that King of auspicious canopy who possesses the dignity of Jamshid, the magnificence of Solomon, the splendour of Faridun, and the grandeur of Alexander; that unparalleled Emperor of ocean-like bounty who is gifted with angelic nature and disposition; that light of the eye of manliness and men who is to be praised with the words of the noble Quranic verse as one of “those who hold authority amongst you” (Sura 4, verse 59); that ornament of the throne of Caliphate and refuge of the world who rightly deserves the honourable title of Shadow of God; that follower of the splendid religious law of Islam and propagator of the illustrious creed of the Prophet; that pride of the Gurgani dynasty and distinguished eagle of auspiciousness; and that proverb and manual of instruction for eliminating the infidels and patronising the poor: namely, Abu’l-Muzaffer Shihab al-Din Muhammad, Sahib-i-Qiran-i-Sani, Shah Jahan Padshah Ghazi (may God perpetuate his kingdom forever!
The public assembly of the world monarch was always held in front of the royal balcony jharoka of the Hall of Public Audience in the Akbarabad fort. However, during the reigns of the late Emperors Akbar and Jahangir, no coverings had existed over the area reserved for those standing in the royal presence; and accordingly many had to bear the hardship of rain in the monsoon, and heat in the summer. To alleviate this, His Majesty ordered a spacious Forty-Pillared Hall (Chihil-Sutun) to be built; and it was completed on the 4th of Zi'l-Hijia this year 1037 (5 August 1628). Orders were issued that a similar hall should be built in front of the balcony at the Lahore capital and that the building of the Royal Tower (Shah Burj) in the palace should be completed. The foundation of this tower had been laid in the nineteenth year of the Emperor Jahangir's reign (1033/1624).
On the last day of Rabi I 1038 (27 November 1628), the weighing ceremony of his Majesty was celebrated in the palace at Fatehpur, on the occasion of attaining the 38th year of his everlasting age, according to the lunar calendar. His exalted person was weighed once against gold, once against silver, and six times against other articles; which funds were then distributed among the needy.
It may be observed that the tradition of the weighing ceremony (jashn-i-wazn) was introduced by the late Emperor Akbar, who used to have his auspicious person weighed twice a year, on the occasions of his solar and lunar birthdays. At the time of the solar celebration, he was weighed twelve times: first against gold, and eleven times against other articles. On the lunar occasion he was weighed eight times: first against silver, and seven times against other articles. The amounts which were thus realised were then distributed in charity.
The late Emperor Jahangir also continued the same tradition of annual weighing ceremonies. However, the present benevolent Emperor, on account of his generosity and munificence, made the innovation of weighing against gold as well as silver on the occasion of the lunar celebration, and conversely during the solar celebration as well.”
At the time of the disorder resulting from the death of the late Emperor Jahangir, and before the coronation of His Majesty the Lord of the World, Khan Jahan Lodi by way of mischief turned over the entire territory of Balaghat to Nizam al-Mulk, as has already been related. Meanwhile, as Khan Zaman was on his way to take possession of Bir, Nizam al-Mulk due to his deceitful disposition had dispatched Shahuji Bhonsle with 6000 horsemen from Daulatabad in order to cause a revolt in Khandesh and disturb the peace of mind of the Royal Army. However, Darya Khan Rohilla, the jagirdar of Betuwad and adjoining territory, arrived with lightening speed and drove away these insurgents, after having administered suitable punishment upon them.
In this auspicious year not counting cash donations, four lakhs bighas of land and 120 villages in their entirety were distributed to the deserving people.
Around this time, from the very depths of compassion and devoutness, His majesty issued a decree that every year charity should be distributed to deserving persons in the following amounts: 2000 rupees on the night of 27th Rajab, which is the night of the ascension to Heaven by the Prophet; 10000 rupees for the ten days of Muharram; and 12000 rupees on the night of the 12th of Rabi I, the night of the death of the Lord of this creation (may God’s blessing and favour be upon him, his offspring and his companions.
In the month of Safar, 1040 (September 1630), Maloji Bhonsle, who was renowned among the nobles of Sindkhed and had been a zealous adherent of Nizam al-Mulk, by the favor of good fortune deserted with a large party and joined the royal army. At the recommendation of Nasiri Khan, he was allotted a mansab of 2,000.
Shaikh Sufi, Sadat Khan and Sharza Khan, who by the guidance of destiny had joined the army at Telingana and entered into the circle of His Majesty's faithful servants, were also rewarded with suitable dignities through Nasiri Khan's representations.
As soon as the rainy season had terminated, the above-mentioned Sa'id Khan, along with other nobles, moved agreeably to orders from the positions they had been occupying and set out with a view to exterminate the Afghans and Nizam al-Mulk. On the breaking up of the rains, the author's grandfather Rukn al-Sultanat also started his troops from the fort of Lalang by way of Baglana towards Nasik and Trimbak.
On reaching the confines of Baglana, Bharji, the zamindar of that country, came out to meet him with 400 horsemen, and had an inteniew with him. At this time, the forces were joined by Khan Zaman, eldest son of Wahabat Khan, the Khan Khanan and Commander-in-chief, and Luhras' another son, who had been newly appointed to serve under Rukn al-Sultan.
The latter commander then marched from Harsul pass into the enemy's tcrritories. While on the march, he directed that the contingents commanded by Khan Zaman, Sher Khan, governor of Gujarat, and Shahnawaz Khan, son of Mirza Rustam Safawi, should take turns forming the advanced and rear guards. Owing to the inhabitants of Nizam al-Mulk's territories having gutted their houses and fled into the woods and mountains, the country had been rendered desolate and there was a scarcity of grain. since the royal forces were therefore much desperate for provisions, Rukn al-Sultanat directed that one of the three contingents should every two or three days make an incursion into the hilly and broken ground, and carry off all the grain and fodder they could lay hands on. Consequently at every foray, they seized immense supplies of provisions besides destroying and taking prisoners many of thc enemy.
About this time, Nizam al-Mulk ordered some of his chiefs, in company with a detachment of horse and foot, to discharge rockets upon the royal army dqring the night. He likewise directed that the party that used to go out during the day foraging for grass and firewood should bring in whatever cattle or camels they might find.
On learning this, Rukn al-sultanat ordered Shahnawaz Khan to attack these parties with his corps. When the latter came upon them by a forced march, tp enemy became utterly disconcerted and fled precipitately, leaving the whole of their baggage in the hands of their conquerors, who returned loaded with spoil.
As soon as the enemy had recovered from this defeat, they again commenced annoying the army with showers of rockets; whereupon Rukn al- Sultanat, having been informed by spies of the position they occupied, sent Khan Zaman with his division against them. By making forced marches during the night, the said Khan came up to the enemy's lair, where he completely overcame them. Mahalldar Khan, one of Nizam al-Mulk's military commanders, fled to the foot of Chandor; while those of his soldiers who escaped death or captivity dispersed in all directions. The conquerors seized the whole of their adversaries' baggage and camp equipage, and returned in triumph. And after this defeat, the rest of the rebels were never able to make any headway against Rukn al-Sultanat.
On the 1st of Rabi' II this year 1040 (8 october 1630), a festival was held in honor of His Majesty attaining the 40th lunar year of his age; and according to usage on these occasions, his august person was weighed against gold and other precious articles. During this jubilee, Mir Jumla the Mir Bakhshi, who enjoyed amansabof 3,000, was promoted to the superior grade of 4,000.
After this victory Baqir Khan next applied himself to the reduction of the fort. In spite of the artillery and musketry fire, he advanced to the foot of the wall and planted the scaling ladders that had been prepared for assualt, and thereupon commenced the ascent. The garrison, dispirited by their previous defeat and suffering from the intrepid for daring of the assaults, begged for quarter by taking grass between their teeth, after the manner of suppliants in that country. Baqir Khan permitted them to evacuate the citadel without molestation. Whereupon, after placing a trustworthy follower in charge, and also leaving a mansabdar named Safi Quli Beg behind to occupy Kherapara, he himself retraced his steps to Orissa. The capture of this fort was reckoned one of the most gallant exploits of this year.
In these days, A'zam Khan deputed Multafit Khan and Maloji, along with the royal artiliery and the ahadis,to make an attack on the town of Dharur where the people from the villages and localities belonging to that region were in the habit of assembling and holding a market day once a week. As the fort of Dharur is celebrating through out the Deccan for its great strength and formidable means of defense, and since the royal forces were not adequate to its reduction, he directed him not to attempt capturing it but to engage in the pursuit of the Nizam al-Mulkis. On entering the town, Multafit Khan reported that a large party posted on the further side of the ditch had opened fire on them, and were keeping up an incessant discharge of arrows and bullets; whereupon A'zam Khan passed through the town with his whole forces and occupied an enclosure surrounded by walls, which was within gunnshot range of the fort.
Multafit Khan and his comrades then advanced to the edge of the ditch and drove away by a heavy matchlock fire the inhabitants of the town--who had placed their good, chattels, and families for safety in the ditch under the guns of the fort,and were making an attempt at resistance. Having then descended into the ditch, they commenced pillaging and taking prisoners and carried off immense booty. A'zam Khan, having discovered some traces of elephants in the ditch, dispatched a body of Bundela infantry to capture them. They succeeded in seizing four elephants as well as numerous horses, camels, cattle, and provisions, alihough in the process a number of their party were killed or wounded. By a second attack, the victorious troops managed to carry off the remainder of the spoils from the ditch; on which occasion several elephants and horses likewise fell into their hands. The said A'zam Khan reserved the spoils for His Majesty, but relinquished the horses and baggage to those that captured them.
That night A'zam Khan went into the ditch; and on inspecting the wall of the fort, he discovered on one side a small doorway which had been blocked up with stone and mortar, and perceived that it would be possible to fill the interstice with powder and after blowing up the wall to effect an entrance through the breach. Therefore he instantly sent a party to enlarge the crevices of the doorway, and having distributed men in other quarters, directed them to push forward the parallels of attack and bring the garrison to great straits.
Sidi Salim Habshi and his comrades in the fort made a stubborn resistance and kept up a constant discharge of rockets and matchlocks; but the royalists poured such heavy fire from every trench upon the embrasures of the
On the lst of Rajab this year 1040(3 February 1631), a festival was held in commemoration of His Majesty having compreted the 39th solar year of his age, and his august person was weighed in gold and other valuables used on these occasions. This amount or gold and silver, as well as a supplementary offering of 30,000 rupees, was then distributed among the learned and the pious, and the poets, astrologers, and musicians that were in attendance at court.
It is evident that, due to 'Adil Khan's youth and inexperience, the administration of his affairs had fallen into the hands of a slave called Daulat, whom Ibrahim 'Adil Khan, the father of the present ruler, had invested with the title of Daulat Khan and the command of the fort of Bijapur. This ungrateful wretch, at his benefactor's death, styled himself Khawass Khan; and having conferred the chief executive authority on a Brahmin called [Page 61] Murari Pandit, he had deprived Darwesh Muhammad--Ibrahim Khan's eldest son by a sister of Qutb al-Mulk's--of his eyesight and demanded his daughter in marriage for himself. As the Adil Khanis had now undoubtedly joined Niza- al-Mulk's confederacy, their combined forces were concentrated at one spot. Since at the end of a month's siege at Parenda, sufficient grain to supply the wants of the army could only be procured with the utmost difficulty, and not a blade of grass could be found within 20 kos,A'zam Khan was reluctantly compelled to raise the siege and march towards Dharur.
No rain had fallea about Balaghat, and more especially at Daulatabad, during the past year (1630). The present year also was characterized by a nearly similar scantiness in all quarters, with the result that throughout the [Page 62] Deccan and Gujarat a prefect drought prevailed. Consequently the inhabitants of those regions suffered severely from the dearness if grain and the want of the common necessaries of life. The cravings of famine compelled parents to devour their offspring, nad high and low were clamoring for bread and dying from sheer exhaustions. Dead men's bones were ground up and mixed with flour, and then sold in the markets; and dog's flesh was substituted for that of goats. However, on the detection of these vile impostures, the guilty parties were delivered over from the tribunal of justice to the public executioner . The mortality was so dreadful that in all the cities, towns, and villages of those kingdoms, the streets and market places were so thronged and choked by the immense number of corpses that a passenger could scarcely make his way through them. In consequence of the famine and pestilence, there was not a single soul left in most of the parganas and villages; for whoever after suffering the excruciating pangs of hunger gained a respite from death, betook himself instantly to some more propitious clime.
His Majesty, with the most exuberant kindness decreed that assessed victuals should be daily distributed in charity among the poor and indigent of Burhanpur, Gujarat and Surat at his private expense; and it was further directed that every Monday--which in commemoration of his auspicious accession to the throne on that particular day, was thus distinguished above the rest of the week--as long as his world subduing bounty should continue, should also be bestowed on the deserving. As the calamity was most severe in Ahmedabad and Gujarat each month, 50,000 rupees were distributed by the royal order on the famine-stricken people of those districts; and as the whole imperial dominions generally were more or less desolated by the scarcity of grain and dearness of provisions in the course of this year and the succeeding one, nearly 70 lakhs worth of taxes were remitted for the purpose of restoring the country to its former flourishing condition and the people to affluence and contentment.
This year, when Rukn al-Sultanat had reached the place called Patur Shaikh Babu, for the purpose of passing the rains he pitched his camp on the bank of a stream in which there was then but very little water. However, one day it happened to commence raining very heavily. And by midnight the stream had swollen to an enormous extent, when an immense torrent likewise rushed down from the hill and enveloped the army. The soldiers, bewildered by the darkness of the night and the violence of the storm, dispersed in all directions in dread of their lives. Rukn al-Sultanat and the nobles serving under him escaped the peril by mounting their unsaddled horses; but about 2,000 soldiers and sutters, with a number of their horses and camels, were drowned in the destructive deluge. Of the property under his supervision, 7,000 gold muhurs, 10,000 rupees, and the whole of the effects in the camp stores (kar-khana) were swept away.
On the 17th of Jumada I 1041 (11 December 1631), the sacred remains of Her late Majesty the Queen were sent from Burhanpur to the metropolis of [Page 74] Akbarabad, under the care of Prince Muhammad Shah Shuja', who was ordered to distribute at every stage great quantities of victuals and money in charity upon the poor. To the south of the metropolis, a luxuriant piece of high ground, which had formerly been the property of Raja Man Singh and now belonged to his grandson Raja Jai Singh, was selected as the burial place of that "Dweller in Paradise". Although the Raja offered the ground most willingly the present , nevertheless His Majesty, with that scrupulousness so requisite in worldly transactions, conferred on him in exchange a splendid mansion out of the imperial properties. After its arrival at Akbarabad, the blessed corpse was consigned to the earth on the 15th of Jumada II 1041 (15 January 1632), at the beginning of the fifth regnal year.
At the royal commmand, the public authorities with incredibe speed proceeded to shut out the grave of that "World of Purity" from the public gaze. Subsequently a stately edifice and dome were raised over the place of burial; and 40 lakhs of rupees were expended by the skillful and experienced architects in completing this magnificent mausoleum.
In these days, Hakim Masih al-Zaman and Khwaja Jahan solicited and obtained permission to perform the holy pilgrimage. As his Majesty after [Page 75] his accession had made a vow that he would he expend five lakhs of rupees upon the deserving at the two sacred cities, he directed the revenue collectors of the province of Gujarat to purchase two and one-half lakhs worth of merchandise for taking to Arabia, and make it over to the above individuals. After selling it at the end of their journey, they were to distribute the entire proceeds, both principal and profit, in charity, among the deserving of these two sacred places.
A confidential associate of Yamin al-Daula's accompanied them, by whom they were to return the treaty after Adil Khan's seal had been affixed to the document. On the third day, they dismissed this man with a message saying that they would return the treaty by their own wakils, who accordingly came the following day and made certain propositions which Yamin al-Daula considered so reasonable that he assented to them; and it was definitely settled that they should bring the treaty duly ratified on the morrow. On taking leave, one of the wakils,who was a confidant of Mustafa Kha!'s, quietly and privately dropped a note in front of Yamin al-Daula and departed. Its contents alleged that Khawass Khan was well aware that the royal army could not stay more than a few days longer, as they were destitute of provisions and both men and cattle were worn out by the toil and fatigue [Page 80] of bringing in grass and firewood from such a long distance; and that he was cajoling them with fine words and promises to while away the time.
In short, no supplies of grain had come in from anywhere during the 20 days they had been besieging Bijapur,since the enemy previous to their arrival had devastated all the flourishing villages around the city and carried off the grain to a distance. Consequently, the provisions they had brought with them being speedily consumed, the soldiers were reduced to the verge of starvation. The price of grain rose to one rupee a seer (two lbs.) and the horses and cattle got famished and emaciated. The chiefs under these circumstances deemed it advisable to march away into some fertile part of the enemy's country, both to recruit their own troops and to devastate the flourishing settlements of the rebels . With this intent, they turned toward Raibagh and Miraj, both opulent towns of that kingdom; and whenever they found water, forage, and grain, they stopped and sent the army to ravage in all directions until not a sign of cultivation was left. In this way, they desolated the country on both sides of every road they traversed.
At length, after the troops had destroyed the richest portion of tle enemy's land and recovered from their fatigue and privations, Yamin al-Daula in consequence of the near approach of the rainy season descended from the hill pass of Bir, which is in the territory, and halted at rhe foot of it. Whereupon, about 15,000 of the enemy's cavalry, who had been hanging about the rear of the royal forces as far as the fort of Sholapur, returned toward Bijapur.
As a year had by this time elapsed-since the late Queen's demise, it was directed that the traditional ceremonies ('urs)on the occasion of the first death anniversary should be strictly observed. The comptrollers of the royal household accordingly elected gorgeous pavilions in the gardens around her sacred grave, spread magnificent carpets and laid out a lavish array of foods, beverages, condiments, confectionery and fragrant essences--'more than can be imagined.All the learned and pious Shaikhs and divines then congregated together and formed a glorious assemblage.
To this holy conclave His Majesty now repaired (19 June 1632), attended by all the nobies, grandees, dignitaries, and officers of state who accompanied his victorious return, as well as a number who had come from all quarters of the imperial dominions to congratulate him on his recent successes and the triumphant return of his majestic standards to the metropolis after the three- years' invasion of the Deccan.
After the Fatiha had been recited in the presence of the Solomon of the world--inasmuch as he had been the Lord of that Queen equaling Bilqis in dignity--His Majesty retired to his private apartments to avoid the dense crowds that thronged the assembly. He commissioned Yamin al-Daula, however, to give the ambassador Muhammad 'Ali Beg the post of precedence before all the dignitaries and chief officers of the realm ; the rest taking their seats according to their several ranks.
The imperial domestics then laid out the dishes, and having commenced serving the choice repast to the assembled guests, brought in all sorts of edibles and beverages, and sweetmeats and essences. Out of the lakh of rupees that was alloted for charitable purposes, 50,000 were divided among the poor and indigent of the male sex; the remaining 50,000 being reserved till the morrow, solely for distribution among the chaste and virtuous of the female sex. It was also determined that henceforward on the occasions of future commemorations, 50,000 rupees should be disbursed in charity, half to the deserving of either sex, provided the imperial standards were at the metropolis; but in case of their absence, this amount should be reduced to 12,000.
On Ja'far Beg's approaching Galna, Mahmud Khan came out to meet him; and having received the farmans and presents, he delivered over to him the fort with the eight parganasbelonging to it. When these were in a flourishing condition, before suffering from famine and pestilence, they yielded a revenue of six lakhs of rupees. After the lapse of a few days, he came to Burhanpur in company with other messengers of Khan Zaman's,and was honored with a suitable mansab and a bequest of 50,000 rupees. The acquisition of this fort was reckoned one of the most important victories of the year.
Among the public presentations, Yamin al-Daula received nine suits of handsome clothes with gold-embroidered vests, and a jeweled dagger and sword of great value. Likewise a few of the chief officers of the state received robes of honor with gold-embroidered vests; some of the principal nobles, robes with vests, and others jeweled daggers. The remaining nobles and all the attendant courtiers received dresses of honor, according to their respective ranks; whilst the minstrels and musicians were also rewarded with robes and gratuities. After that magnificent wedding present had been dispatched to the mansion of the late Prince Parwiz,his noble widow Jahan Banu Begam prepared a suitable dowry of the value of eight lakhs of rupees for her lovely daughter; and having submitted it to the royal inspection, she was loaded with commendation.
On the 1st of Sha'ban this year 1042 (11 February 1633), the ceremony of hina-bandi was performed in the royal chambers of the Private Audience Hall (Ghusal-Khana); and from the vast-number of candles, lamps, torches, and lanterns ,the suriace of the earth rivaled the starry expanse of heaven.
As music and singing , at His Majesty's order, had up to this date been entirely discarded inconsequence of the late Queen's melancholy death, the royal permission was now granted for their revival. According to custom' girdles of gold thread were distributed among those present, and trays filled with conserve of roses, pan and argajaessence, and condiments and fruits of different kinds were brought into the assembly by the imperial domestics. At the close of the day, numerous fireworks set up by the future bride's relatives were ignited along the banks of the Jumna, which afforded the greater delight to the spectators.
In the month of Zi'l-Qa'da 1042 (26 May 1633), the second anniversary ('urs) of the late Queen's death was commemorated. A golden screen, the inscription and cupolas of which were decorated with enameled work and which contained 40,000 tolas of gold equivalent to six lakhs of rupees, had been executed by Bebadal Khan, Superintendent (Darogha) of the Royal Treasury, and was submitted at this time for His Majesty's inspection, together with various enameled spherical ornaments (kaukaba) and lamps.
By the auspicious command, the screen was straightaway placed round the revered sepulcher and the above-mentioned lamps and ornaments were suspended over the grave. Lofty pavilions encircled by superb canopies were then erected on four sides on the vast platform of the Paradise-like mausoleum, the foundation of whose dome had not yet risen above the ground. The whole area was also spread with embroidered carpets, and thus enclosed a space that was capable of holding 1,000 persons.
Early in the night, His Gracious Majesty proceeded thither attended by Her Highness Jahanara Begam and the rest of the royal family and all the chaste ladies of the court, and stayed there till midnight. Trays of all kinds of viands,confectionary, and choice scents, as on the former occasion, were laid out by the banquet attendants; and one and all were invited to partake. After distributing 25,000 rupees in charity to the deserving of the male sex and bestowing robes and shawls according to their rank on the numerous ecclesiastics who had flocked together from all parts of the kingdom,he returned to the palace.
On the morrow, he again visited the grave towards the close of the day, when he shed luster on the assembly till midnight and disbursed 25,000 rupees in alms among the deserving of the female sex.
In the beginning of Zi'l-Hijja 1042 (9 June 1633), Prince Muhammad Aurangzeb Bahadur attained the age of fifteen years and his birthday was celebrated with great rejoicings. His Majesty had the gallant youth weighed against gold and distributed in charity the sum in the scales, which amounted to 5,000 mohurs. He also conferred on him a handsome robe of honor; a jeweled turban ornameut; a rosary of pearls embellished with rubies and emeralds; a jeweled bracelet; an armlet studded with diamonds; seven rings set with various kinds of precious stones; a studded dagger with incised designs; a sword, shield and spear covered with gems; two Qibchaq horses, one with jeweled, the other with enameled saddle; and a pair of splendid royal elephants--the whole being worth two lakhs of rupees. And whereas during the late Emperor Jahangir's reign, His Majesty as a youth had held the illustrious mansab of Jalil al-Qadr, and used to embellish the backs of royal edicts with his seal and signature, he now graciously conferred this post upon that victorious Prince, in addition to bestowing numerous other favors.
The Bijapuris were dismayed at the approach of the royal forces and made overtures for a peace to Fath Khan, offering to let him retain possession of the fortress of Daulatabad,and to supply it with three lakhs of hunsand plenty of provisions. They also tried to convince him that the sole aim of the royalists, in coming to his assistance, was to seize hold of the fortress, without any concern for him. Whereupon that fickle-minded wretch, from innate dishonesty violated his previous engagements and entered into an alliance with them. Owing to the scarcity of grain, most of the four-footed beasts in the fort had perished of starvation. Consequently, at Fath Khan's suggestion, the 'Adil Khanis set about laying in provisions in anticipation of a siege.
However, in spite of all his efforts to convey provisions, firearms, and other munitions of war to the garrison, owing to the watchfulness of the troops in the trenches and the strict regulations enforced by Khan Khanan, he could not carry his design into execution. After the repeated seizure of the grain which the suttlers in his bazar were taking into the citadel at his instigation, his double-dealing was clearly exposed. Being now apprehensive of the consequences, he deserted from the royalists and fled like a runaway slave to the Adil Khanis.
Fath Khan, owing to the paucity of his supplies, could spare no grain for Khairiyat Khan and all the Bijapuris. Consequently Randola and his partisans were constantly scheming how to convey provision to them. One day, taking about 400 bullocks laden with grain along with them, they drew near the investing army about sunset and opened a galling fire of rockets. Whereupon Khan Khanan dispatched his son Luhrasp with a detachment against them, and a sharp skirmish ensued. At midnight Randola and all the chiefs of the hostile army started with about 4,000 swordsmen and made a dash upon Khan Zaman's camp. As the latter was away in the trenches, Rao Satr Sal and his followers, who had been left to guard the camp, manfully resisted the invaders and unfurled the banner of victory.
Khan Khanan then ascertained that grain had now as much existence in the fortress as the mythical Simurgh ('Anqa) bird, and that the besieged were reduced to dire straits. Indeed, they barely were able to keep body and soul together, and were reduced to devouring the skin off the dead carcasses. Khan Khanan also learned that Randola and Shahuji had promised to have grain carried on men's heads and thrown into the moat in front of the sher [Page 107] haji wicket, whence the garrison could come out and fetch it away. He therefore took the precaution of leaving Nasiri Khan, Rao Duda, and a few more to keep vigilant watch for them outside, and likewise placed Mahesh Das with a party of Rajputs in ambuscade inside.
Meanwhile, Jagraj, who was with the rear-guard, no sooner heard of the enemy's attack upon Khan Zaman than he hurried thither with all speed. As soon as the enemy became aware of his coming, it occurred to them that except for Mubariz Khan and Bahadurji, no other royalist troops were left behind. They therefore set off to attack this weakened point in the vain hope of wreaking vengoance on the royalists for their own recent ignominious failure. The instant the rebels showed themselves, Bahadurji hurled himself-- like lightning flashing through the dark--into the midst of these black-hearted villains. When Mubariz Khan also came up from behind, both sides engaged furiously, and blows and taunts were vigorously exchanged. Here again the insurgents found they could do nothing, and speedily retreated.In these days accordingly, Khan Zaman rejoined the army with 20,000 bullock loads of grain, six lakhs of rupees, and 100 maunds of gunpowder. Thus grain, which had been uncommonly scarce and enormously dear in camp, now became cheap and plentiful.
On the 25th of Zi'l-Qa'da 1042 (3 June 1633), Khan Khanan went over in the forenoon to Sayyid 'Alawal's entrenchment, which was close to the mine under the sher haji defenses at Mahakot, and resolved that it should be sprung. Fath Khan, hearing of this, sent his wakil to the commander-in-chief with a most humble and submissive petition. In it, he declared that he had now determined to surrender the fortress to His Majesty. However, since Fath Khan had sworn solemn oaths to the 'Adil Khanis not to conclude a truce without their concurrence, he wanted first to send a man to Murari Pandit with the following message: "Since you are not able to convey the necessary supplies nor to defeat the royal army, from want of provisions, I am now reduced to the verge of starvation; and since the only recourse that I now see before me is to surrender the fortress, therefore do you immediately send your wakils so that we may conjointly ratify a treaty of peace." Fath Khan also begged that until a reply to this communication could be received, the firing of the mine must be postponed.
The fortress of Daulatabad measures 5,000 royal yards in circumference and 140 in elevation. The hill on which it stands has been cut away on all sides down to the moat, and the face of the rock has been so evenly scraped and smoothed that even an ant could not crawl up the slippery surface. Around the perimeter of the hill, a ditch 40 royal cubits broad and 30 deep has been excavated in the solid rock and a tortuous zigzag road has been tunneled into the rocky interior of the hill, with steps hewn out of the stone This passage is so dark that even on the brightest day you could not grope your way though it without lamps and torches. At the base of the hill, an iron gate connects with the interior by a passage which forms the line of communication with the outside. In order to obstruct this passage in case of emergency, they have constructed some iron plates to close it up, which they can heat with fire and thus render it utterly impossible for any living creature to pass. From the middle to the crest of the hill, by way of additional security, four strong forts have been erected of stone and quick lime.
Thus the usual means of reducing fortifications--such as mines, covered galleries, and cavalier batteries--are all perfectly useless in besieging such an impregnable fortress as this. In fact, its capture is impossible except through the agency of accidental or miraculous means; hence drought, famine, and pestilence became the instruments of its final overthrow. The almost magical [Page 115] skill displayed by the clever masons in quarrying the stone is a theme of ever- increasing wonder to all insightful beholders. Everyone who gazes on it comes to the conclusion that this cannot be the work of man. For neither is the physical strength of mere mortals adequate to the task of such stupendous excavating and quarrying; nor in the present age, is their span of life sufficiently long to admit of their completing so vast an undertaking.
However,Nasiri Khan, now called Khan Dauran,with the true spirit of a soldier was ever ready to undertake the most arduous duties. Accordingly, he stepped boldly forward and volunteered to garrison the place with the 2,000 horsemen he had with him. Khan Khanan therefore left him in the fortress with Sayyid Murtaza Khan and a few other mansabdars, and set out himself to Zafarnagar accompanied by Khan Zaman and the rest. On the road, the [Page 116] Bijapur army was almost coming in sight and bidding them defiance. But wherever the royalists assailed them were invariably routed with considerable loss; and in these days, Tanoji Dorwe, one of the principal chiefs of the 'Adil Khanis, was slain. When the royal army approached Zafarnagar, Murari Pandit and all the Bijapuris sent Randola's father Farhad to sue for peace; but the Commander-in-Chief would not grant it, and sent him off without his attaining his object. After reaching Zafarnagar, as Khan Khanan had formed a vast granary there, and as he had previously arranged at Burhanpur for the grain merchants of grain to send supplies, the sudden cheapness of grain was a great source of comfort to the troops.
The 'Adil Khanis, who had hung on the footsteps of the victorious army, now turned back and marched to Daulatabad in the hope that the scarcity of provisions in the fortress and the paucity of Khan Dauran's force would enable them to gain the advantage. They accordingly went and occupied the very entrenchments that the loyalists had thrown up and on their departure had not had leisure to demolish. For his part, Khan Dauran repeatedly made gallant sallies from the fort. And as he had conciliated the goodwill of the peasantry round about by his kindness and urbanity, they had brought an abundance of grain for sale, so the royalists suffered no privations with regard to food during this besiegement.
[By order of the truth-knowing Emperor, on the night of the 12th of Rabi' I this year 1043 (16 September 1633), an assembly was arranged in the Forty- Pillared Ha11 of Audience, in pious observance of the auspicious Milad, or birthday celebration of the Prophet (upon whom be salutations). Various scholars and pious persons recited the Qur'an and expounded upon the greatness and noble perfections of that culmination of all humanity. And for the enjoyment of the assembled worthies, the atmosphere was perfumed by incense and fragrant essences and they were served banquet trays of varied foods,dried fruits and sweets. Out of reverence for this auspicious night, His Majesty (descended to the floor of the hall and) took his seat upon an outspread carpet; whereupon glfts and rewards were distributed to the assembled scholars and pious persons. Due to the large size of the assembly, a total of 20,000 rupees was expended in charity, which was 8,000 rupees more that the customary amount.
This year,a severe famine fell upon the territory of Kashmir,so that a vast number of the poor and indigent of that region were forced to emigrate and come with their wives and families to the capital of Lahore, where they proceeded to supplicate beneath the royal-balcony.
On being informed of the state of affairs, His Majesty, with the innate liberality of his charitable disposition which he was ever exercising for the [Page 292] welfare of his people, disbursed one lakh of rupees in alms on those wretched victims of fortune--who numbered upwards or 30,000 souls, both men and women, young and old.
The Emperor directed that as long as that multitude remained at the capital, 200 rupees worth of prepared meals would be daily issued from two different places at his own expense. He also sent 30,000 rupees to Tarbiyat Khan, the governor of Kashmir, for distribution among those who from utter destitution had not the means of emigrating. An edict was moreover promulgated to the effect that 100 rupees worth of meals should be bestowed daily upon the poor and needy from five different places in Kashmir at His Majesty's private expense.
Unfortunately, the above named Tarbiyat Khan was found incapable of managing the affairs of that famished population. Accordingly, His Majesty deputed in his stead Zafar Khan, father to the writer of these pages, who had formerly held the government of that country for some years and who by his excellent adminisitration had always caused the natives to be contented and grateful towards him.
Before leaving for Kashmir to assume charge, my father was loaded with royal favors; and moreover an additional sum of 20,000 rupees was entrusted in his care, to be dispensed among the destitute inhabitants of the kingdom.
In consequence of the high price of grain at the capital of Lahore, an ever- obeyed edict had previously been promulgated to the effect that 200 rupees [Page 371] worth of victuals out of His Majesty's private exchequer should be daily cooked in ten different places and distributed among the poor and indigent-- has been already narrated in its proper place by the history-writing pen. At this time, from the Emperor's innate beneficence, an additional 30,000 rupees were entrusted to some reliable persons, for bestowal in charity on those unfortunates who were still suffering the pangs of hunger and affliction.
Prior to the Prince Buland Iqbal's arrival at Uch on the frontier of Multan, Jahangir Beg had dispatched a letter to him through a servant of Gul Muhammad and Mustafa, the zatnindan of Duki and Chotiyali. He requested that a detachment be sent ahead expeditiously so that he could advance on the fort at Duki, which was held by Riza Quli, the thanadar of. Duki with about 100 Qizilbashi cavalry, and prevent them from escaping. In reply, His Royal Highness suggested that he and his comrades should advance by forced marches and secure them all; whereupon Jahangir Beg and his slender force set out from Uch to Duki. On reaching Chotiyali, he learned that five days earlier the whole party had departed for Qandahar, taking all their goods and baggage along with them. However, Gul Muhammad and Mustafa, along with the Afghans of their tribe, arrested the progress of the Qizilbashis through a defile in the hills. And having routed them effectually he carried off all their wealth and property, both in livestock and goods; but the thanadar Riza Quli managed to escape in safety with the survivors.
In short, after the arrival of the ever-victorious Muhammad forces at Duki, Gul Muhammad and Mustafa, with all the householders and Oymaqs of that region, waited on the prince Buland Iqbal and undertook to convey commissariat supplies to the army. After starting from Multan, His Royal Highness had deputed his own artillerymen to look after the crops, urgently enjoining them to inflict summary chastisement of anyone found oppressing the peasantry and landed proprietors. Accordingly, all the Baluch and Afghan zamindars dwelling along that route used to visit the camp fearlessly at every stage and bring grain and sheep for sale. Notwithstanding the vast multitude of the army, no one was allowed to extort even a handful of grain by violence. Along this road, owing to the heavy fall of rain this year, all the deserts up to Qandahar looked verdant, the crops were flourishing, and water was abundant.
But as the snow in the passes through the mountains had not yet melted, the zamindar kept saying that the march of the army over the defiles would be very difficult. His Royal Highness therefore advanced from Duki by way of Tabaqsar, and left a detachment behind in the thana to protect travellers from suffering violence at the hands of marauders. As the sequel to this account belongs to the occurences of the coming year, it shall be duly narrated below in its proper place.