Multiple cultural perspectives towards representing the ordered world in the Indian sub-continent.
A fine example for adhaidvipa patas or paintings of the two-and-a half continents, dates back to 15th century, small in size and rich in detail is comparable (in painting style and chromatic palette) to Jain manuscripts of the period, most significantly the Kalpa Sutra. The outer ridge of mountains is less defined compared to later examples as is characteristic of the early period.
Adhaidvipa Pata, dating from the mid-18th century is a fine example of the stylization and incorporation additional embellishments – in this instance the strong circle of mountains, trees, banners and larger shrines located in the outer rim – characteristic of this period where such paintings clearly become more decorative.
Lokapurusa or cosmic man, a popular theme in late Jain paintings, although its origins are evident from the fourteenth century. This example is a striking and beautiful painting, characteristic of the north Rajasthan region centred around Bikaner State, and is possibly a late 19th century rendition of an earlier 17th century version.
The cosmological scheme of the adhaidvipa – world of the mortals – is 'superimposed' on the human body in an attempt to homologize the microcosm with the microcosm. The human body symbolism is sub-divided into the adhaloka (lower world), madhyaloka (middle world), and, urdhvaloka (upper world) each of which is represented differently. The depiction overall is thus acts as cosmic representation - both a picture for the worship of the mandala of the world of the mortals and the enormous body form of Lord Mahavira – the twenty fourth Jina, which also embodies the three worlds.
The evil lower world is represented by seven horizontal registers of various colors depicting various carnal acts.
The middle world, with the point of origin at Mount Meru and the concentric world of mortals, incorporating all humanity, flora and fauna, is placed over the navel of the cosmic man; the origin myths of man and universe being aligned very literally.
The upper world of the gods, in its orderly formulation of courtly tiers, is located on the torso of the cosmic man.
The iconography, stylization and chromatic palette of this painting draws from illustrations in contemporaneous manuscripts such as the Samgrahanisutra.
This pilgrimage route map depicts the river Ganga and one of its chief headwaters, the Alakananda, as seen by the devout pilgrim making a pilgrimage from Haridwar, where the Ganga debouches into the plain, as far as the shrine at Badrinath in the Garhwal Himalayas. It is read from left to right.
Most of the action is assumed to be, or subsumed into, the right bank of the river, i.e. the upper part of the scroll. In keeping with such route maps, things depicted on the left bank of the river are depicted upside down. The scroll is plentifully supplied with inscriptions, naming sacred places, villages, mountains and trees. Although it is difficult to date such items, it seems clear that this is a uniquely important religious document that deserves a great deal of further study.
The path is conspicuously painted yellow all the way along the scroll and we see travellers and pilgrims following it up and down mountainsides and over the bridges across the rivers. Many are on foot and equipped with staves, while the wealthy are carried in hill doolies or jampans, while two men carry women in panniers on their backs.
The river and its tributaries are depicted in brilliant blue and white basket patterns, while the hillsides and mountains are in shades of mauve and brown (white for the highest mountains) set off by the brilliant depiction of the various trees in traditional Rajasthani style and by the numerous shrines.
Depicted here is a panoramic view of the key shrines, the pilgrimage route and details of significant features and episodes along the devotees' path. They thus often served as surrogates for those – often aged or infirm devotees - who were unable to visit the sites. Their display on festivals and special occasions, viewed by large congregations of priests and devotees, provided the same merit as having visited the site.
Another variation of Satrunjaya Pata.
The painters of the three patas depict the pilgrimage route from the point of view of the devotee’s experience rather than a topographic expression of the actual site; despite this, these examples show strong geomorphic coherances. Earlier examples (Pal, 1994) are often even more diagrammatic with a propensity towards creating abstract cosmological patterns drawn from the Jaina texts and related cosmic symbolism; topographic accuracy was clearly of no significance.
In all these patas, the pilgrimage can be seen to begin at the bottom of the hill in the lower foreground. Pilgrims arrive on foot, horseback, carts drawn by elephants or horses, or palanquins and commence their journey to the top of the hill by foot, flowing the winding path up and paying respects to the various shrines or features enroute. They then encounter a fork in the path allowing for two alternatives - to either proceed to the left to the older complex of Adinatha, or to the right hand side, to the new complexes. The pilgrimage circumabulatin draws to a close when the pilgrims return to their starting point along a route depicted on the right hand side of the patas.
In this map, the artist depicts the topographic context of Satrunjaya hill with its two ridges. The first ridge is dominated by the main temple complex of Adinatha whilst the other is the setting for nine smaller temple complexes patronised by Jain merchants. A new temple complex was established between the two ridges around c.1825, which is used as a key point of reference for dating such patas.
According to the Satrunjaya Mahatmya, a medieval pilgrimage text glorifying the site, King Kumarapala was the builder of the Adinatha temple in c.1213 and its consecration was conducted by the famous Sage Hemachandrasuri. The site overall comprises sixty five temples, over three hundred small shrines and close to five thousand images.
This map depicts the pilgrimage landscape of Vraj, the district around Mathura on the banks of the River Yamuna, and includes the sacred sites associated with Krishna’s boyhood and the discovery of the Shrinathji image. It shows the route for the religious procession or Vraj Yatra which pilgrims undertake each year lasting several weeks. Commencing from Mathura, the birth place of Krishna, devotees move in a clockwise direction around the city. After visiting the villages of Mahavana and Gokul they re-cross the Yamuna and return to Mathura and the spot of Krishna’s victory over the evil king Kansa. Devotees should ideally visit thirty-six groves on their pilgrimage, and in temples of the Vallabha sect, Vallabhacharya’s and Vitthalnathji’s circumambulations of Vraj are commemorated by the Vraj Yatra pichhvai.
Here we see the Shrinathji temple complex at Nathdwara. Composed from a series of courtyards (including various shrines, palaces and service rooms) within a bastioned boundary wall and with one main gate at the heart of the town, the complex follows the architectural tradition of a large Rajasthani mansion or haveli, rather than a traditional North Indian Hindu temple. It is hence often referred to as the Nathdwara Haveli by devotees.
The Haveli plan is like most such plans, depicts the occurrence of the Annakuta Festival, the day after Diwali, which is the most important festival for the Vallabha sect.Various courtyards are in use. Whilst mounds of food are presented to Shrinathji and the sat swarupas in the inner sanctum or Nijmandir (depicted with its characteristic tiled roof and orange and yellow flags), devotees and cows crowd in the Govardhana Chowk where the image of Navanitapriyaji presides over Govardhana puja. Devotees flock towards the White Court or Dholi Patiya to gain access to the inner shrines. Unlike most other haveli plans, the depiction of the haveli and its associated townscape is shown in a wider pilgrimage landscape setting of the Vraj country, amidst holy streams, shrines, villages and palace complexes.
Early example of pilgrimage souvenirs painted by the hereditary citrakaras or painters associated with the great temple of Jagannath at Puri in Orissa in eastern India.
Jagannatha is ‘Lord of the World,’ a form of Krishna worshipped at the famous shrine at Puri together with his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra. All three of the images are more stumps, but those of Jagannatha and Balabhadra also have projections functioning as arms. The cult is an example of the characteristic ability of Hinduism to absorb popular local or even tribal cults into the mainstream.
The present great temple at Puri was built by Anantavarman Chodagangadeva in the twelfth century to house these images that on account of the exigencies of the rituals to which they are subjected are regularly repainted and renewed by hereditary castes of painters, who are also responsible for painting the anavasara patas or painted representations placed in the shrine when the main divinities are taken out.
Sankhalavi pata is a layout that envisages the sacred area of Puri being in the shape of Visnu’s conch or sankha with the temple at its heart, here with its head to the north and its tip to the south. The layout of the conch is variable in all these examples.
In the centre of the pata are (left to right) the images of Balabhadra, Subhadra and Jagannatha as housed within the vimana of the great temple at Puri, whose chief mandapa or jaganmohan as it is called in Orissa together with the temple sikara (tower) behind are shown schematically.The two temple towers to the left represent the other two sacred chambers of the temple, here positioned at right angles rather than axially as they are in fact, i.e. the natamandira and the bhogamandira with Garuda on his column and the worshipping Raja of Puri (responsible for the administration of the temple). The images’ faces are depicted as painted on their actual iconic forms, but here they are given limbs – four arms each in the case of the two male divinities, and two for Subhadra – Balabhadra and Subhadra are dancing while Jagannatha is seated cross-legged on a throne.
Within the rectangular enclosure wall of the temple are depicted many of the different shrines and their divinities that make up the surroundings of the massive complex In addition to various images of Krishna either as Jagannatha or in more human form, and to other aspects of Visnu, there are temples to Siva with sivalingas, Ganesa and many goddesses. On the left the standing lay figure in adoration is the ‘Raja of Puri’ who is the hereditary guardian of the shrine.
An early 18th Century Japanese map of the World, focusing on the continent of ‘Jambudvīpa’ and centered on the heart of Buddhist cosmology, Lake Manasarovar, Tibet, where Buddha was conceived.
While the map showcases the entire world as known to Zuda Rokashi, it depicts various geographic details in a manner radically different from their true geographic scale. The map was intended to emphasize the importance of regions that were traditionally central to Buddhism, such as India and China, at the expense of Europe, Africa and the Americas, which appear as small islands along the periphery.
The traditional Buddhist perspective of the world focuses on the metaphysical continent of Jambudvīpa. In the center of the continent is the mythical Lake Anavatapta, which represents the actual Lake Manasarovar in Tibet. It marks the center of the Buddhist universe, as the location where Queen Maya conceived Buddha. Lake Manasarovar and its waters are also revered by Hindus and Jains. Flowing from the lake are four great sacred rivers of the Indian Subcontinent: the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Indus, and the Sutlej.
Map of India depicting the ancient European conception of the subcontinent, based on the writings of Claudius Ptolemy, a Gereco-Egyptian geographer, living in the 2nd Century AD. While the India depicted on the map is at first unfamiliar to the modern eye, once one becomes immersed in its details, the map comes alive. Ptolemy’s India is correctly framed by the ‘Indus flu.’ (Indus River) in the northwest, and the delta of the ‘Ganga flu.’ (Ganges River), in the northeast. While the course of the Ganges flows down from an excessively northerly direction, it is still recognizable. The plains of the Punjab, traversed by the fan-shaped pattern of the tributaries of the Indus River, are unmistakable, a legacy of the over three century long Greek presence in the region, which followed Alexander the Great’s campaigns in the later 4th Century BC.
Observing the coastlines of India, from the west to the east, one will notice the common contemporary European misconception that the ‘Indu F.’ (Indus River) is shown to erroneously to flow through ‘Guzarate’ (Gujarat) and into the Gulf of Khambat. That being said, a number of ports on the west coast of India are labeled, approximately in their correct locations, including: Diu, ‘Cambaia’ (Cambay / Khambhat), Surat, ‘Caul’ (Chaul), Goa (the capital of Portuguese India), ‘Mangalor’ (Mangalore), ‘Cananor’ (Kannur), ‘Calecut’ (Khozikode), ‘Cochin’ (Kochi) and ‘Tranocore’ (Thiruvananthapuram).
Beyond ‘Capo Comari’ (Cape Comorin / Kanyakumari), can be found ‘Puduchiera’ (Puducherry), and ‘Malipur’ (Mylapore, now a part of Chennai) accompanied by the annotation ‘Qui é si corpo de San Thomaso apostole’ (‘Here is the body of St. Thomas the Apostle’). St. Thomas, often referred to as “Doubting Thomas”, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ and travelled to India in 52 AD in order to spread the gospel. He spent many years in Kerala before moving on to the Coromandel Coast, where he died at Mylapore in 72 AD.
First broadly accurate map of Northern India, by the English adventurer William Baffin, based on geographic intelligence obtained at the court of Mughal Emperor Jahangir.
Map embraces the entire Mughal Empire, and extends from Afghanistan and Kashmir in the north, down south to the middle of the Deccan, and from the mouths of the Indus in the west to Burma in the east.
Earliest map of India to be printed in the Islamic World and the first to employ typography in Arabic characters.
The map part of the atlas Cihannüma (1732), which translates as ‘Mirror of the World’, published by Ibrahim Müteferrika, who directed the first printing press in the Ottoman Empire. The atlas was originally created in manuscript form during the mid-17th Century by the Turkish geographer Kâtip Çelebi.
Sea chart of Southern India shows a relatively advanced 17th Century mariners’ understanding of the nature of the coastlines of the Indian Peninsula. The chart is from Robert Dudley’s Dell' Arcano Del Mare (1646-7), which translates as ‘The Mystery of the Sea’, a fantastic and highly unusual masterpiece that maintains the distinction of being the first maritime atlas to cover the entire known World as well as the earliest original maritime atlas made by an Englishman (albeit one who was working in Italy).
Earliest detailed printed English map of Bengal, made for the English East India Company by its official Hydrographer John Thornton.
The chart depicts Bengal and adjacent regions as the English conceived of them around 1680, then Bengal was considered to be the wealthiest region of India. The map labels a number of centers that were important to European trade in the region. In the Ganges Delta these include ‘Cassimbazar’ (Kasimbazar), ‘Dacca’ (Dhaka) and ‘Hulgly’ (Hooghly-Chinsura). Notably, Calcutta does not appear on the map, as it would not be founded until 1690.
Sea Chart depicting the Coromandel Coast from the VOC’s “Secret Atlas”.
The Chart’s coverage extends from ‘Goetepatnam’ (Gopalapattinam), along the Palk Strait, in the south, all the way up north to the Andhra Coast beyond ‘Vizagapatnam’ (Visakhapatnam). Further north, the coastline is labeled ‘Golconda’, also known as the Northern Circars (today’s northern Andhra Coast), in reference to the legendary fort of that name near Hyderabad, as these shores were then ruled by the Nizam of Hyderabad.
A prominent feature of the map is Mahé’s elaborate defensive system, as devised in 1740 by the brilliant military engineer Louis de la Roche Paradis. It was anchored by Fort Mahé (Black column A), located in the center of the town, while the three forts perched on highlands in the interior, Fort Dauphin (Black B), Fort Condé (Black C) and Fort St. Georges (Black D), guard the landward approaches. A comprehensive series of redoubts and batteries completed the defensive system.
Depicts the lower course of the Hooghly River, the epicentre of European activity in Bengal, taken from a westward perspective. In the right-center of the map, located just inland of the left bank of the river, is ‘Bankebasar’ (Banquibazar, today the site of Ichapore), the Ostend Company’s commercial base, and nearby ‘Hitsiapour’ (Hydisiapore), home of the ‘Loge Flamande’ (the Flemish habitation). Across the river is “Chandernagar factorie Françoise” (the French base of Chandernagore, today known as Chandannagar), while just above is ‘Sinsura factorie Holland’ (the Dutch factory of Chinsura). Further down river is ‘Coullicatta factorie Anglaise’, referring to Calcutta, established by the English in 1690.
Contemporary manuscript map depicting the Fall of Madras (1746), a great French military victory over the British East India Company.
The French forces under the Marquis Dupleix, the Governor of French India, backed by a naval force under the Comte de La Bourdonnais, attacked Madras on the morning of September 7, 1746. The modest British garrison of only 300 men was poorly prepared and it was soon revealed that Madras’ defenses were poorly constructed, as they crumbled with each salvo. When their liquor warehouse was hit, many of the dispirited British troops availed themselves of libations and were rendered unfit for combat. Realizing that their predicament was hopeless, on September 9, the British surrendered Fort St. George, the city’s main defensive structure, to Bourdonnais, although the city would not be fully occupied by the French until some days later.
Theatres of Wars in the Carnatic and Coromandal coast during 18th century & the territory of Mysore, ruled by Hyder Ali, coloured in a red-pink wash.
Based on a manuscript by the French military engineer Jean Bourcet, the map features all cities, villages, forts, major temples, roads, rivers and territorial boundaries in exacting detail. Every major battle site is marked with the symbol of crossed swords, including the date and names of the relevant French commanders.
The panels along the sides and lower part of the map contain 19 cartographic vignettes of key locations of military importance in the region. These are based on a series of manuscript maps made in 1777 and 1778 by Louis Marc-Antoine de Valory and Louis François Grégoire Lafitte du Brassier, French officers who were separately engaged in reconnaissance and espionage missions in various parts of Southern India.
James Rennell’s survey of Bengal and Bihar, considered one of the greatest technical achievements of cartography of the 18th Century and a powerful symbol of the foundation of the ‘Company Raj’ in India.
The region is shown divided into subhas, or districts, as established by the Mughals, each distinguished in full original wash colours. Virtually every village is labeled and the vast network of roads is carefully delineated. Innumerable rivers, swamps and mountain ranges are depicted, while areas not surveyed, such as the Himalayas and beyond, are deliberately left vague, true to the prevailing ethic of empiricism.
The upper right quadrant of the map features the dedication by the publisher Andrew Dury (fl. 1742-1778) to the Directors the East India Company (EIC), James Rennell’s employer and the new masters of Bengal and Bihar.
A key battleground in the Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817 – 1818), which marked a turning point in Indian history, as its outcome left the British East India Company (EIC) in control of most of the subcontinent – hailing the true realization of the ‘Company Raj’.
Map depicts the earliest surviving plans of the city of Indore, which was then a major centre of the territory of the Holkar Maharajas of Indore, degenerated into a bewilderingly complex den of intrigue and violent infighting, resulted in war with British and following the war, the kingdom of Indore lost much of its territory but was preserved as a princely state, although the city of Indore was upgraded to become the state’s capital.
Plan of the Attack of Chakun, strategically important fortified town guarding the northern approaches to Pune, the Maratha capital. Chakun consisted of a fortified pettah (town) surrounding a formidable medieval stone fortress. EIC Colonel Deacon’s artillery subjected the fortress to a heavy pounding but as that seemed not to do the trick the British began preparing to storm the fortress. However, at this point, Chakun’s killedar realized that his cause was lost and negotiated terms of surrender.
Fort of Taulneir (Thalner, Maharashtra) strategically located along the Tapi River, stormed under the Command of Lieutt. Genl. Sir Thos. Hislop, Bart on the 27th of July 1818.
Thalner was once quite important, as for a time from 1382, it served as the first capital of the powerful regional dynasty, the Faruqi Kings.
Plan of the Fort and Pettah of Ummulneir (Amalner, Maharashtra), located in the Khandesh region, was one of the very last holdouts of Maratha power during the war. The town had an advantageous defensive position being located along the Bori River and surrounded by ravines. Amalner’s fort was located on the bank of the river amidst the rather sizeable town. For most of November 1818 the British maintained a frustrating siege, as their artillery was unable to score a decisive blow. Only after British reinforcements arrived and completely surrounded the town were the defenders finally convinced to surrender, on November 30.
Aaron Arrowsmith’s colossal wall map represent a great technical achievement and a monumental object of profound political symbolism, and the apex of the Enlightenment Era cartography of the subcontinent.
The vast areas, coloured in ‘pink’, the signature colour of the British empire on maps, are shown to have practically enveloped India, virtually encircling the various princely states, which were nevertheless client states of the EIC.
Depicts the Northwestern Frontier regions of the Indian Subcontinent, extended from Delhi up through Afghanistan, and which embraced the important regions of Rajasthan and the Punjab.
The map is highly impressive as it delineates the major rivers, traces the principal mountain ranges and depicts major roads and towns, creating an impression that is overall familiar to the modern viewer.
State of Jaipur, a princely state surrounding the eponymous city.
This particular map is based directly on an English language topographical map prepared from the findings of the Great Trigonometrical Survey, the massive project that aimed to scientifically map all of India to exacting scientific standards.
The timing of the publication of this Hindi edition was likely done in honour of the Jaipur Exhibition of 1883, the largest fair of the decorative and industrial arts ever held to date in India. The extravaganza was sponsored by Maharaja Sawai Madao Singh II, inspired by the Great Exhibition of London in 1851, and drew spectators from across the subcontinent, so establishing Jaipur as a premier tourist destination.
Map of Jammu & Kashmir surveyed between the Years 1856 & 1860, finely lithographed hachures form the astoundingly extreme contours of the Himalayan peaks and valleys, while the heavily populated Valley of Kashmir, with the capital city of Srinagar and its famous lakes, occupies the upper centre, with further detail presented in the inset in lower left corner.
Plan of Bangalore grants a magnificent impression of a sizable Indian city prior to it being influenced by European urban models.
The large pettah in the upper centre is encircled by an elaborate system of walls and takes on an overall ovoid shape common to many such Indian cities. Within are dense and uneven blocks divided by narrow streets, a labyrinth which was ideal to confuse potential invaders who dared to storm the city.
Pondicherry in 1741.
Founded as the capital of French India in 1674, was a masterpiece of European Enlightenment Era urban planning, predicated on a rational geometric grid with broad tree-lined streets, numerous beautiful buildings and public squares. Enveloped by defensive walls, it was divided into four districts: the French Quarter, located towards the waterfront to the south (left) of the fort; the New French Quarter, located further to the north (right); the Indian Town, placed further inland, home to the vast majority of the city’s residents; while the New Extension, comprising the southwest portion of the town (the upper left), was built up only recently.
Unfortunately, the city as depicted here was almost totally destroyed by the British, following their seizure of Pondicherry in 1761. Although the city was subsequently rebuilt, it never regained the same splendour.
The authoritative original manuscript plan for strengthening Surat Castle, prepared shortly after the EIC gained sovereign control of the fortress, marking the first official step towards the creation of the ‘Company Raj’.
The Castle itself occupies the upper center of the plan, and the “Explanation of the Figures” identifies 64 key sites within the fort and in the surrounding city. The different fazes of the improvements to the castle, both completed and planned, are distinguished through colour coding. Additionally, the plan lends an usually detailed perspective on the medieval centre of a major Indian port city.
An extremely detailed portrayal of Calcutta, which was then the capital of the ‘Company Raj’, comprised of densely populated urban blocks coloured in red, is confined by the Hooghly River and the New Circular Canal. The great citadel of Fort William, built between 1757 and 1764, rises out of the middle of the Esplanade on the south side of town.
The city features a number of squares, dominated by grand edifices, identified by the . ‘Reference’, including: A. Supreme Court; B. City Hall; C. Treasury; D. Post Office; E. Theatre; G. Surveyor General’s Office; K. Hindoo (Hindu) College; L. Mussuleman (Muslim) College; and P. St. Andrews Church; in addition to labeling 23 ‘Bazars’, the lifeblood of Calcutta’s economy.
Bombay Towne & Castle marks the nucleus of the colony, being the residence of the EIC governor. ‘Mazagoem’ (Mazagaon Fort) represents a fortification that existed from 1680 to 1690, built to guard the northern approaches to the city. Intended to be a working sea chart, the harbour features copious nautical information, including bathymetric soundings, the locations of hazards and fishing stakes.
Bombay Harbour showing the basis of the modern city.
The map maintains a westward perspective and the basis of the modern city is clearly shown on the southern tip of Bombay Island. Bombay was the headquarters the of East India Company’s operations in Western India, as well as being India’s busiest harbour. The British colonial governmental and military establishment is housed within the complex of Bombay Fort, neatly enclosed by walls. A little further to the north is ‘Dungaree Town’, Bombay’s commercial centre and port, with a population of around 140,000, it was a place of exceptional cultural diversity and economic dynamism.
Map depicts the massive complex of Bombay Fort as it appeared during the 1830s. The fort was located along the harbour, immediately to the to the south of the city of Bombay and was surrounded by heavy walls, breastworks and moats. It housed the nucleus of the ‘Company Raj’ in Western India, as all of the operations of the civil government, military and the revenue financial systems of the East India Company’s Presidency of Bombay were headquartered there – making it the densest concentration of power on the subcontinent.
Kanpur and environs:
Kanpur was an insignificant village until the beginning of the 19th Century. In 1801, the area was ceded to the EIC by the Nawab of Oudh. The British soon proceeded to make Kanpur their largest army base in the region and the city (in the centre of the map) developed and prospered, while the massive ‘Cantonment’ of barracks, parade grounds and arsenals of the EIC Army makes up almost the entire right half of the map. Kanpur developed a major transport hub, being linked to the Grand Trunk Road, which ran down the Yamuna and Ganges valleys, by 1846 and the Ganges Canal by 1853.
The main city, largely populated by Indian residents, is comprised of a dense warren of urban blocks. The great arteries of the East Indian Railway and the Grand Trunk Road run to the south of the city, while a rail spur runs along its southeast side. The massive reserve, to the east and southeast of the city, represents the Cantonment, essentially a massive base for the British East India Company Army, hosting numerous barracks, ordnance storehouses, and the Brigade Parade Grounds.
Master plan for the creation of New Delhi followed by the British decition to construct ‘New Delhi’ on south and southwestern outskirts of the old Mughal capital.
A profoundly powerful image, it shows in bold red lines the network of broad boulevards, running between grand edifices literally overwhelming all aspects of the countryside, which is presented in pale blue. Indeed, the new imperial city literally bulldozed ancient villages and plowed over farms that had been worked for centuries. At the same time, it strategically preserved an integrated import Mughal monuments, such as Humayun’s Tomb, into the new city, symbolically legitimizing British power by showing it as the rightful successor to the Mughal imperial mantle.
Maps from the collection of Prshant K. Lahoti.
Online curation: Fareeda Farsana
The physical exhibition on this set of maps is on view from 6th January 2018, at Telangana State Art Gallery Hyderabad, Telangana, as part of the 15th edition of the Krishnakriti Festival.
This exhibition is based on an earlier version of the show titled Cosmology to Cartography: The Journey of Indian Maps, shown at National Museum, New Delhi in 2015 and was curated by Vivek Nanda and Alexander Johnson.