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The Bombay Studio
After Indore and Hyderabad, the Bombay studio was the large, prestigious establishment occupying the first floor of what is today the Khadi Bhandar store. The Bombay studio recorded portraits of eminent citizens in addition to the pristine charm of Bombay and Pune cities at the turn of the century.

Situated in the heart of the Fort area, (132 Hornby Road), the Bombay studio was a major attraction in the city both for locals and tourists. The exhibition of pictures captioned “ Views and Types of India” was open to the public daily from 8 am to 7 pm. It was indeed a major tourist attraction. Given below are extracts from the studio catalogue.
SALON (Reception Room)
We have tried , regardless of expense, to provide this large room with everything that Oriental luxury and artistic taste can suggest. As we cordially invite everyone to come and see it for himself, we will not go into details. We think they will not regret their visit. It is not only a sumptuously furnished drawing room, but a picture gallery as well, containing photographs of many persons and places of special interest.
Studio Studio
Advertisement on Back Cover
of Book on Indian Natives 1890
Reverse side of photograph of PremChand Roychand eminent philanthrophist and architect of Bombay in the 19th century
Opinions of our Sitters
I have visited a good many studios in London and other parts of Europe and congratulate Bombay on having one now to equal almost the best of them. It is specially gratifying that it should be the result of a native gentleman's industry and perseverance, and I wish it every success
I am delighted with all I see in the studio which is one of the most magnificiently upholstered, scientifically lighted and ventilated, artistically decorated, I have ever seen or heard of in India. It is a feast to the photographic amateur and to all lovers of art.
A perfect and aesthetic realization of the artistic - an artist's dreamland
The most splendid studio. It is an ornament to Bombay It deserves the patronage of Bombay citizens.
Well worth a visit - one of the sights of Bombay
F.G. DUMAYNE (Secretary Bombay Port Trust)
Beautiful rooms, beautifully got up, with some of the nicest photographs I have ever seen
A perfect paradise
Reminds one of a chapter from the Arabian nights
RUSTOM P KAPADIA (Editor, "Hindustan" )
It seemed I was in some fashionable salon of Paris. The popular art of photography seems to have the culminating point of perfection.
I have been in London studios, and I must say this is the best I have ever been in, and congratulate the proprietors on it.
I think this is the first studio of its kind, so well furnished and with such beautiful photographs, I have ever come across within Bombay
The best collection of views I have ever seen in England, America or India. Raja Deen Dayal is certainly an Artist.
E.C. SLADE JONES (Spicer Bros Ltd. London)
The studio compares more than favorably with the best in London and Paris.
In Bombay this is the first studio I have seen so elaborately and so luxuriously fitted up.
I was agreeably and pleasantly surprised to find my old friend established in such beautiful quarters in Bombay. I have long known him in Hyderabad, and have seen what he can do in a limited area. Here, in the first commercial city in India, with rivalry on all sides, he has with one bound come to the front. He deserves every credit for his energy, enterprise and ability.
It is a real pleasure to spend a stray half hour in such a Studio. Raja Deen Dayal is all attention to the visitor, and his assistants are very courteous. Raja Deen Dayal's Studio is the pride of Bombay.

The Secunderabad Studio


The Secunderabad studio was established in 1876 on property gifted by the Nizam.

The studio was situated in the centre of Secunderbad towards the Parade grounds and the Nizam used to come to Deen Dayals twice a year at the New Year Parade and H.M. King George's Birthday Parade on 3rd June. The Nizam used to change his civil dress into a full brocade and velvet uniform before going to the March Past about half km away.

There was a large garden at the back of the studio. On the north
side he had a big stable where the firm had three carriages and five horses ready at any time of the day. The zenana studio was another memorable entity. The purdah system was so widely entrenched in Hyderabad that no wise commercial establishment could have ignored its existence. Managed by one Mrs. Leverick, it did not lack the supervision of Deen Dayal. While the ladies were dressing in the ante room, Dayal set up everything and instructed Mrs. Leverick. She had to just press the shutter and take the required pictures with various exposures and backgrounds which were all set beforehand. Despite the special facilities, there were very few women who opted to be photographed.

The Indore Studio

To the city of Indore and the British Residents stationed there, goes the credit of providing the training ground for Lala Deen Dayal.  Dayal .  Dayal was in Indore since 1867 working as a draughtsman in the  Govt. Office.  Sir Henry Daly was the mentor who encouraged and supported Dayal as long as he was in Indore.
His earliest photographs were focused on Central India and consist of  architectural and landscape studies of various monuments and sites of historical interest in central India. The majority of these were taken by Deen Dayal while on tour with Sir Lepel Griffin who served as Resident at Indore and Agent to the Governor-General of Central India between 1881 and 1888. Many are reproduced in autotype in his ‘Famous Monuments of Central India’ (London, 1886)  The album was formerly in the collection of Sir William Lee-Warner (1846-1912), who served in the Indian Civil Service and was a Member of the Council of India between 1902 and 1912. Lee-Warner Collection: 'Scenes and Sculptures of Central India, photographed by Lala Deen Diyal, Indore, was another album in the Lee-Warner Collection.
Indore studio historyThe Curzon Collection provided exquisite images of places in Rajasthan and Central India taken by  Lala Deen Dayal in the 1890s, 'Views of places proposed to be visited by Their Excellencies Lord & Lady Curzon during Autumn Tour 1902'.
As there is an acute dearth of information on the Indore studio, it appears his photography comprised mostly of albums pertaining to Central India. There are studio portraits as well and it is possible that the location of the studio was combined with the residence. The register carrying details of the sitters is yet to be located. The Indore studio was probably set up in 1874 and closed down in 1894.
Dayal did substantial work for the Native Rulers of Central India and his efforts were rewarded by jagirs presented to him both by the Maharajah of Holkar and the Raja of Dhar.


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