Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A Journey Through Famine in India

"All this day our noses were infested and our bodyes almost infected with a most noysome smell, which after search, wee found to come from a great pitt, wherein were throwne 30 or 40 persons, men, weomen and children, old and younge confuseldy tumbled in together without order or Coveringe" - 1630, Peter Munday, Itinerarium Mundii
In 1631 around 3 million people died of starvation & disease in the Indian state of Gujarat. This famine began in Gujarat after a long drought in 1630. In the following year, in 1631, crops were attacked by rats and locusts. 1631 also saw very heavy rains which led to an outbreak of many water borne diseases. It is reported that following these calamitous events the people were so desperate for food that human bones were ground with flour, cannibalism was frequent and people fed on corpses.

Peter Munday was an English merchant trader, traveler and writer. In 1630 in the employ of the East India Company Peter Munday traveled from Surat in Gujarat to Agra. On this journey Munday witnessed and wrote about the famine and its effect on the people. You can follow Peter Munday's journey and read the entries he made into his manuscript narrative Itinerarium Mundii on the interactive map Famine & Dearth in India and Britain.

You can follow Peter Munday's journey to Agra using the colored markers on the map. Each of these markers indicate an entry Munday made into his Itinerarium Mundii. The color of each marker indicates its score on the famine to plenty scale. If you select a marker on the map you can read Munday's first hand account of his journey through Gujarat and the famine.

You can learn more about the Gujarat famine and Peter Munday by clicking on the home button on the interactive map.

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