THE EMBASSY TO CHINA
THE REQUEST OF THE EMPEROR OF CHINA
this, the Emperor sending for me, I went to him in my tunic, and he received
me more graciously than ever. He said, It is my wish to send you as ambassador
to the Emperor of China, for I know you love travelling in various countries.
I consented; and he sent dresses of honour, horses, money, &c., with
ever thing necessary for the journey.
Emperor of China had, at this time, sent presents to the Sultan; consisting
of a hundred Mamluks, fifty slave girls, five hundred dresses of El Kamanjah,
five hundred maunds of musk, five dresses wrought with jewels, five quivers
wrought with gold, and five swords set with jewels. His request with
the Emperor was, that he should be permitted to rebuild an idol-temple
in the country about the mountain of Kora, on which infidel Hindoos resided,
on the top of which and on the heights was a plain of three months' journey,
and to which there was no approach. Here, too, resided many infidel Hindoo
kings. The extremities of these parts extend to the confines of Thibet,
where the musk gazelles are found. There are also mines of gold on these
mountains, and poisonous grass growing, such that when the rains fall upon
it, and run in torrents to the neighbouring rivers, no one dares in consequence
drink of the water during the time of their rising: and should any one
do so, he dies immediately.
idol-temple they usually called the Bur Khana [=But Khana, "idol house"?].
It stood at the foot of the mountain, and was destroyed by the Mussulmans,
when they became masters of these parts. Nor were the inhabitants of the
mountain in a condition to fight the Mohammedans upon the plain. But the
plain was necessary to them for the purposes of agriculture; they had,
therefore, requested the Emperor of China to send presents to the King
of India, and to ask this favour for them. Besides, to this temple the
people of China also made pilgrimages. It was situated in a place called
reply of the Emperor was, that this could not be permitted among a people
who were Mohammedans; nor could there exist any church whatsoever, in countries
subject to them, except only where tribute was paid; but if they chose
to do this, their request would be complied with: for the place in which
this idol-temple was situated had been conquered, and had, in consequence,
become a district of the Mohammedans.
THE EMPEROR SENDS AN EMBASSY AND
GIFTS IN REPLY
Emperor also sent presents much more valuable than those he had received,
which were these following, namely: one hundred horses of the best breed
saddled and bridled; one hundred Mamluks; one hundred Hindoo singing slavegirls;
one hundred Bairami dresses, the value of each of which was a hundred dinars;
one hundred silken dresses; five hundred saffron coloured dresses; one
hundred pieces of the best cotton cloth; one thousand dresses of the various
clothing of India; with numerous instruments of gold and silver, swords
and quivers set with jewels, and ten robes of honour wrought with gold,
of the Sultan's own dresses with various other articles.
Emperor appointed the Emir Zahir Oddin El Zanj ani one of the Ulema, with
El Fati Kafur, with whom the present was entrusted, to accompany me. These
were favourite officers with the Emperor. He also sent with us a thousand
cavalry, who were to conduct us to the place at which we were to take shipping.
The servants of the Emperor of China, who amounted to about one hundred,
and with whom there was a great Emir, also returned with us.
left the presence of the Emperor on the 17th day of the month Safar, in
the year seven hundred and forty-three (A.D. 1342), and, after a few days,
arrived at the city of Biana, which is large. We next arrived at Kul, which
is a beautiful city, the greatest part of the trees of which are vines.
When we had arrived here, we were informed that the infidel Hindoos had
besieged the city El Jalali, which is seven days from Kul. The intention
of these infidels was to destroy the inhabitants; and this they nearly
effected. We made such a vigorous attack upon them, however, that not one
of them was left alive. But many of our companions suffered martyrdom in
the onset, and among them was El Fati Kafur, the person to whom the presents
had been confided. We immediately transmitted an account of this affair
to the Emperor, and waited for his answer.
this interval, whenever any of the infidel Hindoos made an attack on the
places in the neighbourhood of El Jalali, either all or a part of us, gave
assistance to the Moslems. Upon a certain day, however, I turned into a
garden just without the city of Kul, when the heat of the sun was excessive:
and while we were in the garden, someone cried out, that the Hindoos were
making an attack upon one of the villages: I accordingly rode off with
some of my companions to their assistance. When the infidels saw this they
fled; but the Moslems were so scattered in pursuing them, that myself and
only five others were left. Some of their people saw this, and the consequence
was, a considerable number of cavalry made an attack upon us. When we perceived
their strength we retreated, while they pursued us, and in this we persevered.
A NARROW ESCAPE FROM A GREAT DANGER
three of them coming after me, when I was left quite alone. It happened
at the same time that the fore-feet of my horse had stuck fast between
two stones, so that I was obliged to dismount and set him at liberty. I
was now in a way that led into a valley between two hills, and here I lost
sight of the infidels. I was so circumstanced, however, that I knew neither
the country, nor the roads. I then set my horse at liberty to go where
I was in a valley closely interwoven with trees, behold! a party of cavalry,
about forty in number, rushed upon me and took me prisoner, before I was
well aware of their being there. I was much afraid they would shoot me
with their arrows. I alighted from my horse, therefore, and gave myself
up as their prisoner. They then stripped me of all I had, bound me, and
took me with them for two days, intending to kill me. Of their language
I was quite ignorant: but God delivered me from them; for they left me,
and I took my course I knew not whither.
much afraid they would take it into their heads to kill me; I therefore
hid my self in a forest thickly interwoven with trees and thorns, so much
so, that a person wishing to hide himself could not be discovered. Whenever
I ventured upon the roads, I found they always led, either to one of the
villages of the infidels, or to some ruined village. I was always, therefore,
under the necessity of returning; and thus I passed seven whole days, during
which I experienced the greatest horrors. My food was the fruit and leaves
of the mountain trees.
end of the seventh day, however, I got sight of a black man, who had with
him a walking-staff shod with iron, and a small water vessel. He saluted
me, and I returned the salute. He then said, What is your name? I answered,
Mohammed. I then asked him his name: he replied, El Kalb El Karih (i.e.
the wounded heart). He then gave me some pulse, which he had with him,
and some water to drink. He asked me whether I would accompany him. I did
so; but I soon found myself unable to move, and I sank on the earth. He
then carried me on his shoulders; and as he ,walked on with me, I fell
however, about the time of dawn, and found myself at the Emperor's palace-gate.
A courier had already brought the news of what had happened, and of my
loss, to the Emperor, who now asked me of all the particulars, and these
I told him. He then gave me ten thousand dinars, and furnished me for my
return. He also appointed one of his Emirs, El Malik Sumbul, to present
the gift. So we returned to the city of Kul. From this we proceeded to
the city of Yuh Burah; and then descended to the shores of a lake called
"the water of life." After this we proceeded to Kinoj, which is but a small
town. Here I met the aged Sheikh Salih of Farganah. He was at this time
sick. He told me that he was then one hundred and fifty years old. I was
informed that he would constantly fast, and that for many successive days.
THE MIRACULOUS POWERS OF JOGEES
arrived at the city of Merwa, which is a large place, inhabited for the
most part by infidels, who pay tribute to the Emperor. We next arrived
at the city of Kalyur, which is large, and which has a fortress on the
top of a high mountain. In this the Emperor imprisons those of whom he
entertains any fear. We next arrived at the city of Barun, which is small,
and inhabited by Moslems: it is situated in the midst of the infidel districts.
In these parts are many wild beasts, which enter the town and tear the
inhabitants. I was told, however, that such as enter the streets of the
town are not wild beasts really, but only some of the magicians called
Jogees, who can assume the shape of wild beasts, and appear as such to
the mind. These are a people who can work miracles, of which one is, that
any one of them can keep an entire fast for several months.
of them will dig houses for themselves under ground, over which any one
may build, leaving them only a place for the air to pass through. In this
the Jogee will reside for months without eating or drinking anything. I
heard that one of them remained thus for a whole year. I saw too, in the
city of Sanjarur, one of the Moslems who had been taught by them, and who
had set up for himself a lofty cell like an obelisk. Upon the top of this
he stood for five and twenty days, dining which time he neither ate nor
drank. In this situation I left him, nor do I know how long he continued
there after I had left the place. People say that they mix certain seeds,
one of which is destined for a certain number of days or months,
and that they stand in need of no other support during all this time. They
also foretell events.
Emperor of Hindustan very much respects them, and occasionally sits in
their company. Some of them will eat nothing but herbs: and it is clear
from their circumstances that they accustom themselves to abstinence, and
feel no desire either for the world or its show. Some of them will kill
a man with a look: but this is most frequently done by the women. The woman
who can do so is termed a Goftar. It happened when I was Judge of Dehli,
and the Emperor was upon one of his journeys, that a famine took place.
On this occasion, the Emperor ordered, that the poor should be divided
among the nobles for support, until the famine should cease. My portion,
as affixed by the Vizier, amounted to five hundred. These I sustained in
a house which I built for the purpose.
certain day, during this time, a number of them came to me, bringing a
woman with them, who, as they said, was a Goftar, and had killed a child,
which happened to be near her. I sent her, however, to the Vizier, who
ordered four large water vessels to be filled with water, and tied to her.
She was then thrown into the great river (the Jumna). She did not sink
in the water, but remained unhurt: so they knew that she was a Goftar.
The Vizier then ordered her to be burnt, which was done; and the people
distributed her ashes among themselves, believing that if any one would
fumigate himself with them, he would be secure from the fascinations of
a Goftar for that year. But if she had sunk, they would have taken her
out of the water: for then they would have known that she was not a Goftar.
once in the presence of the Emperor of Hindustan, when two of these Jogees,
wrapt up in cloaks, with their heads covered (for they take out all their
hairs, both of their heads and arm-pits, with powder), came in. The Emperor
caressed them and said, pointing to me, This is a stranger, shew him what
he has never yet seen. They said, we will. One of them then assumed the
form of a cube and arose from the earth, and in this cubic shape he occupied
a place in the air, over our heads. I was so much astonished and terrified
at this, that I fainted and fell to the earth. The Emperor then ordered
me some medicine which he had with him, and upon taking this I recovered
and sat up: this cubic figure still remaining in the air just as it had
companion then took a sandal belonging to one of those who had come out
with him, and struck it upon the ground, as if he had been angry. The sandal
then ascended, until it became opposite in situation with the cube. It
then struck it upon the neck, and the cube descended gradually to the earth,
and at last rested in the place which it had left. The Emperor then told
me, that the man who took the form of a cube was a disciple to the owner
of the sandal: and, continued he, had I not entertained fears for the safety
of thy intellect, I should have ordered them to show thee greater things
than these. From this, however, I took a palpitation at the heart, until
the Emperor ordered me a medicine which restored me.
proceeded from the city of Barun to the stage of Kajwara, at which there
is a lake about a mile in length; and round this are temples, in which
there are idols. At this place resides a tribe of Jogees, with long and
clotted hair. Their colour inclines to yellow, which arises from their
fasting. Many of the Moslems of these parts attend on them, and learn (magic)
DAWLATABAD AND BEYOND
came to the city Genderi, which is large; after this to that of Tahar,
between which and Dehli is a distance of twenty-four days; and from which
leaves of the betel-nut are carried to Dehli. From this place we went to
the city of Ajbal, then to Dawlatabad, which is a place of great
splendour, and not inferior to Dehli. The lieutenancy of Dawlatabad extends
through a distance of three months. Its citadel is called El Dawigir. It
is one of the greatest and strongest forts (in India). It is situated on
the top of a rock which stands in the plain. The extremities are depressed,
so that the rock appears elevated like a mile-stone, and upon this the
fort is built. In it is a ladder made of hides; and this is taken up by
night, and let down by day.
fortress the Emperor imprisons such persons as have been guilty of serious
crimes. The Emir of Dawlatabad had been tutor to the Emperor. He is the
great Emir Katlukhan. In this city are vines and pomegranates which
bear fruit twice in the year. It is, moreover, one of the greatest districts
as to revenue. Its yearly taxes and fines amount to seventeen karors. A
karor is one hundred lak; and a lak one hundred thousand Indian dinars.
This was collected by a man (appointed to do so) before the government
of Katlukhan; but, as he had been killed, on account of the treasure which
was with him, and this taken out of his effects after his death, the government
fell to Katlukhan. The most beautiful market-place here is called the Tarab
Abad, in the shops of which sit the singing women ready dressed out, with
their slave girls in attendance; over these is an Emir, whose particular
business it is to regulate their income.
came to the city of Nazar Abad. It is small, and inhabited by the Mahrattas,
a people well skilled in the arts, medicine, and astrology: their nobles
are Brahmins. The food of the Mahrattas consists of rice, green vegetables,
and oil of sesame. They do not allow either the punishing or sacrificing
of animals. They carefully wash all their food, just as one washes after
other impurities; and never intermarry with their relations, unless separated
by the interval of seven generations at least. They also abstain from the
use of urine.
next place of arrival was the city of Sagar which is large, and is situated
on a river of the same name. Near it are mills which are worked for their
orchards, i.e. to supply water. The inhabitants of this place are
religious and peaceable.
arrived at the city of Kambaya, which is situated at a mouth of the sea
which resembles a valley, and into which the ships ride: here also the
flux and reflux of the tide is felt. The greatest part of its inhabitants
are foreign merchants. We next came to Goa, which is subject to the infidel
king Jalansi, king of Candahar, who is also subject to the Emperor of Hindustan,
and to whom he sends an annual present. We next came to a large city situated
at a mouth of the sea, and from this we took shipping and came to the island
of Bairam, which is without inhabitants. We next arrived at the city of
Kuka, the king of which is an infidel, named Dankul, and subject to the
Emperor of Hindustan.
some days we came to the island of Sindabur, in the interior of which are
six and thirty villages. By this we passed, however, and dropped anchor
at a small island near it, in which is a temple and a tank of water. On
this island we landed, and here I saw a Jogee leaning against the
wall of the temple, and placed between two idols; he had some marks about
him of a religious warfare. I addressed him, but he gave me no answer.
We looked too, but could see no food near him. When we looked at him he
gave a loud shout, and a cocoa-nut fell upon him from a tree that was there.
This nut he threw to us: to me he threw ten dinars, after I had offered
him a few, of which he would not accept. I supposed him to be a Moslem;
for, when I addressed him, he looked towards heaven, and then towards the
temple at Mecca, intimating that he acknowledged God, and believed in Mohammed
as his prophet.
came to the city of Hinaur, which is situated at an estuary of the sea,
and which receives large vessels. The inhabitants of this place are Moslems
of the sect of Shafia, a peaceable and religious people. They carry on,
however, a warfare for the faith by sea, and for this they are noted. The
women of this city, and indeed of all the Indian districts situated on
the sea-shores, never dress in clothes that have been stitched, but the
contrary. One of them, for example, will tie one part of a piece of cloth
round her waist, while the remaining part will be placed upon her head
and breast. They are chaste and handsome. The greater part of the inhabitants,
both males and females, have committed the Koran to memory. The inhabitants
of Malabar generally pay tribute to the King of Hinaur, fearing as
they do his bravery by sea. His army too, consists of about six thousand
men. They are, nevertheless, a brave and warlike race. The present king
is Jamal Oddin Mohammed Ibn Hasan. He is one of the best of princes; but
is himself subject to an infidel king, whose name is Horaib.
MALABAR, THE COUNTRY OF BLACK PEPPER
came into the country of Malabar, which is the country of black pepper.
Its length is a journey of two months along the shore from Sindabur to
Kawlam. The whole of the way by land lies under the shade of trees, and
at the distance of every half mile, there is a house made of wood, in which
there are chambers fitted up for the reception of comers and goers, whether
they be Moslems or infidels. To each of these there is a well, out of which
they drink; and over each is an infidel appointed to give drink. To the
infidels he supplies this in vessels; to the Moslems he pours it in their
hands. They do not allow the Moslems to touch their vessels, or to enter
into their apartments; but if any one should happen to eat out of one of
their vessels, they break it to pieces. But, in most of their districts,
the Mussulman merchants have houses, and are greatly respected. So that
Moslems who are strangers, whether they are merchants or poor, may lodge
among them. But at any town in which no Moslem resides, upon any one's
arriving they cook, and pour out drink for him, upon the leaf of the banana;
and whatever he happens to leave, is given to the dogs.
in all this space of two months' journey, there is not a span free from
cultivation. For everybody has here a garden, and his house is placed in
the middle of it; and round the whole of this there is a fence of wood,
up to which the ground of each inhabitant comes. No one travels in these
parts upon beasts of burden; nor is there any horse found, except with
the King, who is therefore the only person who rides.
however, any merchant has to sell or buy goods, they are carried upon the
backs of men, who are always ready to do so (for hire). Every one of these
men has a long staff, which is shod with iron at its extremity, and at
the top has a hook. When, therefore, he is tired with his burden, he sets
up his staff in the earth like a pillar, and places the burden upon it;
and when he has rested, he again takes up his burden without the assistance
of another. With one merchant, you will see one or two hundred of these
carriers, the merchant himself walking. But when the nobles pass from place
to place, they ride in a dula made of wood, something like a box, and which
is carried upon the shoulders of slaves and hirelings.
put a thief to death for stealing a single nut, or even a grain of seed
of any fruit, hence thieves are unknown among them; and should anything
fall from a tree, none except its proper owner would attempt to touch it.
country of Malabar are twelve kings, the greatest of whom has fifty thousand
troops at his command; the least, five thousand or thereabouts. That which
separates the district of one king from that of another, is a wooden gate
upon which is written: "The gate of safety of such an one." For when any
criminal escapes from the district of one king, and gets safely into that
of another, he is quite safe; so that no one has the least desire to take
him, so long as he remains there. Each of their kings succeeds to rule,
as being sister's son, not the son to the last.
country is that from which black pepper is brought; and this is the far
greater part of their produce and culture. The pepper tree resembles that
of the dark grape. They plant it near that of the cocoa-nut, and make frame-work
for it, just as they do for the grape tree. It has, however, no tendrils,
and the tree itself resembles a bunch of grapes. The leaves are like the
ears of a horse; but some of them resemble the leaves of a bramble. When
the autumn arrives, it is ripe; they then cut it, and spread it just as
they do grapes, and thus it is dried by the sun. As to what some have said,
that they boil it in order to dry it, it is without foundation.
saw, in their country and on the sea-shores, aloes like the seed-aloe,
sold by measure, just as meal and millet is.
*on to chapter 7*