Afanassi Nikitin (Russian Афанасий Никитин, scientific transliteration Athanasius Nikitin; † at Smolensk end of 1472 ) a medieval Russian traveler and merchant from Tver and one of the first Europeans who took a trip to India was documented. He described his stay in a narrative, under the name The journey behind the three seas (Russian Хождение за три моря ) is known. In 1955 it was erected in honor in his native town on the banks of the Volga a bronze monument.
In 1466 Nikitin of Tver left for a trade mission to India. On a ship he traveled down the Volga to the Caspian Sea. On the way he was robbed of Tatars, and many of his men were killed. He sailed on to Derbent in Dagestan today, then to Baku and later Persia, where he lived for a year. In the spring of 1469 Nikitin reached by land Ormus and crossed by ship the Arabian Sea. He went later in the Sultanate of Golkonda ashore and spent another three years.
On the way back Nikitin visited the African continent (Somalia ) and Muscat and Trebizond. In 1472 he reached after crossing the Black Sea, the Crimean port city of Sugar Snap Pea, now Feodosiya in the Crimea. On the way to Tver Nikitin died near Smolensk in the autumn of the same year.
During the three- year stay in India Nikitin watched the population, the social system of the country and its government, economy, religion, traditions and nature. Nikitin left behind an extensive material that serves to this day as a valuable source of information about the India of the 15th century.