Near Ummídwár Kúh is a well called Cháh-i-Víjan (? “Bízhan’s Well”) which no one has been able to fathom, though loads of rope have been brought thither, knotted together, and let down into it (f. 41b). When a stone is thrown into it, the noise of its falling is heard for a long time until at last it ceases. During summer a cool breeze continually blows from this well, and round about it are trees, and thence they carry logs and planks to ´Amul*, because of the fragrant scent of this wood. And one who sits on this wood in summer feels a coolness, and on these trees always sit birds of the kind called saqqá (<Arabic>).

Near Rúyán is a well-known village called Sa'íd-ábád, where every child born in the summer dies in infancy, so that it has become customary for women who are with child and expect to be delivered during the summer months to quit the place and go elsewhere.

Near Kalár (<Arabic>) there is a village called Dilam (<Arabic>), and no one who is born there survives his twentieth year.

Near Nátil (<Arabic>) is a village called Mandúr (<Arabic>), where over an area of 60 jaríbs when rice is sown so much water wells up from the ground that it suffices for all that rice-field without need of further irrigation, and at the time of reaping it all disappears. In the same district is another village called Nigáristán, on the summit of a hill, and in it is a rock, surrounded for five parasangs by plain and jungle, as far as ´Amul; and from this rock five streams of clear water issue forth, which are more abundant in proportion as the summer is hotter, while in winter they cease altogether.

Near ´Amul grows a herb called Gunduya Zúma (<Arabic>), the properties of which are thus described:


A peculiarity of the town of Jálús (Shálús) is that it makes people’s skins white, so that if an Indian or Kábulí girl remains there for one year, she becomes fair as a Greek or Slav.

In Wandád-Hurmuzd Kúh there is a place (f. 42a) into which, when there is a year of drought, the people throw triturated onions, whereupon rain at once falls, but the person who has pounded the onions dies within the year.

In Ummid-wár Kúh grows a herb called Gúr-tír (<Arabic> or <Arabic>), and if anyone picks it smiling, or weeping, or speaking well, or playing, and gives it to another to eat, that other, so long as the herb is in his stomach, behaves in the same way as did the gatherer while he was picking it.

Near Ṭabaristán is a place called Páníra-Kúh (<Arabic> or <Arabic>), where, in the time of al-Yazdádí, there was a dyke called Fírúz-Kúh, and adjoining this was another mountain whereon grew a poisonous herb.

Near Rúdbár hyacinths grow, and on Wandád-Hurmuzd-Kúh grow sweet rushes (<Arabic>), as at Mecca, which they call Mushkwásh (<Arabic>)*.

In Siyáh-rúd, near Jamanú, in the village of Danakí, there is a whirlpool or eddy called Kanzgirdáb, where Alexander the Great buried the vast treasures which he had amassed. Many later kings and rulers have sought to recover them, but have always failed. Mákán the son of Kákí was the last to try, and he spent vast sums of money in removing the water, till at length he reached a point where signs of treasure, bricks and traces of buildings, were visible. “Tomorrow,” said they, “we shall finish our task;” but that night the water again broke in and concealed all, while Mákán dreamed that a voice cried to him, “Weary not thyself in vain, for it was not laid up for thee.” And thereafter no further attempt was made. Every twenty-five years there is a year of scarcity, and the price of corn goes up.