Posted on: 28 March 2013

Digital Rare Book:
Hindu Castes and Sects: An Exposition of the Origin of the Hindu Caste
By Jogendranath Bhattacharya
Published by Thacker, Spink & Co., Calcutta - 1896

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The pictures made by Indian artists for the British in India are called Company paintings. This one comes from a volume containing 30 folios depicting castes, occupations, methods of cultivation and processional scenes. It shows three religious mendicant couples. The couple on the left are non-Brahmin Vaishnavites. They are followers of the philosopher Ramanuja, who revitalised Vaishnavism in the 11th century and whose image appears on the man's flag. The identifying inscription is in Telugu. The couple in the middle belong to a non-Brahmin priest caste, and the inscription below is in Tamil. The third couple are non-Brahmin mendicants. The man is blowing a conch shell and holding a begging bowl. The woman is carrying a skin bag and holding a peacock-feather fan (morchhal). There is a lamp on a stand between them. The inscription is in Telugu.

Copyright: © V&A Images

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Comments from Facebook

I think all three couples are of same sort. they beg for food by singing holy songs. you can see every couple carries begging bowl.

Javaria Kaleem

Where did the book come from? The pdf has a Project Gutenberg disclaimer, but I can't find it there. Was looking to download in .mobi format, which the Project Gutenberg website generally offers.

Mr. Pfister, would this help?

How can I sus teh picture on the cover of one of my books please ? Is it in the public domain ?