India of tomorrow - handsome schoolboys of Amritsar, at the Golden Temple beside the Holy Tank
Photographer: Ricalton, James
Medium: Photographic print
Stereoscopic photograph of schoolboys at the Golden Temple at Amritsar in the Punjab, taken by James Ricalton in c. 1903, from The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India. The Hari Mandir is situated at Amritsar, the holy city of Sikhs founded in 1579. It is the holiest of the Sikh gurudwaras and contains the Adi Granth, the Original Book. The temple is an example of late Mughal architecture and was built by Guru Arjan Dev in 1764 over several earlier structures. The large rectangular tank in which it stands is known as the Amrita Sarovar or Pool of Nectar. This is one of a series of 100 photographs, designed to be viewed through a special binocular viewer, producing a 3D effect. The series was sold together with a book of descriptions and a map with precise locations to enable the 'traveller' to imagine that he was touring around India. Stereoscopic cameras, those with two lenses and the ability to take two photographs at the same time, were introduced in the mid 19th century and revolutionised photography. They cut down exposure time and thus allowed for some movement in the image without blurring as subjects were not required to sit for long periods to produce sharp results.