Marco Polo And His Travels
Travels of Marco Polo is a part of numerous discussions, researches, studies, as well as curricular and non-curricular activities. These travels led this explorer to give detailed descriptions in his journals providing a treasure trove of information for the future generations to read and learn. During his sojourn in Mongolia, he became a favorite of the royal court and was appointed as the commissioner. Being an avid learner Marco quickly started to soak in the native culture and language. By the time he returned to Venice 17 years later, he had enough material to dictate numerous key works, help in creation of maps and inspire generations after him.
According to his information from that time, there were 12,700 islands in the Indian Ocean. He went on to describe in vivid detail the major trade routes, ports, and the products available from these islands. Modern-day researchers have found that his descriptions were highly accurate with the highlight being his genuine sense of enthusiasm and wonder that he conveys beautifully to the readers. Marco's descriptions are alive with zoological, linguistic, and human diversity, the major charm of his books.
He began his voyage from Quanzhou/Zaitun to South Vietnam (Champa,) an approximate distance of 2400 km according to him. Champa was famous for its supply of aloeswood much popular in Islamic world for its use in Ebony and aromatic purposes. People used to make pen cases and chessmen with this wood. His description of the Spice Route especially the Spice Islands is also quite detailed and interesting. In spite of not visiting Java islands, he is accurate in describing it as a spice rich island that supplied cloves, nutmegs, pepper, cubebs, spikenard, and galingale among others.
Merchant and ships used to frequent these islands especially from Southern China reaping rich returns and handsome profits. According to Marco, this part of the ancient land was the major source of the world spices. From Southeast Sri Lanka, he travelled to the Indian coast and he has given a descriptive account of this land and the culture. Readers can know fascinating facts about religion, local customs, diet, and attire. He has given detailed accounts of trade ports like Cambay, Kayal, Comorin, Thana, Quilon, and Somnath. These ports had link with both Mediterranean and China.
According to Marco's descriptions, there was abundance of ginger and pepper along with cinnamon, coconuts, turbit, and more. Under important traded products on the Indian coast was brass, buckrams with the most delicate and loveliest textures, silver, gold, sandal, and silk. Export of products to various parts of the world was quite rampant most importantly to Aden and to Alexandria. After crossing Indian Ocean, this great explorer travelled to Socotra Island off southern Arabia Coast famed for export of astringent raisin, Dragon's Blood, cotton clothes, salt fish, and ambergris. Besides this, he has also given detailed descriptions of Madagascar, East Africa, Aden, a number of other Arabian ports.
Get a fascinating glimpse into the life of Marco Polo the explorer and become a modern day adventurer yourself. A special world awaits you at Thestepsofpolo.org.
About The Author
Sheena Timberlake is an expert historian who has studied the life and travels of Marco Polo in great detail. She likes to write many interesting articles and blogs on the topic and recommends TheStepsOfPolo.org as the most trustworthy website to find accurate information about the traveller.