European Travel Accounts: Their Reliability in interpreting the Medieval Indian History
Keywords:European travellers, Mughals, Court, Literary source
The narratives of travel and exploration written by the European voyagers and merchant adventurers who visited India are of certain literary and historical value. For the first time, they brought the ordinary Europeans in contact with the peoples of the East and also made it possible for tradesmen to see through the new and unlooked-for splendours and glamour in the Indies. The common man found in the narratives of travel not only a romantic literature more fascinating than fiction but a call to personal adventure. By the sixteenth century the merchant capitalism had begun in Europe. Most of the European nations were establishing their ware-houses in the East. They were manned by men who after a few years of stay in India went back to their homeland and recorded their experience and published them. No doubt their account became an important source material for social history of this particular period. Though their descriptions retained their graphic quality, sometimes their judgement suffered from partiality.