-The Aubdaur [means "water door" made of grass mat called tattie]or Water Cooler.W.Daniell, steel engraving, hand coloured, circa 1842.Khus Ki Tatti now known as Vetiver Roots Curtain
Khus – vettiver roots are a natural air conditioner. The remarkable feature of these mats is that they can cool any hot room instantly putting any air conditioner in the market to shame. The dried roots of vetiver or khus are weaved together with coir rope, like a mat or a curtain for varied uses. You can hang those curtains outside your window or door and drench them in hotter hours in water.

Khus Ki Tatti – Summer Curtain Made with Vetiver Roots
We, as kids were assigned the job of pouring water on the khus-ki-tatties every afternoon. It was a job we loved. The fragrance of the water soaked roots, and the cool wind that comes in through use to be so musky, heady and relaxing that … cannot be described. It is something one should experience in their life – spending a summer afternoon next to a wet vetiver curtain. I guess I will go out to buy some of those blinds soon.

same grass mat  was used in India to keep cars cool before air conditioned cars came [after 1980];by keeping wet grass mats tied to the top of the car

 click and view the painting on Indian life  :-http://-Images

An indigenous cooling device adopted by the sahibs was the installation of tatties made of khus-khus grass over all openings — windows and doors — of a house. Tatties were kept continually wet by a bhishtee,

The Aubdaur or Water Cooler, India, 1838
The Aubdaur or Water Cooler, India, c1838. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
The Aubdaur or Water Cooler, India, 1838 : News Photo


Khus Tatties

The fragrant roots of the Vetiver grass also known as khus (biological nameChrysopogon Zizanioides) were used to cool water in matkas. They were also woven into mats called Khus tatties which were hung across windows and doorways thereby cooling the air passing through them. Water, sprinkled on to the khus tatties, made the air even cooler. Perhaps a predecessor to the coolers we have today.

Tatties[MAT] made of khus khus Summer Curtain Made with Vetiver Roots

water carrier, engaged to throw water against these from outside.

bhishtee,or a water carrier,

native ice produced in ice pits

during winter nights and preserved for the summer, entailing colossal wastage. Small earthen pots filled with water were placed in an open field, and in the morning the coating of ice formed in the cold temperature of the night was collected and stored in ice-pits.

Icepits near Allahabad. Drawing by Fanny Parks c. 1830
Icepits near Allahabad.

Indian Science and Technology in the 18th Century
The Process of Making Ice in the East Indies - By Sir Robert Barker published in 1775
Following is the method that was used to make ice in India as it was performed at Allahabad and Calcutta. On a large open plain, 3 or 4 excavations were made, each about 30 feet square and two deep; the bottoms of which were strewed about eight inches or a foot thick with sugar-cane, or the stems of the large Indian corn dried. Upon this bed were placed in rows, near to each other, a number of small shallow, earthen pans for containing the water intended to be frozen. These are unglazed, scarce a quarter of an inch thick, about an inch and a quarter in depth, and made of an earth so porous, that it was visible, from the exterior part of the pans, the water had penetrated the whole substance. Towards the dusk of the evening, they were filled with soft water, which had been boiled, and then left in the afore-related situation. The ice-makers attended the pits usually before the sun was above the horizon, and collected in baskets what was frozen, by pouring the whole contents of the pans into them, and thereby retaining the ice, which was daily conveyed to the grand receptacle or place of preservation, prepared generally on some high dry situation, by sinking a pit of fourteen or fifteen feet deep, lined first with straw, and then with a coarse king of blanketing, where it is beat down with rammers, till at length its own accumulated cold again freezes and forms one solid mass. The mouth of the pit is well secured from the exterior air with straw and blankets, in the manner of the lining, and a thatched roof is thrown over the whole.

Icepits near Allahabad. Drawing by Fanny Parks c. 1830
Icepits near Allahabad.
Ice making in India. It was made in open pans.

The spongy nature of the sugar-canes, or stems of the Indian corn, appears well calculated to give a passage under the pans to the cold air; which, acting on the exterior parts of the vessels, may carry off by evaporating a proportion of the heat. The porous substance of the vessels seems equally well qualified for the admission of the cold air internally; and their situation being full of a foot beneath the plane of the ground, prevents the surface of the water from being ruffled by any small current of air, and thereby preserves the congealed particles from disunion. Boiling the water is esteemed a necessary preparative to this method of congelation.
In effecting which there is also an established mode of proceeding; the sherbets, creams, or whatever other fluids are intended to be frozen, are confined in thin silver cups of a conical form, containing about a pint, with their covers well luted on with paste, and placed in a large vessel filled with ice, salt-petre, and common salt, of the two the last an equal quantity, and a little water to dissolve the ice and combine the whole. This composition presently freezes the contents of the cups to the same consistency of our ice creams, etc. in Europe; but plain water will become so hard as to require a mallet and knife to break it. The promising advantages of such a discovery could alone induce the Asiatic to make an attempt of profiting by so a very short a duration of cold during the night in these months, and by a well-timed and critical contrivance of securing this momentary degree of cold, they have procured to themselves a comfortable refreshment as a recompence, to alleviate, in some degree, the intense heats of the summer season, which, in some parts of India, would be scarce supportable, but by the assistance of this and many other inventions.
(source: Indian Science and Technology in the 18th Century - By Dharampal p. 169-173).

Beating the heat
Cooling tales from the Raj by Pran Nevile
An English family at dinner under a hanging punkah. Drawing by Sir Charles D’oyly c. 1810
An English family at dinner under a hanging punkah. Drawing by Sir Charles D’oyly c. 1810

The heat of the Indian summers scared the English.

Before the advent of punkhas and American ice in early the 19th century, the English dreaded the oppressive heat and miseries of the hot season.

One of the earliest comments on the Indian summer was recorded by an English surgeon in 1774. He refers to his horrible experience of a sultry day "when not a breath of air was there for many hours; man and every fowl of the air so sensibly felt it that some species fell down dead". The heat, dust and hot winds and the awful devastation they caused earned them the title of "angels of death" by many a memsahib in her letters home.

It was even jokingly remarked that the deadly heat of Calcutta was more dangerous to British life than any uprising by the natives.

An amusing tool to battle the heat as recommended to the sahibs by the English editor of Calcutta Gazette in 1783 was to sleep with Indian women to keep themselves cool in the beastly summer of Calcutta. The Portuguese actually secured a firman from Emperor Shahjahan to keep Bengali women during summer to save themselves from the heat of the delta.

The early British settlers in the 18th century used to wear loose fitting andairy cotton garments at home suitable for the hot climate. Later, however, in the light of increasing political power and prestige they began wearing clothing designed for the English climate which was completely unsuitable for the Indian summer. Their attire and the habit of excessive consumption of alcohol were not conducive to alleviate the effects of the heat.
Building defence
As a protection against the hot Indian climate, the English built their bungalows within compounds of shady trees and the rooms had very thick walls and high ceilings surrounded by covered verandas.

Some wealthy high-ranking sahibs in Calcutta even maintained garden houses on the banks of the river. Some British officials like Metcalfe

Sir Thomas Metcalfe, Bt

Sir Thomas Metcalfe, Bt, on a picture from the Delhi Book

Dilkhusa (Delight of the Heart) the country house of

Metcalfe, in Mehrauli,Metcalfe album, 1843

and William Fraser, in Delhi followed the Mughal practice and built tehkhanas-Tehkhana literally means basement. In the olden days, tehkhanas served as prisons or were used to store treasures] in their residences where they entertained their guests.
Another novel feature of the English bungalows was the terrace or housetop accessible through a winding staircase from without and often from within the house also. Many sahibs, especially bachelors, had their cots carried to the housetop during the hot season, and there, with heaven as their canopy, they slept during the night.

Some sahibs would set up special enclosures on the terrace and put their cots over there. Colesworthy even writes about a person known to him, who used to sleep on the bare terrace with nothing except a pillow and would remain lying there even when it rained. We come across an interesting case of a young Company civilian who beat the heat by lying down on a cot with a mushq for a pillow and the contents of a secondmushq poured over him.

There were others who slept in sheets which had been previously soaked in water. As it was unbearable to sleep indoors during the hot weather, some of them selected open spaces in their compounds.

An indigenous cooling device adopted by the sahibs was the installation of tatties made of khus-khus grass over all openings — windows and doors — of a house. Tatties were kept continually wet by a bhishtee,


  colonial minded people  still think they  own everything in India
 by copyrighting paintings made in 1842 on Indian life as still  owned by them .painter is no more and
the subject is Indian life 
They tried similar tricks about trying to claim the owner ship of photos taken in 1900 in Travancore state by an Indian employee of the then ruling maharaja on local life in kerala !!
see the audacity .see the un ending greed THEN AND NOW

How Good Are Tatties?

Khus Tatties

The fragrant roots of the Vetiver grass also known as khus (biological nameChrysopogon Zizanioides) were used to cool water in matkas. They were also woven into mats called Khus tatties which were hung across windows and doorways thereby cooling the air passing through them. Water, sprinkled on to the khus tatties, made the air even cooler. Perhaps a predecessor to the coolers we have today.

What are tatties?

Locals at Seerore near Benares were great advocates of evaporation and its "frigorific" effect.  Seerorens used tatties to keep their homes cool.  Tatties are mats of fresh green bushes or long roots.  Tatties were hung in the windows and doorways.  Their tatties were kept wet.  Air passing through would evaporate the water and cool markedly as it made its way into the house.
Seerore's tatties seemed to work well.  Here is some data from 1792.  [In the latter part of the 18th century you could buy thermometers.  Jefferson bought his on July 4, 1776.  Recreational temperature measurement was all the rage!]
May 16 and June 7, 1792.  2 PM local time Seerore.  Hot days with westerly winds.
May 16  June 7
Thermometer in the sun 118° F 113° F
Thermometer in the shade   110° F 104° F
Thermometer in tattied house.  83° F  83° F
So we might ask the question, how hot could a well tattied Seeroren house get?  My guess is around 92° F (the Priestly Taylor Temperature) as at temperatures this high or higher effectively all the heat flux from the tatties would be due to latent heat and sensible heating would go to zero.
Anyway good tatties will win you some 20° F of cooling.  The price you pay for having good tatties is that you humidify the house as you cool it!

Image result for grass tatties made in india

11 Ways Indians In The Past Survived The Trecherous Tropical Heat

May 20, 2015 0 Comments Bloggies by Administrator
The Indian subcontinent is plagued by a treacherous summer season, as we dare not venture outdoors before sunset, and cringe at the thought of entering a place without any air-conditioning. In the same vein, our ancestors suffered as electricity wasn't even discovered at the time. Their only hope to cope with the summers was to alter their lifestyles in sync with the season. Here's how they managed.

1. Stepwells

In northern India, many havelis had stepwells in the basement of the building. A vast pool of water sat below the earth, and was led to by a series of geometric steps. Not only did this offer a source of potable water, but the step wells also cooled the surface of the building and served as a socialising place complete with decorative pavilions.

Step wells like the Rajaon Ki Baoli in Mehrauli are an impressive feat of engineering where the dreaded loo wind was converted to cool air through intricate cooling systems.

2. Building materials

Houses were built with materials that could withstand the temperatures of that particular area. For example, forts and palaces built by the Mughals were made of pink sandstone which does not absorb heat rapidly. It provided much respite from the dry heat in Agra and Delhi.

In Bengal and southern India, homes were made of mud and thatched roofs to keep the interiors cool from the intense heat and humid air.

3. Carrying onions in pockets

Summer temperatures in central India can get extreme, sometimes rising beyond 45 degrees. Many believed that carrying an onion would absorb the body heat preventing the person from fainting or suffering a sunstroke. The juice of the onion they had carried with them all day was later applied on their palms and feet at night.

4. Jali

Lattice screens on windows known as jali with intricate designs would deflect the direct heat of the sun thereby concentrating it on certain sections of the inner layer of the building surface.

5. Open pillared halls as opposed to enclosed rooms

This made the circulation of air throughout the building possible. Textile hangings and screens replaced doors for these pillared halls, in case there was a need for privacy or some shade from the sunny afternoon. The hangings often had designs on them similar to those of the stone walls themselves. In fact, a large flowering plant was the most popular motif in the 17th century.

6. Tehkhaana

Tehkhaanas were installed into the havelis of Mughal Delhi which were basement rooms with carved screens to allow the partial entrance of light and air. They were much cooler than the upper storeys and the entire family would move here in summer months.

7. Khus Tatties

The fragrant roots of the Vetiver grass also known as khus (biological nameChrysopogon Zizanioides) were used to cool water in matkas. They were also woven into mats called Khus tatties which were hung across windows and doorways thereby cooling the air passing through them. Water, sprinkled on to the khus tatties, made the air even cooler. Perhaps a predecessor to the coolers we have today.

8. Summer beverages

The Mughals slurped lassis as well assherbets flavoured with rose water, lemon, oranges and sandalwood. Isabgol or Psyllium seed husks were consumed for their laxative effects as well as to aid digestion; and the seeds mixed in sherbets without the husks prevented dehydration. These were cooled by ice which was brought from the Hindukush mountains and stored carefully. Water was also cooled with shora (Saltpetre).

In peninsular India, unripened mango pulp was mixed with sugar and cold water, which is what we call Mango Panna.

9. Clothing 

The Mughals worn fine muslin which was extremely thin and light but extremely flimsy and had to changed out of once a day.

White cotton garments also provided relief from the summer heat.

10. Terrace and outdoor bedrooms

At night people would sleep outdoors under the stars with cool breezes blowing over. It provided respite from indoors, which was too stuffy from the heat of the day. Bedding materials were made of cotton, charpoy and coconut fibre that were airy and comfortable.

11. Food

Local produce and seasonal fruits and vegetables were eaten during summer months. Yogurt was eaten after every meal to aid digestion as well as to cool the stomach from the heavy amount of spices.

ice was imported from USA to India in 1850's
BOMBAY 1850Photograph
from 'Views in the island of Bombay' by Charles Scott,1850s. This is a view looking north along Apollo Street from the Apollo Gate towards the dockyards entrance on the right.
The Scotch Church
stands in the left foreground, with Hornby House beyond. The classic Georgian style Saint Andrew's or Scotch Kirk was completed in 1819.
Hornby House,
which initially began as a residence to the Governor Hornby, served as the Law Court until the late 1870s when it became the Great Western Hotel.
Between this building and the church, stands the domed
erected by subscription in 1843 for the consignments of ice which were imported regularly and sold to the public. When ice began to be manufactured in Bombay the Ice-House lost its purpose and was used as a godown until it was demolished years later.
.The ice-house was a double-shelled structure,twenty-five feet square on its outside dimension, nineteen feet square on the interior, and sixteen feet high. It held about 150 tons of ice. ICE WAS HARVESTED FROM PLACES NEAR TO THE NORTH POLE AND FROZEN LAKES.,BROUGHT BY SHIP AND KEPT FOR USE. [ELECTRICITY /REFRIGERATION Were NOT YET DISCOVERED].
Once inside, the blocks were piled together as closely as possible to prevent all unnecessary melting. The workmen in the ice-houses pried loose the stored ice by means of chisels.Wenham Lake ice enjoyed its greatest popularity in England between the year 1844 and the early years of the 185o's. It was in demand everywhere, and it grew into such vogue that London hotels put up signs informing their customers that Wenham Lake ice was served there.Main customers were the local coffee-house owners who bought the ice for the manufacture of their ice-creams.
READ ALSO how ice was brought to Bombay from America by ship:- :-


In 1833, fellow Boston-based merchant Samuel Austin proposed a partnership for selling ice to India, then some 16,000 miles and four months away from Massachusetts. On May 12, 1833 the brig Tuscany sailed from Boston for Calcutta, its hold filled with 180 tons of ice cut during the winter. When it approached the Ganges in September 1833, many believed the delivery was an elaborate joke, but the ship still had 100 tons of ice upon arrival. Over the next 20 years, Calcutta would become Tudor's most lucrative destination, yielding an estimated $220,000 in profits.
large crowd of natives gathered at the wharf to witness the unloading of these
"crystal blocks of Yankee coldness."
One of the Indians braved to touch a piece of the ice, and, believing that he had burned himself, wrapped his hand in his robe and rushed away followed by a number of the alarmed onlookers. At another time, a native was supposed to have asked Captain Codman,
"How this ice make grow in your country? Him grow on tree? Him grow on shrub - how he make grow?"
Bombay's first ice house(ice storage house where ice unloaded from ship was stored) next to the harbour ;seen in the photo as a rounded white dome house;next to the church--1860's photo
"From the insides of this boat they were taking out great pieces of white stuff, which, in a little while, turned to water. Much split off, and fell about on the shore, and the rest they swiftly put into a house with thick walls. But a boatman, who laughed, took a piece no larger than a small dog, and threw it to me. I - of all people - swallowed without reflection, and that piece I swallowed as is our custom. Immediately I was afflicted with an excessive cold which, beginning in my crop, ran down to the extreme end of my toes, and deprived me even of speech, while the boatmen laughed at me. Never have I felt such cold. I danced in my grief and amazement till I could recover my breath, and then I danced and cried out against the falseness of this world; and the boatmen derided me till they fell down. The chief wonder of the matter, setting aside the marvellous coldness, was that there was nothing at all in my crop when I had finished my lamentings
Developed for home use in 1848, the traditional crank ice-cream freezer employs a metal dasher inserted into a metal cylinder full of ice-cream base, which is placed in a bucket filled with a rock-saltand ice mixture (brine). The hand or motor-cranked dashers turn around in the ice-cream mixture as it freezes, preventing icecrystals from forming and ensuring a smooth, creamy final product.

Antique Ice Cream Freezer. (Click to enlarge)
traditional crank ice-cream freezer



Kulfi: [India's answer to Gelato]

Image result for ice GolaImage result for ice Gola
GolaA big ball of ice shavings twinkles like a lump of South African diamonds, kala khatta juice dripping off its sides. Fix it to your lips and slurp away in bliss.