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French India Colonial Bungalow With Punkah – Old Photo 1870

This is an old 1870 photo of the interior of a colonial bungalow with punkah in French India. Possibly in the French-occupied territory of Pondicherry. Slightly rare to find a photograph showing a bungalow’s two huge punkahs. On the back, it has a text in French translated. That reads “Chandernagor- living room in the house.”

See also post- Antique 1865 Photograph of Life In British India Era

Chandernagor or  Chandannagar is a part of West Bengal today. It was once a French colony from 1696 to 1952. The spacious living room is tastefully furnished. Check the beautiful and expensive artifacts and furniture of the room. Conspicuously visible are the two huge overhead punkahs that in proportion show the hugeness of the room. The Punkah is a lengthwise cloth fan hanging from the ceiling.

Swishing back and forth by pulling a rope attached to it that creates a good amount of breeze. Specially designated for the job was a punkah man. He would be required to swish the punkah the whole night when the European owners are asleep. Electric fans did not come into the scene until the 1900s.

Read more- Punkah: The Hand Operated Ceiling Fans of Colonial India

Did you know- the word Bungalow originated from Bengali referring to a huge commodious house 

More from the collection- Raja Ravi Varma’s “Birth of Shakuntala” Oleograph c1894., Maharaja Of Travancore Chithira Thirunal – Old Postcard 1955., Chinese Boats On The Malabar Coast – Old Print 1746

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

Photo Details

Year -


Photograph Size -

8 x 6 inches

Photographer -

Unknown British Indian photographer