Rare 100-Year-Old Photos of India from the British Raj Era

The most interesting discoveries are indeed made in the most unlikely of places: a treasure-trove of photographs, documenting life in India over 100 years ago during the British Rule, has been found in a shoebox in Edinburgh.

A shoe box full of 178 photographs capturing how life was in British ruled India has been discovered in the archives of Scotland’s national collections. The glass-plate photos were found inside a size-nine shoe box by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The negatives were believed to be dated back to 1912 were found in a fragile condition.

These black and white images capture the how life was in India during those time. The collection has photos ranging from religious ceremonies to images of King George V’s visit to India to a series of photographs depicting the lifestyle of the common man.

Take a look at some of the rarest pictures that portray life during the British Raj… (Photographs Courtesy: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland)

A crowded riverside with bathers at Chandpal Ghat in Calcutta, the main landing site for visitors to the city along the Hooghly River

Waterside with a group of washermen at a Dhobi Ghat

Fishermen of Kolkata taking a break

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This is the Jain Temple Complex of Kolkata

The Sadhus of that era seems to be taking a break!

So this is the Traditional way of getting a Hair Cut!

Two men stick dance in front of a crowd in Maidan, Calcutta. The dance represents a mock fight between legendary warrior Durga and the mighty demon king Mahishasura

Archivists have confirmed some of the images were definitely taken in 1912, when the royals visited. It was the only trip by a British monarch to India as Emperor of the subcontinent

Seems like Calcutta is lit up for the royal visit

Unknown location, possibly the a Ghat of Kolkata