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St. James's Place, 

May 1. 1800. SAMUEL TURNER. 



It is not known that any direct communication existed between 
Bengal and Tibet* before the year 17 74. A physical reason might be 
assigned for this, in the enormous height, and vast extent, of the 
mountains which are interposed between the two countries, did not 
an almost equal degree of strangeness, prevailing between Bengal and 
Bootan, which lie adjacent to each other, necessarily imply a diffe- 
rent, or at least some concurrent cause. The most probable one, 
which the history of little more than a century can afford us, is to 
be found in that spirit of conquest which forms the common cha- 
racter of all Mahometan states, and in that hostility which their 
religion enjoins against all who are not its professors. The Booteeas, 
who, though a strong and hardy race of people, are little versed in the 
arts of war, and thinly scattered over a mountainous region, derive 
from their local situation the only means of defence against invaders ; 
an advantage which they would inevitably lose, if they were to allow 
a free passage through their territories. It is certain, however, that^ 

* This name in Bengal, as well as Tibet, is pronounced with a duplication of the 
letter b ; but out of respect to long established orthography, I have written it according 
to the more usual mode of spelling it in Europe. 



at this time, a strong jealousy of all intercourse with the inhabitants 
of Hindostan, prevails universally amongst the natives, on its northern 
frontier. From Bootan, indeed, a caravan now annually visits the 
district of Rungpore, in Bengal, bringing with it oranges, walnuts, 
and the coarse woollen manufactures of that country, with the horses 
that carry them, for sale; and it returns, after a month's stay, with the 
cotton cloths, salt, and other articles, of the produce of Bengal. 
But the same privilege has never been allowed by the government of 
Bootan to the inhabitants of Bengal. Perhaps a people more enter- 
prizing than the latter, might have contrived to overcome this difficulty, 
since some individuals of the religious orders occasionally find their 
way both into Bootan and Tibet. One of these, named Poorungheer, 
accompanied the first deputation from Tibet to Bengal, in the year 1 7 73, 
and afterwards attended the Lama on his visit to Pekin. Something, 
therefore, co-operating with the political cause above assigned, to pro- 
duce the same effect, may have arisen from the difference of manners, 
and of atmosphere, of the two countries. It is not possible to conceive a 
greater dissimilarity between the most remote inhabitants of the globe, 
than that which ^distinguishes the feeble bodied and meek spirited na- 
tives of Bengal, and their active and Herculean neighbours, the moun- 
taineers of Bootan. Their religion, which might be supposed to have a 
powerful influence on their manners, has totally failed of producing 
similar effects on the two nations, though it is evidently drawn from 
the same source. The province of Bootan is, from its elevation, so cold. 


that few of its southern neighbours could endure its severity ; while 
its natives/ clad in woollens, and little accustomed to the purifications 
which prevail so universally among the former, suffer nearly as much 
from the sultry and humid atmosphere of Bengal. Nor do the two 
countries differ less in salubrity. To the same cause, therefore, may 
be ascribed the difference in the bodily construction of the two people, 
and in their moral character, which is, in a great degree, the result of 
thai construction. 

The mountains of Bootan form a part of the great chain, which 
geographers call by the general appellation of Mons Imaus, and of 
which frequent mention is made, in the mythological histories of the 
Brahmens, by the term of Himaloya. At their feet, a wide and exten- 
sive plain, covered with woods, and sunk in morasses, forms a natural 
division between Bengal and Bootan, being nearly unfit for the support 
of human life, and almost entirely destitute of inhabitants. Yet in the 
year 1 7 72, the Raja of Bootan, with what plea, or from what provoca- 
tion, I have not been able to leara, laid claim to the district of Cooch 
Bahar, which adjoins to it on the side of Bengal ; and, meeting with 
little resistance from the natives, rapidly gained possession of it. This 
appears to have been the first instance of hostility between the two 
countries ; and it had proceeded to its last extremity, before the govern- 
ment of Bensal, which had hitherto derived no benefit from the con- 
tested territory, was well apprized of what had befallen it. The example, 
however, was dangerous, and a detachment of native infantry, gradually 


augmented from a few companies to two battalions, was sent to dis-' 
possess the invaders, and drive them back to their own frontier. 

The military weapons of the Booteeas are the bow and arrow, a short 
strait SAVord, and a faulchion, reflected like a pruning knife. These, 
though wielded by strong hands, and directed by much individual 
courage, were of little avail against the discipline, artillery, and mus- 
quetry of their antagonists ; who experienced a much more destructive 
foe, in the pestiferous region through which they continued their pur- 
suit, after having driven the Booteeas from the scene of contention into 
their own confines. There the Raja, weary of the conflict, and alarmed 
for the safety of his own dominions, applied to Teshoo Lama, and ob- 
tained his mediation ibr a peace. 

Teshoo Lama was at that time the Regent of Tibet, and the guardiari 
'of Dalai Lama, his superior in religious rank, who was yet in his 
minority. He was about forty years of age, greatly venerated on 
account of his sacred office, and not less beloved for the benevolence 
of his character, and the courtesy of his manners. All who approached 
him were his worshippers ; so that he united, in his own person, both 
the political authority, and the spiritual hierarchy of the country. In 
his political character, indeed, he acknowledged the sovereignty of the 
Emperor of China, who had a delegate, with a small military force, I 
think about one thousand men, resident at Lassa*", the capital of Dalai 

* In the pronunciation of this word, both in Tibet and Bengal, a strong aspiration 
is placed upon the beginning, Lahassa: but for the same reason that I have rejected a 


Lama, but who had not yet much interposed in the interior govern- 
ment of either division of the province. 

The Lama, moved by the prayers of the Raja, and interested for the 
safety of Bootan, which was a dependency of Tibet, sent a deputation 
to Calcutta, with a letter addressed to the Governor, which I am glad to 
insert, as an authentic and curious specimen of his good sense, humi- 
lity, simplicity of heart, and, above all, of that delicacy of sentiment 
and expression, which could convey a threat in the terms of meekness 
and supplication- 

Translation of a Letter from Teshoo Lama to Warren Hastings, Esq. 
President and Governor of Fort William in Bengal. Received the 
2,9th of March, 17 74. 

" The affairs of this quarter in every respect flourish: I am night 
and day employed in prayers for the increase of your happiness and 
prosperity. Having been informed, by travellers from your country, 
of your exalted fame and reputation, my heart, like the blossoms of 

double b in Tibet, I retain the established mode of spelling Lassa. It is rare, indeed, that 
our own, mode of spelling the names of persons, or places, corresponds with their local 
pronunciation. I have endeavoured to express the sound of such names as will be found 
in the following pages, just as they caught my ear, in all cases where custom has not 
already appeared to sanction some particular mode of spelling. We need not travel 
beyond our own nation to discover how often, in this respect, custom and propriety arc 
at variance. 


spring, abounds with satisfaction, gladness, and joy. Praise be to God, 
that the star of your fortune is in its ascension ! Praise be to him, 
that happiness and ease are the surrounding attendants of myself and 
family ! Neither to molest, nor persecute, is my aim : it is even the 
characteristic of our sect, to deprive ourselves of the necessary refresh 
ment of sleep, should an injury be done to a single individual ; but, 
in justice and humanity, I am inforaied, you far surpass us. May you 
ever adorn the seat of justice and power, that mankind may, in the 
shadow of your bosom, enjoy the blessings of peace and affluence ! By 
your favour, I am the Raja and Lama of this country, and rule over a 
number of subjects, a circumstance with which you have no doubt 
been made acquainted, by travellers from these parts. I have been 
repeatedly informed, that you have engaged in hostilities against the 
Deh Terria, to which, it is said, the Deh's own criminal conduct, in 
committing ravages and other outrages on your frontiei-s, gave rise. 
As he is of a rude and ignorant race, past times are not destitute of 
instances of the like faults, which his avarice has tempted him to com- 
mit. It is not unlikely that he has now renewed those instances ; and 
the ravages and plunder which he may have committed on the skirts 
of the provinces of Bengal and Bahar, have given you provocation to 
send your avenging army against him. Nevertheless his party has 
been defeated, many of his people have been killed, three forts have 
been taken from him, and he has met with the punishment he deserved. 
It is as evident as the sun, that your army has been victorious ; and 


that, if you had been desirous of it, you might, in the space of two 
days, have entirely extirpated him; for he had not power to resist 
your efforts. But I now take upon me to be his mediator; and to 
represent to you, that, as the said Deh Terria is dependent upon the 
Dalai Lama, who rules in this country with unlimited sway, though, 
on account of his being yet in his minority, the charge and admini- 
stration of tlie country, for the present, is committed to me ; should 
you persist in offering further molestation to the Deh Terria's country, 
it will irritate both the Lama and all his subjects against you. There- 
fore, from a regard to our religion and customs, I request you will cease 
from all hostilities against him; and in doing this, you will confer the 
greatest favour and friendship upon me. I have reprimanded the Deh 
for his past conduct ; and I have admonished him to desist from his 
evil practices in future, and to be submissive to you in all things. I am 
persuaded he will conform to the advice which I have given him ; and 
it will be necessary that you treat him with compassion and clemency. 
As to my part, I am but a Fakeer; and it is the custom of my sect, 
with the rosary in our hands, to pray for the welfare of all mankind, 
and especially for the peace and happiness of the inhabitants of this 
country; and I do now, with my head uncovered, entreat that you 
will cease from all hostilities against the Deh in future. It would be 
needless to add to the length of this letter, as the bearer of it, who is a 
Gosein, will represent to you all particulars ; and it is hoped that you 
will comply therewith. 


" In this country, the worship of the Almighty is the profession of 
all. We poor creatures are in nothing equal to you. Having, how- 
ever, a few things in hand, I send them to you as tokens of remem- 
brance, and hope for your acceptance of them." 

This letter appears to have been laid before the Council on the same 
day that it was received : they yielded, without hesitation, to the 
intercession of the Lama, and consented to a peace with the Booteeas, 
upon the easy terms of replacing the dominion of each government, 
within its former boundaries. The Governor himself more readily 
embraced the opportunity, which he thought this occurrence afforded, 
of extending the British connexion to a quarter of the world, with 
which we had hitherto no intercourse, and of opening new sources of 
\ commerce, of which our provinces stood greatly in need, to replace 
the vast drains which were annually made of their wealth and manu- 
factures, in supplying the wants of our other establishments, and the 
commercial investments of the Company. What specific articles ol 
trade might be drawn from the northern countries, or what physical 
or political accommodations, or difficulties, might be found to promote 
or obstruct it, were even beyond conjecture ; but under such circum- 
stances, it seemed an object of much curiosity, well deserving the 
attention of government, to explore an unknown region, for the pur- 
pose of discovering, in the first instance, what was the nature of its 
productions ; as it: would afterwards be, when that knowledge was 


obtained, to inquire by what means it might be most effectually con- 
verted to advantage. The contiguity of Tibet to the western frontier 
of China (for though we knew not where they were joined, yet we 
knew that they did actually join), suggested, also, a possibility of 
•establishing, by degrees, an immediate intercourse with that empire, 
through the intervention of a person so revered as the Lama, and by 
a route not obviously liable to the same suspicions, as those with 
which the Chinese policy had armed itself against all the consequences 
of a foreign access by sea. 

Of the persons deputed on this occasion by the Lama, two only 
ventured to encounter the burning atmosphere of Bengal ; one, a native 
of Tibet, named Paima; the other, a pilgrim from Hindostan, whose 
name I have already mentioned, Poorungheer Gosein. These were 
both men of acute understandings, and ready information ; and from 
them much knowledge was collected both of the country from which 
they came, and of the way which led to it. Even the presents, which 
they brought from the Lama, added something of information, and 
•even of interest, to the other means of intelligence, which the occasion 
furnished. Amongst these were sheets of gilt leather, stamped with the 
black eagle of the Russian armorial ; talents of gold and silver, and 
bulses of gold dust; bags of genuine musk; narrow cloths of woollen, 
the manufacture of Tibet ; and silks of China. The chests which con- 
tained these, were of no bad workmanship, and the parts, which com- 
posed them, were joined together by dovetails. All these circumstances 


were construed into indications of an extensive commerce, internal 
Avealth, and an advanced knowledge of tlie arts of common life. 

Tliese considerations induced tlie Governor to lay before the Council, 
on the fourth of May following, a proposition, to which they cheer- 
fully and unanimously assented, for deputing an English gentleman 
to Tibet, on the justifiable plea of paying a proper tribute of respect, 

in return for the advances which had been made by the Lama. Mr. 
George Bogle, a man eminently qualified for this mission, by a dis- 
cerning capacity, and uncommon gentleness of manners, was nomi- 
nated, on the recommendation of the Governor, to cany back an 
answer to the Lama, and to offer him suitable presents. He was fur- 
nished besides with a great variety of articles, consisting chiefly of 
British manufactures, to be produced as specimens of the trade in 
which the subjects of the Lama might be invited to participate. Mr. 
Hamilton, a Surgeon of considerable reputation in his profession, was 
appointed to accompany him. 

Mr. Bogle received his instructions on the 6th of May, 17 74. He 
was detained for some time at Tassisudon, the capital of Bootan, wait- 
ing for passports ; nor was it, I believe, without some reluctance, on 
the part of the Lama himself, that he at last obtained them. On the 
12th of October, he arrived at Desheripgay, then the residence of the 
Lama, by whom he was received with great hospitality and kindness. 
Here, and at Teshoo Loomboo, he remained with him until the 8th of 
April following, when he took his leave, to return to Bengal. During 


this interval, by employing his whole time and talents, in cultivating 
the good will of the Lama, and gratifying his insatiable thirst for 
foreign knowledge, Mr. Bogle so ingratiated himself into his confi- 
dence, as to be intrusted, some time after, with a considerable remit- 
tance in money, for the purpose of building a temple and a dwelling 
house, for the accommodation of his votaries to Bengal, on the banks 
of the Ganges- A piece of ground, on the opposite side of the river to 
Calcutta, was purchased, and granted to the Lama, on his application 
to the Governor for this purpose. 

In the letter which the Lama wrote to the Governor upon this 
occasion, he stated, as a motive for making the request which it con- 
tained, that although in the different periods of his reviviscence he 
had chosen many regions for the places of his birth, yet Bengal was 
ihe only country in which he had been born twice ; for which reason 
he had a predilection for it beyond any other, and was de'sirous of 
making it a place of his abode, apparently esteeming the sanctity of 
the Ganges, as a consideration of inferior importance. At length, in 
the year 17 79, when the Lama, yielding to -the repeated solicitations 
of the Emperor of China, visited Pekin ; he, with the same spirit of 
personal kindness, and in the desire of improving his connexion with 
the government of Bengal, desired Mr. Bogle to go round by sea to 
Canton, promising to obtain the Emperor's pass for him to proceed, 
and join him at the capital. The Emperor's promise was also obtained, 
to permit the first openings of an intercourse between that country 


and Bengal, by receiving any letters which might be written to him 
by the Governor General, through the channel of the Lama. Unfor- 
tunately, however, the death of the Lama, and that of Mr. Bogle^ 
/ which happened at nearly the same time, clouded this fair prospect, 
and completely frustrated every expectation which had been formed. 
I am sorry to add too, that events, of a much more recent date, have 
concurred to throw almost insuperable difficulties in the way of re- 
establishing our intercourse with Tibet, at least for some considerable 
time to come. It is well known, tiiat, within a few days after his 
arrival at Pekin, the Lama was seized with a disorder, supposed to be 
the small pox, of which he died'; and his body was soon after car- 
ried back, with great pomp, and interred at the place of his former 
residence. Upon this occasion, the Emperor of China wrote a letter 
to Dalai Lama, at Lassa, then the chief of all the Lama hierarchy 
in Tibet, a copy of which will be found in the Appendix, No. L 
The original of this letter was some time in the hands of P. Amiot, a 
missionary at Pekin, by whom, it appears, a transcript of it was then 
made, which, in 1783, found a place in Memoires concernanl le Chl- 
nois, Tom. IX. Paris. A translation of this is inserted in that valuable 
compilation, Mr. Dalrymple's Oriental Repertory, Vol. II. p. 275. 

» The detailed particulars of the Lama's journey to Pekin, and of his death, were 
I related by Poorungheer Gosein, already mentioned, who was one of his chosen retinue, 
and are recorded by Mr. Dalrymple, in his Oriental Repertory, Vol. II. p. 145. But 
as a curious and interesting performance, it is inserted in the Appendix, No. IV. 


These events were communicated to the Governor General, by the 
Regent Chanjoo Cooshoo, brother of the deceased Lama, and by Soo- 
poon Choomboo, his favourite and cup-bearer. Faithful translations 
of their letters, as curious specimens of Tibetian manners and habits 
of thinking, are given in the Appendix, No. II. and III. 

Soon after the receipt of these letters, intelligence arrived from Tibet 
of the re-appearance of the Lama amongst them. The soul of the late 
Lama, according to the doctrines of tlieir faith, having passed into, 
and animated the body of an infant, Avho, on the discovery of his 
identity, by such testimonies as their religion prescribes, was ac- 
knowledged and proclaimed by the same title and appellation as his 

Mr. Hastings, upon the receipt of these accounts, proposed to the 
Boards to send a second deputation to Tibet. He did me the honour 
to recommend me for this service, to^which I was accordingly nomi- 
nated on the 9th of January, 1783. 

On my return, I delivered to Mr. Hastings, whom I met at Patnai 
a Report on the result of my mission, which was transmitted by him 
to the Board, and also a hasty Narrative of my interview witii the 
young Lama ; which latter was, by their order, sent to the Asiatic 
Society, to be inserted in their Researches. 

This, I, at that time, considered as the final result of my mission, 
and the only part of it which appeared to merit any public, or official 
notice. Nevertheless, as I had carefully committed to writing, upon 


the spot, every thing remarkable, which occurred to me in the course 
of my employment on this extraordinary service, I have, since my 
return to England, been induced to flatter myself, that my Journal 
might not be deemed altogether unworthy of the public curiosity. The 
trite plea of the importunity of friends, would naturally suggest to me 
the ridicule which has so often and so justly been cast upon it, if I 
had not, in the lateness of the publication, an evidence to acquit me, 
at least of too great forwardness to obtrude myself on the public notice. 
I have exceeded the rule laid down by Horace, of nonum prematur 
in annum, if it may be construed to extend to compositions of this 
nature. I may, also, without presumption, venture to hope, that, 
however incompetent I may be to embellish my narrative with the 
dress best fitted for it to appear in, yet the novelty and curiosity of 
the subject will, in some degree, compensate for my own deficiencies, 
as an Author, of which I cannot possibly be unconscious. 





Leave Calcutta— proceed through Plassey to Moorshedabad — cross the Ganges near 
Bauleah — arrive at Rungpore — Calamatty. — TufFoon, or tremendous Hurricane. 
— Mungulhaut, respectable for its Manufactory. — Zeenkaubs, — First View of the 
Mountains of Bootan — Cooch Bahar — Bungalo — singular Custom in this District 
— extensive Woods — Practice of felling Timber — wild Elephants — Pine-apples, 
present Abundance of— first Introduction into India. — Inroad of the Moguls into 
Assam — Fate of the Invaders. --__.? 


Chichacotta — Frontier of Bootan. — Approach to Buxadewar — noxious Quality of 
the Atmosphere beneath this Range of Mountains — its Effects on the Inhabitants 
— fatal to Captain Jones, and great Part of the Troops that served under him — 
Colonel Sir John Cuming another Instance of its injurious Consequence. — 
Tangun Horse, a Species peculiar to these Mountains. — Ascent and Entry into 
Buxadewar. — Chong, and Arra, the Spirit prepared from it. — Character of the 
People. — Visit the Soobah — Impediment to our Advance — Curiosity, and Urba- 
nity of the Soobah — invited to accompany him during the Performance of a 
religious Ceremony — Description of the Ceremony — its Design. — Beautiful 

Scenery in the Vicinity of Buxadewar. — Skilful Archers Commencement of the 

rainy Season. — Dispatches from the Daeb Raja. — Prepare to proceed. — Poorun- 
gheer.— Short Stricture on the Manner and Character of the Soobah.— View of 
Buxadewar — Etymology of its Title. — Mode of travelling in Bootan. - i8 


Leave Buxadewar. — Ascend Peachukom Mountain— its prodigious Altitude. — 
Caution of the Booteeas. — Gigantic Creepers. — Bamboos, a peculiar Species. — 



Sheenshilla. — Pheadiiichitn. — Fatal Accident. — Gygoogoo. — Post of Communi- 
cation. — Tehintchieu, HatchietJ, Patchieu Rivers. — Snow upon the Summits of 
the Mountains. — Tangun Horses, their surprising Energy. — Pipes conducting 
Water for the Accommodation of Travellers. — Bridge and Cataract. — Sheen- 
shilla. — Approach to Murichom — laborious Employment of the People, in 
which the female Sex bear a heavy Share — extensive Use of the Bamboo.— 
Village of Murichom — Advantage of Situation — Fertility of the adjacent Lands. 
— Teezpaut, a Species of Cinnamon. — Remarkable Instance of great Age. — Pes- 
tiferous Fly. — Tetim. — Terrible Disaster. — Baboosoo and Merifaka Mountains. 
— Peanjoo. — Minzapeezo, a most copious Waterfall. — Ingenious Method of 
constructing Roads along the Sides of Precipices. — Awful Scenery. — Dewta 
Tehuptehup. — Peculiar Way of passing deep Ravines. — Chain Bridge of Chuka 
— Castle of Chuka. — Change in the Face of the Country — Temperature of the 
Weather — natural Productions. — Punugga. — Hatchieu. — Kepta. — Lomeela 

Mountain Selo-cha-zum. — Durbee Castle. — Mudwallahs for the Defence of 

Hill Fortresses. — Pauga. — Tehintchieu, Patchieu. — Noomnoo. — Poes. — Wan- 
goka. — Symtoka. — Bridge over the Tehintchieu. — Valley of Tassisudon. - 43 


Tassisudon — iny Ai-rival notified at the Palace — the Raja or Lama occupied in 
religious Ceremonies — strict Observance of all Duties appertaining to their Reli- 
gion. — Message from the Daeb Raja — Interview — Zoompoon, Zoondonier, 
Zempi — Citadel — Audience Chamber — Ceremony of Introduction — Particulars 
of the Interview — Tea — local Observance — extensive Fashion — peculiar Mode 
of preparing it. — Polite Attention of the Raja — Dress, of the religious Order 
— Manner of our Reception. — Second Interview. — Silk Scarfs — their Use on all 
Occasions of Ceremony or Compliment. — Comparative View of Manners. — 
Natural Productions. — Peculiar Sentiments of the Rajah — Variety of Expression 
— Art of Drawing — Mr. Davis's superior Skill. — Visit to the chief Officers 
under Government — Tasse-Zompoon, Zoondonier, Zempi — Outline of their 
Rank and Authority. — I undertook to mediate the Peace of the Zecnkaubs, who 
are pardoned, and re-admitted into favour — ^Instance of implicit Obedience to the 
Will of their Chief. — General Design of the present Work. — A Bootan Repast. 
— Boora Soobah, or Toonso Pilo. — Bees. — Benevolent and humane Sentiment. 
— Order of Gy longs — regulated Periods for religious Service — some Rules of the 
Society— Ablutions — Temperance — Cleanliness — general Appearance — endemial 
Disorder termed Gheig, or Aubi. _ _ _ _ 64 




The Valley of Tassisudon. — Palace of -the Chief — its extensive Accommodation, 
containing all the Officers of State, a very numerous establishment of Gylongs, 
and a Temple of Worship. — Coldness of the Season — Buildings ill calculated to 
obviate its Effects. — The Rajah's Stud. — Ancient Site of Tassisudon — Palace of 
Lam' Ghassatoo. — Mode of .supplying the Valley with Water from the surround- 
ing Hills. — The sacred Sentence enclosed in Temples, inscribed on Tablets, on 
Flags, and on Rocks. — Brahmennee, or sacred Bull. — Artisans — Paper Manu- 
factory Season of the Rains moderate — general Salubrity of our Situation.— 

Poshtee. — An Excursion. — Wandeechy Settlements of the Religious. — A Re- 
cluse. — Caution of the Daeb. — Mr. Saunders taken ill — Incantations for his 
Recovery. . . _ - - - 89 


Commotions — excited by Wandipora Zoompoon and a degraded Chief. — Punukka 
Zoompoon arrives at the Capital to pay the customary Duty of Allegiance. — 
Popular Administration of the present Daeb Raja. — Ascribed Cause of the 
Rebellion — prudent Precautions — Subjects called upon for their AUe^^^iance — 
weak Condition of the Capital — extreme Vigilance — general Alarm — Letter 
from the Rebel Leader — Insurgents gather Strength — Skirmishes between the 
contending Parties — some Loyalists badly wounded with Arrows — their Dread 
of Poison — strong Position of the Rebels, — Invited to visit the Rajah — his com- 
passionate Concern for the deluded Mob, and confident Expectation the Tumults 
would soon be quelled. — Miserable Artillery — humane Motive for desiring to 
employ it — cautious Conduct of the Combatants — general Trait of these 
Warriors — the Rebels, after an obstinate Contest, totally defeated. — Military 
Character of the Booteeas — not deficient in Courage — feeble Attack — want of 
Discipline — Accoutrements and Arms — Use of Poison. — Raja Mocum Narrain 
— his Vakeel. — Wandipore invested by Zoondonier and Punukka Zoompoon. 
— General Thanksgivings. — Reduction of the Castle. — Flight of the Rebels.— 
Plunder and Spoils. — The Raja meditates a Visit to Wandipore, to settle Affairs 
in the disturbed Districts — announces his Design — invites me to meet him. - 106 


The Raja proceeds to Wandipore — sends a Messcirer — we prepare to follow— 
pass Symtoka — dreariness of the Way — meet a Party of the Daeb Raja's— 




Improving Appearance of the Country. — A Procession. — Faculty of prolonging 
the Sound of wind Instruments — instanced also in Bengal. — Matchieu-Patchieu — 
Tahantchieu Rivers. — Bijnee — Berhampooter — Wandipore.— Liberal Supply of 
Refreshments from the Raja. — Miserable Quarters. — Lines of the Besiegers — 
Advantages of Position. — Castle of Wandipore — Tradition regarding it. — Bridge 
— Lightness and Beauty of its Structure. — Mineral Springs. — General Ignorance 

of the Contents of these Mountains Curious Effect of a strong Current of 

Wind. — Turbulent Situation of Wandipore. — Process of making Butter.— 
Departure from Wamlipore. — Tame Elephant. — View of the Mountain of 
Ghassa — Snow— hot Bath. — Palace of Punukka Matchieu-Patchieu Valley- 
Banks of the River — sheltered Situation Expensive Decoration of the Palace. 

— Gardens — Variety of Fruits — advantageous Site for Horticulture. — Laborious 
Services imposed upon the Female Sex. — Zemrigatche. — Nymphaea Nilotica— 
its religious Estimation in Bootan as well as in Egypt. — Propitiatory Offerings 
to the Dewtas. — Narrainee, particular Account of. — Leave Punukka. — Tela- 
gong. — Stupendous Mountains. — Hunnoowunt. — Muttura. — Madejee Sindia. — 
Jumna. — Ultimate Defeat of the Rebels. - - - 124 


Return of the Raja to Tassisudon— our Visit to him — anxiety to hear our opinion 
of his favourite Seat — displeased that we were refused admittance — recital of 
•what appeared peculiarly striking.— His marked approbation of Mr. Davis. — 
Buxa Soobah. — A Buffoon. — Electrical Machine. — Mechanic turn of the Raja — 
medical Genius. — Ipecacuanha. — Wandeechy. — Fatal accident to our Camp 
Equipage. — Tibet Dogs. — Entertainment at the Villa. — Marvellous Stories of 
the Raja— of a Gigantic race of Men — of People with Tails— of Unicorns.— 
The Rjjah's Pilgrimage to the sacred Shrine of Pootalah.— Temple of Wan- 
deechy.— Repast— Bull Fight. — Return of the Rajah to the Palace. — Messengers 
from Tibet.— Durga Pooja.— The great Autumnal Festival of the Hindoos.— 
Dussera. — Dewali. ... . . i^q 

CONTENTS. xxiii 




Take leave of the Daeb Raja, and the principal Officers of his Durbar. Depart 

from Tassisudon.— Ascend the lofty Mountain of Pomsela — pass Phajudee, famed 
for the Birth of the present Lam' Rimbochay Extensive Monastery Reli- 
gious Associations, their obvious Tendency on Population. — Cross the Summit 
of Pomasla — descend to Paimaitong. — Tibetian Custom of taking Tea — Appen- 
dages of Dress — gross Superstitions of these Mountaineers. — Paibesa.— Picturesque 
View from Dalai-jeung — hospitable Entertainment of its Keeper — Review of the 
Way. — Paro. — Patchieu. — Paro Pilo, his Extent of Jurisdiction. — Seccum Raja. 
— Castle of Paro, Parogong, or Rinjipo.— The Valley — its Extent. — Mookhy — 
temporary Edifices — Exercise of Archery — Market — Manufactures — Mechanics 
—Thrashing. — Market-place of Paro. — Zeenkaub, Attention of his Friends. — 
Brood of Tangun Horses. — Fortress of Dukka-jeung. — Snow — Harvest- 
romantic Scenery. — Sana — last Post in Bootan — Guard-house — Patchieu Bridge. 

— The Yak of Tartary, particular Description of. — Gloomy Wilds Rude 

Region of the Frontier. — Of Bridges in Bootan. — Vast Difference between the 
muscular Form of the Booteea and Tibetian. — Social Groupes of Mountaineers. 
— Ghassa. — Lamaof Phari. — Dhy, Kummuz of the Tartars. — Tartar Herdsmen. 
— Dukba. — Elevation and bleak Site of Soomoonang. - - 167 


Small Banners, the Boundaries between Bootan and Tibet. — Plain of Phari — low 
Mount dedicated to funeral Rites. — Fortress. — Chassa Goombah, Station of the 
Lama of Phari — his Jurisdiction.— La, or Musk Deer. — Ghouz — Severity of the 
Cold — Range of snowy Mountains. — Chumularee. — Hindoo Superstitions — 
Tongla — Tartar Tents. — Goorkhaw. — Homage to Chumularee. — Superior 
Elevation of this Part of Tibet — deduced from the Sources of Rivers, the cold 
Temperature of the Air, and the Mountains clothed perpetually with Snow.— 
Teuna — feeble Vegetation — numerous Herds — dreary Aspect. — Tempestuous 
Character of the Frontier — Mineral Springs — fossil Alkali — Natron. — Dochai.— . 
Lake Ramtchieu — vast Resort of Water-fowl. — Encampment. — Sedjy mutti. — 
Sublime Scenery — a Tibet Village.— Farther Traits of Superstition. — Dogs of 
Tibet — their Ferocity. — Comparison between Bootan and Tibet. - 197 



Deserted Villages — fatal Effects of the Small-pox — Ignorance of its Treatment— 
a serious Calamity — Occasion of the Removal of the Seat of Government and 
Monastery from Teshoo Loomboo to Chamnamning. — Gangamaar — hot Bath- 
Surface of the Ground adjacent — Labourers in the Fields— rude Expression of 
Surprise. — Place of Fragments — huge Idol — Mahamoonie — a religious Rite, — 
Shoohoo.— Nainee--improving Appearance of the Country.— Tehukku.—Jhansu- 
jeung. — Valley of Jhansu. — Woollen Manufactory — Economy in Dress. — Monas- 
tery of Jhansu. — Beggars. — Dukque. — Corricle. — Castle of Painom — Bridge- 
Town. — Keesoo. — Tsondue. — Distant View of Teshoo Loomboo — Enter the 
Monastery. - - - - - - 218 


Messages of Compliment and Congratulation from the Regent and Soopoon 
Choomboo — Custom of presenting a white Scarf — favourable Tokens of a friendly 
Disposition. — Preparations for our Reception — Hall of Audience — Lama's 
Throne — Introduction to the Regent — The Regent's Assurance of the Identity 
of the Lama — his Friendship for the Governor General in his pre-existent 
State — Attention and Respect paid him at the Court of China — his Regeneration 
acknowledged by the Emperor — Satisfaction derived from the Receipt of the 
Governor General's Dispatches. — Projected Removal of the Lama to Terpaling 
—the Monastery prepared for his Reception — Tea — Dismission. — Sketch of the 
Person — Manner — Dress of the Regent.— Bells, a Summons to Devotion. — Visit 
to Soopoon Choomboo.— Emperor of China— his Influence — a Votary of the Tibet 
Faith. — Umbas— Jasoos— Gesub Rimbochay — Dalai Lama — Soopoon Choomboo, 
Sadeek — honoured by the distinguished Attention and Favour of the late Lama 
— promoted by the Emperor — his Character held in high Estimation — important 
Period in the Annals of Tibet. — First public Tribute of Acknowledgment and 
Allegiance to the regenerated Lama — Preparations for his Removal from Kylee 
to Terpaling — Offer to attend the Ceremony. — Party proceeds to escort the 
Lama — Homage paid by his Votaries on the Way — Entry into Terpaling— 
Return of the Regent — Cavalcade — Bonfires — Chinese. — Correspondence wiih 
Dalai Lama.— -Hostile Disposition of Gesub Rimbochay. ' - - 231 




Permission from the Regent to view the Interior of the Monastery.— Gorgeous 
Temples. — Solemn and mysterious Ceremonies. — Numerous Assembly of the 
Gylongs. — Periods for Devotion. — Loud Vociferation. — Clamorous Noi-^e attend- 
ing the Performance of their religious Rites.— Serious Attention to the Duties of 
their Faith.— Profound Re.spect for their sovereign Lama. — Visit the Mausoleum 
dedicated to the Memory of the late Teshoo Lama. — Cursory View of this 
highly venerated Structure. - - - - - 255 


The Regent. — Soopoon Choomboo. — Countries contiguous to Tibet— Bengal 
endeared to the Tibetians by religious PrejuJices, — Gunga Sagur — the Con- 
fluence of the Ganges with the Sea — Jagarnaut. — Performance of Pilgrimage 
by Proxy. — A Devotee — Geography — Astronomy. — Pranpooree — his extra- 
ordinary Course of Mortifications.— Russia— the Czarina. — Taranaut Lama. — 

Kharka Intercourse between Russia and China. — Pilgrims from Khumbak. — 

Gallery of Idols— Means by which the Cabinet is occasionally augmented — 
Teshoo Loomboo famed for the Manufacture of Images. — Lama of Luddauk. — 
War between England — America and France. — Commerce — of the English 

Nation. — Spirit of Inquiry and Research Siberia — Baikal. — Wandering 

Tartars No Tradition extant of an ancient People inhabiting towards the 

North.— General Belitf of the Origin of Learning. — Inference drawn from the 
Similarity of the Sanscrit and Tibet Alphabet.— Character in which their sacred 
Writings are preserved and printed — that of Correspondence and Business. — 
Regent notifies his Design of leaving the Monastery — commends me to the Care 
of S.>op< on Choomboo in his Absence. — Visits my Apartments, accompanied by 
Soopoon Choomboo and the Lama of Luddauk. — Science of Palmistry. — Attar, 
Pawn. _ . _ . - - a66 


Departure of the Regent— his Desire to travel unobserved. — Egypt — Eunani — 
Singhi. — Use of the Symbol of the Lion in Tibet and Egypt — superstitious 
Regard for celestial Pha-nomena — Skill in Science — Bigotry — Court of China — 
Spectacles for the Entertainment of tbe Lama — Soomeroo. — Coincidence with 
the Hindoos in scientific Knowledge. — Benares esteemed the sacred Seat ot all 
human Learning. — Teshoo Loomboo— Geographic Site — particular Description 
of. — Plain of Teshoo Looniboo — Shigatzee-jeung — Luddauk — Cashmeer— Nipal 
—China — Russia — Siberia. — Abruptness of the Hills — local Effect. — Vortexts of 


Wind.— Rock behind Teshoo Loomboo — View from hence. — Berhampooter — 
Megna — Pudda — Sundrabunds — Pirates — Maunserore — Rise — Course of the 
Ganges and Berhampooter. — Seasons in Tibet. — Meat preserved by the Action of 
intense Cold. — Use of undressed Meat.— Sheep, their Value for Food, Rainient, 
and Use. — Dryness of the Atmosphere in Tibet— Precautions used against it. 287 


Local Appellation of Tibet — Stricture on the Religion — :Use of musical Instru- 
ments in their sacred Services — Comparison with the Hindoos — Assemble in 
Temples for the Performance of religious Duties — Lama, the sacred Superior — 
Gradations in the sacerdotal Class — Gylong — Tohba — Tuppa— Establishment of 
the Monastery — Interdictions of the religious Order-~Noise and Pomp of their 
religious Ceremonies — Kugopea — Habit of the Priests — Yellow, the distinguish- 
ing Colour, worn by the Sect Gyllookpa — of which the Superiors are Dalai 

Lama — Teshoo Lama — Tarranaut Lama — Red, by the Shamar Lam' Rim- 

bochay — Lam' Sobroo Nawangnamghi — Lam' Ghassatoo — their Contentions- 
Prevalence of the former. — Humane Trait in the Character of the Tibetian. — 
Tribute of respect paid to the Dead — Festival in Honour of the Dead — super- 
stitious Practices — sanctioned and performed by the Class devoted to Religion. — 
Omens. — Calendar of Time — Cycle of twelve Years. — Art of Printing. - 305 


Return of the Regent — Time appointed for my Departure — rapid Advance of 
Winter — Audience of Leave — Soopoon Choomboo — farewell Visits from numer- 
ous Friends — prepare to leave Teshoo Loomboo — previous Observance of some 
superstitious Ceremonies. — Beggars — Mohammedans — Hindoos. — Benevolence 
displayed at Teshoo Loomboo. — Tsondue. — Skating. — Terpaling. — Interview 
with Teshoo Lama — Manner and Conduct of the Lama — his Age — Parents — 
Gyeung — her splendid Dress — Gyap — Invitation to an Entertainment — Officers 
of the Lama's Household — Impression of profound Respect. — Veneration enter- 
tained for the Memory of the late Lama— his humane, intelligent, conciliating 
Character. — Amiable Manners of Mr. Bogle. — Parents of the Lama — Pavilion 
— Entertainment. — Gyap — his Delight in manly Sports — his superior Skill — 
polite Offer to instruct me in the Arts he practised. — Repast — raw Meat — 
Gyeung, particularly abstemious. — Music — Vocal — Instrumental. — Conclusion 
of the Entertainment. — Wait upon the Lama — Votaries of the Lama — Calmuc 
Tartars — liberal Offerings. — Last Visit to the Teshoo Lama, and his Parents. 326 

CONTENTS. xxvil 



Quit the Monastery of Terpaling, on my Return towards Bengal — Annee Goomba 
— Annees, Nuns — Gylongs, Monks. — Cursory View of the interdicted Orders. 
— Polyandry — Influence on the Manners of the People— Tendency to check the 
too great Increase of Population — and prevent the inhuman Practice known to 
prevail in China. — Marriage Ceremonies. — Bleak and dreary Aspect of the 
Country— Rigour of the Winter — extreme Purity of the Atmosphere, — Precau- 
tions to secure the Surface of the Soil, and at the same Time enrich the Lands. 
—Course of the Seasons. — Dukque. — Lake Ramtchieu. — Skating — Solidity of 
the Ice — intense Severity of the Frost. — Shawl Goats.— Soomoonang — Punukka 
— Buxadewar — Rungpore. - - - » 347 


Report delivered to the Hon. Warren Hastings, Esq. Governor General of Bengal, 
upon the Result of my Mission to the Court of Teshoo Loomboo. - 361 

A List of the Usual Articles of Commerce between Tibet and the surrounding 
Countries. - - - - - -38 1 


Some Account of the Vegetable and Mineral Productions of Bootan and Tibet. 387 


Letter addressed to the Hon. John Macpherson, Esq. Governor General of Bengal, 
containing some Particulars relating to the Journey of Poorungheer to Teshoo 
Loomboo ; the Inauguration of Teshoo Lama ; and the State of Tibet from 
1783 to 1785. - - - - - - 419 


Some Account of the Situation of Affairs in Tibet, from 1785 to 1793. - 437 

xxviii CONTENTS. 



No. I. Translation of a Letter from Kienlong, Emperor of China, to Dalai Lama, 
the Grand Lama of Tibet. - - - _ _ ^j 

No. IL Translation of a Letter from Changoo Cooshoo Punjun Irtinnee Neimo- 
heim, Regent of Teshoo Loomboo, to Warren Hastings, Esq. Governor 
General, &c. &c. Received the lath of February, 1782. - - 449 

No. in. Translation of a Letter from Soopoon Choomboo, Mirkin Chassa Lama, 
Minister to the late Teshoo Lama, to Warren Hastings, Esq. Governor General, 
&c. &c. Received the lath February, 1782. - - _ 454 

No. IV. Narrative of the Particulars of the Journey of Teshoo Lama, and his 
Suite, from Tibet to China, from the verbal Report of Poorungheer Gosein. 457 


Survey of the Road from Buxadewar to Tassisiidon, in Bobtan ; and from Tassisudon to 
Teshoo Loomboo, in Tibet, to be placed with a guard, fronting - . page i 

Views taken upon the Spot by Lieutenant Samuel Davis, and engraved by 

Basire, from the original Drawings in the possession of Warren Hastings, 


Plate I. Buxadewar, .--..- page jj 

II. The Cascade of Minzapeezo ... ~ 53 

III. Plan, Section, and Elevation of the Bridge of Chains at Chuka . jj 

IV. Chuka .... . . 55 

V. The Valley near Tassisudon, with a Procession of the Religious to their Ablutions 86 

VI. The Palace of Tassisudon - - - - - 90 

VII. The Residence of Lam' Ghassatoo - - - • 96 

VIII. The Castle of Wandipore ..... - 13a 

IX. The Palace of Punukka ..... 1^3 

X. The Yak of Tartary, from a Picture, painted by Stubbs, in the possession of 

Warren Hastings, Esq. ..... jgg 

XI. The Mausoleum of Teshoo Lama • - - - 265 

XII. The Dwelling of Tessaling Ljma, with the religious Edifice, stiled Kugopea 314 
XIII. Specimens of the Umin, and of the Uchen characters, in the language of 

Tibet, to be placed with a guard • • - • 324 











Leave Calcutta— proceed through Plasseij to Moorshedabad — cross 
the Ganges near Bauleah — arrive at Rungpore — Calamatty. — 
Tuffoon, or tremendous Hurricane. — Mungulhaul, respectable for 
its Manufactory. — Zeenkaubs. — First View of the Mountains of 
Bootan. — Coach Bahar. — Bungalo — singular Custom in this 
District — extensive f Foods — Practice of felling Timber — wild Ele- 
phants — Pine-apples, present Abundance of— first Introduction into 
India. — Inroad of the Moguls into Assam — Fate of the Invaders. — 
Chichacotta. — Frontier of Bootan. 

1 HE beginning of the year 1783,. I received my final orders and in- 
structions, and left Calcutta, to execute the service which was intrusted 
to my care. Lieutenant Samuel Davis, and Mr. Robert Saunders, were 
included in the commission with which I was honoured, and appointed 
to accompany me, the former as Draftsman and Surveyor, the latter 



in the capacity of Surgeon. I had every reason to congratulate myself 
on tiie choice which had been made of these gentlemen as my asso- 
ciates ; and in their kind and friendly attention, I had the satisfaction 
to find a constant source of comfort, amidst all the toils and difficulties 
of a long and tedious journey. 

Notice of the Governor General's intention to send a Deputation to 
, the Court of Teshoo Loomboo, had been previously given to the Daeb 
' Raja, the independent chieftain of the intermediate mountains, which 
separate Bengal fiom Tibet. This measure was indispensably neces- 
sary, since, without his permission and assistance, it was impossible 
to accomplish the object of my mission. 

In the first part of my journey, as far as the Company's most northern 
station, nothing occurred which deserves particular notice. I ascended 
my palanquin at Ghyretty, on the opposite side of the river Bhagi- 
rathy, the name of the principal branch of the Ganges, which at this 
place bears the descriptive appellation of the Hoogly river; an appel- 
lation given to it by the first European inhabitants of Bengal, and since 
retained in the common modes of speech and writing. Hoogly was 
anciently the principal port and mart of this provhice. I forded the 
Bhagirathy at Aughadeep ; thence travelling over the island of Cossim- 
bazar, across the plains of Plasscy, rendered ever memorable by the 
brilliant and decisive victory of Lord Clive, and passing near the 
suburbs of Moorshedabad, I arrived on the banks of the Ganges, almost 
opposite to Bauleah. After ferrying across the river, I traversed as 
wide a space of fiat and fertile country as that which I had already 
passed ; and at the expiration of four days from the commencement 



of my journey, was set down lit Rungporc, which is distant two hun- ) 
dred and sixty miles horn Calcutta. 

Upon ray arrival at Rungpore, I found my progress impeded for the 
present, in consequence of the indispensable necessity of obtaining 
-previous license for our admission into Bootan from the Daeb Raja, | ^ 
without whose special authority no person is permitted to enter the 
passes of the frontier mountains. Having therefore waited for an an- 
swer to the letters which I had dispatched to acquaint the Daeb Raja 
witii our intended departure for his dominions, and received his pass- 
ports, I proceeded on my journey from Rungpore, accompanied by Nlr. 
Davis and Mr. Saunders. 

We travelled in our palanquins; the road lay through an open, 
level country, inferior to no part of Bengal in cultivation and fertility. 
The chief produce was rice, of which it yields two harvests in the year, 
and sometimes an intermediate crop of mustard seed : a great quan- 
tity of good tobacco grows also in this district, and some indigo. We j 
came at noon to Calamatty, a plain of wide extent, sixteen miles from 
Rungpore, and having pitched our tents near the centre of it, with a 
small village upon our right, and a fordable brook in front, we halted 
for the remainder of the day. At night there came on an excessively 
hioh wind and heavy fall of rain, attended with thunder and lightning, 
which was succeeded at break of day, on Wednesday the 7th, by 
another storm equally violent and awful. 

It may be observed, that this sort of tremendous hurricane, which 
is not unfrequent at this season of the year, is distinguished by the 
name of lufoon in Asia, and is known among the English in Bengal 


by the familiar appellation o( A^orth-wester. It is a storm of extreme 
violence, but of short duration ; rarely coming on in the open day, 
or t^vice during the absence of the sun, but usually commencing about 
the time of the evening twilight. 

These storms rage with greatest force between the passage of the 
sun from the vernal equinox to the summer solstice. His vertical 
power then loads the atmosphere with humidity ; and his action dimi- 
nishing as he goes down, a dense cloud advances from the edge of the 
horizon, which is seen to come on with slow and solemn motion, till 
it has attained a certain altitude, when a most tremendous gust of wind 
bursts forth at once with sudden fury, frequently tearing up trees by 
the roots, and carrying away before it every light substance it can 
take up; filling the whole surrounding atmosphere with obscurity. 
A burst of loud thunder, with flashes of vivid lightning, next succeeds, 
which seems to clear a passage for a torrent of the heaviest rain, that 
descends with wonderful impetuosity. After this commotion of the 
elements, which seldom exceeds half an hour in duration^ has subsided, 
a tranquil, temperate season ensues ; all oppression is removed, and 
the air refreshed and cooled : a most grateful close, in this torrid re- 
gion, to an intensely hot day. 

We were detained on Wednesday the 7 th of May, by waiting for a 
part of our baggage, which had not yet come up from Rungpore ; and 
in addition to this impediment, many of the coolies, or porters, had 
left us in the course of the night, so that we were unable to go on until 

At about ten o'clock in the forenoon of the following day, having 


received a reinforcement to our numbers from Rungpore, we left Cala- 
matty plain, and half an hour after passed Saftabarry, crossing a wide 
nullah, or creek, over which was thrown an elevated bamboo bridge, 
constructed upon forked props. Bamboos resting in the fork, and co- j 
vered with split bamboos woven into mats, composed the platform. It 
was strong enough for foot passengers, but unsafe, as I should suppose, 
for carriages, or cattle. On the opposite side of the river was an ex- 
tended high bank, which had the appearance of having been intended 
for a line of defence. It was situated about two hundred paces from 
the edge of the nullah. Its sides formed a square, and at the extremi- 
ties of the embankment, on the side facing the plain, there seemed to 
be the vestiges of two bastions. We continued our way, passing at 
noon by Ootney nullah, and "afterwards came to Mungulhaut, a large 
manufacturing town, twelve miles from Calamatty, situated on the 
south side of the river Durlah, which divides the district of Cooch ; 
Bahar from that of Rungpore. The inhabitants of Mungulhaut seem 
to pay more attention to the comforts and commodiousness of living, 
than those of any other town 1 have seen in India. Their houses, com- 
posed of mats inserted between frames of bamboo, were neatly thatched, 
and each had a portion of land encircled with a bamboo palisade. 
The streets were spacious, and the principal one conducted us to the 
river side, whence we ferried across, and encamped at Ghiddildow, 
upon the northern bank. We saw many boats of large burthen upon 
the river, which, added to the striking neatness and regularity of the 
town, gave it an air of industry and traflic. Coarse cotton cloths I ^ i^^ 
understand to be the staple commodity ; and that they furnish the most 


considerable part of the large returning cargo, which is carried by the 
ij Booteea caravan annually from Rungpore. 

We found the Zeenlcaubs» and their party, who had been lately 
I deputed by tiie Daeb Raja to the Governor General, waiting at Mun- 
i gulhaut. Their departure from Calcutta had been accelerated, that 
they might conduct me to the capital of their master. They came 
to me in the afternoon; and, as they were encumbered with much 
baggage, and many attendants, to avoid the inconvenience of travelling 
with so large a party, I persuaded them to go on before us. They 
accepted my advice; and we parted, not to meet again, as I expected, 
until we reached Chichacotta. 

Departing from Ghiddildow, Ave continued to pursue the course of 
the river Durlah for some distance, until it turned short to the left. 
'We then proceeded through a very highly improved and fertile coun- 
trv, where the luxuriant growth of the trees, among which the most 
conspicuous were the sooparee'', semmel'', and bannian*^, intermixed 
with clusters of the bamboo*, and the rich verdure of the helds, 
covered With rice almost ready to shoot into ear, presented on every 
side a most pleasing prospect. We came late to the ground on which 
we intended to encamp, and it was much later when our proAisions 
and baggage arri\ed. The tents were pitched upon an open eminence, 
overlooking the villages of Pahargunge on the left, and Baliadinga 

* Zceiikaiibs are officers of government under the immediate command of the Daeb 
/ Raja, a large party of whom are always personally attendant on him, and ready to be 

cnploycd, either in a civil or military capacity, as he directs. 
"^ Arcca cathecu. Linn. ' Bombax pentandrium. Lhin. 

* Ficus indica. Linn. Bhur, Ind. * Arundo bambos. Linn. 


on the right, ten miles from Ghiddildovv ; immediately in the ftont was 
a large jeel, or marshy lake, in the form of a crescent. The ground 
on the opposite side, rising as it receded, was covered with a variety 
of shrubs, and exquisitely adorned with a wild but lively verdure. 

The country through which we advanced on the following day, had 
less cultivation than that we had just left. We ferried over the river 
Maunsi, about half a mile above the point where it meets with the 
Toorsha; after their confluence, they assume the name of Neelcoomar, 
and shaping their course through Baharbund, fall with their united 
streams into the Berhampooter^ As the day dawned, we obtained a 
transient view of the summits of the mountains of Bootan, which 
resembled a deep shadow on the distant horizon ; but the sun soon 
raised up an impenetrable veil of thick vapour from the marshes at 
their base, and they were no longer visible. The vastness and obscurity 
of this enormous boundary, remote and indistinct as it appeared, when 
it first burst upon the sight in ill-defined and fantastic shapes, could not 
but excite very powerful emotions in the mind; and I looked upon the 
formidable barrier I had to pass, with mingled awe and admiration. 

On our approach to Bahar we were met, at a short distance from 
the banks of the Toorsha, by the Aumils, or principal officers of the 
revenue, who conducted us to a spot of ground that bore the ruinous 
remains of a large bungalos, fourteen miles from the camp near Balla- 
dinga. Their preference of tliis spot arose not from its superior plea 

•■ Properly Brahma pootra, offspring of Brahma. 

B This is an appellation given to any single building covered with thatch. It has its 
name from the province of Bengal, where they are most in use, and whence other coun- 
tries have borrowed the mode of constructing them. 



santness, but because it had been inhabited by the first English gen- 
tlemen who resided here, before these districts were reduced under 
entire subjection to the Company. A lofty artificial bank of earth, which 
still surrounded it, shewed that its original proprietor chose rather to 
rely for his security on the strength of his fortifications, than on the 
fidelity of the people. The ground around it was extremely low, and 
the situation acknowledged to be singularly unhealthy ; but as we 
intended only a short stay, we set up our tents, and in the course of 
the day a messenger arrived, with offers of assistance, from Nazir 
Deo*". We also received visits from the Dewan', the Buckshee'', and 
other officers belonging to the household of the Raja, who offered me 
every service in their power : indeed we stood much in need of their 
assistance, to supply the deficiency of carriage, which, at every stage, 
occasioned us much perplexity and trouble. 

The Raja of Bahar, an infirm old man, was absent at a place called 
Bahrisser, about ten miles off", performing his devotions. I was strongly 
pressed by his officers to wait his return ; but I excused myself in 
consideration of the advanced season, and resolutely withstood the 
solicitations, both of his servants and of my own, who were equally 
urgent for my stiiy. 

In the district of Cooch Bahar an usage of a very singular kind has 
prevailed from remote antiquity, and I was assured by many of the 
inhabitants of its actual existence at this day. If a Reiat, or peasant, 
owes a sum of money» and has not the ability to satisfy his creditor, 
he is compelled to give up his wife as a pledge, and possession of her 

'' Superindant. ' Treasurer. ■« Paymaster. 


is kept until the debt is discharged. It soHietimes iiappens, as they ) 
affirm, that the wife of a debtor is not redeemed for the space of one» ' 
two, or three years ; and then if, during her residence and connection , 
with the creditor, a family should have been the consequence, half of 
it is considered as the property of the person with whom she lived, and 
half that of her real husband ^ 

The country has a most wretched appearance, and its inhabitants 
are a miserable and puny race. The lower ranks without scruple 
dispose of their children for slaves, to any purchaser, and that too for 
a very trifling consideration ; nor yet, though in a traffic so unnatural, 
is the agency of a third person ever employed. Nothing is more com- 
mon than to see a mother dress up her child, and bring it to market, 
with no other hope, no other view, than to enhance the price she may 
procure for it. Indeed the extreme poverty and wretchedness of these 
people will forcibly appear, when we recollect how little is necessary 
for the subsistence of a peasant in these regions. The value of this can 
seldom amount to more than one penny per day, even allowing him to 
make his meal of two pounds of boiled rice, with a due proportion of 
salt, oil, vegetables, fish, and chili'". 

' It is not possible for a traveller, passing rapidly through a strange country, to catch 
the manners, or judge of the influence which custom, or a sense of honour, may have 
on the natural propensities of the people. We may conclude that this bias must be very 
strong in a community where such a law continues to exist ; since in any other, which 
should adopt it as a novel institution, the creditor would have a very insecure hold on 
the probity of his debtor, not less, perhaps, from the reluctance of the latter to recover 
his wife, than to part with his money. The law would not subsist, if it was not known 
to be effective of its purpose. 

'" A kind of red pepper, in universal use, made from the capsicum annuitm of Linnxus. 


The situation of this district exhibits a melancholy proof of dif- 
ferent facts too frequently united;, the great facility of obtaining food, 
and, at the same time, the wretched indigence of tlie lower order of 

At six o'clock on the morning of the 1 1th of May, we departed from 
Cooch Bahar, and travelled near the banks of the river Toorsha, for 
upwards of three miles. The land was low and marshy, interspersed 
with thick woods, and with many nullahs, or rivulets, having not more 
than three feet depth of water. The whole face of the country was 
dreary and unpleasant, being thinly inhabited, and sparingly culti- 
vated. No animals appeared to enliven and cheer the scene, except 
here and there a solitary hargheela", or maunukjoor°. The vegetation 
was coarse ; the ground being almost every where clothed with rank 
grass, reeds, and fern. We crossed some creeks, whose water was 
chin deep; a rainy day would have rendered them absolutely un- 
fordable. We now entered the dreary region which divides the district 
of Cooch Bahar, the present frontier of Bengal, from the country of 
Bootan, and which, from its inaptitude to supply the wants, or faci- 
litate the functions, of human life, may be considered as appertaining 
properly to neither. Its extent, from the foot of the chain of moun- 
tains, with which the district or principality of Bootan commences, is 
little less than twenty-five miles. 

We passed through a wood called the Pi st ajar- wood, in which many 

" A bird, the largest species of the crnne kind, which feeds only on putrid flesh, 
snakes, and frogs. It is commonly called by the English in Bengal, Adjutant. 
" A water fowl of the crane species. 


of the largest trees had been lately felled, not by means of the axe, but 
by fire ; and their charred stumps were seen on every side peeping 
through the thick brushwood with which this forest abounds. The 
only method of felling timber in practice here, I was informed, is by ' 
fire. In the trees marked out for this purpose, vegetation is destroyed 
by burning their trunks half through : being left in that state to dry, 
in the ensuing year the fire is again applied, and they are burnt till 
they fall. The road through this forest was narrow and confined ; many 
hollows were even filled with water^ and we found the passage both 
difficult and dangerous. 

Our followers came up late, having been dreadfully frightened, in 
passing through the woods, by the sight of several wild elephants. \ 
The mohut, or elephant driver, was not less alarmed than his compa- 
nions; and the noise and vehemence of his utterance and action, whilst 
he related the story of his adventures, plainly proved, that, though he 
had escaped the danger, he had not yet shaken off the fears it had 
excited P. 

'Near a small village, which we passed in our route to-day, I saw 
some clusters of wild pine-apples. That they grew wild, their con- 
dition, and the situation in which they were found, left me no room to 
doubt. It is a well known fact, that the pine-apple is not among the 
indigenous fruits of India, though at this time they are so abundant 
in Bengal, as to be sent to market like turnips on a cart, and, in the 

p The principal cause of apprehension is, the probability that the wild elephant will 
attack the tame one, and, if not destroy him, be the means, at least, of effecting his re- 
lease during the conflict. 


most plentiful part of the season, no less than twenty may be bought 
for a rupee, about the value of half a crown. 

The first plants of this fruit that grew in Hindostan, were brought 
into India, in the reign of the Emperor Akbar, by the priests of the 
Portugueze mission, who at that period eagerly pursued every method 
they could devise to ingratiate themselves with the court ; indeed 
they had so far succeeded, that they began to flatter themselves with 
having gained a complete ascendency over the inquisitive and liberal 
mind of their patron, and that he was even about to become a convert 
to their faith ; be this as it may, of all their services, perhaps, this 
delicious gift may deservedly be deemed not the least valuable ; the 
fruits of which have spread so far, and proved so extensive in their 
utility, as well as so permanent in their duration. A part of the ori- 
ginal stock, that is, some plants derived from it in direct descent, was 
pointed out to me in the garden of Moorteza Zemani, at Delhi, where 
they first grew. The Ayeen Akbari mentions both the time and man- 
ner of their introduction; and I consider it as an additional evidence 
of their having been derived from one original stock, that they are 
called, in every part of India which I have visited, by the same com- 
mon name of ananas. To account for their appearance in an obscure 
village on the borders of Cooch Bahar, we must have recourse to an 
event in the reign of the Emperor Aurungzebe, when the General 
Moiizzum Khawn commanded an army employed in the reduction 
of these districts, which had not before submitted to tiie Mogul do- 
minion. In the prosecution of his designs he was detained a consi- 
derable time in this neighbourhood, during which, among the other 


choice fruits which he received from the far greater distance of Cabool 
and Cashmeer, pine-apples made a part of his supply ; and hence, in 
all probability, they are indebted for the introduction of pine- apples 
into the province of Bahar. That they are not common, may be as- 
sumed as another proof of this supposition ; for no person in the least 
acquainted with the character of the Bengalees, who look upon these 
creatures as a race infinitely inferior to themselves, could for a moment 
entertain the idea of their torpid apathy being roused to transplant, 
from ever so short a distance, even this elegant luxury. 1 doubt, indeed, 
whether the inhabitants of Coocli Bahar know its use, or that it is even 
growing under their feet. 

From this neighbourhood Moiizzum Khawn advanced with his army 
to attempt the conquest of Assam. Against artillery, and the formi- 
dable array with which this expedition was equipped, the Avretched j 
and feeble Assamces could make no resistance. Their towns and their 
strongholds fell after each other, in rapid succession, into the hands of 
the victorious army, whose progress was obstructed by no other impe- 
diments than those which arose from the nature of the country, and 
the rivers in their way, until they arrived at Ghergong, the seat of s 
government, and capital of Assam. Here then they considered the i 
expedition as entirely accomplished, and their success complete. Ac- 
cordingly, while they sat down to make their various arrangements, 
and were occupied in the distribution of offices, the standard of the 
prophet was displayed in holy triumph, and proclamations were read, 
taking formal possession of the kingdom in the name, and b)' the 
authority, of the Great Mogul. In these proclamations, the high attri- 


butes of the sovereign were announced with all the pomp of oriental 
imagery and diction ; and they were enriched by a splendid recital of 
the blessings which it had pleased a gracious Providence to shower 
down upon this favoured land. But mark the sequel. The cunning 
of the Assamees, a quality, which no less frequently than eminently 
distinguishes the feeblest of all creatures, impelled them to seek re- 
fuge at first in inaccessible mountains and wilds, till the season of the 
rains began ; they then poured down in multitudes from their haunts, 
hovered around the imperial army, circumscribed their range, and soon 
reduced them to extreme distress both for forage and provisions : thus 
harassed and fatigued, as well by perpetual alarms, as by the incle- 
mency of the weather, the effect of noxious exhalations from a low and 
humid soil was soon added to complete their ills. The robust Mogul, 
accustomed to a climate in all respects so opposite, now felt the poison 
creep irresistibly through his palsied frame ; sickness made alarming 
strides, and every day reduced the strongest to a level with the weak. 
The necessity of a retreat became too obvious to admit of hesitation. 
Already the flower of the Afghans, the Persians, and Moguls, were cut 
off; the rest, entangled in gloomy forests, and hemmed in by imprac- 
ticable morasses, had no way to escape but by a perilous passage over 
long and narrow causeways. In a hasty flight, bewildered and pressed 
on all sides, numbers fell into the snare that had been so long prepar- 
jK jj ing ; few indeed reached the banks of the Berhampooter ; and still 
SL^J* fewer lived to cross its wide and rapid stream, and relate the miserable 

fate of their fellow soldiers. 

Thus ended an expedition which has seldom been paralleled in the 



pompous and expensive style of its preparations, or tlie injustice of its 
object. If it be the aim of conquest to disturb and plunder a remote 
and inoffensive people, content with a region hardly suited to human 
habitation, but which indeed a beneficent Creator has planted with 
inhabitants adapted to its nature, such is the fate it justly deserves. 
Yet the fanatical zeal of the Mussulman historian, who can acknow- 
ledge no virtue, when opposed to the followers of the faith, unmercifully 
loads these poor persecuted beings, on account of their providential 
escape from the chains that had been forged for them, with the epithets 
of Kaufir, Booht, Shitan ; Jnjidels, Hobgoblins, and Devils. 





"^ Chichacolta — Frontier oJBoolan. — Approach to Buxadewar — noxious 
Qlialily of the Atmosphere beneath this Range of Mountains — its 
Effects on the Inhabitants — -fatal to Captain Jones and great Part 
of the Troops that served under him — Colonel Sir John Cuming 
another Instance of its injurious Consequence. — Tangun Horse, a 
Species peculiar to these Mountains. — Ascent and Entry into Buxa- 
dewar. — Chong, and Arra, the Spirit prepared from it. — Character 
of the People. — Visit the Soobah — Impediment to our Advance — 
Curiosity, and Urbanity of the Soobah — invited to accompany him 
during the Performance of a religious Ceremony — Description of 
the Ceremony — its Design. — Beautiful Scenery in the Vicinity of 
Buxadewar. — Skilful Archers. — Commencement of the rainy Sea- 
son. — Dispatches from the Daeb Raja. — Prepare to proceed. — 
Poorungheer. — Short Stricture on the Manner and Character of the 
Soobah. — View of Buxadewar — Etymology of its Title. — Mode of 
Iravellinz in Boolan. 


At three in the afternoon we came lo Cliichacotta, and met with the 
Zeenkaubs, who conducted us to a habitation situated in the centre of 
a large square, formed by a strong embankment, with a double row 

B OOT AN. 19 

of bamboos; and this they termed a fort. The house was totally of 1 
a different construction from any in Bengal. The first apartment, to ) 
which the ascent was by a wooden ladder, was elevated about eight 
feet from the ground, and supported on forked props. Bamboos, rest- 
insc on the forks, served as beams : the floor of one room was fonned 
by mats of split bamboo, that of the other by pieces of plank from three 
to six feet long, and one, or one and a half broad, hewn by the axe, 
and laid on beams of fir. A prop rose from the centre of the ground 
floor, to the roof, which was of thatch ; and the sides of the room were 
encompassed by split bamboos, interwoven lattice-wise, so as to leave 
interstices for the admission of light and air : the apartments were di- 
vided by leeds placed upright, confined at top between two flat pieces 
of bamboo, and resting at bottom in a groove. There was no iron -.y 
whatever in the whole fabric ; the thatch was very low, and it pro- 
jected considerably beyond the walls, so that the rooms were equally 
defended from the rain and ,sun. 

Chichacotta is famous, as having been an object of contest between 
the first detachment of our troops, and the people of Bootan, in the 
war carried on upon their frontier in tlie year 17 72. As a fortification, 
it was then, what it is at this day, a large oblong square, encompassed 
by a high bank, and thick stockade. The Booteeas defended it with 
obstinacy, and a battle was fought in its vicinity, in which they dis- 
played much personal courage, though it was impossible they could 
long contend against the superior advantage of firelocks and cannon, 
over matchlocks, the sabre, and the bow. But though compelled to 
give way, they made Chichacotta, for a considerable time after, a post 


of danger and alarm, which we were alternately obliged to possess and 
relinquish, till they were finally driven back, and pursued beyond 
Buxadewar. It was restored at the close of the war, and now consti- 
tutes the Bootan frontier. 

We were conducted by the Zeenkaubs from Chichacotta. The first 
part of the road was bad, until we came upon a raised causeway, 
having on either side, high grass, which abounded with tigers and wild 
buffaloes. Continuing our course through this dreary country, for more 
than eight miles, we entered a wood of large and lofty trees, in which, 
we were told, there were elephants, rhinoceroses, and bears without 
number, though we saw none of these animals. 

The country was still flat, until we reached the foot of the Bux- 
jadewar hill. Here we found the ascent at first easy, and conveniently 
accessible to a palanquin half way up the hill, as far as Santarabarry, 
a place equally famed for its extensive orange groves, and the excel- 
lence of their fruit. Here the road became more steep, narrow, and 
rugged, being perpetually intersected by large masses of coarse marble. 
The prospects, between abrupt and lofty prominences, were incon- 
ceivably grand : hills, clothed to their very summits with trees, dark 
and deep glens, and the tops of the highest mountains, lost in the 
clouds, constituted altogether a scene of extraordinary magnificence, 
and sublimity. As the road winds round the hills, it sometimes be- 
comes a narrow ledge, hanging over depths which no eye can reach; 
and were not the horror of the scene, in some degree softened by the 
trees, and climbing plants, which line the precipices, the passenger 
would find it impossible to advance. Proceeding, however, witlv 



hesitation and difliculty, over this tremendous path, we arrived at a 
small hut, inhabited by a poor but liospitable cripple, who refreshed 
us, as well as he could, with tea, and with a kind o{ whisky; a treat 
which we afterwards frequently experienced. In the mean time, a mes- 
senger sent by the Soobah arrived, with orders to the officer in charge 
of the pass, to give admittance to our party. I looked about for this 
important personage, and was surprised to find him at my elbow ; a 
creature that hardly bore the resemblance of humanity; of disgusting 
features, meagre limbs, and diminutive stature, with a dirty cloth 
thrown over his shoulders. He was of a mixed race, between the 
Booteea and the Bengalee; and it was wonderful to observe how greatly i 
the influence of a pestilential climate, had caused him to degenerate , 
from both. At the foot of the Bootan mountains, a plain extends for 
about thirty miles in breadth, choked, rather than clothed, with the 
most luxuriant vegetation. The exhalations necessarily arising from 
the multitude of springs, which the vicinity of the mountains produces, 
are collected and confined by these almost impervious woods, and 
generate an atmosphere, through which no traveller ever passed with ^ 
impunity. Its effects Avere fatal to Captain Jones, and to a great part / 
of the troops that served under him, in 17 72; and Colonel Sir John/ 
Cuming % one of the few that escaped with life, still feels its injurious) 
consequences. Yet even this spot is not without inhabitants, although 
its influence hath wholly debased in them, the form, the size, and the 
strength of human creatures. 

The Soobah's messenger was soon followed by a led Tangun horse,, 
which came neighing and prancing with such impetuosity, that I ex^ 
» Colonel Sir John Cuming is since dead. 


pected he would have engaged the Zeenkaub's more paciftc animal, as 
he was patiently labouring up the hill, and by his discomfiture, put us 
all completely to the rout. This species, which is indigenous toBootan, 
has its title from the region in which they are bred ; being called Tan- 
gun, vulgarly Tannian, fi-omTangustan, the general appellation of that 
assemblage of mountains, which constitutes the territory of Bootan. 
The breed is altogether confined within these limits, being found in 
none of the neighbouring countries ; neither in Assam, Nipal, Tibet, 
nor Bengal. I am inclined to consider it as an original and distinct 
species: they ai'e distinguislied in colour by a general tendency to 
piebald ; those of one colour are rare, and not so valuable in the opi- 
nion of the Booteea, but they are more esteemed by the English, and 
bear a higher price than the party-coloured, which are composed of 
the various shades of black, bay, and sorrel, upon a ground of the 
purest white. They are usually about thirteen hands in height, and 
are remarkable for their symmetry and just proportions ; uniting, in 
an eminent degree, both strength and beauty. They are short bodied, 
clean limbed, and, though deep in the chest, yet extremely active. From 
this conformation they derive such a superiority in strength of muscle, 
when condensed by the repeated effort of struggling against acclivities, 
as can never be attained by a horse of a thin and light shoulder. It 
is surprising to observe the energy and vigour apparent in the move- 
ments of aTangun. Accustomed to struggle against opposition, they 
seem to inherit this spirit as a principle of their nature ; and hence 
they have acquired a character, among Europeans, of being headstrong 
and ungovernable ; though, in reality, it proceeds from an excess of 
eagerness to perform their task. 


Indeed, some of those that come into our hands aged, have acquired 
habits of resistance, which it is rather difficult to modify or reform. 
These are chiefly to be attributed to the strong hand with which they 
are governed : I have seen a Tangun horse tremble in every joint, when 
the groom has seized both reins of a severe bit, and compressed his jaws, 
as it were, in a vice. Under the strongest impression of fear, they exe- 
cute their labour with an energy unsubdued even by fatigue ; and their 
willingness to work, added to their comparatively small value, has 
drawn upon them a heavy share of the hardest services in Bengal, 
equal with that of the tallest and most powerful horses in India, both 
for the road and draught ; yet, in the heaviest carriages, they are never 
seen to flinch, but often betray an impatience, and start forward with 
a spring, that sometimes surprises their driver. If they happen to have 
been unskilfully treated, they will not unfrequently bear against the bit 
with a force which seems to increase with every effort to restrain them. 
Sometimes, with less apparent cause on their side, they lean against 
each other, as though it were a struggle, which of them should push 
his companion down ; at other times, they lean with so great an incli- 
nation from the pole, that a person unacquainted with them, would 
apprehend every instant, that they must either fall, or the traces 
break. These are habits, indeed, which it requires the greatest pa- 
tience to endure, and a long course of mild and good usage to sub- 
due. By such means it is practicable to govern them ; but to a person 
not endued with a very even temper, I would by no means recommend 
the contest ; for, after all, strong and hardy as Tanguns are, they are 
less able to bear the heat of an Indian sun than any other breed, and 
they often fall victims to it, when hard driven in very hot weather. 


We were now within half a mile of Buxadewar. Here, at the foot 
of the last ascent, we were met by a herald who preceded our party, 
sounding a trumpet ; and when we came near the summit, we were 
joined by five mountain nymphs, with jetty flowing tresses, who es- 
corted us with strains of gratulation, as I conceived, into Buxadewar, 
twenty miles from Chichacotta. 

The day was far spent ; it was past three o'clock, and we remained 
tinder the shade of a tree, until a house was made ready for our recep- 
tion. After waiting some time in the open air, we were conducted 
into a wretched habitation, which impressed us with very unfavour- 
able ideas of the attention of our new hosts, either to cleanliness or 
convenience. All the Zeenkaubs, and officers in public stations, came 
to see us, each presenting a Avhite pelong handkerchief, and offering 
copious draughts of tea, and a spirit extracted from rice, or wheat, by 
them called Chong, but to which, as a more familiar appellation, we 
gave the name of whisky. 

Chong is a slightly acid and spirituous liquor, extemperaneously 
prepared by the infusion of a mass of grain in a state of fermentation. 
Wheat, rice, barley, and other kinds of grain, are indiscriminately 
made use of for the purpose. The process employed in the prepara- 
tion, as well as I could learn, is as follows : to a given quantity of 
grain is added rather more water than will completely cover it, and 
the mixtuie is placed over a slow fire till it begins to boil ; it is then 
taken up, and the water drained from the grain, which is spread abroad 
upon mats, or coarse cloths, to cool. When it is cold, a ball of the 
composition, here termed Bakka, (which is the blossom of the Cacalia 
Saracenica Linnaei, collected and rolled together in small balls), is 


crumbled, and strewed over the grain, and both are well mixed toge- 
ther. The usual proportion is a ball, the size of a nutmeg, to two 
pounds of grain. The grain thus prepared is put into baskets lined 
with leaves, and pressed down with the hand slightly, to draw off the 
superfluous moisture. It is then covered with leaves and cloths, to 
defend it from the external air, and put in a place of moderate warmth, 
where it is suffered to stand three days. It is afterwards deposited in 
dry earthen jars ; a little cold water is sprinkled upon the top, in the 
proportion of about a tea-cup full to a gallon of grain; the vessel is 
then covered close, and the cap fortified with some strong compost, or 
Stiff clay. It remanis thus at least ten days, before it is fit for use ; and, 
if it be suffered to continue longer, it always improves from age. 

To make the Chong, when required, they put a quantity of the fer- 
mented mass into some capacious vessel, pouring boiling water upon 
it, sufficient completely to cover it, and stirring the whole well to- 
gether. A short time is sufficient for it to digest ; a small wicker 
basket is then thrust down in the centre, and the infiision, called 
Chong, immediately drains through, and occupies the vacant space. 
This licfuor is with equal expedition distributed to the expecting guests, 
the segment of a gourd, fastened upon a staff, serving the purpose of 
a ladle. Each person holds a shallow wooden cup upon the points of 
his fingers, for its reception, and is seldom satisfied with one supply. 

A short experience proved to me that this was a most grateful beve- 
rage, being slightly acid, and possessing no powerful spirit. It was the 
custom, in these regions, to drink this liquor warm ; a practice at the 
same time safe and agreeable, and which might be recommended to uni- 
versal ijnitation, wherever fatigue and heat induce intemperate thirst. 


i{ O O TA N. 

From Cliong an ardent spirit is obtained by distillation, here termed 
Arra, which is fiery, and powerfully inebriating. 

Apparatus used for the distillation of Arra, from the liquor 

termed Chong. 

A. An earthen vessel, in which the prepared Chong is placed immediately over the Hrc. 

B. Another without a bottom. 

C. A smaller earthen vessel, which is the recipient. 

D. An iron bason filled with cold water, renewed occasionally as it grows warm, 
may be termed the condenser. 

eee Three cross staves of wood on which the recipient is placed. 

The junction of the three vessels A, B, and D, being secured with cotton bandages 
and clay lute ; a fire is lighted under A, which contains the Chong. The spirit arises 
through B, is condensed upon the convex bottom of the bason D, and the spirit Arra 
is received into the smaller vessel C. 

/ The fire-place, gggg Openings over the fire for the reception of a similar apparatus. 



In the afternoon our tent came up, a party of Booteeas having been 
sent to bring it over the steep and difficult part of the way. Tlie 
elephant followed soon after, much to our astonishment, for the road , 
seemed in some places too narrow even for the safe passage of a horse, j 
Our tents were at length pitched, but with great difficulty ; for there 
was scarcely soil enough upon the rock to admit the pins. They 
afforded a subject of admiration to the crowds of Booteeas that were 
continually assembling to gaze at us. 

A strong similarity of feature runs through the whole race. They 
are much fairer and more robust than their neighbours, the Bengalees, 
with broader faces and higher cheek-bones. So wide a difference 
indeed is evident between these individuals of the human species, that 
were a stranger to both, desired to give an opinion of them, when 
placed together, he would not hesitate to pronounce them natives of 
regions the remotest from each other, and could never suppose that 
they belonged to a contiguous soil. 

In the evening we made a visit to the Soobah^' of Buxadewar, who 
advanced to the entrance of his apartment to receive us ; when, in 
conformity to the custom of BoOtan, I presented a white pelong hand- 
kerchief: he gave me one fn return, and shook hands as the exchange 
was made. We advanced, and took our seats : his was placed in the 
corner of the room, close under a window : here he sat opposite to us, • / 
on a scarlet cloth, having a square piece of tiger's skin in the centre, ^ , 
spread upon a stage of wood, which was elevated about a foot from ^^^-vv. 

the floor. On his right hand was a silver vessel, containing a fire of 

* Provincial Governor. 


28 B O OT AN. 

aromatic woods; and on another vessel were burning, three long tapers, 
of some perfumed composition, about the size of a reed. The room 
was decorated with pictures of their deities ; and in a recess, in the 
further part of the room, were placed some idols, with lamps of oil 
burning before them, the bone of a human skull lying immediately in 
front, and flowers, fruit, and grain, scattered between. Our visit being 
merely ceremonious, it will be uninteresting to repeat what passed, 
as it consisted of little more than compliments and enquiries concern- 
ing the health of our respective masters. Our stay was short ; we 
walked away without ceremony, and descended by a ladder to the 
ground. This habitation is erected on props, like that at Chichacotta : 
it exhibited no greater efforts of art, though something more of labour 
had been bestowed upon it. I'he lower part was enclosed on alf sides, 
and served as a magazine for merchandize and lumber. I am at a loss 
to account for the use, or convenience, of this method of building in 
so hilly a country. In a low and marshy soil, the advantages of arti- 
ficial elevation are obvious ; but where there is little danger from 
noxious reptiles, or sudden torrents, I can suggest no reasonable mo- 
tive for such a singularity. 

I received notice on Tuesday the 13 th of May, that the Soobah in- 
tended me a visit in the evening, to settle the plan for forwarding our 
journey, and transporting our baggage ; but I was told, that he thought 
it necessary to wait for answers to the letters written to the Daeb Raja, 
notifying our arrival at Buxadewar, before we could be permitted to 
proceed. He came after dinner, with his attendants, to my tent. The 
Zeenkaub sent by the Daeb Raja to escort us, was with him, as well as 


those two who had accompanied me from Rungpore. We had mucli 
conversation respecting our journey to the capital : great objections | 
were started, on account of the thin population of the frontier, and the '' 
consequent difficulty of carriage, as every thing must be conveyed on 
men's backs ; the steepness of the mountains, and badness of the roads, 
not admitting the use of beasts of burden. The Soobah professed 
himself desirous of affording every supply in his power, but seemed to 
hint, that it would be necessary to procure assistance from the capital, 
for the conveyance of our baggage. 

These impediments vexed me much, and I could not help expressing 
my disappointment at finding that no preparations had been made for 
my journey, after I had already passed so much time at Rungpore ; 
especially as I had conveyed intimation of my approach to the Daeb, 
and received his answer to my letters, with information that every 
thing should be ready. Much violent altercation then followed be- 
tween the Zeenkaubs and the Soobah. I did not exactly know the 
purport of it, but I suspected the latter to be in some measure to 
blame. It ended, however, in a declaration to me, that, as they were 
servants of the Daeb, they were equally servants of the English, and 
would exert all their powers to serve us- It was at length agreed that 
they should send to the adjacent villages, and assemble together all the 
people that could be found. The Soobah assured me, that if he could 
not send all my things with me, he would forward, after my departure, 
and with the utmost dispatch, such as should be left behind. 

About noon on the following day the Soobah came down to our 
tents. I had given him a telescope, and I shewed him how to adjust 


the focus; an operation which he quickly comprehended, and rea- 
dily lengthened or shortened the tube until it suited his sight. He 
looked through his glass, at a frontispiece to one of the numbers of 
Bell's British Theatre, Miss Young in the character of Artemisia, 
and exclaimed with amazement, " How small about the waist, and 
what a vast circumference below !" The impression was natural ; and 
in general, the observations that he made indicated a shrewdness of 
apprehension, and much sound judgment. Mr. Davis had taken a 
view of Buxadewar, which was laying on the table : the Soobah was 
instantly struck with it, and recognized all the different parts of his 
habitation ; the beams, the stairs, the people looking out at the win- 
dows, and even the packages tliat lay beneath. He staid with us till 
the servants came to prepare for dinner. 

I invited him to dine, to which he readily agreed. At table he ate 
and drank as we did, without scruple; yet I suspect his urbanity might 
incline him to suppress expressions of dislike, and to do some violence 
to his taste ; for beer and claret could hardly be agreeable to a palate, 
unaccustomed to such liquors ; he drank of them, however, as well as 
of Madeira, and said he liked them much : he admired our bread, and 
ate of it heartily. After dinner, in the way of conversation, I men- 
tioned that we were desirous of going to the top of an adjacent hill, 
towards which I pointed, and asked him if there was any road. He 
observed to me, that it was a consecrated place, and that he would 
choose by all means to accompany us. My guns were standing in a 
corner of the tent, and he expressed some curiosity to look at them: 
they were charged, and I fired one at a kite. Presently, as we walked 

BO OTA N. 31 

out to a bamboo stage erected on the side of the hill, and hanging over 
a declivity, Mr. Davis shot a crow. Though not sanguinary in their 
dispositions, these were murders they could easily pardon, for both 
these marauders are considered as mortal enemies to the strings of raw 
meat, which it is their common custom to pull into shreds, and hang 
in the sun to dry ; an effect which does not completely take place, 
before the meat has acquired an odour, extremely attractive to kites 
and crows. The Soobah proposed firing at a mark, and one was placed 
in the valley, at three hundred yards distance. We each shot twice, 
but without success ; but in justice to the Soobah it must be owned, 
that, when he took my fowling piece, he shot more truly than either 
of us. When the sun was nearly down, I turned about to walk ; the 
Soobah followed, and we went to the tent. I told him, that as I un- 
derstood him to have been lately ill, I was apprehensive the walk we 
proposed to take, would fatigue him too much, and begged, therefore, 
he would not trouble himself to accompany us. His answer was equally 
polite and attentive ; nor could we dissuade him from escorting us, 
and he accordingly went home to make some preparations. 

I was told, that it was a custom with the Soobah to ascend this hill 
every month, when he sets up a white flag, and performs some religi- 
ous ceremonies to conciliate the favour of a Dewta, or invisible being, 
the genius of the place, who is said to hover about the summit, dis- 
pensing at his will, good and evil to every thing around him. I was 
advised to set up a flag also ; and I did not think it prudent to give 
olfence by refusing to comply with their customs, however absurd or 
ridiculous. In half an hour the sound of the nowbut"^ and the trumpet 
. ' A kind of kettle-drum, used only as an appendage of state by persons in authority. 


announced the Soobah's return. He came surrounded with a nume- 
rous crowd, clad in various coloured habits, and we walked together to 
the bottom of the stone slope, opposite to his house, where we mounted 
our horses. When the party was arranged in regular order, the caval- 
cade was by no means contemptible. In front were carried, on bamboo 
poles, five white flags; two staves immediately Ibilowed, on which 
; were fastened shreds of silk of various colours, blue, red, yellow, and 
' white, in alternate rows from the top to a foot and a half downward: 
the bearers kept constantly twirling these in their hands. Seven young 
girls with loose hair went next, chanting, in a sort of religious tone, as 
/ we advanced: they were led with a slow and solemn pace by the Lama, 
or chief priest, in a deep crowned cap of clotted wool, and a scarlet 
vest, riding on a Tangun horse. Two Zeenkaubs followed, and imme- 
diately after came the Soobah, dressed in a vest of blue satin, with 
gold embroidery, and a garnet-coloured shawl, one end of which pass- 
ing under his right arm, was thrown negligently with the other over the 
left shoulder. The crown of his hat was shaped after the European 
fashion, and the brims were three or four inches broad. The top of the 
hat was decorated with a crest of yellow metal, which in shape bore 
some resemblance to a leaf. After him rode two priests, with caps 
similar to those of the Lama *. I followed next, with Mr. Saunders, and 
a number of attendants : Mr. Davis was lame, and could not go. 

The road was very steep and narrow, and our horses were frequently 
obliged to halt to recover their wind, as well as to relax the tone of their 
muscles ; for it was with the greatest exertion that they scrambled up. 
When we gained the summit, the girls, who had preceded us, were 
drawn up in a row, and sung to us after their manner, as we passed them, 


marking the time by a slow movement of the hands and feet, which I con- 
sidered as a solemn dance, in strict unison with the monotony of their 
music. The whole variety of their motions consisted in alternately 
resting on each foot, as tliey advanced one before the other; their 
hands being raised about as high as the shoulder, and placed a little 
befoie them, were perpetually turned with a circular kind of motion 
that reversed their backs and palms. On the top of the hill, we found 
a small level spot, which situation seems to be always preferred for 
the scene of their devotions. Here, against a large tree, was placed a 
kind of altar, elevated about three feet from the ground : the back and 
two narrow sides were covered with yellow silk, and on the back hung 
four handkerchiefs, red, blue, yellow, and white; a white handkerchief, 
fastened on one side, was suspended in front, and falling in an easy fes- 
toon near the top, was sustained by another on the opposite side. There 
were three lamps burning upon the altar, with flowers and fruits in 
plates. Before the altar were six persons, arranged in a row, and in 
the following order: on the left of the whole stood the Lama; next a 
priest, who beat on a large tabor, with a long curved iron instead of 
a stick; a priest with cymbals; a priest with a tabor; and a priest 
blowing an instrument made of the shin bone of a man : on the right 
hand side stood two trumpeters. 

We were presented with a lighted rod of the perfumed compo- 
sition, which we held in our hands. A cup full of rice was brought 
to us, with one of the lighted rods stuck upright in it : we touched 
the rice, as did the Soobah also, and it was then placed upon the 
altar. The Soobah stood on the left side of the altar; we were 


opposite to him, on a rising ground. The ceremony began with 
the chanting of the priests; the tabors, trumpets, and cymbals, all 
sounding: this was continued with short intermissions, and but little 
variation, for ten minutes, when the instruments ceased, and some 
prayers were repeated in a deep and hollow tone : a short silence after- 
wards ensued. The Soobah tied a white cloth before his face, cover- 
ing his mouth and nostrils, and a vessel of water was brought to him, 
in which he washed his hands. A white pelong handkerchief was then 
presented, one end of which we held as we approached the altar, a 
priest holding the other : we released it, and it was waved over the 
smoke of the lighted rods. The prayers continued ; some rice was scat- 
tered about by the priests, and the pelong handkerchief was then fast- 
ened on a staff. The Soobah had now come over to the side on which 
we stood: some cowry shells^ intermixed with rice were brought; 
the flags were all fixed, and the consecrated rice and fruits, that stood 
upon the altar, were thrown down, and eagerly gathered up by the 
poorer spectators. The Soobah had a quantity of the rice and shells, 
some of which was given to us ; and we, following his example, every 
now and then scattered it about, while the performers were chanting 
and sounding their instruments. When the whole was distributed, the 
priest stopped and drank tea: a plate of Jack' fruit was brought to 
the Soobah, which he touched and tasted ; we did the same, and then 
the whole was divided among the priests and performers: the girls 

,; ■' Porcellana, Ltntiai, found among the Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, and 
'( current in Hindostan and Bengal as money. 

■■ Jack fruit, Artocarpus integrifolia. Linn. Kuttul, /w^. 


now advanced, dancing, and the ceremony was ended with loud ac- 

We turned and descended the hill on foot (as the declivity was too 
steep for us to ride), in the midst of loud shrieks and shouts. We 
found, on our return, a large mat spread before the Soobah's house, 
with a bench placed in the middle of it ; and we went and stood upon 
the mat, while the priests chanted some prayers- A paper, containing 
shells and rice, was put into the Soobah's hand, some of which he gave 
me, and we scattered them about: the cowries were quickly collected 
by the girls. A large vessel of liquor was before us : a ladle full of it 
was brought ta the Soobah : he touched it ; I did the same ; and it was 
afterwards distributed among the people. We then adjourned to the 
Soobah's apartment, drank tea and liquors, and were presented witk 
fruits and provisions. 

The Soobah told me, that this religious ceremony had been per- \ 
formed because we were just arrived in Bootan ; and it was proper to 
invoke their deity to grant us protection, and a prosperous journey 
through their country, that we might return in safety to our own'. 
This was a duty, he said, which they owed to the English Company, 
and the Daeb would be pleased to know that it had been performed. 
They were happy, he added, that we had joined in this act of devo- 
tion ; and it was his wish that on our return we might revisit this 
abode, and again perform together the same ceremonies. We then 
took leave, and retired to our tents. 

In the evening of the ensuing day the Soobah came to visit us, and 
I amused him by explaining the different games at which we played j 



chess, cards, and backgammon. He introduced a paper divided into 
squares, and played upon it with one of his people at a game appa- 
rently not very intricate. He then produced another paper, with a 
number of variously coloured circles filled with writing; but the de- 
sign of this, was not clear. Befoie he left us, I mentioned to him my 
great anxiety to proceed on my journey, and my disappointment at 
being subjected to so much delay; I urged also my apprehensions that 
we should experience much difficulty and inconvenience from the ap- 
proaching rains. He said a great deal, to justify himself from the sus- 
picion of wilfully detaining us : he said that the Daeb would be highly 
displeased with him, if he did not obey my commands, and do every 
thing in his power to accommodate us ; that in the mountains near 
Buxadewar there were but few villages, and those utterly unable to fur- 
nish the number of people I required; he added;, that the inhabitants in 
the valley on the Bengal side were unable to carry burdens, and travel 
up such steep ascents : in fine, he preached up patience to me ; telling 
me he had written to the Raja on the subject, and expected his answer 
within four or five days. 

I ascended a very steep hill on Friday the 16th of May, (for the 
country exhibits nothing else) the south side of which was cleared of 
trees for cultivation : there was a good deal of black mould upon it, sus- 
tained by the stumps of trees and projecting roots. We saw many 
spots of land cleared in the same manner, on the surrounding emi- 
nences; which, in general, seemed to produce thriving crops of barley 
and wheat, and a small grain of which they make a fermented liquor 
to drink. In the afternoon we penetrated into the thickest part of the 


woods in search of plants, and found none but such as weie commoa 
in Bengal, except raspberry bushes, and a shrub in blossom with an 
orange-coloured flower, immediately under which grew a number of 
leaves perfectly white, but in form entirely similar to those on other 
parts of the bush, which were of a lively green. This mixture of co- 
lours produced a very singular and pleasing effect. I collected some 
plants, and sent them to Rungpore. Returning from our walk, I found 
the Soobah, with many of his attendants, and the principal inhabitants 
of Buxadewar, shooting with the bow and arrow at a mark, which, 
though small, was frequently pierced, at the distance, as I guessed, of 
one hundred and fifty yards : the arrows were always thrown in an 
horizontal direction. 

The next and following day we had much rain, both in the morning 
and the evening; heavy showers, unattended by thunder or wind, and 
every appearance of the commencement of the rainy season. We paid 
a visit to the Soobah, who rose to receive us at the entrance of his 
chamber, and when we were seated, tried to entertain us by an account 
of the omnipotence of his gods, represented in pictures which were 
hanging near him : but his explanation was so blended with fable and 
mystery, that to me it was quite unintelligible. An enamelled snuff- 
box lay by him, which he gave me to look at, and, when I had it in my 
hand, he desired me to keep it : he presented me also with a purse, 
into which he put three rupees ; for I found it the custom of the people 
here never to give away an empty purse. After some trivial conver- 
sation, we took with him one cup of tea, and another of spirit ; and, 
on taking our leave, we were presented, as usual, with trays of fruit. 

38 BOO TAN. 

( I received a letter on Monday the 19th of May, from tlie Daeb, to 

/ signify his having given particular injunctions to ail his officers, at the 

/ I different stations, that they should exert their utmost efforts to forward 

( me with all possible convenience and dispatch; intimating at the same 

' time that I must expect much difficulty and hardship from the badness 

of the road, which I might also learn from Poorungheer*^. 

As the Daeb Raja had sent no people for our accommodation, the 
Soobah proposed the expedient of dispatching thirty men, with part 
of our baggage, the same day, to Murichom ; upon their return, he 
promised to be able to provide for our immediate departure, and I very 
eagerly accepted his proposal. 

The Soobah dined with us, and partook very heartily of our meal. 
He drank but little, although he seemed to relish our wine ; but I 
understood that his countrymen considered him as particularly abste- 
mious. His inclination seemed principally directed to trials of skill. 
After dinner he invited us to fire at a mark ; and as both himself and 
his people seemed to have been much practised in this diversion, our 

! ' A Hindoo Gosein, a kind of religious hermit, or pilgrim, who formerly accompa- 
nied Mr. Bogle to Tibet, and who now attended me on my journey. 

Motives of religious duty, which, among the order of Goseins more especially, 
attaches peculiar respect to every kind and degree of penance, having occasionally led 
Poorungheer among the different tribes of Tartars, he had acquired, during his residence 
amongst them, a very competent knowledge of their manners, and of their language, 
•which he spoke with apparent ease ; and by the exemplary regularity of conduct he had 
uniformly preserved in his intercourse with the inhabitants of these regions, I found 
that he had strongly recommended himself to their notice, and obtained the favour of all 
their chiefs. 


acceptance of the challenge, turned out more to the credit of our po- 
liteness, than to our exhibition of any superior dexterity. 

Great part both of the preceding and the present day was em- 
ployed in receiving the visits of the inhabitants of Buxadewar, who 
came to take leave previously to my departure, which I had fixed for 
the next day. 

Early on the morning of Tiiursday, the 22d of May, we went to pay 
our last visit to the Soobah. The interview was employed in apologies 
for our detention, on his part, and in acknowledgments for our polite 
and attentive reception, on mine. After several compliments, we took 
a cup of tea, and the usual spirituous liquors ; and he conducted me 
to the bottom of the stairs, where he presented me with a white pelong 
handkerchief: we then shook hands, and parted. 

The Soobah was about thirty years of age, of a middling stature, his 
person good, neither meagre nor corpulent ; his complexion clear, and 
not quite of so deep a hue as that of most of his countrymen, though 
they are all much less swarthy than the natives of Bengal. His coun- 
tenance was open and ingenuous ; and if any opinion of the internal 
character may be formed, from the general outline and gesture of the 
person, I should judge him to possess an artless and benevolent mind. 
Easy in his manners, and graceful in his deportment, his orders were 
delivered in the mildest tone of voice, totally exempt from every dic- 
tatorial air of authority. 

Buxadewa,-., call.d alsoPassaka, is a place of great „am,al strength; f-^ 
and, being a h^ontier station of these mountains, has been rendered 

« Plate I. 

40 B O O T A N . 

Still stronger by the aid oF art, whicli has been most ingeniously em- 
ployed to strike off the summit of the hill, and to level an extensive 
space, capable of aflording accommodation to a body of men, suHici- 
ently numerous for the defence of this difficult pass, against all assault. 
A range of temporary sheds, thrown back to some distance from the 
edge of the eminence, are designed to shelter a garrison that may be 
stationed to defend it. A deep ravine divides tliis from the opposite hill, 
.which is steep, and has a narrow road formed on its side, not capable of 
admitting the passage of two persons abreast. It winds in a semicir- 
cular form, round the jutting eminence immediately opposed to it, 
which stands high above, and within reach of their common arms, the 
bow and arrow, for a great distance ; till the road is at length con- 
nected with, and leads to, Buxadewar, by a very steep ascent. Such 
is the nature of this pass, which, however it may have been strength- 
ened and improved by artj does real honour to the judgment of those 
who originally selected it as a post of defence. 

The village (for it deserves no better name) consists often or twelve 
houses, invisible till the very moment of approach ; it is placed upon 
a second table of levelled rock, which has httle soil upon it, yet is 
covered Avith verdure, in consequence of its very sheltered situation, 
being surrounded on three sides by lofty mountains, and open only to 
the south, which afrbrds a narrow prospect of Bengal. Buxadewar, as 
it is termed by the people in the low lauds, derives its name from a 
very whimsical circumstance. It was formerly a custom with the 
Bootan horse-dealers, before they quitted this pass of the mountains, 
and descended with their caravan into the low lands, to cut off the 

BO OTA N. 41 

tails of their Taiigun iiorses almost close to the rump^ whicli greatly 
disfigured their appearance, and depreciated their value. When the 
English established a fixed station at Rungpore (the mart of Bootan-i 


commerce), disgusted at this cruel treatment, they interested them- ; 
selves with the dealers to obtain a discontinuance of the practice^ of- 
fering buckshisli, that is a liberal reward, if they would permit the 
poor animals, to keep their tails. They listened with extreme unwil- i 
lingness to a proposal that militated against immemorial usage, for 
which, however, they had no better argument to advance, than the 
truly Asiatic plea, against all sorts of innovation ; " it was the dus- 
loor," or custom ; but the love of money being superior to the force 
of prejudice, at the ensuing season, some of the horses made their ap- 
pearance at the fair, unmutilated. These found so quick a sale, and 
gained so hlgli a price, that the same dealers were induced the fol- 
lowing year, to repeat the experiment, and with similar success. They 
who w^ere anxious for a good market, soon found it their interest 
to follow the example ; and thus at length that cruel custom was 
totally abolished, which deprived a noble animal of a member no less 
useful than ornamental ; and ever since that time Tangun horses 
have been permitted to descend by this pass, without the loss of 
their tails. Hence it was stiled Buxa-dewar, the bounteous pass, and 
the commandant of the post, Buxa Soobah; but otherwise, in the 
Bootan language, it is named Passaka, and Passa Geatong. Thus 
I take my leave of etymologies. 

Our first care in the morning was to dispatch our camp equipage 
and palanquins to Rungpore, being obliged to become dependent ' 

42. BOO TAN. 

(or our future accommodation, upon such lodging as the villages 
might afford, and to make up our minds to the prosecution of our 
journey either on foot or horseback, as the nature of the rugged couu- 
try before us should admit. 



Leave Buxade-war. — Ascend Peachukom Mountain — Us prodigious 
Altitude. — Caution of the ,Booteeas. — Gigantic Creepers. — Bam- 
boos, a peculiar Species. — Sheenshilla. — Pheadinchim. — Fatal 
Accident. — Gijgoogoo. — Post of Communication . — Tehintchieu, 
Hatchieu, Patchieu Rivers. — Snow upon the Summits of the 
Mountains. — Tangun Horses, their surprising Energy. — Pipes 
conducting Water for the Accommodation of Travellers. — Bridge 
and Cataract. — Sheenshilla. — Approach to Murichom — laborious 
Employment of the People, in which the female Sex bear a heavy 
Share — extensive Use of the Bamboo. — Village of Murichom — 
Advantage of Situation — Fertility of the adjacent Lands. — 
Teezpaut, a Species of Cinnamon. — Remarkable Instance of great 
Age. — Pestiferous Fly. — Tetim. — Terrible Disaster. — Baboosoo 
and Merifaka Mountains. — Peanjoo. — Minzapeezo, a most copious 
IVaterfall. — Ingenious .Method of constructing Roads along the 
Sides of Precipices. — Awful Scenery. — Dcwla Tehuptehup. — Pecu- 
liar Way of passing deep Ravines. — Chain Bridge of Chuka — 
Castle of Chuka. — Change in the Face of the Country — Temperature 
of the Weather — natural Productions. — Punugga. — Hatchieu. — 
Kepta. — Lomeela Mountain. — Selo-cha-zum. — Durbee Castle. — 
Mudwallahs for the Defence of Hill Fortresses. — Pauga. — 



Teh'uilchieu Palchieu. — JS'oomnoo. — Poes. — JVarigoka. — Symloka. 
— Bridge over the Tehintchieu. — Valley of Tassisudon. 

It was seven o'clock when we left Buxadewar; our way led across 
tiie Peachukom mountain, and it was nine before we reached its 
summit, by a steep and rocky road, some parts of which consisted 
entirely of stairs of stone. We found here a small hut, which seemed 
intended as a resting place for travellers, and we availed our- 
selves of the convenience, to look back on tiie difficulties we had 
passed, in the hope of enjoying an uninterrupted prospect of the low 
country of Bengal. Tlie sun shone, and the atmosphere was clear, 
but from the excessive height of the mountain we could see only a 
short distance beyond the woods, that extended from its base, for more 
than ten miles upon the low lands. The woods are intersected by the 
channels of many streams, which in the season of the rains, become 
considerable rivers, and greatly contribute to the magnitude of the 

Every object beyond the wood appeared indistinct, and the horizon 
was lost in haze. In a few minutes our prospect was entirely changed ; 
clouds came gliding towards us, and every object was enveloped in a 
thick mist. The air became veiy chill ; a thermometer, carried in the 
pocket, at the foot of the mountain stood at 80°, on the top at 74°, 
but in the shade it fell in ten minutes to 65°. 

While resting on this elevated station, we were cautioned by the 
Booteeas to preserve the profoundest silence, and to beware of the dan- 
ger of disturbing the elements, by any sound louder than a whisper^ 

BOOT A N. 45 

We were seriously assured that the concussion of the air, occasioned 
by loud conversation, would inevitably bring down on us, torrents of 
rain, ^^'e escaped the danger •. but we had not long left Peachukom, 
when the clouds, which we had seen collecting, broke in abundant 
showers. Thus we obtained credit for attention to the advice of our 
guides ; nor were their precautions lost upon us, as they taught us to 
avoid wasting too much time on so commanding a spot, which, from 
its superior elevation, stands in the way, to intercept much of the va- 
pour exhaled from the extensive waste, that lies spread far and wide 
beneath its base. 

We next ascended the Oomkoo, a mountain higher than the for- 
mer, covered to its summit with trees, all clothed with moss, and with 
creepers intertwined amongst them, of surprising length and thick- 
ness, and not less remarkable for their flexibility and strength ; qua- 
lities Aviiich render them an excellent substitute for rope, the use of 
which indeed they entirely supersede* 

The mountain is composed in some places of clay ; but for the 
most part it consists of a flinty stone, striated with talc, and intermixed 
with marble. It produces a great quantity of bamboo, which is very I 
hollow, and smaller than that of Bengal, having its knots at a greater i 

"In the forests of* America are found a sort of ozier, or withs, called by the Spaniards, 
Bejucose; by the French, Lianes ; by the Indians, Nibbees; which are usually employ- 
ed as ropes in America. This plant twists about the trees it meets with, and rising 
above their highest branches, its tendrils descend perpendicularly, strike into the ground, 
take root, rise up around another, and thus mount and descend altesnately. Other ten- 
drils are carried obliquely by the wind, or some other accident, and form a confused and 
interwoven cordage, which resembles the jigging of a ship. — Bancroft's Nat. Hist, of 
Guiana, p. 99. 


^€ B O O T A N . 

distance from each other, and growing to full maturity in one season. 
I Its leaves are very large, and are gathered as food for their horses, 
instead of grass : clusters of plantain trees were not uncommon. De- 
scending on the other side, we came to a sacred spot called Sheenshilla, 
dedicated to a deity of the same name. In compliance with the earnest 
advice of my guide, I threw down a rupee here, by way of purchasing 
a prosperous journey. After passing this spot, we travelled along the 
sides of Pheadinchim, a perpendicular rock, the road being only about 
two feet broad, formed entirely of large loose stones, and projecting 
over a deep precipice below, which is twice the height of the tallest 
trees; above, large masses of impending rock, Irown horribly on the 
passenger, and threaten every, moment to overwhelm him. It is an 
awful situation : and were the rock stript of the trees and vegetables 
with which it is covered, the boldest adventurer would be filled with 
terror and dismay. My head almost turned round. In this place was 
lost the fine Arabian horse sent by the Governor General as a present 
for the Daeb Raja. He started at the overhanging rock ; and falling 
from the road, was dashed to pieces at the bottom of the precipice. 

About two o'clock we came to our quarters at Gygoogoo, a village 
situated on the declivity of a hill, twelve miles from Buxadewar, con- 
sisting of five or six houses supported on bamboo props ; the joists, 
the beams, the matted walls, the connecting bands, and every part of 
the fabric, being made of bamboo, except the covering of the roof, 
^'i which was composed of plantain '^ leaves doubled. We were welcomed 
by the principal inhabitants, an old man, his daughter, and another 

'' Musa. 


B O O T A N . ^Hk 4 7 

female, who each presented us with what their Uttie stock afforded, 
vegetables, eggs, and poultry, and the usual offering of a pclong hand- 
kerchief, tea, and whisky. These people are stationed here by the 
Daeb Raja, for the purpose of preserving a quick and free communi-\ 
cation with his possessions on the borders of Bengal, and of conveying 
with expedition, letters and parcels to and froln the capital. They 
cultivate a small parcel of ground, which furnishes grain for their sub- 
sistence. Their herds of cows and swine, seek their own food in the 
spontaneous produce of the woods. Here we found two large peach 
trees, some lime and orange trees, and raspberry bushes. 

We heard the loud and hoarse murmurs of theTehintchieu, rolling in 
a deep channel at the foot of the mountain. This river runs by Tassi- 
sudon, and being swelled by the united streams of the Hatchieu, which 
passes near a place of the same name, and by the Patchieu, which takes 
its course near Paro, finds a passage between the mountains, from 
whence it is precipitated in tremendous cataracts, and rushing with 
rapidity between the high cliffs and vast stones that oppose its pro- 
gress, descends at length iitto the valley^ a few miles eastofBuxadewar, 
and finally joins the Berhampooter. I ascended a lofty eminence to 
look for the river, but it was too deeply buried in the obscurity of the 

The farthest visible mountains to the northward, which I conjec- 
ture to be at the distance of twenty miles, were covered with snow. We 
saw one also at half that distance, with some remains of snow upon it. 

Quitting Gygoogoo at six o'clock on Friday the 23d of May, we 
proceeded on our journey to Murichom, reckoned to be distant about 




48 ^^B BOOTAN. 

thirteen miles, by a rough and rocky road, the ascents and descents of 
which, in general, were too sudden to admit of a regular slope; but 
the Tangun horses are accustomed to stone steps, and scramble with 
Avonderful facility over disjointed rocks, and up the steepest precipices. 
On these, as well as the preceding mountains, the traveller frequently 
yx^ -■%:( finds water conducted to the road side, from distant springs through 
•J" ^ I hollow bamboos, with which he will seldom fail to allay his thirst; 
but the Booteea generally adopts the precaution of previously straining 
the water, for fear of meeting with leeches, or with any other of the 
various kinds of insects that harbour among trees, or are generated by 
the putrescent vegetable matter, which covers the surface of the rock 
beneath their shade. Nor must I omit to mention the safer and more 
delicious fountain, to which the Avary Booteea most commonly has 
recourse. This is a hollow buflalo's horn, adapted by straps to be slung 
across the shoulder, and of considerable capacity, which the prudent tra- 
veller takes daily care to fill with a new and fiery spirit, such as is here 
promiscuously extracted from any sort of grain, and called arra. I could 
never partake with them in their ardent draughts ; but when I became 
accustomed to travelling among these mountains, I learnt to replenish 
my horn with chong, which, being slightly acid, was a grateful liquor; 
and when wearied with struggling against acclivities, and panting for 
breath, it not unfrequently gave gladness to the parched palate of many 
a thirsty passenger. 

In the course of this day's march, we passed by a wooden bridge 
across a large stream, which came tumbling down, cataract over cata- 
ract, from the top of a lofty mountain. We stopped at the village 

BOO TAN. 49 

of Slieenshilla to drink tea, and partake of the fruits which the inhabi- 
tants had brought out, and placed on benches by the road side, ready 
for our repast. 

Near the bottom of this hill, water constantly drips from the over- 
hanging rock ; and in a deep recess at the foot of the mountain, a cas- 
cade, rushing from a thick wood, formed a large stream of water, over 
which was placed a bridge constructed of trees, whose ends rested on 
either side of the rock, with split pieces of timber laid across lliem. 
We sat down here awhile to rest ; and the deep shade, the melody of 
the birds, and the murmuring of the waters, which imparted at the 
same time a grateful coolness to the air, inspired us with fresh spirits 
and vigour. AH this indeed was necessary to enable us to climb up 
the Murichom mountain, where the road was extremely toilsome, and 
the ascent very steep. We attained the summit about noon, much 
wearied with the journey ; a considerable portion of which, we had 
been compelled to perform on foot. Tiiese mountains are covered with 
very large and tall trees, similar to those which compose the forests of 
Bengal, with little underwood. Numbers of people were employed 
in bringing water from the springs below, for the use of the inhabi- 
tants of Murichom. The vessel made use of for the purpose, was a 
hollow bamboo, as large as could be conveniently grasped with both 
hands. This was filled, and carried like a club, resting against the 
shoulder; some took one on each; and laborious as it seemed to be, 
I could not but observe that girls and women were chiefly employed I 
in this service. ' 

I was obliged to halt on Saturday the 24th of May, from the want 

50 B O OTAN. 

of carriage for our baggage, and our servants also began to require 
rest, after travelling over a country so difficult and rugged as that we 
had passed. 

Murichom consists of about twenty houses, in their structure much 
superior to any 1 had yet seen in Bootan. They are built of stone, 
with clay as cement, of a square form, and the walls narrowing from 
the foundations to the top. The roof is supported clear of the walls, 
has a very low pitch, and is composed of fir boards placed length- 
ways on cross beams and joists of fir, and confined by large stones 
laid upon the top. The lower part of the house accommodates hogs, 
■ I cows, and other animals. The family occupies the first story, to which 
/ I they ascend by a ladder, composed of one half of a split fir tree ; into 
the flat side of which, rude holes are cut at proper distances to serve 
as steps. 

The floors are boarded and the doors double ; they turn on pivots, 
and shut against an upright post in the middle of the doorway. The 
rooms are lofty, and there is commonly, on one or two sides, a projecting 
balcony for the admission of light and air, which aflbrds also a pleasant 
, place to sit in. The space between the ceiling of the upper apartment and 
' the roof, is used for a granary or store-room, and serves for a repository 
of fire wood, and other lumber. The village is situated on the top of the 
mountain, crowned with an extensive space of level ground. This was 
covered with a rich verdure; and on its borders were many ancient 
spreading pepul= trees, peaches, and willows. From our windows we 
could behold much cultivated land, covered with diflerent sorts of 

* Ficus indica, Linnai. 


grain, rising with an easy ascent, and bDunded by thick woods. 
Several cottages were interspersed over tiie corn fields. It is to be 
remarked, that the husbandmen here level the ground they cultivate 
on the sides of the hills, by cutting it in shelves, and forming beds of 
such a size as the slope will admit ; and these beds being bordered 
with a low mound of earth, the water may be retained on them, or let 
off, at will. Having heard that there was cinnamon growing in this 
neighbourhood, I sent a native into the woods to search after the tree ; 
he returned to me within half an hour, with a great quantity both of 
its roots and branches. Its value is well known in this country, and 
it is used both for culinary and medicinal purposes. Its leaves are 
much used in cookery in Bengal, and known by the denomination of 
Teezpaut. It appears to me, that the cinnamon in this species is the 
rind of the root only, the bark of the tree having little or no spicy 
flavour; but the plant being neither in blossom nor bearing fruit, it 
was impossible to pronounce, whether it were the true cinnamon, or 
that inferior kind termed cassia. The leaf, however, corresponded 
with the description given of the true cinnamon, by Linnaeus. 

We gathered strawberries and raspberries in the fields here, and 
found peach trees in great abundance, all laden with fruit. 

I cannot quit Murichom, without taking notice of one remarkable 
antiquity ; it was an old Avoman, who was almost deprived of all 
her strength and faculties, by age. I never beheld in a human being 
marks of age so strong: she sat in the sun, all day; the skin of her 
face was drawn into innumerable wrinkles ; her arms were almost en- 
tirely devoid of flesh, the bones being covered with a skin, which by 




time had acquired a surprising thickness. I asked her how old slie 
was: she told me, ninety; tliat this was tlie place of her birth, and that 
she had lived here, ever since. 

The neighbourhood of Murichom is dreadfully infested by a small " 
fly, differing much from the musquito, both in form and size; but 
it fixes itself in the same manner, and draws blood with a proboscis, 
whose puncture is not felt, till some time after the attack. When 
satiated, it flies off, leaving behind a small blister full of black con- 
taminated blood, which enlarges, inflames, and becomes exceedingly 
irritating and troublesome. Most of the inhabitants are so marked by 
the wounds of this venomous fly, that the parts of their skins exposed 
to the air, are covered with scurf, and being sometimes attended with 
tumours, acquire a most diseased appearance : a severe tax this upon 
so delightful a place as Murichom, which by nature is one of the most 
beautiful I have seen. While we were there, though in the height of 
the hottest season in Bengal, we enjoyed a pleasant temperature 
of air. 

We 'proceeded from Murichom, on Sunday the 25 th of May, on 
our way to Chuka, and passed by Tetim, once a considerable vil- 
lage, situated on the left side of the road, upon the brow of a lofty 
mountain, but of which the greatest part was destroyed by a dreadful 
accident, not many years since. In one tempestuous night, a hur- 
ricane swept nine houses down the steep, \\'ith the people that were in 
them ; and though much search was afterwards made, not a vestige 
of their inhabitants was ever seen. Three houses now remain, and 
their tenants, unawed by the dismal fate of their neighbours, still keep 

B OOT AN. 53 

their ground. In an hour and a half we came to the river Tehintchieu, 
running between the Baboosoo and Merifaka mountains; we next 
passed the bridge Dadookoo, which is thrown across a torrent, that 
rushes from the thicket over an immense ridge of rock : after this we 
passed also the Padoochieu bridge. At nine o'clock we reached the 
village of Peanjoo, which is considered as halfway from Murichom to 
Chuka, and is remarkable for nothing but that the ground about is 
overrun with rocks. We crossed the river Tuttee, which here joins the 
Tehintchieu, that rushes, foaming like the surges of a tempestuous sea, 
between the mountains Tuttepakoo on the right, and Taturee on the 
left. On the face of the opposite mountain is a water-fall, called Min- 
zapeezo'', which issues in a collected body, but descends from so 
great a perpendicular height, that before it is received in the thick 
shade below, it is nearly dissipated, and appears like the steam arising 
from boiling water. 

We had now to climb on foot up a very high mountain ; the road 
led along its side, in a serpentine and exceedingly steep direction, the 
ascent almost all the way being by stone steps, which in some places 
were sustained only by beams let into the rock, and secured with 
cramps of iron. 

It was after much labour, and repeated halting, that we reached 
the summit. At every pause we beheld a different prospect, each of 
which, perhaps, might justly be reckoned amongst the grandest and 
most awful in nature. Cascades of water issuing from the bosoms of 
lofty mountains, clothed with noble trees, and hiding their heads in 

" Plate II. 


the clouds : abrupt precipices, deep dells, and the river dashing its 
waters with astonishing rapidity, over the huge stones and broken 
rocks below, composed the sublime and variegated picture. 

Near the top of the mountain we passed through a chasm in the 
solid rock, of the depth of eighteen or twenty feet, just wide enough 
to admit a man on horseback. It was by this way, tradition tells, that 
the dewta Teiiuptehup, in his flight from Bootan to the country of 
the Racusses, (whose ruler he put to death, and assumed the govern- 
ment himself,) took his course ; and in scrambling over the rock, he 
I left here a deep impression of his hands and feet upon the stone. My 

I conductor, who firmly gave faith to the story, pointed out to me the 


j vestiges. 

A very curious and simple bridge, for the accommodation of single 
passengers, communicated between this and the opposite mountain. 
It consisted of two large ropes made of twisted creepers, stretched 
parallel to each other, and encircled with a hoop. The traveller, who 
wishes to cross over from hence, has only to place himself between the 
ropes, and sit down on the hoop, seizing one rope in each hand, by 
means of which he slides himself along, and crosses an abyss on which 
I could not look without shuddering. Custom, however, has rendered 
it familiar, and easy to those who are in the practice of thus passing 
from one mountain to the other, as it saves them, by this expedient, 
a laborious journey of several days. 

We descents d the mountain, and crossed the chain bridge called 
Chukacha-zum, sketched over the Tchintchieu river, a short distance 
above the castle ol Chuka, which is reckoned eighteen miles from 









, IS I 


Murichom. For the best explanation of its construction, I refer to the 
annexed plan and sections, constructed from a measurement of the dif- 
ferent parts. Plate III. A perspective view of it, and the adjacent 
scenery, is given in Plate IV. 

Only one horse is admitted to go over it at a time : it swings as you 
tread upon it, reacting at the same time with a force that impels you, 
every step you take, to quicken your pace. It may be necessary to 
say, in explanation of the plan, that on the five chains that support 
the platform, are placed several layers of strong coarse mats of bam- 
boo, loosely put down, so as to play with the swing of the bridge ; and 
that a fence on each side, of the same materials, contributes to the 
security of the passenger. A similar bridge, over the river Tees, is 
described by Hutchinson, in his History and Antiquities of Durham. 
•' About two miles above Middleton; where the river falls in repeated 
cascades, a bridge, suspended on iron chains, is stretched from rock 
to rock, over a chasm near sixty feet deep, for the passage of travel- 
lers, but particularly for miners : the bridge is seventy feet in length, 
and little more than two feet broad, with a hand rail on one side, and 
planked in such a manner that the traveller experiences all the tre- 
mulous motion of the chain, and sees himself suspended over a roaring 
gulph, on an agitated restless gangway, to which few travellers dare 
trust themselves." 

The castle of Chuka makes a very respectable appearance. It is 
a large square building, placed on elevated ground t there is only one 
entrance into it, by a flight of steps, and through a spacious gateway, 
with large heavy doors : it is built of stone, and the walls are of a pro- 


56 B OOT AN. 

tligious thickness. \\'e were conducted hither, on our entrance, and 
lodged by the commandant in a large and lolty apartment, in which 
there were two or three loop holes towards the river, and on the other 
side, a projecting balcony : the floor was boarded with tiiick planks 
that were pretty well joined together. 

In a nation where no records are kept to perpetuate the memory of 
the achievements of genius, and in which the minds of the people are 
remarkably prone to superstition, perhaps more than a century may 
not be necessary, to deify the author of a great work. Thus it is, that 
the bridge of Chuka is reckoned to be of more than mortal production. 
No less a being than the dewta Tehuptehup could possibly have con- 
trived so curious a piece of mechanism. Neither the origin nor the 
^ . •/'' history of this renowned Tehuptehup, can be traced with any degree of 

f^ certainty; but the works they assign to him, the road up the mountain 

we lately passed, (many parts of which are held, it may be said, upon 
a precipice, by pins and cramps of iron uniting together the stones 
that form it,) and the bridge at Chuka, do credit to a genius, who 
deservedly ranks high upon the rolls of fame, and justly claims from 
the inhabitants, decided tokens of respect and gratitude. 

At twelve o'clock, on Monday the ^6th of May, we departed from 
Chuka. The mountains in our way to Punugga, for the distance of 
about ten miles, were in some parts not so completely covered with 
trees, as those we had passed, and we observed a material change in 
the face of them, as well as in the climate. The road side was covered 
with strawberries, which ripen, and decay, unnoticed by the plodding 
peasant of Bootan. I could not view them with the same apathy, but 



dismounted from my horse, and loitered away much time in culling 
the ripest from the banks. 1 was much pleased with the recognition 
of many well known English plants, such as docks, nettles, primroses, 
and dog-rose bushes, which were now in full bloom. The cuckoo's 
call, brought strongly to my imagination, the season and situations, 
in which I had formerly listened to that harbinger of spring; and 
the harmony of various other birds gave additional force to the 
impression. We now passed one of the numberless cascades, which, 
rolling over mossy stones, seek concealment in the groves below. The 
mountains here began to wear some marks of husbandry and fertility, 
and many large spaces of ground were dressed for cultivation, being 
sown with different kinds of grain. 

NearPunugga there was a very fine crop of barley almost fit for reap- 
ing : here too were the first pine trees I had seen in Bootan, some ashes, 
and peach trees. The summits of the mountains in this day's journey 
were constantly concealed by the clouds. We travelled the greatest 
part of the way through these clouds, and felt the air extremely chillv. 
It was five o'clock when we came to Punugga, a village situated in a 
hollow, and surrounded with mountains for tiie most part covered 
with pines, along whose sides clouds were perpetually flitting. After 
the sun had withdrawn it became very cold, and we ^vere all glad to 
have recourse to a lively fire, made of the turpentine fir. On the bor- 
ders of this village, were many large heaps of fir leaves, collected, I 
was told, for the purpose of manuring the ground. They are heaped 
together as they fall from the trees, and left to ferment and rot, in 
which state they are esteemed excellent manure. 

^8 BOOT AN. 

On Tuesday the 27 th of May, after ascending from the deep hollo^y 
in which Punugga is situated, our road to Chupka lay winding aljong 
the sides of the mountains, which are richly clad with pines, the only 
native trees of these lofty eminences. After (ravelling about eight 
miles, we passed by the river Hatchieu, leaving it to the left, near the 
spot where it joins the Tehintchieu and the Patchieu, called by the 
Booteeas Jumtchieu, or the junction of three rivers. At the foot of 
the Chupka mountain, we crossed a bridge, styled Russoo Noomboo, 
and ascended by a very steep and rugged road to the castle. The 
castle of Ciiupka, or Kepta, is built about halfway up the mountain, 
in a bleak, but beautifully romantic situation: the mountains in its 
neighbourhood, I judged to be the highest we had yet seen in Bootan. 
The light clouds ii;i some parts swifily glided past their sides; in others 
they had assembled, and sat with deep and heavy shade upon tiieir 
brows: and as they were continually shifting their position, they varied 
and improved the views. On the summit of Lomeela mountam, bear- 
ing from hence to the east, and in direct distance about five miles, 
there lay a great deal of unmelted snow : we felt tiie cold even at 
noon. V 

The ensuing day we were detained at Chupka by rain ; but luckily 
we were now beyond the region of leeches, and that pestiferous insect 
with which we were particularly assailed at Murichom. 

We crossed Chupka mountain on Thursday the 29th of May, in 
our way to Pa\iga, distant about eleven miles, leaving Kelligym, a 
village situated upon the ridge of a high mountain, on our left, and 
Dokhottyghym on our right. Descending on the other side, we 

B OOT AN. 59 

laboured over the sides of the mountains, on which there are nothing now 
but pines and firs. We Iiad proceeded about five or six miles, when, at 
a small distance from the road, my eye was caught by a bridge for foot 
passengers^ of an extraordinary construction. It was composed of two 
chains stretched parallel to each other across the river, distant lour 
feet from each other, and on either side resting upon a pile of stones 
raised upon each bank about eight feet high : they were carried down 
with an easy slope and buried in the rock, where, being fastened round 
a large stone, they were confined by a quantity of broken rock heaped 
on them. A plank about eight inches broad, hung longitudinally, 
suspended across the river with roots and creepers, wound over the 
chains with a slackness sufficient to allow the centre to sink to the 
depth of four feet below the chains. This bridge, called Selochazum, 
measured from one side of the water to the other seventy feet. The 
creepers are changed annually: the planks are all loose; so that if 
the creepers give way in any part, they can be removed, and that par- 
ticular part repaired without disturbing the whole. At a distance from 
hence we passed Durbee castle, built upon the crown of a very steep 
rock, which stands on the road to Paro, and within its district. 

The foot of the rock is washed by the Tehintchieu-Patchieu, over / 
which, is thrown a wooden bridge, constructed of long beams of fir, / 
reaching from side to side, with deal planks placed crossways on them, [ 
and bound down with bands of bamboo. Although these bridges arc' 
strong, yet they are of a most simple structure ; and there is this pe- 
culiar advantage in them over heavy masses of masonry, that in times 
of commotion, they can be very quickly removed on the slightest 



emergency. Halfway up the rock stands a square stone tower, with 
I a bastion to defend the approach to the castle, which is gained by an 
exceeding steep ascent. The rock supplies it abundantly with ammu- 
nition : those who have possession, require no other weapons to repel 
their assailants, while they have stones to roll down upon them. 

This kind of natural artillery is common to all the fortresses of India, 
which are situated on hills •- they arc called mudivallahs, or drunk- 
ards, from their continually varying direction in their descent, occa- 
sioned by their irregularity of shape, and the protuberances they meet 
with in their way. In the assault of Chunarghur, in the year 1764, or 
1765, our European grenadiers were twice repulsed by these formi- 
dable weapons. • - # 

The mountains we saw this day, were but thinly covered with pines. 
We met with maple and willow trees, the dog-rose bush in full bloom, 
and sweetbriar with, and without thorns. We rested for the night, 
at Pauga. 

The road, on Friday the 30th of May, led by the river along the 
sides of the mountains, and there were few inequalities from hence to 
Nomnoo, an easy stage of about eight miles. We saw hermitages 
and villages spread over the sides and summits of the mountains, to 
each of which is allotted a spacious portion of cultivated ground: still 
much more appeared capable of improvement ; for over the whole of 
these mountains, except where precipices or steep points project, there 
is a great deal of soil ; yet vegetation is not so strong as in the neigh- 
bourhood of Bengal. The trees are no where so numerous or flou- 
rishing, nor do the pines grow with that luxuriance, which might be 


expected in a favourable soil. There are wooden bridges across the 
river at Choomboo, Sese, and other places tliat we passed. We saw 
the Patchieu, as it comes round the mountains to the north-west, form- 
ing a junction with theTehintchieu, which runs on to receive the river 
Hatchieu, near Kepta. As we approached Nomnoo, tlie husband- 
men were busied in the fields ; the reapers were cutting down the 
corn with sickles, which others collected in handfuls, and bound up 
with a wisp of straw : we saw also oxen yoked in a plough, which 
was guided by a boy at the plough tail. We came early to Nomnoo, 
and were lodged in a large apartment in a spacious house, the walls of 
which were black from the smoke of a fire, which in the winter they 
commonly burn upon a large flat stone, in the middle of the room ; the 
commodioiisness of a chimney being here unknown. 

I visited an orchard in the neighbourhood, and found it well stored 
wiih walnut, apple, peach, pear, apricot, and barberry trees. 

Two Poes'^ had arrived on the preceding day at Pauga: they were 
sent by the commandant of the garrison of Tassisudon, to procure for 
us whatever we might want, as the chief of Nomnoo was absent I'rom 
his station. The next morning they set oft' early, to advise their master 
of oiir approach. 

From Nomnoo, on Saturday the 31st of May, we still travelled near 
the banks of the river, and left Jeemi Jumboo, a handsome village in 
the valley, on our left, as we advanced to Wangoka, distant from 
Nomnoo near ten miles. 

' Inferior officers in the service of government, employed occasionally both in a civil 
2nd military capacity. 


The country now began to open ; the Tehintchieu ran with less 
rapidity, over a more even bed of ground, watering a most beautiful 
narroAv valley, in which not a spot of land was unemployed. Their 
labour merited a more grateful soil, for I never saw lands cleaner, or 
better dressed. Heaps of manure in every field, at proper distances, 
lay ready to be scattered amongst the corn ; yet with all their care the 
crops were thin, running much to straw. In addition to this, the bare- 
ness of the hills, and the diminutive size of the pines, were evident 
indications of an unkindly soil. 

The road, however, improved ; and we seemed to have conqviered 
the enormous mountains and craggy steeps, which were now reduced 
to moderate hills, with gradual and easy slopes. Traces of winter yet 
remained; and upon some of those hills that were near to us, there was 
much unmelted snow. 

Leaving VVangoka, we continued our course, on Sunday the 1st of 
June, through the same kind of verdant valley, intersected by the river, 
as we had travelled through the day before. Upon our right, on the 
summit of a lofty mountain, we saw an extensive monastery above 
Symtoka, and soon after, at the end of a valley, on our left, another 
I mountain, whose top was covered with snow. We crossed a substan- 
tial and elevated wooden bridge over the Tehintchieu, six miles from 
Wangoka, where the bed was a rocky descent, and the stream, of 
course, extremely rapid. At the distance of two miles, Tassisudon now 
\ ^opened to our view, situated in a valley, which I compute to be about 
three miles in length, and one in breadth, lying north and south ; 
the Tehintchieu running through it. We were conducted to a house 

B OOTA N. 63 

lying to the northward of the palace, and at no great distance from it, 
situated on an eminence high above the river, -svhich runs on the other 
side of a narrow road, that winds round the base of tlie hill. 

Opposite, and not half a bowshot off, there is a very good covered 
bridge across the Tehintchieu , and from our apartment, we had an 
extensive view, both up and down the valley, which is in a high 
state of cultivation, bearing various kinds of grain, and diversified by- 
clusters of houses. There is no regular town, nor any village, within / 
a mile of the palace. Upon a low hill, about a mile distant from ■ 


US towards the south, is seen the palace of Lam' Ghassatoo, and at i 
somewhat more than the same distance westwards, highly elevated 
upon the ridge of a mountain, stands a handsome villa belonging to 
Lam' Rimbochay. The banks of the river are lined with willows, and ! 
the surrounding mountains have some timber trees, intermixed with 
the fir and pine, as well as a great variety of flowering shrubs; whilst 
a number of single houses^ and some monasteries, having orchards 
and hanging fields of corn about them, ornament the finely romantic 
views, with which we were delighted from every part of this valley. 

64 »OOTAN. 


Tassisudon — my Arrival nolijied at the Palace — the Raja or Lama 
occupied in religious Ceremonies — strict Observance of all Duties 
appertaining to their Religion. — Message from the Daeb Raja 
— Interview — Zoompoon, Zoondonier, Zempi — Citadel — Audience 
Chamber — Ceremony of Introduction — Particulars of the Interview 
— Tea — local Observance — extensive Fashion — peculiar Mode of 
preparing it. — Polite Attention of the Raja — Dress, that of the 
religious Order — Manner of our Reception. — Second Intervienv. — 
Silk Scarfs — tJieir Use on all Occasions of Ceremony or Compli- 
ment. — Comparative View of Manners. — JVatural Productions. — 
Peculiar Sentiments of the Raja — Variety of Expression — Art of 
Drawing — Mr. Davis's superior Skill. — Visit to the chief Officers 
luider Government — Tasse-Zompoon, Zoondonier, Zempi — Outline 
of their Rank and Authority. — I undertook to mediate the Peace of 
the Zeenkaubs, who are pardoned, and readmitted into favour — 
Instance of implicit Obedience to the Will of their Chief — General 
Design of the present Work. — A Bootan Repast. — Boora Soobah, 
or Toonso Pilo. — Bees. — Benevolent and humane Sentiment. — Order 
tfGylongs — regulated Periods for religious Service — some Rules 
of the Society — Ablutions — Temperance — Cleanliness — general Ap- 
pearance — endemial Disorder termed Gheig, or Aubi. 


1 HE morning after my arrival at Tassisudon, I sent the Gosein Poo- 
rungheer, who accompanied me as interpreter, to the palace, to ar- 
range the ceremony of our introduction, and fix a time lor the deli- 
very of the dispatches, with which I had been charged by the Governor 
General, to the Daeb Raja. 

After a short absence, he returned with information, that the Raja, 
who is also a Lama, had for some days past devoted himself to Pooja 
(religious ceremonies), on account of the death of a Gylong, of high 
rank in the religious order, and greatly renowned for his sanctity 
and age. How much longer those rites might employ him, Poorung- 
heer could not, with any degree of certainty, ascertain ; but, he was 
told that, until their conclusion, the Raja would continue in private, 
his attention being wholly turned from the affairs of the world, and no 
person would be permitted to interrupt him. At tlie same time, it was 
mtimated to me, that the principal officers about his court would^ in 
the interval, be ready to receive our visits ; but I chose to decline 
waiting upon them, until I had seen the Raja himself 

Having just arrived among a people, whose peculiar customs I had 
yet to learn, I confess that the mysteriousness which seemed to pre- 
vail, and this apparent difficulty of access, suggested to me, no very 
favourable opinion of my new friends. It occurred to me, that the 
delay probably originated, in a plan concerted to magnify the im- 
portance and piety of their chief: an opinion to which many of my 
attendants industriously endeavoured to give strength. This, however, 
was a rash and hasty inference; as I had the satisfaction to have 



afterwards effectually proved, by what occurred to my own obser- 
vation, and this too in a way highly honourable to the religious zeal 
of this people, which, in the performance of any prescribed duty, will 
never admit of interruption. 

Early on the morning of Tuesday the 3d of June, a messenger came 
to me, with notice that the Raja proposed receiving us in the course of 
that day. We accordingly made the necessary preparations, and at 
the appointed hour, with Mr. Davis, Mr. Saunders, and all our at- 
tendants, I proceeded to the palace, which we entered about noon, to 
the evident astonishment of multitudes, who had filled the balconies, 
crowded about the doors, and occupied the avenues, to gaze at their 
strange visitors. We were first conducted to a large apartment, on the 
west side of the great square of the palace, where the three principal 
officers, Zoompoon*, Zoondonier '', and Zempi"^, had assembled to 
receive us. Here we rested until Zoondonier, who went to announce 
our arrival, returned to usher us into the presence of the Daeb, We 
followed him, the other officers with many Zeenkaubs accompanying 
us, through several passages, and up a number of lofty ladders, which 
connect the different floors, till at length we arrived at the elevated 
station occupied by the Raja, near the summit of the citadel. 

After a short pause upon the landing place, the door was thrown 
open, and we wei-e ushered into a small, but well proportioned room, 
having on the west side an arched balcony with sliding curtains, being 
the only aperture for the admission of light, immediately opposite to 

* Commandant or keeper of the castle of Tassisudon. '' Treasurer. 

• Cup-bearer to the Daeb Raja, and master of the ceremonies. 


the door by which we entered, and before which a skreen projected 
nearly one-third of the breadth of the room. The remaining space on the 
wall, beyond the skreen, was decorated with the portraits, wrought in 
silk, of some champions of their faith, as stiff and formal as any heroes 
that ever appeared in tapestry. The walls of the room were coloured 
with blue, and the arches of the balcony, pillars, doors, kc. were 
painted with vermilion, and ornamented with gilding. The Raja was 
habited in a deep garnet-coloured cloth, and sat cross-legged upon a 
pile of cushions, in the remote corner of the room, with the balcony 
upon his right hand ; upon his left side stood a cabinet of -diminu- 
tive idols, and a variety of consecrated trinkets ; close upon his 
right was placed an escruloir, for the deposit of papers required to 
be at hand ; and before him was a small painted bench, to place 
his tea cup on, and answering all the other purposes of a table. We 
each advanced, presenting, one after the other, a white silk scarf, or 
long narrow piece of pelong, fringed at both ends (as is the custom in 
these countries), to the Raja, who, keeping his seat all the time, took 
them in his hand, and passed them to his Zempi. I delivered also into 
his hand, the Governor General's dispatches, which he received with 
a smile upon his countenance, looking upon them, and nodding with 
a slow motion of the head several times, before he laid them upon the 
bench before him. On the other side of the room were placed, 
immediately opposite to the Raja, three separate piles of cushions ; 
the Raja extending his arm, pointed to them, and at the same time 
with his hand directed us to be seated. It was some time before the 
last of our attendants had entered, and made the usual obeisance : they 



then ranged themselves behind us, on the same side of the room by 
which they entered ; the three officers stood in front of the balcony, 
between us and the Raja, and the interpreters by them. 

When the commotion of setthng in our respective places had ceased, 
and silence ensued, the Raja addressed me with many earnest and-' 
particular enquiries respecting the Governor General; he congratulated' 
us on our safe arrival at Tassisudon, and expressed his apprehensions 
for the fatigue and inconvenience, we might have endured in travel- 
ling through a country, abounding with so many natural difficulties,, 
and so scantily furnished with the necessaries of life. 

I was happy in the opportunity thus afforded me, of paying every 
acknowledgment due to the civilities and attention, we had experi* 
enced in the course of our progress ; I expressed my thanks also for 
the ample supplies of provision provided for us, by the inhabitants and 
his officers, at every stage, as well as for the diligence and good care oi 
the guide, who had conducted us from the frontier of his dominions. 

The Raja was not wanting in attention to the superior members of 
our government, but asked respectively after the health of the gentle- 
men of the Supreme Council, and the Chief Justice; and in endea- 
vouring to convey to me an adequate idea of the strength of his regard' 
and friendship for the Governor, he used various modes of expression,- 
which he concluded with the action of advancing his arms, and bending- 
the forefingers of each hand, linking them one in the other, and puUing 
them at right angles, with a strong exertion, as if to give force to his- 
sentiments. The letter I delivered, being written in the Persian Ian- 
"^ guage, could not be then read ; for there were none among his servants,. 

BOO TAN. fi9 

or all his subjects, who were conversant in it. The Bengalee language 
is die only one, differing from their own, in which any business or 
correspondence is carried on; and in this, their commercial inter- 
course with Bengal, as well as what relates to the territory situated 
on its borders, is always and exclusively transacted. This was inti- 
mated to me; and I was asked, whether the delivery of the letter I liad 
borne from the Governor, was my only motive for coming to Tassi- 
sudon. So pointed and laconic a question was quite unexpected; but 
I answered it, by briefly stating the reasons that induced the Governor 
General, at this time in particular, to depute a person to the Lama's 
court; and added, that, when I learnt the road to Tibet lay through 
his dominions, and not very distant from his capital, knowing also his 
attachment to the Governor, as well as having heard the fame of his 
exalted name, it became an object of much anxiety with me, to have 
the honour of paying my respects to the friend of my patron, and to 
a prince of so great renown. With respect to any other reasons there 
might be, for my waiting upon him, the contents of the letter would 
amply explain them. 

Three small benches, similar to that before the Raja, were brought 
and placed before us ; and presently a servant came, bearing a large 
tea pot of white metal, embossed, and highly ornamented with some 
other metal, of a yellow colour. He approached the Raja, and then 
giving a circular turn to the tea-pot, so as to agitate and mix its con- 
tents, he poured a quantity into the palm of his hand, which he had • ^ 
contracted to form as deep a concave as possible, and hastily sipped 
it up. To account for a custom which has so little either of grace. 


[ or delicacy, in its observance, however recommended by extensive 
fashion^ we are obliged to have recourse to the suspicions suggested in 

B. remoter times, by the frequent and treacherous use of poison. Hence 
originated a caution, in which the national character of this people 
readily disposed them to acquiesce ; and the same jealousy and dis- 
trust, which gave birth to its adoption, has contributed inviolably to 

) preserve it to the present day ; so that however humble, or exalted 
the rank of the person, who introduces to his guests the refreshment 
of tea, the cup-bearer, which is an office of the hrst credit, never pre- 
sumes to offer it, without previously drinking some of the liquor that 
he brings. 

The Raja held out, upon the points of the fingers of his right 
handj a shallow lacquered cup, of small circumference, which was 
filled with tea. Three cups had been sent, and were set down before 
us ; the Raja directed his servant to fill them also ; still holding the 
cup in his right hand, he repeated, in a low and hollow tone of voice, 
a long invocation; and afterwards dipping the point of his finger three 
times into the cup, he threw as many drops upon the floor, by way 
of oblation, and then began to sip his tea. Taking this as a signal, we 
followed the example, and partook of the dishes of parched rice, that 
were served up with it. We found this liquor extremely unlike what 
we had been used to drink, under the same name; it was a compound 
of water, flour, butter, salt, and bohea tea, with some other astringent 
ingredients, all boiled, beat up, and intimately blended together. 
I confess the mixture was by no means to my taste, and we had hi- 
therto shunned, as much as possible, these unpalatable libations, yet 

BO O TA N. 71 

we now deemed it necessary to submit to some constraint; and having 
at last, with a tolerable grace, swallowed the tea, we yet found 
ourselves very deficient in the conclusion of the ceremony. The Raja 
with surprising dexterity turned the cup, as he held it fast betwixt 
his fingers, and in an instant passed his tongue over every part of it ; 
so that it was sufficiently cleansed to be wrapped in a piece of scarlet 
sjlk, which bore evident marks of having been not very recently de- 
voted to this service. The officers, who had entered with us, were not 
permitted to partake of this repast, and, but for the honour of it, we 
would willingly have declined so flattering a distinction. They spoke 
several times during our visit, delivering themselves deliberately in a 
ready flow of language, by no means inharmonious, with confidence, 
but at the same time with profound respect. 

The Raja descanted on the very limited produce of his mountains, 
and magnified greatly the scarcity of provisions, yet begged me to 
command every thing that the country could supply. Trays of fruit 
were placed before us, consisting of oranges, dried apples, walnuts, 
vegetables, and some preserved fruits of China and Cashmeer. He 
delivered to the Zempi, or master of the ceremonies, a silk scarf for 
each of us, which being thrown across our slioulders, he dismissed us, 
with many admonitions to be careful of our health, and wishes that it 
might suffer no injury from the change of climate. 

We then took leave, and returned to our quarters, with no unfa- 
vourable impression of the Raja, from his manner and reception of us. 
His figure was much concealed, from the attitude in which he conti- 
nued sitting all the lime, cross-legged, and enveloped in a quantity of 


•; / 

72 BO OTA N. 

thick frieze-Ilke woollen cloth; yet he exhibited enough of his person 
to shew that he was tall, and muscular in his make, but not inclined 
to corpulency. His garment was of the religious order; a close vest, ^ 
leaving the arm bare to tlie shoulder, unless when drawn beneath 
the mantle, which serves occasionally to cover the head, and reaches 
almost to the feet. 

His reception of us, was supported with dignity and good humour; 
he was grave, but animated; his behaviour collected and composed. 
He spoke rather in a low tone of voice, but very articulately; his 
delivery was accompanied with a moderate action; and the whole of 
his conduct, exhibited a degree of urbanity, that I confess surprised 
me, in one separated from intercourse with the world, by a mass of 
impervious mountains, and who was almost totally secluded from the 
sight of any other, than his -own subjects. 

The next day, receiving an invitation from the Raja, I made him a 
second visit, and offered to his acceptance, a few English manufac- 
tures, and other things, which I iiad brought from Bengal. I omit 
the repetition of the ceremonious part of our interviews, which, as 
established by universal custom, is invariably and indispensably the 

An inferior, on approaching a superior, presents the white silk scarf; 
and, vvlien dismissed, has one thrown over his neck, with the ends 
hanging down in front. Equals exchange scarfs on meeting, bending 
towards each other, with an inclination of the body. No intercourse 
whatever takes place without the intervention of a scarf; it always 
accompanies every letter, being enclosed in the same packet, however 

BOOT AN. 7 3 

distant the place to which it is dispatched. Two colours are in use 
for this manufacture, which is of China, white and red : the latter is 
rather confined to the lower orders : the white is respectful in pro- 
portion to its purity and fineness : there are various degrees in both. 
I am yet ignorant of the origin of this custom, but shall endeavour, at 
some future time, to. obtain an-explanation of it. 

A long conversation ensued.with the Raja on tlie dress and customs 
of the English. He admired, and minutely examined, every part of 
our clothes ; nor did the pockets least of all excite his wonder and 
surprise, by presenting such a number of comprehensive and concQaled 
resources. He gave due. credit to the convenience of our dress, its 
lightness, and the liberty it left to the limbs; but I, could plainly per- 
ceive he judged its structure defective, as differing from his own, in 
shewing too plainly the general outline of the body. Thus it is, that 
the less enlightened Booteea, accustomed to observe the dignity of 
human character exist in factitious concealment, looks for importance 
in exterior ornament : divest his sacred superior of tiie robe of state, 
and his pontifical insignia, and he would, no doubt, conclude all aa- 
thority and religion to be entirely at an end.. 

The Raja exercised his liincy in endeavouring to trace a resemblance 
between the natives of Bootan and Englishmen ; but there was more 
of ingenuity, than trutii in the picture. Woollen cloths for raiment, 
meat, spirits, and tea, it is true, are in equal use amongst us; and the 
Booteea, like ourselves, is an utter stranger to the subtle niceties and 
refined distinctions of the Hindoo, which constitute the infinitely 
absurd perplexity that results from Cast ; yet nothing can be more. 


dilTerent than our habits, and our manners. I had a pleasure in recog- 
nising a more striicing similitude in the productions of his country 
and our own, as well as in the temperature of the climate. We had 
often met with strav/berries and raspberries growing wild, in great 
abundance; and had seen apple, walnut, pear, peach, and apricot 
trees; the ash, the birch, the maple, yew, pine, and fir; but I looked 
for the oak in vain. The forests abounded with other handsome timber 
trees, to wiiose names and kinds I was equally a stranger. 

The Raja expressed a wish that my servants should leave the room. 
He then began to lay aside something of his formality, and conversed 
with less reserve. He dwelt much upon his friendship for tlie Governor 
General, and ascribed a durability to their connexion, in strict unison 
with the doctrine of the metempsychosis. He told me that he under- 
stood the contents of the Governor's letter, in which I was mentioned 
in high expressions of confidence and regard ; and assured me of the 
particular satisfaction he experienced, in seeing a person so intimately 
known to, and deputed by, his friend ; enjoining me to esteem him in 
the same light. Then carrying on an allusion, which agreed per- 
fectly with the tenets of their faith, he claimed with Mr. Hastings 
the nearest spiritual alliance ; and, rejecting every degree of mortal 
relation;, asserted theirs to be no other than emanations from the same 
soul ; thus indicating a new species of affinity of unlimited extent 
and compass; embracing, in one comprehensive system, tlie imma- 
terial spirit, or animating principle of all the good and great, uncon- 
fined to place^ to nation, or religion, but indelibly distinguished by a 
more permanent and definite similitude, than the operation of nature 

BO OTAN. 75 

ever accidentally stamps, upon the perishable materials of the human 

The Raja produced many unbroken seals, carefully cut from let- 
ters, and observed how much he prized every thing he liad received 
from the Governor's hand. I cannot pretend to follow him through 
the variety of expression, by which he strove to testify the strength 
and sincerity of his friendship; but it all tended to convince me, 
that he knew at least very well, what belonged to gratitude and affec- 
tion. He asked me many questions about a view of the palace of 
Punukka, his winter residence, which he had sent to Mr. Hastings : 
I had seen it in Calcutta, and assured him that it was received. He 
expressed his wishes for a picture of the Governor's habitation ; and 
a question arose, if either of us could draw. My interpreter (with that 
false policy which is inseparable from a suspicious mind), eagerly grasp- 
ing at an evasion, began to answer, that an Englishman was master of 
every art and science; astronomy, geography, mathematics, mechanics. 
I stopped him; for no vanity could allow such indiscriminate and 
preposterous praise ; and I told the Raja in plainer terms, that drawing 
constituted in England a branch of education; and that as we made 
imequal progress in the art, I could boast but little skill in it, but that 
my friend Mr. Davis had attained a great degree of perfection. Mr. 
Davis happened to have with him, a view of Calcutta, which he had 
taken from Fort William, comprehending the line of buildings that 
skirt the esplanade, and the shipping on the river : it had sustained 
some damage from the carriage; but he promised, as soon as it could be 
repaired, to present it to the Raja. The employment of an mterpreter 



was no less troublesome, than protractive of our conferences ; the hour 
of two had passed ; tea was introduced, of which we drank with the 
Raja. We received presents of fruits and vegetables, and retired to 
our house. 

It was expected, and seemed necessary, that we should pay the 
superior officers under government, the compliment of a visit ; I dis- 
patched therefore a messenger to each of them; and, a convenient time 
being appointed, we proceeded the following day, to perform the cere- 
mony. They were all three accommodated in the palace ; and, though 
invested with offices of different duty, were looked upon as nearly of 
equal rank. Their titles, artd, as well as I could understand, the nature 
of their employments were as follow: first, theTasse-Zoompoon, who 
is commandant of the castle of Tassisudon, keeper of warlike stores, 
and governor of all that tract of covuitry over which we had travelled, 
between the capital, and the Company's dominions. Second, the Zoon- 
donier, who is treasurer, as well as captain-general of all the forces, 
which in times of emergency he heads in person. Thii-d, the Zempi, 
who is master of ceremonies, cup-bearer^ and keeper of the wardrobe ; 
fie is constantly attendant upon the Raja, and conducts the plan of all 
!iis operations: his office, being rather of a private nature, is of less 
ostensible consequence than the other two ; but, as he is always near 
the person of the Raja, and consequently supposed to be a lavourite, 
his situation gives him weight in the general estimation. 

We were first conducted to the apartment of the Tasse-Zoompoon» 
whom we met on the day of our introduction to the Raja, in the west 
angle of the palace. He was a corpulent, unwieldy figure, and not of 


the most polished manners; but what was wanting in this respect, was 
amply compensated, by an abundant share of good humour. The Zoon- 
donier was tall and athletic, and gave striking indications of a better 
understanding than his associate in office : he possessed at tl'.e same 
time an easier and more, spirited address. In the beginning of his 
career in life, he had been employed somewhere on the skirjLs of tiie 
mountains, and had picked up a few words of the Bengalee. lan- 
guage, which he was fond of repeating. The ceremony of exchanging 
a pelong scarf passed between us: tea, of course, we were obliged 
to partake of, which is never omitted, let visits be made ever so 
frequently, at any hour of the day. There was nothing worthy re- 
capitulation, in these visits; mere common-place offers of civility on 
their part, acknowledgments on mine, and mutual wishes to be better 

The day was far advanced, when .we left the Zoorapoon and Zoon- 
donier, so that we were obliged to postpone our visit to theZempi, until 
the following day. We then found him occupying apartments adjoin- 
ing to that in which we were introduced to the Daeb, to whom he is 
nearly related. He was a well-formed young man, neither tall nor corpu- 
lent, about twenty-four years of age; remarkably mild in his manners, 
and of an open and ingenuous deportment. He had less reserve than 
either of the other ministers, and seemed as yet to have contracted none 
of the austere habits of high office. He expressed himself earnestly 
solicitous to cultivate a friendly and familiar intimacy; urging as an 
inducement, his relative situation, and his age; observing, that in this 
last respect, there was not much disparity between any of us. 


Before we left the Zempi, a messenger from the Daeb invited us to 
his presence. The Zeenkaubs, who accompanied me from Rungpore 
had, I found, fallen under the Raja's displeasure. They interceded 
with me to mediate their peace ; and, accordingly, I made a point, on 
this next visit, of carrying them with me. After the usual ceremonies 
of introduction, and the common compliments, had passed upon our 
meeting, I prefaced the business of their mission, by bringing the 
Zeenkaubs, his servants, to the Raja's notice ; and, apprehensive that 
they had forfeited his favour by some inadvertent error, begged leave 
to recommend them to his forgiveness ; highly commending, at the- 
same time, their zeal and fidelity in his service. The Raja replied, that 
they had indeed been guilty of a crime of the highest nature, in having 
returned without receiving his order, or even asking his permission; 
he added, that it was an immutable law among his subjects, that a. 
person charged by him with the execution of any duty, could never, 
while he had life and breath, recede from the prosecution of what he- 
had undertaken, or return to his presence, without having completely 
accomplished the object of his mission, unless by special authority. 
A striking instance of this implicit deference to the commands of their 
superior, occurred upon my return to Bengal. The Raja had deputed 
two of his Zeenkaubs, to accompany me to Calcutta, charged with- 
no particular business, but chiefly out of comphment to me, and 
to bring him the earliest account of my safe arrival. On coming to- 
Rungpore, I learnt that the Governor General was preparing for a 
journey to the upper provinces of Hindostan. I soon afterwards re- 
ceived his commands to cross the country, and join him upon the road. 


I had the greatest difficulty imaginable, in dissuading the Zeenkaubs 
from persisting in their intention to go with me. In vain did I state 
to these hardy mountaineers, the dangers of a burning sun, and the 
fury of the scorching winds; tJiese conveyed no terror to their minds, 
equal to the displeasure of tlie Daeb; and at last I was obliged to leave 
them, rather m the helpless condition of being unable to follow me, 
than convinced of the extravagant wildness of their scheme; 

Having urged every thing that occurred to me, in extenuation of 
their crime, apparently without much effect, I was obliged at last to 
own, that the Zeenkaubs had yielded to the advice of Mr. Goodlad"^ 
and myself, and not acted of their own accord. I observed, that I had 
taken upon myself thus much to answer for, being charged with par- 
ticular dispatches from the Governor General, and entrusted with a 
confidential, communication upon the business of tiieir mission, Avhich 
•respected the ancient boundary, between the Company's provinces and 
Bootan. Concluding from hence, that their residence at Rungpore was 
■by no means necessary, and thinking that, having been much among 
the English, and being conversant with our manners, they might 
render to me and my companions, material service in conducting us 
through a country, in which we were equally strangers to the customs 
and the language, I had ventured to determine upon their departure. 
The Raja then turned to me with much good humour, and said, 
" Well, since Ihear so favouiable a report of them, and as they acted 
by your direction, if they had been guilty of ten thousand crimes, I 
would pardon them all:" he added, " as being my servants, they wero. 
* The Company's Resident at Rungpore. 


equally at your command, and did right in obeying you." They were 
now called into the presence, and made before the Raja, nine prostra- 
tions, which is the obeisance paid to him by his subjects, whenever 
they are permitted to approach ; and I had the satisfaction to witness 
< their being re-admitted into favour. 

I omit the repetition of all that passed, relative to the business 
of my commission : an inexhaustible succession of obstacles were 
urged to oppose the prosecution of it, to obviate which occupied 
almost all my time, and constituted the principal subject of every con- 
ference. To attempt the recital here, would be entering into a tire- 
some detail, widely deviating from my present design, which is, an 
endeavour to delineate the appearance of a region, little known, 
and to mark so much of the manners of the people, as, from an im- 
mediate intercourse with them, attracted my observation. 

-The Raja had invited us to dine in his apartment, which we were 
assured, was the highest mark of distinction and goodwill, he could 
possibly confer; since no person in his own dominions, even of the 
most distinguished rank, ever aspired to the honour of eating in his 
presence: but we were strangers, from a distant country, and his 
guests. By particular desire, the table was spread with our own camp 
equipage, and the dinner was dressed by my servants, much more to our 
satisfaction, than if furnished lirom the Raja's kitchen; for we had as 
yet seen nothing to attach us to Bootan cookery. As sdon as the Rajahs 
frugal fare was brought, a plate of roots and boiled rice, we began the 
meal. He eat with ivory chopsticks, and sometimes used' a spoon, -l 
invited him to taste our wine and sweetmeats, which lie declined ; 

B O O T A N, 81 

giving me to understand, that whoever assumed his robe (meaning the 
relio^ious dress), is bound to abstain from every sort of inebriating,- ,, U' 
liquor. However, considering that one who had absolution in his 
hands, might venture at an experiment, wliich a common subject dared 
not presume to make, in case a strong impulse of curiosity should 
occur, I left the means to gratify it — claret and raspberry jam. I cannot 
say what became of them ; but a few days after, I had an application 
for a fresh supply of the former, with no intention, I believe,^ that it 
should be reserved among the relics. We talked much of entertain- 
ments, and I attempted the description of an English one. 

The Boora Soobah, now Toonso Pilo ', who some years ago^ soon, 
after the conclusion of the war with Bootan, was deputed by the Daeb 
Raja to the Governor General, the first of his nation who had ever 
been in Calcutta, had been present at one of Mrs. Hastings's concerts, 
and, on his return, had given a very lively accaunt of it, accompanied 
of course with such observations, as resulted from the strong impres- 
sion, which a scene so novel, must naturally leave on a Booteea's mind. 
What my mterpreter repeated, might serve to revive the recollection ; 
for the Raja listened with attention, looked pleased, and wished himself 
a spectator in a concert, or a ball room. But to return to our dinner. 
He was exceedingly astonished at the variety of eatables and liquors 
that composed an English meal ; and could by no means conceive, in 
his own mind, the advantage of such an heterogeneous mixture : he 

' That is the Governor of Toonso ; Pilo is the general title of provincial governor of \ 
the highest order, and Toonso the name of the capital of the province. Soobah is the I 
title given to governors of inferior rank. 

82 BOOT AN. 

was no less surprised to hear that, with us, almost every quarter of 
the globe, contributed to a very moderate repast. " My food," says he, 
" consists of the simplest articles ; grain, roots of the earth, and fruits. 
I never eat of any thing that has had breath ; for so I should be the 
indirect cause of putting an end to the existence of animal life, which, 
by our religion, is strictly forbidden." 

After his meal, he drank tea out of a sort of china cup, which only 
the sovereign Lama has a right to use : it would be little less than 
sacrilege, were any other person to drink from one of the same form. 
He favoured us with some dried coagulated milk, fried in butter, but of 
so stubborn a substance, that I suppose no process could ever tend to 
mollify it; I did not deem it safe, therefore, to submit it to the powers 
of digestion. He sent us also a piece of some boiled root : it was 
small, white, and knotty, of a sweetish taste, and reckoned nutritive. 
A small quantity of honey, that accompanied this present, gave rise 
to a conversation on bees. I described to him the mode of hiving 
them in England, and our profitable management of that industrious 

He said, that the common people, in his country, were at some 
pains in the encouragement of bees, and at a proper season collected 
their honey and wax. We had repeatedly seen large cakes of the 
comb, pendant from the projecting balconies, to the bottom of which 
they were attached, hanging always clear of the wall. Their thickness 
seldom exceeded six inches : every subsequent addition contributed to 
increase their breadth or length. The form was irregular, but I think I 
have seen them three or four feet long. Their being allowed to remain 



long unmolested is, I believe, the only attention paid to bees in Rootan. 
They appeared to me of the same species with the English, small, 
short, and yellow. The Raja added, " But these, by my direction, are 
never disturbed: their labour is employed for the bcneiit of the com- ; / 
munity, in laying up a stock, which serves to rear their young, and as 
a resource when they cease to find food abroad. Were I, availing 
myself of superior power, to deprive them of this store, accumulated 
for their future support, how could I expect to enjoy unmolested, that 
of which I am myself possessed?" His conversation abounded with 
similar observations, introduced as frequently as the subject will admit, 
and they breathed sentiments highly honourable to the humane spirit of 
their religious faith. It grew late; the evening approached; we retired 
to take our walk, and left the Raja to his customary devotions. 

The Gylongs assemble in their chapels three times a day, for the 
performance of religious service ; in th.e morning, at noon, and at 
nio-ht. We were regularly roused at the earliest dawn of day, by the 
clamorous noise of numerous instruments, to whose sound they chanted 
their orisons. At twelve, the Gylongs met again to perform their de- 
votions, and the evening closed with their prayers. The gates of the 
palace were then shut, as well for the sake of tranquillity and safety,;: 
as to prevent a violation of their rigid rules of chastity. Fifteen hun- , 
dred Gylongs are contained within these walls, and not a female lodges^ 
under the same roof. The religious, from their first introduction into 
the order, are bound by its laws to celibacy, and are interdicted, by the 
severest penalties, from all connexion with the female sex : the benefit 
of some friendly offices they are, nevertheless, not denied: and I 



/ remarked, that the prettiest women I saw were employed iu carrying 

I water into the palace. 

Though the life ol a Gylong be in an extreme degree, sedentary and 
recluse, yet, whether it may be ascribed or not to regularity and tem- 
perance, they are certainly fairer in their complexions, and more ath- 
letic, than the rest of their countrymen. The former advantage, indeed, 
of which they boast, may be imputed to a very obvious cause ; as they 
are less exposed to the weather, exempt from labour, and more atten- 
tive to personal cleanliness, than the rest of their nation. 

We used to see them passing in procession, at the base of the emi- 
nence on which our habitation stood, in order to cross the bridge, and 
proceed over a small plain, on the other side, to a little island, at a 
short distance, where they undressed, and laved their brawny limbs in 
the waters of the Tehintchieu, This resort of the Gylongs was visible 
from our windows ; and as they went half naked into the water, such 
a promiscuous assemblage, afforded a fair opportunity of forming a 
just judgment of their figure: and I know not where in the world, 
an equal number of men would be met with, so straight, so well pro- 
portioned, and so stout. This may be taken as a general character: and 
I do not remember a single instance of deformity in the space through 
which I have travelled, unless we reckon as such, the glandular swelling 
of the throat, of which 1 shall presently speak more particularly. 

The Booteeas have invariably black hair, which it is their fiisiiion to 
cut, close to the head. The eye is a very remarkable feature of the 
face: small, black, with long pointed corners, as thougli stretched and 
extended by artificial means. Their eyelashes are so thin, as to be 


ficarcely perceptible ; and the eyebrow is but slightly shaded. Below 
the eyes, is the broadest part of the face, which is rather flat, and nar- 
rows from the cheekbones to the chin; a character of countenance ap- 
pearing first to take its rise among the Tartar tribes, but is by far more 
strongly marked in the Chinese. Their skins are remarkably smooth, 
and most of them arrive at a very advanced age, before they can boast 
even the earliest rudiments of a beard : they cultivate whiskers, but 
the best they produce, are of a scanty straggling growth. In this heroic 
acquisition I quickly surpassed them ; and one of my Mogul attendants, 
for the luxuriancy of his, was the admiration of them all. Many of these 
mountaineers arc more than six feet high ; and, taken altogether, 
they have a complexion not so dark by several shades as that of the 
European Portugueze. 

Though it be somewhat to their discredit, yet impartiality obliges 
me to own, that my new friends were far from having any very nice 
notions of cleanliness. The ablution I have just noticed, is a prac- 
tice connected with their religion, and not repeated more frequently 
than it enjoins. The ministers, it may be observed, are totally a 
distinct class, confined solely to the duties of their faith ; and the 
common people, pretending to no interference in matters of spiritual 
concern, leave religion, with all its forms and ceremonies, to those who 
are attached from early habit to its obligations, prejudices, and pre- 
scriptions : and hence, no doubt, many find an apology for abjuring the 
use of water, as nature offers it, either on their persons^ or at their 
meals. During our stay at Tassisudon, the Gylongs marched regularly 
once in every succeeding week, to the performance of this salutary 


tercmouv. They were conducted by a senior of ilieir order, siylcd 
Gooroobah, who led the procession, carrying an iron pot, suspended 
by a chain to the end of a long wand, and smoking with various sorts 
of aromatic woods: all the rest followed in his train, forming a long 
line, which reached from the palace-gate beyond the bridge. They 
were all uniform in their appearance, with the head, legs, and ktt 
bare. Tijeir dress was extremely simple : it consisted of three pieces ; 
a philibeg hanging nearly as low as the knee, a short vest of woollen 
cloth, without sleeves, and over the whole, a large oblong mantle of 
deep crimson cloth, folded round the body in an artful, but apparently 
negligent, and easy manner. It was first passed across the breast, then 
under the left arm behind the back ; it was permitted to.descend from 
the shoulders to the feet, and the other end was collected and thrown 
to rest upon the left shoulder; the right arm was left bare, and uncon- 
fined, but might be occasionally drawn under the mantle, which ad- 
mitted also of being lifted up, to cover the head : the left arm lay across 
the chest, and in the right they carried their rosaries^ scanning their 
beads as they walked along with dexterous rapidity- 

The unsightly tumour to which I alluded, known in Bengal by the 
name of G/ieig, and Jubi, and which in Boofan is called Ba, or Ke Ba, 
Ihe neck swelling, forms itself immediately below the chin, extending 
from ear to ear, and grows sometimes to such an enormous size, as to 
hang from the throat down upon the breast. The same disorder is. 
known to prevail in many parts of Europe; in Italy, near the Alps; 
Stiria, Carinthia, the Ukraine, and the Tyrol ; it is distinguished by 
the name of Goiter. It is particularly observable among the inhabitants 

BOOTAff. ' 87 

of the hills of Bootan, immediately bordering upon B'eiTa:al, and in 
the tract of low country watered by the rivers that flow from them 
to the souths beyond the space of a degree of latitude ; but it is not 
peculiar to these regions. The same malady prevails among the 
people inhabiting the Morung, Nipal, and Almora hills, which, 
joined to those of Bootan, run in continuation, and bound to the 
northward, that extensive tract of low land, embraced by the Ganges 
and the Berhampooter. Both these rivers, originally flawing from 
nearly the same source, upon quitting this chain, take their final leave 
of the mountains, at the wide distance of near a thousand miles from 
each other, and both afterwards run through a flat country, in copious 
navigable streams, until they join together, and flow into the sea. 

This same disease is also more particularly met with in the lowlands, 
adjacent to these hills. From the frontier of Assam, which I reckon to 
be in the twenty-seventh degree of north latitude and ninety-first de- 
gree of east longitude, it is to be traced through Bijnee, Cooch Bahar, 
Rungpore, Dinagepore, Purnea, Tirroot, and Betiah, along the north- 
ern boundary of Owd, in Gooracpore, Barraitch, Pillibeat, and on tlie 
confines of Rohilcund, to Hurdewar, which is situated in thirty degrees 
north latitude, and seventy-eight degrees twenty-five minutes east lon- 
gitude. This wen, as I before observed, in Europe is called Goiter, 
and has the effect, or rather is accompanied witii the effect, arising 
from the same cause, of dcbilitatino; both the bodies and the minds of 
those who are affected with it. The whole extent of this low land,, 
immediately joining to the hills, is skirted by a broad belt, from ten 
to twenty miles in depth, abounding with the most exuberant vege- 


tation, from tliat succulent and rank reed, termed in Bengal, augeah- 
gaus, which grows to the height of thirty feet, and is as thick as the 
wrist, to the most compact and loftiest timber of the forest. It is hardly 
necessary to add, that from this exhaustless store, the remotest provinces 
of India, derive an ample supply of the best materials for constructing 
boats, and for all the purposes of building. As a proper appendage of 
so grand a scene, there are here found innumerable herds of that inva- 
luable animal, the elephant, which a beneficent Providence has given, 
to ease the labour of a slothful and feeble race, and has wisely fitted 
him for his employment, by a docility equal to his strength. 

EQOTAN.. 89 


The Valley oj Tassisiidon. — Palace of the Chief- — its extensive Ac- 
commodation containing all the Officers of State, a very numerous 
Establishment of Gylongs, and a Temple of Worship. — Coldness 
of the Season — Buildings ill calculated to obviate its Effects. — The 
Rajah's Stud. — Ancient Site of Tassisudon. — Palace of Lam' Ghas- 
satoo. — Mode of supplying the Valley with Water from the sur- 
rounding Hills. — The sacred Sentence enclosed in Temples, in- 
scribed on Tablets, on Flags, and on Rocks. — Brahmennee, or 
sacred Bull. — Artisans — Paper Manufactory. — Season of the Rains 
moderate — general Salubrity of our Situation. — Poshtee. — An E.v~ 
cursion. — IVandeechy. — Settlements of the Religious. — A Recluse. 
— Caution of tlie Daeb. — Mr. Saunders taken ill — Incantations for. 
his Recovery. 

XJLAviNG at lengtli a little time to breathe from the occupations of 
ceremony, and the no less important concern of domestic arrangements, 
1 shall endeavour to give a general idea of the valley of Tassisudon. A 
narrow slip of three or four miles in length, and in its widest part not 
exceeding one mile in breadth, has been made choice of for the situ- 
ation of the capital. It may rather be termed, I think, a softened glen, 
which lying betwixt the vast mountains that give a passage to the river 


Tehintchieu, ornament its border, by an easy slope of their bases to its 
sides ; thus forming a bank of the richest soil, which the industrious 
Booteca well knows how to cultivate. It was, upon our arrival, luxuri- 
antly clothed with the most promising crops of rice, which, in defect 
of rain, all the springs of the surrounding mountains, are artificially 
conducted to fertilize. There is no town, nor indeed any house, except 
* that which we occupied, within a mile of the palace; but a few clusters 
of houses, distributed in different parts among the fields, when the eye 
is weary of contemplating the bold features of near and distant moun- 
tains, and scanning their wonderful combinations, serve as points of 
rest, and call back the wandering mind from a rude incoherent chaos, 
to repose amidst the fruitful and ingenious efforts of husbandry and 

The castle, or palace, of Tassisudon* stands near the centre of the 
valley, and is a building of stone, of a quadrangular form. The length 
of the front, exceeds that of the sides by one-third : the walls are lofty, 
and as I conjecture upwards of thirty feet high, and they are sloped a 
little from the foundation to the top : above the middle space, is a row 
'^ of projecting balconies, to each of which are curtains made of black 
hair, which are always draAvn at night : below, the walls are pierced 
with very small windows, which I judge to be intended rather for the 
purpose of admitting air, than light. There are two entrances into the 
palace : the one facing the south is by a flight of wooden steps, edged 
with plates of iron, beginning on a level with the ground on the out- 
side, and rising to the more elevated terrace within^ the whole being 

' Plate VI. 

BOO TAN. 91 

comprehended within the thickness of the walL The other, the grand 
entrance, is on the east ft-ont, which is ascended by a flight of stone 
steps. Even with these we entered a spacious gateway, having two 
massy doors, fortified with knobs of iron, which stand above the sur- 
face of the wood ; a large bar of timber, sHding within the masonry, 
serves to secure them when siiut. We passed through this gateway, 
and came opposite to the central square building, which I must call \ 
the citadel ; and this is the habitation of the supreme Lama. It con- 
tains also the chief of their idols, Mahamoonie, amidst a multitude of 
others of inferior note. Both to the right and left, the way leads to 
spacious squares, paved with flat stones, and to the apartments of the 
Lama. The citadel is connected with the western angle ; and there is 
a communication from the varanda, or covered gallery, which adjoins 
to it. The citadel is a very lofty building, being no less than seven 
stories high, each from fifteen to eighteen feet; it is covered over 
with a roof of a low pitch, composed of fir timbers, sheathed with 
boards of deal, which project on each side a great way beyond the 
walls ; from the centre, there rises a square piece of masonry, which 
supports a canopy of copper, richly gilt ; and this is supposed to be 
immediately over the great idol, Mahamoonie. Lam' Rimbochay, the 
present Daeb Raja, lives upon the fourth floor from the ground; above 
that, there arc two other stories ; and the seventh ladder leads to the 
temple of Mahamoonie, which is covered with the gilded cdnopy. 

We now left the citadel^ to take a view of the rest of the building, 
and found the east, west, and soutii angles, exactly corresponding with 
each other, in having apartments on the ground floor appropriated for 


92. BOOTAN. 

depositing all kinds of stores. A covered gallery, runs all round 
them ; beneath which are subterraneous places, serving for kitchens. 
A range of good rooms, with boarded floors, on the first story, accom- 
/ modates all the officers of state, who are attendant on the Raja ; and 
I these again, towards the square, are skirted by a deep varanda, sup- 
ported by a row of handsome pillars, whose capitals are ornamented 
with carved work and gilding, and their sides painted with ver- 
milion. The varandas are lofty and broad, and are not, in my opinion, 
without an air of magnificence. 

Over this story, is a sort of terrace of cement, with rooms more 
roughly finished, which are intended for the inferior officers, styled 
Zeenkaubs ; they are covered only by the roof, which is constructed 
in the usual manner, of cross beams of fir, resting upon upright posts, 
and planks of deal placed on them, with large stones to keep them 
down. These beams are supported high above the walls, and project 
far beyond them. The north square is, in appearance, a very confused 
assemblage of apartments ; I fear, therefore, that it will scarcely be 
possible to give an intelligible description of it : let it then suffice to 
say, that it is composed of a motley mixture of kitchens, cells, and 


We had now become tolerably well settled in our quarters ; but, not- 
withstanding a vertical sun, the coldness of the weather, to our feel- 
ings, who had been so lately accustomed to the hot region of Bengal, 
recalled the idea of something beyond the rigour of an Indian winter; 
and consequently our first care, after taking possession of our mansion, 
was employed in fining the wainscots of the apartments, with the thickest 



woollen cloths the country could supply, and in constructing curtains 
as a defence against the piercing winds, that pervaded the apertures of i 
the balconies. While engaged in thus guarding ourselves against the ' 
cold, in order more effectually to obviate its effects, the erection of a 
fireplace became a matter of serious deliberation; but, before we had 
finally fixed upon the plan, and procured materials for executing it, 
milder weather succeeded, and induced us to drop the design ; an event, 
much to be regretted by the present and future race of Booteeas, who, 
destitute of this most necessary convenience, are obliged to have 
recourse, to a very offensive way of warming their rooms. The best 
contrivance in general use, to prevent the fire, when kindled, from 
communicating to the timbers which compose the chief part of every 
house, is a large Hat stone. This being placed in the middle of the 
room, the company range themselves round it, prepared to put up 
with volumes of pine smoke, which, having no exit but by the win- 
dows and doors, never fails by its pungency to annoy all who are 
present, and who at length partake of the same gloomy colour with the 
ceilings and the walls. 

Our habitation, which was within a stone's throw of the palace, 
was extremely commodious, and well adapted to our use. We entered, 
by a door on the south side, into a square court-yard ; not very large, 
but it served to confine our cattle, and, indeed, more than we wished 
to have there. The house was opposite the doorway, and filled one 
side of the square ; the other three sides were enclosed by buildings, 
which, not being so lofty as the house by one floor, held our baggage, 
and accommodated all our attendants. We inhabited" the upper story, 



which displayed a good suite of rooms, boarded, and divided by doors 
/ that turned on pivots. Tlie eastern front next the river had a commo- 
dious balcony, which projected sufficiently to command a view of as 
much of the valley as was visible from any one point, comprehending 
all the space from the bridge, far beyond the castle of Lam'Ghassatoo, 
north : nor, on the south, could any thing pass the palace that was not 
equally subject to our view, which was at length terminated by a very 
handsome cluster of pines growing opposite to Wangoka, and nar- 
rowing the valley almost to a point. 

To the south of the palace, on the road by which we had arrived at 
it, we thought there was little worthy of our notice ; our excursions 
were therefore commonly directed up the valley ; and during our re- 
sidence at Tassisudon, not an evening elapsed (unless when prevented 
by rain) in which we omitted to walk. 

The Raja's stud of horses, which lay a short mile towards the north, 
was one of the first objects that claimed our notice. It was well 
stocked with a choice collection of domestic and foreign cattle ; yet 
the visitor, if he expects to find a breed of Arabs, Persians, or any of 
the various casts of Toorkees, Tazees, or Magennes, so much esteemed 
in Hindostan, will be completely disappointed ; but, in their stead, he 
will see the Tangun, a strong and active sort of poney, which 1 have 
already described, admirably adapted to the country, and such as a 
traveller will not hesitate to prefer, in these regions, to the most valu- 
able and beautiful of the species. 

The Raja's stud contained also a variety of mules and Tartar geld- 
ings, both much esteemed for their docility and strength, which has con-: 

liOOTAN. 95 

ferred upon them a higher price, and a decided preference, with the 
opulent and the aged. There were also three or four fat handsome 
Toorkey horses, which somehow or other fell into the hands of the 
Booteeas, during their war with us upon their frontier. They had 
been brought, I was informed, by the way of Dalimcotta, the safest 
passage over the mountains to this place, where now it is their fate to 
remain prisoners in the stable, unless when taken abroad, to be loaded 
with superb trappings, and to act a part in some grand procession. 

Near this spot, I was told, the castle of Tassisudon was formerly 
situated ; but about fifteen years ago, during the inauspicious reign of 
Daeb Jeeder, being consumed by fire, the royal residence was in con- 
sequence removed nearer the centre, being the widest part of the. 

The low hill on which the palace, or residence, of Lam' Ghassatoo 
stands, is upon the left, and, as long as they lasted, we were induced 
to loiter away many an evening, in picking strawberries from its sides, 
.which were clothed with them from its foot to the very foundation of 
the palace walls. The Gylongs used to look at us from the windows 
with amazement; they, for their parts, hold this delicious little fruit in 
contempt, and abandon it to those, who have only to depend on the 
spontaneous productions of nature, for their support. The species we 
here found was pointed, conical, of a small size, like the alpine 
strawberry ; rather seedy, and not quite so high flavoured as those 
that grow in the woods of England. 

We sometimes extended our walk, by ascending a path that skirted 
an adjoining mountain : it was formed by the side of an aqueduct, that 


communicated with distant springs, and conveyed water, whenever the 
farmer saw occasion to avail himself of such a resource, to every part 
! of the valley. Three of these aqueducts were ranged one above the 
other, with a considerable space between them ; and, as w^e looked up 
/ to the Raja's villa above them, surrounded with well grown firs, and 
other choice trees, I thought them highly ornamental to the prospect. 

The hollowed trunks of large trees, w hich were in some parts fixed 
in the soil which covered the rock, and in others sustained by beams 
inserted in it, across deep dells, and along the sides of precipices, 
/ gave a passage to the waters. The eye could trace these conduits for 
I more than two miles in continuation ; they exist as noble though 
modest monuments of the genius of the people, and lose very little in 
comparison with the more costly models of antiquity. So plain but 
ingenious a contrivance certainly merits admiration, especially when 
we see the inventors of it intrenched, in impervious mountains, among 
whom, the sciences never yet became a study, and who are totally 
excluded, as well by natural impediments, as local prejudices^ from 
all communication with more enlightened nations. The most perfect 
comprehension of the science of hydraulics, could hardly, in the present 
instance, have suggested to them any improvement. 

Our return, when we chose to vary from the road by which we 
came, was in front of the palace of Lam' Ghassatoo'^, on the south 
side of which was a long narrow tract of level ground, supporting 
many tall flagstafis, that had narrow banners of white cloth reaching 
nearly from one end to the other, and inscribed with the mystic words, 


BOO TAN. 97 

Oom maunie paimee ooin". A small square temple, erected to contain 
an image, stood in the way. A similar building is seen, placed like a 
centinel, as it were, by the road side, on each approach towards every 
consecrated habitation, proportionate in dimensions to the magnitude 
and importance of the edifice with which it is connected : on each of the 
three great roads, that lead to Tassisudon, a very spacious one is 
found. They have one small doorway, which always remains closed, 
at least I never could succeed in my endeavour to obtain a view of 
the interior; yet such is the superstitious respect of the inhabitants for 
its contents, that they constantly uncover their heads, and if travelling 
on horseback, dismount and walk while they pass by them. 

I remember to have seen one of these buildings, which was dedicated 
to the junction of the Hatchieu with the Tehintchieu, near Kepta.. 
They ai"e often placed at the meeting of two principal roads. I have 
seen tliem also at the base of a remarkable mountain, and they are inr ; 
variably met with, at the entrance of every capital village. 

There is another sort of monument occasionally substituted in places, 
of inferior consequence; it is a.long wall, commonly about twelve or 
fifteen feet in length, six feet high, and two deep, with a centre dis- 
tinguished by being thicker and higher than the sides. On both faces, 
near the top, are inserted large tablets, with tiie words Ooiii maunie 

* Of this form of words, to which ideas of peculiar sanctity are annexed by the in- 
habitants of Bootan and Tibet, I could never obtain a satisfactory explanation. It is 
frequently engraven on the rocks in large and deep characters, and sometimes I have 
seen it on the sides of hills : the letters, which are formed by means of stones fixed in the 
earth, are of so vast a magnitude, as to be visible at a very considerable distance. 

98 BOOT AN. 

paimee oom, carved in relief. As the inscription, of course, begins at 
opposite ends on each side, the Booteeas are careful, in passing, that 
they do not trace the words backwards. This kind of monument very, 
frequently occurs at Chuka, Kepta, Pauga, Noomnoo, Wangoka, the 
foot of the bridge below Tassisudon, and in many other places. 

In front of the palace, a pampered bull sometimes disputed the 
passage witii us. He was the fiercest of his breed, and, we were seldom 
inclined, therefore, to engage in so rude a contest. He appeared to 
enjoy his existence, upon the same easy terms as- the village, or Brah- 
niennee^, bull in Bengal; and indulgence had rendered him intolerably 
insolent. Familiarity with the lord of the creation, had subdued his 
fear, (the great principle of subjection) and taught him to despise a 
ci;eature vastly his inferior in corporeal strength, and totally at his 
mercy, whenever lie chose to exert his savage powers, and indulge in 
the mischievous excesses of licentious liberty. 

A little further on, nearer to Tassisudon, was a long line of sheds, 
full of furnaces and anvils, at which some of the sx)ns of Vulcan, 


1 found employment in forging brazen gods, and various other orna- 
ments disposed about their religious buildings. Nor must I pass 
unnoticed, that most excellent orchard, which we so often visited in 
our way home, stored with delicious fruits. When raspberries and 
strawberries failed, they were succeeded by apricots and peaches ; and 
hence we constantly obtained a plentiful supply. A small gratuity 

"i Brahmennee, or sacred bull, of the Hindoos, rambles about the neighbourhood with- 
out interruption ; he is universally caressed and pampered by the people, and to feed him 
is deemed a meritorious act of religion. 


kept the owner always in good humour; and his wife, when he was 
not at home, would readily attend, and help us to the best fruit. It 
contained also apples, pears, and walnuts ; but tliQ latter were not 
ripe during our stay, and the former were extremely harsh and 

In our perambulations down the valley, I often rested at the place 
where the chief manufacture of paper is established, which was made, 
I found, by a very easy and unexpensive process, of the bark of a tree, 
here called Deah, which grows in great abundance upon the moun- 
tains near Tassisudon, but is not produced on those immediately 
bordering on Bengal. The method of preparing this material, as well 
as I could learn, is as follows. When a sufficient quantity of bark is 
collected to employ the labourer, it is divided into small shreds, and 
steeped and boiled in a lixivium of wood ashes ; it is then taken up, 
and laid in a heap to drain ; after which it is beaten upon a stone, with 
a wooden mallet, until it is reduced to an impalpable pulp ; it is then 
thrown into a reservoir of water, where, being well stirred about, and 
cleansed from the coarse and dirty part, which floats upon the surface, 
it is still further depurated in another large reservoir of clean water. 
When the preparation is complete, the parts are finely broken, and that 
which sinks in the water, appears mucilaginous to the touch- All that 
now remains is to form it into sheets, which is done upon small reeds 
set in frames. The labourer dips the frame in the water, and raises up i 
a quantity of the pulp, which, by moving the frame iu the water, he 
spreads, until it entirely and equally covers the surface of the reeds ; 
he then raises the frame perpendicularly, the water drains off, and the 


100 BOOTAN. 

frame is hung up till the sheet is nearly dry : it is then taken oS, and 
1 suspended upon lines. The paper thus prepared is of a much stronger 
j texture, than that of any other country with which I am acquainted, 
as it is capable of being woven, when gilt by way of ornament, into 
the texture of silk and satins, to which use I have seen it frequently 
applied in the manufactures of China. 

The season of the rains, in these regions, is remarkably moderate; 
there are frequent showers, but none of those heavy torrents which 
accompany the monsoon to the southward in Bengal ; so that we were 
seldom interrupted in our exercise both morning and evening ; and 
the weather continued so temperate, that we were occasionally abroad, 
even at this season, during every hour of the day, without experiencing 
any inconvenience from the heat of the sun. An equal exposure, in the 
same parallel of latitude, in the low lands, would, most certainly, not 
have been hazarded with impunity. Notwithstanding the quantity of 
stagnant water, confined upon the fields around us, to sustain the 
advancing crops, and the abundant vegetation, both on the hills and 
every part of the valley, which philosophers pronounce to be infallible 
sources of bad air, yet we cannot with justice, question the salubrity of 
this situation. 

During our journey and residence among these mountains, we lost 
but one man by sickness, and his death could not fairly be imputed to 
the climate. I thought him a bad subject in the beginning. He was 
immoderately addicted to the use of opium ; and its inebriating qua- 
lity, had given to his features that heated^ wild, and fixed appearance, 
which commonly distinguishes those who intemperately use it. In the 

BOOTAN. 101 

language of Bengal, persons of this description are distinguished by 
the termPoshtee, that is, eaters of opium, which is considered as a term 
of the highest reproach. 

Our walks about Tassisudon were not very various, but we now 
ventured on one, longer and more laborious than any we had yet taken. 
We very early conceived a desire to visit some of the highest moun- 
tains by which the valley was bounded; but it appeared to be so 
tremendous an undertaking, that we long meditated upon the scheme 
before we executed it. At length, however, the day was fixed; and 
having taken an early dinner, under favour of intervening clouds, Mr. 
Saunders and myself set out on the expedition, anxious to explore 
what new and interesting objects they might yield, as well as to 
indulge our curiosity, in contemplating these admirable scenes, on 
which Mr. Davis, the companion of our travels, was at tiie same time 
most successfully employing his pencil. His subjects indeed, in them- >( 

.selves, are not more remarkable for their grandeur and beauty, than for 
the judgment, fidelity, and taste, with which he has seized on and 
recorded their features. To such as find satisfaction in contemplating 
nature, in its most gigantic and nidest form, what an inexhaustible 
hmd of delight is here displayed ! Gratification waits on every step, 
and the mind is animated witii the sublimest sentiments, while the be- 
holder, fascinated with the ever-varying beauties, pauses to enjoy the 
rich repast, insensible of fatigue, and turns his eye with reluctance 
ii"om so magnificent a prospect. 

Our route lay by the Raja's villa, Wandeechy, where we rested 
awhile, and drank of the clear spring, which fills a reservoir behind 

10:: BOOTAN. 

the mansion, rmiiishiug, even at this high station, in all seasons, an 
ample supply of water for domestic uses. We continued to ascend 
along the ridge of the mountain, which runs towards the south west, 
by many steep windings in the path. The hne stately firs that orna- 
ment Wandeechy, give place to less noble plants in these more loffy 
regions, and vegetation of a dwarfish, hardy species, began to prevail 
as we approached the summit. Diminutive as Tassisudon, and every 
object that lay below us, now appeared, the valley, rich with high 
cultivation, diversified with numerous habitations, and watered by the 
winding Tehintchieu, presented a beautiful scene, which derived sm- 
gular grandeur from the towering mountains around it, whose sides 
sustained many solitary cottages, in strange and fantastical positions, 
the silent abodes of the recluse. In the mean time, some larger antl 
more populous settlements of the votaries of religion, were visible in 
various parts. TJie most luxuriant trees, 1 observed, clothe the skirts, 
only of the loftiest mountains : these before us, like others which I 
have seen, carry their heads into an atmosphere, too jure to afibul 
nourishment to the great and flourishing productions of the vcgetablfe 

,Many of the sons of piety plant their dwelhngs in these pure re- 
gions, and in general, judiciously abandon the low hollows, with their 
putrid and humid exhalations, as best suited to the business of the lius- 
bandman. It was with infinite toil that we attained the summit, where 
we found a spacious stone building, surrounded with a high wall, 
through which there was one gateway. It was for some time debated, 
whether or not, we should venture to look within this solitary castle; 

B O O T A N . rO 

for there appeared to us no trace of any living creature either in or 
near it. 

The door was not fastened, and was without difficulty pushed open. 
We advanced within it, and had scarcely entered the court yard, 
when a boy approached, and greeted us with his master's invitation. 
^Ve obeyed, and ascending a Hight of wooden steps to the upper floor, 
were met on the landing-placeby a man of decent figure, in the reli-- 
gious habit. He led us to an inner apartment, where cushions and, 
carpets were spread out, and invited us to sit down. A very ample 
repast of buttered tea, clouted cream, and parched grain, evinced the 
hospitality of this good humoured recluse. He was extremely talk- 
ative, and our dress supplied a copious subject of enquiry and obser- 
vation. He spoke with evident satisfaction of the good understanding 
subsisting between the Governor General and the Daeb Raja, as well 
as the favour and indulgence shewn by the English government to his 
nation ; for which he said we had the prayers of all the Gylongs. 

All his attendants, and there were many, assembled to gratify 
themselves with gazing at us. Amongst them I observed two fine 
boys, who gave occasion to a loud burst of laughter, when I asked 
him if they were his sons. He smiled at my want of information, 
telling me that he was a Gylong, and that Gylongs never marry. The 
sun had disappeared behind the mountains, and the Kipid approach 
of evening, made it- necessary to think of our return. We had now 
wandered to a great distance from home, and though our progress 
downwards was, of course, considerably accelerated, yet night surr 
prised us long before we reached our mansion. 

104 nOOTAN. 

The next day I visited tlie Daeb, and took an opportunity to relate 
the adventure of the preceding day. He seemed pleased with our 
account, shewing, as indeed he had frequently done before, much 
solicitude for our entertainment ; but I could plainly perceive that he 
tlid not altogether approve of our being abroad after it was dark; he 
talked of wild beasts and evil genii ; and cautioned us against a repe- 
tition of walks so long and late. I could not but esteem the advice 
considerate and prudent ; for though no danger immediately presented 
itself, yet a stranger has always, perhaps, something to apprehend in 
a foreign country, from the inherent prejudices of the peasantry, 
amongst whom, a natural contempt and enmity universally prevails 
against those of a different nation from themselves, and which a long 
course of time is necessary, completely to remove. 

Mr. Saunders, unfortunately, a few days after, was taken extremely 
ill, and for some time confined by a severe lever. The Raja expressed 
to me great uneasiness at his sickness, and manifested a sincere concern 
for his recovery; nor did he omit diffusely to enlarge upon the immi- 
nent danger, of too curiously examining unfrequented woods and soli- 
tary places, the favourite haunts of evil genii; telling me, at the same 
time, that the influence of a very powerful Dewta prevailed over the 
mountain wc had ascended, and, of course, concluding that Ave had 
been subject to his spells. This opinion gained ground with all our 
servants ; for there is not a Mussulman, or Hindoo, who does not 
as heartily subscribe to the doctrine of dasmonology, as to the most 
orthodox tenet of his faith. The Raja ordered solemn incantations to 
be commenced without delay: a priest accordingly came to our 

BOOTAN. 105 

house, performed certain ceremonies about a cauldron of fire, prayed 
abundantly, and, having received the reward of his labours, departed, 
well satisfied with the part he had acted. From hence I collected, that 
there were charms suited to the priests, as well as daemons of Bootan; 
and that there is hardly an evil under heaven, for which gold, pro- 
perly applied, cannot produce an effectual remedy. However, it was 
not long before Mr. Saunders's fever took a favourable turn, and we 
had the pleasure shortly after to see him perfectly recover. 

106 BOO TAN. 


Commotions — excited by fVandipora Zoompoon and a degraded 
Chief. — Punukka Zoompoon arrives at the Capital to pay the cus- 
tomary Duty of Allegiance. — Popular Administration of the pre- 
sent Daeb Raja. — Ascribed Cause of the Rebellion — prudent Pre^ 
cautions — Subjects called upon for their Allegiance — iveak Condi- 
lion of the Capital — extreme Vigilance — general Alarm — Letter 
from the Rebel Leader — Insurgents gather Strength — Skirmishes 
between the contending Parties — some Loyalists badly wounded with 
Arrows — their Dread of Poison — strong Position of the Rebels. 
— Invited to visit the Raja — his compassionate Concern for the 
deluded Mob, and confident Expectation the Tumults would soon 
be quelled. — Miserable Artillery — humane Motive for desiring to 
employ it — cautious Conduct of the Combatants — general Trait 
cj these Warriors — the Rebels, after an obstinate Contest, totally 
defeated. — Military Character of the Booteeas — not deficient in 
Courage — feeble Attach — want of Discipline — Accoutrements and 
Arms — Use of Poison. — Raja .MocumJ\'"arrain — his Vakeel. — fVan- 
dipore invested by Zoon Donier and Punukka Zompoon. — General 
Thanksgivings. — Reduction of the Castle. — Flight of the Rebels. — > 
Plunder and Spoils. — The Raja meditates a Visit to JVandipore, 

BOOT AN. 107 

to settle Affairs in the disturbed Districts — announces his Design 
— invites me to meet him. 

A COMPLETE month had not elapsed alter our arrival at Tassisudon, 
■when two turbulent chiefs, the Zoompoon of AVandipore, a keeper of 
one of the principal castles in Bootan, together with a degraded of- 
ficer, who had served in an important post under the former govern- 
ment, contrived to raise a commotion, which as it gave the Raja and his 
subjects much trouble to appease ; and which, as it may tend to por- 
tray a feature in their character as a warlike people, I intend minutely 
to detail, horn its commencement to its close. 

The commandant of the castle of Punukka, the winter residence 
of tlie Daeb Raja, arrived at Tassisudon, on the 55th of June, as 
it is customary at this season of the year for each of the high officers 
under the government of Bootan, to render an account of his district, 
and pay his duty of allegiance to the sovereign chief. Immediately 
on the departure of the Zoompoon from Punukka, it was rumoured 
that a powerful party of armed people, assaulted the castle, and 
finding it unguarded, (the chief part of the establishment having 
gone to escort the Zoompoon^ obtained possession of it, as it were, 
by svnprise. Though the report was not yet actually confirmed, suf- 
ficient was known totally to derange the tranquil order of the state, 
and suggest the most active military preparations. Armed people 
■were seen to assemble, and resort to be enrolled at the palace all 
day ; whence they were again detached in parties of twelve or 
twenty, by secret routes across the mountains, for the purpose of 


108 B OT AN. 

throwing reinforcements into Punukka, or to clicck the progress of 
the rebels. 

Popular and prudent as the administration of the present Raja had 
been, yet seditious murmurs had long since been known to exist ; 
chiefly because several officers, nominated by the former Raja to the 
iiighest posts of public trust, had been displaced on his accession to 
the 'government. It is said that the Zoompoon of Tassisudon, and 
the Zempi, were soon obliged to give way to his particular favourites, 
while other officers, in various parts of the country, were also super- 
seded. This early use of his authority did not fail to kindle dissa- 
tisfaction and disgust, among those who suffered from its exercise ; 
hitherto indeed, they had been kept within decent bounds, till at 
length a turbulent spirit having broken the peace, an avowed rebellion 
ensued. 'J he disbanded chiefs were said to have consulted together, 
and confederated with a resolution to revenge their real or supposed 

During the night of the 2,6th of June, a large party was posted on 
the bridge, immediately opposite to the house in which we lived, and a 
strong guard also took its station at the palace gates. The alarm having 
gone abroad, and the peasantry far and near being called upon to defend 
their sovereign, constant additions of force joined the royal standard. 
The ploughman and mechanic, arranging themselves under the banner of 
the chief inhabitant of their neighbourhood, repaired martially arrayed 
to the head quarters, whence they were in different divisions, expedi- 
tiously pushed off to relieve the castle of Punukka, concerning which 
reports were still various : some asserting that it was not yet taken, 

BOOTAN. 109 

•though all seemed conscious of its danger. In the course of the day, 
intelligence arrived, of the defeat of a part of the Raja's troops, about 
six miles south of Tassisudon, the enemy having gained possession of 
VVangoka, after an obstinate contest, in which some lives were lost. 

The same'guards still kept their stations on Friday the 27th of June, 
and others were placed lower down the valley, to prevent the enemy's 
advance; yet with the same success that attended the beginning of 
their career, the insurgents that morning became masters of three 
villages, witiiin two miles of the palace walls, and no material shew of 
resistance appeared ready to interrupt their progress ; for as yet, it 
would seem, the strength of government was not collected, and its force, 
weakened by detachments, was inadequate to extend beyond the de- 
fence of its immediate seat. Consistently with this plan, every possible 
exertion was made : strong pi-ckets were advanced in front, and to the 
right and left occupied the roads across the mountains ; double vigi- 
lance guarded the gates of Tassisudon, which were shut against the 
admission of all strangers, except such as had been previously and 
stri-ctly examined ; and no Gylong was^ upon any pretence, permitted 
to go out. 

Affairs now seemed to wear a serious aspect, and it was time, we 
thought, for us to look a little to our defence : accordingly we began 
to rub up our arms, and muster our stock of ammunition, as a measure 
preparatory to a siege: not doubting that, if the design of the insur- 
gents was to bring their assault home to the Raja's door, our chateau, 
as standing in a very important point of view, would have attracted 
their earliest regard. But whether the rebels were desirous to avoid 


impelling us to take an hostile part, or whether they wished to secure 
the assistance of the English to their cause, I cannot pretend to say ; 
we were however saved the trouble ol resistance. A few days only 
before the rupture, I received from the Zoompoon of Wandipore, who 
was at the head of the rebellion, a present of fruits, with a very hand- 
some congratulatory letter, regretting that urgent business at present 
prevented his seeing one, who had come from so great a distance, and 
who belonged to a nation, for which he entertained the highest esteem. 
His servants, having performed their commission, joined him as he was 
advancing, and I had certain information, that they were among the 
numbers, now occupying the conquered villages to the south. A rein- 
forcement to the insurgents, shewed themselves upon the brow of a hill 
to the south-west, which the pickets in that quarter effectually opposed, 
and for the present prevented their junction ; at the same instant two 
parties marched from the castle to the attack of the villages, in which 
the insurgents had taken post ; a measure which I considered to be 
meant merely as a diversion. Both divisions, with some interval be- 
tween them, advanced at first full in front of the villages, but as they 
drew near they divided into small parties, and crept slowly along, shel- 
tering themselves behind banks and bushes. The use of the bow and 
. matchlock, on both sides, at first was very slack; but the Raja's people 
commenced, after a while, a pretty smart fire. The rebels seemed 
careful of their ammunition, using it sparingly; and not choosing to be 
drawn out of their post, they remained almost completely concealed, 
except that now and then a Booteea would start up fiom behind a 
wall, which flanked the lower village, and brandishing his sword, shout 

BOOTAN. 1 1 1 

with an air of defiance. This sort of distant skirmish continued for 
some time ; but the Raja's people gradually advanced till they had ar- 
rived witliin a bow shot of the villages, when they paused, and seemed 
preparing to make a general assault ; but, before they could execute 
this design, the insurgents suddenly sallied out, and made them pre- 
cipitately fall back, so that they were inclined, for the rest of the day, 
to keep a more cautious distance ; yet a party of the Raja's made a 
feint of moving to the right, towards a village on the flank of the other 
two, which the insurgents seemed not yet to have possessed ; but they 
were sufficiently alert, to defeat the attempt of the loyalists, by a timely 
and effectual opposition. The Raja's forces, as the evening closed, 
retreated to their quarters, leaving the enemy, who were reckoned to 
be three or four hundred strong, masters of the field. But the day 
did not close without some bloodshed. Three of the wounded were 
brought to Mr. Saunders; two of them, ihe Daroga, or master of the 
horse, and another young man, were shot with arrows, that had pierced 
through the thigh ; and the third received his wound just above the 
elbow, pointing upwards, fie endeavoured to draw out the arrow ; 
but the barbs entangling in the sinews, the shaft alone came away with 
the effort, when instantly seizing a knife by his side, the courageous 
youth cut a deep incision, and with his own hand extricated the 

They were all impressed with a strong dread of poison, with which 
they apprehended the heads of the arrows to have been charged, and 
they pretended to be already sensible of its corroding pangs. They 
submitted however to be dressed, expressing little hope of life, when 

112 BOOT AN. 

tliey heard that there was no certahi antidote, against the baneful 
effects of poison. *•' 

The thVee villages, of which the rebels were now in complete pos- 
session, extended across the valley in a line east and west. There was 
some interval between them ; so that the two extremes, I reckon, are 
rather more than a mile apart. In the morning, it might be observed, 
that they had very nearly completed a breast-work along the whole of 
this space, which afforded a safe line of communication from one 
village to another, the only break being between the westernmost and 
the centre. This breast-work was a wall of loose stones, over which 
they could fire when they stood up, but which afforded them a com- 
plete cover when they crouched down, the ends of their bows only 
being visible above iL 

About noon, a messenger came to me from the Raja, desiring us to 
wait upon him, and we immediately obeyed the invitation. He apo- 
logized, at the instant of our meeting, lor not having seen us during 
the last three days, his attention, during that time, having been en- 
tirely engaged ; and exhorted us not to be alarmed at the present dis- 
turbances, comparing the insurgents to the Sunneassees and Fakeers, 
that occasionally traverse, in tumultuous bodies, the borders of Bengal. 
'■'• They are a disorderly rabble," says he, " led on by a Zempi, whom 
I dismissed for his misconduct, and suffered to go away unpunished ; 
but he, availir.g himself of this indulgence^ before his disgrace became 
publicly known, obtained under the sanction of my name, from various 
officers in my employment, sundry valuable effects, which he embez- 
zled, and then took refuge in the woods. Our searches for him, in 

BOOT AN. 113 

every quarter, have been vain; he has Liin completely concealed, until 
this his sudden appearance at the he:id of a misguided mqb." 

The Raja then spoke to me of some cannon in his possession, which 
he vv^anted to get mounted, and begged me to lend him the assistance 
of some person who could instruct his people in the management- of 
them ; professing a desire to employ them for tlie preservation of las 
subjects. He wished to batter down the houses, in which the rabble 
had lodged themselves; concluding, that when they had lost their 
shelter, they would disperse to their respective homes. " They are 
my deluded subjects," said he: " I would reclaim, but not destroy 

Our conversation chiefly turned upon the commotions abroad, which 
the Raja repeatedly assured me would soon be quelled. He appeared 
evidently discomposed, and I determined not to add to his distress by 
a long visit : so, expressing a wish to take my leave, tea was intro- 
duced, and we retired. 

It was hinted to us, as we were leaving the palace, that it would 
be agreeable to the Raja, if we looked at the cannon. We found them 
lying upon some rising ground, pointed towards the villages. They 
were two small cast cannon, old and honeycombed ; in the calibre of 
one were hollows, that would receive an egg. They were crammed 
with powder and shot, almost full. I thought the greatest mischief to 
be apprehended from this ordnance, was to the person who applied 
the match. As they were not mounted, we could flatter them with 
no very essential service Ii-om them ; but as the best advice we could 
give, we begged they would be careful how they ventured to discharge 

114 B OOT AN. 

them. While we were engaged in viewing this miserable artillery, on 
a sudden the bells of the palace rang violently, and out rushed a mul- 
titude of armed men, equipped for battle; they hurried on, with a wild 
and savage cry, brandishing their arms with an air of bold and inso- 
lent defiance ; but the rest of their conduct bore a very different 
aspect, and the expedition ended rather in a dastardly manner. The 
rebels came to meet them, and an action commenced with a pretty 
brisk fire, of which we waited to see the beginning, till the shot ranged 
past the place where the cannon were, struck the walls, and, as we 
walked along the other face of the palace, went far beyond it. 

From our quarters we could see both parlies endeavouring to keep 
themselves as much as possible undercover, availing themselves of alj 
irregularities in the ground, and now and then making a random shot, 
though with little effect, whenever they knew there was a collection of 
people, in consequence of the ends of their bows and matchlocks being 
visible. This sort of conflict lasted lor more than tAvo hours : the 
assailants were kept constantly at bay, and at length thought proper to 
draw off. 

It is evident that the want of vigour in the Raja's troops was highly 
calculated to raise the ardour of the insurgents, who all seemed 
animated in their leader's cause, and steady to liis standard; yet, 
whatever might be the views or motives of this revolt, the rebels had 
not yet employed their power to its utmost extent, having hitherto 
made no effort beyond their own intrenchments, except indeed to repel 
the assaults of their opponents. Had their forces rusiied on with the 
same rapidity with which they at first sprang forth, it would have been 

BOOT AN. 115^ 

to certain conquest. The very first impression of their arms shook the 
prince upon his throne, mude him tremble for the permanency of his 
power, and instilled a panic through every department of the palace. 
Bold and daring as the first onset was, the prosecution ol their scheme, 
in this manner, seemed to betray a want of confidence in their strength ; 
lor every moment they wasted in inaction, before a defenceless citadel, 
strengthened the Raja's power; and, whatever might be their object, a 
very short time placed it for ever beyond their reach. Before sunset a 
pretty considerable reinforcement joined the insurgents; and it is 
reported, that early in the day, they received also a large supply of 
men and ammunition, which seemed by no means improbable, from the 
fi"equent firing, and increased numbers of people distinguishable by the 
telescope, about the houses, and on the skirts of the village. 

The following day displayed the same hostile appearance : with 
busy looks, and in warlike attire, unusual crowds were traversing to 
and fro the whole of the morning. It was noon, before the consequence 
of this preparation was fully known ; then the warrior, with a stout 
heart and full stomach, issued forth to battle, having raised his cou- 
rage and his spirits by an ample meal, and copious draughts of chong. 
Three divisions advanced, in opposition to the extended forces of the 
foe, who occupied the three villages, situated between rhe river and 
the loot of the western mountain ; an irrea:ular, sIoav discharge of 
musquetry took place, and was kept up, with little intermission, up- 
wards of an hour and a half; the Rajas forces gaining ground, and 
driving back the rebels within their parallels. His troops appeared 
also more numerous and confident than they had hitherto done, and 


116 BOOT AN. 

they exhibited a resolution, which, doubtless, received strength from 
the slackness of the enemy's fire, and the subsequent discovery ol' their 
want of ammunition : for at last the rebels were obliged to resort, as 
their only means of annoyance, to pelting their adversaries with stones ; 
but these, not being hurled from an eminence, had little elfect. It was 
curious to observe the mixture of defiance and of fear, displayed in the 
conduct of these combatants. A Booteea, in the moment of his highest 
exultation, forgets not his personal safety, but is most careful to guard 
against the danger of missile weapons : he is one instant jumping and 
twirling himself about, brandishing his sword and shield with an air 
of defiance, and with a wild and savage shout apparently challeng- 
ing attack : the next moment, if a gun be pointed, or a bow raised 
to be discharged, he shrinks into concealment. Nor is the intrepidity 
of their assaults more exemplary : a party sallying, pursues no longer 
than the party that advanced, retreats ; when it halts, they stand, and 
then retire again. With frequent fluctuations, sometimes one, some- 
times the other side, gaining a momentary advantage, the contest was 
carried on till about five o'clock, Avhen the loyalists forced the rebels 
from the centre village, and those on the east and west were pushed 
very close by the two divisions, that had moved to the attack of each. 
Soon afterwards a parley took place, in which the rebels seemed to be 
making terms. The conference lasted more than twenty minutes ; 
when the victorious party came down from the centre village, and 
hastened the decision. The Eastern village was instantly evacuated ; 
and the insurgents being permitted to withdraw, went off in a con- 
fused crowd towards the south. Nearly at the same time the western 

BOOT AN. 117 

village was also abandoned ; and no magic exhibition could display a 
more sudden and striking change of scene. In an instant the whole 
plain, and the rice fields, were covered with an innumerable host ; 
every bank and bush gave up their proportion, which much exceeded 
even the numbers that rushed fi-om the houses and trom beliind the 
walls : yet on the part of the victors there was no pursuit ; from whence 
I concluded, that an unmolested egress was the stipulation made in the 
parley between the Raja's troops and the enemy. Yet some groups of 
the latter retreated slowly, making many pauses, that shewed the re- 
luctance with which they submitted to this defeat. Before sunset, each 
of the villages was evacuated by the enemy, except two houses in the 
western village, of which a party still held possession, and declaied 
they would never yield themselves prisoners, nor accept of any otiier 
tenns than a free and uninterrupted retreat. 

About an hour after the flight of the rest, we saw these houses 
surrounded by the Raja's troops, but still occupied by these resolute 
rebels. We walked through the villages, and saw few marks of dis- 
order. The women, children, and pigs, were enjoying full and quiet 
possession. The houses were in no respect damaged, except that a 
great number of impressions had been made by musquetry on their 
walls. There were not many lives lost in the contest ; a few men were 
made prisoners, some badly wounded, and several horses taken. Thus 
ended this long conflict, which impressed on us, a very mean idea of 
their military accomplishments, whatever other qualifications they 
may boast. 

The Booteeas are a strong and hardy race, by no means deficient in 

118 BOO TAN. 

manly courage. Their feeble mode of attack and defence is, therefore, 
imputable only to their want of discipline; to their not fighting in 
compact files or platoons ; and to their consequent distrust of each 
other ; and something also must be attributed to their utter inexperi- 
ence of war: for indeed, among this crowd of combatants, we find 
merely husbandmen and villagers, called at once from their peaceful 
occupations to the field of battle. 

Every kind of discipline and order is totally disregarded in their 
mode of warfare ; stratagem is more practised than open assault : they 
engage in general as marksmen, and wait their opportunity to fire 
unobserved. Both parties are so careful to conceal themselves, that 
seldom any thing is visible but the top of a tufted helmet, or the end 
of a bow : no wonder, iherelbre, tluit in their contests very few are 

The accoutrements of a fighting man, fully equipped, are extremely 
cumbrous. A prodigious deal of loose clothing surrounds the body : 
besides the common mantle, he wears very often a blanket, or thick 
quilted jacket. This, as well as the helmet, (which is made either of 
stained cane, coiled conically, or else of cotton rope, quilted between 
two cloths, with flaps that occasionally turn down over the ears, and 
a piece to cover the nose,) if not absolutely prool' against the stroke 
of a sword or arrow, must at least considerably weaken its force. He 
carries upon his arm a large convex shield of painted cane, coiled 
close, and a long straight sword is worn across the body, thrust 
through the belt before. To these arms must be added, a bow, and 
a quiver of arrows, slung by a belt behind the back ; the arrows 

B O OTAN. 1 19 

being commodlously drawn from it over the left shoulder. The bow 
is held in the right hand ; it is commonly six feet long, made of 
bamboo, and, when unstrung, is perfectly straight. The bowstring is a 
small cord of hemp of appropriate length ; its tension, and the conse- 
quent curvature of the bow, depending upon the degree of twist given 
to it before the bow is bent. 

The kind of bamboo in use for bows, is peculiar to the hills, and is 
remarkable for its elasticity and strength ; they are made of a split piece, 
or two pieces united by bands together, the smooth surface being 
placed without. The string is draAvn by the thumb, armed with a ring 
of bone, or a piece of thick leather, bent round it, and the forefinger, 
crossed upon the nail, serves to give additional Ibrce to the operation. 

The arrow is formed of a species of dwarf bamboo, produced also 
among these mountains : it is headed by a flattened barb of pointed 
iron, the sides of which are sometimes grooved, or (wiiich appears to 
answer the same purpose) the barb on either side is a little turned 
back, to admit the lodgment of poison ; with which deadly substance, 
I was sorry to hear, it is sometimes charged. 

The poison made use of, as far as I could collect, is an inspissated 
vegetable juice ; but from what plant it is obtained, I could never dis- 
tinctly learn : it appeared to my observation black and gummy ; in 
consistence and appearance, much resembling crude opium. 

Some Booteeas are armed with matchlock muskets, to the stock of 
which is attached a fork, which serves as a rest, when the warrior 
crouches to take his aim. Their fire-arms are very contemptible; 
evidently of no use^ but in the fairest weather, when the match will 

120 BOOTAN. 

burn, and the priming, in an open pan, take fire. In the manage- 
ment of the sword and shield they are sufficiently dexterous, and 
undoubtedly most excellent archers. 

Tiiey have wall-pieces, to which indeed the calibre of some of their 
matchlocks is scarcely inferior; but they have no cannon. Other 
instruments of war were mentioned to me ; one in particular, with 
wliich they heave huge stones in the attack of strong castles ; and a 
sort of arrow, loaded with combustible matter, for the purpose of setting 
fire to buildings ; but neither of these came under my observation. 

The Zempi, it was reported, on Monday the 30th of June, had 
moved to invest Punukka ; but the numerous reinforcements thrown 
into it, and the natural strength of its position, entirely removed all 
apprehension for its safety. The conjecture, that Wandipora* Zoom- 
poon was with the rebels, was verified to me by a Vakeel'', who was 
coming to me from Raja Mocum Narrain*^, and fell in with them on 
the road. They carried him with them, and detained him in the eastern 
village. The Zoompoon arrived the day after they had taken these 
posts ; but when they were preparing to abandon them, they left the 
unfortunate Vakeel, a woeful evidence of their profound respect for 
property, by stripping him to the skin ; yet he was heartily glad to 
escape with life on any terms. 

Various reports were spread of the destination of the rebels; among 

• The commandant or keeper of the castle of Wandipore. 

• Agent or ambassador. 

• The Raja of Bijnee, a district situated at the foot of the mountains to the south- 
ward of Bootan. 

BOOTAN. 121 

the most probable was, that the party (disheartened by the check they 
had met with) were divided, and many of them dispersed. The Zoom- 
poon, with those adherents wlio were steady to his cause, had retreated 
to the castle of Wandipore, which he commanded; it lies about twenty- 
four miles off", in an eastern direction, and is esteemed, according to 
the nature of fortifications in Bootan, a place of great strength. It is 
situated on the end of a rock between two rivers, which wash both 
sides of it, and unite in one stream, at its point. 

This is one of the consecrated palaces of Bootan, and a certain 
number of Gy longs are constantly stationed in it, for the performance 
of worship in the temple ; it has also an establishment of Zeenkaubs, 
Poes, kc. who act in a civil as well as military capacity, though they 
properly belong to the latter order. The numbers of the enemy that 
composed the garrison, were not well known ; but detachments were con- 
tinually marching, during the whole day, to hem them in, and prevent 
their reassembling in the field. Zoondonier, who is the treasurer and 
generalissimo, together with the Zoompoon of Punukka, were appointed 
to conduct the siege of Wandipore : a blockade was understood to be 
the plan proposed ; this castle being considered as not reducible by 
any other means, than those of intercepting its supplies of water and 

The Raja assembled, as I was informed, all the Gylongs in the 
temple, on Tuesday the first of July, to offer his thanksgiving for the late 
victory, to implore an early termination to these inihappy lumults, and 
the ultimate success of that party, whose chief was best disposed to the 
performance of the duties of their faith, and the service of the state. 

122, BOOTAN. 

The blockade of Wandipore very expediilously and completely 
took place; so that, in a short time, the numbers crowded in it, being 
reduced to the greatest difficulties, w ere under the necessity ol taking 
an opportunity to save themselves by flight. 

In the evening, a leu de joye from the palace announced the reduc- 
tion of Wandipore. The Zoompoon and his party evacuated the castle 
in the night, but not before they had plundered it of its most valuable 
furniture, stripped the altars of their portable ornaments, and trans- 
ported with them, all their golden gods. 

Soon after the account of these successes was confirmed, the Raja 
concerted a design of visiting \^'andipore, in order to settle the go- 
vernment of the district, to nominate a new Zoompoon, and to appoint 
other oflicers in the room of those who had favoured the late revolt. 
I took the earliest opportunity, to congratulate the Raja on the 
success of his arms. I had been admitted to frequent audiences 
since that which I last noticed; but as nothing occurred material 
to my purpose, I omit the repetition of ceremonious meetings, as well 
as the many conferences between us and messengers, who arrived 
in the height of the troubles, from the Regent of Teshoo Loomboo, 
since nothing conclusive passed, respecting my commission. 1 dis- 
missed the messengers on the 29th of June, with replies to the letters 
. they brought ; and deeming it a time in which Poorungheer might 
render me essential service, I ordered him to accompany them, giving 
him instructions for his conduct, with perfect reliance on his fidelity 
and attachment. 

On the afternoon of Wednesday, the 5d of July, the Raja sent to 

BOOTAN. 125 

desire me immediately to wait upon him. He informed me it was his 
intention to set off the following morning; and, before I took my leave 
of him, he gave me hopes of being indulged with a sight of Wandipore, 
as well as of his favourite seat Punukka. 

I had not long left the palace, when my Moonshee, or Persian secre- 
tary, received a summons to it ; he afterwards returned to me, with 
many instructions from the Raja, particularly enjoining me to come 
with few attendants, and the greatest secrecy ; conditions with which 
I had no difficulty in complying; but I was much rejoiced to find that 
his personal regard, could so far overcome the national character of jea- 
lousv and distrust. 


124 BOOTAN. 


T/ie Raja proceeds to fVandipore — sends a Messenger — we prepare to 
folloiv — pass Sijmloka — dreariness of the PFaij — meet a Party of 
Ihe Daeb Rajas. — Improving Appearance of the Country. — A Pro- 
cession. — Faculty of prolonging the Sound of wind Instruments — 
instanced also in Bengal. — Matchieu- Patchieu — Tahantchieu Ri- 
vers. — Bijnee — Berhampooter — fVandipore. — Liberal Supply oj 
Refreshments from the Raja. — Miserable Quarters. — Lines of the 
Besiegers — Advantages of Position. — Castle of Wandipore — 
Tradition regarding it. — Bridge — Lightness and Beauty of its 
Structure. — Mineral Springs. — General Ignorance oj the Contents 
of these Mountains. — Curious Effect of a strong Current of Wind. 
— Turbulent Situation of Wandipore. — Process of making Butter. 
— Departure from Wandipore. — Tame Elephant. — View of the 
Mountain of Ghassa — Snow — hot fiath. — Palace of Punukka. — 
Matchieu- Patchieu Valley — Banks of the River — sheltered Situ- 
ation. — Expensive Decoration of the Palace. — Gardens — Variety 
of Fruits — advantageous Site for Horticulture. — Laborious Ser- 
vices imposed upon the Female Sex. — Zemrigalche. — JVymphaa 
JVilotica — its religious Estimation in Bootan as well as in Egypt. 
— Propitiatory Offerings to the Dewtas. — J^'arrainee, particular 

BOOT AN. 125 

Account of. — Leave Piinukka. — Telagong. — Slapendoiis .Moun- 
tains. — Hunnoowunt. — Muttura. — Maclejee Sindia. — Jumma. — 
Ultimate Defeat of the Rebels. 

OOME hours before the break of day, on Thursday tlie 3d of July, the 
Raja left his palace to proceed to Wandipore. The following night, 
while sitting at supper, about ten o'clock, we were most pleasingly 
surprized by a messenger from the Daeb, who had arrived in safety at 
Wandipore, and, finding the country sufficiently settled and tranquil, 
had dispatched his herald to invite us to follow him. We consulted 
together on the scheme ; and so eagerly curious were we, to visit the 
last station of a rebel, who had raised the people up in arms, from the 
capital of the country to its most remote extremities, that without 
hesitation, and with one assent, we determined to lose no time in em- 
bracing the opportunity offered. 

The next morning was fixed on for our departure ; so we hastily 
packed up the few things that were necessary, and taking each of us 
a single servant, at sunrise our horses were saddled, and we mounted 
them to perform the journey ; at the same time people attended, by 
the Raja's order, to transport our baggage. 

The beginning of the day was unpromising and dull. A little below 
the bridge we quitted the road to Bengal, turning to the left ; and had 
not passed far beyond Symtoka, when a small misty rain overtook us, 
and unceasingly annoyed us through more than half the day, destroying 
both our pleasure and security, as we ascended by dreary narrow 
paths, winding about mountains covered with a variety of trees. The 

126 BOOTAN. 

beech, birch, maple, pine fir, yew, and cypress, were among the number ; 
we saw also by the road side, with no small satisfaction, bushes loaded 
with ripe blackberries. Insignificant as this fi-uit is, yet, recalling 
domestic partialities to the imagination, and the image of those scenes 
which youth and health formerly endeared, we plucked and ate them 
with avidity. A cold philosopher might have contemptuously passed 
by such trivial trash ; but he would not have formed any conception 
of the luxurious treat which we enjoyed. 

About noon, we emerged from these dark woods, and came at once 
upon a clear level ground, where we found a few of the Raja's ser- 
vants in low sheds, which they had formed of jooughs, sitting about a 
! fire of dried fir leaves. We alighted horn our horses, and were ad- 
mitted of their party. Drenched as our clothes were with rain, the 
warmth of the fire, and the hot tea which their hospitality prepared 
for us, enabled us to pursue our way with additional spirit. Their 
preparation of tea with butter, salt, and flour, the leaf being boiled 
till it is tender, and all the ingredients intimately blended together, 
was a regale, from which at first our tastes revolted with disgust ; but 
so early a reconciliation, placed in the strongset point of view, the 
force of habit, both in creating and effacing prejudices; and, strange 
as it may appear, convinced me, that this kind of tea-gruel, wants 
only the recommendation of custom, to be esteemed a luxury. 

At a short distance from this place, we passed by a village of con- 
siderable extent, situated on tiie side of a hill, which was almost wholly 
cultivated. Tiie country now began to open, and improve on our view. 
Proceeding onwards we forded a stream, not deep, but running with 

BOOTAN. 127 

such impetuosity over uneven rocks, that our horses with difficulty 
kept their legs. On the opposite side, stood a solitary house, where 
we halted for awhile, and were furnished with fresh horses to continue 
our journey. 

From hence a firm road led us along the sides of the hills, which 
were covered all over with an equal verdure. A few handsome firs 
were distributed about, both single and in clusters, at such regular 
intermediate distances, as to induce a belief, that they owed their dis- 
position rather to the hand of art than chance. The road, as we ad- 
vanced, evidently improved ; it was composed of gravel, perfectly 
even, not less than eight or ten feet wide, and of an easy ascent. 

The weather had now cleared up, and the face of nature had re- 
ceived much embellishment from the late fall of rain. The mountains 
heaving their swelling ridges, decked with a rich verdant robe, into a 
bright blue sky, skirted too with luxuriant groves and intersecting 
streams, which ran winding along tlieir bases, displayed a regularity 
and softness of feature, that is seldom seen in the wild but sublime 
scenery of Bootan. 

\'Ve met on this road, one of the Daeb Raja's brothers, a Gylong, 
riding on a Tangun horse. He was preceded by many attendants, and 
among them was a man who played upon a sort of hautboy, or reed 
instrument, which he blew, from the moment we came in sight, till we 
had passed beyond the reach of the sound, with a strong and conti- 
nued blast. Every man of rank, who moves from home upon occa- 
sions of ceremony, is attended by a person of this description, who, I 
am assured, blows his instrument from the time the chief mounts his 

(28 BOO TAN. 

horse, until he alights at the end of his journey, without any pause, or 
intermission in the sound. The faculty of prolonging the sound of a 
wind instrument to any period, is by no means rare among the natives 
of Bootan ; nor does the operation appear to be performed with pain. 
I have heard them, and endeavoured to mark any variation of coun- 
tenance, for more than five minutes, without having been able to dis- 
tinguish the least degree of discomposure. 

It has probably occurred to many who have resided in India, and 
indeed I have myself heard a Brahmen sound his Chaunk/ with little 
variation, !ut no sensible intermission of sound, for more than a 
quarter of an hour. This is sufficiently explained, to my satisfaction, 
by the power of inhaling by the nose, and exhaling by the mouth 
at the same time ; an operation, with a little practice, almost as 
certain, as though these members were divided by a valve, the 
quantity of wind which the cheeks are capable of holding between 
them, being sufficient to keep up the vibration, that produces sound 
during the act of inspiration. 

We were continually approaching a milder climate, and more 
populous country ; and presently, on turning round the sharp pro- 
jection of a hill, we came at once in sight of the castle ofWandipore ; 
a most respectable object, towering high upon the narrow extremity 
of a rock, which stands between the Matchieu-Patchieu, and the 
Tahantchieu rivers, both which streams unite at its sharpened point : 
they then form together a river of considerable magnitude, that takes 

" The shell of a species of buccinum, used as a musical instrument in their religious 

BOOTAN. 129 

the name Chaantchieu, and shapes its course between the frontier 
mountains, flowing finally along the flat surface of the district of Bijnec 
into the Berhampooter. A bridge over the Matchieu-Patchieu, con- 
ducted us to the hill, on which the fortress of Wandipore stands. I 
must return to this remarkable structure, to give a particular de- 
scription of it. 

After we had ascended the hill, extremely wearied with eleven hours 
of toilsome travel, we were conducted to a house near the castle, which 
we had scarcely entered, when a large pot of tea, accompanied with 
roasted rice, and many polite inquiries, were brought us from the 
Daeb. Plenty of poultry, eggs, and vegetables, soon followed ; but 
being destitute of cooking utensils, and without the chance of seeing 
this night, any of those things which we had dispatched from Tassi- 
sudon in the morning, our prospect was extremely dismal, and the 
profusion rather added to our embarassment, than alleviated our 
distress. At length, reduced by hunger to the last extremity, we con- 
trived, by the diligence and dexterity of our friends, the Booteeas, to 
render two fowls subservient to our appetites, and produced a meal, 
that would have diverted any spectator, whilst the relish with which 
we enjoyed it, might have excited the envy of an epicure. 

Having so successfully surmounted one material difficulty, it had 
been well, if night had not exposed us to other and more serious evils. 
We were lodged in a spacious house, of a painted, flattering exterior: 
but its interior, ill agreed with its outward promise. A short time 
before, it had been successively occupied by the rabble of the rebel 
party, and by the loyal forces, avIio had left behind them, all the evil 

130 BOOTAN. 

concomitants of unclean crowds ; vermin, as active in their ravages as 
the busiest followers of a camp ; hosts of fleas, musquitos, and rats ! 
whose nocturnal freaks were cruelly destructive of the repose, so neces- 
sary to wearied travellers. For my own part, after much disturbed 
and broken sleep, mistaking the light of the moon for the dawn of day, 
I impatiently arose, and was unspeakably disappointed on discover- 
ing the true time. It was scarcely one o'clock, and I was again com- 
pelled to associate with my pestiferous companions, till, eager to 
enjoy the fresh air, and anxious to escape their persecution, I left 
them on the earliest appearance of morning, not without visible marks 
of their fury. 

In our first walk, on Saturday the 5th of July, we took the beaten 
path, which conducted us to the intrenched lines, formed by the loyal 
army when it invested Wandipore : these were about a mile from the 
castle, and the works remained nearly perfect. They consisted of two 
thick mud walls, intersecting the hill, and forming a wide street, with 
sufficient space to admit a double row of huts, and a vacant interval in 
the centre. A covered channel, near the surface of the ground, con- 
ducted water to supply the castle : of this the besiegers took advantage, 
and opening it, obtained enough for their own camp, turning the 
superfluous quantity down the sides of the hill. By these means, it 
was supposed, that they would deprive the besieged of water, which 
was indeed nearly the case, although the castle commanded the 
conflux of the rivers and the streams on either side of it ; for the point 
was almost perpendicular, and on both sides a high and steep declivity 
led down to the water. 

B O T A N 131 

The castle of VVandipore, with its gilded canopy, is of equal anti- 
quity with the bridge ; and both are said to have been erected by Lam' 
Sobroo, about one hundred and forty years ago, when he first entered 
and possessed himself of Bootan. Nor did the conqueror of these re- 
gions, shew less judgment than good taste, in selecting "Wandipore for 
the place of his principal residence : as it is a situation, both for strength 
and beauty, superior to every other that offered to his choice. Perhaps 
some objection might be made to the violent winds, which are drawn 
up the deep delis on every quarter, and urged furiously across the siu*- 
face of the hill ; but the strength of Vv'andipore is not lessened by the more 
lofty surrounding heights, which carry their high heads far distant, by 
gradual easy slopes, and contribute greatly to the majesty of the views. 

This is considered as one of the consecrated habitations of Bootan ; 
and the Daeb Raja makes it a point to reside here some part of every 
year. It stands upon the southern extremity of the narrow end of a 
rocky hill, which is shaped like a wedge : the sides of the hill arc 
washed by the Matchieu-Patchieu on the west, which runs in a swift 
smooth stream, and by the Taantchieu on the east, which rushes with 
much noise and agitation over a rocky bed ; they both join at the base 
of the point, below the castle. This is an irregular, lofty building of 
stone, covering all the breadth of the rock, as far as it extends. The 
walls are high and solid : there is but one entrance in front, before 
which, there lies a large space of level ground, joined by an easy 
slope on the north-west, to the Punukka road. About an hundred 
yards in front of the castle rises a round tower, on an high eminence, 
perforated all round with loop holes, and supporting several projecting 


132 BOOTAN. 

balconies. It is a very roomy lodgment, has a commanding position, 
and prevents the castle from being seen even at a small distance. 

The bridge of Wandipore is of singular lightness and beauty in its 
appearance. I am happy to annex a view of this structure'', taken 
upon the spot by Mr. Davis, and comprehending also the highly pictu- 
resque scenery around, as another proof of the talent, fidelity, and taste, 
with wliich my friend seized on every appropriate feature, that marks 
the character of this peculiar country. The bridge is composed entirely 
of fir, and has not the smallest piece of iron, or any other metal, to con- 
nect its parts. It has three gateways; one on each side the river, and 
another erected in tlie stream, upon a pier, which is pointed like a 
wedge towards the current, but is on the opposite side a little convex ; 
below it, the eddy, produced by the re-union of the divided water, has 
thrown up a large bed of sand, on which grows a large willow, that 
flourishes extremely. The gateway on the Tassisudon side, is a lofty 
square stone building, with projecting balconies near the top, bordered 
by a breast work, and pierced with a portcullis. The span of the 
first bridge, which occupies two thirds of the breadth of the river, 
measures one hundred and twelve feet : it consists of three parts, two 
sides and a centre, nearly equal to each other; tiie sides, having a 
considerable slope, raise the elevation of the centre platform, which is 
horizontal, some feet above the floor of the gateways. A quadruple 
row of timbers, their ends being set in the masonry of the bank and 
pier, supports the sides ; the centre part is laid from one side to the 
other. The beams and planks are both of hewn fir : and they are 

" Plate VIII. 

DO O TAN. 133 

pinned together by large wooden pegs. This is all the fastening 1 
could observe ; it is secured by a neat light rail. The bridge from 
the pier to the hill, is horizontal, and the beams rest on the pier, and on 
a triple row of timbers let into the bank : it has a penthouse over it, 
which is covered widi shingles. I'he sound state of this bridge, is a 
striking instance of the durability of the turpentine fir; for, without the 
application of any composition in use for the preservation of wood, it 
has stood exposed to the changes of the seasons for near a century and 
a half, as tradition goes, without exhibiting any symptoms of decay, 
or suffering any injury from the weather. 

Our baggage arrived early in the morning, and we enjoyed, with 
much relish, a hearty breakfast. The rest of the morning was passed 
in a visit to the Raja, who condoled with us on the badness of the 
weather and toils of our journey : indeed he himself seemed not per- 
fectly to have recovered from his fatigue. He recommended to us, 
after resting awhile, to amuse ourselves, by rambling wherever we 
pleased. Our conversation was chiefly ingrossed by observations on the 
country, and by inquiries respecting what it might contain worthy our 
curiosity. So little informed as these people are, on subjects of natural 
history, I was not disappointed in receiving no satisfactory reply. 

These extensive ranges of mountains probably contain an ex- 
iiaustless store of the richest minerals; but while they continue in 
the possession of a people, ignorant themselves, and unwilling to 
permit others to explore them, their treasures must for ever remain 
l;uried in obscurity. The Raja mentioned to me a medicinal hot spring 
somewhere in the neighbourhood ; but it was too distant, and the road 

134 BOOTAN. 

too bad, for us to attempt to visit it. After the usual compliments 
of tea, trays of fruit were introduced, and among them abundance of 
ripe peaches. 

Taking an early dinner, we proposed a long walk towards the 
north. The hill of Wandipore is completely covered with a fine even 
turf: it has a moderate acclivity, as it increases in breadth, for about 
a mile and a half from the castle, where it joins the side of a very lofty 
mountain. We struggled some way up it, but found the task too 
arduous to attempt to reach its summit. It was totally void of large 
trees, but crowded with clusters of barberry bushes. 

We discovered snow, on Sunday the 6th of July, upon the most 
distant mountains towards the north; but the clouds hung about them, 
and they were only a short time visible. In the hollow below the 
castle, on the eastern side, was a large garden ; a situation judiciously 
chosen for its uncommonly fine shelter. "We found orange, citron, 
pomegranate, peach, apple, and even mango <= trees^ thriving extremely 
well. Of culinary vegetables, it boasted no great variety : there were, 
however, cucumbers, bangun ^, chili ' ; and it was much overrun with 
weeds. Though we varied our evenings walk, we saw few objects that 
were not familiar to us. Having been so long accustomed to the noise 
of rapid currents, and the view of lofty mountains, diversified with 
populous villages, groves, and hermitages, the repetition of such scenes 
could impart to us no pleasure, which we had not already experienced. 
On the north-east end of Wandipore hill, grew a cluster of fall fir 
trees, that had an extremely singular appearance : not a single branch 
* Mangifera. Solanum. « Capsicum annuum j Linnai. 

liOOTAN. 135 

of them pointed towards the east, on which side art could not possibly 
have rendered them more bare ; but on the other side, the branches 
grew with great vigour, and were full of luxuriant Ibliage. This curious 
effect resulted from the peculiar conformation of the hills, which throws 
a constant current of wind with great fury across that corner. A per- 
petual hurricane seems to prevail at Wandipore. This character of 
the situation, would have forced itself upon our notice, had we been 
less particular in our observations, in consequence of the utter want 
of shutters, or any other provision made to exclude it from our apart- 
ments. To supply this capital defect, we barricaded the windows and 
balconies of our house, with coarse mats; yet it was with difficuly we 
could keep a candle burning. The wind still whistled rudely through 
our matted fence, and, aided by the roaring of the rapid river below, 
rivalled in noise, the uproar and turbulence of a wind or watermill, 
when going in full force. 

The Raja, perceiving that his business was likely to detain him 
longer than he had foreseen, and that, in consequence, he should be 
obliged to drop his design of visiting Punukka, with evident solicitude 
for our entertainment, proposed to us to go alone. We joyfully closed 
with the offer. It would have been acceptable, had we considered it 
as affording an escape from the multiplied evils of our present uncom- 
fortable quarters ; but it was particularly so to me, as being, at the 
same time, the most pleasing testimony of the Raja's having totally 
thrown aside that jealousy and distrust, which we had been taught 
invariably to expect. As another instance of his liberal confidence, 
supposing that I might not have been prepared for so long an absence, 

136 BOOTAN. 

he ofieied me any sum of money I might want, for the discharge of 
my travelhng expences. He ordered a quantity of the roasted grain, 
(rice) which we used to eat and praise, when we visited him, to be 
packed up and sent with us; and while we were at Punukka, we 
received from him daily supplies of most excellent fresh butter, which 
I thought equal to any I had ever eaten, for consistence, colour, and 

Their process of making butter is as follows. They put the milk 
destined for the purpose into a narrow upright bucket, with a lid 
adapted to it, in the centre of which is a hole that admits the passage 
of a bamboo shaft ; round the upper part of this shalt a piece of cord, 
or thong, is passed, so that two persons, each seizing an end, make it 
to revolve rapidly, and agitate the contents of the bucket. The upper 
end of the shaft being pointed, is received in a concave bit of wood, 
which is occasionally tied to a tree, or any other fixed object which 
happens to be in the way. The lower end, within the vessel, is split 
into four parts^ to a certain distance ; a bandage of twine prevents its 
splitting higher. The parts are then kept open, to any degree of ex- 
tension, by a cross piece, which is tied with a thong high or low, in 
the split part, as it happens to suit the fancy of the operator. Rude 
as this contrivance is, it contains the principle applicable to the same 
process throughout all the universe, quick and continued agitation. 
Whether it be the most expeditious mode is of small importance; 
it is at least simple, easily applied, and completely answers the 

On the morning of the 8th, horses and a guide being ready to attend 

BOOT AN. 137 

US, we left Wandipore ; but not till we had visited and taken leave 
of the Raja, who proposed, when we left Punukka, that we should 
meet him midway at a place called Telagong, and that we should 
proceed together to Tassisudon ; to which end, he promised to give 
us notice of the day fixed for his departure. 

It was about seven o'clock when we descended the hill of Wandi- 
pore, passing by a sort of barn, where a tame elephant was kept, the 
only one I had met with in Bootan. The steep and narrow roads 
preclude the use of them hej'e ; and though they are so very abundant 
immediately on the southern fi"ontier, yet is this animal, at but a 
short distance from his native woods, shut up, and treated as an object 
merely of curiosity. 

We were fortunate in our day : the weather was serene, the atmo- 
sphere clear, and the sun shone full upon the distant mountains. In 
the rear of all, swelling high above the rest, the mountains of Ghassa 
were distinctly visible, clothed with perpetual snow, whose smooth 
unsullied surface was nobly contrasted by the deeply shaded rocky 
eminences in the lore-ground. A few luminous and fleecy clouds 
hung on the border of the horizon, which, as they verged towards the 
snow, assumed a darker and thicker appearance, adding much to the 
effect of this beautiful view. 

Ghassa is the capital of a district, and the station of a Zoompoon, 
or provincial governor. The highest mountain in its neighbourhood, 
whose head is eternally crowned with snow, sends forth a spring, of 
water at its base, of so great a degree of heat, that few are Ibund 
capable of bearing, even for a short time, any part of the body 

158 BOOTAN. 

immersed in it. Whether the Gylongs have by use surmounted this 
difficuhy, and so far blunted their sensations, as to use the bath estab- 
lished on tiie spot, without personal inconvenience, I know not ; yet it 
is reported, that none but good and holy men are susceptible of its 
virtues; the profane who resort hither, being incapable of enjoying its 
medicinal efficacy, or, in other words, supporting its extreme heat. 
The desponding invalid, therefore, is usually compelled to have re- 
course to those, who are in a superior degree endowed with holiness, 
" to propitiate the genii of the well." 

Our road lay near the river, at the foot of the mountains, winding 
through a verdant valley of unequal width. In general, the moun- 
tains terminated with an easy slope ; but their sides were divided into 
small beds, for the growth of corn : and they were not incumbered with 
trees. The few which were upon them consisted of pine and fir, 
with some barberry bushes intermixed ; and every breeze of wind, 
diffusing the fragrance of the jessamine, gratefully convinced us of its 

The palace of Punukka, in its exterior form and appearance, very 
much resembles that oI'Tassisudon, but is rather more spacious and 
extensive : it has, in the same manner, its citadel and gilded canopy. 
It is situated on the point of a peninsula, washed on both sides, imme- 
diately before their junction, by the Matchieu and the Patchieu. We 
crossed the Patchieu over a covered wooden bridge, and, turning to 
the right, passed through a doorway in a wall, that serves to part the 
court-yard from the Raja's garden. We proceeded on, and took up 
our residence in a light airy pavilion, belonging to Zcmpi, erected on 

hOOTA N. 139 

the bank ol the Matchieu, under a large spreading tree. The valley, 
to a considerable distance, as far as it extended in a right Une between 
the river and the garden wall, was as even as a bowling green, and with 
as fresh a verdure. The bank sustained a row of fine old trees, whose 
venerable branches spread their thick foliage, to the exclusion of the 
meridian sun, and cast upon the margin of the river, a constant but 
grateful shade. The pavilion stood supported upon high pillars, and 
we ascended to it by a wooden ladder: it was commodious, light, 
and airy ; and we were much delighted with the pleasantness and 
novelty of our situation. Immediately opposite, within the garden 
wall, was a neat but small summer-house, two stories high, containing 
three rooms on a floor ; and I am informed, that the Raja, when at 
Punukka, is very fond of retiring hither for his recreation. 

Punukka is the winter residence of the Daeb Raja, and, as we were 
informed, his favourite seat : he has lavished large sums upon it ; and 
I am told its decorations are much more costly, than those of any other 
of his palaces. I was greatly mortified and disappointed, in not being 
pemiitted to see the inside of the palace ; a stern porter kept the inner 
entrance ; and, in consequence of an order given during the late 
tumults, obstinately refused me admittance ; nor could I by any means 
prevail upon him to relent. We had not the same difficulty in gaining 
access to the gardens which were extensive, and well stocked ; con- 
taining the orange, sweet and sour; lemon, lime, citron, pomegranate, 
peach, apple, pear, and walnut trees, loaded with unripe fruit. We 
gathered many apples ; their shape and name were recommendations 
to us, but we found them coarse, harsh, and extremely ill tasted. A 



large mango tree stood in the middle of the garden, with its branches 
bowing down with fruit, which was not expected to ripen till the end 
of August: in Bengal they are in season in May. Punukka is esteemed 
the warmest part of Bootan, and, from its soil and situation, is chosen 
for the culture of exotics. Our English plants suffered by this inju- 
dicious care. The gardener brought me a handful of lettuces, weak 
and bitter, and also a few cabbage leaves, equally degenerate, with a 
small specimen of potatoes, not bigger than boys' marbles. Mr. Bogle 
had formed great hopes from the introduction of this vegetable, and 
they had been taught to call it by his name ; but either from ignorance 
or idleness, they have failed in the cultivation of this valuable root, 
and the stock is now almost exhausted. 

It is much to be regretted that the natives of Bootan possess no 
knowledge of gardening. What fruits, or what vegetables, might not 
be here cultivated to the highest perfection ! The climate of Bootan 
affords every degree of variation at this season of the year, from 
summer heat to the freezing point ; for at the same time that the 
inhabitants of Punukka, are cautious of exposing themselves to a ver- 
tical sun, those of Ghassa feel all the rigour of winter, chilled by- 
perpetual snows : yet both these places are within view of each 

Total strangers to the luxury of the table, the Booteeas cannot think 
any thing worth their care, which nature has not, in the common order 
of things, bestowed upon their soil. They have a few fruits indeed in 
great perfection ; their oranges are exquisite, their peaches and apricots 
very good ; so also is the pomegranate ; waljiuts cannot possibly be 

BO OT AN. 141 

better. Yet here nature does every thing ; it remains only for them 
to extend their hands, and partake of what she offers. 

Among their vegetables, the turnips pecuUar to this country, deserve 
a decided preference over all those that I have ever seen. They are 
large, free from fibres, and remarkably sweet ; and it is with justice, 
that the inhabitants pride themselves on their great superiority. 

Though bad gardeners, they are better husbandmen, and display 
much industry in the management of their grounds. I have always 
observed their corn fields very neatly dressed; but in this, the men can 
claim but little merit, for by far the greatest labour falls upon the fair 
sex : they plant, they weed, and to them, eventually, the task falls, of 
applying the sickle and the flail. In a thousand laborious offices, they 
expose themselves to hardships and inclement weather, while the 
lords of the creation, wrapt in inglorious ease, enjoy the fruits of their 

The heat was rather too powerful to admit our being abroad during 
all the day, but in the evening of Wednesday, the 9th of July, we took 
a very long walk up the valley to the Raja's villa, called Zemrigatchee. 
We found this palace, as well as the adjoining garden, situated upon 
rising ground, much more elevated than that by which we approached 
it. We ascended the bank, and turning to the left, came to a small 
pavilion, erected upon a high perpendicular point, that overlooked the 
river, and commanded a pleasant prospect down the valley : huge 
mountains interposed to circumscribe the view above. The palace was 
not entirely visible from hence, but partially concealed by firs, and 
clusters of bamboos, growing in the intermediate space. The pavilion 

142 BOOT AN. 

was neat and airy, and we deemed it an inviting situation to rest our- 
selves awhile. We had not been long seated, when the steward of the 
villa spread before us a vast profusion of ripe and green apples, 
oranges, kc. Tea and whisky also made a part of the offering, and 
fresh curdled milk. Our host (who was very communicative) sat down, 
and partook with us of the potable part of his treat. When we were 
a little refreshed, he led us about the garden, and afterwards through 
every apartment in the palace : nor was he at all scrupulous in 
exhibiting to our view the liine display of gilded gods, that occupied 
the recesses in several rooms. Our attendant, who was an active 
cheerful young man about eighteen years of age, and who just before 
had been as merry as unclouded spirits and rude health could make 
him, in a moment became as grave as one of the group of idols, and 
approached them with devout solemnity to make his nine prostrations. 
This palace is similar to all those of the secondary order : its ex- 
terior form is a square '. in the centre of the liont is a quadrangular 
building, which forms the body of the house, elevated three floors 
above the three other sides of the square, in which are contained 
offices for servants, and rooms for all sorts of lumber. The entrance 
was by the side of the house, through a narrow passage into the area, 
where a flight of wooden steps conducted us to the first floor of the 
centre building- The rooms were lofty and spacious ; to some, there 
were projecting balconies, whe^ice might be seen the garden, and a 
part of the valley ; but the prospect was limited on all sides by high 
mountains, a circumstance which renders Zemrigatchee rather a gloomy 

BOOTAN. 143 

The obliging and attentive assiduity of the good man who lived 
here, and his soHcitude to shew us every part of his extensive charge, 
drew us inadvertently to loiter away more time than in prudence we 
ought to have done ; and, though night was coming on apace, we could 
not part till he had carried us into a detached garden, abounding with 
orange and other trees, and on the borders of which was a large pond 
covered with the lotus [nijmpluea nilolica) in full bloom ; a flower for 


which the inhabitants have a religious esteem, and which they often 
place before their idols, deeming it to be peculiarly acceptable to them. 
It is held in the same religious estimation in India, as it was in Egypt ; 
and serves, among other evidences, to point out a remote connection 
between the people of Egypt and India, and the religions of both. 

It was long dark, before we reached our own habitation ; and, though 
no visible danger obstructed our way, yet it was not unfrequently 
necessary, to appease the Dewtas [g^eiiii loci) at several stages, with l 
the occasional offering of a few narrainees; nor was I inattentive to the 
advice of our guide, notwitlistanding that I believed him to have no 
small interest in these oblations. 

The nanainee is a base silver coin, struck in Cooch Bahar, of the 
value of about ten-pence, or one third of a Sicca rupee. The commo- 
diousness of this small piece, the profits the people of Bootan derive \\ 
from their commerce with Cooch Bahar, and some local prejudices' ' 
against the establishment of a mint, have given the nanainee in these 
regions, as well as in those where it is struck, a common currency, 
though both countries are perfectly independent of each other, and 
~ totally different in their language and manner. The name of the coin is 

144 BOOTAN. 

j derived from the Hindoo mythology; Narrain being no other than the 
/ favourite god Krishna, the Apollo of the Hindoos, the god of dance and 
music, of pleasure and of sport ; who is complimented by his votaries 
all over India, by that cheerful festival the Hooli ; a joyful season, 
designed to celebrate the arrival of the vernal equinox ; as the Dussera, 
at the end of summer, is appropriate to the autumnal equinox. 

The festival of the Hooli takes place the first full moon after the 
sun has passed the vernal equinox, and is calculated to hail the ap- 
proach of spring. Its ceremonies consist entirely of the most frolicsome 
and playful sports ; all ranks and ages mix in its celebration ; and, 
among other acts, during its continuance, cast at each other handfuls 
of a pulverized scarlet flower, the jubba [ixora Linnmi), and thin 
elastic balls, filled with a liquid coloured by the same plant; these 
burst on the slightest resistance, and cover the whole dress and person 
of him who is struck by it, with a crimson stain. Nor is it deemed 
disgraceful, on this occasion, to carry the most obvious traces of the 
deepest dye; for when once the barrier of the Zennana^is broken 
down, the sovereign himself sets aside his high despotic character, and 
unbends in frolicsome festivity. Unrestrained liberty of speech and 
repartee prevails; and the females of every family particularly delight 
in giving free indulgence to these romping sports, which are equally 
kept up by the Mahometans and the Hindoos. 

I was once at Muttura, in Bindrabund, in Hindostan, at the season 
in which this festival is held, the vicinity of which place is fabled to 
have been the scene of the descent of Krishna, whom by this comme- 
' Zennana, the apartments of the females. 

BOOTAN. 145 

moration they are disposed to honour. Here, as the tradition goes, 
having discovered the nine Hoolis, diverting themselves with music, 
songs, and merry frolics, without a single male of their party, he most 
gallantly multiplied his form into an equal number, and joined hands 
with them to complete a dance. Thus, to the honour of Krishna, is it 
not forgotten how mightily he pleased the Hoolis, and how merrily the 
time passed : as is sufficiently indicated even to this day, to those who 
understand it, by their songs of joy, the Ragnee, and their chorus of 
Hooli, Hooli, Hoolis. 

We were lodged much to our satisfaction at Punukka, where wc 
were well disposed to have passed a longer time ; but the failure of 
our resources compelled us to determine upon our return, and we 
were obliged to set off, without waiting the notice promised us by 
the Raja. 

In the morning of the following day we left Punukka, crossing the 
opposite bridge to that by which we entered. We travelled over a 
hill, at first moderately high and steep; and, ascending a second, 
arrived at Telagong, which is situated a good way up, on a level 

Telagong is one of the places belonging to the reigning Raja, and it 
serves him to halt at, in passing between his winter and summer resi- 
dences, Punukka and Tassisudon. This is the station he proposed for 
our meeting ; but his business detained him at Wandipore, and it was 
impossible to wait his return. 

The day was far advanced, the weather fair, and the sun shone in a 
* A corruption of Holi orHolika. 

1 46 B OOTAN. 

cloudless sky-Avith most powerful lustre. We were urgently entreated 
to pass the night here ; many arguments were used to dissuade us from 
proceeding, and we were assured it was utterly impracticable to reach 
Tassisudoli before midnight ; but all was in vain ; for the recollection 
of our past sufferings at Wandipore, determined us not to hazard, if 
we could possibly avoid it, an exposure to similar calamities; a reso- 
lution which the wretched appearance of this solitary mansion, and the 
more comfortable prospect of home, tended strongly to confirm. After 
partaking therefore of the scanty fare which this miserable place afforded, 
mifk and roasted rice, we mounted our horses, and, in the blaze of day, 
moved slowly on ; for a prodigious high mountain lay before us, 
clothed with thick woods, and we had to climb it by a steep ascent. 
We were four hours in arriving at its summit, where we looked, as well 
as from many openings in the road, upon an assemblage of mountains 
behind mountains, thrown together, like the fragments of a ruined 
world, in wild disorder. On the summit, which was crowned with a 
little level space, was one of those long monuments already men- 
tioned, inscribed with the mystic words, Oom maunee paimee com. We 
found here two servants belonging to the Daeb, and one of the Tasse 
Zoompoon's, with whom, having taken a cup of tea, we advanced on 
our way, greatly refreshed and exhilarated. 

1 he descent was so gradual and short, compared with the preceding 
ascents of this day's journey, as to strike us very forcibly with an 
opinion, that the elevation of Punukka was much inferior to that of 
Tassisudon ; and hence we accounted for its superior warmth. 

Wild animals are so extremely rare, as far as my experience and 

BOOTAN. 147 

information leads me to conclude, in Bootan, that I must not pass, 
without particular mention, a multitude of monkies which we saw 
playing their gambols by the road side. 

They were of a large and handsome kind ; with black faces, sur- 
rounded by a streak of white hair, and very long slender tails. They 
are the Hunnoowunt of India, the largest in these regions, and the 
gentlest of the monkey tribe : they are held sacred by the Booteeas as 
well as by the Hindoos, who have given them a distinguished place in 
their miscellaneous and multifarious mythology. 

I once saw a multitude of them at Muttura in Hindostan, which 
I was informed were daily fed on the produce of a stipend settled 
for their support, by the Hindoo prince, Madajee Sindia. I ventured 
amongst them with some diffidence, for they were bold and active ; 
Avhich rendered it difficult to avoid any sort of hberty they mio-ht 
choose to take. Resentment was out of the question; for I was in- 
formed they were at all times ready instantly to unite in one common 
cause. One amongst them was lame from an accidental hurt ; and it 
was surprising^ in consequence of this resemblance to his patron, what 
partial attention, and indulgence he had obtained, of which, indeed, 
he seemed perfectly sensible. I have also noticed multitudes of the 
same species, near Amboa in Bengal. 

Exemption from annoyance, emboldens all animated nature : I pass 
therefore from this instance into another element, the water. The scaly 
inhabitants of the river Jumna, that winds along the borders of Muttura, 
are found also to be equally protected by the Hindoo faith. The tish, 
of which that river is full, are frequently seen to rise to the surface of 


148 BO OT AN. 

the water, as if expecting to be fed ; and there is a merit in giving 
them a supply. They assemble round the Hindoos when performing 
their ablutions ; and, as they are by the strictest law, guarded from 
destruction near the city of Muttura, they have been guided, as it 
were by instinct, to crowd to its vicinity, as to a safe resort. 

Not long after we had passed by the herd of monkies, we fell in with 
the road which led us from Tassisudon, and passing below the castle 
of Symtoka, arrived at our habitation between six and seven. Upon 
our return we heard fhc report of a recent victory, which had been 
announced in the afternoon, by guns fired from the castle. The next 
day, visiting TasseZoompoon, I learnt that the last remaining remnant 
of the rebels, had been overtaken by the Raja's forces upon the banks 
of the Taantchieu, where they had just pitched their tents, and were 
preparing to regale themselves, when first discovered. They were 
instantly attacked and gallantly defended themselves, until the ap- 
pearance of very superior numbers induced them to betake themselves 
to flight. The chief, with most of his adherents, escaped; but his 
Zempi lost his life in the affray, being transfixed with two arrows; one 
entering his temple, the other his throat. His head and right hand 
were immediately cut off, and carried in triumph to Wandipore. 

BOOTAN. 149 


Return of the Raja to Tassisudon — our Visit to him — anxiety to 
hear our opinion of his favourite Seat — displeased that we were 
refused admittance — recital of what appeared peculiarhj striking. 
— His marked approbation of Mr. Davis. — Buxa Soobah. — 
A Buffoon. — Electrical Machine. — Mechanic turn of the Raja — 
medical Genius. — Ipecacuanha. — Wandeechij. — Fatal accident to 
our Camp Equipage. — Tibet Dogs. — Entertainment at the Villa. 
— Marvellous Stories of the Raja — of a Gigantic race of Men 
— of People with Tails — of Unicorns. — The Raja s Pilgrimage to 
the sacred Shrine of Pootalah. — Temple of JVandeechy. — Repast 
— Bull Fight. — Return of the Raja to the Palace. — Messengers 
from Tibet. — Durga Pooja. — The great Autumnal Festival oj the 
Hindoos. — Dussera. — Dewali. 

iSoME days elapsed before the Raja returned to Tassisudon. He 
came, attended with little pomp and but few followers, and entered the 
palace soon after sunrise. His approach was indicated by numerous 
heaps of fire smoaking by the road side ; a token of respect paid, in 
this region, to every great personage, by the inhabitants bordering on 
the road, by which he passes, and performed with more attentive 
care, when they mean to do honour to their chief. In the course of 

150 BOOTAN. 

the day I visited the Raja. He asked a thousand questions respecting 
Punukka, and was extremely curious to hear our opinion of liis favourite 
seat; of course he vi'as equally disappointed, and displeased, that we 
had been denied admittance. However, I amused him with a recapi- 
tulation of our adventures, not forgetting the attentions of the steward 
of his villa ; at which he expressed particular satisfaction : nor did he 
seem less pleased, that Mr. Davis had improved the opportunity of 
drawing various views in our route. I never concealed from the Raja, 
during our stay with him, any of those trivial occurrences which 
filled up and amused our time. Thus, by an early communication, he 
was apprised of all that happened to us, and had an opportunity of 
hearing what I told him, confirmed by his servants who attended us, 
from Avhom, no doubt, he obtained a constant account of all our trans- 
actions. We eminently experienced the advantages of this conduct : 
it averted suspicious animadversions and misconstructions, and tended 
to inspire him with a confidence, which was strongly testified to us, 
in every possible instance, to the last moment of our stay. We were 
in no respect abridged in the liberty of ranging where we chose; and 
the Raja appeared rather to encourage Mr. Davis, in taking views of his 
different palaces, and of the various scenery exhibited in this wild and 
picturesque country. 

We met our old acquaintance, Buxa Soobah, at the palace. His 
visit to Tassisudon had been accelerated by the late commotions; in 
consequence of which, the Raja had summoned him to attend at the 
head of all the troops which his district furnished ; and the Soobah 
was marching in lull force when the news reached him, that the rebels 

BOOTAN. 151 

were dislodged from before Tassisudon, and had fled to Wandipore. 
Upon this intelhgence, he hahed at Kepta. His men soon after were 
countermanded; and, upon the Raja's return, he was himself ordered 
to the capital. It was this morning only he had arrived, and he paid 
his hrst visit to the Raja while we were present. He went through 
the performance of the same humiliations, or mode of obeisance, as 
was exacted from every subject ; and having prostrated himself nine 
times before the Raja, he then presented him with a white silk scarf, 
and was directed to sit down upon the floor, on the opposite side 
of the room. When he had paid his respects, and been some time 
seated, I took the opportunity of the first pause to address myself to 
him; and we entered into conversation, at which the Raja seemed not 
at all displeased ; nor did I omit to express my sense of the Soobah's 
most obliging treatment of us, while we were at Buxadewar. As 
Jong as he continued at Tassisudon, we had frequent visits from the 
Soobah, and we were pleased with his society; for he was a liberal 
minded man, void of prejudice, modest and unassuming in his 
manner, and of a more conciliating exterior, than the generality of his 

The most remarkable among those, who occasionally came to visit 
us, was a little old man, who wore red robes, the dress of the reli- 
gious order; some called him the Raja's story-teller, others a jester: \\ 
he assumed the part of a buffoon ; and seemed altogether dependant 
upon the success of his tricks, for his daily dinner. We were early dis- 
tinguished by his attention; and he never passed us within hearing, 
but he iiailcd us in bad Bengalee; and whoever may follow us while 

152 r. ooTAN. 

this old man survives, will, if he has not forgotten it, be loudly greeted 
with the word k/uis^. He was one of those inoffensive, good hu- 
moured creatures, sometimes to be met with in the lower rank of 
people, who enliven their neighbourhood by their careless vivacity, 
tricks, and drollery ; and who, without an irascible particle in their 
composition, receive composedly the cuffs, and feed upon the caresses, 
of those whom they entertain. But, not being competent to the 
comprehension of all his drolleries, we thought his visits, at last, 
too frequent, and we fairly frightened him from our rooms, by elec- 
tricity. Never was a creature more astonished than when he received 
the first shock : we often gave it him afterwards by surprise, till at 
length he thought himself no where safe ; and a single turn of the 
cylinder would make him run, without stopping, till he was out al 

Our electrical apparatus proved a most fertile fund of amusement. 
The quick and incomprehensible action of the electric fluid, produced 
frequently a very laughable spectacle, among crowds of Booteeas, 
who were attracted by curiosity to our apartments. It was ex- 
tremely entertaining to communicate the shock to a large circle. After 
the first impression and exclamation of astonishment, there never failed 
to ensue among them a hearty laugh ; each being delighted at the 
idea of what he supposed the other felt. By the Raja's desire, I 
carried the apparatus repeatedly to his apartment, and he was much 
diverted with it. He would never venture to draw even a spark 
himself, but would occasionally call in parties to be electrified, and 

"" Khas signifies good, excellent. 

BOOTAN. 153 

much enjoyed the fooHsh figure they made on the sensation of a 
shock. At last we found it difficuk to collect volunteei's, for they 
all grew remarkably shy of the machine. The Raja, however, seemed 
to derive so much amusement from it, that I could not find in my 
heart to deprive him of sucii a source of entcrtaiumeut ; so 1 left the 
apparatus in his hands, with such directions as I thought necessary: 
and if its charms do Jiot cease with its novelty, I have no doubt of his 
being able at any time to use it. The Raja had a mechanic turn, and 
delighted in exhibiting the works of his artists, wliich were less re- 
markable for ingenuity than for strength. He reckoned himself pos- 
sessed of extraordinary good iron^ and indulged a high opinion of the 
arms fabricated from it. It was a favourite amusement with him, to 
examine the few mathematical and optical instruments we had with us; 
and Mr. Saunders afforded him a great treat, by shewing his chirurgical 
instruments, and explaining their uses. 

The versatility of genius, and spirit of inquiry, which he possessed, 
had qualified him for the practice of physic, equally with any of the 
profession in his own dominions ; and he had a perfect knowledo-e of 
every medicinal preparation in use among them : yet he entertained a 
just opinion of our superior skill ; and, desirous of profitintr as much 
as possible by the opportunity, he ordered his chief physician to attend 
on Mr. Saunders, and avail himself of his instructions. The Raja wil- 
lingly parted with specimens of all his drugs, and gave an account of 
their reputed properties : in return, he received from Mr. Saunders 
whatever he could spare from his chest. The virtues of one medicine 
he put to the test while we were with him ; this was ipecacuanha. 

154 BOOTAN. 

Trusting to his own ideas of its power and effect, for the relief of some 
disorder that he either feh or fancied himself affected by, he toolc, 
according to the directions lie had received, a moderate dose; yet^ 
not choosing to run the risk alone, he obliged his doctor at the same 
time, to try the experiment along with him. Ridiculous as it may 
seem, I am assured that this is no novel practice ; for the Raja never 
/ i takes any medicine, but his physician is indispensibly obliged to 

^ i 

■ swallow a dose of the same sort. 

The ipecacuanha he had taken, being rather tardy in its operation,, 
he repeated the quantity, Avhich soon acted most violently, and for the 
space of two days, kept him in perpetual agitation. The doctor, being 
a younger man, and of a stronger habit, was first relieved ; but the 
Raja paid dear for his cjuackery ; and when we saw him next was 
woefully sick and weak. 

The Raja having determined, before the great festival, to retire to 
his villa, situated upon the ridge of the western mountain, he invited 
us to come early one morning, and pass the day there, which we 
agreed to ; and soon after he had left the palace, a time was fixed lor 
our visit. 

The villa lay within the distance of two miles from our house, yet, 
notwithstanding this short space, our expedition was marked by a mis- 
fortune, the greatest that had yet befallen us. While on the way, we 
were overtaken by the mournful news, that the Booteea, who was to 
follow with our dining apparatus, had, previously to his taking up 
his load, drank a cup too much; nor had he ascended far, before 
his strength and steadiness forsook him; he reeled, fell down, and 

BOO TAN. 155 

precipitated the camp equipage to the foot of the rock, to the total 
destruction of all its frangible contents. 

This was an irreparable loss, aggravated by the prospect before us, 
of receding still further from the possibility of supplying its place ; 
of necessity we were obliged to submit, and accept the use of such 
miserable substitutes, as the custom of these regions offered. Not a 
syllable was said to the Raja of what had happened ; for we knew not 
but deaths might have been the reward of the author of this ruin. 
Having ascended to the gates of the villa, we did not enter it ; but, 
turning to the left, found the Raja seated in a pavilion erected upon 
the edge of a deep precipice, which it partly overhung, commanding 
a beautiful prospect of the valley, the castle, and the river, with many 
populous settlements, distributed over the surrounding mountains. 
There was a large level space in front, completely covered with a 
smooth and verdant turf : various sorts of trees grew on the superior 
eminences ; firs, the barberry, rhododendron, vaccinium, and the 
mountain ash. The mansion stood upon the right ; on the left was a 
row of wooden cages, containing a number of huge dogs, tremendously 
fierce, strong, and noisy. They were natives of Tibet; and whether 
savage by nature, or soured by confinement, they were so impetu- 
ously furious, that it was unsafe, unless the keepers were near, even to 
approach their dens. 

Below the pavilion, we looked down upon a bed of flowers, consisting 
of a selection from the most shewy of the hardy species ; hollyhocks, 
sun-flowers, African marigolds, nasturtiums, poppies, and a few 
weakly larkspurs. The rose appears to be not in its proper climate, 



1 5G BOOTA N. 

giving but a pale and feeble blossom : the pomegranate finds a more 
congenial soil, and produces the largest andmost excellent fruit ofits kind. 

We were treated, on our arrival, with tea, Sec. which was followed 
by strawberries, and another fruit, growing wild, smaller, but not 
unlike a ripe sloe. The weather was clear and temperate : there was 
a delightful, silent serenity in this retreat ; and the eye dwelt with 
satisfaction on the different shades of verdure^ in the variegated scene. 
Two musicians, placed at a distance, played upon reed instruments, 
in wild and not unharmonious strains, while tlie Raja held us in 
conversation, on the customs and produce of foreign countries ; 
subjects on which he sought for information, with insatiable avidity. 
I selected the most striking peculiarities of all nations for his enter- 
tainment, and he, in his turn, told me of wonders, for which I claim 
no other credit, than that of repeating with fidelity the story of my 

In the first place, he mentioned a race of people, of uncommon sta- 
ture, inhabiting a prodigiously high mountain, whose base was many 
day^ journey in circumference. The country lay east of Bootan ; and 
being far distant, his subjects had never had any intercourse with it ; 
but two of these people had, some years ago, wandered hither, and 
they were the admiration of all the inhabitants; being not less, accord- 
ing to his description, than eight feet high. They stayed but a short 
time, and seemed happy at the thoughts of returning to their gigantic 

In the same range of mountains, north of Assam, he informed me 
there were a species of human beings, with short straight tails, which, 


liOOTAN. , 157 

according to report, were extremely inconvenient to them, as they j 
were inflexible ; in consequence of which they were obliged to dig 
holes in the ground, before they could attempt to sit down. 

He had a very curious creature, he told me, then in his possession ; 
a sort of horse, with a horn growing from the middle of his forehead. 
He had once another of the same species; but it died. I could not 
discover from whence it came, or obtain any other explanation than 
burra dure! a great way off! I expressed a very earnest desire to 
see a creature so curious and uncommon, and told him that we had 
representations of an animal called an unicorn, to which his description 
answered; but it was generally considered as fabulous. He again 
assured me of the truth of what he told me, and promised I should 
see it. It was some distance from Tassisudon, and his people paid il 
religious respect ; but I never had a sight of it. 

The last story I shall notice, is an account the Raja gave me of 
an adventure of his own, designed not less to magnify our opinion of 
his zeal, than to add respect to his religious character in the estimation 
of his own disciples : it was introduced in consequence of our con- 
versation turning on Tibet. He painted to me the difficulties of the 
way, and the wide disparity of country and of climate. " I have 
seen, I have experienced, and speak from my own knowledge ; for," 
continued he, " some years ago, putting on the appearance of a men- 
dicant or fakeer, I made a pilgrimage to Lassa, and visited the holy 
temples, sacred as the seats of the superior objects of our worship. 
My journey was performed all the way on foot, with one companion. 
I walked over, and saw, every part of the extensive city of Lassa; I paid 

158 BOOTAN. 

my devotions at the sacred shrine of Pootalah' ; and, after a residence 
of about Iburteen days, returned, in the same manner I went, incognito, 
to Bootan." I could not but express my surprise, that the independent 
sovereign of an extensive region^, who might iiave commanded every 
accommodation, attention, and respect from the neighbouring powerSj 
should thus voluntarily relinquish the prerogative of rank, and submit 
to travel, under every disadvantage, exposed to all sorts of difficulty, 
hardship, and inconvenience. He answered me, that the humble 
\ character he assumed, best accorded with the purpose of his journey, 
which, to render it meritorious, required some degree of penance ; and 
he hinted at the inconveniences which inevitably arise to the subjects 
of every state, when a chief moves through the country, Avith a dignity 
and pomp suited to his exalted station. 

As the hour of dinner now approached, we were desirous awhile to 

stroll and look about us, which as soon as the Raja understood, he 

recommended to us to view the inside of his villa, and called a servant 

to attend and shew it to us. On the lower floor we found a superb 

temple, in which some of the Gy longs are perpetually employed in 

reading their sacred writings. The most conspicuous figure in it was 

* an immense idol ; it contained also many other gilded images of a 

smaller size. In recesses, upon either side the doorway, tablets of 

the expences, and other circumstances, attending the construction of 

this edifice, were written. Some mythological paintings, and symbols 

of their system of the creation, decorated the walls ; and in a large 

hall adjoining, were hung up representations of the city of Lassa, and 

' The chief monastery and residence of Dalai Lama, near Lassa. 

BOOTAN. 159 

the monastery Pootalah, the residence of Dalai Lama ; of Lubrong, 
the residence of Teshoo Lama, in Tibet; and of Cattamandu, the capital 
of Nipal, and Patan, in the same kingdom, as well as of other places of 
famed resort. Their representations partook both of plan and perspec- 
tive ; and, without the advantages of hght and shade, a pretty good idea 
of the stile of building peculiar to each country might be collected from 
them ; nor were characteristic figures omitted : for instance, Chinese 
and Tartars in the views ofLassa; the yellow cap in Teshoo Loom- 
boo ; the flowing muslin robe in the pictures of Nipal ; and peacocks 
and prancing Tangun horses made a figure in those of Bootan. The 
upper apartments had good boarded floors, and were neatly painted. 
Their favourite colour is vermilion. There were other temples, and 
many cabinets of diminutive Dewtas, which they had no scruple in 
conducting us to see. 

Some time elapsed, though we hastily ran over the different rooms ; 
and when we descended to the pavilion, we were immediately called 
to dinner. The Raja's repast consisted of boiled rice, some vegetables, 
and a kind of bread, resembling pie -crust : a couple of cold fowls, 
which had been dressed in a cuisinier, with biscuit, cheese, beer, and 
wine, served us. The Raja supplied a dish of strange heterogeneous 
composition, for wliich, not all his rhetoric could give us a relish. 
It was an olio, consisting of rancid butter, various vegetables, rice, 
spices, and fa pork : a meat against which, our experience in this 
country, had inspired us with an invincible prejudice. The fermented 
infusion, called Chong, was more acceptable, and we drank of it 

160 BOOTAN. 

Towards the close of tiie afternoon we were entertained with tiie 
exhibition of a bull fight, between two animals, the strongest and 
fiercest of the species I ever beheld. They were of a foreign breed, 
from a more eastern part of the same range ojf mountains, and in Bengal 
are termed Gyal. Their heads were small, their necks thick, their 
chests prodigiously deep, and their fore legs remarkably short. The 
carcase lessened towards the loins, which made the hind legs appear 
much longer than the fore. Their colour was a dark brown, almost 
black. They were led to the ground between many Bootecas, well 
secured, with strong ropes fastened to them : they struggled violently, 
as impatient of restraint, and their prominent eyes rolled with fury, as 
if they were instructed in the fierce purpose, for which they were 
brought hither. Many men took post round the field of battle, armed 
with large bludgeons. The bulls were released on opposite sides ; and 
the moment they felt their liberty, they tore irp the turf with their 
horns, elevated the spines of their backs, and appeared animated with 
the strongest symptoms of rage. They did not at the first instant rush 
together ; but, turning sideways, eyed each other askance, all the while 
making a slow circular advance, until a very small distance divided 
them : they then turned, opposing a full front, and ran impetuously, 
their heads meeting together with an astonishing concussion. The 
horns, which constitute the guard, as well as weapons of offence, were 
now entangled, and they maintained the struggle, like wrestlers, for 
half an hour, with surprising exertions of strength ; the ground yield- 
ing to their heels as they pressed their brows, and alternately retreated 
and pushed forwards in the conflict. At length, as their strength di- 

BOOT AN. 161 

minished, and when victory stood on the point of turning to the most 
powerful, they were parted. The weakest was driven away by the 
Booteciis armed with bludgeons ; the other, hampered with ropes, was 
conducted to his stall, highly indignant, and full of wrath. In this 
manner commonly the battle ends ; for, if they can prevent it, they 
never suffer the strongest bull to pursue his advantage, which would 
terminate in the certain destruction of his antagonist, who is also ex- 
posed to the greatest danger, if he should happen to be thrown down 
in the conflict. As they are trained for this particular purpose, the 
Booteeas exert their utmost endeavours to preserve them for future 

The bull fight closed the entertainment of the day ; after which we 
prepared to return, while there was a little light ; and with an ob- 
servance of the usual ceremony, parted from the Raja, and descended 
to our quarters. 

Some days elapsed before the Raja returned again to the valley ; 
when a very busy season ensued, in making preparations for the 
grand festival in the palace. At the commencement of this festival, a 
second messenger arrived from the Regent of Teshoo Loomboo. A 
long negociation with him took place ; and as he was little accustomed 
to foreign intercourse, it is extraordinary what absurdities and preju- 
dices I had to combat : at length, however, it ended in his consenting 
to conduct the same number of persons, as upon a former occasion had 
visited the Teshoo Lama. He could, on no account, admit a third 
gentleman of the party ; saying, that his life might answer for such a 
breach of trust. 


I understood from Poorungheer that the festival which now occupied 
the attention of the Booteeas, was the Durga Pooga, the great autumnal 
festival of the Hindoos. 

An effigy of Durga, in combat with the cliief of the Raccusses, 
Soomne Soom, is exhibited during this period amidst a most gaudy 
group of evil genii, and auxihary gods, forming a picture, in aho 
relievo, sufficient to fill the breadth of a large saloon, as shewy as 
brilliant colours, and tinsel ornaments can make it. This effigy is 
removed, on the last day at noon, and conveyed in procession to the 
Ganges, where Durga and her associates are committed all together to 
the deep. During this latter part of the festival, which is generally 
known in Calcutta by the appellation of the Nautches, the houses of the 
most opulent Hindoos, are open to European visitors, and constantly 
attract a prodigious concourse of company. 

This festival, which is one of the most famous among the Hindoos, 
gives occasion also in Bootan, to a great display of ingenuity. The 
representation is continued from the commencement to the close of the 
festival, which lasts, in the whole, ten days. It is here termed Mullaum. 
I was present only at the commencement of it, during the three first days, 
and, I am sorry to say, was too ignorant of their mythology, to under- 
stand thoroughly the meaning of the masque. The great court yard 
of the palace, was the scene of representation. The Daeb Raja with 
all the Gylongs, sat very gravely in the surrounding colonnade looking 
on. He politely provided us with seats, near himself. 

The grotesque figures that exhibited themselves in the combat 
foi"med altogether the most fantastic motley group, it is possible to 

BO OT AN. 163 

imagine : elephants, horses, apes, and a most frightful figure environed 
with snakes, were among the representations intended to personate 
racusses, or evil genii. Virtue appeared in the shape of Durga, with 
a view to exterminate Vice; and some of the group received pretty- 
hard blows before they would quit the stage; but the force of Durga, 
as it was intended, never failed to maintain its ground in all the 
triumph of victory. 

The object of this festival was, as I conceived, to celebrate the arri- 
val of the autumnal, as that of the Hooii does the vernal equinox. 

Durga poojah is distinguished also as being the well known period, 
when the armies of the native powers in India, have always been ac- 
customed to take the field; and, till their acquaintance with Europeans 
taught them the necessity of relinquishing some of their most inve- 
terate prejudices, it was very seldom that any of their troops assembled 
in the field, till after the celebration of the Dussera. which happens on 
the first full moon after the equinox. As that has been ever considered 
as the signal for hostile preparation, so has the Dewali, the following 
new moon, a festival kept in honour of the dead, when it is usual to 
make large feasts, to distribute food to the poor, and to make grand 
illuminations during the night, been commonly the time to set their 
troops in motion. 








Tiake leave of the Daeb Raja, and the principal Officers of his 
Din bar. — Depart from Tassisudon. — A.>:cend the lofty Mountain 
of Pomala — pass Phajudee, famed for the Birth of the present 
Lani Rimbochaij. — Extensive Monastery. — Religious Associ- 
ations, their obvious Tendency on Population. — Cross the Summit 
of Pomaia — descend to Paimaitong. — Tibetian Custom of taking 
Tea — Appendages oj*Dress — gross Superstitions of these Moun- 
taineers. — Paibesa. — Picturesque Flew from Dalai-jeung — hospi- 
table Entertainment of its Keeper — Review of the Way. — Paro. — 
Patchieu. — -Paro Pilo, his Extent of Jurisdiction. — Seccum Raja. 
— Castle of Paro, Parogong, or Rinjipo. — The Falley — its Extent. 
— Mookfiy — temporary Edifices — Exercise of Archery — Market — 
Manufactures — Mechanics — Thrashing. — Market-place of Paro. 
— Zcenkaub, Attention of his Friends. — Brood of Tangun Horses. 
— Fortress of Dukka-jeung. — Snow — Harvest — romantic Scenery. 

168 B O T A N . 

— Sana — last Post in Boolan — Guard-house — Patchieu Bridge. — 
The Yak of Tarlarij , particular Description of. — Gloomy Wilds. — 
Rude Region of the Frontier. — Of Bridges in Bootan- — Vast Dif- 
ference between the muscular Form of the Booteea and Tibelian. — 
Social Groups of Mountaineers. — Ghassa. — Lama of Phari. — 
DIiij, Kummuz of the Tartars. — Tartar Herdsmen. — Duhha. — 
Elevation and bleak Site of Soomoonang. 

JVLr. Saunders and myself now paid our last respects to the Daeb 
Raja, and to the principal officers of his durbar, and left them all busily 
engaged, in the fantastic ceremonies of their great festival. On Monday 
(he 8th of September we departed from Tassisudon, accompanied by 
the Gosein Poorungheer, and a party of Tibetians, in order to pursue 
PVir journey to Tibet, after having taken leave of our friend and com- 
panion, Mr; Davis, whom the suspicious caution of our conductors 
compelled us to leave behind, with deep and sincere regret. We 
passed in front of the palace, immediately beneath the walls, and 
inclined to the right towards the mountain* behind it, till a narrow 
valley opened to the west^ and we at once lost sight of Tassisudon, 
and turned our backs upon the Tehintchieu. We travelled up this 
valley, having high hills both to the right and left, and in front, a very 
lofty mountain. 

The ascent of this mountain was at first easy ; but the road became 
extremely steep and toilsome before we attained its summit ; so that 
I have no hesitation in pronouncing it, both from the time and labour 
it cost, the highest we had yet ascended. I now recollect seeing the 

B GOT AN. 169 

remains of snow upon it, even so late as Midsummer-day ; and I once 
intended, as a frolic, to go and make snow-balls there during the dog 
days. And here 1 cannot help remarking, that something like a feeling 
of vexation has constantly occurred to me, on coming to the top of 
every mountain I had yet ascended. While struggling, and almost 
exhausted with fatigue, there is a spur which yet animates to the last 
effort ; and the mind anticipates, with some delight, the unbounded 
view with which it will be presented ; but how great is the disappoint- 
ment, when, after all, you see on every side around you, mountains 
still higher than that on which you stand ; whilst all the space that is 
visible, is that only which intervenes between them ! 

So pleased at first the tow'ring alps we try, 
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky ; 
Th' eternal snows appear already past. 
And the first clouds and mountains seem the last ; 
But, those attained, we tremble to survey 
The growing labours of the lengthen'd way, 
Th' increasing prospect tires our wandering eyes, 
Hills peep o'er hills, and alps on alps arise. 

From our present situation, however, we enjoyed a more extensive 
prospect than any we had yet seen ; and it gave me an opportunity of 
taking the bearings of many objects. There were few that I have not 
before noticed, except a monastery named Phajudee, situated to the right 
upon the same range of mountains, belonging to Lam' Rimbochay, and 

170 BOO TAN. 

famous for having been the place of his last regeneration, and ihe scene 
of his early studies, A small palace, on a similar plan to all the other 
consecrated habitations in Bootan, has been erected on this memorable 
spot*, it supports a gilded canopy on its centre; and a forest of flag- 
staves, with inscribed banners, surround it on all sides : there is also 
a considerable settlement in its vicinity. 

On the summitjof this mountain, which is named Pomsela, we found 
an extensive monastery, consisting of many separate buildings : the 
most commodious of the cluster was occupied by a senior Gylong, 
who, as president, is stiled Lama; the rest were inhabited by the infe- 
rior monks. The religious of this description are numerous in Bootan. 
Their sole occupation lies in performing the duties of their faith. They 
are exempt fi^om labour ; enjoined sobriety and temperance ; and 
interdicted all intercourse with the other sex. Though many become 
voluntary members of this establishment, yet its numbers depend most 
upon the custom, which obliges every family that consists of more than 
four boys, to contribute one of them to the order: and the same rule, 
under particular circumstances, extends sometimes to all the males of 
a village. At the age of ten, they are received into the association, 
and commence their tutelage. Their first years are passed in learning 
the rudiments of their profession, and in performing a variety of servile 
offices to their instructors; in which drudgery, unless elevated by 
superior talents, they continue beyond the age of twenty. However, 
though cut off from the enjoyment of some of the most exquisite plea- 
sures of life, there are yet many advantages annexed to this class. 
They are certain of a liberal education ; and, as their minds are more 

BOOTAN. 171 

cultivated than the rest of their countrymen, they have the best pro- \ 
spect of being selected for public offices: and, in fact, the greater part 
of all who are employed in such situations, are "chosen from among 
them. Yet whether the following peculiarity be imputable to early 
tuition, inability, or disgust, I cannot determine. It very frequently hap- 
pens, that those who have long enjoyed posts of honour, or emolument, 
take the sudden resolution of retiring for ever from the business and 
the cares of life ; afterwards, under the sanction of a religious impulse, i 
the inspired devotee chooses some solitary station, perhaps the summit 
of a mountain, where he builds himself a cottage, and having depo- 
sited a hord of grain in it, shuts himself up, determined never again 
to return into the world, or hold any intercourse with mankind. 

Tlius secluded from society, if, in consequence of an erroneous cal- 
culation, he sees his. stock of food about to fail, while life maintains 
its post in full vigour, and is by no means inclined to quit its hold, 
the sole reliance of the retired devotee, for fiiture support, must then 
reston. tlxc adventitious visits of such, as hold converse with the buried 
living. The beuevulcnce which thus ministers to his necessities, has also 
its appropriate merit ; so tiiat the recluse may yet exist, for months 
or years, upon the bounty tliat places his daily food at his door, without 
the least knowledge of the hand that feeds him ; till at length the feeble j 
principle that animates the human frame, and preserves it from disso- 
lution, ceases to perform its functions, and the individual is no more. 
It is true, he might long have ceased to be of any earthly importance, 
whatever spiritual esteem is attached to the devotee, the hermit, or 
the misanthrope, term him which you will : yet this singular bent of 


172 - BOOTAN. 

character, all circumstances considered, is not very much to be won- 
dered at. Let it be remembered, that, in the first career of life, by a 
continuance in a state of celibacy, the Booteea is recommended to dis- 
tinction ; as on the contrary, any matrimonial contract proves almost 
a certain hindrance to his rise in rank, or his advancement to offices 
of political importance. Having therefore made the first sacrifice to 
ambition, and remained long single, in the hope of attaining to higher 
dignities and emoluments; chagrined, at length, by a series of disap- 
pointments, if a bare competency has been the fruit of his long service, 
he withdraws himself from public life : being at the same time some- 
what advanced in years, his passion for connubial connection, is 
weakened, and his natural apathy confinned. Having been detached 
by early habit from society, uninfluenced by ties of duty or affection 
to family or friends, his most prevailing impulse is the love of ease ; 
and indolence and vanity at once direct his choice to religious retire- 
ment. The multitude flatter with their admiration the penitential 
devotee ; and motives perhaps merely temporal, falsely obtain the 
praise of exalted piety. 

It will be obvious from hence, since population is opposed by two 
such powerful bars as ambition and religion, how great a diminution in 
the number of inhabitants must inevitably be the result. In fact, the 
higher orders of men, entirely engrossed by political or ecclesiastical 
duties, leave to the husbandman and labourer, to those who till the 
fields and live by their industry, the exclusive charge of propagating 
the species. 

Having crossed the summit of Pomaela, we descended between the 

BOOTAI*. 173 

mountains, passing a Tofty precipice of bare rocic, from whose base 
gushed a copious body of water, which poured down rapidly beside 
the path, and ran through a little village to the right, till it united with 
"another current on its skirts. A bridge just below their junction con- 
ducted us to the opposite side ; and about two miles beyond, having 
kept close to their united streams, we arrived at Paimaitong, which is 
distant twelve miles from Tassisudon, where a spacious mansion lodged 
us for the night. The Tibetians were already there : they had pre- 
ceded us, and prepared buttered tea, in due form, for our reception 
and refreshment. 

It is the custom in Bootan to eat whole roasted rice, or parched 
grain, with tea ; in Tibet they take malt meal, reduced to a fine flour, 
which is stirred about, and mixed in the teacup with an ivory chop- 
stick ; this, when not in use, is associated with another, with a knife 
"and toothpick, and sometimes a pair of dice, in a small case which 
hangs suspended to a girdle, and constitutes one of the constant appen- 
dages of the Tartar dress. 

This repast, of which we all, partook together, aflbrded our friends 
a hearty laugh ; for, being novices to this new mode of taking tea, 
we mixed the flour imperfectly, so that when we began to drink, the 
dry meal flew into our throats, and made us cough violently, to their 
extreme diversion. This ceremony, with some conversation on our 
journey, occupied the time till the evening closed: we then parted; 
and presently after, the tolling of a bell, with its monotonous hum, 
informed us that the Tibetians had begun their vespers. We sat 
for some time, brooding over the dull liglit of a cherag, or lamp,. 


174 BOOTAN. 

which, for want of oil and cotton, was made of twisted calico and 

Next to a promptitude at expedients, patience is perhaps the most 
desirable qualification a traveller can possess, to enable him to bear 
philosophically, the variety of inconveniences that must inevitably 
chequer a long journey tlirough unfrequented regions. Fortunately for 
us both, the companion of my travels, as well as myself, enjoyed an 
eminent portion of this invaluable property, nor were frequent occa- 
sions wanting for its exercise. 

It was near eight o'clock, and the arrival of our baggage was con- 
sidered to be extremely doubtful. We held repeated consultations on 
this subject with our conductor, and the master of the house, who oblig- 
ingly dispatched emissaries, that found some of the people resting 
themselves not far off, having set down their burdens for the night. 
These were brought on, but others wIk) had halted at a greater distance 
remained, of course, where they were; for it grew late, and a most 
profound darkness soon put an end to all our doubts. Knowing the 
gross superstitions which haunt the minds of these mountaineers, who 
fancy that, on the approach of night, all sorts of hobgoblins are let 
loose, and that nothing good or honest will be abroad, it was vain to 
express any further anxiety for our baggage, or hope any longer for 
its arrival. So of necessity we submitted with composure to our lot: 
and though our beds were wanting, yet, for my part, as refreshing 
and sound a sleep visited me on a saddle cloth, with a saddle for my 
pillow, as any in which a weary traveller ever forgot his fatigue, and 
lulled his cares to rest. 

BOOTAN. 175 

In the course of the morning of Tuesday, the 9th of September, our 
baggage by degrees dropped in. We had time to complete our break- 
fast, and see it dispatclied before us; the omission of which, had occa- 
sioned us so much inconvenience on the preceding day. 

We had to ascend, from the hollow in which Paimaitong lay, up the 
ridge of a very lofty mountain, and at length, by many zigzag traverses, 
arrived at a little level ground, about halfway up. A fence of young 
trees surrounding this space, which was paved with flat stones, formed 
a kind of alcove. We found it a very convenient place to halt at ; and 
while our horses were suffered to recover the tone of their relaxed 
muscles, our Tibet friends regaled themselves with a pipe of tobacco. 

This station was called Paibesa ; and hence the view of the moun- 
tains around us. was extremely picturesque. They appeared as if 
fashioned into hanging gardens : their sides were shelved into narrow 
beds, giving growth to different kinds of grain, in various stages of 
vegetation ; hermitages, villas, and villages, were distributed up and 
down ; tiieir summits were crowned with pines, and their divisions 
gave passage to the waters of many springs, which, meeting at their 
bases, rolled in rapid torrents. 

Having remounted our horses, they scrambled with us over a firm 
clayey road, tolerably straight but steep, of a great width, and bordered 
on both sides with handsome firs. The mountain was covered all the 
way, with the most perfect verdure. Four hours were employed in 
reaching its summit, upon the very highest point of which stood a build- 
ing, square on one side, but semicircular on the other. They called it a 
castle, and it is known by the name of Dalai-jeung. We were received 

176 BOOT AN. 

by its hospitable keeper, who had spread carpets on the ground, and madr 
some preparations for our refreshment. His hospitahty was highly 
acceptable. Our Tibet friends gave a preference to the buttered tea ; 
but we chose the infusion of rice, and drank deeply from a cauldron 
of it, around which we sat upon the sod. Our grooms, and other 
humble attendants, imitated the example, forming different groups, in 
which their cups and pipes very cheerfully circulated. 

This halt afforded us an opportunity of reviewing the way we had 
passed. Though there was an astonishingly deep hollow between, yet 
we could plainly distinguish the path that led us yesterday over the 
top of Pomaela ; and the large monastery above Symtoka, seen from 
Tassisudon, was also visible. On the opposite side lay the valley of 
Paro, exhibiting a most luxuriant verdure, not unfrequently broken by 
the appearance of populous villages, whilst the river Patchieu glided 
through it, in a variety of picturesque and beautiful windings. 

We put up our cups, and rose to descend towards Paro, our 
companions the Tibetians having now smoked their pipes, and dis- 
posed of the last dregs of their tea, as well as the rich skum that 
floats upon its surface : this is usually blown aside in drinking, to 
be mixed with malt meal, and well kneaded with the fingers into a 
round ball, by way of conclusion of the feast. We proceeded some 
distance before the castle came in view : it was situated near the foot 
of the mountain, about nine miles from Paimaitong, overlooking and 
commanding a bridge stretched across the Patchieu. It is a hand- 
some square building of stone, ornamented in the centre with a 
grided canopy, in the manner of all the Raja's palaces. This is 

BOO TAN. 17'7 

considered as one, though I do not understand that the present Raja 
ever visited it. 

The governor of the district, styled Paro Pilo, has his residence here. 
This post is at present held by a brother of the Daeb's; he was absent 
from his station, having set out, I was informed, a few days before, 
to Tassisudon, to celebrate the great festival, as well as for the same 
purpose which leads all the other chiefs at this season to the capital, to 
acknowledge their vassalage, and render an account of the revenues of 
their different districts. His jurisdiction is of the first importance in 
Bootan : it extends from the frontier of Tibet to the borders of Bengal ; 
to Dalimcotta, adjoining to the territories of Segwim, or Seccum Raja ; 
and it comprehends the low lands at the foot of the LuckideAvar moun- 
tains. Paro Pilo is always considered as a person of high eminence, 
and has his establishment of Zempi, Zoompoon, Donier, Cullum*, 
Zeenkaubs, Poes, and Gylongs, as well as the Daeb himself. 

The castle, or palace of Paro, known also by the appellation of 
Parogong, and Rinjipo, is constructed, and the surrounding ground 
laid out, more with a view to strength and defence, than any place I 
have seen in Bootan. It stands near the base of a very high moun- 
tain : its foundation does not decline with the slope of the rock, but 
the space it occupies, is fashioned to receive it horizontally. Its form 
is an oblong square ; the outer walls of the four angles, near the top 
of them, sustain a range of projecting balconies, at nearly equal inter- 
mediate distances, which are covered by the fir eaves that project, as 
usual, high above and beyond the walls, and are fenced with parapets 
° CuUum, a kind of inferior secretar}^ 


178 BOOTAN. 

of mud. There is but one entrance into tlie castle, wliicii is on tiie 
eastern front, over a wooden bridge, so constructed as to be with great 
facihty removed, leaving a deep and wide space between the gateway 
and the rock. 

Opposite to this front are seen, upon the side of the mountain, three 
stone buildings, designed as outposts, placed in a triangular position. 
The centre one is most distant from the palace, and about a double 
bowshot from those on either side, as you look up to them. The centre 
building, and that on the left, defend the road from Tassisudon, which 
runs between them ; thai oji the right, the road fiom Buxadewar, and 
the passage across the bridge. On the side next the river, from the 
fovmdation of the castle, the rock is perpendicular, and the river run- 
ning 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 
of Tassisudon and Punukka, and has two spacious gateways.. 

The valley of Paro exceeds that of Tassisudon, by almost a mile in- 
width ; it lies nearly north-west and south-east, and the river inter- 
sects it irregularly, as it pursues its winding course. 

We were obliged to halt a day at Paro, and make a new arrange 
ment of our baggage : it had hitherto been conveyed by the labour of 
the people of the country alone; horses were now called in to bear 
their share in its carriage. The aid we took from hence, both animal 
and human, was designed to conduct us beyond the boundary ol 
Bootan to Phari, the Tibet frontier. 

We had not been long in our quarters at this place, when we were 
visited by a Mookhy, or agent, whose business it is to conduct that 

BOO TAN. 179 

division of the caravan, which goes from hence annually to Rungpore. 
He brought iis a present of fruits, and some otlier articles, which his 
own domestic stock supplied; talked much of his journey to Rungpore; 
and strongly expressed his gratitude for the kind treatment and encou- 
ragement he had always experienced from Mr.Goodlad'' and Mr. Pote°, 
as well as the other gentlemen residing there ; and he pressed me in 
return, to employ him in any service he could execute. • 

It pleased me exceedingly to meet among my new acquaintance?, 
with so strong an instance of a grateful disposition; and it induced 
mc, when he was. taking leave, to add something more to the gratuity 
I made it a point always to give to those who brought me "articles of 
provision ; but he declined accepting my present, in a manner that 
convinced me of his sincerity, and again repeated his offer, to render 
me any service in his power- 

Paro Pilo's absence excused us the trouble of making visits ; and 
though the officers of his household rather expected us to wait upon 
them, we did not think their importance recjuired such a compliment. 

Curiosity, more powerful than the influence of fatigue, tempted us 
the first evening, to take a walk. We Avent some way down the river; 
and though the distance was short, we had a most laborious return, 
up a long steep slope, paved with smooth stones, which a light shower 
had rendered extremely slippery. In this excursion, we saw little more 
than was visible from our own apartments, which were in a very neat 
small house, built of fir. The floors, roofs, wainscots, afid partitions 
that divided the rooms, were all of the same materials. I did not 
* Collector of the revenue. ' Commercial Resident at Rungpore. 

A a 

180 BOOTAN. 

observe that they made use of iron, or any other metal, about their 
edifices. They are good joiners : their wooden divisions are inserted 
between grooves, and their doors turn on pivots. 

This light kind of summer-house stood on higher ground, at only a 
short distance from the castle, and at the end of a very long grass- 
plot, where the Booteeas were accustomed to meet every afternoon to 
practise their martial exercises. They shot with the bow and arrow, 
at two marks set up in the ground, at the distance of two hundred 
yards from each other: each archer was furnished with one arrow; 
and they traversed to and fro, shooting alternately from one mark to 
the other. There appeared to exist a great degree of emulation among 
them, and an impartial attention to merit ; for I observed, that if the 
least important, or youngest, of the party, sent his arrow near the 
mark, he was instantly applauded with a loud shout of triumph. 

It was impossible to behold their sport without admiration; for, 
besides the striking peculiarities in the person and dress of a Booteea, 
the act of drawing the bow exhibits, in my opinion, one of the most 
graceful attitudes of muscular exertion : the fencing school has not one 
that displays an athletic figure to greater advantage. 

Paro boasts the only market in Bootan ; and it appears to be much 
frequented. It is also famous for the manufacture of gods, and forging 
of arms, particularly of swords and daggers, and the barbs of arrows. 

The mechanics flocked about us on our departure, on Thursday 
the 1 1th of September; and it was impossible to go, without leaving 
among them some encouragement for the arts. 

Not far from our house we saw half a dozen stout women thrashing 

BOOTAN. 181 

corn, and their skill well deserved our attention. They confronted 
each other, three in a row ; and the corn was strewed between them ; 
and they thumped it, wielding their flails (two stout staves, joined 
together by a flexible thong) with such dexterity, that though perhaps 
not a blade escaped unstruck, yet they never once entangled, nor 
clashed in the operation. 

We were kept by many impediments at Paro till near noon ; when, 
quitting our quarters, we descended the stone slope, and turning to 
the right, crossed the bridge below the palace, and proceeded up the 
valley, not far fiom the banks of the Patchieu. We passed through 
the market-place, as the peasants were beginning to assemble ; none of 
them left their pursuits to follow us ; and the boys that were playing 
about looked at us only for a moment, with an appearance of surprise, 
but without any sort of rustic rudeness. I'wo Booteeas would have 
passed through few English towns, so peaceably. 

The Zeenkaubj whom the Daeb had appointed to attend me to 
Tibet, invited us to deviate a little from the high road, and we all fol- 
lowed him till we came to some carpets laid upon the ground, beneath j J ''"M^ 
a bower, formed with branches of the willow tree, where we were 
entreated to alight. Benches were immediately placed before us, and 
almost as instantaneously covered with a variety of fruits, parched 
rice, kc. and we were plentifully supplied with buttered tea and 
whisky. Our guide was himself active, in waiting upon us, and con- 
sidered our acceptance of his invitation to halt, as a peculiar compli- 
ment. A village in the vicinity was, I learnt, the place of his birth, 
as well as the present residence of his family. -Some of them came, 

182 BOOTAN. 

and took a very afiectionate leave of him. Human nature is very much 
the same, and but httle modified in the expression of its fond propen- 
sities, amongst the rudest or the most poHshed nations on the globe. 
I valued them for their affection, and him for his attachment to his 
native home. Indeed I felt myself the force of the same sentiment. 

" Where'er I go, whatever realms to see, 
" My heart, untravclled, fondly turns to thee ; 
" Still to my Albion turns with ceaseless pain, 
" And drags at each remove a length'ning chain." 

After a short delay, we mounted our horses, and advanced through 
the valley, which contained many villages, and was very completely cul- 
tivated. The sides of the mountains to the right and left, were covered 
with thick groves of pines : they contained also numerous clusters of 
houses, and some handsome villas, with gardens and orchards. The 
road was good, and the ascent so easy, as to be scarcely perceptible. 

Many of the Tangun horses, peculiar to Bootan, and, I was told, the 
greatest part of those that constitute the caravan annually sent to 
Rungpore, arc bred in this valley. The number of mares, running at 
liberty with their foals, were rather troublesome to our party, as they 
never emasculate the horses in this country, and by nature they are 
r excessively spirited. 

About four o'clock we came to the end of our day's journey, a short 

J^■!^ stage of about nine miles, and entered Dukka-jeung, a fortress built 

upon the crown of a low rocky hill, which it entirely occupies, con- 

BOOT AN. 185 

forming itself 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 a safe 
communication between them is preserved, even in times of the greatest 
peril. Around each of these towers, near the top, a broad ledge pro- 
jects, the edges of which are fortified by a mud wall, with loop holes 
adapted to the use of the bow and arrow, or of muskets. On the north 
of the castle are two round towers that command the road from Tibet. 
On the east side the rock is rough and steep ; and close under the 
walls on the west, is a large bason of water, the only reservoir I had 
yet seen in Bootan. 

The castle of Dukka-jeung is a very substantial stone building, with 
high walls ; but so irregular in its figure, that it is evident, no other 
design was followed in its construction, than to cover all the level 
space upon 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 semi- 
circular platform, edged with a strong wall, pierced with loop holes. 
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 conducted 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 Mahamoonie and his conco- 
mitant idols. 

During the night, a light sprinkling of snow had fallen below in 

18 4 BOOTAN. 

the valley, and when we rose in the morning, the tops of the moun- 
tains were covered with it. The harvest had been gathered in here, 
and we saw them thrashing out the grain, but not after the active 
example of the maids of Paro ; for the straw was spread upon the 
ground, and a couple of oxen, driven round in a circle, trod it out. 

We travelled up a narrow valley, on Friday the l^th of September, 
between the mountains, near the river, which poured a perfect torrent, 
foaming violently among the huge masses of stone that obstructed its 
course. It was augmented by the way with many currents, flowing 
from the mountains on the right and left : the road was rocky, with 
a moderate but perccpiible ascent. 

In our progress this day, we were presented with many beautiful and 
highly romantic views. The sides of the mountains thinly cloathed 
with unthrifty pines, the rapid How, and hollow roar of the river, 
partly concealed by clustering trees, enclosed in high verdant banks, 
which rose, as they receded, into bold bare rocks, with here and there 
a fir starting from a crevice, while other ridges appeared completely 
covered with them, served altogether to combine the most striking fea- 
tures of wild nature in her barren^ as well as her most luxuiiant dress. 
It was past noon when we arrived at Sana, eleven miles from Dukka- 
jeung, and the last village in Bootan. It consisted of about ten houses ; 
and we were welcomed to the best of them, by a brisk landlady, with 
a round fat fiicc and little black eyes, who suffered no want to remain 
unsatisfied, which her interest and activity could gratify. Our room was 
hung with military accoutrements, martial caps, and the cane-coiled 
shield, with quivers, bows and arrou s ; all of which seemed to have 

liO OT AN. 185 

descended, in a pacific train, from one possessor to another, and to 
have sufFered their chief injury, from the impairing influence of time. 

Tliere was an industrious appearance in this Httle village : many 
people, sitting before their doors, were busied in weaving their narrow 
woollen cloths, with the hand and shuttle : they are extremely coarse, 
and bear a very long knap. We saw other villagers mounted upon a large 
stone, who were thrashing wheat in the following manner. Each person 
took at a time, as much as could be conveniently grasped in the hand ; 
and, having set fire to the beards, first shook, and afterwards struck 
the ears against the stone; when what remained of the grain, after the 
shaking, fell out, and was received upon mats spread beneath ; this is 
the third mode of practice I have observed in Bootan, for disengaging 
corn from the ear. 

At six o'clock in the morning of Saturday, the 13th of September, 
the thermometer fell, in the open air, to 46°. It was never lower at 
Tassisudon than 60°. 

We set out early, and found, by the river side, a guard-house, where 
a party of Booteeas were stationed, who permit no one to pass their 
frontier, without a passport from the Daeb. We crossed the bridge 
thrown over the Patchieu here, and on the opposite side saw several of 
the black chowry-tailed cattle; their backs were lightly whitened with 
hoar frost, which gave them a very remarkable appearance, as their 
bodies were covered all over with thick lone; black hair. 

This very singular and curious animal deserves a particular de- 

The bull is denominated Yak, the cow Dhe. | 

186 BOO TAN. 

TJie Yak ol Turtary "^j called Soora Goy in Hinclostan, and vvliich I 
term the bushy-tailed bull of Tibet, is about the height of an English 
bull, which he resembles in the general figure of the body, head, and 
legs. I could discover between them no essential difference, except 
that the Yak is covered all over with a thick coat of long hair. 
The head is rather short, crowned with two smooth round horns, 
which, tapering from the root upwards, terminate in sharp points ; 
they are arched inwards, bending towards each other, but near the 
extremities are a little turned back. The ears are small : Hie forehead 
appears prominent, being adorned with much curling hair: the eyes 
are full and large : the nose small and convex : the nostrils small : the 
neck short, describing a curvature nearly equal both above and below : 
the withers are high and arched. The rump is low ; over the shoulders 
rises a thick muscle, which seems to be the same kind of protuberance 
peculiar to the cattle of Hindostan, covered with a profusion of soft 
hair, which, in general, is longer and more copious than that along the 
ridge of the back to the setting on of the tail. The tail is composed of 
a prodigious quantity of long, flowing, glossy hair ; and is so abun- 
dantly well furnished, that not a joint of it is perceptible ; but it has 
much the appearance of a large cluster of hair artificially set on : the 
shoulders, rump, and upper part of the body, are clothed with a sort of 
thick soft wool; but the inferior parts with straight pendent hair, that 
descends below the knee ; and I have seen it so long in some cattle, 
which were in high health and condition, as to trail upon the ground. 
From the chest, between the legs, issues a large pointed tuft of straight 

" Plate X. 

BOOTAN. 187 

hair, growing somevvliat longer than the rest : the legs are very short ; 
in every other respect he resembles the ordinary bull. There is a great 
variety of colours amongst them, but black or white are the most pre- 
valent. It is not uncommon to see the long hair upon the muscle 
above the shoulders, upon the ridge of the back, the tail, and tuft upon 
the chest, and also the legs below the knee, white, when all the rest of 
the animal is jet black. 

These cattle, though not large boned, seem, from the profuse quantity 
of hair with which they are provided, to be of great bulk. They have a 
downcast heavy look; and appear, what indeed they are, sullen and sus- 
picious, discovering much impatience at the near approach of strangers. 
They do not low loud, like the cattle of England, any more than those 
of Hindostan, but make a low grunting noise scarcely audible, and 
that but seldom, when under some impression of uneasiness. 

These cattle are pastured in the coldest parts of Tibet, upon the 
short herbage peculiar to the tops of mountains and bleak plains. The 
chain of mountains, situated between the latitudes 21 and 28°, which 
divides Tibet from Bootan, and whose summits are most commonly 
clothed with snow, is their lavourite haunt. In this vicinity, the 
southern glens afford them food and shelter during the severity of 
winter ; in milder seasons, the northern aspect is more congenial to 
their nature, and admits a wider range. They are a very valuable pro- ''. 
perty to the tribes of itinerant Tartars, called Dukba, who live in tents, K^ 
and tend them from place to place ; they at the same time afford their 
herdsmen an easy mode of conveyance, a good covering, and whole- 
some subsistence. They are never employed in agriculture, but are 


188 B O OT AN. 

/extremely useful as beasts of burden; for they are strong, surefooted, 
I. and carry a great weight. Tents and ropes are manufactured of their 
hair, and amongst the humbler ranks of herdsmen, I have seen caps 
and jackets made of their skins. Their tails are esteemed throughout 
the East, as far as luxury or parade have any influence on the manners 
of the people; and on the continent of India they are found, under the 
denomination of Chowries, in the hands of the meanest grooms, as well 
as occasionally in those of the first minister of state. They are in uni- 
'' versal use for driving away winged insects, flies and musquitoes, and 
are employed as ornamental furniture upon horses and elephants : yet 
the best requital, with which the care of their keepers is at length 
rewarded, for selecting them good pastures, is in the abundant quantity 
I of rich milk which they give, and the butter produced from it, which 
' is most excellent. It is their custom to preserve this in skins, or blad- 
ders; and the air being tiius excluded from it, it will keep in this cold 
climate throughout the year: so that, after some time tending their 
herds, when a sufficient store is accumulated, it remains only to load 
their cattle, and drive them to a proper market with their own produce, 
which constitutes, to the utmost verge of Tartary, a most material 
article of merchandise. 

I had the satisfaction to send two of this species to Mr. Hastings 
after he left India, and to heal- that one reached England alive. This, 
which was a bull, remained for some time after he landed in a torpid 
languid state, till his constitution had in some degree assimilated with 
the climate, when he recovered at once both his health and vigour. 
He afterwards became the father of many calves, which all died 


■without reproducing, except one, a cow, which bore a calf by con- 
nection with an Indian bull. 

Though naturally not intractable in temper, yet, soured by the 
impatient and injudicious treatment of his attendants, during a long 
voyage, it soon became dangerous to suffer this bull to range at liberty 
abroad. He had at all times been observed to bear a marked hostility 
towards horses ; and, from the accidental circumstance, of a crooked 
nail's remaining in his horn, after the knob which it had fastened, had 
been rubbed off, he happened to gore a valuable coach-horse belong- 
ing to Mr. Hastings, which had the range of the same pasture with 
him, and, lacerating the entrails, occasioned his death. After this, 
to prevent further accidents, he was kept alone within a secure 

An Engraving of this Bull, from a picture in the possession of Mr. 
Hastings, painted from the life by Stubbs, is annexed ; the landscape 
was taken from a scene on the frontier of Bootan, by Mr. Davis. 

Our road this day lay at no great distance from the river, which rolled 
all the way, recoiling over its rocky bed a perfect cataract ; its spray 
filling the atmosphere with vapour, and rendering it extremely chill. 
This region was crowded with vegetation, the offspring of damp and 
obscurity. Amongst the largest of the trees, hollies made the most 
conspicuous show, and well accorded with the dark and dismal aspect 
of the surrounding objects. I never encountered a deeper gloom : the 
river was seldom visible, but its hoarse roar was every where to be 
heard. On each side, towered steep and rugged rocks, whose high 
summits shut out the rays of the sun during every hour of the day, 


190 B O OTA N. 

except when it was nearly verlical : many a withered pine impended 
from their cliirs, and, forsaken by the principle of life, rattled its dry 
branches together, when agitated by the wind. Here was a solitude ! 
uninterrupted, I believe, by any animated being, brute or human; and 
the swiftness of the river, I am sure, bade defiance to the eftbrts of any 
of the scaly tribes. We were inclosed in these gloomy wilds for the 
space of about four miles, when we found it necessary to dismount, and 
clamber up an immensely high and rocky mountain, which frequently 
obliged us to have recourse to our hands and knees. I was astonished, 
at the end of our journey, to see the Tanguns and all our baggage 
up with us, before it was dark, notwithstanding tlie difficulties of 
the way. 

These rugged and impracticable ways, certainly lessen the import- 
ance of those military posts, we so lately passed, Dukka-jeung and 
Paro. The Booteeas cannot possibly have a better security, than in 
such a chain of inaccessible mountains, and in the barrenness of their 

We crossed the Patchieu, which was now considerably diminished, 
for the last time, over a wooden bridge. 

Bridges, in a country composed of mountains, and abounding with 
torrents, must necessarily be very frequent; the traveller has com- 
monly some one to pass in every day's journey. They are of differenl 
constructions, generally of timber; and, if the width of the river will 
admit, laid horizontally from rock to rock. Over broader streams, a 
triple or quadruple row of timbers, one row projecting over the other, 
and inserted into the rock, sustain two sloping sides, which are united 

B OOTAN. I 91 

by an horizontal platform, of nearly equal length : thus the centre is, 
of course, raised very much above the current, and the whole bridge 
forms the figure nearly of three sides of an octagon ''. Piers are almost 
totally excluded, on account of the unequal heights, and extreme 
rapidity of the rivers. The widest river in Bootan has an iron bridge'', 
consisting of a number of iron chains, whicli support a matted platform; * 
and two chains are stretched above, parallel with the sides, to allow 
of a matted border, which is absolutely necessary to the safety of the 
passenger, who is not quite at his ease, till he has landed from this 
swinging unsteady footing. Horses are permitted to go over this 
bridge, one at a time. 

There is another bridge, of a more simple construction, for foot pas- 
sengers, formed with two parallel chains ^ round which creepers are 
loosely twisted, sinking very much in the middle, where suitable planks 
are placed, the end of one plank resting upon the end of the other, with- 
out being confined, which forms a very good footing. There is also 
another mode, by which the people of this country contrive to cross 
deep chasms. Two ropes s, commonly of rattan, or some stout and 
flexible osier, are stretched from one mountain to another, and encircled 
by a hoop of the same. The passenger places himself between them, 
sitting in the hoop, and, seizing a rope in each hand, slides himself 
along with facility and speed, over an abyss tremendous to behold. 
Examples of all these kinds of bridges have occurred in the course of 
our journey, as I have already related. 

* Wandipore, p. 132. ' Chuka, p. 55. ' Selo, p. 59. 

•^ Mountains near Chuka, p. 54. 

192 BOOTAN. 

Tlie variety ol scenery we were presented with this clay, was highly 
picturesque and grand. On one spot in particular we viewed, tumbling 
from its source, in the bosom ol a lofty mountain, a copious river, 
white with foam, and finely contrasted with the dark hued pines, as 
it rushed over the blackened rock, to meet the Patchieu. We were 
met by a prodigious number of passengers, carrying burdens, and 
we overtook others, ascending this lofty mountain. They were really 
models of athletic strength : it was astonishing to behold the firm, 
large, and well divided muscles of their limbs, which were powerful 
indications of the great degree, in which laborious exertion conduces 
to the increase of strength. Although climate may, in some measure, 
contribute, yet their very muscular appearance is not wiiolly to be 
ascribed to its influence ; for it may be observed, that notwithstanding 
as we advanced, the climate was supposed to improve, and the atmo- 
sphere became more pure and rare, there being no stagnant waters, 
and little vegetation, to charge the air with noxious vapours, yet the 
people were much less robust. At the same time I must observe, that 
the Tibetians, always travelling on level ground, carrying a weight of 
clothing that bids defiance to the most piercing winds, and wearing 
thick boots, equally proof against the impression of sharp-pointed 
rocks, or the penetrability of thawing snow, are neither in size, acti- 
vity, nor ability to endure fatigue, on a level with the Booteeas ; wlio 
never go abroad but they must climb an ascent ; and who go thinly 
clad, exposing their bare heads to every wind that blows, and trudg- 
ing with naked feet in the most rugged and the smoothest roads. 
In various places near our path, we saw little parties of Booteeas, 

BOO TAN. 193 

who, having laid down their loads, were sitting under cavities of the 
rock, regaling themselves with tobacco, and very sociably puffing, and 
pushing about the pipe from one to another. They were mixed socie- 
ties, generally consisting more of women than men; and they chatted 
together apparently in great good humour, and frequently joined in 
loud bursts of laughter. The disposition was contagious ; nor could 
we view so much honest mirth without a smile. 

We rested near one of these parties : I had carried a compass in my 
hand, and set it down by me to take bearings. One of the group ad- 
vanced, and taking it up in his hand, viewed it with attention. I 
explained to him, as well as I could, the property of the needle ; and 
he passed it to the rest of his comrades, who all considered it with the 
same expressions of surprise ; it was afterwards returned very carefully 
to the place, from whence it was taken. I never beheld a more Horid 
picture of health than was exhibited in the complexion of the moun- 
taineers we met to-day; the women in particular, with their jet black 
hair, and clear brisk, black eyes, had a ruddiness, which the most 
florid English rustic would in vain attempt to rival. 

We left on our right, a sort of rude hovel, which they called Gassa. 
It serves as a resting-place for travellers passing to and fro. Every 
species of small and larger forest tree, we had now left behind us, 
and were to look down on the lower grounds for luxuriant vegetation. 
Nothing but docks and nettles decorate the ground about Gassa. 
The bleak and lofty summits of this and the adjacent mountains, give 
growth only to short herbage, with here and there a straggling bar- 
berrv bush. 

194 BOOTAN. 

A little beyond Gassa we were struck witli a very singular appear- 
ance. A breach in the opposite mountain discovered a most beautiful 
valley, which at once surprised me by its sudden burst upon the view, 
and forcibly excited a desire of closer examination. But the immense 
chasm between prohibited the attempt ; yet I could plainly trace the 
practicability of climbing to it by a zig-zag narrow path. The moun- 
tains rose with steep sides, towering to a prodigious altitude, and 
branching into many heads. This, in particular, as if compressed, 
and flattened about a third part of its height, displayed a plain of 
wide extent, covered with the finest turf, and intersected, as the 
Booteeas informed me, by a large brook: and here, they said, was 
the favourite resort of the herdsmen with their droves, at this season 
of the year. The Patchieu was now seen to shape its contorted course, 
deep in the division between the mountains, dashing from one side of 
the rock to the other; sometimes pouring a smooth transparent body 
over huge stones that lie across its course, and sometimes dashing a per- 
fect cataract. It seemed greatly diminished in size; but the numerous 
currents that flow down every division of the mountain, and join it in 
its way, swell it, before it finds the bottom, into an immense torrent. 

Travelling on, we inclined towards the right, and came to a sort 
of break in the ascent ; a hollow, formed by the coinciding slopes of 
many heads of the mountain. We were met here by the Lama of 
Phari, who had advanced thus far, and pitched some tents for our 
accommodation, which we entered about four o'clock, after a long and 
tiresome ascent of ten hours, though the distance we had travelled 
was little more than twelve miles. 

BOOTAN. 195 

Carpets and cushions were placed ready ; and we were no less 
happy to meet our old acquaintance, the Lama, than to partake of the 
refreshments he afforded us. We were presented with a profusion of 
. ^ fresh rich milk, and a preparation called, in the language of India, 
,3^' Dhy, which is milk, acidulated by means of buttermilk boiled in it, 
and kept, till it is slightly coagulated. The Kummuz of the Tartars is 
mare's milk, prepared by the same process : this is sometimes dried in 
masses till it resembles chalk ; and is used to give a relish to the water 
which they drink, by solution with it. I have been told, that the ope- 
ration of drying it, is sometimes performed by tying the Dhy tight in 
bags of cloth, and suspending it under their horses' bellies. We had 
also dried I'ruits, consisting of dates and apricots ; buttered tea was 
not omitted in this repast, nor was it indeed the least acceptable part 
of it ; for habit had not only rendered this composition agreeable to 
our tastes, but experience most fully proved, that warm liquids, at all 
times, contribute to alleviate the sensation of fatigue. I was never more 
disposed to praise the comfortable practice of the country, having 
constantly observed, that the first object of attention with every man, 
at the end of a long journey, is to procure himself a dish of hot tea. 
If you are expected, it is always prepared, and brought to you, the 
moment you arrive. 

While we were assembled in the tents, we debated on our future 
plan of proceeding : it was at length determined, that the Lama should 
proceed immediately to Phari, to prepare for our arrival ; that Poo- 
rugnheer, with some others of the party, should accompany him ; and 
that we ourselves should move, on the following afternoon. 

C c 

196 BOOTAN. 

Near our encampment, was a party of Tartar herdsmen, called 
Dukba, whose sole occupation is tending cattle, and who always live 
in tents. One of them brought me a large quantity of milk, which was 
excellent, and some very good butter. The drove of chowry-tailed 
cattle, at pasture in this neighbourhood, consisted, as I understood, of 
between two and three hundred, and were the property of three fami- 
lies. At the time of our arrival, they were dispersed, grazing all over 
the adjacent mountains ; but towards the evening, the proprietors col- 
lected them together, by a signal and a call ; they were then all fastened 
with ropes, picketed in a double line before their tents, and guarded 
by two large Tibet dogs. I learned from one of the proprietors, that 
they had been stationary here about twelve days; that they came from 
the northward ; and that, in the course of nine or ten days more, he 
intended to conduct them farther south, on account of the approach 
of winter. 

The last was a most bitterly cold night : I was almost frozen in my 
bed. It might literally have been said that we had lain in the clouds. 
They hung in the morning exceedingly low ; and some of them swept 
the ground, as they passed in quick succession before a strong wind. 
Our tent, composed of a single thin canvas, without lining, was as wet 
as it was possible ; and the current of cold air, that pierced through the 
damp cloth, awoke me, with the same sensation a person feels, on first 
plunging into cold water. The ground was covered with hoar frost. 
The mercury in the thermometer stood at 36°. 




Small Banners, the Boundaries between Bootan and Tibet. — Plain 
of Phari — low Mount dedicated to funeral Rites. — Fortress. — 
Cliassa Goombah, Station of the Lama of PI tar i — his Jurisdiction. 
— La, or Musk Deer. — Ghouz — Severity of the Cold — Range of 
snowy Mountains. — Chumularee. — Hindoo Superstitions — Tongla 
— Tartar Tents. — Goorkhaw. — Homage to Chumularee. — Superior 
Elevation of this Part of Tibet — deduced from the Sources of Ri- 
vers, the cold Temperature of the Air, and the Mountains clothed 
perpetually with Snow. — Teuna — feeble Vegetation — numerous 
Herds — dreary Aspect. — Tempestuous Character of the Frontier. — 
Mineral Springs — fossil Alkali — Matron. — Dochai. — Lake Ram- 
tchieu — vast Resort of Water-fowl. — Encampment. — Sedjy mutti. 
— Sublime Scenery — a Tibet Village. — Farther Traits of Supersti- 
tion. — Dogs of Tibet — their Ferocity. — Comparison between Bootan 
and Tibet. 

After dinner our tents were struck, and we advanced on our way 
over the summit of Soomoonang. Here a long row of little inscribed 
flags, fixed in rude heaps of stones, were fluttering in the wind. They 
mark the boundaries of Tibet and Bootan ; and are supposed, at the 

198 TIBET. 

same time, to operate as a charm over the Dewtas, or genii loci, who 
are paramount here. No mountain is thought to be wholly exempt from 
their influence; but they are peculiarly given to range in the most elc 
vated regions ; where, drenched with dews, and worried by tempes- 
tuous weather, they are supposed to deal around them, in ill humour, 
their most baneful spells, to harass and annoy the traveller. 

We descended, by an easy declivity, towards the plain of Phari ; 
and as we proceeded, the first object viewed upon it, from the road, 
was a low hill, rising abruptly from a dead flat, and crowned with a 
square stone building, dedicated, as I was told, to funeral ceremo- 
nies. According to the custom of Tibet, which, in this respect, is in 
diVect opposition to the practice of almost all other nations, instead of 
that pious attention which is shewn to the remains of the dead, in the 
preservation of their bodies from pollution, by depositing them in the 
ground, they are here exposed, after their decease, like the Persees of 
India, in the open air, and left to be devoured by ravens, kites, and 
other carnivorous birds. In the more populous parts, dogs also come 
in for a share of the prey, and regularly attend the consummation of 
the last obsequies. 

About a mile farther on, the fortress of Pliari first came in view, 
upon the left, standing on high ground. It was a stone building, of 
very irregular form, but deemed to be of great strength. This must 
consist in the solidity of its walls ; which indeed is all that is neces- 
sary, among a people entirely unprovided with artillery. The sun was 
setting; I saw the last of it about two miles ofl^ when we turned short to 
the right towards Chassa Goombah ; but I had just time to distinguish 

TIBET.' 199 

an extensive suburb, on the north and west sides of Phari: on the south 
lay a large basin of water; and on the east, a bank of earth projected 
to a considerable distance, which seemed to fail with an easy slope, 
from a level with the rampart, into the plain. 

The valley of Phari is very extensive, compared \/ith the narrow 
slips of land we have been used to look at in Bootan. I suppose it to 
be not less than ten miles in length, and four in breadth ; surrounded 
on all sides with low rocky hills. The little soil on this^ as well as on 
the other, is incapable of cultivation : it was covered with loose stones, 
and intersected with numberless water channels. Some of them now 
conveyed shallow streams; but the broadest, which have been worn, as 
I conjecture, by the torrents produced from the sudden thaw of snow, 
were dry. At the foot of the rocks, on the western border of the plain, 
was a large brook, flowing towards the south, which they called 
Mahatchieu; and added, that it had a passage through the hills of 
Nipal, into Bengal. Tangun horses climb with ease and safety over 
the steepest and most rugged roads ; but level land is not so familiar 
to them : mine fell twice upon the plain, between the last descent and 
Chassa Goombah, where we took up our residence, after a short stage 
of about eight miles. 

This is the station of Phari Lama, a dependant of Teshoo Loomboo, 
who is here a little potentate, being superintendent of a Goombah, 
or monastery, and governor of a most extensive range of rocks and 
deserts, which yield verdure only in the mildest season of the year, 
when his neighbourhood is frequented by large herds of the long- 
haired, bushy-tailed cattle : from his character and station, lie has 

200 TIBET. 

great influence among the herdsmen. The musk deer too, which pro- 
duce a valuable article of revenue, are in great abundance in the vicinity 
of these mountains. This animal is observed to delight in the most 
intense cold, and is always found in places bordering on snow. Two 
long curved tusks, proceeding from the upper jaw, and directed down- 
wards, seem intended principally to serve him for the purpose of dig- 
ging roots, which are said to be his usual food; yet it is possible they 
may also be weapons of offence. Mr. Hastings had once in his pos- 
session a beautiful deer, of a different species, but armed with teeth of 
the same construction and position, with which he wounded every 
other kind of deer in the same inclosure with him; rising on his hind 
legs, and striking downwards. He was smaller than a common goat, 
vet had scored deep gashes in the tough skin of a Ghouz, which is the 
largest species of stag known in India. 

I had a great desire to send specimens of these animals into Bengal ; 
but I was discouraged by the reports I heard, that numerous attempts 
had been already made in Tibet, to convey them alive to Mr. Hastings, 
one of which only had succeeded, I was moreover assured, that, when 
separated from its own climate, and its native wilds, the life of the 
musk deer was always of short duration, and that it was, in fact, inca- 
pable of being domesticated ; or else its odour, for which it is now 
persecuted, might probably be obtained, like that of the civet, without 
the destruction of its life. 

They are about the height of a moderately sized hog, which they 
resemble much, in the figure of the body ; but they are still more 
like the bog deer, so termed in Bengal, from the same similitude. 

TIBET. 201 

They have a small head, a thick and round hind quarter, no scut, and 
extremely delicate limbs. The greatest singularity in this animal, is 
the sort of hair with which it is covered, which is prodigiously copious, 
and grows erect all over the body, between two and three inches long, 
lying smooth only where it is short, on the head, legs, and ears. 
Upon examination, it partakes in its texture, less of the nature of hair 
than feathers; or rather, it resembles the porcupine's quill; yet, at the 
same time, it is thin, flexible, and not straight, but undulated. The 
colour, at the base, is white, in the middle black, and brown at the 
points. The musk is a secretion formed in a little bag, or tumor, re- 
sembling a wen, situated at the navel ; and is found only in the male. 
The huntsmen, who sell it by weight, have a mode of adulterating it 
sometimes, before it is brought to market ; which, I am informed, is 
detected by examining the texture of the musk. If it be brown and 
granulated, there is reason to suppose it sophisticated ; but if black 
and homogeneous, divided in many parts by a thin cuticle, it may be 
relied upon as pure. They have another more expeditious mode of ascer- 
taining its quality, by running a sharp pointed instrument, or needle, 
through the musk. I am told that the method of adulterating it is, by 
injecting blood into it, while the bag is fresh. But as the musk deer* is 
here deemed the property of the state, and hunted only by the per- 
mission of government, of course, a great part of the musk passes 
through the hands of its agents ; and all that bears the Regent's seal, 
may be looked upon as genuine. 

> The musk deer, in the language of Tibet, is called La ; and the vascular covering 
of the musk, Latcha. 

202 TIBET. 

We were lodged in the monastery, in an apartment allotted to the 
devotions of the Lama. It was a low, square room, with no aper- 
ture but the door, which, when shut, made it gloomy enougli ; and 
here we reposed, amidst gods and whirligigs. But, not to speak too 
ludicrously of that, with which their superstition connects very grave 
and serious ideas, and which is found equally common in the temples 
of Tibet and in those of Bootan, it is necessary to explain, that this 
machine is no other than a painted barrel, with gilded letters on it, 
placed upright in a case, which has an opening to admit the hand. It 
revolves upon an axis, having a notch in its side, to allow you to give 
it impulse. In twirling this instrument about, and repeating at the 
same time the mystic words, Ooin inaunee paimee oom, consists a ma- 
terial exercise of their religion. 

Our host, the Lama, was a lusty, venerable, sedate old man ' he 
treated us with great hospitality and kindness, and was very solicitous 
for our comfortable accommodation. We were indebted to his kitchen 
for a very good dish at supper: it was a preparation of mutton, 
minutely incorporated with milk and spices, of which we eat heartily, 
and thought it excellent cookery. There were also abundance of dates, 
and dried apricots, with the infusion oLrice, by way of liquor for the 
table. The door of our room not shutting very closely, a keen frosty 
air found entrance by it, which soon drew from us, wishes for a fire. 
Our attendants, the Lama's people, flew with eagerness to make one of 
dried cowdung and slips of fir, which latter, abounding much with 
turpentine, burn like a torch, and form, therefore, an excellent foun- 
dation ; but, the instant the blaze subsided, it was succeeded by so 

TIBET. 205 

pungent and penetrating a smoke, that, almost sufTocated, we were as 
glad to extinguish the fire, as we had been anxious to admit it, and were 
obliged immediately to throw open the door, and have recourse to the 
cold air, to get rid of its effects. Time had deprived our friend of half 
his teeth, and those which remained, kept no good neighbourhood with 
each other. He had numerous infirmities; shortness of sight, rheumatic 
pains, and bad digestion : age appeared also to have a share in his 
afflictions. He endeavoured to trace out the sad catalogue of his com- 
plaints to Mr. Saunders, who humanely consoled him with his good 
counsel and medical advice ; and I had the good fortune to alleviate 
one grievous evil, by presenting him with a pair of spectacles. 

In the morning of Monday, the 1 5th of September, we found our- 
selves in the vicinity of snow, covering a range of mountains, lying to 
the north-east, about two miles off. The snow continues on some of 
them, during all seasons of the year. The most conspicuous of the 
number is that called Chumularee, which lifts itself above the rest, and 
terminates in a peak. 

Chumularee is highly venerated by the Hindoos, who, as Poorung- 
heer informed me, have been used, from time immemorial, to resort 
hither in pilgrimage, for the purpose of paying their adorations to its 
snow-clad summit. I could gain no satisfactory explanation of the 
superior sanctity attached to this mountain ; but it may be observed, 
that every singular phaenomenon in nature, is of the same import- 
ance to the superstitious Hindoo: a snowy mountain, a hot well^ a 

* As at Setacoon near Monghire, in the province of Bengal. 


204 TIBET. 

river head', or a volcano ■*, is deemed an equally fit object of his 

We were on horseback before seven o'clock, and, having passed 
through a small village on the extremity of the vale of Phari, travelled 
along the face of the mountain of Tongla, ascending but little, and 
nearly in the same degree, as we descended to the next plain, which 
was more extensive than the former, but not more fertile. On its skirts 
were large herds of the bushy-tailed cattle, grazing; and we saw some 
Tartar tents, formed from the hair of these cattle, woven into cloth ; 
the ropes also which fastened them to iron pins driven into the ground, 
were spun from the same materials. 

About eight miles from Chassa Goombah we found tents pitched, 
which the Lama had sent forwards, with servants to prepare refresh- 
ments. We all alighted to partake of them; and after a short hah, 
parted from our good friend the Lama, who, from motives of civility, 
had accompanied us thus far. Crossing the rivulet, we advanced over 
the plain, and at a small distance on the left, saw a great number of 
animals, which they called wild horses, or Goorkhaw. They were very 
shy, and kept so far aloof, that we could not "well distinguish their 
marks and make; but with a glass I could discern long ears, like those 
of an ass, or mule, and a slender tail with little hair upon it, reaching 
about as low as the hock. The ears, neck, body, and tail, were of one 

« Hurdewar, the last pass of the mountains, through ■which the Ganges enters the 
plains of Hindostan. 

' Ballacoon, a well near Chittagong, producing inflammable air, and on the surface 
of whose water, a flame is often seen to play. All these places are deemed peculiarly 
sacred by the Hindoos. 

TIBET. 205 

colour, approaching nearly to what we term a fawn colour; the face, 
belly, and legs, were lighter, indeed almost white. They are said to 
be extremely fleet ; and are never taken alive to be rendered service- 
able, or domesticated: the young indeed are sometimes caught, but they 
soon pine away and die. I was informed, that the huntsmen in Tibet 
go in quest of them as game, and, by lying in wait, sometimes shoot 
them, and esteem their flesh a great delicacy. I have heard, that four 
of these animals were once in Mr. Hastings's possession : three of them 
were vicious, stubborn, and untameable ; the fourth, a female, was of 
a different disposition, following a camp, loose, and perfectly familiar 
with every body, and every thing around it. 

By the way, our guide, as well as Poorungheer, deviated a little 
from the road, to pay their respects to Chumularee. Not choosing 
to interrupt their devotions, we moved on. The mountain did not 
appear very lofty from the level of this plain ; and I think we passed 
it, leaving it on our right, at about the distance of three miles : yet 
the great altitude of this part of Tibet is demonstrated, not only by 
the many rivers that originate in these frontier mountains, and flow 
towards the south, with a great descent, through Bootan into Bengal : 
but because the streams issuing from it a little further to the north, 
and taking a northerly direction, fall into the Berhampooter, and 
are finally conveyed with it, to a junction, in the neighbourhood of 
the sea, with the waters which flow in a contrary course, from the 
same general store. I conclude, therefore, that spot on which we 
now stood, constitutes the highest point of land, in what is called 
Little Tibet. 

206 TIBET. 

At the end of the next day's journey, we came to the source of a 
river, which ran towards the north, near which we travelled all the way 
to its confluence with the Berhampooter, a little beyond Teshoo Loom- 
boo. The Berhampooter there flows in a very widely extended bed, and 
passes on^ shaping its course to the south of Lassa; it afterwards takes 
a vast circuit through the mountains on the borders of Tibet, before 
it enters the kingdom of Assam, and finally joins the Ganges, in Bengal. 
These great rivers, when united, take together the name of Megna, 
and flow but a short distance, before they divide into innumerable 
streams, that intersect the territory, which is called the Sunderbunds, 
in a most intricate labyrinth, and then finally mix their waters with the 
sea. The prodigious difl'erence of climate affords, also, strong testimony 
to the truth of my assertion, respecting the height of this part of 
Tibet. Perpetual winter may be said to reign at Phari ; Chumularee 
is for ever clothed with snow; and this mountain, from its remarkable 
form, leaves no room to doubt its being the same, which I have 
heard described as occasionally visible from Purnea and Rajemahl ; 
and wliich I once saw, before 1 set out from Rungpore upon my present 
journey. I had not the means to ascertain its elevation; but some infe- 
rence may, perhaps, be drawn from analogy. We hear, that on Mount 
Lebanon in Syria, snow does not remain through the whole year, except 
in the highest cavities. Now it is well known that snow, under these 
circumstances, in that latitude (34° 30' north), requires an elevation of 
1500 or 160 fathoms above the level of the sea. The loftiest of the 
Alps, which is Mount Blanc, is estimated at 2,400; the Peak of Ossian, 
in the Pyrenees, is said to be 1900 fathoms above the level of the sea; 

TIBET. 207 

Vesuvius, according to M. de Saussure, 3900 feet ; Etna, 10,036 
feet; Monfe Velino, one of the Appennines, 8397 feet. In Owiiyhee, 
(latitude 18° 54' to 2,0" north) the summit of the higliest mountain, 
Mouna Kaah, in March was constantly buried in snow. The aUitude 
of the CordeHers, according to M. de Condamine, or tropical line of 
snow, is computed at 16,020 feet; the Peak of Teneriffe, or Pico de 
Teyde, according to Dr. Heberden, 15,396 feet; the mountain Gemmi, 
in the canton of Berne, 10,110 feet; Chimberazzo, the most elevated 
point of the Andes, 20,280 feet. The hne of congelation of Chimbe- 
razzo, or that part of the mountain which is covered perpetually with 
snow, is no less than 2400 feet from its summit. 

Near our encampment at Teuna, which was distant full fourteen 
miles from Phari, was a small inclosure of green wheat, which had just 
strength enough to give out its ear, but which I was told would pro- 
ceed no further; for that the cold is too intense, both here and at Phari, 
to admit its ripening ; and that it is cultivated merely as forage for 
cattle, when the plains become bare of grass, and they are hindered 
from going abroad, during the depth of the winter. The periodical 
rains give birth to a little herbage, whose growth stops immediately as 
they cease ; from the extreme dryness of the air, the grass then begins 
to wither, and at this time it may be crumbled between the fingers into 
dust : yet large droves of cattle are fed in this rteighbourhood ; for 
though the pasture be short and dry, it is esteemed singularly sweet 
and nutritive. Animals ranging in a state of nature, are found to prefer 
it, to the more exuberant herbage of milder climates. 

These plains, as well as the adjacent mountains, are frequented by 

208 TIBET. 

large droves of cattle, shawl goats, deer, musk deer, hares, and other 
wild animals. I saw also, in this and the last day's journey, many 
coveys of partridges, and pheasants, some quails, and great multitudes 
of foxes. 

The modes of conveyance here for baggage are altogether different 
from the usage of the inhabitants of Bootan, where every thing, with- 
out exception, is loaded upon the shoulders of the people, and where, 
to their shame be it spoken, the women bear the heaviest share of so 
laborious an employment. In Tibet, goods are carried by the chowry 
cattle, horses, mules, and asses, each animal taking the burdens of two 
men. We still travelled on horseback; but here a groom is not 
.attached to each horse, as in Bootan, holding the bridle all the time, 
a precaution very necessary with their headstrong Tanguns, as a guard 
against the danger of their tremendous precipices, and to keep them 
within the limits of their narrow roads. Here every rider guides his 
own horse; and, when he has occasion to dismount, pickets him to 
the ground with an iron pin, fastened to the end of a spare rein, which 
you have not the trouble of carrying in your hand, but which is wound 
round the horse's neck, just behind his head. Their horses are so 
extremely docile, that you may manage them exactly as you please : 
they are not natives of Tibet, but are brought from Eastern Tartaiy, 
and the borders of Toorkistan, as merchandise ; before they are per- 
mitted to be transported, care is taken to deprive them of the power 
of increasing their species : mares are never met with ; they are quiet, 
sure-footed creatures, but slow, and ugly ; they have large heads, and 
the tallest of them are not above fourteen hands high. What adds 

TIBET. 209 

much to their clumsy appearance, is a coat of long hair, such as 
nature seems to have denied to bears within the tropics. They are 
never shod, either here or in Bootan. 

The Tibetians are a very humane, kind people ; I have, personally, 
had numberless opportunities of observing this disposition : one in- 
stance may be as good as a thousand. Soon after we alighted at our 
encampment, being much oppressed by a violent head-ach, I went 
to lie down in my tent, upon a carpet, and had not composed myself 
more than half an hour, when I perceived my conductor, Paima, creep- 
ing softly into the tent ; he advanced, and searching about, found a 
surtout coat and a cloth wrapper, both which he brought and care- 
fially laid over me : I took no notice of what he was about, for I was in 
pain, and not inclined to speak. He went away, but a short time 
after, another Tartar came in, who, gently raising my head with his 
hand, attempted to draw away a small wooden bench, on which I 
was reclining, the place of which he meant to supply with a pillow he 
had brought for that purpose. His civility disturbed me much, for I 
had settled my covering, and accommodated myself to the height of 
the bench: but, rather than enter into a discussion, for the sake of 
quiet I was induced to permit the change ; this, however, was no dis- 
paragement to his good intentions, which, I am sure, were suggested 
by the genuine impulse of humanity. These circumstances made a 
lasting and favourable impression on my mind ; and, in justice to the 
national character, I take a pleasure in recording this striking instance 
of tenderness and attention, so different from the ferocity commonly 
annexed to our ideas of a Tartar. My friend will be remembered, I 

210 TIBET. 

have little doubt, by many persons who were at that time resident at 
Calcutta ; for Paima was the messenger deputed to Bengal, in the year 
1773, and was the first native of Tibet who had visited Bengal, at least 
since it became subject to the British government. 

We proceeded early in the morning, on Tuesday, 16th September, 
over an extensive plain ; a desart, I think, it might be termed, for there 
was not a vestige of vegetation upon it, except a few thistles, a little 
moss, and some scanty blades of withered grass. The wind was vio- 
lently high, and so sharp that we dared not expose our faces to its 
fury : the want of caution the day before had left our noses, sore me- 
mentos of its keen rudeness, and we now rode muffled up in such a 
manner, that we could but just breathe. To the very great and sudden 
change of climate I attributed what I had suffered : warmth;, and a 
good night's rest, lemoved all my ills. 

From Phari, to the distance of more than twenty miles north from 
hence, I was told that the most boisterous winds perpetually prevail ; 
in the dry summer months, raising clouds of dust and sand from the 
plains, almost intolerable to the traveller; and in other seasons, con- 
veying a degree of cold, unknown even in the severest winters ever felt 
in Europe. Such, they said, is sometimes the intenseness of the frost 
here, though in so low a latitude as twenty-eight degrees, that animals 
exposed in the open fields, are found dead, with their heads absolutely 
split by its force. 

Having travelled about nine miles, we met with three springs issu- 
ing out of the plain, near the foot of a hill, to whose waters the 
Tibetians ascribe medicinal virtues. They send out three separate 

TIBET. 211 

rivulets, whose streams unite at a short distance from their sources, 
and run toG:ether, to feed a larcje hike that covers one corner of the 
plain. All the ground about it, was white with an incrustation, saltish 
to the taste : it lay thickest upon the tops of little inequalities in the 
surface ; and whether it exudes from the ground, or is the froth blown 
from the lake, I could not at first pronounce ; though on approaching 
nearer, I was inclined to the former opinion, for I found that the Avater 
had no peculiar flavour. This substance, upon inquiry, I understood 
to be of considerable use: it is collected, and employed for cleansing 
and washing woollen and cotton cloths, as a substitute for soap, to 
which they are utter strangers. 

We halted a while, at a small village named Dochai, and partook 
of some refreshments which our conductor had provided. Lubchea 
Goomba, a large monastery, was seen immediately opposite, seated 
amidst rocks, which, as well as those which are ranged on the other 
side, protrude their bases into the lake, and are bordered with a white 
foam, produced by its agitated waves. 

We advanced along the borders of the lake, which was named 
Ramtchieu, with bare rocky hills on our left, much shattered and torn 
by severe frost. The stone composing them, was of the colour of 
rusty iron ; and small detached cubical pieces, covered all the ground 
below, to a considerable distance. 

The banks of this lake were perforated with the innumerable bur- 
rows of a small animal to which they gave the name of rat : we chanced 
to see some of them running along, and sitting near the edge of the 
burrows. They were larger than a musk rat, of a cinereous gray, 



212 TIBET. 

and I could plainly perceive they had no tails': my attendants all 
confirmed this observation. 

This lake is frequented by great abundance of water-fowl, wild- 
geese, ducks, teal, and storks, which, on the approach of winter, take 
their flight to milder regions. Prodigious numbers of saurasses, the 
largest species of the crane kind, are seen here at certain seasons of the 
year, and they say, that any quantity of eggs may then be collected ; 
they are found deposited near the banks. 

I had several of these given to mc while I was at Tassisudon, during the 
rains ; they were as large as a turkey's egg, and I remember being told 
that they came from this place ; but whether or not they were those of 
the sauras, I cannot venture to pronounce. 

The lake gradually narrowed, and from its northern angle, sent off 
a small brook, which we crossed, over a very rude bridge. It took 
a western direction, between hills that form a narrow defile, discharg- 
ing itself at the other extremity, into a much larger lake than that 
which we had passed. 

Our little camp stood midway with respect to the lakes, in a narrow 
pass between rows of rocks, near the village Chaloo, twenty miles 
from Teuna, and not far from the brook. The situation was much 
sheltered ; and in this confined valley I saw the first ground in Tibet, 
which was cultivated with success. It produced a dwarfish wheat, I 
think, of the Lammas kind ; this was now ripe, and falling beneath 
the sickle. 

« This animal, I conceive to have been the Daman Israel, of Egypt, or Schafan, of 
the Hebrews. See Bruce. 

TIBET. 215 

Setting out, after an early breakfast, on Wednesday, the 17th of 
September, we continued for two or three miles, within sight of the 
stream which I have noticed, till it joined a broad lake, that extended 
farther than we could trace, being hemmed in by rocks, which ob 
structed our view. 

This lake, I am told, is held in high respect by the inhabitants of 
Bootan, whose superstitions lead them to consider the increase or de- 
crease of its waters, as portentous of good or evil to their nation. They 
fancy it to be a favourite haunt of one of their chief deities. 

The road, after passing this defile, turned short to the rights round 
the skirts of a small village, and proceeded over an extensive plain, 
quite destitute of verdure, of an arid soil, and covered with small 
stones. On quitting this, we turned round the point of a hill, and 
came down upon another plain, white with the same sort of incrus- 
tation, which we had seen the day before. There was no water, nor 
did it appear that there ever had been any, on this plain; whence it 
should seem, that this saline substance is sublimed from the earth, ar.d 
not a separation from impregnated water. The salt, I believe, is called 
by the chemists, natron, and by the natives of Hindostan, where it is 
found in great abundance, sedgy mulli : it rises in an efflorescence 
from the dry plains, resembling a hoar frost. Some deer bounded 
across our path. 

As we proceeded, several narrow prospects opened, of the snowy 
mountains to the south : not those we had formerly seen, but a conti- 
nuation, I imagine, of the same range that borders on Bootan, and 
constitutes its frontier. The brown heath, and russet-coloured rocks, 

214 TIBET. 

comprehended in the same view, heightened the effect. The snow had 
assumed ten thousand varying folds, and dissimilar forms, in falling 
upon the rocks ; nor could the finest imagination, directing the pencil 
of the most skilful painter, possibly express the sublime beauty that 
characterised the drapery, which this pure light substance had spread 
over their craggy tops. It was a glorious day ; not a vapour obscured 
the air, or obstructed the view, to the edge of the horizon all around : 
the sun was not yet so high, as to have totally withdrawn the shadows, 
thrown by its oblique rays from one mountain on the other, but it 
imparted to every hill, all the advantage that a prospect could derive, 
from the happiest combination of light and shade. 

We descended from this plain, upon the dry bed of a large lake. 
The ancient banks, of nearly the same acclivity and height, were clearly 
to be traced all around. On the eastern side, it gave rise to a brook, 
whose clearness betrayed numberless shoals of small fish gliding 
near its bottom, as it hurried over a gravelly bed, to join another 
stream a little farther off. They formed together no inconsiderable 
river, which, enlarging as it went along, shaped its course near our 
road all the way, and fell at length near Teshoo Loomboo, into the 

On the banks that bordered this low ground, which I conclude to 
have been at some time covered with water, were a vast number of 
pebbles and loose stones, that bore evident signs of having been rolled 
and rounded by the action of water. We encamped on its borders, 
near the village Sumdta, fourteen miles from Chaloo, within a stone 
inclosure, similar to the walls erected in the hilly parts of England, for 

TIBET. 215 

the same purpose. Near our tents were a few trees, willows I believe, 
which were the first we had met with in Tibet ; they might easily have 
been mistaken for tall weeds. A shallow rivulet of clear water, rippled 
over a pebbly bottom, close by; it harboured multitudes of fish inits 
deepest parts, which were easily taken, and afforded us a most excel- 
lent dish for dinner. 

A Tibet village by no means makes a handsome figure. The pea- 
sant's house is of a mean construction, and resembles a brick kiln in 
shape and size, more exactly than any thing to which I can com- 
pare rt. It is built of rough stones, heaped upon each other without 
cement, and, on account of the strong winds that perpetually prevail 
here, it has never more than three or four small apertures to admit 
light. The roof is a fiat terrace, surrounded with a parapet wall two 
or three feet high; on this, are commonly placed piles of loose stones. 
intended to support a small flag, or the branch of a tree ; or else as a 
fastening for a long line, with scraps of paper, or white rag, strung 
upon it like the tail of a kite ; this being stretched from one house to 
another, is a charm against evil genii, as infallible in its efficacy, as 
horse shoes nailed upon a threshold, or as straws thrown across the 
path of a reputed witch. 

This was a bleak looking place, and there was hardly the appear- 
ance of any thing animated about it. Being indolently disposed, and 
prompted merely by curiosity, I strolled alone among the houses; 
and, seeing every thing still and quiet, I turned into one of the stone 
enclosures, which serve as folds for cattle. The instant I entered the 
gate, to my astonishment, up started a huge dog, big enough, if his 

216 TIBET. 

courage had been equal to his size, to fight a hon. He kept me at bay 
witii a most clamorous bark, and 1 was a good deal startled at first ; but 
recollecting their cowardly disposition, I stood still ; for having once 
had one in my possession, I knew that they were fierce only, when 
they perceived themselves feared. If I had attempted to run, he pro- 
bably would have flown upon me, and torn me in pieces, before any 
one could have come to my rescue. Some person came out of the 
house, and he was soon silenced. 

If Bootan, compared with Bengal, exhibits a vast contrast of country 
and climate, there is no nearer analogy between Tibet and Bootan. 

Bootan presents to the view, nothing but the most mishapen irregu- 
larities; mountains covered with eternal verdure, and rich with abun- 
dant forests of large and lofty trees. Almost every favourable aspect of 
them, coated with the smallest quantity of soil, is cleared and adapted 
to cultivation, by being shelved into horizontal beds: not a slope or 
narrow shp of land between the ridges, lies unimproved. There is 
scarcely a mountain, whose base is not washed by some rapid torrent, 
and many of the loftiest, bear populous villages, amidst orchards, and 
other plantations, on their summits and on their sides. It combines 
in its extent, the most extravagant traits of rude nature and labo- 
rious art. 

Tibet, on the other hand, strikes a traveller, at first sight, as one 
of the least favoured countries under heaven, and appears to be in 
a great measure incapable of culture. It exhibits only low rocky 
hills, without any visible vegetation, or extensive arid plains, both 
of the most stern and stubborn aspect, promising full as little as they 

TIBET. 217 

produce. Its climate is cold and bleak in the extreme, from the severe 
effects of which, the inhabitants are obliged to seek refuge in shel- 
tered valleys, and hollows, or amidst the warmest aspects of the rocks. 
Yet perhaps Providence, in its impartial distribution of blessings, has 
bestowed on each country a tolerably equal share. The advantages that 
one possesses in fertility, and in the richness of its forests and its fruits, 
are amply counterbalanced in tiie other by its multitudinous flocks, 
and invaluable mines. As one seems to possess the pabulum of vege- 
table, in the other we find a superabundance of animal, life. The 
variety and quantity of wild-fowl, game, and beasts of prey, flocks, 
droves and herds, in Tibet, are astonishing. In Bootan, except domes- 
tic creatures, nothing of the sort is to be seen. I recollect meeting 
with no wild animal except the monkey, in all my travels, and of game, 
I saw only a few pheasants, once near Chuka. 

218 TIBET. 


Deserted Villages — -fatal Effects of the Small-pox — Ignorance of its 
Treatment — a serious Calaniiiij — Occasion of the Removal of the ■ 
Seat of Government and Monastery from Teshoo Loombob to Cham- 
namning. — Gangamaar — hot Bath — Surface of the Ground adja- 
cent — Labourers in the Fields — rude Expression of Surprise. — 
Place of Fragments — huge Idol — Mahamoonie — a religious Rite. 
— Shoohoo. — Kainee — improving Appearance of the Country. — 
Tehukku. — J hansu-jeung. — Valley ofjhansu. — Woollen Manufac- 
tory — Economy in Dress. — Monastery of Jhansu. — Beggars. — 
Duhque. — Cor ride. — Castle o/Painom — Bridge— ^Town. — Keesoo. 
— Tsondue. — Distant View o/^ Teshoo Looraboo — Enter the Mo- 
nastery. ^ 

At sunrise on Thursday, tlie 18th of September, we advanced, still 
pursuing the course of the river, through a narrow valley. We passed * 
by much cultivated ground, planted chiefly with wheat and pease : as 
a vegetable, the latter were acceptable to us, though our friends thought 
they favoured us, by gathering the oldest they could find. 

Near the road were seen the ruins of many villages, deserted, I con- 
jecture, during the prevalence of the small-pox, which is a disorder not 
less dreaded by the inhabitants of Tibet, than the plague. Indeed, 

TIBET. 219 

where it rages, it is hardly less fatal, for they neither know, nor use 
any remedies to obviate its effects ; but as soon as the first appearance 
of it, is publickly knoi^vn in any village, the healthy hasten to desert it, 
and leave the infected abandoned to chance, and to the natural course 
of the distemper. At the same time, every avenue to the place is equally 
barred against the admission of strangers, and the flight of those who 
are confined. Under such circumstances, it is no wonder that instances 
of recovery are rare. The late Teshoo Lama, when the small-pox had 
broken out among the Gylongs, once moved his court altogether to 
Chamnamning; and the capital, Teshoo Loomboo, remained for three 
years without inhabitants, until it was supposed to be completely 
purged'of the pestilential infection. The Lama himself had never had 
the disorder, and it Vr'as the cause of his death, at the early period of 
forty-six years of age, while on a visit to the Emperor, at the court 
of ChiKa. 

We crossed the river at a small village belonging to the govern- 
ment of Teshoo Loomboo, and dismounted upon the opposite bank, to 
partake of some warm tea, prepared by. the principal person in this 
neighbourhood, who was waiting by the road side, expecting our 

After a short halt, we pursued our journey, and came to Gangamaar, 
situated upon an eminence. Here a complete relay of horses, and cattle 
for our baggage, was ready lor our accommodation. 

During the arrangement of this exchange, we joined our friends at 
Gangamaar, and partook with them, of a very hearty meal, which 
afforded both them and ourselves, an ample occasion to wonder at the 


220 TIBET. 

force of prejudice. The table was spread with raw joints of fresh 
mutton, and some of the same, boiled. We certainly preferred the 
boiled mutton, which was cold, and exquisitely tender and sweet ; but 
the Tibetians shewed a different taste : and though both of us, were 
equally pleased, neither envied the opposite propensity of the other; 
but we were all afterwards equally disposed to join in deep draughts 
of chong and a social pipe, in the use of which, practice had now ren- 
dered me tolerably expert. 

A road to Lassa branches off between these hills, east by south from 
Gangamaar, which village is subject to that government. We con- 
tinued our journey nearly north, and about a mile and a half farther 
on, met with a hot well, which was surrounded with a stone wall, 
and covered with canvas. Within the enclosure, a tent was pitched, 
which seemed crowded with people. I soon learned, that the virtues 
attributed to this spring, were various and powerful, not being confined 
to invalids of any particular description, but extending to all the sick 
and aged, whether they seek a cure from infirmity or from disease. 
The mode of treament, is to continue immerged in the water, for some 
minutes up to the chest, and on coming out to be covered with warm 
clothing: this is repeated five or six times- a day. The mercury of the 
thermometer stood in the open air at 44°; when plunged into the water 
it rose to 88°. The vapour arising from the surface had a sulphureous 
smell ; and on all sides, to the extent of two hundred yards, was seen 
much white incrustation. 

The surface of the ground on which we travelled, was a mass of 
hard matter, like scoria ; it sounded hollow, as the horses (rod upon 

TIBET. 221 

it ; and some detached pieces that were picked up, were as porous as 
a honeycomb. 

We still followed the course of the river; it was every where har^ 
vest time, and numbers of people were busied in the fields. They were 
not reaping, as we had seen in other places, with the sickle, but they 
plucked up the corn by the roots, and afterwards placed it, upright, 
bound in small bundles, to dry. I know not whether the sight of so 
many horsemen in these solitary ways, or our exotic appearance, prin- 
cipally attracted their notice; but the people were struck with wonder. 
They desisted from their labour, and looking with amazement, as they 
grasped the grain, which happened to be in their hands, at the moment 
of our approach, stood still with wide extended arms, till they had 
gazed us, out of sight. 

Having turned round the point of a rocky hill, we came at length 
to a road, much encumbered with huge blocks of broken rock. The 
river had a considerable fall, and hurried with rapid violence over its 
uneven bed. On either side, rose high rocks, perpendicular and bare, 
exhibiting an infinite variety of forms, being split by the shivering 
frost, and shaped into many tall pyramids, and vast impending crags, 
whose slight support seemed to threaten the beholder with instan- 
taneous ruin, and made their aspect, truly tremendous. On the largest 
of those that were tumbled in the way, were piled quantities of white 
flint, to which it is the custom here, for every passenger to make some 
addition, from a motive of humanity, similar to that of the professors 
of both religions in India, which induces them to cover the bodies of 
men, found dead in the fields; with clods of earth, which the rains 

222 TIBET. 

gradually dissolve and incorporate, forming the loose mass into a com- 
pact hillock. This always attracts the same respect, and passengers 
continue to add to the heap, long after all traces of the body are lost, 
and its existence forgotten. Thus also the piety of theTibetians, offers 
a similar rite, to the bodies of those whom chance may have led to the 
spot, where the fragment lay at the instant of its fall,'though the fatal 
effects of it may not have been certainly known. 

While labouring through this heap of fragments, the traveller is 
suddenly surprised by a most gigantic figure of the chief idol in their 
temples, Mahamoonie, carved upon an immense stone in relief, and 
imaged in the usual attitude, sitting cross-legged. I cannot praise the 
sculptor for his execution; yet ugly and mishapcn as the thing is 
which he has produced, something at least must be said in praise of 
his laborious and persevering industry. 

Proceeding onwards, we passed a pretty cluster of small houses, 
situated on a high bank on the other side of the river, which ran below 
it. A little farther on, we crossed a very rude bridge, composed of 
large flat stones as a platform, laid upon pieces of workmanship equally 
rude, which rattled when trod upon, so that the passenger could not 
help thinking them extremely insecure. 

Our quarters were next at Shoohoo, famous for exhibiting a few 
willow trees, in the midst of which our tents were pitched ; and here 
we were happy to alight, after a toilsome stage of upwards of twenty- 
six miles. 

We advanced early in the morning of Friday, the 19th of Sep- 
tember, at first along the same sort of narrow valley through whiich our 

TIBET. 223 

journey had lately lain, till turning to the left, it opened at once into 
a spacious amphitheatrCj formed by the receding hills : in the centre of 
the arch, was seen a very handsome village, situated at the foot of a 
rock, called Nainee, belonging to Teshoo Loomboo. The buildings 
were regular and clean, some of them bordered, others striped with 
red, and being partly hid by branches of willows, had to us a new and 
extremely neat appearance. 

The country now opened and improved, beginning to appear better 
peopled ; and the view of trees and houses, afforded a very grateful 
change from the dreariness of our late prospects, which I have not 
seen equalled, in any tract of country through which I ever travelled 

The greatest part of the space from Phari to this spot, upwards 
of fifty miles, is certainly very little removed, either in aspect, popu- 
lation, or culture, from a perfect desert. The hills were still bare, of 
a stiff, dry, unkindly composition : some of them were crowned with 
high perpendicular steeps like ramparts ; whence the mouldering rock, 
split and detached, had sloped their sides with a loose gravelly soil 
down to the plain. Observing the manner in which many of them seem 
shivered by the frost, one would conclude, that not many ages are 
necessary to reduce them to a level with the ground below. 

On passing round a projecting point, the castle of Jhansu-jeung came 
in view, at the distance of five or six miles, standing upon a rock, 
which from its perpendicular height, and the irregularity of its cliffs, 
if not impregnable, must at least be extremely difficult to be subdued 
by the assaults of any Tartar enemy. 

224 TIBET. 

The valley of Jhansu, which is very extensive, has greatly tlie 
appearance of having been once the bed of a lake. We descended a 
high bank, and found the level surface covered with coarse greyish 
sand and round stones, and intersected by the channels of many 
water-courses. This conjecture therefore instantly occurred ; and the 
testimony of all whom I afterwards conversed Avitli tended to give 
weight to it. But ihey could by no means fix the period of its being 
drained: the change was too remote to remain impressed upon the 
minds of those who now inhabit the neighbourhood ; and I could obtain 
no determinate information, whether the discharge of the water was 
owing to art or nature. 

The Tibetians, like their neighbours, possessed of an ardent spirit 
of devotion, do not hesitate to attribute the merit of every thing great, 
or singularly beneficial, to tiie agency of some supernatural being. As 
no records exist, to immortalize the author of a work eminently inge- 
nious and useful, the lapse of many years is not necessary to involve 
the memory in complete oblivion ; and the credit of it soon helps to 
aggrandize the importance of some fictitious deity. 

It is asserted that Tibet, in remote times, was almost totally inun- 
dated; and the removal oi the waters that covered its surface, is im- 
puted to the miraculous interposition of some object o( their worship, 
whose chief temple is reported to be at Durgeedin, Gya. He, it is 
said, in compassion to the few inhabitants which Tibet contained, who 
in that age were little better than monkeys, drew off the waters through 
Bengal, and, by sending teachers among them, humanized the wretched 
race, who were subsequently to people it. In this beliefof the Tibetians, 

TIBET. 225 

which is too general to be totally rejected, it is not difficult to discover 
strong traces of the universal deluge, though the tradition, as might 
naturally be expected, is obscured by fable, and disfigured by a mix- 
ture of absurdity. 

Having forded ihe river, and ascended the opposite bank, we alighted 
at Tehukku, a dependency of Teshoo Loomboo, about two miles short 
of the castle of Jhansu, and twelve from Shoohoo. We were hospitably 
received by the officer who commanded here, and commodiously lodged 
in his tents, which were pitched within a small inclosure, formed by a 
double row of willows. This spot, because it was green, and had trees 
upon it, they called a garden. Our host was not deficient in providing 
tea, mattresses and cushions to repose on, as well as liquors, and plenty 
of provisions, all in the Tartar style. He was very conversable and com- 
municative, and, like most great talkers, was at no loss for subjects of 
complaint. He brought me a specimen of rock crystal, taken from a 
solid rock of the same, about a day's journey hence. It was impure, and 
full of flaws ; the largest piece might weigh about ten pounds : one 
corner of the mass had enveloped within it an infinite number of black 
hairs, crossing each other in all directions. I do not beheve that they 
knew this to be, what it really was, a crystallization of silver. 

The valley of Jhansu I understood to be particularly famous for the 
manufacture of woollen cloth, for which there is a very great demand. 
These cloths, which are confined to two colours, garnet and white, seldom 
exceed half a yard in breadth : they are woven very thick and close, 
like our frieze : they are very soft to the touch, for the fleece of their 
sheep appears to be remarkably fine, and supplies an excellent material. 

226 TIBET. 

Its superior pliability and warmth induce almost all the priests, both 
here and in Bootan, to use it for the short vest which they wear next 
the skin ; and those who can afford it, have also their winter mantle 
of the same. There may perhaps be something of economy in the pre- 
ference; for I recollect that my Tibet guide rallied my Bootan attend- 
ant, with all the pride of nationality, on the superior excellence of his 
cloth, protesting that it would wear three times as long as the manu- 
facture of Bootan; and telling us how long it had been made, he opened, 
at the same time, his vest to shew it. I was not disposed to dispute 
his assertion, for it bore many visible marks of age. But the Tibetians 
are great economists in their dress, which they always choose to 
make of the most durable materials : the weight and thickness is never 
iin objection. They are indeed accustomed to wear warm clothing; 
their summer dress being composed of woollen cloth, and their winter 
< dress of sheep or fox skins, cured with the hair on. I speak of the 
common people ; those who have the means, are dressed in silks and 
furs. But for this manufacture, the valley of Jhansu, from its central 
position, is very conveniently situated, both as to receiving the mate- 
j rial, and conveying the cloth, when manufactured, to Teshoo Loomboo, 
*^ ' ' Lassa, and Bootan. It has, in consequence, become the principal set- 
tlement of manufacturers ; and it certainly possesses every natural and 
essential advantage of space, climate, and fertility. 

We proceeded early the following morning, September the 20th, 
through fields of Lammas wheat, and passed close to the foot of the 
rock, on which Jhansu-jeung is built. The road, inclining round it, 
opened suddenly upon a monastery, situated on the concave side of a 

TIBET. 227 

steep rock r it consisted of about one hundred and fifty fiouses, which 
rose in rows, one behind the other. They were square, pretty regular 
in their form, and the wliitened wails had a band about their tops, two 
or three feet broad, of a deep garnet colour, which, with the addition of 
temples, gilded ornaments, and the decorated dwellings of their supe- 
rior priests, made a very handsome and brilliant spectacle. The whole 
building was surrounded by high walls, which were continued along 
the ridge of tiie rock, and crossed by many intermediate gateways or 
lodgments, so as to command the monastery, which fronted towards the 
castle, as well as to overlook the other side of the rock, which was 
extremely rugged, and almost perpendicular. 

In this neighbourhood we were pestered by a multitude of beggars, 
of all ages, and of both sexes: among them were some boys, who put 
on masks, and played a variety of antic tricks ; and we came suddenly 
upon two old women in rags, at the corner of a street, strumming the 
cittaur, a rude kind of stringed instrument, and capering clumsily to 
their own miserable music. 

The profession of the mendicant tribe is not unknown, as I per- 
ceived, in 'Tibet, but it is conducted with a better policy than in 
Europe; as they practise, and perhaps with more success, tricks of 
merriment, never shocking human nature with the cant of fictitious 
misery, or with assumed deformity. A few bits of silver, which I threw 
upon the ground, presently employed them all in a scramble, and gave 
me time to make my escape. 

About a mile farther, crossing the river, we kept by the course 
of it, through the valley of Jhansu, which was extremely rich with 

228 TIBET. 

abundant crops of ripe corn, and exceedingly populous. The nu- 
merous clustering villages, consisting of from four to ten neat square 
houses, their whitened walls, interspersed here and there with willows, 
and the river winding amongst them, were all together happily con- 
trasted with the stiff sterility of the adjacent hills. The weather was 
clear and serene; and, although the sun shone with its brightest lustre, 
its warmth, even at noon, was not uncomfortable. 

About this time we had arrived at Dongzee, a large village, under 
the jurisdiction of an officer from Lassa ; and we halted in an extensive 
grove upon its borders, where we found some tents already pitched. 
While we waited here to refresh our cattle, we made an ample repast, 
that gave us fresh spirits to pursue our journey, which we continued, 
without any remarkable occurrence, until near sunset, when we arrived 
at Dukque, sixteen miles from Tehukku, and pitched our tents for 
the night. 

Our next day's journey lay within sight of the river all the way, 
which ran in a smooth stream, sometimes round the foot of the hills, 
and sometimes through the centre of the valley, but it was now no 
longer fordable. I saw a boat, placed on its end, in one of the villages, 
for occasional use, which might easily be carried on the back of the 
passenger. It was composed chiefly of leather, and consisted of a rude 
skeleton of wood, with thwarts and ribs, over which a bull's hide was' 
stretched. It appeared to be exactly similar to that kind of boat, which, 
under the name of coricle ', still continues in use on the Wye, and per- 
haps on some other of our English rivers ; and it brought forcibly to 
' See Beloe's Herodotus, Vol. I. p. 195. 

TIBET. 229 

my recollection, the important use to which Caesar '' once applied this 
rude and simple invention of our British ancestors. 

Having travelled about ten miles, we came in view of Painom 
castle, with its square and round towers, loftily situated upon a per- 
pendicular rock, washed by the river, which flows at its foot. The 
Tibetians invariably place their strong buildings upon rocks : these 
constitute the base of every fortress, and most of the monasteries 
rest upon the same foundation. I do not rememiber to have seen a 
single edifice of strength or importance, tliat was not situated upon 
a rock. 

At the foot of Painom, over the broadest part of the river, was 
constructed a long bridge, upon nine piers of very rude structure. 
The piers were composed of rough stones, without cement, but, to 
hold them together, large trees, with their roots and branches, had 
been inserted ; and some of them were vegetating. Slight beams of 
timber were laid from pier to pier ; and upon them large flat stones 
were loosely placed, that tilted and rattled when trod upon: and this, 
I fear, is a specimen of their best bridges in Tibet. Many of them 
were extremely dangerous to pass over. The town lay to the south- 
east of the castle, at the base oi the rock, and some of the houses 
extended e^en to the foot of the bridge. 

As we turned short to the left, travelling due west, upon our right 
was seen, under a range of rocks, a very considerable monastery, 
endowed by Dalai Lama ; and, about two miles farther on, w as just 
visible, peeping through the midst of some tali trees, a large white 

'' De Bello civili, i. liv. 

230 TIBET. 

house, memorable for the birth of the present Teshoo Lama : it was 
named Keesoo. His father, an uncle of Dalai Lama's, his mother, and 
also the infant Lama, I was informed, were then residing there. 

We halted this evening at Tsondue, three-and-twcnty miles from 
Dukque, and within an easy day's journey of Teshoo Loomboo. The 
glitter of the gilding betrayed the tops of some of the edifices, as the 
sun shone obliquely upon them; but we could not, even with our 
glasses, distinguish much more. 

The following morning, however, our guides were determined we 
should be there early. We were disturbed long before the dawn, 
though we had to travel only a distance of about ten miles, and by 
torch-light mounted our horses, so as to arrive at Teeshoo Loomboo 
just as the sun was rising. If the magnificence of the place was to be 
increased by any external cause, none could more superbly have 
adorned its numerous gilded canopies, and turrets, than the sun rising 
in full splendor direct ly opposite. It presented a view wonderfully 
beautiful and brilliant; the effect was little short of magic, and it made 
an impression, which no time will ever efface from my mind. 

We ascended by a narrow street through the middle of the monas- 
tery, and were conducted to very splendid apartments, bright with gay 
colours, and situated in tiie centre of the palace, amidst a profusion 
of gorgeous finery. At the instant of our entrance, we heard the deep 
tone of many sonorous instruments, which were summoning the reli- 
gious to tlieir morning orisons. 

TIBET. 231 


Messages of Compliment and Congratulation from the Regent and 
Soopoon Choomboo — Custom of presenting a white Scarf — _/a- 
vourable Tokens of a friendly Disposition. — Preparations for our 
Reception — Ha II of Au dien ce — Lamas Throne — In troduclion to 
the Regent — The Regent's Assurance of the Identity oj the Lama 
— his Friendship for the Governor General in his pre-existent State 
— Attention and Respect paid him at the Court of China — his Rege- 
neration acknowledged by the Emperor — Satisfaction derived from 
the Receipt of the Governor Generals Dispatches. — Projected Re- 
moval of the Lama to Terpaling — the Monastery prepared for his 
Reception — Tea — Dismission. — Sketch oj the Person — Manner — 
Dress of the Regent. — Bells, a Summons to Devotion. — Fisit to 
Soopoon Choomboo. — Emperor of China — Influence — a Votary oj 
the Tibet Faith. — Umbos — Jasoos — Gesub Rimbochay — Dalai 
Lama — Soopoon Choomboo, Sadeek — honoured by the distinguished 
Attention and Favour of the late Lama — promoted by the Emperor 
— his Character held in high Estimation — important Period in the 
Annals of Tibet. — First public Tribute of Acknowledgment and Alle- 
giance to the regenerated Lama — Preparations for his Removal from 
Kylee to Terpaling — OJJer to attend the Ceremony. — Party proceeds 
to escort the Lama — Homage paid by his Votaries on the Way — 

232 TIBET. 

Entry into Terpaling — Return of the Regent — Cavalcade — Bonjires 
— Chinese. — Correspondence with Dalai Lama. — Hostile Dispo- 
sition of Gesub Rimbochay. — Powerful Influence of the Court of 

W E had no sooner entered the apartments allotted for our accom- 
modation, than messages of compUment and congratulation were 
received, both from the Regent, Chanjoo Cooshoo, brother of the late 
Lama, and Soopoon Choomboo, his cup-bearer, accompanied by a 
white silk scarf from each. These attentions were quickly followed 
by a most ample supply of refreshments ; large vessels of warm tea, 
parched grain, dried fruits, and various articles of provision. Such 
are the forms observed, both here and in Bootan, towards a visitor, 
upon his first arrival : and perhaps a weary traveller would agree with 
me, in thinking it a most rational mode of reception, which thus boun- 
teously places at his feet, after the toil of a long journey, every thing 
that hunger and fatigue render necessary to his relief Ceremonious 
visits, on the fiist day, are always dispensed with ; and the stranger is 
left to seek refreshment and rest, without interruption. 

I did not omit to return, by the messenger, who waited upon me, 
proper acknowledgments for the polite attentions of the Regent, and 
Soopoon Choomboo; I sent at the same time, a white silk scarf to 
each ; for this is an offering invariably attendant on every intercourse 
of ceremony, as well in Tibet as in Bootan. A similar piece of silk is 
always transmitted under cover, with letters, even from the most 
distant places, whether they be merely complimentary, or relate to 

TIBET. 2,33 

public business of importance ; and indeed between people of every 
rank and station in life, the presenting u silk scarf, constantly forms an 
essential part of the ceremonial of salutation. If persons of equal rank 
meet, an exchange takes place : if a superior is approached, he holds 
out his hand to receive the scarf, and a similar one is thrown across 
the shoulders of the inferior by the hand of an attendant, at the moment 
of his dismission. The colour that is employed on this occasion, is 
either white, or crimson ; but the latter is least frequently used, white 
appearing to have an universal preference. This manufacture is of a 
thin texture, resembling that sort of Chinese stuff called pelong, and 
is remarkable for the purity of its glossy whiteness. They are com- 
monly damasked, and the sacred words, Ooin maunee paimee oom, are 
usually interwoven near both ends, which terminate in a fringe. They 
differ materially in size and quality, and are commonly proportioned, 
by him who presents, to his own condition, and the degree of respect 
he means to pay his guest. Trivial and unmeaning as this custom may 
appear to Europeans, long and general practice has here attached to 
it the highest importance. I could obtain no determinate information 
as to its meaning or origin, but I find that it has indeed a most exten- 
sive prevalence. It is observed, as I have before noticed, in all the 
territory of the Daeb Raja ; it obtains throughout Tibet •, it extends 
from Turkistan to the confines of the Great Desert ; it is practised in 
China, and, I doubt not, reaches to the limits of Mantchieux Tartary. 
I view it merely in the light of an emblem of friendship, and a pledge 
of amity. In the course of my travels, every person who visited me, 
observed this mode of salutation ; and as we were among a people not 

234 TIBET. 

very conversant with the various customs of different nations, and who 
probably would have considered, any obvious deviation from their 
own, in no very favourable point of view, I never hesitated, when 
waiting upon the Chief, to salute him in his own way- The letters I 
received in Tibet and Bootan, were constantly accompanied by a 
pelong scarf, and, in conformity with the custom, I always sent one in 
return. Of so much moment indeed, in their estimation, is the observ- 
ance of this formality, that Mr. Goodlad, the Resident at Rungpore, 
informed me, that the Raja of Bootan, once returned to him a letter he 
had forwarded from the Governor General, merely because it came 
unattended with this bulky incumbrance, to testify its authenticity. 

We passed this day with little or no interruption, in a high degree 
sensible of the superior comfort of a warm and solid habitation, over 
thin and airy tents. The season was already becoming, to the sensa- 
tions of a people who had not long quitted the tropics, most keenly 
cold ; and the quiet and retirement we now enjoyed, afforded us a com- 
fortable relief from the fatigue and restlessness of mind, produced by 
the bustle of a long and rapid journey. Our habitation was found, 
upon examination, greatly to exceed our expectations. The rooms were 
commodious, and even elegant ; and the arrangement of every thing 
was as convenient as could possibly be wished. We occupied a part 
of the palace of the latest structure, which had been built by the late 
Teshoo Lama, for his private residence. 

We had already been abundantly supplied, with all that could 
satisfy the calls of our immediate wants. Servants belonging to the 
Regent's household were appointed to attend me, not only in the 

TIBET. 235 

capacity of messengers, to be sent on any service abroad, but also to 
assist in domestic business; and these friendly tokens of the good dis- 
position entertained towards us, could not but fill our minds with 
satisfaction, and intimate the most auspicious presage respecting the 
event of my mission. 

Towards the close of the evening, I received a visit from the person 
who had been sent to meet me by the Regent, while I resided in Bootan. 
His appearance and manners were extremely conciliating. The fea- 
tures of theTibetian, which are in general high and harsh, were in him, 
softened by a cheerful, intelligent, and placid expression of counte- 
nance. I could not but conceive the strongest prepossessions in his 
favour ; nor did any conduct of his, that I ever witnessed, cause me, 
in the slightest degree, to alter that good opinion. As long as he con- 
tinued in the monastery, his attentions were unremitted, and few days 
passed, in which he did not spend some hours with me. He was 
my instructor in the language of Tibet ; and, when tired with the 
repetition of guttural and nasal sounds, of which I found this language 
in a great degree to consist, he would, with the utmost cheerfulness, 
accept my challenge to a trial of skill at chess ; in which, though I 
sometimes came off victorious, I was rather disposed to attribute my 
success to his urbanity, than to my own superior play. The station 
and movement of every piece, I found to be the same; and the game 
was conducted by the same rules, which regulate our play, in England. 
These visits continued regularly, until he Avas summoned to a distant 
part of Tibet on the public service. I felt in his departure, the loss of 
an agreeable companion and an useful instructor, and we really parted. 

^ Hh 

236 TIBET. 

1 believe, with mutual reluctance, which on his part only yielded to 

2 sense of duty. 

Early in the morning after our arrival, intimation was brought to 
me, that the Regent proposed, in the course of the morning, to admit 
us to an audience. Several messages passed between us, before the 
appointed time, for the purpose of arranging every tiling completely 
in due form. At length, about noon, Mr, Saunders and myself, accom- 
panied by Poorungheer, as interpreter, proceeded to a part of the 
palace, with which, though it was at a considerable distance from our 
roo.Tis, there was a communication, without descending into the street. 
We were then ushered into the presence chamber, a large and lofty 
hall, of an oblong shape, surrounded with a colonnade, and enlightened 
by an opening, over the centre. This central part of the room, con- 
tained an area, about twice as wide as the distance at which the pillars 
stood from the side walls. Light, air, and the grateful warmth of the 
sun, were occasionally admitted into the hall, by shifting the skreen, 
or rather moveable roof, which was placed immediately over the open- 
ing. The pillars that composed the colonnade were painted with ver- 
milion, and richly ornamented with gold, as were also the edges of the 
scolloped arches, and the mouldings over them ; various symbolical 
devices were also represented in the gilding above the arches. The 
walls were painted blue, skirted by two broad fillets of red, and an 
intermediate one of yellow. The floor was of a mottled composition, 
apparently of brown and white flint, intermixed with some strong 
compost, which admitted a high polish. No window, or door, opened 
into this hall, except that by which we entered, at one end ; at the 

TIBET. 237 

Other, immediately opposite, stood the throne of the lateTeshoo Lama, 
placed in a recess, elevated about five feet above the floor, surmounted 
with cushions of yellow satin, and decorated with hangings on each 
side, of various coloured silks, and rich brocades. At the foot of the 
throne were thin tapers, of the composition which they burn as incense 
in their temples, and vases filled with aromatic woods, which, con- 
suming slowly, with their smoke powerfully perfumed the hall. From 
this seat, we were informed the Teshoo Lama was accustomed to dis- 
tribute justice, and confer his solemn benediction upon the people. 

Advancing to the upper end of the hall, we found the Regent, and 
Soopoon Choomboo, each of them habited in the religious dress, and 
seated under the colonnade, upon the left hand side of the throne, o» 
elevated seats raised with satin cushions. White silk scarfs, according 
to the established custom of the country, were presented by us, which 
they received without quitting their seats. I then delivered the Go- 
vernor General's dispatches into the Regent's hands, with a string of 
pearl and coral, whilst the rest of the presents were placed before him. 
Two raised seats of cushions had been prepared, towards which the 
Regent waving his hand, with a very significant look, directed us to 
be seated. I then thought it proper to address him nearly to the fol- 
lowing effect. 

" The few things I have the honour of offering to your acceptance, 
the Governor General, Mr. Hastings, has sent to you as tokens of his 
friendship and esteem, and with an earnest solicitude to preserve and 
cultivate the amicable intercourse, that had so happily commenced 
between you. This correspondence, in its earliest stages, had been 

238 TIBET. 

dictated by the purest motives of humanity, and has hitherto pointed 
with unexampled sincerity and steadiness towards one great object, 
which constituted the grand business of Maha Gooroo'sMile, pfeace 
and universal good. Tlie Governor General, whose attention is always 
directed towards the same pursuits, was overwhelmed with anxiety, 
upon hearing the mournful news of the loss of his respected friend ; 
not only on account of his regret for the departure of so exalted a 
character, but from an apprehension, lest the friendship established 
between himself and you, might suffer interruption, and undergo a 
change. Yet, solicitous for its continuance, as soon as information was 
brought to him of your return from China, he determined that a person 
in his confidence should repair to your presence; a measure, which 
the consoling character of a friend loudly demanded, and which was 
rendered still more necessary, by his desire to convey his earliest con- 
gratulations, upon the joyful tidings of the Lama's re-appearance in the 
world. In this great event, indeed, all his hopes are now revived ; and, 
persuaded that the present Lama possesses the spirit of his former 
friend, lie has no doubt that, by your good offices, and the will of 
heaven, every thing that was expected, will at length be effectually 

The Regent replied, by assuring me that the present and the 
late Teshoo Lama, were one and the same, and that there was no 
manner of difierence between them ; oiily as he was yet merely 
an infant, his spirit having but just returned again into the world, 

" One of the titles of Teshoo Lama. The title is Sanskrit, and signifies the Gnat 
Spiritual Master, 

TI.^^'X. 259 

he was at present incapable '1 action, and unable to comfort them 
with his voice. Their thoughts and time, therefore, were solely em- 
ployed in the care of Iiis person (for this was tiieir duty and de- 
light), in the hope that he mi^ht be soon able to confer upon them his 
blessing. At the same time that he lamented the misfortune of the 
Lama's decease in Pekin, he assured me of the firm unshaken attach- 
ment which Teshoo Lama had entertained for Mr. Hastings, to his 
latest breath. He added that Maha Gooroo had even begun to open his 
mind to the Emperor of China upon this subject, confident of his 
sanction and encouragement of the connection, and trusting that the 
concord mutually established between them, would extend its benefi- 
cial influence over all his votaries, and all the subjects of both empires. 
He then dwelt upon the great attention and respect paid to Teshoo 
Lama at the court of China; and told me that the Emperor, imme- 
diately on his receiving intelligence of the Lama's regeneration, had 
sent ambassadors with letters of congratulation, and a rosary of large 
unblemished pearls, enjoining them in the strongest terms to be care- 
ful of the Lama's person, to conduct his education in the strictest pri- 
vacy, and not to suffer any strangers to be admitted to his presence. 

But I must forbear entering into a minute detail of every particu- 
lar that passed at our different interviews. It would be difficult, or 
rather perhaps impossible, to preserve the local idiom, and turn of ex- 
pression, in a translation through two languages ; and I am not certain 
even that my interpreter repeated them correctly in the Hindovi, which 
was the language that he used to me. Suffice it at present to say, that 
the Regent was most copious in liis professions of attachment to the 

240 TIBET. 

Governor General, and loud in his encomiums on the occasion that 
gave birth to their present friendship, which originated entirely in his 
granting peace to the Booteeas, who were engaged with us in a very 
unequal war, in compliance with the intercession of Teshoo Lama. 
This act he declared to be bote durm, or of the greatest virtue. 

Soopoon Choomboo also occasionally spoke. Inquiries respecting 
Mr. Hastings, the satisfaction they derived from the receipt of his dis- 
patches, my journey, the difficulties that had impeded it, and their 
solicitude to see me, were topics which occupied a considerable share 
of our time in this conference. Much was also said respecting the 
sad calamity they had suffered by the Lama's having withdrawn him- 
self from the world, in consequence of their offences ; nor did they 
omit strongly to express their sense of the blessing, that he had been 
pleased to appear again so early in the flesh. 

I was informed, that the infant Lama still continued to reside in the 
dwelling, where he was first discovered, in the valley of Painom ; but 
that it was proposed to convey him within a few days to Terpaling, a 
monastery prepared for his reception, near the summit of a mountain 
at the distance of two days journey from Teshoo Loomboo; and 
that all the court, were to attend his removal. All the time of the 
principal officers of state was nearly occupied in preparations for this 
event, and the Regent gave me to understand, that he had, in conse- 
quence, but iiule leisure, and might possibly, not have it in his power 
to see me again more than once, before his departure. Near the close of 
the audience, tea was introduced, and served up in the same manner as 
in Bootan. We had small benches placed before us, and upon them 

TIBET. 241 

was set the same kind of cup, which, I remember, the Daeb Raja told 
me, in his dominions, none but the Raja, or one of the three Lamas, 
could presume to use. This I notice, not only as being one among 
their sumptuary laws, but also as an evidence of their disposition to 
manifest very high respect, as well as civility, in their attentions to 
us. In shape and size this cup is somewhat similar to a China pint 
bason ; but a round hollow pedestal proceeds from beneath, suffi- 
ciently long, to be grasped within the hand, and upon which it will 
stand upright without support. It is made of the finest porcelain, 
extremely thin, and purely white, and is stamped on both sides with 
the impression of the dragon, the imperial emblem, which is visible 
only, like the water mark in bank paper, on close inspection, at a small 
distance. Previously to our taking leave, trays of tea, sugar, skins of 
butter, and dried fruits, consisting of raisins^ dates, apricots, and 
almonds, with some others that I had never before seen, the produce 
of China and eastern Tartary, were severally presented to us. The 
Regent gave me many injunctions to communicate all my wants to the 
person, whom he had directed to attend upon us. We each received 
a scarf from his own hands, and withdrew, having every reason to 
be gratified with our reception, which I considered as attentive, and 
flattering, in the highest degree. 

I will now endeavour to give some idea of the Regent's person and 
manner. In stature he was of the middle size, rather of a broad make, 
but not incHned to corpulency. He had a short wide face, with the 
nose a little turned up, small black eyes, and high cheek bones. 
Though he was by no means handsome, yet there was an agreeable 

242 TIBET. 

symmetry in his features, and a sweetness of expression in liis counte- 
nance, which was highly prepossessing. His language was plain and 
unaffected, neither inflated with the exuberancy of Asiatic diction, nor 
yet deficient in urbanity ; it was delivered with that mild unassuming 
manner, which strongly characterises Tibetians of good education. 
His action was void of gesticulation ; it consisted in a slight movement 
of the body forwards, and a bending of the neck, assisted by the 
variations of an expressive and enlightened countenance ; his arms 
were almost constantly folded beneath his mantle. 

His voice appeared to be injured by the loss of his teeth, which oc- 
casioned, I tliought, ratiier an indistinct articulation, or perhaps this 
effect might in some degree be produced by a defect in the roof of the 
mouth. My interpreter, however, had no difficulty in understanding 
him, as he spoke slowly, and commanded a ready choice of words ; his 
dress was that of the religious order, which seems to be the regular 
habit of every attendant on the court. Tiiis simply consists of a vest 
of woollen cloth, without sleeves^ of a deep garnet colour, and a large 
mantle, either of the same, or of a thinner texture, somewhat resem- 
bling a shawl. A sort of philibeg, and huge boots of Bulgar hide, 
lined either with (ur or cloth, and designed as well to promote warmth 
in travelling, as for substantial use within doors, complete the dress. 
But though it surprised me at first, to see my friends trudging about 
the house, in their massy boots, yet I soon became sensible of their 
utility, as a defence against the chill arising in this cold climate, from 
their marble floors. The great scarcity of timber in Tibet, not admit- 
ing them to board the floors of tlieir rooms, hence possibly arise 

TIBET. 243 

those cramps and rheumatic pains, with which they are so frequently 
and so severely afflicted. 

After taking leave of the Regent, it was my intention to have paid 
a visit to Soopoon Clioomboo ; but our audience had been protracted 
to a great length, and we had no sooner risen, than all the bells of the 
monastery struck up, as a summons to devotion. The present occasion, 
the removal of the Lama, called for an extraordinary attendance on the 
exercises of religion ; and all the Gy longs, we were told, applied them- 
selves at this time, with redoubled fervor to the duty of prayer. Not 
long after we had returned to our apartments, I was disturbed on a 
sudden, by so confused and tumultuous a noise, that I was utterly at 
a loss to what cause, to attribute this alarming uproar. At length, I was 
informed by my attendants, the Goseins, that it was only the Gylongs 
at their fooj a, or religious exercises, and I could not possibly refuse, 
to give them ample credit for their zeal. 

The following day I received an invitation from Soopoon Choomboo, 
and we immediately prepared to wait upon him in his apartments, 
which, though remote from ours, yet form a part of that large assem- 
blage of rooms, which all together constitute the palace, and accommo- 
date all the officers of the court. In going to them, it was unnecessary 
to pass along the open street ; for, by descending some stairs, ascending 
others, and traversing several halls and passages, we came at length to 
the division of the palace, which he occupied. The room in which we 
found him, was rather narrow, being long and lofty, in comparison of 
its width; but the advantage of its situation, amply counterbalanced 
every defect in point of symmetry and proportion. It commanded an 

I i 

244 TIBET. 

extensive view of the valley, and was at once enlightened and warmed 
by a projecting balcony, which, from its position, admitted the rays ol 
the sun nearly all the day, during the time he has southern declination, 
which, of course, is their coldest season. When we entered the room, 
the mohair curtains were partially drawn; but even in this state, we 
were sensible of a grateful warmth. Soopoon Choomboo was seated 
close by the balcony. We each of us presented, as usual, a silk scarf, 
and I delivered to him the letter and presents, with which I had been 
charged. We took our seats on piles of cushions that had been placed 
on the opposite side of the room, when Soopoon CJioomboo, after a 
few personal compliments, instantly proposed various inquiries respect- 
ing the health and situation of Mr. Hastings. To his numberless ques- 
tions I gave, as well as I was able, the most satisfactory answers ; and 
I endeavoured to express, in the strongest terms, the great uneasiness 
to which I had been subject, in the noxious climate (as they esteem it) 
of the country of Dukba''; contrasting my unpleasant situation, while 
my journey hither stood in suspense, and I dreaded the necessity of 
returning to Bengal without seeing him, or Maha Raja, with the sin- 
gular satisfaction I now experienced, in having reached his court in 
safety. I concluded with assurances, how highly acceptable these 
tidiiigs would prove to his friend the Governor. He was profuse in his 
acknowledgments, of the high gratification and honour he derived from 
the receipt ol the Governor General's dispatches, and stated ihe great 
anxiety, under which the Regent and himself had laboured, asPoorung- 
heer well knew, in contriving to conduct me to Teshoo Loomboo. 


TIBET. 24 

In the recital of their embarrassments, though they are averse to own 
any immediate dependance upon the Chinese, I could plainly trace the 
greatest awe of the Emperor of China, of his officers stationed at the 
court of Lassa, styled Umbas ', as well as of the Jasoos^, and the Raja 
of that place, GesubRimbochay, who had usurped even, from the hands 
of Dalai Lama, the greatest portion of his temporal power. 

The rest of our conversation turned chiefly upon my journey, the 
remote distance, the difficulty of the way, and the difference of climate 
between Bengal, Bootan, and Tibet : these topics filled up the time till 
tea was introduced, of which we all partook ; this was succeeded by 
the usual offering of trays of fruit, and we then received from his hands 
each of us a white silk scarf, and retired. While we were with Soopoon 
Choomboo, a messenger came in, apparently from a long journey, 
booted, and carrying a whip in his hand, with some important dis- 
patches. He fust pulled off his hat, holding it with his left hand down 
to his knee, then bowing his body, he drew a crimson scarf from his 
breast, which he presented, and afterwards delivered his dispatches. 
Having repeated a few words in a low voice, he bowed again, and was 
dismissed with a single word and a nod. This is one mode of salu- 
tation : another kind of homage, which appeared to be due only to the 
sovereign Lama, consists in an humble prostration of the body nine 
times to the earth. 

Soopoon Choomboo, who was styled also Sadeek, held the second 
rank in the court of Teshoo Loomboo. He was by birth a Mantchieux 
Tartar, and was recommended to Teshoo Lama at an early age, by 
• Magistrates. ' Communicators of intelligence. 

246 TIBET. 

Chanjea Lama, who is a native of the same region, and who constantly 
resided near the person of the Emperor of China. Under the imme- 
diate care of Teshoo Lama he received his education, and having 
proved himself a faithful, accomplished, and useful servant, he at 
length acquired the complete confidence of his master, and became, I 
was well assured, his particular favourite. As a public acknowledg- 
ment of his meiit, he was appointed by Teshoo Lama, not long before 
his dealh, to the presidency of an important monastery styled Khonjin 
Shimboi, which had an establishment of three hundred Gy longs, and was 
endowed with an extensive territory upon the western border of Tibet, 
near Luddauk. The Emperor of China, during his attendance on the 
Lama at his court, conferred upon him the title of Mirkin Chassa Lama. 
As the office he filled at the time of the Lama's death was that of 
Sadeck, which is synonymous with that of Zempi in Bootan, that is, 
cupbearer, he became of course invested with the charge of all the 
Lama's effects, and was to continue in this high trust, until the rege- 
nerated Lama should be seated on the musnud'. 

The singular favour he enjoyed, seems to have been no more than 
was justly due to his integrity and talents ; and in the event of the 
regency becoming vacant, from the general estimation in which he was 
held, I had no doubt of his advancement to that high honour. His 
influence indeed at that time, was scarcely less powerful, for he was 
treated by Chanjoo Cooshoo rather as a colleague, than as a subordinate 
officer, and liis opinion was implicitly attended to on almost every 
occasion. A more harmonious agreement, or more perfect confidence, 
could not possibly subsist between them. 

• Throne. 

TIBET. 247 

The age of Soopoon Choomboo, at that time, did not exceed thirty. 
In stature he was rather low, but well proportioned, and not at all 
inclined to corpulency. His countenance was open and ingenuous, yet 
his features were unequivocally impressed with the Tartar character ; 
small eyes, thin eyebrows, high cheek bones, and without even the 
rudiments of a beard. His complexion was not darker than that of an 
Arab, or a Spaniard. 

Though possessing an acknowledged superiority of talent, inform- 
ation, and influence over his countrymen, he made no parade of these 
advantages, but conducted himself with singular humility, mildness, and 
modesty. He was not less communicative in his conversation, than 
conciliating in his manners, and, as our acquaintance improved, I found 
him cheerful, and occasionally jocose. 

The public office Soopoon Choomboo bore, as I have already ob- 
served, was that of Sadeek to the late Teshoo Lama. Were I to seek 
for a title analogous to Sadeek, in our own language, by which I might 
render it intelligible to an English reader, I should be at a loss to find 
one of so comprehensive a signification. Though perhaps I might with 
some propriety style him, from his situation in the court of the sove- 
reign Pontiff, Prime Minister, or Cardinal, yet who would expect to 
find the domestic servant, in a person invested with so high a title? Nor 
yet does, Lord Chamberlain of the Household, Master of the Ceremo- 
nies, and Master of the Robes, convey a complete idea of his duties 
and his station. 

The Sadeek receives and communicates the Lama's commands; he is 
the immediate channel of conveying all information to him ; he makes 

248 TIBET. 

the arrangements necessary for the celebration of the great festivals of 
religion; he is always personally attendant on the Lama; he is his cup- 
bearer ; he has charge of the wardrobe ; and to his immediate care is 
intrusted all the wealth of the sovereign, w^hether derived from the re- 
ligious offerings of his votaries, or from other and less sacred sources. 
He brings, and places before the Lama, all his food, and in particular, 
pours out his tea, of which it is the custom first to taste himself, in the 
presence of his master. In fact, I have been led to understand that 
Teshoo Lama receives neither food nor raiment from any other hand ; 
yet Still he is found to hold a very high rank in the religious order, 
which is implied by no less a title than that of Lama. 

My arrival in Tibet happened at a period of high importance in the 
annals of the state, as well in a political as a religious point of view; 
for now they had to acknowledge, in the person of an infant, their 
future sovereign, to whom also, as to their sacred pontiff, they were 
about to pay the first public tribute of homage and allegiance, and 
thereby to give currency and authority to the belief, that he was the 
regenerated, immortal mediator with the Supreme. On such an occa- 
sion, it will easily be conceived, that no mark of respect, no pomp or 
parade, was omitted, which, in their ideas, could possibly tend, to add 
dignity and splendour to the solemn ceremony. 

The Emperor of China, a votary of the Tibet faith, had commanded 
a military officer of high rank, with a large detachment of troops, to 
attend and escort the infant Lama; other Chinese attended, for the 
purpose of bearing his Tuckt rowan f, or moving throne ; and the 

' A Persian term, whence probably the use of this stately accommodation is derived. 

TIBET. 249 

Regent himself, assisted by Soopoon Clioomboo, was to conduct the 

A curious desire, I must own, to be personally witness of so singu- 
lar a ceremony, induced me to make some effort to be admitted of the 
party, I accordingly ordered Poorungheer to wait upon the Regent, 
and express my earnest wishes to testify, on all occasions, the respect 
I entertained for the character of the Lama ; and to say, that I should 
be peculiarly happy to attend his suite, if he tiiought proper to allow 
me so great an honour: but however strongly my curiosity had been 
excited, I had formed no great expectation that my offer would be 
accepted ; and I was therefore but little disappointed when Poorung- 
heer returned to me with excuses from the Regent, declining to accept 
the offer of my company, on account of the Chinese, whose jealousy of 
strangers is too well known, and to whom he was particularly anxious 
of giving no occasion of offence : but at the same time he politely 
acknowledged my attention, and I had the satisfaction to hear, ex- 
pressed himself greatly pleased with it. 

The party proceeded from the monastery, on Saturday the 27 th of 
September, before the dawn of day, towards Kylee, situated in the 
valley of Painom, where the infant Lama at this time resided with his 
parents. The grand ceremony of his removal commenced the next 

The Lama was attended by a very numerous concourse of people, 
and followed with every possible display of enthusiastic homage. 
The place prepared for his reception was not more than sixteen miles 
from Kylee ; yet so great was the retinue, and so frequently were 

250 TIBET. 

they impeded by successive crowds of votaries, who threw themselves 
before him in the way, in humble prostration, that it became abso- 
lutely necessary to form an intermediate camp, in which they halted 
for the night. 

Moving again early in the following morning, in the course of that 
day, tliey made their entry into the monastery of Terpaling. Having 
then placed the young Lama in the new monastery, together with his 
father and mother, to whose care he was still very properly committed, 
after making every necessary arrangement, the Regent and his retinue 
returned to Teshoo Loomboo. 

As the road lay in front of our apartments, I had an opportunity of 
observing the Regent's approach. He rode attended by two or three 
hundred horsemen, the greater part of whom preceded him, and he 
himself followed surrounded by a select party, principally consisting 
of the officers of state. He was dressed in a garb very different from 
that, in which I had seen him before. It was a yellow satin robe, lined 
with sable fur, and fastened with a girdle round the waist. A garnet 
coloured shawl mantle, partially covering his satin robe, according to 
their fashion, passed round the body, and its end was gathered up to 
rest upon the loft shoulder, leaving the right arm at liberty. He wore 
upon his head a round hat, covered with a yellow glossy lacker that 
glittered in tiie sun, and he had on red bulgar boots. From his girdle, 
hung pendant a small knife case, with its implements, and a large 
purse with a running string, in which he carried a tea cup, and seve- 
ral other small articles, the constant appendages of a Tartar dress. 
To this also are commonly added, a smaller purse for money, and 

TIBET. 251 

another filled with tobacco and a pipe, togetlaer with a little pouch for 
tinder, containing a piece of flint, and edged at the bottom with a bar 
of steel. The horse he rode, was decorated with large crimson tassels, 
and other splendid trappings, whilst a number of bells, suspended to 
a collar that hung round his neck, jingled as he moved along with 
slow and solemn pace. The body, of the horse, from the multitude 
of Chowrs, or cow tails, that hung on both sides, could scarcely be 

The select attendants were equipped nearly after the same manner. 
The dress of those of more humble rank differed chiefly in the quality 
of the materials. They were clad, for the most part, in cloth, either 
yellow, or red, or striped Avith these colours, and they wore upon 
their heads round hats, having large flowing tassels of scarlet silk 
upon the centre of the crown. Some had narrow braids a little turn- 
ed up, and others were bordered by broad bunds of fur. The most 
extraordinary in appearance were those worn by the Kilmauks (Cal- 
mucs), which were of vast dimensions, I suppose not less than two feet 
in diameter, with shallow crowns, but monstrous brims ; the whole 
covered with long locks of wool matted together, of a gaudy yellow 
colour. Some Goseins, wearing tuibans and the Indian habit, with 
Moguls from the borders of Persia, in their national dress, assisted 
also to compose this motley group. There were none in the whole 
cavalcade, as far as I could perceive, who bore any kind of arms. Heaps 
of fire were distinguishable to a very remote distance, burning on 
either side of the road, and emitting columns of thick smoke. These 
bonfires, which I have already noticed, are a murk of respect shewn 


252 TIBET. 

by the inhabitants of Tibet and Bootan to every great personage who 
travels through their neighbourhood ; and when their sovereign passes 
by, the custom is of course observed with extraordinary zeal and at- 

Many persons on both sides the road prostrated themselves upon 
the ground, as the Regent with his retinue advanced; and when he 
drew near to Teshoo Loomboo, banners were hoisted upon the palace 
walls, and the nowbuts, trumpets, gongs**, and cymbals, conspired to 
announce his entry in their loudest tones. 

The Chinese commander, with his detachment of troops, took this 
route in preference to that by Jhansu-jeung, on his return to Lassa. 
The ground marked out for their encampment was upon the edge of 
the plain, just without the limits of the monastery, under the fortress 
of Shigalzee-jeung, and close upon the banks of the Painom-tchieu. 
Here the troops halted two days, after which they struck their tents, 
and marched away. 

I sought an early opportunity to congratulate the Regent upon his 
return, and the safe conveyance of the Lama to Terpaling. This gave 
occasion to some reflections from the Regent, full of reverence and af- 
fection for the late Lama, and tending to establish the identity of the 

i A sort of kettle drum. 

*" A large circular metallic instrument formed by the hammer, from oneand a half 
to two feet in diameter, with the edge turned up about two inches deep all round. When 
used, it is suspended by a cord passing through holes made for the purpose near the cir- 
cumference. In order to excite an equable vibration, it is at first softly struck by the per- 
former upon the external ring, with a ball encased in leather at the end of a long rod ; 
the blows are afterwards repeated with stronger force, and it is then capable of pro- 
ducing a surprising sound. 

TIBET. 255 

present, from the unerring signs of wisdom and greatness stamped 
upon liis brow, and the early traits of his sublime character which 
had been already evidently displayed. Nor did he drop the subject, 
without enlarging on the partiality which the Lama had entertained 
for the English in his state of pre-existence, and regretting that his 
tender age rendered him at present unable to converse with me. 

Much conversation afterwards followed, on the subject of my com- 
mission, in which he manifested great anxiety to remove any unfa- 
vourable idea I might have formed, respecting his friendly disposition, 
in consequence of the difficulties which had been thrown in the way 
of my proceeding to his court. He told me that many letters had 
passed upon the subject between him and Dalai Lama, who was al- 
ways favourably inclined towards the English ; but he principally at- 
tributed the discouragement and obstruction I had experienced to Ge- 
sub Rimbochay: in his apologies also he glanced strongly at the 

The Tibetians do not, it is true, bend under the immediate autho- 
rity of that court ; but its influence overawes them in all their pro- 
ceedings, and produces a timidity and caution in their conduct, more 
suited to the character of subjects, than allies. The jealousy with 
which they regard this interference of the Chinese, and their uneasi- 
ness under the yoke, though it rests so lightly upon them, was mani- 
fest, from the distant reserve with which they treated those oflicers 
and troops, who came for no other purpose than to do honour to their 
high-priest. They were not suffered to lodge within the confines of 
the monastery ; this, I understood, would have been considered us a 

5^5 4 TIBET. 

kind of profanation, for they look upon tlie Chinese as a gross and 
impure race of men. They were evidently impatient during their stay, 
and assumed an unusual air of secrecy, to prevent their obtaining a 
knowledge of any thing relating to their affairs, until the day of their 
departure, which was announced to me, by many persons belonging to 
the monastery with much apparent satisfaction. 

TIBET. 255 


Permission from the Regent to view the Interior oj the Monastery. — 
Gorgeous Temples. — Solemn and mysterious Ceremonies. — Nume- 
rous Assembly of the Gylongs. — Periods for Devotion. — Loud 
Vociferation.— Clamorous JVoise attending the Performance of their 
reli2.ious Rites. — Serious Attention to the Duties of their Faith. — 
Profound Respect for their sovereign Lama. — Visit the Mausoleum 
dedicated to the Memory of the late Teshoo Lama. — Cursory View 
of this highly venerated Structure. 

Having previously obtained permission from the Regent, I found a 
convenient opportunity, before iiis return from Terpaling, to accom- 
plish an object I had much at heart, and which will consequently 
claim from me, very minute and particular attention. 

From the first day of my arrival at Teshoo Loomboo, I was ex- 
tremely desirous of viewing t!ie interior of some one of those magni- 
ficent edifices, in the midst of which I had taken up my abode, and 
which continually excited my curiosity by the profuse and costly or- 
naments bestowed upon their outside. 

The frequent recurrence of solemn sounds from a variety of deep 
toned instruments, after short pauses of profound silence ; t)ie low 
hum of invocation, during both night and day, and occasionally the 

25 6 TIBET;; 

more vociferous clamour of crowded congregations, joined vvitii a full 
choral band ; left me no room to doubt, that I was close to the scene, 
of some of the most solemn and mysterious ceremonies of their reli- 

I lost little time in endeavouring to ascertain the truth of my con- 
jectures; but I trod upon tender ground. Any indication of extra- 
ordinary curiosity, even in the common affliirs of life, w^as sulficient to 
raise, in an instant, an host of suspicions, against which, I should have 
been compelled eternally to combat ; and religion, especially among 
a people so bigotted to its forms, was a subject to which I adverted, 
with still more scrupulous caution. 

From various inquiries, however, at length I collected, that the 
chapel in which the Gylongs met to offer up their daily prayers, was 
but a short distance from us. Their stated periods of devotion were 
the rising of the sun, noon, and sunset. Among two thousand five 
hundred Gylongs, appointed for the service of the monastery, the 
greater part were expected to be present on each occasion. On every 
third day, the morning was devoted to proclaiming aloud the attributes 
and praises o!' tlic Supreme Being ; a service which was performed 
with a vehemence of vociferation perfectly astonishing, and, as I 
thought, altogether inconsistent with the decorum of a well regulated 

The object of this solemn meeting, as far as I could collect, was for 
every individual present to repeat, and enforce with all his powers of 
utterance, the praises of the Deity ; and we need not wonder that 
from such a congregation, wlio had attained by long practice to a 

TIBET. 257 

Stentorian strength of lungs, there should arise the most surprising dis- 
cord, the very counterpart of that which is produced by the vocifera- 
tions of an enraged and hostile multitude. But all this was, in fact, 
nothing more than a pious token of the most ardent zeal, a sort of 
contest for the palm, a struggle, which should do the highest honour 
to his supreme and tutelary gods. 

To the public exercises of their faith, must be added the private 
prayers in the apartments of the inferior Lamas, which are always 
accompanied by music, together with the solemn pageantry of proces- 
sions moving almost every day around the environs of the monastery. 
All these, taken together, soon sufficiently convinced me, that I was in 
the midst of mcn^ who made religion the sole business of their life. 

With the errors of their opinions, or their practice, I had no con- 
cern. The immediate advantages resulting from them they themselves 
daily experience. Having voluntarily devoted themselves to the severi- 
ties and the duties of their religion, they obtain a large portion of grate- 
ful respect- from their countrymen, whose worldly avocations exempt 
them from the same particular services. Both, united in one common 
bond of union, the one part to labour, the other to pray, enjoy in peace 
and harmony, the fruits of their industry ; and find it unnecessary to 
support a single man in arms, either to defend their territory, or 
maintain their rights. Placing their sole reliance in the mediation of 
the sacred Lama, the immaculate vicegerent of the Supreme, they ima- 
gine, that he covers them with the broadesi shield, from the encroach- 
ments of others ; and the benign influence of his doctrines teaches them 
to be benevolent, mercil'ul, and humane, to all around them. 

25 8 TIBET. 

The love, the veneration, the unanimity I saw expressed, effectually 
convinced me that they were happy. But to return to my narrative : 
the room in which I wrote, and the suite of apartments allotted to the 
accommodation of myself, and the companion of my travels, were 
erected by the lute Teshoo Lama for his own private residence, when- 
ever he chose to retire into uninterrupted solitude. In an adjacent 
building, upon the right hand, are lodged his mortal remains ; in an- 
other, upon the left, those of a former Lama, whose spirit exchanged 
its corporeal residence more than a century ago. The Teshoo Lama, 
I was told, had lavished upon this shrine of his predecessor, immense 
wealth ; yet his own, which was nearly completed before his visit to 
the Emperor of China, had been since greatly enriched by the tribu- 
tary offerings made to him on that journey, and was now considered , 
as the most splendid and magnificent of the two. 

When I became acquainted with these particulars, situated as I was 
so near the mausoleum of our departed friend, I wanted not an excel- 
lent pretext for desiring to visit it ; and having waited for a favourable 
opportunity, I urged my plea with such success, that the Regent, 
Chanjoo Copshoo, immediately signified his most willing acquiescence 
in my wishes. 

Early in the morning my faithfid attendant Gooroobah, came to 
conduct me. Proceeding from my apartment, along the corridor, we 
descended two flights of stairs, and passing through some passages, 
without any communication with the street, came to a small gate, 
which we entered, and found ourselves in the inclosure immediately 
before the grand mausoleum. Three sides of this court yard, which 

TIBET. 259 

was paved, were surrounded with a colonnade, for the occasional ac- 
commodation of pilgrims, and other devotees. Upon the walls of this 
colonnade, were rudely painted many emblematical figures, of gigantic 
proportions, illustrative of various parts of their system of mythology. 
The two principal figures, of enormous size, depicted with hideous 
countenances, and coloured with blue and scarlet, represented incar- 
nations of Cali. The pillars were painted with vermilion, and orna- 
mented with gilding ; and upon the pediment which they supported, 
was introduced the imperial figure of the Chinese dragon. In tlie centre 
of the colonnade was a large gate, which opened to a principal avenue 
of the monastery. Immediately opposite to this gate, stood the portico 
of the mausoleum, on the top of which, within a low railing, was placed 
the following device, resembling a coat of arms. The centre piece, 
which was of a spear-like form, resembling the leaf of the pepul tree*, 
was placed upon a low pedestal. On each side, was the figure of an 
animal, not unlike a deer couchant, with the head elevated, the nose 
pointing upwards, and the throat resting upon the shoulder, or project- 
ing part, of the hastated machine between them, which I conjectured 
to be about eight feet high. The whole extended from one side of the 
portico to the other, stood entirely clear of the body of the building, 
and was very richly gilt. It had all together, the appearance of 
a coat of arms with supporters, but upon a very large scale. The 
centre piece, I was informed, contained within it, some of their sacred 

Under the portico, sat a priest, who read with a book before him, 

» Ficus indica. 


260 TIBET. 

apparently regardless of our presence. It was his duty, together with 
others, who occasionally relieved him, to pray eternally upon the same 
spot, and keep alive the sacred fire, that burns before the shrine. Two 
ponderous doors, painted with vermilion, and embossed with huge 
gilded knobs, made the whole fabric ring, as their pivots grated within 
the sockets, and their massy sides came with strong concussion against 
the walls. It now appeared, that the building we had hitherto seen, 
served only as a case, to cover a most beautiful pyramid placed within 
it. At the base of this pyramid, the body of the late Lama was depo- 
sited in a coffin of pure gold, made by command of the Emperor of 
China, upon the decease of the Lama at his court, and in which the 
body was conveyed, with the utmost solemnity and state, from Pekin, 
through the provinces of China and Tibet, to Teshoo Loomboo. His 
votaries all the way, paid the most profound homage to his manes, 
and thought themselves peculiarly blessed, if they could but touch 
the pall, or any part of the bier, as the funeral procession passed 
slowly along. 

It is the custom in Tibet, to preserve entire the mortal remains of 
\i their sovereign Lamas only; every other corpse is either consumed by 
fire, or given to be the promiscuous food of beasts and birds of prey. 
As soon as life has left the body of a Lama, it is placed upright, sit- 
ting in an attitude of devotion, his legs being folded before him, with 
the instep resting upon each thigh, and the soles of the feet turned 
upwards. To a person unused to the practice, this must be a posture 
of extreme constraint; though Lam Rimbochay, of Bootan, has repeat- 
edly placed himself in it before me, with much apparent ease. 

TIBET. 261 

• The right hand is rested with its back upon the thigh, with the 
thumb bent across the palm. The left arm is bent and held close to the 
body, the hand being open, and the thumb, at right angles with the 
hngers, touching the point of the shoulder. 

This is the attitude of abstracted meditation. The eyes, at the same 
time, being directed downwards, and half closed, indicate that, with 
the suspended powers of the body, the faculties of the mind also, are 
completely absorbed in contemplation, efFeclually guarded against 
wandering, and shut to every species of external impression. 

The late Teshoo Lama is represented in an effigy of gold, which 
crowns the pyramid, and is placed within the concave of a large shell, 
radiated alternately, with white and red, the edges being scolloped, and 
projecting so far as to form a canopy, that incloses within its hollow, 
the whole body of the figure. The image is represented sitting upon 
cushions, and has the drapery of a yellow satin mantle, negligently 
flowing over the lower part, whilst a cap, resembling a mitre, covers 
the head. As a tribute of respect, which might be gratifying to his 
votaries, and tend to conciliate their affection, I made an offering of a 
white pelong scarf, which the attending priest received, and passed 
over the smoke of the incense burning before the shrine, while the 
Gosein and others prostrated themselves nine times with devout hu- 
mility. The priest then ascended a ladder, and put one end of tb.e scarf 
upon that hand of the image which was a little advanced ; the other 
hung down upon the pyramid. Round the borders of the canopy, were 
suspended all the various rosaries, of the richest gems, used by the Lama 
during his life; they consisted of pearls, emeralds, rubies, sapphires. 

262 TIBET. 

coral, amber, crystal, lapis lazuli, and even beads of'humj^le ser-bu-jya''. 
intermixed together, and hanging in festoons. 

Tlie sides of the pyramid were encased with plates of solid silver. 
On each step that composed the structure, which gradually diminished 
in breadth and depth, from the base to the vertex, were arranged all 
sorts of rarities, and articles of curious workmanship, which had been 
presented at different times as offerings to the late Lama. Among these, 
were various costly snuft-boxes, and valuable trinkets, the tribute of 
the Emperor ; with choice specimens of China, large jars of old blue 
japan, and masses of lapis lazuli, variously arranged, and disposed^ 
according to their taste, not without considerable effect. 

About breast-high from the base of the pyramid, was one step con- 
siderably deeper than the rest, in front of which were represented two 
lions rampant, carved in relievo, and between them was placed a 
human figure, with eyes extravagantly large and prominent; his coun- 
tenance was expressive of the most anxious agitation, and his person 
thrown into strange contortions : his hands were applied to a stringed 
instrument, called a cittaur. Other instruments of music, hautboys, 
trumpets, and cymbals, were placed upon each extremity of the step, 
immediately before these figures ; and the intermediate space was filled 
with china jars, and vases of silver and blue japan. 

On the right side of the pyramid, was placed another image of the 
Lama, as large as life, and, as Poorungheer assured me, a very faithful 
resemblance of his person. It was placed in a sort of pulpit, beneath 
a canopy of silk, in a devout attitude, with a book before it. This 

'' Canna, Linnai. 

TIBET. 26 

image, I was given to understand, was not of gold, but solid silver, 
gilt. In front of the pyramid, on an altar covered with white cloth, 
were spread about the common objects of daily oblation ; such as 
fruits, and flowers, with various kinds of corn, and oil. Intermixed 
among the offerings, were seen at the same time, several lamps burning, 
which, being considered as sacred fire, are never permitted to go out ; 
the smoke arising from these, and from a multitude of odoriferous tapers, 
filled the surrounding space, and strongly perfumed the air. 

On each side of the pyramid, hung suspended from the ceihng by 
one end, whole pieces of the most beautiful silks and satins. Close to 
the pyramid were two pieces of black velvet, embroidered all over with 
pearls, in squares like network, and finished with a border of the same. 
Some pieces of very handsome English brocades, and Benares gull- 
budden'^, completed this rich display. On the surrounding walls were 
painted, from the bottom to the top, many rows of Gylongs, repre- 
sented in the act of praying. 

Upon the floor, and on all sides, were high piles of sacred books, 
appertaining to the religion of the Lamas, which orthodox professors 
of that faith, industriously employ themselves to augment with volumi- 
nous commentaries. 

Having thus endeavoured to give as distinct an account as a cur- 
sory view^ could qualify me to do, of the valuable materials that con- 
tribute to enrich and adorn the mausoleum of the Lama, I must here 
close my description. To attempt to form an estimate of its riches, 

•= A species of silk cloth embroidered with floweis, a manufacture, I believe, peculiar. 
to Benares. 

264 TIBET. 

from my own observation, or to repeat the exaggerated reports, which 
others even relate with diffidence, might equally subject me to the 
imputation of extravagant fiction. 

The shell, or covering of the pyramid, which constitutes the exterior 
of the mausoleum, is a structure, when viewed at some distance, of con- 
siderable magnitude and beauty. It stands upon the side of a rocky 
hill, and is very conspicuously situated, towering high above the 
greater part of the monastery. The architecture must not be criticised 
by scientific rules, for the different orders, as adopted in Europe, ap- 
pear to be entirely unknown in Tibet, where they seem rather to 
have chosen the use of a mixed kind. The pillar, scolloped arch, and 
pediment of Asia, or Hindostan, prevail in the interior apartments ; 
the external decorations are of Chinese, or Tartar origin, similar to 
those of the watch tower, or temple of the former ; the tented canopy 
and imperial dragon. As far as the mason has been concerned, it is 
a plain substantial building of stone, with cement. It is longer in 
front than in depth, and considerably more lofty than either. 

The walls are built so much thicker at the base, as to give them a 
very perceptible slope. The centre of the building has a very large 
window above the portico, furnished with curtains of black mohair. The 
walls, in various parts, are ornamented with circular representations 
either of the sun, or full moon, and with gilded crescents. Above the 
window runs a headband all round of a deep garnet colour. Higher 
than this headband, in the centre of the front, within a tablet, the 
mystic sentence, Oom maunee paitnee oom, is inscribed, in large golden 
characters. A blank interval then succeeds, and over that, a space of 

TIBET. 265 

about ten or twelve feet from the summit of the walls, is occupied by a 
deep crimson colour. A frieze, and whitened cornice surrounds the 
top. At the angles, and on different parts along the top of the wall, 
is placed a sort of ornament, which I term fasces. It is a cylinder of 
metal strongly gilt, standing upright upon a short supporter fixed in 
its centre ; and is commonly about five feet high, and two or three in 
circumference. Many of them are covered with black cloth, and these 
invariably have a broad white fillet, passed round them in opposite 
directions, horizontally and perpendicularly, so as to form the figure 
of a cross. The sides are marked with letters, beaded and fluted ; and 
the top is always crowned with some small ornament. The heads 
of lions, well executed, projected from the angles of the building ; 
these also were gilt, and had bells depending from their lower lips. 

But the most showy part of this structure, which crowns the whole, 
is a spacious tented canopy, richly gilt, which is supposed to stand 
immediately over the remains of the Lama, and the centre of the py- 
ramid; it overshadows the summit of the building, from the body of 
which it is elevated by its own particular support, forming to the 
whole an elegant and graceful finish. The edges of the canopy swell 
out in a bold and easy sweep. The ridge is decorated with the Chinese 
drao-on, whose convolutions fill up all that space ; and round the 
canopy are hung a prodigious number of small bells, which, as well 
as those, which are distributed about all the projections of the build- 
ing, having thin square pieces of wood fastened to the clapper, make 
an inconceivable jingle, with every breeze that blows. 

266 TIBET. 


The Regent. — Soopoon Choomboo. — Countries contiguous to Tibet — 
Bengal endeared to the Tibetians by religious Prejudices. — Gunga 
Sagur — the Confluence of the Ganges with the Sea. — Jagarnaut. — 
Performance of Pilgrimage by Proxy. — A Devotee. — Geography — 
Astronomy. — Pranpooree — his extraordinary Course of Mortifi- 
cations. — Russia — the reigning Czarina. — Taranaut Lama. — 
Kharka. — Intercourse between Russia and China. — Pilgrims from 
Khumbak. — Gallery of Idols — Means by which the Cabinet is occa- 
sionally augmented — Teshoo Loomboo famed for the Manufacture 
of Images. — Lama of Luddauk. — PVar between England — America 
and France. — Commerce — of the English JS^ation. — Spirit of Inquiry 
and Research. — Siberia — Baikal. — Wandering Tartars. — jYo 
Tradition extant of an ancient People inhabiting towards theJVorth. 
■-—General Belief of the Origin of Learning. — Inference drawn from 
the Similarity of the Sanscrit and Tibet Alphabet. — Character in 
which their sacred Writings are preserved and printed — that of 
Correspondence and Business. — Regent notifies his Design of leav- 
ing the Monastery — commends me to the Care of Soopoon Choomboo 
in his Absence. — Visits my Apartments, accompanied by Soopoon 
Choomboo and the Lama of Luddauk. — Science of Palmistry. — 
Attar, Pawn. 

TIBET. 267 

At all times, when I met the Regent, Soopoon Choomboo was in 
company. The distinguished attention shewn to him, and the part 
he generally took in conversation, plainly bespoke his consequence. I 
thought him intelligent, quick of apprehension, and, as well as the 
Regent, extremely communicative. I was not a little surprised to dis- 
cover, by their conversation, how accurate an idea they had acquired 
of the position of ditferent countries, though maps and charts are totally 
unknown among them. Of China (or Geanna) their own travels had 
taught them the situation ; and they pointed out to mc, not only the 
relative bearings of the countries surrounding them, as China on the 
east; Siberia on the north ; Turkestan, Cashmcer, Almora,on the west; 
Nipal;, Bootan, Assam, to the south, and Bengal beyond these ; but also 
of England, and of Russia, with almost equal truth. Yet, desirous to 
extend their knowledge, a great variety of questions were proposed to 
me, relating to the peculiar produce, temperature of climate, and dif- 
ferent distances, of remote countries. 

Bengal, of which they had from various authorities collected a tolerably 
distinct idea, they expressed a most eager curiosity to visit. Nor can, 
perhaps, the inhabitants of a rocky, arid, bleak, and naked region, 
fancy a scene more enchanting, than is exhibited in a country of wide 
extent, presenting throughout a smooth and equal surface, clothed. with 
eternal verdure, intersected by numberless deep and copious rivers, 
abounding with groves of large and shady trees, and yielding an im- 
mense variety of fruits and flowers, through every season of the year. 
But Bengal is rendered peculiarly dear to them, by the powerful 

M m 

26 8 TIBET. 

influence of religious prejudice. The regeneration of their Lama is said 
to have taken place, in times of remote antiquity, near the site of the 
ancient and ruined city of Gowr; and all those places held in vene- 
ration by the Hindoos, as Gya, Benares, Mahow, and Allahabad, are 
equally objects of superstitious zeal, with a votary of the Tibet faith, 
who thinks himself blessed above his fellow disciples, if he can but 
perform a pilgrimage to these hallowed spots. 

Gunga Sagor, an uninhabited island, situated at the confluence of 
the Ganges with the sea, and the pagoda of Jagarnaut, upon the coast 
of Orissa, are also deemed places of equal sanctity, and occasionally 
visited, from the same motives of zealous but mistaken piety. Nor are 
the advantages, whatever they may be, resulting from these pilgrimages, 
confined to those alone, who personally perform them ; he who promotes 
them by his persuasion, and supports the pilgrim by his purse, claims 
to himself, nearly an equal share of merit. So that agents are often 
hired, to visit these holy places, from whence they bring to their em- 
ployers, some sacred pledge, picked up on the sea shore, or a portion 
of the consecrated stream, possessed of incalculable eflicacy in all their 
subsequent devotions. 

The late Teshoo Lama, I was told, had the merit of having thus 
performed his pilgrimages by proxy, to Cashi, Prag, Gunga Sagor, 
and Jagarnaut. Indeed, though these pilgrimages cannot be accom- 
plished, but at the imminent hazard, of the pilgrim's falling a martyr to 
the intemperate heat of Hindostan, or to the enervating atmosphere of 
the low lands, yet an enthusiastic spirit is not to be repressed, by the 
melancholy fate of former adventurers. 

TIBET. 269 

A poor emaciated meagre devotee came to me, just before I left 
Calcutta to commence my present journey, who had with infinite 
labour crossed the mountains of Bootan, encountered the noxious air 
of Bengal, and, with a perseverance worthy of a better cause, accom- 
plished his purpose of bathing in tiie sacred stream of the Ganges, in 
spite of all difficulties, which want and sickness could throw in his way: 
difficulties pressing with accumulated force, on a solitary stranger, 
utterly unacquainted with the language of the country. He was then 
about to return to Tibet, anxious to carry some of the holy water to 
his employer. I committed him to the care of the Goseins, who live 
with Poonangheer, in charge of the temple erected at the expence of 
Teshoo Lama, upon the bank of the river, opposite to Calcutta ; and 
he afterwards travelled with my party to the capital of Bootan, whence 
I dispatched him with letters to the Regent of Teshoo Loomboo, which 
he faithfully delivered. While he was in Calcutta, I presented him to 
the Governor General, a distinction which made him inexpressibly 
happy ; for, being informed of the friendship subsisting between the 
Governor and Teshoo Lama, he had conceived a reverence for Mr. 
Hastings, which was only inferior to the veneration he entertained for 
his sovereign Lama, in his opinion, the greatest of earthly Beings. 

In the discussion of geographical topics, the Regent's mind took a 
very extensive range, and scarcely left any quarter of the globe, un- 
touched. Teshoo Lama had been visited, he told me, not many years 
before, by an itinerant Gosein, who assured his inquirers, that he had seen 
a country, in which half the year was day, and the other half night : 
and he appealed to me, whether tliis was a false report or not ; a cir- 

270 T 1 C E T. 

cumstance which shews their limited knowledge of the sciences, both 
of geograpliy and astronomy. 

The Gosein alluded to by the Regent, whose name is Pranpooree, 
exhibited so extraordinary an instance of religious penance, that I cannot 
resist the temptation of relating some particulais of his life. 

Having been adopted by an Hindoo devotee, and educated by him 
in the rigid tenets of his religion, he was yet young, when he com- 
menced the course of his extraordinary mortifications. The first vow, 
which the plan of life, he had chosen to himself, induced him to make, 
was to continue perpetually upon his legs, and neither to sit down 
upon the ground, nor lie down to rest, for the space of twelve years. 
All this time, he told me, he had employed in wandering through 
different countries. When 1 inquired how he took the indispensable 
refreshment of sleep, when wearied with fatigue, he said, that at first, to 
prevent his falling, he used to be tied with ropes, to some tree or post ; 
but that this precaution, after sometime, became unnecessary, and he 
was able to sleep standing, without sucli support. 

The complete term oi this first penance being expired, the next lie 
undertook was to hold his hands, locked in each otlier, over his head, 
the fingers of one hand, dividing those of the other, for the same space 
of twelve years. Whether this particular period is chosen in com- 
pliment to the twelve signs of the zodiac, or to the Indian cycle 
of twelve years, I cannot decide. He was still determined, not to 
dwell in any fixed abode; so that before the term of this last vow could 
be accomplished, he had travelled over the greater part of the continent 
of Asia. He first set out, by crossing the Peninsula of India, through 

TIBET. 271 

Guzerat ; he then passed by Surat to Bussora, and thence to Constaa- 
tinople; from Turkey he went to Ispahan; and sojourned so long 
among the different Persian tribes, as to obtain a considerable know- 
ledge of their language, in which he conversed with tolerable ease. In 
his passage from thence towards Russia, he fell in with the Kus- 
saucs (hordes of Cossacs) upon the borders of the Caspian sea, where 
he narrowly escaped being condemned to perpetual slavery : at length 
he was suffered to pass on, and reached Moscow ; he then travelled 
along the northern boundary of the Russian empire, and through Si- 
beria arrived at Pekin in China, from whence he came through Tibet, 
by the way of Teshoo Loomboo, and Nipal, down to Calcutta. 

When I first saw him at this place, in the year 1 783, he rode upon a 
piebald Tangun horse from Bootan, and wore a satin embroidered dress, 
given to him by Teshoo Lama, of which he was not a little vain. He was 
robust, and hale ; and his complexion, contrasted with a long bushy black 
beard, appeared really florid. I do not suppose that he was then forty 
years of age. Two Goseins attended him, and assisted him in mount- 
ing and alighting from his horse. Indeed he was indebted to them for 
the assistance of their hands on every occasion ; his own being fixed 
and immoveable, in the position in which he had placed them, were 
of course perfectly useless. 

The circulation of blood, seemed to have forsaken his arms ; they 
were withered, void of sensation, and inflexible. Yet he spoke to me 
with confidence, of recovering the use of them, and mentioned his 
intention to take them down the following year, when the term of his 
penance would expire. 

272 TIBET. 

Other Goseins assured nie, though I could not help doubting the 
fact, that it is practicable to restore withered limbs, thus circumstanced, 
to perfect use. This is effected, they say, though not without great 
labour, and some pain, by means of long continued hiction, before a 
large fire, with a certain ointment which they compound. To complete 
the full measure of his religious penance, I understood that there still 
remained two other experiments for Pranpooree to perform. In the first 
of these, the devotee is suspended by the feet to the branch of a tree, 
over a fire, which is kept in a continual blaze, and swung backwards and 
forwards, his hair passing through the flame, for onepahr and a quarter, 
that is, three hours and three quarters. Having passed through this 
fiery trial, he may then prepare himself for the last act of probation, 
which is to be buried alive, standing upright, in a pit dug for the 
purpose ; the fresh earth being thrown in upon him, so that he is com- 
pletely covered. In this situation, he must remain, for one pahr and a 
quarter, or three hours and three quarters, and if at the expiration of 
that time, on the removal of the earth, he should be found alive, he 
will ascend into the highest rank, among the most pure of the Yogee, 

The mention of Russia, produced some observations from the Regent 
and Soopoon Choomboo, upon the government of that Empire. They 
were no strangers to the reputation of the reigning Czarina, her extent 
of dominion, and the commerce carried on with Chhia, to the extreme 
boundaries of their continent. Many overtures, they told me, had been 
made on the part of Russia, to extend her commerce to the internal 
parts of Tibet, but their disinclination to enter into any new foreign 

TIBET. 273 

connections, and the watchful jealousy of the Chinese, had hitherto 
defeated every attempt of this nature. 

Some years ago the Empress of Russia, I learnt, had invited 
Taranaut Lama to a correspondence, and ambassadors had been sent 
to him with considerable presents. Among these, I saw a Bible with 
plates, in the Russian language, which they still preserved. Taranaut, 
who at that time esteemed Teslioo Lama, as the guardian of the state, 
and oracle of the Lama hierarchy, forwarded the presents, and the 
letter to him, for the purpose of receiving his advice upon so im- 
portant a subject. The Lama gave little encouragement to the Russians, 
yet consented to a limited intercourse ; in consequence of which, the 
Russian traders have since resorted occasionally to Kharka, the place 
of Taranaut Lama's residence, where they still carry on by their agents 
a considerable traffic. This principally consists in the sale ofbulgar 
hides, which are prepared in the adjacent districts, and brought also 
from Calmuc Tartary to the same mart, where all the rich and valuable 
furs, that pass in merchandize between the Russians and Chinese, may 
be procured upon easy terms. 

Immediately after this conference, a large party of Tartars from 
Khumbak, (a tribe of Calmucs) arrived on a pilgrimage to Teshoo 
Lama, and engaged the Regent's attention for several days. They 
brought with them a string of horses, consisting of between two and 
three hundred, furs, bulgar hides, and skins of butter, as offerings to 
the Lama, before whom, it is unusual for his votaries to appear, espe- 
cially when they come from any considerable distance, without pre- 
senting something by way of religious tribute. 

27 4 TIBET. 

These Tartars came from a place which they said was situated upon 
the river Sullum, no less than fifty-two days journey from hence. This 
place, therefore, according to the common computation of twenty miles 
to a day's journey, must be one thousand and forty miles distant. The 
followins I understood to be their route, on their return from hence 
towards home: from Teshoo Loomboo to Lassa, twelve days ; from 
Lassa to Daum, ten days ; from Daum to Sullum, thirty days. 

My next interview with the Regent, was in a chamber upon the 
same floor with my own, separated only by a long narrow hall, or 
rather gallery, into which we were first conducted, and where I found 
an unexpected amusement, in examining avast multitude of diminutive 
images, the representatives of their dewtas and heroes, who had here 
fixed their abode. 

The gallery, as I conjecture, was about forty feet in length ; having its 
aspect towards the south-east. A balcony projecting from the centre, 
fenced with a slight railing, and sheltered from the weather by curtains 
of mohair, served for the admission of light; opposite to the balcony^ 
in the most conspicuous part of the gallery, the images were ranged 
in regular order, upon benches rising one behind the other, from the 
floor, almost to the roof of the room. They were enclosed by a piece of 
strong iron net-work stretched before them. Some of these images 
were composed of that metallic mixture, which in appearance resembles 
Wedgewood's black ware ; but the greater part were of brass, or copper 
gilt. They were by no means ill flishioned, exhibiting an infinite 
variety of figures and attitudes, and adorned with such symbolical 
representations, as are appropriate to the respective dewtas and heroes 

TIBET. 275 

of the Hindoo mythology. All of these are to be met with in this col- 
lection, as I gathered from the communications of the Goseins, with 
whom I had afterwards frequent opportunities of visiting the gallery 
at my leisure. The idols, I learnt, were not all of equal sanctity ; some 
of them merely represented devout and pious men, in different acts of 
religion, or exercises of their iaith. 

Whilst I resided at Teshoo Loomboo, I accidentally obtained know- 
ledge of one method, by which this cabinet is occasionally recruited. 
A senior of the Gylongs, or priests, who was styled Lama, which 
is the highest rank in that order, happened to die in an apartment 
not far from our own, and the occasion gave rise to a long and noisy 
ceremony of invocation, prayer, and purification, in the habitation 
where he had lived. His body, I was informed, was burnt with 
sandal wood, and its ashes were afterwards carefully collected, and 
lodged witliin a small brass image, which was immediately translated 
to a place, among the other sacred inhabitants of the gallery. This 
cabinet, therefore, probably contains the earthly remains of a long 
series of generations of Gylongs, who from their superior sanctity, have 
in ail ages, been deemed worthy to contribute to its decoration, by 
increasing the quantity of its hallowed furniture. Merit has thus, in 
Tibet, a brazen monument erected to its memory. 

Tiie manufacture of images, is an art for which they are famous in 
this country. Teshoo Loomboo has an extensive board of works, esta- 
blished under the direction of the monastery, and constantly employed 
in this manufacture. When images of their fabrication were pointed 
out to me. by the side of others, which had been brought from China, 


27 6 TIBET. 

Lassa, and Nipal, I could not avoid giving my friends, ample ciedit 
for their superior skill. 

Besides Soopoon Choomboo, who was his constant companion, I 
found the Regent attended this day, Monday, the 13th of October, by 
a young Lama from Luddauk. After the accustomed ceremonies and 
compliments had passed, we poured out copious libations of warm tea; 
and a most miscellaneous conversation immediately ensued. 

The Regent, who appeared ever anxious to receive and to communi- 
cate information, on all points of local, civil, and natural history, first 
directed his inquiries to the military force, the wealth, and extent of 
the British empire. He professed himself deeply interested concerning 
the war, of which he had heard so much, and which, by unhappily 
interrupting the general intercourse of nations, had augmented the 
price, and occasioned a scarcity of every article of foreign trade. I 
gratified him, as well as I was able, by recounting the leading causes of 
the war between England, and America, which once constituted a part 
of the English dominions. I endeavoured also to give him a clear idea 
of the circumstances, which compelled us to engage in a war with 
France; a war which had involved the Carnalic in confusion, inter- 
rupted the communication between India and Europe, and covered the 
seas with hostile fleets. 

They could not avoid expressing their surprise, that a matter of 
mere local moment, should have thus embroiled the remotest regions, 
and spread distrust and enmity, over such a wide extent of the habi- 
table world. However, I assured him, that Bengal still enjoyed pro- 
found tranquillity ; and indeed I felt happy in being able confidently 

TIBET. 277 

to pronounce, from the information I iiad lately received, that there 
appeared the fairest prospect, of a speedy restoration of universal 

In discussing the commerce of different countries, and the numerous 
articles of convenience, as well as of luxury, which one nation derives 
from its intercourse with another, the bold spirit of enterprise that ani- 
mates the English nation, claimed the Regent's particular admiration. 
Yet, at the same time that he allowed due honour to our undaunted 
perseverance, he could not but attribute the motive, that imptllcd 
so numerous a class of Englishmen, to leave their country and their 
friends, and encounter the danger of inclement climates, and rude in- 
hospitable men, to some great internal defect in their own counlry. At 
the same time he was convinced, from what he had heard and seen, that 
there was not, perhaps, existing, a more ingenious people in the world. 
In order to account for that restlessness of disposition, which disperses 
my countrymen, over the whole surface of the globe, I was led to expa- 
tiate at some length, on the system of education, prevailing amongst 
us. This, I told him, was calculated perpetually to awaken genius, and 
call forth peculiar talents, which might otherwise have rested for ever 
in a torpid state, unexerted and unknown ; but which, when once 
roused, and improved, would not suffer their possessors to sit down in 
listless and inglorious inactivity. Hence it was, that numerous branches 
of respectable families, prompted by curiosity, not less than by a desire 
of wealth, spread themselves over every region of the universe. I added, 
that our Sovereign, renowned for his love of science, and encourage- 
ment of useful research, had, at various times, commanded ships to be 

278 TIBET. 

fitted out, at an immense expence, for the purpose of visiting unknown 
regions, and navigating distant seas. Men of learning and of science 
embarked on these occasions, to whom the desire of acquiring and dif- 
fusing knowledge, were sufficient inducements to attempt the most 
hazardous and laborious enterprises. In these voyages, lands had been 
discovered, and nations explored, of which neither history, nor tra- 
dition, supplied the slightest information; and navigators, by publish- 
ing to the world their obser\'ations, and their accounts of these newly- 
discovered countries, had communicated much curious and important 
knowledge. Hence followed a succession of queries and remarks, 
which it would be endless to repeat. 

Their own geographical knowledge was very limited. I could not 
iorm, with any degree of precision, an idea of the ancient extent of the 
kingdom of Tibet, or of the age of their religious institutions: for neither 
of us could recognize places, from the names by which they were 
known to the other ; and dates were equally obscure, since they have 
no specific aera, from which they begin to reckon the lapse of time. 
The cycle of twelve years is in use here, as it is in western Tartary. 
But for my better information on these topics, they promised me an 
abridgetl history of Tibet, from their own annals. 

This I afterwards received ; but my knowledge of the language was 
not sufficient to enable me to avail myself of the information it con- 
tained ; and my residence amongst them, though I had the aid of a 
preceptor, was too short to admit of my making any considerable pro- 
ficiency in the dialect of Tibet, 

Tlie present was an opportunity too fiivourable to be neglected, and 

TIBET. 279 

before the conference was concluded, I endeavoured to engaffe the 
Regent's attention, with a hope of acquiring some information upon 
a subject, which I was extremely anxious to investigate. 

My inquiries respected an ancient nation, supposed to have once 
inhabited the borders of tlie Baikal sea, in the interior of Tartary, and 
from which some persons conjecture, the learning, arts, and sciences of 
India, and even of Europe, to have been originally derived. If such a 
nation ever existed, the remembrance of it seems now to be buried in 
deepest oblivion. 

Siberia and Baikal were equally unknown to them; however, 
by setting before them Kiatchta, the point of division, and great scene 
of traffic between the Chinese and Russian empires, situated at tlie 
southeastern extremity of the latter, I was able to identify the region, 
to which I wished to draw tiieir attention. 

Soopoon Choomboo had travelled from Kliarka, the residence of 
Taranaut Lama, in Kilmauk, to China ; he had traversed the borders 
of tire Baikal sea, and lived long, amongst the northern Tartars. The 
Baikal lake, he inlormed me, was particularly celebrated for the pro- 
duction of pearls, remarkable for their size, but imperfect in colour and 
sliape, and therefore held in no great estimation. lis neighbourhood, 
be said, was thinly inhabited, nor to his knowledge, was any monu- 
ment existing, that boi^e marks of remote antiquity. The Taitars of 
that vicinity were found, as was remarkably the case in advancinor 
towards the north, more ignorant, and less civilized, than tiieir southern 
neighbours. The people beyond the desert, he added, are a wander- 
ing race, that inhabit tents, and inherit such powerful prepossessions 

280 TIBET. 

against dwelling in houses, that they are with difficulty prevailed upon 
at any time to enter them. 

This prejudice is said to have its foundation in a dread of their fall- 
ing ; an apprehension which may perhaps have originated, in remote 
times, from the calamitous effects of earthquakes. Slight concussions 
are not vmfrequent, as far as I could learn, at this period, though the 
volcano at the eastern point of Tartary, in the island of Analuska, is 
situated at so remote a distance. 

Another cause may indeed have contributed to instil this dread of 
a fixed abode, into their minds. I mean, their fearful apprehension of 
contagious distempers, and more particularly of the small-pox ; from the 
virulence of which disease, they experience the most destructive conse- 
quences ; since they attempt not to apply any remedy, but leave those 
who are unhappily visited by it, entirely to chance, and to the common 
operation of unassisted nature. Hence, they have always been accus- 
tomed to seek refuge from its fatal effects by flight, and may perhaps, in 
consequence, have been led to adopt a mode of life, that might enable 
them, with greater facility, to change their residence in a moment. 

Thus large hordes of Tartars are still found to dwell in tents, tend- 
ing upon cattle, and placing their chief dependance upon their herds. 
Different preparations of milk, constitute their principal support. They 
occasionally find some assistance from the chase, and, in spite of their 
religious prejudices, I am told, that the Hesh of cows and horses, not 
unfrequently contribute to relieve their wants : to this list too, mtist be 
sometimes added the dromedary and the ass, however highly respected 
amongst them for their hardiness, and patient endurance of labour. 

TIBET. 281 

After much inquiry, and long investigation, 1 could never learn that 
either their tradition, or written records, mention any ancient people 
eminent for their knowledge, inhabiting towards the iiortli. The ge- 
neral belief, as I was repeatedly assured by the Regent and Soopoon 
Choomboo, which prevails amongst them, is, that both the sciences 
and the arts had their origin in the holy city of Benares, which they 
have been taught to esteem, as the source and centre both of learning 
and religion. Hither they refer, as to a common origin, all the know- 
ledge of other nations, as well as the first dawn of light, that beamed 
upon their own spiritual and civil institutions. 

The ancient teachers of the faith which they profess, are said to have 
first proceeded from this sacred city, and, after having advanced to- 
wards the cast, over the empire of China, to have directed their course 
towards the kingdoms of Europe. Their own instruction, in science 
and religion, they refer to a period, long prior to the appearance of the 
first o-leam of knowledge, which enlightened the European world ; 
though they are just enough to acknowledge their own marvellous defi- 
ciency, and confess, that, iu these times, the natives of Asia are far 
surpassed by the inhabitants of Europe. But they attribute the unequal 
progress which different nations have made in the cultivation of the 
arts, to the difference of cHmatc, and to the various degrees of appli- 
cation, which local deprivations and defects may have required, to 
o-uard against the particular evils resulting from them. As for them- 
selves, they retained so much of the arts as was necessary, or useful, 
in their peculiar situation and circumstances. 

Perfection in philosophy, or mechanics, in an inland region, remote 

282 TIBET. 

from intercourse with strangers, and shut out from the rest of the world 
by inaccessible mountains, by Imaus, on the one hand, and by the inhos- 
pitable deserts of Gobi, on the other, is not with reason to be expected ; 
and still less is it to be sought for, in more northerly regions, where one 
Jialf of the year is a season of profound darkness, and the wretched 
inhabitants are compelled to seek rcfiige from the severity of the sea- 
sons, in deep and gloomy caverns ; where, possibly, the powers and 
faculties of the mind, are in some degree benumbed by the same pow- 
erful operation of intense cold, which arrests the progress of vegetable 
life ; and where, certainly, the great mass of the people are doomed to 
labour perpetually, for the scanty and precarious support of mere 
animal existence. 

In proof of the antiquity of their knowledge of letters, the Regent 
and his friends urged the similarity of their alphabet to the Sanscrit 
character, from which they avow it to have been formed; but they 
profess to have departed a little from the shape and form of the origi- 
nal, when they applied it to express a different language. Still, how- 
ever, the character in which their sacred writings are preserved and 
printed, styled Lklien, bears a suong resemblance to the Sanscrit; and 
is quite as distinct from the ciiaracter of business and correspondence, 
called Umin, as the old Roman text is from the English round hand. 

I began now to think it high time to close the interview, which had 
been protracted to an uncommon length, especially when the Regent 
himself informed me, that he had fixed upon the morrow for a journey 
towards the western frontier, and that he designed to visit the hot-wells 
previous to his return, telling me that his health, no less than public 

TIBET. 283 

business, called for his presence in that quarter. He said that he should 
be but a short time absent, and, until his return, he recommended me to 
the care of Soopoon Choomboo, who would be frequently with me, and 
attend to all my wishes, which he enjoined me freely to communicate. 
Rut the kind and affectionate attention of the Regent would not suffer 
him to depart, without making, what he deemed, a proper provision 
for our comfort. Previously to the accustomed ceremonies at parting, 
he presented Mr. Saunders and myself with complete dresses, made 
after the fashion of the country; rich satin garments lined with 
furs, and huge bulgar boots. Indeed, the daily increase of cold most 
forcibly reminded us, that a change of raiment would soon become 
indispensably necessary ; for so rapidly, had the winter already set in, 
that water placed in open vessels in our rooms, during the night, be- 
came a solid mass of ice ; and by the exposure of cream, I obtained 
every morning a rich repast for my breakfast. 

Wenowrose to take our leave, and were turning to quitthe room, when 
the Regent, Soopoon Choomboo, and the Lama of Luddauk, rose also. 
The Regent, I was now informed, intended me the honour of a visit, pre- 
viously to his departure. 1 cannot doubt^, that curiosity had a great share 
in this compliment, and I was willing to gratify it, by exhibiting to his 
inspection, all the apparatus I happened to have with me, which, differ- 
ing in contrivance from what I found here, was likely to attract his notice. 

When this comphment was paid us by the Regent, our apartments 
were thrown open, and upon entering them, one of the first objects that 
forcibly attracted his notice and that of his attendants, was. an iron 
canopied camp bedstead, with its European furniture. 


284 TIBET. 

Thecomniocliousness of bedsteads, in elevating bed furniture from the 
ground, is totally unknown amongst them ; it being their general cus- 
tom to spread, by way of bed upon the floor, a thick mattress, con- 
sisting of two cushions, the upper surface of both being joined by a 
cloth covering, which, when they rise, admits their being folded upon 
each other ; by day, it serves them for a seat. Travellers usually carry 
this accommodation with them ; it is thrown down upon the ground 
when they wish to rest; and it may literally be said to be their custom, 
when they mean to travel, to take up their bed and walk. A variety 
of mechanical, mathematical, and optical instruments, which I had 
with me, attracted the attention of my visitors, by their novelty, or 
their use. 

It was matter of great astonishment to them to view, through a good 
reflecting telescope, remote objects, not visible to the naked eye, and 
to distinguish even their figure, size, and colour. While a part of my 
company was engaged in inspecting the new and uncommon objects 
which had attracted their notice, the young Lama of Luddauk, with a 
good-natured and arch air, seized me by the hand, and, turning up the 
palm, attentively surveyed the lines described on it. I submitted to 
his examination, with no very serious apprehension from his profound 
knowledge of the occult science of palmistry ; and he had too much 
urbanity to tell me any, but the best of fortunes. 

My camp table, and the preparations made for dinner, had a due share 
of their notice ; nor could this excite wonder, since the European manner 
of serving meals, differs so essentially from their own. It is altogether 
unusual among them, as far as I can learn, for numbers to assemble 

TIBET. 285 

together, on any occasion, for the business of gratifying one of the most 
intrusive demands of our nature. They have, in consequence, no stated 
times for their meals, but eat when hunger calls for gratification. To 
contribute to reheve the cravings of thirst is allowed, indeed, to be a 
meritorious act ; and hence tea, according to tlieir miscellaneous mode 
of preparing it, and ckong, or arra, are ser\'ed up to visitors, as 
a repast, at all times of the day ; when first they arrive, and com- 
monly before the conclusion of a visit. I soon learnt to consider 
this as a salutary hint to tedious visitors, like the practice of pre- 
senting attar of roses, and pawn, in Hindostan, by way of signal, 
not to prolong their stay. Pawn' is a preparation of an aromatic plant 
called Beetel, in India, the Piper Betel of Linnaeus, two or three green 
leaves of which are used as an envelope to cover a variety of ingre- 
dients, some of a warm, and pungent'', others of a rough, astringent 
nature"^; together with a portion of Kut**, and shell lime; which latter 
is added to exalt the flavour, at the same time tliat it greatly heightens 
the property which this preparation possesses, of giving a more ruddy 
colour to the mouth and lips. It is all together called Pawn. 

Among the numerous excellencies attributed to this compound, it has 
the credit of promoting digestion, of relieving flatulency, and being in 
the highest degree stomachic ; it also strongly perfumes the breath, 
impresses a grateful flavom on the palate, and by its pungency excites 
thirst, at the same time that it imparts the highest zest to the gratifi- 
cation of it. 

' Tambuli, Sanscrit. See Wilkins's Heetopades of Veeshnoo Sarma, p. 220. 

* Cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon. ' Sooparee, areca catechu. 

* Terrajaponica J inspissated juice of the C'hadira, a species of Mimosa. 

286 TIBET. 

Innumerable are the advantages attributed to its use ; in short, it 
seems one of those higldy esteemed luxuries, which the lovers of cold 
water are well entitled to appropriate to themselves, and are particu- 
larly prone to indulge in. Nor is it surprising, from its reputed good 
qualities, that it is held in the highest estimation, both amongst the 
humblest, and the most exalted ranks in society. It is invariably 
offered on all occasions of ceremony and compliment, in India, by the 
host to his visitors ; it most commonly, as was observed before, is pro- 
duced immediately before the conclusion of a visit; so that the guest 
always considers the call for attar and pawn, as the immediate pre- 
lude to his dismission, and, of course, prepares to take his leave the 
moment it is presented. 

Sucii a length of time had been occupied in this, and my first visit, 
that the evening was rapidly advancing when my company departed. 

TIBET. 287 


Departure of the Regent — his Desire to travel unobserved. — Egypt — 
Eunani — Singhi. — Use of the Symbol oj the Lion in Tibet and Egypt 
— superstitious Regard for celestial Phcenomena — Skill in Science — 
Bigotry — Court of China — Spectacles for the Entertainment of the 
Lama — Soomeroo. — Coincidence with the Hindoos inscientific Know- 
ledge. — Benares esteemed the sacred Seat of all human Learning.^— 
Teshoo Loomboo — Geographic Site — particular Description of — 
Plain of Teshoo Loomboo — Shigatzee-jeung — Luddauk — Cashmeer 
— JVipal — China — Russia — Siberia. — Abruptness of the Hills — 
local Effect. — Vortexes of Wind. — Rock behind Teshoo Loomboo — 
View from hence. — Berhampooter — Megna — Pudda — Sundrabunds 
— Pirates — Maunserore — Rise — Course of the Ganges and Ber- 
hampooter. — Seasons in Tibet. — Meat preserved by the Action of 
intense Cold. — Use of undressed Meat. — Sheep, their Value for Eood, 
Raiment, and Use. — Dryness of the Atmosphere in Tibet — Pre- 
cautions used against it. 

J. HE following morning, long before the dawn of day, the Regent had 
quitted the gates of the monastery, to commence his march. It is 
deserving notice, that great men in Tibet, as well as in Bootan, arc 

28 S TIBET. 

peculiarly accustomed to travel in the dark, from a desire, as I have 
heard, that their route may be unobserved, and not productive of 
trouble to the inhabitants, by withdrawing theirattention from their 
personal pursuits. 

On the day after the departure of the Regent, Soopoon Choomboo 
sent an invitation to me to meet him in the room, immediately beyond 
the gallery of idols. He was accompanied by the treasurer : our con- 
versation was extremely miscellaneous. Egypt, in their language, 
eunani, and the lions, singhi, were favourite topics of conversation 
with him. Between this country, indeed, and Tibet, there seemed at 
some time or other, to have existed a frequent communication ; and 
Egypt appeared even now to merit respectful mention, whenever they 
named it. From hence perhaps they have derived their veneration for 
the sovereign of brutes, Avhich they evince by the distinguished place 
they assign him in their sacred architecture. 

There is no religious edifice, but what is adorned with the head of 
the lion at every angle, having bells pendent from his lower jaw; and 
the same figure is equally common, at every projection of the palace 
walls. It is certain, that no contiguous country can supply an example 
of the animal existing in it, in a state of nature, at this day. The lake 
Maunserore was mentioned to me, as having lions on its banks, but 
this assertion I considered as fabulous, originating possibly in a desire 
to attach greater dignity ta the source of the Ganges and Berham- 
pooter, by adding to it one more object of veneration. 

Lions are the natives of a warmer region; the burning sands of 
Nubia, Ethiopia, and Arabia, seem to be their proper habitation. If the 

TIBET. 289 

lion ever existed in a state of nature iiere, it must have been at the same 
time with tiiose vast monsters, whose bones are found in huge lieaps in 
various parts of Tartary and Siberia at this day, and clearly point to 
some great convulsion, and change, in the order of our globe. But be 
this as it may, we see the head of the lion held up in Tibet with marks 
of high distinction and respect, though we can trace no certain clue 
to discover, by what means he obtained this honour. 

My inquisitive hosts led me by their curious inquiries, over a great 
part of the globe, from the torrid to the frigid zone. It much excited 
their wonder to hear, that a part of the world was for half the year 
illumined by the sun, and remained the other half in continual dark- 
ness. Much was said to me upon the subject of comets and eclipses, 
which are phaenomena considered by them, as the most certain prog- 
nostics of good, or evil. 

I told them that both Avere regarded by us, as mere matters of course, 
and that the appearance of either was regularly calculated with great 
precision, many years before it took place. However, it was vain 
for me to attempt to shake their faith, to efface from their calendar the 
string of lucky and unlucky days, or to discredit the important omens 
they draw from a change of weather, either within four or six days 
after the appearance of an eclipse. I was questioned respecting our 
mode of reckoning time, and whether the computation we had adopted 
corresponded like theirs, with the signs of the zodiac, and the cycle of 
twelve years. 

Soopoon Choomboo was desirous of instituting a comparison 
between the merit of European and Chinese astronomers. Without 

2 90 TIBET. 

indulging an unreasonable partiality, I thought I might claim for my 
countrymen, a decided superiority ; and I ventured to assert that much 
of the knowledge of the Chinese had been derived from European 
missionaries, one of whom I was assured at this moment held the 
highest station amongst the astronomers of China. He promised, as 
some testimonial of the ancient knowledge of the Chinese, to give me 
ilieir register of past eclipses, which I afterwards received, though 
without any satisfactory explanation of its contents. 

The burning well of Brahma-koond*, near Chittagong, gave occasion 
to some observations and inquiries ; I found, by their prejudices, that 
they esteemed it as holy. I have been informed, that a vivid flame is 
often seen to play upon the surface of the water in this well, arising 
probably from the spontaneous combustion of mephitic gas. 

Assam and its inhabitants became our next subject of conversation; 
with this region, it should seem, they hold but an extremely limited 
intercourse. A large reservoir upon its eastern border, formed, I 
suppose, by the Berhampooter, on emerging from the mountains, 
appears to be held by them in some degree of veneration. 

Many other topics succeeded in their turn. I was dressed in the 
warm embroidered vest which the Regent had provided for me. They 
enjoined me to be extremely cautious in guarding against the ap- 
proaching cold; and informed me that they had the Regent's command, 
to contribute by every possible means to my comfort and satisfaction, 
expressing a hope that they should be happy in frequent opportunities 
of meeting me. 

' Brahma-koond, fountains of Brahma. 

TIBET. 291 

In my next interview with Soopoon Choomboo, he entertained 
me with a description of the gardens, villas, and palaces, of the 
Emperor of China, and the various entertainments contrived to gratify 
and amuse the Teshoo Lama, during his residence at that court. One 
of the first spectacles he noticed^ was a most splendid display of fire- 
works, exhibited in celebration of the commencement of the new year, 
which greatly engaged his attention and admiration. This entertain- 
ment continued for three successive days, during which time the Teshoo 
Lama, in company with the Emperor, was a frequent spectator of their 
beauty and effect. The singular magnificence of some of the imperial 
gardens, had made an equal impression upon his mind. In one of 
these, according to his description, was a large canal, surrounded with 
figures of a giganlic size, representing the signs of the zodiac ; each 
figure, as the sun entered its corresponding sign, becoming a fountain 
of water, which continued to play until his passage to the next. 

An extensive menagery, filled with rare and curious animals^ among 
which were tigers, leopards, bears, deer, and the wild boar, was equally 
successful in attracting their notice. He stated also, that the Emperor 
had ordered a ship, to be constructed on a large lake, and armed wiih 
guns, to resemble a first rate man of war. The guns were discharged 
on board this ship, to give them an idea of a sea engagement. 

Feats of horsemanship were not forgotten, with a design to vary 
their amusements, and till up the time. In these, he said, the people of 
China displayed great agility and skill. With such a recapitulation of 
the various modes, devised to entertain the Lama, during his residence 
at Jehol, did Soopoon Choomboo with much good humour endeavour 


292 TIBET. 

to amuse me. I listened with attention to his discourse : he had 
the reputation of superior talents , and to this, no doubt, he owed his 
elevation, in the time of the former Lama, with whom he was said 
to be in high favour; nor was he less distinguished by the present 

A large reflecting telescope, which I had brought with me, afforded 
an inducement to Soopoon Choomboo, for visiting me in the evening 
of Sunday, the 19th of October. I shewed him, through it, several stars 
not visible to the naked eye; but I found, that he was neither igno- 
rant of the satellites of Jupiter, nor of the ring of Saturn; and I learnt 
from him, that all the distinguished planets, were the seats of some or 
other of the objects of their veneration. To this circumstance, indeed, 
the Tibetians attribute their brilliancy and splendour; and point out 
their revolutions, together with the glorious orb of day, round the 
imaginary mountain Soomeroo, whose summit is, in their apprehension, 
the elevated station, of the chief of all the gods. 

This may be sufficient to shew the extent, and nature, of their pro- 
ficiency in the sciences. It intimates also their agreement with their 
southern neighbours, in an original derivation of their scientific know- 
ledge from one common source. There appears indeed to have been, 
from the remotest time, a connection and intercourse between Tibet and 
India. I collected, as I have already hinted, from repeated conferences 
with the Regent, and with Soopoon Choomboo, as well as from other 
sources, that the established opinion here is, that they derived their 
religion and learning from the west. Whether their first Lama, the 
founder of their faith, had his origin ir\ Gya, (Durgeedin) or Benares, 



(Ooroonasse) is not so certain ; but Benares, in the present day, seems 
to have the highest claim to their respect and veneration. 

The absence of the Regent, had now restored me to comparatively 
greater freedom, and left me at leisure to gratify my curiosity, by a 
more minute examination of the neighbourhood of Teshoo Loomboo. 

Here, therefore, I shall throw together, without any strict regard to 
methodical arrangement, some of the most important observations I 
was, at this time more particularly, enabled to make, respecting the 
state of the country around me, and the customs and opinions of its 


Teshoo Loomboo, or Lubrong, the seat of Teshoo Lama, and the 
capital of that part of Tibet immediately subject to his authority, is 
situated in 29° 4' 20" north latitudeN and 89' 7' east longitude, from 
Greenwich. It is a large monastery, consisting of three or four hundred 
houses, the habitations of the Gylongs, besides temples, mausoleums, 
and the palace of the sovereign pontiff; in which is comprised also, 
the residence of the Regent, and of all the subordinate officers, both eccle- 
siastical and civil, belonging to the court. It is included within the 
hollow face of a high rock, and has a southern aspect. Its buildings are 
all of stone, none less than two stories high, flat roofed, and crowned 
with a parapet, rising considerably above the roof, composed of heath 
and brush-wood, inserted betAveen frames of timber, which form a 

t" From the medium of six meridian altitudes of the sun, taken with a brass sextant 
and artificial horizon, both of Ramsden's. 

29° 4' 2o" N. Lat. of Teshoo Loombo. 89° 7' E. Long, of Teshoo Loomboo. 
22 35 Calcutta. 88 35 Calcutta. 

6 29 20 North from Calcutta. 32 East from Calcutta. 

294 TIBET. 

ledge below, and are fashioned above into a cornice, capped with 

This insertion of brush-wood, is from three to four or five feet in 
depth. The ends externally, are made even with great care, so that, 
at a distance, it is not distinguishable from masonry It is always 
stained of a deep garnet colour ; the same which the custom of these 
regions has universally adopted, to distinguish places of religious esta- 
blishment, and which, when contrasted with the white walls, produces, 
in the appearance of their towns, a very pleasing effect. Of this pecu- 
liarity, which is often met with in Tibet, I could never obtain a satis- 
factory account ; and whether it proceeds from an economical use of 
the materials of masonry ; or was designed to lessen the weight of the 
superstructure; or to admit the snow, upon a sudden thaw, more 
expeditiously to percolate and pass off, than through small spouts, 
which might be liable to be clogged, I cannot determine. Had I seen 
it only in frontier towns, and posts of strength, I should have sus- 
pected, that, in a country where fire arms were not in use, it might 
have been intended as a skreen, to shelter the besieged ; or perhaps, to 
retain the darts and arrows of the assailants, and prevent their being 
collected again, as they might easily be, if they were suffered to recoil 
from a solid wall. 

If such, indeed, were the original design, it is not now avowed: and 
since the necessity has ceased, it is as well forgotten, and the contriv- 
ance is more esteemed, under the pacific character of an ornamental 
decoration. All the houses have windows, of which the centre, or 
principal one, projects beyond the walls, and forms a balcony ; they 

TIBET. 2,95 

are not closed with shutters, but black mohair curtains. The principal 
apartment in the upper story has an opening over it, covered with a 
moveable shed, which serves the purpose of sometimes admitting light 
and air, and, in the winter season, occasionally, the grateful warmth 
of the sun. 

The tops of the walls are adorned with those cylindrical ornaments 
I have already described ; some of which are plain, covered with black 
cloth, crossed by a white fillet ; whilst others are made of copper, 
burnished with gold ; and as in this article, they have been very pro- 
fuse, particularly about the palace, and all the mausoleums, the view 
of the monastery, on approaching it from the plain, is brilliant and 

The plain of Teshoo Loomboo, which is perfectly level, is encom- 
passed by rocky hills, on all sides. Its direction is north and south, 
and its extreme length about fifteen miles ; its southern extremity in 
breadth from east to west, may be perhaps, five, or six miles. It 
narrows towards the north, and the rock, upon the southern face of 
which the monastery is situated, nearly occupies the whole width of 
the valley. The end of the rock approaches so near to the hills that 
bound the plain on the east, as to form a narrow defile, which leaves 
room only for a road, and the bed of the river Painom-tchieu^ which runs 
through it, and at a small distance beyond, joins the Berhampooter. 

The fortress of Shigatzee-jeung stands upon a prominent ridge of 
the rock, and commands the pass. There are many openings in the 
hills that surround this valley, and the public roads cross none of 
them, but wind round their basis, over even ground. As I looked from 

296 TIBET. 

my apartment, I could see, in front, the road that leads to Bootan 
and Bengal : on my right, the roads to Luddauk and Cashmeer; to the 
mines of lead, copper, cinnabar, and gold : and also by Tingri Meidan 
to Nipal : on my left, are the roads to Lassa and China : on the north 
is situated the territory of Taranaut Lama, bordering upon Russia, 
and Siberia, and whose influence more especially extends over the 
Kilmauks, or hordes of Calmuc Tartars. 

The abruptness with which the hills rise from this plain is very re- 
markable ; they are all of a rocky texture, of the colour of rusty iron, 
and are easily shivered by the effects of the weather, into little cubical 
pieces, small enough to be moved about by strong winds, which con- 
sequently spread them abroad, and soon produce a level at their bases. 
Their summits have the appearance of being scarped, or surrounded 
by a perpendicular parapet. No vegetation seems at this season, to 
contribute to clothe them. 

Their singular conformation gives rise to an inconvenience, which, 
during the dry months of the year, from October to May, or the 
greatest part of that time, must prove an extreme annoyance to the neigh- 
bouring inhabitants. These are vortexes of wind, that are incessantly 
elevating larq;e columns of dust from the surface of the n;round, in dif- 
ferent parts of the plain, which circling in lofty spires, till they attain 
the altitude of the hills, then seem to dissipate, and disperse themselves 
in the air. Nothing else obscures the extreme purity of the atmosphere; 
from the dawn of light till darkness, not a vapour intercepts the sight, 
to the most distant edge of the horizon. It is a clearness bordering 
,upon brilliancy, which dazzles and fatigues the eye. 

TIBET. 297 

The rock of Teshoo Loomboo Is by far the loftiest of all that are in 
its neighbourhood. In the coldest season of the year, the monastery, 
which is situated near its base, is skreened by it, from the violence of 
the north-west winds ; though at the same time, as the sun has southern 
declination, it enjoys all the benefit of its genial warmth. Upon this 
rock, at least on those parts of it which have the most favourable 
aspect, I found the scanty remains of some weakly vegetation, and a 
little low brushwood, sufficient to tempt a few vagrant deer, which I 
occasionally saw bounding about its summit. 

I took an opportunity to ascend the rock, but my expectations were 
by no means realized by the view I had from it. Bare narrow valleys, 
naked hills, and a biting frosty air, impressed my senses with a picture 
inhospitable, bleak, and sterile in the extreme. At another season the 
impression might probably have been different. At the period which 
I describe, the whole face of nature in Tibet, had decidedly assumed the 
character and habit of deep winter : the trees were bare of foliage, and 
the tops of the loftiest hills, clothed with snow. 

From the summit of this rock, the eye commands a very extensive 
prospect, as it towers high above all the other eminences, in its vicinity. 
Yet no striking traces of population can be distinguished, though, I 
am informed that there are considerable settlements, and that the 
inhabitants crowd into hollow recesses, and place themselves upon the 
sides of hills, in situations, attractive from the slieher they afford, as 
well as from their advantageous aspect. 

From hence, I had the satisfaction to observe, on the northern side, 
at the base of the rock on wiiich I stood, that celebrated river. 

298 TIBET. 

the Berhampooter, in the language of Tibet styled Erechoomboo. It 
flows in a wide extended bed, and, as though the soil gave it an unwil- 
ling passage, it has forced itself through many channels, and formed 
a multitude of islands in its way. But though its bed appears so wide 
extended from hence, I was told, that its principal channel is narrow, 
deep, and never fordable. At this place, it receives the tributary waters 
of the Painomtchicu, which I traced from it source, soon after my 
entrance into Tibet, to this termination of its course. Its individuality 
and its name, are here lost in association with the superior body, like 
various other streams, which come both from the north and from the 
south, and contribute to the magnitude of the Berhampooter, before it 
passes Lassa, and penetrates the frontier mountains, that divide Tibet 
from Assam. In this latter region, it receives a copious supply, from 
the sacred fountains of Brahma-koond, before it rushes to the notice of 
Europeans below Rangamatty, on the borders of Bengal, where it becomes 
a mighty river, exceeded in size by few that are yet known in the world. 

From hence it hastens on to meet its sister stream, the Ganges. 
These far- famed rivers are nearly related in their birih, as well as 
united in their termination; after their junction, under the common 
name of Megna, or Pudda, they run together but a short course, before 
they mix their waters with the sea, which flows up tlnough a thousand 
channels to mingle with its expected guests, intersecting a large ter- 
ritory, termed the Sundrabunds,now destitute of inhabitants, but famed 
for the beauty of its groves. 

In infinite meanders, tiiey pervade an extremely intricate labyrinth, 
the borders of which are sometimes visited by inland navigators, when 

TIBET. 299 

the long continuance of dry ^v•eathel■ obstructs the navigation of other 
channels of the river. But this passage is never to be attempted with- 
out local knowledge, and a sufficient supply of fresh provisions, both 
of water and food, for neither is to be obtained within these wilds. 
Infinite dangers are also spread over this inhospitable space, which is 
beset with the most savage and ferocious both of the human and the 
brute creation. 

It abounds also with pirates, who lie in wait along its channels, in 
low, long, narrow boats, with from thirty to sixty oars, which glide 
along with such velocity, that few who traverse these channels in other 
vessels, can escape from their pursuit. To land here, is totally out of 
the question, in any case ; for the royal tiger is found to reign sole 
sovereign of these wilds ; which, though clothed with the most exube- 
rant vegetation, offer no habitation suited to the purposes of man. 
They are visited, however, by some inhabitants of the borders, wlio 
here follow the profitable, but dangerous, occupation of cutting wood ; 
in which if, by some unlucky accident, they disturb the slumbers of 
the savage tyrant, who has possession of these wilds, they pay for their 
temerity, with the forfeit of their lives. But the frequency of such dis- 
asters, deters not others from the pursuit of gain ; and from hence, the 
populous city of Calcutta is constantly supplied witli fuel, as from an 
exhaustless mine ; no visible impression being made upon its stoclc. 
The growth of one season, such is the quickness of vegetation, fully 
replaces the consumption of the former year; and Bengal is hence 
assured, of an inexhaustible supply of this grand article in the economy 
of human fife. 


300 TIBET. 

Having now conducted the river, on which I looked down, to the 
termination of its course, I must not take my leave, without paying 
some further respect to this distant traveller, and marking, at the same 
time, the veneration attached to these celebrated sister streams, the 
Berhampooter and the Ganges. The common source of both, is the 
lake Maunserore; situated, as I was informed, a montii's journey 
north-west from Teshoo Loomboo. Separating at their origin, they 
flow in nearly opposite directions, one towards the east, the other to 
the west. 

It is the fate of the Berhampooter, to penetrate, in a tortuous course, 
a rude climate and most stubborn soil, till at length it quits Tartary, 
and forcing a passage through the frontier mountains of Assam, enters 
the eastern boundary of Bengal. 

The Ganges, by a different course, seeks the milder climate, and 
more productive plains of Hindostan ; no sooner disengaging itself 
from the embarrassment of mountains, after having passed the Cow's 
Mouth, and quitted Hurdewar, than it is met by the adoration of sup- 
pliant tribes, and receives the homage of the bordering nations, as it 
flows along ; fertilizing the lands it washes, enriching their inhabitants, 
and bearing the wealth of India in its aims. 

In the temperature of the seasons in Tibet, a remarkable uniformity 
prevails, as well as in their periodical duration and return. The same 
division of them takes place here, as in the more southern region 
of Bengal. The spring is marked from March to May, by a variable 
atmosphere ; heat, thunder storms, and, occasionally, with refreshing 
showers. From June to September is the season of humidity, when 

TIBET. ^01 

heavy and continued rains fill the rivers to tlieir brim, which run off 
from hence with rapidity, to assist in inundating Bengal. From Octo- 
ber to March, a clear and uniform sky succeeds, seldom obscured either 
by fogs or clouds. For three months of this season, a degree of cold 
is felt, far greater perhaps than is knoAvn to prevail in Europe. Its 
extreme severity is more particularly confined to the southern boun- 
dary of Tibet, near that elevated range of mountains which divides it 
from Assam, Bootan, and Nipal. 

The summits of these are covered all the year with snow, and their 
vicinity is remarkable, at all seasons, for the dryness of the winds. 
The range is confined between the twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh 
degrees of northern latitude. During the winter, a practice is adopted 
in the neighbourhood of these mountains, similar to that in use in the 
coldest parts of North America, but in some respects more complete. 
I mean, that of preparing meat and fish for carriage, by the action of 
extreme cold ; a mode more particularly adopted by the Indians, 
who convey to their markets, at many hundred miles distance, their 
poultry, game, and fish, in a frozen state. But in Tibet, the practice 
is confined, as far as came to my knowledge, to the preservation of 
mutton alone, and the process is extremely simple. They kill, clean, 
and strip the animal of his skin ; he is then placed upon his legs, in a 
commodious place, and left exposed to a free access of frosty air, until 
all the juices in his body are completely dried up, and the whole 
becomes one uniformly stiffened substance. It is then in a fit state for 
carriage, to any part of Tibet, and for keeping 4o any season of the 
year. No salt is used in the preparation. I had supplies of this 

302 TIBET. 

prepared meat, during all the time I remained at Teshoo Loomboo, 
which had been cured in the preceding winter. It was perfectly sweet, 
though the fat is sometimes liable to become slightly rancid, on expo- 
sure to the air; and it is therefore usually kept in close boxes, till it is 
wanted Jbr use. I was accustomed to eat heartily of the meat thus 
prepared, without any further dressing, and at length grew fond of it ; 
though I could not possibly surmount the prejudice I felt, against that 
which was recently killed, and raw. 

My Tibet friends, however, gave an uniform and decided preference 
to the undressed crude meat ; and though I listened to their praises 
of it, in this state, with a desire to become a proselyte to their opinion, 
yet I was compelled to yield to the force of early prejudice. Their 
dried meat, though it had not been subjected to the action of heat, or of 
fire, yet had not to the eye, the appearance of being raw, but resembled 
in colour, that which has been well boiled. It had been deprived of all 
ruddiness, by the intense cold. It is not easily cut across, though it 
admits readily of being broken, or stript in shreds, in the direction of 
the fibres, whicii are always distinctly marked, and easily separable: 
every muscle is completely enveloped in its own sac. 

Among the valuable and useful animals of Tibet, their breed of 
sheep merits a distinguished rank. Their flocks are numerous ; and 
upon them their chief reliance is placed for present support, as well as 
for their winter food. A peculiar species seems indigenous to this cli- 
mate, marked almost invariably, by black heads and legs. They are of 
a small size : their wool is soft, and their flesh, almost the only animal 
food eaten in Tibet, is, in my opinion, the finest mutton in the world. 

TIBET. 303 

They are fed without distinction, wherever sufficient pasture is to 
be found, but principally upon the short herbage, pccuHar to tiie sides 
of eminences, and bleak, exposed plains. They are occasionally em- 
ployed as beasts of burden ; and I have seen numerous flocks of them 
in motion, laden with salt and grain, each carrying from twelve to 
twenty pounds. They are the bearers of their own coats, to the. best 
market, where it is usually fabricated into a narrow cloth resembling 
frieze, or a thick coarse blanket. When slaughtered, their skins arc 
most commonly cured with the wool on, and form a most excellent 
winter garment for the peasant, and the traveller. 

The skins of lambs are cured also with the wool on, and constitute 
a valuable article of traffic. In order to obtain the skin in its highest 
state of excellency, the dam is sometimes killed before her time of 
yeaning ; a cruel precaution, which secures, however, a silky softness 
to the fleece, and stamps a very high price upon it, in this region, 
where the merit of good furs is well ascertained. It serves partis 
cularly for lining vests, and is in equal estimation all over Tartary;. 
it bears a very high price also in China. But powerful as the temp- 
tation is, I conclude from this circumstance, that the practice is not 
very frequently adopted. 

The dryness of the atmosphere at this season, in Tibet, I thought, 
very remarkable; it had an eff"ect resembling that of the scorching 
winds which prevail, and blow over the sandy soil of Hindostan, or 
along the shores of Coromandel. Vegetation is dried to brittleness, 
and every plant may be rubbed between the fingers into dust. 

Hence, the inhabitants have been compelled to adopt the precaution 

304 TIBET. 

of covering their columns, the carved decorations of their capitals, and 
even their doors, with a coat of coarse cotton cloth, which seems, in 
some degree, to prevent wood- work from being rent in sunder. The 
few articles of wood, trunks, and boxes, which 1 had with me, would 
often startle us, in the dead of night, 'yvith a report as loud as that of 
musquetry. This continued, without intermission, till the glue had 
intirely quitted its hold, and no longer kept the joints together, which 
had been previously softened by the humidity of Bengal, so that they 
were now ready to fall in pieces. As far as I could judge, timber, in 
this climate, seemed subject to no other injury from time; but was 
equally exempt from the silent depredations of decay, and the more 
active violence of any species of destructive vermin. 

TIBET. 305 


Local Appellation of Tibet— Stridure on the Religion— Use of musical 
Instruments in their sacred Services — Comparison with the Hindoos 
— Assemble in Temples for the Performance of religious Duties- 
Lama, the sacred Superior — Gradations in the sacerdotal Class — 
Gylong—Tohba— Tnppa— Establishment of the Monastery — In- 
terdictions of the religious Order— jYoise and Pomp of their reli- 
gious Ceremonies— Kugopea — Habit of the Priests — Yellow, the 
distinguishing Colour, worn by the Sect GyUookpa — of which the 
Superiors are Dalai Lama — Teshoo Lama — Tarranaut Lama — 
Med, by the Shamar.—Lani Rimbochay — Lani Sobroo JVawang- 
nam^hi—Lam' Ghassatoo — their Contentions —Prevalence of the 
former.— Humane Trait in the Character of the Tib etian.— Tribute 
of Respect paid to the Dead— Festival in Honour of the Dead- 
superstitious Practices — sanctioned and performed by the Class 
devoted to Religion.— Omens.— Calendar of Time— Cycle of twelve. 
Years. — Art of Printing. 

The country of Tibet is called by the inhabitants Pue, or Puekoa- 
chim; a title, which, as they told me, is derived from Pue, signifying 
northern, and Koachim, snow; that is, snowy region of the north. 

306 T r n e t. 

This appellation is said to have been given it, on account of the cold- 
ness of the climate, by the teachers who first came from India, and 
who promulgated the religion which prevails among them, 

I shall, for very obvious reasons, decline entering into any formal 
discussion respecting the nature of this religion. It is evidently a 
subject, to acquire a competent knowledge of which, necessarily de- 
mands a long residence in the country, and an accurate and critical 
acquaintance with its language. I shall therefore content myself, as I 
have hitherto done, with communicating faithfully, such superficial 
information as I was enabled to obtain, respecting the refigion of Tibet, 
and with delineating what occurred to my own immediate observation, 
respecting its external forms. 

It seems, then, to be the schismatical offspring of the religion of the 
Hindoos, deriving its origin from one of the followers of that faith, a 
disciple of Budh, who first broached the doctrine which now prevails 
over the wide extent of Tartary. It is reported to have received its 
earliest admission, in that part of Tibet bordering upon India, (whicii 
from hence became the seitt of the sovereign Lamas) to have traversed 
over Mantchieux Tartary, and to have been ultimately disseminated 
over China and Japan. Though it differs from the Hindoo in many of 
its outward forms, yet it still bears a very close affinity with the reli- 
gion of Brahma, in many important particulars. The principal idol in 
the temples of Tibet is Mahamoonie', the Budha of Bengal, who is 
worshipped under these and various other epithets, throughout the 
great extent of Tartary, and among all the nations to the eastward of 
* This term is Sanscrit, and literally signifies Great Saint. 

TIBET. 307 

Jlie Berliampootcr. In the wide extended space over which this faith 
prevails, the same object of veneration is acknowledged under nume- 
rous titles; among others, he is styled Godama or Gowtama, in Assam 
andAva; Samana, in Siam; Amida Buth, in Japan; Fohi, in China; 
Budha and Shakamuna, in Bengal and Hindostan ; Dherma Raja and 
Mahamoonie, in Bootan and Tibet. Durga and Kali ; Ganeish, the 
emblem of wisdom ; and Cartikeah, with his numerous heads and 
arms, as well as many other deities of the Hindoo mythology, have 
also a place in their assemblage of gods. 

The same places of popular esteem or religious resort, as I have 
already hinted, are equally respected in Tibet and in Bengal , Praag, 
Cashi, Durgeedin, Saugor, and Jagarnaut, are objects of devout pil- 
grimage ; and I have seen loads of the sacred water taken from the 
Ganges, travelling over these mountains, (which, by the bye, contribute 
largely to its increase) upon the shoulders of men, whom enthusiasts 
have deemed it worth their while, to hire at a considerable expence, 
for so pious a purpose. 

As far as I am able to judge, respecting their ritual, or ceremonial 
worship, it differs materially from the Hindoo. The Tibetians as- 
semble in chapels, and unite together in prodigious numbers, to per- 
form their religious service, which they chant in alternate recitative 
and chorus, accompanied by an extensive band of loud and powerful 
instruments. So that, whenever I heard these congregations, they 
forcibly recalled to my recollection, both the solemnity, and sound, of 
the Roman Catholic mass. 

The instruments made use of were ail of an enormous size. Trum- 


308 TIBET. 

pets above six feet long; drums stretched over a copper cauldron, 
such as are termed nowbut, in Hindostan ; the gong, a circular Chi- 
nese instrument of thin hammered bell-metal, capable of producing 
a surprising sound; cymbals, hautboys; and a double drum, shallow, 
but of great circumference, mounted upon a tall, slender pedestal, 
which the performer turns with great facility, striking either side 
with a long curved iron, as the piece requires a higher, or a lower 
tone: these, together with the human tibia, and sea conch, a large 
species of the buccinum, compose, for the most part, their religious 
band. Harsh as these instruments, individually taken, might sound to 
a musical ear, yet when joined together in unison, with the voices of 
two or three hundred boys and men, managed with varying modu- 
lation, from the lowest and softest cadence to the loudest swell, they 
produced to my ear an effect extremely grand. 

Other musical instruments are in the hands of the people of Tibet. 
The mother of Teshoo Lama, on my visit to her (which I shall parti- 
cularly describe hereafter), sung to me a very pleasing air, which she 
played at the same time on the guittar, her husband also accompany- 
ing her with the flagelet. 

From many of the prejudices, essentially interwoven with the reli- 
gion of the Hindoos, especially such as relate to their various and 
perplexing distinctions of casts, the Tibetian is almost entirely exempt. 
I was attended by them, with an assiduity and attention, that left me 
little room to suspect the existence of such prejudices. I have been 
served with tea, from the same vessel with the sovereign Lama, for 
this always constituted a part of the ceremonial, at every interview 

TIBET. 309 

Nor, in the great variety of visitors that occasionally came to me, did 
I ever perceive the slightest scruple to partake either of tea, or of other 
liquors, as prepared by my own servants. This I notice, as a trait 
diametrically opposite to the unalterable practice of the Hindoos. A 
Brahman would deem it a profanation of the deepest dye, even to eat 
in the presence of one of an inferior cast ; much more to partake of the 
same repast, with a person of a different religion. A rigid Hindoo, 
though the most needy of his race, would rather suffer death, than 
submit to such disgrace. 

In nothing, however, does there appear so great a difference, as in 
their relictions establishments. 

The religion of the Hindoo, without any acknowledged individual 
superior, and almost without any edifices of magnitude, set apart for 
its professors (at least in Bengal and Hindostan), mixes all alike in the 
common business of the world ; and a promiscuous multitude is con- 
tinually passing before the eye, among whom no external distinction 
of character can be traced, unless by chance you shall discover that 
sacred and discriminating mark, the Zennar, which is a small cord, 
made of the cusa grass, worn next the skin, passing over the shoulder 
to the hip, by the Brahman only. On such a discovery, I have seen 
a clean and well dressed man, come up to another, who had been em- 
ployed as a messenger between two Englishmen, humiliating himself 
before hira with profound respect, touching the ground he trod on, and 
even kissing his slipper, after he had been passing through wet and 
dirty roads. Those who are interested in keeping up the illusion, are 
mixed and blended invariably, with every rank of society ; so that the 


machine, having been once set a going, moves on, in one uniform and 
incessant round : whilst enthusiasm is sufficiently kept alive by the 
frequent recurrence of public festivals^ in which all are seen to take a 
share, celebrating them with the most extravagant pageantry and os- 
tentatious parade. 

The sober and reflecting character of the Tibetians, exhibits a dif- 
ferent picture. Among them, all is system and order. The mind readily 
obeys the superiority it has been accustomed to acknowledge. A 
sovereign Lama, immaculate, immortal, omnipresent, and omniscient, 
is placed at the summit of their fabric. He is esteemed the vicegerent 
of the only God, the mediator between mortals and the Supreme. They 
view him only in the most amiable light, as perpetually absorbed in 
religious duty ; and, when called to bestow attention on mortal beings,, 
as employed only in the benign office of distributing comfort and con- 
solation by his blessing, and in exercising the first of all attributes, 
forgiveness and mercy. He is also the centre of all civil government, 
which derives from his authority all its influence and power. At the 
same time that he is the soul which animates their whole system, a 
regular gradation, from the most venerated Lama, through the whole 
order of Gylongs to the young noviciate, is observed with rigid 

The inferior gradations from the president of a monastery, who is 
always styled Lama, in addition to the name of the station to which 
he belongs, are Gylong, Tohba, and Tuppa. 

On the establishment of the monastery of Teshoo Loomboo, were 
reckoned, at that period, no less than three thousand seven hundred 


Gylongs, for the performance of daily service in the Goomba, or 
temple. Four Lamas, chosen from amongst them, superintend and 
direct their religious ceremonies. 

One is annually elected from among the Gylongs, whose duty, for 
the time being, is that of attending to the due preservation of regula- 
rity and order; he inspects the distribution of provisions ; has a right 
at all times to enter the apartments of the priests ; is present at all re- 
ligious assemblies and processions ; and is armed, as a badge of office, 
with a wand in one hand, and a small brazier of burning incense, pen- 
dent by three chains from the extremity of a staff, in the other. With 
these insignia of his office, he is at liberty to mark any visible inatten- 
tion by slightly burning the party, or by a blow. The terrors of his 
office and his station, devolve, at the expiration of one year, on another 
of the Gylongs ; during his continuance in authority, he is styled 

Youth intended for the service of the monastery, are received into 
the establishment, at the age of eight or ten years ; they are then called 
Tiippa; and are occupied in receiving the instruction suited to their 
age, and the duties for which they are designed. At fifteen they are 
usually admitted of the order of Tuhba, the first step in their religious 
class ; and if, after passing through a careful examination, they are 
found sufficiently qualified, from that of Tohba they are admitted into 
the order oiGijlorig, between the age of twenty-one and twenty-four. 
They then become eligible, according to the weight of tiieir interest, or 
strength of tlieir pretensions, to tlie superintendence of some endowed 
monastery, of which there are multitudes spread all over Tibet, with 

312 TIBET. 

lands assigned to them for their support. In this station, as chief of a 
flock, the superintendent is styled Lama. 

Those who enter the religious order, are enjoined sobriety, forego 
the society of women, and confine themselves to the austere practices 
of the cloister. Of nunneries, as well as monasteries, the number is 
considerable ; and the strictest laws exist, to prevent any woman even 
from accidentally passing a night within the limits of the one, or a 
man within those of the other. Indeed there appears to be a regula- 
tion among them, most completely framed to obviate abuse, and estab- 
lish respect towards the sacred orders of both sexes. 

The nation is divided into two distinct and separate classes, those 
who carry on the business of the world, and those who hold inter- 
course with heaven. No interference of the laity, ever interrupts the 
regulated duties of the clergy. The latter, by mutual compact, lake 
charge of all their spiritual concerns ; and the former, by their labours, 
enrich and populate the state. 

I was one day called to the window by a sudden and loud crash of 
instrumental and vocal music, which struck up at once, at no great 
distance from my apartments. I soon saw a prodigious crowd ad- 
vance, and turn into an avenue of the monastery, whether or not for 
the purpose of acquiring any addition to their party I cannot pro- 
nounce ; but presently they appeared again, and I observed a most 
motley group, composed of a very numerous concourse of spectators, 
as well as a large party of Gylongs, who, as I was told, were engaged 
in the celebration of some religious festival. 

A considerable number of priests advanced by files of two and two, 

TIBET. . 313 

led by a Lama, having a wand in one hand, and in the other a casket 
or brazier of incense, suspended by three metallic chains from the end 
of a long staff, which emitted a thick smoke as the procession moved 

A powerful band of their most noisy instruments immediately fol- 
lowed. First were ten performers with huge trumpets, which they 
sounded, resting one end upon the ground ; next followed twenty men 
with large tabors, a sort of drum about three feet in diameter, fixed by 
the side upon a pedestal, and beaten by a long elastic curved iron: 
then came twenty men with cymbals, and two with the sea shell (buc- 
cinunij, here termed chaunk 

Having entered the most spacious and open street, they began to 
arrange themselves in order. The trumpets took their station upon 
the right ; next them the chaunks, and then the tabors ; the cymbals 
were in front. The Lama stood before the whole band, appearing, 
with his wand, to mark the time, and give them words, which all, ex- 
cept the instrumental performers, chanted to the music. I observed, 
that the performance of this ceremony, continued for near half an hour, 
when they formed their line again, and bent their course, passing by 
the dwelling of Tessaling Lama, a superior of the religious order^ 
towards the extreme limits of the monastery upon the north east. 

Here stood a lofty and broad, but shallow edifice, styled Kugopea, 
filled, as I was informed, with portraits of the sovereign Lamas, and 
with other sacred subjects appertaining to their mythology ; and so- 
lemnly dedicated to the festive celebration of some mystic rites of their 
religion. From this place, after a short pause, the procession moved 

314 TIBET. 

back again, and returned within the precincts of the monastery, where 
having reposited their solemn trappings, the priests retired to their re- 
spective apartments. A view of the dwelUng of TessaHng Lama, with 
the rehgious edifice styled Kugopea, on the north eastern boundary of 
the monastery of Teshoo I^oomboo, is given in the annexed plate**. 

The priests were habited in long robes of yellow cloth, with a co- 
nical cap of the same colour, having flaps to fall down, and cover the 
ears. I notice this peculiarity of colour in their dress, as it is a dis- 
tinction adopted, to mark one of the two religious sects that divide 
almost the whole of Tartary, from Turkistan to the eastern limits of 
this continent. The other colour is red ; and the tribes are known as 
belonging to the red, or the yellow cap. The former differ principally, 
as I understand, from the sectaries of the yellow, in admitting the 
marriage of their priests. But the latter are considered as the most 
orthodox, as well as possessed of far the greatest influence. The Em-- 
peror of China is decidedly a votary of this sect, and he has sanctified 
his preference of the yellow colour, by a sumptuary law, whicli limits 
it to the service of religion, and the imperial use. 

The two sects are distinguished by the appellations of Gyllookpa, 
and Shammar, but the external appearance, or dress of both, is similar, 
except the distinction I have mentioned in the colour of the cap, the 
Gylloopka having adopted yellow, the Shammar red ; a circumstance 
which is strictly attended to, on all occasions of ceremony. Three' 
Lamas are placed at the head of each sect ; Dalai Lama, Teshoo Lama, 
and Taranaut Lama, preside over the Gyllookpa, who have their resi- > 

b Plate XII. ^ 

TIBET. 315 

dence at Pootalah, Teshoo Loomboo, and Kharka. This sect prevails 
over the greatest part of Tibet, and a division of the same, is said to 
be established in a province of the Decan, called Seurra or Serrora. 

In like manner, three Lamas also, Lam' Rimbochay, Lam' Sobroo 
Nawangnamghi, and Lam' Ghassatoo, preside over theShammar; these 
have their residence in Bootan, in separate monasteries, but from the 
limited extent of that country, at no great distance from each other. 
The principal of the Shammiir sect in Tibet, is styled Gongso Rimbo- 
chay, and has his residence at Sakia. 

Great contentions formerly prevailed between the sects Gyllookpa 
and Shammar; and in ancient times the latter is reported to have 
enjoyed the most extensive power. Khumbauk acknowledged its doc- 
trines, whilst those of the Gyllookpa were settled in Kilmauk : the 
monasteries of both, were promiscuously scattered over the face of the 
country, till at length the inhabitants of Kilmauk, the Gyllookpa, 
assembling together a mighty army, waged war against the sectaries 
of Khumbauk, the Shammar, and drove them from their possessions in 
various quarters, more particularly from the neighbourhood of Teshoo 
Loomboo, where they were then fixed in great numbers, and where 
they finally established their own authority. Tiie Gyllookpa having 
thus displaced their opponents from their strongest post, where they had 
formed a large settlement, now razed it to the ground, and left not an 
habitation standing : but from the ruins arose the monastery of Teshoo 
Loomboo. After its establishment, the superiority of Teshoo Lama 
was finnly fixed, and the power of the Gyllookpa soon attained its 
highest ascendency, in consequence of the Emperor of China's having 


516 TIBET. 

declared in its favour, and adopted for himself the distinction of the 
yellow hat. This completely turned the balance towards the sectaries 
of Gyllookpa, while those of the Shammar, no longer capable of main- 
taining their ground, were under the necessity of retiring where they 
might be permitted to enjoy a peaceful and uninterrupted station. 

The tract of country bordering on Tibet towards the south, marked 
by a line inhospitable and intemperate in the extreme, which was 
passed over by the Shammar, was found, on examination, capable of 
affording them a residence, and shelter from their adversaries. Here 
then it was, that they established themselves, and fixed their abode, 
while others, styled Dukba, still live in tents and tend their flocks, 
rambling from place to place. 

I frequently observed many of the ancient and idle inhabitants of this 

place, loiter away much of their time, in basking in the sun, upon the 

house tops ; from whence I inferred, that the interests and occupations 

of domestic life were extremely limited. My friend Goorooba, who was 

a humane, intelligent, good creature as could exist, used to pass many 

hours in the day, lounging upon the terrace, and having stripped his 

shoulders of the thick mantle that he wore, turned his back to the 

sun's rays, as if he derived from it, the most friendly and genial 

influence. His lips, I could frequently perceive, moved with great 

rapidity; but for what purpose I cannot pronounce : I gave him credit, 

however, for his prayers. During this time, he was for the most part 

employed in rolling up between his fingers little pellets of dough, 

which he chucked to ravens perched upon the walls ; and so familiar 

were these birds, that they came near enough to catch them before 

TIBET. -317 

they fell to the ground. They had acquired indeed such an apparent 
intimacy with man, that they would sometimes take these pellets even 
from his hand ; Avhile kites and eagles kept at a loftier distance, and 
soared above, watching where they should descend next, and share 
with dogs and ravens in the funeral obsequies. 

The tribute of respect is paid, in this region, to the manes of the 
dead, in various ways. The sovereign Lamus are deposited entire, in 
shrines prepared for tiieir remains, which ever after are looked upon 
as sacred, and visited with religious awe. The bodies of inferior 
Lamas are usually burnt, and their ashes preserved with great care in 
little metallic idols, which have places assigned them in their sacred 
cabinets. Common subjects are treated with less ceremony ; some of 
them are carried to lolty eminences, where, after having been disjointed, 
and the limbs divided, they are left a prey for ravens, kites, and other 
carnivorous birds. Others, with less respect, are committed to the 
usual receptacle of the dead. The last, but less frequent, mode of 
disposing of the dead, is committing them to the waters of the river. 
Burial, that is, inhuming the corpse entire in the earth, is altogether 

On one side of the monastery of Teshoo Loomboo I saw the place, 
the Golgotha, if I may so call it, to which they convey their dead. 
It was a spacious area, enclosed on one part by the perpendicular 
rock, and on the others by lofty walls, raised probably with a view 
to seclude from public observation, the disgusting objects contained 
within them. At the top it was totally uncovered, so as to be per- 
fectly open to the birds ; and at the bottom a narrow passage was left 

318 TIBET. 

through the walls, near their foundation, for the sole purpose of admit- 
ting dogs, or other beasts of prey. On the rock above, a platform 
overhung the inclosure, which had been constructed for the conveni- 
ency of precipitating the dead bodies with greater ease, over the walls, 
into the area. And here, I understood, the only rites performed, in 
honour of the dead, were merely such as tended to facilitate the de- 
struction of the body by dogs, or birds of prey. But though this was 
the general receptacle, yet there were some who declined the use of 
it, and conveyed their friends to the summit of some neighbouring 
hillj where, 1 was told, they disjointed and mangled the dead body, 
that it might become a more easy prey to carnivorous birds. I con- 
cluded, that there was a strong prejudice in their minds, of some idea 
of pollution attached to " being given to the dogs,"' which was suffi- 
cient to create a prelerence of the contrary practice. 

In Tibet, as well as in Bengal, an annual festival is kept in honour of 
the dead. On the 29th of October, as soon as the evening drew on, 
and it became dark, a general illumination was displayed upon the 
summits of all the buildings in the monastery ; the tops also of the 
houses upon the plain, as well as in the most distant villages, scattered 
among the clusters of willows, were in the same manner lighted up 
with lamps, exhibiting all together, a brilliant and splendid spectacle. 
The night was dark, the weather calm, and the lights burnt with a 
clear and steady flame. The Tibetians reckon these circumstances of 
the first importance, as, on the contrary, they deem it a most evil 
omen if the weather be stormy, and their lights extinguished by the 
wind or rain. 

TIBET. 319 

It is worthy of notice, how materially an effect depends upon a pre- 
viously declared design, and how diametrically opposite the emotions 
may be, although produced by appearances exactly similar. In 
England, I had been accustomed to esteem general illuminations, as 
the strongest expression of public joy ; I now saw them exhibited 
as a solemn token of melancholy remembrance, an awful tribute 
of respect paid to the innumerable generations of the dead. The 
darkness of the night, the profound tranquillity and silence, inter- 
rupted only by the deep and slowly-repeated tones of the nowbut, 
trumpet, gong, and cymbal, at different intervals ; the tolling of bells, 
and the loud monotonous repetition of sentences of prayer, sometimes 
heard when the instruments were silent ; were all so calculated, by 
their solemnity, to produce serious reflection, that I really believe no 
human ceremony could possibly have been contrived, more effectually 
to impress the mind with sentiments of awe. In addition to this exter- 
nal token of solemn retrospect, acts of beneficence performed during 
this festival, are supposed to have peculiar merit, and all persons are 
called upon, according to their ability, to distribute alms, and to feed 

the poor. 

This is a festival of equal celebrity in Bengal and Hindostan, with 
both Mohammedans and Hindoos ; by the former it is called Shubi- 
bauraut, by the latter Cheraug-pooja. 

Being governed in all the concerns of life, by an awful regard to 
the dictates of superstition, it is no wonder that we find this people 
placing implicit confidence in a series of lucky and unlucky uays. 
Devoted to astrology, they yield a willing homage to its professors. 

320 TIBET. 

Hence we find no paident traveller ever attempting to undertake a 
journey, without previously appealing to this authority, and endea- 
vouring to obtain an auspicious presage. The same signal of favour 
is deemed indispensably requisite in every important enterprise, and 
the same wary circumspection enters equally into all the more minute 
concerns of domestic life. The union of the sexes, and the giving 
names to infants, are neither of them events to be accomplished without 
a regular appeal to the same decisive oracle. 

Among that order of men, to whom the due performance of every 
ceremony connected with their religion is committed, some ai"e found 
who are peculiarly skilled in this obscure science ; and the declaration 
of its decisions belongs, of course, to the discreet, initiated Gylong. 

I cannot here enumerate the various modes of seeking out some 
decisive presage, which they usually practice. Tlie sortes sanctorum 
is a pious and venerated appeal : in trivial affairs, the mind is often 
governed by a casual cast of the die; and hence, dice are almost 
always found to constitute an appendage to a Tartar dress. 

The custom of these regions obliged me, sometimes, to have recourse 
to the oracular denunciations of my attendant Gylong ; which indeed 
I had little difficulty in doing, as I found he had the consideration 
seldom to suffer his decisions to oppose my wishes. I consequently 
thought it prudent to travel as he directed, and never commenced a 
journey without his previous concurrence. I soon learned to confide 
in his discretion, and he never failed to calculate for me, both every 
auspicious and inauspicious presage. 

The same superstition that influences their view of the affairs of 

TIBET. 321 

the world, pervades equally their general calculations. On this prin- 
ciple it is, that they frame their common calendar of time. I have one 
now in my possession; and, as far as I can understand it, from what 
has been explained to me, a recapitulation of lucky and unlucky times, 
constitutes the chief merit of the work. Cheeb Lobo was the compiler 
of this almanack, or Dalow. The months, Down, commencing with 
January, are called Tumba; Gneba; Sumba; Jheba; Gnabba; Truba; 
Toomba ; Gheiba; Gooba; Chooba; Chucheba; Chuneba. 

The days, Che, are reckoned from the appearance of the new moon, 
in regular succession, till it shews itself again. 

New moon, Che-cheic ; 2, Che-gnea ; 3, Che-soom ; 4, Che-zea , 
b,Che-gna; 6,Che-tru; 7, Che-toon: S,Che-ghe; 9, Che-goo; 10, Che- 
chutumbha ; 11, Che-chiicheic ; 1% Che-cJtiignea ; \3, Che-chiisum : 
1 4 , Che-chuzea ; 15, Che-chugna ; 16, Che-chulrii ; 17, Che-chuloon ; 
l8,Che-chughe; 19, Che-chugoo ; 20, Che-gnea chutam-bha; 2,1, Che- 
gneacheic; 22, Che gneagnea; 23, Che-gneasoom ; 24, Che-gnea z ea ; 
25, Che-gneagna; 26, Che-gnealru ; 21, Che-gnealoon ; 28, Che-gnea- 
ghe; 29, Che-gneagoo. 

Their year, Lo, is lunar. The moon is called JDowa; the sun. 
Mima. The parts of the day ; evening, pheroo ; night, nooni ; morn- 
ing, ioobo ; noon, neimphee. Their computation of time is, in con- 
formity with the general practice of the East, by a cycle of twelve 
years. I will subjoin their appellations, as well as in Persia, China, 
Tartary, and Japan. 





Persia. China. Tartar tj. Japan. 

I Pcheup 






2 Lang 






3 Tah 






4 Yuh 

Sliubpurra Tou 




5 Bru 






6 Prul 






7 Ta 






8 Lu 






9 Prehu 






10 Pchea 






11 Kee 






12 Pha 






It Is asserted that the art of printing has, hom a very remote age, 
been practised in Tibet, though hmited in its use, as far as I could 
learn, by the powerful influence of superstition. It has hitherto re- 
mained appropriated principally to sacred works, and to the service of 
learning and religion. Copies on these recondite subjects are multi- 
plied, when required, not by the aid of moveable types, but by means 
of set forms, having the subjects of their works carved with appro- 
priate embellishments on blocks of wood, with which they impress 
their matter upon thin narrow slips of paper, fabricated among them- 

TIBET. 323 

selves from the fibrous root of a small shrub, and the leaf bears the 
impression of the characters designed for it, on each side. The leaves 
of a book, when they are completed, are loosely put together, placed 
upon each other, and enclosed between two equal slips of wood as 

The southern Indians, who dwell along the margin of the sea, and 
never, I believe, possessed the art of printing, engrave their works 
upon the recent leaf of the palmira tree', which, growing at the extre- 
mity of a long footstalk, is naturally formed in narrow folds, like a 
half extended fan, and is easily divided into segments^ about two 
inches in width- In correspondence to the purpose required, the fairest 
parts of the leaf are selected, and uniformly shaped by means of a 
sharp knife. On either side of these narrow slips, letters are traced or 
engraven, by means of a strong steel stylus, which makes an indelible 
impression; though sometimes, to render the writing more distinctly 
legible, the traces of the point are lightly powdered, by the dust col- 
lected from the fume of their midnight lamps. This simple method of 
transmitting records to future times, is practised in those countries 
alone, in which the palm tree thrives. The leaf must be used while 
fresh ; its fibrous substance seems indestructible by vermin. 

The printed and written character, appropriate to works of learning 
and religion, is styled, in the language of Tibet, the Ucken ; that in 
which business and correspondence is carried on, is called the Uinin. 
As a specimen of the style and manner of writing, a short letter, the 
fac simile of one in my possession, received from the Daeb Raja, is 

' Borassus flabelliformis. 

T t 

324 TIBET. 

given in the annexed Plate XHI, written in the Omin character : under- 
neath follows a literal interpretation of its contents : a few words are 
also subjoined in the Uchen character. The letters in both run from 
left to right : the vowels are expressed by marks placed above or be- 
neath the consonant, with which they are sounded. 

No. 1. 


To Mr. Turner, Saheb 

Nambar Deo, of the tribe of Paling Dukba, the greatest, most high 
and mighty Lion of all the quarters of the world — these. With the 
Deo all is well : and invocations are continually offering for the well- 
being of him, whose employment is the protection of the humble, and 
from whose boundless knowledge nothing is concealed. At this time, 
a letter and presents, bearing my seal, are transmitted, as memorials of 
regard, to the director and disposer of all public affairs, the Governor 
General. My wishes are expressed upon an accompanying paper, 
written in the Bengal language. Let your friendship be perpetually 
preserved in memoryj as heretofore. This is my desire. 

2^ n I I CI ( ( Ccy^ I 

ni i : ^Jmun i 





Vji ;^,i|pniia(tccyvi 

T/4\iui^>tliotmc>^rTininfcaima7iiuni^jlT^ia\u^^ ' i««^MnjTTi7^^j7;^n„^,^, y^T^n 


r" «t1ia"iii^ana^|ciJc\»ui ^inii 


^7^<r^nji^ruia^A,|aiz=\ir»^<ri«4HUi ^i\<cuma««jlia-ic«4^f^^aj nuientkjnji Csi"l i^l 'ia/>^cooi 

tr^u^lLjVl^tcitlUt WaMllrmavruM 

A- r> ^ '^ 





A//«^«yj/««rf. r;A.»^rt *f i;fW,.Vicoif'ariAf"a 

TIBET. 52 



No. % Oom maunie paimee oom ; the sacred sentence repeated upon 
their rosaries; in the same general use, both in Bootan and 

3. Lama Rimbochay ; High Pontiff, Chief Priest: 

4. Punjin Rimbochay ; Great Apostohc Master ; the mitred pro- 

fessors of rehgion. 

5. Gylong; Monks. 

6. Anneei Nuns. 

526 TIBET. 


Return of the Regent — Time appointed for my Departure — rapid 
Advance of JVinter — Audience of Leave — Soopoon Choomboo — 
farewell Visits from numerous Friends — prepare to leave Teshoo 
Loomboo — previous Observance of some superstitious Ceremonies. 
— ^^ — Mohammedans — Hindoos. — Benevolence displayed at 
Teshoo Loomboo. — Tsondue. — Skating. — Terpaling. — Intei'view 
with Teshoo Lama — Manner and Conduct of the Lama — his Age 
— Parents — Gyeung — her splendid Dress — Gyap — Invitation to 
an Entertainment — Officers of the Lamas Household — Impres- 
sion of projound Respect. — Veneration entertained for the Memory 
of the late Lama — his humane, intelligent, concilialing Character. 
— Amiable Manners of Mr. Bogle. — Parents of the Lama — Pavi- 
lion — Entertainment. — Gyap — his Delight in manly Sports — 
his siiperiur Skill — polite Offer to instruct me in the Arts he prac- 
tised. — Repast — raiv Meat — Gyeung, particularly abstemious. 
— Music — Vocal — Instrumental. — Conclusion of the Entertain- 
ment. — fVait upon the Lama — Votaries of the Lama — Calmuc 
Tartars — liberal Offerings. — Last Visit to the Teshoo Lama, and 
his Parents. 

TIBET. 327 

1 HE Regent returned to the palace on Wednesday, the 19th of No- 
vember, after an absence of nearly a month. I had an interview with 
him the following day, in the chamber adjoining to the gallery of idols. 
Congratulations on his return, and mutual complimentary inquiries, 
engaged much of the time allotted to this meeting. 

I had suffered a slight indisposition during his absence; and his 
attentive inquiries, with the affectionate concern he expressed, con- 
vinced me, that no event of the smallest importance could occur, during 
his absence, without his being immediately acquainted with it. He 
rejoiced that I had so soon recovered ; and said much of the severity 
of the cold in the country, he had visited, which had compelled him to 
change his habit, and put on warmer clothing. " There/' said he, " I 
became a Dukba, or citizen of the world ; now, I am again a Gylong." 

The next time I had an opportunity of meeting the Regent, he ap- 
peared anxious, from apprehensions of the severity of the approaching 
season, to fix a time for my return to Bengal, lest an excessive fall of 
snow, should put a stop to all communication between Tibet and 
Bootan, and render travelling impracticable. He thought it proper, 
therefore, not to delay appointing an early period for my dismission. 
I had afterwards the opportunity of many interviews , but as these 
chiefly related to the public business on which I came, the result will 
be better seen in the report of my mission, transmitted to the Governor 

I waited upon the Regent, on Sunday, the 30th of November, in the 
hall of audience, where, on the first day after my arrival, I had been 

528 TIBET. 

originally introduced to him : Soopoon Clioomboo was at the same 
time present. I received from his own hand his dispatches for the 
Governor General, and the presents designed for him, Avere spread out 
before me. He begged me to bear in remembrance his unchanged and 
steady friendship; to state the misfortune of the Lama's having thought 
lit to withdraw himself from the world, and their consequent helpless 
situation ; as he was now only an infant, unable to comfort them with 
his counsel and advice; but, added he, be not cast down; when he 
shall become of age, and resume the Musnud, all will be well. 

On the following day, I again waited upon the Regent, and I had 
not long been with him, when he accosted me in the following 
words : 

" I had yesterday a vision of our tutelary deity, and to me it was a 
day replete with much interesting and important matter. This guar- 
dian power, who inspires us with his illuminations, on every momen- 
tous and great occasion, indulged me with a divination, from which 
1 have collected that every thing will be well. Set your heart at rest, 
therefore, for though a separation is about to take place between us, 
our friendship will not cease to exist, but, through the favour of an 
interposing providence, you may rest assured it will increase, and 
terminate eventually in that which will be for the best." I now took 
my leave, after receiving many friendly exhortations, and kind pro- 
fessions of regard. 

The arrangements for my departure being completed, I waited upon 
Soopoon Choomboo, the minister and cup-bearer of the late Lama, to 
lake my final leave ; and was charged also with dispatches from him 

T I ii ET. 329 

to the Governor General. I now received the visits of many friends, 
who had sliewn me much civility during my residence here, and by 
their kind attention had relieved the soHtary gloom of the monastic life 
1 led, which indeed, except that I was exempt from daily attendance 
upon the sacred duties, to which the Gylongs were obliged by their 
vows, was equally dull and uniform. But I could not be insensible 
of the obliging and attentive assiduity with which all who had access 
within the monastery, attempted to beguile my time : either by vari- 
ous conversation, by instruction in their language, or by amusino- me 
with the games of which they had any knowledge. Amongst these, 
chess held a distinguished place, and here I often met with a skilful 

I commenced my return towards Bengal, on Tuesday, the 2d of 
December. The last visits of friendship and ceremony detained me 
at Teshoo Loomboo till the morning was far advanced ; and it was 
past ten o'clock when I quitted the palace. I could not, however, bid 
adieu to the place, till, in conformity with the custom of these regions, 
I had bound a white silk scarf round the capitals of each of the four 
columns, that stood within the apartment I had occupied. I stopped 
not, to examine nicely, the obligations to this ceremony. If it were 
meant as a tribute of gratitude, it was certainly due to the comfortable 
accommodation this dwelling had afforded me. If ii were the solemn 
designation of a long farewell, it equally accorded with my state of 
mind at the moment. 

Having descended to the street, we found our horses saddled at the 
door, and a multitude of beggars assembled round them. Our conduc- 

350 TIBET. 

tor would willingly have silenced their importunities, by the active ap- 
plication of a long whip, which he was just upon the point of exercising; 
when I stopped his hand, and, being not altogether unprovided for the 
encounter^ I opened a passage amidst the crowd, to the right and left, 
by the most effectual and potent of all instruments, the influence of 
money. It had the power of magic. The road was cleared in an 
instant ; and while the eager mendicants were busied in scrambling for 
the different pieces I had thrown to them, we made the best of our time 
to pursue our way. Though they were less numerous, yet all along 
our route this day, knots of beggars repeatedly beset us. Many for 
the love of God, and his prophet, solicited alms of us in Persian. I 
was told, they came from Turkestan and Cashmeer. Some Mogul 
fakeers spoke the language of Hindostan; one of them told me he had 
come even from Surat, and naturally enough inquired of me intelli- 
gence respecting his friends, whom he had left, he said, when almost 
a child. 

Thus I unexpectedly discovered, where I had constantly seen the 
round of life, moving in a tranquil regular routine, a mass of indi- 
gence and idleness, of which I had no idea. But yet it by no means 
surprised me, when I considered that wherever indiscriminating cha- 
rity exists, it will never want objects on which to exercise its bounty, 
but will always attract expectants more numerous, than it has the 
means to gratify. No human being can suffer want at Teshoo Loom- 
V » boo. It is on this humane disposition that a multitude even of 

Mussulmen, of a frame probably the largest and most robust in the 
world, place their reliance for the mere maintenance of a feeble life; 

T J B E T. 331 

and besides these, I am informed that no less than three hundred 
Hindoos, Goseins, and Sunniasses, are daily fed at this place, by the 
Labia's bounty. 

We travelled leisurely through the valley, and twice halted to take 
refreshment, which our conductor had providently secured on the 
road. Our resting place was the open plain; a carpet spread upon 
the ground serving us to sit upon, and a bright blue sky being our 
only canopy. The weather was tranquil, and the genial warjnth of the 
sun most highly grateful. 

Our halting place was called Tsondeu, which is reckoned ten miles 
from Teshoo Loomboo. It was an easy stage, and, as we made an 
early meal, our afternoon was long. I walked through a grove of 
willows, where we had pitched our tents, upon the skirts of this vil- 
lage, and found upon its borders a shallow brook, Avhose waters were 
completely frozen, and what was my joy, when I found the ice firm 
enough to bear my weight ! My skates were immediately sent for, and 
I had the satisfaction of skating for two hours upon a piece of ice, which 
though narrow, was tolerably smooth, and above a mile in length. It 
was a matter of surprise to most of the spectators, to view the appa- 
rent ease and velocity with which we moved ; though some who were 
with me had accompanied the Teshoo Lama to Pekin, and seen, among 
the splendid spectacles, exhibited by order of the Emperor, for his 
amusement, skating in all its forms. They mentioned to me, in par- 
ticular, one circumstance, which was strongly impressed upon their 
memories. This was a match between a skater and a horseman, for^ 
whom a good road had been made, by the side of a large sheet of ice ; 


332 T I R E T. 

but in which, to their utter astonishment, the skater won the race. 
But, however the recollection of this feat might lessen the admiration 
of some, the majority of our party had never seen this mode of moving 
upon the ice before; and most certainly Mr. Saunders and myself 
enjoyed the distinction of having been the first of our nation, that ever 
signalized themselves by skating in Tibet, or, perhaps, in the whole 
circuit of the globe, in the parallel of twenty-seven and twenty-eight 
degrees of northern latitude. 

We thought it sufficiently early, on Wednesday, the 3d of Decem- 
ber, to commence travelling at nine o'clock. The air was still keen, 
and it had frozen hard during the night. Our road inclined to the 
west, and here branched off from that, which led immediately to 
Bengal. We had proceeded but a short distance, when we entered a 
narrow defile, passing through which, we found bare and lofty hills, 
without a single tree, or even any vestige of vegetation visible upon 
them. In some divisions among these hills, were seen fulls of «ater, 
or torrents, arrested by the frost, and converted into fixed columiiS of 
solid ice, of various forms and size, immoveably stationed till the re- 
turn of spring. A small stream of water had flowed between these 
hills, immediately by the road side; but that also was fixed, I was 
informed, until they should experience warmer weather. 

We continued to advance through this narrow valley, until we 
came to the foot of the hill, upon the summit of which was situated 
Terpaling, ten miles from Tsondeu : we then turned short to our 
right. The road was of steep ascent, and it was about noon when we 
entered the g ites of the monastery, which not long since had becu 


erected for the reception and accommodation of'Teshoo Lama. He 
resides in a palace in the centre of the monastery, which occupies 
about a mile of ground in circumference, and the whole is encom- 
passed by a wall. The several buildings serve for the accommodation 
of three hundred Gylongs, appointed to perform religious service with 
Teshoo Lama, until he shall be removed to the monastery, and Mus- 
nud of Teshoo Loomboo. It is unusual to make visits, either here or 
in Bootan, on the day of arrival ; wc therefore rested this day, only 
receiving and sending messages of compliment. 

On the morning of Tuesday, the 4 th of December, I was allowed to 
visit Teshoo Lama, and found him placed, in great form, upon his 
Musnud; on the left side stood his father and mother; on the other 
the officer particularly appointed to wait upon his person. The 
Musnud is a iubric of silk cushions, piled one upon the other, until 
the seat is elevated to the height of four feet from the floor ; a 
piece of embroidered silk covered the top, and the sides also were 
decorated with pieces of silk, of various colours, suspended from 
the upper edge, and hanging down. At the particular request of 
Teshoo Lama's father, Mr. Saunders and myself wore the English 

I advanced, and, as the custom is, presented a white pelong scarf, 
and delivered also into the Lama's hands, the Governor General's pre- 
sent of a string of pearls, and coral, while the other things were set 
down before him. Having performed the ceremony of exchanging 
scarfs with his father and mother, we took our seats on the right hand 
©f Teshoo Lama. 

53 4 TIBET. 

A multitude of persons, all those who had been ordered to escort 
me, were admitted to his presence, and allowed to make their pros- 
trations. The infant Lama turned towards tliem, and received them, 
all, with a cheerful look of complacency. His father then addressed 
me in the Tibet language, in words which were explained to me by 
the interpreter; he said that " Teshoo Lama had been used to remain 
at rest until this time of the day, but he had awoke very early this 
morning, and could not be prevailed upon to remain longer at his re- 
pose, for, added he, the English gentlemen M-ere arrived, and he could 
not sleep." During the time we were in the room, I observed that the 
Lama's eyes were scarcely ever turned from us, and when our cups 
were empty of tea, he appeared uneasy, and throwing back his head, 
and contracting the skin of his brow, continued to make a noise, for 
he could not speak, until they were filled again. He took some burnt 
sugar out of a golden cup, containing some confectionary, and, stretch- 
ing out his arm, made a motion to his attendants to give them to me. 
He sent some, in like manner, to Mr. Saunders, who' was with me. I 
found myself, though visiting an infant, under the necessity of saying, 
something; for it was hinted to me, that notwithstanding he is unable 
to reply, it is not to be inferred that he cannot understand. However, 
his incapacity of answering, excused me many words, and I briefly 
said, that " the Governor General, on receiving the news of his de- 
cease in China, was overwhelmed with grief and sorrow, and conti- 
nued to lament his absence from the world, until the cloud that had 
overcast the happiness of this nation, was dispelled by his re-appear- 
ance, and then, if possible, a greater degree of joy had taken place. 

TIBET. 335 

than he had experienced of grief, on receiving the first mournful news. 
The Governor anxiously wished that he might long continue to illu- 
mine the world by his presence, and was hopeful that the friendship, 
which had formerly subsisted between them, would not be diminished, 
but rather that it might become still greater than before ; and that by 
his continuing to shew kindness to my countrymen, there might be an 
extensive communication between his votaries, and the dependents of 
the British nation." 

The little creature turned, looking stedfastly towards me, with the 
appearance of much attention while I spoke, and nodded with repeated 
but slow movements of the head, as though he understood and ap- 
proved every word, but could not utter a reply. His parents, who 
stood by all the time, eyed their son with a look of affection, and a smile 
expressive of heartfelt joy, at the propriety of the young Lama's con- 
duct. His whole attention was directed to us ; he was silent and sedate, 
never once looking towards his parents, as if under their influence at 
the time ; and with whatsoever pains, his manners may have been 
so correctly formed, 1 must own that his behaviour, on this occasion, 
appeared perfectly natural and spontaneous, and not directed by any 
external action, or sign of authority. 

The scene, in which I was here brought to act a part, was too new 
and extraordinary, however trivial, or perhaps preposterous, it may 
appear to some, not to claim from me great attention, and consequently 
minute remark. 

Teshoo Lama was at this time eighteen months old. Though he 
was unable to speak a word, he made the most expressive signs, and 

556 T 1 B r T. 

conducted himself with astonishing dignity and decorum. His com- 
plexion was of that hue, which in England we should term rather 
brown, but not without colour. His features were good ; he had small 
black eyes, and an animated expression of countenance ; altogether, I 
thought him one of the handsomest children I had ever seen. 

His mothei-, who stood by him, appeared to be about twenty-five 
years of age ; she was low in person, but rather handsome, though 
possessing a true Tartar countenance. Her complexion was somewhat 
darker than her son's ; she had regular features, black eyes, and a cha- 
racter that particularly distinguishes ladies of rank in Tibet ; the cor- 
ner of the eyelids being extended as far as possible, by artificial means, 
towards the temples. Her hair was black, but scarcely visible, from 
the vast profusion of ornaments that nearly covered it, consisting of 
pearls, rubies, emeralds, and coral. Pearls intermixed with beads of 
gold, and some rubies, constituted the ornaments of her ears. Chap- 
lets of larger gems hung round her neck, among which were balass 
rubies, lapis lazuli, amber, and coral in numerous wreaths, one chap- 
let beneath the other, descending to the waist. Her vest was close 
buttoned round the neck. A girdle embraced it round tlie waist, 
which was fastened by a golden buckle, having a large ruby in the 
centre. A garnet-coloured shawl, wrought with white stars, com- 
pleted her dress, which descended to the knee ; she wore bulgar boots. 
Gyap, the father of the Lama, was dressed in a yellow satin gar- 
ment, wrought with gold, and emblazoned with the imperial dragon. 
Our conversation was extremely limited; the Lama's father said, that 
he had instructions from Teshoo Loomboo to entertain me four days, 

TIBET. 537 

and he pressed mc so earnestly to stay one more, on his account, 
that I could not dechne the invitation. The place he named for our 
meeting on the morrow, was just beyond the borders of the monas- 
tery, in a small pavilion, which had been erected for his occasional 
retirement and recreation ; the use of the bow, in which he delighted, 
being deemed indecorous within the limits of the monastery, as indeed 
was every kind of idle sport, that seemed inconsistent with the cha- 
racter of the place. 

In the course of the afternoon I was visited by two officers of the 
Lama's household, immediately attendant on his person. They sat 
and conversed with me some time, inquiring after Mr. Bogle, whom 
both of them had seen, and then remarking how extremely fortunate 
it was, that the young Lama had regarded us with so very particular 
notice : they observed the strong partiality of the former Teshoo Lama 
for our nation, and said that the present Lama often tried already, to 
utter the name of the English. I encouraged the thought, hoping that 
they would teach the prejudice to strengthen with his increasing age; 
and they assured me that should he, when he began to speak, happen 
to have forgotten it, they would early teach him to repeat the name 
of Hastings. 

Here let me pause a while, to mark the strong and indelible impres- 
sion of respect and affection, which the meek deportment and ingra- 
tiating manners of the late Lama, seemed to have left upon the minds 
of all his followers. To these fascinating qualities, more than to the 
influence even of his sacred character, must be attributed the high 
veneration with which his memory is still cherished by his grateful 

338 TIBET. 

countrymen. By the most amiable exercise of extensive power, 
he won the hearts of all his votaries. His public conduct, on all 
occasions, bore undistinguished testimony to the benevolent pro- 
pensities of his nature ; and clearly proved that all his actions were 
uniformly prompted, by a desire of extending happiness to all around 
him. His humane and considerate temper was eminently displayed in 
his interposition with the English government, on behalf of the people 
of Bootan ; and, in the opinion of his followers, this successful exer- 
cise of his influence, reflected the brightest lustre on his sacred name. 
But it is not to the partial and interested representations of his own 
votaries alone, that we are to look for a favourable delineation of the 
character of the late Lama. His manners are reported by Mr. Bogle 
to have been in the highest degree engaging. He represents his dis- 
position as open, candid, and generous in the extreme. In familiar 
conversation he describes him as not merely easy, but even facetious 
and entertaining. He says, that his thirst of knowledge was unbound 
cd; and that from the numerous travellers, who on religious, or even 
commercial motives^ daily resorted lo Teshoo Loomboo, he sought all 
occasions of extending liis information ; while at the same time, he was 
equally free in communicating the knowledge, Avhich he himself pos- 
sessed. His whole character, indeed, so powerfully excited the admira- 
tion of Mr. Bogle, as to have drawn from liim this enthusiastic, but 
sincere expression: " I endeavoured to discover in him some of those 
defects, which are inseparable from humanity; but he is so universally , 
beloved that I had no success, and not a man could find in his heart 
to speak ill of hira." 

TIBET. 339 

That the effect produced on the mind of the Lama, by a disposition 
and manners perfectly congenial with his own, was gi'eat and power- 
ful, cannot excite our surprise. Indeed, towards whatever object it 
was directed, the patient and laborious exercise of the powers of a 
strong mind, in my predecessor, Mr. Bogle, was always accompanied 
by a most engaging mildness and benevolence, which marked every 
part of his character. I am thoroughly aware of the very favourable 
impression, which these amiable qualities left behind them in the 
court of Teshoo Loomboo ; and this circumstance, whilst it reflects 
the highest honour on that judgment, which, free from the bias of 
partial considerations, could select its agent with such nice discrimi- 
nation, places, at the same time, in the strongest point of view, the 
salutary influence of conciliating manners, in men, who are employed 
as agents, or ministers, to independent states ; to those more especially, 
among whom the British character is imperfectly understood, or en- 
tirely unknown. 

The following day, about noon, I met the parents of the Lama, 
Gyap and Gyeung, at the appointed station, where, after the accus- 
tomed ceremonies of exchanging scarfs, we took our seats with them. 
Gyap spoke of the honour, Teshoo Lama had done him, in condescend- 
ing to enter into his family, and said that it was only in consequence 
of this high favour, that he had the pleasure of seeing and knowing 
the English gentlemen. He declared himself propitious to our cause, 
and was hopeful that our friendship might be lasting, and increase 
day by day. I could not but join most heartily in the same desire. 
The usual refreshment of Tartar tea was now introduced; some general 


540 TIBET. 

conversation then ensued, and after awhile Gyeung withdrew. Gyap 
soon found occasion to commence the history of his fortunes. " Lassa, 
said he, is my native place, my home ; but some years have now 
elapsed since, vexed by hostile parly, I was obliged to relinquish it, 
and come hastily away. Hence I was compelled, in my haste, to 
abandon a variety of articles, which I had collected for my amusement, 
and a fine collection that I possessed of my native arms." He then 
enumerated to me his particular predilections, that he excelled in 
drawing the bow, delighted in martial exercises, and was well skilled in 
the management of the horse ; that he was surpassed by no one of his 
countrymen in mechanical contrivances, and that architecture also had 
been his study. " Thus attracting their jealousy, continued he, my 
qualifications soon drew upon me the enmity of the men of Lassa. 
They strove, by all means, to prejudice the Ambas (Chinese officers) 
against me, for no other reason, but my superiority to them, in all 
works of skill and ingenuity. Thus sorely pressed, I applied to Dalai 
Lama for his advice. He recommended me instantly to retire from 
Lassa, and seek protection from Teshoo Lama, to whom he would 
write letters in my favour. I did so, and here I have remained ever 
since. It was once in contemplation with me, to abandon, altogether, 
my native home, and seek protection from the Governor General of 
Bengal; but it happened that my design was changed, partly by the 
advice of Teshoo Lama, and partly by apprehensions of the intempe- 
rate heat of India: yet, driven from my home, I was long dissatisfied 
with the prospects around me, and the strength of my predilection 
lor the place where 1 was born, still increased with my absence from 

TIBET. 341 

it." He then observed upon the dispositions of the chiefs of Lassa. 
He said they were crafty designing men, of fair exterior, but deep and 
black at heart ; and he concluded this confidential communication by 
observing, that without mutual confidence, friendship could not sub- 
sist. I extolled his patience under the wrongs he had borne, and re- 
commended him to wait the event of time ; when Teshoo Lama should 
be fixed in power, and the unworthiness of the hostile party dismiss 
them, from the enjoyment of that influence, of which they had made so 
bad an use; it might then be hoped, that better subjects would be found 
to succeed to their place. With such consolatory counsels I endea- 
voured to sooth his anxieties. 

I found Gyap to be not only a great lover of manly sports and 
martial exercises, but also a perfect connoisseur on the subject of arms. 
His collection was exhibited, and he liberally descanted on the pecu- 
liar merits of each weapon. There were arrows famed for their remote 
and steady flight, which had names inscribed on each of them, and 
places assigned to them in a quiver, in separate cells. He honoured 
me with a present of three of these, and a large Chinese bow, near 
five feet in length, made of the horns of buffaloes, which he had used, 
he said, for many years. It was then perfect, but I feared, as it has 
since happened, that the climate of Bengal would destroy its form, 
though, with the greatest care, I kept it for some time uninjured. His 
own favourite bows were of bamboo, a species produced in the moun- 
tains bordering upon Tibet, of great strength, and almost entirely 
solid. The bow is framed from two pieces of bamboo, split off next 
the outside; the inner sides of which, after being well fitted, are 

342 TIBET. 

united together, by many strong bands. Gyap put one of these bows 
into my hands, which when bent, was of extreme tension. I was un- 
able to draw the arrow, but taking it himself, he pointed it at a mark 
upon the opposite hill, at the distance, as I judged, of five or six hun- 
dred yards. I could not trace the flight of the arrow, though steadily 
intent upon it, when he discharged it. 

He peculiarly excelled in drawing the bow, and was polite enough 
to say, that if I would pass some months with him at Terpaling, we 
might practise together, and daily vary our amusements. I should 
learn from him the science of archery, and, in return, teach him the 
use of fire arms. I had an opportunity of exhibiting some skill with 
a rifle, but as it was a plain piece, I presented him with a fusee I had, 
which was better ornamented. It seems that the improvement of fire- 
locks is unknown here, all their pieces being fitted with a match. 
While we were engaged in these sports, Gyap informed me, that 
there were men in Tibet, who could pass the deepest water courses 
in an erect posture, so as perfectly to preserve their arms from being 
touched by the water, and use them if it became necessary, as they 
sunk not deeper than the waist : this I conceived to be the art, of 
which I had heard, of treading the water; and it must, if practicable, be 
a useful military lesson. He mentioned also the dexterity with which 
an horseman here, would dismount his adversary, particularly when in 
pursuit, by means of a running noose. 

Conversation, and various amusements, occupied our time, until 
we were called to partake of a repast. It was prepared in the pavi- 
lion, where we found Gyeung seated ready to receive us. Our benches, 


for they use no tables here, were abundantly covered with joints of 
cold meat, chiefly mutton ; some of which had been dried by frost, 
some boiled, and some raw. Of the two first I could eat most heartily, 
but I could never conquer my prejudice against meat perfectly raw ; 
and neither the example nor the praises of my friends^ could at ail 
prevail upon me to partake of their favourite dish, thougii Gyap, with 
much apparent relish, picked many a raw rib, clear to the bone. Our 
beverage was cold chong, a liquor which, in this country, is never 
taken warm. A desert of dried fruits, when the meat was taken away, 
concluded the repast. Gyeung fed sparingly, eating only fruit; she 
was restricted, she said, while suckling the Lama, from all animal 
food, as well as from the use of spirits, and she complained heavily 
of the deprivation. 

The day was far advanced, when a servant appeared with some 
musical instruments. Gyap gave into my hand a flagelet, and desired 
me to use it. I was unable. He then took it, and accompanied Gyeung 
upon the cittaur, (a stringed instrument, something resembling a guitar) 
and they played several pleasing airs together. At length, Gyeung 
accompanied the instruments with her voice, which M'as by no means 
inharmonious ; and I am not ashamed to own, that the song she sung, 
was more pleasing to my ear, than an Italian air. I could not but 
express myself highly gratified. Gyap regretted his inability to enter- 
tain me, with a greater variety of instrumental music, saying, that he 
was obliged to leave behind him his collection, on quitting Lassa. I 
could not avoid asking, by what means they acquired the variety of 
tunes I heard ; and how the instruments, though so different in their 

344 TIBET. 

nature, were made to coincide so well together? He told me, that their 
music was written down in characters, which they learnt. Nor could 
1 doubt it; since how could they otherwise manage, in unison, the 
powerful bands of instruments, introduced to accompany their religious 
ceremonies, which I often heard joining together, while at their de- 
votions, from the lowest tones to the loudest swell, with every varied 
modulation? I regret, that the shortness of my stay in Tibet, prevented 
my obtaining any accurate knowledge on this subject. The evening 
was now fast approaching: I took occasion, therefore, once more to 
express the gratification which their entertainment had afforded me ; 
we then rose, and descended to the monastery. Gyap and Gyeung 
retired to the apartments of the Lama, and I went to those which were 
assigned to my accommodation. 

I again waited upon Teshoo Lama, on Saturday, the 6tli of Decem- 
ber, to present some articles of curious workmanship, which I had 
brought for him from Bengal. He appeared most pleased with the 
mechanism of a small clock, and had it held up to him, watching for a 
long time the revolutions of the second hand. He admired it, but with 
gravity^ and without any childish emotion. There was nothing in the 
ceremony, different from that of the first day's visit. The father and 
mother were present. After staying about half an hour, I retired, 
intending to return and take my leave in the afternoon. 

The votaries of Teshoo Lama already began to flock, in great num- 
bers, to pay their adorations to him. Few were yet admitted to his pre- 
sence. Those who came, esteemed it a happiness to have him shewn to 
them from the window, particularly if they were able to make their pro- 

TIBET. 345 

strations before he was removed. There came this day, a party of Kil- 
mauks, (Calmuc Tartars) for the purposes of devotion, and to make their 
offerings to the Lama. When I returned from visiting him, I saw them 
standing at the entrance of the square, in front of the palace, each with 
his cap off, his hands being placed together, elevated^ and held even 
with his face. They remained upwards of half an hour in this attitude, 
their eyes being fixed upon the apartment of the Lama, and anxiety 
very visibly depicted in their countenances. At length, I imagine, he 
appeared to them, for they began all together by lifting up their hands, 
which were still closed, above their heads, then bringing them even 
with their faces, and afterwards lowering them to their breasts ; then 
separating them, to assist them in sinking and rising, they dropped 
upon their knees, and struck their heads against the ground. This, 
with the same motions, was repeated nine times. They afterwards 
advanced to deliver their presents, consisting of tarreema*, or talents 
of gold and silver, with (lie products of their country, to the proper 
officer; and when he had received them, they retired, apparently with 
much satisfaction. 

Upon inquiry I learnt, that offerings made in this manner, are by 
no means unfrequcnt, ami, in reality, constitute one of the most copious 
sources, from which the Lamas of Tibet derive their wealth. 

No one thinks himself degraded, by performing tliese humiliations. 
The persons I have described, as coming for this devout purpose, were 

^ These are masses of pure bullion, which take the form of the crucible in which 
they are fused, and allowed to cool. No fixed standard regulates the quantity of metal 
in each. The value of the mass is estimated by its weight, which is engraved upon it. 
Those of silver usually vary in worth, from forty to fifty pounds. 

346 TIBET. 

attendant on a man of superior rank, who seemed to be more earnest 
and attentive than the rest, in the performance of the ceremony. He 
wore a rich satin garment lined with fox skins, and a cap with a tassel 
of scarlet silk, flowing from the centre of the crown upon the, sides all 
round, and edged with a broad band of Siberian fur. 

According to appointment, I went in the afternoon to make my last 
visit to Teshoo Lama. I received his dispatches for the Governor 
General, and from his parents two pieces of satin for the Governor, 
with many compliments. 

They presented me with a vest lined with lambs' skins, making me 
many assurances of a long remembrance, and observing, that at this 
time Teshoo Lama was an infant, and incapable of conversing, but 
they hoped to see me again when he should be grown to maturity. I 
replied, that, by favour of the Lama, I might perhaps again visit this 
country; that I looked forward with anxiety to the time when he 
should mount the Musnud, and should then be extremely happy in the 
opportunity of paying him my respects. After some expressions and 
protestations of mutual regard, my visit was concluded. I received 
the scarfs, and took my leave, with a resolution to pursue my journey 
towards Bengal at the dawn of day. 

TIBET. 347 


Quii the Monastery of Terpaling, on mij Return towards Bengal — 
Annee Goomba — Annees, JVuns — Gylongs, Monks. — Cursory Vienv 
of the interdicted Orders. — Polyandry — Influence on the .Manners 
of the People — Tendency to check the loo great Increase of Popula- 
tion — and prevent the inhuman Practice known to prevail in China. 
— Marriage Ceremonies. — Bleak and dreary Aspect of the Country 
— Rigour of the Winter — extreme Purity of the Atmosphere. — Pre- 
cautions to secure the Surface of the Soil, and at the same Time 
enrich the Lands. — Course of the Seasons. — Dukque. — Lake 
Ramtchieu. — Skating — Solidity of the Ice — intense Severity of the 
Frost. — Shawl Goats. — Soomoonang — Punukka — Bu.xadewar — 

As soon as the sun had risen, we quitted the gates of the monastery 
of Terpaling, and descended to the valley, crossing a narrow water- 
course, that divided the hill which we had left, from another on the 
opposite side : having ascended this, wc came down soon after upon 
a wide plain, bounded on all sides by naked eminences ; upon the 
summit of one of which, and on its southern aspect, was a large reli- 
gious settlement of female devotees. This kind of edifice is styled 
an Annee Goomba. In this solitary station, like the Gylongs of 



l^erpallng, the Annees rise to their orisons, chant their mid-day mass, 
and having concluded their vespers, retire to their soHtary cells. 
This association of nuns had often been mentioned to me, but in the 
course of my travels I had never yet seen one of them before, though 
many were said to be existing at that time, in various parts of Tibet. 
I would gladly have gone to visit these devotees in their secluded 
station, but it was at some distance from our road, and the loss of time 
dissuaded me from the attempt. Though nuns, the admission of male 
visitors among them during the day, is not prohibited ; but no male is 
ever suffered to pass a night within the walls that enclose the Annees, 
any more than a female is, within those that surround the Gylongs. 

That they should be thus drawn, in such multitudes, to these soli- 
tary retreats, from the business and the pleasures of the world, will 
less excite our surprise, when we reflect on the peculiar custom that 
prevails, with regard to the union of the sexes, in Tibet ; a custom, at 
once different from ihe modes of Europe, Avhere one female becomes 
the wife of one male; and opposite to the practice of Asia, at least of 
very great part of it, where one male assumes an uncontrolled des- 
potism over nvany females, limiting his connexion with wives and con- 
cubines only by the extent of his resources. Here we find a practice 
equally strange, that of polyandry, if I may so call it, universally 
prevailing; and see one female, associating her fate and fortune with 
all the brothers of a family, without any restriction of age, or of 
numbers. The choice of a wife, is the privilege of the elder brother ; 
and singular as it may seem, I have been assured, that a Tibetian 
wife is as jealous of her connubial rites, though thus joined to a 

TIBET. 349 

numerous party of husbands, as the despot of an Indian zennana, is of 
the favours of his imprisoned fair. Under circumstances so unfavour- 
able, it is no wonder that the business of increasing the species, is but 
coldly carried on. 

Officers of state, as well as those who aspire to such distinctions, 
deem it, indeed, a business ill suited with their dignity, or duties, to 
attend to the propagation of their species ; and retire from this essen- 
tial care, abandoning it entirely to mere plebeians. Marriage, in fact, 
amongst them, seems to be considered rather as an odium, a heavy 
burden, the weight and obloquy of which, u Avhole family are disposed 
to lessen, by sharing it among them. 

The number of husbands is not, as far as I covild learn, defined or 
restricted within any limits ; it sometimes happens^ tiiat, in a small 
family, there is but one male ; and the number may seldom perhaps 
exceed that, which a native of rank, during my residence at Teshoo 
Loomboo, pointed out to me in a family resident in the neighbourhood, 
in which five brothers were then living together very happily, with 
one female, under tiie same connubial compact. Nor is this sort of 
league confined to the lower ranks of people alone; it is found also 
frequently in the most opulent families. 

However this custom, which as a traveller I am obliged to notice, 
may intrinsically deserve reprobation, yet it must at the same time 
be allowed, that local laws very frequently result from local causes ; 
and that, in consequence of the peculiar prejudices and opinions of 
one people, the same practice may be viewed in one country in the 
blackest light, which another people may not only see fit occasion 

35G Tl BE T. 

10 tolerate, but even to recommend. Thus we find, that neither the 
practice of polygamy in India, nor of polyandry in Tibet, is without 
its advocates. 

The influence of this custom on the manners of the people, as far as 
I. could trace, has not been unfavourable. Humanity, and an unar- 
tificial gentleness of disposition, are the constant inheritance of a 

I never saw these qualities possessed by any people in a more emi- 
nent degree. Without being servilely officious, they are always 
obliging ; the higher ranks are unassuming ; the inferior, respectful in 
their behaviour; nor are they at all deficient in attention to the female 
sex ; but, as we find them moderate in all their passions, in this respect, 
also, their conduct is equally remote from rudeness and adulation. 
Comparatively with their southern neighbours, the women of Tibet 
enjoy an elevated station in society. To the privileges of unbounded 
liberty, the wife here adds the ciiaracler of mistress of the family, and 
compiinion of her husbands. The company of all, indeed, she is not 
at all times entitled to expect. Different pursuits, either agricultural 
employments, or mercantile speculations, may occasionally cause the 
temporary absence of each; yet whatever be the result, the profit of 
the labourer flows into the common store; and when lie returns, what- 
ever may have been his fortune, he is secure of a grateful welcome to 
a social home. 

To descant upon established usages, that have existed far beyond 
the date of any written records, or the more obscure traces of tradition, 
ivith a view to discover their origin, or object, is indeed entering upon 

TIBET. 351 

b field, which affords ample scope for mgenious and fanciful specu- 
lation ; but under such circumstances, all the efforts of the speculatist, 
frequently tend only to raise new doubts, and involve the subject of 
inquiry in still more mysterious obscurity. AVhether or not, at some 
remote period of time, when population was in its infancy, from the 
operation of some unknown cause, there existed so great a proportion 
of males to females in this nation, as rendered the single possession of 
one woman, a blessing too great for any individual to aspire to, and, 
in consequence, this compromise may ha\e been adopted by general 
consent; or wiiether a too numerous population may have ovcrbur 
dened a meagre soil ; I will leave to the determination of others, more 
able to decide on such a question. It is sufficient for me to mark 
manners as I find them. 

But it certainly appears, that superabundant population, in an un- 
fertile country, must be the greatest of all calamities, and produce eter- 
nal warfare, or eternal want. Either the most active, and the most able 
part of the community, must be compelled to emigrate, and to become 
soldiers of fortune, or merchants of chance ; or else, if they remain at 
home, be liable to fall a prey to famine, in consequence of some acci- 
dental failure in their scanty crops. By thus linking whole families 
together in the matrimonial yoke, the too rapid increase of population 
was perliaps checked, and an alarm prevented, capable of pervading 
the most fertile region upon earth, and of giving, birth to the most 
inhuman and unnatural practice, in the richest, the most productive, 
and the most populous country in the world. I allude to the empire of 
China ; where a mother, not foreseeing the means of raising, or pro- 



352 TIBET. 

viding for, a numerous family, exposes her new-born infant to perish 
in the fields : a crime, however odious, by no means, I am assured, 
unfrequent. With this, the Tibetians never can be charged. Their 
custom, as it eventually operates against superabundant population, 
tends also to prevent domestic discords, arising from a division of 
family interests, and to concentrate all the spirit, and all the virtues, 
inherent in illustrious blood. 

The ceremonies of marriage are neither tedious nor intricate in 
Tibet. Their courtships are carried on with little art, and quickly 
brought to a conclusion. The elder brother of a family, to whom the 
choice belongs, when enamoured of a damsel, makes his proposal to the 
parents. If his suit is approved, and the offer accepted, the parents, 
with their daughter, repair to the suitor's house, where the male and 
female acquaintance of both parties meet and carouse Ibr the space of 
three days, with music, dancing, and every kind of festivity. At the 
expiration of this time, the marriage is complete. The priests of Tibet, 
\ who shun the society of women, have no share in these ceremonies, 
or in ratifying the obligation between the parties. Mutual consent is 
their only bond of union, and the parties present are witnesses to tlie 
contract, which, it seems, is formed indissolubly for life. The hus- 
band has it not in his power to rid himself of a troublesome compa- 
nion, nor the wife to withdraw herself from the husband, unless indeed 
the same unison of sentiment that joined their hands, should prompt 
their separation ; but in such a case, they are never left at liberty to 
form a new alliance. Instances of incontinency are rare, but if a mar- 
ried female be found to violate her compact, tlie crime is expiated by 

TIBET. 353 

corporal punishment, and the favoured lover eftaces the obloquy of 
his transgression by a pecuniary fine. 

If, in general society, the males be sometimes chargeable with cold- 
ness towards the female sex, they cannot, therefore, be said with 
cynical severity, to forbid them all indulgence; since very precise 
chastity, before they marry, is not expected in the fair sex, though 
when they have once formed a contract, they are by no means per- 
mitted, with impunity, to break it. 

We halted for the night, and pitched our tents near a small and 
solitary village. 

The following morning we again proceeded on our route. Tibet 
does not exhibit, at this season of the year, either a rich or varied pro- 
spect ; it is all a leafless, dreary scene, not a blade of grass, and scarcely 
any vestige of verdure is to be seen ; one uniform russet brown covers 
alike the vallies and the hills. On the summits of the latter, in some 
situations, springs are seen arrested in their fall, and converted into 
solid monuments of ice, firmly fixed until the genial warmth of summer 
shall return to make them How. Some of them, now in view, were of 
prodigious bulk and altitude, resembling immense columns, and they 
contributed greatly, together with the universal nakedness of both hills 
and vaUies, to impress the traveller with an idea of the bleakness of 
the region, and the severity of the season. 

The atmosphere, indeed,was now in an extreme degree keen and pure. 
During three months that I had passed in Tibet, I had not witnessed 
three cloudy days. The dryness of the soil, and scantiness of vegeta- 
tion, contributes little towards charging the air with humidity. The 

35 4 T I B E T» 

atmosphere was clear even to brilliancy, and I had seen no fogs in 
Tibet since the day I entered it. 

The dust, indeed, was for a short time extremely troublesome, but 
it is the practice of tlic husbandmen to cover the low lands in the 
vallies with water, immediately on the approach of winter, which 
incases their surface, as it were, with a sheet of ice, and prevents 
their being stripped of the soil, by violent winds. This method is re- 
ported to enrich the ground, a material advantage, as they here never 
use manure, and also to render it, upon the first approach of spring, 
ready to receive the plough. As soon as the land is prepared, they 
take the first favourable opportunity to sow it ; fiequent showers, 
and a powerful sun, contribute speedily to mature the crops. The 
autumn afterwards succeeds, which is clear and tranquil ; the harvest 
is cut in a fair and settled season, and left long upon the ground to 
dry; when the corn is sufficiently hardened, a number of cattle are 
brought, a circle is cleared, and they are driven in a lank round a 
centre, to tread the grain from the ear, as fast as it is thrown under 
their feet ; this, in Tibet, is the general mode of thrashing. Their 
course of cultivation is wheat, pease, and barley. Rice is the produc- 
tion of a more southern soil. 

We came early in our march to-day to the post of Dukque, which 
I noticed in my journey to Teshoo Loomboo. Nothing afterwards 
occurred, in the course of our journey towards Bengal, which merits 
particular mention, except the extreme severity of cold^ of which we 
soon becanic thoroughly sensible, and the extraordinary circumstance 
of finding large lakes frozen to a great depth, in so low a latitude as 

TIBET. 355 

tAvenfy-eight degrees. From the report I had heard, I took care that 
it should be early in the day when I approached the Ramtcliieu : we 
encamped upon its banks, and passed great part of our time, while we 
remained at this station, upon our skates. This exercise was novel 
only to the few inhabitants of this solitary neighbourhood; the people 
who were with me, had already seen us skate at Tsondue ; but though 
I had the superiority in one art, I found that they excelled in another : 
they were most excellent sliders. 

The lake, on which we were, had been frozen over, I was informed, 
so early as October; but a violent wind soon after arose, which had 
broken the surface, and thrown the ice, in vast confused masses, 
upon its borders. A tranquil season then ensued, during which it 
became uniformly smooth, and it was now a most noble sheet of ice. 
There were, indeed, some vast cracks, of which I could not, with my 
cane, measure the depth : these were occasioned by the diminution of 
the water beneath, and the consequent sinking of the ice to rest upon 
its surface. When this was ascertained, I had no apprehensions in 
approaching close to them, and it afforded some variety in our amuse- 
ment, to leap across them with our skates. A very strong and keen 
air prevailed while we continued upon the ice. It was great exercise 
to advance against it, but it required no effort to return; as^ by ex- 
panding a handkerchief by way of a sail, I glided along upon my skates 
to a great distance with considerable velocity, without striking a 
stroke. We were sensible, while we remained abroad, of the benefit 
of exercise in preserving genial warmth ; but when the day closed in, 
and we were obliged to retire within our tents, we found the cold 


356 TIBET. 

intense. Though we kept a good fire burning all night, sufficient to line 
the upper surface of the tent, which was closed on ail sides, with a ihicfe 
cloud of smoke, yet all was insufficient to mitigate the severity of the 
frost ; our breath congealed upon our whiskers, and it cost us some 
considerable lime and pain to clear them of icicles. 

It was our first care in the morning, to delend ourselves with our 
warmest clothing ; and indeed our thickest garments were no more 
than necessary, to guard against the keen severity of the atmosphere. 
Yet here we saw multitudes of the valuable animal, whose coat affords 
materials for that exquisitely fine and beautiful manufacture, the shawl. 
They were feeding in large flocks, upon the thin dry herbage that covers 
these naked-looking hills. This is, perhaps, the most beautifiil species 
amongst the whole tribe of goats ; more so, in my opinion, than the 
Angola kind. Their colours were various ; black, white, of a faint 
bluish tinge, and of a shade something lighter than a fawn. They have 
straight horns, and are of a lower stature than the smallest sheep in 
England. The material used for the manufacture of shawls, is of a 
ligiit fine texture, and clothes the animal next the skin. A coarse 
covering of long hair grows above this, and preserves the softness of 
the inferior coat. This creature seems indebted, for the warmth 
and softness of its coat, to the nature of the climate it inhabits : 
upon removing some of them to the hot atmosphere of Bengal, they 
quickly lost their beautiful clothing, and a cutaneous eruptive humour 
soon destroyed almost all their coat. I was also unsuccessful in re- 
peated trials, to convey this animal to England. It would neither 
endure the climate of Bengal, nor bear the sea : though some few of 

TIBET. 357 

diem, indeed, lived to land in England, yet they were in so weak a 
state, that they very shortly after perished. 

AA'e passed tiie summit of Soomoonang, that lofty range of moun- 
tains which forms the boundary of Tibet on the south, and divides it 
ironi Boot;ai, and hastened with our utmost speed to reach a milder 

This we found at Punuicka, the winter residence of tlie Daeb Raja, 
who received us with every mark of hospitality and friendship. Com- 
•pared with the land we had Jeft, we now beheld this garden of Lam' 
Rimbochay in high beauty, adorned with groves, crowded with rich 
loads of the finest oranges, citrons, and pomegranates. The mango and 
;tlie peach tree had parted with. their produce, but hoards of apples and 
X)f walnuts were opened for our gratification ; and this vast profusion 
of ripe fruit, added to the temperature of the air, most gratefully con- 
vinced us of the prodigious disparity of climate, within so short a 

My stay with the Daeb Raja, at his favourite palace of Punukka, 
was not of Ions; duration. I hastened to make all the arrangements that 
appeared necessary^ or expedient, with regard to the object of my 
mission. The Raja gave me frequent opportunities of meeting him, as 
well within doors, as by invitation to walk with him in the gardens. 
Indeed I was treated by him with the greatest freedom and cordiality. 
He urged me strongly to pass a long time with him, extolling the 
beauty of the place, and the mild temperature oi the weather ; hut I 
■was obliged to decline the honour- 

On the 30th of December 1 had my audience of leave, and received, 

35 8 TIBET. 

at the Lamii's hand, the valuable favour of a badge of thin crimson 
silk, over which various solemn incantations had been performed, and 
which was in future to secure for ever, my prosperity and success. 
Valuable as the present was, I fear I have unfortunately lost it. In 
the evening, I took a long farewell of all the officers of his court, and 
on the following day, departed for Bengal. 

I found the Soobah of Buxadewar absent from that station, having 
taken up his residence in the valley of Chichacotta, for the winter 
season, where a temperature of weather prevailed, more mild and con- 
genial even to a Booteea's constitution, than the rude region of his 
native mountains. I passed a day with him, for I could not resist his 
pressing solicitations ; and on the next, I hastened to join the friends 
I had left the preceding year, when I departed firom Bengal, who had 
kindly advanced, and formed a camp upon Calamatty plain, to meet 
me. We proceeded together the next day to Rungpore. I soon after 
received orders from the Governor General to advance without delay, 
and join him at Patna, in the province of Bahar. I had the satisfaction 
there to meet him, and to be honoured with his entire approbation of 
my conduct in the execution of the commission, which he had been 
pleased to confide to my charge. My official report of the success of 
my mission, will be found in the following pages. 











Honourable Sir, Patna, 2rf March, i784. 

Jjeing now returned from the service on which you were pleased to 
direct me to proceed, I take the earliest opportunity of communicating 
to you the progress and result of my mission, in hope that my conduct 
will be favourably judged, with all the" indulgence due to a limited 
experience, and the novelty of the regions which I was commanded 
to visit. 

I. will not presume to occupy your time, by a treatise on the ancient 
state of Tibet, or an unimportant detail of the peculiar manners and 
customs of the people ; but shall beg leave to follow the example of 
my predecessor, by enumerating such events as have happened since 
his return to Bengal, and which seem connected with, or in their nature 
calculated to affect, your designs in this quarter. 

362 TIBET. 

At the time of Mr. Bogle's deputation, Tibet was in a state of per- 
fect tranquillity : Teshoo Lama was then exercising the functions of 
his office, respected and obeyed through all the region of Tartary; nor 
was his influence bounded, but by the limits of the extensive empire 
of China. The Tartars who live in tents, and the natives of Kilmak 
and Khumbaic, continually resorted in multitudes, to pay their -ado- 
rations at his shrine. Even Taranaut and Dalai Lama held him in so 
great deference and respect, that their votaries looked up to him, as 
the head and protector of their common faith. 

The sanctity of his character, and the wisdom of his administration, 
had so far diffused his reputation, and exalted his name, that the Em- 
peror of China, anxious to see so renowned a personage, repeatedly 
solicited him to make a visit to his court. The Lama would willingly 
have excused himself, but he could not evade the importunity of the 
Emperor, who had made the most magnificent preparations for his 
accommodation on the journey, and his reception at Pekin. He 
accordingly set out, though, from the concurrent testimony of all his 
people, it was with extreme reluctance ; but he arrived in safety in 
China, where he was received with the highest respect, even the Em- 
peror himself advancing Irom his capital to meet him. During his 
residence at the Emperor's court, both his brother, the Regent, and 
Soopoon Choomboo, his favourite and cup-bearer, who accompanied 
him, assured me, that the Lama was not unmindful of his connection 
with the government of Bengal ; ou the contrary, he took several 
occasions of representing,, in the strongest teims^ the particular amity 
which subsisted between the Governor General and himself. They 

TIBET. 363 

add, that his conversations had even influenced the Emperor to resolve 
upon commencing, through the Lama's mediation, an immediate cor- 
respondence with his friend. Such indeed was the confidence and 
esteem which tlie Emperor manifested for Teshoo Lama, that he pro- 
mised liim a full compliance with whatever he should ask; yet in this 
instance, the Emperor's liberality, did not exceed the Lama's humility 
of heart. For he preferred no great demand, and even declined the 
acceptance of an addition to his territory ; requesting only, that the 
Emperor would cause the administration of the different governments, 
as had been anciently the custom in Tibet, to be restored to the Lamas ; 
that they might be invested with all the powers which, in their respec- 
tive stations, they had formerly enjoyed; and particularly, that he 
himself might be at hberty to grant admission into Tibet, to whatever 
persons he chose, without control. 

To all this, the Emperor readily consented ; and that his authority 
might be complete, he caused his own seal to be delivered to Teshoo 
Lama, and even took steps for the recal of the Raja, who had been 
appointed by the court of China, to reside at Lassa. The high honours, 
and extraordinary distinction, shewn to Teshoo Lama in China, raised 
the jealousy of some, and the admiration of lall ranks of people. But 
most unfortunately, at this interesting period, it happened, in the ple- 
nitude of his influence and power, he was seized suddenly with a violent 
disorder, which after three days terminated in his death. 

I need not enlarge on the vast accessionof dignity and consequence to 
his character, that would have been naturally derived from the honours 
rendered him in China, and the homage paid him by the inhabitants 

3 A 

364 TIBET. 

of the countries through which he passed, had he returned in safety to 
Tibet. But I must beg leave to observe, that the unfortunate accidents 
which prevented the proposed deputation of Mr. Bogle, a second time 
to Teshoo Loomboo, and the untimely death of the Lama himself, were 
events in themselves, not unlikely to destroy the effect of every former 
effort ; sufficient to revive in the minds of the Tibetians, naturally 
averse to innovation, all their former distrust, and to interrupt the 
growing confidence with which they had been so successfully inspired. 
Yet, in some measure to compensate for these disadvantages, the death 
of Gesub Rimbochay, offered a new prospect of opening that commu- 
nication which was the objest of our wishes ; for he was remarkable 
for the turbulence and activity of his disposition, and his violent enmity 
to all intercourse with the English. Unhappily, however, the expec- 
tations formed from this event were defeated by his successor, who 
succeeded to his place with the same prejudices, and, studying the 
disposition of the people, has had a view to establish himself in office 
by a conformity to popular opinions, knowing that the time of his 
authority was limited and uncertain. His conduct has, moreover, been 
actuated by a strong spirit of jealousy and animosity, in consequence 
of Teshoo Lama's negociation in China, through which, he narrowly 
'escaped being deprived of his authority. From the combined influ- 
ence of all these motives, he is still induced to neglect no occasion 
that offers, of thwarting the designs of the government of Teshoo 

Since the subjection of Tibet to the Chinese yoke, the influence of 
the Lamas, who were once supreme, has been much weakened by the 

TIBET. 365 

appointment of an officer to reside at Lassa, the capital of the kingdom, 
who is invested with the government, and supreme control over the 
country. The cause which first suggested the expediency of placing 
such a check over the Lamas, exists no more ; and the present Em- 
peror, a votary of their faith, and naturally jealous of their dignity, 
seems persuaded of this truth, from a conviction of their attachment to 
his person, and their acknowledgment of the supremacy of the Chinese 
government. The negociations of Teshoo Lama confirm this opinion, 
who obtained a promise from the Emperor, to withdraw the officer of 
his appointment from Lassa, and to commit the government of the 
country to the management of the Lamas. Orders were consequently 
issued for the recal of Nimoheim, who succeeded Gesub Rimbochay, 
but the decease of Teshoo Lama occasioned their suspension. How- 
ever, as the time of Rajas Nimoheim's government is to cease soon 
after Teshoo Lama shall be seated on the musnud, it is then expected, 
that the renewal of his application to the Emperor, will be followed by 
the complete performance of the promises made to him in China ; that 
Dalai Lama and himself will be invested accordingly with the uncon- 
trolled government of the country, and that the temporal authority of 
these religious pontiffs will, in consequence, rise to its former dignity 
and splendour. 

I will not venture to advance my own surmises, on the probability 
of the Emperor's consenting to so important a measure as this ; but 
perhaps I shall be excused in repeating the opinion of those, who are 
more competent to judge of his disposition, from the circumstance of 
having resided a twelvemonth at his court ; I mean, the late Lama's 

366 TIBET. 

brother, Regent Chanjoo Cooshoo, Punjun Irtlnnee Nimoheim, and his 
confidant Soopoon Choomboo, Cooshoo Shapie, who entertain not the 
shadow of a doubt of the Emperor's receding from his word, but assure 
me of their beUef, that he will ratify the promises made to the former 
Teshoo Lama, the moment the present Lama is capable of renewing 
the application, when the proposed regulations will immediately take 

The success of your designs is too obviously, and too intimately, 
connected with this event, to need any comment. If Teshoo Lama shall 
be made to resume the plans projected by him in his presumed pre- 
existence, for the recovery of the prerogatives annexed to the office of 
Lama ; the same consistency of conduct will certainly prompt him to 
look back to the negociations of 17 75, to the proposal of a free inter- 
course of trade between Tibet and Bengal, which then coincided with 
his desires, and which seems at last to have been one motive, and object, 
of his solicitude for the extension of his privileges. 

I am aware that it may be asked, why the agents of government 
under Teshoo Lama, were not dismissed with the promised powers? 
and this omission, 1 think, may be satisfactorily accounted for, from 
the consternation, and confusion, in which his sudden death neces- 
sarily involved all his attendants, depriving them of the ability to 
pursue proper measures, for the accomplishment of their designs. I 
believe the fact is, that they were incompetent to the attempt; for, 
being merely the agents of Teshoo Lama, they rightly reflected, that 
their intercessions with the Emperor would have little weight, when 
their superior was no more. Prudence therefore enjoined their silence. 

TIBET. 367 

And probably, their nearest concern was a speedy return to Tibet, 
fearful, lest so great an event should produce a revolution in the go- 
vernment, injurious to their interests, or subversive of their power. 

If they were deterred from a personal application to the Emperor, 
when present at his court, other considerations have since influenced 
them to suspend, for a time, all further solicitation, which can only be 
urged with propriety and effect hy Teshoo Lama himself; and, they 
say, that at the age of three years, he will be perfectly qualified to 
exert the proper means for accomplishing this design. I have found in 
the Regent, the best dispositions for encouraging, and assisting, by the 
authority he possesses, the proposed plans of commercial intercourse j 
but being neither so able, nor so decided in his character as the former 
Lama, he is cautious of avoAvedly and publicly sanctioning a measure, 
which might possibly raise up some inveterate enemies against him, in 
the Chinese administration. 

Teshoo Lama, from his respectable character, and superior talents, 
was peculiarly well qualified to obviate popular prejudices against new 
schemes, to reconcile the Tibetians to an alliance with Europeans, and 
to remove those jealous apprehensions, which, in a greater or less de- 
gree, are cherished by every Asiatic state, in consequence of the vast 
and accumulating power of the English. 

AsTartary, until it became united under the Chinese dominion, was 
constantly harassed by foreign invasion, by religious feuds, and by 
intestine broils, its inhabitants are intimidated from entering into new 
connections, as affording, in their apprehensions, an inlet to Avar and 
devastation. Having, by repeated revolutions, been accustomed to 


submit to a variety of successive usurpers, the powerful principle of 
independence is now nearly extinguished, and they are fitted for the 
abject slaves of despotic tyranny ; without firmness to assert their 
rights, and without resolution to resist the pressure of a foreign yoke, 
however feeble the power by which it is imposed. 

Under less authority, therefore, than the sanction of a Lama, your 
plans cannot be pushed to any great extent. They were first taken up 
by a man, who dared to deviate from the narrow policy of implicit 
obedience ; who had ability to lead the affections of his own subjects, 
and command the support of the neighbouring states ; and who was 
urged to extend his connections, as well by an attention to the interests 
of those over whom he ruled, as by the impulse of ambition. Such 
was Teshoo Lama. His successor will doubtless assume the office, 
with strong prepossessions in favour of the same project ; and I confi- 
dently expect that he will be taught to feel, and to indulge the pride 
of having first encouraged in his pre-existence, and perfected in his 
regeneration, a plan evidently designed for universal benefit. The 
Regent's letter will, I presume, be the best criterion, by which to judge 
of his dispositions; though it may be observed, that, in receiving me 
at tliis time into the country, he has acted rather according to his pri- 
vate sentiments, than in conformity with the wishes of the government 
of Lassa. Dalai Lama himself, indeed, has not been averse to my 
admission; but there is a bias on the government, an external force, 
that turns it from its natural course, and hinders it from pursuing the 
current of its own interests and inclinations. 

Tibet has, from time immemorial, been the resort of merchants. 

TIBET. 369 

Necessity has begotten a commerce with foreign countries, which, 
however, is but languidly conducted, by a people naturally slothful 
and indolent. The soil and climate of Tibet being favourable to the 
production of few commodities, render it a proper field for a variety 
of mercantile projects. But an example of industry is wanting : when 
men once become acquainted with the pleasures of luxury, and the 
profits of commerce, they will be roused from their apathy ; and new 
objects of opulence and ease, of which they never dreamt before, being 
presented to their view, will raise in them a desire of a more splendid 
way of life than their ancestors enjoyed, and will stimulate them to - 
an investigation and improvement of their natural resources, which at 
present are, even by themselves, but imperfectly understood. The 
form of government, which is arbitrary, is inimical to industry and 
enterprize. Both in Tibet and Bootan, the first member of the state is ,^ 
the chief merchant, and his prerogative, in this capacity, is of great " 
importance to him ; for he is invested by it, with advantages above 
the common adventurer, in the right of commanding the labour of the 
people^ whom the laws compel to bear burdens, and to exert themselves;, 
in various ways, when called upon by the mandate of their chief. 
Hence, emulation is suppressed, and trade monopolized by the sove- 
reigUj and by a few other persons in the first ofiices under government, 
who are indulged with a limited privilege, and whose traffic is chiefly 
confined to clothing and provisions, to articles which are in constant 
demand, and which find at all times a rapid sale. Though the soil of 
Tibet is, in its greatest extent, unimprovable by cultivation; and though 
the features of the countiy are strongly expressive of poverty, yet, 

37 TIBET. 

whatever is wanting to the people irom a defect in fertihty, or in the 
skill of their artists, they possess ample means of obtaining, through 
the abundant riches of the earth. Their mines and minerals are ca- 
pable of opening to them such inexhaustible sources of wealth, as to 
be alone sufficient to purchase every thing of which they stand in need, 
though their wants are numerous, as they are ignorant of all but the 
first arts of life^, agriculture and clothing. 

The advantages resulting from this trade, were once greatly in 
favour of Bengal. The commotions and disturbances by which the 
kingdom of Nipal was long distracted, until its ultimate subjugation 
under one chief, by destroying the security of merchants, interrupted 
the commerce between Tibet and Bengal ; and that country being then 
the only known channel of communication, Bengal lost ground in 
trade, which it has been since found difficult to regain. The advan- 
tages arising from the present- limited commerce, are enjoyed by a few 
opulent Goseins, and by an agent residing at Teshoo Looniboo, on the 
joint concern of Cashmeery Mull and Gopal Doss. I beg leave to refer 
to the annexed paper, for a statement of the articles composing it. 

The returns have invariably been made in gold dust, silver, tincal, 
and musk; the value of which articles always bears proportion to the 
quantity in the market. The value of gold and silver in Tibet, is very 
variable, depending on the product of the former from the mines. At 
this time, a pootree' of gold dust sells for twenty-one indermiilees^ 
A few years ago, during the prevalence of an excessive drought, the 

* Bulse. •" A base coin struck in Nipal, of the value of about one-third of a 

rupee, and current in Tibet, where local prejudices prevent the establishment of a mint. 

TIBET. .371 

earth, by cracking and opening in uncommon ciiasms, is said to have 
discovered such an abundance of gold, that the quantity collected, 
reduced the price of a pootree, to nine indermillees. As these precious 
metals are merely repiesentatives of labour, and commodities, there 
Avill consequently Ibllow great fluctuations in the profits of commerce; 
the balance, however, will at all times be found on the side of the 

Tiiose articles of trade which are next in importance, amongst the 
natural productions of Tibet, are, musk, tincal, goats' hair, and rock 
salt. The first of these articles used to be transported through the 
country of the Choubeis Rajas, and through Nipal, by the way of 
Benares, into the upper parts of Hindostan, and the dominions of the 
Marrattas ; but as musk of late has gained much reputation in medi- 
cine, and as there is reason to believe, that none but what is greatly- 
adulterated, finds its way to Europe, it, doubtless, must be an impor- 
tant object with the faculty, to receive it in its native purity- 

Bootan, Nipal, Bengal, and Hindostan, are supplied with tincal 
from Tibet. Its value is little more than that of the labour employed 
in digging it from the bed of a lake, in which it is deposited, at the 
distance of about hfteen days' journey from Teshoo Loomboo. 

The hair of the goats is carried to Cashmeer, and is that superior 
sort, from which shawls are manufactured. 

The demand for salt, is in the consumption of Nipal and Bootan. 

Here are also several mines of lead, but, as it is a metal that enters 
not into their common utensils of life, and is of little use in the coun- 
try, they are totally neglected. As lead, however, is generally found 

3 B 

372 TIBET. 

to contain a greater or less mixture of silver, and as there is but one 
mine of this metal, known in Europe to be entirely free from it, it is at 
least not improbable, that the lead ores of Tibet are rich in silver ; 
and that the smelting of them for the silver, the manner of doing which 
is totally unknown to the natives, might be attended with very great 

Here are also mines of cinnabar, which they use for colouring, in 
paint, and which contains a great proportion of mercury, that they 
know not how to extract. 

The copper mines furnish materials for the manufactory of idols, 
and all the ornaments disposed about the monasteries, on which gild- 
ing is bestowed. 

A very small quantity of specie, and that of a base standard, is cur- 
vent in Tibet. It is the silver coin of Nipal, here termed indermillee; 
each is in value worth about one-third of a sicca rupee, and they are 
cut into halves, third parts, and quarters. This, which is the only 
money, serves to obtain the exigencies of life, but never enters into 
important contracts in the larger concerns of trade; in all such trans- 
actions, the equivalent is made in bullion, that is, talents* of gold and 
silver, which bear a value, in proportion to the purity and specific 
gravity of the metal. 

The commerce between Tibet and China, is carried on principally at 
a garrison town, on the western frontier of China, named Sinning, or 
Silling: thither merchants resort from Tibet with their manufacture, viz. 

* Tarreema, bearing the shape of the crucible in which the metal is fused, and allowed 
to cool. 

TIBET. 373 

a thin cloth resembling frieze, but rather of a more open texture, gold 
dust, and some other commodities procured from Bengal ; which they 
iL-'^ exchange for tea, silver bullion, brocades, and fruit. In these articles 
an extensive trade is carried on ; and I have been assured that, on the 
territory of Teshoo Loomboo alone, tea, to the amount of five or six 
lacs of rupees'', is annually consumed. From hence too, Bootan is sup- 
plied with tea, which is in the same general use there. For further 
particulars of the commerce with Tibet, I beg leave to refer to the 
annexed comparative statement- 
Studious to ensurcj by every possible means, the success of my 
deputation, I was extremely desirous of proceeding to Lassa, that I 
might endeavour to conciliate the good will of the chiefs in power, 
towards our nation, and to obtain their sanction, to a free intercourse 
between Tibet and Bengal: but I was prevented, by a consideration 
of the present state of that government, and strongly dissuaded by the 
Regent Punjun Irtinnee, from making the attempt. He promised to 
inform himself of the sentiments and wishes of Dalai Lama, in re2;ard 
to a connection with the English, and afterwards to communicate them 
to you. Whenever a regular intercourse takes place, between the 
agents of the government of Bengal and the chiefs of Tibcl, I shall 
consider it as the sure basis of an intercourse with China ; and it will 
-probably be, by the medium of the former, that we shall be enabled to 
arrive at Pekin. 

I have not eagerly urged those secondary advantages, that offered 
themselves to my choice, because I would not, by engaging in any 
'' Sixty or seventy thousand pounds sterling. 

37 4 TIBET. 

imperfect scheme, render abortive the endeavours towards carrying into 
execution, the more important object ol' your phm ; which I conceived 
to be an immediate intercourse between the English, and tiie natives 
of Tibet. I have obtained the Regent Chanjoo Cooshoo's promise of 
encouragement to all merchants, natives of India, that may be sent to 
traffic in Tibet, on behalf of the government of Bengal. No impedi- 
ment, therefore, now remains in the way of merchants, to prevent their 
carrying their commercial concerns into Tartary. Your authority 
alone, is requisite to secure them the protection of the Regent of Teshoo 
Loomboo, who has promised to grant free admission into Tibet, to all 
such merchants, natives of India, as shall come recommended by you ; 
to yield them every assistance requisite for the transport of their goods 
from the frontiers of Bootan ; and to assign them a place of residence 
for vending their commodities, either Avithin the monastery, or, should 
it be considered as more eligible, in the town itself. 

I did not deem it consistent with the spirit of your designs, at the 
present period, to be importunate for greater privileges than these, to 
native traders : such as I have obtained will, I trust, be competent to 
the purpose, of opening the much wished for communication ; and as 
this mode coincided with the Regent's wishes, it appeared to me better 
to adopt it, than to check the opening trade with a load of taxes, and 
a variety of embarrassing forms. Let merchants first learn the way, 
taste the profit, and establish the intercourse ; and afterwards the' 
traffic may bear a tax, which if laid upon it in its infancy, might 
suppress its growth. These concessions, in which the Regent readily 
acquiesced, will, I presume, be considered as most material, towards 

TIBET. 375 

reviving the trade, between Bengal and Tibet. For as security and 
protection are the first essential requisites to the establishment of com- 
merce, so profit will prove its best encouragement ; it will most pow- 
erfully stimulate the industry of the merchant, who is engaged in so 
advantageous an undertaking, and impel him to pursue his plans to 
the greatest possible extent. 

To give full force to the license I have obtained, nothing but form 
is wanting; and, independently of the novelty of written treaties, for- 
malities almost unknown in Tibet, I declined soliciting the Regent to 
execute such an agreement, because it could be no longer valid, than 
during the minority of Teshoo Lama ; it must have been revocable 
by him, the moment he should be admitted into his office, and could 
never be considered as binding, even upon the government which is 
upheld by his authority, and conducted under the sanction of his 
name. For the Regent possesses no independent powers, but is the 
ostensible instrument of administration, under the guidance of his 
supreme, the Lama : and even supposing the Regent possessed of ade- 
quate authority to enforce a treaty of commerce, yet to have pressed 
him to the conclusion of one, I thought, would have been to abandon 
the great object in view ; for I considered the agency of natives of 
India, stationed at so remote a distance from control, or any check 
to restrain their conduct, as a very dubious reliance, and that the 
benefits resulting from it, would be found, at best, extremely pre- 
carious. These reasons suggested to me the expediency, of waving the 
attempt to secure, by written agreement, those privileges to merchants, 
for which the Regent pledged his word ; especially as the prospect of 


resuming our negociations is held to be not very distant, and at that 
period, it is not improbable that a factory may be established, under 
the guidance of an Englishman. This, I presume, villi be deemed 
the most eligible and certain method, of conducting the commercial 
interests of the Company, on a respectable footing, and with adequate 

The regulations for carrying the commerce of the Company through 
the dominions of Bootan, by means of the agency of native merchants, 
were settled by the treaty entered into by Mr. Bogle, in the year 17 75. 
The Daeb Raja having acknowledged to me, the validity of that treaty, 
it became unnecessary to insist on the execution of another ; since no 
new privileges and immunities appear to be requisite, until the com- 
merce can be established on a different footing. 

With respect to the views and interests of the Raja of Bootan, by 
whose concurrence alone, the proposed commercial 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 
an hostile tendency. During the long interval I necessarily passed in 
Bootan, 1 had an opportunity to judge of the Raja's disposition; and, 
if an inference may be drawn from the particular civilities and atten- 
tion he shewed me, while residing with him, I should conclude, that 
he has a most entire confidence in the good faith and friendly disposi- 
tion of your government towards him. These favourable sentiments, 
■even if the interests of the Booteeas were not so intimately interwoven 
with their connection with the English, there is every reason to believe 
^re very far from the probability of a change. The present Daeb Raja, 

TIBET. 577 

who is related by blood to a very numerous and powerful family, was 
solicited, it is said, on the decease of Daeb Ruba, to take upon him- 
self the cares of government. He complied with the application ; and, 
by a coalition of offices, became at once the civil and religious ruler. 
Having now possessed an undivided and uncontrolled influence, as 
head of affairs, both ecclesiastical and political, for five years, he has 
had the opportunity of placing many of his relations in the most im- 
portant offices under tliat government. He has besides taken care 
to settle the reversion of the administration in his own family, by 
having lately nominated his nephew, Lam' Ghassatoo, who is now an 
infant in arms, for his successor, and by causing him to be publicly 
invested with the Raaj. However he is yet looked up to as the real 
ruler, and doubtless will continue to he so, during the minority of the 
infant Raja ; and indeed, as Lama, he will always have a right to in- 
spect and direct the conduct of the reigning Raja. 

When hostilities had ceased to distract the Company's possessions : 
when peace had restored security to commerce, and allowed accumu- 
lating revenues, to replenish a weakened treasury ; it became with me 
an object of the highest ambition, at this bright sera of the Company's 
afi'airs, to add to their prosperity, by opening a new channel for the 
extension of their commerce. If I have fallen short of the general ex- 
pectation, I trust the failure will not be imputed to a want of zeal; no 
exertion has been neglected which my humble talents qualified me to 
use. The impediments that existed, it will be observed, were entirely 
independent of my conduct, and such as it was impossible for me to 
take any effectual measures to obviate. Affairs being then in sucii a 

37 8 TIBET. 

position, we can only have recourse to fair conjecture, and tlierc is 
reason to hope that the natural revolution of human affairs, together 
with the probable course of events, will conspiie to remove the ob- 
structions to a free intercourse between, the governments of Bengal and 
Tibet, and to restore the advantages which Bengal has lost. In the 
expectation of such an event, our best jeliance is not merely on the 
friendly disposition of the present government of Teshoo Loomboo,but 
also on the superstitious doctrines of the Tibet faith; which, whilst it 
immortalizes the soul of the Lama upon earth, and admits its transmi- 
gration from one corporeal tenement to another^ imtil the end of time, 
perpetuates also its dispositions and its prejudices. The usual proof 
of the identity of a regenerated Lama, is an early recognition of the 
possessions, acquaintances, and transactions of his pre-existence. I 
am therefore of opinion, that the new Lama will be taught to recur to 
the connections of the former Teshoo Lama, as one of the strongest 
marks that can denote his identity, and facilitate his acceptation. 
And here I ground my hope on presumptions built upon the tenets 
of their faith, which is the basis on which their government itself is 
constructed. Were they to adopt a different conduct, they would ne- 
cessarily abandon the most sacred and immutable positions of their 
religion, and expose it to every degrading imputation, which is calcu- 
lated to rob it of its honours, and lay it open to the reproach, or deri- 
sion, attendant on detected imposition. 

During my residence in Tibet it was an object I had much at heart 
to obtain an interview with the infant Teshoo Lama. But in the Em- 
yeror of China's command, requiring his guardians to keep him .in the 

TIBET. 379 

Strictest privacy, and prohibiting, indiscriminately, tlie admission of 
all persons to his presence, I found an obstacle almost insurmountable ; 
yet the Regent, mindful of the amity subsisting between the Governor 
and himself, and unwilling, I believe, by any act, to hazard its interrup- 
tion, at length consented to grant me that extraordinary indulgence. 

As the meeting was attended with very singular and striking cir- 
cumstances, I could not help noting them with most particular atten- 
tion ; and though the repetition of such facts, interwoven and blended 
as they are with superstition and folly, may expose me to the impu- 
tation of extravagant exaggeration, yet I should think myself repre- 
hensible in suppressing them. While, therefore, I divest myself of all 
prejudice, and assume the character of a faithful narrator, I hope, how- 
ever tedious the detail, I propose to enter into, may be found, it will be 
at least received with candour and attention, by those for whose pe- 
rusal and information it is intended*. It is indeed important, were it 
only to mark that strong feature in the national character, of implicit 
homage to their great religious sovereign, and to exemplify the very 
uncommon, I may almost say, unheard of effects, of early tuition. I 
shall perhaps, be still more fully justified in making this relation, by 
adverting to that very extraordinary assurance given me by the Regent, 
but a few days before my departure from his court ; which, without 
further introduction, I shall beg leave literally to recite. At an inter- 
view with which he indulged me, after having given me my audience 
of leave, he said, " I had yesterday a vision of our tutelary deity, 
and to me, it was a day replete with much interesting and important 

■■ Page 333' ^' ^'i- 
3 C 

580 TIBET. 

matter. This guardian power, who inspires us with his illuminations 
on every momentous and great occasion, indulged me with a divina- 
tion, from which I have collected, that every thing will be well. Set 
your heart at rest ; for though a separation is about to take place be- 
tween us, yet our friendship will not cease to exist ; but through the 
favour of interposing Providence, you may rest assured it will increase, 
and terminate eventually in that which will be for the best." 

I should have paid less regard to so strange an observation, had it 
not been for this reason, that, however strange their doctrines may be 
found, yet I judge, they are the best foundation on which we can fix 
our dependance; since superstition, combining with inclination, to im- 
plant such friendly sentiments in their minds, will ever constitute the 
strongest barrier for their preservation. If opposed to the deep-rooted 
prejudices of a people, no plan can reasonably be expected to succeed; 
if it agree with them, success must probably be the result. 

I now beg leave to close the present address ; and, though the suc- 
cess of my undertaking has not equalled my own wishes, yet I derive 
to myself Some consolation from the assurance, that I shall be acquitted 
of blame, or negligence, in the execution of your orders ; and, permit 
me to add, 1 wait with the utmost solicitude, the judgment that shall 
be passed upon my conduct. 

I have the honour to be, 

tire. ^C' ^c. 







Tibet exports to China, 

Gold dust, 




A small quantity of Musk, 

Woollen cloths, the manufacture of 

Lamb skins, 
Ood, or Otter skins, which are 

brought from Bengal. 

China to Tibet, 

Gold and Silver brocades. 

Plain silks, 


Black teas, of four or five different 


Silver bullion, 



Some China ware. 

Trumpets, Cymbals, and other mu- 
sical instruments. 

Furs, viz. 


Black fox, 

Dried fruits of various sorts. 

This trade of barter is carried on at Silling, a garrison town on the western 

frontier of China. 



Tibet to Kipal. 

Rock salt, 
Gold dust. 

Tibet to Betio-al. 

Gold dust, 



^''ipal to Tibet. 


Coarse cotton cloths, 




Bengal to Tibet. 

NiPAL is the principal channel, 
through which English commodities, 
and the produce of Bengal are con- 
veyed, of which the following is a 

Broad cloth, and especially the infe- 
rior sorts, of which the colours in 
most request are yellow and scarlet ; 
Some few trinkets, such as. Snuff 
boxes, Smelling bottles. Knives, 
Scissars, Optic glasses^; 
Of spices, Cloves are most saleable. 
No sort of spice is used for culi- 
nary purposes. Cloves are a prin- 
cipal ingredient in the composition 
of the perfumed rods, which men 
of rank keep constantly burning 
in their presence. 
Sandal wood, 



T^ihel to Boolan. 

Gold dust, 


Woollen cloths, the manufacture of 


Bengal to Tibet, continued. 



Pheirosa, or Lapis lazuli, 




Chaunk shells, 

Kimkaubs; those of Guzerat are 

most valued; 
Malda cloths, 

Rungpore leather. 
Ood, or Otter skins,. 

Boolan to Tibet. 

English broad cloth, 

Rungpore leather. 


Coarse cotton cloths, Guzzie, Scc^ 



Sandal wood. 



With Assam, there is no trade or intercourse 



Tibet to Luddauk. 

The fine Hair of the Goats, of which 
shawls are manufactured* 

Luddauk to Tibet. 

Luddauk is the mart between 
Cashmeer and Teeshoo Loomboo. 

Dried Fruits, 

Kishmishes, Raisins, 

KhunJmuk lo Tibet. 

Bulbar hides. 

A beneficial traffic is carried on with Lassa, by exchanging Gold dust for 
Silver bullion. 

The rate of carriage from Phari to Teshoo Loomboo, for the hire of one 
beast of burden, that carries two hundred weight, is three sicca rupees. 







B y 



May II and 12, 1783. Road to Buxaduar^. 

1 HE tract of country from Bahar° to the foot of the hills, contains 
but few plants that are not common to Bengal. Pine-apples, mango 
tree, jack and saul timber, are frequently to be met with in the forests 
and jungles. Find many orange trees towards the foot of the hills, of 
a very good sort, and bearing much fruit. Saw a few lime trees, and 
found three different species of the sensitive plant. One species is used 
medicinally by the natives of Bengal, in fevers; it is a powerful astrin- 
gent, and bitter: another, is the species from which terra juponica is 
made ; a medicine, the history of which we are but lately made ac- 
quainted with. The third species iswell known as the sensitive plant, 
and common in Bengal. 

The country, from Bahar to the foot of the mountains, to which we 

^ Printed in the Philosophical Transactions, Vol. LXXIX. 

N. B. The orthography of the names of places in the following pages differing, in 
some instances, from what has been adopted in the foregoing work, the mode hitherto 
made use of, resulting from example, analogy, and attentive observation, when a vari- 
ation occurs, is always noted at the bottom of the page. 

"• Buxadewar. ' Cooch Bahar. 


388 BOOTAN. 

approach without any ascent, is rendered one of the most unhealthy 
parts of India, from a variety of causes. 

The whole, a perfect flat, is at all times wet and swampy, with a 
luxuriant growth of reeds, long grass, and underwood, in the midst of 
stagnated water, numerous frogs, and insects. The exhalations, from 
such a surface of vegetable matter and swamps, increased by an addi- 
tional degree of heat from the reflection of the hills, affect the air to a 
considerable extent, and render it highly injurious to. strangers, and 
European constitutions. 

The thermometer at the foot of the hill, mid-day 86°, fell to 78" at 
two o'clock, the time we reached Buxaduar,_and that hour of the day 
when it is generally highest. 

The soil and appearance of the ground, in ascending the hill, are 
materially changed. See many loose sparry stones, and rock contain- 
ing iron. Two springs, conducted from a distant height by spouts, 
are very pure and good water, without any mineral impregnation. The 
mountains in view covered with forests of trees, rendered useless from 
their inaccessibility : those peculiar to the country, are known to the 
natives by tiie names of Boumbshi, Toumbshi, and Sindeshi; besides 
saul timber, bamboo, and plantains. 

Maij 12 to 2,1. Biixaduar. Many of the plants peculiar to Bengal, 
require nursing at Buxaduar. There is one very good banian tree. In 
the jungles, met with the ginger, and a very good sort of yam ; saw 
some pomegranate trees in good preservation; shallots in great per- 
fection; a species of the Lychnis, Arum, Asclepias, natives of more 
northern situations, and of little use ; a bad sort of raspberry, and a 

BOOTAN. 389 

species of the Gloriosa. The plantains in use below, do not thrive 
here. In the jungles they have a plantain tree, producing a very broad 
leaf, with which they cover their huts; but the fruit is not eaten. See 
many weeds and long grass, more common to Bengal than any other 
parts of Boutan. 

From the 15th to the 22d, the rains were almost incessant at Bux- 
aduar. Our people became unhealthy, and were attacked with fevers, 
which, if neglected in the beginning, proved obstinate quartans. This 
was the case with several of the natives, whom I had an opportunity 
of seeing. They scarcely, however, admit that Buxaduar is unhealthy 
at any season of the year. After allowing for their prejudice, and the 
possibility of the natives suffering but little from the bad seasons, I 
cannot help thinking that Buxaduar must be unhealthy, at least to 
strangers, from the month of May till towards the end of September. 
It lies high, but is overtopped by the surrounding mountains, covered 
with forests of trees, and underwood. In all climates, where the influ- 
ence of the sun is great, this is a never-failing cause of bad air. The 
exhalation that takes plac^ from so great a surface in the day time, 
falls, after sunset, in the form of dew, rendering the air raw, damp, 
and chilly, even in the most sultry climates. 

The thermometer at Buxaduar was never, at two o'clock in the 
afternoon, above 82°, or below 73°. 

In the neighbourhood of Buxaduar, there are several excellent 
springs of water, some of them with less impregnation of any sort than 
I ever met with; the nicest test, scarcely produced the separation of 
a sensible quantity of earthy matter. Such waters are generally to be 

390 UOOTAN. 

distinguished by the taste, which is insipid and unpleasant. When 
these springs could be traced to their source, they sunk the thermo- 
meter eight or ten degrees below the temperature of the atmosphere. 

May 2,2 and 23. In ascending the hill from Buxaduar, there is to 
be seen much of an imperfect quartz, of various forms and colour, 
having in some places the appearance of marble ; but from chemical 
experiments, it was found to possess very different properties. This 
sort of quartz, when of a pure white, and free from any metallic 
colouring matter, is used as an ingredient in porcelain. I have not 
seen any that promises to answer that purpose, better than what is to 
be met with, in the mountains near Buxaduar. It is known to mine- 
ralists in that state, by the name of quartz gritstone. The rock which 
forms the basis of these mountains, dips in almost every direction, and 
is covered with a rich and fertile soil, but in no place level enough to 
be cultivated. Many European plants are to be met with on the road 
to Murishong ; many different sorts of mosses^ fern, wild thyme, 
peaches, willow, chickvveed, and grasses common to the more southern 
parts of Europe ; nettles, thistles, dock, strawberry, raspberry, and 
many destructive creepers, some peculiar to Europe. 

Murishong'* is the first pleasant and healthy spot to be met with on 
this side of Boutan. I-t lies high, and much of the ground about it, is 
cleared and cultivated ; the soil, rich and fertile, produces good crops. 
The only plant now under culture, is a species of the polygonum of 
Linnaeus, producing a triangular seed, nearly the size of barley, and 
the common food of the inhabitants. It was now the beginning of 

* Murichom. 


their harvest ; and the ground yields them, as in other parts of Boutan, 
a second crop of rice. Here are to be found in the jungles, two spe- 
cies of the laurus of Linnaeus; one known by the name of the bastard 
cinnamon. The bark of the root of this plant, when dried, has very- 
much the taste and flavour of cinnamon ; it is used medicinally by 
the natives. The chenopodium, producing the semen santonicum, or 
wormseed, a medicine formerly in great character, and used in those 
diseases from which it is named, is common here. 

Found in the neighbourhood of this place, all the European plants 
we had met with on the road. The ascent from Buxaduar to Muri- 
shong is upon the whole great, with a sensible change in the state of 
the air. 

May 25. On the road to Chooka^ found all the Murishong plants, 
cinnamon tree, willow, and one or two firs ; strawberries every where 
and very good, and a few bilberry plants. 

Much sparry flint, and a sort of granite with which the road is 
paved. There is a great deal of talc in the stones and soil, but in too 
small pieces to be useful. Frequent beds of clay and pure sand. Found 
two mineral wells slightly impregnated with iron, with much appear- 
ance of that metal in this part of the country; and they are not unac- 
c|uainted with the method of extracting it from the stones, but still 
despise its use in building. Towards Chooka there are many well 
cultivated fields of wheat and barley. 

May 56. Road to Punukha^. From Chooka the country opens, and 
presents to view many well cultivated fields and distant villages; a 
' Chuka. ' Punugga. 

392 BOOTAN. 

rapid change in climate, the vegetable productions, and general ap- 
pearance of the country. Towards Punukha, pines and firs are the 
only trees to be met with; but they do not yet seem in their proper 
climate, being dwarfish and ill shaped ; peaches, raspberries, and straw- 
berries, thriving every where ; scarce a plant to be seen that is not of 
European growth. In addition to the many I have already mentioned, 
saw two species of the Crataegus, one not yet described. Saw two ash 
trees in a very thriving state, the star-thistle, and many other weeds, 
in general natives of the Alps and Switzerland. 

Much of the rock to-day was, I found on examination, pure lime- 
stone ; a valuable acquisition if they did not either despise its use, or 
were unacquainted with its properties. It was most advantageously 
situated for being worked, and the purest perhaps to be met with. 
There is likewise abundance of fire-wood in this part of the country. 
In building they would derive great benefit from the use of it. Their 
houses are lofty, the timbers substantial, and nothing wanting to make 
them durable, but their being acquainted with the use of lime. As a 
manure it might probably be used to great advantage. Many fields 
of barley in this part of the country ; now the beginning of their har- 
vest. The thermometer here fell, at four o'clock in the afternoon, to 
60°, cold and chilly. 

May 21. On the road to Cheptas, the rock in general dips to the 
northward and eastward, in about an angle of sixty degrees. Much 
of limestone, and some veins of quartz, and loose pieces of sparry flint 
striking fire with steel. 

5 Chupka or Kepta. 

B O O T A N . 3 9 S 

Several springs, and one slightly impregnated with iron. 

In addition to the plants of yesterday/ found the coriandruni testi- 
culatum, inula montana, and rhododendron magnum. 

At Chepta met with a few turnips, one maple tree, wormwood, 
goose-grass (galium aparinae), and many other European weeds; the 
first walnut tree we had seen. 

Chepta lies high, and not above six miles from the mountain of 
Lomyla, now covered with snow. The wind from that quarter S. E. 
made it cold and chilly, and sunk the thermometer at mid-day to 57°. 
Here are some fields of wheat and barley not yet ripe. 

May 29. Hoad to Pagha^. Soon after leaving Chepta foimd a mi- 
neral well, which, on a chemical examination, gave marks of a strong 
impregnation from iron. I traced it to its source, where the thermo- 
meter, on being immersed, fell from 68° to 56°. 

A little before we reached Pagha, met with some limestone, and a 
bed of chalk, which, near the surface, contained a great proportion of 
sand, but some feet under, was much purer. 

The forests of firs of an inferior growth, several ash trees, dogrrose, 
and bramble 

May 30, 51, and June I. The road from hence toTassesudon', pre- 
sents us with little that we have not met with ; fewer strawberries, and 
no raspberries ; some very good orchards of peaches, apricots, apples, 
and pears. The fruit formed, and will be ripe in August and September. 
Met with two sorts of cranberry, one very good. Saw the fragaria 
sterilis and a few poppies. At Wanakha'' found a few turnips, shallots, 
* Pauga. 'Tassisudon. '' Wangoka. - 

394 BOOTAN. 

cucumbers, and gourds. Near Tassesudon, the road is lined with 
many different species of the rose, and a few jessamine plants. The 
soil is light, and the hills in many places barren, rocky, and with very 
little verdure. The rock in general laminated and rotten, with many 
small particles of talc in every part of the country, incorporated with 
the stones and soil. Some limestone, and appearance of good chalk. 
Several good and pure springs of water. 

Tassesudon and its neighbourhood abound with all the plants we 
have already mentioned. The hills are chiefly wood, with firs and 
aspen. I have not yet been able to find an oak tree, and the ash is 
seldom to be met with. The elder, holly, bramble, and dog-rose are 
common. Found the birch tree, cypress, yew, and delphinium. Many 
different species of the vaccinium, of which the bilberry is one, and 
the cranberry another. Towards the top of the adjacent mountains, 
met with two plants of the arbutus uva ursi, which is a native of the 
Alps, the most mountainous parts of Scotland, and Canada. 

I have likewise seen a species of the rhubarb plant (rheum undula- 
tum) brought from a distance, and only to be met with near the sum- 
mits of hills covered with snow, and where the soil is rocky. The 
true rhubarb (rheum palmatum) is likewise the native of a cold cli- 
mate; and though China supplies us with much of this drug, it is 
Icnown to be the growth of its more northern provinces^ Tartary, and 
a part of the Russian dominions. I'he great difficulty is in drying the 
root. People conversant in that business say, that one hundred pounds 
of fresh root, should not weigh above six pounds and a half, if properly 
dried, and it certainlv lias been reduced to that. I have seen eighty 

1500TAN. 5^)5 

pounds of fresh root produced from one plant; but, after drying it with 
much care and attention, theweiglit of the dried root could not be made 
less tiian twelve pounds. It was suspended in an oven, with an equal 
and moderate degree of heat. Little more than the same quantity of 
this powder, produced a similar efiect with the best foreign rhubarb. 

The other plants common here, are the service tree, blessed thistle, 
mock orange. Spiraea hlipendula, Arum, Echites, Punica, Ferula com- 
munis. Erica, and Viola. Of the rose bush, I have met with the hve fol- 
k)wing species; Rosa alpina, centilolia, canina, indica, spinocissima. 

The culture of pot-herbs is every where neglected ; turnips, a few 
onions and shallots, were the best we could procure. Mr. Bogle left 
potatoes, cabbage, and lettuce plants, all- which Ave found neglected 
and dispersed. They had very improperly (Irom an idea, most pro- 
bably, of their being natives of Bengal) pianted them in a situation 
and climate, which approaches very near to that of Bengal at all 
seasons, as we shall find afterwards. Melons, gourds, brinjals, and 
cucumbers, are occasionally to be met with. The country is fitted for 
the production of every fruit and vegetable, common without the 
tropics, and in some situations, will bring to perfection many of the 
tropical fruits. 

There are two plants, which I have to regret the not having had as 
yet an opportunity of seeing; one is the tree, from the bark of which 
their paper is made; and the other is employed by them in poisoning 
their arrows. This last is said to come from a very remote part of the 
country. I'hey describe it, as growing to the height of three or four 
feet, with a hollow stalk. The juice is inspissated, and laid as a paste 


396 BOOTAN. 

on their arrows. Fortunately for them, it has not all the bad eftects 
they dread from it. I had an opportunity of seeing several who were 
wounded with these arrows, and they all did well, though under the 
greatest apprehension. The cleaning and enlarging some of the wounds, 
was the most that I found necessary to be done. The paste is pun- 
gent and acrid, will increase inflammation, and may make a bad or 
neglected wound, mortal ; but it certainly does not possess any spe- 
cific quality as a poison. 

The fir, so common in this country, is perhaps the only tree they 
could convert to a useful and profitable purpose. What I have seen 
would not, from their situation, be employed as timber. The largest 
I have yet met with, were near Wandipore ; they measured from eight 
to ten feet in circumference, were tall and straight. Such near the Bur- 
rampooter, or any navigable river, might certainly be transported to 
an advantageous market. I am convinced that any quantity of tar, 
pitch, turpentine, and resin, might be made in this country, much to 
the emolument of the natives. Firs, which from their size and situation 
are unfit for timber, would answer the purpose equally well. The pro- 
cess for procuring tar and turpentine is simple, and does not require 
the construction of expensive works- This great object has been so 
little attended to, that they are supplied from Bengal, with what they 
want of these articles. 

The country about Tassesudon contains a great variety of soil, and 
much rock of many different forms ; but still is an unpromising field 
for a mineralist. I have not found in Boutan, a fossil that had the least 
appearance of containing any other metal than iron, and a small portion 

BOOT AN. 397 

of copper. From information, and the reports of travellers, I believe 
it IS otherwise, to the northward. Tlie banks of the Ticushu', admit- 
ting of cultivation for several miles above and below Tassesudon, yield 
them two crops in the year. The first, of wheat and barley, is cut 
down in June ; and the rice, planted immediately after, enjoys the 
benefit of the rains. This country is not Avithout its hot wells, as well 
as many numerous springs, some of which I have taken notice of Oue 
hot well, near Wandepore, is so close to the banks of the river, as to 
be overflowed in the rains, and we found it impossible to get to it : the 
heat of this well is great ; but I could not learn that the ground about 
it, was much different from the general aspect of the country. Another, 
several days' journey from hence, is on the brow of a hill perpetually 
covered with snow. This hot well is held in great estimation by the 
people of the country, and resorted to by valetudinarians of every 
description. I gained but little satisfactory information respecting the 
degree of heat, or appearance of the ground about it, that could lead 
me to form a just opinion of either. 

September 8 and 9. Left Tassesudon, and arrived next day at 
Paraghon". -Much good rich soil, with more pasture where the ground 
is not cultivated, than we had yet met with. Many fields of turnips 
in great perfection ; a plant they seem better acquainted with the 
cultivation of, than any other. Found on the road, many large and 
well-thriving birch, willows, pines, and firs: some walnut trees, the 
Arbutus uva ursi, abundance of strawberry, elderberry, bilberry, Chry- 
santhemum, or greater daisy, and many European grasses. Saw the 

' Tehintchieu. " Paro, Parogong, or Rinjipo. 

508 BOOT AN. 

Datura ferox, or thorn apple, a plant common in China, and some 
parts of Thibet, where it is used medicinally. They find it a powerful 
narcotic, and give the seeds, where they wish that effect to be pro- 
duced. It has been used as a medicine in Europe, and is known to 
possess these qualities in a high degree. Saw holly, dog rose, and 
aspin. The present crop, near Paraghon, on the banks of the Pachu", 
is rice, but not so far advanced as at Tassesudon : the same may be 
said of their fruits. They say it is colder iicrc, at all seasons, than at 
Tassesudon, which is certainly below the level of this place. 

Towards the summit of the mountain we crossed, found some rock 
of a curious appearance, forming in front, six or seven angular semi- 
pillars, of a great circumference, and some hundred feet high. Tiiis 
natural curiosity, was detached in part from the mountain, and pro- 
jected over a considerable fall of water, which added much to the 
beautiful and picturesque appearance of the whole. Numerous springs, 
some degrees colder than the surrounding atmosphere, gushing from 
the rock in the most elevated part of the mountain, furnish a very 
ample and seasonable supply of excellent water to the traveller. The 
rock, in many places, laminated, might be formed into very tolerable 
slate. Near to Paraghon iron stones are found, and one spring highly 
impregnated with this mineral. 

September 1 1 . Our road to Dukaigun", nearly due north, was a con- 
tinued ascent for eight miles, along the banks of the Pachu, falling 
over numerous rocks, precipices, and huge stones. Here we began to 
experience a very considerable change in the temperature of the 
"Patchieu. ♦ Dukka-jeung. 

BOOTAN. 399 

atmosphere ; the surrounding hills were covered with snow in the 
morning, which had fallen the preceding night, but disappeared soon 
after sunrise. The thermometer fell to 54° in the afternoon, and did 
not rise above 62° at noon. 

The face of the mountains, in some places bare, with projecting 
rock of so many different forms; quartz, flint, and a bad sort of free 
stone, common. Many very good springs, slightly impregnated with 
a selenitic earth. 

The soil is rich, and near to the river in great cultivation. Many 
horses, the staple article of their trade, are bred in this part of the 
country. Found walnut trees, peaches, apples, and pears. 

September 12. The road still ascending to Sanha?,. and near to the 
river for ten miles. 

The thermometer falling some degrees, we found it cold and chilly. 
The bed of the river was full of large stones, probably washed down 
from the mountains by the rapidity of its stream ; they were chiefly 
quartz and granite. Here was excellent pasture for numerous herds 
of goats. 

Road to Chichakumboo. From Sanha, the ascent is much greater; 
and after keeping for ten miles along the banks of the Pachu, still a 
considerable stream, we reached its source (from three distinct rivu- 
lets, all in view, ramified and supplied by numerous springs), and soon 
after arrived at the most elevated part of our road. 

Here we quitted the boundary of Boutan, and entered the territory 
of Thibet, where nature has drawn the line still more strongly, and 

■* Sana. 

400 TIBET. 

aflbrds, perhaps, the most extraordinary contrast that takes place on 
the face of the earth. From this eminence are to be seen the moun- 
tains of Boutan, covered with trees, shrubs, and verdure to their tops, 
and on the south side of this mountain, to within a few feet of the 
ground on which we tread. On the north side, the eye takes in an 
extensive range of iiills and plains, but not a tree, shrub, or scarce a 
tuft of grass is to be seen. Thus, in the course of less than a mile, we 
bad adieu to a most fertile soil, covered with perpetual verdure, and 
entered a country where the soil and climate seem inimical to the pro- 
duction of every vegetable. The change in the temperature of the air 
is equally obvious and rapid. The thermometer in the forenoon 34°, 
with frost and snow in the night time. Our present observations on 
the cause of this change confirmed us in our former opinion, and in- 
contestably prove, that we are to look lor Uiat difference of climate 
from tlie situation of the ground, as more or less above the general 
level of the earth. In attending to this cause of heat or cold, we must 
not allow ourseh es to be deceived by a comparison with that, which 
is immediately in view. We ought to take in a greater range ol 
country, and where the road is near the banks of a river, we cannot 
well err, in fojming a judgment of the inclination of the ground. Pu- 
nukha^ and Wanclepore', both to the northward of Tassesudon, are 
quite in a Bengal climate. The tiiermomcter at the first of these places, 
in the months of July and January, was within two degr-ees of what it 
had been at Rungpore for the same periods. They seem in more ex- 
posed situations than Tassesudon ; and were we to draw a comparison 
1 Punukka. ' Wandipore. 

TIBET. 401 

of their heights, from the surrounding ground, I should say they were 
above its level. The road, however, proves the reverse. From Pu- 
nukha to Tassesudon we had a continued and steep ascent for six 
hours and a half, with a very inconsiderable descent on the Tassesu- 
don side. From the south of the mountain, dividing Boutan from 
Thibet, the springs and rivulets are tumbling down in cascades and 
torrents, and have been traced by us near to the foot of the hills, 
where they empty themselves to the eastward of Buxaduar. On the 
north side, they glide smoothly along, and by passing to the north- 
ward, as far as Tishoolumboo', prove a descent on that side, which 
the eye could not detect. This part of the country, being the most 
elevated, is at all times the coldest ; and the snowy mountains, from 
their heights and bearings, notwithstanding the distance, are certainly 
those seen from Purnea. 

The soil on the Thibet side of the mountain, is sandy with much 
gravel and loose stones. On the road we found the aconitum pyre- 
neum, and two species of the saxifraga. 

Saw a large flock of chowry-tailed cattle ; their extensive range ol 
pasture seemed to make amends for its poverty. 

Sept. 15. From Faro' to Duina'' passed over an extensive plain, 
bounded by many small hills, oddly arranged ; some of them detached 
and single, and all seemed composed of sand, collected in that form, 
having the plain for their general base. 

At Duina found a few plots of barley, which they were cutting 
down, though green, as despairing of its ripening. The thermometer 

' Teshoo Loomboo. ' Phari. " Tiiena. 

402 TIBET. 

at six o'clock in the morning, below the freezing point, and the ground 
partially covered with snow. 

Sept. 16. Road to C/ialu'". Continued on the plain; found three 
springs forcing their way through the ground with violence, and 
giving rise to a lake many miles in extent, stored with millions of 
water-fowl and excellent hsh. Of the first, saw the cyrus, solan 
geese, many kinds of ducks, pintados, cranes, and gulls of different 
sorts. The springs of this lake are in great reputation for the cure of 
most diseases. I examined the water, and found it contained a portion 
of alum with the selenitic earth. On the banks of the lake, I found a 
crystallization, which proved to be an alkaline salt; it is used by the 
^tives for washing, and answers the purpose as well as pot-ash. The 
pasture, which is impregnated with this salt, is greedily sought after 
by fiheep and goats, antl proves excellent food for them. The hills are 
chieHy composed of sand, iucrustcd by the inclemency of the wea- 
ther and violent winds, seeming, at hrst view, composed of free- 

Sept. 17. Road to Siinadar''. Passed a lake still more considerable 
than the former, with which it communicates by a narrow stream, 
about three miles long. There never was a more barren or unpromis- 
ing soil ; little turf, grass, or vegetable of any sert, except near the 
lake. Saw a few huts, mostly in ruins and deserted. The only grain 
in this part of the country is barley, which they were cutting down 
every where green. 

Passed two springs, one of tiiem slightly impregnated with alum. 
" Chaloo. " Sumdts. 

TIBET. 403 

They form the principal source of a river, ^hich empties itself into the 
Burrampooter, near Tissoolumboo. 

The wind from the eastward of south, was now the coldest and most 
piercing; passing over the snowy mountains, and dry sandy desert 
before described, it comes divested of all vapour or moisture, and pro- 
duces the same effect, as the hot dry winds in more southerly situations. 
Mahogany boxes and furniture,- that had withstood the Bengal climate 
for years, were warped with considerable fissures, and rendered use- 
less. The natives say, a direct exposure to these winds^ occasions the 
loss of their fore teeth ; and our faithful guide ascribed that defect in 
himself, to this cause. We escaped with loss of the skin, from the 
greatest part of our faces. 

September 18. Road to SeluhJ Near our road to-day found a hot- 
well, much frequented by people with venereal complaints, rheu- 
matism, and all cutaneous diseases. They do not drink the water, but 
use it IS a bath. The thermometer, when immersed in the water, rose 
from 40° to 88°: it has a strong sulphurous smell, and contains a por- 
tion of hepar sulphuris. Exposure to air deprives it, like most other 
mineral wells, of much of its property. 

Septenber 19. Road to Takui.'- Passed some fields of barley and 
pease, aid got into a milder climate. Found, to-day, a great variety 
of stone and rock, some containing copper, and others, a very pure 
rock-crySal, regularly crystallized, with six unequal sides. The rock- 
crystal is of different sizes and degrees of purity, but of one form. 
Found sone flint and granite, several springs of water impregnated 

"f Shoohoo. * Tehukku. 


404 TIBET. 

with iron, and nearly of the same temperature with the atmosphere 
Saw a few ill-thriving willows planted near the habitations, which are 
the only trees to be met with. 

September 20j 21, and 22. Jioad to Tissoolumboo.* The remaining 
part of our journey was over a more fertile soil, enjoying a milder 
climate. Some very good fields of wheat, barley, and pease ; many 
pleasant villages, and distant houses ; less sand, and more rock ; part 
slaty, and much of it a very good sort of flint. The soil in the valley, 
a light-coloured clay and sand : they were everywhere employed in 
cutting down their crop. What a happy climate ! the sky was serene 
and clear, without a cloud ; and so confident were they of the con- 
tinuance of this weather, that their crop was thrown together in a 
convenient part of the field, without any cover, to remain till they 
could find time to thrash it out. 

Before we reached Tissoolumboo, we found some elms and ash 

The hills in Thibet have, from their general appearance, strong 
marks of containing those fossils, that are inimical to vegetation; such 
are most of the ores of the metal and pyritical matter. 

The country properly explored, promises better than any I have 
seen, to gratify the curiosity of a philosopher, and to re'ward the 
labours of a mineralist. Accident, more than a spirit of eiterprise 
arid enquiry, has already discovered the presence of many valuable 
ores and minerals in Thibet. The first in this list is, deservedy, gold : 
they find it in large quantities, and frequently very pure. Inthe form 

* Teshoo Loomboo. 

TIBET. 405 


of gold dust, it is found in the beds of rivers, and at their several 
bondings, generally attached to small pieces of stone, with every 
appearance of its having been part of a larger mass. They find it 
sometimes in large masses, lumps, and irregular veins ; the adhering 
stone is generally flint or quartz, and I have sometimes seen a half- 
formed, impure sort of precious stone in the mass. By a common pro- 
cess for the purification of gold, I extracted 12 per cent, of refuse from 
some gold dust ; and, on examination, found it to be sand, and tilings 
of iron, which last was not likely to have been with it in its native 
state, but probably employed for the purpose of adulteration. Two 
days journey from Tissoolumboo there is a lead mine; the ore is 
much the same as that found in Derbyshire, mineralized by sulphur, 
and the metal obtained by the very simple operation of fusion alone. 
Most lead contains a portion of silver, and some in such proportion, as 
to make it an object to work the lead ore, for the sake of the silver. Cin- 
nabar, containing a large portion of quicksilver, is found in Thibet, 
and might be advantageously employed for the purpose of extracting 
this metal. The process is simple, by distillation; but to carry it on 
in the great, would require more fuel than the country can well supply. 
I have seen ores and loose stones containing copper, and have not a 
doubt of its being found in great abundance in the country. Iron is 
more frequently to be met with in Boutan than in Thibet ; and, was it 
more common, the difficulty of procuring proper fuel for smelting the 
less valuable ores, must prove an insuperable objection to the working 
them. The dung of animals is the only substitute they have for fire- 
wood; and with that alone, they will never be able to excite a degree 

4 06 TIBET. 

of heat sufficiently Intense for such purposes. Thus situated, the most 
valuable discovery for them, would be that of a coal mine. In some 
parts of China bordering on Thibet, coal is found, and used as fuel. 

Tincal, the nature and production of which, we have only, hitherto, 
been able to guess at, is now well known, and Thibet, from whence 
we are supplied, contains it in inexhaustible quantities. It is a fossil, 
brought to market in the state in which it is dug out of the lake, and 
afterwards refined into borax by ourselves. Rock-salt is likewise found 
in great abundance in Thibet. 

The lake, from whence tincal and rock-salt are collected, is about 
fifteen days journey from Tissoolumboo, and to the northward of it. It 
is encompassed on all sides by rocky hills, without any brooks or 
rivulets near at hand ; but its waters are supplied by springs, which 
being saltish to the taste, are not used by the natives. The tincal is 
deposited or formed in the bed of the lake, and those who go to collect 
it, dig it up in large masses, which they afterwards break into small 
pieces, for the convenience of carriage, exposing it to the air to dry. 
Although tincal has been collected from this lake for a great length of 
time, the quantity is not perceptibly diminished; and as the cavities 
made by digging it, soon wear out, or fill up, it is an opinion with the 
people, tiiat the formation of fresh tincal is going on. They have 
never yet met it in dry ground, or high situations, but it is found in 
the shallowest depths, and the borders of the lake, which, deepening 
gradually from the edges towards the centre, contains too much water 
to admit of their searching for the tincal conveniently; but from the 
deepest parts they bring rock-salt, which is not to be found in shallows. 

TIBET. 407 

or near the bank. The waters of the lake rise and fall very little, being 
, supplied by a constant and unvarying source, neither augmented by 
the influx of any current, or diminished by any stream running from 
it. The lake, I was assured, is at least twenty miles in circumference, 
and, standing in a very bleak situation, is frozen for a great part of 
the year. The people employed in collecting these salts, are obliged 
to desist from their labour so early as October, on account of the ice. 
Tincal is used in Thibet for soldering, and to promote the fusion of 
gold and silver. Rock-salt is universally used for all domestic pur- j 
poses, in Thibet, Boutan, and Naphaul. 

The tliermometer at Tissoolumboo, during the month of October, was 
on an average, at eight o'clock in the morning, 38°; at noon, 46°; and 
at six o'clock in the evening, 42° : the weather clear, cool, and pleasant, 
and the prevailing wind was from the southward. During the month of 
November, we had frosts morning and evening ; a serene clear sky, not 
a cloud to be seen. The rays of the sun, passing through a medium so 
little obscured, had great influence. The thermometer was often below 
30° in the morning, and seldom above 38° at noon, in the shade; 
wind from the southward. 

Of the diseases of this country, the first that attracts our notice, as 
Ave approach the foot of the hills, is a glandular swelling in the throat, 
which is known to prevail in similar situations in some parts of 
Europe, and generally ascribed to an impregnation of the water from 
snow. The disease being common at the foot of the Alps, and con- 
fined to a tract of country near these mountains, has first given rise to 
the idea of its being occasioned by snow water. If a general view of 

408 TIBET. 

the disease and situations, where it is common, had been the subject of 
inquiry, or awakened the attention of any able practitioner, we should 
have been long since undeceived in this respect. On the coast of 
Greenland, the mountainous parts of Wales and Scotland, where 
melted snow must be continually passing into their rivers and streams, 
the disease is not known, though it is common in Derbyshire, and 
some other parts of England. Rungpore is about one hundred miles 
from the foot of the hills, and much farther from the snow, yet the 
disease is as frequent there as in Boutan. In Thibet, where snow is 
never out of view, and is the principal source of all their rivers and 
streams, the disease is not to be met with ; but what puts the matter 
past a doubt, is the frequency of the disease on the coast of Sumatra, 
where snow is never to be found. On finding the vegetable produc- 
tions of Boutan the same as those of the Alps, in almost every in- 
stance, it occurred to me, that the disease might arise from an impreg- 
nation of the water by these plants, or the soil probably possessing 
similar qualities, the spontaneous productions of both countries, with 
very few exceptions, being so nearly alike. It, however, appears 
more probable, that the disease is endemial, proceeding from a pecu- 
liarity in the air of situations in the vicinity of mountains, with such 
soil and vegetable productions. I am the more inclined to think so, 
as I have universally found this disease most prevalent amongst the 
lower class of people, and those who are most exposed to the un- 
guarded influence of the weather, and various changes that take place 
in the air of such situations. The primary cause in the atmosphere 
producing this effect, is perhaps not more inexplicable, than what we 

TIBET. 409 

meet with in the lowlands of Essex, and the fens in Lincolnshire. An 
accurate analysis of the water used in common by the natives, where 
this disease is more or less frequent, and where it is not known in 
similar exposures, might throw some light on this subject. 

This very extraordinary disease has been little attended to, from 
obvious reasons; it is unaccompanied with pain, is seldom fatal, and 
generally confined to the poorer sort of people. The tumour is un- 
sightly, and grows to a troublesome size, being often as large as a 
person's head. It is certainly not exaggerating to say, that one in six, 
of the Rungpore district and country of Boutan, has this disease. 

As those who labour most, and are the least protected from the 
changes of the weather, are most subject to the disease, we univer- 
sally find it in Boutan, more common with the women than men. It 
generally appears in Boutan at the age of thirteen or fourteen, and in 
Bengal at the age of eleven or twelve ; so that in both countries the 
disease shows itself about the age of puberty. I do not believe this 
disease has ever been removed, though a mercurial course seemed to 
check its progress, but did not prevent its advance after intermitting 
the use of mercury. An attention to the primary cause, will first lead 
to a proper method of treating the disease ; a change of situation for 
a short while, at that particular period when it appears, might be the 
means of preventing it. 

The people of this happy climate are not exempt from the venereal 
disease, which seems to rage with unremitting fury in all climates, and 
proves the greatest scourge to the human race. It has been long a 
matter of doubt, whether this disease has ever been cured by any 

410 TIBET. 

Other specific than mercury, and its different preparations. In defence 
of the opinion of other specifics being in use, it has always been urged, 
that the disease is frequent in many parts of the world, where it could 
not be supposed they were acquainted with quicksilver, and the pro- 
per method of preparing it as a medicine. I must own, that I expected 
to have been able to have added one other specific for this disease, to 
our list in the Materia Mcdica, being informed that the disease was 
common, and their method of treating it successful ; nor could I allow 
myself to think that they were acquainted with the method of preparing 
quicksilver, so as to render it a safe and efficacious medicine. In this, 
however, I was mistaken. 

The disease seems in this country to make a more rapid pro- 
gress, and rage with more violence, than in any other. This is to be 
accounted for from the grossness of their food, and little attention to 

There is one preparation of mercury in common use with them, arid 
made after the following manner. A portion of alum, nitre, vermi- 
lion, and quicksilver, are placed at the bottom of an earthen pot, with 
a smaller one inverted^ put over the materials, and well luted to the 
bottom of the larger pot. Over the small one, and within the large 
one, the fuel is placed, and the fire continued for about forty minutes. 
A certain quantity of fuel, carefully weighed out, is what regulates 
them with respect to the degree of heat, as they cannot see the mate- 
rials during the operation. When the vessel is cool, the small inverted 
pot is taken off, and the materials are collected for use. I attended the 
whole of the process, and afterwards examined the materials. The 

TIBET. 411 

quicksilver had been acted on, by tiie other ingredients, deprived ot 
its metalhc form, and rendered a safe and efficacious remedy. 

A knowledge of chemistry has taught us a more certain method of 
rendering this valuable medicine, active and efficacious : yet we find 
this preparation answering every good purpose, and, by their guarded 
manner of exhibiting it, perfectly safe. This powder is the basis of 
their pill, and often used in external application. The whole, when 
intimately mixed, formed a reddish powder, and was made into the 
form of pills, by the addition of a plum or date. Two or three pills, 
taken twice a day, generally bring on, about the fourth or fifth day, a 
spittuig, which is encouraged, by continuing the use of the pills for a 
day or two longer. As the salivation advances, they put a stick 
across the patient's mouth in the form of a gag, and make it fast 
behind. This, they say, is done to promote the spitting, and prevent 
the loss of their teeth. They keep up the salivation for ten or twelve 
days, during which time the patient is nourished with congee, and 
other liquids. Part of this powder is often used externally, by dif- 
fusing it in warm water, and washing sores and buboes. They dis- 
perse buboes frequently, by poultices of turnip tops-, in which they 
alvyays put vermilion, and sometimes musk. Nitre, as a cooler, is 
very much used internally by them, in this disease, and they strictly 
enjoin warmth and confinement, during the slightest mercurial course. 
Buboes, advanced to suppuration, are opened by a lancet, with a 
large incision, which they do not allow to close, before the hardness 
and tumour are gone. In short, I found very little room for improv- 
ing their practice in this disease. I introduced the method of killing 


412 TIBET. 

quicksilver with honey, gave them an opportunity of seeing it done, 
and had the satisfaction of finding it successfully used by themselves, 
before we left the country. 

This happy climate presents us with but little variety in their dis- 
eases. Coughs, colds, and rheumatism, are more frequent here than 

- in Bengal. Fevers generally arise here from a temporary cause, are 
easily removed, and seldom prove fatal. The liver disease is occa- 
sionally to be met with, and complaints in the bowels, are not unfre- 

, quent ; but the grossness of their food, and uncleanliness of their 
persons, would, in any other climate, be the source of constant disease 
and sickness. They are ignorant (as we were not many years ago) of 
the proper method of treating diseases of the liver, and other viscera ; 
this is, I believe, the cause of the most obstinate and fatal disease to 
be met with in the country; I mean, the dropsy. As the Rajah had 
ever been desirous of my aid and advice, and had directed his doctors 
to attend to my private instructions and practice, I endeavoured to 
introduce a more judicious method of treating those diseases, by mer- 
curial preparations. I had an opportunity of proving the advantage of 
this plan, to their conviction, in several instances, and of seeing them 
initiated in the practice. 

The Rajah favoured me with above seventy specimens of the medi- 
cines in use with them. They have many sorts of stones and petrifac- 
tions, saponaceous to the touch, which are employed as an external 
application, in swellings and pains of the joints. They often remove 
such complaints, and violent head-achs, by fumigating the part affected, 
with aromatic plants and flowers. They do not seek for any otheir 

TIBET. 413 

means of information respecting the state of a patient, than that of 
feeUng the pulse ; and they confidently say, that the seat of pain 
and disease, is easily to be discovered, not so much from the fre- 
quency of the pulse, as its vibratory motion. They feel the pulse, 
at the wrist, with their three fore-fingers, first of the right, and then 
of the left hand ; after pressing more or less on the artery, and occa- 
sionally removing one or two of the fingers, they determine what the 
disease is. They do not eat any thing the day on which tliey take 
physic, but ende'avour to make up the loss afterwards, by eating more 
freely than before, and using such medicines as they think will occa- 
sion costiveness. 

The many simples in use with them, are from the vegetable king- 
dom, collected chiefly in Boutan. They are in general inoffensive, and 
very mild in their operation. Carminatives and aromatics, are given 
in coughs, colds, and affections of the breast. The centaury, corian- 
der, carraway, and cinnamon, are of this sort. This last is, with them, 
the bark of the root of that species of Laurus, formerly mentioned as 
a native of this country. The bark from the root is, in this plant, the 
only part which partakes of the cinnamon taste; and I doubt very 
much if it could be distinguished, by the best judges, from what we 
call the true cinnamon. The bark, leaves, berries, and stalks of many 
shrubs and trees, are in use with them, all in decoction. Some have 
much of the astringent bitter taste of our most valuable medicines, 
and are generally employed here, with the same view, to strengthen 
the powers of digestion, and mend the general habit. Their principal 
purgative medicines are brought by the Chinese to Lassa. They had 

414 TIBET. 

not any niecUciiie that operated as a vomit, till I gave tlie Rajah some 
ipecacuanha, who made the first experiment with it on himself. 

In bleeding, they have a great opinion of drawing the blood, from a 
particular part. For head-achs, they bleed in the neck ; for pains in the 
arm and shoulder, in the cephalic vein ; and of the breast, or side, in 
the median ; and if in the belly, they bleed in the basilic vein. They 
think pains of the lower extremity, are best removed by bleeding in 
the ankle. They have a great prejudice against bleeding in cold 
weather; nor is any urgency, or violent symptom, thought a suffi- 
cient reason lor doing it at that time. 

They have their lucky and unlucky days for operating, or taking 
any medicine ; but I have known them get the better of this prejudice. 

Cupping is much practised by them*, a horn, about the size of a 
cupping glass, is applied to the part, and by a small aperture at the 
other end, they extract the air with their mouth. The part is after- 
wards scarified with a lancet. This is often done on the back ; and 
in pain and swelling of the knee, it is held as a sovereign remedy. I 
have often admired their dexterity in operating with bad instruments. 
Mr. Hamilton gave them some lancets, and they have since endea- 
voured, with some success, to make them of that form. They were 
very thankful for the few I could spare them. In fevers, they use the 
Kuthullega nut, well known in Bengal, as an efficacious medicine. 
They endeavour to cure the dropsy by external applications, and 
giving a compounded medicine, made up of above thirty different 
ingredients: they seldom or never succeed in effecting a cure of this 
disease. I explained to the Rajah the operation of tapping, and shewed 

TIBET. 415 

him the instrument with which it was done. He Vety eafnestly ex- 
pressed a desire that I should perform tiie operation, and wished much 
for a propel" subject ; such a one did not occur while I remained ; aftd 
perhaps it was as well, both for the Rajah's patients and my own 
credit ; for after having seen it once done, he would not have hesi- 
tated about a repetition of the operation. Gravelish complaints, and 
the stone in the bladder are, I believe, diseases unknown here. 

The small-pox, when it appears among them, is a disease that 
strikes them with too much terror and consternation, to admit of their 
treating it properly. Their attention is not employed in saving the 
lives orf the infected, but in preserving themselves from the disease. 
All communication with the infected is strictly forbidden, even at the 
risk of their being starved ; and the house, or village, is afterwards 
erased. A promiscuous and free imercourse, with their neighbours, 
not being altoAved, the disease is very seldom to be met with, and its 
progress always checked, by the vigilance and terror of the natives, 
few in the country have had the disease. Inoculation, if ever intro- 
duced, must be very general, to prevent the devastation that would be 
made by the infection in the natural way ; and where there could not 
be any choice in the subject fit to receive the disease, many must 
fall a sacrifice to it. The present Rajah of Thibet was inoculated, with 
some of his followers, when in China with the late Tishoo Lama. 

The hot bath is used in many disorders, particularly in complaints 
of the bowels, and cutaneous eruptions. The hot wells of Thibet are 
resorted to by thousands. In Boutan, they substitute water warmed 
by hot stones thrown into it. 

416 TIBET. 

In Thibet, the natives are more subject to sore eyes, and blindness, 
than in Boutan. The high winds, sandy soil, and glare from the re- 
flection of the sun, both from the snow and sand, account for this. 

I have dwelt long on this subject, because I think the knowledge 
and observations of these people on the diseases of their country, with 
their medical practice, keep pace with a refinement and state of civili- 
zation, which struck me with wonder, and, no doubt, will give rise to 
much curious speculation, when known to be the manners of a people, 
holding so little intercourse, with what we term civilized nations. 

December 1. Left Tishoolumboo, and found the cold increase every 
day, as we advanced to the southward, most of the running waters 
frozen, and the pools covered with ice strong enough to carry. Our 
thermometer having only the scale as low as 16°, we could not pre- 
cisely determine the degree of cold, the quicksilver being under that 
every morning. The frost is certainly never so intense in Great 
Britain. On our return to the lakes, the 14th, we found them deserted 
by the water fowl, and were infonned, that they had been one solid 
piece of ice since the 10th of November. .Here we resumed our 
amusement of skating, to the great astonishment of the natives and 
Bengal servants. 

On the 17th, we re-entered Boutan, and in six days more arrived 
at Punukha by Paraghon. No snow or host to be met with in Boutan, 
except towards the tops of their highest mountains ; the thermometer 
rising to 36° in the morning,, and 48° at noon. 

Took leave of the Debe Rajah, and on the 12th arrived at Buxaduar- 















Honourable Sir, Calcutta, February etb, irsa. 

riAviNG, in obedience to the instructions with which you were 
pleased to honour me, examined Poorungheer, the Gosein, who has 
at different times been employed in deputations to the late Teshoo 
Lartia, who formerly accompanied him to the court of Pekin, and who 
is lately again returned from Tibet, and having collected from him an 
account of the journey he has just performed, and such other informa- 
tion as he could give me, relative to the countries he has left ; I beg 
leave to submit it to you, in the following narrative. 

In the beginning of last year, Poorungheer having received from 
Mr. Hastings, a short time previous to his departure from Bengal, 
dispatches for Teshoo Lama, and the Regent of Teshoo Loomboo, im- 
mediately set about preparing for the distant journey, he had engaged 


420 . TIBET. 

to undertake ; the preparations employed him till the beginning of 
the following month of March, when, I beg leave to recall to your 
remembrance, I had the honour to present him' to you for his dis- 
mission. He then commenced his journey from Calcutta, and early 
in the month of April had passed, as he relates, the limits of the 
Company's provinces, and entered the mountains that constitute the 
kingdom of Bootan ; where, in the prosecution of his journey, he 
received, from the subjects of the Daeb Raja, the most ample and 
voluntary assistance to the frontier of his territory, nor did he meet 
with any impediment to oppose his progress, until his arrival upon the 
borders of Tibet. Here he was compelled to halt for near a fortnight, 
by a heavy fall of snow, that commenced upon his arrival at Phari, and 
continued for the space of six days, covering the face of the country to 
so great a depth, as totally to put a stop to all travelling, and rendered 
it impracticable for him to proceed, until a thaw succeeded to open 
the communication. 

During the time of his confinement at Phari, he says, such was the 
severity of the cold, and the injurious effect, which so rapid a transi- 
tion from a temperate climate, produced on the health of himself and 
his companions, that it left him little room to doubt, if an early change 
had not fortunately taken place, and permitted his advance, that they 
must all have fallen victims to the inclemency of the weather. How 
ever, as early as it was possible for him to leave Phari, he proceeded, 
by long stages, on his journey ; and, without encountering any further 
difficulties, on the 8th of May following, reached Teshoo Loomboo, 
the capital of Tibet. 

TIBET. 421 

Immediately upon entering the monastery, he went to" the Durbar 
of tiie Regent Chanjoo Cooshoo, Punjun Irtinnee Nimoheim, to an- 
nounce his arrival, and the purpose of his commission. 

Quarters were then allotted for his residence, and an hour appointed 
for him to wait upon the Lama, who, he was informed, the following 
morning intended to leave the palace, to occupy one of his gardens 
situated on the plain, within sight of the monastery, where it was 
visible, a considerable encampment had been formed. 

The Lama quitted his apartments at the first dawn of day, and was 
lodged in the tents, pitched for his accommodation, before the sun 
had risen. In the course of the morning, at the hour appointed for 
his admission, Poorungheer went down to the Lama's tents. He heard, 
on entering the gates of the enclosure, that the young Lama was 
taking his recreation in the garden, ranging about which, became with 
him a very favourite amusement. As it was at this time, in Tibet, 
the warmest season of the year, in order that he might enjoy the benefit 
of the air, his attendants had chosen a spot, where the trees afforded 
the completest shade, and had there placed an elevated seat of cushions, 
for the young Lama to rest upon after his exercise. In this situation 
Poorungheer found him, when summoned to his presence, attended 
by the Regent, his parents, Soopoon Choomboo, the cup-bearer, and 
the principal officers of ihe court. After making three profound pro- 
strations, at as remote a distance as it was possible, he approached, 
and presented to the Lama, according to the custom of Tibet, a piece 
of white pelong, and then delivered the letters and presents with which 
he had been charged. 

422 TIBET. 

The packages were all immediately opened before the Lama, who 
had every article brouglit near to him, and viewed them separately 
one by one. The letter he took into his own hand, himself broke the 
seal, and taking from tinder the cover a string of pearls, which it 
inclosed, run them over between his fingers, as they read their rosa- 
ries, and then, with an arch air, placed them by his side, nor would, 
while the narrator was in his presence, permit any one to take 
them up. 

Poomngheer says, that the young Lama regarded him with a very 
kind and significant look, spoke to him in the Tibet language, and 
asked him if he had had a fatiguing journey. The interview lasted more 
than an hour, during all which time the Lama sat with the utmost 
composure, not once attempting to quit his seat, nor discovering the 
least froward uneasiness at his confinement. Tea was twice brought 
in, and the Lama drank a cup each time. When'ordered to receive 
his dismission, Poorungheer approached the Lama, and bowing before 
him presented his head, uncovered, to receive his blessing, which the 
Lama gave, by stretching out his hand, and laying it upon his head. 
He then ordered him, as long as he continued at Teshoo Loombo, to 
come to him once every day. 

The following morning, Poorungheer waited upon the Regent at his 
apartments in the palace, to whom, after observing the customary 
forms of introduction, he delivered his dispatches. 

^fter this, he visited Soopoon Choomboo, the Lama's parents, and 

others, to whom he was before known ; and says, that he experienced, 

-from all quarters, the most coi'dial and kind reception, for they had all 

TIBET. 423 

been long accustomed to consider him as an agent of the government 
of Bengal. 

He found no change whatever to have ensued, in the administration, 
since his attendance upon me in Tibet. 

The country enjoyed perfect tranquiUity^ and the only event that 
had happened during his absence, of importance in their annals, was 
the inauguration of the infant Lama ; this event took place in the pre- 
ceding year; and as it is evidently a concern of the highest moment, 
whether considered in a political, or religious point of view, being no 
less than the recognizance, in an infant form, of their regenerated im- 
mortal sovereign, and ecclesiastical supreme, I was induced to bestow 
more than common pains, to trace the ceremonies that attended the 
celebration of so great an event; conceiving, that the novelty of the 
subject, might render the account curious, even if it should be found 
to contain no information of real utility. I shall therefore, without 
further apology, subjoin the result of my inquiries ; premising only, 
that my authority for the description, is derived principally from 
Poorungheer, and confirmed, with some additional particulars, by the 
concurring reports of a Gosein, who was at the time, present on the 

The Emperor of China appears, on this occasion, to have taken a 
very conspicuous part, in giving testimony of his respect and zeal, for 
the great religious father of his faith. Early in the year 1784, he sent 
ambassadors from the court of Pekin to Teshoo Loomboo, to repre- 
sent their sovereign, in supporting the dignity of the high priest, and 
to do honour to the occasion of the assumption of his office. Dalai 

424 TIBET. 

Lama, and the viceroy of Lassa, accompanied by all the court; one 
of the Chinese generals, stationed at Lassa, with a part of the troops 
under his command ; two of the four magistrates of the city ; the 
heads of every monastery throughout Tibet, and the Emperor's am- 
bassadors appeared at Teshoo Loomboo, to celebrate this grand epocha 
in their political and theological iiistory. 

The 58th day of the seventh moon, corresponding nearly, as their 
year commences with the vernal equinox, to the middle of October, 
1784, was chosen as the most auspicious for this solemnity. A few 
days previous to this, the Lama was conducted from Terpaling, the 
monastery in which he had passed his infancy, with every mark of 
pomp and homage, that could be paid by an enthusiastic people. So 
great a concourse as assembled, either from curiosity or devotion, was 
never seen before, for not a person of any condition in Tibet was 
absent, who could possibly attend. Hence the procession was necessa- 
rily constrained to move so slow, that though Terpaling is situated at 
the distance of five and twenty miles only from Teshoo Loomboo, three 
days expired in the performance of this short march. The first halt was 
made at Tsondue ; the second at Summar, about six miles off; from 
whence the most splendid parade was reserved for the Lama's entry 
on the third day. An account of his entry has been given -me by a 
person who was present in the procession. The road, he says, by 
which the Lama had to pass, was previously prepared, by being 
whitened with a wash, and having piles of stones heaped up, with 
small intervals between, on either side. The procession passed be- 
tween a double row of priests, who formed a street, extending all tlie 

TIBET. 425 

way from Summar to the gates of the palace. Some of the priests had 
lighted rods of a perfumed composition, that burn like decayed wood, 
and emit, as they consume, an aromatic smoke. The rest were fur- 
nished with the different musical instruments they use at their devo- 
tions, such as the gong, the cymbal, hautboy, trumpet, drums, and 
sea conch, which were all sounded in unison with the hymn they 
chanted. The crowd of spectators was kept without the street, and 
none admitted on the highway, but such as properly belonged to, or 
had a prescribed place in, the procession, which was arranged in the 
following order. 

The van was led by three military commandants, or governors of 
districts, at the head of six or seven thousand horsemen, armed with 
quivers, bows, and matchlocks. In their rear followed the ambassador 
with his suit, carrying his diploma, as is the custom of China, made 
up in the shape of a large tube, and fastened on his back. Next, the 
Chinese general advanced, with the troops under his command, mount- 
ed, and accoutred, after their way, with fire-arms and sabres ; then came 
a very numerous group, bearing the various standards and insignia of 
state ; after them a lull band of wind, and other sonorous instruments ; 
after which were led two horses richly caparisoned, each carrying two 
large circular stoves, disposed like panniers across the horses' backs, 
and filled with burning aromatic woods. These were followed by a 
senior priest, called a Lama, who bore a box containing books of their 
form of prayer, and some favourite idols. Next, nine sumptuary 
horses were led, loaded with the Lama's apparel ; after which came 
tlie priests immediately attached to the Lama's person, for the per- 

'12 6 TIBET. 

lormance of daily offices in the temple, amounting to about seven 
liundred ; Ibllovving them, were two men, eacli carrying on his 
shoulder a large cylindrical gold vessel, embossed witii emblematical 
figures, a gift from the Emperor of China. The Duhunniers and Soo- 
poons, who were employed in communicating addresses, and distri- 
buting alms, immediately preceded the Lama's chair of state, which 
was covered with a gaudy canopy, and borne by eight of the sixteen 
Chinese appointed for this service. On one side of the chair attended 
the Regent ; on the other, the Lama's father. It was followed by the 
heads of the different monasteries, and, as the procession advanced, 
the priests, who formed the street, fell in the rear, and brought up the 
cavalcade, which moved with an extremely slow pace, and about noon 
was received within the confines of the monastery, amidst an amazing 
display of colours, the acclamations of the crowd, solemn music, and 
the chanting of their priests. 

The Lama being safely lodged in the palace, the Regent and Soo- 
poon Choomboo went out, as is the customary compliment paid to 
visitors of high rank on their near approach, to meet and conduct 
Dalai Lama, and the Viceroy of Lassa, who were on their way to 
Teshoo Loomboo. Their respective retinues met the following morn- 
ing at the foot of the castle of Painom, and the next day entered the 
monastery of Teshoo Loomboo together, where both Dalai Lama and 
the Viceroy of Lassa were accommodated during their stay. 

The fbllowin'r morning;, which was the third after Teshoo Lama's 
arrival, he was carried to the great temple, and about noon seated on 
the throne of his predecessors. At this time, the Emperor's ambassador 

TIBET. 427 

delivered his diploma, and placed the presents, with which he had 
■been charged, at the Lama's feet. 

The three next ensuing days, Dalai Lama met Teshoo Lama in the 
temple, where they were assisted by ail the priests in the invocation, 
and public worship of their gods. The rites then performed, completed, 
as I understood, the business of inauguration. During this interval, 
all who were at the capital, were entertained at the public expense, 
and alms wer£ distributed without reserve. In conformity, likewise, 
to public notice, cumulated every where for the same space of time, 
universal rejoicings prevailed throughout Tibet. Banners were un- 
furled on all their fortresses. The peasantry filled up the day, with 
music and festivity, and the night was celebrated by general illumi- 
nations. A long period was afterwards employed in making presents, 
and public entertainments, to the newly inducted ^Lama, who at the 
ctime of Ills accession to the musnud, or, if I may use the term, ponti- 
ficate of Teshoo Loomboo, was not more than three years of age. 
The ceremony was begun by Dalai Lama, whose offerings are said to 
have amounted to a greater value, and his public entertainment to 
have been more splendid, than the rest. The second day was devoted 
■to the Viceroy of Laasa. The third to the Chinese general. Then 
Jbllowed the Culloong, or magistrates of Lassa, and the rest of the 
principal persons, who had accompanied Dalai Lama. After w^hich 
the Regent of Teshoo Loomboo, and all that were dependent on that 
government, were severally admitted, according to the pre-eminence 
of their rank, to pay their tributes of obeisance and respect. As soon 
as the acknowledgments of all those, were received, who were entitled 


428 TIBET. 

to the privilege, Teshoo Lama made, in the same manner, suitable 
returns to each; an occupation which lasted near forty days. Many 
importunities were used with Dalai Lama, to prolong his stay at 
Teshoo Loomboo, but he excused himself from incumbering the capi- 
tal any longer, with so numerous a concourse of people, as attended 
on his movements ; and deeming it expedient to make his absence as 
short as possible from the seat of his authority, at the expiration of 
forty days, he withdrew, with all his suite, to Lassa. The Emperor's 
ambassadors also received their dismission to return to China ; and 
thus terminated this famous festival. 

With respect to the lately established commercial intercourse, Poo- 
rungheer informs me, that though he returned so early, he found him- 
self not the first person, who had arrived at Teshoo Loomboo from 
Bengal. Many merchants had already brought their commodities to 
market, and others followed, before he left the place. He heard from 
no quarter, complaints of impediment or loss ; and concludes, therefore, 
that all the adventurers met the same easy access, and ready aid, 
which he himself had experienced. The markets were well stocked 
with English and Indian articles, yet not in so great a degree, as to 
lower the value of commodities, below the prices of the two or three 
last preceding years. Bullion was somewhat reduced in worth, in 
comparison with the year 1783. A pootree, or bulse of gold dust, the 
same quantity that then sold for twenty, or twenty-one indermillees, 
was now procurable, of a purer quahty, for nineteen and twenty 

A tarreema, or talent of silver, which was then five hundred, was 

TIBET. 429 

now four hundred and fifty indermillees, so that the exchange was 
much in favour of the trader. 

Poorungheer, during his residence at Tcshoo Loomboo, had fre- 
quent interviews with the Regent and tiie minislers, and he assures 
me, that lie foiuid the heartiest dispositions in them, to encourage the 
commercial intercourse, estabhshed under the auspices of the late 
Governor General, whose departure, however, the Regent regretted as 
the loss of the first friend and ally he became acquainted with, I be- 
lieve it may be said, in any foreign nation. In him, was acknowledged 
also, the original cause of opening the communication, and commen- 
cing a correspondence between the governments of Bengal and Tibet. 
But though, in consequence of the Regent's having, Irom the begin- 
ning, been used exclusively to address himself to the agents of Mr. 
Hastings, his attachment to the English nation, during a long inter- 
change of conciliating offices, had been mixed with a great degree of 
personality, yet, Tree from all unworthy capriciousness of temper, he 
descended not, to take advantage of the opening offered him, to close 
the new connection. The respect he had learned to entertain for our 
national integrity of character, was deep and sincere; and apparently 
from a conviction, that our views tended to no scheme of ambition, 
but' were confined merely to objects of utility and curiosity : Poorung- 
heer assures me, he expressed an anxious desire for continuing, with the 
succeeding Governor General, the exercise oj those offices of friendship, 
so long supported by his predecessor. And, in the hope that his own 
would be met with equal good Avishes on your part, he determined to 
invite you to join him, in preserving between Tibet and Bengal, the 

450 TIBET. 

same intercourse of commerce and correspondence, so essentially cal- 
culated for the benefit of both countries. In consequence of these 
sentiments, the Lama and llie Regent of Teshoo Loomboo addressed 
the letters, which Poorungheer had the honour to deliver to you. 
Translations of these letters, having applied for them to your Persian 
translator, in obeisance to your directions, I now subjoin, viz. 

From Teshoo Lama. 

" God be praised that the situation of these countries is in peace 
and happiness, and I am always praying at the altar of the Most High 
for your health and preservation. This is not unknown. You are 
certainly employed in protecting and assisting the whole world, and 
you promote the good and happiness of mankind. We have made no 
deviation from the union and unanimity, which existed during the 
time of the hrst of nobles, Mr. Hastings, and the deceased Lama ; and 
may you also grant friendship to these countries, and always make me' 
happy with the news of your health, which will be tlie cause of ease 
to my heart, and confirmation to my soul. At this time, as friendly 
offerings of union, and affection, and unanimity, I send one handker- 
chief, one kitoo of silver, and one piece of Cochin.. 

" Let them be accepted," 

From the Regent of Teshoo Loomboo. 
" God be praised that the situation of these countries is in peace and 
happiness, and I am always praying at the altar of the Almighty for 
your health and preservation. This is not unknown. I am constantly 

TIBET. 431 

emproyed in promoting the advantage of the subjects, and tiie service 
of tlie newly seated Lama; because the newly seated Lama is not 
distinct from the deceased Lama, and the hght of his forehead is 
exalted. Grant your friendship to Poorungheer Gosein, and maintain 
union, and unanimity,, and affection, like the first of nobles : and every 
day make me happy by the news of your health and prosperity ; and 
bestow favours like the first of nobles, and make me happy with letters^ 
which are the cause of consolation. 

" At this time, as friendly offerings of union, and affection, and 
unanimity, I send one handkercheif, three tola of gold, and one piece 
of Cochin. 

" Let them be accepted." 

Poorungheer, having received these dispatches, in the beginning of 
October, after a residence of five months at Teshoo Loomboo, took 
leave of the Lama, and the Regent, and set out upon his return, by 
the same route he came, to Bengal. 

The weather, at this season of the year, being extremely favourable 
for travelling, he experienced no delay or interruption, in the course 
of his journey through Tibet and Bootan, but arrived at Rungpore. 
early in December, whence he proceeded as expeditiously as possible 
to the presidency. Here, to his great mortification and concern, he 
finds upon his arrival, that his affairs are involved in great distress. 

The little territory his adopted Chela was left in charge of, having 
during his absence been violently invaded by Raaj Chund, a neigh- 
bouring Zemcendar, and to the amount of fifty begas, forcibly taken 

432 TIBET. 

out of his hands. Prevailed on by his earnest and repeated solicita- 
tion, I am induced to say for him, that in your justice and favour are 
his only hopes of relief from his embarrassments ; and he humbly sup- 
plicates your protection in restoring, and securing him in the posses- 
sion of his invaded rights. The liberty of this intercession, I am con- 
dent to think, would be forgiven, were it not in favour of one who has 
rendered various useful services to this government ; but though of 
trivial importance, it afibrds also an authentic instance, of the en- 
croaching disposition of inferior Zemeendars. Yet another circum- 
stance it may not be improper to point out ; that the ground alluded 
to, is a part of the land situated on the western bank of the river, 
opposite to Calcutta, which was formerly granted, under a sunnud of 
this government, to Tcshoo Lama, for the foundation of a place of 
worship, and as a resort for those pilgrims of his nation, who might 
occasionally make visits to the consecrated Ganges. 

Having, in conformity to your commands, done my best endeavours 
literally to translate all the information Poorungheer could give me, I 
have now to apologize for the prolixity of the account, in which I 
have been induced to be particularly minute, as I conceived that every 
circumstance, however trivial, might in some degree be interesting, 
whicli tends to illustrate any trait in the national character of a people 
with whom we are but recently become acquainted, and with whom, 
in its extended views, it has been an object of this government to 
obtain a closer alliance. 

I will not now presume to intrude longer on your time, by adding 
any observations, or conjectures, deducible from the elevated impor- 

TIBET.- 433 

tance your young ally seems rising to, in consequence of the signal 
respect paid him by the most exalted political characters known to his 
nation; but I beg leave to repeat, that it is with infinite satisfaction, I 
learn from the reports of Poorungheer, the flourishing state of the lately 
projected scheme of trade ; to promote which, he assures me, not any 
thing has been wanting in facility of intercourse ; that the adventurers, 
who had invested their property, had experienced perfect security in 
conducting their commerce, had carried their articles to an exceeding 
good market, and found the rate of exchange materially in their favour. 
These advantages, authorize an expectation, that these first attempts 
will gradually encourage a spirit of more extensive enterprize ; and, 
permit me to add, I derive a confidence from this infant essay, which 
inspires me with the strongest hopes, that the commission, which your 
honourable Board was pleased to commit to my charge, will even- 
tually be productive of essential benefit to the political and commer- 
cial interests of the Company. 

I have the honour to be, 

ire .'be. be. 







1785 TO 1793. 




1 HE affairs of Tibet continued in a flourishing and prosperous state 
till the year 1792>when intelligence was received, that a race of 
people who inhabit the mountains of Nipal, which are situated to the 
south of Tibet, to the west of Bootan, and border on the northern 
frontier of Bengal, had commenced hostilities against the states of 
Tibet. A numerous body were reported to be then in motion, and 
actually engaged in open invasion of the possessions of Teshoo Lama; 
to whose superior power, a nation without soldiers and without arms, 
was quickly found to be an easy prey. 

The progress of the Nipalese then was rapid in the extreme ; and 
though, roused by the alarm, multitudes assembled in the way, they 
could oppose no effectual resistance against the rude incursion of an 
impetuous enemy, naturally daring, and now animated with the hope 
of plunder. Their advance, therefore, against a panic-struck and 
unarmed multitude, was but very slightly impeded. No sooner had 
the alarm been given, than they appeared before Teshoo Loomboo, 
and, with great difficulty, the Lama, himself, and all the Gylongs of 

438 TIBET. 

the monastery, found means to escape in time across the Berham- 
pooter. Here, choosing a station remote from the river, the party 
remained awhile free from annoyance or pursuit; till at length the 
Lama, when it was perfectly ascertained that his capital had become 
a prey to the rapacity of plunderers, was conducted hy slow marches 
towards Lassa. 

In the mean time the Nipalese, eager to possess the spoils, which 
the fortune of war had placed within their reach, abandoned themselves 
entirely to plunder. The valuable booty, which had for ages been 
accumulating at Teeshoo Loomboo, appears to have been the chief, if 
not the sole, object of their inroad; for no sooner had they stripped 
the monastery of its treasures, and robbed the mausolea of the Lamas 
of all their most valuable ornaments, than they withdrew themselves 
towards the frontier, in order that they might effectually secure the 
spoils they had acquired. 

In the mean time intelligence was conveyed, with the utmost expe- 
dition, to the court ofChina.of this daring and unprovoked aggression, 
from a people who had commenced hostilities upon the sacred ter- 
ritory. This information was no sooner received in China, than an 
edict was issued for the instant formation of an army, to protect and 
avenge the Lama. 

The borders of Tartary, immediately contiguous to China, afforded a 
force amply sufficient for the occasion ; and troops were summoned to 
assemble, and directed to proceed without delay, to Teshoo Loomboo. 
The Nipalese, however, had already decamped from thence, with a 
view immediately to lodge in safety, the treasures of which they had 

TIBET. 459 

Stripped the monastery. This purpose having been completely accom- 
plished, they then reassembled in full force upon Tingri Meidan, an 
extensive plain^ ^/ing about midway between Nipal and Teeshoo 
Loomboo, where they determined to wait, and try their strength, in 
case the Tibetians should choose to give them battle. 

The Chinese general, with the Tartar troops under his command, 
advanced without hesitation, and witii a fixed determination to attack 
the enemy, having first directed the Tibetians, whom he came to 
succour, to keep aloof during the contest, that he might have only, 
under his command, men who had been disciplined and trained to 
arms. Thus adopting every necessary and prudent precaution, he 
marched to attack the enemy, and a severe contest is said to have 
been obstinately maintained, which at length terminated in the com- 
plete defeat of the Nipalese. 

The general being determined to pursue his success with all convenient 
speed, came up with the enemy again immediately, upon the frontier ; 
here he engaged them a second time, with the same good fortune as at 
first. The Nipalese were now forced to abandon the confines of Tibet, 
and hastened to enter their own territories. The pass, upon the borders 
of Nipal, was protected by a military post called Coti, and this they 
look especial care to strengthen with a powerful detachment, sufficient 
to keep the Chinese Ibrce in check, for a considerable time. From the 
advantage of position, these troops were enabled at first to maintain 
themselves against all assaults ; but at length worn out by repeated 
attacks, the Nipalese were ultimately compelled to abandon this place 
also, and retire within the fastnesses of their mountains : yet this step 

4 40 TIBET. 

was not determined on, without the most prudent circumspectioir. 
All the roads upon the hills were broken up, the bridges were removed 
from across the torrents, and every possible obstacle was thrown in 
the way of the enemy. 

Thus closely pressed by a victorious army, and destitute of any 
immediate resource, the Nipalese were induced to solicit the interfe- 
rence of the British government. 

Captain Kirkpatriclc, an oHicer in our service, was at this time 
appointed ambassador to Nipal, and he was the first of our nation who 
ever obtained admission into that country. The object of his embassy 
was considered in different points of view, by the parties that were 
either directly, or remotely, engaged in the present contest. The 
Chinese commander is said to have made no very favourable report 
of the English, at his court, for he viewed our connection with the 
Nipalese in a most inauspicious light. These representations from him, 
and our declining to afford effectual assistance to the Lama's cause, 
had considerable weight at the Chinese court ; the similarity of dress 
and discipline, between the Nipal soldiers and the battalions in the 
British service, is said, also, to have been most forcibly stated, and 
not without considerable effect, since the suspicious character of the 
Chinese, could hardly be persuaded to believe, that we had not given 
assistance to their enemies. 

The Chinese troops, however, pursued their fortune with uniform suc- 
cess; and, daunted by their superior conduct and courage, the Nipalese 
now began to look upon all further resistance as vain, and immediately 
had recourse to the most abject and most submissive entreaty. 

T 1 li E T. 4il 

The Chinese general at length listened to their overtures, and 
granted them a peace, vipon the conditions of an annual tribute to the 
empire, and the full restitution of all the spoils which they had carried 
away from the monastery of Teslioo Loemboo. Hostages were deli- 
vered for the due execution of these engagements ; the stipulations of 
the treaty were performed, and the army under the Chinese general 
withdrew, but not without establishing several militaiy posts along 
the southern frontier. So careful, indeed, were the Chinese to avail 
themselves of every possible advantage within their reach, that they 
occupied an intermediate country between Bootan and Nipal, the ter- 
ritory of a petty chief, denominated Raja of Segwin, or Seccum, who 
had been sometimes vexed by the hostile interference, and long 
obnoxious to the caprice and rapacity of the Nipalese, on his oifering 
to become subject to China, and accepting protection from the victo- 
rious general. A station was then established, of which a guard was 
left in charge ; and thus the Chinese were put into actual possession of 
a military post, immediately adjoining to the territory of the East India 
Company in Bengal. 

The Chinese commander attempted to extend his frontier over the | 
country of the Daeb Raja, which bounds the possessions of the Com- 
pany on the north, by a long continued line ; but he was not per- 
mitted to lead his forces over the intermediate mountains of Bootan ; 
and, in consequence of the opposition made by the Daeb Raja to his 
design, he was necessarily obliged to become content with establishing 
a station on their northern boundary, at Phari, which is a post of 
strength, upon the frontier of Tibet. 

442 TIBET. 

This circumstance has unhappily put a stop to all communication 
between the northern states, and the provinces of Bengal, as the Chi- 
nese, with their accustomed jealousy and caution, guard the station 
they were permitted to occupy. The approach of strangers, even of 
the natives of Bengal and Hindostan, is utterly prohibited. 

A most violent prejudice prevails even against the Hindoo Goseins, 
who are charged with treachery against their generous patrons, by 
becoming guides and spies to the enemy, and have in consequence, it 
is said, been proscribed their accustomed abode at Teshoo Loomboo, 
where they had been ever patronised in great numbers by the Lama, 
and enjoyed particular favour and indulgence. From this period, 
unhappily, is to be dated the interruption which has taken place in 
the regular intercourse between the Company's possessions, and the 
territory of the Lama. 


No. I. 

Translation of a Letter from Kienlong, Emperor of China, to Dalai Lama, the 

Grand Lama of Tibet, 

JTlaced by heaven at the head of ten thousand kingdoms, my utmost 
endeavours are employed to govern them well. I neglect no means to procure 
peace and liappiness to all that have life. I endeavour also to make learning 
and religion flourish. Lama, I am persuaded that you enter into my views, 
and that your intentions accord with mine. I am not ignorant that you do 
all, that depends on you, to omit nothing your religion prescribes, and to 
follow exactly all the laws. You are punctual at prayer, and you bestow the 
attention that praying well requires". It is principally by this that you become 
the most firm support of the religion of Fo. I rejoice in it from my heart, 
and give you, with pleasure, the praises that are your due. 

By the favour of heaven I enjoy health. I wish, Lama, that you may 
enjoy the same blessing, and that you may long continue to offer up your 
fervent prayers. 

The year before last the Punjun Irtinnee set out from Teshoo Loomboo, 
in order to pray here, upon the occasion of my seventieth birthday, to which 
I am drawing nigh. He performed his journey in good health. As soon as 
I was acquainted with his departure, and that he informed me he was to pass 
the winter at Koumboum, I sent the Lieutenant General Ouan-fou, and 
another grandee, named Pao-tai, to meet him, and ordered them to convey to 



him a soutchou* of pearls, that I had myself worn ; a saddle, and all the 
accoutrements of a riding horse ; some utensils of silver, and other trifles. 
They found him at Koumboum, treated him in my name with a feast of 
ceremony, and delivered these presents. 

This last year the Punjun Irtinnee having left Koumboum on his route to 
me, I sent to him, a second time, the grandees of my presence, Our-tou-ksoon 
and Ta-fou, accompanied by Ra-koo, a Lama of the rank of Hou-touk-too*'. 
To these three deputies I committed one of my travelling chairs, one of my 
camp tents, the small flags, and other tokens of distinction proper to create 
respect, with which he was to be complimented on my behalf. 

They met him at the town of Houhou, and presented to him what they 
were commissioned with, after having given him, as before, a feast of 

When I learned that he was no more than a few days journey from the 
frontiers, I dispatched to meet him the sixth Ague, who is now the eldest of 
my sons, and caused him to be accompanied by the Hou-touk-tou-tchen-kio. 
They met him at the Miao, or temple, of Taihan : there they saluted him on 
my part, gave him a feast of ceremony, and presented to him in my name a 
soutchou of pearls, more valuable than those first sent; a cap, enriched with 
pearls; a led horse, with saddle and accoutrements; some utensils of silver, 
and other trifles. 

After his departure from the Miao of Taihan, the Punjun Irtinnee repaired 
to Tolonor, where he waited some time in order to receive all I designed to 
send him. I deputed, for the purpose of saluting him, those of the princes 
of the blood, who have the title Khawn, and guards of my person. They 
were accompanied by Fenchen and Tchilouu, officers of rank, and by the 
Lamas Avouang, Patchour, and Ramtchap. They presented to him in my 

* The soutchou is a string of beads formed of different substances, as of coral, pearl, glass, 
sweet scented wood, &c. which the Lamas and Mandarines carry as marks of distinction. P. 
Amiot. And use as rosaries, repeating the sacred sentence, Oom maunee paimee oom, as they 
pass each bead between the finger and the thumb. 

•• Hou-touk-too, are with the Lamas what bishops are with us, P. Amiot. 

* APPENDIX. 445 

name a cap of ceremony, ornamented with pearls, aiul many utensils of gold 
and silver. On the 2 1st day of the seventh moon, the Punjun Irtinnee 
arrived at Ghol, where I then was, and gave me a feast of ceremony, to which 
the Lamas of his suite, from Loumboo*^ and Poutala'*, were admitted. I 
gave, in return, a solemn entertainment; but apart, to all the Lamas of 
Gehol, to the Lamas of the Tchasaks, of the Eleuths, of the Kokonors, of 
the Tourgouths, and of the Turbeths. 

During this festival the Mongoux princes, the Begs, the Taidji, and other 
principal nobility of the different hordes, as well as the deputies, or ambas- 
sadors, from the Coreans, the Mahomedans, and others, who were assembled 
at Gehol. did homage to him, by performing the ceremonies of respect, used on 
such occasions. 

Delighted with a reception so honourable and so uncommon, the Punjun 
Irtinnee expressed marks of satisfaction, that charmed all these strangers in 
their turn. He took this occasion to request that I would permit him to 
accompany me to Pekin ; to which I consented. The second day of the 
ninth moon was that, on which he made his entry, into this capitalof my vast 
dominions. All the Lamas, many thousands in number, came forth to meet 
him, prostrated themselves in his presence, and fulfilled, with respect to him, 
the other duties which their customs prescribe. After all these ceremonies 
were finished, he was conducted to Yuen-ming-yuen, and I assigned for his 
habitation that part of my palace, which is named the golden apartment. 

I gave directions that every thing worthy of curiosity, in the environs, 
should be shewn to him: he accordingly went to Hiang-chan, to Ouan- 
cheou-chan, and other places deserving notice. 

He visited the Miaos, or temples, of these different places, and was every 
where received with distinguished honours. He oflBciated in person, at the 
dedication of the imperial JMiao, which 1 had erected at Ouan-cheou-chan, 
and which was just then completed. 

On the third day of the tenth moon, I gave him a grand entertainment in 

' Teshoo Loomboo, I lie residence of Teshbo Lama. 
"^ Pootala, the residence of Dalai Luma. 


tlie garden of Yueng-ming-yuen ; and, during the entertainment, I caused to 
be brought, in presence of all the court, the various articles I designed for 
him, and which I added to those already presented. 

After the entertainment he repaired, with the principal persons of his 
suite, to the Miao of the ampliation of charity, and to that of concord. He 
offered up prayers in the one and in the other, for the prosperity of my reign, 
and for the benefit and happiness of every living creature. 

The Punjun Irtinnee, in undertaking a journey of twenty thousand lys, to 
contribute to the celebrity of my Ouan-cheou*, did more than sufficient, to 
entitle him to all the distinctions, that could evince my sense of his kindness ; 
but the air of satisfaction and pleasure, wiiich diffused itself on all around 
him, and which he himself manifested, whenever he was admitted to my 
presence, impressed on my mind, one of the most exquisite gratifications it 
ever felt. I remarked, with a peculiar sentiment of affection, that he never 
once spoke to me on the subject of his return. He seemed disposed to fix his 
abode near my person. But, alas I how uncertain arc the events of this 

On the twentieth of the tenth moon, the Punjun Irtinnee felt himself 
indisposed. I was informed of it, and instantly sent my physicians to visit 
him. They reported to me that his complaints were serious, and even 
dangerous. I did not hesitate to go to him in person, in order to judge 
myself of his situation. He received me with the same tokens of pleasure, 
that he had ever shewn when admitted to my presence; and from the words 
full of satisfaction, with which he addressed me, I might have conceived that 
he was in the complete enjoyment of health. It was, however, far otherwise ; 
and the venom of the small-pox, had already spread itself through all parts of 
his body. 

The second day of the eleventh moon, his disorder was pronounced to be 
incurable. The Punjun Irtinnee suddenly changed his corporeal dwelling ^ 
The afflicting intelligence was immediately communicated lo me. The shock 

' Seventieth birthday. 

' This is the consecrated term, to say that he had ceased living, or that he died. P. Amiot. 


overcame me. With a heart full of the most poignant grief, and eyes bathed 
in tears, I repaired to the yellow chapel, where, with my own hands, I burned 
perfumes to him. 

Although I am well aware, that to come and to go, are but as the same 
thing to the Punjun Irtinnee, yet when I reflect, that he made a most long 
and painful journey, for the sole purpo.«e of doing honour to the day of my 
Ouan-cheou ; and that after having fulfilled that object, it was not his fate to 
return in tranquillity, as I had hoped, to the place of his usual abode : this 
reflection. I say, is distressing to me beyond all expression. To console me 
in some degree, or, at least, to attempt some alleviation of my griefs, I have 
resolved to render memorable, the day of his regeneration. I named for the 
guard of his body Chang-tchaopa, Soui-boun-gue, and fK^me other grandees; 
and gave them particular orders for the construction of a receptacle for it, 
worthy of such precious remains, which lie in the interior of the yellow 
temple. I gave directions also for making a shrine of gold, in which should 
be deposited the body of the Irtinnee. This was executed by the twenty-first 
day of the twelfth moon. I then regulated the hundred days of prayer, 
counting from that day, on which he disappeared. It was only to alleviate, 
however little, the grief in which my heart was overwhelmed, that I acted so. 
1 also caused several towers to be erected in different places, which I consi- 
dered as so many palaces that he might have planned himself for varying 
his abode, or such as I might have assigned to him for his recreation. I 
bestowed bounties, on his behalf, to the most eminent of his disciples, and to 
the principal Houtouktous. I gave them soutchous of pearls, with permission 
to Avear them ; and I particularly distinguished the brother of Irtinnee, by 
conferring on him the title of prince of the efficient prayer. I did not 
neglect the Tchasak Lamas, in the distribution of my gifts. Several amongst 
them, were decorated with honourable titles, and received from me, soutchous 
of pearls, pieces of silk, and other things, with which they appeared to be 

My design, in entering with you into this detail, is, to prove to you the 
estimation in which I hold whatever is connected with you, and the profound 


regard I have for your person. The number of one hundred days, allotted 
to prayer, was completed on the thirteenth of the second moon of the present 
year. I issued my orders for the departure : , the body \vas conveyed with 
due pomp; and I joined ' ° procession myself, in person, as far as it was 
proper I should go. 1 deputed the sixth Ague, now the eldest of my sons, 
to accompany it to the distance of three days journey from this capital ; and 
I nominated Petchingue, mandarin in the tribunal of foreign affairs, and 
Iroultou, one of my guards, to accompany it all the way to Teshoo Loomboo. 
Although the Punjun Irtinnee, has changed his abode, I have full confidence 
that, with the aid 1 have rendered to him, he will not long delay to be fixed 
in another habitation. 

Lama, it is my desire tliat you shew kindness to all the Lamas of Teshoo 
Loomboo, and respect them on my account : from the conduct they have 
observed, I judge them worthy of being your disciples. 1 recommend to you, 
especially those who accompany the body, and who will perform the number 
of prayers, that you shall regulate, for the completion of the funeral rites. I 
hope you will cheerfully execute what you know will be agreeable to me. It 
only remains for me to add, that I send you Petchingue and his suite, to 
salute you in my name, and inform themselves of the state of your health. 
They will deliver to you a soutchou of coral, to be used on grand festivals; 
a tea-pot of gold, weighing thirty ounces ; a bowl of the same metal, and the 
same weight ; a tea-pot and bowl of silver ; thirty soutchous of various 
different coloured beads, and twenty, purses, great and small, of various 

The fourteenth of the second moon, of the forty-sixth year of the reign of 


No. II. 

Translation of a Letter from Changoo Cooshoo Punjiin Irtinnee Keimoheim, Regent 
of Teshoo Loomhoo, to Warren Hastings, Esq. Governor General, ^c. ire. 
Received the 1 2 ih February , 17 8 2. 

J. o the fountain of benefits, abounding in excellencies, ornament of the 
chief seat of power and of greatness, shedding splendour on the leaders of 
Europe ; repository of valour and magnanimity ; exalted in enterprize ; 
high in dignity ; the Governor Immaud u' Dowlah. May his fortitude and 
his existence be perpetuated by the bounty of Almighty God 1 

Some time before this, the Khawkavvn of China called unto him the lord of 
his votaries, the luminary of the world, Maha Gooroo, with earnest solicita- 
tions: and on the I7th of the month Rubbee u' saunie, in the year of die Hejera, 
1193*, the Lama, according to agreement, directed his steps towards the 
region of China. And when he passed his sacred foot forth from this land, 
the Khawkavvn dispatched forward to receive him leaders of high distinction ; 
and he caused to be prepared, and kept in readiness, cattle to transport his 
bagaaae, and conveyances and tents, and necessaries of every denomination. 
And there is a Soobali, and they call that land Seur Pootaullah, and on the 
2 2nd of the month Rubbee u' saunie, in the year of the Hejera, 1194'', Maha 
Gooroo, and the Khawkavvn of China met each other in that Soobah, in joy 
and satisfaction ; and they continued there for the space of one month ; and 
they proceeded on from thence to the city of Picheen, that is to say, the royal 
city, where is the exalted throne of the Emperor : and in that city they 
remained for six mondis. 

» Corresponding to the 17th of June, A. D. 1779. 
*■ Corresponding to the nth June, A. D. 1780. 


And in those days die Khawlcawn of mighty power, in the abundance of 
his faith, and his love for the truth, exhibited unbounded proofs of his 
obedience and submission, and paid the duties of reverence and respect. 

And the Maha Gooroo, on vt'hom be -the continued blessing of the Al- 
mighty', instructed many of the sages of China, and of the sages of Kilmauk, 
in knowledge ; and he caused their heads to be shaven, and received them 
into the number of the obedient : and he conferred innumerable blessings on 
the inhabitants of that land, and they received joy and happiness from his 

And down to this time the Maha Gooroo was well in health ; but the 
water and tlie air of China proved adverse, and were as pernicious (to him) 
as the pestilential and hot blast to a cold and frozen body ; and the maladies 
and the distempers which were produced were many and various. And at 
this time, such was the will of God, eruptions of the small-pox came forth, 
and our earnest endeavours, and the application of numerous remedies, 
availed nothing ; for the predominating star of our happiness was reversed 
and obscured, and the shadow of our protector was withdrawn, and we were 
excluded from his presence, and the only remedies which remained were 
resignation and submission. The measure of his existence was filled up, and 
the lip of the cup of life was overflowed : and he retired from this perishable 
world, to the everlasting mansions, on the first day of the month of Rujjub, 
in the year of the Hejera, 1 1 9 4* : and to us it was, as if the heavens had been 
precipitated on our heads, as if the splendid and glorious orb of day had 
been converted into utter darkness. 

The multitude lifted up, on all sides, the voice of sorrow and lamentation ; 
but what availed it? for fortune, treacherous and deceitful, had determined 
against us. 

And we all bent down on the knee of funeral affliction, and performed 
the holy obsequies, such as were due. And we now supplicate, with an 
united voice, the return of the hour of transmigration ; that the bodies may 
be speedily exchanged, and our departed Lama again be restored to our sight. 

' 5th of July, A. D. 1780. 


This is our only object, our sole employment. May the Almighty God 
who listeneth to the supplications of his servants, accept our prayers 1 

And after (he death of the Lama, the gracious conduct of the Khawkawn 
was still the same, or rather his royal favour was still greater than before, 
Insomuch that it might be said Maha Gooroo was still living, such was the 
excess of his bounty. 

And when the funeral solemnities were concluded, we received our dis- 
mission. And the Emperor caused supplies of food and raiment, and 
necessaries of every sort, to be prepared : and he ordered people to be stationed 
at the different stages, to convey the corpse of the deceased Lama from one to 
the other. 

And when we turned our faces from the land of China, he caused carriages 
to be given to my followers : and he appointed two Ameer ul Omras to attend 
the sacred remains of the Lama for its protection ; and on the 2 1st day of the 
month Shawal, in the year of the Hejera 1195'', in the morning, 1 arrived 
at the place of my abode in safety ; and a tomb had been prepared, before our 
arrival, for the body of the departed Lama ; and we deposited his remains 
therein : and we presented the necessary offerings, and distributed alms to 
promote the transmigration : and we are unremitting in our supplications, 
that he may speedily appear again on the face of the earth. May they be 
accepted I 

Poorungheer Gosein arrived here in the year 1193, after the departure of 
the Lama towards China, and two letters, and nine strings of pearls, without 
blemish, and perfect in their form; and among them one string of large 
pearl of great brightness and purity, and two chaplets of coral, which you 
sent as a gift, arrived safe : and your satisfactory letters, and that which you 
wrote concerning the village of the Raja, and the remission of all matters 
relating thereto, to do honour to me ; the whole, as there written, was in those 
days submitted to the inspection of Maha Gooroo; and the joy which he 
expressed on reading these things was exceeding great : and the fi icndly 
letter, and the two rosaries of pearl and coral, one of them intermixed pearl 

"" 23d of October, 1-81. 

.9 M 


and coral, and tlie otlier coral alone, which in the abundance of your kind- 
ness and favour you sent as a gift to me, arrived in a happy hour, and .was 
the cause of much satisfaction, 

And regarding your refusal to receive the value of the nine strings of pearls, 
and of the two chaplets of coral, directing, on the contrary, that they should 
be presented as a gift ; as the pearls are of great beauty and of exceeding 
high price, and forasmuch as your friendship to Maha Gooroo was evi- 
dent and apparent, in consideration of these things, I could not presume to 
take them. 

I foiTnerly wrote to you, requesting that, with the value of unwrought gold 
which 1 sent to you, certain pearls and coral might be purchased, and that 
the price of the pearls, and the coral, might be balanced by the produce 
thereof; and if it should be deficient for that purpose, that you would 
inform me of that deficiency, so that I might write to you, and transmit that 
which was wanting; and if, on the contrary, there should be a surplus 
remaining out of the value of the gold, that other pearls, and other coral, of 
the first quality, might be purchased therewith. 

And I have moreover strong hope, and firm expectation, that as you for- 
merly shewed kindness and attention to the application respecting the village 
of the Raja, so in regard to the certain portion of land, and the mahsool 
thereon, that favour will be shewn. I presume to repeat the request, that 
con esponding to the application of Maha Gooroo, you will shew kindness 
and favour with respect to that portion of land, and in settling the disputes 
appertaining thereto ; and furthermore, that you will grant a lot of land in the 
noble city of Calcutta, on the bank of the river. Concerning this affair I 
have spoken fully and particularly to the Gosein, Poorungheer, and he will 
make known to you the whole thereof, and you will comply with my request. 

And I have communicated other matters, and other things, to the faithful 
Pooruncrheer, by whom you will be informed of them. In compliance with 
his wishes, you will permit him to remain under the shadow of your pro- 
tection, and favour him with such marks of your kindness, as may enable 
him to pass his days in returning thanks for your goodness. 


You must persist in sending to rae constant information of your health , 
that the garden of pleasure and satisfaction may continue to flourish. 

To trouble you more would exceed that which is right. May your hap- 
piness and prosperity remain firm and unshaken 1 

Written on the first day of the month Zehijjah, in the year of the Hejera 
1195, corresponding to the lOth November, 17 8i, 


No. III. 

'Translation of a Letter from Soopoon Choomhoo, Mirkin Chassa Lama, Minister 
to the late Teshoo Lama, to Warren Hastings, Esq. Governor General, ^c. <iTc. 
Received the l zth February, 17 8 2. 

JL o the source of magnanimity ; equal in glory to the sun ; first of the leaders 
of Europe ; the selected of the mighty and the noble; the exalted in dignity ; 
the Governor Immaud u' Dowlah. May his fortitude and his existence be 
perpetuated by the beneficence of Almighty God I 

Having kissed the earth with the respect of the lowly, tlie meanest of your 
devoted (servants), the humblest of your faithful friends, Soopoon Choomboo, 
represents unto you, that the lord of his disciples, the illuminator of the world, 
Maha Gooroo, in the year of the Hejera 1 1 93', sat in the plenitude of good 
fortune, on the musnird of authority : and in those days I sent to you an 
humble writing, by the Gosein, Poorungheer, which you received, and in 
answer thereto you sent a letter, and choice gifts; and those, and the string 
of coral, which, in the greatness of your bounty, you conferred upon me, 
arrived safe, and in happy hour, on the 1 6th day of the month Rubbee ul 
Auwul, in the year of the Hejera 1 1 9 3 , at the place which they call Coomboo, 
in the land of Tibburut, in the region of China ; and I was exalted thereby. 
And the Khullefah Bugwan, that is to say, Maha Gooroo, on the I7tli 
day of the month Rubbee u' saunee, in the year of the Hejera iigj'', di- 
rected the reins of his intention from Teshoo Loomboo towards the land of 
China. And the various inhabitants of the er>'«'irons, and the places round 
about, of Lhobah, and of Khumbauk, those who sojourn in tents, and those 
who live in cities, came, and were received according to their degrees, and 
their stations. And the chief princes of the land, and the pillars of the state, 
* A. D, 1779. '' Corresponding to the 17th June, 1779. 


and the great leaders, came forth to meet and to guard him on the high road , 
and they were waiting his arrival with eager expectation ; and they obtained 
admission to the honours of audience in crowds, crowd after crowd, and iliey 
presented their gifts, and their offerings : and he laid his hand, conferring 
blessings, upon their heads, and made them joyiul : and this was the esta- 
blished practice all the way. 

Thus he travelled on through the journies and the stages; and in the 
Soobah of Seur PootauUah, which is a place exceedingly deliglulul, the 
Khawkawn of China met him, and saw him in joy and satisfaction ; and iie 
remained there with the King of China for the space of oiie month ; and the 
king prepared entertainments of various sorts, and made feasts after divers 

And during this time the Gosein, Poorungheer, made known those things 

in which you had repeatedly instructed him ; all of them he made known ; 

,and all which you had said and directed, was acceptable and pleasing to the 

Lama; and he took measures, according; with tlie wishes of your noble 


And to the dignified sages, who are renowned throucrhout the earth, both 
to those of China and to those of Kilraauk, and also to the Khawkawn of 
China, he explained your sayings; and he instructed them in the things 
relating to astronomy, and to geography, and in other matters, and in the 
principles of the religious institutions of which they needed information ; 
and they obtained explanations of these ihings, and they were fav'oured 
thereby ; and they heard all which Was related to them with the ear of 

But at this time, because of our wickedness, die holy Lama accepted to 
himself severe distempers, and he retired from this perishable world to the 
eternal mansions ; leaving us, his followers, overwhelmed with the sorrows 
of separation. 

For those things which relate to the speedy coming to pass of the trans- 
micrration, the Khawkawn of China, and the Lama of Lassa, tliat is the Dalai 
Lama, and the holy instructor of the king, Chaungeah Lama, and odiers, 


venerable men of those parts, unite their supplications and their prayers, that 
a new body may be quickly vivified by the spirit of our Lama, so that he 
may again shine forth among us. 

From the relation of Poorungheer, inform yourself of those things which are 
past, and of those which are present, and of diose things which are to come 
to pass. The hearts of the sacred Bhoots, and the hearts of the Dewtahs, 
Deovetahs; prophets, founders of their religion, and the heart of the Lama, 
are one and the same heart. Of this there is no manner of doubt ; and 
according to this, the transmigration of the holy Lama must quickly and 
speedily come to pass, 

With respect to your true friendship, and your firm affection to Maha 
Gooroo, it is my hope that your kindness will be increased, not that it will 
be diminished ; by the favour of God it shall be still greater than it is ; and 
diat you will honour your abject and unworthy friend, Soopoon Choomboo, 
with your favour, and issue to him your commands, without delay, and 
without hesitation, on aught which shall appertain to him to do ; that from 
his heart, and from his soul, he may exert himself therein. 

May the shadow and the support of the Almighty be on and with you I 

On the first day of the month Zehijjah, in the year of the Hejera 1195, 
corresponding to the 1 6th of November, 1 7 8 1. 


No. IV. 

Karralive of the Particulars of the Journey of Te shoo Lama, and his Suite, from 
"Tibet to China, from the verbal Report of Poorungheer Gosein. 

i: ooRUNGHEER Gosciii, wlio attended Teshoo Lama on Ins journey to visit 
the Emperor of China, relates, that during the years 1777, 1778, and 1779, 
Teshoo Lama, or Lama Gooroo, of Bhote, or Tibet, received repeated invi- 
tation, by letters, from the Emperor of China, expressed in tlie most earnest 
terms, that he would visit him at his capital city of Piechein, or Pekin ; but 
the Lama continued for a long lime to avoid complying with the Emperor's 
requests, by excuses, such as, that the climate, air, and water of China, were 
very hurtful to the inhabitants of his country ; but above all, that he under- 
stood the small-pox was a prevalent disorder there, and that his followers, as 
well as himself, were very apprehensive of that disorder, as few instances, 
if any, could be given, of an inhabitant of Bhote, or Tibet, recovering 
from it. 

Another letter arrived from the Emperor, still more earnest than any that 
had yet been received, telling the Lama, " that he looked up to him as the first, 
and most holy being of those on earth, who devoted their time to the service 
of the Almighty ; and that the only remaining wish, he now felt, was to see 
him, and to be ranked amongst his disciples. My age," says the Emperor in 
one of his letters, " is now upwards of seventy years, and the only blessing I 
can enjoy, before I quit this hfc, will be to see you, and to join in acts of 
devotion with the divine Teshoo Lama." On the presumption that the 
entreaties of age and devotion would be complied with, the Emperor infoiTned 
him, that houses were erected for the reception of the Lama, and his followers, 
upon different places of the road by which he would pass, which had cost 
upwards of twenty lacks of rupees : that all the inhabitants of that part of 


China, through whicli his journey lay, had orders to have tents, k.c. in 
readiness, at all the different stages, and that horses, carriages, mules, money, 
and provisions, for his whole retinue, should be in constant readiness, at all 
places, and times, during his journey. The Emperor sent, with his letter, 
one string of very valuable pearls, and one hundred pieces of curious silks, 
by the hands of Leaniabaw, a trusty person, wliom he sent to attend the 
Lama in his journey. 

At the same time, letters were written by the Emperor to the Lama of 
Lassa, and to several principal inhabitants of Bhote, or Tibet, desiring them 
to add their entreaties to his, to prevail upon Teshoo Lama to visit him. 

They accordingly assembled, and waited upon the Lama, who was, at 
length, prevailed upon to give his consent to proceed to China ; at the same 
time observing to some of his confidential friends, that he felt some internal 
repugnance, from an idea that he should not return : however, all things 
being put in readiness, he began his journey, upon the sd of Sawun, in the 
183 6 Sumbutt, or aera of Rajah Biclier Majeet (answering, according to our 
aera, to the l5th of July, 1779), from his own country, attended by about one 
thousand five hundred troops, and followers of different kinds, carrying with 
him presents for the Emperor, made up of all the rarities of his own, and the 
neighbouring countries. 

After forty-six days of his journey, he arrived at the town of Doochoo, on 
the banks of a river of the same name, where he was met by a messenger, 
named Woopayumba, from the Emperor, with a letter, and presents of pearls, 
silks, and maijy other valuable articles, with a rich palanquin. 

A boarded platform, about tlie height of a man's breast, was always set up 
where the Lamas tents were pitched, or wherever he halted on d)e ioad ; this 
was covered with a rich brocade, and a eushioik of the same, upon \yhich he 
sat, whilst the people were admitted to the honour of touching his foot with 
their foreheads. The seat was surrounded by a kiimaut, or tent wall, to keep 
at a distance the crowd, wlio continually followed him for diat purpose. 

After journeying for twenty-one days farther, during all which time the 
Lama, and his attendants, met with every attention from the people on the 


i-oad, and every kind of entertainment was provided for them, he arrived at a 
place called Thooktharing, where he was met by eight men of distinction, of 
the country of Kalmauk, with about two thousand troops, who were to attend 
him, by the Emperor's orders ; but after their presents, which consisted of 
gold, silver, horses, mules, silks, 8cc. were received, the Lama dismissed 
them, not having occasion for their attendance, and he continued his journey 
nineteen days, at the end of which he came to a place called Coomboo 
Goombaw, a populous city, where there stands, near a small river, a large 
and famous Putawlaw, or temple of public worship, to which many thousand 
Khoseong, or devout men, annually resort. This place is also the residence 
of great numbers of these poor devout people. In a day or two after his 
arrival here, the winter commenced, and the snow fell so heavy, and in such 
quantities, that the whole face of the ground was covered, too deep for the 
Lama to proceed upon his journey, for the space of four months. During 
his stay at this place, a messenger from the Emperor arrived with a letter, 
together with many presents, amongst which were five strings, of pearls, a 
curious watch, snuff box, and knife, all ornamented with jewels, besides 
many curious brocades and silks. 

At this place, as well as during the Lama's journey through Kalmauk, he 
was continually importuned, by all ranks of people, for a mark of his^ handy 
which, being coloured with saffron, he extended, and made a full print of it on 
a piece of clean paper. Many thousand of these were printed oflf, in the like 
manner, for the multitude that daily surrounded him, which they carefully 
preserved as the most sacred relics. At this place, the chief of the province 
of Lanjoo, named Choondoo, with ten thousand troops, waited upon the 
Lama, by the Emperor's orders, and presented him with a very rich palan- 
quin, a large tent, twenty horses, several mules, 8cc. the whole amounting, in 
value, to upwaids of twenty -five thousand illeung ; an illeung of silver weighs 
3 rs. 4 as. equivalent to about 7 s. 

During the Lama's stay at this place, he was also visited by a chief, named 
Choondaw, Avith five^thousand attendants ; a man of much consequence, and 
a religious character, in his country, who tarried with him many days. 



Upon receiving his dismission, he made presents of three hundred liorses, 
seventy mules, one hundred camels, one thousand pieces of brocade, and 
forty thousand illeung in silver. At the end of four months, the weather 
becoming moderate, and the snow being in great measure dissolved, the 
Lama proceeded on his journey, and was attended by the chief of Lanjoo, 
widi all his troops, for seven days, when the Lama dismissed him, and con- 
tinued his journey eight days farther, until he arrived at a considerable city, 
called Toomdawtoloo, in the province of Allasseah, where he was met by 
prince Cheewaung, son-in-law to the Emperor, who he received sitting in 
his tent, and by whom he was presented with one hundred horses, one hun- 
dred camels, twenty mules, and twenty thousand illeung in silver. The next 
day the Lama pursued his journey, accompanied by the prince Cheewaung; 
and at the end of nine days, arrived at Nissaur, a very large city, where 
Prince Cheewaung took his leave. The officers of government at this town, 
made the Lama many presents, and behaved with the most particular atten- 
tion and respect. 

After two days journey from the city of Nessaur, the Lama reached a 
town called Tawbunkaykaw, in the district of Hurtoosoo, where he was met 
by nine chiefs of the province of Hurtoosoo; each of these made their 
respective presents, to the amount of forty-five thousand illeungs of silver, 
and continued to attend him, in his journey, for sixteen days, to a town called 
Chawcawnsooburgaw, where, at their joint entreaties, he halted two days, at 
the end of which they presented him with two hundred horses, twenty camels, 
five hundred mountain cows, and four hundred illeung in silver, and then 
received their dismission. 

The journey of the Lama was continued for twelve days, until he arrived 
at the town of Khawramboo, where he was met by a messenger, called 
Tawmbaw, from the Emperor, widi a letter of congratulation, and presents, 
which consisted of a curious, and rich carriage, on two wheels, drawn by 
four horses and four mules, one palanquin, two strings of pearls, two hundred 
pieces of yellow silks, twenty flags, twenty chubdars, and sutaburdars. 
These coBtipliments, which were received by the Lama, with great humility. 


were, notwithstanding, ofFered with the most profound respect; and he 
continued his journey towards the capital. 

After six days he arrived at Taygaw Goombaw, where he was met by the 
prince, the Emperor's first son, and Gheengeeah Gooroo, a priest, or man of 
the first religious order, together with ten thousand troops and attendants. 
The prince was received by the Lama at his tent, who continued upon his 
seat, until the prince arrived at the door, where the Lama met him, and 
taking him by the hand, led him to his seat, which was formed of several 
embroidered cushions, of different sizes, each laid upon a boarded platform ; 
upon the largest of which the Lama placed himself, and seated the prince 
upon a small one, at his left hand, which he, however, would not occupy, 
until the Lama had first received from him a string of very valuable pearls, 
sent by die Emperor. On the next morning the Lama, accompanied by the 
prince, and his followers, proceeded on his journey for nineteen days, when he 
arrived at the city of Tolownoor, where, during seven days, Gheeugeea 
Gooroo, entertained the Lama, and the prince, and presented the Lama, at 
one of these entertainments, with forty thousand illeung of silver, and other 
customary presents. 

After this, continuing their journey for fifteen days, to a considerable 
town, called Singhding, he was met by another prince, a younger son of the 
Emperor, who, after being introduced, and his presents received, informed 
the Lama, that the Emperor was arrived at a country seat, called Jeeawaukho, 
about the distance of twenty -four miles from Singhding, whither he had come 
to receive the Lama, and where there were most beautilul and extensive parks 
and (rardens, with four or five magnificent houses. 

The Lama proceeded next morning, attended by the princes, kc. to wait 
upon the Emperor ; and being arrived within about three and a half coss, or 
seven miles, of the Emperor's residence, he found the troops of the Emperor 
formed in a rank entire, on each side of the road, between which He, and tlie 
princes, widi his brodier, and six of his followers only (the writer of this 
was one of his attendants at this lime, by the Lama's particular desire), 
passed on all the way to the palaces of Jeeawaukho ; and upon the Lama, kc. 


entering in the inner garden, where tfie Emperor's own palace is situated, the 
Emperor met liim, at the distance oFat least forty paces from his throne, on 
which he usually sat; and immediately stretching forth his hand, and taking 
hold of the Lama's, led him towards the throne, where, after many saluta- 
tions, and expressions of affection and pleasure, on both sides, the Lama >va9 
seated by the Emperor upon the uppermost cushion with himself, and at his 
right hand. Much conversation ensued ; and the Emperor was profuse in his 
questions and inquiries, respecting the Lama's health, the circumstances of 
his journey, and the entertainment he had met with upon the road. Having 
satisfied the Emperor as to these particulars, the Lama presented him with 
the rarities he had brought for that purpose ; all of which the Emperor 
received in the most gracious manner. After about an hour's conversation, 
the Lama withdrew, being presented by the Emperor with one hundred 
thousand taunk, or illeung of silver, and many hundred pieces of curious 
silks, some strings of pearls, and other curiosities of China. Each of his 
attendants were, also, presented with one hundred taunk in silver, and some 
pieces of brocade. 

The Lama then withdrew, and was conducted to a magnificent palace, 
about one mile from the Emperor's, which had been erected for his abode. 

On the next day the Emperor, with the princes, and many nobles of the 
court, attended by five thousand troops, visited the Lama ; who advanced 
halfway to the gate to meet them, where he received the first salute from the 
Emperor. The usual compliments on both sides having passed, the Lama 
entreated the Emperor to take the seat to the right, which, with some reluc- 
tance, he complied with : but, before the Emperor took his seat, he presented 
the Lama with the following presents : two lockbaws, or cloaks of curious 
and most valuable furs; one string of rich pearls; four thousand pieces of 
brocades ; fifty thousand taunk of silver ; and two curious pictures, orna- 
mented with jewels. 

After some indifferent conversation, the Emperor then communicated his 
wishes more at large, with respect to the desire he felt, of being instructed in 
some mysteries of the Lama's religion. They accordingly withdrew, attended 


only by Clieengeea Gooroo, to another part of the pahce, where three seats 
were prepared, the one in the centre, larger tlian either of the others in 
extent, and rising considerably higher, upon which the Lama seated himself, 
placing the Emperor on that lower, which stood to the right, and Cheen^a 
Gooroo on that at his left. The Lama then, bending his head towards the 
Emperor, whispered in his ear for about a quarter of an hour, and then 
setting himself upright, began to repeat aloud certain tenets, or religious 
sentences,. distinctly, which the Emperor and Cheengeea Gooroo continued 
to repeat after him ; and in this manner each sentence was repeated, until the 
Emperor and his Gooroo were perfect in them. This ceremony lasted up- 
wards of three hours, whilst all their attendants were Icept at a considerable 
distance, in the outer apartment, except two or three devout men, whose 
attendance on the Lama, at certain intervals of the ceremony, was necessary, 
and were occasionally called in. 

The ceremony being concluded for that day, the Lama attended the 
Empefor half way to the gate, where they separated, and each retired to 
their respective palaces of residence. After four days the Lama, by an 
invitation, waited on tlie Emperor at his palace, where they were entertained 
for some time with music, and the dancing of boys. After the entertainment, 
Cheenoeea Gooroo, arising from his seat, behind the Emperor, came in front, 
and addressing hira, told liira that the Lama wished to mention to him a 
circumstance, which friendship required him not to neglect. The Emperor 
then, turning to the Lama, desired he would speak without reserve ; when the 
Lama proceeded to inform him, — " In the country of Hindostan, which 
*' lies on the borders of my countiy, there resides a great prince, or ruler, 
" for whom I have the greatest friendship. 1 wish you should know and 
" renrard him also; and if you will write hira a letter of friendship, and 
•' receive his in return, it will afford me great pleasure, as I wish you should 
" be known to each odier, and that a friendly communication should, in 
♦' future, subsist between you." The Emperor replied, that his request was 
a very small one indeed, but that this, or any thing else he desired, should 
be readily complied with ; he continued to inquire of tiie Lama what that 


prince or" governor's name was, the extent of the country he ruled over, and 
the number of his forces, kc. ? upon which the writer of this narrative was 
called into the presence by the Lama, and desired, by him, to answer the 
inquiries of the Emperor, respecting the governor of Hindostan, as he, the 
writer, had been often in liis country. The writer then informed him, that the 
governor of Hindostan was called Mr. Hastings, that the extent of the country 
he governed was not near equal to that of China, but superior to any other 
he knew, and that the troops of that country upwards of three lacks of horse- 
men. The conversation then took another turn for half an hour, when the 
Lama withdrew. During twenty-six days, that the Emperor and Lama 
continued at the palaces of Jeeawaukho, several visits were mutually paid, in 
the most friendly and intimate manner. The Emperor still continuing to 
make rich presents to the Lama, whenever he visited him. 

Upon their departure from Jeeawaukho towards Piechein, or Pekin, the 
Emperor, with his retinue, took a road which lay a little to the left, in order 
to visit the tombs of his ancestors ; and the Lama, attended by the princes, 
and Cheengeea Gooroo, proceeded on the direct road towards Pekin, for 
seven days, till they arrived at a palace called Seawrah Soommaw, in the 
neighbourhood of Pekin, about two miles without the exterior wall of 
the city, where the Lama was lodged in a very magnificent house, said to 
have been built for his reception. Here, during five days, he was con- 
stantly attended by many of the Emperor's relations, from the city, and 
almost all the nobility of the court. 

The ceremony of introduction, and mode of receiving the blessing of the 
Lama, at the time of being presented to him, may here be best remarked. 
When any of the princes, or immediate relations of the Emperor's, were 
presented, they were all received by the Lama, without moving from where 
he sat, but they were distinouished by his laying his bare hand upon their 
heads, whilst he repeated a short prayer, or form of blessing. The nobility, 
or men of the second rank, when introduced, went through the like ceremony, 
except, that the Lama M-rapta piece of clean silk round his hand, and in that 
manner rested it on their heads, whilst he repeated the blessing; and for those 


of inferior note, a piece of consecrated wood, of about half a yard long, was 
substituted, and held by him in his hand, -with the end of which he touched 
their heads, in like manner as he had the others with his hand. 

After five days residence here, during which time he was almost continually 
employed, in conferring.his blessing, as above, information was brought him 
of the approach of the Emperor towards Sewarah Soommaw, and that he was 
at the distance of nine or ten coss. The Lama proceeded, next morning, to 
meet him, and halted at a country house of the Emperor's, about eight miles 
from Sewarah Soommaw, to refresh. Here he received a message from the 
Emperor, requesting him not to fatigue himself by coming any farther. 
The Lama in consequence halted, and sent his brother, with several others, 
to meet the Emperor, and present his compliments. Upon the Emperor s 
arrival, the Lama met him at the door, and, taking him by the hand, con- 
ducted him to an apartment, where they conversed and drank tea together- 
After an hour, the Lama was conducted to another house, prepared for him 
in the garden, by the Emperor himself, .who took leave at the door, and 
returned to his own. He then sent for his eldest son, and gave him orders, 
that on the next morning, he, with a splendid retinue, should attend the 
Lama, and conduct him to see all his country palaces, places of worship, kc. 
in the neighbourhood of Pekin ; and also to the great lakes, upon which 
were two large ships, and many smaller vessels ; and that he would be attentive 
to point out to the Lama every thing that was curious about the city. 

The prince immediately waited upon the Lama at his house, and informed 
him of the orders he had received from the Emperor: and that he, with his 
attendants, and Cheengeea Gooroo, would be in readiness to attend him 

Next mgrning the prince attended the Lama, and conducted him to 
the famous gardens, and palace of Kheatoon, where only eight of die Lama s 
attendants were allowed to enter. After examining all the curiosities of the 
garden, he passed that night in the palace. The two following days were 
taken up in the like manner ; viewing different plates, and curiosities, about 
the city. Reposing himself for the night in the house lie had before occupied, 


lie was visited, the next morning, by the prince, the Emperor's eldest son, 
who informed him, that many of the Emperor's favourite women were in a 
palace, in a distant part of the gardens, and that they had expressed much 
anxiety to see the Lama, and receive his blessing; and that it would be 
agreeable to the Emperor's wishes, that he, the Lama, should visit them, 
which he accordingly did : and being placed opposite a door of their apart- 
ments, upon an exalted seat, a purdow, or skreen, of a yellow kind of gauze, 
being dropt before the door, the ladies approached it, one by one, and having 
just looked at the Lama, through the gauze; each, according to her rank, and 
abilities, sent her offering, or present, by a female servant, who delivered it 
to one of the Lama's religious companions, that were allowed to continue 
near him ; and upon the present being delivered to him, and the name of the 
person announced, he repeated a prayer, or form of blessing, for each ; all the 
time bending liis head forward, and turning his eyes directly towards the 
ground, to avoid all possibility of beholding the women. This ceremony, 
which took up four or five hours, being ended, the Lama returned to the 
place he had occupied for some nights past, where he continued that night, 
and the next morning returned, with the prince, and his attendants, to the 
gardens, where they had left the Emperor. 

The next morning the Lama visited his Majesty, and was received with 
the usual respect and ceremony. After conversing for some time, respecting 
the curiosities that the Lama had examined for some days past, the Emperor 
told him, that he had still a greater to shew him, than any that he had yet 
visited ; and, added he, it shall be my own care to carry you to see it ; where- 
upon, rising from their seats, the Emperor took the Lama by the hand, and 
leading him to a temple, in a different part of the garden, he shewed him a 
magnificent throne, and informed him, that it was an ancient, and invariable 
custom, of the emperor's of China, to seat themselves upon it, at certain 
times, to hear and determine all matters of complaint, that might be brought: 
before them : and that such was the extraordinary virtue of this seat, that 
according to the justice, or injustice of the Emperor's decrees, his existence, 
or immediate death depended. This temple, and seat of justice, he said. 


had been erected by divine command, and had existed for many thousand 

After having passed an hour, or two, in explanation of this famous temple, 
the Emperor returned to his palace ; and the Lama accompanied Cheengeea 
Gooroo to the house of the latter, in the same gardens, where he was enter- 
tained with great respect ; and during the whole night the Lama did not go 
to sleep, but continued in prayer with Cheengeea Gooroo, and instructing 
him in certain forms of religion, and prayer. In the morning, on the Lama's 
departure for his own house, he received rich presents from Cheengeea 
Gooroo. The Lama reposed there for two days, when he was attended by 
the prince, and Cheengeea Gooroo, according to the Emperor's commands, to 
conduct him to the great pond, or lake, on which are two famous vessels of 
the Emperor's, of a most extraordinary size, and construction ; each having 
five or six stories of apartments, one above the other ; all of which are carved, 
and gilt, in the most curious and superb manner. 

There are two islands in the lake; on one of which stands the Emperor's 
private palace, where his women are kept, and which can only be approached 
by boats. On the other island stands a very magnificent Chinese Putawlaw, or 
temple of public Avorship, which is approached by a handsome stone bridge: 
here the Lama passed the night ; and in the morning proceeded to visit the 
very famous Putawlaw, or temple of public worship, in the city of Pekin, 
where hangs a bell, which, the Chinese assured the writer of this narrative, 
weighs upwards of twenty thousand maunds, and requires an hundred men 
to ring it. This, however, never is attempted, but to call the people to arms, 
incase of invasion, insurrection, or on public thanksgivings for any signal 
blessing, or victory. 

Having passed some hours in prayer at this place, the Lama returned to 
his place of abode, near the city ; and after three days, he was visited by the 
Emperor, on his way to the royal palace, in the fort, which stands in the 
centre of die city of Pekin. On the following day, the Lama visited him 
there, and was received with great pomp, and every mark of respect, inso- 
much, that the Emperor met him at the door, and taking him by the hand 



conducted him immediately into the private apartments of tlie Empress, 
■vvliither no peison whatever was suffered to attend them. Tlieir visit to the 
Empress lasted about half an hour, when diey returned into public ; Avhere 
they sat and conversed for an hour longer, and the I^ma then returned to his 
own liouse. 

After some days, the Emperor having informed the Lama, that he 
wished to perform some acts of devotion at one of the principle temples 
of worship in the city; they met there at the time appointed, and after 
having continued in prayer together, lor two or three hours, attended and 
assisted by Cheengeea Gooroo, and a few of the Lama's religious friends. 
They departed, and returned, the Emperor to his palace, and the Lama to his 
own house. 

Several meetings of this kind occurred at the same place of worship, be- 
tween the Emperor and the Lama, during a period of some months ; and as 
it was generally the custom to have some refreshments of fruits, kc. at the 
temple, after their acts of devotion were finished, die Lama, at one of these 
entertainments, took the opporturiity, in hearing of the writer of this, and 
many others, to remind the Emperor, that he had some time before mentioned 
to him a Prince,, or Governor, of Hindostan, called Mr. Hastings, widi 
whom he, the Lama, held strict friendship; and repeated his wish, that the 
Emperor should knoAv him, and hold friendly intercourse with him also ; by 
^vriting to him, and receiving his friendly answeis. Much more was said 
by the Lama on this subject: to all of which die Emperor replied, that he 
could only assure the Lama he joined most heartily with him, in what 
he wished, as it would give him much pleasure to know, and correspond, 
with the Governor of Hindostan, his friend; and to convince him of his 
sincerity, he would; if the Lama desired it, cause a letter to be immediately 
written to die Governor, in such terms as the Lama would dictate ; or, if the 
Lama thought it would be more effectual, towards establishing die friendship 
he wished, that the letter should be in readiness, when the Lama took his 
departure from China ; and that he should take it with him, and have the 
care of forwarding it, in such manner as he diought best, to the Governor 


of Hindostan. The latter mode the Lama made choice of, and expressed 
much satisfaction. 

Afier this, many days were passed by the Lama, at his own house, as well 
as at the house of Clieengeea Gooroo, in conferring his blessings upon all 
ranks of people, who continually crowded to him for that purpose, inso- 
much, that the writer of this believes, that there was not a man, of anv deno- 
mination whatever, in the extensive city of Pekin, who did not, during tlie 
time of die Lama's living there, come to him, and receive his blessing, in the 
manner already described. At some times the whole dav, and greatest part 
of the night, was occupied in this manner. One evening the cold was so 
great, and the snow fell so lieavy, that the Lama was prevented thereby, from 
returning to his own house; he slept therefore at Cheengeea Gooroo's, and 
in the morning diey visited the Emperor togedier, after which they retired to 
their respecti\e habitations. AMtliin an hour after the Lama's return to his 
own house, widiout the city, which he made his place of residence, in 
preference to the apartments in the Emperor's palace in the {bit, that were 
provided for him, he complained of a violent head-ach, and in less than an 
hour more, he was seized widi a most violent fever, which continued very 
severe, until about the same hour next day, when his disorder was dicovered 
to be die small-pox, by many making their appearance all over his skin. 

This discovery threw all his friends and attendants into the utmost 
affliction, as, from their established prejudices and apprehensions of diat 
disorder, they entertained little or no hopes of his recovery. Tlie news of 
the Lama's illness very soon reached die Emperor, who immediately sent for 
his own principal physicians, and with them proceeded to the Lama's house, 
and having seated himself by his bedside, took him by die hand ; and, for a 
considerable time, did not cease to encourage him, with the most soodiing 
and affectionate language, assuring him diat his prayers should be constantly 
sent forth for his speedy recovery. He afterwards turned lo the physicians, 
and holy men, diat were, upon the rumour of die Lama's illness, assembled, 
char<rin<T them diat diey would, in no shape, neglect their respective duties. 
The former, in administering every remedy that could be devised, and the 


latter in offering up constant prayers, for the Lama's recovery. The Emperor 
also ordered several large paintings, representing human figures in almost 
every stage of the small-pox, to be hung up in the room before the Lama ; 
and having seen all matters thus arranged, he gave strict orders to the prince, 
his first son, and Cheengeea Gooroo, to remain in constant viraiting with the 
Lama; and that nothing, which could be procured in China, should be 
wanting, that might tend to mitigate, or ease his pain. After repeating the 
like orders to all those who were near him, he returned to his palace full of 
grief and heaviness. 

After the Emperor's departure, the physicians paid every possible attention 
to the Lama, and administered all such remedies as they could think of. On 
the following morning, the Lama called for his brother, and desired that he 
would immediately distribute to the Khoseong, poor devout men, and others,- 
whom he might think objects of charity, silver to the amount of three lacks 
of rupees, that their prayers might be deserved by him. All that day his 
disorder continued to increase, and on the morning of the fonrih day of his 
illness, he again called for his brother, and six or seven of his own attend- 
ants (of whom the writer was one), whom he had occasionally distinguished 
for their sanctity, and informed them, that he found his disorder so much 
more than he could support, that he considered their prayers as the only 
comfort he could now enjoy, and that by joining them lo his own, his 
heart would be entirely eased, whatever effect it might have on his dis- 
temper. They accordingly joined in prayer with him ; in which they 
continued until near sunset of that day, when, to their inexpressible grief and 
affliction, he expired, as he sat at prayer between two large pillows, resting 
his back against the wall. 

The writer describes his deaUi to have been remarkably tranquil, consi- 
dering his disorder; as he was not moved in the least out of the seat, in 
which he was performing his devotions. 

The news was immediately communicated to the Emperor, who received 
it with every mark of grief and affliction: and early the next morning he 
repaired to the house where the Lama died, and where the body still 


remained, in the same position as when he expired ; which, when the 
Emperor belield, he shed many tears, and in other respects, manifested the 
sincerest grief. 

The corpse was immediately, by the Emperor's orders, put into a coffin, 
with great quantities of all kinds of spices, and rich perfumes : and upon his 
return to his palace, lie gave orders, that a small temple, in form of those in 
which they deposit the objects of their worship, of pure gold, should be 
immediately prepared, large enough to contain the coffin, when set upright; 
which, after seven or eicrht days, was, according to his orders, in readiness. 
The following morning the Emperor proceeded from his palace to the house 
in which the remains of the Lama lay, in the same magnificence, and pomp, 
as when he visited the Lama in his lifetime, with the addition of one thousand 
Khoseong, or holy men, attending him; and having the golden temple 
carried with him, fixed on poles, and borne upon men's shoulders. Upon 
his arrival at the house, where the corpse lay, he caused the temple to be set 
up, within the temple of worship, belonging to the house of the late Lama, 
and the corpse to be deposited in it, and joined in prayers with those that 
attended him, for four hours. He afterwards distributed silver to the amount 
of four lacks of rupees, to the Khoseong, and then returned to his palace. 

The friends and followers of the deceased Lama were overwhelmed with 
grief, and remained, for upwards of two months, confined to the house, by the 
heavy snow, and severity of the cold. At length, when three months wer^ 
nearly expired, and the weather became more favourable, the Emperor, with 
all his retinue, came to their place of residence, at the house where the Lama's 
corpse lay; and, after having gone through some forms of prayer, with the 
Khoseong, in the temple where the corpse was deposited, he ordered silver, 
to the amount of one lack of rupees, to be left as a kind of offering before the 
coffin, besides many pieces of rich brocades, and other silks. 

The Emperor also ordered presents of silver and silks, to a considerable 
amount, to be given to the Lama s brother, as Avell as to all those of his 
friends, whom the Lama, during his life time, had distinguished by his 
particular notice, and which they severally recei\ ed. 


The Emperor afterwards sent for the Lama's brother, into another of the 
apartments of the house, and told him, that every thing was now in readiness 
for his departure, with the corpse of the Lama, to his own countiy ; that the 
season of the year was also favourable, and (hat he hoped he would have a 
safe and prosperous journey : that he trusted in the Almighty soon to hear of 
his arrival there; but above all other tilings he would impatiently long to 
hear of the Lama's regeneration, which he strictly, and repeatedly charged 
his brother to inform him of, widi the utmost dispatch, after it had happened, 
first by letters ; but that lie would expect diat the Lama's brother himself 
would return again to China, with the joyful tidings, as soon as the Lama 
had completed his third year, taking caie to give the Emperor information 
when he intended to quit liis own countiy, tliat the necessary preparations 
might be made upon the road for his journey. 

The Emperor also informed him, that a copper temple had been con- 
structed, by his orders, large enough to contain that of gold, in which the 
Lama's cofHn stood, as well as die coffin with the corpse, and that one thou- 
sand men, for the carriage of the whole, should be in readiness to proceed with 
kim,to a certain distance, from whence it would remain with himself, in what 
manner he thought best to coiA'ey the corpse to his own country, as he would 
find every attendance and attention upon the road, the same as when the Lama 
had passed in his life lime; and to obviate any doubts, that mi<rlu occur to 
him, on that account, the Empeior ordered two trusty officers, with two hun- 
dred horsemen, to attend him until he should reach his own country. The 
Emperor then gave him his final dismission, conferring upon him, at the 
same time, a distinguisbed title : and, on die third day following, the Lama's 
brother, with all his friends and followers, departed from Pekin ; the Lama's 
coffin being moved, as the F-mperor had ordered, within the temples of gold 
and copper. They proceeded, the fust day, about diree coss and a iialf, or 
seven miles, wliere the Lama's brother crave orders that the coffin should be 
taken from within the gold and copper temples ; and that they should be taken 
asunder, and carefully packed up, for the convenience of carriage, which 
was accordingly done : the coffin being then secured in many wrappers of 


waxed silk, it was laid on a palanquin, or kind of bier; and in this manner 
conveyed, upon mens' shoulders, during the journey to their own country; 
which, on account of the many halts that it was found necessary to make, 
lasted for seven mondis and eight days, from the day of their departure from 
Pekin, until their arrival at Digurchee, or Teshoo Loomboo, the place of the 
Lama's residence when he lived. Here his remains were deposited in a; 
most superb pagoda, or monument, built for that purpose. 

And the two temples of gold and copper, brought from Pekin, were care- 
fully reformed, and set up in the pagoda, or monument, immediately over 
the spot where the corpse was laid. 

Nothing but die great reverence and respect, paid to the Lama in his life 
time, by the inhabitants of the different countries through which he passed 
to China, could equal the attention observed by them to his remains, all the 
way, as he was carried back again : the multitude continually crowding 
round the coffin, with their prayers, and presents ; and those who could only 
touch it, or even the palanquin,, or bier,, upon, which it was borne, were 
considered as peculiarly blessed. 


Printed by W. Bulmer and Cc, 

Russcl-courf, Cleveland-row, 

St. James's. 





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