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Title : Early Travels in India (16th and 17th Centuries)
Author : J. Talboys Wheeler (ed.)
Edition : HardBack
ISBN : 9789388540810
Pages : 246
Year of Pub : 2020
Price : Rs 1,095.00
This volume presents two famous accounts of travels in India, one from ‘Purchas’s Pilgrimage’ (the portion dealing with India) and the other by Linschoten. These originally appeared in Saturday Evening Englishmen and were later reprinted in a book form from Calcutta in 1864.
Reverend Samuel Purchas (1575-1626) was a famous English compiler of travel books. He was passionately fond of voyages and travels, and having spent a lifetime collecting them, ruined himself in printing and publishing them. India finds an important place in his ‘Pilgrimage’ – India as it was in the reign of Jahangir. It was a time when the Moghul Empire at Delhi had just started growing to the dimensions of an Empire, Bengal had just been taken over by the Moghuls, Mahrattas were yet to appear on the historical horizon, the Rajputs were still formidable. The English had yet
just a factory at Surat and another at Pulicat as their only permanent settlements in India.
John Huighen Van Linschoten (1563-1611) visited India in the year 1583, sixteen years before the East India Company procured its first charter. He was Portuguese and made Goa his headquarters. Accounts of his travels are very interesting because of the light they throw upon the character of Portuguese administration in Goa, and upon the domestic life of the Portuguese at that time. His description of the Goans is exceedingly lifelike and interesting as refering to a part of India which until recent times was far from being generally known. The picture that emerges from these travel accounts is at once curious and gripping.


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