This film is part of Free

Panorama of Calcutta, India, From the River Ganges.

One of the earliest films to be shot in India apparently shows the Calcutta ghats - or does it?

Non-Fiction 1899 2 mins Silent


This is one of the earliest films to be shot in India, apparently showing the Kolkata (Calcutta) ghats as seen from the perspective of a boat travelling along the Hooghly river, a tributary of the Ganges. However, although the film's title states that this is Calcutta, the footage was in fact shot in the holy city of Varanasi (also on the Ganges), some 400 km to the north west.

The error is not the fault of the archivists - the film appears under that title in the Warwick Trading Company's catalogues. The same catalogue shows other films - now lost - from around Calcutta, which were presumably shot by the same cameraman on the same trip, and may explain the confusion.