History of India, Volume V
About this text
The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians is a collection of translations of medieval Persian chronicles initiated by H.M. (Henry Miers) Elliot, and extended and edited by John Dowson. The work was published as a set of eight volumes between 1867-1877 in London by Trübner & Co. The work was re-issued several times subsequently. The edition used for the current selection is that printed by the Grolier Society in London, 1907. Selections have been made from Volumes V and IX . Excerpts have been transcribed from chapters giving an account of Emperor Akbar as described by Badauni, an account of India by the Greek writer Strabo and Chinese-Buddhist pilgrim Huang Tsang, a description of the great Mogul by Sir Thomas Roe and a description of Bengal by Francois Pyrard. Primary Sources: Elliot, H. M. (Henry Miers), Sir; Ed. John Dowson (1871). The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period. London : Trübner & Co. Suggested Reading: HAKLUYT, RICIIARD. The Princi'pall Navigations. 12 vols. Glasgow, 1903-5.
HISTORY of INDIA
Edited BY A. V. WILLIAMS JACKSON, Ph.D.,LL.D. Professor of lndo-Iranian Languages in Columbia University VOLUME V The Mohammedan Period as Described by its Own Historians Selected from the Works of the late SIR HENRY MIERS ELLIOT, K.C.B. East India Company's Bengal Civil Service LONDON THE GROLIER SOCIETY PUBLISHERS
1. CHAPTER XII AKBAR'S RELIGIOUS VIEWS, AS DESCRIBED BY BADAUNI Sixteenth Century A. D.
AKBAR the Great was a reformer and innovator, as has been fully shown in the preceding volume. Among the detailed accounts of his reign is a record by Abd-al-Kadir Badauni, who lived and wrote at the great emperor's court and died in 1615 a. d., ten years after his royal patron's death. The selection here chosen from Badauni's work illustrates the well-known latitudinarianism of Akbar in religious matters and shows how little favour they met with in orthodox Mohammedan eyes like those of Badauni.
In the year 983(1575 a. d.), the buildings of the Ibadat-Kmnah, or Hall of Worship, were completed. The cause of their erection was as follows. In [Page 278] the course of the last few years the emperor had gained many great and remarkable victories, and his dominion had grown in extent from day to day, so that not an enemy was left in the world. He had taken a liking for the society of ascetics and the disciples of the celebrated Mu'iniyyah, and spent much time in discussing the Word of God and the sayings of the Prophet, likewise devoting his attention to problems of Sufism, science, philosophy, law, and similar matters. He passed whole nights in meditation upon God and upon the modes of addressing Him, and reverence for the great Giver filled his heart. In order to show his gratitude for his blessings, he would sit many a morning alone in prayer and mortification upon the stone bench of an old cell in a lonely spot near the palace. Thus engaged in meditation, he gathered the bliss of the early hours of dawn.
Having completed the construction of the Hall of Worship, he made a large chamber in each of its four divisions and also finished the construction of the tank called anilptaldo. After prayers on Fridays he would go from the monastery of the Shaikh-al-Islam and hold a meeting in this new building. Shaikhs, learned and pious men, and a few of his own companions and attendants were the only people who were invited, and discussions were carried on upon all kinds of instructive and useful topics. Every Sabbath evening he invited Sayyids, shaikhs, theologians, and nobles, but ill feeling arose in the company about the order of precedence, so that his Majesty commanded that the nobles should [Page 279] sit on the east side, the Sayyids on the west, the theologians on the south, and the shaikhs on the north. His Majesty would go to these various parties from time to time and converse with them to ascertain their thoughts. Quantities of perfume were used and large sums of money were distributed as rewards of merit and ability among the worthy people who obtained an entry through the favour of the emperor's attendants. Many fine books which had belonged to Itmad Khan Gujarati and had been acquired in the conquest of [Page 280] Gujarat were placed in the royal library, but were subsequently brought out and distributed by the emperor among learned and pious men. One night the vein of the neck of the chief theologian of the age swelled up in anger and a great outcry and tumult arose. This annoyed his Majesty, and he said to the humble writer of these lines:‘In future, report any one of the assembly whom you find speaking improperly, and I will have him turned out.’ Thereupon I said quietly to Asaf Khan:‘According to this, a good many would be expelled.’ His Majesty asked what I had said, and when I told him, he was much amused, and repeated my saying to those who were near him.
In the year 983 a. h.(1575 - 1576 a. d.), Hakim Abu-l Fath Gilani, Hakim Humayun (who subsequently changed his name to Humayun Kuli and finally to Hakim Humam), and Nur-ad-din, who is known as a poet under the name of Karari, arrived at the imperial court. These three were brothers and came from Gilan near the Caspian. The eldest of them obtained an extraordinary ascendency over the emperor by his subserviency, flattering him openly and adapting himself to every change in the religious ideas of his Majesty, so that, by thus pushing forward, he soon became one of Akbar's most intimate friends. Shortly afterward, Mulla Mohammad of Yazd came to court, whom they nick-named Yazidi [devil-worshipper]. He attached himself to the emperor and concocted the most extravagant censures against the Companions of the Prophet (the peace of God be upon them!). He told extraor [Page 281] dinary stories about them and tried hard to make the emperor a heretic. This man was far distanced by Birbal, Shaikh Abu-l-Fazl, and Hakim Abu-l-Fath, who turned the emperor from the Faith of the Prophet and made him a perfect sceptic of inspiration, the prophetic office, the miracles, and the law. They carried matters to such an extent that I, the author, could no longer bear them company.
About the same time, his Majesty ordered Kazi Jalal-ad-din and several other learned men to write a commentary upon the Koran, but they fell to squabbling about it. As history was read from day to day, his Majesty's faith in the Companions of the Prophet began to be shaken and the breach grew broader, so that daily prayers, fasts, and prophecies were all pronounced to be delusions opposed to sense. Reason, not revelation, was declared to be the basis of religion. Europeans also paid visits to him and he adopted some of their rationalistic tenets.
His Majesty used frequently to go to the Hall of Worship and converse with the theologians and shaikhs, especially on Sabbath evenings, and would sometimes pass the whole night there. The discussions always turned upon the principles and divergencies of religion, and the disputants used to exercise the sword of their tongues upon each other with such sharpness and animosity that the various sects at length took to calling each other infidels and renegades. Innovators and schismatics artfully started their doubts and sophistries, making right appear to be wrong and wrong to [Page 282] be right, and thus his Majesty, who had an excellent understanding and sought after the truth, but was surrounded by low irreligious persons to whom he gave his confidence, was plunged into scepticism. Doubt accumulated upon doubt and the object of his search was lost. The ramparts of the law and of the true faith were broken down, and in the course of five or six years not a single trace of Islam was left in him. There were many reasons for this, but I shall mention only a few. Learned men of various kinds and from every country, as well as adherents of many different religions and creeds, assembled at his court and were admitted to converse with him. Night and day people did nothing but inquire and investigate. Profound points of science, the subtleties of revelation, the curiosities of history, and the wonders of nature were the continual themes of discussion. His Majesty collected the opinions of every one, especially of those who were not Mohammedans, retaining whatever he approved and rejecting everything which was against his disposition and ran counter to his wishes. From his earliest childhood to his manhood, and from his manhood to old age, his Majesty passed through the most diverse phases and through all sorts of religious practices and sectarian beliefs, and collected everything which people can find in books, with a talent of selection peculiar to him and a spirit of inquiry opposed to every Islamitic principle.
Thus a faith, based on some elementary principles, traced itself on the mirror of his heart, and as the result [Page 283] of all the influences which were brought to bear upon him, there grew (as gradually as the outline on a stone) the conviction in his heart that there were sensible men in all religions, and abstemious thinkers and men endowed with miraculous powers among all na tions. If some true knowledge was thus to be found everywhere, why should truth be confined to one religion or to a creed like Islam, which was comparatively new and scarcely a thousand years old? Why should one sect assert what another denies, and why should one claim a preference without having superiority conferred on itself ?
Moreover, Hindu ascetics and Brahmans managed to get frequent private interviews with his Majesty. [Page 284] As they surpass all other learned men in their treatises on morals and on physical and religious sciences, and since they attain a high degree of knowledge of the future and of spiritual power and human perfection, they brought proofs based on reason and testimony for the truth of their own religion and the falsity of other faiths, and inculcated their doctrines so firmly, and so skilfully represented things as quite self-evident which require consideration, that no man, by expressing his doubts, could now raise a doubt in his Majesty, even though the mountains should crumble to dust or the heavens be torn asunder.
Hence his Majesty cast aside the Islamitic revelations regarding the resurrection, the Day of Judgment, and the details connected with it, together with all ordinances based on the tradition of our Prophet. He listened to every insult which the courtiers heaped on our pure and glorious faith, which can so easily be followed; and eagerly seizing such opportunities, his words and gestures showed his satisfaction at the treatment which his original religion received at the hands of these apostates.
In 986 a. h.(1578 a. d.), the missionaries of Europe, who are termed Padris, and whose chief pontiff, called Papa(Pope), promulgates his interpretations for the use of the people and issues mandates that even kings dare not disobey, brought their Gospel to the king's notice, advanced proofs of the Trinity, affirmed the truth of the Christian faith, and spread abroad the knowledge of the religion of Jesus. The king ordered [Page 287] Prince Murad to learn a few lessons from the Gospel and to treat it with all due respect, while Shaikh Abu-l Fazl was directed to translate it.
On the other hand, Birbal the Hindu tried to persuade the king that since the sun gives light to all, and ripens all grain, fruits, and products of the earth, and supports the life of mankind, that luminary should be the object of worship and veneration; that the face should be turned toward the rising, not toward the setting, sun; that man should venerate fire, water, stones, trees, and all natural objects, even down to cows and their dung; and that he should adopt the frontal mark and the Brahmanical cord. Several wise men at court confirmed what he said by representing that the sun was the chief light of the world and the benefactor of its inhabitants, that it was a friend to kings and that monarchs established periods and eras in conformity with its motions. This was the cause of the worship paid to the sun on the New Year of the Persian emperor Jalal-ad-din, and the reason why he had been induced to adopt that festival for the celebration of his accession to the throne. Every day, therefore, Akbar used to put on clothes of the particular colour which accorded with that of the regent planet of the day. He began also, at midnight and at early dawn, to mutter the spells which the Hindus taught him for the purpose of subduing the sun to his wishes. He prohibited the slaughter of cows and the eating of their flesh, because the Hindus devoutly worship them and esteem their dung as pure. He likewise declared [Page 288] that physicians had represented the flesh of kine to be productive of sundry kinds of sickness and to be difficult to digest.
Fire-worshippers also came from Nausari in Gujarat, proclaiming the religion of Zardusht [Zoroaster] as the true one and asserting that reverence to fire is superior to every other kind of worship. They attracted the king's regard and taught him the peculiar terms, ordinances, rites, and ceremonies of the ancient Persians; so that at last he directed that the sacred fire should be made over to the charge of Abu-l-Fazl, and that, according to the fashion of the Kings of Iran, in whose temples blazed perpetual fires, he should take care that it was never extinguished either by night or day—for that it is one of the emblems of God and one light from among the many lights of His creation. From his earliest youth, in compliment to his wives, the daughters of the Rajas of Hind, Akbar had, within the female apartments, continued to burn the horn, which is a ceremony derived from fire-worship; but on the New Year festival of the twenty-fifth year after his accession (987 a. h., 1579 a. d.) he prostrated himself both before the sun and before the fire in public, and in the evening the whole court were required to rise up respectfully when the lamps and candles were lighted. On the festival of the eighth day after the sun's entrance into Virgo in this year, Akbar came forth to the public audience-chamber with his forehead marked like a Hindu and with jewelled strings tied on his wrist by Brahmans as a blessing. The chiefs and nobles [Page 289] adopted the same practice in imitation of him and on that day presented pearls and precious stones suitable to their respective wealth and station. It also became the current custom to wear on the wrist the rakhi, an amulet formed of twisted linen rags. In defiance and contempt of the true faith, he treated as manifest and decisive every precept which was enjoined by the doctors of other religions. The teachings of Islam, on the contrary, were esteemed follies, innovations, and inventions of indigent beggars, rebels, and highway robbers; and those who professed that religion were set down as contemptible idiots. These sentiments had long been growing up in his Majesty's mind, and gradually ripened into a firm conviction of their truth.
In this same year, a declaration was issued over the signatures and seals of Makhdum-al-Mulk, Shaikh Abd-an-Nabi, the chief judge, Jalal-addin Multani, the chief justice, Sadr-i Jahan, the chief expounder of the law, Shaikh Mubarak, the most learned man of the age, and Ghazi Khan Badakhshi, who had no rival in the science of metaphysics. The object of [Page 290] this document was to establish the complete superiority of the just leader over the chief lawyer and to make the judgment and choice of the latter so preponderating an authority on divers questions that no one could possibly reject his commands, either in religious or political matters.
This declaration ran, in part, as follows: ‘We have determined and do decree that the rank of a just ruler is higher in the eyes of God than the rank of a chief lawyer. Further, we declare that the Sultan of Islam, the refuge of mankind, the leader of the faithful, and the shadow of God on earth—Abu-l-Fath Jalal-ad-din Mohammad Akbar Padshah-i Ghazi (whose kingdom may God perpetuate) —is a most just, wise, and God-fearing king. If, therefore, there should be a variance of opinion among the chief lawyers upon questions of religion, and if his Majesty, in his penetrating understanding and unerring judgment, should incline to one opinion and give his decree for the benefit of mankind and for the due regulation of the world, we do hereby agree that such a decree is binding on us and on the whole nation. Furthermore, we declare that should his Majesty, in his unerring judgment, issue an order which is not in opposition to the Koran and which is for the benefit of the nation, it shall be binding and imperative on every man. Opposition to it shall involve damnation in the world to come and loss of religion and property in this life. This document has been written with honest intentions for the glory of God and the propagation of Islam, and is signed by us, the principal [Page 291] divines and lawyers, in the month of Rajab, 987 a. h. (1579 a. d.).’
The draft of this document was in the handwriting of Shaikh Mubarak. The others had signed it against their will, but the Shaikh of his own accord added at the bottom that he had most willingly signed his name, for it was a matter to which he had been anxiously looking forward for several years.
After his Majesty had obtained this legal opinion, the road of deciding religious questions was opened, the superiority of the judgment of the Imam was established, and opposition was rendered impossible. The legal distinction between lawful and unlawful was set aside, the judgment of the Imam became paramount over the dogmas of the law, and Islam was called a counterfeit. His Majesty had now determined publicly to use the formula:‘There is no god but God, and Akbar is the representative of God’ but as he found that the extravagance of this phrase led to commotions, he restricted its use to a few people in the harem.
In 990 a. h.(1582 a. d.), his Majesty was firmly convinced that a period of one thousand years from the mission of the Prophet was the extent of the duration of the religion of Islam, and that this period was now accomplished. There was no longer any obstacle to promulgating the designs which he secretly held, for now he was free from the respect and reverence due to the shaikhs and divines and from the deference owing to their authority. To his entire satisfaction, he was [Page 292] able to carry out his project of overturning the dogmas and principles of Islam, to set up his novel, absurd, and dangerous regulations, and to give currency to his own vicious beliefs.
In 991 a. h. (1583 a. d.) the King erected two buildings outside the city where he might feed holy men, both Mussulman and Hindu. Some of Abu-l-Fazls people were in charge and used to spend the king's money in procuring food. As Hindu ascetics also used to flock there in great numbers, a separate house was built for them and called Jogipura. Nightly sessions were held in private with some of these men, and they used to employ themselves in various follies and extravagancies, in contemplations, gestures, addresses, abstractions, and reveries, and in alchemy, incantation, [Page 293] and magic. The king himself studied alchemy and used to exhibit the gold which he made. One night in the year, called Shiv-rat (the night of Siva), was appointed for a grand assembly of ascetics from all parts of the country, and on this occasion his Majesty would eat and drink with the best of them, being especially gratified by their assurances that he was destined to live three or four times longer than the natural life of man.
2. CHAPTER XIII FROM THE MEMOIRS OF THE EMPEROR JAHANGIR 1605 - 1628 A. D.
THE Memoirs of the Emperor Jahangir are written in the form of annals, which give the main events of each year in chronological order. They are preserved in two forms: one set of copies, a first edition, comprises twelve years of the emperor's reign; the other, which is extremely rare, carries the records through the eighteenth year. Having the nature both of a journal and an autobiography, these Memoirs are very valuable and are certainly interesting when taken as a whole, even if some of the detailed items and more special matters are, to some extent, lacking in attractiveness. The character of the Memoirs in general proves Jahangir to have been a man of more than ordinary ability, and in spite of weaknesses and faults, which he acknowledges and puts on record with unusual candour, they leave on the mind a favourable impression of the emperor's nature and his talents. The first extracts, as given below, relate to the beginning of Ja [Page 295] hangir's reign and to the Twelve Institutes which he ordained as regulations throughout his realm.
3. Of wine and all kinds of intoxicating liquors
Wine and all sorts of intoxicating liquor were forbidden and might neither be made nor sold; although I myself have been accustomed to drink wine and from my eighteenth year to the present, which is the thirty-eighth year of my age, have regularly partaken of it. In early days, when I craved for drink, I sometimes took as many as twenty cups of double-distilled liquor. In course of time it seriously affected me and I set about reducing the quantity. In the period of seven years I brought it down to five or six cups. My times of drinking varied; sometimes I began when two or three hours of the day remained; and sometimes I took it at night and a little in the day. I kept this up until my thirtieth year, when I resolved to drink only at night, [Page 297] and at present I drink wine solely to promote the digestion of my food.
4. Prohibition of seizing houses and of cutting off the noses and ears of criminals.
No one was permitted to take up his abode in the dwelling of another. I likewise issued an order prohibiting every one from cutting off the noses or ears of criminals for any offence, and I made a vow to heaven that I would never inflict this punishment on any one.
5. Prohibition of the slaughter of animals on certain days.
In imitation of my honoured father, the Emperor Akbar, I directed that every year from the eighteenth of Rabi'-al-awwal, my birthday, no animals should be slaughtered for a number of days corresponding to the years of my age. In every week, moreover, two days were to be exempted from slaughter: Thursday, the day of my accession, and Sunday, the birthday of my father.
7. JAHANGIR'S JOURNEY TO KASHMIR
On Thursday, the fourteenth, we encamped in the sub-district of Chandwala, and, after one intervening stage, arrived at Hafizabad on Saturday. In two marches more I reached the banks of the Chinab, and on Thursday, the twenty-first of Zu-l-hijja, I crossed the river by a bridge of boats and pitched my tents in the sub-district of Gujarat. When the Emperor Akbar was proceeding to Kashmir, he built a fort on the other side of this river, where he settled the Gujars, who had hitherto been devoted to plunder. The place was consequently named Gujarat and formed into a separate sub-district. The Gujars live chiefly upon milk and curds, and seldom cultivate land.
On Friday, we arrived at Khawaspur, five leagues from Gujarat, and after two further marches we [Page 304] reached the banks of the Behat, where we pitched our tents. In the night a very strong wind blew, dark clouds obscured the sky, and it rained so heavily that even the oldest persons said they had never seen such floods. The storm ended with showers of hailstones, which were as large as hens' eggs, and the torrent of water, combined with the wind, broke the bridge. I crossed the river in a boat with the ladies of my harem, and as there were but very few boats for the other men, I ordered them to wait till the bridge was repaired. This was accomplished in a week, after which the whole camp crossed the river without trouble.
The source of the river Behat is a fountain in Kashmir called Virnag, a word which in the Hindi language signifies a snake, since it appears that at one time a very large serpent haunted the spot. I visited this source twice during the lifetime of my father. It is about twenty leagues from the city of Kashmir and rises in an octagonal basin about twenty yards in length by twenty in breadth. The neighbourhood contains many vestiges of the abodes of devotees, consisting of numerous caves and chambers made of stone. The water of this spring is so clear that, although its depth is said to be beyond estimation, if a poppy-seed be thrown in, it will be visible till it reaches the bottom. There are very fine fish in it. As I was told that the fountain was unfathomably deep, I ordered a stone to be tied to the end of a rope and thrown into it, and thus it was found that its depth did not exceed the height of a man and a half. After my accession to the [Page 305] throne, I ordered its sides to be paved with stones, a garden to be made round it, and the stream which flowed from it to be similarly decorated on both sides. Such elegant chambers and edifices were raised on each side of the basin that there is scarcely anything to equal it throughout the inhabited world. The river expands much as it approaches the village of Pampur, which lies ten leagues from the city of Kashmir. All the saffron of Kashmir is the product of this village, and perhaps there is no other place in the world where saffron is produced so abundantly. I visited this place once with my father in the season in which the plant blossoms. In all other trees we see, they first get the branches, then the leaves, and last of all the flower. But it is quite otherwise with this plant, for it blossoms when it is only about two inches above the ground. Its flower is of a bluish colour, having four leaves and four threads of orange colour, like those of safflower, equal in length to one joint of the finger. The fields of saffron are sometimes half a league or a league in length and they look very beautiful at a distance. In the season when it is collected, the saffron has such a strong smell that people get headache from it, and even though I had taken a glass of wine, yet I myself was affected by it. I asked the Kashmirians who were employed in collecting it whether it had any effect upon them, and was surprised by their reply that ‘they did not even know what headache was.’ The stream that flows from the fountain of Virnag is called Behat in Kashmir, and becomes a large river [Page 306] after being joined by many other smaller ones on both sides. It runs through the city, and in some places its breadth does not exceed a bow-shot. Nobody drinks its water, since it is very dirty and unwholesome, but all quench their thirst from a tank called Dal, which is near the city. After falling into this tank, the Behat takes its course through Barah-Mulah, Pakali, and Damtaur and then enters the Panjab. There are many rivulets and fountains in Kashmir, but Darahlar, which joins the Behat at the village of Shihab-ad-dinpur, is the best of all the streams.
This latter village is one of the most famous places in Kashmir, and in a piece of verdant land in it there are nearly a hundred handsome plane-trees, whose branches interlace and afford a deep and extensive shade. The surface of the land is so covered with green that it requires no carpet to be spread on it. The village was founded by Sultan Zain-al-Abidin, who ruled firmly over Kashmir for fifty-two years. He was there called Baroshah, or the Great King, and is said to have performed many miracles. The remains of many of his buildings are still to be seen there, and among them there is a building called Barin Lanka, which he built with great difficulty in the middle of the lake called Ulur (Wulur), which is three or four leagues in circumference and is exceedingly deep.
To form the foundation of this building, boat-loads of stone were thrown into the lake, but as this proved of no avail, some thousands of boats laden with stones were sunk, and thus with great labour a foundation [Page 307] a hundred yards square was raised above the water and smoothed. On one side of it were erected a palace and a place for the worship of God, than which no finer buildings can anywhere be found. Zain-al-Abidin used to come to this place in a boat and devote his time to the worship of Almighty God, so that it is said that he passed many periods of forty days there.
Kashmir is a delightful country in the seasons of autumn and spring. I visited it in the former season and found it even more charming than I had antici [Page 308] pated. I was never there in spring, but I hope sometime or other to be there during that season.
On Tuesday, the fourteenth, I marched four leagues and three-quarters to Tillah, which means ‘a hill’ in the Gakkar language. From that place I proceeded to the village of Bhakra, which in the language of the same people is the name of a shrub with odourless white flowers. From Tillah to Bhakra I marched the whole way through the bed of the Kahan, in which water was then flowing, while the oleander bushes were in full bloom and of exquisite colour, like peach blossoms. These shrubs grew in special abundance at the sides of this stream, so I ordered my personal attendants, both horse and foot, to bind bunches of the flowers in their turbans and directed that the turbans of those who would not decorate themselves in this fashion should be taken off their heads. I thus got up a beautiful garden.
On Saturday, the eighth, I marched four and a half leagues through a country very bare of trees to a place called Khar, which in the Gakkar language means ‘broken ground’. This country is very bare of trees. On Sunday, I pitched my camp on the other side of Rawal Pindi, so called because it was founded by a Hindu named Rawal, and in that language Pindi means [Page 310] ‘a village.’ Near this place there is a stream of water in a ravine which empties into a tank about a bowshot in breadth. As the place was not destitute of charms, I remained there for a short time. I asked the Gakkars what the depth of the water was. They gave no specific answer, but said: ‘We have heard from our fathers that there are alligators in this water which wound and kill every animal that goes into it, so that no one dares to enter it.’ I ordered a sheep to be thrown into the water, which swam around the whole tank and came out safe. After that I ordered a swimmer to go in and he also emerged unharmed, thus proving that there was no foundation for what the Gakkars asserted.
On Monday I encamped at Kharbuza, which receives its name of ‘melon’ from the shape of a domed structure erected here in ancient days by the Gakkars for the collection of toll from travellers. The following day, the camp moved to Kala-pani, which means in Hindi ‘black water.’ On this march the road passes a hill called Margalla. Mar, in Hindi, signifies ‘to rob on the highway,’ while galla denotes ‘a caravan,’ so that the entire name implies a place where caravans are plundered. This hill forms the boundary of the country of the Gakkars, who are strange fellows, always squabbling and fighting with one another. I did all I could to effect a reconciliation, but without effect. On Wednesday, our camp was at Baba Hasan Abdal. About a league to the east of this place there is a cascade, over which the water flows with great rapidity.
On the whole road to Kabul there is no stream like this, but on the road from that city to Kashmir there are two or three of the same kind. Raja Man Singh raised a small edifice in the middle of the basin whence the water flows. There are several fish in it, half or a quarter of a yard long. I stayed three days at this charming spot, drank wine with my intimate companions, and also had some sport in the way of fishing.
Up to this time I had never thrown the safra net, which in Hindi they call bhanwar jal. This net is one of the commonest kind, but to throw it is a matter of some difficulty. I tried it with my own hand and succeeded in getting twelve fish. I strung pearls in their noses and let them go again in the water.
On the fifteenth of Muharram I encamped at Amardi, a most extraordinary green plain, in which you cannot see a mound or hillock of any kind. At this place and in the neighbourhood there are seven or eight thousand houses of Khaturs and Dilazaks, who practise every kind of turbulence, oppression, and highway robbery. I gave orders that the division of Attok, as well as this tract of country, should be made over to Zafar Khan, the son of Zain Khan Koka, and I gave him directions that before the return of the royal camp from Kabul he should march all the Dilazaks off toward Lahore and should seize the chiefs of the Khaturs and keep them fettered in prison.