Nashik, the city of pilgrimage. I wasn’t born in Nashik, but was lucky to grow along with the city. There is something I love about this place, be it the people (not everyone will agree to this) or be it the places. Gifted with abundant nature on all sides, one might not have a particular place to go around but there will be something beautiful in any direction of the city. But often looking for outer beauty, we forget the inner to look at the inner beauty too. I mean the heart of the city. It has so much to offer.
Walk into any lanes from “Main Road” to Ganga- ghaat, and you feel like you are walking into the past. There are many old “waadas” in Nashik. Many of these waadas date back to Peshwa period. Unfortunately, recent past has seen many waadas making way for new constructions, mostly because the old ones are being difficult to maintain or either being too dangerous to live in.
I still have a special feeling for these places especially the Ganga ghat, as these is living legends for me. Living torch bearers of history. But alas, things change with time. We might want to stop them, we might succeed too. But if not, maybe we should do something to cherish them, if not physically, at least in pictures.
On one such occasion, while I was reading through history of Nashik, I realized there are some places from the ghat which were very well documented in the form of photographs more than 100 years ago. I tried to dig into those pictures and an idea struck me-
What if we are able to compare the old images with new ones? What if we are able to again click those places from the same location as 100 years ago? The idea took me by storm.
Here I made my first trial-
And another one.
But I soon realized that using a DSLR to shoot, I will have to juggle a lot to get a good click- holding half image in one hand and clicking with other, with no assistance. Then I decided to go for another trial. Earlier I was intended only to click the image from the same location, but soon I had a striking realization-
While I stood in an exact position, zooming the camera to exact composition, I must be standing at the exact same point where the original photographer (whose black n white image I am holding) must have stood a 100 years ago. All those people who I see in this photo once roamed here right in front of me.
Standing in those photographers’ shoes is what I was doing right now. I imagined him standing side by side with me and instructing me. J This realization also brought a burden of responsibility upon me, to match the photo as close to original as possible.
So, it began, I started shooting with the equipment and made these following images. For the sake of comparison I am placing the old image first and new image below it.
In the original photo, it’s called Old Bazaar; today also there is a huge vegetable market that runs here even today.
A lot has changed since the time original photo was taken. Indeed.
At many points, the old height from which the original image was taken was not available. People didn’t allow climbing into their houses so had to click with whatever available place.
An interesting incidence happened when we were clicking this tower. A middle aged, heavy weight man riding on an old scooter passed by us. Looking at us clicking picture, he stopped by and asked us what we were doing. I showed him the original black and white picture and what we were planning to do. He had this to say, “You are doing a great job. You this, this tower was like a token of love by a king from Punjab to the Peshwas. We are descendants from those Punjabi troops that accompanied the king.”
Awestruck and overwhelmed by this insight, we could not believe there is so much than meet the eyes.
This image was clicked from “Vastrantar Gruha” which I suppose was not there in the earlier times. The old photographer definitely had a vantage point from behind the building where I was standing.
There are some of the remarkable monuments in all these pictures which remain anchor for tracing the change. Prominent one is the Naroshankar Temple which has stood the test of time.
I will be continuing to add photos to this article as and when I find old picture. If you have any old picture, do share with us.
Further, what I learned from this exercise is the photographers then had captured brilliant images with all the details nicely. They didn’t have sophisticated gear but the ones available were expensive for the time. So, they must have meticulously planned the time at which to click the photos, the spot from where to click and even the day on which to click. This is very important even today which I might have clearly missed during the exercise.
Concluding this article for the time being, I would say this, the images stand as a witness of change, of progress, of development and how far we have come. I hope 100 years later; someone would see these images and make another 100 year time travel article on Nashik.
(Disclaimer- All the old photos are properties of the original photographers and The Photographers’ Blog claims no right on them. The color/new photos in the article are clicked by Tejas Shinde. For any use of these photos, please contact The Photographers’ Blog or the author)