« السابقةمتابعة »
nephews and brought them back to Bengal. One would like to think that this good uncle was the Qutbu-d-din who left Sher Shāh and became a recluse in disgust of the king's breach of faith towards Pū an Mal. Īsā was remarkable for ability and prudence and rose to be at the head of the twelve zamindars of Bengal. Abul Fazl's language, if construed strictly, means that there were 12 zamindars exclusive of 'Isā, but this is not Pimenta's statement. According to a tradition preserved by the Jangalbārī family he married Fātima a daughter of one Saiyid Ibrāhīm. Another tradition, Wise 202, is that he married a daughter of Cand Rai of Bikrampur. Abul Fazl calls him the ruler (marzbān) of Bhāti and says that though he always professed to be submissive to the rulers of Bengal, i.e., Sulaimān Kararānī and Dāūd, he had the good sense not to visit them. On the same page he gives the boundaries of Bhāti, and does so in a way which has puzzled Professor Dowson (Elliott VI, 73) and myself. For he talks of Bhātī being a tract which has Tānda on the south, and the ocean and the termination of the mountains of Thibet on the north! There surely must be some copyist's mistake, but all the MSS. tell the same story. A possible interpretation is that the words mean South of Tanda and North of the occan and the terminations of the hills of Tipperah. Blochmann 342 n.I. has “from N.S., from Thibet to the ocean." Abul Fazl goes on at pp. 433 and 438 to describe Shahbaz Khan's campaigns against ‘Isā in 1584. At pp. 433 he says that Shahbaz took the two forts which had been erected on each side of the Ganges at Khizrpur "as this was the thoroughfare to and from Bhati." Then he took Sonārgāon, and the populous city of Karābūh which was 'Isa's residence. After that he hastened to Bāra Sindūr, which is a great city, and obtained much booty. Then he emerged into the Brahmaputra. He was nearly catching the rebel Ma'şüm Kābuli, when 'Isa came back from Cuch Bihar with a large army. The imperialists had now to act on the defensive aud took up their quarters in Toke (Totak in text) which is on the bank of the Brahmaputra, and opposite Agara Sindur (Kinara Sindur in text) and built a fort there. Then Shahbaz sent for Tarsān Khan to march from Bhowal (N. of Dacca and also known as Nāgari) towards Khizrpur and disconcert the enemy by attacking them on another side. Unfortunately Tarsan was rash and was cut off by Ma'şum who had taken refuge in the islands, (or more probably, the peninsula, Jazira) between the Lakhia and the Brahmaputra.
It will be seen from the above that 'Isa's residence was at Karābūh and not at Khizrpur, and the question is where was this town. The Bib. Ind. gives the variant Katrabūh and the Lucknow ed. has also this form. The name occurs again at p. 733 in connection with
'Isa's naval fight with Rajah Man Singh's son Durjan Singh, in which the latter was defeated and killed. There too we have the variant Katrabuh. In both cases the India office M.S. No. 236 has Kaṣrābūh which only differs by one dot from Katrābūh. The India Office MS. 235 has Katrābūh or Katrālüb. The Maaşir-ul-Umra II, 474, has Katrāpūr. I think then that we may take it that Katrābūh is the correct reading, and it is evident that this is the Katrabo of Dr. Wise's paper, which he describes as being still the residence of descendants of ‘Īsā Khân. J.A.S.B. for 1874, p. 211. See also p. 214 where Katrabo in Sarkar Bāzāhā is mentioned in a sanad belonging to the Jangalbāri family. Bakhtarāpur which is mentioned by Dr. Wise as 'Isa's residence is only given doubtfully by Mr. Blochmann, and appears to be a misreading for Katrābūh, the first letter b having been taken as part of the name, instead of as a preposition. It will be seen from Dr. Wise's paper that "Catrabo" is mentioned by Sebastian Manrique who was in Bengal in the first half of the 17th century, as one of the twelve provinces. Upon this Dr. Wise remarks: "Catrabo is Katrabo, now a tappa on the Lakhya opposite Khizrpur and which for long was the property of the descendants of 'Isa Khan." There does not appear to be any town or village of the name of Katrābo now in existence, and a tappa of course may be a pretty large area. I imagine that the tappa is what appears in the Ain Jarrett II, p. 138, as Katārmalbāzū and which yielded a revenue of nearly three million of dāms (about Rs. 75,000). In the text of the Ain, p. 404, we have the variant Katābal, and Tiefenthaler gives Katarbal. Now in Rennel's map of the Meghna to the head of the Lakhia, as reproduced in Tiefenthaler Vol. III., we have a place marked Goraboe N. of Dacca and on the right bank of the Lakhia or Banar, a little north of Ekdallah. May not this be Katrābūh? It seems evident that Shahbāz Khẩn after capturing Sonargaon sailed up the Lakhia, or marched along its banks to Agarasindur and Toke and then came out on the Brahmaputra, i.e., what was the Brahmaputra then and is still so called by the natives. The Kināra Sindur of the text is, I have no doubt, Agarasindur in the Mymensingh district, opposite Toke and which in my time was another name for the Nikli thana. Goraboe is near the site of Doordooreah marked on Taylor's map in his topography of Dacca, and described by him at pp. 112-114. It is true that he marks Doordooreah as on the left bank of the Lakhya, but apparently the town and the fort were on opposite sides, p. 113. His words are: "At one of these localities in thana Kapāsia, known in the present day by the name of Doordooreah, and situated upon the banks of the Banăr, about eight miles above Akdalla, are to be seen the remains of a fort
and opposite to it the foundations of a town, both of which it is said were built and occupied by the Booneah Rajahs." By Booneah Dr. Taylor means the dynasty which according to him preceded the Pal kings, and of whom there is some account in Buchanan and in Mr. Gait's paper on the Koc kings of Kāmrūp. J.A.S.B. for 1893, p. 281. But the word Booneah is the same as Bhūya and as the Boiones of Manrique and Du. Jarric, Wise, J.A.S.B. for 1875, p. 181, and is as applicable to the Bārah Bhūyas of the 16th century as to the mythical Buddhists. Taylor also at p. 163 speaks of 'Isa's contemporary Cand Rai as being a Booneah! At all events, Doordoorea was occupied by Muḥammadans, if not built by them, for Taylor speaks of the foundations of a dargah and mosque there. Taylor's description shows that the ruins are, or were, very extensive, and he suggests that they may really be the site of Ekdalla as the place commonly known by that name and which is further down the river, has no remains of a fort.
At p. 438 Abul Fazl tells us how Shahbaz Khan had to retreat in the following year (1585) in disgrace from the country of Bhāti. He had encamped on the banks of the Panar, i.e., the Banar, a river which, as Taylor says, unites the Brahmaputra (i.e., the old Brahmaputra) and the Lakhia. Shahbaz lay there for seven months and had frequent engagements with 'Īsā. At one time he was successful and obtained an agreement from ‘Īsā that he would allow a royal officer, viz., a darogha to be stationed in the port of Sonārgāon, but eventually he had to break up his camp and to retreat, first to Sherpur Murca in Bogra (on the Karatoya) and then to Tanda, with the loss of all his baggage and of many men. The causes of this disaster were the sickness of his troops, his quarrels with the officers, and the flooding of his camp. This was effected by 'Isa's having the bank of the Brahmaputra cut in fifteen places. From this fact it seems evident that Shahbāz' camp was near the head of the Banar, i. e., it was near Toke well known to all travellers by water as a charmingly wooded spot near where the Banār or Sital Lakhia leaves the old Brahmaputra. It was about a year after this, namely, in 1586, that Ralph Fitch was at Sonargaon. His remark was that "the chief king of all these countries was called Isacan, and he is the chief of all the other kings, and is a great friend to the Christians!" Perhaps it is not too fanciful to suppose that his liking for the Christians was partly the result of his bearing the name of their Lord. Fitch's statement however is somewhat opposed to Pimenta's remark that the conversion of Bengal was delayed by the circumstance that nine of the twelve princes were Muhammadans. At pp. 461, 479, 632, 672, 697, 711, 714, 716 and 733 of the Akbarnāma, Vol, III, there are various references to 'Isa Khān, and we are told more than once of
his making submission and sending presents. But he was never really subdued, and his swamps and creeks enabled him to preserve his independence as effectually as the Aravalli Hills protected Rānā Pratap of Udaipur. At p. 733 there is an account of 'Isa's defeating and killing Durjan Singh the son of Rajah Man Singh. Perhaps the story in Dr. Wise's paper, p. 213, about 'Īsā's slaying Man Singh's son-in-law in single combat is a reminiscence of this naval battle. At p. 763 we are told of 'Isa's death, which took place in the 44th year of Akbar's reign and in the year 1008, 1599-1600. Dr. Wise, p. 210, says that ‘Īsā left two sons Musa and Diwan 1 Muḥammad Khān of whom nothing is known. But according to Abul Fazl p. 809 ‘Īsā had a son named Daud who gave Mān Singh some trouble. Daud apparently was in league with Kedar the ruler of Bikrampur and Sarharpūr and who evidently is the Kedar Rai of Bikrampur, Wise, i.e., 202.
In Mr. Gait's paper, already referred to, pp. 290-91, there is a reference to wars between the "Gaur Pāshā " and the Rajah of Kūc Bihār, and we are told that Silarai was defeated (see p. 290) and taken prisoner and afterwards released on account of his curing the Gaur Pasha's mother of a snake-bite. There we are told that the Gaur Pashā's mother afterwards died and that Nar Narayan and Akbar combined to attack the Gaur Pāshā. Silarai invaded his kingdom on the east and Mān Singh from the west. The result was that the Gaur Pāshā was defeated and had to fly to the Faringhis. Further on Mr. Gait remarks, p. 297, that the Mussalman historians of the period make no mention of the assistance said to have been rendered by Nar Narayan in the subjugation of Dāūd Shāh. I submit that the apparent omission has been caused by Mr. Gait's assuming that the Gaur Pashā meant was Dāūd Shāh. The Kūc Bihār records apparently do not say so, and if we substitute 'Isa Khan for Dāūd, the difficulty disappears. It is true that ‘Isā is not called Gaur Pashā by the Muhammadan historians, but neither is Dāūd, and the latter and his father before him lived at Tanda and not at Gaur. Gaur is an old name for a part of the Baqirganj district, and we find the title Gauriya assumed by another pretender to the throne of Bengal. 'Isā too might well be called Gaur Pashā for he is said to have ruled to the confines of Kūc Bihār. The story about the snake-bite can hardly apply to Dāūd Shāh's mother Nolakhha who sur_ rendered to Khān Jahān and was sent up to Fatḥpūr. Neither was Man Singh employed in Bengal in the time of Dāūd Shāh. He was so employed in the time of ‘Īsā, and at p. 733 we find it recorded that Mān Singh acted in conjunction with Lachmi Narain of Kūc Bihār and that 1 Perhaps the Diwan Kot 4 m. above Khizrpūr and on the right bank Lakhia is a memento of this son.
he saved the latter, although in the river-combat Man Singh's son was defeated and killed. We know also from p. 716 that 'Īsā supported the Pātkūār against Lachmi Narain, and we have in Dr. Wise's paper, p. 213, a reference to a victory obtained over the Koc Rajah. It is curious that the Kūc Bihār chronicle should speak of the Gaur Pasha's taking refuge with the Faringhis (Mr. Gait's paper, p. 291) and that Dr. Wise should mention the tradition that 'Isa fled to Chittagong. Dāūd Khān certainly never did this, and indeed in his time there were probably no Faringhi settlements to fly to.
Katrābuh is probably identical with the Catebarry of Taylor, Topography of Dacca, p. 64, where it is stated that "Harish Candra, one of the Booneah Rajahs, resided at Catebarry near Sabar." This statement is repeated in the Statistical Account of Bengal V, 118, where the place is called “Katibārī near Sābhār. In the list of fiscal divisions in the same volume, pp. 139-141, this is entered as No. 93 Kāthorābo tappē.
I take this opportunity of suggesting that Dr. Taylor's very valuable work should be reprinted. He seems to have been the real father of statistical inquiries in Bengal.
لاندا دلول Dalil
I also take the opportunity of suggesting that the unintelligible southern boundary for the country of Bhātī given by Abul Fazl, viz., "South Tanda," may be a mistake for Landa which in the Riyāzu-sSalāṭīn is given as one of the boundaries of Orissa. I do not however know what place is meant by the author of the Riyāz. The passage occurs at p. 15, line 10 of his work; and the full boundary is Lāndā Bhātī is sometimes regarded as being merely a strip of land extending along the coast of Bengal. Thus Colonel Jarrett describes it in his translation of the Ain II, 116, n. 3, as "the coaststrip of the Sunderbans from Hijli to the Meghna." But according to Abul Fazl's description it was a very large tract of country, and its breadth from N.E.S. was 300 kos or more than Bengal whose breadth from N.E.S. was only 200 kos. Apparently it included the whole of East Bengal, together with much of Sylhet. The eastern boundary of Bhātī is given by Abul Fazl as Ḥabsha, or as Jasur (the MSS. do not agree), and Professor Dowson has rendered this as Jessore, Elliot VI, 73. But Abul Fazl calls the boundary a Wilayat or Country, and Jessore was not even a Sarkar in his time, but only an alternative name for a pargana. I therefore believe that the boundary meant is Jaintia which in the Ain is spelt Jesa Jarrett, II, 139. Perhaps this may help to explain Abul Fazl's impossible northern boundary, viz., yā dāryā-i-shor