Construction of Willingdon Island Kochi, 1929 Map

Old 1929 map showing the areas of construction in progress at Willingdon Island in Cochin (Kochi). Robert Bristow was the “Harbour Engineer In Chief” of this man-made island project. The island was formed by reclamation in the Great Vembanad Lake. The brain behind this massive project was the Britisher Robert Bristow.

He was a harbour engineer in the British era of Madras. Appointed by Lord Willingdon then Governor of Madras Presidency. Who had taken a keen interest in developing the island. Complete with its infrastructure of a harbour, railway station, airport, offices, bridges, and so on. Bristow landed in Cochin in 1920 and began his work earnestly.

Looking at the map only ¼th of the area seems to have been completed. Dredger ships dredged the channel discharging mud into the demarked boundaries that formed the island. It would take another ten years time (1939) for the work to be fully completed. Willingdon Island took form around an existing small natural island called Venduruthy. The references in the map read- “Mooring Berths completed shown solid black. Portions dredged coloured dark blue. Areas to be reclaimed coloured Pink. Area already reclaimed coloured red. ” Click on the photo for better view.

Did you know – Willingdon Island lies between Fort Cochin and Ernakulam.

From the collection – Antique Painting of Madras Fort St George., WW2-Calcutta Should Be Evacuated – Old Photo 1942., Buckingham Canal Old Waterway of Chennai, 1900., Cochin Jewish Synagogue Old Print 1927.

The images are of the actual items from my collection. And Not a photocopy, pirated, reproduced, stock photos, or taken from other sources.