Contribution to the History of the Wheeled Vehicle in India.
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Jean Deloche

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Institut Français de Pondichéry / Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient
:2014
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xiii, 145 p.
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Collection Indologie n˚ 126

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English

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978-81-8470-201-9

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700 Rs (30 )

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This book is a contribution to the history of the wheeled vehicle in India. In the first part we examine the present carriages, their types and their distribution; then, in the light of these clearly discernible facts, we intend to interpret the sources concerning, on the one hand, the wheeled vehicles from Protohistory to the Mughal period, and on the other hand, the changes introduced by the transport revolution of the middle of the 19th century.

It shows that, prior to the British period, the northern plains of India were favoured with a variety of vehicles for travelling and for goods traffic, many of them with a rudimentary form of suspension, while in the Deccan, most of the country carts were heavy, ill-constructed and not fit for distant journeys.

The reason why the people of Hindusthan showed much greater ingenuity than those of the Deccan concerning the construction of carts is perhaps due to the fact that, over the centuries, greater attention was given there to roads and their maintenance than on the peninsula: at least since Asoka, the sovereigns of the Gangetic Plain were interested in the question of roads, and particularly in the good condition of the Grand Trunk Road and the axes leading to the Gulf of Cambay.

History of Technology, India, Wheeled vehicle, Transport

Jean DELOCHE, a senior member of the Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient and the French Institute of Pondicherry, has devoted his academic career to the study of Indian History. Among the numerous books and articles written by him, can be mentioned: Origins of the Urban Development of Pondicherry according to Seventeenth-Century Dutch Plans, 2004, Senji (Gingi) A Fortified City in the Tamil Country, 2005, Studies on Fortification in India, 2007, Adventures of Jean-Baptiste Chevalier in Eastern India, 2008, Four Forts of the Deccan, 2009, Pierre Sonnerat, Nouveau Voyage aux Indes Orientales (1786-1813), 2010, A Study in Nayaka-Period Social Life: Tiruppudaimarudur Paintings and Carvings, 2011, Ancient Fortifications of the Tamil Country as Recorded in Eighteenth-Century French Plans, 2013.


Cette étude est une contribution à l’histoire de la voiture en Inde. Dans une première partie elle présente les voitures actuelles, leurs types, leur répartition ; puis, à la lumière de ces faits directement observables, elle se propose d’interpréter les sources qui concernent d’une part, les véhicules utilisées de la Protohistoire au temps des Moghols, d’autre part les changement apportés par la révolution des transports au milieu du XIXe siècle.

L’analyse des documents montre qu’avant la période britannique existaient, dans les plaines du Nord, plusieurs types de véhicules destinés au voyage et au transport des marchandises, certains équipés d’un système de suspension rudimentaire, alors que, sur les plateaux du Deccan, on trouvait principalement de lourds charrois peu favorables au transport à distance.

La raison de cette ingéniosité singulière dans la construction des voitures de la part des populations de l’Hindusthan s’expliquerait par le fait que, pendant des siècles, on a prêté plus d’attention aux routes et à leur entretien que dans la péninsule : depuis la période d’Asoka au moins, les souverains de la plaine gangétique se sont intéressés aux questions routières et, en particulier, au bon état du Grand-Tronc et des axes menant au golfe de Cambay.

Histoire des techniques, Inde, voiture, transport

Jean DELOCHE est chercheur associé de l’Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient et de l’Institut français de Pondichéry. Parmi les nombreux ouvrages et articles qu’il a écrits on peut citer : Origins of the Urban Development of Pondicherry according to Seventeenth-Century Dutch Plans, 2004, Senji (Gingi) A Fortified City in the Tamil Country, 2005, Studies on Fortification in India, 2007, Adventures of Jean-Baptiste Chevalier in Eastern India, 2008, Four Forts of the Deccan, 2009, Pierre Sonnerat, Nouveau Voyage aux Indes Orientales (1786-1813), 2010, A Study in Nayaka-Period Social Life: Tiruppudaimarudur Paintings and Carvings, 2011, Ancient Fortifications of the Tamil Country as Recorded in Eighteenth-Century French Plans, 2013.