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Full text of "Journal of a tour through part of the snowy range of the Himala Mountains, and to the sources of the rivers Jumna and Ganges"

UNIVERSITY OF PHTSBURGH 




I J. II 1 iiiv^tDi) ivli-inorial 1 -i 1- 1 .i t v 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2009 with funding from 

University of Pittsburgh Library System 



http://www.archive.org/details/journaloftourthrOOfras 



JOURNAL OF A TOUR 



THROUGH PART OF THE 



SNOWV RANGE 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS, 



AND TO THE SOURCES OF THE 



RIVERS JUMNA AND GANGES. 



BY JAMES BAILLIE ERASER, ESQ. 



LONDON: 

PRINTED FOR RODWELL AND MARTIN, BOND-STREET. 

1820. 



PREFACE 



lib 



i^ 



r^ 



■iQ 



THE Journal and the Observations contained in the following 

pages are, with very sincere diffidence, submitted to the public. Tlie 

author has been induced to venture on this measure, chiefly by a desire 

^ 1 to add his mite to the general stock of geographical knowledge ; the 

j^ more so, as any information respecting a tract of country so very little 

i known, promised to be somewhat interesting, however imperfectly 

conveyed: and it seemed desirable to exhibit a picture of its inhabitants, 

as they appeared before an intercourse with Europeans had in any 

degree changed them, or even before they had mixed much with the 

inhabitants of the plains. It were disingenuous and unavailing to deny, 

that he was also influenced by a secret feeling of satisfaction, at being 

recognized as the first European, who had penetrated to several of the 

scenes described, as well as by that universal and po^^ erful tendencv of 

our nature to gratify its vanity by relating the strange, the uncommon, 

x^ or dangerous enterprises in which we have been engaged. 

•-O 

(^ 

ro The author did not yield to these motives without consideration, or 

without soliciting advice ; nor was there, indeed, any want..of strong 






VI PREFACE. 

ari,MiiiKMits 111 Ills own luliid anainst the measure. Of these, eertauily, 
tlie fhiefarose fVoiii the conseioiisness of a fatal deficiency of information 
in even hraiicli of i)hvsics, wliicli deprived liim entirely of the power of 
addini; to science in those hranches ; which are now so interesting, as 
i(et)loio , mineraloiry, hotany, tS;c. Being, iinhap})ily, ignorant of these 
sciences, he could only give a plain statement of the phaenomena and 
facts tliat j)resented themselves to his ohservation ; — a j)Oor com- 
pensation, perhaps, to the public for so material a desideratum. The 
joiirnev also was verv suddenly projected ; and, being connected with a 
military movement, little or no i)reparation could be made for taking 
a(l\aiitagc of the opi)ortunities likely to be afforded to his party, beyond 
wliat a \cry poorly suj)j)lied camj) could afford. It is remarkable that 
the author and bis escort were eyen w ithout a thermometer or barometer, 
(iuided by circumstances, they proceeded further and further, from one 
stej) to another, far beyond the points he had at first hoped to reach; 
yet wa> bis time so limited, that he conld not inyestigate so closely, or 
pay so satisfactory an attention to objects that attracted his observation, 
;i.s in otiier circumstances he gladly would have done. He was by 
no nicaii^ insensible of his own want of talent, and of the inability under 
which he laboured to arrange, and duly to condense the mass of matter 
lie had collected, and \\hich had from the first been circumscribed 
l)y an imperfect knowledge of the language of the country. 

'Diese considerations all had their weight, and it may be the opinion 
of many, that it were better if they bad wholly stifled the idea of thus 
appcariiiir before the piiblie (as was very nearly the case), and that 
tiie authdi- had eonrnied the (•oimnunication of his notes to the circle of 
frieiid> Ivr whom they were at first intended, lint, again, be thought 



PREFACE. Vll 

that some advantages had fallen to his share, which could not perhaps 
be united in the person of others, who for some time could come after 
him. The author and his party enjoyed a perfect and unrestrained 
freedom, together with fidl access to every place and person, private 
and public, as conquerors and as benefactors. Tliey proceeded 
through the land with perfect facility of seeing and observing, and of 
making every inquiry into its moral and political state, while his own 
want of skill in the language was compensated by the company of 
those who were perfect masters of it. He also enjoyed the means of 
procuring a tolerably accurate survey of the country, and of amassing 
materials for a map, in the general accuracy of which, as far as 
relates to its greater lines, and a considerable portion of its detail, he 
places great confidence, 

Tlius, though the country may now be visited with little risk or 
difficulty, and though gentlemen of science have been appointed to 
survey it from the Sardah to theSutlej, who will have opportunities, at 
least as good as those enjoyed by the author, to make their obsen ations, 
together with for greater ability to take advantage of them, and talent 
to describe their result, still the physical difficulties of the country are 
so great, and the obstacles to making such results available to the 
public are so numerous, that a very long time will, in all probability, 
elapse before any description of it can appear, and till then, even so 
unsatisfactory an attempt as the present may be received with in- 
dulgence. 

Having resolved on publication, the author was only desirous of re- 
lating with simplicity what he had seen and heard, and of describing facts, 



viii PREFACE. 

and the Impression tliev made on liim at the moment, \nth truth and 
correctness: he is deeplv sensihle of the defects of his work, but lie still 
helieves that anv man can describe what he has seen and heard, better 
than he wiio writes from the accounts of another, and that the errors 
into which he may fall are more tolerable, than the affectation which 
too often pervades those works, which are compiled by the professed 
makers of books. 

In the jirosecution of his task he met with many obstacles, which 
forced him to al)an(lon his first intention of attempting a better arranged 
and a more extensive work, and obliged him to send it forth in the 
form nndcr uhicli it now apjjears. The precious hours immediately on 
his return from the hills, when the impressions of what he had seen 
weri' most \\\'u\, and when he was near the points of reference in case 
of need, were wasted by sickness and distress ; and even the correction 
and |)reparation which the work has undergone, with the extraction of 
thi- little information it conveys, from a cumbrous mass of materials, 
has been ])(rf()rmed during moments snatched from the hurry of 
bu.>ine>s, and under the languor of disease. He has neither enjoyed 
the advantage of literary assistance, nor much facility of reference 
to the fen' authorities that may be found on subjects where doubt 
existed : but, under all these disadvantages, he judged it best no longer 
to delay the publication of his work, as the interest lately created by cir- 
cnm>tancc> would have subsided, and curiosity would have ceased till 
airaiii >t?-oni;lv called mto action. 

Tiie drawiiii^s have been comjiletcd under the same disadvantages, 
from sketches taken on the spot; the oidy merit they can claim is. 



PREFACE. IX 

that they describe the face of the country with as much fidehty as 
want of skill would permit. The author enjoyed the advice of an emi- 
nent artist of this country during the time he was engaged in manv of 
the later ones. 

Such as the performance is, it is now submitted to the public, 
without hope of acquiring from it credit or fame ; but the author will 
be gratified and proud if the effort at all succeed in satisfying or in 
awakening curiosity, and inducing those who are better qualified than 
himself, to explore the field on which he has barely gazed from a 
distance. 



CONTENTS. 



PART I. 

HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF NEPAL ORIGIN, PROGRESS, AND TERMINATION" OF THE WAR 

WITH THAT GOVERNMENT. 

CHAPTER I. 

ORIGIN OF THE WAR. 

On the history of Nepal — Originally in petty states — Rise of the Ghoorkha sovereignty — Consolidation 
of it — The T.happa family — Titles and Castes — Chowtras — Population — Revenues — Military 
force — Their character — Their appearance — Arms — Commanders — Stations. - - Page 1 

CHAPTER n. 

PROGRESS OF THE WAR. 

British movements — Rendezvous of the divisions of the army — Their destinations. 

Major-General Gillespie and the third division move against the fort of Kalunga — Held hy Buhlbud- 
der Sing — Orders four columns to the storm — The troops repulsed, and the brave general killed 
— Colonel Carpenter retreats the army — .'\bandons the Table-land — Returns to Deyrah — the ren- 
dezvous below. 

Brigadier-General Ochterlony and the fourth division take the forts of Natagurh and Talagurh — 
Approaches Ramgurh fort — The outposts are taken — Gallantry of Lieutenant Lawtie — Attacked 
by the Ghoorkhas — Lieutenant-Colonel Thompson takes the enemy in the rear — The enemy 
attack him — He repels them — Colonel Arnold occupies the posts abandoned by the enemy — 
General Ochterlony goes to Balaspoor — Masks Ramgurh — Approaches INIalown — Colonel .\rnold 
takes post near Bal;ispoor — Ramgurh and Joojoorie surrender to Captain Webb and Lieutenant 
Lawtie — Cruelty of Ummr Sing T,happa to those brave garrisons. 

Major-General Marly and the first division surjirise Burhurwah — Purseram T,happa killed — Bara- 
gurhee occupied — Captain Sibley on the left — Attacked — Defeated — Killed — Captain Blakeney 
on the right — Attacked — Defeated — Killed — Army retreats to Bettiah— General Marly quits 
command — General Geo. Wood succeeds — Lieutenant Pickersgill attacked — Retires — Reinforced 
— He defends himself— Colonel Dick charges the enemy — Bhowannee— Dutt-T,happa killed — 
Glioorkhas defeated— General Wood occupies Janickpore — .\rmy retires to the original rendezvous. 

Major-General S. Wood and the second division move — Is attacketi — He retreats — Resumes march to 
Bhootwul — Batters it — Repulsed — Retreats to the original rendezvous, into cantonments - ! 3 

b2 



xii CONTENTS. 



CHAITLR III. 



Colonel Miiiily Third division — Buttering train arrived from Dehlee — Kalunga approached — Breach 

practicable Storm ordered — The enemy most gallant— Our troops most brave, but repulsed, and 

retreat— Buhlbudder Singh evacuates— Mis 300 reduced to 70— U'e take possession— Horrible 
carnage in the works — Noble character of the Ghoorkhas as soldiers — A tine illustration of it — 
The army moves to Nahn — General Martindale assumes the command — The enemy under Run- 
jore-Singh-T,happa enter Jytock fort — Major Ludlow and Major Richards detached to surprise 
Jvtock — Are separately repulsed with great loss, and retreat — The army intrenched — Major 
Baldock attempts to dislodge Bulilbudder Singh, but is repulsed — Nownie fort occupied — Black 
Hill occupied ...--.-- Page 27 

CHAPTER IV. 

THE WAR CLOSES. 

General Ochterlony — Fourth division before Malown — Lieutenant Lawtie takes Chumbie and Targurh 
Colonel Arnold occupies Ruttungurh — Sooraje-Gurh approached — Projects to straiten the enemy 
by attack on Ryla and Deonthul, and succeeds — Captain Strowers killed — The party repulsed — 
Captain Howyer retires — Colonel Thompson attacked by Buchtee-T.happa, who is killed — And the 
Ghoorkhas retreat — Great desertion on Buchtee's death — Great dissatisfaction with Ummr Singh 

General Ochterlony pays great respect to Buchtee's remains — The Ghoorkhas deeply lament him 

— They desert I'mmr, who capitulates — Death of Lieutenant Lawtie — Regretted deeply by the 
General, and by the army. 

Colonel Nichol's detachment in Kumaoon — Captain Hearsay and the irregulars seize three forts, and 
occupy posts — The inhabitants friendly — He repulses an attack — Hustee-DuU-Chowtra defeats 
and captures Captain Hearsay — Adjutant Martindale defeated by tlie Ghoorkhas — Colonel Nichols 
and the regulars approach Atmorah, occupied by Hustee-Dull, who moves — Major Patton attacks 
and riefeats him — Hustee-Dull and Jeyrookah killed — We attack the Sittolee ridge — The 
Ghoorkhas attack Lieutenant Costly's post — are repulsed — The garrison of Almorah attacks us 
furiously — Bum, sab sends a flag to our batteries, whicii had been very severe — Hostilities cease — 
Treaty made — Kumaoon evacuated by the Nepal government — Our territories connected with 
China, through the Himala range ..-.--. 37 



PART II. 



JOCaNKY FHOM DEHLI TO JYTOCK. 



CHAPTER V. 



Preliminary obsen'ations on the Himal3 mountains, as visited by the author. 

Divisions — Slates — Rivers — .Surface — Ravines — Valleys — Waters. — 1815, 9 March — Journey from 
Dehii to Nahn — Sik's country — Conical towers — Snowy range — Foot of the liills — British armv 
— Pass of Moginund — Park of artillery — Nahn - - . . . 51 



CONTENTS. XUl 



CHAPTER VI. 



Peak and fort of Jytock — Elevation — Nownie peak— Our camp at Black-hills— Surface of the country 

Soil — Wood — Cultivation — Villages — Houses — Plants — Appearance of the liilla and ridges — 

Animals — Inhabitants — Character — Appearance — Dress — Arms — Women not secluded — Singular 
polygamy —Religion — Castes — Origin of the people. 

State of Sirmore — Division — Capacity for cultivation— Revenue— Power — Tributary states — Subjec- 
tion to the Cihoorkhas — Tyranny of the (ihoorkha power — Friendly men of Jounsar — Military 
importance of Jounsar — Joobul assists us — The royal family unpopular — Their character — History 
and government of Sirmore ------- Page 6 1 

CHAPTER VII. 

Notes at Jytock, with resumption of those on the campaign since 5th of February, as to the first 
division under General Martindale before that fort. 

Effect of our conduct on the natives, not generally favourable — Some landholders come over to us — 
Some irregulars raised — Native hill-men, Sikh's, iMewatties, Patans, &c. to 7OPO men — Not very- 
efficient from composition and from want of time to unite and discipline them — Review of our 
conduct as affecting the people — Dispositions of the people towards us, and their plans for our 
operations — Effects of our inaction and failures on them. 

Buhlbudder Sing and Azumber Punt Jazee reinforce and enter Jytock — Lieutenant Young sent with 
liOO irregulars to intercept them — Is defeated at Chinalgurh on Sine range — The Ghoorkhas" 
account of that action — Anecdote of an old Ghoorkha sirdar — 300 chosen Ghoorkhas repulsed at 
Becker-Ke-Bagh on Sine range hy 37O irregulars — Mortars established — Eighteen-pounders 
ordered up — Road forming — Confidence of the Ghoorkhas to effect retreat. 

Expedition of the political agent with 500 irregulars — Two chiefs join — The people assemble with 
eagerness — The fort of Choupill surrenders to him and to them — Cooloo and Joobul states act 
for us. 

Siege of Jytock commenced — Elevation of our camp at Black Hill, 3800 feet above the plains — The 
gun road five miles long from Nahn — Two eighteen- pounders in battery, and open fire — Jytock 
described — Major Richards with 700 regulars and 1000 irregulars attacked by I JOO Glioorkhas — 
Ghoorkhas repulsed — Azumber-Punt-Jazee taken — Major Richards occupies the peak of Punjal 
— Desertion from the enemy — Their noble sentiments — General Ochterlony's and Colonel Nichol's 
successes publislied in camp — Character of Runjore-Sing'h and of his garrison - 79 



PART III. 

JOIJRNEY WITH THE POLITICAL AGENT FOR THE ARMY OF GENERAL MARTINDALE. 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Journey with the Political Agent whilst Jytock and Malown were still invested — His mission to assist 
the intermediate risings, and to expel tlie enemy, and to cut off their retreat from either forts — 
The force — ."Vll irregulars, of various people — Preparing from ^lay 1 — M;\rchcs the (ilh — Route 
— Jelrdl river — Chinalgurh — Mountain of Choor — Singular treatment of infants — AWmien fair — 
European plants — River Girree — Sine range — Elex ation "OOO feet — -Buildings in Chinese taste — 
Two Gosseins — Lofty towers as temples — Raj-Gurh — Fruit and timber trees - 99 



xiv CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER IX. 



State of Sirmore. Buildings — Industry — Agriculture — Mode of Cultivation — Irrigation — Great depo- 
pulation under the Ghoorkha government— Implements — Crops — Labour of men and women — 
Singular foddering of cattle — Cattle — Nature of the rocks — Singular appearance of caterpillars — 
Fort of Raj-Ciurh described — Kirtee Riina's defeat reported — Our order of march Page 1 12 

CHAPTER X. 

State of Sirmore. Route from Raj-Gurh — Lofty temple towers in Chinese and Hindoo taste mixed 

Brahmin villan-es Plants — Appearance of the country — Of the people — Halt for provisions — 

Difficulty in that object— Character of the people— Review our troops— Angling — Report of 
desertion from Ummr-Singh — Report of his surrender — European trees and plants — .\spectof the 
countr\- Elevation of the mountain Choor 10,6SS feet — Soil and rocks — Enter state of Joobul 124 

CHAPTER XI. 

State of Joobul. — Route — Snowy mountains — Pass of Choghat and Bughat — Choupid fort — Arduous 
travelling, compared with travelling the Scots Highlands — Magnificent forests — Dress of the 
people of Joobul — Account of Joobul — Division — Boundaries^Government — Our negotiation — 
Dangee-Wuzzeer joins with 500 men — Apology for his tardy junction — Importance of the position 
of Joobul — Choupal fort described — Our negotiations there — The chiefs visit us - 135 

CHAPTER XII. 

State of Joobul. — Route — Authentic accounts of Kirtee-Rana's capture — We leave our chief force at 
Chouprd, and move on with fifty chosen men — Temple and singular sculpture — People of Poonur 
— Their character peculiar — Ghoorkha mode of fishing — Scenery — Rocks — Fort Bumpta — Hindoo 
household gods — Mountain of Urructa — Trees — Plants — The great Himrdii range — Vale of Deyrah 
— Raeengudh fort occupied by Runsoor T,happa — Our negotiation for his surrender — He de- 
clines — Rana of Joobul visits us — Halt — Furnace for smelting iron — Dangee wuzzeer blockading 
Raeengudh — Visits us — ^They contemplate to employ a catapulta, having formerly done so— River 
Pabur — Temple of great sanctity — Two Bischur conmianders, wuzzeers, visit us — View of the 
snowy range from Deohra-D,har ridge, which divides Joobul from Bischur . . 1,53 



PART IV. 

JOURNEY WITH THE POLITICAL AGENT, CONTINUED. 

CHAPTER XIII. 

state of Bischur. — Smelting furnace at work — Iron ore — Oil mill — Oil from fruit stones — Fierce dogs 
— Noagurh fort — Besieged by the hill men — Kirtee-Rana's retreat from it was from want of food 

and water — His march wa.s betrayed — He was surrounded — He capitulated — Was ill treated 

Corn water-mills — Enter state of Kurangoloo — Bischur soldiers — Their arms — Bagee fort 

Kurana and Whartoo forts — Whartoo peak — Nowagurh range — A mountain storm — E.\press from 

Sir David Ochterlony on the surrender of Ummr Singh — A stone sacred to a hill deity A grand 

scene after a storm — Enter state of Comharsein .... 173 



CONTENTS. XV 



CHAPTER XIV. 



State of Comharsein. — The Rana visits us — Houses in Chinese taste — Extraordinary staircase road — 
River Sutlej — Gold finders — Their process — Elevation of Comharsein — Whartoo — Apricot orchard 
— Temple of Hindoo deities in Chinese taste — Fort of Teekur — \illage and temple of Manjnee — 
Enter states of Barah Thookaree — The army before Jytock quits position — The Ghoorkhas 
evacuate it — General Ochterlony goes to Nerraingurh in the plains — Ummr Singh accompanies 
him — Campaign closing — We halt to wait orders from government . . Page 189 

CHAPTER XV. 

State of Theog. — Halted — General review of the country people — Character of the hill men — Dress — 
Arms — Women — Their dress — Strange polygamy — Comparison of these hill men with the Scots — 
Highlanders — Cultiv.ation — Crops — Rice — Labour — Water-mills — Domestic animals — Sheep- 
Houses — Their interior — Villages — Religion — Marriages — Burials — Castes — Food — Tobacco- 
Government of villages — of families — Children sold to slavery by their parents . . 200 

CHAPTER XVI. 

State of Theog. — Halted — Our own accommodation and supplies — Our mode of living and travelling — 
Kirtee-Ranfi and his troops marching as prisoners to General Ochterlony, guarded by men of 
Bischur — He visits us — His poor appearance, but noble comportment — He receives our respect 
and attention — Our inquiries of a Bischur chief — His account of the passes to Bootan, to Bud- 
dree-Nauth, and the course of the Sutlej, through the Himalfi range — March to Keeonthul — Rfina 
of Theog applies for protection — Snowy range seen as bounding the Punjab — State of Rutes — 
We purpose to proceed to the snowy range by Rampore, the capital, and Seran, the second place 
in Bischur, as our accounts from head-quarters indicate no orders likelv to interfere — The latelv 
murdered Rana of Rutes' children presented to us by their mother for British protection — Enter 
state of Bulsum — Rfina of Bulsum's visit — A rutniil, or hill pheasant, presented to us, and caueht 
by his order, and by the efforts of 100 men — A snake seen, a rare occurrence — Enter state of 
Cotegoroo — Rana's house — A small tiger's foot print — Tlie Rfina visits us — A curious stone ten 
feet high, called Oddee — Cliiefs of Silleh and Khoit, tributaries to Bischur, visit us — Enter the 
state of Silleh — Lighten our baggage . . . . .221 



PART V. 

JOURNEY WITH THE POLITICAL AGENT, tONTINUJiD. 

CH.VPTER XVII. 

State of Bischur — Some volunteers from Kirtee-Ranri's army jdln our party — Nowagurh fort — Nature of 
the rocks, ;uid scenery — Intelligence of llmmr Singh's convention — His artifice to prevent Runjore 
Singh's surrender of Raeengudli, who surrenders to us after many evasions — M'o nci:otiate for it 
with Runjore — Superstitious opposition to our ascent to Noagurh peak — A\'e found a cJe.or and 
glorious view from it — A mill for turning wood — Tartar manners, customs, and appearances — An 
old man carries an image of the grand lama around his neck, a gift from that sovereign deity — 



xvi CONTENTS. 

He sells this portaWe idol — We cross a shoulder of the great mountain Moral-Ke-Kanda — A Nepal 
pheasant presented to us — Described — Fort Bahilee — \\'ild vines — Sweet kernelled apricots — A 
bridge called a Sango—Rampore .... Page 2 H 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

State of Bischur.— Rampore— Hall of audience, or Dewan K.haneh — Muhul, or rajah's palace — Rock 

Soil— Information on Bischur — Rampore once a great entrepot — Temples — Dowager Ranee's 

palace Rajah's palace described — Cooloo country — Extent — Boundaries of Bischur — bounds 

with China Divisions of Bischur — that of Kunawur — Hardy men — Commerce — Salt from Bootan 

Swett seeds of a fir — Cattle— Soorajee, or y,"ik, of Tartary — Mixed breed of common hill cow 

with the yiik — Language differs from that on the south side of the snowy hills — Tartar features — 
Character very fine — Religion — That of the Lama — No Brahmins here — Subdivision of Kunawur — 
Scolkhur inhabited by Bhotc-is and Tartars only — Division of Nawur and Teekur — The inhabitants 
of an infamous character— Small states dependent on the rajahship of Bischur — The natives them- 
selves look to the British government for the amelioration of their character — Government of 
Bischur — Its historv — revenues — force — arms — population — A'egetable productions — Strong 
liquors — Metals — Manufactures — Mode of weaving— Commerce . . . 254 



PART VI. 

JOUBNKY WITH THE POLITIC.\L AGENT, CONTINUED. 

CHAPTER XIX. 

State of Bischur.— Geographical remarks on the great Himrdayan range— Horizontal depth of the Hin- 
doostan side — Breadth of the snowy zone — Extent beyond that zone — General character of the 
hills on the north-east side— The great snowy belt described — The passes —Course of the Sutlej — 
These regions divided into many small states — Many are tributary to China — on Ludhak — Shawl 
wool trade — Valley of Sing-Kechoo — Town of Leh — Rajah or Gealbo — Religion— Productions — 
Fairs — Garu, a Chinese mart — Lake Mansrowar holy — Gangree — Lake Rawenhrudd — Mountain 
Coilas — Four Lama temples — Stream from Lake Rawenhrudd supposed to form the Sutlej — The 
Sampoo river's source and course supposed — on Tuling and Chaprang — on the states between the 
Sutlej and Cashmere, relative to the map and its construction, from observation. 

State of Bischur — Geographical remarks relative to the map and its construction, from irifonnation only 
— Routes stated by I'uttce Ram^Corrections to be expected in the map by persons of science — 
Scale of the map — Materials for proof of it — Route from Serim to Gara along the Sutlej, twenty- 
one days' journey — Route ninre direct from Bischur to Gfirfi, quitting the Sutlej on the ninth day, 
twenty-five days' journey — Route from Gfira to MantuUaee, or Mansrowar Lake, seven days' jour- 
ney — Route from Seriin to Ludhak, twenty-six days' journey — Route from Ludhrdc to Cashmere, 
about 130 miles — Route from Stampore, tlie capital of Cooloo, to Ludhak — Route from Ludhak 
* to Gara, sixteen days' journey — On other routes not inserted in the map, and on various passes 
througli the Ilimala . . . .281 



PART I. 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF NEPAL, 



THE GIIOORKA CONQUEST 



A CONCISE VIEW OF THE RISE, PROGRESS, AND TERMINATION, 
OF OUR WAR WITH THAT GOVERNMENT. 



B 



JOURNAL. 



CHAPTER I. 



IN the end of 1814 it was deemed expedient by the Britisli j^rovernment 
to declare war against that of Xepal. 

This power, emboldened by a long course of success and conquest, 
had commenced a deliberate system of encroachment on the British 
bovmdaries, and a course of insult towards its lower ministers, ^\hich. at 
length, it became absolutely necessary to repel. 

That belt of low, wooded, and marshy, but rich land, kno\\ni l)y the 
name of the Turraee, or Turreeanfi, which, lying at the foot of the liills, 
sti-etches along from the Burrampooter to Bohilcund, chiefly belongs to 
the countries under British government, or to those wliich are under its 
protection. This was the scene of their violence, and the object of their 
ambition. Our police was attacked and abused ; the zemindars were 
plundered, and even murdered ; and the petty chiefs, deju-ndent on our 
protection and authority, if they did not agree to the terms of these 
()])pressors, were insulted, and driven from their homes and properties. 

Alter nuich negotiation, many moderate representations of these 
wrongs and grievances, with strong remonstrances, and earnest a]>peals to 
the justice and humanity of the ruling powers of Xepiil for redress, to 
which no satisfactory ansv/er was returned, or explanation e^ er gi\ c-n. and 
after many assurances of a sincere desire for continuing that friendly 
understanding which h.ad hitherto subsisted between the t^vo powers, but 
which gave rise to nothing but em])ty com])liments and ])olitical delay, 
a manifesto was published, which aj)pears in the ajipendix. aiul ^•. ill best 
show the causes of the war, and the views oi' the British government. 



4 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF NEPAL, 

The conduct of this war, with its consequences, offered to us sources 
of information regarding Nepal and tlie countries contained in the moun- 
tainous belt that confines Hindostan, of which heretofore there was but 
httle known ; and as it was in consequence of this war that opportunity 
^\as obtained to make the journeys related in the following pages, it 
seems not irrelevant to premise a short notice of the principal events 
that occurred in a campaign so novel and so arduous as that Avhicli 
gave the first great blow to the Ghoorkha power, and led to a final 
j)eace. 

An account of Xepfd Proper will be found in Colonel Kirkpatrick's 
Narrative of his Embassy to the Court of Catmandhu, the capital of that 
country, in 179-3; and many particulars regarding its present liistory 
and power will also be learnt there. 

A few of the most interesting and best authenticated facts only need 
be given here. 

The whole mountainous district has ever been divided into numerous 
petty states, each governed by an hereditary sovereign, under various 
titles, according to the territory lie possessed. On the whole, there seems 
at least a strong resemblance to be traceable between the state of this 
country and that condition of things which existed in the highlands of 
Scotland during the height of the feodal system, where each ])osse.ssor of 
a landed estate exercised the functions of a sovereign, and made wars and 
incursions on his neighbours, as a restless spirit of ambition or avarice 
inq)elled him. 

There was, therefore, frequent change and continual warfare, Avhich 
weakened each, and made the whole more ripe for receiving one 
sovereign, when chance or the course of things should raise up in the 
land a man of superior ability or talents. Indeed, the chief political 
dissimilarity between this country and those in which the feodal svstem 
()l)tained seems to have been in this — that there did not exist^ even a 
nominal sovereign in this mountainous district to whom these inde- 
jjcndent l)arons acknowledged a feodal subjection. 

Prithenarrain Sah, a considerable number of years ago, possessed the 
small state of Ghoorkha, situated considerably to the northward of Xepfd. 
His subjects wvve peculiarly warlike and active ; and he himself vnus of 
a very ambitious turn of mind. Paising a small army, he fell upon the 



AND RISE OF THE WAR. 5 

neighbouring petty state of Xoarcote ; and, after a considerable lapse of 
time, possessed himself of it. 

He then turned his views to the valley of Xepfil. This valley, small 
as it is, lying within a circumference of forty miles, then contained three 
separate and indejiendent states ; the chiefs of which, as may he supposed, 
were not amicably disjjosed to each other : these were, Jey Purgass, rajah 
of Catmandhu ; Eunjeet jVIull, of IJhat-Civuig ; and Chunum Purgass, of 
Pfitun : and they were at this time in a state of open war ^vith one 
another. 

Taking advantage of this, Prit-he-narraiu Sah entered the country, 
and subdued the whole, after a long and a severe struggle ; during which 
time strange and fearful cruelties are said to have been committed on the 
inhabitants by his order. 

Having thus established his power in the most fertile valley of the 
liills, he became more rapacious than ever. The next victim was the state 
of jNIuckwanpoore ; and he extended his conquests eastward to the Jeesta : 
when, having thus raised a kingdom and a name, he died, leaving his 
dominions to his son, Singa Purtab. He only reigned one vear and 
a half, during which time he added nothing to the Xepfilese dominions : 
and his son, Pung Pahadur, succeeded him on the throne. 

Under this prince, who was of a very determined character, verging 
on cruelty, the work of conquest went rapidly on. First fell Lungoon 
and Kashka, two small states to the southward ; Tunoon, Xoacote, the 
second; Purbut, Preesing, Suttoon, Isnea, successively; then, turning 
iiuther to the westward, IMuscote, Dhurcote, Irga, (diootima, .Tumla, 
Pugun, Dharma, .Teharce, Prietana, Hhaneo, Jasercote, Cheelee. Golam, 
Acham, Dhylcck, ])hooloo, and Dliotec, followed. 

This last is a large state, divided from Kumaoon by the Kaleeiuuldee, 
and stretching through the hills nearly to the plains. Then Kanchee 
fell, and Palpai ; which drew with it also Phooturcl and Sulean. V.y this 
time the whole mountainous district, from the Jeesta to the Ciograh, was 
in the hands of the Xepfilese. ]hit. not content with this, they conceived 
the con(juest of the states to the westward, and hoped to gain possession 
of even the rich and beautiful valley of Cashmeer. 

Kumaoon soon yielded; but Cuu'hwh;ll resisted their efforts tor twelve 
years, chiefly from the delay that the capture of one fort occasionctl to 



6 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF NEPAL, 

them. All the country, from the confines of Gurhwhal to the Sutlej, 
fell an easy prey ; when once established at Sreenviggur, they crossed 
that river to pursue their fortune, and laid siege to the strong fort of 
Kangrah, in th.e state of that name : but there their good fortune deserted 
them ; and the inhabitants, assisted by the Sikhs, to whom they are 
tributan', resisted all the efforts of the invaders ; and they lost more men 
in that long-protracted siege than in the conquests of half the country 
besides. 

Rung Behauder, meantime, had been deposed by a strong faction, 
headed by the ranee, who placed her son on the throne ; and the ex-rajah 
fled to the protection of the Enghsh at Benares. Here he chd not long 
remain ; for, having intimation that certain occurrences favourable to him 
had taken place at Catmandhu, he claimed and received the arrears of a 
pension tliat was allowed him, through the British government, by his 
own ; and taking notliing with him, in a light litter, but gold and silver, 
lie set off for his capital. His money procured liim plenty of bearers ; 
and lie had reached the vicinity of Catmandliu before they had there 
lieard of his having quitted Benares. 

An inicle of the young rajah advanced to meet him with what troops 
A-.ere at hand ; but they were taken by surprise : and, when their old 
master stood before them, the peculiar veneration that attaches to the 
person of a sovereign and a brahmin, most strongly in Xepal, awed them 
into submission. " V.'hat !" said he, descending from his litter, and 
standing before them, " do you mean to resist, and stand in arms against 
your rightful sovereign ?" They threw^ down their anns. " Seize," said 
he, " on that man," pointing to the leader. He was seized, and beheaded 
on the spot ; and the rightful rajah marciied into his capital with the very 
troops meant to o])pose him. 

I'nfortunately for himself and for the country, his cruel cUsposition 
vented itself in various })roscriptions and executions ; and on one occasion 
he dro])})ed a paper, in ^vhich were written down the names of many who 
were doomed to die. I'liis paper was picked up by his younger brother, 
Sir Behauder, who read his o^vn name among the proscribed. This was 
too nuu-h. .Although his brotlier, his sovereign, and a brahmin, he stabbed 
him. 

Great confusion followed ; nmeh blood was shed : the assassin himself 



AND RISE OF THE WAR. 7 

fell in his turn, by the hand of Bulram Sah ; and at length the present 
rajah, son to lUing Behauder, named Girban Joodebeer Jjiieem-Sah, was 
placed upon the throne. He, however, has little influence ; for the 
real power has been usur])ed by a family, at the head of which is Ummr 
Sing Thajjpah : his son, JJheem Sing Thappah, is the minister, and ha.s 
the whole power : but it is said that his family do not perfectly agree 
among themselves; and that, for this reason, Ummr Sing 'lhai)i)ah has 
demanded and obtained the distant and extensive command he at 
present holds. 

The constitution of society, and gradations of cast, seem, like the 
nature of their religion, to be essentially the same in Nepal as they are 
in the other parts of Ilindoostan; but there are many subdivisions and 
shades of difference, created, as it were, by an union of the influences of 
cast and family, which give rise to appellations and distinctions unknomi 
in other Hindoo states, and of which it is not easy to procure any satis- 
factory explanation : such are the terms Thappali, Chowtrah, &:c. 

Regarding the first of these, after many inquiries, which produced 
only contradictory ex})lanations, I was at last forced to rest contented in 
ignorance as to its origin and meaning. It is now an hereditary rank ; 
but of whatever poUtical importance it may be, all genuine raje})oots 
consider it as beneath them : they will not eat with a Thappah. It has 
probably originated, as is said by some, in the intermarriage of a rajepoot 
with a woman of inferior cast. 

Five shades of cast are mentioned as arising from diffl'rent connexions 
of brahmins and rajepoots with women of inferior rank — Puntha, Panee. 
]3ohra, Frjfd, Khan;ll. Thus, should a brahmin have a child by a dancing- 
woman, it is called a Panee, and ranks lower than the father. It is said 
that a rajepoot will eat with an Urjfd, a Khanal a Puntha. or a Panee. 
but with no other. 

The term Chowtra is a])plied to the brother and nephews of a rajah ; 
and to no other : it descends no lower. 

Such are a fcAv of the materials which I picked up iii conversation 
with the Ghoorkha officers. I cannot vouch for their correctness, altlunigh 
I do not think they are materially wrong, as none of those \\ith whom 
I conversed had any interest in deceiving. The sketch of the conquest 
of Nepal comes from the same source: and though their national vanity 



8 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF NEPAL, 

may have induced a di^jjree of exaggeration, %ve have a check upon it, for 
^ve know the state of tlie Xepal conquests, and that the whole of the hills 
were subdued under the power of Xepal, from the Jeesta to the Sutlej, 
at the time the Jhitish declared war against that state ; and I have avoided 
giving the dates attached to tlie conquest, as in them there may perhaps 
be some errors. The following notes regarding the population and military 
force of Xepal are from the same authority, and are given with little 
de])endance on their accuracy. 

The i)opulation, indeed, attributed to the valley of Xepfd itself, so far 
exceeds any thing we know in the most populous parts of the world, that 
it is evident there must be some gross miscalculation in it ; and although 
Colonel E'irkpatrick seems to have been furnished with information 
leading to conclusions nearly similar, he also is evidently staggered by 
the prodigious swarm of men which the mode of calculation made use of 
W'. \l give. 

t so rich and so lovely a valley should attract a vast population is 
quite natural ; but the numbers said to be contained therein, nay, still to 
subsist in the three chief towns, Catmandhu, Ehatgung, and Patun, set 
probability altogether at defiance. 

Population is reckoned by houses : to each house there are allowed, 
on an average, from ten to twelve souls, and in many there ar^ even 
more ; for several generations, and the famihes of relations, live under 
one roof, very thickly lodged. 

Taking this as their rate of reckoning, they assign to Patun, which is 
the largest of the three, 524,000 houses, to Bhatgiuig 522,000, and to Cat- 
mandhu lcS,000 ; in all, to these three places, a population of G40,000 souls 
at least. There are, besides, many large villages scattered around ; Kirtee- 
poor, containing 152,000 houses; Theamee, Puneba, I'harping, Punonlee, 
Dhulkill, (']ia])j)agang, all from 6 to 7,000 houses; and over and above 
these are reckoned between twenty and thirty smaller, from 1 to 4,000 
houses each, all of which are within the circuit of the valley of Xepfd. 

The outrageo\is fallacy, and indeed impossibility, of this, must be 
sufficiently glaring; yet it will serve to prove that the valley must be, in 
truth, extremely j)o])ulous : and the idea which my informant had of the 
great com})arative difference that exists l)etween the poi)ulation of this 
valley and that of the neighbouring hill states may be gathered from 



AND RISE OF THE WAR. 9 

a list of some of these states, witli the iiuiuber of houses wliich they or 
their chief towns contain. 

It was quite impossible to obtain any idea of the revenues of the 
country, or of the mode in which they are levied on different classes : 
I could not, on this point, even ol)tain the same sort of loose information 
that tliey j^ave me regarding- the population. Near the capital, it was said, 
that some large houses, containing twenty souls, contriljuted one rupee 
and a half annually, which diminished with the numliers to one and eight 
annas, and lessened as the distance from the capital increased, ^\'hen 
there was a large contribution of men for the army, the tax on the house.s 
was much diminished. 

Neprd is, and must be, a very poor state. Its mountain population 
can hardly feed themselves : and the large lunnbers that are ibiuid in the 
valley and its environs are chiefly supplied with food from those districts 
of the Turraee that are still under the conti'ol of the Xeprdese govern- 
ment ; and from this fruitl'ul tract was the chief part of the revenue 
drawn. Without this country the Xepalese could never have risen to 
the greatness A\hich they had attained ; but they knew not when to stop : 
the value of the country attracted their cupidity, and brought on the war 
that was to destroy them. 

From the extent of their jjopulation, it will be inferred that the 
military establishment of this peo])le is extensive : and so in fact it is, 
considering the means possessed by the state to arm and to maintain 
a large force. 

The whole male population capable of bearing arms arc understood to 
be liable to military service in times of danger and necessity. They iire 
not, however, all regularly trained to arms. Jhit there are lunnbers of 
regular troops, formed into differi'nt cor})s, ^\hich are dis[)ersed through- 
out the country, ahvays leaving a large disposable force near the capital. 
This standing force my information has stated to amount to from 30 to 
35,000 men; besides the forces beyond the Kaleenuddee, under llustee 
Dhul, Hum Sail, and l^nnnr Sing Thappah. 

These men are regularly officered, somewhat after the manner of 
Europeans ; and they affect nnich the Evu'o])ean exercise, tlress, ami arms. 
Even the denomination of rank given to tlu^ officers is English ; and. 
besides fougedars, soubahdars, jemadars, amiklars, \c. wc find colonels 

c 



10 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF NEPAL, 

and captains commandinf^ their coqys. The corps often take the name 
of the person who raised them ; and, as a specimen of their mihtary 
nomenclature, and of the regime of their troops, I have given in the 
aj)j)endix a hst of the Xeprd forces and corps, taken from some of the 
Glioorkha officers, as it existed some twelve or fifteen years ago. It is 
not l)y any means offered as a correct list, in numbers or in detail, of 
the Neprdese mihtary estabhshment. 

It is said that these men are paid about eight rupees per month, when 
on actual duty, and six only wliilst not on duty, and that these sums 
are regidarly paid. Of the better classes, I beheve this to be true ; and 
certainly the officers were often paid an annual sum by an assiginiient on 
land. I give in the appendix a pay-list of a company, actually given in 
by its commanding officer, when called on to furnish it, that his pay in 
the British service miglit be regulated by it. But no doubt there were 
differences observed between the best and most favourite corps and those 
not so efficient ; and there is room to beheve that the regular battalions 
were regularly paid, under all circumstances, when tliis was practicable. 

The regular army of Nepfd has been for so long a time accustomed 
to active service, to a series of constant warfare and victory, that the men 
have become really veteran soldiers, under the advantages of necessary 
control, and a certain degree of discipline ; and, from their continual 
success, they have attained a sense of their own value — a fearlessness of 
danger, and a contempt of any foe opposed to them. They have much 
of the true and high spirit of a soldier — that setting of hfe at nought, in 
com])arison with the performance of duty, and that high sense of honour, 
which forms his most attractive ornament, and raises his character to the 
highest. The anecdotes of their conduct, and of the expression of their 
feelings, in the sequel, will exemplify tliis. 

'I'hey are also cheerful, patient of fatigue, industrious at any labour to 
whicli they are i)ut, very tractable and (juiet, and, from what has fallen 
under my own observation and knowledge, r.ot, I think, wanton or cruel. 
This, hoAvever, is a somewhat dubious part of their character : in various 
situations they have behaved in different ways ; and have given reason to 
presume, that their natural disposition, whatever it may be, is swayed by 
situation and circumstance : even as a nation their character seems various 
and unsettled. The individuals must exhibit a greater variety still. 



AND RISE OF THE WAR. '■ 11 

The Ghoorkhas, and the peoj^le of" the neighbouring states, have, in 
appearance, a great resemblance to the ^Vfalay or Chinese physiognomy ; 
and the Xepalese Proper I believe to partake much of this similitude. 
But tlie features and expression of the people in the various parts of the 
hills are very different ; though very often referrible to the Tartar or 
Chinese, and but little to the countenance of the Hindoo of the plains. 

Their soldiers are stout, thick, well built men, in general ; verv active 
and strong for their size. They understand the use of the " tulwar," or 
sabre, and prefer close fighting, giving an onset with a loud sliout : each 
man wears, besides his sword, a crooked, long, heavj- knife, called " cookree," 
which may be used in war, but is also of the greatest use in all conmion 
operations, when a knife or a hatchet is needed. The sokUers carry 
matchlocks or musquets : the latter have been j^artly obtained in traffick 
with the English, and are partly of their own manufacture, in various 
parts of the country. 

Their officers, besides the sword, and shield, and cookree, carry bows and 
arrows, which they use very dexterously ; and the sword sometimes is of a 
peculiar shape, the edge having a curve inwards, like a reaping hook, but far 
more straight, and very heavy, particularly at the point end, where it i> 
very broad, and ends abruptly s([uare. This instrument is called a '• korah,* 
or a " bughalee," and is formidable rather in a})pearance than in realitv, 
as a blow once given and missed, with so heavy a weapon, could not easilv 
be recovered ; besides which, its shape is awkward, and could never act 
with effect against a regularly shaped sword. 

Jenjaels, a long sort of matchlock, were in use ; and thev possessed 
a few small guns ; but these were confined to the walls of their forts, and 
they never carried them to attack in the field. 

Such was the nation, and such the troops, to which the British force 
was now to be opposed. They were of a far more formitlable descrijjtion 
than those of the plains, who tied from our arms in former campaigns ; 
and the nature of the country was so new, that the whole complexi(»n of 
the war wore an aspect (piite different from any tli;it nvc had been before 
engaged in. 

The ]m)vince of Cimiaoon was under the government of Bum Sah ami 
Ilustee DhuU Chowtra ; and all beyond the Ham (iiuiga was under the 
sway of Cnnnr Sing Thappah, who, indeed, was the chief conunander of 

c 2 



12 HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF NEPAL. 

all the troops that had crossed the Kalee or Gograh river, to push the 
(ihonrkha coiuiuosts through Gurwhal to the Sutlej. His son, Runjore 
Sill"- 'riia])])ah, held the chief command under him at Nairn ; and various 
interior oiticers were scattered up and down the country, in fortresses and 
strong holds, to retain it in subjection. 

Umnir Sing himself remained at the extremity of his conquests ; and 
liaving been unable to gain any permanent footing beyond the Sutlej, 
occupied the hue of posts around Irkee and IJelaspoor, where were situated 
the strongly fortified places of Ixamgurh and ]Malown. 



RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 13 



CHAPTER 11. 

About the beginning of October, 1814, our troops began to move 
towards the different depots ; and the army was soon after formed into 
four divisions, one at Benares, one at jNIeeruth, one at Dinapore, and one 
at Loodheanah. 

The first diri.sioii, at Dinapore, being the largest, was commanded by 
Major-General INIarley, and was intended to seize the pass at ]Muckwan- 
pore, the key, as it was alleged, of Xeprd, and to push forward to Cat- 
mandhu, the capital : thus at once carrying the war into the heart of the 
enemy's country. This force consisted of 6,000 men. 

The second division, at Benares, under command of jMajor-General 
Wood, having subsequently removed to Gorrukpore, was meant to enter 
the hills by the Bhootnuill pass, and, turning to the eastward, to penetrate 
the hilly districts, towards Catmandhu, and co-operate with the first divi- 
sion, while its success would have divided the enemy's country and force 
into two parts, cutting off all the troops in Kumaoon and Gurwhal from 
communication with, or succour from, the capital. Its force was comj)uted 
at from 2 to 3,000 men. 

TJie thii'd division was formed at JNIeeruth, under ^fajor-Cieneral 
Gillespie, consisting of 3,000 men ; and it was purposed to march directly 
to the Deyrah Dhoon ; and, having reduced the forts in that fertile valley, 
to move, as might be deemed most expedient, to the eastward, to recover 
Sreenugger from the troops of Ummr Sing Thai)i)ah ; or to the westward, 
to gain the post of Nahn, the chief town of Sirmore, where Biuijoro Sing 
Thappah held the government for his father, Unnnr Sing ; and so swctp 
on towards the Sutlej, in order to cut off that chief from the rest, and 
thus to reduce him to terms. 

The fourth, or north-western division, at Loodheanah, was smaller than 
the others, consisting, at first, of somewhat less than 3,000 men : it assem- 
bled luider Ih'igadier-General Ochterlony, and was destined to advance 
against the strong and extensive cluster of posts held by I'mnu- Sing 



14 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

Thappali and the troops under his immediate orders at and surrounding 
Irkce, a considerable town of Kuhloor, and to co-operate with the force 
under ]Major-General (iillespie, moving downwards among the hills, 
when these jiositions should be forced, siu-rounding Ummr Sing, and 
driving him upon that army. 

Such was the disposition of a British force, which, with its reinforce- 
ments, was far larger than had perhaps ever been collected, in so high 
a state of discii)hne and of equipment, at one presidency, at the com- 
mencement of a struggle, mIucIi, however the minds of men might be 
pre})ared for its severity, was, from physical obstacles, rendered even more 
arduous than was expected, and in which we were opposed, particularly 
in the commencement, with an obstinacy and cool determination quite 
new in India. 

The third division, under ]Major-Gencral Gillespie, made the first 
movement, and conuuejiced active operations with little delay. 

The general not having joined, the troops moved under the command 
of I.ieutenant-Colonel ]Mawby, of his majesty's 53d regiment of foot, from 
Serhampore, whereto they had been previously ordered from INIeeruth ; 
and on the 22d of October cleared the Timlee pass, through the first 
range of hills into the Dhoon, and took up a position at Deyrah, the chief 
town in the valley, about five miles distant from the fort of Kalunga, or 
Xn in pa nee. 

This fort is situated on an insidatcd hill, about 5 or GOO feet high, 
covered with jungle, and in most ])laces very steep. The table-land on 
the top may be about three (piarters of a mile in length ; and on the 
southern and highest extremity of this hill was Kalunga built. It was 
an irregular fortification, following the form of the ground, and at this 
time was imperfect, the wall not having been fully raised ; but they were 
busily engaged in heightening and strengthening it. 

It was commanded I)y IJhulbudder Sing, nephew of Ummr Sing; and 
he had with him .'3 or 400 ir.en, chiefly of the regidar troops of Nepal. 
A letter was sent to this chief, siniimoning him to surrender the fort. 
The manner in which he received this siunmons was characteristic of the 
peopl(\ and gave a foretaste of the steady coolness with which they 
delended the ])lace. The note was delivered to him at midnight ; and 
he tore it, observing, that it was not customary to receive or answer 



ITS PROGRESS. 15" 

letters at such unseasonable hours ; Ijut sent his salaain to the English 
sirdar, assuring him that he would soon pay him a visit in his camp. 

On the next day Colonel Mawby reconnoitred the place ; and, having 
carried up two six-pounders and two howitzers on elephants, made an 
attempt to take the fort by assault : however, after firing a few rounds, 
this was declared impracticable, and the party retreated. 

General Gillespie joined, and took the command of the army. The 
place was again reconnoitred, and dispositions were immediately made 
for the assault : parties were employed in preparing fascines and gabions 
for the erection of batteries ; and two twelve-pounders, four five-and-a- 
half-inch howitzers, and four six-pounders, were carried up the liill on 
elephants. The table-land was taken possession of A\ithout any resist- 
ance on the part of the enemy ; and batteries for the above-mentioned 
guns were ready to open on the fort on the morning of the 31st of 
October, at 600 yards distance. 

The storming party was formed into four columns, and a reserve. 

The first, under Colonel Carpenter, consisted of 611 officers and men. 

The second, under Captain Fast, of 363 officers and men. 

The tliird, under ]Major Kelly, of 541 officers and men. 

The fourth, under Captain Campbell, of 283 officers and men. 

The reserve, under Major Ludlow, of 939 officers and men. 

These were so disposed as to ascend, at a given signal (the firing of 
a gun), from different points, and thus distract the attention of the enemy 
from attending too much to any one point. 

The enemy had, on his side, taken what precautions his situation 
afforded him the means of: the wall of the fort had been raised, though 
it was not then quite finished, so as to render it difficult, if not impossible, 
to gain the top without ladders, even in the loAvest part. E^•ery point 
where the fort was a})proachable, or thought weak, was covered by 
stockades, formed of stones and stakes stuck in the ground : a species of 
fortification in which the Ghoorkhas are very highly skilled. Guns were 
placed where they could do most execution ; and at a wicket left open, 
but cross-barred, so as to render entrance exceediniilv difficult, and which 
flanked a great part of the wall, a gun was placed, to enfilade the a])proac h 
with showers of grape. 



16 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

The batteries kept up a -svarm and well-directed fire upon the fort ; 
but the execution was not equal to expectation ; and this, perhaps, uniting 
with tlic eagerness of" a sanguine temper, induced General Ciillespie to 
give the signal for the assault some hoiu-s sooner than was intended ; and 
which, probably from being unexpected, was not heard by either ^Nlajor 
Kelly, Captain Campbell, or Captain Fast. 

The column under Colonel Carpenter, and the reserve under ]Major 
Ludlow, then moved forward to the assault at nine o'clock, and carried 
the stockades surrounding the fort, putting to death, or driving in, the 
few of the enemy who occupied them : they pushed on to the walls, 
under a \ery heavy fire from the garrison, and suffering severely in 
officers and men : the few that reached them called out for ladders, 
which were not at first to be had. Lieutenant EUis, of the pioneers, was 
shot, applying the first ladder himself, at the head of the first division ; 
and many were killed and wounded with him. The obstacles were found 
too great to overcome ; so that, after a long exposure, and a di-eadful loss, 
the brave troops were compelled to fall back, under shelter of a village 
in the rear. 

The general, seeing this, and being determined to surmount all dif- 
ficulties, moved on from the batteries with three fresh companies of the 
53d regiment, and reached a spot within thirty yards of the wicket ; 
where, as he was cheering the men, waving his hat in one hand, and his 
sword in the other, he received a shot through the heart, and fell dead 
on the spot. His aide-de-camp, O'Hara, was killed beside liim, and many 
other officers were wounded. 

All the efforts of the officers were now insufficient to produce in the 
troops that enthusiastic covu-age which alone can triumph over such 
resistance ; and Colonel Carpenter, on whom the command devolved after 
the death of General (iillespie, directed our force to retreat. 

Both cohniins suffered much from the gun before spoken of, as placed 
in the wicket : when the reserve advanced, and got within the line it 
defended, the first discharge brought down the whole front line, killing 
seven, and wounding eleven. Several ])ersons penetrated to this very 
wicket, but, unsupjjorted, coidd produce no effect. A very heavy fire was 
kept uyt from the walls by the garrison, and showers of arrows and of stones 



ITS PROGRESS. 17 

were discharged at the assailants ; and many severe wounds were received 
from stones, whidi they threw very dexterously : tlie women were seen 
occupied in throwing them, and undauntedly exposing their persons. 

Our loss was severe : besides the lamented general, four officers were 
killed, and fifteen wounded ; some of whom subsequently died. Twenty- 
seven non-commissioned officers and men were killed, and 213 wounded. 
According to the official returns, the heaviest part of the loss fell on 
a party of the 8th Hght dragoons, consisting of 100 men dismounted ; fifty 
of whom were attached to each attacking column. General Gillespie 
j^laced much confidence in these men ; and they well deserved it. Out 
of their number four were killed, and fifty wounded ; and there was not 
one among them who would not have stayed by liis commander to the 
last, although certain death were in his view. 

Such were the results of the unfortunate affiiir of Kalunga, the first 
enterprise of the war. The army retreated; and its commander, con- 
sidering the place too strong for another assault, abandoned the table-land 
on the hill of Kalunga, and re-occupied his first position at Deyrah, deter- 
mined to wait the arrival of a battering train from Dehli, with other 
reinforcements. 

Tlie north-western, or fourth division of the army, under Brigadier- 
General Ochterlony, moved to^^•ards the hills about the end of October, 
and reached tlie village of Plassea on the 3 1 st. 

On the 1st of November the army took up a position before Xatagurh, 
a strong hill fort. On the r.ext day batteries were erected, and the place 
breached ; when the garrisoi^, which tUd not exceed 100 men, surren- 
dered both this position and that of Taragiu-h. 

From thence the army moved towards Eamgurh, a fort, or rather a 
strong stockaded position, upon a mountainous ridge, said to be 5 or GOOO 
feet high, which was well garrisoned, and which it was necessary to reduce 
before proceeding to attack the positions near ^Nlalown. It was neces- 
sary, for the reduction of this strong hold, to bring battering cannon 
against it ; and to drag them up the lofty and trackless mountains was 
a work of much time and labour. A road was, however, innnechately 
connnenced, which took a long time to complete. 

Meantime several stockaded outposts were attacked and taken ; and 
reconnoitring parties frecpiently proceeded from our ad\anced positions 

D 



18 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

towards the posts of the enemy, wlio did not always permit them quietly 
to accomplish their incpiiries. 

Lieutenant Lawtie, on one of these occasions, having left the hatteries, 
A\ith an escort of forty men, to reconnoitre, was cut off from rejoining the 
camp by a large party of Ghoorkhas : he bravely cut his way through these, 
and took up a position in a gurhee, or small fort, where he meant to 
have remained till reinforcements came from camp to his rescue. 

Several small parties joined him ; and they would have defended 
themselves easily, notwithstanding the reinforcements which the enemy 
poured in, but their ammunition being expended, and the men, it is said, 
not l)eing able to turn the wooden part of their cartridge-boxes, so as to 
procure the spare ammunition below, a cessation of firing took place, of 
which the Ghoorkhas availed themselves to rush in and close with the 
})arty, who then were overpowered ; and Lieutenant A\'illiams, who com- 
manded the reinforcements, with about fifty men, was killed. Lieutenant 
Lawtie, with the remainder, escaped with great difficulty. 

On the evening of the 27th, after reinforcements had arrived Avith the 
heavy guns, a detachment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Thomson, was sent 
to make a movement in rear of the enemy's position, which was done with 
effect ; and, liaving occupied the heights, they were attacked by the 
(ihoorkhas in force, on the morning of the 29th, and repulsed them with 
much loss. U])wards of fifty dead were left in front of our position. 
The wounded were carried away with them. 

Ummr Sing himself was on these heights, and took up a strongly 
fortified post in front of our troops ; but our movement was of service, 
tending to lengthen oiu' line of commmiication, and threatening to cut 
off" that of the enemy witli Irkee and jNIalown. They were forced to 
abandon several of their stockades, of which one, called by them the 
great stockade, was of formidable strength. 

Several movements now took ])lace, which it would be too tedious to 
describe and detail, and which ended by the troops under Colonel Arnold 
taking ])ossession of all the strong holds formerly occupied by Ummr Sing, 
except that of Eamgurh itself; that chief having left them, with nearly all 
his force, to watch CJeneral Ochterlony, who had moved towards Belaspoor : 
two or three hundred men only were left at Kamgurli, and a battalion was 
left to mask these ; whilst the army pushed on under the general, and took 



ITS PROGRESS. 19 

up a commanding position close to jMalown and its fortified ridges, ^vliere 
Ummr Sing now concentrated his force. 

This strong hold consists of a line of fortified posts, uj)on a very lofty 
and difficult ridge, which projects into the river Sutlej, between two small 
rivers, the CTunil)ah and the Giunrorah, the latter being to the northward, 
and both flowing westward. The neck between these two rivers is very 
strongly stockaded. 

Colonel Arnold was detached to cross the Guinbah, and take u]> 
a position at or near Eelaspoor, which he accomplished, after a xery 
fatiguing journey, during the 31st of January, 1st and i2d of February; 
Lieutenant Ross, with 52000 irregular troops, having occupied a post some 
time before, also near the town. 

The weather now became exceedingly severe, rain and snow falling for 
many days, whilst neither officers nor men were provided with the means 
of shieldino; themselves from the ill effects of such inclement weather. 

The Jk'laspoor, or Kuhloor Eajah, left his capital, on the approach of 
the British army, with most of his people, and thus deprived us of great 
part of the supjilics it was expected to yield. 

This rajali had been an humble ally or dependant of l^mnu" Sing, who 
had drawn from Eelasj)oor and its vicinity much of the supplies by which 
his troops were supported. 

There was, however, no reason to believe that this alliance was agreeable 
to the rajah, but rather that he would come willingly over to the British 
party, could he but find a sufficient excuse, in case of future need, for tliis 
defection ; and accordingly, some days after our troops had possession of 
the })oints they occupied round the town, the people began to return, and 
the bazaars were well supplied. 

AMiilst the ])ositions of Ummr Sing were thus watched, a party was 
detached to reduce Bamg-urh ; the siege of which was conducted bv 
Captain AVebb of the artillery, and Lieutenant Lawtie of the engineers. 
The i)arty took uj) a jjosition about 700 yards from the fort, on tlie 152th 
of February, very little molested by the enemy ; who, indeed, ottered no 
resistance till the men were secured on their ground, when they attacked 
the post, and were repulsed with some loss. 

During the 13th and 14th the road was continued froni tlie camp to 
the batteries ; and on the loth an eighteen-pounder was dragged up by 



20 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

(lint of great labour, wliicli immediately opened on the fort, with con- 
siderable effect ; and by the evening of the iGth, not only its tlu-ee guns 
■were silenced, but its face laid in ruins. 

The garrison, consisting of 100 men, made terms for themselves, and 
for another small fort named Joojooree, with 160 men ; Avho were allowed 
to march out Avith the honoui-s of war and their guns, and to proceed to 
IVIalowii, if they chose it. 

They did proceed thither, and instead of receiving the due praise for 
their gallant defence, the chief men were seized, and had their noses cut 
off, by command of Unnnr Sing, as a punishment for giving up the forts 
but Avith tlieir hves ; while the rest were driven off without their pay, 
and stripped of every thing they possessed : A singular instance of 
impohtic and ruffian-hke cruelty, under the semblance of rigid dis- 
cipline, at a time when a sound judgment would have pointed out mild 
and encouraging measures, to men who had already served the sinking 
cause with fidelity, and only yielded to imperious necessity. 

Such was the situation of affairs on the 1st of jNIarch, when prepara- 
tions had been abeady commenced for reducing ^Nlalown, and its de- 
pendent positions. 



During this time, the first and grand division of the army, and which 
was under General IMarley, commenced the crossing of the Ganges, on the 
23d Xovember, and proceeded in a direction towards Eettiah. 

On the 24th, a party under ]Major Bradshaw, who was in advance, en- 
camped at Goorasun, on the borders of the Terrace, surprised a post of 
the enemy, named IJurburwah, garrisoned, it is said, by 400 men under 
Purseram Thappa, a sirdar of excellent character. They lost this valua- 
l)le officer, killed with several other sirdars, and 150 men killed and pri- 
soners. The loss on our side was trifling. Captain Hay, of the Chumpa- 
rum light infantry, also occupied a fort called Earagiu'hee, wliich post 
he continued to hold. 

Little activity of service prevailed in this quarter for more than a 
month. In the latter end of December, the chief position of the army 



ITS PROGRESS. 21 

was at Loatun ; to the left and westward, Captain Sibley, with 300 
infantry and fifty irregular horse, lay at Pursa, a village opposite to one of 
the passes, and twenty miles from the main army. Captain Hay was at 
Baragurhee on the right, two miles off: somewhat further on, in the same 
du-ection, there was a small post of two companies ; still further, lay Cap 
tain Blakeney with the left wing of the 9A battalion '2Ud regiment : and 
on the extreme right, Captain Koughsege, with COO men of the Kaingurh 
battalion, was cnt'am])ed on the banks of the river Kattoo. 

Captain Sibley had expressed a suspicion, that the enemy meant to 
attack him in force ; and in consequence, ]Major Greenstreet was detached 
to his aid on the 31st of December, with four companies. On the morn- 
ing of the 1st of January, he met Avounded stragglers coming in, who 
informed him that the party had been attacked and destroyed. He, 
therefore, not consideriiig his force adequate to cope with that which had 
beaten Captain Sibley, returned into camp. Captain Sibley had been 
attacked on the night of the 31st, by a large body of the enemy; the 
number, variously stated, said even to amount to 4000 ; but probably this 
is an exaggeration : — they attacked in three columns, got the possession 
of his magazine, and soon destroyed and dispersed the greater part of the 
detachment. The troops, whilst they had ammunition, fought well : but 
when tills failed, they were soon broken. Lieutenant jNIathescn, v\ho 
commanded a gun which the detachment had with them, stood till all the 
Eviropeans were killed or wounded around him ; and even then served 
the gun liimsell", repressing the enemy severely by discharges of grape. 
At last, being entirely alone, he was forced to abandon his gun ; and this 
most meritorious officer fortunately escaped unhurt. Captain Sibley was 
killed early in the action : the loss was very great : those who did escape, 
effected it chiefly by swimming a small nullah which flanked the camp. 

At the very same time, the post on the right, occupied by Ca})tain 
Blakeney, was attacked also in force ; and, in a ssimilar way, defeated with 
great loss. Captain Blakeney and Captain Duncan were killed, as well 
as about seventy men, and nearly as many were wounded. 

This simultaneous attack on the two opposite points of the army 
shows a degree of combination not very common in native tactics. The 
secrecy with which the enterprise was executed, renders it matter of fur- 



9.2 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

ther surprise, and, although the consequences were mournful to us, of 
admiration. 

The army, immediately after these affairs, moved the camp from 
Loatun towards Eettiah, to protect, it was said, the battering train. 

The movement, however, was retrograde ; and however necessary, was, 
under existing circumstances, of disadvantage to the cause. 

After this period, nothing of consequence was undertaken for several 
months : the camp was frecpiently shifted in front of the great Saul Forest 
that skirts the hills ; which was said to be tilled with ])arties of the enemy. 
The depot was at Bettiah, and various minor movements were made in 
this neighbourliood, with no effect on the vdtimate s\iccess of the campaign. 

The force, stated to be opposed to us, was variously computed, but 
none attributed to the enemy less than 525,000 men ; a force which is 
quite incredible, and which subsequent information has, it is beheved, 
shown to be merely ideal. 

On the 10th of February, General jNIarley left the camp, and was suc- 
ceeded in command by INIajor-General George Wood. 

On the 20th a smart and brilliant, though inconsiderable affair, oc- 
curred. Lieutenant Pickersgill, in charge of the guide and intelligence 
department, having left the camp at Erinjaree Pokree, to reconnoitre with 
a small escort, discovered a party of the enemy, about 300 in number, at 
about eight miles from camp ; after exchanging a few shots, he retii'cd, 
and sent for reinforcements, and was soon joined by a party of Gardiner's 
irregular horse, with many officers mounted ; the picquets and ten com- 
panies, with fovir six pounders, were ordered by Colonel Dick (then in 
command) to follow. 

In the mean time, Lieutenant Pickersgill had occupied the embank- 
ment of a tank, a short way from the enemy's post ; and here he was 
found by the cavalry. AMien they came up, the enemy made an attack, 
moving uj) a small ravine to the tank, and then charging in good style: 
our ])arty retired to the other side of the tank ; while the horse filed to 
the right and left, as the enemy reached the top of the bank. 

On seeing the infantry coming iqi, they halted, and brandishing their 
weapons, began to retire : and no sooner had they commenced their re- 
treat, than the party of officers (about twenty in number) charged them 



ITS PROGRESS. 2S 

sword in hand, followed by the cavahy on each flank : a total route en- 
sued ; and they fled, cut up by the horsemen, who pvirsued them ; killing 
Bhowanee Dntt Thappa, their conmiajider, and great numbers of men. 

They formed in a village, but were again broken there ; and lost, in 
contiiuiiiig their retreat, a great many men : more than 100 bodies were 
counted, and upwards of fifty made prisoners. Our loss was trifling, 
consisting chiefly in wounded in the cavalry. Ensign Patton, who was 
closely engaged, received t\\'o wounds. The other gallant actors in tliis 
affair fortunately escaped luihurt. 

This result not only evinces much gallantry on the part of our troops 
engaged, but shows that the Ghoorkhas, used to hill-fighting, are not by 
any means so formidable on the plain ; and that they cannot at all resist 
cavalry : it was new, and therefore terrible to them. It is said, that here 
they used poisoned arrows. 

Major-General Wood joined the army on the 22d, and on the morning 
of the .'jd marched to Pursa with a strong force, and battering train of 
two eighteen pounders, two six pounders, and two 8tV inch howitzers, 
with ilOO rounds of ammunition for each piece, and approached the great 
forest by rapid marclies ; turning to the eastward, reached Janickpore, a 
post strongly stockaded, but which the enemy evacuated on the approach 
of the army. Having left there Colonel O'Halloran, a\ ith five com- 
panies of sepoys, the force returned again towards Brinjaree Pokree, 
the original camp. 

Janickpore is a place of much sanctity, where are temples to Janick 
and llam, described as very cvirious : their base is a regvdar square? 
which decreases as the walls rise, and is at top covered with a dome. 
from which a spire arises. 

One of the great temples is covered ^ith a plate of metal rescuibling 
gold, of great value : it is a buikling of four stories, from the corner of 
each of which are suspended seventy-tMO bells : it is a very great resort 
of pilgrims. 

Close to the village containing these temples, the Ghoorkhas had 
erected a small fort, provided with a dry ditch, but of little strength. 
They had, however, commenced a stockade that would have been highly 
formidable, had it been completed: it was a square of 11. 5 yards each 



24 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

way; the height on the cutside was twenty feet. liastions were erected 
at tlie corners, and at each of tlie entrances in the centre of the sides ; in 
the centre of the stockade was a tank, whicli occupied a large portion of 
its area. It had every appearance of having been constructed in a hurry, 
as green and insufficient wood was used, instead of the bamboo, which 
usually is preferred ; and jio attempt had been yet made to excavate a ditch. 

Xo movement of idtimate importance took place after this period, 
although there Avere several petty affairs of outposts, and small detach- 
ments, some of A\hich reflected great credit on the troops, and on their 
connnanding officers. 

On tlie Tth, General ^^"ood marched to Ramnuggur — while Colonel 
Dick remained in command at Brinjaree Pokree ; and Colonel C^regory, 
with the reserve of the army, remained at .Janickpore. Thus things re- 
mained till the season arrived when it became necessary to withdraw the 
troops from the unhealthy districts they occupied, and to permit them to 
return to cantonments. 

Tlie operations of the 2d division of the army, under ^Major-Generai 
S. "\\"ood, were not more fortunate or important than those of the grand 
division just related. 

The army began to move from Goruckpore on the IStli of December, 
1814, towards the JJhootwull pass; and, as it was said that the enemy 
were moving down the pass in force, a detacliment sent in advance was to 
repel any incursions they might be inclined to make. On the 24th, 2oth, 
and 2Gth, the army was encamped at Temooa, not more than twenty to 
twenty-five miles distant from Ehootwull ; from thence the army slowly 
approached the pass, the foot of which they reached on the 31st. No 
enemy was seen — no annoyance offered. 

Preparations were commenced on the 1st of January for ascending 
the hills, and carrying the strong post of Jeetgurh : the guns were taken 
to ])ieces, that they might be can-ied on elephants ; and provisions were 
laid in for seven days. On the 3d the arm}', amounting to full 2,000 men 
in high order, leaving the camj), wliicli had been fortified, guarded by but 
a few com])anies, moved towards the pass : a body of 500 was detached, 
under ]\Iajor Coniyn, to take the enemy in rear; wliilst the main body 
continued their route through the forest. 



ITS PROGRESS. 25 

The information of the enemy's movements and positions, on this 
occasion, seems to have been wonderfully defective. The troojis had 
been led to expect a stockade, in a ])lain of considerable extent, free of 
jungle ; whereas, whilst they were advancing without a suspicion of 
attack, and had reached a small break in the jungle, on the side of a hill, 
they were saluted by a shower of balls from amongst the trees, fired bv 
unseen foes ; and thus a number of our troops were killed and wounded, 
without the power of defending themselves, or annoying their adversaries. 
At length they showed themselves, and were forced back by the 
British bayonet ; but, much loss having been sustained, and some confu- 
sion having taken place, and the cooleys and bearers having thro\\ n away 
the spare ammunition, it Avas resolved to retire. 

Major Comyn had in fact taken the enemy in the rear, and would 
probably have succeeded in turning the fortune of the day, and in de- 
stroying much of the opposing force, but when the main body retreated, 
it was considered too hazardous to attempt any thing ; and they joined 
the rest of the army, A\hich fell back to camp. 

Our loss Avas severe, and many officers were wounded ; of ^^ horn 
Lieutenant jNIorrison, of the Engineers, afterwards died. Lieutenant 
Poyntz, of his jNfajesty's 17th foot, though shot through the lungs, sub- 
sequently recovered. The loss of the enemy Avas not ascertained. 

After this attempt, nothing took place during the rest of the month. 
A battering train Avas ordered from Gorruckpoor, and the army moved to 
Bansee, Avhere it encamped : no movement or enterprise of any con- 
sequence appears to have taken place till the loth of April; Avhen the 
battering train having reached the army, another attempt Avas made on 
Bhootwull. 

On the 15th of A])ril, the army encamped Avithin a short distance of 
the toAvn, and connnenced })re])arations for attacking the stockade that 
protected it. On the 17th the batteries Avere opened, and the eighteen- 
pounders played Avith nuu-h effect u])on the defences ; Avhich, Avith Avell- 
directed Shrapnell-shells, Avas supposed to have caused great loss to the 
enemy. 

An attempt Avas made, after battering some time, to cross the river 
(that floAvs past the toAvn) Avith some of the light companies. Avith a view 

£ 



26 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

of taking possession of it, from the opposite side ; but it was discovered 
that this party was too much exposed to the fire of a body of Ghoorkhas 
l)ehind a wall, and that the water was too deep to permit them to succeed 
in their enterprise. After wading up to the M^aist, and having a few men 
and one officer wounded, they retreated, and returned to camp. 

Soon after, we find them in camp at Temooah, and there was no 
further movement on the part of this army diu-ing the campaign. They 
returned towards Gurruckpoor, about the middle of ]May, and went into 
cantonments. 



ITS PROGRESS. 27 



CHAPTER III. 

We must now return to the tldrd division of the army, which, after 
the repulse before Kahmga on the 31st of October, lay inactive till the 
arrival of the battering train from Delhi, which did not take place till 
the 24th of November; and on the 25th active operations were renewed. 

By one o'clock of the 27th, the batteries, which had been erected 
within 300 yards of the wall, had effected a large and fully practicable 
breach ; and although a warm fire had been kept up by the besieged, we 
had hardly sustained any loss. 

Shells also had been thro^\Ti with great effect ; and although the 
enemy had attempted a sally on the 27th, they were driven back with 
loss, by showers of grape. The commander, Colonel jNIanly, satisfied 
that the breach was practicable, ordered a storm. 

The storming party was composed of all the grenadiers of the detach- 
ment, with the light company and one battahon company of the 5Sd, led 
by IMajor Ingleby, of that regiment. They advanced to the breach, and 
stood for two hours exposed to a tremendous fire from the garrison, which 
destroyed many officers and men : but, after every exertion on the part 
of their officers, and the fall of many, in leading and endeavouring to 
push them forward in spite of the obstacles that were opposed to them, 
without any success, it was deemed expedient to order a retreat, and the 
whole returned to the batteries. 

It does not belong to a short notice of this sort, to comment on the 
unfortunate result of this storm, or to seek for the causes of its failure. 
The enemy certainly opposed a most gallant and desperate defence, to 
an assault which they could have no hope of ultimately and effectually 
repelling ; and this, after a most severe slaughter had been caused ^nthin 
their own walls, by the powerful means employed on our side for their 
destrviction : they showed themselves in the breach, freely exposing their 
persons, though continually mo^ved down by our shot ; ami shoAvercd do^v^ 
on the assailants every weapon they could use — balls, arrows, and stones. 



28 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

Our sokliers advanced towards the breach with perfect self-possession 
and coohicss : a few got to the crest, and fell there ; the rest remained at 
a short distance, firing at the garrison, and exposed to a very destructive 
fire in return. No one turned to fly ; but none went onwards : they 
stood to be slaughtered. Their officers exposed themselves most gallantly 
and unreservedly. Lieutenant Harrington, of his ^Majesty's 53d, was 
killed on the breach, cheering and encouraging the men to follow : Lieu- 
tenant Luxford, of the horse artillery, having brought u]i a gun to the 
l)reach, to destroy the defences of the enemy within, and drive them from 
llieir quarters, received a shot through his body, of which he died ; and 
besides these, there were many officers wounded. By the official returns, 
there were three officers killed, eight wounded ; 38 men killed, 440 
wounded and missing : — an awful number, where the ojiponents did not 
equal these alone. 

The fire from the batteries recommenced the next day, and shells were 
again thrown, the effect of which was so dreadful, from the unprotected state 
of the garrison, and from the demolished state of the defences, that the few 
and faint survivors, not exceeding TO in nimiber, abaiuloned the place on 
the night of the 30th ; and fighting their May through the chain of posts 
placed to intercept them, escaped with the loss of a few men ; pursued 
by ]Major Ludlow, with a party. 

At three o'clock that morning, ]Major Kelly entered, and took possession 
of the fort ; and there indeed the desperate courage and bloody resistance 
they had op])osed to means so overwhelming were mournfully and horribly 
apparent. The whole area of the fort was a slaughter-house, strewed 
with the bodies of the dead and the wounded, and the dissevered limbs of 
those who had been torn to pieces by the bursting of the shells ; those 
v.ho yet lived piteously calling out for water, of which they had not 
tasted for days. 

The stench from tlie ])lace was dreadful ; many of the bodies of those 
that had been early killed had been insufficiently interred : and our 
officers found in the ruins the remains and the clothes of several thus 
incompletely covered, starting into view. One chief was thus found out, 
who had fallen in the first attempt, and had received this wretched 
semi sepulture. 

The bodies of several women, killed by shot or shells, were discovered ; 



ITS PROGRESS. 29 

and even cliildren mangled, and yet alive, by the same ruthless engines. 
One woman, who had lost her leg, was found, and sent to the hospital, 
where she recovered ; a young child was picked uj), who had been shot 
by a musket-ball through both his thighs, and who also perfectly recovered; 
and there was also a fine boy of only three or four years old, whose father, 
a Soubahdrir, had been killed, and who was left in the fort when it was 
evacuated ; he was unhurt, and was taken care of Upwards of 90 dead 
bodies were burnt by our native troops ; and about an equal number of 
wounded were sent to the hospital, and carefully treated : several prisoners 
also were taken. 

The determined resolution of the small i)arty which held this small 
post for more than a month, against so comparatively large a force, must 
surely wring admiration from every voice, especially when the horrors of 
the latter portion of this time are considered ; the dismal spectacle of 
their slaughtered comrades, the sufferings of their women and children 
thus immured with themselves, and the hopelessness of rehef, which de- 
stroyed any other motive for the obstinate defence they made, than that re- 
sulting from a high sense of duty, supported by unsubdued courage. This, 
and a generous spirit of courtesy towards their enemy, certainly marked 
the character of the garrison of Kalunga, during the period of its siege. 

"Whatever the nature of the Ghoorkhas may have been found in other 
quarters, there was here no cruelty to wounded or to jjrisoners ; no poisoned 
arrows were used ; no wells or waters were poisoned ; no rancorous s])irit 
of revenge seemed to animate them : they fought us in fair conflict, like 
men; and, in the intervals of actual combat, showed us a Uberal courtesv 
worthy of a more enlightened })cople. 

So far from insulting the bodies of the dead and wounded, they per- 
mitted them to lie untouched, till carried away ; and none were stripped, 
as is too universally the case. The confidence they exhibited in tlie 
British officers was certainly flattering : they solicited and obtained sur- 
gical aid ; and on one occasion this gave rise to a singular and interesting 
scene : — ^\'hile the batteries were playing, a man was perceivetl on tin- 
breach, advancing and waving his hand. The guns ceased firing for a 
while, and the man came into the batteries : he proved to be a Ghoorkha. 
whose lower jaw had been shattered by a cannon shot, and Avho came thus 
frankly to solicit assistance from his enemy. 



30 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

It is unnecessary to add, that it was instantly afforded. He recovered ; 
and, when discharged from the hospital, signified his desire to return to 
his corps to combat us again : exhibiting thus, through the whole, a strong 
sense of the value of generosity and courtesy in warfare, and also of his 
duty to his country, — separating completely in his own mind private and 
national feehngs from each other, — and his frank confidence in the indi- 
viduals of our nation, from the duty he owed liis own, to fight against us 
collectively. 

The remainder of the garrison of Kahuiga, with their commander, 
IJhulbudder Sing, to the number of about seventy, retired to a hill some 
miles off, where they were joined by 300 men, who had hngered in the 
neighbourhood for some days, endeavouring to throw themselves into the 
fort. 

INIajor IakUow, with the force under his command, amounting to 
about 400 men, moved, on the afternoon of the 1st of December, to attack 
and dislodge them : he came up with them, after a very fetiguing march, 
about one in the morning of the 2d, on very difficult ground, on the hill 
\\ here they had encamped for the night. They were on the alert ; and 
their centinel challenged our men, who rushed forward, and fell on them, 
and dispersed them, Avith much loss. They fled, pursued by ovu* troops, 
to the summit of the hill, where it was found necessary to desist, and 
collect our men. 

The enemy's loss was great, but could not well be estimated : upwards 
of fifty bodies were seen ; and many must have been wounded. Our loss 
consisted of but two officers, and about fifteen men wounded. 

Colonel Carpenter, who had been detached to Calsee, sent Captain 
Fast with a party to occupy some positions above that town, which 
was effected without loss. And on the 4th of December the strong 
position of Barat, situated on a mountain nearly 6000 feet high 
above the place, was abandoned by the enemy, and occupied by Colonel 
Carpenter. • 

The army broke up from their camp in the Dhoon on the 5th ; and, 
re-entering the plains by the Timbee pass, marched towards Nairn. They 
arrived at the pass of Moginund on the 19th, seven miles from Nahn : on 
which day also ^Major-General ^Martindale joined and took command of 
the army. .Vnd on the 24th, ]Major Ludlow, with two battalions, pushed 



ITS PROGRESS. 31 

up the hill, and occupied that town, which had been evacuated by the 
Ghoorkhas ; and was followed by the whole army on the 25th, save a few 
companies left to protect the park of artillery in the pass below. 

The enemy retired to Jytock ; which fort, with the town of Xahn, 
and all the places here mentioned, will be found descril)ed in the succeed- 
ing ])ages. 

The pioneers had already been employed in making a road for the 
battering guns, which, it was evident, would be necessary for reducing 
the fort of Jytock ; but the time likely to be occupied in this tedious 
operation was so great, that it was determined to make an attempt, wliile 
the impression of our approach was freshest, to take the place by surprise, 
or at least to occupy some advantageous position in its vicinity. 

For this purpose two columns of troops moved from Xahn : one under 
Major Eichards, of about 500 men, set out early on the evening of the 
26th, making a long detour to get round the hill on which the fort was 
situated, and to occupy a point near the fort, known afterwards by the 
name of Peacock Hill. 

The otlier, of about HOO men, under jMajor Ludlow, left camp towards 
the morning of the 27th, and was directed to cross the dell intervening 
between Xahn and Jytock, and push up the hill, to occupy a point in the 
ridge that joins Jytock with the spot where the ]^ritisli camp after^vards 
was placed, known by the name of Blackhill. 

This latter colvunn, after a fatiguing march over rocky and jiuigly 
ground, and the latter part of it a painfully steep ascent, at length reached 
the crest of the ridge ; but many of the troops had been left far behind ; 
and unfortunately, instead of halting to collect and breathe, those who 
had arrived hurried forward to dislodge a picquet of twenty men. which 
were posted at this point, and which tied to the stockades : our men 
pushed onwards, and took a post somewhat further along the ridge, 
driving in the Ghoorkhas who occupied it. 

Had they halted here, the end desired would have been obtained : 
but, flushed with success that had been so easy, tiie few headmost troops, 
in spite of the exertions of the officers to restrain them, still ran on to 
occupy a farther and stronger stockade, known afterwards during the 
siege as the second stockade, and the Une followed in long disjointed 



352 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

succession : the consequence was, as might be expected, that the enemy, 
ahu-inc'd by the first firing, had sent strong reinforcements towards the 
point attacked ; and, by the time that the second stockade was endangered, 
these had nearly reached it. 

Jespaw Qaree, the officer in command, saw the disordered state of our 
troops, and how few of tliem were together. He saUied out from the 
flanks of the stockade, with no great number of men, sword in hand ; 
bore down the foremost troops, who were running up the hill ; put the 
rest to flight, and pursued them along the ridge which they had won 
before. Keinforced by fresh troops, the enemy followed up the charge ; 
and our men, out of breath an.d panic-struck, could not be brought 
to rally. 

iNIajor Ludlow and tlie other officers did all that was possible to make 
a stand : three times, at rather favourable points of ground, was it attempted 
to rally the troops ; but as often, the Ghoorkhas coming up, they broke 
and Hed : and at last, at the point where the crest had first been gained, 
oiu- men dispersed down the hill on both sides, the Ghoorkhas follo^^'ing, 
and cutting them to pieces. 

They regained the camp dispirited and fatigued, but carrying with 
them their Mounded officers. Lieutenant jNIant of the 53d was killed, 
whilst strenuously endeavouring to rally the troops. He had been 
wounded early in the action ; but still pressed forwards, till he Avas shot 
through the body : sensible that he Avas dying, he nobly declined the 
anxious offers of a sepoy to stay by him ; insisted on his saving himself; 
and took off liis sash and sword, and charged him to give them, with his 
affectionate remembrance, to a friend. 

Lieutenant Sayer, having been severely Avounded in the commence- 
ment of the affair, Avas making his Avay to shelter, Avhen a party of the 
enemy came up, and cut him doAvn : jNIajor LudloAv, Avith a fcAv men, 
rescued him, and brought him to camj). Lieutenant Donnelly received 
a shot in the foot. 

The detachment luider ]Major Eichards, after a most fatiguing march 
of sixteen miles, reached the intended point, at a later hour of the day, 
Avithout opposition. Ciuns had been sent on elephants along Avith them, 
but could not keej) up Avith the column, from the difficulties of the path ; 



ITS PROGRESS. 33 

and the bearers and coolies, who carried the spare ammunition, were cut 
off by a party of the enemy, so that tlie detachment was reduced to what 
they had in pouch. 

The whole Ghoorkha force, having repulsed the other column, came 
down and attacked Major llichards, soon after he had taken up his position ; 
and although they made very numerous and gallant charges, coming up 
to the very muzzles of the guns, they were always repelled with loss. 
]iut the ammunition was fast expending ; and, with the view of saving 
it, our troops met the enemy in their assaults with stones : and thus 
a constant conflict was kept up from one p. m. till seven p. m. with great 
loss to the enemy, and but little on our side. 

At this period a hircarrah arrived from General Martindale, with 
orders for Major Richards to make the best retreat he could, as the other 
detachment had been defeated, and the enemy's whole force was now 
opposed to his. Many such messages had been sent, but none had 
arrived till this period ; and ]\Iajor Richards, who had little doubt of 
being able to maintain his position, till reinforced from camp, still kept 
his ground, till a more peremptory order came for the retreat, when the 
word was given to commence a retrograde movement. 

The Ghoorkhas were at this moment swarming round the hill. The 
night was darkening around. The men were weary with their long 
march and a six hours combat, and were exhausted by a want of water, 
which there had been no means of procuring for several hours. A retreat 
could not have been attempted under more unfavourable circumstances. 
The moment that the enemy saw our troops (piitting the liill, they rushed 
in on all sides, cutting down the loiterers. The ground was so steep 
and broken, that it was impossible long to preserve order. AA^hilst 
descending a steep defile, the (ihoorkhas, knowing the ground, attacked 
a party in advance, and thus caught our people in a double fire : then 
on all sides they broke in with their swords, cutting down tlie most 
unjirotected. 

Lieutenant Thackeray, of the 2()th native infantry, with the liglu 
company of the regiment, covered the retreat as well as it could be done, 
under the confounding circvunstances of the darkness and of the ground. 

F 



34 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

till he and Ensign Wilson were killed, with many men ; and the rest were 
reduced to the necessity of shifting for themselves, in like manner as those 
tliev had been covering. The detachment, shattered down and worn out, 
reached camp on the morning of the 28th. IMany were missing, who lost 
their way in the confusion and darkness. Several officers were killed ; 
others were sheltered in the houses of the natives, kindly treated, and 
conducted into camp A\ithin a few days. 

Our loss was severe ; but it was not ascertained for several days, being 
lessened greatly by the return of stragglers : at length it was reduced to 
four officers killed, five wounded, seventy-nine non-commissioned officers 
and privates killed, and 281 wounded and missing: of the missing, a 
soubahdar and forty men were returned into camp by Runjore Sing, who 
commanded in Jytock, having been kindly treated, and the wounded 
having their option to remain and be taken care of, or to go along Avith 
their comrades. The only stipulation was, their taking an oath not to 
fight against the fort again. 

It does not belong, as I have formerly said, to a mere detail of dates, 
as this cliiefly is, to comment on the conduct of detachments, or of the 
officers commanding them ; but as these unfortunate affairs have been 
somewhat more particularly noticed, it may be pardoned if the tribute of 
a few words be paid to the gallantry of the officers and troops employed 
on them. The commanders did all that soldiers and officers could do 
under the pecuhar circumstances of the case. 

The fatal effects of an unfortunate panic, induced by the brave but 
unwarrantable over- eagerness of the troops, checked in their exhausted 
state by a fresh and gallant enemy, master of all the intricacies of a most 
difficvdt ground, are strikingly pointed out. in the failure of the first 
column. 

Nor can there be a finer example of the decided advantage which 
steadiness and cool intrepidity gives to troops than the masterly way in 
wliich jNIajor Eichards maintained his post, assailed as he was by numbers 
so superior, and under so many discouraging circumstances. 

There can be no doubt that this gallant officer, with his brave troops, 
wovdd have maintained his post till reinforcements should arrive, had it 
been deemed expedient to put this to the trial. 



ITS rilOGRESS. 35 

The loss sustained was the more distressing, from its occurring at so 
late a period, after such gallant and successful oj)position. 

The conduct of Lieutenant Thackeray was peculiarly noble : but every 
officer exerted himself to the utmost ; and those who fell bore with theni 
the admiration and deep regret of their survivors. 

After this unfortunate business, the army intrenched itself at Xahn : 
and the road for the eighteen-pounders was expedited as much as possible. 
No enterprise of moment took })lace for a considerable time. 

Buhlbudder Sing, after the evacuation of Kalunga, and his affair ^\ ith 
Major Ludlow, had thrown himself into Jovuitgurh, a strong place on the 
eastern bank of the Jumna, where he y»as joined by a few stragglers, that 
increased his actual force to about 400 men. 

An attemjjt was made by jNIajor Baldock, with the detachment at 
Calsee and Eirat (about GOO regular and 400 irregular troops), to dislodge 
h.im, which failed, from some misinformation regarding the numbers 
opposed ; and Buhlbudder afterwards retired from Jount (leaving there 
sixty men) across the Jumna ; and crossing the country, entered Jytock 
about the middle of February. 

On the 2d of February, jNIajor Kelly, with a battaUon of the Ttli 
native infantry, marched and took possession of Xownie, a hill on the 
range of which J}tock forms the extremity, about two miles distant from 
it : this was accomplished, after a fatiguing march, without opposition. 

On the 5th, ]Major Ludlow was sent to sui)port and relieve this 
detachment with the 1st battalion of the 6th native infantry. Tlie 
weather was exceedingly bad : much sno^v fell, succeeded by hea\"y 
rain, which disabled the men, who were ill provided with means of 
shelter ; and several bearers and camp followers perished. 

Several reinforcements having arrived in camp, a further force Mas 
sent to join ]Major Ludlow, who occupied a })ost in advance, called 
Blackhill ; from whence to Jytock there is a contiiuious but nuicli 
depressed ridge. 

The light guns and mortars were now sent up on elepliants. and 
established on a point about 1000 yards distant Irom the iirst stockaile : 
but as these guns produced no effect of any consetiuence, it was deter- 
mined to continue the road from Xahn. where the heavy guns had 

r 2 



36 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

alreadv arrived, and bring them on to this point, to batter down their 
formidable stockades : so tliat anotlier montli elapsed of nearly total 
inaction. 

F.verv occurrence, from the period when the guns were carried n\) till 
the termination of hostilities in this (quarter, \v\\\ be related hereafter. 
We may now turn to a refreshing contemplation of the more successful 
operations of the fourth divisioii. 



ITS PROGRESS. 37 



CHAPTER IV. 

Cautiously, deliberately, but securely. General Ochterlony pursued 
his course of operations : the end of which was to reduce ]\Ialo^^^l, and 
force Ummr Sing either to capitulate, or to retreat on the country to the 
eastward, where he would find hostile armies to oppose liis progress, and 
finally destroy him. 

Various movements were made, tending to circumscribe the enemy at 
the posts occupied by Colonel Arnold, Lieutenant Ross, and General 
Ochterlony ; and it was deemed necessary, in view to the desired end, to 
gain possession of the strong holds of Taragurh, and Chumbee. A road 
was commenced for bringing the eighteen-pounders from Ramgurh ; and, 
by great exertion, the batteries were completed on the 10th. Two 
breaches were effected by the evening of the 1 1 th ; but the garrison, of 
about 250 men, not choosing to stand an assault, retreated during the 
night. 

The next day measures were taken to convey the guns to batter 
Chumbee; and Lieutenant Lawtie occupied a strong position com- 
manding that place. On the 15th the light guns opened; and, by the 
next morning, the heavy guns were laid in battery, when the garrison, to 
the number of sixty, surrendered prisoners of war. Lieutenant Lawtie 
conducted both these sieges in a manner tliat reflected the highest credit 
on himself, and without any loss. Taragurh was found to be the strongest 
place the enemy possessed. 

On the 13th, Colonel Arnold's detachment moved to Ruttungurli. 
a small stone fort belonging to the Belaspoor rajah, very strong naturally, 
and facing the western aspect of jMalown (the position of Ummr Singj, 
distant about 2000 yards. 

General Ochterlony occupied a position to the north ; between these 
points Lieutenant Dunbar held a post with a strong body of irregulars : 
and on the east a stockade cut off communication with Irkee. 

The force occupied hitherto in the siege of Taragurh and Chumbee. 



f38 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

when these places fell, closed into the end of the jNIalown ridge, to attack 
Soorajegurli ; and on the 1st of April, the 2d battaUon 1st native infan- 
try, liaving marched the evening before with their guns and baggage, 
leaclied a strong position to the eastward of the place, within 800 yards 
of its walls. The enemy, deceived by various skilful manoeuvres to con- 
ceal the true intent, opposed no resistance : and though a few shot were 
fired from a battery between the fort and our position, our six-pounders 
very soon silenced them. 

It remained tlien to bring from Chumbee the battering-guns, to act 
against Soorajegurh : this is a strong fort on the JNIalown ridge, to the 
eastward ; and its capture was necessary to the fate of the chief jilace, 
wliich must infallibly follow the flill of Soorajegurh. 

In the mean time, the General, aware of the length of time that must 
necessarily elapse in the common course of operations, before the ultimate 
fall of JNIalown could be expected, and observing the practicability of 
further straitening his positions, projected a grand attack on several points, 
whidi, if successful, wovdd cut off one portion of the enemy's troops from 
the main body, and at once enable operations to be carried on against 
JNIalown itself On the ridge between JNIalown and Soorajegurh, which 
were the extreme positions of the enemy, there are several intervening 
peaks, two of which, Eyla and Deorthul, the General determined, if pos- 
sible, to gain possession of; and for this purpose five columns were formed ; 
three of Avhich were to advance to Eyla, and two upon Deorthul. 

The first, under JNIajor Inncs, was to move from the General's camp ; 
it consisted of a grenadier battalion and two six-pounders : the second, 
under Captain Hamilton, aft(>r being joined by a detachment vmder 
Lieutenant Ledlie, consisted of 200 rank and file, two companies of the 
19th native infantry, and a body of irregulars, and two six-pounders. 

A large body of irregulars, including a corps of Ghoorkha deserters, in 
all about 900, with two companies of the 19th native infantry, moved, on 
the night of the 1 4th, from Patta, accompanied by Lieutenant Lawtie, of 
the engineers, and gained and established itself on the heights of Ryla. 

The chief column for the attack on Deorthul was ])laced under the 
conunand of Lieutenant-Colonel Thompson ; it consisted of a battalion 
and four companies of native infantry, a company of pioneers, under 
Lieutenant Armstrong, 300 irregulars, and two six-pounders. JNIajor 



ITS PROGRESS. 39 

Lawrie advanced from a village called Kallec, ^vitll 700 rank and file 
native infantry, to support Colonel Thonipson. 

Two formidable attacks were also to be made against the position of 
Malown itself: one to move from Kallee, under Captain Eowyer, of $^00 
Sepoys and 500 chosen irregulars ; and one from liuttungurh, of a similar 
force, under Captain Strowers, of the lOtli. These two parties were to 
form a junction in the enemy's cantonment, if possible, and to take up any 
position near jMalown, where they thought they could maintain them- 
selves ; but the chief object to be gained by these columns was to distract 
the enemy's attention from the true points of attack. 

Such were the dispositions for this spirited enterprise. The columns 
moved by signal. Colonel Thompson's party readied the height of 
Deorthul without opposition ; but, anxious to push forward to a more 
commanding height, they proceeded along the ridge that led to it, so 
narrow that in most parts not more than two men could go abreast. 

On apj^roaching the desired point, a body of Ghoorkhas, who had been 
lying in ambush, started up, and fell sword in hand, with a shout, on cur 
foremost men, who fell back, and there was a temporary confusion. 
which terminated in their retreat to the first point they had occupied. 
At this time. Major Lawrie also arrived, and immediately forming, they 
jointly drove away the Ghoorkhas, and estabhshed themselves on the 
height first attained ; where, during the whole day, and part of the night, 
they worked hard to entrench themselves. j\Ieanwhile the columns for 
the attack of Kylah occupied that valuable position, without assistance : 
it proved a strong, though a limited post, and even spared a reinforce- 
ment to that of Colonel Thompson. 

The column commanded by Captain Strowers advanced in gallant 
style up the hill towards the enemy's cantonments : there the enemy met 
them, rushing down sword in hand, while a cross-fire v,as poured in upon 
them from the jungle on each side. Our men had not loaded, that they 
might be induced to depend on the bayonet ; and had they been loaded, 
the troops that fired upon the flanks were concealed from their view. 

Their gallant commander, anxious to show in\ example to his men. 
sprang forwards, and even outstripped his four orderhes, who were expert 
swordsmen, and attended him closely. 

A Ghoorkha sirdar met him first, whom he killed with liis sword : the 



40 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

body fallino; on liim, from the steepness of the ground, staggered him ; 
and several others, rushing on him before he could recover himself, stabbed 
and shot him dead. 

At the same time Lieutenant Spellesby, severely wounded in the 
knee, was carried to the rear : and then the troops, discouraged by the 
fall of their first and second in command, and a considerable loss from 
a very galling fire, wavered, fell back, and retreated to the bottom of the 
hill, covered by the fire of the guns of Euttungurh. Here they rallied, 
and drove the enemy back ; but no further attempt was made on the 
same point : they were moved to support a body of irregulars in another 
quarter, the soubahdar of the 19th native infantry, who commanded them, 
having fallen, behaving most nobly, and cheering his men to storm a 
stockade on the opposite ridge. 

Whilst this passed on the west face, Captain Eowyer ad\anccd on the 
northern face of the hill, and succeeded in obtaining possession of a fine 
position, and maintained it from seven a. m. till noon ; but hearing of 
the failure of the other column, he found it necessary to retire ; wliich he 
did in a very masterly manner, retreating from height to height, pouring 
in heavy and destructive volhes, which thinned the ranks of the enemy 
who advanced to annoy him. 

Although these columns were not successful in occupying any strong 
position, they answered in some degree the end proposed : for they diverted 
the attention of the enemy, and prevented a large proportion of his best 
troops from opposing the real attacks. 

Such were the operations of the 14th and 15th of April: during the 
night of the 15th, the enemy made two attacks upon Colonel Thompson's 
position ; and their best officer, Euchtee Thappa, who was in command at 
Soorajeegurh, left that post to visit Ummr Sing, at Malown ; from thence 
he took the largest portion of the troops there encamped, with full direc- 
tions from Ummr Sing to use his own discretion with them. 

He silently posted them in ambuscade, under the cover of night ; and 
in the morning a most furious attack was made, sword in hand, upon the 
detachment. The Ghoorkhas came u}) to the very muzzles of our ginis, 
and were mowed down by the grape that Avas showered on them. Ununr 
Sing was on a height, encouraging his men to the assault ; and Euchtee 
Thappa moved with them to every fresh attack. 



ITS CLOSE. 41 

At last this noble old officer fell ; and the Glioorkhas, then retreating 
in confusion, left our party in quiet possession. Their loss was very great : 
it has been stated at 700, which perhaps was one-third of the attacking 
force ; but their greatest loss was in the person of their lamented chief, 
Buchtee Thappa. This man was seventy years of age, but preserved the 
fire of youth, and much of its vigour : his character as a soldier was tlie 
highest; and his mild manners and his virtues not only procured him the 
adoration of his own troops, but the love and respect of all who knew 
him. He was the strength and dependence of the army ; and in losing 
him they lost all hope and resolution. 

His body was soon recognized by our Ghoorkha deserters, and brought 
into the stockade ; and General Ochterlony, when he heard of it, sent rich 
shawls to wrap it in ; and a notice to the enemy, that it should be 
delivered to them with all respect. 

A mournful deputation was sent to receive it, who, when they saw the 
body, burst into tears and lamentations. They were shocked, too, under 
the impression that he had been mangled : but he had fallen by a match- 
lock ball in the breast ; and when our irregvdars sallied out on the enemy, 
when retreating, his body had received some additional wounds by the 
sword, wliich they believed had been given to finish his life, knowing 
who he was. ]]ut in the tide of battle, when heated by revenge, or even 
animated with ardour, few such troops as composed our irregulars woidd 
reflect, and restrain their uplifted arm. 

The Ghoorkhas, on better thoughts, were sensible of this : and also 
to the attention and respect paid to his remains : but they loudly be- 
moaned liim, exclaiming that now, indeed, the blade of their sword was 
broken. 

Our own loss was inconsiderable, considering the importance of our 
acquisitions and success : Captain Strowers killed ; Lieutenant Bagot, of 
the pioneers, died of his wounds ; and there were four officers woiuided. 
In all, sixty-eight men kiUed, and two hundred and eighty-nine wounded, 
according to the official report ; but not including the loss of irregulars. 

Few officers have ever fallen more regretted than Captain Strowers, 
whose gallantry was eminently conspicuous. 

Our post at Deonthul was commanded from the position which, on 
the loth, had been unsuccessfully attempted ; and the men sidfered 

G 



42 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

much by a fire from thence. jNIost of the artillerymen who then accom- 
panied the detachment were killed and wounded at the guns ; when 
Lieutenant Hutcliinson, of the engineers, and Lieutenant Armstrong, of 
the pioneers, stept forward to the post of danger, and continued serving 
tlie one gun, wliilst it was required, and secured it when the affair was 
over. The other gun was equally well worked by Lieutenant Cartwright, 
of the artillery, with one unwounded man ; and Lieutenant Lawtie was 
particularly conspicuous for his activity, and for his apphcation of science. 

The General expressed, in the warmest terms, his sincere admiration 
at the conduct of these officers, and of the army in general. 

Such was the brilhant and indeed decisive affair of the heights of 
Soorajegurh or Deonthul, and which led speedily to the conclusion of so 
difficult and harassing a campaign ; and forcibly pointed out the happy 
effects of steady cool judgment, in perceiving the moment for action, and 
of gallant promptness in carrying through a plan formed on such grounds. 

That night, the enemy seeing their communication with Malown cut 
off, evacuated all their positions, Soorajegurh included, between that post 
and Colonel Thompson's position, and were attacked on their retreat 
by the indefatigable Lieutenant Lawtie, with a corps of irregulars ; and 
Colonel Thompson, on the next day, took up an advanced position, called 
Nerayen Kotha, in the vicinity of jN'Ialown. 

The death of Buchtee Thappa produced stronger effects than were at 
first contemplated, even by those who were best acquainted Anth the 
influence he possessed over the minds of the troops under Ummr Sing. 
The unbending severity of tliis Cliief, the hardships that seemed to 
accumulate the more as they were the more cheerfully endured, and the 
total ho})elessness of their situation, had produced a considerable desertion 
from the Ghoorkha army, even prior to tlie last success ; but now it could 
not be controlled by all the cruel precautions taken by Ummr Sing; 
who, not content with placing centinels, with orders to shoot such as 
might be found leaving the camp without a pass, actually struck off the 
heads of several upon bare suspicion. 

After many partial desertions, nearly the whole of his troops left the 
fort, and came into the British camp: their Chiefs had remonstrated with 
him on the folly of holding out against inevitable fate, but he turned a 
deaf ear to them. 



ITS CLOSE. 43 

Even when they entreated him to agree to the alternative of fighting 
or of ceasing the contest at once, rather than suffer them to perish in 
detail, he was silent. Indeed, all judgment seems to have forsaken him. 
The troops, both officers and privates, left him, with only 250 men, in the 
position of jVIalown, and came over to the British camp as prisoners of 
war, and entreating to be taken into British pay. StiD, however, all 
proper steps were taken to produce the sm-render of tliis obstinate Cliief, 
and to compel it, if necessary. 

Negotiations went on for several days, attended by jDreparations ; and 
it was not till some days after the guns had been placed in batterj' (for 
the General, from humane motives, would not permit them to be opened 
on the fort), that on the 15th of May, he signed the capitvdation for 
giving up his last and formidable strong hold ; and agreed to cause to be 
evacuated, and dehvered into the hands of the British, every garrisoned 
place that yet remained to the Ghoorkhas, between the rivers Sutlej and 
Calee or Sardah. 

By this time much unhealthiness began to appear, both among the 
troops and the officers ; and it was well that tliis final success rendered it 
possible to allow them to descend from the dreary liiUs, among wliich 
tliey had so long sojourned ; where comforts were always rai'e, and neces- 
saries often far from abundant. The officers in general recovered ; but 
the happy issue of the campaign Avas clouded by the death of one indi- 
vidual, whose exertions had greatly contributed to it ; whose energy and 
zeal were the soul of every enterprise in wliich he engaged ; whose skill 
and judgment, at a glance, perceived the measures, and the moment to 
employ them ; and whose activity rendered liim of the first utility, not 
only in his own department, but in the various duties wliich arose in tliis 
new and uncommon warfare. 

In all the general orders of this division, the name of Lieutenant 
Lawtie is most honourably mentioned ; and in those wliich jircccde the 
army's leaving the hills, the General most feehngly notices his death, and 
pays a worthy and affecting tribute to his memory. He was, indeed, 
sincerely lamented by all who knew liim ; and rarely does it ha]ipen 
that the loss of an officer of his inferior rank excites so much interest 
and sorrow. 

Thus, then, was terminated a campaign, whose beginning was so 



44 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

inauspicious, in a country so impracticable, and hitherto deemed impene- 
trable, except to the inhabitants of the hiUs ; the greater part too was 
achieved by our native troops alone, for there were no European troops 
with General Ochterlony, excepting a few artillerymen ; and thus was the 
prosperous and presumptuous power of NepFd shorn at once of half its 
beams. 



Intimately connected with tliis happy resvdt, and in date preceding 
the successes just related, the operations in Kumaoon, carried on by the 
detachment under the command of Colonel NichoUs, struck the lirst de- 
cisive blow towards bringing the campaign to a conclusion. The measures 
adopted by this commander were marked with judgment, promptitude, 
and spirit. 

In the end of February, Lieutenant-Colonel Gardiner, of the irregular 
horse, entered the province of Kumaoon, from Eohilcund, by the Kashe- 
poor pass ; and taking possession of several small forts belonging to the 
enemy, without o})position, fixed himself at last in a strong position. 

Captain Hearsay, also, who acted under liis command, entering at 
another point, seized two or three similar forts with equal ease ; whilst a 
great disposition to rise in our favour prevailed among the inhabitants, 
who, before the middle of jNTarch, evinced it by assisting the irregulars in 
several affairs of small consequence ; in one of which, however, Captain 
Hearsay's men being attacked on the western bank of the Gogra river, 
repulsed the enemy with a loss, as was supposed, of upwards of 200 men, 
killed and wounded ; themselves suffering in a far less degree. 

Tliis success, however, did not long attend ovir irregular force. On 
the 2d of April, Hustee-dhull-Chowtra having crossed the river Sardah 
or Gogra, at Ivusmote Cihat, Captain Hearsay, who was observing him 
at the strong fortress of Chumpaweet, with the largest part of his forces, 
attacked him impetuously; but his men were unable to cope with the 
veteran Ghoorkhas that composed the troops of Hustce-dhuU. They 
broke and fled, leaving the best part of their number on tiie field, and 
their commander, Hearsay, who had bravely led them on, wounded and 
prisoner in the hands of the enemy. 



ITS CLOSE. 45 

This unhappy event brought on another disaster. Mr. ]Martindale, 
adjutant of Captain Hearsay's irregular corps, who was stationed at 
Kutool-Gurh, on the banks of the Sardah, \nth 300 men, was attacked by 
a very superior force of the enemy on the evening of the 3d : his men 
dispirited at the defeat of the larger portion of their corps, sought for 
safety in flight ; and Mr. Martindale with difficulty escaped. 

JMeantime, the regular force destined to act against the enemy in 
Kumaoon had assembled at Moradabad, in Rohilcund, under Colonel 
Nicholls, and commenced their march toward that province on the 30th 
of March. On the 2d of April, head-quarters were at Deeklee ; on the 
4th, at Futtaseth ; and on the 6th, they encamped at Choumoon-ke-debee, 
a lofty ridge about fifteen coss distant from Almorah, after a continued 
ascent of three hours. 

On the 9th, Colonel Xicholls having pushed forward, with three com- 
panies of the 1st battalion 4th native infantry, joined Lieutenant-Colonel 
Gardiner's camp, posted before Almorah, on a hill named Kataar-]Mull ; the 
rest of the detachment followed quickly, as the impediments arising from 
the nature of the country, and the necessary incumbrances of baggage, 
guns, stores, &c. would permit. 

On the 12th, a feu de joye from the works of the enemy announced 
the arrival of Hustee-dhuU-Chowtra in Ahuorah. 

This Chief, after the defeat of the parties under Captain Hearsay and 
Adjutant ^Martindale, remained for a considerable time leATJng contribu- 
tions on the cHstricts around Chumpaweet, which had amicably received 
and assisted our troops ; but our posts on the Sardah river being de- 
stroyed, there was nothing to prevent his marching straight to Almorah. 

About the 20th, Hustec-dhuU made a movement with a considerable 
body of their regular infantry to Gunnanath, a mountain pass north of 
Colonel Nicholls's position. 

To counteract the effects of this manoeuvre, as soon as it was dis- 
covered, jNIajor Patton was detached on the evening of the 22d, with ten 
companies of native infantry, a ghole of irregulai'S, one six-pounder, one 
4^ inch mortar, and the necessary ammunition, &:c. with directions to 
follow Hustee-dludl, and, if possible, to attack him before he could in- 
trench himseh"; or, if already intrenching, to occupy the nearest good 
position between him and .Vlmorah, so as, if possible, to cut off liis com- 



4G RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

munication, and to prevent liis completing his intrenchments, by plying 
him with shells. 

The elephants that carried the six-pounder moving so slowly, as greatly 
to retard the march, the gun was sent back to camp. 

On the evening of the 23d, ISIajor Patton's detacliment came up •with 
the enemy, under Hustee-dhidl, and attacking them, after a sharp action 
and pursuit, drove them over several liills, and completely defeated and 
dispersed them. 

The Cliief, Hustee-dhull-Chowtra, was mortally wounded through 
the temple, and soon after died in the retreat; and another, Sirdar 
Jeyrookah, was shot through the body, and died in a short time. The 
loss of the enemy was, on the wliole, very great : a portion of their force 
found its way back to Almorah, but many never reached that place. 

In Hustee-dhull-Chowtra they lost a most valuable, active, and en- 
terprising officer, and a man whose character was particularly amiable. 
He was uncle to the reigning Prince of NepFd, and his talents and virtues 
were worthy of this high descent. With the sentiments of respect and 
admiration that a brave man ever entertains for a noble and worthy 
enemy. Colonel Nicholls, in liis official despatch, pays a most handsome 
and feehng tribute to his memory. 

Our loss in this brilhant affair was comparatively trifling, consisting of 
two sepoys killed, one European officer, two havildars, and twenty-three 
men wounded. It is almost superfluous to add, that the greatest gallantry 
was displayed by all the troops engaged, who vied with each other in 
pushing forward, and in striving to close with the enemy. 

Immediately on this success. Colonel Nicholls, with perfect judgment 
and great promptitude, took advantage of the depression and consterna- 
tion of the enemy, and attacked his positions. At one o'clock he ad- 
vanced against his principal stockade on the north end of the SiUolee 
ridge, with two battalions, intending to estabhsh a mortar battery within 
5 or 600 yards of that work ; but finding the troops in liigh spirits, and 
observing tlie enemy to be proportionally disheartened, he ordered two 
stone breast-Avorks to be stormed ; which was instantly most gallantly and 
most successfully executed by the 1st battahon of the fourth, led by 
Captain Faithfull. 

The irregular infantry, under the command of and led by Lieutenant- 



ITS CLOSE. 47 

Colonel Gardiner, advanced on a ridge parallel to the line of the regular 
march ; and animated by the sight of their success, diverged to the right, 
when near the summit, and easily possessed themselves of the remaining 
stockades on the Sillolee ridge. 

In the mean time fifty men of the fourth took possession of a small 
breast- work to the left. The 1st ])attalion of the fourth, after these 
gallant efforts, was halted until the remaining battahon (of ffank com- 
panies) should advance. 

Captain Leys then came up, and directed them to advance on the re- 
treating enemy; and finding five roads, they pursued them by each, till they 
possessed themselves of one stockade leading to Kulmuttea, a small stone 
fortification, and the Eajah's palace ; thus dividing the enemy's force, and 
cutting off their retreat to Kulnuittea. 

Lieutenant "SViglit and Captain Faithfull led their men into the 
embrasure of the breast-work ; in which desperate service the former was 
dangerously wounded, and Captain Faitlifull cut down the man who 
wounded liim. Lieutenant Purvis, who was also wounded, led the ad- 
vance in a style that called forth the marked applause of the commander : 
which was also warmly bestowed on Lieutenant Field, of the fourth. Our 
loss was at this time estimated at about forty men killed and wounded. 

At about eleven P. M. on the 25th, the most northern post, occupied 
by Lieutenant Costty, was attacked and airried by the enemy, with an 
ovei*powering force ; but it remained in their possession for a very short 
time : Lieutenant BroA\ni and Lieutenant Wingfield, of the flank bat- 
tahon, with 100 men, Avere detached to support the party that had been 
overpowered : these were assisted by Lieutenant-Colonel Gardiner, who 
happened to be near, and led a ghole of his irregulars to the spot : and 
these officers, by a gallant exertion, soon recovered this most valuable 
position, which was charged three several times by the enemy; but they 
each time repelled him with great loss, and the post finally rcmainctl in 
our hands. The loss on both sides during this conflict was very con- 
siderable ; for the enemy came on ^ith very great determination, and were 
heroically and successfully resisted. 

During this time, the garrison of Almorah, hciiring the sharp firing on 
the liills, made a sortie, and fui-iously attacked our advanced position. 



48 RECENT WAR WITH NEPAL. 

coming uj) to the very wall, which, though six feet high, they attempted 
to mount; and one or two succeeded, but fell dead within it. These 
assaults and skirmishings were kept up during the whole night, occa- 
sioning considerable loss ; among others, Lieutenant Taply received a 
mortal wound. 

The small mortars had, Mith considerable exertion on the part of the 
officers of artillery. Lieutenants Bell and ^Vilson, been laid in battery, and 
opened at six in the evening ; the larger ones at midnight. 

On the morning of the 2Gth, the advanced post was pushed forwards 
to within seventy yards of the fort of Almorah : several eight-inch shells 
had fallen in the forts, which soon reduced the garrison to keep imder 
cover ; and at nine in the morning a flag of truce was sent to Colonel 
Xicholls, from the commander, Eunisah, requesting a suspension of arms, 
with a view to a termination of hostilities in the province. 

This was agreed to by Colonel NichoUs, and the Honourable Edward 
Gardiner (political agent with the army) ; and on the 27th of April a con- 
vention was signed and executed by Bumsah, and the other survi\ang sir- 
dars, on the part of the Nepal government, by wliich all the covuitry to the 
west of the Gogra, Sardah, or Caleenuddee, as far as Guriohal, with the 
fort of Almorah, and all other strong holds in the province of Kumaoon, 
were evacuated by the enemy ; they retaining eleven guns, with a portion 
of militar}' stores ; and to be supphed with provision, and escorted across 
the river Sardah. 

This rapid and brilliant train of success could not be achieved without 
considerable loss. That which our army had to lament was small, hoAV- 
ever, compared with the importance of the result. One hundred and 
tliirty of our regular troops were kiUed and wounded, including one 
officer killed, and two wounded ; of the irregulars there was only a total 
of eighty returned. 

Such is a summary of the events that produced the evacuation of 
Kumaoon, cut off the hopes that Ummr Sing might have had of receiving 
succours from the eastward, and thus certainly tended greatly to forward 
the fortunate conclusion of the camjjaign to the north-west ; which finally 
annexed to the British possessions a province that connects their territories 
with those of the Chinese empire, through the Himrdayan mountains. 



PART II. 



PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS 



ON THE 



HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 

JOURNEY FROM DEHLI TO NAHN-SIEGE OF JYTOCK. 
AND NOTES THERE. 



CHAPTER V. 



Previously to commencing the narrative of a journey through a 
country so little known as that now vmder consideration, a few general 
observations relative to its nature and situation may not be found useless. 

That chain of mountains, of which the great Ilimriki range forms the 
central ridge, and which, stretching from the Indus on the north-west, to 
the Biu-rampooter on the south-east, divides the plains of Hindostan and 
the Punjab from the wilds of Tartary, has been but partially traversed 
by Europeans ; and although the httle information that has hitlicrto 
been published respecting it is confused and inaccurate, it is nevertheless 
a very interesting tract. 

It is so to the geogTapher and statesman ; as, besides its containing 
the sovirces of so many of the majestic rivers that fertilise and enrich Hin- 
dostan and other Asiatic regions, and the being inhabited by nations and 
tribes of a singular character and very warhke disposition, who have for 
ages defied the arms of the most powerful Asiatic monarchs, it serves as a 
magnificent and most efficient boundary between two empires of such 
extent as China, and that which once owned the sway of the house of 
Timor, but now chiefly the milder rule of the British govcnmicnt. 

The portion of this region which was visited by the writer of tlie 
following narrative, is that lying between the rivers Sutkj and Akick- 
nunda; the former bounding it to the north-west and north, the Inter to 
the south-east and east, whilst it overlooks the ])laiiis of Hindostan to the 
south and south-west; and on the nortli-east it partly iiu hides, and is 
partly bounded by, the mountains of Ilimakl. 

Tlxis tract of country, considerable in extent, is divided into a variety 

u ii 



52 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

of large and small states, governed by cliiefs more or less dependent, in 
proportion as they are powerful. 

Of these, though far from being equal in population and resources, five 
may be considered as of the first rank, viz. Gurwhal, Eischur, Surmore, 
Hundoor, and Kukloor ; and these occupy by far the largest portion of the 
tract in question, -whilst the remainder is divided into a great number of 
petty states, all of wliich are recognized under the general appellation of 
the Baruh Thakooraee, or tAvclve lordships. 

Twehe states, however, are more properly implied by this designation, 
viz. 

Keoovuithul. Koonear. INIechloque. Coteegooroo. 

Baghut. Bhuggee. Cotee. Theog. 

Coothar. Dhamina. Kearee. Bughat. 

The general extent, value, and position of several of these chieftainships 
will appear as they occur in the narrative ; but as some of them do not 
come within its scope, a recapitulation of the whole, with an account of the 
revenue they afforded to the Ghoorkha government, and some few further 
particulars, will be found in the appendix. 

The other petty states are eighteen in number : 

Sarec. 
Rutes. 

Cotee INIundhanee. 
Ghoud. 
Bhuroulcc. 
Seelee. 

Of these some are of considerable size and importance, particularly 
Joobul. All of them acknowledged a degree of dependence on some of 
the large states, which varied according to the inclination and power of the 
superior to enforce its sway, and to the pohtical condition of that state, 
and of the neighliouring countries. 

A season of peace gave no hope to the tributary of eluding pa}^ient 
for the protection he received ; but he was generally ready to avail himself 
of tempestuous times to change liis master, as liis interest or his fancy 
mijiht lead him. 

Although the greater states do not in general take rivers for their 
boundaries, yet as these serve well for outhncs in geograpliical dcUncation. 



Joobul. 


Kurangooloo, 


Bulsum. 


Ootrock. 


Comharsein. 


Mornee. 


Kuncounthee. 


Bija. 


Dilter. 


Sangree. 


Eaeen. 


Dodur coar. 



THE IIIMALA MOUNTAINS. 53 

it may be well to enumerate the principal streams that occur in this tract, 
and to state the general direction of their course. 

Those which principally claim attention from their magnitude, arc, 
The Alacknunda. The Touse. The Jumna. 

Bhagiruttce. Girree. Pabur. 

Caligunga. Billung. Sutlcj. 

Since the tour of Webb and Eaper, it is well known that the river 
Alacknunda takes its rise in a snowy mountain, close to the celebrated 
Hindoo Temple of Euddrinaath. It flows in a direction nearly south-west 
to liooderprag, Avhere it forms a junction with the (.'aligunga. 

The Caligunga rising at Kedarnauth, another celebrated teHH)le in 
the Kedar snowy moiuitain, runs to liooderj)rag nearly south-south-west. 

From this point the Alacknunda holds a more westerly course to 
Deoprag, where it is joined by the Bhagiruttee ; and from hence the united 
streams receive the name of the Gunga or Ganges. 

The source of the Bhagiruttee will be minutely described in the 
following narrative ; all that need now be observed is, that its course for 
several miles from its source is nearly from east to west ; a fe^\- miles below 
Barahat it flows to the south-Avest ; further up, and from a point about 
forty miles above Deoprag, it keeps a course to the south-south-eastward. 

The little river Bitting joins the Bhagiruttee just below Utlioor. 

The source of the Jumna will also be found described in the folloAving 
pages : it holds a general south-west course from lil"teen to forty miles 
distant from the Bhagiruttee, till the point where that river diverges to 
the eastward as far as Calsee, where it is joined by the Touse. A little 
lower down the Girree falls into it at Eaj Ghat, and soon at\er it issues a 
more considerable stream from the hills near Badshaw Baah. 

The Touse has its rise in a very lofty peak, far to the northward 
among the snowy mountains, and for a considerable space floAvs in a A\est- 
south-westerly direction, till it is joined by the I'abur. 

The united streams then taking a southerly course. ji>in tlie .Iiimna as 
before mentioned, about thirty-five miles below Calsee. 

The Girree is a stream of less note ; its source Avill also be noticed : it 
joins the Jvunna, as has been said, at Baj Ghat, after a run of some length 
from the north-westward. 

Besides these considerable streams, there are multitudes of mountain- 



54 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

streams and torrents of greater or smaller size, which, rising in the various 
hills hold their course to these great drains, and swell the Ganges, the 
Jumna, or the Sutlej. 

iVmong the states of the first order, Gui-whal is the most important in 
every respect ; its boundaries extend far beyond the limits of the country 
now visited. 

Beyond the ^Vlacknunda it is bounded by the river Ramgunga, which 
divides it from the province of Ivumaoon ; while to the north and east it 
penetrates the snowy mountains, meeting the Cliinese territories in an 
undefined line. 

To the southward it is bounded by the plains, and on the west by the 
Jumna, which, as far as the village of J.ack-ha-mundul, divides it from 
Sirmore, to the northward of wliich it meets Eischur, between the rivers 
Touse and Pabur. 

Sirmore, though not second in extent, is perhaps the next of the 
primary states in value and pohtical consideration. 

Its vicinity to the plains gives it an importance, denied to those more 
difficult of access in the heart of the mountains. 

On the south-east it bounds, as has been observed, with Gurwhal, 
having the Jumna for the line of demarcation. 

To the north also Gurwhfd partly meets it ; and the secondary state of 
Joobul, with various others of the petty states, form an irregular am^jhi- 
theatre, circumscribing it from north to west, while on the south-west and 
south it is compreliended by the districts of the petty Sikh chieftains, in 
the plains between the Sutlej and Jumna. 

]Jischur, though far larger in extent, is much poorer in proportion than 
Sirmore, and lies retired witliin the mountains to the north of that state 
and all the lesser states, by which on the south it is chiefly bounded. 

The river Sutlej divides it from the territories of the Rajah of Cooloo 
on the north-west, nearly as higli as Seran ; a little below which place it 
crosses the river, and still bounding with Cooloo, passes with that state 
through the snowy range ; and like Gurwhrd, whicli accompanies it on the 
east, meets beyond them the Chinese territories in an undefined line. 

llundoor and Kui)loor are contained in the space which is bounded by 
the Sutlej, the plains, and the small states ; but of these I have no certain 
information. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 55 

A glance on the map, which accompanies these pages, 'vvill, with what 
has been said (it is hoped), give a pretty distinct idea of the country in 
queistion. 

^VU this region, hke the whole of the countries contained in the long 
range of mountains, is wild, rugged, and difficult of access, consisting of 
a mass of hills irregularly coiniected, or diverging in ranges of various 
heights from a huge elevated centre, but ^^reserving no regularity of 
direction or of form. Their tops are sometimes clothed with forests of old 
and venerable wood ; sometimes they are rocky, and green or brown ; and 
it will be afterwards observed that the general aspect, to the south and 
south-east, is always less wooded and less broken (though still very rough), 
than that to the north and north-west, which is almost uniformly pre- 
cipitous, formed of sharp crags covered with deep pine forests. 

The ravines that divide these hills are deep and very sudden in their 
descent, often ending in dark chasms that are sometimes wooded, but they 
as often exhibit faces of bare rock of several hundred feet high, frowning at 
each other, with little more space between them than has been worn by the 
violence of the torrents ; these taking their way from the mountain brows, 
where they have been collected from clouds, and rain, and melting snow, 
thunder do\Mi, and form these furrows in their sides. 

There are no spreading valleys, no rich meadow lands on the banks of 
rivers, no gentle undulation of ground on which the eye can rest with 
pleasure ; all is steep and difficult ; toilsome rise and sudden foil. Such 
a country offi?rs little encouragement to the industry of the husbandman ; 
and, accordingly, cultivation, which is limited in proportion to the extent 
of surface, is laboriously and sparingly scattered among the woods and 
rocks. 

As the country recedes from the plains it increases in difficulty and 
elevation, till at the foot of the sno^vy mountains it assumes a savage 
wildncss; and among them, save in the passes or the beds of rivers, 
becomes totally impracticable and impervious. 

The rivers and their beds too, it will be seen, ffraduallv chanjxe their 
character as we approach nearer to their source, from tlie rapid and tur- 
bulent stream flowing through a deep and a rugged chaiuicl but atlording 
a comparatively easy road along its banks, to a furious torrent ikohing 
from one huge block of stone to another, along which the traveller proceeds 



5S NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

at first with difficulty, which increases to hazard of life, climbing over 
rocks, and picking his dangerous way across the face of precipices, till at 
lengtli his career is stopped by masses of mighty ruin, that baffle all human 
attempts to invade them. 

It is unnecessary to offer any farther prchminary observations. The 
nature of this covuitry, and the changes that occur in its appearance, will 
be described in the following pages ; and it is hoped that the observations 
which occur throughout the narrative may, in some degree, serve to 
introduce to more general acquaintance a new and in some respects 
curious people, together with sometliing of their character, disposition, 
and manners. If the attempt has success, all further observation here 
would be superfluous, as the object in these preliminary notices is only to 
give the reader a very general idea of a country, with which he may 
become subsequently better acquainted. 



JOURNEY FROM DEIILI TO NAHN. 

Circumstances, foreign to the present subject, led me to the camp of 
the army under General INIartindale, whilst it lay before the fort of Jytock, 
near Nahn, in the province of Sirmore ; and thus most unexpectedly arose 
the opportunity which I enjoyed of visiting this new country. 

Leaving Delilce on the 9th of March, 1815, by dawk, I reached Kurnal, 
a town seventy-six miles to the northward of that capital; and forming the 
most remote military position we had hitherto held in that direction. 
Having laid horses at equal distances on the road from thence to the foot 
of the hills, I left Kurnrd on the 12th, and set off for Nahn. 

For ten miles the road lay through what is called the assigned territory, 
being that portion of the Soubah-daree of Dchlcc which was appointed for 
the maintenance of the king, but it has since been resumed, and in its stead 
a regular monthly allowance has been substituted for the royal expenses. 

This country was principally covered with low Dhak jungle, having a 
desolate and barren aspect ; but, on approaching Indree, a tolerably large 
and walled town, the land was well culti\ ated. 

Here we entered the territories of the petty Sikh Chieftains, who hold 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 57 

the country between the rivers Jumna and Sutlej, under the protection 
and partial control of the British government ; ^vhich, however, confines its 
interference (as I believe) to suppressing the turbulent spirit, that impels 
them incessantly to wage a petty warfare among themselves. 

But, with all the attention that can be paid to this end, these restless 
tribes are ever quarrelling; and constant appeals to arms, and frequent 
bloodshed, are the consequence. 

Their manners, too, are as rude and inhospitable as their natures : 
proud and insolent, they are ever prompt to insult strangers who pass 
through their country ; and they do not spare individuals of the nation 
that ])rotects them, and which can punish as well as reward. 

I cannot, however, appeal to experience in speaking on this subject ; 
for I passed on wholly unmolested, as unmolesting ; although it may be, 
that the presence of a few horsemen of Skinner's corps, who were with me, 
induced a degree of respect, that might not have been paid had 1 been 
wholly unattended. 

The country continued fertile, though sandy : during this day's journey, 
which was thirty-six miles, we passed through the seemingly thriving town 
of Eodore, a fortified place ; and in the forenoon reached a small village 
called Topra, where the tents wei-e pitched. 

At almost every village, several lofty round towers, much resembling 
glasshouse furnaces, attracted observation ; which I discovered, on in([uiry, 
were intended for places of security, during the sudden and violent attacks 
to which all villages and towns were formerly sid)ject, from the turbulence 
of the people ; and it is said that these safety-keeps are still neither 
unnecessary, nor occasionally unemployed. 

In the calm of the evening, Mhen the dust, set in motion during the 
day, had somewhat subsided, the liiUs to the north were visible : and one 
peak, lofty and covered with snow, was very conspicuous. Tlie next 
morning they were by far more distinct; indeed they seemed close at 
hand, rising rugged and wild, to appearance in three ridges. 

The country continued to be rich, fertile, and populous : w c })assed 
several good villages to Seidoura, a considerable town, most of the houses 
of which are built of brick ; and there are many of those rt>und towers 
which were taken notice of in the march of the day before, as w ell as a fort 
of some strength. 



58 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

The peo})le, as we passed rapidly, contented themselves ^vith starhig 
stupidly at us ; but they looked surly and silent, offering no civility, and 
as if they were well inclined to be insolent and troublesome if they dared. 

From Seidoura to the hills, a distance called twelve coss, and which may 
be about seventeen or eighteen miles, the road lies through a country very 
similar to that of the former march ; sandy, but well cidtivated ; and wliich 
stretches on a perfect level, without the least undulation, to the very foot 
of the liills, that rise from it, as rocks from the sea, sudden and rugged, the 
boundary quite as sharply marked as between land and water. 

^Ve entered these liills by a watercourse nearly dry, which divides the 
low ridge next the plain (that rising to a height of from 5 to 700 feet, runs 
from Hiudwar, all the Avay to this point) from the rough and more lofty 
range behind, on which Xahn is situated. This was called by the British 
officers " the pass of jNIoginund,'' from a village of that name on one of the 
near ridges. Here the army lay encamped for a few days. 

The road soon crosses the watercourse, and ascends the opposite hiU 
by a various and winding route, crossing several rough chasms for some 
miles, when it again descends into another watercourse. 

Here the park of artillery, attached to the force before Jytock, was 
formed. It may be five miles from the plains, and just at the foot of that 
liill on wliich Nalin is situated. 

The path from hence to that town gives the traveller the first true 
foretaste of the country he is beginning to traverse ; it is entirely a steep 
and very rugged ascent, of so narrow and winding a nature, that I thought 
it prudent to quit my horse, and rather trust to my own feet than to those 
of an animal, in })laces where a slip would have been fatal ; and the width 
was not such as to give space to recover lost footing. 

Up this path, however, it was common for officers to ride ; and ele})hants, 
camels, and bullocks, loaded with stores of provision and ammunition, found 
their way to the encampment at Nahn. 

Many of the carcasses of the camel and buffalo on the way-side attracted 
the birds of prey ; they perished in a country so uncongenial to them ; but 
the elephant slowly and securely carried up liis load, mounting the high 
hills, and making good his footing where even men had difficidty. 

The heavy guns went by another road, scraped on the face of the rock, 
far more perpendicular, and in appearance more difficult, but where fewer 



THE HIM ALA MOUNTAINS. 59 

turnings gave the power of an even ])iill ; and they were thus dragged up 
by nuiiji force. 

At length we reached Xahn, perched hke a bird's nest on the brow of 
a rock, and widely overlooking the lower hills and the plains, till they 
blended with the sky in the distance. The view, indeed, to one accustomed 
to the sober, though rich monotony of the level plains of Hindostan, is 
quite bewitching, and almost confoiuuling. 

Facing these lovely plains on the south, from which you are divided by 
the singular range of low hills before spoken of, the Kearda Dhoon, or 
valley, extends on the left to the south-cast, deeply wooded but spotted 
with cultivation. Beyond it, the Deyhra Dhoon is traced, till it melts 
into distance ; to the northward of these arise the hills that retreat in \vild 
confusion, and form an amphitheatre around to the south-west, where they 
bound, and are bounded by, the plains. 

Turning to the north, this vast range of hills is seen, \v\t\\ the peak 
and fort of Jytock rising from and terminating a rugged range : on part 
of which the tents of our army were seen, s})eckling the brown hills : 
and beyond, sno^vy peaks bounded the landscape. Casting the eye nearer 
home, the scene was not less warlike : when we reached the end of the 
town where lay that part of the British army which occupied the i)osition 
of Xahn, the irregular ground was taken advantage of, whenever it 
yielded space for a tent, and all the verge of the hill was spotted with 
them. 

Sepoys and European soldiers thronged the pathways ; in some places 
parading, recruits exercising, arms cleaning ; in others, groups of othcers 
walking, or looking with glasses at the operations going on upon the 
opposite ridge. 

Here a brigade of guns, and the hea^'y' caniron destined to batter the 
enemy's stockades ; further on, a bazar well filled with provisions, and 
crowded with sokUery purchasing their homely fare : camj) follow ers oi^ all 
sorts, regular and irregidar troops, highlauders and low landers, iiativo 
and Europeans, crowded the place, and foniUMl a moving and animated 
picture, from the contemplation of which it recjuivd some eftort io w ith- 
draw, though sufficiently fatigued by a march of near forty miles, and 
much re(pviring the necessary refreshments prepared for us at tlu> tent d' 
a friend. 



60 NOTES Ox\ THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

Nahn is a small toAMi, but the buildings are of stone, cemented 
generally with hme; they are remarkably small, and all have flat roofs. 
The effect of the whole at first is singular, giving a strange idea of 
diminutiveness, hke the abridgment of a town ; perhaps tliis is necessarily 
produced by an unconscious comparison with the vast proportions of the 
surroiuichng objects. 

It is built on the crest of a hill, which is so uneven that the whole 
forms a collection of petty ascents and descents. There is one principal 
street, that, like the others, wliich are very confined and short, consists of 
many small fligh'.s of steps, into which they have been built and cut, to 
the great convenience of the men, but by no means so of the cattle, horses 
particularly, wliich animal indeed seems never to have been intended for 
use in these regions. 

There are few buildings worthy of notice in Nahn : the rajah's i)alace 
has a tolerably neat but not very remarkable appearance ; and there are 
no temples of much consequence or of any splendour to visit ; it has, 
however, for several years been in a state of decay, since the conquest of 
the Ghoorkhas ruined all the country. 

The hiU on wliich it is situated is part of the north-western boundary 
of the Kearda valley ; and from this circumstance, when seen from the 
plains, it appears to be on a second range of liiUs, wliich indeed is so far 
the case, as the low liiUs that form the south-Avestern boundary of the 
Kearda intervene between it and the plains ; but, as Avill afterwards 
appear, there is no general division into separate or parallel ridges to be 
detected in the arrangement of the hills in tliis country. 

The height of that point on which the town is placed has been ascer- 
tained by a series of calculations, which I have reason to think may be 
depended on, to be 1950 feet above the level of the plains. 



THE HIMaLA mountains. 61 



CHAPTEli VI. 

Jytock, the fort to whicli Qazee Runjore-Sing-Thappa retreated wlieii 
he evacuated Xahu, and which was now besieged by the British armv, is 
situated on the lofty end of a ridge, distant from Xalni in a direct hue 
between two and three miles ; and between it and that to^vn tliere runs a 
deep ravine, which occasions the road to wind so much that the distance 
in travelling is nearly doubled. 

The ridge extends, first, to the westward by a low neck to Blackhill, the 
position of our chief camp ; from thence in the same cUrcction, and nearly 
a mile distant, lies the elevated peak caUed Xownie, where there was a 
British advanced post. At that point the ridge takes a turn to the north- 
ward, and is lost in that which forms the southern bank of the Jelall river, 
and from which in fact it springs. 

Jytock has by the same course of observation been found to be 3600 feet 
above the level of the plains ; and Nownie is not inferior to it in height. 
The face of the country around Nahn and Jytock is pecuharly rugged. 
The hills all the way to the Girree river assume a crumbly and rocky 
sharpness, rising into narrow sharp ridges and high peaks, that give a 
striking character to the whole tract. Tliis seems to arise from the nature 
of their component parts. They are formed apparently of a hard stone, 
very apt to crack and break in sharp irregular ridges, which on exposure 
to the air easily bursts in small fragments, and then falls into dust ; it con- 
sists, I think, of clay and sand, and is generally of a dusky brown colour, or 
of a brownish grey. 

This rock is covered with a thin ciiist of soil, which varies nuuh in 
thickness, and is probably formed, in great measure, of the decomposed 
stone. 

The exposure of this rock from the breaking of the crust wliicli is 
washed down by the heavy rains of summer, and which itself soon feels tlie 
effects of the vicissitudes of the seasons, forms these sharp ridges (scarcely 
affording room for footing), which are so wild and singidar. 



62 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

The ravines that separate these hilLs have a not less savage character ; 
they exhibit great variety of rock and precipice, but not on so grand a 
scale as where the rock is of a less mouldering nature. The soil that 
covers the mountains is rich, and produces vegetation of much luxuriance 
and variety, plenty of wood, impenetrable, or tliinner so as to admit of 
pasturing under them. 

Here we first observed, in confirmation of a general observation already 
made, that the northern exposure of the hills is the most wooded and 
rough, whilst the southern is smoother and bare. This, however, does not 
apply so perfectly to the first low hills that rise from the plain ; their crests 
point in some measure to the north-west, but are smooth toward the north- 
east, and covered with wood ; and vicAved from the ridge at Blackhill, they 
have a strong resemblance to a wave of the sea that has rolled by, pointing 
its breaking crest in its onward direction to the south-west, but here and 
there curling half backward to the north-west. 

These low hills are all formed of a sandstone, quite different from those 
on which Xahn and Jytock are placed ; and the same description will 
apply to them, I believe, all the way from Hurdwar to their termination 
at the pass of ^Nloginund. 

The general line of the mountains is nearly north-west and south-east. 
A small abrupt ridge rising from 500 to 750 feet in height, and extending 
from three to six miles in breadth, runs next to the plains from Hurdwar 
half-way to the Sutlej. This consists of sandstone, indurated clay, and 
beds of rounded pebbles and gravel. 

The next range of hills runs from 1 500 to 5000 feet in height, %nth 
sharp narrow crests, and consists of a very decomposable greyish broA\Ti 
indurated clay, containing siliceous matter. 

Just beyond this range rises a mountain of hmestone, about 7000 feet 
liigh. A large pereiuiial stream marked the division between this range 
and a mass of mountains, consisting almost entirely of varieties of scliist, 
with much mica, and veins with quartz. 

Connected with these were observed a coarse sandstone, and a con- 
glomerate of sand, mica, and gravel, cemented by a wliite spar easily 
frangil:)le. 

As the snoA\y mountains were approached, rocks of white quartz were 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 63 

observed, and of a hard semi-transparent stone of many colours, red, yellow, 
and greenish. 

On reaching the heart of the snowy mountains, the distant peaks ap- 
peared to be stratified, and to dip to the north-east at an angle of about 
forty-five degrees : for several tliousand feet below their tops all vegetation 
ceases, and no living thing is seen. 

The retui-ning route was for a considerable way along the bed of the 
river Pabui-, which rises among tlie depths of the Himala : in tliis bed 
blocks of a pecuUar kind of rock were found. The neighbouiing rocks 
were scliist and limestone. 

Another opportunity presented itself of viewing the summit of the 
Himala from Jumnotree, which rises in two grand peaks, covered on the 
south and south-east by perpetual snow, but showing a precipitous rocky 
face towards the north-west. 

The river Jumna was here traced to its source in a number of small 
rills flowing from the snow, and rf)llpctcd in a pool at the bottom of a deep 
slope. Xearly every sort of rock observed throughout the tour was found 
here, particularly the rock before referred to as occurring in the bed of the 
Pabur ; and white quartz in veins intersected the general stratification. 

From these veins a stream of hot water trickles, impregnated with cal- 
careous matter, which it deposits on the smface of the rocks over wliich 
it nms. 

There are no glaciers in any part of the sno^\y mountains, but a per- 
petual frost appears to rest on their summits. 

After descending into the bed of the Bhagiruttee, that river was also 
traced nearly to its source. The glen through wliicli it runs is deeper and 
darker, and the precipices on either side far more lofty, than those forming 
the bed of the Jumna. The rock in the neighbourhood of its source is 
granitic, and containing black tourmaline. 

To return to the country around Jytock and Xahn. 

]Much cultivation, wherever the groiuid admits of being worked, 
speckles the sloping sides of these wooded mountains. It is entirely 
effected by cutting those parts most adapted to the operation into a suc- 
cession of terraces, rising above one anotlier exactly hke a fliglit of 
steps, having a flat level surface, and a perpentUcular flicc, in a maimer 



64 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

that ^nll hereafter be more particularly alluded to ; and on the surface of 
these the corn grows. A large proportion of the mountain sides is thus 
seen carved into stripes, and exliibiting a very singular appearance. 

Even where corn does not grow, the marks of former culture are 
evident ; and the stranger's eye, next to the sharp ridginess of the liills, is 
attracted by the curious effect wliich this gives to their sides. 

Villages, either inhabited or in ruins, abound all over them ; and, 
could it be supposed that all these had ever been at the same time occu- 
pied, it would give a strong impression of former populousness, and present 
desolation : but the truth is, that as one place became exhausted, or as 
inclination prompted, or as various accidents might determine them, the 
people quitted one village, wlaich fell into decay, and estabUshed them- 
selves in another, which was new and flourishing. 

True it is, that much devastation was made, and many districts were 
depopulated by the severity of the conquerors ; but not to the degree that 
might be presumed from appearances. 

The villages are sometimes large, but oftener very mean. 
The houses are flat roofed, built of stone, with wooden beams sup- 
porting a terrace of stone and wood. Some are of two stories, but in 
general they consist of one. They are very rudely constructed ; frequently 
the side of the hill serves for one of the walls, whence beams, that are 
fastened in it, project, and are supported by the external wall or front. 

The doors are uncommonly small, so that a man must enter by the 
head and shoulders, and di-ag the rest of his body after liim. But with all 
this rudeness, I have been astonished to see the neatness within doors ; 
the floor is smooth, well swept, and clean ; and the fire-place in the 
middle is well contrived, although the smoke must annoy those who 
are not accustomed to its effects. A few shelves are seen placed around, 
and in some instances a little furniture of coarse construction may be 
found. 

The cows, their chief wealth, have always a respectable share of the 
house, comfortable and dry ; although they do not give them a much 
larger opening through which to make their entrance and exit than they 
allow themselves ; and I have sometimes admired the animals insinuating 
themselves tlirough so narrow an aperture. 



THE HIM A LA MOUNTAINS. 6.5 

These villages are often very pleasantly situated, and almost always 
adorned with a few lemon or walnut trees, or, wliere they will grow, with 
mango trees, that throw a grateful shade over the houses, and terraces 
of stone built at their roots, yield a comfortable seat to the inhabitants 
under their branches. 

But these ornaments form a contrast with the discomfort displayed in 
other particulars ; labouring under the disadvantage of ground so very 
uneven, that paths cannot be made of easy access ; and the presence of 
incumbrances and nuisances, that might be removed if they took the 
pains. 

After the singvdarity of the appearance of the houses, the beauty of the 
situation, and the few trees are admired, the rest of the scene, if it do not 
excite disgust, at least does not interest. 

The vegetable productions of these hiUs differ almost wholly from those 
of the plains, as may indeed be supposed ; even the low range that bounds 
them to the south is distinguished by the pine-trees, that spring among 
the forest-trees met with in low situations ; as we ascend other strangers 
in the vegetable kingdom attract the eye of the traveller, and I much 
regret that I cannot give a hst of these. JNIy o^\'n want of botanical 
knowledge was not compensated by the presence of any better instructed 
friend. I could only admire the beauty and variety so strikingly visible, 
without being able to ascertain \nth accuracy the place these subjects 
would occupy in a scientific arrangement. 

At the time we were before Jytock, the season was not so favourable 
to luxuriance of vegetation as afterwards during the rains. The grass was 
long and rank, but bro^\Ti and burnt up ; but among it we took notice of 
many old friends peeping from beneath : among others, more than one 
species of the raspberry-bush and bramble, the strawberry, but of a very 
worthless sort, trefoil or clover, many ferns, bushes of thorns and plums, 
wild peach trees, a sort of crab-pear, and apple, and dog roses. A 
quantity of different sorts of euphorbium covers the lower parts of the 
hills, and much of the oleander adorns the watercourses. The })ine-trees 
grow to a great height and very respectable girth ; they branch but little 
till near the top, and then become bushy ; the leaves are long spikes, from 
twenty to forty growing in a tuft, from small foot-stalks : they yield a 

K 



66 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

considerable quantity of turpentine, and in their appearance approacli a 
medium bet\vcen the Norway and the stone pine. 

Saul, Sisoo, and Toon, and a great variety of other trees, with a 
iew of a peculiar sort of oak, are found in the forests that cover these 
hills. 

Of animals, there are found in the two valleys of Deyrah and Kearda 
much the same species as inhabit the plains ; and, perhaps, these may also 
extend a httle farther into the more accessible parts of the hills. 

Elephants are found and caught occasionally ; and a portion of the 
price of those thus taken form a source of revenue to the state. 

Tigers abound, as well as leopards. Deer of various sorts are very 
numerous. AMld hogs are not rare. Buffaloes are also, I Ijelieve, to be 
seen ; and the projoortion of smaller animals, as jackals, foxes, hares, and 
monkeys, is equal to that met Avith in the other parts of the upper pro- 
vinces, which are full of jungle, and are httle cultivated. 

The feathered race also is similar in quantity and description. Of game, 
there are partridges, black and gray, and also of that species pecidiar to 
hilly districts, and known by the name of chuccore, (which it obtains from 
its cry) ; jungle fowl, and more than one species of pheasant. Quails, 
snipe, and aquatic fowl, sufficiently abundant. 

As we entered the liills several of those that inhabit the warmer plains 
disappeared, and other kinds were found, which will be afterwards described 
in a general remark on the animals of the liills. 

]Many sorts, however, as the deer, wild hogs, jackals, monkeys, a few 
leopards or tigers, with partridges, chuccores, and jungle fowl, are found 
in almost every direction, even to the remotest regions on the skirts of the 
Snowy jNIoun tains. 

Of domestic animals, the cow has precedency ; the horse is confined to 
the skirts of the hills ; goats and sheep are found every where ; dogs 
accompany, and are reared by their masters : there are few or no wild or 
Paria dogs. In so poor a country, where the inhabitants themselves have 
difficulty in subsisting, food cannot suffice to encourage a breed of animals 
of this nature, which are so commonly found all over the East, where 
victuals are plenty, and the rejected offals support them amply. 

The inhabitants of the country surrounding the capital, and the districts 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. G? 

in its vicinity, are not calculated to excite much interest either from 
character or appearance. Generally speaking, they are contemj)tible in size, 
mean in aspect, cringing in address ; their intellect appears degraded, and 
their ignorance almost brutal. 

Those of a rank wliich has afforded them the means of acquiring a verj' 
circvunscribed knowledge of the world, and with it some ease of manner in 
their behaviour, still create disgust by the servile humility which they 
display to those whom they deem their superiors in power. 

The higher class of peasantry (here denominated zemindars) with a 
still greater absence of all polish, are marked by the same contemptible 
weakness and meanness, the same disposition to falsehood and deceit, so 
strongly apparent in the higher orders ; and the lower class of labourers 
seem depressed in mental qualification nearly to a level with the beasts of 
the field. 

Their stature is almost universally diminutive. When an individual of 
larger body and greater height is met with, it is as we see persons of Her- 
culean mould in other parts of the world, forming an exception to the 
general rule. 

They are, however, remarkably stout, and compactly made ; their 
limbs, particularly their legs and thighs, are uncommonly muscular in pro- 
portion to their size, and their general strength, especially in carrying 
burthens, is very great. Their early habits will account for tliis : accus- 
tomed from their youth to climb these steep hills, their muscles strengthen 
and enlarge, and the bracing cold of their climate confirms the effect of 
this education. Comparing their strength in tliis way A\ith that of the 
inhabitants of the plains, far their superiors in size, it is really surprising. 
The common load for a man in these parts is tliirty seer, or about sixty 
pounds weight ; and this, with the addition probably of severid pounds 
of coarse flour for his own consumption, besides his clothes, .ic. he 
will carry wdtli sufficient ease along the roughest roads, up the steepest 
ascents, and down the most dangerous dechvities. Those who possess 
superior strength will carry far more ; all will, thus loaded, continue a 
march from twelve to fifteen miles a day up and down these rugged 
mountains. 

The colour of these people, Hke that of their neighbours in the plains, 

K '2 



68 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

is found of every shade, from dark brown or black to a tawny yellow, and 
in a few instances they approach to white. 

Wliatever the original colour may be, those exposed to severe labour 
and the effects of the sun speedily become dark. 

Their hair is black, and they commonly w^ear it long at the sides and 
back of the head, hanging down about the ears, where it is cut round ; 
the crown is often shaven bare ; they all wear mustachios, and their own 
black beard, which they seem to consider a great ornament, and cherish 
with much care. 

The general cast of their countenance is Hindoo, but they sreldom 
possess the softness and even intelligence that may be considered a marked 
characteristic of the Hindoo physiognomy. Their eyes are sunk deep into 
the head, commonly of a black, but often of gray and other colours. The 
nose is prominent, sharp, and inchned to aquiline ; the forehead high and 
round, the cheekbones liigh, the chin long, and the whole visage long and 
spare, much drawn into wrinkles at the corners of the eyes and brows, 
from great exposure to the sun ; in short, the countenance exliibits an 
habitual grin. 

The dress of this people is very simple : that of the middling class 
consists of the common jacket of cotton, ending in skirts, which are shorter 
than usual, more fidl and puckered up into folds than the Hindoo 
" ungurca" (a sort of go^vn or long skirted coat that forms the common 
Hindoo di-ess in the upper provinces), tied round the waist, and reaching 
to the knee, something hke the Scotch highland philibeg ; under these are 
worn a pair of cotton trowsers ; around the shoulders they wrap a piece of 
cotton cloth in a manner resembling the Scotch plaid, which when the sun 
is hot they throw also over the head, but the usual covering for the head 
is only a dirty skullcap of cotton, beneath which their wild locks and hard 
features look forth in savage guise. Such is their warm weather clothing. 
"When it is colder they exchange their cotton trowsers for a pair of thick 
coarse woollen drawers, and wrap a blanket round them, with which when 
it rains they also envelope the head. 

The poorer sort, who can hardly procure such costly raiment, content 
themselves with a coarse blanket, and a small cloth round the middle. 
Many of these I have seen so wild and ragged, that they seemed scarcely 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 69 

liuman. The superior classes of nobles and chiefs dress much in tlie 
common fashion of Hindostan, but affect the Sikh turban, which feeing 
wrapt snugly round the head in many folds, towers in a round point to a 
great height in front. 

Arms are not common ; it formed a part of the Ghoorka pohcy to 
disarm the natives of the states they subdued, and few were admitted to 
the privilege of carrying any weapon. 

Wlien the country was raised, it was necessary to furnish with arms 
the soldiers who presented themselves for service. The people now su}>- 
plied themselves as they could with swords, knives, matchlocks, bows and 
arrows, or Ghoorka cookrees, but they were deficient both in arms and in 
the knowledge of their use ; those, however, who could procure them, 
always wore a sword, a shield, and a small axe (called daugrah). or a 
cookree. 

The women are in general more prepossessing in appearance than the 
men ; their stature is better in proportion, and their features far more de- 
licate and regular, with much of the pleasing Hindoo softness in youth. 
They are commonly fair, varying in colour from a mild yello^v to a slight 
shade of brown ; but labour and exposure to the sun and storm soon 
destroy all dehcacy of feature, colour, and all vestiges of beauty, leaving 
while yet young in years a wrinkled sallow visage. 

The strong habitual jealousy so prevalent over the east does not seem 
to have power here. That plan of seclusion so universally practised 
by Asiatics, which shuts the women from the eyes of all but one, is here 
not adopted. The females appear abroad as unreservedly as the men ; and 
far from flying at the sight of strangers, they will remain and converse, 
showing no other feehng than the occasional shyness natural to all lui- 
educated women introduced to the presence of persons they never saw 
before. On several occasions, when we had approached the jilace thov 
were in, I have seen them continue occui)ying themselves with their 
household concerns, and even give the breast to their children as if none 
were by. 

That this state of freedom proceeds from enlightened motives, no one 
judging by analogy with their other habits can sujipose. As eastern 
female seclusion is the effect of gloomy and tyrannical jealousy, and the 
wantonness of luxury and power : so, when these latter are not i)rcsent to 



70 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

operate, and poverty checks the madness of passion, the inconvenience of 
such a custom will prevent its adoption, and the common course of nature 
will not be counteracted. 

Females are valuable as labourers, and thus escape imprisonment. The 
natives do not possess that keenly sensitive and unoccupied mind which 
usually becomes a prey to jealousy. 

They are too gross, too little accustomed to mental exercise ; and the 
small portion of forethought they have is too completely occupied in pro- 
viding for the subsistence of the day, and the absolute necessaries of life, 
to admit of a feeling so refined as jealousy. 

So far are they indeed from any such tincture, that chastity, it is to be 
feared, is a virtue little known, and less valued ; and this will seem the less 
strange when their customs regarcUng marriage come to be known, and 
particularly one of a most singular and revolting nature, which in fact 
establishes to a certain degree among them a sort of community of wives. 

It is usual for a family of four or five brothers to marry and possess 
the same woman at the same time, who thus becomes the wife in common 
to all : of this usage a full account will be given hereafter ; but the general 
ideas regarding female virtue may be inferred from the admission of a 
practice so disgusting. 

The dress of the females is quite the same as that of the Hindoos 
in the plains : a short v»rapper, or coortee, covers the shoulders and breast ; 
a petticoat is tied around the waist, and a do-putta, or long piece of cloth, 
is wrapt around the head, shoulders, and bosom, hke a shawl, in various 
and elegant shapes. These habiliments are fabricated of cotton, plain, 
coloured, or striped, and are manufactured in, and procured from, the low 
country. Ornaments are here as much affected as usual among the softer 
sex, and they procure all sorts to the extent of their ability. 

The women of the poorer class wear any kind of dress they can get, 
and claim no description of peculiar costume. Indeed among them, at 
times, are seen creatures of extraordinary appearance, to the full as wild 
and savage as the men ; and we have frequently, while strolling past or 
through a village, come upon a being of the female gender, whose ap- 
jiearance made it chfficult to class her with any known genus of animal. 

The religion these people profess is Hindooism; but their practice 
is chiefly confined to the superstitious belief in, and adoration of, an 



THE IIIMALA MOUNTAINS. 71 

endless number of imaginary powers (whicli never had a place in any faith 
till they received one from these ignorant l)eings}, and in the partial 
observances of cast, and other common Hindoo ])rejudices. 

The common and established Hindoo deities are acknowledsed and 
held sacred, and there are temples to their worship ; but the powers, 
good and evil, with which the superstitious imagination of the " Paharia," 
or mountaineer (from " pahrir," a hiU), has peopled every hill, every grove, 
and every dell, are far more commonly the object of his fervent and feari'ul 
devotion. 

In short, the religion, wild as it is among its most enlightened pro- 
fessors in the plains, is perverted and metamorphosed in the liills to a 
degree of such superior confusion, that it quite defies all order or com- 
prehension. 

The Paharia pays liis adoration to the cow, protects it, and uses it 
well. He will not sell one except to a Hindoo, and refused many of the 
British officers who offisred liim gold for these holy animals merely for the 
sake of their milk. But he works it hard, as all his countrvmcn do, usin» 
it in the laborious departments of agriculture, as plowing, treading out 
the grain, &c. 

The same detail of casts is found as in the plains. There is no scarcity 
of brahmins, who here, as in other places, take excellent care of themselves. 

Almost every one calls himself a Rajpoot, save those who honestly 
confess to inquirers that they are coolies, that is, of the lo^vest clas.>^ : 
" chumars" or persons who strip the skins from carcasses, and who are also 
shoemakers. 

In short, the detail of the people in the country under consideration, 
as far as we saw it in the vicinity of Nahn, was very similar to Avhat may 
be met mth among other petty Hindoo states where jMahomedanism has 
not obtained a firm footing. 

The origin of these people no doubt forms a curious subject of inquiry. 
Were they a race that from a very ancient period inhabited tlie hills, and 
perhaps sent their superabundance to peoj)le the ])lair.s. and fill up the 
country in the vicinity of their mountains ? if so, whence did thev 
originate? from what direction did they come? or, ai"e the present de- 
gi'aded inhabitants of the mountains only the refuse of the }ilains Avhich 



72 NOTES OX THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

were first peopled ? These are questions, hoAvever interesting, on which so 
few lio-hts can in all probability be obtained, that they are likely to rest in 
obscurity for ever. 

The fact of their religion and language being similar to those in j.iso 
among their neighbours of the plains does not appear to bear any weight on 
either side, for these may be of comparatively late adoption ; and there are 
no records, and very little tradition, to light us to the transactions even of 
the latest period of their history. Beyond the memory of man (and in 
perhaps some instances of a few generations back) there is little in this 
]iart of the country to guide us. 

In the records of the states of Gurhwal and Kumaoon, indeed, there 
are notices of dates, old in comparison A\ith the known events of other 
places, but very recent when referred to as illustrating the remote history 
of an aboriginal people. 

It is natural that, on tliis side the Snowy Mountain's barrier, the features, 
language, religion, and manners of the inhabitants should partially assi- 
milate to those of the most powerful neighbours with whom intercourse is 
held ; but tliis intercourse has not been so great as to carry such a simi- 
larity to any very considerable extent, and there does not seem to be the 
least trace near the plains of any other language or features than those 
described, wliich are undoubtedly Hindoo. 

That the scene of the great drama of Hindoo mythology, the theme 
of the holy books of the Shasters, should be laid in these mountains, 
argues nothing. If indeed the Brahminical rehgion was at a very distant 
era introduced into Hindostan, by a race who subdued by their arms, or 
gained power by their wisdom, they might well at a period that now defies 
research, and mocks at tradition or historical notice, place their holiest 
temples and secrets in the difficult if not inaccessible regions of the north, 
where mystery added awe to the reverence which they exacted and re- 
ceived for their deities. Mahadeo could not be more sublimely inthroned 
than in the recesses of Himala. 

The most probable supposition is, surely, that the mountains liy degrees 
received their population from the plains ; that those Avho were weak and 
oppressed in times of turbulence and tumult retired to the skirts of the 
hills, and were succeeded and pushed on by others in a similar predicament 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 73 

froiu time to time, till at length the whole tract, uninviting as it is in aj)- 
pearance, was pervaded and peopled. Curiosity and desire of gain, or the 
wish to find more fertile pastures for their flocks, might first entice persons 
to explore the dangerous passages through the hills, till at last they w ere 
penetrated from each side. A partial admixture might have taken place 
between the Tartars on the one side and the Hindoos on the other ; but 
the nature of the country formed too great an obstacle to its extending 
to any great degree. It will afterwards appear that this seems to have 
been the case ; but I am too ill qualified in every way to attempt more 
than to state the subject of query ; and, far from appreciating the proofs 
on either side the question, have neither science nor means of obsersation 
sufficient to detect and bring them into notice ; I must therefore leave the 
field to abler explorers. 

The boundaries of Sirmore, in which Xahn and Jytock are situated, 
have already been loosely mentioned, and a more particular idea of the 
country will be obtained by a glance at the map which accompanies these 
pages. 

The state is divided into twenty-seven purgunnahs, of which a list is 
given in the a})pendix : of these the valley called the Kearda-Dlioon is the 
only one capable of being fully and richly cultivated, as it is a level tract 
running from the river Jumna westward, nearly to the foot of the hill on 
which Nahn is situated, and is contained between the small ridge of liills 
that run along the plain and the first of the loftier mountains. 

Although among the remaining divisions there are tracts, which, con- 
sidering local circumstances, are rich and populous ; yet these are insulated 
and small in proportion to the vast space that is incapable of cultivation, 
mountainous and wild, like that already described, and which w ill fall under 
notice in the ensuing ])ages diu-ing the detail of my joiu'neys. 

The revenues could never have been very large, and the depopulation 
and ruin, that have been spread over the land by the Ghoorkha concjuerors, 
must have reduced it very greatly. In fact, the total aiuuial amount 
of land revenue which the Nepfdese government drew from Sirmore never 
exceeded 85,000 rupees, exclusive of the petty states dependent on it, 
which were separately assessed. But this must have been a small portion 
of what the country once yielded. The Kearda-Dlioon alone, which in 

L 



74 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

the hands of the Ghoorkhas never yielded above 1500 rupees per annum, 
is said in former times to have given from thirty to forty thousand rupees, 
independent of the customs on transit goods, and the usual dues of the 
cro^ni on the captiu-e of wild elephants, wliich amounted to one-foiuth of 
their value. 

It would not be fair, however, to presume, that the deterioration of 
realizable revenue over the whole of the country has kept pace Avith that 
experienced in the Kearda-Dhoon. This place, from its far greater 
facilities for cultivation, was susceptible of proportionate improvement or 
decay ; the rest of the country does not offer a subject for so heavy a dif- 
ference in value ; and any similar diminution must have reduced its returns 
to almost nothing. But the actual decUne of the revenues of the country 
is enormously and evidently great, and proved by the general appearances 
of desolation visible to the traveller, as well as by the result of inquiry and 
investigation. 

AVith the state of their military pov.er, and the number and efficiency 
of the troops that they could raise before they were subjected to the 
power of Nepal, I am not much acquainted. It was not, as we under- 
stand, very formidable; consisting chie^fly of temporary levies raised for 
occasional service, each chief of a district bringing with hiai his followers, 
and the petty tributary states yielding their quota at the command of 
their superior. That the number, however, of tliis coUection must have 
been cojisiderable will appear from this, that the tributary state of Joobul 
alone was understood to be capable of furnishing 2000 hardy soldiers, and 
its extent is trifling compared with that of Sirmore, not perhaps amounting 
to more than one-fifth of that state. 

These men could not boast of much discipline, nor were they well or 
regularly armed. The greater number carried bows and arrows, and axes, 
whilst only the chosen troops wielded swords, or were supphed with 
matchlocks. 

The states over which Sirmore claims a tributary authority are, Joobul, 
Ootrock, Rutes, Bulsum, Baecn, Seelee, Saree. 

But it was a superiority that could not always be established, and the 
degree of vassalage varied with the power of enforcing it. 

Other states even occasionally asserted the right to demand tribute 



THE HI MALA MOUNTAINS. 75 

claimed by it, and according as the power of these preponderated was 
the claim adjusted. 

Eischur and Gurwhal, each in turn stepped forward to prefer their own 
right to feodal superiority, and many and bloody were the wars occasioned 
by the desire of establishing this disputed title, barren as it was of every 
thing that could repay the waste of blood it occasioned. Even the chief- 
tain of the smaller state, when he happened to be more ambitious or inde- 
pendent in his principles than common ; and when the protecting state 
was weakened, perhaps by asserting the right to control him, wovild rise 
and resist, and endeavour to estabhsh that right, which he too thought he 
had to hberty, by force of arms. He Avas seldom successful, for sooner or 
later one or other of the primary states poured in its strength, and, over- 
whelming the puny rebel, reduced his small state to subjection again. 

Soon after the conquest of Gurwhal, Sirmore also fell under the Ghoorkha 
tyranny. The reigning prince was a bad and a weak man ; and, I beheve, 
from a principle of revenge on some of his neighbours, whom he felt himself 
too weak or too fearful to attack, he gave encouragement to the common 
enemy to attempt the taking possession of the country : thus he lost his 
own crown, and the whole country fell tlu'ough liis treachery. 

The Ghoorkas proved hard and grinding masters. The old families, 
who were attached to the ancient liereditary government, they banished 
or dispersed ; and they created new officers to fill the different posts of 
trust, who wei"e devoted to their service, and whose interest it was that the 
old dynasty shovdd never be revived. 

In many instances the chief zemindars were carried away from their 
farms and families as hostages for the peace of a district ; and frequently 
such persons, when suspected of a wish to change masters, were put to 
death. Such severity naturally produced a great change in the national 
character, and particularly in the more accessible parts of the country near 
the plains, and around the capital, where the subjugation was more com- 
plete. All enthusiasm, all a})pearance of love for hberty Avas destroyed ; 
the people became reckless, broken spirited, bowed to the dust, and subdued 
in mind as in body. 

The farther north, the farther removed from the seat of government, 
the more did the latent symptoms of anxiety to throw off the yoke evince 
themselves. 



76 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

The first that moved and took a decided part in the English cause 
were tlie men of Jounsar. Tliis district, wild and rugged in an eminent 
degree where aU is wild, possesses advantages, particularly in a military 
l)oint of view, that might have been of high importance, had any attempt 
at a junction taken place between the forces of Ummr Sing Thappa and 
Eunjore Sing his son. 

The only practicable roads for an army traversing the interior of tliis 
country from east to west lie through this tract, and it commands the 
cliief fords upon the Touse and Jumna. It lies between these rivers, 
stretching from their junction at Kalsee far to the north-east, till bounded 
by the district of llewaeen in Gurwhal. Though wild and apparently a 
mass of very lofty mountains, it conceals in their bosoms much fine cul- 
tivation, Avhilst its impregnable nature may entitle it to be considered as 
forming the main strength of Sirmore. 

The people of this district were the first to take arms in support of the 
British and their own cause, and to expel their conquerors. In many 
instances they harassed the enemy : and on the occasion of Bhulbhudder 
Sing's retreat from Jountgurh to Jytock, a party of them hung on his rear, 
and came to a partial engagement whilst passing the Touse, in wliich, had 
they been supported by the regulars, Avho were too far in the rear, they 
would have cut off the enemy's detachment. 

Nearly 1000 men were inhsted into the irregular corps from this part 
of the country. 

Those of the purgunnahs, Palwe, Puchad, Sein, Kajegurh, and ]Mornee, 
lying beyond the Touse, were the next to evince their desire of liberty. 
They rose against their oppressors, joining the men of Jounsar and the 
irregidar troops which were furnished by the British, and exposed them- 
selves to the wrath of the enemy even before the poAver of our arms was 
fully manifested to their apprehension. 

They suffered in many instances from this open conduct, particularly 
on the retreat of Bhulbhudder Sing, who burnt and plundered several 
villages. 

jNIany anxious letters did these people write for assistance, encouraging 
the advance of troops, which it was then not deemed advisable to send. A 
few of those letters, with some intercepted ones from Eunjore Sing to 
them, threatening vengeance if they swerved from their aUegiance, as 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 77 

being the fairest proofs of the tone of mind in wliich those people were, 
are inserted in the appendix. 

Joobul next sent forth a few ; but the great l)ulk of that state, and 
the remainder of Sirmore, remained in heartless inaction. The usual 
engines of eastern policy (perhaps a more extended sphere of operation 
may be allowed them) were employed, sowing dissension and discord 
through all the land ; so that unanimity and co-operation were out of the 
question. Even in the well disposed districts this unha])py state of things 
prevailed, and palsied all attempt at operations of importance. 

The behaviour of the chiefs of the country and of the relatives, nay, 
even the members of the royal family, when urged to exert themselves, 
and when troops were put in their offer to command, was highly dis- 
creditable and even pusillanimous. 

The conduct of the ex-rajah had even made some districts absolutely 
inimical and active against any measures that favoured his restoration. 

The divisions of Laddee and Kangrah on the .Jumna, opposite to Kalsee, 
had suffered from the rajah. In consequence of their dehnquency he had 
severely punished their faults, and the whole district resented this exercise 
of absolute power. The same people had met with liigh favour from 
Runjore Sing ; they consequently were devoted to him, and threw every 
obstacle in the way of our success. None of the inhabitants of these 
purgunnahs came in, though repeatedly invited ; and the assistance they 
afforded to Bhulbhudder Sing in his passage through Jounsar, and across 
the river Touse, was of great importance to him. 

The name of the ex-rajah is Kurrum-Purgass. He is a man of violent 
passions, no judgment, and much cruelty. His government was generally 
odiovis to the people, and he would in all probability have lost his crown 
and life had not the Ghoorkha invasion thus rudely put an end to tlie 
dynasty. He has a son yet a minor, and many relations, none of wiiom 
have proved themselves worthy of being intrusted with authority. 

Of the origin of the royal fiimily of Sirmore 1 know nothing. Almost 
all the chiefs of the larger hill states are originally of low country extrac- 
tion ; probably soldiers of fortinie, more able and pohtie than the ma>s of 
hill chieftains, who have had })ower to gain a footing, and art to maintain 
it when gained; and to consolidate into one powerful goverinncnt a 
portion of the vast number of ever-changing petty states, which seem oi' 
old to have divided the hills. 



78 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

Of the former history of Sirmore we could learn little ; since its exist- 
ence as a state, it has been continually governed by a rajah in the same 
way as other Hindoo states, with officers of the usual description and ranks 
under liim ; and the system of collecting its revenues has been the same, 
viz. by amildars stationed throughout the diiFerent districts, who received 
tlie assessment, which over the whole country was fixed at one half the 
produce of all land cultivated. 

The seat of government was fixed at Nahn, and I do not recollect that 
we saw or heard of any royal residence besides in the whole country. 
There are several forts and strong places scattered over it besides Jytock, 
as Birab, iNIornee, Hurrypoor, and Chandpoor, which shall be noticed as 
they occur in the narrative of our journey. 



THE HIMaLA mountains. 79 



CHAPTER VII. 

RESUMPTION OF THE CAMPAIGN BEFORE JYTOCK 
SINCE 5th FEBRUARY. 

The progress of the campaign in general, and the chief operations in 
this quarter, have been detailed in the first part. 

After the fall of General Gillespie, and the unfortunate failure before 
Kalunga, the war advanced but slowly. 

This event had a seriously unhappy operation on the minds of the 
people of the hill states ; and there was no briUiant exploit either about 
the same time or soon after to raise the hopes of the desponding, to fix 
the wavering or timid, or produce an alteration in the feelings and conduct 
of those who were hostilely inclined. 

The natives, too, from the time that elapsed before active measui'es were 
resumed throughout the country, conceived an idea that the conquest of 
the Deyhra-Dlioon was our only object, and not the entire expulsion of 
the Neprdese forces from the whole country; and inthout a certainty of 
our future intentions they Mould not come forward to assist us, or rise and 
take arms in the cause. 

Althouoh Kalunoa too was evacuated after the second bloodv assault 
and desperate defence, yet we might be considered to have sustained a 
second repulse ; whilst the escape of Euhlbhudder Sing from the })lace, 
though surrounded by so large a force, and his retreat to Jountgiu-h. was 
rather looked upon as a trait of distinguished bravery and of able general- 
ship, indicating a plan to concentrate the Ghoorka forces into one part of 
the country, and thus wait for tlie strong reinforcements that were said to 
be arriving from the eastward, after having maintained himself a.s long as 
was required in the place, whence our efforts had at last driven him. 

About this time, however, three or four of tlie principal landlioUlcrs, 
who had more faith, and probably more experience of the vcA \\r~\cv of 



so NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

the IJritish arms, clid come over ; and the coimtry they thus placed at our 
disposal was of iin})ortance, as through it lay the chief road from Sreeuuggur 
to tlie westward. 

They were useful in bringing in supplies, and furnishing carriage for 
necessaries and stores, and facilitating in various ways their passage from 
j)lace to place, rather than in any actual opposition to the enemy. 

Of this they were themselves aware, and many letters received from 
them and others, in answer to invitations to come over to us, express their 
readiness to assist the advance of the British troops, and their happiness 
at their approach, but also their inability, actively or independently, to 
annoy the Ghoorkhas. 

It was at this period that we began seriously to feel the want of means 
for distressing the enemy, and for aitUng our own cause by various less 
important enterprises, such as cutting oflp small bodies and foraging parties? 
giving safe conduct to convoys of our o\\ii, protecting the friendly dis- 
tricts from the enemy's vengeance, and raising the spirits of the well 
disposed but timid ; duties which, however useful and even necessary, 
would have worn out and harassed regular troops in an intolerable 
manner, besides employing a larger number than could be spared from 
regular duty. 

This gave rise to the measure of forming a light irregular corps, to be 
raised chiefly among the highlanders of these friendly districts, the old 
soldiers and dependents of the ex-rajah, to whom arms were distributed, 
and native officers attached, cliiefly their countrymen. 

They were found useful, and the levies grew, and formed a temporary 
addition to the army, easily raised and soon reducible ; and the species of 
straggling warfare that was necessarily pursued gave considerable scope 
foi- tlieir services, which, though not to be much relied on in cases of 
im])()rtance and danger, were in many instances very desirable. 

Sometime afterwards a l)ody of Mewatties was employed: people ac- 
customed to a desultory warfare like this among their own hills, which 
however were not so rugged or lofty as these they were now to serve in. 

As farther increase was deemed necessary, Sikhs, Plighlanders, Patans, 
and soldiers of fortune of all nations were inlisted, till the number at 
length was augmented to full 7000 men. 

On troops thus hastily raised, formed of so many nations, casts, and 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 81 

characters, little reliance could be placed ; and it will appear that the conse- 
quence, as was to be expected, was frequent disappointment and disgrace. 

Still they had their use ; and when the time and circumstances in 
which they were raised is considered, the greatest allowance should and 
will be made. Had the success of the affairs in which they were engaged, 
and their behaviour in general, depended on example and command, it 
would not have been doubtful ; for they were placed under an officer, whose 
personal character, for conduct and gallantry, might have inspired them 
with corresponding ardovir and confidence ; who merits the greatest praise 
for the incessant attention he paid to render them efficient ; and who, had 
the materials he had to work with been more congruous and sterling, 
would no doubt have reaped as much honour and satisfaction as he has 
on various occasions, from their worthlessness, most undeservedly suffered 
mortification and pain. 

After the evacuation of Kalunga, and the retreat of Bhulbhudder Sing, 
the British army, re-entering the plains, proceeded along the skirts of the 
liills towards Nahn, and arrived at the entrance of the pass of ^Nloginund 
on the 19th of February. 

The progress of the army towards the town of Nahn, the evacuation 
of that place by the enemy, and the occvipation of it by the British troops, 
have already been adverted to. 

Early in December, the fortress of Birat in the Jounsar district was 
evacuated by the enemy ; this was cliiefly occasioned by the revolt of the 
people of that district from the Ghoorkha power, which was the first open 
movement of any consequence in our favour. By this event the whole 
of Jounsar was freed from the enemy, from Calsee to near the Sno^^y 
IMountains. 

But there were still circumstances, that occasioned a distrust of our 
final intentions in the mind of the natives. A body of the enemy, formed 
by part of the fugitive garrison of Kalunga, a few men from Sreenuggur. 
and others from Nahn, under some officers of distinction, and jxM-liaps 
joined by the garrison of Birat, were not only allowed to establisli tliem- 
selves at the fort of Chumoon (which overawes a considerable district 
to the eastward of Jounsar between the Jumna and the Bhagiruttee). 
but were permitted to remain there unmolested by the Britisli troops. 



82 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

althou"-!! it i)erhaps apjieared to them that the enemy might have been 
easily driven from that post, his place occupied, the country on this side 
the Jjhagiruttee thus treed, and the bridge over the river so destroyed, that 
no troops could cross it without a delay and difficulty, that would have 
rendered it easy to oppose them. 

This act would, in their opinion, have given proof of the sincerity of 
the proclamations that were issued from the British camp, of our resolution 
to expel the Ghoorkha power, and free the whole country. 

That such were the sentiments of the people is incontestably proved 
by several letters, written from the head men of various districts to the 
natives in attendance on the British camp. Several pieces of information 
w^ere communicated, and strong hints were given of what they conceived 
to be the best course to pursue ; but it appears that their views did not 
coincide with those of the British connnanders. A few of these letters are 
inserted in the appendix, that the continuity of the narrative may not be 
interrupted. 

AMiilst the army lay in the plain below Xahn, ten of the principal in- 
habitants of the district of Jounsar, who were confined in that town, 
escaped to the protection of the British, and were immediately sent to 
their own homes, to fiu-ther the rising of the people there. 

From their account there was reason to believe that the inhabitants of 
Joobul, and the petty states around it, were anxious to rise and assist the 
British to dispossess their late conquerors; and much information was 
otherwise gained respecting the roads that lead from east to west, through 
the country between the plains and the Snowy Hills. 

From its nature as thus described, it was thought by some that a 
strong line might have been carried across the whole hilly chstrict, 
stretching from Jytock over the Choor range through Joobul, crossing the 
river Pabur at Raeengurh, and leaning u])on Unhoul on the river Touse. 
Such a line would have totally separated the Ghoorkha forces into two 
parts, and have cut off" all communication between Ummr Sing Thappa at 
Malown, and Irkee and Sreenuggur ; whilst having to the south-eastward 
the friendly and impregnable country of Jounsar, and no want of neces- 
saries, our forces might, if pressed on, have Mien back without difficulty, or 
advanced with a certainty of support from their rear. Thus they would 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 83 

have straitened the resources of the Ghoorkha commander to the west- 
ward, in a way that would at all events have strongly operated on liis 
apprehensions, and on the spirit of his people, and even have reduced him 
to the necessity of attempting to force a retreat. 

But this plan was not thought expedient, as it seems, hy the authorities 
in command, for no movements in consonance with its spirit were under- 
taken. 

The failure of the attempt to make a lodgement on two points near the 
fort of Jytock on the ^Tth of December was followed by a long ])eriod of 
cessation from active measures in this quarter. ^Meantime, the unsuccessful 
movement under Major ]?aldock to dislodge the enemy from Jountgurh 
and Chumoon, and the advance of Bhulbhudder Sing across Jounsar into 
Laddee and Palwa, with inferior force in the face of the detachment, 
operated very unfavourably on the minds of the inhabitants of the hiDs, 
for it was considered as a proof of the activity, power, and decision of the 
enemy ; and the men of the district of Kangrah, by whose co-operation 
the movement was facilitated, were confirmed in their allegiance to the 
Ghoorkha government, by which they had always been favoured. 

Even several of the chieftains of the Palwa district, who had evinced 
favourable sentiments towards us, went over to the enemy, and the dis- 
positions of the men of Joobul were again rendered wavering and un- 
certain. Those of Poonur, however, (a district of Joobid, that will afterwards 
be adverted to), without thinking of conseqviences, massacred the troops 
that were stationed among them, for the purposes of collecting the revenue, 
and freed themselves at once from the Ghoorkha yoke. 

About the middle of February, Bhulbhudder Sing entered the fort of 
Jytock with his detachment. 

It being understood, also, that a reinforcement of troops under tlie 
command of Azvimber Punt Qazee had been detached by Unnur Sing 
Thappa to the assistance of Bunjore Sing his son, and that they were near 
at hand on their way to reinforce Jytock, Lieut. Young, who commantled 
the irregulars, was sent with a body of these troops, amounting to about 
1400 men, with the view of intercepting them on their way across the 
Sine range. 

The force consisted of various small bodies, who neither knew nor had 
confidence in each other, and had very httle bravery to induce them to 



84 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

expose themselves to danger. The consequence was a total defeat of the 
whole detachment at Chinal-gurh (a village on the Sine mountain) by the 
Ghoorklia force under Azumber Punt, who triumphantly, and with very 
little loss, pui-sued his way, and entered Jytock without fuither mo- 
lestation *. 

The scene of action lay in our route, and in its own place is more 
particularly described. 

Among the deserters from the Ghoorkha camp, who subsequently 
inlisted themselves into British pay, I met with one in particular who had 
been concerned in tliis affray, and his account of it was interesting. When 
they saw the largeness of the party that were sent against them, they had 
little hope of forcing their way, or indeed of escape from so superior a 

force. 

In a council of war, which was held in the evening, an old soubahdar 
gave it as liis advice that they should attempt to force their way sword in 
hand, trusting httle to the musquet or matchlock, but charging with 
drawn swords after a volley or two. His advice was followed, and they 
found their account in it : for, more accustomed than the Sikhs or Mowatties 
to the irregular and rough ground which formed the field of battle, they 
kept their footing when the others lost theirs, or were out-breathed. The 
old soubahdar, the cause of their victory, unfortunately fell by the first 
fire. His son came anxiously up to see how he fared, but he covered his 
wound with his clothes, said it was shght, and urged his son onward with 
liis men : he soon expired. Such men could not but conquer. 

* Azumber Punt Qazee had only 400 men witli him. 

Our irreo-ulars left of their number 180 dead on the spot, upwards of 100 came badly wounded 
into camp, and the number of missing and deserters was very great ; no doubt many of the missing 
were killed by the enemy, or by falling over the precipices, of which the hill is almost entirely 
formed. 

Such are the fatal effects of a total absence of discipline, and of the confidence so necessary to 
exist in a body of troops on service. These men collected on the exigency of the moment, in 
small bodies, from different casts, religions, and nations, suddenly united, ignorant of each other, 
of course without mutual confidence, were no sooner charged by a resolute, compact, well cemented 
enemy, than they yielded to the shock, and fled panic-struck. Nor was there the same motive to 
spirited attack or resistance in diese heterogeneous irregulars, who merely served for bread, as in 
the Ghoorkhas, who fougiit for existence, and for the existence of their nation, with genuine 
patriotism. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 85 

The irregulars, however, were not always thus defeated. A party of 
370, who were detached to a post in Sine, called Becherkabagh, were 
attacked and surprised by 300 chosen men of the garrison of Jytock, whom 
they repulsed and beat, and then charging with the sword, killed on the 
spot twenty-five of the number. 

Eut the disaster of the 5ilst of February gave rise to a determination 
not to employ the irregulars in the field against the enemy, but to make 
use of them in minor duties, such as harassing them by consuming their 
supplies, preventing their foraging in small parties, holding fortified places, 
taking charge of escorts, and even aiding the regular troops by acting in 
parties on their flanks. 

A detachment of the army under ]\Iajor Ludlow had noAv occupied 
Blackhill, a high peak on the same range as Jytock, distant from it some- 
what more than t\\'o miles ; and soon after Xownie was taken possession 
of, forming the advanced post of the army to the westward. 

A further detachment had reinforced j\Iajor Ludlow from Xahn, and 
groiuid was taken in front of Blackhill, part of the camp was formed on a 
lower eminence, and mortars established to annoy the enemy's advanced 
posts with occasional shells ; but cannon of a larger size than the battalion 
guns had been deemed necessary to batter down the stockades erected by 
the enemy, and eighteen-pounders were ordered up from the paik of 
artillery. 

The conveyance that had been used for bringing up the smaller guns 
and mortars would not answer for these ; the former, with their anununi- 
tion, had been carried up with ease and safety by those admirable ani- 
mals the elephants. But it was now necessary to form a road by which 
the larger guns might be dragged up by main strength from the park 
below. 

This had been done already as far as the town of Xahn, and the ground 
they were th'agged over, the precipices they were hauled uj) dining that 
operation, were enough to excite wonder ; but these obstacles were not to 
be compared with the difficulty of the country, ami the length of the way 
they had to encounter in the construction of a road from Xahn to Battery- 
hill. During the space of six weeks while this was going on the army 
continued at rest. 

The season was advancing, and the enemy far from abating in con- 



8G NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

fidcnce ; indeed the successive fortunate cntei-prises of Bhulbhudder Sing 
and Azuniber Punt had inspired them greatly with that feeling, and they 
iLSsured tliemselves of their having power to force a retreat to the east or to 
the west whenever necessity should appear to dictate such a measure. 

.\ retreat to the northward, into Joobid or Bischur, would have placed 
the British in an awkward predicament ; for it wovdd have been exceed- 
ingly difficult to have followed them with baggage and provisions, or even 
light artillery, with its ammunition ; whilst the carriage of heavy guns 
would have almost amounted to an impossibility ; yet there were no means 
taken to prevent the enemy from adopting such a measure. 

It was, however, an object of some consequence to become acquainted 
with the real sentiments of the inhabitants of the more northern districts ; 
particularly of those of Joobul : and for this pvn-pose, during this inactive 
period, the gentleman who accompanied the army as political agent 
undertook a jovu'ney towards that quarter. 

He was accompanied by about 400 or 500 irregular troops, and a 
young officer of engineers volunteered to accompany him. 

They left the camp upon the 3d of jNIarch, and, crossing the mountains 
of Sine and Choor, deep at that time in snow, they reached the village of 
Serai, in Joobul, on the 12th. 

The two chief men of the state, Dangee (the Wuzzeer) and Preemoo, 
joined their camp that night in secret. The satisfaction of the people at 
the a})proach of this party was very evident and viniversal, and it had the 
effi.'ct of fixing the w^avering resolutions of Dangee and Preemoo. 

Hatred to the enemy was a strongly apparent sentiment ; and the men 
of Poonur purgunnah, learning the advance of a British officer and detach- 
ment, collected a few days before their arrival at Serai, and surrounded the 
small fort of Choupal, one of the strong holds of Joobul, garrisoned by 
about 100 (ihoorkhas; approaching so near that one of them was killed 
by a shot from its walls. 

A negotiation was opened by the British party with the commander of 
this fort ; and after some demur, and the threat being held out, that the 
garrison should be abandoned to the rage of the inhabitants, who 
thirsted for their blood ; and having only a provision of water for four 
days, he surrendered with his party, and they were received into British 
pay, according to capitulation. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 87 

. A force of 100 irregulars was left liere in the mean time, to occupy the 
fort, as tlie detachment was now oljHged to return to camp, in consequence 
of the resumption of active measures against Jytock. 

I'he force to act in Joobul was then increased to 700 or 800 irregulars ; 
and the Joobulians themselves were raised by Dangee in considerable 
numbers : the whole were directed to act against the petty forts of the 
enemy in the north, in concert with the troops of the Rajah of Cooloo, who 
had roused himself, and commenced operations against the invaders. 

At this period, the 14th of March, 1 reached Xahn. 

The road for the eighteen-pounders was completed, and the guns were 
to move up the next day. It may reasonably be doubted, if ever till this 
period it had been contemplated to drag guns of such heavy metal up 
precipices so high and so rugged, and over so many of them. 

When it is considered that Elackhill is 1800 feet above the level of Xahn, 
exclusive of a gully several hundi'ed feet deep, that runs between them : 
that the length of the gun-road is five miles ; that the rocks, up and down 
which the road necessarily passed, were covered with thick jungle, and 
were in many places nearly perpendicular, in all rough and ridgy, with 
many deep intersecting hollows ; some approximation may be made 
towards appreciating the difficulty of the undertaking. But, I am very 
sure that it cannot be truly and fully understood, except by those who 
have witnessed it. 

To an inexperienced eye it would have appeared, that the engineers 
had chosen the most difficult track for the coin-se of the road ; but it soon 
became evident that it should be brought straight up the almost perjjcn- 
tlicular face of the rocks, instead of winding along their sides, in order to 
give scope for a fair straight pull of the numerous hands that were required 
to move the guns, which would not have been the case had there been 
many turns and corners intervening. The road was little more tlian a 
space made clear of wood and loose stones, and in which the small liollows 
were smoothed and filled up, the bank here and there cut downwards, and 
the edges artificially raised : in some places it wound along the brow of a 
dizzy precipice ; at others crowned a narrow ridge, on either side of which 
was a dell of great depth. Such as it was, it cost much labour, and the 
event showed how much credit it did to those engineers who planned it. 



88 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

On the 13th the guns were moved. 200 Europeans of the 53d re- 
giment, and a number of gun Lascars, were allotted to each. 

Parties of troops were detached to different heights, to protect the 
working party from any attempt the enemy might make to annoy them ; 
but they offered no molestation, save now and then firing a small gun at 
the moving mass, which, from the distance, could do no harm. But every 
one of the garrison was stationed without the fort, on the liill side, 
viewing the operation. 

Held back from too rapid a motion by the Europeans, and directed in 
its course by men with levers at each side, each gun made its safe descent 
into the valley, and they reached the bed of the nullah at an early hour 
in the morning. 

The ascent then began, and a most laborious one it was. jNIain 
strength Avas necessary to drag it up the straight roads, which, viewed at a 
distance, seemed perpendicular ; and the men in detail, with the ropes and 
gun attached, appeared right up and down on its face. On the edge of 
steep precipices again, more caution was necessary ; for then, had the huge 
engine swerved the least to one side, it mvist have tumbled down to the 
gulf below, whence it could never have been recovered, and probably many 
lives must have been lost along with it. 

Several times I trembled as I saw it verge towards the edge, and the 
ground crumble under it : but it moved on majestically, following the 
mass of men that drew it : and on the morning of the Hd day (iCth jNIarch) 
tA\o heavy guns were placed in battery. 

That day and night were passed in preparations for opening a fire 
from all the artillery the next day. 

Accordingly, at ten o'clock on the 17th of ]March, two eighteen- 
poundcrs, tv.'o six-poundcrs, two eight and a half inch mortars, two five 
and a half inch mortars, two five and a half inch howitzers, all opened 
upon one small point. 

The fort of Jytock, it has been already said, is situated on a lofty point 
that terminates a range of hills. From this, as from the centre of a star, 
three ridges radiate ; one nnis northward in several peaks and con- 
necting ridges towards the river Jelall. On this ridge is Peacock-hill, the 
position whence Richards was obliged to retreat on the 27th of December. 
Another runs nearly south, and ends upon the nullah, running between 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 89 

Naliii and Jytock ; on this there are two or three peaks crowned with 
small stockades. 

The third runs west, and joins it to Blackhill by a neck of land of 
different heiglits, very irregular, and in some places cut deep into hollows ; 
on a long high part of it next the peak, on which stands the fort, but 
divided by a deep gap, the Ghoorkha had built three stockades, known in 
camp by the apj)ellations of the first, second, and third stockades. 

The first stockade was placed on the brow of a hill on this neck ; at 
the foot of which, at this period, was established the Enghsh advanced 
post, about 500 yards from the stockade. It was a pretty strong structure 
of wood, bound at the bottom with a thick stone wall ; in front, stakes 
were planted, and small sharp-pointed splinters of bamboo were stuck 
all around very thickly, which would have embarrassed assailants much in 
an assault. 

The whole breadth of the hill was occupied by this ; and on each flank 
extending down the slope, the enemy had dug a trench, and throAMi \i\) 
the earth as a breast-work to protect themselves, and fire from ; and it en- 
filaded the approaches to our post, and penetrated into it with some effect. 

The second stockade was about 250 yards in the rear of this, nearer 
Jytock, and calculated to command the first ; and the third was at a 
similar distance in the rear of the second, but smaller and circular in 
form. 

From the third stockade to the fort, after crossing a dee]) gap. there 
was a steep ascent along a ridge, and the fort was defended by Uvo 
iStockades that encompassed it, and the whole of the hill top, one within 
the other, both well built with stone and ^vood. 

The fort itself is but a small stone building about seventy feet long by 
fifty, with a round tower or bastion at each corner, and it only served as a 
magazine for ammunition and provisions. 

On another part of the same peak there was a smaller stockade, and a 
house inhabited by some of the sirdars of the garrison ; the rest, ami tlio 
men with their families, lived without the two surrounding stockades, anil 
on various parts of the hill side facing the English camp, till driven from 
most of them by our shot and shells. 

Such was Jytock: and our first attemi)ts were directed against tlic 
first stockade. The mortars and small guns fired at from 5 to COO yards 



90 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

distance ; the ciglitecn-pounclers commenced at a distance of from 900 
to 1000. 

The fire was kept up during tlic day, but the effect was not pro- 
2)ortioncd to the expense of ammunition. The hne of wall presented to 
the fire of the artillerist did not exceed five feet in height, and situated 
on the brow of a hill, every ball that struck short, in its rise went clean 
over : the distance was too great for precise practice. The enemy did not 
return a shot to this heavy fire ; they had no guns that could tell against 
GUI'S, and they exposed themselves so little, that the fire of shells could do 
them but little harm. 

By the evening the centre of the stockade appeared sunk and shat- 
tered, but not to a degree sufficient in the opinion of the commanding 
officer to warrant an assault. 

On the 19th the guns continued to batter; and though, during the 
night, the enemy had certainly in some measure repaired the damage done 
by our fire, it was by the evening of that day reduced to a state which 
many persons considered as incapable of resisting a spirited assault from 
our troops. 

A working party was employed during the night to advance a pathway 
under cover of the hill, to a point within about 350 yards of the place, and 
to establish there a battery for the reception of two six-pounders, which 
were ready by the morning of the 19th. During this also, an irregular 
fire was kej)t up from the breaching guns and mortars, and the stockade 
was farther ruined. 

On the morning of the 520th at daylight, one eighteen-pounder was 
moved forward to the post whence the mortars played, and the other was 
left a little in the rear ; from this distance they opened with effect about 
nine o'clock, so that in an hour the wall of the stockade was nearly 
destroyed. 

The movement of bringing forward the guns attracted from the enemy, 
who had hitherto been perfectly quiet, a sharp irregular fire of nuisketry 
and jinjals from the stockade and the trenches, and bushes on either side, 
which ])enetrated into our batteries, and enfiladed the aj^proaches to them, 
so that niaiiy of our men began to drop, killed and wounded. 

The Cihoorkhas showed themselves with much gallantry, exposing 
their persons even in the very points at which our large shot were directed, 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 91 

and which demolished their defences. This fire was returned on our side 
by parties of Sepoys and irregular troops, as well as by two coni])anies of 
Europeans detached in advance, or on either flank, to act as sharpshooters, 
and oppose or destroy those of the enemy, who galled our men severely. 

Eut the advantage of ground was in favour of our adversaries, and they 
suffered (we had reason to fear), less than we did. By evening we had 
upwards of tliirty killed and wounded. The stockade \vas reduced to a 
heap of ruins ; but no storm was ordered. 

A\"orking parties were each night sent on duty, and an advanced post 
was established about 100 yards from the stockade ; some attempts at 
re})airing the damage done to it had been made by the enemy during the 
night ; but on the 21st it was again reduced to ruins. The same irrcgidar 
fire of sharpshooters continued night and day with little intermission, and 
ever considerably to our disadvantage. 

Matters remained still in the same situation on the 22d ; but a fcAV of 
our irregulars, sent to act as sharpshooters, took advantage of a slackness 
of the enemy's fire in the afternoon, and crept up the face of the hill 
nearly to the trench they stood in, when a smart interchange of musketry 
took place, and a few Sepoys, who were stationed at hand for the purpose 
of supplying piquets and sharpshooters, moved forward of their owti 
accord to assist them. There is little doubt that they would have turned 
the enemy's flank, and before he could have been materially assisted from 
the fort, the trench woidd have been gained, and probably the stockade ; 
but the commander of the army did not approve of their forwardness, and 
ordered them to be recalled ; and they retreated under a smart fire from 
the enemy (who now increased in numbers), and regained their post ^\^th 
some loss. 

More than one opportunity of a like sort offered to bring on a general 
engagement, or to assault, with every appearance of probability of success, 
tlie stockade, which was thus our stumbling-block; and tliosc wlio were 
eager for the advance of the army, and were generally considered com- 
petent judges of the subject, felt some degree of surprise and disa|J- 
pointment at the loss of such occasions. 

But the commander was of a different opinion, and the army lay in 
camp doing duty in the trenches, watching the motions of the enemy, and 
waiting with no slight degree of impatience for orders that might put an 

V '^ 



92 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

end to the daily and provoking casualties that occurred, without the power 
of'annovino- in their turn ; and might cause a resumption of active measures 
a'minst an enemy they earnestly wished to take vengeance on for the 
various sufferings they had occasioned them. 

No alteration, however, took place for many days. The advanced posts 
continued an interdiange of nuisquetry which daily destroyed our men ; 
and towards the end of the month it was understood that all active 
measiu-es were to be abandoned, and the siege turned into a blockade ; 
intelligence that spread considerable gloom and uneasiness through the 
army, which could not understand why so much pains had been taken and 
expense incurred to batter down a place, on v. Inch, when apparently open, 
no attempt was even made. 

On the 30th jMarch a party of irregulars, left in a post to the north- 
ward of Jytock, across the Jelall river, on a height called Xerrain Keteeba, 
were surprised by a detachment from the garrison of Jytock, and driven 
from it with a loss of 100 killed, and sixty to seventy wounded. 

This disaster was cliiefly owing to the treachery and cowardice of one 
of the native officers, who commanded a part of the force, and who, on the 
assault of the enemy, left with his men the remaining part, who were 
chiefly asleep, to be surprised and cut in pieces. The enemy lost hardly 
a man. 

Upon the 1st April Major Richards, with a detachment of 1000 re- 
gulars and about 700 irregulars, moved from Nairn to take a position to 
the eastward of Jytock. 

Having been forced to take a circuitous route, he did not reach his 
destination till the second day, on the morning of which (the 2d April) 
having moved before daybreak, he was attacked in the gray of dawn by a 
party of the enemy, consisting of 800 of the Goruck Fulton, or chosen 
l)attalion, and a force of 400 swordsmen. 

Although it was an ambush on the part of the enemy, yet even they 
seem to have been deficient in intelhgence, probably from our troops 
liaving left their ground at a very early hour. They suffered some companies 
of light infantry to advance within a very short distance unmolested, while 
our officers were uncertain whether the men they saw in the imperfect 
morning light were not a party of the irregulars that had gone on in 
advance. 



THE IIIMALA MOUNTAINS. 93 

Thus before either party knew \vho the other was, or ventured on a 
hostile movement, they were close together. 

The brunt of the affair fell entirely on the advanced companies of light 
infantry, and a few men of the ISth regiment native infantry. On the 
first few shots from the enemy they formed rapidly within less than forty 
yards, receiving with perfect steadiness a smart discharge of musquetry and 
rockets. Led on by their officers, they then charged, and di-ove their ad- 
versaries from height to height, pushing with vigour up the hills, and 
never allowing them time or opportunity to form, till they at last fled in 
confusion. 

Tlie loss they sustained was about thirty killed, or to forty, witli a pro- 
portion of wounded, and many prisoners; in all about 150 men placed 
hors de combat. 

Among those who were taken was their commander, Qazee Azumber 
Punt, the same who defeated the irregulars at Chinalgurgh osi the 21st 
February, and who now fell into the hands of these same irregulars on an 
occasion of less seeming peril, being discovered out breathed in the pursuit, 
with several of his orderly men who would not desert him. He was 
esteemed one of their best officers. 

IMajor Richards established himself in the post of Punjal, a peak 
separated from the fort by a deep ravine to the north, without any further 
opposition. 

During this time it appeared fully that the enemy were much pressed 
for provisions, and most uncomfortable in their cooped up situation. De- 
serters every day came in, who described the garrison as starving, and as 
parting with every thing they had to procure scanty supplies of that food 
which their commanders could not or v,ould not give them. But it is 
singular and admirable that these privations, extending not only to their 
own persons, and laying them under the necessity of stri])ping themselves 
of all their property, but associating in their sufferings their women and 
children, so tar from producing any mutinous s-pirit, or nun-mur of dis- 
obedience, or even damping their ardour in the cause in which they were 
embarked, only gave a character of despair and recklessness to the steady 
resolution they appeared to have come to of dying at their posts. 

The deserters themselves (insulated examples of the power of misery 
in overcoming principle) talked of themselves as wTCtched men, forced liy 



94 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

famine to fly the cause they had liitherto fought for, and reported those 
whom they had left behind as starving. When it was asked how those 
could remain, and how they would defend the posts entrusted to them ? 
tlicy answered, " they would die in their trenches, hopeless of success, for 
the sake of honour, and for their debt of salt." This latter expression, as 
is well known, is used in the East to mark the devotion and gratitude 
which is due to those whose bread they have eaten ; and from thence gra- 
titude in general derives the only name it is known by in India. A man 
who forgets or neglects his duty to the master who feeds him, is styled 
'■ nimmuc-haram," that is, wicked to his salt, or debt of gratitude, and is 
<-onsidered with detestation. 

Those who talked thus, indeed, bore the marks of famine in their 
persons ; they were supported in the mean time, and in the end entertained 
in British pay ; for the cause being once abandoned for which they had 
fought, Avhilst it fed them, these soldiers of fortune had no scruple in em- 
l)racing any other, even the opposite one, and sho^nng equal ardour in its 
defence. They, however, were never employed against their old friends 
by this detachment of the army. 

On the 12th of April a detachment of the 26th regiment was sent to a 
point a little to the northward of Battery Hill, with a view of checking the 
foraging excursions of the enemy on that side ; and on the night of the 
l6th it was advanced to a height that commanded the river Jelall, and 
prevented the garrison from avaihng themselves of the corn on its banks. 

A party of the light infantry battalion occupied its ground, and inter- 
mediate stockades were placed to serve as connecting posts between the 
more principal ones, and occupied by irregular troops, so that the fort was 
nearly hemmed in on all sides. 

The Ghoorkhas sometimes attacked these small posts by surprise, and 
drove our miserable irregulars from them for the time with considerable 
slaughter ; but they made no attempt either to attack our regular positions, 
or to retreat from their own, but remained inactive, as if in stupified 
sus])ense, and perhaps anxiously awaiting the success or discomfiture of the 
force opposed to l^mmr Sing and his army in ^Malown. 

Foraging parties were now sent out from camp in every direction to 
destroy the grain now fit to reap within ten or fifteen miles round the 
fort ; a duty cruelly severe upon the husbandman, but rendered necessary 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 95 

to enforce the strictness of a blockade, for hunger drove the enemy to the 
most daring efforts to supply himself with provisions to recruit his famished 
troops ; and we now had a proof of the mean and mercenary nature of the 
wretched creatures we were attempting to free from the iron bondage of 
the Glioorkha sway, and how httle we could rely on their co-operation. 
They were detected conveying into the fort of their enemies for their 
sustenance the corn which they frequently purchased in our oAvn bazar, or 
which, cut in the vicinity, they could have sold there for its full value ; 
and the fear of the just punishment that awaited their detection was in- 
sufficient to check the impulses of avarice, and shut the door on tliis trifling 
supi)ly. 

From this time to the 6th of May nothing occurred worth recorcUng. 

The success of General Ochterlony against Euchtee Thajipa on the 
heights of Deounthul, and Soorajegurh near jNfalown, and of Colonel 
Nichols in Kumaoon against Hustee Dhull Thappa and Bunsah, which 
ended in the cai)ture of Almorah, were both pubUshed in camp, which 
clearly showed that the campaign was drawing to a successful close in 
these parts. But these circumstances produced no movement on the part 
of ova* commander at Blackhill, and we left the camp in the same state of 
inactivity in which it had for so long a time before remained. 

The signature of the articles of capitulation between General Ochter- 
lony and Ummr Sing Thappa, which put the British force in possession of 
Malown, and stipulated for the evacuation of all the country to the west 
of the Kaleenuddee, or western branch of the river Gogra by the Ghoorkha 
forces, cut short the indecision of the commander opposed to Runjore 
Sing, and put an end to his intentions of so late an assault as was under- 
stood to have been in contemplation at the end of so long and tedious a 
blockade, that had in truth reduced the enemy to a state that they could 
not have long offered resistance ; for, on taking possession of Jytock when 
evacuated according to treaty, there was not a day's consiuuption of grain 
in the place, and it became a matter of wonder how they liad subsisted 
so long. I 

Nearly 1500 nuiskets marched out, and with women and children. 
the number might reach 2500 souls, who were thus released from a state 
of famine ; and when the steady resistance which the Ghoorkha com- 



9G NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF, Sec. 

manders offered to our attempts, whether of force or of negotiation, are 
considered, coupled with the severe privations they so long siiffered, and 
to which they had subjected their troops, and the absolute hopelessness of 
any rehef, wliich must have darkened the latter part of the blockade, it 
cannot, I think, fail to add to the admiration so justly due to their steady 
gallantry, although it wants the bloody seal wliich was set to it at Kalunga. 

It is not easy to say which may claim the highest meed of praise, the 
commanders, for steady determination to persevere under privations of so 
heavy a nature, under such hopeless circumstances, and subjecting them- 
selves to the fuiy of a hungry soldiery ; or their soldiers, for cheerful en- 
durance of these privations, for steady and zealous discharge of their duty, 
and total freedom from any attempt at mutiny, or even from unavaihng 
but embarrassing murmurs. 

The conduct of Eunjore Sing Thappa in general, and his demeanour 
when brought into the presence of the commander of the troops in par- 
ticular, was observed as being modest but dignified, and marked with un- 
common propriety ; and in spite of their many atrocities, in spite of the 
rigour of their sway over the unhappy people they had conquered, the 
Ghoorkhas in general left with such of their subduers as were witness to 
their conduct on this occasion, a most favourable impression of regard for 
their cheerful good humour, tlieir quiet and orderly behaviour, and their 
high sense of honour, which could not but strongly engage the good will 
of those who stuched their character, especially when placed in contrast 
with tlie wretched creatures whose country they had so long occupied. 

Jytock, and its surrounding posts, were evacuated by the enemy early 
in May, and a British force immediately occupied them. When in our 
possession it was evident how ineffectual the defences would have proved 
against a vigorous attack, and that the stockades would have made no 
opposition after a short application of the power of caiuion. 



PART III. 



JOURNEY WITH THE POLITICAL AGENT FOR THE 
ARMY OF GENERAL MARTINDALE. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

From the 1st to the 6th May preparations were made for a journey 
with the poHtical agent for the army of jNIajor-General Martindale. 

W'liile the force under that officer was investing the fort of Jytock, and 
the fort and positions of INIalown, occupied by Ummr Sing Thappa, were 
besieged by the army connnanded by jNIajor-General Ochterlony, it was 
deemed expedient to detach a force to the northward, which might assist 
the troops of those petty chiefs, who were well disposed, to destroy the 
scattered pai'ties and garrisons of the enemy in the remoter and more 
central parts of the hills, and awe those whose dispositions were either not 
so friendly, or so well declared, into measures of co-operation. 

The enemy's force, which occupied the country between ^Malo^n and 
Jytock, did not much exceed 800 or 1000 men, and it was chiefly dispersed 
in small garrisons, seldom exceeding 200 men, who were posted in strong 
holds, and posts, and forts, over the country. 

At this period it had been considerably diminished from its original 
strength, for wherever the inhabitants of the mountains dared to show 
their dispositions, and thought themselves more powerful than the force 
which controlled them, they gave a loose to their fury, and massacred ever)- 
Ghoorkha soldier they could reach. 

Harassed and dispersed, and unassisted by aid from either of the prin- 
cipal sources, the scattered Ghoorkha forces assembled, and united under 
their commander, Kirtee Eana, an old and brave soldier. For some time 
they kept possession of a chain of ])osts, extending above the left bank of 
the Sutlej, in a line towards Irkee. 

Their chief position at this time was Xowagurh, Avhere about SOO men 
were concentrated. They had only one or two forts besides, strong by 
nature, and well provided with iirovisions and AAater, such, as Racongudli 
and INIornec, Zetheldout. 

o 2 



100 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

The force under Kirtee Kana wished to make good a retreat either 
to ^lalown or Jytock, and to prevent this was an object of considerable 
importance. 

And it was still more to be desired that in case either Ummr Sing 
Thappa, or Runjore Sing Thappa, should attempt to retreat and form a 
junction, the roads should be occupied, and every possible advantage taken 
of the ground, and every obstacle tlu'own in the way of such a measure. 

The troops of the Rajah of Cooloo were sent across the Sutlej to co- 
operate with those of Bischur and Joobul in the above measures, and it 
was judged proper that a British oflBcer should accompany and command 
the troops now to be detached, who might have power to negotiate as well 
as to direct their efforts. 

Mr. ^MUiam Fraser, the political agent attending the army, had col- 
lected much information relative to the country and its cliiefs, the positions 
of the enemy, and their resources ; and had already penetrated into Joobul, 
as has been mentioned, and successfully negotiated mth its chief, at the 
same time gaining over by capitulation the Ghoorkha fortress of Choupal. 
He therefore received the orders of government to depart on this service. 

On this occasion I was fortunate enough to accompany him ; and sub- 
sequent occurrences, which will be related in their places, occasioned a 
much longer extension of our tour than at first was contemplated. 

From the 1st to the 5th May, 1815, preparations were made for the 
march. At this period it was not thought expedient to detach any of the 
reg\ilar troops from the service round Jytock ; irregulars, therefore, alone 
formed the force that accompanied us, and they were rather a motley 
assemblage, consisting of parties from various and distant countries of the 
East. 

A party of about 600 men was formed of IMewatties, Goujers, Sikhs, 
and soldiers of fortune from different parts of the plains ; they were all 
armed with swords and matchlocks, but their various garb and dress gave 
them an appearance which held uniformity to scorn, and many of them 
were poor, old, and ragged. 

To these were added between 80 and 100 Patans from Afghanistan, 
similarly armed with the rest, but more soldierly and imposing in theu* 
appearance ; many of these with red hair, blue eyes, and dear florid com- 
plexions, generally tinging the eyeUds with antimony. Their dress was 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 101 

better and more uniform, and every five men liad a large flag upon a spear, 
which at least gave a gay air to the march. 

Next in detail were the Ghoorkha garrison of Choupal, who had capi- 
tulated on condition of being received into the British service, and who 
from 100, of which number they originally consisted, had been augmented 
by desertions from the garrison of Jytock to nearly double. 

In these was perhaps to be placed as much confidence as in any troops 
we had ; for, like other A'^^iatics, they fight for pay, and whose bread they 
eat, his cause they will defend against country, friends, and relations. 

The Ghoorkhas exhibited a more tattered appearance than the others, 
for they had not as yet had the means of supplying themselves with 
necessaries. 

Every man stuck in his waist the national weapon, the cookree ; each 
had likewise a sword, a weapon they can well use ; and they also carried 
the old and almost useless muskets, wliich they used in the service of 
Nepal, some of which were manufactured by themselves, and others were 
obtained, previously to the war, in trade with Calcutta: such as were 
totally unserviceable were exchanged for matchlocks. 

There are several manufactories of muskets in the NepFd dominions, 
and considering the disadvantages under which they laboiu*, they are fabri- 
cated in a pretty sufficient manner. 

The lock is the part that first becomes useless. 

The want of flints too is one cause which -will always render their fire- 
locks less efficient. We used to remark that the muskets of those, in the 
stockades and trenches, frequently snapped and missed tire many times 
running. 

In addition to the above assemblage, a party of about tliirty men be- 
longing to the irregular horse, under the command of Colonel James Skinner, 
volunteered their services to accompany this httle army, on every man of 
whom the most implicit reliance might be placed in case of actual service. 

The well known corps, to whom these horse belonged, has, ever since 
the campaign of Lord Lake against the INIahrattas, continued inidcr the 
command of the very meritorious and brave officer who first raised them, 
and by whose name they are known ; and the character it has always pre- 
served, and the services it has performed, are such as to have gained to it 



102 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

a well merited distinction, and a flime far superior to the usual estimate of 
irregulars. It has lately been augmented to 3000 men, in every one of 
whom their commander i)laces the most implicit confidence, for the choice 
is made from character, and well known usefulness. 

Such was the detachment that now entered the hills, under the com- 
mand, and for the objects and services, before mentioned. They were sent 
during the time of prei)aration to rendezvous at Kajgurh, an old fortress 
four days march from the camp at l^lackhill. 

I'hose who have witnessed the march of a detachment, and the bustle 
and noise, and almost confusion which seems to attend it even in the 
plains, where carriage is in general more plentiful and more easy, the road 
broad, and admitting of wheel carriages, and of many persons going abreast, 
may form some idea what such must be when all baggage and provision 
must be carried on the shoulders of men (cooHes), on paths where only 
one person can go on the breadth, and of course considerable attention is 
required to preserve a footing ; where the difficulty of procuring even such 
carriage is always gi'eat, and the more so, when not only present necessaries 
but future provision for a large number of men is required to accompany 
their march. 

On the morning of the 6th of ]May, 18L5, we took leave of the camp at 
Blackhill, and by eleven o'clock began our mai'ch, Avhich from the various 
troops comj)osing our force, the servants of different classes who accom- 
panied us, the wild figures of the hill porters Avho carried our baggage, 
j)rovisions, stores, and amnuinition, and the loiterers who were always 
joining, was a strange and grotesc[ue procession. 

It was a fresh and delightful morning, a heavy rain on the day before 
having cooled and cleared the air. 

The lofty succession of cliffs before us rose without end, in full contrast 
to the smiling j)lains that lay s])read at their feet ; a spoil richly inviting 
to the Tartar hordes of the north. No wonder that their courage and 
enterprise were sharpened to achieve it ; nor is it surprising, though 
lamenta])le, that so fair a country should in all ages have been an object 
for conquest, a prey to invaders, and a scene of bloodshed. 

Our course lay somewhat to the north-west for nearly three miles, upon 
a road formed by the (ilioorkhas, that runs the whole Avay to Irkee. It is 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 103 

cut in the face of the hill with some labour, and though neither broad nor 
smooth is better than the miserable stony paths that in general lead along 
the hill sides. 

Diverging from this, after descending and ascending some intervening 
steep ridges, we reached the Jelrdl river, and encamped a few hundred 
yards above the stream on its northern bank. 

The latter part of the march was toilsome from heat, being generally 
in low valleys, or up steep ascents, through a country rather parched, and 
of httle beauty, Eathing in the cool pure waters of the Jelall towards 
evening proved refreshing and salutary. 

The distance we travelled this day did not exceed nine miles, although 
frequent halts for rest, and for admitting of our servants keeping up with 
us, protracted it to a late hour. 

The village near which our small tent was pitched was called Seekhoul, 
poor and miserable, but pleasantly situate. 

We rose early, but could not get in marching order before seven 
o'clock. Our course, still northerly, lay along the steep ascent of a sweet 
and romantic valley, which commencing nearly at the crest of the Sine 
range, under the village of Chinalgurh, runs down to the Jelall. 

It is watered by a clear stream, which bounds from rock to rock, and 
serves to irrigate a very considerable cultivation in the middle and lower 
parts of the glen ; for which purpose it is drawn from the main body in 
little rills, and distributed very simply and neatly among the small fields, 
spreading a bright verdure over the ground in their course. 

Our walk was thus very pleasant ; we were sheltered from the heat of 
the sun, and our path was among these httle streams, whose brinks were 
richly covered with vegetation, almost screening them from the eye, Avliile 
their sounds refreshed the ear. 

The cultivation of this valley is entirely on government land, wliich is 
tilled by the zemindars, who receive only a portion of it, paying the rest 
to the state. 

We passed near the top of the glen, luider the rock on which the 
village of Chinalgurh is curiously perched. This was the scene of the 
defeat of our irregulars by Azumber Punt Qaree AAith a very inferior 
force. 

Chinalgurh itself overhangs the deep chasm through Avliich the above- 



]04 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

mentioned stream has its rapid course among a fine grove of old trees ; it 
is a larger village than most in the neighbourhood, and from its lofty 
situation commands a view over all the hills to the southward, even to the 
plains. 

Still ascending, but slanting towards the west, the road became more 
rugged, and lost its beauty, leading along the curiously cut ledges and 
masses of hmestone, of which the whole liiU is formed, and which the 
weather has worn into the most fantastic shapes ; and about nine o'clock, we 
reached Deener Keener, a large village very picturesquely situated in the 
gorge where we cross the ridge. Among a number of strange and romantic 
situations, none perhaps exceeds in these respects Chinalgurh and Deener 
Keener. 

The latter, from its narrow and lofty ridge, commands a view, on either 
side, of as extensive a nature as a mountainous country wiU admit ; while 
valleys nearly as wild as such a country can produce, stretch on the one 
hand to the river Girree, and on the other to the Jelall. 

Looking do^vn the former towards the north the majestic mountain Choor 
bursts on the eye, through a vista formed by the rocky cliffs that on either 
side of the gorge almost close over the village, and shows its lai'ge brown 
bosom scarred by many deep and dark ravmes, all of wliich poui' their 
waters into the Girree that flows at its feet. 

Nearer, the wooded and rocky sides of the valley approach on either 
side ; their bases and its bottom are hid from view, but the darkness of the 
hollow showed significantly the depth of the chasm we were to descend : 
it is truly a grand scene. 

The village itself is worthy of notice : it is larger than any we had 
seen, and is next to Nahn in size. Many of the houses consist of two 
stories, although flat roofed ; and we remarked something Uke streets and 
ranges, which took the line and form of the solid ledges of marble rock they 
are built upon, which is quite polished by continual friction. 

To the northward, just under one of those ledges, seventy or eighty 
feet below the village, lay a fine rich bed of wheat of twenty to tliirty acres, 
whicli was at this time fully ripe. 

Resting here for half an hour, we commenced our descent from the 
gorge down a precipitous jiatli, which for steepness, roughness, and danger, 
is surpassed by few in the country. The danger is much increased indeed 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 105 

by the polished smoothness of its rough parts ; the rock along which it 
leads being wholly of marble, of great hardness, and cut by the violence of 
the weather into the most vincouth shapes. It presents nothing yielding 
or tenacious to the footstep, but by the treading of years has acquired 
a smoothness and slipperiness that calls for the greatest attention and 
caution in proceeding, particularly when wearing iron-shod shoes, as we did. 

The path in fact is formed of a narrow and very irregular flight of 
steps along the face of the rock, leaving on one side a dreary precipice of 
many hundred feet ; and it was surprising how the heavily loaded hill- 
porters, each carrying a weight of not less than sixty pounds, safely and 
with apparent ease and unconcern descended tliis difficult pass. 

It was matter of some regret that our time did not admit of a sketch 
of either of the noble views from Deener Keener or of this pass, wliich 
would have given a fine idea of our mountain descents. 

Continuing to descend for a considerable way, the glen opened out, 
and we saw several miserable villages. At one of these, called Bahun, we 
witnessed a very extraorchnary practice to which the inhabitants of the 
lulls submit their young children. Several straw sheds are constructed on 
a bank, above Avhich a cold clear stream is led to water their fields, and a 
small portion of this, probably of three fingers breadth, is brought into 
the shed by a hollow stick or piece of bark, and falls from this spout into 
a small drain, which carries it off about two feet below. 

The women bring their children to these huts in the heat of the day, 
and having lulled them to sleep, and wrapt their bodies and feet warm in 
a blanket, they place them on a small bench or tray hoi-izontally, in such a 
way that the water shall fall upon the crown of the head, just keeping the 
whole top wet with its stream. 

We saw two under this operation, and several others came in wliile we 
remained, to place their children in a similar way. ^Nlsdes and females are 
equally used thus, and their sleep seemed sound and unruffled. 

The mode too of lulling asleep was singular : seizing the infant with 
both arms, with these, aided by the knee, they gave it a violent rotatory 
motion, that seemed rather calculated to shake the child to pieces than to 
produce the soft effect of shuuber. 

It was, however, unerring in its effects. One of the children \vas in- 
tently looking at the strangers, and eyeing the di'esses and arms ^\•ith every 

p 



106 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

symptom of strong curiosity and excitement ; no signs of drowsiness 
could be traced, yet the vigorous operation admitted of no pause ; its eyes 
f^radually closed, and in thirty seconds it was fast asleep. 

On inquiry, we were informed that tliis singular process for sleeping 
and bathing the children is universally used throughout the liills where 
there is the means of using it, under a notion that it is very salutary to 
keep the head cool, and that it increases hardihood and strength. Had I 
not \N-itnessed it, I could not have beUeved tliis custom. 

One or U\o women usually sit with the children of the rest, wliilst they 
are employed in domestic or agricultural piu'suits. 

The women whom we saw had mild features, much in the style of the 
Hindoos of the plains ; they were fair, or rather of a light yellow, without 
any ruddiness. They evinced no objections to be looked at, but with 
perfect propriety and modesty answered our questions, and continued their 
work. They said that they were Eajpoots. 

As we continued our course, the dell which had spread out and re- 
ceived the waters of two similar ravines, again contracted \nth an additional 
degree of solemn grandeur, and infinitely more attractive beauty. 

The wild and rugged peaks almost met each other on either side, covered 
with finely varied foliage ; and the stream sunk into a bed just sufficient 
to contain it, where, occasionally seen, but always heard, it tumbled over 
rocks and falls concealed by thickets of roses, jasmines, barberries, willows, 
and many other lovely or odoriferous shrubs. 

Sometimes both rocky banks approached so near, and the foliage so 
closed overhead, that the light of day was excluded ; and then we wan- 
dered among dropping rocks, and httle rills steahng down the banks 
covered with mosses and ferns, overshadowed by these sweet thickets, and 
now and then by a prodigious crag which defied vegetation, and towered 
high above ; then it would o})en, and give to view a wild village perched 
on the ledge of a hill, and the wilder and more extravagant shapes of the 
cliffs, which form the north-west face of the Sine range, rising over all. 

Then another vista would o])en and disclose the furrowed bosom of 
Choor, and the deep glen of the Girree. 

The changes that occurred were endless, and not susceptible of ade- 
(juate description : imagination cannot paint a wilder, more beautiful, or in 
some places more horrid glen. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 107 

We emerged from its depths, however, and mounted its sides by a 
rocky path ; and on arriving at the toj) of the ridge the river Girree la}' 
beneath us, winding through a narrow but green and wooded bed. It was 
now a sweet and romantic mountain stream, but in the rains, and whilst 
the snow on the lower hills continues to melt, it must be a savage and 
dangerous torrent. 

It is difficult to give an idea of the size of a stream even by com- 
parison with another ; every one forms his own estimate, and very dif- 
ferent degrees of magnitude would probably be suggested to the mind of 
each man who heard the comparison. 

The Girree was now fordable in many places, Avhere it spread out on a 
bed of gravel, and at such points might extend to thirty-five or forty yards 
across : the deejDcst part was about mid-thigh deep ; above or below, it 
perhaps contracted to a deep raj^id torrent, rusliing through a space not 
thirty feet broad. We descended to its bank by a long wearisome path 
irregularly winding along the face of the hills of its glen. 

The hills on the opposite side assume a character of features quite dif- 
ferent from, those we left behind ; the dells and ridges do not appear so 
sharp, the peaks are more rounded and lumpy, and there is more swell in 
the ground ; the whole, perhaps, as viewed from the southern bank of the 
Girree, is less picturesque, but on a more majestic scale. 

We arrived at the banks of the Girree at about two o'clock, but after 
a rest of near two hours we proceeded upwards along its course for several 
miles ; and fording it, reached our encamping ground at a village called 
Thour, by six o'clock. 

It is situated at the upper part of a piece of ground nearly level, of 
from thirty to forty acres ; and having a view of the course of the Girree, 
and being embeUished with many fine large trees, and much copsewood. 
it may be considered a very pleasant spot. 

The march of to-day, we were informed, may somewhat exceed eleven 
miles. I shovdd have thought it more, but it led through scenery \\hicli 
woidd have made greater fatigue hght. 

Asia was almost lost in our imagination : a native of any part of the 
British isles might here have believed himself wandering among the lovely 
and romantic scenes of his own country. The dehght of such association 
of feeling can only be understood by those, who have lingered out a long 

p 2 



108 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

term of expatriation, and who anxiously desire the moment of reunion 
with their native land. 

The nature of the mountains, as well as the scenery on the Sine range, 
is very different from that on the southern side of the river Jelall, which 
has already been attempted. 

The Sine range, indeed, as far as it has fallen under our inspection, forms 
a complete excejjtion to the general nature of the country ; it is entirely 
limestone, and tliis is worn into the strangest crevices and lumps, perfectly 
distinct from the sharp ridges of the Jytock hills, or the rounder loftiness 
of those to the north of the Girree. 

The mountain itself assumes the character of its component parts, and 
is rough, dark, and shapeless. 

It was remarkable, but distinctly obvious, that thus far the northern 
and north-eastern face of the hills were the most wooded, and somewhat 
least rugged ; and that the southern and south-western exposure was 
always most rough, bare, and brown : this more particularly applies to the 
liills south of tlie Jelall, though sufficiently traceable upon the Sine range. 

This hill is far more lofty than any we have yet crossed ; its height has 
been conjectured at 8000 feet ; but this is exceedingly vague, and I suspect 
much overrated, perhaps between 6 and 7000 may not be a very erroneous 
measure for the highest peak. 

The termination of the limestone, and the commencement of slate, 
which predominates to the north of the Girree, is pretty distinctly marked 
at this point by the bed of the river ; in some places the rock on either 
side is composed of the latter, but it extends no considerable distance up 
the liiU on the opposite bank. 

The waters of the Girree, as well as of the Jelrdl, abound in fish of several 
sorts, some of which are tolerably good. AMiile resting from our march 
on the banks of the former, I attem])ted to catch some with a rod and line, 
l)ut without success ; none of the baits I was ac(}uainted with, or was in 
possession of, attracted them, nor was an artificial fly more seducing. 

The village of Thour (which hardly deserves the name) consists of one 
or two houses nearly entire, and a few others in ruins, but it was the first 
we saw in wliich an alteration in the style of building was observable. 

Instead of being built of stones and mud, ^\'\{]\ flat earthen roofs, as 
those we had left behind universally were, the only good house here was 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 109 

constructed of loose but well-shaped stone, bound by beams of wood: 
and the roof raised to a pitch was covered with rough slate, far over- 
hanging the body of the house, as well as a wooden viranda or gallery 
which projected from the upper story ; this large roof was supported by 
strong beams of wood, the ends of which, and the cornices under the eaves 
of overhanging slate, were rudely carved and sculptured. The whole had 
somewhat of a Chinese air, and was interesting enough. 

The chief inhabitants, two Gosseins (a sect of religious mendicants well 
known in India, who of course during their wandering in their religious 
vocations profess celibacy), came out with offerings of milk and fruit to 
meet us. These men had wisely quitted their wandering life and vows of 
celibacy, and had taken wives, and settled here as tillers of the ground. 

A large number of peacocks, probably encouraged on account of their 
sacred character, were ranging about the fields, and these, with one par- 
tridge, were the only appearances of game, or almost indeed of animals 
(except a large monkey near the Girree), that we saw in the march of tliis 
day. 

INIay 8th. — ^Ve resumed our march this morning by eight o'clock, and 
began to ascend, somewhat gradually, a hollow behind the village : -w Inch 
by degrees led us to the crest of the heights above it, and we passed several 
deep black clefts on our way to the top of the ridge. 

On the rocks above one of them we saw some deer, at which \vc fired 
unsuccessfully from a great distance. 

Nearly at the top of our ascent we refreshed ourselves by a hall under 
a cool dropping rock, which overhung a recess near the path, and down a 
cleft in which a small rill of most delicious water trickled, which, as well 
as the verdure around, and the opportunity of resting so comfortably. Avas 
very grateful to the thirsty and weary traveller. Several fine large spreading 
trees of a pecuUar nature, somewhat resembling the acacia, scenting the 
air with myriads of fragrant blossoms, grew around. 

On reaching the top of the hill we looked down upon a \ alley more 
susceptible of cultivation, and better cultivated than any sjiot of ecjual 
extent we had yet seen, and at least a dozen villages appeared studding it 
in every direction. 

These have a very novel and picturesque effect from the style of their 



110 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

ardiitectuic. In every one there are at least two or three lofty towers, 
risinf' to the height of five and six stories, with the same overhanging 
roofs, but many are partly decayed, and exactly resemble the ruins of old 
castles fro^vning from their heights over the valley. 

Here we observed several peach trees in full beai'ing, and many noble 
walnut trees full of young fruit. A tree was hkewise pointed out to us 
which had abundance of unripe fruit upon it of a pleasing acid, said to be 
very dehcious when ripe, and called Kai-phul; we never had an oppor- 
tunity of judging, though even now it was grateful ; the fruit somewhat 
resembled a mulberry, but had a stone in the centre. 

A little further on we reached and halted at a village called Dhrotee 
for a few minutes, where our notice was attracted by the fii'st apricot and 
larch trees we had seen : the former w ere large and spreading, and full of 
luu'ipe fruit ; the latter had every character of the larch wliich is common in 
Britain, but their foliage was somewhat darker. Pear trees, also, cultivated, 
large, and full of fruit, were fovuid there, with large luxuriant mulberry 
trees, and many other fruit and odoriferous shrubs. 

The large extent of corn under the eye was nearly ripe ; the reapers 
were at work ; the \\'ild brown hill with swelling round peaks rose above us, 
and but for the coloiu- of our attendants, the whole scene had so highland 
an air, that it was cUfficult to believe it to be Inchan. 

The name of the valley I would gladly have learnt, but it seems that 
none in particular attached to the whole ; each village has a distinct name, 
and the Avhole forms part of a purgunnah or district, the name of which I 
have forgotten. 

AVe continued our course up the glen, which is bare, and the sides of 
w hich are very steep ; and passing the gorge at the top, we soon saw the 
troops encamped at a very short distance in a hollow near the ruined fort 
oi' Itajgurh, and we reached our station by eleven in the forenoon. 

The country during the short march of this day, which does not exceed 
eight miles, has assumed an ajipearance as different from that we traversed 
yesterday, as it did from any that had before fallen under observation. 

The hills were perhaps not less rugged than those we left behind, but 
tliey were on a far greater scale, and the roundness and largeness of their 
features made their roughness less perceptible ; and. in fact, they had 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. Ill 

not that sharp ridgy aspect which so remarkably characterises those nearer 
to the plains. Wood was much less abundant. The mountains are only 
covered with a short grass, wliich appears as if it was continually pastured 
on by cattle ; this was more strongly remarkable towards the head of the 
glen, where the hills jirecisely resembled those of the Scotch highland 
sheepwalks, totally bare, save of the brown dry grass, their black rocky tops 
rising unvaried by a single slirub even of the smallest size. 



il2 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 



. CHAPTER IX. 

The novel and singular style of the buildings here also contributed to 
the chano-e in the scenery. The towers, which are so lofty and remarkable, 
are not the habitations of the vulgar. They are temples for the gods, and 
it is understood that no one absolutely resides in them ; they are frequently 
ornamented with rude sculptures in wood. 

The houses, however, are also more lofty than those we have left, con- 
sisting of two and frequently of three stories, in the upper of wliich the 
family commonly resides, and this is surrounded by a balcony of wood 
inclosed, which projects from six to eight feet ; beyond this the roof too 
projects some feet, so that the body of the house below the balcony appears 
small and diminutive. 

The lower story is always appropriated to cattle, and if there be a 
middle one it is most commonly occupied by lumber. 

Few, hoAvever, of the villages that we observed had any strong appear- 
ance of prosperity. Half the houses were in ruins, and some were totally 
deserted. They partook of the misfortune of the state, and the severe rule 
of the Ghoorkha conquerors had been sorely felt. 

To judge, however, by the difficulty with which cultivation is attended, 
and by the successful progress which has been made in covering the steep 
and lofty hills with crops, both here and in the country through which we 
have passed, the inhabitants nuist be a jiatient and industrious race, wlien it 
is considered that a spot of ground of any considerable extent seldom occurs 
where even the rude plough which they employ can be used without the 
j)revious assistance of art ; that the side of the mountains must be cut and 
levelled to produce a field for tillage ; that water must be conducted for 
the purposes of irrigation, frequently from a great distance ; and when the 
insufficient means, together with the rude tools they possess to effect this, 
arc observed, it will perhaps excite wonder that corn-tillage should have 
been attempted at all in a land that ap])cars only calculated at best for 
grazings ; antl it must surely a})pear astonishing that the inhabitants, thinly 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 113 

scattered as they are, can raise as much grain as is requisite for their o^^ti 
support, and can spare a portion to those of other districts and countries 
which are not so well supplied. Their method of cultivation is so ingenious 
and neat that it merits a particular description. 

As level ground is seldom to be met with, the least rocky faces of the 
hills are cut into a succession of terraces, rising above each other ; which 
operation produces a number of strips of level ground, more or less narrow 
according to the steepness of the hiUs, and more or less regular according 
to its ruggedness. Great labour and care are bestowed on this operation. 
It is generally necessary to build a retaining wall, to support the edge of 
the small strip of ground, of a height corresponding with that of the bank, 
and much attention is paid to levelling its surface, so that water may 
neither rest upon it, nor, in running off, carry away any portion of its 
scanty soil : but this exact level is also necessary to fit it for receiving 
the benefit of irrigation ; and every rivulet (with which indeed the hills 
abound) is diverted from its course at a height sufficient for their purpose 
(consequently often from a great distance), and led by small drains, con- 
structed with much neatness and skill, first to the higher cultivated spots, 
from which it flows to the rest, or is again collected into a stream, after 
saturating them, and carried to another and lower range of fields. 

Sometimes these streams are carried across a deep dell by means of long 
hollow trees, supported by high piles of stones, for the purpose of irrigating 
the opposite side of the valley, where water could less easily haAc been 
conveyed from above. 

This irrigating system is chiefly necessary for the rice crop, which, 
though not put into the ground till the rains have set in, frequently 
requires the assistance of artificial flooding. The spring and sunmier crop, 
however, of wheat and barley scarcely less require this aid, as showers are 
often scanty from the time of sowing till the corn is full. 

This practice of cutting the hill-faces into small fields has given to tliom. 
all over the country, a peculiar ridgy appearance, which, next to their groat 
ruggedness and steepness, chiefly attracts a traveller's eye : it ])roduies a 
strange regularity, which frequently takes from the dignity of the land- 
scape. 

It is surprising how universal this jiractice has been : there is no 
mountain side, however steep, where rock does not predominate, but shows 

Q 



114 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

this mark of former tillage ; indeed, the traces are all that for the most 
part are seen, and this denotes either that the land becomes after some 
yeai's unfit for tillage, and is abandoned for a new and more kindly soil, or 
that in former times there must have been a far larger population, and 
more extended cultivation, which has now been abandoned. 

Both these cases may in some degree consist with fact, though I am 
led to tliink that the first is not common, as they are well acquainted with 
the uses of manure ; and experience would soon tell them, whether a large 
tract of land was likely to repay their labours, without risking so much in 
reducing to tillage, by so costly a process, that which must afterwards be 
abandoned. 

The latter case is too certain and too apparent. The population has 
diminished deplorably ; every where, villages are seen in ruins, and fields 
run lately to decay ; and, judging from present appearances as well as from 
general report, even corrected by allowances for exaggeration, we may 
safely conclude, that, before the Ghoorkha conquest, a great portion of the 
cultivation now waste then bore crops, and the villages now destroyed were 
then inhabited. 

It may here be observed that a reticular appearance, somewhat resem- 
bling that of the abandoned cultivation, is observable on those hills which 
are bare of wood, and chiefly appropriated to pasture : this they obtain 
probably from the numerous paths, made by the feet of animals while 
grazing. The slope is too great for wandering at will over the mountain 
side, and they are constrained to keep the paths first suggested by the 
inequalities of the hill, and graze on each side as far as they can reach ; 
thus forming little tracks that intersect each other in innumerable places, 
producing an ap])earance at a httle distance as if a net were spread on the 
slope of the surface. 

The appearance, which the mode of cultivation above described gives 
to a country, is very singular ; and when (as was the case with much that 
we saw) it is flooded by irrigation, the singularity is heightened by the 
aspect of a hilly country partly under water. The inhabitants, indeed, 
appear to trust much more to this mode of supplying moisture than to 
the rain which falls, particularly in the vicinity of the plains ; and tliis 
may account for their levelling all their flelds, of whatever size they may 
be, even where a patch of ground is found sufliciently equal to render it 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 115 

practicable for the plough, and which in any other country would be sub- 
jected to that iiistrunient : without regard to the undulation it might 
have, they still level it as much as possible, dividing it into larger ledges 
according to its fall, with parapets and dyked faces as usual. 

This, however, was less the case as we advanced farther into the hills, 
where perhaps the rains may be less violent and more seasonable. The 
fields there were permitted to take their natural form and extent, following 
uncontrolled the rise and swell of the hill, parapets and dykes continuing 
to be used only where necessary to retain the soil. 

The breadth and extent of the ledges or strips of lands obtained by 
their cutting the hill face, as has been said, varies according to the nature 
of the ground. AV^here they are carried up one of their usual slopes 
without the advantage of a retroceding vale or bottom, they are generally 
not more than twelve or fifteen feet broad, sometimes not more than 
half so much, and the depth of the supporting wall frec^uently equals the 
breadth. 

On such narrow strips it would be impossible to make use of cattle and 
a plough, and therefore manual labour is employed on them in preparing 
the soil ; but wherever there is room for a plough it is preferred. The 
instrument here made use of is perfectly similar to that employed in the 
plains of Hindostan, being equally simple and inefficient : a piece of crooked 
wood, one end of which is fastened to a rude yoke, which crosses the necks 
of two bullocks, and the other end turned doAviiwards, is sharpened to turn 
the ground ; while near the acute angle formed by the bending, a handle 
is inserted to guide and press the point into the earth. 

Patience, however, (the characteristic of the Hindoo of the plains), 
serves also the mountaineer, instead of ampler means, to attain liis end ; 
and repeated ploughings produce an effect equal to that which a superior 
instrument would compass in one or two, and the soil of the hills in general 
favours these weak means, being free and easily worked, consisting chiefly 
of sand, the decomposition of sandy, micaceous, and slaty stones, mixed 
with a considerable proportion of decayed vegetables. 

The instruments used in manual labour arc equally simple and inef- 
ficient. A stick crossed at right angles, one end of which is shod with 
iron, resembling a miserable and broken sort of pickaxe, seems to be the 
principal one. But whatever their implements may be, or whether the 

q2 



116 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

fields are worked by the plough or by the hand, they do assuredly bring 
them to a high degree of tilth. 

The crops of barley and wheat by this time were either cut or ripening, 
and some fields were prepared for and even sown with rice; but those 
\vhich \vcre ready for it exhibited a clean, equal, well-worked appeai-ance, 
which could not be surpassed by an English farmer, with all his various and 
expensive apparatus. 

Of the use of manure they are by no means unaware : traces of its ap- 
plication appeared in most fields ; but I could not learn that they pursued 
a regular rotation of cropping, or continued to sow the grains they chiefly 
required year after year. I rather believe they do, giving an occasional 
fallow of some years when the land is exliausted, or renewing it with 
manure and fresh soil. 

From what has been said it will appear that two crops are reaped 
%vithin the year ; but it seldom happens that the same land will suit each 
sort of grain, or that if it shoidd, they employ it for both crops. 

The first crop consists of wheat and barley : a few fields of a species 
of oats were observed. Poppy, and certain kinds of oily seeds, a sort of 
purslane, ^nth curiously variegated red and green leaves, and a few poor 
inferior grains, filled the list. 

The second crop consists chiefly of rice, but about the same time 
tobacco is planted, and a little cotton sown ; and there are several smaller 
and poorer sorts of grains, both oily and farinaceous, wliich are grown all 
over the hiUs about the end of summer and autumn. 

The wheat is sown in the lower parts of the hiUs as soon as the snow 
has left the gi-ound, or as the cold weather will admit. Further removed 
to the more inclement regions of the north, where the snow lies fai- longer, 
I believe that the grain is sown in the beginning of winter, previous to the 
time it falls. 

About the latter end of April the crops were fit to cut in the vicinity 
of Jytock ; and on the Sine range, and in the country hitherto passed 
through, they were not above ten days more backward. 

To the northward there is a very great difl'erence, the corn in some 
places not ri])ening till the end of July. 

The opium is gathered from the poppy nearly about the same time ; it 
grows easily and luxuriantly, but Avas found in lai-ger (quantities as we 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 117 

advanced into the interior : it is said to be an expensive crop, requiring 
much manure and great attention, whilst the produce is not always very 
sure. It is an article of considerable traffic with the plains, whither the 
chief part is carried by the petty merchants who come to the hills for 
trade. 

The purslane alluded to is a singular and beautiful plant : the centre 
of the leaves spreading from the stalk is of a fine crimson colour, sometimes 
inclining to purple, and is covered with a crimson powder ; the outer 
part of them is green, but the stalks and young shoots are cliiefiy red, and 
the whole has a singular and brilliant appearance. The leaves, while young, 
are used as greens ; and the grain, the produce for which they plant it, 
and of which there are two sorts, is used, the one made into bread, the 
other eaten as rice to a curry. It is small, black, and shining, hke the 
seeds of sorrel, to which the plant bears some resemblance, growing to the 
height of from three to four feet. 

The smaller grains are of little importance, nor can I give any particular 
account of them. 

The rice of the hills is said to be peculiarly fine. Particular situations 
only will answer for this description of cultivation, and more than ordinary 
care is taken to bring it to perfection. AU those spots of land, which he 
near the banks of streams and in the bottoms of valleys, are selected, where 
a great command of water may securely be relied on. The whole extent of 
the terraces is carefully levelled, and very well worked with the ])loug]i, for 
which purpose they lay each under water, and })lough them in this state. 

The parapets are put in order, and small ledges of earth are raised on 
the brink to retain the water let in uj)on the soil long enough to saturate 
it, when it runs off over a flat stone to the ledge below. The water- 
courses are also arranged so as not to receive a quantity that would deluge 
the fields, and yet to yield a secure supply, ^^"hen all is ready, the ])lants, 
wliich have been previously raised from seed, as in Bengal, are j)laiiteil out 
by hand, as in that province, Mhile the water lies on the land. 

Irrigation is kept up from time to time as the plants require it, but 
water is not continually retained on the soil. 

A large tract of rice, thus in ledges and under water, has a singular but 
pleasing appearance when observed from a height. The bright green of 
the plant sliining through the water gives a strange transparency to tlie 



118 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

Strips, which being exactly level, rise in regular succession over each other, 
and suggest the idea of a collection of small green mirrors thus placed in 
order. 

The period for planting rice is during the months of j\Iay and June, 
in ex})eetation of the rains which commence during the latter month, but 
it is protracted in the more northern districts to part of July. It usually 
ripens in about four months, but the time of reaping it depends much on 
situation and chmatc. 

Tobacco is an article of general cultivation in the hills, and its quahty 
is considered fine : it is exported both to the plains and to Bootan in con- 
siderable quantities. It is planted about jNIay and June, for the benefit 
of the rains, and grows readily and luxuriantly, although it requires nice 
attention and much manvu'e. 

The herb bhang (a well-known species of hemp), also grows spon- 
taneously in great abundance throughout this country, and is hkewise 
cultivated and sent prepared in its various intoxicating shapes to the low 
country, where it meets with a ready sale. 

Both men and women engage in the labours of agriculture, but their 
departments are generally distinct. The men exclusively guide the plough 
and sow the corn ; the women weed the fields, break the clods, Szc. Both 
sexes reap the corn ; but this is principally an employment allotted to the 
women, who use a small sickle, ruder than that employed in Europe, and 
bind it into small sheaves, which, when the weather is fine, are left to dry 
on the field ; but when it threatens rain they carry them to places formed 
of large flat slabs of slate, surrounded by a small wall, on which they hke- 
^vise tread out the corn by means of cattle : here the reflected heat of the 
sun soon dries it, and any water that falls, quickly running off, has less 
effect on the sheaves than when lying on the moist fields. AVhen freed by 
treading from the stalk, the grain is stored in the second story of the house, 
and the straw is preserved in stacks or houses for the use of the cattle, and 
for their own beds. 

The straw, however, is seldom in sufficient abundance to serve as 
fodder for their cattle diu-ing the winter months, especially in the more 
inclement parts of the mountains, and they supply the deficiency by col- 
lecting grass from the jungles, and where that is less plentiful, the fallen 
leaves of trees, particularly fir-trees, wliich serve as a substitute for fodder 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 119 

and for beds. A species of fir, resembling that known in England by the 
name of Weymouth pine, the leaves of wliich are long and of some con- 
sistency, is that preferred for this purpose ; but many trees besides are 
made use of as a winter store for the cattle, of which they take much care. 

The mulberry grows luxuriantly over all the hills ; and they cut its 
young and tender shoots annually, wliile full of leaves, and having dried 
them, stack them for fodder, which is said to be both nutritious and 
agreeable to the animals. 

A species of oak is also made use of in tliis manner ; and both these 
kinds of trees have received from this practice a strange mutilated appear- 
ance, not at first easily accounted for, nothing being left except the large 
limbs, which in spring and summer throw out a quantity of luxuriant 
young twigs, that soon gain a considerable size, and these ai'c again cut 
for use. 

The breed of cattle seems to be the same as the smaller sorts in the 
plains, but are somewhat larger and better of their kind : they all have the 
hump, and are chiefly black, but occasionally may be seen brindled, red, or 
pied. They are in general fat and handsome. The people pay them 
much attention, and make great vise of their milk in its different pre- 
parations ; but we have not as yet seen any cheese. 

It was observed at the end of the last day's march, that slate com- 
menced to be abundant ; and during the whole of this day's route it pre- 
dominated, being chiefly micaceous, inclining to red and dead blue. Quartz 
was also seen, sometimes veining the schistus ; and now and tlien masses 
of a hard stone somewhat resembling whinstone, perhaps a mixture of tiint 
with slate. Iron was very obvious in many places ; several springs were 
impregnated with it, in colour and smell. 

We observed in our march to-day a singular phenomenon in tlie 
natural history of insects — a great number of caterpiUars, which appeared 
to be migrating from one place to another ; and they were proceeding along 
in one line, with their heads and tails united one to another, so that the 
whole, consisting of some hundreds, assiuned the appearance of one tliin 
animal, many feet long. The strength of their adhesion to each other was 
considerable, so that it was by no means easy to separate them. Tlieir 
bodies were of a gray colour, striped with black, and they had black lieads 
and tails. 



120 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

The height of the gorge we reached this day must be very great, for 
our ^\•hole luardi was nearly an uninterrupted ascent ; but there were so 
many surrounding peaks of greater elevation, that no extent of \'iew was 
to be obtained. 

Kajgurh is situated not far below it, upon a projecting point like a 
terrace, that overlooks a large valley or basin to the northward. Above 
it, on each side, rise the loftier points of the ridge we had just crossed. 
This buikhng is of no very great antiquity ; having, it is said, been erected 
about eighty years ago. It belongs to the royal family of Sirmore, and 
has been inhabited by officers sent here to collect the revenues, who were 
occasionally changed at the pleasure of the Eajah. It is now totally 
in ruins, having been burnt by order of Runjore Sing within the last six 
months, on account, it is said, of the trouble it gave the officers of govern- 
ment, probably in their collections. 

It cannot, however, be called a fort ; for the position alone would dis- 
qualify it for making any long or available defence, commanded, as it is, 
from several heights, which are so close as to allow musquetry to be dis- 
charged from them with effect. Nor do I believe it has any pretensions 
to so warhke a designation, as it even wants loopholes in any number from 
whence to annoy an enemy. 

The building consists of a square waU, including, at each corner, a tower 
of rather more than twenty feet square, but which projects little or nothing 
from the wall : inthin, all round, are places for the accommodation of the 
inhabitants, chiefly in the Hindostanee taste ; and the whole includes a 
square court, the area of which may be from thirty to forty feet each way. 
Tliis has been well paved ; and in the centre is a small tank, constructed 
with stone and lime, well plastered, in which fresh water, conducted from 
the hill behind, was collected. 

The space between the outside wall and the court which formed the 
accommodation did not exceed fifteen feet in depth ; and as the walls of 
the towers are thick in proportion to their height, the interior of these 
presented no extensive area. 

They may have consisted of five or six stories, raised to the height of 
forty feet ; but their heights do not seem originally to have been equal. 
Balconies appear to have been erected all around, of wood, as the ends of the 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. ' 121 

beams which have escaped the destruction of the fire may still be seen 
every where projecting. 

Before this main building there was a court of inferior size, where 
troops were stationed, and the pubHc officers were placed ; but this is now 
so completely in ruins, that it is impossible to guess at its extent or shape ; 
even the thickness of the walls it is difficult to judge of, but it appeared in 
some places to be from four to five feet. 

The masonry work is extremely neat and good ; it is biult entirely of 
dry stone and wood ; the former is met with, of a nature easily to be 
worked, and is well squared and rendered equal in thickness without much 
ti'ouble ; it is entirely slate, and, I believe, soon moulders and decays. 

The stones are bound together by large beams of wood, which are built 
into the wall, lying along the external and internal faces, and pinned toge- 
ther through its substance ; they extend the whole length of the side, and 
are firmly bound together at the corners. 

The wood, I believe, is of a more lasting quality than the stone, and 
supports a building long after the latter Avould give way ; consequently, 
when by any accident this framework is destroyed, the building instantly 
falls to pieces, and this is the reason of the completely ruined state in 
which Eajgurh appears, although so short a period has elapsed since it 
was burnt. I should have believed, judging from the infirm aspect of what 
remained, that a gradvial decay of many years had succeeded tlic violence 
that first gave it to ruin. 

On each of four hill-tops around it, in former days, a watch-tower was 
kept, to warn against surprises, which frequently occurred in those tur- 
bulent times. A similar situation woidd be a noble one for a house of 
modern times in Europe, where, happily, it is no longer necessary to com- 
bine the power of resistance and offi^nce with the conveniences and com- 
forts of a dwelling ; for it overlooks a fine valley, varied w ith wood and 
cultivation, and a grand chain of mountains closes the vicAv all around. 
The country, however, is rather too rugged and steep for comfort. 

We found the various troops assembled and encamped on a green 
hollow near the ruins; but it was too late to muster the whole, after 
retvu-ning from a walk to the top of some of the nearest heights, i'ov the 
purpose of making observations on the face of the country. 

From the intelligence, however, that reached us this evening, avo begiui 

u 



122 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

to think tliat there would be no very pressing necessity for the service of 
these troops ; for, by letters from the camp at Blackhill, we were informed 
that tlie Goorkha force under Kirtee Eana had been defeated, and the 
whole made prisoners. No farther particulars were given ; but, considering 
the motley nature of the force which accompanied us, we could not but 
think it as well that the way should be clear for us, as, in all probability, 
little honour or credit was to be expected from the conduct of men, who, 
however brave they might be individually, had neither discipline, zeal, 
nor confidence in each other to give effect to their operations. 

]May 9th. — Although every one was in motion by daybreak, it was no 
easy matter to commence the march ; for as the whole detachment were 
now present, and the roads and paths were extremely narrow, considerable 
arrangement was necessary in marshalling their line. The van was con- 
ducted by the Eisaldar, and a party of irregular horse ; who, as being the 
most to be trusted, had charge of the magazine and treasure. Next moved 
the company of Ghoorkhas, Mdth their baggage, and women and childi-en. 
Then the troops of Ivumaoon, similarly attended. The Patans had moved 
on by a shorter, upper, but more fatiguing road. And, when all these had 
defiled through the pass, we moved ourselves, at half past seven, with our 
personal attendants. Last of all, the rear was brought up by the Mewattie 
troops. Such was the order of march. But it is scarcely possible to 
convey an idea of the novel and ludicrous strangeness of the scene. 

The difference of costumes, variety of features, colour, size, arms, and 
language, glaringly forced itself on the view, forming a multitude of 
extraordinary contrasts. Then the noise and uproar; the authoritative 
orders of the sepoys and their officers to the miserable Paharies or hill- 
})orters, forced to serve ; their unintelligible gabble, praying to be released, 
jiartly but insufficiently droAmed by the shrill wild sounds of the Ghoorkha 
trumpets and drums ; — all this, in so wild a countiy, amid rocks and cliffs, 
produced an effect, to wliich it must be evident that no description could 
do justice. 

^Vhen the march was commenced, the picturesqueness of the coup 
(I'lj-il was increased. The red and yellow uniforms of Skinner's corps ; the 
bearded Patans, with their blue trowsers, various mantles, and numerous 
standards ; the short and stout figures of the Ghoorkhas, with their broad 
Tartar faces, ragged, but preserving a sort of order, and their line attended 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 123 

by many women and children of all sizes ; the Kumaoon company, yet 
more ragged and various, composed of all the higlilanders to the eastward ; 
and the Mewatties, exhibiting among themselves as much difference of 
feature and dress ; — all these passed file by file through a black cleft in a 
rock, whence they were seen in a lengthened and almost endless line, 
stretching along the mountain side, and winding in and out from the dark 
ravines among the black rocks of which it was formed ; their gay colours 
and dresses, their arms and standards glistening, presented a fine contrast 
to the dark hue of the hills. On the whole, it was a display far more 
curious and strange than ever before fell under my observation. 

Having passed through the gorge, where a deep ravine commences, we 
pursued our course along the side of the hill forming its northern bank, 
descending rapidly, by a path of some danger, narrow and overhanging 
precipices, and with many indentings, until the stream that rolled below 
formed a junction with the Peirowee-Nullah, which, rising from some of 
the shoulders of Choor in the valley overlooked by Raj Gurh, flows in a 
south-west direction to meet the Girree. 



r2 



124 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 



CHAPTER X. 

The hill we descended was entirely formec^ of slaty rock. Large lumps 
of quartz were lying about as if by accident, but no considerable part of 
the hill appeared to be formed of this stone. Small quantities of a stone, 
wliich seemed to be composed of sand or fiint and clay, are met with ; it is 
of a dark brownish gray colour, and breaks into lamina? regularly hke slate. 
In the nullah we saw large blocks of granite rounded by the torrents, 
which had evidently come fi-om a great distance, probably from the bowels 
of Choor, whose gray and bare top is said to be composed of such masses. 

Crossing the Peirowee, we ascended, and passing along the liills thinly 
covered with wood, and having much cultivation, we went tlirough the 
Uttle village of Kubeel, and reached Gudrotee, a village of considerable 
size, where we halted for a little time in a country remarkably well cul- 
tivated, and where all the labours of agriculture ^yeve going on briskly. 
Land was under preparation for rice ; while large quantities of wheat and 
barley, cutting and fit to cut, with a few patches of cotton, and of a species 
of pulse-bearing bush, well known in the plains as urrurr, or pigeon-pease, 
covered the valley and sides of the hills. 

The soil seemed hght, but sharp and good ; and not a spot upon the 
lower part of the hills, where a spade could dig, was uncovered with corn ; 
though here and there a larger extent than usvial might be observed, 
forming fields of larger size, and httle slope or undulation. 

Gudrotee is a large village, built upon a point of the hill projecting 
above the valley, to which the ascent is steep. This is a favourite situation, 
every village being thus semi-insulated, where the grovuid achnits of it, 
])erhaps with a view to defence against sudden attacks ; if so, much of the 
advantage of the position is lost by always being overlooked by the main 
hill, which ascends beliind it, and which completely connuands it. 

This })osition seldom affords the advantage of shelter from the blast, 
and is generally rough, uneven, and circumscribed, so that no more obvious 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 125 

inducement presents itself for preferring such places than an idea of greater 
security from plunder. 

This village, though larger and more thriving than most others, had 
many ruins in its very centre, and had evidently declined ; whilst, all around, 
others in view showed marks of violence and tyranny. 

There were several towers here of from fifty to sixty feet high, built, 
as usual, all of dry stone, and framework of wood. Possibly a considerable 
portion of the ruins which every village exhibits may not be caused by the 
loss of its inhabitants, but by the old houses being deserted from the wood 
decaying, and the fabric consequently falling, and because they prefer 
building a new house of new materials, to rebuilding the old whose wood is 
decayed, and the stone shattered from time and its nature. 

Several of the temples were ornamented with much carved work in 
wood. Their strange overhanging roofs were fringed with a row of small 
pieces of wood hanging down, resembling bobbins strung beneath the 
cornice, and each corner had the image of a bell in wood hanging from it. 
The figures of Hindoo divinities ornamented the doors and windows, 
forming a strange combination of Chinese and Hindoo tastes. A large 
beam, with notches cut into it at intervals, forms the only means of ascent 
to these lofty edifices, each story being furnished Avith its sejiarate rude 
ladder. 

In the vicinity of this and of the adjacent villages several groves of a 
fir perfectly resembling the silver fir are observed, which give much effect 
to the landscape. 

After a halt of some time, we began to ascend the ridge of tlie liill 
immediately behind the village by a very steep path, which led to its crest. 
On casting the eye backwards from a point in the ascent, I counted twenty 
villages in the valley we had left, many of them of considerable size. They 
were scattered over the whole face of the hills, several of them perched on 
their crests. 

Height of situation seems not to be considered as disadvantageous ; 
water is abundant, and the climate moderate ; they tlierefore ai'e seen 
crowning thj highest hills, and spotting their sides. 

On the very top of this ascent we found cotton and pigeon-pease 
growing kindly. 

Proceeding onwards to the north, after reaching the summit of the 
hill, where we halted to make some observations, we passed through two 



126 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

villages of remarkable neatness, in good repair, and very pleasantly situated 
upon the brow of a hill, which does not descend too precipitously, and 
surrounded by walnut, apricot, mulberry, and other trees of very rich 
verdure ; whilst a fine grove of larches, somewhat resembhng cedars, close 
beside it, exhaled from their leaves, or the gum they shed, a dehcious 
perfume. 

These villages are inhabited by Brahmins, a race that take that ex- 
ceeding good care of themselves, which is generally observed of the priest- 
hood in all countries where superstition holds sway. 

Immediately beyond tliis village we reached the gorge of a descent, 
when a fine highland scene biu-st upon us, giving to view a long vista of 
wild hills running to the north-west, with a valley below in the same 
direction, half lost in storm and mist, whence a rapid descent brought us 
to our encamping ground. 

The heights were chiefly grassy, but below, in the deep dells, forests of 
various sorts of fir-trees met our eyes. 

Choor appeared nearly covered to the top with these trees, but that 
top itself, of bare rock, had nothing on it except here and there a spot of 
snow. 

At first we passed through thickets of a bush, which somewhat resem- 
bles the Portugal laurel, but the stalks are redder, and the leaves less 
shining ; it bears a beautiful red flower, and is, I beheve, a species of the 
rhododendron. A little below this the path led through a forest of oak, 
of the same sort as that found in smaller quantities on the liills about 
Nairn, and above the Dhoon ; its leaves are long, of a pale dead green 
above, and much lighter below, serrated, but not indented deeply. The 
acorn is very distinct, but I do not recollect having seen the species any 
where else. 

From this wood the descent was particularly steep and unpleasant, 
leading through the ruined village of Dhoon to the Bugetthoo-NuUah, a 
fine stream, on the banks of which, at a village named Shai, we rested for 
the night, after a short but fatiguing march of eleven miles and a quarter. 
Many of the troops and porters did not come up till late. 

The face of the country to-day preserved the same asj>ect as we observed 
yesterday ; the hills were bold, round, and grassy, with little wood. The 
valleys were not more broad, but extremely well cultivated ; and strong 
evidence of activity in conducting streams of water across hollows, and 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 127 

general attention to irrigation in preparing fields for the reception of rice, 
and in cleaning those that were already under other crops, and, in short, in 
every branch of hill farming, was apparent throughout. 

About Gudrotee the crops were particularly fine and extensive. We 
saw wheat in abundance that could not be surpassed in ear or straw. The 
cattle were far superior to the small beasts we observed about Xahn, 
and larger than any of the small breeds of the plains, fat, and in good 
condition. 

The people have exhibited little change in their appearance : the same 
high nose and sharp features, the same dress, too ; the lower orders very 
miserably equipped. We thought that in one or two villages some of the 
women exhibited distinct traces of the Tartar physiognomy : short, stout, 
squat in figure, with liigh cheekbones, and broad faces, of a hght yellow 
colour. 

At the ruined village of Dhoon there were two who certainly bore a 
strong resemblance to Ghoorklias, but all these might be accidental va- 
riations, not indicative of any actual admixture of blood. Certainly, how- 
ever, the ajDpearance of those women we have seen, and they show them- 
selves very freely, is considerably different from that of those we saw during 
our first marches. 

The rocks here exhibited no variety this day : slate only predominated. 
Iron was evident every where. The soil varied in colour and darkness 
from yellowish red to black gray, as the slate is more dark and more 
destructible. 

We saw some deer to-day at a httle distance, and two shots were fired 
at them without effect. All we could distinguish of their appearance, was, 
that they were of a dull grayish-brown colour, and were remaikably low 
behind. 

The village of Shai is poor, and chiefly in ruins, but its situation is not 
unpleasant. The valley takes its rise in the north-western shoulder of 
Choor, and in the upper part it is covered with wood, while that to^vards 
the village is varied with cultivation and green slopes ; and the stream, 
though httle fringed with wood, forms an embclhshment by no means 
trifling. Our camp occupied some fields, whence the corn had been chiefly 
cut along its banks. 

May 10. — As there was an vuicertainty of always procuring an adequate 



128 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

supply of provisions for the people wliile advancing, and no grain had as 
yet been brouglit in at this stage, it was thought proper to halt for a 
supply where we were ; a measure probably not unpleasant to a majority 
of the party, who, accustomed only to travel in the plains, became fatigued 
by the unusual toil of the hill marches. 

In fact, they are exceedingly painful at first, but after a short practice 
it is surprising how the muscles become accustomed to the new species of 
action, and the breath is lengthened, so that ascending and descending 
heights become matters of comparative ease and indifference. 

It is remarkable, that, of all the descriptions of men along v,'ith us, the 
men of Skinner's corps, who have passed their life on horseback, and are 
probably little accustomed to march on foot even on the plains, were those 
of the party that least complained of fatigue, and always arrived the first 
upon their ground. 

In the forenoon many of the zemindars and principal men of the neigh- 
bouring villages attended, partly summoned to produce grain, and partly 
to relate grievances and disputes of their own, which they hoped might 
be redressed or arranged by vis, and we had thus a good opportunity of 
remarking on the appearance and character of the inhabitants of this 
district. 

It is strange how loth these men were found to part Avith the hoards 
of grain which they possessed, although their own price was offered for it 
to them. There was hardly an instance in tliis part of the country of the 
farmers giving what was wanted for the use of the army at the first re- 
quisition, thoiigh they had it in abundance, and the money was tendered 
to them at the same moment. The possession of it was, in general, 
denied, and it never was produced until force was threatened and a search 
ordered ; when, rather than submit to that, though not until the orders 
were on the point of being executed, they tardily produced their stores ; 
some, perhaps trusting to their cunningness of concealment, braved the 
search, but our Ghoorkhas, well aware of their ways, never failed to find 
what was required. 

This unwillingness may partly be traced to habitual fear, and experience 
of fre(|uent plunders on similar occasions, but it should have ceased with 
ex])erience ; and there could be little doubt of the sincerity of our proffers 
of payment where the money itself was offered, and freqvicntly given in 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 129 

advance. They could have had no objection to part with the grain from 
a fear of future want, because more money than it was worth was offered 
for it, which woukl always command what they might need from other 
districts. And, finally, had they reflected, they must have felt that the 
strong arm of power was at hand to enforce comphance with its demand, 
whether just or unjust. 

Here we have a true and striking specimen of the falsehood and cunning 
policy, as well as of the shortsightedness, and the inconsistency of the 
Asiatic. He advances with a cringing and respectful demeanour, and to a 
plain direct inquiry at once rephes by a downright untruth, supported by 
many assertions and good reasons, and seasoned with a sufficient dose of 
flattery and entreaty. He neglects his immediate and apparent interest 
for a remote and contingent advantage ; and, trusting to his good fortune, 
and to that flattery which is so cheap, and which he thinks he can use so 
effectually, and to his own cunning and proficiency in deceit, so often 
successful, he braves and often exasperates a power that can crush him. 

Such was the conduct of the hill people on this occasion, and it will 
probably be found of a piece with the whole tenor of that uncertain, vacil- 
lating, mean, and narrow pohcy, which marks and stains the Asiatic cha- 
racter. From such men no steady or good course of conduct can be looked 
for ; on them no reliance can be placed. Even the tie of mterest seems 
unsteady when viewed through so uncertain a mechum. 

The conduct of the hill states in this quarter, since the commencement 
of the war, has been entirely of tliis character, and their subjects have 
not departed from it. Their appearance was quite consistent with this ; 
cautious self-possession was apparent in each line of their wrinkled coun- 
tenances di'awn up into a cringing smile ; but, on the whole, they differed 
not much from the rest of the men of Sirmore who have fallen under our 
observation. 

In the afternoon we reviewed our troops, which, when (b-aA\'n up in 
then* different corps, formed an assemblage of the most grotesque appear- 
ance that can be imagined; for, collected as they Avere in haste, there was 
no room for choice ; each who called himself a soldier, and brought liis 
arms, was retained at the time: thus, ])oys not nearly arrived at tlieir 
growth were found in the ranks; old men scarcely eciual to wieliling 
their arms were also there. Several had dved their beards and hair witli 



130 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

iiidi<'o to hide the approaches of time, but not being able to pay that 
attention to their toilette on a fatiguing march which they could in camp, 
the difference was apparent in the grisly-gray that now, having partly lost 
its blue, spread over their faces] and heads. 

Such were the doughty heroes which we had to oppose to the veteran 
Ghoorkhas. IIo\\ever, there were also many good men, and much ma- 
terial ; and, had there been time to establish any kind of regular discipline, 
a considerable portion would probably have become good soldiers. 

As it was, the defeat of Kirtee Eana, as Hkely to render unnecessary 
any trial of then* steadiness, was an event not to be deplored. 

Observing the stream in front of our camp to swarm with fish, I got 
together some rude materials for angling, and succeeded in catcliing a 
coui)le of dozen. They were of a species totally different from those we 
saw in the Jelall ; long for theii- thickness, and of a dirty greenish-gray 
colour, with white bellies ; their mouth was small, and placed under the 
head, as in the shark, forming an excrescence, which was of a stiff" leathery 
substance. 

The small ones were sweet to the taste ; the larger were not so good, 
and extremely full of bones. A string of this species of fish was presented 
to us at Eaj Gurh, and were the first of the sort we saw. 

A few of a species resembhng one of those we saw in the Jelall, with 
bright golden and silver scales, were also remarked ; these, however, were 
rarely caught, and we were informed that they were extremely unwhole- 
some ; and were led to believe that this might be the fact, as one of the 
party having eaten of it, was rather violently attacked both in stomach and 
bowels. 

jNIay 11. — Want of grain detained us tliis day also, but as the situation 
is not a convenient one, it was determined the next day to commence our 
march for the fort of Choupal in Joobul. 

A confirmation of the defeat and surrender of the enemy's force under 
Kirtee liana this day reached us ; they were surrounded, it was under- 
stood, by the troops of 13ischur and Joobul ; and from the loose accounts 
that alone had been hitherto obtained, we were led to fear that treachery 
was employed to induce them to give themselves up. 

AN e were also informed tliat the chief part of Ummr Sing's army had 
deserted liim, and come over to the British, in consequence of liis mad 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. - 131 

resistance after the fatal defeat of Buchtee Thappa, and the severity of his 
measures, and of their privations. 

The loss of that beloved leader, too, had great share in disheartening 
them ; and as he had alone, for a long time, been the means of retaining 
the troops in their fidelity to Ummr Sing, with whom they were disgusted, 
the moment that bond became dissolved by Euchtee's death, they fled, or 
came over almost in a body. 

It was farther said, that Ummr Sing had offered to svu-render himself 
and Malown, which place had been closely invested. 

A heavy hailstorm, with a drizzhng rain, fell this day, and made the 
air exceethngly cold. At the top of a hill above the valley, where we 
ascended to take some observations, it was so piercing as to benumb the 
fingers, and during the night it was felt severely in camp. 

Choor had been 2)lentifully sprinkled with snow. 

May 12. — Having determined on the march, Ave rose early, but, as 
usual, could not expedite all necessary business till seven o'clock, when we 
commenced our route, pursuing a course up the Ikighetoo glen somewhat 
to the south-east. 

We passed several villages, which were pleasantly situated, A^-ith many 
fine walnut-trees around them ; but these villages were in a state of decay. 
There was, however, a good deal of cultivation. 

To our left appeared a most wild, rocky, but short glen, whence a 
stream joins the Bughetoo. We kept our course up the latter for nearly 
four miles, ascending very greatly, though very gradually, till about a mile 
further on. 

Being high above the stream, we turned quite to our left in a north- 
eastern direction, and proceeded, mounting by a path along a ridge covered 
with larches, and very rough. 

The wind was piercing cold, and short showers fell, and cbiftcd past. 
Choor was for awhile enveloped in them, and when it appeared agiiin, a\ as 
covered with fresh fallen snow. 

Still ascending, we entered a forest of oak, holly, rliododc^iulron, antl 
larch, and held a more easterly coiu-se along the lofty ridge a\ e had reached. 
and high above the glen below to a pass or ghat, where a descent com- 
menced ; here we halted a httle, and then inunergcd into a deep holloM . 
proceeding Uke the rest from Choor, and covered with a noble forest of 

s2 



J 32 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

firs, oaks, and hollies. That fir, which was most abundant, resembles the 
silver fir in colour and figure, but groA\ ing generally in forests, and thickly 
the tiiuik attains an immense height, whilst the branches, circumscribed 
in their growth by want of room, are small and short, and bear no pro- 
portion to the stem. 

Larch was almost equally plentiful, and of this another species attracted 
our attention this day, differing in colour and in the tufted appearance ol' 
its leaves ; but the tree retained the character. 

Holly was abundant, and attained a great size : its leaf perfectly re- 
sembled that of the common English holly. 

jNIany other trees added their beauties to the foliage of the forest, for 
which I can give no name ; and the underwood was as various. 

The vegetation under these was formed of wild strawberries, butter- 
cups, columbines, ferns, and thousands of other lovely flowers that sprang 
in rich confusion all around. 

Through this noble forest we marched for a considerable space, till 
emerging on a clear height we saw the glen below : its upper parts wild 
and woody, while lower down it appeared bare, but spotted with cul- 
tivation. 

Choor frowned hoaiy with snow above all, sending a fine diversity of 
bai'e peaks and woody ridges to the glen beneath. 

From hence we began to descend very rapidly, and at last so pre- 
cipitously that the path was a mere zigzag cut on the ridge's edge, till we 
gained the bed of the torrent, which rolls rapidly over blocks of various 
stones, the ruins of the mountain above. On a very small ledge on the 
banks of this our httle tent was pitched. 

Our march was ten miles, the first seven of which were a continual 
ascent, and the latter three as continued and precipitous a descent. 

The face of the covuitry during this day's march exhibited a far greater 
variety, and a much more interesting wildness than we had yet witnessed. 

It led, indeed, over the remoter parts of the heights surrounding the 
great mountain Choor, and was consequently more shaggy and rugged. 
This mountain is a most noble and conspicuous object in every way ; it is 
the highest peak between the Sutlej and Jumna, short of the Snowy Moun- 
tains and their immediate shoulders. Indeed there is no hill as far as the 
.Vlacnunda that nearly approaches it in height. Observations subsequent 



: THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 133 

to this tour have fixed it at 10,688 feet alK)ve the plains; it is seen at a 
great distance from every quarter, and forms an excellent point for ob- 
servation ; it is, moreover, the nucleus whence all the hills around radiate 
as from a centre. Streams are sent from its face in every direction, which 
swell the Girree or Pabur rivers ; and standing on a height near it (for we 
did not ascend it), the hue of every ridge was plainly perceived diverging 
from, or connecting with it, as far as the sight extended. 
. In the sequel (where a sketch of the general face of the country is 
given to illustrate the maji), a more particular notice \nU be taken of 
this vast and majestic mountain, whose figure well accords with its im- 
})ortance, and commands respect. 

The nature of the forests and vegetable productions has been already 
noticed. A new species of oak was observed, in addition to the trees 
already enumerated ; its leaves are very bright, and serrated, preserving 
a roundish oval shape. Vic also saw a new species of the raspberry, com- 
pletely resembUng that of the wild sort at home ; also two different sorts 
of strawberry quite distinct from that wliich grows nearer to the plains. 
All these, however, were barely in blossom ; some had not even advanced 
so far, and thus no judgment could be formed of what they might be at 
maturity. The variety of the trees and shrubs and smaller herbs was 
astonishing. At each step some new plant attracted the eye ; and many 
of those meadow flowers wliich are common in Europe were hailed ^vith 
great satisfaction. The ferns were very beautiful, and even the humble 
buttercup gave rise to a pleasing recollection ; for, in wild and remote 
regions, the remembrance of early days and youtliful pleasures recurs, 
even when excited by trifles, with redoubled interest. 

The soil and rocks have evinced no change during the day's journey ; 
the former only varies in colour, and in some places seemed quite black, as 
of a coaly nature, but no reason could be discovered for this, except that 
the rock was darker, of a more mouldering quality, and strongly tinctured 
with iron. 

The rocks preserve their slaty composition and laminous texture, 
having a great tendency to moulder away, and being frequently mixed 
considerably with sand. 

In the bed of the nullah, where we encamped, as well as of that which 
we left, there were large blocks of stone, hard, and of diflerent sorts ; some 



134 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

a sort of plum-puckling stone, and some, I believe, of a species of granite ; 
but the variety was considerable, and all were rounded by violent attrition 
in the bed of the torrent. 

Our camp was pitched at the confluence of two very wild streams, which 
rise in Choor, and here form the Bisharee ISTullah, which falls into the 
(Tirree about ten cos from hence, at a village called Bhotog, in the petty 
state of Bulsum. 

The Bisharee Nullah here forms the boundary between Sirmore and 
Joobul. The banks are so very rocky and steep to the water's edge that 
there was hardly room for the people to rest upon. 

The cold at night, though at the bottom of the valley, was so great 
that double covering was absolutely necessary. 

jNIay 13. — The morning was sharp but fine. Being desirous of obtaining 
a sketch of the very singular hollow we had encamped in, with the moun- 
tain and ridges of Choor, I went forward a little before the pai-ty, and 
crossing the Bisharee torrent, was conducted by the guide up the very face 
of the opposing rock, by a path which at first was supposed a wrong one 
from its extreme roughness and steepness, and which led us more than 
once into situations of considerable danger, besides being very toilsome to 
ascend. After much delay, and several mistakes, arising from the unintel- 
ligible jargon of the guide, which even the Ghoorkhas who accompanied 
me could not understand, I obtained what I wanted, but was not joined 
by the rest of the party for more than an hour. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 135 



CHAPTER XI. 

The troops had slowly and painfuUy ascended the precipice, and most 
fortunately only one accident had occurred, which, considering the steepness 
and the tortuous nature of the path (the turns of which often crossed each 
other, and the lower parts of Avhich were much exposed to the fall of loose 
stones from above), was less than could have been expected. 

A Mewattie soldier received a faUing stone, and was precipitated down 
a good way and much bruised, but not so as to endanger his life. 

The extent of this steep rocky pull is nearly a mile ; beyond it the 
ascent continues somewhat more easy, but is still very toilsome, along the 
face of a green ridge, from the top of which w^e enjoyed a noble view of 
the valleys and ridges diverging from Choor. 

To the north-west we descried a portion of the SnoA\'y INIountains at a 
great distance, probably on the other side of the Eauvee : they appeared 
lofty and large, but were chiefly lost in cloud, and soon were quite hid 
from view. We proceeded from hence to the northward, along a ridge 
projecting from that we were to cross, generally ascending till we reached 
the main mountain ; when a very rude and difficult path lay before us, 
leading right up the face of the hill through a shaggy and various 
forest, in which, on every side, rough sharp peaks appeared, and bold 
projecting crags, that strewed the pass and the deep valley below with 
their ruins. 

It required the apphcation of both hands and feet frequently to get 
on, and the exertion continued a long time, so that ^\hcn A\e reached the 
gorge of the pass at half past twelve o'clock, the people were quite ex- 
hausted, though it was only four miles and a half from our nighfs station. 
It was certainly a very savage place, and required the limbs of moun- 
taineers to attain it with any facility. The roughness and darkness of tlie 
wood upon the south side, and the towering and irregular vaiiety of the 



13G NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

craio-s that frowned all around, gave a very singular character to the 

scene. 

^^'hcn we reached the highest part, the vieAv, as might be expected, 
was mao-nificent, for the height we had reached was probably not 1500 feet 
below Choor itself. 

Several ranges of long and lofty liills running into each other, and 
di\ided only by ravines hke chasms in a rock, \\ith every variety of form 
and feature, in some places covered with noble pine forests, in others 
studded with villages and cultivation, or bursting into bare brown rocks, lay 
all before us, fading in distance till half lost. Above them, here and there, 
in storm and cloud, a peak of the snowy range might be seen, >diile in 
front a deep forest of old pines rose from the dell below, hiding its rocky 
masses, or only alloAnng them to appear to contrast with their dark fohage. 

A rich carpet was under our feet, and it was pleasant to rest us after 
our labours. The name of the pass, taken from that of the two peaks on 
either side, was that of Choghtit and Bughat. 

As usual, after a long rise a descent was to be looked for : we com- 
menced by entering a pine forest even more deep and venerable than that 
of yesterday, along a good path, with a gentle dechvity. Through the 
comfortable shade of this forest we passed for a good while, and then 
emerged, as yesterday, upon a steep grassy slope, down which we wound, 
sometimes on the ridge, and sometimes on the side ; the path good but 
sHppery. The soil seems to lie thick and rich, and the grass and other 
vegetation was wonderfully luxuriant and verdant. 

The latter part of this descent was very steep and tortuous, again 
entering the forest, and it ended in the bottom of a glen exceedingly dark 
and romantic. The torrent had made for itself a deep and narrow dell in 
the rocks, clothed with the finest old pine trees and richest underwood, 
and rushes down its craggy bed in darkest obscurity till met by the waters 
of a similar glen from the left. 

The chasm formed by these seems not to admit of egress, and this can 
only be obtained by following the united stream down its still more dan- 
gerous and rugged course, which we accordingly effected, over rocks and 
fallen trees all covered with the loveliest verdure, lioses, jasmines, rasp- 
berries, strawberries, ferns, and thousands of beautiful and fragrant plants, 
the usual undisturbed occupiers of these scenes, combined to dehght us, 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 137 

and, with tlie immense pine-trees, threw a deep shade over our path, but 
creating a chill almost to a painful degree. 

We continued in the bed of the stream, till, at the junction of a similar 
one from the west, six miles and a half from our last night's camp, we 
crossed the united waters forming the Shashallee Khola, antl ascended the 
left face of the glen, slanting on ridges of abandoned cultivation, j)assing 
through the ruined village of Khugna, where there is a neat temple, and 
some particularly fine old larch-trees. We made our way along the southern 
face of the mountain, now forming the boiuidary of the valley, following 
the deep indentings on its brown and barren side. The op])osite or 
northern exposure is woody, and better cultivated. 

Several other half-ruined villages lay in our way, and at about six 
o'clock in the evening we reached the fort of Choupal, the same ^vhich, in 
my brother's former expedition to Joobul, capitulated to the party under 
his charge. 

Our tents were placed on a gentle declivity near to the fort, and we 
were met by a set of singing women, who came to welcome us to the place. 
One set of these at least is maintained in every district of the hills, to con- 
tribute their professional assistance at marriages and merry-makings ; and 
they no doubt expected to be well rewarded for the zeal of their intentions, 
but we were too much fatigued to entertain ourselves long with their 
music, and dismissed them. They were yellow, but ruddy and fresli-looking 
women, of the middle size. Their ch-css was far from rich, althougli they 
wore something resembling shawls, as doputtas ; nor did their voices appear 
to be of any considerable excellence. 

The march of this day was thirteen miles, and was by far the most 
fatiguing we have had ; not only was the length greater, but the nature of 
the country travelled over was more rugged and difficult than usual. 

Marches in this country consist, generally speaking, of one long ascent 
and a corresponding descent, and thus our progress is usually from tlie 
bottom of one valley to that of another, with ])erha})s a considerable pro- 
gi-ess along the face of one of its sides, and this, in fact, forms an anijtle 
journey for a day; for the height of the ridges is so great, that not only 
the extent of o;round travelled over becomes considerable, but the nature 
of the country more than compensates for the shortness of the journey. 

r 



138 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

Those who have been accustomed to travel in a mountainous country, 
such as the Highlands of Scotland, where journeys of tliirty, forty, and even 
fifty miles are commonly performed A^dthout any great fatigue day after 
day, may be inclined to smile at the poor pedestrian who confesses a mo- 
derate share of fatigue after a march of only thirteen miles ; but let liim 
inform himself of the nature of these mountains before he despises the 
effort, and compare the difficulties of each country, at least by description, 
before he passes judgment. No hill in Scotland exceeds 4200 feet of ele- 
vation, calculated from the level of the sea. The true elevation, in fact, 
that a traveller has to ascend, seldom exceeds from one to two thousand 
feet in one day, and in most cases tliis ascent is divided by the gradual 
accHvity, and several small ups and downs to a degree that detracts much 
from its severity. The roads, too, and even the mountain paths, are in the 
Highlands conducted with more knowledge and attention along those 
lines, which present the least labour to the traveller, and though frequently 
laborious, do not demand a continual straining effort. 

In the hilly regions we were now traversing all was different : after 
passing the first range,' no liill reared itself to a less height than 5 or 6000 
feet ; and though, no doubt, the valleys or ravines dividing them were pro- 
portionally elevated, the actual height of ascent is far greater than is usual 
in mountainous countries ; but the great source of labour is in the excessive 
and universal steepness and abruptness of their sides, always rising sud- 
denly at a great angle from the streams, that fill the chasms at their feet. 
WHien there is no extent of valley there cannot well be much level ground. 
"VMiere ridge and cleft succeed each other closely, little can be looked for 
in the roads that lead over them but steep ascent and descent ; and it is 
the total want of any level road that fatigues the traveller in these hills. 

No time is gained to tbaw breath, and at the same time gently con- 
tinue the road. If you wish to recruit your exhausted strength it must 
be done by an actual stop, and rest at some convenient spot; and the 
ascents are so long, and thirst so great, that tlie day lapses without the 
possibility of reaching to any great distance. The springs are fortunately 
numerous. 

Besides the steepness and length of the pulls, an excessive roughness 
of the path is to be su])ported ; and it becomes necessary to pick your 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 139 

steps carefully, and to take heed that a slip may not precipitate you do^\Ti 
a chasm, perhaps of awful depth, that yawns below your path. 

Every exertion of body and mind or attention fatigues, and with so 
much to look to, added to the toil of the way, it is no wonder if the 
traveller proceed slowly. 

I have travelled in the Highlands of Scotland, and have made long 
marches there without more fatigue than is usually felt, but I must aver 
that a twelve or thirteen miles stage, such as that of this day, has fatigued 
me more than upwards of three times its distance at home. The hill 
people themselves never attempt the extreme journeys w hich the Scotch 
Highlander performs with ease, fifteen to twenty miles being the extent 
they will go even on their own business. 

In fact, when after an ascent of so many miles a man arrives at the 
bottom of a corresponding descent, it is exceedingly painful to be forced 
to ascend a second time, w^ell knowing that there is no middle course to 
steer between resting where he is and performing a double day's work, for 
he must also descend a second time in general before he can reach a fit 
station for the night. 

Tliis second ascent, though it was a moderate one, rendered our march 
to-day so wearisome, besides wliich (as already remarked) the way was so 
rough and bad that many of the troops, and some of the liill porters, did 
not arrive till next morning. 

A considerable similarity prevails between the country we marched 
over to-day and that which we traversed yesterday, but as we increased our 
elevation, and gained the northern face of Choor and its ridges, a greater 
degree of rvigged grandeur, and of such beauty as is met with in alpine 
scenes, was very remarkable. The cliffs w^ere greater and more wild in 
their shapes, as if nature had found free room to sport in their formation. 
The pine-trees increased in size, and were the tallest, straightcst, and 
most magnificent I ever saw, and the forests covered immense tracts. 
AVhat a seeming waste of noble timber ! and how uselessly do these grand 
trees appear to flourish and decay ! The natives cannot make use of them ; 
their consumption of timber is small, and if it wore greater, they have not 
tools with which to avail themselves of the abundance wliich these endless 
forests afford. 

T U 



140 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

It is singular, but true, that in the whole of our travels through the 
mountains we never met with a saw, nor, as we were told, does such an 
instrument exist among them. "SATien they want a plank they cut down 
a tree with the axes which they always carry, and spht it into one or more 
pieces by means of Avedges ; thus so rudely tearing up the wood, that they 
seldom obtain more than one plank from the tree, which is chosen of the 
size reqviired, and cut to the length they wish to give the board before they 
begin to spht it. 

All their houses are floored with planks thus procured ; and the wood- 
work of their balconies, with every other piece of flat timber in use, costs 
them this exercise of labour, and loss of time, and of material. 

The species of wood, which the natives make use of, are either of the 
larch kinds, or that wliich resembles the silver fir ; both sorts abound in 
resin, which exudes plentifully from their bark and twigs ; and the wood 
obtained from them is very durable, remaining uninjured, though exposed 
to the changes of weather, as we have reason to believe, for fully a hundred 
years. In fact, the houses are kept together for the greatest part of the 
time they stand by the wood they are bound with. I think, however, that 
the larch species are preferred. 

r If it were possible to transport this valuable timber to the plains below, 
it would be a most important acquisition. Beams of such a length as tliese 
would form are not to be procured for building in any part of India, and 
it is probable that the use of such wood in shipbuikhng would be very 
extensive. There is little doubt but some one of the various pines afforded 
by these mountains would answer for masts, and spars as well as the s])ruce- 
lir of America, or the pine of Xorway. If the larch be too heavy, there 
are other pines fully as light as can be needed ; and indeed a species we 
remarked yesterday so closely resembles the spruce fir that we beUeved it 
to be the same tree ; its colour, and the appearance of the young shoots 
and branches, were very similar to that which grows in Britain. 

But it is vain to speculate on the uses to which these noble forests 
might be applied if they once reached Calcutta, or even the great rivers of 
the j)lains which might carry them thither, for the nature of the country 
is such, the want of practicability of carriage either by roads or by floating 
is so decided, that it is evident these trees must remain where they fall, or 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. : 141 

roll into chasms, which never can have water enougli to move them. If 
with great labour a few of these trees, which grow lowest on the moun- 
tain's ridges, might, from advantageous position, be conveyed to the river 
Girree, and so by the Jumna to the plains, they must be small, and form 
no sample of the prodigious size of thowe that clothe the more inaccessible 
and loftier parts of these mountains' sides. 

We remark now six very distinct s})ecies of pine, viz. that which i.s 
found upon the lower hills around Xahn and Jytock ; two sorts of larch : 
that which resembles the A^''eymouth pine, or the silver fir, or spruce ; 
and when there may be occasion to advert to either of these sorts I shall 
call tliem by the names of those they resemble. "We also found the vew- 
tree in abundance in this forest : of the identity of this there was no doubt. 
We saw several species of oak and of holly ; their varieties shaded very 
much into each other. 

Among the shrubs, one which strongly resembled the alder was ob- 
served this day ; the flowers were very fragrant. The lesser productions 
of this rich soil were innumerable, and the verdure of the grasses, and the 
flowery enamelling of the open glades in the forest, were most beautifid 
and surprising. 

That difference of aspect, which has been before remarked, between 
the southern and northern faces of the ridges, was to-day particularly 
striking ; not only the formation and structure of the hills and rocks, but 
the vegetable productions were quite distinct on either side. A\'liile 
climbing the southern face, the general coloiu* of the coiuitry was brown 
and dusky ; the grass was short and parched, and the hills rough and 
lumpy ; the rocks staring through the ground as if it had been worn 
from their faces, blackened by the weather, and the wilder and more 
broken crags were only in the clefts and ravines, and on the crest of the 
movmtain. 

The lower parts were quite bare of wood, and above, the stone and 
Weymouth pine only of the pines, sprinkled Avith a few larches of small 
size, grew sparingly on the rocks ; whilst over the higher parts, oak, holly. 
and alder, were thickly spread, and the brownish green of their loaves well 
agreed with the burnt appearance of the hills. 

Upon the northern exposure, a dark rich green colour was thffiiscd o^er 



142 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

the landscajDe; the sides of the glen were chiefly rock, far bolder and 
grander than on the other side, which, pointing its crags to the northward, 
was almost perpendicular to the torrents at its feet : but this rock was 
clothed almost entirely with these noble forests of larch, silver, and spruce 
firs, which shrouded from view all but the highest and steepest cliffs. All 
was rich and dark, and here and there a glade opened, or a hill slope ex- 
tended from the base of the rock, or projected between two streams of a 
bright beautiful green, shining through the sombre forest. This distinct- 
ness of character is very remarkable, and, I beheve, very universally 
obvious, bet^veen the faces of different exposures all over these hiUs. 

That the quantity of cultivation seen dui'ing the two last marches 
shoidd be far less than in the country we have quitted is not surprising, 
because the country is less susceptible of it ; but both in the Bughetoo 
valley, along which we passed the first part of yesterday, and in the course 
of our march to-day, particularly in the latter part, great traces of ruin and 
of desolation were discernible ; much cultivation had been abandoned, and 
the villages were frequently little better than a heap of ruins. From the 
ascent of this day, however, we saw several that were to all appearance 
more prosperous, and surrounded by a more extensive cultivation, situated 
on very high peaks, and projecting subordinate ridges from Choor and 
Buhroque. The Avheat which we saw near Choupal was still green and 
very bad ; the barley was full, but not ripe. 

The predominating rock this day was schistus of several sorts ; dark 
and micaceous, reddish and grey, A considerable quantity of sandstone 
was observed among the smaller masses near the top of our ascent fallen 
from above, and the crags that top the ridge, at the end of which Choupal 
is situated, a})peared by their fallen ruins to consist of fine-grained sand- 
stone, and hard and various schistus. 

The soil presented an appearance very similar to that which we have 
for some days observed. On the north side of the ridge there was a very 
gi'eat admixture of vegetable mould. 

On crossing the ]Jisharee Nullah we observed that the dress of the 
inhabitants was completely changed, and their appearance somewhat 
altered. Instead of the dirty cotton cap and gown of Sirmore they wore a 
black cap of shaggy wool, somewhat like a higliland bonnet compressed; a 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 143 

pair of trowsers of thick dark striped woollen stuff, very loose from the 
waistband, where it is tied with a string to the knee, but it becomes closer 
to the leg below, and reaches to the heels in small wrinkles. Their cliief 
garment is a coat of similar blanket stuffj which reaches down to the knees 
gathered tight round the waist, and falling round the lower parts and 
thighs in many folds, somewhat like the Scotch highland phiUbeg. The 
better sort usually wear a piece of cotton, much as the Hindoos do the 
doj)utta, and frequently wrap it round the shoulders as a plaid. Their 
shoes are formed of a sort of close net-work, or twill of woollen thread, 
attached to a leathern sole. 

We had httle opportunity at this time to judge of any difference which 
might exist between these people and the Sirmore men in character and 
disposition ; but whether it were merely from the alteration of dress, and 
a certain degree of superior smartness of appearance, or that there was 
actually a difference, we believed that they discovered more of those 
pecuhar manners usually attributed to highlanders than the wretched 
beings we had left behind. 

We were advancing into an unknown country where every tiling was 
new, and we were eagerly looking for what was extraortUnary, and might 
be inchned to see common events and characters in a point of view more 
suited in our imagination to the remoteness of the region : so dehghtflil 
is romance ; and so inherent in our nature the love of the manellous, 
that it is hardly possible to visit even a well knov.n, though foreign 
country, without half expecting, and hoping for, uTicommon adventures. 
But when our path leads through a novel as well as remote scene, a 
strong effort is needful to repress that loftiness of view, that disorder of 
the mental optics, which throws a false light and untrue proportion over 
the objects that are most natural, and the occurrences that are most 
common. 

May 14. — It has been observed, that, when we passed the Bisharee 
Nullah, we left the territories of Sirmore, and entered those of Joobul. 
This is a hill state of considerable extent, and is one of the princi])al of 
those of the second class, if not in amount of revenue, at least in conse- 
quence and position. 

It is bounded on the south and south-east by Sirmore, on the east and 
north-east by Gurwhal, from wliich it is divided by the Pabiu* river ; on 



144 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

the north, north-west, and west, by the petty states of Bulsum, Cotee- 
gooroo, and Saree, Avliich last now forms a part of the Bischur territories. 

Previously to the Ghoorkha conquest, Joobul was governed by a here- 
ditary chief of its own, under the title of Kana, who was, generally speaking, 
in a state of tolerable independence, but who nominally acknowledged 
himself tributary to one or other of the more powerful states of the first 
order. This authority was most frecpiently allowed to be due to the 
Rajahs of Sirmore, for that state was nearest at hand to compel submission 
and punish revolt, wliich was always resorted to in the day of the superior's 
weakness. 

But, as in the stormy revolutions and continual wars, which occurred 
in this turbulent country, others of the principal states gained the ascend- 
ant, Joobul was obliged by force or by policy to yield to the circum- 
stances that aifected its master, and thus both Bischur and Gurwhal 
occasionally held temporary sway over it. That this sway was most 
generally in possession of Sirmore, and that in fact Joobul did acknow- 
ledge a feodatory claim on the part of that rajah, appears from this, that 
the young chief of Joobul did always, on the death of the former rana, 
receive the honorary dress and investiture of authority from the hands of 
the Rajah of Sirmore. 

The degree of dependence, however, does not seem to be so well de- 
fined, and was probably determined, not by any fixed limits, but by the 
temporary means of resistance on the one side, and the want of power on 
the other, to enforce its claims. 

After the Ghoorkha force had reduced Sirmore to their power, all the 
petty states fell one after another, and probably with little or no resistance, 
and Joobul, as well as its superiors, became integral parts of the Nepfdese 
territories. The reigning rana was deposed, and had since lived at one 
of his houses near the banks of the Pabiu-, on the private charity of the 
inliabitants, who, poor and oppressed as they were, yet felt for their former 
chief A\'hat the family of this chief may have been I know not, nor 
is it of much importance : probably the state rose with the founder of 
it, who may have been no more than an able and enterprising moun- 
taineer ; and such was, in all likelihood, the origin of many of the i)etty 
lordships. 

The ex-rana, however, appears to have been a mere cypher, wlio 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 145 

passively enjoyed the comforts of his situation, leaving his cares and the 
exercise of his power to servants. The man who was, in point of power 
and influence, the true chief of Joobul, was named Dangee ; who, under 
the title of vuzzeer, exercised the prince's authority, collected the revenues, 
and directed the whole state. 

It frequently happens that the storm wliich lays the chief low, spares 
those who were subservient to him in a humble sphere ; so it occurred 
in this case. It appears that the conquerors allowed Dangce to retain his 
situation ; probably they could not quite destroy his influence, and he 
was found useful in collecting the revenues for tliem, wliich he formerly 
levied in the name of liis master ; and Joobid was a tract so centrically 
situated, that it might be convenient to have its chief subject friendly to 
their cause. 

However that might be, when the Eritish army marched to Xahn, 
and first became acquainted with the situation of the country, Dangee 
was found to be the principal person to treat with, as friend or foe ; and 
as it became an object to station a foi'ce in Joobul, and to move the 
natives of the hills as much as possible against the enemy, all means were 
adojited to procure the co-operation of tliis man. For a long time, with 
true Asiatic poUcy, he played a double or uncertain part, by no means at 
once deciding on any mode of conduct, but, as in his opinion, either party 
seemed to gain the advantage, shifting to that side ; and always, where he 
could do it, acting in a manner that might be well explained to cither 
party which should ultimately prevail. 

When at length he saw that the Ghoorkhas were sorely pressed, and 
that the campaign would terminate favourably for the British ; when he 
saw a small and irregular force penetrate into his country unmolested, and 
that the commander of one of the chief fortresses in Joobul considered his 
affairs so desperate as to accede to our terms, and surrender liis garrison ; 
he then, and not till then, openly declared liimself, and inhstcd in our pay 
with a body of 500 Joobulians. 

Although so undecided and wavering a hne of conduct nuist in general 
be disgusting, and though services subsequently oft'ered cannot be nuich 
valued or confided in, yet some allowance may be made for this man. 
When it was first understood that the British had advanced to the hills, 
for the purpose of cxpelUng the Ghoorklia usurpers, there was doubtless a 

u 



146 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

general impression in our favour. The great name wliich our success and 
moderation in India had obtained, prepossessed the hill-states, who had 
indistinctly heard of it, with a belief that we were invincible. Three suc- 
cessive failures, however, staggered tliis faith ; and they began to doubt 
whether we could make an impression on their enemies, far less free them 
fro}!! their yoke. The Ghoorkhas had been severe rulers, and always 
punished a lliult with cruelty. Those who held their places by favour of 
the conquerors, might well ponder deeply before they incurred the deadly 
stain of rebellion, and openly declared against their employers. They had 
all to lose, httle to win ; for, as individuals, their situation was as good as 
they could expect it to be made by any change. 

Of those who were thus situated, perhaps Dangee was in the most 
critical circumstances, and requu-ed peculiar dehberation and dexterity 
in taking a decided part. He was not the true chief; the people obeyed 
him from an influence he had acquired over them by his abihties. It 
was necessary for him to see that he did not lose that influence : he might 
not only ruin liimself, if the Ghoorkhas prevailed, but might also, if 
they were worsted, place the state itself in an awkward predicament ; for 
these narrow eastern pohticians in general, and a person so circumscribed 
in opportunities of acquiring a knowledge of the British general pohcy as 
Dangee, could have no just idea of the generous and hberal principles, 
wliicli usually govern British councils in their behaviour to a fallen foe, or 
to a friendly ally ; and he might be afraid of placing the country in the 
hands of a new ruler, who might not be more lenient to it than the 
Ghoorkhas were, and possibly far less favourable to him than those whom 
he had tried. 

The claims of Sirmore on Joobul were always irksome to the people 
and to their rulers, and the equality to wliich both were now reduced, and 
the freedom from any invidious tribute to that state in acknowledgment 
of superiority (even although at the expense of a severe tyranny under the 
Ghoorkhas), were perhaps more grateful, at least to the chief, if not to the 
mass of the people, than a state of vassalage to masters whom they hated 
and despised. He feared the re-establishment of the feudatory rights 
of Sirmore in case of the country being freed from the Ghoorkhas, and 
restored to its ancient rulers ; or di'eaded that the British power would 
be exercised in favour of that state, of which the chief was now cm- ally, 



THE HIM ALA MOUNTAINS. 147 

wliilst he himself might lose the exorbitant influence and high rank he 
then held in his owm state. If sucli were his apprehensions, and such the 
spring of his conduct, it cannot excite surprise that he was cautious and 
unresolved, and that such were his feehngs is proved by the terms he 
sought when the declaration in our favour was absolutely made. 

Dangee is unquestionably possessed of considerable talents, and of a 
cunning which is pecuharly admired, and not unfrequently is successful in 
the negotiations among these petty states, where bad faith, and breach 
of treaty or of word, are not considered as disgraceful if they gain the 
desired end. 

Next to Dangee, a chief named Preemoo holds the highest rank or 
power : him we did not see, nov in fno.t was he at all of nearly equal im- 
portance with the other. 

Of the revenues of Joobul, or of its population, I can say but little : 
the only fact known is, that it produced to the Ghoorkha government a 
yearly sum of 24,000 rupees. 

Of a state so trifling in its value it may be thought impertinent to say 
so much, but a great part of tliis liilly region is made up of such insig- 
nificant principalities; and it sometimes happens that circumstances of 
position, or of natural advantage of one kind or other, give to a poor country 
an extrinsic interest and value :— such is the case with Joobul. 

Joobul is situated centrically between the difficult (and indeed to an 
army impracticable) country at the foot of, and stretching througli the 
Snowy Mountains, and contained between the rivers Touse and Pabur, and 
those countries to the south of the range of Choor ^\hich were under 
command of the army investing Jytock. 

The chief road from Irkee and Ummr Sing's positions to the eastward 
passes through the Barug T,hakooree and Joobul, and crosses the river 
Touse at Unhoul, the Jumna at Juddoo, and the Phagimttce at Parahat. 
and is practicable and safe throughout. From Joobul also branch various 
roads to different fords and bridges upon the Touse, both to the nortli and 
south of Unhovil. This river is large and rapid, and by no moans fordable 
except at a few points, which fits it well for a line of defence ; and the 
routes to the north of Unhoul are uncertain and dangerous, while those 
to the southward pass through the district of Jounsar, which at this time 
had openly declared in our favour. 

V 2 



148 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

^\'hatever miglit have been the private inclinations of their chief, the 
men of Joobul were from an early period friendly to our cause, and wiUing 
to rise in our favour, and only wanted the consent of their superior, and 
the confidence inspired by a British party, to join them in arms. This 
disposition was evinced in more than one instance in their behaAiour, as 
will hereafter be mentioned. Such is the situation of Joobul ; and such 
was the disposition of its inhabitants previous to the successes of General 
Ochterlony over Ummr Sing ; and these circumstances pointed it out as a 
most desirable position to be occupied by a strong party of troops in 
British pay. 

It was proposed that a line of defence and communication, such as has 
before been adverted to in the observations on the progress of the cam- 
paign, should have been formed, which would connect with the forces 
before Jytock, across the Choor range, and occupy the strong holds of 
Joobul ; and having a strong post at Unhoul, and from thence meeting 
and i)artly following the course of the river Pabur to the north-west, would 
stretch into Bischur. 

Of this line a glance at the map or a shght knowledge of the country 
will show the strength and utility, as well as of the importance of its central 
point, Joobul. 

The district between the Pabur and the Touse was almost totally freed 
from the enemy, who had begun to confine himself to his strong holds, and 
the inhabitants were, it was beheved, well disposed. 

The district of Jounsar, in the rear to the eastward, was devoted to our 
interests ; while the nattire of the country was such, that if at all skiHuUy 
defended, it could not possibly be forced ; and it offered witliin itself some 
means of sup})ly, and a hardy race suited either to act as porters for con- 
veying j)rovisions, or as light troops well acquainted with every pass and 
ibrd, to facilitate easy communication or to annoy a flying foe. 

Thus, a line such as now described would have completely cut off com- 
numication between the two chief Ghoorkha forces, that at Malown under 
Ummr Sing, and that at Jytock under Runjore Sing ; and in the event of 
either position being forced, no junction could have been formed, or, if 
attempted, the retreating force would have had not only to cut their way 
through this strong line of positions, but to cope with the whole pursuing 
army ; whilst the j^cople of the country they must pass through, hostile to 



THE HIM ALA MOUNTAINS. 149 

them, and supported in their courage by the presence of our troops, would 
fatally annoy and perplex them. 

The .su})plies necessary to their subsistence would be refused them, nor 
could they venture to delay their marches to collect it by force. 

Such a hue, too, would not only straiten the enemy's resources by 
advancing and gradually closing in on all sides, but would, in fact, become 
strengthened itself by the extent of friendly country in its rear, and by its 
approximation to the force before INIalown. 

In every point of view, then, it would probably have been a prudent 
mode of operation to pursue, and Joobul was thus invested with more 
consequence than it seems naturally destined to possess. 

It was occupied after the first movement of the irregulars into it, and 
the consequent evacution of fort Chou])al, lint it was only by an irregular 
force, which, to the extent of 7 or 800 men, were despatched thither, and 
were joined by the Joobul troops under Dangee. 

Circumstances, however, rendered it unnecessary to follow up the above 
detailed plan, if it ever was seriously in contemplation. The brilliant suc- 
cesses of the army under General Ochterlony were succeeded by events 
which brought the campaign to a more speedy and fortunate conclusion 
than the disasters and delays of its commencement warranted us to 
expect. 

The fort of Choupal, close to which we were encamped, is situated on 
the Gudhala ridge, whicli is a projection from a greater one that connects 
Clioor with a large mountain to the north called Urructa, and it forms the 
northern side of the valley we came down, through which runs the Sha- 
shalu Nullah. 

The fort is placed on a ledge overlooking the valley, and behind it 
stretches a gentle acclivity, which ends in a short but steep ascent to the 
crest of the ridge ; thus it is commanded even by musquetry from many 
points. It obtains aU its water from a hollow or tank, which is formed on 
the hill-side above it, distant about a gunshot, and which may be cut off 
from the approach of the garrison with httle trouble, so that it is by no 
means calculated to stand a siege in any jwint of view : indeed, it is pro 
bable that it was not originally intendeil for the purposes in whicli it was 
now employed, and that it was merely the house of a chief, who thought it 



150 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

sufficient if it was able to repel the desultory attack of a marauding party ; 
for even in the rudest state of warfare it must be apparent that a garrison 
cannot subsist ^vithout a supply of water. 

The Ghoorkhas, probably seeing the value of the situation, took hold 
in the first building that presented itself as sufficient for shelter, and 
trusted to the fear their name had inspired for preventing a serious or 
continued attack, and in all hkehhood woidd at a future period have 
erected a more sufficient fortress on a better situation, for they usually 
choose such with great judgment. 

The present fort is a square building of no great extent, with a tower 
at three of its corners, and inclosing a court of about twenty feet square. 
The largest tower was occupied as a temple by the divinity only, and this 
is ornamented Anth considerable neatness. A second contained the apart- 
ments of the commandant, a soubahdar. 

The whole is three stories high : in the lower one cattle of all sorts 
were stowed : probably in time of siege, these gave room to stores of dif- 
ferent sorts. In the second and third the garrison was lodged. A great 
part consists of open verandah ; but the soldiers of the East are not nice 
with respect to their accommodations, generally stretcliing themselves in 
their rosais wherever there is room, with little care about the apartment. 
Still less do the Ghoorkhas or liill-men care where they lay their wearied 
hmbs. 

About the court-yard lay several large pieces of fir-trees, hollowed to 
hold water, which liad been done by the soubahdar when preparing to 
resist the attack he saw approaching : they would not have held more than 
four or five days' consumption for the garrison, which consisted of 100 men. 

Around the building they had planted a good stockade, not more than 
six feet from the walls, wliich was a formidable defence, and would have 
prevented such troops as were hkely to oppose them from an assault ; and 
the walls were bored into loopholes for musquetry in all directions. 

The troops were all under cover ; but as there was no room for them 
to move about in, they would have been forced to remain continually 
motionless in theh rooms, which would of itself have been no trifling 
inconvenience. The stockade, when we now visited it, had since the 
evacuation of the post gone nearly to ruin. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 151 

The soubahdar who had commanded it was with me at the time I 
examined the fort, and pointed out all his projects and contrivances ; " but," 
said he, " God willed it otherwise, and I am now your servant." 

The sensations with which a brave soldier views the place he once 
commanded in, and which he has been forced to yield up without fighting, 
from the dread of famine and of certain destruction to his troops, must be 
painful, however blameless he deems himself, and the soubahdar showed 
that he felt them so. 

But, as he observed, what must be done at last had better be done with 
a good grace at first. He had no means of resisting the ovei-powering 
force that sprang up against him, nor any hope of assistance, nor the means 
of subsistence till such could arrive. 

He pointed out the corn he had sowed never to reap, and the im- 
provement he meditated but could not complete, with somewhat of a 
bitter smile. He was a steady, determined, and zealous officer ; and it is 
pleasing to think, that in his change of service he has been so far fortunate 
as to lose nothing in emolument or respect, and that while ^^'ith us he met 
with all proper regard and attention. 

It is well known that in the East no obloquy attaches to a man who 
changes his side, and fights against the cause he once contended for, espe- 
cially if the train of original service has once been broken ; and although 
the point of honour seems to be tenaciously kept by the Ghoorkhas, and 
their attachment to their country is perhaps greater than among other 
eastern people, it does not appear to be considered a dishonourable act, if, 
when forced by an enemy to surrender prisoner, an officer of theirs should 
enter tlie service of that enemy. 

In this way Eunjeet Sing, the Sikli cliief, the deadly enemy of the 
Ghoorkha government, has inhsted a considerable body of the Ghoorkhas 
and others ; and the deserters from the forts of ]\Ialown and Jytock, wlien 
forced by famine to leave their garrisons, inhsted with the armies investing 
these places. 

There is no town in Joobul which can claim a preference over the rest 
to such a degree as to be considered its capital. 

The house of the Rami is in the valley of Deyrah, whither we were to 
bend our course ; but Choupal, from its centrical situation, and tlie im- 
portance it asserts as being a fortress, is considered that point in the state 



lo2 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

V hich suggests the idea nearest to that of a capital towTi. Near to it are 
the villages of the cliief people, Dangee and Precmoo, and around it there 
is a good deal of cultivation, and a tolerably populous country. Never- 
tlieless, altliough the feelings of the people in our favour were sufficiently 
jjroved to be of the warmest nature, we found that they, as usual, hung 
back when called upon for grain and supphes for the party, and after 
\ arious sliifting excuses it was at last found necessary to have recourse 
to strong measures, and parties were detached to search for grain in the 
neighbourhood, and to bring what was found into camp. 

After breakfast several of the neighbouring seanas, and most persons 
of any rank, came and paid their respects ; among them a brother of Pree- 
nioo's, who brought with him his brother, a boy of eleven or twelve years 
of age, as fair, I think, as any English boy. The man himself was dark, 
and I thought him so fine a figure, and so fair, yet so favourable a specimen 
of the hiU-cliiefs, that I took a sketch of him and his little brother : he 
went only by the name of Preemoo Ka Bhaee (or Preemoo's brother), and 
I could obtain no other for him. 

Choupal itself formed a subject for a di-awing worth taking, having in its 
distance the venerable mountain Choor in a new point of view ; and as 
we were unable to march this day, from the delay of procuring supplies, 
I had sufficient time to accomplish the undertaking. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 153 



CHAPTER XII. 

As authentic intelligence had been received of the total capture of 
Kirtee Eana's force, leaving not a single party of the enemy to oppose our 
progress, and that only the garrison of Kaeengudh on the banks of the 
Pabur (which was now invested by our irregulars and the hill-trooi)s), re- 
mained in all the country, the necessity for travelling with a large escort 
ceased, and accordingly the troops were left at Choupal, encamped under 
the charge of the risfildar, ready to move on any emergency ; while only 
the Ghoorkha soubahdar with a party of his men, a few picked Patans and 
Mewatties, with a few of Skinner's corps, in all not exceeding fifty men, 
accompanied us onwards. 

May 15. — The necessary arrangements and a general review of the 
troops delayed our setting off till past nine o'clock. 

Our route lay across a deep ravine, which we descended by a rough 
uninteresting road, and again slanted upwards to the top, where there was 
a neat rustic-looking temple in a grove of larch and fir-trees ; in whicli, 
among other pieces of somewhat rude sculpture, I observed an angel's face 
precisely similar to the heads of the cherubim represented in our sacred 
prints and pictures. 

The descent from this place to the village of Ehuteoura is moderate 
though rocky. This village was deserted at our approach, probably from 
a fear of our Ghoorkhas. From hence by a very precipitous descent we 
reached the Cotha Nullah, wliich is a fine copious stream, formed by 
the numerous small rills that arise in the Poonnur valley, whciioo it 
flows. 

This valley forms a pvirgunnah, which is occu])ied by a singularly bold 
and savage set of people, very distinct in their character and conduct from 
the other inhabitants of Joobul. Although forming a part o( that state. 
they neither acknowledge the superiority of its cliief, nor pay their regular 

X 



154 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

assessment A\ithout force, which has frequently been found insufficient to 
compel them. 

After Sirmore and Joobul were subdued, it cost the Ghoorkhas much 
trouble and several years, before this place was reduced to a temporary 
subjection : and at length an overpowering force of near 6000 men was 
sent against them, Anth whom they fought a bloody battle at a place called 
jNIatteele, when at last they were broken and tUspersed, and the conquerors 
punished their obstinacy severely, by destroying most of their villages and 
strong holds. They, however, afterwards revenged themselves, though in 
a treacherous way. 

Immediately on hearing of the invasion by the British, without waiting 
to observe on which side success might attend, or considering the certain 
destruction that awaited them if their enemies prevailed, and armed chiefly 
with axes, bows, and arrows tipt with bone, they rose upon the parties of 
Ghoorkha soldiery, whom they had treacherously invited into the district 
on the plea of giving their tribute, and massacred every one of them. 
Tliis act, more than any other, displays the character of the people ; wild 
and vmtameable, savage and treacherous, but brave and impatient, and 
strongly imbued with a love of liberty. 

Ujion the advance of the first party of irregulars into Joobul these men 
instantly assembled, and invested the fort of Choupal so closely, that one 
of their number was killed by a shot from the garrison : and there is httle 
doubt that the fear of being abandoned to the lawless rage of such savages, 
was a principal inducement with the commandant to capitulate. 

Such a conduct forms a strong contrast to that of Dangee and his 
dependents, and indeed to that of almost all the inhabitants of the liills. 
If this savage disposition was only evinced towards, and exercised upon, 
their enemies, it were perhaps less revolting ; but they are also terrible 
marauders, committing great atrocities in the neighbourhood, and robbing 
in every direction when they have a hope of success. 

It is a singular and curious circumstance that a race or clan, so dif- 
ferent from the poor and subdued creatures with which it is surrounded, 
should exist thus insulated, a solitary instance of s})irit and of independ- 
ence, the supposed pecuhar endowments of highlanders, although degraded 
by such treachery and cruelty, in a country of mountains, which might 
well be supposed to give birth to hardihood and enterprise. 



THE HLMALA MOUNTAINS. 155 

Although their district is wild and rugged, it does not appear more 
inaccessible than otiiers. There are many villages to be seen of great 
extent, and much corn-land. They are said to he able to muster about 
1000 fighting men : of this number 300 are armed with matchlocks, and 
tliey are very bold and expert in a teasing and harassing kind of ]>ush- 
fighting, by which, unharmed themselves, they rapidly destroy any invatUng 
force. 

They have, I believe, no regular form of government. The oldest 
seanas, or chiefs of villages, give their counsel, and direct the conduct and 
entei'prises of the rest, who are willing enough to obey directions ^\hich 
lead to plunder; and the state of hostility, or at least of segregation, in 
which they continue from the rest of the country, forms a strong bond of 
union among themselves. 

The evening before we passed, one of the Poonnur zemindars came to 
the village of Bhuteoura to learn if it were true that an Enghsh army had 
reached Choupal, led by Europeans, and if possible to ascertain their 
views. Upon being informed that such was the case, and being told of the 
force (pi'obably exaggerated), and that it was supposed to be going on to 
Bischur, and had no apparent intention of molesting any one, he observed, 
" That the English were a great nation ; that for their part they lived 
contented on Avhat they had, and did not want money, therefore they 
would not molest them on their march." 

The Cotee Nidlah is bare of all wood, surrounded by brown liills, and 
has no beauty : it abounds in fish, and our Ghoorkhas, while we rested on 
its banks, gave us a specimen of their dexterity in catching them. Every 
man of those who were in immediate attendance, jemmadars, havildars, 
and sepoys, stript in a moment at the word of the old soubahdar, and 
plunged into the stream with great glee, and surrounding large stones, 
with their hands only, in twenty minutes drew out a ((uantity offish. 

The good humour and alertness of these people at any thing to a\ hich 
they are put is remarkable, and makes every service they render \ery 
pleasant, and every communication you have with them comfortable, 
beyond what I have observed in any other people. 

The fish thus caught were of the same leather-mouthed and inthfferent 

species which we obtained at Shai. 

X ^ 



156 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

From hence we rounded a point which is formed by the debouche of 
the NAr nuddee into the Cotee, and pursued our course up the bed of the 
former in a north-east direction, the road Minding with the stream, which 
is full and fine. 

We passed a curious temple to Kala, Chitra, Deota, and several small 
villages, crossing and re-crossing the stream, the road leathng along ledges 
of cliiefly abandoned cultivation. After a course of about tlu-ee miles in 
the Nar nulla, we ascended its right bank, and passing through Bigroulee, 
a fine romantic village inhabited by Brahmins, by a rough rocky road, with 
several petty ascents and descents, we reached the village of liumpta, 
where we were to pass the night. 

The scenery or face of the country to-day had little to attract attention 
or merit description. The back of the Choupal, or Gudliala ridge, was 
somewhat wooded with AVeymouth pines towards the top ; but the lower 
parts, and the whole of the intermediate hills, the valley of Cotee and Xar, 
were destitute almost of a tree. 

The latter valley was, at its mouth, broader than common, but by 
no means proportionally cultivated. Some villages were in ruins by the 
ravages of the Foonurrees. The whole valley had a more brown and 
barren look than usual ; its exposure was to the southward. 

It might be curious to inquire what can be the reason of so striking a 
difference between the northern and the southern faces of the liills ; but 
to come to any satisfactory result would require more observation than we 
could apply. Can it proceed from the stronger effect of the sun's rays, or 
does any particular wind prevail in one direction unkindly to vegetation ? 
There is no want of water ; every small fissure or ravine had its rill running 
to join the Nar. 

The hill-face, which wc ascended to Bumpta, was chiefly composed of 
shapeless blocks and slabs of hard micaceous slate, and fragments irregularly 
scattered by the destruction of the cliffs above. This slate was flaky, tinged 
with iron-mould, and covered with leaden-coloured pimples, supposed to 
contain imbedded garnets ; sometimes a mixture of sand giving a hardness 
of texture was seen ; quartz, which is generally found attached to the 
hardest parts, and indications of iron, were common. 

In the bed of the river and on the banks were scattered blocks of a 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 157 

hard gritty stone, which at first was suspected to be granite, but I now 
beheve it to have been a different stone, to which I ciuinot give a name. 
Tlie whole ridge has an a})pearance of gradual decay ; the soil moulder- 
ing away, and waslied by the rains, leaves the cliffs bare, and ultimately 
they decay and fall in ruins down the hill-face. 

Bumpta was formerly a fort, and consideied a place of strength in the 
country ; it had a strong wall and towers, and is situated so as to command 
the vale below, but it again is commanded by the whole hill above. It 
was probably extensive, as the ruins are large, but it was burnt down I 
believe by accident, and there was at tliis time a house building for the 
residence of the Eana of Joobul upon the old foundation. 

That part which was to serve for the temple was nearly complete, and 
in the scvdpture which adorned it we recognised many of the Hindoo 
divinities, particularly Gonesh, with his large belly and elephant snout. 
It appears that, as with the ancients, a temple and household gods are 
necessary appendages to the dwelhng-house of every considerable person : 
to every one we saw was attached a lofty tower dedicated to this purpose. 
In the houses of the vulgar the apartment of the divinity Mas not so 
obvious ; he was probably contented with a niche in the wall. 

The wind last night was piercingly cold, and tliis morning we felt it 
very sharply. We began our march a little before nine, ascenihng the 
valley, still in a north-east direction. The road led at first through a fine 
wood of Weymouth pines, but afterwards along a bare, steep, and rather 
green hill-face, with gray crags above us, towering to a great height on oiu- 
left hand. 

About eleven o'clock we reached the crest of the ridge, which branches 
off from the great mountain Urructa, whence we gained an extensive view 
to the southward and westward. Passing onwartls upon this ridge for a 
short way, we commenced a gradual ascent, winding round the riglit hand 
slope of the northern j)cak of the mountain. 

This noble mountain l^rructa, like Choor, is covered towards the top 
with deep and venerable forests, particularly on the nort'u rn face. That 
which we now entered into was richer and more romantic, if possible? 
than any forest we had yet seen ; not only pines of all sorts were here 
of all ages, from the greenest youth to the most hoary state of decay ; 



158 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

hollies and oaks grown to the most enormous size, ^dth sycamore and yew 
of the most varied forms ; these, with thousands of other trees, miited in 
producing an effect hoth new and splendid. 

Gradually ascending by a good path, but interrupted occasionally by 
blocks of stonc^ we reached a spot M'here a spring, the coldest and the 
most delicious as we then thought that we had ever tasted, gushes from 
tlie mountain side, and falls over a spout which has been carefully placed 
to receive and direct it. 

The natives of the hills are particularly attentive to distinguishing and 
guarding from pollution, and facihtating the use of fine springs of water, by 
erecting over them sheds of stone, whence they are led by a spout, so that 
the thirsty traveller may easily drink without muddying its source ; or, as 
in the present instance, simply place a spout from wliich it may run pure. 

But ^\hen we had feasted on the cold spring we found that the place 
had other attractions which would have fixed us there for a time. A vista 
was opened in the wild and awful forest, through which the whole of the 
hills in their various ridges, to and beyond the Sutlej, appeared, boldly 
swelling till they faded in tlie distance. 

Aroiuid us the fiintastic forms of the old trees, their rich masses of 
foliage contrasting with the gray bare crags, and the blasted pines and 
withered oaks, formed a foreground for a picture worthy the pencil of a 
Salvator. Nor would our attendants, the Ghoorkhas, the hill-men, and 
the Patans, formed into groups reclined around, or loitering on the rocks 
and chffs, have disgraced the composition. 

Some scenes impress themselves on the memory too strongly and too 
strikingly ever to be effaced, and this, I think, was surely one of that 
sort. 

Here we found a birch-tree for the first time, precisely similar to that 
of Scotland in all respects. The bark, leaf, twig, and buds were quite the 
same ; the leaf was somewhat larger, but seemed to possess no fragrance ; 
yet we had been struck at a short distance before we reached this tree with 
a scent exactly like that of the birch after a shower, but could then discover 
no such tree. Hence we were induced to conjecture that there might be 
two varieties, one only of which we had seen, and that the other which was 
fragrant had escaped our notice. .Vs we were informed that the birch- 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 159 

trees were abundant farther on, we did not pluck even a bough, although 
ancient recollections almost tempted us to do so. We found sweetljriar 
in great plenty, and giving a perfume perfectly the same as that from the 
home plant. 

The soil covering the rock was a rich black vegetable mould, and it gave 
a luxuriant carpet of the productions usually met with in such places, viz. 
all sorts of strawberries, columbines, hhes of the valley, buttercups, yellow, 
blue, and white cowslips, a small and very beautiful flower partaking of the 
auricula and cowslip, purple and blue, and a superb sort of lupine of a dark 
blackish purple. A species of larkspur was also found of a lovely blue, a.s 
one of our people somewhat poetically observed, " shining in the forest like 
a bright lamp in the dark night." 

Such was the slope, but steep and interrupted with rocks and fallen 
trees, over which we reached the pass between the two peaks of the 
Urructa mountain, whence, looking to the northward, the whole stupendous 
range of the Himala burst upon our view, now no longer fading into 
distance, but clear and well defined. Bright with snow, and rising far 
above all intervening obstacles, they stretched, bounding our view from far 
beyond tlie Sutlej, till our sight was interrupted, where, in all probability, 
the hills of Gungotri and Buddrinaath arose. 

The day was clear, and only here and there a black cloud rested on the 
highest peaks. The scene was majestic, and if the epithet can justly be 
applied to any thing on earth, truly subhme. 

There is that in the appearance of the Himrda range which every 
person who has seen them will allow to be peculiarly their own. Xo 
other mountains that I have ever seen have any resemblance to their cha- 
racter. Their summits shoot in the most fantastic and spiring peaks to a 
height that astonishes ; and, when seen from an elevated situation, almost 
induces the beUef of an ocular deception. 

The very lofty and shaggy ranges which are thrown from their feet up 
towards that on which we stood, shrunk into petty hills in their ])resence ; 
unless, however, something ai)proaching to them in its nature has been 
seen, it is no easy matter to form or to give an idea of the striking mass of 
objects which they present, seen as Ave now suav them : it will be best 
attempted by the drawings which faintly delineate the scenery. On this 
occasion, however, it was ditticult to obtain a clear uninterrupted sketch. 



160 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

because the foliage in front obtnided on the view, and after searching for 
some time, and trusting to the guide for showing us, as he promised, a 
clear spot, I was forced to content myself with a very confined and inade- 
quate position whence to take the drawing I desired, and when it was too 
late I discovered a much finer and more expanded one. 

Continuing along the crest and northern face of the ridge with a 
westerly direction, we soon began to descend along the brow and ridges of 
a hill covered with fine forests of spruce and silver fir, carpeted with 
luxviriant grass, and at times opening into rich green glades tliickly covered 
with flowers. 

The view which we enjoyed from the edge of the ridge we descended 
was exceedingly diversified and fine. On either hand a deep glen sloped 
gradually down to the river Pabur, very richly cultivated, and studded 
with villages and groves of trees ; the heights beyond were crested by forts, 
and the green slope and dark firs among wliich we wound contrasted well 
with them. 

On the banks of a stream in the valley of Deyrah the rana's house was 
conspicuous ; beyond were the wild craggy roots of the Snowy jNIountains, 
and above them towered their peaks in calm and aA\'ful stillness, lighted 
up b the dechning sun. 

In front, a deep glen, formed by a recess in these mountains, showed 
the course of the river Pabur. A black rough ridge, which approached 
from these on the left, runs between it and the Sutlej. To the left, the 
valley through which the Touse runs appeared at no great distance, and 
beyond its eastern boundary we could trace that formed by the Jumna — a 
wide and interesting range of vision. 

The beauty and variety of the scenes presented to us would have made 
distance short and labour easy, but the descent itself was far from being 
rough or precipitous. As we ajiproached the village of Dhar, where our 
tent was pitched, the path spread out, and had more the appearance of a 
made road than any we had yet seen. 

The village seemed to be populous and of some magnitude. A great 
iuniil)cr of its inhabitants assembled to look at the strangers. It is situate 
on the declivity of a hill, wliich runs down between the two valleys facing 
the north, and looking down on the glen of the Pabur. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 161 

Of the scenery and aspect of the country passed through this day, 
enough has been said. Crossing a lofty mountain, it could not but be 
rocky, wild, and desert ; but the valleys on the northern side suqiass in 
beauty, and perhaps in rich cultivation, and in the number of villages, any 
part of the hill country throiigh which our route has as yet led. 

It excites surprise, that such mountains should bear in their bosoms so 
much fertihty, so many men, and their food. The valley of Dep-ah, in 
wliicli the Rfina resides, is particularly rich and lovely. 

Of the trees and shrubs nearly all has been said that I am able to 
relate. Of new ones, we could this day reckon the sycamore and the 
birch. The former appeared to vis to be perfectly similar to that of 
Europe, except that tlie leaves are less numerous, and the branches longer 
and more slender, giving less massiness to the look of the tree, than I 
think it has in Britain ; but its growth in a deep dark forest, where it has 
little freedom of air or light, may account for tliis. 

There was here, as in most other places in our route, a great variety 
of trees, shrubs, and herbs, quite unknown to us. The size of the trees 
was generally enormous. One measured, I think, twenty-seven or twenty- 
five feet in girth, which spired up quite straight to its top. It was, 
however, in a state of decay ; and we remarked that few large trees were 
quite sound in the heart. The holly, or oak (for to determine of which 
genus some trees were was beyond the power of our eye, without botanic 
science to determine ; so much they seemed to shade into each other), 
towered up straight like the pine tribe, often without many branches, 
spreachng a few leafy boughs at a great height above. 

The soil throughout was deep, rich, vegetable matter, black and very 
plentiful. The rock has experienced little or no change of nature or struc- 
ture ; still consisting of micaceous slate, always laminous, modified into 
many variations of appearance. Sometimes there was a larger admix- 
ture of sand, in other instances, mixtures of sandstone and quartz : but 
there was no stone seen that resembled granite. 

Our march this day did not exceed ten miles and a half, and was, on 
the whole, the least fatiguing we have had, although a\ e reached a very 
great height. 

Below, upon the banks of the river Pabur. but not in vie^v from the 

V 



162 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

place of our encampment, is situated the fortress of Eaeengudh, then occu- 
pied by a garrison of about 1 60 Ghoorkhas, under the command of Run- 
soor T,happa. Letters had been despatched to liim, informing him of the 
state of the campaign, both at jNIalown and Jytock, requiring him to 
dehver up the fortress to the British, and offering him service if he ^v'ished 
it, and other advantageous terms. It was a matter of some interest, if not 
of deep anxiety, to get possession of this fort, — the only strong hold which 
the Ghoorka power held to the northward, since Kirtee Eana's defeat ; 
and one of our principal objects was, if possible, to get possessionof it. 

At the village of Dhar, our messenger returned with an answer to our 
proposals. Runsoor observed, that he believed what we informed him, 
respecting the campaign, was very true ; and that he must surrender one 
time or other, was likewise very apparent ; but that he had provision and 
water for two months in the fort, and could see no good reason for giving 
up the fort before he was forced to do so ; that he had eaten Ghoorkha 
salt, and should prove to them a traitor, if he comphed with our terms, 
with the means in his hands which he actually possessed. He concluded 
by observing, somewhat shrewdly, that, if to them he should thus prove 
faithless, we could place httle dependence on the fidelity of liis services in 
any future employment. 

It was, however, thought proper to make another effort, as it was 
inconvenient to leave this strong place in our rear ; and it was intimated 
to Runsoor, that, if he now surrendered, he should be treated with kind- 
ness, and have protection for his property, as well as that of his garrison ; 
but that, if he shoidd persist in fruitless and unnecessary opposition, the 
whole force of Joobul, with the irregulars that then were before the place, 
and the troops of I^ischur and Cooloo also, all at hand, should be let loose 
against him, and would surely reduce him ; when he would fall into the 
hands of less merciful enemies, who would wreak their vengeance on him 
for the tyranny which he and his employers had exercised over the land. 

It was thought that he would, on consideration, yield to the fear of 
falling into the hands of the barbarous troops, thus standing in array 
against him ; and we believed that he only held out for a while, for the 
point of honour. Xo one but must admire the sentiments of fidelity 
expressed by this man ; and ourselves, although teased by liis conduct, gave 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 163 

him all the respect and consideration it entitled him to. — We prepared to 
reconnoitre the fortress on the next day- 
May 17. — The Rana of Joobul paid us a visit this morning. He 
came attended by a considerable concourse of his subjects. He was 
a thin and sickly looking young man, about twenty-five years of age ; 
his complexion pale and yeUow, his features meagre and prominent, his 
eyes large, protuberant, and bloodshot, the lids tinged with antimony. 
His dress was Hindoo, plain white, with cross-striped silk trowsers. The 
fashion of his turban somewhat resembled that of the Sikhs. He wore a 
cotton cloth, of no very considerable fineness, thrown round his shoulders 
and head. His presence had nothing in the least degree commanding, and 
his whole appearance put me much in mind of a poor Calcutta shop-keeper, 
or Sircar. His attendants were as little imposing as himself; those who were 
best dressed had only to boast of a complete hill-suit of clothes (blanket), 
with perhaps a cotton sheet around their shoulders. It was not, however, 
to be expected, that the lord of a petty state, who had for several years 
languished in obscure poverty, and was now hardly restored to liis rights, 
could make a very splendid figure. 

The visit did not last long. The Rana presented as a nuzzer, a hill 
ram goat, and two mountain pheasants, called by the natives rutnals, and two 
small bags of musk. The birds were beautiful, but died almost immediately 
from the heat of the sun. In return, he was presented on the part of 
government (in whose name the presents were received) with shawls, Sec. 
Little conversation passed between us. The chief appeared confused 
and frightened, and evinced no signs of ability. He practised the usual 
custom of suffering an attendant to speak for liim, to whom he addressed 
any question or answer he wished to convey. 

Little change was remarked in the natives, from the time Ave entered 
Joobul. Those who are elevated above the mere populace have perhaps 
a more frank and active air, and approach somewhat nearer to our ideas of 
a Highlander. They are connnonly small and spare, but active ; their 
features hard and high ; their look is rather (juick, but the character of 
their countenance has not undergone any material diange. Their com- 
plexion still continues of the same yellowish broAv n ; those parts which are 
much exposed being natiu'ally darker than the rest. 



164 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

We saw little of their women, but those who did appear were short 
and stout, shaggy looking creatures, in ragged garments, with good- 
humoured liglit-complexioned faces. 

Soon after the Eana took leave, we struck our tents, and set out for 
Eaeengudh. We descended by a steep stony path into the nullah on our 
right liand ; and, crossing it, kept along its right bank on a good road, 
which chiefly led along ledges of cultivation, and a path made with stones 
projecting from the banks. We passed through some neat villages ; and, 
in one of them, saw a furnace for smelting iron ore, but which was not 
at work. 

Here we were met by Dangee, wuzzeer of Joobul, with a large miUtary 
attendance, and much more state than waited on his master ; in truth, he 
is a far better looking subject for a chief, than the miserable creature who 
claims that distinction. He was a fine looking, large, and stout man, 
dressed pretty much in the Hindoostannee fashion, and wore a Sikh 
turban ; he had come from his camp before Eaeengudh, where he re- 
mained blockading that place. 

Another steep descent brought us to the bed of the river Pabur, and 
in sight of the fortress. It is built upon a small insulated rock, which 
rises upon the north side of the river, to the height of from 3 to 400 feet 
above the bed. A plain wall of dry stone, as it appeared, encircles the 
whole of the top of the rock, following its figure, which takes that of an 
h'regular oblong. The inclosure contains several buildings, which are as 
usual attached to the wall, leaving a space apparently unoccupied in the 
centre. It is inaccessible in most parts ; but where it was possible even 
to stand, the Ghoorkhas had surrounded it with a stockade. 

From a similarly insulated, but larger hill, on our own side of the 
river, which we ascended, and which we calculated to be about 600 yards 
distant from the fort, we could discern piles of fuel of great size, and corn 
in stacks of sheaves heaped within it. The garrison all mounted the tops 
of the houses to see us. There were a few hours of truce, while we waited 
an answer to the letter written from Dhrir, so that no molestation was 
offered ; but, indeed, Uttle could have been given, and nothing from the 
hill we were upon, without artillery. I could have wished to see the 
effect of a six-pounder on the wall ; musquetry, however, commanded the 



THE HIMaLA mountains. ' 165 

work to a certain degree from two points ; one was not, I tliink, more than 
250 yards distant, but was scarcely elevated above it ; from the hill, how- 
ever, to the north-west, at a point aljout 300 to 350 yards distant, mus- 
quetry could plunge into the place ; l)ut the marksmen were so indifferent 
that I do not think there was much mischief done from that distance. 
Here, and on a ledge a little higher up, a party of the troops of JJischur 
and Cooloo were posted ; and, from a breastwork which they had erected, 
they kept up an occasional fire on the garrison. 

There was a spring, under this hill, about a gunshot, or 150 yards from 
the fort, whence the Ghoorkhas supplied themselves with water, ^visliing 
not to exhaust what they had in tanks within doors; and as they came dovm 
for tliis purpose, the Bischurees fired upon them : yet as the spring was 
commanded by the musquetry of the fort, they did not choose to expose 
their persons by taking post there ; or by erecting any work which would 
cut off this supply from the enemy. 

On the south side of the river, in a hollow opposite to the fort, Dangee 
and his Joobulians, with the irregulars that had been sent to liis support 
(but many of whom had deserted), lay encamped. 

Close to this place, and under the small hill which we had ascended, 
there was an inclosure, and a temple of great sanctity, named Hat-Gobe- 
seree ; the name of the image or deity being Gobeseree, and the place being 
known by that of Hat. Under a large spreading walnut tree in this 
inclosure, we had our tent placed, not interfering with any spot that 
could be polluted by this measure. This inclosure might be from twenty 
to thirty yards square, paved witli slate, and siu-roxuidod by a dry wall : it 
contains two temples of unequal size, besides a number of small shrines 
or pagodas from eight to ten feet high. The temples are curious, but 
somewhat mean, built of dry stone, painted in some parts red and brown. 
They have the Chinese large overhanging roof slated, and, elevated above 
them, a large round canopy of wood ; the cornices are ornamented with a 
fringe of wooden bobbins ; wooden bells are hiuig at each corner, and 
there is a good deal of carved work about them. 

The larger, or more sacred temple, may stand on a square of twenty 
feet, and has a paved and raised court before it ; within, there is an idol, 
tolerably richly dressed ; we were informed that he has golden lH{iii,>-h's on 



166 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

his arms, and much of that precious metal, as well as silver, about his 
person. He certainly glittered very much ; but the place, as is customary 
in all Hindoo sanctuaries, was very dark ; and we were only permitted 
to go as far as the door, whence we could not even tell what his figure was. 

That riches should remain unrifled in a conquered country, and by 
such conquerors, is singular : and it proves the estimated sanctity of the 
place. The Ghoorkhas did not dare to rob the sanctuary. 

The smaller temple has, I beheve, less pretension to hohness ; and we 
saw no one approach it while we remained there, although crowds paid 
their adoration at the larger. On the smaller, however, there is more 
carved work, but I know not whether it contains an image. The smaller 
shrines are, like the larger, built of dry stones, cut and shaped so as to 
compose the whole, which resembles the Hindoo pagodas in taste ; some 
of them are neatly carved. 

The whole side of the river, in the vicinity of this place, is studded 
with smaller or larger temples of the same sort. I made a sketch of 
the two large temples, and one of the small ones. The river Pabur, at 
present considerably greater than the Ghree, a large, clear, and rapid 
stream, flows by this place ; and the heat rendered bathing in its waters, 
this evening, a pleasant refreshment. 

JNIay 18. — This day, the two commanders of the Bisclnir troops, 
T'hiken Das, and Euddree Das, accompanied by Dangee, and some of the 
other men of rank, paid us a visit. These two men are wuzzeers of 
Bischiu', and in fact the chief men of the state, for the rajah is a child. 
They headed the troops that were sent against Kirtee Eana, and were 
now attempting to finish their work by reducing Raecngudh. These 
men presented us with parcels of the methcinal root zedoary, called 
here nirbisee. 

Soon after, a formal refusal to surrender was received from JRunsoor 
T,happa, and what were called active operations recommenced ; and the 
fort was ordered to be invested. We had no cannon of any sort, nor any 
even of the long native guns, called Jhijaels ; so that nothing effectual could 
be even attempted. There was little chance of success from an assault, 
had we even had troops who would have made the attempt ; for we had 
no ladders, nor any means of forcing an entrance ; but, indeed, had there 



THE HIMaLa mountains. 1C7 

been every thing that was necessary, the thing was not worth the sacrifice 
of lives it might have cost. We therefore determined to leave those troops 
whom we found there, to invest the fort, and proceed ourselves on our 
route to Bischur. A party of T'hiken Das's troops no^\' crossed the 
river, and stealing along the ground on all fours, occupied a ridge some- 
what covered from the fire of the fort, whence they partially commanded 
the road to the spring of water used by the garrison, and a sort of bush 
fighting commenced, which, from the distance and caution employed on 
both sides, proved very innocent. 

While conversing with T'hiken Das upon the means for reducing the 
garrison, he told us, that he expected a man from his own country, who 
would construct a macliine, by the help of which, the fort would soon be 
compelled to svirrender. On his describing this macliine, we were not a 
little surprised to find, that it was almost exactly similar to the catapultii 
of the Romans for projecting large stones. He plainly stated it to be 
framed of strong ropes, and large beams of wood ; one of wliich, a large 
tree, was to be pulled back by the force of from one to two hundred men, 
and a heavy stone of from seventy to two hundred pounds, to be thrown 
by its reaction to a great distance, wliich, faUing on a house or fort, would 
destroy it and the garrison. He said, that it had been used in that 
country more than once, with success ; and that when one or two stones 
of a certain weight had been thrown, they could easily judge of the 
weight that would carry to tlie distance required ; and would roach their 
object with certainty every time they discharged stones at it. A^'e had no 
better authority for believing that this machine ever had been in use 
here, excepting the assurance of other natives of the same country in con- 
firmation of his report. 

It is surely very extraordinary, to find in so remote and savage a coiui- 
try, among a people who could scarcely have had intercourse of such a 
nature with enhghtened nations, as to learn theu* arts of war, tlie know- 
ledge of so very complicated an apparatus, so closely resembling one of 
those machines used by nations the most expert in those arts before the 
invention of modern artillery. 

Now that the primary object of the expedition was attained, or antici- 
pated by the enemy's evacuation of the country, and a fuU and active de- 



168 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

claration by its inhabitants in our favour, it was deemed advisable to obtain 
as extensive an acquaintance as a cursoi-y view could give, and as our time 
would allow, both of the country and of its inhabitants, further towards the 
interior ; and generally throughout those regions now fallen, or hkely to 
fall into the British power. With tliis view, we resolved on proceeding 
to\\ ards the west, and on passing through a portion of the collection of 
petty states, known by the appellation of Baruh Thakooraee, by which 
means a quick communication might be kept up with General Ochterlony : 
and thus, governed by such intelhgence as might reach us from his camp, 
we might direct our march towards Bischur, or otherwise, as might be 
expedient. 

We struck our tent somewhat late in the evening, and following up the 
course of the river Pabur, in a fine and somewhat broad bed, with good 
cultivation on its banks, we reached a stream which runs through the 
valley of Nawre Purgunnah. Here we began to ascend, and passing 
through several villages, we halted at Karashee about eight o'clock, after 
a march of about six miles. 

The latter part of our walk was in darkness, and very disagreeable ; for 
the road was stony and precipitous, and we fared sufficiently ill, as our 
servants did not come up till late. 

Of the country, I can say nothing ; in fact there is nothing to be said : 
it was the ridge of a hill, bare enough, dividing two valleys that carry their 
waters to the Pabur. The bed of the Pabur is rich, and well cultivated 
with rice, from being lower than most of the circumjacent country. The 
heat is considerable in the valley, and the vegetation forward ; it has more 
l>readth, and approaches more to the flat land commonly found around the 
beds of rivers, than any thing we have seen here. 

We were much annoyed during the time we remained in the valley, by 
a species of fly, the bite of wliich created intolerable itching, and frequently 
drew much blood, often producing a sore ; many of the people had their 
legs so swelled by these insects, that they walked with pain. The fly 
was small, with a yellow spotted head and shoulders, and grey speckled 
legs. 

l^pon the banks of the Nawur nullah, we first took notice of the alder- 
tree, exactly similar to that which grows so commonly on the sides of 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. IGO 

rivulets in Scotland : it was easily recognised by the smell and taste of the 
leaf, and the red stain it gives to the mouth when chewed ; but the trees 
were larger and handsomer than those usually observed at home. 

Anxious to obtain an uninterrupted view of the snowy mountains, at a 
time when they should be free from the clouds and the vapours of noon, 
I ascended the ridge that rose behind Karashee, and from its crest enjoyed 
a glorious sight. The sun was just rising, in a cloudless sky, vividly light- 
ing up the glittering snowy peaks that bounded the distance, and spread 
their rough inferior ranges down to the highest on which I now stood. 
The whole glen of Pabur lay before me, dividing the mountains by a deep 
and tolerably broad, well cultivated valley, through which the river flows, 
meandering in many bright curves ; every variety of brown hills and 
rocks, villages, cultivation, and wood, gave their attractions to the land- 
scape, heightened by the dewy freshness of the morning. A sketch, which 
I took here, will convey a very faint idea of what I saw ; but the un- 
certain light of the rising sun, though it beautified the scene, increased 
the difficulty of portraying it, and was somewhat unfavoiu-able to the 
drawing. 

Along this ridge called Deohra D,har, we marched about ten o'clock ; 
the ascent to it is very steep. Previously to our setting olF, an old man, 
who was lord of some few villages in the neighbourhood, was introduced, 
and gave symptoms of observation and workings of natural curiosity, far 
stronger than we have as yet noted among these people. 

Seeing the theodolite placed, and pointed to different places around, 
he eyed it wishfully and curiously for some time. He had received the 
usual present, but as he still seemed to wish for something, he was asked 
what could be done for him ; after much hesitation, he whispered to one 
of his attendants his wish to look through that glass (pointing to it), whith 
he deemed to have some powerful (piahty, as he saw it always consultctl 
on our learning the name of a village or a hill. He was readilv indulged, 
and the glass pointed to a village, but I imagine that he was not fully 
satisfied, as he could not well understand what he saw : he. howe\er. re- 
cognised a tower which was familiar to him, and then he departed, better 
pleased and more thankful than for the })resent he received. 

Anxious to see the country and obtain information, we kept the ridge, 

z 



170 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT, &:c. 

although an easier road lay below. On either side of us was a valley : that 
of Nawur, on the left, was particularly rich and well cultivated. This 
j)urgunnah has been lately added to the territory of Bischur by little 
better than usurpation, for it cliiefly belonged to a small state called Saree, 
the family of which is now nearly extinct. 



PART IV. 



JOUKNEY WITH THE POLITICAL AGENT FOR THE 
ARMY OF GENERAL MARTINDALE. 



z2 



CHAPTER XIII. 

The valley of ISTawur is divided from Joobul by the crest of the ridge, 
the southern exposure of which forms the northern flice of the valley of 
Deyrah. 

Thus Bischur is here divided from Joobul by that ridge. On our right 
hand, to the north and north-east, the snowy mountains bounded the 
view the whole way, but many rich valleys and hill-faces intervene in the 
country yet lying between them and Deohra ridge. 

A httle more than four miles along this ridge, which is bare and bro^Mi 
throughout, brought us to a descent exceedingly precipitous, and rather 
rocky, at about half way down which we observed in a small village a 
smelting furnace at work : the apparatus and construction of this is very 
simple, consisting of a chimney built of clay, about four feet and a half high, 
by fifteen to eighteen inches chameter, placed upon a stage of stone work 
over a fire-place. In an opening below the stage there is a hole, tlirough 
which the metal, when melted, floAvs ; and this is stopped by clay or earth, 
easily removed by an iron poker. The ore, which is black, but ghttcring 
with metalUc lustre like black ore of antimony, was mixed with charcoal 
pounded, and the chimney filled with the mixture ; and as it falls and con- 
sohdates, more is added from above. The fire, once lighted, is kept fierce 
by means of two pair of bellows, each made of a goat's skin, fixed in some 
way to the stone stage, and filled through apertures closed with valves as 
ours are. A woman or boy sits between two of these skins, and raises 
and compresses them alternately with the hand. Four such skins are thus 
applied to each chimney. 

The iron produced by this rude apparatus is said to be very fine, and. 
in common with all that these hills yield, is in great request, being sent 



174 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

for sale by the petty merchants that purchase it to Lahore, the Punjab, 
and other parts of the plains, as well as to Bootan beyond the s^o^^'y range. 
The ore that is used is found in the neighbouring hills, and, as we were 
informed, issues from their sides along with certain springs of water in the 
state we saw it, of pretty fine glittering particles mixed with dirt, from 
M'hich it is cleansed by washing. It has the appearance of being rich, but 
I could not learn what proportion of metal is obtained from it. 

Our journey this day led us, as has been said, over a bare diy ridge. 
Our descent continued along a path entirely on ledges of cidtivation. 

^\"e passed through several villages surrounded with large groves of 
apricot trees, and bearing a happy appearance of undisturbed ease. In 
one of them the women ran out with the wildest air of savage curiosity to 
gaze upon us : they were extremely hideous. We gave them some trifles ; 
and to one more aged and ugly than the rest, who saluted us with the 
name of God Almighty, we gave a rupee, which dehghted her much, although 
she did not seem to be quite aware of its use. 

A httle further on we dipped into, and crossed a fine stream, one of 
the branches of the Xawur Nvillah, and reached our camp, somewhat raised 
above it, after a short march of little more than eight miles. In this 
march, the valleys on each side of the ridge were very richly covered with 
crops and villages, and great part of the hill-sides, below what may be called 
their crests, jiresented easier slopes to the husbandman ; and we saw 
several faces and gently swelling braes cvdtivated without many breaks 
and with few ledges. Wheat, barley, and some poppy, with a little rice 
in tlie lower parts, form the mass of the crops. Eills of water are less 
numerous, and the soil apparently less requires them, consequently less 
attention is paid to levelling the fields. The soil is more sandy than 
heretofore, and full of glittering particles from the decomposition of the 
rock, which, however, differs not materially from what we had seen ; con- 
sisting principally of micaceous schist, with a great proportion of mica and 
sand, and much of it of a red and reddish yellow tinge, and very destruc- 
tible, mouldering on exposure into a soil, which mixed with vegetable 
mould, here very plentiful, becomes extremely fertile. 

The manners, or appearance of the inhabitants, differ little from those 
of Joobul : there was, perhaps, an air of greater wildness in their behaviour ; 



THE HIMaLA mountains. 175 

and though the beings whom we saw at the smehing furnaces, and the 
women at the village of Ciarote, were very little removed from a perfectly 
savage state, yet their expressions were not without a shade of polish, nor 
was their conduct rude or forward, although marked by gaping curiosity 
and wonder. 

The complexion of the women was a shade hghter than that of the 
men ; I know not why, for their exposure to the sun is equal. 

It is to be remarked as curious, that although the country is so well 
adapted for sheep, and must possess them somewhere, because the clothes 
of the inhabitants are entirely fabricated from their wool, yet we never saw 
a flock of sheep of any considerable number in any one place : they were 
to be procured, and we fed principally on them, but they were dear and 
scarce. When one of tolerable flitness and of a due age was obtained, the 
mutton was very good ; but weariness and hunger, the constant attendants 
on daily toilsome marches, would have made worse food palatable. 

The breed of cattle continued as before, fine fat beasts, of a size con- 
siderably larger than those of the plains. 'I'heir milk is rich and good, but 
I believe that they do not give it in much greater abundance than is usual 
in Hindostan. 

We i^assed two forts tliis day : one. Coatee, in tolerable repair, on a 
height above the nullah ; the other, Teekree, is in ruins, but in a good 
situation, not being commanded except from the heights, whence nothing 
but long battering guns could do mischief 

Upon the height above the valley to the south we saw the stockade, 
where Kirtee Eana was at last forced to a surrender, situated upon a lofty 
ridge, connecting the Urructa mountain with the A\'hartoo range. 

May 20. — Our camp was placed in a hollo\v about 400 yards from a 
village, Batreesh. We left it at ten o'clock, and ascended in a south-west 
direction the Nawur valley along the banks of the ]\lushapaj Xullah, one 
of the principal branches that form the Nawur : the slope was gentle, and 
the broad hill-face coiltained by this nullah, and by another that united 
with it at our encampment, gradually rose, covered with cultivation and 
villages. 

Apricot and other fruit trees abounded ; and we found that they ex- 
tracted an oil from the stones of the peach and apricot trees, that was 
commonly used by them for cuhnary and other domestic purposes. The 



176 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

Stones are bruised with their shells in a rude mill, consisting simply of a 
block of wood fixed in the ground, and hollowed deeply hke a mortar. A 
wooden stick, loosely filhng the mortar, is turned round in it by a long 
l)cain into wlaich it is fixed, and wliich is attached to one or two bullocks ; 
and the stones appear to be ground by the uncertain and irregular 
attrition of this pestle in the mortar. 

We were led to the inquiry by the very fragrant scent which issued 
from one of these rude machines, and found that this oil was one of the 
chief products of the apricot tree, and large quantities are made, so that it 
sells at the rate of ten, twelve, and even fourteen seers for a rupee. Some 
that we procured for examination had a delicious smell, and seemed pure 
and good. There can be httle doubt that tliis oil might be apphed to 
purposes for which more expensive articles are now in use. It certainly 
possesses the fragrance of oil of almonds, and it might be worth the trial 
whether its medical quahties are not similar. 

At a village furthei- on, I obtained a sketch of one of the women, the 
wife of a Seana, who, on being requested to stand still for a few minutes, 
very good humouredly acquiesced. I presented her with a rupee when 
I had taken the sketch, much to her further satisfaction. She was, how- 
ever, an old woman, and consequently her picture was only interesting as 
it illustrated the costume. 

Here, too, we saw a dog of a large and fierce species, liiglily valued 
through these countries, which is produced in the northern parts of 
Bischur. They tell wonderful tales of their strength and activity ; and it 
is commonly said that, of the fiercest sorts, two will kill a tiger. As no 
true tigers are found in the hills, it is not probable that the trial has been 
made ; and that, if there be any foundation for the tale, it relates to the 
leopard, which occasionally is seen. But I doubt, from those dogs we have 
seen, whether two of them would even succeed in killing a leopard of any 
tolerable size. The one in question was not bigger than a large pointer, 
rough haired, and very fierce. 

The ascent contiiuied for four miles and a half to the pass or gorge of 
Kut'hagur, in the range that strikes off from Koagurh, and joins with 
Chumbee Kedhar, forming Xawur and some other valleys, and continuing 
from Toombroo to Urrukta. From a peak, on one side of this gorge, the 
whole Noagurh and Whartoo range was visible. On this range, at the 



THE him.il:! mountains. 177 

post of Nowagurh, Kirtee Runa took up his position, when he found 
it was necessary to concentrate liis troops. A chain of fortified redoubts 
and stockades croAvns the various heights of the range, which, if occupied 
by an adequate force, would keep a communication open with Irkee, and 
the positions of Ummr Sing. 

The fort of Noagurh is situated upon a neck of land, stretching from 
under a high wooded and rocky peak which commands it ; but the difficulty 
of ascending it, and the timidity of the people, or their superstition, kept 
away the hill sokhers, and saved the fort from being annoyed. It is con- 
sidered as the residence of a deota, or spirit, whose haunts perhaps they 
would not willingly profane for ])urposes of war and slaughter. The 
neck on which the fort is placed continues onwards to the westward for 
some distance ; and two other stockades were erected as positions in ad- 
vance, and are in fact stronger than the post whence the whole is named. 
And these were the chief quarters of the Ghoorkha force. 

^Vhile the snow lay on the ground, and that which they had collected, 
and kept in masses in the fort and on the hill, to serve for water, remained 
undissolved, and while their corn lasted, they maintained themselves well 
enough, and were but little harassed by any enemy. But when these 
resources began to fail, they were obliged to go in parties to forage ; and 
were not only not supplied by the zemindars, but beset, and several of 
their number killed by their arrows, ^^'ater was only to be had below the 
hill at a considerable distance ; and parties always lay in wait to assail 
those who w-ent for this necessary, while it was not possible to sccui'c it by 
a post, as it was on every side commanded. 

At length, as the Ghoorkhas in all (juarters became more straitened, 
the country began to take covu-age, and the people to gather on all sides. 
Bischur sent its soldiers. The Baruh T'hakooraee contributed, and 
the rajah of Cooloo sent troops from across the Sutlej ; and the whole, 
forming a large force, besieged Noagurh, annoying and cutting off" the 
unfortunate Ghoorkhas in detail. 

Kirtee Rana saw that his situation was desperate : his provisions were 
exhausted, his force was melting away, and those of his troops who ^ve^e 
men of Gurwhal, Kumaoon, and Sirmore, began to desert in niunbers. 
He determined to retreat, but was informed by those of the country, 

A A 



178 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

whom he yet deemed his friends, that all the passes to the west, towards 
Malown, were occupied by the enemy ; and it was proposed that he should 
endeavour first to reach Eaeengudh, and from thence, if practicable, either 
join Kunjore Sing at Jytock, or push on to Sireenuggur. But his councils 
were betrayed, and his guides \ycYC faithless ; even of liis own soldiers 
there were many who, to save themselves, had made a tacit league with 
the enemy. He began his march in the morning ; but from the many 
embarrassments of a retreat, and the numberless impediments by their 
numerous famihes of women, and children, and baggage, they had scarcely 
cleared Noagurh before noon ; and then, instead of being conducted by a 
route clear of the enemy, as their guides had promised, they found the 
whole heights and precipices swarming with them, and shot poiuing in 
from all directions. 

Thus harassed, they made slow progress, and lost many men. Their 
route led by the pass where we now were, and it was evening before they 
reached an eminence a few miles from hence, above the valley of Xawur, 
called Chumbee-Ke-Teeba, where they halted for the night, and were 
surrounded at once by the whole army of the liills. All the water was 
taken possession of, and the poor wi'etches passed the night in hunger 
and thirst ; continually assaulted by swarms of savages, an.d busily employed 
in erecting a sort of breast- work, with the materials that were at hand, of 
bushes, earth, and stones, for repelling them in the morning. 

The morning came, but afforded them no relief. Every bush and 
precipice was thick with highlanders, who kept up a constant fire on the 
breast-work, and continually pressed on, on all sides, to attack it, but were 
as often driven back with loss ; but at length fatigue, and thirst, and 
hunger, were too much to be borne. The sufferings of their women and 
children were very severe ; and where confidence did not exist universally, 
nothing was to be hoped for from pushing on and fighting. A surrender 
was resolved on to save lives, if possible. They were assured that no 
violence should be offered to them ; but that they should be immediately 
carried to the presence of the British commander, by whose authority 
their conquerors acted. 

Thus, on the evening of the day after they reached Chumbee-Ke- 
Teeba, faint and wearied, they surrendered on capitulation, with the 



THE HIM ALA MOUNTAINS. 179 

wuzzeers of Eischur, stipulating for protection to person and property, 
and immediate conduct to the Eritisli camp. A small party, not choosing 
to be thus captured, separated ; and with some loss cut their way to 
Raeengudh, and joined Runsoor Thappa. 

The moment that Kirtee's troops had laid down their arms, the work 
of plunder began, and every one was stript of all that he had. Swords, 
cookrees, shields, clothes, and property, all were approi)riated by the hill- 
men, leaving their unfortunate enemies naked and miserable. They ^vere 
not taken to General Ochterlony, nor to General jNIartindale's camp ; 
but intimation was given to the former of what had happened, and orders 
were then peremptorily given to conduct them, with what they might 
possess, to camp. 

The number assembled in this operation against Kirtee Eana has been 
stated as high as 12 to 14,000; but there is reason to beheve that this is 
an exaggeration : yet, divesting it of all improbabilities, there will remain 
a very overpowering force to have contended with that chief. These were 
armed, however, in a very unequal and inefficient manner. The cliief part 
had only axes, boAvs, and arrows, wdth a few tulwars, or swords ; perhaps, 
from 3 to 4000 might have had matchlocks. To what amoiuit desertion 
prevailed among the troops of Kirtee Eana, I know not. It j)robal)ly was 
not very extensive, as we must otherwise have subsequently found many 
more of the deserters than actually made their appearance. His loss at 
Nowagurh, and during the retreat, and at Chumbee-Ke-Teeba, amoiuited 
to above 250 ; and of fighting men there w^ere taken jirisoners 500 ; and 
those who escaped to Eaeengurh were about 70, forming a total of above 
800 men, which must, previous to his concentrating at Xowagurh, have 
amounted to full 1000, as several small parties were cut off in endeavouring 
to join liim. 

In passing through this gorge, tokens of the recent fight yet remained. 
The half dried body of one of the men who had fallen was yet lying where 
he had dro])t on the path. It led down a very gloomy, wild, but riclil\ 
wooded dell, very deep and precipitous, the bed of a torrent forming a 
path. The rocky piiniacles towered above us tlu-ough every species of 
mountain foliage. 

After a long descent we reached the stream of another nullah, tlic 



180 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

Tliabar, which flows to the Girree ; and, foUowing its course for some 
distance further, we emerged, slanting along a large broad hill xdth a fine 
easy slope, chiefly fit for corn land, and, with the rest of the country in 
view, richly cultivated. ]\Iany villages were scattered through it, and the 
scene was lively and pleasing. Through this cultivation we proceeded by 
a rough but made road, of which the parapet of one of the ledges of a 
field formed one inclosure, and reached our camp by six o'clock, crossing 
another small but deep water-course, on which were three or four corn- 
mills, one below the other in succession. We pitched near the village of 
llr'healoo, but on the opposite side of the water-course ; and looked down 
pleasantly enough on the sweet valley of the Chugount nullah that runs to 
the river Girree. 

The face of the country in this day's march was so similar to much of 
what has been already described, as to require no particular remark. The 
north-west face of the hill we descended is strikingly more rocky and per- 
pendicular above than usual ; and the distinction between the south and 
the south-east exposures, and that to the north and north-west, in regard 
to cultivation, is very remarkable. The country, since we crossed the 
Urructa range, exhibits much more cultivation than farther to the south ; 
and the valley which we reached this day certainly strengthened the ob- 
servation. To the trees already enumerated, we can now add the jioplar, 
which we met with in the dark dell by which we descended ; and a few 
strawbei'ries were discovered, not quite ripe, but possessing the true 
flavour. No difference was discerned in soil or in rock, nor did any ob- 
servation suggest itself on the subject in the course of this day's march of 
seven miles and three quarters. 

The gorge or pass of Kutagurh, and probably the range from Noagurh, 
forms the l)oujidary between Bischur, and the small independent state 
of Kurangooloo, into which we this day entered, I liave no particular in- 
formation respecting this petty lordship, and it is too insignificant to 
afford much interest. 

One of the villagers brought to us this day a lump of snow as a present. 
He had carried it from a cleft of the hill which we descended, and it 
would have been grateful to us, had we possessed the means of employing 
it properly. But our water was cool enough ; and what would have been 



THE HIM ALA MOUNTAINS. 181 

a luxury to many who were then burning in the plains, melted by our side 
disregarded. 

Several soldiers of Bischur, from tlie fort of Bajee, at the head of tliis 
glen, came down to see the strangers ; and one of them with his bow, 
quiver, and shield, offered, in his peculiar costume, a tempting oljjcct for a 
sketch, which I accordingly took. 

Every man we now met was armed with bows, arrows, axes, shields, 
and swords. The first appear to be the chief missile weapon. The arrows 
are in general tipt with bone instead of iron ; and they assert that bone is 
preferable, as making a far more dangerous wound than iron, generally 
breaking short off, and thus producing gangrene and death. 

As I conceive that the immediate disabling an enemy is the proper 
object in battle, and not his subsequent fate, I should hesitate in believing 
tliis savage reason to be the true one, for the preference remarked ; and 
surely a broad sharp iron head will do far more instant damage than a slian) 
spike of bone. Iron, however plentiful, costs much labour, both to 
jirocure and to fabricate ; and for one arrow head a man can make of 
iron, he will, in the same time, form many of bone. This facility of con- 
struction is probably the true reason of preference. The shaft of the 
arrow is a reed, and feathers are tied on at the lower end ; but the whole 
performance is rude and coarse. Their bows are equally so, beinc 
formed of split bamboo, which, as there is none of the large sort to be 
found in the hills, must be brought from the plains below, and tlie sujiply. 
therefore, is precarious. It cannot be doubted that wood is to be 
found in these forests fit for bows ; and the yew, that wood so famed in 
British archery, suggests itself at once as a most valuable substitute for a 
foreign production. But it is not used; and it only adds to the iiiiui- 
merable inconsistencies that mark the ways of men, that the rude in- 
habitants of Bischur and Sirmore prefer a more expensive, and jn-obablv 
not a better article of foreign growth and uncertain su2)ply, to the produce 
of their own hills, which every man may have for the cutting and fetching. 

It may be remarked that the bow-string, instead of being formed of 
hemp, or of any of those substances which usually are employed for this 
purpose, is made of a strip of bamboo, to each end of which a loo}) of twine 
is tied, and which slips into a notch when the bow is bent. Tliis does not 



182 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

proceed from any want of strong and sufficient hemp, for various sorts are 
used by them, of strength enough for any purpose. 

jNIay 2L — The night was cold, the Annd high, and there was much 
thunder and hghtning; but the rain fell towards the plain, and none 
near us. The morning was particularly hazy and didl ; and at nine o'clock 
we left our camp, and proceeded straight up the small nullah near which 
we liad lain, about a mile and a half to the fort of Bajee, situate on the 
ridge continuous from Xoagurh. This was one of the Ghoorkha posts, 
and now was occupied by Eischur soldiers. It is a wTetched place, and 
could only have been useful to awe the villagers in the valley, and compel 
their submission. A poor insufficient wall, formed of loose stones, sur- 
rounds part of the crest of a ridge extremely narrow, and this has been 
rudely stockaded. Within this are a few huts of miserable construction, 
chiefly covered with large sheets of fir-tree bark. There are cisterns, or 
wells, sunk in the rock, and lined %\itli wood, fit to contain water for fifteen 
days for an adequate garrison of about 100 men ; but the place is quite 
commanded by a lofty wooded height behind it, whence musquetry would 
penetrate into it. 

The haziness of the weather prevented our enjoying any extended 
view. Had it been clear, we should have seen the river Sutlej flowing far 
below, at the bottom of the Kurangooloo nullah, which rises on the north- 
west face of the ridge on which Bajee is placed. 

The hill of Neeno-Ke-D"har in Cooloo, across the river, was distinct 
enough at first, but the fog thickened, and we saw it no more. The hazi- 
ness and a threatening of rain, which however did not fall, continued. 
We took our course along: the ridge towards the forts of Kurana and 
"SMiartoo, in a direction nearly west. The road lay through forests of 
l)rown foliage, fir, oak, larch, kc. sometimes opening into glades of con- 
siderable extent, covered ^^•ith flowers, and very verdant. The right hand, 
or northern face, was ^'cry abrupt and rocky ; that to the south, smooth 
and sl()])ing. 

The })ost of Kurana is similar to that of Bajee in construction, occu- 
pying the top part of a hill crest ; but it is larger, and not being commanded, 
is more tcnal)le : it is, however, after all, only a collection of bark sheds, 
aflbrding a wretched shelter to a garrison. There are no tanks, and water 
is distant. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 183 

WTiartoo is the highest peak of the range, after it leaves ]\Iorril-Ke- 
Kanda ; and on this was placed a considerable fort. Since Kirtee Ranrfs 
troops left these parts, it has fallen to ruins ; but even when in repair, it 
has been, hke the rest, a wretched place. Two houses, or rather their 
remains, are yet in existence, which crown the two ends of the crest, and 
were surrounded and connected by a stockade, from each side of which the 
hill either falls perpendicularly, or at an angle wliich would make it riearly 
impracticable to storm it, against a determined defence. 

Eeing the loftiest peak, of course it is not commanded ; but it would 
soon feel the want of water, its elevation increasing its distance from the 
sources below. It is, probably, the highest peak between the Sutlej and 
the Jumna, except the great mountains of Urructa and Choor, and conse- 
quently is untenable in winter from excess of cold. 

It was particularly vexatious, that so thick a mist continued during the 
time we remained at this place, as to prevent any satisfactory view of the 
country, which we should so extensively have commanded had the weather 
been clear. 

Tliis post has been seen from Blackhill, and does itself overlook a tract 
extending nearly, or perhaps, quite to the plains ; while the hills beyond 
the Sutlej, to the Beya and Eauve, can not only be seen, but the valleys of 
these rivers may be distinguished. We traced with ease the whole of 
this range from Noagurh, and its various branches, stretching on one side 
to the Girree, and on the other to the Sutlej, — all studded and crowned 
with forts and stockades. It would seem as if the Ghoorkha cliiefs had 
intended their main stand to have been made here ; and it may perhaps be 
wondered at, that \\hen the possibility of retaining ]Malown was xory 
doubtful, Unniir Sing did not retire to these fastnesses, where he might 
have maintained himself, at all events, much longer than he coukl hope 
to do at a place where our troops were so near their supplies and resources. 
Indeed, it is not easy to comprehend how the British army coukl have 
invested him, or have given him much annoyance in a place so remote in 
the mountains, without roads for the conveyance of cannon, amnuniition. 
or provisions. 

All things are possible to British troops, at least it is a maxim wliicli 
it may be well to support ; and ^vhicll indeed our people lia\ e gone great 



184. NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

lengths to establish; and doubtless, in the end, the enemy would have 
been reduced to extremity, and to surrender. But when it is considered 
how much distress and inconvenience and loss must have been suffered to 
obtain this advantage, uncheered by victory, unenUvened by the splendor 
of gallant deeds, the languishing and wearied troops bearing the greatest 
privations and inclemencies of chmate and weather, wliile also inflicting on 
their enemies the like calamities, it must be matter of satisfaction, that the 
Ghoorkha force did not choose the fastnesses of the Nowagurh range for 
their final stand. 

^Ve lingered on the heights of Whartoo, in hopes that the heavy 
clouds which lowered aroiuid might burst, and clear the air by a fall of 
rain, till three o'clock, when it became necessary to move onwards, as we 
had hitherto only marched five miles and a half: and we then entered on 
the deep descent of the north-western face, which is a rock cut into sharp 
spines by blasts of wind and storm, but covered, wherever there is soil, 
\\ith venerable forest-trees; and, till we actually got upon the narrow wind- 
ing path cut in the stone, no one could believe that footing might be 
obtained on it. At some distance below, we took to a ridge running to 
the westward, so narrow, that it barely gave room for the path, not much 
less steep than that we had left, and covered with jungle thickly, and 
with forests on each side. 

The haze which had deepened from the morning had now condensed 
over our head, and heavy black clouds came rolling from the north-west, 
giving us promise of all the magnificence of a mountain storm ; which at 
length burst \dth peals of thunder, reverberated from chff to chff, gradually 
approaching ; and heavy drops of rain. The cliief part passed over, but 
a very severe shower of hail and rain fell, and we enjoyed a moderate por- 
tion of the grand effect usual on such occasions. 

AVhile thus situated, we received an express from General Ochterlony, 
acquainting us with the final surrender of Ummr Sing Thappa, and the 
signature and the ratification of the convention, by which he evacuated all 
the country from the Sutlej downwards, as far as his command extended ; 
and which, with that agreed on by Eumsah, cleared the whole tract, from 
the Kaleenuddee or Gogra, up to the former river. 

Thus was the cam])aign, which commenced so inauspiciously in this 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. ' 185 

quarter, happily terminated, and they who had for sixty years continued a 
course of conquest and usurpation were shorn of half their honours and 
power. 

We kept the narrow ridge till we reached a gorge, wlience two valleys, 
one on each side, take their course, both beautiful and fertile, and refreshed 
by the late shower, looked more than usually attractive. At this gorge 
there was a stone, sacred to some hill deity, of considerable eminence. 

We held our way down a ridge, which sprung gradually from the gorge, 
and separated two valleys, each of which ran in a northern direction to the 
Sutlej. Great part of our path, as usual, lay through forests, and fre- 
quently sunk a little below the eastern side of the ridge : at one time, 
when we had proceeded thus, shrouded in darkness for some distance, and 
again emerged on the steep and bare face of the hill, our attention and 
admiration were arrested by a prospect of great singularity and grandeur, 
that suddenly burst on our view. The atmosphere was cleared from the 
haze which had loaded it. The storm had chiefly ceased ; its thunders 
were only heard at a distance in the south-east ; but hea\')' masses of 
clouds rested on the hills around, and black volumes were rollina over 
head. 

It was nearly evening, and night itself had almost gone down on the 
dark glen of the Sutlej at our feet. The sun was sinking in the west, at 
the opening of a wild glen, which glowed with the fierce red hght wliicli 
it shed from a break in the clouds, and all tlie dark masses above were 
tinged with fainter shades of the same. The hills of Cooloo opposite, 
tipped with fortresses, showed a rougli bold outline ; their western ex- 
posure was lighted up by the same fiery beam. To the east, the storm 
had passed away, and the sky had opened in the distance : and the snowj- 
mountains rose above the white clouds that lay on their feet, calm and 
chill, and freshly strewed with snow ; their highest summits just lighted 
up by the setting siui, not shining on them as on us, through va})our and 
cloud, but clear and bright to the last. 

Around us was a dark forest, and on either hand a deep valley ; it was a 
scene of so striking a nature, that I can never forget it : the effect of the 
stormy light of the setting sun on the wild and massy svu'rounding objects. 
op])osed to the calm trancpiil light of the snow on the other hand, formed 
an exquisite and extraordinary contrast. 

B B 



186 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

The consideration of our distance from om- resting-place put an 
end to more elevated sensations, and we continued our route ; but, a 
little further on, we were greeted by a most ungrateful sight ; our tents 
appeared pitched on the o])posite side of the valley to our right, at a 
distance that would take us many hours to reach ; we were tired and 
hungry, and this mistake of our servants was no small evil, in a country 
where little accommodation was to be looked for. 

But as there was no means of rectifying the error, we pushed on to 
make the best of it, and trusted to the village at which it was intended to 
encamp, for the means of satisfying our hunger and resting our bodies ; and 
all the vexation we at first felt, and aU our weariness, did not prevent us 
from admiring the beauty of the country we were in, higlily cultivated, 
studded Avith numerous villages, and finely interspersed with groves of 
noble trees ; it contrasted well with the black barren hills on the opposite 
side of the Sutlej, but darkness soon obscured all, and we made good the 
last part of our way down a very stony path, by the forced guidance of a 
surly peasant, taken from one of the huts in our way, who would not stir 
to do us this good office, until a stick was smartly applied to his shoulders. 

The whole march was fourteen miles and a half, and we reached this 
place by eight o'clock at night ; we were met by the Kana, and conducted 
to a house in which to pass the night, but it was a very dirty looking 
wretched ]ilace, and we preferred occupying a tent wliich belonged to the 
Rana, and was pitched close by ; it was commodious enough, and charpoys 
(oblong frames, resting on four feet, fitted with a sort of network of tape 
or twine, which serve as bedsteads and beds to the simple natives of Hin- 
dostan) and blankets were procured to sleep on ; and after a supper on 
flour cakes and milk, we retired to no despicable bed, our weary hmbs not 
requiring down to rest upon. Had we been fastidious, the look of our 
coverings would not perhaps have pleased us ; but a little travelling in 
similar regions reconciles the traveller to greater privations, and to more 
disgusting objects than dirty or suspected blankets. 

The scenery of this day was very splendid and grand : a description 
has been already attempted. There is a regular descent from the Whartoo 
or Noagurh ridge, the whole way to the Sutlej, with no intervening 
hiUs ; although its roots are various and rugged, and rise here and there 
into peaks, dividing the valleys that lead down to that river. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 187 

At first the beholder is led to believe that the hills on either side the 
Sutlej fall more than the surrounding country ; but this is a deception. 
The gradual rise from the bed of the Pabur along the valley of Xawur to the 
Noagurh ridge, and the long descent to Comharsein, take from the apparent 
height, by the extent of country which these include ; but the hills are 
in truth as lofty as any others in the same tract, excepting Choor and 
Urructa. 

The descent from AVliartoo to Comharsein was more than nine miles, 
which indicates a gentler declivity than usual ; but this is diversified by 
many wild features of rock and ridge, that destroy all appearance of more 
easy slope, and assimilate the face of the country to the rest. 

The smoothness of the south-east face of the hills is in this range 
peculiarly remarkable ; and the rough abruptness of the north-west ex- 
posure, and the pointing of the cliffs in that direction, is strikingly evident 
every where, even in the snowy mountains themselves. 

But Uttle change was remarked among the vegetable productions of 
the country. A variety of that tree, which we cannot determine as holly 
or as oak, but something between each, was observed : its leaf was of a 
round oval shape, without prickles, very bright, and of a fine bro^^^lish 
green. It was melancholy to remark the number of noble trees that were 
destroyed merely for their bark : this was pulled off to a height as great 
as a man could contrive to reach, from the finest of the forest, for a cover- 
ing to their wretched huts, and they were left tlius to die : but, in truth, 
tliey can perhaps be put to no better use, and may as well be employed in 
tliis way as any other : though, to every person who knows the value of 
such timber in other coiuitries, and who sees its beauty even here, the 
sight of such ruin cannot but give unpleasant feelings. Xo variation was 
observed in the soil or rock during the march. 

The fort of Kurana, and all of those on this range which were occupied, 
were garrisoned, as well as Eajee, with sokhers of Eischur and of Cooloo. 
who had continued to hold them since the time of the Ghoorkhas' retreat, 
not quite to the satisfaction of the chiefs in whose territory they Me. 

These men in their appearance are like those we saw at Raceiigudh : 
tough, hard featured, square men, although sometimes little; their coun- 
tenances very different from those of the men of Sirmore. but more similar 
to those of the inhabitants of Joobul ; changing the sharp, high, and rather 

B B 2 



188 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

delicate features of the Hindoo, for the rugged, ahiiost haggard, linea- 
ments of the highlander. Here and there sometliing akin to the Tartar 
physiognomy appeared ; but we could not pronounce that to be the pre- 
dominant cast. Their dress was nearly similar to what we had seen since 
entering Joobul ; but the cap was slightly different, having a crimson crown 
to it. The blankets and woollen manufactures too were finer, both in 
material and texture. IVIany of them had matchlocks, not of the best 
description, wliich, with their swords, are chiefly obtained from the Sikhs 
in the plains ; but the most common arms were axes and bows and arrows : 
many of them had cookrees : several had swords and shields, that had 
belonged to the unfortunate followers of Kirtee Rana, the plunder having 
remained with the plunderers. 



THE HIM ALA MOUNTAINS. 189 



CHAPTER XIV. 



CoMHAKSEiN is a petty state or lordship of no great size, chiefly com- 
prised in one or two valleys, which stretch to the banks of the Sutlej, from 
the crest of the \^niartoo range, and bounding with Kurangooloo on the 
east and south : its other boundaries I am not certain of. Before the 
Ghoorkha conquest, it owned allegiance to tlie rajah of Bischur, except 
when the rajah of Cooloo, from across the Sutlej, occasionally took violent 
possession. 

It is governed by a Rana, of whose family I know nothing. During 
the period it was held by the Ghoorkhas, it was assessed at 7500 rupees 
per annum, and could muster 250 fighting men, 100 of whom were armed 
with matchlocks : probably its ability in time of prosperity was more con- 
siderable. The Rana was deposed as usual by the concjuerors, and de- 
tained for some time in prison, on the breaking out of the war with the 
British ; but he made his escape, and fled to the camp of General Och- 
tei'lony, with whom he had remained a month, when he returned to his 
country and lordship : this he found in a very exhausted condition, and 
of coiU'se could make no great figure at this period. He was a man of 
better presence than liis compeer of .Joobvd, stout, rather short, of a dark 
and somewhat savage countenance, with a thick black beard. He had 
more the appearance of a jNlusulman than of a Hindoo. His liabit was 
not of the hiU fashion. He wore a dress of flowered silk, Avith trowsers 
of the same material, a silk cap, and richly embroidered j^hoes ; ami his 
whole figure might pass for that of a man of some rank. 

The town of Comharsein is mean and poor : it does not consist of more 
than a dozen houses, built like the rest of the hill villages, of dry stone and 
wood, in the Chinese fashion. The Rnna's liouse is similarly built, but 
large, and plastered with a kind of white and shining clay ; whicli Ave liave 



190 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

occasionally before remarked, particularly in the interior of their biiikhngs. 
Above, it is wholly surrounded with wooden balconies, closed in with 
neatly carved wooden screens, forming the zenana. One of the ladies 
appeared for a moment at an open window ; but there was nothing re- 
markable in her appearance. Her complexion was yellow, like that of 
a mulatto ; and she had, as the other women have, a handkercliief on her 
head. 

It is strange that Comharsein should be so poor a place ; as, besides 
being the residence of a chief, it commands one of the chief ghats to the 
Sutlej. 

It was inconvenient to move till our camp joined us, which did not 
take place till late in the day ; and then it was not possible to make 
a long march : we therefore determined to go down to the banks of the 
Sutlej, of the stream of which we could just get a ghmpse, at a great 
distance below. 

We found the descent prodigiously steep and long, very nearly three 
miles, the first part somewhat circuitous ; but the last mile was a continued 
flight of irregular steps, rudely constructed from the materials afforded by 
the mountain. These stones are of a very hard quahty, composed of 
quartz mixed with some other flinty material ; and they have been laid 
with considerable art, one step being formed by the small ends of long 
pieces, which are deeply buried in the hill side ; and the next by similar 
long pieces laid crosswise upon the first, so as to prevent the possibihty 
of their moving. The fatigue of such a descent is very great, and was 
increased to the imagination by the view of the endless diminisliing flight 
of steps that stretched below us ; for there is little variation or turning 
in the whole length of this extensive staircase. 

About L50 feet above the river there is a certain quantity of table 
land, which, as far as covdd be seen either way, was distributed unequally 
or at least irregularly, along the banks, at every winding of the stream. 
The soil here appeared to be goool ; and it is all well cultivated, cliiefly 
with rice. The breadth of the stripe in no place exceeded 200 yards: 
on this it is probable that the river once ran smoothly, stopped by some 
impediment formerly, but which has since given way ; and this soil, in aU 
likelihood, is the accumulated washing from the mountains, thus restrained 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 191 

from being hurried away by the comparative gentleness of the stream ; 
which, when once let loose by the destruction of such impediment, quickly 
wore its way through the yielding mass to the rocky bed it now occupies. 
Perhaps the productiveness of tliis table land may have formed one 
reason for the constrviction of the ghat we descended ; which, in point of 
length, steepness, and singularity of construction, is surpassed l)y nothing 
I have heard of, and is as well worth seeing as any thing I have met with 
in India. The river runs with a very rapid stream over ledges of rock 
and irregularities that divide it into pools and rapids ; and the descent 
from the one to the other is considerable, but produces nothing more than 
swiftness of course. The pool which we reached might be rather more 
than forty yards across ; tlio narrower strpam alinve it somewhat less. It 
was with considerable exertion that any of the party could throw a stone 
across ; but there were none among us very skilful at this exercise. The 
colour of the water was of a dirty light green ; and this was probably 
caused by the sand which it carried along with it, and the colovir of that 
over which its course chiefly lay. On taking up a portion of the water, 
it appeared to be quite clear, but pei'vaded by sliining particles of great 
fineness. The stones we noted in the bed of the river were chiefly slaty 
and of quartz, and soft, sandy, and argillaceous ; some curiously veined, 
but none were of any great hardness. The pebbles and stones of a river's 
bed can give no good evidence of the construction of any particular i)art 
of the mountains in which it rises, or througli which it runs: tliey nni>t 
consist of a congeries of every sort of rock by which it passes, fiu-ther 
increased by those which subsidiary streams carry along with them from 
their beds. 

On the banks of the river we found several huts of gold-flndors. a\ ho 
gain a livelihood by washing the sands of the Sutlej for the gold they 
contain. This precious metal is found in considerable quantities on its 
banks ; and, it is said, comes from gold mines of some consequence in 
Bootan, at or near the source of the river, which thus carries the finer 
parts along \nt\\ its stream, depositing them gradually in its coiu'se. 
One of the men showed us the process by which he separated the uold 
from the sand ; which was simple, depending on the superior specific 
weight of the gold over the substances with which it was mixed. AA'ith 



192 NOTES 0\ THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

a broad shallow wooden platter he took up a small quantity of sand 
from a heaj) that was placed on a hand-barrow, and wliich probably 
was taken from some place known to be richer than others : this he dex- 
terously washed, by dipping in the river the side of the board frequently, 
to allow the light parts to di'ain off, and fresh water to come on. 
Thus, the gold and heavier parts sunk to the bottom of the shallow 
hollow ; and at last the gold alone remained, mixed with large and heavy 
particles of black sand. It was small in quantity ; and he informed us 
that liis daily earnings were not more than from two to four, or even five 
anas ; and this small quantity he sells to the zemindars, receiving food in 
return. Probably he underrates his profits purposely — a common expe- 
dient with the inliahitants of India, wlio could not, in former times, display 
their riches, without the danger of having them forcibly wrested from 
them. I bought all the gold he had, or at least produced, amounting 
only to two rupees. 

AVe all bathed in the stream : the water was cold. This, together 
with the great rapidity, and the danger of rocks near the surface, which 
might be unobserved from the colour of the water, prevented most of 
us from attempting the exploit of crossing it. One man only swam over, 
and at considerable risk of being swept away. 

Some time before dark we entered on our formidable ascent ; and 
accustomed as we were, by this time, to laborious marches, we did not 
accomplish this till after many halts, and at a late hour. The per- 
pendicular height of Comharsein above the river cannot be so little 
(I think) as 3000 feet : there must be several thousand steps in the rude 
flight of stairs above described ; and these, added to two miles of steep 
though irregular descent at first, cannot well give a less positive elevation. 
Some fair idea may be formed of the height of Whartoo fort, from the 
facts that have been now stated ; though the descent (nine miles) to Com- 
harsein be less abrupt than usual, the aggregate of twelve miles to the 
banks of the Sutlej must certainly determine the summit of that range to 
be exceedingly lofty. 

Just at the top of the long flight of stairs we found an orchard of 
apricot trees, the fruit of which was nearly ripe, but they were still sour 
and bad. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 193 

Somewhat nearer our tent we passed a neat temple in the Chinese 
taste, with many images of Hindoo deities carved in wood. 

The hills on the opposite or north bank of the Sutlej, in the Cooloo 
country, are barren, brown, burnt up, and rocky, unenhvened by wood or 
cultivation. Forts and villages crown their crests and tops, as if these 
were the only situations they could stand upon. On the whole, the 
country looked far less inviting, and considerably more rugged, than 
that we have hitherto traversed. The lower part of the glen, on the 
side we were on, was also burnt up and bare ; but, in all the smaller 
glens above, the diversity and beauty of the wood and cultivation was 
remarkable : and in this respect the country keeps its consistency ; the 
southern exposure being still bare and deformed, whilst the northern 
aspect is comparatively green and well wooded. The difference of 
climate in the hollow of the river's bed was very remarkable : the wind 
was quite hot ; and even above, the whole of the day \vas oppressive. 
Some ice, which was brought from a neighbouring liill, rapidly dissolved 
away. 

The river Sutlej has generally been supposed to take its rise in the 
Himala range ; but some late accounts, as well as the common informa- 
tion of the natives of the hills, tend to assign it a more remote source. 
We were now informed, that it comes quite through the Himala moun- 
tains, arising from their north-eastern face ; but no distinct informa- 
tion had been obtained at this time respecting the actual place of its 
origin. 

I here allude to the journey of INIessrs. ^Nloorcroft and Hearsay to 
the Lake Mansroar, given in the twelfth volume of the Asiatic Researches, 
which first gave reason to believe that tliis river had its rise on tlie north- 
east side of the Himrda mountains ; but the length of course that this 
indicated, prevented implicit faith being yielded to the proposition ; 
resting, as it chiefly did, on the evidence of natives ; who, it might be 
presumed, were not correct, or perhaps might desire to mislead strangers 
in their researches. Distinct and separate evidence, from other natives 
in a different part of the country, who could have no obvious reason 
for misleading, has now so far confirmed the substance of what was 
related to these gentlemen (as will be related below), that it seems un- 

c c 



194 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

reasonable to retain any farther doubt on the subject ; and the collateral 
evidence of our senses, wliile at Serata, goes far to prove the fact by 
analogy. 

The contracted size of the stream, and moderate body of water con- 
tained in it, might argue against so long a course as this would presume ; 
but, at the time we saw it, the river was evidently very low, and the 
appearance of its banks gave proof that the stream had lately been much 
greater : at this time, too, the snow, which usually melts in the lower 
parts of the country, and swells the stream greatly, had all dissolved ; and 
as yet no rain had fallen to act upon that of a less yielding description : 
thus we could not judge of the true stream of the Sutlej, from the state 
in which we now beheld it. The name of tliis stream is properly Sutroo- 
di'a, which it derives from Eooder, one of the appellations of Mahadeo ; 
for it is a sacred stream : it is called by the natives indiscriminately 
Sutroodra, Soottrooz, Sootlooj, and Sutlej. 

jNIay 23. — After another interview with the Rana, in which he was 
presented, in the name of Government, with an appropriate present 
of shawls, we left Comharsein, and ascended the mountain by the same 
road which had brought us thither, and had a better opportunity of 
observing the country as we passed along. About two miles above Com- 
harsein, we passed the fort of Teekur, built about four years ago by 
Eunsoor Thappa, in a good situation, but quite above the reach of water : 
it was now deserted, and in ruins. 

On reaching the Desata's stone at Nagkanda, five miles and a half 
from Comharsein, we commenced a descent along the right hand side of 
the valley, which we had seen, when we last passed, stretching towards 
the Girree, upon a high road made by the Ghoorkhas, that communicates 
with Irkee ; and following many windings and indentations in the hill 
side, with much variety of path, and in a direction tending cliiefly to the 
southward, we reached the village and temple of Manjnee somewhat late 
in the evening : our march was nearly twelve miles and a half. 

The road formed by the Ghoorkhas, though varied with much fall 
and rise, as well as much indented from the numerous ravines it crosses, is 
still good and practicable, and capable of being made easy enough : it was 
now passable for doolies and ponies. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 395 

We passed through many villages, and saw great extent of cultivation 
on this side of the ridge, as well as on that we had left. Earley, wheat, 
and popi^y, were plentiful and fine. Of the former two, much had already 
been reaped : the latter was fast ripening, and a good deal appeared to 
have been collected from the heads of the flowers. 

We had more trouble from our hill coohes on this day than we had 
experienced on any former occasion ; although very hghtly loaded, many 
of them refused to proceed, though urged onwards in a veiy decided 
manner ; and they all appeared to be of a far more stubborn, obstinate, 
and untractable nature, than any people we had yet had to deal with. 
One of them in particular displayed this persevering obstinacy with a 
degree of brutal courage and self-possession very sui-prising indeed : we 
found him lying in the middle of the path, to all appearance senseless, 
and totally heedless of the arguments, both verbal and manual, of the 
sepoy who had him and liis load in charge. 

There was no doubt that he thus feigned illness, for his pulse and 
breathing were perfectly regular and good ; and the people of Comharsein 
who were with us were perfectly aware of the trick. On one occasion, 
when roused by some painful application, he endeavoin-ed to escape by 
roUing down the hill ; but, being disappointed in this, he again lay as 
dead ; and it was only after pretty smart discipline that he was convinced 
of the necessity of taking up his load and moving onwards : after wliich, 
he went quietly enough. No doubt it is highly unpleasant to be forced 
to carry a load in a hot day up a hill, and it is not agreeable to be under 
the necessity of forcing men to perform this service ; but, when necessity 
on our part urged us, and good pay was given to lighten their biu-then, 
it might have been hoped that this, and the evident power of enforcing 
our orders which we possessed, would have induced a quiet performance 
of one day's work ; and usually this was the case ; but here a dogged 
brutal obstinacy rendered more force necessary, and the duty more painfid 
to both parties. 

Our encampment was in a small field, from whicli the grain had been 
reaped, just by the temple of IManjnee : the village was a short way above, 
and is small, though neat : on one hand was a sort of fort, or house, called 
Coatee. 



196 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

Tlie temple was remarkably neat, quite in the Chinese style, as usual : 
it is sacred to the goddess Ehowannee. The whole of the interior is 
sculptured over in wood, with infinite labour, and probably forms a detail 
of the exploits of the deity : with these I am wholly unacquainted ; but 
she seems to have been frequently engaged with monsters of very unin- 
viting shapes. That portion of the carving, however, which neither re- 
presents the human nor animal figure, is by far the most beavitiful. The 
whole roof, which is formed of fir wood, is richly cut into flowers and 
ornaments entirely in the Hindoo taste, with a sharpness and precision, 
yet an ease that does honour to the mountain artist ; and, considering 
liis tools and materials, it is truly wonderful. The shrine of the goddess 
was in the centre, and a small pair of folding doors, opening, disclosed her ; 
but the outside apartment, containing the sculptured work, was filled 
with people of all sorts, apparently without any scandal or sense of 
impropriety to the priesthood, who inhabited the interior. There were 
several small pagodas, similar to those at Hat-Gobeseree, and much 
curious sculpture in stone ; but it was wholly of a schistose and crum- 
bhng nature, which appeared to be mouldering into dust, and therefore 
could not be very ancient. 

The scene in which this temple is placed is beautiful : there cannot be 
a more picturesque or various landscape, in the wild mountainous taste, 
than the opposite hills afford ; cut into alternate rocky ridges and rich 
dells, as they stretch from AVhartoo downwards, forming the south-eastern 
side of the fine valley we descended. The tints of green, yellow, and 
brown, as varied in the corn, wood, and rock, could not be more happily 
blended, or form a sweeter whole. 

May 24. — The morning was cold, dull, and threatening : the night 
had been stormy and wild. Delay in obtaining provisions for the people 
detained us till eleven o'clock ; when we commenced our march, by 
ascending the hill above the village, along terraces of cultivation, to the 
crest of the ridge, which we crossed, and descended a steep rugged path 
to the dell on the other side, through which runs Xoonee Kanul, a 
stream from a wild glen arising in Nok,kanda range. 

The opposite range of hills to the westward was uninteresting and 
bare : the dell we descended was rocky above ; but below, covered with 



THE HIM ALA MOUNTAINS. 197 

a fine light pale verdure, of wliicli the poplar tree supplied the chief part : 
here the dark brownish green of the holly, the oak, and the fir is not 
seen. 

Eising steeply from this dell, we reached a low ridge that forms the 
boundary between the states of Comharsein and Keounthul, running from 
Nagkanda in a direction nearly north and south. ^Ve looked from hence 
on a country well cultivated on all sides. ]Jy a very irregular indented 
path, at times in a zig-zag direction up the hill face, and at others on 
ledges of cultivation and rock, we wound round the northwest end of 
the valley, and ascended the opposite ridges in the lowest part. Our 
course was about north-north-west. Hence, keeping along the eastern 
face of the ridge, and ascending several peaks upon it, we reached the 
site of two Ghoorkha forts, called Punta and Jhurra, whence the ridge 
obtains the name of Punta-.Thurra. The whole was at one time fortified. 
The forts are now in ruins, but the situation is commanding ; and has only 
the usual disquahfication of being at too great a distance from water to be 
objected against it. Our route was now southerly, leaving the heights, 
and lay chiefly along the Ghoorkha high road from Comharsein to Irkee. 
This is broad, and might be made fit for any purpose. VCe, ho^vever, 
soon left this for a more dangerous one, leading along ledges of rock, 
with dark precipices below, and affording but Uttle room for the feet to 
hold by, till, turning to the westward, we saw our tent pitched among 
some fine fields of corn near a village ; and we reached the encampment 
soon after seven in the evening. 

Our view from the top of the ridge this day was extensive in all direc- 
tions, but haze prevented its being very distinct. To the westward we 
saw a country perfectly similar to that which ^ye had now for some time 
been acquainted with. The waters from its dell all run, as I believe, to 
the Sutlej ; and, had the weather been favourable, we should in all pro- 
bability have distinguished jNIalown, and the scene of operations in tliat 
quarter. 

To the eastward we obtained a sight of our old acciuaintancc. llie 
Girree, which has its source behind a peak that was in view, and all the 
waters from that side run to swell its stream. 

The ridge we crossed this day, as well as that of the day before. ^^ as 



198 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

composed to all appearance of black and grey slate, veined with quartz. 
Occasional blocks of other stone may be seen, but in no such quantity as 
to lead to the belief, that they form any considerable proportion of the 
hill. 

The roads for these two days, which (as already observed) were made 
by the Ghoorkhas, from Irkee to the strong holds in this quarter, are con- 
structed with considerable art, and are frequently from six to eight feet 
broad, having the side next to the precipice built up as a support. At 
times, however, they narrow to a mere footpath ; but the line is good, and 
the road might be easily made fit for purposes of warHke conveyance. 

The little village of Bisnorig, near w^liich our tents were placed, is in 
the small state of Theog, a lordship, forming one of those properly de- 
nominated the Bariih T'hakooraee, or the Twelve Lordships. It was 
assessed by the Ghoorkhas at 3400 rupees per annum ; and from the 
smallness of its size was, of course, always very dependent on its more 
powerful neighbours. I beUeve it very generally followed the fortunes of 
Keeounthal. 

Tliis state, which we passed through a portion of yesterday, is the 
largest, richest, and most powerful of the Bartih T'hakooraee. It was 
assessed by the Ghoorkhas at 42,000 rupees. I have been able to collect 
httle further information respecting it. It is governed by a Buna, and 
the chief town, Eampoor, is situate at two days jom-ney to the south- 
westward. 

]\Iay 25. — A very severe storm of rain and wind came on in the early 
part of the night, which greatly annoyed us during its continuance. The 
puffs of wind that came down the dells above us were alarmingly heavy ; 
but fortunately our tent ropes withstood them, and we escaped with no 
other damage than clouds of dust being blown in between the tent and 
the ground ; even the heavy rain did not penetrate in any considerable 
degree. The morning was chill and clear. 

This day an express from Nairn informed us, that the army before 
Jytock were then preparing to (piit the position ; and that the fort was 
immediately to be evacuated by the Ghoorkha forces, M'hilc Ummr Sing, 
after leaving iNIaloAvn, was to accompany General Ochterlony to Nerrain- 
gurh in the plains, to meet his son Ilunjore Sing Thappa. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 199 

Preparations for the evacuation of Sireenuggur, and all the Ghoorkha 
posts on this side of the Calee Nuddee, were also on foot, and thus the 
whole campaign in this quarter closed. Under these circumstances it was 
uncertain what course our party might be ordered to take, or what 
conduct to pursue ; and having thus gained a position where intelligence 
might speedily reach us from Nahn or Malown, we determined to await 
the further orders of government, or letters from either camj). 



200 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 



CHAPTER XV. 

The situation in -which we halted was by no means an interesting one 
in point of beauty, or surrounding covintry ; and the leisure that was thus 
obtained was employed in extending the few sketches that had been made, 
and in making inquiries relative to the customs of the country, and manners 
of the people. That no great satisfaction attended these, and that httle 
interesting matter was gleaned on the subject, was perhaps equally o\\ang 
to the want of acuteness and skill in the observer, as to the rude state of 
society, which had httle worthy of attention to display, and to the con- 
sequent barrenness of the field. 

That there is a strongly marked difference between the inhabitants of 
Sirmore, and that part of the hilly region, bordering on the plains, which 
has fallen under our observation, and those of the remoter and more 
elevated tracts, is very ob\ious, and was remarked at the time we entered 
Joobul. 

As our route from that period till now has led through a country lying 
in about an equal parallel with the plains, httle further diversity was to be 
expected, nor was any observed. Any that might exist was probably from 
the slight shades produced by accidental circumstances, local or pohtical, 
and cannot bear on the general view. 

The whole people inhabiting this region are still in that semi-barbarous 
state, between the complete savage, and that which, in consequence of a 
commencing intercourse with a civilized people, is just emerging from so 
gross a condition ; but this intercourse being yet, as it were, by reflection, 
transmitted through the districts that border on the plains, themselves 
but little civilized, only faint advances to improvement have as yet been 
effected. Such a state may offer curious matter of study to the moralist 
and philosopher: but affords a very circumscribed field for interesting 
description. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 201 

The cliaracter of the mountaineer corresponds with the state in which 
he is found. Much of his original nature remains strongly indicated ; he 
is wild and hasty, and apt to commit excesses ; he will steal and rob ; and 
those who have the power, and can command the devotion of others 
become petty tyrants, and attack and plunder their neighbours. Tiieir 
law, if they had their will, would only be the sword. This has been 
signally proved by the strong enmities which the chiefs of the petty lord- 
ships, and even the more powerful princes of the country, bear to one 
another, and the endless feuds which subsist between them and even 
between tlie minor families of the various })rincipalities. The instances 
of individual hatred and revenge are perhaps not less notorious and well 
authenticated, than the universal propensity to plunder and steal. Such 
must always be the condition of a people, when the laws and the sovereign 
are too weak to punish the wicked and to support the wronged and 
oppressed, and when the country, difficult or im})racticable, favours a law- 
less and violent conduct. But it is to be feared, that the mountaineer 
of these hills is not only violent and unridy ; he is "vnly, cunning, and 
treacherous, and certainly revengeful. The conduct of the men of Poo- 
nurr to the Ghoorkha soldiers, and that of the combined troops of Bischur, 
Cooloo, Joobul, &:c. to Kirtee Rana, afford strong proofs of this. 

"\\^e can tliscover in them all the uncertain, wavering, and meanly 
cautious features of the Asiatic character, caught perliaps in some measure 
by their depraved intercourse with the plains, as well as remaining in the 
breed by blood. In every transaction with these people this was very 
obvious. The conduct of the chiefs of the different districts, when in- 
vited to take a decided part with the British arms, was strikingly illus- 
trative of it, not only when some shadow of excuse existed in the ignorance 
of the people for such irresolution, and even double dealing, but even in 
cases where no chance of eventual advantage could be chscovered, did thev 
vacillate, and change, and negotiate, on both sides, with a miserable trea- 
cherous policy. 

In every dealing of inferior importance that occurred on the march, 
they prevaricated, trifled, and endeavoured to disappoint or deceive us. 
Seldom could a direct answer to any question be obtained : or all was fair 
promise without an idea of fulfilment, although they were aware that the 

D O 



202 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

means of enforcing performance were in our hands, and no obvious 
benefit was to be obtained by withholding what was demanded. The 
corn wanted for the troops and required of them, but which they either 
declared their inabihty to supply, or about which they equivocated for 
days, was at last, on search, found in abundance in their houses, although 
the price fixed upon it by their own headman had been advanced for 
its j)urchase ; and this at a time when they knew that the Ghoorkha 
power was overthrown, and the British arms had broken their own chains : 
this was not only a very unamiable, but a very unaccountable trait in their 
character. Like most Asiatics, but exceeding them, they are severe and 
tyrannical masters, but cringing to a disgusting degree to those whom 
they know to be their superiors in power. Those who were foremost in 
denying to us the necessaries we wanted, were, when brought before us, 
by far the most servile and abject in their professions of service and 
devotion. 

The obstinacy of these people has already been noticed among the 
lower orders : it was most uncomfortably exemplified in the instances where 
our coolies refused to take up the loads, or to proceed when ordered ; and 
severe treatment was very frequently necessary to enforce the performance 
of tasks far within their power. Viewed in general, they are lazy, in- 
dolent, and remarkable for their apathy ; nor does the latent violence of 
their passions appear until they are somewhat roused. 

There seems no ground for believing that tliese men are at all hospitable. 
We had not, indeed, any personal opportunity to judge of tliis,as our means in 
general superseded aU necessity of relying on them for supplies, while their 
customs and religion would in some measure have prohibited a strong dis- 
play of it, had occasion offered ; and at all times they must have granted 
to our force the trifling assistance which we might personally have required, 
under a show of goodwill, although they would in all probabihty have 
refused it, if unbacked by such power. 

In so far, indeed, as we could judge from their conduct to others, there 
was no desire shown to render comfortable those who needed to be so ; no 
exertion was ever made to procure the necessary refi'eshments : our soldiers 
might have starved for them. 

The presents of sheep and goats that Avere offered to us were not to be 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 203 

considered as the voluntary gifts of a grateful, generous, or obliging dis- 
position ; they were the peace offerings customary in the country, the 
tender of an inferior who needs protection, and thus sohcits it from a 
superior. 

I do not believe that a vessel of milk was ever given from a kind mo- 
tive, or without its object of reward in view. No present was ever offered 
without a hope, nay, a tolerably full persuasion, of a more valuable con- 
sideration being returned. The very men, who bent so low to us when 
present, assisted more than once to rob our servants when out of our 
reach. 

Such are the dark unhappy traits in the present character of these high- 
landers. They were marked and pointed out by circumstances ; but it should 
not be forgotten, that their natural character may have been disguised and 
distorted by the late violent revolutions ; that the grinding tyranny of the 
Ghoorkha reign may in some measure have warped a better natvu-e, and 
occasioned the lower, more cunning, faithless, and revengeful habits, that 
disgrace them. The nature of an Eastern despotic government too, must 
have considerably depressed whatever existed of the generous, free, en- 
thusiastic spirit, that commonly marks the liighlander. 

We do not know enough of their history to enable us to judge what 
the national character has heretofore been ; and perhaps it were more just 
to withhold our opinion of this people until time shall show, or tracUtion 
be gleaned, to give us information ; otherwise we must form our judgments 
on the few facts of which we are in possession, and which may have taken 
their colour from circumstances that show the genius of the people in a 
false, or overstrained, or exaggerated light. 

Several districts in these parts have given proofs of a high degree of 
courage ; many likewise have evinced an anxiety for freedom, that proves 
they can prize it, and must at one time have enjoyed it. 

A few showed a decided faith in British power and honoiu" when per- 
mitted to declare themselves, which would argue a correspontUng gene- 
rosity in themselves. 

These facts apply to particular districts, where, j)robably, the Ghoorkha 
yoke had not fallen so heavily, and where the spirit of national enthusiasm 
was not completely quenched. From these districts troops were ckawn, 

D u '2 



204 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

who acquitted tlieniselves to the full satisfaction of their commander, and 
drew from him a decided opinion of their value as soldiers, and of their 
behaviour as men. AMien praise can be fairly given, it is grateful to the 
feelino-s to bestow it, and it is but justice to point out the valuable and 
remarkable exceptions from general worthlessness. 

The conduct of the men of Jounsar should not be passed over in 
silence : they were the earhest who joined the British arms, cutting off 
supplies from the enemy, and raising their own half armed forces to oppose 
him. They joined the Jh-itish detachment, and, in the retreat of Bhulb- 
hudder Sing from Kalunga, after the evacuation of that fortress, they hung 
on liis rear, and, when passing the Jumna, actually came to a partial en- 
gagement with his troops; but being considerably ahead of ]Major ]]aldock's 
detachment, they could not detain him till advantage should be taken of 
their si)irited conduct. 

This district extends from the junction of the Jumna and the Touse 
at Kalsee, far to the north between these two rivers, till bounded by Ke- 
waeen of Gurwhal, and would have formed a valuable jjoint of support for 
our troops, had the (ihoorkha troops attempted a retreat to the eastward, 
which offered supphes of provision and a friendly population. 

A few of the zemindars of Joobul too were highly deserving of praise : 
two of these at once, and almost uninvited, upon the arrival of the British 
troops at Jytock joined the camp, and rendered many valuable services to 
the cause. 

Whether it be the effect of the Ghoorkha tyranny longer exercised, or 
that of the government, which is more despotic near the capital, and in the 
more pervious parts of the country, near the plains, or whether it be the 
effect of chmate and situation, or of all these together, I cannot say ; but 
certainly the spirit and even the appearance of the mountaineer on the 
borders of the low country, is far different from that of his more northern 
countrvmen. 

The farther removed from the plains, the heat, and the more accessible 
parts of the country, the higher does the highlander seem to rise in activity 
of mind and body. 

There is a slovenly carelessness about the people in the vicinity of 
Nahn, and for some days' journey into the hills ; a mean degraded look, 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 205 

and even a diminutive form, quite distinct from the more brisk agility and 
hardier forms of the men of Joobul and ]5ischur. 

The very dress of these latter, though different in materials, is better 
and more respectable than that of the miserable ragged Simiorean ; the 
jacket of coarse woollen, covering the body amply and warmly, with its 
philibeg-like skirts, the stout coarse trowsers, and plaid-like wrapjicr and 
waistcloth, with the snug black bonnet, which forms the dress of all those 
who are not the very lowest, gives a comfortable homespun air to the 
persons of the former, that forcibly contrasts with the tawdry cotton rags 
of the latter. 

It is a good highland costume ; it even looks exceedingly well, and verj- 
characteristic ; it is warm and lasting, and yet leaves the body much at 
liberty, although the woollen is perhaps somewhat heavy. Some, in walk- 
ing, omit the trowsers, and wear, under the kilted part of their jacket, a 
piece of cotton cloth, put on as the Hindostanee d,hotee. 

It has been observed that they wear axes in their belts, and when they 
can aiford it a sword ; shields are not so common, but those above the 
common order, when they have one, always carry it. The smaller and re- 
moter chiefs do not vary from this national dress ; they only eni])loy cloth 
of a fine texture, and a few ornaments : but those who are of a higher order, 
or are more disposed to indulge their vanity, assume the Hindostanee 
costume, and always affect the sik,h turban. 

Hitherto we could not say that the appearance of the women had un- 
dergone an improvement corresponding with that of the men ; on the con- 
trary, they seemed to become more coarse and luifeminine. AVe frequently 
remarked in Sirmore some who were dehcate in form and feature, but to 
the northward they disappeared ; the female countenance was generally 
good humoured, but the form was coarse and highly vulgar. 

They wore a blanket dress Hke that of the men, but ending in a longer 
petticoat ; a waistband of coarse woollen, Avrapped several times around 
them, generally all in tatters, and a piece of cloth strangely wound round 
the head, as a sort of turban, were their usual costume. They wove their 
hair twisted up into long thick rolls, ornamented with wd a\ch)1 hanging 
down their backs ; an ornament in Avhich they aj)pear to have greatly 
prided themselves ; and they formed tliis tail or huge plait of a length to 



206 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

reach far l)elow the waist, and of a thickness at least equal to their arm. 
Those who were not so fortunate as to possess a chevelure of such beau- 
tiful bulk, made up the deficiency by working in a quantity of black 
^\ ool ; the end of all these queues was puffed out into a sort of tassel of 
.small plaits, and the ^^ hole was tied by a string of red wool. To unravel 
such a head-dress must be an endless task, and I fear it must be inferred, 
that the heads of these fair creatures are not in a state commendable for 
cleanliness. 

They wear X,huts or large rings in the nose, after the common Hin- 
dostanee fashion, and ear-rings, valuable and large, according to the means 
of the owner. Kound the ancles are huge and heavy ornaments of 
pewter, and on the arms large bangles of the same, or of brass ; the toes 
and fingers are strung with rings of these metals, and round the neck, and 
on the breast, they wear a profusion of beads, of glass, pewter, and some- 
times perhaps of silver. Such were the females of these countries. 

Their customs, with respect to marriage, and the general system with 
regard to their women, are very extraordinary. It is usual all over the 
country, for the future husband to purchase his wife from her parents, and 
the sum thus paid varies of course with the rank of the purchaser. The 
customary charge to a common peasant or zemindar, is from ten to twenty 
rupees. The difficulty of raising this sum, and the alleged expense of 
maintaining women, may in part account for, if it cannot excuse, a most 
thsgusting usage, which is universal over the country. Three or four or 
more brothers marry aiid cohabit with one woman, who is the wife of all : 
they are unable to raise the requisite sum individually, and thus club their 
shares, and buy this one common spouse. 

We had heard of this very revolting custom in the course of our travels 
frequently, and so remarkable an inconsistency with all Hindoo manners, 
which it is well known are pecuharly and scrupulously delicate with regard 
to their females, could not but excite our curiosity and inquiry regarding 
the cause of its origin and continuance. Little that was satisfactory could 
be ffathered in addition to the reasons above-mentioned, and these do not 
a})pear by any means to account for it fully. 

If it be expensive to maintain the woman, the charge must lie some- 
where ; if a husband be not at the cost, the parents must, and burthens thus 



THE IIIMALA MOUNTAINS. 207 

left upon a family, it may be supposed, would be gladly got rid of at all 
events. But I believe, that the women fully earn their o\mi subsistence, 
for they are employed both in agricultural pursuits and in the more do- 
mestic labours, and thus cannot be considered as unprofitable charges. 
But if they were expensive, it is singular that the purchase money of a 
wife should keep up to a height beyond the general ability of the men to 
furnish. 

Women are here articles of property, and it is against all experience in 
the mutual effects of demand and supply, that when the latter is more 
than sufficient, the price should keep so disproportionably high. 

This reasoning, in conjunction with the facts from which it arises, would 
induce a suspicion, that the number of females was in reality not in pro- 
portion to that of the males ; but to our inquiries on this subject they did 
not admit that to be the case. 

What then became of those who never married ? This question was 
never satisfactorily solved. A few men they affirmed to possess four or 
five wives ; but the number of these polygamists they allowed to be small, 
confined to lords of small states, the \vuzzeers and nobles of the larger, 
and the head men of small villages. 

They allowed too, though reluctantly, that some of their female cliil- 
dren were disposed of as slaves, but wished to deny that they sold them to 
strangers. There is no doubt, however, that this practice does exist, and 
has long existed in the hills to a very considerable extent, not merely (as 
they would have us suppose) a transfer of their daughters, as wives to the 
neighbouring inhabitants, but in regular sales to dealers, who again dispose 
of them in the low coiuitry. But unless the number thus disposed of 
was very large, it would be quite insufficient to account for the female 
balance that must remain in question. These, they say, remain in the 
house of their parents ; and this assertion brings back the difficulty, how 
the parents are to maintain this heavy charge ? -Vnd 1 cannot help sus- 
pecting that, notwithstanding the expense which they assert to attend 
the keep of a wife, she is on the whole a gaining concern, and, as 
a strong and usefid hand in agricultural labour, is rather a source of 
wealth and property to her husband or husbands, than any positive 
loss. 



208 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

After all, the true causes and reasons for this custom remain in doubt ; 
and till further observation and more minute inquiry may throw some 
better light on the subject, we have only to beheve one of two things ; 
eitlier that the number of females, from the operation of certain causes, is 
small in })roportion to that of the males, or that extremely obstinate 
attachments to old customs and habits, the effects of cogent circumstances, 
that have operated, and may stiU continue to operate, restrains in tliis 
instance the usual course of nature. 

Should the labour of females be of actual profit to those with whom 
they Hve, instead of a loss and charge to them, it might partially account 
for a proportion of females remaining unmarried in the houses of their 
parents ; but it cannot seem a full and satisflictory reason for this great 
restraint and reversing of the course of nature, in keeping so large a body 
of the sexes separate : nor can it at all, I think, be admitted as any solution 
of a custom that forms so singular and so unnatural a departure from the 
almost universal feehngs and usages of mankind. 

Be these things as they may, the custom has a deplorably injurious 
effect upon the morals of the females in this country, particularly in point 
of chastity. They do not see it valued, and of course do not preserve it. 
From the degree of community of intercourse prevailing by custom, the 
men do not feel shocked at an unlimited extension of it : thus the women 
are entirely at the service of such as will pay for their favours, without 
feeling the slightest sense of shame or crime in a practice from which they 
are not discouraged by early education, example, or even the ch'ead of their 
lords, who only require a part of the profit. 

This is a degree of brutish insensibility that is hardly to be found 
among the most perfectly rude and debased savages of other countries ; 
and the total absence of general morahty will seem less strange when 
these too certain facts are known. 

It is strange that, in these promiscuous and complicated connexions, 
disputes seldom arise ; but, of a family of four or five brothers, only one 
or two are in general at home at the same time : some are out on service 
as soldiers, or with the minor chiefs ; others are travelhng : the elder usually 
remains at home. If any (juarrel were to arise, a connnon cause would be 
made against the offender, and ejectment from house and board ensue. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. ' 209 

Nor does the produce of this extraordinary union give any further rise 
to disputes : the first born child is the property of the elder brother, and 
the next in succession are supplied in turn. 

It is remarkable, that a people so degraded in morals, and many of 
whose customs are of so revolting a nature, should in other respects evince 
a much higher advancement in civiUzation, than we discover among other 
nations, whose manners are more engaging, and vvhose moral character 
ranks infinitely higher. Their persons are better clad, and more decent ; 
their approach more pohte and unembarrassed ; and their address is 
better than that of most of the inhabitants of the remote highlands of 
Scotland ; although certainly the circumstances, under which they saw 
Europeans for the first time, were sufficient to have confounded them 
much more than any that usually occur in the most distant and uncouth 
parts of the latter: and their houses, in point of construction, comfort, 
and internal cleanliness, are beyond comparison superior to Scottish liigh- 
land dwellings. 

The cultivation we see here is far more extensive, and infinitely better, 
in proportion to the nature of the ground and their respective means ; and 
the degree of pains bestowed on agriculture far exceeds that which is 
apparent in our highland straths, where the subjects to work upon are 
much superior, and the burthens far less : for here the half of all the 
produce of the soil belongs to the sovereign ; and the remaining moiety 
must be barely sufficient for paying the expenses of farming, and main- 
taining the cultivator and his family. 

It is, in fact, wonderful, when the face of the country is contemplated, 
and the sharp and rugged steeps of the hills, that remain in a state of 
nature, are considered, to see the great extent of land that has been brought 
under tillage ; and to recollect, that all which now smiles under corn was 
once as rough and unpromising as these. 

The valleys of Deyrah, of XaAviu', of the Pabur, Kurangooloo. Com- 
harsein, and every one, in fact, which we have passed through, since we 
crossed the range of Choor, all exhibited a rich succession of waving ridges 
gently rising above each other from the rivulets that watered them, and 
interspersed with villages, orchards, and trees. 

The total ruin that at first so often occurred was now less frequently 

£ E 



210 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

observ'ed ; and although, in most villages, there were large heaps of totter- 
ing and fallen houses, we seldom saw one quite deserted. The hand of 
the sjioiler had reached these districts later, and had less heavily pressed 
on tliem. Industry had not received so severe a check ; and in agri- 
cultural pursuits these people must be allowed to be active. 

As the features of the country enlarge, and valleys occur, which afford 
sides of greater slope and spread to the labour of the farmer, a larger con- 
tinuous extent of cultivated land may be seen ; and small fields, with few 
or no ridges, are scattered through the space chiefly occupied by the usual 
smaller or larger terraces. AMieat and barley were the staple articles of 
produce, and were very rich and good of their kinds. Pojjpy and the 
minor seeds occasionally occurred ; and apricot, mulberry, and other fruit- 
trees, were carefully reared. 

I do not think that we saw much rice in the tract more immediately 
under consideration, except in the bed of the river Pabur, where the carse 
land was probably well suited for such produce ; and there the fields were 
peculiarly neat, and the rows of the plant distributed in fanciful and pleasing 
figures, such as circles, squares, spirals, &c. 

The women and the men share the labour of the field with their cattle. 
The women weed, plant rice, gather stones, cut the corn, attend the 
threshing it, by the feet of cattle, on a round paved spot, and sift it from 
the husk. The operation of reducing it to meal is chiefly performed by 
water-mills ; which, by an exceedingly simple contrivance, turn two stones 
contrary ways. These are not large, but they ansA\er the purpose ; and, in 
a country where water is plentiful, and there is no want of sufficient fall, 
such simple machines do all the work of the country, and seem to smile 
at our more expensive and comphcated constructions. At times, four or 
five of these are seen, one above another, all working at the same time, 
with tlie same stream ; and the cover or shed under which they work is as 
rude as their machinery. 

Of quadrupeds, wild or domestic, we have observed none that we did 
not see before. There are no horses ; nor would the country admit of 
the use of them. Sheej) are met with, but do not seem to be numerous ; 
a circimistance not readily to be accounted for, as the clothing of the 
inhabitants is wholly fabricated from wool ; and the country appears to be 



THE IIIMALA MOUNTAINS. 211 

most particularly favourable for their grazing. We never saw an extensive 
flock together. Goats are also common, and form an usual present : they 
seem to be of the common mountain sort, with shaggy hair, horns rising 
upwards, with a httle inchnation backwards, from the perpendicular. 
They afford a plentiful supply of good milk. 

I think, indeed, that no country can well be imagined more calculated 
for sheep-farming : all the varieties of rich and plentiful pasture, a short 
velvet bite, cool woods and heights for summer, and warm fruitful vales 
and ravines for winter, may be obtained in boundless range. 

To those who have seen the nature of great part of the Scots highlands 
now under sheep husbandry, particularly to the northward and westward, 
the wildness of the country will form no objection ; and, if a more luxuriant 
herbage be a desideratum, these Indian hills must surely have it in a 
superior degree. 

It may be that the snow hes longer here even than it does in the 
western parts of Scotland ; but, in all probability, a sufficient tract of the 
lower ground is free, or covered to so little depth, that the animals could 
feed easily during the deep winter months. 

The snow, which falls heavy generally about the end of December, hes 
every where till towards the middle of INIarch ; when it rapidly melts, 
speedily leaving a large space clear, which is as soon covered with grass. 

In Scotland, from the end of November, or, at all events, the middle 
of December, till the end of JNIarch, and sometimes later, the liigher hills, 
and more remote northern and north-western districts, have httle space 
clear of snow, and very little ground that can afford feed : and, although 
the quantity of snow that hes in the very best wintering valleys may not 
be so great as in this country, still it is beheved that the difference is not 
such as to render it unlikely that sheep could be kept in the whole tract 
of hills, even from the plains to the elevated spots near the sno\\y hills 
themselves. 

Not having the least acquaintance with sheep-farming myself I may 
have overlooked many things that might form objections to the rearing of 
large flocks in these liills ; but, viewing the quantity of ground necessi\rily 
waste, it appears to a mere traveller that it could not be more advan- 
tageously occupied than by these animals ; and if (as is conjectured) they 



212 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

could be supported during the ^nnter months, by the quantity of under- 
\\ood which covers tlie country, as well as by the high luxuriant grass 
produced during the warm season, and which they could easily reach by 
scraping, it is certain that food might be found for vast numbers during 
the eight temperate and warm months, in which the soil spontaneously 
throws up a richer and far more universal pasture than is found in any of 
the sheep-walks of Britain. 

To aid this luxuriance, correct its produce, or quicken its effects, they 
have recourse to an expedient similar to that practised in Scotland, and 
\vhich, I think, cannot but injure the soil in time : they burn the long 
rank grass produced during the rainy weather, and with the showers of 
spring there arises a sweet and tender shoot, that covers all the black spots 
with a brilUant verdure. 

It may naturally be inquired, whence do the people of the country 
derive all the wool wliich they expend in their clothing ? I believe that 
a portion of their w^ool and of their manufactures comes from the remoter 
districts to the northward ; and it is also possible, that sheep may exist in 
greater numbers than appeared to us as w'e traversed the land. The 
viUagers always showed an unwillingness to disclose the amount and the 
sources of their property ; and it may be presumed that their sheep, as 
one of those, were concealed from the view of the strangers : a conduct 
that might arise from a fear of betraying grounds for tax or tribute to be 
imposed on them, at the period of settling the country. 

It is possible that one reason of the limited extent to which sheep- 
breeding is carried may proceed from the insulated situation these people 
have hitherto occupied ; cut off from any considerable intercourse with 
those countries where a market might be looked for to receive the larger 
quantities of j)roduce they might raise. 

It may even be more than a (piestion, whether, in case of a greatly 
extended growth of wool, a market could in any way be obtained for the 
superfluity they might have to dispose of A^^oollens are of comparatively 
little use in Hindoostan : the bulk of the natives of the plains cannot 
afford the price in general recjuircd for good blankets ; and are nearly, if 
not quite as well covered, by rosais, or fabrics, formed of two cloths of 
coarse printed cotton, with a thick layer of raw cotton quilted in between 



THE IIIMALA MOUNTAINS. 213 

them : this is cheaper, warmer, and hghter than a blanket, although it will 
not last so long. 

Thus a market to the southward would by no means be certain : to the 
northward there would be none ; for the wool of Eootan exceeds that of 
these hills in quantity and quality ; and much is imported from thence for 
the finer manufactures. 

Wliether it may be an object in future to encourage the growth of 
wool in these parts, and to improve the breed of sheep, with a view to 
foreign trade, is a question that may one day or other be worth agitating. 

The animal itself is sold dear. Strangers are ever charged highly, 
when they are svipposed to be rich : we paid from one to one a half rupee 
for each sheep, picking, as may be supposed, the fattest that could be 
found. 

The external appearance of the houses of these hillmen has been 
already described : we entered many since that time, and observed their 
internal economy. The lower stories are devoted to cattle and lumber ; 
and in the upper the family lives. The rooms are never very large, but 
they are remarkably snug, comfortable, and clean : they are floored with 
broad and well smoothed planks : the walls are plastered Avith mud, and 
frequently white-washed, and ornamented with red figures. In the centre 
there is always built a " choolah," or fire-place, for the purposes of warmth, 
as well as for di'essing the food of the family : this cooking place is uniformly 
constructed of earth and stone, and well purified every day with a mixture 
of cow-dung and fine earth, wliich is washed over it. In this room, and 
around the fire-place, or in one corner, the family sleep all together on one 
bed of grass, or under one blanket. 

Sometimes several houses are constructed so as to open into one 
another, or to communicate by the balconies, which always surround the 
upper story. These are always constructed of fir-tree planks, put together 
often with a skill that would not shame an European workman ; and they 
form very convenient additional chambers and passages to the body of the 
building. Little furniture is found in these houses : httle indeed is ever 
seen in a Hindoostanee house ; a few vessels for cooking and for containing 
water, a few boxes for holding corn, with jars of various sorts, are all we 
ever met with. I once saw a child in a sort of craiUe. 

These houses are entered by a very small door, seldom more than three 



Ui-i NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

feet six inches to foui- feet high, and half that breadth ; and the ascent to 
eacli story is by means of a notched stick, which, as there is generally little 
lif^lit, and as the lower apartment cannot be clean, from its being allotted 
to cattle, affords a very uncertain footing. 

\\'indows indeed are neither numerous nor large ; having no glass, they 
cannot shut out the cold without excluding the light, and thus, small open- 
ings, occasionally closed with a piece of board, are the substitutes. 

Chimnies, to give a passage to the smoke, they do not think of, nor do 
they seem to care in what manner it makes its escape. Want of light and 
of air must in one way or other occasion dirt : although they keep their 
rooms neat and clean as far as the eye reaches, they cannot by any care 
ninke up for a free ventilation ; nor can they exclude the swarms of vermin 
insects that infest these houses, and wliich render them seriously inconve- 
nient and disagreeable to strangers. 

The Paharee, or mountaineer, is not so incommoded ; indeed the per- 
sons of both sexes are overrun with them ; the coarse blanket covering 
they wear encourages the generation of these vile insects, and the irritation 
they produce on the skin seems to be agreeable to them in this cold climate : 
when it becomes excessive, they immerse their clothing in hot water, de- 
stroying myriads, and restoring their own rest. 

The habitations of these people are always in villages ; a single insulated 
house is never seen, or very rarely. These villages consist of from five to 
twenty houses, some even larger are met with. They frequently form a 
picturesque object at a distance, crowning some height, and hanging over 
some glen, or intermingled with wood on the uprising face of a hill : every 
one according to its size has one or more lofty towers overlooking the vil- 
lage ; these are, as has been heretofore observed, temples ; some are very 
large and high, and are commonly ornamented with much art, and frequently 
with some taste. 

All the inhabitants of this region, as well as those near the plains, are 
Hindoos. Their features for the most part, although gradually altered by 
the climate, as we leave the low coiuitry, and also perhaj)s by country cus- 
toms, and ])ossibly by the remaining mixture of an ancient indigenous race, 
still retain traces that j)oint to the chief original stock in the plains. 

Their language, their religion, and the general tone of their customs 
and prejudices tend to confirm this. Their language for a considerable 



THE HIM ALA MOUNTAINS. 215 

way into the hills is a corrupted dialect of true Hiudostanee, in which 
Shanscrit and Hindoo words predominate ; but the farther we }x;netrated 
to the north, the more corrupt it became, till it was so mixed with foreign 
tongues as to be unintelligible by a low countryman. 

They worship the chief Hindoo deities, adore and protect the cow, and 
blindly follow and practise most of the rites of Hindooism ; but they are 
Hindoos in a sorely degraded and truly ignorant state, mingling the wild 
superstitions and blind adorations of that religion with the utmost gross- 
ness of character, and a total deficiency of acquaintance with even their 
legendary origin ; and they adhere to the chief manners and customs of 
Hindoos, only because they were adopted by their fathers before them ; nor 
does there seem to be a Brahmin among them of more enhghtened mind, 
or in any degree more intelligent than the rest. 

In every village, and on each way-side, there are temples to different 
Hindoo divinities ; some to Mahadeo, or Seeva, under innumerable names ; 
some to Gonesh, others to Bhowannee, or to Calee ; but there is an infinite 
variety of deities of their own, to whom they pay mvich adoration, and 
their temples are found on every hill, at every turn and remarkable place 
on the road. These are the Genii Loci, and their symbols and memorials 
are numerous and various ; there is not a Teeba, or pinnacle of a hill, that 
is not topped with a heap of stones ; a single pillar, or a small hut, to 
which the Paharee turns with mysterious solemnity, and prostrating himself, 
prays to the spirit of the place, and to every one of these are strange tales 
and curious legends attached. 

Superstition of this sort seems peculiarly natural to highland countries ; 
such are the witches, spectres, and ghosts of the Scotch highlands, and these 
of the Indian mountains make not less impression on their inhabitants : 
any person taking delight in such mysterious tales, and who could follow 
the jargon of this country, might here find ample gratification for his 
taste. 

In a soil so rank with superstition, it may be inferred, that tlie j)riest- 
hood flourish luxuriantly ; and indeed they are found in abundance all over 
the country : not only does it abound with every religious order of Hindoo 
mendicant, but in every purgunnah. villages are met with inhabited entirely 
by Brahmins, and by Byragees, Gosseins, Sunyasses, Jogecs, &:c., \\ho either 
subsist on the superstitious charity of the public, or who, having abjurcti 



216 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

their vow of celibacy, have married and settled in the parts they Uked best, 
according to their means. 

"When a community itself is poor, those who subsist on its charity, or 
by its respect, cannot well become rich ; even the Brahmins were not posi- 
tively so ; but the villages and houses inhabited by them were universally 
the most comfortable, and in the best situations. 

I could not discover whether there were any pecuhar ceremonies at 
their marriages, or what they might be ; nor had we, in general, much 
opportunity for observing that they employed many on other occasions. 
Their ignorance probably precluded them from the knowledge of most of 
those belonging to the Hindoo religion, and their hard hfe and poverty 
from the practice of those with which they may be acquainted ; but it is 
fair to believe, that those observances which may yet be among them are 
in the spirit of strict Hindooism. 

They burn their dead, carrying them to the heights of hills, and com- 
monly erect a pile of stones, or place a large stone on end, and plant 
sticks with rags on them, to mark the spot sacred to the memory of the 
deceased. 

It is not very common for women to burn themselves with the body 
of their deceased husbands ; but it does sometimes happen, in case of the 
death of persons of consequence. Thus, at the death of the late Rajah of 
Bischur, twenty-two persons of both sexes burnt themselves along with his 
body ; of these, twelve were females, and three Ranees ; one or two of his 
wuzzeers, and his first chobedar, were also among the number : even at the 
death of some of the hill soldiers near Nairn, their wives burnt themselves 
on their bodies. 

^Vhen a Paharia of the middling class of zemindars is asked of what 
cast is he, the answer at first is, in general, a " Raajepoot ;" but on more 
minute inquiry, he may confess that he is only a " Kunnoit." Of tliis 
term it is not easy to obtain any explanation ; it is, probably, a low cast of 
liaajepoot, or a medium between this and the lower casts ; but it is a dis- 
tinction not known in the i)lains. JNIost of the hill people call themselves 
Raajc'i)()ots, when in fact tliey have no true title to the a])pellation. 

It appears that the principal casts into which the hill-inhabitants are 
divided are Brahmins, Raajepoots, Kunnoits, and Cooleys or Chumars. 
We did not find any of that minute subdivision of tribes wliich exists in 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 217 

the plains, and which, probably, is the result of a considerably advanced 
state of civilization on a dense and extensive population, -which has con- 
tinued for ages in the observance of certain customs and distinctions. 

The chiefs of states, and men of rank, universally assumed the distinction 
of Kaajepoot, and probably were of such extraction ; all the rajahs were 
certainly of that class. The seanas of villages, and zemindars, were either 
Raajepoots of inferior consequence and purity, or Kunnoits : many of the 
latter were merely Cooleys, and a large proportion of the lower order ; 
those, for instance, who were furnished to us, as porters for transporting 
baggage, were of this description, and exactly corresponded with, and were 
put to the same offices as the Chumars of the plains. 

The people of all casts feed not only on corn, vegetables, and milk, in 
its various shapes, but they eat every species of fish and flesh that they 
can procure, excepting that of the cow. They drink spirituous liquors 
when they can obtain them ; and they make a species of wine or spirit, 
with which they intoxicate themselves very readily; it is made from varioiis 
ingredients. 

Brahmins, Raajepoots, &c. all eat sheep, goats, and every kind of game 
that they can catch, including wild hogs. We had not liitherto seen any 
domestic fowl or duck. 

Tobacco is here in as universal use as in the plains, and when they 
cannot procvu-e this for smoking, they supply its place with b.hang. and 
other substitutes of an intoxicating nature ; and use a luunber of simple 
expedients when a hubhie-bubble, or machine for inhaling its fumes, is not 
to be had ; to the Cooleys on the march, tliis refreshment was quite in- 
dispensable. AVhen they met with cool water, and Avere allowed to smoke a 
cliillum, they got on wonderfidly ; but as soon as the means of quenching 
thirst, or of recreating their spirits by the stimulus of inhaling the in- 
toxicating smoke failed, they flagged ; and at times totally yielded to their 
exhavistion. 

The internal regulation of their villages and small connnunitios jier- 
fectly resembles the patriarchal form of their more important governments. 
In every village there is a man to whom they pay great deference, and to 
whom they refer all disputes ; who, in short, is their chief, and who goes by 
the name of the Seana : he always possesses nuich influence, and when any 

F F 



£18 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

requisition is to be made from a village, the Seana is the person to apply 
to. He also makes the collection of tribute for government, frequently is 
an officer under it, and I believe is always looked to, as in some measure 
answerable for the conduct of his villagers. 

Contrary to the usual acceptation of the term in the low country, but 
perhaps more agreeably to its original meaning, the word zemindar is 
here aj:)phed not merely to the chief landholders, but is also used to 
designate the whole class of those who cultivate the soil. Every man 
cultivates as much ground as he can manage ; half the produce should 
go to the state. Each individual has his own field or division of land, 
wliich he tills by liis own labovu* and that of his family ; but in those 
operations which require speed or assistance, he is aided by the other 
villagers, to whom in their turn he gives liis labo\u- when required. The 
cultivation belonging to one village is always as much brought together as 
the nature of the situation will permit, and thus it appears as if there was 
a community of property ; and when so much depends on mutual assistance, 
probably a virtual community to a limited degree does occur, at all events 
extending to mutual defence, and general operations. 

Each head of a family exercises a very arbitrary right over the mem- 
bers of it ; Init this, in common with aU the nations of the East, is increased 
by custom and by remoteness, as laigher authorities can less interfere with 
the exercise of the parental privilege. Even the lives of the members of 
his family are, with perhaps little appeal, in the hands of the head of it, 
and their persons are fully at his mercy. The power he possesses of dis- 
))osiiig of their liberties is too certain and too frequently exercised, as 
appears proved beyond dispute ; and indeed the number of slaves always 
broiiglit from the hills, which are met with in native families in Hindostan, 
affords too strong evidence to leave a doubt that this traflic goes on to a 
great extent. 

There is no doubt that the Ghoorkhas, during their tyranny, seized and 
sold the iuihap})y moiuitaineers, particularly of Gurwhal, in great numbers: 
of that country, in the course of twelve years, two lacs of people are said 
to have been thus disposed of: in consequence of the desolation spread 
arovuid from the seizure of his crops for military purposes, the zemindar 
could seldom pay the ([uota of his tribute ; out of a family of four or five 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. ' 219 

children they forced him to give up one as a commutation, and instances 
have, it is said, occurred, where every one of the children were thus in 
succession torn away. 

The distress of the parents too, their own pressure for food, fix'quently 
occasioned voluntary sales of their offspring, and one was disposed of that 
the rest might have food, liut altliovigh this distress might partly occasion 
this violation of the feelings of nature, it is to be feared that such an ex- 
pedient would not have been resorted to liad not previous experience 
pointed it out : in all probabihty the practice has long existed, and the 
parents' feehngs have been rendered callous by custom. 

Slaves from the hills have been long known in Hiiidostan. The in- 
habitants of Bischur, however, deny that they ever thus dispose of their 
children ; those of Sirmore and Gurwhal confess that they sometimes do, 
and I fear that the former state does not, in sucli denial, adhere to truth. 

The females of Bischur are spoken of as excelling those of the other 
states in beauty, and, accordingly, slaves of this nation are sought after, a 
temptation probably not to be resisted ; and in a country surrounded by 
states that practise such a custom, it is not likely that it should. Indeed, 
from the result of some inquiries, and the manner in which some offers 
wliich we made for experiment were received, I have no doubt that all 
they wish is, that it should not be beheved that they are gmlty of what 
nature must tell every one is a disgraceful and cruel crime. 

The prices of such slaves vary greatly, and depend on many circum- 
stances ; the age, beauty, or strength of the person to be sold ; the necessity 
and distance from market of the seller. Far in the liills, and remote from 
the chief marts for such traffic, the price will have, and I believe has re- 
ference to that wliich is given by a zemindar for a wife ; contemplating 
that the parent is to be totally deprived of any future intercourse a\ ith his 
child, as well as from the benefit of his or her labour, from twenty to fifty 
rupees will probably be the extent of the demand in such situations. 

If distress be the reason for sale, and the seller be the offerer, not the 
acceptor of an offer, a very small sum indeed will often answer ; I think I 
have heard of eight to ten rupees, but of this I am not certain : hunger 
and distress will force a human being to make di-eadful sacrifices, but I 
beUeve that at the usual places for such purchases in the vicinity of the 
plains, from 50 to 150, and even 200 rupees, are commonly given for a ]iro- 



220 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

mising slave, not quite a child, of either sex, when extraordinary beauty, 
or some accidental circumstance, does not fix on them any extrinsic value. 

It is difficult to change the long practised customs of nations, par- 
ticularly when such innovation attacks the interests of individuals, and 
it will be exceedingly so to prevent the purchase of slaves in Hindostan, 
even in those provinces which are most fully under the British authority ; 
and it must be infinitely greater in such districts as, bordering on the hills, 
are at a greater distance from the vigorous operation of pohce, and more 
continually under the influence of temptation to do what they do not con- 
ceive to be a crime or violation of natural right, and the reason for pro- 
hibiting which they therefore cannot understand. 

The British government has done all that it well can do to prevent 
the continuance of this unhappy trade, by a decided proliibition, and de- 
claring that all slaves purchased subsequently to the date of the regulation 
shall be freed on an application to a magistrate ; and this prohibition has 
been duly enforced, particularly in the upper provinces, wliich are most 
liable to the temptation, liberty having been always given to those whose 
cases were represented to the officiating authority ; but it is still to be 
feared that the purchase of slaves goes on to a certain extent, although 
with great secrecy and caution. 

The natives of Hindostan are not usually cruel masters ; on the con- 
trary, their slaves live happily, and often become so attached, as to lose all 
wish to ([uit their owners. 

In former times those who were domiciled in the families of the great 
often rose to high rank and power, but it is at all times dangerous and re- 
volting to trust the liberty and person of one human being to the absolute 
disposal of another, however generally Mell disposed the master may be ; 
and too frequently, beyond a doubt, in all countries, the power is miserably 
and cruelly abused, and every well wisher to humanity will join in hoping, 
that at no distant period, the trade and the existence of slavery may here 
and every where have an end. 



THE IIIMALA MOUNTAINS. 221 



CHAPTER XVI. 

We remained stationary during the 26th, 27th, and 28th, the weather 
varying much. Sometimes storms came down from the mountains that 
threatened to destroy our frail tent, and tear both it and ourselves to atoms, 
but its humbleness preserved it, and the gale blew over it ; at others, the 
rain that fell cleared the sky, and opened to our view the mountain scenery, 
beautiful in varied tints, refreshed by moisture, and rising and retiring 
alternately, till lost in the mellow blue of distance near the plains. 

Our situation, however, was not always one of positive comfort : we had 
but one tent, a small pall supported on three poles, two of which being 
upright, were crossed by a third ; over this the tent was stretched, coming 
down to the ground, without walls on either side, and enclosing in all a 
space of about ten feet square, but in the middle of which only we could 
stand upright : the cloth of the tent was double, but thin, and was made 
to weigh exactly sixty pounds, that it might form precisely a load for 
one man. 

In this place were both our beds of straw, covered with a cotton quilt : 
our table and two old chairs, with most of the baggage, we carried along 
with us. A tent, somewhat smaller, but similar in construction, was fur- 
nished for the shelter of an European writer, who had charge of the papers, 
stationery, and a variety of articles, that it was absolutely requisite to carry 
into a country where nothing is to be procured beyond some of the simplest 
provisions. 

To those who have been accustomed to travel in Hindostan, and wlio 
know the comfortable, not to say splendid description of tents used on 
these occasions, the poorness of this equipage in comfort, and almost in 
necessary covering, will be very obvious; while those who have suffered the 
hardships of an European warfare, and have bivouacked in a Spanish cam- 
paign, and even the larger proportion of travellers whose peregrinations 
have not led through European countries, may consider the accommodations 



222 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

we possessed as most comfortable and sufficient. As it was, we were con- 
tented Antli them, and only when threatened by wind or rain did we ever 
think them insufficient. 

We carried ^nth us a small quantity of wine, tea, coffee, and sugar ; 
but, desirous to confine our baggage to as small a compass as possible, it 
proved in the end inadequate to so extensive a tour: for so long a re- 
sidence in the mountains, out of reach of supply, was not contemplated 
when we commenced it ; and, in the sequel, we had cause to regret our 
want of precaution. These were our luxuries, and for necessaries we 
trusted to the produce of the country. Flour of a coarse quality was 
always to be had to a certain extent; and, at times, a finer sort was obtained. 
Rice, and a sort of pulse, usually known in the plains by the name of dlulll, 
was procured, sufficient for our own consumption, and sometimes to serve 
out to the people. 

^lilk could always be had, and ghee, though often not in sufficient 
abundance for the wants of the whole party : mutton also, though dear, 
and not always fat, was procurable. In justice, however, to the sheep of 
the hills, I must say, that, when we did get a fat Avedder, it was equal to 
any meat I ever tasted in any country ; but rams were most frequently 
the only kind brought to us, and of course far inferior. Vegetables were 
scarce and bad ; and we seldom sought for them. On the whole, our living 
was such as to leave no room for complaint ; and the hunger of wholesome, 
and even violent exercise, would have made worse food delectable. 

M^e rose usually about sunrise : but the preparations for a march 
generally detained us till eight o'clock ; and accidental circumstances, 
business, and visits from the natives, frequently delayed our march till 
much later. After a very light breakfast of milk and thin cakes of flour, - 
with a cup of tea while it lasted, we proceeded, never at a very rapid pace, 
for it was foiuid that over exertion was far more fatiguing than a regular, 
long-continued, but more moderate effort ; and more mischief was done to 
ourselves and attendants by one violent and injudicious strain up a steep 
hill than by a whole day's work gently taken. Our progress was further 
delayed by observations for the pui-jiosc of siu-veying, and by inquiries at 
the different villages res]K'cting the country. This delay gave time for the 
advance to reach the place of the night's encampment, and to pitch the 



THE niMSLS MOUNTAINS. 21^3 

tent ; which was always sent before us, by strong people, under a trusty 
guard. Provisions for the people, and ourselves if necessary, and grass for 
our beds, were required from the inhabitants of the village where we halted : 
and by six o'clock, our general period of arrival, we found all ready for our 
reception. Disappointments occasionally occurred ; but, after a while, 
these were rare : it need not be doubted that our rest was sound. 

This short detail of our marching routine and usual daily work and 
fare may seem trifling ; but it may contribute to j)lace those who are quite 
unacquainted with this kind of travelhng more in the actual situation of 
the travellers, which perhaps, more than any thing, lends an interest to 
a narrative that cannot boast of much valuable information or amusement. 

On the morning of the SSth we were roused from our tent by the 
information that a body of people were advancing along the ridge above 
our encampment ; and, on inquiry, we found that they consisted of the 
prisoners formerly constituting the forces of Kirtee Erma, who now were 
marching disarmed, and attended by a body of l^ischur troops, to the army 
of General Ochterlony. 

It was a strange sight to view their wild figures, crowning the heights 
above us, and stretching in a long irregular line down to a small hollow 
a little way beyond our camp. When they assembled at theii* halting 
place, I went to look at them ; and it is difficult to conceive a more 
uncouth and heterogeneous assemblage than were there collected. The 
features and figure of the true Ghoorkha are always singular and remarkable, 
from his broad Chinese or Tartar-hke physiognomy, the small eyes, fiat 
nose, and meagre whiskers, as well as his stout square make and stui-dy 
limbs. These, in every description of costume, and in all degrees of rag- 
gedness, were mingled with inhabitants of Kumaoon, Sirmore, and Gurwhal; 
all indicating, by a varied character of countenance, the country they came 
from. Women and children, loaded with the few articles they had 
preserved from the rapacity of their captors, were interspersed among the 
rest ; and around, all the Eischur soldiers, in their national dress, armed 
with bows and arrows, shields and swords, watched, standing, over their 
movements. Such were the materials from which the groiqis were formeil. 
But it would need a lively imagination to suggest, and a far more 
humorous and able pen to describe, the grotesque attitudes, and the odd 



224 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

uncouth individuals that composed the assembly. INIany miserable objects, 
too, taint with weariness and hunger, wounded, and ill attended to, 
with women, and young children perhaps weak or ill, yet forced to carry 
them, because their husbands were already overloaded by necessary pro- 
visions, and what baggage they had preserved, formed a large part of the 
cavalcade, 

^\^hen we thus saw a portion of the Ghoorkha army together, and 
marked them, so miserable, stript, and unarmed, we could not but ask 
ourselves with astonishment, were these the men who had so Avell defended 
the fort of Kalunga, who had so often foiled our regular troops, and had 
protracted the campaign to such a length, by their constancy and bravery? 
Yet among them there were many fine looking young men ; and there was 
a cheeifulness of countenance, a modest confidence of demeanor, that could 
not but pleasingly attract observation. 

They were prisoners ; they had lost their all : and they had been in 
the power of a cruel and treacherous enemy ; nor could they well say 
what they had to expect : but no murmurs of lamentation or discontent 
were heard ; good humour and hghtness of heart absolutely seemed to 
prevail among them, yet without noise or tumult. The hum of many 
voices was heard, and the noise of encamping, making their cooking places, 
pitching a stick to suspend a blanket from, that their wives and children 
might be somewhat shielded from the sun ; but no disputes, no quarrels 
occurred : and the quietness with which all was conducted might have 
afforded a lesson to the more disciplined troops of other nations. Among 
the women we remarked several who were fair, and had good features : 
they were chiefly natives of Bischur and Gurhwhal, who had married 
Ghoorkha soldiers, and now followed their husbands" fortunes. 

After breakfast, Kirtee Rana, the captive (Thoorkha chief, paid us 
a visit, at our request. He was a little and a very old looking man ; liis 
cast of countenance was quite Chinese, with mustachios consisting of only 
a few thin hairs ; his nose was sunk in the middle, and turned up at the 
end ; he much resembled an old midatto woman ; he wore on his head 
a dirty cotton scull-cap, and his clothes, of white nuislin, were in miserable 
disr('])air ; his figure was strikingly ungainly ; but the expression of his 
countenance was good-humoured ; and, when animated by conversation, 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 225 

his eye lightened up with much fire, and he l)ecanie comniunicative and 
at his ease. 

He is a fine, brave, and spirited old soldier : we received him kindly. 
He related the history of his capture, with the reasons why it took place 
so early, nearly in the manner above stated. He said, that the endurance of 
hunger and thirst, without any prospect of relief, had proved too much for 
the constancy of a great part of his troops ; and the Gurwhal and Cumaoon 
men had begun to desert fast, or had entered into treacherous engagements 
with the enemy ; and that subsequently (when on his retreat to Chunibee- 
Ke-Teeba) he was betrayed into a road, lined by an ovcrpowei'ing force of 
the enemy. He described the sufferings of the troo])s from the heat of the 
sun, continual exertion, and thirst, as very great, and, joined to that of the 
women and children, too much to bear ; and, accordingly, luider tlie idea 
that the attack was authorised by, and under the orders of the British, he 
had surrendered, to preserve life and property, not having confidence in 
his troops to risk a final battle. 

It is singular, that, while Kirtee Rana remained at Nowagurh, before 
the death of Buchtee T,happa, which occurred in the decisive affair of the 
l6th of April, in the attack upon the heights near jNIalown, the desertions 
were by no means frequent or numerous ; and even from the army of 
Ummr Sing they were comparatively small in number ; but, after the 
death of that chieftain, whom they emphatically called '' the blade of their 
sword," the men from Kirtee Banrfs party deserted faster, and in greater 
numbers ; while nearly the whole army of Ummr Sing left him, and threw 
themselves on British clemency. This proved, more strongly than any 
thing, the devotion and love which the jieople entertained for Buchtee 
T,happa. 

Kirtee Rana is a native of Palpai, of high rank, and, I believe, a direct 
descendant from the original royal family of that state. The word Rana 
denotes the tribe or family he belongs to : and, I believe, it originated 
in distinguishing those who were related to the royal house of Palpai 
before its downfall and the conquest of the Ghoorkhas : at all events, it 
indicates a high extraction. 

He says that he is seventy years of age, and lias served the Xepfd rajah 
tliirteen years in this quarter. Upon our asking liiin what could induce 
him, at such an age, to leave his native land, his answer was impressive. 

G G 



226 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

" jNIy master the rajali sent me : he says to his people, to one, Go you 
to Gurwhal ; to another, Go you to Cashmire, or to any distant part : My 
lord, thy slave obeys, it is done. Xo one ever inquires into the reason of 
an order of the rajah." 

In the Hindoo phraseology, the words and style were remarkable and 
emphatic ; and the action that accompanied them was still more so. The 
old man's eye sparkled ; and he imitated, with admirable effect, the tone of 
high command and that of passive reverential obedience. No finer spe- 
cimen could be given of the high and blind respect with which eastern 
potentates are contemplated by their subjects, and which has always been 
remarkably observed in Nepal. 

Along Avith Ivirtce Eana, and with several other bharadars or chiefs, 
came one who was said to be an uncle of Ummr Sing, whose name I do not 
recollect ; an uncommonly tall fine figure, clothed in a long black gown and 
very warlike cap, and armed with a cookree and shield. Of liim also we 
asked many questions concerning the Avar, the Nepal empire, and their 
customs ; and concluded by asking him, whether, according to the terms 
of the capitulation, he would return Avith Ummr Sing to NepFd. 

He ansAvered, " No ; I can no more visit my country : I must look for 
service clscAvhere. I can never face the rajah again, for I have eaten 
Ghoorkha salt. I Avas in trust, and I have not died at my post," 

" Why," said Ave, " should you have died uselessly, Avhere the cause 
you served could not be benefited by your death, Avhen it Avas quite 
hopeless ?" 

" Ah !"■ replied he, " Ave should nevertheless never have deserted our 
posts : to have died there had been far better, ^^"e never can return to 
our country." And all the soubahdars and chiefs present, shaking their 
heads, also said, " We never can retvirn." 

These people surely possess in a high degree, almost to excess, the true 
sense of a soldier's duty ; and it is striking to observe the miserable 
appearance they often make as figures, contrasted Avitli the exalted senti- 
ments they utter ; not in a })()mi)ous manner, as if calculated or prepared 
for the occasion, but simply and naturally, as the usual and ordinary feelings 
of their minds. 

The persons, Avho had the charge of conducting Ivirtee Rana to the 
Britisii camp, had provided him Avith none of the conveniences, and 



THE HIMALa mountains. 227 

scarcely the necessaries, that a man of his rank, and particularly of his 
advanced age, might most properly lay claim to. He had walked on foot, 
althovigh lame and weary, from Eaeengudh. We supplied him with 
money, sufficient to procure for himself and his men comforts and neces- 
saries, till they should reach the camp ; and we provided for himself the 
means of proper carriage, and some of the attentions befitting his rank and 
age. He took his leave, and proceeded on his journey ; and 1 hope he left 
us pleased. 

The commander of the ]]ischur troops, a chief of that country, who 
came from a remote part of the snowy hills, and was ordered to convey 
the Ghoorkha troops to the British camp, also paid us a visit. Of him we 
made many inquiries relating to the more northerly and distant regions of 
that state, and to the passes which might lead from thence through the 
snowy range. He informed us that he himself had passed through them, 
and had reached the temple of Buddreenauth, by the Xilleemana pass ; that 
he had followed up the course of the Sutlej, till it separated into two streams, 
at a point called Leot ; but it was not easy to comprehend how the route 
led after this point ; nor could we obtain, at this time, any list of the 
stages, or description of the country. From what Ave gathered respecting 
the passes, we understood that, during a space of four days" journey, there 
is neither habitation nor food to be met with, nor wood to dress victuals 
with, and that the road is exceedingly bad. 

The descent on the other side, when the crest of the snoAAT hills is 
passed, he says, is far less than on this ; and he added, that in two days 
the traveller reached the plains of Bootan, which must be very far elevated 
above those of Plindostan. His conversation on this part of the subject 
was by no means distinct : he asserted however, that he had reached and 
come through the passes at Buddreenauth, after having penetrated througli 
the snowy hills by the passes in Bischur, which for a considerable Avay 
lead along the Sutlej. This river, he also avers, comes from beyond 
the snowy hills, by two branches that unite at Leot. 

From this conversation, although we learnt nothing that was very 
distinct or conclusive, enough was gathered to make us anxious to push 
our inquiries farther, and, if possible, to penetrate along this line ourselves ; 
at least, so far as to ascertain the practicabihty of the road and passes. 



228 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

Finding that a ready and ample supply of grain was not to be 
obtained in the vicinity of our camp, we moved on the 29th about ten 
miles in a south-west direction to a station in Phagoo, a district of 
Keeoountheel. 

]\ray SO. — Passing by the castle of Theog, a small building in tlie 
usual taste on the top of a small peak, we were met by the lord of the 
place, who preferred a bitter complaint against his own son, who (as he 
asserted) meditated to usurp the estate, and probably to murder his father. 
The poor creature, who, with a revenue certainly not exceeding 3000 
rupees per ainuim, has the title of Rana, was in great distress. He was 
promised protection. 

The road now wound along the eastern side of a valley, that led to the 
Girrec, which was in sight, a small stream below : from the crest of the 
ridge, where we occasionally reached it, a long and extensive range of the 
snowy hills to the north-west appeared, broken by intervening ridges, and 
forming the boundary of the Punjab. A further gentle ascent brought 
us to the height of Deshoo-Ke-D,har, formerly a post of the Ghoorkhas, 
but now in ruins, whence a very extensive and interesting view was pre- 
vented by mist and haze alone. Thence we descended to our tents, along 
smooth grassy knolls, in time to be sheltered from a fierce and severe 
storm, which continued till midnight, with terrible thunder and lightning, 
and heavy hail and rain. 

The next day, the 31st, finding our situation to be too much exposed, 
we moved under shelter of a fine forest of fir-trees that clothed a lofty 
peak, and pitched our tent in a retired and romantic glade, where, though 
the weather was still inclement, we only felt the cold, being undisturbed 
by the violence of the wind. 

We had now, from the natural direction of the hills to the north-west, 
and our own progress towards the south, advanced so far towards the plains, 
that we were not much further removed from thence than when we were 
crossing Choor. That mountain apjicared to be at no great distance, with 
the various glens wc had crossed miming down to meet the (Tirree. From 
Deshoo-Ke-D,har, the geographical lines of the country, the course of its 
rivers, ravines, and ridges, were very easily traced : a course, intersecting 
tliat .which we had before held, and carrying us by another of the more 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 229 

prominent ridges of the country, promised to add considerably to the 
accuracy of our geographical observations. 

Nothing of ini])ortance offered to detain us in the quarter we now 
occu])ied. The stronger holds of Jytock and of Malown, with all others 
in the liills, were })laced in the Ihitish possession. The armies were 
moving to cantonments ; and, as the accounts received from head-cpiarters 
gave us no reason to l)elieve that any orders would be issued hkely to 
interfere with the researches we had in contemplation, we therefore pur- 
posed to hold a course to the northward, to visit Rampore, the capital, and 
Seran, the second place in Bischur, and then to be guided by circumstances 
as to our further progress through the snowy range. 

June 1. — We again marched, holding an easterly coiu-se, through a 
fine larch wood; and sharply descending through the village of Dutan, 
where there is a very neat temple to the goddess Durgah, we reached 
the site of an old fort named Goorjeree, situate in the small state of 
Rutes. 

A very short way further down, on the banks of the Girree, are the 
two considerable states of Bughat and Keeoun, which bound with Sirmore, 
the former stretching from Keeownthul to the plains. Rutes is an exceed- 
ing small state, depending on, and ])aying tribute to, Sirmore. 

From Goorjeree, a very rapid descent along the edge of a ridge, tliat 
ends in the Girree, brought us to the banks of that river, at six miles 
from our encampment. The stream was swoln and muddy, from the rain 
of the day before : we crossed it ; and, on the other side, while passing by 
a half-ruined village just above, two children were presented to us, as those 
of the late Rana of Rutes, who was murdered not long before by some of 
the zemindars on the opposite side of the stream, in his own lordship, but 
who rose u})on him, and thus })ut hini to death. Their mother, a respect- 
able, good-looking woman, although rather masculine, presented them, 
with prayers for protection. This afforded an additional })roof of tlie 
wretched and disordered state of the country. 

We now entered the state of Bulsum, and commenced an irregular 
winding ascent along the course of the Bugettroo nullah (the same on 
whose banks we encamped on the 13th of :\Iay, nuich higher u])). and 
reached the Aillage of Sah, after a march of somewhat more than ten miles. 

The face of the country was uninteresting, consisting of brown bare 



230 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

hills, here and there spotted with fields, from which the corn had been 
cut. The lower part of the nullah is narrow and deep, and the road winds 
irreo-ularlv from two to three hundi-ed yards above its stream. 

Xo variation was remarked in the nature of the soil or rock. We ob- 
served this day a neat expedient used by the Ghoorkhas instead of a direct- 
ing post, when two roads meet : coming to such a place, and puzzled as to 
our course, the Ghoorkha Soubahdar stepped forward, and stooping down, 
showed where some of the party who preceded us had placed a tuft of 
grass, which he had rooted up, upon one of the paths, with a stone on it, thus 
denoting, as he observed, that the road was " killed ;"' we took that wliich 
according to his ideas remained alive, and found it to be the right one. 

We remarked this day a very highly aromatic species of sage, in great 
abundance : almost every small herb in these hills possesses some aromatic 
quahty, or has some sort of perfume ; mint, and other potherbs, we had 
found wild before. 

Ikilsum is a small but thriving state, assessed by the Ghoorkhas at 
6000 rupees per anntim. It consists of a ridge, and two valleys, that run 
down to the Girree from the range connecting Choor and Urructa, and 
which divide it from Poonnur of Joobul. 

The village of Sah, which belongs to it, is a poor place, but we found in 
it a novelty, an enclosed garden, in which, besides peaches and apricots 
(the latter nearly ripe), we were pleased to find many apple-trees, covered 
with fruit of a good size, and which, though not rijie enough to be sweet, 
were far superior to crabs, and proved a 'very grateful variety. Shaddock 
and lemon-trees were also cultivated here, but they had been very roughly 
treated by the cold, and a grape-vine crept up some wild fig-trees, with 
which some pains seemed to have been taken. 

June U,. — Tlie Rana of Bulsum paid us a visit this morning. He 
was a good-looking man, and wore the common hill dress, except that 
the material was somewhat finer, and his trowsers Avere of striped cotton. 
In his cap was placed a plume of the feathers of tlie hill-pheasant, looped 
witli a gold ornament, and on his arms were silver bangles. He was 
attended by a party of hill troops, armed with bows and arrows. 

We were detained there till eleven o'clock, when we connnenced our 
march by ascending the hill behind the village, in a direction at first 
northerly, and then turning to the eastward, till we reached the lofty point 



THE HIM ALA MOUNTAINS. 231 

of Churail-ke-Teeba, whence a wide view opened to us. The face of 
the country hitherto had been brown and uninteresting, the corn uni- 
versally cut, and a good deal of land turned up for the rice cultivation ; 
it was well tilled, and in as good order as any land I had ever seen at 
home ; I know not, however, whether the ground was moved to any great 
depth. 

During our ascent, which was sharp and irregular, we saw many parties 
of the mountain troops, all assembling to meet their rana to do him honour. 
Their figures running down the brown ridges, and topping the dark rocks, 
gave a fine uniformity of character to the scene, and awakened tlioiights 
of ancient story, of feudal times, and warlike clans meeting in their own 
heathy mountains at the call of their chief 

We passed several villages, in one of which I obtained a tolerable 
sketch of a Avoman, v. ho occupied a good house in the place, and gave no 
signs of uneasiness when I signified my wish to take her likeness. 

Trom the height of Choorail, the whole sin-rounding country presented 
as various and diversified a prospect as generally happens from a lofty 
station, and we remained here a long time employed in observations. ^Ve 
had only hitherto proceeded four miles and a half, and from hence followed 
the ridge a considerable distance farther, and then descended by a rough 
road to the village of I3utlaoque, which we did not reach till eight o'clock 
at night, though the whole march was not nine miles, so long did we loiter 
on the heights, beguiled by the extensive view. 

The village of Eutlaoque looks down upon a wild valley, that is sepa- 
rated into two parts by a point of the ridge which we crossed on the 13th 
of INIay. The country around is not inviting, although villages abound, and 
mucli land is under cidtivation, but the top of the glen is romantic with 
rocks and wood. 

AV^e remained here during the 3d, but on the 4tli resumed oiu* marcli. 
ascending the hill behind the village, which is a continuation of the ("Ini- 
rail ridge, and reached a high peak called I)eoonniu--ke-Teeba. u])on the 
ridge that connects the mountains of Choor and Urructa, and from either 
side of which proceed a number of valleys that send their waters to the 
Touse or to the Girree. 

The day was hazy, but the view was magnificent ; from this point, the 
road lay on the crest of the ridge, which is very narrow betAvcen each 



232 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

rising ])eak, almost due north ; sometimes through fine forests, at others 
along sharp rocks, and varied ])y many rises and falls. 

At one very difficult pass we found the breastwork yet standing, behind 
whicli the inhabitants of Joobul, Poonnur, and Bulsum, defended them- 
schcs from the attacks of the Ghoorkha forces and the men of Sirmore, 
during the struggles which that warlike district made for liberty. 

The Ghoorkha forces suffered a considerable loss in attempting to gain 
tlie narrow ledges of the pass, nor could they succeed till in the night they 
sent a body of some hundreds round to a height which was unoccupied, 
and which connnanded the pass. These, in the morning, opened a de- 
structive fire on the Poonurrees, who, thus attacked in front and rear, were 
forced to retire with great loss. 

Somewhat further we reached a gorge, whence, on the east side, we 
looked down on Poonnur, and on the west into the vales of Eulsum, and 
continued onwards, occasionally dipping and rising, till coming to a wooded 
CTaggy eminence, it appeared that we had left the direct road, and had to 
form one for ourselves, an experiment somewhat hazardous in so wild a 
country, especially as it was already five o'clock, and our tents were distant 
across a deep dell. 

No time however was to be lost, and we penetrated into a deep forest 
near the head of a subordinate valley, shaggy with wood, and very rocky. 
The soil was deep and fine, but the descent was so rapid, and the under- 
wood so thick, that it was sometimes not easy to avoid ])recipices, to tl>e 
brink of which the numerous falls we got often brought us. On emerging 
from this forest, a heavy shower fell, and continued till we had crossed two 
small but deep ravines, which lay between us and our tents, pitched at the 
village of Dhar, and which we reached at a late hour; our march was only 
nine miles and a half 

This village belongs to Bulsum, and has a south-eastern aspect opposite 
the woody descent by which we came, which resembles the usual north- 
western faces of all the peaks we have seen. 

Little occurred on the march of this day worthy of note : we found 
well-grown acorns u])on one of the trees, which we usually believed to be 
a holly ; and we found a plant very much resembling common cabbage in 
taste and smell, growing wild in the hills ; the flower of it also satisfied us 
tliat it belonged to that species. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 233 

June 5. — The morning was fine, but with a few sprinklings of rain. 
We dismissed the Rana of Eulsum (who had liitherto attended us) with 
the customary presents, and we pursued our march, mounting the steep 
hill behind the village, in a north-easterly direction, to Kanda, a high peak 
about two miles and a half distant. From hence we looked down on 
Poonnur, Bulsum, and the small state of Cotegooroo. On our road to this 
place a party of men brought us a hill pheasant, or rutnFd, which had been 
caught by the rana's order on our account, by the exertion of upwards of 
an hundred men. These birds are very beautiful in plumage and form ; 
they will be mentioned hereafter with the other sorts of game that occur 
in the hills. On the rough heights of Kanda we saw some, and heard 
others, as they rose and fled from us, with their mellow whistle. On this 
peak we also saw a snake which the Ghoorkhas had killed, almost the 
only one we had met with in our alpine travels. 

Descending from this height we continued our progress upon the un- 
equal and rugged crest of the ridge in a northerly direction, passing 
through a pleasing succession of wood and glade, and among forests of 
surprisingly fine silver-fir trees, some of which were of wonderful girth, 
and in scenes surpassed by nothing, save the dells in Urructa. The 
splendid view of the snowy hills, a scene which can never weary, would 
have been here enjoyed to perfection but for the haziness of the day. 

Leaving this ridge we descended through similar scenery, but much 
scathed with fire ; we passed tlu-ough some beds of wild strawberries of 
good flavour, and very refreshing. A steep winding path along the edge 
of a subordinate ridge led us l>y two neat villages to the bed of a stream 
that runs to the Girree. From hence we ascended the opposite mountain 
side, which was steep, barren, and ugly. The nullah is the boundary be- 
tween the petty states of Bvdsum and Cotegooroo, which we now entered. 
Casting back our eyes on the two o})])osite slopes of liulsum, which we had 
passed, we were dehghted with their beauty and the rich intermixture of 
cultivation, wood, and villages, they dis})layed. The Girree was now in 
sight below to our left; it had taken its turn to the hills, whence it springs, 
and which we were fast approaching ; and on turning the corner of the 
ridge to our right, and in an easterly direction, we saw on its banks the 
house of the Eana of Cotegooroo, curiously perched on a rock above the 
stream, but far below us. Beyond it was the ridge that forms the southern 

n H 



234 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

boundary of the Nawur valley ; our tent was pitched at a village a good 
way above the stream, and our march was eight miles and three quarters. 

On one part of the road, where the ground was moist from a shower, 
we saw the print of a small tiger's foot, but we could not satisfactorily 
ascertain Avhether it was that of a true tiger or only of a leopard. The 
natives said it was a red animal, and called it bang. 

In marches so near the course of our former route, and in a country 
which presents a succession of scenery so nearly similar, and of Avhich the 
grand features are almost always the same, much novelty of description 
cannot be expected ; little remark, therefore, has been offered on the last 
few marches. j^ 

Cotegooroo is a lordship, valued at about 9000 rupees per annum, and 
is governed by a Rana, who pays tribute to Bischur. The country and 
j)eople arc similar to those of Bulsuni, Joobul, and other small states in the 
neighbourhood. The house or village where the Rana resides is called 
Cotc-kaee. Our camp was situated in a pleasant grove of mulberry and 
oak-trees, near a cool ruiniing stream, and we were furnished by the vil- 
lagers around with plenty of fine strawberries and milk. 

.June G. — In the morning the Rana of Cotegooroo came to pay us a 
visit. He was a very corpulent, sickly, and ill-looking man, advanced in 
years, and bearing the marks of excess as well as of disease. Unable from 
illness and fat to move of himself, he was pulled up the hills in a sort of 
litter by fifty men. He complained bitterly of the depredations committed 
on his territories by the inhabitants of Poonnur, who, making their way 
over the ridge wliich divides tliem from the village of Cote-kaee, surprise 
and plunder it. 

Both these people and the men of Jkilsum are noted for such maraud- 
ing expeditions, and, I believe, those of Cote-kaee are not more innocent, 
while they who inhabit the opposite side of the ridge in the valley of 
Nawur are known to be notoriously daring thieves. Even whilst we were 
in the neighbourhood, the chief of Bulsum, that he might lose no time, 
seized violently on the lands of the cliief of the petty state of BhuroiUee. 
Nothing could be done at the time but to assure him of the jirotection 
of government in common with that which would be experienced by the 
whole country, and to threaten the aggressor with their vengeance. 

We continued our route, winding along the south bank of the Girree 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 235 

by many inflexions, till we crossed its stream. A short distance above 
Cote-kaee, the Gu'ree divides into two streams, one of which comes directly 
from a lofty hill called Toombroo-ke-Teeba, and the other, which retains 
the name of the river, and which we followed, proceeds in a direction 
towards the west, flowing from one of the lower shoulders of the mountain 
Urructa. The bed, where we crossed it, was formed of vast masses of 
stone, and the road on the opposite side wound abrujitly up a craggy ridge 
composed of similar blocks, and continued sufficiently dangerous along 
ledges of rock, high above the stream : we passed several villages, and 
ascended rajiidly during the latter part of the march, till we reached 
Jounce, a small place situate about 4 or 500 feet above the Girree, and 
very near to its source. 

The valley of Cote-kaee, to the upper extremity of which we had now 
advanced, takes its rise in a shoulder of Urructa, which branches into two 
parts; one meeting the ridge that comes from Choor, in a north and south 
direction, forms its southern side ; the other splits into several parts, and, 
sending one down to Cote-kaee, continues in a direction to the northward, 
till, being turned at Toombroo-ke-Teeba to the westward, it assumes the 
name of Chvnnbee-ke-D,har, which joins the N^oagurh range, and is thus 
connected with M oral-ke-Kanda and the snowy mountains. The opposite, 
or south side of the valley, is deeply wooded, and the top is highly romantic 
with rocks and old pines. The Girree, a very small rivulet, but now 
swollen and muddy from the rain that had fallen, rises among large masses 
of fallen rocks and precipices, covered with dark foliage, about half a mile 
distant. The whole march did not exceed six miles and a half, but was 
comfortless from heavy rain ; and the night set in "with so very threatening 
an appearance, and the mist descended so low, that we began to fear that 
the rainy season had commenced. 

June 7. — The morning was heavy and unpromising, but we began our 
march by ten o'clock, ascending the height of Sak.hnea, wliich. high above 
the valley, marks the diverging of the two ranges to Cote-kaee and to 
Toombroo. We followed the latter ridge, descending considerably for a 
mile and a half, and reached a gorge, from which, on the right hand, we 
looked down on the valley of Deyrah, and had an uninterrupted view 
nearly to Eaeengudh ; on the other, towards the south-west, the nullah 
and valley of Silleh took its rise, running down to the Girree. 



23() NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

Silleh is a small state of no note ; and the house of its Ranu was seen 
from hence on the brink of the stream. At this gorge there was a re- 
markable stone, which the natives call Oddee, whence the pass has its 
name. It was about nine to ten feet high, about two feet broad, and not 
more than four or five inches in thickness : it appears to have been marked 
at some time in a serrated manner, and had deep cuts in it, but has been 
disfigured by the sharpening of the liill axes, for which indeed it is favour- 
able, being a species of soft sand-stone quite differing from the rocks of 
the surrounding hills. The natives say that this stone was placed here by 
the Sikhs, to commemorate a successful invasion of these hills under Gooroo 
Naiuic. But there is probably some mistake in this, as Nanuc, the founder 
of the religious sect of the Sikhs, was no warrior ; nor did they, I believe, 
penetrate the hills, whither they were driven by the persecutions of the 
iNIusulmauns, till long after the time of Gooroo Nanuc. Some other stories 
were related about this stone ; but I could gather nothing sufficiently 
distinct to be worth repeating. 

The ascent to Toombroo-ke-Teeba commenced at this gorge, and we 
climbed up its steep but grassy sides. The top was bare of any sort of 
wood, but covered with stones, and soine appearances of old foundations 
of buildings : its western and south-western faces are strangely cut into 
rocky ravines, finely wooded. From hence we held a north-westerly course, 
winding in and out of the risings and fallings of the ridge, to the gorge by 
Avhicli we descend to the valley of Xawur on the right hand, and by the 
.Jushul dell, to that of Cotekaee, on the left. We followed this last path, 
and arrived at the village of Jushul somewhat late, after a march of rather 
more than eight miles. 

Our tents, which had been sent on by Avhat they called an easier route, 
did not arrive for a considerable time afterwards ; and we pitched in the 
best sheltered spot we could find, preparing for a rough night. 

One of the party saw this day the process of procuring iron ore from 
the part of the hills that here afforded it : it issues, it seems, along with 
the water, from a spring or springs in the mountain side ; and at these 
the people have placed a trough of wood, along which the water runs 
containing the ore : it is much mixed Avith dirt, and is cleaned with con- 
siderable lal)our, giving the water a deep muddy red tinge. Ii'on abounds 
all over these hills ; but, unless when it forces itself on observation, as in 



THE HIMSLA MOUNTAINS. 237 

these springs, the inhabitants do not seek it with any labour : probably 
they find, without labour, a sufficient quantity for all their uses. 

June 8. — The night was stormy, and the morning very cold. The 
village we were in, I beheve, belonged to the petty chiefs of Silleh or 
Knoit ; both of whom came in the morning to pay their respects. They 
are tributary to Bischur or to Joobul, accorchng to the pohtical posture of 
the times. The latter, a smart, good-humoured man, complained, with 
a smile, that every one preyed on him in turn ; and stated the hardships 
of his case with more of facetiousness than of lamentation : the other, on 
the contrary, was heavy and dull. 

The village, to whomsoever it belonged, did not appear to be under 
much control ; for we could scarcely procure the least quantity of grain, 
till forcibly searched for and taken, although the chief was present, and 
had issued his order to have us suppUed. It was rather a neat place ; 
and the houses were more regular, and less ruined than usual. We did 
not march this day, but in the evening ascended the lofty peak of Urshalon. 
behind the village ; whence, as the rain cleared the air, we enjoyed a mag- 
nificent prospect, particularly to the northward, where the snowy mountains, 
half in storm, and half well defined and sharp, bounded our view from right 
to left. Here also we disencumbered ourselves of every superfluous article 
of baggage, sending back every thing that was not absolutely necessary, 
under a guard, to the fort of Choupal ; thus lightening ourselves for a 
joui'iiey, of the extent of which we were not fully assured. 



PART V. 



JOURNEY WITH THE POLITICAL AGENT FOR THE 
ARMY OF GENERAL MARTINDALE CONTINUED. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

June 8. — In the number or description of our followers we had 
hitherto made no alteration or reduction ; on the contrary, we had been 
joined at T,heog by a party of Ghoorkhas, volunteers from the army of 
Kirtee Rtina, stout and active men, who were well acquainted with the 
country, as far as any one, besides the natives themselves, could know it. 

June 9. — The night was exceedingly cold ; and, though the morning 
was fine and clear, a bitter north wind benumbed our very joints. At 
nine o'clock we re-ascended the height of Urshalum, whence the sno^^y 
range was again visible, in a cloudless sky of pure blue, more clearly and 
distinctly than we had ever seen it ; and I took the opportunity of sketch- 
ing an outline of it, as well as of the nature of the country, and of the 
intervening ridges. 

From this place we advanced along the ridge of Chumbee-Ke-D.har to 
the lofty station called Sooraroo-Ke-Teeba, where Kirtee KFina made his 
last stand, and finally svu-rendered. The half finished stockade, or rather 
breastwork, which he formed by a ditch and the few stones and bushes 
found on the spot during the night on which his troops maintained the 
position, was still in the state in which he left it. iVIany half devoured 
bodies and skeletons of the wretched Ghoorkhas yet lay on the spot where 
they had fallen. Several of those who had borne a share in the retreat 
and in the engagement were now in our company, and pointed out tlie 
different lines of defence and points of attack, and showed how tlie ridges 
were hned by the enemy, where they had rushed forward to the assault 
and were repulsed, where the wuzzeers of Joobul and liischur had taken 
their station,— in short, the whole detail of the affair. The position is 
a very commanding one ; and, with food and water, might have been 
retained against any number of undisciplined troops. 

From hence we passed along the ridge, following the line of the 

I I 



'242 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

retreat, and recognising at every step marks of the march or disasters of 
the day. Our course for some time was westerly, but we soon turned 
more to the northward, and, Avinding under the craggy bases of some 
rugged peaks, we crossed our old route just at the gorge of Kut,hagurh, 
whence we descended to the village of Urhealoo on our road to Comhar- 
sein. On that occasion we had descended in a westerly direction, but now 
we ascended towards the north-west, and kei)t along a narrow sharp ridge 
with many bad steps, till we reached the true Nowagurh range, just under 
one of the stockades erected by the Ghoorkhas. Farther on, a path, 
ascending by the side of a steep grassy declivity, led us up to the fort of 
Xowagurh, a place which never was large, nor could have been strong ; but 
it is singidar from its situation, being a complete peak, accessible only by 
scrambling up the rocks on which it rests by the side at which we entered. 
It is commanded by the loftiest peak of the Nowagurh range, though from 
a distance, and could not be tenable if it were to be attacked by persons 
not prevented from occupying it by superstitious motives. Hence we 
l)assed along the side of this lofty peak, the path running along a steep 
hill-face, covered with, and winding among, huge shapeless masses of stone 
that have fallen from the crags above. We reached our tents a httle 
fartlier on in good time, after a march of ten miles and a quarter. 

This day's march was interesting, not only because it carried us over 
new ground, but also as being the scene of the last struggle of Ghoorkha 
j)ower in this part of the country. Places which have been signalized by 
acts of heroism and glory, of suffering or of crime, or which have been the 
scene of any remarkable occurrence, of whatsoever nature, cannot be passed 
over with the indifference with which we view common spots. Even the 
sufr'erings of an inconsiderable body of Ghoorkhas, who, in the pride and 
even wantoiniess of con(|uest, had now marched so far from their home, 
and the distress of their old but brave commander, must claim from those, 
who traverse the ground on whicli they endured them, the consideration 
and pity of a moment. Althougli they had no Just business there, they 
Avere brave, and at last were suljdued rather by treachery than by force ; 
and it is not easy to conceive more distressing feelings than those of their 
chief during a weary and harassed retreat, — betrayed by those whom he had 
trusted, and compelled to a final hopeless struggle against an exasperated 
and savage enemy. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 243 

We observed at Chumbee-Ke-D,har a decided change in the nature of 
the rocks of which the mountains were composed : from that place they 
were entirely of sandstone, of various degrees of coarseness, but still in 
laminous strata. The rocks about the foot of Nowagurh were cut by the 
weather into the most fantastic shapes, and I have hardly seen any where 
a more noble and various specimen of wild scenery than was exhibited in 
the western exposure of this peak. The shapes and tints of the rock, the 
richness of the foliage, with the bold forms of the crags, were, I think, 
more than equal to any thing that has come under our observation. The 
fallen masses under Nowagurh peak show another variety ; they are formed 
of a sort of amalgam of sand, (piartz, and mica, all worked into a kind of 
plum-pudding stone, in some instances exceedingly hard, but sometimes 
crumbling into loose gravel, and forming the soil and sand on which we 
were walking. There is, I beheve, a similar kind of rock on the tops of 
Choor and Urructa, but it is not by any means common, nor do I recollect 
to have seen it before. Prodigious blocks of this stone strew the whole 
hill-face below the peak, which is very steej). 

Our tent was pitched at a considerable distance from any village, and 
we found the night very cold : from the sharpness of the air we concluded 
that there was much frost. 

June 10. — This day we made no march. Intelligence having arrived 
of the convention with LTmmr Sing, and a letter being received from that 
commander to Runsoor T,happa, commandant of the fort of Ixaeengiulh, 
requiring him to deliver up the place, a party was immediately despatched 
with this order to receive it, and arrangements were made for conveying 
the men and their baggage unarmed to Choupal and Nahn, leaving with 
them the same proportion of arms and property as had been granted to 
the garrisons of Jytock and jNIaloA^ai. But, upon these preparations being 
made known to Eunsoor, he refused thus to deliver \ip his arms and 
property, alleging that his garrison was included among tliose of Gxu-whal, 
to whom more favovu'able terms had been granted : aiul this, upon our 
remonstrance, he supported by the letter of Unniu- wSing, who thus, to 
gain a very petty end, had stooped to use an artifice at least, if it may not 
be deemed a fraud. 

The fortress of Raeengudh had originally belonged to IJischur. or in 
fact was situate in the petty state of Raeen, which was always under the 



244 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

protection of that power ; but, in the troubles that often occurred before 
the Ghoorkha invasion, between the states of Gurwhal and Bischur, tlie 
fortress sometimes changed masters, and thus occasionally was held by the 
former. I am ignorant in whose possession it was at the time that the 
Ghoorklias subdued Gurwhal. In all probabiUty it was in that of Bischur ; 
but every person who was consulted on the business, even the people of 
Gurwhal itself, allowed that Raeengudh was usually considered a fortress 
of Bischur. 

Ummr Sing could not have been ignorant of this, but voluntarily 
misled General Ochterlony in the statement of garrisons which he de- 
livered ; and in his letter to Runsoor T,happa, he directed him how to 
behave on being required to evacuate the place. The transaction shows 
the character of Asiatic negotiation in its true point of view. Every 
advantage, whether honourable or the contrary, is seized, let it be never so 
small ; every delay, whether useful or not, is to be made ; and at last an 
ungracious forced acquiescence crowns the eastern diplomatist with honour 
in the eyes of his country. 

Although the Ghoorkhas, in their general dealings with us as enemies, 
liave shown more magnanimity, as well as steadiness of European warfare, 
than any other eastern foe, yet they cannot altogether refrain from this 
miserable deceit and cunning ; and Ummr Sing, perhaps, has practised it 
more than the rest of liis countrymen. In fact, the character of this man 
is not admired even by them. He is cruel, revengeful, impolitic, and, 
though perhaps brave, is not a general. 

The extent of the saving to the enemy by this trick could not have 
exceeded a few jinjaels, some old muskets and matchlocks, a few cookrees, 
and some skins of powder and maunds of shot ; and this was of no value to 
us ; but it was unpleasant to be so foolishly cheated ; and, therefore, orders 
were sent to deliver up the fortress according to its true state, as provided 
for in the capitulation, or that he should be given up to the mercy of the 
troops of the country. The desire of ascertaining the acquiescence of 
Runsoor T,happa in this order detained us here this day ; and accounts 
accordingly came of his having commenced his march for Choupal unarmed, 
and of the occupation of the place by a party of our irregular troops. 

This morning we ascended the high peak above Nowagurh fort. When 
we at first proposed this, the natives of the neighbouring villages en- 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 245 

deavoured strongly to dissuade us from the undertaking, and also our 
troops from occupying the fort, not only on account of the difficulty of 
the road, but because the summit was said to be occupied by a deity, who 
destroyed all intruders. When we laughed at tliis notion, and persisted 
in our intention, it was intimated that, by carrying up along with us five 
rams, we might propitiate this cruel divinity so as to escape untouched. 
To this expedient we also declined to resort ; and it was with some dif- 
ficulty that we procured guides to show us the path, while the rest were 
shocked at our obstinacy. The deity, who thus accepts a compromise of 
rams for human sacrifices, is named Kah ; that part of the peak which she 
or he occupies is called Coatee. I know not whether it is the same being 
who dehghts in human blood at Saugur, and is so well known in Hindoo- 
stan : if, indeed, they are the same, it is greatly to be wished tliat the 
lady in the plains would imitate her compeer in the hills, and accept of 
less horrid sacrifices. 

We found the ascent very difficult ; there was no path, and we had to 
thread the thick-tangled forest, among mighty masses of rock and fallen 
trees, upon a sloj)e so much steeper than usual, that it was not always 
easy to retain a footing, or to prevent something like giddiness, whilst the 
toil also was great. We were, however, repaid for all our labour bv the 
extensive and magnificent prospect we enjoyed from the summit, which 
we attained, notwithstanding our want of the propitiatory offi^riiig. As 
there was no peak or range near us of a similar or nearly eqiial lieight, 
the view was not interrupted on any side ; and certainly it is difficult tt) 
conceive a more strange yet varied circle of alpine scenery, tluui tliat 
which lay spread around us, Eidges over ridges rose in long succession 
to the north, to the west, and to the east, till terminated by a line 
of snow more craggy and fantastic than any of them. We had never 
till now been near them, and consequently could not so well discern their 
strange forms and wonderful ruggedness. The valley of the Sutlej ^vas 
distinctly visible to a great distance, where its direction lay much to tlie 
eastward, and was shut up from view by the overla])ping of the hills. 
Moral-Ke-Kanda, and the great snowy mountain whence it takes its 
rise, lay on our right to the eastward, forming the left bank of the river. 
On the opposite side, a similar huge mass was detached to serve for its 



246 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

other bank, and came down in subordinate rocky ridges, wliicli were the 
hills of Cooloo. The glen of the Sutlej is very narrow and deep through- 
out. Beyond, the opening formed in the hills by the bed of the Beya 
was very distinct, but there is no distinct break in the snowy hills ; and 
the natives say that this river does not pass through them, but rises in 
their south-western face. Although beyond this the tops of other hills 
were visible, and those across the Kauve were pointed out to us, they 
formed, to our apprehension, only a confused mass of points, of which we 
covdd make nothing. There cannot be a finer point whence to obtain an 
idea of the great hues of the country than this, and we made what use we 
could of the opportunity. We sketched the outline of this extraordinary 
landscape. 

The top of Nowagurh peak, which the natives call Coatee, is a mass 
of chaotic fragments of rock, huddled together in the strangest forms ; 
and among them grow trees, whose ancestors' ruins and their own falling 
fohage have formed a very rich vegetable mold, that hes in the clefts and 
crevices, nourishing a profusion of flowers, grasses, and other herbs. The 
whole peak is wooded to the top on three sides ; the fourth, to the north- 
west, is a steep precipice, more sparingly sprinkled with trees. From the 
strange manner in which the lumps of rock lay piled on each other, one 
would be tempted to attribute the whole to some great convulsion of 
jiature, that ruined a more lofty spire of rock, and strewed its fragments 
on this less elevated and broader base. AVere we to have recourse to less 
violent and more probable agency, it might be supposed that the more 
destructible parts of the rock, and the soil continually forming from these, 
and from the lichens and other vegetables which these noiu-ish, had been 
from time to time abraded by the weather, and that the harder parts had 
thus been left bare in masses as we saw them ; wliile the bases and interstices 
cherished, in a part of that soil still remaining, and constantly accunnilating 
as it forms, various luxuriant alpine vegetables. It is a curious spot. The 
rock is of the same nature as the fragments scattered below, and adverted 
to in the march of yesterday. On e\ery great rocky Iragment a large 
pile of small stones is placed ; and similar collections, built into the shape 
of very rude temples, are scattered all around, to the honour of the deity 
of the place. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 247 

We descended safely, although the ground was such as might have 
caused serious accidents — I believe, to the no small amazement of the 
natives, who looked for some signal punishment of our presumption. 

June 11. — This day we entered on quite new ground, and tiu-ned our 
faces to the northward. As the march was represented to be a long one, we 
began it early, and were all in motion soon after six o'clock. The morning 
was cold and frosty. We continued along the wooded and rocky ridge on 
which we had encamped, winding up a very wild road with some dangerous 
steps, till, by a gradual and very various ascent of three miles and a half 
we reached a high peak of the Soongree range, to which we were attracted 
by its commanding situation. The view was similar to that which was en- 
joyed yesterday from Nowagurh ; but, being some miles further advanced, 
we saw more of the country, and the day was particularly favourable to us. 
The points above the two towns of Rampore and Seran, both on the 
Sutlej, were now quite distinct. The boundary across the Sutlej, between 
the states of Cooloo and Bischur, was pointed out, being formed in a 
country that appeared not worth the dividing. On the east, the lofty 
mountains called Jumnotree and Gangotree almost terminated the sno^^'J• 
range. It is not easy to say how interesting these views were. M'e found 
ourselves placed in the sight of those wild and remote spots which have 
hitherto been heard of more as fabled places, and indistinctly alluded to. 
than as having " local habitation and a name ;" and as we became flimi- 
liarized with the lines of the country, and could connect its parts witli 
each other in our minds, this interest increased. Descending somewhat 
from this height, we held our course along the ridge for more than three 
miles further, through rock and forest, and sometimes on the bare hill-face, 
sensibly approaching the range of snow, whose dimensions enlarged at 
every new glimpse we obtained of them. 

We passed, on the left, the fort of jNIoonal-gurh, erected during a war 
which, at some distant period, had been waged against this country by the 
united force of Sirmore and (rurwhal. The point we liad now reached 
was the extremity of the Soongree-Kanda range, on whicli an old fort or 
post, called Oogoon, was once established on the same occasion as JNIoonal- 
gurh. This range is connected with jMoral-Ke-Kanda by a low neck, 
which we now crossed in our descent. At first the declivity was moderate, 
but after a short way the path led down the very sharp edge oC a ridge, 



248 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

exceedingly steep, and so completely slippery, from the fallen leaves of the 
fir-trees tliat strewed the ground, that we covdd hardly keep our footing. 
On cither hand there was a deep precipice, so that a false step would have 
been seriously dangerous ; and at length we were obliged to take off our 
shoes, as a security against slipping. W^ith this precaution we succeeded 
in descending safely. Near the bottom the path was rocky and rugged, 
in addition to its slipperiness ; the precipices approached on either side ; a 
torrent ran below, and the opposite sides of the united glen rose dark 
above us. The dusky foliage shut out the light of day : it was a savage, 
gloomy, dangerous place ; but when we reached the bottom, at the union 
of the two nullahs, the uncommon beauty of the scene amply repaid us for 
any risk we had incurred. The extent of this slippery and zig-zag descent 
is rather more than two miles ; but the first part of it is easy, though 
narrow. One of the streams, that form the nullah we had now reached, 
takes its rise in Moral-Ke-Kanda, the other in Soongree-Kanda, whence 
we descended. They both run in rocky chasms, but the former is the 
wildest and most considerable. At this point the rocks nearly met 
overhead, and they were covered with the greatest profusion of noble 
foliage ; among which a number of magnificent horse-chesnuts, rich in 
blossom, was not the least remarkable ; and a quantity of white roses, 
jasmine, and other fragrant and lovely plants, chmbed up the stems, and 
on all sides covered the rocks and ancient stumps of trees. 

We descended this shaded stream, which, a httle below this point, 
joins another more considerable, coming also from the western side of 
]\Ioral-Ke-Kanda, and the whole runs westward to the Sutlej, under the 
name of the Coonoo nullah. At the point where we crossed this stream 
we found a null at work, constructed for turning wood. It was simple, 
as all the other contrivances of these people are. An overshot stream 
turned a wheel, on the axle of which, at one end, several small spikes of 
iron served to fix any piece of wood re([uired to be worked. As we 
passed, a man was fabricating a certain sort of cups, which were intended 
to be sent to China. These are formed from the knots and excrescences 
of a particular kind of tree, which are much esteemed by the Chinese ; 
and, being thus rudely turned, are sent through the passes of these hills 
to the usual marts of traffic, and sell at from four to eight anas each. The 
tools with which the wood was cut Mere long pieces of steel fixed in a 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 249 

handle, the blade-end bent broadwise into smaller or larger semicircles, 
the edge of which is sharpened. This both served to hollow the cup and 
to smooth it, where hghtly applied ; in fact, it is used for the same purposes 
as the gouge by our turners, and is applied, resting on a frame, in nearly 
the same way. 

At this place w^e met with the first palpable instance of admixture of 
Tartar manners and customs, as well as of countenance, and it deserves 
notice. Observing an old man with a brass box of curious flishion hung 
round his neck, and wishing to examine it, we requested him to open it, 
which with considerable reluctance he did, saying that it contained his 
god, (Thakoor). He took from it two figures: one was a Lama of brass. 
the common idol of the worshippers of the Grand Lama, and given by him 
to those who visit his shrine on pilgrimages, and which are often sold 
in abundance by persons who have no authority to sanctify them ; the 
other was a small Chinese figure, painted on porcelain or clay : both were 
WTapped up in a piece of yellow silk. He said that he had received them 
both from the Grand Lama at L,hassa, whither he had many years since 
gone on a pilgrimage. This man was a Hindoo by professed religion, and 
worshipped these foreign idols after the Hindoo manner ; yet he received 
them from the head of another faith, whom he had visited to all appear- 
ance from a rehgious motive, offering a curious specimen of ignorance or 
of toleration ; perhaps a confusion not unnatural in one so tar removed 
from the more civilized professors of his faith; and, at all events, an 
edifying example of moderation and respect for what he did not under- 
stand. 

The toleration of the Hindoos, even in their days of power, and at 
their seats of most profound religion and learning, has been generally 
remarked ; and of this toleration we have a strong evidence in their com- 
monly known doctrine, that all faiths may reach heaven by one gate or 
other, only reserving to themselves the shortest road. They even have 
great respect for the holy })laces, and usages, and gods, of other religions. 
It is cpiite common to see them prostrating themselves at the splendid 
monuments of Moslem fliith, and they will pay an ecpial reverence to a 
Christian church. Haw unlike the savage exterminating creed of the 
Mahomedans! Perhaps the meekness of the religion he professed 
mingled with an ignorance of its mysteries, in the person of this liigli- 

K K 



250 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

lander. Avarice, however, got the better of rehgion, and, after some 
negotiation, he consented to transfer his Lama to me as a present, re- 
cci\ ing from me in Hke manner a remembrance of eight rupees. He was, 
I beheve, a native of the remote district of Kunawur, in Eischur ; and, 
like several of those we remarked here, had strong marks of Tartar 
physiognomy. 

From the banks of this stream we gradually ascended, in a north- 
westerly direction, to our encamping ground at the. village of D,hulocpie, 
which overhangs the Coonoo glen, and is situate among fields of barley. 
Our march was eleven miles and a half 

We this day made a great stride to the northward of our former line, 
and towards the loftier mountains ; and the features of the scenery 
enlarged, and became rougher and wilder in proportion. Our elevation 
was great. We had reached and crossed a shoulder of IMoral-Ke-Kanda, 
the loftiest mountain in our sight, next to the snowy range themselves. 
This noble mountain, which has already been frequently mentioned, is 
A'ery interesting on many accounts, besides its venerable appearance. It 
forms the ridge that divides and turns the waters of India. Taking its 
rise from a mass of snoA\y peaks that advance on the east of the Sutlej, 
above Rampore, it sends branches to the westward that form part of the 
banks of the Sutlej, and on the east, that extend to the Pabur ; while the 
ridge we crossed this day extends in a south-westerly direction, but very 
irregularly, and under various names, the whole way to Irkee, and even 
to the plains. 

The waters that arise upon the eastern and south-eastern faces of this 
sjjlendid range are thus sent to the Pabur and to the Girree, and, with 
those of the Touse and Jumna, find their way by the Ganges to the Bay 
of Pengal ; whilst those which fiow from the western and northern ex- 
posures are carried by the Sutlej and the Indus into the Gulf of Sinde 
and the Arabian Sea. The mountain is worthy of its great office, massy and 
dark, but streaked with snow, and cut into deep and numerous ravines, 
wild with rock and wood. Tlie face on which we encamped was too 
stec]) to admit of much cultivation, and we seemed to have left the more 
hospitable tracts behind. Fruit trees, however, were abundant, especially 
a})ric()ts, peaches, ap])les, and pears, but they were all quite green. Mul- 
berry-trees were as usual common, and a number of horse-chesnuts 



THE IIIAIALA MOUNTAINS. 251 

appeared to be preserved, if not cultivated. On inquiry, we were 
informed tliat a species of food is prepared witli much troul)le from their 
bitter fruit, whicli is used by the common people. The soil and rock 
entirely resumed its original form ; and, on the march, we observed 
nothing but slate and mica of various colours and kinds. 

One of the zemindars from a neighbouring village brought us this day 
the skin of a bird with the most splendid plumage I ever beheld. The 
chief part of the feathers resembled those of a Cjuinea fowl, but had a tar 
richer tinge, and each had a beautiful white and black eye on it. The 
under part of the throat, and part of the head, were furnished with stiff 
small feathers of a brilliant crimson. It seemed to have had gills hke a 
cock ; a crest of bright black feathers crowned its head. I believe this 
bird to be known in Europe by the name of tiie Xepal pheasant. 

June 12. — The morning was cloudy and threatened rain ; but, 1)y half- 
past six, when every thing was in reacUness for the march, the weather 
became fine, though the yet heavy clouds hung upon the hills, magnifying 
their real majestic height by half shrouding them in the veil of uncertainty. 
For a considerable way ovir road ascended but little, though the rapid 
descent of the nullah below gave to it the appearance of rising greatly. 
Afterwards, however, an indenting irregular rise carried us up to the to[) 
of the ridge, which is called Bahilee, and proceeds directly from ]Moral- 
Ke-Kanda to the Sutlej. Half a mile further on is situate the fort of 
Bahilee, a square redoubt surrounded by an excellent stockade. It Avas 
built by the Ghoorkha force which occupied ]Mustgurh, a fortress opposite 
to this, on a branch of the Xowagurh range. 

Ealiilee is built with much neatness, and consists oi' one square build- 
ing inclosing another. The interior served for a magazine, the outer for 
the residence of troops. In lioth places there are a great number of 
hollow trees for water cisterns, the 2)lace not having any spring sufficiently 
near to depend upon. It is a strong place against muscjuctry only, and 
was loop-holed all round ; but it could not stand against a gun lor a single 
day. From this place we saw the Sutlej far below, in a narrow rocky 
bed, running from the north-eastward. .V large stream, called Xow- 
gurree-Ivhola, runs at the foot of this ridge, which apparently has its rise 
at the point of junction of jMoral-Ke-Kanda with the snowy hill^^. 

At this place the; seana of a village presented us with some small raisins, 

K K 2 



252 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

which he called dak,h, and some apricot kernels and stones, which we found 
to have a sweet taste, and to be fully as pleasant as almonds. The raisins, 
he told us, were cured by himself from the common wild grape, and the 
ai)ricot stones, he said, were selected from a particular tree : about one in 
an hundred, it seems, have sweet-kernelled stones instead of bitter : they 
are much valued, and kept for eating and for presents, as in this instance. 
Bahilee was somewhat more than four miles from the village of our 
encampment, and we here entered on a descent surpassing any we had yet 
encountered in steepness and length, except that at Comharsein. It was 
altogether full three miles, and very httle of it, if any, could be at an angle 
of less than forty-five degrees. In some places, as at Comharsein, steps 
were necessary; but the Ghat did not appear by any means of so much im- 
portancC) or so much frccpiented as that : the latter part ran on the edge, 
and among the rocks, of a precipice of considerable depth. AVhen we had 
proceeded about two-thirds of the way down, the wind became warm, and 
before we reached the bottom, was very hot ; while the sun, high above, 
struck his beams on us reflected from rock and stone, and increased the 
heat to an almost insufferable degree. On reaching the bottom, however, we 
got under the shelter of a projecting rock on the banks of the Now-gurree- 
Khola, which here joins the Sutlej, and, forming a clear hmpid stream, just 
under cover from the sun, invited our exhausted people to recruit them- 
selves by bathing. At this place there was formerly a bridge over the 
nullah, of the sort here called a sango. Stout beams of wood are placed 
upon strong foundations of masonry, with a slight angle of inclination to- 
wards the ground, and this lower end is fixed in the pier by heavy stones ; 
over them others are laid, the exterior ends of which project over those of 
the lower ones ; and in like manner a third tier is laid, and this is repeated 
on both sides of the river, till the space remaining between the highest 
projections is small enough to span by one row of strong beams, which are 
fixed firmly to these ends : the whole is strongly supported by good ma^ 
sonry-work, and the bridge is com})lete. I know not whether the fault in 
the present instance was in the structure of the bridge or in its situation, 
but it had given way twice in no very long time, and was now in ruins, 
while a single fir-tree was all that served to cross the stream. It comes 
down at times, as we were informed, with great force in a prodigious tor- 
rent, and even now was a respectable stream. 



THE IIIMALA MOUNTAINS. 2o3 

Having refreshed ourselves for some time, we continued our way to 
Kainpore, along the bed of the Sutlej : the heat was excessive, and the 
wind felt as if it came from the mouth of a furnace. After a while the 
})ath left the bed, and ascended from one to two hundred feet above the 
stream, at times being very narrow, and on the brink of very ugly pre- 
cipices : in some places also, narrow steps were cut from out of the rock 
by maiuial labour, and considerable attention was necessary to pass those 
which were narrow and broken. 

Having pursued a path of this sort for four miles and a half, we at 
length beheld Eampore, the capital of Bischur. 



254 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

June 12. — The approach to Rampore is wild, rugged, and unpromising, 
lying over and among huge amorphous masses of stone, ledges of rock, and 
all the usual obstacles of a mountain river's bed ; nor is the first appearance 
of the town better than its approach leads us to expect. At the foot of a 
lofty and perpendicular rock, that terminates a projection of the mountain 
on the south-east side of the river, forming a small semicircular reach, there 
is a spot of ground very rugged and uneven, but affording a larger site for 
building than usually occurs on the banks of the Sutlej, at this distance 
from the hills. On this spot the town of Rampore is situated, rising in 
tiers of streets and houses one above another, while the river foams and 
dashes at its feet, and the mountains hang over it in precipices all around. 

A\'hen we had clambered over the ledges of rocks and flights of steps 
that brought us to this site, the first thing that struck us was a great row 
of houses wholly in ruins, and only here and there occupied by a few 
Chumars, and people of the loAvcst cast. A little further on there is a 
(Thoorkha fort or redoubt, which accounted for the ruin by which it is 
surroxuided. Passing onwards by some neat houses in good repair, occu- 
j)icd by Prahmins, we reached the Dewan K,hanch, or Hall of .Vudience. 
This, with the other better buildings, is situated on the highest terrace, and 
overlooks the greater part of the town below. It bears the marks of some 
degree of neatness and costliness, if not of s])lcndor : the wood work of the 
interior is well carved, and all around on three sides there are pannels 
which contain the remains of pictures in the Chinese taste, and evidently 
the work of a Chinese artist. The third side, overlooking the river and 
town, is quite open. 

Still further advancing, along a level and broad terrace, we reached the 
imihul, or palace of the rajah, and found that our tent was pitched under 
the shade of a noble pcepul-tree in the enclosure before it ; but we pre- 
ferred taking up our abode for the evening in a small but very neat 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 255 

summer-house, that also had the advantage of a shady tree, and was well 
calculated for enjoying every breeze that blew, and oveilooked the whole 
of the town. All, however, was insufficient to protect us from the heat of 
this place, so as to render us even tolerably comfortable : the rays of the 
sun, confined, and as it were concentrated, in the funnel-like hollow, at the 
bottom of which the town is placed, and reflected from the bare rocks, by 
which it is completely surrounded, caused as intense a heat as is ex- 
perienced in the plains ; even the night was insu})portably close, and little 
refreshment was reaped from sleep. 

During the first part of our march to-day there had been little variety 
in rock or soil ; slate and a laminous sandstone prevailed : in some places 
there were masses of the same sort of plum-jjudding stone Avhicli ^ve had 
remarked at Xowagurli, but this was always in detached lumps. The 
rocky precipice above the Now-gurree-Khola, which terminated our descent, 
was chiefly com^iosed of an exceedingly white stone, tlisposed in laminge, 
sometimes crumbling and mouldering as if it had felt the effects of air, in 
others hard and firm, apparently unaffected by the Avcather ; but we could 
not say whether this was limestone or quartz. Intermixed with this was 
a good deal of quartz and micaceous slate, with sandstone, all in strata, 
and in different stages of decomposition ; and the great mass of the rock, 
particularly to the north of the Xow-gurree-Kliola, consisted entirely 
of these substances. Evidences of cojjper appeared, by a quantity of green 
stains, in more than one i)lace. 

The bed of the river, where it did not flow over the native bare rock, 
consisted of a multitude of different sorts of stones, roiuided and reduced 
.to gravel by the action of the torrent, and forming no ground by which we 
could judge of the formation of any particular part of the mountain, as 
they must evidently have come from great and various distances. On the 
side of the river, and also in its stream, there lay great blocks of a stone, 
chiefly white, but varying in purity to different degrees of gravness. and 
in substance somewhat like a sandy marble: our ac(iuaintance with the 
nature of rocks did not enable us to determine whether it A\as a (piartz or 
a limestone. From subsequent inquiry, however, I am inclined to think 
that some of these masses were quartz, and others a sort of close-grained 
granite. IN [any pieces of a sort of greenish stone, of great hardness, were 
also observed, which we had not seen before, except on the banks of the 



256 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

Xow-wurrce-Khola, where the white rock has been noticed. The native 
ori'nnal rock was uniformly slate and quartz, and the varieties of the slate 
in colour and consistence were more numerous than formerly. One sort, 
of a dark brownish purple, splintery and brittle, was new and remarkable. 
All the undetached masses of rock that formed the mountain lay in strata, 
and at a considerable angle with the horizon. 

The depth to which the stream had here worn its way in the lapse of 
time was very evident, from observing the sides of the hills that formed 
the bed of the river a few hundred feet above its stream. Several strata 
of gravel could be traced at various elevations, and in many places the 
composition of the mountain at its feet and banks was nothing but a con- 
geries of stones and gravel, all evidently rounded and worn by the action 
of the torrents. In other places the soil was more clayey than usual, red 
and white, and variously mixed with mica. The sand on the sides of the 
stream ^vas of a grayish-white, with which also the water was much loaded, 
so as to appear c^viite muddy ; and the stream varied in breadth from thirty 
or forty to one hundred yards. 

Of the scenery little need be said. During the first part of the march 
it was brown and bare, and the long steep hill-face which we descended was 
not less so. The opposite side of the Xow-gurree-Khola was remarkably 
arid and bvu*nt up ; and on either side the river, as we marched in its narrow 
rocky l)ed, not a tree or bush, and hardly a tuft of grass, relieved the eye 
from the scorched and craggy barrenness that on all sides oppressed it. 

June 13 and 14. — We remained the two successive days at Rampore, 
and employed that time in making our observations on the town, and in 
ac(iuiring information relative to the state of Bischur, and the general 
character of the country and people in the surrounding regions ; and 
although by far the chief part of the information and of the facts that will 
here be related were ac(|uired diu-ing our subsequent stay at Scran, it may 
be better to give the whole in as (connected a way as possible in this place. 
Eaiupore, the capital of Bischur, has far juster pretensions to the 
apjiellation of a town than any of the miserable villages through which 
our route has led : it was once a flourishing jilace, and the entrepot for the 
merchandize brought by the traders of Jlindostan, and for the produce of 
Cachemire, Ludhak, Bootan, Kashgar, Yarcund, &:c. In the days of its 
proSj[;eiity it may have contained three or four hundred houses, and a large 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 257 

bazar, well filled with the commodities of these various countries. For 
this commerce, the passage of the river Sutlej through the hills forms 
a convenient channel, and the road, which is now very difficult, might 
be much improved without incurring any extravagant expense. There is 
no ghat practicable for the conveyance of merchandize through the Hi- 
mala range between that at ]Juddreenath, and this of Ram pore ; and 
doubtless it was this circumstance principally that gave to Rampore the 
importance it acquired, and made it to the westward, what vSireenuggur was 
to the eastward, a depot and mart for the products of the abovementioned 
countries. 

When the Sik,hs were a more predatory race, wandering and unsettled, 
this route to the Trans-himTdayan countries was much followed and pro- 
secuted through the hills to Nahn, the D,hoor, and Hurdwar. Since the 
rise of tliat nation under Runjeet Sing, the roads from I.udliak, tlirough 
Cooloo and Chumba, direct to Umrutsir, are in general use. 

The city of Umrutsir is the chief and holy city of the Sik,h territories, 
although Runjeet Sing chiefly resides at Lahore, which thus virtually be- 
comes the capital. The other, however, is the ancient scene of the com- 
mencement of the Sik,h sect, and of their glory, as well as of their 
persecutions and martyrdom, and is looked upon with great reverence by 
the nation. 

JNIuch was told us of the splendour of the late rajah and his court, 
and the opulence of the place in former times, till the struggle with the 
Ghoorkhas first impoverished and distressed the country ; and soon after 
the deatli of the rajah the finishing stroke was put to the destruction of 
the capital by the sudden and unexpected arrival of a Ghoorkha force, from 
which the young rajah, with his mother and attendants, barely escaped, 
flying to the recesses of Kiuiawur, and leaving the accunudated riches of 
the capital a prey to the conquerors. At this time, by far the greater 
proportion of the houses was in ruins, and the rest very thinly inliabited. 
The bazar, which formerly was a tolerable street, and wliere the remains 
of good shops and large houses may still be traced, at })resent contains 
only the booths of a few poor Runyas, miserably supplied, and every thing 
bespeaks wretchedness and poverty. So little encouragement is there now 
for the traders of the low country to bring their goods hither, that tlie 
most common luxuries, the produce of the plains, are often not to be liad. 



258 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

We could not procure sugar of any kind to recruit our stock, though so 
common and cheap in its various shapes in the neighbouring districts of 
Hindostan. 

Eanipore (for what reason, I know not) is a place of considerable 
sanctity. It possesses several temples for Hindoo worship, of tolerable 
construction, viz. one to ^NKdia Deo, to Nersing, to Gonesh, to Hoonoo- 
maun, and smaller ones to inferior deities. That to Nersing has been 
lately erected, and is neat, though not large. To officiate at these sluines 
there are a sufficiency of Urahmins, and a host of byragees, gosseins, suny- 
asseas, and other descriptions of fuqeers and mendicants ; indeed, they 
are the only people who seem to have escaped the desolation, and yet in- 
habit the place. The houses of the priesthood were neat and comfortable, 
and their persons and circumstances were apparently thriving. 

There are two royal residences in Kampore : one api)ears to be far 
more ancient than the other, and was lately occupied by the dowager 
Ranee, with her family and court. It is built on a rock overhanging the 
river, somewhat as a strong hold ; but in the interior is hke most other 
hill-chieftains' houses, containing a square court, around the interior of 
which small apartments are ranged in the Hindostanee fasliion, chietly 
open to the court, except those intended for the women, which are closed 
by screens of wood, finely cut into flowers and various figures, so as partially 
to admit the hght without exposing those who are within : in the centre of 
the court there is a holy pagoda. The second palace is a more modern 
structure, and though considerably more elegant and better built and 
finished than the other, it does not depart much from the visual style in 
the interior dispositions. It stands at the north side of an inclosiu'e that 
extends about 150 yards along the highest stage or terrace of the pro- 
jection, on which the town is built, and though not more than half that 
breadth, stretches quite to the foot of the lofty precipice that frowns over 
the place. The terrace itself overlooks the whole town and the river 
which flows around it. The building is a s(piare, the front of wliicli, 
looking to the southward, is very highly ornamented with rich carved work 
in wood ; in the centre, above the entrance, projects a small balcony, in 
which the rajah sat and showed himself to the })cople ; the other three 
sides are rather plain, and with their slated penthouse roofs, which do not 
project far above the walls, bear a great resemblance to those parts of a 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 259 

common English house which are least exposed to public view. There 
are no towers at the corners of this square, as in most other hill castles, 
nor much to give it a resemblance to the usual fashion of the country : 
from the left or east side of the front a projection runs out of three 
stories ; the two lower are open in front, exposing the interior ; the upper- 
most is shut in with carved wooden screens of trelHs-work, and the whole 
front of this projection is most richly ornamented in a similar manner, 
'riiis wing was chiefly appropriated to the use of the Zenana. On the 
opposite side, also projecting forwards, was placed the summer-house in 
which we took up our quarters ; and this, though small, was exceedingly 
neat and well ornamented. Another small building in the same hne, I 
believe a shrine to some deity, projected to a length that corresponded 
with the extent of the left-hand wing. The space between those two 
rows of building in front of the main body of the palace is paved as a 
court. 

Above the summer-house, and behind the palace, several venerable 
peepul-trees extended their shade in a very refreshing manner, and gave 
to the whole a truly delightful cast of cool repose and summer quietness. 
notM-ithstanding the positive heat which we could not help acknow- 
ledging. 

Both these palaces are built in the same manner, viz. of dry stone 
bound with wooden beams, as before described when speaking of the 
buildings of the country, but that now under consideration is by far the 
best constructed which we have seen. The roof, in particular, attracted our 
attention from the tasteful way in which it was disposed. The slates were 
large, of a deep purplish blue, and placed with the utmost regularity : 
each cut square, and the joining covered with a long piece like an isosceles 
triangle ^vith its base upwards, and the apex cut off below ; rows were 
thus formed, and kept accurately straight. I never saw the best slating 
at home produce any thing like so good an effect. It was impossible to 
look at the carved ornaments in wood, the pillars, the screens, the cornices, 
or the smaller and nameless pieces that every where covered the walls in 
front, without being struck with admiration at the beauty of their execu- 
tion. The wood used was wholly lir, of the same s]iecies ; I beheve it to 
be the larch ; and we were told that the screens and most of the ornaments 
were imitations of those similar works in marble which beautify the palace 



260 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

in Delilec. The interior, though corresponding more nearly than in the 
other j)alace Avith the beauty of the outside, has nothing to merit descrip- 
tion. Suites of small closed and open a})artments, all looking into the 
court in the centre, form the detail of all the three stories, which, like most 
native buildings, are low, and when not entirely open, dark. In the in- 
closure where the palace stands there are several small hovxses which were 
built as places to sit in, and enjoy a cool breeze wlien it blew, or as offices 
and quarters for the attendants of the royal family. 

There are no other buildings in Eampore that have the least title to 
notice. The houses of the wuzzeers are mostly in ruins ; and, as before 
observed, the houses of the Brahmins ajid religious castes alone preserve 
even the appearance of comfort. 

A communication is here kept up across the Sutlej by means of that 
singular and dangerous kind of bridge (if it may be so called) which in the 
hills is termed a jjioola. At some convenient spot, where the river is 
rather narrow and the rocks on either side overhang the stream, a stout 
beam of wood is fixed horizontally upon or behind two strong stakes, that 
are driven into the banks on each side of the water ; and round these 
beams ropes are strained, extending from the one to the other across the 
river, and they are liauled tight, and kept in their place by a sort of 
windlass. The rope used in forming tliis bridge is generally from two to 
three inches in circumference, and at least nine or ten times crossed to 
make it secure. This collection of ropes is traversed by a block of wood 
hollowed into a semicircular groove large enough to slide easily along it, 
and around this block ropes are suspended, forming a loop, in which pas- 
sengers seat themselves, clasping its upper parts with their hands to keep 
themselves steady ; a Une fixed to the wooden block at each end, and 
extending to each bank, serves to haul it, and the passenger attached to 
it, from one side of the river to the other. ' 

The j,hoola at Eampore was somewhat formidable, for the river tumbles 
beneath in a very awful way ; and the ropes, thougli they dechne in the 
centre to the water, are elevated from thirty to forty feet above it ; the 
span is from ninety to a hundred yards. It was anuising enough to see 
several of our low country attendants arming themselves with courage to 
venture on this novel mode of transit ; and 1 nuist confess, that although 
it was evident that the actual danger was small, it was not without certain 



THE HIM ALA MOUNTAINS. 261 

uncomfortable feelings that I first launched out on the machine to cross 
the Sutlej. We found, however, that accidents do sometimes occur ; and 
it was scarcely twelve months since a Brahmin who had come from Cooloo, 
having loaded the ropes with too great a weight of his goods, and accom- 
panied them himself, fell into the stream, was hurried away, and dashed 
to pieces. 

Just opposite to this j,hoola the Cooloo government has established a 
custom-house, and there is a small hut in which a Brahmin officer resides, 
to collect the duties on whatever passes the river, and enters the territories 
of Bischur. 

A great jealousy has always subsisted between these two states, and 
even the passage of the bridge is often a subject of dispute. One morning, 
wishing to pass with a view to take a sketch of the town, I found that the 
Cooloo men had taken away the traversing block of wood from the ropes, 
and consequently I could not cross the river. After a while, some active 
fellows on the Bischur side clambered over in a very ingenious way, sup- 
ported by a crooked piece of wood tied round the body, and over the rope- 
bridge by a cord, and thus swinging under it, belly upwards, one of them 
jmlled himself over by the hands and feet, and soon recovered the traversing 
block. When I could cross, I thought fit to take to task and higlily 
threaten the men of Cooloo for their insolence in thus obstructing our pro- 
gress ; but they seemed stupid, and I found had removed the block from 
a confused feeling of fear at the arrival of our party, which they magnified 
into an army at Rampore. I believe that the appearance of our Ghoorkhas, 
whom they hate and fear, partly induced the measure. 

The country of Cooloo stretches along the north bank of the Sutlej, all 
the way from below Comharsein, and indeed, I beUeve, from the Belaspore 
territories to a point a few miles beyond Eamporc. The aspect of these 
hills, which descend abruptly from a very lofty lieight, and at this place 
cdmost innnediately from the snowy cliffs themselves, is peculiarly dreary 
and barren. Here especially they exhibit little, except higli craggy pre- 
cipices and pointed peaks, with roughened stony faces staring through the 
scanty soil, and no green thing chequers the inhospitable bro\Mi and gray 
hue of the hill-sides. 

They are cut into deep and rocky chasms, void of beauty or mag- 
nificence, except that the whole scene is on a grand scale, and hardly any 



262 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

sign of cultivation or inhabitants is seen, but where a fort or village, in- 
closed by a wall or hedge, crowns the top of a peak or ridge. About the 
toA\ n, on every side, precipices descend to the very river, the bed of which 
is studded, and the stream impeded and chafed into a succession of foaming 
rapids and waves by the huge fragments that have fallen from their brows. 
.V small mountain-stream tumbles down a dark ravine that debouches in 
the recess corresponding with the projecting site of the town. Such is 
Eampore, and the sceneiy in which it is placed. 

The Rajahship or province of Bischur was formerly confined to the 
valley through wliich the Sutlej flows, from the line where it bounds with 
the Chinese territories beyond the HimFda range, to a point not far from 
the town of Rampore. A series of subsequent encroachments and con- 
cpiests has increased it to the extent it now occupies. To the southward, 
the valley of Nawur and district of Teekur form the extreme of its pos- 
sessions, and the numerous petty states of Joobul, Cotegooroo, Bulsum, 
Kurangooloo, Comharsein, &c. bound it in a very irregular line. On the 
north-west the Sutlej confines it, till, at a point between Rampore and 
Seran, it crosses that river, and bounding with Cooloo in Kundrar Nullah 
(a deep dell that runs directly down from the snowy ridge), it assumes 
nearly a northerly course, and crossing the Himala range, joins the Chinese 
territories, probably in a very undefined hne ; for, both while contiguous 
with Cooloo through the bare rock and snow of the highest mountains, 
and also in the barren tract immediately beyond them, the country is too 
inhospitable to form ground of much dispute. To the north and north- 
east, those countries under the Chinese sway continue to confine Bischur, 
till it is met by Gurwhal, with which province it re-crosses the snowy range 
in a similarly indefinite hne ; but in a south-westerly direction, and dividing 
the districts between the Pabur and Touse, the boundary falls upon the 
former river, which here runs to the south-eastward about eight miles 
below Raecngiidh, leaving to Bischur the whole bed and rich valley of the 
Pabur. The short remaining line on the south-west from the end of that 
range of hills which divides the NaAvur and Deyrah valleys downwards, is 
marked by the course of this river. 

In its present state, the coxmtry of Bischur may be divided into dis- 
tricts, nearly as follows : first, Kunawur ; secondly, that tract which, in- 
cluding Rampore and Seran, extends down the valley of the Sutlt^, with 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 263 

the smaller glens and ravines that drain into it ; thirdly, the valley of the 
Pabur, with all that lies on its left bank, and including Sambracote and 
the other smaller ones that debouche from the jNIoral ridge and snowy 
hills into that river ; lastly, the Nawur and Teekur valleys, with all the 
intervening tracts between it and the Sambracote valley, where the river 
takes its decided turn to the south-east. 

Kunawur is that part of Bischur which embraces all the northern, 
north-eastern, and eastern tracts, and Ues entirely in and behind the 
snowy hills, chiefly comprised in the glen of the Sutlej, and running 
through and beyond these mountains, cutting them in a line, diverging not 
far from east and west ; the Himrda range here taking a direction from 
north-west and south-east to west-north-west and south-south-east, while 
the river runs through in a nearly similar course. On the west, all that 
barren tract which bounds with Cooloo, and sends its waters to the Sutlej, 
is included in Kunawur, as also is the whole tract between that river and 
the head of the Pabur, to the eastward and south-eastward, where it is 
met by the districts of Eewaeen in Gurwhal, called Futteh Purbut and 
Pauch Pvu-but, from which places passes lead into Kunawur. 

From this description of its situation, it will be inferred, that it is 
inhospitable and bleak in climate, barren and unproductive in soil : in 
fact, it is a mass of rocks and wild chasms, which only di'ain the waters as 
they melt from the peaks that frown above them, covered with eternal 
snow. Nevertheless, it is inhabited, though thinly in proportion to its 
extent ; and the greatest strength of Bischur lies in the wild passes and 
hardy jwpulation of Kunawur. It produces but httle grain, and the inha- 
bitants supply themselves from more fertile districts, exchanging with those 
of the Pabur valley and others the productions of their country, viz. salt, 
wool, woollen cloths, dried grapes and currants, and the seeds from the 
cones of a pecuhar species of fir, which are sweet like almonds, and various 
other things, for corn of all kinds. 

Salt is brought from Bootan, with which country a constant inter- 
course is kept up. The little corn they rear consists of barley and a sort 
of grain, which, from the description given, may be a kind of rye. IMany 
sheep and cattle are reared in Kunawur, and a great deal of wool is ex- 
ported, both raw and woven. In the remoter parts is found the soorajee, 
or yak, ofTartary. They breed tliis animal in numbers, and account it 



264 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

their best riches next to corn. They also have a breed between the yak 
and the common hill cow. Ponies, called gounts, together with asses and 
mules, are likewise bred and kept ; and all these, as well as sheep and 
goats, are used as beasts of burthen. 

The inhabitants of Kunawur speak a language altogether different 
from that used on the southern side of the sno\\'y hiUs ; but it is also said 
to be distinct from that of the Bhoteas in the Chinese territory. They 
are strongly marked with features of the Tartar physiognomy, and all 
have an openness of countenance and a frankness of conduct and manner 
that quite distinguishes them from the race to the south-westward of the 
mountainous boundary. The difference in character is at least as great : 
they are brave, hardy, and independent ; open, courteous, and hospitable ; 
honest and sincere. Such as we met and had any intercourse with, justified 
this character, which is generally attributed to them. They aj)pear to 
bear a great resemblance to the Scots highlanders in disposition, being 
fond of enterprise and travel, and also great traders. Indeed, they are 
almost exclusively the commercial couriers between Hindostan and Tiu'tary, 
as also between Tartary and Cashmere ; frequenting the routes from Leo 
in Ludhak, to Lassa and Dcgurcha and NepFd, on trading speculations. 

From these circumstances probably they have acquired many of the 
valuable qualities they possess. Commerce is the foundation of civilization ; 
they have few pursuits at home that require a constant attendance like 
agriculture, and the natural restlessness of the human mind has driven 
them to roam ; an unbounded confidence is placed in them by the people 
of Ludhak and Cashmere and Tartary, who find them strictly honest. 
They are acute and punctual, but liberal and unsuspecting. Every person 
is safe in Kunawur, of whatever religion or sect he may be, whether Hindoo 
or Lama, INIahomedan or Christian. 

Long after this tour was made, a pleasing instance of the honest punc- 
tuality of these people appeared in the conduct of a Kunawur travelling 
merchant, one of those from whom a considerable portion of our information 
was gathered. He was invited to make a trading voyage into Bootan and 
Yarkund, and a sum of money, very considerable in his estimation, Avas en- 
trusted to him, to ])rocurc some of the j)roduce of these parts, partly with 
a view of verifying liis relation, and jjartly to ji'dge of the vahie of the 
commodities in question, and of the possibility of procuring them. The 



THE HIMALS MOUNTAINS. 265 

man was with difficulty induced to take charge of the money, and uith 
still greater difficulty prevailed on to promise to deliver the articles in the 
plains of Hindostan, at some distance from the hills, with his own hands. 
But he fulfilled his promise, and in a way that proved his honesty, for he 
liimself brought, very nearly at the time he was expected to arrive, a quan- 
tity of the things ordered, which showed he had strictly adhered to his 
bargain of only making a profit on the articles of intermediate traffic, while 
the full value of the money was restored to the lender in goods of these 
countries at the cost there. It is dehghtful and refreshino- to record a 
circumstance that marks a valuable trait of character among the wretched 
features of depravity and savageness which must be jjourtrayed, in order 
to give a true delineation of the people of the country under review. 

Such being the character of the people and the district of Kunawur, 
once forming the chief part of the territory of Ijischur, it is no wonder 
that they should be so highly trusted, and so much in power. ]\Jany of 
the chief famihes in the state, and the principal officers of government, are 
of Kunawur extraction ; the personal attendants on the rajah are of that 
country, and the soldiery are chiefly raised there. Guarded l)y such a 
people, a country wild and impregnable like this might ctefy the power of 
invaders if it possessed resources in itself against famine ; but, cut off from 
the fertile districts to the south of the Himala, it would soon fall before 
its pressure. An invading force, to proceed with any probability of success, 
should be well furnished with provisions, and fully prepared with ample 
and well secured magazines. The Ghoorkhas attempted to attack Kuna- 
wur, and penetrated three days journey within the valley, but were driven 
back in consequence of falling short of provisions. Hence the younfr 
rajah who fled into this district on their advance from Scran, baffled his 
pursuers and preserved his liberty. 

Although the Kunawurrees are recognised as Hindoos by descent and 
general profession, they most generally follow the Lama religion. Xo 
Brahmins have ever settled in this district, nor will they go there ; perhaps 
the poverty of the country, and the })rivations necessarily to be suffered 
during a residence there, have deterred these holy men, who usuallv seem 
to prefer those places which afford them all the comforts of life. The 
Lama priests are scattered about the country, and the people carry about 

M M 



266 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

their persons small idols purchased at L,hassa, or such as are brought for 
sale by the Lamas. 

There is a small division in Kunawur distinct from the rest, containing: 
four or five villages, and called Scolkhur, inhabited by Bhoteas or Tartars 
alone ; of this country and the people, as well as their manners and customs, 
together with a few particulars concerning the Bhoteas in general, mention 
will be made hereafter. 

That division which forms a continuation to Kunawur, and includes 
the western and south-western portion of Bischur, does not claim any very 
particvdar notice. To its boundaries we have already alluded. Little of 
it hes beyond the Sutlej, and that little, as well as all above Seran, partakes 
of the character of Kunawur, as well in aspect of country, as in produce 
and population. 

The valleys and slopes that extend from the crest of the ridge, pro- 
ceeding from ]\Ioral-ke-kanda, and end in the Sutlej, are fertile, though 
wild and rocky where they take their rise ; all these valleys, indeed, except 
that of Xow-gurree-ke-Khola, wliich is very barren, like those of Kuran- 
gooloo and Comharsein, exhibit much richness and beauty. 

The inhabitants of tliis district vary in proportion as they leave Kuna- 
wur and the sno^vy hills, till those who occupy the lower portion may be con- 
sidered as described in the observations made at T,heog. A\^hen we crossed 
tlie Coonoo nullah, a change in dress and appearance was remarked among 
the people, and it was still more distinct at Rampore and Seran. 

That district which includes the Glen of the Pabur is by far the richest 
and most ])roductive in the territories of Bischur : the upper part of that 
glen, and of those which fall into it, with the tract to the north and north- 
west, bordering on Kunawur, is doubtless savage and barren like it ; but 
for a course of from fifteen to twenty miles above Raeengudh, the river 
runs in a comparatively level valley, which, with the hill slopes on either 
side, particularly on the left bank, or northern exposure, is covered with 
corn land and numerous villages. The Sambracote valley is also well cul- 
tivated, and produces much grain. 

We had little opjiortvuiity of remarking on the inhabitants of the 
Pabur glen and its subordinate valleys ; but they do not stand nuich higher 
in character than those of the neighbouring districts, and closely resemble 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 267 

those of the Nawur valley adverted to below, except that they are rather 
more industrious in agriculture, and being richer, are perhaps somewhat 
less vicious. A happy chmate, a fertile soil, and a situation somewhat 
farther removed from temptation to plunder, may have produced this 
industry and shade of goodness. 

The last division of Bischur consists of the Nawur and Teekur valleys, 
between the Deohree and Chumbee ridges, with the Seekree valley to the 
north of the former. This district, though not so extensive, is next in 
productiveness to that last described. The whole valley gently slopes to 
the nullah that runs through it, and is cultivated with considerable care 
and success. It affords iron of an excellent quality, which is exported in 
considerable quantities to the Punjab and the Sikh territories to the west 
of the Sutlej, being very much esteemed for matchlock barrels. Tliis 
valley, with the Kootlaha district, once formed the chief part of the lord- 
ship of Saree, but is now, by conquest, become an integral part of Eischur. 

The inhabitants of Nawur and Teekur are notorious for infamy of 
character even in this country, where all are bad. They are revengeful 
and treacherous, deficient in all good qualities, abandoned in morals, and 
vicious in their liabits. As a proof of the savage indifference vnth which 
they look on the life of another, and on the act of shedding human blood, 
it is said that mere wantonness or a joke will induce the crime of putting 
a fellow creature to death, merely for the satisfaction of seeing the blood 
flow, and of marking the last struggles of their victim : and some facts that 
came under our observation of a tantamount nature, give too much reason 
for believing the assertion to be founded in truth. Female chastity is 
here quite unknown ; and murder, robbery, and outrage of every kind, are 
here regarded with indifference. 

Besides the above divisions which compose the rajahship of Eischur, 
there are many small states which are dependent on, and, in time of need, 
aid it with their troops, besides paying an annual tribute for protection. 
Most of these have been noticed before in the course of our journey. 
They are as follow, viz. Dilt, on the banks of the Sutlej. in which is situate 
the fortress of Mustgurh ; Kurangooloo, in which are the forts of ^^'hartoo 
and Kurana ; Coomharsein, above the left bank of the Sutlej, containing 
Sircote with other forts ; Kuneountee ; Cotegooroo. in which is Jodhjioor 
fort ; Bhuroulee, a very pretty place ; Bulsum, which has Chourna fort, 

M M 52 



268 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

where resides the T,hakoor or Eana ; Theog, a small state, the T,hakoor 
of whicli lives in the castle of Theog ; and Dodur Coar, which comprises 
only two villages. Any account of the nature of the country in these 
petty states would only be a repetition of what has already been said. 

The character of their inhabitants lias also been chiefly noticed 
above. They lie, equally Avith those of Xawur, under the stigma of 
abandoned villany, and total want of good principles, and, it is beheved, 
but too justly so. They are generally unpleasing in appearance, mean, 
grovehng, cowardly, and cruel. It would seem as if the faint approaches 
they have made towards civilization had only awakened the evil passions 
and propensities of the mind, which yet remain quite uncontrolled by 
and ignorant of the restraints of religion and virtue. They do not possess 
the almost admirable qualities that are attributed to the wild, stern native 
of North America, or the mild inoffensive svibmission of the southern 
savage. They have lost whatever native virtue may have existed in the 
savage state, and have not acquired that which would probably result from 
a happy, free, and liberal intercourse with civilized beings. 

It is painful to observe this disgusting state of a people, who (it is fair 
to presume) are yet capable of improvement, and may be raised from so 
degraded a condition. ^Ve may hope that the dawn of their political and 
moral regeneration is even now a})pearing. They have been rescued by 
British power from the tyranny luider which they groaned ; and the spell 
which, as it were, lay on their mountains is broken. Security of person 
and pro])erty will be guaranteed by the British Govenunent, and with this 
security riches will increase ; industry, of which there is no w-ant, will 
flourish ; and vicious habits will be checked, because they will be less 
profitable and more dangerous than those of order and propriety, and will 
by degrees become infamous and rare. It may be said, that this is mere 
speculation, and that such effects can neither be easily nor speedily pro- 
duced ; and this is true. But amelioration, though gradual, will take 
])lace, and benevolent and wise interference will idtimately l)e successful. 
These effects, indeed, are regarded, by the most intelligent of the natives 
themselves, as necessary consequences of the late events. They hail the 
success and coming of the British as a revolution in the world, as the 
dawn of their civil happiness. The people think that they will become 
'rood, free, and happy, as by inspiration ; that it is the necessary result of 



THE HIM A LA MOUNTAINS. 269 

the British power and government. A British officer is looked ujx)n 
ahnost as a supernatural being. From the rajah to the peasant there was 
not one who did not talk thus with confidence and enthusiasm, and uni- 
fbrndy concluded with saying, " Xow we shall live, and improve, and be 
raised from beasts to men." Such are the ideas, such the veneration 
entertained by these rude savages for the ]h-itish name ; and it is a proud 
and exulting feeling for a British subject to trace them so strongly in so 
remote a clime. It is no wonder if his heart swell with love for liLs 
country, and his zeal and devotion be more firmly bound to its glory. 

Bischur is governed by a rajah, whose office is hcreditarv ; and it 
appears, that under him the different districts have always been regulated 
by hereditary chiefs, Avho have assumed the titles of wuzzeer, and exercise 
each their separate authority. They assess and collect the revenue, and 
settle minor disputes ; but the rajah has always been lord paramount, and 
looked up to with perfect submission. It is probable indeed, that, in the 
former reigns, (and certainly in the late rajah's time), the wuzzeers were 
by no means so powerful as they are at present in the reign of the child 
his son ; but the troublesome times, and the infancy of the heir to the 
throne, have necessarily thrown into the hands of these men all the 
executive, and, in fact, all the real power. 

It is to be regretted that the archives and records of the state, as well 
as of the rajah's family, were entirely destroyed by the (rhoorkhas. Thus 
nothing certain relative to the origin of cither came under our observation, 
or resulted from our inquiries ; but there is no doubt that the rajah is 
descended from an ancient and noble Eaajepoot family ; it is said from 
Chittore. Of the date of its ascending the throne, or of the commence- 
ment of the state, or of the succession, till the reign of the last rajah, we 
are totally ignorant, as well as of the transactions of his reign previously 
to the Ghoorkha invasion. 

There always was an enmity between the houses of Biscluir and Cooloo. 
which state frequently sent parties across the Sutlej to the left l)aiik. and 
seized on different tracts and states tributary to Bischur. building forts 
for the pm-pose of maintaining them ; and even now, tliougli they coalesced 
against their connnon enemy the Cihoorkhas, their natural jealousy could 
not be suppressed, the soldiers of Cooloo unwillingly yielding to Jhschur 



970 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

the forts taken by the combined troops from the Ghoorkhas, and gar- 
risoned by them. It is also said that none of the famihes of rank on the 
south side of the Sutlej will intermarry with those of Cooloo. With Sir- 
more, likewise, there were continual feuds and disputes, till the late rajah 
married a daughter of that house, when a friendly understanding took 
place. Before the Ghoorkha invasion, a similar vexatious warfare sub- 
sisted between Gurwhal and Bischur, which was only terminated by the 
issue of that invasion, and the destruction of the former state. 

The late rajah dying, left two llanees ; one, the daughter of the house 
of Sirmore, by whom he had no issue ; the other was a relation of the 
Dhammee T,hakoor, or lord, and by her he had the present young rajah 
and a daughter. The Sirmore lady is said to be high-spirited and of a 
powerful mind ; the other quiet and domestic. But neither of them have 
any actual power or influence in the government. The Avuzzeers rvde 
entirely, and apparently agree very well with each other. 

Tlie revenues of the state are accounted for, and probably misapphed 
by them ; but they are popidar and moderate, and possess a perfect 
influence and authority. The affiiirs of the country are said to be im- 
proving, and jirobably the power they possess, if exercised in the name of 
the young rajah, and under the eye of the British government as his 
protector, will be beneficial to the state. Of these wuzzeers, there are four 
superior, and one of lesser importance, who divide the country. A note of 
their charges will be found in the Appendix. 

The Eanee possesses a jagheer. The rajah and his mother, as well as 
the Sirmore Ranee, at present reside at Seran, where they came on their 
return from Kunawvir, after the discomfiture of the Ghoorkha forces. He 
is said to be eight years old, of good natural abilities, but it is to be feai'ed 
that liis education is much neglected, for there are no good instructors to 
be procured in Bischur : and the present rulers of the country may have 
thought it tlieir interest to bring him up in sloth, ignorance, and dissi- 
pation. His youth, the state of the country and of the people, are certainly 
()1)jects of considerable interest; and every one must hope that their 
coiniexion with the British government may be productive to them of 
security and future happiness. 

Prom the nature of the country the revenues of Bischur are hmited, 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 271 

and far from being proportioned to its superficial extent. The mode of 
assessment also is indefinite, sometimes being collected in money, at othei-s 
in kind. 

The household expenses of the rajah are supplied by payments of 
revenue, made in the different articles which he requires, as sheep, goats, 
wool, woollen cloth, corn, oil, ghee, musk, &c. &c. It does not clearly 
appear from this irregular mode of collection, what the amount of the true 
revenue might have been. Eischur Proper paid to the XepFd govern- 
ment only 80,000 rupees annually. Its dependent lordships were sepa- 
rately assessed ; but the country was never thoroughly subdued, far less 
organized. Many famihes had fled across the Sutlej on the approach of 
the Ghoorkha army, and the country exhibited the greatest marks oi" 
devastation and depopulation. Hence it may be fairly inferred, that the 
sum collected by the conquerors bore no proportion to Avhat the country 
would have been brought to yield under a mild and equitable govern- 
ment. Under the comparatively moderate and just rule of Kirtee Eana, 
who seems to have left much to the native authorities, the country began 
to improve; and many famihes, seeing some prospect of security, had 
returned from across the Sutlej. 

The military force of Eischur is not great, nor does it appear that any 
considerable standing army was ever kept up. ]MiUtary service seems to 
have been accepted, as in other feudal and patriarchal states, in lieu of 
pecuniary contribution ; and this, in some measure, accounts for the small- 
ness of the nominal revenues. AVhcn a military force was required, the 
people were summoned by their chiefs to follow them to the field ; and 
they brought with them the means of subsistence for a certain time. 

Such a force can never be very efficient. A soldier's supply of money 
or provisions is exhausted, and he returns home without asking leave to 
supply himself, or oftener to send his brother or relation in his stead. 
Thus the individuals of the army are continually coming and going, and 
changing the duty from one to another, to the complete destruction of 
discipline and co-operation. However, they all act as one family. The 
chief regards each soldier as his son, and all are one brotherhood. He is 
like an elder, respected and obeyed, without being feared ; he assumes no 
glitter or pomp of authority, and is scarcely to be distinguished by his 
dress from the common soldier. Eut the only people who can Ik^ accountetl 



272 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

trustworthy as soldiers are the inhabitants of KunawTir, and of the northern 
parts ; and to them the above description applies more particularly. 
Levies from the lower districts are far less tractable, and they are never 
summoned except in cases of necessity ; nor will they act at a distance 
from home, or continue in the field even for a moderate period. 

The arms used by the Ivuna^mrees are chiefly the matchlock and the 
hatchet; they do not make so much use of the bow as those from the 
southward. S\vords and shields are scarce. 

It is impossible, from any inforination we could gather, to make even 
a guess at the population of Bischur, consequently no computation can be 
made of the fighting men it can muster. It brought lately into the field 
about 3000, of which about 1000 were armed with matchlocks, and the 
rest, who were chiefly inhabitants of the lower districts and independent 
states, had only bows and arrows. But, distracted and disorganised as it 
is, its subjects scattered, many sold to slavery, or led away to serve in 
hostile armies, no fair judgment can be formed of what its power might be 
if in a situation to call its energies into action. 

Bischur can boast of but few natural productions of much value, and 
these have been already noticed, viz. sheep and wool, cattle and ghee, iron, 
and corn of various sorts. The finer grains are wheat, barley, and rice, with 
a multitude of smaller grains ; tobacco and opium in small quantities, 
musk, &c. ; of fruits, apples, indifferent pears, apricots and peaches, wild 
grapes, which they preserve for use, as well as a small currant prepared in 
Kunawur, whence also come the eatable seeds of a fir-cone. Turnips, 
onions and garlic of inferior quality, and a peculiar sort of carrot, with 
several other useful herbs, grow wild in the mountains. 

Their agriculture is similar to that which is common throughout the 
hills. The wheat and barley commonly occupied the less rugged faces of 
the hills, as the rice does the low lands by the sides of rivers and rivulets ; 
and where these will not readily grow, the less valuable grains will often 
yield a saving crop. 

From the grapes they procure two sorts of strong hquor : the one they 
call sihee, which is the first juice they yield, and I believe it is fermented 
in the common way, and only used by the first classes, such as the wuz- 
zecrs and nobles; the other is prepared by pouring hot water on the 
residue of the fruit, but I know not whether it undergoes any sort of dis- 



TFIE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 273 

tillation. The mvisk is procured in small quantities from a species of deer 
to be noticed hereafter. 

Iron has already been noticed, and is produced in various parts of the 
country. Lead also is generally found. It is hkewise probable that co]>per 
exists in some parts of this state, and several other sources of hidden 
wealth may lie concealed in these rude tracts ; but the industry or in- 
genuity of this people has never been awakened by demand or incjuiry. 

The chief and almost only manufacture of l^ischnr consists in the 
fabrication of woollen cloths of several sorts, and in this they excel the in- 
habitants of all the countries between the Sutlcj and Alaknunda. The 
wool produced here is of a superior cpiahty, and they import from Bootan 
a quantity of still better. From this they weave blankets of different 
sizes and fineness ; woollen cloth for trowsers, chiefly black ; fine webs for 
cummerbunds, and for throwing around their shoulders in the fashion of 
a Scotch plaid ; a sort of well napped cloth, called by them seek-cloth, 
which is used for their coats and dress, and the black bonnets which they 
wear on their heads. The fabric of many of these cloths is remarkably 
good. Their blankets are of the twilled sort, close and fine ; and the 
seek-cloth is nearly equal to our finest English blankets. It is curious to 
find this word seek-cloth, \vhich is a Persian term for broad cloth of any 
sort, used in so remote a region. The word, I understand, is prevalent in 
the above' sense all over the East, and it would argue that the manuflictui'e 
was of recent date, probably an imitation of cloth imported with its name 
from the Caubul territories, as so exact a simihtude in the terms used in 
naming two articles of the same nature in two countries, whose language 
have no resemblance, can scarcely be presumed to have occurred otherwise. 
They also manufacture a small quantity of shaw 1-wool, imported from 
Bootan, into pieces resembling the coarse shawls called I),hoossas. Some- 
times they mix it with sheep's wool, thus giving it more substance but less 
fineness. These cloths have no great beauty, but the texture, twilled like 
the shawls, seems to indicate that the people with proper encouragement 
would in all likelihood pi-oduce an useful and perhaps a fine nKmufactiu*e 
from this material. 

At present both the woollen and shawl cloths are only made for home 
consumption, and a partial and casual sale in the neiglibournig states. 
Few except the highest chiefs can afford the price oi' the latter, small as 



274 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

their value is ; and the troubles of late have so much interrupted the usual 
course of labour, that it was with great difficulty we could procure five or 
six specimen pieces of the shawl wool-cloth ; the price was from seven to 
ten rupees each on an average. Their fineness did not vary much, and 
they were made in tw o breadths sewed together, forming a piece of one 
and three quarters to two yards broad by four yards long. 

The thread is spun by hand in the same w ay that cotton is spun all 
over Hindostan ; indeed, the manufacture is very simple ; the cloth, also, 
is wove by hand. The woof being extended upon two sticks, placed at a 
distance corresponding with the intended length of the web, the alternate 
threads are separated from each other by a succession of small pieces of 
smooth wood, that are alternately placed and wdthdi'awn as the warp is 
passed between. A single frame formed of spHt bamboo is employed, 
through which the threads are passed to keep them separate. I beUeve that 
there is no machinery of greater complication used. Notliing more nearly 
approaching to a loom is used throughout the liills. 

The trade of Bischur, thovigh of late interrupted and oppressed, has 
always been considerably greater than its importance as a state, and its 
own produce or consumption, would warrant us to expect ; and this, as we 
have seen, arises from its local position, and the peculiarly commercial turn 
of a portion of its subjects. The Kunawur merchants carry on a trade not 
only with the plains and the neighbouring Chinese provinces, but, as above 
remarked, they are also the cliief carriers between Gar,ha, Ludhak, and 
Cashmere, and even push their commercial enterprises as far as La,hassa 
on the south-east, exchanging commodities between that place and Nepal, 
and between the latter and the Cliinese towns in Little Thibet, and to the 
northward, trading between Cashmere, Yarkund, Kashgar, Gar,ha, and the 
various cities and people of these quarters. We met with several people 
who had from their youth been engaged in these commercial enterprises, 
and who gave us the chief part of the information here detailed. One 
man in particular was very intelligent ; and from his general character, 
the unconstrained and natural way in which he gave his relations, and 
their coincidence with other information on the same subject, we were 
inclined to attach much credit to his statements. 

The direct commerce of Bischur with other hill states and with the 
plains is very hmited, cliiefiy consisting of imports of sugar, cloths, small 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 275 

quantities of iron work, brass utensils, indigo, (Sec, which is returned by 
raw iron, blankets, opium, a little tobacco, musk, bhang, turmeric, which is 
much esteemed, and the articles which pass through the hills from Bootan. 
The exports to Bootan and Gar,ha are, corn to the nearer and barren 
parts, ghee from Kunawur, iron, opium, tobacco, and wooden cups for tea ; 
and from the plains it becomes a thoroughfare for all the common articles 
of produce and manufacture, as sugar, sugarcandy, cloths both coarse and 
fine, indigo, &c. The returns are almost entirely wool, Ijoth shawl and 
common, of a fine quality. Salt, as much tea as they can afford, with a little 
fine Chinese cloth, some musk, borax, &c. are brought to exchange for low 
country commodities at Rampore. 

Kunawur sends little to Ludhak besides ghee, but from various 
openings the produce of Hindostan is carried there, chiefly through Cash- 
mere, whence also they bring shawls ; and in return the Cashmerians 
receive tea, and shawl wool, with some China cloths. 

Yarkund sends to Leo in Ludhak, silver, Russian leather, called Blnd- 
RJull, felt carpets, called Niimbdas, coarse and fine China silks, tafetas, 
velvets, and earthen ware, sable fur, small coral beads, and seed pearls ; and 
in return receives all manner of produce from Hindostan, keen-kabs, em- 
broidered cloth, baftas, and other white cloths, moultan cliintz, cpantities 
of red tanned skins of sheep, goat, and kid, nerbisee or zedoary, silk 
manufactures of Benares, soongrees, and all sorts of spices. 

The trade from the countries of the Lamas to the south-eastward and 
eastward with Gar,ha, as well as that between the Xepalese dominions and 
Thibet and China, is of a similar nature ; but the articles brought from 
the plains are carried through different passes. Zedoary is chiefly from a 
district near Nepal, and is much prized by all the inhabitants of the hills 
and of the plains behind them. 

In all these routes the Kunawur merchants are found, and their 
acquaintance with these countries is intimate and extensive. ^At present, 
want of capital, as well as the difficulty of the country, cramps their 
speculations ; but it is beheved that if encouragement were given, and 
perhaps some moderate assistance in opening the roads through the most 
difficult passes, a very direct and easy intercourse might be opened between 
the plains on the banks of the Sutlej and the Chinese dominions on the 
north-east of the Himrilu range, and this without passing through any in- 



276 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

termccliate independent state that could levy arbitrary imposts on the 
transit. At present the bulk of this traffic goes entirely through the 
dominions of Runjeet Sing, the Sik,h chief of Lahore, and the best roads 
are first through Chumbee, Jooala, jNIookhee, and Hoorpore, to Umrutsir, 
by which horses, mules, and asses pass easily, next that through Cooloo by 
its capital Stanpore. 

If, however, roads were made along the banks of the Sutlej to Rampore, 
a measure perfectly practicable, and from Eampore to Soongnam, all passage 
through the country of the rapacious Sikhs and their tributaries would 
be avoided, and the productions of Thibet, Yarkund, and all Chinese 
Tartary, with those from countries even more remote, would flow unre- 
strained into Hindostan ; while government might, with the greatest ease, 
place what restrictions it pleased either on trade itself, or on the mere 
passage of intUviduals. 

It is not easy to estimate what the value of such a trade might be, nor 
is it here intended to enter on so wide a field of speculation with so few 
leading points for guidance ; but it is impossible that any one who has seen 
the country and considered the subject, should not be struck ^\ith the 
facilities given by the passage of a considerable stream, even though not 
navigable, for communication through this difficult range, or should be 
indifferent to the apparently splendid nature of the communication when 
effected. 

The author may, however, be permitted to advert loosely to one object, 
viz. the shawl-wool trade, which is now monopohsed by Cashmere. A 
new channel opening to a profitable market would not, it is believed, fail 
to direct a portion at least of this trade to Hindostan ; while, when the 
skill of our weavers is known, it is not to be supposed that they would fall 
far short of the perfection to which the Cashmerian artisans have arrived. 
It is well known that tliis trade is by far the most profitable which that 
small state enjoys ; indeed it is almost that alone which enriches its people, 
while government derive a principal share of their revenue from the duties 
on their sale. It seems at least well worth while to encourage the trial, 
to divert a share of this source of wealth into our own hands. 

To our in(|uiries as to the possibility of procuring any quantity of 
shawl-wool through the ])ass at present, it w^as answered, that a few luuith-ed 
maunds might be procured, but that if any large quantity was required, it 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. i.'77 

would be necessary to make some reference to the Chinese authorities at 
Gar,ha, or tlie towns where it is chiefly sold. This would not appear to 
be a matter of much difficulty to obtain, as from certain late occurrences it 
is to be presumed that the officers are rather well disposed towards Eu- 
ropeans ; and it may be beheved that any offer of competition which would 
raise the price, if not indiscreetly pushed, would be listened to, particularly 
if accompanied with some profit to the authority permitting the trade : 
and the distance from the seat of empire makes the officers on the frontiers 
too independent to render it possible that any interference would take 
place from the court of Pekin to the prejudice of an agreement so made. 



PART VI. 



JOURNEY WITH THE POLITICAL AGENT FOR THE 
ARMY OF GENERAL MARTINDALE CONTINUED. 



Although the scanty information which was collected during the 
whole of our journey, and which forms the basis of the map that accom- 
panies these pages, with other observations of a general nature concern- 
ing the hills, might perhaps be more properly referred to the Appendix, 
they are, nevertheless, inserted here, because a natural pause occurs at 
this place, offering an opportunity for all desultory remarks and informa- 
tion ; and, should they prove uninteresting to any one, they may be totally 
passed over by the reader, both here and also in the Appendix. So minute 
a description as is given below of the nature of the country and materials 
from which the map has been projected, may be deemed tedious antl 
uninteresting by many ; but some will employ it as a touchstone by whicli 
the degree of authenticity to be attached to the map may be tried, and for 
this reason consider it as of importance. 



The great Himalayan snowy range is only the highly elevated cre>t 
of the mountainous tract that divides the plains of Hindostan from those 
of Thibet, or lesser Tartary. Par as they predominate over, and preci- 
pitously as they rear themselves above the rest, all the hills that appear in 
distinct ranges, when viewed from the plains, are indeed only the root.s 
and branches of this great stem ; and, however chfficult to trace, the 
connexion can always be detected between each inferior mountain anil 
some particular member of its great origin. At times, indeed, this con- 
nexion seems nearly broken ; and a lofty peak, rearing itself, as if in rivalry, 
presents a very extensive ramification of lesser ridges, se})arating ravino 
which extend down to the great drains of the coiuitry, and thus becomes, 
as it were, the nucleus of a subordinate district; from the lofty height of 

o o 



282 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

which, the country between it and the principal chain seems comparatively 
low, tliough very rugged ; and in this hoUow generally lies some river, with 
its subsidiary streams, which drain a large portion of the snow that annually 
melts from their sides. All the regularity of ranges which deceive the 
eye, in viewing this mountainous belt from the distant plains, thus vanishes 
on entering the country ; and the whole becomes a confused and chaotic 
assemblage of most rugged mountains, huddled into masses and peaks, and 
running into ridges which defy arrangement ; and it is only by attentive 
observation that they can be traced to one or other of the mighty piles 
that compose the snowy range. 

The horizontal depth of this mountainous tract, on that side which 

overlooks Hindostan, is no doubt various ; but, from the difficulty of the 

country, a traveller performs a journey of many days before he reaches the 

foot of the immediate snowy cliffs. The best observations and survey do 

not authorize the allowance of more than an average depth of about sixty 

miles from the plains to the commencement of these, in that part of the 

country that forms the subject of this narrative. The breadth of the 

snowy zone itself in all probability varies still more ; for huge masses 

advance in some places into the lower districts, and in others the crest 

recedes in long ravines, that are the beds of torrents, wliile behind they 

are closed by a succession of the loftier cliffs. Every account we receive of 

a passage through them (and this is no doubt found most commonly where 

the belt is narrowest) gives a detail of many days' journey through deserts 

of snow and rocks ; and it is to be inferred, that on the north-east side 

they advance to and retreat from the low ground in an equally irregular 

manner. Indeed, some accounts would induce the belief, that long ranges, 

crowned with snow-clad peaks, project in various places from the great spine, 

and include habitable and milder districts ; for, in all the routes of which 

we have accounts that proceed in various directions towards the Trans- 

Himrdayan countries, liills covered with snow are occasionally mentioned 

as occurring, even after the great deserts are passed and the grazing 

country entered. The breadth, then, of tliis crest of snow-clad rock itself 

cannot fairly be estimated at less than from seventy to eighty miles. 

Of the distance to which the hilly country extends beyond the snowy 
crest we must judge chiefly by inference, assisted by the limited inlbrma- 
tion we can obtain from the routes held through it by natives, which must 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 283 

always be taken with very great allowance, even where there seems to be 
no inducement to deceive. The only European travellers who are known 
to have entered on this new ground are Messrs. iSIoorcroft and Hearsay, 
who penetrated by the Nitee-Mana pass, and reached the lake of ]SIan- 
tuUaee, Mansrowar, or Mepang. All these sources lead us to presume 
a pretty extensive detail of hills beyond the loftiest belt, that by no means 
terminate even at Gara or Gartope, though they do not reach the height 
of those to the westward and southward. A branch of the Cailas range, 
undoubtedly a ramification of the Himala, stretches out beyond the lake 
Mansrowar, a considerable way towards Gartope. Eeyond this point there 
seem at present to exist no grounds, on which even a conjecture may be 
formed concerning the nature of the country. The general character of 
the hills on the north-east side of the Himala, if we judge from informa- 
tion, seems somewhat less rugged and inhospitable than those on the south- 
western face. The rovite subsequently detailed will show that the valleys 
there are more even, the roads less difficult, and the hills less abrupt and 
rocky, than the latter exposure exhibits ; and this seems to harmonize 
with the rule generally observed in the primary formation of tliis tract, 
that the western, north-western, and south-western exposui-es are uni- 
formly the most rugged and precipitous ; while those to the south-eastward 
and north-eastward are ever the roundest and most accessible. It seems 
that all the north-eastern hills are much tinged with red soil. Is there 
any analogy or connexion between this colour of the soil and the gold, 
which is found in considerable quantities in these districts, particularly 
in the beds of its rivers ? 

The great snowy belt, although its loftiest crest is broken into num- 
berless chfFs and ravines, nevertheless presents a barrier perfectly imprac- 
ticable, except in those places where hollows that become the beds of 
rivers have in some degree intersected it, and facihtated ap})roach to its 
more remote recesses; and courageous and attentive perseverance has 
here and there cUscovered a dangerous and cUfficult path, by which a pos- 
sibihty exists of penetrating across the range. Few rivers hold their course 
wholly through it : indeed, in the upper part the Sutlej alone has been 
traced beyond this rocky barrier ; and there is a path along its stream, from 
different parts of which roads chverge, that lead in various directions through 
the mountains. No reasonable doubt can now exist of the very long and 



284 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

extraordinary course which this river takes : the routes given below Avill 
trace it particularly nearly to its origin. Several other passes through the 
Hiniala exist to the south-eastward ; but I am unacquainted with all of 
them beyond Kumaoon, between which and that of the Sutlej, the passes 
of Joar, Darma, Nitteemana, Lamanittee, Gurooneettee, and Birjee, are 
found practicable for the conveyance of goods, and all cut the range in 
a direction little varying from west to east, which coincides with that in 
which the hills are divided by nature, by the ravines through which the 
principal drains have their course, and in which most of the great masses 
that jut down from the snowy crest towards the plains send their con- 
tinuous ridges, showing an intimate connexion with the great primary 
formation of the country and the peculiarities of its cliief features. 

Besides these chief passes there are others of more danger and difficulty 
that pervade the snowy range in various directions, finding outlets to the 
milder countries beyond. With these, however, I am only acquainted 
by accounts of less minute detail, and on the authenticity of these 
beyond their mere existence there is little reliance to be placed. Such is 
the pass by the course of the river I,hannevie related below, that from 
Bhurassoo to the neighbouring districts of China ; a path also said to exist 
near Kedarnauth, &c. &:c. These are all so dangerous and toilsome that 
few but the wildest inhabitants of the most inhospitable regions choose to 
invade their deserts of eternal rock and snow, where no living thing is seen, 
and no means are to be obtained for long preserving life. To the west- 
ward of the Sutlej the passes are perhaps more frequent, certainly less 
difficvdt. The pass of Cooloo through Stanpore, by Sucklote to Gara and 
Ludhak, and that through Chumbee, by Joocela, IMookhee, and Hoorpore, 
are among the best and most frequented. With those which may exist 
farther to the westward, between Chumbee and Cashmere, I am unac- 
(juainted ; but it is well known that a comparatively easy and much fre- 
(juented road is found from the Punjab to Cashmere, and through that 
valley to Ludhak, and the other states and districts of Thibet. I am 
ujiacquainted, even by information, with the actual course through the 
hills to Cashmere, but it doubtless leads along the river .Ty,thure, which 
arises in the hills bounding that valley to the north-east and east. 

A route is given below, leading from Tudhak to Hymap, which place 
is said to be four days' journey only from the capital of Cashmere, and on 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 285 

a road fit for horses. Hymap is on the banks of the great river Sing- 
kechoo, which, rising in the mountains around, and to the north of lake 
Mantullace, runs by Gara through Ludhak, by its capital Leh ; and 
changing its course more to the westward, flows round the Cashmerean 
mountains, probably forming, according to the best information we have, 
a branch of the Attock, or Indus. 

Our informant did not distinctly state where the road to Cashmere 
quits the river, but he was clear enough in pointing out that the river ran 
to the north-westward of Cashmere : this seems also to be the opinion of 
Mr. Moorcroft, founded, no doubt, on similar information ; and as we are 
not acquainted with any stream that penetrates through the mountains in 
a direction that can correspond with that taken by the Sing-kechoo, it 
seems nearly beyond a question that it forms a portion of the Indus. That 
the name given to this river by our informant should differ from that by 
which it was known to Messieurs Moorcroft and Hearsay, is not surprising. 
In different districts it wovdd be known by different names, and, probably, 
even at Gara it may be known by this name here given, though, by an 
easy analogy, it assumed that of the chief place by which it flows. 

Cashmere appears to be the true limit of the Himala range. Beyond 
the point where the mountainous chain is cut by the Attock, and, indeed, 
even to the south-eastward of it, according to every account I have heard, 
the mountains decline in altitude, and the hilly country spreads out on 
both sides to a less circumscribed space. To enter, however, on this tract, 
and to advert to the further ramifications and connexions of this great 
range with other chains of mountains, would be quite foreign to the limited 
scale of the present objects ; and, where all must be speculation, would be 
worse than presumptvious. 

It has appeared from several portions of the foregoing narration, that 
the whole of this great mountainous tract, as is usually the case in coun- 
tries of a similar description, has been always divided into a number of 
larger and smaller states; the boundaries of which, and often the sovereigns, 
were continually changing. The short detail of the (ihoorkha power ha^ ing 
risen on the ruins of so many petty principalities, forms a strong examjilo 
of this condition of things ; and the nature of the country tlu'ough whicli 
our route led, as already detailed in our progress through the Earuh 
Thakooraee, gives a further illustration of it. It appears probable by in- 



286 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

ference that a similar state of affairs exists on the north-eastern side of the 
great range ; and our information goes to prove this in great measure, but 
with this difference, that the influence of the Chinese empire, or at least 
that of its deputies in Thibet, who are indeed very independent in all but 
name, has been exerted with greater success to reduce the petty sovereigns 
to a more complete state of feudal dependence upon itself. They are 
generally tributaries to China. 

The state that attracts the chief attention is undoubtedly Ludhak : its 
territorial extent seems to be considerable, and our information leads to 
the behef that it possesses a good deal of importance from its poUtical and 
commercial relations with the Cliinese government at Gara, and the terri- 
tories of the Lamas, and with Cashmere, as well as from its own internal 
resources and valuable exports. It is bounded, to the best of our in- 
formation, on the west by Cashmere and its dependencies, on the south- 
westward and southward by Chumbee, Cooloo, and Bischur, which also 
circumscribes it on the south-eastward. The districts under Chinese sway? 
of which Gara and Tuling form two of the chief stations. He to the east- 
ward and north-eastward ; perhaps it is not far removed in these quarters 
from the country recognised as Yarkvmd. Many small states have, doubt- 
less, had existence between these just mentioned ; but they seem cliiefly to 
have been absorbed into the large ones, and are now at least of no con- 
sequence : we were given to understand that Ludhak was in some degree 
tributary both to China and to Cashmere. 

This may relate more to the terms of certain commercial treaties and 
political relations with these two states, than to any actual assessment 
which it submits to pay to them. There is no doubt, however, that these 
relations are most favourable to itself, for it seems to enjoy a sort of mo- 
nopoly of the whole valuable trade in shawl wool, engrossing to itself at a 
fixed and low valuation all the wool that is collected in the Un,des, or wool 
country (as it is called by ]\Ir. Aloorcroft), which is disposed of to the 
manufacturers of Cashmere, from whom they receive in return the produce 
of Hindostan, &c. 

It appears, that on one occasion this monopoly was infringed by the 
sale of some shawl wool to strangers, whicli called fortli the most rigorous 
enactments and threats of punishment to future defaulters from the autho- 
rities of Gara. This circumstance is taken notice of by Mr. Moorcroft, 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 287 

who adverts also to the monopoly and its cause, as arising from some 
assistance in time of mutual danger, and which called forth these immu- 
nities in favour of the Ludhak community. 

Ludhak itself is, probably, chiefly a grazing country, and supphes much 
shawl wool, though the principal mart for this is at Gara. The routes 
through its territories describe chiefly rugged mountains topped with snow, 
projections certainly from the Himala range, and lower hills of reddish 
soil, covered with short grass, representing a country fit for sheep ; but 
little is said of cultivation until we are brought to the valley of the Sing- 
kechoo, which seems to be the rich district of the country. This is full of 
cultivation and villages ; here also is placed the capital of the country, Leh, 
or Ludhak. 

This town, our accounts inform us, is situated on the north or right 
bank of the river, but about two cos distant from it, and is watered by a 
rivulet, which here empties itself into its bed. From the village of Humee 
to Leh, a distance, it is said, of sixteen or seventeen cos, we are told that 
the valley widens much, and is from two to four cos broad, very richly 
cultivated with wheat, barley, and oe, or rye, and thickly studded witli 
villages ; the road along the river excellent, broad, and planted on each 
side with chiloomah-trees : and this prosperous state continues for a con- 
siderable distance below upon the river's banks. The town itself once 
contained about 1000 good houses, but report states it to have fallen off. 
and it is now reduced to about 700. These generally consist of several 
stories, the lower story built by uniting two thin walls of stone filled with 
mud between them ; the upper is entirely formed of the latter material, a.s 
is the roof, which is flat, forming a terrace : they are said to be well con- 
structed. 'Hiere are well stocked bazars, and several shops (twelve or 
thirteen) kept by the Cashmerian jMussulmauns, but no Hindoo bunyas, 
or shopkeepers : flour, ghee, grain, flesh, and all articles of consumption are 
sold in the market by the people from the country, who bring them to 
town. The palace of the rajah is at Leh ; we were told that liis title among 
the people of the country is " gealbo," wliich is equivalent to rajah. His 
name is Neena IMungreal. I beheve his religion is that of the Lamas ; biu 
an universal spirit of toleration seems to prevail under his sway, for all 
persuasions find protection there, Hindoos, jMussuhuauns, Lamas, and 
Chinese. 



288 KOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

Cattle are freely slaughtered, and flesh of all sorts is publicly sold in 
the market. It is said that rice, ghee, and sugar, are very dear ; wheat 
and barley are also expensive, but more common. Wheat is most preferred, 
of which, and rice, they encourage the importation from Bischur and Cash- 
mere, and consume a great quantity. Barley and oe, or rye, is cliiefly used, 
boiled into a sort of porridge. 

The general nature of their commerce has been touched upon in the pre- 
ceding pages. It appears singular that, in a grazing covnitry, ghee should 
be a scarce and dear article ; but it is so : and from tliis circumstance we 
may presume, that sheep and goats are more encouraged and reared than 
liorned cattle : no doubt from the same reasons that have so thinned them 
in the Highlands of Scotland, the greater productiveness of sheep. 

Three grand fairs are held in the year at Leh, viz. one in Kalick, or Octo- 
ber ; one in Phagoon, or February ; and one in Bhadgoon, or August. 
The first of these is called the Jvuig Dooz, and is the least ; the second, 
called Dummooche, is the chief one ; and the third, termed Sooblas, holds 
a middle importance. At these fairs the concourse of Mussulmauns from 
Yarkund, See. of Lamas from Lassa Degurcha, Hindoos from Imritsir and 
all the Punjab, and of merchants from Cashmere, and all other places, is 
said to be immense ; and the valuable productions of these countries are 
all poured into Leh, which seems to be used as an entrepot for their 
riches, exporting them again by the various natural channels to their 
ultimate markets. 

Such are the few particulars we collected respecting this state. Slight 
and little satisfactory as they may be, they may stimulate curiosity, and 
awaken a desire to become better acquainted with the country to the 
north-east of Himrda. 

To the eastward, and probably to the southward of Leh, and sixteen 
days' journey entirely along the course of the river Sing-kechoo and 
Eckung, as more fully noted in the route below, (the chief part of which 
lies through the Ludhak territory), is situated Gara, or Gartope, or Ghei-- 
tope, which, though insignificant in itself as a place, is nevertheless a station 
of considerable importance in this part of Thibet. From what we could 
collect, it consists but of a few huts and tents ; but it is the residence of a 
deba, or governor, the meeting place of a great annual fair, and the chief 
market of shawl and other wools, the produce of the countries around. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 289 

Many jiarticulars respecting this place may be collected from ]\Ir. 
Moorcroft's account ; those which we could collect are few and vague. It 
seems that Gartope is situated in the valley of the river Eekung, which 
is here of considerable extent, though surrounded, it appears, \N-ith hills. 
To this place the Ludliak merchants come to purchase the wool which is 
brought for sale from all the country round to a great distance, for the 
Cashmere market : and to this place, also, do the dealers from the low 
country of Hindostan come to dispose of and exchange their goods. 
The great metah, or fair, is held annually in the month of Bhadoon, and 
when well attended there are seen from 12 to 15,000 people. The person 
who gave us a great portion of the information now detailed was at Gara 
when Messrs, IVIoorcroft and Hearsay were there, and was sent by the 
debah to decide who and what they were ; for an idea had gone abroad 
that they w^ere Ghoorkhas in disguise; a people, it seems, not in favour 
with the debah. But this man having seen them, immediately knew them 
to be Europeans, which he accordingly reported, to the great satisfaction, 
as he assured us, of the debah, who declared the " Franks" to be good 
people ; but threatened any Ghoorkha that might put his foot in the 
place with death, as they were, he said, a treacherous and dangerous 
people. Be this as it may, he mentioned several slight particulars that 
vouched for the truth of the story ; and as he first volunteered the 
information without any hint from us, I have little doubt that he did see 
these gentlemen there. 

The great and holy Lake of Mantullace, or jNfansrowar, is about eight 
days' jovirney from Garha, according to this man's account, which nearly 
corresponds with that of j\Ir. INIoorcroft. Grira appears to be situate near 
the forks of the Sing-kechoo, or rather the Eekung, or chief branch of the 
Attock, where it collects the different streams from the mountains in tlie 
vicinity of this great lake, if not from the lake itself The route from 
Gara is probably the same which these gentlemen traversed ; and ^lansur, 
the resting-place of our informant, as the third day's stage, is, in all like- 
lihood, the INIisar where these travellers halted ; and the place called by him 
Dumchoo, situated at the foot of the Kailas I'urbut, is certainly the same 
as Darchar, said by them to be placed so near that lofty range of hills, the 
streams from which both he and they call Gangree, forming the chief 
supply of the lake Bawenhrudd. This place (Gangree) is held in the 

r 1- 



290 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

greatest veneration by the Tartars and Chinese. There are four temples 
of the Lamas at the mountain foot, with their entrances to the four 
cardinal points, wliicli are held very sacred; and to journey rovnid the 
Kailas mountain is reputed to be of as much efficacy as a pilgrimage to 
Loretto, or to jNIecca, was to a Eoman cathohc of fonuer days, or to a 
Mussulmaun of the present. 

The lake of JMansrowar, or MantuUaee, we are informed, is of consider- 
able extent. A journey round it, which is reckoned a very necessary religious 
exercise, occupies from six to eight days on horseback. This is probably 
a great exaggeration, and certainly, according to Mr. jMoorcroft's opinion, 
is so. He estimates the lake at sixteen miles long, by eleven broad ; but 
irregularities on the bank, causing the road to retreat from it, may lengthen 
the journey considerably. Our informant describes the hills around it, 
however, as consisting more of soil than rock, \\dth Httle wood, but chiefly 
covered with grass, and a sort of furze called damak. He also declared 
that one branch of the Sutlej comes out of the lake ; but jNIr. INIoorcroft 
seems to have ascertained this to be a mistake, and refers the source of 
this river to Eawenhrudd, a lake in the vicinity. It seems, however, 
scarcely possible that a lake, which receives from the Himala so many 
streams, and collects so large a body of water, should have no outlet ; and 
if this is not apparent, we must suppose that there is some subterraneous 
communication, possibly with Eawenhrudd itself, by which the superfluous 
waters are carried off. 

We made particular inquiries of this man whether he was aware of 
any stream that ran from the neighbourhood of MantuUaee to the south- 
ward ; and he informed us very distinctly that, from one of the lofty 
mountains to the south of Mantvdlaee, and which sends its north-western 
waters to the lake, a stream arises on the south-eastern face that flows in 
that direction, and is the same that subsequently passes by Lassa : it is 
called, he says, the Sampoo. The mountain in which it rises he called 
jNIurgiulana, and describes the river as being a bow-shot broad, and 
running slowly along the plain, after leaving the hills. Lassa, he says, is 
ten months journey distant from j\L«isrowar. Thus it appears as if this 
lake were the great centre whence all the waters separate around theHimrdii, 
part running to the south-eastward, and part to the north-westward ; and 
it is certain that the Sutlej, and pretty nearly so that the chief branch of 



THE HIMaLA mountains. 291 

the Attock, take tlieii- rise in its vicinity. The confirmation, beyond 
dispute, of all this surely is an object of much geographical interest. 

In collecting the imperfect hints that were to be procured respecting 
the country and its principal places, we more than once heard of the cities 
of Tuling and of Chaprung, but of their actual position I never was able 
to form any correct notion. 

The two Bhoteas, whom (as will afterwards be seen) I met at Gun- 
gotree, gave vague and unauthentic accovmts of routes to both these places. 
They state the distance from Gungotree to their village (Chounsah) to be 
a full month's journey ; from Chounsah to Chaprung another month, and 
from thence to Grira occupies a similar time ; and that Tuhng is midway 
between Chaprung and Gara. From this imperfect information we can 
only collect, that both these places are mthin the space intercepted on the 
map, between Ludhak and Grira, or the hne of the Sing-kechoo on the 
north, and the cliief crest of the Himala from Cashmere to jNIantullaee on 
the south ; but it seems quite fruitless to attempt assigning any particular 
place to either. 

Tuling is said to be a place of much importance, and the residence of 
a grand Lama. Chaprung is also stated to be a considerable to\Mi, the 
residence of a chief, or rajah, called " Cotock," situate in a plain, but sur- 
rounded by hills, and the road to it and from it to Tuling is very bad, and 
much of it through snow. It is situate on a river, whicli, if any credit 
can be given to these people, forms a part of the Sutlej. These are very 
vague and unsatisfactory particulars ; but intelligent travellers were rarely 
met with, and none could afford us any information beyond the line of his 
own route. 

We had little opportunity for gaining information respecting the 
country which occupies the space between the river Sutlej and Cashmere, 
the chief states of which, we heard, were Cooloo, Chumbee, ^Nfundee, 
Kangrah, Sukhet, and Goolihur. The first two are of very great extent, 
stretching, like Bischur, through the snowy range, and bounding, in all 
probability, with Ludhak. The capital of Cooloo is Stanporc. To the 
south-west of Cooloo hes part of Kuhloor, or Belaspore, and Kangrah. 
INIundee Ues still more to the westward, and stretches down to the plains 
of the Punjab. Sukhet is a small state upon the banks of the Sutlej. 
Chumbee lies to the north of these petty states, and is by for the most 

r 1- '^ 



292 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

considerable of any on this side of the Himala range beyond Gurwhal ; 
but I know nothing of the country, except that it is wild and savage. I 
believe its capital town is Hoorpore. All these states are tributary, and 
dependant in a greater or less degree on the Sik,hs of the plains, and 
acknowledge obedience to Eunjeet Sing. 

i\Iany petty states doubtless exist in the different districts of the 
country in question, but I know nothing of them. Some are alluded to 
in the routes given below, but this allusion is all the information I possess 
concerning them ; and I now proceed to give a more minute description 
of the map that accompanies these pages, and to explain the sources from 
which it is chiefly compiled. 

The great general outlines of the portion, more particularly the subject 
of this narrative, both natural and pohtical, will easily be distinguished ; 
and the line of our route, also very obvious, will account for the more 
particular detail that appears in the parts over which we passed. Our 
survey, though it was deficient in the precision that can only be attained 
by combining correct observations of the heavenly bodies with accurate 
trigonometrical measurement, was yet so far complete in the latter requi- 
site, that I have reason to think many points are well fixed, at least, in 
their relation to one another ; and on each side of these, minute observations 
of the position of villages, peaks, and streams have afforded materials for 
fiUing up a map upon a larger scale than this in question. I believe, 
indeed, that this minuteness of detail is ofhttle general utility ; but, as the 
face of the country is every where very much the same, I thouglit it well 
that one small district should be thus depicted, as a sample descriptive of 
the rest. And perhaps I was unwilling that the labour which procured 
these details shovdd be entirely thrown away ; a feeling which I am sen- 
sible is too apt to lead into the error of enlarging, beyond due measure, 
on subjects of which one feels master, without justly estimating the real 
interest they are calculated to excite. 

From many points in our route, which frequently intersected itself, we 
had a fine opportiniity of detecting the geograi)hical arrangement of the 
(;ountry. Such were the stations on the Sine range, in the lower part of 
the hills near Xahn ; at Habun farther removed ; at Chogut and Cnulluda 
above Choupal, in Jool)ul ; on the ridges dividing the Xawur vaUey from 
Sambracote, on Nowagurh-Teeba ; the heights of Sooraroo and Urchalum as 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 293 

we advanced onwards ; on Puntajliurra ridge, Teckur, ^Mundapoor, Deonhur, 
and Deoonnur, as we retired from Comharsein to the southward ; Deoon- 
nur, Kanda, Sunknee, and Toombroo-Teebas, as we again resumed a 
northerly course, on Moondulgurh, Oogun, and ]^aliilee lUrther onwards, 
Shikaree Quila across the Nowgurree Khola. Our views from these points, 
with the connecting observations made in the countiy between, have 
enabled me to fill up a considerable portion of the space that hes between 
the Sutlej and Jumna with a detail which I have great reason to think 
chiefly accurate. 

Of this tract the great mouiitain Choor, which rises from the banks of 
the river Girree to the height of 10,560 feet, forms the most prominent 
feature between the plains and the snowy mountains, in a geographical 
point of view, as being the first object that arrests the eye from below, 
and is seen towering over all the other mountains from every cjuarter. 
From it diverges a large rachation of hills that intersect the country 
variously ; some being joined to the roots of the snowy mountains, and 
others after many intricate ramifications reaching the })lains. One ridge, 
like a great spine, strikes off to north 25 east by Dliurma and Chogut 
peaks, and runs continuous, but with several inflexions, to Sunknee, and 
from thence to Soombro-Teeba, whence it again diverges ; but the prin- 
cipal part, taking a north-westerly course, joins at Chumbee-Teeba, and 
the pass of Kuthagur, with the great range which will soon be spoken of, 
stretching from Moral-Ke-lvanda, and is thus connected with the snowy- 
mountains. 

From this great chine many smaller ranges break off at the different 
elevated points, ending on the north-west side in the Girree ; and from 
the south-eastern face stretching towards the Pabur and Touse. Thus, 
to the north-westward, the ridges that compose the petty state of Cole- 
goroo are projected from Kandee ; to the southward, those which spring 
from Toombroo. Then Sirgool runs do^ai by Xagun Quila ; after a\ liicli, 
advancing to the southward, we find the range of Eulsum ; tlien a jiro- 
jection from Chogut ; that above Shai called, I beheve, Deothee ; the 
Habun ridge, with those from Buhroge, and the southern face of Choor, 
on which are Rajegluu', next succeed ; but our observations did not extend 
to the rest. 

With these ranges, too, that extend from Choor to the south-eastward, 



294 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

by Huri'cpore to the Touse, we were also little acquainted. The Hamultee 
nullah and valley, on wliich the village of Suraee is situate (a point fixed 
hy latitude), commences in the Choor mountain ; and, joined by that 
which is the bed of the Shahshalee, or Cheela nullah, from Chogut and its 
vicinity, runs by the fort of Choupal to the Touse. Somewhat to the 
northward of Chogut, at a peak called Koongoo, the Gudhala range 
stretches to the south-east. Fort Choupal is situate on this ridge, and it 
forms the separation between the Shashalee, or Chulee, and the Cotee 
nidlahs, which meet a few miles further on. 

From Koongroo springs another small ridge, which forms one side of 
the Cotee nullah, called the Bitecouree ridge ; and between it and the 
(nidhala range runs a fine stream, called Sunt,ha,nuddee, which falls into 
the Cotee almost at the same point where it is joined by the Xar. This 
last stream arises in the bosom of Urructa, where it gives off the Chuttur- 
Teeba, which, running in a north-westerly direction, joins at Suiiknee, the 
gi'cat ridge in f|uestion ; thus uniting Urructa and Choor, the two principal 
[)oints in this part of the country. 

A subordinate ridge, on which are situated INIatile and the villages of 
Poonnur, runs also to the southward from Chuttur, and divides the Xar 
from the Cotee nullah. From Urructa mountain, the Purgattoo and other 
ranges stretch down to the eastward and soutliAvard, ending on the Cotee 
and Cheela nullahs, and on the Touse. The valley of Deyzah arises froai 
the bosom between Sunknee and Toombroo-Teebas, and runs down in 
an cast-north-easterly direction to the Pabur at Eaeengudh ; and at this 
])oint the range takes its great turn to the north-westward. 

On the north-eastern side of this ridge, now recognised as the Chum- 
bee-ke-D,har, runs the valley of Nawur, which is itself divided from the 
valley of Sukree and Sambracote by a ridge called the Deouhree-D,har, 
springing from Kuthagur-teeba pass, at which point one of the branches 
of the Nawur-nullah arises. To the south-westward the valleys of Silleh 
and Khuneountee run down to the Girree, from Tombroo and Urshalun. 
The range contiiuics by Chumbee, sending down one or two inferior rami- 
fications to Whartoo, Bagee, and Kurana ; and this portion then ends on 
the Girree, nearly opposite to Nagun-Quila ; but from AMiartoo, connected 
by Kagkanda, it runs by Puntajhurra, Thcog, Tcekur, ^Nlundapoor, and 
Deshoo-ke-D,har, in an uninterrupted hue, but which we had no further 



THE HIM ALA MOUNTAINS. 295 

opportunity of tracing, to Irkee and the plains. From the north-western 
side of this range run down the Comharsein, Kurangooloo, and other 
valleys : the Seeleedan, Mustgurh, and other ridges, all terminating at the 
Sutlej ; and, further to the southward, the state of Keeounthul on its 
south-western face. 

The immediate range of Whartoo unites a little to the north-westward 
of Bajee, with a neck projected from Nowagurh-Teeba, another great 
point on this chain, from which diverge many subordinate ones. Turning 
to the eastward, and then following a north- eastern direction, by ^iToo- 
noolgurh and Oogun, it is almost lost at the low pass of Soongree Kanda : 
by which, however, it keeps up its connexion with, and is joined to, 
Moral-ke-Kanda, the great turning point of this district, and by it to the 
snowy range lying along the Sutlej. From this great mass proceed the 
rivers Coonoo and Nowgurree-Kholas, on the western side, with many 
subordinate streams that hasten towards the Sutlej ; and on the eastern 
side its waters swell the Pabur, by various drains, of which we are Avholly 
ignorant, above the Sambracote nullah, which rises at Soongree Kanda 
pass, but is swollen by many sources that originate in that mountain. 

Such is a detailed sketch of this portion of the country, wliich may 
serve as a specimen of the materials from which the map has been com- 
posed. Where it is evidently much filled up with detail, it is unnecessary 
to continue it in this minute way ; and I proceed to give a more cursory 
view of the remainder. 

From Seran, till we reached Cotee on the Jumna, the weather being 
exceedingly foggy and indistinct, did not admit of very accurate or minute 
survey ; but we occasionally obtained glimpses that gave the means of 
fiUing up this portion in some degree ; and the whole is corrected by the 
addition of a few points fixed by a friend, which may, I beheve, be nuu'h 
reUed on for accuracy. Thus the rivers are brought into their proj)er 
places, and the great lines of the country are accurately chs})layotl. 

In laying down the course of the Jumna, from Cotee to Jmniiotrce. 
along the river, and from thence to Gungotree, and downwards along 
the Bhagirutee, much attention to the general course of the rivers and 
principal points of the country, as well as to the minutest circumstances 
that offered any assistance in pointing out the true positions of places, 
has been exercised, in order to remedy, as far as possible, the numerous 



£96 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

disadvantages I had to contend with in surveying tliis route, roughly as 
it was done. 

Every one who has attempted to lay down a route knows the inac- 
curacies that will arise in the use even of a good surveying compass, with- 
out the means of further correcting the angles it gives ; and a succession 
of dark foggy days robbed me of the best opportunities I could have had 
to obtain extensive and distant bearings, that might, by fixing certain 
])oints, have given the relative position of others. I feel, however, 
tolerably confident that the general course of both rivers is laid down 
with considerable accuracy; and the positions of the great mountains 
Eunderpooch and Roodroo Himrda, as well as the places of Gungotree 
and Jumnotree, are nearly, if not correctly right. 

On first laying the route down on paper, it appeared that the posi- 
tion of the village of Sookhee, and consequently the whole course of the 
river, lay too far to the northward ; and, upon mature consideration and 
due examination of the whole route, the error evidently lay in the direc- 
tion given to the three days' jourrfey from Cursalee, near Jumnotree, 
across the snowy shoulders of Bunderpooch and Soomeroo Purbut to 
Sookhee. The whole of this portion of the route was performed in most 
unfavourable weather ; and, in the places where a momentary view of 
surrounding objects would have been invaluable, the whole was enveloped 
in the deepest obscurity. 

The direction, therefore, was taken from little more grounds than 
were afforded by constant reference to a pocket compass, which was 
carried almost always in the hand, with a reference to the general Hues of 
the country, taken from the peaks that now and then appeared for a mo- 
ment. In constructing the present sketch, the whole of these three days' 
journey has been laid down in a general course, tending more directly to 
the eastward than at first ; and the proof of the justness of this correction 
is, that the whole of the positions on the lihagiruttee fell by the operation 
into their proper relative places, as is somewhat strongly eviiiced in the 
direction of the village of Petara on the ]]hagiruttee, near Dhurasoo, from 
Pongee and iVIarma Teebas ; also the latitude of Jiaraliat, which agrees with 
that of jMcssieurs Webb and Paper, and the distance of the positions 
Cocassoo, Phalee, and Pelee, near the valley of Deyln-a Dhoon, from the 
fixed points of Deyrah, Nagel, Kalunga, &c. &c. Thus I have little doubt 



THE rilMALA MOUNTAINS. 297 

that tliis portion of the map is as nearly correct as is necessary for all com- 
mon pvirposes, and more I could not have ho})ed for. 

Beyond the tracts above detailed the route of this journey did not 
extend, and the rest of the map has been constructed from such information 
as could be obtained from the various sources that our situation enabled 
us to command, connected with such portions of the country as had been 
previously fixed by survey. 

Those parts to the eastward of the I^hagiruttee have been laid down 
from the known routes of Webb and Ra})er, and the concentered in- 
formation contained in Mr. Arrowsmith's admiral)le new map of India. 
The chief lines, however, are only given, as the object was to describe that 
part of the country alone on which I am entitled to speak from observation 
or particular information. The valley of Deyhra Dhoon is given from a 
variety of observations relative to different points in that place, from which, 
I believe, a tolerably correct general view is exhibited. 

To the north-westward of Nairn, in the vicinity of the plains, as my 
particular information did not extend fai', I was obliged to connect the 
few points I obtained from the scene of General Ochterlony's campaign, 
with t)ie known outlines of the hills as they bound with the i)lains : when 
there was no information that could be relied on, blanks have been left, and 
the whole tract from the Punta Jhurra and Theog ridge to Irkee is accord- 
ingly in this situation. A large blank also occurs between the river Touse 
and Choor, even to the banks of the Girree : I possessed much detail of the 
country from report, but not being able accurately to lay down the positions 
described, I deemed it better to leave the whole unfilled. To the north-west 
of the Sutlej I have not ventured on a line, though ac(|uainted with the 
states that lie in that direction, and even in some degree with their relative 
positions, as has been seen above : being ignorant of their absolute extent 
and boundaries, I believed it better to leave them entirely out. All the 
rest is the result of the desultorv and various information above alhuled 
to, fitted, where it could be done, to the known great lines of the country. 

The routes will be found more fully detailed below : the difficulty of 
thus adapting routes, taken down from the verbal conununications of un- 
scientific individuals, to a map laid down by rule, nuist no iloubt be 
sufficiently intelligible to every one ; but those who have attempted it can 
alone estimate its extent. 



298 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

This difficulty is further enhanced when the route to be described is 
over rough and unequal ground, as the distance from place to place is of 
course always much moi"e uncertain in such cases than in level or easy 
country. 

In the present instance the cos was a most dubious measure ; we found 
that most people exaggerated it, and that a cos seldom equalled three 
quarters of a mile ; in some few cases we discovered that a ten or twelve 
cos journey did not amount to more than four or five Enghsh miles, or 
even less in toilsome or difficult country ; and if one-third be taken from 
this, as a fair quantity to be allowed in the distance gone, for inequahty 
of ground and divergements from the general direction, many of the 
apparently excessively long distances we hear of between one place and 
another will be greatly diminished, and dwindle into insignificant spaces. 
But in laying down the routes to Ludhak, Gara, and jNIantullaee, from the 
words of Puttee Eam, I was induced to give credit for a more true appre- 
tiation of distances, as by comparing the length of his stages with spaces 
of which we knew the extent, he proved his understanding of the subject. 
It is curious to remark the inconsistencies, however, that appear, even with 
all his intelligence, in his routes when transferred to paper. 

The route to Leh or lAidhak by the river Lee, and the lake Chumor- 
coul, &c. &c. I should conceive not to be very far wrong in its general 
direction and distance; because when following uj) the subsequent part, 
from Leh to Hymap, and from thence to Cashmere, the position it would 
give to the latter plain is not very erroneous. Probably, however, if the 
distance were somewhat shortened, and Leh laid down somewhat more to 
the southward, it would be nearer the truth. That it cannot be farther 
westward, is proved by the number of days' journey he has given from 
thence to Gara (confirmed nearly by Messieurs Moorci'oft and Hearsay), 
which ah-eady do not allow to the latter i)lace a sufficiently easterly or 
southerly position, according to the route of these gentlemen, the only 
existing authorities on the subject. 

The route from Leh to Gara lies perha})s (indeed most likely) some, 
what more to the south-eastward of that given in the sketch ; and certainly 
the routes along the Sutlej, and from Suchtote on the Lee to Numroo and 
(iarha, seem to lead farther to tliis conclusion. I ap})rehend that some 
confusion exists in the detail of stages in the last-mentioned routes, and 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 299 

that from Oopshee on the Sing-kechoo to Gara, where they approach the 
latter place, a stage called Nummoo is found near Gara in each ; and 
though from other discrepancies I have been induced to lay down t\vo 
places under this name, I have strong suspicions still that they relate to 
one and the same place, and this would cause a difference in the southerly 
position of Gara of nearly twenty miles. 

But, in fact, the position which this place and the lake ]Mantullaee or 
Mansrowar take up, according to the routes given by Puttee Earn, differ so 
much from that given in Mr. Arrowsmith's new map, and which I believe 
to be from the information of Messieurs jNIoorcroft and Hearsay, as to 
make it evident that one at least, and both, in all probabiUty, are very 
erroneous. 

I am disposed to think that the latter position is as much too far to 
the south-east, as the former is to the north-west ; that the course of the 
river Danlee, and the route to Gartope, incline far too much that way, and 
have too short a course. I conceive that the position given in the sketch 
cannot be wholly in the wrong, because, in the first place, if Leh or Ludliak 
be placed further to the south-eastward, and it be allowed that the 
information respecting its distance from the capital of Cashmere in any 
degree can be relied on, the true space would not be left between the river 
Sutlej and that valley, so that we must suppose the positions of Ludhak. 
with reference to Cashmere, to be nearly right. 

Secondly, if this be so, and as our information does not induce us to 
believe that the distance between Leh and Gara is greater than represented 
in the sketch (jNIr. jNIoorcroft's account agreeing with ours), it appears that 
the latter place cannot with propriety be placed further to the eastward 
than has there been done. 1 beheve, indeed, that both places, and the 
whole course of the Sing-kechoo, have been laid down too far to the north- 
ward ; and should this conjecture be right, Gara would obtain a more 
southerly, though scarcely a more easterly position. 

As jNIessieurs JNIoorcroft and Hearsay travelled without the advantage 
of instruments that could be relied on, or even the means of kno\nng with 
any accuracy the distance they travelled daily, it is no severe reflection on 
the accuracy or intelligence of these gentlemen to presume that they may 
have in some degree erred in their idea of the courses they went, and that 
truth may lie between their account and that we received from Puttee Ram. 

Q u i2 



300 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

Eovites, such as these in question, extracted with great labour from a 
man not accustomed to yield such information, will present numerous in- 
consistencies, which, at a future period, it is difficult, if not impossible, to 
reconcile, and that which at the time seemed perfectly plain and intelhgible, 
becomes, upon future reference, totally useless for want of some petty con- 
necting link, which at the time might easily have been obtained, but which 
afterwards is lost for ever. In the present sketch it has been attempted 
to reconcile these inconsistencies with the positions that are in some degree 
known, and no labour has been spared to accomplish the object. 

I have laid down each route after passing Seran, according to the result 
of this exertion of my judgment, strengthened by a recollection of the 
general impressions I gained from various conversations on the subject. 

It is very possible that these conclusions have been erroneous, and 
therefore I annex a detailed account of the routes in question, that such 
as choose to attempt the same labour with the behef of a different result, 
may have the means in their power to do so. And I doubt not but that 
those who have been in the habit of adapting information of this nature to 
fixed positions will be able to make valuable corrections. A great change 
will no doubt take place in the relative positions of places in this map 
when its scale is corrected, by laying it down in geographical miles, and 
by reducing the size of the degrees according to rule ; and this change will 
act powerfully in reducing the apparent inconsistencies that now exist : 
this I have not attempted, as I deemed it better to leave this nicer and 
more scientific part of the task to those better qualified to do it justice. 

The map as here given is projected on a scale of four common miles to 
an inch, a scale recommended as being more manageable than any other 
in reducing the work to those most generally in use. Little more remains 
to be said ; the narrative itself affords means to judge, in great measure, of 
the o])portunities and the nature of the materials from which this sketch 
has been produced ; and the above remarks may serve to concentrate these 
into one view. I now proceed to detail the routes already so frequently 
alluded to. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 301 



Route given by Puttee Ram from Serdn, in Bischur, to Garu, along the 
Course of the Sutlej, hrj Soongnum, Poee, S^'c. 

STAGES OR JOURNEYS, viz. 

From Serfin, the first day. — Nine or ten cos to Chounde ; direction north-north-east. First three 
cos are on level and tolerably good road, after which one cos and a half of ascent, one 
and a half of descent, two and a half level, but bad. One cos more of descent; half a cos 
of level road brings the traveller to Cliounde, which is a place about one cos and a half 
above the Sutlej, where there are three or four small villages. 

From Chounde, the second day. — Ten to eleven cos to Whangtoo ; direction north-north-east. 
One cos and a quarter ascent leads to a large village, TrendC-, which lies to the eastward 
above Chounde ; two cos and a half further of descent to the village of Soldung; five level 
cos more to Nachar, about two cos above the river, from which Whangtoo is onlv two 
cos further of descent along the river bank. 

The third day's journey is eight cos to Che-gang ; road very bad, course east. The road ascends 
for one cos and a half, and descends again for tlie same space ; the rest rises little from 
the river's bed, but is rocky, dangerous, and painful. 

The fourth day. — Seven or eight cos to Rajalo ; direction from east to east-north-east. The whole 
way along precipices forming the banks of the Sutkj is dangerous and difficult, but without 
much ascent or descent. Rajalo can hardly be denominated a village; it is a place for 
grazing sheep, where on the river bank there are a few wretched huts. 

The fifth day. — Eight cos to Cheenee ; four first cos ascend to the nortln\ai-d, and the rest an- 
tolerably level, and the road passable to the eastward. Cheenee is a long village of 
twenty to thirty houses. 

The sixth day. — Five to eight cos to Pangee village, or to Kashung, where tlie villagers of Pangee 
keep their sheep ; the first being five cos, the second eight ; course about east-north- 
east. The road has only one cos of ascent and another of descent, the rest level and 
practicable enough. The country thus tiir is described as much resembling that arouml 
Seran, except that the wildncss and barrenness somewhat increases, and wtxxl diminishes 
much in quantity. 

The seventh day. — Nine cos to Kannum Labrung; direction cast-nortli-cast. First three cos 
ascend, next three descend to Lupee village ; a straight path then leads to Labrung, 
which is two cos above the Sutlei : here are two villasres toircther. 

The eighth day. — Ten to eleven cos to Soongnam ; direction north-north-east. Five cos general 
ascent and descent, and as much of g-eneral descent, lead within half a cos of Soonsi- 
nam, which is in a dell, on a nullah called Rurgeoo, which, joinetl to another calleii 
Ropes, falls into the Sutlej four cos down the tlell. The whole road is desi-rilnxl as 
better than the preceding part, and fit e\ en for the hill |X)nies. The face of the country 
is cjuite sterile, the hills are bare and rocky, and the whole place is surroiuideil by snowy 



302 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

mountains; l)iit it is nearly quite through the chief range. Cukivation is miserable; 
but barley, wheat, and oe or rye, are still seen in small quantities. 

The ninth day. — Eight to ten cos to Hango ; nearly north. Four cos of ascent, four cos descent, 
but moderate, and sometimes slanting over a ridge called Hungnung. Hango is in a 
dell \rith little water, and is a viUage of fifteen or sixteen houses ; at this point the roads 
to Ludhak and to Gara diverge. That to Gara Is as follows : 

Tlie tenth day. — Cos to Poeo or Pooee. Poee Is on the right bank of the Lee river, which forms 
a branch of the Sutlej equal in size to Itself, and falls into it at JNIamptso, about half a 
cos below, where tliere is a fine wooden bridge or sango. 

The eleventh day. — Eight cos to Shipke ; direction east. Crossing the Sutlej on the IVLimptso 
sango, the road, very bad and difficult, ascends gradually to Shipke, a village of twelve 
to thirteen families, situate three or four cos from and high above the Sutlej, which river, 
however. Is In sight from It. 

The twelfth day. — Eight cos to Kuooch ; direction east. The road is a scries of various ascents 
and descents, along a steep preci|)itous face, very dangerous and painfid. The village, 
•which consists of about fifteen Bhotea families, Is five cos from the Sutlej, which is seen 
from it. The houses are described to be flat-roofed with mud. The scanty crops tf) 
consist of barley and rye, and the live stock of a few shawl goats and sheep. 

The thirteenth day. — Eight cos to Blupscha ; direction east. The road Is similar to that of the 
last stage, very bad, hilly and rugged; about a cos above the banks of the Sutlej. 
Blupsclia is merely a resting place for travellers, wli ere there Is a sango to cross the river. 

The fourteenth day. — Nine cos to Noob, in the same direction. Crossing the river at Blupscha, 
the road ascends high above the river over dangerous and very uneven ground, but 
keeping Its course. The Sutlej is, however, not seen from Nooh. It is a village containing 
fifteen Bhotea families, with plenty of shawl goats and sheep, but little or no cultivation. 
Here we lose trace of the river, though, I believe, the road accompanies its course for 
some space further. I regret that the actual spot when it leaves it is not mentioned, nor 
can I recollect it. 

The fifteenth day. — Eight cos to Shreerunghut ; still east. The road of the same description, 
difficult, and continually ascending and descending. Shreerunghut is a desert resting 
place, without vUlage, or anv sign of habitation. 

The sixteenth day. — Eight cos to Tang ; course north-east. Road similar to the last. Tang is 
a Bhotea village of four or five families. There Is a little barley cultivated here, and 
slieep and goats continue. 

The seventeenth day. — Nine cos to Rugzhuk ; direction north-north-east. The road now l)egins 
to improve, and the hills are less rugged, exhibiting more soil, and less stone and rock. 
The station consists of a few Bhotea families, around which there is a little rve cultivation. 
'1 hey also possess some shawl goats and sheep. 

Tlie eighteenth day. — Eight cos to Shahung; direction east by north to cast-north-east. The 
road is good, and lies along a valley, which is described as being from one to two cos 
broad, level, and with a stream running through it. It is witliout wood ; but the hills, 
■which are formed of soil, are covered with furze and short grass. Tiie nearest are not 
higl), but lofty ones appear at four to five cos distance. There Is some cultivation of 
barley and rye about this village, which contains four or five houses. 



THE HIMSLA MOUNTAINS. 303 

The nineteenth day. — Seven or eight cos further to Sliakunpoo, in a nortlierly direction, along 
the same valley to a resting place at the foot of a hiil. There is no village. 

The twentieth day. — Eight cos to Nunnnooe ; direction north. Leaving the valley, the road 
ascends the high hill of Lahoche for two cos, descending as many, and then leads along 
a plain valley for four cos to the village Numroo, of about four or five Bhotea tents. 

From Numroo it appears that there is only one stage to Gara, of about eleven or twelve cos, but 
neither the nature of the road nor its direction are distinctly laid (l<nvii ; for the route 
was first followed from Numroo to Mantullaee by Dookheeoo. It is laid d<jwn in a sub- 
sequent page. 

But the more direct road from Bischur to Gara does not lead along the Sutlej bank from Hango, 
the ninth stage of the preceding route; it proceeds as the tenth day ''s journey : — SL\ cos 
to Lee, in a northerly direction, along a left hand hill slope of a hill forming the Lee 
river's bank, to whicli, at the end of the march, the road descends for a cos, and crosses 
on a good wooden bridge or sango. The village of Lee lies on the left or north bank of 
the river. 

The eleventh day. — Six to eight cos to Chango, in a northerly direction. The road leads along 

the left bank of the Lee, sometimes in its very bed , at odicrs a bowshot above it ; very 

rough and stony. The village, consisting of about thirty houses, is about half a cos 

above the river. 

This village marks the boundaries of the territories of Bischur with those of China. About 

half a cos farther above, close on the opposite bank of the river, is situated the fort 

of Kheolk,hur, or Shealk,hur, on the Chinese confines. A wooden bridge crosses 

the river at this point. 

The twelfth day. — Nine to ten cos to Suk,hlote, in a northerly direction. The road at first ascends 
one cos, descends nearly one cos to a wooden bridge, over a nullah called Chaladockpo ; 
after crossing which there is a second steep ascent of two cos to Changrezung, a small 
piece of cultivation on the crest of a ridge, without a village ; thence the roail becomes 
very diflicult indeed along the face of a right-hand precipice, where it lias been made 
with great difliculty ; it is necessary in getting horses along to assist them greatly, other- 
wise they could not pass. Suk,hlote is on a small level piece of land on the left bank of 
the river Lee, and consists of fourteen or fifteen houses. It belongs to the Chinese ter- 
ritories; and there the roads from Bischur to Ludhak and to Gara se])arate. 

The thirteenth day. — Eight cos to Soomgeeool, along a valley about half a eo> broail. Both sides 
of the stream that runs in it are cultivated with wheat and barley. Soomgeemil is a 
village of thirty houses, possessing many shawl goats and sheep. 

The fourteenth day. — Nine cos to Doondoonclie, a resting place uninhabiteil. The road all die 
way is easy; and the hills are grassy, and formed of soil, without so nnuli rivk as 
heretofore. 

The fifteenth day. — Seven cos to Lursa; the road similar to the last, good and easy. Lnrsa is a 
resting place at the bottom of a hill, but there is no habitation. 'I'iie wonl Lursi sig- 
nifies, indeed, a stage, or resting place; and " Lursa," and " Purle-Lursa," as stages, 
occur contiiuiallv in making iiujuiry respecting routes in this country. 

The sixteenth day.— Eight cos to I'urle-Lursa. The road now asceiuls, aiul crosses a lofty hill 
called Bootpoo, which is covered with perpeiual snow; but in favourable seasons there 



304 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

is not nuieli inconvenience from this in the road, wliich is good, and Uttle roughened by 
rock. The place, like the last stage, is only a resting place. 

The seventeenth day. — Seven or eight cos to Chuckrachurn, which is a place of encampment for 
twelve or thirteen tents of Bhoteas. It is the residence of a Pumpo, or sort of Riina, to 
whom the Bhoteas give that appellation : he is tributary to China, and the name of his 
small state is Choomruttee. ITie road during this stage is good and plain, leading 
among furze and short srass. 

The eighteenth day. — Nine cos to Dooderchun, which is only a resting place. The road gently 
ascends for six cos on hills of soil, covered with furze and short grass ; then two cos of 
gentle descent brings the traveller nearly to the resting place. 

The nineteenth day. — Eight to ten cos to Koorkunchurn, a place belonging to the Choomruttee 
Pumpo, whose winter residence it is. It consists of fourteen or fifteen mud houses with 
flat roofs. The road continues the same. 

The twentieth day. — Seven cos to Nekeh ; a resting place without habitation. The road, soil, 
and productions as before. 

The twenty-first day. — Nine cos to Teoorkung ; a resting place, with occasionally four or five 
Bhotea tents. The road perfectly good ; might even be travelled in the night. 

The twenty-second day. — Ten to eleven cos to Sheangpo, or Shahungpo, in all probability the 
same place mentioned in the former route as next to Numroo. The road as before. 

The twenty-third day. — Eight cos to Lahoche ; a desert resting place. The road as before. 

The twenty-fourth day. — Eight to ten cos to Temchoong ; another resting place. Road similai-. 
The hills low from hence to Gara. 

The twenty-fifth day. — Eight cos probably ; the distance not particularly noted. It is obvious 
that by this route the road falls into the former one at Shahungpo, though the stages 
thence to Gara are differently named ; but these are often far from regular, and depend 
on the strength or inclination of the traveller, being generally places convenient fijr 
resting; and thus a variation might easily take place without involving the presumption 
that the road was intrinsically different, or the narrator inaccurate. The routes were 
given at different times, and the result of different journeys (of course) undertaken by 
the narrator. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 805 



The Route from Gara to the Lake of MuntuUuee on ]\[ansroii'ar is thus 

described: 

The first day's journey. — Eight cos from Gara to Dookhecoo; course south-east, over broken 
ground, along tlie skirts of a range of mountains to the right. There are no villages on 
the way ; but about half-way a camp of four or six Bhotea tents, called Geeakheeoo. 
Many torrents are crossed on the road, running from the right-hand mountains. Tlie 
country is covered with short grass and furze calk-d Damak. 

Tlie second day. — Ten cos to Jurgoodra, a place of a few tents on the road ; course south-east. 
Road good, but over broken ground, with hills on each hand, but on the left they 
approach, on the right they recede much. 

The third day. — Ten cos to Munsur, a place of ten or twelve tents; course south-east. Country 
and the road similar. 

The fourth day. — Eight cos to Dokpo, where there is a nullah with a wooden bridge ; the road 
is more even along a level valley ; course south-east. 

The fifth day. — Seven to eight cos to Dokpo (2d), where another nullah runs into the river Gara, 
and has a wooden bridge over it. Road and course as before. 

The sixth day. — Twelve cos to Dumcheeoo (the Darchur of Moorcroft, in all probabilitv), at the 
foot of the Cailas Purbut (or mountain); course south-east. The road good in the 
valley. Here, at the foot of the mountain, there are on .1 hill four temples of the Lamas, 
with their entrances to the four cardinal points, and held by the Chinese and Tartars in 
very great veneration. The Cailas mountain by them is called Gangree, and to walk 
around it is esteemed as great and proper a religious performance as in old christian times 
it was to make a pilgrimage to Loretto. 

The seventh day. — Ten cos to Mantullaee, on good plain road in a broad valley ; course south- 
east. 

The Routes to Ludhak are as follow: 

Taking up the twelfth day's journey from Seran at Suk,hlote, the thirteenth is twelve cos to 
Burgeo ; general direction north. Crossing the Lee at Suk,hlote, on a wooden briilgu 
opposite the village, the road passes through the village of Chooreet, consisting of from 
thirteen to sixteen houses, and ascends a broad ridge for two cos, after which ;u-e two cos 
of level road, and one cos further ascent; from thence it descends slanting to Burgeo. 
This is a fort of mud, witli towers and loopholes, built on a level s[X)t on the Burgeo 
nullah, and garrisoned by the armed inhabitants, who are Bluneas. 

The fourteenth day. — Nine cos to Ukte; general course west. For three cus the roail prtx-ceds 
along the bed of the Burgeo nullah, crossing and recrossing it frequently : at'ter which, 
leaving it on the left-hand, there Is a steep ascent up a hill-face half a cos on a level though 
rugged path, and then a descent of a similar space in the bed of a small rivulet, over the 
bank of which there is a second ascent of about a cos, with a siniihu" descent ; at llie cud 

\\ \\ 



306 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

of whicli a little level ground brings the road to the bank of the Lee river ao^ain, which 
is here crossed by a ford. The river has now assumed the name of Para. A steep 
ascent of half a cos, and a similar descent, leads the traveller to Ukte or Ukche, a village 
containing five houses. Thence two roads diverge, but both lead to the same points : 
one for the summer months directly over a high mountain, the other calculated for the 
winter season, proceeds round its base. 

The fifteenth day. — Eight cos to Seelah ; direction west (the summer road). A gentle ascent for 
two cos, one cos more level ; at the end of which descend very shai-ply for half a cos, 
and cross a little rivulet, from which there is a steep and dangerous ascent of three 
cos to the top of the Seel mountain, whence you descend equally into the Seela 
del], where there is pasture and firewood, and water for the use of travellers, but no 
habitation. 

The sixteenth day. — Seven or eight cos to Sirpoogma, where the summer and winter roads meet; 
direction always west. Proceeding down the Seelah nullah for half a cos the road 
crosses it, and ascends a left-hand hill-face, leaving the nullah to the right ; where, turning 
the crest of the ridge, it descends very gradually a left-hand slope on good road for three 
cos, which brings it again on the Para nullali, along the banks of whicli, for three cos or 
three and a half, it proceeds dangerous and difficult, sometimes dipping into its stream, 
sometimes on the face of a precipice. Sirpoogma is merely a resting-place for travellers 
on tlie banks of the Para, without any habitation in the vicinity. 

The seventeenth day. — Seven or eight cos to Choonnur ; direction about the same. The roads along 
the left bank of the Para are good and even ; on each side of the stream there is level 
land cultivated with rye to the breadth of one or one and a half bow-shots. The stream 
is strong, and reaches to the middle, but is fordable every where. Choonnur is a viUage 
of only four or five houses, where an officer lives with the title of goba ; he is a Bhotea, 
named Patkun. The houses are said to be constructed of unbaked bricks, with flat 
roofs formed of wood and earth. The wood, which is of the Chiloona tree, is brought 
from Burgeoo. Two roads separate from this point. 

The eighteenth day. — Nine cos to Choormurcreel ; direction west. Leaving the Para far to the 

left, the road proceeds along a fine plain, without stones or rocks. The hills on both 

sides keep asunder at a distance of four or five cos, forming a fine valley, in wliich the 

Parii runs ; on the right-hand of the road they are about one cos and a half distant ; on 

the left, a good deal farther off. Wlien our informant passed this way in the month of 

June last, both ridges had snow on tlicm. Within about two cos of Choormurcreel there 

is a gentle ascent over a low earthy liill, whence descending in an equally gentle manner, 

you reach the resting-place. Choormurcreel itself is a large piece of water or lake, from 

twelve to thirteen cos in length, and five to six in breadth. The water is brackish and 

bad ; it is completely frozen over in winter time, but in summer the climate around it is 

said to be very fine. It is open, without reeds; the borders consisting of fine grass, 

without any swampiness or muddlness ; it has both fish and water fowl in plenty. About 

a cos from the resting-place is situated Korzog, a house of the Choonnur goba's. 

After this stage we hear no more of the Para river, which was left far on the left-hand, on 

which side also, it seems, by inference, that the lake is left (though this is not 

distinctly stated). As the right-hand hills are represented as all along coming pretty 

dose, and the only place on the lake noticed at all is on the left, the Para river, 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 307 

being fresh-water, does not probably rise in tlie lake, but most likely has its origin 
in the streams that flow from the snow-capt mountains on the left (or southern) 
hand ; among which, probably, also the lake retreats, and from whence it draws if; 
supplies. 
The nineteenth day. — Ten cos to Chucksung ; same direction. The road is good, and proceeds 
over level soil among low scanty grass. Low hills are seen on both sides to the right 
about a cos distant, on the left-hand from two to three distant. They arc not rocky, but 
of red soil covered with thin grass, but there is no wood or jungle; their tops are even, 
without peaks or precipices. In summer the Bhotcas bring sheep, goats, and sooragoees 
(or yaks), to pasture : they have none of the common cattle. There are no habitations 
to be seen. Chucksung itself is a place of five or six Bhotea tents. 
The twentieth day. — Eight cos to Puloogonga, a resting-place, desert ; course west. Two cos of 
gentle ascent, and six of very gentle descent, on a right-hand slope, along a nullah with 
little water, which is distant from h.-xlf a cos to a cos to the left. To the right are gentlj- 
rising hills, over which horses could easily ride. Puloogonga is situated on an elevated 
piece of table land, where there is a small temple with many httle flags. 
The twenty-first day. — Eight cos to Thoggle Chunmo ; same course. Descending gently from 
the height of Puloogonga for about a cos, the road is good and equal, proceeding along 
a valley about two cos broad : it is sandy and grassy. On the left-hand side the hills 
are very lofty, but there was no snow on them in the month of June preceding that ir 
which the route was taken down. Those on the right-hand are low, formed of very red 
soil, so that the scanty grass is scarcely seen. There is no wood, nor do rocks or stones 
prevail. Thoggee Chunmo is a spot where there are five or six Bhotea tents with their 
flocks, but no cultivation. There is here also a salt-water lake, two cos long, and about 
a gunshot broad. 
The twenty-second day. — Twelve to fourteen cos to Lursa Tluiglung ; course nearly the same. The 
road plain and good, lies along a valley from half a cos to a cos broad, of good black soil. 
The hills on either hand are of moderate height ; the soil of which they are composed, a< 
well as the rocks, arc red, and far from rugged ; described as fit to be traversed in all 
directions by horses. There is no water to be found in all this march ; but snow or ice 
is to be had to supply its place in a deep dell about a cos from Lursa, which is a desert 
place on the hill Thuglung; Lursa signifying merely a stage or resting-place in the 
Bhotea lanjiuasie. 
The twenty-third day. — Six cos to Purlehursa, or nine to Gecali ; direction to both places west. 
One cos and a half of zig-zag easy ascent, with as much of descent, after which two cos 
along a narrow pass, with a stream of sweet water, which runs towards Lch : then three 
cos on to Geeah along the same dell. Geeah is a large village of thirty houses on the 
left-hand bank of the nullah : opposite is the fort of Geeah, in whiih in times of trouble 
the people place their families and valuables. The nullah here is narrow, kneo deep 
only, but easily swollen in the rains ; the valley not more than a bowshot across, Iwunded 
by pretty high hills of the usual red soil. 
The twenty-fourth day. — Eight cos to Meeroo, along the same valKy, crossing and recrossing the 
stream to favour the road. Meeroo is a village of fifteen or sixteen houses, where there 
is an old fort. Both here and at Geeah once resided two petty independent chieftains, 

K H 2 



308 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

called, in tlie language of the country, " Cho," but they have both been reduced by the 
Ludhak Gealbo, or Rajah, and the country absorbed into his dominions. 

Tlie twenty-fifth day. — Eight cos to Heemea. After proceeding three cos along the same valley to 
the debouehe of its stream into the Sing-kechoo, the road turns to the left (say south- 
west) five or six cos to Heemea, which is at the junction of the Thuglung nullah with 
tlie Sing-kechoo. The village of Oopsehee is a little further on the left side of both. The 
road is good to Oopsehee. The river runs in a valley, said here however to be no more 
than two bowshots across, but highly cultivated with wheat, barley, and rye, watered 
from canals raised from the river. The hills on each side are lofty, and continue their 
red colour. 

The twenty-sixth day. — Nine cos to Sheh. At Heemea cross the Sing-kechoo on a wooden bridge, 
and proceed along the right bank of the river through rich cultivation, with thickly 
J strown villages, and planted with chiloona-trees, which border the road : the valley gra- 

dually widens to Sheh, where it is from three to four cos broad. Of the villages on the 
same side, as Heemea (the left bank), Chunga is one cos further on, Tungna three cos, 
Cooshat one cos more. From Sheh, the capital, Leh, Leo, or Le, is but three cos and 
a half distant. The royal residence is about two cos from the river. The country 
around is thickly inhabited, and well cultivated. 

From hence the following are a few of the stages towards Cashmere. 

Peerang. — Three p,hurs, or about nine hours' journey, which, on a good road, for an unloaded man 
should not be less than twenty to twenty-five miles ; but let it be only fifteen, as distance 
is generally exaggerated : along the Sing-kechoo river or valley of Leh, two cos broad, 
along fine cultivation, and by many villages ; direction south-west. 

Busgcc, a fort of Ludhak, nearly a whole day's journey along the same valley, on good and even 
road, say eighteen miles ; direction more westerly, south-west by west. There are apricots 
found on this road. 

Hymap. — Along the same river for fifteen cos, or a day's journey. Road continuing the same, 
but in one or two places stony. The valley from one cos to one and a half broad, all 
cultivation, and containing a great number of Bhotea villages. Hence the capital of 
Cashmere is only lour days' journey distant ; but our informant not having gone by this 
route, we could not learn any thing further. If we can believe that any degree of 
confidence is due to the above routes, and the calculations, the capital of Cashmere will 
then appear not more than from 120 to 130 miles from Ludhak: jierhaps too small a 
distance, though tliis position is far nearer the truth than that hitherto assigned to it in 
the maps of this country. 

The following are the stages of the route from Stampore, the capital of Cooloo, to Leh of Ludhak ; 
but there are no descriptions given of the face of the country, the respective length of the 
stages, or the direction. 

1. From Stampore to Koonour. 

2. — — Lursa. 

3. — — Purle Lursa, thus far in Cooloo. 

4. — — Koorjour, hence Ludhak. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 309 

5. From Stampore to Runglee. 

6. — — Kuckcoomb. 

7. — — Litrsa. 

8. — — I'urle Lursa. 

9. — — Choormurcreel, hence as laid clown in the route from Seran by 

Sucktote. 

The route laid down from Leh to Gara is as follows. It is retraced to, and commenced at, Oojj- 
shee, the village at the junction of the Thuglung nullah with the river Sing-kechoo. The 
general direction is described as easterly ; but we have no precise information regarding it. 

From Oopshee, 1st day, 6 to 7 cos to Shuras Sango. 2d day. 

— 8d — 6 to 8 — Likehe. 

— 4th — 9 — Teereedo. 

^ — 5th — 10 — Choomatang. 

— , 6th — 8 — Mayhe. 

— 7th — 9 to 10 — Neelima Fort (to Ludhak). 

— 8th — 6 — Rongah. 

— 9th — 10 — Kugzeeoong. 

— 10th — 10 — 015k. 

— 11th — 7 — Donzog, thus far in Ludhak. 

— 12th — 8 — Tuzhzheegong (a Chinese fort). 

— 13th — 6 to 7 — Bunmongoo. 

— 14tli — 13 — Gungoonza. 

— 15th — 8 to 10 — Numroo. 

— 16th — 12 — Gara, or Gartope. 

From Oopshee to Tuzhzhagong the road lies entirely along the banks of the Sing-kechoo ; 
the valley desert and uninhabited, except by those who live at the villages laid down as stages, and 
one or two other intermediate ones. Heemca, a small village, lies between Likehe and Tccredo ; 
another, Geaee, half-way between Teereedo and Gireh : Kcemaming and Kisscn lie between Gireh 
and Choomatung. There are no trees. The soil is dark, and covered with short grass. So far 
as Choomatung the valley is narrow, and wild, and rugged ; from these to Mayhe it opens out. 
and continues to Tuzhzhagong the whole way about a cos broad. 

Neolimah contains from twenty to tliirty liouscs. Two eu.> beyond it lies a large village. 
Moon, of fifty famiUes. Rongah is a poor village of four houses ; Kugzheoong only a resting- 
place ; Dimzog consists of only three houses. Tliey arc all inhabited by the Bhotea subjects of 
Ludhak. 

Tuzhzhagong is a fortified village, built of stones and nuul, in wliieh two Chinese officers 
reside, denominated " Debalis," who regulate all public affairs, dispense justice, collect the revenue, 
and watch over the interests of tlie state. There may be twenty or thirty houses within the walls. 
The inhabitants are soldiers, and form the garrison ; they have about forty inatchliK-ks. The fort is 
built on a little plain about a quarter of a cos from tlie river, and two streams meet half a oVs below 
it forming the Sing,ke,Choo. One, under the same name, comes from the hills in tlic vicinity of 
Mantullaee, the other also rises in the same vicinity, a little beyond Gara (where we have above 
already traced it), and under the name of the Eckungchoo passes by that place, and joins tlic 
Sing-kechoo at tliis point. 



310 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

The road continues along the Eekungchoo in a valley of the same breadth, passing only a 
few Bhotea tents with their flocks, to Beenmongo and Gurgoonza ; the first of which is only a 
restin"--place ; the latter is said to be a winter residence of the Debah of Gara, who has a con- 
siderable number of tents and servants here. 

Tiie valley remains the same in breadth and appearance from these places to Numroo, which 
is described as only an encampment of four or five Biiotea tents, whence, however, it widens as it 
approaches Gara to a breadth of four or five cos. 

It certainly does appear probable that the direction of the river and road are in reality a good 
deal diverted from the easterly and westerly line given them in the route, which would bring the 
position of Gara into a lower latitude than that given in the sketch ; but if a great liberty is taken 
in this way we shall be constrained to diminish the distance allowed the route first given along the 
Sutlej to Gara; or, by lengthening the course to the eastward, also to lengthen the space between 
Ludhak and Gara and the course of the Sing-kechoo, and this, I ajiprehend, will lead into another 
dilemma, as it would induce us to consider Cashmere, the distance between which and Ludhak has 
been spoken of before, further eastward than can be consistent with truth. 



Our anxiety to procure information, such as should tlu'ow a degree 
of hght on the very obscure geography of tliis country, brought to our 
observation a great many routes leading in various directions through the 
remoter parts of the mountains ; but all, except those above given, came 
before us in so imperfect a state, as to the great points of distance and 
direction, that they do not admit of being laid down here, far less in the 
sketch that accompanies these pages. Such are the routes above adverted 
to, along the J,hannevie to Chownsah, and from thence to Chaprung by 
Teeling to Gara ; — the desert route from Seran, and the remote parts of 
liischur, to Buddrenat by the Xeeteemana pass ; — from Ehurassoo to the 
Chinese districts beyond the Snowy Crest ; — from Gvuigotree to Kedar 
and Jhidcheenath along the range of snow ; — the road along the Goomtee 
Gunga by the Nehel mountains to the banks of the Sutlej ; — that from 
the Bhagiruttee along the Shcangadh across the Dhumd,har ridge to 
Bhurassoo, and various other similar ones. It was intended to lay all 
these down as accurately as the nature of the information would admit, 
but its vagueness rendered it impossible. Few would have at all agreed 
with the better known hues of the country, and any guide to a true 
direction was in others wholly wanting. 

That by the Ghoomtee Gunga over the Nehel hills must be totally 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. '311 

through deserts of rock and snow, as the spot at which it is said to 
emerge on the Sutlej is as barren and inhospitable as its debouche on tlie 
Bhagiruttee. 

It would have been desirable to give some description of the various 
passes known to occur, and to be in use as routes of commercial intercourse, 
through Gurwhal and Kvimaoon to Bootan through the great range ; but 
our information is not precise enough to state more than their number 
and general character for practicability. Dharma and Joar, the two tliat 
are situate in Kumaoon, have already been adverted to : they are a good 
deal used in traffic, but are less practicable than the more northerly passes 
in Gurwhal. Guree Nittee and Nitteemana are the two chiefly in use. 
They are open six months in the year ; and by these much of the mer- 
chandize from Bootan is brought. Passing the vicinity of BudcUecnauth, 
there is a path that leads chrectly into the Kumaoon territory, through 
which the merchants proceed to Kasheepoor in Rohilcund, the gi-eat mart 
for the hill produce. The Lama, Xittee, and lihirgeo passes are only 
open for two months, and are httle used. The first is said to lead from 
Rewaeen purgunnah ; but I am ignorant of its true position, as well as of 
that of Bhii-geo. 



312 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 



CHAPTER XX. 

GEOLOGICAL REMARKS, IN A CONDENSED VIEW OF THE CONTENTS 
OF THE NARRATIVE, RELATIVE TO THE FORMATION OF THE 
HILLS. 

It may tend to give clearness to the subject, if we bring under one 
^■ie\v, in a condensed shape, all that is scattered through the narrative, and 
collected in every way, relating to the structure of this great range, and 
the appearances of its formation and stratification, from the plains to the 
greatest depth to which we penetrated. INIuch valuable knowledge 
cannot be expected from the observations of an unscientific individual ; 
but, given as they are, with much attention to truth, and to avoid giving 
as facts whatever may have in any degree been the result of supposition 
or surmise, it is possible that something interesting may be fovmd, even in 
these communications. 

It is known that the mountainous country proceeding from the roots 
of the great Himala range is, for a great part of its extent to the south- 
east, divided from the great plain of Hindostan, throvigh which the Ganges 
rolls, by a strip of country called the Terrace, or Terreeana, which is even 
lower than the greatest portion of that plain, and is chiefly covered with thick 
forests and low swamps, and is little cultivated, comparatively speaking, 
for its extent ; but, when subjected to tillage, is very fertile. It however 
lies under the imputation, very deservedly, of being very unwholesome. 
This strip of land, however, does not extend to the north-west further 
than through a portion of Rohilcund, Avhere the healthy and cultivable 
parts reach to the foot of the hills ; and this is the case with that part 
which forms the subject under attention. 

The line of the mountainovis tract, as it bounds with the plains, is 
nearly from south-east to north-west ; and the low hills forming the 
boundary of the Deyrah-Dhoon, and the roots of the more lofty ones, rise 
abruptly from the sandy flat that stretches at their feet, without any 



THE IIIMALA MOUNTAINS. 313 

undulation of ground whatever : their aspect is rocky and brown, though 
they are found tolerably clothed with wood ; a mixture of the productions of 
the low country, with a few of those that affect a loftier situation. Their 
south-western and southern aspects are steep and broi<en ; while that of 
their backs, to tlie north-east, exhibits an easy slope, covered with much 
wood in most places, but green where wood does not extend. These hills 
rise to a height of from 400 to 750 feet ; and the range separating the 
Dhoon from the plains may extend from three to six miles in depth. 
They seem to be formed of sand-stone, more or less destructil)le, of in- 
durated clay, and beds of rounded pebbles and gravel. Their asj)ect, 
viewed from a height, is singular, and much reminds one of a wave of the 
sea, which has rolled by, showing here and there its broken crest, half 
turned backwards. Beyond these first low hills others rise more lofty and 
majestic, and are found of various heights, from 1500 feet to 5000. They 
are very sharp, rough, and run into numerous ridges, divided by deep 
shaggy dells ; and the crests of the ridges are frequently so sharp, that 
two persons can hardly stand abreast upon them. 

Such seems their character, so far as we could judge from the different 
points at which we saw them, from Hurdwar up to the Sutlej ; and the 
cause of the very sharp ridgy appearance, which marks these hills, may 
probably be found in the nature of the rock of which they are composed. 
This seems chiefly to consist of a strongly indiu-ated clay, with a large 
mixture of siliceous matter, which forms a rock exceedingly hard ; but, 
upon exposure to the air, very destructible, soon si)litting into variously 
sized fragments, which also very soon moulder into dust. The fracture 
of this rock is generally in straight lines, but preserving no regidarity of 
form : its colour varies from brown to dark grey ; and it is at times j)ro- 
bably much tinged with iron. This class of hills has no sensible discon- 
nexion with those more remote, that rise to a still greater lieiglit : altliough 
the materials of their composition differ entirely from them, they seem to 
form a continuation of those beyond, which fall into them, without any 
break or divisions into ranges. 

It has before been observed, in the remarks on tlie great lines of the 
country, that the appearance which tlie hills present from the plains, of 
being divided into many distinct ranges, rising one above another, is quite 
fallacious : thus the alteration wliich is observed in the nature of the 

s s 



314 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

materials that composed them, is not marked by any alteration of countrj', 
and is only accompanied with a change in the appearance of the hill, 
referable to the material. 

An accidental coincidence, however, sometimes gives a more distinct 
demarcation than usual ; and such is in great measure the case where we 
penetrated the hills at Nahn. The small river Jelall runs there just 
behind this range of ridgy hills ; and on the other side immediately arises 
a mass of hiUs, entirely composed of lime-stone. This vein of lime-stone 
certainly extends a long way nearly parallel (or perhaps cutting the hilly 
range in a direction more nearly east and west) with the plains : and, 
though the mass of hills in question, known as the Sine or Sein range, 
ends at the junction of the rivers Jelall and Girree, yet we found a con- 
tinuance of it, evidently connected, on the banks of the Pabur and Touse, 
and even across the Jumna, to the Ehagiruttee ; and though we had no 
opportunity of determining from our own observation, we may presume 
that it extends up towards the Sutlej ; for the Sine range can be seen, 
keeping the same appearance and character, for a long way to the north- 
westward. 

Their round, lumpy, rugged character, cut into strange shapeless heaps, 
has been adverted to before, and owes its origin entirely to the nature of 
the rock, the destructible parts being worn away, and the hard marbly 
masses staring through the scanty soil, dark and stubborn. The height 
of this range, at the highest points, may be from 5 to 7000 feet. 

Of this range, as well as that last spoken of, it should be remarked, that 
the south and south-eastern aspects were invariably brown and bare ; while 
on the opposite exposures, to the north and north-west, they were always 
more green, and generally covered with more extensive and more luxuriant 
woods. 

Crossing the range of lime-stone in a northerly direction, we descend 
to the bed of the river (iirree : and here is also a very marked line oi" 
division, between the termination of the lime and the conmienccment of 
schistus, or slate ; the former stretching down to the very brink of the 
river, and forming its southern bank ; while the northern is entirely com- 
posed of schistus, which also approaches the river. AMien the (xirree 
deflects from the lime, it here pursues and joins the Jumna ; the line of 
demarcation ceases ; and the two species of rock are mingled together, as 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 315 

may be remarked in the course of the narrative, in the beds of the Pabur, 
Touse, &c. &c. 

The whole of the great and most irregular mass of mountainous countrj', 
from this line to the more innnediate roots of the snowy mountains, is 
composed, with Uttle variation, of different schistose rocks, pervaded with 
much mica, and exhibiting every variety of colour and texture, mingled 
with veins of quartz, but in which the latter forms but a small com])arative 
ingredient. Various other rocks occur, but they seem rather exceptions, 
and very trifling ones, to the general rvde. Adventitious heterogeneous 
substances unaccountably come there, rather than component parts, wliich 
should claim consideration in the reasonings that suggest themselves, Irom 
the nature of the country and from its formation. 

Some are found in the beds of rivers, evidently brought from more 
remote and higher regions by the torrents of spring ; others are insulated 
specimens, far more difficult to account for ; but some may bear, and even 
call for, a more particular consideration, from their situation and the cir- 
cumstances they are found in : such are the masses of harder stone, and 
probably granite, found on the tops of the high mountain Choor, and in 
the beds of the torrents that proceed from it. 

The sand-stone, and sandy plum-pudding stone, on the heights of 
Urructa and Nowagurh, were evidently masses that had at all times 
formed constituent parts of the mountain ; and their situation, and the 
uniform height at which they were found, seem to point them out as 
leading marks, in forming any theory regarding the country. 

After crossing the Nowgurree Khola, we could not but consider our- 
selves as among the true Hinnda or snowy mountains ; and, in rising 
among them, it was to be expected that the component parts of the liills 
should alter, or at least that a variety of rock should be found : and tliis 
was the case. As we increased our elevation, though schistus at first 
predominated, and was generally to be found, the peaks and crests of the 
ridges consisted of that variously coloured semi-transparent stone describeti 
on our journey to Seran from Rampore, to which I am unable to give a 
name: probably a chief ingredient in its composition was (piartz ; but it 
was mixed with other substances, so that the ([uartz had lost its tendency 
to show crystallisation, or to break in regidar figures : it owed its various 
colours, perhaps in great measure, to iron in different shapes. The spe- 

s s 2 



316 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

ciniens were unfortunately lost, with many other things, during the 
journey. 

The lofty spires and masses of the snowy range, and of their ridges, 
were in all probabihty formed of a diiFerent rock from any we had seen in 
quantity ; and although, from subsequent observations, it was to be pre- 
sumed that the principal portion was granite, still the obvious stratification 
that existed in some places, among others in the peaks about Seran, would, 
as I have been informed, militate strongly against this supposition, granite 
not in general assuming a stratified form. At this place the snoAvy peaks 
were not more than from two to two miles and a half horizontal distance 
from us. We had good glasses, and thus Avere enabled to make pretty 
accurate observations respecting them. The hues of stratification were 
particularly obvious on the steep perpendicular faces of many, especially 
those pointing to the south-west ; and that distinction which was obvious 
throughout the whole hills, between the north-western and M^estern ex- 
posures, and those to the south and south-eastward, Avas finely confirmed 
here, as Avill be more distinctly stated hereafter. 

AMiere the rock is perpendicular the snoAv cannot of course he ; and 
even on faces not so precipitous, it slides doAvn as the loAAer portions melt, 
thus giving to vicAV a large portion of the more elcA'ated cliffs. The rock 
then A\as black in colour, occasionally veined A\ith red and yelloAv. It Avas 
remarkably sharp, and its fracture seemed to preserve this character : at 
times it spires up into slender peaks, of most fantastic forms ; and even in 
these we could detect the stratification and direction of the strata. For 
some thousand feet beloAv their top all vegetation ceased, and there did 
not a])p('ar to be any soil: at the foot of each cliff Avere spread the ruins 
that had fallen from it, mouldering as Avcather and time acted on them, 
strcAving the mountain side (where it Avas not covered Avith snow) AAith 
various sized fragments. 

At Jumnotree, as Avill be seen in the subsequent pages, A\'e Avere still 
more absolutely among, and in contact Avith, the grand snoAvy mountains : 
for, as the Jumna has its rise in the great mountain knoAvn generally by 
the name of Jumnotree, and as this source is at a great height, as it Avere, 
in the boAvels of the mountain, so Ave were enveloped in its substance, Avith 
the disadvantage of being too completely under the principal peaks, Avhich, 
however, are so steep, and so much overhang the Avhole very steep moun- 



THE HIMAL/T MOUNTAINS. 317 

tain, that we could discern them overtopping us ; and we were surrounded 
by their ruins, carried down by the avalanches that hang on their brows, 
till the melting of the lower snows or a mountain storm sends them down 
to the valleys. 

Our journey up the bed of the Jumna, from near Kalsee, confirmed 
the truth of our observations relating to the lower mountains ; and, when 
we reached its source, the similar nature of the rocks with these we saw, 
and those near Seran, the other point, when we nearly a})proached their 
summits, in great measure strengthened those we had there made. 

In the following pages a detailed account is given of the nature of 
the rocks found at this elevated station ; but it is perhaps as well to 
state them shortly in this general view. 

Two sorts greatly predominate. The first is a hard, grey, striated 
stone, first observed in the bed of the river Pabur, very irregular in its 
fracture, composed apparently of quartz, mica, a black substance (either 
hornblende or schorl), with mvich gritty matter, all strongly cemented 
by a grey substance, and forming a grey striated mass. This was very 
abundant ; and I have since understood it to be gneiss. The second 
kind is a pvu'e laminated white quartz rock, from the interstices of the 
lamina? of which trickled the hot water wliich springs from the mountain 
side at Jumnotree. Besides these, we saw micaceous schist of all coloiu-s 
and varieties of consistence ; red, blue, grey, wliite, soft, and hard, found 
in abundance : and there are several other sorts of stone found in the bed 
of the torrent, which I cannot particularise, and which are only fomid in 
small masses. 

In all the masses forming the banks of the river, whether consisting of 
the hard striated stone, the quartz rock, or of schistus, a regular stratification 
is most obvious; and, whether the peaks of Jumnotree themselves consist 
of these substances, or of granite of a different nature, they evince also the 
same complete stratification. 

The closest and most attentive observation of these peaks gave us 
reason to beheve that their materials were much the same as those by 
which we were surrounded, or chiefly composed of gneiss, or of some sort 
of granite and quartz. The veins and strata of the latter were particularly 
distinguishable by their wliiteness ; and the dark colour of the general 
mass was broken by Unes and veins of red and yellow, sometimes in strata- 



318 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

sometimes in irregular spots. And the tremendously deep precipices that 
pointed to the north-west and westward, gave us an excellent opportunity of 
examining the appearances which they assume. There were many rounded 
dark masses of rock that did not evince marks of this stratification, and 
are possibly lumps of granite : they were on the southern aspect of the 
mountain, and to this position perhaps owe their entire roundness. 

Our road from Jumnotree to Gangotree, over a shoulder of Eundur- 
pouch and Soomeroo Purbut, gave us another, and even a neai-er and 
more intimate view of the loftiest ridges : at the Ghat of Bamsooroo, 
indeed, we were once high in the region of continual snow ; and certainly 
might consider the ruins around us as having been constituent parts of 
the peaks that spired above us. Our journey included about thirty miles 
of country, all very much elevated ; but, with few exceptions, the soil and 
rock exhibited much of the same pha?nomena which the lower country 
had presented : in some parts there was much white and dark sand- 
stone, together with occasional lumps of sorts not usually met with, like 
whin-stone, and a hard blueish-grey stone, of which I know not the name 
or nature. 

At Bamsooroo Ghat we found almost exactly the same sort of rocks 
as we had remarked in the bed of the Jumna, at the source. The gneiss, 
or striated, hard, grey stone, predominated greatly. There was much soft 
micaceous schist, veined with quartz. There were several varieties of the 
blueish-grey stone ; and some was much harder than others. 

Our observation of the more elevated faces of rock gave precisely the 
same result as at Jumnotree : the stratification, its direction, and dip, were 
the same ; and red, white, yellow, and blue veins and spots on the rock 
were equally remarkable : that of the white was more particularly in 
strata ; while every thing gave us the fairest reason to conclude that the 
peaks themselves were composed entirely and invariably of the same sub- 
stances as their ruins that surrounded us. The colours that variegated 
their surface must have their origin in the natural colour of the stone, 
perhaps acted on somewhat by the vicissitudes of weather ; for there is 
no vegetation with which to cover them, not even hchens, or mosses : 
tliis ceases at a very considerable space below. At this dreary pass there 
is nothing but barrenness and desolation. 

AVhile descending into the glen of the Bhagiruttee we again encoun- 



THE HIM ALA MOUNTAINS. * 819 

tered the staple and customary rock schistus ; but the banks of this river, 
even at the point, when we descended, evince very obviously their dif- 
ference of substance from what we had been so much accustomed to. Here 
all appearance of stratification ceases ; the rocks take irregular shapes, 
and spire into more lofty and fantastic pinnacles the further we advanced 
up the bed, and we soon found that the whole of the glen, as well as the 
stupendous surrounding precipices, were formed of a hard stone, generally 
white, pervaded with mica, and black bars and marks in various propor- 
tions, and of as various colours ; in short, a true granite. 

This usurped the place of all other stone, for many miles round Gangotree 
and below it : the country around that holy place was composed of this 
stone alone. It evidently i-> the sole component substance of the neigh- 
bouring stupendous mountains : it never affects stratification, but, in 
fracture and formation of every kind, exhibits nothing but amorphous and 
irregular masses. It shoots up into crags and spires, the sharpness and 
boldness of which amaze ; but all seems the effect of chance, and the 
ruggedness of the material, and by no means arising from any particular 
disposition of the stone to assume such shapes ; for there are many other 
instances of as round and bold a nature. 

This being the extent of our journey into those mountains, there is no 
further observation to offer concerning them. Our journey down the Bhagi- 
reettee, and across the mountains inclosing the valley of Deyrali Dhoon, pre- 
sented to our observation the same appearances of country and formation 
as our journey into the hills, and gives fair reason to conclude, that the 
same succession of soil and rock extends to the south-eastward, and perhaps 
for a long way among these hills. Schistus certainly predominates. Lime 
occurs only in veins, and near the termination of schistus, perhaps here and 
there irregularly throughout the country. The liigh ridges and crests of 
this great range are probably of granite, while quartz is every where to be 
found ; and varieties in small quantities occur, but not in such masses as 
to hold any proportion to the chief staples here mentioiiecl. and rather 
seem to appear as if to puzzle those who are attached to });uticular theories 
in geology. Iron and lead are very common throughout the country : 
copper exists in Gurwlud, perhaps also in other parts ; and it is far from 
improbable, that other metals might be discovered, were attention antl 
encouragement given to the pursuit. 



320 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

A few words maybe said of the great lines of the country ; and on the 
observations made on the stratification of the rocks ; and on the diflPerence 
between the flices of the mountains which have different aspects. 

The general direction of the range of hiUs has been before mentioned ; 
from the banks of the Burramputra nearly to Kumaaoon they have a 
course from south-south-east to north-north-west ; but, beyond that point, 
they tend more to the westward, and run nearly from south-east to north- 
west. It wll be seen, in adverting to the course of the rivers, that all 
the passages that lead through these hiUs, or even that jienctrate far into 
their recesses, which are of course the beds of rivers, have a course varying 
from east and west to north-east and south-west. In many instances, 
after having passed through the loftiest portion of the ranges, they are 
deflected at some stubborn bluff point, to a course nearly at right angles, 
and issue from the hiUs with a direction more to the eastward than west- 
ward. It appears not unlikely, that this universal tendency of the liills 
to give way in a direction to the south-west and west has some reference 
to their formation, and is derived from the same cause that so universally 
points the perpendicular and sharp cliffs to the north-west, west, and even 
south-west. 

This most remarkable phaenomenon of formation, so often taken notice 
of, was among the first that forced itself on our observation ; and it 
became only more distinct the further we penetrated into the mountains. 
It was combined with as remarkable a difference in the appearance of 
the exposures to the southward and northward. The former being 
invariably the least Mooded, the least precipitous, and most brown and 
lumpy. No particular cause appeared for this, unless a greater exposure 
to sun be accounted sufficient to produce so great a chfference. The 
south side is as plcnteously watered as the north, but the vigour of 
tlie foliage is far inferior, and the trees it produces ai'e quite diffei'ent : 
the destructibility of the rock on the northern exposure is remarkably 
more rapid, and the formation of soil is plentiful, and every ravine, and 
even the steepest precipices, are covered with noble forests ; while, on 
the southward, the rock is blackened with years and exposure, denuded of 
soil by the hea\'y rains, and is far from soon supplying the waste of soil 
occasioned by them ; so that, where it is untilled, the soil becomes hard 
and parched, with the russet colour that marks the southern faces of the 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 321 

mountains. Tlie pointing of the preci})ices, and direction of the peaks to 
the north-west and soutli-westward, and even to the northward, was 
particularly striking in all the great arms of Choor, and the ridges that 
spread from that mountain ; in the great mountain of Urructa ; in the 
Nowagurh and ^Vhartoo ranges, even up to ]Moral-Ke-Kanda ; and, finally, 
in all and every part of the snowy hills which fell under our observation. 
The whole glen of the Sutlej illustrated this beautifully, as well as the 
difference of colour between the southern and northern exposures ; wliile 
the line of the river served to show the hne of their penetrabiUty. 

At Seran, where the peaks and highest ridges were near us, we had 
an opportunity of viewing this effect, in some degree interrupted by the 
passage of a great stream, the rupture for A\hich may be supposed to have 
discomposed the natural arrangement. Here were many sharp faces 
turned to the southward ; but, though situated to the south-eastward of 
those of which we had the clearest view, we could distinguish many of 
them rearing their more threatening and important precipitous faces to 
the north-west and west. Our passage to the Jumna, and along its bed, 
showed no exception to the general rule ; and as we viewed the cUfFs of 
Bunder Pouch and its branches with the hills around, it appeared on a 
grander scale, and was more magnificently illustrated. In the higher 
parts of the Ehagirutte alone did this otherwise universal tendency seem 
to fail. The mountains here seemed to have a greater inclination to spire 
up in straight vmcontrollcd and perpendicular forms, as if despi^ing the 
rules that confined the lesser hills, and asserting their independence. Xo 
general direction, no stratification was visible. The stubborn masses of 
granite seemed unsusceptible of either, and stood fixed and barren, 
crowned with unmeltino; snows in stern sublimity. 

It remains only to speak of the stratification in general, which, in fact, 
is but a repetition of what has already been said. 

It is difficult to determine with accuracy and trutli the direction of 
strata in any large mass ; and it would certainly be quite absurd to attempt 
to name a direction for the strata of a mountainous and an extensive 
country. Probably an able geologist might detect a regular stratification 
in the greatest part of these hilly districts. The schistose rocks certainly 
bore marks of it frequently, yet not distinctly enough to ascertain the dip 

T T 



322 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

and general direction. The limestone in like manner certainly exhibited 
strong symptoms of stratification, the edges of the strata often projecting 
from the hill-side ; but no probable opinion could be formed of dip, or 
direction, each varying as the face of the liill changed aspect, or degree of 
slope. 

The first distinct stratification was seen in the loftiest peaks of rock 
in the snowy ridge at Seran. The numerous perpendicular faces within 
the range of our observation of glasses, pointing in various directions, gave 
us an excellent opportunity of judging of the direction of the strata, and 
the angle they formed with the plane of the horizon ; at an angle of some- 
what less than 45 degrees, and from the south-west to the north-east, that 
is to say, their elevated end pointing to the south-west, and, however sharp 
and small the spire, this was still observed to hold good. 

At the source of the Jumna again this was strikingly distinct in the 
lofty peaks around. The angle of the dip and direction were as nearly 
as possible the same, and this strongly marked stratified formation per- 
vaded every rock within our view, and particularly the precipices forming 
the river's bank. j:Vnd it was curious to observe the quartz rock, from 
whence the hot water trickled, always in lamina, Avhich had a different 
direction to that of the strata, but through which the stratification Mas 
distinctly seen, dividing the rock and giving it a tendency to the south- 
west. 

We again had a beautiful view of this stratified formation in the rocky 
faces in our immediate neighbourhood at Bamsooroo ghat, on the way to 
Gungotree ; but at the latter place, as has been said, all appearances of 
that nature cease, and do not re-appear till we reach about three days' 
journey down the Bhagiruttee, Avhere stratification is again detected, 
chiefiy in schistose rock, and may be traced in every rocky face till we 
reach the point a good deal further down, when the mountains become 
less rugged, and their structui-e less obvious. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 323 



ON THE HEIGHT OF THE HIM.^LS. 

It is impossible to take leave of the Himalayan mountains, and con- 
clude the observations that arise in considering their various claims on 
curiosity, without adverting, however insufficiently, to that very interesting 
object of inquiry, their altitude, though my total want of scientific skill, 
as well as of sufficient data upon which to found an opinion, might render 
the omission pardonable. Indeed, under these circumstances it may 
appear so presumptuous to attempt any discussion of the subject, that 
I will only venture to notice and consider the opinions that have been 
entertained by others, with the ground on which they have rested ; and 
add the few conclusions that have forced themselves on my mind from a 
comparison of these with my own observations. The latter A\ill, I trust? 
be received with indulgence, as they are given with great diffidence, even 
in the power I possess to apply the principles on which others have 
founded their conclusions ; and, proceeding from a sincere wish to promote 
by every means the solution of this interesting problem, they court 
criticism and correction. 

Mr. Colebrooke, late President of the Asiatic Society, in his ^Memoir 
" On the Height of the Himrda Mountains," contained in the twelfth 
volume of the Asiatic Eesearches, gives a list of the measurements of a 
number of peaks in diffi^rent parts of the range, estimated from data 
there set forth ; but chiefly from the observations of Captain ^\'ebb of the 
Bengal establishment, who has of late been employed on a survey of the 
province of Kumaoon. This paper has attracted much notice, and par- 
ticularly from two distinguished quarters. The celebrated and scientific 
traveller INIr. Plumboldt has written and pid)lished a short memoir on the 
subject ; and it has fallen luider the critical observation of the Quarterly 
Eeviewers, in their Review of the twelfth volinne of the Asiatic Eesearches 
in their thirty-fourth number. i\Ir. Humboldt's paper rather presents to 
observation the general difficulties, that occur in ascertaining with pre- 
cision the exact height of lofty and inaccessible mountains, than impugning 
the accuracy of Captain A^"ebb"s measurements ; and then enters into a 
short comparative view of the two great American and Asiatic chains of 
mountains, the Andes and the Himala. 
. He adds a short but comprehensive sketch of the general scheme and 



324 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

direction of the chief ranges of Asiatic mountains, commencing from what 
he considers the great central mass, or diverging point, according to the 
present received geography of tiiis huge system, with a detail of the table 
lands which these form and include. The Quarterly Review takes a more 
decided part. The reviewer challenges the sufficiency and accuracy of 
Mr. Colebrooke's and ]Mr. Webb's data ; suggests on various grovuids 
strong doubts as to the truth of the conclusions they deduce ; and con- 
cludes with declaring liis opinion, that the Himrdayan mountains, so far 
from proving to be mure lofty than the Andes, will on proper investigation 
be found to fall far short in height of tht# great American range. 

I mean not to be guilty of the presumption of entering the lists against 
opponents so incomparably superior, unable as I must profess myself to 
appreciate the objections they offer to Captain Webb's calculations, which 
seem chiefly to rest (after the obvious chance of error, from the smallness 
of the angles of altitude and observation) on the probability of a very 
great error in the estimate of refraction, and which, if well founded, would 
reduce the height of the loftiest observed peaks of the range to less than 
20,000 feet of altitude above the level of the sea. 

]\Ir. Webb, however, who has ever since continued in that country 
pursuing his observations with fairer opportunities and better instru- 
ments, to ascertain the elevations of the mountains, having seen both 
]\Ir. Humboldt's memoir and the critique in the Quarterly Review, 
forwarded to the Asiatic Society a paper containing a fcAv observations 
on these works, and some of his more accurate admeasurements of the 
snowy peaks, being a ground-work and prospectus of a more detailed and 
elaborate memoir, which he is now preparing for the Society, and which 
will appear in due time in their fourteenth volume. 

In this he freely agrees with the reviewer, acknowledging the insuf- 
ficiency of the data on which the heights of Jumnotree and Dhawla- 
girree were first calculated, and the very easy possibility of a great error 
creeping into the results from an erroneous assumption of the distance 
and amount of refraction ; but he cannot, he says, give his unqualified 
assent to the supposition of the reviewer, " that one-third of the inter- 
cepted arc may perhaps be insufficient to allow for the refraction of a 
ray of light jjassing through every degree of heat, from 0' of Fahrenheit to 
80" probably and u})wards."' And he suggests the probability that this 
refraction may be much varied by the different degrees of heat through 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 325 

which the ray passes, and at difFereiit seasons of the year to an observer in 
the plains. Captain Webb further observes, that one-eighth of the inter- 
cepted arc is the allowance he has always made for refraction, whether in 
calculating the height of the snowy peaks themselves, or in deducing from 
them the altitude of the station of observation ; and that, in about twenty 
stations at very unecjual distances from the Himala, the heights of wliich 
have been calculated both geometrically and barometrically, he found the 
agreement between the results very satisfactory, while the difference that 
did occur between these results did not seem to increase or decrease in 
any ratio analogous to the distance of the station from the Himala, which 
he conceives wovdd have been the case had the allowance of one-eighth 
for refraction been very erroneous. 

He next adverts to the hmit inferred by the reviewers, as that of 
perpetual congelation on the Himrda, in this parallel of latitude, which is 
fixed at a point below 11,000 feet above the sea. In protesting against 
this limit he annexes a list of places, the heights of which are deduced 
from barometrical observation ; and, though the particulars of the calcu- 
lations are not given in his paper, it is mentioned that five good barometers 
were employed ; consequently their claims to accuracy, under the con- 
duct of a scientific man, have surely some force ; and these reach from 
10,653 to 11,682 feet above the level of Calcutta. 

Near the temple of Milum, elevated 11,405 feet, there were large 
fields of oe, or rye, and buckwheat; and, from a station 1500 feet higher, 
or at an elevation of about 13,000 feet, he procured some plants of spike- 
nard (iatamassi). On the 21st day of June, Captain ^^'ebl)■s camp was 
11,680 feet above Calcutta. The surface was covered with very rich 
vegetation as high as the knee ; very extensive beds of strawberries in 
full flower ; and plenty of currant-bushes in blossom all around, in a clear 
spot of rich black mould soil, surrounded by a noble forest of pine, oak. 
and rhododendra. On the 22d of June he reached the top of Pilgoenta- 
Churhaee, (or ascent,) 12,642 feet above Calcutta. He was prevented 
from distinguishing very distant objects by a dense fog around him ; but 
there was not the smallest patch of snow near him, and the siu-face, a fat 
black mould through which the rock peeped, was covered with strawberry 
plants (not yet in flower), butter-cui)s, dandelion, and a profusion of otlier 
flowers. The shoulders of the hill above him, about 450 feet more elevatetl. 



S26 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

were covered with the same to the top ; and about 500 feet below was a 
forest of pine, rhododendron, and birch. There Mas some snow seen 
belo\\- in deep hollows, but it dissolves in the course of the season. He 
was informed by the goatherds that they carried their flocks to pasture in 
July and August, to a ridge to the eastward, rising above Pilgoenta as far 
as it does above the site of his camp of the 21st of June, or at least 13,000 
feet above Calcutta. But of this, Captain ^Yebb purposed to have ocular 
demonstration. 

These facts lead Captain "Webb to infer, that the inferior hmit of 
perpetual congelation on the Himala mountains is //ci/ofid 1 3,500 feet, at 
least, above the level of Calcutta : and that the level of the table land of 
Tartary, immediately bordering on the Himrda, is very far elevated beyond 
8000 feet, the height at which it is estimated by the reviewer. 

Of this detail of facts, given thus publicly by a scientific man of character 
and known accuracy, who thus, in some measure, stakes liis credit on them, 
there can be no reason, a priori, to doubt the correctness : and though, in 
ajijjlying them to the observations made in my own journey, I may not be 
able, either to make all the deductions which they will afford, or to shun 
any errors that they may involve, they will still, I think, yield some ground 
of inference to estimate the height to which I ascended ; and consequently 
give some aj^proximation to the heights of the surrounding peaks. 

On the night of the iGth July we slept at Bheemkeudar, near the source 
of the Coonoo and ]?heem streams. There is no wood near this place, 
even in the very bottom of the valley, and we had left even the stunted 
birch at a considerable distance below ; but there was a profusion of 
flowers, ferns, thistles, &c. and luxuriant pasturage. Captain ^Vebb's hmit 
of ^\•ood is at least as high as 1 2,000 to 1 2,300 feet. I would, therefore, 
presume the site of Bheemkciidar to be considerably above that level ; say 
13,000 to 13,300 feet above the level of Calcutta. From thence we 
ascended at first rather gradually, and then very rapidly, till we left all 
Kixuriant vegetation, and entered tlie region of stri})ed and scattered and 
partially melting snow, (for nearly two miles of the j)erambulator.) From 
calculating the distance passed, and adverting to the elevation Ave had 
attained, I would presume that this was at least 1500 feet above Bheem- 
keudar, or from 14,500 to 15,000 feet above Calcutta. 

We i)roceeded onwards, ascending very rapidly, wliile vegetation de- 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 327 

creased gradually to a mere gi'een moss, with here and there a few snow- 
flowers starting through it ; snow fast increasing, till at length we entered 
on what I presume was the perennial and unnielting snow, entirely ])eyond 
the line of vegetation, where the rock was bare even of lichens : and in 
this we ascended, as I think, about 800 feet ; for, though Bamsooroo Ghat 
may not be so far above this line, we continued ascending, even after 
crossing that point, and I would inchne to estimate tliis utmost extent of 
ascent at 2000 feet more, or nearly 17,000 feet above the level of Calcutta. 

Whilst proposing to consider the point of 16,000 to 16,500 feet as that 
of inferior congelation, I must observe, that there was no feeling o? frost 
in the air, and the snow was moist, though hard, chiefly through the 
influence of a thick mist, which, in fact, amounted to a very small drizzling 
rain, which fell around : all which would seem to indicate, that the true 
line of congelation had not there been attained ; but we were surrounded 
by snow which evidently never melted. To a great depth below it extended 
all over the hills, very little broken, while, on the valleys from A\hence 
the Coonoo and Bheem streams issue, at full 2000 feet below, it lay covering 
them and the surrounding mountains, in an unbroken mass many hunch-ed 
feet thick. Thus, though it may seem contradictory, the Hne of perpetual 
congelation, in fact, seems fixable at even below the point I have ventured 
to indicate ; and, I presume, might, on these grounds, be placed somewhere 
between 15 and 16,000 feet above the level of Calcutta. 

I am aware of the boldness of this proposition; nor can I support it 
against the objections that will be urged by those who deem it worth}- of 
notice, except the plain statement of the facts above given. I know that 
it may be objected, that at an elevation of 17,000 feet, the air would be so 
rarified as to lose the power of distending the lungs ; that this was the expe- 
rience of those wdio ascended Mont Blancand Chimboraco, and the remark- 
able law which the reviewer adverts to, of the incapacity of the air, beyond 
a certain height, to sustain clouds at all ; with the further improbability, 
that those clouds, above the point of perpetual congelation, .should descend 
in any other shape than that of snow; all form very strong presumjitions 
against my conclusion : and it appears a very interesting subject of imiuiry. 
to examine whether there may not be some operating causes in the position 
of these mountains, or some pecuhar circumstances which attect them. 



328 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

that tend to raise the level of pei-petual congelation on them beyond the 
limits of cxi)crience hitherto; and with this effect, to render the circum- 
ambient atmosphere capable of supporting vapour in the shape of water, 
and of inflating the lungs of animals so as to preserve life at the presumed 
great altitude. 

The changes which the wusest are, by experience, continually forced 
to make in their theories of the different branches of science, and conse-- 
quently in their practice ; the numerous and striking exceptions that are 
met with, even to those rules which seem laid down on the firmest prin- 
ciples ; the extraordinary and important discoveries that daily occur, and 
the total insufficiency of all human acuteness and genius to detect and 
follow the apparent caprices of nature, which seem to scorn the labours of 
the philosopher ; all seem to warn him from forming hasty conclusions 
against the existence of apparent but extraordinary facts, merely because 
they do not consist with past experience. Such phenomena should rather 
stimulate to investigation, by the hope and prospect of new discoveries ; 
and, Avhile a worthy and proper caution should set him on his guard 
against the delusions of specious appearances and beautiful theories, he 
should be equally careful to dismiss scepticism and prejudice from his 
m'ad, and examine with perfect impartiahty the evidence that may be 
brought before him. 

In bringing under one view the fticts and observations above detailed, 
I am not aware of being prejudiced in any way ; I neither feel anxious to 
estabhsh the height of the Himrda at the lofty level to which these 
mountains have hitherto laid claim, nor to depress them to a loMer 
elevation than that of the Andes : but I do feel desirous to know the 
truth ; and, in the spirit of this wish, have ventured to offer these hints 
in addition to the stock of better information which has been collected on 
the subject by those who are so much more fitted for the task. If they 
excite criticism they will answer a good end ; for by such discussion error 
is dispelled, and truth is brought to light. 

The present pursuits of Captains Webb and Hodgson give so much 
vahiable opportunity for observation on these points, that we may hope, 
in no long time, for most satisfactory results from them : and the industry 
and acuteness of these gentlemen, however great it may naturally be. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 329 

cannot fail of bein^f stimulated to a higher degree of accuracy by the interest 
which the subject has created, and by the rigid criticism it elicits at tliis 
period from the public in general, and men of science in particular. 

When placed on the most elevated positions, it was natural, in looking 
round me, to attempt an estimate of the height at wliich the loftiest peaks 
in the neighbourhood were elevated above me. The noble pyramid of 
Soomeroo Purbut (Purbut signifies a large mountain), and the huge back 
and lumpy top of the eastern summit of Bunderpooch (or Jumnotree of 
Webb and Colebrooke), were those of the greatest consequence which I 
nearly approached. The cave where we had slept was at the mouth of 
the snowy valley, at the bottom of the latter: and a little way to the 
eastward lay that which proceeds from Soomeroo Purbut, but which, by 
our progress to the heights on which we stood, had been brought between 
ourselves and Bunderpooch. The top of this mountain could not, I 
conceive, have been more than two miles and a hah' of direct distance 
from vis, at the largest calculation. Xor was that of Soomeroo more than 
one mile ; and T do not think that the elevation of these peaks above our 
station could have exceeded 4000 feet ; that of Bunderpooch was certainly 
the greatest. Every one knows the extreme vagueness and liability to 
error in judging of the heights and distances of movuitains merely by the 
eye ; yet it seems impossible that these peaks could have been so much 
loftier than they appeared, as 7, 8, or 9000 feet above our station, instead 
of 4000. Yet, admitting that we had attained an elevation of 17,000 
feet, a matter itself of considerable uncertainty, Jumnotree nuist have been 
nearly 9000 feet raised above us, to gi\e the elevation which has been 
attributed to it by ISIr. Colebrooke. The ghat by which we descended 
from the heights which we had reached was even more ])recipitous than 
that of our ascent, and therefore better calculated to exhibit the gradations 
and zones of climate, and permit us to appreciate their relative elevations. 
From the point where this precipitous descent commenced (and \\luch 
was considerably below that of our utmost ascent, thougli not below that 
wliich I presvune to call the limit of per])etual congelation), to the very 
first a]>pearance of stunted wood, was a distance of exactly t\\ o miles. As 
the descent was as rapid and precipitous as any I ever saw (and by no 
means very tortuous), so nuich so, that in looking back, the face of the 
hill had almost the appearance of a wall, 1 believe it will not be too much 

r u 



330 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

to assume, that the whole elevation was equal to one-third of the distance 
gone, or about 3500 feet. This, added to Captain Webb's limit of the 
woody zone, gives an elevation of about 1 5,800 feet. 

The exposure of this descent was easterly, and the snow did not descend 
quite so low here as on the north-western face ; but the opposite side of 
the Bhagiruttee, seen from the top of this ghat, exhibited a mass of snowy 
mountains most imposingly grand, that irresistibly impressed the beholder 
with the idea of a far greater altitude than that to which the mountains 
he was placed among aspired. The peak of Sreekanta, in particular, reared 
itself far above all surrounding ones, and no doubt far surpasses Jumnotree. 
In our farther progress we had no good opportvniity or ground of 
judging of the elevation of the surrounding mountains ; but since that 
period Captain Hodgson has fixed the height of the place whence the 
Bhagiruttee first issues from the snow (in the valley which lies between 
the fine peaks descril)ed in this narrative) at 12,194 feet above the level 
of the sea, by barometrical measvirement : and a huge lofty peak, which he 
calls St. George, and ^\hich I presume to be the same which the Pundit 
calls " Roodroo HimFda," is estimated (I believe, by trigonometrical mea- 
surement and calculation from the above point) at 22,240 feet above 
the sea. 

The result of all the considerations that arise out of the foregoing 
remarks is a belief, that the loftiest peaks of the Himala range will be 
found to fall considerably short of the height attributed to them by jNIr. 
Colebrooke, but that they will likewise be found in general to rise above 
the limit which the Quarterly Reviewer seems inclined to assign, and con- 
siderably beyond the height of the Andes. 

There seems no doubt that the portion of this range, about the centre 
of its length, or from the river Bhagiruttee to the valley of Neprd, includes 
the loftiest peaks, and that both to the north-westward and south-eastward 
the mountains decline in height. 

The height of Dhawlagirree, which is the loftiest peak that has fallen 
under observation, is, by IMr. Colebrooke, calculated at 2f),86'2 feet above 
the level of the sea ; that of Jumnotree at 25,500. Captain A\^ebb has only 
affixed num1)ers to the measurements he has lately made public (and which 
are referred to l)oth by Mr. Hiunboldt and the Quarterly Review), which 
present the possibility of comparing them A\ith the formerly calculated 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 331 

altitudes : but as none of these latter reach the height at first attributed 
to Dhawlagirree (all being included between the extremes of 18,000 and 
25,600 feet), it seems probable that the more correct results indicate alti- 
tudes somewhat short of those calculated from former data. 

If the foregoing observations are well founded, the altitude of Jum- 
notree, according to IMr. Colebrooke, must be overrated at -least 4000 
feet ; and as Captain Plodgson has only attributed 22,240 feet of altitude 
to the peak of " St. Cieorge" (which it seems probable is the same hill as 
Koodroo Himrda, and ]Mahadeo Kalinga), from better data than any former 
calculation could have been founded on, and as this peak was I think (for I 
have not the means of reference to the original paper), rated above 25,000 
feet ; this seems also to have been overrated. 

We may perhaps be permitted to infer a similar excess in the calculation 
of Dhawlagirree, and thus it will appear very probable that, to approximate 
to an accurate estimate, a general reduction must be adopted in the height 
now attributed to the Himala range. 

From the valuable and interesting labours of the above named gentle- 
men. Captain AVebb and Hodgson, we may at no distant period hope for 
a near approximation to the truth ; and till then there seems little danger 
of falling into a great error in believing, that the loftiest peaks of the 
Himala mountains range from 18,000 to 22 or 23,000 feet above the level 
of the sea. 

The speculative idea jvist hinted by jNIr. Plumboldt, of the possibilit\ 
that loftier ridges may yet exist beyond tliat now recognised as the 
Himrdayan range, does not seem to be strengthened or sujjported by the 
information gleaned from the natives or travellers. ^Vll these assert that 
the ridge which we saw, and of which the peaks that reared themselves so 
high were the elevated points, was, in fact, the crest of the mountainous 
country ; and that behind it the mountains dechned in height. This in- 
formation is borne out by the description which various travellers give of 
the country they have traversed behind this ridge. Thougli Ave hear of 
snowy hills, we do not learn that they consist of such impassable deserts as 
those of the Himida : they are generally only tipped or streaked witli 
snow, or it is re})resented as melting in June or July. Even the Ciiilas 
mountains, near IMansrowar lake, ai-e not spoken of as v>ing in heiglit with 
the Himrda, nor are those near the lake Choonur-creel represented as 

u u 2 



332 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

nearly so lofty : indeed, beyond the Sutlej, they are constantly described 
as of inferior height to those about Gungotree, Buddreenauth, and 
Kumaoon. 

The information of Messieurs jNIoorcroft and Hearsay, and the de- 
scription they give of the country through which they travelled, seems 
further to strengthen the opinion that the country and mountains in 
general decline as it tends to the north-east and east. We hear of no 
stupendous mountains hke Jumnotree or Mahadeo-ka-Linga, Dhawlagirree 
or Dharbun. We are told, indeed, of snow-topt mountains of Cailas, a 
branch of the Himala, but without any comment on its vastness. After 
all, our knowledge of the whole subject is yet in its infancy, and it will 
not, I think, be matter of great astonishment if future discoveries shall in 
a great degree alter and new model the incipient and uncertain ideas we 
have yet been able to acquire of the country immediately behind the 
Himala range. 



ON THE PEOPLE CALLED BHOTEAS. 

The word Bootan, or the country of the Bhoteas, as well as the ajipel- 
lation Bhotea, is used in a very indefinite manner by all the inhabitants 
of the hills, even by those best informed ; and instead of being applied to 
the circumscribed country which we know as Bootan, it signifies, generally, 
all the country lying behind the crest of the Himrda that professes the Lama 
faith. Not only those who are directly under the Chinese government, 
but those of the petty hill rajahs who exercise their own authority, either 
independently or as feudatories to China, are known by the sweeping term 
Bhoteas. The manners and customs of these people have never been 
accurately or even tolerably known, far less described. And in so extensive 
a tract of country it is reasonable to suppose that they vary materiall}', 
although the great common tie of religion must give a general tone of 
similarity to a considerable portion of their habits. 

The following jiarticulars are taken from persons who had frequented 



THE UIMALK MOUNTAINS. 333 

the country much, and were familiar with a large portion of it under every 
facility for observation, though, of course, without much to direct or 
sharpen it, further than as the natural curiosity of man directs his attention 
to what is new and strange to him. 

The great Lama at L,hassa is the deity they adore, and the priests of 
their religion are termed Lamas, and are distributed in abundance about 
the country : they are distinguished into two classes, those who marry, and 
those who make a vow of celibacy. They make a study of the books that 
contain the principles and tenets of the Lama faith. They perform the 
ceremonies of marriage, and bury the dead ; and, it appears, are regarded, 
as the priesthood is in all countries, with much reverence. 

Marriages seem here, as in many other places, more contracts of con- 
venience, and matters of mere bargain and sale, than the result of a pre- 
ference founded on affection or osteem. The fathers of the parties propose 
and conclude the bargain. He who has a marriageable daughter to dispose 
of, goes and seeks for a husband of his own choice, and, having found him, 
agrees with his father for the match, and gives a sum of money, according 
to his means, to bind the contract. After a time, which seems to have no 
particular limit, and perhaps has reference to the age of the parties, as 
well as to circumstances, the father of the boy, with the bridegroom him- 
self, and from ten to twenty friends, according to an invitation which comes 
from the father of the lady, proceed to her house, and stay a night, wlien 
the ceremony is performed by the Lamas. This visit never exceeds one 
night, on the morning after which, the bridegroom and party carrving the 
bride, her father, and a party of his friends, double in number of those who 
were entertained at his house, proceed to the house of the bridegroom, and 
there also remain one night only, and leave the couple to themselves. 
They return alone, after eight or ten days, to her father's house for a short 
time, and then remove entirely to her husband's house. Xo women 
accompany the bride to the house of her husband, except one as an 
attendant; but the women of the village are entertained as well as the 
men, and all the expense falls on the bridegroom, as do tlie expenses of 
feeding and travelling from one house to the other of the whole party. 
We could not obtain any description of the marriage ceremony itself 
IVIarriages take place at all ages after twelve, and generally between that 
and twenty. 



334 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

If a man lose his \vife, it is expected that he ^\^ll continue three year 
a widower ; and the external sign of deep mourning is said to be turning 
his cap, and wearing it inside out for eight days. The corresponding sign 
on the part of a widow is, to take off her head-di'ess for the same time, but 
they never burn themselves with the body of their husband. Upon the 
decease of an individual the Lamas are called in, and they do not quit the 
body till it is interred. The bodies of the better sort are kept for three 
or four days, during which time the priests and friends are feasted in the 
house. 

The women of the vicinity meet and utter loud lamentations, in which, 
however, they are not joined by the men, except by those who are really 
much affected. The body is not washed, but wrapped u}) in cloth, rich 
and costly in proportion to the means of the family, and is carried to the 
grave or to the funeral pile by the nearest relations. 

The women follow with their lamentations to a certain distance, but 
not to the grave. Over the body the priests read or repeat some form of 
prayer, but we could not ascertain the nature of it, and the body is buried 
or burnt with a little grain and ghee. The grave is made, and the whole 
ceremony is as expensive as the means of the party will allow ; and the 
Lamas, who remain to the last, are feasted, and receive presents in the 
same proportion. 

On their return from the ceremony, grain, ghee, and salt are distributed 
to all the people of the village by poor men ; with the rich this donation 
extends much farther. On the eighth day after death, the priests are 
again collected and receive presents ; but on the third year the greatest 
expense is incurred in gifts and offerings. A small monument is erected 
either over the grave, or in any other place, to the memory of the dead, 
on which they make offerings of ghee, Sec. and light up lamps on particular 
days. 

The lihoteas, like other Paharias, are very superstitious. Each hill, 
cave, mountain, or inaccessible place ; each gloomy dangerous spot is 
tenanted, in their belief, by spirits and beings of supernatural orders. 
Lvery village has its particular demon, to whom they pay a respect wrung 
from them by fear. Spirits, ghosts, and other bugbears, are as commonly 
dreaded as in the most suj)erstitious countries. 

The moral character of these people must partake of the uncivihzed, 



THE HIMSL.T: mountains. 335 

and, indeed, savage nature of their eountry and political situation ; yet, in 
some respects, if we may trust reports, it is not exceptional^le, it is e^■en 
amial)le. They are courteous and hospitable to strangers; liberal and 
lionest in their dealings. The oath or promise of a Bhotea is said to be 
perfectly secure : they confirm them by joining hands, or by swearing on 
the religious book of the Lamas, or placing an image of their idols on the 
head. Robbery, theft, or any of the atrocious crimes, are said to be 
unknown among these })eople. The traveller and his j)roperty are quite 
safe while travelling through the Bhotea divisions of Bischur, and the 
countries inhabited by that people in general, particularly ^vithin the 
limits and under the jurisdiction of the Chinese empire. 

Intestine discord, or serious disputes ending in murder, or the usual 
effects of revenge, are very rare. Quarrels and litigation arc usually settled 
by the arbitration of men appointed by the parties, or whose character 
gives them a sort of claim to such a distinction, and are generally the 
elders and chief men of villages. When such arbitration fails of effect, or 
is regretted by either party, the case is referred to the prince or governor 
of the province or district (who have various designations in their 
respective countries), before whom the trial by ordeal is performed, for 
which several means are used. A small copper coin is thrown into a pan 
of boiling oil, out of which he who professes to clear his innocence or 
right must take it with his naked hand; or he must, unhurt, hold a red 
hot ball of iron in the palm of his hand ; or, each party taking a goat, 
gives poison to the animals, and that which survives denotes the owner's 
innocence, or gains his cause. The -wuzzeers, or ministers of the chief, 
settle all minor causes, and from them there is always an appeal to the 
superior. 

Like the people of the southern hills, their notions of female delicacy 
and virtue are loose and disgusting. Polygamy is permitted ; promiscuous 
intercoiu-se is by no means disgraceful to either party : the female is not 
considered as less eligible on account of her frailty. The debauching of a 
woman is either held us nothing, or is only punishable by a small fine. 
She may marry her betrayer, but he is not obligetl to marry her. The 
ofJ'spring is the pro])erty of the mother. .Vdultery is jnuiishcd by the 
husband, who administers a severe beating to his offending spouse ; but 
he seldom puts her away. Should the woman die in consequence of the 



336 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

beating, no punishment is inflicted on the husband. A severe beating is 
administered to the adulterer by order of the headman of the village, and 
he is moreover obliged to pay a fine to the injured party. Chastity is 
indeed little regarded, and very little practised. The disgusting custom 
of a community of wives between brothers, five or six cohabiting with one 
woman, obtains here, as well as among the countries we have seen in the hills. 

We made inquiries to ascertain whether some of the unfortunate and 
distressing customs practised in Hindostan were al^o in use here ; such as 
that of seUing their female infants, as in Gurwhal and Bischur, or putting 
them to death, as among the Eajpoots ; but they strongly denied these 
practices, and said, that no one sold liis daughter, but that when indigent 
they received money for them in marriage. The children receive a name 
three or four months after their birth, which ceremony is performed by the 
Lamas, Avho receive presents on the occasion. 

Women are in no degree constrained or confined, as in many parts of 
the East : tliey work hard at all the laborious duties, domestic and agricul- 
tural, but do not plough. The jilovigh is drawn b}' a mixed breed of cattle, 
produced between the small hill cow and the Thibet bull or yak, called in 
the hills goorabyl. These cattle, and those of the yak breed, with ponies, 
mules, and asses, sheep and goats, are accounted their best riches, next 
to corn, and the means of procuring it. AMieat and barley are the grains 
most esteemed, and in the more hilly parts arc very valuable, as the 
country is chiefly pastoral. Sheep and goats, asses, cows, yaks, and ponies, 
are all used in carriage. 

The Bhoteas eat all manner of flesh ; they kill and feed on the yak 
and cows, but in the district belonging to Bischur, the rajah (a Hindoo), 
once put a man to death for killing one of these animals, since which the 
{)ractice in that part has been discontinued. Of the milk of these cattle 
they make much use : they make ghee, or clarified butter, and aftcr\vards 
boil the residue to separate the whey from the cheese, which is pressed 
and kept. 

Tea is much used ; it is their best refreshment ; and before commencing, 
as well as after completing a fatiguing journey, they regale on it. 
Although they have a kind of spirituous liquor, and several substitutes for 
this stimulus, tea is used in preference by all who can aff'ord it, and to as 
great an extent as their means will allow. They mix it with ghee, salt, 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 337 

and milk, using no sugar. Salt, they say, makes it give out its flavour, 
and I believe they often eat leaves and all made thick together. ^Ve had 
some made up this way, but whether it was the original bad quahty of the 
tea, or the other ingredients and cookery, the composition was by no means 
good. 

The tea comes from China, made up in small square packets, sewed 
up in skins as hard and solid as a brick, and of course the tea (generally 
black), compressed into a hard solid mass, which must be broken dow n to 
pieces before it can be used. 

They do not allow that they eat horse-flesh, nor even in time of famine 
do they readily kill mules, asses, or ponies, though no obloquy follow the 
eating such food ; no loss of cast, or expulsion from society. They are 
said not to use the milk of their mares or asses. 

The dress of the Bhoteas may be partly conceived from the sketch 
which is given of two seen at Gungotree — actual portraits. A long loose 
gown of woollen, loose woollen trowsers gathered together tight below the 
knee, and those who can afford it wear a sort of boot, and a cap on the 
head ; the cap indeed is the national dress. They particularly affect red 
clothes, and their gown or dress is often seen of a faded crimson. Their 
houses are formed of bricks baked in the sun, with flat roofs. Pitched 
roofs of slate or shingles are not used ; and, in fact, a considerable portion 
of the population live in tents, being a pastoral people, often changing 
abode. Those who can afford it use cooking utensils of brass and copper, 
but wooden and earthen platters are most common. 

From the two Bhoteas mentioned above, whom I met at the village 
of Dhuralee, near Gungotree, I gathered a few curious particulars, which 
are given distinctly from tliose which have been better described, and more 
satisfactorily attested. They probably relate to different and insulated 
parts of the country, and may be correct so far, if not generally so. 

These men were natives of a Bhotea village in the Chinese dominions, 
called Chounsah, in the district of Chaprung ; which village tliey reported 
as being a month's journey from Gungotree, over a very difficult road, 
going through or over the snowy mountains, among the sjioAvy peaks of 
which two days are passed. But I suspect that the distance which they 
travel daily is so small that the ])lace cannot be very distant. 

They assert that they continue for ten days going up the J.hanneire 

X X 



338 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

alone ; but their journey is alluded to above. They describe their village 
as a very poor place ; they aver that they throw their dead into the river 
near it. Those who can afford it partly burn the body, and then throw 
it in. 

At Chaprung, which is described as a large populous place, a month's 
journey from their village, when any man of property dies it is customary 
to treat his corpse in a way that sounds exceedingly savage and unfeeling to 
our civilized ears : they take the body and bruise it to pieces, bones and all, 
and form it into balls, which they give to a very large sort of kites, who 
devour them. These birds are sacred, kept by the Lamas, and fed by 
them, or by people appointed for the purpose, who alone approach them : 
others dare not go near them, perhaps from superstitious motives, for they 
are held in great fear. This is a ceremony which is very productive to the 
priesthood ; an expenditure of very large sums (many thousand rupees, 
said our iiiformants), being made on the decease of any great man, and the 
Lamas receiving presents of very fine and expensive caps. Poorer people 
are sometimes buried, and at others thrown into the river. 

They, as well as others, assert, that in marriage the bridegroom buys 
the bride at a great expense, as proportioned to his means ; the father of 
the bride only furnishing ornaments, &c. They assure us that the Lamas 
do not attend marriages, nor perform any ceremony at such contracts, as 
even the sight of a woman is forbidden to them, far more any communion 
of such a nature ; and they denied that any great expense was made among 
the Lamas at marriages. 

All this is probably a mistake, perhaps resulting from misunderstanding, 
or bad interpretation of their language, or it must apply only to a very 
limited district, as that which relates to the Lama priests must evidently 
be false. They declare that marriages are contracted at all ages from that 
of childhood to manhood, but that they do not carry away their wives till 
they are fifteen or sixteen years of age. They speak very highly of the 
reverence and confidence they repose in their priests, and the solid proofs 
they give of such sentiments ; and indeed they may well fear to offend 
them. Those who do not make the meet offerings of ghee, corn, &:c. are 
punished, it is said, by a spell or enchantment thrown over them, wliich 
they call the great IMunter (a Shanscrit word for some sort of magical speU 
or work) ; this makes the culprit quiet enough, for it is said to render liim 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 339 

immoveable in whatever position he is caught by it, and to become, as 
they phrase it, hke stone or earth ; nor is he released until it is deemed 
probable that he may become more tractable, or he is left to die so. 

They give the same account of the dispensation of justice as above, 
adding, that the lex tal'mils is in great repute, so that every man is punished 
in the same way in which he offended another. He that slew with a sword 
is put to death by the sword, and so forth. In some instances the criminal 
is tied to foxu- different places by the hands and feet, and branded to death 
by iron and brass instruments. A thief is branded on the forehead with 
a red hot iron ; his goods are forfeited to the state, and he is banished from 
the country. 



X X 



.- o 



PART VII. 



JOURNEY WITH THE POLITICAL AGENT, CONTINUED 

FROM RAMPORE, IN THE STATE OF BISCHUR, TO 

THE RIVER JUMNA. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

June 15. — We left llampore at half past six A. ]\I. and climbed up the 
precipice that overhangs the town by winding paths among its ledges, tiU 
we reached the Ghoorkha post of Ood,ha, built at its top to awe the town- 
which it quite overlooked. From hence was a long ascent among brown 
and barren hills, according with the general face of the country as far as 
we could distinguish it, forming the glen of the Sutlej. The whole com- 
prises a most singular collection of arid, brown, and scathed precipices, 
unmarked by the slightest attempt at cultivation. The snowy hills again 
came in view on all sides of us, opening to the east-north-cast, where the 
Sutlej finds its passage through them. 

Having ascended somewhat higher, we again came to traces of cul- 
tivation, and soon passed several villages situated in agreeable gi-oves of 
fruit trees and horse chesnvits, and enjoyed some fine ripe apricots. Grape- 
vines covered with small fruit, but very luxuriant, cUmbed up the trees in 
great abundance. We left this more pleasing region, however, antl con- 
tinued our ascent up a very steep and lofty liill, which \\as strewed a\ itli 
fragments of rock of various sorts. In addition to the usual scliistose and 
micaceous rock, we discovered blocks, which I believe to be a species of 
granite, gray with many black spots, and some mica interspersed among 
it ; and we observed a considerable quantity of that stone which has so 
strong a resemblance to marble. Otir ascent was slow and deliberate, and 
it was noon before we reached the svimmit, which is crowned by a CThoorkha 
fort, well stockaded, called Shikaree-kiUah. The interior is fitted up in a 
manner somewhat more comfortable than usual for the accommodation of 
the garrison, which, to the amount of 100 men, was stationed here. It is 
lofty and commanding. We held an eastern course from hence, and from 
the neck of the peak on which the fort is situated, looked down on the 
upper part of Nowgurree Khola, which here opens out into several very 



S44 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

savao-e chasms, some of them falling directly from the snow behind ]\Ioral- 
ke-Kanda. It is strange that in the lower part of the basin thus formed 
there are many fine villages and much rich cultivation, cradled, as it were, 
in the ruins of nature. 

We now passed under the brow of lofty peaks that seem formed of 
that marble-like stone which has before been mentioned, but which here 
assumes various appearances and colours : it is semi-transparent, of a com- 
pact texture, and it varies from white to dark blueish-gray, light gray, 
green, and yellow. Its fracture is bright but irregular, and it is pervaded 
by a number of brilliant sandy particles. I have now no idea that it is 
calcareous, and if any that we have seen be so, it must be different from 
this. The abrupt broken face of the cUfF, as usual, pointed to the north- 
west. 

At this place we passed through endless tracts of the finest scarlet 
strawberries in full ripeness, large and finely flavoured, which proved 
a pleasant refreshment. A various path descending, first through rough 
forest scenery, and at last through fine cultivation, brought us again 
towards the bed of the Sutlej ; but we retained a great height above its 
stream, and saw ourselves wholly surrounded with the magnificent masses 
of the snowy mountains, which gave a most impressive character of desola- 
tion to the scene. 

A further winding road led us to BusFde, the situation of our encamp- 
ment for the night, twelve miles and a half from TJampore. It is unne- 
cessary to recapitulate the changes we remarked in the rock this day : as 
we declined from the great height we had attained, we found the old sorts 
re-appear. The village is situated in a sort of more level recess in the 
hills, very finely cultivated, and very beautiful ; it forms a strong contrast 
to the bare brown hills that rise abruptly from the other side of the Sutlej. 
Nearly opposite to this spot, the Kindrar nullah comes down from the 
sno\\'y peaks, forming the boundary on the north side the Sutlej, between 
the states ofCooloo and Bischur; beyond this point both sides of the Sutlej 
are included in the latter country. From hence the horizontal distance 
to Seran is inconsiderable, but a deep nullah forms a difficult and laborious 
obstacle in the road by which we were forced to go. 

June 16. — Wc recommenced our march at ten o'clock, and passed 
through a wooded country on a made road for about a mile to this dell, 



THE IIIMALA MOUNTAINS. 345 

which is narrow, and deep at the mouth, Ijut widens above into a consi- 
derable hollow, in whicli there are several villages. The road continues, 
all the way to the bottom of the valley, rough, but artificially constructed. 
At the village of Muscoulee, a considerable and prosperous looking place, 
near the foot of the descent, we observed a very large crop of apricots 
gathered in, and exposed upon broad paved terraces to dry in the sun ; 
the pulp for winter stores, the stones for oil. 

There is a very precipitous descent into the bed of the stream from 
this place ; and we found the air most oppressively hot, while the reflection 
of the sun from the rocks around us was overpowering. We remarketl 
that the earthen bank, under which we were sitting, was saturated and 
incrusted with a species of salt, which exhibited to the taste a mixture of 
the saltness of borax and the cool alkaline taste of nitre : it possessed also 
a considerable degree of austerity, and somewhat of a corrosive nature, hke 
white vitriol : at the time, I believed it to be a mixture of borax and alum. 
The specimens which I took with me were unfortunately lost. It seemed 
to be in considerable abundance. 

We left the bed of the nullah (which is an impetuous mountain torrent' 
evidently supplied by snow water), and slowly and painfully ascended the 
opposite hill, \\ hich was extremely steep, and the heat excessive. A various 
ascent along ledges of rock, and sometimes through apricot groves, that 
refreshed us with their grateful fruit, brought us at length to the height 
of the ridge ; and, turning sharply to the north-east, and passing througli 
some thriving villages, we came in sight of Seran, the second place, forming 
the rajah's residence in Bischur. The situation was pleasant, in a fine 
cultivated recess among the hills, surrounded with villages ; but it hardly 
assumes the appearance of a town, the rajah's palace forming not only the 
most prominent, but almost the only cluster of houses. Our tent was 
placed near the palace, under the shade of some trees, in a field of corn 
which had been rea})ed. Seran is deeply retired within the snowy moun- 
tains : it is considerably elevated above the immediate channel of the 
Sutlej, the descent to which may be from two to three miles. It thus 
enjoys a moderate climate, and is raised above that region of extreme 
barrenness, which marks the lower portion of the Sutlej glen. 

The opposite, or north side, however, of the river, exliibits a most steril 
aspect, the whole course of the hills from the snowy crests being clearly 

Y Y 



346 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

visible. The course of the river here is not far from east and west ; so 
that the stream runs between two ridges of these hills, and does not cut 
directly through them, thus causing an idea of much greater depth or 
breadth to be attached to the snowy crest than belongs to it, as the glen 
is seen for a great way penetrating the hills, which, melting into distance, 
come down on either side, and soon shut up the lower part from view. 

As the rajah and the female part of the family were residing at the 
palace of Seran, we did not choose to propose visiting its interior : indeed, 
those houses of hill chiefs which we had seen, so ill repaid us for our trouble 
in examining them, that we had no wish to explore this residence. Its 
external appearance is rather prepossessing: it embraces a considerable 
square, which contains two of those lofty towers consecrated as temples to 
the gods, and several smaller ones, i!i which the ranees and young rajah 
reside. To the north-eastward of the palace is placed a Ghoorkha fort ; 
a mark every where left of the degree of subjection in which the land 
was once held by its oppressors. 

Still farther to the north-eastward a small village contains the house 
of T,hicken Das, one of the wuzzeers ; and that of one of the others is at 
somewhat greater distance below. The sketch made of this place will 
convey a tolerably just idea, both of itself and the scene in which it is 
placed. 

June 17. — This morning the young rajah came to pay his respects 
to the British authority. lie is a small, ill-grown child, of between six 
and eight years old ; his manners and countenance both marked and 
formed, and not at all like those of so young a person. His nose is much 
hooked, and he has large, full, and sparkling black eyes. He is affected 
by that species of glandular swelling of the neck so common among the 
people of the hills, known in Europe by the name of goitre. His father, 
we learnt, was afflicted with it ; and in this boy it was certainly hereditary. 
He seemed much frightened, or overpowered, either by terror and confusion, 
or l)y mauvdisc hontc, and contiiuially made salaams and prostrations to us, 
which seemed to have been studiously taught him. and which he had got 
by heart with much success. .Vfter he had been some time seated on one 
of our knees he a])peared more at ease, and answered several qviestions 
naturally enough, dis})layiiig some intelligence and freedom ; but he was 
kept apparently in great order, and felt much aAve at those who were with 



THE IIIMALA MOUNTAINS. 347 

him, as well as those whom he was visitiiij^. "W'e did all in our power to 
inspire him with confidence, and to make him pleased with his entertainers, 
presenting him with such little articles as he was likely to admire ; and 
I think he went away far less frightened, and a good deal gratified. He 
was attended by a considerable suite of retainers, heads of famiUes and 
landholders, who seemed very sohcitous about him. A most earnest and 
strenuous request was made, that, while the yoiuig rajah was in our tent, 
no Ghoorklia might be permitted to venture near : they were afraid lest 
these dreaded people might throw spells on the child, and bewitch liim. 
We respected their prejudices, and took care that no such dangerous cha- 
racters should have access near the sacred person of the young rajah ; who 
retired in about two hours to his own house, after having made liis nuzzur 
to the British govenunent as to a respected superior. 

It was ovu" intention (having penetrated so far into the hills) to pursue 
our travels vip the glen of the Sutlej, and to ascertain, if possible, beyond 
all doubt, whence that river derives its remotest source. Our information, 
however, was not s^ufficiently precise to afford })erfect certainty with regard 
to our future route ; but it was proposed, if time should permit us, after 
pursuing the river Sutlej to its source, and passing (as we were aware 
would be the case in such a route) through the snowy mountains, to 
recross them to the south-eastward, at the pass of Xitteemana, near Bud- 
dreenauth. AVith these views, we collected all the information we could ; 
and the result of that which relates to the geography of the country, as 
well as the manners of the people, has been comprised in the details 
already given. 

After considerable preparation, however, and much inquiry, our plans 
were rendered abortive, by the orders of government arriving for my 
brother to proceed, with all convenient speed, to assume the charge of 
(lurwhal and its affairs; and, when all should be mature, to ])lace the 
rajah on the Musnud, luider the conditions and terms which tlie British 
govenunent judged best for the comfort and safety of the coinitry. 

This was a severe disappointment : but Ave pri>i)ared to render it as 
eonducible to good as we could; and contented ourselves in the behef 
that we should see a very long and interesting tract of country in our 
progress to Sreenuggur from Seran, the route lying partly along the foot 

Y Y J2 



348 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

of the snowy mountains, which would have entirely escaped our view, 
according to the former plan of our journey. 

^ye remained here till the 24tli of June, during which time we were 
completely prevented from any considerable excursions or observations by 
violent rain. We had projected the ascent of a snowy peak directly behind 
Seran ; but, on the day intended (the 19th), the clouds fell down to the 
very foot of the hills, enveloping all in the most complete and impene- 
trable darkness. It was not like a common mist, it was really a sinking of 
the clouds from the rarefaction of the atmosphere, till they quite shrouded 
us ; and all attempt at moimting the hill, or making any further observa- 
tions, was quite fruitless. We turned our attention in despair from the 
face of the country, to examine the habits and manners of the people, and 
to compare these with what we had formerly remarked. 

The dress and manners of the men have varied little since we entered 
Bischur ; or, at least, any slight cUiFerence that may be traced is not of 
a nature to call for a description. That they are more open, more free, 
and more respectable and independent in their carriage, may be felt ; 
but it is not easy to explain the causes of the impression thus given. 
The dress of the women has undergone more alteration : the handkerchief 
which used to cover the head is here discarded, and its place is occupied 
by a woollen cap resembling that of the men ; the crown of wliich is some- 
times crimson, sometimes plain black. The hair is not now suffered to 
hang down the back in a long tliick tail, but this tail is carefully rolled 
up behind the head, and fixed there ; so that the end, in its formidable 
tassels of red wool and hair, appears behind each ear, and is tied up with 
much red wool and flowers. A string of flowers is hung from the side of 
each bonnet, by both the sexes. Instead of a courtee, or coat, like that 
of the men, the women wear, besides the petticoat, a blanket that folds 
partly round the body, and partly comes up around the shoxilders and 
across the breast, where it is fastened by a large copper or brass broach : 
in other instances, the blanket only comes over one shoulder, somewhat 
like the Scots plaid. On the whole, the dress is more fanciful and be- 
coming ; and there is much more use made of a striped stuff, resembling 
the tartan of the highlands, than I have before observed. The women are 
certainly improved in looks. I have seen several that might be considered 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 349 

as handsome and fair, witli something of a good complexion : indeed, 1 
think that both the sexes may be fairly pronounced more comely and per- 
sonable to the northward than they are further south. 

We had not much opportunity for observation relative to the diseases 
prevalent among the people of the hills. Fevers and pleurisies occasionally 
attack them, and those ailments more pecvdiar to a mountainous country, 
where svidden variations of temperature are common. Some of those di.s- 
eases which afflict them are more obvious and apparent. ]Most persons, after 
ascending a height, and frequently without such exertion.s, were distressed 
by a severe cough, which had every symptom of being clironic, and the 
effect of chmate and mode of life. But the most remarkable complaint 
was that glandular swelling of the throat, the goitre, which was extremely 
prevalent. It might be too much to say that every second person we saw 
was thus diseased ; but the sufferers were certainly very numerous. Xo 
new or plausible cause was assigned, in the course of our inquiries, for this 
singular ailment : the attributing it to snow water does not seem at all 
sufficient, as many are afflicted who are scai'cely placed within the reach 
of such an agent. The natives say that it is hereditary ; and I believe 
there can be little doubt of the fact ; for the disease may be traced in 
infants of very tender age, as we had, more than once, reason to observe. 
We understood that it was sometimes cured, when early means were 
taken ; and these are said to consist in extirpation of the part by the 
knife. We saw some persons who had the scars on their throat, resulting 
from this mode of cure, which had in these instances been completely 
successful. 

We several times saw people with swellings of very great size, which 
rendered them most uncouth and shocking objects ; and, when this 
occurred in women, it was doubly disgusting. AVe did not discover any 
persons practising medicine, or pretenchng to that art ; although some 
such mvist exist, as is proved by the operations performed on the neck — 
too nice an attempt to be made by any but those who have had at least 
some degree of experience or teaching. 

It is probable that the knowledge of these people in medicine is con- 
fined to the application of a few simples, which every old person acquires 
in the course of life. A^\)unds and hurts of all kinds are cured in the 
simplest manner, assisted by the natui-al low habit of body of the people 



350 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

in general, wliich resembles that of all Hindostan. They recover from 
the severest wounds with hardly any attention, dressing them with 
turmeric and a few simple ingredients formed into a poultice, which pro- 
motes a gentle healing suppuration. In habits which seldom tend towards 
fever, it is a mockery of art to see how even loss of Hmbs, lopped off in 
the most summary way and most savage manner, are cured by this simple 
process, wliile the patient hardly seems to suffer. 

There is a very sensible difference to be observed between the language 
spoken by these people and that which we hear in the more southern dis- 
tricts. The change has been obvious for some time; but our few last 
marches made the difference very sensible indeed: even at Eampore it 
was less so than here. The Hindoostannee language almost ceases to be 
understood ; and our people covdd not communicate with the peasants 
here without an interpreter. It is not that a provincial dialect obscures 
the language ; it seems that the people are accustomed to one, which is 
radically distinct from Hindee. In Kunawur, Hindoostannee is not under- 
stood at all ; and, upon making inquiry concerning the tongue spoken 
there, we found it totally distinct : the radical words and nouns, the 
simple names of things, are altogether different. I suppose a modification 
of this language, probably the aboriginal language of the hills, is in use 
here ; for it is as distinct from the language of the Bhoteas, on the other 
side of the snowy range, as from Hindee : we were unable, however, to make 
any satisfactory discovery on tlie subject ; and could only rest contented 
in the establishment of the fiict, that such a difference does really exist. 

Nothin": has hitherto been said of the animals that inhabit these hills ; 
and I much regret that the notes I can give relative to this branch of 
natural history is necessarily scanty and unscientific. 

Among the larger inhabitants of the forest are the tiger, and various 
kinds of wild cats of different sizes, bears, wild hogs, monkeys of many 
varieties, deer of many and curious species. Although the tiger has been 
mentioned as one of the denizens of the woods of these hills, the existence 
of the true tiger is at least doubtful. It has been mentioned that the 
foot-print of one of these animals was seen in our line of march ; but there 
was no ceitainty that it did not belong to a smaller species, perhaps the 
leopard. The natives gave contradictory answers to our questions respect- 
ing this appearance, and to those which related generally to the existence 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 351 

of the tiger in the liills. They asserted its existence, and seemed to 
entertain a fear of it ; but we never heard of any accident having happened 
by any such animals. In tlie case of the foot-print, they averred it to belong 
to a formidable beast which they called bang, and that it was large and 
red, but not striped or spotted, which would argue the existence of some 
other beast of prey, though it may probably belong to some ideal creature, 
of which they have an indefinite dread. 

That others of the feline species find shelter among the recesses of the 
mountains is certain ; but I am not so well prepared to describe them as 
to assert their existence. One day, turning sharply round a chfF, we saw 
two animals somewhat like martens, but of more briUiant fur, and more 
hke cats, sporting among the broken masses of the chff ; but they soon 
disappeared among the thick brush-wood, and we saw no more of them. 
Smaller cats, of a size and colour approaching the domestic cat, we met 
with more than once among or near villages ; but I do not recollect 
seeing that animal ever retained in a house in a domestic state. Bears 
are not uncommon, and we saw them at a distance more than once among 
the cliffs that overhung our path. They are black or brown, and I beUeve 
do not vary from the same animal in the plains. 

We never saw hogs in their wild state among the forests ; but the 
evidences of their existence were too numerous and too palpable to admit 
of a doubt. The natives assured us that they frequent the forests in 
large numbers ; and we saw large pieces of ground routed up evidently in 
the manner that a hog does in search of food ; indeed, they must be 
abundant among these immense woods, which afford quantities of acorns 
and roots, of all others fittest for the sustenance of these animals. Once 
at a village we saw a very young one of this sort. He was of a reddish 
brown tinge, and longitudinally striped and spotted with black. His 
figure was somewhat finer than the common hog ; the head small and 
pointed ; and the legs fine and higher from the ground than usual ; tlie 
body roiuid, and altogether it possessed a sort of wild-game appearance, 
that proved at once that the animal was of a totally different description 
from the domestic hog. 

We had no very good opportunity to ascertain the various sorts of 
monkeys that inhabit tlK^e extensive woods. A long tailed ape of a dark 
brown colour, and considerable size, was common ; and we frequently saw 



352 " NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

a smaller species, the body of which is covered with a greenish-grey fur, 
the face bare and red, and the buttocks bare from their always sitting on 
them. It is one of the commonest monkeys all over India. I beheve 
tliat other sorts are to found ; but we might be deceived when we thought 
we saw them, as distance and variety in size may give a very different 
appearance to the same species. 

Deer are nvmierous, and of various kinds. The most curious and 
worthy of attention is, perhaps, the musk-deer. It is an animal by no 
means common in any situation, but keeps entirely to the most inaccessible 
and remote heights, among rocks and forests that defy the foot of man. 
They cannot endure heat, and several young ones which were presented 
to VIS invariably perished, after being exposed for a few days to the warmth 
of a lower region. The figure of the musk-deer is somewhat singular. It 
attains the size of a fallow doe, or small buck, and its body and legs are 
completely those of a deer. The head, however, bears some resemblance 
to that of a hog ; the eye is black and full, but not so large as that of a 
deer usually is ; and the sharp snout and wrinkled countenance gives it a 
considerable resemblance to a pig's head, which is rendered more remark- 
able by the two tusks that project from the upper jaw, and hang, pointing 
downward, considerably over the lower ; luid their colour is dark brown. 
It is commonly known that the musk is contained in a liquid state in a 
small bag near the navel of the animal. When it is caught, this bag is 
taken just as it is found, and cut from the beast while yet alive. A small 
hollow reed is inserted into it that the musk may not suffer, as it would 
be apt to do, from want of air; and the whole is tied around with a 
sinew of the animal. In this state, when it has dried, which it does in the 
shape of small brown grains, it is sold together with the skin for about 
twice its weight in silver. It is said that the animal must be cauglit 
alive in order to obtain its musk. Should it be shot, the drug (it is 
affirmed) is absorbed into the body, and consequently not only lost, but 
the animal is rendered uneatable. The great value of the article makes 
the animal an object of great request. AMienever, therefore, it is under- 
stood that a musk-deer has been seen on any particular hill, the whole 
country is turned out, to hunt him down. This alone would tend to 
create scarcity of the animal ; and if it is as rare in the hills to the south- 
eastward, and on the opposite side of the Himala range, as it is in that 



THE IIIMALA MOUNTAINS. 353 

portion between the Sutlej and Alacnunda, tliere is little danger that the 
market will ever be overstocked by the genuine musk. 

This scarcity, however, and the high price of musk, as may readily be 
supposed, gives rise to many modes of adulterating it to increase the 
quantity. The common way is by injecting a portion of the blood of the 
animal into the bag of musk, while both are warm, and they then unite. 
Great caution is therefore necessary in making the purchases, and, indeed, 
none but very experienced persons can ever detect the fraud. Musk-pads 
are generally sent to the rajah, or chief man of a district, either as nuzzurs 
or at a certain valuation, as a portion of tribute. Some fall into the hands 
of the Bunyas, from the low country, who take this article, as well as 
opium, iron, and other commodities, in payment for their goods, such as 
cloth, sugar, and other manufactured articles, and these persons sell it at 
a great profit in the plains. It is highly prized as a medicine as well as a 
l^erfume. It is also smoked by the luxurious debauchees in hookahs, in 
which way it acts as a strong stimulant ; but only men of great wealth can 
afford this fascinating drug. It also invariably forms a part of the offering 
presented from men of rank to their superiors, as a nuzzur, or to their 
equals, as a usual token of regard. The name by which the animal is 
known in the hills is custoree, and the drug also obtains that appellation. 
A common sort of deer, which we frequently saAv browzing among the 
heights, and bounding from rock to rock, is called by the natives frurrl. 
It attains the size of a roebuck ; the colour is dark brown, the belly much 
lighter ; the horns branch into several divisions, like that of the roebuck, 
are rough at the lower parts, and very sharp at the points, and they run 
from six inches to a foot in length. Its activity is very remarkable. 

We frequently saw the horns of an animal, a mixed species of deer, 
that were singular in their form and appearance. They grew near each 
other at the base, curving very much backward, and receding from cadi 
other gradually. The exterior curved side is dividetl frona the root to 
the point by raised articulations, two or three inches distant from each 
other ; and when they are of a middling size tliey are at least three feet 
long. The animal to wliich they belong is described by the natives as 
resembling the goat in appearance as well as the deer, but more par- 
ticularly the former. That it is of considerable size may be inferred 
from its horns ; and the skins, several of m liich we afterwards procuretl, 

z z 



354 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

confirmed this inference. Its colour is a dark gray, approaching to brown ; 
the hair of its skin is very thick, soft, and elastic, but by no means fine : 
each hair has the appearance of a spongy hollow tube. They form very 
comfortable and warm beds to lie on, and are used for this purpose. The 
animal is found only in the most remote and inaccessible parts of the 
mountains, ever keeping among the snow, delighting in cold ; but, in the 
winter time, when the valleys are deeply covered with snow, it approaches 
the habitations of men, driven, in all probability, by want of its usual food, 
and even comes to the highest villages, along with herds of other animals 
of similar habits, but it retreats as the snow melts, and was seldom or never 
to be seen while we were in the hills. The name of this strange animal 
among the natives of the hills is " burrl." 

They seem to attach to its horns somewhat of a sacred and mysterious 
virtue, hanging them at the doors and in the ante-chambers of their tem- 
ples, and placing them by the graves of those who were accounted of 
peculiar sanctity in their lives : Ave found in a very remote and distant 
region a pair of these horns on the tomb of a man wlip had perished in 
the snow many years ago, in the route we were then passing. They do 
not, however, confine this sanctity to any one sort of horns ; their temples 
were always adorned by many pair of various kinds, and we even saw ram's 
horns holding a conspicuous station in their holiest places. We remarked 
two other distinctly different kinds of horns belonging to animals of the 
deer species : one was short and very thick at the base, bending somewhat 
back ; they are said to be the produce of a smaller sort of deer, that also 
lives on the verge of the snow, and comes in flocks to the very doors of 
the villages in severe weather : the others are small and dark, without 
branches, rough, but sharp pointed. Of the animal that produces these 
I have no account. 

Dogs are found domesticated, particularly to the northAvard, and the 
breed of Bischur is noted for its size and hardihood. The finest that 
came under our observation bore a considerable resemblance to a mastiff, 
but retained a good deal of the cur. Their colour in general was black 
and white, with a little red occasionally ; their hair is long and thick, and 
the tail long and bushy, curling up behind : their head is somewhat long 
and pointed, like the common shepherd's dog. They are often very fierce, 
and sometimes attain a considerable size, but are seldom so large as a full 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 355 

.sized iiiastifF. These animals are furnished with a down under their long 
shaggy hair, which is as fine and soft as shawl wool ; this comes off easily 
in warm weather, and is regularly shed with the hair. Every animal is 
similarly furnished in this cold country. We found that the natives used 
these dogs as sheep-dogs, in the same way as those of other countries, and 
also for hunting all sorts of game, even birds which they tire out in flying; 
and some were valued at a very high price. 

Of the more curious sorts of the feathered creation there is but little 
variety. That which first challenges attention is, beyond all doubt, the large 
and beautiful bird called in the hills " rutnall," and in the higher districts 
"monrd." This lovely bird is a pheasant. The cock bird attains the size of the 
largest dunghill fowl ; its body is of an intensely dark glossy blue ; the neck 
and breast are splendid, like that of a peacock, wdth varying puq)le, green, and 
gold : on the head he carries a crest of several feathers, which form a brilliant 
changeable plume ; when flying, his back, uncovered by his wings, is white, 
and he spreads a large tail of ruddy brown feathers. His note is a peculiar 
and very mellow whistle, which generally gives intimation that he has 
taken his flight. The hen bird very much resembles the heath hen. or 
female black grouse of Scotland, but is of larger size ; her gray plumage 
and game look makes the similarity very striking. These birds haunt the 
highest and coldest places ; and it appeared, subsequently, that the nearer 
we approached the snowy and more inaccessible regions, the more niunerous 
they became: on the whole, however, they cannot be considered as abundant. 
They have broods of from four or five to eight or ten young ones, but I 
cannot say whether they keep in pairs ; I am inclined to think, however, 
that they do, as we seldom started a hen and her young ones without 
seeing a cock bird at no great distance. Their flesh, particularly that of 
the young ones, is exceedingly delicate and dehcious. 

Another bird, which seems to partake of the nature of the pheasant 
and the common fowl, has been slightly mentioned before, when the stuffed 
skin of one was presented to us at a village one day's journey from Ram- 
pore. Its brilhant red crest and throat, the beauty of its speckled feathers, 
each furnished with an eye of white, made it an object of incpiiry where 
they were to be found, but we understood that they were far more rare 
than even the monrds ; that they were very seldom seen at all, and could 
only be procured when their situation was accidentally discovered, by the 



356 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

united efforts of a great number of men, who taking advantage of its heavy 
flio-lit, wliich is incapable of bearing it up more than tln-ee or four times, 
weary it, till at length they come uj) with and catch it : but it never was 
our fortune to meet with any one ahve, nor indeed did we ever see but one 
skin of this species. 

Another kind of pheasant approaches more nearly the common phea- 
sant at home, but has not his more splendid plumage ; these we seldom 
saw ; indeed our mode of travelling in a naiTOw path, with many attendants 
preceding us, as well as following us, was little favourable to the view of 
game, which must have been frightened from the vicinity of the path, 
however usually untrodden, long before we reached their lair, by the noise 
of our approach. 

One sort of bird Avas brought to us at Rampore, the cry of wliich we 
had frequently heard, and from Avhich it obtains the name wliich the 
natives give it, viz. cruas : it participates in resemblance to a hen pheasant 
and a partridge, has brown game-hke plumage, and in size equals a com- 
mon fowl, but we found the flesh insipid and very bad food. 

The chuccores, or the common hill partridge, which obtains its name 
from its cry, is common, and tolerably numerous throughout the hills. 
This beautiful bird has more resemblance to a quail than to a partridge ; 
its plumage is red, gray, and black, in fine varieties ; it delights in scratch- 
ing among dust and dry earth, and in lying covered with it in the sun : its 
flesh is excellent, l^lack partridges are also common, and inhabit the small 
fields and brushwood that are scattered over the mountain sides: they 
are very beautiful birds; the rich black and ruddy brown feathers of the 
body and wings are finely contrasted with the speckled and varied neck 
and breast ; and their flesh is particularly delicate. 

The common dunghill fowls in their wild state, called in India jungle 
fowls, are found every where, but their habits of running instead of flying 
make it almost impossible to procure them, cither by catching or shooting: 
they inhabit the most tangled jungles, exhibit a very various and beautiful 
plumage, and are delicately flavoured, ^^'^e did not see many peacocks 
after penetrating far into the hills : they keep rather in the skirts of the 
highlands, but are very plentiful about Xahn and the lower parts of the 
Girree and the Jelall. 

These are the principal birds which fell under our observation, or of 



THE HIMALS MOUNTALNS. 357 

which information reached us during our excursion, and which may be 
considered as game. 

Of birds of prey there was no scarcity; kites and liawks of all sizes and 
descrijitions abound. I am not aware that there are any eagles. We 
remarked among the small birds several of those which arc found in the 
plains; among them the minas were very numerous, and of various sorts. 
One old friend we recognised with some delight, — the cuckoo : its note and 
appearance are the same as in Europe ; and the natives had bestowed on 
the same name as that by which it is known among ourselves. 

We remarked that the country produced very few snakes. ^Ve saw only 
two in the course of our travels, and these thd not seem to be of a venomous 
nature. There were lizards, toads, and frogs, as in otlicr parts ; but it did 
not apjiear that the reptile branch of natural history would experience any 
considerable adchtion from our knowledge of tliis country. 

Of insects I cannot venture to speak : they seemed to be as numerous 
as elsewhere, but of the varieties I can give no account. Such are the 
meagre memoranda that I have been enabled to make respecting the 
animal creation in these regions. I much regret my having possessed no 
knowledge suited to render them more copious and interesting. 

With much reluctance foregoing our farther progress into the hills, 
we left Seran on the 24th of June, and turned our faces towards the south- 
eastward. The morning was clearer than it had been for many days, and 
the view down the glen of the Sutlej towards tlie plains, seen from a 
height, was enchantingly beautiful. It was evident tliat towards the 
skirts of the hills the fog which obscured our view existed in far less 
quantity, if at all; and the clear, sharply defined, blue hills in the thstance, 
varied with every tint that cultivation and foliage can give, contrasted most 
strikingly with the stern and frowning cliffs we were perched among, half 
hid in cloud and storm. 

In the vicinity of Seran there was a collection of singular stones near 
the road, which we did not remark on our way thither, reared on ciul as 
tombstones, memorials of the dead: they are rudely, but somewliat curiously 
carved, chiefly bearing the representations of men and women ; tlu'ir shape 
is thin and broad, like flat pillars, and they rise to various heights, some 
exceeding that of a man : the only account that could be obtained was, 
that they commemorated the deaths of various persons who anciently lived 



558 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

in Seran, and probably belonged to the rajah's family. It is a prevalent 
custom here to place stones to the memory of the deceased on the place 
where the body has been burnt, or sometimes on high teebas, or peaks, 
wliere frequently they stick a pole with a flag on it, and each passenger 
hangs a small rag, or adds a stone to the heap. Such places become not 
inifrequently sacred, and the dead enjoy the reputation of a deota, becoming 
identified or confounded with the deity of the spot. 

It was remarkable that around Seran there were many persons and 
families, who had taken up their abode in caves under stones and projecting 
rocks, which served them as houses. Of these rocks a great many were 
scattered around the ruins of the cliffs above, under every one of which 
some wretched looking people resided. Thus, although there are but few 
houses to be seen, forming the town of Seran, the number of the inhabitants 
attached to the place is very considerable. It is a curious sight, either in 
the dusk of the evening to see the numerous glimmering fires that start 
up all around, though no houses appear, or in the calm of the morning to 
mark the multitude of smokes that spire up to the sky from these half 
subterraneous dwellings. It seems singvdar that the people should thus 
prefer living so precariously and uncomfortably, to building moderately 
substantial houses, of which the expense would not be great, and of which 
the comfort would in all probability be so much greater. It may, however, 
be accounted for, by considering the present circumstances of Seran ; it is 
for a time the residence of a court, which, in all countries, however poor, 
draws a certain dependent population along with it. The rajah has only 
lately returned from the recesses of Kunawur, and it is probable that he 
may soon leave Seran to reside at the chief toAvn of Eampore. 

Thus the superabundant population now temporarily settled at Seran, 
will have to remove along with the magnet that attracts them ; and to 
l)uild houses there wovdd be an useless expense ; they therefore occupy the 
dwelling which nature has given them. They choose those rocks which 
from their shelving position yield most room below, and which on the face 
of a hiU give least encouragement to the lodgement of water. They dig 
under them, and improve the hollow, and thus contentedly do hundreds 
live in weather that really renders a good house no despicable blessing. 

We retraced the steps of our last march, till we came to INIunglar 
nullah, where we had suffered formerly so much from heat, and crossing 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 359 

at the same spot, the water, now a furious torrent, we commenced a steep 
ascent in a direction totally different from our former route, and which 
carried us towards the snowy peaks connected with ]\Ioral-Ke-Kanda. Our 
ascent continued very sharp, during a very hot day, for near two miles ; 
when we halted at a village named Shu, where a whimsical dispute was 
brought before us for adjudication. One of the Ghoorkhas now in oiu' 
party had, it seems, purchased a wife from a zemindar of tliis village (liis 
daughter) for the sum of fifteen rupees, but on condition that he should 
remain in the country with her and her relations ; this was now impossiljle, 
the Ghoorkha power was annihilated, and he had no inclination to remain 
behind, but desired to carry his wife along with him : to this the father 
objected, and not only refused to allow liis child to go along with her 
husband, but also objected to refund the money for which she was pur- 
chased. It was a delicate question to interfere in, and after all parties 
had been heard, it was agreed to refer the subject to the decision of the 
lady herself. She was about twelve years of age, and by no means haiid- 
some ; she declined to proceed with the man, and so the dispute was ter- 
minated. The gentleman behaved very philosophically on the occasion, 
honestly confessing that he regretted the loss of the fifteen rupees, and of 
the clothes he had given her, more than that of the lady ; but as he had 
had twelve months' possession of her, it was judged that he had in some 
sort received compensation for his expense. 



360 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 



CHAPTER XXIL 

I TOOK the opportunity of the occurrence related in the last chapter 
to put many questions relative to the strange custom of the community of 
wives which exists in the families of brothers in tliis country. The in- 
formation I received was uniform with that produced by my inquiries in 
all other quarters, and here my informants seemed to be sensible and 
intelligent men for the country. They unanimously admitted the imi- 
versality of the custom, that it was usual always to purchase Avives, and 
that the zemindars were too poor to be able to give from ten to twenty 
rupees for a woman, and therefore contributed their quota, and each 
enjoyed their share of the purchase. They explained the modes usually 
adopted to prevent quarrelsome interference, and described every tiling as 
already detailed ; but when I came to put questions relative to the disposal 
of the surplus of females, they could give no satisfactory answers whatever. 

They denied the practice of selling their women to foreigners as slaves, 
but I have great reason for beheving that they only chsclaim this shameful 
custom from a sense of its evident impropriety. I began to sound the 
people I was talking with about purchasing a particular woman, then in 
company, as a means of trial ; and I am satisfied, from the way in which 
they received my overtures, that I should have succeeded had it been my 
object to continue the negotiation. 

We continued gently ascending through a various but thinly cultivated 
country, which affords little for remark, to a village named l),harin, situate 
on the steep slope of a hill-face, and near its crest, among a fine grove of 
horse chesnuts. The village overhangs a very deep and exceedingly wild 
dell, and faces a grand snowy mountain ; but the clouds hung so low, and 
passed so thick, that our view was quite obstructed. I examined the 
village in the evening with minuteness, and entered many of the houses, 
the disposition of which agrees perfectly with the remarks already made 
regarding their interior economy. The verandah forms the chief ac- 
commodation of the house, and the middle room serves to cook and 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 361 

to sleep in. The masonry work of all is good and sul)stantial. Several 
were plastered with shining earth, I believe with a composition of white clay 
and talc pulverised, and used as a wash. The roofs of all these houses 
consist of large slabs of slate, more or less neatly worked and laid on. 

There were in this village a great number of hives of bees : these 
insects are much attended to all through the hills, and their honey forms 
a favourite article of diet, as well as of extensive and ready sale. The 
mode they adopt of keeping them, and of obtaining their honey without 
destroying the bees, merits a description. A hollow tree, or sometimes an 
earthen pot, is built into the wall with apertures externally, by which the 
bees enter and go out. There is a valve in the centre ; and the internal 
end of the hive, which opens within the house, can be closed or opened at 
pleasure by various contrivances, as a door or a clay bottom. "When the 
combs are full, and they wish to take the honey, they merely make a con- 
siderable noise at the internal extremity of the hive, which drives out the 
insects : they then close the valve, open the interior, and take the honey 
unmolested. They then close all up again ; the bees return to their rifled 
hive, and recommence the labour of replenishing it. The honey, when 
fresh, is very fine. There is no want of food of the most various and 
luxuriant sorts, all over the hills. The bee appears to be the very same 
insect as those which we domesticate in Europe. 

"We remarked this day, both in the village Sha and here, several very 
large and fierce dogs, apparently very powerful ; but they ditl not come 
up to our ideas of the IJischur dogs, as those animals had been described 
to us. The rain had favoured us through the day ; but this evening it 
began to pour in torrents, and continued to do so all the night, and the 
clouds closed around us with redoubled gloom. Our great height and 
vicinity to the high peaks may probably account for the violence of the 
weather, which even surpassed what we encountered at Seran ; and it 
was all that we could do to keep our small tent tolerably tU-y ; but it was 
impossible to prevent the ground under foot being very damp and uncom- 
fortable. 

During the 25th, 26th, and 27th of , Tune, we were confined to our tent 
'by incessant floods of rain. All attempts at marching were vain and absurd. 
On the morning of the 27th we ])repared lor om- join-ney. but were ])re- 
vented by a recurrence of heavy rain. At an early hour i\\c lofty snowy 
peak, which we had intended to ascend from Seran. appeared close above 

3 A 



S62 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

us across the ravine, covered with snow ; but all was soon enveloped in 
cloud and darkness. We were enabled, however, in the evening, to make 
an excursion to the top of the ridge on which D,l]arin is situated, and 
enjoyed a strange confused view of snowy and rocky peaks, partially 
covered with cloud, and rising out of a sea of vapour, giving a pretty 
tangible idea of the desolation of a chaos. 

June 28. — On this day we took advantage of a period of the morning 
being free from rain, and proceeded on our march by nine o'clock. We had 
considerable trouble in arranging the burthens of the coolies : they were 
discontented, and not numerous ; and every thing was wet and heavy, so 
that there was no small difficulty in procuring carriage for all our neces- 
saries. On reaching the gorge of the hill, where our descent commenced, 
we looked down upon a mass of vapour that defied our eyesight to pene- 
trate ; and heavy rain again came pouring on us, till we Avere near the 
bottom of a steep hill, Avhere we reached the village of Put,hnee. Tliis 
descent is in parts rapid and dangerous. We were here presented with 
a ram which had four horns ; a breed not uncommon in the hills : they 
are even seen at times with six. We also procured a pair of those large 
horns belonging to the biirll, above described. 

At a short distance below the village we crossed Buree-gad,h, or nvillah, 
and continued gently ascending along the left hand bank, by a tolerable 
path, among forests of various character. Passing througli one or two 
villages, Ave gently descended, on rough road, till we reached the shoulder 
of a part of the ridge, where was once situated an old fort, called Eahilee- 
Moonus-Ke-Cotiluck, made by the Sirmoreans, in one of their successful 
inroads on liischur. Plerc began an irregular and unpleasant descent to 
Nowgurree-Khola, the same stream which avc passed close to the Sutlej, 
on the way to Kampore, and Avhich we now recrossed in its infant state, 
near its origin : it was swollen to an impetuous torrent by the rains ; and, 
having torn its Avay through a most savage rocky chasm, swept foaming 
along, without the least division, into pools, over a bed cut in the white 
rock, which it has Avorn for itself. 

A single fir-tree formed our bridge ; and it Avas a formidable effort to 
cross this headlong torrent on so narroAv and so unstable a footing. ^Ve 
all got over, however, Avithout accident, and commenced a very steep 
irrcgidar ascent on the op})osite side, along a hill face formed of huge 
masses of rock that had fallen from crags above, and Avcre fantastically heaped 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 3G3 

on one another: at times, a very steep and abrupt precipice made the 
path along its brink somewhat dangerous, and it was ever wearisome and 
exhausting. Such a winding and various road, after a march of somewhat 
more than nine miles, carried us to the village of IJursoule, strangely situated 
on a projecting rock, the chief tower occujiying its very peak, and sur- 
rounded by rock and deep forests, and hills clothed with mist. This was 
a fatiguing day, more from the wild nature of the ground and the continual 
rain than from the real distance travelled : in fact, we had reached a 
country more remote and impracticable than had hitherto Ijcen entered 
on ; and, after crossing a shoulder of the loftiest peaks themselves, we 
were now in the very centre of jMoral-Ke-Kanda. 

The rock during this march consisted chiefly of varieties of that hard 
semi-transparent stone resembling marble, white, green, bromi, and yellow, 
once or twice adverted to before. All the loftier peaks seemed to consist 
of this stone. A large quantity of particularly white sand was remarked 
to-day, on our ascent from Nowgurree Khola, with the parent stone un- 
decayed, and lumps of the above-mentioned stone bedded in it. At lower 
elevations we returned to the old micaceous schist, some of a wonderfully 
white, fine, and soft nature. The situation of the village was so peculiar 
and j)icturesque that I endeavoured to take a sketch of it. 

June 29.-~Tliis day we left Bursoule a little after nine, descending into 
the dell below, and crossed the Seallee Khola, which joins the Xowgurree 
stream, and commenced a long ascent of four miles through a forest com- 
posed of oak, birch, horse-chcsnut, walnut-trees, and many others, with a 
fine carpet of ferns and flowers. This led us to the top of the shoulder 
of a hill whence we could trace many points of our former marches, and 
the course of the Sutlej at a great distance. Hence a further ascent 
carried us up a shoulder of the highest part of ]Moral-Ke-Kanda. The 
path was not very bad, but steep, and there were many dangerous rocky 
steps, through a deep forest of old Avood. From the top of this gorge 
called Seelanee Pass, a noble view would have been obtained, but deep fog 
and heavy clouds overhung the most interesting part of the landscape. 
We saw, however, in the openings of the flitting clouds, glimpses of the 
country we had gone through, bright and sharply distinct in all the clear- 
ness of a southern sky. The beauty of the soft though decided tints, in 
so pure an atmosphere, cannot be described. They belong to such scenes, 

3 A .'.' 



364 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

and only can be fully enjoyed by the contrast of wild gloom such as was 
spread around us. 

After waiting a considerable time for more favourable weather, we were 
forced to descend; and the hill, from this gorge to the village where we were 
to pass the night, is more precipitous than most we have seen, even to a 
degree of danger. AVe arrived at the village of Buranullee, after a fatiguing 
march of only seven miles, about five o'clock in the afternoon. The journey 
of to-day presented several plants of some novelty, some fine large yellow 
raspberry bushes, with ripe fruit on them, almost equalling the yellow Ant- 
werp raspberry. The common red sort was in profusion, A very lovely 
shrub attracted us, with blossoms resembhng the lily of the valley, disposed 
in bells of milk-Avhite hue, around a red stalk. A little farther on, the true 
lily of the valley grew in abundance. The birch was common in all the 
woods, growing to a larger size than is common at home, and bearing a 
larger leaf; but the tree could not be mistaken; its bark, its form, even 
the leaves and twigs, vouched for its identity. As we came through the 
deeper parts of the forest, among the mosses and hchens that cover the 
trees in great profusion, and which were also on the ground, several 
varieties were remarked of that sort which bears, in the materia medica, 
the name of lichen i.shuidicus, and is su})posed to be of great virtue in 
pulmonary complaints. 

June SO. — "\A'e resumed our march about eight o'clock, first diving 
deep into the dell below the village ; and, after crossing it, pursuing our 
way on the left hand face of a hill, very much indented and irregular. 
Then again sinking into a deep ravine, and mounting its sides, till by a 
very devious track we reached a low gorge, from either side of which a 
ravine and stream diverged in opposite directions. This ridge is the 
connecting link between the mountain ]\Ioral-Ive-Kanda, and tlie great 
Xowagiu-h lange ; and the raA'ine to the north carries its waters to the 
Coonoo nullah and the Sullej, while that which flows to the south runs 
through the long and fertile valley of Samtracote, swelling the stream of 
the Pabur. On the open, and grassy, and ferny braes, along which we came 
to-day, we saw a profusion of a very lovely species of blue iris, which was 
quite new to us. From this gorge the path descended by a sharp ridge 
into Samtracote \'alley. 

The exposure being southerly, it is bare of wood, and the upper part is 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 365 

but little cultivated ; as, however, we proceeded onwards, villages and 
corn-land were abundant. Two streams, divided at the higher part of the 
valley by a ridge, unite a short way down, and the hollow becomes deeper, 
though still with a considerable portion of shelving ground. At six miles 
and a half from our encampment, and about four from the top of the 
valley, we reached the old castle of Samtracote, formerly an occasional 
residence of the royal family, but now deserted. It stands on an insidated 
hill above the stream, but forms no very interesting ol)ject. Wc con- 
tinued our route in tlie bed of the stream, which winds very much, and 
has on either side abundance of line rice cultivation which it irrigates. 
We passed by and through several very thriving villages, crossing many 
subsidiary nullahs, one of which has forced a strange passage about twenty 
feet broad through solid rock, to the depth of fifty or sixty feet. The 
bridge is formed of two pine trees, and is rather narrow considering the 
nature of the gulf that yawns below. 

Several of the smaller valleys leading into this valley are strangely 
formed, contracting like this at the mouth, and swelling out above into 
spacious cultivable places. Much rice seemed to have been destroyed by 
the unusual swelling of the torrents from the late heavy rains. The 
valley turns suddenly from the south and south-eastern direction it had 
pursued, to an easterly one, with considerable flat land in its bed, very 
cultivable, and much of it under rice, and joins the river Pabur a few miles 
further on, a short way below the village of Roroo, where we encam])ed 
for the night, after a march of sixteen miles, but less fatiguing than many 
of our far shorter journies, great part being a gentle descent, and some of 
it on almost level ground. The villace of Ixoroo is tolerablv laruc and 
prosperovis ; it is })laced on a fine flat on the banks of the river Tabur, 
which for many miles above presents a smiling scene of fertile cultivated 
land. The crops about the village are various and rich : we here saw 
maize, and a quantity of the herb b,hang grows both wild and I'ultivated 
all around. Here we found some jNIussulmaun merchants, ^vho had come 
to collect the produce of the hills, such as nuisk, opium, b.hang, blankets, 
drugs, &c. 

July 1. — "We were in motion by seven, proceeding down the Pabur: 
the course of the river for some miles above the village is to the south- 
west ; it runs through a valley nearly a mile broad in some places, and in 



366 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

a devious narrow channel, often branching into small streams that frequently 
chano-e tlieir course. About three miles below Roroo it takes a sudden 
turn to the south-east. We continued our march along its bank : several 
old liouses are scattered on insulated rocks by the river side, belonging to 
the different T,hakoors, who have, at different periods, held power here. 
Passing all these, we reached a level spot on the Pabur, opposite to Kaeen- 
gudh, where the party encamped. 

A detention of several days here was occasioned by the difficulty of 
procuring a sufficiency of coolies for the carriage of our baggage towards 
Srenuggur ; in the meantime we went and examined the fort of Raeen- 
gudh, which had jiroved a stumbling block in the way of negotiation on 
our first approach to it. We found the situation and appearance only 
pretty formidable, and perfectly calculated to resist any storm, unassisted 
l)y cannon : but the wall was very infirm, and the interior miserably fitted 
up. There is but little accommodation, and the rock rises so mvich to a 
point within, that there is no space where men might be safe, except close to 
the walls, that sit like a crown around the rock. The supposition that the 
fort was commanded from various points, even by musquetry, was found 
correct, and, by a sharp fire of matchlocks, the garrison would soon have 
been killed in detail, or confined entirely to their wretched sheds. There 
were tanks of water cut in the rock, which held a sufficient store for twenty 
days or a month, and much corn and fuel were found in the place. 

We received a visit from the Ranee of Saree, a small lordship now 
totally merged in the Bischur territory. She had but small means for 
travelling comfortably, and lodged in a large cave in the rock near at hand, 
where she was attended with sufficient respect by those who yet remained 
attached to her. The way she took to approach was curious ; she had so 
much of the low coiuitry feeling as not willingly to expose her person to 
public view : her litter stojiped at a little distance from the tent, and 
several sheets were held l)y her attendants around her, forming a screen, 
in the envelope of which she walked to our tent, which she entered without 
scruple. The ap})roach of the walking screen, surroiuided by attendants, 
had a curious ajjpearance : she was a woman of about twenty-five years of 
age, rather good looking, but already faded ; she had high features, dark 
eyes, and a tolerable person ; her colour was yellow, with a faint ruddy 
tinge in her cheeks. Her dress was loose, of rather coarse muslin ; her 



THE IIIMALA MOUNTAINS. 36'7 

head was covered with a handkerchief wrapped round it, in the fashion of 
the country. She came to communicate lier tale of oppression, and her 
fears of further distress from her neigliboiu's, small and great. The 
situation of widows in this turbulent country must be Avretched enough. 
Nothing could be done but to pi'omise her protection, and a representiition 
of her case to the proper authorities : and she took her leave soon after, 
retiring to her rock, refusing any other accommodation. 

As Ave are now about entering the territories of (iurwhal, it may be 
proper to introduce here the scanty accovuits which we gleaned concerning 
that state, its nature, and government. 

The boundaries of Gurwhal have been adverted to with sufficient 
accuracy in the prefatory observations to this narrative. It is a country 
of very great extent, though of small comparative value. ]\Iany of the 
larger rivers of upper India, and all those which form the origin of the 
Ganges, have their rise in its mountains, and hold their course through its 
territory. It is, however, by no means easy to comprehend the divisions 
of Gurwhal. There seems to have been a primary division into large 
districts ovfougedarees, which were subdivided again into lesser ones ; and 
the whole covmtry was divided into t.hats or purgunnahs, apparently with- 
out reference to the second subdivision. 

Thus I was informed that there anciently were three fougedai'ees, \\z. 
those of Rewaeen, of jNIalkee, and of Tulan, and several lesser trusts of the 
same sort, viz. of Joun])oor, of IJunghur, of Delgour, of Xagpoor, of Cliand- 
poor, of Lobha, and of liudhan. 

Of the topogra})hical situation of many of these I am ignorant : such as 
are established are marked on the map ; several of these were subdivided, 
as Rewaeen, which included in itself Upper and Tower Tucknour, Futteh 
Turbut, and Pauch Turbut, with several other districts, each of which con- 
tained several tjiats or purgunnahs. I cannot pretend to detail all these. 
nor would the detail be of much interest : it is enough to gi\"e an idea of 
the irregular divisions of a country, so far from being valuable, and so im- 
practicable. 

Rewaeen contains upwards of thirty pin-gunnahs ; within the territories 
of Gurwhal there Avoidd be about 120 purgunnahs, according to a note I 
liave, but wliich I do not consider as correct. 



368 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

Of all the possessions attached to the state of Gurwhal, the Deyrah- 
doon is bv far the most valuable. This valley stretches from the Jumna 
to the Ganges ; confined towards the plains by the low range of hills, which, 
commencing at Hurdwar, run to the north-west as far as Nahn, and on the 
north-east by the roots of the mountainous region that bounds all the 
plains. The breadth of the valley may be from eight to eleven miles, and 
its length about forty miles. The whole of this beautiful tract consists of 
level ground, here and there rising into hillocks, richly cultivated, and 
studded with fine villages. It is w^ell watered: two fine streams, the 
Asscen and the Soone, rise near the centre, and run, one each way, to 
join the chfFercnt larger rivers ; besides which, many rivulets contribute 
their moisture in the rains, although, during the continued hot weather, 
they are chiefly dry. Those portions of the valley which are uncultivated, 
together with some of the small hills it contains, and the skirts of the 
range which separate it from the plains, are covered with forests of valuable 
timber, such as saul, seesoo, toom, with one species of pine, and various 
other woods, from which a large supply of valuable timber might be drawn, 
and from the vicinity of the rivers, in many parts, might be conveyed to 
market with little trouble. 

Near the centre of the valley stands the small, but respectable town of 
Deyrah, containing many good houses, with a royal residence for the rajah, 
and some temples of considerable size, splendour, and sanctity. The 
whole is surroiuided by mango topes, and the town itself is full of these 
trees. About six miles to the north-east of Deyrah is situated the hill on 
which the Ghoorkhas established the fort of Kalunga, the fate of which 
has already been related. The hill does not exceed four or five hundred 
feet in height, and it may extend to the length of three-quarters of a mile: 
the fort was situated at the eastern extremity, which is most elevated. 

There are many villages all around, and a ])rofusion of mango groves, 
which vary tlie ap})earance of the country in a itiost advantageous manner. 
The inhabitants of this valley, from their vicinity to the plains, and the 
richness of the country, liave contracted an appearance of comfort unknown 
in more removed parts of the hills ; the upper classes particularly, who in 
manner and dress vary but little from their neiglibours in the Doab. To- 
wards the hills, and in the villages that are situated among their skirts, of 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 3G9 

course there is an approximation to the more uncivihzed people of the 
hills : Brahmins and Fuqeers, and Gossains, particularly, are very numerous 
about Deyrah and its vicinity. 

The Deyrah-Dhoon, in the reign of Purdoomun Sah, is said to have 
yielded to the government a revenue of a lac of rupees ; but the Ghoorkhas 
having much ruined it, never realised more than 20,000 per annum : it 
was, however, beginning to recover from the severe treatment it had 
received, and may now rapidly increase in value. There are no other 
valleys in Gurwhal that can stand in competition with the Dhoon for 
beauty or value, although there are several strips along the Ijanks of rivers 
that swell out into a fine fiat, and admit of a good deal of cultivation. 
Such are some parts of the bed of the Ehagiruttee in its lower course at 
Barahat and Dhurassoo ; but of all the large and cultivated spots wliich 
here and there are found throughout the country, the valley of Rama-Serai 
claims the first place after the Dhoon. 

This valley is situated in that part of Rewaeen which lies between the 
Touse and Jumna. The Eama stream, to which it affords a channel, rises 
in the mountain of Kedarkanta, and has a long course to join the Jumna. 
Nine or ten miles of this lie through a level tract of land about two miles 
broad, and which is very cultivatable, and was once well cultivated. 
This, which was emphatically called by the natives the Happn VaUerj, will 
again be adverted to in the succeeding pages. The rest of the country 
consists of a wild congeries of mountains, affording no extent of Icvtl 
ground ; and though there are many rich cultivated glens, they are all more 
or less precipitous, like the country heretofore described, and, like it. tlie 
cultivation is entirely carried on upon terraces raised above each other on 
the sides and faces of the hills. 

Sreenuggur, the chief town or capital of Gurwhal, is situated on the 
south bank of the Alacnunda, about twenty miles above its junction with 
the Bhagiruttee at Deo})rague, where a strip of level ground stretches 
along for three or four miles, forming the valley known by the same naint- 
as the town. It was once comparatively poj)ulous and prosperous, forming, 
as it did, not only the residence of the court, but a considerable entreixit 
for the produce of the various countries in and on either side of the snowy 
mountains, which exchange commodities by the Xitteemana and other 
passes. 

3 B 



370 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

Wlien Colonel Hardwicke visited this place in 1796 it was perhaps 
not in its prime, but contained (as he computed) 700 or 800 houses, and a 
good bazar. When Messrs. Webb and Kaper in 1808 passed through it, 
on their way to Buddreenauth, it had sunk deeply in importance, and was, 
to all appearance, rapidly advancing to total decay. It had not only to 
contend with the common enemies of the country, oppression and tyranny, 
the consequence of invasion and conquest, but also with natural causes no 
less ruinous. An earthquake had occurred in 1803 which had done con- 
siderable injury ; many houses were ruined ; all were shaken ; and the 
rajah's palace was particularly shattered ; and the encroachments of the 
river Alacnunda yearly destroy a portion of what yet stands, threatening 
in time to sap the foundation of all. I had no opportunity of visiting it, 
but, according to accounts on wliich I can depend, the desolation has 
increased. 

If we may form a judgment of the original state of the building from 
what remains, the palace was never very splendid, and had httle of any kind 
to excite or gratify cviriosity. The situation of the town was exceedingly 
hot and uncomfortable, and the wind at times, when not cooled by rain, 
was very parching. The houses are described as exactly similar to those of 
the villages in the rest of the country, excepting that some are of larger 
dimensions, but a perfect uniformity of architecture runs through the 
whole. 

Deyrah was the next town of any consequence, situated, as already 
described, in the valley of Deyrah-Dhoon, and Earahat on the Bhagiruttee 
(an account of which will be found in the course of the journey), once 
ranked next to Deyrah ; but this and various other villages, which may 
claim a petty distinction among the wretched hamlets of the country, can 
only attract notice by comparison with them. Local and incidental cir- 
cumstances occasionally exalt a petty village to temporary riches and 
prosperity ; but, when these cease to operate, it relapses into its original 
nothingness, and the ruins that continue visible for awhile only tell what 
it once was. 

As the chief scene of Hindu mythology lies in this country, and is con- 
centered chiefly about the sources of the rivers that flow from the recesses 
of the snow-clad Himrda, the temples and places of interest are com- 
paratively numerous. Although a long list of holy names, and places made 



THE HIMSLA MOUNTAINS. 371 

sacred by acts of their gods and saints, might be produced, they evince 
little splendour, and little to attract the eye of any except an enthusiast 
or devotee. A great portion of these places, like the acts they record, and 
of which they were the theatre, are fabulous ; and of those which do exist 
little appears, excepting a spot arbitrarily marked out as that which should 
attract the reverence of pilgrims. A few are places of interest, and some 
of these the succeeding pages attempt to describe. 



T) B Q 



372 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 



CHAPTER XXIIL 

GuNGOTREE, the sourcG of the most sacred branch of the Ganges, 
ought to hold and does bear the first rank among the holy places. Here 
all is mythological if not holy ground. Here ^Nlahadeo sits enthroned in 
clouds and mist amid rocks that defy the approach of living thing, and 
.snows that make desolation more awful. Gods, goddesses, and saints here 
continually adore him at mysterious distance, and you traverse their famihar 
haunts. But, although Gungotree be the most sacred, it is not the most 
frequented shrine, access to it being far more difficult than to Buddri- 
nauth ; and consequently to this latter pilgrims flock in crowds, appalled 
at the remoteness and danger of the former place of worship. This may 
j)retty fully account for the superior riches and splendour of Buddrinauth. 
Here are temples of considerable extent, priests and officials in abundance, 
who preserve an imposing exterior, and an appearance venerable from 
[)ower and comparative magnificence, and consequently procure rich and 
ample offisrings to keep up their comfortable dignity. 

The following account of this great resort of Hindoo devotion is 
extracted from the journey of Captains AVebb, Hearsay, and Eaper, to the 
sources of the river Alacnunda, and to Buddrinauth which is situated 
there, given in the eleventh volume of the Asiatic Kesearches. The whole 
narrative will be found to contain much interesting matter relative to this 
part of the country, as also much scientific information upon the subjects 
of research, which led these gentlemen to perform the journey. 

" The tOAvn and temple of IJhadri-Nath are situate on the west bank 
©f the Alacknunda, in the centre of a valley of about four miles long, and 
one mile in its greatest breadth. The east bank rises considerably higher 
than the west bank, and is on a level Mith the top of the temjjle. The 
position of the sanctuary is considered equi-distant from two lofty moun- 
tains, which are designated by the names of the Nar and the Niiniyena 



THE HIMKLS MOUNTAINS. 373 

Purvatas*. The former is to the east, the hitter to the west, and com- 
pletely covered with snow from the summit to the base. 

" The town is built on the sloping bank of the river, and contains only 
twenty or thirty huts for the accommodation of the ]Jrahmins, and otlier 
attendants of the deity. In the centre is a flight of steps leading from 
the water's edge to the temple, which occupies tlic upper part of the 
town. The structure and appearance of this edifice are by no means 
answerable to the expectations that might be formed of a place of >u(h 
reputed sanctity, and for the support of which large sums are annually 
received, independent of the land revenues appropriated for its main- 
tenance. It is built in the form of a cone, with a small cupola, sur- 
mounted by a square shelving roof of plates of copper, over which is a 
golden ball and spire. The height of the buikhng is not above forty or 
fifty feet ; but its advantageous position on the top of the bank renders it 
the most conspicuous object in the vaUey. 

" The sera of its foundation is too remote to have reached us, even by 
tradition ; but it is considered as the work of some superior being. This 
specimen, however, of divine architecture was too weak to resist the shock 
of the earthquake, which left it in so tottering a condition that human 
efforts were judged expedient to preserve it from ruin ; and the repairs 
which it has lately undergone have completely modernized its external 
appearance. The body of it is constructed of large fiat stones, over which 
is a coat of fine Mhite plaster, which adds to the neatness, but has 
destroyed all its outward pretensions to anticjuity. Notwithstanding tlie 
summons, we were not allowed immediate access to the temple, as it was 
first necessary to have an interview with the Eauhil, who was to introduce 
us in due form into the presence of the sacred image. Instead, therefore, 
of ascending, we went down the steps leading to the baths. About the 
middle of the bank is a large cistern about twenty or thirty feet square, 
covered in with a sloping roof of deal planks supported on wooden posts. 
This is called Tapta-cund, and is a warm bath, su})plied by a spring of hot 
water issuing from the mountain by a subterraneous passage, and con- 
ducted to the cistern through a small spout representing a ckagons or 
a griffin's head. 

* From purbut, a mountain. 



374 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

« Close to it is a cold spring, which is conveyed by another spout, by 
which means the water may be reduced to any degree of temperature 
between the two extremes. The water of the Tapta-cund is as hot as a 
person well can bear, and from it issues a thick smoke or steam, strongly 
tainted with a sulphureous smell. The side of the cistern towards the 
river is raised only to the height of three and a half or four feet, and over 
it the water flows as the supplies are received from the opposite quarter. 
This is the principal bath in which people of both sexes perform their 
ablutions under the same roof, without considering any partition necessary 
to preserve the appearance of decency. The water from this cund, in- 
dependent of its supplying the cistern, is conducted through the huts and 
private houses, to which it imparts a suffocating warmth. From hence we 
descended to the bed of the river, where, in a small recess of the bank, is 
Xareda-cund, sheltered by a large rock, whose projecting angle breaks the 
force of the current. 

" A httle to the- left of it is Surya-cund, another hot spring, issuing in 
a very small stream through a fissure in the bank. There is no basin or 
reservoir to receive the water, but the pilgrims catch it in their hands as 
it falls, and sprinkle themselves over with it. This ceremony is observed 
as much for comfort as from any motive of piety, for the water of the 
river is so cold at this season that, after performing their frigid ablutions, 
the bathers are glad to have recourse to the element in a more tepid state. 
Besides these, there are numerous other springs, which have their peculiar 
names and virtues, which are, no doubt, turned to good account by the 
Brahmins. In going the round of purification the poor pilgrim finds his 
purse lessen as his sins decrease ; and the numerous tolls that are levied on 
this high road to Paradise may induce him to think that the straightest 
path is not the least expensive. 

" As we descended the steps, the arrival of the Eauhil was announced. 
We met him near the Taj)tacund, where a cloth was spread for us, and 
a small carpet of flowered China silk for the pontiff. He was preceded by 
three or four hircarrahs and chobdars, with the silver emblems of their 
office : behind him was a man bearing a chauri of peacocks' feathers ; and 
in his suite were the chief officiating priests of the temple. He was dressed 
in a quilted vest of green satin, with a white shawl cummerbund. On his 
head he wore a red turban, and on his feet a pair of party-coloured socks. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. S75 

His ears were ornamented with a couple of large golden rings, to each of 
which was suspended a very handsome pearl, of considerable size. His 
neck was decorated with a triple string of small pearls ; and round his 
arms he wore bracelets, composed of precious stones. On most of his 
fingers were golden rings, studded with sparkling gems. 

" After the visual salutations, a short conversation passed for about a 
quarter of an hour, when he signified his readiness to conduct us to the 
sanctuary. On our arrival at the outward portico, we were requested to 
take off our shoes ; and, having done so, we ascended five or six steps, and 
passed through a small door, which brought us to the area of the temple. 
About twenty feet beyond was a vestibule, raised about a foot and a 
half from the terrace, and divided into two apartments, the inner one 
a little more elevated, and adjoining to the sanctuary. In the outer room 
two or three bells were suspended from the roof, for the use of the religious 
visitants, who are not permitted to go beyond it. We were not allowed 
to advance so far ; but taking our stand immediately in front of the image, 
a few paces from the outer threshold, we liad a perspective view of the 
sacred repository. 

" The high priest retired to one side, as the tkess he then wore was 
incompatible with his sacred functions. 

" The principal idol, Bhadri-nath, was placed opposite the door, at the 
farther extremity : above his head was a small looking-glass, ^\ hich reflected 
the objects from the outside : in front of him were two or three lamps 
(which were all the light the apartment received, excepting from the 
door), diffusing such feeble glimmering rays, that nothing was clearly 
distinguished. 

" He was dressed in a suit of gold and silver brocade. Eelow him was 
a table, or board, covered with the same kind of cloth; which, glittcrinfr 
through the gloom, might impress the beholder with the idea of splendor 
and magnificence ; but an impartial observer might suppose it one of 
those deceptions of priestcraft which are so successfully practised on the 
Hindu. 

" This artificial obsciu-ity may have the doid)lc effect of passing off 
tinsel and glass for gold and precious stones; and, by exhibiting the image 
in a dubious light, the superstitious mind has a greater scope for its own 
conceptions. From the indistinct view we had of it, we should suppose 



376 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

it to be about three feet high, cut in black stone or marble ; but the head 
and hands were the only parts uncovered. 

" To tlie right of him are the images of Udd'hara, Xar, and Narayena ; 
to the left Cuwera and Nareda, with whom we were only nominally 
acquainted ; for to us they were veiled, as ministers of perfect darkness. 

" Having satisfied our curiosity, and signified our wish to depart, a large 
silver salver was brought forth to receive any offering we were inclined to 
make. Our means were very insufficient to answer the high expectations 
which had undoubtedly been formed, from the marked and unprecedented 
distinction which had been conferred on us ; but, as it was necessary 
to acknowledge the favour by some pecuniary token, we presented one 
hundred rupees at the shrine, and took ovir leave, without absolution or 
remission. 

" Although we derived little gratification from the inspection of the 
temple, it was pleasing to find we had not offended any of their religious 
prejudices by our presence ; for we were apprehensive some scruples or 
objections might have been raised, as none but Hindus have ever visited 
the ])lace. 

" Our ]\Iussulmaun servants were prohibited from a2:)proaching the 
spot ; and a particular request was made on our arrival, that no kid or 
living creature might be deprived of hfe within the precinct of the tenqile ; 
but a large stone on the opposite side of the river, at a short distance from 
our camp, was pointed out for the slaughter of any animals we might 
require for the table. 

" The temple of Bhadri-nath has more beneficed lands attached to it 
than any sacred Hindu establishment in this part of India. It is said to 
possess 700 villages in different parts of Gvirwhal and Kumaoon : many 
of them have been conferred by the government ; others have been given 
in pledge for loans ; and some few, purchased by individuals, have been 
presented as religious offerings. 

" All these possessions are under the jurisdiction of the high priest, 
who holds a paramount authority, nominally independent of the ruling 
power. The advantages which the government derives from this institu- 
tion would make it cautious in infringing openly its rights; while the 
accumulation of wealth secures to the state a certain resource in times of 
exigence. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 377 

"The rajahs of Srenuggur were in the habit of applying to this quarter 
in any case of emergency ; and, under the plea of borro^\ing a sum of 
money, would give u}) two or three villages as security for the repayment ; 
but the produce of them was so inferior in value to the sum lent, that the 
loan was never repaid, and the villages continued under pledge. Thus 
the appearance of independence was maintained on the part of the rauhil, 
who was so well aware of his actual weakness, that it was more for his 
advantage to yield to a recpiest than subject himself to the risk of com- 
l)ulsion. The selection to the office of high priest is confined to the caste 
of Dekhini brahmins of the Chauli or Namburi tribes. In former times 
the situation was a permanent one ; but, since the Gurchali* conquest, the 
pontificate is held up foj- sale, and disposed of to the highest bidder. 

" All the villages belonging to Bhadrinath, which we had an oppor- 
tunity of seeing, were in a very flourishing condition, and the lands in 
a very high state of cultivation. The produce is brought hither, and dis- 
posed of to the pilgrims, who are obhged to pay dearly for the food fur- 
nished from the ecclesiastical granary. Two seers and a half of rice for the 
teraasha, equal to about seven seers, for the rupee, was the estabhshed 
price of this market, and other grain in the same proportion. These 
exactions do not escape observation : numerous complaints are vented 
privately, but as the profits are supposed to be api)lied to the use of the 
divinity, it might be deemed impious to raise any open clamours ; the only 
resource, therefore, left to the deluded j^ilgrim, is to pay his devotions, 
and take his departure as quickly as possible. 

" The territorial revenue forms, probably, the least part of the riches 
of this establishment ; for every person who pays his homage to the deity 
is expected to make offerings proportionate to his means. The gift is 
included under three heads, tor each of which a separate salver is allotted. 
The first, which is called the "bhet," which is an off'erini>: to the idol ; the 
second is the " bhog," constituting his privy purse, the amoiuit being 
ajjpropriated to the expense of his wardrobe and table ; the third, and last, 
is for the rauhil. These presents, however, arc voluntary, and many |x>r- 
sons assume the garb of poverty to avoid a contribution equal to their 
abilities, while others lay the whole of their property at the feet of the 
idol, and trust to charity for the means of returning to their lionies. 



Or (lOiirklui. 

3 c 



378 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

" It is impossible to form a conjecture of the probable amount of these 
collections, for although every person's name, with the sum presented, be 
registered, the book is withheld from the inspection of profane eyes. The 
merchants and sahucars from the Dekliin are considered the most welcome 
visitors ; for, if we may believe report, many of them have been known to 
distribute and expend lak,hs of rupees in this holy pilgrimage. In return 
for the oblations, each person receives what is called a presad, which con- 
sists of a Httle boiled rice, and in the distribution of it due regard is paid 
to the amount of the offering. ]\Iany of our Hindu servants complained 
that they had been used very scurvily, having been put off with a very 
scanty meal, insufficient to satisfy the cravings of appetite. 

" However sparing the dispensation of his favours in this world, the 
deity holds forth ample rewards in the next, by the promise of an unquahfied 
remission from the state of transmigration. As we were not entitled to 
the same act of grace, the high priest seemed desirous to make amends by 
conferring more immediate benefits, and in the evening sent to each of us a 
muslin turban, a gazgaee, and a small quantity of cedarpati, an odoriferous 
leaf taken from the garland of the idol. The former was stained in large 
spots of a saffron colour, with the incense placed on the head of the deitj^, 
and we were requested to wear them in honour of Bhadrinath. This is 
considered one of the greatest marks of distinction that can be conferred ; 
and as a compliment was intended, we could not do less than acknowledge 
the favour by placing the sacred badge on our heads. 

" The temple is opened every morning at daybreak, and continues ex- 
posed for the admission of pilgrims till one or two of the clock in the 
afternoon ; the deity is then supposed to be ready for his dinner, which 
being prepared for him, he is shut up to take his meal and evening repose. 
The doors are again opened after sunset, and remain so till a late hour, 
when a bed is laid out for him, and he is again left to his meditations. 
The vessels he is served in are of gold and silver, and the expenses of his 
clothes and table are said to be very considerable. A large establishment 
of servants of every description is kept up, and during the months of pil- 
grimage the deity is well clothed, and fares sumptuously every day; but as 
soon as winter conmiences, the priests take their departure, leaving him to 
provide for his own wants until the periodical return of the holy season. 

" The treasures and valuable utensils are buried in a vault under the 
temple. It is said that a robbery was once committed by a few moun- 



THE HIM3LA MOUNTAINS. 379 

taineers, who, taking advantage of a sudden thaw, found their way to the 
sanctuary, and carried off eleven maunds* of gold and silver vessels. The 
theft, however, was discovered, and the perpetrators were put to death. 
The only persons who have access to the inner apartments are the servants 
of the temple, and none but the rauhil is permitted to touch the image. 

" The Brahmins who reside here are chiefly men from the Dekhin, 
who have been led hither by the prospect of acquiring a subsistence from 
the funds of the temple, and from the small fees or donations presented 
by the pilgrims. As they all arrive in a state of celibacy, colonisation is 
prevented by the insuperable obstacle of there being no women here of 
their own caste with whom they could form a lawful alliance. 

" During their residence at this place they are most strictly enjoined 
to maintain a state of carnal purity ; but on their return to Josematha they 
give a greater scope to their pleasures, and the above restrictions may pro- 
bably be the cause of their running more eagerly into acts of profligacy, 
very inconsistent with the sacerdotal character. 

" Our short acquaintance would have enabled us to gain very little in- 
sight into their moral conduct had not the hopes of rehef induced several 
of them to make a confession of complaints they laboured vuider. 

" Nariiyena Rao, the present rauhil, is a man of about thirty-two or 
thirty-three years of age ; his appointment was conferred on liim by an 
order from Nepal, not, we may presume, on account of exemplary conduct, 
for he was the first who applied for remedies to cure a certain luiaccountable 
disorder with which he had long been troubled, and which he innocently 
ascribed to the rarefaction of the atmosphere; but it was sufficiently evident 
that the shrine of his deity was not the only one at which he had been 
paying his devotion. 

" The number of pilgrims who have visited Bhadrinath this year is 
calculated at from 45 to 50,000 ; the greater part of these fakirs, who came 
from the most remote quarters of India. All these people assemble at 
Haridwar, and, as soon as the fair is concluded, take their dejiarture for 
the holy land: the road they follow is by Devaprayagaf to Kudraprayaga, 
whence they strike off to Cedar-Nat,h. 

" This place is situated about fourteen or fifteen miles in direct distance 

• A maiind is about eighty pounds weight. t Or Deoprague. 

3 C 2 



f580 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

to the west-north-west of Bhadrinath : but the intermediate hills are inac- 
cessible from snow, and the travellers are obliged to make a circuitous 
route of eight or nine days by the way of Josi-matha hither. The road 
to Cedar is much obstructed, and in many places leads over beds of snow, 
extending for several miles. Two or three hundred people are said to 
have perished this year on the jovirney, having fallen victims to the in- 
clemency of this climate, and the fatigues they underwent. 

" By the time that the pilgrimage to Cedar-Xat,h is completed, Bhadri- 
Nath is ready to receive visitors, who, having paid their devotions, return 
by the road of Xandprayaga and Camprayaga, which conclude the grand 
circle of pilgrimage. 

" The ceremonies which Hindus vmdergo here, differ in no respect 
from the customs usually observed at other places of holy ablution. After 
washing away their impurities, the men, whose fathers are dead, and those 
of the female sex who are widows, svibmit to the operation of tonsure, 
which may be considered as an act of mourning and of purification, by 
which they are rendered perfect to appear in the presence of the deity. 
One day suffices for the observance of these rites, and very few people 
remain here above a couple of days, but endeavour to make their retreat 
from the hills before the commencement of the periodical rains. The 
great crowd had quitted it before our arrival, and the luimber which now 
came in daily did not exceed forty or fifty. By the middle of June the 
lowlanders will have taken their departure, leaving the place to the moun- 
taineer inhabitants, and a few stragglers from the southward." 

From the above account it will be seen that the temples of INIahadeo 
at Buddree-Nauth, are in truth ])laces of great resort and much riches ; and 
a comparison with the description of Gungotree in the subsequent pages 
will show how totally different the places and interests excited by them 
severally are. Few will venture on the perilous path to Gungotree, painful 
as it is, and rendered additionally painful by the many penances and pre- 
vious ablutions which are necessary to purify the devotee, and render him 
worthy to approach this holy solemn spot, whilst the comparative smooth- 
ness of the way, and the facilities yielded to all those who can spend a 
little money, induces thousands to visit the rich shrine of Buddree-Nauth. 
Next in importance to the latter place is the temple of Kedar-Nauth : 
this is situate about half way between the two first mentioned places, and 



THE I II MA LA MOUNTAINS. 381 

probably at no great distance from eitlier, though, from tlie nature of the 
country, it is impracticable to go from the one to the other without a long 
and painful detour. 

The same enormous mountain, though deeply cut into divisions and 
pinnacles, in all probability gives birth to the rivers, whose sources are 
marked by the temples of Gungotree, Buddree-Xauth, and Kedar-Xauth. 
They arise from the same lofty region, and the savage impracticable 
desertness of snow and rock alone prevents the traveller from going 
directly from one place to the other. Thus, eleven days journeys are 
spun out from Gungotree to Kedar-Xauth, while seven or eight days are 
expended in reaching Buddree-Xauth from the latter place. 

Kedar-Xauth is situated at the source of the Kalee-Gunga, a stream far 
smaller than either the Bhagiruttee or Alacnunda, which joins the latter 
at Rooder-prague. It has never been visited by an European ; not on 
account of any physical difficulty or particular obstacle, but because the 
other places were more interesting, and attracted observation first ; while 
time was not sufficiently at command to allow of a visit to this place, 
which, from either of the other places, would occupy twenty days, if a 
return were contemplated, and would create a difference of ten or t^velve, 
if from them a direct route was made to the capital. From the best 
information I could collect, the temple of Kedar-Xauth is of indefinite 
antiquity, not lofty, but of some extent, and sacred to jNIahadeo or Seeva, 
under the name of Kedar : there are several Dhurrum sallahs, or hut-s 
erected for the accommodation of the pilgrims who resort to the shrine, 
and who are |)retty nimierous from year to year. There are many counds 
or wells in the river near it, which are mere pools sacred for the piu-pose 
of preparatory ablution, one of which, Gouree-cound, is one day's journey 
from the sacred spot. Concerning its riches, or the number or ([uality 
of its priests, I have not been able to obtain any particulars. 

Such are the })laces of eminent sanctity throughout this province ; but 
of shrines of minor note there are multitudes : every \illage has its 
temples; every mountain, its divinity. Among these, a few that fell 
under our observation, as most remarkable, were Barahat, Lak.ha.nuuidal, 
Mungle-nauth, Sec. which meet with notice and description in their 
places. 

The earlv historv ofGrn-whal, like that of everv hill-state in its vicinitv, 



382 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

and like the remote accounts of all countries, is indistinct, and not to be 
depended on : the most common tradition is, that at a distant period, the 
country was divided into a number of petty rajships, each governed by a 
separate and independent sovereign ; the number is stated at twenty-two 
or twenty-four. One of these, the Kajah of Chandpore, had been a soldier 
of fortune from the plains, and had, as usual, by bold murderous actions 
usurped the throne. This man, it is said, was told by a fuqeer, that he 
should one day unite the country and reign over it, as a large and in- 
dependent state. Fired by the prophecy, or more probably by his own 
ambition and thirst for conquest and power, he attacked his neighbours, 
made himself master of their countries one by one, and at last united the 
whole, as was predicted, under the name of Gurwhal. 

To the time of this event various dates are attributed. In the account 
given to Colonel Hardwicke by desire of the rajah, during his visit to 
Srenuggur, in 1796, the extremely remote period of 3774 years is fixed on, 
as that when Bohg Dhunt thus formed and established the rajship of 
Ghurwhal. This, of course, can only be considered as fabulous ; but others 
ascribe this to the Rajah Adjib Paul, who, according to the story told to 
Colonel Hardwicke, was the fifteenth lineal descendant from Bohg Dhunt- 
As this name is in every person's mouth, and highly revered by all the 
country, it is more probable that he may have been the founder of the 
dynasty as well as of Srenviggur, than that it should be referred to a more 
remote sovereign. From Adjib Paul, sixty-one consecutive sovereigns are 
given in Colonel Hardwicke's account, comprised in a period of 2874 years, 
which are said to have elapsed from this reign to that of Purdoomun Sah, 
the late and last sovereign of Gurwhal. 

It is unnecessary to observe, that in a country so rude, where records 
are so loosely, if at all preserved, and where the genius of the people runs 
so much upon fable and superstition, there is little faith to be placed in 
any details of history relative to so remote a period, particularly when 
affecting such accuracy as these do ; the years of each reign being specified, 
not in round, but in particular and definite numbers. The very great 
extent of the period is sufficient to destroy every appearance of pro- 
bability ; and if it were not, the prodigiously lengthened reign of each 
sovereign, far beyond all example in any consecutive hereditary chain of 
kings, is sufficient to determine all that relates to the time at least to be 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 383 

fiction : but the natives of India in general have so confused an idea of all 
that relates to dates and age, that it is not wonderful to find even a very 
enormous error in the account of the duration of the Gurwhal monarchy, 
and the reigns of its sovereigns, especially when a considerable allowance 
is made for the usual and natural vanity which every country displays, 
and of which most individuals feel, more or less, the influence, even 
though unconscious of its existence in themselves. 

The result of our inquiries on this subject was a far less splendid series 
of reigns with regard to duration ; but all seem to agree, that the dynasty 
remained hereditary in the same family from its foundation, till it was 
overthrown together with the country. The era of Adjib Paul, the first 
Rajah of Gurwhal, accorchng to this account, of less pretensions, was 
about 480 years ago ; and Purdoomun Sah was the fifty-sixth hereditary 
sovereign of this series. The few garbled and unconnected facts that are 
to be collected of the history of the country under this dynasty, are too 
uninteresting for notice ; and Gurwhrd exhibits no historical occurrence 
worthy of detail, till the first efforts of the Ghoorkhas for its subjection 
in 1791. 

This enterprising race having subdued the whole detail of petty lord- 
ships between Nepal and the Rangunga rivers (including Kumaoon, a 
state always connected with its neighbour Gurwhal), first made an attempt 
in 1791 to reduce this also under its sway. They were repulsed, and 
finally failed in their object, from the detention they experienced in the 
siege of Lungoor, a strong fortress near the capital, and in consequence of 
the Chinese invasion, which it required all their efforts to repel, and which 
subjected them at last to great humiliation : but they seem to have 
frightened the Rajah Purdoomun Sah so much, that he consented to pay 
an annual tribute to the NepFdese government. But though a nominal 
peace existed, the tempers of the two nations were not such as to admit 
of any long continuance of this state of affairs ; the conquerors burned to 
complete their conquest, and by no means restrained the licentiousness of 
their soldiers and authorities on the bovmdaries, who pillaged the countr}-, 
and distressed the inhabitants of Gurwlud ; while little care was taken to 
repress insult to the court itself. 

The Gurwhfdees partially subdued, but yet not quite broken or patient 
under their degradation, roused by the encroachments of their tyrants, 



384 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

met tlieir liostile approaches half-way ; and a strife was soon raised, M-hich 
could end only in the perfect subjugation of the one, or the complete 
discomfiture and disappointment of the other. In 1803 a large army was 
sent to invade Gurwhal, under several able and veteran commanders, 
whose lives had been passed in the species of warfare which they were to 
commence. These cliiefs were Ummr Sing T,happa, Hustee Dhull Chowtra, 
Bunsah, Buchtee T,happa, and many others, since well known in the late 
war with Nepal. Perfectly acquainted with the country, and accustomed to 
such marcliing, they found no difficulty in making rapid jorogress towards 
the capital, little opposed by the rajah, who was an indolent man, not much 
calculated to command in the day of danger, or to encounter the fatigues 
of war with such a foe. Some ineffectual attempts were made to stop the 
career of the Ghoorkhas ; but the troops of the country, though said to 
be very numerous, could make no stand before them ; and a final engage- 
ment took place in the Deyrah Dhoon, in which Purdoomun Sah was 
killed, after maintaining the conflict for some time. 

As usual, a dispersion of the whole army and considerable slaughter 
followed. I have heard that the number of Gurwhillee soldiers composing 
the army on this occasion amounted to upwards of 12,000 men. This day 
finished the contest, and Gurwhrd fell into the undisputed power of the 
Ghoorkhas, while the long continued dynasty that took rise from Adjib 
Paul at once came to a close. The Ghoorkhas have ruled with a rod of 
iron, and the country has fallen in every way into a lamentable decay. 
Its villages are deserted, its agriculture is ruined, and its population has 
decreased beyond computation. It is said that two lacs of people have 
been sold as slaves, while few families of consequence remained in the 
country ; but, to avoid the severity of the tyranny, they either went into 
banishment, or were cut off or forcibly (h-iven away by their tyrants. 

Yet some of the individual rulers of these conquerors were mild, and 
not dishked. Bum Sah and Hustee Dhull, the governors of Gurwhfd, 
were disposed to indulgence ; and in some situations the country was now 
again inq)roving, and getting reconciled to their new state. Iiunjorc Sing 
Tjhappa was also a well-disposed man, and a mild governor, and inclined 
to justice ; but the executive officers were severe. Their manners as 
conquerors were I'ough, and they despised the people they had concjuered : 
so that, at some distance from the seat ol" government, exactions went on, 



THE HIMSLA MOUNTAINS. 385 

insults and scenes of rapine were continually acted, and the hatred of the 
people to their tyrants was fixed and exasperated : the country was sub- 
dued and crushed, not reconciled or accustomed to the yoke ; and, though 
the spirit of liberty was sorely broken, and desire for revenge was checked 
by the danger of avowing such sentiments, a deliverance from the state of 
misery they groaned under was ardently, though liopelessly, wished for. 
In this state Avere the ])eoi)le of Gurwhnl when war broke out between 
the Xeprdese and the Ih'itish. The facility of con([Ucst hitherto had 
blinded the Ghoorkha government to the danger they braved in encoun- 
tering the British arms, or jx'rhaps they knew not or believed not in their 
might. Eut the avenger of the hills was at hand; and the Ghoorkha 
power at this time has melted from them like a mist of the morning. 

From the description already given of the country, it will l)e readily 
presumed that the revenue is extremely small ; and it is not only triHing, 
but very irregularly and inefficiently collected. The amount stated to 
Colonel Hardwicke in 1790 was somewhat above five lacs of rupees, in- 
cluding every tax and tribute that could be collected in any way ; the 
produce of mines, corn, washings of gold in the rivers, &c. iS:c. ; and this 
was so ill collected, that all military officers, and even the meanest servants 
of government, were paid in orders on different zemindars. It is said, 
that when the great Akber had, by the vigour of his government, and the 
dread of his name, forced even several of the hill chiefs to do him homage, 
and become his tributaries, he called on the rajah of Srenuggur to bring 
the papers and documents relative to his revenue, and a chart or docrip- 
tion of his country, which was promised. Accordingly, on tlu> next day 
of audience, after having displayed the documents relative to his revenue, 
he brouglit to view a very lean camel, assuring the Shah tliat such Avas 
the best chart and descri])tion of his country : it was all sharp heights ami 
hollows, up and down, and very poor. The emperor smiled, and bid him 
remove the semblance of his country, assuring him, that from one so jx)or 
he had nothing to demand. 

The natural productions of Gurwlud are very similar to tliose found in 
other hill states. The exports are nearly the same as those of Kisclun-. \ iz. 
wool, blankets (which, th(nigh chiefly coarse over {he most of tlie country, 
are said to be manufactured of considerable fiiuMiess in the vicinity of \h\d- 
dreenauth), corn, tobacco, bhang, and its preparations, opium, iron, imuli 

S D 



386 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

of the low country produce, which is brought partly by foreigners, partly 
by natives of tlie country on speculation, as cotton cloths of all sorts from 
Kohilcund and the Doab, sugar, indigo, &c. &c. The imports from Bootan 
are ^'arious : chouries, or cow-tails, musk, rock salt (also imported from 
Lahore), wool, saffron from Cashmere, borax, and nerbise, or zedoary. In 
a word, the same traffic which is carried on by the men of Kunawur in 
Eischur is in practice here, and often by these very Kunawurees. 

Iron is abundant : copper is found, as well as lead ; and there is no 
doubt but that the precious metals do exist in some abundance, as gold is 
found in the beds of all the rivers and many of the mountain streams ; but 
it is too laborious to obtain a quantity of it in this way, sufficient to enrich 
the seeker. A considerable traffic was, however, carried on in this country 
and capital, in bullion with Eootan and the low countries : this chiefly 
passed through the hands of shroffs, who were agents of banking-houses 
in the large towns of the low country. 

The character and disposition of the inhabitants of this country cannot 
be considered as differing very materially from those of the middle districts 
of the small states, and southern parts of Bischur already described : what 
variation does exist, probably consists in a greater degree of clownish blunt- 
ness, a rougher address, and still more unpolished state of nature, which 
ajijiears to mark them from their neighbours. They are fully as much ad- 
dicted to robbery and pillage, with every atrocious violation of social order, 
so prevalent in the hills ; in fact, even the shade of difference which suggests 
itself, may be resolved into that which accident and circumstances may have 
created between nations originally of the same disposition and natural 
tendencies. In particular parts of the country however, these shades be- 
come more strongly marked, to such a degree indeed, that one is tempted 
to believe the radical stock and principles must have been different. Such is 
that which is found between the inhabitants of the northern, and bordering 
districts of Bischur and Gurwhal, and which will be taken notice of in its 
place ; and possibly several other discrepancies may exist, that have not 
come under our observation. 

The manners and customs of the Gurwhalees are very similar to those 
of their neighbours of the same religion, inider the same sort of govern- 
ment, and inhabiting a country, the face of which varies but little. The 
Highlanders, as far as our observation extended, and probably far beyond 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 387 

our range, form but one great nation, sul)clivided into several principali- 
ties, and under different individual dominions indeed, l)ut uniting in the 
leading features of character, manners, and customs. Very considerable 
deviation may be found from this general rule ; but it is in general correct, 
as far as regards those who inhabit the southern face of the great belt 
of hills. 

I can add little more to these meagre particulars regarding (Tiirwhal : 
the remainder of these pages describes a journey through part of it, \\ hich 
however relates more to the primary objects of penetrating to the sources 
of the two large rivers, and describing their beds, and the country througli 
which they flow, than to the general nature of the land, its history, or its 
iidiabitants. 

Fertile as some spots may be, and rich as are some of their productions, 
magnificent as is their scenery, and splendid the covering of forest thrown 
over these hills, they seem doomed to uselessness and barrenness. Tlieir 
inhabitants are almost savages, and the remoteness of the deserts in which 
they live repels all efforts at improvement ; and a total change in the nature 
of things seems necessary, before the country can become valuable, and 
pervious, or the jieople civilised and good. 

After a delay of three days, during which some decision and severity 
were rendered necessary to procure a sufficiency of conveyance for the bag- 
gage, we left our encampment opposite Raeengudh on the otli of .July, 
and took our course down the right l)ank of the Pabur, just below Kat- 
gobesery, the curious temple before spoken of 

The banks of the river, which above were considerably asinuler, now 
closed in, confining its stream in a deep rough gully, bi>tween two lofty 
abrupt mountains. .Vll cultivation ceased, except a few minute s])ecks of 
rice, the bright green of a\ Inch shone on the brown circumjacent rock. 

There is no wood on the mountains, which are rough and luiinterest- 
ing. About the margin of the stream, wherever there is a spot of soil, a 
few alder-trees rise luxuriantly, and in one or two places the river runs 
through a lofty deep grove of them ; but it is uniformly a tumbling 
torrent. 

Our route lay on the right hand face of the hill, dip])ing and rising as 
we crossed the fixHiuent nullahs, whidi, swollen by the rain. Mere often 
troublesome. Our path Avas interrupted by huge blocks of stone. Avhith 

3d i2 



388 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

had the appearance of having undergone the action of a torrent, they 
were so rounded by atti-ition. Those which were found at all heights 
were composed of quartz and mica, rough grey lumps, and darker matter, 
forming a very hard compound, and of a strange irregularly striated texture, 
the fracture partaking of this stubborn, compact, irregular nature. There 
was nnicli limestone rock, of a grey and white, frequently veined, and af- 
fecting a laminous form ; the fracture fine and compact, the exposed sur- 
face becoming white by the effect of air : the strata of this rock always 
dipped more or less, but so irregularly, that we could not determine the 
direction. iMicaceous schist was also abundant, and good blue slate of a 
tolerable texture, with plenty of quartz. 

We reached our place of encampment towards evening, in a patch of 
abandoned cultivation, on the banks of a small nullah. During the whole 
day Ave hardly passed a village, or any symptom of habitation — it was a 
wild and deserted course. 

An unfortunate accident occurred this day. A party of Ghoorkha 
sepoys had been despatched in advance with a view to put in order for 
the passage of the people, a j,hoola, or bridge of ropes, by wliich we were 
to cross the river Touse in the course of the next day's march. The ropes 
were found defective ; but, having made them fit for use, as we supposed, 
the party began to cross to the ojiposite side. Several had crossed, but 
one poor fellow, a havildar, who was accompanied by his wife, wished to 
carry her over along with himself. It does not appear clearly how he had 
fixed her ; but he accompanied her in the loop, which is the means of 
suspending the passenger. Tlie bawling rope broke, and he, desirous to 
release her from this perilous situation, resolved to cut himself free from 
the loop ; a".d, dropping into the water, swim with the end of the rope 
ashore. He did so, but in his fall got entangled in his blanket, or in the 
rope, and was hurried away by the stream, and drowned ; probably dashed 
to pieces on the rocks of the rapids a little way below, for we saw him no 
more. We met the woman returning in great distress to the party. The 
man was regretted as a willing active fellow and good soldier. 

July G. — After a rainy night we began our march at seven o'clock in a 
gloomy morning, along the course of the Pabur, thebedof which continues 
the same, l)eing narrow, rocky, ra})id, and winding, joined by numerous 
torrents tumbling over broken beds filled Avith fohagc. The rocks are 



THE HIM ALA iMOUNTAINS. 389 

similar to tliosc seen yesterday. They break much into large square 
masses, often of a reddish colour when exposed to the air ; but the fresh 
fracture is grey and white, exhibiting a true limestone. 

About seven miles from the place of encampment the river Touse 
unites its stream with that of the Pabur. It appears very little, if at 
all, to exceed in size the latter stream ; and greatly resembles it in the 
nature of its bed, as far as we could judge from the short reach we saw. 
The hills are chiefly bare and rocky, but a great deal of alder grows about 
the streams, and some fine pine trees on the hills looking to the north- 
west. The accompanying sketch will give some faint idea of the scene, 
which was rather interesting. 

From hence a sharp ascent was necessary to pass some lofty precipitous 
cliffs ; and a severe descent along the brow of the hill, on which, above the 
bank, a road has been scraped out from the hard rock, brought us to the 
bottom of the ghat, where the j,hoola, or rope bridge, is fixed over the 
stream. On this bridge between 2 and 300 men, with their baggage. Sec. 
were to cross a wild roaring torrent, from twenty-six to thirty yards -vnde, 
on which only one individual could be passed at a time, in a loop suspended 
from a piece of wood hollowed into a semicircle, and embracing a twist of 
six ropes of dubious sufficiency, fixed to a large piece of wood secured by 
large stones, and passed over a forked branch stuck in the ground on the 
one side, and on the other going over limestone rocks worn smooth, and 
also fixed to a beam. Although we arrived at noon, and several had then 
passed, yet small progress had been made in the business before night ; 
and during the whole night the troops were haiding the ropes backward 
and forward, and the inorning came long before the transit was com- 
pleted. 

The rock and soil did not vary from that which we had observed 
yesterday. In several places where the white and blue veined limestone 
rock jutted out into the river, it exhibited a remarkable and beautiful 
appearance. The action of the water, and the stones it rolls along \\ ith 
it, have cut it into a nndtitude of grotesque and beautiful shapes, which, 
together with the lamina and veins of the rock, proiiuce a collection of 
forms not unlike the fretwork of Gothic architecture ; and it is wonderful 
to see the smoothness, approaching almost to a polish, wliich these stones 
have attained. One of the most singular specimens of this effect is seen 



390 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

in the rock to which the j,hoola bridge is attached, which is much exposed 
to tlie violence of the water, and bears marks of having felt it at a great 
height, above the point it can now possibly rise to. Our encampment 
was just on the left bank of the united rivers, now recognized as the Touse, 
above the j,hoola, nine miles from our camp of yesterday, and two from 
the junction of the Touse and Pabur. 

July 7. — Previously to our marching tliis morning, one of the Coolies 
%vas brought in dangerously ill of an inflammatory affection of the breast^ 
probably true pleurisy, or peripneumony. He consented to be bled, and 
it was wonderful how immediately he felt relieved. We understood that 
such illnesses were very frequent among them, and often ended fatally; 
indeed, we could not discover any mode of treatment to have been adopted 
by which cure was to be accomplished. Affections of the breast are but 
too common among the hills, and coughs are very prevalent ; indeed, you 
seldom see a native climb to the top of the hill without being affected 
with a violent fit of it. The sudden changes of climate to which these 
])eople arc liable, even in passing from a valley to the top of a hill, with 
the frequent checks of perspiration excited by violent exercise, and chilled 
by a sudden cold blast after reaching the heights, are enough of themselves 
to account for this disposition to irritable lungs without much deeper 
inquiry. Fevers are also said to prevail at times, and to be very destruc- 
tive, but I could never discover any means they proposed as a remedy for 
them. I believe them to be accpiainted with the use of some simple 
herbs, but through ignorance they most frequently attribute virtues to 
them which they do not possess, and therefore fail in their object. 

We commenced our march at nine o'clock, keeping for some time along 
the co\n-se of the river, by a rough devious ascenchng path, till, reaching 
a subsidiary stream, the road struck off into the glen which it forms, and, 
crossing it a little way further up, ascends a steep opposing hill. The 
range ends on the river in a remarkable peak, which is marked as a melon 
witli deep indentures, vertically cutting its bulged conical shape. From 
hence the path hung above the river which, turning the hill, met us by a 
larger course. It was frequently cut in the face of steej)s and precipices 
that were sufficiently dangerous ; and one unfortvuiate Coolie proved them 
to be not only so in a])pearance: for, going along in a narrow part, he missed 
a step and fell headlong over, tumbling and sliding a good way down the 



THE IIIMALA MOUNTAINS. 391 

bank, which was fortunately here not very rocky, but chiefly composed of 
loose earth. He was, however, rendered senseless by the shock he had 
received ; but upon strict examination no injury a])peared, except a cut 
on the back of the head near the crown, of about one inch and a half in 
length, deep and clear, on probing wliich it aj)peared to slant downward, 
and went quite to the bone, cutting the periosteum, but no fracture could 
be ascertained, and no limb was broken. A few superficial bruises were 
also detected. It is curious to see how much these creatutes will bear, 
slight as their frames generally are compared with those of an European. 
Had one of the latter received this fall, I feel convinced that he \\oidd 
have broken his neck : and at all events that the blow on his head would 
have fractured his skull. Probably exposure to sun and weather hardens 
and thickens both scalp and skull, so as to bear more heat and injury than 
those whose heads are habitually defended. We left him with assistance 
to carry him home, and his companions seemed to have no dread whatever 
of his not recovering speedily. 

A deep descent brought us to a dell and a fine stream by twelve 
o'clock in a burning noon, and we refreshed ourselves in the waters before 
we proceeded. The stones in the bed of the nullah, which were exjiosed 
to the action of the stream, we remarked to be deeply encrusted with a 
rough calcareous coat, evidently deposited by the water, whicii must be 
very strongly impregnated to have so remarkable an effect. The evidences 
of lime are indeed obvious in a peculiar degree all around. From this 
place we had a corresponding, but longer and more fatiguing, ascent, 
during which the heat was exceedingly violent till we crossed a depressed 
part of the ridge, where were several ruinous villages. Our toils ditl 
not stop here, for, after a deep indent roiuid the head of a valley, avc 
had to encounter another steep pull, whicli was very severe on tlie 
fatigued people, particularly the coolies, the women and children ; ami 
when we reached the to}) we had still a weary rugged })ath of nearly two 
miles before us, before we reached our place of encampnu'iit. so that we 
could hardly enjoy one of the loveliest and most striking effects of sun- 
set, with distant hills shining in mellow light, that 1 ever saw. 

Our place of encampment was named Doongree, and the distance 
marched little more than twelve miles ; but the continued labour of these 
successive ascents and descents made it one of our most fatiguing day's 



392 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

journeys, "^^'e had very great difficulty in bringing on our baggage and 
coolies; the latter were totally knocked up; and though Sepoys were 
stationed by every one, we could not prevent several from throwing their 
loads suddenly down, and running into the thick jungle that skirted 
the path. 

Limestone prevailed every where to-day, particularly the marble-hke 
veined blue and white stone, remarked before. We also recognised some 
of the semi-transparent stone met with first above Seran, several sorts 
of sandstone, and much of a dark brownish purple rock, with many spots 
scattered through it, which certainly contain iron. 

It was very curious to see in many places all these stones mingled in 
one huge mass, as if they had been melted down together, suggesting the 
likeness of marbled paper; much calcareous matter was found binding 
this mixture, and settling on it in masses closely resembling hard mortar, 
as it is detached from old buildings, full of small stones and gravel bedded 
in its substance : these masses were perfectly amorphous, and, with the 
mortar-hke substance of rock attached to them, it seemed as if, when the 
whole had melted, the harder parts had settled downwards, and that this, 
like dross, had remained floating at the top. 

July 8. — ^Ve left our village encampment, which, situated on a pro- 
jecting rock, is surrounded by chifs on all sides, and a little before eight 
o'clock resumed our march over the rough and sloping ledges of a lime- 
stone rock that project from the hill side, and peculiarly roughen this dell. 
The path was svifficiently dangerous, and the country through which it 
passes bore a great resemblance to that which we had traversed yesterday ; 
the only difference lying in the size and ruggedness of the ravines and 
mountains we cross. AVe had descended a succession of very steep de- 
clivities, and commenced our ascent up the opposite mountain, while, as 
we recruited our exhausted strength by resting under the shade of some 
fine larch-trees, we were alarmed by the appearance of a man coming up 
covered with blood, and evidently wounded. 

He was a (ihoorkha traveller, who, with five or six Sepoys, had been 
sent in advance to seciu-e provisions and coolies ; and he informed us, that 
having rested with his party at a village some distance off, the zemindars 
of this and the neighbouring villages attacked him in the morning when 
al)out to proceed, and, as he declared, killed five men, and wounded him, 



THE HIM ALA MOUNTAINS. 393 

while he hardly escaped, fighting his way for a considerable distance. 
Upon more minute inquiry we found that he had encountered on his 
march a man of this village, who induced him to lodge with him, and to 
whom he imprudently discovered that he possessed, and had with him, 
effects to the value of 500 rupees ; he had with liim also his wife and 
infant daughter, whom he carried in his arms. His treacherous host laid 
an ambush for him in the morning, into which he fell, and was attacked : 
his wife, who carried part of his property, was seized and carried off; and 
he asserted that his daughter w^as killed in his arms ; that he long fought 
with a sword that he had, but being wounded, he was forced to a retreat. 

We afterwards discovered that there was much exaggeration in the 
account he gave : for most, if not all, the men whom he had declared to 
have been killed returned to their duty, having effected their retreat from 
the zemindars. Even the fate of his daughter was not clear. It is certain, 
however, that the people were attacked l)y the zemindars of the village, 
and that he lost liis wife, daughter, and property, and received several 
Avounds ; but his courageous conduct was probably all a story invented to 
cover the disgrace of his retreat. It is true that the people had most 
carelessly left the camp unarmed, except with one or two swords : the 
villagers had bows and arrows, and axes. Tliis outrage will serve to convey 
a very striking picture of the lawless state in which the people live. 
Strangers, passing through the country, are enticed into an ambush under 
the faith of hospitality, robbed and murdered ; and these the servants of the 
power, which subdued their enemies and dehvered them, were insulted, 
attacked, and j)lundered, even while they were awai*e that the means of 
punishment were at hand, and tliat though they might escape into the 
jungles till the storm blew over, their village, with the innocent part of its 
inhabitants, would in all probability suffer in the punishment of the outrage. 
This, however, was neither in our contemplation, nor, without nuicli delav, 
in our power. Wc passed the place at a distance, and merely wrote an 
accoiuit of the transaction to the commissioner for the affairs of Sirmore, 
in which this district (Jounsar) is situated. 

Our ascent, long and painful, carried us across a lofty gej-ge, whence a 
winding path along the ridge of a very noble mountain, and a deep wild 
descent, brought our joiu-ney to a close at th.e village of ^Mindral, after 
thirteen miles and a half of very fatiguing marching. 

3 K 



394 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF, &c. 

These two marches have lain through the district of Jounsiir, which 
we acknowledge well to deserve the character for wildness which it has 
acquired. The mountains are peculiarly rugged and precipitous : there is 
much cliff and rock, little and laborious cultivation, and few villages. The 
whole rock is limestone, which lends its rough, lumpy, and irregular 
character to the mountains. In all probability this great vein of Ume is 
continuous with that of the Sine range just beyond Jytock, and which, in 
that case, runs pretty nearly east and west, cutting the hills slantingly. 
^ye saw little or no slate to-day, but it must exist in the vicinity, for the 
villages were partly roofed \\ith it. 

On a height between two ravines we found many lumps of iron ore, in 
a shape precisely resembling the scoriae or dross from a smelting furnace, 
in large drops perfectly metallic. ^Ve were informed not only that no 
furnace was ever in the vicinity, but that such scoriae were found commonly 
on the neighbouring Teebas of much greater size, frequently weigliing 
many pounds. I am not sufficiently acquainted with the history of the 
metals to know whether iron is commonly found in this state, but it seems 
to point a curious subject of inquiry to the mineralogist and the geologist. 

July 9. — Our march, which we commenced at about eight in the 
morning, much resembled that of yesterday. We yesterday left the Touse 
a good way to our left, crossing the liigh ridges that terminate upon 
it. After a succession of ascents and descents of various importance in a 
space of twelve miles and a half, we reached the ridge of a lofty d,har, and 
saw the river Jumna winding far below us Mke a silver line in the deep 
dark hollow of its bed. The sun was just setting, but we had three heavy 
toilsome miles (including another hill) to traverse before we reached Cot,hri, 
the village assigned for our night's rest. The latter part of our journey 
was not accomplished until long after dark. 



PART VIII. 



JOUKNEY TO JUMNOTREE. 



3 V. Q 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

• ■ • ^ . 

July 9. — While thus on the banks of the Jumna, and so near the 
spot whence it derives its source, and so near also to the several remote and 
holy places of Hindoo pilgrimage, I was exceedingly anxious to visit these 
remarkable spots, and trace to their source the rivers that form the cele- 
brated Ganges ; places to which no European had ever penetrated, and of 
which so many fables have been related. 

c For some days previously I had been reflecting on the possibility of 
realising this idea, and now determined to profit by an opportvmity so 
excellent, and which never could again occur to me, viz. to separate from 
my brother, in whose march I had so long participated, and with his 
assistance to pursue my course upward along the Jumna, and to cross over 
from its source to that of the Bhagiruttee, and thence, if time permitted, 
to make my way to Kedrirnauth and Euddreenauth, and return by the way 
of Sreenuggur, where I should rejoin my brother. 

There was, in truth, not much real tUfficulty to be contemplated in the 
undertaking : our ignorance of the country, and its wildncss, and jiovcrty 
in population, as well as in means of subsistence, with the doubtful 
capability of the necessary servants to perform the jomney under the 
prospect of much privation and exposure, were cliiefly the obvious obstacles, 
and these were provided for as far as possible by procuring the best guides ; 
— one or two old servants of the late rajah, well known among the people 
of the country, and who could rely on procuring Avhatever it really atibrded 
for our party, and by taking only the strongest and most willing servants, 
many of whom were desirous of providing for the safety of their souls by 
so pious a journey. Little time could be given to preparation : a very 
small parcel of necessary clothing, with the needful articles of food, and 
the means of preparing it, — a small stock of wine, Szc. formed my bagg-age : 
but it was necessary to carry three or four days provision for the party in 



398 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

case of accident, and with the necessary escort it was increased to a con- 
siderable number. Our company was nearly as follows, viz. 

A Ghoorkha jemmadar, with twelve Ghoorkha petty officers, and 
sepoys ; a ]\Iewattee jemmadar, with a hke number of men ; four servants 
styled chuprassies ; the necessary people for procuring and preparing pro- 
visions, and for carrying personal baggage ; cooUes sufficient to carry the 
provisions and necessaries for the people, with the heavy baggage, and 
these never were fewer than twenty-four, and often more. 

We were also accomjianied by Kishen Sing, a favourite servant of the 
late rajah, who was his chief chobedar when he was killed, and who himself 
bore marks of suffering, for he had received tlu'ee severe wounds, one of 
which had nearly cut his head in two, and the parts having been ill joined, 
it gave to liis face a most singular expression, for the visible scar reached 
across his nose from the left cheek to behind his right ear, wliich, with liis 
nose, had been divided. From this man we expected much intelligence 
and many facihties in traversing, as well as inspecting the country. He 
was accompanied by two Gosseins, who were bound to the holy places 
under our protection. All these people swelled the number of coolies and 
attendants, with their servants and baggage, so that our total number was 
not less than sixty, which may well be deemed cumbrous and large with 
which to undertake a rough journey of discovery ; but when the customs 
of the country are considered, the comforts that are absolutely necessary, 
and perhaps as much as all, the policy which urged that the first Euro^iean 
Avho penetrated these untrodden regions should not be meanly attended, 
the number will be acknowledged, as it really was, qviite as small as was 
consistent with prudence and propriety. 

It was desirable to collect as much knowledge of the country as possible 
during the route : I therefore determined to keep an itinerary, and to 
survey as we proceeded with as much accvu-acy as my own want of skill and 
the deficiency of instruments would permit, for these only consisted of a 
surveying compass on a tripod, a small pocket compass, and a perambulator. 
I had neither a thermometer nor barometer ; not having foreseen such 
journeys, no such provision had been made. 

Thus equipped we left Cot,ha on the morning of July 10, and took 
the road towards Jumnotree, w^hich winds along, following the deep 
indentings of the ravines and valleys that fui-row the mountains, and pour 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. ' 399 

their streams into the Jumna, which winds far below. At times it is varied 
by sharp ascents and descents, but on the wliole keeps on a general level 
till we reach Chumree-ke-ghat, on our way to which we passed tlirough 
several villages, but the cultivation is neither extensive nor promising. 

From this station, as from one or two in the course of this route, an 
extensive view would have been obtained, including Birat, Budi-age, and 
several of the hills above the Deyrah Dhoon, as well as the extensive 
ranges on which Jountgurh is situated, with a general view of the coiu\se 
of the Jumna, from the snowy mountains to Calsee ; Ijut this was pre- 
vented by a thick fog, which enveloped the tops of the mountains, and only 
now and then discovered a peak glimmering through mist. 

From hence w^e entered on a very deep descent into the bed of a inillah, 
a small but rapid stream, called Goot,har-Ke-Gadh. The valley or hollow, of 
which this stream is the drain, is somewhat curiously formed : it contains 
the Bundur Khut, or division ; and there is in it a good deal of detached 
cultivation — wheat and barley, rice, cotton, and a grain called clicena, 
resembling bird-seed. The rice is neatly cultivated here, as in other parts 
of the hills, in well levelled ledges, the water being led over each by small 
courses, taken from some stream, at a thstance sufficient to allow of the neces- 
sary fall. This ravine or khola is very deep, and the hills lofty and rugged, 
rising suddenly to their height. The descent from Chumree-ke-ghat is 
very severe and painful, irregular and zigzag : it passed through the village 
of Cot,hal, which had been ruined by the Ghoorkhas, and crossed the 
nullah, the banks of which are wild and wooded ; and thus wc arrived at 
the village of Lak,ha Mundul. This village is situated almost upon the 
banks of the river. It is claimed by Sirmore and tiurwhrd. It cultivates 
the land of each state, and pays an assessment to both. It is apparently 
wholly appropriated to the maintenance of several temples and their priests ; 
and there are some fine rich pieces of land, both on the banks of the Junuia 
and of a nullah a little farther on, set aside for this holy purpose : for wliidi 
the village pays half tribute to each state. There is a neat temi)le to Seowa, 
and to the five brothers, called the Pundos,an, viz. Joodisthul, Bhecm 
Sing, Arjun, Saha Deo, Nircolo ; one to Bhysram and to riu'scram : an old 
ruined place of wor.ship to IMahadeo, luuler the name of Kedar : and sonu' 
curiously carved stones, representing the Hindoo deities. Two figures in 
stone, representing Arjun and Bheem Sing, are remarkably well executed ; 



400 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

but their faces have been mutilated, it is said, by the Eohillas, in an old in- 
cursion. There is also a curious stone, representing in relief a number of the 
Hindoo divinities ; Gonesh, Doorgah, ]3howanee, &c. which are very readily 
distinguishable. There is also at this place a narrow passage leading under 
ground through the rock to the river side, used (it is said) by the people 
of the country in time of danger, when pressed by their enemies. 

Opposite to this village, Eirnee-Ke-Gadh, a large ravine proceeding 
from the lofty peak Bougee-Ke-Teeba, delx)uches into the Jumna. In 
this ravine there is a curiously situated house, on a small teeba rising from 
the nullah belonging to a zemindar of some consequence, called Bhoob 
Sing. Our rovite now lay along some table land, just on the river bank. 
Passing Bundergurree, a ruined fort situate on a teeba 200 feet high 
above the road, we descend to Xeekrall-Ke-Gadh. This is said to be the 
boundary here between Sirmore and Gurwhal ; but there seems to be 
a tract of debateahle land around Lak,ha ]\Iundul, which contains some 
spots of level cultivation far richer than that we have generally met with 
in the hills. The stream in this nullah is very considerable, and is said 
to take its rise in T,hirar-Ke-Teeba, two days' journey from hence : its 
immechate banks are steep, rocky, and woody ; and much alder grows on' 
the edges of the water. 

From hence a sharp ascent up a bare rocky hill, high above the Jumna, 
soon brought us to Bunkoulee, a large and apparently populous village, 
where we halted for the night. Our quarters were in the outer chamber 
of a building, which is a temple sacred to M,hassoo, (I believe another 
name for Seeva), who is worshipped with almost exclusive devotion. As 
we approach the sacred places, and the wild snowy peaks, the peculiar 
seat and residence of his divinity, he is found under many names and 
forms, but is still ]Mahadeo. The temple is neat, in the same style as 
those we have met with through the hills, with Chinese overhanging roofs, 
and carved wood- work, and it has brass-covered doors. The village has the 
appearance of having been once more considerable : the cliief zemindar, 
or seana, as he is called, upon being questioned with regard to its popula- 
tion, averred that it had but twenty-eight houses, and might contain about 
100 inliabitants ; but his answers were hesitating, obscure, and prevari- 
cating ; and I suspect that he feared our questions might be preparatory 
to some imposition or tax, which prevented the ti'uth from being told. 



. THE IIIMALA MOUNTAINS. 40i> 

I should have supposed the village to contain full 250 inhabitants. It 
does not exactly belong to any purgunnah, but is in some measure attached 
to Rewaeen. ... 

July 11. — At seven o'clock we left this village, and proceeded still along 
the left hand face of the hill above the .Jumna, following the deep indent- 
ings and long rounds of the valleys and ravines, with various irregular 
ascents and descents, till, by a very rough and clambering path, we readied 
a point in Ganganee-Ke-I3har, called Ganganee-Ke-Ghat, from which a 
very extensive and noble view is obtained, though it was at this time par- 
tially obscured by mist. Hence we gained the first distinct view of liun- 
derpouch, the mountain, in a part of which is Jumnotree, the birthplace of 
the Jumna. This mountain exhibits tAvo grand peaks, both very wliite with 
snow, and of great magnitude and height. Tliis station is high above the 
river, but the horizontal distance from it is short ; it commands a good view 
both upwards and downwards : below this the bed of the river is narrow, 
deep, and rocky, except where the few green spots at Lak,hamundul reheve 
the eye. Above it runs in a far richer country ; much table land and cul- 
tivation are on its banks, with several villages : the hills shelve down easily 
to the level spots, covered with variety of forest scenery and cultivation. 
Further up they frown and close, and are of darker hue ; beyond, and 
above all, Jumnotree towers above the clouds, wliich slightly chequered 
all the landscape with their shade. 

From thence we pursued a wild and rocky path, tangled witli thick 
jungle, and probably not much frequented, often following small indentin<Ts 
in the face of the hill. On arriving at the gorge of the next ridf^e, I was 
informed by Kishen Sing that there Avas a valley of considerable magnitude 
which stretched on our left hand, from the Jumna to the westward ; and 
in hopes of seeing a thing so new in these rugged hills, we left the road to 
endeavoiu- to get a glimpse of it: on arriving, however, at the top of a hill, 
whence we expected it might appear, we saw nothing but the lower part 
of a ravine, entirely of the same nature as the rest of the country. It 
is caUed Garee-Ke-Gadh, but above has the name of Rama Serai, and I 
obtained only the following particulars descriptive of the place. 

The old and ruined fortress called Sircote is situate on a high Tceba 
of the same name, that projects at the end of the lofty range of Kedar-Ke- 
Kanta, which stretches down from one shoulder of Bunderpouch. Two 



402 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

or three cos farther up in this mountain, the stream Rama has its source 
at a spot called Sheallee, and is joined by several others from the sides of 
this as ^\ ell as from Sircote, and from the range forming the other side of 
the valley (which is, I believe, called Renai-Ke-Dhan, and appears to have 
a course from about north-east 70 to 80), either from Bunderpouch, or from 
some of the Dhars it gives off. The end of this range was in view, and 
shuts out from our sight the whole of the valley. Just at the point of this 
range Eama Serai commences, and runs up to Sircote for a distance of 
from five to seven cos, probably about nine miles, in a direction, wliich, 
judging from that of the mountains, and of the position of the jwints we 
see, may be from north-east 40 to 50. The breadth varies from one and 
a half to two and a half miles, and is level throughout. 

Formerly this valley, which occupies one t,hat or division, was well 
cultivated, and contained many populous villages, but now, hke the rest 
of Gurwhal, it has fallen much into decay, and four half ruined hamlets 
alone remain : viz. Goondiat, Biral, Keemola, and Kulan. The two former 
are near the head of the plain. The whole t,hat forms a part of the pur- 
gunnah, or district of Rewaeen, and had been given by Purdoomun Sah, 
the late rajah, to his brother Prithum Sah, who lived for six or seven years 
in several parts of it, his chief residence being at Goondiat. The rajah 
himself frequently came here with his brothers to hawk in the valley : they 
rode upon gounts or B,hotea ponies, and killed many partridges, which are 
here very abundant. 

From the foot of Sircote proceeds another nullah or valley, the name 
of w hich is Guddoo Gad,h, the waters of which, after a course of about six 
miles, join the Touse, about the same distance above Unhowl. This is 
also said to be a fine, level, and formerly well cultivated valley, from a 
quarter of a mile to one mile in breadth, but far inferior in all respects to 
Rama Serai, which appeared confessedly the largest and finest valley in 
the whole raj, excepting the D,hoon, and to have been considered as a 
place of delightful retirement for the court in the days of their greatness. 

Between Kedar-Ke-Kanta and the Touse, there is one more range of 
hills, called Barkeel, but probably Kedar-Ke-Kanta is the highest ridge, or 
turning point, between the Jumna and the Touse. Regaining the road, 
and passing the ruined village of T,hullec, we descended a steep, rough, 
and rocky path, very irregular and tortuous, to the bed of the nuUah, here 



THE HIMALa mountains. 408 

called Saree-Garee-Ive-Gad,h. The mouth is uncommonly narrow; the 
water seems to have worn its way down by force, between opposing rocks, 
whicli have yielded more slowly than the soil of the hills behind ; and tliis 
may in some measure account for the singularly different nature of this 
valley from those universally met with in these hills. The stream is a fine 
and copious one. The rock here, as well as that we have to-day descended, 
is principally limestone ; in the upper part very hard, and mixed with sand- 
stone. That in the neighbourhood of the village of Eunkhoulee, and during 
this day's ascent, is also hmestone under cUfferent shapes : among others, 
we saw the same remarkable concretion, resembhng masses of old mortar 
niLxed with gravel, adverted to before. Common and micaceous slate are 
also met with, and a very soft white silvery earth, wliich feels soapy between 
the fingers. The top of Gunganee-Ke-Dhar exhibits a singiUar appearance, 
totally dcmided of soil ; the rock is cut into strange shapes and fissures, by 
the action of the weather ; it ajipcars a curious compound of sand and hme, 
and where there is Httle of the latter to bind and harden the former, rain 
and storm have worn it away. 

The road from hence lies along the river side, sometunes rising a httle 
above its banks, to round the small nullas and irregularities which frequently 
occur : the heat in the descent to the nullah was excessive, and continued 
great along the river banks. We now reached IMoungralgurh, an old 
house which stands on a nearly insulated rock, from 150 to 200 feet high, 
boldly projecting into the river, and was lately occupied by Dhiununchund, 
Omeid Sing, and Dowlut Sing, the rotillas* of the rajah of Gurwhfd. 

This residence was entirely appropriated to these connexions of the 
royal family: it appears to have been of considerable extent, but constructed 
as all the houses of the small T,hakoors which we have noticed in our tour ; 
but now it is in ruins, having been burned three years ago by some dis- 
contented zemindars. Just above this place the remains of a sango, or 
wooden bridge, which kept up communication with the village neai- ^loun- 
grrdgurh, are yet visible. 

Hence the road lies along the river bank, about 1()0 feet above it« 
stream, passing many subsitliary nullahs which swell the river from either 

* The term rotilla, as far as I can understand, is applietl to a son of the rajah, born of a slave 
woman. 

3 F 2 



404 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

side, that take their rise from the noble mountains in view, till about four- 
teen miles from our morning station, we reached a large stream, Bunrd- 
Ke-Gadh, which has its source in Surootrde-Ive-Teeba, seven or eight miles 
hence. In the lower part of this valley there is a considerable extent of 
flat land under rice, well watered and cultivated. At the time we passed 
it the zemindars, their women and children, were busily employed in 
ploughing and planting it. They were numerous, and were pecuharly 
wild and savage in their appearance, both men and women laughing like 
ideots as we passed. ^Ve were met by singers and dancers with instru- 
ments, who were employed in cheering the labours of the field. The 
people here are remarkably fond of the uncouth noise they make, and 
doummers, singers, &c. are found in every village. There is, it is said, 
much rice cultivation along the whole of this valley, Avliich forms the 
Bunal t,hat. 

From the mouth of this valley there is a sharp ascent, up a hill, which 
is the tail of Dhooloo D,har : a little further on, on the banks of a very 
small nullah, along the brow of the hill, is situated the village of Dukheat, 
where we lodged for the night. This village is very neat, and of con- 
siderable size ; from it we had a fine view of the valley, Avhich appears Avell 
cultivated, although there is not much level land ; on the opposite side are 
several villages and single houses. This evening the clouds were very low 
and heavy, and much rain fell. I took up my quarters in a rather poor 
house in the village, but was well supplied with necessaries for myself and 
the people : several Ghoorkha soldiers joined us here, and solicited service. 

It was usual, during the time when that people were in power, to 
station parties in the different districts, for the purpose of collecting the 
revenue, and, in progress of time, many of them took daughtei*s of the 
zemindars in marriage ; not always with the good will of the latter, but the 
connexion formed a tie between the conquerors and the conquered, which, 
though far weaker, from the savage and treacherous nature of the peojjle, 
and the circumstances of violence under which it was formed, than a similar 
one in most other countries would have been, was still sufficient, during its 
existence, to guarantee the life, and prevent the murder of the son-in-law. 
When the power of the Ghoorkhas was broken, and their troops taken 
prisoners or scattered, those in the remoter districts, who were tlius con- 
nected, chose to domesticate with their wives and famihes rather than run 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 405 

the hazard of retreating through a country of hostile savages, ripe for 
revenge upon tyrannical, but now fallen masters. Others too, in hke 
mannei", although not enjoying the security resulting from any such tie, 
chose rather to trust to the protection of some zemindars whom they had 
known, and had possibly once obliged, and by whom they beheved that 
their lives would not be attacked, than risk their safety in a more dangerous 
flight, although the loss of property in both cases was nearly certain. Thus 
individuals of this wretched people were found in the hills in every district, 
and almost every one was stripped of his property, e\ en till they were in 
want of clothes to cover them from the weather. ]\Iany were more de- 
plorably situated. Some, wounded and neglected, were found languisliing 
unassisted, and wanting even necessaries. Others had fled to the jungles, 
to escape the massacre to which their comrades had fallen \ ictims, and for 
a long time subsisted on the roots and fruits found in thick forests. 

Even the marriage tie did not always insure good treatment ; and not 
vnifrequently, M'hcn the terror of consequences ceased, the zemindars re- 
claimed their daughters, and forced them to leave their husbands, although 
the stipulated prices had been paid for them. Several curious cases were 
referred to us for decision, in which, of course, nothing could be done, 
except to leave it to the ladies' uninfluenced decision ; and where the 
contract was broken, it generally appeared that the loss of the twelve or 
sixteen rupees paid for the wife was the most grievous part of the injury. 
The money they never woi^ld restore, arguing that the contract had ])artly 
been made by force on the side of the Ghoorkha. jNIany, however, of the 
women left their families and country, and voluntarily followed the partv 
with their Ghoorkha lords, and appeared to be not only fully equal to tlie 
march, but were of the greatest use to their husbands, sharing their bur- 
thens, occasionally carrying their children, and always cooking their dinner.^ 
when arrived at night on our ground. 

The people in question at this village excused themselves from 
attending the party to Gungotree, as was offered them, on tlie plea of 
having neither clothes nor arm.s, nor means to procure eitlicr ; probably 
they were not anxious to encounter so long anil fatiguing a journey : 1 
therefore gave them a note to my brother, and desired that a few Sepoys 
in the service of Goving 13hisht, the fougedhar of Kewaeen, should be sent 
as a protection, and see them safe to Srenuggur. This gentleman joined 



406 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

US this morning, to accompany or conduct us through his district. He is 
a man of high caste and considerable consequence, and has had the entire 
administration of the extensive purgunnah of Eewaeen ; in fact, he has 
been of kite hke an independent prince under tlie Ghoorkha Eaj, for in so 
distant and impracticable a situation he could not well be called to an 
account either by the rajah or liis conquerors, and he had kept on good 
terms with the Ghoorkhas, owing, as I understand, much of his consequence 
to them. He has several residences, but generally lives at one on the 
banks of the Bhagiruttee. He is a tall good looking man, fair, and far 
superior in appearance to the people of the hills, and they here seem to 
pay very great respect and devotion to him. 

July 12. — This morning proved fine, and we left the village at about 
half-past six, accompanied by Bhisht and some of his attendants, ascending 
higher upon the end of Dhooloo-Ke-Dhar, which proceeds fi'om Kedar-Ke- 
Kanta. The opposite side of the river is desolate and uncidtivated, 
although the ruins of several villages were perceptible. The Patrain 
nullah opposite has a good deal of fine level land, but all is abandoned 
and waste. \\e crossed the hill, and reached the banks of Budyeargadh, 
which we crossed at Shellee-Ke-Sango. .Just below the mouth of tliis 
nullah there is a sango thrown across the river, and immediately opposite 
to it, in a rock at the foot of the hill on the other side the Jumna, there 
is a spring of water of considerable size, respecting the origin of which a 
curious tale is told. It is asserted in the country that this is the water of 
the Bhagiruttee, which flows through the extent of hill and rock between 
the two rivers (about one day's journey), and that this subterraneovis 
passage was formed on the following occasion. 

There yet exists in the neighbourhood a place of worship dedicated to 
M,ha Deo, in which a Brahmin of great sanctity anciently ministered : he 
used to go every day to perform his ablutions in the Bhagiruttee, though 
so far distant, till great age rendered him no longer able to take this severe 
diurnal exercise, when he prayed that some means might be afforded him 
to continue it. His prayer was heard, and he was directed to drop his 
handkerchief in the Bhagiruttee, and whenever that should appear on the 
Jumna bank, there to wash, with confidence of its being the waters of the 
holy stream. The Brahmin is gone, but the waters remain flowing, and 
retain their sanctity in the eyes of the country people, who confidently 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. ' 407 

believe that they are the effect of a miracle, — a miracle ingeniously and 
successfully framed to continue to laziness or inability the odour of 
sanctity derived from penance, without the pains of it. 

Shellee-Ke-Sango is thrown across Budyear-Ke-Gadh, and is rather a 
fearful one, consisting merely of two pieces of wood laid together upon the 
points of two projecting rocks, below wliich the stream, which has worn 
its w^ay deep between them, foams with great violence ; and as the pieces 
are laid on an ascent, and are somewhat slippery, it is a matter of some 
difficulty to pass it when unaccustomed to such bridges. The stream is 
full and rapid : it has its rise in a large hiU called Euchooncha. From the 
sango a steep but not long ascent leads to the village of Xaguan, in the 
T,hat of the same name. In this village Goving Sing has a residence. 
There are five villages still inhabited in the Xugwan T,hat, viz. Palee, 
Shalwa, Coorsela, T,hau, and P,liooldar, besides many now in ruins. 

From this village oiu* road lay up a steep ascent to the northward. 
The first part was along a steep grassy, but stony hill-face, afterwards 
through a thin fir-wood. From a point in the ascent I got a bearing of 
Bunderpouch west peak, north-east 54° 30 , and put down the names of the 
different peaks and kholas on the opposite side ; but the more distant points 
downwards, as w^ell as the loftiest upwards, were buried in clouds. Hence 
to the village of Shalwa there is an easy sloping ascent through a countrv 
which is perfectly susceptible of cultivation, and indeed bears the traces 
of former tillage : at present it is very much neglected, small fields in bad 
order being scattered through the rank weeds and jungle. Passing through 
this place, the ascent continues moderate along tolerably cultivated land 
to the heights above Chount,hull, which is a singular hollow, surroundcnJ 
by peaks of rich verdure, and formerly cultivated, though now only covered 
with fine grass, and a profusion of flowers. Strawberries were scattered about 
here and there under the shade of the trees, bordering a httle rivulet close 
by. The road, now descending, winds along the left-hand back of a valley, 
which debouches into the Jumna, to the very bottom of a very steep ascent 
up a shoulder of Toorul-Ke-Dhar, the top of which we reached af\er a 
tiresome march. 

From this point a fall of water from the snow near the bottom of the 
Bunderpouch mountain is very plainly seen, and Bhisht informed us that 



408 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

it was the true Jumnotree. It did not appear at any great distance, though 
it was said to be three days' journey. The road now led along the face of 
the hill, inchning upwards through a wood of various sorts of trees, oaks, 
firs, &c. to the ghat where the descent begins. The path is tolerably 
good, though narrow and high above the river, at times with tremendous 
precipices below. A httle below the point where this dhar meets the 
river the hills approach on each side, and the bed becomes narrow, dark, 
and very precipitous ; at times forming one perpendicular and rugged wall 
from the height of the peaks to the water, Avhich foams through its confined 
channel. 

The scenery on the whole has very much changed its character : 
instead of the villages and extensive faces of cultivation, and sharp and 
steep, yet practicable hills, we now saw nothing but the brown rocks 
staring through the dark pine and oak woods, which hang shaggy arovmd 
their brows, and clothe their feet, as well as the deeper and less stony 
glens, which are numerous and romantic. The tops. of these hills are 
spotted with green or brown, as the bright verdure of the rainy season 
springs from the scanty soil, or is denied to the barren rock, and clouds 
and darkness hang over all. Having reached the top of the ascent, we 
looked down upon a very deep and dark glen, called Paha Gadh, which is 
the outlet to the waters of one of the most terrific and gloomy valleys I 
have ever seen. The lofty peak Buchooncha stretches forth a rugged ridge 
called Tolpoorra to the southward, which becomes continuous with Toonul, 
the lower part of which we crossed. This ridge forms a side and part of 
the back of the valley or hollow of Cot,ha, the chief ravine of which, 
however, commences at the top of the bosom of Buchooncha ; tliis is joined 
by smaller but equally rugged clefts from the back, which all unite their 
waters below, and roll a great and rapid torrent to the Jumna. 

But it would not be easy to convey by any description a just idea of 
the peculiarly rugged and gloomy wildncss of this glen : it looks hke the 
ruins of nature, and appears, as it is said to be, completely impracticable 
and impenetrable. Little is to be seen except dark rock ; wood only 
fringes the lower parts and the waters' edge : perhaps the spots and streaks 
of snow, contrasting with the general blackness of the scene, heighten the 
appearance of desolation. No living thing is seen ; no motion but that of 



THE HIMSLS MOUNTAINS. 409 

the waters ; no sound but th^ir roar. Such a spot is suited to engender 
superstition, and here it is accordingly found in full growth. Many wild 
traditions are preserved, and many extravagant stories related of it. 

On one of these ravines there are places of worship, not l)uilt by men, 
but natural piles of stones, which have the appearance of small temples. 
These are said to be the residence of the dewtas, or spirits, who here haunt 
and inveigle human beings away to their wild abodes. It is said that they 
have a particular predilection for beauty in both sexes, and remorselessly 
seize on any whom imprudence or accident may have placed within their 
power, and whose spirits become like theirs after they are deprived of their 
corporeal frame. Many instances were given of these ravishments : on one 
occasion a young man, who had wandered near their haunts, being carried 
in a trance to the valley, heard the voice of his own father, who some years 
before had been thus spirited away, and who now recognised his son. It 
appears that paternal affection was stronger than the spell that bound him, 
and instead of rejoicing in the acquisition of a new prey, he recollected the 
forlorn state of his family deprived of their only support : he begged and 
obtained the freedom of his son, who Avas dismissed under the injunction 
of strict silence and secrecy. He however forgot his vow, and Mas imme- 
diately deprived of speech, and, as a self-punishment, he cut out his tongue 
with his own hand. This man was said to be yet hving, and I desired 
that he should be brought to me, but he never came, and they afterwards 
informed me that he had very lately died. ]\fore than one person is t^aiil 
to have approaclied the spot, or the precincts of these spirits, and tliose 
who have returned have generally agreed in the expression of their feelings, 
and have uttered some prophecy. They fidl, as they say, into a swoon, 
and between sleeping and waking hear a conversation, or are sensible of 
certain impressions as if a conversation weie passing, which generallv 
relates to some future event. Indeed, the prophetic faculty is one o( the 
cliiefly remarkable attributes of these spirits, and of this })lacc. 

The officiating lirahmins sometimes ventiu-e farther than the vulgar, 
and are favoured by connnunications of future import. It is said that they 
pro})hesied the misfortunes and death of Purdoomun Sail, tlu' li)>s of liis 
kuigdom, and his life at Deyrah Dhoon, and tlic conunencement oi' tlu' 
Ghoorkha IJaj. They also foretold, as is asserted, the tennination of that 
tyranny the very month that the fin;il issue would take place, and the 

3 G 



410 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

commencement of the English power over t«he country. Upon my smihng 
at tliis, and remarking on the easiness of converting into a prophecy what 
had ah-eady hap})ened, both Ehisht and Kishen Sing assured me of the 
fact with great earnestness, and the former averred that he liad told Ummr 
Sing of the prophecy, but that he had defied it. I inquired whether there 
had been any late oracles, and, after some hesitation, and with much re- 
luctance, I was informed that it had been predicted within the last three 
weeks, that there would, in the course of the next twelve months, be wars 
in Plindostan, of so bloody a nature, that the nullahs would run red : but 
between what powers, or who was to l)e the conqueror, they would not, or 
could not say. 

The awe, however, which the natives feel for this place is great and 
remarkable. The moment that Ehisht and Kishen Sing came in sight of 
the place, they commenced prostrations, and the forms of worship, with 
many prayers of much apparent fervency, to the spirits of the glen. They 
assert that no man ever ascended the valley to any considerable height, and 
that natural as well as supernatural obstacles are too great to be overcome ; 
that of the few who have attempted it, none ever returned, or ever enjoyed 
his reason again : and I beheve that the former of these obstacles may be 
nearly paramount, for a siu-vey with the glass showed the difficulty to be 
at least very great ; and, certainly, ascending the hill to the top would be 
altogether impossible. Had I had time, however, I would have attempted 
it, and I am confident, that though none of the hill peo})le would have 
ventured, several of my Ghoorkhas, and two of the Hindoo chuprassies, 
Mould have followed me. 

We began our descent, which is truly wild and even dangerous : the 
path rocky and rough, slii)pery from wet and from the fallen leaves, winds 
down sometimes on the face, sometimes on the sharp projection of the hill, 
with a deep precijnce at times on one hand, and a high rocky wall on the 
other ; sometimes sinking into a deep nullah amongst dark woods of oak, 
j)ine, larch, sycamore, horse-chesiuit, and a thousand smaller trees and 
shrubs, carpeted with ferns, strawberries, and a countless, nameless variety 
of flowers beneath them. 

At other times the track stretched along a bare rocky face with no 
more break than what had been worn during ages by the feet of cattle, and 
l)y the few passengers who reach these wild abodes, and where a false step 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 411 

would be fatal. This descent continued the whole way most precipitous, 
till we reached the nullah, which is here a pretty copious stream, though 
evidently very much beholden to the snow and rain for its increase, and 
we passed it upon two sticks thrown across from one stone to another. 
From hence by a short steep ascent we gained a piece of land more level 
than any we had seen to-day, but yet of no great extent, on whicli is 
situated the village of Palia, our resting-place for the night. This day's 
journey led us into a country very far different in character from any that 
we have before traversed. I recollect nothing that approaclies to it except 
a glen, proceeding from the snowy hill above ]Moral-Ke-Kanda, seen from 
the village of Dharin, where we were detained two days' journey from 
Seran. 

As before observed concerning the hills on the banks of the Jumna, 
the mountains here have lost all vestiges of cultivation, as well as of animal 
life. They are far more rude and impracticable. The rocks tower more 
suddenly to their height. There is less wood and fewer ledges and clefts 
where cultivation could be performed. 

The glen above described is by far the most gloomy savage scene we 
have yet met with. I regret that the weather did not permit a sketch of 
it to be attempted. Beyond this we could see nothing in the course of 
the river but rocky banks. The opposite side is particularly precipitous ; 
yet along its face a road is carried, which is frequented as much as this, 
and leads to the villages still further up. By the time we had reached 
the villao-e, the clouds which had lowered around and sunk do\ni on the 
hills, began to burst with loud thunder and heavy rain. The noise was 
fearfully reverberated among the hills ; and during the night more than 
once the sound was heard of fragments from the brows of the moun- 
tains, crashing down to the depths below with a terrific dm. Our 
quarters were good. I slept in a temple neat, clean, and secure from the 
weather. 

The village of Palia is of considerable size, consisting of about fifteen 
or twenty houses, but neither so neat nor so thriving as Duckheat, our last 
night's stage. Around it there are several acres of cultivation in broader 
ledges than usual ; however, the whole is of no great extent, and it is tpiite 
insulated. I observed here manv of the people to be particularly fair 

'3 o3 



412 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

complexioned, several as much so as the fairest of the jMoguls met Avith in 
Hindostan, and they were fine looking men. It already began to be 
evident that Bhisht, who accompanied us as guide and pro\idcr, would 
be rather a clog than an assistance to us. He appeared to be (juite 
exhausted with the march, and arrived at the ground two hours after we 
were housed. 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 413 



CHAPTER XXV. 

FROM PALIA GAHD TO JUMNOTREE. 

July 13. — We left Palia with a promising day, after a rainy night. ^Ve 
have certainly penetrated into the very heart of the region of supcr.-tition, 
the seat of Indian mythology. A\'hile waiting for the despatch of the baggage 
I was hstening to the numberless tales which were related of the valley 
we were leaving, when Kishen Sing pointed out the brow of a precipice, 
where, he says, on a former occasion some extraordinary appearances were 
observed. It was whilst on an expedition ^\^th Prithum Sah, the brother 
of the late rajah. They were leaving this village in the morning, when, 
in sight of the whole train of attendants, columns of smoke or mist of 
various colours, green, red, and blue, rose from a cleft in the hill, and pro- 
ceeded to the course of a small stream, which takes its rise in the same 
hill; and, returning again, vanished. They possessed no shape or distinct 
form ; but, as he expressed it, Avere like the shades of men without cor- 
poreal substance. The general character of the spot might assist imagina- 
tion to a very great degree in giving to airy nothings " a local habitation 
and a name." 

Our road commenced by leading down almost to the debouche of the 
Palia Gadh for nearly a mile and a half, chiefly along small ledges of 
cultivation upon a steep slope, with many indentations on the hill side : 
there, crossing a gorge in the point running down to the Jumna, it con- 
tinued along its banks from 2 to 300 yards above the stream. l"ri>ni 
hence the path is very rough, rocky, and dangerous, wintling along. 
ascending and descending across the faces of steep precipices and tlown 
deep ravines; at times also leading along banks of loose earth ami stones 
where the face of the mountain has fallen, and rendering the footing 
exceedingly uncertain and difficult. The brows of the mountains on citlun- 
side now approached very close, and their sides, in precipices of many 



414 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

hundred, and in some parts thousand feet deep, form at once the banks 
and bed of the river. 

Along these steeps, however, the road is led, and they are occasionally 
traversed by hunters in pursuit of the musk and other deer, pheasants, and 
jungle fowl. Here we beheld several fine and lofty cascades, which owe 
their origin to the rain, that now daily fell in the mountains, but which in 
the dry months have no existence. One in particular falls from the high 
l)eak of Pinjera, and is lost in a fearfully deep hollow. It cannot be less 
than 300 feet high ; but the stream of water is not sufficiently large to 
produce a very grand effect, contrasted as it is with the gigantic features 
of the surrounding scenery. The fohage of this remote tract assumes a 
character suited to the general tone of the country. It is dark, luxuriant, 
and heavy ; yet still we saw among the dusky firs and thickets of oak the 
\\hite rose rising in rich clusters to the tops of the old trees, and the 
jasmines creeping lower, but at times almost overarching the path ; while 
imder foot the strawberry, ferns, and yellow, blue, and white blossoms of 
innumerable flowers furnish a sweet and remarkable contrast, on which 
the eye, weary with a continual stretch to the crags above, reposes with 
pleasure. 

This various yet dangerous path continued for a considerable way, and 
ended in a very steep descent to Usuree Gadh, which is a considerable 
stream, at present swollen by the rain, and has its rise in a peak that 
springs from Buchoonchoo. At the mouth of this stream there is a 
peninsulated rock of some height, on which is an old fort called Usuree 
Gurh. The rock is connected with the mountains overhanging the river 
by a low cultivated piece of land. The appearance and situation of this 
rock and old fort is singularly romantic and fine. It is washed on three 
parts of its circuit by the Jumna, with a wild rapid current on one side, at 
the very foot of the rock ; and in the bed of the river there are several 
small springs of hot water which we went to see. Some of these sources, 
we observed, appeared to rise with considerable force, giving a stream 
of four or five fingers in thickness froin the surface of the earth, quite 
close to the solid rock, and nuich came trickling down from between the 
laminae of the rock of which the hill is formed. These are in large white 
flakes, and consist, I believe, entirely of (piartz. They form an angle of 
about sixty or seventy degrees with the plane of the horizon. The water 



THE HIMALA mountains. 415 

is beautifully clear ; it is more than blood-warm, and is strongly innnx'g- 
nated with acid ; it has much of the smell common to sulphureous springs, 
and is evidently impregnated with this substance, and prol)al)ly with iron ; 
for the rocks around were tinged and incrusted with a red matter resem- 
bling iron rust, mixed with clay or lime : the acid may be sulphuric or 
sulphureous. 

Quite close to the warm springs, and in their stream, a cold one bul)bles 
up ; but the mixture is so immediate, that it is impossible to say whether 
the acid, which it also contains, is communicated from the warm water or 
not. It had, however, both an acid taste and smell, like the other ; and 
arovuid its sovirce, upon the rock, there was a collection of scum, formed of 
green slime and the red concretion before mentioned, mIucIi occurred in 
the united streams till they joined the river. From the manner in which 
this water issues from the rock, it would seem that its source v.as in the 
body of the hill above ; but there is no other appeai-ance whatever to 
lead to any probable conjecture respecting the formation of it. There are 
many such springs of warm water in the course of the Jumna. 

From the bed of the river we ascended to the road we had left by 
a rough path through jungle ; and for a short way it leads along a fine 
green bank : after which we again descended to the bed of the river, by 
a zig-zag stony path, leading to a temporary bridge formed of a few sticks 
laid across two rocks, w ith brushwood and small stones upon them, called 
Terkeela-ka-Sango. The river is here diminished to a small but rapid 
mountain torrent. The span of this bridge is not more than from fifteen 
to seventeen feet : the stream foams about six feet below it, and is so 
violent, that no chance of escape would remain to any one who might un- 
fortunately fall into it. From this bridge the road leads through jungle 
and high grass, and is ai)parently little frerpiented, till we })ass through the 
village of Terkeela, small and poor. Hence a long, various, and rather 
laborious ascent, among jvuigle, and along ledges of abandoned culli\;Uioii. 
led us to the village of Coopera, which has been a large and populous })lace ; 
but now, like most others, is in total decay. 

There is a temple to Vischnu, under the name of Xag-I\ajah : and we 
found the villagers preparing to perform the aiuuial c-eremony of carrying 
the image, with songs and dances, to be bathed near Junniotree. 

The hills forming the banks of the river above Usiu'ce Giuh, separate 



416 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

troin each other somewhat more than below ; but, though the landscape 
thus gains a httle in openness, it loses nothing of its savage wildness. 
I'hc ri^•er seems to have had a hard stniggle tlu'ough opposing rocks, and 
the course is accordingly more irregular and winding; and the glen in 
wliich it flows is more wildly divided. Solid rocks, forming stubborn 
harriers at the ends of the ranges that meet the river, turn its stream in 
every direction, till it passes Usuree Gurh, whence it flows nearly straight 
for a considerable way. Here is very little cultivation ; and the opposite, 
or west side, has none : the whole tract, indeed, from Paha upwards, except 
the few fields at Usuree Gurh, is perfectly barren ; and between this river 
and the Touse, — perhaps thirty cos, — the whole country consists of im- 
practicable ravines and precipices, high and wild ranges of snow, and rock 
totally unsusceptible of any sort of improvement or cultivation, and hardly 
to be penetrated even by travellers. On the banks of the Touse, however, 
even almost to its source, there are several villages, and a good deal of 
corn land. 

The chstance between the Jumna and Bhao-iruttee here is said not to 
exceed one day's journey ; but from Cursalce, the nearest village to Jum- 
notrce, we were told that the country across, from the one river to the 
other, is very difficult, and the road much longer, being three days' journey 
through a country in which there are no inhabitants, nor can any supphes 
be procured. Tliis I suspected to be exaggerated, as our guides seemed 
quite afraid of the difficulties of the hills, and delighted in alarming and 
in throwing obstacles ui our way. Pursuing our route by a moderate 
descent, along ridges of land once cultivated, we reached the bed of the 
Chunghawl-Ke-Gadh, the banks of wliich are dangerous on either side : 
it has hollowed out a course through solid rock, which, by a succession 
of falls, joins the river below. 

The ])atji here is very dangerous, leading over one narrow ledge of 
a rock so overhung by another, that one is obliged to creep on hands and 
knees to pass it : below is a fearful precipice. How the loaded coolies 
passed it safely I can hardly comprehend. Some time since a Ghoorkha 
woman, travelling with a detachment, fell over, and was dashed to pieces. 

A very circuitous descent, leading us back a long way, at last brought 
us to the viDage of Consale, chiefly in ruins. The road proceeds along 
abandoned land and jungle to the bottom of a steep ascent, from the top 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 417 

of which we saw yesterday's descent, which did not appear at half the 
distance we actually came. Immediately opposite this spot are the re- 
mains of a village most wildly situated upon the brow of a precipice, over- 
hanging the Jumna, at least one thousand feet high : there is a curious 
winding path along its face to the river side. I believe it was, and is, 
almost entirely a nest of thieves. A very bad irregular path, passing 
several small streams, and all the way in wood, led us to the village of 
liana, where we were to pass the night. 

This, as well as yesterday's, was a short day's journey ; but I was 
assured that there is no village between tliis place and Cursalee, oiu- next 
stage, which was stated to be eight cos distant. The Avhole day had been 
cloudy as usual, and the heights were enveloped in mist ; but, as we 
approached the village, a heavy shower fell, and the evening cleared, 
showing the magnificent mountain and snowy peaks of Bundcrpouch, free 
from any intervening cloud, their bold outline being strongly defined on 
the deep blue sky behind. 

I took advantage of this moment to make a hurried sketch of these 
peaks and the range that shuts vip the glen. But here I discovered an 
unfortunate omission, of a very disappointing nature ; the whole stock of 
paper I had laid out for taking sketches of any interesting scene on the 
road had been left beliind by a servant's neglect, and httle was left 
except the common paper of the country, which was nearly useless for m} 
purpose. 

From this point we plainly saw the water running down from the 
different masses of snow, that fill the ravines below the region that is 
totally covered with it. The valley ends here apparently in an immense 
basin, the whole of which yields its waters to the Jumna. From the great 
mountain proceed very high and rugged ridges, which stretch down along 
the river (themselves broken into inferior ones), and shut out all commu- 
nication with the other larger valleys. ^Miile the fog kept off, the Avhole 
was full in our view, and the connexion of every peak and ridge clea:- and 
apparent ; but darkness soon overwhelmed the landscape, the clouds de- 
scended, and all was shrouded in gray mist. 

July 14. — This morning all was clear, and not a cloud rested on the 
surrounding mountains : the view was even more perfect and grand than 
on the prececUng evening ; for the sun rose in a cloudless sky, gradually 

3 n 



418 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

lighting up the high peaks with a most vivid crimson and gold, till all the 
landscape glowed. 

We did not leave the village till seven o'clock. It is a poor and dirty 
place ; but my quarters were in a temple, and good and clean. For a short 
space our road lay along the very easy slope of a hill, whence we descended 
gradually, passing through the ruined village of Paria, to the confluence 
of two nidlahs, the Doocun-Ive-Gad,h, and the Birain, or Bheem-Ke- 
Gad,h. The road was in some places steep, difficult, and bad ; and the 
immediate descent to the beds extremely precipitous. Doocun-Ke-Gad,h 
is the least considerable in course and size, and takes its rise in Ooncha- 
Ke-D,har. Bheem-Ke-Gad,h is little inferior to the Jumna in size, and 
comes from one of the ranges springing from Soomeroo-Purbut, called 
Bheem-Ke-D,har, which we shall pass on our way to the Bhagiruttee. 
We crossed it here by a temporary bridge. 

We now entered on a very steep ascent, to the top of a hill that inter- 
vened between us and Bunderpouch, whence a very fine view of the range 
was obtained. The first part of this is a steep slanting path, on a grassy 
slope ; after which it leads among huge fragments of rock and old and 
noble forest trees, which form a complete shade, but shut out all view. 
At length we arrived at an open space, covered with a thick carpet of 
flowers and strawberries, whence the desired range of vision was fully pos- 
sessed. We enjoyed it, however, but for a moment ; for clouds, as usual, 
soon concealed all from our sight. 

This was a delicious spot ; and we remained here a long wliile : we 
had not the shadow of trees, nor did we want them. The cold wind, 
which blew gently off" the snow, rendered the sun, which shone bright, 
rather a comfort than an annoyance. 

From this station we had a far nobler and more satisfactory view of 
Bunderpouch than we had hitherto enjoyed, or would probably have again. 
It is a prodigious mountain ; though, from our close vicinity, and com- 
paratively low situation, we could not conceive its full height. Two lofty 
and massy peaks rise high above the rest, deep in snow, from which all the 
other inferior ridges seem to have their origin. These peaks are connected 
by a sharp neck, considerably lower than themselves. 

The south and south-east exposure is the least steep, and bears a great 
depth of pure unbroken snow. Little or no rock is seen, except a few 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 419 

points at the ridge of the connecting neck, where it is too sharp and steep 
for snow to lie ; and there it appears of a red colour. Here and there 
lofty precipices are seen in the snow itself, where the lower parts have 
melted, and masses have given way and slidden down to the ravines below, 
leaving a face several hundred feet high, that shows the depth of snow 
which has accumulated for ages. 

The formation of the valley tlu-ough which we have journeyed, and 
the size and the direction of the ridges, as they spring from this great 
centre, are here finely traced. From a point to our right, as Ave looked 
to the mountain, a ridge strikes off to the southward and westward, which 
ends in a small nullah at a short distance in our front : this D,har is called 
Kylaroo. To the west of this, and nearly north-east of us, another large 
mass runs down, called Doomun-Kundee, forming between itself and 
Kylaroo a basin, whence nms the Oonta Gunga. Further to the west- 
ward, a considerable way to our left, a range, consisting of many high and 
irregular masses, taking its rise from Damaeen, a continuation of Bunder- 
pouch, forms the western side of the valley ; and, between tliis range and 
Doomun-Kundee, the Jumna is formed from many sources in the snow. 
The Oonta Gunga and Jumna unite at the point of a level piece of land, 
lying at the foot of Doomun-Kundee, which thus, in fact, subdivides the 
valley into those, giving birth to these two rivers, which are nearly equal 
in size. 

The name of Eunderpouch properly applies only to the highest peaks 
of this mountain : all the svibordinate peaks and ridges have their own 
peculiar names. Jumnotree has reference only to the sacred spot, wliere 
worship is paid to the goddess, and ablution is performed. There are 
said to be four peaks which form the top of Bunderpouch, only two of 
which are seen from hence ; and in the cavity or hollow contained between 
them tradition places a lake or tank, of very peculiar sanctity. No one 
has ever seen this pool, for no one has ever even attempted to ascend any 
of these prodigious peaks. Besides the physical difficulties, tliere is one 
to be encountered far more conclusive than any other, that could be op]>osed 
to the superstitious and blindly obedient Hindoo. The goddess has espe- 
cially prohibited any mortal from passing tliat spot appointed for her wor- 
ship. A fuqeer once lost his way in attempting to reach Jumnotree, ami 
was ascending the mountain, till he reached the snow, where he heartl 

3 n 2 



420 NOTES OX THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

a voice inquiring -\vhat he wanted ; and, on his answering, a mass of snow 
detached itself from the side of the hill, and the voice desired him to 
worshij) where this snow stopped ; that Jumna was not to be too closely 
apjiroached or intruded on in her recesses ; that he should publish tlus, 
and return no more, under penalty of death. Indeed, I suspect this pro- 
hibition to be unnecessary, to prevent an ascent to or near the top of any 
of these snowy peaks : even the extreme steepness, the rugged nature of 
the rock, where it is bare, and the hard slii)pery smoothness of the snow, 
are, independent of the immense height and consequent fatigue to be 
borne, sufficient obstacles to such an attempt. The existence of such 
a lake, therefore, rests entirely on tradition, and probably on some obscure 
legend from the Shasters ; for it would appear that all these mountains, 
with their various cliffs and valleys, are frequently referred to as the 
scenes of mythological story; and to one of these the mountain owes 
its name. 

Eunderpouch signifies " monkey's tail." It is said that Hoonooman, 
after his conquest of Lunka, or Ceylon, in shape of a monkey, when he 
had set that island on fire by means of a quantity of combvistible matter 
tied to his tail, being afraid of the flame reaching himself, was about to 
dip it in the sea (Sumunder) to extinguish it ; but the sea remonstrated 
with him, on account of the probable consequences to the numerous inha- 
bitants of its waters : whereupon Hoonooman plunged hhi burning tail in 
this lake, which ever since has retained the name. Another account relates, 
that Hoonooman laid liis tail on tlie shore, while Sumunder laved water 
on it, and so extinguished it. There seems to be some confusion between 
Sumunder and the lake on the mountain top, for which no distinct name 
is given ; but there is none with regard to the name of the mountain, 
which is universal in the country. The zemindars aver, that every year, 
in the month P,hagun, a single monkey comes from the plains, by way of 
Hurdooar, and ascends the highest i>eak of tliis mountain, where he 
remains twelve months, and returns to give room to another; but his 
entertainment must be very indifferent and inhospitable, as may be inferred 
from the nature of the place ; for he returns in very bad plight, being not 
only reduced almost to a skeleton, but having lost his hair and great part 
of liis skin. 

On our right, to the eastward of Kylaroo, the mountain stretches out 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 421 

into many ridges, which spread as they leave it, giving their waters to the 
different streams that supply the Jumna, but chiefly to the Oontagunga and 
Bheem-Ke-Gad,h. From this station, however, we could have no farther 
prospect in this direction. We promised ourselves much delight and 
useful information from a view of the country, should the weather prove 
clear, on crossing these high ranges. To the left, or westward, we could 
only see that the ridge runs contiiuiously from the western peak of Bun- 
derpouch, at a far inferior height, yet in many high singular peaks, and 
tending more to the northward ; while, from each height, ridges varying in 
height run down to the southward and south-westward. Of the northern 
and north-eastern sides we did not, and indeed could not, hope to see any 
thing ; but as the highest peak rises on that side, we may presume that 
very lofty ranges stretch out in these directions, and this corresponds with 
the accounts of the people of the country. 

Leaving this station, we descended gently along a lovely, wooded, and 
Howery path, for some distance, through varied ground ; and, after several 
irregularities, reached a small water-course from Soonapery-Ke-D,har. 
There is some cultivation here, partly of a grain called papo-a, and partly 
of wheat in a very backward state ; but there is much more land that has 
been tilled formerly, but which has now returned to its original state. Here 
also we saw larger flocks of sheep than we had before seen ; but their wool, 
like that of all other sheep in these parts, is extremely coarse. 

Passing through the site of an old village, where we observed a few of 
the finest walnut-trees I ever saw, and turning the corner of a projecting 
hill by a trifling descent, we reached a bridge over the Oonta Gunga, which 
we here crossed. There is a deep fall under the bridge, which roars as we 
pass, and adds to the terror of crossing an old and nearly rotten frame of 
wood, at a great height above the water, and, as usual, joining two pro- 
jecting rocks, but rather better constructed than most we have met A\nth. 
From hence the village is scarcely two furlongs distant. 

Cursalee, the highest village in this glen, is situate on tlie banks of 
the Oonta Gunga, from 100 to 200 feet above its stream, and only a short 
way from the end of that plain before spoken of, as forming the point 
between the Jumna and Oonta Gunga. This is of considerably greater 
extent than any single piece of land I have seen, probably 200 acres, and 
is well cultivated : there were once several villages on it, but now we 



422 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

only saw the remains of two, besides Cursalee. Tliis village is large, 
tolerably neat, and probably populous ; but at present it is full of the in- 
habitants of all the neighbouring villages, who have brought the images of 
their gods to bathe. The Seana, \dth the Pundit, and Brahmins of Jvim- 
notree, attended by a great number of both sexes, came out to meet us. 
The Pundit, a mean and dirty looking fellow, clad like the rest in coarse 
blankets, came forward, and insisted on marking my forehead with the 
sacred yellow ; a ceremony which I submitted to with a good grace as to 
a high compHment, and which was eagerly sought for by the Hindoo 
attendants, who, as well as the Seana, and most of the villagers, received 
this blessing after me. We then proceeded to our quarters, which were 
very tolerable, clean and dry. As for coolness of situation, it is not here 
much requh-ed. 

The annual ceremony of carrying the images of their gods to wash in 
the sacred stream of the Jumna is (it appears) one of much solemnity 
among the inhabitants of the neighbourhood ; and the concourse of 
j)eople here assembled has been busily engaged, and continues to be fully 
occupied in doing honour to it. They dance to the sound of strange 
music, and intoxicate themselves with a sort of vile spirit, brewed here 
from grain and particular roots, sometimes, it is said, sharpened by pepper. 
The dance is most grotesque and savage : a multitude of men taking hands, 
sometimes in a circle, sometimes in line, beating time with their feet, bend 
with one accord, first nearly to the earth with their faces, then backwards, 
and then sidewise, with variovis wild contortions. These, and their uncouth 
tlress of black and gray blankets, give a pecuhar air of brutal ferocity to 
the assemblage. The men dance aU day, and in the evening they are 
joined by the women, who mix indiscriminately with them, and keep up 
(lancing and intoxication till the night is far advanced. They continue 
this frantic kind of worship for several days ; and, in truth, it is much in 
luiison with their general manners and habits, — savage and inconsistent. 
At a place so sacred, the residence of so many holy Brahmins, and the 
resort of so many pious pilgrims, we might expect to find a strict attention 
to the forms of religion, and a scrupulous observance of the privations and 
austerities enjoined by it. So far, however, is this from the truth, that 
much is met with, shocking even to those Hindoos who are least bigoted. 

All classes and castes of people, Brahmins not even excepted, eat every 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 423 

sort of meat except beef, and, 1 believe, fowls, and drink spirituous liquors 
even to excess. Fowls are found in plenty in this and the neighbouring 
villages, and they were even offered as presents to me by the zemindars, 
which could not have been the case had they been held in abhorrence. I 
was also surprised at their indifference to what might have appeared, and 
certainly would in the low country have been deemed a pollution of their 
temples. Themselves pointed out the outer room of a place of \\orship 
for the use of the kitchen, and saw with perfect composure a ]Mussulmaun 
servant kill in it the fowls they had provided, and dress them lor dinner. 
I know not whether the place was in general use for Avorship ; it was old 
and in bad repair ; but even to a ruined temple the Hindoo of the plains 
would probably have paid more respect than to suffer it to be converted 
to such an use. 

The dress of the people is in fact the same wliich prevails through the 
whole country, since we left the lower parts of Sirmore. It consisted of a 
jacket or dress of blanket, tied round the waist hke the common Hindoo 
ungurca, and open down the right breast. Tight in the body and arms, 
but formed with short skirts all round, very ample, and gathered in folds 
like the philibeg of the Scotch highlanders. Around their waist they wear 
a cummerbund, either of woollen stuff, or of rope formed of goafs hair, 
neatly plaited. They wear drawers or trowsers very loose to the calf of 
the leg, but tighter and falling in numerous creases beloAv it to the heel. 
A piece of blanket stuff, somewhat lighter than the rest, is worn round the 
shoulders hke the Scotch plaid, as rain or sun may require to keep the 
body diy, or to protect the head from heat. On their head they wear a 
black cap of hair and wool, fitted to the shape, and ending in a small 
point. The wool from which they manvifacture these cloths is of extreme 
coarseness, very far inferior to that seen in Bischur, or any other i)art of 
the hills to the westward, which sometimes was woven into blankets of 
considerable beauty and fineness. 

There are only two colours in use, viz. a dark brown and a ilirt}- gm}-. 
The former is most affected by the men of superior rank or means. Xot 
an instance of cotton cloth was seen, and the dress of the women in no 
respect varied from that of the men, except that sometimes their heads 
were covered with a blue or checked handkerchief; and they wore beads 



424 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

of glass or pewter in as great profusion as they could obtain, and bangles 
of the same metal, of great size, round their arms and ancles. 

The personal appearance of these people is much the same as that of 
tlie Bischurees about Eampore and Seran. They have stout well-built 
figures ; their complexions are frequently very fair, though much sun- 
bui-nt ; their eyes often blue ; their hair and beards curled, and of a light 
or red colour. They seem admirably calculated to form a body of soldiers 
fit to act in this hilly region. Occasionally traces may be observed of the 
Tartar features : the small eye, high cheek bone, and meagre mustachios ; 
but they Mere not sufficiently prevalent to authorise the supposition of 
any considerable intercourse or intermixture. The language is Hindos- 
tannee, and though still bad, is rather better and more intelligible than that 
we heard in Bischur. The cold is here very considerable the whole year 
round ; even now it was extremely sharp, morning and evening, and in the 
winter it must be excessively severe. Worsted stockings and double 
blankets were necessary for comfort during the night. 

On making inquiry as to the distance from hence to Jumnotree, and 
the possibility of passing the night there, I found it called six cos by one 
route of very bad and rough road, in the bed of the river, and a considerably 
greater distance by another, which leads over a high ascent, sometimes 
travelled when the river is too high to pass and repass, as is necessary in 
going in its channel too frequently. There is no place, as we were informed, 
at Jumnotree where we could pass the night ; not even a cave under wliich 
shelter might be sought against the weather. I had some suspicion, how-; 
ever, that the difficulties of the road were exaggerated, and that the latter 
part of my information was incorrect ; accordingly, I determined to set out 
the next morning early, and arranged matters so, that if there was a pos- 
sibility of remaining the night and day at the place, we should do so, 
carrying the necessary food and covering with us; and leaving all the 
baggage at the village, under care of the ]\Iussulmaun soldiers, whom it 
would not have been proper to carry to the sacred spot. 

July 15. — The morning was extremely cold; the heights were clear 
and beautiful, but clouds hung low all around : we were too much under 
the lower precipices of the mountain to see the highest parts, but the 
snowy peaks to the right and left of Doomuncundee rose very conspicuous 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 425 

and close. We left the village for -Jumiiotree at six o'clock, the wind 
blowing sharp and raw from the hills, down the glen of the river, like a 
cold winter's morning at home. All the Hindoos and Ghoorkhas of the 
party went on this pious errand ; and the Jumnotree Pundit, with four or 
five Brahmins, led the way. Passing through the cultivation, the path is 
practicable enough for a mile and a half along the bed of the river, which 
we crossed on a stick ; it is not large, but very rapid : there is a very bad 
and dangerous step here, and the way becomes difficult and painful. The 
path ceased, and we proceeded entirely along the bed of the stream, cross- 
ing and recrossing it, as the rocks on either side jutted into tlie river, and 
alternately opposed our progress ; even the crossing is exceedingly hazardous, 
for it was necessary to wade through the stream, which is very violent and 
cold to a most painful degree, up to mid thigh, and sometimes deeper ; and 
as those places where it is practicable to ford it are generally on the verge 
of falls of a considerable height, where a false step would be certain de- 
struction, not only considerable strength, but a steady head are necessary 
to the safety of the passenger. The course of the river here is a mere 
chasm, cut in the rock, and worn by the action of the waters and of winter 
storms. The sides, which are chiefly solid rocks, a})proach each other 
almost as close at the top as at their base ; and the foliage on either brow 
mingles together. Above, the mountain is continued craggy and bare, the 
dark glen hardly showing itself at any distance. 

Our path along the base of these wild precipices was thickly set witli 
very dangerous steps, and always difficult and laborious ; sometimes leading 
us along the face of a precipice above the deep pools, where there was little 
hold for hand or foot, where it was necessary to spring from a ^ery uncertain 
footing to a distant bank, while a failure in the leap, or in the sujt])ort. 
would have plunged us in the rapid stream. At others we clambered up 
banks of loose fragments of gigantic size, fallen from the cliffs abo\e. Ai 
length we reached a pass, where there was no possibility of continuing in 
the bed of the stream, and ascended through a thick and devious jungli^ 
of forest trees, and dwarf bamboo, mingled with various creepers and small 
shrubs, which rendered our progress ])ainful and slow, for we had to creep 
on our hands and knees, clinging to the roots of trees, and the stalks of 
bamboos, placed there by former passengers, and thus force ourselves up. 

3 I 



426 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

along the sloping crest of a steep crag, to a point, on which is placed a 
small shrine to Ehyramjee. 

This spot is said to be half-way from the village, and Bhyramjee is 
understood to be the avant courier of Jumna, and the announcer of all 
those who come to worship her : he is a subordinate divinity, who seems 
to act somewhat in the capacity of a chobedar to the goddess. His temple 
is only constructed of a few loose stones, and is not three feet high ; there 
is no image, but it contained a great number of pieces of iron with one, 
two, or more points, some plain, some twisted : a small brass canopy hung 
from the centre, together with a little brass lamp, and a small bell of the same 
metal, which is rung during worship. Here the officiating ]Jrahmin said a 
long prayer, with some fervency, ringing the bell, and offering flowers, which 
were also presented by all the attendants worshipping ; thus propitiating 
the deity towards the strangers. The place is curiously chosen, extremely 
^vild and gloomy, on the point of a rock overhanging the stream, wliich 
roars below : it is surrounded by higher and more craggy precipices, covered 
with dark and thick jungle, and here and there the snow is seen through 
an opening far above. The descent from hence is more dangerous than 
even the ascent : it leads along the brink of the rock, and where there is 
no footing naturally, sticks are laid along upon the roots of trees, or upon 
pins driven into the crevices of the rock, on which it is necessary to pass 
for several yards ; the stones are all loose, and the ground very uncertain 
and soft. Descending thus, we again reached the bed of the river, and 
the path continued to increase in difficulty and danger, the water being 
more confined, the descent more rapid, the current stronger, and the falls 
more frequent and more grand. Again we crossed and recrossed the 
stream, the coldness of which (it having immediately left the snow) was so 
intense, as almost to benumb the joints ; each time we plunged in we felt 
as if cut to the bone. At length we reached the spot which had been 
pointed out to us from below, as Jumnotree ; but this was not the sacred 
source : here, however, there is a junction of three streams, and the place 
is more open than the channel below. 

From the bed of the torrent the mountain rises at once to its height, 
apparently without any very extensive irregularities ; and the steepness of 
the declivity at this point may in some degree be estimated, when it is 



THE HIM.1L7J MOUNTAINS. 427 

undei'stood that here, though at the toot of this upper region of the 
mountain, the very ])eaks are seen towering above us, as ready to over- 
whehn the gazer with the snow from their sunnnits : and, in fact, the 
avalanclies from above fall into the channel of the river. I'here was then, 
at this s})ot, a prodigious mass of snow, which carrying down along with 
it a mighty ruin of rocks, wood, and soil, had blocked up tlie course of the 
river. From beneath this mass, one stream flows ; just above it, is that 
called the At,li Pysar Gunga, ecpial in size to the brancli which retains 
the name of the Jumna, and which, rushing down the mountain side, in a 
broken cataract, from the snow that gives it birth, joins the sacred stream. 
Turning to the left, and following up the channel, still ascenthng fast over 
a succession of rocks, stones, and precipices, in a short distance we reached 
Jumnotree. 



3 I 2 



428 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

FROM JUMNOTREE TO CHAIAH-KE-KANTA. 

The spot which obtains the name of Jumnotree is, in fact, very Uttle 
below the place where the various small streams formed on the mountain 
brow, by the melting of many masses of snow, unite in one, and fall into a 
basin below. To this basin, however, there is no access, for immediately 
above this spot, the rocks again close over the stream, and, though not 
so lofty as those below, they interpose a complete bar to further progress 
in the bed of the torrent : a mass of snow too had fallen from above at tlie 
farther extremity of this pass, under which the river runs. Between the 
two banks, the view is closed by the breast of the mountain, which is of 
vivid green from perpetual moisture, and is furrowed by time and the tor- 
rents into numberless ravines ; and dow n these ravines are seen trickling 
the numerous sources of this branch of the Jumna. Above this green 
bank, rugged, bare, and dark, rocky cliffs arise, and the deep calm beds 
and chffs of snow^, towering above all, finish the picture. Xoble rocks of 
varied hues and forms, crowned with luxuriant dark foliage, and the stream 
foaming from rock to rock, forms a foreground not unworthy of it. 

At the place where it is customary to perform ablution, the rock on 
the north-east side of the river is very steep. This seems to be of the 
same nature as that which has been noticed at Usureegurh, apparently 
([uartzose, and chiefly white, but exhibiting different shades and colours. 
The structure also is laminous, and from between these lamince run several 
small streams of warm water, forming, together, a considerable quantity. 
There are several other sources, and one in particular, from which springs 
a column of very considerable size, is situate in the bed of the river between 
two large stones, and over it falls a stream of the river water. This water 
is much hotter than that already noticed: the hand cannot bear to be kept 
a moment in it, and it emits nuich vaj)our. I could not detect the least 
acidity by the taste, nor any sulphureous or other smell in the water ; it 
was exceedingly pure, transparent, and tasteless. A great quantity of red 
crust, apparently deposited by the water, which seemed to be formed of 



THE HIMSLA MOUNTAINS. 429 

ail iron oxide, and some gritty earth, covered all the stones around and 
under the stream. This, on exposure to the air, hardened into a perfect 
but very porous stone, whilst below the water it was frequently mixed 
with a slimj/ substance of a very pecuhar character, of a dull yellowish 
colour, somewhat like isinglass, certainly a production of the water, as well 
as the above crust, for it covered the stones over which the stream ran, and 
was very abundant. 

The violence and inequality of the stream frequently ciianges the bed 
of the river. Formerly it lay on the side opposite to this rock, and the 
numerous sources of this warm water were then very perceptible, many of 
them springing from the rock and gravel to some height in the air ; but 
several of these are now lost in the present course of the stream. These 
warm springs are of great sanctity, and the spot for batliing is at that 
point before mentioned, where one of a considerable size rises in a jjool of 
the cold river water, and renders it milk warm. Tliis jet is both heard 
and seen, as it plays far under the surface of the pool. These springs 
have all particular names, such as Goureecound, Tubutcound, Sec; and, as 
usual, a superstitious tale is related concerning their origin. Thus it is 
said that the spirits of the Kikees, or twelve holy men who foUo^ved ]\Ialia 
Deo from Lunka (after the usurpation of the tyrant Eawcii), to Plinuda, 
inhabit this rock, and continually worship him. Eiit why this operation 
should produce springs of hot water in this jilace is not so clear. Here, 
however, all the people bathed, while the Pundit said prayers, and recei\ ed 
his dues ; and here also I bathed, was prayed over, and submitted to be 
marked by the sacred mud of the hot springs in the forehead like the ivst, 
and of course was obliged to make my present to the priest for his 
ministry. 

I complied with the custom of approaching the spot with bare feet. 
The whole of the people had put off their shoes a long way beloA\ . ^^'e 
looked around in vain for a situation where to pass the night under 
cover; and, as the weather was too cold to keep the people exposeil \o it. 
with the imminent appearance of rain, I agreed, though unwillingly, to 
return. 

I would gladly have attempted an ascent beyond the point \vliioli the 
Brahmins assured me had ne\'er been passed, and this ditl not appear very 
difficult. A circuit would have been necessary, and nuuli toilsDine clinilv 



430 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

iiio- but I am confident that it would have been comparatively easy to 
wain the top of the green bank opposite on the breast of the mountain. 
Eevond this, difficulty Moidd doubtless have much increased ; and I 
believe it might have been impossible to reach the height of the snow for 
the reasons before given. Tliis, however, was vain speculation : by the 
time we had all bathed, and I had taken a very rough sketch of the j^lace, 
the day was so far advanced that it was necessary to descend. 

It is an object of considerable interest, particularly to those who 
delight in geological researches and theories, to ascertain the nature of the 
substances that compose the various ridges and regions, and particularly 
the summits of very lofty mountains. I once more regretted exceedingly 
my want of scientific acquaintance with this branch, as well as most others, 
of physics, which has denied me the pleasure of rendering any certain 
useful information on subjects of this nature, to those who may not have 
the same opportunities for making such researches as fell to my lot. 

"\^"hile, however, I was at this height, and as it were in the centre of this 
wonderful range of mountains, 1 did attend to the appearance of the 
rocks and minerals which we saw on our route, and occasionaUy took 
specimens when uncertain as to their nature. Towards its source the 
stream diminishes in force, from the want of the tributary waters wliich 
gradually swell it below, or, as in the present case, it spUts into a great 
number of inconsiderable rills, neither of which, if even they did descend 
from the mountain top, have force to carry with them portions of its sub- 
stance. It appears clearly that beds of rivers can only give a just idea of 
that part of the mountain through which their course is rapid and de- 
structive. The high parts must yield to other and very powerful agents, 
before their ruins descend to our reach. Frost and the fldl of avalanches 
may now and then produce this effect ; but on peaks which, formed of 
solid rock, have been covered from the beginning of time with a depth of 
snow that never melts, and which in all probability are Uttle exposed to 
the vicissitudes of heat and cold, of moisture, frost, and thaw, even these 
agents can work but feebly ; because, in all probability, an uniform cold 
above the freezing point prevails in so elevated a region. All moisture is 
frozen, no rain falls, no partial thaws take place, or there would be glaciers, 
a phenomenon that did not present itself to our view during our whole 
journey. The true materials of these mountain peaks, therefore, although 



THE IIIMALA MOUNTAINS. 431 

they may be conjectured from below, can only be established when they 
shall have been ascended ; till then we must rest contented with observa- 
tion and analogy. 

Almost every sort of stone and rock, which we have seen in our course 
through the hills, is recognised in the bed and on the banks of the upper 
part of the Jumna, aiul of these there are two in particular that predominate. 

That met with in the course and on the banks of the Pabur, in large 
rounded masses, is particularly plentiful. It consists of nuich mica, (piartz, 
and coarse sand or grit, with a great deal of a hard black sulistance, either 
hornblende or schorl. The mass is of various but generally of great hard- 
ness, and I then believed it to be a species of real granite. This has since 
been pronounced (from the specimens I collected), by a friend skilled in 
these matters, to be that modification of granite called gneiss. 

The other sort is that white laminated rock from which the hot springs 
trickle, and which has been called quartz. It sometimes breaks regvdarly, 
affecting squared forms. At times its regularity is only perceptible in one 
way ; it breaks in irregular flat pieces, varying in density as well as in 
colour. The fractiu-e is at times most perfectly like that of quartz, semi- 
transparent and shining ; at times more like marble, more white, close, and 
less crystalized ; yet still I think it is the same species of stone. It is met 
with of red, green, and yellow tinges, but is always in lamina?. 

Soft micaceous schistus is also abundant, of all colours and various 
degrees of hardness, grey, red, whitish, and blucish, and is always ])lenti- 
fully veined with quartz. This stone is by far the most abundant all over 
the hills. AVe observed no limestone here, unless some specimens of that 
white stone described above, as resembling marble, be of a calcareous 
nature, which I think not imjirobable; but I had no means of ascertaining 
tliis point, not having any acid test with me. 

The continual dis})osition of the abru])t and craggy faces of the hills 
to point to the north-west and north (which has frecpicntly been noticed 
in the preceding pages), became exceedingly distinct as we more nearly 
approached the high rocky peaks of the snowy range. It was also obvious 
that the structure of the rocks was stratified, sonietinios consisting of 
different stones ; at others, apparently of the same sort, merely showing 
this tendency in their formation and fracture. These strata were always 
at an angle with the horizon, differing materially in its elevation, but 



432 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

generally dipping to the horizon at an angle of about 45 degrees, and most 
frequently pointing in a line from north-east to south-west. Tliis forma- 
tion was pecidiarly evident in the rocks forming the banks of this part of 
the Jumna. Such was the angle and direction, and the stratification was 
evident and remarkable, whether the rock was quartz, granite, or schistus. 

The higher parts of the hill pi-esented the same appearances both in 
formation and colour. A pretty attentive examination Avith a good glass 
gave reason to believe that they consisted of much the same sorts of rock, 
viz. granite and quartz. The chief objection to the supposition that these 
are granite is the predominating appearance of stratification that exists. 
iSIany huge black masses, however, did not exhibit this formation ; but they 
were lower and less perfectly seen, and had their south-eastern sides turned 
to us, which, as before observed, are far more rounded and less precipitous. 
On some of those higher faces, wliich had a western and south-western 
exposure turned to our view, the veins of different coloured stone were 
strongly marked, sometimes in straight hnes, and sometimes much deflected. 
Those high cliffs wliich were uncovered with snow were always equally 
denuded of soil and vegetation. The line where this last ceases is indeed 
sufficiently and distinctly drawn, and probably is nearly the same as that 
which marks the Avant of soil. Above this, as far as the glass could 
determine, all seems bare rugged rocks and sharp peaks, cut into fan- 
tastic shapes, and in their interstices, and at their feet only, the ruins of 
themselves lay, scattered in small fragments. 

The snow lies in some places to the south-east, smooth, hard, unbroken, 
and ghtteringly white ; in other places it is cut into deep ravines, or fallen 
into precipices of great height, and here and there much discoloured, as with 
dust. Towards the skirts it descends in long wreaths and streaks, filling 
up the luillahs far below the great mass above. It would be pleasing to 
speak of the vegetable productions, but here I am ecpially unable, as in 
geological incjuiries, to afford satisfaction. Those trees and shrubs wliich 
are met with through the whole range of this hilly tract were also seen 
liere ; and there were several additions, which (could they be botanically 
described) might be interesting. Among the pines we found that which 
resembles the silver fir, and spruce fir, as well as one which I believe is the 
true Weymouth pine. Two sorts of larch, the birch, a species of syca- 
more, oaks of more than one sort, with a very great profusion of trees and 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 433 

plants, cover the rocks and liills to the extent of the woody region, 'llie 
strawberry, both the scarlet and alpine sorts, large of their kind, with 
raspberry and blackberry bushes, were in abundance ; and here, for the 
first time growing wild, I recognized the black currant. In the leaf, stem, 
frviit (not ripe,) as well as in the smell and taste, I could not be mistaken. 
We also met with a species of rhubard, different from that of our gardens 
at home. Instead of the large and very deeply indented leaf of the latter 
sort, that which we found was large and rounded ; but the tender shoots 
of the plant resembled those of the European sort in appearance and 
taste, and were presented to me by some Erahmins as pleasant food. The 
roots had the precise colour, smell, and taste of rhubarb. I could not 
find, however, that they were used medicinally by the natives ; but the 
Ghoorkhas employed them as a poultice, applied to bruises or hurts. 

Just at the height of the day's journey the Pundit pulled and presented 
to me a small plant which he called mahe, and told me it was sacred. It 
grew on the rocks, and not in soil, and had a very peculiar and pleasant 
smell. It was very small, not exceeding two or three inches in height, 
and consisted of a small bunch of leaves resembling fennel. Our return 
was rendered much more difficult and dangerous by an increase whicli had 
taken place in the size of the stream since we had ascended. 

The Pundit took this opportunity, hke a true Asiatic, to pay a com- 
pUment ; and said that it took place as a proof of the favour of Jumna, 
who thus acknowledged her satisfaction with her new votaries. lie 
observed also that, at the moment of bathing, the hot spring, which wa> 
scanty, had gushed out with uncommon abundance; a sign of very peculiar 
favour. Be this as it may, it was a most inconvenient mode of signifying it. 
for every time we crossed the stream now, it was at the imminent hazard 
of our lives. One Ghoorkha was actually carried do^\Ti, but fortunately 
dragged out just on the verge of a considerable fall, with the loss of his 
tulwar, which went as a sacrifice to Jumna. The only ]\Iussulmaun of the 
party, who had inadvertently been allowed to come (a khidniatgar). lost 
his clothes, and nearly his life, in crossing the stream, — a circumstance 
wliich did not pass unnoticed by the Plindoos. At length, however, we all 
arrived safe, though weary, at the village by evening. 

Sudden fluctuations in the size of the river are very common, without 
any immediate apparent cause : and they are to be sought both in the 

3 K 



434 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

changes of the atmosphere, which take place very rapidly in these hiUs, 
and have a speedy effect on the lower parts of the snow, and consequently 
on the many sources of the river, and also in the partial falls of rain which 
occasion a quick but momentary rise. Even when the waters are low, the 
dangers of the way are considerable. 

I am confident that, by the road we took, it would be impossible 
to reach the place if the river were at all higher than we found it. 
Though trifiinsr in detail, the obstacles are numerous and serious in 
practice ; and it was the first day's marcli we had made where I reaUy 
thought the danger and difficulty considerable. One woman, however, 
the wife of a Ghoorkha jemadar, the only one who accompanied us even 
the whole way without shrinking, instead of being a hinderance to her 
husband she was really a support and comfort to him. Her notions of 
piety led her to visit these holy places, and her constancy and constitution 
enabled her to persevere, though the roads were severe and the way long. 
She never complained, never fell behind, was always in good humour ; and, 
wlien we came to our ground, she prepared her husband's food, and 
attended him as a servant. Let it be added that he was kind and good to 
her in return. She was, I believe, a native of Bischur. 

On our arrival at the village, I made inquiry respecting the road from 
thence to Gungotree. It appears that there are two : by the one it would 
be necessary to ix;turn back three days march on the road we came, and 
then, crossing the country between the Jumna and Ganges, where it is 
narrow, we should reach Earahat on the banks of the Ehagiruttee. This 
would of itself require four days, and from thence to Gungotree is a 
journey of six more ; but the road is somewhat easier than the other, 
and jirovisions and people to carry them and our baggage are found in 
plenty. The other road, it was said, leads over a high country partly in 
sno^v, and (as it was alleged at first) for four days we should not meet with 
a village or a human being. The whole way is desert and wearisome. 
But, on further inquiry, we learnt that the road is tolerably good, and 
sufficiently well marked ; and Goving Bhisht says, that many yeai's ago he 
went the whole desert road in three days. But both he and the zemin- 
dars here earnestly dissuaded me from attempting it. They assured me 
that, during the chief part of two days' march, m crossing a high liillwith 
much snow, there appears to be a poison in the air, which so affects the 



THE HIMALA MOUNTAINS. 435 

travellers, particularly those carrying loads, that they become senseless, lie 
down, and are perfectly incapable of motion. They cannot account for 
this phenomenon, but believe it to proceed from the powerful perfume of 
myriads of flowers in the small valleys and on the hill sides ; but they do 
not seem quite satisfied with this solution of the difficulty themselves. 
I inquired whether the flowers were always in bloom, and whether this 
poison was felt all the time the road is open : they answered, that it was 
most felt in the months (I think) of May and June, and did not know how 
it might be now. They talked wildly of a serar or wind from the moun- 
tains, pregnant with this mysterious poison, and concluded by again most 
earnestly dissuading me from going. 

On weighing and reflecting on all the circumstances that had passed, 
and were now laid before me, I determined to attempt tliis dangerous 
route. My object was to save time ; and I shoidd thus save at least four- 
teen days : besides, I had particularly observed how prone these people, 
particularly Goving Bhisht and Kishen Sing, were to exaggerate difficulties 
and the length of the road, and to throw obstacles in the way. I beheved 
that we should compass in two days what they averred to be the work of 
four ; and I own that I laughed at the idea of a poisoned atmosphere. I 
was also particularly anxiovis to ascend some of the liigh peaks, hoping to 
obtain from thence some very interesting bearings, and to be able to de- 
termine more precisely the nature of the rocks. Accordingly, a sufficiency 
of provisions for four days for the party and for the people to carry it was 
made ready, and the march ordered for the morrow. 

It is a singular foct, that the better classes of the natives in the hills 
were found unable to vie with our low country attendants in the power 
of supporting fatigue and a continued march in this difficult country. 
Goving Bhisht and Kishen Sing, with several of their people, had begun 
to show symptoms of being quite exliausted, while our own servants, and 
the sepoys from the plains, did not complain materially. The Ghoorkhas 
had been too much used to the work to render it matter of sui-prise that 
they held out ; but I beheve that the Europeans, myseli; and my brother, 
were by far the freshest, and continued much the longest capable of sui>- 
porting fatigue. Bhisht himself was by tar the least able of the party, 
and he here qviitted us : he had lagged terribly behind, and seemed very 
unequal to the marches we were making : and he complained of a pain in 



436 NOTES ON THE HILLS AT THE FOOT OF 

his knee, from some old hurt. Accordingly, thinking him rather a clog 
than an assistance to our progress, and believing Kishen Sing to be equally 
efficient in prociu-ing supplies and in describing the country as Bhisht, 
I siirnified to him that there was no further need of his attendance, at 
which I beheve he greatly rejoiced. 

July 16. — The night was cold, the morning sharp but clear, and aU 
^yas ready at six o'clock. Our route lay across the Oonta Gunga (which 
is here a good deal less than the Jumna), a few furlongs above the bridge ; 
and we then ascended the hill, which forms its left hand bank, at first 
through grain (papera), and thick forest- wood and jungle : the ascent was 
various, frequently steep ; and the trees were much the same as usual. 

Here we saw many rutnals, or peacock pheasants, but had no 02:)por- 
tunity of shooting any. On the way up I got a few bearings ; but, on 
reacliing an elevated spot, whence a noble prospect was expected, a cloud 
enveloped all. This ascent, for two miles and three quarters, carried us 
very high ; and from hence an extensive and useful vicAV would have been 
gained, but all was so dark, that there was no hope of seeing any thing. 

We had now reached the region where wood ceases, and only small 
stinted bushes thinly spot the ground. Birch was very prevalent in the 
forest : it differs a little from the common British species ; the leaf is 
larger, though of the same shape ; and it is not so fragrant as the beautiful 
ornament of our woods. 

This spot is called Sunapulee. From hence we continued an ascent 
up a steep hill-face, covered with short grass and small mountain flowers, 
and stunted birches ; and which bore altogether a strong similarity to 
some of the Scotch Highland hills : and here, indeed, I first discovered 
their own characteristic plant, the true heath, or heather. And no one 
who acknowledges that lively feeling of attachment to his country, so 
peculiarly called into life by the association of ideas, by the sight of a 
flower, of a scene, however rude, that he has seen in the days of his 
youth, but will sympathise in the joy with which I hailed this much loved 
and long looked for remembrancer of the " land of brown heath and 
shaggy wood." I plucked it, and placed it in my hat, with a delight that 
I believe much amused my attendants. It is not exactly of the sarne 
species as that most common in the Scotch Highlands: its small leaves 
cover the stem in regular rows, pointing so as to give it a four-square 



THE HIMSLS MOUNTAINS. 437 

appearance, and its bell is delicate and white; but at some distance it 
looks very similar, excepting that it has not the blooming purple glow 
which gives our mountains their rich colour. I have seen it, however, 
among other species, but not so abundant. Here, too, those beautiful 
birds, the peacock pheasants, were seen and heard in greater numbers the 
higher we rose, and might have been taken for grouse in our own heather. 

The ascent from Sunapulee is steep and irregular, and leads us over 
a number of very high peaks, on the brink of a most awful precipice ; the 
full dejjth of which we could not discover, from the fog wliich now enve- 
loped all the landscape. The ridge is called Dig-D,har, and seems exceed- 
ingly craggy and wild : it is the continuation of a ridge from JBunderpoucli. 
The road below the crest is various ; and, though the jiatli is well traced 
and clear, it is sufficiently tiresome and difficult. It was peculiarly morti- 
fying that the thickest fog which we had experienced continued obstinately 
this day to shroud every object from our view, so that the route was rather 
uncertain. 

Reaching Goormoo-Ke-Ghat, we descended into the Coormi-Ke-Gad,h, 
or nullah, by a painful and remarkably steep and rough path. Tliis 
stream runs from lionce to join tlie ]iheem-Ke-Gad,h, about a mile to the 
south-westward. The ascent from it was equally severe, along a loose 
stony bank, through some scraggy jungle. There is Httle wood in the 
whole ravine, and none above the junction of the I\Ialla-Ke-Gad,h. From 
hence we looked across the Bheem-Ke-Gad,h, mentioned on our way from 
Rana to Cursalee. Here all the hills seem abrupt to the south, and point 
their strata in directions from south-west 20° to south-east 20°, at an angle 
with the horizon nearly the same as that mentioned before, about forty-tive 
degrees. 

In the first part of this day's route the predominating stone was the old 
micaceous schistus, soft and reddish : as we ascended, it changed to white 
and black sand-stone ; but there was a very various m