Explain the observations of Ibn Batuta about the cities of India with special reference to Delhi.
Ibn Batuta had arrived in Delhi in the 14th century. He provided a very informative and detailed description of the cities of India. The characteristics of the cities in the Indian subcontinent as described by Ibn Batuta are:
● The cities were densely populated and prosperous, although they were sometimes affected by war.
● They had crowded streets, bright and colorful markets with a variety of goods.
● Delhi was the largest city in India due to the vast size of the population.
● The rampart around the city was expanded.
● Inside the rampart, were houses for night sentry, gatekeepers, and storehouses.
● The lower part of the rampart was built of stones and the upper was built of bricks.
● It also had many towers.
● Delhi had a total of 28 gates which were called ‘Darwaza’. The most famous ones were Gul Darwaza and Mandi Darwaza.
● The market was a place of social, economic and cultural transactions.
● It had many religious places as well.
● There were fixed places for the performances by singers, dancers, etc.
● Many towns and cities had derived their wealth from the appropriation of the surplus earned from the villages.