Malfuzat-i Timuri, or Tuzak-i Timuri, by Amir Tîmûr-i-lang
In The History of India as Told by its own Historians. The Posthumous Papers of the Late Sir H. M. Elliot. John Dowson, ed. 1st ed. 1867. 2nd ed., Calcutta: Susil Gupta, 1956, vol. 2, pp. 8-98.
The Malfuzat-i Timuri, or Tuzak-i Timuri is an autobiographical memoir of the Emperor Timur (1336-1405), composed in the Chaghatai Mongol language, and translated into Persian by Abu Talib Husaini. It is dedicated to the Emperor Shah Jahan, whose reign commensed in 1628 CE.
Amir Tîmûr-i-lang, also known as Tamerlane, was a Barlâs Turk of a noble family. By the time he was born, however, his family had fallen on hard times and lived by banditry. His father converted to Islam and retired to a Muslim monastery at a young age.
came to power as the head of a branch of Chaghatai Mongols based in Samarkhand in Central Asia. Having tremendous military and political acumen and ambition, he rapidly rose to power, playing the Turks of western Central Asia off the Mongols of Eastern Central Asia. Eventually he served under Chagatid Mongols, and once he gained the upper hand over them he claimed for himself Chagatid Mongol descent. From his power base in Central Asia he began a massive series of conquests which rivaled that of the early Mongol emperors from whom he claimed descent. He turned north against the Golden Horde in Mongol Russia, reaching almost to Moscow. Then he turned south and conquered Afghanistan, where he crowned himself Khan. Later he turned West and conquered Persia, the Middle East and defeated the Ottoman Turks in Anatolia. Returning again to Central Asia, he decided to invade India. As the excerpts below indicate he needed no great justification to do so; the lure of conquest and pillage, and the opportunity to kill infidels, were evidently sufficient. The last justification is rather ironic, given the fact the regions he conquered in Northern India were largely Muslim governed at the time.
Planning for the expedition began in 1397, an commenced when his grandson, Pîr Muhammad, led an expedition into Sindh, capturing Uch and Multan, which fell in May 1398. Later that year Timur himself crossed the Indus with a calvary numbering 90,000. He was opposed at Loni by the Sultan of Delhi, Mahmûd Tughlûq, whom he defeated. After massacring 100,000 Indian prisoners he captured Delhi, which was sacked, and its inhabitants massacred. Timur, however, saved a number of artisans to bring back to Samarkhand as slaves. He then veered north toward the Himalayas and returned to Central Asia via the Punjab. He died in 1405 CE, just as he was gathering a massive army for an invasion of China.
The extracts translated here narrates his invasion of India, which began in 1398 CE, and resulted in the outright slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Indians, and the death of many more in the anarchy, famine and pestilence that followed in his wake. He justifies the atrocities committed by himself and his troops in the name of holy war conducted for the glory of Islam.
1. Justification for the Invasion
2. Siege of Bhatgir
3. Conquest of Sirsuti
4. Preparation for the Conquest of Delhi and the Massacre of 100,000 Hindu Prisoners
5. Sack of Delhi
6. Campaign against the Infidels after the Conquest of Delhi
7. Victories in the Siwalik Hills
8. Capture of Nagarkot (Kangra)1.
The Emperor Timur – An Autobiographical MemoirThe History Of My Expedition Against Hindustan
About this time there arose in my heart the desire to lead an expedition against the infidels, and to become a ghazi; for it had reached my ears that the slayer of infidels is a ghazi, and if he is slain he becomes a martyr. It was on this account that I formed this resolution, but I was undetermined in my mind whether I should direct my expedition against the infidels of China or against the infidels and polytheists of India. In this matter I sought an omen from the Kuran, and the verse I opened upon was this, “O Prophet, make war upon infidels and unbelievers and treat them with severity.”
My great officers told me that the inhabitants of Hindustan were infidels and unbelievers. In obedience to the order of Almighty God I determined on an expedition against them, and I issue orders to the amirs of mature years, and the leaders in war, to come before me, and when they had come together I questioned the assembly as to whether I should invade Hindustan or China, and said to them, “By the order of God and the Prophet it is incumbent upon me to make war upon these infidels and polytheists.” Throwing themselves upon their knees they all wished me good fortune. I demanded of the warrior chieftains whether I should direct my expedition against the infidels of Hindustan or China. At first they repeated fables and wise sayings, and then said, in the country of Hindustan there are four defences, and if anyone invading this extensive country breaks down these four defences, he becomes the conqueror of Hindustan.
The first defence consists of five large rivers, which flow from the mountains of Kashmir, and these rivers unite in their course, and passing through the country of [p. 9] Sindh flow into the Arabian Sea, and it is not possible to cross them without boats and bridges. The second defence consists of woods and forests and trees, which, inter-weaving stem with stem and branch with branch, render it very difficult to penetrate into that country. The third defence is the soldiery, and landholders, and princes, and Rajas of that country, who inhabit fastnesses in those forests, and live there like wild beasts. The fourth defence consists of the elephants, for the rulers of that country in the day of battle equipping elephants in mail, put them in the van of their army, and place great confidence in them, and they have trained them to such a pitch that, lifting with their trunks a horse with his rider and whirling him in the air, they will dash him to the ground.
Some of the nobles said in reply that Sultan Mahmud Subuktigin conquered the country of Hindustan with 30,000 horse, and established his own servants as rulers of that region, and carried off many thousand loads of gold and silver and jewels from that country, besides subjecting it to a regular tribute, and is our amir inferior to Sultan Mahmud? No; thanks to Almighty God, today a 100,000 valiant Tatar horsemen wait at the stirrup of our amir; if he determines upon this expedition Almighty God will give him victory, and he will become a ghazi and mujahid before God, and we shall be attendants on an amir who is a ghazi, and the army will be contented and the treasury rich and well filled, and with the gold of Hindustan our amir will become a conqueror of the world and famous among the kings of earth.
At this time the prince Shah Itukh said: “India is an extensive country; whatever Sultan conquers it becomes supreme over the four quarters of the globe; if under the conduct of our amir, we conquer India, we shall become rulers over the seven climes.” He then said: “I have seen in the history of Persia that, in the time of the Persian Sultans, the King of India was called [p. 10] Darai, with all honour and glory. On account of his dignity he bore no other name; and the Emperor of Rome was called Caessar and the Sultan of Persia was called Kisra, and the Sultan of the Tatars, Khakan and the Emperor of China, Faghfur; but the King of Iran and Turan bore the title of Shahinshahand the orders of the Shahinshah were always paramount over the princes and Rajas of Hindustan, and praise be to God that we are at this time Shahinshah of Iran and Turan, and it would be a pity that we should not be supreme over the country of Hindustan.” I was excessively pleased with these words of Prince Shah Rukh. Then the Prince Muhammad Sultan said: “The whole country of India is full of gold and jewels, and in it there are seventeen mines of gold and silver, diamond and ruby and emerald and tin and iron and steel and copper and quicksilver, etc., and of the plants which grow there are those fit for making wearing apparel, and aromatic plants, and the sugar cane, and it is a country which is always green and verdant and the whole aspect of the country is pleasant and delightful. Now, since the inhabitants are chiefly polytheists and infidels and idolaters and worshipers of the sun, by the order of God and his prophet, it is right for us to conquer them.”
My wazirs informed me that the whole amount of the revenue of India is six arbs; now each arb is a 100 krors, and each kror is a 100 lacs, and each lac is a 100,000 miskals of silver. Some of the nobles said “By the favour of Almighty God we may conquer India, but if we establish ourselves permanently therein, our race will degenerate and our children will become like the natives of those regions, and in a few generations their strength and valour will diminish.” The amirs of regiments (kushunat) were disturbed at these words, but I said to them, “My object in the invasion of Hindustan is to lead an expedition against the infidels that, according to the law of Muhammad (upon whom and his family be [p. 11] the blessing and peace of God), we pray convert to the true faith the people of that country and purify the land itself from the filth of infidelity and polytheism; and that we may overthrow their temples and idols and become ghazis and mujahids before God.” They gave an unwilling consent, but I placed no reliance upon them. At this time the wise men of Islam came before me, and a conversation began about the propriety of a war against infidels and polytheists; they gave it as their opinion that it is the duty of the Sultan of Islam, and all the people who profess that “there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah,” for the sake of preserving their religion and strengthening their law, to exert their utmost endeavour for the suppression of the enemies of their faith. And it is the duty of every Muslim and true believer to use his utmost exertions in obedience to his ruler. When the edifying words of the wise-men reached the cars of the nobles, all their hearts were set upon a holy war in Hindustan, and throwing themselves on their knees, they repeated the Chapter of Victory.
Siege of Bhatgir
When I came to the determination of taking the fort of Bhamir, I appointed Shaikh Nuru-d din, Amir Sulaiman, Amir Allah-dad, and other amirs, to direct the attack upon the right of the fort and to endeavour to make themselves masters of the walls. I appointed Prince Khalil Sultan, Shaikh Muhammad, son of Aiku-timur and some other commanders of regiments, to make the assault upon the left, and try to take the fort. I, myself, led the center of my army against the gate. My brave soldiers stormed the fort and walls in all directions, and at the very first assault the fortifications and walls (hisar wa shahr-band) were rested from the hands of the Hindus and the town was taken. Many Rajputs were put to the sword, and all the enormous wealth and property which was in the city fell as spoil into the hands of my soldiers. My brave men showed much courage and determination in this capture of the fort. Rao Dul Chain, with his fighting [p. 39] Rajputs, drew up at the gate of the fort to dispute the entrance. I then directed the generals of the division of Prince Shah Rukh, Amir Sulaiman Shah and Amir Jahall Maljk to fall upon Rao Dul Chain and the men who had rallied round him. They engaged in the conflict, and showed much intrepidity and valour with their flashing swords. Jahan Malik fought like a lion, and Saiyid Khwaja cut down several of the enemy. Army officers and brave soldiers swarmed round the fort like ants and locusts; some advanced to the edge of the ditch and some passed over it. When Rao Dul Chain perceived that his fort was being taken by the valour and prowess of my men, he raised a cry for quarter, and prayed a cessation of fighting, declaring his determination to come and make his submission to me. He sent a saiyid to intercede for him. When the saiyid came to me and represented the forlorn and miserable state of the Rao Dul Chain, my respect for the gray beard of the intercessor, and the reverence which I have for saiyids in general led me to give the command for my soldiers to leave off fighting, telling them that the Rao had determined to come and surrender on the following day. In consequence of this order the soldiers withdrew from the fort and took up their quarters outside the town. The night passed with much vigilance and caution on our part. When morning came the Rao broke his word, and did not come to pay homage to me. I gave the order for again attacking the fort vigorously and I directed that every man should strive to mine the wall in front of him and to make a passage underneath. In execution of this order, the soldiers pressed forward to make holes under the wall, and a terrible fight ensued. The besieged cast down in showers arrows and stones and fireworks upon the heads of the assailants but my brave men received these missiles on their heads and shoulders, and, treating them as mere dirt and rubbish pushed on their work. The enemy found themselves hemmed in on all sides with breaches open, [p. 40] so fear took possession of them, their hearts fell, and they gave up resistance. Rao Dul Chain and his followers (sipah) came out on the top of the battlements, and with many signs of distress and trouble begged for mercy, promising that if I would graciously pardon their offences they would surrender, and faithfully wait upon me to pay their homage. I knew very well their hopeless condition, but I remembered the saying of the wise, that “Clemency is better than victory,” so I granted the prayer of the enemy and returned to my camp. In the evening of the same day, Rao Dul Chain sent his son and his deputy to my tent, bringing with them some head of game and some Arab horses as presents. I received the both with kindness and princely distinction, gave him a robe and a sword with a golden scabbard, and sent him back to his father. I enjoined him to warn his father against giving way to any suggestions of deception and false play, but to come in and take a frank submission; I would then treat him with favour. If, however, he made any delay, he should see what would happen.
The son returned to his father and told him what he had seen and heard. Rao Dul Chain had no resource left, so on Friday, the 28th Safar, at breakfast time, he came out of his fort and approached my tent. He brought with him Shaikh S’ad Ajodhani, and, being introduced by the amirs, he was admitted to the honour of kissing my feet. He presented me with twenty-seven Arab horses with gold-mounted harness, and several sporting hawks, I comforted him, and bestowed on him a robe of gold brocade, a cap and girdle of gold work, and a gold-mounted sword.
A number of the zamindars and chiefs of the surrounding country had put to death the governors, especially the men of Dibalpul, who had slain Musafir Kabuli with a thousand other persons. These men had fled, and had now taken refuge in Bhatnir. I accordingly ordered Amir Sulaiman and Amir Allah-dad to take their [p. 41] regiments into the town and to bring out all the strangers they could find with their property and goods. In execution of the order, they went into the town, and, driving out all the refugees, they brought them with their property and goods, to my tent. On the 29th Safar I distributed these people in lots among my amirs, and I confiscated all the money and valuables of these daring men for royal uses. Three hundred Arab horses, which had been taken in the fight, I distributed among my soldiers. In retaliation for the murder of Musafir Kabuli and his thousand followers, I ordered 500 men of Dibalpur to be brought to punishment (yasak), and their wives and children to be made slaves, that this might be a warning to other daring men. The men of Ajodhan and other places I punished according to their offences. Some received chastisement (yasak) and their wives and children were enslaved, others were set free.
When I had inflicted this chastisement on the male-factors, Kamalu-d din,1 brother of Rao Dul Chain, and the Rao’s son were stricken with dismay. Although Dul Chain was in my camp, they fled into the fort and closed the gates. As soon as I heard of their proceedings, I ordered the Rao to be placed in confinement, and the flames of my wrath blazed high, I commanded my officers and men to direct their efforts to the reduction of the fort by breaching and scaling. When the garrison perceived my men advancing bravely to assault the fort, the Rao’s brother and son again raised the cry of alarm and distress .and begged for mercy. They put their swords upon their necks, came into my camp to make excuses for their foIly, and presented the keys of the fort to my officers. I spared their lives.
On the 1st Rabi’u-l awwal gave instructions to Amir Shaikh Naru-d din and Amir Allah-dad for realizing the ransom money, and sent them into the city. The rais and Rajputs and chiefs of the city did not act fairly in paying the ransom money although it was a matter in which honourable dealing was necessary. Contention and fighting arose between the collectors and the evil-minded rais. When intelligence of this reached my ears, I directed my brave fellows to punish the infidels. In obedience to the order, the soldiers pressed towards the fort, and fixing their scaling ladders and ropes to the battlements they carried the fort by escalade. The infidels and Musulmans in the fort now found their case desperate. The infidels shut up their wives and children in their houses, to which the set fire, and they and their families were burned altogether; those who called themselves Musulmans, but who had stayed from the Muhammadan fold, killed their wives and children with the sword, and then boldly facing death rushed together into the fight. My men entered the fort on all sides, and placing their swords and daggers fell upon the foe. The men of the garrison were young and vigorous, active and daring. They fought manfully and a desperate conflict ensued. Some of my renowned and brave men performed prodigies of valour, and received most frightful wounds. The amirs maintained their character, with their swords, and fought and strove with manly vigour. Amir Shaikh Nuru-d din maintained, on foot, a fierce conflict with the infidels, and many fell under the blows of his sword. Several of them joined and made a simultaneous assault on him. The amir was alone and they were many, so these demons in looks, and demons in temper seized him and were endeavouring to take him prisoner. Just at that critical moment Firoz Sistani and Auzan Mazid Baghdadi cut their way to the side of Nuru-d din, and after charging the infidels once and again, they forced them to fall back, and thus they [p. 43] rescued their comrades from the hands of the gabrs. So in all directions the brave warriors of Islam attacked the infidels with lion-like fury, until at length by the grace of God, victory beamed upon the efforts of my soldiers. In a short space of time all the people in the fort were put to the sword, and in the course of one hour the heads of ten thousand infidels were cut off. The sword of Islam was washed in the blood of the infidels, and all the goods and effects, the treasure and the grain which for many a long year had been stored in the fort became the spoil of my soldicrs. They set fire to the houses and reduced them to ashes, and they razed the buildings and the fort to the ground. When this victory had been accomplished I returned to my tent. All the princes and amir waited upon me to congratulate me upon the conquest and upon the enormous booty which had fallen into my hands. It was all brought out and I distributed it among my brave amirs and soldiers; I bestowed great gifts and rewards on Mazid Baghdadi and on Firoz Sistani who had rescuedd Amir Nuru-d din, and I promoted them to a hig1l rank.
When my heart was satisfied with the overthrow of the rais and rajas and turbulent dwellers of these parts, on the 3rd Rabi-u-l awwal the drums of deparrture sounded; I mounted my horse, and, after marching fourteen kos, encamped on the borders of a tank, near which was a jungle full of grass. Ncxt day I again marched, and passing by the fort of Firoz I arrived at a town called Sirsah.
3.Conquest of the Town of Sarsuti
When I made inquiries about the city of Sarsuti, I was informed that the people of the place were strangers to the religion of Islam, and they kept hogs in their houses and ate the flesh of those animals. When they heard of my arrival, they abandoned their city. I sent my cavalry in pursuit of them, and a great fight ensued. All these [p. 44] infidel Hindus were slain, their wives and children were made prisoners, and their property and goods became the spoil of the victors. The soldiers then returned, bringing with them several thousand Hindu women and children who became Muhammadans, and repeated the creed. Of all the braves who took part in this action, ‘Adi Bahadur Farrash was the only one who fell.
The following day I rested in the town of Sarsuti, and on the next day, the 6th of the month, I marched eighteen kos, and came near the fort of Fath-abad, where I encamped. The people of Fath-abad also, by the suggestion of Satan, had fled from the town and taken refuge in the deserts and jungles. I despatched some commanders of regiments after them who overtook them and slew great numbers of them. They took all their property and goods, horses and cattle, and returned to camp laden with spoil. Next day I marched from Fath-abad, and passing by the fort of Rajab-pur, I halted in the vicinity of the fort of Ahruni. The people of this town and fort did not come out to meet me and make their submission so as to escape from the rigour of the army of Islam; so some savage Turks entered the town and began plundering. Some of the inhabitants who resisted they put to death; the others were made prisoners. The soldiers brought away great quantities of grain, and set fire to the houses and buildings of the town.
On the 8th of the month I marched from Ahruni, through the jungle to a village called Tohana. In answer to the inquiries I made about the inhabitants, I learned that they were a robust race, and were called Jats. They were Musulmans only in name and had not their equals in theft and highway robbery. They plundered caravans upon the road, and were a terror to Musulmans and travelers. They had now abandoned the village and had fled to the sugar-cane fields, the [p. 45] valleys, and the jungles.2 When these facts reached my ears I prepared a force which I placed under the direction of Tokal Bahadur, son of the Hindu Karkarra,3 and sent it against the Jats. They accordingly marched into the sugar-canes and jungles. I also sent Maulana Nasiru-d din in pursuit of them. When these forces overtook the Jats they put 200 to the sword and made the rest prisoners. A large stock of cattle was captured, and my soldiers returned to camp.
It was again brought to my knowledge that these turbulent Jats were as numerous as ants or locusts, and that no, traveler or merchant passed unscathed from their hands. They had now taken flight, and had gone into jungles and deserts hard to penetrate. A few of them had been killed, but it was my fixed determination to clear from thieves and robbers every country that I subdued, so that the servants of God, and Musulmans and travellers might be secure from their violence. My great object in invading Hindustan had been to wage a religious war against the infidel Hindus, and it now appeared to me that it was necessary for me to put down these Jats and to deliver travelers from their hands. I consequently placed the care of the baggage and of all the plunder which had been gained in my victories in charge of Amir Sulaiman Shah, to convey it with the heavy baggage to the town of Samana.
On the 9th of the month I despatched the baggage from Tohana, and on the same day I marched into the jungles and wilds, and slew 2,000 demon-like Jats. I made their wives and children captives, and plundered their cattle and property. Thus I delivered the country from the terror it had long suffered at the hands of the marauding Jats. On the same day a party of saiyids, who [p. 46] dwelt in the vicinity, came with courtesy and humility to wait upon me, and were very graciously received. In my reverence for the race of the prophet, I treated their chiefs with great honour. I gave them all valuable robes, and I appointed an officer to go to their abodes and protect them, so that none of my soldiers should do them any injury.
I marched from this place to the banks of the river Khagar, where I halted, and Amir Sulaiman Shah arrived there also with the baggage on the 11th of the month. Samana was near to this place, and as the heavy baggage had not yet come up, I halted several days. On the 13th I marched again, and halted near the bridge of Kotila,4 an ancient structure over the river Khagar. At this stage Sultan Mahmud Khan, Prince Rustam and other commanders of regiments of the left wing, whom I had directed to march to India by way of Kabul, rejoined me. I received them graciously and enquired about the incidents which had happened on the march, and they informed me that wherever the people of any city, or village, or fort, made their submission and offered tribute, they gave them quarter; but whenever any city or fort offered resistance they conquered it, put the inhabitants to death, plundered the goods and property, and divided the spoil among tlhe soldiers. I approved and applauded them.
Next day I crossed over the bridge and halted. Here I was joined by Amir Shah Malik, who brought up the heavy baggage safe by way of Dibalpur. The following day I remained in the same position, but on the l8th I marched from the bridge of Kotila and the river Khagar and encamped at the end of a march of five kos. Next day I reached the town of Kaithal, which is seventeen kos distant from Samana. I had now come near to Delhi, the capital of Hindustan, and began to prepare for its conquest.
Preparations for the Conquest of Delhi
For my intended attack upon Delhi I arranged my forces in the following manner:
The right wing I placed under the command of Prince Pir Muhammad Jahangir, Prince Rustam, Amir Sulaiman Shah and….; the left I gave to Sultan Mahamud Khan, Prince Khalil Sultan, Prince Sultan Husain, Amir Jahan Shah and…. Under my own direction I kept the great tumans, the tumans of San-sir5 extended over a distance of twenty kos. Being satisfied as to my disposition of the forces, I began my march to Delhi. On the 22nd of Rabl-ul awwal I arrived and encamped at the fort of the village of Aspandi. In answer to my enquiries about this place I found that Samana was distant seven kos. The people of Samana, and Kaithal, and Aspandi are all heretics, idolaters, ,infidels, and misbelievers.6 They had now set fire to their houses- and had fled with their children and propety, and effects, towards Delhi, so that the whole country was deserted. Next day, the 23rd of the month, I started from the fort of Aspandi, and after marching six kos arrived at the village of Tughlik-pur. I encamped opposite the fort bearing that name. The people of the
fort on hearing of the approach of my army, had abandoned it, and had dispersed over the country. From the information supplied to me I learned that these people were called ( sanawi (fire-worshippers). Many of this perverse creed believe that there are two gods, one is called Yazdan, and whatever they have of good they believe to proceed from him. The other god they call Ahriman, and whatever sin and wickedness they are guilty of they consider Ahriman to be the author of. These misbelievers do not know that whatsoever there is of good or evil comes from God, and that man is the mere [p. 48] instrument of its execution. I ordered the houses of these heretics to be fired and their fort and buildings to be razed to the ground.
On the following day, the 24th of the month, I marched to Panipat, where I encamped. I there found that in obedience to orders received from the ruler of Delhi the people had deserted all their dwellings and had taken flight. When the soldiers entered the fort they reported to me that they had found a large store of wheat, amounting to some thousand mans. I ordered it to be weighed to ascertain the real weight, and then to be distributed among the soldiers. When it was weighed it was found to amount to 10,000 mans of the great weight (sang-I kalan), or 160,000 of the legal standard (sang-i-shara’). On the following day I marched from Panipat six kos, and encamped on the banks of a river which is on the road. I marched from this place on Friday, the 26th of the month, and I gave orders that the officers and soldiers of my army should put on their armour, and that every man should keep in his proper regiment and place in perfect readiness. We reached a village called Kanhi-gazin and there encamped. I issued my commands that on the morrow, the 28th of the month, a force of cavalry should proceed on a plundering excursion against the palace of Jahan-numa, a fine building erected by Sultan Firoz Shah on the top of a hill by the banks of the Jumna, which is one of the large rivers of Hindustan. Their orders were to plunder and destroy and to kill every one whom they met. Next day, in obedience to my commands, the division marched and proceeded to the palace of Jahan-numa, which is situated five miles from Delhi. They plundered every village and place they came to, killed the men, and carried off all the valuables and cattle, securing a great booty. They then returned, bringing with them a number of Hindu prisoners, both male and female.
On the 29th I again marched and reached the river [p. 49] Jumna. On the other side of the river I descried a fort and upon making inquiry about it, I was informed that it consisted of a town and fort, called Loni and that it was held by an officer named Maimun as kotwal on behalf of Sultan Mahmud. I determined to take that fort at once, and as pasture was scant where I was, on the same day I crossed the river Jumna. I sent Amir Jahan Shah and Amir Shah Malik and Amir Alla-dad to besiege the fort of Loni, and I pitched my camp opposite to the fort. They invested the fort which was under the command of the kotwal named Maimun. He made preparations for resistance. At this time a holy shaikh who dwelt in the town came out very wisely and waited upon me. Although the shaikh was greatly honoured by the people, still, they would not listen to his advice, but determined to fight rather than surrender to me. These people were Hindus and belonged to the faction of Mallu Khan. They despised the counsels of the venerable father and resolved to resist. When I was informed of it, I ordered all the amirs and soldiers to assemble and invest the fort. They accordingly gathered with alacrity round the fort, and in the course of one watch of the day they carried the place. It was situated in a doab between two rivers, one the Jumna, the other the Halin, the latter being a large canal, which was cut from the river Kalini and brought to Firozabad, and there connected with the Jumna by Sultan Firoz Shah. Many of the Rajputs placed their wives and children in their houses and burned them, then they rushed to the battle and were killed. Other men of the garrison fought and were slain, and a great many were taken prisoners. Next day I gave orders that the Musulman prisoners should be separated and saved, but that the infidels should all be despatched to hell with the proselyting sword. I also ordered that the houses of the saiyids, shaikhs and learned Musulmans should be preserved, but that all the other houses should be plundered [p. 50] and the fort destroyed. It was done as I directed and a great booty was obtained.
When my heart was satisfied with the conquest of Loni, I rode away from thence on the 1st Rabi’u-l akhir to examine the fords of the Jumna, and proceeded along the bank of the river. When I came opposite the palace Jahan-numa, I found some places where the river was passable. At the time of midday prayer, I returned to the camp. I gave orders to the princes and amirs, and then held a council about the attack upon Delhi and the preparations against Sultan Mahmud.
Council of War on the attack of Delhi
After much discussion in the Council of War, where everyone had something to say and an opinion to offer, it appeared that the soldiers of my army had heard tales about the strength and prowess and appearance of the elephants of Hindustan. They had been told that in the fight one would take up a horseman and his horse with his trunk and hurl them in the air. These stories had been met by suitable answers from some of the bold troopers. The Council of War at length agreed that a plentiful supply of grain must first be secured, and stored in the fort of Loni as a provision for the army. After this was done, we might proceed to the attack of the fort and city of Delhi. When the Council was over, I ordered Amir Jahan Shah, Amir Sulaiman Shah, and other amirs to cross over the Jumna and to forage in the the environs of Delhi bringing off all the corn they could find for the use of the army.
It now occurred to me that I would cross over the Jumna with a small party of horse to examine the palace of Jahan-numa, and to reconnoitre the ground on which a battle might be fought. So I took an escort of 700 horsemen clad in armour and went off. I sent on ‘Ali Sultan Tawachi and Junaid Bur-uldai as an advance guard. Crossing the Jumna I reached Jahan-numa and inspected [p. 51] the whole building, and I discovered a plain fit for a battlefield. ‘Ali Sultan and Junaid, my advance-guard, each brought in a man belonging to the van-guard of the enemy. ‘Ali Sultan’s prisoner was named Muhammad Salaf. When I had interrogated him about the matters of Sultan Mahmud and Mallu Khan, I ordered him to be put to death as an augury of good. My scouts now brought me information that Mallu Khan with 4,000 horsemen in armour, 5000 infantry, and twenty-seven fierce war elephants fully accoutred, had come out of the gardens of the city and had drawn up his array. I left Saiyid Khwajah and Mubashar Bahadur with 300 brave Turk horsemen on gray horses (sufaid sawar-i Turk) in the Jahan-numa and withdrew towards my camp. Mallu Khan advanced boldly towards Jahan-numa and Saiyid Khwajah and Mubashar went forth to meet him. A conflict ensued, and my men fought valiantly. Immediately I heard of the action I sent Sunjak Bahadur and Amir Allah-dad with two regiments (kushun) to their support. As soon as practicable, they assailed the enemy with arrows and then charged them. At the second and third charge the enemy was defeated and fled towards Delhi in disorder. Many fell under the swords and arrows of my men. When the men fled, an extraordinary incident occurred; one of the great war elephants, called Bengalis, fell down and died. When I heard of it I declared it be a good omen. My victorious troops pursued the enemy to the vicinity of the city, and then returned to present themselves at my tent. I congratutated them on their victory and praised their conduct. Next day, Friday the 3rd of the month, I left that fort of Loni and marched to a position opposite to Jahan-numa where I encamped. The officers who had been sent out foraging brought in large quantities of grain and spoil.
Timur Instructs the Princes and Amirs about the Conduct of the War
I now held a Court. I issued a summons to the princes, amirs, nuyans, commanders of tumans, of thousands and of hundreds, and to the braves of the advance-guard. They all came to my tent. All my soldiers were brave veterans, and had used their swords manfully under my own eyes. But there were none that had seen so many fights and battles as I had seen, and no one of the amirs or braves of the army that could compared with me in the amount of fighting I had gone through, and the experience I had gained. I therefore gave them instructions as to the mode of carrying on war; on making and meeting attacks; on arraying their men; on giving support to each other; and on all the precautions to be observed in warring with an enemy. I ordered the amirs of the right wing and the left wing, of the van and the centre, to take up their proper positions. Not to be too forward nor too backward, but to act with the utmost prudence and caution in their operations. When I had finished, the amirs and others testified their approbation, and, carefully treasuring up my counsel, they departed expressing their blessings and thanks.
Massacre of 100,000 Hindus
At this Court Amir Jahan Shah and Amir Sulaiman Shah, and other amirs of experience, brought to my notice that, from the time of entering Hindustan up to the present time, we had taken more than 100,000 infidels and Hindus prisoners, and that they were all in my camp. On the previous day, when the enemy’s forces made the attack upon us, the prisoners made signs of rejoicing, uttered imprecations against us, and were ready, as soon as they heard of the enemy’s success, to form themselves into a body, break their bonds, plunder our tents, and then to go and join the enemy, and so increase his [p. 53] numbers and strength. I asked their advice about the prisoners, and they said that on the great day of battle these 100,000 prisoners could not be left with the baggage, and that it would be entirely opposed to the rules of war to set these idolaters and foes of Islam at liberty. In fact, no other course remained but that of making them all food for the sword. When I heard these words I found them in accord with the rules of war, and I directly gave my command for the Tawachis to proclaim throughout the camp that every man who had infidel prisoners was to put them to death, and whoever neglected to do so should himself be executed and his property given to the informer. When this order became known to the ghazis of Islam, they drew their swords and put their prisoners to death. 100,000 infidels, impious idolaters, were on that day slain. Maulana Nasiru-d din ‘Umar, a counsellor and man of learning, who, in all his life, had never killed a sparrow, now, in execution of my order, slew with his sword fifteen idolatrous Hindus, who were his captives.
Sack of the City of Delhi
On the l6th of the month some incidents occurred which led to the sack of the city of Delhi and to the slaughter of many of the infidel inhabitants. One was this. A party of fierce Turk soldiers had assembled at one of the gates of the city to look about them and enjoy themselves, and some of them laid violent hands upon the goods of the inhabitants. When I heard of this violence, I sent some amirs, who were present in the city, to restrain the Turks. A party of soldiers accompanied these amirs into the city. Another reason was that some of the ladies of my harem expressed a wish to go into the city and see the palace of Hazar-sutun (thousand columns) which Malik Jauna built in the fort called Jahan-panah. I granted this request, and I sent a party of soldiers to escort the litters of the ladies. Another reason was that Jalal Islam and other diwans had gone into the city with a party of soldiers to collect the contribution laid upon the city. Another reason was that some thousand troopers with orders for grain, oil, sugar, and flour, had gone into the city to collect these supplies. Another .reason was that it had come to my knowledge that great numbers of Hindu and gabrs, with their wives and children, and goods, and valuables, had come into the city from all the country round, and consequently I had sent some amirs with their regiments (kushun) into the city and directed them to pay no attention to the remonstrances of the inhabitants, but to seize and bring out these fugitives. For these several reasons a great number of fierce Turki soldiers were in the city. When the soldiers proceeded to apprehend the Hindus and gabrs, who had fled to the city, many of them drew their swords and offered resistance. The flames of strife were thus lighted and spread through the whole city fron Jahan-panah and Siri to Old Dehli, burning up all it reached. The savage Turks fell [p. 64] to killing and plundering. The Hindus set fire to their houses with their own hands, burned their wives and children in them, and rushed into the fight and were killed. The Hindus and gabrs of the city showed much alacrity and boldness in fighting. The amirs who were in charge of the gates prevented any more soldiers from going into the place, but the flames of war had risen too high for this precaution to be of any avail in extinguishing them. On that day, Thursday, and all the night of Friday, nearly 15,000 Turks were engaged in slaying, plundering, and destroying. When morning broke on the Friday, all the army, no longer under control, went off to the city and thought of nothing but killing, plundering, and making prisoners. All that day the sack was general. The following day Saturday, the 17th, all passed in the same and the spoil was so great than each man secured from fifty to a hundred prisoners, men, women and children. There was no man who took less than twenty. The other booty was immense in rubies, diamonds, garnets, pearls, and other gems; jewels of gold and silver; ashrafis, tankas of gold and silver of the celebrated ‘Alai coinage; vessels of gold and silver; and brocades and silks of great value. Gold and silver ornaments of the Hindu women were obtained in such quantities as to exceed all account. Excepting the quarter of the saiyids, the ‘ulama, and the other Musulmans, the whole city was sacked. The pen of fate had written down this destiny for the people of this city. Although I was desirous of sparing them I could not succeed, for it was the will of God that this calamity should fall upon the city.
On the following day, Sunday, it was brought to my knowledge that a great number of infidel Hindus had assembled in the Masjid-i jami’ of Old Dehli, carrying with them arms and provisions, and were preparing to defend themselves. Some of my people, who had gone that way on business were wounded by them. I immediately [p. 65] ordered Amir Shah Malik, and Ali Sultan Tawachi to take a party of men and proceed to clear the house of God from infidels and idolaters. They accordingly attacked these infidels and put them to death. Old Dehli then was plundered.
I ordered that all the artisans and clever mechanics, who were masters of their respective crafts, should be picked out from among the prisoners and set aside, and accordingly some thousands of craftsmen were selected to await my command. All these I distributed among the princes and amirs who were present, or who were engaged officially in other parts of my dominions. I had determined to build a Masjid-i jami in Samarkand, the seat of my empire, which should be without a rival in any country; so I ordered that all builders and stone-masons should be set apart for my own especial service.
By the will of God, and by no wish or direction of mine, all the three cities of Delhi, by name Siri, Jahan- panah, and Old Dehli, had been plundered. The khutba of my sovereignty, which is an assurance of safety and protection, had been read in the city. It was therefore my earnest wish that no evil might happen to the people of the place. But it was ordained by God that the city should be ruined. He therefore inspired the infidel inhabitants with a spirit of resistance, so that they brought on themselves that fate which was inevitable.
When my mind was no longer occupied with the destruction of the people of Delhi, I took a ride round the cities. Siri is a round city (Shahr). Its buildings are lofty. They are surrounded by fortifications (kala’h), built of stone and brick, and they are very strong. Old Dehli also has a similar strong fort, but it is larger than that of Siri. From the fort of Siri to that of Old Dehli, which is a considerable distance, there runs a strong wall, built of stone and cement. The part called Jahanpanah is situated in the midst of the inhabited city (sahr-i abadan). The fortifications of the three cities have thirty [p. 66] gates. Jahan-panah has thirteen gales, seven on the south side bearing towards the east, and six on the north side bearing towards the west. Siri has seven gates, four towards the outside and three on the inside towards Jahan-panah. The fortifications of old Dehli have ten gates, some opening to the exterior and some towards the interior of the city. When I was tired of examining the city I went into the Masjid-i jami, where a congregation was assembled of saiyids, lawyers, shaikhs, and other of the principal Musulmans, with the inhabitants of their parts of the city, to whom they had been a protection and defence. I called them to my presence, consoled them, treated them with every respect, and bestowed upon them many presents and honours. I appointed an officer to protect their quarter of the city, and guard them against annoyance. Then I re-mounted and returned to my quarters.
6.Campaign against the Infidels after the Conquest of Delhi
I had been at Delhi fifteen days, which time I had passed in pleasure and enjoyment, holding royal Courts and giving great feasts. I then reflected that I had come to Hindustan to war against infidels, and my enterprize had been so blessed that wherever I had gone I had been victorious. I had triumphed over my adversaries, I had put to death some lacs of infidels and idolaters, and I had stained my proselyting sword with the blood of the enemies of the faith. Now this crowning victory had been won, and I felt that I ought not to indulge in ease, but rather to exert myself in warring against the infidels of Hindustan. Having made these reflections on the 22nd of Rabiu-l akhir, I again drew my sword to wage a religious war.
Again I mounted my steed, and as I did so intelligence was brought to me that in the valley (darra) of Kutila, two kos distant, a large number of infidels and gabrs had collected with their wives and children, and with property, goods and cattle beyond all estimate. The road thither was arduous, through jungles and thickets. When I heard this my first thought was that I had been awake since midnight, I had traveled a long distance without any halt, and had surmounted many difficulties, I had won two splendid victories with a few brave soldiers, and I was very tired, I would therefore stop and take rest. But then I remembered that I had drawn my sword, and had come to Hind with the resolution of waging a holy war against its infidels, and so long as it was possible to fight with them, rest was unlawful for me. Although I had only a few amirs and a few soldiers with me, I placed my trust in God, and determined to attack the enemy. Spurring my horse, I started, and when I had gone a little way, I remembered how three days before I had sent Prince Pir Muhammad and Amir Sulaiman Shah across the river from the village of Pirozpur, and I thought how opportune it would be if they were now to join me. But then I said how can they know that I have crossed the river, or how call they [p. 76] conceive that I am engaged in this distant place7 in action with the infidels. I was going along with my head bent down, engaged in these reflections, when suddenly a large body of men came in view in the distance, and every man had something to say about them. I sent forward some scouts to ascertain what force it was, and as they drew near they discovered that it was the division of Prince Pir Muhammad Jahangir and Amir Sulaiman Shah. The scouts immediately proceeded to the prince and told him of the state of affairs, how I had already won two great victories that day, and that for the third time I was marching against a numerous body of gabrs collected at Kutila. The prince and his men had previously heard nothing of me, and now, on getting this timely information, they were very glad and turned to wait upon me. The scouts whom I had sent to reconnoiter returned, and told me that the prince with his division in martial array was coming up. They added that the prince knew nothing about me until they informed him of the enterprize I had in hand, and that he was now on the way to meet me. This information, so in accordance with my wishes, rejoiced me greatly. It was quite beyond my expectations, for I had no idea of the prince being near; so I was glad, and prostrated myself on the earth in thanks to God for having granted me what my heart desired. It was now the time of afternoon (asr) prayer, and it was the fourth of the month. The prince and Amir Sulaiman Shah came up with their numerous force, and were honoured with an interview. Pressing on with all haste I passed the jungles and thickets, and arrived in front of the infidels. After a slight resistance the enemy took to flight, but many of them fell under the swords of my soldiers. All the wives and children of the infidels were made prisoners, and their property and goods, gold, money and grain, horses, [p. 77] camels (shutur), cow and buffalos in countless numbers, fell as spoil into the hands of my soldiers. Satisfied with this rout of the enemy, I said the afternoon prayers in public in that desert, and I returned thanks to God for that I had fought three times with enemies outnumbering my men by ten and twenty to one, and that in each battle I had gained a signal victory.
The day now drew to a close and night came on, but in that desert there was no place for me to alight and pitch my camp, so I turned back with my enormous booty, and encamped in the field where I had won the second victory. There I passed the night in repose.
At this place information was brought to me that fifteen kos off, up the river, and near the mountains, there was a place in which there was the image of a cow carved out of stone, and that the river (ab) ran from its mouth. In the belief of the people of Hindustan the source of the river Ganges was in this same mountains. The Hindu infidels worship the Ganges, and once every year they come on pilgrimage to this place8 which they consider the source of the river, to bathe and to have their heads and beards shaved. They believe these acts to be the means of obtaining salvation and securing future reward. They dispense large sums in charity among those who wear the Brahmanical thread, and they throw money into the river. When infidels die in distant parts, their bodies are burned, and the ashes are brought to this river and are thrown into it. This they look upon as a means of sanctification. When I learned these facts, I resolved to war against the infidels of this place, so that I might obtain the merit of overthrowing them.
Information was also brought to me that all the men whom I had defeated in the valley of Kutila, before coming hither, had not been killed. The day having [p. 78] drawn to a close, many had escaped and were hiding in the thickets and broken ground. Neither had all their property been plundered. So I resolved to go again next day to that valley, and to put all the surviving infidels to death. At dawn on the 5th Jumada-l awwal I said my morning prayer, and started with a suitable force for the valley of Kutila, which lies at the foot of a lofty imountain and on the banks of the Ganges. During the night all the gabrs who had been scattered reassembled under their chiefs, and as they had no place of refuge more secure, they resolved that if the Musulmans returned, they would fight till they died. So they were prepared for battle. When I approached the darra I made the following disposition of my forces for conquering the infidels. I placed my right wing under Prince Pir Muhammad Jahangir, and Amir Sulaiman Shah. The left wing I gave into the charge of several amirs of tumans. I gave the command of the advance to Amir Shah Malik, and I kept the centre under my own orders. Upon entering the valley the infidels at first, having drawn up their forces, put on a bold appearance and advanced to the attack. I restrained the braves of my advance-guard, and of the right and left wings, and having massed them together, charged the enemy, shouting aloud our war-cry until the hills and valleys resounded. The sounds of the kettle-drums and other warlike instruments fell upon the battle field, and at the first and second charge dismay seized upon the enemy, and they took to flight. My brave men displayed great courage and daring; they made their swords their banners, and exerted themselves in slaying the foe. They slaughtered many of the infidels, and pursued those who fled to the mountains. So many of them were killed that their blood ran down the mountains and the plain, and thus (nearly) all were sent to hell. The few who escaped, wounded, weary, and half-dead, sought refuge in the defiles of’ the hills. Their property and goods, which [p. 79] exceeded all computation, and their countless cows and buffalos, fell as spoil into, the hands of my victorious soldiers.
When I was satisfied with the destruction I had dealt out to the infidels, and the land was cleansed from the pollution of their existence, I turned back victorious and triumphant, laden with spoil. On that same day I crossed the Ganges. and said my mid.day prayers in the congregation on the bank of that river. I prostrated myself in humble thanks to God, and afterwards again mounting my horse, marched five miles down the river and then encainped. It now occurred to my mind that I had marched as a conqueror from the river Sind to Dehli, the capital of the kings of India. I had put the infidels to the edge of the sword on both sides of my route, and had scoured the land; I had seized upon the throne of the kings of India; I had defeated Sultan Mahmud, the king of Delhi, and triumphed over him; I had crossed the rivers Ganges and Jumna, and I had sent many of the abominable infidels to hell, and had purified the land from their foul existence. I rendered thanks to Almighty God that I had accomplished my undertaking, and had waged against the infidels that holy war I had resolved upon: then I determined to turn my course towards Samarkand, my capital and paradise. On the 6th of the month I mounted and proceeded towards the heavy baggage, and having travelled several kos, I encamped, and sent some yurutchis (quarter-masters) to go and bring up the baggage.
7.Victories in the Siwalik hills
On Tuesday I marched six kos and the heavy baggage was now four kos distant, I now learned that an immense number of infidels had collected in the Siwalik hills. Upon inquiring into the nature of these hills, I was informed that the people of Hindustan compute this mountain region at one lac and the fourtli part of a [p. 80] lac.9 It has narrow and strong valleys (darra), in which the infidels had assembled. When I received this information I immediately ordered the troops, with the baggage, to march towards the Siwalik hills, and I, myself, proceeded in that direction. Marching in the evening and into the night, I accomplished the five kos, and then encamped in the hills. At this halt Prince Khalil Sultan and Amir Shaikh Nuru-d din, who had been with the baggage, and to whom I had issued my order, came up. When I was seated on my cushion of royalty, with all the princes and amirs around me, Amir Sulaiman Shah, Amir Shah Malik, Amir Shaikh Nuru-d din and other amirs, rose from their places, and, coming forward, bowed their knees before me and said: “So long as we, your servants, are able to move hand and foot, we will execute your orders, but what necessity is there for our great amir to take all this toil and hardship upon himself, and that he should now order us to march against the infidels of the Siwalik and to rout and destroy them?”
I replied: “My principal object in coming to Hindustan, and in undergoing all this toil and hardship, has been to accomplish two things. The first was to war with the infidels, the enemies of the Muhammadan religion; and by this religious warfare to acquire some claim to reward in the life to come. The other was a worldly object; that the army of Islam might gain something by plundering the wealth and valuables of the infidels: plunder in war is as lawful as their mothers’ milk to Musulmans who war for their faith, and the consuming of that which is lawful is a means of grace.” When the amirs received this answer, they maintained silence. I now despatched some horsemen with all speed to Amir Jahan Shah, whom I had sent off a week before to plunder the forts and towns on the Jumna, ordering him to rejoin me with [p. 81] all speed, that he and his men might also share in the merit of fighting against the infidels. The amir came in directly and joined me. Then, placing my trust in God, I mounted my charger, and, on the 10th of the month, marched towards the Siwalik hills.
In a valley (darra) of these hills there was a rai named Bahruz, the number of whose forces, and whose lofty, rugged, narrow, and strong position, made him superior to all the chiefs of the hills, and, indeed, of most of Hindustan. At the present time especially, he, having heard of my approach, had done his best to strengthen his position, and all the malignant rais of the country had gathered round him. Proud of the number of his men and soldiers, the height of his darra and abode, he stood firm, resolved upon fighting. On the other hand, I resolved upon attacking Bahruz and conquering the Siwalik hills.
Conquest of the Siwalik
On the10th Jumada-l awaal I mounted my horse and drew my sword, determined on fighting the infidels of the Siwalik. First I attended to the disposition of my forces. I gave the command of the right wing to Prince Pir Muhammad Jahangir and Amir Sulaiman Shah; and I placed the left wing under Prince Sultan Husain and Amir Jahan Shah. I sent forward Shaikh Nuru-d din and Amir Shah Malik in command of the advance-guard of the centre. When my arrangements were complete, we marched, and on approaching the valley, I ordered the drums to be beaten, the instruments to be sounded, and the war-cry to be raised, until the hills and valleys echoed with their sounds. I proceeded to the mouth of the darra where I alighted from my horse, and sent forward my amirs and soldiers. They all dismounted, and, girding up their loins, marched forward to the conflict, full of resolution and courage. The demon-like Hindus were lurking in places of ambush, and attacked my soldiers, [p. 82] but these retaliated with showers of arrows, and falling upon them with the sword forced their way into the valley. Then they closed with them, and fighting most bravely they slaughtered the enemy with sword, knife, and dagger. So many fell that the blood ran down in streams. The infidel gabrs were dismaywd at the sight, and took to flight. The holy warriors pursued them, and made heaps of slain. A few Hindus, in a wretched plight, wounded and half dead, escaped, and hid themselves in holes and caves. An immense spoil, beyond all compute, in money, goods and articles, cows and buffalos, fell into the hands of my soldiers. All the Hindu women and children in the valley were made prisoners. When I was fully satisfied with the defeat of the insolent infidels of the Siwalik, and with the victory I had gained, I returned triumphant, and encamped in the same place. This night I passed as a guest in the tents of Prince Pir Muhammad Jahangir. When morning came I ordered all the plunder that had fallen into the hands of my men to be collected, for I understood that some had obtained much and others little, and I had it all fairly divided. On that day, the 11th of the month, I marched and joined the heavy baggage. I encamped at the village of Bahrah, in the country of Miyapur. Next day I again marched, and accomplishing four kos halted at the village of Shikk Sar. An enormous quantity of plunder, goods and articles, prisoners and cattle, was now collected together with the heavy baggage, and the people of the army were very heavily laden; consequently it was difficult to march more than four or five kos in a day. On the 13th I encamped at the village of Kandar.
On the following day, the 14th Jumada-l awwal, I crossed the river Jumna with the baggage, and encamped in another part of the Siwalik hills. Here I learned that in this part of the Siwalik there was a rajah of great rank and power, by name Ratan Sen. His valley (darra) was [p. 83] more lofty and more narrow, and his forces more numerous than those of Raja Bahruz. The mountains around are exceedingly lofty, and the jungles and woods remarkably thick, so that access to the valley was impossible except by cutting through the jungle. When I understood these facts about Ratan Sen, I felt my responsibilities as a warrior of the faith, and I was unwilling that the night should pass in ease; so I issued a summons for the attendance of the amirs and other officers. When they were all present, I directed them to prepare their men for battle, and that they should carry hatchets and bills, etc., for clearing away the jungle. I directed some thousands of torches to be lighted, and the drums of departure to be sounded. So at night I mounted my horse, and when I reached the jungle, I ordered my warriors to cut away the jungle, and make a way through. They proceeded to execute my order, and all night long they were occupied in clearing a passage. I went on to the front, and as morning broke I had traversed twelve kos by the way that had been pierced through the jungle. When I emerged from the jungle, the dawn appeared, and I alighted from my horse and said my. morning prayers. Then I again mounted, and on the morning of the 15th, I found myself between two mountains, one the Siwalik mountain, the other the Kuka mountain. This was the valley (darra), and it was exceedingly strong. The hills on both sides raised their heads to the clouds. In the front of this valley Raja Ratan Sen had drawn out his forces, as numerous as ants and locusts. There he had taken his stand, prepared for battle with an advance-guard, a right wing and left wing, in regular martial array.
As soon as my eye fell upon the dispositions of Raja Ratan Sen, I ordered my warriors to shout their battle-cry aloud, and the drums and other instruments to be sounded. The noise reverberated through the hills, and filled the hearts of the infidels with dismay and trembling, [p. 84] so that they wavered. At this moment I ordered my forces to make one grand charge upon the infidels. At the first onset, the Hindus broke and fled, and my victorious soldiers pursued slashing their swords, killing many of the fugitives, and sending them to hell. Only a few of them escaped, wounded and dispirited, and hiding themselves like foxes in the woods, thus saved their lives. When the soldiers gave up killing the infidels, they secured great plunder in goods and valuables, prisoners and cattle. No one of theme had less than one or two hundred cows, and ten or twenty slaves—the other plunder exceeded all calculation. On this day Prince Pir Muhammad Jahangir and Amir Sulaiman Shah, with the right wing of the army, and Prince Sultan Husain and Amir Jahan Shah, with the left wing, returned and joined me. By my orders they had parted from me, and had penetrated the valleys on the right and left. They had encountered and routed many infidels, and had slain great numbers of them, but they had not gained so much spoil (as my division).
I was satisfied with the victory I had won over Ratan Sen and his forces, and all that he possessed had fallen into the hands of my soldiers. Day came to a close, and I encamped between the two mountains. The princes and amirsof the right and left wing, whose way had lain through other valleys, came in to me in the evening, which was the evening of Friday, the 16th,10 and reported to me their engagements with the enemy, and the men who had distinguished themselves by feats of valour. After a night’s rest, on the morning of Friday, I arose, and after saying my prayers I mounted and rode towards the valley of those two mountains, intent upon the conquest of the Siwalik hills.
Capture of Nagarkot (Kangra)
When I entered the valley on that side of the Siwalik, information was brought to me about the town (shahr) of Nagarkot, which is a large and important town of Hindustan, and situated in these mountains. The distance was thirty kos but the road thither lay through jungles, and over lofty and rugged hills. Every rai and raja who dwelt in these hills had a large number of retainers. As soon as I learned these facts about Nagarkot and the country round, my whole heart was intent upon carrying the war against the infidel Hindus of that place, and upon subduing the territory. So I set spurs to my horse and wended my way thither.
The left wing of my army, commanded by Amir Jahan Shah, had obtained no booty on the previous day, so I ordered his division to the front to battle with the infidels, and to capture spoil to compensate them for the deficiency of the previous day. I sent Sain Timur with a party of soldiers forward as an advance-guard, and then I followed. At breakfast time Sain Timur, the commander of the vanguard, sent to inform me that there was a very large force of infidels in front drawn up in order of battle. I instantly ordered Amir Jahan Shah, whom I had sent to the front with the forces of the left wing and the army of Khurasan, to attack the enemy. The amir, in obedience to my order, advanced and charged the enemy. At the very first charge the infidels were defeated and put to flight. The holy warriors, sword in hand, dashed among the fugitives, and made heaps of corpses. Great numbers were slain, and a vast booty in goods and valuables, and prisoners and cattle in countless numbers, fell into the hands of the victors, who returned triumphant and loaded with spoil.
A horseman belonging to the kushun of Amir Shaikh Nuru-d din and ‘Ali Sultan Tawachi now came galloping in to inform me that upon my left there was [p. 86] a valley in which an immense number of Hindus and gabrs had collected, and were crying out for battle. Vast herds of cattle and buffalos were grazing around them, in numbers beyond the reach of the imagination. As soon as I heard this, I proceeded to the place, and having said my midday prayers with the congregation on the way, I joined Amir Shaikh Nuru-d din, and I ordered him, with ‘Ali Sultan Tawachi, to march with their forces, against the enemy. In compliance with this order they went boldly forward, and by a rapid march came in sight of the infidels. Like a pack of hungry sharp-clawed wolves, they fell upon the flock of fox-like infidels, and dyed their swords and weapons in the blood of those wretches till streams of blood ran down the valley. I went to the front from the rear, and found the enemy flying on all sides, and my braves splashing their blood upon the ground. A party of the Hindus fled towards the mountain, and I taking a body of soldiers pursued them up that lofty mountain, and put them to the sword. After mounting to the summit I halted. Finding the spot verdant and the air pleasant, I sat myself down and watched the fighting and the valiant deeds my men were performing. I observed their conduct with my own eyes, and how they put the infidel Hindus to the sword. The soldiers engaged in collecting the booty, and cattle, and prisoners. This exceeded all calculation, and they returned victorious and triumphant. The princes and amirs and other officers came up the mountain to meet me, and to congratulate me on the victory. I had seen splendid deeds of valour, and I now promoted the performers and rewarded them with princely gifts. The enormous numbers of cows and buffalos that had been taken were brought forward, and I directed that those who had captured many should give a few to those soldiers who had got no share. Through this order, every man, small and great, strong and feeble, obtained a share of the spoil. I remained [p. 87] till evening on the mountain, and after saying evening prayer I came down. I encamped in the valley where there were running streams. Several times when I encamped in these mountains great numbers of monkeys came into the camp from the jungles and woods, both by night and day, and laid their claws upon whatever they could find to eat, and carried it off before the faces of the men. At night they stole their little articles and curiosities.
Since the 14th Jumada-l awwal, when I entered the Siwalik hills, I had fought the enemy several times, I had gained victories and captured forts. From that time to the 17th Jumada-l akhir, one month and two days, I had been engaged in fighting, slaying, and plundering the miscreant Hindus of those hills, until I arrived at the fort of Jammu. I reckoned that during those thirty-two days I had twenty conflicts with the enemy, and gained as many victories. I captured seven strong celebrated forts belonging to the infidels, which were situated two or three kos distance apart, and were the jewels and beauties of that region. The people of these forts and countries had formerly paid the jizya (poll-tax) to the Sultan of Hindustan; but for a long time past they had grown strong, and casting off their allegiance to those sovereigns, they no longer paid the jizya but indulged in all sorts of opposition.
One of these eight forts belonged to a chief named Shaikha, a relation of Malik Shaikh Kukar. The people of the fort made some Musulmans who were dwelling amongst them their meditators, and sent offers of submission and service. But I saw looks of deception and treachery in the faces of the people of the fort. When my ministers had settled the amount of the ransom money, and the officers proceeded to collect it, these bad people evaded payment. On being informed of this, I gave orders that all kinds of articles should be taken at a good price instead of money and specie (jins).
When this was understood they brought forth all sorts of things and gave them over at a high valuation, so it came to pass that all the bows and arrows and swords that they possessed were surrendered instead of money. I now issued an order that forty of the Hindus of the fort should come out to serve Hindu Shah, my treasurer. Being of a disobedient rebellious spirit they resisted, paid no respect to my order, and even killed some of the Musulmans who were in the fort. Directly I heard this, I gave orders for the amirs with their respective forces to advance boldly against the fort. In execution of this order all my forces assembled en masse to storm the place. They assailed it on ever side, and fixing their scaling-ladders they mounted the walls and penetrated to the interior. The men of the garrison having been guilty of conduct worthy of death, were killed. Two thousand thus perished and were sent to hell. The women and children were made prisoners, and the buildings were leveled with the ground. By the favour and grace of God my heart had thus been gratified with the overthrow of the vile infidels of the Siwalik. I had subdued their strongholds, and there remained no other contumacious rai or raja to conquer.
- The two MSS. of this work and the four of theZafar-namaall agree in giving this Musulman name to the Rao’s brother.
- Price demurs to the sugar-canes, but all the authorities agree. See Price iii, 248.
- Tokal Bahadur pisre hinduwi qarqarra (qarqara)
- Distinct in both MSS. This is Feroz Shah’s bridge.
- tuman-i-kalan wa tumani-i San-ser.
- Kafiran wa mushrik wa be-din wa bad-kish.
- kull zamin
- in Kuhstan ra ahali Hindustan yak lak wa chaharum hissa lak hisab mikunand.
- It must be borne in mind that the Muhammadan day begins at sunset.