At a young age of 22, over powered by the desire and will to see the world and explore places and most important of all of performing the pilgrimage in the Holy City of Makah. Ibn Battuta set out alone from Tangier with no companion in his forlorn journey and parted himself with his family and friends with a heavy heart and tears between the brows.
The readers have to understand the weightage of pilgrimage in those ancient days. Nowadays all it takes is a maximum one week trip and zapp!! The next thing you know you are on a plane to Makah with everything planned from where you are going to stay and eat and dine and shop all listed in the itinerary.
‘Never, so far as possible, to cover a second time any road.’
Abu Abdallah Ibn Battuta may be the Inspiration behind Robert Frost’s ‘the road not taken’ by his quote extracted from the Rihla. ‘Never, so far as possible, to cover a second time any road’.
Ibn Battuta was the greatest traveller of the pre modern time. He has visited even more countries and travelled further than the famed Marco Polo. He had travelled for 75,000 miles (more than any traveller of his time) for 29 years away from home.
After travelling through the region of Kerala, Ibn Batutta, the traveller who started his journey from Tangiers to perform Hajj was now setting sail to explore the beautiful islands of Maldives. Here he spent more than he initially planned.
After being appointed the Qadi of the Islands, he spent more than 9 months in the territory. Given his job he was intricately involved in the affairs of the rulers and the community, which eventually made him leave the Maldives to explore Sri Lanka.
During the time of Ibn Batutta, all visitors to Delhi coming from North,will have to undergo a routine check-up and wait at Multan till the Sultan from Delhi summoned them. At the time Delhi was under the rule of the Tughlaq Dynasty with Muhammad bin Tughluq as the Sultan. Ibn Battuta stayed on in the city for over two months.
From Dhofar, Ibn Battuta left for the Kingdom of Hormuz crossing the Strait of Hormuz. The Strait of Hormuz is an important stretch of waterway between the Persian Gulf in southwest and Gulf of Oman in southeast.
The Strait is made up of 2-mile wide channels and also has 2-miles of buffer zone. The Strait holds a lot of importance in the oil trade till the present day.
The Kingdom of Hormuz was a kingdom between the 10th and 17th century and was located in the Persian Gulf extending to the Strait of Hormuz. The port held a lot of importance in the past and in the present day is the modern day Bandar-e Abbas.
The Swahili Coast refers to the coastal area of East Africa inhabited by the Swahili speakers and includes the coasts of Kenya, Tanzania, south Somalia and north Mozambique. Ibn Battuta travelled along the Swahili Coast in 1331 and visited quite a number of cities like Mogadishu, Mombasa, Kilwa, etc.
The Swahili Coast during ancient times was an important commercial area. The Swahili Coast along Kenya and Tanzania, have served as the point of cultural and commercial exchange between East Africa and the rest of the world.
Barawa is a port town located in the south-eastern coast of Somalia. The town holds a lot of historical significance and was established in the 9th century. The town is popular for traditional crafts like Kikoy or Aliindi clothes and hats.