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In the travelogue penned by Baron Charles Hugel of his tortuous, circuitous and labyrinthine route ascending the eclivities and descending the declivities in a hot and humid and elsewhere extremely cold climate has been poignantly and painstakingly narrated as follows:

Tuesday, December 8.-I was roused before daybreak, by a strange kind of singing. The Dharamséla was properly a Sikh temple, or the residence of a Sikh priest, who is bound to offer a lodging to every traveller of his own faith, and is paid for this hospitable shelter by different sorts of gifts; this is the chief source of his revenue. I had taken possession of the audience hall of a priest of some consequence in Baramulla, and in an open court before it, I remarked a very tasteful building of stone, in which was erected a throne, adorned with red and yellow silk carpets, and hung with richly-ornamented curtains. On this throne was seated the old priest: his beard was as white as snow. In his hand, he held a chduri or fly-fan, made from the tail of the Tibet yak. The handle, which was of silver, he moved to and fro incessantly. Over his head, there was an oil lamp burning, and before him the Grunth, or Book of the Sikh Law, open, from which he was chaunting in aloud voice. When first I was roused from sleep by the noise, and looked out on the elegant throne, and the venerable old man upon it, I could hardly persuade myself that the whole was not a vision; but the continued pains in my head too soon reminded me of the reality of the scene. The severity of the cold was excessive, yet the old man had been at his religious duties since four o’clock, and every now and then the Sikhs came to ask his advice: he seemed in fact to hold a continuous Durbar.

I was shortly interrupted in the writing I had resumed, by the entrance of Mirza Ahud, who had talked to me so much about a giant’s tooth, which was under the care of the Brahmins of Béramulla, that I desired to see it. He now ushered in a deputation from a Brahminical temple near, who straightway seated themselves on the ground, and drawing a large parcel out of a heap of clothes, laid it at my feet. This was the relic: they then commenced a long story about Jin, to whom it had belonged. It is related that while Kasyapa was living by the Satiser, which formerly covered the whole valley, he happened one day to be praying to the goddess Mata. Jin tried to disturb his devotions, but he was reproved by the holy man, who desired him to quit the place. Instead of doing this, he made a snatch at the devotee’s pagri or turban, whereupon Kasyapa gave him so severe a blow, that it knocked out one of his teeth, and sent the evil spirit howling away, this tooth has been preserved in the temple, and shown to pilgrims for thousands of years since. I begged they would let me see this relic, when, after much unwrapping and ceremonious maneuvring, they produced the upper tooth of an elephant. I ventured to insinuate that Jin must have been an elephant, to judge by his teeth; but one and all stoutly maintained it was no such thing, but a real giant's, and that this, to boot, was not one of his largest teeth. The tooth was bona fide that of an elephant of India, and of no great age, to judge from its appearance, While we were together, in rushed Mohan Bir to tell me that my favourite Ghunt had been stolen, and Osman Khan, to inform his master, Mr. Vigne, that the finest of his Yaks or Tibetan bulls was defunct. I held the Thanadar responsible to me for my horse; and as there was no longer any hope for the bull, I begged Vigne to have his head cut off, and let me take it to Europe. Well versed now in Indian habits, I was curious to see their force on my Shikari Jonki, who was a native of the Himalaya, and of a good caste; so I sent for him, and desired him to go to the place where it lay, cut the animal's head of,.and bring it to me. I shall never forget the expression of the man’s visage. He stammered out that he would die for me if necessary, but that this order he could not possibly obey, for that if he only touched the creature, he should assuredly lose his caste. The commission was therefore given to a Mohammedan, to the great satisfaction of poor Jonki, who thanked me very earnestly for not insisting on his obedience.

I could not imagine how my little Ghunt could have been stolen. The stable where he stood, was in an inner court, accessible only through the place where all my servants were lodged, with one entrance door, where a guard was posted. The Thanadar set the whole population on the lookout, to get intelligence of it; and though its appearance was so remarkable, no one observed it. At last, however, it was brought back to me to my great joy; the fact was, that the groom had left him unfastened in the stable, whereupon the poor beast had sagaciously availed himself of the opportunity to take a stroll in the fields. ‘The Thanadar had offered me another horse as a substitute before mine was found, but I refused to take it, which convinced him of the necessity of exerting himself.

Baramulla is the boundary of Kashmir to the westward. On the left bank of the Jelam, near the bridge, and on the road to Prunsh, is a small fort. A gate, close to the town, where the hills approach each other, marks the limit of the territory: here the character of the Jelam changes; from a gentle stream, it becomes a broad and rapid fiver.

Wednesday, December 9.-We began to move on at daybreak, but I purposed to remain here until noon to take the sun’s altitude, and afterwards to follow the people. The day, however, did not promise to be any clearer than yesterday, and I lost my patience and determined to set off at once. The bull’s head not having arrived at 8 o'clock, the Thanadar assured me that it should be sent after me, but I put no faith in his promises, and declared my purpose of remaining at Baramulla until it was ready. As the table and chairs had been taken away, and the Dharamsala was bitterly cold, I strolled to the Jama Masjid, a building now in ruins: four magnificent columns of cedar wood are yet standing, which alone are well worth a visit. As I returned, T met a man with the bull’s head, and would have made him strip off the skin for the convenience of packing it, but he refused, although I offered him a rupee for the job. With much trouble, I found a Mobammedan, who agreed to do it, and for an additional rupee, to carry it to our next station. Such is a specimen of the impediments in the way of those who are forming collections of natural history in these remote countries.

Mirza Ahud accompanied me to the gate of the valley. It was a real grief to me to part forever in this world from this excellent man; he wept bitterly, while the tears stood in my eyes. Mirza Abdul Rahim also ran after me to beg that I would forgive him if he had been remiss in anything. I walked on with the cold reply, ‘ Ucha hy,” all is well, I am satisfied.

And thus leaving this Indian paradise, I passed through a rock, which together with the river forms a strong barrier: northwards, the steep rocks of the Gosieh slant down to the Jelam; southwards, the Pir Panjal stretches on the other shore as far as the Jelam also, where it forms a steep declivity, the snow-capped peaks of both mountains being but a few miles distant from the river.

If there were any truth in the tradition that the valley has been drained by human ingenuity, that Herculean work must have been ‘undertaken at this part. But the height of the mountain, and the breadth of the bed of the river, preclude the possibility of such a conclusion, except in legendary presumption: others attribute its execution to their gods.

Mounted on my trusty Ghunt, I began my long journey homewards, following the windings of the river, and pondering over the many thousand miles which lay between me and my fatherland, and overall the troubles which might occur during the weeks and months which must necessarily elapse before I could reach that spot. But there is very much to encourage hope and patience in the thought that we are gradually approaching the haven of our hopes, however slowly; it is only when we stop to reflect, that our fatigues are removing us daily from it, or even worse, when we have nothing to look forward to in‘ life, that our hearts sink: we too often forget that when all else in this world shall have lost its charms, there is an eternity beyond it, to which we must inevitably come.

I took my departure from the valley of Kashmir with a heavy heart. The fatigues of mind as well as of body which I had undergone during my residence in this region, had been almost too much for my strength; the extreme cold of my inconvenient dwelling-place, was enough to counteract any benefit from relaxation. Long residence in India had made me doubly sensitive in this colder clime, and I suffered so intensely from pain in the soles of my feet and palms of my hands, that it was a misery to me to walk. When able to add a little to my diary, it needed much care to keep my enfeebled hands under proper control. But I neither experienced uneasiness nor pain when the boundaries of this little kingdom were once passed and we were fairly journeying westward. While my escort loitered behind, I followed for a time the banks of the Jelam; and my attention was gradually called off to the objects around me, and to the impetuous stream, which heretofore, while watering the valley of Kashmir, glided on so gently; now turbulent and rapid, hemmed in by protruding mountains, it brawled under huge masses of rock, or dashed hurriedly over cataracts, This day’s journey was easy, the descents and acclivities being alike inconsiderable. About two miles from Baramulla there is a Buddhist temple in ruins, in a small tank; I judged it to be, most probably, that of Panditran. The plane grows indigenously by the wayside, though in Kashmir this tree can only be propagated from layers. Here, as in the valley, the exhalations and dust obscured the view of the heights, and I could only make out the outlines with extreme difficulty at the distance of a few miles; when at length the sun made its appearance it was just half an hour too late to take corresponding altitudes.

Three buildings in Jempura attracted my curiosity. The first, in the form of a sepulchral monument, was a circular edifice about thirty feet in height, on which stood a square chamber; but to what time or faith the monument belonged, I had no means of discovering, nor had I seen anything at all resembling it elsewhere. The walls were massive, and the whole structure seemed to refer to a race whose monuments were all of the same solid proportions. J examined this mysterious fabric on all sides with great attention, in expectation of finding some inscription which might indicate either the builders or the people to whom it once belonged, or at least its purpose, but could discover nothing to help-out my ignorance.

A few miles onward we came to three small forts, Atalgurh, Shenkergurh, and Messekur, which, together with a fourth already passed near Kizenhdéma, and another by Jempura, were evidently constructed to protect the natives against the attacks of predatory bands. There is a Buddhist temple which is in good preservation, near Guniar, but unluckily it is situated on the left bank of the Jelam: as there was no bridge, and the stream was far too strong to allow a boat to cross, I have obliged to content myself with the view from the opposite bank, At T4tmulla, or Mena, seven kos, about fourteen miles, from Béramulla, I found my sleeping tent pitched, the sun has gone down. The Jelam at this place is 1200 feet lower than at Banderpoor, Thermometer at six in the evening, 52°.

Thursday, December 10, thermometer, 7 a.m. 48°, noon 64°, 6 p.m. 52°. The route continued to skirt the rapid Jelam, and the hills throughout the day’s march were of no great height. About five miles from Tétmulla we saw a pretty waterfall, called Shula. The land between Baramulla and Mazafferabad, was formerly worth six lacks of rupees annually to the Pathdns; its value at present is altogether nominal. Itis partitioned out between a number of petty Mohammedan chiefs, who style themselves, rajas, with the further dignity of khan. This part of the country is thus reduced to the lowest stage of wretchedness, and the unhappy people see themselves stript of everything they possess, that is worth taking. One of these petty chiefs, called Sarfaraz Khan Kaker, whose territory extends along the left bank of the Jelam from Kashmir, resides in the fort of Messekur, and as they | usually take the designation of their place of residence, he is called the Messekur-raja. Another style himself Dushina-raja, from the place called Dushina, and bears in addition the title of Zaberdast Khan Ginghel. His country commences on this side of Jempura. Zaberdast Khan is still in his childhood, and is now retained in Kashmir as a hostage for the government of his mother, who resides at Ginghel.

I found my tent pitched five kos from Menah. The ruins of a once important town and temple are visible for some distance along the bank of the river, but at present Dianun cannot boast of so much as one solitary inhabitant. The bed of the Jelam inéreases in depth. Opposite to Dianun is a Buddhist temple still in good repair, and built in the same style as those of Kashmir. Its situation is its best defence; its name is Brangutri. Dianun lies 600 feet lower than Menah. At the close of the day my fellow traveller, Mohammed Shah Nakshbandi, paid me a visit of some hours.

Friday, December 11.-The country from Didoun is highly picturesque. The Jelam has hollowed out its bed many hundred feet deep, and roars over huge fragments of rock: it made us quite dizzy to look down from the pathway, as it winds along the course of the lofty precipitous bank. Three miles beyond Kho, the river has forced a passage through the rocks, which hang several hundred feet over it, and almost form a natural bridge. Uri Serai is very near this, and the ruins of its stone bridge are still discernible. These ruins, the bridge, and the serai for travellers, induce me to believe that the high road from India formerly passed by Rajawar, Uri, and Baramulla. What were the stations between Rajawar and Uri, I know not, but the road must certainly have passed Punsh, which is not more than five kos distant. Had I not been deterred by the winter season, I would gladly have explored this road, which at Punsh joins that from Baramulla, direct to Rajawar, and there meets the high road from the Panjéb to Kashmir. T should thus have confirmed my conjecture, that the best route from India to Kashmir must be by punsh and un, so that by avoiding the Pir Panjal, it would be found practicable throughout the year.

The road now led over a mountain, at the foot of which winds the Jelam. On the bank of the river is the fort of Ghorigurh, and over against it, on the perpendicular height, is Uri Kilah; a rope bridge, or sort of ladder, is thrown over the roaring flood, stretching from the deep abyss to the mountain above. I dismounted in order to witness some men pass over this bridge, which in reality is an enterprise attended with considerable peril, it being nothing better than a thick rope twisted together, made out of horse hides. At the distance of every third foot is a loop or knot, which connects the skins together, and prevents the passenger from slipping off; but as it would be impossible to strain this material tight, he finds himself occasionally receding from the mountain across the deep abyss. On each side, however, there is another rope, about four feet above the footway, to lay hold by. In descending as well as ascending this contrivance the utmost precaution is necessary to grasp the hand ropes firmly, and to plant the foot securely on the loops or knots; the weight causing the bridge to fall from Uri as nearly perpendicularly as possible, it requires the greatest presence of mind. Its length is from 500 to 600 feet. The danger when two persons meet is not so great as might be imagined, unless they are both laden with some burden, which certainly increases the difficulty; but I neéd hardly say that such a bridge is incapable of bearing the weight of any animal, though I did, to my no small astonishment, see one man carrying a sheep on his back across this frail construction.

Beyond Uri Kilah, lie Uri and Dilawara, on a mountain, the surface of which is formed into numberless terraces, which are planted with rice. Behind this, again, one of the loftiest peaks of the Pir Panjal projects aloft, and in every direction, the eye follows the line traced out by this snowy ridge. A small river, the Gota, dashes down the steep declivity, losing itself in a deep hollow on one side of the terraces; while the other is bounded by a mountain brook. The whole scene is one of the wildest and most romantic I ever remember to have seen, and the smiling green fields in the midst of the stern natural features around them, render the entire landscape doubly imposing.

From this point the traveller journeys for some time by the mountainside. The masses of rock crumble and fall into the valleys below on the occurrence of every storm of rain, thus perpetually obliterating the road tracks, and making them altogether impassable, till eventually some new path is formed, either above, or often below the former. One horse can only pass at a time, and there are places where it might not infrequently be supposed to be quite impracticable to proceed a step further. The ground trembles underfoot, and the stone which had just borne one’s weight, falls heavily into the depths below; sometimes the traveller stumbles and slides downward several feet; my brave horse, as if conscious of the danger, summoned all his strength to extricate himself and his rider from this most imminent peril. The eye has ample opportunity to measure the deep chasm beneath, where the Jelam roars along, a certain grave if once the traveller should miss his footing.

About halfway up this high mountain is a village called Nogrant, surrounded on every side by terraces. Some rain had fallen during the night, and the temperature was warmer; a few tropical plants also made their appearance. The whole way from Uri the road was bad and uneven, and I had an excellent opportunity of ascertaining how very contrary to fact is the assertion of the natives of Kashmir, that the Sikhs have given a bad name to the road, solely to serve their own political ends. The Jelam at this place is so deep and contracted by the mountains, that approach to the brink is impossible. Shah Dera, my station for the night, was fourteen miles from Didnun. It has a mosque with a beautiful doorway, ¢he carving of which was executed in Kashmir. The thermometer was 58°, 75°, and 52°

Saturday, December 12.-On leaving this morning, I had been warned to expect a difficult mountainous road, and truly it was so, but diversified with many majestic scenes. The Jelam flowed along under high rocks, so precipitous and deep, that the natives dwelling on its banks cannot avail themselves of the water, and in Shah Dera, my people suffered much inconvenience from the want of this necessary, though close to the very stream.

Vigne was very busy with the pretty mosque above alluded to, and its carved work; while I-found myself encircled by the sick and poor, to whom, in spite of my best wishes, I could only administer partial relief with my medicaments. We began our long day’s march some hours after the tents were struck, and on their road. As for my large tent, we found it a hard matter to light on an even spot of ground sufficiently spacious to pitch it, the mountain on which Shah Dera is built being formed for the most part into terraces, which were too harrow to allow of this accommodation.

About three kos from Shah Dera the river has broken through the hills in a very remarkable manner, and in order to behold the scene I drew as close as I could to the edge of the precipice, and there gazed ' on the snow-capped mountains on either side, totally destitute of vegetation; and on the perpendicular wall springing upwards of a thousand feet above the river. In the middle of the narrow bed was a solitary rock of the same height as the bank on either side. It resembled the gates of a huge sluice: on the summit of this rock, which is about thirty or forty feet in circumference, lie two enormous blocks of stone, one upon the other, to all appearance brought there in sport. One might almost imagine that the power of the waves had flung them where they are, ages since; for they stand on the very extreme edge of the chasm, as though there needed but a breath to precipitate them from their present situation.

Let not the reader, in transporting himself in idea to this spot, be misled by the legend of the valley mentioned in the former part of this | work, nor believe for a moment in the theory that human power ever could succeed in drying the valley. This is one of the spots named as the scene of action, but to form such theories is an easy matter, and many love to entertain them, and to ascribe the works of an Almighty power to the ordinary agency. It is very certain that no human exertions ever produced this wonderful scene, nor could the drying up of the Kashmirian lake have contributed in the slightest degree to the formation of such a mighty breach; for the fall of the Jelam is so great, that if the river ran here as high as the road itself, there would be no perceptible difference in-its height even at Tatmulla.

Not far from this spot there is a large place smoothly hewn in the rock, evidently intended for an inscription; they told me that it had once borne the name of Emperor Akbar. The superstitious people of Kashmir believe this spot to be the especial resort of evil spirits, and a Sikh soldier related an adventure of his own which proved to what lengths superstition can carry its votaries. This shall be noticed elsewhere. Another assured me that in this same place, as soon as night draws on, a spirit called Jeja takes his seat, having 5000 leeches on his breast.

This was the place, moreover, where the battle was fought between the sons and successors of Timur Shah and the Viceroys of Kashmir, when the last declared their independence of the throne of Kabel. These viceroys were unable to maintain their freedom, and the inevitable consequence was, that the fall of the Afghan kingdom, begun by the folly of the brothers, was more and more accelerated.

From this narrow pass, the road led through deep ravines and over heights nearly inaccessible to a place where the valley widens, and the traveller arrives at a spot where traces of the most careful cultivation are still perceptible. From the foot to the summit the mountains are formed into terraces, and laid out into rice fields, which in former times were irrigated artificially; but these are now overrun with grass, and bear no vestige of any sort of culture. In truth, anything like agriculture in this region seems quite out of fashion. On every side are mountain torrents gushing from the rocks, and many streams have ploughed so deep into the earth, in imitation of the great river, that it is scarcely possible to conceive anything more laborious than the task of clambering down to wade through them, and then again struggling upwards to reach the level of the wall of rock. At the end of eight long kos from Shah Dera is Kathai. The vegetation on the way, and in the country itself, frequently brought the Apennines to my remembrance. There were the olive and the vine, the pinus longifolia in lieu of the common fir; the Myrsine instead of myrtles; the laurel and oleander; about Kathai especially are many olive trees, but the fruit yields no oil; they are very much like the wild olive of Europe, and are probably of the same species. Tropical plants are more and more commonly met’ with, and the climate was evidently milder, but the consequences of the cold experienced in Kashmir, began now, especially to shew themselves; my hands were inflamed and swollen, and the blood would frequently gush out from the broken skin. My feet were in the same miserable predicament, and both were nearly as large again as the natural size. But worse than this, I suffered from an inflammation in the throat, which had prevented me from taking nourishment since we left Baramulla, and which now extending itself to the ears, rendered me entirely deaf. I had already resorted to calomel, and this morning I repeated the dose of twelve grains. I felt better towards the evening, whether from the remedy employed or the gradually increasing temperature, I could not rightly say. My tent was pitched at Kathai. The fort, or Kila, if such a name is permitted, is a simple square inclosure with mud walls, built near to the wretched town, Kathai, and belongs to a Mohammedan prince called by the pompous title of Sultan Zaberdast Khan. Neither houses nor walls can boast of any material more durable than mud and wood; nor is the situation well chosen. A few impudent dependents were seated about the gate, who regarded both the Sikhs and ourselves with the most marked contempt. There was no difficulty in returning this, and I begged to know, as we drew near them, where this Sultan Zaberdast Khan might then be. The soldiers taking my question as an insult, their Sultan being detained in Kashmir as one of the Mohammedan hostages, made me no reply, but immediately retired within their fort, and barricaded the gate. My people entreated me to break up the encampment forthwith, and journey onward some miles; they fancied the jinjals, or musketry of the place, were already turned against us, and the Mohammedans sallying forth; but I assured them that the affair would have no such fearful consequences, and remained very unconcerned within range of their artillery, without anything occurring to disturb our quiet, unless it were the hideous screams they favoured us with from time to time.

Kathai is the name borne by the Chinese empire in Central Asia, and when I heard in Kashmir that my road would lead me through Kathai, I could not help fancying that it must be a powerful state to which the name had been given for some evident reason. I soon discovered that the place had nothing in common with the Celestial Empire, being, in fact, a most insignificant possession, which scarce produces to its king so much as the pay of a captain in the Company's service.

The Deodara, literally, the gift of God, the cedar of the Himalaya, is not seen at 4000 feet above the level of the sea, and the Pinus longifolia takes its place; huge masses of petrified or opalized wood are seen on the road between Shah Dera and Kathai, and at the former place the limestone ceases. Kathai is 2200 feet lower than Kashmir.

Sunday, December 13.-Feeling much better this morning, I began to hope that the warmer climate would soon set me free from the ailments brought on by cold.

The garrison within the fort seemed determined to insult us, and took occasion when the Jemidar, or Sikh officer in command of our guard, was near the gate, to hail him with an order not to show himself again at 80 short a distance. The officer brought his complaint to me, whereupon I dispatched one of my Chaprdsis to desire the presence of the Thanadar, who sent me word, with many civil apologies, that he dared not quit the fort. I betook myself, therefore, to the gate, and summoned him to appear, which he did immediately. I assured him that I should be very sorry to receive a bad impression of his behaviour; that being an independent European, and not connected either with the East India Company or Ranjit Singh, but merely travelling for my own pleasure, I was surprised to find a want of hospitable feeling, new to me in this country. The Sikh Jemidar, I added, commanded the guard of honour given me by Ranjit Singh, and without which a man of my rank could not travel at all in India; I was much surprised on my arrival, to find that he had not been apprized of this, in order to strengthen my escort by a party of his own people. Mohan interpreted my harangue so effectually, that the Thanadar immediately poured forth a volley of excuses, begged me to enter the fort, and on my refusal attended me to the tent. I shortly after quitted the place for Khanda, the next station, which was seven kos, or about fifteen miles, off. The Jelam flowed along in a more tranquil stream, and once we found ourselves on its shore; the vegetation on the bank consisted of evergreens. Oleanders grew close to some of the smaller streams; the Linum trigynum grew in the ravines; the Justicia in drier spots; the Czsalpinia Sappan covered the bushes, and the méina and bulbul warbled in the deep thickets.

I was once again in India, and the thermometer, which, at six in the morning, was at 58°, rose at noon to 72° in the shade, not falling lower than 64° towards evening. On both sides of the Jelam was deserted villages with their terraces all lying waste. I did not see a single native all the way, although this was no proof that the country was uninhabited, for the people invariably flee at the approach of such a train as mine. The rivulets which fall into the Jelam, in some places, rush down in cascades; at others, hollow out channels to a vast depth.

The village of Tani affords an example of the highly cultivated state of this country in former times, the mountain on which it stands, to an elevation of nearly 3000 feet, being cut into terraces for rice fields, now almost entirely abandoned.

In the evening the Shah visited me, and I availed myself of his long stay to make many inquiries about Kashmir and the country I was now passing through. This Mohammedan was evidently a conscientious person, and would admit his ignorance of a fact rather than tell an untruth.

Monday, December 14.-Today to Hatia, seven kos. The shores of the Jelam are becoming flattered; they are, notwithstanding, very rarely accessible. To the south-east, the valley widens, and the eye glancing over the nearest high lands, rests on the snowy mountains which lift their heads beyond in every direction. At Hatia we saw two Hindus, the first we had met with for a long time, and my Brahmin, Thakurdas, accosted them quickly. It was of great importance to him, as a Brahmin, to ascertain to which class they belonged, and my curiosity was not less than his. When they told him that they also were Brahmins, I bade him get all the information from them that he could, and particularly I wished him to find out how long they had been settled in this place; they were very sparing in their answers, and we could only understand that their forefathers had come there about 150 years since. But it was interesting to see the deep respect with which they received my Brahmin, the first of a rank superior to their own, whom they had ever met with. Hatia is the most northerly point in this direction to which the Hindus are known to have migrated, after their subjection to Mohammedan power, and at present fifteen families are settled in this place. It has a fort, Topata Kila, built of mud only, and garrisoned by Sikhs; a second to the south-west, Shekara Kila, stands on a mountain on the left bank of the Jelam. Near Hatia is a bridge made of goat’s skins, one rope serving for the feet, and two others for the hands to lay hold by, like the bridge of Uri; the three ropes are kept at an equal distance from each other by pieces of carved wood, but with this precaution, there is no little risk in passing over. At Hatia the banks of the Jelam are low.

Near it stands Petiéra, governed by a Raja of its own, called Nasir Ali; this personage, when requested by the Jemidar to see that we were supplied with provisions, refused with the utmost insolence, whereupon my guard proceeded to load their firelocks and direct them against the Raja’s house, who took to instant flight, leaving us at liberty to help ourselves. This, however, occasioned a violent dispute between my favourite Mohan and the Jemidar, the former drawing no flattering comparison between the Jemidar’s behaviour in the morning towards the Kiladar, and his present violence against the defenceless Raja, reproaching bim with not having revenged himself on the man who had really insulted him, but complaining to me instead, like an old woman, and getting out of the way while I conferred with the Kiladar. The Jemidar very stoutly denied this imputation on his bravery, and Mohan getting more and more enraged, gave him a blow on the face, when his antagonist brought his complaint formally to me, and I was obliged to reprove Mohan very severely. In the midst of my lecture, he exclaimed, “Is not the Jimidar a cowardly rogue?” “If he were, you have no right to tell him so,” I said, “and still less to strike him.” “Perhaps not,” answered Mohan, “but if he were not a poltroon, he would have killed me rather than come to you with his complaint.”

Rain fell today for the first time for a long period, but happily, for my baggage, it was of no great continuance. My suite enjoyed the unwonted pleasure of a bazar in this place, for so they called two little houses where provisions were sold in such moderate quantities, that ten of my people’ would have consumed the whole stock; still it was entitled a bazar, and for the first time since they left Kashmir, they sat and smoked for an hour within; most gladly I gave them this treat, for the poor fellows had suffered fearfully from fatigue and cold together, more especially those who were from the Himalaya; my Bengalees were all in perfect health.

Tuesday, December 15.-The distance from Hatia to Mazafferabad is reckoned ten kos, and on the way, we passed several villages, but they were either quite deserted or very thinly peopled. There seemed an abundance of the purest water flowing in every direction; the ascents were numerous and steep, but the banks of the Jelam were mostly accessible, and in many places, we came to small plains. The country, hitherto uninteresting in its general character, near the somewhat important town of Kosoli, became very pleasing. The Jelam forms a sudden bend, and a pretty island starts from its waters. Kosoli stands in a very favourable situation on an elevated plain on the left bank, and seemed to have several well-built houses; the whole aspect of the place greatly reminded me of an Italian village. From hence the road was very steep as far as Mahra, which is remarkable only for its huge cypress trees and its acacias. The banks of the Jelam continue very precipitously until it meets the river Kishen Ganga, which runs onward to Mazafferabad, having about one third less water than the Jelam, There is a point, about half a mile up the Kishen Ganga, whence we can see the valley in which the united rivers flow into the Panjab. This valley is surrounded with mountains, and the Jelam flows along with it for some distance, in a totally contrary direction to that of the combined streams.

The Kishen Ganga is about twenty-five fathoms broad, and is passed first by a rope bridge, and at a point further down the stream by a ferry. Not far from the right bank lies the Zehela Serai, built by Shah Jehan, and near it the building which tradition calls the palace of Nir Jehan Begum, but which, in truth, was a mausoleum, now in ruins.

Near Thandu I observed granite in large blocks, hurled, as it were, over the trap rock, and about Mazafferabad a considerable quantity of petrified wood. This town lies on a plain about 150 or 200 feet above the Kishen Ganga. The houses, built on this plain beside a wild stream, are surrounded by groups of trees, and have a very pretty, romantic appearance; while behind the plain rises the majestic snowy mountain Kahori-Kataka, a range of stupendous hills forming an amphitheatre around it. My camp was pitched on a natural terrace 150 feet higher than the river, under some large olive trees. The whole population soon collected around my retinue, drawn together by the unusual and no doubt the attractive sight of so many strangers in this remote place: curious also to witness the bustle of unpacking and arranging the tents, the various costumes of my followers, and their strange features. There soon came a message from the Raja, begging me to command his services. I thankfully declined accepting anything, however, as Mazafferabad boasts a regular bazar, and I strictly charged the men not to take anything without paying for it. The bearers and animals were laden with my baggage had accompanied me thus far from Kashmir. I now directed the Munshi to hire others to-day, that we might be all ready to start on the morrow. In the evening the Shah came; after which I was occupied in writing my journal till midnight.

Wednesday, December 16.-Mazafferabad is nearly 3000 feet lower than Kashmir, and contains 2100 inhabitants, of whom 700 are Hindus of the three higher castes, Brahmins, Kshatriyas, and Shudras. Early this morning the Governor of the place, Sultan Zaberdast Khan, literally, the mighty prince, sent to announce that he was coming to pay mea visit. Shortly afterwards he appeared in person, dressed in the costume of Kabail, with a mantle of fur, ornamented with gold. His suite was but small.

As he entered the tent I observed, notwithstanding his apparent strength, he needed the help of a servant to reach the chair set ready for him. When we were seated, I inquired the cause of this infirmity, and heard that his eyes were so affected that he could not discern anything in a very strong light.

Having heard that I had great skill as a physician, he hoped I might be able to do him some good. I had the kanat, or wall, of the tent taken down, that I might examine his state more narrowly. I have rarely seen handsome features; the nose slightly arched, the curved brows, and the lofty forehead, all harmonized with the look of gravity, and with the grey beard which covered the lower part of his careworn face. The light of the eye was nearly quenched, and the optic nerve was evidently fast failing. As the eyes were rather inflamed, I prescribed leeches and abstinence from spirituous liquors, to which the Mohammedans are much addicted in this country. The Khan seemed to have great faith in me, and consulted me about another, but an incurable malady, which must soon put an end to his existence, and for which I could only recommend a temperate course of life. Sad as were his bodily ailments, those of his mind were even more pitiable. He had lost his only son not long before, and the last relative now left, a youth, was detained as a hostage in Kashmir, The poor old grandfather’s sole wish was to see and embrace this lad once more, but all his entreaties to Ranjit Singh to grant him thig favour were in vain. I promised to add my petition to his own, and during my stay in Lahor to bring the matter before the Maha Raja.

As the little state possessed hereditarily by Sultan Zaberdast Khan is situated on the high road between Kashmir and Kabul, it is an independent territory of some importance. The ferry over the Kishen Ganga used to bring him in a yearly sum of a lac of rupees; but since the decrease of traffic and the separation of Kashmir and Kabul, but especially since the population of this country has fallen off at least one-fifth, the number of passengers has of course diminished in the same proportion, and the whole revenue of the country is estimated at little more than 30,000 rupees, from which we must deduct 6000, the tribute paid to Kashmir, and at this time Mehan Singh contemplates exacting double this sum. I asked the Khan to whom the small house belonged, which is erected high above the wild rivulet, and which was clearly visible from the plain where we were, and seemed inhabited by females, whose forms we were able to distinguish in the distance. It was his new residence, built of wood, the former abode of his ancestors being in a ruinous state, but he was too poor to build another. There was a bitterness in the tone of the poor old man whenever he spoke, which showed how deeply his feelings had been outraged. I considered which among the treaties I still had in reserve would best please him, and soon excited his amazement by presenting him with some of the little instantaneous lights, which are kindled by a touch, and which he firmly believed to be the fruits of some magical device.

Mazafferabad, or Masafirabad, the abode of travellers, is the modern name of the ancient Hindu-Shikri, and was given to it, according to the Brahmins, 200 years ago by the Mohammedans. A footway along the bank of the Kishen Ganga leads from the town to the Gures, or Dures, one of its tributary streams, which rises nearDiosay; from this place one road leads to Iskardé, another for horses from Mazafferabad to Derband on the Atok, and a third goes to Pakeli. Durand is said to be fifty kos from this place, the first ten of which are over a chain of hills. I have no faith, however, in this estimate. Mazafferabad itself offers a rich field for the researches of a geologist; mountains of tertiary formation rise up to the limit of perpetual snow, and on them are piled, in wondrous masses, broken and dismembered heaps of stone. In many places, whole mountains look as if they had been riven through and through, and the spectator beholds the vast clefts, one or two thousand feet in-depth, as fresh as if the violent convulsion of nature had taken place only yesterday. Nanga Parvat, the famous pyramid, which I observed at Nanenwara, is only thirty kos from this spot.

We were occupied half the day in settling terms with the bearers and drivers; the price they agreed to go to Lahor was nine rupees. I had only given eight from Kashmir to this place, and as the very same bearers hired themselves again, I was fairly taken in. I might by a little patience have soon found men who would have taken half the money, but time had now become very precious to me; I longed most eagerly to see my own home once more, and therefore J hurried on my departure, until noon saw the bearers on the opposite side of the river in the Zehela Serai. While they were moving off, I strolled about the neighbouring parts, and up the hill where the Sultan’s new residence stands, whence I could perceive the kila of Mazafferabad, a regular fort, one mile north of the town, and garrisoned by Sikhs. Having returned from my walk, I had a great desire to shew some little attention to the poor Sultan; but this was not easy, for a visit paid to him would have obliged him to offer me some present or other. I, therefore, sent the Munshi to tell him I would come and see how he was, if he would dispense with the Nazar. The Munshi soon returned with many compliments, but the Sultan excused himself, at the same time assuring me that his house was too wretched to receive me.

Two boats, constructed of the trunks of trees rudely hollowed out, convey travellers across the river. Each passenger pays a pice for himself, and as much for every load carried either by man or beast, The animals swim across the stream, which is deep and hurried: there are certain fixed places where only it is practicable to land; the bank further down is inaccessible from the steep falling rocks, and our little boats wheeled about in a manner which inspired no great confidence of our reaching the opposite side either safely or expeditiously. After all, considering how they were stranded, the only wonder is that we did hot find our way to the bottom. I desired to have gone entirely to myself and Mohan, but while the boat was pushing off, and after it had got fairly into the rapid current, three men sprang in, giving it a sudden shock, and half-filled it with water. I sat perfectly still until we came to the other side, and then discovered that our unwelcome companions were ferrymen, who were resolved on crossing with me, that they might share the present, expected as a matter of course.

The Serai is situated on a height a few minutes walk from the shore, and was built by Ali Merdan Khan, by command of Shah Jehan. It forms a large square, and is kept in excellent repair; but my tent, pitched under a thick clump of trees, was far more inviting to me than the closer apartments of the building. Just as I had made myself comfortable, and it began to grow dark, the Shah came to tell me that a party was desirous to see me. His cautious and mysterious manner excited my curiosity; accordingly, I requested him to admit them. But he would not bring them through the front entrance where they would be seen, but requested permission to usher them through the back way. Having ordered that no one should obtrude, the Shah went out, and returned shortly with three Mohammedans, who threw themselves at my feet, and laid some trifling presents on the ground. I had the utmost difficulty in finding out from amidst a mass of words, compliments and repetitions, who they could be. I guessed rather than heard, for in spite of my manifold questions as to the name of their master, could gather nothing but, Malik, Mir, Hakim, Sirdar, &c., which may all be translated, king, prince, lord, and master, that they had been sent for me from Sultan Zaberdast Khan, and described his unhappy situation-the iron yoke imposed on the Mohammedans by Ranjit Singh the beautiful land of Kashmir-and the peculiar advantages of the Mazafferabad route. I conjectured their object at last; and after they had gone on for half an hour, told them that I was no servant of the East India Company, and that if the Khan wished to enter into any treaty with the British, which would certainly be his best policy, in fact, his only chance of preserving his independence, the present time was not the most favourable for such an attempt. They looked at me with amazement; and when I had spoken out thus freely, they drew back, and, perhaps, fearful of compromising themselves, told me that I had not understood their meaning. I answered, that in that case, the error was mine; and begging them to assure the Khan of my deep sympathy with him, I dismissed them, whereupon they quitted the tent as mysteriously as they had entered it. Having called my people, Jwala ran in to tell me of the arrival of a fakir, with a letter to me from a European. It was from Henderson, written in Mazafferabad the very day before my arrival there, and telling me that he had been most kindly received by the bearer, and now was thinking of resuming his journey to Derband by an unfrequented path, the route through the valley of Vergund being insecure on account of predatory bands who infested it. Many obstacles threatened to thwart him in this project. He begged me to give the fakir two doses of four grains of calomel, for his sick child, and as the disease was an obstinate ague, I was to order that one of the powders should be administered each day when the fever left him. Unfortunately, I had disposed of all my medicines in Mazafferabad, reserving for my own use only a single powder of eight grains, in case of need; but after a moment’s hesitation, I handed this to the poor fakir, who had brought me a Nazar of a little basket of the pistachio nuts of Kabdal.

It was midnight before all my retinue crossed to the right bank of the Kishen Ganga, a circumstance which explained to me more conclusively than any mere assertion, how very possible it is for a caravan to be 4 whole months crossing the Euphrates.

Thursday, December 17.-The last party arrived with my luggage before daylight, just as I sallied forth to superintend the breaking up of my encampment, but many of the men had loitered behind in the bazay of Mazafferabad, and I was obliged to send the Munshi back, with positive orders not to quit the place until he had seen the last of them out of it. This delayed me till nine o’clock, trying my patience most sorely. At last, our long retinue was in motion. The banks on either side of the Kishen Ganga are very steep about this place; and at the narrowest point a bridge formerly stood, which was torn away in a moment by a heavy flood which occurred in 1823, while Hari Singh Nalwa was endeavouring to get possession of the town for Ranjit Singh, It has not been rebuilt. This bridge was a subject of much interest in the war of 1803, between Mukhtyar ud Daulah and Abdullah Khan.

Below Mazafferabad, exactly opposite the kila, the country is rather flat, and a second ferry crosses the river, but is seldom used; for travellers would not be much disposéd to trust themselves so near the Sikh garrison, who are usually not over-nice in taking away what little the defenceless natives may have with them. From this point, the Kishen Ganga may be traced for a great distance, until it is lost to the eye behind precipitous hills. The gypsum, here seen in gigantic masses, gives a peculiar character to the landscape. In many places, I observed the perpendicular walls of dissevered mountains of a dazzling whiteness, and as often the ground in rear of this is a snowy mountain; the whole resembling in effect a vast avalanche that has slid from the higher range.

From the Kishen Ganga, we entered a deep defile leading to the bed of a mountain torrent now dry; thence we proceeded along an immense hill, full 3000 feet above the river. I saw a solitary cow licking the ground on one spot, and alighted to see whether she had found salt there, which turned out to be the case.

While the bearers were toiling up this mountain I stood to gaze at the ruins of a once important fort, called Fatihgurh, or citadel of victory, which lies below the highest point of the hill. At the summit of this is the pass called Dub, formerly the resort of bands of robbers, who struck universal terror throughout the country. Hari Singh Nalwa sent a large force against them, but the robbers knew that they had partisans among the natives who, as Mohammedans, abhor the name of a Sikh. The commander, therefore, did not succeed without infinite trouble in extirpating a number of the band, and then only by setting fire to the grass in which they lay concealed; thus forcing them to come forth and meet his troops, who slaughtered them without mercy. The bands, therefore, are destroyed, but for a single traveller the security is not much greater than before, and to-day six of the Sikh soldiers remained at the top of the hill until my bearers had all mounted. There is no great cause of alarm to a traveller with a numerous retinue. It is here indeed as in Europe; to the rich man, every trouble of this kind is made light; while the poor, with his cares and sorrows, has to await the just equalization of all things in another world.

At the summit of the Dub pass, I saw many birds which were quite new to me, harbouring in the scattered pine trees. I took aim at some of them, but the difficulty of clambering up the steep ascents soon fatigued me, particularly when, after having shot them, there was little possibility of reaching the deep ravines into which the birds fell. Arrived at the highest part, we could see Garhi, our place of rest for the night, as it lies in the valley of the Konyar. We had no sooner reached it than the natives, who bear the very worst character in the world, surrounded my tent, and as I had heard that their sole occupation was thieving, I made bold to keep their chief as a hostage for their good behaviour, and moreover desired the Sikhs as well as my servants to keep on the alert. The place is situated in a small uncultivated plain: there are neither artisans nor agriculturists to be seen, which was quite conclusive to me that they supplied themselves from other men’s property.

Judging by the acclivities from the Kishen Ganga, and the descent into the valley of the Konyar, I should say that the last is at least 600 feet lower than the great river. It was an important point for my map to ascertain whether the Konyar united near this part with the Jelam or not. My observations brought them both to the same level; hence I suspected that such junction must take place somewhere near, and the natives of Garhi confirmed me in this opinion. A number of these people live in natural caverns hollowed out of the mountains by the waters; others in the filthiest dwellings perhaps in the whole world. Friday, December 18.-This morning, when I desired the coolies and drivers to take on my small tent, as usual, they refused to go without a guard; and as the Sikhs would not divide their party, and Mr. Vigne, who was always tardy, could not be left alone, I was obliged to make a virtue of necessity, and wait patiently until the tents were packed up, the breakfast was eaten, and the entire company ready to proceed together. Bearers and natives of the place all agreed that the road to the next night’s station was sadly infested with robbers, and that the inhabitants of the different villages, by the way, carried on the same profession. The Sikhs seemed to think we were rather in a serious dilemma; they loaded their guns, therefore, and begged me to arm all my servants, intimating at the same time that they could not go on without a present of nine rupees to each man, and double that: sum to the Jemidar. I told them that my people wanted no arms, that they themselves were the greatest thieves, and that they might all march back to Kashmir together if they thought proper. Upon this, the Jemidar humbly craved my pardon, and excused the conduct of his soldiers, whom he declared was quite unprovided with money. Notwithstanding I had made up my mind beforehand to give them even more than they now demanded, I did not approve of their prescribing to me, and especially as they had made their claims at a moment when my anxieties were sufficiently pressing without any additional cause of the trouble. I, therefore, gave the Jemidar to understand that I remembered quite well how two days before we left Kashmir, he had borrowed from Mr. Vigne a kalga, or plume of heron’s feathers, in order to appear in the state before the Governor when his services were hired, and that I had also given him 300 rupees, which he could not possibly have spent since we quitted that valley. Until we reached Mazafferabad both he and his men had received rations, and therefore, knowing that he must have money, I could not understand why he should tell me such a falsehood. Not a word more did he say, but got ready to proceed forthwith. There is a bridge over the Konyar, close to a fort, also calledFutihgurh, where there is a strong Sikh garrison, but some robbers had burnt down the bridge not long before. This in Europe would seem almost incredible, but in Asia, it is not the custom to post sentinels on guard, and thus they ventured on this enterprise ‘without much danger. Travellers are forced to cross the remains of this bridge on foot, and it is well for those who do so, not to be subject to giddiness if they ever expect to see the other side; for we found it necessary to stride over half-burnt beams of wood, thirty feet above the surface of the stream, a very perilous undertaking at any time. We got the horses and beasts of burden across the stream not far from Garhi with much difficulty, as the water reached to the chests of the animals. We then marched on in close column through a narrow valley to a small stream, and there observed some most remarkable natural caves, which I entered, in spite of the remonstrances of my attendants, who asserted that they were full of robbers. Divers kinds of stone, bound together in one mass as though with the strongest cement, form the walls and roof of these caves, the largest of which might hold from forty to fifty people. The height of this cavern, in particular, was about twenty feet.

The road is diversified at intervals by the Pinus longifolia, frequently a mile apart from each other. On the left bank of the Konyar is the territory formerly held as a fief by Hari Singh Nalwa, a one-time Governor of Kashmir. Ranjit Singh took it from him, and granted him another and far more valuable one. By the village of Doga the road branches off into two; one taking the direction of Monster to Mangli, the other going direct onwards. I purposed reached Mangli this evening, having computed the distance at ten kos, but the bearers declared that if they travelled without a halt, they could not get there before next morning. In this state of uncertainty, I perceived a horseman approaching, who was sent by the Thanadar of MonsGr, to attend me to that town. In consequence of the letters I had written to Ranjit Singh, all the Thanadars in these provinces had been commanded to receive me on the frontiers, as I had announced my desire to return into the-Panjab by way of Mazafferabad and Atok, The man told me he had been expecting me for three days, and that the direct road to Mangli was so bad, that I could not venture to proceed by it with my baggage. Much against my will, I was therefore compelled to relinquish all hope of reaching it this evening; and on his assurance that the road by Monsir was the safest and best, I determined to follow his advice. I was much vexed, however, at the idea of not being able to arrive at Mangli before the following day. The fact is, the difficulties, the discomforts, and above all the loneliness of my present situation had completely worn me out; and when I reflected on the 2000 miles which yet lay between me and Bombay, through a country where every mile is accomplished with fatigue and trouble of some sort, and then on the long sea voyage of 13,000 miles to Europe, my heart quite sank within me, and I often felt so ill and exhausted, that I threw myself down, and thought it madness to believe I could ever live to meet my friends again.

From Doga, the route continued over high lands. The pines were more numerous, the ground seems very productive, and the ravines more richly studded with plants, while beautiful cascades fell from the rocky heights. Many birds flew by, which were quite new to me. While the baggage moved forward I remained with Jwala and Mohan only in search of a little sport, though among these abrupt ridges it was attended with much difficulty. Two miles from Doga the road leads over an eminence, whence I had a fine prospect down the valley of Vergund. We descended into it, and found several paths branching off into the thick wood. We ought to have provided ourselves with a good guide, but nene was to be found. Our only alternative, therefore, was to march in close column, and not suffer any of the party to straggle or fall in the rear. Following a path which runs in the same direction as that we had been pursuing hitherto, we found, after proceeding a mile, that it terminated at a spring; we then chose another, which took us to a deserted building; finding again that we must have taken the wrong route, we were compelled, finally, to retrace our steps. I was apprehensive that we should have to pass the whole night in this dreary spot, in consequence of the approaching darkness. It set in to rain, and I was already much fatigued, having most unluckily sent my horse on from Doga, that by so doing I might get rid of my anxious thoughts by sheer bodily exhaustion. Thus circumstanced, I was quite at a loss how next to proceed to discover the right road, and at last my companions and J, one and all, sat down thoroughly dejected, to recruit our strength. Jwala alone made an effort to find out some human being in this wilderness. I desired him not to go a faraway, otherwise, he might never find us again; but at the end of half an hour, seeing nothing of him, I felt assured that he had lost his way, and fired off my gun to give him intelligence of our position. Nevertheless, he did not make his appearance. It was useless to wait any longer, and with Mohan, I struck into the path, which from its being the most beaten, I trusted would lead us to Munshi. In the course of half an hour, we met with Jwala, who had been fortunate enough to get information as to our road, but after receiving this, he could not make his way back again to us to communicate the glad tidings.

Being now in the right track, we proceeded, and soon came toa herd of camels, a glad announcement that we were nearing the plains of India, and almost clear of the toilsome and difficult mountain-roads. There were several hundreds of them, and they presented a curious appearance as they browsed on the acacia and zizith’s thorn. I tried, by shouting and firing off a gun, to bring their keepers to a parley; but no one made his appearance, and they probably kept out of sight from some misgivings of our purpose.

The south side of the plain of Vergund is full of deep and almost perpendicular ravines, hollowed out by the torrents in the soft loamy soil. We came upon them so unexpectedly, that it made the journey excessively laborious. Some of these ravines form, as it were, a valley within a valley, and must furnish a secure retreat to robbers, as no troops could venture to follow them to such coverts. On account of the intricacies of the road, I had joined my party, and for some time marched at the head, entertaining no doubt that the place was a haunt for plunderers. The whole population, in fact, must have learned the trade of their Patan masters, as they now carry it on indiscriminately against their Sikh rulers and neighbouring tribes. No village is secure against these inroads, hence everyone is defended by a broad thick fence of the thorny Ziziphus, through which is an opening that is carefully closed every evening. Nothing can be a more efficacious protection. In the centre stands a little court or building, surrounded by high mudwalls, in which the natives deposit all their valuables.

Another reason for the insecurity of this country may be, that disaffected persons from Kabul and Lahor have often fled hither, and carried on their petty warfare until some favourable opportunity permitted them to return to the plain. Pretenders also to the throne of Delhi, have made it their refuge when fortune has proved adverse, and from these mountains have witnessed the renewal of operations. It was here the fanatical Syud Ahmed stirred up the Mohammedan population against their new masters the Sikhs; and although he fell in battle against Shir Singh, in 1831, not a year has passed since, without some prince or other having been brought ta reason, by force of arms, by bodies assembled in this locality. These continual seditions fully justify the recent measure adopted by Ranjit Singh, of keeping one member of each of these petty royal families as hostages in Kashmir. When the princes are reduced to submission, their subjects are equally ready to maintain the same perpetual strife with each other; and no defenceless traveller is secure from their depredations, nor any incautious neighbour from their aggressions. Often as I drew near their villages, I observed the whole population taking up arms, fearing that my suite might turn out to be a troop of enemies in disguise. Yet the land does not seem poor, and I heard with surprise, that many of these scattered villages produced to their proprietors a revenue of 2000 or 3000 rupees. The country is watered by many streams, among which the Sarn is of some importance, receiving all the tributary mountain rivulets, and supplying in its turn the Atok, or Arub as it is called here. One mile from Monsur we came to two of those gigantic tombs, so common in Afghanistan. These were fifteen feet long, and nine broads. It was almost dark when I reached them, or I should have examined one or both. The night brought us to Monsdr, where, according to the directions I had given the man who met me at Doga, I expected the two important requisites-wood and milk, would be got in readiness for our party; neither of these, however, did I find. The drizzling rain which had fallen at intervals during the day, set in faster, and no tent was as yet ready for my accommodation. Completely exhausted, wet through, and heated with the fatigues and haste in getting over our hurried march, I felt that in this state the piercing wind blowing over the snowy mountains had given me a severe chill, my every limb faltered and shivered with cold. The ground was nearly underwater; and it took a full hour to get a fire properly kindled; not a stick of wood was to be found in the wretched village, and we did not well know where to pitch our tents. It was, as may be imagined, in no enviable frame of mind, that I stood for nearly three hours in the dark night, leaning against a stone, without so much as a cloak to shelter me from the rain and wind. The Shah was no better off than me, and his servants were all so discontented, that I invited him into my tent as soon as I had one. At length matters improved, the rain abated, the fire gave out a little cheering warmth; and the clean tent with its pair of lights, seemed to be a perfect palace, in which, after changing my wet garments, I felt comparatively happy and comfortable.

Saturday, December 19.-We were now near the frontiers of Ranjit Singh’s territories. Arub, a fort about five kos westward, is the entrance to Penda Khan’s country. Organized bands of robbers, to the number of two or three hundred, are frequently met in these parts. They plunder the different villages, and have hitherto met with no effectual check; in fact, the power of Ranjit Singh has never been able to keep this country in order, even for a few months at a time. I was greatly alarmed lest Henderson should fall into the hands of one of these gangs, who, however, in their depredations, rarely proceed to deeds of blood. For my own part, I congratulated myself that I had entered MonsGr at this late hour, as I contemplated leaving it early in the morning, before Penda Khan had received intelligence of the route I had taken, which might have offered a temptation far too great for his cupidity to withstand.

The valley of Vergund, though it cannot be seen from this miserable village, is, after Kashmir, the largest in the Himalayan range north or west of the Setlej; the mountains, on either side, are low and covered with thick forests; properly speaking, it belongs to the valley of the Atok, or Indus. The heights, by which I had lost my way in descending, divide the waters of the Jelam and Atok.

Vigne had sprained his foot the day before yesterday, in coming down the Dub Pass; and as he could not ride without pain, I had given up my jampan for his use. His ailment was not likely to be cured for several days, an evil which my present condition rendered extremely untoward. In the side pocket of this jampan, I always kept my kukeri, one of the most fearful weapons I know, and peculiar to the Ghorkas. They talked so much about thieves, that I resolved if they did attack us, I would not be taken alive, and therefore committed my arms to the charge of Mohan.

At eight in the morning, we struck our tents. Long before this, the Thanadar of Kota, whose district I expected to reach in two days, had arrived with a large company to welcome me. The road led about a mile away from the fort of Monsar, a paltry mud inclosure; the instant we were close abreast of it the gate was suddenly flung open, and the Thanadar issued forth with his followers, all bedizened with the fine trappings of which the Sikhs are so fond; he galloped forward in advance of his troop, and in a moment was at my side, and alighted from his horse to salute me. My party, was now as numerous as it was picturesque, the Thanadar of Kota being among us also. Many of the horsemen carried spears fifteen feet long; some wore their Indian costume with the most dazzling colours, burnished weapons, and gorgeous coats of mail; all were splendidly mounted. The Ghunt, on which I was mounted amid this glittering throng, did not look to much more advantage than I myself did, dressed as I was in my plain black suit. While the high-mettled coursers were prancing and neighing about him, he went soberly on his way with the most perfect unconcern, seeming to care very little how ugly or insignificant he might look. I saw the Sikhs looking with infinite contempt on the queer form of my little steed, but ere the day was done they had learned to respect his admirable qualities; the first half of our way lay through a succession of ravines which yesterday's rain had made extremely dangerous to travel, across these my sturdy little Ghunt clambered up and down without making one false step. The Sikhs, on the contrary, were frequently forced to dismount: many of their horses fell down the steep banks, and their splendid dresses, moreover, looked all the worse for the day’s journey.

Isolated hills are scattered over the face of the country in every direction, and what in the far distance appears to be a plain, is in fact, a succession of ravines, which begin suddenly with an abrupt fall of 100 feet, and are continued down to a small river. These ravines must have originated in some violent inundations of the plain. Large quantities ef water issue from all the rocky eminences.

The famine which desolated Kashmir extended as far as Garhi only; it is remarkable, that although cholera did not reach this district, yet all those Kashmirians who fled hither from their own country, fell victims to it. The mountains which had been hitherto clothed with the solitary Pinus longifolia, are here quite bare, reminding me forcibly of the interior of Syria, only that in this place those scattered “green patches which grow around the Syrian fountains, are wanting, and the hills are composed of the grey limestone in stiff formations.

About halfway on today's march, we came to a Buddhist monument, called by the natives, Budh, or Dhagoba, the first we had seen in this direction. Vigne got out of the jampan at my request, to take a drawing of it, while I examined it on every side. One of his servants, a silly fellow, a Patan, called Osman Beg, no sooner saw his master commence drawing, than he seated himself close by to watch his proceedings. The Sikhs followed his example, and gathered round to see what the stranger could be doing with this old ruined edifice, The Thanadar of Monsur even laid his hand on the piece of paper on which Vigne was sketching. ‘If you had any manners,” cried Osman Beg, “you would know how to be ashamed of such impudence.” The Thanadar sprang back in a towering rage, crying out, “Str, hog,” the deepest affront he could offer to a Mohammedan. “Down with you, unbelieving dog,” cried the Paten vehemently, and at the same moment, his sword sprang from its scabbard. The Thanadar and his followers, numbering more than fifty, rushed to their horses, mounted in a trice, and made ready for the strife; some armed with sabres, others with spears or matchlocks. My anxiety may be readily imagined. Their frightful cries made me look every instant for the attack which was impending over Vigne and Osman, but it was quite impossible either to give them any help, or even share their danger. Presently, the whole party dividing itself to the right and left, rushed by the two in the direction of the fort of Monsur, and the next minute they wheeled round again, and with the Thanadar at their head, rode straight up to me.

At a little distance the Thanadar dismounted, strode up to me, and made a low obeisance, I naturally enough concluded that he was going to say something to me, but no; he drew himself up, remounted his horse, and galloped off, quitting the plain with all his cavalcade. Probably he intended to show me that at least he had some idea what good manners were, in spite of the quarrel that had taken place between him and my dependents.

In Amritpoor, a town of some importance, we had the first opportunity of enjoying a bath; bathing is a general custom throughout the Panjab. The villages we passed were but thinly peopled by Hindis. The broken skin of my face and hands was now almost replaced by a newer and smoother surface, but the absence of bodily heat from which I suffered so much, made me feel the want of wine or brandy most sensibly.

We slept at Naushera; upon my arrival, I found my tents already pitched in a wretched situation, in a field as level as a floor. I pointed this out to the Kalashi, and bade him be more careful another time in selecting his ground. But as the night was clear, and there appeared to be no probability of its raining, which would have fairly embedded me and my tent in a morass, I spared my servants, already jaded with the march, the trouble of removing the whole baggage to a more suitable spot. A tent should be always fixed on high ground if possible, or at least on sloping ground, to prevent the possibility of water making its way to the interior, in case of rain lodging there.

Sunday, December 20.-With too presumptuous confidence I hadappointed the time when I should be in Atok and Lahor. Spoiled by the continuance of two months’ fine weather, I had not anticipated the possibility of rain set in at this season, and was therefore quite unprepared for the torrent which poured down during the night. If the pelting of the storm on the roof had not aroused me, the disturbance made by the servants would have soon done so; driven by the water from place to place, they, at last, took refuge just within my tent, though there it was likewise making its way. Towards morning the rain abated, but when I prepared to rise, as usual, I stepped from my bed into a complete pool which had collected under the carpet. Having made my way out, I looked abroad on the country, and saw it overspread with a dense fog. It was absurd to think of marching, nor did there seem many prospects of immediate extrication from our situation; the tents were soaked completely through, this added considerably to their weight, and they would moreover require a long time to get dry again. The dismal state of a person travelling with tents in India when these violent rains set in, can only be understood by those who have experienced such misfortune. The misery, indeed, is aggravated tenfold, when such a mishap befalls him after a long course of dry weather. Indian servants never provide against any accident of the kind; believing that the elements must be as obedient to the Sahib as to themselves. Hence, all my luggage was in the open air, the tent under which they should have been stowed away every night, remained unpacked; and even the rdutt, or large tent, intended especially for the accommodation of the servants, was very rarely pitched, as they usually preferred passing the night in the open air with merely some light coverlets over them. This want of energy is the great defect of the Indian character, and in such cases, their patience becomes a vice. They will sit, for example, for hours together in a pelting shower, in hopes that it will soon clear off, and then, when they are really in earnest to repair their own want of forethought, and to unpack their tent, it frequently happens that the rain has made it no easy matter to remove the packing cloths, without tearing them to pieces. The water, as I have already said, had made its way through the four-fold covering of my tent, owing to their having calculated on fine weather, and therefore not having tightened the ropes enough to allow the water to run off. The Kalash has now strained the ropes and drove the wedges deep into the ground, but it was so saturated by this time, that the pegs would not hold, and we were forced to let the tent remain as it was. To increase our misery, the field became one large sheet of water, and our sole resource now was, to dig a trench around the tent. Fain would I have gone elsewhere if possible, but knowing the difficulty of removing such a heavy mass, I made up my mind to bear my misfortune with true Indian patience, and lamented not so much the fact of being wet through, as the loss of one day. Assuredly, if vexations are more easily borne, when one observes others worse off than one’s self, this consolation was mine; in my large tent I was certainly more comfortable than poor Vigne in his smaller one; his tent, in short, was not habitable after ten in the morning, and his servants not being of the best, he could get nothing done to alleviate his discomfort. Nothing impeded the free entrance of the water, and he was altogether in a worse plight than if he had remained in the open air. When I heard how he was situated, I ventured through the rain to see how he bore it, and found him lying in bed, or rather in a cold bath. I invited him to change his quarters forthwith, and presently he was lodged with all his moveables under my own canvass.

The Shah, unhappily, had nearly thirty men in his company, all crammed into a tent which was scarcely spacious enough for ten. He had gathered them all about his little crib, and there they sat in the’ water, until a violent gust of wind overturned the whole concern. Nobody was hurt, but it was a very inconvenient accident at such a time, and in spite of my good feeling and sympathy for them, I could not help laughing, as I saw these grave Mohammedans crawling out from under the soaking canvass. The Shah took shelter with me until they had put it in some sort of trim again.

About noon the sky looked somewhat more promising, but the rain still poured down. We could, however, see the mountains covered with snow in the direction of Naushera, which lies in a plain encompassed with hills of no great height. Several small streams intersect this plain, which is quite bare of trees and uncultivated: at this moment it was nothing better than a bog. They told me that it would most probably be quite impassable in a few days, and as my road led through it, this piece of information was not calculated to cheer my spirits. I comforted myself, nevertheless, with the hope that this might be a little Indian exaggeration, and in the evening I interrogated the Thanadar belonging to the fort of Naushera; but he also declared that at this season of the year, travellers were often detained for a whole fortnight together after heavy rains, before the country was practicable. Meanwhile, he offered to entertain me in the fort, but I declined his invitation, and not over courteously; for, to confess the truth, I was quite overcome by the intelligence he had just communicated. During the night the rain fell in torrents, and my servants all came to shelter themselves in the outer division of my tent, their own having fallen in at eleven o'clock.

Monday, December 21.-The weather was better than I had dared to anticipate, though the rain had not entirely abated, and at nine o'clock the sky became still calmer. The tents, however, were in such a plight that there was no chance of our departure then, but when the sun came forth at noon, I ordered them instantly to pack up, being most anxious to quit our present position; for it seemed to me that the inclination of the ground towards this plain, must render it liable to frequent rains, and a very few days like the last would detain us, prisoners, for a long time in this marshy field.

My people knew that I was not to be moved from a resolution once firmly taken, and though my command to quit Naushera directly, seemed to them most extraordinary, they were soon in motion. I had a little more difficulty with the bearers. The Shah also succeeded in stirring up his retinue, though with much trouble; but Vigne, who was so kind and indulgent to his servants, that they did just what pleased them, could not rouse a man from the place. He followed me, therefore, with a single bearer carrying his bed, in the hope that the rest would come after him. I had named Salat as our night’s post, being but three kos from Naushera, or about four miles. For one mile and a half of this distance, we had to wade through the marshy valley, which cost us a vast deal of labour and fatigue. After this, the road became higher, and from the plain, we came suddenly to the steep declivity on which Salat is built. The night had come on ere we reached it, nor was it easy for us to find a place of encampment; for Salat lies, as I have said, on a stony declivity, which leads down to a steep ravine, ending in a rivulet. I examined the vicinity for some time to find a suitable position for the tents, or some dwelling place where we could pass the night, but the night fairly closed in without any successful issue. We were forced, in consequence, to encamp on a height on the other side of the river, at some considerable distance from the village. While here, I was obliged to give Mirza a very severe reprimand. My Sikh lieutenant suggested to me that in the mosque of the town there was a very clean place of shelter at my service. Knowing his religious creed, I asked him whether it was customary in the Panjab for a traveller of another faith to enter a-“mosque set apart for Mohammedans, and he assured me that the Sikhs always did it, when there was no Dharamsala in the place. I was jusj about to decline the offer, when Mirza, who was a Mohammedan, stepped forward, and said that he would not permit the mosque to be so profaned. I desired him -to be silent, and to remember that while in my service his duty was to make me as comfortable as possible, instead of starting difficulties, and if this was not consistent with his duty as a good Mussulman, he must cease to be my servant. He understood me, and in order to shew that he was sensible of having manifested his religious zeal at a most unseasonable time, prepared to pack up my baggage himself, and take it to the mosque. I desired him, however, to leave it where it was, as I was quite contented with the tent. Mr. Vigne’s people did not make their appearance, neither did the bearer of his bed, and with a little trouble, we found a place for him among us. I observed, on this occasion, that the higher castes did not consider themselves defiled by allowing the inferior orders to come into contact with their garments, and my people gave their best shawls and coverings to furnish a bed for my guest, without making the slightest objection. Tuesday, December 22.-Sa4lat is 1200 feet higher than Mazafferabad. This morning the weather was tolerably clear, but my limbs were perfectly benumbed with the cold. The thermometer was at 45°. The country for the last few days had been generally bare of trees, but at some distance from every village is a thick grove, which affords a most delightful variety to the general monotony. These usually consist of olive trees, here most appropriately dedicated to peace, for they adorn the graves which lie beneath their shade. Many are famed for encircling the tomb of some Pir, or saint, and surviving friends often bring their dead from a considerable distance to deposit them near the holy man’s grave. One of these sacred groves was near Salat, and afforded us for one night that rest which so many of the inhabitants had taken up for a much longer period. As in other Mohammedan cemeteries, so these are ornamented by the surviving relatives in various ways. At several of the graves, there were lamps kept constantly burning.

I was up and out at the break of day, and strolled to the nearest high ground, in hopes of seeing the plains of India, but nothing was visible beyond the range of hills, piled one over another. We started soon after, as I wanted to make up for our lost day by a long march. Our route lay through a narrow pass, hemmed in by detached hills, to a wide valley, in which the river Dor, or rather its stony bed, take’ its course for half a mile. The rest of the valley is torn up by deep ravines, caused by the rain floods in these low grounds, which force the natives to build their villages on the heights that bound the valley like a wall to the north-west. One may well suppose that a mighty stream has once filled the whole valley, having these steep heights for its shores; at present, no swelling of the waters could ever carry them so far. A species of aqueduct distributes the waters of the Dor at a tolerable elevation; indeed, no region in the world can be setter supplied than this valley, called the Dhamtur district. The town itself, which I saw only from a distance, is between five and six kos from Néushera, and there is a second very near to Hussein Abdal, our next station, which leads by it, but I had chosen the shorter route by Salat. Many books and maps have raised Dhimtur to the rank of a large city, giving its name to a province, or even to a state; but it is, on the contrary, a very insignificant’ place. Many small forts are scattered about, with a view to protecting the frontiers and villages. The valley of the Dor introduces one to the vegetable forms of Northern India. The Justicia and Dodonea, with some species of the Mimosa, are seen in the low jungles; the Bombax heptaphylla is in the plain, but the stunted form of the last renders it very unlike the majestic tree which astonishes the traveller in Ceylon. We also passed to-day some specimens of the Asclepias gigantea and the Czsalpinia sappan. Near Salike Serai commences the cultivation of a particular species of the ginger, scarcely as large as a pigeon’s egg; but abundantly exported from this country into China by way of Tibet. The valley of the Dor also produces the sugar-cane in such Juxuriance that they feed the horses with it, as they do in the Panjab; and the village chieftains usually meet travellers with a present consisting of sugar candy. The majestic plantain appears now in solitary places; but the transition from a northern to a southern vegetation, so delightful in most countries, has here no charm whatever.

Salike Serai, our halting-place for the night, is about twelve kos, or eighteen miles, from Salat. It is a populous place, where my Indians had the satisfaction of finding a large bazar. Close to the town is a strange-looking building belonging to a fakir, opposite to which, on the right bank of the Dor, is the temple of a Elindi Devi, or goddess.

Wednesday, December 23.-As we had no more than six kos to journey to Kota, we did not begin our travels this morning until nine o'clock. The fort of Kishengurh, built twelve years ago in a regular form, though only of mud, is two miles from Salike Serai, on the left bank of the Dor. The town is half a mile further on, and is the residence of Hari Singh Nalwa, one of Ranjit’s best generals, and formerly Governor of Kashmir. He received Kishengurh, his present territory, in fee from his master. Hari Singh was at this time away, but he had ordered his Diwan to meet me, with the offer of anything I might stand in need of. This was done as far back as Monsieur, the Minister pressing me to remain a few days at Kishengurh and rest, but which of course I declined.

As I came opposite the gates, they were opened, and a boy, attended by a numerous suite, issued from within them, bringing me a similar invitation, and a nazar also of 101 rupees. I touched the money with my hand, according to the prescribed custom, and gave it back, at the same time declining his hospitality, and requesting to know his name. It was Chatar Singh, the son of Hari Singh Nalwa, and the child was not more than ten years old. His features were very noble and expressive. His dress was covered with gold, and he wore a turban adorned with a sable plume of heron’s feathers; while his arms, richly inlaid with gold, dangled at his side. The large white horse he rode with perfect grace, capered and curvetted before me, the saddle and bridle being ornamented with gold and enamel; the housings, of Pashmina, or Kashmir shawls, were also fringed with gold.

I could see that my refusal of his present gave him great offence, though he did not express it in words, and soon afterwards he held out the purse again, which I still declined to take; upon this, he took his leave abruptly, saying as he rode away, “ The Sahib will not take the present from me because I am a child; he would not dare to refuse it, were Taman,” I was sorry to offend him, and therefore despatched the Munshi after him, to explain that I never accepted money from anyone. Half a mile from Kishengurh is Haripoor, surrounded by mud walls, which are fast falling to decay: it seems a place of no great importance from without, yet it has a large and densely-crowded population, and a respectable bazar, and was the largest town I had seen in Ranjit Singh’s territories in this direction. The streets were full of life, and the shops glittered with everything to delight an Indian’s taste. Every step diminished the number of my followers. One sat down at one of the stalls to smoke the pipe presented to him; another bought spices for his noonday meal; while their fellows supplied themselves with sweetmeats baked in grease, or listened to the noisy music before the Hind temple. I rode slowly through the great street, and seeing that it branched off into others, I turned round to inquire of some of my attendants which way we should take. To my surprise, every man of them had disappeared, and was replaced by a vast crowd of inquisitive natives who were running after me. As I had forgotten the name of the place where we were to be lodged for the night, I had no resource but to wait patiently till some of my suite returned. I dismounted hastily, and seated myself on a stone by the side of a spring, and held the rein of my horse. They did not make their appearance for about an hour, and remembering the days of hard toil they had gone through with me, I could not find it in my heart to scold them for leaving me alone, while they were snatching at these, to them, so very unusual pleasures.

Here we quitted the Dor, which winds along through the mountain chain, falling into the Atok, seven kos from Haripoor. Three different ways lead from this place to the town of Atok, two of them. being shorter than the road by Hussein Abdal, but more hilly, and quite unprovided, according to the information of Hari Singh, who accompanied me, with provisions sufficient for my large company. For that reason only, I decided on going by Kota and Hussein Abdal. The road led at first through deep ravines, where the Haro springs, a river which is at present quite dry, the whole way to Kota.

I desired my tent to be pitched at a short distance from the town, under the walls of a little fort close by the Haro, and there was a mofique shaded by some fine trees. There was a little water in the bed of the Haro at this place in the deepest parts. During my accustomed walk, I examined both the neighbouring heights and the banks of the stream, where I saw many curious caves, as though the Troglodytes had once settled there.

At noon we were met by Khan Singh, an agent from Ranjit Singh, who brought me a most friendly letter from his master, in which neither sun nor moon was spared to attest the stability of his friendship, and no compliments forgot. He recommended Khan Singh to me as a man who had been of important service to him, and assured me moreover that he was ordered to provide me with everything I could wish for. To this letter I sent an immediate reply, thanking the Maha Raja for this additional proof of his kindness, which could only proceed from the firm friendship subsisting between himself and the East India Company, whose friend I also was proud to consider myself.

Thursday, December 24. As we passed through Kota, I took notice of a house, by far the best built in the place; and inquiring to whom it belonged, I found that it was the property of a fakir, the poor man of the town, and soon after we happened to meet this person clothed in silks, and carried in a palankeen. I thought I must have been mistaken, but no, he told me himself that he was the fakir of Kota; and upon the stricter inquiry, whether I could rightly have understood the real meaning of the term, I heard further that fakir did actually signify the poor man of the place. What a strange contradiction of things! Every village owns a beggar of this species, who receives something from each inhabitant, or sometimes there is one fakir to s0 many small villages. I have heard it said, ‘‘ We are too poor to have a fakir here;” but wherever there is one the people have generally a pride in taking care that he is properly supported. The Kota fakir subsisted on the charity of thirty villages. There is often a spirit of contention between different places most ridiculously carried on, to see which fakir is the best kept; and they seem most desirous that strangers should consider them benevolent in proportion as their own particular object is seen well maintained.

Leaving Kota, I observed some detached mountains, running all in one direction, and evidently members of the same dissevered chain. The formation is singular, and imparts a peculiar character to the locality. They appear like the backs of hills joined together, and like islands in a sea: they lie in the great plain, intersected with innumerable ravines. We passed numerous streams and forts, and the ground seemed remarkably productive.

I eagerly looked out for Hussein Abdal, which is about nine kos from Kota, the spot celebrated by Moore in his Lalla Rookh, and described by Hamilton, whose work has nothing of poetry in it, as a lovely valley, and which in sober truth is neither lovely nor a valley. The place certainly has a mountain behind it; but the elevated lands in all other directions are much too insignificant to give the plain the character of a valley, and too far apart to encompass it. The ruinous Serai, built by Akbar, is striking, not by nature but from the state of the ruin itself, and the cypresses and date-trees, the Phoenix farinosa, near.

A tepid spring rises in the neighbourhood, in which a great many sacred fish are kept under the protection of a fakir; he had also in charge a. couple of white-headed eagles, which my huntsman shot at, to the consternation of the whole place.

A palace of Jehanghir’s, now in ruins, lies a mile from this; it was too late to visit it today. The huntsman was guilty of the death of a parrot this afternoon, which excited the rage of the people, though happily, it did not explode in anything worse than abuse. I cannot say whence the erroneous opinion is derived that the Emperors of Dehli always passed through Hussein Abdal on their way to Kashmir. Akbar may have done so, but his father Hamayun was compelled to relinquish his design of reaching the valley by this route, and none of his predecessors ever proceeded by any other road than that of Rajawar, and the Pir Panjal.

I had made up my mind to see Atok, the most northern point to the west where the Hindu faith is found. It is two days’ march from Hussein Abdal. As I found that I should be obliged at all events to return again to Hussein Abdal from Atok, in order to travel the faster, I resolved to leave my tents here, to proceed to Shujanpoor on the morrow, and thence on the following morning to go on very early to Atok, see the place, and return the same evening to Shujanpoor, thus finding my way back to Hussein Abdal on the third day, and pawing my bearers and escort a rest of three days.

There are certain times in one’s life, when remembrances of the past are so vivid, as to preclude every consideration of the present. This was the case with me today. My situation, as may be readily imagined, is certainly most cheerless, compared with the time, when in the circle of my kinsmen, brothers, and sisters, I customarily spent such anniversaries in the home of my childhood, happy in all the ties of friendship and of love; whereas, now, I am alone ina dreary dwelling place, with fingers so benumbed, that I can scarcely contrive to trace a few lines by the wretched light of the lamp.

Friday, December 25.-Although I have not mentioned the Shah's name very often of late, I have seen a great deal of him, enough to make me admire and appreciate his true nobility of character, and feel grateful for the repeated proofs he has given me of his kindness and attention, and for the readiness with which he has thought of everything I was most likely to stand in need of. For one thing, he would send to Kashmir, for another to Peshawur; and if I asked for information on any subject, every man in the place was employed to procure it for me. Such information, in a country like this, peopled by Mohammedan fanatics, was only to be had through Mohammed Shah Nakhsbandi, whose character for the promotion of the faith made that easy for him to acquire, which to a Sikh would have been impossible, although it was from his personal friend. Probably, I was mainly indebted to the protection of his name for the immunity I experienced in my journey from Mazafferabad to Hussein Abdal, through a country infested with parties of infuriated Musselman bigots. His little tent was always crowded with his retainers, and pitched near mine. When he paid his morning visits to inquire after my health, he never failed to ask my permission to return in the evening. A Mohammedan in the noblest sense of that faith; he was grave, sincere, pious, fearless of men, obliging and polite; always ready to assist others; to feel for their sufferings; and to bear his own with a submissive trust in God, his conduct was truly worthy of admiration.

I set off with a small party of fifteen, at daybreak, on my way to Atok. Near Hussein Abdal, we passed over some mounds of a soft slimy earth, which, I think, have been deposited there by the waters, as they were usually preceded by a declivity to a rapid stream. Ten or twelve miles further, brought us to Kokur, and the plain of Atok called Shush, which, although on a. larger scale, reminded me of the Dera Dhun, or valley of Dera, in the Himalaya. A range of hills,. broken at intervals, shuts it in towards the south, where the valley is enclosed by the Sivalik mountains. The plains of Hindusthan appear to commence with that of Atok, and from Kokur the mountains terminate entirely in a southern direction. These mountains are of limestone, and the marbles are of every shade of colour.

There is not a single tree on the plain of Atok, which is as level as a sheet of water. Ruinous villages are situated on eminences artificially thrown up, like those of the Egyptian Delta. The Indusfrequently inundates the whole plain, though not with the same regularity as the Nile. Shujanpoor is eighteen miles from Hussein Abdal, and is a wretched place by the side of a rivulet, with morasses in its immediate vicinity. The course of the Indus may be distinguished thence as far as the mountains, and to the point where it is lost in them, a distance of nineteen miles or thirteen kos from Shujanpoor. The view would be splendid were the plain well cultivated; as it is, however, the scene is devoid of interest, and one only feels surprised at the endless range of mountains seemingly one above the other.

On the plain of Atok, the contest for the possession of that city, and the influence of the Afghans and Mohammedans of the west, was finally decided. It was neither one battle, nor the superior talent of Ranjit Singh, which put an end to that singular train of circumstances which had enabled an insignificant branch from the richest and most populous race in the world, renowned for bravery as well as the descent to prescribe laws thus long; the Mahmood power was already on the decline in India, and the unimportant battle of Atok only drove the last bands over the Indus, according to the object always kept in view by Fatih Khan, the Wazir of Mohammed Shah, the last king of Kabil, before Ranjit made his appearance on the scene; Ranjit has now in view to penetrate into the heart of Afghanistan, and annex the capital, Kabul, to his own territory; but no one informed of the hatred and contempt felt for the Sikhs by these wild Afghans, could ever dream of the possibility of Kabul professing allegiance to Ranjit Singh. Nevertheless, he has already reached halfway from Atok to Kabul, and got possession of the whole country as far as Jelalabad. I am firmly persuaded that nothing but death or some change in the policy of the East India Company, will deter him from attempting the conquest of Kabul itself.

Ranjit Singh has been in this part of the country several times, and on such occasions, they have thrown up small buildings for his reception, miscalled houses, of one story, consisting of a single room. These houses are rudely built of wood, plastered over with clay, with s single entrance, but without a window or another opening of any sort, forming altogether a strange contrast with the magnificent series of the former Moghul sovereigns.

Author: Navin Kumar Jaggi

Co-Author: Gurmeet Singh Jaggi


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