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Introductory notes

Mirat-I-Ahmadi is a political and statistical history of Gujarat composed by Ali Mohammed Khan, an Imperial dewan at Ahmedabad. It was completed in the 1750s. The original Persian text comprises two volumes and a supplement (khatima). It was first translated into English by James Bird which was published in 1834 and then by M.F.Lokhandwala, which was published in 1965. The supplement was translated into English by Syed Nawab Ali and Charles Seddon.




1928 BARODA: Oriental Institute
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Description of the foundation of the noble city of Ahmedabad and its fortifications; names of its suburbs, gardens, shrines of the saints, convents, Hindu temples, districts, parganas, police stations, and miscellaneous other matters which are herein record-ed.

While writing the history certain matters were referred to a supplement. And as events continue to happen and facts go on accumulating so long as the city stands, I shall during my lifetime and my leisure hours continue collecting and recording them. And whosoever loveth the work may continue it after my death.


In desire doth man bind his heart to life ;
And life in pleasure spendeth.
Life is based on the air that gives man breath,
And in "airy nothing" endeth.


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The following lines are quoted from the poet Halvi of Shiraz who wrote a metrical history of the reign of Sultan Ahmad Shah :-

Thus sang Halvi, whose sweetness filled the air;
A king did halt and take his ease one day
Hard by the Sabar river ; there he found
An open plain, a zephyr soft, the scent
Of Cathay's musk, and springs and wells
Of purest water, all the heart desires.
And this inspired the King, and so he willed
In that fair spot his capital to build.
He called an architect to plan its walls
And palaces that touch the azure sky.
And glistening Pleiades ; so that the world
Should rival Heaven, and in the Angels' sight
Equal their own abode ; its walls should hold
The rush of heathen hordes, as that Great Wall
Held back Magog and Gog; its stones should shine
Like Jamshed's world reflecting cup ; its courts
Deny the claims of Tartary and Chin
To eminence ; while from its dust Spahan
Should make a salve to brighten envy's eyes ;
And Naishapur of far off Khorasan
Confess that Gujarat in beauty vies.
And then he sent for those wise men whose art
Observes the stars, and knows the secret times.
They with their astrolabes apply the test,
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And spy the circling spheres that number nine,
They mark the planets' paths, and of the stars
They see the altitude; and realise
The time to start the King's high enterprise.
Eight hundred years had passed and thirteen more
Since Islam's Prophet fled; it was the month
Of Z'ul-Qada. So, when the bricks were laid,
The Angels showered their blessings, till they rose
To touch the turquoise sky, and made
Another clime to add to those men seek,
Another mole upon the Earth's fair cheek.
Nasir-ud-din Ahmad it was who built
This noble city; from his name it took
Its own, Ahmedabad; and by this name
Men honour Ahmad's faith, and Ahmad's fame.
God grant this city may not see decay,
Till men, and Heaven and Earth, shall pass away.


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The author of the Haft Iqlim says that Ahmedabad is unique in the matter of neatness, thriving population, and beautiful buildings, and it would be no exaggeration to say that so grand and magnificent a city is to be found nowhere else. Bazars are spacious and well arranged; its inhabitants, both men and women, are handsome. And in truth a city with such beauties is rare ; whence it has been called the Bride of the Kingdom. Cloth of fine texture, which is exported by land and sea, yields a profitable trade ; mosques and markets abound, and suburbs 360 (some say 380) in number enlarge the city. Sul-tan Mahmud II built, during his reign a new city, Mahmudabad. twelve kos off, and made it his capital; but the road from Ahmed-abad was covered by markets on both sides and houses of people, so that the two cities appeared one; and in the course of time artisans and craftsmen settled there. The art of weaving golden and silken threads into brocade, velvet, gauze, needlework and embroidery, varying in texture and dye, is unequalled in India; and the fame of Gujarat has spread to the distant countries of Iran, Turan, Turkey, and Syria. Strange to say, the art of weaving and cleaning in its supreme excellence is confined to Ahmedabad, and even a league away these crafts are inferior.


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Certain new lanes have also been formed, passing through the ruins of those stately palaces built by the princes and the nobles, which are now in the course of time levelled to the ground, where grass now grows and the cultivator's spade is working.


Once o'er a palace gate I read a line,
Which made my heart to bleed, my soul repine.
"Fair is the field of life and full of blooms ;
Yet is it marked for death; a field of tombs".


Behold a palace reaching to the sky,
Where kings were wont to laugh and wont to sigh ;
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And on its turrets now behold a dove,
Cooing, Where is the man who shall not die ?
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5. Gardens in the environs of the city

In former times the Sultans of Gujarat, their nobles and Nazims, and the rich, had beautiful gardens full of fruits and flowers, pleasant avenues, fountains, and canals. The following verses will give an idea of these gardens:-


The purest waters flow here,
The dew drops clothe the trees,
And jewelled flowers grow here,
A-waving in the breeze.
The trees are like fair maidens,
The fairest of the fair.
The birds sing in their branches,
So blithe and free from care.
On every leaf the cypress tall,
Bears Heaven's command "to bless us all."

Such were the gardens, but alas ! thorns and thistles now grow where they were, and many of them have been sold by their inheritors and are turned into farms for cultivation. I shall, therefore, mention only those gardens which belong to the Govern-ment.

Bagh-i-Nagina- Between the eastern and southern out-skirts of the city adjacent to the houses in the Puras. It appears [Page 18] like a precious stone on a ring formed by the Kankariya Tank, which was built by Sultan Qutb-ud-din, the grandson of Sultan Ahmad the founder of Ahmedabad. This small garden is beauti-fully laid out, and though it is not so large it looks delightful as it is in the middle of the tank. The bridge over the tank has forty-four arches ; but now some of them have fallen, blocking the passage. During the reign of Muiz-ud-daula some of the fallen arches were rebuilt. During the viceroyalty of the heir-apparent two pairs of oxen for drawing water and four gardeners were appointed.

Kankariya Tank or Qutbi Reservoir 2 : Length 750 Ilahi yards, and of circular form as usual. The total area is equal to 4,50,000 yards or 125 bighas, as each bigha equals 3,600 yards. The steps round it are made of stone and cement.

Origin.- Literally Kankariya means 'pebbly.' It is said that Sultan Qutb-ud-din wanted to kill his half brother Fateh Khan (known afterwards as Sultan Mahmud Begada) who with his mother Bibi Moghli was under the guardianship of Hazrat-i-Shah Alam, who had taken to wife Bibi Moghli after the death of her sister Bibi Mirki (see Mirat-i-Sikandari). So the Sultan began to construct the tank and the Nagina Garden, hoping to capture Fateh Khan if he happened to come wandering there. But the Prince never came. One day Hazrat-i-Shah Alam passed through the excavations, and cut his foot on a pebble. "What a pebble!" said the saint; and so it was called Kankariya (pebbly).

Others say that the Sultan requested the saint to choose a site for the tank and the garden, and therefore scattered some pebbles on the spot he selected, which was then excavated and named Kankariya. The Sultan's desire was to build avenues [Page 19] and fine buildings round about the tank, but he died soon after and his plan came to nought.


Sit by a running stream, and behold how its waters flow.
Truly is this a type that shows how our Life shall go.

On the southern side of the tank an unfinished 'Mogra'1 garden, some houses, fountains, and reservoirs, are still to be seen.

Shah Bari- Bari in Hindi means a 'garden'; so this was called "the Royal Garden"; it was built by one of the Sultans of Gujarat in Faizabad hamlet two kos from the city on the southern bank of the Sabarmati. It has mansions, and an enclosure of burnt bricks, with two gates on the north and the south, and marble pavements, covering sixty-two bighas. Outside tha garden fifty bighas were attached to it, with certain buil-dings which are now in ruins. It was managed by Government till the end of the viceroyalty of Mubariz-ul-mulk, and had four pairs of oxen for irrigation and eight gardeners and sweepers. From the time of Maharaja Abhe Singh its income has been appropriated by the Nazims.

Bagh-i-Firdaus-In the village of Katrar in Pargana Haveli, made by Sultan Mahmud Begada three kos off the city on the east side, with an enclosure and turrets. The author of the Mirat-i-Sikandari gives its length as five kos and breadth one, but it is all in ruins except a portion of the enclosure and the gate. It is said that the Sultan planted nine hundred thousand mango, khirni, and myrobolam trees, and so it was called 'Nao-lakha' garden. The income from it is included in the revenues of Pargana Haveli.

Bagh-i-Sha'ban In the village of Rakhyal one kos from the city on the east side. Malik Sharq, the slave of Sultan Muham-mad, son of the founder of Ahmadabad, Sultan Ahmad, was appointed Vazir in the reign of Sultan Qutb-ud-din with the title of Malik Sha'ban. This pleasant garden, surrounded by a wall of [Page 20] burnt brick and including beautiful buildings, parks, a mosque, a tank with stone steps, and a sunken well, was made by the Malik, who in the reign of Sultan Mahmud resigned his post, and passed his time here as a recluse devoted to the service of God till his death. His remains lie buried here, and the income of the garden was appropriated by the Nazim within whose charge was Rakhyal.

Halela Garden-In the village of Rakhyal one kos from the city on the east. Here were three old myrobolam trees yielding fruit every year ; two of them have dried up, and the remaining one existed at least till the time of Najm-ud-daula; but its fruit was inferior owing to lack of proper care. Government engaged a gardener and a peon, who were paid from the income of Rakhyal. An enclosing wall of burnt brick was built round the garden. There was a well inside, and a part of the land was kept for flowers. Every year ccnfection of its fruit, prepared under the supervision of the steward, was sent to the Emperor. In the course of time the Nazims reserved it for themselves, and now the last tree has also withered away.

Rustam Bagh On the north, by the side of the river Sabar. Rustam Khan, one of the Gujarati nobles, constructed it, with an enclosure, a mansion, six wells, and a stone gate, covering in all sixty bighas. Later on this land was used for the palace of Prince Muhammad Azam Shah.

Rose Garden and Mulberry Grove-Close to each other near Rustam Bagh, dating from the time of the Sultans of Gujarat, and with buildings inside. Up to the beginning of the viceroyal-ty of Prince Muhammad Azam Shah rose water for the Emperor was extracted from the flowers. But when the prince built a mansion here, and stayed for three years, it ceased to exist as a garden, and is used as a farm for the cultivation of millet and bajri.

Bagh-i-ShahiWhen the province of Gujarat was governed by the agents of Prince Shah Jahan, the land of Maqsudpur, [Page 21] which was attached to the Pargana Haveli, was acquired under the Prince's order, and a rampart wall on the river side opposite the Idaria Gate was erected, enclosing fine buildings, porches, seats, twelve towers, eleven wells, a canal passing round the building, and many reservoirs covering in all 105 bighas and 3 biswas. There is no other garden in this country which has so many beautiful and costly buildings and delightful avenues. From its gate to Hajipur the road on both sides is shaded by tall, green, trees, beyond which lie the beautiful gardens of the Nazims and nobles. The whole scene appeared as a dream in emerald. One hundred pairs of oxen for irrigation, seventy gardeners, a steward, a treasurer, and seven peons and sweepers, were appointed for this garden, and the expenditure on repairs, etc., was annually defrayed from the royal treasury. But when the Moghal Govern-ment grew weak, greedy Nazims got hold of it and the Deccani troops cut down its trees and plundered it. The two storied royal tower, in the time of Najm-ud-daula's rule, collapsed during a flood, with many of the buildings. All the fruit trees and flower plants have withered, and nothing is seen here except a few red tamarind trees which are commonly found in this country, and the strong tasting fruit of which is exported to Arabia and the countries of Persia. The whole of this beautiful garden, where all these fragrant flowers bloomed, is turned into a great field for the cultivation of millet.

Farman Bari-On the other side of the river Sabar half a kos from the city on the west. It has a rampart wall with a gate and a small mansion belonging to Government from former times and now in ruins. In the reign of the martyred king (Farrukhsiyar) one Muhammad Muiz of the Buyutat office sold it to Firoz Khan Jalori, who rebuilt and renamed it.

Fateh Bagh-In Sarkhej, on the river side west of the city three kos off. In the reign of Akbar, Mirza Khan Khankhanan, son of Behram Khan, in commemoration of his victory over the Deccan Sultan Muzaffar Hussain, built a rampart with towers, houses, and canals, and called it Fateh Bagh. As the village was [Page 22] part of the Jagir of the Nazims, they in course of time treated it as their own property. A portion of the building and the rampart are still standing, but the garden is now just a farm.

Jil Bagh-In the reign of Jahangir, Saif Khan, when he put to flight Abdulla Khan Firoz-jang, made this garden in the village of Jaitalpur belonging to Pargana Haveli in commemoration of his victory. It is now included in the village lands.

6. Reservoirs.

Baoli Dada HariA baoliis a kind of well with a wide open mouth with steps leading to the level of the water, so that any one descending may get water easily. From ancient times such costly wells were constructed by Hindus and Mahomedans alike as a form of charity to the people. A very large number of such wells exists, a detailed list of which would be too long.

The most prominent of them all as regards solid structure and sweet water is the baoli of Dada Hari, a person who founded a Pura of his own name at Asarwa. There is an inscription in Arabic and Hindi on the edge of the baoli, which says that in the year 960 A.H., corresponding with 1556 Vikrama and 1421 Sali-vahana, in the reign of Sultan Mahmud II the enormous sum of 3,29,000 mahmudis was spent on the construction of this three storied baoli and the massive pillars on which it rests. Two storeys are always under water, except in famine times when one is dry. A mosque and the tomb of Dada Hari are by the side of the well.

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7. Seyyid Usman surnamed 'Sham'-i-Burkani.

He was the chosen successor of Hazrat-i-Qutb, and one of the foremost Sufis of his time. He became the disciple of the Qutb when quite young, and passed the best part of his life in the service of the Saint. He reached the higher stages of Sufism, and was chosen to expound Sufiistic doctrines to the devotees. It is said that Seyyid Usman lived a life of voluntary poverty. When his grandson Seyyid Alam was betrothed to the daughter of Shaikh Daud (grandson of Shaikh Kan-i-Shakar), who besides being a Darvish was a wealthy man, Seyyid Usman's attention was drawn by a servant to the unsuitability of the match between the rich and the poor from the worldly point of view. "Never mind," said the Seyyid, "the blessed name will suffice." And saying this he went inside the shrine of his preceptor Hazrat-i-Qutb, and prayed. Suddenly he heard a mysterious voice saying, "Brother, what is this poverty ? Go and spend as much as is required. I have given thee the same treasure that I had given to my second son Shah Alam." Hearing this the Seyyid returned home, and commanded his servant thus:- "Go every morning to the bank of the river Sabar," saying that there he would find money sufficient to meet the day's expenses, but he should take no more than that. The blessing was continued for many years in the family of the Seyyid-a fact well-known in the city.

It is said that the Seyyid during the lifetime of his preceptor Hazrat-i-Qutb, was attended by admirers of his learning and [Page 30] piety who wanted to become his disciples, but the Seyyid refused to accept them because of the great respect he had for his preceptor, who one day addressed him thus:- " Why dost thou reject so many desirous of learning from thee the path of God? If thou art diffident, live alone and teach them." So the Seyyid settled at Baha-ud-dinpur and in a short time the little village was filled with students, nobles, and Sultans, whereby there was inconvenience to the poor villagers. So the Seyyid left his house and his goods and pitched a woollen tent on the other side of the river- the place which is now called Usmanpur. One day he thought to fetch water from the river for his wife, but had no jug. A Hindu boy named Gadadhar happened to pass with a brass jug. The Seyyid borrowing it, filled it with water and took it to his tent. Returning he advised the boy to settle there, but the boy said he could not; he must earn his living. "Go to the river," said the Seyyid, "and fill this jug." And the boy did so, but lo! instead of water it was filled with gold coins. He ran to his father, and giving him the jug full of coins told him what had happened. So the whole family came and settled there, and in course of time a Pura called Usmanpur was founded by the side of the Seyyid's tent.

The Seyyid is the author of many Sufistic works, one of which is the Madarij-ul-Maarij, which is popular among his descendants. He wrote poetry, too, when in a state of ecstacy. The following lines are from one of his odes :-

The Throne is but the courtyard
Of Darvish ecstacy.
And toil is as a treasure
In Darvish company.
And wealth for man's eternal soul
Comes from the Darvish robe and bowl.
The Flood, a tale that's told so oft,
Was due to Darvish woes.
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The angel's peacock soars aloft,
As eagle-like it goes ;
Yet o'er the Darvish table low
'Tis but a wretched fly, I trow.
Desirest thou protection
From evil's burning sun ?
The Darvishes' refection
Hath closed its doors to none,
The workshop's locked, and baulked are we
A Darvish blessing is the key.
A Darvish blessing from above
Turneth the heart from hate to love.

His anniversary is celebrated on the 15th Jumadi I. His tomb, with a fine mosque attached to it, is situated at Usmanpur, and his descendants are still found in this country.

Shaikh Ali, better known as Khatib Shaikh Ali, the ascetic. At the age of twelve he devoted himself to the service of God, and abstaining from food obtained by man's labour, lived on fruits and wild herbs. For twelve years he tasted continuously until at last he heard the hallelujahs of the Seraphim. It so happened that every day when he went to the river Sabar for the :five prayers he was accosted by a mystic, who was wont to sit by the way and call out to him "Ali, be a Muslim." The Shaikh, understanding not the meaning of this mystic utterance, increased his bodily mortifications and rigid asceticism. One day that mystic had cooked food and was giving it to the people. when the Shaikh happened to pass. The mystic attacked the Shaikh, and throwing him down sat on his chest and struck him, and with each blow thrust a morsel of food into his mouth. Then he left him and said "Go, Ali, be a Muslim." The Shaikh, panting and covered with dust, returned home and fell down in a swoon. But, when he recovered, the meaning of that mystic utterance flashed upon him. And he determined [Page 32] to become the disciple of some saint. There were two such saints at that time, Hazrat-i-Qutb and Hazrat-i-Ganj Bakhsh. As the former tolerated music he would not go to him. So, he drove to Sarkhej to wait on Hazrat-i-Ganj Bakhsh. But the oxen stood still on the way, and a mysterious hand pulled the Shaikh by the collar. "Let the beasts have their will," exclaimed the Shaikh, and the cart was drawn towards the convent of Hazrat-i- Qutb ! The Saint was sitting at meat with his disciples, when the Shaikh came and was given a portion of food. His eyes were now opened, and he saw the hollowness of his self imposed mortifications. Love was kindled in his heart, and his hard nature was softened, and he wept. Then, filled with ecstacy, he rose up and poured forth his heart as a Darvish does, till even the musical instruments responded. The Saint then ordered his 'Qawwals' to sing, and the whole assembly was entertained. Afterwards the Shaikh was admitted as a disciple of the Saint, and given the privilege of making disciples himself and teaching publicly. He is buried at Qadanpur, which along with Qutbpur belongs to his descendants.

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8. Seyyid Muhammad Maqbul Alam.

He was the son of Seyyid Jalal Mah Alam. His mother's name was Amina, daughter of Seyyid Nasrullah. He has himself given the chronogram for his birth as man u dast u daman-i-al- rasul

He received the Sufi's robe from his father two years before his death. He was an accomplished scholar and Sufi, and is the author of Jama'at-i-Shahi,dealing with daily comme-morations and prayers. Every Friday he used to distribute as alms five hundred mahmudis, giving two to each man. Once he had only twelve coins with him, which were distributed by his servant Abd-ush-shakur to six persons; but the crowd did not [Page 39] d1sperse. The Seyyid sat down to think, when suddenly his son brought a note from Khwaja Abul Hasan Jumlat-ul-mulk with a purse of two thousand silver coins, which were then freely distributed among the people. He died on the 12th Rajah 1045 A.H., and is buried in a shrine built by Saif Khan. The Prophet's two footprints are fixed on the Seyyid's grave.

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9. Seyyid Jalal-ud-din Hamid Alam

Son of Seyyid Muhammad Mahbub Alam, was born on the [Page 42] 2nd of Jumadi I 1062 A.H. He was the pupil and disciple of his father and the author of two treatises one, the Mirat-ur-roya, dealing with the interpretation of dreams, and the other, the Miftah-ul-hajat,regarding the active life. Owing to weakness and chronic indigestion he had to give up his usual food and kept himself just alive on fruit. He died on the 20th of Zu'l-hijja 1114 A.H., and is buried outside the shrine opposite to his father's grave.

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10. Malik Abdul Latif Davar-ul-mulk, known as Shah Daval.

Son of Mahmud, a descendant of the Quraish and one of the nobles of Sultan Mahmud Begada, and he rests in the town of Amran. He was a disciple of Hazrat-i-Shah Alam, and was given the work of providing hot water for the Saint's ablu-tions. It is said that a son of one of the Rajas of the Deccan, who was suffering from the incurable disease of leprosy, was sent to the Saint. At midnight when the Saint rose for prayer, Malik was instructed to pour water over the Raja's son from the basin. Malik did so, and himself drank a portion of the water. The boy was soon cured, and Malik was blessed by the Saint, receiving the rank of Salar Masud Ghazi. The people, especially in the Deccan, honoured Malik and Sultan Mahmud Begada bestowed on him the title of Davar-ul-mulk.

Malik now lived like a noble, but in his behaviour was meek and God-fearing. For the convenience of his neighbours he sold his house, a11d he treated the tenants of his Jahgir accord-ing to Muslim Law. The Sultan after a short time appointed him Faujdar of Amran, where he had to war against the unbelievers. One day, while returning from Bhuj through the Runn of Cutch, he rested under a shady tree and closed his eyes. His followers allowed their horses to graze; Malik awoke and upbraid-ed them for trespassing. "For three days and nights neither we nor our beasts have tasted anything. We men can bear hunger with patience, but animals cannot be expected to refrain from grazing" replied his followers. "If," answered Malik, "you are ready to suffer for God's sake, your animals also will be filled with the same spirit." And, saying this, Malik removed the bridle of his horse, but it would not touch the grass!

Under bis regime the unruly Rajputs quietly settled down, but he was, shortly after, treacherously assassinated in the follow-ing manner: A Rajput, of depraved heart, came to Malik, and said to him, "Sir, a relation of mine has a very fine sword. If he waits on you take it from him. See the fine temper of it, and you will rejoice." The traitor then went to his relation and spoke thus: "Malik intends to kill thee treacherously, and this is the [Page 48] sign of it; if thou goest to him, and he, taking thy sword, un-covers and examines it, surely it will be thy death signal." "I will instruct my followers", said the man to the traitor, "to kill Malik before the sword is uncovered." And so Malik was assassinated on the 13th Zu'l-Qa'da 879 A.H., and is buried in that town. The shrine is visited by thousands of people who flock there from every quarter, chiefly from the Deccan and Malwa. The blind, the lame, the paralytic, and the needy, gather together, and many with iron rings on their legs locks on their lips present themselves. And it is said that the ring opens of itself, and this is a sign that their prayer for recovery is heard. Others, who visit the tomb to get money for their needs, are told in a dream that they will get it from such and such a person and place. Prior to the present misrule and anarchy a big fair was held annually on the 2nd Zu'l-Qa'da, and the present author remem-bers how commodities worth not less than one lakh from Ahmeda-bad, and horses, oxen, and camels from Kathiawar,were brought and sold, at that fair. Such fairs are called Medani by the Gujaratis, and it was the custom that the people who came from Ahmedabad should halt at Sarkhej to visit Saint Ahmad Khattu's shrine and only those going to the fair should go further. And on the 12th of that same month a large number went to pray at the tomb of Malik's wife Bibi Fateh Shah.

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11. Qazi Seyyid Ismail lsfahani, son of Seyyid Burhan.

He was a pious and dignified person. Government appoint-ed him Qazi of Broach. When Hazrat-i-Shah Alam,on his way to Nandurbar and Sultanpur, halted at Broach, the Qazi waited on the Saint and became his disciple. One day the following verse from the Quran was recited before the Saint:-

And their Lord shall make them drink a pure drink."

The Qazi, as if he longed to taste this drink, remarked "Is that 'drink' material and real1y drinkable, or does it mean Love and Divine knowledge which can be acquired ? Or is it simply capability?" "Yes," answered the Saint smilingly, "it has real existence, and can be tasted." "If," said the Qazi, "it can be tasted in this world, thou art my preceptor one who has received it-and I hope thou wilt be pleased to bestow on me a portion of it." "I shall see," .. replied the Saint, "wait on me regularly at the time of midnight prayer, perchance thou mayest be given this drink." And the Qazi waited upon him and was blessed with it one night. And he said, "The first intoxicating effect of it is this, that God hath revealed to me the real nature of Heaven and Hell." After becoming the disciple of the Saint, the Qazi, who had given up the use of the turban, was one day advised by the Saint to put it on again. The people expected some change in the fortune of the Qazi, and it came about a week later. Sultan Mahmud sent word to the Saint to persuade the Qazi to accept the Qaziship of the capital, where a good Qazi was needed. At first the Qazi was not willing to accept this offer, for he feared to lose the inward peace and happiness that comes from a Sufi's life of retirement. Blessed and assured by the Saint that he would end his life as a good man and would rise on the day of resurrection with the true Darvishes, he accepted the Qaziship. He is buried in Ahmedabad at Badupur. The ceremony of his anniversary is per-formed [Page 50] on the 28th Rabi I. He had the honour of leading the burial prayers over the body of Hazrat-i-Shah Alam.

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12. Shirazi Seyyids.

Seyyid Ahmad Ja'far: His grandfather, Seyyid Muhammad, left Shiraz and settled in Sind. Seyyid Ja'far, his father, came from Sind and stayed in Gujarat for some time, and then leaving his son Seyyid Ahmad as his successor here,went back to to Sind. Seyyid Ahmad was twelve years old at the time of his father's departure. He studied Sufism and passed his time in devotion and asceticism. Every night he used to recite half the Quran during the course of two rak'at prayers. That he might have hardships to suffer he made the pilgrimage to Mecca by land. During his perilous journeys,at times,he had no food and lived on the leaves of trees. He refused to accept any State aid, and forbade others to take presents. When Humayun conquered Gujarat many of the Ulamas and Shaikhs left Ahmedabad and settled outside, but he remained and provided, from some mysterious source, two seers of corn to every person. He was wont to put on fine clothes ; he lived a recluse for forty years, coming out only on Fridays and feast days for prayers. As for his daily prayers, he offered them in his house in the company of his disciples. This was done in his calmer moments, but when in a trance, none knew in what case he was.

Once he did not come out, even on Fridays and feast days, for full twelve years. This happened when Rana Sanga of Chitor raided Ahmednagar nnd carried off many daughters of the Seyyids and ordered them to be taught to be dancing girls.

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Thereupon the Seyyid vowed that he would never come out until the Sultan of Gujarat inflicted chastisement on the Rana. And when he knew that Sultan Bahadur of Gujarat had taken Chitor he abandoned his retirement. It is said that Sultan Mahmud Begada once begged the Seyyid to provide him with mangoes at a time when the season was over. The Seyyid commanded his servant and many mangoes were provided, the attendants receiving two each ! He died on l6th Safar 944 A.H.

Seyyid Abu Turab : His grandfather and Seyyid Shah Mir came from Shiraz and settled in Muhammadabad (Champaner) in 898 A.H., during the reign of Sultan Mahmud Begada. Both of them are buried here.

Seyyid Abu Turab was invited by the Sultans of Gujarat and settled in Ahmedabad in a newly founded quarter. In the reign of Akbar he was appointed leader of the Meccan pil-grims, and on his return brought from Mecca the Prophet's Footprint, as has been mentioned already. He died on 13th Jumadi I 1003 A.H. His mausoleum is situated at Asawal, which he had founded.

Seyyid Kamal-ud-din : Son of Seyyid Shah Mir. He is buried behind the Jami Masjid in old Asawal. His anniversary is held on 25th Rabi II.

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13. Shaikh Hasan Muhammad.

Son of Shaikh Ahmad, better known as Shaikh Miyanji, was a scholar and a Sufi. At the age of five or six he was appointed successor to Shaikh Jamal-ud-din Jumman. He also acquired the succession of the Kadiria, Nur Bakhshia, Taifuria and other orders from Muhammad Ali son of Nur Bakhsh, a pious man who knew the events of past and present and future times. When he grew up his father also appointed him his successor, and many people became his disciples. Sultan Muhammad the martyr and other nobles of Gujarat believed in him, and the Sultan bestowed on him Asarwa and other villages in all fourteen Chaklas outside the gate of Rukn-ul-mulk also belonged to him. So he was rich. And he was wont to celebrate the festivals of the Pirs and distri-bute food to the poor. The stone mosque inside the city near Shahpur gate was built by the Shaikh in eight years at a cost of one hundred thousand rupees. But some of the walls and minarets remained unfinished owing to the change of dynasty and the robbing of the Shaikh's property. The following chronogram 1 is inscribed on the left of the middle arch :-

Shaikh Hasan, of his time the guiding star,
A mosque did build where men pray for his soul.
They see this "building of the Shaikh" afar,
Its date they know, its elegance extol.

The Shaikh wrote a commentary on the Quran called the Tafsir-i-Muhammadi, in which he has pointed out the natural connection of the verses and which is approved by the Ulamas. He also wrote notes on the Tafsir-i-Baizawi, and various other [Page 66] notes and compositions. He taught for forty-one years, twenty- seven in the presence of his father and fourteen after his father's death. He was born in 923 A.H. all died on Tuesday 28th Zu'l-Qa'da 982 A.H., at the age of fifty-nine. He had six children -four sons and two daughters, viz..(1)Shaikh Kamal-ud-din; (2) Shaikh Muhammad, who succeeded his father; (3) Shaikh Qutb Muhammad, who settled in Burhanpur and is buried near the tomb of Shaikh Majen; (4) Shaikh Saleh Muhammad. The two daughters were (5) Bibi Khadija and (6) Bibi Ayesha, surnamed Achchi Ma, a virtuous lady devoted to the reading of the Quran and working wonders.

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14. Miyan Shaikh Yahya Chishti.

Shaikh Mohiy-ud-din Abu Yusuf Yahya, son of Shaikh Mah-mud, son of Shaikh Muhammad Chishti, was a divine unmatched and a famous Sufi. He was born on Thursday 20th Ramazan 1010 A.H. At the age of twenty he had completed his theological and Sufiistic studies under his gra11dfather, and had committed to memory the whole of the Quran. In the lifetime of his grandfather he accepted service under Saif Khan and Isa Tar Khan, but even in service he lived a life of piety and righteousness. Once soldiers, going to collect the revenues of Sorath, raided a village, and secured corn and money for themselves and their horses. But Miyan Yahya would take no part, and sat down quietly holding the reins of his horse. The soldiers pressed him to take something, saying that he would get nothing elsewhere, but he refused and slept that night hungry. In a vision he saw a man holding in one hand sweetmeats tied in a kerchief and in the other some hay. Miyan Yahya and his horse were both satisfied, for the man was Hazrat-i-Khizr himself. After the death of his grandfather he succeeded him, and lived the life of a recluse. Prince Aurangzeb, then viceroy of Gujarat, once invited him, but he replied "To call a Darvish means to ask for his blessing. But I pray for thee already. Of what use then is my coming ? But if to obey a ruler's command I appear before thee, the blessing will be a forced one and vain." The Prince himself went to the sage, [Page 69] and asked for his blessing; the Shaikh blessed him. And it so happened that the Prince came to the throne, and proved a defender of the faith. During his viceroyalty he used to present two hundred rupees annually to the Shaikh ; but after his coronation he sent him one thousand rupees, a turban, a cloak, a belt, and a letter in his own hand.

The Shaikh loved the Nativity ceremony, and to hear the Sufis' songs without instruments as was the wont of the Chishtis. Mirza Baqir the Muhtasib, in obedience to a royal order, suppressed all such assemblies throughout the city, but the Shaikh defied tho order, to the grief of the Muhtasib and the people. So the Muhtasib one day sat in the house of the Chief of the Arabs, thinking to bring out the musicians from the Shaikh's convent. The Shaikh, hearing of it, armed his disciples, and himself sat ready with a dagger. The Chief of the Arabs thought it not well at that time to meddle with the Shaikh, and per-suaded the Muhtasib to go back.

The Shaikh sent word to the Emperor through Shaikh Abdulla son of Shaikh Nizam, but the latter being prevailed upon by the enemies of the Shaikh did not present the Shaikh's letter before the emperor. At last a letter was sent through Mir Seyyid Ali Rizvi Khan. The Emperor kissed the letter of the Shaikh, and made amends by issuing four mandates addressed to the following: Raja Jaswant Singh, then Nazim of Gujarat; Nazim-ud- din Ahmad the Diwan ; Mir Baha-ud-din ; and Qazi Muhammad Sharif. These four officers were ordered to censure Mirza Baqir, to bid him refrain from meddling in these matters, and to wait upon the Shaikh and present on behalf of the Emperor one thousand rupees and four tolas of itr.So, thereafter, no man interfered with the Shaikh's ceremonies. The Shaikh, with his mother's consent, had made the pilgrimage to Mecca with his brother. After her death he again prepared for the holy journey, and was minded to settle at Mecca. He left the city quietly and halted at Kharia in the mosque of Maulana Muham-mad [Page 70] Qasim. People came to bid him farewell. But a certain Abdul Wahid Bohra, an orthodox Mulla who hated the Sufis and the ceremonies loved by the Shaikh mocked at him and declared such parties were nothing but grunting, and it was all humbug. The Shaikh, being informed of this insult, cursed the man, saying "This fellow shall himself grunt." And it so happened that one evening, when the Bohra was leading the evening prayer and reciting the opening chapter of the Quran, of a sudden he grunted, for he could not utter the words Ghair'l- maghdhub ; but only a grunt came from him, however much he tried. He was forced to leave the prayer unfinished, and another was put in his place. And thereafter, whenever he stood up to pray he could do nought but grunt when he came to the words Ghairi'l-maghdhub.This story is well known along the people of this land.

When the Shaikh reached Surat he was told the inconveni-ences likely to be met with on board ship for his ablutions and the rest. "Why", said the Shaikh, "should one so act as to need such things?" And, throughout his journey he took nothing but coffee, and did not need ablution until after forty days he reached Jeddah. Having an injured leg he tarried at Mecca for one year, and for the remaining fourteen years of his life he lived at Medina, where he passed away while praying on Sunday the 18th Safar 1101 A.H., at the ripe old age of ninety. He is buried by the side of the tomb of Hazrat-i-Usman in Medina. His des-cendants are still living.

15. Shaikh Ali Muttaqi.

Son of Shaikh Abu Muhammad, son of Shaikh Hasan, son of Shaikh Raja, one of the descendants of Hazrat-i-Salman-i-Farsi. [Page 71] He was the disciple and successor of Shaikh Muhammad Chishti who has been mentioned above, and he led a life of unequalled piety and scrupulousness. He abstained from food provided by others than his preceptors, and used to pick up and prepare for his meals the waste vegetables which were left by the green-grocers by the riverside. He is an author, and certain super-human powers are attributed to him. In his old age he became a cripple. He died in Rajah II 1040 A.H. and is buried in old Asawal opposite the tomb of Shah Bhikan.

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16. Miyan Ghaiban Shah, the Mystic.

He was a mystic and often used to come to Shaikh Muhammad Chishti. When Muzaffar defeated Akbar's Governor and himself sat on the throne of Gujarat, Shaikh Saleh Muhammad, [Page 73] son of Shaikh Hasan, inquired about the fortune of Muzaffar. "Who is this Muzaffar?" exclaimed the mystic ; "I am Muzaffar." And it so happened that in a short time Muzaffar fled from the battlefield was taken captive and beheaded. The mystic is buried outside the Shahpur gate. People visit his tomb with offerings of peas and juwari cakes and tripe-broth, and their prayers are granted. His anniversary is performed on 27th Rajab.

17. Shaikh Ali Muttaqi, the Elder.

Son of Hisam-ud-din, son of Abdul Malik, the pious. His forefathers lived in Jaunpur, and he was born at Burhanpur. At the age of seven his father entrusted him to the care of Shah Bajan Chishti, and died. Ali Muttaqi, when he grew up, took, service under the kings of Mandu and amassed wealth. But it pleased God that he soon gave up bis worldly life, and taking the Darvish's robe from Shaikh Abul Hakim, son of Shah Bajan, went to Multan, where in the company of Shaikh Hisam-ud-din he lived a life of devotion, studying Baizawi's Quranic com-mentary and the Ain-ul-ilm. After two years he went as a pilgrim to the holy sanctuaries, where he settled. He acquired Sufistic knowledge from Shaikh Abul Hasan Bakri, and took the robe of the Kadiria, Shazalia, Madina, and Maghribia, orders from Shaikh Muhammad Sakhavi, and went to live in Mecca. He took Shaikh Jala-ud-din Suyuti's work the Jam'ul jumu' which deals with traditions arranged alphabeti-cally [Page 74] and the claims of the Prophet's traditions as based on his sayings and orders, and arranged it in divisions, corresponding with the divisions of Muslim jurisprudence. Later, he made an epitome, but discarded it. Another book of his is the Talquin ut-tariq- an inspired work-and also the Majmu'a-i-hukm-i- kabir - a valuable book which contains the various Sufi stages.

Shaikh ibn Hajar, then one of the most learned men of Mecca, was in the beginning the teacher of Ali Muttaqi, but in the course of time he was so much impressed by the piety and Sufiistic knowledge of his pupil that he became his disciple and received the succession from him. In his travels Ali Muttaqi would carry two bags, one full of provisions and utensils, and the other containing the Quran, some necessary books, and a water bag. He would prepare his own food, and would ask help from no man. In the reign of Sultan Bahadur he came to Ahmedabad, but refused to give audience to the Sultan, who desired to pay his respects to the sage. At last Qazi Abdullah of Sindh, who had halted at Ahmedabad on his way to Medina and was intimate with the sage, pleaded on behalf of the Sultan. "If the Sultan comes here," said the sage, "I shall have to find fault with his fashion of dress and other things. And it so happened that the Sultan appearing before the sage respectfully listened to his advice, and next day presented one crore of tankas but the sage, instead of ta1king the money himself, gave it to Qazi Abdullah who had been the mediator. The sage followed the Prophet's mode of life, and he was venerated by the Sufis and the scholars of his time. He earned his daily bread by copying books and selling them. Sometimes he would borrow money from widows who lived by spinning, and then he would pay off his debt from money gained by lawful means. The following tale is told by him. "In many a desolate and dreary place have I seen gazelles gathered round a well piteously looking down at tho water they could not reach, But once it so pleased God that the water gushed upwards to [Page 75] quench the thirst of the poor creatures, and we too drank from it."

Sultan Mahmud of Gujarat, who was very careful of the purity of the water he drank and could not easily be satisfied, came to see the sage, who sent for a basin and a jug full of water, and, soaking his own cap three times in it, gave the water to the Sultan, saying, "Baba Mahmud, this water according to the Muslim law is clean, drink it therefore and let your doubts vanish; for they are the outcome of Satan's temptations." The Sultan drank and was cured of his foolish scruples. The sage was born in 885 A.H. and died at the age of ninety on 2nd Jumadi I, 975 A.H., and was buried in Medina, the holy city of the Prophet.

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18. Shaikh Kamal Kirmani.

It is said that one day Saint Qutb-i-Alam went to pay a visit to Baba Kamal of Kirman. Seeing a rosary of black beads in the hand of the Saint, the Baba pointed out that it was unlucky and led to poverty. "What sayest thou of one who had adopted a life of poverty of his own free will", answered the Saint. "I crave pardon, descendant of the Prophet, I dare say nothing of voluntary poverty such as is thy noble inheritance." The Saint left his rosary, and the Baba placed by his side his own rosary of coral beads. Therefrom two fresh rosaries were strung of black and red beads equally, and these were used by the Saint and the Baba. The Baba is buried at Bahrampur. He was the disciple of Seyyid N'imatullah Wali, who was the successor of Shaikh Abdullah Yafa'i of Mecca.

[Page 100]

19. Shaikh Abdul Latif.

Chosen successor of Saint Qutb-i-Alam, who called him his twelfth son. He lived at Pattan, and whenever his arrival in Ahmedabad was reported the Saint was pleased and blessed him who reported it and filled his mouth with gold. The Shaikh was a pious divine and a well-known author. He lived a life of voluntary poverty, and would not accept the stipends allotted to the Sufis. One day he was pressed hy his wife for money. He consoled her, quoting the Prophet's saying "Poverty is my pride," and took her to his cell. Forthwith heaps of precious stones were found scattered there, even the earthen pots were changed into gold! "Take so much as thou needest for the house" said the Saint. And she took those pots,and it is said they lasted till 1041.A.H. His anniversary is performed on 4th Ramazan.

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20. Saints who are buried in Nadiad.

Miyan Alolak : His name was Shaikh Muhammad, and he was a native of a village in Nadiad and a Sufi. One day Shah Alam happened to pass where the Shaikh was sitting cleaning vegetables. Seeing the Saint he turned his back, and gave no reply when the Saint called him thrice by his name. "Sir Coquette, why speakest thou not?" said the Saint with a smile. The Shaikh rose up and fell at the feet of the Saint, for this was as it were a title and with that purpose he had thus behaved. He is buried in Nadiad outside the gate leading towards Ahmeda-bad.

Seyyid Imam-ud-din : His father Seyyid Kabir-ud-din came to India from Iraq, and having converted many Hindus died at Lahore. He was the descendant of the Imnam Ja'far-i-Sadiq. Imam-ud-din preached among the Hindus, and made many converts. His descendants have continued to do this and have a large number of followers who are called "Mominas." What-ever they earn they pay one tenth of it to the descendants of the Seyyid the keepers of the shrine. If any of them has ten sons he would offer one for the service of the shrine, and would gladly part with his life in its defence. In the reign of Bahadur Shah I of Delhi many of them were killed, as I have already mentioned [Page 104] in the historical portion. These people are found in Gujarat and the Deccan and are generally well off. They observe certain ceremonies of the believers so as to live in friendship with them, and therefore they are hated by the Shaikhs of the land who attend not their anniversaries. The Seyyid's tomb is at Giramtha five leagt1es from Ahmedabad. His descendants live there, and receive their daily and annual stipends from the Dargah, where food is freely distributed to any new comer. The head of the Dargah is called 'Kaka.' He must lead a life of celibacy and look after the management ; this is well done. The Seyyid's anniversary is celebrated on the 26th Ramazan.


[Page 108]

Among the Muhammadans prominent are the Bohras who are found trading with Arabia, Persia, and Hindustan. They are converts from Hinduism. It is said that one Mulla Muhammad Ali (buried in Cambay and known as Pir-i-Parwaz whose tomb is [Page 109] visited by the Shia Bohras) came to Cambay, where he found the people believing in a chief saint. The Mulla paid homage to him, learnt the language of the people and in secret began to unfold the beauties of Islam to the saint, who in the course of time became a believer, and with him some of his chosen followers as well as the minister of the Raja. This little band of early con-verts kept its Islam secret through fear of the Raja. One day, the Raja, being informed of his Minister's change of creed, of a Rudden entered his house and saw him praying; "What meanest thou by this kneeling and this falling on the ground ?" asked the the Raja. The Minister, by God's grace not losing his presence of mind, gave a ready reply, saying that he was moving up and down in looking for and avoiding danger from a snake. The Raja looked at the corner of the room, and lo! a serpent was there.

The Minister again received his master's confidence, ancl in the course of time was able to persuade the Raja to believe in Islam. The Raja, too, kept his creed secret ; but after his death he was buried as desired by him, and not burnt as the heathens do.

Now, the Mulla being a Shia, the converts naturally adopted the Shia creed. At Pattan, which was then a big city, they were in the majority ; but when Sultan Muzaffar took possession of Gujarat, his Sunni followers who had come with him from Delhi, converted the Shia Bohras of the towns, but the Bohras of the neighbouring districts and villages remained Shias. For a long time the Sunni and Shia Bohras allowed intermarriages, but from the time of one Seyyid Ja'far of Shiraz, who is buried inside the fort near the Astodiya Gate, the two communities became separate from each other-the Sunnis being called "the big community," and the Shias "the small community." The latter community have always a leader who is called a Mulla. He is a learned man and he is authorised to appoint collectors of Zakat and Khums-taxes which are paid by their followers. The money thus collected is given to their Seyyids and the poor of their community. Some of them have adopted the belief of the followers of the Twelve Imams.

Shia Bohras are divided into seven sects, viz.-Daudia, [Page 110] Sulaimania, Alia, Zaidia. Hajumia, Ismailia, and Nazaria, who came with Seyyid Imam-ud-din (buried at the village of Giramtha)

As described in the chapter on the reign of the Emperor Aurangzeb, these Shias were persecuted, so they would not openly profess their beliefs, and they have kept their religious books hidden. However, this much is known-that they count their months according to the Hindu calculation. For example, their first of Ramazan falls on the Hindu Padwa, one or two days before the new moon is visible. Consequently, their Ramazan is completed on the 28th or 29th of the ordinary Ramazan of the Muslims, and they celebrate their 'Id festival separately. In the reign of Aurangzeb these people were forced to taste food on the last day of Sha'ban and abstain from it on the closing day of Ramazan. Prefects of their towns as well as teachers and Imams who were Sunnis were also forced on them.

[Page 114]

22. Shevras- also known as Jatis

They are a class of mendicants who observe celibacy and have knowledge of medicine and astrology. Their God is Parasnath, and they are austere ascetics. A section of them, called Dhondias, do not believe in images. They abstain from food and drink for full forty days (some shorten the period) in their special periods called Pachusan. During the rainy season they halt for four months at particular places pointed out by their leaders.

The preservation of life is the essence of their creed, and therefore they walk barefooted, so as not to harm even an ant. They also keep a piece of cloth over their mouths, so as to preserve mosquitoes from being killed by their breath. They consider the digging of wells and the construction of tanks and gardens as unmeritorious, for thereby living creatures are killed. They do not light lamps at night, nor kindle fire for cooking, nor draw water for drinking. They live on food provided by their disciples the Bania Shravaks. Some fix on two or three houses whence they get their food, but if they find the door closed they do not knock, and pass the day and night without food. Similarly, on marriage occasions, funerals, and feasts, they do not enter any house, nor will they eat anything at night. [Page 115] They abstain from eating brinjals, cucumbers, and certain other vegetables, as they believe them to be possessed of life. They tie a piece of cloth round their loins, and cover themselves with a sheet from head to foot, holding in their hand a silken brush to sweep the ground whereon they desire to sit, so as to save insects from destruction. They do not believe in God as creator of the world, for their leaders think the generation of man and other living creatures is like the natural growth of grass from times immemorial. They say that man is made of the four elements, which dissolve at his death and return to their respective sources, and there can be no punishment in the future world. So, too, offerings to the dead are like pouring oil on an extinguished lamp. They do not shave, nor bathe, nor use a tooth brush ; and they are opposed to the Brahmans and Meshris, who bathe at least twice a day. They accept children from any caste, and, having taught them, choose the best as their successors. The Meshris, who are followers of the Brahmans, hate these people to such an extent that, if they see a murderous rogue elephant let loose in one place and a dwelling of the Shevras in another, they would prefer to be trampled on by the rogue rather than meet the Shevra. It is said that Gaotam, who was one of the seven Rakhisaras, was the founder of the sect. The Shevras are divided into 84 classes called Gachhas.

[Page 120]

23. Dwarkan.

A renowned ancient place of worship where Hindus from all parts of India flock. Its chief village Jagat is situated on the sea-side 175 kos from the city of Ahmedabad towards the west in the Sarkar of Sorath

It is said that in olden times Krishna of Mathura built here a fort of solid gold, now submerged. The word Dwarkan is made up [Page 121] of Dwar a gate, and Kan one of the names of Krishna. So it means Krishna's sanctuary.

Krishna, leaving Mathura, settled here ; and here he passed away. The village Jagat has a temple called Bhikam Narayan, situated on the river Gomti, which issuing from the ground of Okha kher, flows through Jagat and falls into the ocean- the place of confluence being called Chakra Tirth. Gopi Tank and Kailas kund and Pun-dara are also here. A kund is a fountain built up so as to form a reservoir, where pilgrims bathe and offer balls of oaten flour to the dead. It is said that none who enters the kund for such an offer-ing is ever drowned, for he is kept floating on the surface of the water. Such wonders and other strange stories are told of these places. In the year 878 A.H. Sultan Mahmud Begada conquered Dwarkan, and destroyed the temple in the island of Shankhoddhar, and built a mosque (see the Mirat-i-Sikandari).

In the reign of Aurangzeb the Thanadar appointed by the Fauj-dar of Junagadh was ordered to stop the Hindus from worshipping at this place.

24. The island of Shankhoddhar (Beyt)

This is an island with an area of twelve kos., having sweet water streams, fruitful trees, and green fields. It has a tree which from its top to its roots is covered with branches, any of which when moved cause the whole tree to shake. The Brahmans believe it to be a tree from Vaikuntha (Heaven) and call it Parijatak. When a boat is three kos off, this wonderful tree is seen.

The island is named Shankhoddhar because its shape is like a Shankh or bugle. Others derive it from Shankhasur, a demon that lived here.

In the time of the early Muslim rule the idols dedicated to Krishna, his father, and his brother, were removed from Jagat and placed in the island, but in the end they were destroyed by Sultan [Page 122] Mahmud Begada. At present Beyt has a temple with an enclosure having six rooms facing each other in which six idols are placed ; viz., Ranchod (Krishna), Madhorai, Trikam, Kesoria, Vasudev (Krishna's father), and Kalyan. Four other rooms are dedicated to Krishna's wives, namely Rukmini, Radha, Satyabhama, and Jambuvati. There is a place hefore Trikam's room reserved for the Garud, the bird on which Krishna used to ride. Outside the tank a room is dedicated to Shankh Narayan. On the north gate of the outer wall a11other room, which is now in ruins, was reserved for Shankhasur Demon. It is said that one of the enclosures was used by the Naib Thanadar and had the tomb of one of the saints named Haji Kirmani, whose history is not known ; this tomb is unmolested, and it is visited at times by Muslims.

At a distance of two kos from Jagat and opposite the Shan-khoddhar island there is a spot named Aramda, where pilgrims get themselves shaved, pay tribute to the Zamindar of the place, and are branded on both arms. Brahmans are, however, exempt-ed from branding, but are marked with Gopi Chandan, which is a yellowish dust taken from the Gopi tank. It is said that the Gopis (Krishna's sixteen hundred wives) drowned themselves in the tank, and were changed into dust after the death of their royal husband. And Gopi Chandan is taken to distant lands as a sacred relic.

25. Mul Mahadev.

This is a temple dedicated to Mahadev in Madhupur, Par- gana Manglor, Sarkar Sorath, near the seaside. One of its wonders is that, in the month of Ashadh when the Sun enters the sign of Cancer, and at the commencement of the rainy season between the ninth and fourteenth of the month, which the Hindus call Purnamashi, a bird a little smaller than a pigeon and of a strange form (some call it Pakha)comes from the seaside, and perching on the top of the temple, flaps its wings in joy for about two hours and then dies on the spot. The people burn incense and gather together to look at this strange thing, and they take from the bird omens regarding the rains. According as black and white is proportioned on its feathers: they augur what kind of [Page 123] rainy season they will have, whether the rain will fall early or late or otherwise. If nothing but black, or nothing but white, is to be seen they infer that the rain will be continuous throughout the season, or that it will be a drought. No year ever passes without the appearance of the bird at this season. It is said that in the same manner a creature comes and sits in the temple of Pattan Diu, and on that of Jagat which is by the sea-shore ,and the people there, too, draw omens from it, but God knows best what is true.

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26. Bechra

A temple in Sankhalpur, Pattan Sarkar, forty kos from the city of Ahmedabad, having no idol or image, but a niche in the wall towards the west dedicated to Bechra, one of the names of Bhavani. Many stories are told about the foundation of the temple, but I pass them over here. Strange to say, its priests are said to be Muslims divided into two classes, namely, Pavyas and Kamalias. The Pavyas are clad like Hindu women, the Kamalias are soldiers who always keep with them a Trishul which is Beohra's insignia. The Kolis and Rajputs of this district, who are generally robbers, believed in these priests, so much so that whenever any Kamalia serves as a guide to any caravan robbers dare not plunder it. Cocks and peacocks, believed to be the pets of the Goddess, are let loose as offerings to her. Bullocks are also [Page 125] sacrificed, the blood of which is sprinkled on the niche and is used as a mark on the forehead of the worshipper. Many Hindus have great faith in the Goddess; so they go there; fast for a period; and gain their desired end-such as the cure of a disease, restoration of eyesight, acquisition of a horse or other object. Sometimes the expectant believer is told in a dream to go and get what he desires from such and such person or place. Well says the proverb "My preceptor is of no worth; my faith is enough for me." As this place is considered the chief abode of the Goddess people from distant places flocks here in large numbers.

27. Chandreskwar Mahadev.

Chandreshwar is one of the names of Mahadev. This tem-ple is situated in Chandreshwar, Pargana Dholka, at a distance of three kos on the river Sabarmati. The Brahmans relate the following story.

In ancient times this place was a pasture ground where a herdsman used to tend his cattle. He had a fine cow with udders full of milk, but it so happened that every evening when he sat down to milk her he found that she gave none. Marvelling thereat he looked on the cow to seek the cause of it. At midday once he saw the cow go out, and he followed her. She stood at a hill, and lo! her milk flowed away leaving her udders empty. The herdsman returned home, and at night [Page 126] he saw Mahadev in a dream saying, "That hill is my abode, build thereon a temple." The herdsman answered "Behold ; I have no money." "Thou shalt find it hidden in the hill," answered Mahadev. The herdsman sought and found the treasure and a ling.The temple was then built, and the village of Chandeshwar was founded. It has a large well with wide open mouth so that a number of kosacan work at one time.

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28. Amba and Bechra.

In Changpol, a female image of stone. The temple is on the road side, and has a large crowd of worshippers, especially on Sundays. Votaries offer to the goddess precious ornaments and fine clothes. Another image is kept in Aka Seth's Jane in Raypur ward in a cellar, where lamps are kept burning day and night.

29. Bechra

In Taluja pol, near Sarangpur gate ; there is a niche for the goddess in the house of a Brahman woman who lived for a long time on milk only., worshipping the image. She remained in the cellar, and came out once a year in the month of Ashwin on Navratra days, that is, the nine days of fasting; on the tenth day the ceremony of Havan is performed, which is a sort of burnt offering of oats, sesame, rice, and milk. It is said that the woman used to cut off her tongue and throw it on the fire ; but strange to say it was restored to her instantly! Now-a-days she takes ordinary food, to preserve her health in her old age, but the mutilation of her tongue is performed by her as usual.

Another niche for the above goddess is in Dhal lane, near the Astodiya Chabutra. It is decorated with talc, and its votaries tell of many wonders performed there.

[Page 133]

30. Saraswati

One of the great Tirths. It is said that the river issues in the east from the root of a banyan tree at Prayag ; but, owing to causes given in their fabled stories, it disappears and emerges again at a distance. In this province it is first seen flowing from mountains of Sirohi and passes Siddhpur in the Pattan Sarkar. It disappears again at a distance of ten kos from Pattan, then emerges near Kodinar at Okha in Sorath divided into five chan-nels, viz. Berachi, Sarsati, Hirna, Gomti, Kapila, and Darjini, half a kos from Somnath called also Bhalka Tirth. These five meet at the foot of Somnath, receive the name of Hirna, and fall into the ocean. Bathing in this river is considered meritori-ous, especially at Siddhpur and Bhalka Tirth. A large annual fair was held in Siddhpur, in the month of Kartik when the sun enters Libra on the full-moon day, when Hindus from all parts of the country assembled to bathe and distribute alms to the priests. The [Page 134] fair lasted for three days, and precious commodities, and horses, camels, and cattle, were sold. The writer of this book has himself seen this pleasant sight, but nowadays, owing to the disturbances in the country and the unsettled state of the Government, proces-sions of pilgrims from Ahmedabad and other places have stopped, as well as business.

31. Narbada.

One of the great Tirths. Bathing in it is cosidered meri-torious, especially in the month of Chaitra when the sun enters Aries on the night of the new moon, which generally corresponds with the days of Biz, on the thirteenth and fourteenth of that month. Bathing in this river is at all times meritorious. Large crowds of men and women from these parts and the Deccan assemble at Karnali Chandod under Sinor, thirteen kos from Baroda, where the river is joined by a tributary named Or. They worship in Mahadev's temples on the bank, perform the Shraddha ceremony, and give presents in the shape of food, clothing, and cash, to the priests.

In Gujarat there are two famous Tirths; one of the above men-tioned 'Or Sangam' confluence of the Or river with the Narbada, and the other near Broach where the river enters the sea. The same sort of suicide as is mentioned in the account of Mount Girnar, called Bhairav Jap,is committed here by believers in the transmigration of souls, who tie a bag of rice round their necks and drown themselves. But some wicked Sanyasis and Yogis carry off with them beautiful damsels bathing in the river, thinking they would be wedded to them when reborn. The relatives of such maidens try their best to protect and save them from these fellows.

However, these Tirths are considered most sacred, and Brahmans have written a book on the subject dealing exhaus-tively with bathing.

[Page 138]


The Shravaks are spread throughout India, but I shall deal only with those who are found in this Province. Any one among the Banias who wishes to adopt the creed of the Shravaks is a1lowed to do so.

The Oswal and Shrimali Shravaks are considered the purest, for they have no admixture with the Meshris, who are mixed up with Purwals, better known as "two and a half Shravaks."

The Oswals are inhabitants of Osa in Marwar, and were originally Rajputs who had accepted the creed of the Shravaks in the manner narrated to me by Ratan Singh Bhandari, who was appointed to govern this Province on behalf of Maharaja Abhe Singh. Ratan Singh was a Rajput Shravak, and he told me the following story:

In bygone days a Shevra came to a village in Marwar. As there was no Shravak in the village of Rajputs the poor wanderer could not beg his bread, and had to pass the night without food. But it so happened that at midnight the son of the chief of the village was bitten by a snake, and was on the point of death. Now the Shevra knew how to cure him by a certain charm; so he sent word to the chief that he could cure the patient if he (the chief) became a follower of the Shevras. His aim was to have some Shravaks in that village, who could look after the needs of wandering Shevras. The chief accepted the condition. The Shevra cured his son. In this way the chief and all the Rajputs of the village became followers of the Shevra.

[Page 141]

33. On drugs and spices, etc. and their weight.

The Indians call these things Kirana,and a special measure is used for them, both in the city and in the ports. As these are goods for export, customers buy them according to the usual measure and then sell them with slightly deficient measures, thereby receiving some benefit. In the rainy season some of these things get wet or mixed up with rubbish and increase in weight, and hence undergo fluctuations. Tin and zinc, though not so affected, are also included.

34. On the weights of certain things and spices.

From old times in Ahmedabad and the ports, the articles which they call Kirana in Hindi have special measures. Traders bring them from the districts and purchasers buy them from the sellers by the weight they call tol,and sell them retail with mnore or less difference. There is no actual calculation, but an allowance is made to the purchaser for profit according to custom and what is estimated. Since most of these things get wet in the rains, and get mixed with rubbish, they increase in weight. If they take some things, such as tin and zinc, which are not affect-ed by damp and rubbish still they get more. And there is no tol (weighing) for some things. And for fresh fruit and vegetables there are no fixed weights that have been ascertained at the time of writing or are current in Ahmedabad. Since the details of names of weights current are many I do not think it proper to write at length.

It should be known that for most things there are 42 units per maund, but in some a little more or less. Silk in the rains has 34 seers and at other times 42 1/2.

  • Cardamoms have . . .. . .. .42 1/2
  • Assafoetida . . . . . . . .42
  • Almonds .. . . . . . . .42 1/2
  • Tin, zinc and lead .. . . .. 40 1/2
  • Behda .. .. .. .. 40 1/2
  • Phitkari (Alum).. .. .. ..42 1/2
  • Pipal Mul .. .. .. 44 (Roots of Pipal tree)
  • ,, (not cleared) .. .. .. 48 1/2
  • Bankawa .. .. .. .. 42
  • [Page 142]Myra bolams .. .. .. .. 42 1/2
  • Nutmegs .. .. .. .. 42
  • Chul .. .. .. .. 42 1/2
  • Dates .. .. .. .. 42
  • Cinnamon .. .. .. .. 42 1/2
  • Pepper .. .. .. .. 44
  • Dhavri Patam .. .. .. 43
  • Saffron .. .. .. .. 45
  • Turmeric .. .. .. .. 42 1/2
  • Betel-nut .. .. .. .. 40,518
  • Soranki .. .. .. .. 42 1/2
  • Sugar .. .. .. .. 40
  • Sandal wood .. .. .. .. 42
  • Honey .. .. .. .. 42
  • Chillies .. .. .. .. 42
  • Cloves .. .. .. .. 42
  • Raisins .. .. .. .. 42
  • Kusum .. .. .. .. 42 1/2(Flowers from which red Kusambi colour is drawn)
  • Khar (Soda) .. .. .. 40 1/2
  • Kasis .. .. .. .. 42 1/2
  • Lodhra .. .. .. .. 48
  • Dry grapes .. .. .. .. 42
  • Wax .. .. .. .. 42 1/2
  • Manjitha .. .. .. .. 42 1/2
  • Gall nuts .. .. .. .. 42 1/2
  • Salt .. .. .. .. 44
  • Sugarcandy .. .. .. .. 42 1/2
  • Nasphal .. .. .. .. 42 1/2
  • Black myrabolams .. .. 40 1/2

As regards fresh fruits and vegetables 110 are considered as one hundred, but plantains count 120. Brinjals, carrots and herbs, they sell by the forty seers.

Technical terms used by the cloth merchants and jewellers of the city.

Technical terms of the cloth merchants :-

  • Panleti .. ..=1/2
  • Velmasil.. ..=1/2
  • [Page 143]Rakhpan .. ..=3/4
  • Sank .. .. ..=1
  • Patakala.. ..=1 1/4
  • Sankar .. ..=1 1/2
  • Patakala Jor .. ..=1 3/4
  • Joi .. .. ..=2
  • Rakh.. .. ..=3
  • Phuk.. .. ..=4
  • Bad.. .. ..=5
  • Dik.. .. ..=6
  • Pit.. .. ..=7
  • Manka .. ..=8
  • Gun .. .. ..=9
  • Sala .. .. ..=10
  • Akela .. .. ..=11
  • Jorla .. .. ..=12
  • Rakhla .. ..=13
  • Phokla .. ..=14 and so on adding la up to 19.
  • Kori .. .. ..=20 Silsank Kori or Rakhdehi=30.
  • Kori Sank .. ..=21 (Jor Kori or phuk Dahi=40, and so on adding Kori up to 49.)
  • Dahi .. .. .. ..=50 (Dik Dahi=60; Pit Dahi=70 Manka Dahi=80; Gun Dahi=90.)
  • Pharona .. .. .. 100 Kathma Kothli= 1000
  • Terms used by jewellers.
  • Sali .. .. = 1/4 Van .. .. =9
  • Sali .. ..=1/2 Angal .. ..=10
  • [Page 144]Likhwa .. ..=3/4 Kakra .. ..=11
  • Akra .. ..=1 Patar .. ..=12
  • Salayek.. ..=1 1/4 Nipar .. ..=13
  • Sankas .. ..=1 1/2 Chaupar.. ..=14
  • Mahani Likhwa..=1 3/4 Mulpar.. ..= 15
  • Samani .. ..=2 Pariri .. ..=16
  • Ekwai .. ..=3 Samarpari ..=17
  • Eran .. ..=4 Tahalpari ..=18
  • Mul .. ..=5 Wanpari.. ..=19
  • Sapar .. ..=6 Sut .. ..=20
  • Samar .. ..=7 Ekwadahi ..=30
  • Tahal .. ..=8 Erandahi.. ..= 40
  • Mul Dahi ..=50 Sapardahi.. ..=60
  • Samar Dali =70 Tahal Dahi ..=80
  • Van Dahi .=90 Pharona .. ..=100
  • Kathma Kothali ..1000
Other technical terms used in the markets.
  • Nana, Akra, Vasur, and her.
  • "Mata Baser Akra baosu" mean "rupees in cash."
  • Dokra-one hundred dokras tl1ey count one ruppee.
  • One paisa is called Tantu.
  • Ankhiya is one Tanka.
  • Ram=one anna.
  • Kaoli=means commission; Mahapar is buyer.
  • Dhakka is loss ;
  • Jangad means things taken home on credit by the buyer.
  • Sangav, or Sunth, means take ; Garayad means kind.
  • Sak means witness.
  • Choya=much; Choyamenchoya=very much.
  • Labh=profit; Lobh=avarice.
  • Vasun and Lobhun mean rupture.
  • Ralna means collection.
  • Uth=3i; Adhol=l/16 of a kachcha seer.
  • Val=three mashas; Gadyana=six mashas.
[Page 148]

35. The Diwan of the Province.

He was appointed by Royal order, and received his sanad under the seal of the Vazir. He keeps one hundred horse ; besides his personal mansab. He has civil powers, and a contingent of fifty cavalry in connection with Thanas Arjunpur and Khambali and an inam. He is assisted in his civil work by certain officials stationed in the province as stewards to carry out the Royal command. His duties are : collection of revenues of the crown lands and dues on charitable endowments; payment, under his signature, of salaries according to services rendered ; and of the Jagirs having Royal sanads issued in the nine Sarkars paying tribute ; and similar other duties in connection with taxation, receipts, and expenditure.

36. The Office Staff.

Peshkar or Secretary. Generally a Mansabdar, and ap-pointed by the Emperor, receiving a sanad under the seal of the Diwan. In many cases private secretaries act as Peshkars.

Daroga: A Mansabdar, receiving his sanad from the Diwan. He is a superintendent.

Mushrif: Treasurer appointed by the Diwan on Rs. 40 per month. He is also in charge of stalls for selling pan leaves.

Tahvildar : Cashier appointed by the Diwan on Rs. 40 per month. He also has to do with the pan leaves stalls.

The Office has a Munshi(Head clerk) ; Huzur clerk; Suba clerk ; clerks for crown lands, Tan records, arrears, stipends, [Page 149] and cash; accountant (on Rs. 100 per month); clerks for record-ing rates and news ; record keeper, and herald.

37. Judicial Department.

District Judge-'Sadr Kacheri-i-Sadarat :- He is appointed by the Sadr-us-Sudur (Chief J11dicial functionary). Besides getting a personal mansab and emoluments he is a salaried officer of Rs. 50 and with ten horsemen. His duties are : checking the sanads of Qazis, Muhtasibs, Khatibs, Imams, Muezzins, and Mutawallis of the shrines; issuing cheques for the stipends and daily allowances in the city and other towns ; passing bills for payment to charitable endowments.

38. Muhtasib.

The Muhtasibs for the city and the towns are appointed from the Sadr's office according to the Royal sanad. The Muhtasib's personal rank is that of 250, and he has 10 horsemen, receiving also the assistance of some cavalry and infantry from the Nazim to help him to execute the commandments and prohi-bitions of the law. He also supervises weights and measures, etc. The Muhtasibs for the town receive cash and land suited to the conditions of those places.

[Page 150]

39. Bakhshis and Reporters.

Along with the chief Bakhshis (Paymasters) four Bakhshis are appointed by Royal mandate. Their personal rank is 500, with 50 cavalry. Reporters are sometimes appointed separately, but in some Parganas the Bakhshis' assistants discharge this duty, and the Bakhshi makes a summary of their reports and encloses it with the report for the city. The clerks attached to the courts of judicature and the Kotwal's office write a daily report. In some Parganas good reporters are appointed direct by the Huzur.

The Bakhshi also keeps records of confiscated Jahgirs of persons who are dead and fugitive and absentee Mansabdars, and presents them to the Diwan under his seal. Any Mansabdar who goes without first acquiring the Bakhshi's permission is marked absent. The envelopes containing reports and received through the postmaster are despatched with the mails to the Emperor.

[Page 152]

40. Branding Department.

The Amin, Daroga, and Mushrif, are appointed by the chief Bakhshi for the Province. The Amin, besides his personal man-sab, is entitled to keep 10 horsemen; and the Daroga too is a Mansabdar. These two with the Mushrif, in former times, used to sit with their staff in the four-vaulted building in the market, marking the attendance of the horses, their trappings, and the equipage of the Mansabdars. Officers of the rank of 500 personal are exempted from the branding. Forces consist of one part of Moghals, Afghans, and Rajputs, respectively, two parts of archers, and one part of musketeers. Officers of the rank of 400 personal keep for themselves five Iraqi horses, one Turkish, and one hybrid; five coats of mail with helmets, one set of horse-armour. Those of the rank of 350 and 300 keep four horses and five coats of mail; while those of 150 have three horses and five armours. Mansabdars of the rank of 1,000 are entitled to keep 30 water carriers, farriers, pioneers, musketeers, and archers. Certificates signed by the Amin, the Daroga, and the Mushrif, used to be regularly issued, but after the death of the Emperor Aurangzeb, when rules and regulations were uncared of and the Mansab-dars were not given their due jahgirs,the Branding Department was abolished. And now even persons who know about this system are extinct!

[Page 153]

41. The four Treasury Departments.

I. The main or Royal Treasury which is called the House of Taxes ; the taxes consist of the tributes from the Imperial Parganas, taxes on the property of Hindus, duties on cloth, cattle, etc.

2.Bakaya (arrears), whatever is due from officials, con-tractors, or on account of money advanced to tenants, belongs to this Treasury.

3.Treasury of Alms, consisting of Zakat,i.e. one rupee on every forty rupees, from the annual savings of a Muslim. Indigent persons who are entitled to receive alms are paid from this treasury.

4. Jaziya. As stated above whatever is collected from non-Muslim subjects belongs to this treasury, and is spent on charit-able purposes and hereditary recipients. This branch was abolished after the martyrdom of the Emperor Farruksiyar.

[Page 154]

42. Weight of the ashrafi and rupee.

The ashrafi weighs 11 mashas and the rupee 11 1/2 mashas. Treasure is loaded in waggons, each carrying Rs. 40,005. The weight of one hundred thousand rupees is 34 maunds less 9 seers. Three waggons per one lakh are given- each drawn by one pair of oxen, and sometimes two pairs are used for safety.

Treasury Officers receive Court sanads signed by the Imper-ial Diwan in accordance with the Provincial Diwan's recommen-dation, and they are the following :-

  • 'Amin'- A Mansabdar entitled to keep five suwars.
  • 'Daroga'-A Mansabdar with additional duty as Daroga of Civil Court; has ten suwars personal.
  • 'Mushrif'- Whose duty it is to give receipts to the Mansab-dars -gets Rs. 50 per mensem.
  • The Treasurer-Receives Rs. 80 per month, and his peons, five in all, get Rs. 20. All these have their pay bills signed by the Diwan of the Province.

43. Department of the Cloth Market.

This is also called Sad Panj or "Five per cent. Department." In former times duties on imports and exports were levied in the suburbs and at the Customs' offices, but in the reign of the Emperor Aurangzeb, as mentioned above, Muslims, Christians, and Hindus, were taxed 2 1/2, 3 1/2, and 5 cent., respectively.

44. Officials.

They have their sanads signed by the Imperial Diwan in accord-ance with the Provincial recommendation. With the inception of the Department, Amins, Mushrifs and Tahvildars, were appointed. The Amin, who, besides his personal mansab, is entitled to keep ten horsemen, inspects merchandise. As the Amin was not able to look after the whole of the imports and exports, a Daroga was appointed, who, besides his personal mansab, is entitled to ten horsemen. Fifty peons, on Rs. 150 per month, were posted at the various stations, receiving their salaries from the Department of Customs.

Karora: He was first appointed in place of a fraudulent Daroga in the last days of the Emperor Aurangzeb, during the [Page 155] viceroyalty of Prince Muhammad Azah, but the post was abolished when the matter was again represented to the Emperor. He was again appointed in the reign of Bahadur Shah I ; he had no fixed status.

The Mushrif receives Rs. 65 per month, drawing his salary from the budget of this department.

The Muqayyim is an officer who fixes prices in the market suited to the various customers, from whom he receives 12 annas for every Rs. 100, and pays annually to the Government Rs. 1,000 which he deposits in the Royal treasury.

The Tahvildar gets Rs. 70 per month from customs receipts.

The Qanungo is a legal remembrancer, who has a sanad from the Emperor and receives his dues from customs receipts.

The 'Reporter.' His post was first created by the Emperor Babur for his kingdom.. Later on Sawanih Nawis and Harkaras were also appointed, having their own agents.

45. Divisions belongittig to the Cloth Market.

Outside the fort) near Nainpur, is situated the Kotha of Wahabgunj, where drugs imported from Surat were kept for want of sufficient space in the Cloth Market.

The agents of the Mutasaddis were posted here, who issued passes under the seal of the Mutasaddi, after duly entering the dues payable on the various articles ; yarn and hides were also taxed similarly.

46. Customs stations for the Cloth Market.

Isanpur; Jitbagh; Nihali Ohosar; Ohandod; Kanej; Kasan-dara; Rajpur; Odheb; Jahangirpur; Rakhial: Saraspur Naher-wala; Shahibagh ; Adalaj ; Shaikhpur ; Santej ; Sarkhej Shaha-bari; Odkamod.

Officers were appointed by the Mutasaddis for the above sta-tions, and they collected the dues, issuing passes under the seal of the Mutasaddi, and then allowing the merchandise to pass.

47. Parganas and towns connected, with the Cloth Market.

Parganas of Kapadwanj ; Bara Sinor; Bahyal; Bisalnagar; Badnagar: Bijapur ; Kheralu; Nadiad; Umreth; Kadi ; Modasa; [Page 156] Prantij ; Ahmednagar ; Mahmudabad; Arharmatar ; Munda ; Godhra ; Sarnal; Baroda ; Sinor ; Savli; Songadh ; Bahadurpur ; Halo]; Kalol; Dabhoi; Nandod; Thamna; Jhalavar; Idar; Dohad ; Mehsana ; and Kalol.

The agents of the Mutasaddis receive as dues 1/40 from Mus-lims and 12/40 from Hindus. The remaining Parganas are attached to the 'General District.'

48. Mahal-i-Sair (The General District).

The Persian of Mandvi is Juba; it means a place where commodities and corn, etc., are brought from outside and sold in the city.

[Page 159]

49. Myrobalam confection despatch office.

There are two very old myrobalam trees at Rakhial. In the course of time one died, the other has been seen by the writer who has tasted its confection; it, too, is now dead. The trees were enclosed within four walls of burnt brick with a large well. Confection was annually sent to the Emperor ; and the above village was assigned for expenditure on this object. The Champaner garden had also some such trees. The staff was appointed under the seal of the Mir-i-Saman and approved by the Provincial Government. The Daroga was an unconditional Mansabdar ; there were paid guards.

[Page 160]

50. Balghur Khana

Called also Langarkhana, where a sum of Rs. 50 is spent daily on bread and in cash payments. The office gets its money from the Treasury. Some of the alms receivers get corn and cash besides the above help, as sanctioned by the Head of the Provin-cial Government. Rs. 5 daily are reserved for the Dargah of Hazrat-i-Shah Alam; Rs. 2 for Pattan Langar (distribution of alms) ; Rs. 1-3-0 for Shah Wajih-ud-din's Dargah; Rs. 2 for Hidayat Bakhshi's school. The rest is spent by Shaikh-ul-Islam Khan, who distributes cooked food and cash to the poor and to travellers before the Mausoleum of Sultan Ahmad of Gujarat. Officials are appointed under the seal of the Mir-i-Saman and approved by the Provincial Government. The Amins and Daroga are unconditional Mansabdars; the Mushrif receives Rs. 4. The Mutawalli of the Mausoleum of Sultan Ahmad sometimes combines the duty of Daroga with his other duties.

51. Hospitals

For the sick and those wvho cannot maintain themselves.

Officials are appointed under the seal of the Chief Hakim, who acts as Daroga, an unconditional Mansabdar. The physician at the tomb of Shah Wajih-ud-din gets annas ten daily.

The Mushrif is the one attached to the Bait-ul-mal. The [Page 161] Tahvildar is attached to the shop-rent department. There were two Indian physicians for Hindus; one gets annas eight per day and the same amount for medicine, and other annas ten daily. A surgeon receives annas eight per day. A sum of Rs. 2,000, drawn from the treasury, is annually spent on medicine and food for poor patients

52. Distribution of robes and blankets.

The Emperor Aurangzeb was pleased to sanction an annual grant of Rs. 1,500 for clothing for the poor and needy in winter. Officials are appointed under the seal of the Mir-i-Saman and approved by the Provincial Government. The Daroga is an unconditional Mansabdar. The Mushrif and Tahvildar are selected by the Provincial Government.

[Page 162]

53. CHAPTER V The Sarkars and Parganas of the Province of Ahmedabad, with a list of villages, their income, and the Faujdars and Thanadars with their contingents.

In the time of the Sultans of Gujarat, the Province of Gujarat consisted of 25 Sarkars, but Akbar after conquering it divided it into 16 Sarkars as mentioned in the Introduction-six of them pay tribute and the rest revenue. As, owing to mismanagement and the incursions of the Marathas, the Revenue Department does not now receive regular files from the districts showing accounts of newly populated or ruined villages, I have given below what I have copied from the record for the Turkish year Takhaqu il, i.e. 1161 Fasli, or 1166 A.H.

54. I.Ahmedabad Sarkar.

Ahmedabad consists of 33 divisions, two of which belong to the city. A description of the city and of the mint has already been given in the previous chapter ; the remaining divisions are given below.

Pargana Haveli: consists of 193 villages in twelve groups, forming one division with 12 outposts. This Pargana was formed in the following manner. When Sultan Ahmad laid the founda-tion of this great city close by Asawal, some of the neighbouring [Page 163] villages such as Astodiya, Asarwa, Khamandrol, and Rakhial, were included in the city and its suburbs. Then, Asawal and Manjhuri being raised to the status of suburbs, the Sultan was pleased to order that the villages of Khamandrol, Asarwa, Aspur, Chandloria, and Ghatloria (near Asawal), extending to a distance of ten kos, and bounded by Pargana Bahial on the east, Viramgam on the west, Dholka on the south, and Kadi on the north, be formed into one Pargana named Haveli Pargana.

Names of the Head Villages of the Twelve Groups.-Rakhial; Rajpur ; Bagh-i-Firdaus; Khamandrol ; Naginai; Shaikhpur; Nadichah; Nadi Ret; Usmanpur; Daryapur; Jhundao ; Chan-gezpur.

The remaining 181 villages yield an annual income of 33,488,053 dams-forty dams equalling one rupee. The Faujdars and Thanadars of the Pargana are under the Fauzdar Gard.

Pargana Arharmatar 12 kosfrom Ahmedabad towards the south-west, forming one division. In olden times Arhar was the chief town, but when the centre of population was shifted to Matar the two names were combined and the Pargana was called Arharmatar. It has 69 villages with an income of 20,082,798 dams, and has a Faujdar, who with one hundred horsemen (with-out contingent), controls eight Thanas, namely, Libasi; Mankoh. Komamodij ; Khomanwar ; Siyuj Boriavi ; Shamspur ; and Kodali. Ten extra Thanadars are appointed by the Emperor for the above Pargana, as recommended by the Nazims and Diwan; They are as follows :-

  • Khera-50 horse (conditional) ; Thana.
  • Baori-10 horse.
  • Thana Jejka- 15 horse.
  • Thana Pilara- 100 horse, personal.
  • Thana Ratanpur- 50 personal, 35 horse.
  • Thanas Chil, Sirdij, and Lakhoda, have 50 personal, and 100 horse.
  • Thana Kirmala 50 horse.
  • Thana Dihgam Karwa--50 horse,

Pargana Azamabad, 40 kos from Ahmadabad towards the east, has one division. In the reign of the Emperor Shahjahan Azam Khan Udai built a strong fort on the bank of the river [Page 164] Vatrak to keep the rebellious Kolis under control, and, attaching to it twelve villages of Pargana Bahial and Kapadwanj, reported the matter to the Emperor. A separate Pargana was, therefore, created, with Thanas in 12 villages, having an income of 15,61,000 dams, and a Fort Commander and a Faujdar with 500 horsemen.

The Thana of Islamabad, better known as Nadiad, had 200 horse, and the Thana of Attarsumba was attached to it. The Zamindars of Attarsumba, Mandva, Haldarwas, and Ghorasar, and some others, in order to preserve their rights, em-braced Islam in the reign of Sultan Ahmad Gujarati, and the Sultan, because they had done this, left all their villages with them and accepted a fixed annual Nazrana. The descendants of these Zamindars are now nominally called Muslims, but they are really strangers to the Faith.

Pargana ldar.- 45 kos from Ahmedabad on the north-east. It is bounded by the territory of the Zamindars of Udaipur, Dongarpur, and Danta. It has an old fort on the top of a hill, and streams running through the town and its suburbs. The district consists of 768 villages, besides 290 others belonging to the Zamindars as waste lands and inams. The Nazim receives tribute from the Zamindars. The others, 47 in number, yield an income of 10,00,000 dams with 20 lakhs as Inam. The following Thanas are attached to them, namely, Taodi; Adalim; Sarodi ; Rupal ; Basi ; Medha ; Giloda ; Sanhali ; Angadh ; and Bhilwara.

[Page 165]

Pargana Viramgam, better known as Jhalawar.- 20 kos from Ahmedabad on the west. In former days the chief town was Mandal, then the headquarters were removed to Viramgam. Jhalawar is inhabited by Rajputs, about whom strange stories are told. The rampart wall of Viramgam was built in the reign of the [Page 166] Emperor Muhammad Shah (vide his reign) by Udekaran Desai during the rebellion of Hamid Khan. As Viramgam is inhabited by Rajputs, and as its boundary touches the land of the Kathi robbers, an expeditionary force used to be sent to collect the taxes. So the Pargana was given as a conditional Jahgir to the Nazim of the Province. In the reign of the Emperor Muhammad Shah, during the viceroyalty of Asaf Khan, the Pargana was made Khalsa in exchange for Dholka. It had a Faujdar, and consisted of 628 villages, 105 of which remained in the hands of the Zamindars; the rest had a revenue of 2,38,61,871 dams, including duties on salt, excise, etc. It had three Thanas- Chunwal under Kadi; Shahpur, better known as Chuda; and Ranpur. As the Pargana was generally part of the Jahgir of the Nazim, it had to furnish no separate contingent.

Pargana Chorasi.- 32 kos from Ahmedabad on the south, with Cambay and Ghoga ports, forming three divisions. Cambay is an ancient town with strong fortifications. The Faujdar and Muta-saddi is appointed under the Royal sanad by the Diwan. The Pargana contains 87 villages yielding 345,96,272 dams. The Faujdar has 100 horse (conditional) in addition to the Mutasaddi- ship. The Thanadari of the fort of Kajna- 150 horse ; Dhawan under conditional Thanas 170 horse; Napad {its fortress was built by Muhammad Ashraf Ghori), in addition to the Thanas of Mahun, Wahi and Baman, has 150 horse; Badsara, 100 personal and 50 horse; Matil 50 personal, 100 horse; Ghada 50 horse, and Bistana 50 horse.

[Page 167]

Port officials according to the Royal sanad: The Mutasaddi and Faujdar; Tho duties of the Mutasaddi and Faujdar, porterage and supervision of the ports of Ghoga and Kandhar, are entrusted to one person. The Qazi, Muhtasib, Daroga of the mint, account-ant, treasurer, and the treasury officer, are appointed separately by the Emperor. Often the Mutasaddi is the Daroga of the mint and the court of this place is under the Chief Provincial Court. Divisions connected with the Mutasaddi. The Port, where imports and exports are taxed ; its receipts are accounted for in the public treasury. A subordinate officer, the Mir-i-Bahr takes the dues on articles brought by land and looks after the marts of cotton, oil, and salt. Rates are fixed under the seal of the Muta-saddi, the accountant, and the treasurer, and signed by the controller, and then sanctioned for the whole country.


[Page 171]

Pargana Vadnagar: It is said that in ancient times this was a big city with three hundred temples scattered throughout it, and bathing tanks built of stone now in ruins. Its strong ram-part wall, 30 kos north-east of Ahmedabad, still exists. Vadna-gar is inhabited by wealthy Hindus, who are millionaire bankers, so much so that it has been said of Gujarat that it had two golden wings- one the town of Umreth and the other Vadnagar. Alas! these wings are now broken, and the city of Vadnagar suffered [Page 172] most (vide Mubariz-ul-mulk's viceroyalty). It consists of one division of 13 villages ; revenue 5,96,456 dams; Faujdari 200 horse, conditional.

[Page 176]

56. V. Ohampaner Sarkar.

Consists of thirteen divisions. It has a fort named Pawa-gadh on the top of a mountain nearly four kos in height. The [Page 177] circumference of the fort is about half a kos, it has a number of gates, and a moat sixty yards wide, over which a wooden bridge, called "Patia Pul," is laid, which is removed during war time. It is a picturesque bit of land, abounding in trees, tanks, and running brooks. Sultan Mahmud Begada conquered it from Raval Patal, and founded a city at the foot of it named after himself, and made it his capital. Some of the Sultans of Gujarat had their capital here (vide their reigns). The commandant is under the Faujdari of Godhra, with 50 cavalry (conditional).

[Page 188]

57. Officers.

The Mutasaddi:- Appointed by sanadunder the seal of the Diwan-i-Ala, with 100 personal and 200 contingent. He has agents appointed to collect dues at the port and inland.

According to precedent the following appointments are made by the Head Office : the Artillery Commander ; Grand Bakhshi ; Chief Judge; Mir-i-Saman; Post Master; Sadrs; Qazis; Bakhshis; reporters; peons; Muhtasib (controller) ; Superintendent of Arab and Iraqi horses, which are imported in ships ; Superintendent of cattle market ; Court Daroga, Amin of the Treasury and of expenditure; Superintendents of the Civil Court; of Public Works; of Magazines; of Mint; of Salt; of Customs; of Charitable Endowments; of Provisions; of Jewellery and Fancy Markets ; of Rent Collections ; of Hospitals ; of the Langar Khanas ; of Corn Markets ; and for the annual presents for the Harims of Mecca and Medina.

[Page 189]

58. CHAPTER VI. Sarkars Paying Tribute.

Six Sarkars belonging to the Zamindars, who, during the con-quest of Gujarat by Akbar, remained in possession of them as in the times of the Sultans of Gujarat. They are ordered to serve [Page 190] the Nazims, to whom they pay tribute, when it can be enforced The Girasia Rajputs, Kolis, Kathis, Jats, Jhadejas, Bakhirs, Koraishis, Rathors, Ahirs and Makwanas, who from ancient times are lords of their fiefs, pay tribute to the Nazims. Below are given the names of such Zamindars :-

Raj pipla, Mohan, Lunawara, Navanagar, Baria Bharai, Ranabao, Jhaba, and Jharmandvi.

59. IV. Sirohi Sarkar.

90 kos north-east of Ahmadabad. Its boundary touches the mountains of Marwar, 40 kos from Palanpur. Its villages adjoin [Page 191] Pargana Deesa. It has a fort on Mount Abu, where there are 12 populated villages, with running brooks and green fields and many trees. The whole land is fertile. When the Emperor Akbar conquered Gujarat and appointed Raja Todarmal for the land settlement, the Zamindar, through Bahadur Khan Babi, waited on the Emperor, presenting Rs. 50,000 and 100 ashrafis. His Majesty bestowed on him a robe of honour, with a jewel for the turban and an elephant. He was ordered to receive Sirohi as his Jahgir, on condition of waiting with 2,000 sol-diers on the Nazims. But from the time of the viceroyalty of Prince Dara Shikoh (in the reign of the Emperor Shah Jahan), when Ghairat Khan was the Deputy, the Zamindar has never attended.

[Page 193]

60. Tribute join the Zamindars, which the Nazims enforce by arms.

When the Sultans of Gujarat began their conquests, the Rajputs and Kolis, who were the hereditary chiefs of the country, rose against them. It was, therefore, arranged that a quarter of their lands, called Watan in Gujarat, should be left with them for cultivation, so that they should defend the place. The other portion, called Talpad, belonged to the Crown. They were also asked to pay to the Crown by way of quit rent a rate per bigha of [Page 194] their lands according to local conditions. Now the Nazims collect this as tribute by force of arms. And the Zamindars, who held complete Parganas, were asked to serve in war time instead of paying quit rent. In the course of time they refused service, and in order to pay their tribute, when they entered any Pargana they collected from the Rayats what they called khichri. Below is given an account of such fixed tributes as were collected by the old Nazims.

[Page 202]

61. Islands belonging to the Province.

Piram Bisram :- It was a place with a Governor in former times. Length and breadth 9 kos. Between Ghoga and Surat ports, and visible from Ghoga for a short distance. In the reign of the Emperor Muhammad Shah Mulla Muh-hammad Ali, a merchant, built towers and battlements for a fortress, and sent people to live there ; but, owing to the numbers of snakes, the place did not flourish. Now the people of Ghoga take their cattle there to graze. It has sweet water.

Sultanpur:- In Talaja, near Ghoga at high tide it is sur-rounded by the sea and becomes a peninsula, having one way out only. It has sweet water, and is the abode of Koli pirates.

Qutbpur : In Pargana Mahuva. Is surrounded at high tide like Sultanpur, and is the abode of Koli pirates who rob at sea.

Island, of Diu:- In Pargana Una. Area 3 kos. Has sweet water, and is full of fruit and flowers. Malik Ayaz, slave of Sultan Mahmud Begada, dug up the way of half a kos connecting it with the main land, and the sea surrounded it, and it commanded the ports of the surrounding parts. He then constructed a tower in the middle of the sea, called 'Sankalkot,' and drew [Page 203] chains of iron fixed to the shore so as to block the passage of European ships. The tower still exists. The orchards and gardens in the island were made by him, and a stone bridge was constructed towards the north at the confluence of the two branches of the sea running on the two sides of the island; this has now been destroyed. It was here that the Sultan Bahadur was treacherously killed by a force of Europeans, who still hold the island {vide Mirat-i-Sikandari). They have now very cunningly built their own fort, after demolishing that of Malik Ayaz.

The island of Shankhoddhar:- In Pargana Jagat or Dwarka, which was captured in the time of Aurangzeb and named Mustafa-nagar ;area twelve kos.It has sweet water and abounds in fruit trees and other trees and fields. It is one of the great temples of the Hindus. The tomb of Haji Kirmani, a saint, is here, and is reached after a journey of three kos in a boat. The island is named after its shape, resembling a Shankh (conch shell), but Brahmanic lore attributes it to an old demon named Shankhasur, whose abode it was. In the reign of the late Emperor Aurangzeb Sardar Khan the Faujdar of Junagadh often waged violent war with the infidels, and left Islamic traces all over the temple.

The island of Sankotretha:- In Pargana Mahuva. It has sweet water. During the Faujdari of Sardar Khan about 2,000 men were posted here to make navigation safe ; but now it belongs to the Kolis.

The island of Sayalpeth: Near Mahuva; it has sweet water.


[Page 204]

Narbada: Well-known. Also called the Rewa. One of the great rivers of the land. It rises from the root of a Banyan tree in the vicinity of Kramand in the mountains of Jharkhand, and crossing Malwa into Gujarat falls into the sea. It never dries up, and in Gujarat cannot be crossed without boats, except at one or two places in the summer, and even then the water reaches a man's chest or neck; such is the place named Baba Piyara, where guards were posted by the Nazim to block the passage of enemy troops. Its water is very sweet, light, and cool. It is one of the Hindu Tirths as described above.

[Page 205]

Banas:- Rises in the hills of Sirohi,and passing Dantiwara [Page 206] near Palanpur falls into the ocean on the south, in the direction of Cutch.

There are many other brooks and streamlets in Sorath that flow in the rainy season but dry up in summer. Some of these last till winter in pools here and there.

Noli: Near Godhra, flowing only in the rainy season. In the village of Toyamakan there are hot streams. It is a place of Tirth, and people collect water from it in earthen pots.

[Page 208]

Girnar: In Sorath, near Junagadh, seven kos in height. In the time of Rao Khengar, the Zamindar of Sorath, a fort on the mountain, at a height of five kos, was built, and it remained for a long time the seat of the Zamindars. Some of the walls [Page 209] and turrets, which had cost a large amount to build, still exist. The ascent from the base to the peak is most hard :

With Fancy's foot we climb its side,
And Fancy hath its summit eyed.

There is a way round of thirty-five kos long abounding in different kinds of trees, mango groves, all sorts of flowers and grasses, running brooks, wells, tanks, and ponds. They say 'Gular' (a kind of fruit) about a quarter seer in weight grows there. Beasts of prey and wild animals-deer, mountain ox, and Nilgaiand reptiles are found there. There are many bottomless caves (called Kho in Gujarati), in some of which Yogis and Sanyasis live solitary lives, feeding on fruits and herbs which are often offered to their visitors. The Girnar is considered by Meshris and Shravaks as a most sacred mountain with one of the greatest temples of these two sects. Devotees flock there from distant lands, especially on the Chaturdashi or Shivratri, when the sun enters the sign of Capricorn.

[Page 210]

63. Wonders of Gujarat.

Gujarat is an extensive country. Owing to its distance many of its wonders and marvels have not been heard of by others. I have, however, described some of them in the introduction and previous chapters on temples and Tirths. Other miscellaneous ex-amples are given below :-

Windmill: It is said that in former times there was a wind-mill higher than the mausoleum of Shah Bhikhan in the city. When the wind blew its wings began to move. Now its lower stone remains intact on a mound. The date of its construction is not known.

There are some select wells on the Kankariya tank in the city. Cotton clothes, embroidery, and satin, if washed therein, increase in lustre and colour.

There is a pond called Kantoria near Bara Nainpur where Salu clothes are washed and their colour improved. As the pond is dry in summer water is drawn from an adjacent well and poured into its bed, which being mixed with the mud of the bot-tom produces the same effect.

[Page 212]

In the fields of Naroda or Nahrwala in Pargana Haveli three kos from the city of Pattan, old iron pieces called mandur are found, which are used by Indian physicians as a cure for oertain diseases. These pieces of iron are taken far and wide for use.

In the mountains of Sorath, where no people are, there is a tree growing, which is such that any living being passing by it; or any bird sitting on it, is killed straightway. It is said that an army was once sent to collect tribute from Sorath. A soldier going out to obey a call of nature broke off a twig for a tooth-stick ;no sooner had he applied it to his teeth than they all became loose and fell out. In the neighbourhood of the town of Una (Sarkar Sorath) there is a well named Sari, the water of which adds to the temper and sharpness of swords.

In the mountains of Rajpipla many herbs and drugs are found, especially a drug from the tree called Ragatroda, whose wood when pounded like sandalwood is a cure for many diseases.

[Page 213]

Mount Girnar is covered with innumerable fruit tress and ex-tensive greenery. It is said that some of its herbs are used in alchemy, and many Yogis and Sanyasis from long distances go in search of them. Many streams run, and, hard by, is Mount Jamil Shah where gold is found. In the rainy season, when the stream called Sonrekha flows from this hill, its sand yields gold (as mentioned above).

It is said that a party of men was once wandering about on the Mount Girnar when one of them plucked a flower and smelt it. Straightway he turned into a serpent, and avoiding the company of his fellows crept into a cave and disappeared. Therefore persons visiting this mountain dare not touch or pluck any flower or herb which is not known to them, for fear of being thus transformed.

This is a selection from the original text


animals, class, famine, fasting, food, langarkhana, needy, revenue, wealth

Source text

Title: Mirat-I-Ahmadi:Supplement

Author: Ali Mohammad Khan

Editor(s): Syed Nawab Ali, Charles Seddon

Publisher: Oriental Institute

Publication date: 1928

Original compiled c. 1750s

Place of publication: Baroda

Provenance/location: Original compiled c. 1750s

Digital edition

Original author(s): Ali Mohammed Khan

Original editor(s): Syed Nawab Ali, Charles Norman Seddon

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) 1
  • 2 ) 4-5
  • 3 ) 7
  • 4 ) 9
  • 5 ) 17-22
  • 6 ) 29-32
  • 7 ) 38-39
  • 8 ) 41-42
  • 9 ) 47-48
  • 10 ) 49-50
  • 11 ) 56-57
  • 12 ) 65-66
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  • 17 ) 81
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  • 19 ) 103-104
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  • 22 ) 120-123
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  • 37 ) 160-161
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  • 39 ) 162-167
  • 40 ) 171-172
  • 41 ) 176-177
  • 42 ) 188
  • 43 ) 189-190
  • 44 ) 190-191
  • 45 ) 193-194
  • 46 ) 202-203
  • 47 ) 204-205
  • 48 ) 208-209
  • 49 ) 210
  • 50 ) 212-213


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.