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Important Foreign Travellers/Envoys in Indian History

Megasthenes (302-298 BC): An ambassador of Selecus Nikator, who visited the court of Chandragupta Maurya. He wrote an interesting book 'Indica' in which he gave a vivid account of Chandragupta Maurya's reign. 

Fa-Hien (405-411 AD): He came to India during the reign of Chandragupta II Vikramaditya. The object of his visit was to see the holy places of Buddhism and to collect Buddhist books and relics. He was the first Chinese pilgrim to visit India

Hiuen-Tsang (630-645 AD): He visited India during the reign of Harshavardhana. He vividly describe Bengal king Kaniska and Kaunaj king Harsha administrative.

I-tsing (671-695 AD): A Chinese traveller, he visited India in connection with Buddhism. His work Biographies of Eminent Monks, provides us useful information about the social, religious and cultural life of the people of this country. 

Al-Masudi (957 AD): An Arab traveller, he has given an extensive account of India in his work 'Muruj-ul-Zahab'

Al-beruni (1024-1030 AD) : His real name was Abu Rehan Mahamud and he came to India along with Mahmud of Ghazni during one of his Indian raids. He travelled all over India and wrote a book 'Tahqiq-i-Hind' The book deals with the social, religious and political conditions in India. 

Marco Polo (1292-1294 AD) : A Venetian traveller, he 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' gives an invaluable account of the economic history of India.

Ibn Batuts (1333-1347 AD): A Morrish traveller, he Visited India during the reign of Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq. His book 'Rehla' (the Travelogue) throws a lot of light on the reign of Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq and the geographical, economic and social conditions in India. 

Shihabuddin al-Umari (1348 AD): He came from Damascus, He gives a vivid account of India in his book, 'Masalik albsar fi-mamalik al-amsar'

Nicolo Conti (1420-1421 AD): A Venetian traveller, he gives a comprehensive account of the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar. 

Abdur Razzaq (1443-1444 AD): He was a Persian traveller, who came to India and stayed at the court of the Zamorin at Calicut. He has given a vivid account of the Vijayanagar empire, especially of the city. He describes the wealth and luxurious life of the king and the nobles. 

Athanasius Nikitin (1470-1474 AD): He was a Russian merchant, who visited South India in 1470. He describes the condition of the Bahmani kingdom under Muhammad III (1463-82). 

Duarte Barbosa (1500-1516 AD): He was a Portuguese traveller. He has given a valuable narrative of the government and the people of the Vijayanagar empire. 

Dominigo Paes (1520-1522 AD): He was Portuguese traveller, who visited the court of Krishnadeva Raya of the Vijayanagar Empire. 

Fernao Nuniz (1535-1537 AD): A Portuguese merchant, who visited the Vijayanagar empire. He wrote the history of the empire from its earliest times of the closing years of Achyutdeva Raya's reign. 

John Hughen Von Linschotten (1583 AD) : He was a Dutch traveller, who has given a valuable account of the social and economic life of South India. 

William Hawkins (1608-1611 AD): He was an English ambassador of the British King James-I, Who visited to the court of Jahangir (1609)

Sir Thomas Roe (1615-1619 AD): He was an ambassador of James-I, King of England, at the court of Jahangir, the Mughal emperor. 

Franciso Palsaert (1620-1627 AD): He was a Dutch traveller, who stayed at Agra and gave a vivid account of the flourishing trade at Surat, Ahmedabad, Broach, Cambay, Lahore, Multan etc. 

Peter Mundy (1630-34 AD): He was an Italian traveller to the Mughal empire in the reign of Shahjahan. He gives valuable information about the living standard of the common people in the Mughal Empire. 

John Albert de Mandesto (1638 AD): He was German traveller, who reached Surat in 1638. 

Jeen Baptiste Tavernier(1638-1663 AD): He was a French traveller and gem merchant, who visited India six times. His account covers the reign of Shahjahan and Aurangzeb. 

Nicolao Manucci (1653-1708 AD) : He was an Italian traveller, who got service at the court of Dara Shikoh

Francois Bernier (1656-1717 AD): He was French physician and philosopher. Danishamand Khan, a noble of Aurangzeb, was his patron. 

Jean de Thevenot (1666 AD): He was French traveller, who has given a good account of cities like Ahmedabad, Cambay, Aurangabad and Golconda.

John Freyer (1672-1681 AD): He was an English traveller who has given a vivid account of Surat and Bombay.

Gemelli Careli (1695AD): He was an Italian traveller who landed at Daman. His remarks on the Mughal emperor's military organisation and administration are important.


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