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How sadly one is disappointed in approaching this celebrated city, to which, according to a saying commonly received here, Solomon did fly, carried in the air by one of the Genii, ...Instead of the splendid palaces, described so enchantingly by the poets, one sees only rained and miserable cottages; instead of the far-famed beauties of Cashmeer, one meets with the most ugly half starved, blind, and dirty looking females; and the road is covered with females, who assure strangers that the fame of his liberality and munificence has reached Cashmeer many months ago.
The river Jelum runs through the city, dividing it into two principal parts, which are connected together by seven bridges, or, as they are called in the Cashmeer language, Gadal. The people go from one street to another in little boats, which are there in great numbers; for victuals, and all necessary things are brought by boats: but these cannot be compared to the beautiful Gondolas of Venice. The curious inquirer will in vain seek here for traces of what the great Gotfried von Herder supposed was the garden of Eden; and what is more surprising, in vain will the traveller look here for large shawl shops, or shawl manufactories; in vain for splendid mosques and minarets; all is in ruins. Bokhara is not so large as Cashmeer, but one is not disappointed with the first appearance of Bokhara.
As only a few Europeans have seen this town, I have taken more pains than I usually do, to describe it; and as it may be interesting to some, I mention the principal streets and bridges. Sheer-Kere is the street in which the Prince Governor resides: but it is not distinguished by beauty or cleanliness from the rest; for it is not the custom with Oriental Princes to improve the streets in which they reside. Kullah Mben here the kings of the dynasty of Jogathay, the descendants of Timour Lung, had their palace, which is now totally in ruins. I counted 52 large streets, which it would be too tedious to enumerate; I shall therefore confine myself to the mention of seven large bridges, which connect together the Eastern and Western parts of the city:
Intra Gadal, Habba Gadal, Futteh Gadal, Sena Gadal, All Gadal, Now Gadal, Seif Gadal.
The whole city may contain 250,000 inhabitants; but if the emigration continues for one year at the same rate as at present, there will not remain 50,000 inhabitants in Cashmeer. It is enormous, fifty thousand have emigrated in less than three months!
On my entering Cashmeer, the soldiers, who are dressed in European costume, and disciplined after the European system, presented arms, and fifty guns were fired as a salute, by order of the Prince; a well furnished house was assigned to me, and a guard placed at my door; soon after my arrival, Sheer Singh, according to instructions from Runjeet Singh, sent me 700 rupees, 30 pots of sweet-meats, and six bottles of sweet brandy.
The first moment of my arrival I asked the names of the learned Mullahs, and the following list was given me. Mullah Rafeek, Ahmad Shah, Moulavie Kheir-Addeen, the author of the history of Cashmeer; Gholam Shah, Noor Baba Saheb, Mirza Ahmad, another writer of the history of Cashmeer; Mullah Jemaal-Addeen, Mullah Emir-Addeen, Mullah Abd-ool Kooddoos, Mullah Mohammed Shah.
On the 17th Oct. I was introduced to His Royal Highness Sheer Singh. On my entering the palace, the soldiers presented arms, and a salute was fired, as for a Governor General. Sheer Singh received me in the most familiar and kind manner; asked me to sit at his right hand, and put my hands on his knees. His room was so filled with glass and silver dishes, and chandeliers, that it looked like one of the large shops in Oxford Street. The Prince introduced me to three Pundits (learned men): they were Brahmins, and their names were Sadram Raasdan Saheb, Beydeadar, and Ganadar Pundit. They told me that Brahma was born of a water-lily. I declared to them my faith, and spoke to them about the sin of idolatry.
His Royal Highness desired me to send him four things from India. 1st. a Persian Testament. 2nd. an English and French teacher (he has already begun to learn French from Messrs. Allard and Ventura, and can sign his name in French,) M. an English cook; and 4th. a person to keep plates and spoons in order, according to the English manner. He showed me ll fine manuscript, "History of Cashmeer," written by Khojah Mohammed Hashem. He told me that he was very anxious to see Calcutta, and the Lord Saheb, and the Lady Saheb, i. e. Lord and Lady William Bentinck. I then called on Mohammed Shah Nakkshbande, who is of the family of the Arabian pseudo prophet, and descended from the ancient royal house of Tashkand, whose ancestors, in the early years of the Hegira, came to Toorkestaun. He is immediately descended from Khojah Shah Neas, the son of Khojah Abdool RaheemNakhshbande,* who thrice performed pilgrimage from Toorkestaun to Delhi and Mecca, and finally, at the advice of his pious Moorsheed, spent the rest of his days in Cashmeer. Mohammed Shah Nakhshbande is a great friend to Europeans, and was very kind to me. He speaks the Tartar as well as the Persian language. He is revered as a holy man by all the Mussulmans of Toorkestaun, who send him money: the great men are his Moreeds, or disciples, and there are continually 2 or 300 people from this country in his house. There I met with three young Mullahs from Yarkand, who Were on a pilgrimage to Mecca; for when last year the cholera raged at Yarkand, daily carrying off thousands of the Khetaj (Chinese) and Oosbeks, the mother of these young men said to them, "Now God the Lord of all creatures has preserved you from this evil; go therefore to the tomb of the Prophet, and offer up your vows of thanksgiving." They called the chief Mullah to the house; and when he had read aloud the preface of the Koran, they stroked down their beards, according to the ancient custom of the Oosbeks;
* The Nakhshbande family are the authors of a sect of Sooffees.
and saying to their mother, "Khoda Hafiz!" (God preserve you!) they set out for Ladak, and arrived there with a caravan in twenty days, visiting three places of pilgrimage on the way: Altoon Buzurk, four and a half miles from Yorkand; Tushtuk Orta, four and a hal f miles; and Kolkaja, four and a half miles further on the way. At;Ladak they were received into the house of a Cashmeer merchant, for whom they had a letter. They remained with him nine days, and then travelled on to Cashmeer, where they arrived after a journey of 20 days. On their arrival they sought out their Moorsheed, Mohammed Shah Nakhshbande; and they had been nearly five months in his house, when I met them there. I invited them to travel with me as far as Delhi, on their way to Mecca, which proposal was received with expressions of joy by Mohammed Shah Nakhshbande, and themselves. To give you an idea of the learning of these youths, I will mention that one knew the Koran, and the second a book called Secunder Nameh, or the life of Alexander the Great, written in Persian. It was chiefly from them that I obtained my information about Yarkand, which therefore I shall state here.
Near Yarkand is the most considerable town of Akso. The other neighbouring cities are, Kashgar, Yeng Hazar, Kojo, Eele, Kara, Torban, and Komol. The city of Khotan is twelve days' journey distant. The Governor of Yarkand is subject to the Emperor of China. There are three colleges at that place; and the Caadi, named Baake Akhoond, is said to be a very learned man. At Yarkand there are three Mosques, Adena-musjid, Khaneket, and Mikhloshe Gerlek; and nine large Medressa or colleges: Kaluk, Kone, Yankee, Kook, Ok, Beylowak, Haway Bek, Akbut, Abdalsheer.
In the city there are five caravan-serays; I mention their names, as they shew from what parts of the world merchants come to that place: Seray Kashgar, Seray Antijan, Seray Khotan, Seray Badaghjan, Seray Cashmeer; which may be read, Seray for the merchants of Kashgar, of Antijan, &c. Moreover I learned the names of the principal Mullahs in the city of Yarkand: Altoom Muhullah, Khandak Muhullah, Goorbagh Muhullah, Ashor Bekekol Muhullah, Neas Khojeh Kol Muhullah, Khader Gerlek Muhullah, Timoroo Khojeh Khol Muhullah, &c.
The people of Yarkand call themselves Tartar, a name not known at Bokhara. Fifteen years ago, one Akhoond Lok Suleiman, an Armenian, came to Yarkand. It is certain, that there are no Jews there. It is inhabited by Oosbeks, who have, for the last 70 years, been under the government of China. Formerly the place belonged to the government of Bokhara; the Chinese took it after a bloody war of twelve years' duration. The people of Yarkand say, that the King of Bokhara gave it up, moved by compassion, seeing that he had killed millions of Chinese.
There are now at Yarkand two Governors, a Mussulman and a
Chinese. The first is the civil, and the second the military Governor, and their title is Wank. The name of the present Mussulman Governor is Wank Abd Arrahman Beyk Lik; that of the Chinese, Wank Amban. Every three years the Civil Governor is obliged to appear at Peking. The journey is made in six months, and he is conducted from station to station, without being allowed to walk about, or leave his lodgings. So jealous are these people! The post goes in 40 days. The Russian caravans are not allowed to come to Yarkand, but to the neighbouring city of Eele, whence the natives bring on the merchandise. Five years ago, Jehangeer Khoja, a Mussulman Syud, and a descendant of the former Kings of Chinese Tartary, assembled his Moreeds (disciples), and persuaded them to proclaim him King of Yarkand. They went armed to the mosque, and put to death a Chinese soldier; and a Commissary, sent by the Emperor to inquire into the cause of this deed, shared the same fate. This was the signal for a general rebellion. The King of Antij an sent 12000 men to the assistance of Jehangeer Khoja, who put down the Chinese authority, exiled the Chinese merchants, and slaughtered the imperial troops without number; but at last he was taken prisoner, and sent to Peking. On account of his royal blood, he was detained there without being ill treated; but his followers, who had fled to Lassa, were carried back to Yarkand, and put to death.
TALES ABOUT CASHMEER.
But to return to the description of Cashmeer. There are two historical accounts of this country, one written according to the traditions of the Hindoos, and the second according to the Mohammedan legends; but the one is as fabulous as the other.
The Hmdoos say, that Cashmeer, or, as it should be written, Kashmar, was formerly called "Kashaf mar," the Throne of Kashaf, who was the grandson of Brahman. The whole valley was covered with water, on which the wife of the genius Shawjee resided. Kashaf was praying; the wife of Shawjee asked, what he was praying for; he replied, "I wish to make a garden; put away this water." Shawjee struck his staff into the lake, so that the earth beneath became hollow; the waters sunk under ground, and the Kashaf made a garden there.
The Mussulman tradition is, that the waters were driven-away by the genius of Solomon, when he was borne hither through the air on his throne; for the Mohammedans are taught that Solomon had power not only over all living creatures of this world, but over the genii, and over the elements; and they believe that at his command, a strong wind would bear up his throne, and carry him wherever he would; the genii attending to serve him, and clouds of birds flying above, to shade him from the rays of the sun. There is a mountain at one end of the lake in the valley, called Takht-eSuleiman, (Throne of Solomon,) because Solomon, as they say, set his foot on it, when he thus passed over Cashmeer. The following are some notes which I made upon the history of this country; they are not very connected, but I give them as I received them.
HISTORY OF CASHMEER.
At first, anarchy prevailed among the people of Cashmeer, therefore they sent to Mutra for a Rajah, who governed them for a while; but when he died, the people disregarded his descendants, and brought another Rajah from Jummoo. The name of the first Rajah was Oognam, and of the second Damooda; after these reigned Rajahs Jusivatee, Lair Kishen, Kalkand, Suntur, Gooter, Basram, Janek, Jay Narain, Asnak, Jakook, Ashek, Kashek, Rashek, and Anegan. The last named Rajah built the town of Abapoor, in the district of Ragel, 18 English miles from Cashmeer.
After these fifteen Kings (the periods of whose reign were not specified), the following succeeded:
Rajah Kishen, ....
Inderjeed (his son),
Barna Yareed (from Malta),
Sanjar (his son), . Rajah Sanjar had no issue; he was succeeded by Rajah Pegimal, who reigned but eight years, and then followed Rajahs Pijender, Raaj, Micawahan, Seibastin. Rajah Seibastin had two sons, Harran and Porunman; the first ascended the throne, and the second became his Vizier. After four years, Harran was succeeded by his brother's son, Perwarrin; after whom reigned Rajahs Pexermanat, Palawat, and Sahadeo. Sahadeo sat on the throne for 19 years, and was the last of the Rajahs.
Solkador Khan came from Toorkestaun with 70,000 soldiers, and laid waste Cashmeer; Rajah Sahedeo fled to Kishtwaur, and Solkador Khan remained ruler over his country. Rajah Rinjoo Shah was thus converted to the Mohammedan religion. He said, "Whosoever I shall first meet in the morning, his faith I will embrace." He met Bulbul Shah Bagdadee, who came all the way from Bagdad to Cashmeer in one night. Sultan Shumsooddeen of the Children of Gour Shah, came to Cashmeer, and lived as a Dervish. The following Fakeers contributed to promote the Mohammedan religion in this country: Shah Neeamut Oollah Walee, Meer Weese, Syud Sharfooddeen, Sultan Sahabooddeen Poora, Shah Emeer, King; Sultan Alabooddeen, King; Sultan Kootubooddeen, King. In the time of the latter Monarch, the Fakeer Syud Ali Hamadani arrived at Cashmeer; he converted many to Islam, and reformed the Mussulman discipline. After Sultan Kootubooddeen, reigned Sultan Secunder Patshikan, who destroyed „the idols at Cashmeer; in his time there flourished the Fakeers Hazrat Emeer, Syud Hyder, and Syud Kamal. Sultan Secunder left the throne to his son Sultan Ali; who after a reign of six years and nine months, was succeeded by Zein Alabaddeen, and went to Mecca. His son, Shah Khan, was carried bound to Samarcand by