MODERN Delhi is situated on the west bank of the river Jumna, the circuit of its walls is over five miles, and encloses a citadel of a circuit of one mile and a half, in which is the celebrated palace built by the Emperor Shah Jehan, between A.D. 1637 and 1648. The city has ten gates, called the Calcutta, Kashmir, Mori, Kabul, Lahore, Farash-Khana, Ajmir Turkoman, Delhi, and Raj Ghat Gates.
Mir Yahia Kashi discovered the date of the completion of Delhi from the addition of the numerical value of the Persian letters contained in the well-known sentence, "Whoever inhabits Shahjahanabad (the city of Shah Jahan) will pass an agreeable time." The numerical value of the letters in this sentence makes a total of 1058, which, as a Muhammadan date, is equivalent to 1648—ten years before the death of the Emperor Shah Jehan.1 The most remarkable sights in the city are the fort and palace, the Chandni Chowk, which is the celebrated street and bazaar, the Jumma Masjid, and several other mosques. The incidents connected with the siege of Delhi in 1857, have given to the Kashmir gate a modern interest. Here it was that General Nicholson broke into the breach with the first column, and met with his death whilst leading on his men. With this siege died the glories of the house of Timur and the Muhammadan power in India.
Indrapat was the name of the earliest city in the neighbourhood of Delhi; its history is veiled in obscurity. According to the "Asar-us-sunadid," by Syud Ahmed, it is said to have been built about 1450 years before Christ, on the spot where the present "Purana Killa," or Old Fort, now stands. This latter building has three miles to the south-east of modern Delhi, and was built by the Rajah Anangpal Tomar I. in 676 A.D. The walls, which are very thick, are damaged in many places. The Emperor Humayun repaired them in A.D. 1533, and used the fort as a palace, when it went by the name of Din Panah. In A.D. 1541 it was again repaired by Shir Shah, and was then called Shirgarh.
"At the time of the 'Mahabharata,' or great war between the 'Pandus' and Kurus, this Indrapat was one of the five pats, or prasthas, demanded from 'Duryodhun' by 'Yudhisthira' as the price of peace. These five ' pats,' which still exist, were Panipat, 2 Sonpat, Indrapat, Tilpat and Baghpat."3
According to the computation of General Cunningham, the date of the occupation of Indraprastha by Yudhisthira was about the end of the fifteenth century, B.C., so that the date, 1450 B.C., given in the "Asar-us-sunadid," as the foundation of Indrapat, would appear to be nearly correct. The present fort is a Muhammadan structure, and it is probable that none of the ancient remains of Indrapat, as occupied by Yudhisthira in 1450 B.C., now exist.
Delhi took its name probably from the Rajah Dhilu, who, according to popular tradition, built a city in the neighbourhood (about 50 B.C.) of the Killa Rai Pithora. The city was rebuilt by Anangpal I., who erected Purana Killa in 676 A.D.; but it did not become the habitual residence of the reigning sovereigns until the reign of Anangpal II., who established himself in Delhi in A.D. 1052, and built the fort of Lalkot, around the Kutb Minar. The Rajah Pithora, in A.D. 1143, built the Killa Rai Pithora, and, in A.D. 1193, the Muhammadan invasion occurred, from which time Delhi became, in the hands of the Moguls, a very large and important city.
The ruins at present existing round modern Delhi extend from the south of the city to the forts of Rai Pithora and Tugluckabad, a distance of ten miles, the breadth of the area at the northern extremity is about three miles, and at the southern end from the fort of Rai Pithora to Tugluckabad rather over six miles, the whole area being not less than forty-five square miles.
The walls of Lalkot, built in A.D. 1060 by Anangpal II., are very massive, varying from twenty-eight to thirty feet in thickness. Their irregular outline has a circumference of two miles and a quarter, and stretches from the north to the east of the Kutb grounds (see plan No. I.). Half of the walls are still in good order, but the west gate is the only one that now remains.
General Cunningham writes of this still existing entrance to the ancient city: "It is said to have been called the Rangit Gate. This gateway was seventeen feet wide, and there is still standing on the left hand side a large upright stone with a groove for guiding the descent and ascent of the Portcullis. This stone is seven feet in height above the rubbish, but it is not probably less than twelve or fifteen feet. It is two feet one inch broad and one foot three inches thick. The approach to this gate is guarded by no less than three small outworks. The south gate is in the southmost angle near Adam Khan's tomb—and it is now a mere gap in the mass of rampart. Syud Ahmed states, on the authority of Zia Barni, that the west gate of Rai Pithora's Fort was called the Ghazni Gate, after the Mussulman Conquest, because the Ghazni troops had gained the fortress by that entrance. I feel satisfied that this must have been the Rangit Gate for the following reasons: first, the Mussulmans never make any mention of Lalkot, but always include it as a part of Rai Pithora's Fort; secondly, the possession of the larger and weaker fortress of Rai Pithora could not be called the conquest of Delhi while the stronger citadel of Delhi held out. The evident care with which the approach to the Rangit Gate has been strengthened by a double line of works and by three separate outworks immediately in front of the gateway itself, shows that this must have been considered the weakest point of the fortress, and therefore that it was the most likely to have been attacked. For this reason I conclude that the Rangit Gate was the one by which the Mussulmans entered Lalkot, the citadel of Delhi."
The Fort of Rai Pithora can still be traced, and was built probably by the Raja Pithora in A.D. 1143 to surround the citadel of Lalkot and protect the Hindu city of Delhi."
The circuit of Killa Rai Pithora was four and a half miles, and covered a large area of ground. "It possessed twenty-seven Hindu Temples, of which several hundreds of richly carved pillars remain to attest both the taste and the wealth of the last Hindu rulers of India.4
These were Hindu buildings concerning which native accounts are somewhat at variance; in addition, mention is made in the "Asar us-sunadid" of a park built by Anangpal in 676 A.D. at Anangpur, which is three miles beyond Tugluckabad, where he constructed a tank 115 feet by 150 feet. Another tank was built by him at the same time at Anangtal. near the Kutb. When Ala-ud-din was building the base of the second and larger minar or tower in A.D. 1311 (see Plan Xo. II.), he brought water from this latter, and the remains of the open drain constructed for this purpose are still discernible.
A circular tank at Surujkund, near Anangpur. was, according to the "Asar-us-sunadid," constructed by the Raja Kour Surujpal, fifth son of Anangpal, in the year A.D. 686. and the steps of it exist at the present time. An annual bathing of natives takes place at this spot.
It will not be here, perhaps, out of place to give an outline of the circumstances preceding the Muhammadan Conquest of the Hindus in India, which culminated with the capture of Delhi, and death of the last Hindu King of Delhi—the Prithvi Raja (Rai Pithora).
The Muhammadans made their first appearance in India in A.D. 664, when an army penetrated as far as Multan, from Persia and Arabia, but the incursion had more the character of an exploration, than of a permanent invasion. Some years after—in A.D. 711, the Arabs under a commander named Muhammad Casim went to Dewal,5 on the Sind coast, to avenge the capture of an Arab ship at that place. The Rajah Dahir of Sind was attacked, Dewal was captured, and Alor the capital of the kingdom fell—the Rajah himself being killed fighting in the midst of the Arabian cavalry. The Mussulmans now held both Multan and Sind, and in possessing themselves of the various cities in those countries, had exacted tribute and enforced a conversion to the Muhammadan faith. All who opposed their rule they punished with death. After the reign of Muhammad Casim,6 the Arabs ceased to make any further conquest, and in A.D. 750 they were driven out of India by the Rajputs; by this means the Hindus regained their possessions, and held them for the next four hundred years. During this time frequent excursions were made by the Muhammadans from Ghazni, naturally harassing and disquieting the Hindus. The founder of the house of Ghazni, Alptegin (a Turkish slave whose original duty had been to juggle before the Prince of Samani) retreated to Ghazni, on being deprived of his post as Governor of Khorasan and established there an independent state. His slave Sebektegin succeeded him and, shortly after assuming the government of the new kingdom, was attacked by Jaipal the Hindu Rajah of Lahore. The latter was repulsed, and engaged to pay a heavy indemnity, but, returning to Lahore, repudiated the obligation. Sebektegin accordingly assembled a large body of troops whilst Jaipal obtained the assistance of the Kings of Delhi, Ajinir, Kalinjar and Kanouj, and advanced with an opposing army of one hundred thousand men. The Muhammadans proving victorious plundered the Hindu camp and extended their kingdom to the Indus. Mahmud the son succeeded to the government of Ghazni, and in A.D. 1001 defeated Jaipal at Peshawur and advanced as far as Batinda, on the Satlej. An expedition against the Rajah of Bhatia was successful, and in A.D. 1005 Multan was laid siege to. In A.D. 1008 Anangpal was attacked a second time and a confederacy of the Rajas of Ugain, Gwalior, Kalinjar, Kanouj, Delhi and Ajmir was defeated. Two years later Mahmud conquered Ghor, in the mountains east of Herat, and took Multan a few months later.
In fulfilment of his destiny he continued to make expeditions into India, and captured Tanesar, made two excursions into Kashmir, captured Samarkand and Bokhara, and in A.D. 1017 had penetrated as far as Kanouj. Mattra was plundered, many other cities reduced, and Mahmud returned to Ghazni laden with spoil.
His most celebrated expedition—regarded by all Muhammadans as typical of the greatest of religious invasions—was that into Guzerat, where he captured the Temple of Somnath and destroyed the image of a large idol in the body of which, it is said, was concealed a quantity of diamonds and precious stones.
From the latter place he removed the famous "Gates of Somnath " to Ghazni, where they remained at the entrance to his tomb until General Nott, acting under the orders of Lord Ellenborough, removed them with the intention of replacing them in Guzerat; but they never got farther than Agra, where they are now kept in the Fort.
In A.D. 1193 he repeated the attempt and again invaded India. He advanced to attack the Hindu Raja in his stronghold (now the site of the Kutb buildings) and, being victorious on the banks of the Satlej, put him to death. On retiring from Delhi he left Kutb-ud-din, an ennobled slave, Governor of the Provinces of Delhi and Ajmir.
In the year A.D. 1194, Shahab-ud-din conquered Kanouj and Benares, and Kutb-ud-din invaded Guzerat, North Behar, Bengal, and Oude. He became sole sovereign in A.D. 1202, but was murdered in A.D. 1206. Kutb-ud-din now proclaimed himself independent sovereign at Delhi, and established Muhammadan rule in India.
Kutb-ud-din erected the mosque at the Kutb out of the materials taken from the Prithvi Rajah's temples, and the buildings surrounding it were constructed at various times by the kings of Delhi. (See Chapter III.)
Sultan Ala-ud-din, in A.D. 1304, founded the city of Siri. It was at this place (now Shahpur) that he intrenched himself and withstood the onslaught of the Moguls, who, under Turghai Khan, invaded India in the year A.D. 1303.
After their retreat he built himself a palace, probably the "Kasr-Hazar Situn," or Palace of the Thousand Pillars. The remains of a very extensive palace still exist inside the west half of the Fort of Shahpur.
In A.D. 1321, Tugluck Shah commenced the city of Tugluckabad, which in plan consisted of a half hexagon in shape, with three faces extending rather more than three-quarters of a mile and a base covering an area of one mile and a half, and completed it in A.D. 1325. His son, Muhammad Tugluck Shah, fortified the ground between the Fort of Rai Pithora and the citadel of Siri and constructed five miles of wall, of which part of the south wall still exists. In A.D. 1325 he built the cities of Jahan Panah and Adilabad, opposite Tugluckabad, but of the latter few traces are now to be seen.
Muhammad Tugluck reigned from A.D. 1325 to 1351. Although otherwise accomplished prince, he appears to have shown much inconsistency by making numerous strange attempts at stupendous and unsuccessful undertakings. He crippled his resources by raising an enormous army to conquer Persia, and sent 100,000 men to reduce China; in the Terai of the Himalayas they perished of illness, and for some unaccountable reason he massacred all the soldiers left in the garrisons as the army advanced. One of his curious fancies was to remove his capital from Delhi to Deogiri (otherwise Daulutabad), in the territory of the Nizam. Having caused a fort to be cut there out of the solid rock, he ordered the whole of the inhabitants of Delhi to march for the new capital.
"The Sultan ordered all the inhabitants to quit the place, and upon some delay being evinced he made a proclamation stating that what person soever being an inhabitant of the city should be found in any of its houses or streets, should receive condign punishment. Upon this they all went out, but his servants finding a blind man in one of the houses and a bed-ridden one in another, the Emperor commanded the bed-ridden man to be projected from a balista, and the blind one to be dragged by his feet to Daulatabad. which is at a distance of ten days, and he was so dragged; but his limbs dropping off by the way, only one of his legs was brought to the place intended, and then thrown into it; for the order had been given that they should go to this place; when I entered Delhi it was almost a desert.7 * * *
"He twice permitted them (the inhabitants) to return to Delhi and twice compelled them, on pain of death, to leave it. One of these movements took place during a famine, and caused a prodigious loss of life. The plan entirely failed in the end."8
The character of Muhammad Tugluck was of a curious mixture, whilst of a generous and free-giving disposition, he exhibited a strong liking for the spilling of blood. At his door could always be seen some beggar who had been enriched, and some human being who was suffering the agonies of a cruel death. His acts of generosity and of bravery, and his examples of violence and cruelty, obtained for him a notoriety amongst the people of India. In spite of this he was a most humble man, and one who was just in the extreme. Religious ceremonies were rigidly observed at his court, and he was very austere in regard to the observances of prayer and in doing penance for their omission. He was amongst those kings whose happiness was great, and who are lifted above the common sphere by their happy successes; but his predominant quality was generosity.9
In describing Tugluckabad General Cunningham remarks: "The fort stands on a rocky height, and is built of massive blocks of stone so large and heavy that they must have been quarried on the spot. The largest stone which I observed measured fourteen feet in length by two feet two inches and one foot ten inches in breadth, and must have weighed rather more than six tons."
The tomb of Tuigluck Shah was placed by his son Muhammad outside the south wall of Tugluckabad, and the latter Sultan was also buried there. Firuz Tuigluck was witness to many of the cruelties that his cousin Muhammad Tuigluck perpetrated, and when he built the mosque in Firuzabad. put up the following inscription:—
"I have also taken pains to discover the surviving relations of all persons who suffered from the wrath of my late lord and master Muhammad Tuigluck; and having pensioned and provided for them, have caused them to grant full pardon and forgiveness to that prince in the presence of the holy and learned men of this age, whose signatures and seals as witnesses are affixed to the documents, the whole of which, as far as lay in my power, have been procured and put into a box and deposited in the vault in which Muhammad Tuigluck is entombed."
Firuzabad, the next city of importance, was built by Firuz Shah and was the most extensive of his works. It was commenced in A.D. 1354, and lay between Purana Killa and the ridge of hills to the north-west of Shahjahanabad or modern Delhi, and included the two palaces of Kushak Firuzabad, and Kushak Shikar; the latter being probably on the low range of hills.
It is likely that Firuzabad overlapped a portion of the present Delhi, as the Kala Masjid, built in Firuz Shah's reign, still exists near the Turkoman gate of the city. Firuz Shah brought two of Asoka's edict pillars from Mirat and Mouza Nohira in Kumaon, and set them up in his city.
The stone pillar from Mirat is at present on the hill north-west of Delhi, and bears the following inscription in English:— " This Pillar was originally erected at Mirat in the third century B.C., by King Asoka. It was removed thence, and set up in the Kushak Shikar Palace, near this, by the Emperor Firuz Shah, ha A.D. 1356. Thrown down and broken into five pieces by the explosion of a powder magazine, 1713-19 A.D. It was restored and set up in this place by the British Government in 1867." The height of this pillar is 33 feet, the diameter at the base is 3 feet 2 inches, and that at the top is 2 feet 6 inches.
The pillar which was brought from Kumaon, was erected outside the Delhi gate, at the Kotila, by Firuz Shah, in A.D. 1368, where it still stands. General Cunningham states the total height to be 42 feet 7 inches, and the weight 27 tons. He says, "There are two principal inscriptions on Firuz Shah's pillar, besides several records of pilgrims and travellers from the first century of the Christian era down to the present time. The oldest inscriptions for which the pillar was originally erected, comprise the well-known edict of Asoka, which was promulgated in the middle of the third century B.C, in the ancient "Pali," or spoken language of the day. The alphabetical characters, which are of the oldest forms that have been yet found in India, are most clearly and beautifully cut, and there are only a few letters of the whole record lost by the peeling off of the surface of the stone. The inscription ends with a short sentence, in which King Asoka directs the setting up three monoliths in different parts of India, as follows:— "Let this religious edict be engraved on stone pillars and stone tablets, that it may endure for ever."
Although at the present time the structure which forms the base of the pillar appears to a casual observer nothing more than a heap of ruins, there remains sufficient traces in it of the comparatively recent existence of three stories, one above the other, which surrounded an altitudinal extent of probably 18 feet of the lower portion of the pillar. The upper, which was then the only visible portion, rises up to 24 feet. There is no capital to it now and at least 38 feet can be seen. In A.D. 1611 Wilbam Finch, a traveller who published a book of his travels, visited Delhi. He describes the three stories above mentioned and further states that the pillar, at the time of his visit, supported a globe surmounted by a crescent, which, with the entire upper portion of the pillar, was gilt. From this circumstance the Hindus gave it the name of the "Minar Zarim," or Golden Pillar. In earlier times it was called the stone pillar of "Bimsa." The legend being that, when the column was in its original spot in Kumaon, the Hindus believed it to be the walking-stick of "Bhim" the Giant Shepherd God; and they asserted that it could not be removed till the Day of Judgment. Firuz Shah, to prove the fallacy of this superstition, had the stone removed and set up in the precincts of his palace at Delhi.
In consequence of the impotence of his rule, Mahmud Bin Muhammad Shah (a king of Timor. the house of Tuigluck, who reigned from A.D. 1392 to 1412) was driven from the new royal residence at Firiizabad, the possession of which city was usurped by Misrat Khan. The king retired probably to Old Delhi, over which, with the two cities of Siri and Jahan-panah, he retained his sovereignty. In A.D. 1398, Tamerlane, properly called Timur, a Mogul chieftain who has not infrequently but erroneously been called a Tartar, marched upon Delhi with an immense army of his fellow-countrymen. Firiizabad and its Indian defenders were unable to withstand the attack of Timur who, gaining the mastery over the remaining portions of Delhi, sacked the entire city.
The following passage is taken from the Malfiizat-i-Timuri, or an autobiography of Timur:— "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 Delhi, had been plundered. The Khutbah 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 the spirit of resistance, so that they brought on themselves the 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 city. Siri is a round city. Its buildings are lofty. They are surrounded by fortifications built of stone and brick, and they are very strong. Old Delhi also has a similar strong fort, but it is larger than that of Siri. From the Fort of Siri to that of Old Delhi, which is a considerable distance, there runs a strong wall, built of stone and cement. The part called Jahan-Panah is situated in the midst of the inhabited city. The fortifications of the three cities have thirty gates. Jahan-panah has thirteen gates, 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 Delhi 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-jamai, where a congregation was assembled of syuds, lawyers, shaikhs, and other of the principal Musalmans, with the inhabitants of their parts of the city, to whom they had been a protection and a defence. I appointed an officer to protect their quarter of the city and guard them against annoyance."– Elliot's Historians, vol. iii. p. 447.
Delhi having been sacked, the king, Mahmud Bin Muhammad Shah, fled to Guzerat.10 The invaders did not long retain possession of Delhi, for, after taking Mirat, they returned through Cabul into Transoxiana (A.D. 1399).
In A.D. 1416 the city of Firuzabad began to decline, and in A.D. 1435 Syud Muhammad commenced the building of "Mokarikabad," near Tugluckabad. There are no records of any great city having been subsequently founded until after the invasion of India bv the Moguls, who, in A.D. 1526, under the Emperor Baber, sixth in descent from Tamerlane, came down from the Punjab, and meeting the King of Delhi—Ibrahim Lodi—at Panipat, defeated him with great slaughter and took possession of Delhi and Agra.
Humayun, who succeeded his father Baber in A.D. 1530, removed the seat of Government four miles from Delhi, in A.D. 1533, to Puranakilla, near the place where his tomb now is, and close to the village of Arab-ke-Serai.
His mausoleum was built by his widow Haji Begum, and is one of the earliest specimens of architecture of the Mogul dynasty. Humayun went through many vicissitudes of fortune. He was driven from his throne in A.D. 1540 by Shir Shah.
During the reign of Shir Shah, the city bearing that name "Delhi Shir Shah," was enclosed and fortified. It extended from the position of Humayun's Tomb to Firuz Shah's Pillar or Lat. near which still exists a gateway—"the Kabuli Durwaza'' of the new city. The circuit of the city was nearly nine miles, or double that of modern Delhi.
Salim Shah Sur, who succeeded Shir Shah in A.D. 1545, built the Fort of Salimghar, which is still in existence, and over which now passes the line of the East India Railway from Delhi to Calcutta.11 Saliin Shah Sur reigned from A.D. 1545, when he was murdered by Muhammad Shah Sur Adil, his uncle. Humayun, in A.D. 1555. regained all his original possessions and grandeur; but in A.D. 1556 he was killed by a fall from his Library in Puranakilla, and was succeeded by his son Akbar, the most powerful and famous Emperor of India.
The Emperor Akbar principally resided in Agra, as also did Jahangir, who succeeded him. and it was not until the great Emperor builder, Shah Jahan, came to the throne that any great alterations or additions were made.
The city of Shahjahanabad was commenced in A.D. 1648 by the Emperor Shah Jahan, and has a circuit of over four miles. It lies on the west banks of the river Jumna, and is surrounded by a bastioned wall of stone. The principal building, constructed by order of the Emperor, was the fort or palace, which contained a number of beautiful detached apartments or reception hulls. The Diwan-i-am, or Public Hall of Audience, is a large hall open at three sides, and supported by rows of red sandstone pillars. In the wall at the back is a staircase that leads up to the throne, which is raised about ten feet from the ground, and over it is a canopy supported on four pillars of white marble, the whole being curiously inlaid with mosaic work. Behind the throne is a doorway by which the Emperor entered from his private apartments. The whole of the wall containing this door is covered with mosaics of birds and animals,12 in precious stones let into black marble, much resembling the well-known Florentine mosaics. These were arranged in "plaques" over its surface; the designs were probably executed by Austin de Bordeaux, who was employed at the court of the Emperor. The Diwan-i-am is now used as a sergeant's canteen.
The Diwan-i-khass, or Hall of Audience, overlooks the Jumna, and consists of a beautiful pavilion of white marble, enriched with mosaics, gilded arabesques and paintings. The ceiling of this apartment was once covered with a valuable mass of silver filigree, but the Mahrattas in A.D. 1759 plundered Delhi and bore this off as part of the loot. Close to this pavilion are the King's Baths and Pearl Mosque, the latter being a beautiful small white marble building.
The principal object of interest built by Shah Jahan outside the fort is the large Jamma mosque, or Jumma Masjid. It is situated on a rock near the celebrated Chandni Chowk. the principal street and bazaar of the city, and is approached by three magnificent flights of steps, leading to gateways of red sandstone. The largest of these is to the east; they all lead to a paved quadrangle, on the west side of which is the mosque 201 feet in length by 120 feet broad; the front is partly faced with white marble, and on the cornice of the upper feature are black marble inscriptions in the Nushk character, detailing the sums spent in the construction and ornamentation of the building. The interior is paved with white marble, and the exterior of the building is flanked by two minarets, 130 feet high, of white marble and red sandstone. Detail paintings of the mosaics, as well as coloured miniatures on ivory of the throne in the Diwan-i-am, of the interior of the Diwan-i-khass and of the mosque built by Shah Jahan, are exhibited in the South Kensington Museum.
Shah Jahan was the emperor who built the celebrated and beautiful Taj Mahal at Agra, in memory of Munitaz Mahal his queen.
At Delhi, in 1863, some remarkable fragments of a large Muhammadan sculptured elephant and human figure were found and collected by Mr. C. Campbell, the executive engineer, who pieced them together and erected them in the public gardens, where they may be seen at the present time. Bernier, who visited Delhi at the commencement of the Emperor Aurangzibs reign, describes two such sculptures as having existed at either side of one of the gateways leading into the palace. "On one of the elephants," says he, "is seated the statue of Jai Mai, the renowned Raja of Chittur, and on the other is the statue of his brother."
These sculptures were very exceptional works for Muhammadan artists to have undertaken, and were most probably made at the instance of the Emperor Akbar, who besieged Chittore and killed Jai Mai on that occasion. It is said that he caused the statues at Delhi to be erected to evince a sense of the merits of his foes; Aurangzib however, in a religious frenzy, stimulated by a deference to the hatred held by Mussulmans of images of all kinds, ordered them to be pulled down and broken up.
The construction of the life-sized elephant consists of several pieces of black stone, with housings in white and yellow marble, and the figure which rode on it was of red sandstone.
- 1. This method of recording is common in India, and frequently an inscription is the only means of calculating the date of completing a building. Each letter has a numerical value, and the sum total is the date recorded. The practice is a Muhammadan one.
- 2. First Battle of Panipat, 1526. Baber defeated Ibrahim Lodi at Panipat, near Delhi. Second Battle of Panipat. Hemu, minister of Shah Adil, raised a rebellion against Akbar in 1556, in the first year of his accession, when only thirteen, and was defeated by Behram Khan, Akbar's minister, at Panipat. Third Battle of Panipat. In 1761 the Afghans defeated the Mahrattas, and captured the capital of the Moguls at Delhi, thus extinguishing the Mogul empire.
- 3. Indraprastha means the plain of Indra, which, according to General Cunningham, was the name of the person who first settled there.
- 4. General Cunningham.
- 5. Near Kuniclii, the present seaport of Sind.
- 6. A.D. 714.
- 7. Ibn Batatuh, quoted by Edwards, Pathan Kings of Delhi, p. 202.
- 8. Elphinstone, vol. ii. p. 65.
- 9. Ibn Batatuh.
- 10. "The booty carried off from Delhi is said to have been very great, and innumerable men and women of all ranks were dragged into slavery. Tamerlane secured to himself the masons and workers in stone and marble, for the purpose of constructing a mosque at Samarkand.'"—ELPHISTONE's History of India, vol. ii. p. 78.
- 11. "Salim Shah died after a reign of nine years; he was an improver, lite his father, Shir Shah, bat rather in public works than in laws. One division of the royal palace at Delhi was built by him; and although Humayun ordered it to be called Nurghar, by which name only it could be mentioned at Court, it still retained that of Salimghar everywhere but in the royal presence."–Elphecstcxe's History of India, vol. ii. p. 153.
- 12. Some of the originals of the plaques of mosaics may be seen at the India Museum; there are four large pieces and seven small. They were taken by the troops under the command of Sir John Jones, 60th Rifles, after the capture of Delhi from the rebels in 1857. In the same Museum is also a larger and very remarkable plaque, representing "Orpheus," which occupied a central position in the wall.