Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Alberuni's India (v. 1)

(London :  Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.,  1910.)



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 198  

198                        ALBERUNPS INDIA.

Empire, the country of the Franks, and of the Jalalika
(Gallicians). Long as this range is, it has also a con¬
siderable breadth, and, besides, many windings which
enclose inhabited plains watered by streams which
descend from the mountains both towards north aud
south. One of these plains is India, limited in the
south by the above-mentioned Indian Ocean, and on

Page 97. all three other sides by the lofty mountains, the waters
of which flow down to it.    But if you have seen the

India, a re-   soil of India with your own eyes and meditate on its

cent alluvial          ,                • n                          • -\         i-\                     -j-ij                 f            i-

formation,    nature—it you consider the rounded stones found m
the earth however deeply you dig, stones that are huge
near the mountains and where the rivers have a violent
current; stones that are of smaller size at greater dis¬
tance from the mountains, and where the streams flow
more slowly ; stones that appear pulverised in the shape
of sand where the streams begin to stagnate near their
mouths and near the sea—if you consider all this, you
could scarcely help thinking that India has once been
a sea which by degrees has been filled up by the allu¬
vium of the streams.
First orien-       The middle of India is the  country round  Kanoj
garding'^Ma- (Kauauj), which they call Madliyadesa, i.e. the middle
Kanoj,^ ^'    of the realms.    It is the middle or centre from a geo-
TrnSn"^*^ graphical point of view, in so far as it lies half way be¬
tween the sea and the mountains, in the midst between
the hot and the cold provinces, and also between the
eastern and western frontiers  of India.    But it is a
political centre too, because in former times it was the
residence of their most famous heroes and kings.

The country of Sindh lies to the west of Kanoj. In
marching from our country to Sindh we start from the
country of Nimroz, i.e. the country of Sijistan, whilst
marching to Hind or India proper we start from the
side of Kabul. This, however, is not the only possible
road. You may march into India from all sides, sup¬
posing that you can remove the obstacles in the way.
  Page 198