This chromolithograph is taken from plate 4 of William Simpson’s ‘India: Ancient and Modern’. The artist depicts the teeming street of the bustling city of Bombay (Mumbai), a hub of India trade. A distinct feature of the architecture was the elaborate red-and-green coloured carving on wooden pillars and beams of houses. The man in a white turban reading a book is a Parsi priest. Simpson wrote: “the high turban of a Parsi is sure to greet you everywhere”. The Parsis were adherents of the Zoroastrian religion and mostly concentrated in Bombay. Their ancestors had fled Muslim persecution in eighth-century Iran in the eighth century. At the time of this image they began to adopt items of western dress along with their native clothing.
Digital Rare Book:
The Charm of Bombay – An anthology of writings in praise of the first city of India.
By R.P. Karkaria
Published by D.B. Taraporevala Sons & Co., Bombay – 1915
Image: A street in Bombay – 1867
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