Reiseliteratur weltweit

Geschichten rund um den Globus

Around 950 - Ebn Haukal
The Idol of Multan


The city of Moultan is called the „Golden House“; for there is in the city a certain idol, to which Indians of the country come on a religious pilgrimage, every year, and bring great riches with them; and those who pray in the temple of this idol must pay a tribute. This temple is situated in the centre of Moultan; and in the middle of the temple there is a great cupola or dome. All round this building are various houses, in which servants and attendants of the idol reside. Moultan is not reckoned as belonging to Hindoostan; but there is in it a race of idolaters who worship in this temple. The idol is made in the form of a man, with the feet on a bench, formed of tiles, or bricks and mortar: it is clothed in a red garment, resembling Morocco leather, and no part of the body is to be seen except the two eyes. Some people say the body is made of wood; but they do not permit any one to see more of it than the eyes. Which are composed of precious stones. On the head is a diadem of gold. It sits upon a square throne, the hands resting on its knees.
   All the riches which are brought to this idol from Hindoostan are taken by the Emir of Moultan, who distributes a portion among the servants of the temple. When the Indians come there in a hostile manner, and endeavor to carry off the idol from them, the people perceive that, they desist from fighting, and return back. If it were not for this circumstance, the Indians would destroy Moultan. There here is a castle, or citadel; but Mansureh is more populous and improved.
   Moultan was styled the Beit Alzahab, or Golden House, because the Mussulmans were in great distress when they seized on this town, and found in it vast quantities of gold, and acquired power. About half a farsang from the town is a villa, in which resides the Emir of Moultan – on the appointed festivals he goes into the town - he is a Coreishi of the children of Sam the son of Noah, who conquered Moultan; and he is called the Emir of that place. He has not any power over Mansoureh; but the Khutbah is read in the name of the Khalif.


Ouseley, William
The Oriental Geography of Ebn Haukal
London 1800; Reprint Frankfurt/M. 1992

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