NADIR SHAH marches to Khorasan by
the road of Meru Shajan.

AFTER having settled affairs in Khovarezm, Nadir Shah conferred that kingdom upon Mohammed Tahir Khan, a descendant of Chingez Khan. He then marched back again to Charjoo, amidst a violent fall of snow.

At Charjoo he repudiated his new wife, the sister of Abulfiez Khan, and sent her back to her brother with a considerable sum of money, a quantity of jewels, and a female elephant. The daughter of Abul­fiez Khan being young and beautiful, Aly Kuly Khan, her husband, took her with him to Iran.

The army halted some days at Char­joo; and then proceeded through the desert, which I have already described, to Meru Shajan; and after a most fatiguing march encamped near that city. Many of the Afghans of Yousef Zei, being unprovided with horses and necessaries, died on the march through this desert.

Meru appears from its ruins to have been a fine city; but is at present in the same state as Herat. It was the capital of Sultan Sanjir, celebrated by the poet Nezami. This desert is the boundary of Meru and Bokhara; as well as of Balkh and Herat.

The weather was intensely cold; but Nadir Shah remained only ten days at Meru, and then marched to his native country Kelat. Each of the principal men of this place brought him a lamb and a pair of wollen socks, and received in return dresses and other presents. It had hitherto been a rule, to enter in the accounts the presents that were received of every denomination, but he now indirectly ordered this custom to be dis­continued.

One day, Mirza Mohammed Ibrahim, Dewan of the household, represented to Nadir Shah, that according to his orders, many articles were purchased in the mar­kets, but that every thing was twice as dear as it ought to be. He smiled and said, “I am glad to give my country­men a good price; pay them whatever they require.”

The town of Kelat is surrounded by high mountains, so perpendicular as to be absolutely inaccessible. On the side of Meru is a large gate, where the guards examine every person who goes in or out. This leads to a pass so narrow as to admit only one horseman at a time, and over which the mountains meet at the top, in a most astonishing manner, form­ing a natural arch. The canal, upon which all the cultivation in Kelat depends, enters the town on the side of Meshed, and goes out through the pass of Meru. At first the course of this stream ran over a bed of limestone which made it very unwholesome, but at the com­mand of Nadir Shah, the governor Mahommed Ameen Beg, altered some part of the channel, and by avoiding the lime-quarry, the water is now exceedingly good. For this piece of service, he was highly rewarded. The other Kelat, which is written differently from this, is dependent upon Kandahar. In this strong fortress, Nadir Shah deposited all his jewels and treasure which he did not immediately want; and then set out for Meshed, by the road of Mowloodgah*. This place which gave birth to Nadir Shah, and which was originally a vil­lage, is situated between Kelat and Abiurd. On the spot where he was born a mosque is erected, on the dome of which are placed three golden vases one upon another, and at the top of all is fixed a scimitar of the same metal, imply­ing that the sword issued from hence. After those ornaments were completed, the architect was considering whether to inscribe upon the building the day of his birth or the present date, when Nadir Shah smiling, said, “At the time of my birth, there was not so much gold in Kelat and Abiurd together; what then must have been the state of my family? therefore dont hesitate about the mat­ter, but make use of the present date.” Here he also built a city upon the same plan as Shahjehanabad, but about a fourth part of its size, and a canal runs through the market place. At first it was called Mowloodgah, but for want of inhabitants it never rose to any figure; and when the captives were brought from Knovarezm to people it, the name was changed to Jieyookabad.

Abiurd is a populous town. It is also called Bawerd; the Ash Bawerdy* is a well-known dish.

After halting nine days at Mowlood­gah, Nadir Shah marched amidst a fall of snow to Meshed Mokeddes*, where he arrived on the 19th of Zulkeddah, A. H. 1153 (or January the 24th, A. D. 1741.)

I shall now give a summary account of the most remarkable occurrences at Meshed.

Nadir Shah being displeased with his eldest son Reza Kuly Mirza, but for what cause I was not able to learn with certainty, ordered all his effects to be confiscated, and sent him prisoner to the city of Tehran.

Sefder Mohammed Khan, the ambas­sador from the court of Hindostan, waited upon Nadir Shah at Meshed, with some valuable presents from Mohammed Shah, from Kummereddeen Khan, the Grand Nizier, and many others of the Omrahs* of Hindostan. He received a dress, and a donation in money.

Nadir Shah now commanded that the tombstone of Timour, and the brazen gates should be sent back again to Samar­cand, and restored to their proper places. The transportation backwards and for­wards, occasioned a very considerable expence.

Meshed is not without its curiosities. The walls are formed of triangular bas­tions, which is certainly a good method of fortification, for when a bastion is attacked, the men stationed in those on each side, can assist in its defence. The shrine of Imam Mousa Reza*, is in the centre of the city. The mausoleum is very lofty, has a large dome, and is finely ornamented. The mosque, and the offices belonging to it, are spacious and well contrived. The great market was for­merly in front of these buildings, but is now within the enclosure, and has two large gates; a canal runs through the whole. The market on the west side of the city, and where the royal palace is situated, is called the upper street, and the road through the eastern market, is called the lower street. The shrine is surrounded by three skreens of lattice work; the outer one is of high tempered steel, and is said to have cost more than if it had been made of pure silver; the second skreen is of pure gold; and the third, which immediately incom­passes the shrine, is of sandal-wood. The story which is commonly told in many countries, that the dome of the mausoleum is constructed of ingots of gold, is without foundation, it being only covered with gilt copper, like that of Zuffer Khan’s at Shahjehanabad. Nadir Shah has repaired many of the old buildings, and built some new ones. His own mausoleum is in the upper street. When it was nearly finished, a facetious fellow wrote the following lines upon one of the walls.

There is not a song without your name;

The world is full of you, whilst your proper place is empty.

At first some laughed at the joke, but afterwards perceiving the force of the satire, they were afraid that if it should come to the ears of Nadir Shah, he might order many to be put to death in revenge of the affront; and therefore the lines were carefully rubbed out.

The city of Thous, is now in ruins, and its decay has evidently been occa­sioned by the foundation of Meshed, which is only four farsangs distant.

The canal which runs through Meshed, is very clear till it reaches the city, when it becomes muddy; which circum­stance has occasioned many strokes of wit against its inhabitants.

The empire of Iran, has on the east Sind, Cabul, Mawerulnehr, and Knova­rezm; on the west, lie the territories of Room, and Sham; it is bounded on the north by Russia, Carcassia, and Desht Kipchack, and on the south by the desert of Nejd.