The Tarkhán Dynasty.

When Áúng, Khán of the Keraite Mongols, and celebrated in Europe under the name of Prester John, had, at the instigation of the jealous enemies of Changíz Khán, at last resolved to destroy that obnoxious favourite; two youths, named Ba'ta and Kashlak, who had overheard the discussion of the measures which were de­termined upon for execution on the following day, instantly flew to the camp of Changíz Khán, and disclosed to him the circumstances of the premeditated attack and his critical position. Being thus forwarned, he was able to defeat the scheme, and after defending himself against great disparity of numbers, escaped the danger which impended over him. Upon proceeding to reward his gallant com­panions in the conflict, Changíz Khán conferred upon the two youths, to whose information he was indebted for his life, the title of Tarkhán, expressly ordaining that their posterity for nine gene­rations should be exempted from all question for their offences, that they should be free from taxes and imposts, and permitted to enjoy all the plunder they should acquire in war, without being obliged to resign any part of it to the Khán. From these are said to be de­scended the Tarkháns of Khurásán and Turkistán.

Another set of Tarkháns were so denominated by Tímúr. When Tuktamish Khán was advancing against that potentate, he was gallantly opposed by Ekú Tímúr, who fell in the unequal conflict; but his surviving relatives, whose gallantry and devotion had been witnessed by Tímúr, were honoured by him with the title of Tar-khán, and it was enjoined, amongst other privileges, that the royal servitors should at no time prohibit their access to his presence, and that no criminal offence committed by them should be subject to punishment, until nine times repeated. From these are said to be descended the Tarkháns of Sind.

Others say, Tímúr bestowed the title upon a set of men who gave him shelter in his youth, when he lost his way in a hunting ex­pedition.

Another origin is ascribed to this name, which is evidently fanci­ful, namely, that it is a corrupt mode of pronouncing “tar-khún,” quasi, “wet with the blood (of enemies).”

Though it is probable that the Tarkháns of Sind may, as the local histories assert, be able to trace their origin to Ekú Tímúr, who, as we have seen in the preceding Note, was the great grandson of Arghún Khán, and who was the member of the Imperial family from whom the Arghúns also were descended,—yet the Tarkháns of Khurásán and Turkistán cannot all be descended from the family of Ba'ta and Kashlak, because Arghún Khán was himself a Tar-khán, and we find the title borne by others who could have had no connection with those favoured youths. Thus, Tarkhán, prince of Farghána, hospitably entertained the last monarch of Persia; and thus, among the events of 105 H. (723 A.D.), Tabarí makes frequent mention of the Tarkháns as officers under the Khákán of the Kha-zars, to the west of the Caspian sea. Bábu-l Abwáb was garrisoned by a thousand Tarkhánís, the flower of the Tátár tribes. One chief's name was Hazár-Tarkhání; and other instances might easily be adduced of the antiquity of the title.

We find the name descending to a late period of the annals of India, and scions of this family still reside at Nasrpúr and Thatta; but the dynasty of the Tarkháns of Sind may be considered to have expired in the year 1000 H., when Mirza Jání Beg resigned his in­dependence into the hands of Akbar's general, the Khán-i Khánán, after the kingdom had remained with the Tarkháns for a period of 38 years.

The Táríkh-i Táhirí extends their rule even to 1022 H., or rather, it should have been 1021 H., when Ghází Beg Tarkhán died at Kandahár; but he was only an imperial officer, having no independ­ent jurisdiction, and entitled merely a Jágírdár. Even then, it is impossible to make, as that authority does, the Tarkhán period reach to 53 years; so that, as before mentioned, we must date the ex­tinction of Sind as an independent kingdom, from 1000 A.H. (1591-2 A.H.), and thenceforward the consideration of its affairs merges in the general history of the Tímúrian empire.*