To the student:
Welcome to this tour of Ibn Battuta's medieval travels. You will be following in the footsteps of this famous 14th century Muslim traveler, exploring the places he visited and the people he encountered. To help you learn more about his adventures there will be images of the people and places he saw, information on the food he might have tasted, and "side trips" into the past and future.
Ibn Battuta started on his travels when he was 20 years old in 1325. His main reason to travel was to go on a Hajj, or a Pilgrimage to Mecca, as all good Muslims want to do. But his traveling went on for about 29 years and he covered about 75,000 miles visiting the equivalent of 44 modern countries which were then mostly under the governments of Muslim leaders of the World of Islam, or "Dar al-Islam". [See the map below.]
He met many dangers and had many adventures along the way. He was attacked by bandits, almost drowned in a sinking ship, was almost beheaded by a tyrant ruler, and had a few marriages and lovers and fathered several children on his travels!
Near the end of Ibn Battuta's own life, the Sultan of Morocco insisted that Ibn Battuta dictate the story of his travels to a scholar and today we can read translations of that story called "Rihla - My Travels."
This is a map of the Muslim World about 1300. Ibn Battuta mainly traveled to countries with Muslim governments in the areas inside the black border marking the Dar al-Islam. Beyond that, Muslim traders had already ventured out into China, Indonesia and further, and had established small Muslim communities in many regions of the world. Ibn Battuta would seldom be far from fellow Muslims on his travels, and he would greatly benefit from the charity and hospitality offered to Muslim travelers and pilgrims.
To begin your virtual travels, click on the "next" button below or choose spot on the timeline at the top of the page.