Few people have read, but everybody should be aware of Afanasy Nikitin’s travel notes published under the title of The Journey Beyond Three Seas. In 1446, Afanasy Nikitin, a merchant of moderate means from Tver, started on a commercial trip with his companions and traveled down the Volga river to the Caspian Sea. Gangsters attacked the merchants on the way and took the lion’ share of goods away from them. The merchant decided to go to distant countries and sell what remained after the pirats’ raid there. From Baku, he headed to Iran and then to India, where he stayed for some time. The results of his trip were poor. “They will not let us bring in the goods without duties, the duties are many, and there are many pirates at sea.” The road home was long and crooked – through Somalia, the Arab Peninsula, Iran and Crimea. He died on the way “in spring or early 1475 on the approaches to Smolensk,” as Lvov Chronicle says. In 1955, Afanasy Nikitin finally returned to Tver in the form a bronze monument by Sergey Orlov which stands on the bank of Volga. Recently, an obelisk has been erected in Nikitin’s honor in the Indian village of Revdanda on the shore of Indian Ocean. Why was it erected at this very place? The fact is that there, 130 km from Mumbai, a middle-ages port of Chaul was located in the past, and the merchant traveling from Persia landed in this very port on April 9, 1469. By the way, he reached India by 30 years earlier than Vasco da Gama.
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