Foreign Travelers & Envoys in Indian History

Please Share with maximum friends to support the Initiative.





Context: Chinese traveller Xuanzang (more widely identified as Huen Tsang), who visited India in the 7th century CE, referred to the existence of 'ten monasteries' within the limits of Tamralipta (modern-day Tamluk in adjoining Purba Medinipur district). However, he did not refer to any specific name or location.

Relevance:
Prelims: Current events of national and international importance.
Mains: GS I –

  • Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature, and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Foreign Traveller or Envoys in Indian History:

 

Foreign Envoys Reign of Rulers And Period Contribution and Misc.
ANCIENT INDIA

Deimachos

 

  • Ruler:
    • Came India in the reign of Bindusara.
  • Who:
    • Greek Ambassador.
  • Period:
    • (320-273 BC)
  • He was a Greek of the Seleucid Empire.
  • Lived during 3rd century BC.
  • Ambassador to the court of Bindusara (Second ruler of Mauryan ruler. Son of Chandragupta Maurya).

Megasthenes

 

  • Ruler:
    • Visited in the court of Chandragupta Maurya.
  • Who:
    • Greek ethnographer & ambassador.
  • Period:
    • (302-298 B.C.)
  • He was the ambassador of SELEUCUS, who visited India during the supremacy of CHANDRAGUPTA (Founder of Mauryan Empire). 
  • He wrote the book ‘INDICA’. In his book, he mentioned Chandragupta as ‘SANDROCOTTUS’. The book talks about India.
  • In Indica we found the royal palace Magadha made by wood.
    • 7 division of Indian cast system.

Ptolemy

  • Ruler:
  • Who:
    • From Greece and Geographer.
  • Period:
    • 130 A.D.
  • Wrote “the geography of India”-which describes ancient Indian geography.

Fa-Hien

 

  • Ruler:
    • Came to India in the reign of Chandragupta II Vikramaditya.
  • Who:
    • Chinese Buddhist Monk
  • Period:
    • (405-411 A.D.)
  • He was a Chinese Buddhist monk.
  • He visited India during the reign of Vikramaditya (Chandragupta II).
  • Known for his visit to the birthplace of Buddha, Lumbini.
  • His travelogue “RECORDS OF BUDDHIST KINGDOM”.

Hiuen-Tsang

  • Ruler:
    • Visited India during the reign of Harshavardhana.
  • Who:
    • Chinese Buddhist Monk
  • Period:
    • (630-645 A.D.)
  • He was a Chinese Buddhist monk. Visited India during supremacy of Harsha Vardhana.
  • SI-YU-KI or ‘THE RECORDS OF WESTERN WORLD’ was written by him.
  • He had been guest of Bhaskar Varman, ruler of Kamarupa.
  • From there he was called to the court of Harshavardhan.
  • Came through Tashkent and Swat valley.

I-tsing

  • Ruler:
    • Visited India in connection with Buddhism.
  • Who:
    • Chinese traveller
  • Period:
    • (671- 695 A.D.)

  • His works are Biographies of Eminent Monks.
  • Gives useful information about the social, religious and cultural life of the people of this country.
MEDIEVAL INDIA 

Al-Masudi

 

  • Ruler:
    •  
  • Who:
    • Arab Traveller
  • Period:
    • (957 A.D.)
  • He was Arab traveller. Has given account of India in his book ‘Muruj- ul-Zehab
  • Gives an extensive account of India in his work “Muruj-ul-Zahab”.

Al- Beruni or Abu Rehan Mahamud

 

  • Ruler:
    • Came along with Mahmud Ghazni during one of his Indian raids.
  • Who:
    • Muslim Scholar and Polymath
  • Period:
    • (1024-1030 A.D.)
  • Came along with Mahmud of Ghajni.
  • First Muslim scholar to study India.
  • Known as founder of Indology.
  • Wrote Tarikh al Hind/kitab-ul-hind.

Marco Polo

 

  • Ruler:
    • He visited Southern India during the reign of Rudramma Devi of Kakatiyas. 
  • Who:
    • Venetian Traveller
  • Period:
    • (1292-1294 AD)
  •  He visited Southern India during the reign of Rudramma Devi of Kakatiyas. 
  • Visited South India in 1294 A.D during the reign of Pandyan ruler of Madurai, Madverman, Kulshekhara (1272-1311)
  • His work “The Book of Sir Marco Polo” which gives an invaluable account of the economic history of India.

Ibn Batuta

 

  • Ruler:
    • Visited India during the reign of Muhammad-Bin-Tughlaq.
  • Who:
    • Morrish traveller
  • Period:
    • (1333-1347 A.D.)
  • Was appointed a Qadi or judge, by Md. Bin Tughlaq.
  • Wrote Kitab-ul-rahla.

Shihabuddin al-Umari

  • Ruler:
    •  
  • Who:
    • Came from Damascus
  • Period:
    • (1348 A.D.)
  • He gives a vivid account of India in his book “ Masalik albsar fi-mamalik al-amsar”

Nicolo Conti

  • Ruler:
    • Came during the rule of Devraya I of Sangam Dynasty of Vijayanagar empire.
  • Who:
    • Italian traveller
  • Period:
    • (1420-1421 A.D.)
  • Given a graphic account of Vijayanagara capital.
  • He was a Italian merchant.
  • He visited India during the reign of Devraya I of Sangam dynasty of Vijayanagar Empire

Abdur Razzaq

 

  • Ruler:
    • Came during the rule of Devraya II of Sangam dynasty of Vijaynagar Empire.
    • Came in India at Zamorin's Calicut.
  • Who:
    • Persian traveller, Ambassador of Shahrukh of Timurid dynasty.
  • Period:
    • (1443-1444 A.D.)
  • Given a brief account of this countryside, in his Matla us Saddin wa Majuma ul Baharain.

Athanasius Nikitin

  • Ruler:
    • Bahmani kingdom under Muhammad III
  • Who:
    • Russian merchant
  • Period:
    • (1470- 1474 A.D.)
  • He describes the condition of the Bahmani kingdom under Muhammad III (1463-82).
  • His narrative “ The journey beyond 3 seas”
MODERN INDIA

Duarte Barbosa

  • Ruler:
    • Vijayanagar Empire
  • Who:
    • Portuguese traveller
  • Period:
    • (1500-1516 A.D.)
  • He has given a brief description of the government and the people of Vijayanagar Empire.

Domingo Paes

  • Ruler:
    • Visited the court of Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagar Empire
  • Who:
    • Portuguese traveller
  • Period:
    • (1520-1522 A.D.)
  • Came during the rule of Krishnadevaraya(1509-1529) of Tuluv dynasty of Vijayanagar empire.

Fernao Nuniz

  • Ruler:
    • Came during the rule of Achyutdeva Raya of Tuluv dynasty of Vijayanagar Empire.
  • Who:
    • Portuguese merchant
  • Period:
    • (1535-1537 A.D.)
  • Wrote history of the empire from its earliest times of the closing years of Achyutdeva Raya’s reign.

William Hawkins

  • Ruler:
    • Came in India at the reign of Jahangir, the great Mughal Emperor. William finch came with him.
  • Who:
    • Ambassador of James I, king of England.
  • Period:
    • (1608-1611 A.D.)
  • He was an ambassador of King James I.
  • Visited the court of Jahangir.

Sir Thomas Roe

  • Ruler:
    • Arrived at Jahangir's court.
  • Who:
    • Ambassador of James I, king of England.
  • Period:
    •  (1615-1619 A.D.)
  • He was the ambassador of King James I.
  • Arrived at Jahangir's court.
  • By 1618 he obtained 2 farmans confirming free trade.
  • (His Journal of the mission to the Mogul Empire), several times printed, has been re-edited, with an introduction by W Foster, for the Hakluyt Society (1899).
  • This is a valuable contribution to the history of India in the early 17th century, Of his correspondence)

Peter Mundy

  • Ruler:
    • Came in the reign of the Mughal Emperor, Shahjahan.
  • Who:
    • Italian traveller
  • Period:
    • (1630-34 A.D.)
  • Gives valuable information about the living standard of the common people in the Mughal Empire.



Please Share with maximum friends to support the Initiative.

Enquire now

Give us a call or fill in the form below and we will contact you. We endeavor to answer all inquiries within 24 hours on business days.