The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians/VII. Rashídu-d Dín, from Al Bírúní

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The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians

Sir H. M. Elliot, Edited by John Dowson, 1867, Volume I

Early Arab Geographers On History Of India

Introduction to Al Bírúní

[p.42]: THE extract which follows is taken from the Jámi'u-t Tawáríkh of Rashídu-d Dín, which was completed in A.H. 710, or A.D. 1310. This date, but for another more cogent reason, would require the insertion of the extract in a later part of the book, or the entire omission of it, as beyond the scope of the present work. But though appearing in the history of Rashídu-d Dín, the passage is not his own; it is really and confessedly the work of the celebrated Abú Ríhán al Bírúní, who wrote about four centuries earlier, his life having extended from A.H. 360 to 430, or A.D. 970 to 1039. This chapter of Al Bírúní's work has been translated and published by M. Reinaud, in his "Fragments;" and a comparison of the two will show how very little has been added by Rashídu-d Dín. For all practical purposes it may be considered as presenting a picture of the Musulman knowledge of India at the end of the 10th century.

Copies of the work of Al Bírúní are exceedingly rare, for two only are known to be extant, and the portions published were translated from the single copy in the Imperial Library in Paris. The reproductions by Rashídu-d Dín are therefore of high value, and the importance of the following extract for a correct appreciation of the progress of the Muhammadan knowledge of India cannot be over-rated.

Extended notices of these two authors-Abú Ríhán and Rashídu-d Dín-with other extracts from their works, appeared in the volume published by Sir H. Elliot, and will again appear in the second volume of this work. It is here only necessary to state that the Jámi'u-t Tawáríkh was written in Persian, and is a rare work. There is a copy in the Library of the East India Office and another in the British Museum. Two distinct portions of the work have been found in India, and of these there are copies among Sir H. Elliot's MSS.* There is also in the Library of the Royal Asiatic Society an incomplete Arabic translation.

[p.43]: The following translation differs considerably from that published in Sir H. Elliot's first edition, but every care has been taken to make it as accurate as possible. The MS. of the East India Library has been mainly relied upon; this will be referred to as MS. A. Occasional reference for doubtful passages and proper names has been made to the British Museum MS., referred to as MS. B. The Arabic version will be called MS. C.; and Sir H. Elliot's new copy of the Lucknow MS. D. MSS. A. and B. are not good copies. The scribes were careless and ignorant, and the texts abound with errors, particularly in the spelling of the names of persons and places. Nor are the errors confined to obscure and doubtful names. MS. A. almost always represents the name of the Ganges by <arabic>, with no dot to the second letter. The Arabic version C is well and boldly written. The dots are more frequently, though by no means invariably, supplied, and the proper names are generally more distinct. It differs occasionally from the Persian MSS., and has often been of service. Still it is not reliable authority for the proper names, as these occasionally present some curious proofs of the work having been translated from the Persian. Prepositions like tá and ba, and the Persian words of number, as sih (3) and nuh (9), have sometimes been taken as part of the names, and incorporated with them. Some instances will be pointed out in the Notes.


On the Hills and Rivers of Hindustán and Súdán

SECTION III.- On the Hills and Rivers of Hindustán and Súdán (sic), [p.44]: which according to Abú Ríhán extend twelve thousand parasangs.

Philosophers and Geometricians have divided the land of Hind into nine unequal1 parts, giving to each part a separate name, as appears from the book called Bátankal.2 Its shape resembles the back of a crab on the surface of the water.3 The mountains and plains in these nine parts of India are extensive, and occur one after the other in successive order. The mountains appear to stand near each other, like the joints of the spine, and extend through the inhabited world from the east to the midst of the west, i.e., from the beginning of China through Tibet, and the country of the Turks, to Kábul, Badakhshán, Tukháristán, Bámián, Ghúr, Khurásán, Gílán, Ázarbáíján, Armenia, Rúm, to the country of the Franks and Galicia on the west. In their course they spread out widely from the deserts and inhabited places of that part. Rivers flow at their base. One which comes from the south from India is very large and

[p.45]: broad.1 But in other places they have their sources to the north in the lofty mountains and in the deserts. Hind is surrounded on the east by Chín and Máchín,2 on the west by Sind and Kábul, and on the south by the sea.3 On the north lie Kashmír, the country of the Turks, and the mountain of Meru, which is extremely high, and stands opposite to the southern pole. The heavenly bodies perform their revolutions round it, rising and setting on each side of it. A day and a night of this place is each equal to six of our months.4

Opposite to this mountain stands another, not round in shape, and which is said to be composed of gold and silver. The Hima mountains lie on the north of Kanauj, and on account of snow and cold form the extreme point of the habitation of man. This range has Kashmír in its centre, and runs by Tibet, Turk, Khazar,5 and Sakáliba,6 to the sea of Jurján and Khwárasm. The rivers of the entire country of Hind, which flow from the northern mountains, amount to eleven. Those which flow from the eastern mountains amount to

[p.46]: the same number. These run far to the east and the south till they fall into the ocean. Those, however, which rise in the south do not discharge themselves into the sea.

The northern mountains have connection with Mount Meru, which lies south of them. Besides this there is another lofty ridge of mountains intervening between Turkistán and Tibet and India, which is not exceeded in height by any of the mountains of Hindú-stán. Its ascent is eighty parasangs. From its summit India looks black through the mists beneath, and the mountains and rugged declivities below look like hillocks. Tibet and China appear red. The descent from its summit to Tibet is one parasang. This mountain is so high that Firdausí probably meant the following verse to apply to it:-"It is so low and so high, so soft and so hard, that you may see its belly from the fish (on which the earth rests), its back from the moon."

Some other mountains are called Harmakút,1 in which the Ganges has its source. These are impassable from the side of the cold regions, and beyond them lies Máchín. To these mountains most of the rivers which lave the cities of India owe their origin. Besides these mountains there are others called Kalárchal.2 They resemble crystal domes, and are always covered with snow, like those of Damáwand. They can be seen from Tákas and Laháwar.3 Then there are the mountains of Bíllúr, in the direction of Turkistán, which are denominated Shamílán.4 In two days' journey you arrive at Turkistán, where the Bhutáwariyas5 dwell. Their king is called Bhut Sháh, and their countries (bilád) are Gilgit, Asúra, Salsás,6 etc.,

[p.47]: and their language1 is Turkí. The inhabitants of Kashmír suffer greatly from their encroachments and depredations. The mountains here mentioned are those described in the translation of Abú Ríhán and they are as manifest as a tortoise displaying (itself) from the midst of the waters.

2There are rivers and large streams which have their sources in and issue from the mountains surrounding the kingdom of Kápish3 or Kábul. One, called theGharwarand,4 mixes with the stream from the mountain of Ghúrak, and passes through the country of Barwán.5 The waters of the Sharúhat and the Shála pass by Lamankán,6 which is Lamghán, and uniting near the fort of Dirúna,7 fall into the Núrokírát. The aggregate of these waters forms a large river opposite the city of Parsháwar,8 which is called "al ma'bar," or "the ferry." This town is situated on the eastern side of these rivers.9 All these rivers fall into the Sind near to the fort of

[p.48]: Bítúrashít,9 at the city of Kandahár,10 which is Waihind.3 After that, there comes from the west the river of Tibet, called the Jhailam. It and the waters of the Chandrá all combine about fifty miles above Jharáwar,4 and the stream flows to the west of Múltán. The Bíah joins it from the east. It also receives the waters of the Iráwa (Ráví). Then the river Kaj falls into it after separating from the river Kúj, which flows from the hills of Bhátal.5 They all combine with the Satlader (Sutlej) below Múltán, at a place called Panjnad, or "the junction of the five rivers." They form a very wide stream, which, at the time it attains its extreme breadth, extends ten parasangs, submerging trees of the forest, and leaving its spoils upon the trees like nests of birds. This stream, after passing Audar,6 in the middle of Sind bears the name of Mihrán, and flows

[p.49]: with a slower current, and widens, forming several islands, till it reaches Mansúra, which city is situated in the midst of the waters of this river. At this place the river divides into two streams, one empties itself into the sea in the neighbourhood of the city of Lúhá-ráni,1 and the other branches off to the east to the borders of Kach, and is known by the name of Sind Ságar, i.e., Sea of Sind. In the same way as at this place they call the collected rivers Panj-nad, "five rivers," so the rivers flowing from the northern side of these same mountains, when they unite near Turmuz and form the river of Balkh,2 are called "the seven rivers," and the fire-worshippers (majás) of Soghd make no distinction, but call them all the "Seven rivers."

The river Sarsut [Sarsutí] falls into the sea to the east of Somnát.

The Jumna falls into the Gangá below Kanauj, which city is situated on the west of the river. After uniting, they fall into the sea near Gangá Sáyar [Ságar.] There is a river which lies between the Sarsut and Ganges. It comes from the city of Turmuz3 and the eastern hills; it has a south-westerly course, till it falls into the sea near Bahrúch,4 about sixty yojanas to the east of Somnát. Afterwards the waters of the Gangá,5 the Rahab, the Kúhí, and the Sarjú unite6

[p.50]: near the city of Bári. The Hindús believe that the Gangá has its source in paradise, and, descending to the earth, is divided into seven streams, the centre one being denominated the Gangá. The three eastern streams are the Balan, the Ládafí, and Nalin.1 The three western streams are the Sít, the Jakash, and Sind.2 When the Sít leaves the snowy mountains it flows through the countries3 of Silk, Karsíb, Hír, Barbar, Híra, Sakarkalt, Mankalakúr, and Sakrít, and falls into the western ocean. On the south of it is the river

[p.51]: Jakash, which flows by the countries of Marw, Kálik, Dhúlak, Nijár, <arabic>


Barbarkáj, Bakrúbár, and Anjat, and waters the farms and fields of those places.1

The river of Sind crosses that country2 in many places of its length and breadth, and bounds it in many others. Its well-known towns are Dard, Randanand, Kándahar, Rúras, Karúr, Siyúr, Indar, Marw, Siyát, Sind, Kand, Bahímrúr, Marmún, and Sakúrad.

The river Ganges passes over the central pillar of the moon to Barkandharat, Rásakín, Baládar,3 Aurkán, and many other cities and towns; it then touches the defiles of Band, where there are many elephants, and passes on to the southern ocean.

Among the eastern streams is the Ládan which flows through seven kingdoms, whose inhabitants have lips like inverted ears. Thence it flows to three other countries, of which the people are exceedingly black, and have no colour or complexion. Then it runs through several other countries to Hast Áín, where it falls into the eastern sea.


[p.53]: The river Máran1 waters the land of Kit2 and flows through deserts. It passes through several countries where the people wear the bark of trees and grass instead of clothes, and are friendly to the brahmans. Then it passes through the desert and flows into the sea of Ajáj.3

The river Bakan passes through Námrán,4 and through several countries where the people have their habitations in the hills,-then it flows on to the Karans and the Barbarans,5 i.e., people whose ears hang down to their shoulders. Next it touches the country of the Ashmuks,6 whose faces are like the faces of animals. Then it falls into the sea. The Lashan-barán is a river with a wide bed. It falls into the sea.

Countries of Hind, the Cities, Islands and Inhabitants

SECTION IV.- Relating to the Countries of Hind, the Cities, some Islands, and their Inhabitants.

It has been mentioned in the beginning of this work that the country of Hind is divided into nine1 parts. The Indians are of

[p.54]: opinion that each part1 is nine times larger than Írán. It is situated in three Iklíms (climes), the western portion is in the third clime, and the eastern in the first, but the chief portion of Hind is included in the second climate. Its central territory is called Madades, which means "the middle land." The Persians call it Kanauj. It is called the Madades, because it lies between the seas and mountains, between the hot and cold countries, and between the two extremities of west and east. It was the capital of the great, haughty, and proud despots of India. Sind lies on the west of this territory. If any one wishes to come from Nímroz, i.e. the country of Sijistán, or Írán to this country, he will have to pass through Kábul. The city of Kanauj stands on the western bank of the Ganges.2 It was formerly a most magnificent city, but in consequence of its being deserted by its ruler, it has now fallen into neglect and ruin, and Bárí, which is three days' journey from it on the eastern side of the Ganges is now the capital. Kanauj is as celebrated for the descendants of the Pandavas as Máhúra (Mattra) is on account of Básdeo (Krishna.) The river Jumna lies to the east of this city, and there is a distance of twenty-seven parasangs between the two rivers. The city of Thánesar is situated between the rivers, nearly seventy parasangs north of Kanauj, and fifty parasangs from Máhúra (Mattra). The Ganges issues from its source, called Gang-dwár, and waters many of the cities of India.

Those who have not personally ascertained the relative distances of the cities of Hind from each other, must be dependent on the information derived from travellers.

In stating these distances we will begin from Kanauj. In going towards the south, between the rivers Jumna and Ganges, you arrive at a place called

  • Jájmau,3 at a distance of twelve parasangs, each parasang being equal to four miles; eight parasangs from that

[p.55]: is Karwa;

  • from Karwa to Brahmashk, eight; thence to
  • Ábhábúdi,1 eight; thence to the
  • tree2 of Barágí (Prág,) twelve. This is at the confluence of the Jumna and Ganges. From the confluence to the embouchure of the Ganges, is twelve3 parasangs.
  • From the above-mentioned tree, in directing your course towards the south, a road leads along the bank of the river to Arak Tírat,4 which is distant twelve parasangs;
  • to the country of Úríhár,5 forty;
  • to Urda-bishak,6 on the borders of the sea, fifty; from thence, still on the shore of the sea, on the east,
  • there is a kingdom which is at present near Chún,
  • and the beginning (mabda') of that is Dar (or Dúr,)7 forty.

  • From thence to Kánjí,1 thirty;
  • to Malia, forty;
  • to Kúnak,2 thirty; which is the remotest point.
  • If you go from Bárí, on the banks of the Ganges, in an easterly direction, you come
  • to Ajodh, at the distance of twenty-five parasangs;
  • thence to the great Benares,3 about twenty.
  • Then, turning, and taking a south-easterly course from that, you come, at the distance of thirty-five parasangs, to Sharúár;4
  • thence to Pátaliputra,5 twenty;
  • thence to Mangírí, fifteen;
  • thence to Champa,6 thirty;
  • thence to Dúkampúr, fifty;
  • thence to the confluence of the Ganges with the sea at Gangá Ságar, thirty.

  • thence to the kingdom of Silhet,1 ten;
  • thence to the city of Bhut,2 twelve;
  • thence for two hundred parasangs it is called Tilút, where the men are very black, and flat-nosed like the Turks.
  • It extends to the mountains of Kámrú,3 to the sea and
  • to Nípál. Travellers in this direction report that going to the left hand towards the east, which is the country of Tibet, one arrives at Nípál at twenty parasangs distance, all on the ascent.4
  • From Nípál to Bhútesar5 is thirty days' journey. which implies a distance of about eighty parasangs. There are many ascents and descents. There, on account of the steep and rugged roads, they carry burdens on the shoulders. Bridges are built in several places, and the rivers run in deep channels a hundred yards below the surface of the hills. They say that in those places there are stags with four eyes, and very beautiful.
  • Bhutesar is the first city on the borders of Tibet. There the language, costume, and appearance of the people are different. Thence to the top of the highest mountain, of which we spoke at the beginning, is a distance of twenty parasangs. From the top of it Tibet looks red and Hind black.
  • From Kanauj, in travelling south-east, on the western side of the Ganges, you come to
  • Jajáhotí, at a distance of thirty parasangs, of which the capital is Kajuráha.6 In that country are the two forts of


Guzerát,1 eighteen. When the capital of Guzerát was destroyed, the inhabitants removed to a town on the frontier.2 The distance between Narána and Máhúra is the same as between Máhúra and Kanauj, that is twenty-eight parasangs.
  • In going from Máhúra to Újain, you pass through several neighbouring villages, at no greater distances from one another than five parasangs.2
  • From Máhúra, at the distance of thirty-five parasangs, you come to a large town called Dúdhí;
  • thence to Bás,húr,4 seven;
  • thence to Mahábalastán,5 five. This is the name of the idol of that place. Thence to Újain6 nine, the idol of which place is Mahákál.
  • Thence to Dhár,6 six parasangs.

  • South from Narána at fifteen parasangs distance lies Mewar,1 which has the lofty fortress of Chitor.2
  • From the fortress to Dhár, the capital of Málwá, twenty.
  • Újain is to the east of Dhár, at the distance of nine parasangs.
  • From Újain to Mahábalastán,2 which is in Málwá,3 ten.
  • From Dhár, going south, you come to Mahúmahra,4 at the distance of twenty parasangs;
  • thence to Kundakí,5 twenty;
  • thence to Namáwar on the banks of the Nerbadda,6 ten;
  • thence to Biswar,7 twenty;
  • thence to Matdakar,8 on the banks of the Go-davery, sixty parasangs.
  • From Dhár southwards to the river Nerbadda,9 nine;
  • thence to Mahrat-des (the country of the Mahrattas), eighteen;
  • thence to Konkan, of which the capital is Tána, on the sea shore, twenty-five parasangs.

[p.61]:[Here follows the description of the Rhinoceros and Sarabha, which agrees with the original Arabic of Al Bírúní, and need not be translated in this place. The Rhinoceros is called Karkadan in the original, and appears to be the same as the καρτάξωνον of Ælian, Hist. An. XVI. 20, 21. The Sarabha is called Shardawát in the Persian, and Sharaudát in the Arabic MS.]
  • Abú Ríhán states that from Narána, in a south-west direction, lies Anhalwára1, at a distance of sixty parasangs;
  • thence to Somnát, on the sea, fifty.
  • From Anhalwára, towards the south, to Lárdes,2 of which the capitals are Bahrúj and Dhanjúr,3 forty-two. These are on the shore of the sea, to the east of Tána.
  • West from Narána4 is Múltán, at the distance of fifty parasangs;
  • thence to Bhátí,5 fifteen.
  • South-east from Bhátí is Arúr,6 at a distance of fifteen parasangs. Bhátí is situated between two arms of the Indus.
  • Thence to Bahmanú Mansúra, twenty;
  • thence to Loha-rání, the embouchure of the river, thirty parasangs.
  • From Kanauj, going north, and turning a little to the west, you come to Sharasháraha,7 fifty parasangs.
  • Thence to Pinjor, eighteen parasangs. That place is on a lofty hill,8 and opposite to it, in the

  • plains, is the city Thánesar;1
  • thence to Dahmála,2 the capital of Jalandhar, and at the base of a mountain, eighteen;
  • thence to Baláwarda, one hundred;3
  • thence towards the west, to Lidda, thirteen;
  • thence to the fort of Rájgirí, eight;
  • thence, towards the north, to Kashmir, twenty-five parasangs.
  • From Kanauj, towards the west, to Dyamau, is ten parasangs;
  • thence to Gati,4 ten;
  • thence to Ahár,5 ten;
  • thence to Mírat, ten;
  • thence, across the Jumna, to Panipat, ten;
  • thence to Kaithal,6 ten;
  • thence to Sanám, ten.
  • In going north-west from the latter place to Arat-húr,7 nine parasangs;
  • thence to Hajnír,8 six;
  • thence to Mandhúkúr,9 the capital of Loháwar,10 on the east of the river Íráwa, eight;
  • thence to the river

  • Kashmír3 is a valley surrounded by lofty inaccessible hills and broad deserts; on the east and south it is bordered by Hind; on the west by kings, of whom the nearest are Takúr Shah, then Shak-nan Sháh, and Wakhán4 Sháh, extending to the frontiers of Badakh-shán; on the north, and partly on the east, by the Turks of Chín and Tibet.
  • The people of Kashmír do not ride on quadrupeds, but are carried on men's shoulders in a Katút, which resembles a throne. The servants of the Government are always on the alert, and watch the passes and strongholds of the country. They do not allow strangers to enter the country, except by ones and twos. This prohibition extends even to Jews and Hindús, how then can any one else gain admittance? The principal entrance is at Bíráhán,5 half way between the Sind and Jailam. From that place to the bridge, at the confluence with the Jailam

[p.64]: of the Kusárí and Mámharí,1 which flow from the mountains of Shamílán,2 is eight parasangs.
  • Thence you arrive, at a distance of five days' journey, at a defile through which the Jailam runs.
  • At the end of the defile lies Dawáru-l Marsad, on both sides of the river. There the Jailam enters the plains, and turns towards Adashtán,3 the capital of Kashmír, which it reaches at a distance of two days' journey.
  • The city of Kashmír is four parasangs from Adashtán. It is built on both banks of the Jailam, on which there are many bridges and boats.
  • The source of the Jailam is in the mountains of Harmakut,4 near the source of the Ganges. This mountain is impassable on account of the exceeding cold, for the snow never melts, even when the sun is in Cancer or Leo. On the other side of it lies Máhá Chín, i.e., great Chín. After the Jailam has left the mountains, it reaches Adashtán in two days. Four parasangs from that, it expands into a lake, a parasang square, on the borders of which there is much cultivation, and a dense population. It then leaves the lake, and enters another defile near the city of Úshkárá.5
  • The Sind rises in the mountains of Ámak,6 on the borders of the

[p.65]: Turkish country. Passing by the mountains of Bilúr1 and Shamílán, it reaches in two days' journey the country of the Bhútawárí2 Turks, from whose encroachments and depredations the Kashmírians suffer great distress. Whoever travels along the left bank of the river will find villages and towns which are close to one another on the south of the capital and as far as
  • the mountain Lárjal,3 which resembles Damáwand, between which and Kashmír4 there is a distance of two parasangs. It can always be seen from the boundaries of Kashmír and Loháwar.
  • The fort of Rájgirí is to the south of it, and Lahúr, than which there is no stronger fort, is to the west.
  • At a distance of three parasangs5 is Rájáwarí, where merchants carry on much traffic, and it forms one of the boundaries of Hind on the north. On the hills to the west of it is the tribe of Afgháns, who extend to the land of Sind.
  • On the south of that tribe is the sea, on the shore of which the first city is Tíz, the capital of Makrán. The coast trends to the south-east, till it reaches Debal, at the distance of forty parasangs. Between these two cities lies the gulf of Túrán.
* * * * * * *
  • After traversing the gulf you come to the small and big mouths of the Indus;
  • then to the Bawárij, who are pirates, and are so called because they commit their depredations in boats called Baira.6 Their cities are Kach and Somnát.
  • From Debal to Túlíshar7 is fifty parasangs;


[p.67]: Twelve parasangs from that place, in an eastern direction, lies Kahkand, which is the mountain of monkeys.1
[Here follows an account of these monkeys, of some of the eastern islands, and of the rainy season.]
  • Múltán2 and Úch are subject to Dehli, and the son of the Súltán of Dehli is the governor.
  • Guzerát: There is a road from hence by land as well as by the shore of the sea to Guzerát, which is a large country, within which are Kambáya, Somnát, Kankan, Tána, and several other cities and towns. It is said that Guzerát comprises 80,000 flourishing cities, villages, and hamlets. The inhabitants are rich and happy, and during the four seasons no less than seventy different sorts of roses blow in this country. The crops which grow in the cold season derive their vigour from the dew. When that dries, the hot season commences, and that is succeeded by the rainy season, which makes the earth moist and verdant. Grapes are produced twice during the year, and the strength of the soil is such, that cotton plants grow like willows and plane-trees, and yield produce ten years running. The people are idolaters, and have a king of their own.
  • Somnát, which is the name of the idol of that place, is a temple and place of worship for the people of all parts of Hind, and Hindu idolaters come to it from great distances. Many of the more deluded devotees, in performance of their vows, pass the last stage crawling along the ground upon their sides, some approach walking upon their ancles and never touch the ground with the soles of their feet,3 others go before the idol upon their heads.
  • The men of Kambáya bring tribute from the chiefs of the island of Kís. Sugar from Malwa, bádru (balm),4 and baladí are exported in ships from the coasts of Guzerát to all countries and cities.
Beyond Guzerát are

[p.68]: Kankan and Tána;
  • beyond them the country of Malíbár, which from the boundary of Karoha1 to Kúlam,2 is 300 parasangs in length. The whole country produces the pán, in consequence of which Indians find it easy to live there, for they are ready to spend their whole wealth upon that leaf. There is much coined gold and silver there, which is not exported to any other place. Part of the territory is inland, and part on the sea shore.
They speak a mixed language, like the men of Khabálik,3 in the direction of Rúm, whom they resemble in many respects. The people are all Samanís (Buddhists), and worship idols.
Of the cities on the shore the first is Sindábúr, then Faknúr, then the country of Manjarúr,4 then the country of Hílí,5 then the country of Sadarsá,6 then Jangli, then Kúlam. The men of all these countries are Samanís.
After these comes the country of Sawálak, which comprises 125,000 cities and villages. After that comes Málwála,7 which means 1,893,000 in number. About forty years ago the king of Málwála died, and between his son and the minister a contest arose, and after several

battles they ended with dividing the territory between them. The consequence is that their enemies obtained a footing, and are always making their incursions from different parts of Hind, and carrying off goods and viands, sugar, wine, cotton cloths, captives, and great booty.1 But through the great wealth of that country, no serious injury is done.
  • M'abar,2 from Kúlam to the country of Siláwar,3 extends 300 parasangs along the shore. Its length is the same. It possesses many cities and villages, of which little is known. The king is called Dewar which means in the M'abar language, the "lord of wealth." Large ships, called in the language of China, "Junks," bring various sorts of choice merchandize and clothes from Chín and Máchín, and the countries of Hind and Sind. The merchants export from M'abar silken stuffs, aromatic roots; large pearls are brought up from the sea. The productions of this country are carried to 'Irák, Khurásán, Syria, Rum, and Europe. The country produces rubies, and aromatic grasses, and in the sea are plenty of pearls. M'abar is, as it were, the key of Hind. Within the few last years Sundar Bandi was Dewar, who, with his three brothers, obtained power in different directions, and Malik Takíu-d din bin 'Abdu-r rahmán bin Muhammadu-t Tíbí, brother of Shaikh Jamálu-d dín, was his minister and adviser, to whom he assigned the government of Fatan, Malí Fatan, and Báwal;4 and because there are no horses in M'abar, or rather those which are there are weak, it was agreed that every year Jamálu-d dín Ibráhím should send to the Dewar 1400 strong Arab horses obtained from the island of Kís, and 10,000 horses from all the islands of Fárs, such as Katíf, Lahsa, Bahrein, Hurmúz, Kilahát, etc. Each horse is reckoned worth 220 dínárs of red gold current.
* * * * * * *

In the year 692 A.H. (1293 A.D.) the Dewar died, and his wealth and possessions fell into the hands of his adversaries and opponents, and Shaikh Jamálu-d-dín who succeeded him, obtained, it is said, an accession of 7,000 bullock loads of jewels, gold, etc., and Takíu-d dín, according to previous agreement, became his lieutenant. * * *
The people of the country are very black by reason of their being near the equator. There is a large temple called Lútar.1
* * * * * * *
  • There are two courses, or roads, from this place: one leads by sea to Chín and Máchín, passing by the island of Sílán.2 It is four parasangs long, and four wide. It is parallel to the equator.
  • Sarandíp is at the foot of the Júdí3 mountain, and is called in the language of Hind Samkáda-díp (Sinhaladíp), i.e. the sleeping-place of the lion, because its appearance is like a lion in repose,4 and as that etymology is not known to the common people, they call it Sarandíp. The whole of the country is exactly under the Line. Rubies and other precious stones are found there. In the forests there are wolves and elephants, and even the Rukh is said to be there. The men are all Buddhists, and bow to, and worship images.
  • The Island of Lámúrí,5 which lies beyond it, is very large. It has a separate king.
  • Beyond it lies the country of Súmútra (Sumatra),6 and beyond

that Darband Nias,1 which is a dependency of Jáva. In the mountains of Jáva scented woods grow. In those islands are several cities, of which the chief are Arú, Barlak, Dalmían, Jáva, and Barkúdoz.2 The mountains of Jáva are very high. It is the custom of the people to puncture their hands and entire body with needles, and then rub in some black substance to colour it.
  • Opposite Lámúrí is the island of Lákwáram,3 which produces plenty of red amber. Men and women go naked, except that the latter cover the pudenda with cocoanut leaves. They are all subject to the Ká-án [Emperor of China.]
  • Passing on from this you come to a continent called Jampa, also subject to the Ká-án. The people are red and white.
  • Beyond that is Haitam,4 subject also to the Ká-án.
  • Beyond that is Máhá Chín,5 then the harbour of Zaitún,6 on the shore of China sea,7 and an officer of the Ká-án, entitled

  • Shak,1 resides there. Beyond that is Khansáí, in which the marketplace2 is six parasangs broad, from which ít may be judged how large the place is. It is subject to the deputies of the Ká-án, who are Moghals, Musulmáns, Khitáyans, and Ghuris. Khansáí3 is the capital.
  • Forty days journey from it lies Khánbálik,4 the capital of the Phœnix of the west-Káán, King of the earth.5
  • With respect to the other road which leads from M'abar
  • by way of Khitáí,
  • it commences at the city of Kábal,
  • then proceeds to the city of Kúnjú and Sunjú,
  • then to Kín,
  • then to Mali Fatan,6
  • then to Kardaráyá,
  • then to Hawáríún,7 then to Daklí,8
  • then to Bijalár,9 which, from of old, is subject to Dehli, and at this time one of the cousins of the Sultán of Dehli has conquered it, and established himself, having revolted against the Sultán. His army consists of Turks.
  • Beyond that is the country of Ratbán, then Arman,10 then Zar-dandán,11 so called because the people cover their teeth with gold.

  • [p.73]:
  • They puncture their hands, and colour them with indigo. They eradicate their beards, so that they have not a sign of hair on their faces. They are all subject to the Ká-án. This country is bounded on one side by the sea, afterwards comes the country of Ráhán, the people of which eat carrion and the flesh of men,-they likewise are subject to the Ká-án.1 Thence you arrive at the borders of Tibet, where they eat raw meat and worship images, and have no shame respecting their wives. The air is so impure that if they eat their dinner after noon they would all die. They boil tea and eat winnowed barley.
  • There is another country called Deogir, adjoining M'abar inland, the king of which is at constant enmity with the Dewar of M'abar. Its capital is Dúrú Samundúr [Dwára Samudra.]
  • Another large country is called Kandahár, which the Moghals call Karájáng. These people spring from Khitai and Hind. In the time2 of Kúbilá Ká-án,3 it was subdued by the Moghals. One of its borders adjoins Tibet, another adjoins Khitá, and another adjoins Hind.
  • Philosophers have said that there are three countries celebrated for certain peculiarities; Hind is celebrated for its armies, Kandahár for its elephants, and the Turks for their horses.

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