The intrepid travelers

  1. First on my list is Mohammad Ibn Battuta who was a Moroccan who traveled through the known Islamic world and many other parts of the world for thirty years. ( source : google photo)
  • In the year 1326, when Ibn Battuta was 21 years old, he undertook his first voyage and it was a long journey to the holy city of Mecca. It was a pilgrimage but during the stay in Mecca, he also travelled to nearby Damascus in order to learn from scholars and earn diplomas.
  • The journey to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina set him on his path of being the exemplary traveller that he turned out to be. At the end of his pilgrimage, Ibn Battuta was honoured with the title of ‘El-Hajji’.
  • At a time when mostly merchants travelled the world, Ibn Battuta was one who made a living out of travelling to different countries. He earned an income through handsome gifts from rulers as well as from his status as a man of letters. He travelled to Taizz in present day Yemen and Aden after staying in Mecca till 1330.
  • In the year 1331, Ibn Battuta travelled to Mogadishu in Somalia which was an extremely prosperous city at the time under Abu Bakr ibn Sayx ‘Umar and following that visit he went to Mombasa and Kilwa, which was being ruled by the ‘Kilwa Sultanate’ at the time. Battuta noted that the town planning in Kilwa was quite advanced.
  • Ibn Battuta wanted to be employed by the India’s Mohammad bin Tughlaq of the ‘Delhi Sultanate’ and in order to reach India he first went to Anatolia in 1332, which was then fragmented into pockets of smaller power centres in the years prior to the rise of the Ottoman Turks.
  • In 1334, he travelled to the iconic city of Constantinople and got an audience with the ruling king, Andronikos III Palaiologos, as a part of Sultan Oz Beg Khan’s entourage which was sent to the city in order to witness the birth of his grandson. The Sultan’s daughter was married to the Roman emperor.
  • Following his journey to Constantinople in 1334, Battuta started his long awaited journey to India and like so many travellers of the time he used the route via the ‘Hindu Kush Mountains’. In September of that year; Battuta finally reached Delhi and presented himself to the king of the Delhi Sultanate, Muhammad bin Tughlaq.
  • In India, Mohammad bin Tughlaq, a man of letters, appointed Battuta as a judge and expert on Islamic Law; however, Battuta was disillusioned with the situation in India since it was hard to impose the law in a country in which majority of the subjects were non-Muslims. He worked for six years in India.
  • During his stay in India. Battuta fell out of favour with Mohammad bin Tughlaq and it was only when he was appointed as the ambassador to the Sultanate in China was he able to get away from the emperor.
  • His last journeys were to Spain and Sudan, the two Islamic countries at the time that he had not visited. Battuta’s accounts of his time in Sudan, which he reached in 1352 remains one of the best sources of information on Africa from that time.
  • Battuta went back to his native Morocco in the year 1353 and took up employment as a judge. It is thought that he worked as a judge till his last day and also dictated his memoirs to a ghost writer.(source : Wikipedia)
  1. The second Person on my list is one of great travelers of ancient time who came to India from China crossing the Himalayas on foot and stayed at the famous university of Nalanda for some time and took detailed note of its location that was later discovered in his hand written notes in Beijing.
  1. The third person who made such an impact with his travel stories in the ancient world during the period of Kublai Khan is Marco Polo . Kublai Khan was the grandson of Genghis Khan .

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Amal Chatterjee

Amal Chatterjee

I am the village bard who loves to share his stories.

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