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and modifi ed them to match their own imported
idealized images.
Despite its perceived limitations, the gaze is
adopted as the main analytical tool in this chap-
ter and will be used initially to construct the
contrasts between the visitor experiences of
Europeans to the hills and their daily lives, as we
understand them to have been. Where possible,
the analysis is extended to include the engage-
ment with space by visitors, or their embodi-
ment of space. In the latter stages of the chapter,
the discussion turns to modern India, and here
we draw not only on the concept of the gaze,
but also on the concept of the tourist glance
(Chaney, 2002) to understand better the moti-
vations and experiences of visitors whose access
to the hills has been improved signifi cantly by
space-time compression (Harvey, 1989), and
who experience the environment at a far faster
pace than tourists who came before them.
and that Europeans would die out if they settled
in India (Bird, 1863; Kenny, 1995; Arnold,
2004). Stoler (1989) explains this belief more
precisely, namely that 'colonial men [were] sus-
ceptible to physical, mental and moral degen-
eration when they remain[ed] in their colonial
posts too long', that 'native women [bore] con-
tagions', and that 'white women [became] ster-
ile in the tropics' (Stoler, 1989, p. 636). While
there is now evidence to show that such assump-
tions were erroneous, at the time they were of
considerable concern to the Europeans and
hence hill stations were perceived as safer envi-
ronments than the plains. Though the environ-
ment might have appeared healthy, mountain
streams and lakes apparently fresh and clear
would have contained bacteria with just as
devastating effects as the waters of the plains,
especially on the lower hill stations at 1200 m
(around 4000 ft) above sea level. Higher sta-
tions were undoubtedly safer. Those above
1500 m (approximately 5000 ft) were generally
malaria free, but there were never any guaran-
tees. It soon became apparent that the hills did
not provide a cure for illness, that people could
and did become ill in the hills, but that their rar-
efi ed atmosphere was also restorative for Euro-
pean visitors and so the hills remained popular.
In addition to the peaceful environment,
there would have been no seething crowds, so
typical of major cities on the plains such as Cal-
cutta, Bombay and Madras, where the adminis-
tration was based. Though the civil lines would
have separated the residential areas of the
colonial population from the non-colonial, any
engagement of colonial offi cials with the urban
areas would have brought them into contact
with noise: noise from the sheer numbers of
people on the streets; from the shouts of mobile
vendors selling their wares; from daily temple
rituals where loud clashing of cymbals, ringing
of hand bells and discordant music from a range
of instruments summoned the holy to gaze on
the temple deity; from the processions and noise
that accompanied weddings, temple festivals
and other celebrations, and from mosques
where the Muslim faithful were called to prayer.
Most of these sounds were virtually absent in
the hills. Neither would there have been the per-
sistent swarms of fl ies and biting insects, nor the
smells of urban life on the plains, just peace
and quiet during the day, with the exception of
Visitors and their Gaze in the
European Era
Some of the earliest visitors to the hills were sol-
diers, sick or exhausted from the heat of the
plains and in need of rest and convalescence
(Kennedy, 1996). The gaze of those earliest
visitors would have contrasted with their non-
tourist experience, which was the work of the
colonial government. First, they would have
been based in the plains where temperatures
were high, frequently over 40°C away from the
coastal areas in the heat of the dry season and
before the advent of the rains. Other than 'pun-
kas', rudimentary fans, operated manually by
an Indian servant, there would have been little
to offer the European visitor respite from the
Indian heat, which, on the plains, continued
oppressively day and night. In the hills, temper-
atures were much lower and better suited to
peoples of European origin. It should be said
that Europeans were, for many years, con-
cerned about the tropical climate. The extreme
heat was perceived to be the cause of sickness,
and diseases such as malaria though the effects
of bacteria, extremely active under tropical and
humid conditions, were apparently unknown at
the time. There was also a strong perception
that the hot climate weakened the white man
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