/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited -  A FOOT SOLDIER IN THE USUAL COSTUME OF THE NATIVE INDIANS.jpg
Image description: is a foot soldier who would often accompany travelers or traders on their journeys. Members of the thug gangs frequently dressed up as foot soldiers who were accompanying a rich merchant or noble man , who was also a thug playing this role.

Artist/s: T. Wageman after James Forbes
Medium: Coloured Soft ground Etching
Year: 1834
Size (Mounted): 15 x 20 inches
Code: Om/jf/b/47

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited -  A NATIVE LADY IN HER PALKEE.jpg
Image description: Women belonging to well off families often travelled in a curtained palakeen or a group of women from a single family would travel in gary or curtained cart.

Artist/s: after Captain Robert Smith
Medium: Coloured Lithograph
Year: 1828
Size (Mounted): 15 x 13 inches
Code: Ac/rs/34

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited -  A THUG DISGUISED AS A MERCHANT.jpg
The thugs were a secret sect of people - muslims and Hindus who were the followers of Bhowani. The thugs would work in groups to befriend and attach themselves to travelers to later kill them by strangulation with a roomal (handkerchief) taking their victims possessions with them. The gangs of thugs traveled all over upper India and the Deccan often taking commercial routes in search of their unsuspecting travelers, they carried on this looting and killing while leading respectable double lives in their native towns and villages.
The usual plan of this gang would be to attach itself to a migratory family or a traveler who would be carrying their property of cash on their person.
They would scrape an acquaintance with them at a serai or on the road by offering sweetmeats and or giving attention to the children or by impersonating a rich merchant or soldier.
When they would arrive in a place convenient for their operations, they would invite their victims to a feast and then kill them by twining a roomal or kerchief round their necks.

Image description: The thugs worked and operated in groups and their duties or responsibilities were divided amongst the members. As the thugs had to impress unsuspecting travelers to join them on a long journey often through vast areas which ideal grounds for attacks by robbers , they deceived the strangers often by posing and dressing as respectable merchants or mercenary soldiers travelling on the same route to gain the confidence of the victims whom they would rob during the course of the journey. The thugs would kill their victims before looting their possessions and dispose the bodies leaving no trace of their crime.

Medium: coloured Engraving
Year: 1856
Size (Mounted): 10 x 12 inches
Code: Cw/67

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited -  BRIJBASI.jpg
Image description: The Brijbasi were employed by merchants and bankers to guard their effects, and were noted for their fidelity and courage. Many were in the regular employment of merchants and traders and frequently accompanied the porters who carried trade goods, money or jewels from one destination to another.
They were much in demand on hazardous journeys.

Families travelling by road employed one or two Brijbasis to safeguard themselves if they could afford to do so. Though the Brijbasi were shrewd and alert travelers, many fell prey to the deceit of the thugs on the long journeys.

Moreover the Thugs often masqueraded as Brijbasis and gained the confidence and often employment of an unsuspecting victim en route.

Artist/s: Balthazar Francois Solvyns
Medium: Coloured Etching
Year: 1804
Size (Mounted): 15 x 20 inches
Code: tcoh/bfs/10

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited -  CARRIER OF MONEY AND SILVER.jpg
Image description : A frequent victim of the thugs were the couriers who carried the silver and money of traders and merchants from one destination to another.

Though they carried swords to defend themselves against robbers and wild animals and were secretive about the goods they carried and suspicious and rarely talked to strangers, the thugs were able to gain their confidence and then loot them.

Medium: Handcoloured Lithograph
Year: 1827-35
Size (Mounted): 18 x 22 inches
Code: Lif/8/4

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited -  NEAR BOORHANPOOR ASEER GHUR IN THE DISTANCE.jpg
Image description: located in Central India, Boorhanpoor had several ruins which served as a safe meeting place for the thugs and also a safe haven for those who were resting or looking for a group from their fraternity to travel with.

Artist/s: Drawn by W. Warner from a skecth by
Capt. Meadows Taylor and Engraved by
S. Fisher
Medium: Coloured Engraving
Year: 1839
Size (Mounted): 12 x 10 inches
Code: oa/cmt/1840/10

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited -  SUPERSTITIONS OF THE NATIVES.jpg
Image description: The image shows the various charms used to ward off evil and bring luck. The thugs strongly believed in good luck omens and charms and often carried or wore upon their person charms such as these to bring them good luck on an expedition.
Charms such as the charm, made in solid silver, which is worn in a necklace was said to ward off “not one, but seventy misfortunes”; tiger’s claws tipped in and set in silver; the efficacy of which, added to the claws, ensured “prosperity to the possessor, and averted the evil eye”, and coins of various shapes which are used as charms in various forms and were extremely popular amongst the native Indians too.

Medium: coloured lithograph
Year: 1850
Size (Mounted): 15 x 13 inches
Code: wpsp/fp/30

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited -  VIEW OF THE CHOULTRY OF SYALI.jpg
Image description: Choultries or buildings which were used as halting spots and provided accommodation for travelers were located in several places along frequently travelled routes. They were used by travellers to halt or rest overnight or take a halt for a few days.
These choultries were often the hunting ground of the thugs who frequently scouted these places for and made acquaintance of the unsuspecting travellers and gained their confidence to travel together on the onward journey.
Sometimes the thugs looted and killed their victims in secluded choultries, however they were very cautious and would loot and kill mainly during the journey at carefully chosen spots.

Medium: coloured Lithograph
Year: 1827-35
Size (Mounted): 22 x 18 inches
Code: Lif/12/3

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - A DYBUCK or astrologer at work.jpg
Image description: A Dybuck or astrologer would be consulted by the thugs before undertaking any expedition. The thugs were extremely superstitious and would only undertake journeys if “ the stars were favorable”.
The astrologer was often part of the thug gang and his knowledge would be used frequently during long journeys to guide the thugs in the next step to be taken or the direction of the journey which would lead to a safe and prosperous trip.

Artist/s: Balthazar Francois Solvyns
Medium: Coloured Etching
Year: 1804
Size (Mounted): 15 x 20 inches
Code: tcoh/bfs/3

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - A THUG RIDING IN A PALANQUIN TO A FEAST PREPARED BY HIS GOOROO.jpg
Image Description: a senior and experienced Thug was called a Gooroo (or Guru).
New entrants into Thugee were trained under Gooroos in the methods and rules of thughee. While the thugs were on a journey and at work, a feast was prepared for the entire group which was often the setting for the murder of the unsuspecting victims who would also be invited to the feast.
The palakeen bearers were also thugs posing as palanquin bearers.

Year: 1856
Size (Mounted): 12 x 10 inches
Code: cw/70

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - A THUG S DICE  AND OTHER IMPLEMENTS.jpg
Image description: Before embarking on an expidition or a journey on which they would find potential victims to loot, the group of thugs who planed to go on this journey would meet at a designated spot and perform a ceremony which was called “checking the omens” and t worship the goddess Bhowani . It was an important and complex ceremony which was undertaken at a special secluded spot and officiated over by an experienced and respected thug.
The image shows the implements which were used to perform this ceremony and whose consecration guaranteed a safe journey with a good haul. These implements were carried and used by the thugs on their expedition too.
The pick axe (used to dig a hole to bury the thug’s victims), the dice (without which no decision was taken), the roomal (or kerchief with which they strangled the victim), the shalgrum, the kalsa with the sacred water and the tulsi were all very important implements and a part of the methodology the thugs followed on all expeditions (or journeys) where they operated as a group under a mutually acceptable leader.

Medium: Coloured lithograph
Year: 1850
Size (Mounted): 13 x 15 inches
Code: wpsp/fp/17

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - B HAUT.jpg
Image description: the job function of a B’haut was to flatter and puff, and spread reports in commendation of those who employed them.
This was a very good disguise for the Thugs when they wanted to deceive travelers or the locals of a city or town when one or some of them would be posing as wealthy or noble travelers. One of the thugs would act as a B’haut and spread talk of his master’s (also a fellow thug) prestige, position and wealth to seek the attention of potential victims.
Moreover, by the nature of their profession, the B’hauts were also a good source of information for thugs when searching for potential victims to loot.

Here a b’haut is shown in the domestic dress of the Hindoos; he holds his sword in his left hand, and in his cumberband or waistband is seen the handle of his dagger.

Artist/s: Balthazar Francois Solvyns
Medium: Coloured Etching
Year: 1804
Size (Mounted): 15 x 20 inches
Code: tcoh/bfs/7

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - BANGY-WALA OR PORTER.jpg
Image description: Porters were used to carry the goods of a merchant who was travelling for business or even the personal belongings of an individual or a family. The manner in which they carried the goods is shown in this image.
Porters, or servants who accompanied their master or families they worked for on the fatal journies were killed too as the thugs would kill all individuals in a victim’s group by strangling and burying them so as to not leave any witnesses or any trace of the travellers

Artist/s: after Captain Robert Smith
Medium: Coloured Lithograph
Year: 1828
Size (Mounted): 15 x 13 inches
Code: Ac/rs/31

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - NARIEL OR COCOA NUT HOOKA.jpg
Image description: The thugs would often join or would be joined a group of travelers or individuals by deceiving them into travelling with them. On the long journeys which lasted for many days, the thugs would interact with the unsuspecting victim as a fellow traveller. Acquaintances were made during the night halts, a frequent manner in which they struck conversation with a fellow traveller was while resting and relaxing while smoking a hooka.
The hooka was a very popular form of relaxation and a social practice followed by all .

The image shows a man smoking a hooka. This type of hooka was easy to carry on journeys.

Artist/s: Balthazar Francois Solvyns
Medium: Coloured Etching
Year: 1804
Size (Mounted): 15 x 20 inches
Code: tcoh/bfs/44

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - OUR GWALIOR ESCORT.jpg
Image description: Journeys by road were often made by travelling in palankeens, wagons, on horseback or by walking. Overnight halts were often made in a clearing a little distance away from the main road, pitching tents and cooking food in the open. This was an ideal setting for the thugs to carry out their looting and killing and thereafter bury their victims in a spot which was carefully selected by a recee party consisting of thugs whose main duty was to find a good spot and bury the bodies so that no trace could be ever found of them.

Year: 1876
Size (Mounted): 15 x 13 inches
Code: Inp/208

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - RUINS OF ETTAIA..jpg
Image description: a place which was a frequent halting spot of the thugs during their travels.

Medium : coloured Engraving
Year: 1834
Size (Mounted): 15 x 13 inches
Code: bac/21

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - SCENE IN KATTIAWAR TRAVELLERS AND ESCORT.jpg
Image description: As travel was often risky, people preferred to travel in groups often hiring mercenary soldiers to protect them (if they could afford the fees of these soldiers) or they joined bands of travelers who were journeying on the same route. The thugs often posed as native soldiers travelling from one place to another to gain the confidence of the rich travelers whom they could loot.

Medium: coloured Engraving
Year: 1834
Size (Mounted): 15 x 13 inches
Code: au/242

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - TEMPLE OF BHAWANI.jpg
Image description: the ancient temple of Bhowani, the patron goddess of the thugs was a well visited temple near Ghazipoor. It was an important pilgrimage spot for the people and thugs alike. The temple, was built of stone, and was of rectangular form, surrounded by a verandah, the whole was encompassed by a flight of five steps. The roof was flat, and the pillars that supported it were plain.

Medium: coloured lithograph
Year: 1850
Size (Mounted): 15 x 13 inches
Code: wpsp/fp/45

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - THE HINDOO METHOD OF EATING THE PAUN.jpg
Image description: The thugs had a very rigid set of rules to be followed when killing their victims. They killed their victims before looting their belongings by twisting a roomal ( or kerchief) containing a small stone around their victims’ necks. Each thug would choose his victim and position himself next to him. The signal to wind the roomal around the victims neck was given by the chief thug or leader after which the thugs would in unison strangle all the victims. The signal was often the request by the leader to bring out the paan or beetle nut – a favourite post meal refreshment of the Indians.
The image shows the manner in which a paun or beetle nut leaf was eaten with the Suparee or Areka nut, lime, and some aromatic seeds (kept in the uncovered dish).
The paan was chewed as a luxury, and given at entertainment and feasts, as a pledge of amity and good faith.

Artist/s: Balthazar Francois Solvyns
Medium: Coloured Etching
Year: 1804
Size (Mounted): 15 x 20 inches
Code: tcoh/bfs/45

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - THUGS IN THE PRISON OF AURANGABAD.jpg
The thugs were a secret sect of people - muslims and Hindus who were the followers of goddess Bhowani. The thugs would work in groups to befriend and attach themselves to travelers to later kill them by strangulation with a roomal (handkerchief) thereafter lloting their victims’ possessions. Gangs of thugs traveled all over India often taking commercial routes in search of travelers who would be their next victims, they carried on this looting and killing while leading respectable double lives in their native towns and villages.
The Thugs always worked and travelled in groups which varied in number.
The work and responsibility of each thug was clearly defined, some were good at impersonating while others worked as scouts – breaking away from the gang to find potential victims on the route ahead, while others would be the ones to find a ideal spot to bury the victims and prepare the bodies of the victims such that they would never surface or be found.
They operated according to strict rules with much secrecy and were undetected and flourished till the time the British administration set up a special force to eradicate thughee. Where after many of them found themselves behind prison bars and turned approvers to save their lives.

Medium: coloured Engraving
Year: 1876
Size (Mounted): 15 x 13 inches
Code: Inp/10

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - TRAVELLING IN A PALANKEEN.jpg
Image description: The thugs worked and operated in groups and their duties or responsibilities were divided amongst the members. As the thugs had to impress unsuspecting travelers to join them on a long journey often through vast areas which ideal grounds for attacks by robbers, they deceived the strangers often by posing and dressing as respectable merchants or mercenary soldiers travelling on the same route to gain the confidence of the victims whom they would rob during the course of the journey. The thugs would kill their victims before looting their possessions and dispose the bodies leaving no trace of their crime.

Traveling in a Palankeen (or palki) or on horseback as against walking was a privilege of the wealthy. Thugs often travelled in palankeens and on horses to deceive the unsuspecting travelers of their wealthy status and promise of safety.

Medium: coloured Engraving
Year: 1856
Size (Mounted): 12 x 10 inches
Code: cw/21

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited –  BHOWANI.jpg
Image details : The thugs worshiped the goddess Bhowani. No expedition or work was done without consecrating their implements in her name or looking to her to send an omen to reach a decision.
The image shows an idol of the goddess in an ancient temple which was well visited by thugs .
The head of the figure is of black stone with large eyes, the whites of which were formed of plates of burnished silver.

Medium: Coloured lithograph
Year: 1850
Size (Mounted): 13 x 15 inches
Code: wpsp/fp/46

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
/data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited – VEHICLES FOR ROAD TRAVEL – RATH, GADI AND PALKEEN.jpg
Image description : Vehicles used for road travel - the Rath, Gadi, and Palkeen

Artists: Giulio Gerrario, engraved by A. Biasioli
Medium: Coloured Aquatint
Year: 1823-1830
Size (Mounted): 18 x 15 inches
Code: fc/59

Image and text copyright Hindoostan Revisited. No part of this picture or text can be used in any form without the written consent of Hindoostan Revisited.
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited -  A FOOT SOLDIER IN THE USUAL COSTUME OF THE NATIVE INDIANS.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited -  A NATIVE LADY IN HER PALKEE.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited -  A THUG DISGUISED AS A MERCHANT.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited -  BRIJBASI.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited -  CARRIER OF MONEY AND SILVER.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited -  NEAR BOORHANPOOR ASEER GHUR IN THE DISTANCE.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited -  SUPERSTITIONS OF THE NATIVES.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited -  VIEW OF THE CHOULTRY OF SYALI.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - A DYBUCK or astrologer at work.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - A THUG RIDING IN A PALANQUIN TO A FEAST PREPARED BY HIS GOOROO.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - A THUG S DICE  AND OTHER IMPLEMENTS.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - B HAUT.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - BANGY-WALA OR PORTER.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - NARIEL OR COCOA NUT HOOKA.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - OUR GWALIOR ESCORT.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - RUINS OF ETTAIA..jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - SCENE IN KATTIAWAR TRAVELLERS AND ESCORT.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - TEMPLE OF BHAWANI.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - THE HINDOO METHOD OF EATING THE PAUN.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - THUGS IN THE PRISON OF AURANGABAD.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited - TRAVELLING IN A PALANKEEN.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited –  BHOWANI.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/The Thugs Collection of  Hindoostan Revisited – VEHICLES FOR ROAD TRAVEL – RATH, GADI AND PALKEEN.jpg
  • /data/Whats New/tooltip.jpg