By Liana Jacob
INCREDIBLE colourised photographs from 19th and 20th century British Raj India show the Subcontinent that inspired Rudyard Kipling to write The Jungle Book.
The stunning pictures illustrate the breath-taking High Court seen from Eden Garden in Calcutta, the majestic appearance of the Taj Mahal and the endearing culture of temple maids dancing in South India.
A ceremonious elephant is pictured wearing the state costume and another photograph illustrates the quaint scene of Cawnpore Memorial Well and Garden. One picture remarkably resembles the last scene of The Jungle Book when Mowgli leaves to join a girl in the ‘Man-Village’.
Another photograph reveals a modernised version of the Golden Temple, also known as Sir Harmandir Sahib or ‘The abode of God’ and the birthplace of Rudyard Kipling, Bombay.
Bombay, or Mumbai, is considered one of the most populous urban regions in the world and the second most populous metropolitan area in India.
Rudyard Kipling spent the first six years of his life in India and after ten years of living in England, he moved back to India for six and a half years.
Rudyard wrote The Jungle Book when he lived in Vermont, USA and there is evidence that suggests that he wrote the stories for his daughter Josephine, who passed away from pneumonia in 1899 when she was six years old.
“It chanced that I had written a tale about Indian Forestry work which included a boy who had been brought up by wolves,” Rudyard said.
“In the stillness, and suspense of the winter of ’92, some memory of the Masonic Lions of my childhood’s magazine, and a phrase in Haggard’s Nada the Lily, combined with the echo of this tale.”