Ibn Battuta’s Exhilarating Journey To India

Ibn Battuta in India

The man born in Tangier, Morocco followed his dream of traveling and exploring the world when he was 21 years old. If you are one of those who loves traveling, then you must have heard about the famous explorer of the 14th century. He was a traveler and Islamic traveler who also learned botany and geography. He belonged to a religious family of Muslim scholars, so he also wanted to follow the family tradition. Also, he always dreamt of becoming an explorer and traveler. So, he set out on an adventurous journey that made him one of the famous explorer’s of the world.

The beginning of Ibn Battuta’s travels:

As already stated above, Ibn Battuta was born in Tangier, Morocco. He studied law in his hometown, but due to the fact that there were not any big libraries and Madrassa so, he left Tangier. Ibn Battuta left his home because:

  • He wanted to study law and learn more about Islamic jurisdiction.
  • Battuta wanted to perform Hajj (an Islamic religious obligation).
  • He wanted to explore the world and curious to see different cultures.

When he started his traveling journey, he left for Hijaz first.  He has described in his autobiography that he chose the traditional route from Africa to Mecca. He was alone and did not join any caravan.

Before reaching Mecca, he visited Egypt and was impressed after seeing various places. Upon reaching Hijaz, Ibn Battuta performed Hajj. Then he decided that it is the right time to continue traveling to fulfill his dream of exploring the world.

The travels of Battuta are legendary:

Ibn Battuta traveled across the world and visited almost fort four nations of the modern day world. He covered almost 75000 miles which are far more than the famous traveler Marco Polo. The travels of Ibn Battuta are full of enthralling incidents. During the journey of thirty years, he married many women and fathered many kids.

He came across the pirates and was shipwrecked as well. He had to cross freezing mountains and barren deserts to reach the destination. No doubt, it is impressive that he faced many dangers and life-threatening situations during his journey but never stopped.

Ibn Battuta reached India:

Traveling through many lands, Ibn Battuta reached India. He was welcomed wholeheartedly by the ruler of India Mohammad Bin Tughlaq. He was the ruler of Delhi at that time. Ibn Battuta wanted to be an Islamic judge in India and sultan offered him the post. Sultan offered posts to foreigners because he feared that Hindus would rebel against him. Sultan showered them with gifts and precious items to win their loyalty. Battuta stayed in India for eight years and visited many places there that include:

  • Aligarh
  • Haryana
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Maharashtra
  • Gwalior
  • Gujarat

He traveled all the way from Delhi to Maharashtra. When he visited Kerala, he stated that Kozhikode is the best port in India. Battuta stayed in Karnataka about for a week and was mesmerized the greenery and beauty of the place. Mangalore is still one of the best tourists’ places in India, and at that time Battuta also liked it and described it as his favorite spot in India. Mangalore is the city of churched and beaches. Ibn Battuta also visited Kollam, Kerala that is full of gorgeous beaches, lakes and old temples.

India in the eyes of Ibn Battuta:

Ibn Battuta traveled a lot. He saw many cultures and traditions. He adored many places, and one of those countries is India. Ibn Battuta wanted to win the post of an Islamic scholar, and he got that. He described the postal system in India in his book. He stated that there was a horse courier stationed at every four miles and a foot courier stationed at every mile. The courier used to deliver the box containing letters etc. to the next courier and process used to continue till the box reaches its final destination.

Ibn Battuta has also mentioned the tradition of “Sati” in his book.  It was a tradition followed by the Hindus in India. Hindus used to burn the widow along with her died, husband.

Next destination:

Ibn Battuta stayed in India for about eight years. He was impressed by the natural beauty in India. There were a lot of spots he liked the most as already stated above. After staying in India for a long time and enjoying the gifts presented by the ruler Battuta decided to move towards the next destination. He described food (he ate in India) in an interesting manner. He was rewarded with cash and gifts by the ruler during his stay in India.

He was a restless soul who wanted to travel more and explore the world. His next destination was China. Battuta continued traveling and enjoying his expeditions.