Sultán Mahmúd was enthroned at Ahmadá­bád,

A. Hij. 863,
18th June,
A.D. 1459.

on Sunday the 12th of Shabán, in the year of the Hijra, 863, A.D. 1459. Regarding his surname of Bígarrah, the people of Gujarát say that each of his mustachios, being large and twisted like a cow's horn, and such a cow being called Bígarrah, they thus obtained for him the name. Again it is said that the number two, in the Gujarát language, being called , and the name of a fort, garrah, the people called him Bígarrah, in consequence of the two fortifications of Júnagarh and Chám­pánír having come into his possession.

The author of the Mirát Sikandarí says, that Sultán Mahmúd was the best of all the Gujarát kings, on account of his great justice and beneficence, his honouring and observing all the Mohammedan laws, and for the solidity of his judgment, whether in great or small matters. He obtained a great age, and was distinguished for strength, bravery, and liberality. He was also, it is said, a great eater.

After thirteen years, ten months, and three days, of his age had passed away, he began to reign; and, following the example of his ances­tors, gave the soldiers gifts and presents. Some months from this date, several of the nobles, who were averse to the minister Imádu-l-Mulk, otherwise named Shabán, and were anxious to destroy both his rank and influence, calumni­ated him to the Sultán, and put him in chains. At night, the master of the elephants, named Abdúlah, explained to Mahmúd Bígarrah that the minister was the friend of the government; and when the slaves of the palace had accidentally released Imádu-l-Mulk, the Sultán ordered that the perfidious nobles should be seized and their houses plundered. The nobles, on becoming acquainted with the king's intentions, prepared to defend themselves, and encamped with a force at Bhaddar. At this time the king ordered all the persons then in his service, amounting to five hundred, to assault them with the royal elephants. Wherefore they attacked the enemy, and, having dispersed the discontented nobles, punished those of them who were seized.

After this transaction, no one had an oppor­tunity of disobeying during the whole of this king's reign; and, the conspirators having been put to death, five hundred and two persons, who obtained titles and dignified offices, received assignments of land for their support.

In a short time after this, a large army was collected, and tranquillity every where prevailed in the country. The Sultán also made it a rule that the assignments of land belonging to those who happened to fall in battle should be given to their sons; and, in the event of there being no son, that the half of the estate should be given to the daughter. When there was nei­ther son nor daughter, he was in the practice of granting a pension to the relations or dependants, in order that they might not complain of their lot. On one occasion, some person told the Sultán that the son of a certain nobleman who had died was not worthy of possessing wealth. To whom the king replied, that wealth would make him worthy* ; after which no one ventured to say a word on this subject.

The Sultán built several magnificent caravanseras and lodging-houses for travellers, and founded several colleges and mosques. He also ordered, that no one in his army should borrow money with interest; and established a distinct pay-office for such of the soldiers as were obliged to get in debt. By this means, a soldier could obtain an advance; for, as he said, if the Mohammedans live in debt, how is it possible they can fight?

All the fruit-trees in the open country, as well as those in the city, towns, and villages, were planted in the reign of this Sultán; who, if he ever knew of a shop or dwelling-house becoming empty, made inquiry after the causes, and ordered it to be inhabited.

In the eight hundred and sixty-sixth year of the Hijra, A.D. 1461-2, the Sultán advanced towards the Dekhan, having been requested to do so by Nizám Sháh Báhmaní, in consequence of Sultán Mahmúd Khiljí, the king of Málwa, having marched an army into that country.* Mahmúd Khiljí, on hearing that the king of Gujarát was advancing by way of Burhánpúr, desisted from the siege of Bídar, and returned towards his own territories. When the ambas­sadors of Nizám Sháh Báhmaní were on this occasion sent to the Sultán, they omitted nothing that could be deemed a compliment; and, having requested permission to depart, returned home. The king of Gujarát also returned to his capital.

After this, and in the year of the Hijra 871, A.D. 1466-67, being desirous of capturing Gir­nar and Júnagarh, in Gujarát, and to extirpate and destroy the Mandalik Rájá, or petty prince of Girnar, he made preparation accordingly, ordering, it is said, the pay-office to carry along with it five krores of gold coin. He also ordered the commissary of stores to carry along with him eighteen hundred gilded handled swords, of Egyptian, Arabian, African, and Khorásánian manufacture, whose handles did not contain less than from four to five Gujarát sírs of gold; and to take in addition three thousand eight hun­dred swords, whose handles, of Ahmadábád manufacture and of silver work, were of differ­ent weights; with, moreover, seven hundred daggers and poniards, whose golden handles should be from three to two sírs and a half weight in gold. The Sultán at this time com­manded the Master of the Horse to attend him in the expedition, with two thousand Arabian and Turkish horses, all of which, with the gold and arms, he distributed among the troops, during the period of the siege. Succeeding these things, he sent his victorious army to plunder the country of Sorath, where the soldiers obtained a large booty. The Rao Mandalik, or petty sovereign, having submitted, asked for favour, through means of ambassadors; and the Sultán, thinking it advisable to desist from the siege of the fort for that year, returned to his own capital.

But, in the year of the Hijra 872, A.D. 1467-8, having heard that the Rao Mandalik visited the temple of idolatry, and went there with all the ensigns of royalty, the Sultán became ashamed of royalty, and appointed forty thou­sand horse, with many elephants, to take away the royal umbrella and other kingly ensigns from him. The Rao Mandalik, on becoming acquainted with this, instantly forwarded the umbrella and other ensigns to the Sultán; and the gold and jewels obtained on this occasion were distributed among the king's musicians.

In the year of the Hijra 874, A.D. 1469-70, on indicating a desire to take the forts of Girnar and Júnagarh, the Sultán received an unexpected visit from the Rao Mandalik. On this occasion the Rájá addressed the Sultán, saying “that whatever he might command should be obeyed, and requested to know why he desired the destruction of his obedient subject, who had com­mitted no fault.” To this, the Sultán replied, “that there could be no greater fault than that of infidelity, and, if he was to expect tranquillity, he must acknowledge the unity of God, and secure to himself his country; for that, other­wise, he would extinguish him.” The Manda­lik Rájá, seeing such was the state of affairs, fled by night to his fort, and commenced a war, but soon after came and entreated for his life, as the garrison was starved into submission. The Sultán guaranteed his safety, on condition that he would receive the faith of Islám; and the Rájá, having quitted the fort, delivered the keys to the Sultán, and uttered the confession of faith, in imitation of the conqueror. This conquest happened in the year of the Hijra 877, A.D. 1472-73.*