and economic) and practices (see Block
which had a bearing on the Mughal rulein India. The history of Mughal India can be better understood if we have some ideaof its neighbouring regions rather than studying it in isolation. Such a study,therefore, assists us in understanding the historical perspective, socioeconomicbackground and the ethos of the Mughal rulers in India. 'The twin states of CentralAsia and Persia rose and fell almost simultaneously with that of the Mughals. Thepolitical and cultural relations at all levels increased during the sixteenth anturybetween these states. The common cultural heritage through the ages was enrichedfurther due to a continuous exchange of ideas and movement of men and
It is worth mentioning here that the definition of West and Central Asia is a polemicissue as its frontiers fluctuated more with the interpretations than with itsgeographical or territorial extent. It is safer to call the region with which we areconcerned here by a generally accepted term,i.e., 'the inner Asia". The regions'described as West and Central Asia, therefore, refer in this context to the two
"statesw known as Turan and Iran. These two states which developed as separatepolitical and cultural entities in the sixteenth century had often formed part (as aprovince) of a large empire under one central authority (such as the Umayyads,Abbasids, Mongols and the Timurids). The two states, therefore, carried elements ofcommon heritage in many of their administrative and organizational features.
religio-political and socioeconomic transformations arising out of the changing
regimes added their own new distinctive features without obliterating their deep-rooted and age-old similarities, traditions and common heritage. Although both thesestates had tribal bases in the 16th century, their cultural and racial distinctions wereretained (and ewn heightened due to sectarian differences) until their disintegration.This unit takes into account
various aspects related to Turan and Iran.
GEOGRAPHICAL DELIMITATION OF TURANAND IRAN
The inner Asian region called Turan acquired the name Mawaraunnahr (literallymeaning between the two rivers) from its Arab conquerors as the region was situated
bet~nhe two rivers Syr and Amu. The above region was surrounded by Aral sea,river Syr and Turkestaninthe North; Iran, river Amu and Afghanistan in the South;
Tiensban and Hindukush mountains in the East up to the Karokorum deserts, andthe Caspian sea in the West with its diverse geographical features (arid and semi-aridlands, stepp&, deserts, mountains, valleys and oases). Thus, the region was achequer-board of varied patterns of life-style ranging from nomadism, pastoralism toa settled mode of living. This region is also a land of inland drainage with enclosedbasins away from the
and is isolated from Atlantic and Pacific circulations.Apart from agriculture, cattle breeding was a popular profession. The region wasfamous for its horses which were exported in large numbers to India. Samarqandipaper, and fruits (both fresh and dry) were other items of export. The eastern ridgesof Elburz mountains separated Iranian plateau from Turkestan (Iran).'In terms of physical geography, Iran or Persia consists of extensive mountain rangesextending from Asia Minor and Cacuasus to the plains of Punjab called IranianPlateau. A chain of mountains surrounds the sandy saline deserts of the centralplateau thus converting it into a closed basin..Iran
four major divisions, namily:the Zagros system comprising Khuzistan and small outer plains,the northern highlands of Iran (i.e., Elburz and Talish system) and the Caspianplain,eastern and southeastern upland rim, andthe interior region.In terms of economic life, considerablevahation is noticed such as pastoralism(mainly in the higher regions), agricultural settlements (in low lying areas) andnomadism (towards the West among Kurdish shepherds) all existing simultaneously.The north-#stern section of Zagros connected ancient east-west trade routes, and