The explorer Richard Burton accomplished a pilgrimage to Mecca in the year 1853. He had planned this journey whilst still being in India and there it was meticulously prepared. Due to the fact that Muslims were forbidden to enter the Shrine, he disguised himself as a Pashtun, he had had to learn the intricate Islamic rituals, and he acquired a great familiarity with Eastern behaviour and manners.
In the book, which is today a classic, Burton gives detailed descriptions of the religious ceremonies and structures, as well as information on the ethnographic characters, economic and geographic. His story of this adventurous journey, of the great convoy towards Mecca – something that does not exist today – is thrilling.