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This building, which exhibits one of the first specimens of Mahomedan grandeur among the Mogul race of princes, consists of a spacious apartment of forty feet square, with others adjoining. It is surmounted at top by a magnificent dome, with fix-and-twenty others of smaller dimensions. These are attached to different apartments on each side of the mosque. To the eye this building has a very grand effect, but it is difficult to describe. The edifice is surrounded by a high wall of considerable length, and within the enclosure are convenient habitations for the attendants on the mosque. The wall is flanked with octangular pavilions of red stone, and the entrances through the gateways are of the same materials.
The plain of Panniput has likewise been.' celebrated in the history of modern times. It was on this plain that the famous battle was fought in 1762 between Ahamed Shah, the Duranny, and the Mahrattas. The latter were commanded by Viswas Raou, a prince of the Mahratta empire, who was slain in the conteft. The loss of this action wrested from the Mah
rattas the sovereignty of Hindoostan; though the fupineness and effeminacy of Ahamed Shah, after his success, prevented his enjoying the fruits of his victory.*
The city of Panniput is situated in 29° 22' of north latitude. Its circumference may be about four miles. It was formerly surrounded by a brick wall, which in many places is still entire. This wall, and a noble caravansera of stone adjoining the Delhi gate, was built at the expence of Nuwaub Rofhun Al Dowlah, grand-chamberlain of the household to Mahomed Shah. The remains of the Delhi gate are still handsome. It is built of brick, forty feet in height, arched at the top and flanked with towers of red stone, and is connected by a rampart within the city wall. The exterior of this gateway is encrusted with very fine chunam, and decorated with paintings of flowers, in various patterns, executed in a style of peculiar neatness and delicacy.
* The particulars of this battle have been too ably detailed by the pen of colonel Brown, in a letter to the Asiatic Society, to require comments in this place. It is here sufficient to remark, that no remains of the entrenched camp of the Mahrattas are now to be seen, the plain being perfectly level. But about a mile east of the city, two trees were pointed out to us by the natives, as the place where the Bhow's tent was pitched previous to the battle.
· In the centre of the city is the shrine of a Mahommedan devotee, by name Shah Shurfuddeen Boo Ali Culinder, the son of Furruckuddeen Iraki. Since his death, which happened in the 724th year of the Hijerah, this mausoleum has been repaired several times. The tomb is situated at the upper end of a spacious square, at the entrance to which is a screen of perforated stone-work; beyond this is the verandah or portico, the roof of which is supported by four pillars of fungmuhuk, a species of black marble; the pillars are twelve feet in height, having pedestals of porphyry. The cieling of this portico is decorated with paintings of flowers on fine chunam; along the front of the vestibule, on a slab of white marble, are engraved coup, lets in the Persian language in black marble characters. These verses are in praise of the sanctity of the deceased, and by the operation
of the arithmetical verse called ABJUD,* give the date of his death in the 724th year of the Hijerah.
Within the dome is the grave of Boo Ali Culinder: it is fix feet by three, of white marble, and is covered by a pall of rich brocade. The whole is surrounded by a latticework of wood. Above is a covering of green. filk, supported by four pillars of wood, encrusted with mother of pearl.
The revenues of this tomb were formerly considerable ; but most of them, during the troubles which have subsisted in the upper provinces, have long since been confiscated;
* The arithmetical verse called ABJUD, consists of the letters of the Arabic alphabet joined together so as to form articulate sounds, but without any meaning. It may be given as follows in Roman character :
Abjud, Huwwuz, huttee, Cullamun; Saufuz, kurshut sukkhuz, Zuzzug.
Each of these letters having a numerical property, from one to one thousand, by this operation the dates of inscripitions are discovered. See Richardson's Dictionary, article
However, still there are from four to five hundred persons attendant on the shrine. These subsist on the contributions of the charitable..
The city, though now much decayed, and the population reduced, formerly contained many good houses. The bazars, of which there are two, are of considerable length, but narrow; they contain about three hundred shops tolerably well furnished. The trade of this place consists in imports of salt, grain of all kinds, and cotton cloths: they export coarse sugar.
In the flourishing times of the empire, Panniput, situated in the high road to Lahore, Cabul, and Persia, was the emporium of the caravans from the north, and the seat of an extensive commerce. But the ravages occafioned by the distracted state of the empire, for more than half a century, have not only caused a sad reverse, but almost annihilated its commercial relations with other countries.