[BRITISH INDIA / MECCA / AFGHANISTAN] Hindistan ve Svat ve Afganistan [sic. Efganistan] seyahatnamesi. [i.e. Travels into India through Swat and Afghanistan]

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AHMED HAMDI [SIRVÂNÎ], (Reis-i Encümen-i Teftîs ve Mu'ayene, Turkish diplomat, traveler), (1831-1890), Mahmud Bey Matbaasi, Istanbul, [AH 1300] = 1882.

Original Ottoman cloth bdg. Cr. 8vo. (20 x 14 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 293 p., 17 b/w plates and 1 folding map, and 1 folding linguistic table (including alphabets used in India such as Sanskrit, Brahmi, Devanagari and their pronunciations in Latin and Arabic alphabets).

Slightly loosed spine, skillfully repaired a part of the spine, fading and chipped on the board's extremities, slight stains on the plates. Overall a good copy.

Extremely rare (with a map and the plate at the end of the book) first edition of this eye-witness travel account of the Indo-Islamic culture during the British Raj in the late 19th century, by the Hamidian period Turkish ambassador and scholar Sirvanî (1831-1890), who had written and translated three geographical books as well.

Sirvânî completed his travel memoirs on his return from India to Constantinople, where he was sent as an ambassador by Sultan Abdulhamid II between 1877-1879. The narrative of his journey begins with the landing in India from Constantinople by ferry. He describes the splendid and fascinating British Indian cities, regions, and buildings such as Bombay, Poona, Dakkan, Udaipur, Baroda, Ajmer, Jaipur, Amber Fortress, Allahabad, Benares, Calcutta, Jaipur, Lucknow, Agra, Alexandre, Delhi, Nepal, Racputana, Indor, Sind, Bundelkhand, Datia, Chatarpur, Bina, Mihr, Bihar, Bengal, Ceylon, Aligarh, Sirhind, Lahore, Kashmir, Dekkan, Orissa, Avrang, Bijapur, Malia, Khandesh, Gujarat, Hugli, Madras, Maisur, Jehlam, Sialkot, Rawalpindi, Nevshar, Mardan, Swat (now in Pakistan), Beloojistan, Peshawar, Afghanistan, Kabul, Ghazna, Kandahar, Herat, Badakhshan, etc. This first-hand travel account offers an invaluable insight into the customs of Indian peoples living in the region as well as the onomastics and ethnography of India and Afghanistan. He met Sayyid Ahmed Khan, who was the founder of the Aligarh University which was famous as the Aligarh School (founded in 1877) among the Indian people. The Aligarh Movement was the push to establish a modern system of education for the Muslim population of British India, during the later decades of the 19th century. The work includes a large chapter of Mecca, where Sirvânî stayed for a long time. He gives detailed information on the Islamic pilgrimage (Haj) and the Arabian Peninsula in this chapter.

OCLC 19769728, 1030091889 (Six copies worldwide).; Ihsanoglu, pp. 269-270.; Özege 7654.; Karatay I, 268.; TBTK 1438.