TRAVELS IN SIND
river (just mentioned) is the Sinde: it is the greatest river in the world,
and overflows during the hot weather just as the Nile does; and at this
time they sow the lands. Here also commence the territories of the Emperor
of Sindia and India, who was at this time Mohammed Shah. From this place
also is the description of persons arriving sent in writing to the Emir
of Sindia to Multan. Their Emir, at this time, was one of the Mamluks of
the Sultan Mohammed Sar Tiz Shah, i.e. sharp-head, by name; who reviews
the armies of the Emperor. I next proceeded to the city of Janai, in which
is a people called El Samira. They never eat with strangers, nor are seen
eating by them: nor do they contract affinities, or suffer any one to contract
affinities with them. It was here I met the Sheikh El Salih El Aabid the
religious Baha Oddin El Korashi [=Rokn Oddin Ibn Zakarya], one of the three,
of whom the Sheikh El Wali Borhan Oddin El Aahraj said *in
Alexandria*, that I should meet them in my travels: and I certainly
did meet them. May God be praised.
proceeded to the city of Sivastan, which is large. Without it is a desert,
and in this is there no tree except the Egyptian thorn, nor do they sow
any thing on the banks of its river except the melon. They generally live
upon a sort of millet, peas, fish, and milk of the buffalo: for the buffalo
is here in great abundance. The place is exceedingly hot: from Multan,
the capital of Sindia, it is at a distance of ten days; but from Multan
to Dehli, the residence of the Emperor of Hindustan, is a distance of fifty;which,
however, will be traversed by the courier with his despatches in five.
are in Hindustan two kinds of couriers; horse and foot: these they generally
term El Wolak ["the Quick"]. The horse courier, which is part of the Sultan's
cavalry, is stationed at the distance of every four miles. As to the foot
couriers, there will be one at the distance of every mile, occupying three
(consecutive) stations, which they term El Davah ["the Runner"], and making
(in the whole) three miles: so that there is, at the distance of every
three miles, an inhabited village; and without this, three sentry-boxes,
in which the couriers sit, prepared for motion, with their loins girded.
In the hand of each is a whip about two cubits long, and upon the head
of this are small bells. Whenever, therefore, one of the couriers leaves
any city, he takes his despatches in the one hand, and the whip which he
constantly keeps shaking in the other. In this manner he proceeds to the
nearest foot-courier; and, as he approaches, he shakes his whip. Upon this
out comes another, who takes the despatches, and so proceeds to the next.
For this reason it is, that the Sultan receives his despatches in so short
a time. In Sivastan I met the aged Sheikh Mohammed of Bagdad, who told
me, that his age was then one hundred and forty years; and, that he was
present when the Calif El Mostaasem was killed by the Tatars in the environs
proceeded by the Sinde to the city of Lahari ["Larry-bunder"], which is
situated upon the shores of the Indian sea, where the Sinde joins it. It
has a large harbour, into which ships from Persia, Yemen, and other places
put. At the distance of a few miles from this city, are the ruins of another,
in which stones in the shape of men and beasts almost innumerable are to
be found. The people of this place think, that it is the opinion of their
historians, that there was a city formerly in this place, the greater part
of the inhabitants of which were so base, that God transformed them, their
beasts, their herbs, even to the very seeds, into stones; and indeed stones
in the shape of seeds are here almost innumerable.
proceeded to Bakar, which is a handsome city, divided by an arm of the
river Sinde. Here I met the religious and pious Sheikh Shams Oddin Mohammed
of Shiraz. This was one of the men remarkable for age. He told me that
he was something more than one hundred and twenty years old. I then proceeded
on to the city of Uja, which is a large city, situated on the Sinde. The
governing Emir, at the time of my arrival, was El Malik El Fazil El Sharif
Jalal Oddin El Kabji, a very brave and generous prince. Between myself
and him a friendship arose and was confirmed. After this we met in Dehli.
I next travelled on to Multan, which is the principal city of Sindia, before
the Emir of which the Sultan's soldiers are obliged to appear.
Emir had always before him a number of bows of various sizes, and when
any one who wished to enlist as a bowman presented himself, the Emir threw
one of these bows to him, which he drew with all his might. Then, as his
strength proved to be, so was his situation appointed. But when any one
wished to enlist as a horseman, a drum was fixed, and the man ran with
his horse at full speed, and struck the drum with his spear. Then, according
to the effect of the stroke, was his place determined.
were many persons, Emirs, nobles, and learned men, who came to this place
before us, and with us, all intending to be presented to the Emperor. After
a few days, therefore, one of the chamberlains of the Sultan arrived here,
in order to conduct these persons to the presence. We then hasted on to
Dehli, between which and Multan there is a distance of forty days; throughout
which, however, are many contiguous houses, and at these we were honoured
by being invited every morning and evening to feasts, prepared by those
who came out to meet such as were proceeding to be presented to the Emperor.
The first city we entered belonging to Hindustan was Abuhar, which is the
first Indian city (in this direction). It is small and closely built, and
abounds with water and plantations.
FRUITS AND GRAINS OF HINDUSTAN
are not in Hindustan any of the trees peculiar to our country, if we except
the lote tree, which, however, is larger in the trunk than it is with us;
and, its seeds are like those of a great gall apple, exceedingly sweet.
They have likewise large trees not known among us. Of their fruit trees,
the grape is one, which resembles the orange tree, except that its stem
is larger, and its leaves more numerous. Its shade, too, is extensive and
very dense, and is apt to affect with fever those who sleep under it. The
fruit is about the size of the large Damask prune, which when green and
not quite ripe they take, of those which happen to fall, and salt and thus
preserve them, just as the lemon is preserved with us. In the same manner
they preserve the ginger while green, as also the pods of pepperk and this
they eat with their meals. When the grape is ripe, which is in the autumn,
its seed becomes yellow, and this they eat like the apple: it is sweet,
but during mastication acquires some acidity. It has rather a large stone,
which they sow like the orange seed, and from this a tree grows up.
fruits are those termed the Shaki [jack fruit, or breadfruit] and Barki,
the trees of which are high, and their leaves are like the Jawz (or Indian
nut): the fruit grows out from the bottom of the tree, and that which grows
nearest to the earth is called the Barki; it is extremely sweet and well
flavoured in taste; what grows above this is the Shaki. Its fruit resembles
that of the great gourd, its rind the skin of an ox (leather?) When it
grows yellow in the autumn, they gather and divide it: and in the inside
of each is from one to two hundred seeds. Its seed resembles that of a
cucumber, and has a stone something like a large bean. When the stone is
roasted, it tastes like a dried bean. These, i.e. the Shaki and Barki,
are the best fruits found in Hindustan.
have another sort of fruit, which they call El Tand: this is the fruit
of the Pipercula. Its seed is the size of that of an Armenian peach, to
which its colour may also be compared; it is exceedingly sweet. They also
have the Jummun [jambu], which is a high tree: the fruit resembles that
of the olive, and is black; as does likewise its stone. They have also
the sweet orange in great abundance; but the acid orange is more esteemed.
They also have one between the sweet and sour, which is exceedingly good.
They have too the fruit called the Mahwa: the tree is tall, and the leaves
are like those of the Jawz, except that there is a mixture of yellow and
red in them. The fruit resembles the small prune, and is very sweet. Upon
the head of each of its berries is a small seed, not unlike the grape both
in shape and taste; but they who eat it generally experience the head-ache.
When dried in the sun, its taste is like that of the fig. This berry they
call El Angur. The grape, however, is seldom found in Hindustan, and then
only in Dehli and a few other places. It produces fruit twice in the year.
The fig is not found in Hindustan. They also have a fruit, which they call
Kosaf, which is round and very sweet. About the tree they dig (and heap)
the earth, just as they do about the chesnut. They also have in India fruit
common with us which is the pomegranate, and which bears fruit twice in
grain which they sow for subsistence, is sown twice in the year; and, that
which is for the autumn, about Midsummer when the rains fall, which they
reap in sixty days from the time of sowing it. Of this grain one is termed
the Kodru, which is a sort of millet. This is the most plentiful grain
in use among them and of it are the Kal and the Shamakh, the latter of
which is smaller than a bean. The Shamakh however often grows without culture,
and is the food of the religious, the abstemious, the fakeers, and the
poor generally, who go out and gather what thus grows spontaneously, and
live upon it the year round. When this is beaten in a wooden mortar, the
rind falls off, and then the kernel, which is white, comes out. This they
boil in the milk of the buffalo, and make it into a stew, which is much
better than when baked. Of their grain, one is the Mash, which is a sort
of pea, and of this the Munjam is a species. The seed is oblong, and of
a clear green colour. This they cook with rice, and then eat it with oil.
It is called El Koshira and taken daily for breakfast. Another species
of this is the Lubia and another the a Murut, which resembles the Kodru,
except that its seed is smaller, and is used for fodder for cattle: it
is pulse. They also feed the beasts with the leaves of the mash, instead
of green corn. All these are their autumnal grains. And when they cut these,
they sow the spring grain, which consists of wheat, barley, lentiles, and
pulse, on the ground from which the autumnal grain had been gathered. The
soil of the country is exceedingly good.
the rice, they sow it three times during the year on the same ground: it
is much in use among them. The sesame and sugar-cane they cultivate along
with the autumnal grain.
IN AJUDAHAN [PAKPATTAN]
length left the town of Abuhar, and proceeded for one day through a desert
enclosed on both sides by mountains upon which were infidel and rebel Hindoos.
The inhabitants of India are in general infidels; some of them live under
the protection of the Mohammedans, and reside either in the villages or
cities: others, however, infest the mountains and rob by the highways.
I happened to be of a party of two and twenty men, when a number of these
Hindoos, consisting of two horsemen and eighty foot, made an attack upon
us. We, however, engaged them, and by God's help put them to flight, having
killed one horseman and twelve of the foot.
this we arrived at a fortress, and proceeding on from it, came at length
to the city of Ajudahan which is small. Here I met the holy Sheikh Farid
Oddin El Bodhawondi, of whom the Sheikh El Wali Borhan Oddin El Aaraj had
spoken to me *in the port of Alexandria*,
telling me that I should meet him. I therefore did meet him, and presented
him with the Sheikh's salutation, which surprised him; He said, I am unworthy
of this. The Sheikh was very much broken by the temptations of the Devil.
He allowed no one to touch his hand or to approach him; and, whenever the
clothes of any one happened to touch his, he washed them immediately. His
patronymic is referred to Bodhawond, a town of El Sambal.
WOMEN WHO BURN THEMSELVES WHEN THEIR
part, I also saw those women who burn themselves when their husbands die.
The woman adorns herself, and is accompanied by a cavalcade of the infidel
Hindoos and Brahmans, with drums, trumpets, and men, following her, both
Moslems and Infidels for mere pastime. The fire had been already kindled,
and into it they threw the dead husband. The wife then threw herself upon
him, and both were entirely burnt. A woman's burning herself, however,
with her husband is not considered as absolutely necessary among them,
but it is encouraged; and when a woman burns herself with her husband,
her family is considered as being ennobled, and supposed to be worthy of
trust. But when she does not burn herself, she is ever after clothed coarsely,
and remains in constraint among her relations, on account of her want of
fidelity to her husband.
woman who burns herself with her husband is generally surrounded by women,
who bid her farewell, and commission her with salutations for their former
friends, while she laughs, plays, or dances, to the very time in which
she is to be burnt.
of the Hindoos, moreover, drown themselves in the river Ganges, to which
they perform pilgrimages; and into which they pour the ashes of those who
have been burnt. When any one intends to drown himself, he opens his mind
on the subject to one of his companions, and says: You are not to suppose
that I do this for the sake of any thing worldly; my only motive is to
draw near to Kisai, which is a name of God with them. And when he is drowned,
they draw him out of the water, burn the body, and pour the ashes into
ON TO DEHLI
four day's journey, I arrived at the city of Sarsati. It is large and abounds
with rice, which they carry hence to Dehli. And after this at Hansi, which
is a very beautiful and closely built city, with extensive fortifications.
I next came to Masud Abad, after two days travelling, and remained there
three days. The Emperor Mohammed, whom it was our object to see, had at
this time left his residence in Dehli, and gone to Kinnoje, which is at
the distance of ten days from that place. He sent his Vizier, however,
Khaja Jahan Ahmed Ibn Ayas, a native of Room [Constantinople], with a number
of kings, doctors, and grandees, to receive the travellers, (an Emir is
with them termed king.) The Vizier then so arranged the procession, that
each one had a place according to his rank.
proceeded on from Masud Abad till we came to Dehli, the capital of the
empire. It is a most magnificent city, combining at once both beauty and
strength. Its walls are such as to have no equal in the whole world. This
is the greatest city of Hindustan; and indeed of all Islamism in the East.
It now consists of four cities, which becoming contiguous have formed one.
This city was conquered in the year of the Hejira 584 (A.D. 1188). The
thickness of its walls is eleven cubits. They keep grain in this city for
a very long time without its undergoing any change whatever. I myself saw
rice brought out of the treasury, which was quite black, but, nevertheless,
had lost none of the goodness of its taste. The same was the case with
the kodru, which had been in the treasury for ninety years. Flowers, too,
are in continual blossom in this place.
mosque [Qubbat ul-Islam] is very large; and, in the beauty and extent of
its building, it has no equal. Before the taking of Dehli it had been a
Hindoo temple, which the Hindoos call El Bur Khana (But Khana); but, after
that event, it was used as a mosque. In its court-yard is a cell(?) [Qutb
Minar], to which there is no equal in the cities of the Mohammedans; its
height is such, that men appear from the top of it like little children.
In its court, too, there is an immense pillar, which they say, is composed
of stones from seven different quarries. Its length is thirty cubits; its
circumference eight: which is truly miraculous. Without the city is a reservoir
for the rain-water; and out of this the inhabitants have their water for
drinking. It is two miles in length, and one in width. About it are pleasure
gardens to which the people (or: the nobles of the city) resort.
*on to chapter 4*