« הקודםהמשך »
black conical peak to the South, dedicated to Kalee Débee. The place was called Hoolyas, in Sanskrit Hoolyasaca, and was merely a resting place at the foot of the pass; there I shot some snow pheasants and Alpine Hares. On the following morning I began the ascent of the pass up steep banks of loose angular masses of rock, and over sloping snow beds, down which fragments of rock came bounding and dashing along with a crash like the rattling of continued and numerous file-firing. The porter who carried my iron tentpegs was struck on the knee by one of these stones, and hurled before my eyes down the sloping indurated snow. Luckily the snow bed terminated in a fork between two mounds of broken fragments of rock, and there the man's further progress was stopped, and his life saved. He was lame however for three weeks after. wards. The crest of the pass was a narrow ridge not more than ten and twelve feet wide, covered with soft and newly fallen snow. There I spread my cloak and found by my thermometer that the height was 15,700 feet. In the middle of the ridge there were two sinall slabs erect and smeared with vermilion, near which were numerous sticks covered with rags. For a few minutes I had a splendid view of the green hills of Chumba smiling in the distance. A thick haze then descended and obscured even the terrific gulph below, and I commenced the descent without seeing where I was to halt for the night. A goat was sacrificed by my servants to the Goddess Kálee, and to that they attributed my safety as well as their own. The descent was 5,000 feet to the spot were I halted, at the head of the Nye river, one of the principal tributaries of the Ravee.
On the 21st of July, I continued my journey, following the course of the Nye river for seven miles to the village of Loondee, below which I crossed the river and halted at the Dhurmsala, or traveller's house. The next day I reached Burgaon, a large village on the left bank of the Nye, and was much cheered with the sight of a mulberry tree; and there I got some good wheat flour, some excellent milk, and fine honey. On the 24th I passed through Footahun, below which the Nye and Boodhil rivers join the Ravee, to Poolnee; and ascending the Boodhil river for five miles I crossed it by a very respectable wooden bridge, 68 feet in length and 98 feet above the river, with a railing, knee high, on each side. There I saw wild grapes and mulberries just beginning to ripen-and continuing my journey for an ascent of 1,500 feet, I reached Burmawar, or Vermmawura, the ancient Capital of the Verma family of Chumba, 7,015 feet above the sea. The spot was a beautiful one ; but the severity of the winter had no doubt led to its being abandoned as a capital for
several centuries. The tall spires of the stone temples, and the profusely carved wooden temples were completely shaded by cedar and walnut trees. One Cedar was 20 feet in circumference. There were numerous stone pillars, tradition said 84, dedicated to Siva ; and a large brazen bull, the size of life, under a wooden shed, besides several travellers' houses. The figures in the temples were of brass and exceedingly well executed, all bespeaking a very ancient origin. I copied three Sanscrit inscriptions from the brazen figures, recording the names and families of the donors.
On the 29th of July, I left Burmawur, and at four miles reached the village of Khunn, opposite Tootahun, where the Nye and Boodhil rivers join the Ravee. From thence the road descended for 1,500 feet to the Ravee, which was rushing between steep cliffs of black clay slate; I crossed it by a birchen rope bridge 116} feet span and 60 feet above the water : the points of suspension were at different heights, and the fall, of the curve in the middle was 20 feet, which made the ascent and descent extremely difficult and dangerous. From the bridge, I had to scramble amongst loose stones, and up steep banks for an ascent of 2,000 feet in a distance of two miles, when I reached Woolas, on the left bank of the Ravee, opposite Khunn and Tootahun, at the junction of the three rivers, which I was surprised to find was not considered holy. The three streams were about equal in size ; but the Boodhil is the one held in most esteem, as one of its sources is in the holy lake of Munnee Muleés—its other principal source is from the Dogee Pass, on the road from Tandee to Burmawur. The Nye River has its principal source in the Kalee Débee Pass ; but a considerable feeder called the Raim River, joins it from the Bugga Pass. The Ravee itself rises in Kooloo from the Bungall Mountain, and runs in a N. W. direction to Woolas, where it is joined by the Nye and Boodhil.
From Woolas, I followed what is called the royal road, or that used by the Rajahs of Chumba when they make their pilgrimages to Munna Muhe's. It was one day's journey out of the way, but as it ascended the higher spires of the mountains, I chose it for the sake of the more extensive view, which I should obtain, and for the sake of the survey, which I was making. In three days, I reached Chaitraree, where was a temple to Sugget Débee. The figure was of brass with four arms; and on the pedestal was an inscription, recording the donor's name, which I copied. On the next day, I reached Bussoo, and on the following day Mahila ; and on the 4th of August, I crossed the Ranee birchen rope bridge of 169 feet long, stretching from an isolated rock on the bank to the Cliff
opposite, and reached Chumba, the Capital of the state of the same name.
Chumba, or Chumpapoora, the Capital of Chumba is situated on a level peice of ground on the right bank of the Ravee, at an elevation of 3,015 feet. There is a tradition that the river formerly covered the Chaugaun or plain of Chumba ; which is certainly correct, for the plain is formed of large boulders of slate and granite, mingled with rich earth above, and with coarse sand below. There are nine good temples in Chumba; none of them, however of such beautiful workmanship as those at Burmawar. The Rajah's Palace is an extensive building, but it cannot boast of any beauty. The houses are not different from those usually seen in the hills ; and I was altogether much disappointed with Chumba.
Of seventeen purgunnahs, through which I passed I have a detailed account of all the different villages, amounting to 258, containing 1,672 houses, and 8,849 inhabitants. These seventeen Purgunnahs form about one-eighth of the whole country ; which must, therefore contain, with the addition of 800 houses, and 7,000 inhabitants in Chumba town, 14,176 houses, and 77,792 inhabitants. The villages on the lower course of the Ravee are however much larger than those upon the higher streams, and I am therefore inclined to rate the population at nearly 100,000 ; of whom perhaps 10,000 may be exempt from paying the house tas-the remainder, 90,000, living in 12,500 houses, will give a revenue of 2,50,000 rupees, if taxed as usual at 20 rupees per house.
The trade through Chumba, formerly considerable, is now very little, owing to the opening of the new route, through Jummao; Customs are, however, collected at Bhudewar, which forms the North Western boundary of Chumba, and throngh which merchants occasionally pass, and merchants who come to Chumba, sometimes carry goods by the Sajh Pass and Chutegurh to Ladakh ; but the traffic is comparatively triling ; and I do not therefore value the amount of Customs collected at more than 50,000 Rs. yearly, making a total revenue of 3 lakhs of rupees, or £30,000.
There are no natural productions exported from Chumba, save rice and wheat to Ladakh ; and the manufactures are considerable : the principal are thick woollens called Burmawur, manufactured in pieces eleven yards long, and fifteen inches wide, in all the coller parts of Chumba.
Some are carried to Kooloo for sale, and I have seen a few pieces at Simla. Coarse Alwans, or Shawl Cloths, are made in the town of Chumba from Ladakh Wool, but they are all used in the country.
The men wear a long sleeved white woollen cloak, fastened round the waist with a black woollen rope; and on the head a peculiar peaked cap of thick white woollen; the women wear the same cloak, only black, with a white rope round the waist; and a small scull cap on the head -the men's dress is a very picturesque one.
From the Rajah's Pundit I obtained a long list of the Rajahs of Chumba, beginning with Brahma of course, and descending through the Surajvansa to Sumitra, after whom the list appears to be less apocryphal. The earlier Rajahs are said to have resided in Burmawar.
On the Ilth of August I quitted Chumba, crossing the Ravee immediately above the town by a birchen rope suspension bridge, of 187 feet spad ; and with much difficulty made my way to the village of Kurédh. One of my porters in crossing the small stream, now swollen by rain, lost his footing and was drowned. On the 13th 1 reached the summit of the pass of Chuarhoo, 8,041 feet high, from which I saw the plains of the Punjab indistinctly through the clouds. In the evening I reached the large Village of Chuarhee, where I halted. On the following day I made a fatiguing march of 4 miles to Jajeree, on the bank of the Chukkee River, over several high ridges of stiff gravelly conglomerate, alternating in strata with sandstone. The next day I crossed the Chukkee River with some difficulty, by swimming. It was 200 feet across and about 5 feet deep in the middle, and the rounded boulders at the bottom afforded ro footing whatever ; after a little ascent and descent I came upon a large open plain, which I crossed to Noorpoor,
Noorpoor is a fine flourishing city, 1,924 feet in height, built upon a narrow ridge of a sandstone rock, curving to the North ; the houses are chiefly of squared stone ; and the main street runs over the solid rock. The city was founded upwards of two hundred years ago by the celebrated Noor Jehan, the beautiful empress, who established a number of Kashmerians in it. In 1839 there were said to be 7.000 Kashmerians in Noorpoor, who were chiefly employed in the manufacture of Shawls. I saw many of the Shawls, which were decidedly inferior to the real Kashmerian Shawls, this was attributed to the difficulty of getting the finest wool. The Noorpoor shawls are however of very fair workmanship, and they are brought in great numbers to Simla, Delhi, Lucknow, Benares, and Calcutta.
On the 18th of August I left Noorpoor, and crossing the Chukkee River, I reached Puthankot in the plains of the Punjab at an elevation of 1,205 feet above the sea. From thence I passed through Shujanpoor, a good sized straggling town, and crossing the Umritsir and Lahore Canal near its head, I reached the bank of the Ravee, which was nearly a mile in width. The passage was made in about an hour by boat, and I halted
at a large straggling town called Ruttooa, from that passing through Heeranugur, Chungee Marhee, Mudwar Harmander, Rarha, and Pullee, I reached the bank of the Tohi, the Jummoo River which was rushing along deep and red, having been swollen by heavy rain in the lower hills. There I was detained until the evening, as no boatman even with a bribe would venture his boat in the rapid current. At Jummoo I occupied an upper room in a gateway prepared for reception by Golab Singh's eldest son, Oodhum Singh, who was lately killed at Lahore.
The town of Jummoo is about the same size as Noorpoor, but it contains fewer inhabitants, as there are no two storied houses in it. A few Shawls are manufactured at Jummoo, but they are made to order and not for general sale. Rajah Oodhum Singh treated me kindly enough; but my servants were watched, and I was unable to procure any information of value, I therefore quitted Ju’nmoo as quickly as possible, and crossed the Chenab river 10 miles below Aknoor, near where Taimoor had crossed it. The main stream was 920 yards wide, rolling swiftly on with a strong current. There were besides six other channels, some of them breast deep, and all having a rapid stream ; and beyond these was the river Tohi, which, rising in the Rutun Punjall mountains, flows by Rajaoree, and joins the Chenab above Wazeerabad. It must have been between this river and the Chenab that Alexander had pitched his camp about the same season of the year ; for Arrian says, 'The flat country is also often overflowed by rains in summer, insomuch that the River Acesines, having at that season laid all the adjacent plains under water, Alexander's army was forced to decamp from its banks, and pitch their tents at a great distance.'
The Tohi, frequently also called Toh, is, I have no doubt, the Tatapus of Arrian, a great river, which falls into the Acesines, for the Tohi of Rajavree runs in a direct line upwards of 80 miles, and where I crossed it near Mumaivur, at the same season in which Alexander had seen it, it was a great river running deep and rel. It was full of quicksands, and the passage was dangerous as well as tedious. On the 3rd of September I reached Bheembur, at the foot of the mountains on the Royal Mogul road to Kashmere.
On the 5th I proceeded to scale, what Bermier called that frightful wall of the world, the 'Adi Duk' or first range of mountains. On the top of the pass I saw a gibbet with two cages containing the skull of Thums and his nephew, the chiefs of Poonch, who had for a long time resisted the encroahments of the Jummoo family. A price was set upon their heads by Goolab Singh, but from their known bravery no one dared