The Pundits: British Exploration of Tibet and Central Asia

University Press of Kentucky, 19 Νοε 2004 - 327 σελίδες

On a September day in 1863, Abdul Hamid entered the Central Asian city of Yarkand. Disguised as a merchant, Hamid was actually an employee of the Survey of India, carrying concealed instruments to enable him to map the geography of the area. Hamid did not live to provide a first-hand count of his travels. Nevertheless, he was the advance guard of an elite group of Indian trans-Himalayan explorers -- recruited, trained, and directed by the officers of the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India -- who were to traverse much of Tibet and Central Asia during the next thirty years.

Derek Waller presents the history of these explorers, who came to be called "native explorers" or "pundits" in the public documents of the Survey of India. In the closed files of the government of British India, however, they were given their true designation as spies. As they moved northward within the Indian subcontinent, the British demanded precise frontiers and sought orderly political and economic relationships with their neighbors. They were also becoming increasingly aware of and concerned with their ignorance of the geographical, political, and military complexion of the territories beyond the mountain frontiers of the Indian empire. This was particularly true of Tibet.

Though use of pundits was phased out in the 1890s in favor of purely British expeditions, they gathered an immense amount of information on the topography of the region, the customs of its inhabitants, and the nature of its government and military resources. They were able to travel to places where virtually no European count venture, and did so under conditions of extreme deprivation and great danger. They are responsible for documenting an area of over one million square miles, most of it completely unknown territory to the West. Now, thanks to Waller's efforts, their contributions to history will no longer remain forgotten.


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Abdul Hamid and Nain Singh
The Mirza the Havildar
The Singh Family
The Forsyth Missions to Yarkand and Kashgar
Hari Ram and Rinzing
A Hardy Son of Soft Bengal
Lala Nem Singh
Questions of Secrecy
Note on Map Sources
Πνευματικά δικαιώματα

Άλλες εκδόσεις - Προβολή όλων

Συχνά εμφανιζόμενοι όροι και φράσεις

Δημοφιλή αποσπάσματα

Σελίδα 306 - The Mishmee Hills : an Account of a Journey made in an Attempt to Penetrate Thibet from Assam, to open New Routes for Commerce. Second Edition. With Four Illustrations and Map. Post 8vo. Cloth, price IDS. 6d. Cornhill Library of Fiction (The). Crown 8vo. Cloth, price 3$ . 6d. per volume. Half-a-Dozen Daughters.
Σελίδα 306 - A Tibetan-English dictionary with Sanskrit synonyms. Revised and edited under the orders of the Government of Bengal, by Graham Sandberg and A. William Heyde. Calcutta, Bengal Secretariat Book Depot, 1902.
Σελίδα 306 - Deasy, HHP, In Tibet and Chinese Turkestan being the record of three years exploration.

Σχετικά με τον συγγραφέα (2004)

Derek Waller, professor emeritus of political science at Vanderbilt University, was the author of The Government and Politics of the People's Republic of China.

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