New Map of the Himalayas – Partially Uncharted
Godwin Austen 1884

Title: The Mountain Systems of the Himalaya and Neighbouring Ranges of India.

Author: Godwin-Austen, Lieut.-Col. H.H.
Publisher: London: Edward Stanford, 1884. Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society.

Notes & Condition: One very large folding colour map by Henry Godwin Austen, measuring approximately 14 x 33 inches (36 x 84cm), plus an altitude chart, measuring approximately 8 x 15 inches (20 x 38cm), accompanied by 5 pages of explanatory text. In its original condition, as issued, contained in a monthly issue of the RGS Proceedings.

As to be expected by the ambitious surveyor and explorer of the great Himalayan Range, Godwin-Austen meticulously dissects the daunting mountain system into sections for a better understanding of the connections and differences between the various ranges. An innovative and astounding scientific undertaking, a foremost concept for the time, this work required the use of photography, topographic study, complex surveying, including observations by Joseph Hooker. Some parts such as regions in Nepal remained unclimbed and uncharted, and are indicated as such on the map, to challenge future mountaineers. A remarkable, seldom seen map, with equally important details of pioneering exploration in the Himalayas!

This is a complete issue of the Royal Geographical Society, published February 1884, in excellent condition, containing the above map and narrative. Item is in original condition, with blue wrappers, as issued, complete with all the ads! We are pleased to combine shipping for multiple items based on size and weight of the parcel.

Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen (1834 – 1923), English topographer and geologist, and officer in the British army, he was assigned to several government surveys in North India, especially in the Himalayas. He explored and surveyed the region of the Karakorum around K2, which is also known as Mount Godwin-Austen. In 1910, he was awarded a Founder’s Medal by the Royal Geographical Society: “for geographical discoveries and surveys along the North-eastern frontier of India, especially his pioneer exploring in the Karakoram”. The Karakoram peak K2 in the Himalayas was originally named Mount Godwin-Austen in his honour. The Godwin Austen Glacier was also named for him.

The Himalayas [Sanskrit,=abode of snow], the great Asian mountain system, extending east from the Indus River in Pakistan through India, the Tibet region of China, Nepal, East India, and Bhutan to the southern bend of the Brahmaputra River in S.E. Tibet. For most of its length, the Himalayas comprise two nearly parallel ranges separated by a wide valley in which the Indus and Sutlej rivers flow westward and the Brahmaputra flows eastward. The northern range is called the Trans-Himalayas. The southern range has three parallel zones: the Great Himalayas, the perpetually snow-covered main range in which the highest peaks are found; the Lesser Himalayas; and the southernmost Outer Himalayas. A relatively young and still growing system subject to severe earthquakes, the Himalayas’ main axis was formed c.25 to 70 million years ago as the earth’s crust folded against the northward-moving Indian subcontinent. Some 30 peaks rise to more than 25,000 ft, including Mt. Everest and Kanchenjunga, the world’s highest and third highest peaks.

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