Route Map of the HimalayasSKU: 8383
Route Map of the Himalayas
Date of publication:
62 x 82.5 cm
black and white
Route map for the western Himalayas: Kashmir, Punjab and northern India with portions of Afghanistan, Baluchistan etc
Engraved folding map, 62 x 82.5 cms, black and white, dissected into 32 panels and laid on linen as issued, a couple of trivial spots and pencilled note ‘J. Corbett area’, with a circle enclosing a larger area than the present day Jim Corbett National Park, but in the same general region; folding into cloth covers with Thacker, Spink & Co embossed on lower cover, slight chipping to spine, marbled end-papers. Printed notes on the map indicate that this version of the map was first published in 1874, corrections have been made up to 1883, and the map is based on Montogomery’s original survey of 1860. On a scale of one inch to 32 miles, the map contains a wealth of detail, pinpointing individual villages, showing railways built and under construction, the location of ‘dawk’ (dak) bungalows, passes, routes which have been traversed and those which are ‘unsurveyed but derived from information’.
Montgomery’s contribution to the Great Game and the mapping of the Himalayas has been discussed extensively by Peter Hopkirk. Montogomery trained resourceful Indian agents in clandestine surveying techniques, before sending them beyond the frontiers of British India disguised as traders and pilgrims to prepare accurate maps. It was a shadowy and dangerous world (immortalised in Kipling’s Kim) but the detailed information on our map about routes and mountain passes in the Hindu Kush, the Pamirs and the high ranges of Kashmir is highly suggestive of contemporary British fears that a Russian invasion of India could be launched from multiple points in the northwest.