Srinagar

The film is nearly over. Our story so far: After his success in the trial at Chandrapore court, Dr Aziz decides to leave Chandrapore, and go 'hundreds of miles from here in an Indian state out of British India'. He chooses Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir, which has a Muslim majority even though it was ruled by a Hindu. He opens a small hospital, next to the Jhelum river.

Jhelum River, Srinagar - Click to show full-size image in new browser
Jhelum River, Srinagar - 1

Godbole, now Minister of Education in Srinagar, goes to visit Dr Aziz, and tells him that Fielding and his wife are coming for a visit. Fielding has already written to Aziz, but Aziz, assuming that Fielding has married Miss Quested, ignores the letters. Godbole tries to persuade Dr Aziz to see them when they are here, but Aziz refuses. 'I'm sorry, but I've had enough of showing Miss Quested India.'

Jhelum River, Srinagar - Click to show full-size image in new browser
Jhelum River, Srinagar - 2

You can see a map of Srinagar in 1924 below. The Jhelum river is in the bottom left corner. It runs right through old Srinagar town, and is crossed at various points by bridges. If you follow the vertical stretch of the Jhelum river up the map, on the right hand bank, about 1cm below the sharp turn to the left, you will see the words 'Shah Hamdan' and a white dot on the river bank. This is the Shah Hamdan mosque, built in 1395 by Shah Sikandar to commemorate the visit of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani, better known as Shah Hamdan. This mosque is the tall spire to the right of the film-scenes above. The scenes were thus taken looking north, up the river, shortly before it swings west. The fort, in the first scene, is the 18th century Hari Parbat fort, atop Sharika Hill. It was built in 1776, though the surrounding wall dates from 1592, during the rule of Emperor Akbar. In the first scene, you can also spot Professor Godbole, in the centre of the bridge, on his bicycle.

Dr Aziz looks from his hospital window - Click to show full-size image in new browser
Dr Aziz looks from his hospital window

The house used for the hospital must also have been right next to the same bridge. I visited Srinagar in 2005, but unfortunately did not have any stills from the film with me, or I would have tried to locate it.

Professor Godbole in Srinagar's old town - Click to show full-size image in new browser
Professor Godbole in Srinagar's old town

This shop should also be very easy to find, right next door to the hospital.

Professor Godbole visits Aziz's hospital - Click to show full-size image in new browser
Professor Godbole visits Aziz's hospital

Click here to see the original 1924 map of Srinagar
Map of Srinagar and Lake Dal - 1924

Srinagar old town 2005 - Click to show full-size image in new browser
Srinagar old town 2005 - 1

These photos were taken during my first-ever visit to Srinagar, in the summer of 2005. As mentioned above, I did not have any stills from the film with me, so just took some scenes of the old town at random. I remembered the bridge used in the film, but no other details - the critical one for its identification is of course the Shah Hamdan mosque.

Srinagar old town 2005 - Click to show full-size image in new browser
Srinagar old town 2005 - 2

Srinagar old town 2005 - Click to show full-size image in new browser
Srinagar old town 2005 - 3

The right bridge, but taken from the wrong side - Click to show full-size image in new browser
The right bridge, but taken from the wrong side

Shopfront in old Srinagar - Click to show full-size image in new browser
Shopfront in old Srinagar

Old Srinagar - bazaar area - Click to show full-size image in new browser
Old Srinagar - bazaar area

The next bridge up river from the Shah Hamdan - Click to show full-size image in new browser
The next bridge up river from the Shah Hamdan

 

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