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

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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268                        DESCRIPTION OF

of gold, in the same manner as the two towers of Agra;
and its apartments are decorated with gold and azure
exquisite paintings and magnificent mirrors.^

Before taking our final leave of the fortress, I wish to
recall your attention to the Am-Kas, which I am desirous
to describe as I saw it during certain annual festivals;
especially on the occasion of the rejoicings that took place
after the termination of the war. Never did I witness a
more extraordinary scene.

The King appeared seated upon his throne, at the end
of the great hall, in the most magnificent attire. His vest
was of white and delicately flowered satin, with a silk and
gold embroidery of the finest texture. The turban, of
gold cloth, had an aigrette whose base was composed of
diamonds of an extraordinary size and value, besides an
Oriental topaz,^ which may be pronounced unparalleled,
exhibiting a lustre like the sun. A necklace of immense
pearls, suspended from his neck, reached to the stomach,
in the same manner as many of the Gentiles wear their
strings of beads. The throne was supported by six massy
feet, said to be of solid gold, sprinkled over with rubies,
emeralds, and diamonds. I cannot tell you with accuracy
the number or value of this vast collection of precious
stones, because no person may approach sufficiently near
to reckon them, or judge of their water and clearness;
but I can assure you that there is a confusion of diamonds,
as well as other jewels, and that the throne, to the best
of my recollection, is valued at four Kourours ot Roupies.
I observed elsewhere that a Lecque is one hundred thousand

^ The Khas Mahal, still one of the wonders of the world, and visited
by travellers from far and wide.

^ This was probably the jewel shown to Tavernier, on the
2d November 1665 {Travels, vol. i. p. 400), and described by him as
' of very high colour, cut in eight panels.' He gives its weight as 158J
Florentine carats, or i525-*5- English carats, and states that 'it was
bought at Goa for the Great Mogul for the sum of 181,000 rupees or
271,500 livres [;f20,4i2, ros.] of our money.' It is figured by
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