Sri Lanka

Ceylan (Ceylon)

This undated photograph from Sri Lanka was taken by photographer WLH Skeen’s eponymous studio – a leading photography studio in the country during the colonial-era. Since the Anuradhapura Kingdom, founded in 377 BCE (and lasting until 1017 CE), and until the Kandyan Kingdom of 1591-1815, Sri Lanka has seen a continual string of monarchies for… Read more »

Empire of Faith: Into the realm of the Buddha & the Mauryas

Most Indians are familiar with the great emperors and exploits of the Mauryan empire. But until a few hundred years ago, their legacies lay buried in ruins, their faith forgotten by time. This is the story of a remarkable resurrection

Tea Factory

William Louis Henry Skeen was a late 19th-century photographer active in Ceylon, ie Sri Lanka. A lot of his imagery was focused on the island’s tea and coffee plantations, landscapes and people. By the 1870s, WLH Skeen & Co. became Ceylon’s most successful photography company and continued to thrive under various directors until 1920.

Map of the Coasts of Malabar, Coromandel and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)

Johann Baptist Homann was a German cartographer, geographer, publisher and engraver of the mid-17th century. His family business was perhaps the most famous German map publishing firm in the world at the time. Their company, Homann Heirs, was functional till the late 1800s. Homann was also appointed Imperial Geographer by the emperor, Charles VI.

A Narrative of the Military Operations on the Coromandel Coast

This rare book from 1789 offers a good look at the different kingdoms that were part of the highly strategic and viciously fought Anglo-Mysore wars. It includes their battle-plans illustrated in maps, and brings to life the political events that went on behind the scenes. It includes 18 letters from 1779 to 1784 covering the… Read more »