British Cantonment At Deolali – Old Postcard 1895
This is an old 1895 photo postcard of the British Cantonment at Deolali, now Devalali. Established in 1861 the cantonment was a transit point and training center for British troops. Newly arrived British soldiers would be sent to Deolali for training and acclimatizing. Putting them to rigorous drills, route marches, trekking, and so on. Then send them off to various military camps and units in India.
Devlali town is on the Deccan Plateau which has a cool climate all year round was an ideal location for European soldiers coming from England. Even to a hardened British military official India’s harsh weather could be a complete putoff. In lieu, Devlali gave a sort of soft landing from the harsh Indian weather conditions for the troops. The cantonment was a city in a city. With its own clubs, bazaars, entertainments, and so on, but living conditions and food were said to be poor.
Wellington in the Nilgiris was the acclimatization center to the south of India. The barracks at Wellington was generally meant for the British soldiers to get acclimatized especially for the newer arrivals. They easily fell sick because of the oppressive heat of the plains of the Madras Presidency. Click on the photo for better view.
Did you know- Hindi film actors Dilip Kumar and Vinod Khanna did their schooling at Devlali.
From the collection- Raja Ravi Varma’s “Birth of Shakuntala” Oleograph c1894., Bombay Backbay View From Malabar Hill – Old Print 1900., Malabar Hill Bungalow With Punkah – Old Photo 1890., Indian Revolt Lucknow & The Residency – Vintage Map 1900