For a brief introduction to the history
of India during the 17th century please refer to the introductory notes on Bernier.
Manucci was a native of Venice. He reached India in 1656. He was an artillaryman
in Dara's army and managed to attach himself in disguise to Aurengzeb's
army. He subsequently took up residence in the Mongol court and had
various positions of responsibility in the Mongol court (which included serving
as a physician in 1670's). He practically spent a life time in India and died in
Madras in the year 1717.
Here is Manucci's account of the
meeting to decide Prince Dara's fate at the court of Aurengzeb, because of the
different spelling of Eastern names, I have provided the uniform spelling and
explanations in sqaure brackets:
Storia Do Mogor
Translated by William Irvine
Vol II Page 337
A lying order was given after a few days
to it was intended to forward him (Dara) to the fortress of Gwaliyar [Goüaleor].
This was said solely in deference to the grief of the common people. Aurangzeb
[Aurengzeb or Orangzeb] had recourse to a pretext to discover the wishes of
those faithful to Prince Dara. This was by taking opinions of the
principle men. He asked from all of them advice as to what was the best thing,
whether to kill Dara or send him to hte fortress of Gwaliyar. In his own
minds je jad firmly resolved to have his prisoner's life taken. As the
nobles knew this damnable wish of Aurangzeb, the proposition made being only a
feigned deference to them, all of them were of the opinion that the unfortunate
prince must die, alleging as reason that if he did not die the people would be
efver looking for his release. Thus would his majesty never be well
served; and, further, his death was required by reason of his being an idolater,
without any religion, and an enemy of the Mahomedan [moslem] faith.
Danishbandcan (Danishmand Khan)193[Daneshmand
Khan] alone did not shre this opinion, athough in no way attached to Dara.
Those who most insisted that the Prince should be put to death were Shaistah
Khan [Shayesteh Khan uncle of Aurengzeb], Muhammad Amin Khan, Bahadur Khan, and
the physician Daut (Da,ud)194 [Mohammad Davood Hakim entitled
Tagharrob Khan] . The last named in a short time saw himself in disgrace with
Aurangzeb, and died miserably : God's chastisement being that he who so actively
procured another's death to please his master, should by means of the same
master come speedily and miserably to his own end. She who more than
all the rest clamoured for the death of Dara was Roshan Ara Begam [Begum], his
sister but his mortal enemy. She died, as I shall relate, by poison
administered to her by her well-beloved brother -i.e., Aurangzeb.
Aurangzeb, who desired nothing more ardently than the death of Dara, was
delighted at the opinion of the nobles.
193. Bernier's Patron and 'Agha'
[master], see Travels page 100.
194. Hakim Da,ud or Taqarrub Kahn [Hakim Davood or Tagharrob Khan] (see
Bernier, 'Travels' 100 and note 2). He died 1073H (1662-3) (see the
'M.ul--U.,'i. 490, and Tarikh-i-Muhammadi,' relying on 'Ma,asir-i-Alamgiri').
Dara was killed on the orders of
Aurangzeb in October of 1659.