Bābur con-
tinues the
blockade of

WE now encamped behind the Bāgh-e-meidān,* in the meadow of Kulbeh.* On this occasion the men of Samar­kand, both soldiers and townsmen, sallied out in great numbers on the side of Muhammed Chāp’s bridge, and came upon us. As my people were off their guard, before they could put themselves in a posture of defence, the enemy dismounted Sultan Ali Baba Kuli and carried him off into the town.

A few days after, we marched and encamped on the hill of Kohik, on the side of Kulbeh.* That same day Syed Yūsef Beg came out of Samarkand, and having waited upon me at this station, entered into my service. The men of Samarkand, when they saw us on our march from the one station to the other, fancying that I had taken my departure, rushed out in great numbers, both soldiers and citizens, and advanced as far as the Mirza’s bridge; and poured out by the Sheikhzādeh’s gate as far as Muhammed Chāp’s bridge. Orders were immediately issued for the cavaliers who were on the spot, to arm without loss of time, and to charge the enemy on the two flanks, both towards the Mirza’s bridge, and towards Muhammed Chāp’s bridge. God prospered our proceedings—the enemy were defeated. Numbers of Begs and horsemen were dismounted and taken prisoners. Among these were Muhammed Miskīn and Hāfiz Duldāi.* The latter was wounded with a sabre, and had his fore-finger cut off. Muhammed Kāsim Nabīreh, the younger brother of Hassan Nabīreh, was dismounted and taken. Many other officers and fighting men of some note and distinction were also brought in. Of the lower order of townspeople there were taken Diwāneh, a jāmeh-weaver,* and one nicknamed Kilmasuk, who were notorious as the chief ringleaders of the rabble, in fighting with stones and heading riots.* They were directed to be put to death with torture, in retaliation for the foot-soldiers who had been slain at the Lover’s Cave.

The defeat of the men of Samarkand was decisive; from that time forward they never sallied out, and matters came to such a pass, that our people advanced right up to the edge of the ditch, and carried off numbers of male and female slaves close under the walls.

The sun had now entered the sign of the Balance,* and the cold was becoming severe. I assembled the Begs and held a consultation, when we agreed, that the townspeople were reduced to great distress; that, with the blessing of God, we were likely to take the place in a very few days; but that, as we were exposed to great inconvenience from being encamped in the open country, we should for the present break up from before the city, and construct winter quarters for ourselves in some neighbouring fort; that then, should we finally be obliged to draw off, we might do Retires to
so without confusion. The fort of Khwājeh Dīdār seemed the fittest for our purpose. We therefore marched from our position, and halted in a plain* in front of Khwājeh Dīdār. After visiting the fort, and marking out the ground for the huts and houses, we left workmen and overseers to go on with the work, and returned to our camp. During several days, while the houses for the winter quarters were building, we remained encamped on the plain. Meanwhile Baiesanghar Mirza sent repeated messengers into Tūrkestān* to Sheibāni Khan, inviting him to come to his assistance. As soon as the erections in the fort were finished, we took up our quarters in it.

The very next morning Sheibāni Khan, who had hastened by forced marches from Tūrkestān, advanced and presented Sheibāni
Khan ap-
pears before
himself before my cantonments. My army was in rather a scattered state, some of my people having gone to Rabāt-Khwājeh-Ameh, some to Kābid, others to Shirāz, for the purpose of securing proper winter quarters. Without being dismayed by these circumstances, however, I put the forces which were with me in array, and marched out to meet the enemy; when Sheibāni Khan did not venture to maintain his ground, but drew off towards Samarkand, and halted in its environs. Baiesanghar Mirza, disappointed on finding that Sheibāni Khan could not render him the effectual assistance which he had hoped for, gave him but an indif­ferent reception; and, in the course of a few days, Sheibāni but returns
to Tūrkes-
Khan, seeing that nothing could be done, returned back in despair to Tūrkestān.

ghar Mirza

Baiesanghar Mirza had now sustained the blockade for seven months, and had placed his last hope in this succour. Disappointed in this too, he resigned himself to despair, and, accompanied by two or three hundred hungry and naked wretches, set out for Kunduz to take refuge with Khosrou Shah. In the environs of Termez, while he was passing the river Amu, Syed Hussain Akber, the Hākim or Governor of Termez, who was related to Sultan Masaūd Mirza, and high in his confidence, having received notice of his motions, advanced against him. The Mirza himself had just passed the river, but several of his men and horses that had fallen behind,* were taken. Mīrim Terkhān perished in the stream. One Muhammed Tāher, a boy of and takes
refuge with
Baiesanghar Mirza’s, was taken prisoner. Baiesanghar Mirza met with a good reception from Khosrou Shah.


No sooner had Baiesanghar Mirza fled from Samarkand, than I received notice of the event. We instantly mounted and set out from Khwājeh Dīdār, for Samarkand. On the road we were met by the chief men of the city, and by the Begs; and these were followed by the young cavaliers, who all came out to welcome me. Having proceeded to the citadel, I alighted at the Bostān Serai;* and, towards the The end of
end of the month of the first Rabīa,* by the favour of God, I gained complete possession of the city and country of Samarkand.

of Samar-

In the whole habitable world there are few cities so pleasantly situated as Samarkand. It is situated in the fifth climate, in lat. 39° 37', and long. 99° 16'.* The city is named Samarkand, and the country Māweralnaher.* As no enemy has ever stormed or conquered it, it is termed the protected city.* Samarkand embraced Islām in the reign of Osmān the Commander of the Faithful, through the means of Kāsim-ibn-Abbās, who visited the city. His tomb is close by the Iron-gate, and is at present denominated Mazār-i-Shah, or the Shah’s tomb.* The city of Samarkand was founded by Sikander.* The Moghul and Tūrki hordes term it Samarkand.* Taimūr Beg made it his capital. Before Taimūr Beg, no such great monarch had ever made it the seat of his government. I directed its wall to be paced round the rampart, and found that it was ten thou­sand six hundred paces in circumference.* The inhabitants are all orthodox Sūnnis, observant of the law, and religious. From the time of the Holy Prophet, downwards, no other country has produced so many Imāms and excellent The
of Māweral-
theologians as Māweralnaher. Among these is the great Imām Sheikh Abul Mansūr Materīdi, the eminent scriptural expositor, who was of the quarter of Materīd in the city of Samarkand. There are two sects of scriptural expositors, or Aimeh Kelāmi, the one called Materīdīah, the other Ashaa­rīah. This Sheikh Abul Mansūr* was the founder of the sect of Materīdīah. Another man of eminence was the Sāhib Bokhāri,* Khwājeh Ismāel Khertank, who was also of Māweralnaher. The author of the Hidāyah,* too, a work in jurisprudence, than which according to the sect of Imām Abu Hanīfeh, there is none of greater or of equal authority, was of Marghinān in Ferghāna, which is likewise included in Māweralnaher, though it lies on the farthest bounds of the populous cultivated country.