In 1870, Nawab Sikander Begum of Bhopal became the first South-Asian Muslim woman to publish an account of her pilgrimage to Mecca. She travelled with a retinue of a thousand, visited Jeddah and Mecca, performed the requisite rituals and observances, then returned to India and wrote her witty and acerbic impressions of her visit. Reproduced here, A Princess’s Pilgrimage to Mecca is the original English translation by the wife of British colonial officer of an unpublished Urdu manuscript. It is accompanied by a critical Introduction and Afterword that make this offering a comprehensive resource on trvael writing by South-Asian Muslim women, and encourage the reader- whether scholar, student or enthusiast – to rethink established understandings relating to travel writing colonialism and world history.
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Nawab Sikander Begum