Thursday, 14 August 2008
Lakes in Pune
During 1857 my great great grandfather was serving with the Bombay Artillery in the campaign against the Persian's at Bulshire at the head of the Gulf. He's sitting in the boat holding onto the pontoon in the picture above.
Somehow he came into contact with one of the very first cameras to be used in Asia.
We don't know if he operated it himself, or if he used the services of a professional photographer.
An album survives, and through it, it is possible to trace his route back to Bombay in India, and then up the Ghats to Poona, as he knew it.
In the course of researching the locations that these photos were taken, I have received a great deal of help from young Indian trekkers who spend there weekends scrambling up the very passes my ancestors campaigned over.
These same young trekkers are often very environmentally aware. They are trying to get the tree cover restored, and they are trying to halt the damage that is occurring to the lakes and rivers.
Amongst the sadiest of the recent bits of environmental damage being done, is that occuring to the lakes in Pune.
By chance, these lakes were one of Charles Barton's favourite recreational spots.
As the pictures show he used to row on the lakes.
Sadly these lakes are now much smaller and have been filled up in many cases.
These lakes were once a very important part of Pune's life.
Shouldn't they be protected?