United Kingdom
The Indian Army 

The Indian Army undoubtedly provided some of the most colourful and exotic uniforms.

A European touch was introduced in their design - especially for the British Officers. Traditionnal Lancers and Hussars tunics are thus found amidst some wonderful uniforms of more local design.

It must however be stressed that it is not always easy to differentiate Cavalry from Infantry units - many of the latter opting for braided uniforms.

More than any other, this page does not aim for any kind of exhaustivity ; its sole purpose is to display the photos that somehow made their way into my collection. 

Cabinet Card

2nd Punjab Infantry

The Surma Valley Light Horse

I have to admit that I initially bought this 1890s photograph with the expectation that it was displaying some Hussar Regiment on service in India.
The design of the pouch belt had me raise an eyebrow, but it is not until closer inspection that some details stood out :

- The pouch Belt is indeed leather adorned with chains and prickers
- The uniforms have white facings, including cuffs
- They only sport five rows of braiding
- The tunic of the other Ranks sports some strange cap-lines

(the first photograph can be clicked on for a closer view of the uniforms)

My reference books about Indian Cavalry didn't contain any uniform like this one. One will observe that there is no Native in the unit presented above - One may thus surmize that this photo presents some Volunteer European Cavalry - they were known in the late XIXth Century as "Light Horse" units.

That's where luck came in - some casual browsing returning the most amazing result :

Some of the very same officers seen above are also displayed in the collection of photos presented on the above-mentioned website ; the officer in Lancer tunic is most likely detached as Adjutant to the Regiment.

Thanks to Mike Easterbrook for kindly precising that the pouch belts are actually brown leather.

The back of the above photo shows the training of the Surma Valley Light Horse ; one can note that, in the center of the group of officers, the same genleman sporting the "Mother of all Beards" stands out.

Officers of the 1st Sikh Irregular Cavalry
(Probyn's Horse) c. 1860

Here's a wonderful composition featuring Officers clad in a most Irregular fashion (unmounted large print - 33 x 26,5 cm).
Click on the image to see some uniform details.

Many thanks to Sean Weir for identifying the regiment