Khadakwasla Lake In British Era Poona, 1870 Photo
This is one of the oldest photos of Khadakwasla Lake, taken in 1870, during the British era in Poona (Pune). After the third Anglo-Maratha War of 1818, the British East India Company got control of almost the whole of India. They developed Poona and Kirkee (Khadki) into a cantonment area. Not only because of its strategic location but also for its cool climate. Since Pune was on the Deccan Plateau where the weather was cooler than the plains.
And also for its close proximity to Bombay or Mumbai which was just 150 km away. Like Bangalore or Bengaluru the British went on to develop Poona into a major city in the western region. One of their prime tasks was to ensure an uninterrupted drinking water supply to the city. Khadakwasla Lake was the nearest freshwater body (21 km away from the city) and an ideal source for the supply of drinking water.
Shown in this photograph are a British officer and a lady in the foreground and the huge lake in the background. The lake would be subsequently dammed in the 1870s for irrigation and drinking water purposes by the British. See my post-Khadakwasla Dam Pune – Old Postcard 1905. Also in this post there is a smaller-sized photo from the 1960s that I was lucky to get hold of.
It shows the same location where the Europeans stood but far developed than what it was nearly 100 years later. Since the area became the establishment of the Military Engineering Service or MES. The background shows at the time of the dam burst (1961). The National Defence Academy or NDA would be opened on the other side of this lake in 1955. Read more on- National Defence Academy, Cradle of Leadership.
Did you know- the beautiful Rajgad Fort was the capital of Shivaji’s Maratha Empire which was just 156 km away from Poona.
From the collection- Vintage Raja Ravi Varma “Shivaji” Oleograph Print., Public Works Office Building Mumbai 1872 Old Photograph., Trams Near Crawford Market Bombay Vintage 1914 Postcard., The Gairsoppa Falls or Jog Falls – Old Print 1894