Feb 28, 2013

Oraon Cole, Aboriginal, Chota Nagpoor - c1860's

Cole National Dance

The Coles of Chota Nagpore
The country called Chota or Chootea Nagpore is the larger portion of an extensive plateau 2,000 feet above the level of the sea, on which are the sources of the Coel, the Soobunrekha, the Damodur, and other less known Indian rivers. The plateau is fenced in most places by a line of hills, some of which attain a height of upwards of 3,000 feet. The whole surface is undulating, sometimes gently, and sometimes abruptly, and the scenery is further diversified by interior ranges of hills, and the protrusion of vast rocks of granite, either in great globular masses, or in huge fragments piled up in most fantastic shapes.

The total area is estimated at 4,468 square miles, with a population of 645,359 souls, of whom about one-half are what are known to Europeans by the name of Coles.

The word Col or Kol is an epithet of opprobrium applied to these tribes by the Hindoos. It is a Sanscrit word, meaning pig or out-cast, and its further employment as a name for a people ought, as Major Dalton, the chief local authority, justly remarks, to be interdicted. It includes many tribes, but the people of Chota Nagpore, to whom it is generally applied, are either Moondahs or Oraons ; and though the two races are found in many parts of the country occupying the same villages, cultivating the same fields, celebrating together the same festivals, and enjoying the same amusements, they do not intermarry. The uniform tradition in Chota Nagpore is, that the Moondahs were the first settlers, and thus acquired certain proprietary rights in the soil, which they are most tenacious of to this day. In nearly every village are found descendants of these first settlers, who are called “Bhooyhars,” land-clearers, and their lands, called “ Bhooyharee,” are very lightly assessed at fixed rates, or, in some instances, held rent-free.

In ancient times the Coles acknowledged no Rajah, but the country was divided into groups of villages called “Purhas,” under chiefs who occasionally met and took counsel together as a confederacy. Traces of this old division are still found. The representative of the old chief of the “Purha” is still in some places amongst themselves styled Rajah, and a meeting of the “Purha" is called whenever it becomes necessary to take into consideration any breach of social observances by one of the tribe.

The Moondahs, the Coles of Singbhoom (called also the Lurka or fighting Coles, but properly the “Ho” tribe), the Sonthals, the Korewahs, and the Kherriahs, are all kindred tribes, speaking the same language, and having many customs in common. The Oraons, who also call themselves Coonkhur, are not of the same family; their language, which is quite different from the Moondah, shows that they are of common origin with the Hill-men of Rajmehal. No other tribe with which they can claim near affinity is known. According to their own tradition, they migrated ages ago from Goojerat, entered the Rhotas hills and Rewah, and when driven from thence, found themselves, after many wanderings, on the Chota Nagpore plateau, and being a peaceable and industrious race, they were well received by the Moondahs, and found no difficulty in obtaining from them permission to settle.

Since that period the two races appear to have lived harmoniously together, assimilated to each other in customs, joining together in amusements, sports, and ceremonies, so that to a casual observer they appear like one people ; but, as before stated, they never intermarry, and each race retains its physical peculiarities.

Physically, the Moondahs are the finer race of the two ; they are taller, fairer, better proportioned, and have more intellectual features. The Oraons are generally a dark-complexioned, short, thick-set race, with round, good-humoured faces of rather a lower type; but neither are wanting in intelligence. The Oraons are the more industrious and energetic ; and it is generally people of their tribe that, under the denomination Dhangur, are employed on great works in all parts of India and in the colonies. The Moondahs mostly love their ease and their lands too much to become voluntary wanderers.

The Coles are frequently spoken of as a wild Hill race living in a jungly country. In reality, they are not far, if at all, behind the agricultural classes of Lower Bengal in point of civilization ; their country is for the most part highly cultivated, and they generally live in villages sheltered by mango and tamarind groves of most venerable and picturesque appearance.

The Oraons and Moondahs dispose of their dead in the same manner. They bum the body near some stream or tank, collecting the ashes in an earthen vessel, which they bury. After a lapse of three years the vessel is taken up, and amidst a curious medley of singing and weeping, lamenting and dancing, re-buried under a large flat stone previously procured and placed in position alongside of those which mark the graves of the deceased’s forefathers in the village cemetery.

In marriages, the Moondahs preserve many ceremonies which the Oraons do not recognise ; some of these are singular. Preliminaries having been settled, the chief brings the price that is to be paid for the girl, which, in Chota Nagpore, varies from seven to ten rupees. The bride (always an adult girl), and the bridegroom, are seated amongst a circle of their friends, who sing whilst the bridesmaids rub them both with turmeric. This over, they are taken outside and wedded, not yet to each other, but to two trees; the bride to a muhoowa tree, the bridegroom to a mango. They are made to touch the tree with "Sindoor" (red powder), and then to clasp it in their arms. On returning to the house, they are placed standing face to face on a curry stone, under which is a plough yoke supported on sheaves of straw or grass. The bridegroom stands ungallantly treading on his bride’s toes, and in this position touches her forehead with “Sindoor.” She touches his forehead in the same manner. The bridesmaids then pour over the head of each a jar of water. This necessitates a change of raiment. They are taken into an inner apartment to effect this, and do not emerge till morning.

Next morning they go down to the river or to a tank with their companions, and parties of boys and girls form sides under the bride and bridegroom, and pelt each other with clods of earth. The bridegroom next takes a water vessel and conceals it in the stream ; this the bride must find ; then she conceals it for him to find. She then takes it up filled with water and places it on her head. She lifts her arm to support her pitcher, and the bridegroom, then standing behind her with his bow strung, and the hand that grasps it lightly resting on her shoulder, shoots an arrow between her arm and the pitcher. The girl walks on to where the arrow falls, and, with head erect, still supporting the pitcher, picks it up with her foot and restores it to her husband. What is meant by the battle of the clods and the “hide and seek” for the water vessel, is not apparent, but the meaning of the rest is plain. The bride shows that she can adroitly perform her domestic duties, and knows her duty to her husband, and in discharging an arrow to clear her path of an imaginary foe, the latter recognizes his duty to protect her.

In the Oraon marriages many of these symbolical ceremonies are omitted, and the important one of exchanging the “Sindoor” is differently performed.

Very few Coles indulge in the luxury of two wives at a time, but there appears to be no law against a plurality, if the man can afford to maintain more than one.

The Coles, whether of the Moondah or Oraon tribe, are passionately fond of dancing, and it is as much an accomplishment with them as it is with the civilized nations of Europe. They have a great variety of dances, and in each steps and figures are used of great intricacy, and performed with a neatness and precision only to be acquired by great practice. Children, once on their legs, immediately set to work at the dancing steps, and the result of this early training is that, however difficult the step and mazy the dance, the limbs of the girls moveas if they belonged to one body. The Coles have musical voices, and a great variety of simple melodies.

The dances are seen to greatest advantage at the great periodical festivals called “Jatras.” These are held at appointed places and seasons, and when the day comes, all take a holiday and proceed to the spot in their best array. The approach of the groups from the different villages, with their banners and drums, yaktails, waving horns, and cymbals sounding, marshalled into alternate ranks of boys and girls, all keeping perfect step and “dress”—boys and girls, with headdresses of feathers and with flowers in their hair, the numerous brass ornaments of the young men glittering in the sun—has a very pleasing effect.

In large villages where there are Oraons, or a mixture of Oraons and Moondahs, there is a building opening on the “arena” called a “Dhoomcooriah,” in which all the unmarried men and boys of the village are obliged to sleep. Anyone absenting himself and sleeping elsewhere in the village is fined. In this building the flags, musical instruments, and other “property” used at the festivals, are kept. They have a regular system of fagging in the “Dhoomcooriah.” The small boys have to shampoo the limbs of their luxurious masters, and obey all orders of the elders, who also systematically bully them, to make them, as is alleged, hardy. In some villages the unmarried girls have a house to themselves, an old woman being appointed, as a duenna, to look after them.

There is very little restriction on the social intercourse between the young men and the girls. If too close an intimacy be detected, the parties are brought before the “Purha” and fined, and if the usual arrangements can be effected, they are made to marry. If a girl is known to have gone astray with a “Dikko,” or stranger, she is turned out of the village, and will not be allowed to associate with her former companions, unless her parents can afford to pay a very heavy fine for her re-admission, and then the damsel must submit to have her head shaved, as a punishment to her and warning to others. (Information supplied by Major Dalton.)

From the Book "The people of India : a series of photographic illustrations, with descriptive letterpress, of the races and tribes of Hindustan"

Cheroo, Aboriginal (Hindoo), Palamow - c1860's

The Cheroos
The Cheroos of the present day call themselves children of the Moon, “Chun-drobuns,” wear the “Janeo,” or Brahminical thread, and declare themselves to be a branch of the Western Chutrees. Their origin is not ascertained. The most distinguished of the race in modem times were the Rajahs of Palamow. According to the family records they were formerly chiefs of Kumaon, and conquered Bhojpore in the Arrah district, expelling the Rajah of that country. There they reigned for six generations, till driven out by a stronger tribe ; they then, some 250 years ago, invaded Palamow, driving from thence the Rajpoot Rajah, who was of the Ruksale family, and who took refuge in Sirgoojah. In Palamow they constructed two extensive forts of brick ; the first built was abandoned in consequence of some unlucky occurrence during its construction, this led to the building of the second, which is a stupendous work, large enough to contain a small town within its lofty walls. Here the last independent Rajah attempted to hold out against a British force, but the fort was breached by artillery, and he then surrendered.

The last of the race died childless, but there are three collateral branches now in existence, and Baboo Hur Buksh Rae, represented in the photograph, is the proprietor of the estate consisting of 370 villages, descended to him through the second of these branches. He is consequently a Cheroo of the best blood.

Feb 27, 2013

Aheer, Hindoo, Shahbad - c1860's


An Aheer, according to Menu, is of mixed origin, the offspring of a Brahmin father and of a woman of the Ambashtha, or medical, caste. The Abhiras, however, were a pastoral tribe, who settled, about the beginning of the Christian era, on or near the lower course of the Indus, on a tract known to classical geographers as the Abiria of Ptolemy, lying north of the Sahyadic mountain, and of Syrastrene. From the pastoral habits of the tribe, its name, in a more or less corrupted form, came to be generally applied to the shepherds and cowherds of Hindostan. They form a distinct caste, and are especially numerous in the north-western provinces, where they are distinguished as three races, acknowledging no other connection than the name of Ahir. which is common to all. The three races are the Nand-bansa (race), Jad- or Yadu-bansa, and Gwal- (Gowala, cowherd) bansa. The first are most numerous in the Central Doab, the second in the Upper Doab and west of the Jumna, the last in the Lower Doab and in the province of Benares. The two first are numerously subdivided, and bear distinctive appellations, taken generally from the place where they reside. Some of the Jad-bansis have embraced Islam, and, in common with certain other tribes, are known as Hangars. Tribes of Ahirs are also numerous in Rajpootana and the Punjab. In the Delhi territory the Ahirs eat, drink, and smoke with Jats and Goojurs, and in some cases with Rajpoots. The several subdivisions intermarry, avoiding only the four families nearest in affinity; and when they are much intermixed, as in the Delhi district, with Goojurs and Jats, they conform to the usage of those tribes in the marriage of the widow of an elder brother to the next in seniority. In some parts of the Bengal territories they are still called Abhirs.

The Ahir tribes extended to the centre and south of India. They are believed to have once possessed considerable power as independent princes, in the Deccan and Telingana, and the period of the “shepherd kings’’ is often referred to in local tradition, as that which preceded the establishment of regular monarchies by Hindu princes. Hill forts are frequently found to bear names traceable to these shepherd princes. Yemmee Gooda, the hill of the buffaloes, Yenna Gooda, the hill of butter, Gwalconda, or Golconda, the Shepherd’s hill. Gawilgurh, in Berar, Aseergurh, in Khandesh, Gwalior, and many others, no doubt belonged to them, and were, possibly, the capitals of princes of these tribes, originally perhaps, nomadic Scythians. The latest authentic record of princely power among the Ahirs, is probably that of Asa Ahir, of Aseergurh, in Khandesh, whose fort was taken by stratagem, by Nusseer Khan Farookhy, afterwards king of that province, about the year 1410 A.D., when Asa and the whole of his family were cruelly put to death. This “shepherd king” is related to have possessed the greater part of Khandesh, Berar, and Gondwana, with 5,000 buffaloes, 5,000 cows, and 20,000 sheep ; all of which, with his family jewels, and his territory, became the spoil of his Mahomedan conqueror, who rebuilt Asa’s fort, calling it Aseerghur, as contracted from Asa-Ahir-Ghur, or the fort of Asa Aheer, which was, no doubt, its original appellation. The tribes of Ahirs and Gwallas, of Berar and Khandesh, are still veiy numerous, and have stations in the Satpoora and other mountain ranges, where they pasture their large herds of cattle during the greater part of the year. Among these tribes, many curious traditions of ancient greatness still exist.

From the Book "The people of India : a series of photographic illustrations, with descriptive letterpress, of the races and tribes of Hindustan"

Feb 26, 2013

Dome, Hindoo Outcaste, Behar - c1860's


THE complexion and mode of life of the Domes indicate the difference of this race from all the other classes of people residing in Behar.

There are no means of obtaining any information which may throw light upon then early history ; suffice it to say that the Hindoos admit their claim to antiquity. Their designation in the Shastras is Sopuckh, meaning dog-eaters.

They are found in every village in Behar, though they have fixed habitations nowhere.

They profess the Hindoo religion, and worship Raho, Sookdeo, and the Debee. They eat the food prepared by all the Hindoo castes, excepting Dhobee (washerman) and Chamar (shoemaker).

They make bamboo baskets, mats, and chicks, or blinds, by which they earn about two annas per diem; but are so fond of drinking, that they spend nearly the whole of it in spirits, and lead a most miserable life, little better than that of a mendicant or Fuqueer.

They receive alms from the Hindoos during the eclipses of the sun and moon. They also supply fire to the funeral pile, for which they are rewarded according to the circumstances in life of those who buy it from them.

They always snatch away the upper covering of a Hindoo corpse as soon as it is placed near the pile. These cloths they sell at very cheap prices to procure liquor. In short, they are employed in most menial offices, and bear a bad character. They have often been convicted and punished as robbers, &c.

Their chief diet is rice and dholl ; they eat swine, as well as the dead bodies of all quadrupeds. Swine are killed at their weddings, and are considered a great luxury.

Notwithstanding profligate habits many of them attain the age of eighty or ninety ; and it is not till sixty or sixty-five that their hair begins to get white. (MS. Documents.)

From the Book "The people of India : a series of photographic illustrations, with descriptive letterpress, of the races and tribes of Hindustan"

Rajbansi, Aboriginal, Now Hindoos, Behar - c1860's


RAJBUNSI or Rajbansi is the modern name of a people of Kocch-Behar, originally belonging to the great Kocch tribe, from which Kocch—commonly called Kocch-Behar—took its name. Their territory originally extended from 88° to 93° E. long., and from 25° to 27° N. lat., and in union with the Mecch or Bodo tribe, they were long successful in keeping out the invading Moslems, Bhootanese, and Assamese. But the grandson of the chief who originated this policy of union, cast off the Bodos, and, with all the people of condition, apostatized to Hinduism : “ the country was renamed Bihar, the people Rajbansis, or descendants of princes,” (see Journal Asiatic Society, Bengal, vol. vii., p. 12), so that only the lowest of the people “ could tolerate the very name of Kocch, and most of these being refused a decent status under the Hindu regime, yet infected with the disposition to change, adopted Islam in preference to helot Hinduism. Thus the mass of the Kocch people became Mahomedans, and the higher grades Hindus; both style themselves Rajbansis ; a remnant only endure the name of Kocch, and of these but a portion adheres to the language, creed, and customs of their forefathers.”

From the Book "The people of India : a series of photographic illustrations, with descriptive letterpress, of the races and tribes of Hindustan"

Dosadh, Low Caste Hindoo, Behar - c1860's

Feb 24, 2013

Rujwar, Low Caste Hindoo, Behar - 1860's


Rujwars, or Rajwars, are a race, supposed (like the Boonyas, with whom they have much in common) to be aboriginal. They occupy the southeastern hills of Behar. During the Mahomedan rule in the province of Behar, they were much employed in guarding the passes of the hills, and possessed holdings of land rent free in payment for their services in this respect. Since the resumption of these holdings they have taken to a vagabond life ; and, their means of subsistence being precarious, they are addicted to robbery and thieving. Great numbers of them are little better than slaves of the various Zemindars of the districts adjoining their native hills. Rice is their chief diet. They have few prejudices of caste, and eat swine, and even the dead bodies of animals. Those, however, who become disciples (Bhuggut) of the Gooroos, abstain from animal food.

They are great drunkards, and indulge in a liquor called Omedha daroo, which is prepared by allowing rice and other grain to stand in water until it decomposes and ferments in the sun.

The Rujwars are divided into numerous clans, the head men of which are called Bhogtas.

Musahar, Low Caste Hindoo, Behar - 1860's

Mullick, Soonee Mohamedan, Behar - 1860's


The Mulliks are considered by other tribes of Mahomedans a distinct race. The ignorant think that they are of giant origin ; but learned Mahomedans suppose that they were degenerate Hindoo Rajpoots who embraced Islam in the reign of Mahomed Ghoree. There is, however, no certain information as to their true origin or genealogy ; but that they are a distinct race is universally admitted.

The Mulliks themselves are ignorant of their genealogy, and object to being questioned about it.

Those who can read and write Persian and Oordoo are generally decent and tractable persons, and often hold offices under Government; but the generality of the Mulliks are a turbulent people, addicted to the use of toddy, and apt to commit all kinds of atrocities while under its effects.

They are chiefly employed in the management of landed property, and fill the subordinate offices of Brahils, Village Gomashtas, and Peeadas.

They profess the Mahomedan religion according to the Soonee tenets ; but have no particular article of diet.

They make a mystery of their peculiar marriage rites, which are performed by their females in a most secret manner, but they are not allowed to form marriage alliances with the other Mussulman sects.

The Mulliks reside chiefly in the province of Behar. They cultivate land, and the wealthy among them possess extensive landed property.

Pahari, Supposed Aboriginal, Bhaugulpore Hills - 1860's


The Paharis or Pahariahs of Bhaugulpoor are a race, inhabiting the hilly and jungly country (the name signifies hillman) of that large territory.

The Pahariah is much shorter than the Sonthal, slighter in make, nearly, if not quite beardless, and of a much less cheerful disposition than his neighbour, with whom he contrasts unfavourably also on the score of industry. His great delight is to lounge in the nearest markets, decked out with beads and chains, his hair fastidiously oiled, combed, and ornamented. He cultivates as little land as possible, preferring to undergo the fatigue of hunting, travelling for miles to get a shot at a deer or peacock, or in roaming about in search of honeycombs, wild yams, or other edible roots.

His religion consists in the adoration of an invisible spirit called Bedo Gosain, who made heaven and earth ; and is worshipped through the medium of various gods, visible and invisible, the former being wooden images, stones, trees, heaps of bones, and skulls of wild animals. He believes in a future state in the form of transmigration : the good, after a short period of happiness with Bedo Gosain, being born again to positions of great wealth and power ; the bad being condemned tor many years to inhabit the vegetable kingdom, or in graver cases to be bound and suffer eternal punishment in pits filled with fire and maggots.

The Paharis encourage polygamy, the maximum number of wives being four. The re-marriage of widows is allowed ; and fornication in either sex is punished by fine, sacrifice, and consequent feasting.

They are largely employed as coolies (or luggage bearers) by persons travelling between the hill and plain country.

From the Book "The people of India : a series of photographic illustrations, with descriptive letterpress, of the races and tribes of Hindustan"

Sonthal, Aboriginal, Bhaugulpore Hills - 1860's


The Sonthals, though belonging to the same race as the Coles, Bheels, and other cognate aboriginal tribes of India, have not, until a comparatively recent period, been settled in the territory which they rendered for a time famous by their rebellion in 1855. They were a wandering race from the neighbourhood of Cuttack and Pulamow, and were permitted in 1832 to settle themselves at the foot of the Rajmahal hills, on land which the hillmen would not cultivate. In 1851, they numbered 82,795 souls.

They are well made and active men ; possessing the thick lips, high cheek-bones, and spread nose of the Bheel, Cole, and other hill tribes, and nearly beardless ; quiet, inoffensive, cheerful, intelligent, and obliging ; timid, cowardly towards mankind, but brave when confronted with wild animals.

They are industrious cultivators, and enjoy their existence unfettered by caste; they eat beef, kid, pork, poultry, drink a spirit called pachui, and have no objection to a hearty dance ; but, on the other hand, do not refuse to eat even snakes, ants, frogs, and field rats, when better diet is scarce. The Sonthal women are fat and short, and though not pretty according to the European idea of beauty, have a very pleasing expression of countenance. The men are generally five feet six inches in height, and weigh about eight stone.

The dress of the men is a small piece of cloth round the loins, that of the women an ample flowing cloth, one end of which is fastened round the waist, the other passed over the left shoulder, leaving the right shoulder and arm uncovered ; the women are fond of such simple ornaments as they can afford (and by no means particular as to weight; one woman’s bell-metal ornaments weighed thirty-four pounds!) the men wear small zinc ear-rings, finger rings, and sometimes a wrist bangle of iron; the hair in both male and female is worn long, and tied in a knot on the crown of the head.

Their religious observances are few, consisting of prayers, sacrifices, and dances “ the whole of which are generally performed and attended to by the votaries whilst in a state of intoxication.” They pray chiefly for protection from famine and sickness, from disease among the cattle, and for defence from wild animals and snakes. To propitiate, their invisible deity, they sacrifice buffaloes, pigs, goats, and poultry, sprinkling the blood of the victim over the offerings of the worshippers. The flesh is eaten by the persons invited to the feast, which generally terminates in debauchery, stimulated by a wild dance. (For an amusing description of the dance, consult Asiatic Journal, vol. xx., p. 553, and of the sacrifice, p. 570*). The marriages mostly take place once a year, in January : for six days all the candidates for matrimony live in promiscuous concubinage, " after which the whole party are supposed to have paired off as man and wife ; feasting and drinking according to the ability of each couple, closes the ceremony.” The families are large, “averaging, perhaps, eight children to each couple.”

The Sonthals, though armed with no more formidable weapons than bows and arrows, are excellent shots ; " so expert that nothing with life is to be found near their villages when of any standing ;" bear falls an easy prey, and Captain Sherwill mentioned having seen running hares and even birds on the wing, brought down by them ; these latter with blunted or knobbed arrows.

The country now inhabited by the Sonthals (the capital of which is Burhait) is situated south of the Ganges, in lat. 26° N., and long. 87° W.

From the Book "The people of India : a series of photographic illustrations, with descriptive letterpress, of the races and tribes of Hindustan"

Feb 19, 2013

Buland Darwaza, Jama Masjid and Hiran Minar in Fatehpur Sikri - c1890's

Buland Darwaza

 Jama Masjid

 Hiran Minar

Photographer: Lala Deen Dayal
Credit: Deepak Jain ( [email protected] )

Udaipur City View and Palace on Lake Pichola - Date Unknown

Udaipur City View

 Udaipur Pichola Lake and Palace

Credit: Deepak Jain ([email protected])

Feb 5, 2013

Government House, Barrackpore, from the south - 1865


This photograph of Government House in Barrackpore was taken in the 1860s by Samuel Borne. Barrackpore, north of Calcutta along the Hoogly river, was founded in 1775 as a cantonment..Government House, designed by Captain Thomas Anbury in 1813 was used as a residence for the British Governors-General.

Source: British Library (bl.uk)

Hindu devotee doing penance on a bed of spikes near the shrine of Kali - Calcutta (Kolkata) 1908

Riverside Temple in Varanasi - Undated Photograph

Source: ebay
Source: afox11 Ebay seller

Feb 1, 2013

The Last Journey of Mahatma Gandhi - February 1948

On 30 January 1948, Gandhi was shot while he was walking to a platform from which he was to address a prayer meeting. The assassin, Nathuram Godse, was a Hindu nationalist with links to the extremist Hindu Mahasabha, who held Gandhi guilty of favouring Pakistan and strongly opposed the doctrine of nonviolence. Know more in Wikipedia

The niece of Mahatma Gandhi (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi) places flower petals on his brow as he lies in state at Birla House, New Delhi, after his assassination. Immediately after this picture was taken the procession left for the burning ghat on the banks of the river Jumna, where the cremation took place.

The body of Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi lying in state at Birla House, New Delhi, before the funeral cortege leaves for the burning ghats on the banks of the River Jumna.

 A Sikh priest reciting the scripts from the Gurugranth Saheb, while the body of Indian statesman and advocate of non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi, lies in state, covered with a Khadar sheet.

Members of the ashram of Indian political and spiritual leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi gather around his body as it lies in the state room in Birla House shortly after his assassination.

Vast crowds surge around the truck on which the body of assassinated Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi lies, as it passes slowly along the funeral route to the funeral pyre in New Delhi.

Vast crowds follow the body of assassinated Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi, as it passes slowly along the funeral route to the immersion ceremony in New Delhi.

Hindu and Muslim mourners following the funeral procession of the Indian statesman and advocate of non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi.

Crowds gathering to pay tribute to the Indian statesman and advocate of non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi, at the Birla House in Delhi where he was assassinated.

A crowd watching the funeral pyre of Indian statesman and advocate of non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi.

Picture dated 10 February 1948 shows the funeral pyre of the Mahatma Gandhi burning into flames during his funerals. Ashes of India's freedom icon Mahatma Gandhi were scattered 30 January 2008 off the coast of the financial capital Mumbai in a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of his assassination by a Hindu fanatic.

The ashes of Mahatma Gandhi, Indian nationalist leader, are collected at his funeral, held in Delhi and attended by several thousand people.

Indian politician and Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, paying tribute to the Indian statesman and advocate of non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi, at a meeting to pay homage to his memory.

The body of martyred Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, known as the Mahatma Gandhi for the ceremony of cremation. Almost one million people took part in the Mahatma Gandhi's funeral procession to reach the cremation grounds near New Delhi and mourn their leader, slain by an assassin’s bullets as he walked to prayer at Birla House.

The ashes of assassinated Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi being carried through the streets of Allahabad before being consigned to the River Ganges. Allahabad, in northern India's Uttar Pradesh State, is one of India's holiest cities, lying at the confluence of the Yamuna and Ganges rivers.

The Governor General's Bodyguard heading the procession on the 5.5 mile route through New Delhi to the funeral pyre during the funeral of Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi.

A crowd watching the funeral procession of Indian statesman and advocate of non-violence Mahatma Gandhi.

Vast crowds surge around Howrah Bridge in Calcutta (Kolkata) to mark the funeral of the assassinated Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi.

Source: in.news.yahoo.com