Jean de Thévenot

French explorer

Jean de Thévenot (16 June 1633 – 28 November 1667) was a French traveller in the East, who wrote extensively about his journeys. He was also a linguist, natural scientist and botanist.

Philippe de Champaigne, Portrait of Jean de Thévenot, ca. 1660 (formerly believed to be a portrait of Antoine Galland by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout).
Jean de Thévenot, from "Relation d'un voyage fait au Levant" (1664)


  • Santidas, Pagod, The Ceremonie of King Auranzev, for converting a Pagod into a mosque. Amedabad being inhabited also by a great number of Heathens, there are Pageds, or Idol-Temples in it. That which was called the Pagod of Santidas was the chief, before Auranzeb converted it into a Mosque. When he performed the Ceremonie, he caused a Cow to be killed in the place, knowing very well, that after such an Action, the Gentiles according to their Law, could worship no more therein. All round the Temple there is a Cloyster furnished, with lovely Cells, beautified with Figures of Marble in relief, representing naked Women sitting after the Oriental fashion. The inside Roof of the Mosque is pretty enough, and the Walls are full of the Figures of Men and Beasts; but Auranzeb, who hath always made 2 (to) shew of an affected Devotion, which at length raised him to the Throne, caused the Noses of all these Figures which added a great deal of Magnificence to that Mosque, to be beat off.
    • (Part III, p. 10) Jean de Thévenot, Voyages, quoted from Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 15
    • Description of the temple built by Shantidas Jhaveri. Indian Records Series Indian Travels Of Thevenot And Careri, p 14 [1] Cited in Harsh Narain, The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, Appendix VI
  • “After all, the vulgar opinion of the Gentiles, touching the God Ram, is that he was produced, and came out of the Light, in the same manner as the Fringe of a Belt comes out of that Belt; and if they Assign him a Father whom they call Desser (Dasharath), and a Mother named Gaoucella (Kausalya); that is only for form sake, seeing he was not born: And in that consideration, the Indians render him divine Honours in their Pagods, and elsewhere; And when they salute their Friends they repeat his Name, saying Ram, Ram. Their Adoration consists in joining their hands, as if they Prayed, letting them fall very low, and then lifting them up again gently to their mouth, and last of all, in raising them over their head.” (Part III, p. 65)
    • ‘The Travels of Monsieur de Thevenot’ by Thevenot,quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 11

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