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Horror story: Chronicles of Abdur Razzak

September 17, 2007

The following horror story is elaborated in the famous book “A FORGOTTEN EMPIRE” by Robert Sewell. The author has written this wonderful book based on the notes of travellers such as Abdur Razzak, Nunis etc.

In the year 1442-1443, it so happened in the city of vijayanagar, while king Dev Raya II (not Krishna deva raya ! )was ruling, an extraordinary and most singular occurrence…

The king’s brother, who had had a new house built for himself, invited there the monarch and the principal personages of the empire. Then, it is an established usage of the royal people never to eat in presence of each other. The men who were invited were assembled together in one grand hall. At short intervals the prince either came in person or sent some messenger to say that such and such great personage should come and eat his part of banquet.

Care had taken to bring together all the drums, flutes and trumpets that could be found in the city, and these instruments playing all at the same time, made a tremendous uproar. As soon as the individual who had been sent for entered the house, two assasins, placed in ambush, sprang out upon him, pierced him with daggers, and cut him into pieces. After removing his body from the place, they sent for another guest, who once having entered this place of carnage, disappeared…

In consequence of the drums, the clamour, the tumult, no one was aware of what was going on. In this manner, all those who had any name or rank in the state were slaughtered. The prince, leaving the house all reeking with blood of his victims, entered the kings palace, and addressing himself to the guards who were stationed at the royal residence, invited them with flattering words to go to his house and caused them to follow the steps of the other victims. So that the palace was thus deprived of all its defenders.

This villain then entered into the king’s presence, holding in his hand a dish covered with betel-nut, underwhich, was concealed a brilliant dagger. He said to the monarch, ‘The hall is ready and they only wait your august presence’. The king, unknowingly said to him, ‘I am not in good health today’.

The unnatural brother, thus losing the hope of enticing the king to his house, drew his dagger and struck him there with several violent blows, so that the king fell at the back of his throne. The traitor, thus believing that the king was dead, left there once of his confidants to cut off the monarch’s head; then going out of the hall, he ascended the portico of the palace, and thus addressed the people: ‘I have slain the king, his brothers and such and such emirs, brahmins, and viziers; now I am the king! ‘.

Meanwhile, his emissary had approached the throne with the intension of cutting off the king’s head, but that king seizing the seat behind which he had fallen, struck the wretch with it with so much violence on the chest that he fall upon his back. The king then, with the help of one of his guards, who at the sight of this horrible transaction has hidden himself, in a corner, slew this assasin, and went out of the palace by way of the harem.

His brother still standing on the steps of the hall of council, invited the multitude to recognize him as their king. At that moment, the monarch cried out, “I’m alive. I am well and safe. Seize that wretch”.

The whole crowd assembled together threw themselves upon the guilty prince and put him to death.

The only one who escaped was a dandanayak (commander) the vizier who previously to this sad event had gone on a voyage to the frontier of Ceylon. The king invited him to return and informed him of what had just happened. All those
who had in a way aided the conspiracy were put to death.

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