Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kashmir in Sven Hedin's Trans-Himalaya, 1906


Man Mohan Munshi Ji shares some scans from his copy of Sven Hedin's Trans-Himalaya : discoveries and adventures in Tibet (1909). On way to Tibet, Sven was in Kashmir in mid of 1906. Among the scans are two old photographs of famous Nedou Hotel of Srinagar. I add some recent photographs of the hotel sent in by another friend.

Sven Hedin who entered Tibet even after having been denied official permission to enter; The British Government allowed him to proceed via Jammu & Kashmir on his way to Eastern Turkistan from where he crossed into WesternTibet and carried explorations in areas never visited till than by any white man. His publication "Trans Himalaya" published in two volumes in 1909 is a master piece [in fact he later brought out a third volume covering mostly his visit to the source of Indus. Read the books here via archive.org: V1 (covering start of his journey from Kashmir), V2, V3]. He made his preparations for his journey in Kashmir initially. He is profuse in his thanks to a Kashmiri gentlemen Pandit Daya Kishan Koul Diwan Sahib who arranged everything from supplies, equipment, mules ponies and four soldiers as body guards. He has also acknowledged the services rendered by about thirty six Asians mostly Ladakhis who accompanied him to Tibet where when discovered by local authorities they did face trouble. Besides others, he also thanks Sir Francis Younghusband, the then British Resident at Srinagar who had explored Muztag and other passes of Karakorum Range between Eastern Turkistan and Jammu and Kashmir and also led the British Expedition to Lhasa in 1905-6.


title cover


Portrait of the then Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir [Pratap Singh]


view of the then Srinagar Palace now old Secretariat


view of Fateh Kadal, 3rd bridge of Srinagar. The building on the left with the flag is the C.M.S School, Srinagar. On the right the minaret of Shah Hamdan's Ziarat is visible with North Kashmir or Sogput Range in the distant background


Sven Hedin in front of the Nedou's hotel Srinagar with his baggage


Some of the mules being loaded at Nedou Hotel

Four body guards for Sven Hedin arranged by Pandit Daya Kishan. Sitting: Ganpat Singh, Khairullah from Peshawar. Standing: Bikom Singh and Basgul from Kabul. Both Singhs are Dogra Rajputs

starting off from Ganderbal

The Road to Baltal.


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Some recent photographs (June 2013) of Nedou Hotel that was last year vacated by CRPF. And is now under renovation with possible plans of reopening. Shared with me by cartoonist Sumit Kumar of Kashmir Ki Kahani.









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Previously:
Sven Hedin in Kashmir [From Pole to Pole: A book for young people by Sven Hedin]

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