Famine and Dearth

Tuzuk-I-Jahangiri Vol.01

About this text

Introductory notes

Tuzuk-I-Jahangiri contains the memoirs of Emperor Jahangir (1569-1627). The chronicle is partly composed by the emperor himself, who composed the first volume till the 12th year of his reign and then later gave it up in the seventeenth. The chronicle was then extended up to the beginning of the nineteenth year by Mutamad Khan. The printed edition of the Persian text was compiled Sir Syed Ahmed Khan at Ghazipur in 1863 and Aligarh in 1864. His edition contains the additions made by Mutamad Khan and Muhammad Hadi. Tuzuk-I-Jahangiri was translated into English by Alexander Rogers and then revised with the addition of notes by Henry Beveridge. Our selections contain excerpts on the emperor's observations on agriculture, diseases, vegetation, climate and dietary regulations.

Primary Reading Emperor Jahangir, Tuzuk-I-Jahangiri, English edn. trans.Alexander Rogers, ed.Henry Beveridge, Vols. I-II, London: Royal Asiatic Society,1909-1914 Emperor Jahangir, Tuzuk-I-Jahangiri, Persian, ed. Sir Syed Ahmed, Aligarh: Aligarh Muslim University, 2006

THE
TUZUK-I-JAHANGIRI
OR
MEMOIRS OF JAHANGIR

FROM THE FIRST TO THE TWELFTH
YEAR OF HIS REIGN.
LONDON: ROYAL ASIATIC SOCIETY
22 ALBEMARLE STREET
1909

1.

[Page 5]

Melons, mangoes, and other fruits grow well in Agra and its neighbourhood. Of all fruits I am very fond of mangoes. In the reign of my father ('Arsh-ashyāni) many fruits of other countries, which till then were not to be had in India, were obtained there. Several sorts of grapes, such as the sahibi and the habshi and the kishmishi, became common in several towns ; for instance, in the bazars of Lahore every kind and variety that may be desired can be had in the grape season. Among fruits, one which they call ananās(pineapple), which is grown in the Frank ports, 2is of excessive fragrance and fine flavour. Many thousands are produced every year now in the Gul-afshān garden at Agra.

2.

[Page 7]

After my accession, the first order that I gave was for the fastening up of the Chain of Justice, so that if those engaged in the administration of justice should delay or practise hypocrisy in the matter of those seeking justice, the oppressed might come to this chain and shake it so that its noise might attract attention. Its fashion was this : I ordered them to make a chain of pure gold, 1 30 gaz in length and containing 60 bells. Its weight was 4 Indian maunds, equal to 42 'Iraqi maunds. One end of it they made fast to the battlements of the Shah Burj of the fort at Agra and the other to a stone post fixed on the bank of the river. I also gave twelve orders to be observed as rules of conduct (dasturu-l-'amal) in all my dominions—

(1)Forbidding the levy of cesses under the names of tamghā and mir bahri (river tolls), and other burdens which the jāgirdārs of every province and district had imposed for their own profit.

(2) On roads where thefts and robberies took place, which roads might be at a little distance from habitations, the [Page 8] jagirdars of the neighbourhood should build sarā'is(public rest-houses), mosques, and dig wells, which might stimulate population, and people might settle down in those sarāis. If these should be near a khālisa estate (under direct State management), the administrator (mutasaddi) of that place should execute the work.

(3) The bales of merchants should not be opened on the roads without informing them and obtaining their leave.

(4) In my dominions if anyone, whether unbeliever or Musalman, should die, his property and effects should be left for his heirs, and no one should interfere with them. If he should have no heir, they should appoint inspectors and separate guardians to guard the property, so that its value might be expended in lawful expenditure, such as the building of mosques and sarāis, the repair of broken bridges, and the digging of tanks and wells.

(5) They should not make wine or rice-spirit (darbahra)2 or any kind of intoxicating drug, or sell them ; although I myself drink wine, and from the age of 18 years up till now, when I am 38, have persisted in it. When I first took a liking to drinking I sometimes took as much as twenty cups of double-distilled spirit; when by degrees it acquired a great influence over me I endeavoured to lessen the quantity, and in the period of seven years I have brought myself from fifteen cups to five or six. My times for drinking were varied ; sometimes when three or four sidereal hours of the day remained I would begin to drink, and sometimes at night and partly by day. This went on till I was 30 years old. After that I took to drinking always at night. Now I drink only to digest my food.

(6) They should not take possession of any person's house.

[Page 9]

(7) I forbade the cutting off the nose or ears of any person, and I myself made a vow by the throne of God that I would not blemish anyone by this punishment.

(8)I gave an order that the officials of the Crown lands and the jāgirdārs should not forcibly take the ryots' lands and cultivate them on their own account.

(9)A government collector or a jagirdār should not without permission intermarry with the people of the pargana in which he might be.

(10) They should found hospitals in the great cities, and appoint physicians for the healing of the sick ; whatever the expenditure might be, should be given from the khālisa establishment.

(11) In accordance with the regulations of my revered father, I ordered that each year from the 18th 1 of Rabi'u-l- awwal, which is my birthday, for a number of days corre-sponding to the years of my life, they should not slaughter animals (for food). Two days in each week were also forbidden, one of them Thursday, the day of my accession, and the other Sunday, the day of my father's birth. He held this day in great esteem on this account, and because it was dedicated to the Sun, and also because it was the day on which the Creation began. Therefore it was one of the days on which there was no killing in his dominions.

(12) I gave a general order that the offices and jāgirs of my father's servants should remain as they were. Later, the mansabs (ranks or offices) were increased according to [Page 10] each one's circumstances by not less than 20 per cent, to 300 or 400 per cent. The subsistence money of the ahadis was increased by 50 per cent., and I raised the pay of all domestics by 20 per cent. I increased the allowances of all the veiled ladies of my father's harem from 20 per cent, to 100 per cent., according to their condition and relation-ship. By one stroke of the pen I confirmed the subsistence lands 1 of the holders of aimas(charity lands) within the dominions, who form the army of prayer, according to the deeds in their possession. I gave an order to Miran Sadr Jahān, who is one of the genuine Sayyids of India, and who for a long time held the high office of sadr(ecclesiastical officer) under my father, that he should every day produce before me deserving people (worthy of charity). I released all criminals who had been confined and imprisoned for a long time in the forts and prisons.

3.

[Page 45]

Of the austerities practised by my revered father, one was the not eating the flesh of animals. During three months of the year he ate meat, and for the remaining nine contented himself with Sufi food, and was no way pleased with the slaughter of animals. On many days and in many months this was forbidden to the people. The days and months on which he did not eat flesh are detailed in the Akbarnāma.

On one of my accession days, a hundred of the Akbari and Jahāngiri servants were promoted to higher rank and jagirs. At the commencement of the Ramazān 'Id, as it was the first after my accession, I came down to the 'Idgāh from my auspicious throne. There was a great crowd, and having performed the dues of thanksgiving and praise [Page 46] I returned to the palace, where according to the verse "From the table of kings favours come to beggars," I commanded a sum of money to be spent in alms and charity.

4.

[Page 47]

As I had remitted in my dominions customs duties amounting to krors, I abolished also all the transit dues (sāir-jihat) in Kabul, which is one of the noted towns on the road to Hindustan. These brought in 1 kror and 23 lakhs of dams. From the provinces of Kabul and Qandahar large sums used to be derived every year from customs (zakāt), which were in fact the chief revenue of those places. I remitted these ancient dues, a proceeding that greatly benefited the people of Iran and Turan.

I promoted Sharif Āmuli to the rank of 2,500, original and increase. He is a pure-hearted, lively-spirited man. Though he has no tincture of current sciences, lofty words and exalted knowledge often manifest themselves in him. In the dress of a faqir he made many journeys, and he [Page 48] has friendship with many saints and recites the maxims of those who profess mysticism. This is his conversation, not his practice (qāli-u ast na hāli). In the time of my revered father he relinquished the garments of poverty and asceticism, and attained to amirship and chiefship. His utterance is exceedingly powerful, and his conversation is remarkably eloquent and pure, although he is without Arabic. His compositions also are not devoid of verve.

5. THE GREAT FEAST OF NAUROZ

As this was the first New Year's Day after my auspicious accession I ordered them to decorate the porticoes of the private and public halls of the palace, as in the time of my revered father, with delicate stuffs, and to adorn them handsomely. From the first day of the Nauruz to the 19th degree of the Ram (Aries), which is the day of culmination, the people gave themselves over to enjoyment and happiness. Players and singers of all bands and castes were gathered together. Dancing lulis and charmers of India whose caresses would [Page 49] captivate the hearts of angels kept up the excitement of the assemblies. I gave orders that whoever might wish for intoxicating drinks and exhilarating drugs should not be debarred from using them.

"Cupbearer! brighten my cup with the light of wine;
Sing, minstrel, for the world has ordered itself as I desire."
1

6.

[Page 69]

For the sake of good government I ordered posts to be set up on both sides of the road from the garden to the city, and ordered them to hang up and impale the seditious Aimāqs and others who had taken part in the rebellion. Thus each one of them received an extraordinary punishment. I gave headship to those landholders who had shown loyalty, and to every one of the Chaudharis between the Jhelam and the Chenāb I gave lands for their support.

7.

[Page 75]

In the whole of the hereditary dominions, both the crown lands and the jagirs, I ordered the preparation of bulghur-khānas (free eating-houses), where cooked food might be provided for the poor according to their condition, and so that residents and travellers both might reap the benefit.

8.

[Page 81]

On Wednesday the 13th the solar weighing of Parwiz took place. They weighed him twelve times against various metals and other things, and each weighing came to two maunds and eighteen seers. I ordered the whole to be distributed amongst faqirs. At this time the rank of Shajā'at Khān was fixed at 1,500 personal and 700 horse, original and extra.

9.

[Page 83]

I found the flesh of the mountain goat more delicious than that of all wild animals, although its skin is exceedingly ill-odoured, so much so that even when tanned the scent is not destroyed. I ordered one of the largest of the he-goats to be weighed ; it was 2 maunds and 24 seers, equal to 21 foreign maunds [Page 84] (Persian). I ordered a large ram to be weighed, and it came to 2 maunds and 3 seers Akbari, equal to 17 Persian (wilayati) maunds. The largest and strongest of the wild asses weighed 9 maunds and 16 seers, equal to 76 Persian (wilayati) maunds. I have frequently heard from hunters and those fond of the chase that at a certain regular time a worm develops in the horns of the mountain ram, and that this worm causes an irritation which induces the ram to fight with his hind, and that if he finds no rival he strikes his head against a tree or a rock to allay the irritation. After enquiry it seems that the same worm appears in the horn of the female sheep, and since the female does not fight the statement is clearly untrue. Though the flesh of the wild ass is lawful food and most men like to eat it, it was in no way suited to my taste.

10.

[Page 90]

On Tuesday the royal standards alighted at Jahāngirpur, which is one of my fixed hunting-places. In this neighbourhood had been erected by my order a >manār at the head of the grave of an antelope called Mansaraj, which was without equal in fights with tame [Page 91] antelopes and in hunting wild ones. On a stone of that manar was carved this prose composition, written by Mullā Muhammad Husain of Kashmir, who was the chief of the elegant writers of the day : "In this enchanting place an antelope came into the world-holding (jahān-giri) net of the God-knowing ruler Nuru-d-din Jahāngir Pādshāh. In the space of one month, having overcome his desert fierceness, he became the head of the special antelopes." On account of the rare quality of this antelope, I commanded that no person should hunt the deer of this plain, and that their flesh should be to Hindus and Muhammadans as is the flesh of cows and pigs. They made the gravestone in the shape of an antelope. I ordered Sikandar Mu'in, the jagirdar of the aforesaid pargana, to build a strong fort in the village of Jahangirpur.

11.

[Page 92]

Thence, with two halts in the middle, I pitched on the bank of the Bihat (Jhelam). On that night a great wind blew and a black cloud hid the face of the sky. The rain was of such violence that old men remembered none such. It turned to hail, and every hailstone was the size of a hen's egg. From the flooding of the river and the force of the wind and rain, the bridge broke. I, with the inmates of the harem, crossed in a boat. As there were few boats, I ordered the men not to cross in these, but to rebuild the bridge. It was finished in a week, and the whole army crossed with ease. The source of the Bihat is a spring in Kashmir called the Vir-nāg ; in the language of India a snake is vir-nāg.

12.

[Page 93]

The annual crop is 500 maunds by Hindustan weight, equal to 5,000 wilayat (Persian) maunds. In attendance on my revered father, I went to this place at the season when the saffron was in flower. On other plants of the world, first the branches (stems) shoot out and then the leaves and flowers. On the contrary, when the saffron stem is four fingers breadth from the dry ground, its flowers shoot out, of the colour of the iris, with four petals, and in the middle are four threads (risha) of an orange colour like that of the flower, and of the length of a finger-joint. This is the saffron. The land is not ploughed or irrigated, the plant springs up amongst the clods. In some places its cultivation extends for a kos, and in others for half a kos. It looks better from a distance. At the time of plucking, all my attendants got headache from its sharp scent. Though I drank wine and took a cup, I too got headache. I asked the animal-like Kashmiris, who were employed in picking the flowers, how they felt. I ascertained that they had never experienced headache in their lives.

The waters from the spring Vir-nāg and of other streams and nullahs that join from right and left form the river Bihat, which passes through the heart of the city. Its breadth in most places is not more than a bowshot. No one drinks its water, because of its heaviness and indigestibility. All the people of Kashmir drink the water of a lake that is near the city, and is called Dall. The river Bihat enters this lake and flows through to the Panjab by the Bārāmula Pass, Pakli, and Dantur.

13.

[Page 96]

On Tuesday the 4th of the month, having travelled four kos and three-quarters, I encamped at Tila. Thence I came down to the village of Bhakra. In the Ghakhar p[Page 97] tongue bhakra is a jungle. The jungle was composed of clusters of flowers, white and scentless. I came the whole way from Tila to Bhakra in the middle of the river-bed, which had running water in it, with oleander flowers of the colour of peach-blossom. In Hindustan this plant is always in full bloom {purbār). There was much of it on the banks of this river. The horsemen and men on foot who were with me were told to put bunches of the flower on their heads, and whoever did not do so had his turban taken off; a wonderful flower-bed was produced.

14.

[Page 97]

On Thursday the 6th of the month the halting-place was at Hatyā. On this road many palās-trees (Butea frondosa) were in blossom. This flower, too, is peculiar to the jungles of Hindustan ; it has no scent, but its colour is flaming orange. The base of the flower is black ; the flower itself is as big as a red rose. It is so beautiful that one cannot take one's eyes off it. As the air was very sweet and clouds had hidden the sun, and rain was gently sprinkled about, I felt an inclination to drink wine.

15.

[Page 100]

Khwāja Shamsu-d-din Muhammad Khwāfi, who was for long employed as Vizier by my revered father, had made a platform and a reservoir there, into which is led the water from the spring, and thence is used in cultivation and in gardens. On the edge of this terrace he had built a dome for his own burial. By chance his destiny was not there, and (the bodies of) Hakim Abu-l-fath Gilāni and his brother Hakim Humām, who were close to the person and had the complete confidence of my revered father, were placed in that dome in accordance with his order.

16.

[Page 106]

First of all I walked round the Shahr-ārā (city-adorning), then the Mahtāb (moonlight) garden, then the garden that Bika Begam, grandmother of my father, had made, then passed through the Urta-bāgh (middle garden), then a garden that Maryam-makāni, my own grandmother, had prepared, then the Surat-khāna garden, which has a large chanār-tree, the like of which there is not in the other gardens of Kabul. Then, having seen the Chārbāgh, which is the largest of the city gardens, I returned to my own abode. There were abundance of cherries on the trees, each of which looked as it were a round ruby, hanging like globes on the branches. The Shahr-ārā garden was made by Shahr-bānu Begam, daughter of Mirzā Abu Sa'id, who was own aunt to the late king Babar. From time to time it has been added to, and there is not a garden like it for sweetness in Kabul. It has all sorts of fruits and grapes, and its softness is such that to put one's sandalled feet on it would be far from propriety or good manners. In the neighbourhood of this garden an excellent plot of land came to view, which I ordered to be bought from the owners. I ordered a stream that flows from the guzargāh (ferry, also bleaching green) to be diverted into the middle of the ground so that a garden might be made such that in beauty and sweetness there should not be in the inhabited world another like it. I gave it the name of Jahān-ārā (world-adorning).

17.

[Page 110]

On Friday, the 26th, I enjoyed the blessing of a pilgrimage to (the tomb of) H.M. Firdus-makāni (Bābar). I ordered much money and food, bread, and sweetmeats for the souls of the departed to be distributed to faqirs.

18.

[Page 150]

In Hindustan, especially in the province of Sylhet, which is a dependency of Bengal, it was the custom for the people of those parts to make eunuchs of some of their sons and give them to the governor in place of revenue (māl-wājibi). This custom by degrees has been adopted in other provinces, and every year some children are thus [Page 151] ruined and cut off from procreation. This practice has become common. At this time I issued an order that hereafter no one should follow this abominable custom, and that the traffic in young eunuchs should be completely done away with. Islām Khān and the other governors of the Subah of Bengal received firmans that whoever should commit such acts should be capitally punished, and that they should seize eunuchs of tender years who might be in anyone's possession. No one of the former kings had obtained this success.

19.

[Page 160]

On Saturday, the 13th, when four gharis of day were left, the moon began to be eclipsed. By degrees the whole of its body was obscured, and it continued till live gharis of night had passed. In order to avert the bad omen of this I had myself weighed against gold, silver, cloth, and grain, and gave away in alms all kinds of animals, such as elephants, horses, etc., the cost of all of which was 15,000 rupees. I ordered them to be distributed among the deserving and the poor.

20.

[Page 163]

As the Rabi'Fasl (Spring season) had arrived, for fear any damage should happen to the cultivation of the ryots from the passage of the army, and notwithstanding that I had appointed a qurisāwul (Erskine has Ivor, the Yasawal) (probably a kind of provost marshal) with the band of ahadis for the purpose of guarding the fields, I ordered certain men to see what damage had been done to the crops from stage to stage and pay compensation to the ryots.

21.

[Page 172]

As on Sunday, the 7th of the month, a qirān-i-nahsin (an unlucky conjunction) had occurred, I gave alms of gold and silver and other metals, and different kinds of cereals, to faqirs and indigent people to be divided in most parts of the dominion.

22.

[Page 181]

When the Khān-Khānan and the Amirs and other leaders who had assembled at Burhanpur in waiting on Parwiz devoted themselves to the driving back and defeat of the rebels, and from the differences of opinion and quarrels of the Amirs, and the absence of provision of forage and grain, [Page 182] those who looked after matters of importance brought this large army into improper roads and among hills and difficult passes, they in a short space of time rendered it wretched and impotent, and matters had come to such a pass and the difficulty with regard to grain was such that they were giving a life for a loaf. They then turned back helplessly with their objects unfulfilled. The garrison of the fort, who were expecting aid from this army, on hearing this news, lost heart and stability, and tumultuously wished to vacate the fort at once. When Khwāja Beg Mlrza became aware of this he endeavoured to soothe and quiet the men, but though he did his best it had no good result. At last, under an agreement, he vacated the fort, and proceeded to Burhanpur, and on the day mentioned waited on the prince. Representations with regard to his coming reached me, and, as it was clear that he had not been wanting in bravery and loyalty, I ordered his rank of 5,000 personal and horse to be confirmed and a jagir to be given him.

23.

[Page 188]

I eat no fish but those that have scales, but not because the professors of the Shiah faith look on those without scales as unlawful, but the cause of my aversion is this, that I have heard from old men, and it has become known to me by experience as well, that fish without scales eat the flesh of dead animals and fish with scales do not eat it. From this cause, to eat them is contrary to my disposition. The Shiahs know why they do not eat them and for what reason they consider them unlawful.

24.

[Page 204]

On the 1st Bahman, corresponding with the 17th Zi-l-qa'da, I ordered that in the large cities of my dominions, like Ahmadabad, Allahabad, Lahore, Delhi, Agra, etc., they should arrange bulghur-Khānas (places for the distribution of cooked food) for the poor ; thirty mahalls (districts) had been ordered. Six had already been estab-lished, and twenty-four other districts were now ordered.

25.

[Page 247]

At this time the news-writer of Lahore reported that at the end of the month of Tir ten men had gone from the city to Amānābād, which lies at a distance of 12 kos. As the air was very hot, they took shelter under a tree. Soon afterwards wind and a dust-storm (chakri) sprang up, and when it blew on that band of men they trembled, and nine of them died under the tree, and only one remained alive ; he was ill for a long time, and recovered with great difficulty. In that neighbourhood such bad [Page 248] air was created that numerous birds who had their nests in that tree all fell down and died, and that the wild beasts (beasts of the plain, perhaps cattle) came and threw themselves on to the cultivated fields, and, rolling about on the grass, gave up their lives. In short, many animals perished.

26.

[Page 253]

I had established a custom that deserving people and dervishes should be brought before me every night, so that I might bestow on them, after personal enquiry into their condition, land, or gold, or clothes. Amongst these was a man who represented to me that the name Jahangir, according to the science of abjad(numerals reckoned by letters), corresponded to the great name "Allah Akbar." Considering this a good omen, I gave him who discovered (this coincidence) land, a horse, cash, and clothing. On Monday, the 5th Shawwal, corresponding to the 26th Aban, the hour for entering Ajmir was fixed. On the morning of the said day I went towards it. When the fort and the buildings of the shrine of the revered Khwāja appeared in sight, I traversed on foot the remainder of the road, about a kos. I placed trustworthy men on both sides of the road, who went along giving money to fakirs and the necessitous.

27.

[Page 256]

I had ordered them to make a large caldron at Agra for the revered mausoleum of the Khwāja. On this day it was brought, and I ordered them to cook food for the poor in that pot, and collect together the poor of Ajmir to feed them whilst I was there. Five thousand people assembled, and all ate of this food to their fill. After the food I gave money to each of the dervishes with my own hand.

28.

[Page 269]

There is a ravine in the neighbourhood of Ajmir that is very beautiful. At the end of this ravine a spring appears which is collected in a long and broad tank, and is the best water in Ajmir. This valley and spring are well known as Hafiz Jamāl. When I crossed over to this place I ordered a suitable building to be made there, as the place was good and fit for developing. In the course of a year a house and grounds were made there, the like of which those who travel round the world cannot point out. They made a basin 40 gaz by 40, and made the water of the spring rise up in the basin by a fountain. The fountain leaps up 10 or 12 gaz. Buildings are laid on the edge of this basin, and in the same way above, where the tank and fountain are, they have made agreeable places and en-chanting halls and resting-rooms pleasant to the senses. These have been constructed and finished off in a masterly style by skilled painters and clever artists. As I desired that it should be called by a name [Page 270] connected with my august name, I gave it the name of Chashma-i-Nur, or 'the fountain of light.' In short, the one fault it has is this, that it ought to have been in a large city, or at a place by which men frequently pass. From the day on which it was completed I have often passed Thursdays and Fridays there. I ordered that they should think out a chronogram for its com-pletion. Sa'idā Gilāni, the head of the goldsmiths, discovered it in this clever hemistich :—

"The palace of Shāh Nuru-d-din Jahāngir" (1024)

I ordered them to put a stone with this carved upon it on the top of the portico of the building.

29.

[Page 314]

The third piece of news was the conquest of the province of Khokhara ; and the acquisition of the diamond [Page 315] mines, which were taken by the excellent exertions of Ibrāhim Khān, This province is one of the dependencies of the Subah of Behar and Patna. There is a river there from which they procure diamonds. At the season when there is little water, there are pools and water-holes, and it has become known by experience to those who are employed in this work that above every water-hole in which there are diamonds, there are crowds of flying animals of the nature of gnats, and which in the language of India they call jhingā. Keeping the bed of the stream in sight as far as it is accessible, they make a collection of stones (sangchin) round the water-holes. After this they empty the water-holes with spades and shovels to the extent of a yard or 1 1/2yards and dig up the area. They find among the stones and sand large and small diamonds and bring them out. It occasionally happens that they find a piece of diamond worth 100,000 rupees. Briefly, this province and this river were in possession of a Hindu Zamindar of the name, of Durjan Sal, and although the governors of the Subah frequently sent armies against him and went there themselves, in consequence of the difficult roads and thickness of the jungles they contented them-selves with taking two or three diamonds and left him in his former condition. When the aforesaid Subah was transferred from Zafar Khān, and Ibrahim Khān was [Page 316] appointed in his place, at the time of his taking leave I ordered him to go and take the province out of the possession of that unknown and insignificant individual. As soon as he arrived in the province of Behar he assembled a force and went against that Zamindar. According to former custom he sent some of his men with a promise to give some diamonds and some elephants, but the Khān did not agree to this and entered im-petuously into the province. Before the fellow could collect his men he found guides and invaded it. Just when the zamindar received this news, the hills and vales that are his abode were beleaguered. Ibrāhim sent men about to find him, and they got hold of him in a cave with several women, one of whom was his mother, while others were also his father's wives. They arrested him, and also one of his brothers. They searched and took from them the diamonds they had with them. Twenty-three male and female elephants also fell into Ibrāhim's hands. In reward for this service the mansab of Ibrāhim Khān, original and increase, was made up to 4,000 personal and horse, and he was exalted with the title of Fath-jang. Orders were also given for an increase in the mansabs of those who accompanied him on this service and had shown bravery. That province is now in possession of the imperial servants of the State. They carry on work in the bed of the stream, and bring to Court whatever diamonds are found. A large diamond, the value of which has been estimated at 50,000 rupees, has lately been brought from there. If a little pains are taken, it is probable that good diamonds will be found and be placed in the jewel-room.

30.

[Page 330]

In this year, or rather in the 10th year after my accession, a great pestilence appeared in some places in Hindustan. The commencement of this calamity was in the parganahs of the Panjab, and by degrees the contagion spread to the city of Lahore. Many of the people, Musulmans and Hindus, died through this. After this it spread to Sirhind and the Du'āb, until it reached Delhi and the surrounding parganahs and villages, and desolated them. At this day it had greatly diminished. It became known from men of great age and from old histories that this disease had never shown itself in this country (before). Physicians and learned men were questioned as to its cause. Some said that it came because there had been drought for two years in succession and little rain fell ; others said it was on account of the corruption of the air which occurred through the drought and scarcity. Some attributed it to other causes. Wisdom is of Allah, and we must submit to Allah's decrees !

"What does a slave who bows not his neck to the order?"

31.

[Page 340]

I had stayed at Ajmir for five days less than three years. They consider the city of Ajmir, which is the place of the blessed tomb of the revered Khwāja Mu'inu-d-din, to be in the second clime. Its air is nearly equable. The capital of Agra is to the east of it ; on the north are the townships (district) of [Page 341] Delhi, and on the south the Subah of Gujarat. On the west lie Multan and Deālpur. The soil of this province is all sandy ; water is found with difficulty in the land, and the reliance for cultivation is on moist soil and on the rainfall. The cold season is very equable, and the hot season is milder than in Agra. From this subah in time of war 86,000 horse and 304,000 Rajput foot are provided. There are two large lakes in this city ; they call one of these the Bisal and the other the Ānāsagar. The Bisal tank is in ruins and its embank-ment is broken. At this time I ordered it to be repaired. The Ānāsagar at the time that the royal standards were there was always full of water and waves. This tāl is 1 1/2 kos and 5 tanāb(lit. tent-ropes)(in circumference?).

32.

[Page 349]

Malwa is a large province abounding in water and of a pleasant climate. There are five rivers in it in addition to streams, canals, and springs, namely, the Godavari, Bhimā, Kālisindh, Nirā, and Narbada. Its climate is nearly equable. The land of this province is low, but part of it is high. In the district of Dhār, which is one of the noted places of Malwa, the vine gives grapes twice in the year, in the beginning of Pisces and the beginning of Leo, but the grapes of Pisces are the sweeter. Its husbandmen and artificers are not without arms. The revenue of the province is 24,700,000 dams.

33.

[Page 354]

Kāliyādaha is a building which was made by Nāsiru-d-din, son of Ghiyāsu-d-din, son of Sultān Mahmud Khalji, who was ruler of Malwa. In the time of his rule he had made it in the neighbourhood of Ujjain, which is one of the most celebrated cities in the Subah of Malwa. They say that the heat overcame him so much that he passed his time in the water. He made this building in the middle of the river, and divided its waters into canals, and brought the water on all sides, as well as inside and outside, of the house, and made large and small reservoirs suited to the place. It is a very pleasant and enjoyable place, and one of the noted habitations of Hindustan.

34.

[Page 355]

In the reign of my revered father, at the time when he had sent Abu-l-fazl to set in order the affairs of my brother Shāh Murād, he sent a report from that city that a large body of Hindus and Musulmans had borne testimony that some days previously at night this river had become milk, so that people who took water from it that night found in the morning their pots full of milk. As this obtained currency it has been recorded, but my intelli-gence will in no way agree to it. The real truth of this affair is known to Allah.

35.

[Page 377]

On the 28th I sent for my son Baba Khurram a special gold-embroidered nādiri of a fineness such as had never [Page 378] been produced before in my establishment; I ordered the bearer to tell him that as this rarity had the speciality that I had worn it on the day I quitted Ajmir for the conquest of the Deccan, I had sent it to him. On the same day I placed the turban from my own head, just as it was, on the head of I'timādu-d-daulah, and honoured him with this favour. Three emeralds, a piece of jewelled ārbasi, and a ruby signet ring that Mahābat Khān had sent by way of offering were laid before me. They came to 7,000 rupees in value. On this day, by the mercy and favour of Allah, continued rain fell. Water in Mandu had become very scarce and the people were agitated about the matter, so that most of the servants had been ordered to go to the bank of the Narbada. There was no expectation of rain at that season. In consequence of the agitation of the people I turned by way of supplication to the throne of God, and He in His mercy and grace gave such rain that in the course of a day and a night tanks, ponds (birkahā), and rivers became full, and the agitation of the people was changed to complete ease. With what tongue can I render thanks for this favour ?

36.

[Page 383]

In this rainy season rain fell in such quantities that old men said that they did not remember such rain in any age. For nearly forty days there was nothing but cloud and rain, so that the sun only appeared occasionally. There was so much wind that many buildings, both old and new, fell down. On the first night there was such rain and thunder and lightning as has seldom been heard of. Nearly twenty women and men were killed, and the foundations even of some of the stone buildings were broken up. No noise is more terrifying than this. Till the middle of the month was passed, wind and rain increased. After this they gradually became less. What can be written of the verdure and self-grown fragrant plants ? They covered valley and plain and hill and desert. It is not known if in the inhabited world there exists another such place as Mandu for sweetness of air and for the pleasantness of the locality and the neighbourhood, especially in the rainy season. In this season, which lasts for months and extends up to the hot weather, one cannot sleep inside houses without coverlets, and in the day the temperature is such that there is no need for a fan or for change of place.

37.

[Page 386]

As it had been several times mentioned to me that a kind of sweetmeat was obtained from the wild plantain such that dervishes and other poor people made it their food, I wished to enquire into the matter. What I found was that the fruit of the wild plantain was an exceedingly hard and tasteless thing. The real fact is that in the [Page 387] lower part (of the trunk) there is a thing shaped like a fir-cone from which the real fruit of the plantain comes out. On this a kind of sweetmeat forms which has exactly the juiciness and taste of pālāda. It appears that men eat this and enjoy it.

38.

[Page 414]

Although the parganah of Dohad is reckoned as within the boundary of Gujarat, yet, in fact, it was from this stage that all things appeared different. The open plains and soil are of a different kind ; the people are different and the language of another description. The jungle that appeared on the road has fruit-bearing trees, such as the mango and khirni and tamarind, and the method of guarding the cultivated fields is with hedges of zaqqum. The cultivators separate their fields with cactus, and leave a narrow road between them for coming and going. Since all this country has a sandy soil, when any movement takes place, so much dust rises that the faces of people are seen with difficulty, so that one should call Ahmadabad 'Gardabad'(abode of dust).

39.

[Page 419]

The best description of fish procurable in this place, the name of which is 'arbiyat' was caught and frequently brought for me by the fishermen. Without doubt these fish are, as compared with other fish of this country, more delicious and better, but they are not of the flavour of the rohu. One might say as nine to ten or even eight to ten. Of the food which is peculiar to the people of Gujarat there is the khichri of bājrā (a mixture of split peas and millet boiled together) ; this they also call laziza. It is a kind of split grain, which does not grow in any other country but Hindustan, and which in comparison with many other regions of India is more abundant in Gujarat ; it is cheaper than most vegetables. As I had never eaten it, I ordered them to make some and bring it to me. It is not devoid of good flavour, and it suited me well. I ordered that on the days of abstinence, when I partake of dishes not made with flesh, they should frequently bring me this khichri.

40.

[Page 440]

At the time that Ahmadabad was adorned by the setting up of the royal standards my employment by day and by night was the seeing of necessitous persons and the bestowing on them of money and land. I directed Shaikh Ahmad the Sadr and some other tactful servants to bring before me dervishes and other needy persons. I also directed the sons of Shaikh Muhammad Ghaus, the grandson of Shaikh Wajihu-d-dm, and other leading Shaikhs to produce whatever persons they believed to be in want. Similarly I appointed some women to do the same thing in the harem. My sole endeavour was that as I a king had come to this country after many years, no single person should be excluded. God is my witness that I did not fall short in this task, and that I never took any rest from this duty. Although I have not been delighted with my visit to Ahmadabad, yet I have this satisfaction—that my coming has been the cause of benefit to a large number of poor people.

41.

[Page 442]

On Wednesday, the 17th, I marched 6 kos and halted at the village of Bārasinor (Bālasinor). It has already been mentioned that the plague had appeared in Kashmir. On this day a report of the chronicler of events arrived,, stating that the plague had taken firm hold of the country and that many had died. The symptoms were that the first day there was headache and fever and much bleeding at the nose. On the second day the patient died. In the house where one person died all the inmates were carried off. Whoever went near the sick person or a dead body was affected in the same way. In one instance the dead body was thrown on the grass, and it chanced that a cow came and ate some of the grass. It died, and some dogs that had eaten its flesh also all died. Things had come to such a pass that from fear of death fathers would not approach their children, and children would not go near their fathers. A strange thing was that in the ward in which the disease began, a fire broke out and nearly 3,000 houses were burnt. During the height of the plague, one morning when the people of the city and environs got up, they saw circles on their doors. There were three large circles, and on the face of these (i.e. inside them) there were two circles of middle size and one small one. There were also other circles which did not contain any whiteness (i.e. there were no inner circles). These figures were found on all the houses and even on the mosques. From the day when the fire took place and these circles appeared, they say there was a diminution of the plague. This has been [Page 443] recorded as it seems a strange affair. It certainly does not agree with the canons of reason, and my intellect cannot accept it. Wisdom is with God ! I trust that the Almighty will have mercy on his sinful slaves, and that they will be altogether freed from such calamity.

This text is an English-language translation of the original version:
Original

This is a selection from the original text

Keywords

animals, bulghur-khānas, charity, fakir, food, money, pestilence, plague, revenue, sweets, travel

Source text

Title: Tuzuk-I-Jahangiri: Vol.1

Author: Emperor Jahangir, Mutamad Khan

Editor(s): Alexander Rogers, Henry Beveridge

Publisher: Royal Asiatic Society

Publication date: 1909

Original compiled c.1605-1624

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at the Digital Library of India: http://www.dli.ernet.in/. Original compiled c.1605-1624

Digital edition

Original author(s): Emperor Jahangir

Original editor(s): Alexander Rogers, Henry Beveridge

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) 5
  • 2 ) 7-10
  • 3 ) 45-46
  • 4 ) 47-49
  • 5 ) 69
  • 6 ) 75
  • 7 ) 81
  • 8 ) 83-84
  • 9 ) 90-91
  • 10 ) 92
  • 11 ) 93
  • 12 ) 96-97
  • 13 ) 97
  • 14 ) 100
  • 15 ) 106
  • 16 ) 110
  • 17 ) 150-151
  • 18 ) 160
  • 19 ) 163
  • 20 ) 172
  • 21 ) 181-182
  • 22 ) 188
  • 23 ) 204
  • 24 ) 247-248
  • 25 ) 253
  • 26 ) 256
  • 27 ) 269-270
  • 28 ) 314-316
  • 29 ) 330
  • 30 ) 340-341
  • 31 ) 349
  • 32 ) 354
  • 33 ) 355
  • 34 ) 377-378
  • 35 ) 383
  • 36 ) 386-387
  • 37 ) 414
  • 38 ) 419
  • 39 ) 440
  • 40 ) 442-443

Responsibility:

Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: India > chronicle histories

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.

Acknowledgements