FOOTHILLS OF THE HIMALAYAS , SIMLA AND MANALI

Smiling faces in Simla

The drive from Haridwar to Simla or Shimla looked a short distance on the map but as with most of Indian roads it took longer than planned. Slow means more interesting though, and 5 minutes spent in a traffic jam is 5 minutes of a short film. You are the secret observer of everyday life. Sometime before, we had waited and watched as five or six guys dug out a lorry stuck in monsoon mud under a bridge with a sign No Lorries. Something one wouldn’t normally do but actually ultimately fascinating watching a disorganised team extricating the truck..In Indian it’s called Jugga..the ability of an almost impossible situation to come right.

Drying clothes Rooftops Shimla

The last part driving up to Simla was in darkness and the fir and cedar trees and twinkling lights of the town on top of the hills and ridges reminded one of an illustration of an old fashioned Christmas card.

View across the valley..Mountain fir trees


Cars are banned from the upper part of Simla, consequently we had to walk the last part to our hotel. Visting is good for a cardo-vascular fitness programme but tough on asthmatics.

The views from Simla are stunning. The foothills of the Himalayas are unlike those of the Alps. The people are different also, they are mountain people.

Simla is unlike any other part of India. It was created by the British to be a little bit of the English Shires in the midst of an alien and sometimes hostile country where the expats lived in heat and died of unkown illnesses. Simla is a monument to homesickness. Here they constructed this faux Britain , with the huge Christ Church in the centre of the Mall, Social clubs, a Gaiety Theatre and one the largest post offices in India (to run the Empire through the summer months).

Even now it is like looking through a prism back in time to the days of the Raj. The English quarter was built on the Ridge , with it’s rows of English style shops, it’s coffee houses, but now the customers are the Indian Civil servants and middle classes who have replaced the rulers of the British Empire. The shops for the most part are the ones that existed at Independence, the Antiquarian Bookshop, sadly on it’s last legs, the Haberdashers, where I bought a waistcoat, was piled high with bolts of tweed like cloth and three or four saleswomen who knew their materials. The Indian Coffee House, exactly the same as pre Independence, with turbanned waiters and now with local businessmen for clientele.
Half shut your eyes and yes , there is Mountbatton with Nehru, drinking a cup of tea in the corner, stitching up India for their own different reasons..

The Mall now is full of smiling relatively wealthy Indian tourists of all religions from most parts of India.

The Mall Shimla or Simla these days

The upper part or the Ridge was the domain of the British rulers, starting in 1822 when the first ‘Pucca’ house was built by the political agent Charles Pratt Kennedy, and below, further down the ridge are the Indian bazaars and quarters as they have been for 150 years.

Below the Ridge & Mall

Word spread of the wonderful cool summers and importantly away from the ‘native plains’, and with the progression of better roads, rentable villas, theatre and a summer meeting place for the Raj’s elite, led finally in 1863 to Simla being declared the summer capital of the Raj. A mock tudor Town Hall, Law Courts, shops and mainly Parsi businessmen followed.

Rare Books The Mall

The 1857 mutiny had passed Simla by with hardly a shot being fired so it was seen as a safe place for women to spend most of the year , and great marriage alliances of the latter part British rule were made here. Kipling spent four summers here in the 1860’s, drawn in part by the newfound cultural importance of the town.

Fine cloth Shimla

Waiter The Indian Coffee House

The latter part of the nineteenth century, with the ever increasing bureaucracy of running an empire, resulted in the constuction of a railway to Simla, linking into the expanding British built network , bringing up the many civil servants, the viceroys contingent and all the diplomatic entourage from Indian States to sovereign countries, to Simla for 6 months of the year. The journey from the winter capital in Calcutta took three or four days.
From about 1870 for 60 or 70 years one fifth of the worlds population was ruled from this small town clinging to a ridge in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Fun Shimla

Always smiling Shimla

Today Tourism has replaced the Summer influx of the machinary of Empire. On the Mall and upper ridge there are no beggars, no poor Indians ,it has been sanitised. The mainly Tibetan porters carrying immense loads on their backs are the only vestiges of old school Indian labour.

Sikh Barrister Simla

The weather is so British with sun and mist the same day, and if one ignored the mountains you could be in any midlands market town, except with a few more smiling faces.

The Post Office .Shimla..he Telegragh office that during the Raj ran 20% of the world’s population.

Shimla


Shimla


…..

Manali was only 170 miles from Shimla but after driving all day we arrived at dusk to find newish hotels lining one side of the road into town, the other luckily was a compulsively watchable torrent of a Himalayan river.
Manali might be a short distance from Simla but it was like being back in India after a quick stop in another land. Here were mountain people , smaller perhaps and with broader faces.
The British Raj used Ethnicity, Religion and the Caste System to divide and rule in India and in Simla they created for themselves a place that reflected the mother country rather than India. Importing Parsi businessmen, Sikh administrators and elite civil service Hindus and Simla is a continuing reflection of that Today. A car free, beggar free cosy market town on top of a ridge. But in Manali it was back to religion, Temples and a Tibetan monastery. Holy men begging, TucTucs wizzing and round street food .. India!

Manali the new Mall

Manali new Mall

Back in the sixties Manali was a happy hippy , dope smoking destination with an old town of beautiful old houses at over 2000 metres altitude.

Sadhu Manali

Tourism followed with many odd facets. Manali is a stop on the road up to Ladekh and Indian Tibet and also a smuggling and distribution centre initially for cannabis. From the seventies both Indian and Foreign drug mafia have been fighting for control leading to a long list of murders ( some British ) commited both by each other and probably the police, who found planting dope on hippies and demanding fines supplemented meagre pay. For the last twenty years Manali has become a destination for young trekkers, seekers of spirituality and drugs, and more recently Israeli youth who arrive after military service for freedom, drugs and sex..Apparently the Israeli mafia now control most of the drug trade, and buy off most of the local police and politicians. Murders and disappearances in this area have given the area the name Valley of Death.

Honeymoon Manali

It is also a honeymoon destination for young middle class Indians and the little cafes next to river in Old Manali offer pretty views. The 500 year old wooden triple tiered Hidimba Devi Temple in the forest harks back for Hindus to the beginnings of the religion as essentially consisting of forest shrines. The small forest is a protected part of a once great forest of old Deodar trees.

Hidimba Devi Temple 500 years old
Manali

The other side of the Beas River down in the Valley is Vashist village home to one of the older Hindu temples.
Many Sadhus , Holy men make the pilgrimage to one of Hindus oldest temples.

Vashist village Manali

It is said that a temple has stood on this site for 4,000 years.
Vashisht, both Temple & Village were named after Rishi Vashisht one of the seven sages of the Hindu religion. Legend has it that the saddened Rishi Vashisht after learning that his children were killed by Vishwamitra tried to commit suicide. But the river refused to kill him. The river was therefore named as Vipasha which literally means ‘freedom from bondage’. It was later shortened to Beas River.

Young Sadhu Vashist temple

Sadhu Vashist village Manali

The Village with mountains above, the river below does have an aura of tranquility.

Vashist village Manali

The other significant influx into Manali has also happened over the last thirty years. Tibetan refugees from Chinese Tibet.

Tibetan refugees Manali

Manali has one of the largest concentration of Tibetan refugees in the area mainly living around The Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa monastery near the centre of the new town.

Tibetan refugees Love in a Foreign land Manali

The Temple and surrounding area is so colourful , with flowers everywhere. I found a blue locked up open shed with prayers, prayer flags, amulets and many small memories of a previous life in now Chinese occupied Tibet, very moving.

Memories and hopes locked away Tibetan Prayers Manali

Tibetan priests Manali

Manali brings in Hindu Sadhus and Tibetan priests, tourists, honeymooners, truck drivers on their way to Ladakh..a really cosmopolitan region.

Mountain women Manali

Rotary Club Shimla


Indian War Memorial Shimla

Snacks Manli

Wood carving Famous in Manali

Vashist village Manali

Manali ha over 70% literacy


Colou
Manali

The Lads Manali

Manali

Posted in India, India 2015, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MICHAEL JENNINGS ANTIQUE MAPS SPRING NEWSLETTER


I hope everyone survived Winter. Spring is now in full bloom here on the Riviera.

The dates for the excellent London Map Fair for 2017 are a little later than usual and it will take place at the Royal Geographical Society on Saturday June 17 and Sunday June 18.

See http://www.londonmapfairs.com/ for details etc.

The latest posting by Joe McAlhany of Old World Auctions extols the geographical accuracy, affordability and the collation of town plans and areas of the World not found in previous publications. A monument to nineteenth century enlightenment The article can be seen here.( http://www.washmapsociety.org/000/0/9/8/22890/userfiles/file/Knowledge%20Is%20Power%20to%20the%20People%20-%20SDUK.pdf )

Also a very interesting article from the New Yorker on maps & literature can be found here (http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-allure-of-the-map )

Below a few of the new additions from the thousands of maps and decorative prints that can be found on my new tablet friendly website http://www.maphouse.co.uk

AFRICA



BRITISH ISLES


ASIA



EUROPE

ITALY






Blaeu’s Monumental Colisseum

FRANCE


MIDDLE EAST



AMERICAS NORTH & SOUTH



WORLD


And alot more on my website

Please email me if you are looking for any map in particular I have many yet to be put on website or be able to find it for you.

For anybody visiting the French Riviera this summer please contact me and I can pick you up from Antibes Cannes etc, and you can join me for tea and peruse the entire stock of maps & prints.

My current blog of tavels and interesting Antique Maps can be found here https://mickjennings.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/back-to-delhi-and-on-to-haridwar/

Haridwar
M jennings

For those of you following my travels, I am a little behind but my latest blog contrasts the Muslim community of Old Delhi and Hindu exuberance at Haridwar. the blog can be seen here

Best wishes

Michael

Michael Jennings Antique Maps And Prints
1684 Chemin De St Julien
Biot 06410 FRANCE
Tel: +33 (0) 4936 57252 +33 (0) 4936 57252
Mobile:+33 (0)610 753 988 +33 (0)610 753 988
michaeljennings@orange.fr
Follow me on twitter @jenningsoldmaps
Links to Antique map & travel blog https://mickjennings.wordpress.com

Posted in ANTIQUE MAPS, Antique maps..maphouse, ANTIQUE PRINTS, Rare maps, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

BACK TO DELHI AND ON TO HARIDWAR

Old City Delhi

I always found going back to Delhi exciting and this blog is an amalgam of back to Delhi from Nepal, and ten months later back to Delhi from France before a road trip up to Kashmir, which apparently was on the FCO blacklist of things not to do.
I remember a couple of months before leaving Chandni Chowk metro station and heading up to the Red Fort we must have smelled of ‘new arrival’ and looked like two rabbits caught in the headlights of full glare of raw India. Looking over to the south with trepidation was the edge of the old City of Delhi with it’s warren of streets not really wide enough for modern vehicles but teaming with rickshaws and people and above all noise. Then I thought that wandering the streets of the old city was perhaps a little too daunting especially as the short distance then between the Metro and the Fort was fraught with hasslers for money, peddlers of Indian tourist trinkets, and a very free guided tour of the 800 metres to the Fort.

Cycle rickshaw Delhi Old City

After a couple of months of India including the unique experience of Varanesi and the fading humid tumultuous Kolkota I must have smelled of India as now exploring the old city, the beating heart of the capital, nobody hassled me except for kids wanting their photographs taken. In fact the opposite, people smiled, artisans and even butchers were keen to show off their skills.

I have a great affection for Delhi. It’s a vibrant city or two cities and I was pleased to be back.

Young muslim girls

The old City of Delhi along with Jerusalem and Varanesi is one of the longest continually inhabited sites in the World and despite having become extremely crowded and dilapidated, it is still is the soul of Delhi and the market place for jewels, beads, brassware and weaving.

Fun


The old city is pretty much a Muslim enclave but there are important Jain and Sikh temples and St James Church ( or Skinners Church) near the Kashmiri Gate had up until the 1857 Indian mutiny a sizeable British population around it. For the most part the Hindu and Muslim populations get on well It is probably Indian politicians, and recently Modi’s BJP party who stir up trouble. Modi’s choice of leader for Indias most populous state Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, has been described even by the Hindu press There are no two ways of saying the obvious truth. Installing such a divisive and thuggish figure at the helm of India’s most populous and volatile state is a terrible, terrible decision.’

Waiting for work

The tortoise and the hare .Boy running, Bicvcle and scooter

The old city took in many muslims from other parts of India during partition as it was probably safer there than other parts of Northern India. The city historically was peopled by centuries of immigration especially the Persian and Turcoman craftsmen and labourers who worked on Shah Jahan’s magnificent buildings..Mosques including the great Jama Masjid in the centre of the Old City and the Red Fort with it’s beautiful Marble pavilions, on the North Eastern Corner.
Near the Red Fort a charity hands out lunch each day for the poor. But the flip side though of crowded streets, heat, lack of social services, health care and especially mental health is that one comes across some unpleasant third world sights.

Old City Man lying in the street


The Urdu language emerged from the Urdu Bazaar section of Old Delhi, and today is spoken by about 100 million people in India Pakistan and now Britain.

Proud Father

The open air butcher’s shop

The Jama Masjid Mosque is raised above the rest of the Old City and one can sit on the steps outside and look out over the crowded narrow streets and all the action. The inside of this beautiful sandstone building the plaza with a large pond in the middle is an oasis of serenity in comparison with the city below.

Jama Masjid Mosque


Whole family groups seem to inhabit their own corners and spaces. One such group, dominated by one rather agressive guy, of about 10 adults and 20 children was straight of Dickens’s London with it’s Faginesque leader and his troupe young thieves. I sat fascinated watching for some time.

Fagin


Jama Masjid Mosque


The Old City with it’s narrow streets, thousands of small shops, on -street fast food and a Chai shop on every corner, lots of smiling faces and life played out in the open is such an entertaining and life affirming place to hang out.

Off to school in a Tuc Tuc


Our two friends arrived late at night and somehow we were ready for an early start to Haridwar .

Early one morning the sun was shining
We were standing by the side of the road..
Waiting for our tour driver,
Heading off to the Himalayas

Bathing at Haridwar

Pilgrims off to Haridwar

All four of us and our luggage squeezed into one of those stretch Toyota tourist cars and we did head off to the foothills of the Himalayas. The 220 Km journey, our last on India’s hot plain, took most of the day. The terrible roads with no discernable rules, and occupied as much with Holy Cows as with cars and lorries is as tiring for a passenger as a driver as one is incapable of closing ones eyes. It is not just fascinating India sliding by but the survival need to warn the driver of another cow, a lorry in the outside lane doing 15 miles an hour or a family wandering in the middle of the road..all the causes of accidents can be found in any 250 metre stretch of Indian road.
We finally arrived in Haridwar after torrential monsoon rains.

ridwar  Ganges

Haridwar

Of course it’s India and our driver had little idea of where our hotel was. Yes he had visited before with Indian tourists and knew the cheaper hotels that lined the main road outside town, but Abid had put us up in the Radisson Blue out of town to the west of the Ganges..We spent a good hour driving around, through enormous lakes of water, fearing that we might never make it to the other side. No one we asked seem to know where it was but finally we found it by luck.

Pilgrims in the rain

Haridwar is the first Indian city on the Gangetic plain (that stretches across India) that the Ganges arrives at after the Himalayas..It has been a holy site for millennia ever since nectar was dripped onto to the waters by the gods. There has been settlements here since 1,800 bc.

Haridwar


Haridwar is a triply blessed as it is linked to all three major Hindu Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar. With all these mythological links attached to its name, it’s little wonder why Haridwar is often referred to as ‘gateway to god’. Pilgrims believe that they can go to heaven by getting their salvation after a holy dip in the river Ganges at Haridwar.

Haridwar

Colours of India Haridwar

Haridwar in the rain and grey skies is not exceptionally pretty but the colour of women’s saris and the general colours of India, even on a dull day bring life to a place. The Ganges river is diverted into a canal that runs through that part of the city with all the temples. Overlooking all is a huge statue of Shiva.

Haridwar


Praying Haridwar

It rained on and off for most of the day we were there, but the presence of thousands of pilgrims in groups or just a family having so much fun bathing and purifying themselves in mother Ganga that one forgot about the weather and was carried away with celebrations. Hindu pilgrimages and festivals are so so colourful and full of joy that one cannot help but be caught up in this rapturous moment of other people’s lives

Serious pilgrims shave before bathing

The water is fast flowing here and there are chains across the river for those swept away to try cling to.

The ghats or steps down to the Ganges was full the day we were there as there was a major festival a few days before. Families and groups of friends were washing away their sins and having a great time as well, there were so many happy smiley faces.
People queued up to give offerings at the many little shrines barely 1 meter square, with little statues of gods and with their own priests. Religion is a business as well.

Shrine with many gods

We were invited to be blessed, a little prayer for each of us based upon brief information we gave about family and circumstances and a Bindi or red spot was placed on our foreheads after accompanied by a little sweet. Only a few annah was asked for, unlike some places like Pushka where one could be hussled for your life savings.

We left about lunchtime and the sun had arrived and it was so much warmer.

Babu Haridwar


The sun had bought out a great collection of Babus or Holy Men and they found comfortble seating on the bridge. As everyone had to cross the bridge over the Ganges back to Hotels or campsites it was a propitious spot. They were not actively begging but open to donations.

Happy Baba Haridwar

Holy Man Haridwar


Relaxed Babu


We came back that evening for the Ganga Aart . This ceremony at the Har Ki Pauri ghat is famous across India. Everyday hundreds of people come here for the ceremony. During some festival days it is visited by more than million people in a day. The Ganges is worshiped in this ceremony.
We arrived early, one tip from our driver, and managed to get a great spot right by the water directly across from the Ghat, and managed to keep it during ceremonial washing of the ground. We could see all the lights and hear the chanting from the other side.

Ganga Aart ceremony at the Har Ki Pauri ghat

Many people put little clay oil lamps ( Diyas) on leaves in the river. Bigger offerings were blessed by the priests of the Ghat. Again it rained but this holy festival overcame any discomfort.

Boy offering flame for pilgrims to light their offering at the Ganga Aart


I will always remember Haridwar for all the jubilance of a Hindu ceremony.

In the last few days we had witnessed two very different religions and they both had so much in common.. Joy and innocence.. Shame it gets corrupted

As I live at the limit of Internet access (next year Fibre optic..well they say that every year) The Photos from ther Blog are also on Flickr ..usually better quality..Click on the Pic below

P1210175

Previous blogs about Delhi
https://mickjennings.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/return-to-delhi/
https://mickjennings.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/arriving-in-india-delhi/

Posted in India, India 2015, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Michael Jennings Autumn Newsletter & New Maps

Jaillot's Rare double page map of Britanny  1695  £495

Jaillot’s Rare double page map of Britanny 1695 £495


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/france/brittany-west/M3542-brittany/

I hope everyone has had a good summer. Here on the Riviera it has been rather traumatic with the terror attack in Nice but things are a little more relaxed now.

The dates for the excellent London Map Fair for 2017 have now been announced,
The Fair will take place at the Royal Geographical Society on Saturday June 17 and Sunday June 18.
See http://www.londonmapfairs.com/ for details etc.

The latest posting by Joe McAlhany of Old World Auctions relates to the most famous cartographic fallacy in the world of antique maps ..California as an Island and makes for interesting reading. The article can be read here.http://www.oldworldauctions.com/newsletter_archive/The%20Island%20of%20California.pdf

I have listed below a few maps with California represented as an Island below, with a varied collection of interesting maps from most of the world.

Below a few of the new additions from the thousands of maps and decorative prints that can be found on my new tablet friendly website http://www.maphouse.co.uk

AFRICA

Rare Pierre D'avity Carte a figures

Rare Pierre D’avity Carte a figures

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/africa/continent/M2626-africa-africa-nova-tabula-auct-jud-hondio-ca/

Uncommon Du Val £525

Uncommon Du Val £525

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/africa/continent/M2475-africa-lafrique/

Van Der Aa map of East Africa £145

Van Der Aa map of East Africa £145

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/africa/east/M3546-east-africa-kenya-zanzibar/

Bellin's Map of Madagascar & East African coast..£95

Bellin’s Map of Madagascar & East African coast..£95
http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/africa/east/M3528-madagascar-comoros-/

[caption id="attachment_2882" align="alignnone" width="640"]Muller's Rare map £125 Muller’s Rare map £125

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/africa/south/M3559-southern-africa-by-j-u-muller/

Large Jeffrey's map of West Africa

Large Jeffrey’s map of West Africa £250

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/africa/west/M3405-africa-west-africa/

ASIA

Bordone"s 1528 map of Sumatra £245

Bordone”s 1528 map of Sumatra £245

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/asia/east-indies-philipp/M3316-sumatra-by-bordone-from-the-isolario/

Munster's 1588 map of Asia £450

Munster’s 1588 map of Asia £450

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/asia/continent/M3254-asia-munster/

EAST INDIES JAPAN MAGINI 1598 £250

EAST INDIES JAPAN MAGINI 1598 £250

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/asia/east-indies-philipp/M3161-east-indies-china-japan/

Maldives Sri Lanka Van Der Aa 1707 £225

Maldives Sri Lanka Van Der Aa 1707 £225

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/asia/india-malay/M3545-maldives-sri-lanka-sumatra-nicobar-isles/

China Le Rouge 1748 £195

China Le Rouge 1748 £195

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/asia/china/M3196-china/

BRITISH ISLES

CRUCHLEY'S NEW PLAN OF LONDON 1840 £595

CRUCHLEY’S NEW PLAN OF LONDON 1840 £595

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/british-isles/london/M3504-london-cruchley/

MUNSTER's ENGELLAND 1570 £325

MUNSTER’s ENGELLAND 1570 £325

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/british-isles/england/M3407-munster-early-map-of-england-wales-and-part/

SPEED'S ROGER REA MAP OF ENGLAND £1750

SPEED’S ROGER REA MAP OF ENGLAND £1750

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/british-isles/M3547-speeds-map-of-england/

Janssonius Rare first state map of Lancaster 1636 £595

Janssonius Rare first state map of Lancaster 1636 £595

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/british-isles/counties/M3511-lancashire-lancaster/

Large panorama ..Cassell's 1880 version of the 1560 Agas map of London £550

Large panorama ..Cassell’s 1880 version of the 1560 Agas map of London £550

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/british-isles/london/M3449-london-panorama/

EUROPE

Ortelius Janssonius map of Europe 1608/1650 £485

Ortelius Janssonius map of Europe 1608/1650 £485

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/europe-continent/M3523-europe/

Munster's First modern map of Europe 1550  £685

Munster’s First modern map of Europe 1550 £685

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/europe-continent/M3491-europe-munsters-first-modern-map/

Braun & Hogenberg Naples  1575  £725

Braun & Hogenberg Naples 1575 £725

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/italy/rome-south/M3549-naples-by-braun-and-hogenberg/

Munster's famous & large panorama of Vienna 1552  £495

Munster’s famous & large panorama of Vienna 1552 £495

http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/germany-austria/M3519-panorama-of-vienna/

Homann's Plan & view plate of Stockholm 1720 £545

Homann’s Plan & view plate of Stockholm 1720 £545


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/scandinavia/M3087-stockholm/

Ortelius Switzerland with original colour 1603  £345

Ortelius Switzerland with original colour 1603 £345


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/switzerland/M3490-switzerland/

MEDITERRANEAN & ISLANDS

MOLL'S CHART OF THE MEDITERRANEAN  1710  £350

MOLL’S CHART OF THE MEDITERRANEAN 1710 £350


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/mediterranean-and-islands/M2398-mediterranean-a-chart-of-the-mediterranean-s/

Muller's Rare miniature map of Malta 1702 £295

Muller’s Rare miniature map of Malta 1702 £295


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/mediterranean-and-islands/M3533-malta-maltha/

Du Val's scarce Sicily map 1676  £495

Du Val’s scarce Sicily map 1676 £495


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/italy/rome-south/M3367-sicily/
Munster  Cyprus 1550c £225

Munster Cyprus 1550c £225


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/mediterranean-and-islands/M3517-cyprus-munster-1550c/

NORTH AMERICA CALIFORNIA AS AN ISLAND

Vaugondy's five depictions of California 1772 £395

Vaugondy’s five depictions of California 1772 £395


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/north-america/usa/M3190-california/

La Feuille  Rare full Original Colour 1706  £395

La Feuille Rare full Original Colour 1706 £395


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/north-america/usa/M2334-california-island-lamerique-septentrionale/
After Ogier  1748  £325

After Ogier 1748 £325


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/north-america/M3415-north-america-california-as-an-island/

MIDDLE EAST

Blaeu's map of the Turkish Empire 1638 £695

Blaeu’s map of the Turkish Empire 1638 £695


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/middle-east/middle-east/M2606-middle-east-turkish-empire-turcicum-imperium/

Ruscelli  Arabia 1564 £350

Ruscelli Arabia 1564 £350


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/middle-east/arabia/M3507-arabia-gulf-rare-early/

Huge Wall Map of the Ottoman Empire  Chatelain  1714 £595

Huge Wall Map of the Ottoman Empire Chatelain 1714 £595


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/middle-east/middle-east/M3516-large-wall-map-pf-the-ottoman-turkish-empire/

Chatelain Constantinople 1714  £250

Chatelain Constantinople 1714 £250


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/middle-east/near-east-holy-land/M2891-constantinople-istanbul/

AUSTRALASIA

Tallis's highly decorative map of Australia 1851   £245

Tallis’s highly decorative map of Australia 1851 £245


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/pacific-australasia/M3023-australia/

Bonne  / Cook Early map of New Zealand 1787  £595

Bonne / Cook Early map of New Zealand 1787 £595


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/pacific-australasia/M3213-new-zealand/

WORLD & Polar

Munster's God Creating the Earth 1578  £135

Munster’s God Creating the Earth 1578 £135


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/world/M3558-the-creation-munster/

Cluverius 1660  £495

Cluverius 1660c £495


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/world/M3461-world-typus-orbis-terrarum/

Cook / Bernard   Cooks Southern Voyages  1778  £350

Cook / Bernard Cooks Southern Voyages 1778 £350


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/polar/M3406-southern-hemishere-south-pole-cooks-voya/

Homann's classic World Map 1715c  £1800

Homann’s classic World Map 1715c £1800


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/world/M3521-early-homann-world-map/

Please email me if you are looking for any map in particular I might have it or be able to find it for you.

For anybody visiting the French Riviera this autumn/winter please contact me and I can pick you up from Antibes Cannes etc, and you can join me for tea and peruse the entire stock of maps & prints.

For those of you following my travels, I am a little behind but photographs of Sudan were published in Edge Of Humanity magazine in March here and my blog of Nepal can be seen here.
https://mickjennings.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/nepal-beautiful-country-great-people-but-let-down-by-politicians/

Best wishes

Michael
Michael Jennings Antique Maps And Prints
1684 Chemin De St Julien
Biot 06410 FRANCE
Tel: +33 (0) 4936 57252
Mobile:+33 (0)610 753 988
michaeljennings@orange.fr

Follow me on twitter @jenningsoldmaps
and at facebook here

Posted in ANTIQUE MAPS, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nepal ..Beautiful Country, Great people, But let down by politicians

Nepal  Kathmandu  Dashain Festival

Nepal Kathmandu Dashain Festival

I was lying on my Calcutta Hotel bed , keeping a vigilant eye on the bathroom door, as beyond lay the fast growing green black slime of the tropics which was threatening to break in to the already dank bedroom, when the phone rang and my brother said all was arranged and his accountant’s cousin would pick me up at Kathmandu airport the following day.
I suppose for many years I had had those great opening lines of Anthony Burgess’s ‘Earthly Powers’ always nagging somewhere..’In bed with my catamite when Ali announced the Archbishop was here to see me…’. and this was a weak attempt at some similar sort of phrasing..
Im pretty sure that Burgess had never stayed in such a sleazy hotel but most who spent time in the tropics have had tales of frightening bedrooms..this was mine and I couldn’t wait to leave, The Hotel , not Calcutta which I sensed had so much more exploration left in it.

Everest

Everest

I had wandered the city for 10 days and the heat and humidity was beginning to take its toll so the mountains , well not just mountains, the Himalayas were an exciting and life saving prospect.
I had witnessed the beginnings of India’s most famous festival, The Durga Puja, here in Calcutta , In fact it was the precursor to the festival, The Mahalaya, where the goddess was called down to earth for the Durga Puja Festivities, and would see the main part of the event in Kathmandu although referred to in Nepal as the Dashain.

Dressed up for Dashain

Dressed up for Dashain

Serendipity had intervened and on the Kolkata , Guwahati , Kathmandu flight I was given the window seat. We flew close by Everest .. Mountain or not , with a childhood of Edmund Hilary and sherpa Tenzin , the tales of Mallory there is some thing magical at seeing Everest so close up. , By now with late middle age creeping up I didn’t think I was ever going to climb it, but I also never thought I would see it so close in reality.

Preparing for Dashain

Preparing for Dashain


The Kathmandu valley is quite a magical site after barren mountains with a vivid lush green surrounded by high mountains. The valley has been occupied for some 11,000 years with evidence of neolithic sites.

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Somehow I had overlooked the crossing of borders and the need for a Visa, and I wasn’t the only one. I filled in the form and by chance I had the required fee in dollars but no photograph. As there was neither a photobooth or an ATM I was one step ahead of the crowd who didn’t have the necessary foreign exchange to buy a visa. The border control man looked at the money and stamped my passport and I was on my way into Nepal to meet the relative of my brothers accountant.
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Historically certainly for the last two thousand odd years ( up to post 1950), as there are reasonably reliable records, from the outside world nothing momentous really happened, just a shifting of personnel from pretty much the same Hill Caste Elite tribes of the Ghorka region, running the Empires of Nepal from the mountainous regions to the populous plains abutting India, with the capital in the Kathmandu valley.
(see end of article for references)
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However Nepal’s history is highlighted throughout the Asian world at least, as the birthplace of Buddha. In 623 BC The Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini, a small town on the plains. It is the spiritual home to over 500 million Buddhists and has 400,000 pilgrims visiting yearly. Today though Nepal is a Hindu country (80%) with only 10% Buddhists.

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We drove into the centre Thamel, the centre of Kathmandu and the hangout place for all the 60’s and 70’s travellers, artists and hippies.

The drive into town from the airport is always one long traffic jam ..the fallout of the civil war was that tens of thousands of Nepalese fled to the capital and rough and ready brick houses were built everywhere without planning permission. As there was no real government to enforce any rules, and bribery and corruption were rife,
houses and shops ended up being built right next to roads. So today these roads cannot easily be widened. There has been no real urban planning for generations, thirty years of autocratic monarchy a dozen years of insurgency and a further ten years without a constitution the country has been in a state of paralysis.

It's great to see men holding baby

It’s great to see men holding baby

Thamel..I must admit that Thamel rather shocked me. After spending the last month in the decidedly non tourist cities of Chennai and Calcutta here I was in the midst of what suddenly appreared to me as a tourist hell. Although Thamel is actually the oldest part of Kathmandu with some interesting architectural buildings one has to look up above the plethora of trekking shops that even squeeze out the touristy trinket emporiums. From being totally ignored by shopkeepers in Calcutta I was positively feted by the dodgy vendors of dodgy Nepalese artefacts. The streets were full of European men and women of a certain age sporting fluo lycra leg hugging walking gear and hobbling along trying to break-in their new hiking boots before heading off to the 3 or 4 trek around the base of Anapurna at Pokora, mixed in with young would be hippies. Perhaps I am a little hard on the Thamel and it’s tourists, tourism is after all Nepal’s main source of revenue for one of the world’s poorest countries.
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I was surprised by the number of Israelis in Thamel but found out later there are a few agreements between the 2 countries , one being that there are some 12,000 Nepalese women caregivers in Israel and in turn visas are easily obtainable for the many Israelis finishing their military service.
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Bargaining for the sacrificial chicken

Bargaining for the sacrificial duck

The streets around Thamel, especially near Durbar Square, the religious centre with the main the temples, were far more interesting, the shopping streets for the city, with life half-lived on the streets, many too narrow for cars. Carpets, clothes and material hung from every available spot, toy makers found little spots to make and sell kites and everywhere there were dried spice and food shops. Small shrines and temples filled in any available space and stupas were everywhere, sometimes right in the middle of the streets.

Nepalese Kathmandu

Nepalese Kathmandu

During the Maoist insurgency someone wrote “I had spent much of that day on the road from Kathmandu to the Tarai, shuffling past long queues of Tata trucks from India, through a fog of dust and thick diesel smoke, ragged settlements occasionally appearing beside the road: shops made of wooden planks, selling food fried in peanut oil and tea in sticky clouded glasses, mud houses with thatched roofs – a pre-industrial bareness in which only the gleaming automatic guns of young soldiers and the tangle of barbed wire behind which they sat spoke of the world beyond Nepal”
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For my trip to Chitwan in the humid hot and malarial south to see the elephants, rhino, and no tigers nothing had changed, except there were scarcely any soldiers. The Tarai is very little different from India in the landscape and the faces of the people.
I had organised the scary bus trip back the Kathmandu for the main day of the Dashain festival. Durbar Square was a full market day as well with animals for sacrifice alongside the weekly shopping. People queued outside the many temples and the streets holding trays of items for the gods and the streets ran thick with animal blood. There were many small bands of minstrels to add a musical track to this noisy affair. The highlight for many and I was certainly impressed, regardless of the ethical dimension, was the parading of the living goddess.
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All the photographs in this blog were taken during the main days of Dashain in the Durbar Square area with all it’s temples ( perhaps one day will write and display photographs of Chitwan and the lake of Pokhara).

Offering to the Gods

Offering to the Gods

The living Goddess Rare sighting ..feet must never touch the ground

The living Goddess Rare sighting ..feet must never touch the ground

Throughout all the problems that Nepal has faced during the last half century the rites and festivals of the Hindu religion have remained the only constant. The history of Nepal since the Second World war has been a labyrinthine tale of politics, regicide, cold war spies, Maoist insurgency, corruption and nepotism. That’s just for starters.
I made the mistake of deciding to write about the politics of Nepal today as when I was there just before the tragic earthquake Nepal had been without a constitution for 6 or 7 years and the country appeared in a state of inertia.

Plenty of musicians

Plenty of musicians

And young musicians

And young musicians

The British were the first outside player to have any lasting effect on Nepal, After the 1819/20 Anglo Nepal war , which took place on the plains as the British were incapable of fighting in the mountains, , which naturally the British won they realised the usefulness of the Gorkha sodiers and recruited them as mercenaries in the British Army as the Gurkhas. So useful were they that they probably saved the Raj by being instrumental in putting down the Indian Mutiny. They went on to fight for the British all over the world including the rather bloody put down of the communist insurgency in Malaysia.

Goat off for the sacrifice

Goat off for the sacrifice

Car receiving its offerings  for a long life

Car receiving its offerings for a long life

The British never bothered with mountainous Nepal, happy to pay off the Hill Caste Elite and monarchy, naturally this was not passed on as no economists had even thought of trickle down economics at the time!

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The cold war changed everything with the west happy to support the status quo of Monarchy, Elites, Landlords and Peasants by providing cash and small arms to the ruling classes. Kathmandu was the front line for the CIA listening in on China. In fact Nepal was full of Spies from Britain , USA, and especially India with the Chinese keeping an eye on all the Government was doing and each other. I’d like to imagine that during the seventies there were all these spooks dressed up as hippies, smoking dope and trying to fit in !

waiting to give give offerings

waiting to give give offerings


One of the enduring problems of Nepal is the failure to integrate the some 60 different Ethnic and caste communities. The monarchy and Hill Caste Elites , the Bahun and Chhetri, happy to live under and rewarded by the hegemony of the west attempted to enforce their own hegemony over these other pooorer communities.

Market trader  From the south !

Market trader From the south !

A weak form of Parliamentary democracy was suspended by King Mahendra in 1960 and the new political construct , based on the Indian Panchayat system was introduced in 1962. These Panchayat representatives were chosen by the king and came solely from the elites, and with no opposition they helped themselves to most of the foreign aid that the west sent to Nepal. Further aggravating the poor and diverse communities the King declared Nepal to be a Hindu state and imposed on these differing ethnic and linguistic communities the Nepalese language.

My favoutite Babu

My favoutite Babu

Little changed for thirty years with the west supplying arms and intelligence to the Monarchy, little real development in rural areas as aid was just enriching the elites and the poor leaving Nepal in their millions to find work in the oil rich gulf states, Thai and Malaysian sweatshops, Indian brothels and latterly in Iraq war zones.
All this added up to fertile ground for the rise of a Maoist opposition ( the Communist Party of Nepal was rather weak toothed) and as with Maoist parties split followed split until finally armed insurrection seemed the only answer.

Market trader

Market trader

Ganeshes little friend

Ganeshes little friend

We mustn’t leave the IMF and World Bank out of this, as they, as in South America, as slaves to the early neo con philosophy had in 1986 deigned to give aid to the Nepalese government on the condition that subsidies were cut to farmers and the public sector slash their budgets and make redundant a good part of the civil service. The IMF and World Bank,ignorant and short sighted people as they were then as now, just added more dry tinder to the fire. Alienated from the Hills, it’s financial aid and decision making, the Maoist revolution first took off in the Tarai, the plains led by a peasant, Prachanda, who as it happens has just been (2016) elected Prime Minister.

In 1996, after the Maoists gave the Monarchy / Government a list of demands including a secular state, the stepping down of the Monarchy, privatisation of land, autonomy for ethnic groups etc, Which the government refused to contemplate. This refusal to negotiate led to the insurgency, with attacks on police stations providing the Maoists with modern arms. The west provided support for the incombant regime, The US with rifles, The Uk with helicopters and both with intelligence, the CIA and MI6 were active in Nepal during this period.

Marigold garlands

Marigold garlands

A curious incident happened in 2001, although having no final bearing on the outcome of the Nepalese situation is a strange tale. On June 1st 2001 the Eton Educated crown prince Dipendra armed with assault rifles killed the King Birendra and his brothers and sisters, wiping out one whole side of the Royal Family..This left the other side under the new King Gyanendra in sole power. The obvious conspiracy theories put the CIA behind this as Gyanendra was seen as more likely to help crush the Maoists.

Toy Maker

Toy Maker

Happy girl

Happy girl

One of the other stand out incidents was that the Chinese ended up supplying the Nepalese army with arms, whether this was a snub to India who had that point refused to supply weapons or as is widely believed that by the early 2000’s the Chinese state had ditched Maoism and was moving wealth from the interior to the burgeoning power house coastal cities and were not keen on a successful Maoist revolution on their doorstep.

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The death toll continued to rise, by 2006 more than 15,000 people had been murdered twice as many by the state than by the Maoists. The general strike of April 2006 led to a backlash by the Monarchy / Government with a curfew imposed in Kathmandu. Now the demands for a change in how Nepal was run were on the streets of the capital, no longer just in the rural areas. The King ordered curfew breakers to be shot on sight. After weeks of pro democracy protests, dead curfew breakers and an ungovernable country the Prime and the Maoists agreed to a ceasefire and peace negotiations that led finally to the November Peace accord. The Maoists entered Parliament and became the largest party in the subsequent elections and the King stepped down.

The mishmash of Political parties, the Congress, The Communist Party and The Maoists with the most seats then spent the next nine years trying to agree on a new consitution. There were certain gains for women, minorities and transgender people , all holding seats in the new parliament. I think that the worlds first Transgender Passport was issued in Nepal. After the earthquake in 2015 and given that the Maoists had dropped to third place in the 2013 elections and the Congress Party was now the largest party, the Maoists after 10 years of the soft life in the capital caved in and a Constitution was finally agreed on.

Necklace seller

Necklace seller

Many feel that this constitution, ignoring federalism and the needs of the Ethnic and Linguistic minorities, with especially the southern plain states, the largest and most productive region, that the next Nepalese Revolution is inevitable. The Two communist parties with no socialist or federal policies, no trade unions to represent oppressed farmers and workers there are no representatives for the poor and the ethnic minorities to look to. After the constitution was announced there were riots in the south.
There have been long blockades at Nepal’s southern borders leading to shortages of food,fuel and cooking gas.

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The garlic seller

The garlic seller

As always there is a conspiracy theory here too. The Nepalese monarchy was the only Hindu monarchy in the world and the recently elected BJP Modi’s right wing Hindu party in India would love to see the reinstallation of the Hindu Nepalese Monarchy, and are behind the blockades.
The southern and western states of Nepal will never be happy with this constitution and there is still potential for another Nepalese revolution.

Nepal is a wonderful place to visit, with warm helpful people, although travelling on the roads can be a little frightening and the alternaive small sixteen seater planes, where you feel a little like Fred Flintstone with your feet running along the ground on takeoff and landing, are only marginally less so.

queuing at the temple

queuing at the temple

Since the tragic earthquake of 2015 which destroyed so many beautiful buildings in Durbar Square and the stunning Bhaktapur it is important that people visit, as tourist income is so important for the rebuilding and the morale which jobs give to Nepal.

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The spare living goddess..

The spare living goddess..

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REF ARTICLES
The next Nepali revolution https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/01/nepal-liberal-constitution-maoists-protests-monarchy/

The People’s war http://www.lrb.co.uk/v27/n12/pankaj-mishra/the-peoples-war

LRB Diary http://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n09/manjushree-thapa/diary

And asssorted Newspaper articles

CLICK ON IMAGE FOR MORE PICS

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Posted in Nepal, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

SPRING NEWSLETTER LONDON MAP FAIR

British Isles Ortelius 1570

British Isles Ortelius 1570


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/british-isles/M3485-british-isles-ortelius/

The superb London Map Fair at the Royal Geographical Society, next to the Albert Hall, will be held on the weekend of the 4th and 5th of June.
A great selection of maps from most of the World’s leading Map Sellers will be on offer from as little as £10 and up to £100,000+.
More Information of times and exhibitors can be gleaned from visiting http://www.londonmapfairs.com/
I can be found as usual in the Drayson room.
I have just launched my all new WEBSITE which is more tablet & mobile friendly ..In transferring the maps across there are a few broken links so please email me if you need more information.
Below a few of the new additions from the thousands of maps and decorative prints that can be found on my website http://www.maphouse.co.uk

AFRICA

Sebastian Munster AFRICA FIRST AVAILABLE MAP OF THE CONTINENT £875.00

Sebastian Munster
AFRICA FIRST AVAILABLE MAP OF THE CONTINENT £875.00


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/africa/continent/M3457-africa-first-available-map-of-the-continent/

Beautiful Hondius of Africa 1631 £1150

Beautiful Hondius of Africa 1631 £1150


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/africa/continent/M3297-africa/

Large chart Capetown to East Cape Rare 1700 £585

Large chart Capetown to East Cape Rare 1700 £585


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/africa/south/M3458-south-africa-sea-chart-rare/

ANON  SOUTH AFRICA CAPE PENINSULA CAPETOWN £85.00

ANON
SOUTH AFRICA CAPE PENINSULA CAPETOWN £85.00

7
http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/africa/south/M3439-south-africa-cape-peninsula-capetown/

ASIA

Cluver 1690

Cluver 1690


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/asia/east-indies-philipp/M3200-east-indies/

East Indies Singapore Chatelain 1719

East Indies Singapore Chatelain 1719


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/asia/east-indies-philipp/M3419-east-indies/

China Tirion 1750c £245

China Tirion 1750c £245


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/asia/china/M3328-china/

China , Japan & Philippines Bellin 1750c  £225

China , Japan & Philippines Bellin 1750c £225


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/asia/east-indies-philipp/M3456-china-japan-philippines-indonesia/

BRITISH ISLES

Munster  England 1570c £325

Munster England 1570c £325


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/british-isles/england/M3407-munster-early-map-of-england-wales-and-part/

Scotland Wall Map Laurie & Whittle 1794 £500

Scotland Wall Map Laurie & Whittle 1794 £500


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/british-isles/scotland/M3436-scotland-wall-map/

London Wyld 1826 £385

London Wyld 1826 £385


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/british-isles/london/M3441-london-folding-map/

London Homann 1720c £585

London Homann 1720c £585


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/british-isles/london/M3355-london-map-and-views/

NORTH AMERICA CALIFORNIA ISLAND

Ogier 1702 £325

Ogier 1702 £325


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/north-america/M3460-north-america-california-island/

La Feuille Orig Col 1706 £395

La Feuille Orig Col 1706 £395


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/north-america/usa/M2334-california-island-lamerique-septentrionale/

EUROPE

France Ortelius 1580c £265

France Ortelius 1580c £265


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/france/france-country/M3409-france-ortelius/

Munster Northern Atlantic 1580  £465

Munster Northern Atlantic 1580 £465


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/europe-continent/M3408-north-atlantic-iceland-fictious-islands-fre/

Algarve Sea Chart THEUNISZ 1662 £445

Algarve Sea Chart THEUNISZ 1662 £445


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/spain-portugal/M3404-algarve-sea-chart-coastline/

Venice Chatelain 1719 £495

Venice Chatelain 1719 £495


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/italy/lombardy-north/M3340-map-view-of-venice/

ISOLARIOS OF BORDONE & PORCACCHI

Maiorca Bordone 1528 £295

Maiorca Bordone 1528 £295


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/spain-portugal/M3471-maiorca-mallorca-ibiza/

Madagascar Bordone 1528  £285

Madagascar Bordone 1528 £285


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/africa/south/M3476-madagascar-zanzibar-ceylon-by-bordone/

Cuba  Porcacchi 1575 £245

Cuba Porcacchi 1575 £245


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/west-indies/M3221-cuba/

East Indies Porcacchi 1572 £225

East Indies Porcacchi 1572 £225


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/asia/east-indies-philipp/M3470-south-east-asia/

MEDITERRANEAN

Mediterranean Danckerts 1690 £385

Mediterranean Danckerts 1690 £385


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/mediterranean-and-islands/M3361-mediterranean-west/

Malta Valetta Lasor 1703 £225

Malta Valetta Lasor 1703 £225


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/mediterranean-and-islands/M3448-malta-rare/

WORLD & POLAR

WORLD BY VAN DER AA £565.00

WORLD BY VAN DER AA £565.00


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/world/M3412-world-by-van-der-aa/

SOUTH POLAR REGIONS  Cook / Bernard 1778 £350

SOUTH POLAR REGIONS Cook / Bernard 1778 £350


http://www.maphouse.co.uk/antique-maps/polar/M3406-southern-hemishere-south-pole-cooks-voya/

Please email me if you are looking for any map in particular I might have it or be able to find it for you.

For anybody visiting the French Riviera this summer I am available up to the middle of August. Contact me and I can pick you up from Antibes Cannes etc, and you can join me for tea and peruse the entire stock of maps & prints.

Elaine Dotson of Old World Auctions visited the Mclean Collection in Chicago and many of you interested in maps might be interested in reading her account here http://www.washmapsociety.org/000/0/9/8/22890/userfiles/file/MacLean_Collection.pdf

For those of you following my travels, I am a little behind but photographs of Sudan were published in Edge Of Humanity magazine in March here and my blog of Calcutta can be seen https://mickjennings.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/calcutta-a-city-of-culture-and-refugees-draft/

*Please email for original email and to be placed on mailing list

Best wishes

Michael

Michael Jennings Antique Maps And Prints
1684 Chemin De St Julien
Biot 06410 FRANCE
Tel: +33 (0) 4936 57252 +33 (0) 4936 57252
Mobile:+33 (0)610 753 988 +33 (0)610 753 988
michaeljennings@orange.fr
Follow me on twitter @jenningsoldmaps
Links to Antique map & travel blog https://mickjennings.wordpress.com

Posted in ANTIQUE MAPS, ANTIQUE PRINTS, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CALCUTTA A CITY OF CULTURE AND REFUGEES..draft

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” Poverty and Pride..Side by Side”  Rudyard Kipling on Calcutta

“You are never alone in Calcutta” Michael Jennings

The Howrah Mail  ( “ the superfastmail train of Indian railways connecting two metropolitan cities of India, Kolkata and Chennai” ..Fast is all rather relative when it comes to Indian Railways) arrives at four in the morning at Calcutta station.. and everyone stumbles out after 30  hours travel, relaxing for me in First Class AC sleeper, but for the multitudes from third class, laden down with boxes and cases it looked as though it had been an ordeal.

Dhobi wallahs on train ride up to Kolkata

Dhobi wallahs on train ride up to Kolkata

From past experience I queued up for the prepaid taxi, usually the best way not to get ripped off , but my yellow Ambassador cab driver had no idea of where we were going, another friend of a friend who got the chance to drive that night to earn a few rupees.

Calcutta home & business

Calcutta home & business

The streets are very badly  lit at night and with a light  drizzle one could just make out some of the many who sleep outside, often in or on their place of work; a tea stall, a roadside snack bar or a table selling clothes and the ever present street food stalls; and of the many rickshaw wallahs asleep in the back of their carts. There was  lots of blue plastic waterproofing moving  against the black background.  At five in the morning it was a strange,  surreal sight to see so many people creeping out from under their covers to start their day. It was a sight that will remain with me forever ..more fantasy than reality. It was my first experience of some post-apocalyptic world outside the cinema.

Wel-come

Wel-come

Venturing out from my hotel a few hours later, the sun was out and the temperature and humidity was already high..of a magnitude  I hadn’t experienced before.  The heat was accompanied by the noise, smell and the Calcutta crowds.

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One noticed that the old 18th and  19thcentury British buildings were in a bad state with trees and bushes growing from the top and even out of the sides of these previuosly stuccoed  edifices; and each building had a  covering of tropical green moss and slime …rather like my hotel bathroom which had a fine coat of black/ brown growth,   and I felt because of this humidity  that if I stayed in one place too long I would become part of these aged green buildings of Kolkota and also be covered in green moss and perhaps even with  a bush growing from my head.

The Ambassador ..It will be a sad day when they've gone !

The Ambassador ..It will be a sad day when they’ve gone !

.

Cafe near Kalighat Temple..

Cafe near Kalighat Temple..

Close to my hotel is the extraordinarily good and world famous  bookshop, ‘The Oxford Bookshop’, a modern and well ordered place in the middle of chaos. I asked the staff who was the best contemporary Kolkata writer and without exception they all plumped for Amitav Ghosh, so I bought the recommended ‘Shadow Lines’, which turned out to be appropriate as it deals with post partition India (and Bengal) and the subsequent riots in both Dhaka and Calcutta. The air conditioning inside was  outrageous, slightly uncomfortable while inside but the full effect is felt on leaving as one’s body has to cope with an unnatural change in temperature and  my glasses, close to  freezing  took sometime for  to demist as I stumbled around the tea stalls, vendors and hucksters.

Tosh's Tea

Tosh’s Tea

Culcutta is not an old Indian City like Varanesi, Surat or Delhi but according to British & Raj legend entirely a construct of the British.

Shrine to Hanuman the monkey god..there are shrines just about every tree in Calcutta

Shrine to Hanuman the monkey god..there are shrines just about every tree in Calcutta

In the Seventeeth century there already existed on the banks of the Hooghy a number of small villages and an old burnt out trading Factory / Warehouse. According to legend .Job Charnock , employed by the East India Company and Governer of Bengal gave sacrifice at the Kali temple Kalikata, pitched his tents and proclaimed that the trading city of Calcutta would be built here. The  British built Fort William in 1696 and during the 18th century the merchants of the east India company built mansions along side the river, and the city grew rapidly to be not only The Raj’s capital in India but the second city of the Empire.
However in 2003 The Calcutta High Court ordered Charnock’s name be expunged from all records. It was decided that a ‘highly civilised society’ and ‘an important trading centre’ had existed on the site of Calcutta long before the first European settlers came down the Hooghly; and that the name  Calcutta was taken from the village of Kalikata and the city was therefore not founded by the British.

Young Kolkatans.

Young Kolkatans.

Kolkota is the cultural capital of India, and unlike  other countries like China, Where Beijing has the Power and Culture  and Shanghai Commerce; Turkey Istanbul being the cultural centre and Ankara the power; India has 3 capitals, Delhi for politics and power, Mumbai for commerce, business and banking and Calcutta for Culture.

 

Tea

Tea

The British era architecture, the faux mogul and the copies of 18th and 19th century Euro/classical architecture lends itself to a cultural centre.

In the late nineteenth century more books were printed in Calcutta than any other city in the world except London. This was during the late 19th- to early 20th-century, when you had a collision of British and Bengali culture leading to what is known as the Bengali Renaissance.Among famous Bengalis from this period were Rabindranath Tagore the first non westerner to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the the physicist C. Bose. It is surprising because today we think of Calcutta,  as the epitome of Third World deprivation and poverty. But for a while it was a place of genius. Today some of the best Indian writers were born in here among them Amitov Ghosh, my current favourite writer.

 

For the last few weeks during my stay in both Chennai andKolkata I had always made sure that I had pockets of change and today I could give  too which always helps blend in. As with previous religious ceremonies  was the only western tourist and became a centre of attention for them and as usual many wanted their photograph taken with me.

 

Calcutta is one of those cities you can walk and set off in any direction and street life will reward you ..there are always people who want to chat, there are transactions, not only commercial being carried out where one can be entertained by  just watching street life and of course partaking of the street food and endless cups of chai massala.

 

One day as I was crossing the Maidan I noticed groups of people heading in the direction of the river ..

Heading towards Baboo Ghat with purpose

Heading towards Baboo Ghat with purpose

Again just by chance, as in Chennai and Madurai, I was caught up in a religious ceremony and the exuberance and good humour of the occasion. I joined the crowd heading towards the river.

I asked one of the men dressed only in his lungi what was happening and I understood that everyone was heading to the Ganges / Hooghey  for a ritual to do with Durga Puja. In fact I found out later that this festival of bathing and giving of offerings was the Mahalaya, where the goddess was called down to earth for the Festivities of Durga Puja , Bengalis most important religious festival. The eyes are drawn on the idols of the Goddess on this day, in an auspicious ritual called Chokkhu Daan. Durga Puja is a celebration of the Mother Goddess and victory of the goddess Durga over the evil Buffalo Demon Mahishasura.The Festival honours The powerful Female Force SHAKTI.

Mahalaya Most give to the poor and infirm

Mahalaya Most give to the poor and infirm

Th road leading to the Baboo Ghat was a line of not only of the poor begging but it seems on this special day the deformed, handicapped  and blind had pride of place and that all the pilgrims on their way to bathe and give offerings also gave generously, money and sometimes food.

For the last few weeks during my stay in both Chennai andKolkata I had always made sure that I had pockets of change and today I could give  too which always helps blend in. As with previous religious ceremonies  was the only western tourist and became a centre of attention for them and as usual many wanted their photograph taken with me.

Mahalaya Most give to the poor and infirm

Mahalaya Most give to the poor and infirm

 

Fiesty

Fiesty

 

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Preparing offerings

Preparing offerings

The semblence everyone together was pervasive and gifts and snacks were passed around. A Babu said a prayer for me and smeared a redspot, Bindi, on my forehead not asking for money, unusual in India.

 

 

Preparing to bathe in the Hooghly

Preparing to bathe in the Hooghly

Shaving before bathing

Shaving before bathing

Many were having their heads shaved before bathing and nearly all bought small offerings on a large leaf to float on the river.

The crush to get to the river at its most auspicious point was rather frightening and I was carried along with the crowd to the waters edge only just surviving a dunking by some friendly worshippers.

Bathing collecting the Ganges water and leaving offerings

Bathing collecting the Ganges water and leaving offerings

 

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The Hooghly for Mahalaya

The Hooghly for Mahalaya

 

Praying for the goddess Durga to descend to earth

Praying for the goddess Durga to descend to earth

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The Babu of Baboo Ghat

The Babu of Baboo Ghat

Ceremonies like this bring out the best in everyone including me and I left with a feeling of euphoria.

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Street life

Street life

Bengalis are different from the rest of India in so many ways. Culturally and Politically.
The fight for independence from the British was strongest here in Bengal, and later West Bengal with Chandra Bose being the most famous of Independence fighters . Breaking with Gandhi in the 1930’s he went on to ally with the Germans and Japanese during the Second World War in the hope of an Axis victory. His Free Indian Legion was finally defeated with the Japanese at the Battle of Kohima in Indian  Nagaland (which I visited recently ..more later).

The paper& cardboard collector

The paper& cardboard collector

After Independence West Bengal continued it’s different and long standing anti-establishment political path to Delhi and in 1977 democratically voted in power The Communist Party of India after a number of years of a left dominated United Front. Near the Maidan there are  Statues of Marx, Lenin and Chandra Bose, in little gardens still well tended.
Bengal was both a highly developed  Industrialised and Peasant farming  society under the British and both sectors were highly developêd with organisations  with demands for workers rights and strikes in the Industrial sector and demands for a third of the crop they produced by the peasants. The British had built a number of world class eductional colleges and left West Bengal with  a strong civil society, more  likely to vote freely and not coerced by landlords or on religious or caste lines.

Living on street ..many women ..after husband dies women often thrown out by husbands family

Living on street ..many women ..after husband dies women often thrown out by husbands family

This raised  class consiousness , combined with a more secular and multi religious population, led to the election of the Communist Party party dominated United Front and later ruling on their own.
Religion and caste was less important here and Sati was first banned here along with developed  womens rights in general, even widow remarriage was organised , developments unheard of today in many other regions of India.
Since 2011 a union of the two Congress Party factions have controlled West Bengal, some saying they are further to the left than the CPI-M.

West Bengal under The Communist party, with little help from central government,  extended education and the Universal healthcare system and therefore  like Kerala produced a literate workforce that attracted companies there.

further reading
https://www.quora.com/Why-is-Communism-so-successful-in-West-Bengal.

Mulik Ghat

Mullik Ghat Flower Market

Mullik Ghat Flower Market

For great entertainment the Mulik Ghat Flower market next to the River and Howrah Bridge is a must. It is reputed to be the largest in India and although nothing dominates the market like the orange and yellow marigolds, which are widely used for religious rituals there are roses and other flowers and of course the ubiquitous beetle leaf used in the narcotic Paan. Paan is a preparation combining betel leaf with areca nut, lime  and sometimes also with tobacco. It is chewed for its stimulant and psychoactive effects and is not only very addictive but rots teeth.

Mullik Ghat Flower Market

Mullik Ghat Flower Market

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Mullik Ghat Flower Market

Mullik Ghat Flower Market Beetle leaves for Paan.

Paan is a preparation combining betel leaf with areca nut, lime  and sometimes also with tobacco. It is chewed for its stimulant and psychoactive effects and is not only very addictive but rots teeth.

Mullik Ghat Flower Market

Mullik Ghat Flower Market

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Mullik Ghat Flower Market

Mullik Ghat Flower Market

It is really a mini city on it’s own, with lots of shanty restaurants and with most traders living  in their small huts with their merchandise, and washing in the river in the morning. A sight I missed is the wrestling at dawn by the river.

Mullik Ghat Flower Market

Mullik Ghat Flower Market

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Mullik Ghat Flower Market

Mullik Ghat Flower Market

 

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Mullik Ghat Flower Market

Mullik Ghat Flower Marke

 

Street food & Calcutta

Street food & Calcutta

Bengali street food in Kolkata is the best in India and there is so much choice. Every inch on every corner is taken by semi-permanant or commando food stalls.

This arrangement of shops and stalls, whereby that of the pavement next to the road became a second line of commercial though less permanent structures, first came about after partition when many traders from the eastern part of Bengal fled to Kolkota and was reinforced with more refugees after the creation of Bangladesh in the seventies.

Kolkota is a city that has grown on waves of refugees from the early nineteenth century onward. And for the most part the British were the cause of these waves of refugees, from famines, ousting of peasants from their land for non-payment of  taxes to short sighted political divisions.

There is firm belief that the origins of the Mutiny and so called Black Hole of Calcutta lay in the onerous taxes the British, in the form of the East India Company, levied on the small farmers forcing them off their land.

 

Street food

Street food

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Fast food

Fast food

Central Kolkota from the New Market area to Nehru Road ( the old Chowringhee Road) is the seriously busy part of town. Nehru Road has one such double row  of shops and eateries, the second taking over the pavement area next to the street, leaving only a narrow pedestrian pavement to negotiate both the traders from the old established shops and the once fly by night but very now stalls and restaurants. Cloth and plastic was hung overhead to keep the fierce sun from both peddlers and customers.

 

Street dweller

Street dweller

The 1943 Bengal famine, or the Forgotten Famine  was the a combination of weather but the British comandeering food for the war effort was the main cause.. The British were often behind famines in Bengal, notably forcing peasants to grow opium poppies rather than food but the famine of 1943 could be laid firmly  at the door of the british diverting rice to Europe ..Churchill was directly involved and asked why he did it he replied
“I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits.”

There are many wild estimates of how many deaths were caused during the 300 years of  by the British rule either  through famine, war and retribution. They range from around 200 million to 1.8 billion, but it is generally assumed that a conservative 300 million is correct.

                                                      

Bengali fish head soup

Bengali fish head soup

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Rickshaw puller

Rickshaw puller

The Kalikata Temple area has a different feel to central Calcutta. Perhaps it is because it is part of the oldest part of the city standing. Part of the area near the Black Hole and the old city was raised to the ground by the British.

There are many pilgrims here and consequent merchants and beggars but it was quite relaxed.

 

Near temple at Kalikata

Near temple at Kalikata

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The temple at Kalikata

The temple at Kalikata

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Trinket seller outside Kaligat Temple

Trinket seller outside Kalikata Temple

Calcutta Is the book capital of India

Calcutta Is the book capital of India

 

Books and Politics

Books and Politics

Central Kolkata is a busy place with many people spending most of their lives on the Streets. Many sleep where they work, beg and play so one sees everything from sleeping, washing, eating or even having a dispute. But generally everone appears to get somehow get on.

Washing ..there's lots of places to wash

Washing ..there’s lots of places to wash

Cards..

Cards..

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Even a good dispute is for all to see

Even a good dispute is for all to see

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Street cricket .the second religion

Street cricket  the second religion

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Nap time

Nap time

Babu

Babu by Kalikata temple

Victoria Memorial.. Forever a reminder to Calcutta of the Raj

Victoria Memorial..
Forever a reminder to Calcutta of the Raj

Probably the most remarkable building, along with the Court House is the marble Victoria Memorial. Planned in 1901 on Victoria’s death, construction started in 1906 and finished finally in 1921 ten years before the capital  moved to New Delhi. Kept immaculate on the outside the exhibits in the museum, especially the maps, prints and paintings have suffered Under Calcutta’s climate.

An anecdote to finish
The Oberoi hotel chain started in Calcutta in 1939.
The previous hotel was closed down after7 people died of Typhoid. Mohan Oberoi bought cheaply a lease on the building and cleaned the drains and disenfected the rooms, and his breakthrough as war started was to offer rooms to the British Army well below market rates as he realised he would make a fortune selling soldiers drink. So much so that by 1943 he bought the hotel outright…..

 

I have only shown a few images from this exceptional city and few more can be seen at

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Next ..Durga Puja in Katmandu …

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