Two extensive views of The Nilgiris (then spelt Neilgherries) in Southern India.
one signed ‘Just Gantz’
12 ˝ x 18 in. (31.7 x 45.6 cm.)
This area was developed as a settlement after 1827, when the practice of the upper strata of British Indian society moving to the hills for the summer season began. By 1829, the Nilgiris had a small European population of 500 against a native population of about 6,000 according to the 1825 census.
From the 1830s Protestant missionaries settled there, and established churches and schools. The new settlements were nostalgic imitations of “back home”, the settlers having brought with them their “English” cottages, flowers, plants and even fish!
Altogether the coolness, the greenness of the grass and the fertility of the land, attracted many Europeans, whilst it was in the hands of the East India Company. After 1857 the settlement transferred to the Crown and Europeans of various metiers opened up vast plantations of coffee, tea, eucalyptus and wattle.
The British Library has several watercolours of the Nilgiris painted around this period, before photography came in in the 1860s