Finely executed manuscript map of the northern part of India, drawn by an anonymous French hand.
The map's primary feature is the illustration of the primary topography of the region, including mountain, valleys, rivers, lakes and towns, with some roads included.
The detail of the map includes major roads at the northwestern reaches of the tributaries of the Ganges in the area of Delhi and Lahore.
The place names on the map suggest a date of circa 1850, including:
- Kachemyr ou Srinagar
- Monts Kaylasa
- Golfe de Cutch
The phrases above are most likely to appear in geographical texts between about 1830 and 1850, hence the date estimate of circa 1840.
The map was almost certainly prepared during a period when the French were active in India in the 19th Century.
In 1816, after the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars, the five establishments of Pondichéry, Chandernagore, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam and the lodges at Machilipatnam, Kozhikode and Surat were returned to France. Pondichéry had lost much of its former glory, and Chandernagore dwindled into an insignificant outpost to the north of the rapidly growing British metropolis of Calcutta. Successive governors tried, with mixed results, to improve infrastructure, industry, law and education. The French retained an interest in India until Indian Independence in the late 1940s.