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Kayalpatnam

(2,738 words)

Author(s): Shokoohy, Mehrdad | Shokoohy, Natalie H.
Kayalpatnam (Tamil Nadu state, India, latitude N 8°34’, longitude E 78°8’), the “city of Kayal” renowned for maritime trade, is now a small town almost entirely inhabited by Muslims who differ in complexion from their Tamil neighbours and claim, with some justification, to be of Middle Eastern origin. Like their ancestors, they are involved in world-wide commerce focused mainly on precious stones and metals. 1. History The town is the site of the celebrated port of Kayal or Qāʾil (Coil on some old European maps) on the coast of the Mannar Gulf. The port was vi…
Date: 2021-07-19

Maʿbar

(3,437 words)

Author(s): Shokoohy, Mehrdad | Shokoohy, Natalie H.
Maʿ bar (Mabar) is the name given by the Muslims to the Coromandel Coast, in Tamil Nadu, India, from at least the sixth/twelfth century, appearing in Muslim chronicles, along with the name of its capital city, Madura, from the beginning of the seventh/thirteenth. The high official, historian, and physician of Īlkhānid Iran Rashīd al-Dīn (c. 645–718/1247–1318) mentions Maʿbar as “the key to India,” with a distance of 300 parasangs (about 1,680 kilometres) from the Malabar port of Kaulam (Quilon or…
Date: 2021-07-19

Ḥiṣār-i Fīrūza

(1,849 words)

Author(s): Shokoohy, Mehrdad | Shokoohy, Natalie H.
Ḥiṣār-i Fīrūza (Hisar, Haryana, India), now an expanding industrial town, was designed and constructed by the sultan of Delhi, Fīrūz Shāh Tughluq (r. 752–90/1351–88), who named it Shahr-i Ḥiṣār-i Fīrūza (the city of the turquoise fort), alluding to its oasis environment and his own name. A popular ruler, he was a man of art, literature, and science. He was also an architect whose buildings include the Golden Minaret (Mināra-yi Zarrīn), known as Kot’la Fīrūz Shāh, surmounted by an ancient column, …
Date: 2021-07-19

Nagaur

(3,127 words)

Author(s): Shokoohy, Mehrdad | Shokoohy, Natalie H.
Nagaur (Pers., Nāgūr, located at latitude N 27.2°, longitude E 73.73°), in Rajasthan State, is one of the oldest Muslim strongholds in India, and historically the centre of a district with many towns, including Didwana, Khatu, Ladnun, and Naraina ( Āʾīn-i Akbarī, 1:512). The foundation of the town goes back to the Ghaznavids (386–583/976–1186), its fort having been built by Muḥammad Bāhalīm (or Bahlīm), Multān’s governor under Bahrām Shāh (r. 511–52/1117–57/8; Ṭabaqāt-i Nāṣirī, 1:242). A tombstone of this period in Nagaur records the death of the son of an Ismāʿīlī dāʿī (a high-ranki…
Date: 2022-04-21

Madurai

(2,632 words)

Author(s): Shokoohy, Mehrdad | Shokoohy, Natalie H.
Madurai (also spelt Madura or Mathura, in Tamil Nadu state, India, latitude N 9°54′, longitude E 78°6′), a Hindu pilgrimage centre on the river Vaigai, was under Muslim rule following raids by the Delhi sultans ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Khaljī (r. 695–715/1296–1316) (Vaṣṣāf, 4:527; Amīr Khusraw, 126, 172–4, 181; Baranī, 283) and his successor Mubārak Shāh (r. 716–20/1316–20) (Baranī, 398–9; Firishta, 1:126), culminating in the short-lived independent Maʿbar sultanate (734–79/1334–77). As governor, Jalāl al-D…
Date: 2021-07-19

Kochi

(2,624 words)

Author(s): Shokoohy, Mehrdad | Shokoohy, Natalie H.
Kochi (also Kochin, Cochin, Kerala, India, latitude N 9°58', longitude E 76°14), well known for its Jewish settlement, also has a rich Muslim heritage. 1. History The origin of the present town goes back to 741/1341, when a geological event, presumed to be an earthquake, reshaped the coastline, destroying old Cochin and causing the island of Vypin to emerge from the sea, heralding a new era, Puduvaipu, used for dates in many records. Before 741/1341, the old town by the river Kocchi was under Cranganur’s administration but was an insignificant port, ignored in the e…
Date: 2021-07-19

Bayana

(2,326 words)

Author(s): Shokoohy, Mehrdad | Shokoohy, Natalie H.
Bayana (Bayāna, 26.92° N, 77.30° E, in Rajasthan, India) held a strategic position on the route from Delhi to Gwalior and the Deccan. That position, combined with a formidable fort and natural and agricultural resources (from sandstone to sugar and indigo), made it, despite its harsh desert environment, a prized possession of its mediaeval Hindu rulers and attracted the attention of the Turkic conquerors of India. Its architectural style, distinct from that of Delhi, applied old beam-and-bracket…
Date: 2021-07-19

Kozhikode

(2,662 words)

Author(s): Shokoohy, Mehrdad | Shokoohy, Natalie H.
Kozhikode (Calicut, Kerala, India, N 11°26′, E 75°78′) includes an old Muslim community whose long history and alliance with its powerful Hindu rajas (“Zamorin” to the Portuguese and “Sāmirī” to the Muslims, from Sanskrit sāmudri, “sea lord”) goes back at least to the seventh/thirteenth century. 1. Early History and European Trade By 742–3/1341–3, when the Moroccan traveller Ibn Baṭṭūṭa (d. 770 or 779/1368 or 1377) visited, commerce was firmly in the hands of the Arabs and Persians, and, in the early ninth/fifteenth century the Italian merchant …
Date: 2021-07-19