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Travellers were attracted to India since ancient times. They wrote in detail about their experiences in India. During medieval period, Al Biruni came to India with Sultan Mahmud Ghazni who invaded India 18 times. Kitab-ul-Hind, authored by Al- Biruni, was written in Arabic. Difficulties faced by Al Biruni included understanding Sanskrit. While understanding the Caste System, he compared it to Persia which had four social categories. However, Al Biruni disapproved notion of pollution, saying that the concept of social pollution in caste system, was against the laws of nature.

Ibn Battuta, a native of Morocco, believed in gaining experience while travelling. He set off for India in 1332-33. There, Muhammad bin Tughlaq: Sultan of Delhi appointed him as Qazi of Delhi. Ibn Battuta went to China in 1342 as ambassador, before returning to Morocco in 1347. He gave rich, interesting and impressive descriptions. He also described things unknown to him, including betel leaves and coconut. He described Indian cities as full of opportunities, densely populated and prosperous. Ibn Battuta has given the details of the functioning of the postal system, a vital source for the Sultan to gather information.

Francois Bernier was a French physician and traveler who spent 12 years in India. In his work - Travels in the Mughal Empire – he portrayed India inferior to Europe and described Indian society as poor and impoverished. He asserted that Crown ownership was against the agrarian growth. Bernier has categorised Indian towns on the basis of their functions. He also described Sati practice in India.

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