Older Pictures – Nainital

I have to begin this post with a caveat; it is quite possible that one or more of these photographs are not actually of Nainital, but perhaps of somewhere else. They are certainly of India, but there is nothing written on the back of the photographs. The majority were my father’s, taken by him on leave during the 1940’s, and since he died a long time ago I can no longer question him.

Nainital means the ‘eye lake’, and refers to the goddess Parvati. According to legend, her eye fell into the lake when Lord Shiva, her husband, carried her body back to their home on Mount Kailash.

naini tal

This first one is a postcard I bought on my visit to Nainital in 2005. Normally, you expect a postcard today to be a picture of as good a quality as possible, so I was delighted to find this one. I have no idea how old the original would have been, but I would guess that it dates from the inter-war period.

hill station 4

This one was taken by my father (or so I assume – another caveat, I suppose!) since it was amongst the ones I inherited from him.

hill station 2

This one I believe is of Nainital, although I cannot work out any details of either the direction it was shot, or the buildings down the hillside. Someone who knows Nainital (Rajiv?) might be able to help me with this one.


Snow View, Nainital. The back of the postcard is blank, and so again I have no idea how old it would be. Google is no help, either. I found two other copies of the postcard, but neither told me anything about the picture.

hill station 1a

A view across the lake.


And a view of some pretty serious recreational boating.

dad 1

My father indulging in some of this recreational boating.


Finally, a photograph of one of his army mates. Although I have no idea who the subject is, I really like the photograph.

37 thoughts on “Older Pictures – Nainital

  1. These pictures elicit nostalgia! You are right, it’s difficult to spot and mark the place where it was shot. While the buildings are easier to locate, that’s not the case with the scenery. The postcard you mentioned of the snow line should be dating to 1950’s-60’s when such postcards were popular. I can’t be 100% certain, though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, it’s difficult, Arv. The post card looks superficially very similar to one or two of the ones I posted a month or two back about Darjeeling, and those ones proved to be surprisingly old – around the early 1900’s. It is obviously hand-coloured before printing, as were two of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely Mick! How wonderful it would have been back then. It is always good to find old memories and good to see you preserve them. Know I know your Indian connect. Nice to see your Dad too, you resemble him a lot. Have a good day Mick. Stay blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I love black and white photography. It IS special, although that’s probably a mixture of nostalgia and something else that I simply can’t put my finger on. And it’s true, as I’ve got older I’ve grown more like my dad.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What an awesome stroll back to a very different time, and (for me) different place Mick. It’s great that you’ve held on to these photos. While may not have vintage photos, I’m pretty sure I have a pair of pants that looks an awful lot like your father’s army buddies.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the atmosphere of old black and white photographs like these, Mick. Perhaps the friend who appears in the last picture is the one who took snapped your dad. Whenever I see old photographs like these, I always begin wondering about what happened just before, what happened next, who was just out of shot, what the photographer and subject talked about, and so on and so on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, i am so delighted to be here. It sure looks Nainital, not that i have been there multiple times though.

    I would suggest you to visit India (and Nainital in particular). I guess your Dad would be happy from above.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Alok. I have visited India a number of times, including Nainital. When you have a moment, there are quite a few posts about India on my site, some of which I hope will interest you. Many thanks for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

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