The travels of Sig. Pietro della Valle, a noble Roman, into East-India and Arabia Deserta in which, the several countries, together with the customs, manners, traffique, and rites both religious and civil, of those Oriental princes and nations, are faithfully described : in familiar letters to his friend Signior Mario Schipano : whereunto is added a relation of Sir Thomas Roe's Voyage into the East-Indies.
Della Valle, Pietro, 1586-1652., Roe, Thomas, Sir, 1581?-1644., Havers, G. (George)

SECTION I. Of the several Provinces, the chief Cities, the Prin∣cipal Rivers, the extent of this vast Empire.

THe most spacious Monarchy under the subjection of the Great Mogol, divides it self into thirty and seven several and large Provinces, which anciently were particular Kingdoms, whose true Names (which we there had out of the Mogol's own Records) with their Principal Cities and Rivers, their Situation and Borders, their Extent in length and breath. I shall first set down very briefly, beginning at the North-West. Yet as I name these several Provinces, I shall by the way take notice of some particulars in them which are most Remarkable.

1. Candahore, the chief City so called; it lyes from the heart of the Mogol's Territories North-West; it confines with the King of Persia, and was anciently a Province belonging to him.

2. Cabut, the chief City so called, the extreamest part North of this Emperours Dominions; it confineth with Tarta∣ria; the River Nilob hath its beginning in it, whose Current is Southerly till it dischargeth it self into Indus.

3. Multan, the chief City so called; it lyeth South from Cabut and Candahore, and to the West joynes with Persia. This Page  354 Province is fam'd for many excellent Bows and Arrows made in it: The Bows made of Horn, excellently glued and put together; the Arrows of small Canes or Reeds, both of them curiously set off by rich Paint and Varnish: They which are made here are neat and good than in any part of East-India besides.

4. Haiacan, the Province of the Baloches, who are a very stout and war-like people that dare fight. I insert this, because there are infinite multitudes of people in the Mogol's Territories who ap∣pear as likely as these, but so low-spirited (as I shall after observe) that they dare not fight. This Province hath no renowned City. The famous River Indus (call'd by the Inhabitants Skind) bor∣ders it on the East; and Lar, a Province belonging to the King of Persia, meets it on the West.

5. Buckor, the chief City called Buckor-Succor; that fa∣mous River Indus makes its way through it, and gently enrich∣eth it.

6. Tatta, the chief City so called; the River Indus makes many Islands in it exceeding fruitful and pleasant, the Main Cur∣rent whereof meets with the Sea at Sindee, a place very famous for many curious Handicrafts.

7. Soret, the chief City is called Janagar; it is but a little Pro∣vince yet very rich; it lyes upon Guzarat; it hath the Ocean to the South.

8. Jesselmure, the chief City so called; it joyneth with Soret; but Buckor and Tatta lye to the West thereof.

9. Attack, the chief City so called; it lyeth on the East side of Indus, which parts it from Haiacan.

10. Peniab, which signifieth five Waters, for that it is seated amongst five Rivers, all Tributaries to Indus; which, some∣what South of Labore, make but one Current: It is a large Province, and most fruitful. Lahore is the chief City thereof, built very large, and abounds both in people and riches one of the most principal Cities for Trade in all India.

11. Chishmeere, the chief City called Siranakar; the River Bhat finds a way through it, though it be very mountainous, and so creeps to the Sea.

12. Banchish, the chief City is called Bishur; it lyeth East, somewhat Southerly from Chishmeere, from which it is divided by the River Indus.

13. Jangapore, the chief City so called; it lyeth upon the Ri∣ver Kaul, one of those five Rivers which water Peniab.

14. Jenba, the chief City so called; it lyeth East of Peniab.

15. Dellee (which signifies an Heart, and is seated in the heart of the Mogol's Territories) the chief City so called; it lyeth be∣tween Jenba and Agra, the River Jemni (which runneth through Agra, and after falleth into Ganges) begins in it. This Dellee is both an ancient and a great City, the Seat of the Mo∣gol's Ancestors, where most of them lye interred. It was once the City and Seat of King Porus, who was conquered about Page  355 this place by Alexander the Great; and here he encountring with huge Elephants as well as with a mighty Hoast of Men, said, as Curtius reports, Tandem par animo meo inveni periculum, That he had met with dangers to equal his great mind. I was told by Tom: Coryat (who took special notice of this place) that he being in the City of Delle, observed a very great Pillar of Marble, with a Greek inscription upon it, which time hath almost quite worn out, erected (as he supposed) there, and then, by Great Alexander, to preserve the memory of that famous Victory.

16. Bando, the chief City so called; it confineth Agra to the West.

17. Malway, a very fruitful Province; Rantipore is its chief City.

18. Chitor, an ancient great Kingdom, the chief City so cal∣led, which standeth upon a mighty high Hill flat on the top, walled about at the least ten English miles. There appear to this day above an hundred ruined Churches, and divers fair Pa∣laces, which are lodged in like manner among their Ruines, besides many exquisite Pillars of Carved Stone; and the Ruines likewise at the least of an hundred thousand Stone-Houses, as many English by their observation have ghessed. There is but one ascent unto it, cut out of a firm Rock, to which a man must pass through four (sometimes very magnificent) Gates. Its chief inhabitants at this day are Ziim and Ohim, Birds and Wild Beasts; but the stately Ruines thereof give a shadow of its Beauty while it flourished in its Pride. It was won from Ranas, an ancient Indian Prince, who was forc'd to live himself ever after in high mountainous places adjoyning to that Pro∣vince, and his Posterity to live there ever since. Taken from him it was by Achabar Padsha (the Father of that King who lived and reigned when I was in those parts) after a very long siege, which famished the besieged, without which it could never have been gotten.

19. Guzarat, a very goodly, and large, and an exceeding rich Province; it encloseth the Bay of Cambaya; its chief City is Amadavaz; besides, it hath in it Cambaya, Brodera, Baroch, and Surat, fair Cities; but the first of those I named, more spacious, and populous, and rich, then any of the other. It is watered with many goodly Rivers, as that of Cambaya, (falsly supposed to be Indus) with the River Narbodah, (passing by Baroch, and so to the Sea) with the River Taplee, which watereth Surat. The Mer∣chants which are the Natives of this Province trade to the Red Sea, to Achin, and to divers other places.

20. Chandis, the chief City called Brampore, which is very great, and rich, and full of people. Adjoyning to this Province lived a petty Prince, called Partapsha, tributary to the Mogol; and this is the most Southernmost part of all his Territories.

21. Berar, the chief City is called Shapore, the Southernmost part whereof doth likewise bound this Empire.

Page  35622. Narvar, the chief City is called Gehud; it is watered by a fair River that much enricheth it, and dischargeth it self into Ganges.

23. Gwalier, the chief City so called, where the Mogol hath a very rich Treasury of Gold and Silver kept in this City, with∣in an exceeding strong Castle, wherein the Kings Prisoners are likewise kept. The Castle is continually guarded by a very strong Company of Armed Souldiers.

24. Agra, a principal and very rich Province, the chief City so called, this great Emperours Metropolis; in North Latitude about twenty eight degrees and a half. It is very well watered by the River Jemni. This and Lahore are the two principal and chosce Cities of this Empire, betwixt whom is that Long Walk (I made mention of before) of four hundred miles in length, shaded by great Trees on both sides: This is looked upon by Travellers, who have found the comfort of that cool shade, as one of the rarest and most beneficial Works in the whole World.

25. Sanbat, the chief City so called; the River Jemni parts it from Narvar, and after at the City Hellabass falls into that most famous River Ganges, which is called by the Inhabitants of East-India, Ganga.

26. Bakar, the chief City called Bikaneer; it lyeth on the West side of the River Ganges.

27. Nagracot, the chief City so called, in which there is a Chappel most richly set forth, being seeled and paved with Plate of pure Silver, most curiously imbossed over head in sevetal figures, which they keep exceeding bright by often rubbing and burnish∣ing it; and all this Cost those poor seduced Indians are at, to do honour to an Idol they keep in that Chappel. What charge can Heathenish Idolaters be content to bear for their gross Idolatry! Nothing is too rich, too pretious, or too dear for it. This Idol thus kept in that so richly adorned Chappel, they call Matta, and it is continually visited by those poor blinded Infidels, who, out of the officiousness of their Devotion, cut off some part of their Tongues to offer unto it as a Sacrifice; which (they say) grow out again as before: But in this I shall leave my Reader to a be∣lief as much suspensive as is my own in this particular. In this Province likewise, there is another famous Pilgrimage to a place called Jallamakee; where out of cold Springs that issue out from amongst hard Rocks, are daily to be seen continued Erup∣tions of Fire, before which the Idolatrous People fall down and worship. Both these places were seen, and strictly observed by Master Coryat.

28. Siba, the chief City is called Hardware, where the fa∣mous River Ganges passing through or amongst large Rocks, makes presently after a pretty full Current: but both this and that other great River Indus have their Rise and Original out of the Mountain Caucasus, from whence they both first issue. That Page  357 principal Rock, through which this River Ganges there makes a Current, is indeed, or (if not) according to the fancy of the Su∣perstitious Indians, like a Cow's Head, which of all sensible Crea∣tures they love best (of which more hereafter) thither they as∣semble themselves daily in Troops to wash their bodies, ascri∣bing a certain Divinity to Waters, but more especially to the Water in the River Ganges. And thither our famous Coryat went likewise to view this place.

29. Kakares, the principal Cities are called Dekalee and Pur∣hola; it is a large Province, but exceeding mountainous; divi∣ded it is from Tartaria by the Mountain Caucasus; it is the ex∣tremest part North under the Mogol's subjection.

30. Gor, the chief City so called; it is full of Mountains; the River Sersily, a tributary unto Ganges, hath its beginning in it.

31. Pitan, the chief City so called; the River Canda waters it, and fals into Ganges in the Confines thereof.

32. Kanduana, the chief City is called Karhakatenka; the Ri∣ver Sersily parts it from Pitan: This and Gor are the North-east-bounds of this Monarchy.

33. Patna, the chief City so called; the River Ganges bounds it on the West, Sersily on the East; it is a very fertile Province.

34. Jesuat, the chief City is called Raiapore; it lieth East of Patna.

35. Mevat, the chief City is called Narnol; it is very moun∣tainous.

36. Vdessa, the chief City called Jekanat; it is the most re∣mote part East of this Empire.

37. Bengala, a most spacious and fruitful Province, but more properly to be called a Kingdom, which hath two very large Provinces within it, Purb and Patan; the one lying on the East, the other on the West-side of the River Ganges: It is limited by the Golph of the same name, whereinto the River Ganges (which at last comes to be divided into four great Currents) dischargeth it self, after it hath found a way through the Mogol's Territories more than fifteen hundred miles in length. The chief Cities in it are Ragamahat and Dekaka. It hath many Havens and Ports be∣longing unto it, which are places of very great trade.

Now these are the several Provinces belonging to the Great Mogol, and all of them under his subjection, which may be be∣held all together at one view in this most exact affixed Map, first made by the especial observation and direction of that most able and honourable Gentleman, Sir Thomas Row, here contracted in∣to a less compass; yet large enough to demonstrate, that this great Empire is bounded on the East, with the Kingdom of Maug; West, with Persia; and with the Main Ocean, Southerly; North, with the Mountain Caucasus and Tartaria; South, with Decan and the Gulph of Bengala. Decan, lying in the skirts of Asia, is divided betwixt three Mahumetan Princes, and some other Indian Rhaiaes, which are Princes likewise.

Page  358The length of these Provinces is Northwest to South-west more than two thousand English miles; North and South the ex∣tent thereof is about fourteen hundred miles; the Southermost part lying in twenty, and the Northermost in forty and three de∣grees of North-Latitude.

The breadth of this much enlarged and far extended Empire is North-east to South-west about fifteen hundred of the same miles.

And here a great errour in Geographers must not escape my notice, who in their Globes and Maps make East-India and Chi∣na near Neighbours, when as many large Countries are interpo∣sed betwixt them; which great distance may appear by the long travel of the Indian-Merchants, who are usually (they going and returning all the way by Land) in their journey, and return, and some stay there, two full years from Agra to China.

Now, to give an exact account of all those fore-named Provin∣ces, were more than I am able to undertake; yet out of that which I have observed in some of them (by travelling many miles up into that Countrey, and then up and down with my Lord-Embassador unto many places there in progress with that King) I shall adventure to ghess at all, and I think for my parti∣cular, that the Great Mogol, considering his most large Territo∣ries, his full and great Treasures, with the many rich Commodi∣ties his Provinces afford, is the greatest and richest known King of the East, if not of the whole World. I shall now therefore fall upon particulars to make that my observation good: Where