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Pundit reading the shastras, (?)Madras.

Pundit reading the shastras, (?)Madras.

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 1000/42(4384)

Item number: 4384

Length: 24.6

Width: 18.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Portrait of a Pundit in Madras, taken in the 1860s by an unknown photographer, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. A Pundit, or learned Hindu Brahmin, is one versed in Sanskrit with a knowledge of Hindu philosophy, religion and jurisprudence. The Pundit in this view seems to be reading the shastras, which are the scriptural texts or sacred writings of the Hindus. This print is one of a series commissioned by the Government of India in the 1860s to record the tribes, races and castes of India and Nepal. This was part of a larger project for compiling photographs of the people and monuments of India, intiated by the Governor-General, Lord Canning (1856-63).

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