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Sketches of Ceylon and India From the Travel Notes of a Russian

Author Name: Narayan Prasad | Format: Paperback | Genre : History & Politics | Other Details

Sketches of Ceylon and India: From the Travel Notes of a Russian is the English translation, a long-felt desideratum, of the report originally written in Russian and published in 1878 by Professor Ivan Minayev on his first trip to Ceylon, India and Nepal in 1874-75. 

Of the three foreign trips, the first trip of Ivan Minayev to the East is particularly interesting for Orientalists. This trip was important both for the scholar himself and for the development of Indology as a whole. This report contains not only detailed information on archaeological discoveries and description of architectural and historical monuments but a spate of interesting observations and conclusions related to the daily life of the peoples inhabiting these countries.

Minayev’s personal pieces of evidence of those distant times, based on the stable academic foundation, unlike various contemporary travelogues that abound in distorted judgments and biased observations, are indeed very rare and hence one cannot overestimate their value.

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Narayan Prasad

The author, Narayan Prasad, is a retired engineer. Born on April 15, 1955, in the Nalanda district of Bihar, he received his education up to college level through the medium of Hindi and his technical education in the English medium. His mother tongue is Magahi (old name: Magadhi).

He has published three books in Magahi translations—one from Kannada and two from Russian. For the translation of Lermontov’s work Geroy Nashego Vremeni (A Hero of Our Time), he was awarded “Lermontov Medal” in 2019.

He has already translated into Magahi many other Russian classical works of Radischev, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Gogol, Minayev, and 15 Russian stories of various authors that await publication.

And considering the importance of Minayev’s monumental work Sketches of Ceylon and India that has remained obscure for the English readers for the last 142 years is being presented in English translation for the first time.

In addition to the above, the author has published more than 20 articles on Sanskrit grammar in various journals, and also articles on Hindu Astronomy, etc. Some published articles have been scanned and uploaded on the internet: