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Schwartzberg Atlas, v. , p. 252.

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References for Detailed Regional Study INTRODUCTION

Most of the maps in this atlas relate to the whole of South Asia or to as much of that area as may be relevant for study in a particular topical context. While illustrations of particular themes do, additionally, provide cartographic details for specific regions or localities (e.g., the Punjab or Lahore and its environs) we make no systematic effort in this general work to deal with regional history in any detail. Many scholars, however, will wish to do so, and it is in regional research that some of the most promising advances in our understanding of South Asian history and culture are currently being made. Within the broad field of South Asian scholarship regional specialists are assuming an increasingly important po- sition, and this trend appears likely to continue for some time. For students, too, one finds, generalizations made at an all-South Asian or all-Indian level are be- coming increasingly unsatisfactory, and many are seeking to enrich their under- standing of South Asia by examining detailed data or literature relating to specific regional or local settings. The seven map plates of section XIII are designed as aids for detailed regional study. While they will prove useful in and of themselves, their use in conjunction with other maps in this atlas will help to put regional studies into a broader spatial context within which they may be better comprehended.


The purposes and manner of presentation of the two intro- ductory maps of plate XIII.A.1, "Regions of South Asia through the 12th Century" and "Regions of South Asia, 13th–20th Centuries," and of the three sectional maps that follow (plates XIII.B.1–3) are discussed in detail on plate XIII.A.1 itself. A careful reading of that statement will richly reward the user of this atlas.


The maps in this section are compiled from materials pre- sented in the preceding twelve sections of this atlas. No addi- tional sources were consulted.



Four quite distinct types of reference works on South Asia are indexed in this section: gazetteers, topographic maps, eth- nographic monographs, and works of fiction with a distinct regional flavor. For gazetteers at the district or princely state level and topographic maps at scales of one-half inch to the mile or larger, coverage of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Burma is virtually complete; at more generalized scales, coverage is also extended through the peripheral areas of Afghanistan and Nepal. The coverage of ethnographic monographs dealing with individual villages and localized castes and tribes is necessarily incomplete as well as uneven in distribution, as is the case with regional fiction. But there are enough works of both genres to permit interested students to broaden their understanding of most major regions of South Asia through the insights such literature is able to impart.

XIII.C.1. Coverage of Gazetteers, 1815–1947

Among the legacies of British rule in South Asia is the in- credibly rich array of detailed descriptive and statistical ac- counts of specific administrative districts, princely states, and provinces, generically known as "gazetteers." Of the extraor- dinarily large number of volumes published, the vast majority, well over a thousand in all, related to districts of British India; perhaps as many as two hundred additional volumes related wholly or in part to individual princely states or to groups of contiguous states. Most districts and many, if not most, states were, obviously, covered by several different gazetteers, often published over a considerable span of time. The best available bibliography on these gazetteers, and the work on which plate XIII.C.1 is principally based, is Henry Scholberg's The District Gazetteers of British India (1970). As Scholberg uses the term: "A district gazetter is a comprehensive description of a district or state of British India, published privately, in series, or under the auspices of a governmental body, and including historical, archeological, political, economic, sociological, com- mercial, and statistical data." Written primarily by local ad- ministrators to facilitate the tasks of government of their own contemporaries and successors, these works vary considerably in quality, organization, and content. On the whole, however, they were of a remarkably high standard. While much of what they contain is too dated to be of use for research dealing with the post-independence era, the descriptive passages often re- main surprisingly accurate. The historical sections frequently have yet to be improved upon. And each account, taken as a whole, provides in itself a valuable historical document relat- ing to the time of its writing and to the perceptions of the au- thors, as individuals and as members of the ruling class they represented.

A word about the gazetteers for areas on or beyond the fron- tiers of India is in order here. These works, broader in terri- torial coverage than the district gazetteers, were primarily geared not to the needs of administrators, but rather to those of the military. They are compendia of intelligence of poten- tial strategic and tactical utility, few copies of which are as yet available in public libraries.

Fortunately for scholars, the tradition of gazetteer writing lives on in South Asia. The central government of the Repub- lic of India and the governments of its several states have undertaken to revise or write anew, at the all-Indian, state, and district levels, the relevant gazetteers dating from the British period. At this writing, however, coverage is still fairly spotty. Although we considered providing an index of the post-inde- pendence works to supplement that of plate XIII.C.1, such an index would have become outdated even before it was pub- lished, and we decided that little purpose would be served at this juncture by preparing it. Apart from gazetteers, published as such, both India and Pakistan have published, in connection with the 1951 and 1961 censuses, complete sets of district cen- sus handbooks, which contain a wealth of statistical data at the district, subdistrict, and village levels, as well as descriptive ac- counts, photographs, maps, and other documentation in keep- ing with the gazetteer tradition. District census handbooks re- lating to the 1971 Census of India are also in the course of publication at this writing.


See basic reference in text above, for district gazetteers. For details on countries, provinces and major states of India, see also parts I and II of text on map plate.

XIII.C.2. Coverage of Large- and Medium-Scale Topographic Maps

Few parts of the world are yet as well mapped, topographi- cally, as was South Asia during the period of British rule. Map (a) of plate XIII.C.2 provides an index of the extent of topo- graphic mapping in that area, at various scales, as far as could be ascertained in April 1971. Happily, the high cartographic standards established by the Survey of India since its founding in 1878 have been maintained in the post-independence period by its successor agencies in India and Pakistan, as well as by the Survey Department of Ceylon/Sri Lanka. (It is as yet too early to comment on the work of the Survey of Bangladesh.) Regrettably, however, large-scale topographic maps, once read- ily available public documents in India and in foreign libraries, are, as of this writing, subject to a variety of security regula- tions imposed by the Indian government. Foreign scholars wishing to make use of topographic maps for research purposes relating to India are accordingly advised to confirm their avail- ability before leaving for that country. Maps at the quarter- inch scale (1:253,440, or four miles to the inch) are, report- edly, more accessible than those at the half-inch or one-inch scale (1:126,720 and 1:63,360 respectively). A number of public and university libraries in the United States have exten- sive holdings of various map series of the United States Army Map Service, now the United States Defense Mapping Agency, at the scale of 1:250,000. The area of coverage of such maps, which currently may be used by, but not sold to, private indi- viduals, is indicated on map (b). While less detailed than and aesthetically inferior to the Survey of India maps on which they are principally based, most of the United States series have been updated in part from aerial photographic missions flown, in the main, during World War II. The age of the topo- graphic maps indexed in map (a) varies considerably from one area to another; but all of the issue dates are since 1907, and many are fairly recent. Many sheets have seen several edi- tions, with full or partial updating at each new printing.

For historical purposes, researchers may wish to consult The Indian Atlas at the scale of four miles to the inch. The first sheet of this atlas appeared in 1827 and by 1907 coverage had been extended, in 138 sheets, to the whole of India, exclusive of a few relatively small frontier areas. The maps are remark- ably detailed, hachured, black-and-white engraved printings that might be profitably compared with more recent works for studies of modern landscape alteration and economic development.

In closing, a word is in order about a general source of in- formation on the landscape of South Asia that is gaining rap- idly in importance, namely satellite photography. The World Bank, for example, as an aid to development planning, has sponsored the compilation of a complete photographic mosaic of Bangladesh, at a scale of 1:500,000, based on Earth Re- sources Technology Satellite imagery. All of South Asia has already been photographed many times by satellites operating at various altitudes and with various capabilities. Weather sat- ellites, it may be noted, photograph virtually the entire earth daily, while lower-orbiting satellites, carrying infrared sensors, are capable of detecting subtle differences in terrestrial radia-

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