Britishers On Tour of Cochin Backwaters – Old Photo 1895
An old 1895 photo of some Britishers on a tour of the Cochin Backwaters. There are two Britishers and locals standing around. Also visible are a country boat (vallams) and a modern boat that was possibly used by the Britishers. Interestingly the Britisher’s bags are lying on the jetty both seemingly on a lengthy tour.
The inscription in pen on the back reads “Start of backwaters from Trivandrum – 20 miles south of Trichur Mar 1898.” Cochin lies around the south of Trichur, now Thrissur but by road, it is around 70km apart. Since the British had business interests in coffee, tea, teak, and so on. These could also be planters from the estate region of either Calicut (or Kozhikode), Wayanad, Nilambur, then in the Malabar region.
Today all these places are part of Kerala state. Kerala had no proper roads or rails in those bygone years. There were no proper bridges to span the countless backwaters and canals. With the exception of few occasional bridges or junker service. Traveling intermittently by boat through the backwaters then by road was the norm back then.
Read about Waterways transport in Kerala. See posts- Map Of Travancore Backwaters & Coast 1866, and Princely State of Cochin And Harbour – Old Map 1833.
Did you know- The geography of Kerala is unique, with the Arabian sea on one side and the western ghat mountain range running parallel on the other side.