Skip to main content

Full text of "Ceylon; a general description of the island, historical, physical, statistical. Containing the most recent information"

See other formats


Google 



This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 







'ilA¥A^ 



# 







'^^^RAI^V*'^ 






V D K-^ . 



CEYLON 



GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE ISLAND, 
HISTORICAL, PHYSICAL, STATISTICAL. 

CONTAINING THE MOST RECENT INFORMATION. 



BT 



AN OFFICER, LATE OF THE CEYLON RIFLES. 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 



VOL. II. 



WITH A MAP. 



LONDON : 

CHAPMAN & HALL, 193, PICCADILLY. 

1876. 

[An Rights Eeserved.} 



) 






lOSTDOV: 
BllSBrBT, lOVEW, & CO., PBZVTSIS, WEITEraUlS. 



F^o4'^'^S^q^ 



CONTENTS. 

i—-^ 

CHAPTER XX. 

COLOMBO TO NEWERA ELLIA. 

PAQB 
Public conveyances — Mode of travelling in the island — Rett-honses — The 

Kadugannava pass — Obelisk to Cax)tain Dawson — Bcanty of the road to 

Piisilawa — Moonlight scene — Rambodde water-fall — The valley of 

Newera Ellia— English aspect of the houses — The climate of the valley 

— Pedni-talla-galla — Commanding view from the sunmiit — Eandy and 

its picturesque x>08ition •.••••••• 1 

CHAPTER XXI. 

Adam's peak. 

Fancy of mankind for cHmbing high mountains— TV hen connected with 
Adam —Worship of the sun — Buddha, legend of his foot-print — ^Kwan- 
yin — Did the Ark rest on Adam's Peak— Dr. Eitto's C*yclopeedia — left 
of the Gnostics — M. Dulaurier's version — Various foot-prints in the 
world — Ascent of the Peak — Thick jungles — Pinnacle of the Peak — The 
chains — ^According to Mahometan legends made by Alexander — Ibn 
Batuta — ^Yiew from the summit unsurpassed — Fogs — ^The descent • 9 



CHAPTER XXIT. 

LITERATURE AND ARTS. 

Books and wiiting — The Buddhist Atthakatha — ^When compiled — The con- 
vocation of A soka— Language — Weaving — Fine arts — Music — Working 
in metals — Iron and steel — Coins and currency — Various arts — Dis- 
tillation — Lightning conductors — Medicine — Architecture— Dagobas — 
Monasteries 24 



Yl CONTENTS. 

PAOK 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

BUDDHISM. 

Charftcter of Sakya — Resemblaiice between Buddhism and Cliristianity — Its 
failure to improve the condition of mankinds-Its Heaven a hideous 
phantom— Biography of Sakya— The " Lalita Vistara" — The four 
truths — The wheel of the law — Buddhism and the inscriptions of 
Asoka — Nirvana — Its Atheistical tendency — Buddhist schisms — Kwan- 
yin— Buddha's relics— The '* Dalada "— The **Patra"— Marco Polo's 
account of them — De Couto's version — Temples — Buddhist priests — 
Buddhist nuns — The Chinese Queen of Heaven — Demonology and 
snake worship^Brahmimsm — Christianity in Ceylon .... 55 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

MAMMAIilA. 

Introductory remarks — Monkeys — ^The Sloth — Bats — Flying-foxes — Shrews 
— Bears — Jackals — Dogs ~ Palm-cats — Mongoos — Leopards — Tiger-cats 
— Squirrels — Rats — Hares — Porcupines — Horses — Ant-eaters — Wild 
pigs — Elephants— Deer — Buffaloes — Oxen— The Dugong, or mermaid 
— Dolphins — Whales— Porpoises — List of Mammalia • • • .97 

CHAPTER XXV. 

BIRDS. 

Eagles — Kites — Hawks — Owls — Goat-suckers — Swallows — Kingfishers — 
Bee-eaters — Hoopoes— Sun-birds — Warblers — Orioles — Babblers — Bul- 
buls— Fly-catchers— Shrikes — Crows, Jays, and Starlings — Hombills — 
Parroquets — Barbets and Woodpeckers - Cuckoos — Pigeons and Doves 
—Peacocks — Jungle-fowl — Partridge and Quail — Grail® — Herons — 
Bitterns — Storks — Ibises— Snipe — Rail — Water-hens— -Flamingos — 
Gulls — Pelicans — List of Birds - • . 18^ 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

REPTILEB. 

Crooodiles — Monitors — Seines— Geckoes — Lizards — Chameleon --Snakes— 
Snake-bites and antidotes — Dr. Fayrer's experiments — Snake-eating 
snakes — Rat-snakes— The Python — Shield-snakes — Blind snakes — Sea- 
snakes— Freshwater snakes — Tree-snakes — Frogs— Turtles and Tortoises 
—List of Reptiles • • . 17S 

CHAPTER XXVII. 

INSECTS. 

Vast numbers of insects in tropical climates— Beetles — Butterflies — ^Moths — 
Leaf-insects — Cockroaches —Dragon-flies— Termites — Ants — ^Wasps and 
Bees— Crickets— Mosquitoes— Flying-bugs— The Coffee-bug— Ticks- 
Mites — Scorpions — Spiders — CentipedesJ— Millepedes — Woodlice — 
Leeches— Worms — List of Insects 208 



CONTEXTS. VU 

PAOB 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 

FISH. * 

Mullet — Chsetodon — TriglicUe — Seer-fish— Boneto — Kummelmns, or dried 
fish— The Goat-fish — Suckmg-fish — Sailor-fish — "Walking-fish — Sea 
surgeons— Lip-fish— Half-beaks — Flying-fish — Sprats and Sardines— 
Eels — Pipe-fish — Coffer-fish and Trigger-fish — Urchin-fish, or Balloon- 
fish— Sharks and the Pilot-fish — Saw-fish — Rays — Poisonous-fish — 
Freshwater-fish — Travelling-fish — Burying-fish — The Aiiabis — Various 
freshwater species— Showers of fish — list of Fish .... 242 



CHAPTER XXIX 

CRUSTACEA AND MOLLUSOA. 

Fainted crabs — Swimming crabs— Beckoning crabs — Hermit crabs — Pea 
crabs— Sand crabs — Spiny lobsters— Flat lobsters— Prawns— Marine 
shells— Land shells — Chanks — Oysters —Star-fish — Flat worms — 
Sea-slugs— Jelly-fish— Zoophytes— List of Crustacea and Shells . . 269 

CHAPTER XXX. 

PEARLS AND THE PEARL FISHERY. 

Their antiquity as an ornament — Cleopatra's ear-rings — Drinking of dis- 
solved pearls —Largest pearls come from the West Indies— Origin of the 
term Margarita — Revenue derived from the fishery — Natural history 
of the pearl-fish — Migrations of the pearl-fish — Artificial pearls^- 
Description of the fishery — Shark-charmers — Manner of diving — 
Drilling and polishing pearls 277 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

COFFEE. 

First used as an alimentary infusion in Abyssinia — Coffee drinking pro- 
hibited in England by Charles IL — When introduced into Europe — 
The Dutch first to pl^t it in Ceylon — Cofiee mania of Ceylon — Ruin 
of the first speculators — Malabar coolies — Manner of preparing the 
berry 301 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

THE PALMS. 

Arecas— Ratans— The Talipat— The Palmyra— The Kittool— The Cocoa-nut 
— ^Its varied uses — Cocoa-nut oil — Coir— Toddy — Jaggery — Cocoa- 
nut planting 812 



Till CONTENTS. 

• PAGE 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 

CINNAMON. 

Ceylon cin!Qamon unknown to the ancients — First mentioned by Kazwini 
A.D. 1275 — ^DoubtM if indigenous in tlie island — ^Not planted by the 
Dutch — ^The cinnamon monopoly— ^When abandoned — Mode of pre- 
paring the spice — Oil of cinnamon 830 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 

BOTANY. 

General description of tht flora of the island — Exotics^Iist of vegetable 
products exported — ^Timber trees — Fruits — ^Water plants — Orchids — 
Fungi and Lichens — Plants of the North — Plants of the shores — 
Plants of the highest hills 846 

CHAPTER XXXV. 
BOTANY — contintied, 

m 

General description of plants belonging mostly to the lower regions, 

comprising the principal part of the flora of Uie Island . . , 881 

APPENDIX. 

THE UALDIVES. 



CEYLON, 

ANCIENT AND MODERN. 



CHAPTER XX. 

COLOMBO TO NEWERA-ELLIA. 

Since the opening of the railway between Colombo and 
Kandy, in 1867, the traveller can take his ticket and be 
whirled in a few hours to his destination, but on all the other 
roads the old mode of travelling must still be followed. 

Formerly the only public conveyance in the island was a 
very primitive one, that traveled between Kandy and Colombo, 
and Galle and Colombo, three or four times a week, carrying a 
few passengers, principally rich half-castes, performing the 
journey in about twelve hours. 

Most Europeans prefer travelling in their own carriage or 
on horseback, in easy stages of from fifteen to twenty miles, 
during the night or early in the morning, to avoid the heat of 
the sun, spending the day in buildings called " rest-houses," 
erected by government at intervals along the roads. These 
buildings are similar to Indian choultries.^ Shelter is all 
that is to be obtained in many of them ; some have bedsteads, 
a few chairs and tables, with a native employe in charge of 
each, but on unfrequented routes they are often in a dirty and 

^ This species of accommodation for travellers has existed in many parts of 
the East from time immemorial, and seems to be alluded to by Jeremiah, ch. iz. 2, 
** Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging-place of wayfaring men," &c. Gabriel 
Durand, a missionary in Thibet in 1861, describes a kind of rest-house in that 
country called Kung-Kuan, Ann. Prop, de la Foi, xxxv. 352. 

VOL. II. B 



2 CEYLON, ANCIENT AND MODERN. 

neglected state. Bennett mentions finding two panthers 
located in one at Wallewe, near Tangalle, in 1826 ; and the 
rest-house at Kaigalle was uninhabitable from leeches after 
heavy rains, the neighbourhood being infested with these 
pests. 

A precarious supply of fowls* eggs and rice being all the 
provisions that can be obtained on