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

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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260                        DESCRIPTION OF

on the side of the court, called the Nagar-Kanay} In
this place, which thence derives its name, are kept the
trumpets, or rather the hautboys and cymbals, which play
in concert at certain hours of the day and night. To the
ears of an European recently arrived, this music sounds
very strangely, for there are ten or twelve hautboys, and
as many cymbals, which play together. One of the haut¬
boys, called Kama, is a fathom and a half in length,
and its lower aperture cannot be less than a foot. The
cymbals of brass or iron are some of them at least a
fathom in diameter. You may judge, therefore, of the
roaring sound which issues from the Nagar-Kanay. On
my first arrival it stunned me so as to be insupportable :
but such is the power of habit that this same noise is now
heard by me with pleasure; in the night, particularly,
when in bed and afar, on my terrace this music sounds in
my ears as solemn, grand, and melodious. This is not
altogether to be wondered at, since it is played by persons
instructed from infancy in the rules of melody, and possess¬
ing the skill of modulating and turning the harsh sounds
of the hautboy and cymbal so as to produce a symphony
far from disagreeable when heard at a certain distance.
The Nagar-Kanay is placed in an elevated situation, and
remote from the royal apartm.ents, that the King may not
be annoyed by the proximity of this music.

Opposite to the grand gate, which supports the Nagar-
Kanay, as you cross the court, is a large and magnificent
hall, decorated with several rows of pillars, which, as well
as the ceiling, are all painted and overlaid with gold. The
hall is raised considerably from the ground, and very airy,
being open on the three sides that look into the court.
In the centre of the wall that separates the hall from the

^ Nakdrahkhanah, from nakdrah a ckrum, and khanah a room or
turret chamber. The nakdrah resembled a kettle-drum, and twenty
pairs were used in the royal nakarahkhanah, of karranas, 'they never
blow less than four' {Ain), and three pairs of cymbals, called
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