The Author’s Journey from Cazvin to

On the 16th of the month of Rebby ul Sany, A. H, 1154, or A. D. 1741, I sat out from Cazvin along with Allavee Khan the Hakeem Bashy; and as Nadir Shah had issued orders to the governors of the provinces through which he passed, to pay him particular attention, we were well accommodated at every stage of our journey.

From Cazvin to Hamadan, is seven days journey. At the distance of a far­sang from Hamadan, is the mountain of Alwend, which for beauty may vie with the mountains of Cashmeer; and the pass through it is said to measure twelve farsangs. In the city of Hama­dan is the tomb of Sheikh Abu Ali Sina*, all in ruins. In the suburbs is the mausoleum called Goombed Alweean, where are interred many of the relations of Meer Syed Aly Hamadany. Under the pavement of the mausoleum are spa­cious vaults containing the tombs. The descent to those catacombs is so contrived as to be intirely hidden when the pave­ment is laid down. During the reigns of the Khalifs of the house of Ommiah, the family of Aly were obliged to conceal their dead, as their furious persecutors would not suffer even the bones of a Syed, to rest in peace. How wonder­ful is the power of God! the Christians regard as a holy relick the hoof of the Messiah’s ass; whilst the Mohammedans persecute in this manner, the posterity of their prophet. Here is also shewn a large building, said to be the tomb of Judah, the son of Jacob.

From Hamadan we proceeded to Tous and Sirkan.

On the 22d we alighted at a caravan­serai, att foot of the mountain of Bey­sitoon. It is astonishing to see the apartments, with arched doors, and win­dows, and the reservoirs that are exca­vated in this mountain; also the statues of Khufro and Shiren are of workman­ship greatly excelling the sculptures that I have seen in the gardens of Dara She­kough at Lahoor, and are said to surpass any thing of the kind that is to be found in Constantinople.

The 25th we arrived at Kermansha­han, the inhabitants of which are chiefly of the Goordzengteh. At the distance of half a farsang from the city, is the famous mountain of Tâk Bustân. Out of the mountain is cut an arch large enough to admit two elephants abreast, in the middle of which is the statue of Khusro on horseback larger than life; and on the roof of the arch, as well as on other parts of the mountain, are carved in relievo, the figures of birds and beasts. From Tâk Bustân to Madain, which was the capital of Noushirvan, and Khusro, are seven stages. When we had satisfied our curiosity at Kerman­shahan, we pursued our journey; and after resting at Chesmeh Aly, and Ches­meh Kember, on the fourth day, reached the village of Gilanick, the extremity of Iran. This village is situated at the foot of a very large mountain, called Allah Akber. The road from Hamadan to Gillanick is very mountainous, and in the winter is covered with snow; but from hence to Baghdad, the country is a perfect flat, and the climate so hot, that there are never any falls of snow. At Gilanick, Nadir Shah has built a strong fort, which is well garrisoned. From Gillanick you pass over a desert, through the middle of which runs a river, which is now considered as the boundary between the empires of Turkey and Persia; but till the time of Nadir Shah the mountain of Allah Akber was reckoned the limit. During the decline of the Seffevian race, the Turks had encroached as far as Kermanshahan. The first stage is over this desert; our second stage was Behroze, the third Beladroud; and on the fourth day we arrived at Baghdad. Ahmed Pasha, the governor of Baghdad, sent out a person of rank to conduct us to the city, and during our stay we were treated with very great respect and attention.

The new city of Baghdad, is very populous, and so extensive as to contain a great deal of arable land. It is situated on the east side of the river Tigris*, and the old city is on the opposite bank. The latter is in a ruinous state, and with­out any fortifications; but new Baghdad is enclosed with a high wall, and bastions, covered with earth, so that cannon can­not make any impression upon the works, the balls sinking into the earth; and the whole is surrounded with a deep ditch. Nadir Shah besieged it eleven months, without being able to take it. The Keblah* at Baghdad is rather more to the south than in Hindostan.

The palace of Noushirvan, of which some of the walls are still standing, is at the distance of six farsangs from Baghdad, and 555 paces from the river Tigris.