Dictionary of Indian Biography/Csoma, De Köros, Alexander


Traveller and student of philology : son of Andrew Csoma : born April 4, 1784, at Koros in Transylvania : educated, 1815–8, at the College of Novo Enyed : Doctor of Medicine at Gottingen. To ascertain the origin of his countrymen, the Hungarians, whose primitive seat he expected to discover in the heart of Central Asia, he left Bucharest, Jan. 1, 1820 : travelled to Constantinople, Alexandria, Syria, Bagdad, Teheran, Mashad, Bokhara, Kabul, Lahore, Kashmir, Leh : studied Tibetan thoroughly in monasteries in Ladak, chiefly at Yangla, in Zanskar, 1823–6 : was at Sabathu, 1824–5 : allowed Rs. 50 a month by the Government of India : made a third journey to Kanum in Kunawar, studying Tibetan at a Buddhist monastery till 1830 : reached Calcutta, April, 1831 : published a Tibetan grammar and dictionary, vocabulary, etc. : made Honorary Member of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1834 : studied Sanskrit, and was appointed Librarian of the Society : travelled, 1836–7, to study Oriental languages, to Jalpaiguri and Titalya : at Calcutta 1837–42 : started for Lhasa in 1842 : reached Darjeeling, March 24 : died April 11 : and was buried there : "an indefatigable and unpresuming student" a scholar of extreme modesty : knew 17 languages, ancient and modern.