'Dhobie's Glen, Mahabaleshwar, Bombay', c 1865.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A photograph of an area called Dhobie's Glen in Mahabaleshwar, India, taken by Samuel Bourne. Mahabaleshwar is the highest hill station in the Western Ghats. It is a region of vast jungles that is a habitat for many medicinal trees and plants. In 1829 it was established as a health resort. The Hindi word 'dhobi' means a clothes washer, and the stream may have been used for washing clothes. Bourne, a pioneer of travel photography, established a studio in Simla, in partnership with Charles Shepherd. Between 1863 and 1870 he undertook several photographic expeditions, including trips to the Himalayas, producing a collection of landscape views unsurpassed in technical skill and compositional elegance.