was that there was nothing at all in my crop when I had finished my lamentings."
Ice-Harvest on the Hudson River, New York State, c.1870, from American  Pictures, publi Wall Art, Canvas Prints, Framed Prints, Wall Peels | Great  Big Canvas

Ice-Harvest on the Hudson River, New ...

Harvesting ice on the Hudson river in the 1870s From American Pictures Drawn With Pen And Pencil by Rev Samuel Manning circa 1880

The Adjutant had done his very best to describe his feelings after swallowing a seven-pound lump of Wenham Lake ice, off an American ice-ship, in the days before Calcutta made her ice by machinery, . .

Once the ice had frozen thickly, all porous ice and snow on the top surface was removed by means of a horse-drawn plane or scraper.
  An acre of foot-thick ice yielded about 1000 tons of rough ice





Year Amount (tons)

1806 .......... 130

1816......... 1,200
1826 .........4,000
1836 .......12,000
1856..... 146,000
1860 .....142,463
1865 .....131,275
1866 .....124,751
1872 .......69,500 (approx.)
1873 .......70,370
1874 ...... 69,800

The following list of ships represents some of those known to have been engaged in the ice trade at one time or another:

Arabella - 696 tons. Made several trips - Boston to Bombay, Calcutta and return - 17 July 1853 to 4 Oct. 1854. Took 141 days from Boston to Bombay. Boston to Madras, Calcutta and return -29 Nov. 1854 to (ca.) 23 Nov. 1855. Outward cargoes of ice, return cargoes of saltpetre, cow hides, gunny bags, jute, cloth, goatskins, shellac, dye, linseed.87

Coringa - Re rigged as a bark in 1874 and chartered by the Tudor Company for a cargo of ice for Calcutta.88

Elizabeth Kimball - Medium clipper, built at Marble head in1853. The maiden voyage was a round trip between Boston and Calcutta with an outward cargo of ice.89
Harmonia - Carried ice to the East Indies for the Tudor Company.90
Iceburg - 1135 tons, built for the Tudor Company and shipped ice for several years before she was sold. Launched in i877.91
Iceking - Launched a few weeks after the Iceburg for the Tudor Company.92
Iceland - Launched a few months after the Ice king for the Tudor Company. In March 1878 she was listed as missing.93

National Eagle - Medium clipper, 1095 tons. After 1854 made frequent trips to India with ice. This was one of the best known of the ice ships.94
Reporter - Medium clipper. In 1854 was chartered by Gage, Hittinger & Co. to take ice to New Orleans.95
Springfield - Launched in 1868, 1043 tons. Took ice to Bombay on her maiden voyage96.

White Swallow - Left Boston in 1871 for Hong Kong with 1015 tons of Tudor ice. 19 days later was abandoned at sea.97

Young Mechanic - 1375 tons. In 1865 chartered by the Tudor Co. to take ice to Madras and Calcutta. Again chartered in 1866, but ship caught fire and was destroyed.98

Ice was so prized by the English inhabitants of India that its importation was encouraged as much as possible by special treatment of the ice ships. At Bombay, for example, "The only port charges on Ice ships are tonnage dues and police fees, and you get the best berth in the harbor."99 The port charges amounted to a pilot age fee of 110 Rupees during the southwest monsoon. During the north east monsoon, the charge was 55 Rupees for vessels over 500 tons. The lighthouse dues amounted to 15 Rupees per 100 tons, the tonnage duty was one Anna per ton, and the police fees were ten Rupees, two an.100 One Rupee was worth about 5o cents.101

At Madras, ice was to be found among the list of articles admitted duty-free. In fact, it was the fifth article on the list, the first two being: i) Bullion and Coin, and 2) Precious Stones and Pearls.102

As at Calcutta, Frederick Tudor was given a twenty year lease beginning in 1845 on the Madras ice-house, which was open every day during the daylight hours and for a few hours on Sunday morning.103 Madras preserved her ice-house longer than did Calcutta. According to the Calcutta historian,

Today [1907] the visitor will search in vain in Hare Street for the strangely-shaped globular building which stood perched on the summit of a flight of steps and challenged the attention of every passer-by. It was razed to the ground in 1882, and even the memories of the murder committed within its walls have faded away. Madras still preserves the shell of her ice-house. Calcutta has been more iconoclastic, and not a vestige remains of the once familiar structure in which for nearly fifty years she hoarded her precious frozen blocks from Wenham Lake.104

A curious sideline of the ice-trade to India was that New England Baldwin apples were often shipped in barrels among the blocks of ice. The clipper Elizabeth Kimball shipped such apples with her cargo of ice, for in India apples found such a large market among the English population that they were sold for fifty to seventy-five cents apiece.105

By the early 1850'$, Wenham Lake ice ceased to be shipped overseas, and the trade consisted mainly of the local markets and those found along the southern coasts of the United States. Throughout the years, ice from small lakes like Wenham Lake had made a deep impression abroad. When Edward Everett was minister to the Court of St. James in London, he once met the Ambassador from Persia who expressed his gratitude to America for shipping ice to Persia.106 The amount of ice shipped from Wenham was enormous and understandably created false ideas as to the size of the lake.

Between the years 1856 and 1882, 353,450 tons of ice had been shipped out; about 475,000 had actually been cut, but the 121,550 ton difference was accounted for by the ice lost from scraping and meltage. The average yearly amount of ice cut from Wenham Lake from 1860 to 1880 had been thirty thousand tons a year.

in 1873, a fire originating in the hay packing around the ice destroyed all of the buildings.

By the time of the fire, artificial means of refrigeration were beginning to be used, and losses such as those sustained on Wenham Lake made competition increasingly difficult. The business around Wenham Lake never entirely recovered.

ice was cut on Wenham Lake for the Wenham, Beveriy and Salem markets well into the present century. The last of the ice-houses on the lake, that of the Metropolitan-Wenham Lake Ice Company, on the North Beveriy shore, finally disappeared around the time of World War II.

The first gas absorption refrigeration system using gaseous ammonia dissolved in water (referred to as "aqua ammonia") was developed by Ferdinand Carré of France in 1859 and patented in 1860. Due to the toxicity of ammonia, such systems were not developed for use in homes, but were used to manufacture ice for sale. In the United States, the consumer public at that time still used the ice boxwith ice brought in from commercial suppliers, many of whom were still harvesting ice and storing it in an icehouse.
Refrigerator car - encyclopedia article - Citizendium

Refrigerator car - encyclopedia article ...



                      FLAGS OVER AMERICA
1603 - 1775
King James of Scotland succeeded Elizabeth the First of England in 1603. To signify the union of the two lands, he designed this flag, combining the red cross symbolic of Englands' Patron Saint George (he of the dragon legend) with the white cross of Saint David of Wales and the white saltire (that's heraldry talk for a cross that's X-shaped) symbolic of Saint Andrew, Patron Saint of Scotland. This flag flew over all the English new world colonies. Note the difference from the modern Union Jack, which has added to it the red saltire of Saint Patrick for Northern Ireland.


When Henry Hudson sailed up the river that bears his name and when Manhattan was purchased for a handful of beads, this was the flag that flew overhead. The colors are the same as the Dutch national flag, and the "A" stands for the home city of Amsterdam. The other letters stand for: "Oost Indise Compagnie" or East India Company.

English East India Company c1600-1707
British East India Company 1707-1800

Image by by António Martins
English East India Company 1678

Using mercenaries to control conquered lands by

private companies is not a new practice, and 

government hiring corporations to control col

onies isn't new either. Parliament used the British East

India Company to conquer and manage India, and later

gave the company trade monopolies in parts of the 

New World to help pay them.

The East India Company

was expected to provide the necessary "soldiers for 

hire" to rule India, and profits made from exporting their

Indian tea to the American Colonies helped pay for

those soldiers.


                                                   Boston Tea Party



1789 engraving of the destruction of the tea
While Samuel Adams tried to reassert control of the meeting, people poured out of the Old South Meeting House and headed to Boston Harbor. That evening, a group of 30 to 130 men, some of them thinly disguised as Mohawk Indians, boarded the three vessels and, over the course of three hours, dumped all 342 chests of tea into the water. The precise location of the Griffin's Wharf site of the Tea Party has been subject to prolonged uncertainty; a comprehensive study places it near the foot of Hutchinson Street (today's Pearl Street).

When Mohandas K. Gandhi led a mass burning of Indian registration cards in South Africa in 1908, a British newspaper compared the event to the Boston Tea Party. When Gandhi met with the British viceroy in 1930 after the Indian salt protest campaign, Gandhi took some duty-free salt from his shawl and said, with a smile, that the salt was "to remind us of the famous Boston Tea Party."

                 Richard Francis Burton, An Adventurer in Disguise IN BOMBAY-1842

Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton KCMG FRGS (19 March 1821 – 20 October 1890) was a British explorer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, fencer and diplomat. He was known for his travels and explorations within Asia and Africa as well as his extraordinary knowledge of languages and cultures. According to one count, he spoke 29 European, Asian, and African languages.
Burton's best-known achievements include travelling in disguise to Mecca, an unexpurgated translation of One Thousand and One Nights (also commonly called The Arabian Nights in English after Andrew Lang's abridgement), bringing the Kama Sutra to publication in English, and journeying with John Hanning Speke as the first Europeans led by Africa's greatest explorer guide, Sidi Mubarak Bombay, utilizing route information by Indian and Omani merchants who traded in the region, to visit the Great Lakes of Africa in search of the source of the Nile. Burton extensively criticized colonial policies (to the detriment of his career) in his works and letters. He was a prolific and erudite author and wrote numerous books and scholarly articles about subjects including human behaviour, travel,fencing, sexual practices, and ethnography. A unique feature of his books is the copious footnotes and appendices containing remarkable observations and unexpurgated information.
He was a captain in the army of the East India Company serving in India (and later, briefly, in the Crimean War). Following this he was engaged by the Royal Geographical Society to explore the east coast of Africa and led an expedition guided by the locals and was the first European to see Lake Tanganyika. In later life he served as British consul in Fernando Po, Santos, Damascus and, finally,Trieste. He was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and was awarded a knighthood (KCMG) in 1886.

Richard Burton was fascinated by foreign places, so much so that he risked death to visit Muslim Arabia, where Christian "unbelievers" were banned.

in 1842, when 21-year old Richard Burton arrived in Bombay (Mumbai), he was one of numerous young men, most of whom travelled to what was then the British Raj in India intent on getting rich and then returning home to a life of idle luxury in England.

Exploring the Mysterious East

Burton’s intentions were different. Making a fortune did not interest him. Instead, he wanted to get under the skin of the Oriental world, to learn its languages, observe its customs and probe its many faiths.
In order to do so, Burton would stain his white skin brown with henna, wind a turban round his head, dress in long, loose robes and wander unnoticed through the native bazaars, markets and city back streets absorbing the atmosphere.
During the seven years he spent in India, Burton had more than achieved his aims. He was fluent in five Indian dialects, as well as in Persian and Arabic, and had even learned to think, walk, talk, gesture and even pray like a native of the East.It was this expertise that enabled Burton to remain undetected during the most dangerous expedition a European could undertake in his time.

Arabia, an Arcane World

By the mid-19th century, Arabia had been clandestine territory for hundreds of years, closed to all non-Muslims. Specifically forbidden to infidel “unbelievers” were the two Arabian cities, Mecca and Medina, that were most closely associated with Mohamed, founder of the Islamic religion.
Inevitably, Richard Burton regarded this vast stretch of the unknown an irresistible challenge. On April 3, 1853, a brown-skinned, bearded Afghan - in reality, Burton in his Muslim disguise - hurried on board a steamer bound for Egypt. He soon made friends with the other passengers, identified himself as Mirza Abdullah, and told them that, like them, he was going on a “haj” or pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

Encounter with an Englishman

No one doubted that Mirza was telling the truth, particularly after he happened to brush against the arm of a British Indian Army officer while strolling on deck.
The officer turned fiercely on Mirza and in language heavily laced with swear-words cursed him for daring to approach that close to a white man. Mirza backed away, bowing low and apologizing in the servile manner the Englishman - and the onlookers - expected.
Burton was so convincing that no one guessed his true identity on the crowded vessel that took Muslim pilgrims across the Red Sea, nor on the long caravan trail across the Arabian desert.

At the Holiest Muslim Shrine

In September 1853, Burton even managed to penetrate safely into the holiest of all Musllim shrines, the “Kaaba” or sanctuary in Mecca. He prostrated himself in the Muslim manner, intoned the appropriate prayers, then bent down to kiss the Holy Black Stone in the southeast corner of the “Kaaba”.
Once again, Burton’s “performance” remained so flawless that none of the ecstatic pilgrims who hemmed him in on all sides suspected for a moment that an “unbeliever” was in their midst.
By the end of September, Burton was back in Egypt and his most daring adventure was over. When his book on the experience “Pilgrimage to Al-Medinah and Mecca” was published in 1855, readers were thrilled at the picture he painted of the exotic world of the Muslims.

Burton’s African Adventures

By then, however, Burton had completed yet another exploit: exploring the dangerous deserts of Somalia in northeast Africa. He was so avid for adventure that once an expedition had ended, his only interest lay in the next one.
This was why his life was so full of hectic activity. After Arabia and Somalia, Burton searched for the source of the River Nile and discovered Lake Tanganyika in a three year expedition between 1856 and 1859.
He went on to explore Dahomey, the Gold Coast (Ghana) and Nigeria between 1861 and 1864, served as British consul in Brazil, Syria and Italy, revisited India in 1865-6 and for four years, until, 1880, prospected for gold near the Red Sea.

An Adventurer to the End

By this time, Richard Burton was nearly sixty years old, an advanced age for the time, and an age when most people had settled down to quiet, uneventful lives. Burton never settled down: his wanderlust burned on to the end.
When he died in 1890, he was in Trieste, on the Adriatic Sea in northern Italy and had just returned from a tour of Europe. In addition, he had already planned his next journey, to Greece and Turkey.
Burton's tent tomb, Mortlake, London, Rgciegg

Burton's tent tomb, Mortlake, London -
Burton’s wife, Isabel, brought his body back to England and had him buried in the most appropriate tomb this compulsive wanderer could possible have had. It was a marble and copper replica of the tent which wandering nomads used in the deserts of Arabia.
He translated kamasutra into english  IN 1849


Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah & Meccah — Volume 1 by Burton


    Class with teacher in vernacular school, Bombay 

    Old Postcards of Bombay (Mumbai)

    Birds eye view of Bombay

    : Bombay Yacht club

     demolished colaba railway station

    General post office

     Marine drive

    people gathered round a gas light -

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