« PreviousContinue »
I left every article of baggage I could possibly do without, and having given very light loads to the coolies that they might proceed with less difficulty, we marched from Reital on the 21st of May.
On the 27th we reached the Soar river, from whence to immediately above Tawarra, the path is exceedingly rugged, over broken masses of rock. The whole is an ascent; and in some places, very steep open precipices to the right, and high rocks above to the left; precaution is required in the footing, and some places are very unpleasant to turn, where it is adviseable to go bare footed.
The mountains are of granite, with various proportion of quartz and feldspar, of which I have specimens. Heavy rain both on going and returning; could not get a latitude. Water boiled at 198°, the temperature of the air being 67o.
At the village of Tawarra, direction of the small lake called Cailac Tāl, whence the Dinni Gārh river issues 71°. It is said to be 50 yards in diameter, but deep, and is formed by the melting snow; there is a small piece of level ground near it to which the villagers drive their sheep to pasture in August.
Descent through the fields and down the Dell steep and slippery. Rhoh (or Rhai) pines and the mohora, a species of oak,
Descent to the Elgie Gārh torrent; cross it by a sangha 15 feet long. Granite rock in large blocks, with quartz nodules and bands in the bed of the stream.
Cross Camaria Gādh (rivulet), eight paces wide.
Down the narrow glen of the rivulet to its junction with the Ganges; the whole a descent, and in many places bad and difficult, over large blocks of rock' which have fallen from above, and overturned and shattered all the trees in their
granite precipices which confine the river at this place have split and fallen in large masses into the bed of the stream.
Path along the side of the Ganges, but above it a cascade opposite, falls 800, but not in one sheet, river up to 6o ; path rocky.
Across the river and on its steep bank is a range of hot springs ; they throw up clouds of steam, and deposit a sediment of a ferruginous colour; these are the first hot springs I have observed on the Ganges; the river not being fordable, we cannot go to them.
Huge blocks of rock fallen to left.
Climb over and under the ruins of a most tremendous fall of the precipices; blocks of granite from 100 to 150 feet in diameter are thrown on each other in the wildest and most terrific confusion; the peak whence they fell is perpendicular, and of solid rock. This fall took place three years ago.
Cross the Ganges by a sangha made of two stout fine spar laid from rock to rock. It is a good bridge of the kind, and
about 3 feet wide; the space between the pine spars is overlaid with small deal shingles which are tied together so as to form a platform. Like all the rest, this sangha is open on both sides, and unpleasant to pass, being from the length and elasticity of the pines so springy as to rebound to every step the passenger takes. The river below the sangha was deep, and very rapid, being confined by rocks. Its breadth under the sangha, as measured by a chain, was 50 feet; height of the sangha above the stream 30 feet. The river is more expanded above and below. Sanghas are always placed in the narrowest parts.
Tent at Dangal, a small flat so called on the left bank of the Ganges, and at the confluence of the Limea, a large torrent. No village here. The halting place is surrounded by high and steep rocky mountains, and mural precipices; observed some bears climbing among the rocks.
Time of marching five hours and 48 minutes ; a very laborious journey. The path is very rough, and merely a succession of steps from one broken crag to another ; some places very difficult. To the Ganges was descent; then we passed along its bank at no great height above the stream, which, though not wide, is deep and impetuous, falling from rock to rock. In the less rapid parts pools are formed, where the breadth may be 200 feet, but generally it appears from 100 to 120 feet wide; several rills besides those noted above, fall into the river ; it is needless to say, that they fall in cataracts, the sides of the river being every where bounded by high cliffs. The rocks are granite, of much the same composition as on yesterday's march. The dip of the strata is about 45° towards NE. as usual, and the whole line of inclination is visible from the river to a great height above. Water boils at 2020, the temperature of the air being 54o. On our return, the barometer was deranged at this place. It is to be remarked that on going up, we did not fill the barometers, fearing they might be broken, and the mercury spilt, of which we had very little ; our store of it having been diminished by those various accidents to which every thing that can be lost or broken in these rough regions is subject. Of these barometers more hereafter.
Lofty cliffs on both sides of the river ; path generally a slight ascent, but rocky and difficult.
Narai peak crowned with snow.
Cross the river on a sangha at Deorāni Ghāti ; it is a new and good bridge of the kind, but long and very elastic. Height above the stream 40 feet; breadth of stream under the sangha 30 paces, or about 60 feet. The high flood mark of the stream when swollen, appears to be about 14 feet above the present level. A wild and savage looking place. Precipice around, granite and some black and grey rock of a laminar texture. Rocky path from last station. Pines of various kinds, and the true deal
fir, grow here. Immediately on passing the sangha, the path leads over an avalanche of snow which reaches to the river's margin; it is many feet thick, and has fallen this year, and brought down all the trees in its path. This is the first snow bed we passed over on the Ganges.
The river, a bed of foam falling from rock to rock. Five hundred yards further on, are the falls of Lohari Naig, where the river is more obstructed than in any part of its course, and tears its way over enormous masses of rock, which have fallen into it from the mural precipice which bounds its left shore. This frightful granite cliff of solid rock, of above 800 feet high, appears to have been undermined at its foot by the stream, and the lower and middle part have fallen into it, while the summit overhangs the base and the river. The vast ruins of this fall extend for about a quarter of a mile; the river has now forced its way through, and partly over the rocks, with a noise and impetuosity, we thought could not be surpassed; but on our return in June, when the Ganges was doubled in depth, the scene was still grander. It then just covered the tops of the rocks, and one of the falls of the whole stream we estimated at 25 feet perpendicular, and below it were more, close to each other, of little less height. The scene is full of sublimity and wildness, and the roar of the water is astounding,
On the right bank also there has been a recent large slip of the mountain, but the above-mentioned on the left bank is for its height the most formidable fall I ever saw. It is not recent.
Cross the Ganges by the sangha of Lohari Naig, 16 paces long, and 25 feet above the stream, which is here narrow, deep, and has a great fall; the ends of the sangha (which is very narTow) are supported on each side on two great tabular granite rocks : that on the right bank is circular, and 150 feet in circumference. It is of a coarse brown granite, with quartz intermixed, and is decomposing in some places. The mountains on both sides of the river are very steep. On the left bank of the river observed a rill, impregnated with calcareous matter, which is so abundant as to incrust every thing it touches very strongly, and we collected large pieces of this lime, which is pure, like that at Sansūr Dhāra. This is a singular thing in a region of granite.
The Lot Gārh river joins the Ganges ; cross it by a good little sangha. This river is 20 feet wide. This last station has been almost level, and a good and pleasant path along a flat of 150 yards wide by the river side, sliaded by cāksi, mirei, omil, and other trees. From the edge of the flat, the rock rises in a gigantic mural precipice of about 1500 feet perpendicular, and the same across the river. Strata much inclined. The Lot Garh river comes from the snow to the right, and is very rapid. Ganges here expanded, and the scenery beautiful.
On our return breakfasted here.
Very steep and difficult descent, open to the left, and the river deep below; a mural precipice across the river with well defined strata at an angle of 45°. The strata are so arranged in these regions, which are the feet of the Himālaya ; but I have observed that near the tops of the highest peaks, the layers of rock are nearly horizontal. Name of above mountain Baldera Lūru steep as it is, and nearly devoid of soil, the pines nevertheless contrive to fix their roots in many parts of it.
Bad and narrow path overhanging the river. The Soan Gadh (river) joins the Ganges below to west; appears to be 30 feet wide, and not fordable: very rapid.
Bad and rough; here cross the Ganges on a sangha about 45 feet above the stream; breadth of the roaring stream below 17 paces, or 42 feet. The bridge about 21 feet wide, ill secured, and unsteady; it extends from one large rock to another. The current extremely violent, and the fall of the river great.
A torrent from the Suci mountain falls in here; at this sangha on return, barometer, 22.90 in.; thermometer, 52o.
Long ascent to Suci, a decaying village of nine houses, of which three only are inhabited. It is on the west side of a mountain, and surrounded on all sides by the Himālaya rocky precipices crowned with snow. The river is about 1000 feet below, foaming in a confined channel.
As to the march, it was very long and laborious; we performed it in seven hours ; probably one-fifth of it was hand and foot road. The rest, except the two places of fiat mentioned above, as usual, a succession of long strides, or little careful steps from one broken crag to another. The three sanghas over the river, having been lately repaired, are not dangerous, but too high, narrow, and elastic, to be pleasant to cross. The people from - the plains passed them very well (three persons excepted), but many of the mountain coolies were obliged to be led over with their eyes shut, as well as some of the Goorkha sepoys. To get well over them, it is proper to take careful steps (but not to go too slow), and to keep one's eyes steadily fixed on the platform, and by no means to look over the side at the foaming gulf below, or to stop or hesitate when on the sangha. The scenery to day was in Nature's grandest and rudest stile. Wall-like precipices of compact granite, bounding the river on both sides, to the immediate height of 2000 or 3000 feet; above those cliffs is snow. Latitude observed, 30° 59' 40.25%..
Descent and cross the Ganges by a sangha ; length of the bridge 115 feet, breadth 3 feet; breadth of the river below, 82 feet; depth to the surface of the water from the sangha, 19 feet (measured by the chain). This is the best sangha on the river,
and the water below is not so rapid as usual, Jhala, village of five houses; above Jhala, the country is not at present inhabited.
A fine view up the river, which, for several miles above this, flows in a more expanded bed in a narrow valley; the feet of the mountains bounding it are less steep, and are clothed with cedars. Good path along sand and pebbles in the river's bed, the current of which more gentle though very swift. The bed is about 600 yards wide, and will be overflowed when the river is at its height. Lower line of snow generally 2000 feet above the river, though several avalanches reach down to its margin. The air is very cold.
We have now turned the snowy range, seen from the plains, and brought it to our right; the march from Dangal to Suci, and on to this place, may be considered as in that gorge of the Himalaya through which the river forces its way to the foot of those mountains of the second order, which are the beginning of the spurs of the grand range. We have now the great snowy peaks on both sides of the river, and it is henceforward bounded by them. Those to the right are visible from Hindustan ; those across the river, or to our left, are not visible from the plains, being hid by the southern ridges. The line of the outlet of the river is very perceptible from the plains, and the Sricānta peak, the western foot of which it washes here, is conspicuous from Seharanpur and the Doab. From hence onward, the course of the Ganges is to be considered as being within the Himālaya differing from the Jumna, inasmuch as that the source of the latter river is at the south west feet of the snowy peaks seen from Seharanpur, and not within the Himālaya.
Pleasant and level; a snowy peak towards Barrasah shows itself up the Soan Gādh: it is called Dumdara, and is very white with snow : mouth of the Soan Gādh 322°. Down its bed the plunderers from Barrasah and the western districts of Rawaien penetrate in the latter end of the rains. As far as Barrasah, the country is uninhabited for six days' journey, except at Leuhpanch" Gong, which is three coss on this side of Barrasah. Those districts are on the Tonse river, and are the seat of numerous gangs of plunderers and murderers who much infest this part of the country.
Descent to the bed of the Ganges, and cross the Til Ghār, a large torrent which falls in a most
beautiful and picturesque cascade of 80 or 100 feet over a rock, bordered and shaded by high feathery pines and spreading cedars. Flat, over sand and pebbles of the river, bed here expanded.
On our return we halted at this place to take the altitude of two very sharp snowy peaks, which now appeared to the south, or to our right. We measured carefully with the chain a base of 165 feet, which was the greatest extent of level ground to be found ; with this base we found a longer line of 1568 feet, and