In transcribing the following paragraphs from the Internet Archive online version of The Imperial Gazetteer’s entry on Hindustan, I have expanded the abbreviations for easier reading and added paragraphing and links. This mid-Victorian reference work has substantial sections on both India and Hindustan, and it is not always clear how Victorians distinguished between the two. The title-page bears the date 1856, but internal evidence in various entrees makes clear that the text dates from 1851 or 1852. This discussion of British India has particular importance because it immediately precedes the 1857 Mutiny.— George P. Landow]

The elephant, tiger, leopard, panther, hyaena, wild boar and ass, deer, bears, jackals, foxes, marmots, the ourang- outang, and numerous other kinds of apes, are natives of Hin doostan. Lions are found in the north, but they are not of the same species with the lion of Africa. The elephant, buffalo, dromedary, horse, and ass, have been domesticated; the first- named has, from time immemorial, formed an important appendage to the retinue of Indian princes, and the right of property in wild elephants was claimed by them as a royal privilege. The Mahratta horse is a small and active animal, but ungainly; and Hindoostan has never been particularly famous for its breed of horses. The wild ass is a native of the desert. Troops of pariah dogs infest the cities and towns of Hindoostan. In the lower forms of animated life, Hindoostan equally abounds as in the higher. Alligators and gavials are abundant in the tanks and rivers; and some of the most for midable serpents known inhabit this region.


Blackie, Walker Graham. The Imperial Gazetteer: A General Dictionary of Geography, Physical, Political, Statistical and Descriptive. 4 vols. London: Blackie & Son, 1856. Internet Archive online version of a copy in the University of California Library. Web. 7 November 2018.

Last modified 10 December 2018