Sunday, May 19, 2013

Aurangzeb's Kashmir fleet


A defunct houseboat on Dal. 2008.
"About 1665, Shah Jehan died in the palace at Agra, not without suspicions of foul play. Aurangzeb had been suffering from serious sickness, but after his father's death he was sufficiently recovered to proceed to Kashmir, where he recruited his health in the cool air of the mountains. At Kashmir he attempted to form a fleet which should rival the navies of European countries. Two ships were built by the help of an Italian, and were launched on the lake of Kashmir; but Aurangzeb found that it would be difficult to man them efficiently. No amount of teaching would impart the necessary quickness, nerve, and energy to his own subjects; and if he engaged the services of Europeans, they might sail away with his ships, and he might never see them again."


~ 'India and the Frontier States of Afghanistan, Nepal and Burma, with A Supplementary Chapter of Recent Events'  by James Talboys Wheeler and Edgar Saltus (1899).

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