The Baburnama

 

“Hindustan is a place of little charm.  There is no beauty in its people, no graceful social intercourse, no poetic talent or understanding, no etiquette, nobility, or manliness.  The arts and crafts have no harmony or symmetry.  There are no good horses, meat, grapes, melons, or other fruit.  There is no ice, cold water, good food or bread in the markets.  There are no baths and no madrasas [Islamic schools].

Aside from the streams and still waters that flow in ravines and hollows, there is no running water in their gardens or palaces, and in their buildings no pleasing harmony or regularity.

The peasantry and common people parade around stark naked with something like a loin cloth tied around themselves and hanging down two spans below their navels.  Under this rag is another piece of cloth, which they pass between their legs and fasten to the loincloth string.  Women fasten around themselves one long piece of cloth, half of which they tie to their waists and the other half of which they throw over their heads.

The one nice aspect of Hindustan is that it is a large country with lots of gold and money. . . .”

The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor, translated by Wheeler M. Thackston (1996)

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