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Notes on the Geography of India Themes: Brick, Plaster, Stone, Wood

Here's a collection of palaces, churches, office buildings, and commercial and residential buildings that haven't changed since Jawaharlal Nehru took charge of India from a graceful and probably grateful Lord Mountbatten.

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India Themes: Brick, Plaster, Stone, Wood picture 1

The famous Lucknow Residency, left in ruins after the Mutiny. Henry Lawrence is buried nearby. The grounds are now a park, well tended and used, though no longer the hallowed ground they were during British times.

India Themes: Brick, Plaster, Stone, Wood picture 2

The Nizam of Hyderabad did not appreciate his subservience to the British, who loaded him with titles but kept a garrison nearby. They also stationed a Resident in town. Here, one of the gates to the Residency, now a girl's school. There's a ruined British cemetery out back.

India Themes: Brick, Plaster, Stone, Wood picture 3

The massive Coles Centennial church in Kurnool, between Hyderabad and Bangalore. The striking thing is that it was built to serve Indians, not Europeans. It's one of the more substantial churches built by American missionaries working in India. The missionary was a Reverend W. H. Stanton who in retirement wrote a published memoir.

India Themes: Brick, Plaster, Stone, Wood picture 4

A church in Mahabaleshwar, the hill station south of Pune (Poona) that served as the seasonal retreat for the government of Bombay.

India Themes: Brick, Plaster, Stone, Wood picture 5

A Canadian Mission school in the Krishna delta, between Vijayawada and Machilipatnam.

India Themes: Brick, Plaster, Stone, Wood picture 6

An extravagant remembrance of Victoria, Empress of India. Built for her jubilee in 1897, it still stands at the northern entrance to Puddukottai, then a small princely state but now only a town between Tiruchirappalli and Madurai.

India Themes: Brick, Plaster, Stone, Wood picture 7

A strange place: the combined residence and office of the director of the livestock improvement station in Hissar, west of Delhi. The project is a venerable one in the history of agricultural improvement in India, and it's still an active place, despite the mournful quality induced by the still waters.

India Themes: Brick, Plaster, Stone, Wood picture 8

A pharmacy on the main street in Kanpur. When Mr. Charles was here, the place was spelled Cawnpore.

India Themes: Brick, Plaster, Stone, Wood picture 9

Expiration dates? Don't ask. But the cabinetry and glassware are splendid.

India Themes: Brick, Plaster, Stone, Wood picture 10

A bit of bedroom opulence in a private home at Machilipatnam, at the mouth of the Krishna River. The owner was convinced that the furnishings were extremely valuable, but he had no way to get them to any market where a buyer might agree.


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