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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.

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Temples of India
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Temples of India

Travelogue193810 mins

Technicolor temple tour shot by the great Jack Cardiff

Sarnath, Benares & Santal Tribes
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Sarnath, Benares & Santal Tribes

Documentary193427 minsSilent

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

Taj Mahal, Local Indian Scenes and a cruise to Port Said: Colonel Alexander Personal Film 5
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Taj Mahal, Local Indian Scenes and a cruise to Port Said: Colonel Alexander Personal Film 5

Non-Fiction19448 minsSilent

Luscious colour photography of the Taj Mahal and a Mediterranean cruise to Port Said

Gwalior
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Gwalior

Interest film19220 minsSilent

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

Street Scenes in India: Colonel Alexander Personal Film 1
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Street Scenes in India: Colonel Alexander Personal Film 1

Non-Fiction19359 minsSilent

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

Khalapur Carpets
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Khalapur Carpets

Promotional193212 minsSilent

Indian carpets make their way to Montreal in this promotional film

Rajputana, Jhalawar, Bundi & Katakali Dancers
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Rajputana, Jhalawar, Bundi & Katakali Dancers

Amateur film194011 minsSilent

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

Grand Lodge Deputation to India
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Grand Lodge Deputation to India

Amateur film19277 minsSilent

Footage shot during an intrepid hunting trip in India

Boys' Home in Ahmednagar
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Boys' Home in Ahmednagar

Non-Fiction19051 minsSilent

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

Benares Chungking Ichang
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Benares Chungking Ichang

19166 mins

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

Local Scenes in India and the Taj Mahal: Colonel Alexander Personal Film 2
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Local Scenes in India and the Taj Mahal: Colonel Alexander Personal Film 2

Non-Fiction194715 minsSilent

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

Murzapur
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Murzapur

Amateur film19321 minsSilent

Life and death in the trading town of Mirzapur, where the river Ganges meets the highland ranges of India

Edward Prince of Wales' Tour of India: Bombay, Poona, Baroda, Jodhpur and Bikaner
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Edward Prince of Wales' Tour of India: Bombay, Poona, Baroda, Jodhpur and Bikaner

Travelogue192221 minsSilent

The future Edward VIII visits his Empire, with Indian royalty, elephants, palaces and temples.

Edward Prince of Wales' Tour of India: Malakand, Kapurthala and Dehra Dun
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Edward Prince of Wales' Tour of India: Malakand, Kapurthala and Dehra Dun

Travelogue192215 minsSilent

The future Edward VIII visits Malakand, Kapurthala and opens the Royal Military College at Dehra Dun

Edward Prince of Wales' Tour of India: Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior and Delhi
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Edward Prince of Wales' Tour of India: Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior and Delhi

Travelogue192220 minsSilent

The future Edward VIII enjoys a stately procession and visits the Taj Mahal before meeting senior Indian royalty

Edward Prince of Wales' Tour of India: Bikaner, Lucknow, Benares, Nepal and Great Tiger Shoot
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Edward Prince of Wales' Tour of India: Bikaner, Lucknow, Benares, Nepal and Great Tiger Shoot

Travelogue192221 minsSilent

The future Edward VIII enjoys receptions, playing polo and hunting tigers on his royal tour

Our Greatest Ambassador
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Our Greatest Ambassador

Non-Fiction192233 minsSilent

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

India - Hardwar C.1931: Gorrie Personal Film No. 29
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India - Hardwar C.1931: Gorrie Personal Film No. 29

Amateur film193118 minsSilent

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

Picturesque India or, In and About Calcutta
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Picturesque India or, In and About Calcutta

Travelogue19135 minsSilent

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

Historic Mutiny Sites
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Historic Mutiny Sites

Travelogue19145 minsSilent

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

The Central Himalaya
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The Central Himalaya

Amateur film194423 minsSilent

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

Disastrous Bombay Fire
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Disastrous Bombay Fire

Non-Fiction19141 minsSilent

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

In Rural Maharashtra
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In Rural Maharashtra

Documentary194511 mins

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

Commissioner Higgins Visits Ahmedabad Girls' School
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Commissioner Higgins Visits Ahmedabad Girls' School

Non-Fiction19044 minsSilent

Salvation Army officials are given a welcoming salute on a visit to a girls' school in Gujurat, western India

Simla - Maharajah Kumar
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Simla - Maharajah Kumar

Amateur film192816 minsSilent

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

Romantic India
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Romantic India

Travelogue193517 mins

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

In India Today: Gandhi : Stormy Petrel of Indian Politics Pathé Gazette No. 1705
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In India Today: Gandhi : Stormy Petrel of Indian Politics Pathé Gazette No. 1705

Non-Fiction19302 minsSilent

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

Sir John Laing Missionary Films Delhi & The North
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Sir John Laing Missionary Films Delhi & The North

Amateur film194718 minsSilent

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

Wedding of Maharaj Kumar Shri Meghrajji Shaeb of Kutch and Maharaj Shri of Kishangarh, 1933
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Wedding of Maharaj Kumar Shri Meghrajji Shaeb of Kutch and Maharaj Shri of Kishangarh, 1933

Amateur film193342 minsSilent

Fireworks, illuminations and traditional dance all feature in a stunningly opulent royal wedding at Kundla, Gujarat

Mapping all Red Air Route to India
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Mapping all Red Air Route to India

Non-Fiction19241 minsSilent

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

Lion-tiger Fight
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Lion-tiger Fight

192910 minsSilent

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

Glimpses of India
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Glimpses of India

Travelogue192931 minsSilent

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

Gaumont Graphic No. 383
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Gaumont Graphic No. 383

Non-Fiction19146 minsSilent

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

Calling Blighty (Wolverhampton)
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Calling Blighty (Wolverhampton)

War194413 mins

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

Visit of Mr. and Mrs. J. Royle and Miss H. Dowell to Kutch State...
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Visit of Mr. and Mrs. J. Royle and Miss H. Dowell to Kutch State...

Amateur film193634 minsSilent

Amateur footage of a tour of Kutch, Gujarat, as guests of the Maharajah

Montreal and India Newsreel Compilation - C. 1922
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Montreal and India Newsreel Compilation - C. 1922

Non-Fiction19225 minsSilent

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

Eastern Architecture 1630 A.D.
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Eastern Architecture 1630 A.D.

Travelogue19408 minsSilent

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

Blind Guides Camp
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Blind Guides Camp

19451 minsSilent

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

Native Life in Bundi
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Native Life in Bundi

Amateur film19359 minsSilent

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

Nine Countries in Ninety Minutes
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Nine Countries in Ninety Minutes

Travelogue193763 minsSilent

Amateur film travelogue of a journey around various parts of the world in 1937, by Frances Hotham F.R.G.S, A.R.P.S.

Garhwal Himalayas Expedition 1939
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Garhwal Himalayas Expedition 1939

Amateur film193952 minsSilent

Film directed by Peter Oliver of his expedition to Garhwal, or the ‘Valley of the Flowers’ with Frank Smythe, in 1937.