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V D K-^ .
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE ISLAND,
HISTORICAL, PHYSICAL, STATISTICAL.
CONTAINING THE MOST RECENT INFORMATION.
AN OFFICER, LATE OF THE CEYLON RIFLES.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
WITH A MAP.
CHAPMAN & HALL, 193, PICCADILLY.
[An Rights Eeserved.}
BllSBrBT, lOVEW, & CO., PBZVTSIS, WEITEraUlS.
COLOMBO TO NEWERA ELLIA.
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
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
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 —
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
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
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^
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
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
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
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
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
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
Arecas— Ratans— The Talipat— The Palmyra— The Kittool— The Cocoa-nut
— ^Its varied uses — Cocoa-nut oil — Coir— Toddy — Jaggery — Cocoa-
nut planting 812
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
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
BOTANY — contintied,
General description of plants belonging mostly to the lower regions,
comprising the principal part of the flora of Uie Island . . , 881
ANCIENT AND MODERN.
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
A precarious supply of fowls* eggs and rice being all the
provisions that can be obtained on