General Knowledge for IAS Exams (Important Foreign Travellers/Envoys)

General Knowledge for IAS Exams (History of India and World)

Important Foreign Travellers/Envoys

  • Megasthenes (302–298 BC): An ambassador of Selecus Nikator, who visited the court of Chandragupta Maurya and wrote an interesting book ‘Indica’ in which he gave a vivid account of Chandragupta Maurya’s reign.
  • Fa-Hien (405–411 AD): He came to India during the reign of Chandragupta II Vikramaditya. He was the first Chinese pilgrim to visit India to collect Buddhist texts and relics.
  • Hiuen-Tsang (630–645 AD): He visited India during the reign of Harshavardhana.
  • I-tsing (671–695 AD): A Chinese traveller, he visited India in connection with Buddhism.
  • Al-Masudi (957 AD): An Arab traveller, he has given an extensive account of India in his work ‘Muruj-ul-Zehab’.
  • Al-beruni (1024–1030 AD): He came to India along with Mahmud of Ghazni during one of his Indian raids. He travelled all over India and wrote a book ‘Tahqiq-i-Hind’.
  • Macro Polo (1292–1294 AD): A Venetian traveller, visited South India in 1294 A.D. His work ‘The Book of Sir Marco Polo’ gives an account of the economic history of India.
  • Ibn Batuta (1333–1347 AD): A Morrish traveller, his book ‘Rehla’ (the Travelogue) throws a lot of light on the reign of Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq and the geographical, economic and social conditions of that time.
  • Shihabuddin al-Umari (1348 AD): He came from Damascus and gives a vivid account of India in his book, ‘Masalik albsar fi-mamalik al-amsar’.
  • Nicolo Conti (1420–1421 AD): A Venetian traveller, gives a comprehensive account of the Hindu kingdom of Vijaynagar.
  • Abdur Razzaq (1443–1444 AD): He was a Persian traveller, came to India and stayed at the court of the Zamorin at Calicut. He has given a vivid account of the Vijaynagar empire.
  • Athanasius Nikitin (1470–1474 AD): He was a Russian merchant, describes the condition of the Bahmani kingdom under Muhammad III (1463–82).
  • Durate Barbosa (1500–1516 AD): He was a Portuguese traveller, has given a valuable narrative of the government and the people of the Vijaynagar empire.
  • Dominigo Paes (1520–1522 AD): He was Portuguese traveller, visited the court of Krishnadeva Raya of the Vijaynagar Empire.
  • Fernao Nuniz (1535–1537 AD): A Portuguese merchant, wrote the history of the empire from its earliest times of the closing years of Achyutdeva Raya’s reign.
  • John Hughen Von Linschotten (1583 AD): He was a Dutch traveller, has given a valuable account of the social and economic life of South India.
  • William Hawkins (1608–1611 AD): He was an English ambassador of British King James I to the court of Jahangir (1609).
  • Sir Thomas Roe (1615–1619 AD): He was an ambassador of James I (King of England), at the court of Jahangir, (the Mughal Emperor).
  • Fransciso Palsaert (1620–1627 AD): He was a Dutch traveller, stayed at Agra and gave a vivid account of flourishing trade at Surat, Ahmedabad, Broach Cambay, Lahore, Multan, etc.
  • Peter Mundy (1630–34 AD): He was an Italian traveller to the Mughal empire in the reign of Shahjahan, gives valuable information about the living standard of the common people in the Mughal Empire.
  • John Albert de Mandesto (1638 AD): He was German traveller, who reached Surat in 1638.
  • Jeen Baptiste Travernier (1638–1663 AD): He was a French traveller, his account covers the reign of Shahjahan and Aurangzeb.
  • Nicolao Manucci (1653–1708 AD): He was an Italian traveller, got service at the court of Dara Shikoh.
  • Francois Bernier (1656–1717 AD): He was French physician and philosopher. Danishamand Khan, a noble of Aurangzeb, was his patron.
  • Jean de Thevenot (1666 AD): He was French traveller, has given a good account of cities like Ahmedabad, Cambay, Aurangabad and Goloconda.
  • John Fryer (1672–1681 AD): He was an English traveller, has given a vivid account of Surat and Bombay.
  • Gemelli Careri (1693 AD): He was an Italian traveller, his remarks on the Mughal emperor’s military organisation and administration are important.

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