Bombay – Calcutta Train & Tiger Hunting, 1900 Postcard
This is an old 1900 postcard of the Bombay (Mumbai) to Calcutta (Kolkata) train. Also shown is a picture of a tiger and an inset image of a maharajah, probably synonymous with hunting. In the Colonial-era years, Europeans had a huge appetite for any information on India its culture, and daily life. The onset of picture postcards by the 1880s would satiate their cravings greatly.
Picture postcards became hugely popular so much so that it became the Instagram of its time. Shown is a steam locomotive chugging from Bombay to Calcutta. The proposal for the introduction of the railways to British India was first brought in by the 1840s. The first railway journey was undertaken from Mumbai to Thane in 1853. See my post- First Train In India Bombay to Thane – Old Print 1853.
By the mid to the end of the 18th century, the railways connected the three major seaport cities- Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. Thereafter extending to the whole of the country rapidly. Logistically it became a lot easier for the British to move troops and commodities across the vast terrain of India quickly. It should be noted before the arrival of the East India Company, the three major cities Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai were almost nonexistent.
Their growth can be credited to the expansion of the railways under the British. Tiger hunting became a pastime and was considered a royal sport in colonial times. Read more- Tiger Hunting.
Did you know- trains in British India had four classes: First, Second, Third and Fourth. The first class was equivalent to luxury class.