Charles Michie Smith - Founder of the Kodaikanal (Solar Physics) Observatory and Beginnings of Physical Astronomy in India
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It has been about 115 years since the establishment of Kodaikanal Observatory as an extension of the original Madras Observatory, which has evolved into the present Indian Institute of Astrophysics at Bangalore. It is also the first mountain observatory in India. Charles Michie Smith was the man who selected the site, established the observatory and directed it for the first 12 years. He was also the man who recruited John Evershed, discoverer of the famous Evershed effect and established Kodaikanal Observatory as a major centre for solar physics. Michie Smith, the person and the establishment of Kodaikanal Observatory are discussed here in the context of the early studies in physical astronomy (observational astrophysics) in India.