|Source: Abu'l-Fazl 'Allami, A'IN-I AKBARI (3 vols.). Vol. 1 trans. H. Blochmann, 1927. Vol. 1, pp. 55-57. Ed. *ZDJ*|
Book 1, Chapter 21: The Farrash Khana
|His Majesty considers this department
as an excellent dwelling place, a shelter from heat and cold, a protector
against the rain, as the ornament of royalty. He looks upon its efficiency
as one of the insignia of a ruler, and therefore considers the care bestowed
upon it as a part of Divine Worship. The department has been much improved,
both in the quantity of the stores, and also by the introduction of new
fashions. I shall mention a few particulars as specimens for future enquirers.
1. the Bargah, when large, is able to contain more than ten thousand people. It takes a thousand farrashes a week to erect, with the help of machines. There are generally two door poles, fastened with hinges. If plain (i.e. without brocade, velvet, or gold ornaments) a bargah costs 10,000 rupees and upwards, whilst the price of one full of ornaments is unlimited. The price of others may be estimated from the price of a plain one.
2. The Chubin rawati is raised on ten pillars. They go a little into the ground, and are of equal height, with the exception of two, which are a little higher, as the crossbeam rests upon them. The pillars have, above and below, a dasa, to keep them firm, and several rafters pass over the dasas and the crossbeam, the whole being kept tightly together by clamps and bolts and nuts. The walls and the roof consist of mats. There is one door or two; and at the height of the lower dasas there is a raised platform. The inside is ornamented with brocade and velvet, and the outside with scarlet-sackcloth, tied to the walls with silk tape.
3. The Do-ashiyana manzil, or house of two stories, is raised upon eighteen pillars, six yards in height, which support a wooden platform; and into this, pillars of four cubits in length are fixed with bolt and nuts, forming an upper storey. The inside and outside are ornamented, as in the preceding. On the march it is used by his Majesty as a sleeping apartment, and also as a place of divine worship, where he prays to the Sun; and hence the building resembles a man who strives after God without forgetting his worldly duties whose one eye is directed to the solitude of pure devotion, and the other eye to the motley sara of the world. After the devotions are over, the women are allowed to enter to pay their compliments, and after them, outsiders. On journeys his Majesty inspects in this building the rations (of the elephants, camels, etc.), which is called jharoka, or window.
4. The Zamindoz is a tent made of various forms, sometimes with one, sometimes with two door poles; screens are also hung up within it, so as to form divisions.
5. The Aja'ibi consists of nine awnings on four pillars. Five of the awnings are square, and four tapering; sometimes they make it so as to contain one division only, and four taperings; sometimes they make it so as to contain one division only, supported by a single pole.
6. The Mandal is composed of five awnings joined together, and is supported by four poles. Four of the awnings are let down so as to form a private room; sometimes all four are drawn up, or one side, only is left open.
7. The Ath-khamba consists of seventeen awnings, sometimes separate, sometimes joined together; they are supported by eight poles.
8. The Khargah is a folding tent made in various ways; some with one, others with two doors.
9. The Shamyana-awning is made of various sizes, but never more than of twelve yards square.
10. The Qalandari has been described
11. The Saraparda was made in former times of coarse canvas but his Majesty has now caused it to be made of carpeting, and thereby improved its appearance and usefulness.
12. The Gulabar is a wooden screen, its parts being fastened together, like the walls of the Khargah, with leather straps, so that it can be folded together when the camp breaks up. The gulabar is covered with red cloth, tied with tape.
His Majesty has caused carpets to be made of wonderful varieties and charming textures; he has appointed experienced workmen, who have produced many masterpieces. The gilims of Iran and Turan are no more thought of, although merchants still import carpets from Goshkan, Khuzistan, Kirman, and Sabzwar. All kinds of carpet weavers have settled here, and drive a flourishing trade. These are found in every town, especially in Agra, Fathpur and Lahor. In the imperial workshops single gilims are made 20 gaz 7 tassujes long, and 6 gaz 11.5 tassujes broad, at a cost of 1810 rupees, which those who are skilled in the business have valued at 2715 rupees.
Takya-namads, or woollen coverlets, are brought from Kabul and Persia, but are also made in this country.
It would take up too much time to describe the jajams, shatrinjis, baluchis, the fine mats which look as if woven of silk.
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