"I see that it is the truth," was the answer, in a shaking voice. "Jan Chinn goes abroad among the Satpuras, riding on the Clouded Tiger, ye say? Be it so. Therefore the sign of the wonder is for the Satpura Bhils only, and does not touch the Bhils who plough in the north and east, the Bhils of the Khandesh, or any others, except the Satpura Bhils, who, as we know, are wild and foolish."

With the representatives of dispossessed dynasties in Bengal, in Behar, in Orissa, in Western India, including Gujarát and Khándesh, ready to seize an opportunity, to sit still was to invite attack. He was forced to go forward.

Thus Bengal from the time of its first conquest by Muhammad Bakhtyar had only a nominal connection with Delhi and declared itself independent in 1338. When Timur upset the Tughlak dynasty, the states of Jaunpur, Gujarat, Malwa and Khandesh became separate kingdoms and remained so until the time of Akbar.

It was intended as a triumphal arch to celebrate the victory of Akbar over the Afghans, and to commemorate the conquest of Khandesh, and this is recorded in exquisite Persian characters upon its frontal and sides. Compared with it the arches of Titus and Constantine in Rome and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris are clumsy piles of masonry.

"I see that it is the truth," was the answer, in a shaking voice. "Jan Chinn goes abroad among the Satpuras, riding on the Clouded Tiger, ye say? Be it so. Therefore the sign of the wonder is for the Satpura Bhils only, and does not touch the Bhils who plough in the north and east, the Bhils of the Khandesh, or any others, except the Satpura Bhils, who, as we know, are wild and foolish."

The native historian adds: 'when Mubárak Sháh, the ruler of Khándesh, 'received this gracious communication, he was greatly delighted, and he sent his daughter with a suitable retinue and paraphernalia to his Majesty, esteeming it a great favour to be allowed to do so. After a short stay at Mándu, Akbar returned to Agra, by way of Ujjain, Sarangpur, Siprí, Narwár, and Gwalior.

He had compelled the surrender of Ahmadnagar and Asírgarh, when, nominating Prince Dányál to be governor in Khándesh and Berár, and Abulfazl to complete the conquest of the territories dependent upon Ahmadnagar, he marched in the spring of 1601 towards Agra. The circumstances which required the presence of Akbar at Agra were of a very painful character.

Akbar sent a force after him which pursued him to the confines of Gujarát, and took from him his horses, his elephants, and his wives. The reception accorded to Akbar in Mándu was of the most gratifying character. The zamíndárs of the neighbouring districts crowded in to pay homage, and the King of distant Khándesh sent an embassy to greet him. Akbar received the ambassador with distinction.

That state, embracing the greater part of what we know as Central India, was thus independent at the accession of Akbar. So likewise was Khándesh: so also were the states of Rájpútána. These latter deserve a more detailed notice. The exploits of the great Sanga Ráná have been incidentally referred to in the first chapter.