Panoramic View of Cochin Port, 1948 Postcard

cochin port

An old 1948 photo postcard with a panoramic view of Cochin Harbour and the port office. “The history of civilization is written largely in the history of its ports.” Famous words by Robert Bristow, the architect of Willingdon Island the largest man-made island in India. Cochin, now Kochi has a history of Romans, Venetians, Greeks, Phoenicians, and Chinese maritime traders visiting its shores.

Ancient Rome, depended largely on the Malabar coast for its oriental luxuries. Then came the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the East India Company, also seeking the wealth of India. When the British Crown took over the East India Company after the Indian rebellion in 1857, efforts to make Cochin an up-to-date port began. But it was not until 1919 that work got underway to open up and expand its complex backwaters into a harbour.

Robert Bristow was responsible for creating a new man-made island off Cochin, between 1920 and 1941. This was all about the battle of sea, mud and the backwaters, with all the problems of reclamation and building. The scheme had to overcome considerable engineering doubts and difficulties. In the end, it did succeed, and success was due in great measure to the skill, persistence and faith of Sir Robert Bristow. The result of which can be seen in this panoramic view of the Cochin Harbour and the port office. Click on the photo for better view.

Did you know – that Lotus Club in Ernakulam was founded by Robert Bristow’s wife Gertrude bristow in 1931.

From the collection – 1964 M. Suriyamoorthy Charcoal Art Abstract (#7)., King George & Queen Mary Procession Calcutta, 1912., Flood Scene In 19th Century Mumbai – Old Print 1868., Aden, Bombay, Madras & Calcutta – Vintage Map 1910.