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Ancient Fortifications of the Tamil Country as Recorded in Eighteenth-Century French Plans

Abstract : Today, very few Indians know that, in the eighteenth century, the southern part of the peninsula was richly studded with fortifications, great and small, as most of them were dismantled by the British at the beginning of the nineteenth century. These strongholds, some of which had considerable administrative or political importance, were once crowded with large bodies of troops and resounded to the blaring noise of the guns; now they are completely abandoned and silent. In addition to this, temples, edifices dedicated to the service of gods, were also used as forts, though no vestiges of military structures are found around their enclosures today. Fortunately, eighteenth-century French engineers have drawn the plans of several of these defence works. These magnificent watercolour plans preserved in the French Archives are presented here: they illustrate in an extraordinarily precise and explicit manner the technological level of the South Indian fortifications and enable us to comprehend the role they played in the life of the Tamil Country.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02960948
Contributor : Rajagopal Narenthiran <>
Submitted on : Thursday, October 8, 2020 - 9:43:46 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:20:19 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02960948, version 1

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Jean Deloche. Ancient Fortifications of the Tamil Country as Recorded in Eighteenth-Century French Plans. Institut Français de Pondichéry / Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient, 120, viii, 139 p., 2013, Collection Indologie, 978-81-8470-193-7. ⟨hal-02960948⟩

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