(Chaul de Cima, Chaul de Baixo, Revdanda, Agarkot, Cheul)

Map of Chaul, ca. 1736, detail ([Anon], Iconografia, d-370-v, Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, Lisboa available at: link). 

Chaul: the (dis)Encounter of Two Cities

Identified with Simulla in Ptolemy’s treatise on geography, Chaul is mentioned in several documents from the medieval period and later became the main port of the Ahmadnagar sultanate. The Portuguese established a trading post in the area known as Revdanda or Chaul de Baixo, about 1.5 kilometres downstream from Chaul, at the beginning of the 16th century and controlled this urban settlement until 1740. As a centre of missionary activity, the Dominicans, Franciscans, Recollect Franciscans, Jesuits and Augustinians built their respective convents in the port settlement, and the secular clergy built at least seven other churches and chapels in Chaul and Korlai. German art historian Gritli von Mitterwallner studied this ensemble of Christian religious architecture in her doctoral thesis, published in the early 1960s, but since then only a few recent studies have looked at the architecture and landscapes of Chaul and its hinterland.

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