Written by Talent KAS

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

History [Paper-I]: Medieval Period – Art, culture, literature and Architecture


  • In the Ayodhya judgment delivered recently, the Supreme Court relied in part on centuries-old travelogues, gazetteers and books to provide an account of the faith and belief that the Hindus placed in the Janmasthan.
  • The travelogues that the court took note of included European travellers Joseph Tieffenthaler, William Finch, and Montgomery Martin – these being written before the building of the grill-brick wall in front of the mosque during British rule.

William Finch (died in 1613)

  • William Finch’s account has been recorded in the 1921 book ‘Early Travels in India (1583-1619)’ by the historiographer Sir William Foster.
  • Finch is known to have arrived in India in 1608 at Surat with Sir William Hawkins, a representative of the East India Company.

Joseph Tieffenthaler (1710-1785)

  • He was an 18th-century missionary who travelled in India for 27 years, and wrote his travelogue titled “Description Historique et Geographique De l’Inde”.
  • Hailing from Bozano in present-day Italy, Tieffenthaler underwent religious training in the Jesuit order before setting sail for Goa from Portugal in 1743.
  • In India, he was commissioned at the famous observatory of Sawai Jai Singh, the Raja of Jaipur.
  • He was later attached at the Jesuit College in Agra which was built with the patronage of Akbar.

Robert Montgomery Martin (1801-1868)

  • Originally from Dublin in Ireland, Martin was an Anglo-Irish author and civil servant.
  • He practised medicine in Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka), East Africa and Australia.
  • Martin then went on to work in Kolkata where he established the journal ‘Bengal Herald’, with which Raja Ram Mohan Roy and his friends Dwarkanath Tagore and Prasanna Kumar Tagore were also connected.
  • He wrote the three-volume work ‘History, Antiquities, Topography and Statistics of Eastern India’.

[Source: Indian Express]


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