This ‘Restricted’ map of Agra, published exclusively for British military and government use, was issued in May 1944, when Japan was in the process of invading the far north-east of India, in Nagaland and Manipur, during what was called Operation U-Go (March – June 1944). While still a great distance from Agra, the Japanese offensive struck fear throughout India. Indeed, Raj officials had long been concerned about the possible Japanese bombing of Agra, that in 1942 the dome of the Taj Mahal was covered in camouflage! Naturally, the British military would have strongly preferred that the Japanese not acquire of copy of the present map!
This fine map, based upon the best official surveys, embraces all of Agra and environs, which lay aside a bend on the Yamuna River. Famous as the capital of the Mughal Empire during its cultural heyday, from 1556 to 1658, the map features several grand monuments from the time, notably Agra Fort (1565-73) and the Taj Mahal (1632-53), lower right. Otherwise, the map details the numerous railways lines and stations, parks, schools, hotel, colleges and schools, government buildings, and many other modern facilities.
The Survey of India issued the map in 3 editions. The first edition, predicated upon surveys conducted in 1918 and 1919, was published in 1924, with a ‘Revised’ second edition appearing in 1925. The present third edition is faithful in detail to the 1925 edition but was issued in 1944 exclusively for official ‘Restricted’ wartime use.
All editions of the map are rare. We can trace only 2 institutional examples of the present World War II edition.
References: British Library: Cartographic Items Maps 52955.(3.); Bodleian Library (Oxford University): D10:45 Agra (1); OCLC: 556301486, 49411808.
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