Skip to Content

Travels Across India: In the Footsteps of the Raj

Dakshineswar Kali Temple is situated on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River in Calcutta. The Hindu temple was built in 1855 in the traditional navaratna or nine-spires style of Bengal architecture, and is famous for its association with Ramakrishna, a 19th-century Bengali mystic. 

Samuel Bourne (1834–1912), Dakshineswar Kali Temple, Calcutta (Kolkata), India, albumen print, 1860s 

1 of 44

The city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar between 1571 and 1585. The Hiran Minar or Elephant Tower (shown at center) is a circular tower covered with projecting elephant tusks (originally actual tusks, now replaced with stone replicas). The tower is thought to have been erected as a memorial to Emperor Akbar's favorite elephant.

Samuel Bourne (1834–1912), Panorama with the Hiran Minar (Elephant Tower), Fatehpur Sikri, India, albumen print, 1865/66 

2 of 44

The Chattar Manzil or Umbrella Palace on the banks of the Gomti River was a royal palace of the Mughal rulers of Awadh. During the Rebellion of 1857–1858 the building was a stronghold for the Indian rebels. 

Unknown photographer, Chattar Manzil Palace, Lucknow, India, albumen print, 1870s–1880s

3 of 44

The 42-acre Taj Mahal complex is situated on the south bank of the Yamuna River. This is the main gate, constructed 1648–1653 for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.

Samuel Bourne (1834–1912), Great Gate, Taj Mahal, Agra, India, albumen print, 1860s

4 of 44

Constructed for the Emperor Shah Jahan as the tomb for his favorite wife, Arjumand Banu Begum, the Taj Mahal was built 1631–1648 by Mughal court architect Ustad Ahmad Ma'mar Lahauri. 

Unknown photographer, Gramstorff Collection, Taj Mahal, Agra, India, albumen print, 1870s–1880s

5 of 44

Seringapatam is an island fortress surrounded by the Kaveri River and site of a Palace of the Hindu Rajas of Mysore. Shown is a 17th-century royal bathing ghat. (The term ghat refers to a series of steps leading down to a body of water.)

Unknown photographer, Raja of Mysore's Bathing Ghat, Seringapatam (Srirangapatna), India, albumen print, 1870s–1880s

6 of 44

Victoria Terminus Railway Station was designed by Frederick William Stevens and built 1878–1888 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It is one of the first and finest examples of the Gothic Revival style in India. 

Bourne & Shepherd, Victoria Terminus Railway Station, Bombay (Mumbai), India, albumen print, c. 1900

7 of 44

The Durga Mandir, located in Ramnagar near Benares (now Varanasi), was constructed c. 1500 and dedicated to the Hindu deity Durga, goddess of protection, vengeance, and victory. Note the elephant, lower left.

F. Frith & Co., Gramstorff Collection, Durga Mandir at Ramnagar, Benares (Varanasi), India, albumen print, 1850s–1870s

8 of 44

The Pearl Mosque (Moti Masjid) at the Red Fort was built by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, 1659–1660.  

Samuel Bourne (1834–1912), Pearl Mosque, Red Fort, Delhi, India, albumen print, 1860s

9 of 44

The Qutb Minar was built beginning in 1192 by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak, the founder of the Delhi Sultanate. Its construction marked the beginning of Muslim rule in India.   

Samuel Bourne (1834–1912), Qutb Minar, Qutb Complex, Delhi, India, 1860s, albumen print, 1865

10 of 44

The Quwwat-ul-Islam or Might of Islam Mosque was the first mosque built in Delhi after the Islamic conquest of India. The mosque’s construction, 1193–1197, used spolia from the remains of 27 Hindu and Jain temples originally on the site, according to a Persian inscription on the eastern gateway. The pillars shown here were plastered over to conceal their elaborate carvings, but the plaster has since fallen away, revealing the earlier temple motifs beneath.

Unknown photographer, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, Qutb Complex, Delhi, India, albumen print, 1870s–1880s

11 of 44

The Jalsain Ghat, also called the Burning Ghat or the Manikarnika Ghat, is one of the oldest Hindu cremation ghats in Varanasi.   

Samuel Bourne (1834–1912), Jalsain Ghat, Benares (Varanasi), India, albumen print, 1865

12 of 44

The Calcutta High Court (left) was built in 1872 in a neo-Gothic design. The neoclassical Government House (right), the residence of the Governor-General (Viceroy), was constructed 1799–1803 by architect Charles Wyatt.  

Unknown photographer, Panorama, Calcutta (Kolkata), India, albumen print, after 1872

13 of 44

The Red Fort was built 1638–1648 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as the citadel of his new capital city. The Diwan-i-Khas was reserved for private audiences with the Emperor. 

Samuel Bourne (1834–1912), Diwan-i-Khas, Red Fort, Delhi, India, albumen print, 1865

14 of 44

After the demolition of the East India Company’s fort in 1860, this area was rebuilt with Victorian neoclassical and Gothic-Revival-style commercial buildings. The Flora Fountain was erected in 1864 from designs by Richard Norman Shaw, with sculpture by James Forsyth. A statue of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers and spring, tops the fountain.   

Unknown photographer, Panorama, Bombay (Mumbai), India, with the Flora Fountain, albumen print, 1870s–1880s

15 of 44

This dargah or shrine to Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya (died 1325) was built in 1562–1563. 

Unknown photographer, Nizam-ud-Din's Tomb, Delhi, India, albumen print, 1870s–1880s  

16 of 44

During the Indian Rebellion of 1857–1858, Indian army troops (sepoys) rose up against the British East India Company. Cawnpore was the site of a horrifying massacre of British soldiers, their families, and loyal sepoys, and later was the scene of brutal British retaliation. This memorial to the British dead was designed by Henry Yule and built by Baron Carlo Marochetti in 1860.   

Unknown photographer, Gramstorff Collection, Memorial Well, Cawnpore (Kanpur), India, albumen print, 1870s–1880s

17 of 44

The Kaiserbagh (king’s garden) Palace Complex, built 1848–1850 for Mughal Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, was an immense courtyard surrounded by living quarters, royal mansions, and baradaris (pavilions with 12 portals). It was largely destroyed by the British during the Indian Rebellion of 1857–1858.

Samuel Bourne (1834–1912), Kaiserbagh, Panoramas, Lucknow, India, albumen print, 1865

18 of 44

The Mermaid Gate, at one end of the China Bazaar in the Kaiserbagh Palace Complex, was built 1848–1850 for Nawab Wajid Ali Shah.

Samuel Bourne (1834–1912), Kaiserbagh, Mermaid Gateway, Lucknow, India, albumen print, 1860s

19 of 44

The Jama Masjid was built 1544–1556 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. At the time of construction it was the largest mosque in India and was the city’s principal congregational mosque for Friday prayers.

Thomas A. Rust (active late 19th century), Gramstorff Collection, Jami Mosque, Delhi, India, albumen print, 1870s–1880s

20 of 44

View of the Jama Masjid from the Chawri Bazar Road.

Unknown photographer, Jami Mosque, Delhi, India, albumen print, 1870s–1880s

21 of 44

This mausoleum was built c. 1626 by Nur Jahan, the favorite wife of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, in memory of her father Ghayas-ud-din (known as Itimad-ud-Daulah).

Unknown photographer, Itimad-ud-Daula's Mausoleum, Agra, India, albumen print, 1870s–1880s

22 of 44

Lucknow flourished 1775–1856 as the capital of the Nawabs of Avadh (Oudh). The nawabs were great builders and patrons of the arts and commissioned numerous imposing darwazas or gateways. The Husainabad Imambara has many gateways dating from the reign of Nawab Muhammad Ali Shah (c. 1837–1842), including this one with its three ornate arches.

Unknown photographer, Husainabad Imambara Gateway, Lucknow (India), albumen print, c. 1880

23 of 44

The Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh and designed by Lal Chand Ustad. Constructed of red and pink sandstone, its façade was essentially a screen wall built so the women of the royal household could observe the outside world without being seen.

Colin Murray (active late 19th century) for Bourne & Shepherd, Gramstorff Collection, Panorama of Jeypore (Jaipur), India, with the Hawa Mahal, albumen print, c. 1885

24 of 44

Calcutta High Court is the oldest High Court in India. The neo-Gothic building was designed in 1872 by architect Walter Granville and inspired by the 13th-century Cloth Hall at Ypres, Belgium.   

Unknown photographer, Calcutta High Court, Calcutta (Kolkata), India, albumen print, after 1872

25 of 44

View from the Manak Chowk (market) looking down Tripoliya Bazaar Road with the Ishwar Lath tower (1749) in the distance.

Colin Murray (active late 19th century) for Bourne & Shepherd, Gramstorff Collection, Panorama of Jeypore (Jaipur), India, albumen print, c. 1885

26 of 44

Elephanta is an island in Bombay Harbor with two Buddhist and five Hindu rock-cut caves dating between the 5th and 8th centuries.   

Unknown photographer, Great Cave, Elephanta Island, India, albumen print, 1870s–1880s

27 of 44

The Golden Temple or Vishvanath Temple was built as a Shiva temple in 1780 by Ahilya Bai of Indore along the banks of the Ganges River. 

Unknown photographer, Golden Temple, Benares (Varanasi), India, albumen print, 1870s–1880s  

28 of 44

Although Bourne identifies this building as a palace, it was actually the chhatri or memorial cenotaph of the Maharajas of Bharatpur, built c. 1825.

Samuel Bourne (1834–1912), Palace of Rajah Bulman Singh, Govardhan, India, albumen print, 1860s

29 of 44

This view shows a procession of 550 elephants at the Lucknow Durbar of 1867 in honor of Sir John Lawrence, Governor-General of India.  

Unknown photographer, Gramstorff Collection, Panorama, Lucknow, India, albumen print, 1867

30 of 44

The Bara Imambara Gate (left) and the Rumi Darwaza gate (center distance) were built during the reign of Nawab Asaf-Ud-Dowlah in 1784.

Unknown photographer, Panorama, Lucknow, India, albumen print, c. 1880

31 of 44

Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned construction of the Red Fort in 1638, when he decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi. Its design is credited to architect Ustad Ahmad Ma'mar Lahauri, who also constructed the Taj Mahal. It was completed by 1648.

Unknown photographer, Lahore Gate, Red Fort, Delhi, India, albumen print, c. 1865

32 of 44

The Jahangiri Mahal, inside the Agra Fort, was the principal zenana (palace for women of the royal household), and one of the earliest surviving buildings of Akbar's reign, dating to 1565–1569. 

Samuel Bourne (1834–1912), Gramstorff Collection, Jahangir's Palace, Fort, Agra, India, albumen print, 1860s

33 of 44

The Pearl Mosque (Moti Masjid) was built at the Agra Fort in c. 1646–1653 by Shah Jahan.

Samuel Bourne (1834-1912), Pearl Mosque, Fort, Agra, India, albumen print, 1860s

34 of 44

Interior of the Moti Masjid.

Samuel Bourne (1834–1912), Pearl Mosque, Fort, Agra, India, albumen print, 1860s

35 of 44

The Husainabad Imambara was built by Muhammad Ali Shah, the third Nawab of Awadh, in 1838, and eventually served as his mausoleum. Imambaras are Shia congregation halls. The Naubat Khana, or drum house, is shown at left. The structure at center right is a jawab, a building constructed to balance or match another more important edifice, in this case a mosque opposite it (not shown). 

Samuel Bourne (1834–1912), Gramstorff Collection, Naubat Khana, Husainabad Imambara, Lucknow, India, albumen print, 1860s

36 of 44

The pagoda at Eden Garden was brought to Calcutta from Prome (Pyay), Burma, in 1854 by James Andrew Broun-Ramsay, Marquess of Dalhousie and British governor-general of India from 1848 to 1856.

Samuel Bourne (1834–1912), Eden Garden Pagoda, Calcutta (Kolkata), India, albumen print, 1860s

37 of 44

The palace city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar from 1571 to 1585.  This is a view from the Diwan-i-Khas (Private Audience Hall) looking across the courtyard to the Panch Mahal (Tower of Winds). 

Unknown photographer, Panch Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, India, albumen print

38 of 44

The Diwan-i-Am (Public Audience Hall) in Agra Fort was added to Akbar’s Palace between 1631–1640, in the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan.

Unknown photographer, Diwan-i-Am (Public Audience Hall), Akbar's Palace, Fort, Agra, India, albumen print, 1880s

39 of 44

Located high on a hill, Amber Palace and Fort are located near Jeypore (Jaipur), and were built c. 1600.

Lala Deen Dayal (1844–1905), Amber Fort, Amber (Amer), India, albumen print, 1885

40 of 44

This sandstone and marble mausoleum was built in 1754 for Safdarjung, the Chief Minister (Vizier) of Oudh. 

Samuel Bourne (1834-1912), Safdarjung's Tomb, Delhi, India, albumen print, 1860s

41 of 44

Gwalior has two Sas-Bahu temples (from the Hindi sas, which means mother-in-law, and bahu, meaning daughter-in-law) that were originally dedicated to Vishnu. The large Sas-Bahu temple carries an inscription recording its construction c. 1093.

Unknown photographer, Large Sas Bahu Temple, Gwalior, India, albumen print, 1870s–1880s

42 of 44

The great gopuram or tower (right) at the east end of this Hindu temple complex, and the gateway (left) leading to the Porch of the Eight Goddesses, the main entrance to the temple, date to c. 1640. Street traders are gathered near the entrance.

Unknown photographer, Gramstorff Collection, Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madura (Madurai), India, albumen print, 1870s–1880s

43 of 44

The Sri Harmandir Sahib (the Abode of God) is the holiest gurdwara (temple) of Sikhism. It was built 1588–1601, and restored in 1764. In the early 19th century the upper floors were covered with gold, hence its popular name, the "Golden Temple."

Unknown photographer, Gramstorff Collection, Sri Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar (Punjab, India),
albumen print, 1870s–1880s

44 of 44