Early maps

Negapatam

This detailed map of Nagapattinam (previously spelt, Negapatam) was created by the Office of the Trigonometric Branch, Survey of India, Dehra Dun. The map gives a complete overview of the city, highlighting its water tanks, churches, and temples. Owing to the enormous endeavours of the Survey of India, precision in documenting became more important as mapping… Read more »

Historical Fragments of the Mogul Empire

Historical Fragments of the Mogul Empire by Robert Orme (1728–1801) was Orme’s last publication. This edition of the book was published posthumously. In this, Orme describes the story of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (1618–1707), and his efforts to conquer the Deccan. He focuses mainly on the expanding Maratha power under Chhatrapati Shivaji (1630-1680) and the onset of British… Read more »

Gulf of Ganges, Gulf of Bengal, and New Descriptions

This map, made by Johannes Janssonius (1588-1664), a Dutch cartographer, illustrates the Bay of Bengal in detail and is one of the oldest sea maps. While it may appear disorienting, the inclusion of ‘Orixa’ and ‘Ceylon’ aid in establishing orientation, with Ceylon to the left of the map representing the south. The Dutch East India… Read more »

Magni Mogolis Imperivm (Great Mogolis Government)

The Dutch cartographer Frederik de Wit produced this map titled ‘Magni Mogolis Imperivm de Novo Correctum et Divisum Per’ in the early 18th century. Maps began to play an increasingly important role in realising European nationalist and imperialist ambitions, both practically and ideologically. This map shows the extent of the Mughal Empire in the early… Read more »

India inside and outside the Ganges

This map was produced by Christoph Weigel the Elder (1654-1725) in c. 1720 Many early cartographers did not travel to the sites they rendered on paper. As a result, early maps were a mix of reality and fiction reported by travellers and traders. Given that the Germans did not have active colonies in the Subcontinent… Read more »

Map of Hindoostan divided into Soubahs

This early 19th century map illustrates the division of Hindustan into ‘soubahs’, or administrative provinces, as listed in the late 16th century Mughal text, the Ain-i-Akbari. The map’s legend distinguishes Hindustan proper, the plains of northern India under the rule and administration of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, from the independent Deccan. In the South, the… Read more »

A Narrative of the Military Operations on the Coromandel Coast

This rare book from late 18th century offers a look at the different kingdoms that were part of the highly strategic and viciously fought Anglo-Mysore wars. It includes 18 letters from 1779 to 1784 covering the British Army’s operations in India, as well as several illustrations of the Isle of France, and charts. Maps include… Read more »