THE GREAT ONES
Marco Polo (1254 - 1324 A.D.) was the inspiration to subsequent explorers like Christopher Columbus.
ILLUSTRATION: V.K. SUBRAMANIAN
Marco Polo, the Venetian traveller who undertook a journey from Venice to China and back, recording his observations of the lands and people he visited, is one of the pioneers who set out to explore uncharted lands.
He was the inspiration to subsequent explorers like Christopher Columbus.
Visit to India
The Book of Marco Polo is the record of Marco Polo's experiences in China, where he spent many years as the guest of Kublai Khan, as also the accounts of his travel to Japan, Korea, Indochina, Burma, Java, the Andaman Islands, Siberia, Ethiopia and Madagascar.
Marco Polo has recorded that he also visited India, especially the Malabar Coast, Ceylon, Singapore, Malacca, Nicobar Islands and Sumatra.
Marco Polo's work, giving a wealth of geographical information about uncharted lands, is the forerunner of scientific geography.
Marco Polo was only 17 years of age when he set out on his momentous journey and his travels termed a geography lesson lasted 24 years.
Marco Polo had a remarkable mind, which absorbed experiences, a lively curiosity and a memory, which stored all that he learned in an orderly fashion.
Before the Mighty Traveller died at the age of 70 years, he was asked whether he lied about his experiences. His answer was: "I never told the half of it."
This is an excerpt from the book Great Ones by V.K. Subramanian, Abhinav Publications, New Delhi
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