The Kolam tradition of creating complex geometric patterns, often passed down from mother to daughter, out of rice flour or chalk in front of the home is an ancient tradition in South India and elsewhere.
A daub of red anchors the eye in this fine composition. Moore Market was opened in 1900, and destroyed by a mysterious fire in 1985, after which the land was repurposed for the Chennai Suburban Railway station.
The basket bazaar of Madras was renowned for its beautiful wicker work and offered many kinds of basket weavers a platform to show their craft and sell a wide variety of goods.
Pykara is not far from Ooty, and was a popular South Indian postcard subject. Sacred to the Todas, the Pykara River is also where one of India's first hydroelectric power plants was commissioned in the 1930s.
A postcard by what was probably an amateur artist, Miss L. Barnes, in Madras who self-published the card as a series of six cards. [Verso] "To be obtained from Miss Barne, St. Ebbas, Madras, and from Miss Farnell, 56, Manchester Square, W. I."
A popular figure specific to early South Indian postcards is the toddy drawer. Palm wine was made from sap collected from trees in little pouches.
The early 20th-century Home Rule League demanded self-government for the whole of India from British rule and was particularly active between 1916-18. Many Indian leaders supported this movement including the famous nationalist, Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
These kinds of offensive postcards seem to have been part of series by both Higginbotham's and their main competitor in South India, Spencer & Co.