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Foreign Traveller or Envoys in Indian History: Complete List

30-JUN-2016 17:42

    Every region of India has its own cultural and historical identity. Foreign travellers, travels and their experience covers the local customs, traditions and lifestyle in a travelogue, due to this we get an exclusive opportunity to read and learn about earlier times era. So, Travellers or ambassadors were domestic agents who have served rulers and nations for millennia through their accounts and travelogue or treatise.

    Here is the Complete List of Important Foreign travellers or Envoys in Indian history which is very important for examinations like UPSC, State Services, SSC etc.


    Reign of Rulers

    Contribution and Misc.


    Period: (320-273 BC)

    Who: Greek Ambassador

    Came India in the reign of Bindusara.



    Period: (302-298 B.C.)

    Who: Greek ethnographer & ambassador.

    Ambassador of Seleucus Nicator, who visited in the court of Chandragupta Maurya.

    Wrote an interesting book Indica.


    Period: 130 A.D.

    Who: From Greece and Geographer.


    Wrote “Geography of India” which gives the description of Ancient India.


    Period: (405-411 A.D.)

    Who: Chinese Buddhist Monk

    Came to India in the reign of Chandragupta II Vikramaditya.

    -          Visited the birth place of Buddha, Lumbini.

    -          His Travelogue “Records of Buddhist Kingdoms”.

    -          Wrote Fo-Kyo-Ki.


    Period: (630-645 A.D.)

    Who: Chinese Buddhist Monk

    Visited India during the reign of Harshavardhana.

    -          Came through Tashkent and Swat Valley.

    -          Book is “Si-Yu-Ki or the records of western world”.


    Period: ( 671- 695 A.D.)

    Who: Chinese traveller

    Visited India in connection with Buddhism.

    -          His works are Biographies of Eminent Monks.

    -          Gives useful information about the social, religious and cultural life of the people of this country.


    Period: (957 A.D.)

    Who: Arab Traveller


    Gives an extensive account of India in his work “Muruj-ul-Zahab”.

    Al- Beruni or Abu Rehan Mahamud

    Period: (1024-1030 A.D.)

    Who: Muslim Scholar and Polymath

    Came along with Mahmud Ghazni during one of his Indian raids.

    -          First Muslim Scholar to study India also known as founder of Indology.

    -          Wrote “ Tahqiq-i-Hind/Kitab-ul-Hind.

    Marco Polo

    Period: (1292-1294 AD)

    Who: Venetian Traveller

    Visited South India in 1294 A.D during the reign of Pandyan ruler of Madurai, Madverman, Kulshekhara (1272-1311)

    His work “The Book of Sir Marco Polo” which gives an invaluable account of the economic history of India.

    Ibn Batuta

    Period: (1333-1347 A.D.)

    Who: Morrish traveller

    Visited India during the reign of Muhammad-Bin-Tughlaq.

    His book “ Rehla” (the travelogue)

    Shihabuddin al-Umari

    Period: (1348 A.D.)

    Who: Came from Damascus


    He gives a vivid account of India in his book “ Masalik albsar fi-mamalik al-amsar

    Nicolo Conti

    Period: (1420-1421 A.D.)

    Who: Venetian traveller

    Came during the rule of Devraya I of Sangam Dynasty of Vijayanagar empire.

    Given a graphic account of Vijayanagaras capital.

    Abdur Razzaq

    Period: (1443-1444 A.D.)

    Who: Persian traveller, Ambassador of Shahrukh of Timurid dynasty.

    -          Came during the rule of Devraya II of Sangam dynasty of Vijaynagar Empire.

    -          Came in India at Zamorin's Calicut.

    Given a brief account of this countryside, in his Matla us Saddin wa Majuma ul Baharain.

    Athanasius Nikitin

    Period: (1470- 1474 A.D.)

    Who: Russian merchant

    Visited South India in 1470.

    -He describes the condition of the Bahmani kingdom under Muhammad III (1463-82).

    - His narrative “ The journey beyond 3 seas

    Duarte Barbosa

    Period: (1500-1516 A.D.)

    Who: Portuguese traveller


    He has given a brief description of the government and the people of Vijayanagar Empire.

    Domingo Paes

    Period: (1520-1522 A.D.)

    Who: Portuguese traveller

    Visited the court of Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagar Empire.


    Fernao Nuniz

    Period: (1535-1537 A.D.)

    Who: Portuguese merchant

    Came during the rule of Achyutdeva Raya of Tuluv dynasty of vijayanagar Empire.

    Wrote history of the empire from its earliest times of the closing years of Achyutdeva Raya’s reign.

    John Hughen Von Linschotten

    Period: (1583 A.D.)

    Who: Dutch traveller


    Given a valuable account of the social and economic life of South India.

    William Hawkins

    Period: (1608-1611 A.D.)

    Who: Ambassador of James I, king of England.

    Came in India at the reign of Jahangir,the great Mughal Emperor. William finch came with him.


    Sir Thomas Roe

    Period: (1615-1619 A.D.)

    Who: Ambassador of James I, king of England.

    Came in India at the reign of Jahangir,the great Mughal Emperor.


    Edward Terry

    Period: (1616 A.D.)

    Who: Ambassador of Thomas Roe.


    Describe about Indian social (Gujarat) behaviour.

    Franciso Palsaert

    Period: (1620-1627 A.D.)

    Who: Dutch traveller stayed at Agra.


    Gave a vivid account of the flourishing trade at Surat, Ahmadabad, Broach, Cambay, Lahore, Multan etc.

    Peter Mundy

    Period: (1630-34 A.D.)

    Who: Italian traveller

    Came in the reign of the Mughal Emperor, Shahjahan.

    Gives valuable information about the living standard of the common people in the Mughal Empire.

    John Albert de Mandesto

    Period: (1638 A.D.)

    Who: German traveller

    Reached Surat in 1638 A.D.


    Jeen Baptiste Tavernier

    Period: (1638-1663 A.D.)

    Who: French traveller

    Visited India 6 times in the reign of Shahjahan and Aurangzeb.


    Nicolao Manucci

    Period: (1653-1708 A.D.)

    Who: Italian traveller

    He got service at the court of Dara Shikoh.


    Francois Bernier

    Period: (1656- 1717 A.D.)

    Who: French physician and Philosopher.

    Danishamand Khan, a noble of Aurangzeb was his patron.


    Jean de Thevenot

    Period: (1666 A.D.)

    Who: French traveller


    Given an account of cities like Ahmadabad, Cambay, Aurangabad and Golconda.

    John Fryer

    Period: (1672-1681 A.D.)

    Who: English traveller


    Given a vivid account of Surat and Bombay.

    Gemelli Careri

    Period: (1695 A.D.)

    Who: Italian traveller who landed at Daman.


    His remarks on the Mughal emperor’s military organisation and administration are important.

    Click on the link for the Complete Study Material:

    1. History of Modern India
    2. History of Medieval India
    3. History of Ancient India
    4. Summary of Indian National Movement
    5. 1000+ GK Questions & Answers on Indian History

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