March 7, 2018

Wonderful Life of India in 1969 Through an Australian Traveler's Lens

In 1967, Bruce Thomas and Stuart Harper first met each other while working in geological mapping parties in outback Australia.

“We both separately had plans to drive overland from India to the United Kingdom, so we decided to join forces. Stuart had already purchased a vehicle for the journey, a 1961 model Fiat 600 Multipla which had cost just $175 (perhaps more than $2000 today). It was then extensively overhauled.”

“Ships travelling to India from Australia were rare in 1969 as the Six Day War in the Middle East had led to the closure of the Suez Canal in 1967. By booking 12 months in advance, we secured berths on the P&O cruise liner 'Oriana' which was sailing from Sydney to Colombo via Hong Kong and Singapore. We departed on 12 February 1969.”

Some 1800 photos (50 rolls) were taken on their journey, and here are 43 they shot when in India in 1969.

A street stall selling saris, Madurai

A semi-precious gemstone dealer shows his wares, Jaipur

A well trained elephant for heavy lifting, Kerala

A young girl cradles her younger sister

Amber Palace

Camels on the street of Rajasthan

Canal in Kerala

Cantilever 'fishing machines' along the coast of Kerala

Craftsman preparing enamel inlaid brass plates, which are a specialty of Jaipur

Drivers of the ubiquitous auto rickshaw, Halebid

Elephant on the street of Kerala

Flower sellers by the roadside in Jaipur

Krishna River

Man dressed in colorful turbans and earrings for the celebration of Rama's birthday, Mandu

Man enjoying one of the simple pleasures of life, puffing on his chillum, Jaipur

Mother Ganga, the holy Ganges River

On the road in Rajasthan

Policeman on duty, Jaipur

Portrait of a fakir in Hassan

Portrait of a fine moustache man in Mandu

Portrait of an elegant young lady in Mandu

Portrait of an elegant young lady, with her brother in Mandu

Rajasthan

Rameswaram

Rameswaram

Ritual bathing in the holy Ganges River

Something for the ladies on market day, Hassan

Street scene in Jaipur

Street scene in Jaipur

Street scene in Jaipur

Street scene of Kerala

Taj Mahal, Agra

Taj Mahal, Agra

The 1000-year-old, 57ft tall statue of the Jain saint Gomateswara, Shravanabelagola

The Burning Ghats where cremations continuously occur, Benares

The faithful engage in ritual bathing in the Ganges each morning, crowding extensive Ghats along the river, Benares

The Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) in Jaipur

The interior of Amber Palace

The Maharaja's Palace in the centre of the city of Mysore

The main roads into and out of Bombay under repair

Tie dyeing on the street of Jaipur

Visitors in Mandu

Weavers working on a simple hand loom in the street, Madurai






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