Uttarakhand Stories

Rare Photos of Himalayas Depicting the Life and Region in late 18th Century

by Manoj Bhandari
Dec 15, 2016

Note: We used same old captions of photos. In late 18th Century, the map of the Himalayan region was different. Most of the pictures are from the south-western Himalayas which are amazingly depicting the glaciers and culture of that period. Also in many photos, Gangotri and Nelang region are mentioned in Tehri district because at that time Uttarkashi was the part of Tehri kingdom. Apart from Uttarakhand, this rare collection also includes the photos from other regions of Himalayas.

About Carl Griesbach: Born and brought up in Vienna, Carl initially worked for the Austrian Geological Survey(1867 to 1868). He also led a German scientific expedition to Portuguese East Africa. After this, he joined 6th Battalion Royal Fusiliers when he was in England. During his service period, he was present in the battles of Girishk (14 July 1880), Maiwand (27 July 1880), and Kandahar 1 Sept 1880 and reached the rank of Lt. Colonel!

He joined Geological Survey of India in 1878. He wrote 26 article about African and Indian geology and illustrated them through sketches. Most of the photos taken by him are damaged or missing. He completed the survey of Hundes/Spiti /GarwalHimalaya in 1882-83. On Feb 1887 he was awarded by CIE (Companion of the Indian Empire) and he rose through his ranks and became the director of Geological Survey of India(1894 to 1903). He died in Graz on 13-Apr-1907.

Source: Geological Survey of India

Some glimpse of his work in Hundes/Spiti /Garhwal Himalayas

C. L. in Hundes and Spiti – Section I

Temple Ukhumath Garwal 1882

Temple Ukhumath Garwal 1882

Temple Gopeswor Garwal 1882 (damaged)

Temple Gopeswor Garwal 1882 (damaged)

Road between Pandu Keswar and Joshimath British Garwal 1882

Road between Pandu Keswar and Joshimath British Garwal 1882

Road between Gaurikund and Ukhalgadera (Kedernath Road) Garwal 1882.

Road between Gaurikund and Ukhalgadera (Kedernath Road) Garwal 1882.

Rhaetic Beds Shinki River Hundes 1882

Rhaetic Beds Shinki River Hundes 1882

Rawal's House Gopeswar Garwal 1882(Damaged)

Rawal’s House Gopeswar Garwal 1882(Damaged)

Rawals House Gopeswar Garwal 1882 (damaged).

Rawals House Gopeswar Garwal 1882 (damaged).

Rajah of Tihri (damaged on one half only)

Rajah of Tihri (damaged on one half only)

Palace Srinagar, Garhwal 1882

Palace Srinagar, Garhwal 1882

Kedernath peaks as seen from Muktinath (1882)Gharwal, Griesbach, 1882

Kedernath peaks as seen from Muktinath (1882)Gharwal, Griesbach, 1882

Group of Hunnias and Niti coolies Shirkia camp N of Niti pass (Griesbach#41)

Group of Hunnias and Niti coolies Shirkia camp N of Niti pass (Griesbach#41)

Group of Hunias and Coolies, Sinki Camp, Hundes 1882

Group of Hunias and Coolies, Sinki Camp, Hundes 1882

Granite veins in Gneiss, right side of Dhaiuli river valley, N of Niti 1882

Granite veins in Gneiss, right side of Dhaiuli river valley, N of Niti 1882

Forest scene Champatta, Garwal 1882

Forest scene Champatta, Garwal 1882

Dr Wilson and his hospital (Garwal) 1882

Dr Wilson and his hospital (Garwal) 1882

Dharmsala near the temple Ukhimath Garwal. 1882

Dharmsala near the temple Ukhimath Garwal. 1882

Daldakharak #1 from the Niti Pass, Garwal 1882

Daldakharak #1 from the Niti Pass, Garwal 1882

Begging Lama, Shinki Camp, British Garwhal, 1882

Begging Lama, Shinki Camp, British Garwhal, 1882

Ancient Gurka Palace Srinugger Garwal 1882 (glued to envelope)

Ancient Gurka Palace Srinugger Garwal 1882 (glued to envelope)

Ancient Gurka Palace Srinugger Garwal 1882 (glued to envelope).

Ancient Gurka Palace Srinugger Garwal 1882 (glued to envelope).

C. L. in Hundes and Spiti – Section II

Boundary of the granite with the lower Silurian, Mona Gadh, Nilang Valley, Hundes

Boundary of the granite with the lower Silurian, Mona Gadh, Nilang Valley, Hundes

Village scene Mahari Shanti GangaVlalley 1882

Village scene Mahari Shanti GangaVlalley 1882

Temple of Gangotri from the river side 1883

Temple of Gangotri from the river side 1883

Temple looking down the valley,Gangotri,1883

Temple looking down the valley,Gangotri,1883

Southside of temple, Kedernath, Garwal, 1882.

Southside of temple, Kedernath, Garwal, 1882.

Peaks and temple of Kedernath 1882.

Peaks and temple of Kedernath 1882.

Panorama 66 snowy peaks NW of Nilang seen from the Tsang Tsok La Hundes

Panorama 66 snowy peaks NW of Nilang seen from the Tsang Tsok La Hundes

Panorama 65 snowy peaks NW of Nilang as seen from the Tsang Tsok La in Hundes 1882

Panorama 65 snowy peaks NW of Nilang as seen from the Tsang Tsok La in Hundes 1882

Nilang River Valley near bridge between the Jangla and the Karechan camps north of Nilang Hundes.

Nilang River Valley near bridge between the Jangla and the Karechan camps north of Nilang Hundes.

Nilang peaks from the road between Pulamsunda and Sonam encampment ground Hundes 1882

Nilang peaks from the road between Pulamsunda and Sonam encampment ground Hundes 1882

Nilang glacier Tihri, Garwal 1882.

Nilang glacier Tihri, Garwal 1882.

Kedernath Temple 1882

Kedernath Temple 1882

Gangotri Glacier looking south from the Gan Much

Gangotri Glacier looking south from the Gan Much

Hundes from the Tsang Tsok La 1882

Hundes from the Tsang Tsok La 1882

Hairmanta cliffs north of Sonam Camp Tihri Garwal 1882

Hairmanta cliffs north of Sonam Camp Tihri Garwal 1882

Gowmuckh Gangotri glacier 1883

Gowmuckh Gangotri glacier 1883

Gneissic gorge between Niti and Gamsali Garwal 1882

Gneissic gorge between Niti and Gamsali Garwal 1882

Gangotri Valley between Bhairanghatti and Gangotri 1883

Gangotri Valley between Bhairanghatti and Gangotri 1883

Gangotri Glacier looking south from the Gan Much

Gangotri Glacier looking south from the Gan Much

End Moraine Gangotri Glacier from the Gan Much 1883

End Moraine Gangotri Glacier from the Gan Much 1883

Temple and Brahmins Gangotri 1883

Temple and Brahmins Gangotri 1883

Shepherds and Goats Dogma Aur in Hundes

Shepherds and Goats Dogma Aur in Hundes

Panorama of the Nilang Pass 1883

Panorama of the Nilang Pass 1883

Panorama of the Hop Gadh from the Tsang Tsok La in Hundes (1883)

Panorama of the Hop Gadh from the Tsang Tsok La in Hundes (1883)

Nilang Peaks as seen looking southwards from the top of the Mana Gadh leading into the Changan valley, Hunda 1883

Nilang Peaks as seen looking southwards from the top of the Mana Gadh leading into the Changan valley, Hunda 1883

Lama in the Dankar convent Spiti 1883

Lama in the Dankar convent Spiti 1883

Lama and Tibetan Nun at Karda Enclosure Ground (Hundes) via Nilang Pass 1883

Lama and Tibetan Nun at Karda Enclosure Ground (Hundes) via Nilang Pass 1883

Lake as seen from SE by S near the mana Gadh in Hundes 1883

Lake as seen from SE by S near the mana Gadh in Hundes 1883

Village scene Mahari Shanti GangaVlalley 1882

Village scene Mahari Shanti GangaVlalley 1882

Temple of Gangotri from the river side 1883

Temple of Gangotri from the river side 1883

Temple looking down the valley,Gangotri,1883

Temple looking down the valley,Gangotri,1883

Southside of temple, Kedernath, Garwal, 1882.

Southside of temple, Kedernath, Garwal, 1882.

Peaks and temple of Kedernath 1882.

Peaks and temple of Kedernath 1882.

Panorama 66 snowy peaks NW of Nilang seen from the Tsang Tsok La Hundes

Panorama 66 snowy peaks NW of Nilang seen from the Tsang Tsok La Hundes

Panorama 65 snowy peaks NW of Nilang as seen from the Tsang Tsok La in Hundes 1882

Panorama 65 snowy peaks NW of Nilang as seen from the Tsang Tsok La in Hundes 1882

Nilang River Valley near bridge between the Jangla and the Karechan camps north of Nilang Hundes.

Nilang River Valley near bridge between the Jangla and the Karechan camps north of Nilang Hundes.

Nilang peaks from the road between Pulamsunda and Sonam encampment ground Hundes 1882

Nilang peaks from the road between Pulamsunda and Sonam encampment ground Hundes 1882

Nilang glacier Tihri, Garwal 1882.

Nilang glacier Tihri, Garwal 1882.

Kedernath Temple 1882

Kedernath Temple 1882

Gangotri Glacier looking south from the Gan Much

Gangotri Glacier looking south from the Gan Much

Carl Griesbach in Hundes and Spiti – Section IV

Deodars on the road near Chini; Sutlej Valley looking east, 1883

Deodars on the road near Chini; Sutlej Valley looking east, 1883

Enlarged view of figure by lake

Enlarged view of figure by lake(Damaged)

Granite inclusions in schists opposite Nausgeah, Kumaon, 1883

Granite inclusions in schists opposite Nausgeah, Kumaon, 1883

Granite intrusions in schists between Mamgeh and Dobling Kinawar Himalaya 1883.

Granite intrusions in schists between Mamgeh and Dobling Kinawar Himalaya 1883.

Lake as seen from SE by S near Mana Gadh in Hundes 1883.

Lake as seen from SE by S near Mana Gadh in Hundes 1883.

Mission House Puch Kumaon Himalaya 1883

Mission House Puch Kumaon Himalaya 1883

Mission House-2 Puch Kumaon Himalaya 1883

Mission House-2 Puch Kumaon Himalaya 1883

Nila Pass glacier (looking south) Tihri Garwal 1883

Nila Pass glacier (looking south) Tihri Garwal 1883

Nila Pass glacier towards south. Tihri Garwal, Central Himalaya, 1883

Nila Pass glacier towards south. Tihri Garwal, Central Himalaya, 1883

Panorama of Hundes from the pass above Shipki, 1833

Panorama of Hundes from the pass above Shipki, 1833

Panorama of Sutlej Valley from the Shipki pass 1883

Panorama of Sutlej Valley from the Shipki pass 1883

Pillars in glacial deposits left by denudation, north of Ganesh Ganga camp, [pour] Dhauli Ganga, 1882, Griesbach#15

Pillars in glacial deposits left by denudation, north of Ganesh Ganga camp, [pour] Dhauli Ganga, 1882, Griesbach#15

Temple South of Gowrah bungalow near Saharn, Sutlej Valley, 1833

Temple South of Gowrah bungalow near Saharn, Sutlej Valley, 1833

Trias section opposite Khar village Din River (Spiti) Part of Panorama. 1833

Trias section opposite Khar village Din River (Spiti) Part of Panorama. 1833

Trias section Opposite Khar, Spiti 1833

Trias section Opposite Khar, Spiti 1833

Source: Geological Survey of India

Manoj Bhandari

Manoj Bhandari


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