Bukhara, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Etcetera


This mid-19th century British map shows Bukhara (an independent khanate located in what is today Uzbekistan), Afghanistan, Baluchistan (in present-day Iran and Pakistan), and the eastern part of Persia (present-day Iran). Five different geographic scales are provided on the left and right margins of the map: Indian cos (i.e., kos, a measure of distance dating from ancient India and still used in the 19th century), Persian farsangs (or parasangs; one farsang was equal to approximately 5.56 kilometers), French leagues, English miles, and “Hours of a Karavan of Camels.” (The map notes that a day’s journey for a caravan “is about 7 ½ hours or 16 miles”). Also shown are the names and routes of early British travelers across Afghanistan, including Forster, Christie, Fraser, Conolly, and Burnes. George Forster (died 1792) was an official of the Madras Civil Service of the East India Company who in 1783 traveled overland from Bengal to England via Afghanistan. Charles Christie (died 1812) was an Anglo-Indian officer who in 1810 undertook an exploratory journey from Bombay to Baluchistan, Sīstān, and other territories in Central Asia. James Baillie Fraser (1783−1856) accompanied Dr. Andrew Jukes of the East India Company on a diplomatic mission to Persia in 1821−22 that took him across Afghanistan. Arthur Conolly (1807−42) was an Anglo-Indian officer who traveled through Central Asia and Afghanistan in 1831−32. Alexander Burnes (1805−41) was an Anglo-Indian officer who traveled to Bokhara in 1832. The map was published by Edward Stanford (1827–1904), a London map dealer and publisher with well-known premises at Charing Cross that catered to famous explorers and political figures.

Last updated: September 30, 2016