This curious and beautifully drafted manuscript is an especially fine example of the numerous local surveys that were then being executed all across India at the behest of the British colonial authorities. Unfortunately, due to climatic conditions and neglect only a very minute percentage of these surveys survive to the present day.
The present map depicts the township of Furruckabad, which is today named Farakka and which forms the extreme northernmost district of the city of Murshidabad, West Bengal. In 1844, Furruckabad was located on a bend along the Ganges Rivers amongst exceptionally fertile farmland. The survey, clearly executed by highly trained professional, precisely measures the bounds and areas of each property and categorizes land use, as well as labeling major landmarks, buildings and roads.
Such surveys were integral to the operation of governance in British India. They formed the bedrock of the land registry system and were the basis for taxation and agrarian management policies. High quality local surveys, such as the present example, could also be incorporated within authoritative regional topographical maps, thus serving grander purposes.