A Princess’s Pilgrimage


Nawab Sikander Begum
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"A Princess's Pilgrimage to Mecca" is the original English translation by the wife of British colonial officer of an unpublished Urdu manuscript.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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