|Source: Abu'l-Fazl 'Allami, A'IN-I AKBARI (3 vols.). Vol. 1 trans. H. Blochmann, 1927. Vol. 1, pp. 47-49. Ed. *ZDJ*|
Book 1, Chapter 16: The Encampment on Journeys
|It would be difficult to describe
a large encampment; but I shall say something on the equipage used for
hunting parties and short journeys.
1. The Gulal-bar is a grand enclosure, the invention of his Majesty, the doors of which are made very strong, and secured with locks and keys. It is never less than one hundred yards square. At its eastern end a pavilion of two entrances is erected, containing 54 divisions, 24 yards long, 14 broad; and in the middle there stands a large chubin ra,oti, round about it a sara-parda. Adjoining to the chubin, they build up a two-storied pavilion, in which his Majesty performs divine worship, and from the top of which, in the morning, he receives the compliments of the nobility. No one connected with the seraglio enters this building without special leave. Outside of it, twenty-four chubin ra,otis are erected, 10 yards long and 6 yards wide, each separated by a canvas, where the favorite women reside. There are also other pavilions and tents for the servants, with sayabans (awnings) of gold embroidery, brocade, and velvet. Adjoining to this is a sara-parda of carpet, 60 yards square, within which a few tents are erected, the place for the Urdu-begis (armed women) and other female servants. Farther on up to the private audience hall, there is a fine open space, 150 yards long and 100 yards broad, called the Mahtabi; and on both sides of it, a screen is set up as before described, which is supported by poles 6 yards long, fixed in the ground at distances of two yards. The poles are one yard in the ground, and are ornamented with brass knobs on the top, and kept firm by two ropes, one passing inside and the other outside of this enclosure. The guards watch here as has been described.
In the midst of the plain is a raised platform, which is protected by an awning, or nam-gira, supported by four poles. This is the place where his Majesty sits in the evening, and none but those who are particularly favoured are here admitted. Adjoining to the Gulal-bar, there is a circular enclosure, consisting of twelve divisions, each of thirty yards, the door of the enclosure opening into the Mahtabi; and in the midst of it is a Chubin ra,oti, ten yards long, and a tent containing forty divisions, over which twelve awnings are spread, each of twelve yards, and separated by canvases. This place, in every division of which a convenient closet is constructed, is called Ibachki, which is the (Chaghata’i) name used by his Majesty. Adjoining to this a Sara-parda is being put up, 150 yards in length and breadth, containing sixteen divisions, of thirty-six square yards, the Sara-parda being, as before, sustained by poles with knobs. In the midst of it, the state-hall is erected, by means of a thousand carpets; it contains seventy-two rooms, and has an opening fifteen yards wide. A tent-like covering, or Qalandari, made of wax-cloth, or any other lighter material, is spread over it, which affords protection against the rain and the sun; and round about it are fifty awnings, of twelve yards each. The pavilion, which serves as Diwan-i-khass or private audience hall, has proper doors and locks. Here the nobles and the officers of the army, after having obtained leave through the Bakhshis, pass before the Emperor, the list of officers eligible for admission being changed on the first of every month. The place is decorated both inside and outside with carpets of various colors, and resembles a beautiful flower-bed. Outside of it, to a distance of 350 yards, ropes are drawn, fastened to poles, which are set up at a distance of three yards from each other. Watchmen are stationed about them. This is the Diwan-i Amm, or public audience hall, round which, as above described, the various guards are placed. At the end of this place, at a distance of twelve tanabs, is the Naqqara Khana (a turret on top of which the band plays), and in the midst of the area the Akas-diya (a high pole to the top of which an immense lamp is fixed) is lighted up.
Some encampments, as just now described, are sent off, and one of them is put up by the Farrashes on a piece of ground which the Mir Manzils (Quartermasters) have selected as an eligible spot, whilst the other camp furniture is sent in advance, to await the approach of his Majesty. Each encampment requires for its carriage 100 elephants, 500 camels, 400 carts, and 100 bearers. It is escorted by 500 troopers, Mansabdars (Grandees, nobles), Ahadis. Besides, there are employed a thousand Farrashes, natives of Iran, Turan, Hindustan, 500 pioneers, 100 water-carriers, 50 carpenters, tent-makers, and torch-bearers, 30 workers in leather, and 150 sweepers.
The monthly pay of the foot varies from 240 to 130 dams.
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