If ever there has been an unsung genius, it is James Prinsep. Born in 1799, he had a short life of only forty years, dying in 1840. And yet, considering his wide variety of interests and his seminal contributions in many of these areas, it can, with some confidence, be stated that he was one of the greatest geniuses born in human history.
Thus, he was at the same time a physicist, a chemist, an anthropologist, a geologist, a meteorologist, a numismatist, an epigraphist, a town-planner, a cartographer and an architect and one may not have exhausted the list. Actually, his one achievement, that of deciphering the Brahmi script, through which India and the world came to know of that unique figure in world history Emperor Ashoka would have entitled him to a place among the greats of intellectual history. And when one considers that James deciphered not one, but two ancient scripts Brahmi and Kharoshthi through which was revealed the existence of a whole line of Indo-Scythian kings, one stands in awe of the man.
But among all these varied interests, it was Benares, which was his passion. He spent only ten years here, but in this short span, considering his work, one can say that no individual contributed more to this holy and ancient city than James Prinsep. For consider these: he was the first to determine its latitude and longitude, the first to carry out an authentic census; and the first to construct a bridge over the river Karmanasa, a feat which had defied engineers and architects for nearly a century. He was also the person to lay the underground drainage system one that still serves the city. As a family memoir says: to extend the catalogue to a detail of the roads, bridges, drains and other works of every variety of description (in Benares), which were put in hand and completed would fatigue the readera.
Details of Book :-
- Author - O.P. Kejariwal
- Publisher - Pilgrims Publishing
- Language - English
- ISBN - 8177694006
- Binding - Hardbound
- Size - 27cms x 40 cms
- Pages - 231