In the year 1799, after the defeat of Tipu Sultan, Dr Francis Buchanan was asked to survey South India by the then Governor General Lord Wellesley. He started his journey from Madras on 23rd April 1800. He traveled through Mysore, Malabar and Canara and returned to Madras on Jul 5th 1801. He has presented a very detailed report about these places to the Government and it was later published in three volumes under the title ‘A journey from Madras Through the countries of Mysore, Canara, and Malabar’. Many interesting facts and details can be gleaned from this book, some of which will be discussed here in future here.
Dr.Francis Buchanan also known as Dr.Francis Hamilton or Dr.Francis Buchanan Hamilton is a Scottish physician. He has made significant contributions as a geographer, zoologist and botanist. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He served Bengal Medical Service from 1794 to 1815.
In the aftermath of Tipu Sultan’s defeat British have acquired considerable territory and they have installed a favorable regime in Mysore. Lord Wellesley ordered Dr.Buchanan to make a survey of these lands for the express purpose of investigating the state of Agriculture, arts, Commerce, Religion, Manners and customs, history- natural and civil and Antiquities. The underlying principle in this direction, is to compare the resources in these territories with that of Bengal.
The book can be downloaded from archive.org