30 Photographs Of Famous Indian Monuments Taken More Than 100 Years Ago And How They Look Now

author image
4:00 pm 24 May, 2015

India is home to some of the world’s most beautiful historic monuments. You may have either visited them or seen them in photographs. But these old, almost anachronistic photos, open a window that shows us just how majestic the monuments looked before the gaggling cacophony of unruly tourists disturbed their peace. We must say, however, that some are looking really better.

 

1. View of Taj Mahal – 1855.

 

1_Photo of Taj Mahal taken in 1855

 

The marble monument as it looks now.

2. Garden of the Taj Mahal – 1870s.

 

2_Garden of the Taj Mahal - 1870's

 

And they have made way for the tourists.

3. Qutub Minar Compound, Delhi – 1870s.

 

3_Qutb Minar Compound - Delhi 1870's

 

As the minar looks now.

4. Delhi Gate of Red Fort, Delhi – 1895.

 

4_Delhi Gate of Red Fort - Delhi 1895, Photographed by Lala Deen Dayal

 

The mounds have been flattened.

5. BBD Bagh (formerly Dalhousie Square) Kolkata – 1912.

 

5_BBD Bagh, formerly Dalhousie Square), Kolkata lit at night for the 1912 British royal visit

 

At least the old charm is still intact.

6. Lall Dighi and General Post Office (GPO), Kolkata – 1875.

 

6_Lall Dighi and General Post Office (GPO) - Calcutta (Kolkata) 1875

 

The dighi is, thankfully, still there.

7. Char Minar, Hyderabad.

 

7_Charminar Hyderabad

 

More crowded than before.

8. Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi – 1865.

 

8_Manikarnika Burning Ghat - Benares (Varanasi), 1865

 

The ghat as it looks now.

9. Taj Mahal Hotel from Arabian Sea, Mumbai – 1900.

 

9_Taj Mahal Hotel from Sea - Bombay (Mumbai) c1900

 

Need we say more.

10. Victoria Railway Station, Mumbai – 1900.

 

10_Victoria Railway Station in Bombay (Mumbai) c1900

 

It is surprising that there were so many trees facing the station back then.

11. View from the south-west of the High (then Supreme) Court building on Esplanade Row, Kolkata – 1875.

 

11_View from the south-west of the High (Supreme) Court building on Esplanade Row in Calcutta (Kolkata) - c1875

 

The building stands amidst the clamour.

12. Tomb of Akbar, the Great in Sikandra, Uttar Pradesh – 1860s.

 

12_Tomb of Akbar the Great in Sikandra, a Suburb of Agra, Uttar Pradesh - c1860's

 

As it looks now.

13.The Dilkusha Palace, Lucknow – 1858.

 

13_The Dilkusha Palace - Lucknow c1858

 

Such grandeur lies in this state now.

14. Temple on Charmundy Hill, Mysore – 1890s.

 

14_Temple On Charmundy Hill At Mysore india c1890s

 

Now, now! Take a look at the devotees!

15. Kashmiri Gate, Delhi – 1890s.

 

15_Kashmir Gate In Delhi India c1890s

 

Yes, this was once a real gate, not the metro station.

16. Kedarnath Temple, Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand – 1882.


 

16_Old Photograph of Kedarnath Temple in Garhwal Himalaya, Uttrakhand - 1882

 

Where there is God, there will be (more) people.

17. Srikanteshwara Temple, Nanjangud, Karnataka – 1890s.

 

17_Srikanteshwara Temple, Nanjangud - Karnataka 1890's

 

Those police-erected barriers indicate this place is thronged by devotees.

18. Jami (Jama) Masjid, Delhi – 1865.

 

18_Distant View of the Jami (Jama) Masjid, Delhi - 1865

 

As if under siege by the growing city.

19. Tomb of Safdarjung, New Delhi – 1938.

 

19_Tomb of Safdarjung - New Delhi 1938

 

A better yesterday?

20. Tughlaqabad Fort, Delhi – 1870s.

 

20_tughlaqabad-fort-in-delhi-c1870s

 

There has been some pretty good restoration here.

21. Annamalaiyar Temple (Arunachaleswarar), Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu – 1890s.

 

21_Annamalaiyar Temple (Arunachaleswarar) in Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu - 1890's

 

The pot and the honeybees. (Where there is a temple, there are devotees. Where there are devotees, there is money.)

22. Jagannath Temple, Puri, Orissa – 1890s.

 

22_Jagannath Temple, Puri Orissa - 1890's

 

The same place but with bigger crowds.

23. Dakshineswar Kali Temple, Kolkata – 1890s.

 

23_Dakshineswar Kali Temple in Calcutta - 1890's

 

Some buildings look in a better shape.

24. Prinsep Ghat, Kolkata – 1850s.

 

24_Prinsep's Ghat, Calcutta (Kolkata) - Albumen Silver Print c1850's

 

Where history stands alongside a symbol of progress.

25. Agra Fort, Agra, Uttar Pradesh – 1900s.

 

25_Agra Fort, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, 1900's

 

Decked up for the bucks.

26. Jama Masjid, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, 1860s.

 

26_Jana Masjid, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, 1860's

 

Trains, why?

27. Qutub Shahi Tomb, Golconda, Andhra Pradesh – 1928.

 

27_Qutub Shahi Tomb Golconda, Andhra Pradesh - 1928

 

Not much of an improvement but enough for a tourist.

28. Howrah Station View, Kolkata. (Undated but before construction of Howrah Bridge.)

 

28_Howrah Station View Kolkata

 

An ever growing megapolis.

29. Howrah Bridge, Kolkata – 1940s.

 

29_Howrah bridge 1940's

 

Horns and honking.

30. Jami Masjid in Gulbarga Fort – Gulbarga district, North Karnataka – 1880.

 

30

 

Rising population all around.

The vintage images have been sourced from Old Indian Photos and their Facebook page.

 

Popular on the Web

Discussions