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TWARIKH-I-AHMADI, or Tarikh-i-Ahmad

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TWARIKHIAHMADI, or Tarikhi Ahmad, is a book written by Abdul Karim Alavi and published by Mustafai Press, Lucknow, in 1850. Alavi was a prolific writer and his works include besides many translations from Arabic into Persian, the Tarikhi Ahmad which became the most popular of his works and was translated into Urdu under the title Waqiati Durraniand published by Nizami Press, Cawnpore (now Kanpur) in 1875. The style is simple and lucid and not cumbersome and he refrained from ornate phraseology to praise Ahmad Shah Durrani for his achievements. He did not use derogatory language against the opponents of Ahmad Shah Durrani, and narrated the events faithfully.

Commencing with the genealogy of Ahmad Shah Durrani, he narrated the achievements of the Shah in detail and his successors in brief up to the assassination of Shah Shuja`. He gave the details of battles of Ahmad Shah Durrani with the Sikhs. The author has given a detailed description of the five Doabs of the Punjab and has described the famous rivers, passages and important cities of these Doabs. The historical value of the work is great as several of the geographical facts have changed over the years. About one hundred and fifty years earlier the River Ravi used to flow adjacent to the Fort of Lahore and there were separate routes from Eminabad to Lahore and Amritsar.

The author has described the stages in travelling from Peshawar to Kabul, Kabul to Qandahar, Qandahar to Herat and Herat to Chist. He has mentioned the distance between various stages and the time spent while travelling from one stage to another and the facilities available along each route. The traders and the troops travelled through these stages, and made halts there. While writing about the history of the Durranis, the author has narrated some interesting events. He writes that during the reign of Shah Jahan, `Ali Mardan Khan, Viceroy of Lahore, planned the Shalamar Gardens. He has also recorded that never a person suffered from smallpox at Qandahar.

References :

1. Kirpal Singh, ed., A Catalogue of Persian and Sanskrit Manuscripts. Amritsar, 1962

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