INDIAN STATE RAILWAYS. A Collection of Four Indian State Railways Brochures. Sanchi. North West Frontier. Budh Gaya. Poona. Indian State Railways Publicity, [c. 1930s].
Tall slim 8vo. Illustrated paper wrappers; pages vertically folded; pp. 16; 16; 12; 16; with a variety of photographs in the text, as well as a Government of India State Railways Department Tourists' Map of India; a little rubbing to extremities of wrappers, with a few unobtrusive marks to boards; the Sanchi issue has a small section missing to edge of lower portion of front board; a very nicely produced set of travel booklets.
Each booklet includes a 'Hints to Travellers' section, advising on the best months of the year to visit the sub-continent, as well as transportation best suited to travellers. 'Sanchi is situated in the Bhopal State [now Madhya Pradesh State], 549 miles from Bombay, 897 from Calcutta, and 1116 from Karachi' and was served, during the 1930s, by mail and express trains (p. 1). The text and photographs on Sanchi detail the rich history of the religious architecture. The pamphlet on the North West Frontier includes photographs of the turbulence of this area; 'one of the attractions of India is undoubtedly the very great mixture of peoples which inhabit this vast country. Journeys through it provide endless opportunities of studying many different races, most of whom are picturesque, especially in those parts where the spread of civilisation has not yet destroyed the old costumes and customs' (p. 2). The guide to Budh Gaya alludes to the importance of this site in Buddhism, also capturing the essence of the architecture in this region. 'Gaya is on the direct route of the Indian State Railways between Bombay and Calcutta, 1057 miles from the former and 292 miles from the latter, representing 37 and a 1/4 hours or 7 and a 1/4 hours journey by mail train respectively' (p. 1). The text and photographs on Poona reflect the multitude of temples and gardens the city has to offer, noting that 'although it is close to Bombay, few travellers halt there unless cimpelled to do so, yet Poona is rich in a multiplicity of interests … it may claim to be one of the most charming towns in India' (p. 1).