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HARVARD COLLEGE 
LIBRARY 



PROM THE LIBRARY OF 

W. KIRKPATRICK BRICE 

THE GIFT OF HIS SISTER 

HELEN O. BRICE 

AND HIS BROTHER 

JOHN FRANCIS BRICE 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 



SIKHIM & BHUTAN 

TWENTY-ONE YEARS ON THE 
NORTH-EAST FRONTIER 

1887-1908 



BY 



J. CLAUDE WHITE, CLE. 



fVlTH ILLUSTRATIONS AND MAP 



NEW YORK 

LONGMANS, GREEN & CO. 

LONDON : EDWARD ARNOLD 

1909 

[All Rights RestrveJ] 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 



.4 




T) 17 . H< 



T^X 71&. /7-^ 



H/.i.-. COLLEGE U' .aRY 

FROM In.! 1 . :<Y OF 

W. KIRKP.YtltiCK BRiCE 

J J J^t 26. 1927 



TO 

A. W. PAUL, Esq., CLE. 

TO WHOM I OWE MUCH FOR THE 

ASSISTANCE HE HAS ALWAYS 

GIVEN ME IN MY WORK 



PREFACE 

My Indian career has extended to nearly thirty-two years 
of active service, and of that more than twenty years were 
spent on the North-East Frontier in the administration, 
as well as the political charge, of the little-known State of 
Sikhim, and latterly in political charge of the even less- 
known State of Bhutan and certain portions, including 
Chumbi and Gyantse, of South-East Tibet ; and as I had 
in addition spent over a year in Khatmandu, the capital of 
Nepal, I may lay claim to an intimate knowledge of this 
Frontier, which is my excuse for putting my experiences in 
print. 

When I first visited Darjeeling in 1881 I used to look 
across the valleys of the Rungeet and the Teesta rivers 
and long to penetrate into those stupendous mountains 
and valleys, with their magnificent forests and rivers, to 
explore the everlasting snows and glaciers, and to come 
in contact with their interesting people. An added fas- 
cination for me was the fact that beyond these mountains 
lay the mysterious, unknown land of Tibet, about which 
all manner of things were conjured up in my imagination, 
and which I fondly hoped I might some day reach. 

The Fates were propitious, beyond my most sanguine 
expectations, for on the outbreak of the Sikhim-Tibet 
War in 1888 I was sent as Assistant Political Officer with 

the expeditionary force, and on the conclusion of peace the 

•• 

vu 



PREFACE 

following year, I was offered the post of Political Officer in 
administrative charge of the State of Sikhim. Naturally 
I gladly accepted an appointment which would give me an 
opportunity of living in a country I was so anxious to see 
more of, and I have never regretted my decision ; although, 
in consequence of the view taken by the Government of 
India of my special employment on the Frontier, and the 
fact that I left the Public Works Department to take up 
this appointment, I have been a loser from a pecuniary 
point of view to a very large extent. 

In 1903, when it was decided to send a Mission to Lhasa, 
I was appointed one of the Commissioners, and on the con- 
clusion of the Mission I was placed in charge of our political 
relations with Bhutan, as well as that portion of Tibet 
which came under the sphere of influence of the Government 
of India, in addition to my political and administrative 
work in Sikhim. 

Owing to the friendly relations which had been 
established by Mr. A. W. Paul, and which I had kept up 
with Bhutan ever since I came to this part of the country, 
I found the Tongsa Penlop and the Bhutanese officials 
who accompanied us to Lhasa most anxious to make 
friends with me, and I was able to become on very inti- 
mate terms with them, a circumstance of great advantage 
to me later on. 

My new appointment afforded many opportunities of 
visiting Bhutan and of becoming acquainted with the 
country and its officials and people, and through my 
friendship with the Tongsa I was given many facilities 
never before extended to any European. 

During those twenty-one years my duties took me to 
almost every corner of the beautiful mountain countries of 

Sikhim and Bhutan, with their heterogeneous population 

••* 

via 



PREFACE 

of Lepchas, Bhuteas, Tibetans, Bhutanese, and Paharias, 
about the greater number of whom very little was 
known. 

In climate every variation was to be found, from 
arctic to subtropical, with scenery unparalleled anywhere 
in the world for magnificence and grandeur and the bright- 
ness and softness of its colouring, the bold, snow-clad 
and desolate expanses contrasting sharply with the rich 
and luxuriant vegetation of the deep-cut valleys close at 
hand. 

I was brought into close contact with the people and 
their rulers, whom the more you know the 4 more you like, 
in spite of all their faults. During my long sojourn amongst 
them I had an unique experience not often met with in 
India in these days, when officials are moved from place to 
place so constantly that they learn nothing of the districts 
they govern and still less of the people, who think an 
attempt to know their officials is not worth while, as they 
are sure to be changed in a few months, and the task would 
have to be begun again. It is a grave mistake in the present 
•system of government, and one which is responsible for 
much of the unrest and anarchy in India. 

I have often been urged by my friends to write an 
account of my experiences, but as long as I remained in 
Government service I refused, and I now, with some reluct- 
ance, have tried in this book to give a short account of 
these countries both geographical and historical, as well 
as of my personal experiences during my various tours, 
and to bring before my readers some pictures of these two 
most delightful countries ; but writing does not come easily 
to me, and I must crave my readers' indulgence. 

Of Bhutan I have given the more detailed historical 
account, as nothing of the kind exists, and information on 



IX 



PREFACE 

the subject can only be gained by research into many 
books, Government records, and old Tibetan manuscripts. 
I have also given very full accounts of my missions and 
explorations in this beautiful and interesting country, in 
the hope of removing the stigma under which it has for 
so long lain — a country about which so little is known, 
and of which as recently as 1894 Risley wrote in his intro- 
duction to the " Sikhim Gazetteer " : " No one wishes to 
explore that tangle of jungle-clad and fever-stricken hills, 
infested with leeches and the pipsa fly, and offering no 
compensating advantage to the most enterprising pioneer. 
Adventure looks beyond Bhutan. Science passes it by 
as a region not sufficiently characteristic to merit special 

exploration." 

J.C.W. 

September* 1909 



CONTENTS 



CHAP. PAGE 

I. THE GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION AND GENERAL FEA- 
TURES OF THE STATES OF SIKHIM AND BHUTAN i 



II. THE PEOPLE : THEIR MORALS, RELIGION, AND LAN- 
GUAGE 7 



III. A SHORT HISTORY OF SIKHIM 16 



IV. EARLY REMINISCENCES 

First visit to Sikhim, 1887. The brothers Khangsa Dewan 
and Phodong Lama, the Shoe Dewan and Kazis. Return to 
Gangtak with the Entchi Column, 1888. First meeting with 
Their Highnesses the Maharaja and Maharani of Sikhim 19 



V. MORE EARLY REMINISCENCES 

My appointment to Sikhim. Departure of the Maharaja to 
Kurseong. Inspection of the country with Phodong Lama 
and Shoe Dewan. Opening up by means of roads and bridges. 
Sources of revenue. Mineral wealth. Visit to Yatung, 
so-called Trade Mart 35 



VI. MORE EARLY REMINISCENCES 

Building a house. Lepcha servants. Supplies. A garden 
party. The Residency garden. Roses and lilies. A wave of 
colour. Orchids. Visit to Tumlong. Worship of Kangchen* 
junga. Lama dance. Missionaries. Difficulties of travelling. 
Crossing the Teesta in flood. Landslips. Leeches 33 

xi 



CONTENTS 

CBAP. FAO« 

VII. THE DELHI DURBAR AND VISIT OF THE CHIEFS TO 
CALCUTTA TO MEET THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES 
THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES 45 



VIII. EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS IN SIKHIM 

From Gangtak over the Giucha-la to Ringen. Loss of a coolie. 
Camp amongst glaciers and moraines. A snow leopard. Alpine 
flowers. Avalanches and ice caves. Crossing a difficult 
gorge. Lepchas and wild bees. The Rungnu. Sakhyong 53 



IX. EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS IN SIKHIM-«m- 
tinued 

From Gangtak to the Zemu glacier, Lonak Valley, Lachen 
and Lachung. Mr. Hoffmann. Cloud effects. Cane bridges. 
Hot springs. Talung Monastery and its treasures. Grazing 
land and Tibetan herdsmen. Yak transport. Locusts. The 
Sebu Pass. Snow-blindness. Lachung. Goral-shooting 63 



X. EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS IN SIKHIM--c<wi- 
tinued 

Demarcation of the northern boundary between Sikhim and 
Tibet. Difficulties of transport. Mountain sickness. Survey 
work. Caught in a storm. Durkey Sirdar. Ovis ammon. 
Photographing the glaciers. A ride at 21,600 feet. Evidence 
of former size of the glaciers 82 



XI. DEPARTURE FROM SIKHIM 94 



XII. HISTORY OF THE FOUNDING OF BHUTAN 99 



XIII. MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

From Gangtak to Tashi-cho-jong. Choice of routes. The 
Natu-la in bad weather. Deputation in the Chumbi Valley. 
Entering Bhutan. The Hah-la and Meru-la. Punishment 
for murder. Leather cannon. Paro. The Penlop's wives. 
Paro-jong. Turner's description. Eden's description. Dug- 
gye. Weeping cypress at Chalimaphe. The quarrel between 
Ugyen Wang-chuk and Aloo Dorji. Murder of Poonakha 
Jongpen. Tashi-cho-jong 105 

xu 



CONTENTS 

CHAP. » A <JE 

XIV. MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN-******** 

From Tashi-cbo-jong to Tongsa-jong. Simtoka-jong. Entry 
into Poonakha. The Deb Raja. Presentation of K.C.I.E. 
Description of Poonakha Fort. Expedition to Norbngang 
and Talo Monasteries. Visit of the Tango Lama. So-na-ga- 
sa the Zemri-gatchie of Turner. Farewell visit to the Deb. 
Angdu-phodang. Death of my dog NarL The Pele-la. 
Tongsa-jong. Bad roads. Water-power prayer-wheels. 
The ceremony of blessing the rice-fields 137 



XV. MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN— continued 

From Tongsa-jong to Bya-gha, Lingzi, and Phari. Hos- 
pitality of the Tongsa and Tongsa's sister at Bya-gha. Old 
monasteries near Bya-gha. Ancient traditions. Carvers and 
carpenters at the Champa Lhakhang Monastery. Regret at 
leaving Bya-gha. Lama dances. Farewell to Sir Ugyen. 
Reception at Tashi-cho-jong. Last interview with the Deb 
Raja. Ta-tshang lamas. Cheri Monastery. Magnificent 
scenery. Incorrect maps. Exposure of the dead to lammer- 
geiers. View of Tibet from the Ling-ahi Pass. Break-up of 
the Mission 161 



XVI. AN EXPLORATION OF EASTERN BHUTAN AND A 
PORTION OF TIBET IN 1906 

From Gangtak via Dewangiri to Tashigong and Tashi- 
yangtsi, and on to Tsekang. Horse-flies. Dorunga. Cypri- 
pedium Fairianum. Sudden rise of the river. Tigers near 
the camp. Chungkhar. Borahang iron-mines. Tashigong. 
Stick lac cultivation. Suspension bridges. Source of the 
Dongma-chhu. Tashi-yangtsi. Prayer-wheels. Old roads. 
Chorten Kara. New flowering trees 184 



XVII. AN EXPLORATION OF EASTERN BHUTAN AND A 
PORTION OF TIBET IN igo6-conti»uid 

From Tsekang to Lhakhang-jong. Lhalung Monastery and 
Pho-mo-chang-thang Lake to Gyantse. Crossing the Bod-la 
between Bhutan and Tibet Riding yaks. Welcome in Tibet. 
Meeting with Sir Ugyen. Wild gooseberries. Old gold- 
workings. Friendliness of Tibetans. Lhakhang-jong. Tuwa- 
jong. Dekila, widow of Norbu Sring. Lhalung Monastery. 

Ovis ammon. Source of the Nyeru-chhu 197 

... 
xin 



CONTENTS 



XVIII. MY SECOND MISSION TO BHUTAN 



FAOS 



Severe weather. Shan. A frozen torrent Dug-gye-jong. 
A visit to Paro Ta-tshang Monastery. Sang-tog-perL Paro- 
jong burnt down. Arrival at Poonakha. The Tongsa's band 211 



XIX. MY SECOND MISSION TO BHUTA^^cantinued 

Installation of Sir Ugyen as Maharaja of Bhutan. Presen- 
tation of gifts. Tea ceremony. Oath of allegiance. Seal of the 
Dharma Raja. Chinese influence on the frontier. Christmas 
Day. Feeding the poor. Return of escort Discussion of 
State affairs with Maharaja and council. I leave for Jaigaon. 
A Takin. Inspection of frontier. Wild animals 224 



XX. BRITISH MISSIONS TO BHUTAN 

Bogle, 1774. Hamilton, 1775 and 1777. Turner, 1783. Pern- 
berton, 1838. Eden, 1864. White, 1905. White, 1907 237 



XXI. BRITISH RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN FROM 1772 

Nepalese invasion of Tibet, 1792. The Athara Duars. Fric- 
tion with Bhutan. Our occupation of the Bengal Duars. 
Expedition against Bhutan. Loss of guns. Treaty of Rawa 
Pant Whole of Duars taken by us. Tongsa Penlop accom- 
panies expedition to Lhasa. Sir Ugyen's visit to Calcutta. 
Sir Ugyen elected Maharaja 264 



XXII. FOREIGN RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN 

China. Tibet Nepal. Sikhim. Cooch Behar 285 

XXIII. ARTS AND INDUSTRIES OF SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Chinese and Indian influence. Metal-work in Sikhim. 
Method of casting. Sikhim knives. Aniline dyes. Weaving 
school in Lachung. Carpet factory in Gangtak. Apple 
orchards in Lachung and Chumbi. Cheese and butter making. 
Bhutan metal-work. A wonderful pan-box. Beaten copper 
and silver work. Bells. Swords and daggers. Weaving. 
Needlework pictures. Basket-work. Influence of the feudal 
system. Inferiority of Tibetan work. Wood-carving in 
Sikhim, Bhutan, and Nepal 294 

xiv 



CONTENTS 

FAGB 

APPENDICES 

I. THE LAWS OF BHUTAN 301 

II. THE LAWS OF SIKHIM AND MARRIAGE CUSTOMS 311 

III. A LIST OF SOME OF THE PRINCIPAL ANIMALS AND 

BIRDS TO BE FOUND IN THESE COUNTRIES, AND 
THEIR HABITAT 32a 

IV. DESCRIPTIONS OF THE ART SPECIMENS ILLUSTRATED 

IN CHAPTER XXIII. 325 

INDEX 327 



xv 



'I 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



PACING 
PACE 



Bhutanese Houses 186 

Lhalung Monastery 198 

Tuwa-jong 202 

Interior of Lhalung Monastery 206 

Interior of Dug-gye-jong 212 

Bridge at Shana 214 

Paro Ta-tshang Monastery {photogravure) 218 

Group at Poonakha, 1908 222 
Oath of Allegiance signed at Poonakha at the Installation or Sir 

Ugyen Wang-chuk as Maharaja- of Bhutan, 1907 226 

H.H. Sir Ugyen Wang-chuk, K.C.I. E., Maharaja of Bhutan 234 

Impressions of Seals given to Bhutan by China, Nepal, and Tibet 286 

Art Specimens — I 294 

Art Specimens — II 296 

Art Specimens — III 298 

Art Specimens — IV 300 

The illustrations facing pages 60, 64, 66, and 68 by the kind permission of Mr. Hoffmann. 
Map of Sikhim and Bhutan At end 



xvni 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 



CHAPTER I 

THE GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION AND GENERAL FEATURES 
OF THE STATES OF SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Sikhim and Bhutan are two adjoining countries covering 
between them an area of about 22,000 square miles, lying 
to the north and east of Darjeeling, and to the north of the 
British districts of Jalpaiguri, Goalpara, and Kamrup. 
Their northern boundary is that portion of the Himalayas 
which forms the watershed between the Tibetan province 
of U and India ; on the east boundary is the State of 
Tawang, subject to Tibet, and on the west that of Nepal. 
Both countries lie entirely in the heart of the Himalayas 
between 26 30' and 28 30' north latitude and 88° o' and 
92 15' east longitude. 

The northern boundary of Bhutan has hitherto been 
defined by an imaginary line drawn eastward from Chomo- 
lhari to Kulu-Kangri, but my explorations prove that 
Bhutan extends much further to the north ; as far as the 
snow ranges east of Kala-tsho and south of the Nelung 
Valley with the Wagya-la situated on the frontier, and in 
my map I have shown the correct boundary. 

The Chumbi Valley, formerly a part of Sikhim, but now 
belonging to Tibet, forms a wedge which divides the northern 
portion of Sikhim from Bhutan, while Sikhim itself lies 
within the watershed of the river Teesta. 

Western and Central Bhutan may conveniently be 
-divided into three zones : 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

(i) The outer or foot hills, adjoining the plains of 
India. 

(2) The central belt lying between these hills, and — 

(3) The uplands immediately under the high snow 
ranges on the Tibetan frontier. 

The first zone includes the whole of the outer ranges 
for a depth of twenty to thirty miles. They rise sharply 
and abruptly out of the plains and are cut into deep valleys 
or gorges by rivers liable to sudden floods, sometimes rising 
40 feet to 50 feet. The annual rainfall is excessive, from 
200 inches to 250 inches, and the hill-sides are densely 
clothed with vegetation, forests as well as undergrowth. 
In this zone the valleys are unhealthy and very feverish in 
the rainy season, hot and steamy, while the higher hills 
rising in places to an altitude of 12,000 feet are cold, wet 
and misty. 

The second, or central zone, consists mainly of valleys 
of an elevation varying from 3500 feet to 10,000 feet 
which, with their dividing ridges, extend northward behind 
the first zone for about forty miles. These valleys are 
healthy, comparatively broad and flat, with a moderate 
rainfall and fairly well populated and cultivated. They 
have not yet been worn into the narrow gorges so notice- 
able in the outer hills, and still bear evidence of their 
glacial origin ; the rise of the rivers is moderate, according 
to the marks on the banks not more than four feet to six 
feet, and the slopes of the mountains are much more gradual 
and to a certain extent, cultivated. 

The third zone comprises the high valleys, of an eleva- 
tion of 12,000 feet to 18,000 feet, running down from the 
great northern barrier of snow, with snow ranges between 
them, the peaks of which attain occasionally a height of 
24,000 feet. These valleys are only used for grazing in 
the summer months, when the hardy Bhutan cattle are 
taken up to 12,000 and 14,000 feet and yaks and sheep 
even higher. 

This division is particularly noticeable in the tract 

2 



THE GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION 

where the outer hills, rising to high elevations near the 
plains, intercept the south-east monsoon, and is markedly 
exemplified in the valleys of Hah, Paro, Tashi-cho-jong and 
Bya-gha (otherwise known as Pumthang) in Bhutan and in 
Chumbi. 

But in the deep-cut valleys of the River Teesta in 
Sikhim, and the Lobrak or Kuru River in Bhutan, the 
above division does not apply. The outer hills are lower, 
the monsoon current penetrates much further north, 
through deep valleys which run nearly to the foot of the 
highest mountains, and consequently the wet zone extends 
as far as the snows. In the case of the Teesta the elevation 
of the valley a few miles from Kangchen is not more than 
2400 feet above mean sea level, while the Lobrak cuts 
through the barrier of the Himalayas, at an elevation of 
only 10,000 feet. 

Sikhim, owing to its proximity to Kangchen junga, to 
the fact that it lies in the direct path of the monsoon and 
to the direction of its valleys, is much the wettest portion 
of the whole area, and has a heavy annual rainfall, about 
50 inches even in the dry upper valleys of Lachung and 
Lachen, increasing to about 140 inches in other districts. 

In eastern Bhutan the rainfall is appreciably less as the 
monsoon current is diverted up the Assam Valley and does 
not strike the hills directly. Consequently there is a 
diminished rainfall, and the effect is noticeable in the 
vegetation which is not nearly so dense. 
These hill states are drained : 

Sikhim by the Teesta and its tributaries, the chief of 
which are the Rungeet, the Rungnu-chhu joining at 
Ringen, and the Lachen and Lachung rivers. 
Bhutan by : 

(1) The Am-mo-chhu or Torsa draining the Chumbi 
Valley; 

(2) The Wang-chhu or Raydak with its tributaries the 
Hah-chhu and the Par-chhu draining the valleys of Hah, 
Paro, and Tashi-cho-jong ; 

3 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

(3) The Mo-chhu or Sankos, which with its numerous 
tributaries, drains the valley of Poonakha; one branch 
taking its rise on the southern slopes of Chomolhari and 
another in the snows to the east of Kala-tsho ; 

(4) The Monass, by far the largest river in this part of 
the world, with two main branches of which the Lobrak 
or Kuru-chhu rises in Tibet, its main source being in 
glaciers on the northern slopes of the Kulu-Kangri and its 
adjacent snows, while the second, the Dongma-chhu, rises 
in the snowy range to the east of Tawang. Other tribu- 
taries are the Madu-chhu, running past Tongsa and the 
Pumthang, draining the Bya-gha Valley. 

u I can best describe the Mountain System as a series of 
parallel ranges running in a general direction from north to 
south, springing from the vast snow-range which forms the 
southern buttress of the great Tibetan Plateau. These 
parallel ranges are again cut into innumerable smaller 
ranges forming a vast labyrinth of valleys running in every 
direction, while the main ranges, running down to the 
plains, divide the river systems I have already mentioned, 
and, as they have no distinctive local names, I have 
called them after certain peaks or passes. 

Beginning from the extreme west there is — 

(a) The Singh-la range, the crest of which forms the 
boundary between Sikhim and Nepal. This range runs 
from Kangchenjunga and on it are the well-known and 
often visited peaks of Sandukphu and Phallut, as well as 
the hill stations of Darjeeling and Kurseong. The principal 
pass between Sikhim and Nepal is the Chiabhanjan-la. 

(b) Further to the east is the Chola range descending 
from Powhunri to the east of the Donkia-la and forming 
the water parting between the Teesta and the Am-mo-chhu. 
There are numerous passes on this range, the most generally 
used being the Jeylap-la and Natu-la, although, before the 
present roads were made, the Cho-la was much used, and I 
have crossed it myself as well by four others, the Yak-la, 
the Sibu-la, the Thanka-la and another. 

4 



THE GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION 

(c) Next the Massong-chung-dong range which runs 
down from Chomolhari, past Hah, to Buxa Duar in the 
plains forming the watershed between the Am-mo-chhu and 
the Wang-chhu. The passes on this range over which I have 
crossed are the Temo-la above Phari, the Hah-la on the 
main road through Central Bhutan and the Lome-la on 
the Paro-Dungna-jong road, while to the south there are 
many others. 

(d) The Dokyong-la range, which, as I discovered in 
1905, also runs down from Chomolhari, is the water parting 
between the Wang-chhu and the Mo-chhu. The pass on 
the main road crossing the range is the Dokyong-la, after 
which I have called the range. Other passes are the 
Zadu-la to the north of the Dokyong-la, the Biafu-la to the 
south, the Taga-la and many others as these lower hills can 
be easily crossed almost everywhere, and paths are numerous. 

(e) The Black Mountain range, which divides the waters 
of the Mo-chhu from the river system of the Monass, has 
its rise in the snows near Kulu-Kangri ; and practically 
divides Bhutan into two portions both administratively 
and ethnographically. The people to the east, who origin- 
ally came from the hills to the north-east of Assam, are 
directly under the jurisdiction of the Tongsa Penlop, while 
on the west they are of almost pure Tibetan origin and under 
the jurisdiction of the Thimboo Jongpen and Paro Penlop. 
The main pass is the Pele-la, but there are many others 
both on the north and south. 

(f) The Tawang range, to the east of the Monass river 
system, which probably has its origin in the snow ranges 
to the north-east of Tawang and south-east of Dongma- 
chhu. One of its many ramifications forms the eastern 
boundary of Bhutan and ends in the hills to the east of 
Dewangiri. 

The minor ranges, or those which terminate before 
reaching the plains, are too numerous to mention, but the 
principal ones are the Moinam range between the Teesta 
and the Rungeet ; the Chiu-li-la dividing the Hah-chhu 

5 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

and the Pa-chhu ; the Bei-la range between Pa-chhu and 
the Wang-chhu ; the Yoto-la range which springs from the 
snows to the east of Kulu-Kangri, dividing the Madu-chhu 
and the Pumthang-chhu; the Radung-la between the 
Pumthang-chhu and Kuru-chhu; and the Dang-la range 
springing from the snows near the Kar-chhu Pass and 
dividing the Kuru-chhu from the Dongma-chhu. 



CHAPTER II 

THE PEOPLE : THEIR MORALS, RELIGION 

AND LANGUAGE 

SIKHIM 

The aboriginal inhabitants of Sikhim are the Lepchas, 
and the language they use is Lepcha. Their origin is 
doubtful, as they did not enter Sikhim from across the 
Himalayas or from Tibet, but are supposed to have come 
from the East along the foot hills from the direction of 
Assam and Upper Burmah. They bear little resemblance 
to the Tibetans, they are smaller and slighter in build with 
finer cut features, in many cases almost Jewish, and their 
language is a distinct one, not a dialect of Tibetan. They 
only number about 6000. They are people of a mild, 
quiet and indolent disposition, loving solitude, and their 
homes are found in the most inaccessible places, in the 
midst of forests if possible, and seldom above an elevation 
of 4000 feet. They are also very improvident, living from 
hand to mouth ; with abundance when the crops are good, 
but once the supply is eaten up going often in the direst 
straits, picking up what they can in the jungle till the 
next crop ripens. They are great nature lovers and good 
entomologists and botanists, and have their own names 
for every animal, insect and plant, and are, I should think, 
unequalled anywhere as collectors. They make most 
excellent and trustworthy servants and are a quite ex- 
ceptional people, amongst whom it is a pleasure to live. 
I speak from a very intimate knowledge of their ways and 

7 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

habits after having spent a very happy twenty years amongst 
them with friends in every degree, from the Maharaja 
himself to some of the humblest coolies. 

They now profess Buddhism and are generally very 
devotional, although they originally worshipped the spirits 
of the mountains, rivers and forests, a natural outcome of 
their surroundings. Leading solitary, isolated lives, every- 
thing would tend to foster such beliefs in a country where 
the mighty snows appear immortal, the raging torrents 
irresistible, as though impelled by some unseen avenging 
spirit, combined with the curious shapes taken by every- 
thing when veiled in grey mist and the ghostlike and awe- 
some forms to be met in the shadows of the damp dripping 
forests full of phosphorescent stumps of old trees scattered 
round in strange contortions, with the accompaniment of 
the weird sound of the wind, as it moans round some pro- 
jecting crag or through some giant tree, and where even 
the melancholy cry of the birds is pitched in a minor key, 
all must encourage such beliefs and leave a deep impression 
on the character of the people who live amidst it. 

A few Lepcha families are to be found in the lower 
valleys of Western Bhutan, and also in Eastern Nepal, 
where they apparently settled at the time they came to 
Sikhim. 

The next race to enter Sikhim, probably long before the 
time of the accession of the Sikhim Rajas, were the Bhuteas 
who are of Tibetan origin and who spread at the same time 
into Bhutan. In Sikhim they number a little over 6000 
and are more traders and herdsmen than agriculturists, 
although they cultivate small areas round their houses. 
They are for the most part of good physique, big and 
sturdy with a Mongolian type of features, and are not so 
reserved or so fond of isolation as the Lepchas. Their 
houses are substantially built at elevations always above 
4000 feet and never in the hot steamy valleys. The whole 
family, sons and sons' wives, live together under one roof 
in patriarchal fashion, instead of each man having his own 

8 



THE PEOPLE 

house and establishment. Their religion is Buddhism or 
Lamaism, and their language is a dialect of Tibetan. £-— 

By far the greater number of the inhabitants of Sikhim, 
however, are the Paharias, who number nearly 50,000. 
They have migrated from the neighbouring densely popu- 
lated State of Nepal, and are slowly but surely pushing 
their way eastward. They are almost all Hindus by 
religion, with innumerable castes, the few exceptions 
being the tribes coming from the north-east of Nepal, who 
still profess Buddhism. They are on the whole a steady, 
industrious and thrifty people, very pushing, and eager to 
take up new employments, they make excellent settlers, 
pay their rent regularly, and give no trouble in that way. 
But they require a strong hand over them, and some of the 
castes are most litigious and quarrelsome. Many of their 
head men are excellent managers, thoroughly to be trusted, 
and will carry out anything they undertake to. do to the 
best of their ability. In more than one case I have known 
Nepalese settlers in Sikhim, by dint of hard work and 
perseverance, rise to important positions which they have 
successfully filled, in marked contrast to the Lepchas, whose 
indolent temperament always acts as a deterrent and 
causes them to be outdistanced by more energetic races. 

The only plainsmen from India to be found in Sikhim 
are a few Marwaris and men of the Bunia or shopkeeper 
class, who have come for trading purposes and settled under 
the protection of the British Raj since the expedition of 
1888. 

BHUTAN 

The population of Bhutan, numbering, perhaps, 400,000 
may be roughly divided into two, those living on the 
West and those living on the East of the Pele-la. 

The people of the West are for the most part of Tibetan 
origin who came into the country centuries ago. They are 
of the same original stock as the Bhuteas in Sikhim, but 

9 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

have developed in Bhutan into a magnificent race of men 
physically. Why there should be this marked contrast I 
cannot say, it may be due to the difference in climate, but 
there is no comparison between the two, although the 
Sikhim Bhutea is a strong sturdy fellow in his own way. 
The Bhutanese are fine, tall, well-developed men with an 
open, honest cast of face, and the women are comely, clean 
and well-dressed, and excellent housekeepers and managers. 
Their religion is Buddhism and their language a dialect oif- 
Tibetan. 

Of their morals, Dr. Griffiths, who accompanied Pem- 
berton in 1838, writes as follows : 

" Of the moral qualities of the Booteahs it is not in my 
power to give a pleasing account. To the lower orders I 
am disposed to give credit for much cheerfulness, even 
under their most depressed circumstances, and generally 
for considerable honesty. The only instances of theft 
that occurred did so on our approach to the capital. How 
strange that where all that should be good, and all that is 
great is encouraged, there is little to be found but sheer 
vice ; and how strange that where good examples alone 
should be led, bad examples alone are followed. 

"To the higher orders I cannot attribute the pos- 
session of a single good quality. They are utter strangers 
to truth ; they are greedy beggars, they are wholly familiar 
with rapacity and craftiness and the will of working evil. 
This censure applies only to those with whom we had 
personal intercourse ; it would be perhaps unfair to include 
the Soubahs, whom we saw only once in such a flattering 
picture, but it certainly would not be unreasonable, and I 
must make one exception in favour of Bullumboo, the 
Soubah of Dewangiri, and he was the only man of any 
rank that we had reason to be friendly towards and to 
respect. In morale they appeared to me to be inferior to 
all ordinary hill tribes, on whom a Booteah would look 
with ineffable contempt, and although their houses are 
generally better, and although they actually have castles 

10 



THE PEOPLE 

and places called palaces, and although the elders of the 
land dress in fine cloths and gaudy silks and possess money, 
ponies, mules, and slaves, I am disposed to consider them 
as inferior even to the naked Naga. 

"They are not even courageous. I am inclined to 
rank courage among physical rather than moral qualities, 
yet it could not be so classified in the consideration of a 
Booteah in whom other qualities are well developed. I 
therefore consider it among those other qualities which, 
as I have said, are absent in Bootan. A Booteah is a great 
boaster but a small performer. All accounts I heard of 
their reputed courage were ludicrous. . . . Their courage 
may therefore be written down as entirely imaginary. 

"Their ideas of religion appear to be very confused, 
religion with them consisting, as indeed it may do among 
other more civilised people, of certain external forms, such 
as counting beads and muttering sacred sentences. The 
people throughout are remarkably superstitious, believing 
in an innumerable host of spirits. . . . 

" Of any marriage ceremonies I could not hear, but as 
chastity would appear to be unknown, no particular forms 
are probably required. Nor do I think that there is a 
particular class of prostitutes. We all had opportunities 
of remarking the gross indelicacy of Booteah women ; of 
this and of their extreme amiableness the custom of poly- 
andry is a very sufficient cause. So far as I could see, there 
is no distinction of rank among Booteah women, and those 
only are saved from the performance of menial duties who 
are incapacitated by sickness or age. . . „ 

" Of the social habits little favourable could be said in 
any place where the women are looked on as inferior beings 
and used as slaves. . . . 

" I need scarcely add that both sexes are, in all their 
habits, inexpressibly filthy. The women, in their extreme 
indelicacy, form a marked contrast with such other hill 
tribes as I am acquainted with. The only use either sex 
make of water is in the preparation of food or of spirits — 

n 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

no water ever comes into contact with any part of their 
person ; they scarcely ever change their clothes, especially 
the woollen ones." 

Eden formed much the same opinion in 1864, and I 

cannot help thinking both writers were prejudiced against 

the Bhutanese by the treatment they received, for it is 

not possible for a whole race to so completely change in 

so short a time ; and in addition Bogle and Turner's 

accounts of their experiences coincide exactly with 

mine. 

/ When I visited Bhutan in 1905, I certainly had more 

and better opportunities of judging, and I found no signs 

of such a state of things. My experience of the people 

l was that they were universally polite, civil, and clean, and 

during the whole time I spent in the country, I only saw 

j one drunken man. I had every opportunity of judging, as I 

\ entered numerous houses and temples in all parts of the 

; country, and invariably found them clean and tidy ; in 

I many of the houses the floors were washed and polished, 

j and the refreshments they hospitably pressed on me were 

} served in spotlessly clean dishes. 

■ The clothes of the higher officials were always im- 

maculate, their brocades and silks fresh and unstained in 
any way, and even the coolies were a great contrast to the 
usual Tibetan or Darjeeling coolie. Therefore I cannot 
help thinking Messrs. Griffiths and Eden have exaggerated 
what they saw, and as we know with what discourtesy they 
were treated, it is perhaps not altogether unreasonable for 
them to have seen only the worst side of the people. 

Neither do I consider the Bhutanese an excessively idle 
people, the amount of labour expended on their irrigation 
channels alone dispels that idea, and their houses are all 
large and substantially built. And as in the case of Dug-gye- 
jong, in the courtyards we found retainers busily occupied 
in various trades, while the women of the household spin 
and weave and make clothes for the men-folk in addition to 
their ordinary duties. A great part of the country is 

12 



THE PEOPLE 

under cultivation, and they raise sufficient crops to support 
the whole population, including the lamas, who are a great 
burden to the State. 

We saw no immorality. They follow certain curious 
customs, such as the right of the head man when girls 
marry, but after all, the same custom prevailed in Europe 
not so many years ago in the right of the Seigneur. But 
even this is being put a stop to by the present Tongsa. 
The women were open and frank in their demeanour, but 
with no trace of indelicacy. The men were cheery and 
jovial, always ready for a game at quoits, shooting at a 
target with arrows, jumping, &c, at the end of a day's 
march when we had settled into camp. They are fond of 
their beer, but there is no great harm in that, and small 
wonder they are thirsty after toiling up the hills with their 
loads. I have drunk many a choonga (bamboo mug) full 
of the mild ale myself and been none the worse for it. 

Amongst the people of the East who live beyond the 
Pele-la the bulk of the population is not of Tibetan origin, 
nor do they speak Tibetan. I give a few words they use, 
spelt phonetically, which seem to me different to those of 
Tibetan derivation. Garni = fire, Nut =* barley, Mai = house, 
Tyu = milk, Yak = hand, Tsoroshai = come here. Their 
origin is not clear, but they are allied to the people of 
the Assam Valley and to those living in the hills to the 
east beyond Bhutan. They are of a different type to 
those in the west, smaller in stature, the complexion is 
darker and features finer cut, and their dress is different. 
They also profess Buddhism, but are not so observant of 
its customs, nor are there so many monasteries and 
Lamas to be met with as in the other part of Bhutan. 
Sir Ugyen Wang-chuk estimates there are about 200,000 of 
them. 

The remaining inhabitants are Paharias, the same as 
those in Sikhim, who are creeping along the foot hills and 
now form a considerable community extending the whole 
length of Bhutan where the outer hills join the plains of 

13 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

India. With the exception of the Hindu Paharias, Bud- 
dhism is the religion professed throughout Bhutan. 

To my readers who wish to study the subject of Buddhist 
religion in this part of the world I cannot give better advice 
than to read WaddelTs " Lamaism," as I have no intention 
of entering deeply into it, and will content myself by saying 
that in both Sikhim and Bhutan the religion is an offshoot 
of Buddhism, and was introduced into these countries from 
Tibet by lamas from different monasteries who travelled 
south and converted the people. Most of the tenets of 
Buddha have been set aside, and those retained are lost 
in a mass of ritual, so nothing remains of the original 
religion but the name. The form of worship has a curious 
resemblance in many particulars to that of the Roman 
Catholic Church. On any of their high holy days the 
intoning of the Chief Lama conducting the service, the 
responses chanted by the choir, sometimes voices alone, 
sometimes to the accompaniment of instruments, where 
the deep note of the large trumpet strangely resembles the 
roll of an organ, the ringing of bells, burning of incense, 
the prostrations before the altar, the telling of beads and 
burning of candles, the processions of priests in gorgeous 
vestments, and even the magnificent altars surmounted by 
images and decorated with gold and silver vessels, with 
lamps burning before them, even the side chapels with the 
smaller shrines where lights burn day and night, add to 
the feeling that one is present at some high festival in a 
Roman Catholic place of worship. I have been present at 
the services on feast days in the temples in Sikhim, Bhutan 
and in Lhasa, and no great stretch of imagination was 
required to imagine myself in a Catholic Cathedral in 
France or Spain, especially the latter. There is also some 
resemblance in the dress and vestments of the priests and 
lamas, and even in some of their customs. Many of them 
go entirely into seclusion, and they also have certain periods 
of time devoted to prayer corresponding to a Retreat, 
during which they see no one. 

14 



THE PEOPLE 

Sikhim is not so priest-ridden as Bhutan and Tibet. 
As a class the lamas are disliked, but also feared by the 
people, on account of the belief that the lamas have the 
power to do them harm. 

As a rule the lamas are ignorant, idle and useless, 
living at the expense of the country, which they are surely 
dragging down. 

This is particularly the case in Bhutan, where the lamas 
are fed, clothed and housed at State expense, and as their 
numbers have steadily increased, they have become a very 
heavy burden which cannot long be borne, and an evil 
which I hope may soon be curtailed by the method proposed 
by Sir Ugyen Wang-chuk, namely, the gradual reduction 
by leaving vacancies, occurring through death and other 
causes, unfilled, and the limitation of the number admitted 
to each monastery. 

There are, of course, exceptions to every rule, and I 
have met several lamas, notably the Phodong Lama of 
Sikhim and others like him, men who were thoroughly 
capable, who acted up to their principles, and whom I 
thoroughly respected, but I am sorry to say such men were 
few and far between. The majority generally lead a worldly 
life and only enter the priesthood as a lucrative profession 
and one which entails no trouble to themselves. 



15 



CHAPTER III 

A SHORT HISTORY OF SIKHIM 

The earliest settlers in Sikhim, or Dejong — "the land of 
rice" — were the Lepchas, who called themselves Rongpa, or 
dwellers in the valley; they seem to have migrated from 
the hills of Assam, but when, there is no means of as- 
certaining. At all events, they were in Sikhim as early as 
the thirteenth century. The present ruling family are of 
Tibeto-Chinese origin and came from Kham-Mina-Andong, 
a small principality taken by the Chinese about 1732 where 
their ancestor, the great-great-grandson of the Tibetan 
King of Tibet — Ti-son-desen (a.d. 730) founded a small 
kingdom. Various scions of the family found their way 
back to Tibet, where they rose to high positions. Coming 
to more recent times, one of their descendants, Khye- 
Bumsu (stronger than 10,000) was so strong that [unaided 
he set up the four immense pillars of the great Sakya 
Monastery ; he migrated to Ha, where he overpowered the 
Titan robbers of that district and is worshipped for his 
prowess to this day. His children crossed over to Sikhim 
and settled at Gangtak. 

In 1641 a.d. the Lhasan Lama, with the aid of two other 
saints, converted the Sikhim people to the Buddhist faith 
and appointed Penchoo Namgyel to be the first Gyalpo or 
King. Thotup Namgyel, the present ruler, is the ninth. 

In the time of the third Gyalpo — Chador Namgye — 

Sikhim was overrun by the Bhutanese under Deb Naku 

Zidar (1700 to 1706). The Tibetans drove them out and 

16 



A SHORT HISTORY OF SIKHIM 

Chador, in gratitude, founded the great monastery of Pe- 
miongtchi, the largest in Sikhim, and wholly Tibetan in 
character. He also designed an alphabet for the Lepcha 
language and reduced it to writing. 

His successor, Gyurma, was married to a lady from 
Lhasa, who was so exceedingly ugly that rather than live 
with her he abandoned his throne and fled disguised as a 
mendicant: in his reign Limbuana, now the eastern 
province of Nepal, was lost to Sikhim. 

In the time of the sixth Gyalpo — Tenzing Namgyel — 
(1780 to 1790), the Gurkhas rose and overcame the Newars 
and Limbus in Nepaul, and in 1788 to 1789 invaded Sikhim 
and seized Rubdentze : Tenzing and his son Chophey 
Namgyel fled to Tibet for help. Luckily the Gurkhas in 
1791 made war with Tibet and sacked Tashelhunpo, but 
were in the following year defeated by the Chinese and 
had to make an ignominious treaty. Sikhim got back a 
small portion of her State, but was obliged to pay the 
Gurkhas tribute to Nepal until 1815, when the latter were 
defeated and driven out by the British, who in 1817 restored 
West Sikhim and the Terai to the Raja. Several disputes 
between the Tibetan and Lepcha factions, often ending in 
bloodshed, broke out from time to time, causing dis- 
turbances on the Indian frontier, until in 1826 Govern- 
ment had to interfere, and in 1828 Captain Lloyd was sent 
to settle matters and reported the excellent prospects 
Darjeeling held out as a sanatorium. In 1834-35 another 
internecine strife broke out, and Captain Lloyd interfered 
and obtained a grant of a strip of territory running from 
Darjeeling to the plains. In 1849, after Drs. Hooker and 
Campbell had been maltreated while travelling in Sikhim, 
the Terai and more territory was seized, and finally, after 
a military expedition to Tumlong, the capital, the treaty 
of 1861 was enacted, which confirms our possession of the 
present district. 

Again troubles between the Tibetan and Lepcha parties 
broke out in 1880, and Mr. A. W. Paul was sent to Tumlong, 

17 B 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

and in accordance with their own laws, persuaded the 
rival parties to come to an agreement, which has been kept 
ever since ; from 1880 onwards constant intercourse was 
kept up and the Lepcha party learnt to rely for justice on 
the Government at Darjeeling. Unfortunately in 1886, 
after sanctioning the assembling of the Macaulay Mission 
to Tibet at Darjeeling, the Home Government prohibited 
the Mission from moving a yard further, and the Tibetans, 
misunderstanding the motives of such inaction, advanced 
into Sikhim and erected a fort at Lingtu within Sikhim 
land, and actually in sight of Darjeeling : if the Macaulay 
Mission had been allowed to advance even as far as the 
Jelep frontier, in all probability more friendly relations 
would have been opened up and all subsequent troubles 
avoided. The expedition of 1888, undertaken to punish 
the Tibetans for their temerity, brings the history up to 
the date of my appointment, since which time all relations 
with neighbouring States have continued on a most friendly 
footing. The Lhasa expedition, although its base was in 
Sikhim and its line of communications traversed the 
country, had no quarrel with Sikhim, and received hearty 
co-operation and assistance from the Maharaja and the 
Sikhim officials, and unless Tibet and China should again 
become aggressive, I see no reason why its peaceful security 
should not continue. 



18 



CHAPTER IV 

EARLY REMINISCENCES 

First visit to Sikhim, 1887. The brothers Khangsa Dewan and 
Phodong Lama, the Shoe Dewan and Kazis. Return to Gangtak 
with the Entchi Column, 1888. First meeting with Their High* 
nesses the Maharaja and Maharani of Sikhim. 

In the month of November, 1887, I paid my first visit to 
Sikhim. I accompanied Mr. Paul, who had been sent 
from Darjeeling to try and induce the Maharaja to return 
from Chumbi, whither he had retreated some time before, 
and to spend more time in his own country. Our first 
destination was Rhenok, a small village only a couple of miles 
beyond British territory, but in the hope that we might get 
into direct communication with His Highness we pushed on 
another twenty miles to the capital, Gangtak, the place I 
later spent so many years in. At Rhenok we left the 
road, and a bad one too, that had brought us so far, and for 
the remainder of the distance had to follow a track unfit to 
ride over even on a mule, and had to walk most of the way. 
Our first halt was at Pakhyong, which, in the expedition the 
following year, became the headquarters of the Entchi 
Column, where the 13th Rajputs were encamped for 
several months. It is a pretty little spot lying just under 
the saddle where the road commences the last descent 
before the final climb to Gangtak, and the hillside was 
covered with woods of chestnut and orchids in profusion. 
In this camp I first saw the Kartok Lama, a son of the 
Khangsa Dewan, and head of the Kartok Monastery, 

19 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

situated a few hundred feet above Pakhyong. He was a 
headstrong youth, with a not very good record, and had to 
be admonished for some of his latest escapades, but he 
took it all in very good part, and although I have since, on 
several occasions, had to talk very seriously to him, we 
have always been on good terms. 

» On reaching Gangtak, we pitched our tents on the ridge, 
close to the Maharaja's palace, then covered with jungle, 
now the site of a flourishing bazaar, with post and telegraph 
offices, d£k bungalow or resthouse, charitable hospital and 
dispensary, and many large and flourishing shops, in- 
cluding that of the State bankers. 

Mr. Paul was soon obliged to return to Darjeeling, but 
I, with a guard of Gurkha police, remained for another 
fortnight, hoping the Maharaja would either return him- 
self or send some communication, but as he did neither 
I also went back to Darjeeling. Dining the time I was there 
I made the acquaintance of some of the head men and 
notabilities of Sikhim who came to pay their respects and 
to receive us on our arrival. First were the two brothers, 
the Khangsa Dewan and Phodong Lama, men of strong 
individuality and character, to whose wisdom and good 
sense Sikhim owes much, as they practically ruled the 
country for years during the prolonged absences of the 
Maharaja in Chumbi. 

The Phodong Lama, although the younger brother, 
was the ruling spirit. He personally knew every one, 
constantly travelled over the country collecting information 
at first hand, was ever ready to give advice as well as 
assistance, and though always genial in his manner, was 
unfailingly strong and just to all, and was consequently 
universally liked and respected. 

His elder brother, the Dewan, was of a more retiring 
nature and remained more in the background, but his 
influence was equally felt and the administration during 
the absence of the Maharaja was carried on in the joint 
name of the brothers. 

20 



EARLY REMINISCENCES 

Next the Shoe, or Poorbu Dewan, one of the most courtly 
men I have ever met, a true gentleman in mind and manners 
and a staunch and loyal friend. In appearance he was 
tall and spare, with an unusual type of face rarely met with 
in these hills, with its high cheek bones and rugged outline 
more nearly resembling that of the Red Indian. Behind 
a very quiet and retiring demeanour was hidden a fund of 
information which made him an excellent advisor. Pos- 
sessed also of an unusual amount of tact and good sense, 
he did much, probably more than any one else, towards the 
welfare and advancement of the State, especially when the 
brothers were growing old and in failing health. He was 
a man looked up to and respected by all and whose advice 
was eagerly sought and followed. In my own case I con- 
sulted him on all sorts of questions and his opinion and 
advice were always to be considered and respected. In 
camp he was an excellent companion and many and many 
a pleasant hour have I spent sitting by a camp fire talking 
to him. 

All three of these men are now dead, and the deaths of 
the Phodong Lama and the Shoe Dewan meant an irre- 
parable loss to Sikhim. The younger generation, good 
fellows enough in their way, are of a different stamp, and 
there is no one to fill the places of the older men. The 
Phodong Lama lived to the age of sixty-eight and remained 
active and at work till within a comparatively short time 
of his death, but the Shoe Dewan was cut off at the early 
age of fifty-five. 

Here also I first met the old Gangtak, Tassithing, and 
Entchi Kazis as well as many of the younger generation. 
Though these Kazis belonged to the leading families who 
had come into the country in the retinue of the Sikhim 
Rajas, they were, at the same time, of very little account, 
belonging to the old school, not caring much for anything 
that went on and given to getting very drunk ; but not- 
withstanding they were good-natured and ready to do any- 
thing that was wanted of them to the best of their ability. 

21 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

My return to Gangtak in the spring of the following 
year, 1888, was under very different circumstances. Hos- 
tilities had commenced, and on the day the main column of 
our troops crossed the Jeylap Pass into the Chumbi Valley, 
the second or Entchi column, to which I was attached, 
made a night march under Colonel Michell, of the 13th 
Rajputs, from Pakhyong to Gangtak. A fallen tree across 
the track caused a little delay, and we arrived on the Gang- 
tak ridge at dawn only to find that the Maharaja and 
Maharani had again fled to Chumbi over the Yak-la road. I 
was just in time to stop some of His Highness's ponies, and so 
lately had they gone their lamps were still burning along- 
side their beds in the Palace, which, the Maharaja having 
vacated, was occupied by us, but none of us remained in it 
very long. It was infested by fleas and they swarmed 
over us, rendering sleep impossible, and as soon as the sun 
rose we removed ourselves and our bedding to our tents 
until we could build huts which would, at any rate, be 
clean, and would be a better protection from the violent 
spring hailstorms than the tents. 

The Maharaja arrived in Chumbi to find his house 
there also in the occupation of our troops, and he and the 
Maharani were sent back to live in Gangtak, and there I 
met them for the first time. 

Thotab Namgyel, Maharaja of Sikhim, was a man of 
about twenty-eight years of age, of medium height, typically 
Mongolian in appearance and much disfigured by a bad 
hare-lip. He was a man of indolent disposition, whose 
inclination was to live in retirement and aloof from the 
worries and troubles of the government of his little State, 
of a very kindly disposition, and although weak and easily 
led, possessed also a good deal of common sense. He was 
entirely under the influence of the Maharani, his second wife. 

This lady, the daughter of a Tibetan official in Lhasa, 
is a striking personality. Small and slight, beautifully 
dressed in brocades, velvets and silks, with much jewellery 
of rough turquoise, coral and amber, her hair adorned 

22 



EARLY REMINISCENCES 

with strings of seed pearls, which reached to the hem of her 
gown, and wearing the curious Tibetan head-dress adopted 
by the Maharanis of Sikhim, she was a most picturesque 
object, a harmony of gold and brilliant colours impossible 
to convey in words and of which the photograph only gives 
a very inadequate representation. 

She is extremely bright and intelligent and has been 
well educated, although she will not admit that she has 
knowledge of any language but Tibetan. She talks well 
on many subjects, which one would hardly have credited 
her with a knowledge of, and can write well. On the 
occasion of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee, she personally 
composed and engrossed in beautiful Tibetan characters 
the address presented by the Sikhim Raj, which runs as 
follows : 

"To the most exalted and beautiful white lotus 
throne of Empress Victoria — the incarnate — Sri Devi — 
the glorious Goddess — who has been ruling and con- 
ducting the affairs of the great Empire, being Victorious 
in every quarter of the globe by the dint of her ac- 
cumulated virtues and merits. 

"The Memorial. 

"Gracious Majesty, 

" From the ocean of merits has sprung your 
glorious self, whose fame has spread all round the world 
like the rays of the sun. Your Majesty's reign in respect 
of Government, defence, of light, and in increase of 
prosperity has been perfect. 

" It is our fervent prayer that Your Majesty's glorious 
reign may with fame encompassing the world, extend to 
many happy years more. 

"This humble vassal being extremely happy, with 
all his subjects, has been rejoicing at the Jubilee of 
Your Majesty's reign, and prays that Your Majesty 
shedding lustre of good, just and benign rule, shall 

23 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

sit on the throne for a hundred great periods of 
time. 

"With a pure white silk scarf, to represent the 
sincerity of wishes." 



Her disposition is a masterful one and her bearing 
always dignified. She has a great opinion of her own 
importance, and is the possessor of a sweet musical voice, 
into which she can, when angry, introduce a very sharp 
intonation. She is always interesting, whether to look at 
or to listen to, and had she been born within the sphere of 
European politics she would most certainly have made her 
mark, for there is no doubt she is a born intriguer and 
diplomat. Her energies were unfortunately, but naturally, 
owing to her Tibetan origin, misdirected for many years, 
until, finding out her mistake, she frankly confessed she 
had been in the wrong, and turned her thoughts and 
attention to matters which should lead to the welfare of 
her husband's State. Her common sense and clear- 
sightedness were on many occasions of the greatest assis- 
tance to me in my task of administering and developing 
Sikhim, and when I laid various schemes before her she 
was quick to see the material advantages to be obtained 
and gave her support accordingly. 



24 



CHAPTER V 

MORE EARLY REMINISCENCES 

My appointment to Sikhim. Departure of the Maharaja to 
Kurseong. Inspection of the country with Fhodong Lama and 
Shoe Dewan. Opening up by means of roads and bridges. 
Sources of revenue. Mineral wealth. Visit to Yatung, so- 
called Trade Mart. 

At the conclusion of hostilities the Government of India 
made a proposal that I should remain in Sikhim, with the 
title of Political Officer, and administer the affairs of the 
State in conjunction with a Council composed of the chief 
Dewans, Lamas and Kazis, and of which I was to be 
President. This proposal I accepted with some diffidence > 
as it was an absolute change from my own profession 
(engineering) and practically meant cutting myself adrift 
from my service and entering an altogether new line with 
results impossible to foresee. But as years passed I grew to 
love the work, the country and the people, and I have 
never regretted my decision to throw my lot in with theirs,, 
though from a worldly standpoint I could easily have done 
better elsewhere. 

Not long after I had taken up my new duties, Govern- 
ment decided that it would be to the advantage of the 
State to remove the Maharaja from Sikhim for a time > 
and Kurseong, in the Darjeeling district, was proposed as 
his residence. It was my unenviable task to have to convey 
these orders to Their Highnesses, and their reception of the 
news was most characteristic. The Maharaja remained 

*5 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

silent, but the Maharani abused me roundly, called me 
every name she could think of, and losing her temper 
entirely, got up, stamped on the floor and finally turned 
her back on me. 

The incident, though amusing, was very pathetic at the 
same time, and I was heartily sorry for them both. They 
had come into opposition with the British Government, 
and from an exaggerated idea of the importance of Tibet 
and China, and with no conception or understanding of our 
ways, they had run against a mighty power to their hurt 
and consequent suffering. 

With the departure of the Raja and Rani to their 
temporary quarters, the task of reorganising the country 
began in earnest. Chaos reigned everywhere, there was 
no revenue system, the Maharaja taking what he required 
as he wanted it from the people, those nearest the capital 
having to contribute the larger share, while those more 
remote had toll taken from them by the local officials in the 
name of the Raja, though little found its way to him ; no 
courts of justice, no police, no public works, no education 
for the younger generation. The task before me was a 
difficult one, but very fascinating ; the country was a new 
one and everything was in my hands. 

The first step was to appoint the Council, a measure 
which had up to now been delayed by the Maharaja's 
attitude, and the following men were selected. The two 
brothers, the Khangsa Dewan and the Phodong Lama, the 
Shoe Dewan, Lari Pema (a lama from the important 
monastery of Pemiongtchi), the Gangtak, Tassithing, Entchi 
and Rhenok Kazis. All were of the utmost help and 
assistance to me, more especially the first three, and during 
the whole of my time in Sikhim I have ever experienced the 
same loyal and whole-hearted support from the Council. 

The coffers were empty, and the first thing to be done 

was to devise some means by which we could raise a revenue. 

A commencement was made by roughly surveying the 

different districts and assessing them at so much per 

26 



EARLY REMINISCENCES 

acre, taking into account the nature of the soil, &c. This 
was a most arduous task in a mountainous country, covered 
with dense undergrowth, which made survey work anything 
but easy and necessitated cutting lines in every direction. 
It was, however, accomplished in five years, and thus a 
basis for taxation and revenue was established. At the 
same time the forests were placed under control, excise 
was introduced, and by these means in about ten years the 
revenue was raised from Rs. 8000, or a little over £500 per 
annum, to Rs. 2,200,000, or about £150,000. But the 
country was very sparsely populated, and in order to bring 
more land under cultivation, it was necessary to encourage 
immigration, and this was done by giving land on favour- 
able terms to Nepalese, who, as soon as they knew it was 
to be had, came freely in. Earlier in my service I had 
spent over a year in Nepal on special duty and had learnt 
something of the people and their ways which proved now 
to be of use in dealing with them. 

During this period I visited every corner of Sikhim, even 
the most remote, accompanied by the Shoe Dewan and 
the Phodong Lama, and became acquainted with every 
head man and I might almost say with every villager. I 
never refused an interview to any one, and the people soon 
realised that they could freely bring before me any grievance 
they wished to ventilate or case that required settlement. 
I took up the cases where I was in camp, and unless of a 
very serious character, decided them then and there, but 
grave charges, such as murder, fortunately extremely rare, 
or grievous hurt, had to be brought to Gangtak for trial. 
This constant intercourse with the people gave me an in- 
sight into their character which otherwise I should never 
have acquired. Their hospitality is proverbial, no Sikhim 
man or woman ever comes before you without bringing a 
small offering of rice, eggs, milk or fruit, and on my tours 
at every village I found a little shelter of branches and 
green leaves erected, in which such offerings were placed 
along with chungas or bamboo mugs of marwa, the native 

27 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

beer, and I could show no more severe displeasure with the 
villagers than by refusing to accept their hospitality, 
During this time the Phodong Lama and the Shoe Dewao, 
one of whom always accompanied me, became my best 
friends, and I found they were men to whom I could turn 
for advice as well as assistance and for whom I had the 
most sincere regard. Unlike natives of the plains of India, 
with ideas on most subjects more nearly approaching our 
own, these hill men in reply to inquiries told you the truth, 
and made no attempt to find out first what answer was 
hkely to please you, and consequently it was possible to 
make friends and companions of them in a way not often 
feasible in the case of natives. 

The monasteries and the lamas were a great power in 
the land, but in their case also certain settlements and 
arrangements had to be made with the assistance of the 
Phodong Lama, Chief Priest in Sikhim, and Lari Pema of 
the Pemiongtchi Monastery. Many of the head lamas were 
men to be liked, and although they were not given entirely ■ 
their own way, their just rights were carefully observe^ 
and I have always been supported by them throughout 
my time in Sikhim. Years later, when I accompanied 
the Tibet Mission to Lhasa, the lamas of the important 
monasteries of Sera and Debung sent me an invitation to 
visit them, saying they would be glad if I would come as 
they had always heard from the Sikhim lamas that in my 
dealings with them I had treated them well, and this I 
looked upon as a great compliment. 

My readers will have seen that when I first came to 

Sikhim there were no roads, only a few bad and difficult 

tracks. As the revenue increased and money was available 

this was one of the first improvements to be taken in hand, 

and soon the country was opened up by a system of roads, 

the torrents were bridged, and in a few years time it was 

possible to ride from one end of Sikhim to the other. Later 

on, before I left, it was possible to cart goods from Siliguri, 

the terminus of the Northern Bengal State Railway, 64 miles 

j8 



EARLY REMINISCENCES 

away, to the door of the Residency at Gangtak, and firewood 
was being carted into the Bazaar from 5 miles off on two 
different roads, a very great contrast to the earlier days. 
This is all easy to relate now that it has been accomplished, 
but it was uphill work and carried out under many dis- 
advantages, the principal one the want of money. As the 
country was opened out, more was required in every direc- 
tion, more roads and bridges, buildings, education, police, the 
domestic expenses of His Highness and his son, the Kumar, 
increased, and it was most difficult to make both ends 
meet. There was also the imperative necessity of creating 
a reserve fund for unforeseen contingencies, and the question 
ever present was how was money to be found. In such 
a mountainous country anything but the smallest land 
tax is impossible to levy, and even that is difficult ; the 
forests which might be a source of wealth are too remote 
and the difficulty of carriage of the timber to the markets 
is unsurmoun table. Excise could increase to a certain 
extent, but that could not continue. 

However, by the exercise of constant care and economy, 
something was accomplished, and each year's budget 
showed an increase of revenue to meet the increased ex- 
penditure ; but Sikhim distinctly is, and I fear always will 
be, a poor country, with the problem ever before her as to how 
the necessary expenditure is to be met ; the upkeep and 
maintenance of the roads alone being a formidable item in 
a country averaging 140" rainfall and in some districts 240". 

Nevertheless, there is another possible source of revenue 
in which, up to a year ago, I have in vain tried to interest 
the Government of India. That is the store of mineral 
wealth buried in the mountains. The difficulties of work- 
ing this were too great for me to attempt. The State had 
no funds and Government refused to allow the introduction 
of foreign capital. I approached them time and again on 
the subject, always to be met with the same answer, " their 
reluctance to destroy the simplicity of an arcadian little 

State/' and it was only in 1906, the year before I left, that 

29 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

I finally persuaded them to allow a beginning to be made, 
and certain business firms were given permission to send 
prospectors into the country to take up mining concessions. 
Had my repeated representations on the subject been 
listened to in the earlier days, I have no doubt the mineral 
wealth of the country would by this time have been con- 
siderable, and that by their action Government has probably 
retarded the progress of the country by many years. 

Iron, tin, zinc, aluminium, cobalt, arsenic, graphite, 
lead, gold, and silver, all have been found, while copper is 
known to exist in large quantities and has been worked by 
the natives for years past in a primitive fashion. It has been 
found in places in extremely rich deposits, but these, 
unfortunately, have proved scattered and small in extent, 
though there is no doubt that there is an enormous amount, 
and that if some method can be devised of concentrating 
and collecting the ore from the outlying seams without 
undue expense, a very large revenue should be derived 
from the royalties alone, and now that European capital 
has been allowed to undertake the task, I see no reason 
why it should not prove a success and be a means of 
placing the State on a more easy financial basis, though 
wealthy it never will and never can be. 

Amongst the advantages of this new departure will be 
an increase of European residents in the country, with a 
consequent greater circulation of money, a new field for 
employment of labour, a greater demand for local supplies, 
with the probability of increased facilities of transport 
bringing new markets within reach for the produce, and 
greater still, though I fear not yet to be realised, the utilisa- 
tion of the latent water-power with all its unforeseen 
possibilities. 

After the signing of the Sikhim Treaty in 1890, the 
negotiations in respect of trade regulations continued to be 
carried on for some years, and it was 1894 before I went to 
Yatung to formally open the Trade Mart there. I crossed 
the Jey-lap-la in April in deep snow, and was met a little 

30 



EARLY REMINISCENCES 

way further on, on the Yatung side of the pass, by about 
twenty Chinese soldiers sent from the frontier to meet me. 
They presented a gay appearance in their blue uniforms 
with large letters in black on both back and front of their 
coats. A few of them were armed with guns, but the greater 
number carried tridents, flags, and other unusual things. 

About one and a half miles from Yatung a tent was 
pitched where, to conform to Chinese ideas of etiquette, I 
had to change into my official uniform, and a little further 
on I was ceremoniously received by the Chinese and Tibetan 
officials and conducted to a gorgeous tent in which tea was 
served. Mr. F. E. Taylor, of the Imperial Chinese Customs 
Service, was amongst those present in Chinese official dress. 
The Chinese officials were the Popen or Frontier Office^ 
Wang-yen-Ling, the officer commanding the troops, Tu- 
Hsi-hsun, and interpreter, Yee-Shan, and the Tibetan 
officials, U. Depon, the Tsedun Tenzing Wangpo and 
Kutzab Lobzang Tenzing. Our conversation in the tent 
was limited to the exchange of compliments and mere 
trivialities, and after resting a little, we proceeded down 
the valley to the house which was to be my residence ; a 
very gay procession with all the umbrellas, flags, pikes > 
&c, carried by the followers of the Chinese officials. 

It was my first experience of the Chinese official, and I 
have since always found him of the same type, outwardly 
exceedingly polite and punctilious, but behind one's back 
deceitful and cunning, intent on the Chinese policy of 
delay, and most difficult to bring to the point in any 
negotiation. 

The house placed at my disposal was constructed partly 
on Chinese lines by Tibetan artisans ; green wood had been 
employed, with the consequence that no door would shut, 
and I could look at the view from my bed through the 
chinks in the boards of the wall, which, as the temperature 
registered about i8° of frost, was somewhat chilly. 

I shall not enter into a lengthy description of the 
negotiations, it will suffice to say that I found the so-called 

31 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Mart perfectly useless for the purpose, and that the articles 
agreed to in the Treaty Regulations had not been carried out 
in any way. The Chinese had built a wall across the valley 
about one-third of a mile lower down, and posted sentries 
on the gate and no one was allowed to come to the " Mart " 
to buy or sell any goods whatever. Extortionate rents 
were charged for " shops," which were nothing more than 
hovels, and to crown all the Tibetans refused to acknowledge 
the Treaty which had been signed on their behalf by the 
Chinese. 

I sent in a report to Government and stayed on in 
Yatung for about ten weeks, waiting for a reply, and during 
that time I saw a good deal of both Chinese and Tibetans. 
The Chinese are well-known sticklers for etiquette and it 
was a curious commentary on the position that, as their 
officials lived just beyond Pema in the Chumbi Valley, 
within Tibet, I was not allowed to return their ceremonial 
visits. No person, save Tibetans or Chinese, not even Mr. 
Taylor, himself a Chinese official, was allowed to pass the 
gateway in the wall. Even the Amban, when he paid his 
official call on me, waived his right to a return visit. The 
position of the Chinese in Tibet was certainly a very curious 
one, or at any rate made to appear so. 

I was not sorry when my stay came to an end. There 
was very little to do ; I was not allowed to go beyond the 
wall, and in any other direction it meant a climb of thou- 
sands of feet. There was a little Monal (pheasant) shooting 
to be had, but that was all. There was no house for Taylor 
to live in, so on my departure I arranged he should have the 
use of the one built for me, and for many years after it 
remained in the hands of the Chinese Customs Officer. 



3* 



CHAPTER VI 

MORE EARLY REMINISCENCES 

Building a house. Lepcha servants. Supplies. A garden 
party. The Residency garden. Roses and lilies. A wave of 
colour. Orchids. Visit to Tumlong. Worship of Kangchen- 
junga. Lama dance. Missionaries. Difficulties of travelling. 
Crossing the Teesta in flood* Landslips. Leeches. 

One of the first things to be done on my appointment to 
Sikhim was to build a house, not an easy task in a wild 
country where masons and carpenters were conspicuous 
by their absence, where stone for building had to be quarried 
from the hill-sides and trees cut down for timber. In my 
jungle wanderings round Gangtak, I came across a charming 
site in the midst of primeval forest which seemed suitable 
in every way, so I determined to build on it, felling only the 
trees which might possibly endanger the safety of the house, 
a necessary precaution, as many of them were quite 140 feet 
high, and in the spring the thunderstorms, accompanied by 
violent winds, were something terrible and wrought havoc 
everywhere. By levelling the uneven ground and throwing 
it out in front, I managed to get sufficient space for the 
house, with lawn and flower beds round it. Behind rose 
a high mountain, thickly wooded, which protected us from 
the storms sweeping down from the snows to the north- 
east, and in front the ground fell away with a magnificent 
view across the valley, where, from behind the opposite 
hills, Kangchenjunga and its surrounding snows towered 
up against the clear sky, making one of the most beautiful 

33 c 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

and magnificent sights to be imagined, and one certainly 
not to be surpassed, if equalled, anywhere in the world. 
The site selected, my real troubles began ; trees had to be 
felled and sawn into scantlings ; stone quarried, lime 
burnt, and, most difficult of all, carpenters and masons 
imported. I was fortunate in my carpenters, as I had 
already in my employment a Punjaubi, Moti Ram by 
name, the best carpenter and carver I have ever come 
across, and through him I got other excellent men from his 
native village, but the masons were distinctly bad. They 
seemed to find it impossible to build a wall plumb or a 
corner square — faults that impressed themselves on us 
later on, to our cost, when the time came for paper-hanging. 
More than that, too, owing to earthquakes, faulty building 
and heavy rain, parts of the anxiously watched edifice came 
down, and I began to think my house would never be 
finished. But, in spite of all difficulties, at Christmas 1890 
we were able to move in, about eighteen months after 
commencing work. 

Next came furnishing and finding a staff of servants. 
Furniture had either to be made on the spot by our Punjaubi 
carpenters or imported from England ; and the neighbouring 
hill-man caught and trained to service, as, with the ex- 
ception of one or two old servants, no plains-man could be 
induced to penetrate into such wilds, where they declared 
there was always war and where they would certainly be 
killed. One little lad, whom my wife found carrying 
loads in the early building days, Diboo by name, eventually 
became head bearer and major-domo of the establishment, 
and only left when we went on board at Bombay on our 
final departure. He and his comrades, Paling, Irung 
and others, were a merry lot, full of mischief and mad 
pranks and impossble to take seriously, for, after all, they 
were only lads of fourteen or fifteen and seemingly much 
younger when they came to us to learn. They were to be 
found in all sorts of strange places, climbing the most 
impossible trees for the sheer joy of seeing what they could 

34 



EARLY REMINISCENCES 

do, dancing war dances on the roof of the house, if by 
chance a ladder was left within their reach ; and generally 
on their first appearance on promotion to the dining-room, 
going off into suppressed giggles, to be summarily dragged 
out and cuffed by the older servants into a proper sense 
of decorum. When a little later we took them travel- 
ling in India, if their railway carriage doors were locked, 
they climbed through the windows as a matter of course, 
or perhaps were found on the engine hobnobbing with 
the driver and anxious to know what made the fire 
devil go. 

Sikhim was a place where we had to be entirely self- 
supporting, so cattle had to be bought in order to have our 
own dairy for milk, butter and cheese, a flock of sheep for 
the supply of mutton, a poultry-yard, an oven built and 
baker engaged to bake bread, a blacksmith taught to shoe 
the ponies, who otherwise would have to take a four days' 
walk to Darjeeling every time their shoes wanted renewing, 
and even our own silversmith, who, though he may in one 
way have been a luxury, was again almost a necessity, as 
he had to make various other things in metals as well as to 
mend all the numberless small things which were always 
getting broken. Stores had to be carried on coolies from 
Darjeeling or Siliguri, sixty or seventy miles, and this 
meant large supplies being arranged for beforehand, as 
transport often broke down, or bad slips occurred on the 
road, and we had to be prepared for all emergencies and to 
supplement other folks' commissariat. Some funny epi- 
sodes occurred in those far-away, early days. On one 
occasion, Captain and Mrs. P., belonging to the detachment 
stationed in Gangtak, came to the Residency to beg for 
some addition to their monotonous fare, and finding no one 
at home, went round to the open but barred storeroom 
window and proceeded with great skill to fish -out a tin of 
provisions. They succeeded with much difficulty in getting 
hold of a Huntley and Palmer's biscuit tin, but imagine 
their feelings when they found it was an empty box. 

35 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Another time, the medical officer with his wife also arrived 
hungry on the scene, also to find no one at home, and too 
shy to order tea to be made and brought to the drawing- 
room where the table was standing ready, sadly went back 
to their little hut, borrowing from the mess, about as badly 
off for provisions as themselves, a tin of herrings. The 
herrings came up for dinner, but were followed by a sweet 
omelet made by their cook in the same frying pan ! This 
couple lived in a two-roomed hut built of wattle and dab, 
and most of the furniture was primitive to a degree — four 
sticks with a packing-case top made a table, and even their 
bed was the same, with newar or wide tape stretched across. 
In the rains they said the uprights sprouted and grew 
green leaves over their heads. Such a primitive state of 
affairs seems almost impossible nowadays when the Gangtak 
bazaar possesses its two or three shops for the sale of 
European provisions, beers and wines, and is looked upon 
as a shopping centre by the further outposts ; but in those 
early days Gangtak was the furthest outpost itself and end 
of all things, and we had very happy, merry times and 
many little adventures and mishaps were the cause of much 
laughter and many jokes. 

My first garden party would have seemed very quaint 
to European eyes. I had invited the Maharaja and 
Maharani, with the members of Council, and all the 
Kazis and headmen with their wives and families. A 
goodly crowd assembled about four hours before the 
appointed time and lined the road just outside the Resi- 
dency grounds, sitting about on the grassy edges until 
they were told they might come in, determined not to be 
late. Most of them had never seen, much less tasted 
European sweets or cakes, and when tea-time came they 
simply cleaned the tables of everything, and what they 
could not eat they carried away in the front of their volu- 
minous coats. They emptied the sugar basins, and even 
took the spoons and liqueur glasses, and it all took place so 
quietly while my wife and I were with the Maharaja and 

36 



EARLY REMINISCENCES 

Maharani and the more important guests in another tent, 
I hardly realised what was going on. 

The spoons and glasses, which I think they wanted as 
mementos of the good time they had had, were returned, 
on the Phodong Lama and Shoe Dewan remonstrating, and 
they departed very happily, declaring they had highly 
enjoyed their entertainment, and that all their heads were 
going round, a polite way of saying I had not stinted the 
drinks. They were always a very cheerful crowd and very 
pleasant to deal with, though indolent and improvident. 

After my house was finished, nothing pleased them more 
than to be allowed to wander round the rooms, especially 
the bedrooms. They never touched anything, but liked 
to see how we lived and what European furniture was like. 

Almost every market day little bands of women dressed 
in their best clothes would arrive with a few eggs or a pat 
of butter to make their salaams to my wife and a request 
that they might be allowed to go over the house, and 
their progress was marked with exclamations and gurgles 
of laughter at the strange ways of the Sahib-log. 

While the house was building, the Maharani came several 
times to see how it was getting on, and told me I had built 
the walls much too thin and it would never stand. In their 
own houses and monasteries the walls are very thick, from 
3 feet to 4 feet 6 inches, and have always a small camber. 
However, later on I had the best of the argument when, in 
the earthquake of 1897, the palace, notwithstanding its thick 
walls, collapsed entirely and had to be rebuilt, while the 
Residency, though badly cracked, remained standing. 

The garden was a great joy and an everlasting source 
of amusement and employment both to my wife and to 
myself, although my wife did most of the work in it. The 
soil was virgin, and with a little expense and care almost 
anything could be grown. It was a lovely garden, the lawns 
always a beautiful green even in winter, and perfectly 
smooth, with masses of flowers, the magnificent forest trees 
left standing scattered about with clumps of feathery 

37 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

bamboos and groups of tree-ferns adding a charm of their 
own. In early spring the lawns were fringed with daffo- 
dils, primroses, polyanthus, daisies, pansies — almost every 
spring flower you can name, flowering in a profusion 
seldom seen in England, where cold winds and frosts nip 
them and keep them back ; while on the house the wisteria 
was a cloud of delicate mauve, with here and there the 
tender green of early leaves. By the end of April the 
roses were in full bloom, a perfectly exquisite sight, ex- 
celling anything I have ever seen even in England. The 
house and all the outbuildings were covered with them — 
Cloth of Gold, Gloire de Dijon, Reine Marie Henriette, 
Devoniensis, Noisette and the paper white rose throwing 
themselves wildly over the roofs and hanging great fes- 
toons of lovely blooms from every corner. Over the 
lawns were scattered great bushes of Marie Van Houtte, 
Gloire de Dijon, Paul Neron, Souvenir de Malmaison, 
Madame Lambert, and many more ; archways of Cloth of 
Gold and Devoniensis, and in sheltered corners, protected 
from the rain, Mar6chal Niel and La France. These were 
all old favourites, but against the terraced slope from the 
house to the little pond below, I later planted Ramblers 
and many new varieties I imported from France. A 
great charm was the rapidity with which things grew 
in that climate where a rose in its second year became a 
large bush. They flowered in such profusion, thousands 
of blooms could be gathered without making the smallest 
impression, and during the summer, the gardeners had 
daily to sweep up huge baskets full of fallen petals from 
the lawns. Perhaps the most beautiful sight was my 
office, a building a few hundred yards from the house, 
which was completely covered, roof and chimneys included, 
with roses, and was a sight worth coming miles to see. 
Paul Nerons I have gathered 6\ inches in diameter. Every- 
thing grew with the same luxuriance. A stock in front of 
my study window measured 4 feet 6 inches in height and 
3 feet 6 inches in diameter, and was a fragrant mass of 

38 



EARLY REMINISCENCES 

delicate pink bloom. A Lilium Auratum grew to 8 feet with 
twenty-nine blossoms on a single stalk and the wild Lilium 
Gigantiums in the tree-fern ravine were often 12 feet high. 
The other wild lilies, Wallichianum and Nepalensis, made 
lovely groups, the Wallichianum over 6 feet with four or five 
flowers on a stem and filling the air with delicious perfume. 

As the seasons passed the colouring of the garden 
changed. With the early spring came the white narcissus 
and pale yellow daffodils and primroses and lovely shades 
of browns and yellows of the wallflowers flowering under 
the eaves, followed by the deeper colouring of polyanthus 
and pansies and great tufts of arums and the delicate 
mauve and white of schizanthus. Next, the roses, a flood 
of pink, white, yellow, and crimson, with deeper shades in 
the petunias and stocks and blazing masses of brilliant 
colour from cactus and geraniums in the verandahs to be 
followed by a wave of blue which spread from the actual 
lawns away up the hillside, iris, agapanthus, heliotrope, 
hydrangea so covered with blossom hardly a leaf could be 
seen. This was the time when the lilies also were in per- 
fection, auratums, tigers, wild ones from the jungle, all 
scenting the air, as well as English sweet-peas and 
mignonette. 

The blue flowers were followed in their turn by deep 
yellows, orange, and scarlet, orange lilies, sunflowers, 
monbretia and cannas, which here again abandoned their 
ordinary habit of growth and were ten and twelve feet high 
with huge flower spikes. As the autumn advanced, the 
colouring became more subdued, though not less lovely, 
the wild ferns and the foliage taking on exquisite tints and 
each stump and tree trunk a mass of flowering cymbidiums 
with their long, handsome racemes of lovely brown and 
yellow flowers. From one year's end to the other there 
were always flowers, and in the winter I have seen roses, 
heliotrope and mignonette flowering under the eaves of the 
verandah while the lawns were covered with snow. 

In the spring the forest trees were white, as though 

39 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

snow had fallen, with blossoms of the Coelogeyne Cristata, 
the earliest orchid to flower, quickly followed by a suc- 
cession throughout the year, too numerous to give a list 
of, but which included the Dendrobium Densiflorum, with 
its heads of brilliant yellow, the mauve sprays of D. Nobile, 
and later the long hanging wreaths of D. Hookerianum and 
so on till one again came round to the autumnal cym- 
bidiums. It was a garden in which new treasures and new 
beauties unfolded themselves from day to day and out of 
which, when we were in Gangtak, we never wished to 
move. 

My work took me much on tour and away from Gang- 
tak, and I have spent many pleasant days in monasteries 
and had some unusual experiences. Once, in the early 
days, at the invitation of the Phodong Lama, accompanied 
by Mrs. White, I spent a week at Tumlong to see the Lama 
dance and annual ceremony of the Worship of Kangchen- 
junga. Neither of us had before witnessed the ceremony, 
which is carried out in the open air on a terrace in front 
of the Monastery, with the buildings as a background, and 
in the centre of a crowd of gaily dressed people and lamas. 
We had seats in a balcony overlooking the terrace and had 
an excellent view. 

The dance is allegorical, and lasts for three days, the 
different dances representing the several phases of worship. 
The story is long and very confusing to the ordinary mind 
and we could only gather a very general outline of its 
meaning. The dresses worn, especially at this Monastery, 
are gorgeous, made of the finest old Chinese brocades, of 
every imaginable colour, and kinkob, resplendent in gold 
and silver. The dancing itself is monotonous, as there is 
one step only which varies in the rapidity of the gyrations 
made by each dancer, but perfect time is kept to the weird 
and rather monotonous music of the band of lamas sitting 
on one side, in their red monastic garb, playing on trumpets, 
flutes and drums. . The dancers frequently change their 
costumes and reappear in new characters. The masks worn 

40 



EARLY REMINISCENCES 

by the performers are curious and sometimes very gro- 
tesque. They are carved out of wood and painted to 
represent animals, birds, demons and gods as well as the 
spirits of the dead. The whole dance is most picturesque 
and interesting and a sight well worth seeing, especially 
when the weather is fine and there is a blue sky and brilliant 
sunshine to throw up the bright foliage and distant hills 
and snow peaks in the background, and as the ceremony 
takes place in October or November, after the rains are 
over, this is generally the case. 

It was at Tumlong a missionary lady from China came 
to take up her abode soon after I went to Sikhim. The 
Phodong Lama, who, like most Buddhists, was very 
broad-minded on religious questions, gave her one of his 
lama's houses within the monastery grounds, to hve in, 
not thirty yards from the Gompa, or Temple. I am sorry 
to say she requited these good offices in a very ungrateful 
manner. She had a small harmonium, and whenever a 
-service was being held in the Gompa she immediately 
opened it and played and sang hymns as loudly as possible, 
which, to say the least of it, was in very bad taste. The 
old lama, however, took it all most good-naturedly and 
only shrugged his shoulders and said he thought she could 
not be quite responsible for her actions. Fortunately for 
her, the people also followed the lama's example in treating 
her with good-natured tolerance, but such actions may, 
and often do, lead to serious consequences and give 
Government officials much annoyance and many anxious 
moments. 

My experience, which extends over many years, leads 
me more and more to the conclusion that an extreme 
amount of care should be exercised in the selection of men 
or women sent to foreign countries as missionaries, not only 
from their own point of view, for surely their work would 
produce infinitely better results if they were possessed of 
special qualifications, but also politically, as incidents 
such as I have quoted, only one of many others, showing 

41 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

such utter want of tact, could not then occur. History has 
shown us how dangerous a volcano religious feeling is, and 
how often terrible and far-spreading disaster is the result 
of an unconsidered action. 

Also I cannot help thinking it would be a very great 
advantage if different denominations could agree as to 
their several spheres of influence, instead of, as at present, 
perhaps half a dozen Roman Catholic, Anglican, Scotch, 
Scandinavian, Baptist, and other dissenting churches, all 
having delegates in one small area, to the bewilderment 
and confusion of the native mind, which cannot grasp 
the points of divergence. That is a question which, I 
think, deserves the attention of all interested in Missionary 
work. 

Travelling in those early days was not easy, especially 
in the rains when the rivers were in flood and the roads were 
bad, and I remember one occasion when I was travelling 
to Darjeeling with Mrs. White and we had to cross the 
Teesta below Temi by a cane bridge. It was towards the 
end of the rains and we came in for one of the last heavy 
downpours, the river was in heavy flood and the only 
means of crossing was by a rickety cane suspension bridge 
350 feet in length, and, in consequence of the lateness of 
the season, very rotten and much sagged in the centre- 
It was so rotten I was afraid it would give way and forbid 
any one else crossing while my wife and I were on it ; half 
the bamboo platform had disappeared and the suspending 
split bamboos were in many places broken, but we could 
not stay in the steamy wet valley, a hot-bed of fever, so 
we were obliged to make the attempt. 

I went first, and leaning my weight on the bamboo 
platform made the bamboo on which I was standing meet 
the one on which my wife was, she then stepped on to that, 
and on the pressure being removed the bamboo swung 
back again, leaving a gap beneath which swirled the flooded 
Teesta. In this way we eventually got safely across, but 
it was a hazardous proceeding. 

42 



EARLY REMINISCENCES 

We also had to cross our ponies, about four or five of 
them, no easy task with the river in such heavy flood, but 
the villagers and syces managed it successfully. They 
cut down bamboos, split them and made a rope long 
enough to reach from one bank to the other. A very 
strong headstall was put on the horse and the bamboo 
rope securely fastened to it. The other end was held by 
a number of men on the opposite side of the stream, the 
horse was driven into the river and carried in a diagonal 
course down stream to the opposite bank. It is a marvel 
how it is done when the rivers are in flood, and the animals 
have a poor time. More than once I have seen nothing 
but the legs of my pony in mid stream, but it is wonderful 
how they go through it and come out none the worse on 
the other side. I have even crossed an Arab on several 
occasions, this being one. Of course, if the rope happens 
to break, you see no more of your horse. The landing is 
always difficult as it is generally on rough, sharp rocks. 

In the rains there was always the danger of bridges 
being swept away and of land slips. Once travelling from 
Temi we found a huge landslip had occurred, carried away 
the bridge on our road and filled the gorge to a depth of 
several hundred feet with liquid mud. It was nasty stuff 
to negotiate, but by placing several layers of jungle on it, 
we managed to cross on a precarious path that trembled 
under us with each step. On another occasion, on the 
Lachung road, we had to cross a large slip quite a quarter 
of a mile broad. The whole hillside was still moving, 
showers of stones were coming down from above at inter- 
vals, but as there was no other road by which we could 
reach Gangtak, we had to go on and take advantage of a 
lull in the small avalanches of rocks. It was easier for 
us than for the mules and ponies, who became frightened 
by the falling stones, and I nearly lost one — a large rock 
flying past its ears. But in these hills, with their abnor- 
mally heavy rainfall, and owing to the great amount of 
displacement which has occurred in their upheaval having 

43 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

cracked the rocks, slips are very frequent and one becomes 
used to them. 

Another very great drawback to travelling in the rains 
at any elevation below 10,000 feet, are the leeches which 
swarm on every path. Each leaf in the jungle is fringed 
with them and they look almost like the tentacula of sea 
anemones as they commence to wave about in the air at 
the approach of a passer-by in the endeavour to fix on him — 
indeed in some places they are so bad I believe if a traveller 
had the misfortune to meet with an accident and be dis- 
abled he would soon be bled to death. 



44 



CHAPTER VII 

THE DELHI DURBAR AND VISIT OF THE CHIEFS TO 
CALCUTTA TO MEET THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE 
PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES 

In 1902 Sikhim was aroused from its quiet sleepy existence 
by an intimation from Government that His Excellency 
the Viceroy would send an invitation to the Maharaja to 
be present at the Imperial Durbar to be held at Delhi on 
January 1, 1903, to celebrate the accession of His Majesty 
the King-Emperor. 

The Maharaja accepted the invitation, but at the last 
moment deputed his son and heir, Sidkyong Tulku, the 
Maharaj -Kumar, to be his representative. I never 
quite understood his reasons, but I think he was afraid of 
venturing so far from his own country, and though he has 
since quite grown out of it, he was at that time still con- 
scious of and very sensitive about his hare-lip, which is a 
great disfigurement. His lamas also, whom he consults 
on every important subject, gave it as their opinion that 
he would probably fall ill and at any rate the result was 
he declined to go. 

For many months we were busily engaged in prepara- 
tions for the function. Ruling chiefs were allotted camping 
grounds, but that was all, and only in the case of minor 
personages was anything more done. Most native States 
of course possess carriages and horses, elephants, furniture, 
tents and camp equipage of every kind, and it was merely 
a case of having these things transported to Delhi. But 

45 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

in addition to being so far away, Sikhim possessed none of 
them, consequently they all had to be procured, and at the 
same time, with the small yearly revenue, it was necessary to 
exercise the greatest care to keep the expenditure down to 
the lowest possible sum. 

Our reception tents were delightfully picturesque and 
unusual, made after Tibetan fashion with an elaborate 
design in appliqu6 cloth of many colours on the roofs, 
while the sides were decorated with the eight lucky 
signs : The Wheel of Life ; the Conch Shell, or Trumpet 
of Victory ; the Umbrella ; the Victorious Banner ; the 
Golden Fish ; the Lucky Diagram ; the Lotus ; and 
the Vase : so constantly reproduced in Buddhist orna- 
mentation. 

The Kumar took this entirely into his own hands, drew 
out the designs, selected the colouring, and superintended 
the whole of the details of the manufacture with the best 
possible results. 

The drawing-room was hung with old Chinese and 
Tibetan embroideries and vestments, including several 
very fine specimens of Rugen or bone aprons, and filled 
with a unique collection of quaint altar vessels and speci- 
mens of silver gilt, silver, copper, and brass work, sent by 
H.H. the Maharaja. 

The tents were arranged in a semicircle on the edge of a 
wide drive sweeping from the entrance gates round a grass 
plot, and the whole of the approach was lined with high 
poles bearing prayer-flags of different colours printed with 
the Buddhist mystic formula : " Om Mani padmi hun." 
We were lucky also in having a background of pretty green 
trees growing on the banks of the canal instead of a 
sweep of dusty plain. The camp attracted many visitors, 
amongst others Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and 
Duchess of Connaught. 

In the absence of the Maharaja, the Maharaj -Kumar 
was allowed to represent his father and was accorded his 
salute of fifteen guns, Cavalry escort, and military guard 

46 



THE DELHI DURBAR 

on the camp. He also took his place in all the great State 
functions, riding an extremely fine elephant lent for the 
occasion by the Betiah Raj , in the Chiefs' Procession, beside 
the Maharaja of Cooch Behar, and presenting his address 
to the King-Emperor through the Viceroy at the great 
Durbar. The speech was very characteristic and may 
interest my readers : " May His Majesty King Edward VII., 
from the time of occupation of this Golden Throne, exercise 
power over all these worlds ; may he live for thousands of 
cycles and ever sustain all living creatures in joy and 
happiness." 

It was the Kumar's first attempt at playing host 
to a number of European guests, and he did it very 
nicely with Mrs. White's help, looking carefully after the 
comfort of the eight or ten guests staying in the camp 
and always delighted to welcome people to lunch or 
dinner. He was most appreciative of any assistance we 
could give him, and constantly said he would have been 
quite unable to carry out any of his arrangements alone. 

We spent most afternoons on the polo ground, where 
the polo was magnificent and where all the Delhi world 
congregated, but so much has already been written 
about the great Durbar, I only mention it as an episode 
connected with Sikhim which cannot be passed over in 
silence. 

To me, personally, the most striking features of the 
Durbar were, not the great State functions, magnificent 
though they were, but the wonderful kaleidoscopic pictures 
that presented themselves at every turn. Huge modern 
camps springing up in a night on the empty plain, fitted 
with every European luxury, mixed up with gorgeously 
caparisoned elephants, strings of transport camels, smart 
carriages, retainers in chain armour carrying antiquated 
weapons, performing horses, transport carts, ekkas, soldiers, 
brilliant uniforms native and European, camel carriages, 
elephant carriages, wild escorts belonging to native princes 
on prancing horses with drums and fifes, dwarfs, giants, 

47 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

alternating with impressive State functions and military dis- 
plays all intermingled inextricably, made one think one had 
been transported back to the days of the Arabian Nights. 
The whole Durbar was a long succession of wonderful sights 
resplendent in their vivid colouring, redolent of the East, 
well worth seeing and which, in all probability, will never 
again be brought together, even in India : a most splendid 
pageant, but whether it achieved its purpose only time can 
show. 

It was the first occasion on which a ruler of Sikhim had 
been present at a State function. The late Maharaja 
received an invitation to the first Durbar, held by Lord 
Lytton in January 1877, but he did not accept it. It was 
much to be regretted that His Highness the present 
Maharaja did not attend on this occasion, but to the 
Kumar and the Kazis and headmen in his suite it was 
a revelation of the extent of British supremacy, and the 
assemblage of so many chiefs and Rajas from north, 
south, east, and west come together to pay homage to 
the King-Emperor, was an object-lesson, brought im- 
mediately home to them of the greatness of our Indian 
Empire. 

A couple of years later, in 1904, when Their Royal 
Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales were about 
to visit India, and preparations were being made for the 
assembly of chiefs at various points to pay homage to the 
heir to the throne, it seemed to me both desirable and 
expedient to include the chiefs from these hill borders 
amongst those assembling in Calcutta. I accordingly 
approached the Government of India on the subject of 
issuing invitations to the Maharaja and Maharani of 
Sikhim and Sir Ugyen Wang-chuk, the Tongsa Penlop of 
Bhutan, and at the same time raised the question of inviting 
the Tashi Lama of Tibet from Shigatsi also to be present* 
Although in no way directly connected with the British 
Government, it seemed, for many reasons, particularly 

expedient that if possible he should be induced to pay 

48 



THE DELHI DURBAR 

a visit to India at this particular juncture. There 
were many reasons to make such a departure desirable 
and in addition he, a high dignitary of the Buddhist 
Church and considered by a certain faction in Tibet the 
superior even of the Delai Lama, would have an oppor- 
tunity at the same time of visiting the Buddhist shrines 
in India which must necessarily be of great interest to 
him. 

Government adopted my views and eventually issued 
the necessary invitations, which were accepted. 

It was quite a new departure, as none of the chiefs on 
this frontier had ever before left their mountain homes, 
nor had they, with the exception of one short visit of the 
Maharaja of Sikhim to Darjeeling, been guests of the 
Indian Government, neither had any high Tibetan lama 
before visited India. 

The arrangements for their entertainment were some- 
what complicated by the fact that as Buddhists and without 
caste prejudices as to food, everything had to be provided 
for them, and although an attempt was made to limit the 
number of followers in their various suites, the total retinue 
of the three chiefs mounted up to an astounding figure. 
They were an extraordinary collection of wild, only partly 
civilised creatures, especially those from Tibet, and 
most picturesque. The Government Official Guest House, 
Hastings House, Alipur, was placed at their disposal, as 
well as a second house in the grounds, and in addition 
separate camps were pitched in the compound. Water, 
both for drinking and washing purposes, was laid on to 
each camp and the tents and grounds were lighted by 
electricity, lamps were quite out of the question as the 
camp would certainly have been burnt down had they 
been used ; police arrangements were very necessary, and 
carriages and means of transport had to be provided for 
the use of the chiefs and their following. The arrangement 
of all the details meant a great deal of work and corres- 
pondence, and a visit in advance to Calcutta to discuss 

49 D 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

matters with the Foreign Office, but eventually everything 
was satisfactorily carried out. 

The Tibetan party were placed in charge of my assis- 
tant, Captain O'Connor, the trade agent at Gyantsi, and 
before arriving in Calcutta they made an extensive tour 
through Upper India, accompanied by the Rajkumar of 
Sikhim, visiting Buddhist shrines of importance and 
interest and ending with Buddh Gaya, the most holy of all 
Buddhist shrines. Unfortunately Buddh Gaya, with all 
its memories and associations of the great Buddha, is now 
in the hands of the Hindus, and I am sorry to say, the 
Tashi Lama while there, owing to want of sound advice, 
made some grave mistakes and succeeded in alienating 
the sympathy of the Mohunt and the Hindus, the last 
thing to be desired, as the Buddhists are very anxious to 
have the shrine again in their own hands. Of course, 
allowances have to be made for a man looked upon as 
sacred in his own country, where his lightest wish is law, 
and who, in consequence of universal veneration and 
belief in his own infallibility, has had very little under- 
standing of, or consideration for, any form of religion but 
his own. However, notwithstanding this, I think the 
Tashi Lama's visit was productive of good, and he returned 
with some small idea of the extent and power of our Indian 
Empire, and, had not the policy of Government, by its 
subsequent action in Tibet, frustrated these good im- 
pressions, I think they might have had memorable 
results. 

The Maharaja and Maharani of Sikhim were in charge 
of Captain Hyslop, 93rd Highlanders, and thoroughly 
enjoyed their visit. It opened their minds and did them 
an immense amount of good, and they much appreciated 
the honour paid them by the Prince and Princess. His 
Royal Highness exchanged visits with the Maharaja, as 
well as with the Tashi Lama and the Tongsa Penlop, while 
the Princess received the Maharani at Government House. 

50 



THE DELHI DURBAR 

As can well be imagined, this first visit to a city was full 
of interest and surprise to them, and during the time they 
were in Calcutta they saw many things they had hitherto 
had no conception of. At the conclusion of their visit, they 
made a pilgrimage to Buddh Gaya and then returned to 
Sikhim much more contented with their lot than they had 
formerly been. 

But on the whole I think the Tongsa Penlop, Sir Ugyen 
Wang-chuk, took the most intelligent interest in what he 
saw and had no hesitation in openly expressing his pleasure 
in what he liked. He was particularly interested in the 
various industries, the cotton and paper mills, the iron 
works, and mint, and the warships were a revelation to him. 
Major F. W. Rennick, of the Intelligence Branch, was in 
special charge of him. As a good Buddhist he also visited 
Buddh Gaya and plainly expressed his opinion that, al- 
though no one would be more glad than himself were 
the shrine restored to the Buddhist community, it was 
folly to quarrel with the Hindus, who for so many years 
had cared for and tended it, and that, owing to their 
own long neglect, the Buddhists had only themselves 
to thank that it was no longer in their possession and 
really should be very grateful to the Hindus for their 
care. 

This visit cemented, if that were needed, his friend- 
ship towards, and admiration for, the British Government, 
and instilled more deeply his determination to effect the 
reforms he had long had at heart in his own country. 
He was much impressed with his reception by His 
Royal Highness, and very grateful for all that was done 
for him during his visit. 

It was rather an undertaking to bring this party of 
unsophisticated chiefs and their wild following to Calcutta, 
but with the help and co-operation of the three officers 
deputed as my assistants, Major Rennick, Captain O'Connor 
and Captain Hyslop, we were able to bring the visit to a 

51 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

conclusion with only one or two unfortunate little incidents. 
The visit was certainly a success and formed a departure 
which I hope Government will follow up, of keeping up 
more friendly and direct relations with their neighbours 
on this hitherto little-known frontier. 



52 



CHAPTER VIII 

EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS IN SIKHIM 

From Gangtak over the Giucba-la to Ringen. Loss of a coolie. 
Camp amongst glaciers and moraines. A snow leopard. Alpine 
flowers. Avalanches and ice caves. Crossing a difficult gorge. 
Lepchas and wild bees. The Rungnu. Sakhyong. 

In 189a I made one of my first expeditions to the snows, 
crossing the Giucha-la Pass and from there making my way 
to Ringen, following a route the latter part of which had 
certainly never been traversed by a European, and I doubt 
by any one, except possibly a very occasional Lepcha. As 
I intended going to considerable elevations, I started in 
the middle of the rainy season, in July, in order to have 
less snow to negotiate and also less chance of snow-storms 
in the high altitudes. From Gangtak I crossed lower 
Sikhim, travelling vid the Pemiongtchi and Dubdi Monas- 
teries, and so far I had no difficulty, as I slept in either 
village houses or monasteries, but after that I had to take 
to my tents, which are certainly not comfortable in pouring 
rain. It came down steadily in sheets while I was at Dubdi, 
and when the morning for my departure came it was no 
better ; but it is useless to wait for fine weather in Sikhim, 
so I started in spite of it. The path led up a narrow 
and very precipitous valley, with virgin forest on either 
side and dense undergrowth ; smaller streams came 
down to join the main river at almost every hundred 
yards, and in crossing one of them, my first mishap 
occurred. 

53 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

A torrent, swollen by the heavy rain, came rushing 
down a perpendicular rock with an almost deafening roar 
right across the path, which at that point was water-worn 
rock and very slippery, and then leapt into an abyss below, 
the bottom of which I could not see. A couple of saplings 
about four inches in diameter had been placed across, and 
I had gone over in safety and was resting on an incline on 
the other side, when one of my coolies came up. For some 
reason, as he was crossing the poles, he either slipped or lost 
his balance, I could not see which, but he fell on the up- 
stream side, was immediately carried under the bridge 
and swept over the precipice before my eyes. It all hap- 
pened in a moment, and such was the inaccessibility of the 
spot and so dense the jungle, it was quite impossible to do 
anything for the poor fellow. Some more coolies now came 
up, and we tried to cut a way down through the dense 
tangle of trees and undergrowth, but this proved quite 
impossible, though, after an hour's work, one man managed 
to get down by a circuitous route, only to find that his 
unfortunate companion had been swept into the main 
torrent, and that nothing was to be seen of either him 
or his load. I am thankful to say that in all my 
wanderings in the Himalayas I have only lost one other 
coolie. 

Nothing more could be done, so we moved on, but the 
delay caused us to be overtaken by nightfall while we were 
still in the gorge, with no room to pitch a tent. I was 
glad to find an overhanging rock under which to sleep, and 
thought myself lucky to find a comparatively dry spot out 
of the drip, but it was not a very restful night surrounded 
by my coolies who, like all natives, talked for hours, and 
with the air full of acrid smoke from the wood fires which 
made sleep difficult. It was still raining when I arrived at 
Jongri, my next halting place, 13,140 feet high, just 
above tree level, and where our camp was in open 
country. 

The following day I reached the glaciers which come 

54 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

down from Kabru and Pundeem and had my tents pitched 
amongst them. 

In the morning it was a little finer and I caught oc- 
casional glimpses of the snows, but towards afternoon it 
commenced raining again and became very bleak and 
cold, and in going round my camp I found one of my 
coolies, a Paharia or Nepalese, lying huddled up in a wet 
heap. He was feeling the elevation and the cold and 
refused to move, so I placed a stalwart Bhutea on either 
side of him and made them run him up and down until his 
blood began to circulate. In a little while he went off and 
cooked his dinner and was none the worse, but had he 
been left to himself, he would probably have died in the 
night. I stayed here for a few days exploring the glaciers. 
The camp was a wild one surrounded by enormous quan- 
tities of ctebris, and shut in on three sides by glaciers and 
snows. The wet, misty weather made it still more gloomy, 
but on the third day the morning was glorious. Not a 
sign of a cloud was to be seen, and the snows standing up 
all round against the pale blue of the sky made the scene 
a magnificent one. 

While I was wandering some little way from camp I 
saw a snow leopard. He was on the other side of a glacial 
stream, so I could not get very close to him, and as besides 
I had only a shot gun with me, I contented myself with 
watching him, and a very pretty and most unusual sight 
it was. He was playing with a large raven, which kept 
swooping down just out of his reach, and to see him get on 
his hind legs like an enormous cat and jump at the bird was 
worth watching. Suddenly he saw me and went off up the 
hill at a pace that made me envious. He was a fine speci- 
men, very large and with a beautiful coat, and I wish I had 
had the luck to bag him. 

The weather now cleared up, and I had one of the glorious 
breaks which occur at intervals during the rains, and crossed 
the Giucha-la, 16,420 feet, in clear weather, with not a 
cloud in the sky. The view from the top is superb. Before 

55 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

one lies an amphitheatre of snow peaks, all over 21,000 feet, 
save in one gap, which is 19,300 feet. On the right hand 
Sim-vo-vonchin rises sharply over the 19,000-foot gap, then 
the splendid shoulder supporting the twin peaks of Kang- 
chenjunga, which towers up to a height of over 28,000 feet, 
and with something like 11,000 feet of uninterrupted snow 
and ice falling in a sheer precipice on its south face to the 
great glacier at its foot, next the ridge connecting Kang- 
chenjunga with Kabru, and on the immediate left a fine 
unnamed snow peak with hanging glaciers, but Kabru 
itself is invisible from this pass. On the south side of the 
Kangchen glacier were some ancient moraines covered with 
exquisite green turf and masses of Alpine flowers, whose 
simple beauty and vivid colouring stood out in sharp 
contrast to the grandeur of the surrounding snows, making 
a picture long to be remembered. I climbed down and had 
my tents pitched on this lovely green sward, though it 
seemed almost desecration to turn such a lovely spot into 
a noisy camp, with all its ugly and commonplace sur- 
roundings. 

Next morning I walked up the valley as far as I could 
go without crossing the glacier, and the scene, if possible, 
became still wilder and more magnificent. On the right was 
Kangchen junga and to the left Kabru with its magnificent 
glacier, while joining the two mountains in front of me was 
a wall of snow and ice 21,000 feet high. By and by, as the 
sun shone on the face of Kangchen, I saw some magnificent 
snow avalanches. They came thundering down on all 
sides, making a peculiar hissing noise, and on reaching 
the glacier, burst into clouds of spray of dazzling whiteness, 
which here and there was transformed into rainbow colours 
by the rising sun. A little later, as I was photographing 
Kangchen junga, a large piece of snow cracked off, crashed 
down about 8000 feet, and, reaching the bottom with a 
noise like thunder, which reverberated through the sur- 
rounding heights, filled the head of the valley with a mist 
of snow. Altogether, it was a day of most beautiful sights 

56 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

never to be forgotten, which amply rewarded me for any 
hardships or privations I had to undergo to achieve my 
object. 

To show how fickle the climate can be in the proximity 
of these perpetual snows, I went to bed that night in perfect 
weather, to be awakened later by the collapse of my tent. 
A sudden snowstorm had come up, and soon, before any 
one had noticed it, the weight of the snow became so great 
every pole of my tent broke and I was buried underneath. 
Fortunately a little table by my bed saved me from the 
weight of the canvas and gave me some breathing space, 
so, as it was very cold, I remained where I was till the 
morning, when my men could come to clear up the debris. 
By that time the weather was again perfect, and such is 
the power of the sun at those altitudes, the new snow 
soon disappeared, but as it had made everything rather 
uncomfortable, we decided not to move camp that day. 

We were now really entering unexplored country, as I 
wished to go down the Kangchen glacier to the source of 
the Rungnu-chhu, and thence to follow the stream to 
Ringen. None of my coolies had ever been over the 
ground, and as I found to my cost, there was not even a 
track. The first two marches were very easy, as we kept 
to the centre of the glacier, which we f ound quite smooth 
and very good going, quite unlike most of the other glaciers 
I have been over, either those on the south of the Giucha-la, 
which are completely cut up, have enormous holes in them, 
and over which it would be quite impossible to march ; the 
Zemu glacier, which is much the same, or the glaciers in 
the extreme north of the Lonak Valley, which again appear 
more like a rough sea suddenly frozen into enormous 
hummocks of ice. 

This difference in the Kangchen glacier I am unable to 
account for, unless it may be that the ice, running as it 
does in a very narrow valley, is of a much greater depth, 
and also that the valley lying east and west gets less sun 
and escapes the full force of the south-west monsoon. It 

57 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

is a curious phenomenon and would be well worth investi- 
gation, but its solution will, I think, require the study of 
experts in such matters. This glacier ends at an elevation 
of 12,100 feet in an ice cliff, from a cavern in which the 
Rungnu takes its rise, and here my worst difficulties 
began. 

The cliff was topped with debris and boulders of every 
size just on the balance, which at any moment might go 
down with a crash to the bottom, and it was no easy matter 
to climb down myself without bringing tons and tons on 
the top of me, and more difficult to get all my coolies and 
baggage down. Only one man could come at a time, a 
long process, but it was eventually carried through without 
mishap. At the foot of the ice cliff I pitched my camp in 
the midst of rhododendrons and pines. 

Looking directly up the valley was the end of the glacier 
I had just descended, gloomy and forbidding, and on the 
right, to the north, was the limit of the glacier from the 
19,000-foot gap, adding to the scene of desolate grandeur ; 
for I think there can be no more wild and desolate scene than 
these moraines, in which the large glaciers end in utter 
confusion, giving the impression of a battlefield where 
giants and titan monsters have torn up huge masses of 
rock to hurl at one another, with the constant fall of stones 
as the ice melts, and the weird feeling that everything 
in addition is quietly though imperceptibly on the 
move. 

On close examination, the ice is very beautiful, and the 
ice caves out of which the river rushes are magnificent. 
The colouring of the ice was lovely, varying in every shade 
of green and from pale turquoise blue to almost black in 
the depths of the caves, with opalescent tints where the 
sun's rays struck its edges. Immediately surrounding me 
was a carpet of the Alpine vegetation, so lovely in these 
hills, and amongst the undergrowth I found oak and silver 
ferns, anemones, primulas, gentians of every shade of 
blue, buttercups, violas and innumerable other flowers, 

58 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

A false step, and once in the water, that would be the end, 
with no possible chance of escape. I managed to cross the 
flat pole safely, but could not face the notched one. One 
of my Lepcha coolies offered to carry me up on his shoulders 
if I promised to make no movement, but this seemed even 
worse than climbing up by myself, as I finally did with the 
aid of a rope, and heartily glad I was to get to the top and 
on to the hillside. Unfortunately I had got ahead of my 
baggage coolies, always a fatal thing to do, and before 
they arrived, the river had risen to such an extent they 
could not cross, so I was left on one side with all my baggage 
on the other, and there was nothing for it but to make the 
best of a bad business. With me were Purboo, my Lepcha 
orderly, the coolie with my camera, and one other man, 
Jerung Denjung, in charge of the coolies. 

It was pouring, we were all wet through, and we had 
only one piece of chocolate between us, and no wood to 
make a fire with, as everything was sopping. Eventually 
Purboo took off his Lepcha chudder or shawl and made a 
shelter by hanging it over some sticks, and under this we 
all got. They managed somehow to light a fire, but the 
smoke from the wet wood was perhaps more trying than 
anything else. Here we sat till morning, when some of 
the coolies turned up, and we were able to get something 
to eat and a change of clothes. 

We were still not out of the wood, for it had taken me 
ten days longer than I had expected to come down, and 
our provisions were running short. Mine were quite 
finished, but some of the men's rations still remained, and 
these they shared with me most cheerfully, and we all 
made the best of things with no sign of grumbling or 
discontent. 

But soon after, the end of our troubles came in view 

with the sight of some Lepcha cultivation. The men 

went wild with delight, and I verily believe they had 

thought that they would never get back to their homes 

again ; they threw down their loads, danced and sang, and 

61 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

my party, especially as, to add to our difficulties, in the 
centre of the bridge we had to crawl through a hole on 
hands and knees. 

This bridge is called by the Lepchas Tak-nil-vong-do-zah, 
and is occasionally used by them when they go up the 
valley collecting wax. The combs of the wild bees are 
found on overhanging precipices, and the only means by 
which they can be reached is to descend from above on 
narrow cane ladders just wide enough for a man's foot, and 
often 300 feet to 400 feet long. The Lepcha comes down 
the ladder with an earthen vessel containing fire on his 
head, and on reaching the combs puts some green leaves on 
it. This makes a dense smoke and drives the bees away, 
while he cuts off the combs, which are often 6 feet long and 
4 feet thick ; he then throws them down to his com- 
panions, but it is a hazardous business as, should the smoke 
not drive off the bees, the man hanging in mid-air has no 
chance if they attack him. The men waiting below catch 
the combs, squeeze out the honey and partly clarify the 
wax on the spot, by placing it in boiling water, skimming 
it off, and making it into cakes 8 or 9 inches in diameter 
and 3 or 4 inches thick. The honey is eaten locally, unless 
it has been made when the magnolia is in flower, in which 
case it is often poisonous. 

A little later we had another equally difficult crossing 
when we reached the Rungnu. The heavy rain had 
swollen the river, and the only means of crossing was by 
placing a tree from the bank we were on, to rest on a small 
rock in the centre of the stream, from which a notched pole 
had been placed up the side of a perpendicular rock to a 
slippery landing on the top. Across this very unsteady 
and rickety pole I had to go, whether I liked it or not, as 
there was no other way. It was a very nasty place and I 
do not mind admitting I would have given a good deal ta 
avoid it. 

The river was rushing underneath to dash itself angrily 
over a precipice some 300 feet high with a deafening roaiv 

60 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

then started off with renewed energy to find the owners of 
the fields in the outlying houses of the village of Sakhyong 
a few miles further down. Here I was royally entertained 
by the people, who gave me everything they had, eggs, 
buckwheat cakes and some other cakes of flour, made by 
grinding the root of a caladium which grows at high alti- 
tudes. These latter were to my taste most unpalatable, 
but I was only too thankful to get anything after the 
privations and hardships we had come through. 

From Sakhyong everything was comparatively easy, 
there was a path of sorts, and we were again amongst 
cultivation and scattered houses, and in a few days more 
I arrived at Ringen, and from Ringen another five days 
brought me to my headquarters at Gangtak after a most 
enjoyable and successful expedition, during which I had 
thoroughly explored the hitherto unknown valley running 
down from the big Kangchen glacier. 

My prolonged absence had caused some alarm, and 
even given rise to rumours that I had been captured by 
the Tibetans, and several parties had been sent out by 
the Phodong Lama and others to find out what had become 
of me, and I was greeted with a hearty welcome when I at 
last arrived. 

I do not think this journey could be equalled throughout 
the world for its beauty and variety of scene, the mag- 
nificent gorges, with wonderful waterfalls tumbling down 
on all sides, the wild desolation of the higher snows, and 
the richness of colouring and dense vegetation lower down ; 
every few miles bringing new beauties before one. 



62 



CHAPTER IX 

EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS IN SIKHIM— continued 

From Gangtak to the Zemu glacier, Lonak Valley, Lacben and 
Lachung. Mr. Hoffmann. Cloud effects. Cane bridges. Hot 
springs. Tailing Monastery and its treasures. Grazing land and 
Tibetan herdsmen. Yak transport. Locusts. The Sebu Pass. 
Snow-blindness. Lachung. Goral-shooting. 

My second expedition to the snows was made in June 
and July 1891, when, accompanied by Mr. Hoffmann, the 
well-known photographer, my object was to explore the 
Lonak Valley and to visit Lachen and Lachung on my 
way back. 

It was, however, we found, a little early in the season, 
as the winter snow had not yet melted on any of the higher 
passes, and this made travelling difficult as well as uncom- 
fortable. We left Ringen, our starting point, in pouring 
rain, and the first few marches were very trying. They 
were through deep gorges all under 5000 feet, which have at 
this time of year an atmosphere almost supersaturated 
with moisture, leeches abounded, and fleas were numerous. 
They swarmed in the houses and monasteries in which we 
slept, in order to avoid using the tents in the rain, and 
made it a somewhat doubtful advantage. 

Travelling at this time of the year, however, has certain 
points to recommend it. 

The foliage of the trees and the undergrowth is mag- 
nificent, most of the flowering shrubs and creepers are at 
their best, everything looks fresh, and the colouring, whea 

63 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

the sun breaks through the clouds, is wonderful. Each 
leaf and bit of moss sparkles as though set in diamonds, 
the air is filled with clouds of butterflies of every imaginable 
colour, the near distance is brilliant, while the middle and 
far distances shade in blues and purples to deep indigo, and 
when a glimpse of the snows is obtained at the head of some 
valley, they stand out, an almost supernatural vision of 
ethereal beauty, the whole picture made up of the softest 
of tints not to be equalled, in my opinion, in any other part 
of the world. The cloud effects are marvellous, the vapour 
seems to boil up out of the deep valleys as out of some huge 
caldron, taking the most fantastic shapes and an endless 
variety of colours as it catches the sun's rays ; then sud- 
denly everything is blotted out into monotonous grey, as 
though such wonderful sights were too grand for human 
eyes, until a sudden puff of wind blows aside the veil of 
mist and discloses again the lovely panorama. 

But to return to the journey. We crossed the Teesta, 
a grand sight in heavy flood, by the cane bridge at Sanklan 
Sampo. These cane bridges are a feature of Sikhim, and 
very rarely met with elsewhere. The method of con- 
struction is to throw across the stream which is to be bridged 
sufficient canes to form two side supports. The canes are 
passed over wooden tressels on each bank of the river, and 
after stretching, to get them as nearly as possible into the 
same curve, the ends are fastened to trees, roots or rocks, any- 
thing to which they can be made fast. Lengths of split cane 
or bamboo are then fastened to the cane ropes, thus forming 
loops, and on these loops two bamboos are placed side by 
side, making a narrow platform on which an insecure 
foothold is obtained. This bridge was 220 feet long, but 
they are often 350 feet. A cane bridge is never easy to 
cross, and is worse towards the end of the rains, as the cane 
and bamboo with which it is constructed quickly decay, 
but my Lepcha coolies thought nothing of it and soon had 
all the loads across. 

From Sanklan Sampo to Be, the road, or rather track, is 

64 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

one of the worst in Sikhim. It consists principally of a 
series of ladders up and down precipices or of galleries 
clinging to the face of cliffs. These ladders are made of 
bamboo with cross pieces tied to them for steps, generally 
at an angle, never horizontal, and in wet weather they are 
abominably slippery. The galleries are also made of 
bamboos fastened to any projecting root or tree, and 
often hung by canes from hundreds of feet above ; they 
are never more than two bamboos in width, and only in 
the very worst places do they ever take the trouble to 
put up any kind of railing. Progress along such a road 
was necessarily slow, and our marches were consequently 
very short, but we eventually reached Be, the last col- 
lection of houses of any size, for it cannot be called a 
village, where a halt was made for a day to make arrange- 
ments for the coolies' food before going into the uninhabited 
regions higher up. As Be was hot and the camping ground 
cramped, I decided to move on to the Talung Monastery 
and wait there till the preparations were completed. This 
turned out to be a wise move, as there was good camping 
ground and a great deal to be seen both in the monastery 
and in the surrounding country. 

We followed the course of the Rimpi-chhu, a magnificent 
torrent one mass of foam as it dashed down over the boulders 
and between precipices without a single quiet pool, in fact 
it was an uninterrupted cascade which, on nearing Talung, 
has cut its way into the rocks, forming one of the magnifi- 
cent gorges, 300 feet or 400 feet deep and some miles in 
length, which occur on some of these rivers. This gorge 
is exceedingly narrow, and the branches of the trees at the 
top meet each other across the chasm, keeping out the light, 
and only the roar of the river can be heard as the darkness 
makes it almost impossible to see the bottom. 

At one point the trees are bent over from either side 
and tied together, and so form a good though somewhat 
precarious bridge. This I crossed, as I wanted to visit some 
sulphur springs on the other side, and after walking some 

65 e 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

way through a dense forest, where every branch was hung 
vath moss and long grey lichen, and with a thick carpet of 
moss under my feet, I found the springs. The water is 
moderately hot and is used by the Lepchas in cases of 
rheumatism and skin disease. The bathing arrangements 
are delightfully primitive ; a hole is dug in the ground or a 
wall built of stones, the crevices are filled with moss and 
into this the water is run and the bathers sit, men and 
women indiscriminately, with no shelter except sometimes 
a shawl thrown over a bamboo support. The patients sit 
in these baths for from four to eight hours a day for a period 
of ten to fourteen days. The Lepchas have the most 
profound belief in the efficacy of the water and declare the 
cures are marvellous. I have visited many of these hot 
springs, which constantly occur in the valleys throughout 
the Himalayas at a certain elevation, and in some of them 
the temperature reaches 160 , and one where I stayed for a 
short time was 120 . I need hardly say that I had my own 
bath tub in my tent and ran the water into it from the 
spring by means of a long india-rubber hose. I have no 
doubt, were better arrangements made, the beneficial 
qualities of the waters might be made much more useful 
than at present ; now they are used only by occasional 
visitors who, to reach them, have to undertake difficult 
and hazardous journeys, for nearly all the springs are found 
in more or less inaccessible spots lying far off the ordinary 
roads. 

Talung Monastery is one of the most sacred monasteries 
in Sikhim, and is full of very beautiful and interesting 
objects of veneration, nearly all real works of art. During 
the Nepalese invasion of 1816, many of these objects were 
removed from other monasteries and brought here for 
safety, and have remained here ever since. Unlike most 
monasteries, an inventory is kept and most carefully 
scrutinised from time to time by the Maharaja, and 
owing to these precautions, the collection has remained 

intact. 

66 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

Here is preserved the saddle and saddle-cloth of the 
Jock-chen Lama, the first lama to enter Sikhim from 
Tibet, several fine thigh-bone trumpets and some splendid 
specimens of " Rugen " (apron, breastplate, circlet and 
armlets), exquisitely carved from human bones, a beau- 
tiful set in silver gilt of marvellously fine workmanship 
of the Tashi Tagye, or eight lucky signs, as well as many 
other altar vessels and vestments. Here also are all the 
old dancing dresses and ornaments, beyond comparison 
finer than any I have ever seen in other monasteries in 
Sikhim. 

All these treasures were produced for my inspection 
and examination to see that they duly corresponded with 
the list, and were then most carefully put away and re- 
sealed, but before this was done some of the lamas put on 
the old dresses, to enable me to see them to greater 
advantage. 

This monastery had never before been visited by 
Europeans, and it was Mr. Hoffmann's and my privilege 
to be the first to see this unique collection of Buddhist 
ritualistic paraphernalia, which up to the present time still 
remains intact. 

Our preparations finally completed, we made for un- 
inhabited country. The road for some distance was com- 
paratively easy and ran up the valley of the Rimpi, which 
we twice crossed, through splendid forests of pine, the 
Abies Dumosa being particularly fine. The rhododendrons 
were in flower, and together with the new foliage of the birch 
trees, made bright splashes of colour. Whilst on the first 
day's march I discovered that a large stream, the Zam- 
tu-chhu, takes its rise on the eastern slopes of Siniolchu 
and joins the Rimpi on its right bank, thus proving the 
survey maps to be wrong in showing it, as they have 
hitherto done, running to the south. 

I was much tempted to follow up this stream, as Siniol- 
chu is the most lovely snow peak in Sikhim, and the views 
at the head of the valley must be magnificent, but it would 

67 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

probably have taken me over a week and I could not 
spare the time, as I wanted to go north across several 
snow ranges and so reach a drier climate. These high 
snow ranges act as a barrier to the south-west monsoon, 
very little of which penetrates into the higher valleys or 
into Tibet. We therefore went straight on, and after 
passing some very fine waterfalls, camped on the edge of 
the snow, but by afternoon the weather became very misty 
and wet and we passed an uncomfortable night. From 
this camp onwards, till we had crossed the Yeumtsho-la 
(15,800 feet), marching was tedious and difficult through 
soft melting snow, and we even had to pitch our tents in 
snow. The Yeumtsho and other lakes were thawing, with 
water lying on the ice, and with everything in a state of 
slush it was most disagreeable both for ourselves and our 
men. The mornings, however, were clear, and we had 
some fine views of Lama Anden, or Lating as the Lepchas 
call it, a twin peak which is visible from Darjeeling. 

Crossing the pass we found very difficult as the snow 
was deep on both sides and very soft, but once over we 
soon left it behind on our way down to the Zemu Valley, 
where we camped again amidst rhododendrons at 12,800 

feet. 

Looking down the valley the view was particularly fine, 
the precipices and rocks on the summit of the hills ending 
in some very fine screes, while the foot of the valley ap- 
peared to be blocked by the snow mass of Tsengui Kang in 
the range running between Lachen and Lachung. 

The Zemu glacier ends, about one- third of a mile up the 
valley from where our camp was pitched at an elevation of 
13,830 feet, in an ice cliff in which are three ice caverns 
out of which the Zemu river rushes in turbulent, muddy 
torrents. This glacier is the largest in Sikhim and is fed 
from the northern slopes of Siniolchu and Simvoo and the 
eastern slopes of Kangchenjunga, and with it are incor- 
porated some large glaciers from the ridge running to the 
north of Kangchen. With the exception of the upper part 

68 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

the glacier is very rough, with enormous holes and covered 
with huge masses of dibris y and in this resembles that to the 
south of the Giucha-la. By climbing one of the hills to 
the north I had a very good view and could follow dis- 
tinctly the moraines brought down by the different side 
glaciers, which are wonderfully well defined, chiefly by the 
different colour of the rocks in each, and these lines are 
continued for miles down the glacier with a very pretty 
colour effect. 

From one of these side hills I had, early one morning, 
a magnificent view of Siniolchu, the finest snow peak in 
Sikhim. It was very early, and as the sun rose the clouds 
lifted for a few minutes, disclosing a lovely picture. The 
glacier and the hills immediately behind were in deep 
shadow, but Siniolchu was flooded with rosy light from the 
rising sun, and no mere photograph can give any idea of the 
beauty of the scene. It only lasted a few minutes, and then 
was blotted out by mist, and I never saw it again all the 
days I remained in the valley. 

We marched up the side of the glacier to a height of 
17,500 feet, finding excellent camping grounds all the way 
between the lateral moraines and the hills on the north, 
and as far as I could judge, being no expert in ice craft, 
there would have been absolutely no difficulty in walking 
up to the top of either the 19,000 feet or the 17,500 feet gaps, 
as the upper ends of these glaciers appear perfectly smooth 
with apparently no big fissures and very little soft snow. 
Close to our camp on the north a magnificent glacier ran 
into the valley. In this the ice falls were magnificent and 
by far the finest I have seen. 

Camping at such elevations in the midst of ice and 
surrounded by these grand snow peaks, the silence at times 
is almost oppressive. There is not a sound except an 
occasional weird noise caused by the fall of stones either 
on the ice of the glacier or into the water at the bottom of 
some vast ice pit. But yet there was life in these solitudes, 
as I saw several herds of burhel in the hills above the camp. 

69 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

The strata to the north of the glacier are very notice- 
able and run in thick bands of red and grey, which give 
the hills a very different appearance to those on the south, 
while disintegration is going on very rapidly owing to the 
horizontal strata decaying at different rates. 

All this was new country hitherto unvisited, though 
some of it was traversed later by Mr. Douglas Freshfield 
and his party in 1899. 

The weather continued so bad, I decided to return to 
the lower end of the glacier, and here I am sorry to say 
Mr. Hoffmann left me, having no more time at his dis- 
posal. My way led me into the mountains to the north, 
and I made for the Tang-chung-la, 17,100 feet, passing a 
small lake to the north at 15,200 feet. 

The grazing on this and the adjoining hills is very good, 
the grass from 8 inches to 12 inches deep, but no flocks of 
sheep or herds of yaks were to be seen. The reason given 
for not making use of this excellent pasture was its in- 
accessibility from the south and the unsuitability of its 
wet climate to animals accustomed to the dryness of Tibet, 
but it seemed a pity it should be so wasted. Next day I 
crossed the Thi-la, 17,430 feet, and after a tiring march, 
camped in the Lonak Valley at an elevation of 15,300 feet. 
The change in climate after crossing the Thi-la was won- 
derful. Up the southern slopes it had rained continuously, 
but I had not gone more than a few hundred feet down the 
northern side when the rain ceased, the sun came out, and 
a little further down the ground was dusty, and I camped 
at the bottom in a perfectly dry climate, the climate of 
Tibet. 

The face of the country too had changed, there were no 
longer rugged rocks and precipices, the hills were rounded, 
the result of the disintegration which in this dry climate 
does not wash away ; the bottoms of the valleys were 
broad and flat, and there were numerous flocks of sheep 
and herds of yaks grazing in every direction, while every- 
where were scattered the black yaks' hair tents of the 

70 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

Tibetan herdsmen who bring their herds and flocks to 
graze in these Sikhim highlands during three or four months 
in the year. 

The change from Sikhim was in every way complete, 
there was no longer damp hot atmosphere and deep-cut 
valleys, the climate was dry and bracing, the hills gently 
undulating and the sky blue with perpetual sunshine, 
truly a marvellous change to find oneself at the end of a 
few miles' march in a country so closely resembling Tibet 
both in climate and appearance. 

Just before crossing the Thi-la I was met by some yaks 
sent by the Maharaja's orders from his herds in the Lonak 
Valley, and on to these patient and sure-footed animals I 
transferred my baggage. This was my first experience of 
yak transport, and for these altitudes nothing can be better. 
Provided they are worked in moderation and given not 
too heavy a load, they will go on for months travelling at 
an even pace, and will cover from twenty to twenty-four 
miles a day, which is generally as far as one wishes to go. 
They are wonderfully sure-footed, will carry their rider up 
and down and over anything, and only on one occasion 
have I seen one lose its footing and that was on a com- 
paratively good road. They are not uncomfortable mounts 
once you become accustomed to the grunting noise they 
make, which sends a curious vibration through you, and to 
the alarming appearance of the horns, which look as though, 
if they put their heads slightly back, it would be the easiest 
thing in the world to unseat you by putting one on either 
side below your knees. In appearance yaks are curious 
animals to look at, with a thick fringe of long hair hanging 
down under their bellies, huge bushy tails and a thick 
coat of hair, generally black and white, and holding their 
heads very low, so low that in riding them there is nothing 
in front of you. This unusual poise of the head has 
given rise to a pretty little fable which I think is worth 
repeating. 

Long years ago the yak and the buffalo were on very 

71 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

good terms and loved each other like brothers, but owing 
to the malevolence of some evil spirit, they fell out and 
parted company and the buffalo was banished to the 
plains. Now they long to meet again — the yak is always 
looking down to try and see his lost brother, while th 
buffalo is always casting his eyes upwards to the hills in f 
hope that he may see his old friend again. Any one 
is familiar with the yak and the buffalo will apprecia 4 
little tale. 

Before I reached my camping ground I was T 
Tibetan official, the Jongpen from Khamba-jon' 
me very politely that I was in Tibet and mu c 
the way I had come. It was useless to poir 
that I was some miles within the Sikhim frontier, o. 
read him that portion of the Treaty between our Goveii. 
ment and the Tibetans which had recently been signed. 
He declared he knew nothing about that, and that the 
Thi-la was the proper boundary whatever the Treaty 
might say. Of course, I refused to return, but finally we 
came to a compromise, and I consented to turn to the east 
and to return over the Lungna-la into the Lachen Valley 
instead of exploring the Lonak Valley. I was obliged to give 
way to some extent, as my instructions from Government 
were particularly to avoid any open disagreement with the 
Tibetans. As soon as I had consented to do this, the 
Jongpen was much relieved, became most friendly and was 
always about my tents. 

I stayed in the camp some days enjoying the rest, 
after my recent exertions, and the climate, which was 
perfect. There was a little shooting to be had and I 
wandered about with my gun very happily. Amongst 
other things, I came across a large warren of marmots, 
Arctotnys himalayanus , the large Tibetan variety. These 
little animals are interesting to watch, and for such clumsy- 
looking brutes marvellously quick in their movements, 
disappearing into their holes like a flash when alarmed. 

The only inhabitants of the valley are Tibetan herds- 

72 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

men who come during the summer months to graze their 
yaks and sheep. They were all very friendly and glad to 
give me shelter from the cold wind in their black yaks' 
hair tents, but it was a doubtful pleasure entering them, as 
these people are indescribably filthy. Some of the women 
were so thickly covered with dirt it was impossible to 
distinguish their hair under a plaster of grease and dirt, and 
the only thing apparently ever washed was the mouth, and 
that only when they drank their buttered tea. 

A curious natural phenomenon was the increase in 
volume of the river soon after the sun rose, caused by the 
ice melting on the enormous glaciers in which it took its 
rise, which took place regularly at about the same time 
every day. The day I moved camp I was late in starting, 
and found the stream already in flood and consequently 
had some difficulty in crossing, and lost three of my 
sheep, which were washed down before aid could reach 
them. 

I was sorry to leave Lonak, partly because I wanted to 
explore the valley thoroughly, and partly on account of 
the climate, as I knew that as soon as I crossed the pass I 
would again find myself in the damp regions of Sikhim, 
and my anticipations proved correct, as it rained before I 
reached my camping ground. From the top of the Lungna-la 
17,400 feet, I had a fine view of Kangchenjunga and the 
snow peaks running to the north. To my astonishment, 
when I reached the top of the pass, the snow was covered 
with dead locusts strewn everywhere. I later found that 
India had been infested with flights of these insects and 
they had been blown up to the heights and perished in 
the cold. When in my descent I reached the line of vege- 
tation, I found they had stripped the birches, the only 
leaves they seemed to care to eat, and there also they were 
in thousands, but dying fast. 

From the Lungna-la to Thangu was an easy march, and 
on reaching Thangu I left all my heavy camp equipage 
and went down light to the village of Lamteng, the head- 

73 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

quarters of the migratory inhabitants of the Lachen Valley, 
comprising about seventy-five houses. The people are 
herdsmen as well as traders, and move with their cattle up 
or down the valley according to the season, and as the 
summer months are the only ones during which the passes 
to Tibet are open for their merchandise, they are only to 
be found in Lamteng during the winter. One of the 
annual migrations down the valley is a curious sight to 
witness. In order to insure that no individual shall have 
the advantage of his neighbour in the matter of grazing, 
the whole population moves into Lamteng on the same 
day, bringing with them their entire families, all their 
yaks, ponies, cattle, goats, fowls, dogs and household 
goods, and on such a day it is safer to camp some little way 
off the road, as yaks are no respecters of persons and would 
soon have all the tents trampled on the ground. 

On my way down the valley I had the luck to witness an 
enormous rock avalanche, the only one of any magnitude 
I have seen in Sikhim. It was a grand sight ; the rocks 
came thundering down the hillside with tremendous 
velocity, many of them as large as a house, and dashed into 
the river at the bottom. I was exactly opposite the slip 
on the farther side of the valley in an absolutely safe position 
and could watch this very unusual phenomenon at my ease. 
My coolies were much alarmed, and I was not surprised, 
as it was in many ways a most awe-inspiring sight. 

From Lamteng I returned to Thangu and went up to 
Giaogong where I was again met by Tibetan officials with 
the same story, that I could not be allowed to cross the 
boundary into Tibet, and that they knew nothing of the late 
Treaty. Much my easiest way would have been to follow 
the Lachen river to the Cholamo lakes, and then cross the 
Donkia-la into the Lachung Valley, but as this neces- 
sitated going through the disputed ground, I was obliged 
to take a more difficult route to the south of Kang- 
chenjhau and then over the Sibu-la between Lachen and 
Lachung. 

74 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

Giaogong was visited by Hooker in 1848 and again by 
Macaulay in 1886. It is a desolate, wind-swept spot lying 
in the centre of a gorge between Chomiomo, 23,000 feet, 
on the west and Kangchenjhau, 24,000 feet, on the east, 
and is a veritable funnel up which the wind is always 
howling. I managed, however, to find a fairly sheltered 
spot for my camp and stayed for a few days. On one I 
climbed the 18,221-feet hill to the west called Tunlo, and 
from the top I had a magnificent view over the north of 
Sikhim up to the rounded hills forming the watershed and 
the true boundary. Looked at from this elevation the 
scene is a most desolate one, truly typical of, and only to 
be found in, Tibet; with the exception of the valley 
immediately below me, nothing was under 18,000 feet, with- 
out a shrub, much less a tree, to be seen, and the wonder 
was how the large flocks of sheep scattered about, num- 
bering perhaps 10,000 or 12,000, found enough grazing to 
keep them alive. 

On leaving Giaogong, some distance to the south-east, 
where the rainfall is comparatively heavy, my route took 
me over some ancient moraines, now, after centuries of 
disintegration, a series of undulating downs called Phalung, 
covered with thick soft turf and dotted with the yaks and 
tents of the Lachen herdsmen. I also passed some good 
flocks of burhel on these moraines, one numbering about 
eighty. The glaciers running down from this range are 
comparatively small, although with the splendid backing 
of the perpendicular cliffs of Kangchenjhau they look 
imposing. 

After crossing these downs, I camped at Sechuglaka and 
was detained there by bad weather, my coolies declaring 
the Sebu-la was impassable in soft snow. The pass is 
17,600 feet and there is a small glacier which has to be 
crossed before reaching the summit, but this was nego- 
tiated with little difficulty ; there were one or two small 
crevasses, but my men knew where they were and how to 
avoid them. 

75 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

The summit of this pass is a knife-edge of rock so 
narrow that in places 20 feet to 30 feet below the top light 
can be seen through cracks in the rock, and along this 
narrow edge the track led for a short distance. The east 
side was nothing but a mass of rocks everywhere, which 
made travelling most difficult, and had these been covered 
with new snow I can quite imagine it being impassable, 
and I should never have got down without some broken 
limbs amongst my coolies, while as it was, even without the 
snow, it was anything but pleasant going. 

Some years later, coming from Lachung, I crossed the 
pass with my wife and daughter. It was quite impossible 
either to ride up or to be carried in a dandy over such 
boulders, so they were carried on the backs of two of the 
strongest Lachung men, splendid specimens, with a chudder 
(native shawl) tied round them and over the men's shoulders, 
two other men helping, one on either side. How they 
managed to get over the rocks was a marvel, but they 
did it, and very quickly too, and were soon at the top. 

After the first descent of half a mile or so the road 
was an easy one over and between old moraines, while to 
the left some fine glaciers came down from Kangchenjhau 
and Tsen-gui-kang. 

My camp that night was close to the hot springs at 
Momay Samdong, mentioned by Hooker in his Himalayan 
Journals, with the water at a temperature of 160 . They 
are very unimportant, the flow of water is small, and they 
are seldom used now for bathing purposes. 

From Momay Samdong I ascended the Donkia-la, 
18,100 feet, and had a slendid view over the country to the 
north ; first the Cholamo lakes lying at the foot of the pass, 
then the rounded hills of the watershed and boundary, 
and further still the limestone ranges of Tibet. The view 
though desolate, was very fine, and I naturally longed to 
explore the unknown country beyond, but this was not to be 
till many years had passed, so I had reluctantly to turn my 
back and descend again into the valleys of Sikhim, but 

76 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

before reaching Momay, I explored to the east and dis- 
covered an easy pass leading into Tibet which is occasionally 
used by graziers. 

There is some very fine burhel ground on the hills on 
each side of the valley running from the Donkia to Momay, 
especially to the east, where I saw some of the biggest 
herds I have come across, and I think any one really going 
in for shooting might secure a record head here. It was 
near this that Dr. Pearse shot one measuring 29J inches 
and I believe the record is 30J inches. The shooting, 
however, along all the Sikhim hills, is very disappointing 
and most difficult, owing principally to climatic conditions, 
for in the rains, just as the sportsman is stalking the game, 
a cloud may and often does, suddenly come along and blot 
out everything, which, to say the least of it, is most annoy- 
ing, while in the fine weather at the end of October and 
November the cold is intense and there is always the 
danger of being caught by the snow. 

On leaving Momay Samdong I did not go straight 
down the valley, but turned to the east up Temba-chhu and 
explored up to the glacier, but the weather was bad and I 
saw very little. I then turned to the south and crossed 
an unknown pass, 17,700 feet, which led over the range 
dividing the Lachung and Sebu valleys. It was a grey 
day when we started and soon commenced to snow and 
continued to snow the whole day. The snow was very 
deep and very soft, often up to my armpits, and the going 
was very difficult, especially for the laden coolies, for 
although I had sent the greater part of my heavy baggage 
straight to the Lachung village, I still had a good deal 
with me. We toiled on for hours and at last reached the 
summit. The snow was still falling and we floundered 
down till we came to a flat bit of ground, evidently^the 
bed of an old lake, and here I decided to halt for the 
night. 

Experience teaches, and I certainly had a lesson that 
day I could well have done without, and which I am not 

77 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

likely to forget. The day was so dull and grey it never 
struck me there could be any ill effects from the light on the 
snow, and though I had my snow spectacles in my pocket 
I did not put them on and felt no ill effects until after my 
arrival in camp, when my eyes began to smart and I soon 
could see nothing, and realised that I was in for a bad 
attack of snow blindness. I passed a wretched night, 
and when morning came I could not open my eyes and 
was obliged to lie where I was in bed. I had only a small 
single fly tent, it was raining hard, very cold, and everything 
was most uncomfortable. My bearer Diboo brought me 
my food and practically had to feed me, for I could see 
nothing. This total blindness lasted for two days, but by 
the third morning I could see a little, and by carefully 
shading my eyes, I was able to get down to the forest 
limit and out of the intense glare. I found that at least 
one-third of my coolies were in a similar condition, so I 
was not the only sufferer. The pain in the eyes in snow 
blindness is very acute indeed, and it was a sharp lesson 
which I have never forgotten. My men suggested several 
remedies, none of which were very pleasant, so I contented 
myself with placing cold wet handkerchiefs on my eyes, 
which I constantly changed. There was little trouble in 
doing this, as I had only to hold my handkerchief against 
the fly of the tent to wet it, and I dare say it was the best 
thing I could have done. Years later, I learnt a very 
simple and certain remedy for snow blindness which I have 
since used on several occasions with excellent effect for 
coolies who had neglected to cover their eyes when crossing 
snow. It is to drop a few drops of castor oil into the eyes 
and the relief is almost instantaneous. 

Lepcha and Tibetan coolies when crossing the passes 
use spectacles made of very finely woven hair, and if by 
chance they do not have them, they bring their own hair, 
which is always rather long, over their faces, and this makes 
a very good veil. I have often seen them do it when sud- 
denly caught in a snowstorm amongst the mountains. It 

78 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

is only quite newly fallen snow that has such a speedy effect 
on the eyes, and I believe it must be the actinic rays from 
the extremely white snow that causes it. Old snow will 
also cause blindness when it has the full force of a tropical 
sun shining on it, but is not nearly so quick in its action. 

From this somewhat dreary camp it did not take us 
long to descend into the pine forests, and we camped at 
a place called Sebu in the midst of silver firs. I had been 
for six or seven weeks high up above all vegetation except 
grass, and the change to the forest was welcome, especially 
as the weather was again fine. This continued as I marched 
down the valley, a lovely one with some of the finest trees 
there are in Sikhim growing in it. One fallen giant, a 
spruce, that I measured, was 220 feet from the roots to 
where it was broken off short, and there it measured 6 feet 
in girth. What had become of the top I do not know, but 
it was a magnificent specimen. The road was easy the 
whole way and delightfully soft to walk on, as it was 
carpeted with moss and pine needles. This valley, the 
Sebu, would delight the heart of an artist ; there are soft 
glades with streams wandering quietly through them, 
splendid forests of pine with beetling crags in every direction 
and glimpses of snow up every side valley. I often wish I 
could have painted some of these scenes, for my photo- 
graphs do not do them justice, as they give no idea of the 
varied and exquisite colouring. 

I joined the main Lachung Valley at Yac-cha, some 
four miles above the village of Lachung, where I was met 
by the Phodong Lama, and where we remained some time 
transacting business with the headmen of the valley. 

The two villages of Lamteng in the Lachen and Lachung 
in the Lachung Valley have an unusual and almost com- 
munistic government of their own. On every occasion 
the whole population meet at a " panchayat," or council, 
where they sit in a ring in consultation. Nothing, however 
small, is done without such a meeting, even if it was only 
to supply me with firewood or to tell off a man to carry 

79 



** 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

water. Everything is settled at these meetings, any 
business there may be is transacted, and everything from 
the choosing of their own headman to the smallest detail is 
arranged in consultation. The consequence is, everything 
is done very deliberately and much time is wasted in 
useless discussion, but the system seems to suit the people 
and I allowed it to be continued with some small modifi- 
cations. When transport is required, the panchayat sits 
to select the coolies, and after that is done there is a curious 
custom of drawing lots for each man's load gone through. 
Each one gives a garter to the headman, who puts them 
all together in the inside of his boku or outer garment. 
He then goes round to the loads, drawing out a garter and 
placing one on each load, and the owner of the garter has to 
carry that load. This is all a little tiresome when one is 
anxious to be off, but once the formalities have been gone 
through, the loads are picked up and quickly carried away 
without another word. The people of these valleys are 
a particularly nice lot, jolly and bright and of splendid 
physique. I have travelled with them often and never 
had the least trouble. They are of Tibetan origin, but came 
into Sikhim from Hah in Bhutan. Lachung itself is a 
beautifully situated village of about eighty houses, with 
enormous cliffs overhanging it on the opposite side of the 
valley, and it is not very wet — probably about fifty inches 
of rain in the year — and with an elevation of nearly 9,000 
feet, it has a delightful summer climate. 

Between Chungtang and Lachung there is probably as 
good gural (Himalayan chamois) shooting as anywhere, 
and I managed to get some excellent sport on the cliffs 
immediately above Lachung, though it was very difficult 
climbing, but with the help of one of the villagers I 
succeeded in getting up and bagged three or four. I 
saw many more, but it was not possible to get within 
shot. 

At Lachung a valley comes down from the Tanka-la, 
and up this, very good burhel shooting is to be had, 

80 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

especially in the winter months, when the animals come 
down to graze. 

I marched slowly back to Gangtak accompanied by the 
Phodong Lama, and was not sorry to arrive there after an 
absence of eleven weeks. We had work to do in every 
camp, and that and the state of the track necessitated 
short marches ; the paths were so bad it was only with the 
greatest difficulty any four-footed animal could be taken 
over them. Now there is a good road the whole way from 
Gangtak to Lachung, and the distances can easily be 
covered in two days, while at that time a week was the 
quickest it could be done in. 



81 



CHAPTER X 

EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS IN SIKHIM— continued 

Demarcation of the northern boundary between Sikhim and 
Tibet. Difficulties of transport. Mountain sickness. Survey 
work. Caught in a storm. Durkey Sirdar. Ovis ammon. 
Photographing the glaciers. A ride at 21,600 feet. Evidence 
of former size of the glaciers. 

My exploration of the northern boundary between Sikhim 
and Tibet was undertaken in 1902 under very different 
circumstances to my other explorations. The object on 
this occasion was, under instructions from the Viceroy, to 
lay down the boundary between the two countries as de- 
fined by the Tibet Treaty of 1890. 

I took with me an escort of the 8th Gurkhas under 
command of Captain Murray and Lieutenant Coleridge, 
with an officer in medical charge, and Major Iggulden 
accompanied me as Intelligence officer. 

We left Gangtak on June 15. It was my first ex- 
perience of entire dependence upon local resources for the 
transport of so large a body of men, as well as their rations 
and other impedimenta, and I had some difficulty to 
commence with, especially at Tumlong, where the populace 
is very scattered, in finding a sufficient number of men and 
animals, and I was obliged to halt to collect them. In 
addition, the weather was abominable, rain coming down 
in torrents and wetting the tents through and thereby 
enormously increasing their weight. But after a short 
delay I got everything off and followed myself the next 

82 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

day. Major Iggulden caught me up just before I reached 
the Samatek Bungalow, wet through, and we were very 
glad to get into its shelter and to dry our clothes. I 
continued to have difficulty with transport until we reached 
Lamteng in the Lachen Valley, where we could get yaks, 
and then my troubles ended. Travelling in these very 
sparsely populated valleys, where only coolie transport is 
available, has many difficulties when a large party has to 
be moved. Above Lamteng the road is much easier, the 
gradients are better and the hot steamy valleys are left 
behind. Yaks, if properly treated, make excellent beasts 
of burden and throughout the trip I had no difficulty with 
them ; they even crossed almost inaccessible passes with 
remarkable ease, and it was quite wonderful to see them 
picking their way through ice and snow where it was 
difficult even for a man to find a foothold. 

After spending some days at Thangu, where I left half 
the escort under Lieutenant Coleridge as a reserve, and 
after sending on ahead rations, firewood, &c, we started 
for the higher lands and camped the first night at Go- 
chung at an elevation of about 14,500 feet. I have always 
found from 14,000 feet to 15,000 feet a critical height in 
climbing, and men often feel the effects more at this eleva- 
tion than higher up ; also if they do not feel the height 
then, they are unlikely to feel it much, even at very much 
higher elevations. Many of the escort fell out, suffering 
from mountain sickness and violent headaches, nothing 
would induce them to go on, and they were so bad next 
morning we were obliged to send them back. All these 
men were Nepalese hill men and ought not to have felt the 
height at all. After this weeding out, although I took 
several to an elevation of over 20,000 feet, and two of 
them to 21,600 feet, not a man fell out. 

The next day we moved on to Giaogong, a point in the 
Lachen Valley lying within the boundary, and claimed 
by the Tibetans. According to the Sikhim-Tibet Treaty 
of 1890, the boundary between the two countries is defined 

83 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

as the watershed of the river Teesta and its tributaries, 
and as Giaogong lies some eight to nine miles south of the 
watershed, it was difficult to see on what grounds the 
Tibetans claimed it, and it was in order to settle the dis- 
puted question and to finally demarcate the boundary, as 
defined in the Treaty, that I had come. 

My plan was to traverse personally the whole disputed 
line from east of the Donkia-la to the head of the Lonak 
Valley. This was not a very easy undertaking as in one 
place only did the line come as low as a pass of 17,700 feet, 
while all the other passes were very much higher. We 
found it possible to march along the boundary, from a 
point north of Panhunri to a point just north of Chomiomo, 
across rolling downs rising to 19,000 feet, but for the 
remaining distance it was only possible to reach the boun- 
dary at a few scattered points on high and very inaccessible 
passes. My explorations to ascertain exactly where the 
watershed — the proper boundary — actually lay, com- 
menced from Giaogong. 

From the camp I made for the west, for the ridge 
running north from Chomiomo, accompanied by Iggulden 
and Mr. Dover and a few Gurkha orderlies. We rode as 
far as we could and then had to dismount to negotiate a 
very steep climb before reaching the ridge. Before we 
had gone very far, Iggulden was attacked by such a severe 
mountain headache he was obliged to return to camp. 
I went on, and on reaching the ridge, turned south towards 
Chomiomo and eventually reached a height of 20,700 feet, 
where I was stopped by ice and snow and also by the ad- 
vancing day from going further. 

At this elevation I sat down and ate my lunch. It was 
a magnificent afternoon and the view over Tibet was 
glorious. Khamba-jong was distinctly visible and also 
the Everest Group. The power of the sun's rays at this 
height and in the very clear atmosphere was extraordinary, 
and I have never before or since felt it in the same way. 
I was obliged to keep my hands in the shade of my sun 

84 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

helmet, for, though they are very hard, I could not stand 
the heat and was afraid of being blistered. But there is 
something very exhilarating in these high altitudes, the 
tremendous expanse of snow around gives a feeling of 
freedom not experienced at lower elevations, while there is 
always a fascination in arriving at a summit of a mountain, 
particularly when the unknown is on the other side. After 
sitting for some time drinking in the delightfully fresh 
atmosphere and admiring the view, we reluctantly started 
down the ridge on our return to camp by a somewhat 
roundabout way, but one which appeared a little easier. 
We had not gone far, however, before the weather changed, 
clouds came up and in a few minutes it began to snow with 
a light wind ; this soon changed into a blizzard, and we had 
the greatest difficulty in reaching the camp, where we did 
not arrive till long after the dinner hour. It was a very 
nasty walk in the dark in the teeth of blinding snow over 
unknown country. Murray and Iggulden were getting 
anxious and thinking of sending out search parties, but they 
had no idea from which direction I would come. A change 
to dry clothes and some dinner was very acceptable. 

Next morning everything was a sheet of snow, which 
luckily soon melted in the sun, but it had been a cold night 
for the sentries. I was expecting some of the Tibetan 
officials to come along the disputed boundary, and soon 
heard that they had arrived at the Sebu-la and were on the 
way to my camp. I was also informed that the Lhasa 
Government had sent as one of their representatives a 
man named Durkey Sirdar, a Darjeeling rascal, who^iac^ 
been obliged to fly to Tibet to escape the attentions of the 
police. The Tibetans gave as their reason for sending him 
that he " knew our ways." Of course, I absolutely refused 
to have any dealings with the man, and gave orders he was 
not to be allowed to enter the camp, and told the Tibetans 
I could have no dealings with them until they sent a proper 
representative. I mention this incident to show the 
curious methods on which the Tibetans work. I have no 

85 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

doubt Durkey, who was a clever scoundrel, had impressed 
the very stupid Tibetan officials in Lhasa, but it was ex- 
traordinary they should believe that a man of his character, 
which they knew, would be accepted by us as their repre- 
sentative. Durkey held a minor post under the Tibetans 
in Yatung, and on my visits I had invariably refused to 
receive him, and our Government ought never to have 
allowed him to remain there. 

From Giaogong I moved camp to Gyamtso-na, a lake 
about four miles up the valley. It was a very exposed and 
cold camp, but no better or more sheltered place was to 
be found. From this camp I surveyed the boundary 
from Chomiomo, working east. It was bitterly cold work 
for the native surveyors who had to take theodolite readings 
at elevations up to 20,000 feet. All the work had to be 
done by day, and during the day, and all day, the wind 
blew a small gale, it never stopped for a moment till the 
sun went down, and then mercifully we nearly always had 
quiet nights, but only to have the same howling wind next 
day. It commenced as early as eight o'clock and was never 
later than ten-thirty. It was a veritable curse, and I was 
often glad to he down in some hollow or to crouch behind 
stones so as to be out of it even for a few minutes. 

Murray stayed in camp with his escort, but Iggulden 
always came with me and we had some fine rides over the 
wind-swept heights. There was not much game .to be 
seen, but we generally managed to get a Tibetan antelope 
or a brace of Tibetan sand-grouse, and occasionally we 
came across a solitary male kyang. They are pretty 
creatures, but shy when not in herds, and they generally 
made off in a bee line for the plains in Tibet across the 
border. 

On one of our rides we were lucky enough to come 
across some fine male ovis ammon. Iggulden saw them first 
up a side valley, so we divided, he going up one ravine and 
I up another. I had crawled most carefully for quite 
i£ miles, seeing no signs of them, and was crouching behind 

86 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

a rock, having almost given them up, when suddenly the 
whole seven chaFged past me not thirty yards off. I 
knocked over two and hit a third, when my rifle jammed 
and I could do nothing except watch the remainder make 
off into Tibet. I only succeeded in picking up one of 
those I hit, where the other got to I never knew. A little 
later we came upon the flock of females, who were quite 
tame and did not mind us, but of course we left them alone. 

I afterwards found that there were one or two flocks 
that remained permanently in the valley, and even in the 
summer, when the Tibetans drive their flocks of sheep up 
to these heights to graze, they do not leave. 

What a flock of 1500 to 2000 sheep could find to eat in 
these parts was a marvel. Casually looking at the ground 
you would say there was no grass on it, but on close ex- 
amination a few blades appeared. To watch the flock 
grazing on these few and scanty blades was a curious sight. 
The sheep literally run over the ground, those in front 
eating and those behind running on ahead to find an 
ungrazed spot. In spite of this, the sheep at this season 
fatten quickly and are excellent eating, which proves that 
the sparse pasturage provides a great deal of nourish- 
ment. 

From this point almost the only habitation visible was 
the Nunnery of Ta-tshang which stood out against a lime- 
stone hill and across an apparently enormous plain. We 
often wished to visit it, but of course could not cross the 
boundary, though I subsequently did visit it when encamped 
at Kham&a-jong with the Tibet Mission in 1903. That 
was a red-letter day to these poor creatures who live here 
always with not a siqgle other habitation in sight. They 
are grossly ignorant, and live in absolute filth, but they are 
good-natured and the abbess has a good face. The photo- 
graph shows them wearing a curious woollen head-dress, as 
their own heads are shaved. 

Our next camp, Yeum-tsho, was in a much more con- 
genial spot, lying right behind Kangchenjhau and sheltered 

87 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

from the south-west monsoon and winds, and consequently 
dry. It was situated on a flat sandy plain with a river 
meandering through it and with many round pools, sur- 
rounded by rushes. It was an interesting camp— ducks 
of many varieties were breeding in these little pools, and 
the sandy plain was covered with larks' nests, while the old 
moraine terraces were full of marmots and hares. There 
were also a good many foxes and I saw one wolf. Another 
day, climbing along a ridge of moraine about six miles 
from camp, I came across a Tibetan lynx with two cubs. 
I fired at the lynx, but missed it, and they all three got 
into inaccessible holes amongst the stones and I saw no 
more of them. It was a handsome animal and no doubt 
lived well on both the wild and tame sheep in the 
vicinity. 

A round hill to the north above the camp was also the 
run of a flock of ovis ammon. The whole hill was lined 
with their tracks, and they would come out in the evenings 
and look down on the camp, but they were all females 
with not a head amongst them. 

Our doctor was a hopeless individual, who hated being 
at this elevation and loathed the cold, and I could not 
induce him to do anything. He would not even attempt 
to collect plants, butterflies, birds or geological specimens 
— generally lay in bed until the bugle sounded for meals, 
when he turned up only to go to bed again till the next 
meal. It seemed a terrible waste of opportunities, and 
greatly to be deplored, that on an occasion like this a better 
selection could not have been made. Any number of keen 
young officers would have given a great deal to be allowed 
to accompany me, and would have thoroughly appreciated 
so unique an experience, and it seems extraordinary that 
such an officer was not sent. 

While I was encamped here I received formal visits 
from the small Chinese official stationed at Giri, and also 
from the officials from Tashi Lhunpo, who came to pay their 
respects. 

88 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

I again moved camp to near the Cholamo lakes, a more 
exposed position on account of the keen high wind blowing 
across the Donkia-la, but it was more convenient for my 
work. The Khamba Jongpen paid me a visit soon after 
my arrival. 

I left the escort in this camp for a few days and moved 
with Iggulden, and very light loads, to a higher camp at an 
elevation of 18,600 feet. We pitched our tents on the 
lateral moraine above the magnificent glacier from which 
the river Teesta springs. This is one of the most beautiful 
glaciers I have ever seen, with its magnificent sweep down 
from the perpetual snows. It also shows the stratification 
of the ice most clearly almost the whole way down. 

I waited for hours to get a good photograph, and in the 
end I was successful, although I was nearly frozen in the 
attempt. The wind swept down the glacier and was most 
bitterly cold and with it some light clouds kept blowing 
almost continuously across the glacier from a small gap 
on the left, and I had to wait for a clear moment. The 
result, however, repaid me for my trouble. 

Next day Iggulden and I started out to climb a snow 
peak which looked like the watershed at the head of the 
valley. We rode our mules and got on well till we came to 
almost the last rise, when it became so steep we had to 
dismount. The mountain side was not only very steep, 
but a mass of loose rounded stones, and very difficult for 
the mules, so Iggulden left his behind. I, however, stuck 
to mine, and was able to ride up the last 500 or 600 yards, 
which were comparatively flat. The peak proved to be 
21,600 feet high, and I fancy few people have ridden a mule 
at that elevation. The sun was terribly hot during our 
climb as we were ascending the southern face, and also 
there was a tremendous glare off a huge snow field coming 
down from Panhunri. 

At some remote period, the whole valley, lying between 
us and Panhunri, must have been filled with ice, as by no 
other means could the hill opposite have been covered, as 

89 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

it is, with gneiss moraine d&ris, the mountain itself being 
shale. 

All along these mountains there is everywhere evidence 
of the former enormous size of all these glaciers, both on 
the north and south. To the north, moraine dJbris is 
found fifteen to twenty miles within Tibet, and boulders of 
gneiss are found on limestone hills with nothing now but 
huge fiat plains between them and the peaks of the 
Himalayas. To the south, along all the valleys, old 
lateral moraines extend for many miles and in many 
places are quite distinct, iooo feet to 1500 feet above the 
present river level. It seems almost impossible to take in 
the fact that these valleys were once filled with ice, or to 
imagine what these mountains were like in former days, as 
the moraine dJbris now showing, would by itself form 
mountains as high as those we have in England without 
taking into account the enormous quantites of silt carried 
down by the rivers during these ages. 

The rainfall in these parts is very heavy, and this very 
great alteration in the glaciers can, I suppose, only be 
accounted for by the gradual change of temperature, 
although theoretically, in accordance with the scientific 
opinion held by many authorities, that the Himalayas are 
still being elevated by the contraction of the earth's 
surface, the mountains must in those days have been more 
massive if individual peaks were not higher. From this 
point we had a splendid view of the Bam-tsho and Yeum-tsho 
lakes, of which I had known for some years, but had not 
seen before, with Chomolhari in the background, standing 
up splendidly against the blue sky. The panorama of 
interminable ranges in Tibet was also very impressive, 
although gloomy, and I wished I could march into the then 
forbidden land. 

The survey of this portion of the boundary finished, I 
returned to Thangu in order to reach the Lonak valley vid 
the Nangna-la. It was a very roundabout, and very 
difficult route, and took several days longer than if I had 

90 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

gone direct to the Naku-la, crossing a small portion of 
Tibet, but as I was debarred from entering Tibet, I had to 
make the best of the bad track. 

I reconnoitred the Nangna-la and found it deep in 
snow, with large snow cornices on the western side, where the 
snow lay deep to nearly the bottom of the valley. At the 
best of times the pass is a difficult one, especially for yak 
transport, as the descent is over a succession of terraces 
which were covered with snow and exceedingly dangerous. 
At this time of year the snow was, of course, melting, and 
yaks cannot travel over soft snow. However, we were 
obliged to go on, and taking as many coolies as I could 
muster to help us, we set out. The ascent was comparatively 
€asy, but soon our difficulties commenced. On reaching 
the pass, the snow cornices had to be cut away to make a 
passage for the yaks, and the soft snow on the west side 
had to be trampled down to enable them to go over it. 
It was a wonderful sight to see the loaded animals cleverly 
negotiate these huge steps, and they eventually got down, 
somewhat late, but with no mishap. It was a difficult 
climb even for a man, and in one place I came upon the 
doctor, very miserable, who had got himself into rather 
a tight corner, and with some trouble I got him out of his 
difficult position and down some rather nasty smooth, 
slippery rocks, when he cheered up a little. 

We pitched our camp at Teble, again in a dry climate, 
but I did not remain long there, but moved on to Pastri 
which, lying further up the valley, was more convenient 
for survey work. While surveying and exploring the 
valley and its offshoots, I discovered many lakes of glacial 
origin, in one place a fine chain of five, called the Kora-tsho. 

There were numbers of burhel {Orris nahura) in this 
valley, but no ovis ammon, and very little else, with the 
exception of marmots, of which there were some large 
warrens, and a few duck and solitary snipe on the marshes, 
in the beds of the old partly silted-up lakes. 

By this time I had again left behind me the undulating 

91 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

hills so characteristic of parts of Tibet and was again to the 
south of the main Himalayan range. The peaks in this 
part of the boundary are magnificent, and all the way up the 
valley of the Lungpo-chhu the scenery is splendid. To the 
north lies the chain of hills which bound Sikhim, and to 
the south the magnificent peak of Kangchenjunga, with the 
range running from it to the north, which, combined with 
the huge glaciers coming down on all sides makes up a 
splendid picture which is not easy to surpass in any other 
part of the world. 

From my camp in the Lungpo-chhu I went up to the 
Chorten Nema-la, a difficult pass, but occasionally used by 
Tibetan graziers bringing their flocks and herds to graze in 
this valley. The southern side is a scree for some thou- 
sands of feet, and the northern is a glacier, and I should 
think a difficult one to climb. It was a very weird spot, 
and the pinnacles of bare rock starting out of the snow on 
the top of the pass gave it a very wild and most distinctive 
character. 

One of my most interesting journeys from this camp was 
to the head of the valley. This I found filled by an enor- 
mous glacier which I suddenly came upon looming out of 
the mist, a sheer wall of perpendicular ice some forty to 
fifty feet high. I managed to climb this in one place, and 
went for some miles along the top, which was almost quite 
flat, but the weather was bad, and it commenced to snow, 
and I had to retrace my footsteps. Unfortunately I never 
had the time or opportunity to explore further up. Coming 
suddenly upon these glaciers on a misty day, they look very 
weird, standing out in ghostlike shapes, the stratification 
of the ice adding to their peculiar appearance. In sunlight 
they are quite different and look very beautiful, as the 
colouring in the ice is then seen to perfection. Once, while 
exploring down the glacier, I came upon the most beautiful 
sight I have ever seen. The glacier was cut up into a 
succession of huge ice waves and looked exactly like an 
angry sea suddenly frozen solid. The ice hummocks were 

92 



EXPEDITIONS AND EXPLORATIONS 

in many places fifty to sixty feet high, and between them 
were the most enchanting ice lakes of an exquisite turquoise 
blue, while the colours in the surrounding ice varied, as the 
sun's rays caught it, in all shades of deep blue, green, 
violet, and almost prismatic colours in places. Some of 
these little lakes might have been in fairy-land they were so 
lovely, and my photograph cannot do them justice, as it 
only produces the colour in shades of black and white. 

As I could only demarcate certain accessible points on 
this part of the boundary, I soon finished my work and 
returned to Thangu, to find that Coleridge had been working 
hard during my absence on the road leading towards 
Nangna-la and had made quite a passable path. I only 
remained a few days in Thangu, just long enough to settle 
accounts and to pay the head men of the district for trans- 
port, &c, and then returned to Gangtak, having completed 
the object for which I had been sent on the expedition. 



93 



i • 



CHAPTER XI 



DEPARTURE FROM SIKHIM 



Under the rules of the Public Works Department to which 
I was originally appointed when I came to India, I had to 
retire, on reaching the age of fifty-five, in October 1908. 
In many ways I was glad to return to England, and looked 
forward to the prospect of enjoying a little leisure after my 
thirty-two years of almost continuous service, as, during 
that time, I had only been on leave for one year and five 
months. Again, in other ways I would have been glad to 
remain for a short time longer, as the time was a critical 
one for both Sikhim and Bhutan, and required some one at 
the head of affairs with an intimate knowledge of the 
various outs and ins, and side-issues inseparable from the 
administration of a native State. I had not even the 
satisfaction of knowing I was leaving matters in the hands 
of an officer whom I had trained to the special necessities 
of the case, as I have never had an officer deputed as my 
general assistant, although for years I have corresponded 
with Government on the subject. The assistants I did 
have, Messrs. O'Connor, Bailey, and Campbell, were each 
in turn placed in charge of Tibetan and Trade affairs and 
had nothing whatever to do with Bhutan and Sikhim. 
Quite apart from the fact that, as the work and responsibility 
had increased so enormously, it was impossible for one man 
to carry it on properly, it was bad policy not to have 
some one ready to fill my place should I wish to go on 
leave or in case of illness or breakdown. If you consider 

94 



DEPARTURE FROM SIKHIM 

that single-handed I had to deal, in Sikhim alone, with the 
various departments which in other districts are placed, 
each in charge of a special officer and staff, Police, Revenue, 
Forests, Education, Excise, Agriculture, Public Works, 
Judicial, Administrative, in addition to the whole of the 
Tibetan and Bhutan correspondence and negotiations, it 
is not surprising I applied for an assistant officer, but the 
Government of India considered my request superfluous, 
and I had to manage as best I could with my office staff 
under Mr. Hodges the superintendent and the services of a 
State engineer. Mr. Hodges served under me for eighteen 
years, and the office was always in a state of efficiency and 
good order, while I was exceptionally fortunate in my two 
engineers, Mr. Dover, who accompanied Mr. Douglas 
Freshfield on his journey to the snows, and later Mr. 
Hickley, than whom one could not find a more energetic 
and painstaking officer. 

The time was critical for Sikhim in several ways : the 
industries I had introduced, apple growing, cloth weaving, 
carpet manufacture, still required careful fostering, while 
the mining industry was barely in its infancy. The Maha- 
raja and Maharani had at last been aroused and were keen 
to improve their country, but perhaps the most serious 
matter was the approaching return of the Maharaj Kumar, 
who had spent a couple of years in England and part of the 
time at Pembroke College, Oxford. Relations had never 
been quite satisfactory between him and the Maharaja, 
partly, I think, owing to his jealousy of the influence exer- 
cised over his father by his stepmother, the present 
Maharani, and at this juncture more than ever a strong 
hand was needed in addition to full sympathy with the lad 
and an intimate knowledge of former events, and I fear my 
successor has a difficult task before him. 

In Bhutan new relations, which, at the risk of being 
considered conceited, I must I am afraid put down as 
greatly personal to myself, had been opened up after many 
years of complete isolation, and the Maharaja was full of 

95 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

schemes for the improvement and betterment of his country, 
and I would have given a great deal to see him put on his 
way before leaving. 

As soon as they realised the time for my departure 
was drawing appreciably near, the Maharajas and people 
of both countries sent petitions signed by all members of 
the community to the Viceroy, praying for an extension of 
my services, and when the first petition was rejected, they 
appealed more than once against the decision, and the 
Maharaja and Maharani of Sikhim travelled to Calcutta 
and personally made their request to Lord Minto. 

Had the Viceroy's answer to the petition been favour- 
able, I might have remained on for a year or two more, but 
my health had begun to fail, and the hard work and ex- 
posure to tell on me, and I was really anxious to return to 
England, so in April, 1908, I took leave preparatory to 
retirement, and was succeeded by Mr. Bell, I.C.S. 

For weeks before my departure the house was besieged 
by the people from far and near, all anxious to bid me good- 
bye, or to ask some special favour before I gave up the reins 
of office. I knew them all and their affairs, their family 
histories, their small quarrels, and their ambitions, and they 
always came freely to me for advice and redress, knowing I 
was always accessible and would not refuse to see any one, 
Lepcha, Bhutia, or Paharia. I knew their ways and they 
trusted and liked me, and never thought of withholding 
anything from me, and in consequence a mutual confidence 
and affection had sprung up between us which made the 
parting hard. I was leaving a people I loved, and in whose 
service I had spent the best years of my life, and they felt 
they were losing a trusted friend on whom they had learnt 
to rely. 

At last the time came for my final departure, everything 

was packed and despatched to England, and the house 

stood bare and dismantled, but the garden and flowers were 

more beautiful than usual. But we were not to leave even 

that behind us, for on the last afternoon a terrific hail- 

96 



DEPARTURE FROM SIKHIM 

storm came on, the worst I have ever experienced in these 
hills, and before nightfall not a vestige of blossom or leaf 
was left. It sounds an exaggeration, but many of the 
hailstones were the size of golf-balls and weighed two 
and three ounces. When morning came the trees stood up 
bare and wintry against the sky without a leaf ; tree-ferns, 
rose-bushes, everything, were nothing but leafless stems 
where twenty-four hours before there had been a wealth of 
blossom. Even the lawns were pitted all over by the force 
of the hailstones. The conservatory, built of J-inch-thick 
ribbed glass, which had stood all former storms, was smashed 
to atoms, and so were the lights in the verandahs. The 
Maharaja and Maharani were with us at the time, and 
exclaimed that the gods were showing their displeasure at 
my departure, an opinion endorsed by all the natives. 

So it was a scene of sad desolation to which we bid 
good-bye next morning, as, accompanied by the Maha- 
raja, and preceded by the pipers of Mr. Hickley's Sikhim 
Pioneers, we took our way down the hill for the last time, 
with the whole populace lining the roads to bid us god- 
speed and filling the air with lamentations. 

Throughout the journey the same scene was enacted, 
the headmen and villagers of every village we passed 
coming out to kiss my feet and weep over me, and I was 
glad when we were at last in the train at Ghoom. 

The night before I left Gangtak I received no less than 
two coolie-loads of letters from Sir Ugyen Wang-chuk and 
his family, and from all the Bhutan officials, both great 
and small, expressing the hope that I would some day 
return and visit them as a private individual if I could no 
longer come officially. Rai Ugyen Kazi Bahadur and his 
sister met us below Kurseong with Bhutanese refreshments 
of tea and fruit, laid out by the roadside for the last time, 
and we parted with many expressions of mutual goodwill, 
while Rai Hani Das Bahadur, Lambodar, Luchmi Narain, 
and all the leading Paharias saw me actually into the 
train. 

97 c 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

The different communities subscribed to present me 
with farewell addresses, which under the Government rules 
I was unable to accept until after my retirement, and they 
were sent to me in England later on. 

And so ended my twenty years 9 connection with the 
little State of Sikhim ; but I still hope some day, should my 
health allow of it, to revisit both Sikhim and Bhutan, in 
which countries and amongst whose people I have spent 
so many happy years and whose people I have grown to 
love. 



98 



CHAPTER XII 

HISTORY OF THE FOUNDING OF BHUTAN 

The early history of this remarkable country is enveloped 
in great obscurity, for unfortunately, owing to fire, earth- 
quake, flood, and internecine wars, its annals, which had 
been carefully recorded, were destroyed. The burning of 
Poonakha in 1832 and the widespread destruction of 
buildings by the earthquake of 1897 were particularly 
noticeable in this connection. The latter disaster is respon- 
sible for the almost total destruction of the library of the 
present Tongsa Penlop, only a few MSS^ from which I 
have gathered some information, having escaped. Their 
great printing establishment at Sonagachi was burnt down 
about eighty years ago. 

The earliest legend we hear of is that one Sangaldip, 
emerging from the environs of Kooch (whether from Bhutan 
or Assam is obscure), subdued the countries of Bengal and 
Behar, fighting against Raja Kedur of Lakhnante, or Gaur, 
and was in his turn defeated by Piran-Visah, general of 
Afrasiab, King of Turan, or Tartary. This was about the 
seventh century before the Christian era. 

We next hear that in the middle of the eighth century 
a.d. the Indian saint Padma Sambhava converted Bhutan 
to the Buddhist faith. The chief rulers at that time were 
the Khiji-khar-thod of Khempalung, in Upper Pumthang, 
and Naguchhi, King of Sindhu. The site of the latter's 
palace, Chagkhar Gome (the iron fort without doors), is 
still visible. Naguchhi, the second son of King Singhala 

99 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

of Serkhya, founded the kingdom of Sindhu, while his sons 
extended his realm to Dorji-Tag and Hor in Tibet and as 
far as Sikhim. In the course of a war with Raja Nabudara, 
who lived in the plains of India, the eldest son was killed, 
and Naguchhi was consequently plunged into grief. It was 
at this juncture that the saint Padma arrived on the scene, 
and with the aid of the king's daughter, Menmo Jashi Kye- 
den, who possessed the twenty-one marks of fairy beauty, 
restored the king to happiness and saved his soul. The 
struggle with the demons lasted for seven days, and at the 
end of that week marks of the saint's body appeared 
in the solid rock. The legend further goes on to say 
that the fir-tree growing beside the cave was the alpen- 
stock of the saint, who, like St. Joseph at Glastonbury, 
made the stick to grow. Naguchhi appears to have been 
a second King Solomon, as it is recorded that all the 
most beautiful women of India and Tibet were taken 
to wife by the king, and that they numbered a hundred 
in all. 

The rival King Nabudara was also converted to Bud- 
dhism by the saint, and peace was restored to the land, and 
a boundary pillar set up at Mna-tong. This kingdom, how- 
ever, lasted only another hundred years, and was destroyed 
by Tibetan hordes in the time of Lan-darma, the apostate 
King of Tibet, who reigned about the years 861-900 a.d. 
Some two centuries later Bhutan was occupied by the 
followers of King Tiral-chan. 

The subsequent fate of Bhutan is wholly connected 
with the origin and the spread of the Dukpa sect, founded 
by Yeses Dorji at Ralung. Yeses, or Gro-Gong-Tshangpa- 
Gyal-ras, was born in 1160 and died in 1210 a.d. 

A young lama from China came to his successor, 
Sangye-on, and was given the name of Fago-Duk-gom- 
Shigpo. After studying at Ralong for some years he was 
sent to Bhutan, and settled at Cheri Dordam, where he lived 
with his wife and family. His fame soon spread, and aroused 
the jealousy of Lhapha, a rival lama already resident in 

100 



HISTORY OF THE FOUNDING OF BHUTAN 

Bhutan. Quarrels arose, and Lhapha, after an unsuc- 
cessful attack on Cheri, was totally defeated, and had 
to fly. In his flight he came to the Am-mo-chhu Valley, 
where he was warmly received by the villagers, who sub- 
mitted to him. Lhapha, however, treacherously betrayed 
them to the Tibetans, who thereupon seized the valley. 
Lhapha's settlement is recognised in the valley to this 
day. 

Having got rid of his rival, Duk-gom's power increased 
greatly, and the conversion of the Bhutanese to Buddhism 
was further assisted by the advent of four other lamas, who 
belonged, however, to different sects, and were not Dukpas. 
But although so many saints visited Bhutan and settled 
there, founding temples and monasteries, yet they only 
served as heralds to symbolise or portray the final auspicious 
advent of the peerless Dukpa Rimpochi, Nawang Du-gom 
Dorji, who brought Bhutan under one ruling power and 
control. 

Du-gom Dorji, better known as Shabdung Nawang 
Mamgyel, was the son of Dorji Lenpa Mepham Tempai 
Nymia, a man of noble lineage, by the daughter of Deba 
Kyishopa, and showed remarkable intellectual precocity ; 
even as a child his carvings were marvellous in beauty 
and symmetry of workmanship. The date of his birth is 
supposed to be 1534 a.d. He studied under the Dukpa 
lama, Padma Karpo, at Ralong, and bid fair to succeed to 
the Hierarch's chair ; but a rival claimant, Kerma Tenk- 
gong Wangpo, backed by Deba Tsang-pa, was too strong 
for him, so the Shabdung, in disgust, started on a long, 
pilgrimage, and finally entered Bhutan by the Lingzi Pass 
in 1557 a.d., in his twenty-third year, and lived to be 
fifty-eight. During these thirty-five years he was con- 
tinuously engaged in warfare and in consolidating his 
temporal as well as his spiritual power. The opposition 
of the Deba Tsang-pa, of the Ralong Hierarch, and of the 
descendants of the four lamas mentioned before constantly 
involved him in serious fighting. The Tibetans five or 

zox 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

six times attempted unsuccessfully to conquer Bhutan, and 
even penetrated as far as Simtoka, but each time were 
driven back or captured en masse. The booty obtained 
from the vanquished greatly increased the wealth of the 
Shabdung Rimpochi, whose fame spread to India and as 
far as Ladakh. Raja Padma Narayan of Cooch Behar 
sought his friendship and sent presents, as did Drabya Sahi 
and Purandar Sahi of Nepal. 

It was at this time that some foreigners from a dis- 
tant country beyond the ocean called Parduku (Portugal) 
brought some guns and gunpowder of a new sort and a 
telescope, and offered their services, which were, however, 
refused, as to accept them would have been against the 
religious principles of true Buddhism. 

Most of the big monasteries and forts date from his 
reign, although few of them have escaped fire and earth- 
-quake. Practically Simtoka, first built in 1570, but re- 
built in 1572, after its recapture from the insurgents, is the 
only building now existing in its original form. Perhaps 
the next oldest is Paro-jong, originally started as a school 
of medicine, but burnt down in 1907. All other buildings 
have either been rebuilt or enlarged. Poonakha was 
founded in 1577, and designed to accommodate 600 monks. 
The Dharma Raja, when remonstrated with for planning 
such an enormous house, replied that the building would 
in time be found much too small. When I was there in 
^905 there were at least 1500 monks in residence. Angdu- 
phodang was begun in 1578, and Tashi-cho-jong in 1581, 
and the Shabdung's quarters still exist in the western end 
of the fort at Tongsa. 

The lama Du-gom Dorji was something of a humorist* 
During the rejoicings at a notable victory over the Tibetans 
at Poonakha he was asked if he thought it likely they 
would return or send any more expeditions against Bhutan. 
He replied '. " Oh, there is no assurance they will not come 
again, but as they never do any harm to us it will be all 
right. This time we have a sufficiency of armour and 

103 



HISTORY OF THE FOUNDING OF BHUTAN 

weapons; we will in future indent for some tea and 
silks." The saying subsequently turned out to be a 
prophecy. 

To quote the Tibetan chronicler : " In the intervals of 
peace the Dharma Raja devoted himself with full energy 
to his various State duties, founding a body of priesthood, 
providing for and controlling them, giving instruction to 
those who were serious seekers after truth ; in short, he was 
pastor, abbot, psalmist, rector, superintendent of carving 
(for printing purposes), architect of State and monastic 
buildings, overseer of bookbinding and other embellish- 
ments of the Kagyur library, settlement officer, chief com- 
mandant of the forces for quelling foreign aggressions, chief 
protector and ruler of his own adherents and followers, 
chief avenger and punisher of those who were inimical to 
the cause of Buddhism and the public peace. He was all 
these in one person, and fulfilled the duties right thoroughly 
and efficiently. He introduced law into lawless Bhutan. 
His boast was that he never wasted any time in idleness or 
selfish ease." For the better ecclesiastical and temporal 
administration he appointed two of the monks who had 
come with him from Ralong, one, Nay-tan-Pay-kor-Jungnay, 
to be the chief Khempo, or abbot, whose duties were to 
enforce the strict observance of priestly vows among the 
priests, direct their studies, and preside at the ceremonies ; 
the other was Tenzing Dukgyag, the Amsed or prior of 
Ralong, who was the first Dug Desi or Deb Raja, whose 
duties were to attend to the general administraton of the 
State, to deal with foreign Powers, to manage income, 
revenue, and other resources of the State, to provide the 
lamas with food, and, in short, to look after the State, 
while the Dharma Raja and the Khempo devoted them- 
selves to the Church. This dual administration must be 
borne in mind when considering foreign relations ; and it 
must also be carefully realised that Bhutan is wholly 
an ecclesiastical State, that the Church is all in all with 
the Bhutanese. 

103 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Such was the character of the first Shabdung Rimpochi. 
After his death three reincarnations appeared ; that of his 
body became the Dharma Raja, that of his voice the Chole 
Tulku, and that of his mind the Thi Rimpochi — an incarna- 
tion now dying out, owing to the misconduct of the present 
incumbent. 



\ A— 



104 



CHAPTER XIII 

MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

From Gangtak to Tashi-cho-jong. Choice of routes. The 
Natu-la in bad weather. Deputation in the Chumbi Valley. 
Entering Bhutan. The Hah-la and Meru-la. Punishment for 
murder. Leather cannon. Paro. The Penlop's wives. Paro- 
jong. Turner's description. Eden's description. Dug-gye. 
Weeping cypress at Chalimaphe. The quarrel between Ugyen 
Wang-chuk and Aloo Dorji. Murder of Poonakha Jongpen. 
Tashi-cho-jong. 

One of the most pleasant duties I had to perform while 
holding my appointment was when the Government of 
India deputed me to proceed to Bhutan in 1905 to present 
the insignia of a Knight Commander of the Indian Empire 
to my friend Ugyen Wang-chuk, the Tongsa Penlop, as a 
recognition of the services he had rendered to the British 
Government at the time of our mission to Lhasa. Major 
F. W. Rennick accompanied me to represent the Intelli- 
gence Department, and Mr. A. W. Paul, C.I.E., late of the 
I.C.S., came out from England in response to the Tongsa' s 
invitation. I also took, as my confidential clerk, Rai 
Lobzang Choden Sahib and an escort of twenty-four 
sepoys, with some pipes and drums of the 40th Pathans 
under Subadar Jehandad Khan, two Sikhim Pioneers and 
two Sikhim police, in addition to the usual following of 
chupprassies and servants. 

This was the first occasion for forty years that an 
Englishman had visited Bhutan, and was a sharp contrast 
to the visit paid by Eden in 1864, when every obstacle 

105 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

was placed in his way and every discourtesy shown him. 
I had more than once received the most hospitable and 
pressing invitations from the Tongsa to visit him on the 
first possible opportunity, and was only too glad now to be 
able to accept his hospitality. 

I had in the first instance to make a selection of the 
route by which it would be best to travel, making due 
allowance for the season and state of the roads. There 
were at least four known routes : 

i. The Buxa-Poonakha route, used by Bogle in 1774 
and Turner in 1783, when they entered Bhutan, and by 
the Bhutanese officials when they came for the annual 
subsidy paid to Bhutan by the Indian Government ; but 
on a previous visit to Buxa I had ascertained that the 
first few marches were extremely bad, and also that the 
Bhutanese themselves did not recommend it. 

2. That via Dewangiri, which leads directly to Tongsa, 
and was traversed by Pemberton in 1837-38 ; but this I 
found would be hot and difficult, and, as the most easterly 
one, too far removed from headquarters. 

3. The road via Sipchu to Hah and Paro, along which 
Eden travelled in 1864. The first portion of this was 
reported to be in very bad order and impracticable for 
laden animals, added to which the crossing of the Tegon-la 
would probably be more difficult than crossing the higher 
pass, the Natu-la. 

4. I therefore decided on the route which, on leaving 
Gangtak, crosses the Natu-la into the Am-mo-chhu Valley, 
thence over the Massong-chung-dong range into the Hah 
Valley, and thence to follow Eden's route. 

I originally proposed starting in February, to avoid 
the heavy storms usual in March, and to arrive at Poonakha 
before the summer heat and consequent migration of the 
Court to Tashi-cho-jong. But unforeseen circumstances 
delayed me till the very end of March. All the previous 
week there had been heavy storms, and the snow and 
wind were so bad that Colonel Burn, of the 40th Pathans, 

106 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

commanding at Chumbi, took thirteen hours between 
Champitang and Chongu, a distance of ten miles, and had 
to abandon his transport ; and two days later my party 
found the bodies of two coolies out of a batch going to 
work on the Am-mo-chhu Survey, who had perished from 
exposure to the cold on the top of the Natu-la. 

We finally left Gangtak on March 29, travelling for the 
first six miles over an excellent road, which during the 
late expedition to Lhasa was widened sufficiently for 
wheeled traffic, and for the remaining distance to Karpo- 
nang, our first halting-place, over a good mule road. 
Karponang was the first stage for the coolies carrying 
supplies over the Natu-la during the Lhasa Expedition, 
and we put up for the night in the small, inconvenient huts 
still standing, glad to get out of the wet and gloom which 
had come down as the day waned. This part of the road 
is particularly beautiful in fine weather, which we for- 
tunately had the next morning, for the road winds gradually 
up through forest-clad hills, with white magnolia and 
scarlet rhododendron in full bloom, and the sides of the 
road were carpeted with primulas in every shade of mauve 
and purple ; but this year the feathery foliage of the blue 
bamboo was missing, and replaced by melancholy, dried-up 
sticks, for the bamboos had flowered and seeded the year 
before and then died. We crossed some fine precipices on 
the older and more difficult track, from which we had a 
magnificent view over a sea of hills stretching in one 
uninterrupted panorama to the plains of India, perfectly 
distinct in the clear atmosphere only to be met with at this 
time of the year after rain. As we mounted higher we came 
to snow, at first not very deep, and the mules had no 
difficulty in getting through it, but from Lagyap onwards 
the whole country was a smooth white sheet, and it was 
impossible to realise that Tani-tso was a lake. By the 
afternoon the usual blizzard commenced, and drove the 
drifting snow through the chinks in the plank walls of our 
miserable huts, the smoke down the chimneys, and reduced 

107 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

us all to a state of discomfort, as our only shelter was another 
abandoned transport station. The road on which we were 
travelling was that commenced by the Indian Government 
during the Tibet Mission, leading from Gangtak to Chumbi 
via the Natu-la, and is without doubt the best and easiest 
route between Sikhim and Chumbi, a fact recognised by 
the military authorities. The greater portion of this 
excellent road had been finished at an expense of several 
lacs of rupees, when, on the signing of the Lhasa Treaty, 
Government, in spite of my repeated remonstrances, 
decided to abandon the undertaking, ordered work to be 
immediately stopped, and rather than incur the small 
extra expenditure threw away the large amount already 
expended, by leaving uncompleted a few miles in the 
middle of a road, the greater part of which had already 
been finished and was well aligned the whole way to Chumbi. 
We had great difficulty in crossing the Natu-la, 14,780 
feet, next day, owing to the deep, soft snow, and although 
I had every one on the road before six in the morning it 
was 12.30 before I reached the top of the pass with the 
first few coolies, it having taken us three hours to do the 
last i£ miles ; but that year was an exceptionally severe 
and late one, with 65 inches of snow registered at 
Chumbi, against 20 the year before. During the year 
of the Mission I used to cross 450 maunds of stores daily 
with my Sikhim Coolie Corps, which, at the special request 
of General Macdonald, I had organised under Captains 
Souter and Muscroft, who, one or other, almost daily 
crossed with their men. On many other occasions I have 
always ridden across the pass, but this time I had to walk 
the whole distance, and had such weather occurred in 
1904 the consequences might have been disastrous. From 
the pass we reached Pema, 9600 feet, in the Chumbi 
Valley, halting for a night at Champitang, without further 
misadventure than that nearly one-third of my coolies 
were suffering from snow-blindness, and Major Rennick 
also, as he had incautiously taken off his smoked glasses. 

108 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

The day was fine, and Yatung, where the treaty mart had 
been established for over ten years, was well in sight for 
some time. Viewing it from the Kagui Monastery, Mr. 
Paul thought the real site for the Yatung Trade Mart, to 
which he had agreed when the subject was discussed after 
the Sikhim Treaty in 1890, was where the Chinese village 
is ; but the time is long past for this to be of anything but 
academic interest. I visited the Kagui Monastery, and 
found that the Incarnate Lama who supplied our officers 
with information as to the Tibetan forces and numbers in 
1881 had died some two years later, and had been succeeded 
by an Incarnation found at Hah, and the rumour that he 
had been murdered by the notorious Durkey Sirdar was 
based on the fact that Durkey Sirdar murdered another 
monk belonging to the monastery. I found the monastery 
in excellent condition ; it had not been looted by either 
side in either expedition, and there were about it a number 
of merry acolytes, who, however, were so ignorant that they 
did not know to which of the two sects, Dupka or Gelukha, 
they belonged. 

In the valley I was met by Ugyen, who had come by the 
Jeylap route, and complained of a very difficult crossing. 
Mr. Henderson, of the Chinese Customs Service, kindly 
placed his house, which boasted of one large chimney and 
several panes of glass, and had formerly been rented for 
the use of the Sikhim Coolie Corps during the expedition, 
at my disposal, and we halted here for a couple of days, 
while I made final arrangements in connection with my 
escort and baggage, instructed Mr. Bell with regard to 
carrying on the administration during my absence, and the 
Superintendent of Field Post Offices to send a weekly post 
after me. While I was there a deputation of headmen 
from Galingka and the other villages situated in the Am- 
mo-chhu Valley waited on me to complain of the serious 
dilemma they were in. Under recent orders from the 
Government of India, they were forbidden to take orders 
from the Chinese and Tibetan authorities or to supply them 

109 1 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

as formerly with free carriage, &c. If it was the intention 
of Government to eventually restore the Chumbi Valley to 
the Tibetans (in reality to the Chinese) and to abandon 
them, the villagers, what would their ultimate fate be ? 
Could I give them any guarantee that the Government of 
India would protect them and ensure their safety ? With 
the fate of the late Sinchen Rimpochi, fofced to throw 
himself from a cliff into the river, the Pala family disr 
graced, in consequence of assistance rendered to Surat 
Chundra Das, the Shape Lhalu banished, the threatened 
punishment of the Phodong Lama and Kangsa Dewan 
because they expressed friendly feelings towards the British, 
to say nothing of the more recent catastrophes which befell 
the late Shapes, banished on account of supposed friendliness 
to the Mission at Lhasa, and my two Lachung villagers 
carried off and imprisoned in Lhasa as spies and only 
released on the Mission's arrival, before their eyes, it was 
only natural that the people should be inspired with a 
dread of severe retribution should they again find them- 
selves in the power of the Tibetans. I did my best to 
reassure them and to point out that matters would be 
satisfactorily arranged, but it was neither a pleasant nor 
an easy task to have to deliberately deceive people who 
trusted you, as I had to do, for I was only too well aware 
that at the first opportunity Government would throw 
them over and leave them in the hands of the Chinese 
(nominally the Tibetans), than whom there are no more 
cruel or revengeful people. And subsequent events prove 
my forecast to have been only too true, for two years later, 
on January i, 1908, under the orders of a Liberal Govern- 
ment, the Chumbi Valley was handed back to the Tibetans, 
our troops and civil officer withdrawn, and the people left 
to the mercy of the Chinese, who are now the actual rulers 
in Tibet, since by our recognition of China as the para- 
mount Power we have placed Tibet completely under her 
sway. With the evacuation of the Chumbi the curtain 
was finally rung down on the Mission to Lhasa in 1904, and 

izo 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

our Government voluntarily resigned all that had been 
gained by those long months of hardship and stress, by 
vast expenditure of money and the loss of valuable 
lives. 

It was instructive, in view of the then disputed question 
as to whether Chumbi, as the people themselves maintained 
it ought to be, should be restored to Sikhim, to note the close 
intimacy that exists between Chumbi and Sikhim. The 
wealthiest man in the valley was the headman of Pema, 
whose grandfather and great-grandfather had lived in 
Gangtak, whither their forefathers had migrated from 
Chumbi. According to local tradition, Chumbi itself came 
into the possession of the Sikhim Raja a little more than 
a hundred years ago as the dower of a Tibetan wife, the 
people of the valley below Galing paying him no rent, but 
carrying for him and his amla free. I tried to trace the 
previous history of the valley, but I could find no one with 
any knowledge of or interest in the subject. 

Next day, after concluding my arrangements, we com- 
menced our journey on the right bank of the Am-mo-chhu 
as far as Rinchengong. Ugyen Kazi, the Bhutanese agent* 
who was the bearer of the Viceroy's letter to the Delai 
Lama in 1903, pointed out the house in which the late 
Durkey Sirdar used to live, and poured out a repetition of 
his wrongs ; that doubt should have been thrown on the 
fact that he had delivered his Excellency's letter to the 
Delai Lama himself had sunk deep into his heart, and still 
rankled sorely. " There/' he said, with dramatic action, 
" lived and flourished my enemy ; he maligned me to the 
Tibetan Government, who denied me access to Lhasa, and, 
through his Kalimpong friends, to the Indian Government, 
who doubted my honesty. I was alone with but few 
friends, and what was I to do ? I sent money and presents 
to the great oracle at Nachung, and told the Shapes [Tibetan 
Council] at Lhasa that I was an honest man and placed 
my case and my trust in the gods of my fathers. If I had 
been dishonest and disloyal to either Government, if I had 

zzi 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

not to the best of my abilities striven to do my duty to 
both Governments and consulted their interests alone, let 
the divine vengeance fall on me. But if I were honest and 
true, let it be meted out to my traducers. Sir, Durkey 
Sirdar and his two wives died within a short time of each 
other, and their house knows them no more. That has been 
my answer to the Council at Lhasa ; they have accepted it, 
and I am free to go to the Holy City. What my Indian 
masters will do is their own good pleasure." 

At Rinchengong the road crosses the Am-mo-chhu by 
a substantial bridge, and our path opened out most lovely 
views, with splendid timber. But unfortunately the track, 
which is capable of great improvement at little cost, had 
been much neglected of late, and opposite Assam-Ro- 
tsa a rock nearly stopped us altogether, though after the 
expenditure of much time and labour we got all our trans- 
port safely across, with the exception of one pony, whose 
leg was broken and who had to be shot. That, with the loss 
of two of the mules, who died on the way from eating the 
poisonous leaves of a small rhododendron fatal to animals, 
was a heavy toll for the first day's march. After passing 
Assam-Ro-tsa we got on fairly well, but I found the map 
was wrong, and that the stream marked Langmarpu-chhu 
is really the Kyanka, a second stream which we had already 
crossed higher up being the Langmarpu-chhu. Over the 
Kyanka there was a good new bridge, which we crossed, 
and passed under a cave, or rather two overhanging rocks, 
named Tak-phu, which were pointed out as being in 
Bhutanese territory. At the head of the Langmarpu-chhu 
there is said to be a large lake and good shau (Cervus sin- 
ends) shooting. Turning up the Kyanka, the narrow track 
ran some way above the stream, and, gradually ascending, 
brought us to our camp, which was pitched in a somewhat 
confined glade close to the stream at a place called Lha-re 
(height 9900 feet), in Bhutan, After a fine night, with the 
thermometer registering only 30 , we started early, and 

found the path improved as we ascended the Kyanka, which 

xia 



MY FIRST MISSTON TO BHUTAN 

"we tovice crossed within two miles on bridges of the canti- 
lever ofder in good repair. After passing the second 
bridge we Game to two caves, Pyak-che and Au-pyak, 
formed by overhanging rocks, but of no great depth. 
These " robber caves/' as their name implies, were formerly 
used by the Hah-pa folk as a base from which to issue to 
rob and terrorise peaceful merchants. At one time the 
Hah-pa were amongst the richest people in Bhutan, but, as 
Eden relates, they took to evil ways and fell on evil times. 
But in justice to the Hah-pa it must be acknowledged that 
for the last fifteen years their winter grazing-grounds near 
Sipchu and the lower hills have been seriously curtailed 
by the increasing irruption of Nepalese settlers, and thus 
the chief source of their wealth — cattle-rearing and dairy 
produce — has begun to fail, while the constant quarrels 
arising between them and the Paharias entail much worry 
and expense. 

A little further on we crossed the Chalu-chhu, and 
the valley widened out into the most delightful glades 
and upland swards, forming rich grazing-grounds ; in fact, 
Chalu-thang would form a perfect site for a summer 
sanatorium, for it is a well-wooded, gently sloping park, 
spreading for several miles up the vales of the Chalu-chhu 
and Tak-phu-chu. Growing in abundance were spruce, 
larch, silver fir, holly-oak, various pines and rhododen- 
drons, interspersed with grassy slopes, while the main 
valley had the appearance of a gigantic avenue leading up 
to the snowy pyramid of Senchu-la. Out of the valley a 
somewhat steep ascent round a grassy knoll brought us to 
the Dong-ma-chhu, up which runs another track, meeting 
the head of the Langmarpu-chhu, and thus by a more 
northerly but difficult path gaining the Hah road. Our 
route, however, took us over the Lungri Sampa, up a steep 
and stony path, to our camp at Tak-phu, a somewhat bare 
and extensive flat, an old moraine well within sight of the 
Kyu-la (Chula). There was plenty of timber, but we found 
our chief protection from the wind in the walls of the 

4 **3 . ■ 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

• 

lateral moraines, of which the valley presented some 
excellent examples. Directly opposite I counted four 
distinct moraine terraces, one above the other, forming 
gigantic spur works which keep the present river within 
bounds. At the same time, so far from the moraines being 
^barren, stony walls, they were luxuriantly covered by 
wgin forest right up to the parent ridge. Our night was 
aiot a very comfortable one, as it snowed all afternoon 
and most of the evening. The road from Rinchengong 
was capable of being made into a good one without any 
great difficulty, and Ugyen Kazi has since greatly improved 
it. There were no insuperable obstacles, and the streams 
were already well bridged, but we experienced considerable 
difficulty, owing to the surface having been injured by 
recent frosts and snows. The surrounding country is 
beautiful and well worth visiting ; game is plentiful, as a 
bag of four Blood pheasant, two Monal pheasant, and 
one burhel, without really leaving the road, clearly evi- 
denced; and it would make an ideal place to spend a 
holiday in. 

The night before crossing the pass was the coldest we 
had experienced, the thermometer registering i8° of frost, 
and my breath actually congealed and formed a coating of 
ice on my blanket. With no knowledge of what might be 
before us, as no European or even properly qualified 
native explorer had crossed the passes of the Massong- 
chung-dong range, I had the camp roused at 4 a.m., and the 
main body well on the way by 5.45 in fine bright weather. 
We soon entered a fairly level amphitheatre, which, how- 
ever, contained no lake, and where high up on the northern 
slopes we saw a large flock of burhel, and Rennick 
bagged a fine female. It was quite possible to ride to the 
foot of the last ascent to what we thought was the pass, an 
ascent very deep in snow, which luckily was hard frozen ; 
and as a matter of fact my cook, a Mugh from Chittagong, 
and a great character, rode the whole way from camp to 
camp without dismounting, a feat that even the hardy 

114 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

Bhutanese looked upon as marvellous. The real pass, 
Kyu-la, 13,900 feet, lay a little way off with a small lake to 
the east, and we reached it about 7.15 a.m. Looking back 
over the valley we had ascended, we had a grand view of 
the Jeylap range behind a finely wooded foreground. 
Turning round, the aspect entirely changed ; about a mile 
and a half away was the Hah-la, which was wrongly marked 
on our maps as the Meru-la ; between the two passes was 
a hollow dip, flanked on the north by precipitous cliffs and 
on the south by a deep snowdrift ending in space, and 
somewhere between the two our track lay — verily, as our 
guide called it, "a Bridge of Death." Woe to the poor 
traveller caught between these two horns, should the wind 
rise and the snow fall ; for him there was no shelter from the 
storm, no means by which to light a fire to warm him, not 
a tree or a shrub to be seen over the wind-swept fields of 
snow, only bleak and bare outcrops of rock. But in our 
case the little wind there was soon died down, and in 
perfect weather we climbed down the snow-slope to the 
bottom of the hollow, where we found we could ride for 
some distance, and finally reached the Hah-la about an 
hour later. On the top were many " obos," offerings to the 
spirits of the pass, a fact that bore significant testimony 
to the story of our guide, and looking back, as I cast my 
contribution on the nearest cairn and threw my " airy 
horse " (Lung-ta) aloft, I breathed a silent but fervent 
prayer that though my horse could not materialise, the 
spirits of the air might remain still and grant a safe and 
sure passage to the next wayfarer. Climbing a knoll to 
the south, I had a fine view of an unknown snowy ridge, 
which ended suddenly on the north-west in an enormous 
precipice, apparently giving outlet to the Am-mo-chhu, 
and, as far as I could gather, called Tso-na. To the north 
the fine mass of Chumolhari was seen in the distance, 
and nearer the snow-peaks of Massong-chung-dong, which 
dominate the head of the Hah valley, and about which there 
runs a legend that there once lived in Hah two men so 

"5 



4' 



SIKHIM !/lND BHUTAN 

powerful that they were able to uphold the mountain, arid 
that their spirits still have their dwelling-place somewhere 
in its icy fastnesses. On the east was a well- wooded but 
rather steep valley, down which we had to descend by a very 
rough precipitous track, which at first, owing to the snow, 
could hardly be called a road ; it, however, improved by 
the time we reached a small open glade called Damtheng, 
though the frozen snow still made our footing insecure. 
Soon after we were met by the Tongsa Donyer, who 
accompanied the Tongsa Penlop to Lhasa in 1904 and was 
formerly the Donyer of Angdu-phodang ; he brought the 
usual scarf and murwa in the name of the Tongsa, and 
informed me he had been detailed to accompany me during 
my stay in Bhutan and to arrange for the comfort of my 
party, and these duties he carried out most satisfactorily. 
From Damtheng, after crossing a good bridge, we slightly 
ascended before reaching Tsangpa-pilam where the traders' 
branch road to Phari joins that from Hah-la, and where 
we found three small but excellent riding-mules, which 
proved most useful and satisfactory animals, sent by 
the Paro Penlop, in charge of the Paro Gorap (gate- 
keeper). 

The road now became quite good, and about midday 
we rode intoJDamthong (10,400 feet), where we found a 
zareba of fresh pine boughs encircling a well laid-out 
camp. Words fail me to describe the beauty of the scene. 
Grassy glades, gently sloping, opened on a series of wide 
valleys in the far distance, while on either side and at our 
back was a deep fringe of fine trees of every age, from the 
patriarch of the forest down to young seedlings. The 
Bhutanese seem to have acquired the secret of combining 
in forests self-reproduction with unlimited grazing, for 
from the time we left Rinchengong we passed through 
forests which, without exception, were self-reproducing. 
When we were comfortably settled in our tents the Tongsa and 
Paro officials, accompanied by the Hah Zimpon and Nerpa, 
"brought us a further salutation from the Pehlops, in the 

116 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

shape, of a piece of silk for myself and rations for the whole 
party. The arrangements were so good they augured wel£ 
for the future welfare of our Mission. 

After a comfortable night we started in the morning 
along a very good road, which soon brought us into an open 
valley, leading through most magnificent scenery, with 
often a small gompa, or chapel, perched high above us, 
in accordance with the practice, more or less universal here, 
of planting one on every commanding promontory. The 
first village of note was Ke-chuka, which possessed a good 
chuten, built by a former Hah Jongpen, and fine water- 
mills. We went into the village gompa, and found a 
curious custom prevailed, which I have not come across 
elsewhere, namely, that most travellers offered a small 
copper coin, and then tried their luck with three dice kept 
in the alms-bowl. 

At Kyengsa a road leads up through a thickly wooded 
side valley, through Talong and over the Saga-la, and 
so down to Dug-gye-jong, on the main road between 
Paro and Phari. It was here the horse-dealer Aphe for- 
merly lived, who supplied some years ago a batch of 
ponies to the Assam Government, which was then com- 
mencing a tonga service between Gowhati and Shillong. 
He later died in Lhasa, and this shows how widely ramified 
is the trade between India and Lhasa. 

On a beautiful flat, called Gyang Karthang, an annual 
dance and fair is held in December and January, and a 
more suitable site could hardly be imagined. Yangthang, 
a large village, is situated on the left bank of the stream 
at the broadest part of the valley, and as the Hah-chhu 
runs where the irrigation channels lead, a great deal of 
stony, barren land which would otherwise be the bed of the 
river is exposed. The road ran across a bridge through fhe 
village, and out again over another bridge, but as these 
bridges were said to be dangerous we continued our 
journey along a temporary path on the right bank, and at 
every village we passed the inhabitants turned out to receive 

"7 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

us and had hot tea always ready on the roadside. Many 
of the Darjeeling gwallas, or cattle-owners, come from 
Yangthang, and the village seems to be a dividing line, as 
the people living above it are known as notorious robbers 
and thieves, while below they are supposed to be more 
reputable. 

Holly-oak (Pi-shingh, locally) was now conspicuous by 
its presence, and the formation of the hills was markedly 
of crystalline limestone. After passing some mineral 
springs we came to the twin forts and village of Tom- 
phiong(8370 feet), and, crossing a strong bridge, reached 
our camp, pitched on a large level maidan, flanked with 
willow-trees, and ornamented by a long mendong, or wall of 
prayer. The Hah Tungba, a brother of the late Aloo 
Dorgi, paid his respects, accompanied by one of his younger 
sons, and brought rations for the party. After lunch I 
visited the main fort, which was dirty and dilapidated, and 
where perhaps the most notable article was a Westly 
Richards rifle, with a Whitworth barrel, dated 1864, which 
the local blacksmith had converted into a muzzle-loader; 
while the Tungba showed me some excellent sword-blades 
manufactured in the village by the same man. I was also 
shown two curious hollows in the limestone formation 
which connect some subterranean lake with the river ; the 
villagers place baskets at the outlets, and the rush of water 
at times brings out a number of fair-sized fish, though I 
saw no fish in the Hah stream itself. 

My party were now the guests of Bhutan, and we were 
relieved of all trouble with regard to transport and camping- 
grounds, as this was in the hands of the Tongsa Donyer, 
whom I have already mentioned as having been sent to 
meet us by the Tongsa, and who was unfailing in his 
efforts to secure our comfort. Next day we rode up to the 
chief monastery, Tak-kyun Gompa ; at least, we rode as far 
as we could, as the monastery is situated on a flat with 
almost precipitous sides, and we had to struggle up the 
last ascent on foot. The buildings were in good order, 

118 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

but of no great interest, although the view both up and 
down the Hah-chhu is magnificent. Near this is the 
Poisoners' Gompa mentioned by Eden, but it was closed, 
and I did not think it worth while to send for the key. 

In the afternoon a severe thunderstorm sprang up, and 
it snowed heavily nearly all night ; so much so that in the 
morning I was doubtful about starting ; but, learning that 
the road was easy and in good order and that the coolies 
were already assembled, I decided to go on. While the 
loads were being portioned out amongst the coolies I saw a 
man being led off between three others, and thinking that he 
might have lost or spoilt something, and anxious that he 
should not be unnecessarily punished, I inquired what was 
the matter, and learned, to my astonishment, that he had a 
year ago killed one of the Tongsa's servants, and, escaping, 
had been wanted ever since. According to the custom of \ 
the country, the punishment for the offence was that his I 
right hand should be cut off and the tendons of his legs \ 
severed ; and what could have induced the man to nm the 
risk of such a punishment I cannot imagine, for he probably 
got nothing in payment for his three days' labour in carrying 
my things. It sounds very barbarous, but when the state 
of the country and its condition is taken into account it 
somewhat alters the appearance of things. There are no . 
jails, and this is a severe method of deterring hardened / 
criminals from committing such offences and then ab-J 
sconding. 

Our route took us over a very good bridle-path, and we 
rode nearly the whole way to the top of the Chiu-li-la, 
which we reached about an hour after leaving our former 
camp. As we rode we had occasional glimpses of the Hah 
valley as far as the Dorikha, where Eden camped, but the 
weather was unfortunately very damp, windy, and chilly. 
On the pass I was met by an orderly from Paro with murwa, 
which in the cold was most acceptable and refreshing. On 
the way up I noticed that a small patch of forest had been 
burnt, the first trace of a jungle fire I had seen. On several 

119 



SIKHCM AND- BTHtJTAN 

occasions I had noticed men carefully extinguishing the 
remains of their night's fire, and now learnt that ajiy 
carelessness in the matter of fire in the forests was most 
severely punished by the Bhutanese authorities. 

Descending the other side, our path, owing to the frozen 
snow in the shade and to melting slush in the sun, would 
have been very difficult had not the villagers thickly 
strewn it with thick soft moss, which made walking quite 
pleasant. High above on our right was the nunnery of 
Kyila, built on the face of a very steep precipice, and said 
to contain sixty nuns ; but as I counted twenty-five houses, 
the majority quite large, I fancy the number of inhabitants 
must be considerably greater. The road leading to it must 
be very difficult, and as it lay some distance off, across a 
small valley, I did not attempt to visit it. The rule forbid? 
any male creature to remain in the precincts of the establish- 
ment. 

We arrived at Cha-na-na, a small hamlet of half a dozen 

houses, mostly in ruins, about midday, and camped there 

for the night. Our experience in crossing the Chiurli-la 

I was so different in every respect from that of Eden that I 

\ cannot but suspect that he was deliberately guided away 

| from the proper route to some mere cattle-track, and my 

boiling-point readings, which are about 600 feet lower than, 

f } Eden's, point conclusively to this theory. While here I 

^ ] nearly lost my best riding-mule from the effects of a 

£ J poisonous herb which it had eaten ; but after the native 

remedy, bleeding from the ear, had been resorted to it 

{ sufficiently recovered to leave camp with us. We soon 

emerged on a spur, whence we obtained a^grand view of 

the valleys of the Pa-chhu and its tributaries. There we 

found a broad, well-cultivated, level country, which under 

good management ought to produce all temperate crops 

in abundance. On a distant mountain to the south-east 

was situated the monastery of Danka-la, visible, I believe, 

from Poonakha ; on a hill a little to the north-east was 

Beila-jong/^close^to which our future joad ran ; while away 

X2Q 






MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

up the Pa-chhu the fort of Dug-gye dominates the. route to 
Phari, and takes its name from a notable defeat of Tibetan 
invaders. Soon we came upon the monastery of Gorina, 
which a former Shabdung Rimpochi used to make his 
summer retreat. The chapel was clean, and gaily decorated 
with fresco paintings in good taste, while the hangings round 
the altar were overlaid with wrought brass open-work 
superior to anything that I had seen in Lhasa, but in 
sharp contrast the side altars were adorned with four 
gaudy green porcelain parrots. The chuten was a very 
fine one, and on the face was a figure of Buddha embossed 
on a large brass plate. There was also a subsidiary gompa, 
but we did not go inside. On the ridge below we were 
greeted with salvos of artillery, fired from iron tubes 
bound with leather ; and I wondered whether these could 
be the leather cannon of which we heard so much in the 
Chinese-Gurkha war. The Paro Penlop's band was also 
waiting, with three richly caparisoned mules in attendance, 
gmd we slowly descended a clayey slope which must be 
absolutely impassable in wet weather, and thence rode 
along the plain, past the fort and its bridge, through a 
quadruple avenue of willows, to our destination that day, 
Paro, where our camp was pitched on a large level maidan. 
A large square had been marked off by a strong lattice fence 
of split bamboo, and at the entrance a new Swiss cottage 
tent was pitched, and in it I found waiting to receive me 
the Penlop's small son and the Paro Donyer, who offered 
us tea, oranges, and fruit for our refreshment. The Donyer 
was particular in reminding Paul that he had formed 
* one of the Penlop's party some sixteen years before, and 
had then been photographed, and was very pleased when 
I promised to take him again that afternoon. I was 
particularly struck on the day's march by the total absence 
of rhododendrons, which always love a peaty soil, and the 
change from gneiss to crystalline limestone, sandstone, and 
dark shales, then to heavy red clay deeply impregnated 
with iron, and again to bluish-grey limestone. 

121 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

In the afternoon, while wandering round the camp, which 
was very well laid out, I watched the curious Bhutanese 
custom of feeding mules with eggs, which I had never 
come across elsewhere. All our mules, as well as those 
belonging to Ugyen Kazi and to the Penlops, each had a 
ration of two or three raw eggs. The eggs were broken into 
a horn, the mule's head held up, and the contents of the horn 
poured down the animal's throat, and, strange to say, they 
seemed to like the unnatural food. The Bhutanese always 
give this to their animals when they have any extra hard 
work to do, and say it keeps them in excellent condition ; 
and certainly all their mules were in first-rate condition. 

The next morning the Paro Penlop, accompanied by 
his young son, paid me a formal visit, at which we ex- 
changed ordinary compliments. The Penlop was then 
about fifty-six years of age, a fair man, with a weak, 
discontented, though not unhandsome face. His first 
and lawful wife, Ugyen Zangmo, was a relative of the 
Tongsa Penlop, but as she was childless he married his 
present consort, a woman called Rinchen Dolma, from a 
village near Paro, who bore him a son, at the time of our 
visit about twelve years of age, and a most ill-mannered 
young cub, who would have been all the better for a good 
thrashing. His mother, Rinchen Dolma, though elderly 
and crippled with chronic rheumatism, is a pleasant, clever 
woman, who completely rules the Penlop. In order to 
preserve her influence as she grew older, and to prevent him 
bringing a stranger into the house, she gave him her 
own daughter, Tayi (by her first husband), as his junior 
wife, and they both lived amicably in a pretty house 
across the valley. The wives have a dwelling outside the 
Jong, on account of the strict regulation that no female is 
allowed to remain in the fort after dark. The gates of the 
fort, as well as those of the bridge across the Pa-chhu, are 
regularly closed at sunset, and, as in China, are not opened 
until morning on any pretext whatever ; even the Penlop 
himself is not admitted, and consequently, if he wishes to 

122 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

remain with his wives, must stay for the whole night in 
their house, where his apartments command lovely views 
both up and down the valley. 

When Dow Pen jo, the Paro Penlop, came to Kalimpong 
some years ago he was accompanied by his sister's son, 
then scarcely out of his teens. This person had now 
become the Paro Donyer, in name the chief official after 
the Penlop, but in reality a low, drunken, ignorant fellow, 
and the only person with whom I had any trouble. Going 
about in a state of maudlin intoxication from early morning, 
it was difficult to keep him in his place, for under the 
pretext of friendliness and relationship to the Penlop he 
used to walk into one's tent at most inconvenient times, 
asking for anything from an old solah topee to our mess 
kit. Finally I had to purchase a temporary respite with 
the present of a pair of binoculars that he badgered every 
one for, and at last we parted from him almost sober ; but 
he was the one exception, as the other officials and the 
people throughout the journey were extremely well behaved 
and very friendly. 

Next morning I rode to the fort, which is situated on a 
limestone bluff overhanging the river, to return the Penlop's 
visit. There is only one entrance from the hillside, and 
that above the third story, the lower stories being used 
entirely as storehouses for grain, &c. Crossing a foss, 
which separates the outer courts from the fort, by a heavy 
drawbridge, we entered a huge gateway, and, turning to 
the left, found ourselves in the eastern courtyard, in the 
centre of which is the smaller of two citadels, equal in 
height, and occupied by petty officials. A series of rooms 
and verandahs overlooking the river are built against the 
inside of the east and north outer walls, with a covered 
verandah, one story in height, occupying nearly the 
whole west front. The Penlop's rooms are situated in the 
south-east corner on the floor above, and we entered through 
a long, low room filled with retainers seated in four rows, 
two on either side, facing each other, a scene which made one 

123 



SIKHH^ A#& BHUTAN 

think of ai|. old baronial hall in bygone English days. To 
add to this impression, tjie reception room was large and 
handsomely decorated, and the walls hung with anps of 
all descriptions, shields, spears, matchlocks, guns, bows 
and arrows of every imaginable kind, all well kept and 
ready for use. 

The Penlop received us in a large bay window looking 
down the valley, but the visit was dull and uninteresting, 
as he seemed to know little of the history of his country, 
and what information we did extract was vague and, in- 
accurate. I made him some presents, including a rifle and 
ammunition, and gave his son a knife, binoculars, and a 
magnifying glass, with which the lad was immensely.pleased, 
and shortly after took my leave, receiving permission to 
inspect the fort, and to pay a visit to his wives in the 
house across the valley. 

The fort is said to have been built in the time ol the 
first Shabdung Rimpochi, and does not seem to have suffered 
from the earthquakes that shattered part of Tashi-cho- 
jong and Poonakha. On the first floor is the temple, the 
gompa, or public chapel, a very finely proportioned hall, 
well lighted, and with two galleries running round th>e 
main building. It is a much larger room than the one in 
tjhe Potala at Lhasa where the Tibetan Treaty was signed, 
and all its decorations are good, a hanging Latticework of 
pierced brass in front of the altar especially being very 
effective and unusual. At the other end of the west 
verandah is the private chapel of the Ta-tshangs, the State 
monks, where we were received by their head, Lama 
Kun-yang Namgyal, who went to Lhasa with the Tibet 
Mission and exercised a good influence, amongst the monks 
there. We were pleased to meet again, and he gladly 
showed us all there was to be seen. The larger of the two 
citadels is in the centre of the western courtyard, a^ the 
north-west angle of the building, and while I was goiqg 
round I noticed old catapults for throwing large stones 

carefully stored in the rafters of the veraacfeh. In the 

124 



my first Mission to bhutan 

north-east corner are rooms for distinguished guests, and 
tKefe is also a guardhouse in the parade-jjfound beyond 
tlie drawbridge. The fort and its surroundings have been 
described by both Turner and Eden, from whom I give the 
following extracts. 

Turner writes : 

"The castle, or palace of Paro, known also by the 
appellation of Paro Jong, and Rinjipo, is constructed, 
and the surrounding ground laid out, mote with a view to 
strength and defence than any place I have seen ih 
Bootan. It stands near the base of a very high mountain ; 
its foundation does not decline with the slope of the rock, 
but the space it occupies is fashioned to receive it hori- 
zontally. Its form is an oblong square ; the outer walls 
of the four angles, hear the top of them, sustain a range of 
projecting balconies, at nearly equal intermediate distances, 
which are covered by the fir eaves that project, as usual,, 
high above and beyond the walls, and are fenced with 
parapets of mud. There is but one entrance into the 
castle, which is in the eastern froiit, over a wooden bridge^ 
so constructed as to be with great facility removed, leaving 
a deep and wide space between the gateway and the 
rock. 

" Opposed to the front are seen, upon the side of the 
mountains, three other buildings,, designed as outposts, 
placed in a triangular position. The outer one is most 
dlistant from the palace, and about a double bowshot from 
those on either side, as you look up at them. The outer 
building and that on the left defend the road to Tassi- 
sudon, which runs between them ; that on the right the 
road from Buxadewar and passage across the bridge. On 
the side next the river, from the foundation of the castle, 
the rock is perpendicular, and the river running at its base 
renders it inaccessible. The bridge over the Patchieu, 
which is at no great distance, is covered in the same manner 
as those at Tassisudon and Punakha, and has t\Vo spacious 
gateways." 

125 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Eden writes : 

" The fort of Paro is a very striking building, and far 
surpassed the expectations we had formed from anything 
we had heard of Bootian architecture. It is a large, rect- 
angular building, surrounding a hollow square, in the centre 
of which is a large tower of some seven stories, surmounted 
by a large copper cupola. The outer building has five 
stories, three of which are habitable, the two lower stories 
being used as granaries and stores and are lighted with 
small loopholes, while the upper stories are lighted with 
large windows opening in most cases on to comfortable 
verandahs. The entrance to the fort is on the left side, by 
a little bridge over a narrow ditch ; the gateway is hand- 
some, and the building above is much higher than the rest 
of the outer square ; it is ornamented and painted, and has 
a number of well-executed inscriptions engraved in stone 
and iron, some of them gilt. At the gateway are a row of 
cages in which are kept four enormous Thibetan mastives. 
These beautiful animals are very ferocious ; they are never 
taken out of their cages ; they are said, however, to be less 
dangerous than they otherwise would be from their over- 
lapping jowls, which prevent their using their teeth as 
freely as ordinary dogs. The first thing which catches the 
eye on entering the fort is a huge praying cylinder, some 
ten feet high, turned by a crank ; a catch is so arranged 
that at each turn a bell is rung. The gate of the fort is 
lined with light iron plates. On entering the fort you are 
surprised to find yourself at once in the third story, for the 
fort is built on a rock which is overlapped by the lower 
stories and forms the ground base of the courtyard and 
centre towers. . . . After passing through a dark passage 
which turns first to the left and then to the right, a large 
well-paved and scrupulously clean courtyard is reached ; 
the fine set of rooms on the left is devoted nominally 
to the relations of the ladies of the palace, in reality, I 
believe, to the ladies themselves, who, however, are sup- 
posed to live outside the fort, in accordance with the 

126 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

theory that all in authority are under obligation of per- 
petual celibacy. Beyond these rooms is a second small 
gateway, and the first set of rooms on the left hand 
belong to the ex-Paro Penlop ; they are reached by a very 
slippery and steep staircase, opening into a long vestibule, 
in which the followers lounge ; this leads into a large hall 
in which his sepoys mess, and in which one of his amla is 
always in waiting. Beyond the hall is the Penlop's state 
room ; it is somewhat low, but of great size and really 
very striking, for the Bootanese have derived from their 
intercourse with Tibet and China in old days very con- 
siderable taste in decoration. The beams are rudely painted 
in blue, orange, and gold, the Chinese dragon being the most 
favourite device, the roof is supported by a series of carved 
arches, and all round the room and in the arches are 
suspended bows, quivers, polished iron helmets, swords, 
matchlocks, coats of mail, Chinese lanthorns, flags, silk 
scarves consecrated by the Grand Lama of Tibet, 
arranged with the most perfect taste." 

Eden also mentions other forts, of which only three 
now exist, viz., Tayo-jong, Doman-jong, and Suri-jong, 
as the very large one, Chuby akha-j ong, is entirely in ruins. 
The large wooden bridge across the Par-chhu is kept in good 
order, and on the river-bank below the fort, close to where 
a covered way from the castle meets the water, is a very 
picturesque chapel, built into a recess of the rock, and 
dedicated to the tutelary deity of the place. 

The Penlop, his senior wife and son, came to lunch with 
me the following day ; but it was a dull proceeding, for my 
guests would eat and drink nothing, their excuse being that 
it was the 8th of the Tibetan month, and therefore a fast 
day, an excuse I had to accept, although it happened to be 
the 9th, and not the 8th. The lady tried to make con- 
versation, and showed great interest in a stereoscope, but 
also said it gave her a headache. My clerk's attempt to 
entertain the smaller officials at the same time was not 

much more successful, as although religious scruples did 

127 



SIKHlAl AND BHUTAN 

ridt prevent 'them making a hearty meal ind taking away 
^th them the wine they wefe unable' tb drink, after their 
: <fcp&rtuf e the air thermometer of my boiling-point appa- 
ratus could not be found, which was annoying, as it left 
me without a second instrument to verify my readings. 
-During lunch the band of the escort and the grtunophone 
provided music for our guests' entertainment. 

The next day we determined to visit Dug-gye-jong, 
and although it was cloudy we had a vety pleasant ride up 
the valley over a road ascending very gradually, though in 
many places we found the soling of large stones very 
troublesome both for riding and walking. At Long-gong, 
about five miles from Paro, there is a pretty village And 
orchard of walnut-trees, where the Thumba or headman of 
that part of the valley lives, and on the cliff s opposite," to the 
east, is the more than usually inaccessible monastery of 
fcaro-ta-tshang. We also saw in the distance the monas- 
tery of Sang-chen-cho-khor, from which the present Deb 
Raja came. At the end of nine miles we rode up to tfife 
fort of Dug-gye, also built in the days of the first Shab- 
dting in commemoration of a victory over the Tibetans. 

1 I^cannot describe it better than Captain Turner does ; 
the scene does not seem to have altered in the least. "We 
entered Dug-gye-jong, a fortress built upon the crdwn of a 
low, rocky hill, which it entirely occupies, conforming if&elf 
to the shape of the summit, the slope all round beginning 
from the foundation of its walls. 

"The approach to the only entrance is defended by 
three round towers, placed between the castle and the' foot 
of the hill, and connected together by a double wall, so that 
J a safe communication between them is preserved even in 
1 times of the greatest peril. Around each of these towers,, 
hear the top, a broad ledge projects, the edges of which tote 
fortified by a mud wall, with loopholes adapted to the tise 
of the bow arid arrow or of muskets. On the north of the 
castle are two round towers' that command the road frofti 
Tibet. ( On the east side the roCk is rough and steep ; and 

128 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

close under the walls on the west is a large basin of water, 
the only reservoir I had seen in Bhutan. 

"The castle of Dug-gye-jong is a very substantial 
stone building, with high walls, but so irregular is its figure 
that it is evident no other design was followed in its con- 
struction than to cover all the level space on the top of the 
hill on which it stands. Having ascended to the gateway 
at the foot of the walls, we had still to mount about a 
dozen steps through a narrow passage, after which we landed 
upon a semicircular platform edged with a strong wall 
pierced with loopholes. Turning to the right, we passed 
through a second gateway, and went along a wide lane with 
stables for horses on each side. The third gateway con- 
ducted us to the interior of the fortress, being a large 
square, the angles of which had three suites of rooms. In 
the centre of the square was a temple dedicated to Maha- 
moonie and his concomitant idols." 

I found the whole of the premises very clean ; the 
Jongpen, who was appointed by, and is a staunch adherent 
of, the Tongsa Penlop, and who had been to Lhasa in his 
suite, received us most cordially, and entertained us with a 
Bhutanese lunch of scrambled eggs and sweet rice coloured 
with saffron, accompanied by murwah (beer) and chang 
(spirit), also coloured with saffron, fresh milk, and a dessert 
of walnuts and dried fruits. His wife, who prepared the 
meal, was one of the cleanest and best-looking women I 
have seen in Bhutan, and her little boy, wearing an exact 
copy, in miniature, of his father's dress, was a nice little 
chap. 

The Dug-gye armoury is said to be the best in the 
country, and is contained in a fine room with a large bow 
window facing south and looking down the valley — in the 
Tongsa Penlop's opinion, the best balcony in Bhutan. 
In the outer courtyard men were making gunpowder. A 
silversmith and a wood-turner were also at work, and in the 
inner courtyard were piles of shingles (pieces of flat wood) 

ready for re-roofing the castle, which has to be entirely 

129 1 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

re-done every five years. Altogether there was an air of 
bustling activity which was pleasant to meet with. Up 
the valley lies the nearest road to Phari, a short three days' 
march for a laden coolie, and it was along this route the 
Chinese Mission passed when bringing a decoration for the 
Tongsa Penlop in 1886. 

We struck camp early the next morning, and on our way 
bade the Paro Penlop farewell at the entrance to the castle. 
The ascent, which I think must have been a short cut, and 
not the regular road, was very rough and steep up to the 
Tayo-jong, the curious rounded fort described by Eden. 

" One of them is a curious building formed of two 
semicircles, one large and the other small, built up one 
against the other for about five stories high." 

The road beyond was very good, and ascended gradually 
to the pass, 8900 feet, near the Beila-jong. A steeper 
road on the other side led us down to Pemithang, the seat 
of an inferior official who calls himself a Penlop, where we 
camped under walnut-trees. The so-called Penlop was a 
pleasant, stout man, who did his best to make us com- 
fortable. We found some of his boys playing quoits, a 
very favourite game amongst the Bhutanese, and close by 
a curious succession of mendongs, or prayer-walls, which 
was most unusual, as the mendong ordinarily consists of 
one long wall, but here there was a succession of three. 

We left Pemithang early, and instead of going to 
Tashi-cho-jong via the Pami-la, we followed the Pemi-chhu 
to its junction with the Tchin-chhu, the road, a very good 
one, never being far above the water. The hills on either 
side were thickly wooded, with beautiful masses of flowering 
pear and peach, but at the junction with the Tchin-chhu, 
where we turned east up the stream, the whole aspect of 
the country suddenly changed to barren hills, with sparse 
and stunted trees, chiefly Pinus longifolium. 

On the left bank, about two miles up, we saw a house 
conspicuous for its cared-for appearance, and found that it 
belonged to the ex-Paro Penlop, who was for years one of 

130 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

our pensioners at Kalimpong. It says a great deal for Sir 
Ugyen Wang-chuk that he allowed this man, one of his 
most powerful enemies, to return to his old home and die 
there in peace, and then allowed the widow and daughters 
to remain on unmolested in the pretty place. 

We reached our camping-ground at Chalimaphe after 
rather an uninteresting march, and pitched our tents round 
one of the largest weeping cypresses I have ever seen. It 
measured fifty feet round the trunk five feet above the 
ground. This would have been a pleasant halting-place 
but for the howling wind that roared up the valley and 
nearly blew our tents down, so we were not sorry to be off 
the next day, more especially as this proved to be quite the 
most interesting day I had yet spent in Bhutan. 

Mounting our mules, we started early, and almost at once 
came in sight of Simtoka, the oldest fort in the country. 
Turning to the left, we rode along the left bank of the 
Tchin-chhu, where, about half a mile further on, I saw a 
fine cantilever bridge carrying a large wooden channel 
with a stream of water across the Tchin-chhu to irrigate 
a succession of rice-fields on the opposite side. I have 
particularly noticed during my travels in the country how 
remarkably skilful the Bhutanese are in laying out canals 
and irrigation channels, and the clever way in which they 
overcome what to ordinary people would be insurmountable 
difficulties in leading the water over steep, difficult places 
on bridges or masonry aqueducts, often built up to a great 
height. Riding on, the plain opened up into cultivation, 
extending its entire width and far up the mountain slopes, 
which were only sparsely clothed with forest. We crossed 
the Tchin-chhu, and shortly passed on our right a con- 
spicuous knoll in the very centre of the plain. This marks 
the scene of an act of treachery on the part of the present 
Paro Penlop that materially changed the course of events 
in Bhutan, and was the beginning of the Tongsa Penlop's 
power. 

In 1885 Gau-Zangpo was Deb Raja, and Aloo Dorji the 

131 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Thimbu or Tashi-cho-jong Jongpen, while Sir Ugyen Wang- 
chuk, then about twenty-four years of age, had succeeded 
his father, Jigme Namgyal, better known as Deb Nagpo, or 
the Black Deb, as Tongsa Penlop, and Dow Pen jo, first 
cousin to Deb Nagpo, was and still is Penlop of Paro. Two 
factions formed. On the one side were Deb Gau-Zangpo, 
Aloo Dorji, the Thimbu Jongpen, and the Poonakha Jong- 
pen, brother-in-law to Aloo Dorji, and who naturally 
supported him. On the other side were ranged the Tongsa 
and the Paro Penlops, assisted by some of the smaller 
Jongpens. The cause of the final rupture was the action 
of Aloo's party, who, taking advantage of Ugyen Wang- 
chuk's youth and supposed weakness, withheld from him 
for three years his rightful share of the British subsidy ; 
in return Ugyen refused to pay his quota towards the 
maintenance of the Ta-tshang, or Government monks, who 
belong to the five monasteries of Poonakha, Tashi-cho-jong, 
Paro, Angdu-phodang, and Tongsa, in number about 3000 
souls. This, however, was a losing transaction, as the 
Tongsa's share of the subsidy was a much larger sum ; so, 
failing to receive an account or satisfaction of any kind, 
Ugyen collected his followers, to the number of about 
4000, and, crossing the hills, came down near Chalimaphe. 
He himself went boldly to Tashi-cho-jong, where the Deb 
and the Thimbu were residing, and bearded them in their 
den, demanding satisfaction and accusing them of base 
ingratitude to their benefactor Deb Nagpo ; and, when his 
demands were laughed at, retorted that if they wished 
to fight he was quite ready. Returning to his men, he 
attempted to surprise Tashi-cho-jong by crossing the moun- 
tains to the south-east; but his enemies discovered his 
move, set the grass on the lower slopes of the hills on fire, 
and the Tongsa had the greatest difficulty in saving his 
men from being suffocated by the smoke ; and how choking 
and pungent the fumes from such fires can be I have had 
painful experience myself. He next attempted to storm 
the fort at Simtoka, which was strongly held by the Thimbu's 

132 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

men, the Jongpen himself keeping well out of the way at 
Tashi-cho-jong ; but the day went against the eastern party, 
and they were beginning to waver and fall back, whereupon 
Ugyen Wang-chuk himself rushed into the van, upbraiding 
and even striking his men, and made such an impression 
on his leaderless foes that they fled panic-stricken, and left 
the fort of Simtoka with its granaries an easy prize in his 
hands. After waiting a day or two to recruit, the Tongsa's 
troops moved up the right bank of the Tchin-chhu, and 
there were more skirmishes, indecisive, but attended by 
much loss, principally the burning of houses, destruction of 
crops, &c. At this juncture the Paro Penlop appeared on 
the scene, and suggested to the Poonakha Jongpen, Aloo's 
chief supporter, that if they held a conference they might 
be able to settle the dispute and prevent further bloodshed ; 
and Poonakha, suspecting nothing, came to the knoll we 
were looking at. The conference lasted some time without 
much result, when an adjournment was made for lunch ; 
and while the soldiers belonging to the Jongpen were busy 
preparing their food on some level ground near the river 
to which they had been inveigled, the Paro's followers, 
taking advantage of their opponents being off their guard, 
rushed on the defenceless men. The Poonakha Jongpen^ 
was stabbed to death as he sat on the ground, and ma»yv 
of his men were massacred. The Tongsa's army then*, 
marched unopposed to some villages on the west of the- 
castle, and during the night Aloo Dorji, who seems to have- 
been a cowardly braggart, in alarm for his own safety,^ 
abandoned Tashi-cho-jong and fled over the hills to> 
Poonakha, and from thence, after gathering up such of his. 
property as he could lay hands on, continued his flight via- 
Ghassa-la into Tibet, when he appealed to China and Tibet 
for help. The Chinese and Tibetans despatched envoys 
with the object of mediation, but their overtures were 
rejected by the Bhutanese, and soon after the Sikhim Ex- 
pedition of 1888-9 broke the power and influence of the 
Tibetans, and the cause of Aloo Dorji, who fought on their 

*33 .... 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

side in the attack on Gnatong in May 1888 was lost. All 
subsequent attempts at interference by the Chinese and 
Tibetans were frustrated by the closer relationships with 
the Penlops which we maintained henceforth, and thus 
Ugyen Wang-chuk's influence in Bhutan was firmly 
established. 

Paul has, however, told me that, when he was informed 
of the occurrence at the time, the death of the Poonakha 
Jongpen was not ascribed to the result of a deliberately 
planned scheme of treachery ; that the meeting was 
honestly held for the purpose of arranging a compromise, 
but a quarrel arose between the followers of the rival 
factions, in which one of the Paro men had his arm sliced 
off, and on his rushing into the presence of the leaders his 
comrades avenged him by stabbing the Jongpen with their 
daggers. But whatever may have happened, there is 
nothing to show that the young Tongsa was cognisant of 
the plot, and when the castle of Tashi-cho-jong was aban- 
doned the Tongsa himself had the gates firmly secured, 
and, standing before the main entrance, prevented his 
soldiers from breaking in and looting the palace. He had 
even to shoot one of his own men before order could be 
restored, and that was hardly the action of a man who would 
lend his countenance to so mean an act of treachery. 

After leaving this knoll, called Changlingane-thang, 
with these interesting historical associations, we soon 
arrived at the castle of Tashi-cho-jong, an imposing edifice 
in the form of a parallelogram, the sides parallel to the 
river being twice the length of the other two. It differs 
from other forts in one particular : it possesses two large 
gateways, one on the south ; the other, on the river-face, and 
protected on the west and north by a wide fosse filled with 
water, is only opened for the Deb and Dharma Rajas, and 
was closed at the time of my visit. Unlike Paro and 
Poonakha, the bridge across the Tchin-chhu was not con- 
nected with the castle, and just below it was a wooden 
structure, cleverly designed to catch the timber floated 

134 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

down the river from the distant hills for use in the castle. 
The interior of the castle is divided into two unequal 
portions by a high, strong wall, the larger section, to the 
south, containing the usual square tower, measuring about 
85 feet each way, and in it are situated the chapel and 
private apartments of the Dharma Raja. The original 
tower was destroyed by the earthquake in 1897, and the 
present structure was finished about 1902 ; but it has been 
badly built, as the main walls were cracking already and 
the interior showed signs of unequal subsidence. The 
decorations, of course, are quite modern. 

In the south-east angle of the courtyard beyond are the 
public or living quarters of the Dharma Raja, and on the 
west front those of the Thimbu Jongpen, where we were 
hospitably entertained. The northern and smaller section 
of the castle is occupied entirely by the Ta-tshang, or State 
lamas, and is not usually open to laymen. The dividing 
wall is surmounted by a row of white chotens, protected 
from the weather by a double roof, and in the centre of the 
inner courtyard is an extremely fine hall of audience or 
worship, 120 feet square and at least 50 feet high. It is 
well lighted, and decorated with fresco paintings, and when 
the silken ceiling-cloths and embroidered curtains and 
banners are hung it must look extremely well, but the 
lamas were absent at Poonakha, and all the decorations 
were either carefully put away or taken with them. A 
succession of chapels was built on the west side, one of which, 
a splendid example of good Bhutanese art, the door-handles 
of which, of pierced ironwork inlaid with gold, were ex- 
ceptionally beautiful, had been presented by the Deb 
Nagpo. It was said to contain 1000 images of Buddha, 
and the number is very likely correct, as I counted more 
than 600, while the pair of elephant's tusks supporting the 
altar, which I have remarked as an essential ornament to 
the chief altar in every Bhutanese chapel I have visited, 
were larger than usual. 

A short distance further up the valley we passed 

135 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Dichen-phodang, the private residence of the Thimbu 
Jongpen, which appeared to be a fine building, but I did 
not visit it. Above, on a commanding height, is the very 
large monastery of Pha-ju-ding, formerly one of the richest 
houses in Bhutan, but which has now fallen on evil days 
and is out of repair, while most of its ornaments have 
either been stolen or have disappeared, and I could not find 
time to visit it. We had a pleasant ride back to camp, 
but in the evening a more than usually strong gale of wind 
blew, with some rain, and two or three miles down the 
valley it seemed to fall in torrents. 



136 



CHAPTER XIV 

MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN— continued 

From Tashi-cho-jong to Tongsa-jong. Simtoka-jong. Entry 
into Poonakha. The Deb Raja. Presentation of K.C.I.E. 
Description of Poonakha Fort. Expedition to Norbugang and 
Talo Monasteries. Visit of the Tango Lama. So-na-ga-sa 
the Zemri-gatchie of Turner. Farewell visit to the Deb. 
Angdu-phodang. Death of my dog Nari. The Pele-la. Tongsa- 
J ong. Bad roads. Water-power prayer- wheels. The ceremony 
of blessing the rice-fields. 

We left Tashi-cho-jong early next morning in lovely 
weather, with the thunder of a salute of thirty guns rever- 
berating through the air, and soon arrived at Simtoka-jong, 
which is situated on a projecting ridge, with deep gullies 
separating it from the main hill. It looks old, and is not in 
very good repair. On the four sides of the central square 
tower, instead of the usual row of prayer-wheels, we found 
a row of square slabs of dark slate, carved in low relief 
with pictures of saints and holy men. It was a wonderful 
collection of different types* with no monotonous repetition 
of the same figure, whence derived I cannot imagine, 
unless, indeed, of Chinese origin, as the variety reminded 
me of the iooo statues in the temple in Canton, where one 
figure is pointed out as Marco Polo. In Simtoka one face 
is a very unflattering likeness of the German Emperor. 
In the chapel itself, beneath a magnificent carved canopy, 
was one of the finest bronze images of Buddha that I have 
seen; it was supported on either side by a number of 
standing figures of more than life size. _ 

i37 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

From Simtoka a good road led us up the Lhung-tso 
Valley to the Dokyong-la (9570 feet), through beautiful 
glades of oak, chestnut, and rhododendron, while on the 
higher slopes forests of Pinus excelsa reappeared, in pleasant 
contrast to the barren slopes of the past two days. But 
on reaching the east side of the pass we seemed suddenly 
to come into a completely changed climate, and the valley 
we were entering might have been in Sikhim, not Bhutan. 
It was evidently a wet zone, and with a very bad path 
leading to our camp at Lungme-tsa-wa, we were glad when 
our march was over. 

Next day we continued our descent down a steepish 
lane overhung by rhododendrons in full bloom, until we 
reached a bridge across the Teo-pe-rong-chhu. After 
crossing we gradually ascended a fair road on the side of 
hills quite different from those on the opposite side, sparsely 
clothed with Pinus longifolia, and a remarkable contrast to 
the flowering thickets on the way down. High above us 
were the monasteries of Norbugang and Ta-lo, and after 
rounding a ridge which parts the Mochu-Pochu from the 
Teo-pe-rong-chhu we again began to descend to our camp 
at Gang-chung-Dorona (5800 feet), the last before reaching 
Poonakha. Neither Poonakha nor Angdu-phodang were 
at any point visible. 

It was in heavy rain next morning that we had to make 
our entry into the capital of Bhutan, along a road of heavy 
clay, on which it was almost impossible to keep one's footing. 
Close by a choten built at the junction of two valleys, and 
commanding a most picturesque view of the castle, I was 
met by a curious collection of musicians, dancers, &c, in 
gay clothing, sadly out of keeping with the constant rain 
and mud. Preceded by them, we managed in time to 
reach the bridge across the Mo-chhu, and after a little pause 
to cross, under a salute of guns — fifty now instead of thirty 
— heartily glad to reach the shelter of our camp, where 
a wooden house of two rooms was prepared for us. 

In the camp waiting to receive me were the Tongsa 

138 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

Penlop, the Thimbu and Poonakha Jongpens, Zung Donyer, 
and Deb Zimpon. The first three I had met in Tibet, and 
the last two at Buxa. They greeted me most cordially 
and condoled with me on the weather, making many 
inquiries about our journey and whether we had encountered 
much difficulty ; then, in a short time, the rain having 
ceased, they took their departure and left us to settle down 
in our quarters. For myself a large, comfortable Swiss 
cottage tent had been pitched, and a smaller one, dyed 
blue, with an embroidered top, for Major Rennick, in 
addition to a very good cook-house and some ranges of fine 
mat-sheds, and these, with my own tents and camp equipage, 
provided us with a luxurious encampment. I also had a 
great compliment paid me, as the Deb Raja's band played 
in front of us all through the outer courtyard right into 
the camp, an honour not paid even to the Tongsa Penlop 
himself beyond the entrance to the bridge. 

The next day I spent receiving visits of ceremony from 
the Tongsa, the head Ta-tshang lamas, and other officials, 
and in disposing of an accumulation of official work. 
Whilst paying my return visits to the Tongsa Penlop and 
the officers in the fort I also paid my respects to the Deb 
Raja, who received me in his private apartments with great 
cordiality, and thanked the Indian Government for having 
sent me on such a friendly visit to his little country, while 
hoping his people had obeyed his instructions to look after 
my comfort in every way. 

The Deb Raja is a great recluse, and occupies himself 
entirely with the spiritual affairs of the country, although, 
owing to the failure to discover a reincarnation after the 
death of the late Dharma Raja, he holds both offices ; but 
meanwhile all temporal affairs are managed entirely by the 
Tongsa Penlop and his council, while in the Deb Raja all 
spiritual power is vested. 

In the afternoon I had a long interview with the Tongsa 
Penlop, who came to see me unofficially, and we dis- 
cussed many matters, and amongst others the question of 

139 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

extradition. He informed me that Bhutan had lately made 
an arrangement with Tibet regarding refugees, who were 
not to be returned unless some crime was proved against 
them, although formerly either State was obliged to send back 
all refugees. The Penlop dined with us, and we arranged 
that the presentation of the insignia of his Knight Com- 
mandership should be made on the following morning in 
open Durbar, presided over by the Deb Raja himself. 

Unfortunately, on the morning of the Durbar it rained 
heavily, but cleared up before the ceremony, which was 
held in the Palace of Poonakha in a large hall. As soon 
as we learnt that everything was in readiness we formed a 
small procession from the camp, Major Rennick and my- 
self in full dress uniform, preceded by our escort under 
Subadar Jehandad Khan, 40th Pathans, and proceeded to 
the fort, where we were ushered with great ceremony into 
the Durbar Hall. 

This is a fine, handsome room, with a wide balcony 
overlooking the river Po-chhu, and with a double row of 
pillars forming two aisles. The centre or nave, a wide space 
open to the lofty roof, was hung with a canopy of beauti- 
fully embroidered Chinese silk. Between the pillars were 
suspended chenzi and gyentsen hangings of brilliantly 
coloured silks, and behind the Tongsa Penlop's seat a fine 
specimen of kuthang, or needlework picture, a form of 
embroidery in which the Bhutanese excel, and which 
compares favourably with anything I have seen in other 
parts of the world. 

At the upper or north end of the room was the high 
altar and images always to be met with in Bhutanese 
chapels, and in front of this was a raised dais, piled with 
cushions, on which sat the Deb Raja, in a rich yellow silk 
stole over his red monastic dress, with the abbot of the 
Poonakha Ta-tshang lamas in ordinary canonicals on his 
left. To the right of the dais was a line of four scarlet- 
covered chairs for myself, Major Rennick, Mr. Paul, and 
the Subadar, and in front of each chair was a small table 

140 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

with fruit and refreshments. Close behind us stood my 
orderlies with presents. On the opposite side of the nave, 
facing me, was a low dais with a magnificent cushion of the 
richest salmon-coloured brocade, on which Sir Ugyen Wang- 
chuk sat, dressed in a handsome robe of dark blue Chinese 
silk, embroidered in gold with the Chinese character " Fu," 
the sign emblematical of good luck. Below him were 
ranged the chairs of all the officials present, the Thimbu 
Jongpen, the Poonakha Jongpen, the Zung Donyer, and the 
Deb Zimpon. The Taka Penlop had come to Poonakha, 
but was too ill to leave his bed ; the Paro Penlop was unable 
to travel owing to the state of his leg, and had made his 
excuses personally on my way through Paro and had sent 
a representative; and the office of the Angdu-phodang 
Jongpen had not been filled. In the aisles were double 
and treble rows of the chief Ta-tshang lamas, seated on 
white carpets, while four flagellants, carrying brass-bound 
batons of office and formidable double-thonged whips of 
rhinoceros-hide, walked up and down between the rows to 
maintain order. At the lower end, by which we had 
entered, were collected the subordinate officials of the 
court, standing, with my own escort formed up in front of 
them, facing the Deb at the lower end of the nave. It 
was altogether a brilliant and imposing scene. 

After my party and the high officers of state, who had 
risen on my approach, had taken their seats there was a 
short pause for order and silence to be restored. I then 
rose and directed Rai Lobzang Choden Sahib to read my 
short address in Tibetan, which I had purposely curtailed, 
as I foresaw that the Bhutanese portion of the ceremony 
would be a lengthy one. My remarks seemed to give general 
satisfaction, and at their conclusion I stepped forward, 
with Major Rennick carrying the Insignia and Warrant on 
a dark blue cushion fringed with silver, in front of the 
Deb Raja as the Tongsa Penlop advanced from his side to 
meet me. With a few words appropriate to the occasion, 
I placed the ribbon of the order round his neck, pinned on 

141 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

the star, and handed the warrant to Sir Ugyen Wang-chuk. 
Major Rennick and myself then returned to our seats, 
while the Penlop, still standing before the dais, expressed 
his thanks for the honour the King-Emperor had conferred 
on him. I again advanced, and presented Sir Ugyen with 
a rifle, my photographs of Lhasa and Tibet, and among 
other things a silver bowl filled with rice, the emblem of 
material prosperity, in commemoration of the day's cere- 
mony, and, finally, placing a white silk scarf on his hands, 
offered him my hearty congratulations and good wishes. 
Major Rennick and the Subadar also offered scarves, with 
their congratulations; and finally Mr. Paul, as an old 
friend of more than thirty years' standing, in a few words 
wished the Deb, Bhutan, and the new Knight all prosperity 
and heartily congratulated them on the new era opening 
before them. This brought our part of the ceremony to a 
conclusion, and we remained interested spectators of what 
followed. 

First Sir Ugyen Wang-chuk turned to the Deb Raja 
and made his obeisance. The Deb, who, as the Cholay 
Tulku, is also the spiritual head of the Bhutanese Church 
during the interval awaiting the reincarnation of the 
Dharma Raja, gave Sir Ugyen his pontifical blessing and 
placed three scarves round his neck. In like manner Sir 
Ugyen then received the blessing of the abbot, and after- 
wards reseated himself. 

Now began an almost interminable procession of lamas, 
officials, and retainers, each bringing a scarf and presents, 
till the Penlop was almost smothered in scarves, while the 
whole nave from end to end gradually became filled up with 
heaps of tea, bags of rice and Indian corn, fabrics — silk, 
woollen and cotton — of all colours and values, with little 
bags of gold dust and rupees appearing on the top. As 
each present was placed on the floor the name of the donor 
was announced by the Zung Donyer. I had no means of 
judging, but I should think there were at least two hundred 
donors. It was amusing to watch the emulation amongst 

142 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

them and the flourishes some of them gave as they dumped 
their presents with a bang on the floor and whipped out 
their scarves to their full length. 

When these congratulations came to an end tea and 
refreshments were offered to all the company of guests, 
including the lamas in the aisles, who at each course intoned 
a sort of grace. Finally betel and pan were distributed. 

At the commencement of the feast a large cauldron of 
murwah, or native beer, was placed at the lower end of the 
nave, and an unusual ceremony — at least, it was unusual 
to me — was gone through. The Zung Donyer, with a 
long, bowl-shaped ladle, mixed the liquid three times, and, 
holding up the bowl full of beer in one hand, raised the 
other in prayer. This ceremony he repeated three times, 
and then advanced with his ladle full to the Deb Raja, who 
blessed it ; he then turned to the Tongsa, upon whose 
hands a small portion was poured ; and finally the Donyer 
returned and poured the remainder into the cauldron, 
which was then removed, doubtless for the refreshment of 
the crowd of onlookers who were not of sufficient im- 
portance to share the tea and refreshments dispensed in 
the Durbar Hall. Next, with great ceremony, a wooden 
spear, with a piece of red cloth and a white silk scarf fastened 
to the base of the head, was carried to the Deb and blessed ; 
it was then waved over the Tongsa, who reverently touched 
the end of the shaft. The spear was then sent to the 
Tongsa's apartment. The final act in the ceremonial was 
a short prayer, led by the Deb and intoned by the lamas, 
and with this the proceedings ended and we returned to 
our camp. 

It was a most interesting ceremony, and was conducted 
throughout with the greatest order and reverence, and 
passed off without a hitch of any kind. It says a great 
deal for the change in the conduct of affairs in Bhutan and 
the anxiety to show respect to the British Government 
that they should have made the presentation of the decora- 
tion to the Penlop the first occasion of so public and elaborate 

i43 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

a ceremony, as I understand that hitherto it has been the 
custom of the recipient of an honour to go to the Deb and 
head lamas to receive their blessings, while congratula- 
tions and presents are received at his private dwelling. 

One of the pleasantest incidents during my stay in 
Poonakha was an expedition to the Norbugang and Ta-lo 
monasteries ; but equally full of interest was the inspection 
I made of the fort and palace of Poonakha, which I will 
try to describe. Poonakha is a typical example of the 
Bhutanese forts, which throughout the country are built 
after one common plan. The site selected is always a 
commanding one, generally on a ridge, with the primary 
object of defence. In the case of Poonakha, however, the 
building is situated on a tongue of land running down 
between the rivers jMo-chhu and Po-chhu just above the 
junction, and as both rivers are unfordable three sides of 
the parallelogram are most efficiently protected from 
attack. Access to the Jong on the river side is by means 
of two substantial cantilever bridges, strengthened by 
strong gateways of heavy timber studded with iron, with 
strong defensive towers at each end, through which the 
roadway runs. On the only land side the fort is protected 
by a massive masonry wall, built from river to river, com- 
manding the open plain, which the enemy would have to 
cross to approach the Jong. There are two strongly 
defended gateways in the wall. 

Poonakha, lying between the rivers, is easily supplied 
with water, but other forts built on a ridge have some 
difficulty, and are in many cases, as at Dug-gye, obliged to 
build sunk passages zigzagging down to the valley, and 
protected by towers at each turning, to ensure a supply of 
water in the event of a siege. Where a fort is built on the 
side of a hill, as at Paro and at Tongsa, protecting towers 
are always built above it. 

The plan nearly always followed in the forts is that of 
a rough parallelogram divided into courts. The main 
entrance in Poonakha is approached by a steep flight of 

i44 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

wooden steps about 20 feet in height, which in time of 
emergency can be easily removed, leading to the gateway, 
a massive wooden structure, easily closed, and invariably 
shut at night. 

Through the gateway the first court is reached. The 
main citadel is situated in this at the south end, a square 
building, about 40 feet at the base and 80 feet high, 
and flanking the court on all sides are the two-storied 
buildings used as residences by the lay officials. Beyond 
the citadel there is another court, also surrounded by double- 
storied dwellings, and in the building dividing this court 
from the next is the larger Durbar Hall, which stretches 
across the whole width, the smaller Durbar Hall, where the 
presentation was held, lying to the east. Next comes 
another and smaller court, within which, to the south, 
stands the second and smaller citadel, enclosed by more 
buildings. Beyond comes another court, given up entirely 
to the Ta-tshang lamas, numbering about 3000, the large 
temple standing in the centre. The lamas' cells occupy 
two sides of the court, the third side overlooking the 
junction of the rivers. Underneath these courts are a 
few store-rooms for the housing of grain, but the greater 
part is filled in with earth and rock. All the buildings are 
roofed with shingles made of split wood, and in this the 
great danger, that of fire, lies, as the shingles are easily set 
alight, but otherwise, in the days of bows and arrows, such 
forts were practically impregnable, and this one could, if 
necessary, house 6000 souls, or even more. I did not find 
it as clean as some of the other forts I visited, but that was 
probably owing to the large numbers who had been in it for 
the past six months ; and it must not be imagined that it 
was anything like as dirty as the accounts of previous 
travellers would lead one to anticipate. A great deal of 
damage was done by the earthquake of 1897, and many of 
the frescoes were seriously injured by having large strips 
of plaster shaken off, but the embroidered banners and 
brocade hangings were magnificent, and a feature of the 

i45 * 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

palace ; but Poonakha looks its best and is most picturesque 
from a distance. 

I gave a dinner party in the evening, at which the Tongsa 
and Jongpens and other officials were present, and seemed 
to enjoy themselves. They were particularly pleased with 
the magic lantern, and asked Major Rennick to give a 
second display in the fort. We did so a few evenings later 
to a vast crowd, I should think of at least a thousand 
people, who, from the remarks I at times overheard, took 
a keen and intelligent interest in the performance. In 
addition to slides made from my Tibetan pictures, I had 
several of India and Europe, and we wetted the screen 
thoroughly to enable the audience on both sides to 

WVVl 

My hospital assistant was in much request, and amongst 
other cases was called to attend the murderer captured at 
Hah about ten days before, who had suffered the usual 
punishment ; his right hand had been cut off and the 
tendons of his right leg severed. The process by which it 
is done is slow, and intended to be merciful, as the skin of 
the hand is turned back, and the wrist then separated at 
the joint by a small knife, not injuring the bones of the fore- 
arm, and also allowing some flesh to form a flap. Medical 
aid was not called in early enough, but the doctor was 
able by repeated dressings and applications to give the 
patient some relief, though he did not remain long enough 
to ensure a complete cure. . 

On a lovely day I started with Paul to visit the Ta-lo 

and Norbugang Monasteries, situated high up a mountain 

to the west. The track, if it deserves even that name, 

must be absolutely impassable in wet weather, as it runs 

entirely over red clay. As it was we had to walk a great 

portion of the way going there and the whole distance 

returning. As far as Norbugang, about two hours' march, 

the hillside was bare and uninteresting, but afterwards we 

passed through one or two pretty glades, and the pear and 

clematis blossom were beautiful. After three hours of 

146 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

hard climbing we reached the colony of Ta-lo. The situa- 
tion was charming. Small, well-built two-storied houses, 
with carved verandahs and painted fronts, were scattered, 
each in its little garden of flowers and trees, all over the 
hillside, with here and there a decorated choten to break 
anything like a monotony of houses. The large temple 
seemed to crown all by its size, with its background of 
cypress and Pinus excelsa. But we afterwards found, 
200 feet higher, the small, but beautifully decorated, 
private residence of the late Dharma Raja, which was an 
even more fitting crown. The head lama had sent his 
band, with oranges and other refreshments, for us some 
way down the hill, and when we emerged on the large 
platform on which the great temple is built he, with his 
chief monks, met us and conducted us to a Bhutanese 
embroidered tent, where he regaled us with several kinds 
of tea and liquor, none, I fear, very palatable to our 
European taste. Out of compliment to us, I suppose, the 
most potent spirit was served in a very curious, old-fashioned 
cut-glass decanter, with a flat octagonal stopper. After 
partaking of this kindly hospitality, the head lamas, one of 
whom was eighty-one years of age, insisted on showing us 
xound themselves. The chapels were scrupulously clean, 
and possessed some glass window-panes, of which they were 
evidently very proud. Nothing could exceed their civility ; 
they never hesitated to break seals or open cupboards if we 
manifested the least curiosity. 

The principal objects of interest were the miniature 
chotens or caskets in which rest the ashes of the first 
and the late Shabdung Rimpochi; these are made of 
silver, highly chased and jewelled, but the jewels not of any 
great value from our point of view — mostly turquoises and 
other semi-precious stones. The sacred implements of 
the late Dharma Raja were also on view, and were fine 
examples of the best metal-work. The pillars and canopies 
were beautifully carved, and then in turn overlaid with 
open hammered metal scrolls* The whole impressed me 

*47 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

with a very high opinion of Bhutanese art and workman- 
ship, which is both bold and intricate. It is a thousand 
pities that the present impoverishment of the country 
should give so little encouragement to the continuance of 
the old race of artificers. The head lama himself com- 
plained of the difficulty he was labouring under in com- 
pleting the memorial to the late Rimpochi. 

He then conducted us through the pine forest to the 
private residence of the late Dharma Raja, where from the 
top of the hill above there is a beautiful view. It is a 
perfect little dwelling, charmingly arranged, and full of 
fine painted frescoes and carved wooden pillars and canopies. 
We were shown into the room or chapel where the late 
Lama died and lay in state for some days. I noticed that 
my attendants and others who were allowed to enter kow- 
towed to the ground three times and to the altar, and three 
times to the dais on which the Lama had lain, and from this 
I gathered that a high compliment must have been paid 
me by being taken into the room. We went back to the 
tent, where we found a lunch provided by the ladies of the 
Ta-ka Penlop and Thimbu Jongpen, who were related to 
the late Delai Lama. They pressed us warmly to stay the 
night, and though I should have liked to do so I did not 
find it possible to accept the invitation. 

On my way back I visited the temples at Norbugang, 

and was very glad I did so, though the lower one looked 

so dilapidated and neglected from the outside that I almost 

resolved not to risk the steep and rickety ladders that do 

duty for staircases. Luckily I went in, and found the 

chapel was full of excellent specimens of both metal and 

embroidered appliqut work. I also found three kinds of 

incense in process of manufacture. It is a very simple 

process — merely a mixture of finely powdered charcoal, 

aromatic herbs, and rice-water made into a paste, then 

spread on the floor and cut into strips, rolled between 

the hands and formed into the sticks seen burning in 

the temples. The different- qualities depend on the ingre- 

148 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

dients, the more expensive having musk added as well as 
herbs. 

After a day of pouring rain the morning opened bril- 
liantly, and for the first time I saw the snows at the head 
of the Mo-chhu Valley, but it soon clouded over. The 
ladies who had entertained me at Ta-lo came to Poonakha 
and paid me a visit. After listening to the gramophone, 
with which they were much pleased, they went away, 
taking with them some silks for themselves and toys for 
their children. With them came the head of Ta-lo, 
the Tango Lama, a man about forty, and his younger 
brother, Nin-ser Talku, about eleven years old. In the 
evening the lama came back to dine with us, accompanied 
by the Thimbu Jongpen, but I do not know that on this 
occasion the dinner itself was an actual success, as the 
lama was not allowed to eat fowl or mutton, our principal 
stand-bys, and the Thimbu excused his want of appetite 
by saying he had already dined. 

I have always found the Bhutanese, as well as the 
Sikhim people, very appreciative of English food, and as 
they are Buddhists, with no question of caste, they consider 
it an honour to be asked to meals, and are most anxious to 
return any hospitality they receive, in marked contrast to 
the natives of India, who are defiled and outcasted by such 
intercourse with strangers. It is a great factor in helping 
forward friendly relations, and although, out of politeness, 
they never refuse to taste wine, nearly all the officials are 
extremely abstemious. At Poonakha the others jocularly 
remarked that the Zung Donyer, being so much older, wa9 
a seasoned vessel, and must drink for the rest of them, and 
often passed the half-emptied glasses on to him to finish, 
but at the same time they kept a strict watch to see that 
the strange spirits whose strength they were unaware of 
should not overcome him. 

After dinner I showed the Tango Lama a stereoscope, 
with views of Europe, and he so enjoyed it that I gave it to 
him when he called to take leave. He asked me if I had not 

i49 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

brought with me any toy animals, mentioning in particular 
an elephant, as he wanted them to place before a new 
shrine they were making at Tango. By a great piece of 
luck I had a toy elephant that waved its trunk and granted, 
also a donkey that gravely wagged its head, and a goat that 
on pressure emitted some weird sounds. He was greatly 
delighted with them, and bore them off in triumph, btft 
Whether to assist his worship or amuse his children I da 
Aot know. Next day, on leaving, he asked if I had not a 
model of a cow, but that, unfortunately, was not forth- 
coming. It was an excellent idea, bringing models of 
animals and simple mechanical toys amongst the presents, 
and they are most popular as gifts, a jumping rabbit being 
in great demand. It shows the simple nature of the people 
that they should be interested so easily. 

The Tango Lama, in wishing me good-bye, made him- 
self exceedingly pleasant, and expressed great regret that 
he could not persuade me to pay him a second visit and 
remain for the night. 

One lovely morning when the snows were quite clear, 
I rode up the hill to the north-east, and had a fine view up 
both valleys. About two and a half miles up the Mo-chhUr 
are the ruins of a small fort. It is called So-na-ga-sa, 
which I think must be the Zemri-gatchie of Turner, and 
contained formerly the great printing establishment of 
Bhutan and a fine garden-house belonging to the Deb. 
About eighty years ago it was totally destroyed by fire in 
one of the internecine wars, and has never been rebuilt, 
While the greater part of their printing is now carried on 
dt Poonakha. 

Not very far off is a sort of cave or arched recess in the 
bank formed by percolations of lime binding the pebbles, 
and nearly three hundred years ago it was occupied by a 
hermit from India known as Nagri-rinchen, whose principal 
claim to &aintship seems to have been his power of sailing 
on the Mo-chhu on a skin. He probably made a coracle 
to dross the liver in, and hence the legend arose. 

150 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

The time was now drawing near for us to move camp, 
but before we left my escort performed a Khattak dance 
before the Bhutanese officials and a large crowd of on- 
lookers, who again were absolutely well behaved. We also 
held an archery meeting for the soldiers in the fort. Their 
bows are made of bamboo of great strength, and the arrows 
of reed or bamboo with iron tips have four feathers, while 
those for game-shooting at close quarters have only two. I 
believe there are some extremely good marksmen in Bhutan, 
but the shooting on this occasion was distinctly poor. 

The day before our departure I went, accompanied by 
Mr. Paul, to take formal leave of the Deb Raja. We were 
ushered into his private audience-hall, where we found him 
seated on piles of cushions. He showed us special honour 
by rising to receive us and offering us wine. Our interview 
was not a prolonged one, but the Deb desired me to convey 
his thanks to His Excellency the Viceroy for having sent 
me on this occasion, and to express the hope that he would 
continue to favour his little State, whose sincere endeavour 
was to carry out the wishes of the British Government- 
He also hoped I would visit him at Tashi-cho-jong on my 
return from Tongsa. 

All the high officials and leading lamas came to my tent, 
bringing letters for the Viceroy and other high officials. 
The Thimbu Jongpen, acting as spokesman, made a pretty 
little speech, saying that as according to the Bhutanese 
custom a letter was always wrapped in a scarf, so they had 
selected the whitest of scarves, without a spot, to envelop 
their letter to his Excellency, and hoped that its purity 
would be considered an emblem of their own perfect purity 
of mind and intention. 

Next morning we started for Angdu-phodang, the- 
Wandipore of Turner, our first stage on the way to Tongsa. 
We had a charming ride along a road running on the left 
bank and close to the river, with a descent so gradual it 
was hardly felt. I found our camp laid out on a large flat 
to the north-east of the Jong, but as the sun was very 

*5* 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

powerful I decided to have our own tents pitched on the 
fir-tree-covered fiat near an outer round fort. There is a 
curious point about this fortress ; it is built in two distinct 
parts, connected by an enclosed and loopholed bridge many 
feet above the level of the hill. There are two local legends 
to account for this, one that the forts were built at different 
times, and the other that the villagers of old were so powerful 
that they refused to be prevented crossing from one river to 
the other by the closing of the gates, so the designers of the 
fort were obliged to leave a passage. The most probable 
story, however, is that the southern and older portion was 
built some 320 years ago by the second Shabdung Rimpochi, 
and that subsequently, when one Ache-pipa, a Jongpen, 
wished to enlarge the building, the villagers insisted that he 
should leave a passage, so his addition is an entirely separate 
fort. It is strange that Turner has not noticed the curious 
way in which " Wandipore " is built. 

The interior of the fort was much more picturesque than 
any we had hitherto seen, except, perhaps, Dug-gye-jong. 
My photographs illustrate the appearance of the Jong, with 
its picturesque corners, massive gateways, and the charm- 
ing effect of its passage-way, far better than any verbal 
description I might attempt. Including the northern build- 
ing, there are, as usual, three courts, but only one main 
entrance, and the damage caused by the great earthquake 
was still visible, though repairs were slowly progressing. 
The office of Jongpen was vacant at the time of our visit, 
for of late years there had been a heavy mortality amongst 
the holders of the office, and no one was anxious to be 
appointed, so we were conducted round by the Tongsa 
Donyer, formerly Donyer of Angdu-phodang, who had 
restored one of the chapels very well. 

About forty-five years ago one of the former Jongpens, 
who aftei wards became Deb Sangye, began cutting down 
the hill above the round fort, evidently with the intention 
of imitating the excellent flat in front of the main entrance 
which is well paved and contains a large choten, a masonry 

15* 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

tank, and seats, but as his ryots objected to the expense he 
contented himself with levelling a large space and planting 
the rows of fir-trees where our tents were pitched, and it 
certainly was a most charming spot. I went down to the 
bridge so well described and illustrated in Turner's narra- 
tive. It is wonderful how the mountain rivers of Bhutan, 
in direct contrast to those of neighbouring Sikhim, seem to 
keep in one channel. No alteration of the streams seems 
to have taken place since Turner's visit a hundred and 
twenty years ago, yet there are no sufficiently solid rocks 
nor guiding works to retain it. In Sikhim I could never 
foresee the vagaries of the different rivers, which would 
often suddenly leave the main channel in times of flood, 
and later, on subsidence, take an entirely new course. I 
tried to get a little historical information from the lamas 
who came to see me here, and who appeared to be a little 
more intelligent than those I had hitherto met, but it was 
no use. I could not even get a list of the Shabdung Rim- 
pochis or Deb Rajas for the last forty years. 

On leaving Angdu-phodang on a lovely morning we 
followed a bridle-path very slightly ascending up the 
right bank of the Tang-chhu for about six miles. On the 
opposite bank of the river the house belonging to the 
ex-Poonakha Jongpen was pointed out to me. He fled to 
Kalimpong, and afterwards died at Buxa. High up above 
the road was Chongdu Gompa, the summer residence of the 
Poonakha Jongpen, on a beautiful cultivated site. At 
Chapakha we crossed the Ba-chhu (5000 feet) by a good 
bridge, and a stiff climb of three miles brought us to Sam^ 
tengang, where our camp was pitched in the midst of pines, 
just above a wide grassy maidan, with a small lake to add 
to its picturesqueness. The early part of the day had been 
hot and not very pretty, but after passing Chapakha the 
new ridge gave us a succession of level grassy plains. 

It was while on the next day's march that I had the 
misfortune to lose my little Tibetan spaniel Nari, who had 
been my companion on many wanderings in Sikhim, in 

153- 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Khambajong, and in Lhasa. Just as we were commencing 
lunch by the Tang-chhu, which we had crossed by the 
Ratsowok bridge, the little chap gave a sigh, fell on his side, 
and expired, I suppose from heart disease, as not five 
minutes before he had been chasing a pariah dog. These 
Tibetan spaniels are delightf ul little dogs, and great pets of 
my wife's. The first one, Thibet, came into her possession 
at the end of the Sikhim Expedition, a puppy, which one 
of the telegraph signallers had bought from a Tibetan 
mule-driver, and ever since we have never been without 
some of them, though Tibbie, alas I died many years ago ; 
but his descendants have come to England, and I hope 
may have many years before them. They are dainty 
little creatures, with beautiful silky coats of black fluffy 
hair, and feathery tails curled on their backs, yet full of 
pluck, game enough to kiU rats, and the three who ac- 
companied me to Lhasa, little Nari among the number, 
used to run daily for miles over the great Tibetan plain, 
hunting for marmots, hares, anything that came in their 
way. 

It was a long day's march that day — quite fourteen 
miles — though the road was excellent and very interesting, 
as the scenery was constantly changing. Between Ba- 
chhu and Tang-chhu we seemed to be on an island hill 
standing alone, quite apart from the others. For some miles 
we gradually ascended to Tsha-za-la (9300 feet), and then 
equally gradually descended to a curious ravine, where, 
although invisible from higher up, our ridge was really 
joined on to the main ridge separating the two rivers. Our 
descent took us down to the Tang-chhu (6700 feet), and, 
crossing the Ratsowok bridge, a very pretty and good path 
took us up to Ridha, a fine open space with plenty of flat 
ground, the village situated on a knoll above us. There 
were fine views of a snowy range, whence the Tang-chhu 
took its rise many miles up a rich valley. It was one of 
our most beautiful marches, the rhododendrons in full 
bloom, and the oak, chestnuts, and walnuts in their new 

*54 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

foliage giving the most vivid and delicate colouring to 
the scene. In every direction we could see evidences of 
better cultivation and more prosperity than in any valley 
we had hitherto traversed. Unfortunately the inhabitants 
are reputed to be very quarrelsome, and constant litiga- 
tion, which means heavy bribes to the officials called in to 
decide their cases, has tended to keep the villagers more 
impoverished than they ought to be. 

All night there was a continuous thunderstorm to the 
west, and we suffered from a heavy rainfall, but apart 
from this our camp was very comfortable, as sites had been 
levelled for our tents and fine mats put down, sheds erected 
for our followers, and — the greatest comfort of all — cows had 
been brought to camp, so we had fresh and clean milk. 

The rain in the night had quite spoilt the surface of the 
road for the next day's march, and what would otherwise 
have been a pleasant, easy, and pretty ride through fine 
forests became a hard struggle for man and beast to keep 
their footing on the clayey soil. It took me one hour and 
forty minutes to get to the top of the Pele-la (11,100 feet). 
Then it began to rain, and a heavy fog coming on as well, 
we saw little and fared badly. It was very unlucky, as the 
country was a succession of wide, open glades, affording 
most excellent grazing stations. The road, too, under 
ordinary circumstances would have been good, and as it 
was showed signs of having been well aligned ; portions 
had been paved, and other soft places corduroyed with flat 
timber. Another hour and a half saw us at our camp on a 
flat just below the village of Rokubi (9400 feet), about forty 
feet above the Siche-chhu, where again excellent huts had 
been built, a great comfort in the rain and raw cold. 

Next day's march lay through beautiful country, but 
was marred by rain and mist, and we reached camp wearied 
out by an eighteen miles' march under such disagreeable 
conditions. A very good road led us gradually down from 
Rokubi through very pretty scenery to Chandenbi, passing 
on the way a side valley through which was a direct but 

. *55 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

bad path to Tongsa. At Chandenbi we had to halt to 
witness a dance on which the villagers pride themselves. 
In step it was very similar to the lama dances, though the 
dresses were not quite so gorgeous, but it was not very 
interesting. 

Some distance further on we came to a romantic patch 
of sward in a gorge of the ravine where the stream was 
joined by another mountain torrent, and on the tongue of 
land thus formed, covered with beautiful cedar pines, was 
a fine choten, built in imitation of the Swayambunath in 
Nepal. For miles we continued to traverse undulating 
ground about the same altitude, through oak, magnolia, 
and rhododendrons, until we emerged on more open country. 
Passing Tashiling, where there is a large rest-house, we 
continued for three more weary miles to Tshang-kha 
(7500 feet), where we found our camp pitched on a fine 
open grassy spot, with several hundreds of fine cattle grazing 
close by. The village was a long way above us, and out of 
sight. 

This was our last halting-place before arriving at Tongsa, 
and unluckily it rained all night, but by morning it was only 
misty. Our road took us up the left bank of the Madu- 
chhu, at a considerable height above its raging torrent, 
and shortly we found ourselves in very rocky country, as 
the gorge through which the stream flows narrows con- 
siderably, with tremendous precipices overhanging each 
side. We made slow progress down a road, or rather a 
series of steep zigzags mostly composed of stone steps, 
and this path continued to within a short distance of the 
bridge across the Madu-chhu, some 900 feet below the 
castle and fortress of Tongsa. The bridge was of the 
usual cantilever kind, flanked by defensive towers, the 
whole having been rebuilt within the last few years. 

A second steep zigzag, with many flights of stone steps, 
led us under the walls of the castle, and we entered through 
a door in an outlying bastion overhanging the cliff up which 
we had been toiling, and which effectually barred further 

156 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

progress. Passing through the outer gateway of the 
castle, we emerged on a large stone-flagged courtyard, 
across which I rode to a gateway on the east side, and, 
going through this, found myself outside again on a 
narrow path which ran under the walls of the castle and 
brought us to the back of the ridge, on which was built a 
fine square choten. From thence a new road about one- 
third of a mile in length had been made along the hillside 
to our camp, which was pitched on an exceedingly pretty 
knoll, with fine trees, an excellent water supply, and a pretty 
round tank. This, we learnt, was the pleasaunce of the 
castle monks. 

On our arrival at the ridge immediately below the 
castle we were met by a large party of retainers, leading 
gaily caparisoned ponies and mules for us. They were 
hardly necessary as we were already so well provided for, 
the Tongsa having placed most excellent mules at our 
service since leaving Poonakha, carefully selecting those we 
had tried and liked best ; but to send additional mounts 
was another proof of his hospitality. Amid a salute of 
guns, which reverberated grandly through the rocky gorge, 
we emerged from the bridge, where a procession of gaily 
dressed minstrel singers and dancers met us, and conducted 
us up the hilly zigzag singing verses of praise and welcome 
in a curious but not unpleasant monotone. There were 
seven women singers, peculiar to Bhutan, four clarion 
players, two drummers, and two gong-strikers in addition 
to the dancers. We were thus ceremoniously ushered into 
our camp, where Sir Ugyen met us with a very hearty 
welcome, and gave us tea and milk, carefully seeing him- 
self that we had all we required. He had with kind 
forethought sent four picked men to carry Paul, who 
suffered from an injured back, over the steepest parts of 
the journey. All Bhutanese officials are carried when the 
road is too steep and bad to ride a mule, but that is not 
often, as the mules will go almost anywhere. The orderly 
who carries the officer, seated pickaback in a strong cloth. 

*57 



J\ 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

firmly knotted on the man's forehead, is always a specially 
picked and wonderfully strong man. I tried this mode of 
progression once, but it failed to commend itself to me, 
and I think Paul was wise in refusing it on this occasion. 
The men were, however, most useful in lending a helping 
hand over the worst places. I felt obliged, much against 
my inclination, to ride up the ladder-like steps on our way 
to the castle, and they held me on, one on either side, so 
that I could not possibly fall off. I found Captain Pem- 
berton's description, written so many years before, exactly 
described the situation. " The rider, if a man of any 
rank, is supported by two runners, one on each side, who 
press firmly against his back while the pony is struggling 
against the difficulties of the ascent, and give thus such 
efficient support that no muscular exertion is necessary to 
retain his seat in the most trying ascents." 

The castle is so irregularly built that it is somewhat diffi- 
cult to describe. The building on the extreme south was 
erected in great haste by the first Shabdung Rimpochi to 
check an inroad from the east of Bhutan, and is a small, 
low range forming the sides of the present courtyard, and 
commanding beautiful views. On the north side of the 
court is a fine five-storied building, in which the Penlop 
resides when here. It was originally erected by Mi-gyur 
Namgyal, the first Deb, but it suffered badly in the earth- 
quake of 1897, and the two upper stories have been rebuilt 
and decorated by the present Penlop. Immediately behind 
this building is the main tower, surmounted by a gilded 
canopy, while attached to the west wall is a covered way 
leading to a second courtyard. A flight of steps leading 
out of the first court to the north brought me to a large 
rectangular yard, at the south end of which was a very 
pretty, though rather small, office for the Donyer, or steward, 
on the east another building of five stories, each with a fine 
verandah, while on the first story Were the very fine temples, 
lately repainted at Sir Ugyen's expense. There is a similar 
building on the west, On the north is the wall supporting 

158 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

the last courtyard, where there is a lofty chapel, in which 
Sir Ugyen was erecting a gigantic sitting image of the 
Coming Buddha, made of stucco, and at least twenty feet 
high, but not then painted. A passage to the east from the 
third courtyard led to the north of a battlemented terrace 
built up from the ravine below, and a gateway on the 
north-west opened out on the ridge and the choten that we 
had reached by the lower road on the day of our arrival. 

Below the eastern wall in the ravine is the building 
containing the prayer-wheels worked by water from which 
the palace took its original name of Chu-knor-rab-tsi. In 
it are two sets of wheels, each axle containing three manis, 
or cylinders, containing prayers, one above the other, the 
smallest at the top. They had evidently not been used 
for some time, so the next day, having nothing better to 
do, we assisted in putting them in order, by clearing out 
the waterways, which had been blocked with stones and 
rubbish, and hope it may be placed to our credit as a 
work of merit. 

Later I received visits from the Tongsa Zimpon, who is a 
son of Sir Ugyen's sister and the Bya-gha Jongpen, and is 
married to Sir Ugyen's daughter, and also from the castle 
monks, who struck me as a much better class of men than 
usual, pleasant in their manners, clean, and educated. 

Early one morning the sound of a very sweet-toned 
gong warned us that the spring ceremony of blessing the 
rice-fields was about to begin. A long, picturesque pro- 
cession of men and women, led by the Donyer, came winding 
down the hillside until the first rice-field, into which water 
had been running all the day before, was reached. The 
field below was still dry, and, turning in there, they all sat 
down and had some light refreshment. Suddenly the men 
sprang up, throwing off their outer garments ; this was the 
signal for the women to rush to the inundated field and to 
commence throwing clods of earth and splashes of muddy 
water on the men below as they tried to climb up. Then 
followed a wild and mad, though always good-humoured, 

*59 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

struggle between the men and women in the water, the men 
doing their utmost to take possession of the watery field, 
the women equally determined to keep them out. The 
Donyer, the leader of the men, suffered severely, though 
the courtesies of war were strictly observed, and if one of 
the assailants fell his opponents helped him up and gave 
him a breathing-space to recover before a fresh onset was 
made. But gradually the women drove the men slowly 
down the whole length of the field, the last stand being made 
by a very stout and powerful official, who, clinging to an 
overhanging rock, with his back to his foes, used his feet to 
scoop up such quantities of water and mud that no one was 
able to come near him. However, all the other men having 
been driven off, he and the Donyer were allowed at last to 
crawl up on the path, and the combat for that year was 
over. This was looked on as a very propitious ending, as 
the women's victory portends during the coming season 
fertility of the soil and increase amongst the flocks, so they 
dispersed to their various homes rejoicing. After witness- 
ing the curious ceremony we went to the castle, and were 
received by Sir Ugyen, who took us into the courtyard and 
showed us over the chapels, which he has lately renovated 
lavishly, but at the same time in very good taste. 

From the verandah we witnessed two lama dances, the 
Chogyal-Yab-Yum and the Shanak, but these have been so 
often described by travellers who have penetrated to Leh 
or have seen them elsewhere that I need only say that the 
dresses worn were a gift lately presented by Sir Ugyen to 
the lamas and were most gorgeous, and the dance was 
excellently performed. Unfortunately, before the second 
dance was over the rain came down in torrents, and I had 
the performance stopped to save the dresses from being 
ruined. 



160 



CHAPTER XV 

r 

MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN— continued 

From Tongsa-jong to Bya-gha, Lingzi, and Phari. Hospitality of 
the Tongsa and Tongsa's sister at Bya-gha. Old monasteries near 
Bya-gha. Ancient traditions. Carvers and carpenters at the 
Champa Lhakhang Monastery. Regret at leaving Bya-gha. Lama 
dances. Farewell to Sir Ugyen. Reception at Tashi-cho-jong. 
Last interview with the Deb Raja. Ta-tshang lamas. Cheri 
Monastery. Magnificent scenery. Incorrect maps. Exposure 
of the dead to lammergeiers. View of Tibet from the Lmg-shi 
Pass. Break-up of the Mission. 

It was now time to move on again, and, accompanied by 

the Tongsa, we left next morning, ascending by a very 

steep path to the main road running above the upper fort. 

Thence our progress was comparatively easy to the top of 

the Yo-to-la (11,500 feet), and an equally easy road brought 

us to our camp at Gya-tsa (8740 feet), a distance of twelve 

miles. It was a very pretty march. The country had 

again changed, and we emerged from the confinement of 

narrow gorges into a series of broad valleys, the upper ones 

providing grazing for hundreds of yaks, the lower ones 

rich with barley, buckwheat, and mustard fields. Dotted 

about we noticed for the first time the temporary huts 

erected to shelter the cultivators during their stay in high 

elevations at the times of ploughing, sowing, and reaping ; 

while lower down their substantial dwellings showed we 

were entering a better governed and more prosperous 

district than those we had left behind. In the village of 

Gya-tsa itself there was a fine substantial rest-house for 

161 L 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

travellers, but more especially for the Tongsa monks, who 
journey to Bya-gha for two months every year. On a low 
spur, to the north-west, a prettily built house surrounded 
by trees was pointed out to me as the home of a powerful 
family who had plotted to murder the Tongsa. The plot 
was discovered in time, but Sir Ugyen, although he had 
narrowly escaped the fate of his uncle, was merciful, and 
merely banished the ringleaders to a more distant valley. 
Nemesis overtook them, however, as their leaders com- 
menced a drunken quarrel with their neighbours and were 
killed, and their adherents dispersed. Dr. Griffiths says : 
" Fasia [as he calls Gya-tsa] is a good-sized village, com- 
paratively clean, and the houses better than most I have 
seen." He adds : " We were lodged in a sort of castle, 
consisting of a large building with a spacious flagged 
courtyard surrounded by rows of offices ; the part we 
occupied fronted the entrance, and its superior pretensions 
were attested by its having an upper story." 

My camp was prettily arranged on a maidan half a 
mile beyond the village of Fasia, or Gya-tsa, and there I 
was met by the Bya-gha Jongpen, who was married to the 
Penlop's sister. 

It was difficult to select a mount next morning, owing 

to the large number of waiting mules, as not only were the 

Tongsa' s animals there, but his sister and her son the 

Zimpon, whom I had seen at Tongsa, had also sent mules. 

Having made our selection, an easy and good road took us 

over a saddle on the Ki-ki-la (11,700 feet), and an equally 

easy descent brought us to an opening in the pine-forest, 

from whence we looked down on the broad vale of Bya-gha, 

through which the river Chamka-chhu flowed tranquilly. 

On the right bank was a large house and chapel, surrounded 

by trees just bursting into leaf, the home of Sir Ugyen's 

sister, and close by the site of the old house in which he 

was born. On a bluff on the central ridge, some 500 feet 

up, was the castle, entirely rebuilt, though on a smaller 

scale, after the total destruction of the old one in 1897 ; 

162 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

while, to crown all, where the ridge widened out into broad 
glades edged with pine-forest, was the equally new summer 
house of our host. He had terraced and turfed the slope 
above the castle, and nothing could have been more pic- 
turesque than our camping-ground. The view everywhere, 
both up and down the valley, was lovely. Dr. Griffiths 
writes : " The country was very beautiful, particularly in 
the higher elevations"; and at this season, to add to the 
beauty, primulas, in flower in myriads, clothed whole 
glades in delicate violet, while above rhododendrons flamed 
in gorgeous scarlet. He adds : " We saw scarcely any 
villages, and but very little cultivation." In direct con- 
tradiction to this, I noticed that whole hillsides were being 
cultivated up to at least 11,000 feet, and I was so struck 
by the difference that I made inquiries, and found that as 
recently as thirty years ago, when Sir Ugyen left the 
valley, a boy of twelve, there was nothing but jungle either 
here or on the slopes opposite. The land had only been 
brought into cultivation since the internecine quarrels had 
ceased some eighteen years ago. So much for stability of 
government ; but even now poverty reigns, and the valley 
is only prosperous in comparison with more unlucky 
ones. 

A short ride brought us into camp, where Sir Ugyen 
awaited us. As soon as we had settled down Sir Ugyen's 
sister, his two daughters, and a daughter of the Thimbu 
Jongpen came to add their welcome. The younger ones 
were rather pretty, unaffected and merry girls, while the 
sister, although a grandmother, was full of good-nature 
and showed traces of good looks. They all wore the pretty 
and distinctive dress, which consists of a long piece of 
Bhutanese cloth, woven in coloured stripes, draped round 
the figure, and fastened on the shoulders and confined at 
the waist by a band of brighter Bhutanese cloth. They 
also wore many necklaces of large rough beads of coral, 
turquoise, and amber, and occasionally gold filigree beads 

and many bangles of gold and silver. Their hair was left 

163 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

unornamented, and either cut short or worn in two long 
plaits. The elder daughter brought her little son, to whom 
I gave a bottle of sweets, which pleased him just as much as 
it would a little Western boy, and his mother told me later 
that he ever after loved me for my gift. 

This visit to Bya-gha, which lasted about ten or twelve 
days, was the most delightful part of our expedition, as 
we were received as honoured guests by Sir Ugyen in his 
private capacity ; and, interesting and impressive as the 
ceremonial had been at Poonakha, these few days at 
Bya-gha gave us a much deeper insight into the life and 
customs of the Bhutanese, as our intercourse with our host 
was quite free and untrammelled. Very soon after our 
arrival Sir Ugyen took me all over his house. In the 
centre of an oblong courtyard rose a lofty square tower of 
many stories, the two highest, of ornamental timberwork, 
slightly projecting over the main walls, beautifully painted in 
different colours. On the south-east and north sides of the 
courtyard were two-storied buildings of the usual type. 
In the south-east corner were the Tongsa's quarters, which 
did not differ in any material respect from the reception 
rooms we had seen elsewhere ; on the north-east were his 
eldest daughter's apartments ; while between them, on the 
east front, occupying the whole width of the building, was 
a long, well-ventilated factory, where many girls were 
busy weaving silk and cotton fabrics, chiefly the former. 
The silk was in the main tussar, obtained from Assam 
and the northern hills. It was altogether a very charming 
and homelike dwelling, and evidently managed by an 
excellent and capable housewife in his eldest daughter, 
who lives with him and superintends his household. 

On one occasion we breakfasted with him, and were 

offered several small dishes cooked in Chinese fashion in 

small cups, with the accompaniment of boiled rice, while in 

the centre of the table was a large dish of various kinds 

of meat. After breakfast I had to go and witness an 

archery contest. The distance between the butts was at 

164 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

least 150 yards, and the shooting was much better 
than what we saw at Poonakha and what Dr. Griffiths 
writes of. There were two teams, captained respectively 
by Ugyen Kazi and the Tongsa Donyer, and the former 
won. 

Sir Ugyen took a good deal of trouble to find some 
books for me, from which I have gathered a fuller account 
of early Bhutanese history than we have had hitherto. 
His own story is a somewhat pathetic one. As a young 
man he married an exceedingly lovely girl, to whom he 
was devotedly attached, but after the birth of their second 
daughter she died very suddenly from some unknown 
cause. The shock was a terrible one to Sir Ugyen. He 
became seriously ill, and on his recovery withdrew from 
all gaiety, and found solace in reading and studying the 
history and legends of his country. As some of his followers 
described him, he was more than a lama. Sir Ugyen is the 
only Bhutanese I have come across who takes a real and 
intelligent interest in general subjects, both foreign and 
domestic, and he neither drinks nor indulges in other vices. 
He made a large collection of books, but unfortunately 
many of them were destroyed when the Dechen-phodang, 
near Tashi-cho-jong, was burnt down, while the earthquake 
of 1897, which destroyed all the principal buildings in 
Bhutan, ruined other archives. Paro alone escaped serious 
injury, but a few years later was burnt to the ground, and 
unfortunately the Penlop, who was a low-minded and 
ignorant man, could give no account of what it had con- 
tained that was of any value. I held many long private 
conversations with the Tongsa, and was deeply impressed 
by his sense of responsibility and genuine desire to 
improve the condition of his country and countrymen. I 
gave him what advice I could, and made an attempt to 
lay the foundation of a close friendship between him and 
the British Government, and only wish it had been possible 
to remain in my appointment long enough to see the results 
of my endeavours, but the time for my retirement came 

i*5 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

before any of the schemes we discussed had been even 
commenced. 

It is much to be deplored that the proposals with 
respect to Bhutan made to the Government of India by Mr. 
Paul on the conclusion of the Sikhim Expedition in 1890 
were not approved of. His suggestion that I should hold 
the appointment of Political Officer to Bhutan as well as 
Sikhim was a sound one, and had these schemes of improve- 
ment been discussed then, by this time they would have 
been in working order, to the great advantage of Bhutan. 
The loss during the last twenty years from the wholesale 
cutting of their forests along their boundary in the Duars 
alone amounts to many lacs. 

The Tongsa's sister was very anxious to entertain us in 
her own house, so we moved some of our camp near her 
dwelling on the banks of the river, where a pretty flat 
dotted with willows had been enclosed for us. To orna- 
ment our camping-ground, they had temporarily planted it 
with evergreen trees hung with various blossoms— one of 
the little things which showed how anxious they were to 
do all in their power to welcome us. Sir Ugyen, his sister, 
and two of her daughters — the third being away in a 
neighbouring monastery — welcomed us most cordially. 

In the evening we inspected a new Jong in the process 
of being rebuilt to take the place of one which was entirely 
destroyed in the earthquake. The new one is of the usual 
type, but much smaller, and Sir Ugyen explained he had 
carefully rebuilt the foundations for the main tower, which 
consequently showed no cracks or signs of settlement, 
unlike that of Tashi-cho-jong, which had been carelessly 
rebuilt on the old foundations, with disastrous results + 
We also rode up the valley to inspect the very old Champa 
Lhakhang Monastery, which is being partly rebuilt by the 
Bya-gha Jongpen. It is a small monastery, and only 
interesting on account of its age. 

Further up the valley, under a rocky bluff, we came to 
a double gompa. The larger one was built by Sir Ugyen 

s66 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

some years ago, and contains a very large image of Guru 
Rimpochi, and is called Guru Lhakhang. Close alongside 
is the smaller one, called Kuje Lhakhang, built on the rock 
itself, which forms the back wall. On the rock inside the 
temple is the impression of Guru Rimpochi's back as he 
sat leaning against it, and also of his " bumpu," or holy 
water bottle, which he happened to be holding up. Out- 
side on the rock is a very fine Tsenden, or weeping cypress, 
which the legend relates was the Guru's staff, which he had 
stuck in the earth, when it immediately took root and 
grows to this day. 

On the way back we were shown the site of the Sindhu 
Raja's house, now in ruins, situated on the edge of a high 
bluff overhanging the river. It appears to have been a 
square of sixty or seventy feet, and the wall apartments 
could not have been very wide, as there seems to have 
been an open space in the centre, unless this again was 
covered in by a floor above, in which case the building 
would have been an exact counterpart of the central towers 
we now find in every Jong. Surrounding the sides, on 
the level, was a well-defined ditch, with a continuation on 
the outer side leading to the river, and also a well-defined 
path. Tradition states there was also a gate at the opposite 
corner to the south. The Penlop has lent me a book of old 
stories in which there is a glowing description of the old 
house. On a low hill across the plain the spot was pointed 
out where the Raja's son was killed fighting against the 
Naguchi Raja, who lived in the Duars, below Wandipore, 
and also seems to have reigned in or near the plains. The 
Guru Rimpochi had heard of the constant wars between 
the two chiefs, and had come expressly to bring about 
peace. On his arrival he found the Sindhu Raja prostrate 
with grief at the loss of his son, and comforting him, and 
nursing him back to health, he persuaded him to come to 
terms with his rival. Before his departure, however, he 
prophesied that in the near future his kingdom would 
vanish, and not a stone of his palace would remain standing, 

167 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

a prophecy which has been fulfilled. The Guru is said to 
have married, before his departure, a daughter of the Raja 
named Memo-Tashi Kyeden. 

When we got back to the new house the Tongsa's 
sister gave us an excellent lunch, but she would not sit 
down with us, contenting herself with a pretty speech, in 
which she said that, according to Bhutanese custom, some 
great personage would have been invited to the house- 
warming, but she was exceptionally fortunate and considered 
it a most auspicious omen that her brother's two oldest 
friends, Mr. Paul and myself, should have accompanied 
him when he paid his first visit to her new house. Later 
on she, with her daughters and servants, dressed in old- 
fashioned Bhutanese dress, in order to let me take a few 
photographs, and in the evening, after dining with us, the 
Jongpen and the eldest daughter gave us some Bhutanese 
music, the former on the damnyan and the latter on the 
pyang. The younger son and the youngest daughter live 
at the new Chumik Gompa, where I rode to pay them a visit. 
The boy was the Avatar of the Thaling Monastery, and 
they were bright, pleasant young folk. The boy's teacher 
and guardian, a Lopen of Mindoling, near Samye, was one of 
the most refined-looking lamas from Tibet that I have met. 
Next day I rode again to the Champa Lhakhang Monastery, 
to see the carpenters and carvers at work. The former 
use a square and a double-manned plane. Most of the 
carving tools are without handles. No iron is used, but all 
the pieces of timber are fitted together in the yard, and the 
necessary dowels made before they are carried away to the 
building. 

Before leaving I gave a magic-lantern entertainment, 
which was highly appreciated, and later, at the sister's 
special request, my escort came from Bya-gha and gave 
a military display, to their great enjoyment. We then 
wished our kind hosts good-bye with sincere regret, for we 
had thoroughly enjoyed the natural, open-hearted hospi- 
tality with which all at Wong-du-choling had entertained 

168 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

us, and in sultry weather we rode back to Bya-gha, where 
we again encamped preparatory to turning our faces home- 
wards. 

The Tongsa was to see me in the morning to arrange 
about sending off presents to His Excellency the Viceroy and 
other high officials, but sent word that he was not very well. 
He came later on in the day, looking a little out of sorts, 
and laughed the matter off by saying he had eaten too 
many green chillies, the first of the season. 

With the approach of our departure Sir Ugyen, his 
sister, daughters, and two of his nieces, came to take a 
formal farewell, and brought with them many little parting 
gifts, and in the afternoon, at their special request, my 
escort gave another military display, ending with an attack 
and capture of an outlying village, which greatly amused 
the large crowd assembled to look on. After it was over 
the Tongsa's sister and daughters insisted on my going to 
the fort to tea with them before they returned to Andu* 
choling that evening. As my stock of presents was running 
short, I asked them to accept some notes, which, being in 
halves, like so many Indian ones, I had neatly rolled up in 
a leather bag. These I heard later the ladies had dis- 
tributed promiscuously among themselves, when luckily 
Ugyen Kazi came on the scene and tried to explain that 
half-notes were worthless. It was difficult to make them 
understand, and the knotty point was solved by the ladies 
saying to the Kazi, " Oh, brother ! take them yourself and 
bring us silks from Calcutta." I found Sir Ugyen's sight 
was beginning to fail a little, and as my spectacles exactly 
suited him I was able to give him a spare pair. 

With the morning the actual hour of our departure 
arrived, and we struck camp and commenced our real 
journey back. Sir Ugyen and his son-in-law left very 
early, intending to make one march to Tongsa, but we 
were accompanied by the other members of his family as 
far as the main ridge, where they all presented us with 
starves and wished us good luck, saying how really sorry 

169 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

they were to bid us good-bye. I replied in similar terms, 
and could honestly say that all my party fully reciprocated 
their feelings of regret, for one and all had done their best, 
and had succeeded, in making our stay at Bya-gha and 
Andu-choling a very pleasant one. 

We had a delightful ride and walk to our old camp 
at Gya-tsa, which is evidently a much colder place than 
Bya-gha ; there the wheat was in full ear, here it was only a 
foot high. There was much more cultivation on the slopes 
with a north-eastern aspect than on those with a southern 
one. This is probably due to the former getting the 
morning sun, and also to being sheltered from the southerly 
winds that rage up the valleys. Quail abound in all the 
cornfields, and apparently breed in these valleys. 

A fine morning turned into heavy mist as we reached 
the top of the Yo-to-la, and utterly spoilt our view of the 
Gya-tsa Valley and the hills opposite Tongsa. The yellow 
giant Sikhim primula was in magnificent bloom, some 
specimens having as many as six tiers of flowers. 

On nearing the castle we were met by a bevy of song- 
stresses, a custom peculiar to the place, as this is the only 
province of Bhutan in which women take part in cere- 
monial processions, though, according to Pemberton, the 
custom was much more widespread in his time. Sir 
Ugyen met us in camp with the information that the 
castle lamas were all ready and eager to finish the dances 
that on our previous visit had been stopped by rain, so 
after a hasty lunch I went on to the castle. The dance 
went off very well, with the dancers in gorgeous dresses of 
every imaginable colour, to the accompaniment of weird 
tomtoms and huge trumpets, flutes, and cymbals, which 
produce a strange and unusual but rather fascinating 
music of their own. But the most interesting objects to 
me were the masks, which, instead of being carved out of 
wood, as in Sikhim, were moulded from a papier-mdchJ of 
cloth and clay; and very well moulded they were, the 
heads of the various animals quite recognisable, and many 

170 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

with great character. The Tongsa was good enough, 
about this time, on learning I had become a grandfather, 
to make me a pretty speech, in which he hoped that as I 
had been a true and good friend to him and to Bhutan, my 
grandson would in his turn follow in my footsteps and be 
as good a friend to his grandson and to Bhutan, and there- 
upon the little chap was brought by his mother to offer his 
best wishes to his contemporary. 

We now came in for a spell of terribly wet weather, 
which lasted for the next few days. I fancy Tongsa is a 
very wet place, and naturally Sir Ugyen's family forsake 
it after the cold weather. In pouring rain we marched on 
to Tshang-kha, and a terrible march it was ; the stone steps 
seemed interminable, and to lead in every direction but that 
which took us to our camp. Sir Ugyen had started before 
us, and was ready waiting when we eventually arrived with 
welcome refreshment. He had determined to see us as far 
as the boundary of his province at Pele-la, and agreed to be 
our guest on the way . He is always very keen to find outlets 
for his ryots' superfluous food-stuffs, and on finding such 
things as Paysandu tongues and chutneys amongst our stores 
made many inquiries as to the best methods of preserving 
provisions. We had many long talks on Bhutanese affairs 
and new methods of government, about which he was always 
glad to converse and ready to ask for suggestions and im- 
provements. After very heavy rain all night, it cleared 
about the time we started, so we had a very interesting 9 
though rather slippery, ride to Chendenbi (7380 feet), about 
four miles nearer than Rokuhi, where we halted before, and 
a better distribution, as the former march from Tshang-kha 
to Rokuhi was too long. We rode through typical sub- 
tropical forests, until, suddenly rounding a spur, we emerged 
into open country and fir-trees. Opposite our camp at 
Chendenbi, on the other side of the river, there were cliffs 
of pure white crystalline limestone, which I should think 
was equal to the finest marble. 

After dinner that evening Sir Ugyen made a speech, in 

171 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

which he expressed his deep regret that on the morrow we 
should have to part. He hoped sincerely he should meet 
Major Rennick and myself again, but feared that Mr. Paul 
would not be tempted out from England any more. In 
wishing him good-bye he trusted that in his far-distant 
home he would not forget him or Bhutan or the good seed 
he had planted and nourished for the last twenty years. 

We reached the top of the Pele-la along a very pretty 
road, where a small yellow rose, clematis, wild pear, and 
rhododendrons of many colours were in wild profusion, 
while the meadows were clothed with blue and white 
anemones, yellow pansies, and countless primulas. 

At the top of the pass we had lunch and were photo- 
graphed, and then had ; reluctantly to part with our friend 
and kind host and his son-in-law. My escort, who had a 
genuine respect for Sir Ugyen, presented arms and gave him 
three cheers before turning down the hill. We exchanged 
scarves and good wishes, and then also followed the path 
down the hill. Sir Ugyen waved us a last salute as we 
turned the corner and went out of sight. I think he really 
felt our departure as much as I can honestly say I did, and 
I cannot help repeating myself and saying again that no 
host could have been more courteous, more hospitable, and 
more thoughtful of his guests than Sir Ugyen Wang-chuk, 
the Tongsa Penlop of Bhutan, was to us, the Mission sent 
by the Government of India to present him with the Insignia 
of a Knight Commander of the Indian Empire. 

The rest of the march to our camping-place, Ridha, was 
very slippery, but the rain kept off till most of our tents 
were pitched, and next day we had a fair morning and 
lovely day, with only one heavy shower. It was a long 
march to Samtengang, but very beautiful, and each day 
brought its new flowers, a large white rose, a white and a 
mauve iris, both new to me ; and the giant lily (Lilium 
gigantium) appeared for the first time. It was a tiresome 
march on to Angdu-phodang, over a road too narrow to 
ride, so walking was compulsory, and in the afternoon a 

172 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

hurricane arose and raged till nearly ten at night, when 
it began to drizzle. 

I now determined to try a new route up the right bank of 
the Tsang-chhu or Mo-chhu-Pochu, andTeo-pa-raong-chhu. 
The river was in full flood, and, filling its bed from bank to 
bank, looked very fine. I did well in choosing this route, 
as the road was an excellent one, with a steady ascent from 
start to finish, and we rode the whole way to Lung-me-tsawe. 
There were lovely flowers in bloom everywhere, and on the 
way we passed the sites where formerly two iron suspension 
bridges had been ; the remains of the chains were lying 
below the Jong. Two fords were also pointed out. I 
found the ascent of the Dokyong-la much less difficult than 
it appeared on our descent earlier in the journey, and 
I had some lovely views until we ran into mist on the top. 
Luckily I had one glimpse of Kulu-Kangri, a very fine 
peak of 24,740 feet. On the top of the pass I saw the first 
yew-trees I had come across in Bhutan. We found a 
deputation from the Thimbu Jongpen waiting for us, with 
mules to ride, and chang, tea, and murwa as refreshments, 
not only for ourselves, but for all our following. The 
descent to Simtoka was very easy, and the mist soon 
cleared off. 

Just across the bridge below Simtoka the band and 
dancers belonging to the Thimbu received us, and played 
us into our camp, nearly three miles off, at Tashi-cho-jong, 
on the wide maidan about a mile from the palace. With 
our ridden mules and led mules in their gay trappings, 
monks on ponies, orderlies in bright uniforms, bands of 
musicians and dancers, and all the rest of our varied and 
motley following, we made a goodly procession. It was 
hot, and I wished I could have headed the procession after 
the regal manner of King David, with an umbrella to shelter 
me ; and, to my great relief, when we reached the chorten 
above the aqueduct we found a large umbrella had been 
unfurled, and we r rested awhile under it before making 
our final entry. The Thimbu offered us refreshments, and 

i73 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

made the most polite inquiries after our healths, and hoped 
we had not had an excessively tiresome journey. I assured 
him that his arrangements had been so excellent we had 
not known what difficulties were, and to this he replied 
the Bhutanese did not easily make friends, but when they 
did no trouble was too great to make their guests feel 
comfortable and thoroughly at home. 

We found our camp pitched on the left bank of the 
Thim-chhu, where a new wooden house had been erected, 
with a large room with windows away from the prevailing 
winds. Here the Thimbu was joined by the Zung Donyer 
and the Deb Zimpon. The table was decorated with fruit 
and some of the finest peonies I have ever seen, a cauldron 
of murwa was in the centre, and as soon as we were all 
seated the Thimbu's chaplain intoned grace, in which the 
others joined ; the murwa was then solemnly blessed, a 
little in a ladle was poured over my hands, and the sacred 
flag brought in for me to touch. Next a number of tea- 
pots were brought in, three at a time, each of the trio 
containing a different tea. These were sent by the various 
officials as their greeting, and when the donor's name had 
been announced the tea was taken away to regale our 
followers. We spent some little time in conversation with 
our hosts before going to our tents at the conclusion of this 
quaint ceremony of welcome. 

The following day we went early to the palace to bid 
the Deb Raja good-bye. His reception room was very 
large and airy, and the Deb himself was most cordial, and 
came forward to receive us, and stood talking till our own 
chairs were brought in. In the course of conversation the 
Deb again expressed his sincere gratitude to the Viceroy for 
having sent such friends to see him, and to us for coming, 
and trusted that relations between his little country and 
the Sirkar would always be intimate and friendly, as pure 
as a white scarf with no blot to mar its whiteness, as in- 
dissoluble as water and milk when intermixed, and that on 
his part no effort should be wanting to secure so happy a 

i74 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

result, and should any one of us at any time return he 
could assure him of a hearty welcome. He asked me to send 
him a set of photographs of Lhasa and of Bhutan, and 
inquired if I had any of Buddh-Gaya, as he was anxious to 
possess some. He sat for his own photograph, and when 
refreshments had been served we were dismissed with the 
scarf of blessing, which he placed on our arms. 

From there we adjourned to the Thimbu's room, where 
he had a Bhutanese breakfast waiting for us, consisting 
principally of bowls of rice, omelettes, dishes of sausages, 
and pork in various forms. He too expressed his pleasure 
at our visit to his country, and wished our stay could be 
prolonged, and the least he could do was to accompany us as 
far as Hram, and in the meantime he asked us to gratify 
him by selecting anything in his hall that took our fancy. 

At the conclusion of this civil speech we went to the 
separate court of the Ta-tshang lamas, where the Dorji- 
Lopon, or abbot, received us very cordially, and took us 
into the big hall I described on my journey up. Here we 
found a kind of pandemonium going on, but on closer 
examination discovered there were a number of dancing 
classes in progress, from the smallest acolytes shouting out 
the numbers of the little steps and arm-wavings they were 
being taught, to a grave collection of learned monks per- 
forming unmasked the gyrations that we had witnessed at 
Tongsa. When we came out we learnt that it was entirely 
against rules for any layman to intrude upon the monks 
when thus practising, and I apologised to the abbot for 
breaking rules through my ignorance, but he smilingly 
replied that " no rules applied to us, as he hoped we would 
consider ourselves as one with them." When giving us 
scarves before leaving the gompa, the abbot, who was 
joined by the Lopens, trusted that now that we had found 
our way to their abode and become their friends we would 
make a point of some day returning, but that whatever 
fate might be in store for us and them, at least our pre- 
sent firm friendship might remain for ever unbroken and 

i75 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

enduring. It was very pleasant to find the same cordial 
wishes and expressions of goodwill repeated by every one 
in turn, and to be made to feel so thoroughly that our 
visit was looked on in the light of a compliment to their 
country, and that everything was thrown open to us, instead 
of finding obstacles and difficulties in our way. 

The history of the building of Poonakha I heard from 
the Thimbu Jongpen, who, when a boy, heard it from a very 
old woman. According to him, the old palace and fort 
stood on the ridge where the Dechen-phodang stands. The 
greater part of it having been burnt down, the Deb Zimpon, 
who had usurped all the power, determined to rebuild it 
on its present site, which was much more convenient for 
the supply of water. The valleys were thickly populated 
in those days, and the Deb collected so many people that 
the materials were passed from hand to hand the whole 
way from Dechen-phodang to Tashi-cho-jong, a distance of 
quite a mile. It is needless to say the labour was forced, 
and although the palace was said to have been completed 
in one year the Deb became very unpopular. 

The Tibetans seem to have been very fond of raiding 
Bhutan, as the fort of Simtoka, close by, built by the first 
Shabdung, was soon after captured and burnt by them. 
In rebuilding it the architect utilised one of the original 
wood pillars which had only been singed as a memorial of 
the saint. It stands there to this day, its damaged surface 
covered with elaborate carving. 

We broke up camp early in the morning, and for three 
or four miles our path lay through open ground similar in 
character to that below Tashi-cho-jong. We saw several 
monasteries, but only entered one, Pangri-sampi-gnatsa, 
which was beautifully situated in the midst of the valley, 
but contained nothing of much interest. Turning due 
north over a cliff, we came to an entirely different scene, 
the valley narrowing considerably, and being beautifully 
wooded and picturesque to a degree. Throughout the 
march ruined houses were in a majority, most evidently 

176 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

deserted years ago, as big trees had grown up in and around 
them, and this state of things was accounted for by the 
following story. The monastery of Dechenphuk, founded 
by one of the pioneers of Buddhism, lies in a beautiful 
side valley about three miles from Tashi-cho-jong. The 
monks belonging to the monastery refused to recognise the 
first Shabdung when he came to the valley, and con- 
sequently there was strife between them. The ryots 
naturally sided with their old masters, the monks of Dechen- 
phuk, but in the end the Shabdung won the day, and by 
his magic art summoned a terrible demon to his aid, and 
the ryots died off, and no one dared to take their place. 
Such was the local legend, and whatever the truth of 
the story may be, disease or oppression or other calamity 
has played havoc with the valley. Just before arriving 
at our destination we saw the monastery of Tango perched 
up a side valley to our right, the home of the Tango 
Lama, who received us so hospitably on our journey in. 
The camp was on a small flat, close to the river and 
beneath a cliff, on which is perched the Cheri Monastery, 
dating back to the first Dharma Raja. After lunch, in 
time for which the Thimbu arrived, Paul and myself 
went up to the gompa ; but it is terribly difficult of access. 
To get from the lower to the higher temple it is necessary 
to climb very narrow rough stone steps overhanging a sheer 
precipice, over a projecting crag, and down other steps to 
the platform of the temple, which is literally clinging to 
the cliff. It is in bad repair, and did not repay me for the 
trouble of getting there, as it contained nothing of interest. 
It rained most of the afternoon, and to the damp and 
unhealthiness of this camping-ground and the very long 
and wet march through drizzling rain the following day I 
attributed the fever with which most of my followers went 
down. An hour and a half's climbing up a steep and bad 
path brought us to a little glade called Aitok-keng, and 
we continued to climb till we came to an open side valley 
in which was situated the small fort of Barshong, close to 

177 u 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

which was our camping-ground. I had an attack of fever 
also by this time, and was glad to go dinnerless to bed as 
soon as the baggage came up. On the march that day 
both sides of the valley were thickly wooded, only the 
more precipitous rocks being bare. Geographically we 
had now left the middle third of Bhutan, and had entered 
the narrow gorge which leads upwards to the plains of 
Tibet. From the fort our path, which throughout proved 
to be quite good, led gently down to the bed of the stream, 
the Tchin-chhu, which, with a few occasional ups and downs, 
we hardly left. The thick vegetation of the previous day 
soon ceased, and we entered a gorge almost filled by the 
Tchin-chhu, and bordered by stupendous cliffs of most 
weird shapes, amongst which El Capitano of the Yosemite 
Valley would be dwarfed by the lowest of these monsters. 
These cliffs appeared to be formed by horizontal strata of 
sedimentary rocks, consisting of layers of limestone, sand- 
stone, slate or shale of a dark blue colour, and quartzites. 
The towering rocks were cleft in numberless places from 
top to bottom, leaving narrow slits or fissures which I was 
told were often more than a mile long. One which I 
photographed extends for more than two miles before it 
opens out in a beautiful basin and forms one of the 
Thimbu's best grazing-stations. 

Through scenery like this we rode for ten miles, crossing 
the Tchin-chhu no less than six times. At length we left 
the main stream, turned to the right into an open valley 
devoid of trees but of great width, and, ascending gently for 
another two miles, reached our camp at Byaradingka, a 
wide maidan of the highland character so often met 
with. On the slopes to the west we saw several flocks of 
burhel, but failed to bag any. The hills here consist of 
dark shales, which run right up to the east foot of Chomo- 
lhari, and are very similar to those met with at Khamba- 
jong ; while the same curious concretions are also to be found 
here. The only gneiss I saw was that brought down by 

the glaciers running from Chomolhari. 

178 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

On a misty morning we rode quietly up the valley, 
and after an hour's gradual ascent reached the Yakle-la 
(16,800 feet). The maps, I found, were completely wrong, 
as the pass is situated on the water-parting which separates 
the Thim-chhu from the Mo-chhu, the eastern slopes of 
Chomolhari thus draining into the Poonakha river. On 
the left of our path there lay a pretty dark green tarn, fed 
from a small snow-slope to the west of the pass, and from 
thence a somewhat steep descent brought us to the main 
stream of the Pim-nak-me-chhu, which joins the Mo-chhu 
near Ghassa. Following the valley for a few miles, we soon 
came in sight of lingzi-jong on a hill apparently blocking 
the valley, but as we continued our march we discovered 
another ridge between us and Lingzi, round which we had 
to ride, ascending and descending for some way through 
lovely rhododendron scrub, of which at least eight diffe- 
rent varieties were in flower. Crossing the stream, which 
separates the two ridges, and which rises in some glaciers 
coming down from the east of Chomolhari, we again ascended 
the shoulder of the Lingzi spur, and, leaving the ruins of the 
fort on the top, found an excellent camping-ground close to 
a small stream. It was, on the whole, an easy march, as 
there was only a small quantity of snow on the north side 
of the pass. We saw several flocks of burhel, but could 
not get a shot, although my shikari was more successful and 
bagged two females, which were a useful addition to the sup- 
plies of my followers. We had some particularly fine views 
of the Chomolhari glaciers which feed the lower streams 
near Lingzi. We halted at Lingzi for a couple of days, and 
made an excursion down the valley to try and locate 
Ghassa, but did not succeed, as it was cloudy and drizzly 
weather and we could see no distance. 

We also visited the ruins of Lingzi-jong, which must 
have once been an imposing and very strong citadel, much 
larger than I should have thought necessary, but the 
earthquake of 1897 has reduced it to a picturesque mass of 
ruined masonry. The Thimbu, becoming communicative, 

179 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

told me that the Tibetans were formerly inclined to be 
very aggressive, and as this was in reality a very vulnerable 
spot the Bhutanese had been obliged to maintain a large 
garrison both here and at Ghassa. When we reached 
Pheu-la he would, he said, prove his words by pointing 
out the ruins of a strong fort the Tibetans had built on 
the Bhutanese side of the pass during the former troubles 
with Tibet. " But now," he added, " since we Bhutanese 
have openly thrown in our lot with the British, who have 
publicly recognised the services rendered against the 
Tibetans by the honour conferred on the Tongsa as repre- 
sentative of Bhutan, I shall rebuild the fort on a much 
smaller scale, just sufficiently strong to keep out cattle- 
lifters and suchlike. We now rely entirely on the good 
faith of the British Government to protect us against 
Tibet, should that nation try to revenge themselves on 
us." This sentiment is very flattering to us, and I only 
hope it may never prove unfounded. He also made a very 
significant remark about the Tibetan indemnity. It was 
that the Tibetan officials had not the least objection to 
promising an indemnity, as if called upon to pay by our 
Government they would realise more than was necessary 
from the poor ryots, and so line their own pockets while 
quibbling with us about paying in full, and thus perhaps 
make a little over the transaction. In this camp we had 
some matches at stone quoit-pitching, and great sport over 
games with spear, or rather pointed stick quoits, at both 
of which the Bhutanese proved themselves adepts. 

We made a leisurely start for our short march to Gang- 
yul (13,600 feet), a little village in a narrow, flat valley 
close under the eastern glaciers of Chomolhari. While our 
camp was being got ready I rode two or three miles up the 
valley in the hope of seeing a remarkable cave which we 
were given to understand was in the locality. We found 
several indentations, before two of which were a gompaand 
a chorten, but nothing remarkable. We soon discovered, 

however, that our guide was much more anxious to show 

180 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

us a large flat rock of slate situated between two branches 
of the Tsango-chhu, at the head of which was a wooden axle, 
forming a rack. It was carefully explained to us that 
this was a holy spot on which human corpses, the head 
and shoulders tied to the axle to keep the body in place, 
were exposed, to be eaten by lammergeiers and other 
ravenous birds and beasts of prey. In perfectly solemn 
and earnest good faith we were told that the birds were 
fastidious and would not touch low-caste bodies, and that 
only three families in the valley were entitled to be thus 
disposed of. The Thimbu excused himself from accom- 
panying me, as the memories connected with this spot were 
very painful to him, his daughter only a few years before 
having been laid on the slab. One of our guides lay down 
on the slab, while another lit a smoky fire, devices which, 
they said, would be sure to attract the lammergeiers from 
their eyries ; but the deception failed, and no birds appeared. 
In another respect the little valley was very remarkable, as 
the glaciers seemed to completely close in the head, and I 
saw two avalanches and heard several more, caused by the: 
increasing power of the sun's rays on the snows. 

The main glacier was most beautiful, looking like & 
curious broad staircase of snowy whiteness leading from/ 
where we stood heavenwards. There were several fine- 
waterfalls gushing out from holes in the cliffs high above 
us, and disappearing before they reached the path, the. 
rivulets of water oozing out again from the banks of the: 
main stream showing that the water had resumed a sub- 
terranean course. A curious feature about the falls was- 
that as the power of the sun increased, so did the waterfalls 
visibly increase in size. Our camp that night was a cheery 
one, and we relieved the time by learning, to the great 
amusement of the bystanders, to play Bhutanese back- 
gammon, our implements being two wooden dice, a col- 
lection of little wooden sticks of varying length, and a 
handful of beans. 

In anxious fear of the unknown pass, the Pheu or 

i8z 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Lingshi-la, and its difficulties, we made a very early start 

along a fair bridle-path, which led us past the Tsango-chhu 

and then turned to the left above a small, flourishing valley, 

absolutely blocked at one end by a cliff extending from side 

to side in a perfect level, over which a very fine waterfall 

fell. This little valley was excellently cultivated, and had 

a great many large, fine fir-trees on its sides. Our path 

brought us at an easy gradient to the top of the cliff, which 

we discovered was the lower edge of another long level 

valley. In this way we progressed by a succession of steps, 

as it were, until we came to the last tread of the stairway, 

which was an almost precipitous slope of stone and rocks, 

up which our laden yaks and mules struggled slowly but 

surely, the zigzag, so far as alignment went, being so good 

that no one dismounted. Surmounting this, we came to a 

small roundish flat, in the centre of which were the walls, 

still good, of the fort built by the Tibetans and mentioned 

by the Thimbu. A short incline then brought us to the 

top of the Lingshi Pass (17,100 feet), where we had a 

magnificent view of the plains and hills of Southern Tibet. 

From this view I learnt more of the real geography of the 

great Kalo Hram-tsho plain than in my journey over it on 

the way to Lhasa the year before. The succession of lakes, 

amongst them the Rhum-tsho, was most clearly mapped 

out at my feet. To the north, in unclouded sunshine, lay 

a treeless, arid plain ; to the south damp mists and clouds 

shut out all view of the verdant, wooded valleys of Bhutan. 

After a short, somewhat abrupt descent, in places still 

covered with snow, we came on a rocky decline, which 

brought us, after a weary ride, to the sand-dunes of Hram, 

and finally to the hamlet of Hram-toi. In the evening we 

all dined together, with the Thimbu as our guest for the 

last time in the mess-tent, which I had promised to 

give him as a parting gift. We toasted the Thimbu and 

wished him the best of fortune, and had kindly answers 

from him in return, and on the morrow the Bhutan Mission 

would practically be a thing of the past. We breakfasted 

182 



MY FIRST MISSION TO BHUTAN 

in the open, bid the Thimbu and his party a sorrowful 
good-bye and godspeed, and accepted from him scarves 
of blessing. The Tongsa Donyer, who had accompanied us 
everywhere throughout the whole journey, now took his 
leave. He was a most jovial officer, never under any 
circumstances put out, and ever obliging, an adept at 
archery and all manly games, fond of a glass but never 
the worse, a real Bhutanese Friar Tuck, and it was with 
real regret we bid him good-bye. I do not think we could 
possibly have had a more suitable man as our factotum, for 
in addition to physical qualifications he possessed a great 
fund of information. 

A long, weary ride across sandy plains took us to the 
Tang-la, the monotony only broken when we missed the 
trail and got unexpectedly bogged. We saw several herds 
of gazelle and many kyang, but only succeeded in bagging 
a grey goose. At the top of the Tang-la my straggling 
caravan got divided, and the bulk proceeded to the village 
of Chukya, while I and the remainder kept to the main 
road and halted at the Chukya military encampment, so it 
was very late before we settled down, cold, damp, and 
cross. My next march brought me to Phari, ground I 
had already often been over, and which I have already 
described, so with our arrival there I will bring the account 
of my first mission to Bhutan to a close. 



183 



CHAPTER XVI 

UN EXPLORATION OF EASTERN BHUTAN AND A 

PORTION OF TIBET IN 1906 

From Gangtak vii Dewangiri to Tashigong and Tashi-yangtsi, 
and on to Tsekang. Horse-flies. Doninga. Cypripedium 
Fairianum. Sudden rise of the river. Tigers near the camp. 
Chungkhar. Borshang iron-mines. Tashigong. Stick lac cul- 
tivation. Suspension bridges. Source of the Dongma-chhu. 
Tashi-yangtsi. Prayer-wheels. Old roads. Chorten Kara. 
New flowering trees. 

For some years I had been extremely anxious to explore 
Eastern Bhutan and its neighbouring portion of Tibet, but 
it was not until May 1906 that circumstances enabled 
me to make arrangements to do so, and I left Gangtak 
accompanied by Mr. Dover, the State engineer. To reach 
Dewangiri, the point from which I intended to enter Bhutan, 
I had to travel to Siliguri, thence by rail to Dhubri, and on 
by steamer up the Brahmaputra to Gauhati, in Assam, and 
from thence march to the hills. I had a good deal of camp 
kit in addition to my personal baggage and riding-mules 
with me, and on reaching Gauhati preliminary arrangements 
took some time. Marching at the foot of the hills at this 
time of the year was very trying ; mosquitoes swarmed at 
night, and the incessant croaking of frogs kept one awake ; 
while worst of all was the plague of horse-flies, which 
attacked the mules, oxen, and elephants unmercifully. 
They were literally in swarms, and the sides of the elephants 
streamed with blood from their attacks. 
A little place called Doninga lies at the foot of the hills, 

184 



AN EXPLORATION OF EASTERN BHUTAN 

and is used as a temporary mart in the cold weather, but 
at this time of the year it is merely a collection of deserted 
thatched huts in the midst of a sea of grass, and by no 
means healthy, so instead of halting there I pushed on up 
the hills, beyond the fever zone. I had visited Dorunga 
a few months before in the cold weather, in the company of 
Sir Ugyen Wang-chuk, the Tongsa Penlop, and it had then 
presented a very different aspect. The place was full of 
bustle and movement and alive with traders from the 
hills, a striking contrast to its present appearance. On 
that occasion I entered the hills a little further to the west, 
at Subankhata, and accompanied Sir Ugyen for a few 
marches till we came to the Kuru-chhu, on the direct road 
to Tongsa. On this journey I came across quantities of 
Cypripedium Fairianum growing in masses on the magnesium 
limestone hills. This is the orchid of which one specimen 
reached England about i860 in a consignment sent from 
Sikhim by Sir Joseph Hooker, but had since become extinct, 
and for which £1000 was offered by orchid-growers. I 
had been on the look-out for it for several years, and now 
when I did find it I was just too late, as it had been dis- 
covered during the survey of the Am-mo-chhu Valley a few 
months before. 

At Dorunga I had a great deal of difficulty about 
carriage, as no arrangements had been made beforehand 
and I could get no coolies ; however, I had four elephants, 
and with them and another elephant I found belonging to 
one of the tea-gardens, and which I impressed into my 
service, I started the most necessary baggage up the track 
to Dewangiri, leaving the remainder in charge of the 
Havildar till I could make arrangements from Dewangiri. 
Transport difficulties were augmented by the arrival of 
tools for road-making lent to the Tongsa by the Government 
of Assam, and as the store-keeper had made no arrange- 
ments for forwarding them I was obliged to take them 
with me. The road we had to follow was nothing but 
a track running up the bed of the stream, and quite 

185 




SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

impassable during the rains. Before I had gone very far— - 
about two miles, perhaps — I came across various articles of 
baggage lying in the road, and soon found that one of the 
elephants had bolted and strewn the road with impedi- 
menta. A little further on I overtook the other three 
elephants, and the mahouts entered into a lengthy 
tion that one elephant would not go without its 
panions, and that in order to reload the delinquent they 
must all go back, and then return in one party, so I had to 
allow them to do as they liked, and hope they might some- 
how reach their destination. So much for the pleasure of 
elephant transport. 

I pushed on ahead, and it was lucky I did so, as a severe 
thunderstorm came on, and the river rose to such an extent 
the coolies were unable to cross, and had to spend the night 
in the jungle on the banks, while my mule was very neatly 
carried off its feet by the torrent of reddish-yellow mud 
and water. The river rose with extraordinary rapidity, 
coming down in regular waves of red mud. I rode on in 
pouring rain to Dewangiri, and was lucky to find a good 
hut, which had been built in expectation of the Tongsa's 
arrival earlier in the year, and as my orderly had kept up 
with me, carrying a bag, I was able to change into dry 
clothes in front of a good fire, and was none the worse for 
my adventure. Want of carriage kept me at Dewangiri 
for a day or two, and the first morning, on getting up, news 
was brought that one of the baggage mules was missing, and 
had been carried off by a tiger during the night. I went 
out and found that the carcase had been dragged at least 
600 yards along a path through the dense jungle and then 
straight down the khud to the spot where I found it. Later 
in the day the remains of a sambur were brought in by a 
mahout, also killed by a tiger about half a mile from the 
camp, so tigers must be very plentiful just there, and 
sport ought to be good ; but the jungle is very dense and 
game difficult to get at, and the hillsides are very steep, 
and in many places quite inaccessible. I had a machan put 

186 



AN EXPLORATION OF EASTERN BHUTAN 

up, and waited for some hours in hopes that the tiger might 
return, but he did not do so, at any rate before dark, and 
I was not inclined to wait longer for him. 

From Dewangiri I moved on to Rading, and for a short 
distance followed a path which had been made up the left 
bank of the Tsokhi river ; but it was a hopeless track, with- 
out any attempt at alignment, and with such steep gradients 
over the rocks no animals could possibly use it. At Rading 
I was met by the Tongsa Jongpen, whom I had met when 
in Bhutan with Sir Ugyen in the spring. In the morning, 
after a very early start, I passed the large monastery of 
Yong-la, near the crest of the ridge, at about 7700 feet. 
It was very well situated, looking out over the plains, but 
I did not visit it, as to do so would have taken me five or 
six miles out of my way. The road here was good and 
rideable, and brought me to Chungkhar, the residence of 
the Jongpen, at an elevation of 6475 feet. Going down 
the hills from the pass the woods were full of a pretty 
ground orchid, and there was some very fine timber. At 
Chungkhar I found a good camping-ground, with exten- 
sive views, and the snows in the distance, due north. 
The Jongpen was living in a temporary hut, as his house 
had been demolished by the earthquake of 1897, and 
although his new residence had been commenced it was 
not yet finished. He had prepared some small huts for us, 
which we found most comfortable and cool, and used in 
preference to our tents. 

The mules sent by the Tongsa now arrived, the delay 
having been caused by the destruction of the Dongma-chhu 
bridge on account of an outbreak of small-pox. That is 
the primitive method in Bhutan of checking the disease. 
The wrought-iron chains of the bridge are left, but the 
cane roadway is cut away to prevent communication from 
one side to the other. I had heard of the outbreak before 
starting, and had brought a vaccinator with me, who set to 
work at once and vaccinated over a hundred people in the 

camp. All the villagers seemed glad to be vaccinated, and 

187 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

men, women, and children came in willingly. I also had 
my mules and ponies re-shod, and this afforded some 
amusement as well as instruction to the villagers, who had 
never seen the operation before, and after it was done they 
crowded round to examine the animals' hoofs. There 
were a number of small boys smoking cigarettes, which 
shows that the latest vice has penetrated even into these 
wilds. 

On leaving Chungkhar my road led straight down the 
hill to the Chalari-chhu, and another few hundred yards 
brought me to the Demri-chhu (2455 feet), where I found 
huts ready prepared ; but it was still early, and would be 
exceedingly hot in the valley, so I decided to go on to 
Denchung, where I heard the Tashigong Jongpen was 
waiting. 

It was a very hot ride from the Demri-chhu up the 
south-east face of the hill to Sari (4000 feet), on the ridge. 
Then the road fell again to the Tondong bridge (3000 feet), 
and then a very hot climb up a steep rock-face brought me 
to the camp at Denchung (4275 feet). The camp was a 
very good one, situated in the middle of woods of oak, 
pine, and rhododendron, with huts built for my reception 
and the Jongpen in waiting. 

The next day's march into Tashigong was much longer 
than I expected, and I was over twelve hours on the road. 
From the first ridge I could see the famous iron-mines of 
Borshang, situated in a fine valley, fairly well cultivated. 
The ore is reported to be both red and black and easy of 
extraction, and it is from this mine that the iron comes from 
which chains are made for the bridges in this part of Bhutan. 
If I had only known of this a little earlier I should have 
paid the mines a visit, and have no doubt I should have been 
well rewarded for the trouble, but it was too late to do so 
then. 

The road took me. over the Yuto-la (8300 feet), and was 
so narrow in many places — sometimes only six to nine inches 
wide — and on such a very steep hillside, that I walked most 

188 



AN EXPLORATION OF EASTERN BHUTAN 

of the way in preference to riding even my sure-footed 
mule. The alignment, however, was good, and just below 
the Yuto-la, to the north, there were some fine downs and 
very good views ; but these grassy uplands were infested by 
ticks, and it was necessary to stop frequently to pick them 
off the dogs, for they absolutely swarmed in hundreds, and 
even occasionally attacked us. 

A lama who came to pay his respects proved to be 
unusually intelligent, and gave me a good deal of informa- 
tion regarding routes, &c. From the Yuto-la the road led 
for some way through oak and rhododendron woods, until 
the village of Rungthung was passed, when the last five 
miles wound along a bare, steep hill-slope, and I was glad to 
get to my destination. The latter part of the march was 
very hot, and the only shade to be found was behind an 
occasional chorten, where I sat down and drank quantities 
of murwa sent by the Tongsa ; but the full force of the 
afternoon sun was very trying. At the Jong I was met by 
the Jongpen. The usual form of touching a wand was gone 
through, and I was installed in his own room. 

The Jong at Tashigong is particularly well situated on 
a ridge between two rivers, the Dongma-chhu and the 
Gamdi-chhu, and is constructed after the Bhutanese fashion, 
with courtyards and citadels. It has a fine temple, with an 
unusually large pair of tusks supporting the altar, and 
fittings in excellent metalwork. I was lodged in the Jong- 
pen's own room, facing south. It was a fine, lofty room, 
but there was a peculiarly pungent and disagreeable smell, 
which I discovered came from stores of dried mutton and 
rancid butter kept under the floor. I asked the Jongpen 
to remove them, and when he had done so the surroundings 
were quite pleasant, as the room itself was perfectly clean. 
He had the skins of some very fine tigers, which he told 
me had been shot during the last cold weather, and that 
every year several tigers come up the valley and work 
havoc amongst the cattle, so large rewards are given for 
their destruction. 

189 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

With regard to the geological features of the journey, 
as far as the Yuto-la the strata were all quartzites, but 
after that mica-schist was met with in small quantities. 

It was a dreadfully hot camp, but my baggage had not 
come up, so I was obliged to halt. I started my vaccinator 
at work early, and before evening he had vaccinated over 
two hundred people, who all seemed very pleased, and 
flocked in for the operation. I had sent the Tongsa a 
consignment of lymph from Gangtak, as he wished to intro- 
duce vaccination throughout Bhutan, and his operator met 
us here to be instructed what to do. 

From Tashigong a road runs to the small Tibetan State 
of Tawang, first crossing the river Gamdi-chhu, then passing 
over a very steep spur, and thence to the Tawang-chhu. 
The Tawang-Bhutan boundary is three days' march up 
the stream, at a place called Dong Shima, situated a little 
below the bridge by which the road crosses the river. The 
greater part of the trade from Tawang, which is, com- 
paratively speaking, large, already comes by this route to 
the plains, and as soon as the Tongsa, as he hopes to do, 
makes a really good mule-track it will all follow this route 
to Dewangiri, and as the valleys are well populated and 
cultivated it is likely to increase rapidly. 

There is a great deal of stick lac grown in the valley of 
Tashigong, but the Bhutanese do not carry on its cultivation 
in any systematic manner, which seems a pity, as if placed 
under proper supervision the industry might have a great 
future before it. Its culture is unusual, quite an interest- 
ing process, and only occasionally to be met with. Lac 
is an insect growth, and is cultivated on two distinct plants. 
Small pieces of lac containing colonies of the insect are 
placed on the stem of a shrub called Gyatso-bukshing in the 
autumn, and this plant is regularly cultivated and planted 
in rows in fields on the hillsides. In the spring these 
growths, which have meanwhile spread a few inches over 
the stem of the plant, are cut off and placed on the branches 
of a tree called Gyatso-shing. On these trees during the 

190 



AN EXPLORATION OF EASTERN BHUTAN 

summer it spreads rapidly over all the branches, and the 
crop is gathered in the autumn. With the present want of 
system there are no plantations for the purpose, and the 
cultivator has to depend on any trees he may find growing 
wild in the jungles, which is, of course, a hopeless method, 
whereas if proper plantations were made it would facilitate 
not only the collection and save time and labour, but also 
increase the output. It is a paying crop, but can only be 
grown in these hot, dry valleys. 

It was my original intention to follow the route via 
Tawang and the Dozam-la to Lhakhang, but the Govern- 
ment of India did not wish me to enter that part of Tibet. 
I therefore had to abandon it and go round by a longer and 
more difficult route. Another route, the direct one, along 
a road running from Tashigong along the right bank of the 
river, and said to be fit for mules and ponies, is a very easy 
one, and by it I could, I believe, have reached Lhakhang 
in five or six days ; but this also took me into prohibited 
country, and had to be abandoned. 

From Tashigong a very steep descent of about noo feet 
took us down to the iron suspension bridge over the Dongma* 
chhu. These suspension bridges in Bhutan are very in- 
teresting, and merit description. They consist of four or 
five chains of wrought iron, made of welded links, each 
fifteen to eighteen inches in length. The three lower chains 
are tightened up to one level, and on them a bamboo or plank 
roadway is placed. The remaining chains, hanging higher 
up and further apart, act as side supports, and between them 
and the roadway there is generally a latticework of bamboo, 
or sometimes grass, in order that animals crossing may not 
put their legs over the side. The roadway is never more 
than three or four feet wide. Many of the' chains on 
these bridges are extremely old — many hundreds of years — 
and appear to be of Chinese workmanship. The links 
are in excellent order, and very little pitted with rust. 
The other and newer chain bridges have been made in 
Bhutan. 

191 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

After crossing the ridge the road wound along the hill- 
side some distance above the river till we came to a place 
called Gom Kora. Here there is a very curious little 
temple, with a prayer-wall completely surrounding a large 
stone, which has a curious water-worn hole through its 
centre. It is considered extremely holy, and to crawl into 
the small hole and out at the other side is an act of merit. 
Needless to say, that act of merit is not placed to my 
credit, though the more devout of my servants and fol- 
lowers performed it before being regaled by the Tomsha- 
Tungba. 

A little further on the Dongma-chhu was left on the 
right, and the road, crossing the Kholung-chhu by 
a cantilever bridge, climbed a very steep ridge to the 
camp at Serpang (6450 feet). The Dongma-chhu is here 
a very large river, much bigger than the Kholung-chhu, 
and probably as big if not bigger than the Kuru-chhu, 
running swiftly and carrying much silt. It takes its rise 
in a range of snow-mountains a long way to the east, beyond 
Tawang. In this camp also people crowded to be vac- 
cinated, and to be treated for various diseases. I did 
what I could, and Mr. Dover was indefatigable in dis- 
pensing medicines, but it would have made a very great 
difference if I had had a doctor with me. 

The road on to Tashi-yangtsi wound round the side 
of the hill, covered with oak and rhododendron, and the 
march was very beautiful, though a short one. The Jong 
of Tashi-yangtsi (5900 feet) is situated on a sharp spur 
between the Kholung and Dongdi rivers, with a very 
pretty view looking up the valley. In the river, with its 
beautiful pools and numbers of fish, there ought to be some 
good fishing. It ran, in places, in deep, silent reaches, very 
rare in any Himalayan river, with the trees overhanging 
and dipping in the water, much more like a river inScotland, 
with a very gradual fall, and the water a beautiful blue 
colour. A feature of the march was the number of water- 
driven prayer-wheels, most of them in a state of picturesque 

192 



AN EXPLORATION OF EASTERN BHUTAN 

decay, and only a few still in working order. For the 
benefit of my readers who are unacquainted with this 
practice, the following is a short description. A prayer- 
wheel consists of a hollow cylinder filled with written or 
printed prayers, and fixed to a perpendicular shaft of wood, 
to the lower end of which horizontal flappers are attached, 
against which water is directed from a shoot ; the end is 
shod with iron, and revolves in an iron socket driven by 
the force of the stream. With each revolution the prayers 
are believed to be prayed for the benefit of the builder of 
that particular wheel, and count so much to his credit. 
They are very easily kept in order, but probably because 
only construction, and not preservation, is a work of merit 
in the Buddhist religion, no one seems to take the trouble 
to clear out the watercourses or to mend a broken flapper, 
and consequently most of them were at a standstill. It 
is a delightfully easy method of praying, and some enormous 
wheels have been erected. One at Lamteng, in the Lachen 
Valley, in Sikhim, contains no less than four tons of printed 
paper, and measures about 9 feet in height by 4% feet in 
diameter ; but these very large ones are seldom worked by 
water-power, and generally have a crank on the lever end of 
the shaft, which any one anxious to pray has only to turn, 
while a bell sounding automatically at each revolution 
records the number of prayers repeated. Every monastery 
throughout Sikhim has a row of prayer-wheels at the 
entrance to the temple, and as every true Buddhist passes 
he twirls each cylinder in turn with the ejaculation, " Om 
mani padmi hum." 

The road along which we were travelling had evidently 
at one time been well made and properly aligned, although 
it had been allowed to go out of repair. It must have 
been cut to four or five feet in width, and well graded also, 
but though all agreed that it had been made a very long 
time ago, no one could tell me when. My own opinion is 
that it was probably built by one of the old Rajas who 

once gned in these valleys, and of whom some historical 

193 N 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

records remain in the manuscripts I found dealing with 
the reign of the Sindhu Raja of Pumthang, and have men- 
tioned elsewhere. This march throughout was a great 
contrast to the last, as it was entirely through cultivated 
land, with small collections of houses, two or three together, 
not large enough to form villages. All the crops looked 
excellent, especially the wheat and barley; the country 
was thickly populated, and the inhabitants flourishing and 
well fed. I saw one iron-impregnated stream. 

There is an easy and good trade route which runs 
from Tashi-yangtsi over the Ging-la to Donkhar,' where it 
joins the route from Tashigong and Tawang and Tshona, 
and this is a good deal used by traders in the cold months. 
My shortest route was by a road branching off one day's 
march up the valley, and running over the hills to Singhi- 
jong, but I was told it was very difficult and neither 
ponies nor mules could be taken over it, and also that snow 
was lying on the pass. In consequence of this report, I 
decided to proceed via the Dongo-la, and to branch off 
near Lhuntsi-jong and follow the valley leading from 
there to Singhi-jong, if I could not get up the valley of 
the Kuru-chhu. While at Tashi-yangtsi I visited Chorten 
Kara. It is a fine specimen, and is built partly on the 
lines of the big chorten at Khatmandu, but, like every- 
thing else, has its origin in an unknown past. Near the 
chorten there were some terraced paddy- and rice-fields 
of a fair size, on which ploughing and sowing were in full 
swing, and some large villages, and in spite of the clouds 
snow-capped hills appeared every now and then up the 
valley to the right. 

The road on to Lhuntsi took me up a side valley through 
jungle the whole way, and I camped the first night at 
Wangtung (10,000 feet), at the level of silver pine, on a 
ground so cramped that I was obliged to cut several trees 
down to admit some light and air; and as it was also 
pouring with rain and very cold it was altogether miserable 
and uncomfortable. The morning broke very wet, but it 

194 



AN EXPLORATION OF EASTERN BHUTAN 

cleared a little, enabling me to get to the top of the first 
pass, the Shalaptsa-la (12,000 feet), without rain. On 
the west side of the pass I crossed the head-waters of the 
Sheru-chhu, and going about half a mile further on a fairly 
level road, reached the Bogong-la, where I crossed the 
watershed of the Kuru-chhu. This double pass is known 
as the Dong-la. It rained hard whilst I was crossing the 
pass, and for some distance down the other side, where for 
some miles the road was as bad as it was possible to be. 
It then ran over some good downs, but ended in a dripping 
forest, with deep mud under foot the whole distance down 
to Singhi (6225 feet). 

At Singhi I was met by the Jongpen, and stayed in a 
house built on a steep hillside, with some fine walnut-trees 
in front and a lovely view down the valley. I held a con- 
ference which lasted over two hours as to the best way 
to get to Lhakhang-jong, but it was very difficult to elicit 
any information, or even to get an answer to a simple 
question. I wanted to march up the Kuru-chhu, but 
found that would be impossible, as the season was too far 
advanced, and the temporary bridges, erected during the 
cold weather, had all been carried away by the early rains. 
After much discussion I learnt that there were tracks on 
both sides of the river, though both were reported bad and 
quite impassable for mules or ponies, the one vii Singhi- 
jong as we should have to cross a glacier, and the other 
on account of precipitous rocks. It seemed rather hope- 
less, but I finally decided to try the Singhi-jong route on 
foot and to send my mules and ponies, as well as Sir Ugyen's, 
along a road running from Singhi, on the left bank of the 
Kuru-chhu, to the Kuru Sampa, and round vii Bya-gha- 
jong, from whence they would cross the Monla-Kachung-la 
and meet me at the Lhalung Monastery. 

After a very wet night I got away in fairly fine weather, 
and went down a very steep descent to the Kuru-chhu 
(4100 feet), and then for some distance along the road 
onthe left bank, over which the mules would go, but, owing 

*95 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

to there being no bridge over the Khoma-chhu, I had to 
climb up and down an unnecessary 1400 feet. Leaving 
the Kuru-chhu, I branched off from Pemberton's route, 
going north, while his led across the river and down its 
right bank; then, passing the village of Khoma, an ex- 
ceedingly steep ascent brought me to Pangkha, where I 
lodged in the Angdu-phodang Donyer's house. 

From the village of Nyalamdung, on the way, I had a 
good view of Lhuntsi-jong, standing on the right bank of 
the Kuru-chhu. The Jong is, as usual, built on a fine spur 
between two rivers, and is a large fort with two towers, but 
I did not visit it, as it was at least six miles out of my way. 
The Jongpen was much disappointed that I would not stay 
some days with him, but I had news that the Tongsa had 
already started from Bya-gha to meet me at Lhakhang, 
and I did not wish to keep him waiting. All the same, it 
took me a couple of days to get my coolies together, as 
they had to carry food for five or six days along with 
them. The Donyer's house, in which I lodged, was perched 
on the side of a steep hill, and on leaving it one was obliged 
to go either straight up or straight down, so I remained a 
good deal indoors. Every square yard of ground round 
the village had been made the most of, and all of it was 
terraced, manured, and well cultivated, to get the best 
possible crop off it. 

From Pangkha I crossed the Ye-la, a mere spur, and 
had to descend again 3000 feet to the Khoma-chhu, which 
I had left only a few days before. While on the descent 
I saw for the first time some very fine flowering trees 
called, in Bhutanese, Chape and Phetsi, which were very 
handsome. The blossom somewhat resembles a large tea- 
flower, and they bear an edible fruit, which is gathered in 
August. This is the only place where I have come across 
these trees, and I have no idea what they are. 



196 



CHAPTER XVII 

AN EXPLORATION OF EASTERN BHUTAN AND A 
PORTION OF TIBET IN 1906— continued 

From Tsekang to Lhakhang-jong. Lbalung Monastery and 
Pho-mo-chang-thang Lake to Gyantse. Crossing the Bod-la 
between Bhutan and Tibet. Riding yaks. Welcome in Tibet. 
Meeting with Sir Ugyen. Wild gooseberries. Old gold-work- 
ings. Friendliness of Tibetans. Lhakhang-jong. Tuwa-jong. 
Dekila, widow of Norbu Sring. Lhalung Monastery. Ovts 
ammon. Source of the Nyeru-chhu. 

I camped at Tsekang in rain, and next day marched up 
the valley of the Khoma through dense jungle. I had 
intended to reach Singhi-j ong, but it was too far, so I halted 
at Tusum Mani (10,900 feet), amongst pines and larches, 
on the only level place I could find. The weather cleared 
up a little towards evening, and I was able to see that up 
the stream to the north the valley was blocked by snow- 
hills, with glaciers running down their sides, but mist pre- 
vented me from seeing anything more. Next day was 
fine, and I had a beautiful ride to Singhi-j ong, a very 
small fort, hardly worthy of the name, but well situated 
on a large flat, with fine snow views all round. I did not 
stay there, but went on through the valley to Narim- 
thang (13,900 feet), about four miles from the Kang-la 
(16,290 feet). I would have liked to camp at the foot of 
the pass, but there was no firewood so high, and the want 
of it would have entailed much extra work for the coolies.. 
The morning broke rather threateningly, but by making, 
an early start and riding as far as the lake below the pass, 

i97 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

beyond which pack-animals cannot go, I succeeded in cross- 
ing before the snow began to fall. It was a stiff climb up 
the east side, and equally difficult going down for 1500 feet 
through snow, and then over a small glacier on the west. 
The Kang-la is the watershed, but not the boundary, between 
Bhutan and Tibet. Further on the road first led down to 
a stream, then up again, and round a spur leading into 
another valley, up which we marched for some miles, and 
just before reaching our camping-ground, at Metsephu 
(15,300 feet), we passed a fine lake. It rained heavily part 
of the way, but cleared up as we pitched our tents, and then 
later began to snow heavily — so heavily the tents had to 
be beaten and shaken at intervals to prevent their collapse. 
It was a cold and cheerless evening, but the snow ceased 
early and the night was clear, while the morning broke 
beautifully fine. We reached the Bod-la (16,290 feet), and 
crossed the boundary between Bhutan and Tibet early, 
and the coolies soon made their appearance, even carry- 
ing the heavy frozen tents. A Tibetan block-house, with 
loopholed walls, was built on the top of the pass. There 
were some fine views of the snow-peaks to the east, and after 
admiring them I started down the descent on the Tibetan 
side. It was a very tiresome march, over huge rocks 
covered with snow, and at the foot of the pass I was de- 
lighted to find yaks and coolies waiting for me, brought by 
the head of the nearest Tibetan village and a representative 
from the Lhakhang-jong, which is also in Tibet. I was 
tired, and it was very pleasant riding down on one of the 
yaks. Though slow, they are very sure-footed, and carried 
me most comfortably over some very steep slopes, but in 
one place I came to a flat rock, sloping at an angle of 
about 45 degrees, with nothing but a two-inch crack in the 
rock for the animal to find a foothold on, and I really could* 
not face it, and dismounted and walked over, although ray 
driver assured me there was no danger, and probably I 
should have been just as safe on the yak as on my own 
feet. On reaching a flat lower down I found both riding* 

198 



AN EXPLORATION OF EASTERN BHUTAN 

mules and ponies waiting for me, sent by Sir Ugyen and 
the Tibetans, and also a message asking me to delay my 
arrival at Lhakhang until my camp there was prepared, 
so a few miles further on I pitched my tents in a beautiful 
glade in the midst of pines, larches, and aspens. The 
valley we passed through was a fine one, and the walk 
beautiful, with magnificent cliffs on the north side for the 
whole distance, nearly, if not quite, as high as those on the 
route above Tashi-cho-jong which I had traversed the year 
before on my way through Bhutan. After descending 
some thousands of feet we came into forests of black 
juniper, and below that silver pine and larch. The climate, 
too, was drier. The view looking down the valley across 
into Tibet was very fine, the hills there showing up rugged 
and bare, without a tree, although distant only about 
three miles as the crow flies, so sharp is the line dividing 
the wet and the dry zones. 

The orderlies in charge of the yaks the Tongsa had 
sent took the greatest care of me whilst going over the 
bad places on the road, holding me on as though they were 
afraid I might fall off. In camp I got a letter from Sir 
Ugyen to say he had arrived in Lhakhang that day, and 
hoped to meet me in the morning. 

While making my way to the Jong the following day 
the Jongpen met me with eggs and milk and the headman 
of the village with chang. At the Jong itself Sir Ugyen 
was waiting, and I found my camp pitched in a grove of 
poplars and willows, while the Jongpen had pitched his 
own tent for me and made all preparations for my com- 
fort. It was a very great pleasure to meet Sir Ugyen 
again, and we had much to talk over and discuss. 

I had hardly expected to receive such a hearty reception 
in Tibet, but every one vied with one another in trying to 
make me comfortable and in doing everything they could 
for me. It was most gratifying, and proved beyond 
dispute that the Tibetans bore no ill-will on account of 
the Lhasa Expedition, and also that they were genuinely 

*99 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

pleased to see me personally. I am quite sure, notwith- 
standing the general opinion to the contrary, that, could 
the physical difficulties be overcome, there would be but 
little opposition shown by Tibetans generally to any one 
travelling in their country, so long as the immediate vicinity 
of Lhasa was avoided, and provided the traveller had some 
previous knowledge of and sympathy with the Tibetan 
character and that he was known to them. 

Had the opportunity been taken advantage of, on the 
conclusion of the Lhasa Treaty, to allow a few of our own 
picked officers to travel in Tibet, any opposition would 
have died a natural death, as it existed only amongst 
certain members of the priestly hierarchy and the higher 
officials in Lhasa. The common people invariably wel- 
comed our advent, and openly expressed the hope that 
they were to come under our jurisdiction. Our Govern- 
ment, instead of making the most of so unique an opening, 
has, by the most incomprehensible regulations and orders, 
emanating from London, raised an insuperable barrier 
against any fellow countrymen who may desire to travel 
in Tibet, while foreigners, whom they are powerless to 
keep out, are given every possible assistance and help. 
Hence, notwithstanding the vast expenditure of money, 
the heavy loss of life, and the many hardships endured 
by the Lhasa Mission of 1904, Tibet has again become an 
absolutely closed country to all Englishmen. In addition, 
Government's unfortunate subsequent policy has been the 
means of handing over the Tibetans, bound hand and 
foot, to the Chinese, and all Tibetan officials are now 
obliged by their virtual masters, the Chinese, to enforce 
the Chinese traditional policy of exclusion of all Europeans. 

Up to now I had been unaware that wild gooseberries 
were to be found in the Himalayas, but on this march I 
came across them for the first time, higher up in flower and 
lower down in fruit. The people eat the fruit, but I fancy 
it would be very sour, and not like the small wild yellow, 
gooseberry found in Scotland. 

200 



AN EXPLORATION OF EASTERN BHUTAN 

Accompanied by the Tongsa, I visited the Karchu 
Monastery, which is situated on a very picturesque ridge 
overlooking the gorge where the Kuru-chhu commences to 
cut its way through the Himalayas, but beyond a very good 
view of Kulu-Kangri there was nothing much to be seen. 

I also visited some hot springs, and near them some 
old gold-diggings, which were said to have been worked as 
recently as twelve years before my visit by the late Jong- 
pen, who imported workmen from Tod, in Tibet, for the 
purpose. They were situated in an old river-bed, and are 
now quite abandoned, and I should think very unlikely to 
be worth making any future attempt to develop. I washed 
some of the sand, but found nothing. 

Lhakhang-j ong is a very dilapidated building, very 
dirty, and worth nothing either as a residence or a place 
of defence, and of no interest. The Khomthing Lhakhang, 
or temple, is also very uninteresting, although it had one 
curious feature. In one of the rooms a large apricot-tree 
grew through the roof, and was called for some reason, 
though why I could not make out, the " Mermaid Tree." 
But in the monastery itself there was nothing. 

The fields round the fort were brilliant with the delicate 
green of young corn, just beginning to sprout, and the 
hedges were full of wild roses and pink and white spirea, 
while between the fields were planted lines of apricot-trees 
full of blossom, making a lovely picture. The crop of 
fruit is so plentiful that, in addition to carrying on a large 
trade in dried fruit, the people feed their cattle on apricots 
in winter ; but those I tasted were not very appetising. 

With all this beauty the climate of Lhakhang is abomin- 
able; situated at the mouth of the Kuru gorge, a cold, 
damp, violent wind never ceases blowing, while the sun at 
the same time is extremely hot : but even with this dis- 
advantage the two days' rest was very welcome. The 
export trade consists chiefly, in addition to dried apricots, 
of dried mutton, sheep-skins, wool, and salt, while rice, 
madder, and stick lac are imported from Bhutan.. 

201 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

A good road through the Kuru Valley would be sure 
soon to become a popular trade route, as it would be a 
direct outlet from Tibet to the plains, with no snow-passes 
to cross, and from Lhakhang onwards to Tibet the present 
road is reported to be very easy. The few miles I traversed 
were broad and much used. The section between Lhuntsi 
and Lhakhang would be very difficult to negotitate, as it 
passes through an immense gorge, which would require 
a great deal of blasting as well as bridging ; and as things 
have now turned out, it is very unlikely such a road will 
be made for many generations, if ever, though at the time of 
my visit it was still within the range of possibility that 
the Governments of India and Tibet would co-operate to 
improve trade routes between the two empires. 

Roads already run from Lhakhang to Nagartsi and 
Chetang, across country in which there is said to be much 
good grazing and many flocks of sheep, and consequently 
there should be a quantity of wool to be bought. The 
route from Tawang also taps this country. 

After leaving Lhakhang I crossed the two branches 
of the Kuru-chhu just before they enter, as one stream, 
the mouth of this magnificent gorge. The road wound 
along the side of the hills some thousand feet above the 
river, and was in some places very pretty, with hedges of 
yellow and red roses, spirea, gooseberry and currant- 
bushes, apricot-trees, and a sort of blackthorn, but for the 
greater part it was uninteresting. The villagers en route 
turned out to meet me, and burnt incense, and at Dur they 
had a tent pitched for my lunch, and presented me with 
chang, the native liquor, milk, and eggs. I camped at 
Mug (11,650 feet), in a grove of poplars, where a second 
messenger arrived from the Tongsa's sister with another 
letter of welcome and more rice, eggs, and butter. 

From this village a road branches off over the Monla- 
Kachung-la Pass to Bya-gha, but my way led me to Singhi- 
jong, still in Tibet. A very hard march took me first 
down to the river, some thousand feet below camp, and 

202 



AN EXPLORATION OF EASTERN BHUTAN 

then up again over a spur to Singhi-jong, a climb of 1740 
feet in the full glare of the sun; then down again to 
a side stream, and again up to Myens-la (14,800 feet), 
and at last to my camp, pitched in a small side valley at 
Tashichukar (14,480 feet). I found the sun very trying 
climbing the southern slopes, but on reaching camp it 
clouded over, and the afternoon was wet and windy and 
very cold — the coldest camp I had yet been in on this 
expedition. 

Singhi-jong is a deserted fort in ruins, situated on a fine 
rock, and the Jongpen does not live there, but prefers a 
house at its foot less pretentious and more comfortable. 
He was an old acquaintance of mine, whom I had met in 
Lhasa, where he was the official who issued rations to the 
Mission camp. About a year before my visit he had been 
transferred to Singhi, where I now met him. We had to 
change transport here ; but everything was in readiness, so 
it did not take long. I had a fine view of some high snows 
looking up the valley on leaving Singhi-jong. 

The Tibetans were not nearly so ready to be vaccinated 
as the Bhutanese, probably because there had been no 
recent outbreak of small-pox, and very few came forward, 
while in Bhutan the numbers already done had reached 800. 
From Tashichukar I made a long march and pushed right 
on to Lhalung, the Bhutan monastery, passing Tuwa-jong 
on the way. The road took me first straight down to the 
river, a descent of 2400 feet, and then straight up the 
other side in short zigzags, which were very trying. It 
then wound round the hillside for some distance and again 
dropped down to the stream at Tuwa-jong (13,000 feet). 
If I had only been a little earlier in the season all these 
ups and downs might have been avoided, as during tile 
winter there is a path along the bed of the stream ; but the 
glaciers had begun to melt, and the rivers were consequently 
in flood, so it was impracticable. 

Tuwa-jong I found to be a fine building, in Tibetan 
style, with the fort on the top of a very steep rock, and 

203 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

the monastery below, also a fine building. The Tibetan 
and Bhutanese Jongs have a general resemblance in their 
architecture, particularly remarkable in the slope given 
to the walls, but in detail are not very similar. In 
Bhutan the courtyards are much larger, and the lavish use 
of timber gives the buildings a different aspect, especially 
the sloping shingle roofs invariably used there, whereas in 
Tibet the roofs are generally flat. The Tuwa buildings 
are all quite new, as they were rebuilt after the earth- 
quake of 1897. A little before reaching the Jong we found 
a tent pitched, and the Nerpa, or steward, of the Jongpen 
waiting with refreshments. He was very anxious that 
I should break my journey at Tuwa, and the same request 
was renewed when I reached the Jong by the Jongpen and 
the lamas, but I told them that, if possible, and if they 
could make the necessary arrangements for transport, I 
was anxious to reach Lhalung that day. They had a 
camp pitched ready below the building, in a side valley, 
out of the wind, in a charming, fresh green garden, and the 
invitation was very tempting, and I should have been glad 
to give pleasure to my kindly hosts, but I could not manage 
it. All I could do was to stop and partake of the refresh- 
ments they had provided while the transport was being 
changed, and the arrangements were so good that by the 
time we had finished luncheon all the loads had gone on. I. 
can only repeat again that I received nothing but the most 
unvarying kindness and attention from every one through- 
out my journey in this part of Tibet, and that every pains* 
was taken, by officials and villagers alike, to make things 
easy and comfortable for me ; and at no time, during the 
years I have served on the frontier, when I have been 
brought into contact with Tibetans, have I had any dis- 
courtesy shown me. 

I was told that Dekila, the widow of Norbu Sring, is 
still imprisoned at Tuwa-jong, but as I only heard this at 
Lhalung I had no opportunity of making inquiries or 
trying to see her. Norbu Sring was brother to the late 

204 



AN EXPLORATION OF EASTERN BHUTAN 

Tengay-Ling, Regent of Tibet. Tengay-Ling was accused 
of practising sorcery on the Delai Lama, and consequently 
seized, and later put to death, while his brother, Norbu 
Sring, a layman, was also cruelly killed. His widow, 
Dekila, who was famous throughout Tibet for her beauty, 
and is a member of the highly respectable Doling family 
of Lhasa, and some relation to the Maharani of Sikhim, 
was arrested on the same charge, and, after being cruelly 
scourged through Lhasa, was condemned to imprisonment 
for life in Tuwa-jong. She is said to be even now in chains 
in a cell on the outskirts of the Jong, and had I known 
beforehand I should have made an effort to see the un- 
fortunate woman and ascertain if nothing could be done 
for her. The man who volunteered this information 
had heard of the release of several State prisoners, and 
especially of the cases of my Lachung men and the friend 
of Sarat Chunder Das, during the Lhasa Expedition, and 
seemed to think the Indian Government might extend a 
helping hand ; but I am afraid the only, and very unlikely, 
chance for the poor lady might have been my personal 
influence with the Jongpen ; and even then he was respon- 
sible to the authorities at Lhasa for her safe custody, 
and could not, I fear, on his own initiative have done 
anything for her. 

About two miles below Tuwa-jong the valley opens 
out ; so far it is a deep-cut gorge, impossible to traverse 
except during the winter months, when temporary bridges 
are thrown across the stream which save many miles in 
actual distance and many thousands of feet in ascent and 
descent, but of course at this time of the year I had to 
follow the longer route. On leaving the Jong the road 
runs along the bottom of the valley— cultivated wherever 
water can be found for irrigation, but elsewhere a typical 
Tibetan valley, an arid wilderness of stone and sand, hot, 
bare, and dusty, with a howling wind always blowing, 
making it very unpleasant. The ride up this unpre- 
possessing valley in the face of the afternoon sun was a 

205 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

hot one, but I was well repaid by the reception I 

at Lhalung, where I was met by the Tulku, or Avatar, 

a nephew of Sir Ugyen's, and the monks and headmen 

^ of Lhalung. They conducted me to a charming camp, 

pitched in the monastery gardens, where it was pleasant 
to sit on the grass in the cool shade of the willows, out of 
the glare, and sheltered from the violence of the wind by 
the high wall surrounding the garden. It was a delightful 
place in which to rest and do nothing, and at the urgent 
request of Sir Ugyen I remained with him for two days, 
taking photographs of the buildings and of the Tulku and 
others, and receiving deputations from the Jongpen of 
Tuwa-jong, the Avatar and the lamas of Lhalung, as well 
as the headmen of these places. One day the Tulku enter- 
tained me at lunch, and afterwards we witnessed a Tibetan 
dance which was quite new to me. Most of the*" per- 
formers wore very little clothing — quite a new experience, as 
in all the Tibetan dances I have seen the dancers are rather 
overburdened with heavy garments. I also spent much 
of my time with the Tongsa, discussing the affairs of 
Bhutan and talking over his projects for improvements, 
roads, developments, &c, all very interesting subjects; 
and I often wonder now how he is carrying out all his 
schemes, and wish I had been able to set him a little fur- 
ther on the road towards their accomplishment before 
my retirement. At Sir Ugyen's request I left the vac- 
cinator to accompany him to Bya-gha, and then to travel 
through Bhutan before returning to Sikhim. I also left 
my plant-collector, as it was still too early in the season 
to find plants or flowers in the high plateaux of Tibet. 
He made a very good collection of plants, both on this 
occasion and when he accompanied me on the first Bhutan 
Mission, and they were duly forwarded to the Botanical 
Gardens in Calcutta, but up to the present date I have 
had no news of any classification having been made. 
The delay seems regrettable, as there may have been some 
new and interesting plants among them. I certainly saw 

206 



AN EXPLORATION OF EASTERN BHUTAN 

many plants which do not occur in Sikhim, where every 
valley and hill has been thoroughly explored. 

The following day I continued my journey up the 
valley, and camped at Lung, passing en route the Guru 
Lhakhang, a very old building, surrounded by ancient 
poplars, but in itself uninteresting. On this march I 
discovered that the main stream of the Monass takes 
its rise in the great amphitheatre of snow-mountains, 
averaging 24,000 feet in height, round Kulu-Kangri. 
It rises from some large glaciers, and is exceedingly 
muddy, the water a thick yellowish-red colour. At 
Lyateoh, where my transport was changed, the main 
valley turned to the west, although the river containing 
by far the most water came in from the south. The quan- 
tity of silt brought down is very great, and shows what 
enormous disintegration is in progress. I was particularly 
struck by the number of ruined villages I passed on this 
march. 

In the hills round Lung there is some fine ovis ammon 
ground, and I saw several large flocks. They were extra- 
ordinarily tame, and allowed me to walk, across the open, 
to within thirty or forty yards, and then only moved slowly 
away. I first saw them from my bed. I awoke early, 
and on looking out I saw eight grazing on the hillside not 
half a mile away. They have never been shot at, which 
accounts for their tameness. 

A path from Lung, used by yaks and their drivers, 
leads over the snow to the head-waters of the branches of 
the Mo-chhu, and is said not to be a very difficult one. 
My route, however, took me up the valley and over the 
Ta-la Pass (17,900 feet), the watershed between India 
and the Pho-mo-chang-thang Lake basin, which has no 
outlet, then along high, rolling downs, and, after passing 
three small lakes, came to the large plain at the head ci 
the Pho-mo-chang-thang Lake itself. The lake appeals 
to be receding to a certain extent, and I think probably 
this is chiefly owing to the large quantities of silt brought 

207 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

down by an unnamed river from the glaciers, and its con- 
sequent filling up on the west side. We crossed the plain 
in a violent hailstorm, and camped in the middle of it on 
a bare and exposed yak station called Sagang, in sight of 
the lake. The Tongsa accompanied me to the top of 
the pass, where he took his leave, presenting me with 
scarves of different colours, a pretty custom which is both 
picturesque and at the same time expressive of the most 
cordial good feeling. 

From the downs at Sagang I had a clear view of the 
snow-hills which form the boundary between Bhutan and 
Tibet, with the country to the north of the hills clearly to 
be seen and the courses of the rivers quite plainly visible. 
Fortunately, some of the dopkas (yak herdsmen) had 
pitched tents, which were most welcome, as there was 
a very strong, cold wind blowing, and, the march having 
been a long one, our things did not arrive till late. En 
route we saw some ovis ammon, but did not shoot any. 
We had to cross the large river which takes its rise on the 
north of the snows forming the boundary between Bhutan 
and Tibet and runs into the west end of the lake, and 
had some difficulty in finding a ford, as the bed was full 
of quicksands, but eventually a herdsman showed us one, 
and also told us there were only two places at which it 
could be crossed in safety. This man came from a very 
large encampment of herdsmen, who had hundreds of 
yaks and a few sheep in their care. They were extremely 
hospitable, spread carpets for us to sit on, and gave us 
fresh milk and Tibetan tea, as well as parched barley. It 
was a curious sight to watch the milking of the yaks, the 
method being, to say the least of it, peculiar, and one I 
had not seen or heard of elsewhere in Tibet. 

I made a very early start from Sagang, and after climbing 
600 feet came to the watershed between the lake basin and 
the Nyeru-chhu. These hills are nearly all rounded, with 
very few precipices, and are evidently much frequented by 
both ovis ammon and burhel, for I saw numerous fine 

208 



AN EXPLORATION OF EASTERN BHUTAN 

heads lying about. The natives explained this by saying 
that in winter wolves attack and kill the males, who in 
consequence of the weight of their heavy horns cannot get 
quickly over the ground and out of reach. From the ridge 
I followed a stream which took me the whole way to the 
Nyeru Valley, but which is not marked on the map Ryder 
made at the time of the Lhasa Mission. This may be 
accounted for by the very narrow gorge through which 
it passes on entering the valley. The Bhutan boundary 
runs right up to the head of the Nyeru Valley, and from 
Nelung the Wagya-la, over which there is a trade route 
to Bhutan, can be seen. We had a long, weary march 
across a flat plain in hail and rain before reaching Nelung, 
where tents had fortunately been pitched by the head- 
man, and very welcome they were, as all our things did not 
come up till past eight o'clock, and it continued to rain 
and blow hard nearly all night, though it was fairly fine 
towards morning. 

I discovered that the Nyeru-chhu takes its rise in the 
high snows not far from the source of the Kuru-chhu. 
It breaks through the dividing ridge between the lake 
basin and the Nyeru Valley under the snow, and then 
takes a right-angle bend to the north and comes down 
past Nyeru. 

All the valleys I have seen to the north of the water- 
shed — viz., from Eastern Bhutan to some distance west of 
Sikhim — appear to have at some remote period been much 
more densely populated than at present. At every turn I 
came on ruins of habitations and remains of old irrigation 
channels ; and overcrowding may possibly account for this 
migration over the Himalayas into the comparatively hot 
valleys of Bhutan, in which no Tibetan would willingly 
settle, though he might be forced by circumstances to 
do so. This also raises the interesting question of the 
former climate of these parts. I think there is no doubt 
that there must have been considerably more rain, and 
everything appears to support this view— the receding 

209 o 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

glaciers and diminishing streams, also the fact that all 
the lakes in this part of Tibet show a large amount of con- 
traction, and to all appearances are still decreasing. On 
the Yam-dok-tsho several distinct old shores can be 
traced running round the lake, some quite sixty feet above 
the present lake level. Pho-mo-chang-thang, Kala-tsho, 
Bam-tsho, and Rhum-tsho are all drying up. What is 
the cause of this ? Is it the gradual elevation of the 
Himalayas, shutting out the monsoon current, or has the 
monsoon current itself diminished ? The migration south- 
ward might also be accounted for by diminished rainfall, 
the people being no longer able to support themselves 
and their cattle on the produce of the land, and being 
obliged to seek new and more productive country. 

It is a very interesting subject, but requires more 
time and research to be devoted to it than I have been 
able to give. 

At Nelung I lost one of my favourite mules, Kitty, 
whom I had had for many years, and who had served 
me jvell. She must have contracted a chill crossing in the 
haO, for soon after reaching camp she was taken ill with 
colic, and nothing I could do was of any use, and she died 
during the night. 

From Nelung my route took me over an easy pass to 
the Phari-Gyantse road. At Gyantse I spent a few days 
making a visit of inspection to Bailey, the officiating 
British Trade Agent and my Assistant Political Officer. 
The post is a lonely and isolated one, and the work was 
none too pleasant, owing to the attitude of the Chinese, 
who did all in their power to be obstructive, and used 
every possible means to prevent the Tibetans having any 
direct intercourse with us ; but things on the whole were 
fairly satisfactory. From Gyantse I returned by the 
ordinary route to Chumbi, and thence to Gangtak, thus 
bringing to an end my exploration in Bhutan. 



210 



CHAPTER XVIII 

MY SECOND MISSION TO BHUTAN 

Severe weather. Shan. A frozen torrent Dng-gye-joog. 
A visit to Paro Ta-tshang Monastery. Sang-tog-peri Paro- 
jong burnt down. Arrival at Poonakha. The Tongsa's 
band. 

My second mission to Bhutan was undertaken at the 
invitation of Sir Ugyen Wang-chuk to be present as his 
guest and as representative of the British Government 
at his installation as Hereditary Maharaja of Bhutan. 

I left Gangtak on November 25, 1907, accompanied 
by Major Rennick, of the Intelligence Branch, and Mr. 
Wilton, C.M.G., of His Majesty's Consular Service. Mr. 
Campbell, my Assistant Political Officer, I had sent on 
ahead to Chumbi to make arrangements for coolies and 
transport, and Captain Hyslop, who was accompanying 
me at the special request of Sir Ugyen, had not yet 
arrived, and was to follow, making forced marches in 
order to catch us up. 

I travelled over the usual route viA Karponang and 
Chongu, and arrived without any misadventure the third 
day in Chumbi, where I halted. Several days were 
occupied in arranging for the escort, which consisted of 
twenty-five men of the 62nd Punjabis, under a native 
officer, a hospital assistant, and the usual following of dooly- 
bearers, &c. 

Unfortunately I contracted a chill, and was obliged to 
remain in bed for a few days, so I sent Campbell on with 

azz 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

the escort and heavy baggage to Phari, and Hyslop having 
by this time arrived, we left Chumbi on December 2. 
Rennick and I went straight to Gautsa, while Wilton and 
Hyslop camped at Lingmathang in hopes of getting a 
w^ shau of which my shikari had brought us news. It was a 

very cold day when we started, with the thermometer at 
zero and the high wind that always blows up the valley, 
and this shortly turned into a veritable hurricane, so the 
two in tents had a bad night of it. The wind was so 
strong they could hardly keep the tent standing; they 
were nearly frozen; and, worst of all, after having 
undergone all these discomforts, they could see no sign 
of the shau, although my orderly, Purboo, said he caught 
a glimpse of one close to the camp. The shau which the 
shikari reported having seen was apparently a magni- 
ficent specimen, with splendid horns, and was known to 
many natives by a small white patch on its forehead. 
I should very much have liked to stay and stalk him, 
but I had no time for such pleasures, and had to forego 
a chance I shall not have again. 

Wilton returned to India from Lingmathang, as he was 
obliged to meet some Chinamen in Calcutta, and Hyslop 
came on by himself to rejoin us in the bungalow at Gautsa, 
where we were waiting for him. He found the road very 
bad and difficult, as the wind had covered it with the 
trunks of fallen trees. 

We in the bungalow had not fared much better than 

the men in tents. We were a good deal higher, and the 

cold — 26 below zero — was so intense that the river, usually 

a roaring torrent, was frozen absolutely solid during the 

night, and there was not a sound of water to be heard. 

It was very curious to listen to it gradually becoming less 

and less until it finally became silent. All our provisions 

in the bungalow, milk, tea, meat even, were frozen solid, 

and no fire would thaw them ; no water was to be had, only 

chunks of ice ; and it was almost impossible to keep warm. 

The wind was still blowing a hurricane, and the mule- 

212 



MY SECOND MISSION TO BHUTAN 

drivers refused to start, saying that no animal could 
stand against the force of the wind and the bitter cold, 
so we were perforce obliged to remain where we were and 
listen to the wind roaring through the trees. 

Such a huricane was unknown so low in the valley, 
and the mule-men said they had never witnessed any- 
thing like it. Fortunately the storm was unaccompanied 
by snow, for the sky was clear and the sun shining all 
the time; otherwise I think it would really have been 
unbearable. To add to our misfortunes, Rennick had 
gout, and the cold did him no good. 

The next morning the wind had dropped, and we 
marched across the plain, meeting the Katzog Kazi on the 
way, to Phari, where the Jongpen received us, in perfect 
weather, in brilliant sunshine, which in sheltered places 
was almost hot. 

At Phari, Bailey, my assistant from Gyantse, was 
waiting to see me, and Morgan, of the 62nd, who had 
taken on the escort, was also there, and, with Campbell, 
we made a large gathering in the Dak bungalow. We left 
Phari on December 5, our party finally consisting of myself, 
Rennick, Hyslop, Campbell, Rai Lobzang Choden Sahib, 
my confidential clerk, twenty-five sepoys of the 62nd, 
with three pipers and two drummers under a native officer, 
and 264 loads of baggage, in addition to a string of our 
own ponies and mules, personal servants and dooly-bearers. 
It sounds a large quantity of baggage, but what with 
presents and rations for the escort, it soon mounted up. 

The day was beautiful, and we very soon reached the 
Temo-la (16,500 feet), about three miles from Phari, and 
the boundary between Tibet and Bhutan. The view 
from the summit of the pass looking into Bhutan was a 
very fine one. Our road took us over a fairly easy gradient 
for a few miles, and then in a sheltered little valley I was 
met by the Dug-gye Jongpen and a party of men with 
messages from Sir Ugyen Wang-chuk welcoming my 
party to Bhutan. The Jongpen had brought his band 

213 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

of drums, gongs, and cymbals with him, and they played 
whilst we were partaking of the refreshments he had 
provided for us. For a short distance further on the road 
was not so bad, but we then entered a very rocky gorge, 
down which the path led in a series of short zigzags, 
and was practically a rough stair, with enormous steps 
from rock to rock. It was exceedingly bad going both for 
ourselves and the mules, and was quite unrideable. 

Rennick, who could hardly put foot to the ground, 
was carried on the back of a Bhutanese orderly, with two 
or three men to help, and as he weighs over fifteen 
stone he was no light load. However, with occasional 
knocks against projecting rocks, which did not improve 
his temper, he was safely deposited at the bottom, where 
mules sent by the Jongpen and the Paro Penlop were 
waiting for us, as the road into camp was said to be quite 
good. 

On our way through the gorge we stopped for lunch, 
but none of us enjoyed it much, as the meat was frown 
so hard that it was quite uneatable, and the thermos flask 
had gone wrong and our long-looked-forward-to hot soup 
was very cold. Whilst lunching, too, we dropped the top 
of one of the sparklet bottles amongst some stones, and 
it took us a long time to find it, but as we had only two 
bottles with us we could not afford to lose it. At the 
lower end the trees became very fine, and we passed some 
enormous specimens of larch and different sorts of pine, as 
well as rhododendron, birch, maple, and holly-oak. 

The gaily caparisoned mules and ponies were waiting 
for us at the bottom, with equally gaily attired attendants* 
We each mounted one, and were immediately started off 
at a brisk trot over slippery boulders and round projecting 
rocks and corners, which threatened to knock our knees 
to pieces, but as the reins on the animals were only for 
•ornament, and not for use, we had to submit to the syces 9 
guidance and allow ourselves to be dragged over a horrible 

road. The ride was not an agreeable one ; it was a marvel 

214 



MY SECOND MISSION TO BHUTAN 

how the animals kept their feet, and I should often have 
liked to get off and walk ; but my dignity was at stake, 
and for shame's sake I had to stick to my mount; but 
I was glad when the camp appeared round a corner and 
I could dismount and stretch my limbs. Just before 
^altering camp our band was augmented by more musi- 
cians carrying "gyeling," or silver trumpets, on which 
they performed in the most approved style, turning to- 
wards you as they blew with a great sweep and flourish 
towards the sky. 

We reached our camping-ground about 3 p.m., a lovely 
open spot in the midst of larch and spruce, with mag- 
nificent views both up and down the valley, and found our 
heavy baggage waiting for us. Sorting out the tents was 
rather a difficult task, as the coolies had thrown every- 
thing in a heap, but we soon got things into fair order, and 
had a roaring fire made in the middle of the camp, round 
which we all sat and made ourselves comfortable, although 
a good deal of our baggage did not arrive till midnight. 
We had come about fifteen or twenty miles, and the march 
had been a long and trying one for the coolies. We had 
mow to change our Phari coolies for Bhutanese transport, 
and this, in addition to the very large amount of baggage, 
necessitated an early start; but my Moonshi Lobzang, 
who was splendid at this sort of arrangement, soon got 
things straight, and before we had breakfast the bulk of 
the piles of baggage had disappeared and was on cts way 
to our next halting-place. 

As this was our first morning in Bhutan, the escort 
proper thought they would play us out of camp, aad, 
according to custom, the Bhutanese did the same, and 
the combined noise was awful, fiyslop was very critical 
about the 62nd pipers, which I suppose was natural, but 
as I am not a Highlander I could not see very much 
difference between their performance and the real tttag. 

A little below the camp we crossed the Pa-chha by a 
flrery picturesque covered cantilever bridge. The maccb 

"5 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

was an extremely pretty one, as it took us the whole way 
through forests of Pinus excclsa, with here and there some 
lovely glades, and occasional farmhouses with patches of 
cultivation. After recrossing the river we soon came in 
sight of Dug-gye-jong, which I have already said is the 
most beautifully situated Jong I know, and which looks 
well from whichever side it is approached. On arriving at 
the Jong I was received by the Jongpen, who took me to 
his guest-room, where the walls were hung with bows and 
arrows, shields, quaint old guns, saddle-cloths, and curious 
bridles. We were shown to chairs on a high dais by the 
window, and an excellent omelette with spring onions 
was served, accompanied by milk and warm chang to 
drink and some very good walnuts. We stayed in 
the Jong till our tents were pitched and comfortably 
settled, when we moved across. The day had been warm, 
but as soon as the sun went behind the hills we were glad 
to put on great-coats and to sit round a good fire. We 
halted at Dug-gye for a couple of days, and sorted out our 
stores, managing to reduce them by a few loads. Some of 
the party went out after pheasants, but saw very few, 
while I enjoyed having a day off and took some good 
photographs. 

The second day we made an expedition to the Paro 
Ta-tshang Monastery, one of the holiest monasteries in 
Bhutan, situated on the opposite side of the valley, about 
3000 feet up. The road was reported to be very bad, and 
it certainly was, and I was glad I had not brought my owta 
animals, but had borrowed mules from the Jongpen for all 
our party. The road to the top of the spur was very steep, 
with frozen slippery patches where it was shady and very 
hot in the sun. It ran in one place in a narrow path 
across a precipice, with a tremendous drop below, and 
in another became a series of steep stone steps. On 
reaching the top of the ridge we first came in sight of the 
monastery buildings, grouped on an almost perpendicular 

hillside in the most picturesque manner. The main 

216 



MY SECOND MISSION TO BHUTAN 

temple is erected on what is practically a crack in a per- 
pendicular rock over 2000 feet in height, and along the 
crack there are a few more subsidiary buildings. Each 
building is two stories high, and is painted, like all monas- 
teries, a dull light grey on the lower story, with a broad 
band of madder-red above, and shingle roofs, on the top 
of which are gilded canopies. It was unquestionably the 
most picturesque group of buildings I had seen. Every 
natural feature in the landscape had been taken advan- 
tage of, and beautiful old trees clinging to the rocks were 
in just the right position, and, combined with the sheer 
precipices, made a magnificent picture. 

We appeared to be quite close, but were really sepa- 
rated from the buildings by an almost inaccessible gorge. 
The only approach was by a narrow path or series of steps, 
where a foot misplaced would precipitate you to the bot- 
tom, quite 1000 feet, across a plank bridge, and then up 
another series of little steps cut in the rock. The native 
hospital assistant had accompanied our party so far, but 
this was too much for him. He said he had been in many 
bad places, but never such a bad one as this, and he turned 
back to where the mules were waiting. Natives, as a 
rule, have good heads and do not mind bad roads, so 
that speaks for itself. 

Across the gorge a rope of little coloured prayer-flags 
was stretched, which fluttered out prayers for the benefit 
of those who had put them up, and this added to the 
picturesqueness of the scene. 

On reaching the top of our ladder-like path a monk 
presented us each with a draught of beautifully ice-cold 
water in a gourd from a holy spring, and I can imagine it 
being much appreciated on a hot day. 

The most holy shrine, the sanctuary round which all 
the other buildings have sprung up, was situated in a 
cave. The cave is not large, and in it was a gilded chorten 
filled with small images of Buddha in copper-gilt, each 
seated on a lotus, and many of very good design. The 

217 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

other buildings were for the most part ordinary temples, 
with frescoed walls and altars, with butter lamps and 
incense burning, and in the principal one there was a very 
fine brass Buddha of more than life size, surrounded by his 
satellites. There were also some unusually good speci- 
mens of dorjes (thunderbolts) and purpas (daggers), both 
of which are used in the temple services. They were sup- 
posed to be of holy origin, and to be found amongst the 
solid rocks near the shrine, but I could see none, although 
the Bya-gha Jongpen's son, a nephew of the Tongsa, had 
taken one away a few weeks previously. My servants 
were very anxious to secure one of these treasures, and 
climbed to an almost inaccessible point in the rocks in 
search of them, but without success. 

In the centre of the gorge, perched upon a tiny ledge, 
there was a hermit's dwelling, which could only be reached 
by climbing a perpendicular notched pole about forty feet 
high. It looked diminutive against the enormous preci- 
pice, and very dreary and uninviting, with long icicles 
hanging from the roof, and we did not attempt to visit it. 
We, however, climbed to the top of the precipice to visit 
the monastery of Sang-tog-peri, which was most pic- 
turesquely situated on a projecting spur, with a fine old oak 
overhanging the entrance. It reminded me of some of the 
Japanese temples in Kioto in the way the natural features 
of the ground had been utilised to beautify the entrance. 

There was a lovely view from this point. Around 
us on all sides were spurs with other monasteries and 
nunneries, but they were all more or less difficult of access, 
and our time would not admit of further delay, so we 
were obliged to return leaving them un visited. It was a 
place that would take days to explore, and would well 
repay the trouble, especially to an artist in search of the 
beautiful and unusual. 

We returned to Dug-gye by another road, which led 
down aa easy spur, and were glad to rest round our camp- 
fire, as it was late and cold. 

218 



MY SECOND MISSION TO BHUTAN 

The next day we continued our journey down the 
valley to Paro, and were met half-way by Rai Ugyen 
Kazi Bahadur, the Bhutanese Agent in India, who had 
been unable to accompany us, and had travelled from 
Chumbi vii Hah. He was accompanied by representa- 
tives of the Paro Penlop, bringing scarves of welcome 
and murwa, as well as fresh mules and ponies for all the 
party. At Paro I was received by the Penlop and his 
newly married son, quite a lad, but I did not see his 
bride. 

Paro-jong, one of the finest forts in Bhutan, which 
I have already described, had been burnt to the ground 
a few weeks previously, and was now a heap of blackened 
ruins, with only a few walls standing up gaunt and 
melancholy. Although the ruins were still smouldering, 
preparations for rebuilding had already commenced, and 
the debris was being removed and new timber collected, 
an arduous task in these hills, especially as enormous 
beams are used in all Bhutanese construction. They also 
use a quite unnecessary amount, and make their floors 
far too thick. 

The rebuilding of such a fort is a very great tax on 
the people, and is generally borne by those close at hand, 
but in this case, by an arrangement of the Tongsa's, the 
whole of Bhutan was contributing either in money or 
labour, thereby saving much hardship to the neighbourmg 
villagers and expediting the work of reconstruction, ft 
was rumoured that the Jong had been purposely set «i 
fire, but I had no opportunity of finding out the truth, 
though a suspicious circumstance was that the Penlop 
was believed to have succeeded in saving his own pro- 
perty — no inconsiderable amount — while all Government 
property was destroyed. The Bhutanese estimated their 
loss at about i£ lacs of rupees, or £12,000, and that it 
would take four years to rebuild the fort. There were 
flocks of pigeons flying about the ruins, and Hyslop and 
I did a little shooting. 

319 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Our next camp was in a village called Pemithang, 
crossing on our way the Be-la Pass (10,500 feet), from where 
we had a magnificent view of Chomolhari to the north. 
The road was fairly good, except that in a few places it 
was covered with ice for several hundred yards; but it 
was easy to have earth thrown on it, and the mules crossed 
safely. We were now using animals provided by the 
Tongsa, and very good ones they were, and as even our 
servants were mounted it did not take long to move from 
one camp to another. 

At Chalimaphe our camp was again pitched round 
the magnificent old weeping cypress, measuring over 
fifty feet in circumference at the base. Unfortunately 
I had another attack of fever, and had to halt for a 
couple of days. It was bitterly cold at night, unusually 
so for that elevation, and water standing by my bed was 
frozen solid. 

Hyslop and Campbell utilised the time by visiting 
Tashi-cho-jong, the summer capital. They found that 
since my last visit the Thimbu Jongpen had built a 
magnificent new gompa, on which he appears to have 
spent a great deal of money. The decorations were good, 
and the central figure of a seated Buddha was quite twenty 
feet high, and heavily gilt. Above and around it was a 
canopy and background of golden leaves, and the figure 
itself was richly studded with turquoises and precious 
stones. On either side were attendant female figures, 
and in double rows more than life-sized images of Bhii- 
tanese gods, while the walls were hung with brocades 
and embroidered banners; and altogether it must have 
cost the Thimbu a good deal. 

Next morning we left Chalimaphe for the last camp 
before reaching our destination, Poonakha. The morn- 
ings here are always exceedingly cold until the sun rises, 
when one's wraps become oppressive, but the ride up 
the valley was beautiful. This time we visited the fort of 
Simtoka, which has some ancient figures and carvings 

220 



MY SECOND MISSION TO BHUTAN 

in stone, but is principally interesting on account of its 
age. From the pass, the Dokyong-la, we had a magni- 
ficent view of the snow ranges for the first time, as on 
my previous visit the whole range was never visible, but 
was enveloped in clouds, which only occasionally lifted 
to allow the different peaks to be seen. It was a fine 
sight, as the range extended on the right as far as some 
peaks to the east of Kulu-Kangri and on the left to 
Chomolhari. 

We passed our old camp at Lung-me-tsawe, and 
moved down to a warmer spot at the bottom of the 
hill, where we camped amongst paddy-fields; but even 
here a fire was most welcome as soon as the sun went 
behind the hills. From this a short march brought us to 
Poonakha, and about four miles out we were met by a 
deputation from the Tongsa Penlop. He had sent the 
Ghassa Jongpen, who brought scarves of welcome and 
baskets of fruit, oranges, plantains, and persimmons, in 
addition to sealed wicker-covered bamboos filled with 
murwa and chang. There were at least five or six gaily 
caparisoned mules for each of us to ride, sent by the Tongsa, 
the Poonakha Jongpen, Deb Zimpon, and others, so we 
had an abundance of choice. The Tongsa had also sent 
his band, which consisted of six men, two in red, who 
were the trumpeters, while the remainder, dressed in green, 
carried drums and gongs. The mass of colours of every 
hue was most picturesque, and we made a very gay 
procession as we started off again towards Poonakha. 
At the point where the Jong first comes in view a salute 
of guns was fired, more retainers met us, and our pro- 
cession was joined by the dancers. The band and dancers 
preceded me down the hill playing a sort of double tam- 
bourine, and twisting and twirling to the beat as they 
descended the path. The procession must have extended 
for quite half a mile along the hillside. First came the 
pipes and drums and escort of the 62nd Punjabis, followed 
by some twenty led mules, most of them with magnificent 

321 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

saddle-cloths, with their syces and other retainers ; next 
the bodyguard of the Tongsa, about twenty men, dressed 
in beautiful silks and brocades, and each with a yellow 
scarf. The band and dancers followed immediately in front 
of myself and my party, and we again were followed by 
my orderlies and servants, who were all mounted and 
wearing their scarlet uniforms. On account of the narrow 
path, the procession had to proceed in single file, and as 
we gradually wended our way across the bridge, through 
a corner of the Jong to the ground occupied by my camp 
on my visit in 1905, we must have made a brave show 
for the country folk, who had flocked out in thousands to 
watch our arrival. 

At the camp entrance the Tongsa Penlop, with his 
council, was waiting to receive us as we dismounted, and 
we were conducted up a path covered with red cloth and 
between lines of flowers and shrubs in pots to the mess- 
house they had built for us, and which we entered with 
the council, all others being excluded. I was shown to a 
seat at the end of the room, with the Tongsa and his council 
on my left and the other members of the Mission on my 
right. The members of the council who were present 
were the Paro Penlop, the Thimbu Jongpen, the Poonakha 
Jongpen, and the Deb Zimpon, the other two members 
being prevented by illness from attending. As soon as 
we were seated the Tongsa, followed by his council, pre- 
sented each member of the Mission with scarves, and 
then murwa, tea, and other refreshments were brought in. 
I talked for some little time to the Tongsa, who then 
went round to each of the party welcoming them to Bhutan 
and saying how pleased he was to see them. 

We found a very comfortable camp laid out for us, 
bearing evident traces of the impressions they had brought 
back from their Calcutta visit, for the paths were edged 
with pot plants and red cloth was laid down. We each 
had our own little wooden house, with one room and a bath- 
room, raised about eighteen inches from the ground, with 

222 



MY SECOND MISSION TO BHUTAN 

shingle roofs, and surmounted by small coloured prayer- 
flags. Inside, the walls were covered with thin white 
cloth, with a frieze of draped coloured silk. The windows 
were like small port-holes, of course without glass, but with 
a[shutter to pull across at night. They had no furniture, but 
the mess-house, which was a big room about twenty feet 
square, had an excellent table in the centre, and ten wooden 
arm-chairs which would have done credit to any carpenter 
and were wonderful productions when you remember that 
these people have no saws, no planes, no nails, and only 
the roughest of tools. The walls of the mess-house were 
covered with wonderful pictures in colour, and a large red 
and yellow curtain to let down at night. The table also 
had a white cloth, which was carefully gummed or pasted 
on. Outside the houses were painted white, and a few 
steps led to the doors. There were also mat huts for the 
servants, and an excellent kitchen. The enclosure was 
quite a hundred yards square, surrounded by a fence, and 
with branches of pine-trees planted every few yards, while 
the stables were some little distance off ; so we could hardly 
have been more comfortable* 

The next day we spent in settling down and preparing 
for the ceremony on the following day. I took Hyslop 
with me and made an inspection of the hall in the Jong 
where the ceremony was to be held. It was very suitable, 
as it was a large room on the ground floor, with a gallery 
running all round, and capable of holding many hundreds 
of spectators, and by removing part of the roof they could 
let in both light and air. At the main entrance to the 
Jong quite a little bazaar was in progress, cloth-merchants 
selling Bhutanese cloths and cheap down-country cottons 
and sweetmeats, and pan-sellers doing a roaring trade, 
as the Bhutanese are always chewing pan. 



**3 



CHAPTER XIX 

MY SECOND MISSION TO BHUTAN— continued 

Installationof Sir Ugyen as Maharaja of Bhutan. Presen- 
tation of gifts. Tea ceremony. Oath of allegiance. Seal 
of the Dharma Raja. Chinese influence on the frontier. 
Christmas Day. Feeding the poor. Return of escort. Dis- 
cussion of State affairs with Maharaja and council. I leave 
for Jaigaon. ATakin. Inspection of frontier. Wild animals. 

December 17, the day of the installation of the Maha- 
raja, dawned brightly on a scene of great bustle and 
preparation. Punctually at ten o'clock our procession 
started for the Jong, all the members in uniform, pre- 
ceded by the pipes and drums playing " Highland Laddie," 
and followed by my orderlies in their picturesque Sikhimese 
dress and the escort of the 62nd. At the entrance to 
the main gateway I was received by the Tongsa Penlop 
and the council, and conducted to the hall, which was 
gaily decorated with floating banners of brocade and gyalt- 
sen, and with precious religious picture-scrolls embroidered 
in silk. At the upper end of the room was a dais, with 
three wooden thrones covered with cushions and silk 
cloths, and in front of each a small table with a cere- 
monial offering of fruit. 

The Tongsa occupied the centre throne, placing me on 
his right hand, and the Lama Khenpo, Ta-tshang Khenpo, 
on his left. The other members of the Mission were seated 
on chairs on the right of the aisle, the members of council, 
headed by the Paro Penlop, just below them on the same 
side ; opposite, on the left of the aisle, was the Tango Lama 

224 



MY SECOND MISSION TO BHUTAN 

and other representative lamas, in their gorgeous robes 
of office, and wearing brocade hats. My orderlies and the 
escort were lined up behind my seat and the chairs occu- 
pied by the other members of the Mission. Facing the 
Tongsa, at the further end of the room, was an altar covered 
with lighted silver butter lamps. The broad aisle in the 
centre of the room was kept clear, but all other available 
space was filled by a dense throng of spectators, monks 
and laymen on either side, minor Jongpens and officials at 
the lower end. In the gallery a band of lama musicians 
was stationed, and another dense mass of interested on- 
lookers, some of whom even invaded the roof to watch 
through the space removed for light and air, although 
they were repeatedly driven off by the lamas. 

The Tongsa wore a robe of blue brocade, with the 
star and ribbon of the K.C.I.E. and the scarlet shawl,, 
the distinguishing mark of the council. 

The proceedings were opened by the formal presen- 
tation of the Durbar gifts from the Government of India, 
which were brought in and placed in front of the Tongsa 
Penlop. This was followed by the presentation of the 
Ta-tshang Khenpo's gifts, which were laid on the floor by 
his attendants. Next came the Tango Lama, as head 
and representative of the monastic body. Leaving his 
mitre and silken cope in his place, he advanced in the 
ordinary red monk's garb and prostrated himself twice, 
then returned to his seat and resumed his vestments. 
After the Tango Lama came the councillors, in order of 
seniority, following them the Jongpens of the different 
Jongs in a body, and so on until all had made their several 
obeisances and contributed their offering to the mighty 
pile of silks, cloths, silver coins, and gold-dust in the centre 
of the hall. The Maharaja-elect and the council then 
presented the Mission with scarves. 

When this was concluded a procession of lamas, with 
tea-pots and other vessels of copper, gold, and silver, 
appeared, and the important ceremony of tea-drinking, 

225 p 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

without which no function in this part of the world is 
complete, was gone through. Three kinds of tea, rice, and 
pan were each offered in turn, and in conclusion one of 
the chief lamas intoned a long grace. 

The head clerk to the council now rose, and from the 
centre of the hall read out from a parchment scroll the 
oath of allegiance to the new Maharaja, which the chiefs 
and headmen were about to sign. The Ta-tshang Khenpo 
from a casket produced the great seal of the Dharma 
Raja, which was solemnly affixed to the document. This 
was a lengthy proceeding, carried out with great care, and 
eagerly watched by the company. The seal measures 
about five inches square. The paper was first most carefully 
damped with warm water, then the seal was painted ova: 
with vermilion, and finally the impression was taken. 
Then in turn the council, the lamas, the Jongpens, and 
other high officials each affixed his seal ; but their impres- 
sions were in black, not vermilion; and the lamas, on 
leaving their seats, whether to present the Maharaja with 
gifts or to affix their seals, always took off their hats and 
robes of office, resuming them when they again seated them- 
selves. The following is a translation of the document : 

"To 

The foot of the two-fold Judge. 

"Most Respectfully Prayeth, 

" There being no Hereditary Maharaja over this State 

of Bhutan, and the Deb Rajas being elected from amongst 

the Lamas, Lopons, Councillors, and the Chiolahs of the 

different districts, we the undersigned Abbots, Lopons, 

and the whole body of Lamas, the State Councillors, the 

Chiolahs of the different districts, with all the subjects, 

having discussed and unanimously agreed to elect Sir 

Ugyen Wang-chuk, Tongsa Penlop, the Prime Minister 

of Bhutan, as Hereditary Maharaja of this State, have 

installed him, in open Durbar, on the golden throne on this 

226 



MY SECOND MISSION TO BHUTAN 

the 13th day of the nth month of Sa-tel year, corresponding 
to the 17th December, 1907, at Poonakha-phodang. 

" We now declare our allegiance to him and his heirs 
with unchanging mind, and undertake to serve him and 
his heirs loyally and faithfully to the best of our ability. 
Should any one not abide by this contract by saying this 
and that, he shall altogether be turned out of our company. 

" In witness thereto we affix our seals." 

Seal of the whole body of lamas, headed by the Khenpo 
and Lopon. Seal and sign of Chotsi (Tongsa) Chiolah. 
Seal and sign of Zung Donyer Tsewang Paljor. Seal 
and sign of Thimbu Jongpen Kunzang Tinley. Seal and 
sign of Poonakha Jongpen Palden Wang-chuk. Seal and 
sign of Angdu-phodang Jongpen Kunzang Norbu. Seal 
and sign of Rinpung Chiolah (Paro Penlop) Dow Paljor. 
Seal and sign of Tarkar Chiolah Tsewang Dorje. Seal 
and sign of Deb Zimpon Kunzang Tsering. 

Second-class Officers. — Seal and sign of Zung Donsapa 
Shar Sring. Seal and sign of Zimpon Nangma Namgyal. 
Seal and sign of Ta-pon Rigzin Dorje. Seal and sign of 
Chapon Samdub. Seal and sign of Poonakha Zimpon 
Sangay Tinley. Seal and sign of Poonakha Nyerpa Kunley* 
Seal and sign of Ghassa-jong Tarpon Goley Ngodub. Seal 
and sign of Thimbu Zimpon Sithub. Seal and sign of 
Thimbu Nyerpa Phurpa Tashi. Seal and sign of Linzi 
Nyerpa Taya Gepo. Seal and sign of Angdu-phodang 
Zimpon Tsewang Ngodub. Seal and sign of Angdu-pho- 
dang Nyerpa Gharpon. Seal and sign of Rinpung Don- 
yer Palzang. Seal and sign of Minpung Nyerpa Yesha. 
Seal and sign of Rinpung Zimpon Sigyal. Seal and sign 
of Dug-gye Jongpen Samten Wot Zer. Seal and sign of 
Hah Tungpa Ugyen. Seal and sign of Bya-gha Jongpen 
Tsemed Dorje. Seal and sign of Shon-gha Jongpen Dorje 
Paljor. Seal and sign of Tashigong Jongpen Sonam 
Sring. Seal and sign of Lhuntse Jongpen Tinley Gyatso. 
Seal and sign of Shalgang Jongpen Karma. Seal and sign 

227 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

of all the third-class officers of Poonakha. Seal and sign 
of all the third-class officers of Tashi-cho-jong. Seal and 
sign of all the third-class officers of Angdu-phodang. Seal 
and sign of all the third-class officers of Tongsa. Seal 
and sign of all the third-class officers of Rinpung (Paro). 
Seal and sign of Chotre Zimpon Dorje. Seal and sign of 
Tarkar Zimpon Dorje. Seal and sign of Nyerchen Wangpo. 
Seal and sign of all the subjects of Tsochen-gyed. Seal 
and sign of all the subjects of Thekar-kyon-chu-sum. Seal 
and sign of all the subjects of Shar-tar-gyed. Seal and 
sign of all the subjects of Bar-khor-tso-tug. Seal and sign 
of all the subjects of Tsen-tong-ling-tug. Seal and sign of 
all the Hah subjects. Seal and sign of all the subjects of 
Shachokhorlo-tsip-gyed. Seal and sign of all the subjects 
of Bar-khor-tso-tug. 

Two copies of the document were prepared and duly 
signed and sealed, and the Tongsa Penlop was thus formally 
elected as His Highness the Maharaja of Bhutan, Sir 
Ugyen Wang-chuk, K.C.I.E. I then rose, and handing 
his Highness his Excellency the Viceroy's kharita, or 
complimentary letter, made a short speech congratulating 
the new Maharaja, saying : 

11 Maharaja Sir Ugyen Wang-chuk, Lamas, Penlops, 
Jongpens, and Headmen, — 

" I have to-day been present at the election of Sir 
Ugyen as Hereditary Maharaja of Bhutan, and congratu- 
late you, Sir Ugyen, most heartily on your accession to 
the gaddi, and the people of Bhutan on their choice 
of a ruler. 

" I have known Bhutan for many years, and, with an 
intimate knowledge of the political questions relating 
thereto, I am convinced that you have taken a wise step 
in thus consolidating the administration of the State. 
Sir Ugyen has been my friend for many years, and you 
could not have made a better choice. His integrity, 
uprightness, and firmness of character commend him to 

228 



MY SECOND MISSION TO BHUTAN 

every one, and his accession to the Maharajaship is not 
only a gain to Bhutan, but is of great advantage to the 
British Government, who will henceforth have a settled 
Government, with a man of strong character at its head, 
to negotiate with. My sincere hope is that you, Sir Ugyen, 
may long be spared to carry through the many improve- 
ments and schemes for the advancement of Bhutan which 
you and I have so often discussed, and I again congratulate 
you on your accession, and feel confident that the affairs 
of Bhutan under your guidance will be in the best of hands. 
I also have great pleasure in handing you a kharita, convey- 
ing to you the congratulations of his Excellency the Viceroy 
and the Government of India. 

11 In conclusion, I wish you long life and prosperity, 
and may your descendants be equally worthy to succeed 
you for many generations to come." 

The other members of the Mission presented the Maha- 
raja with white scarves, and congratulated him on his 
accession and on being the first King of Bhutan; for 
" Gyelpo " is the title given him by the people of Bhutan, 
not Maharaja, and its literal translation is " King.' 1 

The Maharaja, in return, expressed his satisfaction at 
the presence of a Mission from the Government of India 
on this eventful occasion, an occasion which he hoped 
would mark the opening of a new era of prosperity for his 
country, and his great pleasure in welcoming at the head 
of the Mission, as the representative of the Government 
of India, an old friend of many years' standing. This 
brought the ceremony to a close, and we left the hall in 
the order we had come, to the accompaniment of solemn 
music played by the lamas' band, the Maharaja and 
myself heading the procession. We accompanied the 
Maharaja to his private apartments, where refreshments 
in the shape of omelette, rice, fruit, and lychees were 
handed round, and after talking over the events of the 
day I returned to camp. 

This was a momentous day in the history of Bhutan. 

229 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

The country had now a recognised head ; Sir Ugyen Wang- 
chuk, the Tongsa Penlop, had been unanimously chosen 
by the lamas, headmen, and people as their Hereditary 
Maharaja. Sir Ugyen is a man of particularly strong 
character, who has during the last eighteen or twenty 
years piloted Bhutan through a series of revolutions to a 
state of peace and prosperity, who has the welfare of his 
country at heart and thinks of it before all things. He is 
a man universally liked and respected, and is peculiarly 
fitted to be the first Maharaja, and should he live long 
enough I am certain his rule will be entirely for the benefit 
of his people and their country. What he lacks to strengthen 
his hands are funds with which to carry on the develop- 
ment and improvements. The opening up of the country 
he has already commenced, and it is sincerely to be hoped 
that the Government of India may see its way to giving him 
the necessary assistance in the shape of a substantial loan 
on easy terms, or, better still, an increase of his annual 
subsidy. 1 * The aid is required now, not in the distant future, 
and I hope the fact that I am no longer on the spot or 
able to press the matter on Government will not mean 
that the proposals made will be allowed to fall into abey- 
ance, but that the Indian Government will give, and give 
generously, what is required. I cannot pass over the fact 
that the present time is a critical one for relations between 
India and Bhutan, and that if we do not support the 
new Maharaja openly and generously grave complications 
may?,be the result. At the present moment Bhutan and 
its people are thoroughly and entirely friendly to the English, 
and wish beyond everything to enter into close relationships 
with them, but since the withdrawal of the Lhasa Mission 
Chinese influence is more active than ever on this frontier, 
and Bhutan, from lack of active help and sympathy on 
our part, may, against her will, be thrown into the hands 
of the Chinese by sheer force of circumstances, for China, 
as we know, is not likely to lose such an opportunity, when 

the expenditure of a few thousand rupees will gain her 

330 



MY SECOND MISSION TO BHUTAN 

end, and such a departure is to be most highly deprecated 
from all points of view. 

In honour of the Maharaja's accession I gave a dinner 
to Sir Ugyen and his councillors, and invited them for 
seven o'clock, but they all arrived about five. It was a 
little difficult to entertain them until dinner was served, 
but fortunately I had a number of mechanical toys and 
an electric battery to show them, and with all of them they 
were just as pleased as a crowd of overgrown children. 

I had brought the annual subsidy of 50,000 rupees 
with me which, under the treaty of 1866, by which the 
Bhutanese ceded the Duars to the Government of India, 
is paid to them, and presented it in full Durbar. Our 
large shamianah was prepared for the ceremony, and the 
guard presented arms as the Maharaja entered the en- 
closure. Sir Ugyen and his council presented us with 
scarves, and a small offering of salt and cloths was laid 
in front of me. I then formally handed over the treasure, 
which was packed in boxes, to the Maharaja; at his 
request one box was opened and a thousand rupees were 
counted out. The boxes were then taken over by the Deb 
Zimpon and removed to the Jong. The subsidy is usually 
paid at Buxa, in the Duars, but it was more convenient 
for us both to make it over at Poonakha this year. 

At the Maharaja's special request I was present un- 
officially, as his friend, at the first private council meeting 
after his election, and discussed with them and advised 
them on various matters connected with the administration 
of the State. I considered his request a great compliment, 
and was only too pleased to assist him in any way I could. 

I prolonged my visit to Poonakha for some days, explor- 
ing and visiting the Jong, exchanging visits with the chief 
officials and headmen, and making one or two excursions 
to neighbouring monasteries. I revisited the Talo Monas- 
tery, the residence of the Dharma Raja, and found it as 
beautiful and charming as on my first visit, and the old 
Tango Lama, who, until the new incarnation is found, 

331 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

officiates as head of the monastery, as genial and 
able as of old. We passed a night there, and returned to 
Poonakha through lovely scenery, along a road with oak, 
walnut, and wild pear-trees on both sides, and quantities 
of bracken and wild roses. 

On Christmas Day the post came in most opportunely 
with our letters, and later the Maharaja and council 
arrived with their followers to be photographed. It is 
a great pity that in the photographs the colouring of the 
group does not come out, as that was the most effective 
part of the picture. The council were in bright-coloured 
silk robes, each with his crimson shawl of office ; standard- 
bearers in gaily striped bokus ; fighting men with swords, 
leather shields, and brightly polished steel helmets orna- 
mented with colours ; archers with bows and arrows, 
gun-carriers with all kinds of strange weapons, and many 
others, all quaintly and picturesquely dressed. 

Later in the day we distributed doles to the poor in 
the neighbourhood. More than a thousand turned up, a 
most quiet and orderly crowd, who waited with the greatest 
patience each for his turn. I had them marshalled in 
double lines, sitting on the ground, and Rennick and 
Campbell passed down the lines, giving each person a four- 
anna bit. Even the babies were made to hold out their 
hands, though the parent speedily seized the coin. We 
brought an unusual Christmas Day to a close with a dinner- 
party, followed by a magic-lantern exhibition, at which 
the Maharaja and council were our guests ; and with this 
entertainment the ceremonies attending the Maharaja's 
installation came to an end, and the following day our 
party was broken up. I sent Campbell back to Chumbi 
with the escort, while Rennick and Hyslop returned to 
India vi& the Buxa route. 

I remained behind, at the urgent request of the new 
Maharaja and his council, to discuss with them many 
projects and schemes for the welfare and improvement 
of the country. These covered a large area — schools and 

233 



MY SECOND MISSION TO BHUTAN 

education, population, trade, the construction of roads, 
the mineral resources of the country and the best method 
of utilising them, the desirability of encouraging tea culti- 
vation on the waste lands at the foot of the hills, which 
are excellent for the purpose and equal to the best tea land 
in the Duars. 

The discussions were long and earnest, and the Tongsa 
and all his council entered most fully into everything. 
The great stumbling-block to all advancement was the 
lack of funds, and this was clearly recognised by them all, 
as well as the fact that money must be raised ; but the 
difficulty was how to do it. The sale of timber, mining 
concessions, and grants of tea land would all be means 
of bringing in a considerable revenue, and they decided to 
move the Government of India in the matter. After 
spending several days in discussing these proposals I also 
was obliged to take my departure, much as I regretted 
having to do so. Sir Ugyen was much distressed, and felt 
my going keenly, as, owing to my approaching retirement, 
it was the last time we should meet officially, though I 
hope some day to visit him again on my own account. 

Sir Ugyen accompanied me about four miles out of 
Poonakha, and under the shade of a large pine-tree we 
sat for about two hours for our final talk, and then took 
a sad farewell of each other. 

I have never met a native I liked and respected more 
than I do Sir Ugyen. He is upright, honest, open, and 
straightforward, and I wish it had been possible to remain 
in India till he had at least commenced some of his schemes 
of reform. He has a very difficult task before him, and 
at this time especially requires help given to him sym- 
pathetically and directly, without the trammels of official 
red tape. 

My intention was to reach the plains at Jaigaon, travelling 
vil Paro and Dongna-jong, and Ugyen Kazi accompanied 
me. After staying for the night in my old camping-ground 
at Lung-me-tsawe, I reached Paro, and was received by the 

233 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Paro Penlop, who had returned immediately after the 
installation in order to superintend the rebuilding of the 
fort. 

While sitting round the camp-fire that night the ^««" 
Jongpen's men brought me a magnificent specimen of a 
male takin (Budorcas taxicolor Whitei). The carcase was 
frozen hard, and it was only with great difficulty that I 
succeeded in having it skinned. It was a weird sight to 
watch the men working by the light of the fire and bamboo 
torches, but the operation was at last completed, and the 
meat distributed. Every one was eager to secure a portion, 
as it is believed to be a cure for many diseases and a sure 
panacea in the case of child-birth. 

In my travels in Bhutan I have several times heard 
of takin in the neighbourhood, but never had time to go 
after them, as their haunts were always too far off my 
route. 

On leaving Paro I turned to the south and went down 
the valley over a hitherto unknown route, camping for 
the first night at a village called Pomesa. The march 
up the ridge above the Hah Valley, which we crossed by 
the Doley-la, was good going, and we passed through 
some very fine forests. From the ridge I descended to 
the Hah-chhu by an easy road, which led chiefly through 
oaks and Pinus cxcelsa, passing Bite-jong on the way, 
but from the Hah-chhu on to the top of the next ridge, 
over which we crossed by the Lome-la, the road was not 
good. For a great part of the way there were magnificent 
forests of Pinus excelsa, Abies Brunoniana, and silver fir, 
many of the trees exceeding in size anything I have ever 
seen. If these forests, with the water-power at hand on 
all sides, were properly worked they ought to supply all 
the tea districts in India with boxes, and would then soon 
bring in some of the much-needed revenue to Bhutan ; but 
European capital and supervision are absolutely necessary, 
or otherwise the forests will be destroyed. 

From the Lome-la the track down to the Dongna- 

^34 



MY SECOND MISSION TO BHUTAN 

jong, and on to the plains does not deserve the name of 
a road. It is nothing but a watercourse most of the way, 
with mere tracks along bad precipices and almost per- 
pendicular falls, while from Dongna-jong it follows the 
bed of the river, and must be absolutely impassable in the 
rains. It was a marvel how my mules managed to get 
down, but with the exception of being a little footsore 
they were none the worse, and a few days' rest put them 
in condition again. One of the reasons this part of the road 
is so bad is that it is on the slopes of the hills immediately 
above the plains which receive the full force of the south- 
west monsoon, probably not less than 300 inches of rain in 
the year, and no road, unless very carefully looked after, 
can stand that. It is quite useless from any utilitarian 
point of view, but the scenery throughout is lovely. 

I was not sorry to reach Jaigaon, Mr. Trood's comfortable 
bungalow, where I was most hospitably entertained, and 
where I stayed for three days to recruit and to transact 
some work with some of the tea-gardens on the frontier. 

From Jaigaon I travelled west along the boundary to 
view land suitable for tea on the Bhutan side, and at the 
same time to look at some copper deposits which I hope 
may eventually prove profitable to Bhutan. 

After inspecting them I turned back and went to the 
east of Bhutan to look at a coal-mine, travelling vii Dhubri 
and Gauhati. By this time the different kinds of transport 
I had used during my tour had included, I should think, 
about every known sort. I had made use of coolies, ele- 
phants, mules, ponies, donkeys, yaks, oxen, carts, pony- 
traps, rail, and steamer, and the only available animal I 
had not employed was the Tibetan pack-sheep. 

The hills where the coal is situated lie on the northern 
slope of the Himalayas, and are densely clothed with forests, 
but with practically no population, as it is too fever-stricken 
to allow of any one living there. They are, however, the 
haunt of almost every kind of wild animal — elephant, 
rhino, tiger, leopard, bison, mythun, sambur, cheetah, 

235 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

hog-deer, barking deer, &c. The river-beds are full of runs 
leading to the various salt-licks which occur in the hills. 
On one of my visits to the coal a magnificent tusker went 
up the valley ahead of me, and Ugyen Kazi, who pitched 
his camp higher up the valley, was obliged to move his 
tents owing to the numbers of wild elephants making it 
too unpleasant for him to stay on. While I was examining 
the coal a large tigress with her cub walked down the 
valley, and on my return I found her pugs, with the little 
one's pug inside one of her own. It would be an ideal 
place for shooting, but not easy to follow game, owing to 
the extreme steepness of the sandstone cliffs. 

The elephant in its wild state can go over, or down, 
nearly anything, and the tusker I mentioned I found had 
gone up a precipice thirty feet high at an angle very little 
short of perpendicular. 

I found the coal very much crushed and squeezed out 
of its original bed. The quality also was not very good, 
with too much ash, but it might be utilised to make gas, 
which could be supplied to the neighbouring tea-gardens 
at probably less cost than the timber now in use for fuel. 
After inspecting the coal I left Ugyen Kazi to attend to 
some timber contracts he had undertaken, and to the sale 
of the Bhutan lac, and fortunately finding a dog-cart 
available, set off to drive to the ghat at Rungamatti, a 
quicker way of travelling than on an elephant. There had 
been some rain, but the roads were in fair order. At 
Rungamatti I had a long wait for the steamer, which had 
stuck on a sandbank somewhere further up the river, and 
in consequence we were nearly twenty-four hours late in 
reaching Dhubri, the present terminus of the railway ; but 
from there there was no difficulty in getting back to my 
home at Gangtak. This ended my last official visit to 
Bhutan ; but I hope it will not be my last visit, as I look 
forward to meeting Sir Ugyen and his sister again, as well 
as all the Bhutan officials, and to revisiting the country 
in which I have spent so many pleasant months. 

236 



Pem- 



CHAPTER XX 

BRITISH MISSIONS TO BHUTAN 

Bogle, 1774. Hamilton, 1775 and 1777. Turner, 1783. Pi 
berton, 1838. Eden, 1864. White, 1905. White, 1907. 

An account of the first Mission to Bhutan is to be found 
in the " Narrative of the Mission of George Bogle to Tibet, 
and of Thomas Manning to Lhasa/ 9 edited by Markham, in 

1875. 

Prior to this narrative, no full account of Bogle's Mission 

had been published. An attempt to find adequate materials 
in the records at Calcutta or at the India Office had failed, 
but fortunately Bogle's journals, memoranda, official and 
private correspondence were carefully preserved by his 
family in Scotland, and it is on these materials that Mark- 
ham has based his narrative. It was the lack of these 
materials in the public offices that led Eden, in his account 
of the political missions to Bhutan, to say that Bogle does 
not appear to have been charged with any political functions 
with regard to Bhutan. Markham's investigations have 
proved, on the contrary, that Bogle had a mission to 
Bhutan, and an important one. The Mission originated 
in a friendly letter from the Penchen Rimpochi of Tibet, 
interceding with the East India Company on behalf of 
Bhutan after the Bhutanese invasion of Cooch Behar, 
and the primary cause of Bogle's Mission was Warren 
Hastings' desire to take advantage of this opening given 
him by the Penchen Rimpochi to establish friendly 

237 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

communications with the Government at Lhasa and open 
a trade with Tibet. 

Eden is so far right in saying that Bogle was charged 
with no political Mission to Bhutan inasmuch as the 
treaty of 1774 had already been concluded in the April 
of that year, and Bogle's appointment letter is dated 
May 13, 1774, and in that letter no specific Mission to 
Bhutan is mentioned. Warren Hastings, in his letter to 
the Court of Directors, informs them that he is taking the 
opportunity of the Penchen Rimpochi's letter to employ 
Bogle to visit the Lama and open intercourse between 
Tibet and Bengal, and does not mention Bhutan. 

The letter of instructions to Bogle also refers entirely 
to the negotiations with Tibet, though some confusion 
arises from the employment by Warren Hastings in this 
letter of the word " Bhutan." " Having appointed yon 
my Deputy to the Penchen Rimpochi, the Sovereign of 
Bhutan," is the opening sentence of the letter, but Warren 
Hastings has used the word " Bhutan " here and in other 
places where it is mentioned in the letter for " Bhot/' the 
native name of Tibet. This explanation of the use of the 
word " Bhutan " is to be found in Markham's note, and 
the context of the letter shows that it is evidently the right 
one. But the subsequent correspondence between Warren 
Hastings and Bogle proves that the latter was certainly 
charged with a friendly message to the Deb Raja, and 
with the more important duty of opening up trade with 
that country, and, through it, with Tibet. The main object 
of his Mission was to open communications and trade with 
Tibet, but to attain this object he was to gain the Deb 
Raja's consent to the passage of traders through Bhutanese 
territory. 

Bogle was the bearer of presents to the Deb Raja, and 
spent some time at Tashi-cho-jong as the Deb Raja's guest, 
and was hospitably and civilly treated. 

There must also have been some later written instruc- 
tions on this point, for in writing to Warren Hastings on 

238 



BRITISH MISSIONS TO BHUTAN 

October 8, 1774, Bogle acknowledges the receipt of his 
commands of August 9 through a merchant of Rangpur, 
and proceeds to say that in several conversations he has 
made known Warren Hastings' wish to extend the inter- 
course between Bengal and the Northern nations, from 
which Bhutan, as a channel of communications, would 
naturally benefit, and concludes by requesting, at the 
solicitation of the Deb Raja, that the annual caravan from 
Bhutan to Rangpur might meet with assistance and protec- 
tion. The result of his visit was a very friendly letter from 
Warren Hastings, dated November 28, 1774, to the " Raja 
of Bhutan," acknowledging the kindness and civility shown 
to Bogle, and enclosing a perwana for the encouragement 
of any Bhutanese subjects who might "wish to travel 
with caravans to Rangpur and other districts under the 
Company's authority for the purpose of trade/ ' The 
perwana states that strict injunctions have been given 
to the officers of Rangpur and Ghoraghat, in Dinajpur, 
not to obstruct the passage of these caravans, and to afford 
them every assistance. This letter was followed by another 
one from Warren Hastings, dated January 6, 1775, in a 
similar friendly tone, and promising to take steps to remove 
some obstructions which had been made locally to the trade 
in cotton between Bhutan and Bengal, and suggesting that 
the Deb Raja should send a vakeel to reside in Calcutta 
to facilitate communication between the two Governments. 
From the first letter of November 28, 1774, it is also apparent 
that Warren Hastings intended to have regular articles 
of trade drawn up between the two countries. A further 
correspondence took place between Warren Hastings and 
Bogle after the latter's return to Tashi-cho-jong from his 
visit to the Penchen Rimpochi, in Tibet, on the subject 
of trade negotiations. There is a letter from Warren 
Hastings to Bogle, dated May 9, 1775, and one from Bogle 
to Warren Hastings, dated May 25, which evidently crossed 
one another. Then we have another letter of Bogle's, of 
June 9, and his general report of his Mission. From this 

339 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

correspondence it is proved that Bogle drew up certain 
trade articles, to which he obtained the Deb Raja's consent, 
and submitted them to Warren Hastings. There is no 
record of these articles having ever been formally signed 
by the Deb Raja and Bogle, or having received Hastings' 
approval, but as Hastings gave Bogle a very free hand to 
make the best arrangements he could for trade, and as in 
the case of the Rangpur trade the articles were acted on, 
it seems most probable that Warren Hastings did approve 
of them. 

It is curious and somewhat confusing to find that in 
the conduct of these negotiations both Hastings and Bogle 
apparently overlooked Article 4 of the treaty of 1774, 
which lays down that " the Bhootans being merchants, 
shall have the same privilege of trade as formerly without 
the payment of duties, and their caravans shall be allowed 
to go to Rangpur annually," for in Hastings' letter of 
May 9, 1775, to Bogle he ignores this clause altogether, 
and says that, to establish freedom of trade between 
Bhutan and Bengal, the annual caravans may continue 
their trade to Rangpur on the customary terms, and " you 
may even consent to relinquish the tribute or duty which 
is exacted from the caravans." 

The duty is further mentioned in the letter as amounting 
to Rs. 2000. Neither does Bogle in his articles of trade 
make any allusion to the fourth article of the treaty, and 
in the second and third clauses of his articles provides for 
the free trading of the Bhutanese to Rangpur and other 
places in Bengal, and for the abolition of the duties on 
the Rangpur caravan, as if these privileges had not been 
already secured to the Bhutanese by the treaty. A fair 
was afterwards established at Rangpur under conditions 
which were extremely favourable to the Bhutanese. Their 
expenses were paid by Government, stables erected for their 
horses and houses for themselves. This fair continued down 
to 1832, when the grant for its maintenance was withdrawn. 

Markham thus sums up the result of Bogle's Mission : 

240 



BRITISH MISSIONS TO BHUTAN 

" Besides the valuable information he collected, Bogle's 
Mission was very successful in other respects. It laid 
the foundation of a policy which, had it been steadily, 
cautiously, though continuously, carried out, would long 
ere this have secured permanent results. Bogle formed 
a close friendship with the Teshu Lama (Penchen Rimpochi) 
and all his kindred. He secured their hearty co-operation 
and support in the encouragement of trade, and even 
succeeded, after tedious negotiations, in inducing the 
Bhutan Government to allow the passage of merchandise 
through their territory to and from Tibet and Bengal." 

I have enlarged at some length on the nature of this 
part of Bogle's Mission to Tibet, as both Pemberton and 
Eden were in ignorance of the real facts, and therefore 
failed to recognise the importance of his visit to the Deb 
Raja. The same misapprehension occurs in Aitcheson's 
u Treaties," where it is stated : " From that time, with the 
exception of two unsuccessful commercial missions in 1774 
and 1783," &c. 

The Mission of 1774 noticed must, of course, have been 
Bogle's, and it is not fair to say that it was unsuccessful. 
The results of his Mission were, in fact, most encouraging 
at the time, and laid the foundations of what would, but 
for the subsequent conduct of the Bhutanese and the course 
events took with Tibet, have developed into a thriving 
trade between their country and Bengal, while the friendly 
attitude of Warren Hastings towards the Bhutan Govern- 
ment serves to show up the subsequent misconduct of the 
Bhutanese in their relations with us in an even more 
unfavourable light than it has yet appeared. 

Bogle left Calcutta with Mr. Hamilton, the surgeon 
appointed to attend him, in May 1774, and entered Bhutan 
from Cooch Behar through the Buxa Duar. His route 
to the capital, Tashi-cho-jong, lay up the Tchin-chhu, or 
Raidak river, and was made in ten stages, with a computed 
distance of 152 miles. The route seems to have been a 
fairly easy one, and though the roads were too steep and 

241 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

rugged for the conveyance of goods except by coolies, 
Bogle himself was able to ride most of the way. It is 
interesting to notice that on his way Bogle planted potatoes 
at his halting-places, which he did at the desire of Warren 
Hastings, in order to introduce the plant into Bhutan. 
Between Buxa Duar and Chuka, the sixth stage, he found 
but few villages and scanty cultivation, but beyond Chuka 
and up to the capital the country opened gradually, the 
mountain-sides were more sloping, and the villages became 
more frequent. The country here is described as populous 
and well cultivated, the houses to be built of stones and 
clay, two or three stories high; there were temples and, 
on the last two stages, rice-fields. The temperature at 
Kyapcha was in June 58 in the morning and evening, 
and 64 in the heat of the day ; at Tashi-cho-jong it was 
61 ° in the morning, 68° to 70 ° at midday. The Bhutanese 
seem to have been adepts at bridge-making. The com- 
monest kinds were wooden bridges on the cantilever 
principle, but iron suspension bridges were also met with. 
Bogle was furnished with a passport from the Deb Raja, 
and seems to have found no difficulty in getting supplies 
and coolies. He found the bigari, or forced labour, system 
prevalent, but says that it is so well established that the 
people submit to it without a murmur. 

Tashi-cho-jong, the capital, is situated in a valley 
about five miles long and one broad, and is entirely 
surrounded by high mountains. The river Tchin-chhu 
€ € gallops through " the low grounds near it, which are covered 
with rice and well peopled. Bogle gives detailed and 
amusing accounts of his reception and stay at the capital, 
and a description of the palace of the Deb and Dharma 
Rajas. The palace contained nearly 3000 men and no 
women, and a tower five or six stories high was allotted 
to the Dharma Raja. The Dharma Raja apparently kept 
very much in the background, and Bogle's visits to him 
were attended with less ceremony than those to the Deb 
Raja. Bogle appears to have been quite satisfied with 

242 



BRITISH MISSIONS TO BHUTAN 

his reception, and mixed freely with the people, joining 
one day in a game of quoits with the Jongpen of Tashi-cho- 
jong and his followers. Getting tired of quoits, at which 
he found himself less dexterous than his entertainers, he 
went off and shot wild pigeons, and after that had dinner 
with the Jongpen. This freedom of intercourse and the 
friendly and cordial manner in which he was entertained 
by the Deb Raja and members of his court is in strong 
contrast to the treatment met with by subsequent Missions 
after Turner's, and it is perhaps not surprising that Bogle, 
especially considering his own gentle and amiable disposi- 
tion, should give us a much more pleasing impression of 
the Bhutanese than is to be met with elsewhere. 

In July 1774 Bogle received a letter from the Penchen 
Rimpochi desiring him to return to Calcutta instead of 
proceeding to Tibet. The excuse of which we have so 
often heard since in our dealings with Tibet — namely, the 
necessity of obtaining the consent of China to his journey — 
was put forward. The Deb Raja followed suit by endeavour- 
ing to persuade Bogle to return. Bogle thought that the 
obstacle to his journey originated with the Deb Raja, but 
it seems just as likely that the Deb Raja was merely carry- 
ing out the wishes of the Penchen Rimpochi. Eventually 
these difficulties were overcome, and he left Tashi-cho-jong 
on October 13, 1774, with Hamilton. The route taken 
was via Paro to Phari-jong, in the Chumbi Valley, which, 
after a visit to the Paro Penlop, was reached by the Mission 
on October 23. It would be outside the province of this 
note to follow Bogle in his journey in Tibet, though his 
account of it is full of interest. It will be sufficient to 
say that though he was forbidden to visit Lhasa he spent 
some time at Tashi Lhunpo, made great friends with the 
Penchen Rimpochi, and fully enlisted his sympathies with 
Warren Hastings' plans. Bogle left Tashi Lhunpo on 
April 7, 1775, and on May 8 reached Tashi-cho-jong, and 
apparently stayed there for about a month to carry out his 
trade negotiations with the Deb Raja before returning to 

243 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Bengal. The temper of the Deb Raja does not seem to 
have been so cordial as at the time of Bogle's first visit, 
but " after many tiresome conferences and further negotia- 
tions, in which the Penchen Rimpochi's people assisted/* 
Bogle was able to obtain the Deb Raja's consent to his 
articles of trade. He failed, however, to obtain permission 
for English or European traders to enter the Deb Raja's 
dominions, and it was evidently on this point chiefly that 
the conferences were " tiresome " and ultimately " fruit- 
less/* The other difficulty he had to face was that freedom 
of trade in Bhutan would affect the Deb Raja's personal 
profits from the monopoly he enjoyed. 

Bogle's Impression of the Country. — Bogle, as before 
noticed, carried away a much more pleasing impression 
of the country than any of his successors after Turner > 
except myself. Indeed, he gives us a picture of good 
government and Arcadian simplicity. It must be ad- 
mitted, however, that the educated Bhutanese whom one 
meets outside their country, though rough in manners,, 
are pleasant and agreeable, and that they were, as a people, 
never so black as they were painted by Eden, who had 
very good reasons for only seeing the worst side of their 
character. A brief account of Bogle's impressions will be 
interesting, as they coincide very much with the opinion 
formed by me during my Mission of 1906, and serve to 
show that the very unfavourable judgment passed upon 
them by Eden was hardly a true one, and was caused very 
much by his own treatment. Bogle found the govern- 
ment of Bhutan to be based on a theocracy which, while 
retaining a nominal, and to some extent a real, supremacy 
in the affairs of the country, had entrusted the administra- 
tion of all temporal matters to a body of laymen. This 
body retained the election of the Deb Raja, the head of 
the temporal power, and his deposition in its own hands,, 
made him accountable to itself for the conduct of affairs, 
and without its consent the Deb Raja could undertake 

no measure of importance in the management of the State. 

244 



BRITISH MISSIONS TO BHUTAN 

As to the exact constitution of this theocracy, Bogle is 
not very clear, but he probably means that it was made 
up of the priests and heads of the monasteries under the 
Dharma Raja. 

He divides the inhabitants into three classes — the 
priests, the servants or officers of Government, and the 
landholders and husbandmen. 

The priests were formed from the body of the people, 
were received at an early age, and when admitted into 
orders took oaths of chastity. The second class compre- 
hended the ministers and governors of provinces, tax- 
collectors, and all their train of dependents. They were 
not prohibited from marrying, yet, finding it a bar to their 
preferment, seldom entered that state. Like the priests, 
they were taken from families in the country. They were 
bred up in the palaces under the patronage of some, man 
in office, by whom they were fed and clothed, but received 
no wages. They seldom arrived at places of trust or con- 
sequence till far advanced in life, and passed through all 
the gradations of service. It was no uncommon thing 
to see a minister as expert in mending a shoe or making 
a tunic as in settling the business of the nation. The land- 
holders and husbandmen, though by far the most numerous 
class, and " that which gives birth to the other two," were 
entirely excluded from any share in the administration. 
Bogle evidently means that the members of the agricultural 
class have no chance of entering public life unless they are 
caught up early in childhood and trained in the house- 
holds of men in office. He is not very clear in his definition 
of the position of the lamas. " The lamas/ 1 he says, 
"are first in rank, and nominally first in power. They 
enjoy a joint authority, and in all their deliberations are 
assisted by the clergy. The lamas, though nominally 
superior in government, yet, as they owe their appoint- 
ment to the priests, are tutored by them from their earliest 
infancy, and deriving all their knowledge of public affairs 
from them, are entirely under their management. The 

245 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

right of electing the Deb Raja is vested in the superiors 
of their order jointly with the lamas. . . ." "Their 
sacred profession, so far from disqualifying them from 
the conduct of civil affairs, is the means of advancing them 
to it. They are often appointed to the government of 
provinces, employed as ministers, or entrusted with other 
offices of the first consideration in the State." Turner 
found that the governing class was educated in the monas- 
teries. The distinction which Bogle intended to draw 
between the priests and the lamas was probably that the 
lamas were those who, having received a religious or semi- 
religious training in the monasteries, elected afterwards 
to enter the secular posts of Government, retaining at the 
same time a close connection with the religious side of the 
national life, especially in the matter of celibacy. They 
were represented by the Deb Raja, his governors, ministers, 
and councillors, in contradistinction to the priesthood, 
who, with the Dharma Raja as its head, concerned itself 
primarily with the religious administration of the country. 
The institution of caste was unknown, and in the absence 
of any sort of hereditary distinction any one might rise 
to the highest office. 

The appointment to offices, the collection and manage- 
ment of the revenue, the command and direction of the 
military force, and the power of life and death were vested 
in the Deb Raja. 

The provincial governors were entrusted with very 
ample j urisdiction . The policing of the country, the levying 
of taxes, and the administration of justice were committed 
to them. Complaints against them were seldom preferred 
or attended to, and their judgments were revised by the 
" Chief " only in capital cases or others of great consequence. 
They were not continued long in one station. They lived 
in a large palace surrounded by priests and officers, and 
their duties were an epitome of the court of the " Chief." 

Among the non-governing class of the population, 

nearly every one was a landholder or husbandman. There 

246 



BRITISH MISSIONS TO BHUTAN 

were few mechanics, and hardly any distinction of profes- 
sion. Every family was acquainted with the most useful 
arts, and contained within itself almost all the necessaries 
of life. Even clothes, a considerable article in so rude a 
climate, were generally the produce of the husbandman's 
industry. He bartered the fruits of his industry in Tibet 
for wool, which was spun, dyed, and woven by the females 
of the family, and what remained was taken to Rangpur 
and exchanged for hogs, salt fish, coarse linen, dyes, spices, 
and broadcloth. This class " live at home, cultivate their 
lands, pay taxes, serve in the wars, and beget children, 
who succeed to honours to which they themselves could 
never aspire." 

The regular army consisted of six hundred men in pay, 
but all lands in Bhutan were held by military service, and 
every man in the country was a soldier when called upon. 
The taxes were moderate in themselves, and rendered still 
less oppressive by the simple manner of collecting them. 
Every family, according to its substance, was rated at a 
particular sum, which was often received in produce, and 
thus the country was unencumbered with any heavy 
expense for tax-gatherers. At the same time Bogle 
mentions the significant fact that the officers of Govern- 
ment received no salaries. The expenses of government, 
therefore, were small, and the principal drains on the public 
treasury were an annual payment to the Penchen Rimpochi 
and the support of the priests. 

With regard to the general character of the people, 
Bogle writes : 

" The simplicity of their manners, their slight inter- 
course with strangers and strong sense of religion preserve 
the Bhutanese from many vices to which more polished 
nations are addicted. They are strangers to falsehood 
and ingratitude. Theft and every other species of dis- 
honesty to which the lust of money gives birth are little 
known. Murder is uncommon, and in general is the effect 
of anger, and not covetousness. The celibacy of a large 

247 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

part of the people, however, is naturally productive of 
many irregularities, and the coldness of the climate inclines 
them to an excessive use of spirituous liquor. The more 
I see of the Bhutanese the more I am pleased with them. 
The common people are good-humoured, downright, and, 
I think, thoroughly trusty. The statesmen have some of 
the art which belongs to their profession. They are the 
best built race of men I ever saw, many of them very 
handsome, with complexions as fair as the French." 

In its relations with Tibet Bogle seems to have found 
Bhutan a dependent Power; but the Tibetan authority 
over the country could not have been very strong if the 
Deb Raja was able to exclude Tibetan traders from his 
country, as appears to have been the case. 

The trade of the country was almost entirely in the 
hands of the Deb Raja, his ministers and governors, who 
held the monopoly of it both with Bengal and Tibet. The 
exports to Bengal were chiefly ponies, musk, cow-tails, 
coarse red blankets, and striped woollen cloths half a yard 
wide. The imports were chiefly broadcloth, spices, dyes, 
Malda cloth, coarse linen, hogs, and salt fish. The great 
trade with Bengal was carried on by means of the annual 
caravans to Rangpur, from which the Government of Bengal 
received about Rs. 2000 by way of duty, and there was 
also trade with Dinajpur. The great obstacle which Bogle 
found in inducing the Deb Raja to allow open trade through 
Bhutan into Tibet was the monopoly of it which the Raja 
enjoyed along with his ministers, and the profits of which, 
he was afraid, the admission of foreign merchants would 
lessen. This disinclination to admit foreign traders was not 
confined to traders from Bengal only ; even the merchants 
of Tibet were not allowed to purchase goods in Bhutan, 
beyond exchanging salt and wool for rice. 

The following were the articles of trade drawn up by 
Bogle with the Deb Raja : 

" Whereas the trade between Bengal and Tibet was 
formerly considerable, and all Hindu and Mussalman 

248 



BRITISH MISSIONS TO BHUTAN 

merchants were allowed to trade into Nepal, which was 
the centre of communication between the two countries, 
and whereas from the wars and oppressions in Nepal the 
merchants have of late years been unable to travel in that 
country, the Governor as well as the Deb Raja, united in 
friendship, being desirous of removing these obstacles so 
that merchants may carry on their trade free and secure 
as formerly, have agreed on the following articles : 

"That the Bhutanese shall enjoy the privilege of 
trading to Bengal as formerly, and shall be allowed to 
proceed either themselves or by their gomasthas to all 
places in Bengal for the purpose of trading and selling their 
horses free from duty or hindrance. 

" That the duty hitherto exacted at Rangpur from the 
Bhutan caravans be abolished. 

" That the Deb Raja shall allow all Hindu and Mussal- 
man merchants freely to pass and repass through his 
country between Bengal and Tibet. 

" That no English or European merchants shall enter 
the Deb Raja's dominions. 

" That the exclusive trade in sandal, indigo, skins, 
tobacco, betel-nut, and pan shall remain with the Bhutanese, 
and that the merchants be prohibited from importing the 
same into the Deb Raja's dominions, and that the Governor 
shall confirm this in regard to indigo by an order to 
Rangpur." 

Captain Turner, in the report of his Mission in 1783, 
alludes to this " treaty " of Bogle's, and says the Deb 
Raja acknowledged its validity and that there was every 
prospect of its provisions being kept, and in February 
1786 Purangir Gosain, the Company's agent in Tibet, 
reported that many merchants had found their way from 
Bengal to Tashi Lhunpo through Bhutan. 

Soon after Bogle's return to Calcutta in June 1775, 
Warren Hastings determined to prosecute the intercourse 
which had been so happily opened with Bhutan, and in 
November 1775 appointed Hamilton, who had been 

249 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Bogle's companion, to a second Mission to the Deb Raja. 
Hamilton reached the frontier in January 1776, and was 
invited by the Deb Raja to proceed to Poonakha. He 
endeavoured to enter Bhutan by the Lakhi Duar to Paro, 
but obstacles appear to have been raised to his doing this, 
and he eventually followed Bogle's route by the Buxa 
Duar. He reached Poonakha on April 6, 1776, and 
Tashi-cho-jong in the May of that year. The chief object 
of Hamilton's mission was to decide on the claims of the 
Deb Raja to the districts of Ambari Falakata and Jul- 
paish, and he came to the conclusion that equity demanded 
their restoration. He also reported that if restitution 
were made the Deb Raja would probably be induced to 
fulfil his agreement with Bogle and only levy moderate 
transit duties on merchandise. It is not improbable that, 
as Eden remarks, this concession was made to the Deb 
Raja more in the interest of Warren Hastings 9 policy than 
on the intrinsic merits of the case, as there can be no doubt 
that the claims of the Bhutan Government to the Falakata 
and Julpaish districts were quite untenable. 

In July 1777 Hamilton was sent on a third Mission, 
to congratulate the new Deb Raja on his accession. 

The fourth Mission, under Captain Turner, took place 
in 1783. In 1779 it was arranged, on the invitation of the 
Penchen Rimpochi, that Bogle should meet him in Pekin. 
Unfortunately, both the Lama and Bogle died before this 
project could be carried into effect. Not long afterwards 
intelligence reached Calcutta that the reincarnation of the 
late Penchen Rimpochi had taken place, and Warren 
Hastings proposed to the Board of Directors to take advan- 
tage of this auspicious event and send a second deputation 
to Tibet. Turner was selected for this service, and nomi- 
nated on January 9, 1783, and soon afterwards left Calcutta 
on his Mission, accompanied by Lieutenant Samuel Davis 
as draftsman and surveyor, and Mr. Robert Saunders as 
surgeon. He entered the hills by the Buxa Duar, and 
followed almost exactly the same route as Bogle to Tashi- 

250 



BRITISH MISSIONS TO BHUTAN 

cho-jong. During his stay in Bhutan with the Deb Raja 
Turner was witness to a small civil war occasioned by the 
rebellion of Angdu-phodang, which was ultimately quelled 
by the Deb Raja. The fighting, he said, on both sides 
gave him a very poor idea of the " military accomplish- 
ments " of the Bhutanese, and though several engagements 
took place between the opposing parties very few on either 
side were killed or wounded. He attributes this display 
of martial weakness more to want of discipline than to 
actual lack of courage. The principal weapon in use was 
the bow and arrow, and Turner says the arrows were 
sometimes poisoned. A few of the soldiers were armed 
with very unserviceable matchlocks. Turner considers the 
Bhutanese to be expert swordsmen, in which he differs widely 
from Macgregor's account of his experience in the Bhutan 
war nearly a hundred years later. Before leaving Bhutan, 
Turner visited Wandipore, or Angdu-phodang, and Poona- 
kha, and ultimately entered Tibet by the Paro and Phari 
routes. Turner does not add much to the knowledge of the 
country acquired by Bogle, and says little or nothing about 
its political institutions. He describes the Deb Raja as a 
popular and prudent administrator, and seems to have 
experienced great kindness and hospitality at his hands. 
The Deb, he says, was an " intelligent man, possessed with 
a versatility of genius and spirit of inquiry " and fond of 
mechanics, and derived great amusement from Turner's 
electric battery. The Raja " would never venture to draw 
even a spark himself, but would occasionally call in parties 
to be electrified, and much enjoy the foolish figure they 
made on the sensation of a shock/ 1 The Raja also possessed 
a knowledge of medicine equal to any of the physicians 
in his dominions, and was interested in experimenting 
with English drugs on himself and his Court doctor. This 
interest, however, waned after an overdose of ipecacuanha. 
At Poonakha, the summer residence of the Court, there 
was a fruit garden of oranges, lemons, pomegranates, 
peaches, apples, and walnuts. Very excellent turnips 

251 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

were grown, but the potatoes planted by Bogle had 
failed. The flower garden contained hollyhocks, sun- 
flowers, African marigolds, nasturtiums, poppies, larkspurs, 
and roses. At one entertainment he describes Turner had 
strawberries for tea, and a bull-fight closed the day's 
amusements. He found the monasteries the educational 
centres of the country. Boys were taken from the villages 
and educated there, and in families containing more than 
four boys it was obligatory to dedicate one of them to the 
order. The monastery was the channel to public office, 
and, in fact, nearly all the Government officials were chosen 
from men who had been trained in one. Marriage was 
an obstacle to any rise in rank, and but few of the official 
class were married ; and this practice of celibacy, common 
to the priestly and governing classes — to the one from 
motives of religion, and to the other from motives of 
self-interest — formed a natural bar to the increase of 
population. 

Neither from the narrative of his Mission nor from 
his report of it to Warren Hastings can it be gathered that 
Turner was charged with any particular political business 
in Bhutan, but Eden says that it appears from the proceed- 
ings of the Collector of Rangpur of June u, 1789, that 
he was instructed to cede to Bhutan the district of Fala- 
kata, as the result, it may be presumed, of Hamilton's 
report. The only matter of any political interest, so far 
as Bhutan is concerned, to be found in his report, dated 
March 2, 1784, of the results of his Mission is the following 
opinion he records about trade relations with Bhutan : 

" The regulations for carrying on the commerce of the 
Company through the dominions of Bhutan by means of 
the agency of native merchants were settled by the treaty 
entered into by Mr. Bogle in the year 1775. The Deb 
Raja having acknowledged to me the validity of that 
treaty, it became unnecessary to enter into another, since 
no new privileges and immunities appear to be requisite 
until the commerce can be established on a different footing 

252 



BRITISH MISSIONS TO BHUTAN 

with respect to the views and interests of the Raja of 
Bhutan, by whose concurrence alone the proposed com- 
mercial intercourse with Tibet can be made to flourish. 
I should be sorry to suggest a doubt of its ever receiving 
a check from any conduct in that Government of a hostile 
tendency." 

There can be no doubt in the mind of any reader of the 
accounts of Bogle's and Turner's Missions that both these 
officers were well received and treated, and that the general 
disposition of the Bhutan Government towards the Com- 
pany was cordial and friendly, and Turner's confidence 
that the Bhutan Government meant to fulfil its engagements 
was not a foolishly misplaced one at the time, as Eden 
would seem to imply. Hastings actually succeeded in 
establishing Purangir Gosain as a diplomatic agent at the 
Tibetan Court, and Indian merchants had commenced 
by the year 1786 to pass freely through Bhutan into Tibet. 
Thus so far it must be acknowledged that Bogle's Mission 
was successful, and that the Bhutan Government did fulfil 
its engagements. Unfortunately the Nepal war with Tibet,, 
which broke out in 1792, destroyed all these bright pro- 
spects. The Tibetans and the Chinese Government suspected 
that we were covertly assisting the Nepalese. We lost 
their confidence, and the Tibetan passes were closed to 
natives of India, most probably through Chinese influence. 
Thus the chief object of Bogle's negotiation was defeated,, 
while so far as the further development of trade with 
Bhutan itself was concerned, what had been gained was 
lost by the series of frontier disputes which took place 
between the Company and the Bhutan Government, and 
the consequent rupture of the friendly feeling between 
the two Governments which had been established by 
Bogle's and Turner's Missions. 

The chief object of the fifth Mission, under Pern- 
berton, was to enable the Government to enter into 
direct communication with the Bhutan Durbar, as it had 
become evident that the frontier officers of Bhutan had 

253 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

repeatedly withheld from the Durbar complaints addressed 
to it by Government on the subject of frontier aggressions. 
Accordingly, after the Bhutanese aggressions of 1836 had 
been repelled the Dharma and Deb Rajas were informed 
that it was the intention of Government to despatch an 
envoy to their capital. The replies to this communication, 
which was dated April 6, 1837, evinced a desire on the 
part of the Deb to postpone the Mission, and he had to be 
informed that Government was determined on the Mission 
and intended to send their envoy after the rainy season 
was over. 

The conduct of the Mission was entrusted to Pemberton, 
with Ensign Blake as assistant and in command of the 
escort and Dr. Griffiths as botanist and in medical charge. 
The escort was to consist of fifty men from the Assam 
Seebundy Corps, but owing to the difficulty in supplying 
rations for this number only twenty-five men were taken. 

Pemberton, being anxious to obtain information con- 
cerning Eastern Bhutan, determined to enter Bhutan 
by the Banksa Duar instead of following Bogle's and 
Turner's route by Buxa. This determination produced 
a good deal of obstruction on the part of the Bhutanese. 
Pemberton was detained for some time at Dum Duma, 
on the frontier, waiting for letters from the Dewangiri 
Raja, and again at Dewangiri after he had reached it, 
and every attempt was made to induce him to return to 
the frontier and proceed by Buxa Duar to Poonakha. 
This, however, he managed to avoid doing, and was even- 
tually conducted through the Tongsa Penlop's country 
to the confines of Bhutan and Tibet, and thence by a 
westerly route to Poonakha. He had intended to return 
to Goalpara by the Cheerung route, but permission to do 
this was refused, and he was compelled to take the Buxa 
route back to India. The number of days occupied in 
travelling from Dewangiri to Poonakha was twenty-six, 
but owing to the unsettled state of the country and the 
difficulty of obtaining porters the actual number of days 

254 



BRITISH MISSIONS TO BHUTAN 

occupied on the journey was sixty-eight, and Poonakha 
was not reached till April i. During his stay at Poonakha 
a rebellion broke out, the object of which was to dethrone 
the Deb Raja. Both Turner on the previous and Eden 
on the subsequent Mission came in for a civil war. The 
Mission was in its progress through the country received 
everywhere with marked distinction, was waited upon by 
the Subahs of the districts through which it passed, and 
was properly treated at Poonakha. Pemberton, however, 
did not succeed in obtaining the consent of the Durbar 
to the treaty he was instructed to proffer, and he was 
refused permission to proceed to Tibet. The Durbar 
even refused to forward a letter to Lhasa. The move- 
ments of the members of the Mission were closely watched, 
and intercourse by the villagers on the route with the 
Mission was so closely prohibited that it was with the 
utmost difficulty that any information was obtained about 
the country. The draft treaty which Pemberton submitted 
to the Bhutan Government was extremely moderate in its 
terms. It provided for the same privilege of freely trading 
in Bhutan by the subjects of the British-Indian Govern- 
ment that the Bhutanese already enjoyed in India; for 
the mutual surrender of criminals and runaway raiyats ; 
for the more punctual payment of the Bhutan tribute for 
the Duars, and its payment in cash instead of in kind, and 
for power for the British-Indian Government to take posses- 
sion of any Duar the tribute of which should fall into 
arrears, and hold the same till the arrears were paid off ; 
for decisive measures by the Deb Raja to stop aggressions 
by the Dewangiri Raja and other of his subjects on the 
frontier ; for the settlement of boundaries and the appoint- 
ment of a Bhutanese agent at Gauhati and Rangpur. After 
many protracted discussions, the Deb and Dharma Rajas 
and other members of the council, except the Tongsa 
Penlop, were ready to sign the treaty, but owing to the 
opposition of the Tongsa Penlop, who divided the supreme 
power in the country with the Paro Penlop, and whose 

255 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

interests were affected by the arrangements for the punctual 
payment of the tribute for the Assam Duars, the Bhutan 
Government refused its consent. 

But though the Mission was politically a failure, 
Pemberton, in spite of the difficulties thrown in his way, 
succeeded in drawing up an admirable report on the 
country and its internal government. 

In 1862 it was finally determined to send a sixth 



into Bhutan, by the most convenient route, without waiting 
any longer for the consent of the Bhutan Durbar. Eden 
was selected by the Government of India, and received 
his instructions in Colonel Durand's letter, No. 493, dated 
August 11, 1863. 

In these instructions the Government of India set 
forth the necessity, which had arisen from the repeated 
outrages of the Bhutanese within our territories and those 
of Sikhim and Cooch Behar, of revising and improving 
the relations between the British Government and Bhutan, 
and their determination to send Eden to the Court of 
Bhutan for the purpose. Eden was to explain " clearly 
and distinctly, but in a friendly and conciliatory spirit/* 
to the Bhutan Government the reasons which rendered it 
necessary for the British Government to occupy Ambari 
Falakata and withhold its revenues, and that the occupation 
would continue only so long as the Bhutan Government 
refused to comply with our just demands and restore the 
captives and property which had been carried off from 
British territory, Sikhim, and Cooch Behar, but that if 
the Bhutan Government manifested a desire to do sub- 
stantial justice the district would be held in pledge for 
their future good conduct, and a sum equal to one-third 
of its net revenues would be paid to them, in the same 
manner as is done with the Assam Duars. 

Inquiry was to be made into any acts of specific aggres- 
sion complained of by the Bhutanese, arrangements made 
for the mutual rendition of criminals, for the reference 
to the British Government for settlement of any dispute 

256 



BRITISH MISSIONS TO BHUTAN 

between Bhutan and the States of Sikhim and Cooch 
Behar. The subjects of keeping a British agent in Bhutan 
and of free commerce between the two countries were to 
be approached if it seemed advisable, but negotiations 
on these points were to be entirely subordinated to the 
main political objects of the Mission. All available infor- 
mation about Bhutan was to be obtained. 

The above demands were entered in a draft treaty, 
and Eden was further instructed that if the Bhutan Govern- 
ment refused to do substantial justice and to accede to 
the main principles stipulated on he was to withdraw 
from the country and inform the Bhutan Government 
that Ambari Falakata would be permanently annexed, 
and in the event of further aggressions the British Govern- 
ment would take such steps as might be necessary to secure 
the safety of their own and the Sikhim and Cooch Behar 
territories. 

Dr. Simpson was appointed to the medical charge of 
the Mission. The Mission was to proceed by Darjeeling, 
and in the beginning of November Eden arrived there 
to arrange his preparations. He could get no reply from 
the Dharma and Deb Rajas to the announcement of his 
intention of entering Bhutan, and it turned out that the 
country was then undergoing one of its periodical rebellions. 
The Deb Raja had been unseated by the Poonakha Jongpen 
and Tongsa Penlop, and compelled to take refuge in the 
Jong of Simtoka. The Paro Penlop was the only powerful 
chief who remained faithful to his cause. The insurgent 
party set up a sham Deb Raja to receive the Mission, but 
at the time it reached Poonakha there was in fact no settled 
Government in the country. The Government of India, 
however, thought that as the rebellion had been successful 
and a substantive Government apparently established the 
Mission should proceed. 

This state of things accounted for the constant obstacles 
and interruptions which the Mission met with on its journey. 
It started on December 4, and Chebu Lama accompanied 

257 r 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

it as a sort of intermediary. On the nth the Mission 
reached Dalingkote, and was detained there till the 29th. It 
had great difficulty in procuring provisions ; many of the 
coolies, seeing the questionable manner in which the Jong- 
pen received the Mission, ran away ; the Deb sent evasive 
answers to Eden's letters ; every attempt was made to 
detain the Mission indefinitely, and when Hden finally 
moved on on the 29th he was compelled, for want of trans- 
port, to leave most of his tents, stores, and baggage behind 
and nearly half his escort. At Sipchu further obstruction 
and difficulties in obtaining transport were experienced, 
and he had to consider whether to move on with a further 
diminished escort or to return. In view of the orders he 
had received from Government at Darjeeling, and its 
evident desire that the Mission should push on, and think- 
ing that it was unlikely that the Bhutan Government 
would dare to treat a British envoy with insult or violence, 
Eden determined to proceed, taking with him only fifteen 
Sikhs and ten Seebundy sappers, and leaving the rest of 
his escort, all his heavy baggage, his assistant, Mr. Power, 
and the commissariat sergeant, moonshi, native doctor, 
and all the camp-followers that could be spared behind. 

Sipchu was left on February 2, the ascent of the pass 
from Saigon commenced on the 3rd, and the party halted 
for the night in the snow at an elevation of 8798 feet. The 
next day the pass was crossed at 10,000 feet, and the descent 
to Donga-chhu-chhu (8595 feet) made through snow with 
much difficulty. The party halted the next day on the 
banks of the Am-mo-chhu, and Eden draws attention in 
his narrative to the advantage of a route into Tibet 
through Bhutan up this valley. The next halt was made 
at Sangbay, and there further obstruction was met with. 

The Jongpen refused all help, as he had received no 
orders to allow the Mission to pass. A good many of the 
coolies were found to be frost-bitten. Eden had to abandon 
all idea of bringing on the escort he had left behind, and 
sent orders to Mr. Power to return to Darjeeling, taking 

*5» 



BRITISH MISSIONS TO BHUTAN 

back all the party and stores left at Sipchu and all the 
escort left at Dalingkote, except a guard of five Seebundys 
over the stores, which were placed in charge of the Jongpen. 
At Shay-bee, the next halting-place, the Mission was met 
by some Zinkaffs from the Durbar, who gave out that they 
had been ordered to turn the Mission back. On Eden 
sending for them, it turned out that they had no letters 
from the Durbar for him, but two to the Jongpen of Daling- 
kote, which they showed. One letter was full of professions 
of friendship for the British Government, and instructed 
the Jongpen to settle any dispute Eden might have with 
him about the frontier, but said not a word about the 
Mission being allowed to go forward or being turned back. 
The other was a most violent and intemperate production, 
threatening the Jongpen with loss of life for having per- 
mitted the Mission to cross the frontier, and ordering him 
to pay a fine of Rs. 70 to each of the Zinkaffs, and to entice 
Eden to return, but if he could not get rid of him, to send 
him on by the Samchee and Dongna road. The Zinkaffs 
tried to get Eden to go back to get on to this route, but 
as he was already only two days from Samchee, and to 
retrace his steps would have meant a journey of fifteen 
days, he declined, and left Shay-bee on February 10 for 
Paro. The Mission had first to cross the Saigon-la Pass 
(12,150 feet), and camp in snow at 11,800 feet. Though 
the thermometer registered 13 ° none of the natives, Sikhs 
or Bengalis, suffered from the cold. After descending into 
the Hah Valley the Mission was delayed in crossing the 
next pass on its route, the Che-la (12,490 feet), by the heavy 
snow. On the 19th Eden, hearing that messengers from 
the Durbar were on their way to stop him, determined to 
make the effort, though the snow was not really in a proper 
state for the attempt. The march was nearly ending in 
disaster. The snow was soft, and varying from three to 
eight feet in depth ; men, horses, and mules were constantly 
sinking in it ; and when the top of the pass was reached at 
six o'clock in the evening it was found that the descent 

259 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

was even more difficult on account of the snow. Evening 
came on while the party were still on the pass, and to have 
halted there for the night would have meant the death 
of every man in the camp, as there was no going to the right 
or the left. There was nothing for it but to drive the coolies 
on, and by eleven o'clock, after progressing at the rate of 
a quarter of a mile an hour, the Mission was fortunate 
enough to reach a forest where the coolies could bivouac. 
Eden, however, with some of the coolies, pushed on, and 
reached the nearest village at one o'clock in the morning, 
after having marched through deep snow continuously 
for fifteen hours without food. Luckily the weather had 
been clear, with a bright moon. The next morning the 
Mission was met by the Zinkaffs who had been sent to 
turn it back. They delivered a most impertinent message, 
saying that they had been sent to go back with Eden to 
the frontier " to rearrange with him the frontier boundaries 
and to receive charge again of the resumed Assam Duars " ; 
after this had been done our further demands were to be 
inquired into, and if these Zinkaffs " considered it neces- 
sary " the Mission was to be allowed to go on to Poonakha. 
Eden said he would do nothing of the kind, but would 
either proceed to Poonakha or return to Darjeeling and 
report to his Government that the Bhutan Durbar declined 
to receive him. Then the Zinkaffs begged him to proceed. 
The letter they delivered from the Deb Raja was of the 
usual evasive character, declaring that the Deb never 
declined to receive the Mission, but that it would be better 
to investigate complaints on the frontier. As the letter 
contained no definite refusal to receive the Mission, Eden 
determined to push on, and reached Paro on February 22. 
Here again the Mission was detained, and its reception was 
at first unfriendly. The ex-Penlop, an old man, informed 
Eden that he was far from acknowledging the power of 
the present Deb, and that he had only suspended hostilities 
on the side of the ex-Deb on account of the approach of 
the Mission. The real power, he said, just then rested 

260 



BRITISH MISSIONS TO BHUTAN 

with the Tongsa Penlop, and the Dharma and Deb Rajas 
and councillors were mere puppets in his hands. Finally 
the old Penlop and his adopted son, the young Penlop, 
became quite friendly, and after the Mission had been 
sixteen days at Paro without any communication having 
been received from the Deb Raja the old Penlop advised 
Eden to proceed, gave him guides, and promised to arrange 
to send on his letters. 

At the next stage more messengers arrived from the 
Durbar, and the same efforts were made as before to induce 
the Mission to return, with the same result. At Simtoka 
the Mission found the ex-Deb in retirement. He declined 
to receive a visit from Chebu Lama, on the grounds that 
any member of the Mission holding any communication 
with him might excite the suspicion of the Durbar against 
it, which was considerate of him. After crossing the. 
Dokyong-la Pass (10,019 feet) the Poonakha Valley came 
in view, and on March 15 the Mission reached Poonakha. 
There the party were met by a messenger to say that they 
must not approach by the road which passed under the palace 
gates, and they were sent to their camping-ground by a 
route so precipitous that they had great difficulty in making 
the descent. The subsequent ill-treatment of the Mission, 
and how Eden was forced under compulsion to sign an 
agreement to surrender the Assam Duars, how the Mission 
narrowly escaped from worse treatment by forced night- 
marches from Poonakha to Paro, were reported con- 
fidentially to Government, and the details are not supplied 
in his general report. They are to be found in Rennie's 
" History of the Bhutan War." The opposition to the 
Mission was entirely directed by the then Tongsa Penlop, 
father of Sir Ugyen, who was no doubt actuated by his desire 
to get back the Assam Duars, which were part of his chief- 
ship, and the annexation of which had affected his personal 
interests even more closely than those of the Durbar. Judging 
by subsequent events, it would have been wiser, no doubt, 
for Eden to have returned to Darjeeling instead of pushing 

,261. 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

his way to Poonakha. He had received quite enough 
opposition before crossing the Cho-la Pass, certainly by 
the time he had reached Paro, to justify his doing so. The 
Government of India would have had sufficient cause to 
annex the Duars, as they eventually did, and the indignities 
to the Mission would have been spared. At the same 
time, one cannot help admiring the courage with which 
Eden faced the difficulties in his way, his determination 
to leave the Bhutan Government no loophole by which 
they could evade the responsibility of the Mission not 
reaching them, and the patience with which he endeavoured 
to gain from the Durbar the terms he had been sent to 
obtain. 

The Mission left Poonakha on March 29, and returned 
to Darjeeling through Paro, where it stayed one day on 
April 2. The same day the insurrection broke out again. 

On the termination of the Tibet Mission, and to mark 
the approval of the British Government of the friendly 
attitude of the Bhutanese and the assistance rendered 
by the Tongsa Penlop in bringing about a friendly settle- 
ment, the King-Emperor, in 1905, was pleased to confer 
on Ugyen Wang-chuk a Knight Commandership of the 
Indian Empire. I was in consequence deputed by the 
Government of India to present the insignia of the order 
to the Tongsa at Poonakha. 

The Mission was accompanied by Major Rennick and 
Mr. Paul, and an escort of the 40th Pathans. The route 
followed was from Gangtak via Chumbi, Hah, Paro, and 
Tashi-cho-jong to Poonakha. 

This Mission was accorded a warm, even enthusiastic, 
welcome, and succeeded in establishing relations of the most 
friendly character with the Bhutanese, who not many years 
before were bitterly hostile towards the British Government. 
After the ceremony at Poonakha, the Mission, at the invita- 
tion of Sir Ugyen, visited Tongsa and Bya-gha, where they 
were most hospitably entertained by the Tongsa Penlop. The 
Mission returned from Tashi-cho-jong via, Lingshi and Tibet. 

26a 



BRITISH MISSIONS TO BHUTAN 

In 1907 1 was deputed on my second Mission to Poona- 
kha, to be present, as the representative of the Government 
of India, at the installation of Sir Ugyen Wang-chuk as 
Hereditary Maharaja of Bhutan. 

I was accompanied by Major Rennick, Captain Hyslop, 
and Mr. Campbell, the escort being provided by the 62nd 
Punjabis. 

The route followed was from Gangtak v& Chumbi, 
Phari, over the Temu-la to Paro, and thence by the former 
route to Poonakha. 

Nothing could have been more cordial than my recep- 
tion. The members of the Mission divided at Poonakha. 
I returned via Paro to the Hah Valley, and thence down 
the Dongna-chhu to the Duars, Mr. Campbell returning 
with the escort to Chumbi, and Major Rennick and Captain 
Hyslop returning viA Buxa. 



263 



CHAPTER XXI 



BRITISH RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN FROM 1772 



Nepalese invasion of Tibet, 1792. The Athara Duars. 
with Bhutan. Our occupation of the Bengal Duars. Expedi- 
tion against Bhutan. Loss of guns. Treaty of Rawa Pani. 
Whole of Duars taken by us. Tongsa Penlop accompanies expe- 
dition to Lhasa. Sir Ugyen's visit to Calcutta. Sir Ugyen 
elected Maharaja. 

So far as records show, the earliest relations between the 
Government of India and Bhutan began in 1772. In that 
year the Bhutanese set up a claim to Cooch Behar, invaded 
the State, and carried off the Raja, Durunder Narain, and 
his brother the Dewan Deo. The Cooch Behar family 
solicited the aid of the Government of India, which was 
at once accorded, and a small force, under Captain Jones, 
was sent to drive the Bhutanese across the frontier. 
The expedition was successful. Captain Jones drove the 
Bhutanese out of Cooch Behar, and captured the forte 
of Daling, Chichacotta, and Buxa. The Bhutanese then 
appealed for aid to the Tashi Lama, who at the time was 
Regent of Tibet during the minority of the Delai Lama. 
The Lama addressed a very friendly letter to the Governor- 
General, Warren Hastings, which was read in Council on 
March 29, 1774, in which he sued for peace on behalf of 
the Government of Bhutan, and suggested that though 
they deserved punishment they had been sufficiently 
chastised. In this letter Bhutan is claimed as a dependency 
of Tibet. A treaty of peace with Bhutan followed, which 
was signed at Fort William on April 25, 1774. 

264 



BRITISH RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN 

In this treaty the Company agreed to deliver up territory 
taken from Bhutan during the war, exacting from the 
Bhutan Government an annual tribute for the Chichacotta 
province of five Tangan horses, which was the acknowledg- 
ment paid to the "Bihar Raja." The Bhutan Govern- 
ment were to deliver up the Cooch Behar Raja and his 
brother. The Bhutanese merchants were to be allowed 
the same privileges of trade free of duties as formerly, with 
permission for their caravans to go to Rangpur annually. 
The Deb Raja was to abstain from encouraging incursions 
into the Company's country, from molesting raiyats who 
had come under the Company's protection, and to engage 
to deliver up raiyats who might desert from the Company's 
territories ; to submit all disputes between Bhutan and 
the Company's subjects to the decision of the Company's 
magistrate ; to refuse shelter to any Sunniassees hostile 
to the English, and to allow English troops to follow them 
into Bhutan; and to permit the Company to cut timber 
in the forests under the hills, and to protect the wood- 
cutters. 

Warren Hastings took advantage of the Penchen 
Rimpochi's friendly letter to send a Mission to Tibet with 
the view of establishing communication with the Court 
at Lhasa and opening trade with that country. Bogle, 
who was sent in charge of the Mission, was also charged 
with the duty of negotiating with the Bhutan Durbar for 
{tie opening of a trade route through their country to 
Tibet. The Mission started on May 6, 1774, and Bogle 
was successful in gaining the consent of the Deb Raja to 
the passage of trade free of duty through his country. 
Articles of trade were drawn up between the two Govern- 
ments, and for a few years trade from Bengal was actually 
allowed to pass through Bhutan into Tibet. A full account 
of Bogle's Mission, so far as it related to Bhutan, is given 
in another chapter. 

Two small Missions under Hamilton almost imme- 
diately followed on this important Mission of Bogle. In 

365 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

1775 Warren Hastings sent Hamilton into Bhutan to 
examine into the claims of the Deb Raja to Falakata and 
Julpaish, in the present Jalpaiguri district. Hamilton 
came to a conclusion in favour of the Deb Raja's rights. 
In 1777 he was again sent to Bhutan to congratulate a 
new Deb Raja on his succession. In 1779 Warren Hastings, 
still keeping steadily in view his policy of maintaining 
regular intercourse with Bhutan and Tibet, determined 
to send Bogle again as envoy to the Penchen Rimpocfai 
in Tibet, but as news arrived that the Rimpochi was 
about to take a journey to Pekin the Mission was post- 
poned ; and it was afterwards arranged, at the suggestion 
of the Lama, with the consent of the Emperor of China, 
that Bogle should meet the Lama at Pekin. This plan 
was most unfortunately frustrated by the death of the 
Penchen Rimpochi, at Pekin, from small-pox, and not 
long afterwards Bogle died in Calcutta of cholera. There 
can be little doubt that had this meeting with the Penchen 
Rimpochi taken place under such auspicious circum- 
stances the whole course of our subsequent relations with 
Tibet and Bhutan would have been different. 

A few years later the reincarnation of the Penchen 
Rimpochi in Tibet was reported to Warren Hastings ; the 
Governor-General at once seized this further opportunity 
offered him of prosecuting his policy with the Lhasa Govern- 
ment, despatched Captain Turner in 1783 as his envoy 
to the Court of the infant Lama, and made him the bearer 
of the congratulations of the Indian Government on the 
event. Turner was also charged with letters to the Deb 
Raja, and it would appear from his report that he was to 
stimulate the Bhutan Durbar to keep to its engagements 
under the articles of trade concluded by Bogle. Eden 
also says that Turner was instructed to cede to the Govern- 
ment of Bhutan the district of Falakata, in Jalpaiguri. 
Turner's Mission to Tibet was the last for many yean* 
So far Warren Hastings' policy had been successful. He 
had succeeded in establishing friendly relations with 

266 



BRITISH RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN 

Bhutan and Tibet, in opening trade through the one country 
to the other, and in' having a diplomatic agent, Purangir 
Gosain, at the Tibetan Court. 

In 1792 the Nepalese invaded Tibet. The Chinese 
sent an expedition to the assistance of Tibet, the result of 
which was that the Gurkhas were driven out of the country, 
and sustained a crushing defeat from the Chinese general 
in their own country only twenty miles from Katmandu. 
The results of this war had a most unfortunate effect on 
our relations with Tibet. The Chinese suspected that 
the Indian Government had supported the Nepalese, and, 
in consequence, closed all the passes of Tibet to natives 
of India, and they have remained closed ever since. While 
this was the end of Hastings' policy in Tibet, our friendly 
relations with Bhutan began about the same time to wane, 
and after the year 1825, when the first Burmese War broke 
out, to seriously suffer from the constant aggressions com- 
mitted by the Bhutanese on our frontier. The situation 
ultimately became impossible, and had to be put an end 
to by the Bhutan War of 1865. A full account of these 
troubles will be found in Eden's report of his Mission to 
Bhutan in 1863. 

The earliest claim to any portion of British territory 
raised by the Bhutan Government was to a portion of the 
Zamindari of Baikantpore, including the mahals of Ain 
Falakata and Julpaish. From Markham's account, this 
claim appears to have been made as far back as 1775, and 
was one of the objects of Hamilton's Mission. Eden dates 
the claim 1787, but it was no doubt made earlier, though 
the territory was not ceded till 1789. Eden maintains 
that the claim was untenable, and it seems probable that 
the Government, anxious to conciliate the Deb Raja and 
to further their trade policy with Tibet, were too ready 
to accept Hamilton's report, which was favourable to the 
Bhutan Durbar. In 1787 claims were also raised to the 
mahal of Holaghat on behalf of the Bijni Raja, and 
to the mahal of Goomah on behalf of the Zamindar of 

*7 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Beddragong ; but the respective owners of these mahals re- 
pudiated the claims, and they were dropped. In 1815 some 
dispute arose about frontier boundaries, and Babu Bishen 
Kant Bose was deputed to the Court of the Dharma and 
Deb Rajas to settle it. He has left an interesting report 
of the state of the country as he found it. From this year 
till 1825-26 there is no account of any communication 
with the Bhutanese. 

The first Burmese War broke out at this time. We 
drove the Burmese out of Assam, assumed the government 
of Lower Assam, and in becoming possessors of this province 
we also found we had inherited the very unsatisfactory 
relations of the Assamese with the Bhutanese. The nature 
of these relations must be briefly explained in order to 
understand what follows. At the base of the lower ranges 
of the Bhutan hills there is a narrow strip of country, from 
ten to twenty miles in breadth, and extending from the 
Dhunseeree River, in Assam, on the east, to the River 
Teesta, or frontier of the Darjeeling district, on the west. 
This tract, which is by nature singularly rich and fertile, 
was known as the Bhutan Duars, or Passes. Eighteen passes 
entered it from the hills, each under the authority of a 
Jongpen, and attached to each jurisdiction was the portion 
of the tract lying below the pass, and bearing its name. 
Thus the whole locality came to be known as the Athara 
Duars, or Eighteen Passes. Of these Duars, eleven were 
situated between the Teesta and the Monass. The other 
seven were on the frontier of the Darrang (Goalpara) and 
Kamrup districts of Assam, and were generally called the 
Assam Duars, those bordering on the Bengal frontier being 
called the Bengal Duars. The Bhutanese had managed 
to wrest the Bengal Duars from the Mohammedan rulers 
of the country, probably soon after the foundation of the 
present Bhutan State. They never obtained absolute 
possession of the Assam Duars, but by their outrages and 
incursions they succeeded in forcing the Assam princes 
to purchase security by making over their Duars to the 

268 



BRITISH RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN 

Bhutanese in consideration of an annual payment of yak- 
tails, ponies, musk, gold-dust, blankets, and knives to the 
estimated value of Narrainee Rs. 4785.4. 
The seven Assam Duars were : 

1. Booree Goomah. 5. Chappagorie. 

2. Railing. 6. Chappakamar. 

3. Churkolla. 7. Bijni. 

4. Banksa. 

The eleven Bengal Duars were : 

1. Dalingkote. 7. Bara. 

2. Zumerkote. 8. Goomar. 

3. Chamurchi. 9. Keepo. 

4. Suckee. 10. Cherrung. 

5. Buxa. n. Bagh or Bijni. 

6. Bhulka. 

It was from these Duars that the Penlops in whose 
j urisdiction they lay, and under the Penlops the Jongpens, 
and under the Jongpens the inferior frontier officers, who 
were sometimes Assamese and Kacharis, derived their 
support. When we occupied Lower Assam the British 
Government renewed and continued the engagements 
made by the Assamese with the Bhutan Government. 
These arrangements were complicated, and contained in 
themselves the elements of constant dispute. The tribute 
due from Bhutan was payable in kind, and as an inevit- 
able consequence questions constantly arose as to the value 
of the articles given and received. But this was not the 
only source of complication. The five Kamrup Duars 
were held exclusively by the Bhutanese, and were entirely 
under their management, but the two Darrang Duars of 
Booree Goomah and Railing were held under a very peculiar 
tenure, the British Government occupying them from July 
to November in each year, and the Bhutan Government 
for the remainder of the year. 

Owing to the articles sent for tribute failing to realise 

269 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

the value at which they were appraised by the Bhutan©*, 
each year's tribute fell short of the fixed amount, and t 
constantly accruing balance was shown against them. 
Our demands for the liquidation of these arrears were met 
by evasion, aggression, and the plunder and abduction of 
our subjects residing on the frontier. The long series of 
such outrages that ensued, commencing from the attack 
on Chetgaree, in Darrang, on October 22, 1828, down to 
1864, are given in some detail in Eden's report on his 
Mission. It will be sufficient to say that between 1828 
and 1836 they involved five serious outrages in which 
British subjects were carried off and our outposts attacked, 
necessitating as many military expeditions by our frontier 
forces, the attachment of the Booree Goomah Duar from 
1828 till 1834, when it was restored to the Deb Raja, the 
raising of the Assam Seebundy Corps (now the 2 /8th Gurkha 
Rifles) in 1834 for the protection of the frontier, and the 
temporary attachment of the Banksa Duar in 1836. 

The defeat of the Dewangiri Raja by Lieutenant 
Mathews, and the attachment of the Banksa Duar, to some 
extent brought the Bhutan Government to their senses. 
The Regent and the Tongsa Penlop addressed our Agent, 
declaring that none of the letters of remonstrance addressed 
to the Bhutan Government had ever been received, and 
requesting that all arrears of revenue might be taken from 
the Banksa Duar, and the Duar itself restored. Many of 
the offenders who had been engaged in outrages on our 
frontier were delivered up. Our Government promised 
to surrender the Duar on an engagement being entered 
into for its better management and the extradition of 
offenders against our Government. Unfortunately, this 
agreement was made with subordinate officials, as repre- 
sentatives of the Bhutan Government, who had, says 
Eden, no higher rank than that of common " chaprasis," 
and was never ratified by the Deb Raja, though the Duar 
was surrendered in anticipation of his doing so. The 
belief, however, that all communications from our Govern- 

270 



BRITISH RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN 

ment were withheld from their Durbar by the Bhutanese 
frontier officials led to the despatch of Captain Pemberton 
as our envoy to the Bhutan Court in 1837. This Mission 
was infructuous. The draft treaty which our envoy sub- 
mitted to the Durbar was agreed to by the Deb and 
Dharma Rajas and the rest of the council, except the 
Tongsa Penlop, who was then the real authority in the 
country, and, at his instigation, was finally rejected. 

In 1839 the Bhutanese resumed their outrages on the 
frontier, and began by carrying off twelve British subjects, 
one of whom died of his wounds ; another was murdered 
because he attempted to escape ; and a third was thrown 
down a precipice because he refused to work. Bhutan 
itself was at this time in a state of anarchy and civil war. 
The Duars were becoming depopulated. The Governor- 
General's Agent proposed to remedy this state of things 
by our taking the Duars into farm and under our direct 
management. The proposal was approved of by the 
Government of India, and a native officer was about to be 
sent into Bhutan to obtain the Deb Raja's consent, when 
another serious aggression was committed. Five villages 
were seized ; the Cutcherry of the Zamindar of Khoomtoghat 
was attacked and plundered, and one of his servants taken 
off. The two eastern Duars, Railing and Booree Goomah, 
were then formally attached and occupied by our officers. 
Not long afterwards letters came from the Dharma and 
Deb Rajas asking that the attached Duars might be released 
and an envoy be sent into Bhutan. Colonel Jenkins wished 
to take this opportunity to push the plan of taking a farm 
of the Duars, but Lord Auckland was averse to sending 
another Mission into the country at a time of such internal 
disorder and when the parties contending for superiority 
were almost equally divided in strength, and he preferred 
sending a letter of remonstrance and serious warning to 
the Deb Raja, intimating that if Bhutan continued much 
longer in its present state of anarchy and inability to 

manage its frontier it would become necessary to annex 

271 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

the Duars. This was no idle threat, and not long after- 
wards, on September 6, 1841, on the recept of a farther 
report from the Agent, Colonel Jenkins, depicting the 
miserable state of the Assam Duars, their state of increasing 
disorganisation, and the almost entire depopulation of the 
tract under the Bhutan Government, the remaining Assam 
Duars were permanently attached, and a sum of Rs. 10,000 
paid per annum to the Bhutan Government as compensation 
for the loss they sustained by this resumption. No written 
agreement was made regarding this arrangement. 

In 1842, at the request of the Bhutan Government, 
we took charge of the Falakata mahal, as they found them- 
selves unable to manage the estate by their own officers, 
and held ourselves responsible for due payment to the 
Bhutanese of the net proceeds of the property. This 
arrangement continued till 1859, when the mahal was 
attached. 

After this annexation of the Assam Duars comparative 
tranquillity reigned in this part of the frontier. Outrages, 
however, continued in the Bengal Duars, and Eden writes 
regarding them : " The aggressions committed from the 
Bengal Duars on our territory and on Cooch Behar, and 
patiently borne by us, have been unparalleled in the 
history of nations. For thirty years scarcely a year has 
passed without the occurrence of several outrages, any 
one of which would have fully justified the adoption of 
a policy of reprisal or retaliation." Dr. Campbell says 
on the same topic : " The whole history of our connec- 
tion with Bhutan is a continuous record of injuries to our 
subjects all along the frontier of 250 miles, of denials of 
justice, and of acts of insult to our Government." 

Between 1837 and 1864 thirty cases of plundering 
British subjects were reported, and no fewer than eighteen 
elephants were carried off from the immediate neighbour- 
hood of the Jalpaiguri cantonment. As many as twenty- 
five British subjects were reported by the police to have 
been carried off into slavery. During the same period 

272 



BRITISH RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN 

fifty outrages were committed in the Cooch Behar territory, 
in one of which Rs. 20,936 worth of property was said to 
have been plundered, and altogether sixty-nine residents 
of that State were kidnapped. 

The Dewangiri Raja (Dungl'sang Sangsub), acting with 
the connivance of the Tongsa Penlop, was largely concerned 
in the commission of these outrages. In compliance with 
representations from our Government, the Deb Raja 
ordered the Tongsa Penlop to pay into the Treasury a sum 
of money equal to half the value of the property plundered 
by his relative and subordinate, the Dewangiri Raja. This 
led the Penlop to address two insolent letters to Colonel 
Jenkins complaining that the Agent should not have 
addressed the Deb Raja direct, and arrogating to himself 
equal powers with the Deb Raja. " I am a Raja like the 
Deb Raja," he wrote ; " how can he possibly injure me ? "" 
There was probably a good deal of truth in this, and the 
inherent weakness of the central Government in Bhutan, 
which left the powerful officials like the Tongsa Penlop 
free to do entirely as they pleased, had much to do with 
the constant outrages on the frontier. Lord Dalhousie, in 
Orders No. 186, dated January 11, 1856, directed Colonel 
Jenkins to send strong letters of warning both to the Deb 
Raja and the Tongsa Penlop, requiring the latter to apolo- 
gise for the disrespect he had shown to his lordship's repre- 
sentative, and pointing out to the Deb Raja that he must 
be held responsible for the malpractices of his subordinates, 
and that if there should be a recurrence of these preda- 
tory incursions into British territory the Agent had been 
authorised to take immediate measures for the permanent 
occupation of the Bengal Duars. The revenue of the Assam 
Duars was at the same time withheld. This produced 
an apology, and the revenue was paid, after deducting the 
value of the plundered property, Rs. 2868. 

Even while these letters of apology were on their way 
another outrage was committed, and Arun Singh, an 
hereditary Zamindar of the Goomar Duar, was forcibly 

273 s 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

carried off into Bhutan. The Government of India advo- 
cated mild measures of remonstrance, but the Governor- 
General considered that, in view of past offences and warn- 
ings, the Bhutan Government should be told that if proper 
reparation was not made annexation of the Duais would 
follow. This demand was met by an impertinent letter 
from the Deb Raja, claiming Arun Singh as a subject of 
his own. Still the Government of India did not proceed 
to extremities, though more outrages were committed, 
and it was considered necessary to move a regiment up 
to the frontier. Sir Frederick Halliday visited the frontier, 
and on May 5, 1857, addressed the Governor-General, 
recommending that as the Bhutan Government showed 
indications of being about to adopt an improved foreign 
policy, and the rebellion which had thrown the country 
into confusion had ceased, an ultimatum should be ad- 
dressed to the Durbar calling on it " once more, avowedly 
for the last time, to deliver up Arun Singh, or. abide the 
consequences," and in the event of their failing to comply 
with this demand Sir Frederick Halliday proposed to 
annex the Ambari Falakata and Julpaish territories. The 
supreme Government concurred with these proposals. A 
cantonment was opened at Jalpaiguri, and the 73rd Regiment 
of Native Infantry and a detachment of the nth Irregular 
Cavalry were posted there. 

The mutiny, however, broke out at the time, and pre- 
vented this ultimatum from being carried into effect. 
Further outrages took place ; further remonstrances were 
made. The tone of the Bhutan Government and its 
officials grew bolder and more insolent. The Subah of 
Bhulka Duar refused to investigate an outrage which had 
occurred in his jurisdiction until a revision was made of 
the frontier boundaries laid down in 1851-52. The Deb 
Raja, in a flippant and impertinent reply addressed to 
the Agent in 1859, declared that " Arun Singh had died 
because his days were numbered." 

Even then the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, Sir 

274 



BRITISH RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN 

J. P. Grant, did not consider that the Deb's answer was 
such as to necessitate immediate action, and thought that 
" the execution of the menace of annexation should be kept 
back till the occurrence of some new outrage." The 
Governor-General, however, did not concur in this view, 
and directed that the Falakata estate should be annexed. 
This annexation was made in 1859. 

Still further outrages took place, and instead of the 
threat of the annexation of the rest of the Duars being 
carried out a period of hesitation and inactivity followed, 
during which the best method of dealing with the question 
was discussed between the Agent for the North-Eastern 
Frontier, the Bengal Government, and the Government of 
India. Lord Canning inclined to the view that a Mission 
should be sent to Bhutan, and in Colonel Durand's letter, 
No. 55, dated January 23, 1862, the Agent, Captain Hopkin- 
son, was desired to state what arrangements were necessary 
for the security of a Mission. While the deputation of a 
Mission was under consideration more aggressions occurred, 
and insolent demands for the payment of the Ambari 
Falakata revenue were made by the Dalingkote Jongpen. 
A considerable force of Bhutanese was marched to the 
Rangpur frontier, and simultaneously arrangements were 
made for crossing the Teesta for the purpose of attacking 
Darjeeling. This was met by moving up two companies 
of the 38th Regiment and a wing of the 10th Native In- 
fantry to the frontier, and outposts were pushed forward 
from the regiment at Jalpaiguri. The result of this was 
that the Bhutanese immediately returned to their homes. 

In July 1862 a messenger, Mokundo Singh, was de- 
spatched from Assam to the Bhutan Court announcing 
the intention of the Governor-General to send a Mission, 
and asking the Bhutan Government to name the route by 
which it should enter and to make arrangements for the 
reception of the envoy. No reply was received from 
Bhutan till December of the same year, and the letter that 
Mokundo Singh brought from the Deb Raja was evasive 

275 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

and contradictory. The Deb promised to send some 
Zinkaffs in the following spring to settle disputes. Bat 
the Zinkaffs never came, and the officers sent to receive 
the Assam compensation money were not even of the usual 
rank. The Governor-General therefore felt that the conduct 
of the Bhutanese Government in sending an evasive answer 
and in not sending the promised messengers warranted 
him in sending a Mission without further parley by the 
most convenient route. Eden was ordered to hold himself 
in readiness to proceed to Bhutan as the envoy of the 
Government, and received his instructions in Colonel 
Durand's letter, No. 493, dated August 11, 1863. Or 
September 30 letters were sent to Bhutan announcing the 
despatch of a Mission, and on December 4 Eden, accom- 
panied by Dr. Simpson, started from Darjeeling. The 
demands made on the Bhutan Government were mild 
in the extreme, considering the treatment we had expe- 
rienced at their hands. They embraced the retention 
of the Ambari Falakata estate for the present, but held 
out hopes of its release to the Bhutan Government ; arrange- 
ments for the extradition of criminals ; and an explanation 
to the Deb Raja of the terms we stood on with reference 
to the Sikhim and Cooch Behar States, and that aggression 
on these States must be considered as an unfriendly act. 
Eden was also to endeavour to arrange for the appointment 
of anTagent at the Bhutan Court at some future time, and 
to secure free commerce between the subjects of the two 
Governments. The progress of the Mission has already 
been noticed. The objects were defeated, principally by 
the Tongsa Penlop, who held a preponderating influence 
in the council. Our envoy was grossly insulted and Ms- 
signature obtained by compulsion to a most audacious 
and impossible treaty, and Eden, with the members of his 
Mission, had practically to make their escape from Bhutan 
to avoid imprisonment and perhaps death. 

Even after this treatment of its envoy the Government 
of India decided to give the Bhutan Government room 

276 



BRITISH RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN 

for repentance. Eden made three alternative suggestions 
of the best measures to be adopted to punish the Bhutanese 
and secure the frontier from future aggressions : (i) The 
permanent occupation of the whole country ; (2) the 
temporary occupation of the country, to be followed by 
withdrawal after destroying all the forts and impressing 
the people with our power ; (3) the permanent annexation 
of the Duars, and the occupation of the hill forts commanding 
them. 

The Government of India, however, inclined to milder 
measures, and determined only to annex permanently 
Ambari Falakata and withhold all future payment of the 
Assam subsidy, and to require the surrender of all British 
and Cooch Behar captives, failing which the whole of the 
Duars should be annexed. Time was given to the Bhutan 
Government to comply with these demands, while prepara- 
tions were made for an advance on our side. The Bhutan 
Government, instead of taking advantage of the oppor- 
tunity given of a peaceful settlement of the question, sent 
an impertinent letter to Chebu Lama of Sikhim, who 
had been attached to the Mission, accusing him of having 
brought about the trouble, threatening him with the con- 
sequences, and declaring their intention of abiding by the 
treaty that Eden had been forced to sign, and returned 
an evasive reply to our Government. Then at last the 
Government of India, in its proclamation of November 12, 
1864, declared its intention of occupying and permanently 
annexing the Bengal Duars, and so much of the hill territory, 
including the forts of Dalingkote, Passaka, and Dewan- 
giri, as might be necessary to command the passes, and the 
Bhutan War commenced. The command of the forces 
was given to Brigadier-General Malcaster, who was to 
operate on the right, while the two columns on the left 
were under the immediate command of Brigadier-General 
Dunsford, C.B. Operations commenced on November 28, 
by an advanced party, under Major Gough, V.C., 
crossing the Teesta near Jalpaiguri and taking, without 

277 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

encountering any resistance, a small Bhutan outpost at 
Gopalganj . 

Mynaguri, Dating, Damsong, Samtsi, Dongna, and Buxa 
were successively occupied by the two left columns, with 
but little loss on our side, and the military occupation of 
the Bengal Duars was completed by the end of the year. 
On the Assam side the Bhutan hill post of Dewangiri was 
captured, with slight opposition, early in December. A 
force of some strength was then despatched to capture 
the fort of Bishensing, but on the arrival in its vicinity 
of an advanced party the supposed fort was found to 
consist of a single stone house, occupied by a lama or 
priest. The necessity for further military operations 
having ceased with the capture of the hill forts command- 
ing the passes, and its annexation of the Bengal and Assam 
Duars being thus completed, the Government of India directed 
the breaking up of the Duars field forces early in February 
1865, intending to leave the occupation of the country 
chiefly to the Bengal Police battalion of about eight hundred 
strong, which had accompanied the expedition, and a few 
cavalry posts on the frontier. But when the force was 
on the eve of breaking up information was received that 
the Bhutanese were preparing to attack the whole line 
of posts from Chamurchi to Dewangiri. Dewangiri was 
attacked by a force under the Tongsa Penlop. The first 
attack was repulsed. The Bhutanese, however, cut off the 
water supply of the fort, and succeeded in throwing up 
a stockade which completely commanded it ; they also 
obtained possession of the Dorunga Pass, thus cutting 
off communication with the plains. Colonel Campbell 
was running short of ammunition, General Malcaster had 
refused to reinforce him, an attempt to send in ammuni- 
tion failed, and under these circumstances Colonel Campbell 
determined to evacuate the position under cover of the 
night and retreat to the plains by another pass known as 
the Libra Pass. The evacuation commenced at one o'clock 
on the morning of February 5. Unfortunately, the main 

278 



BRITISH RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN 

party lost its way in the darkness ; a panic ensued, the 
retreat became a disorderly one, some of our wounded 
were left behind in the confusion, and the guns, abandoned, 
fell into the hands of the Tongsa Penlop. 

The Bhutanese luckily stayed behind to plunder, and 
did not follow up their advantage, so that the force suc- 
ceeded in reaching Kassurekatta with the loss of the few 
wounded who fell into the hands of the enemy. It is 
noteworthy that these prisoners were well treated by the 
Tongsa Penlop. The Bhutanese force on this occasion 
was estimated at 5000 men, but this number includes 
porters, coolies, musicians, and servants. Unsuccessful 
attempts were about the same time made to capture the 
posts at Bishensing and Buxa, but though these failed 
another reverse to our forces was sustained at Taza-jong, 
the stockaded post at the Bala Pass. As at Dewangiri, 
the Bhutanese were not discouraged by their first repulse, 
and threw up a stockade commanding our post. Colonel 
Watson arrived from the plains with reinforcements on 
February 4 to dislodge them, but, after engaging the 
enemy for two hours, was compelled to retire with the loss 
of Lieutenant Millett killed, Lieutenant Cameron mortally 
wounded, and several of the men of the nth Native In- 
fantry killed and wounded. The post at Chamurchi was 
at the same time threatened ; though the Bhutanese did 
not succeed in driving our post out of the pass, they con- 
tinued to occupy their own entrenchment. This change 
in the aspect of affairs necessitated the sending of reinforce- 
ments to the frontier. 

Brigadier-General Tombs, C.B., V.C., was appointed 
to supersede General Malcaster, and Brigadier-General 
Fraser Tytler, C.B., succeeded General Dunsford, who was 
compelled to resign from ill-health. Both these generals 
were given independent commands, the former of the 
Right, and the latter of the Left Brigade. 

Bala was recaptured by General Tytler on March 15, 
and the Bhutanese were driven out of the stockades where 

279 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

they had established themselves in the vicinity of Buxa 
and Chamurchi by March 24; the objects of General 
Tytler with the Left Brigade were thus speedily effected, 
with but slight casualties. On the Assam side the Right 
Brigade recaptured Dewangiri by the end of March. As 
Dewangiri was considered unhealthy during the rains, it 
was evacuated at once after its capture, the buildings 
destroyed, and the troops withdrawn by April 6. The 
military operations in both the Assam and Bengal Duars 
being thus completed, so far as immediate active measures 
were required, General Tombs returned to his command 
at Gwalior, and the two brigades were placed under General 
Tytler, with his headquarters at Gauhati, to act, if required, 
on the defensive, and to be ready for a further advance 
if circumstances rendered this necessary. The Bhutan 
Government now made overtures for peace, and asked for 
the restoration of the Duars. Preliminary negotiations 
followed, during which further hostilities were suspended, 
and resulted in a treaty with Bhutan, which was finally 
concluded on November 11, 1865, a * Sinchula. Under 
this treaty the British Government retained possession 
of the Assam and Bengal Duars. The Bhutan Govern- 
ment agreed to surrender all British subjects of Sikhim 
and Cooch Behar detained in Bhutan against their will ; 
to the mutual extradition of criminals ; to the maintenance 
of free trade ; to the arbitration of the British Government 
in all disputes between the Bhutan Government and the 
Chiefs of Cooch Behar and Sikhim. This treaty is known 
by the Bhutanese as the Ten-Article Treaty of Rawa Pani. 
The Bhutanese also agreed to deliver up the two guns 
which had fallen into the hands of the Tongsa Penlop, 
and to return the agreement which they had extorted 
from our envoy, Eden, with an apology for their treat- 
ment of him. On their side the British Government under- 
took to pay the Bhutan Government, from the revenues 
of the Duars, an annual sum beginning with Rs. 25,000, on 
fulfilment of the conditions of the treaty ; on January 10 

280 



BRITISH RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN 

following the first payment Rs. 35,000 ; on January 10 
following Rs. 45,000 ; on every succeeding January 10 
Rs. 50,000. The arrangement about the surrender of the 
guns and delivery of the extorted treaty was recorded 
in a separate agreement, dated November 10, given by the 
two representatives of the Bhutan Government, and it 
was agreed that until these two conditions were fulfilled 
no money payment under the treaty should be due to the 
Bhutan Government. 

The country thus ceded to the British Government 
comprised the Athara Duars, a narrow strip of territory 
averaging about twenty-two miles in width and 250 in 
length, lying at the foot of the hills. The eastern Duars, 
lying east of the Sankos River, have been incorporated 
with the Goalpara and Kamrup districts of Assam. 

Payment of the allowance to the Bhutan Government 
was temporarily withheld in 1868, on account of the Bhutan 
Government having stopped intercommunication between 
Bhutan and Buxa, and on account of their disregard of 
Article 4 of the treaty of 1865 by sending an officer of 
inferior rank to receive the subsidy. In 1880 the Bhutanese 
were again told that the subsidy would be withheld unless 
certain raiders in Chunbati, near Buxa, were handed over 
to us. Eventually our demands were complied with, the 
raiders delivered up, and the captives (British subjects 
who had been carried off) released in July 1881. 

The last civil war in Bhutan ended in 1885, when 
Ugyen Wang-chuk, who was then Tongsa Penlop, assisted 
by his relative, the Paro Penlop, defeated Aloo Dorji, the 
Thimboo Jongpen, and Poonakha Jongpen ; the last was 
killed. In 1888, on the outbreak of hostilities between 
ourselves and the Tibetans, Shapenjoo, father of Ugyen 
Kazi, warned the Tibetans of the consequences of refusing 
to come to terms ; and, on behalf of Bhutan, refused 
assistance to the Tibetans. During the interval between 
then and the Tibet Mission of 1904 the Bhutanese, under 
the guidance of the Tongsa Penlop, Ugyen Wang-chuk, 

281 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

were most friendly to us, and constant intercourse was 
kept up between the Tongsa Penlop and our representa- 
tives, first Mr. Paul, and later myself. During the Tibet 
Mission of 1904 the Bhutanese were called upon for open 
support, and their Government, under the guidance of 
Ugyen Wang-chuk, sent a Mission with General Macdonald 
in his advance on Lhasa. This was headed by Ugyen 
Wang-chuk himself, who rendered such excellent service 
that on the conclusion of the expedition he was honoured 
with a Knight Commandership of the Most Excellent Order 
of the Indian Empire. 

Up to 1904 the political relations between Bhutan and 
the Indian Government had been carried on through the 
medium of the Government of Bengal. On hostilities 
breaking out in that year these political relations were 
transferred from Bengal to Colonel Younghusband, who 
corresponded direct with the Government of India. On 
the termination of the Mission these political relations 
were transferred to myself, the Political Officer of Sikhim, 
and at the same time I was entrusted with the political 
relations with Tibet. This was a change of great import- 
ance, as it brought Sikhim, Bhutan, and Tibet directly under 
the Government of India, and thus avoided the unnecessary 
and tedious delays formerly caused by corresponding through 
the local Government. 

In 1905 I was deputed on my first Mission to Bhutan, 
to present to Sir Ugyen Wang-chuk the insignia of the 
K.C.I.E. I was accompanied by Major Rennick, of the 
Intelligence Branch, and by Mr. Paul, at the special invita- 
tion of Sir Ugyen ; the escort was taken from the 40th 
Pathans. Unlike all former Missions of recent date, this 
Mission was received in the most friendly manner ; every- 
thing was done to ensure the comfort and pleasure of its 
members, and most friendly relations with Sir Ugyen and 
all Bhutanese officials was the result. 

From now onwards the Bhutanese moved steadily 
forward in the line of improvement. In 1906 Sir Ugyen 

282 



BRITISH RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN 

was invited to meet H.R.H. the Prince of Wales in Calcutta, 
which invitation he accepted. This may be taken as one 
of the most important events in recent Bhutan history. 
This visit assured Sir Ugyen of our friendship, and brought 
him into contact with the outside world, of which he had 
previously only heard very little ; it broadened his views 
and showed him that there were larger and more important 
centres than his own small kingdom. This visit and the 
constant intercourse between Sir Ugyen and his officials 
and the British Political Officer had its effect in paving 
the way for the very great change which shortly took place. 

In 1907 Sir Ugyen was chosen unanimously by the 
lamas, headmen, and people of Bhutan as their Hereditary 
Maharaja. 

I was deputed on my second Mission to Bhutan, to be 
present at the installation, to represent the Government 
of India. I was accompanied by Major Rennick, Mr. 
Campbell, and Captain Hyslop, and the escort was taken 
from the 62nd Punjabis. 

This Mission was also received in the most friendly 
manner, and everything possible was done to make its 
stay in Bhutan a pleasant one. 

It will thus be seen that for the last hundred 
years till quite lately the governing body in India has 
endeavoured to keep strictly, and even contemptuously, 
aloof from these mountain people, and that their policy 
of refusing to sympathise or hold friendly intercourse with 
them has invariably resulted in trouble and annoyance 
to themselves, in return for which they have enforced 
full payment by depriving the weaker State of valuable 
territory. 

It is obvious that in the case of Bhutan, Government 
should utilise this unique opportunity of a new regime 
in that country to enter into a new Treaty and to increase 
the inadequate subsidy that we now dole out as com- 
pensation for the annexation of the Duars, the most 
valuable tea district in India. If this is not done soon 

283 



I 

I 

J 

J 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

China will acquire complete control in Bhutan, and demand 
from us, as she did in the parallel case of Sikhim, the 
retrocession of the Bhutanese plains. Further, any poli- 
tical disturbance on this frontier would seriously affect 
the supply of labour on the tea-gardens in the Duars, and 
so cause great loss to the tea industry. This was very 
ably pointed out by Edgar in 1887, when we were com- 
pelled to fight China under the guise of Tibet for supre- 
macy in Sikhim. The neighbouring State of Nepal is in 
a measure subject to China under the treaty of 1780, and 
in all these years we have made but little progress in 
knowledge of that country, and have allowed our Resi- 
dent to be a kind of political d/tenu in the Residency at 
Khatmandu. It is earnestly to be hoped that we may 
not drift into a similar position with Bhutan, and in order 
to avoid doing so constant and continued intercourse with 
our frontier officers should be encouraged, and a policy 
closely followed by which no efforts to further and advance 
friendly and intimate relations are spared. 



284 



CHAPTER XXII 

FOREIGN RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN 
China. Tibet. Nepal. Sikhim. CoochBehar. 

It is impossible to say when the first connection with 
China commenced, but the right of granting a patent of 
investiture and seal of office to the ruler of Bhutan seems 
to have been claimed by China at an early date. It was 
revived by the Emperor Chien Lung in 1736. It is fair 
to assume that it was not much after Chinese power was 
finally established at Lhasa, and Ambans appointed there* 
in 1720, but it would seem to have afterwards fallen into 
abeyance, as Bogle tells us that one of the causes of the 
rebellion of Deb Jeedhur, about 1774, was that the Deb 
endeavoured to secure the friendship and protection of 
China by circulating the seal of the Emperor in Bhutan. 
According to Pemberton, the power of China was regarded 
with considerable respect by the authorities in Bhutan* 
and a very marked deference was shown to the supposed 
views and wishes of the Chinese officials at Lhasa. Once 
a year messengers arrived from Lhasa bearing an imperial 
mandate from China addressed to the Deb and Dharma. 
Rajas, and the Penlops under their orders. It was written 
on fine cambric in large letters, and generally contained 
instructions to be careful in the government of the country* 
to quell promptly all internal tumult or rebellion, and to 
report immediately, on pain of a heavy fine, any appre- 
hended invasion from foreign foes; and on one occasion 

285 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

a fine of Deba Rs. 103000 was actually imposed for 
neglect of orders, which was paid in instalments spread 
over three years. 

Twenty gold coins were always sent with the imperial 
mandate. The reply returned by Bhutan was always 
accompanied by a present of twenty-three coolie-loads 
of fine rice and goods, consisting mostly of silk and cotton 
cloths, to the value of Rs. 3000. A return present was 
afterwards received from China of flowered scarves and 
silks, coral, and moulds of silver and gold. Though the 
Chinese authorities at Lhasa appeared, as a rule, to exercise 
no direct control in the government of the country, Pember- 
ton heard of one instance when they interfered, in the year 
1830, to settle one of the frequent insurrections that had 
taken place against the Deb Raja of that time, by sending 
a body of troops into Bhutan and deciding between the 
claims of the rival parties. Pemberton adds that the 
accuracy of his information of the action of the Chinese 
on this occasion has been questioned, but the story is 
consistent with what has happened since. At his interview 
with the Deb Raja in 1874 Rampini was informed by him 
that though Bhutan was in no way tributary to China, 
yet an annual exchange of presents took place. Bhutan 
sent presents to the value of Rs. 7000 to the Chinese 
Ambans at Lhasa, and received presents in return to the 
value of Rs. 10,000. 

Two instances at least have occurred in more recent 
years since the Bhutan War in which the Chinese authori- 
ties at Lhasa have interfered in Bhutanese politics. These 
were in 1876-77, when the Deb Raja reported to Lhasa 
the wish of the British Government that he should make 
a good road through Bhutan, and Chinese and Tibetan 
officials were sent to Bhutan to support him in refusing 
to do anything of the sort. In the rebellion of 1885 the 
defeated Deb appealed to Lhasa, and Chinese and Tibetan 
officials were deputed to settle the dispute. They sum- 
moned the Maharaja of Sikhim to attend the conference. 

286 



FOREIGN RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN 

On this occasion the interference of the Chinese Ambans 
at Lhasa cannot be construed as an act merely of their 
own initiative. The Indian Government received informa- 
tion from her Britannic Majesty's Charg£ d* Affaires at 
Pekin that the Chinese were disposed to take the cause 
of the ex-Deb in hand and support him with Chinese 
troops, and in consequence of the attitude taken up by 
China the subsidy was withheld till the dispute between 
the opposing Debs was finally settled. 

In 1890 there occurred a further symptom of the interest 
taken by China in Bhutan and of the intention of the 
Chinese Government to revive their former suzerainty 
over the country. The Assistant Resident in Tibet, who 
was afterwards promoted to be Principal Resident, in a 
memorial to his Government at Pekin, suggested that 
the two Penlops of Tongsa and Paro should be created 
Chieftains, and should at the same time be invested with 
a title of hereditary nobility by the Emperor of China. 
This proposal received the imperial sanction. Subsequently 
the Assistant Resident modified his proposal, and, in view 
of the fact that the executive administration was really 
vested in the Tongsa Penlop, the Paro Penlop being merely 
nominally associated with him in the government of the 
country, suggested that this distinction should be recog- 
nised, and that the former should be appointed Chieftain 
and the latter Sub-Chieftain. This was sanctioned by the 
Emperor in the Pekin Gazette of August 22, 1890. 

Her Britannic Majesty's Minister at Pekin, in his letter 
informing the Government of India of the step, adds : 

" The action taken by the Resident in the present 
instance appears to be merely a continuation of the policy 
adopted by his predecessor in 1866, when, as reported in my 
Despatches Nos. 59 and 60 of the 9th and 15th November 
of that year, the Chinese Government asserted the right of 
controlling appointments to the posts of Raja or Penlop 
in Tibet. As explained in the second of my above-mentioned 
Despatches, the right of granting a patent of investiture 

287 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

and a seal of office to the ruler of Bhutan seems to have 
been claimed by China at an early date. It was revived 
by the Emperor Chien Lung in 1736, and when Bogle visited 
Bhutan forty years later he found that the introduction 
of the imperial seal of China was still a vexed question in 
the country." 

In 1891 the Paro Penlop wrote to Paul to inform him 
that officers of the Chinese Amban had visited him at Paro 
on November 21, 1891, and left with him a golden letter, 
with the seal of the Emperor of China, for the Tongsa 
Penlop. It is not quite clear whether there was only the 
one letter, or whether the Paro Penlop received another 
one for himself. 

The connection of Bhutan with Tibet has been much 
closer, although since the establishment of the Chinese power 
at Lhasa Tibetan control in Bhutan has been exercised in 
concert with or under the orders of the Chinese Ambans. 

The Deb Raja, in his conversation with Rampini in 
1874, repudiated the idea of his State being tributary to 
Tibet any more than to China, but the whole course of 
Bhutan history shows that though the chain which binds 
Bhutan to Tibet may be a loose one, it is held nevertheless 
by Tibet, and tightened on occasions. 

Horna Delia Penna, in his " Brief Account of the King- 
dom of Thibet/ ' written in 1830, says that the kingdom 
of Dukpa (Bhutan), along with Ladakand Nepal, were then 
subject to and had voluntarily made themselves tributary 
to Tibet, after the Emperor of China had made hitn^ll 
master of it. 

From researches made in old Tibetan manuscripts, 
it is clear that the present State of Bhutan originated 
in a colony of Tibetans, and that the first Dharma 
Raja, Shabdung Nga-wang Namgyal, who introduced 
order and government into this colony, was a lama from 
Tibet, as well as the next Dharma Raja, Gyaltsap Tenzing 
Robgay. 

288 



FOREIGN RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN 

The earliest connections of Bhutan with Tibet were 
thus evidently very close, both on the religious and secular 
side. Pemberton's account confirms this view. He men- 
tions a tradition current in the country that Bhutan was 
once ruled by resident Tibetan officers, and that when 
these officers were withdrawn, and the Bhutanese allowed 
to govern themselves, they still consented to pay an annual 
tribute to Tibet, and recognised the supremacy of the 
Emperor of China in secular and of the Delai Lama in 
spiritual affairs. 

Coming down to a more historical period, the time of 
Bogle's Mission, we find that in the letter addressed by the 
Regent of Tibet, the Tashi Lhunpo Lama (Penchen Rim- 
pochi ?), to Warren Hastings, which was received on 
March 29, 1774, in which he mediated for peace on behalf 
of Deb Jeedhur, the Regent claims Bhutan as a dependency 
of Tibet. He says the Deb Raja " is dependent upon the 
Delai Lama/' that if British hostilities are continued it 
will irritate both the Lama and all his subjects against 
the Indian Government, and that he has " reprimanded the 
Deb for his past conduct and admonished him to desist 
from his evil practices in future, and to be submissive to 
you in all matters." 

Occasions on which the Tibetan authorities have inter- 
fered with Bhutan politics in concert with the Chinese 
have been mentioned. It may fairly be presumed that 
the Lhasa Government would have exercised this amount 
of control over Bhutan irrespective of China if Chinese 
supremacy had not become established at Lhasa. The 
Bhutanese Government at first endeavoured to hinder 
Bogle's progress into Tibet, and they positively refused 
to allow Pemberton to proceed there or to forward a letter 
from him to Lhasa. In both cases they were probably 
acting under instructions from the Lhasa Government. 
Bhutan does not now pay any tribute to Tibet, and it does 
not appear when it ceased to do so. It is probable that 
when China sent its Ambans to Lhasa in 1720 the tribute 

289 T 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

was transferred to China. On the other hand, Bhutan 
did not come to the assistance of Tibet in the Nepal War 
of 1792. Turner even says that the Chinese general thought 
of invading Bhutan after defeating the Nepalese. Tibet 
did not support Bhutan in the war of 1864, or oppose the 
annexation of the Duars, though Rennie does mention that 
a few soldiers who were thought to be Tibetans were seen 
with the Bhutanese troops ; nor did Bhutan give any help 
to the Tibetans at the time of the British expedition against 
them in Sikhim in 1888-89. The Tibetans asked for 
assistance, but it was refused by the Tongsa Penlop. 

The ordinary government of the country goes on without 
interference from Tibet, and Lhasa does not exercise any 
voice in the election of the Deb Raja. In Bogle's time 
Tibetans were excluded from trading in Bhutan except 
for the exchange of rice and salt. Disputes between the 
Tibetans on the Chumbi side and the Bhutanese from time 
to time occurred. In 1892 a Bhutanese subject, servant 
of the Tongsa Penlop, was murdered at Phari ; and later, 
as the Tibetans at first neglected to make compensation, 
the Bhutanese threatened to invade the Chumbi Valley. 
The matter was eventually settled amicably in 1894. 
Recent frontier information shows that the Paro Penlop 
has levied fines from the Tomos in the Chumbi Valley in 
a high-handed manner, and till quite lately levied taxes 
upon Tibetans entering Bhutan on that side. The connec- 
tion between Tibet and Bhutan is certainly an ill-defined 
one, and may perhaps be best expressed by saying that 
though Bhutan is not a dependency of Tibet, it comes 
within the sphere of Tibet's political influence. 

The first mention of any political connection between 
Bhutan and Nepal is given by Bogle, who says that the 
ambitious Deb Raja of Bhutan, Deb Jeedhur, about 1770, 
with the view of making himself independent of the priestly 
power, strengthened his connection with the Raja of Nepal, 
and obtained his support so far that Nepal refused to acknow- 

290 



FOREIGN RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN 

ledge the Deb who was set up in Deb Jeedhur's place after 
the rebellion against him. Not long after this, in 1788, 
Bhutan sent forces to aid Sikhim in repelling the Gurkha 
invasion from Nepal. They were themselves in turn 
threatened by a Gurkha invasion after the submission of 
Sikhim to Nepal, but this was prevented by the defeat 
of the Nepalese troops by China. 

This Deb, otherwise known as Migyur Tempa, was a 
friend of Raja Rama Sahi of Nepal, and obtained several 
grants of land in that country. At one time Bhutan 
possessed eighteen monasteries there ; these were lost in 
1788, on account of the Bhutanese sending help to Sikhim 
against the Nepalese. They now possess only two. 

Bhutan has remained unmolested by the Nepalese, 
and this Pemberton attributes, first to the fear of China, 
and secondly to the bold and determined policy of Hastings, 
which interposed the little State of Sikhim as a barrier 
to the eastern progress of the Nepalese. From this period 
down to Pemberton's time scarcely any intercourse, either 
of a political or commercial nature, took place between 
Nepal and Bhutan. At his interview with Rampini in 
1874 the Deb Raja declared that relations with Nepal were 
friendly, and it appears that there has always been some 
intercourse of a friendly character between the two countries. 
In recent years a large number of Nepalese have migrated 
to Bhutan and colonised there, along the foot hills. 

Deb Jeedhur, of whom previous mention has been 
made, invaded Sikhim somewhere about 1770, and held 
possession of the country for six or seven years. The 
minor Raja of Sikhim fled to Lhasa, and was educated 
there. He ultimately obtained assistance from Lhasa 
and returned to his country, which the Bhutanese then 
promptly evacuated. During the Bhutanese occupation 
of Sikhim a Sikhimese chief had been confined at Poonakha. 
The Sikhim Raja, on his return, procured his release, and 
the Bhutanese, on setting him free, bribed him to remain 

291 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

a friend to their Government. This man's son, born in 
captivity, became the most powerful man in Sikhim, and 
kept up a continued correspondence with the Bhutanese. 
Some years later, when a boundary dispute arose between 
Sikhim and Bhutan, he treacherously gave up to Bhutan 
a large tract of country belonging to Sikhim, including 
Dalingkote, Jongsa, and Sangbay. 

Bhutan, as already mentioned, came to the aid of 
Sikhim against the Gurkhas in 1788. Beyond this there 
seems to have been no political intercourse between the 
two States, and Sikhim sustained its share of the outrages 
which led to the Bhutan War of 1864. The 
Treaty provided for the surrender of Sikhimese 
carried off into Bhutan, and for the reference to the British 
Government for arbitration of all disputes that might 
arise between Bhutan and Sikhim. It was also intended 
by the Government of India to separate the boundary of 
Bhutan from Sikhim by including the tract of country west 
of the Jaldhaka in the annexation, in order to prevent 
future inroads into Sikhim by the Bhutanese. This inten- 
tion was not carried out, and Bhutan continues to border 
on Sikhim on its western frontier. There have, however, 
been no aggressions on Sikhim by the Bhutanese since the 
Sinchula Treaty. 

In earlier times the relations between Cooch Behar 
and Bhutan were extremely intimate, and Bhutan exercised 
considerable control over Cooch Behar affairs. About 
1695 the Bhutanese overran Cooch Behar and usurped 
the government, till Santa Narayan Nazir Deo, with the 
assistance of the Mahomedan Viceroy, expelled them 
after a long struggle, and placed Rup Narayan on the 
throne. The Bhutanese, however, continued their control 
over political affairs in Cooch Behar. In 1776, when the 
infant Raja was murdered at the instigation of Ramanand 
Gosain, they, " exercising, apparently, a usual authority/* 
put Ramanand to death, and Dhaijendra was placed on 

292 



FOREIGN RELATIONS WITH BHUTAN 

the throne. This Raja offended the Bhutan Government 
by depriving Ram Narayan of his office of Dewan Deo, 
and afterwards putting him to death ; and as a punish- 
ment for this affront to their authority the Bhutanese 
carried him off and kept him a prisoner in Bhutan, appoint- 
ing his brother, Rajendra, to rule in his place. On the 
death of Rajendra, Darendra, son of Dhaijendra, was set 
up as Raja, without the consent of Bhutan, and the Bhu- 
tanese remonstrated in vain against the election of the son 
of a person whom they held as prisoner. They then invaded 
Cooch Behar, and carried off Darendra and his brother into 
Bhutan. The Government of India came to the aid of the 
dethroned Raja, and the Bhutanese were driven out of 
Cooch Behar, and the first treaty made with them by 
Warren Hastings in 1774. The tribute of five Tangan 
horses, which had been paid by Bhutan to the Cooch Behar 
Raja for the province of Falakata, was transferred to the 
Company. This ended any political relations between 
Bhutan and Cooch Behar. As in the case of Sikhim, 
Cooch Behar suffered for many years from the predatory 
incursions of the Bhutanese, which, with the incursions 
into British territory, were made the casus belli with Bhutan 
by the proclamation of 1864 J an< 3 in the Sinchula Treaty 
the same conditions were imposed upon Bhutan in respect 
to Cooch Behar as in respect to Sikhim, 

Since the Sinchula Treaty there has been very little 
intercourse between Cooch Behar and Bhutan. A3 in our 
case, Bhutanese come down in small numbers to trade, 
but Cooch Beharis are not allowed to enter Bhutan or 
to trade there. 



293 



CHAPTER XXIII 

ARTS AND INDUSTRIES OF SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Chinese and Indian influence. Metal-work in Sikhim. Method 
of casting. Sikhim knives. Aniline dyes. Weaving school 
in Lachung. Carpet factory in Gangtak. Apple orchards in 
Lachung and Chumbi. Cheese and batter making. Bhutan 
metal-work. A wonderful pan-box. Beaten copper and silver 
work. Bells. Swords and daggers. Weaving. Needlework 
pictures. Basket-work. Influence of the feudal system. In- 
feriority of Tibetan work. Wood-carving in Sikhim, Bhutan, 
and Nepal. 

The arts and industries of Sikhim and Bhutan have an 
intimate connection with those of China, as from their 
earliest days these countries were in touch with China and its 
civilisation, long before the people had any intercourse with 
India. With the spread of Buddhism a certain amount 
of Indian influence was brought in, but it is not very 
apparent. It has, however, also crept in through Nepal, 
and wherever the Newar craftsmen have penetrated 
Indian designs are to be met with ; and this is particularly 
the case in the eastern districts, in Sikhim, and along the 
Brahmaputra River, as far as Shigatsi and Gyantse, and 
to some extent also in Lhasa. 

In Bhutan the effect of Indian influence is very much 
less marked, and that of Burmah and Siam, which has 
entered by way of Assam, is undoubtedly stronger. 

In Sikhim the arts are now almost entirely carried on 
by Nepalese craftsmen, who excel in gold, silver, and brass 
work. Articles made in these metals are generally beaten 

294 



ARTS AND INDUSTRIES 

into shape, backed with a lac got from the roots of the 
sal- tree, and the pattern hammered out with blunt tools. 
As the workman draws his own pattern as he works, his 
success depends on his ability, and he is able to express 
individuality in both design and execution ; and I have 
seen, and have in my possession, some very good specimens 
in gold, silver, brass, and copper work. They also cast 
exceedingly well in brass and bronze. The method they 
follow is to first model in wax the object they wish to make ; 
they next coat the model with successive layers of cow- 
dung, clay, and a little finely chopped straw ; this is 
allowed to dry very slowly, and when thoroughly dry the 
wax is melted out, leaving an excellent mould, into which 
the molten metal is poured. The detail obtained in this 
way is marvellous ; and as each model must be separately 
moulded it carries with it the great charm of all Oriental 
work — indi viduality . 

Very good knives are manufactured in Sikhim. They 
used to be made from indigenous charcoal iron, but now 
that steel bars can be bought so cheaply the workmen — 
more is the pity — have entirely abandoned the old method 
of extracting the iron direct from the ore. 

Cotton cloth is also manufactured for their own use, 
but the yarn is nearly all imported now, though a small 
portion is still made locally. The women weave at small 
looms set up in the different houses where the dyeing of 
the thread is also done ; and until lately vegetable dyes, 
to be found in abundance in the forests and jungles of 
Sikhim, were always used. Unfortunately, aniline dyes 
were introduced into the bazaars ; the people, finding they 
gave more brilliant results, were cheaper to buy and easier 
to use, took to them, and nearly spoilt the industry, until 
I was obliged to prohibit the sale of aniline dyes throughout 
Sikhim, and so force them to return to natural vegetable 
dyes, which produce such beautiful soft tints and last so 
much better. Carpets and woollen cloths are also made, 
and I started weaving schools in Lachung, and later on, 

295 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

under the control and supervision of the Maharani, who 
took great interest in the work, a carpet factory at Gangtak. 
The Lachung schools turned out most excellent tvceds, 
thanks to the assistance given by Miss Johanson, a Scandi- 
navian missionary, under whose care the village girls guk 
regularly to work, collected the requisite dyes from the 
jungle, and followed the patterns ; but that supervision 
withdrawn, the girls would work or not as the spirit moved 
them, the yarn would be uneven in quality and carelessly 
woven, and the pattern neglected ; but so long as IGss 
Johanson remains the output is excellent. It is the same 
with the carpet factory. When I was at headquarters 
and could occasionally look in, the carpets made were 
excellent — could not have been better — but if I were away 
for a few months on tour, and the Maharani otherwise 
occupied, the work immediately became careless and in- 
ferior — mistakes in the pattern, bad colouring, and inferior 
weaving. It shows the necessity in all these undertakings 
of having trained supervision at the head, if they are to 
be successful. 

But the great difficulty was to place the output on a 
proper commercial footing. It is easy for a few years to 
sell cloth or carpets, but it does not answer in the long run 
unless the goods can be sold in the open market. Before 
I left an attempt to do this was being made! but whether 
it will be successful or not I cannot say. 

I also tried to introduce fruit-cultivation, and planted 
English fruit-trees in both the Lachung and Chumbi Valleys. 
In the former the apple-trees have done extremely well, and 
a few years ago one tree alone bore 3200 apples, weighing 
832 lb. ; and I have gathered apples which weighed over 
a pound apiece. But here again the distance they had to 
be carried was a difficulty in placing them on the market. 
A very large trade is done in oranges during the winter 
months ; but oranges are indigenous to the country, and 
the natives understand their cultivation ; and, in addition, 
they grow in the hot valleys near the plains. The orchards 

296 



ARTS AND INDUSTRIES 

in Chumbi had not come to maturity before the evacuation 
of the valley, and the trees will probably be cut down for 
firewood. 

I also tried to introduce amongst the people butter and 
cheese making, which should have been profitable to the 
gwallahs, or cowkeepers ; but without Europeans to place 
in charge it was difficult to achieve any success. The 
cheese-making was never taken up, although for a whole 
winter I had milk brought to the Residency, the cheese 
made in my own dairy, and then sold amongst my friends 
in India, to demonstrate to them the practicability of the 
scheme. They thought the trouble and care required in 
keeping the utensils clean was much too great for their 
easy-going ways. Hence that scheme was a failure, and, 
beyond what I myself attempted, was never tried. It 
seems extraordinary that the neighbouring town of Dar- 
jeeling, not to speak of Calcutta and other stations in the 
plains of Bengal, should get their supply of butter from 
Aligarh, in the United Provinces, while at Gangtak day 
after day throughout the year we made the finest possible 
butter, equal, if not superior, to the best English butter, 
and that from the milk of cows not stall-fed or cared for 
in any but the ordinary way of the country, turned out 
€ach morning to graze on the hillsides. It shows what 
would be possible were the business taken up by any 
practical and energetic person. 

Into Bhutan, Nepalese influence has hardly penetrated 
at all. The craftsmen are all Bhutanese, and the designs 
follow more closely the Chinese model. They excel in 
bronze castings and fine metal-work of all kinds. In prac- 
tice they follow the same methods as in Sikhim, backing 
the metal on which they are employed with lac, and 
hammering out the patterns with blunt chisels after 
the manner of old alto-relievo work. One of the most 
exquisite specimens of workmanship in silver and silver- 
gilt I have ever seen was produced in Bhutan — a pan-box 
about 8 inches in diameter and z\ inches deep, of a purely 

297 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 

Chinese dragon pattern, in relief quite a quarter of an inch 
or more deep. 

I have also seen exceedingly fine specimens of copper 
and brass work, chiefly articles for the decoration of their 
altars, such as trumpets, candlesticks, rice-boxes, tables, 
&c, and they also cover many of their temple pillars with 
copper or silver beaten into most beautiful patterns, and 
the altar tables are examples of beaten work with bold 
designs. 

The Bhutanese excel in casting bells, and I have seen 
some excellent specimens with very fine tones. The com- 
position used for the best bells contains a good deal of 
silver, but they never make them of any great size, the 
largest I have seen being probably twenty-four inches in 
diameter and of about an equal height. 

In iron- work they are also good artificers, and many 
of their sword-blades are of excellent manufacture and 
finish, and are still made from the charcoal iron. The 
polish they put on them is wonderful, and the blades almost 
look as though they had been silvered. 

Their swords are very handsome weapons, with finely 
finished blades, elaborately wrought silver handles inlaid 
with turquoise and coral, and silver scabbards with gold- 
washed patterns, attached to handsome leather belts with 
brightly coloured silk cords and tassels. Their daggers 
are also very fine, many of them with triangular blades 
and fluted sides, with sheaths of exquisite open silver and 
gold work set with turquoise. 

Every house of any importance has large workrooms- 
attached in which weaving is carried on, and the stuffs 
produced, consisting of silks for the chiefs' dress, woollen 
and cotton goods, are excellent; and a good deal of 
embroidery is also done. 

The monasteries possess an art which, as far as I know, 
is peculiar to Bhutan. They make most beautiful needle- 
work pictures of the saints on hanging banners. In- 
numerable pieces of coloured silks and brocades are applied 

298 



ARTS AND INDUSTRIES 

in a most artistic manner with elaborate stitches of all 
kinds. Many of them are veritable works of art. 

Another industry in which the Bhutanese excel is basket- 
work and fine matting made from split cane. The baskets 
are beautifully woven of very finely split cane, and some 
of the lengths are coloured to form a pattern. They are 
made in two circular pieces, rounded top and bottom, and 
the two pieces fit so closely and well that they can be used to 
carry water. They are from six to fifteen inches in diameter, 
and the Bhutanese use them principally to carry cooked 
rice and food. They also make much larger and stronger 
baskets, very much in the shape of a mule-pannier, and 
these are used in a similar way for pack-animals. 

The mats are also very finely woven of the same mate- 
rial, with a certain amount of the split cane dyed to form 
patterns. They are delightfully fine and soft, so flexible 
that they can be rolled up into quite a small space, and 
very durable, and can be got in almost any size up to about 
sixteen feet square, and even larger if they are required. 

Possibly the excellence of the work produced in Bhutan 
owes much to the feudal system which still prevails there. 
Each Penlop and Jongpen has his own workmen amongst 
his retainers, men who are not paid by the piece, and are 
not obliged either to work up to time or to work if the spirit 
is not in them, and consequently they put their souls into 
what they do, with the result that some pieces of splendid 
individuality and excellent finish are still made. No two 
pieces are ever quite alike, and each workman leaves his 
impress on his work. 

The same ought to apply to Tibet, but I have seen no 
work from Tibet which can compare in any way with that 
from Bhutan. Possibly the environments of Tibet are not 
conducive to such excellence ; the people are more servile 
and less independent, a condition always detrimental to 
good work of any kind. Metal-work in Tibet is of the same 
description as that in Sikhim and Bhutan, and is all made 

in the same way, but any specimens I have seen are inferior 

299 



SIKHIM AND BHUTAN 
in workmanship. From Nepal, on the other 
had some excellent work, with marked signs of : 
especially in their brass castings. Some of t] 
or brass demon dogs, are very characteristic. 

I have omitted to mention wood-carving, in 
Sikhim, and Bhutan all excel. In the form 
the wood-carving is of a very high order, an 
in Khatmandu, and especially in the older cat 
are exquisitely ornamented with carved dooi 
balconies, eaves ; and some of them even hi 
on the ridges of the tiled roofs. 

In Sikhim and Bhutan, in nearly every 
and Jong, and also in the better houses, many g 
are to be found, and the work is bold and effec 

I am giving some photographs showing a fe 
of the various arts and crafts, but they hardlj 
to the best workmanship. Unfortunately, the , 
of my collection is still packed away, and I ai 
illustrate all I could wish. But I think I have •■ 
to show that the hill people on this frontier 
artistic temperament, and can turn out m« 
work which compares favourably with that of o£ 
craftsmen. 



APPENDIX I 

THE LAWS OF BHUTAN 

A Brief Outline of the Laws and Rules laid down 
for the Government of Bhutan 

The form of government is twofold, viz., spiritual and temporal. 

i. The spiritual laws are said to resemble a silken knot — i.e., 
easy and light at first, but gradually becoming tighter and tighter. 

2. The temporal or monarchical laws resemble a golden yoke — 
i.e., growing heavier and heavier by'degrees. 

This twofold law was composed by a spirit of perfect disinterested- 
ness. 

This twofold system of government established in Bhutan 
rendered the country happy and prosperous, taking for example 
the system of the great Saint-King of Tibet, whose very first pro- 
hibition was against the taking of life, a crime punished by the 
realisation of blood-money in case of homicide, and damages or 
fine in case of attempted homicide. A penalty of hundredfold 
repayment was realisable in cases of robbery or theft of church or 
monastic property, eightyfold repayment in cases of stealing the 
king's property, eightfold repayment in cases of theft amongst 
subjects. Adultery was punishable by fines. Falsehood was 
punishable by the offender being put to oath in a temple, and the 
invocation of tutelar deities and gods. Over and above the pre- 
vention of the ten impious acts, all were required to regard parents 
with filial respect and affection, and elders with reverence, to receive 
with gratitude any kind action done by others to themselves, and, 
lastly, to avoid dishonesty and the use of false measures, which 
constitute the sixteen acts of social piety. 

Although Bhutan had been once effectually brought under the 
beneficent influence of strict law and justice, it subsequently, on 

301 



APPENDIX I 

account of general corruption and laxity on the part of those in 
authority, became slack in all branches. 

If this should be allowed to continue, there would be no dis- 
crimination between right and wrongdoing, no justice, and without 
justice human beings cannot have happiness and peace. If there 
were no peace or happiness for human beings, the Dukpa Hierarchy 
would have failed in its errand upon this earth, and it would be use- 
less for it to exist longer. Therefore, bearing the interest of the 
Hierarchy at heart, every one is exhorted to leave all partiality 
aside and to act up to a true sense of justice, emulating the great 
Saint-King Srongtsan Gompo of Tibet. 

For it is said that Universal Happiness depends upon the exist- 
ence of the Jina's Hierarchy, and that, in its turn, depends upon the 
character of individual Hierarchs. But it is unfortunately the 
general custom now for those who are in authority to give way 
to their own selfish and immeasurable greed of gain, to satisfy 
which they resort to extortion by oppressive means — e.g., binding, 
beating, and imprisoning — thus rendering the subjects as miserable 
as tantalised ghosts in this very lifetime. And the elders of the 
village — i.e., mandals and pipons — in their turn act the part of spies 
and inform those above them as to who amongst the raiyats have 
some articles of value or riches. Thus they render the clear foun- 
tain of justice muddy and foul. Therefore it is extremely neces- 
sary that he who enjoys the privilege of being the Dharma Raja 
should use the utmost circumspection in finding out the real truth 
and facts, when it happens that cases are brought before him for 
trial, so that the innocent be not punished for nothing and the wrong- 
doer escape unpunished. To enforce temporal laws by punishing 
sinful and impious acts in perfect accordance with moral and religious 
laws is the essence of the 

Commandments of the Jinas. 

A Brief Outline of the Proper Course of Action , - 

for Deb Rajas 

Buddha says in the Sutras, " A king, if he is fond of Dhaxma 
[Righteousness] , finds the path to happiness both in this and in the 
future lives. The subjects will act as the ruler acts, and there- 
fore should the ruler strive to learn Righteousness." 

They should encourage religious institutions and the inculcation 
of knowledge, and religious sentiment therein. 

302 



APPENDIX I 

They should see that the priests are properly trained in the 
ten pious acts ; that they gain the necessary accomplishments in 
(a) dancing, (b) drawing, or making mandates, and (c) psalm- 
singing ; besides acquiring knowledge in the twofold method of 
meditation. The above should be for those who expect to spend 
their lives as priests. Those who are to acquire the other branches 
of learning, such as rhetoric, poetry, and dialectics, also must be 
encouraged, and their progress enforced by periodical examinations 
in each of these several branches. 

An annual circular perwana should be issued to those in charge 
of the State monasteries, requiring that the monastic properties of 
value, whether they be ornaments for the altar, treasures, coins, 
plates, utensils, &c, should not be disposed of or misused in any way. 
To those also amongst the priesthood who are engaged in handi- 
crafts (e.g., painting, sewing, embroidery, carving, modelling, &c), 
and those also who are engaged in menial service, should be taught 
thoroughly writing and rituals, and they should be thoroughly 
imbued with the ten pious sentiments. In short, the Deb should 
consider it a daily duty to inquire into the state of the raiyats* 
condition, whether they are happy or unhappy, contented or dis- 
contented, and strain his utmost power to render them happy. 

They should prohibit indiscriminate life-taking, by forbidding 
cruel sport on the hills and fishing in the rivers. This effectually 
strikes at the cause of several ills in the future. 

The collection of taxes, raising of labour contributions, and 
trial of cases constitute the administrative duties, on the proper 
discharge of which depends the happiness of a nation. 

A constant check and inquiry as to whether, out of those who 
are sent on these duties, there are any who exempt certain persons, 
some from partiality, and tax others heavily in consequence of 
grudges or prejudice, should be exercised and kept up. 

The officers posted on the frontiers should be constantly reminded 
of the fact that the peace of the central nation depends upon the con- 
duct of the borderers. The borderers, if they commit lawless raids 
into others' territories in their vicinity, will give occasion for reprisals 
and involve the nation in the horrors of foreign warfare in an unjust 
cause. Therefore they should be exhorted to live peaceably. 

To be brief, these are the three ends to be secured : 

i. The contentment of the raiyats. 

2. The proper influence of and respect for officials or authorities. 

3. The support of the Sangha, or the body of the Trinity. 

303 



APPENDIX I 

Therefore it is absolutely necessary that the Deb Raja, as the 
temporal ruler of the people, should be well versed in the method 
of securing these ends. 

The most effectual and shortest method of securing the first 
end, the raiyats' happiness, is by administering strict justice. If 
a ruler would devote himself to administering justice impartially, 
he would make all his subjects happy in a single day. For it wis 
by this means that the ancient dynasty of Tibetan kings secured 
happiness for their subjects and popularity for the rulers them- 
selves, and also by which the Dharma Raja of Bhutan (Shabdung 
Rimpochi) succeeded in subduing the stiff-necked and lawless people 
of Bhutan, and rendering his reign so very glorious and popular. 
The main end of establishing law and justice is to give peace and 
security to both the ruler and his subjects, and in particular to 
promulgate the Dharma and to perpetuate the Hierarchy of the 
Buddhist Sangha, which embodies and represents the three chief 
principles of the Buddhist Trinity. 

Of late a dangerous laxity has crept into all branches of 
justice. 

Priests who break their vow of celibacy, and criminals who 
are guilty of homicide, robbery, and otherwise disturbing public 
peace, go unpunished. This not only sets a bad example for the 
future, but endangers present tranquillity, and encourages crime 
and breach of faith. Thus the country becomes filled with vow- 
breakers and knaves, and public peace is destroyed. It is said, 
" The violation of spiritual laws makes the Guardian Deities retreat 
to the Abode of Passivity, and allows the foul breath of the mis- 
chievous Fiends to pervade everywhere. The breach of Social 
Laws weakens the power of the Gods, and the Demons of Darkness 
laugh with joy." It is absolutely necessary to compel the priests 
who have violated their oaths to change their modes of dress and 
give up other priestly habits. 

Moreover, at present the use of a most filthy and noxious herb, 
called tobacco, is spreading amongst the sepoys and raiyats, who 
use it incessantly. This is sure to steep the sacred images and books 
in pollution and filth. It has been prophesied by Ugyen Padma 
Jungna that it will cause wars and bring epidemics. So unless 
every one of the provincial Governors, Kazis, Subahs, and Head- 
men strives to stop the use of this poisonous and evil stuff by fining 
those who deal in it, and those who use it, they will be sure to feel 
heavily the consequences of such neglect themselves. 

304 



APPENDIX I 

If those who are rulers, having the opportunity to render their 
subjects happy, neglect their duties, then where is the difference 
between them and the Prince of the Devils ? In worldly matters 
it is not always mild means which conquer and subdue rude and 
evil persons, but sometimes stern measures have to be adopted. 
So when there are law-breakers or evildoers the ruler's duty is 
to punish them sternly, putting aside all consideration of pity and 
sympathy. This is the path by which a king on his throne obtains 
salvation. 

Although the rulers are responsible for the general prosperity 
of a nation, yet it is the local authorities on whom lie the responsi- 
bilities of a province or district. The deputies (who are sent to in- 
quire into a case), and the headman who reports, are the chief per- 
sons on whom the real burden of a fair trial lies. The establishment 
of a second-grade Kuchap, as well as that of a Lama and Hyerpa 
combined, should consist of two orderlies or sepoys and one syce, 
and ordinary Kuchaps should have only one orderly and one syce. 
Officers' tours entail too much expense and trouble on the raiyats, so 
unless it be for transfers or new appointments, officers' tours should 
be restricted as much as possible, and they should not be allowed 
to travel about on any trivial pretence. The husking of paddy 
should not be given in dribbling quantities, but in a large quantity 
at one time ; nor should rice be realised over the actual out-turn of 
the husking. The raiyats should not be dispossessed of any gold, 
turquoise, vessels, cattle, or ponies they may possess on frivolous 
pretences of extortionate rates of interest on trading capital lent 
by the headmen, nor should any headmen request subscriptions by 
means of giving charm threads or cheap clothes. All barter or 
trading should be carried on at fair prevailing rates, and not at 
extortionate and preferential ones. Forced gifts of salt or butter 
should not be made. No wearing wool should be given, no sheep's 
load should be realised. All Jongpens and Head Lamas of monas- 
teries shall not try to realise any gifts by going round visiting raiyats. 

The sale and purchase of slaves (plainsmen) must not be per- 
mitted. Any one persisting in it should be reported to the Durbar 
authorities. State officers will not be entitled to any coolies or rations 
from the State, if they are going to visit a hot spring or mineral- 
water spring for their own health, but they shall provide them- 
selves with the necessary provisions and coolies on such occasions. 
When officers are out on their own account they shall not present 
themselves at the Jongs, and if they do the Jongs shall not provide 

305 u 



APPENDIX I 

them with the usual rations to which they would otherwise be 
entitled. 

The officers in charge of the several Jongs should report to the 
Durbar what amount of free labour has been enforced, how many 
coolies supplied, or how many coolie-loads have been conveyed, 
and for whom, or by whose order, on what date, and so on. Shook! 
any officer at the different stages permit any load to be conveyed 
free of cost to the owner without reporting, he shall be liable to a 
heavy fine. 

A Kuchap can keep one pony, and may perhaps be entrusted 
with the feed of a pony from the Superior Jongpen. Over and 
above these he may not maintain any ponies at the cost of the 
State. Should he do so he will forfeit the same to the Jong. He may, 
however, by paying a licence fee of over one hundred tanlra<t to his 
Jong, be allowed to maintain one more pony. But on no account 
is he to be allowed to maintain more than three ponies at the cost 
of the State. Should he desire to give a pony in the place of the 
annual revenue, he may not send any raiyat to purchase it from 
any market. In case of complaints made to him, he may not 
receive anything over a measure of pachwai murwa, not so much 
as a square bit of silk in kind, nor a tanka in cash. A Kuchap 
should report all cases, be they light or important, to the Jong, and 
by no means decide any himself. At harvest-time a Kuchap 
should not take the opportunity of visiting his field border, or 
turn it to a means of going on a rambling visit to his raiyats. Nor 
should a Kuchap make slight cattle trespasses upon the border 
of his fields the pretence for realising heavy damages from his 
raiyats. The Kuchaps or other responsible officers must not be 
wine-bibbers, fornicators, nor adulterers. Should they be guilty 
of any of the above faults, they render themselves enemies to public 
peace, and thereby liable to dismissal from their office in disgrace. 

The collection of the taxes in kind, such as meat and butter, 
must be considered and settled at the Kuchang's own place, with 
the assistance of the elders, and karbaris or mandals under him, 
after which he will submit the proposed demand rent-roll to the 
Jongpen, his immediate and chief superior, for sanction and order. 
Only uponobtaining such sanction can he realise the rents in kind. 

Should any guests have to be provided for, it will not do for him 
to ^realise the provisions or their equivalent from the raiyats, but he 
should^quarter them on the houses in turn. The guests should on no 
account^expect luxuries, but bare necessaries. 

306 



APPENDIX I 

The Kuchap must not grant any remission of rents of either kind, 
on consideration of any private gift to himself. 

The Kuchap may not accept the first portion of any ceremonial 
feast, be it for the dead or the living. He should not accept or 
demand any present for marriages or separations. 

When sending out for collections, he should send a pipon, who 
will represent an orderly, a mandal, and a karbari in one. This 
man shall not realise anything on his own account. He shall not 
accept any present from cattle-keepers. Any mandal, or lamas or 
shalugos who have been appointed to any posts, requiring to go 
to the seat of the Durbar, must not take any raiyats to accompany 
them, nor should they raise any tax on the pretence of nazars for 
the Durbar. Any officers, village headmen, who have obtained 
permission to retire from service on account of old age, infirmities, 
&c, must not linger above three days in the Jong. Any foreigners 
or strangers arriving in their jurisdiction must be reported and 
presented to their superior at the Jong. They must not harbour 
or receive any such. Anybody found harbouring robbers or thieves 
must be punished as heavily as the criminals themselves. 

Any slaves attempting to escape in an unhappy mood must be 
detained, and should any one after having harboured one fail to 
detain him the same shall make good the slave. But, on the other 
hand, if any one succeed in handing back to the owner the escaped 
slave the same must be compensated, due consideration being taken 
regarding the distance, the time, the cost and expenses incurred in 
the performance of the enterprise. 

Two different raiyats cannot combine into one. A holding 
may be enjoyed both by a son or, if there is no son, by a daughter. 
A raiyat who is aged, and has neither daughter nor son, may be 
asked only to render such labour and service for revenue as he is 
able to perform alone as long as he lives ; upon his or her decease 
the same holding shall pass to the nearest kith or kin, who will 
thenceforth be expected to render both labour and cash and kind 
revenues. No marriages or permanent connections should be 
allowed where the parents do not approve. And whereas, where 
there are two or three holdings and houses which used to pay 
taxes separately now combined in one, with a view of lightening 
the labour contribution, it must be ruled that this be not permitted 
or tolerated, as it is a bad precedent. If there be any, either a 
male or a female, heir to the property, the same should be com- 
pelled to make good the State revenue. If there are no heirs in the 

307 



APPENDIX I 

line, then it should be made over to the nearest kin, or to such 
person whom the owner wills as his assignee, who will thenceforth 
make good the State revenue. Those who own properties in land 
and houses, and yet live untaxed in towns, should be made to 
render proportionate labour contribution and rents in cash and 
kind with the value and area of their properties. 

Whereas the slaughter of many animals on account of funeral 
ceremonies is bad, both on account of the deceased as well as the 
living, henceforth it is expedient to offer simple gifts on these 
occasions, which shall be regulated as follows : 

i. For the Durbar, in lieu of a head and limb the value of half a 
tanka. 

2. For the Lama, the price of a piece of cotton cloth. 

But if the party be poor and cannot afford the gifts, but simply 
some offerings for the deceased, then he shall be liable to the above 
costs only in case of Durbar and Lama, and for the assistant priests 
he can give rice in lieu of meat, about four manas. But if one 
animal has to be slaughtered, on no account shall he exceed one 
life, out of which he must defray the necessary meat expenses. 

A monastery Head Lama shall perform the cremation within 
one day in summer and two in winter ; he must not exceed this 
time, on his own responsibility. The number of priests to attend 
a funeral, and the fees to be received by them, are the same as at 
the capital or Durbar. But if the Head Lama is delayed in coming 
or prevented from coming, the layman must have the obsequies 
partially performed at home, and must take such stores with him 
with which he can have the same performed at a monastery. No 
freehold grants to lamas for their support shall be sold. The 
laymen shall not stop supporting the lamas. Should any wealthy 
or propertied lama die, his chief supporting layman or disciple 
shall utilise his property in meritorious charity. When any State- 
supported and retired lamas die, their effects, if they are books, 
images, or altar appurtenance, shall be offered to the State or Deb 
as obsequies offerings, and the rest shall be devoted to funeral 
ceremonies to the best account. When it becomes necessary to 
build a cell to serve as a retreat for any lama of the monastery, 
it shall be within the compound or in the vicinity of a monastery 
or other religious institution, and not in the vicinity of a village 
or any hill spur. Should any child be born to a couple, as the 
result of a connection within monastery precincts, the same couple 
shall be considered to have reverted to the world, and their life 

308 



APPENDIX I 

must be passed amongst the villages, and they shall accordingly 
be made to fill up any vacancy amongst the raiyats, and shall be 
liable to the same taxes and labour contributions as any other raiyat. 

Should any member or Tape of the monastery loiter more than 
fifteen days amongst the villages, otherwise than on some special 
business of the Head Lamas, or their own, and on the usual charity 
begging purpose, the same shall be liable to be forced to render 
the usual labour contribution by the village headmen. The 
Head Lamas of the several monasteries, too, must, except on the 
occasions of the annual congregation for observing the Buddhist 
holidays, always pass their time in retreats. They shall use their 
utmost efforts to effectually put an end to any sham or charlatanism, 
necromancy, quackery, and false witchcraft. The licensed as well 
as private Mane was (those who go about singing " Om mani padmi 
hum ") shall only enjoy such offerings as are made voluntarily ; 
there shall be no tax for them. No one shall harbour any mis- 
chievous person who has been banished from a Jong for some 
roguery. 

A thief or robber, killed while in the commission of theft or 
robbery, dies without any hope of redress. The man who kills a 
thief in the above manner is not liable to any punishment. But 
otherwise one who takes out his sword (for threatening or for 
striking) is liable to sword fine. 

One committing homicide must be bound to the corpse of the 
deceased whom he has killed. If he escapes after committing 
homicide, he may be killed wherever and whenever he is caught. 
The offspring of a homicide shall be banished from their home. 

Any one killing notorious highway robbers, any wild beasts 
which are working much havoc in a country, or who has performed 
heroic service amongst enemies during war should be encouraged 
by gifts of robes or clothes according to merit. 

The headmen should inspect the products of their country 
industries, and see that they are honest and solid in make and 
texture. 

The merchants who have the responsibility of the import trade 
at the different marts also must satisfy themselves that they get 
good things, and all the traders must obey the State merchant in 
these particulars. Any one acting in defiance of these rules, and 
any one found forging Government letters, or altering their mean- 
ing, or attempting detention or miscarriage of such orders issued 
from the seat of the Government, shall be dealt with severely, 

309 



APPENDIX I 

inasmuch as they shall be deprived of their sight or of life by 
decapitation. 

From the Dharma Raja at the head of all the ruling offices, 
including Lamas, Jong pens, Penlops, &c, down to the Mandate and 
responsible village headmen, if they do not act in accordance 
with the above, if they do not regard public prosperity nor check 
their subordinates, if they suffer Karmic laws to be subverted, and 
tolerate the spread of evil without making an effort to remedy it, 
then how will the Spiritual Guardians help them ! Thus, in con- 
formity with the text " Those who offer insults to those who live 
in Righteousness are worthy of being exterminated/' they shall 
surely be offered up as fitting sacrifice on the altar of the Great and 
Terrible Mahak.il. 

But, on the other hand, if all observe the above rules, which 
they must understand are for their general as well as individual 
good, they will put their faith in the threefold Rare One (Tri Ratoa) 
as their God and witness, and regard the Chagdzod (Deb Raja) as 
the human liege lord who has been entrusted with the weal of the 
nation and the prosperity of the Hierarchy in general, and serve 
him unto death most loyally and energetically, just as the great 
Righteous Prime Minister Garwa did formerly. 



This completes the brief code of rules and regulations of the 
great Dharma Raja, of which this is the chapter regarding the 
officials and provincial governors, and their subordinate Kazis and 
Subahs. 



310 



APPENDIX II 

THE LAWS OF SIKHIM AND MARRIAGE CUSTOMS ; 

SIKHIM LAWS 

A Brief Translation of the Sikhim Laws, taken from 
a Tibetan Manuscript given to me by the late 

Khangsa Dewan 

HISTORY 

The Sikhim laws are founded on those spoken by Raja Melong- 
dong, who lived in India before the time of Buddha (914 B.C.). This 
Raja is mentioned in the Ka-gyur, in the thirty-first chapter. 

They were again written by Kun-ga-gyal-tsan of Sa-kya-pa, 
-who was born in 1182. He was king of thirteen provinces in 
Tibet, and has called the laws Tim-yik-shal-che-chu-sum, or CJau- 
dug, there being two sets, one containing thirteen laws and the 
other sixteen. These are practically the same. The laws were 
again written by De-si-sangye Gya-tsho, who was bom in 1653 and 
was a Viceroy of Tibet. They were caMed by him Tang-shel-me- 
long-nyer-chik-pa. 

The first set of laws deal with offences in general ; the second 
set forth the duties of kings and Government servants, and are 
merely an amplification of some of the laws contained in the former. 

SUMMARY OF THE SIXTEEN LAWS 

No. 1. General Rules to be followed in Time of War 

(a) It is written in the Ka-gyur that before going to war the 
strength of the enemy should be carefully ascertained, and whether 
any profit will be derived or not. It should also be seen if the 
dispute cannot be settled by diplomacy before going to war. Care 

3" 



APPENDIX II 

should also be taken that by going to war no loss be sustained 
by your Government. Whatever the cause of dispute, letters and 
messengers between the contending parties should on no account 
be stopped, and messengers should be properly treated. Any one 
coming with overtures of peace should be well received. 

(b) Should two or more enemies combine against you, no means 
should be left untried to separate them, and if possible to bring 
one over to your side, but false oaths should not be resorted to, nor 
the using of God's name. 

(c) The lie of the ground should be well examined to see how 
the roads run, and whether your position is strong. 

(d) If it is necessary to go to war, other methods having failed, 
you should all combine, and, being of one mind, should attack. See 
that there are no sick, lazy, or timid in the ranks, but only those who 
fear not death. See that your own soldiers obey the law, and all 
should obey the orders of the general. Experienced men only 
should be sent, and not those who look after their own interests. 

The army should be divided into three divisions, under the 
command of different officers. The general and his staff should 
be trusted men who can guide the army ; they should do their 
work thoroughly. Your horses, tents, and arms should be kept 
in good order. A doctor, a diviner, an astrologer, and a lama 
should be appointed. 

The tents should be properly arranged the first day, and this 
arrangement adhered to, so as to prevent confusion. On moving, 
the fires should first be put out, the wounded should be cared for, 
and in crossing rivers order should be kept, and those behind should 
not push forward. Things found should be returned without asking 
for a reward, and should not be concealed or kept. Thieves are 
not to be flogged, but only to have their hands tied behind them, 
but they may be fined. Should one man kill another by mistake, 
ht must pay the funeral expenses. Should several combine and 
kill another, they must pay twee the fine laid down by law. For 
any disputed loot lots must be drawn by the contending parties. 

The general should appoint sentries, who must look to the 
water-supply and see they do not easily become alarmed. They 
should allow no armed stranger to enter the camp, and should be 
careful not to kill any messenger. If a sentry kills a messenger 
coming with terms of peace, he shall be sent to his home in disgrace 
on some old, useless horse with broken harness. 



3" 



* APPENDIX II 

No. 2. For those who are being defeated and cannot fight 

When a fort is surrounded those in the fort should remain quiet 
and should show no fear. They should not fire off their arms 
uselessly, with no hope of hitting the enemy. The well within the 
fort should be most carefully guarded. Those within the fort should 
not be allowed to communicate with the enemy for fear of treachery. 
They must not be lazy. Until peace is declared the messenger 
should receive no reward. 

Should you be defeated, you must give up your arms, and those 
who give them up must not be killed. Should any one kill a man who 
has given up his arms he must be derided and scoffed at as a coward. 

If during a conflict you capture a general or officer of rank, you 
should bind his hands in front with a silk scarf ; he should be allowed 
to ride his own horse or another good horse, and should be treated 
well, so that in the event of your ever falling into his hands he may 
treat you well also. Any other prisoners should have their hands 
tied behind them, and they should be made to walk. Officers should 
be placed on old, worn-out horses, with broken harness and rope 
stirrups. Should an army be defeated and obliged to fly, they 
should not be reprimanded, but they should not be rewarded or 
receive any presents, even though the leader be a great man. The 
prisoners should receive what is necessary for subsistence, and also 
expenses for religious ceremonies, and men of rank should be treated 
well and with consideration. 

A man can only make a treaty for himself and his own descendants. 

No. 3. For Officers and Government Servants 

These officers should abandon their own work and apply them- 
selves entirely to Government work ; they should obey the orders 
of the Viceroy, and head of the Church, should not change the Shari 
(hat sects) and Tub-tha (religious sects). 

In the fifth month they should kill no animals, and the Raja's 
store should be well kept, so that there be no deficiency. They 
should repair the images, temples, and books, and all passes and 
roads. Also on the 10th of this month the " dadok "* ceremony 
must be performed. 

If a man be sent on private business, the name of Government 
should not be used. Debts may be recovered through officers, who 
should patiently hear the case, and not give arbitrary orders. They 
* This puja is performed in order to remove our enemies. 

313 



APPENDIX n 

should give just judgments, and not favour those who can reward 
them. They should inquire diligently into all cases, and leave no 
case undecided, so that all men can say their work has been well 
done. 

No. 4. Law of Evidence 

You should listen carefully to what is said by both parties. 
Equals by birth should be heard at the same time and place. Those 
that are not equals should be heard separately. Should any one 
not obey your decision, he can be fined. 

If evidence be false both parties are fined, according to which 
has given the most false evidence. 

If after a decision has been given the parties wish to compound 
between themselves, one-half of the fine only is imposed. 

No. 5. Grave Offences. 

There are five sins : (1) The murder of a mother ; (2) the 
murder of holy men ; (3) the murder of a father ; (4) making 
mischief amongst lamas; and (5) causing hurt to good men. 
There are also the sins of taking things from Rajas and lamas for 
our own use ; causing a good man to fall through no fault of his 
own ; administering poison ; killing any one for gain ; causing strife 
in a peaceful country ; and making mischief. 

For the above offences punishments are inflicted, such as putting 
the eyes out, cutting the throat, having the tongue cut out, having 
the hands cut off, being thrown from cliffs, and being thrown into 
deep water. 

No. 6. Fines inflicted for Offences in order to make 

People remember 

Certain crimes may be punished by money fines, varying in 
accordance with the gravity of the offence. 

When a number of men have committed dacoity, they may be 
fined from 25 to 80 gold srang.* For small offences smaller fines 
are imposed, and can be paid either in money or in kind, the 
amount to be settled by the officer trying the case. 

No. 7. Law of Imprisonment 

Any one rioting, using arms, and disputing near the court can 
be imprisoned. Thieves, and those who destroy property, and 

* 1 srang *■ 1 02, 
314 



APPENDIX II 

those who do not obey the village headman, those who give bad 
advice, those who abuse their betters, can be bound and put in the 
stocks and fined according to the law, and only released if some one 
in authority makes himself responsible for the fine and petitions 
for their release. 

No. 8. In the Case of Offenders who refuse to appear an 
Orderly must be sent expressly to inquire into the Case 

A messenger who is sent off at a moment's notice should receive 
three patties* of barley per diem for food and a small sum in money, 
according to the importance of the case in which he is employed, 
but the messenger's servants should not be fed. The messenger 
is allowed one-fourth of the fine for his expenses. 

Should an agent not settle a case properly, he must return to 
the villagers what he took, otherwise the villagers will have much 
trouble given them. 

The agent should report having received the fine, on penalty of 
forfeiting one-fourth what he has taken. When a fine is imposed, 
it should be at once collected, no excuse being taken. If an agent 
is sent to collect rent he should be fed twice by the headman. 

Of stolen property recovered by an agent the Government 
receives one-tenth value. 

No. 9. Murder 

For killing a man the fine is heavy — even up to many thousands 
of gold pieces. In the Tsalpa law-book it is written that if a child, 
a madman, or animal kills any one no fine is taken, but that money 
must be given by the relations of the first two for funeral expenses, 
and one-fourth of that amount must be given by the owner of the 
animal towards these expenses. 

Should one man kill another and plead for mercy, he must, 
besides the fine, give compensation and food to the relatives of the 
deceased. 

Should a man kill his equal and the relatives come to demand 
compensation, he must give them 18 oz. of gold in order to pacify 
them. The price of blood should never be too much reduced, or 
a man may say, " If this is all I have to give, I will kill another." 

An arbitrator must take the seal of each party, saying they will 
abide by his decision, and they must each deposit 3 oz. of gold as 
security. 

• 17 patties — 1 mannd, or 82 lb. 

315 



APPENDIX II 

Fines can be paid in cash, animals, and articles of different 
kinds. 

The price for killing a gentleman who has 300 servants, or a 
superintendent of a district, or a lama professor, is 300 to 40c 
gold srang. For full lamas, Government officers, and gentlemen 
with 100 servants the fine is 200 oz. of gold. 

For killing gentlemen who possess a horse and five or six servants, 
or working lamas, the fine is 145 to 150 oz. of gold. 

For killing men with no rank, old lamas, or personal servants 
the fine is 80 oz. of gold. 

For killing a man who has done good work for Government the 
fine is 50 to 70 oz. of gold. 

For killing common people and for villagers the price is 30 to 
40 oz. of gold. 

For killing unmarried men, servants, and butchers the price is 
30 gold srang ; and for killing blacksmiths and beggars, 10 to 20 oz. 
of gold. 

These prices can also be paid in grain. The prices for funeral 
expenses must be paid within forty-nine days. 

On the fines being paid, a letter must be written, and a copy 
given to each party, saying that everything has been settled. If a 
case is reopened a fine must be paid by him who opens the case. 
The murderer must write to the effect he will not commit such a 
crime again. Part of the fines can be given towards the funeral 
expenses of the deceased. 

No. 10. Bloodshed 

In the old law it is written that for any drop of blood shed the 
price varies from one to one-quarter zho.* A man may even be 
beheaded for wounding a superior. For wounding his own servant 
a man is not fined, but he must tend the wounded man. Should 
two men fight and one wound the other, he who first drew^his knife 
is fined, and he who is wounded must be tended by the other till 
his wounds be well. The fines are payable in money or kind. 
Should one man wound another without any fight, he is fined 
according to the law of murder. 

If in a fight a limb or an eye is injured the compensation to be 
given is fixed by Government. 

* The word " zho " means a drachm, or is a coin two-thirds of a rupee. 

316 



APPENDIX II 

No. ii. For those who are False and Avaricious the 

following Oaths are required 

If it is thought a man is not telling the truth an oath should be 
administered. At the time of taking the oath powerful gods should 
be invoked, and those who are to administer the oath must be 
present. It is written in ancient law that the bird of Paradise 
should not be killed, the poisonous snake should not be thrown 
down, the raven should not be stoned, and the small turquoise 
should not be defiled. Thus pure lamas and monks should not 
be sworn. 

Magicians, shameless persons, women, fools, the dumb, and 
children should not be sworn. 

Men should be employed who know both parties and are intelli- 
gent and truthful. Those willing to take an oath should be of 
equal rank. When all are present the case should first be settled, 
if possible, by arbitration. If this fails the ordeal either by hot 
stone or boiling oil is resorted to. 

Ordeal by Oil. — The oil must be supplied by Government, and must 
be pure. It is boiled in a pan at least three inches deep. In the oil 
a black stone and a white stone are placed, of equal size and weight. 
He who has to take the oath must first wash his hands in water, in 
milk, and in widow's urine. His hand is then bound in a cloth and 
sealed. This is done a day or two before the ordeal, in order to give 
him a chance of confessing. The vessel with the boiling oil is then 
placed so that the stones cannot be seen, and he has to take one 
out. If he takes out the white one without any burn he wins his 
case. He who gets the black stone is sure to be burnt, and loses 
his case. Should he who gets the white stone be slightly burnt, 
it means he has partially spoken the truth, and wins half his case. 

Ordeal by Hot Stone. — The stone is made hot by the blacksmith, 
taken out of the fire with tongs, and placed on a brass dish. The 
man's hands are washed as before, examined to see what marks 
there are produced by labour, and the hot stone placed in the 
palm. With the stone he must walk four to seven paces. His 
hand is then bound up, and left for three to seven days. On examina- 
tion, if there are no marks, or if there is a long mark^called rdo-lam, 
he wins his case. He also wins his case if the stone bursts three 
times in being heated. It depends on the number of marks how 
much of his case he wins. 

A cloth and a rug have to be paid as expenses, and the brass 

317 



APPENDIX II 

vessels go to the blacksmith. In order to test the oil for boiling, 
a grain of barley is thrown in ; if it flies into therair the oil is ready. 

Whilst placing his hand in the oil or holding] the hot stone a 
statement in writing of the case is placed on the person's head. 

The ordeal by oil may be gone through without using the stone. 

Mud and water can be used in place of oil. Hot iron used to be 
employed in place of the stone, but is now discontinued. 

No. 12. Theft 

For taking a Jongpen's or other great man's property io.ooo 
times their value has to be given in return. For taking a lama's 
property eighty times their value has to be given, a neighbours 
property nine times, and a villager's seven times; for taking a 
stranger's property four times. 

Beggars who steal from hunger have only to give back what they 
took. 

Should one man accuse another falsely of stealing, he must give 
him as compensation what he accused him of stealing. 

Should a man find anything on the road, and without telling 
take it for himself, he must be fined double its value ; but should 
he tell, he receives one-third the value. Should any one recover 
stolen property, but not be able to catch the thief, he receives half 
the property recovered. 

Should any one find a horse, any cattle, yaks, or sheep, and keep 
them for a year without discovering the owner, he receives one- 
fourth the value, provided he has not in the meantime used the 
animals for his own benefit. 

Should any one wound a thief he is not fined. 

If a thief whilst running away be killed by an arrow or stone, 
a small fine only is taken. 

Should any one, having caught a thief, kill him, he is fined accord- 
ing to the law of murder. The reward for catching a thief is from 
i to 5 oz. of gold, according to the amount of the property stolen. 

No. 13. Disputes between near Relatives, between Man 
and Wife, and between Neighbours who have Things in 
Common 

If a husband wishes to be separated from his wife, he must pay 
herefrom 18 zho, the amount varying in accordance with the length 
of time they have been married. 

318 



APPENDIX II 

If the wife wishes to leave her husband, she must pay him 
12 zho and one suit of clothes. The wife, on separation, also 
receives the clothes given to her at her marriage, a list of which 
is always taken, or its equivalent in money. 

Should there be children, the father takes the boys and the 
mother the girls, the father paying from 5 to 15 zho for each son, 
called the price of milk. If the woman has committed no fault 
she receives her ornaments. 

Should a family wish to separate, a list of the whole property 
should be taken and it should be divided according to circum- 
stances. The father and mother are asked with whom they would 
like to live, and if there is any dispute lots are drawn. The married 
children's property is first separated from the rest, and if any 
children are going to school their expenses must be taken from the 
whole before decision. 

No. 14. Adultery or taking another's Wife 

The old law runs that if any one takes a Raja's or lama's wife 
he may be banished or have his hands cut off. For violating a 
woman of different position 3 oz. of gold have to be paid to the 
woman's relations, and 4 gold srang to Government, besides many 
things in kind. 

For violation of a woman of the same position 2 or 3 gold srang 
and several kinds of articles have to be paid. 

If the woman goes of her own accord to the man he has only 
to pay 1 gold srang and three kinds of articles. 

Should one man's wife entice another married man to go with 
her, she has to pay seven things in kind. 

Should a man and a woman cohabit on a journey there is no 
fine. 

No. 15. Law of Contract 

Should any one take a loan of cattle, yaks, sheep, &c, and 
they die in his charge, he must pay for them. Should they die 
one night after being returned, it is the owner's loss. If they die 
before midnight of the night they are returned the borrower has 
to pay. 

Should a horse die from a wound whilst on loan, one-fourth to 
one-third its value will have to be paid. 

Should any one, having made an agreement to take anything, 
refuse to take it, the articles being good, he must pay one-fourth 

319 



APPENDIX II 

of the value. If there be any mistake in an account, it can be 
rectified up to one year. 

No. z6. For Uncivilised People 

These laws apply only to such uncivilised people as Bhuteas, 
Lepchas, Mongolians, who know no law ; therefore what is written 
below is not required in Tibet. The Mongolians also have their 
law, written by Raja Kesar, of which we know little. 

Any Government messenger must be supplied with what he 
wants (such as horses, food, &c), and if not provided he can tab 
them. Also whilst halting he must be supplied with food and fire. 
But the messenger must not draw his sword or use his bow, or he 
will be liable to a fine, and he must only take what is necessary 
to the performance of the Government work. 



MARRIAGE CUSTOMS AMONGST THE SIKHIMESE, 

TIBETANS, AND BHUTANESE 

These customs have been gathered from actual observation, 
and are those now observed by the people. 

If the eldest brother takes a wife she is common to all his 
brothers. 

If the second brother takes a wife she is common to all the 
brothers younger than himself. 

The eldest brother is not allowed to cohabit with the wives of 
the younger brothers. 

Should there be children in the first .case, the children are named 
after the eldest brother, whom they call father ; in the second case, 
after the second brother, and so on. 

Three brothers can marry three sisters, and all the wives be in 
common, but this is not very often met with. In such a case the 
children of the eldest girl belong to the eldest brother, of the second 
to the second, and of the third to the third, if they each bear children. 
Should one or more not bear children, then the children are appor- 
tioned by arrangement. Two men not related can have one wife 
in common, but this arrangement is unusual. 

The marriage ceremony consists almost entirely in feasting, 
which takes place after the usual presents have been given to the 
girl's relations. These presents constitute the woman's price, and 
vary in accordance with the circumstances of both parties. 

320 



APPENDIX III 

A LIST OF SOME OF THE PRINCIPAL ANIMALS AND BIRDJ 
TO BE FOUND IN THESE COUNTRIES, AND THEIR 

HABITAT 

Elephants. — Along the lower hills and in the Duars, penetrating 
in the rainy season into the hills to an elevation of 11,000 feet. 

Rhino. — In a few of the lower valleys of Bhutan, but not common. 

Bison. — In the lower valleys and outer hills of Bhutan. 

Mythun. — Do. do. 

Tiger. — In all the outer hills and valleys, and occasionally in the 
lower valleys up to 9000 feet. 

Common Leopard. — Throughout the hills up to an elevation o1 
8000 feet. 

Clouded Leopard. — At elevations from 4000 feet to 6000 feet. 

Snow Leopard. — Rare, and only met with at high elevations above 
11,000 feet. 

Black Leopard. — Rare, but met with in the dense jungles ai 
elevations of 3000 feet to 4000 feet. 

Lynx. — Rare ; only at high elevations bordering on Tibet ove] 
16,000 feet. 

Wolf.— Do. do. 

Jackal. — Has been imported from the plains of India, and i 
occasionally seen as high as 6000 feet. 

Wild Dog. — Not very common, but is met with in packs betweei 
the plains and a height of 6000 feet. There is said to be a secon< 
species, but I have never met with it. 

Shau (Cervus affines). — Inhabits a tract to the north-east 
the Chumbi Valley. 

Sambttr. — In all the lower hills. 

Cheetah. — Do. do. 

Hcg-' 1 '**: - Tv ) d^ 

322 



APPENDIX III 

throughout the hills in dense bamboo jungle at 5000 feet to 8000 
fret. 

Snow Partridge. — Throughout the hills above 15,000 feet. 

Snow Cock. — Do. do. 

Woodcock. — In the cold season in the middle valleys and in 
summer in the higher valleys, but not above 13,000 feet. 

Solitary Snipe. — In wet, marshy ground above 11,000 feet. 

Ram Chicoor. — Throughout the hills at elevations above 14,000 
feet. 

Tibetan Sand Grouse. — Along the Tibetan boundary above 17,000 
feet. 

Quail. — Found in cornfields in Bhutan at 9000 feet in May 
and June. 

Partridge. — Only a few at high elevations. 

Duck.— Cold-weather visitors. Only a very few breed on the 
higher lakes. 

Geese. — Do. do. 

Snipe. — Do. do. 

Pigeons. — Imperial, snow, blue rock, and many species of wood 
pigeons are found throughout both countries. 



324 



APPENDIX IV 

io. Lacquer cymbal-box, with copper binding, and copper and iron 

fittings (China). 
12 and 15. Old cloisonnl bowls (China). 
14. Carved wooden frame for a small Buddha (Tibet). 

Plate III 

1 and 7. Pair of iron water-bottles, inlaid with silver (Tibet). 

2. Small brass teapot (Tibet). 

3. Copper-gilt Urn of Life used for puja (Tibet). 

4. Teapot (Sikhim). 

5 and 15. Copper-gilt images of Buddha (Tibet). 

6. Brass box for jade teacup (Tibet). 

8. Hand-bell (Tibet). 

<>. Copper dorji, or thunderbolt (Tibet). 

10 and 21. Bell-metal cymbals (Tibet). 

11. Carved, gilt, and coloured book-back (Tibet). 

12 and 22. Silver altar butter-lamps (Tibet). 

13. Enamel box (China). 

14, 16, 18, and 20. Part of a set of Tashi Tagye, in copper-gilt, 

used at puja (Tibet). 
17. Temple bell (Tibet). 
i<). Brass spectacle-case (Tibet). 
23. Jade teacup with silver cover and stand (Tibet). 

Plate IV 

1. Copper-gilt Urn of Life (Bhutan). 

2. Long-stemed porcelain teacup in copper-gilt stand (Tibet). 

4. Teapot in copper-gilt, with silver mounts set with small turquoise 

(Tibet). 

10. Copper-gilt rice offering-box (Tibet). 

(Nos. 2, 4, and 10 belonged to the late Regent of Tibet, and were 
sold on his downfall) 

3. Silver amulet-case (Bhutan). 

5. Silver prayer-wheel (Sikhim). 

6. Silver bowl used to receive grease off buttered tea (Tibet). 

7. Glass bowl (Tibet). 

8. Skull rice-bowl, with silver stand and cover (Sikhim). 
i). Copper-gilt amulet-case (Tibet). 

11. Silver amulet-case (Tibet). 

12. Carved and painted wooden table (Sikhim). 

*26 



INDEX 



Chumbo, 210 
Chumik Gompa, 168 
Chomolhari, 90, 115, 145, 178, 179 
Chungkhar, 187, 188 
Churkolla, 269 

Dalhousie, 273 

Daling, 258, 278 

Dalingkote, 269, 292 

Damsong, 278 

Damtheng, 116 

Damthong, 116 

Dang-la, 6 

Darendra, 293 

Darjeeling, 1, 4, 257 

Darrang, 270 

Davis, 250 

Deb, 139, 240 

Deb Jeedhur, 289, 290, 291 

Deb Nagpo, 132 

Deb Raja, 139, 141, 142, 151, 153, 

174, 238, 239, 240 
Deb Sangye, 152 
Debung, 28 

Deb Zimpon, 141, 174, 176, 221 
Dechen-phodang, 135, 165, 176 
Dechenphuk, 177 
Dejong, 16 
Dekila, 204 
Delai Lama, 148 
Demri-chhu, 188 
De-si-sangye Gya-tsho, 311 
Dewangiri, 184, 186, 277, 278 
Dharma Raja, 135, 139, 142, 177, 

226 
Dhubri, 184 
Diboo, 34, 78 

Dokyong-la, 5, 138, 173, 221 
Dong-la, 195 

Dongma-chhu, 6, 113, 187 
Dongna-jong, 233, 278 
Dongo-la, 194 
Dong Shima, 184 
Donkhar, 194 
Donkia-la, 4, 74, 84 
Dorunga, 184 
Dover, 84, 95, 184, 192 
Dow Penjo, 123 
Dozam-la, 191 



Dubdi Monastery, 53 
Dug-gye-jong, 117, 120, 129, 144,. 

152, 213, 216 
Dunsford, 277, 279 
Durand, 256, 257 
Durkey Sirdar, 85, 86 
Durunder Narain, 264 

Eden, 12, 125, 241, 244, 255, 257^ 

258, 259, 276, 277, 280 
Edgar, 283 
Entchi Kazi, 26 
Everest, 84 

Falakata, 272, 276, 293 
Freshfield, 95 

Gang-chung-Dorona, 138 

Gangtak, 16, 20, 28, 33, 53, 81 

Gangyul, 180 

Gauhati, 184 

Gautsa, 212 

Gau-Zangpo, 131, 132 

Ghassa, 179, 180 

Ghassa-la, 133 

Giaogong, 75, 83, 86 

Giucha-la, 55, 69 

Ging-la, 194 

Goalpara, 1 

Gom Kora, 192 

Goomar, 269 

Gorina, 121 

Gough, 277 

Grant, Sir J. P., 275 

Griffiths, 10, 162, 163, 165, 254 

Guru Lhakhang, 167 

Gyaltsap-Tenzing, 288 

Gyamtso-na, 86 

Gyantse, 210 

Gya-tsa, 161 



, Hah, 3 

1 Hah-chhu, 3, 117 

■ Hah Jongpen, 117 
I Hah-la, 115, 116 

; Hah-pa, 113 

! Hah Zimpon, 116 

■ Halliday, Sir F., 274 

i Hamilton, 241, 243, 250, 265, 267 



328 



INDEX 



Hastings, Warren, 237, 238, 
240, 241, 242, 265, 266, 289 

Hastings House, 49 

Henderson, 109 

Hickley, 95 

Hodges, 95 

Hoffmann, 63, 67 

Hooker, 17 

Hopkinson, 275 

Horna Delia Penna, 288 

Hram, 182 

Hyslop, 51, 211, 212, 220, 232, 
283 

Iggulden, 82, 83, 84, 85, 89 

Jaigaon, 235 
Jalpaiguri, 1, 275, 277 
Jenkins, 271, 272, 273 
Jerung Denjung, 61 
Jeylap-la, 4, 115 
Jigme Namgyal, 132 
Jongri, 54 
Jongsa, 292 

Kabru, 56 
Kagyur, 311 
Kala-tsho, 1, 4, 210 
Railing, 269 
Kamrup, 1 
Kangchenjhau, 75 
Kangchenjunga, 3, 33, 56, 92 
Kang-la, 197, 198 
Kar-chhu Pass, 6 
Karponang, 211 
Kartok Lama, 19 
Katmandu, 267, 300 
Katzog Kazi, 213 
Keepo, 269 

Khamba-jong, 76, 84, 87 
Kham-Mina-Andong, 16 
Khangsa Dewan, 19, 20, 26 
Kholung-chhu, 192 
Khoma-chhu, 195 
Khomteng Lhakhang, 201 
Khye Bumsu, 16 
Ki-ki-la, 162 
Kulu-Kangri, 145, 173 
Kun-ga-gyal-tsan, 311 



239» 



263, 



Kun-yang Namgyal, 124 

Kurseong, 25 

Kuru-chhu, 3, 6, 194, 195, 201 

Kuru Sampa, 195 

Kutzab Lobzang Tenzing, 31 

Kya-la, 113 

Lachen, 70, 83, 193 

Lachung, 74, 79, 81, 296 

Lachung Monastery, 195 

Lamteng, 74, 83, 193 

Langmarpu-chhu, 113 

Langpo-chhu, 92 

Lari Pema, 26 

Lepcha, 7 

Lhakhang, 196, 198, 199, 202 

Lhasa, 285, 286 

Lhuntsi, 194 

Lingshi-la, 182 

Lingtu, 18 

Lingzi, 179 

Lloyd, 17 

Lobrak, 3 

Lome-la, 5, 234 

Lonak, 63, 70 

Lung, 207 

Lungna-la, 70 

Lungri Sampa, 113 

Macaulay, 18 
Macdonald, 282 
Macgregor, 251 
Madu-chhu, 46, 156 
Maharaj Kumar, 95 
Malcaster, 277, 278, 279 
Manning, 237 
Marco Polo, 137 
Markham, 237, 267 
Massong-chung-dong, 5, 115 
Memo-Tashi Kyeden, 168 
Meru-la, 115 
Metsephu, 198 
Migyur Tempa, 291 
Millett, 297 
Minto, 96 

Mo-chhu, 45, 149, 150, 173 
Moinam, 5 

Momay Samdung, 76 
Monass, 4, 5 



329 



INDEX 



Morgan, 213 
Moti Ram, 34 
Mug, 202 

Murray, 82, 85, 86 
Mynaguri, 278 

Nagartsi, 202 
Naguchi Raja, 167 
Nangna-la, 90 
Nari. 153 
Natu-la, 4 
Nelung, 210 
Nepal, 290 
Ninser Tulku, 149 
Norbugang, 138, 144, 146, 148 
Norbu Sring, 204 
Nyalamdung, 196 
Nyeru-chhu, 208, 209 

O'Connor, 50, 51, 94 

Paharias, 9 

Pakhyong, 19, 22 

Pami-la, 160 

Pangkha, 196 

Pangri-sampi-gnatsa, 176 

Panhunri, 84, 89 

Par-chhu, 3 

Paro, 3, 117, 134, 144, 219 

Paro Donyer, 123 

Paro Penlop, 131, 133, 160, 257, 

287 
Paro Ta-tshang Monastery, 128, 216 
Patan, 300 
Paul, 17, 19, 140, 146, 151, 157, 

166, 172, 262, 282, 288 
Pearse, jj 
Pekin, 250, 287 
Pele-la, 155, 172 
Pema, 32 
Pemberton, 158, 170, 196, 241, 253, 

289 
Pemi-chhu, 130 
Pemiongtchi Monastery, 53 
Penchen Rimpochi, 237,^243, 289 
Penchoo Namgyel, 16 
Phaju-ding, 135 
Phallut, 4, 75 



Phari, 116, 117, 160, 183, 212, 213 
Phodong Lama, 20, 21, 26, 28, 40, 

79 
Pho-mo-chang-thang, 207, 2x0 

Poonakha, 132, 134, 144, 146, 130, 

164, 165, 176 

Poonakha Jongpen, 133 

Poorbu Dewan, 20, 21, 26 

Potala, 124 

Power, 258 

Pumthang, 34 

Purangir Gosain, 253, 267 

Purboo, 61 

Radoxg-la, 6, 146 

Rai Lobzang Choden Sahib, 105, 

14*. 213 
Rai Ugyen Dorji Bahadur, 113, 

120, 165, 219, 281 
Rajendra Narayan, 23 
Ram Narayan, 293 
Rampini, 291 
Rangpur, 239 
Ratsowok, 154 
Raydak, 3 
Rennick, 51, 140, 141, 172, 210, 

212, 213, 232, 262, 263, 282, 283 
Rham-tsho, 210 
Rhenok, 19 
Rhenok Kazi, 26 
Ridha, 154, 172 
Rimpi-chhu, 65 
Rinchen Dolma, 122 
Rinchengong, 116 
Ringen, 3, 63 
Rokubi, 155, 171 
Rubdentze, 17 
Rungeet, 3 
Rungnu-chhu, 3, 57 
Ryder, 209 

Sagang, 208 
Sakya, 16 
Samtengang, 172 
Samtsi, 278 
Sandukphu, 4 
Sangbay, 292 
Sang-chu-cho-khor, 129" 



330 



INDEX 



Sanklan Sampo, 64 

Sankos, 4 

Santa Narayan Nazir Deo, 292 

Sarat Chunder Das, 205 

Saunders, 256 

Senchu-la, 113 

Sera, 28 

Shabdung Rimpochi, 124, 147, 152, 

153, 158 
Shalaptsa-la, 195 

Shoe Dewan, 20, 21, 26 

Sibu-la, 75 

Sikhim, 16, 45, 67, 95, 292, 293, 

*94> 2 95> 297, 311 
Siliguri, 28 
Siniolchu, 59, 67 
Simpson, 257, 276 
Simtoka, 131, 132, 137, 173, 176 
Simvoo, 59 

Singhi-jong, 194, 195, 197 
Singli-la, 4 
Sipchu, 113, 258 
So-na-ga-sa, 150 
Srongtsan Gompo, 302 
Subadar Jehandad Khan, 140 
Suckee, 269 
Swayambunath, 156 

Taga-la, 5 

Taka Penlop, 141, 148 

Takphu-chhu, 113 

Tak-kyun Gompa, 118 

Ta-la, 207 

Ta-lo, 138, 144, 146, 147 

Talung, 65 

Tang-chhu, 153, 154 

Tango, 150 

Tango Lama, 149, 150, 225 

Tashi-cho-jong, 3, 134, 137, 165, 

166, 167, 199 
Tashigong, 189, 190, 194 
Tashi Lama, 50 
Tashi Lhunpo, 88 
Tashiling, 156 
Tashi-yangtsi, 194 
Tassithing, 20, 26 
Tassisudon, 125 
Ta-tshang, 132, 139 
Ta-tshang Khenpo, 224 



Ta-tshang Nunnery, 87 

Tawang, 1, 4, 202 

Taylor, 31, 32 

Tayo-jong, 127, 160 

Tchin-chhu, 130, 131, 134 

Teble, 91 

Teesta, 1, 3, 4, 64 

Temba-chhu, 77 

Temo-la, 5, 213 

Tenzing Namgyel, 17 

Teo-pe-rong-chhu, 113, 138 

Thaling Monastery, 168 

Thangu, 73, 74, 83 

Thanka-la, 4 

Thimbu Jongpen, 132, 135, 148, 

149, 151, 163, 173, 176, 179, 181 
Thotab Namgyel, 22 
Tibet, 113, 208, 238, 243, 288 
Tibetans, 133, 134 
Tod, 101 
Tombs, 280 

Tongsa, 144, 156, 161, 162, 171 
Tongsa Donyer, 152, 165 
Tongsa Penlop, 50, 130, 132, 139, 

141, 220, 278, 280, 287 
Tongsa's sister, 166, 168 
Tongsa Zimpon, 159 
Torsa, 3 
Trood, 235 
Tsang-chhu, 173 
Tsedun Tenzing Wangpo, 31 
Tshang-kha, 156 
Tsha-za-la, 154 
Tshona, 194 
Tumlong, 82 
Turner, 12, 125, 128, 150, 153, 249, 

250, 251, 253, 255 
Tusum Mani, 197 
Tuwa-jong, 203 
Tytler, 279, 280 
Tzenguikang, 69 

U Depon, 31 

Ugyen Wang-chuk, Sir, 13, 15, 131, 
132, 134, 142, 157, 158, 160, 162, 
163, 164, 166, 168, 170, 172, 173, 
176, 185, 199, 206, 228, 281, 283 

Ugyen Zangmo, 122 



331 



INDEX 



Viceroy, 151 

Waddell, 14 
Wagya-la, 209 
Wandipore, 151, 152, 167 
Wang-chhu, 35 
Wong-du-choling, 168 
Wang-tung, 194 
Watson, 279 
Wilton, 211 

Yac-cha, 79 
Yak-la, 4 
Yamdok-tsho, 210 
Yatung, 8, 31 



Yee-Shan, 31 

Ye-la, 196 

Yeum-tsho, 87 

Yeum-tsho-la, 68 

Yo-to-la, 6, i6i f 170, 188, 189 

Yonnghusband, 282 



Zadu-la, 5 
Zamtu-chhu, 67 
Zemri-gatchie, 150 
Zemu Glacier, 68 
Zemu River, 68 
Zemu Valley, 68 
Zumerkote, 269 



THE END 



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