Prelims Spotlight: Foreign Travellers in Ancient and Medieval India

Dear Aspirants,

This Spotlight is a part of our Mission Nikaalo Prelims-2022


Morning 12:00 PM  – Prelims Spotlight Session

Evening 06:30  PM  – MCQs Session

Noon 04:00 PM – Special Session by Shubham Sir

Evening 08:00 PM  – Tests on Alternate Days

Evening 09:00 PM – TIKDAM: Art of Elimination Session.

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18th Apr 2022

Travellers Visited India

Contemporary Rulers



Period: (320-273 BC)

Who: Greek Ambassador

Came India in the reign of Bindusara.


Period: (302-298 B.C.)

Who: Greek ethnographer & ambassador.

Ambassador of Seleucus Nicator, who visited in the court of Chandragupta Maurya.

Wrote an interesting book Indica.


Period: 130 A.D.

Who: From Greece and Geographer.

Wrote “Geography of India” which gives the description of Ancient India.


Period: (405-411 A.D.)

Who: Chinese Buddhist Monk

Came to India in the reign of Chandragupta II Vikramaditya.

–          Visited the birth place of Buddha, Lumbini.

–          His Travelogue “Records of Buddhist Kingdoms”.

–          Wrote Fo-Kyo-Ki.


Period: (630-645 A.D.)

Who: Chinese Buddhist Monk

Visited India during the reign of Harshavardhana.

–          Came through Tashkent and Swat Valley.

–          Book is “Si-Yu-Ki or the records of western world”.


Period: ( 671- 695 A.D.)

Who: Chinese traveller

Visited India in connection with Buddhism.

–          His works are Biographies of Eminent Monks.

–          Gives useful information about the social, religious and cultural life of the people of this country.


Period: (957 A.D.)

Who: Arab Traveller

Gives an extensive account of India in his work “Muruj-ul-Zahab”.

Al- Beruni or Abu Rehan Mahamud

Period: (1024-1030 A.D.)

Who: Muslim Scholar and Polymath

Came along with Mahmud Ghazni during one of his Indian raids.

–          First Muslim Scholar to study India also known as founder of Indology.

–          Wrote “ Tahqiq-i-Hind/Kitab-ul-Hind.

Marco Polo

Period: (1292-1294 AD)

Who: Venetian Traveller

Visited South India in 1294 A.D during the reign of Pandyan ruler of Madurai, Madverman, Kulshekhara (1272-1311)

His work “The Book of Sir Marco Polo” which gives an invaluable account of the economic history of India.

Ibn Batuta

Period: (1333-1347 A.D.)

Who: Morrish traveller

Visited India during the reign of Muhammad-Bin-Tughlaq.

His book “ Rehla” (the travelogue)

Shihabuddin al-Umari

Period: (1348 A.D.)

Who: Came from Damascus

He gives a vivid account of India in his book “ Masalik albsar fi-mamalik al-amsar

Nicolo Conti

Period: (1420-1421 A.D.)

Who: Venetian traveller

Came during the rule of Devraya I of Sangam Dynasty of Vijayanagar empire.

Given a graphic account of Vijayanagaras capital.

Abdur Razzaq

Period: (1443-1444 A.D.)

Who: Persian traveller, Ambassador of Shahrukh of Timurid dynasty.

–          Came during the rule of Devraya II of Sangam dynasty of Vijaynagar Empire.

–          Came in India at Zamorin’s Calicut.

Given a brief account of this countryside, in his Matla us Saddin wa Majuma ul Baharain.

Athanasius Nikitin

Period: (1470- 1474 A.D.)

Who: Russian merchant

Visited South India in 1470.

-He describes the condition of the Bahmani kingdom under Muhammad III (1463-82).

– His narrative “ The journey beyond 3 seas”

Duarte Barbosa

Period: (1500-1516 A.D.)

Who: Portuguese traveller

He has given a brief description of the government and the people of Vijayanagar Empire.

Domingo Paes

Period: (1520-1522 A.D.)

Who: Portuguese traveller

Visited the court of Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagar Empire.

Fernao Nuniz

Period: (1535-1537 A.D.)

Who: Portuguese merchant

Came during the rule of Achyutdeva Raya of Tuluv dynasty of vijayanagar Empire.

Wrote history of the empire from its earliest times of the closing years of Achyutdeva Raya’s reign.

John Hughen Von Linschotten

Period: (1583 A.D.)

Who: Dutch traveller

Given a valuable account of the social and economic life of South India.

William Hawkins

Period: (1608-1611 A.D.)

Who: Ambassador of James I, king of England.

Came in India at the reign of Jahangir,the great Mughal Emperor. William finch came with him.

Sir Thomas Roe

Period: (1615-1619 A.D.)

Who: Ambassador of James I, king of England.

Came in India at the reign of Jahangir,the great Mughal Emperor.

Edward Terry

Period: (1616 A.D.)

Who: Ambassador of Thomas Roe.

Describe about Indian social (Gujarat) behaviour.

Franciso Palsaert

Period: (1620-1627 A.D.)

Who: Dutch traveller stayed at Agra.

Gave a vivid account of the flourishing trade at Surat, Ahmadabad, Broach, Cambay, Lahore, Multan etc.

Peter Mundy

Period: (1630-34 A.D.)

Who: Italian traveller

Came in the reign of the Mughal Emperor, Shahjahan.

Gives valuable information about the living standard of the common people in the Mughal Empire.

John Albert de Mandesto

Period: (1638 A.D.)

Who: German traveller

Reached Surat in 1638 A.D.

Jeen Baptiste Tavernier

Period: (1638-1663 A.D.)

Who: French traveller

Visited India 6 times in the reign of Shahjahan and Aurangzeb.

Nicolao Manucci

Period: (1653-1708 A.D.)

Who: Italian traveller

He got service at the court of Dara Shikoh.

Francois Bernier

Period: (1656- 1717 A.D.)

Who: French physician and Philosopher.

Danishamand Khan, a noble of Aurangzeb was his patron.

Jean de Thevenot

Period: (1666 A.D.)

Who: French traveller

Given an account of cities like Ahmadabad, Cambay, Aurangabad and Golconda.

John Fryer

Period: (1672-1681 A.D.)

Who: English traveller


Given a vivid account of Surat and Bombay.

Gemelli Careri

Period: (1695 A.D.)

Who: Italian traveller who landed at Daman.

His remarks on the Mughal emperor’s military organisation and administration are important.


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