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From Khwajeh-zeid, by three or four marches, we reached Ghur-bend.1 On coming to our ground at Ushter-Sheher, we got intelligence that Shirkeh Arghun, the Beg in whom Mokim reposed the greatest confidence, still ignorant of my approach, had advanced with an army, and taken post on the river Baran, for the purpose of intercepting any who might attempt, by the route of Panjhir,2 to join Abdal Rizak Mirza,3 who had fled at that time from Kabul, and was then among the Turkolani Afghans in the territory of Lamghan. The instant I received this information, which was between mid-day and afternoon prayers, we set out, and marching all night, ascended the hill-pass of Hupian.4 Till this time I had never seen the star Soheil,5 (Canopus,) but on reaching the top of a hill, Soheil appeared below, bright to the south. I said, "This cannot be Soheil!" They answered, " It is indeed Soheil." Baki Cheghaniani recited the following verses :—
O Soheil, how far dost thou shine, and where dost thou rise?
The sun was a spear's length high when we reached the foot of the valley of Senjed and alighted. The party whom we had sent on in advance to reconnoitre, with a number of enterprising young warriors, fell in with Shirkeh below Karabagh,6 in the territory of Aikeri-Yar, and instantly attacked him; they kept harassing him for some time in a skirmishing fight, till reinforcements came up, when they made a vigorous charge, and completely routed his troops. Shirkeh himself was dismounted and made prisoner, with seventy, eighty, or a hundred of his best men. I spared his life, and he entered into my service.
When Khosrou Shah abandoned Kundez, and set out for Kabul, without troubling is joined . himself about his Ils and Uluses, (the wandering Turki and Moghul tribes,) the troops some Ha«in his service, including the Ils and Uluses, formed five or six bodies. One of these bodies was composed of the men from the hill-country of Badakhshan. Sidim Ali Derban, with the Hazaras of the desert, having passed the straits of Penjhir,7 joined me at this stage, and entered into my service. Another of these bodies, under Yusef Ayub
1 Ghur-bend, or the Pass of Ghur, which lies to the south of the high hills of Hindu-kueh, is one of the chief passes from Balkh to Kabul, across that great range.
2 Now Penjshir.
1 Abdal Rizak Mirza was the son of Ulugh Beg Mirza, one of Baber's uncles, the King of Kabul and Ghazni. Ulugh Beg died in 907 of the Hejira, about three years before Baber's invasion. He was succeeded by his son Abdal Rizak Mirza; but that prince being very young, Shirim Ziker, one of his nobles, usurped the supreme direction of affairs. The other Begs, disgusted with Shirim's conduct, formed a conspiracy and put him to death. During the confusions that ensued, Muhammed Mokim, a son of Zulnun Beg, surprised Kabul in 908, and married a sister of Abdal Rizak Mirza. Affairs were still in confusion when Baber entered the country in 910.
4 Hupian, or Upian, is a few miles north of Charikar, on the way to Perwan. Senjed Dereh lies west, or north west of Ghurbend.
s Soheil is a most conspicuous star in Afghanistan. It gives its name to the south, which is never called Junub, but Soheil. The rising of Soheil marks one of their seasons.
7 The Pass of Penjhir, or Penjshir, is in the Hindu-kush range, to the east of that of Kipchak, by which Baber had come.
and Behlul Ayub, joined me in like manner at the same place. Other two of these bodies, the one from Khutlan, under the command of Wali, the brother of Khosrou; Wali Ac- the other from Ilanchuk, Nukdcri, and Kakshal, with the Aimaks that had settled in mu t o Kundez, advanced by the route of Anderab and Seirab, with an intention of passing death. by the straits of Penjhir. The Aimaks reached Seirab first; and as Wali was advancing in their rear, they took possession of the road, engaged and defeated him. Wali himself, after his discomfiture, fled for refuge to the Uzbeks; but his head was struck off in the public market1 of Samarkand by the orders of Sheibani Khan; all the rest of his servants and officers, being discomfited, plundered, and destitute, came and joined me, along with the Aimaks, at this same stage. Syed Yusef Beg Ughlakchi also came along with the Aimaks to this place.
Marching thence, we halted in the auleng, or meadow, of Ak-Serai,2 which is situated close upon Karabagh : Khosrou Shah's men, who had long been inured to the practice of violence, and to disregard of discipline, now began to oppress the people of the country. At last an active retainer of Sidlm Ali Derban having carried off a jar of oil from some person by force, I ordered him to be brought out and beaten with sticks. He expired under the punishment. This example put an end to such practices.
We here held a consultation whether or not it was advisable to proceed against Kabul. Syed Yusef Beg and others were of opinion that, as the winter was at hand, we should proceed to Lamghan, and there act as circumstances might require. Baki Cheghaniani and several others were for marching directly on Kabul; and that plan being finally adopted, we marched off from our station, and stopped at the Kuruk (or Park) of Ama. I was here joined by my mother the Khanum, and the rest of the Khosrou household that had been left behind at Kehmerd. They had endured great hardships sb,?hJeJ" in their march to meet me. The incidents were as follows :—I had sent Shirim
Kehmerd. Taghai to conduct Khosrou Shah on the route to Khorasan, and directed him afterwards to bring on my household. By the time, however, that they reached Dehaneh, Shirim Taghai found that he was not his own master, and Khosrou Shah took the resolution of accompanying him to Kehmerd. Ahmed Kasim, the sister's son of Khosrou Shah, was then in Kehmerd. Khosrou Shah prevailed upon Ahmed Kasim to behave very ill to the families left in the place. Many of the Moghul retainers of Baki Cheghaniani were in Kehmerd along with these families. They privately, in concert with Shirim Taghai, prepared to seize both Khosrou Shah and Ahmed Kasim, who, however, taking the alarm, fled away by the road which leads by the skirts of the valley of Ajer, and took the route of Khorasan. The effect of this firmness of the Moghuls having been to rid themselves of these enemies, the guard which was with the families being now freed from any danger from Khosrou Shah, left Ajer. By the time they reached Kehmerd, however, the Sighanchi clan were up in arms, seized the passes on the road, and plundered a number of the families, and of the lls and Uluses (or wandering clans), who had followed the fortunes of Baki Beg. The son of Kul Bayezid Turk, who was young, was made a prisoner by them. He came to Kabul three or four years after. The families which had been plundered and dispersed,
1 Charsu. - White-house. It is about twelve or fourteen miles north-west from Kabul. came on by way of the pass of Kipchak, the same by which I had come, and joined me in the Kuruk of Ama.
Leaving this station, the second march brought us to the Auleng (or pasture grounds) Baber roof Chalak, where we halted. Having held a consultation, in which the siege of Kabul TMeJ^K "buV was determined on, we marched forward. I, with the main body, halted between Haider Taki's garden and the tomb of Kul Bayezid, the cup-bearer. Jehangir Mirza, with the right wing, took his station at my great Char-bagh.1 Nasir Mirza, with the left wing, took post in an auleng (or meadow) behind the tomb of Kutluk Kedem. I repeatedly sent persons to confer with Mokim; they sometimes brought back insincere excuses, sometimes conciliatory answers. But his real object, all the while, was to gain time; for, when I took Shirkeh prisoner, he had dispatched expresses to his father and elder brother, and he now attempted to create delays, in hopes of getting succour from them.
One day I ordered that the whole host, main body, right wing, and left, after arraying themselves in complete armour, and clothing their horses in mail, should advance close up to the city, display their arms, and inflict a little chastisement on, the town's people. Jehangir Mirza, with the right wing, marched forward towards the Kucheh Bagh.- As there was a river in front of the main body, I proceeded by the tomb of Kutluk Kedem, and stationed myself on an eminence in front of a rising ground. The advanced body spread themselves out above Kutluk Kedem's bridge; at that time, however, there was no bridge there. Our troops galloped insultingly close up to the Currier's3 gate. The men who had advanced out of the town, being few in number, could not stand their ground, but took to flight, and sought shelter in ,the city. A number of the town's people of Kabul had gone out on the glacis of the citadel, on the side of an eminence, in order to witness the sight. As they fled, a great dust arose, and many of them were thrown down. Between the gate and the bridge, on a rising ground, and in the high road, pits had been dug, in which pointed stakes had been fixed, and then the whole covered over with grass. Sultan Kuli Chenak, and several other cavaliers, fell into these pits as they pushed on at full speed. On the right wing, one or two cavaliers exchanged a few sabre blows with a part of the garrison who sallied out on the side of the Kucheh Bagh, but soon returned, as they had no orders to engage.
The men in the town were now greatly alarmed and dejected, when Mokim, through .Mokim »ur. some of the Begs, offered to submit, and agreed to surrender Kabul; on which he was ren er*"" introduced by the mediation of Baki Beg Cheghaniani, and tendered his allegiance. I did all that I could to dispel his apprehensions, and received him with affability and kindness. It was arranged that he should next day march out with all his soldiers, adherents, effects, and property, and surrender the fortress. As the retainers of Khosrou Shah had not, for a long period, been subjected to discipline, but, on the contrary, had indulged in all kind of injustice and rapine, I appointed Jehangir Mirza, and
1 That is, the ground which Baber afterwards laid out as a grand garden or Char-bagh. - Suburb Garden. The Kucheh Bagh is still a garden about four miles from Kabul, on the northwest, and divided from it by a low kotal or pass. There is still a bridge on the way. 3 Derwazeh Chermgerin.
Nasir Mirza, with some of the principal Begs, and my most trusty servants, to guard the family of Mokim, as well as Mokim himself and his dependents, while they left Kabul with their goods and property; and I appointed Tibah1 as his place of residence. Next morning the Mirzas and Begs who had gone to the gate, observing an uproar and mobbing of people, dispatched a man to inform me of the circumstance; adding, "Until you come, we shall not be able to put a stop to the commotion." I mounted, and having repaired to the spot, allayed the tumult, but not until I had ordered three or four of the rioters to be shot with arrows, and one or two to be cut to pieces. Mokim and his train then set out, and reached Tibah in quiet and safety.
In the latter end of the month of the latter Rabia,* by the blessing of Almighty God, I gained possession of Kabul and Ghazni, with the country and provinces dependent on them, without battle or contest. Description The country of Kabul is situate in the fourth climate, in the midst of the inhabited indCihazni. part of the world. On the east it has the Lamghanat, Pershawer, Hashnaghar, and some of the countries of Hind. On the west it has the mountain districts, in which are situated Karnud and Ghur. This mountainous tract is at present occupied and inhabited by the Hazara and Nukderi tribes. On the north are the countries of Kunde? and Anderab, from which it is separated by the mountain of Hindu-Kush. On the south are Fermul and Naghz,3 and Band and Afghanistan.4 It is a narrow country, but stretching to a considerable extent. Its length is in the direction of east and west. i ity ut It is surrounded on all sides by hills. The walls of the town extend up a hill. To the south-west of the town there is a small hill, which is called Shah-Kabul,9 from the circumstance of a King of Kabul's having built a palace on its summit. This hill begins at the defile of Deveren, and reaches all the way to that of Deh-Yakub. It may be about a farsang 6 in circumference. The skirts of this hill are entirely covered with gardens. In the time of my paternal uncle Ulugh Beg Mirza, Weis Atkeh con
1 Tibah is about three miles south of Akserai, and to the left of the road from that place to Kabul.
2 About the beginning of October 1504.
3 This word is sometimes written Naghz, sometimes Naghr, but generally Naghr.
4 Baber confines the term Afghanistan to the countries inhabited by the Afghan tribes. These were chiefly the hill tracts to the south of the road from Kabul to Pershawer. Kabul, Ghazni, the low country of Lamghan, and in general all the plains and lower grounds, with the towns, were inhabited by Tajiks, or men of a different race. Forster, vol. II. p. 79, describes Kabul "as a walled town of about a mil* and a half in circumference, and situated on the eastern side of a range of two united hills, describing generally the figure of a semi-circle." "Balausir," he adds (p. 80), "the name of the Shah's palace, where also the household servants, guards, and the slaves are lodged, stands on a rising ground in the eastern quarter of the city, and exhibits but a slender testimony of the dignity of its master."—" Kabul stands near the foot of two conjoined hills, whose length has nearly an east and west direction. Towards the base of the eastern, stands, on a flat projection, a fortified palace, which was formerly the habitation of the governors of the city; but it has been converted by Timur Shah into a state prison, where the brothers of this prince, and other branches of his family, are kept in confinement. Above this building is seen a small tower on a peak, whence the ground rises to a considerable height, and is united by a neck of lower land to the other hill. From the peak a stone wall extends over the summit of the two hills, and is terminated at the bottom of the westernmost by an ordinary redoubt." P. 83, 84.
'' There is a hill south of Kabul, on which Kabul (Cain, the son of Adam), the founder of the city, is said to be buried; but the only hill south-west is that where Baber himself is interred. It is now known by no name but that of Baber Badshah, and is the great holiday resort of the people of the city.
6 Nearly four miles.
ducted a stream of water along the bottom of it; and all the gardens about the hill are cultivated by means of this stream. Lower down the river there is a place called Kelkeneb,1 in a retired, hidden situation. Much debauchery has gone on at that place. The verse of Khwajeh Hafez may be parodied and applied to it—
O for the happy times, when, free and uncontroll'd,
Southward from the town, and to the east of Shah-Kabul, there is a lake2 nearly a farsang in circumference. Three springs of water issue from Shah-Kabul, and flow towards the city; two of them are in the vicinity of Kelkeneh. One of these runs by the tomb of Khwajeh Shems, and the other by the Kedemgah3 (place of the footsteps) of Khwajeh Khezer. These two places are the favourite resorts of the people of Kabul. The third fountain is opposite to Khwajeh Abd-al-Simd, and bears the name of Khwajeh Roushenai. There is a small ridge which runs out from the hill of ShahKabul, and is called Akabein ;1 and there is besides another small hill, on which stands the citadel of Kabul. The fortified town lies on the north of the citadel. The citadel is of surprising height, and enjoys an excellent climate, overlooking the large lake, the three aulengs (or meadows) called Siah-seng, Sung-Korghan, and Chdldk, which stretch below it. These aulengs present a very beautiful prospect when the plains are green. In the spring, the north-wind blows incessantly; they call it bade-perwan (the pleasant breeze).5 In the north part of the citadel there are houses with windows, which enjoy a delightful atmosphere. Mulla Muhammed Taleb Maamai composed the following distich in praise of the citadel of Kabul, under the character of Badia-ez-zeman Mirza:
(Persian.) Drink wine in the citadel of Kabul, and send round the cup without stopping:
The people of Hindustan call every country beyond their own Khorasan, in the same manner as the Arabs term all except Arabia, Ajem. On the road between Hindustan and Khorasan, there arc two great marts ; the one Kabul, the other Kandahar. Caravans, from Ferghana, Turkestan, Samarkand, Balkh, Bokhara, Hissar, and Badakhshan, all resort to Kabul; while those from Khorasan repair to Kandahar. This it* tmie. country lies between Hindustan and Khorasan. It is an excellent and profitable market for commodities. Were the merchants to carry their goods as far as Khita or Rum,* they would scarcely get the same profit on them. Every year, seven, eight, or ten thousand horses arrive in Kabul. From Hindustan, every year, fifteen or twenty
1 Kelkeneh, or Gulguneh, for it may be either, cannot now be discovered. 3 This lake is now called Kheirabad. It is about three miles round.
3 The spot on which a Musulman saint lived, or on which he is supposed to have stood while he performed any celebrated act, becomes his kedemgah, the place of his footsteps, and is visited and circumambulated by the pious Mahommedan with great veneration.
4 The hill called Akabein seems to be that now called Ashikan Arifan, which connects with Baber Badshah. The Bala Hissar, or citadel, is on the same ridge, farther east, and south-east of the town.
5 May it not mean the breeze of Perwan, from the town of that name which lies north from Kabul?
6 Khita is Northern China, and its dependent provinces. Rum is Turkey, particularly the provinces . about Trebizond.