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Antique Map of the Mouth of the Ganges River, India 1778

1778 A Chart of the Braces at the Entrance of the Ganges...

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A Chart of the Braces at the Entrance of the Ganges or River of Hughly with the Course of that River up to the Town of Hughly. Improved from Mr. d’Anville’s Chart of the Mouth and Course of the Ganges.

By: R. Sayer & J. Bennet

Date: 1778 (Published) London

Dimensions: 23.25 x 17.25 inches (59.1 x 43.8 cm

This scarce, strikingly attractive large format map-sea chart details the course of one of the distributaries of the Ganges from just north of the city of Bandell, where it splits into two distributaries, the Hughly (Hooghli), and the Padma, the main distributary of the Ganges.

Depicted here is the Hughly (Hooghli) River, considered the more sacred of the two, which flows in a southwesterly direction through West Bengal to its estuary where it meets the waters of the Bay of Bengal. The map includes a host of interesting details describing the territories along the banks of the river and along the coast of the Bay. Depth soundings are given along the entire course of the river, and throughout most of the Bay of Bengal. All rivers which flow into either the Hooghli or the Bay are depicted and named. Incredible detail is devoted to the estuary itself, including the numerous reefs, banks and islands located there. Many dangers are noted, including tidal arrows for reference during flooding.

Sites of some wrecks are noted, and of especial note is the island of Sagar (Gangasagar) in the middle of the estuary, for its prominent role in Hinduism as one of the most famous pilgrimage centers in India. Every year in mid-January pilgrims from all India gather there for a holy dip at the confluence of the river Ganga and the Bay of Bengal.

The map is significantly based on a seminal 1752 map by Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville, which was one of the most accurate maps of the area of its time. Unlike most period cartographers, D'Anville did not rely exclusively on earlier maps to inform his work, rather he based his maps on intense study and research. His maps were thus the most accurate and comprehensive of his period, noted for their scholarship and accuracy. His exacting standards brought him international recognition as the finest cartographer of his time. 

Condition: This remarkable map is in A condition with a strong impression on heavy paper and beautiful original coloring.

Inventory #11188

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