The same tokens of devotion shown Bahá'u'lláh at the time of His departure from His House, and later from the Garden of Ridvan, were repeated when, on the 20th of Dhi'l-Qa'dih (May 9, 1863), accompanied by members of His family and twenty-six of His disciples, He left Firayjat, His first stopping-place in the course of that journey. A caravan, consisting of fifty mules, a mounted guard of ten soldiers with their officer, and seven pairs of howdahs, each pair surmounted by four parasols, was formed, and wended its way, by easy stages, and in the space of no less than a hundred and ten days, across the uplands, and through the defiles, the woods, valleys and pastures, comprising the picturesque scenery of eastern Anatolia, to the port of Samsun, on the Black Sea. At times on horseback, at times resting in the howdah reserved for His use, and which was oftentimes surrounded by His companions, most of whom were on foot, He, by virtue of the written order of Namiq Pasha, was accorded, as He traveled northward, in the path of spring, an enthusiastic reception by the valis, the mutisarrifs, the qa'im-maqams, the mudirs, the shaykhs, the muftis and qadis, the government officials and notables belonging to the districts through which He passed. In Karkuk, in Irbil, in Mosul, where He tarried three days, in Nisibin, in Mardin, in Diyar-Bakr, where a halt of a couple of days was made, in Kharput, in Sivas, as well as in other villages and hamlets, He would be met by a delegation immediately before His arrival, and would be accompanied, for some distance, by a similar delegation upon His departure. The festivities which, at some stations, were held in His honor, the food the villagers prepared and brought for His acceptance, the eagerness which time and again they exhibited in providing the means for His comfort, recalled the reverence which the people of Baghdad had shown Him on so many occasions.
- Shoghi Effendi ('God Passes By')
May 1863: Mounted on a red roan stallion of the finest breed Baha’u’llah leaves the Garden of Ridvan in Baghdad
The departure of Bahá'u'lláh from the Garden of Ridvan, at noon, on the 14th of Dhi'l-Qa'dih 1279 A.H. (May 3, 1863), witnessed scenes of tumultuous enthusiasm no less spectacular, and even more touching, than those which greeted Him when leaving His Most Great House in Baghdad. "The great tumult," wrote an eyewitness, "associated in our minds with the Day of Gathering, the Day of Judgment, we beheld on that occasion. Believers and unbelievers alike sobbed and lamented. The chiefs and notables who had congregated were struck with wonder. Emotions were stirred to such depths as no tongue can describe, nor could any observer escape their contagion."