02 November 2005

Khoja Petrus Woscan in the researches of Dr. Bhattacharya

Azad-Hye (Dubai): Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya is an Indian Researcher from Calcutta. She has published many articles on the subject of the Indian maritime trade in the 18th century.

Presently she is carrying on a research for a book on the history of the Armenian community in India from the 17th century to the middle of the 20th century.

On 24 October 2005 she delivered a lecture in the International Institute of Asian Studies in Leiden (the Netherlands), on the following subject:

Khoja Petrus Woscan (1680-1751): An Armenian Merchant in India (His "Book of Will")

The above subject is part of her research and is based on the English translation of the last will of Khoja Petrus, which she found lately in the State Archives in Madras.

The will throw light on the life of Khoja Petrus Woscan, an 18th century Armenian born in New Julfa (suburb of Isfahan, Iran), who went to Madras in India at the age of 26.

Who was this Petrus? Why did he leave New Julfa for Madras? What can we say about his family? What were his contacts with New Julfa? This paper will answer these and other questions which are important for understanding the life of the Armenian community in India.

Another article of Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya about the Armenian presence in India is also available in the "Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient", under the title: "Armenian European Relationship in India, 1500-1800: No Armenian: No Armenian Foundation for European Empire?"

Historical evidence points to the existence of the Armenians in India in small numbers at least since the 16th century.

Armenian contact with India received a boost following the settlement of a large number of Armenians in New Julfa that coincided with the coming of the European companies in India, a fact that opened up various trade possibilities for the Armenians. In their social life too Armenians formed part of the pluralistic Christian community in India.

Used Sources:


"Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient" (Volume 48, Number 2, 2005, pp. 277-322(46)


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