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Panorama of Ootacamund [i.e. Udagamandalam] by A.T.W. Penn

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3022EE

Scope and Contents

A panoramic view of Ootacamund (also known as Udagamandalam) made from four jointed prints, measuring a total of 1074 x 205 mm. The prints are linen backed and contained in boards stamped with the title. The view is taken from Elk Hill looking northwards and encompasses the lake at the west, the centre of the town and the outlying bungalows running to the head of the valley in the east. Points of interest in the view include: Ooty Lake, at this period with its eastern end still unreclaimed (print 1); Bombay House, built in the mid 1830s and the official residence of Lord Elphinstone in 1840 (centre of print 2); St Stephen's Church, built 1829-31 (extreme left of print 3); Stonehouse, the oldest building in Ootacamund and later used as Government Offices (extreme left of print 4).

Situated some 60 miles south of Mysore in the Nilgiri Hills, Ootacamund was founded in the 1820s and grew to be the main hill station in the Madras Presidency. It also became the summer headquarters of the Madras Government.


  • Creation: 1870 - 1879


Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

Albert Thomas Watson Penn was born at Street, Wells on 30th March 1849. His first appearance in India appears to have been in around 1875, in which year he was advertising in Thackers Directory as a commercial photographer at Ootacamund (also known as Udagamandalam). He lived and had a studio at Cranley Cottage from 1880. In 1911 his business was styled 'Ootacamund Photo Establishment'. Apart from visits to Europe he continued in Ootacamund until circa 1913, in later years also running the Reliance Auction and Commission Agency and the Farrington (or Farington) Hotel. He is not recorded in later directories although he evidently remained in India after his retirement. He died of cerebral apoplexy at Coonor on 19th October 1924 and was buried there the following day in Tiger Hill Cemetery, All Saints Church (Madras burials: IOR/N/2/136 f. 212).


1 item(s) (1 item)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

in good condition apart from some wear and fading at the joins.

Existence and Location of Copies

This panorama is available on microfiche: South Asia, fiche number 62. There is also another print at Y3022H/40-43.

Related Materials

Y3022FF/1, a panorama taken by Penn from a similar position in about 1905, shows the changes and growth of the town.


For the histories of the buildings shown in the panorama see: Price, John Frederick (1908), Ootacamund: A history, Madras : Government Press. The map of Ootacamund in 1905 at p.240 of this volume identifies most of the buildings.


This collection level description was entered by KS using information from the original typescript catalogue.

Date information

DateText: 1870s..


Penn, Albert Thomas Watson, 1849-1924, photographer

Includes index.
2003-05-21 17:00:40+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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