First 'Travel Best-Seller' On India (1502-1508)

  Bharani Dharan
  karma level 1548

 




 

 




Ludivico de Varthema was an Italian adventurer who traveled to the east of the Mediterranean Sea extensively and chronicled his journeys.


In pictures: Itinerary, first 'travel best-seller' on India


A copy of a seminal 16th Century work on India is on display at the National Archives building in Delhi. Organisers say Itinerary - by Italian adventure traveller Ludovico De Varthema - is the first "best-selling" book written on India. (Illustrations: Courtesy Italian Cultural Centre and National Archives of India)

De Varthema toured India extensively from 1502 to 1508. The book was first published in Rome in 1510 and was subsequently reprinted numerous times and in many languages. The photo here shows the book's cover in a 1535 reprint.

 

This venture became a part his travelogue — Itinerario de Ludouico de Varthema Bolognese (Itinerary of Ludovico de Varthema) — that was published in Rome in 1510.

It is one of the earliest European accounts of India.

The book has come to Delhi for the first time — and currently being displayed at an exhibition titled “Voyages to India of Ludovico de Varthema” at National Archives of India. The exhibition is part of the 12th Italian Language Week in the World.

 

 

The book was richly illustrated by the author, who described in minute detail the social practices prevalent in India at the time. This picture shows a Kannada wedding.

 

 

De Varthema had no commercial or military interests and he travelled purely for pleasure.

 

 

The book became a huge success and was translated into almost 50 languages, including Latin, German, French, Spanish and English. This illustration shows farmers during the sowing season in the Kingdom of Cambay which is in the present-day state of Gujarat.

 

 

There are only two original copies of De Varthema's book in the world today, both in Italy - one in Rome and the other in Urbania. This photo shows the ladies of the Kingdom of Cambay washing themselves in a pool.

 

 

The copy on display at the National Archives of India is an anastatic edition - a reproduction of the book in its original form - presented to India by Italy. The photo here shows Kannada cattle riders.

 

 

De Varthema's account of coastal India is hugely significant as at that time the region had little European presence. This illustration shows "wives of very rich merchants" of the Kingdom of Cambay.

 

 

De Varthema painted the King of Cambay in all his splendour here.

 

 

Most of the people he would have encountered worshipped multiple gods and godesses. This illustration shows "Malabar pagans called nayres" which historians say are the present-day Nairs of southern India.

 

 

This image shows a "Xarafo" - a money-changer - from Cambay. Without the help of such images De Varthema's stories would not have had the same impact. By the time of his death some time before 1517, he had become one of the most successful travel writers since Marco Polo three centuries earlier.

 



__,_._,___

 



Related Entries

188
votes
Carefree Indian women.
by Nuzhat Ny on Feb/23,2012 ( diamond user)
259
votes
Indian Railway Budget 2012-13.
by Kautilya Dutt on Mar/16,2012 ( gold user)
442
votes
Legend from Turkey........First read the story & then see the pic
Admin on Feb/17,2007  
276
votes
Indian Titanic
Admin on Feb/17,2007  
86
votes
India's 'green and clean' village
by Portonovo Kajanazimudeen on Sep/27,2009 ( diamond user)
795
votes
Incredible Faces of India
by Maulik Patel on Aug/21,2010 ( diamond user)
367
votes
Only in India (new ones).
by Nma.Nadaf on May/09,2012 ( diamond user)
526
votes
Classical India.
by Bikash Chetry on May/07,2012 ( diamond user)
85
votes
Save the Indian Rupee
by Rupesh on Oct/01,2012 ( diamond user)
805
votes
Street Dentists In India And China
by Mdsingh on Sep/24,2008 ( diamond user)
48
votes
India Rocks
by Pranav Kumar on Jul/11,2011 ( platinum user)
69
votes
10 longest expressways (highways) in India.
by Monika on Nov/25,2014 ( diamond user)
59
votes
Harry Potter To Be Remade In India.
by Maroju.Venkatesh on Sep/18,2012 ( platinum user)
136
votes
Good Indian Wife
by Bharani Dharan on Oct/11,2012 ( platinum user)
147
votes
Reality of Indian Education System.
by Bharani Dharan on Oct/11,2012 ( platinum user)
1 k
votes
Top 10 Ancient Indian Inventions
by Maulik Patel on Oct/22,2012 ( diamond user)
8
votes
Fwd: India
by Ramesh A on Oct/03,2012 ( diamond user)
57
votes
Diversity Of India.
by Maulik Patel on Nov/11,2012 ( diamond user)
40
votes
Gallery of Incredible India
by Bikash Chetry on Nov/11,2012 ( diamond user)

Random Pics



Share this with friends

Your Name:
Your Email:

Friends Email: (Atleast 1)


Subscribe for more Fun

Receive best posts in your inbox.

Confirm email
Your Email



Add Your Comments

comments powered by Disqus
User generated content. Copyright respective owners wherever applicable. Contact - admin at binscorner