Whenever Anubhav Nath’s grandfather was about to leave for a trip, he would ask him to point his destination on a pair of old maps hung in his home office – a wall-sized world map and a smaller one of Delhi from 1687.
“The 1687 map shows the Mughal territories and has a rare view of the Red Fort in Delhi, on the 50th anniversary of the creation of Shahjahanabad,” said Nath, describing the memento from his grandfather that is now part of an exhibit marking the 71st year of Indian independence.
This map of Delhi was published by Johann Wagner, and is one among the collection of 71 rare maps that Nath has collected over the years. The exhibition, called A Mapful Story, is on display at Ojas Art Gallery, New Delhi, till August 20. The collection curated by Nath is a visual narrative of how boundaries have changed over the centuries, through pre-Independence maps that were printed in England, France, and Italy between 17th century and 19th century.
“Each map has a story to tell,” said Nath. “These stories are shaped by colonisation, geographical discoveries, or simply by who commissioned the map and paid for it. Depending on these factors, the boundaries change, shapes differ.”
“The Wagner map is very significant as one doesn’t get to see a map with inscriptions announcing 50 years of a fort or a monument,” said Nath, referring to the three cartouches (frames) lining the top of the map, written in German. The cartouches at the right and the centre explain that the map is an illustration of Shahjahanabad, the empire and residence of the grand “Mogols”, while the one on the right reads, “50 years ago in this place, Delhi was built”.
“The building and spacing are very accurate though some shapes have gone wrong,” said Nath. “But Diwan-e-aam and Diwan-e-khaas are clearly identifiable.”
Nath’s collection, which began with the two maps from his grandfather, grew as he found hidden gems with dealers, collectors, in flea markets and with scrap dealers.
Studying the boundaries and the lines on the maps gives insight into how the Western powers that commissioned these maps used them to define empires. While Pakistan and Bangladesh are part of the pre-Independence maps of the Indian subcontinent, they naturally disappear in those drawn post-1947.
British cartographer AJ Johnson’s 1865 map of Hindostan depicts a shape that most will not recognise. Starting from the Indus River, it extends eastward to include territories of Burma, Siam or Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malacca or Malaysia and Vietnam. It also includes parts of what is now Pakistan, Nepal, China, Bhutan, Sumatra, and Ceylon or Sri Lanka. French cartographer Pierre M Lapie’s map from 1829 covers what was known as the “greater” and “lesser India” and includes Afghanistan as well.
The maps, published by iconic cartographers like Matthaus Seutter, James Rennell and Lapie, qualify as works of arts. “The cartouches are usually aesthetically pleasing and tell the untold story of the map being drawn,” said Nath. “The cartographers used to get fine artists to contribute their ideas. Most of the cartouches on India maps, for example, represent the ideas and ideals of colonisation.”
According to Nath, a 1730 map published by Seutter from the Atlas Novus, of East Indies and part of Australia, perfectly demonstrates how cartouches can be used efficiently. The map extends from Japan and Persia in the north, to the Maldives and Australia and the Ladrones Islands in the south and west. “The cartouche is one of the most ornate Seutter cartouches we have seen, with elaborate scenes from sea, land, jungle and mythology.”
A 19th century map of British India uses the cartouches to depict an Indian procession, scenes of battle and the iconic Qutub Minar. The map was published by John Tallis, who was renowned for his accurate and visually attractive maps of the world during the Victorian Age.
The bulk of the exhibition is made up of maps from the 18th century and 19th century, when European powers were battling each other to establish colonies in India. The maps from this period steadily became more detailed, showing cities, small towns, rivers and mountains.
Cartography became a way of charting territories and establishing European control over the Indian subcontinent.
Top picks, best deals and all that you need to know for the Amazon Great Indian Festival
We’ve done the hard work so you can get right to what you want amongst the 40,000+ offers across 4 days.
The Great Indian Festival (21st-24th September) by Amazon is back and it’s more tempting than ever. This edition will cater to everyone, with offers on a range of products from electronics, home appliances, apparel for men and women, personal care, toys, pet products, gourmet foods, gardening accessories and more. With such overwhelming choice of products and a dozen types of offers, it’s not the easiest to find the best deals in time to buy before your find gets sold out. You need a strategy to make sure you avail the best deals. Here’s your guide on how to make the most out of the Great Indian Festival:
Make use of the Amazon trio – Amazon Prime, Amazon Pay and Amazon app
Though the festival officially starts on 21st, Amazon Prime members will have early access starting at 12 noon on 20th September itself, enabling them to grab the best deals first. Sign up for an Amazon Prime account to not miss out on exclusive deals and products. Throughout the festival, Prime members will 30-minute early access to top deals before non-Prime members. At Rs 499/- a year, the Prime membership also brings unlimited Amazon Prime video streaming and quick delivery benefits.
Load your Amazon pay wallet; there’s assured 10% cashback (up to Rs 500). Amazon will also offer incremental cashbacks over and above bank cashbacks on select brands as a part of its Amazon Pay Offers. Shopping from the app would bring to you a whole world of benefits not available to non-app shoppers. App-only deals include flat Rs 1,250 off on hotels on shopping for more than Rs 500, and flat Rs 1,000 off on flights on a roundtrip booking of Rs 5,000 booking from Yatra. Ten lucky shoppers can also win one year of free travel worth Rs 1.5 lakhs.
Plan your shopping
The Great Indian Sale has a wide range of products, offers, flash sales and lightning deals. To make sure you don’t miss out on the best deals, or lose your mind, plan first. Make a list of things you really need or have been putting off buying. If you plan to buy electronics or appliances, do your research on the specs and shortlist the models or features you prefer. Even better, add them to your wishlist so you’re better able to track your preferred products.
Track the deals
There will be lightning deals and golden hour deals throughout the festival period. Keep track to avail the best of them. Golden-hour deals will be active on the Amazon app from 9.00pm-12.00am, while Prime users will have access to exclusive lightning deals. For example, Prime-only flash sales for Redmi 4 will start at 2.00pm and Redmi 4A at 6.00pm on 20th, while Nokia 6 will be available at Rs 1,000 off. There will be BOGO Offers (Buy One Get One free) and Bundle Offers (helping customers convert their TVs to Smart TVs at a fraction of the cost by using Fire TV Stick). Expect exclusive product launches from brands like Xiaomi (Mi Band 2 HRX 32 GB), HP (HP Sprocket Printer) and other launches from Samsung and Apple. The Half-Price Electronics Store (minimum 50% off) and stores offering minimum Rs 15,000 off will allow deal seekers to discover the top discounts.
Big discounts and top picks
The Great Indian Festival is especially a bonanza for those looking to buy electronics and home appliances. Consumers can enjoy a minimum of 25% off on washing machines, 20% off on refrigerators and 20% off on microwaves, besides deals on other appliances. Expect up to 40% off on TVs, along with No-Cost EMI and up to Rs 20,000 off on exchange.
Our favorite pick on refrigerators is the large-sized Samsung 545 L at 26% off so you can save Rs 22,710.
There are big savings to be made on UV water purifiers as well (up to 35% off), while several 5-star ACs from big brands will be available at greater than 30% discount. Our top pick is the Carrier 1.5 Ton 5-star split AC at 32% off.
There’s good news for Apple fans. The Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch Laptop 2017 will be available at Rs 55,990, while the iPad will be available at 20% off. Laptops from Lenovo, Dell and HP will be available in the discount range of 20% to 26%. Top deals are LenovoTab3 and Yoga Tab at 41% to 38% off. Apple fans wishing to upgrade to the latest in wearable technology can enjoy Rs 8,000 off on the Apple Watch series 2 smartwatch.
If you’re looking for mobile phones, our top deal pick is the LG V20 at Rs 24,999, more than Rs 5000 off from its pre-sale price.
Home printers are a good investment for frequent flyers and those with kids at home. The discounted prices of home printers at the festival means you will never worry about boarding passes and ID documents again. The HP Deskjet basic printer will be available for Rs 1,579 at 40% off and multi-function (printer/ scanner/ Wi-Fi enabled) printers from HP Deskjet and Canon will also available at 33% off.
The sale is a great time to buy Amazon’s native products. Kindle E-readers and Fire TV Stick will be on sale with offers worth Rs 5,000 and Rs 1,000 respectively.
For those of you who have a bottomless collection of movies, music and photos, there is up to 60% off on hard drives and other storage devices. Our top picks are Rs 15,000 and Rs 12,000 off on Seagate Slim 5TB and 4TB hard drives respectively, available from 8.00am to 4.00pm on 21st September.
Cameras (up to 55% off) and camera accessories such as tripods, flash lights etc. are available at a good discount. Home surveillance cameras too will be cheaper. These include bullet cameras, dome cameras, simulated cameras, spy cameras and trail and game cameras.
For home medical supplies and equipment, keep an eye on the grooming and personal care section. Weighing scales, blood pressure monitors, glucometers, body fat monitors etc. will be available at a cheaper price.
The sale is also a good time to invest in home and kitchen supplies. Mixer-grinders and juicers could see lightning deals. Don’t ignore essentials like floor mops with wheels, rotating mop replacements, utensils, crockery etc. Tupperware sets, for example, will be more affordable. There are attractive discounts on bags, especially laptop bags, backpacks, diaper bags and luggage carriers.
While Amazon is extremely convenient for need-based shopping and daily essentials, it is also full of hidden treasures. During the festival, you can find deals on telescopes, polaroid cameras, smoothie makers, gym equipment, gaming consoles and more. So you’ll be able to allow yourself some indulgences!
If you have children, the festival is good time to stock up on gifts for Diwali, Christmas, return gifts etc. On offer are gaming gadgets such as Xbox, dough sets, Touching Tom Cat, Barbies, classic board games such as Life and more. There are also some products that you don’t really need, but kind of do too, such as smartphone and tablet holders, magnetic car mounts for smartphones and mobile charging station wall stands. If you’re looking for enhanced functionality in daily life, do take a look at the Amazon Basics page. On it you’ll find USB cables, kitchen shears, HDMI cables, notebooks, travel cases and other useful things you don’t realise you need.
Check-out process and payment options
Amazon is also offering an entire ecosystem to make shopping more convenient and hassle-free. For the festival duration, Amazon is offering No-Cost EMIs (zero interest EMIs) on consumer durables, appliances and smartphones, plus exchange schemes and easy installation services in 65 cities. HDFC card holders can avail additional 10% cashback on HDFC credit and debit cards. Customers will also get to “Buy Now and Pay in 2018” with HDFC Credit Cards, as the bank offers a 3 Month EMI Holiday during the days of the sale. Use Amazon Pay balance for fast and easy checkouts, quicker refunds and a secured shopping experience.
Sales are fun and with The Great Indian Festival offering big deals on big brands, it definitely calls for at least window shopping. There’s so much more than the above categories, like minimum 50% off on American Tourister luggage! To start the treasure hunt, click here.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Amazon.in and not by the Scroll editorial team.