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

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



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204                          ALBERUNPS INDIA.

Page ICO. bent upwards. The Brahmins have the privilege of
eating the flesh of the ganda. I have myself witnessed
how an elephant coming across a young ganda was
attacked by it. The ganda wounded with its horn a
forefoot of t\ie elephant, and threw it down on its face.

I thought that the gamla was the rhinoceros (or
karkadann), but a man who had visited Sufala, in the
country of the Negroes, told me that the kark, which
the Negroes call impild, the horn of which furnishes the
material for the handles of our knives, comes nearer
this description than the rhinoceros. It has various
colours. On the skull it has a conical horn, broad at
the root, but not very high. The shaft of the horn (lit.
its arrow) is black inside, and white everywhere else.
On the front it has a second and longer horn of the
same description, which becomes erect as soon as the
animal wants to ram with it. It sharpens this horn
against the rocks, so that it cuts and pierces. It has
hoofs, and a hairy tail like the tail of an ass.

There are crocodiles in the rivers of India as in the
Nile, a fact which led simple Aljahiz, in his ignorance
of the courses of the rivers and the configuration of the
ocean, to think that the river of Muhran (the river
Sindh) was a branch of the Nile. Besides, there are
other marvellous animals in the rivers of India of the
crocodile tribe, makara, curious kinds of fishes, and an
animal like a leather-bag, which appears to the ships
and plays in swimming. It is called burlu (porpoise ?).
I suppose it to be the dolphin or a kind of dolphin.
People say that it has a hole on the head for taking
breath like the dolphin.

In the rivers of Southern India there is an animal
called by various names, grdha, jalatantu, and tandud.
It is thin, but very long. People say it spies and lies
in wait for those who enter the water and stand in it,
whether men or animals, and at once attacks them.
First it circles round the prey at some distance, until
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