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doos, but on the map of M. Anquetil du Perron, constructed from materials furnished by the Jesuit Tiefentaller, who was supposed to have visited the spot in person, though Mr. Colebrooke is induced to think that he describes the Cow's-mouth from the report of others. It is not our intention to follow the travellers through all the perils of this route--through beds of torrents ; along narrow paths skirting the most frightful precipices; at one time clambering up steep ascents, at another time sliding down precipitous declivities: -we must content ourselves with noticing a few remarkable objects, and pointing out some of the most striking features of the country,
In passing from Nagal to Mugra, a distance of about ten miles, our travellers crossed a mountain of about two thousand feet in height, being in certain places almost perpendicular, the foot path running in a zigzag direction, sometimes along a narrow ridge, vot more than a foot in width, and having a precipice on the outer side of six or seven hundred feet in depth. The natural products bitherto observed, were white mulberries, figs, willows, and the pinus longifolia; they also noticed peacocks, and black partridges, (tetrao francolinus,) and a few fields of wheat and barley under cultivation. On the next mountain, to the northward, which was about twelve hundred feet high, they recognized, among its vegetable productions, the peach and the apricot, the walnut, strawberry and raspberry, the white rose, the dandelion and the butler flower, (we suppose the yellow ranunculus,) besides whole forests of the pitch pine, called by the natives the Deodar (pinus Doëdwara of Roxburgh).
At Lallari, a few miles farther, the land was observed to be well cultivated, and the sides of the hills cut into terraces, faced with stone, and watered by rills issuing from the heights, and conducted from the upper to the lower platforms in succession, precisely as in China. The higher grounds were covered with immense forests of a species of oak, and the Rhododendron Puniceum.
In advancing to the northward they reached the summit of a table land, which overtopped all the mountains in the neighbourhood, and from which they were gratified with a sight which is described as the most sublime and awful that can be pictured by the imagination from the edge of its scarp, (the travellers say,) the eye extended over seven or eight distinct chains of hills, one rising above the other, till the view was terminated by the Himalaya, or Snowy Mountains. The intermediate ranges appeared to run nearly parallel; their general direction was about N.W. and S.E. which is also that of the Himalaya. The altitude and direction of the most distinguished of the snowy peaks, the Gangoutri, and Jamautri, out of which the Ganges and Yamun are supposed to rise, were observed from this place, those of the former being N. 46° S' E. and the angle of elevation 3° 1'; of the latter N. 18° 34' E. and the angle 3° 17':
the horizontal distance, according to the best estimate which they were able to form, was about thirty miles ; but this, short as it was, according to the computation of the natives, was a journey of twelve days.
Descending by the Nagur Ghát, they had now, for the first time, a view of the Bhagirat'hi river, which was bailed by all the Hindoo attendants with loud acclamations, and with the accustomed terms of salutation and respect. In traversing the banks of this river, on one side naked mountains, with here and there a solitary fir, on the other rich and Hourishing crops, exhibited a pleasing contrast : the sound of the rustic pipe attracted the attention of the travellers to the labours of the field, where both sexes were busily employed in the pursuits of agriculture ; wheat, barley, and rice were the chief articles of produce. Both men and women appeared to be more civilized than in the lower countries; and the latter shewed less bashfulness and reserve than the females of Hindostan generally exbibit. A short petticoat and a loose jacket, with sleeves of coarse woollen cloth, constituted the dress of both sexes; but the ladies bad, in addition, a piece of cloth twisted round the head in the form of a turban. “We could not help remarking (say the travellers) that, even in those unfrequented regions, the female mountaineers exhibited the general failing of the ses, having their necks, ears and noses ornamented with rings and beads. When these are beyond their means, they substitute a wreath or bunch of flowers; for which purpose the white rose is chosen, both for its beauty and scent.'
The Bhagirathi, and other mountain-streams, are crossed by different kinds of bridges, but the most common are the Sangha and the Jhula ; the former consisting of one or two fir trees thrown from bank to bank, or from one rock to another; the other, of a rope ladder laid across, with ropes on each side of it to hold by: the depth below, the roaring of the torrent, and the swinging of the ladder, give to the novice a sensation of something more than giddiness.
Near Báhárát was a trident of brass, whose shaft was twelve, and whose forks were six feet in length. It had an inscription not much injured by time, but no one could tell in what language the characters were written: they were thought to resemble the Chinese; and the natives have a tradition, that many centuries ago the Chinese or Tartars had possession of the country. The trident is in fact a common emblem of the Chinese river-deity. The inscription is regarded as a curiosity by the natives, and many fruitless attempts have been made to decypher it. The late rajah of Nepaul sent several learned pundits for this express purpose; but they failed, like the rest; and we cannot therefore but regret that, as a copy of it was taken by our travellers, it was not given to the public from
the Calcutta press.—We strongly suspect it to be Chinese, and are somewhat confirmed in our opinion by the description of a small temple at the village of Bat’héri supposed to be sacred to the Maha’deva, but which bears a great resemblance to a Chinese model.'
Two days further travelling, over every kind of impediment and with great fatigue, brought the party within six or seven days' jour, ney of Gangoutri; and here their progress was stopped : but, from the contraction of the stream, and the stupendous height of the Himalaya mountains, there can be no doubt (they say) but its source is situated in the snowy range; and any other hypothesis can scarcely be reconciled to hydrostatical principles.'—We are not quite sure that we comprehend the force of this argument;-at all events, we think it by no means conclusive—but the pilgrims and the natives assured them that the country beyond Gangoutri was passable only for a few miles, when the stream is entirely concealed under heaps of snow which no traveller ever has surmounted or can surmount. The same story might have been heard without stirring from Calcutta. The party themselves were evidently not quite satisfied, either with their own observations, or the account of the pilgrims ; for, on commencing their retrograde march, they dispatched a mounshee, with two or three volunteer Hindoo pilgrims to Gangoutri, to make further observations :-a pilgrimage to this place is, it seems, considered as so great an act of devotion, that he who performs it is supposed to be redeemed not only from all the troubles of this life, but to be ensured a happy passage through all the stages of transmigration which he is destined to undergo. This party rejoined our surveyors eighteen days afterwards, at Srinagur. It appears that, for the first three or four days, they were drenched with rain; and that two days before they reached Gangoutri, they were overtaken by a fall of snow, which occasioned no small degree of alarm, none of them having before seen, except from a distance, water in a congealed state. The mounshee confirmed the report that, a few miles beyond Gangoutri, the river was entirely concealed under beds of snow, beyond which no person had hitherto been known to penetrate; he added, that the breadth of the stream is there about tifteen or twenty yards, and not above waist deep, and the current moderate : two miles beyond this, he said, is the Gau-muc'hi, or Cow's-mouth; it is a large stone, situated in the middle of the bed, the water passing on each side. In the mounshee's field-book, which Mr. Colebrooke has subjoined to his tract on the Height of the Himalaya mountains, the Cow's-mouth is thus noticed. In the bed of the river I saw a rock two or three paces wide and five long, bathed by the river on both sides, and overhanging the stream ; the depth of water being very sinall. This rock exhibits a similitude of the body and mouth of a cow. A little farther on, the river is
stated to have disappeared under the snow, which being soiled appeared like the earth of cultivated fields. Again the Ganges shewed itself at the distance of about three miles beyond Gangoutri, and the mounshee's description of this place is worthy of notice, as appearing to decide the question as to the source of this branch, at least, of the Ganges.
• In front was a steep mountain like a wall of rock, from an angle of which the Ganges appeared to come. Beyond the present station was nothing but snow, nor any road, but that termination of the valley. From dread none would venture into the water of the Ganges. The snowy tops of the mountains appeared of various height; and not the least sign of vegetation ; nothing but snow, masses of which were falling from the mountains. As the people in company were deterred from advancing, and there appeared no road by which to penetrate, and further progress seemed full of peril and of terror, I was under the necessity of returning to Gangawatri.'—p. 285.
The Cow's-mouth is not, therefore, as Major Rennell was led to conclude, a cavern, out of which the Ganges gushes through the Himalaya ; and thus (he adds) appearing to incurious spectators to derive its original springs from this chain of mountains. If the mounshee may be trusted, the Hindoos were perfectly right in representing the sources of the Ganges to lie at the foot of the Snowy Mountains; and this fact, at least, may serve to reduce the number of the blunders in Ptolemy's description of central Asia, so ingeniously discovered and so industriously pointed out by the French geographers, one of which was that of his having placed the source of the Ganges in the Imaus (Himaleh) instead of beyond it.
The distance in a direct line from Haridwar to the last point which the party reached, as appears by the chart, is about forty-five miles, and they took eighteen days, namely, from the 12th to the 29th April, in travelling it: the thermometer was generally from 50° to 54° in the morning, and once, at mid-day, as high as 91° in the shade. They were still six days' journey from Gangoutri, the latitude of which is something more than 31° N. Returning to the southward, they arrived at Devaprayaga on the 11th May. It is situated at the confluence of the Bhagirathi and the Alacananda. Of these Prayagas or confluences of rivers, five principal ones are mentioned in the Sástras, as places peculiarly sacred; three of these are higher up the Alacananda, and one is lower down, at Allahabad, where the Yamuna, or Jumnah, falls into the Ganges. The contrast in the character of the Bhagirathi and the Alacananda is sufficiently striking; and the quaint manner of describing it not less so; it puts us in mind of the style of Purchas: "The Bhagirathi, says Captain Raper, runs down a steep declivity with a rapid force, roaring and foaming over large stones and fragments placed in its
bed, bed, while the placid Alacananda, flowing with a smooth, unruffled surface, gently winds round the point till, meeting with her turbulent consort, she is forcibly hurried down, and unites her clamours with the blustering current.'
Though the Bhagirat'hi has the honour of being considered as the main branch of the Ganges, the Alacananda is, both in width and depth, the more considerable stream, being, near its junction with the former, one hundred and forty-two feet in breadth, and in the rainy season, forty-six or forty-seven feet in depth. The ropebridge, which, in May, was fifty-two feet above the level of the water, was said to be frequently carried away by the torrent. The Bhagirat’hi is one hundred and twenty feet in breadth, and commonly rises about forty feet in the rains. Below their junction, the ordinary width of the Ganges is two hundred and forty feet. At the point of junction, and on the scarp of the mountain, is situated the town, of about two hundred houses, inbabited by Brahmins of different sects, who hold twenty-five villages in jaghire: as the annual produce, however, is not more than a few hundred rupees, they exact fees from the pilgrims for the privilege of bathing; and many of them keep shops. At the upper end of the town is a temple dedicated to Ramachandra; its form is that of a quadrilateral pyramid, bulging out in the centre, and decreasing towards the top; it is surmounted by a white cupola, over which, supported by wooden pillars, is a square sloping roof, composed of plates of copper: a gilded ball and spire crown the whole; the height is about seventy feet, and the square terrace on which it is raised, six feet. Within the temple was a brazen image under the human form, with an eagle's beak instead of a nose, and a pair of spreading wings attached to the shoulders. This is precisely the Chinese Jupiter--Lui-shin, the spirit presiding over thunder and lightning. The Brahmins knew nothing of the founder of the temple; all they were positive about was, that it had been in existence ten thousand years! One of their daily occupations is that of feeding the fish in the river (Cyprinus denticulatus) with bread, which they are tame enough to take out of their hands: they are said to be four or five feet in length.
Our travellers found the city of Srinagur in a most deplorable condition. The encroachments of the Alacananda, the earthquake of 1803, which shook every building to its foundation, and the Gurc'hali invasion at the close of the same year, formed such an accumulation of evils, that it seems, says Captain Raper, as if fate had decreed that this devoted capital should not survive its native princes. When Colonel Hardwicke visited this place in 1796, it was under the government of a Raja, to whom it had come by hereditary descent through many generations. All now appeared