Tag Archives: Hersh Acharya

The Taj at Apollo Bunder

26 November, 2015
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Shine On

Windows: Taj Mahal Palace Hotel (1903)

Apollo Bunder.

Legend has it that the Indian industrialist Jamsetji Tata begun the Taj in 1903, in retaliation for being denied admission into the European run and owned Esplanade Hotel or Watson’s Hotel in Bombay. This account is highly implausible.
The Esplanade Hotel hosted Indian guests as early as 1871, the year of its opening. Three young Bengalis, fresh from passing the Civil Service Examination in England in 1871, stayed at the Esplanade before their return to Calcutta.

In another popular account Tata begun the Taj after being barred from entering Pyrke’s Apollo Hotel in Bombay. This is also an implausible anecdote.
Apollo Hotel (1887) was run by a Parsi proprietor, Hormusji Modi. E. W. Pyrke was made a partner proprietor only in late 1904, a year after the Taj had opened, and after which the business was conducted under the modified name of Pyrke’s Apollo Hotel.

This post is dedicated to the cities, citizens and structures that have been brutally attacked by terrorists in recent months.

‘Shine on’ says photographer Hersh Acharya.

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‘O God, please pay attention to all these matters’

15 May, 2014
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Interiors: Afghan Church (1858)

Interiors: Afghan Church (1858)

Church of St. John the Evangelist, Colaba.

Whenever Britain went to war in the 19th century, Bombay’s various communities would gather to pray at churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and fire temples.

‘O Almighty God! We pray to you that the Queen of this country be granted an honourable victory in the present fighting. The King of Kings should grant her army and navy special strength and wisdom, bless the Queen with a long life, and ensure the prosperity of her empire.’

Prayer gatherings offered avenues for a leveled participation in the Empire. They required no monetary contribution, only an emotional earnestness, and if the war was won, all could claim to have played a part.

An Acharya armed only with his camera.

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Saal & Navroze Mubarak

21 March, 2014
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We are oneFolks our blog turns one today. Thank you for all the support, encouragement and generosity.

Simin, Sitanshu, Hashim, Hersh and Dj.

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Battle of the Clocks

25 February, 2014
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Clocks: Victoria Terminus (VT) (1888)

Clocks: Victoria Terminus (VT) (1888)

Bori Bunder (presently Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus {CST}, Dadabhai Naoroji Road).

Guest Post by Dr. Prashant Kidambi.

In the early twentieth century Bombay witnessed an extraordinary ‘Battle of the Clocks’. The controversy erupted in July 1905 when the Government of India, invoking the imperatives of science, civilization and commerce, introduced a Standard Time for the whole country. The Victoria Terminus, like other railway stations in the city, fell in line and adopted Standard Time. But across the road, Indian nationalists in the Bombay municipality orchestrated a vociferous public movement against the decision, and succeeded in overturning an earlier Corporation resolution adopting the new time. They thereby inaugurated a tradition of local resistance to Standard Time that lasted until March 1950.

Hersh Acharya captures the clock that compromised first.

Dr. Prashant Kidambi is a Senior Lecturer in Colonial Urban History at the University of Leicester.

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That fellows got to swing

1 November, 2013
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Pop-up: Dhobi Ghat

Pop-up: Dhobi Ghat (1890-95)

Dhobiwada Road, Mahaluxmi.

Hanging was the predominant method of execution in Bombay. Early instances of hanging were public spectacles, where the victims were displayed in chains to the gathered crowds.

Hersh Acharya captures hung shirts with a Wildean wistful eye.

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