chapter  VI
31 Pages

Chapter VI

WHEN we reached this river called Panj Ab, which is the frontier of the territories of the sultan of India and Sind, the officials of the intelligence service came to us and sent a report about us to the ~overnor of the city of M ultan. From Sind to the City of Dihli [Delhil, the sultan's capital, it is fifty days' march, but wIlen the intelligence officers write to the sultan from. Sind the letter reaches him in five days by the postal service. In India the postal service is of two kinds.l The mounted couriers travel on horses belonging to the sultan with relays every four miles. The service of couriers on foot is organized in the following manner. At every third of a mile there is an inhabited village, outside which there are three pavilions. In these sit men girded up ready to move off, each of whom has a rod a yard and a half long with brass bells at the top. When a courier leaves the town he takes the letter in the fingers of one hand and the rod with the bells in the other, and runs with all his might. The men in the pavilions, on hearing the sound of the bells, prepare to meet him, and when he reaches them one of them takes the letter in his hand and passes on, running with all his might and shaking hiS rod until he reaches the next station, and so the letter is passed on till it reaches its destination. This post is quicker than the mounted post. It is sometimes used to transport fruits from Khurasan which are highly valued in India; they are

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put on plates and carried with great speed to the sultan. In the same way they transport the principal criminals; they are each placed on a Stretcher and the couriers run carrying the Stretcher on their heads. The sultan's drinking water is brought to him by the same means, when he resides at Dawlat AM.d, from the river Kank (Ganges), to which the Hindus go on pilgrimage and which is at a distance of forty days' Journey from there.