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0081 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 81 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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at Chitral. According to this statement the successive traditional periods comprised : the ` Kafir-daur ' or ` time of the Kafirs ' ; the dynasty of the Ra'is with which Chinese influence seems

somehow associated in popular notion ; the reign of Abdullah Khan, the Turk ; of Khairullah Khan,

from Gilgit ; and finally the rule of the present family of Mehtars known as Kaifu.. Now the Khairullah Khan of this series is evidently identical with the Shah Khairullah, Badshah, whom

Mughul Beg, the author of the surveys translated and explained in Raverty's Notes on Afghanistan,

knew as the supreme ruler of the Kashkar State, including Mastûj, about 1789-9(3,39 and who is

shown also in the genealogical table of the Khushwakt branch of the Chitral family in a chrono-

logical position approximately corresponding.40 Hence Abdullah Khan, too, must probably be

placed somewhere in the eighteenth century.

Whatever may be the explanation of the earlier traditional mention of Chinese invasion, it is Chinese certain that Chinese power made itself felt again in Chitral after the Tarim Basin had been influence in

reconquered for the Empire under the Emperor Chien-lung about the middle of the eighteenth 58th cent. century. As this reassertion of Chinese authority after the lapse of just a thousand years is curiously illustrative of the earlier records, the few references to it I have been able to trace may receive here brief mention. The most reliable among them is the definite statement made by the author of Raverty's Surveys that at the time he visited Chitral, about the year 1789, its ruler acknowledged Chinese sovereignty, and that under its protection inroads from the Badakhshan side had ceased.41 The oral traditions recorded by Major Biddulph give a lengthy account, tinged with legendary details, of an invasion which a Chinese force in concert with the ruler of Badakhshan, Mir Sultan Shah, effected in Chitral at a time when Khush-amad, a nephew of the founder of the Khushwakt branch and the elder brother of Khairullah, was ruling in Mastûj. After a lengthy siege of Mastûj, terms were agreed to, and the invaders retired up the Yarkhûn Valley, i.e. towards the Baraghil.42

There is a reference to the same invasion also in an extract from a Chinese geographical work published in i 790, which Klaproth appears to have first translated.43 This deals with the territory of ` Bolor ', which is described as situated to the south-west of Yarkand and to the east of Badakhshan, and which in view of the incidents mentioned can only be meant for Kashkâr-Bala including Mastûj, and eventually also Yasin.44 In i749 its prince, whose name, reproduced in Klaproth's French as Chakhou Chanced, is manifestly to be read as Shah Khush-amad, is said to have made his submission to the Chinese, and his territory was incorporated. In the following year his envoy ` Chah bek', i. e. Shah Beg, came to the Imperial Court. Another embassy is referred to in 1763.

' In the next year the country was invaded by Sultan Shah of Badakhshan, whereupon the prince of Bolor asked support from the Chinese general residing at Yarkand. The latter called upon Sultan

Shah to evacuate Bolor and to stop hostilities. The king of Badakhshan conformed, and Shah Khush-amad wrote a letter of thanks. The two adversaries sent embassies to the Emperor with tribute, consisting of daggers which are of excellent quality in their territory.' In 1769

Record of
Chinese in-

99 See Raverty, Notes on Afghanistan, pp. 154, 158, 562; also ibid., p. 306, note, where an attempt is made to utilize the date supplied by the surveys for clearing up the tangled chronology of the Khushwakt family.

40 See Biddulph, Hindoo Koosh, p. 553, table.

" See Raverty, Notes on Afghanistan, pp. 554, 588. 42 Cf. Biddulph, Hindoo Koosh, pp. 151 sq.

19 See Magasin asiatique, i. p. 96. I take the reference from Biddulph, Hindoo Koosh, p. 152.

" Raverty, Notes on Afghanistan, pp. 305 sqq., has


discussed Klaproth's notice of ' Bolor '. He has given reason to suppose that the term, which he prefers to spell Bilaur, was used, in the Muhammadan sources, both in a wider and a more restricted sense. In the latter it included mainly Kashkâr-Bala with Mastiij and Yasin, while in the former it was vaguely extended to the whole mountain region from the borders of Baltistan in the east to Kafiristan in the west (see loc. cit., pp. 307 sq. ; cf. also the references given in Ancient Kholan, i. p. 6, note 5).