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West and Central India

A journey through central and west India from Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh to Gujarat and Maharashtra.

From Dehradun’s bustling bazaar and pilgrims at the holy city of Haridwar, we travel to Varanasi and the world’s earliest surviving film of India from 1899. A royal visit in 1922 takes us to Gwalior, Bhopal and Indore before heading off to Ahmedabad in 1904. We arrive in Mumbai through the Gateway of India before joining a wedding in rural Maharashtra.

The collection includes films from Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

triangle triangle
West and Central India

RECOMMENDED

View Temples of India
Temples of India
Watch for free 11 mins

Temples of India 1938

Technicolor temple tour shot by the great Jack Cardiff

11 mins United Kingdom Director. Hans M. Nieter

View Sarnath, Benares & Santal Tribes
Sarnath, Benares & Santal Tribes
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Sarnath, Benares & Santal Tribes 1934

Film of the Santhal tribe of North East India featuring Sarnath and Benares (Varanasi) in Uttar Pradesh.

39 mins Germany

View Gwalior
Gwalior
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Gwalior 1922

The Prince of Wales and the Maharajah of Gwalior ride an elephant in a grand procession

1 mins Great Britain

View Street Scenes in India
Street Scenes in India
Watch for free 7 mins

Street Scenes in India 1935

From the arrival of a new viceroy to street markets, this amateur film captures the diversity of life in colonial India

7 mins India

View Khalapur Carpets
Khalapur Carpets
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Khalapur Carpets 1932

Indian carpets make their way to Montreal in this promotional film

United Kingdom

BROWSE THE COLLECTION

View Rajputana Jhawalar Bundi & Katakali Dancers
Rajputana Jhawalar Bundi & Katakali Dancers
Watch for free 11 mins

Rajputana Jhawalar Bundi & Katakali Dancers 1940

A trip to the spectacular city of Bundi and a Kathakali dance performance, filmed in vivid colour by 'envoy of the Raj' Clarmont Skrine.

11 mins United Kingdom

View Boys' Home in Ahmednagar
Boys' Home in Ahmednagar
Watch for free 1 mins

Boys' Home in Ahmednagar 1905

What’s the hidden message inside this intriguing film, shot at a Salvation Army establishment in western India?

1 mins United Kingdom

View Benares Chungking Ichang
Benares Chungking Ichang
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Benares Chungking Ichang 1916

Arresting early film images of both northern India and central and south western China.

5 mins Great Britain

View Local Scenes in India and the Taj Mahal
Local Scenes in India and the Taj Mahal
Watch for free 11 mins

Local Scenes in India and the Taj Mahal 1947

This collection of amateur shots features some of the most important landmarks of Islamic power in India

11 mins India

View Murzapur
Murzapur
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Murzapur 1932

Amateur film of Mirzapur City shot by medical missionary Ronald Carpenter.

United Kingdom

View Our Greatest Ambassador
Our Greatest Ambassador
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Our Greatest Ambassador 1922

Richly detailed record of the Prince of Wales' Indian tour, 1921-22.

30 mins United Kingdom

View India - Hardwar c.1931
India - Hardwar c.1931
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India - Hardwar c.1931 1931

Amateur shots of pilgrims and temples at Haridwar, followed by rural scenes and the Gorrie family at home.

12 mins United Kingdom

View Picturesque India or, In and About Calcutta
Picturesque India  or, In and About Calcutta
Watch for free 4 mins

Picturesque India or, In and About Calcutta 1913

Botanical gardens in Bombay (now Mumbai) plus the highly decorative Jain Temple in Calcutta (now Kolkata) as they were in 1913.

4 mins USA

View Historic Mutiny Sites
Historic Mutiny Sites
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Historic Mutiny Sites 1914

Sixty years after the event, this travelogue indicates the continued potency of the Indian Mutiny to the British in India.

5 mins United Kingdom

View Khyber Pass; Kashmir; Agra
Khyber Pass; Kashmir; Agra
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Khyber Pass; Kashmir; Agra 1928

Romantic, atmospheric travelogue capturing some of northern India’s most iconic places – not least the Taj Mahal.

7 mins United Kingdom

View The Central Himalaya
The Central Himalaya
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The Central Himalaya 1944

Trek in the Central Himalaya, Uttarakhand. On foot, no pack animals for best part of a month.

8 mins United Kingdom

View Disastrous Bombay Fire
Disastrous Bombay Fire
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Disastrous Bombay Fire 1914

Fireman attend to the smouldering ruins of a major cloth market fire in Bombay, now Mumbai.

1 mins United Kingdom

View Home Life
Home Life
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Home Life 1928

Join the Hunter family for a tour of colonial domestic life in 1920s north India in this three-part amateur film.

32 mins United Kingdom

View In Rural Maharashtra
In Rural Maharashtra
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In Rural Maharashtra 1945

Happy farmers, a wedding and some giant cauliflowers...

12 mins India

View Simla - Maharajah Kumar
Simla - Maharajah Kumar
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Simla - Maharajah Kumar 1928

From Sir Conrad Corfield's collection, this film shows scenery around Simla, wrestling and a visit by the Maharajah Kumar.

11 mins United Kingdom

View Romantic India
Romantic India
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Romantic India 1935

Cotton, rice and tea, mountain railways, elephants and buffalo: India’s life, landscape and people through Western eyes.

18 mins United Kingdom

View In India To-day!
In India To-day!
Watch for free 1 mins

In India To-day! 1930

Newsreel capturing the final leg of Mahatma Gandhi's epic 24-day march through Gujarat to break the colonial salt laws

1 mins United Kingdom

View Delhi & The North
Delhi & The North
Watch for free 12 mins

Delhi & The North 1947

Grand buildings and missionary work come together in the 1947 Indian tour of construction magnate John W. Laing.

12 mins Great Britain

View Mapping all Red Air Route to India
Mapping all Red Air Route to India
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Mapping all Red Air Route to India 1924

Sir Sefton Brancker starts on an ambitious 14,000 mile trip to Bombay (now Mumbai)

1 mins United Kingdom

View Lion-tiger Fight
Lion-tiger Fight
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Lion-tiger Fight 1929

This travelogue follows hunters in the Gir forest, capturing the titular fight and the gruesome aftermath.

11 mins USA

View Glimpses of India
Glimpses of India
Watch for free 15 mins

Glimpses of India 1929

Indian travelogue featuring the famous sights and rural life, from Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin) to the Khyber Pass.

15 mins United Kingdom

View Gaumont Graphic No. 383
Gaumont Graphic No. 383
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Gaumont Graphic No. 383 1914

Indian soldiers in Bombay in October 1914 en route to German East Africa (now Tanzania)

United Kingdom

View Calling Blighty (Wolverhampton)
Calling Blighty (Wolverhampton)
Watch for free 13 mins

Calling Blighty (Wolverhampton) 1944

“Hello Wolverhampton”. British troops in Bombay send poignant messages to their families back home

13 mins United Kingdom

View Montreal and India Newsreel Compilation - C. 1922
Montreal and India Newsreel Compilation  - C. 1922
Watch for free 4 mins

Montreal and India Newsreel Compilation - C. 1922 1922

The Taj Mahal and shots of Jalandhar nestle between footage from Canada and Africa in this intriguing film compilation

4 mins United Kingdom

View Eastern Architecture 1630 A.D.
Eastern Architecture 1630 A.D.
Watch for free 7 mins

Eastern Architecture 1630 A.D. 1940

Wonder at the beauty, splendour and grace of the Taj Mahal, erected in 1630 by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan

7 mins United Kingdom

View Bombay
Bombay
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Bombay 1928

Testing the water in the districts of Bombay (Mumbai) is a serious affair for these state officials

10 mins United Kingdom Director. Malcolm Watson

View Native Life in Bundi
Native Life in Bundi
Watch for free 7 mins

Native Life in Bundi 1935

Home movie snapshots of street life in Rajasthan, courtesy of Colonel George Craster

7 mins United Kingdom

View Colonel Webb's Film
Colonel Webb's Film
Watch for free 19 mins

Colonel Webb's Film 1927

A group of civil servants journey through Amritsar, Haridwar and Varanasi on a tour of irrigation installations in India

19 mins United Kingdom

View Sports - Maharajah - Tazia
Sports - Maharajah - Tazia
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Sports - Maharajah - Tazia 1932

Rural fairs, wildlife, a military sporting contest and a visit by a Maharajah - plus a lively monkey

10 mins United Kingdom

View Blind Guides Camp
Blind Guides Camp
Watch for free 7 mins

Blind Guides Camp 1945

Peppy report on India's first national gathering of visually-impaired girl guides.

7 mins India

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