Have you had a hidden desire to travel back in time and understand the roots of this land? Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) — formerly Prince of Wales Museum of Western India — is showcasing 15th century India at an exhibition of Italian traveller and diarist Ludovico de Varthema’s pictorial manuscripts on his exhaustive journey across the Orient.
Titled ‘Voyage to India of Ludovico de Varthema (1470 — 1518?)’, the exhibition chronicles Varthema’s departure from Venice in 1502 and his tour across the entire western coast of India, after crossing Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula and Persia. According to information provided by education officer of the museum, Bilwa Kulkarni, Varthema went to places like Khambat, Chaul, Goa, Mangalore, Calicut, Cochin, Sri Lanka and Burma before finally reaching Java. He returned to Italy in 1508, after which he compiled his writings. The resulting book was published in Rome in 1510.
Kulkarni said, “The singularity of Varthema’s workconsists not only in its chronological account of coastal India, but also in the figure of the protagonist who, in his own words, travelled for pleasure without any commercial or military interests.”
She continued, “However exclusive and curious be the stories narrated in the book by Varthema, without the help of images, they would not have held the same fascination for viewers.”
The CSMVS is presenting this exhibition produced by National Archives in Rome in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute, New Delhi.
The exhibition will be open to the public from October 8 to October 22, between 10. 15am and 6pm. There is no extra fee for the exhibition