Bernier, François, Travels in the Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 207  

CONCERNING HINDOUSTAN                207

vasion of India by the Mogols, the Patans had rendered
themselves formidable in several places. Their power
was felt principally at Dehli,^ many of the neighbouring
Rajas being their tributaries. Even the menials and
carriers of water belonging to that nation are high-spirited
and warlike.2 'If it be not so, may I never ascend the
throne of Dehli,' is the usual phraseology of a Patau, when
wishing to enforce the truth of any assertion. They hold
the Indians, both Gentiles and Mogols, in the utmost con¬
tempt ; and, recollecting the consideration in which they
were formerly held in India, they mortally hate the Mogols,
by whom their fathers were dispossessed of great princi¬
palities, and driven to the mountains far from Dehli and
Agra. In these mountains some Patans established them¬
selves as petty sovereigns or Rajas; but without any
great power.

The King of Visapour, so far fi-om paying tribute to the
Mogol, is engaged in perpetual -war with him, and contrives
to defend his dominions. He owes his preservation less
to the strength of his arms than to many peculiar circum¬
stances.'' His kingdom is at a great distance from Agra
and Dehli, the Mogol's usual places of residence ; the
capital city, called also Visapour,^ is strong, and not easily
accessible to an invading army, because of the bad water

1 The Pathan Sultans of Dehli may be said to have reigned from
1192-1554, somewhat more than three centuries and a half, during
which time six dynasties, numbering in all forty kings, succeeded to
the throne of Dehli. The boundaries of their Empire, at all times
uncertain in extent, varying from the extreme limits of Eastern Bengal
on one side to Kabul and Kandahar on the west, with Sind and the
Southern Peninsula to complete the circle; occasionally reduced to a
few districts around the capital and in one instance confined to the
single spot enclosed within the walls of the metropolis itself .See
Thomas's Chrotiicles of the Pathan King of Dehli, 1877.

^ How true this is at the present day. The regimental bihsthi or
water-carrier, generally a Pathan, is still a universal favourite, and his
prowess has lately been sung in spirited verse by Rudyard Kipling in
his barrack-room ballad of GuNGA DiN {The Scots Observer, 7th June
1890).                               ' See p. 196.                            '' Bijapur.
  Page 207