Caravansarai Inscription in three slabs
SI 77 abc
Mr. R. D. Banerjee, who was the Superintendent of the Archaeological Survey of Western Circle, Poona discovered these inscription slabs belonging to the Shah Jahan period lying in the room of the Municipal office at Surat in 1921. It was because of his efforts that they were presented to CSMVS by the Surat Municipality.
This inscription in verse and prose is inscribed in Nastaliq script on three marble slabs. The inscription records the erection of caravansarai popularly known as Mughalsarai by Isaq Beg of Yazd, entitled Haqiqat Khan, an eminent official of Shah Jahan. The scribe of the inscription is Muhammad Amin Mashhad and is dated 1054 H = 1644 CE. The Mughal Sarai was constructed during the period of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1644 for the pilgrims and travellers going to scared Mecca and Medina.
The inscription records the instructions about the usage of the Sarai or Musfarkhana (travellers’ in). It mentions that the learned, the pious, the dervishes and the pilgrims to sacred Mecca and Medina should not be charged for anything. Whatever rent is collected from other travellers, after spending for the maintenance and repairs of the Sarai building and on wages of staff like a watchman, sweepers, and water carriers for the cleanliness of the Sarai and fodder for animals the balance should be given to the pilgrims to sacred Mecca and Medina. Soldiers should not be given room to stay because the Sarai is meant for the accommodation, repose and rest of the travellers. The inscription mentions that officer in charge following these instructions will get countless mercy and compassion from God. Those who will go against these instructions will face the eternal curse and divine torture.
Inscribed on marble
1054 H = 1644 CE