Joseph Tiefenthaler

Austrian missionary

Joseph Tiefenthaler (or Tieffenthaler or Tieffentaller) (27 August 1710 – 5 July 1785) was a Jesuit missionary and one of the earliest European geographers to write about India.


  • A spot particularly famous is known as Sita Rassoi, i.e. table of Sita, Rama's wife... Emperor Aurangzeb demolished the fortress called Ramcot, and erected on the same place a Mohammedan temple with three cupolas. Others say that it was constructed by Babor... Fourteen pilllars of black stone.. are located in the fortress.. The other two (pillars) are in the tomb of an unknown Maure (Muslim)... On the left one can see a square box... Hindus call it Bedi (i.e. the cradle) because formerly it was the house where Beschan (Vishnu) and his three brothers were born under the form of Ram... Subsequently Aurangzeb and some say Babar destroyed the place in order to prevent the heathens from practising their ceremonies. However, they have continued to practice their religious ceremonies in both the places knowing this to have been the birth place of Rama by going around it three times and prostrating on the ground.. On 24th of Chaitrra a large number of people gather here to celebrate the birth of Rama extremely popular throughout India...
    • Joseph Tieffenthaler, History and Geography of India, writing about Ayodhya. Cited by Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 8185504164, also in Peter Van der Veer Religious Nationalism, also in R.S. Sharma et al.: Historians' Report to the Nation, People's Publ., Delhi 1991.

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