Trip from Simla to Spiti Valley and Chomoriri Lake by Theobald 1863

Spread the love

Note of a trip from Sirnla to the Spiti Valley.

Noter of a trip from Simla to theSpiti Valley and Chonroriri
(Tuhmoriri) Lake during the month of July, A q w t and +tcm
bat, 1861.-By W. TKEOBALD, Esq., Jnr.,

PDF download
The object for which the present trip was undertaken, was to
acquire some definite information regarding the interesting f d i –
feroun deposits, both of P.laeozoic and Mesozoie age, known t o exist
in the Spiti valley and the higher Himalayas, to ascertain as far as a
cursory examinstion would permit, their extent, and relations to the
older groups in mntact with them, and to collect such a series of
fossils from them, as should facilitate the determination of their age
in the geological scale, and thereby afford a key for the approximate
determination of the age of those older groups, in which folleils are
either rare or altogether wantiug. These objects have, I trust, been
to some extent accomp
lished, though I shall not now touch on geo-

logical questions, which, with the result of the examination of the fossil
oollections, will appear elsewhere at some future period. I n the mean
whils I have put together a few notes of a general character, in hopes
that they may prove of some interest or service to any one about to
travel over the same ground.I may, in the present place, perhaps be expected to allude to two
papers by Capt. Thomas Hutton, entitled ” Journal of a Trip through
Kuuawar, Hungrung and Spiti, in Vols. VIlI, and IX, of the Asiatic
.Society’s Journal for 1889 and 1840,” and a ” Geological Report on the

vdlry of the Spiti and of the route from Kotghnr, in Vol. X, of 1941 .”
Of the Brat of these, I have little to remark ; but, as regards the
second, I must deny the applicability of the term geobgical t o such
speculations as it presents. Capt. Hutton has, in fact, fallen into
the not uncommon error of confounding cosmogony with geology, .although they have no more in common than the alchemy of the
Middle Ages possesses with the science of modern chemistry. To
attempt the serious refutation of some of the views of Capt. Hutton,
on subjects connected with geology, would be almost as hopeless,not tosay absurd, as for a surgeon to discuss the treatment of

Aneurism with a man who denied the circulatiou of tho blood;
and I must, therefore, excuse myself from entering a t any length
on the merits of the views of cosmogony and creation set forth
in the above paper: but tl~cy are, I fully Iclievc, as ingenious as– ——————– Page 2———————–

———————– Page 3———————–

———————– Page 4———————–

3832.1 ,Votes of a triy from Silnla to tho Spiii Pulley. 481
such specu1ations usually are, and, by originality and bold disregard
of the moat obvioua conclusions of geology, deserve honorable mention
among the choicest of those similar schemes, wlrich the late Hugh
Miller has rescued from oblivion, and embalmed in his witty and
laughable chapter on the geology of the Anti-geologists.

When starting myself on this trip, I greatly felt the want of a

few hints regarding the equipment wquieite ; such as the best form of
tents, the amount and sort of atores, and the number of servants
necessary, &c. I shall, therefore, offer a few preliminary remarks om
such subjects, many of which must appear very trivial to any one
unacquainted with the vichitudea of Himalayan travelling, but

which may be better appreciated by the traveller on the eve of

undertaking a similar journey.

It ueed hardly be stated, that coolies are the most convenient kind

of carriage for the Himalayas ; though in many parts, ponies, mules,
or yaks may be substituted ; as a rule, however, all baggage should
be so adjusted, as to be capable of being carried by s single man, so
though along made roads heavier loads, requiring two or more men,
may be found convenient, suah loads are very unsuitable, and occa-
sionally utterly impracticable, along the diaicult paths, which willinevitably be met with during a prolonged journey in the hills.

Begarding coolies, there is scarcely any serious ditficulty in procuring
aa many as may be required in moderation, though the plan which I
adopted, and it is one poesming certain advantages, was to engage in
Simla, for the entire trip, half the number of coolies I required ; ths
plan involvee a little extra expense in many ways, and ia strictly
speaking unnecessary, but from experience I should recommend itr
adoption by others, and should certlrinly follow the same plan myself

on any future occasion.
The daily rate of wages for a cooly throughout B i i h i r and

Kunawar is four annaa, and in the British district of Spiti two,
though the shorter stages often met with in Spiti c a w s the price of

carriage in reality to assimilate nearer than might be supposed. I
have often heard the higher rate of wages in Biasahir complained of
as exorbitant, and our Political blamed for not causing a reduction to

be made ; but very unreasonablr so, I think. I t ia frequently urged
that, as the majority of men in the hills who carry a traveller’s bag-

gage h m day to day, are employed in and gain their livelihood by
3 B
———————– Page 5———————–
482 Notm of a tt-ip from Simla to the 8piti Valley. [No. 5

agricultural pursuits, half of the preaent rate would be an adequate
and acceptable remuneration to the men, whilst at the m e time a
great pecuniary relief to the traveller. Parties who argue thus,would probably m t ~ ~it r ua more thorough sort of relief, to at onoe
resort to the old ” begaree” system of gratuitous or forced labour,
onoe reoognised and prevalent in the hills when European tnrvellers
were rarer than at present; and aa no one clasa of the population
wuld gain a living by t h b inoppreeaive system (to the pockets of
the traveller), the entire population, who in turns would hsve to

m e n d e r their aervioes, would be Id to entertain an appropriate

mense of reepect for their vagabond lords and of the msnifold bene-

fits conferred by their presence. The time has, however, arrived for

native customs of this description to give place, and for us to regu-

late our conduct towards natives of this country by rules consonant

with European rather than Asiatio ideas. Endeavouring, therefore,

to estimate the amount of what may be considered a fair clay’s pay for

o fair day’s work, I confees that four annaa doea not appear to me an

extravagant charge ; that is, for an average march of fourteen mileg

often along extremely bad and di5cult roads, over which the cooly

has generally to return empty-handed.

A far juster ground of complaint than the rate of moly h i

or wages, is the capricious rate a t which flour is sold to the traveller,

and as a matter of juntice, I aaa foroed to make up the difference to

my servants, when the price rose above nine seers for the rupee, ar

otherwise their wages would have barely su5oed, in some places, to

provide them with flour alone, since in some villages of K u n a w ~ r

I got no more than Ave seers for the rupee. This I believe to have

been an imposition, though i t must be remembered, that wheaten

flour is not the staple of the district in these places, but is imported

for the use of travellers. At Korzo, at the western extremity of

lake Chomoriri, I got four and a half seers, and was told that it war

no more than twelve seers per rupee at Ik or Ladak. One circumetence

which provea that this wan not an altogether fictitious price, put on

for the purpoee of profit, was that, though paying this high price, I wae

unable to get as much a8 I required, and waa forced to take rioe and

sheep to feed my people, ss well as flour.

By order of the Maharajah, I believe all o5cera attaohed 60 the

Grand Trigonometrical Survey, in his territory, are supplied a t the rate

———————– Page 6———————–

1882.1 Notm of a trip from Simta to tAa eifi Pialley.

of forty seem of flonr for the rupee, but this is I consider a manif&

oppression, though many English gentlemen are not aahamed to avail

themselves of a despotic order to lire cheaply. When I visited

Katihmir in 18-53, I sometimes had to contest with the native officidn

about supplies, coolies, &c., but they generally concluded their own

demands by observing that I ww their Hakim, and that the Mahara-

jah woulcl slit their noses if I had any cause of complaint. I n like

manner the headman of Korzo frankly declared, that if I choae to take

provisions by force I could do so, at my own rates, but that he could

not sell to me freely a t a lower rate than one rupee for four and a

half seem. Other travellers I know got their flour here at onathird of

t l ~ i srate, but I consider it neither just, dignified or politic, for English

gentlemen to travel through native states dictating their own rateu,

and brow-beating the authorities in virtue of their being Englishmen.

On referring moreover to Cnnningham’e Ladak, I see he etatee six-

teen seers as the price of flour at LB in 1847, so that twelve seem i

not probably a greater advmce in price than would naturally take

place in such a fanline year as 1861, and not to be compared with

the rise in price in Hindustan. The staple supplies of flonr, gllee,

malt and mutton are nearly every whew procurable, but all other

erticles of consumption, ae sngar, tea, spiceu, rice, onions, bo., must

be taken from Simla in sa5cient quantities for the hip, being rarely

procurable elsewhere. The following articles will also be found vmy

useful, either in case of actual short commons, or by way of change

from the everlasting mutton and chupatties, viz., preserved soup and

vegetable% spiced beef and sausagea in 1 fb. tins, eardines, g a i n

biscuits, a small cheese, and some pigs’ cheeks or pieces of bacon of

about 6 fbs. each, which laat keeps well and will always be found useful.

Wine or spirits, though not requisite a t low elevatiow, are greatb

needod in the &her rangee and plains of Laddi, and it ie a real

hardship to run short of them in tents, when the thermometer ie at

or near 81)”. For a three morrths’ trip, however, not more than eeven-

teen to eighteen cooliea we requisite. I took but thirteen, one &

them taking a servant’s tent, which ie not requisite in Kulu or Bi,+

sahir, but is absolutely necessrrry in the colder p& of northern

Kanawar and Ladak.

A comfortable sleeping pi2 which can be carried by one man,

(another taking the poles,) will be found moat convenient, with a

8 a 2

———————– Page 7———————–

480 ATbtrs of n fr$ from Simta to tlre 8pifi T a l l y . P o . 5,

proper supply of iron pegs, in case of the ground being stony or

frozen :-the ordinary blanket tent used by some, lined with wax

cloth, being in my opinion inconveniently small, especially if two or

more con~titute a party. At the same time in no case ehould the tent

be too big for one man to carry.

As regards servants, it is by no means easy fo dispense entirely

with Hinduetai~is, though the majority of them are badly suited for

hill travelling. Musalmans are far preferable to Hindus, as from the

nature of their food they are more capable of enduring the rigour OF

the climate a t a high altitude. One or two men should, however, be

d d e d to the party who are familiar with the language of the pa&

fo be traversed, and I found nothing so inconvenient aa the want of

a man who could hold converse with the people of Spiti and Lad&,

which none of my men couM do properly.

Another very necessary thing is to be provided with m ample

supply of good E’nglieh walking boots, end thick woollen stockings.

I found the coarse native stockings, which csn be got ih Simln, three

paire for a rupee, answer very well, though the European article is of

course preferable. I have seen much inconvenience caused from w m t

of proper boots, which wear out with unexpected rapidity in the

hills, especially during wet weather, and if the same boots are con.

tinued in wear when wet. I have seen it recommended in some work,

in case of a new boot proving tight, to break an egg into it befwd

putting it on, but a preferable plan I have found to be filling the

boot with warm water after it is put on. The surest plan, however,

to secure comfort in walking and avoid troublesome blisters on the

feet, is to have boots made large enough to admit of two pair of

thick woollen stockings bring worn with them. The relief t h b plm

affords is wonderful.

Powder and shot are articles which of course must be tden ro

well as lead, and small quantities of either form very aocephble

presents to village headmen and others for any trifling services. The

summer time is, however, not the best for sport, as below ,the forest

line the jungle is too thick to enable one to see any distance, and in

the higher hills the game is distributed over a large area, which i=

winter is inaccessible to them and circumscribed by snow.

Throughout Bissahir and Spiti, the people seemed to have little

taste for shooting, though numbers of Burrel and Ibex are slaughtered

———————– Page 8———————–

l8G2.1 .h70tes of n tripf,.om Sijnla fo the Spiti Falley. 435

every year in winter time, a.. proved by the number of horns which

ornament the piles of stones near many of the villages. I n Spiti

the Burrel horns are common, but I only noticed horns of the Ibex

in the Peen valley.

One reason perhaps of my meeting with no game, was from my

not going after it, and rarely halting in the same place two coneecu-

tive days. Yet traversing unfrequented mountains as I did, without

by chance meeting anything, proves the great scarcity of animals, and

similar complainta I have heard made by others. The best shooting

in fact about Simla may be had along the road. Pheasants being

plentiful and Chakor also all the way to Saraon, the farthest Bun-

galow as yet completed ; five sorts in all being procurable, viz., let, the

Monal, Lophophorw Irnptyanw, Latham ; 2nd, the Argus, Ceriomk

ns2amcaphala, Gray ; 3rd, the Koklas, Puchraria XwoZopha, Lesaon ;

4th, Kalij, Euplocorn~ alboerkktw, Vigors; and 6th, the Cheer,

Phasianw Wallichii, Hardwicke, the last only being a true phea-

sant, and perhaps the least attractive of the lot. No painting can

do justice to the gorgeous beauty of the Monal, the cock of whicll

is resplendent with burnbhed azure with a golden irridescence, such

ae the bird of Juno can only rival in the Old World, or those winged

gems, the true humming birds, SU~pasS in the New. A handsomer bird,

however, in my opinion is the cock Argus with, when living, its

superbly coloured gular sack and head lappets and the beautiful con-

trast which its white spots of unsullied purity form with the rich

warm tints of the body plumage. The koklas and kalij are both

a h eminently handsome birds, th.,t is the cocks in their spring

plumage ; the hens of all h g more sombre-coloured and leaa attrac-


No person starting for the interior should omit a few articles to

enable him to preserve any object of interest he may meet with, such

ae a pot of arsenical soap, four or five broad mouthed stone jars filled

with spirits of wine and well corked (good corks are far preferable to

glass stoppers) to receive snakes, bats, &c., snd s few small glass

* Any p e m n deriroar of procuring skins or other objeots of Natural Hbtoy,

mn do ao by addresai1:g A. P. Begbia, Eq., Simh, as that gentleman h~ many

81,ikarriea always employed in collecting alld preparing skins. A case containing

good skins of all the above pheasants and dro akins of the snow pheasant,

Tetraogallw Bimaluyamrr, Chakor, Cac* chakor, m d the b l r k partridge,

fiacolinw mlgaria, in all 24 skins, will cost eighty rupeea, a price wllich t h m

who know the expeam attending collections, will not cor~aider exeersire.

———————– Page 9———————–

4.80 Notas of a trip from Sirnla to the Spiti Vallq. [No. 5,

bottles for insects, filled to near the top with spirit; a dozen quires

or so of large bazar paper with a couple of pressing boards and straps

for ferns, 8;c. ; a broad mouthed glass hottle with a false bottom of

card, filled up with am~nonia for capturing and killing motha, and

pins and a few soft deal store boxes, pill boxes for shells, a hammer and

chisel, compasa and telescope.

To economim spirit, a jar should be devoted to the reception

of recent captures, into which all animals may firat be plreed

aftcp. remooing the entraiLa, and allowed to remain for a couple

of days. From this jar, they may then be transferred to a store

ju, the .spirit of which, by this plan, will not require to be

ahanged, the spirit in the firet jar alone requiring occasional re-

newal, w it gets foul by use. Unleas an animal is opened and the en-

trails extracted, it is hopeless to suppose that it will keep well, aa

the access of the apirit is not sufficiently free to effect the preserva-

tion of the contents of the abdomen, not to mention the saving of

apace as well as the better preservatio~i of the specimen this simple

operation aecures. All small mammals and lizards, and snakee up to 8

or 4 feet in length are most effectually and eaaily thus preserved.

ie a mistake too to suppose, as some people do, that a skin can

I t

be properly prepared at any time, if once dried. No skin can be

properly prepared that has not been prererved with arsenical map

when fresh,-I mean for mueeum purposes, ae of course a coarse hide

may be tanned at any time,-and it is beet, therefore, never to defer

the proceaa till next day, however tired one map be, if the specimen

is of interest ; neither h i t safe to trust to a servant in such mattem.

Some miall work, however, on Taxidermy should be procured by any

one who has not previously made the subject a study, and iR at tbe

same time anxious to collect during the trip. Skulls of animals are

comparatively easy to procure and carry, and are always worth so

doing ; but most people adopt a ruinous plan to prepare them, viz., by

macerating in water or burying them. This may clear them of fleeh,

but i t will caure the teeth to fall out. Whilst travelling, the best plan

is simply to pare off the flesh and dry them, with the ligaments m d

lower jaw attached, in the sun, extracting the brain through the

occipital foramen, without however enlarging the aperture. By

this means the teeth remain fixed and the skull can at any subse-

quent period be properly cleaned and whitened with one or twd coats

———————– Page 10———————–

1862.1 Notas of a trip from Sitnla tA the Spiti Valley.

of whitewash put on and brushed off. Or, if left undisturbed, the

m a l l beetles and flesh eating larvs: will very beautifully clean in this

oountry heads thus dried with the flesh on them. Tho horns too of

the sheath-horned ruminants (antelopes, sheep, &c.,) require to b

fouched with some preservative, especially where inserted in the

skin, as they ue otherwise liable to be eaten and disfigured by in-

w t s .

July 7th, ddahh.-Having completed my preparations, I left 6im-

la on the 7th of July, and marched as far as Mahbu, the first bunga-

low on the new road. As usual on first starting, I had some difficulty

with the coolies, some of .the loads proving too heavy, and I at that

time having several double loads carried by two men, a plan produc-

tive of much annoyanc< and which I afterwards absndoned. The bungalow, like all those along the new road, was a very clean and oomfortable one, and prettily situated in an open forest of the usual oharacter of the pine and cedar forests around Simla As far as Bowlee bungalow, the road is excellent, and the ascents and descents ue mostly very gradual. Between Bowlee and Saraon (a few milen beyond which the road terminates abruptly) the road is generslly good, but contains. some very long and etwp ascent#; the Nogri bungalow being situated on a feeder of the Gutlej a t about the height of Rampore, and hardly, I should suppose, in a situation exempt from malaria during autumn. The views obtainable from many parts of this road are beautiful in the extreme, the Sutlej being often seen winding ita way many thousand f&t below the road, through a wild rocky glen, bounded on’ either side by preoipitous moulitains, clothed to their very summita with primeval forest. I n other places, extensive patohes of oultivw tion and thriving villages may be noticed, embosomed in fruit trees, among which the apricot, walnut and peach are most conspicuous, and whore waving crops of bhtu, of a deep crimson when ripe, offer a striking contrast to tho paler and more subdued tinta of other cereals. The hills round Simla, however, are in many directione eingularly bare of trees, the station itaelf being rather centrally situated in o wooded tract of rather circumscribed dimensions. All travellers in the Himalayaa are acquainted with the very capricious manner in which one face of a hill will be clothed with forest, whilst the rest is bare ; but much of the baremma of the hills rouni Sirnla b, I I L L , ———————– Page 11———————– 485 Noter of a trip frob 8irn.h to the Syibi Vulley. [NJ. 5, unquestionably produced by clearing ; and one of the most disagree- able sounds to me, occasionally to be heard in Simla itself, is that of the woodman’s axe slowly but steadily clearing a way through those nmbrageoue,forests, at present the ornament and glory of the station. Closely connected with this subject is that of the supply of water, which of late years haa been found to fail and prove inadequate to the wants of the inhabitants ; this may in part arise from the growth of the place, but the actual supply of water furnished by the springe haa, on undoubted testimony, alarmingly diminished of late years. The authorities have driven a tunnel into the hill side not far from the Church, with the view of tapping fresh sources of supply, but hking the nature of the ground into consideration, I have no great bopea of the sucoese of the plan. A far more certain and practicable method, it eeems to me, would be to construct a series ofdams across the narrow nullah intersecting the station, giving rise thereby to a number of small pools one above the otl~er, whose aggregate capacity would be very considerable, some of which might be reserved fur drinking, and the others for washing and general purposes. AE the nullah has a rocky bed; no difficulty would be experienced in con- structing masonry dams of the requisib strength and proportions. h few miles from Simla the road passes through a tunnel of some hun- dred yards iu length, excavated in massive sphists, but very wet and slusl~y under foot from incessant drippings from the roof, to drain off which no provision appears to have been mule. – 8th,, 8718 ft.*-This bungalow is situated on the old road, but is much frequented being an easy march from Sirnla, and though small, prettily situated. The road between Mahbu and FBgu is well wooded and very picturesque, the road in many places affording a All heights marked thus are from observations made with two carefully compared boiling-point thermometers by my colleague Mr. Mailat, and the few taken by mywlf are made with an ordinary thermometer correoted by compari- son with the above instrumenta. The tables used iu calculation am Boilwu’s tables publislled at Mwrut in 1849. I t is important tdstate this, ad the tablea of CoL Sykea supplied wit11 the boiling-point tl~ermometere, (Casello’s Theru~o- l~ypsometer) give a much too low result, amounting at the Parang Pose to differenoe-991-compared with result of a calculatio~~ on the same observabion by Boileau’s formula, wlrioh, as far an my scanty means of verification go, appears to give the more correct mult. T l ~ efollowi~ig are the heiglita determined by ~ u ycolleague Mr. Mallet in a part of the valley unvisited by me. Sl~alkar, 1089. Changrizang, l%k20. Huliug, 10598. Sumrs, 10624. Lari, l08L6. l ‘ l ~ ~ ~ b10804. > , Po, 11424.

Thc heights are tLorc of the camping ground of the respeotive rillycn.

———————– Page 12———————–

1862.1 Notea of a trip fm Simla to the Spili ralloy. 459

profusion of wild strawberries which, though of a beautiful colour, are

watery and insipid. Near Fagu I first obtained two 8peciee of li-

lnax which I believe are undescribed, and which are not uncommon

along the southern side of the Sutlej at elevations between 6000 and

0000 feet. The largest may be thus described :-

Liawrz altivayus, n. s. Corpore limaciformi, pallio lente-granuloao,

dorm rugose reticulato, more frondis brsesics, colore virescente-fuaco

sire lutesceute-fulvo, interdurn nigrescente, et ~ariseime pallide aurau-

tiaco pallio, minus colorato corpore. Tentaculis quatuor nigris, capite

nigro, infra palleacente. Ano ad dextrum latua p&i, prope marginem

posito, ad mediam partem vix attingente. Longitudinis (corpore

extenao) 0 unc. Habitat montiblu cis-Sutlejensibns prope Fagu Nar-

kanda, Saraon $c. 6000 ad 91100.

Thie limax is rather variable in colour, and large specimens, when in

motion and extended, exceed 9 inches, though their ordinary dimen-

sion in about 6. It feeds on fungi.

The m n d speaies of limax in much rmaller and rather more

elegantly-shaped, and occupies the same tract of country, and is per-

haps rather more numerous, though the first is far from uncommon.

L b modsetus n. 8. Corpore limnciformi, poatea acuminato, colore

cinereo, fuscie punctis notato ; dorso duobua lineia maculoais cateni-

formibus ornato, a eese et a inargine equidistantibua et a pallio

usque ad extrelnitatem extensis, spatio hie lineia incluao pa11110 fus-

cente et eleganh fuscis lineie striato et marmorato. Tentaculis qua-

tuor rubro-fuecia. Longitudinis l+ unc. Habitat cum p d e n t e .

Pitn’no monticok, B. also accompanies the above. The animal is

about 2 inches long, colour pale reddish brown, paler beneath. Ten-

taclee dark. Spire covered by mantle. A thin dorsal keel down the

body in front of the shell ; shell carried in the centre of the body.

Tail compreeeed, obliquely wrinkled, and truncated. Bnua situated

a t the extremity with a small overhanging tentacular pore.

This vitrina is very generally dietributitd, though individual8

are nowhere numerous, and it appears to be the favourite food of

the toad.

Oth, %g.* 7192 fi. A short maroh to the next bungalow on the

new road, distance about sir miles. I waa much annoyed at this

bungalow, aa well ps at eome others, by the multitude of house flier

which a t t h b s e w n are porfect pats. A pair of swallowa hod mm-

8 s

———————– Page 13———————–

490 Notes of a t r b from Sirnla to the rSpiti Pulley. [No. 5,

menced a n ~ n ti r ~the verandah, but did not appear to prey on tho

flies which swarmed in the rooms, though it may have been timidity

which prevented their entering. Along the road, one or two species of

flower-eating beetles we& common, and exhibited considerable agility

and powers of perception, flying away readily on any attempt to capture

them. Towards dusk, numbers of a beetle having the heavy flight of

our English melolontha made their appearance, but it was too dark

to capture many, though flying round the bungalow in considerable


loth, Natihna, 7700 ft.*-A rather pretty march, the road winding

round the head of the deep valley beneath Theog. Pheasants are

plentiful, and in the glens I heard the bark of the kakar (stylocaros),

but the vegetation was too thick to afford much chance of sport to a

single gun. Musk deer are found near Matiina, and in winter time


1 l th, Narknndn, 8706 ft.*-A longish march, but along a very pretty

road : indeed no part of the hills I think prettier than the country

round Narkanda. The bungalow is situated on the ridge separating

the drainage of the Sutlej and Jumna, and close to the verge of a

rnagniRce11t forest. From the verandah a fine view is obtained of the

lower slopes of the hills, leading down to the Sutlej and the village

of Kotgurh a t which is a resident Missionary (recently deceased),

who has a tolerably attended school near the d8k bungalow. The

mission house is a neat building with vines trained over the verandah,

and the native catechist is also provided with a very neat c o t t a p

clo~e by. Narkanda being the last place at which potatoes are pro-

ourable, the traveller should lay in a supply there, as no sort of vege-

table is procurable in the higher hills, except the green leaves of the

b4tu which form tolerable spinage, and the young shoots of fern

which are not unpalatsble. About Narkanda many rous trees are

found, which make capital walking sticks, the wood being hard and

straight grained. Hazel trees are also plentiful, the nuts ripening

about the end of August.

12th, Kotgurh.-After leaving Narkanda, the road winds through

fine forest, many of the pines and cedars being truly magnificent

trees. Kotgurh is situated on the old road at an elevation, I sllould

think, of less than 6000 ft., and about four miles from the Sutlej. The

first half of the march is along the new road to a #pot where a s m d l

———————– Page 14———————–

1862.3 Notae of a trip porn Sirnib to tha &piti Valley. 40 1

wooden temple is erected, where the footpath to Kotgurh branohea

off. The descent from this is in places very steep, and after rain ra-

ther difficult, from the slippery nature of the stiff yellow clay over

which the path lies. At Kotgurh, besides the Missionary stationed

there, is a gentleman of the name of Berkeley who is engaged in tea-

planting ; and a retired officer, named Begbie, also has a house in the

neighbourhood which he occasionally occupiee. Mr. Berkeley’s houef,

is near the highest limit at which the tea-plant will thrive, and hi

chief plantations are at a somewhat lower level ; but the quality of

the soil has also considerable influence, and varies considerably, pro-

bably according to the nature of the rook immediately beneath it.

Kotgurh, from its low elevation, is hot and sultry, and not exempt, I

~hould think, from malarious fever. The vegetation round i t is rank

in all open spots, and rice is grown just below it. Bears and leo-

pards are found in the forest above it, the laat animal being far more

numerous than might be suspected. Several have been taken in

traps near Simla thia season, (aa many as three in one month by the

sameindividual), but yet it is an animal which is never seen abroad

in the day time. The beam are the black hill bear ( U r m H i m

Zayanus) a perfectly distinct animal from the black bear of the

plains, and considerably smaller, to judge by the relative aize of the

skulls of the two speoies. The plain bar k in fact another genus

(Procheilua labiatw) and the skulls may be readily discriminated,

as the former haa nix incisor teeth in the upper jaw, whilst the latter

has but four.

1511, Nit-t-chokes.-Nirt is situated on the banks of the Sutlej, and

the descent to i t from Kotgurh is in many placea extremely steep

and difficult. The Sutlej is here under 100 yards broad, and rushee

over a rocky bed, the whole valley being so contracted as to afford few

open patches fit for cultivation on either side. At this low level the

heat is very great, and the hills are covered with the same sort of

cactus which occurs round Subatliu and Kasouli. Pipal trees are

also met with near villages, but all of them planted, and none occur

much above ILampur. Remnants of terraces of old river shingle

may here and there be noticed at different heights ; aome at not less

500 feet above the present level of the river. These evidences


of former river action have induced some writers to indulge in fanci-

ful speculations reapectmg vast cataclysms, and the sudden disru1+

0 ‘. 3 8 2

———————– Page 15———————–

499 N oh of a trip$vm 8 i m k to t h &iti Vd&y. [No. 6,

tion of rocky lake barriem along the coume of the Sutlej, but they are

rather to be regarded M a guage whereby we may estimate the extent

to which the Sutlej has deepened ita channel by the ordinary pro-

of erosion during the moat recent geologic periods. Cataclyeme

produced by landslips or the descent of glaoiers into a river bed,

however devastating in their effects, are quite incapable of giving

rise to such regular deposits of ean4 and ehingle M constitute the

elevated terraces along the Sutlej ; neither have I anywhere seen de-

poeits of such a nature aa to induoe the belief of their lacustrine

origin, M they every where preaent the appearance of ordinary river

sands and ehingle, such ae in the present day are forming in elieting

river channels. In the village is a Hindoo temple in a ruinous con-

dition, with images of Bulls and Lingums, md the whole place pre-

sents an tupect of dilapidation and decay.

1616, Bampur.-Passed the village of Datnaga, near which the

Butlej is xpantled by a jhula bridge. A good deal of cultivation ex-

ists hereabouts, and transplanting rice was being carried on vigorous-

ly. The town of Rampur is snugly situated within a bend of the river,

which here rushes impetuously through a narrow rocky bed, hurrying

at a rate of some six miles an hour.

down numberlees pilie l o p

Above the town are some commodious native h u m , a temple and

a large, well built mom facing the river, for the convenience of travel-

lere. I n the temple are two figures of Devi and some other god-

dess, with silver faces and a profusion of long hair. When I WM

there, these images were brought out and paraded, with music and

attendantn waving chouries over them. They were carried on a litter

placed on two very long and elastic poles, supported by a man at

either end, after the fashion of a sedan chair ; and at intervals the

bearem would, by means of the elastio poles, jerk the images violent-

ly up and down, causing their long ringlets to fly about their earn in

a mad fashion, to the intense delight of the spectators, oomprieing

many of the elders and moat of the juveniles of Rampur. Thu

strange manrrtuvre was, I think, a clumsy attempt to represent the

inspiration and actusl presence of the divinity in her idol, thereby

imparting to it life and motion, as in Bengd the idol of Kali h,

during the festival of the Durga Pujah, supposed to be animated by the

spirit of the goddess, and is thrown away uncared for, when the ” d

preaence” (to borrow the appropriate catholic phrase) is eupposed to

———————– Page 16———————–

be no longer in force. How clumsy, however, the whole perfotmanae,

when compared with thesomewhat similar, but wetly more refined

deoeptione of the inspiration of the Pythonees or Priestees of Apol-

lo when delivering the reepomes of the god.

” Cui hlia fanti

Ante bres, subito non vultns, non color unw,

Non oomph mansere c o w , sed pectue anhelum,

E t rabie fera corda tument, majorque videri,

Nec mortale sonans, d a t a eat numine quando

Jam propiore dei.” Virg. &heid. vi. 46.

I have subsequently been told that this ceremony ie had recourse

to, when some special visitation is to be averted, and in the present

instanoe was intended to put a stop to the severe cattle murrain

which this year has swept the hills and caused immense loss in Biesahir

and Kunawar, affecting both cattle, rheep and goate ; and these ani-

mals had been driven away from most of the villagea I passed

through in theqalleye to the higher mountains, in order to escape the

disease, which is moat prevalent at lower levels. The housee at Ram-

pur are all covered with thick rough slates, and are many of them

– built in the form of a square, with an open courtyard in the centre

into whioh the rooms open. Cloth and blankets are manufactured

here, and a little trade in carried on by means of mules, of which I

noticed a good number grazing in the neighbourhood; but the bazaar

in wretchedly supplied, and nothing but the most ordinary necessaries

is procurable.

17th, Gaors.-The road, after quitting Bampur, keeps for some

distsnoe along the Sutlej, and then rises up a steep but picturesque

aauent to the village of Gaora, prettily situated on a rocky but well

wooded slope. The apricot harvest in now being collected, and every

house top is seen covered with the fruit spread out to dry. The finer

fruit is dried or eaten fresh, but the poorer ia heaped together, till it

becomes pulpy, and then thrown away, after extracting the stones,

the kernels being reserved to make oil. A familiar plant common

round Cfaora, and r e d l i n g many pleming reminiscences, ie the mis-

tletoe, which qrows here as luxuriantly on apple trees as in any or-

chard or park of old England. Blackberries too are tolerably com-

mon and very pleasantly flavoured, and alao a small berry which grows

in astonishing profusib’n, and is, 1 think, a species of cariosa or aome

———————– Page 17———————–

494 Notes of a trip from Simla to the Spiti Valley. [No. 5,

allied plant. These berriee are pleasant to eat either raw or stewed;

and their expressed juice is of an extremely dark and beautiful pur-

ple, and, when mixed with a proper amount of sugar and spirit, and

flavoured with a few peach kernels, forms an extremely elegant liqueur.

The hemp plant grows here in the utmost profilsion as a common

weed, and indeed everywhere in this part of the Sutlej valley below

7000 feet, but does not seem to be cultivated, though the soil m d

climate appear to suit i t perfectly. It being very wet end the ground

completely sodden, I preferred putting up in the verandah of an empty

cow-house to my tent, though the midges and fleas in such places are

usually very aqnoying. I was provided, however, with musquitoe

curtains, which relieved me almost completely from the attacks of

these tiny but implacable enemies, and I would advise no one who

values a good night’s rest, to travel unprovided with this article.

18th, Saraon, 6632 ft.*-A rather #evere march, the road about half

way descending into a deep valley and ascending again on the o p

posite side by a very steep and in some places difficult path, and

joining the new road a few miles from Saraon bungalow, which is the

last one completed along the new road. During the summer months,

this is the residence of the Bissahir Itajah, a stout eenwible young

man who epeaks Engliah tolerably, and who rode down alone to the

bungalow, on hearing of the arrival of a European, unattended by

the ragged mob of followers which natives of his rank u s d y con-

sider necessary for their dignity to carry along with them.

Nth, Taranda.-A rather long but very picturesque march, for the

first few miles along the new road, through pine forest, or along the

sides of precipitous rocky glens opening down to the Sutlej, of which

glitnpses are now and then caught. The camping ground is situated

on the crest of a rather lofty spur, in the midst of a forest of really

magnificent cedars, a t some little distance above the village.

2Uth, Nachlir.-About six miles from the last camping @;round is

the Paindah bungalow which, though finished, is not regularly opened.

Before reaching it, the road descends into and crosses a large valley,

on the opposite side of which the bungalow is built. Bears, I believe

are found in the vicinity, and I have rarely seen ground which I

should think would afford them better cover. Before reaching Na-

c h e , a large village is passed, situated on the verge of a forest of the

most mag~lificcnt cedars I ever beheld. The pmfound stillness which

———————– Page 18———————–

1862.1 Notes of a trip from Simla to the &iti Fally. 495

reigned here, combined with the subdued light caused by the spread-

ing boughs of these niajestic trees, (the o~ily sound indicative of life

being the melancholy coo of a wood pigeon,) exerted a very solemn

influence on the mind, such aa all must have experienced who have

trodden alone the depths of a pine forest either in India or Europe.

One of the largest of these trees measured 36 feet in girth, and a t

about 10 feet from the ground divided into two trunks, each in itself

a tree of superb dimensions. No other tree near the r o d approlrched

this in size, but numbers of single trees must have measured fully 20

– feet in girth, and in their growth were as straight as arrows.

By the time I reached Nachdr, the rain was falling in torrents, and

I was glad to take shelter in a sort of rest house, in preference t o

my tent which was dripping wet. The building was open on all

sides, being merely a pent roof of massive shingles supported by pil-

lars formed of short cedar logs laid cross-ways on each other, and

underneath having a sort of kitchen in which the servants found

shelter and were enabled to prepare dinner. The houses in Bissahi

are usually regular and substantial buidings, built of alternate cours-

es of cedar timbers and rubble masonry, and often two or three

etories high, with projecting eaves and a balcony running round the

upper story, which gives them much the appearance of a Swiss chalet.

They have often pent roofs, formed of a double layer of stout cedar

planks or shingles, some three inches or more in thickness, rudely

dressed with an axe, and ranged at right angles to the ridge pole.

These, ae may be imagined, form a very inadequate protection from

the rain, but have the advantage of giving ready exit to smoke,

through the gaping interstices between the planks. Another form

of roof equally prevalent is fiat topped and formed of beaten clay.

On these roofs grain and fruit are spread out to dry, as opportunities

offer for so doing between the showers during the rainy .season.

21st, Chargaon.-Quitting Nachh the road descends to the Sutlej

a t Wangtu (or, as it is pronounced, Obngtu) where there is a handsome

wooden bridge. The river here nlshes through a narrow rocky chan-

nel not more than sixty feet broad. On either side two square tow-

ers are erected of alternate courses of cedar beams and large stones.

From beneath these, three tiers of pine trees project over the river,

having a considerable upward slant, and each tier consisting of four

large trees a little dvanced beyond the one supporting it, the whole

———————– Page 19———————–

400 Notsr of a tripfitma Sirla lo the Spiti P i . [No. 5,

h l y held down by the towem or gateways, whiah, for greata m u –

rity, are filled at eaah side of the roadway with etones to the height

of three or four feet. From the ends of the uppermost or most pro-

jecting tier of logs, two trees are laid across, spanning the river, and

on which a roadway of planks is firmly secured, forming a very safe

and easy bridge over whioh a home might easily be taken. Shortly

after passing the bridge, the Wangur river ia croased, a turbulent

brawling stream which devaends from the Baba pass and eatem the

Sutlej above Wangku. After crossing the Wangur, the road amends

a ridge whioh is ao precipitously scarped by the Sutlej that no path –

round i t exbts, though one could padily be made at r small cost snd

a troublesome olimb thereby saved. From the snmmib of this ri*

the road descends gradually to the Sutlej, along which it keep till

near Chargaon, whioh is situated on a cultivated dope a t some heighti

above the river. I n some places the road i~ very steep and dificnlb,

and had been much damaged by the heavy rain of the previoua day.

Near Chargaon I saw a pair of Gtoral (netnorhadue) and Borne pi-

geons, among the superb cliffa overhanging the Snblej. On the oppo-

rite side of the river, the bauka were very precipitous and wored by

numberlens ” shoots,” down which pine logs would occasionaly come

rolling and plunging with heavy thud into the river below. SO

steep, however, is the incline, and so clumsy the mode of sending

down the timber, that I think more wood is spoiled, than finds ite

way into the river in a sor~nd state, and when in the river, the loss

among the log, by stranding or remaining in some eddy or reach till

they rot, must constitute a very large percentage on the number thati

eventually reach the plains. This state of thinga will of course oon-

tin* ae long aa any timber merchant or agent is permitted without

any let or hindrance to destroy whole forests, by a recklese system of

clearing,-having nothing in view but his own profib, and not oaring

if fifty years hence not a stick remained large enough to make the han-

dle of a broom out of. This i n surely a matter calling for Govern-

ment interference, though a topic I uaunot enlarge OR here, but oontent


myaelf with expressing a hope, that something may be effected to

tllb wholesale and wanton destruotion of our forests, snd rrremedy not

applied only when the mischief done has almost become irremediable.

2 2 4 iKeru.-A short march of not more than seven mil-. The

camping ground, s dirty spot in the midst of the village.

———————– Page 20———————–

1862.1 N o h of a trip from Simla to the 8piti Vdlay. 497

W d , mini.-A stiff march, the road o b n steep and difficult, es-

pecially near Chini where it ie in eome places carried along very

pwcipitoue ground by meana of stairs and scaffolding. Near Chini

saw two beam in the valley beneath the road, but sport must have

greatly deteriorated since Col. Markham saw bears in the Buaba valley,

(across the Sutlej,) feeding literally by doaena on the hill sides. At

Chini there ie a large, but unfinished and comfortless bungalow, and

cloee to it some fine old poplar trees. The village ie wretchedly

#mall, though there is a very large spread of cultivation near, and


are dear and with difficulty procurable. Height 9096 feet,

the village beiig about 8000 feet Pbove the river.

26th, Pad.-A short and uninteresting march, the treea in plactw

dwarfed from the oloee proximity of the uppermost limit of their

growth. On the hi& aoross the Sutlej, the higheat limit of treea ia

sharply defined and ia somewhere about 12,500 feet. Poplars, aprioote

and walnuta plentiful and thriving round Pengi, and also excellent

blaokberriee, or the Kunawar representative of that home fruit, which

with the addition of a little sugar formed avery palatable desert. In

the vestibule of the temple of Devi at this place, I n o t i d some fine

aprioots hung up, which d e d

to miud the ancient Boman custom

of votive offeringa

to the rural deities-

Flava C e r q tibi sit nostro de rum corona

Spioea, qwa tnorplipsnht ants@do.” Tibullus, El. I.

One of my Hindustani servants, who let no opportanity slip of exhi.

biting their own superiority and oontempt for the uneophisticated

inhabitante of the hills, enquired of the hesdman somewhat superci-

liously, of what nee the aprioots were to Devi-“Did she eat them P”

His reply &her p l e d me, for instead of returning an abusive an.

Ewer, as any Hindustani would have done in the plains under such

provocation, he quietly asked who it was that caused tho& =me

pprioots to grow. If you” he continued ” can make so muoh ~II

one shch apricot grow, I myself will give you five rnpees for it.”

ThL reply, made with much dignitj end without any temper, wee

evidently not what my servant expected, and completely silenced

him, for he had Renee to perceive that his sarcaam had failed to pro-

duce any irritation, and that he waa getting the worst of the discus.

———————– Page 21———————–

498 Notes of a t r i p f i o ~ nSimla to the &iti Fdly. [No. 6,

At this village I got the skin of the lesser flying ~quirrel, tbe fur

of which is beautifully soft ; the larger species 1 have shot a t dusk

in my own compound in Simla, and both appear pretty generally

diffused and not rare, though from their crepuscular habita they are

not onen seen.

261h, Gaupra, 11294 ft.*-This is a mere camping ground, about

500 feet below the upper limit of trees. Wild thyme and other

flowers abounded and a species of potentilla, with thicker and more

downy leaves than that which grows at a lower elevation. Many of

the plants which occur at high elevation are possessed of an aroma-

tic fragrance and leaves furnished with down, as though to meet the

increased rigour of the climate.

27th, Lipe.-On quitting camp, the road immediately commencesto

ascend, and crosms a pass of some 14000 feet, to which no name is given

in the map. Wild flowers were growing in great profusion near the

somrnit among the rocks, and some way down on the other side b i d –

es and rliododeudrons. Lipe is situated on the northern bank of a

considerable stream, which is crossed by means of a wooden bridge.

A little above Lipe vwt beds of river saiids and shingles, some 250

feet thick, are seen reposing on the rocky elopes of the gorge, some

600 feet above the present level of the river ; and much of the culti-

vated land below the village is on a river terrace which has been

abandoned by the stream during a comparatively recent period, the

river having worn for itself a deep channel, almost a rapid, on the

opposite side. Close to the river are extensive vineyards, but the

present year has been unfavorable for grapes, especially about Chini

where the vines have almost entirely failed. About Lipe there was

better promise of fruit, but i t waa too early in the season when I waa

there, to get any.

28th, !&bang, 11755 ft.*–A very short march, the road rising con-

siderably from Lipe and crossing a low pus, near the summit of which

I noticed small rhubarb plants among the furze covering the hill side,

and also a few straggling cypresses, which certainly ill-deserved the

poetic epithet of Aerial or lofty cyprese,* being little & than mere

bushes. The camping ground is s mere depre~sion in the bleak hill

side, above the village. The water of a spring olose by was UO. Not-

* ” Non nine nutaati plateno, lentnqlle sorow

Fla~unlati Ybaetllol~tis et aaria czpreuuu!’ Uatullus Nup. Pel. et Thet.

———————– Page 22———————–

1862.1 Notea ofa trip from Sinrla to the Spiti Pallcy. 499

withstanding the lowness of the temperature, the larva of some insect

were numerous in it, and what seemed an aquatic acaruu or tick, and

a small species of leech, rather less than an inch in length. These

quick-scented animals soon found out and attached themselves to

some garbage of a sheep, which my servants had left in the water,

and 1 subsequently found these animnls to abound in running water

both in Bkahir and Spiti. Leeches are known to b one cause of

cattle epidemics, especially in excessively wet seasons, as this has been,

and it would be interesting to ascertain, by the di~section of cattle

which have died of epidemic disease, if they are infeatd internally

by these rapacious creature9 ; as, if the di~ease can be traced to this

cause, a remedy might easily be applied by carefully debarring the

cattle from all acceas to streams containing them. I myself had no

opportunity, as the epidemic among the cattle hsd oocurred in tlie

spring, and most of the-survivors had been driven up the mountains to

escape its effects.

!29th, &ngnarn.-Eady in the morning I was awakened by the

Bight over my tent of many noisy birds, which I afterwards asoertain.

ed to be red-legged crows. T h w birdu are social without being gre-

garious, and when f d i on the hill side, keep together in small

companies, but without forming Bocls. Their food consists of wire-

worms and other insects, whioh they search for under stonm and

among tufts of grass, but they are usually very wary, and difficult

to approach within k g e . This is evidently an instinct or caution

peculiar to the bird. It cannot be attributed to the result of expri-

once, as they have no rewon to regard man as their enemy, being

unmolested and rarely in their lives hearing the report of a gun. A h r

quitting camp, commenced the ascent of the Ranang paw, 14861 feet,

the ascent being gradual and easy. From the summit a fine view is

obtained of the Sangnam valley aud the hills acrosa the Phanam river,

on the opposite bank of which Sangnam is situated, and in the far

distance the snowy peaks surrounding the Manirang pass, tokering

up to 21845 ft. The descent to Sangnam ie very abrupt, and the river

is crossed by a wooden bridge a little above the village. A good

breadth of land was under oultivation dong the river above the village,

and beans were being gathered in, though not quite ripe. Apricots

were the only fruit-trees I remarked, and their fruit was alao being

gathered. Flour was only five seers par rupec, or 0110 sccr dearer

s 3 ~ 2

———————– Page 23———————–

600 Noted ofa trlpfrorn S h l a to tlb &ti Pdby. [No. 6

than at the laat village. Many of the csttle bad long hair, dne pro-

bably to an admixture d yhk blood, but the plaue ia too low and hot

for g a s to b a r at thie serreon, and I saw none before crossing into

Bpiti. Blne pigeons very numerous.

W k ,*pa, 10548 ft.* (or Kajakajing).-The road up the valley

keeps along the course of the stream, through cultivatik, and some-

timee deaoencb into its bed. At the village of Rupq the laet or high-

est up the valley, prooured fresh ooolies aud pushed on a few miles to

the camping ground, at which is some cultivation but no village. On

the valley sidea, noticed in places thiok beds of river shingle and

boulder, eometimee 400 feet thick. Hills bare and uninteresting,

little game beyond a few chakor and pigeona, but procured the akull

of a snow beer shot two months previously, an old but small animal,

probably a female. Thew brutes often attack the flocks of sheep when

Eeeding on the mountains, and are accordingly destroyed, when they

appear near villages, all the inhabitants turning out for the pnrpoee.

arid Kunawar are aingu-

In general, however, the people of B i d i r

prly devoid, for mountaineem, of all taste for sport, though they will

maaionally beg a little powder and shot to kill b i i with, but very

n d y . At the camping ground the wild or soentleee briar with ita

red hips abounded, and also a wild oherry bneh two or three feet high,

with very palatable bright red fruit, no larger than large currants.

Apricot treea were also oommon, but the fruit, though plentiful, wao

ry mall and unripe.

alrt, Sanda, 12951 ft.*-(Pamachan of the map.) A very eevere

and in plrroee difficuit march, the road sometimrrm a preaipitous hill

side, covered with looee and very slippery s l a b where great aare wae

requisite to avoid dangerous falls. About h a . way, the path croesed

a broad moraine-like talus of rocky fragments, detached by frost, an I

-080, from the high hill on the right, and aa sharp and angular as

though fractured the previous year, though doubtless the accumule.

fion of agea. The laat part of the road led in many plocee along the

face of vertical mgs, where a single falae step waa inevitable death.

The footing waa firm and rooky, but often m twanty as to render it

neceaaary to hold on pretty tightly by the handa aa well. Early in

the day, met a number of Tartam from Bpiti with a flock of goPtq

sheep and donkeys laden with salt on their way to Sangnam. They

oomplained bitterly of the road, which 1 soon found tbey had unple

———————– Page 24———————–

rereon to do, and had I not seem them my@& I oould never have

oredited the possibility of any solidungulate animal getting over p h

whioh they certainly had done, and though oonvinced of the fact, can-

not understand how these donkep get over spots which taxed a man’s

powera to climb. On the march saw many trsoee of beam, but none

reoent, and judged therefrom that their food chiefly consiete of mta,

grassea, and vegetable mattem. Around the camping ground, whioh

in a mere sheepfold in the mountains, gathered a little rhubarb, emall

and stringy, and dong the stream and on the hill eide remarked

poplar treea and birches.

dugwt 2 d , Lurgoo.–Glacier at the foot of the Minirang pasa.

Camp 16621+ feet. The road liea up the oourse of the stream which

desoends from the Mhirang p k , and is oftan nther difficult, from

c r d n g pilea of loose stones and coarse gravelly debria precipitated

from the hills adjoining it. Snow bridges epan the stream in many

at tbe foot of the paw, and eventually the road fairly enters on

the glacier.

It r e q h a little reflection here to d i e e the fact that one ie

actually on a glacier, as nothing in eeen around but huge pilea of

shingle and rocky fragments hesped up in an irregular manner, like

some Brobdignagian ploughed field. Long ravines and somewhat

stnomalous looking pits or depreeriow are everywhere met with, and

occasionally pooh of water, which, on cloeer inepeotion, u e aeen to be

encircled with walls of ice-not the crystal product, but a dirty look-

ing mass embeddii large stones and coarser mud end gravel, m d a t

the surface completely covered up by rocky debria melted out of it.

Pitched my tent on a small patoh of green sward a few yards qm,

Little oaais in the midst of an Arctic Sabra. No wood was of

course procurable, Mve a sconty supply I had brought up with me ; but

in spite of the cold, I enjoyed greatly the grandeur of the scene, enoir-

cled by snowy peaks which mmed to impend over my little camp and

among which the aval~nchee might occrasionally be heard washing

and booming with a roar surpassing the heaviest artillerp.

A little below the camping ground I met a European d s

eceliding the pass from the North, attended by a few coolies, and

we of oonrse halted and “liquowd” together and held a brief con-

versation as to our respectire routes, game, provisions, &., with

regard to which k t , he gave me to nnderstand that I had been absurd-

———————– Page 25———————–

602 Notea of a ttip from 8 i m h to the Spiti Vdky. [No. 5,

ly imposed on hitherto as to the price of flour, and that every Euro-

pean not a fool, in Ladak, insisted on having sixty seers of flour

for the rupee, a statement regarding which I had doubts, notwith-

standing the local knowledge of my informant. H e informed me

thst he was Lt. Melville, attached to the Grand Trigonometrical

Survey in Kashmir, and eventually accepted the loan of a amall swn

of money, as his own funds were barely adequate to carry him into

Simla. On my return to Simla, however, I discovered that I had been

swindled, (alas for the frank Saxon physiognomy of my friend) and

Lt. Melville (veru~), to whom I wrote, was able to give me some

particulars regarding the gentleman who had thus honoured him by

assuming his name. H e turned out to be a man who had been

recently turned out of the Grand Trigonometrical Survey for direpu-

table practices, and who also, I believe, so conducted himself in Simla

as to give the trades-people there a higher opinion of his talents aud

impudence than of his honesty. To punish the European swindler,

however, who excroises his talents in the Upper Provinces is, in

the present state of the law and the practical difficulties and expense

attending a prosecution at the Presidency, one thousand miles away,

far from easy.

8rd, Camp.-Northern foot of the Manirang pass, 15273, feet

(Sopana of the Maps.) The ascent of the pass is very steep and

extremely laborious, from the heaps of loose debris one is forced to

climb over. The labour of climbing over this sort of ground a t this

height was so severe, that in one or two places I thought I should

have fainted from sheer erbanstion, and once or twice rocks and

mountains seemed to swim round, so that I was forced to throw my-

self on my back to avoid fulling over the steep rocks I was a t the

time ascending, the result of which would have been an abrupt termi-

nation to my journey and life. On gaining the snow bed near the

~ummit, the path was much easier, though’the snow wae rather slip-

pery, and there were a few crevasses to be avoided. The summit of

the pass is but a little under 19000 ft. (18889′) and the descent lies

over a glacier much finer arid larger than that on the south side. Both

myself and servants dl got severe headaches, but strange to say no€ till

we had cffeoted a considerable descent froin the top of the pass : they

rumaiued all that evening, but left QO traces the next morning. Spirits

I believe only aggl-avato the hdaclles, and I contented myself after mg

———————– Page 26———————–

1862.1 Noter of a trip Jrorn Simln to the Spiti Pallay. 608

hard day’s work with a rasher of bacon and two cups of hot coffee, before

turning in for the night. The camping ground was four hundred feet

below the upper limit of furze and on the opposite side of a stream

issuing from the glacier, wbich had to be forded, a most unplea-

sant operation in such cold water, though not reaching much above

the kneea. The glacier on the north face of the pass terminated in

a sheer wall of ice, from beneath which a muddy torrent was springing,

and the lateral moraine over which the road deecended was but little

lgse abrupt. I crossed the Parangla pass, of nearly equal or perhaps

greater height, without any headache, the ascent being much more

gradual than at the Manirang, and to the exoessive exertion which

is called for on this pass I attribute, quite as rnuch as to its height,

the severe headaches from which all who cross it auffer.

4th, iUani.-11893 ft.*-A short march to the village whence the

pass receives its name. A little way below – the camping groimd,

passed the bluff termination of a moraine, some three miles below the

spot where the glacier at present terminates. The road generally

speaking is eaay, over limestone rocks. Wild leeks were growing in great

profusion, though I had noticed none the other side of the p w . On

first entering the Spiti valley, the traveller is struck with the unex-

ampled bareness and sterility of the hills, wbich are devoid of even a

trace of trees and merely support a few grovelling furze shrubs on the

slopes at their base. Though a reeult of their geological ~tructure, i t

doea not require much geological knowledge to be struck with the

extraordinarg manner on which the strata composing them are twiat-

ed about, or with their extremely sharp end serrated outline which

far surpasses any examples of the kind either in India or Europe.

Another marked peculiarity is the enormous heaps of angular debria

of rock, which in many places oumber the ground, and clearly result

from the severity of the minter frost, unmodified as to outline by rain,

which, in aountriea within range of the monsoon, would soon dieperee,

or at all events greatly smooth down aud outspread such heaps of loose

incoherent material. This last surface peculiarity far more impresaw

one with the sense of desolation, and oue’s entire separation from the

Cis-Himalayan countria, than the bare hills whose mural preci-

pices and serrated peaks bound the landscape on every side. After

a sharp descent, the village of Mani is reached, situated at a height of

11939 ft.* on a plateau of old river alluvium. The heat here during the

———————– Page 27———————–

5\34 Notu of a t+ip tFoa, Siala to the @idi FcrUey. [No. 5,

day was intense, md inaide a tent the thermometer rose fa o v a 100°.

The temperature oE the air msy be taken at however about 85. at

midday, sinking to 450 at sunrise, whieh given a daily range of from 40

to 60 degreer. The whole s m e ie strikiug and pecnliar and totally

unlike anything meb with in Cis-Hima1ay.n m t r i e a ; the birre

and precipitous hilh of a peculiar and uniform yellow colour, their

sharply defined and jagged outlie, the total abknoe of ha, save a

few poplars planted about bhe village, am&+ rioh orops of wheat and

barley, the square flaktopped honeeq with their tiny windowe, and

stom of furze for winter fuel accumulated on the roof4 the yBBs and

shawl goate grazing ammg the rocks, and lastly the inhabitante them-

selves, genuine Tvtars in physiognomy, and wibh their nationality

stamped on every particular of their 6gve, drew or speeoh, combine

to form a complete contrast with the country and people on the op-

posite side of the paas.

Pitched tenb in a rather confined spot s little above the villrge,

and waa soon surrounded by an enquiring group of the inhabitante.

Unfortunately I had no interpreter or servant who understood the

language suEciently to carry on a conversation, a want which 1

severely felt, as it precluding my getting information whioh 1 was

often anxious to obtain.

Both men and women drem in loose coafs and trousers of a careo

woollen cloth and pubtoes or boots of untanned lather. Theae

boob are very warm and substantial articles, aompoaed of a aole of

leather which is turned up all round the foot and stitched to a thick

woollen stocking or legging which is tied above the knee. Tbough

rather clumsy in appearance, these boob afford perfect protection

against cold and from injury from rough ground or ice ; and aRer a

marah a cooly may often be seen with a needle and thread, putting

.a few etitchea into a weak place in hie boob, which often exhibit

signs of having had half a dozen soles added from time to time one

over the other. The men wear either conical cape, or ones much the

shape of a comfortable travelling cap, and their hair in a pigtail, except

the Lam= or prieata who are closely cropped. The women wear

their bair braided behind in numeroue small plaita, oftan twenty or

upwards in number, sometimes tied looeely together a t their ends,

and somctimes kept equidistant by having their ends passed thmugh

a horizontal nibon hall way down the back, the plaits.thn reoolling

———————– Page 28———————–

1862.1 Notee of a trip fm SimZa to tAe Spati TlalZy. 606

to mind the bara of a gridiron. Most of the men wear xlecklacea of

large amber beads or turquoiee of very irregular shapes, but very ii.8-

quently an inch or more in diameter. The amber is moetly sulphur-

colored and it is by no meana easy to purcbaee a fine necklace, aa

they seem to be regarded as heir-looms, and are all brought from

” Maha-chin.” h i d e s these large beads, the lesa afBuent wear

smeller ones of glase, agate or coral, though usually with a few b d

of their favorite amber or turquoise intermixed. Some beads are a

very clever imitation of dark onyx of Chinese manufaoture, which is

not readily detected, save on clone examination. They are the same

I believe as are met with occseionally in Hindustan, where they are

called ” Solinlsins,” and are greatly prized, though none here can

tell where they originally came from.* The women wear similar

I hare subsequently been able to procure a good number of these antique agate

beadr a t Benares, and llnve little doubt that the wliole of them are origitially

derived from the mounds and ruina at Bameen atid other rpots in the Cabul

t e m t o y , where gemq beads, coins and otller relics of Qr~eco-Bactrian manufac-

turn are found after the d n r have plonghed up the mil.

The beads are of all shapes and sues, splyrical, cyliudrioal, fusiform or bar-

rel shaped, and of variour materiain, dark agate with white bands, onyx, oarne-

limn, jade, blrok whirt with white bando, Iapu bruli, rook crjatal, obsidian (?)

blue and white porcelain, and glass and enamel of various coloum. Many otlier

sorts of atone rs amethyst and bloodetone a180 ooour, but I could not natisfy myself

be. Tlie singleobaidian b e d

that there were antique, though they possibly m y

in cut as a polygon with numerour rmall faced, and I consitlur it .s obsidian re-

thm tlmn a dark enamel, from its having been drillod, whioh glum or snunel be&

never am, and oonquently axhibit a much larger aud more irregular o r ga ing

perforation 8 and am obsidian owum in Kattinwar, it might hare been p r o o u d .

Themmst curionr be& of all am, however, of yrte or m & n inlaid with

a oream-aolonred enamel. Of thew I hare eereral patterns, q l i n d r i d , rpherical,

fusiform or flattened. One round bead is ornamented all over with elongate

rpotr formed by pitting the surface of the oarneliul and BUing the d e p r v i o o

with enamel. Another is ornamented with circles formed in the ram0 way, while

the funiform M a bare two narrow cimlen a t either extremity, from whioh

albrnately fire liner are carried half way down and wnnected round the middle

of the bead by a zig- line, like that uniting two layem of cella in a honey-

oomb. Of this w r t 3 bead I have a cnriour but mugh imitation in enamel

whiah M robably ant,ique, and the u m e pattern is a h wrought on rmaller

polygonal%eada of dark agate. The cylinders are either carnelian or dark s a t e

wit11 four or Bve creanl-colonred beads oarried round them. I n all these the pet-

teru id engraved as a deep on the rurface of the agate and then filled in.

flush wit11 tile surface, wit enamel, and so nicely execlited are somo of thew

bea& that a good g l m in well ereouted rpeoimeoe kilr to mud the mode of

manuiacttul~e aave in a fractured or weather-norti part.

Tile better-shaped of these brown beads are largely uaed for rtuds and buttons,

a b r being carefully rounded and polirhed, wllich lut proww bring8 out the

wl~ite hatlds in beautiful c o n t m t with tile brown colour. Thir brown is some-

time w i n b ~ i s au to be even blaok and is merely superficid, being probably pro-

d u d by mme procam aimilsr to that now in vogue in Europe, where a iniilar

result ia produced by s h p i n g the agate in oil, which sink8 into the poco118

bwdr of the rtone wd then boiliug it in sulpl~urio acid whiah cham tho oil mud

8 u

———————– Page 29———————–

606 Noh8 of a tripporn Simla to the Spili VaZlq. [No. 5,

ornaments, but rarely so large or fine as the men. They also west

white ahell banglee imported I believe from China, though India

could supply them I should iu~agine far cheaper, and also head l a p

p e b of cloth, extending some way down the back and ornamented

with large turquoises, glass, $c. Both men and women too invari-

ably carry a small willow-wood cup, some fire inches in diameter, a

flint and steal at their side, and a leathern tobacco pouch filled with

the dry tobacco leaf. The Spiti pipe ie of iron, about a foot and a

half long, with a small shallow bowl an inch across, and a square

fluted stem, half an inch broad and tapering off to a round mouth-

piece, but very strong.

Dr. J. a. Gerrard accords but scant justice to these unsophisti-

cated mountaineers, when doscribing their personal appearance and

characteristics in the Asiatic Researches. Having passed a severe

condemnation on the women for their want of personal charms, to

their shortcomings in which reaped they have the impudence to add

want of virtue also, he proceeds to say, ” The men, without any

superior pretensions, have their peculiarities leas out of place, but

they are black, greasy and imbecile, without any noble qualit,ies whab

ever,”-” such is their general character, and it will apply to the

whole nation of Tibetan Tartars.” No impart,ial traveller will admit

the truth of this estimate, though in features they may be unpre-

possessing, if judged by a European standard, in manners coarse and

unrefined, and their notions of morality very different from our own.

Oerrard is, however, inconsistent with himself; for only on the pre-

vious page he accords them a certain amount of praise which he

afterwards seomn to overlook, but which is founded in a far more candid

and philosophical spirit than his subeequent condemnation. Stran-

gers, especially Europeans, arriving amongst them and paesing rapidly

on their way, see nothing in the country or inhabitants to raise a

favorable impresnion on their mind. They observe them in black

bare-headed groups, timid, equslid and in rage, and every third person

a priest, but, however unintelligible their conduct when debating

rtainr the stone consequently as far as tho oil has penetrated. The white bandr

are of ooum mere crystalline layers wllich have not absorbed-any oil and

remain in coltsequence ullaffectod by the acid. Tllis art is, however, unknown at

$110 pment day, to the best of my belief, in India, atld tl~ese beadr are declared

by all the writerr I have ever questioued, to be brought from tile Nol+h-Wert

or Csbul.

———————– Page 30———————–

1862.1 Notes of a trip from SimZa to the Spiti ralley. 507

an unknown dialect abut supplies or the propriety of our progrew

(both of which are doubtful in such a territory), in their houses

rrc were treated with fnmhhip and hospitality, unaccompanied with

that savage feeling which protects a traveller as a gueat and betray8

him beyond the threshold of hia sanctuary.” And again a little further

on, ” The absence of female chastity is a singular commentary t o

their bnest andpaca3 conduct, and the other social qualities of their

natural society.” I n the above passages Qerrard himself describes

them ae hospitable and honest, or in other words possessed of trdh

and gmeroaity, two qualities indispensable to and a pars n r a g ~of

true nobility. It must be remembered that in Buddhiat countries

chastity is a virtue in very slight estimation, and brewhen of i t

viewed in a far other light than among ourselves, and i t is absurd

therefore to measure the breach of i t among Mongolian Buddhists

by the standard prevalent amongst ourselves, but utterly unknown

among them. As well might a Brahmin argue (which few are so

illogical as to do,) tho total moral debasement and impiety of Euro-

peans who touch beef, repugnant aa the practice is to their religious

feelings. The morality or immorality of an action can only be

truly estimated with reference to the habits of thought or motive

with which i t was committed. I n Hindustan Eor instance, the

eon who shortens his parents’ days by etitling hie father with the

mud of tho sacred Ganges when stretched helpless on a sick bed,

or burns his mother on her husband’s bier, far from being coilsidered

in the light of a parricide, ie regarded as having performed a pioua

and exemplary part ; and the Christian prelate or Mahomedan con-

queror who, out of the pure love of God, dooms heretics to the flames

and tho sword, ie viewed by h i ~respective co-religionists ae follow-

ing the strict line of duty in so doing ; and it is the motivea which

actuated them, and not a difference or disparity of the results, which

prevents our regarding such bloody-minded bigots aa Mahomed or

Calvin with the same detestation as we regard tho sordid murderers

Burke and Hare.

I cannot quit this subject without remarking on the amiable and

pacific disposition of the men of Spiti, in which respect they contrast

moet favourably with the Hindus and Mahomedoas of Hindustau.

I have olten heard disputes regarding provisions or the loaila to be

carried, argued with considerable noise and animation, but the idea

2 v 2

———————– Page 31———————–

Ndar of a tnpw Simla to the Spiti Valley. [No. 6,

of resorting on mch &asions to the filthy slaver of abuse which

weme to flow spontaneously from the lips of a Hind&, never

reems to ooonr to them. In Edaetan, the chid not long after he

can &and will have acquired command of the foulest Language, which

ib in impossible he can understand, and which he venta unchecked in

presence of his father or even his female wlativea ; and this callom

indifference M not confined in all cases to nativea, as I have heard the

servants of English gentlemen lavish the foulest and mod, abomin-

able abuse on villagers on the slighteeb grounde within hearing of

their m u t e n and without reproof, though it ia difficult to understand

how any one possessed of refined or gelltlemanly feeling can recon-

cile himself to, or tolerate in his servants, conduct at once so odious,

despicable and unjust.

6tI, Dada 127410 f€. (camp 12416 R.)-From Main dewend into

the bed of the Bpiti river, which is orosred a little above the village

by a fine suspension bridge of considerable length. Throughout Spiti,

these bridges are oonstrucfed of ropee made of birch or willow t w h

The supports are two stout cables each composed of some twelve or

fifteen small roper, stretched over rude piers on either bank at about

five feet apart and firmly mured by being buried deeply beneath the

stoner forming the piers. Between the main cablee, and about two

feet below them, a third of smaller dimensions ie stretched and sup

ported by light mpee paeeed over the side cables; m d when the

bridge ie in good order, a passenger treading on the central cable

and supporting himelf by the ones on either side, can croes a river

with perfect earn and safety, far more ao than over the best cane

bridge of the Esetern Himalayas and Kheaia hills, as the oane m d

bamboo of whioh they are aonstructed is far more slippery than the

ropes which are used in their plaot, throughout Spiti ; when, however,

out of repair and the &mall side ropee supporting the centrd cable in

many plaoes deficient, the job of croasing is trying to the n m w ,

and aotually dangerow.

Blong the courne of tho Spiti river are seen old river ferrroes or

depoeita of shingle and sand coarse and feebly atratifled, and reach-

ing to a height of some four hundred feet above the present river

level. Behind these regular depoeita, and both from beneath, m d

also encroaching over them, rise almost mountainone amumulatione

of debris precipitated by frost from the abrupbly eciupod limestone

———————– Page 32———————–

1882.1 Notes of a trip from Simla to tL Gpiti Pallay. 609

cliff8 bounding the valley. The height of this gravelly mass mainly

depends on that of the cliff at whose base it has accumulated, but

not uncommonly wachea to 1,500 or 2,000 feet above the river. This

incoherent formation haa in some places been denuded by atmos-

pheric action, the scanty streams occasionally travening it being

adequate for the purpose, not to mention the former action of the Spiti

river, but it is in some places cemented into a firm rock, by the per-

colation of water depositing calc tuff. This is the case at Daiika,

a place boilt on a mass of the consolidated debris rising abruptly

1,100 feet above the river, which by the action of the elementa is

worn into the most fantastio pinnaclee and perfectly honey-combed

with irregular cavities, produced by the falling out of huge blocks or

the removal of l o w earthy portions of thii extremely heterogeneone

mama. Gterrsrd in his own quaint language thue describes the place,

Danka iW is perched upon a projecting ledge of conglomerate,

which the eroiiion of time has filed into slender spirea, and the perco-

lation of mow eaten away a t their bases, till they present a group

of turrets and ravines almwt deceiving the sensea by the effect of

n a t d agents.” The camping ground is a small gras~y plot aome

three hundred feet beneath the village, which looks down upon i t

from the brow of a beetling cliff, round which were flying many blue

pigeons and red-legged crows. A smdl stream close by contained

s small species of Lymnsee (A. h c r r t u l o ) , the sole fresh water mol-

luak I notioed in the valley.

6th, L,eunral.-Crossed the Lingti river by a small suspension

bridge, about six miles from Danka to the village of Sanglang. From

fhis to Geumal, which muat be at an altitude of nearly 15,000 feet,

the road ascends the steep faoe of the hill, over beds of limestone in

which the forms of pentacrinitea may be distinguished, till near the

village, which ie situated among some open flat valleys on dark

shales and behind which the hilh rime some hundred feat more. The

high land on which Geumal is situated is cut into a narrow wedge

by the Spiti river and a aonsiderable feeder of the Lingti river which

mtera below Sanglang, and viewed from Mani has the appearance of

sn isolated, kttiah hill, of horizontal strata, (their dip from that

wpeut not being wen) risiog with majestic cliffi some four and a half

thonesnd feet above the Spiti river which flom at its foot, though in

reality it t merely the termination of a lofty spur of land running

———————– Page 33———————–

810 Notes of a trip from Sim2a lo the Spiti Fully. [No. 6,

down into the Spiti valley from the great boundary chain to the

north ; the highest peaks near Gieumrrl attaining a height of 16,268

fcet, tho Spiti river but two miles from this point beiug about 11,600

f a t .

8th, Kaja, 12,200 ft.+–Dewend into the Spiti valley to Kaja, a

wretched village in an arid and stony plain, but with a fair extent of

cultivation along the river. Great numbers of pigeons are found in

the neighbourhood. On the open plateau above half way from Cfen-

ma1 came on a large pitfall constructed in the centre of the path, iu

which in winter animals are sometimes caught, chiefly ” burrel” I

believe. It waa a circular pit with upright sides, about 7 feet deep

and 15 in diameter. A projecting rim of slates inclining upwards

and inwards waa carried round it, over which the earth from the pit

waa spread and carefully levelled, so a8 to give the pit the appear-

ance of .being a slight rise in the ground and prevent ita being seen;

An animal ooming along the path, in the centre of which thia was,

could hardly fail to fall in ; and, once in, the projecting ledge of e l a h

rendered escape impossible.

9th, Xiba, (Gtyihbar apud Cunningham and Kibber of the map)

A village eituated some two miles up from the mouth of the Pari-

langhi river, st about 18,890 feet. The road passes the village of Ki,

with its pretty monaetery capping a very steep and commanding hil-

lock, and even more picturesque than Danks. The ascent to K i h

is in places difficult for quadrupeds, though the road must be bad

indeed which is impracticable to the hardy and semi-csprine ponies

of the valley. Kiba is prettily situated on a rocky ridge, beneath

which a grassy plot affords a convenient camping ground. Near the

village two piles of stones are passed, ornamented, after the u s d

fashion, with several rough sticks with bits of rag waving from them,

and the horns of the ” burrel,” numbers of which are killed in winter

and their horns attached aa trophies to piles of stones near the village-

The same piles are erected at the summit of all the passes, and wel-

come is the sight of these rags, fluttering from many a weathe&

beaten stick, to the wearied traveller, as he slowly n e w the summit and

catches sight of them. Nearly opposite the village of K i (12500 ft.*)

waa a large pile of stones covered with inscribed slabs, which are so

common in the vicinity of Spiti villago. These piles of stones 81.e

some 4 feet high by G broad on nn average, and often a h u n d d fert

———————– Page 34———————–

1862.1 Notas of a trspfrorn Simla to the Spiti Valley. 51 1

in length. They are covered with flat slates or smooth round

bouldere, from 6 inches to a foot or more across, inscribed with the

myatical formula ” aumi mani p a h hun,” or some others which are

given by Major Cunningham in his work on Ladak. The same

author mentions some piles of far greater length, one of half a mile

near Bazeo, and another near Le of 2,200 feet. The chsracters are

Tibetan, or ” medimval Devanagri called Lantsha,” the latter I think

most frequently in Spiti, the style of execution varying extremely;

the inscription being sometimes rudely scratched, at others carefully

engraved with elaborate ornamentation, either in sunk or raised cha-

racters. Regarding the object of these dlbnis, Cunningham o L

serves :-

” Does a childless man wish for a son ? or a merchant about to

travel hope for a safe return ? Does a husbandman look for a good

harvest ? or a shepherd for the aafety of his flock during the eeverity

of winter ? Each goes to a Lama and purchases a slate, which he

deposits carefully on the village dlbni, and returns to his home in full

confidence that his prayer will be heard.”

1 lth, Camp, Weat bank of Parilanghi river, 15,497 ft.-As Kiba is

the last village in Spiti this side of the Parang pass (in the Mnp,

Parangla, rightly Purang La, la being aposs) and the nearest village

in Ilupshu (Itukchu) a distance of six days’ march, it became news-

rary to make preparations accordillgly ; and I started therefore with

eome six or eight sheep and goats, each carrying twenty -pounds of

” suttoo” and flour, for the m e of the coolies on the way, secured in

goat skin bags acrose their backs. This day’s march was a very short

one; the halting-ground a grassy spot at some height above tho

river and well supplied with spring water of the temperature of 81′.

A small lizard waa numerous among the furze bushes, Xocoa SG

kimmensis, and a small lagomys inhabited the rocks, though not numer-

ous. Many snow partridges were seen, and I managed to run down

and secure a half-fledged bird as large aa a chicken. The flesh tasted

strongly of the wild leek on which the birds feed. A large flock of

apwarde of 200 sheep and goats was also encamped here, bringing down

bow, each sheep carrying over 20 pounds. Towards evening the whole

flock returned from grazing on tho hill eide,and I watched with interest

the process of securing them for the night. For this purpose, numerous

hair ropes, some forty fwt long, are securely pegged down iu paralld

———————– Page 35———————–

612 Notu of a trip from Simh (i the #piti Valley. [No. 5,

linm, to which the animala are one by one faatiened by means of a

loop and button they carry on their necks, the goate and sheep being

tethered separately. It wm pleaaing to observe the docility of these

animals and the redinees with which they allowed themselves to be

tied up. Each of them, on being eecured, lay down and was fmt

asleep before a second had been well secured to the next place on the

rope, so that in a surprisingly short space the noise and animation

p r o d u d by the return of this large flock waa exchanged for the

most perfect stilbese. The encampment was protected from the

wind by the begs of borax piled into a low wall, and guarded by

several h e but savage mastiffs. By day-break the whole flock was

once more in motion with its freight towards Spiti.

12th, Camp at the foot of the Parang pass, at 16,4418 ft.-Cmas the –

Parilanghi river, and shortly afterwards ascend the camping ground,

a bleak bare valley without the smallest shrub on the bare rocks.

Tho coolies having brought up little or no fuel, all paased an uncom-

fortable night, a high wind often howling up the paw with occasion-

al sleet, and the only fuel procurable being o little dried ass’s dung

scattered along the road. Another large flock of goata with borax

psesed in the afternoon en route to Spiti and Kulu.

lath, Camp, east bank of tL P i r i river, north of thepass, d 16,163 R.

-The ascent to the pass ia steep but far from difficult; a little snow

is met with in hollows and sheltered places, but the road is free of

snow to the summit. The crest of the pass is a rocky ridge of vertical

limestone strata, forming a gap between high snowy peaka on either

hand. From this rocky ridge one etepe off on to a h e glacier, which

ia seen filling up the valley beneath, and which is mainly augmented

by the gradual descent of lateral glaciers and ice from the high snowy

peaks to the weat. Few crevaeees exiat in this glacier, and the de-

scent over it is gradual and eaey, though there are some awkward bita

of road just after quitting it, where the ground ie very steep rrnd

the road creeps along the chasm that yawns between the mountain

side on one hand md the glacier on the other, and which ia produced

by the melting of the glacier in contact with the dark warm rocks of

the vdloy. The summit of the pass I determined by a subsequent

observation to be 10,182, ft. which I believe to be very nearly correct,

though Cunningham makes it only 18,502 ft. Thin difference of

630 ft. is the more romarkoble as tluec hcights in the Spiti valley

———————– Page 36———————–

1862.1 Notes of a trip from SimL to the Spiti Pulley. ti13

given by Cunningham give a mean excess of + 781 feet over my deter-

minations, and the Chomoriri Lake also as much as + 728 over whnt

I make it. I am not so sure that the height of the pass is so much

too low, as I am that the other heights are too high ; and the esti-

mate of the pass made by gentlemen on the C f . T. Survey whom I

met, leads me to incliue towards my own or the higher estimate : but

as far as I can judge, Col. Cunningham’s observatGns of heights as

compared with mine, exhibit an increasing proportionate difference

from 17,000 ft. ; this difference being – for all heights above 17,000 ft.

and + for those below. The Parang pass, by me made 19,182

ft., exhibiting the extreme difference of – 630 ft. ; whilst Lari, at

ft., exhibits a gain of + 1,049 ft. according to Col. Cunningham.


At the camping ground the Para river is already a considerable

stream, spread over a wide channel in numerous small streams, some

of which, however, at midday are over the knees, and the sheep and

goats required to be unladen before crossing.

14th.-Camp on the Para rive*, a few miles aboaa tha mouth of the

Chhmiri voll~y. Day very inclement, rain and sleet falling and

new snow whitening all the peaks around. Met large flocks of sheep

and goats hurryiug on towards the pass. The Para river receivea

three considerable tributaries from the eastward, in whose valleys

thick deposits of old river gravel are seen, forming steep cliffs along

tile river course, and fully one hundred feet thick.

16th.-Camp at South end of C h o r i r i Luka, 14,272ft. The

temperature of the water was 66O 4′, that of the air 610 and a stiff

north-easterly wind. The waters of the lake are beautifully olear

and pleasant tasted, though they are stated by the natives to be un-

wholesome, which I think may possibly be the result of some super-

tit ion. Col. Cunningham states that the lake has ” no outlet, and its

wstem ry.e consequently brackish, although not aery perceptibly .o lo

tRe taste.” This question of an outlet to the lake is important, but

not having read the above passage or being aware that others have

stated the same thing, I did not ascertain if such was really the case.

Any bow I think that there can be no queation that the lake has an

ample outlet for its waters, though very probably not a visible one.

Above Mani, a sort of small lake is found by a talua of p v e l and

rocky accumulation stretching across the valley and damming up the

stream from tho glacier ; but considerable percolation is always going

8 x

———————– Page 37———————–

514 Notea of a trip fm Simla to t i e Spiti Fa22ey. [No. 5,

on, and gives rise a little way below the obstruction to a stream as

large ae that above it. I n like manner I believe the Chomoriri lake

is relieved of its superfluous waters ; at all events a gentleman con-

nected with the G. T. Survey, whom I met near the mouth of the

Chomoriri valley, informed me that the stream I sew entering the

Para river at that spot came from the lake, and the following extracts

from Col. Cunniaham’s work I think incontestibly prove that some

outlet the lake rnurt have. ” On the 18th September I fixed a pole

in the water which I examined twice during the day and again early

the next morning ; but I find no perceptible difference between the

levels of tha day and night, the extra quantity of water that ir s u p

plied during t L day m a t thurefwe be compeneated by the greatcl.

maporation during the heat of the daqr. I n the same month of the

year, Dr. Gerrard could not find any water-mark above$oe feet which

he consequently fixed aa the limit of fluctuation, but I doubt if the

rise and fall of the lake amount to so much os one foot.” Again,

” Towards the end of Mayor the beginning of June, the ice breake

up and melte, and by the end of July the surface of the lake attains

its highest level, which from the water-marks that I saw cannot bs

more than one f w t abaa the winter lusl.” With this estimate I fully

concur, though Dr. Gerrard may have noticed rubbish and rejecta-

menta heaped by gales to leoward to a greater height. Now, if wt?

consider the manner in which streams descending from snow swell

during the day, several of which enter the lake, i t amounts to demon-

stration that the lake must have an outlet of some sort, not to exhi-

bit a greater fluctuation than might almost be accounted for in a

large sheet of water by the mere force of a strong wind. Mere e n –

poration could never hold the balance so nicely or dispose of the vast

body of water the lake must receive from the surrounding country

which it draine, when the ice and snow melt over hundreds of square

miles and are precipitated into it.

Col. Cunningham classes thin lake with the others which consti-

tute the old lake system of Ladak, of which the existing lakes, large

and numerous ae they are, form but mere remnants. Geographically

perhaps this view is true, but lake Chomoriri owea its existence to

very peculiar local causes, and the same climatal deficiency which

has dwarfed the other lakes of Ladak and converted some of them

from-fresh water to d t , hae paradoxically enough actually given rise

———————– Page 38———————–

1862.1 Note* of a t ~ q f i o mSimh to tlie Spiti Valley. 515

to lake Chomoriri, which a restoration of a more humid climate,

such aa formerly existed, would very speedily once more obliterate.

How far the theory which I have formed regarding lake Chomo-

riri is applicable to any of the other lakes of Ladak, I cannot say ;

-but a glance at the map suggests such a possibility, aa some of them

seem to be, what I take this lake to be, a river valley dammed up, in

consequence of changed climatal condition and a diminished rain-fa2Z.

I n two important points, this lake differs from those which a t present

constitute the remnants of the old lake system of Ladak.

Id.-lt nowhere affords any indication of having ever obtained

larger dimensions than it at present occupies.

2nd.-Its waters, though they abound in animalculm (entomo.trma),

do not yield a single mollusk ; nor are any shelh to be foudd in the

sand and shingle along its banks, which in merely such an accumula-

tion (often a thick one) as the mountain torrents pouring down from

the neighbouring hills have spread out along ita shore.

The diagram in the annexed plate will help to explain better

than description how a river valley haa been converted illto a lake,

and the peculiar configuration of the ground which has aided such

a result. By this eketch i t will be seen that the valley in which

Chomoriri lake in situated, in, not far above where it opens into the

valley of the Para river, much narrowed and constricted by hilh

which approach within less than a mile of each other, the valley ex-

panding to a breadth of several miles higher up. Not far above thin

narrow part of the valley a large stresm, which when I crowed i t

had two channels with water rising above the knees, entera and

turning round abruptly runs into the Para river. Thin large stream

sweeps down a large quantity of bouldern and gravel which i t spreade

over the valley in tho form of a huge bank, on the summit of which i t

scores ever changing channels, and which entirely shute out all view

of the lake to any person ascending from the Para river, till he has

attained its summit and c r d the stream which haa caused the

obstruction. The rise over this bar from the Para river seemed much

steeper than the descent towards the lake, which it will be seen in

nothing more than the drainage of the main valley dammed up by a

barrier raised by a powerful d u e n t stream, favoured somewhat by the

configuration of the ground, but aleo by the inability of the recipient

stream to remove that shingle swept into i t by one of its feeders and

8 x 2

———————– Page 39———————–

610 N o h ofa trip from 8i’inih to the eiti Palley. [No. 6,

to maintain a sufficient scour to keep clear ita own channel. The

result ie of course a lake. I am not sufficiently acquainted with the

surrounding country to account for the feeder becoming more power-

ful than the stream into which i t falls ; i t is evidently a result of

change of climate, and i t is quite certain that if a considerable body

of water was again supplied to the lake, it would speedily overtop

its preaent barrier, cut a channel through it and eventually drain

itself, the only requisite being an adequate supply of water to remove

the obstructions brought down by its feeders and to maintain a pro-

per preponderance of the main stream over its tributaries. To bring

about such a state of things, a change of level only is required, such

aa we know hiu repeatedly taken place, with ita corresponding change

in the amount of rain fall ; and t,he same phenomenon, viz. an elevat-

ing movement, which haa dwarfed the once mighty inland seas of

Ladak by curtailing their supply of rain water, baa in some places,

owing to peculiar and local circumstances, produced precisely o p p –

site phenomena and actually given rise to lakes where none existed


The bottom of the lake ia in eome plecee near the shore covered

with waving patches of a long grass-like weed ; but I noticed no fish,

though 1 dou\)t their absence from the lake, as iu the stream below

it I noticed m a l l fish, though I was unable to secure any, and in the

Syiti river I observed fieh in water of only 41″.

Several wild horses or kiangs inhabit the shorea of the lake,

usually occupying the gravelly plain spread out across its east-

ern end, thollgh when alarmed they take to the hilla. Surrel are I

believe to be got among the hills, and I waa told of a flock of o&

maron which used to frequent the neighbourhood of the lake, hub

which waa driven away some years since by an unusually severe

winkr and haa not been seen since.

A few old geese and several flocks of goslings just commencing to

fly were the only birds I saw. One large flock of goslings I noticec\

on the side of a high hill, and at sight of me they ascended to a

much greater height than I cared to follow them to on a marah. A

few totarti or snippets were seen in a marshy flat at the mouth of the

valley, but I was diaappoi:iBd at the paucity of birds, after the m-

counts I Lad heard of their abundance.

16th, livrzo, 14,450 it.–The road liw dong the west borderof the

———————– Page 40———————–

1802.1 Notes of a trip from Simk to the S ‘ i Palley. 517

lake a ~ i dcrosserr a small ridge jutting down to the water just before

reaching Kono. The village is a wretchedly small one, situated on

the opposite side of a small feeder of the lake, on a bare rocky

emirrence ; yet from the square castellated form of the housea, with

Inere slits for windows, and their quaint ornamentation by poles

with streamers and bunchea of yaks’ hair a t the end, it presents

rather a picturesque appearanco. On my arrival I was waited on by

the headman bringing a ” nuzzar” of dried apricots. H e was smartly

dressed according to Tibetan ideas, and had on a psir of veritable

Chinese boob with thick soles and tops of handsome embroidered

silk, of which he seemed proud ; indeed Chinese articles are esteemed

here much as Paris goods are in London.

A Kashrniri Mahomedan of a very Jewish cast of countenance

aeted as interpreter, though not very fluently, and I soon found that

provisions were very scarce and dear. The day was remarkably fine,

quite a contrast to the weather of the last few days, and I should

have been glad to have devoted a fortnight to tlie examination of the

neiglllourhood of t l ~ elake, but the great difficulty of procuring sup-

plies and the appearance of the mountains, which during the last

few days had become sheeted with snow far and wide, coupled with

a warning I receivcd that in so severe a season as the present has

been the Parang Pass might any day become closed for l d e u

coolies, determined me to hasten my departure bnck again towards

Spiti, lrnd accordingly I gave orders for returning on the following day.

It now appeared that no fresh cooliw were procurable, as the few

available men of the village had been carried off by some other tra

vellers ; but the headman said the coolies whom I had brought with

me, would gladly sct again on my return ; this, however, I found they

stoutly refused to do, and they began preparing to move soon after

being informed what was expected of them. I n the afternoon word

was brought that the Spiti coolies were moving off with their go&,

and the headman, perceiving the urgent necessity of” taking action”

in tho matter, (though I warrant he never heard of father Daly’s

tactics or the Galway contract), sallied forth with some followers,

and, aided by my S i d a coolies, captured and brought bnck tlie run-

aways. Hereupon the most tremeudoua uproar ensued, the Spiti

cooliea stoutly dwlanng that they would not lay a finger on the

baggage, aud my men il~r)istiug in equally loud tones that they must

———————– Page 41———————–

518 Noleu of a trip from Simla to the Spiti Valley. [No. 5,

and sliould. Whilst the row lasted, I was reminded of thst spirited

passage in the Cid where the Cid’s knight strikes in the Council one

of the Counts of Carrion.

“Then arose the cry of Cabra,

Here Valencia the fair,

There Castille and here Qalicia :

Many a w u cry rent the a,irir.”

In something under an hour, however, terms were come to, and

the coolies agreed to act, .if firatly they were paid in advance, and

secondly if the headman, in consideration of their acting in place of

men he was bound to furnish, worild present them with a fat sheep

for dinner. Matters thus arranged, peace and good humour were

restored, and the headman carried them all off to his house under

pretext of hospitality, but also, I suspect, to guard against their

changing their mind during the night. Bs I had already, in consi-

deration of the hardship of the road, paid the coolies double the usu-

al hire, I was somewhat a t a loss to account for their unwilli~~gness

to earn an adclitional sum, and their preferring to returri empty hand-

ed. As, however, I am not one of those ingenious theorists who

solve such questions by supposing “niggers” act on principles un-

‘ intelligible to other mortals, I made some enquiry and Foon found a

reasonable ground for their conduct. The coolies I found were fur-

nished by the headman of Kiba who supplied them with food, but

appropriated their wages himself. No wonder, therefore, the poor

fellows objected to so much extra labour, from which they would reap

small advantage. The traveller is powerless to remedy this, save by

a small present which he may make to the men themselves, and in

this case a few annas a piece, with the sheep they got a t Korzo, made

all happy and contented.

17th.-Return to former camping ground a t the south end of lake.

On the march, it being a fine sunny day, captured a number of

small lizards among the stony ground along the lake, Phrynocepha-

lus olioieri, D m . These animals associate together in pairs, as I usu-

ally took a male and female near each other, often uuder the same

stone, under which when alarmed they would rush. They also form

regular burrows in the ground, either under bushes or in the open

plain, to a depth of 8 inches or a foot, according to the nature of the

soil. The most curious point connected with these l i i is, that

———————– Page 42———————–

1862.1 Notes of a trip from Simla to the Spiti T’-aZZey. 619

they are viviporous, one female containing tllrec fceti, though two

seemed the commoner number. This departure from the plan of

oviparous reproduction usual among lacertines seems inteuded to

meet the exigencies of a severe climate, for in a region where snow

sometimes falls a t midsummer, eggs exposed in the usual manner

would run considerable risk of having their vitality destroyed by an

untoward frost. Those naturalists who adopt Darwin’s theory of

“natural selection,” and the progressive mutation of species, will

find it an interesting problem to explain (rejecting the old fashioned

view of creative adaptation I have assumed above) how the oviparous

progenitors in mythical times of t h e ~ elizards came to adopt or ac-

quire a viviporous organization, one problem of the many which the

new developement theory, I should say “Natural relection” raises

st every step. New the camp the shores of the lake were perforated

by the holes of a short-tailed rat or lemming, Phawmye leucum,

Blyth. Their holes frequently were ranged in a long line against a

bank and usually extended so far that all attempts to capture an

&ma1 by digging or flooding the holes with water proved fruitless.

After infinite trouble, however, I managed to dig out an adult female,

which on examination I found to contain six young ones the size of

home beans, three in each horn of the uterus. The total lcngtli of

this specimen was 6.15 inches, of which the head was 1.80, and the

tail 1.25. Colour yellowish mouse brown, merging into pale gray

beneath. This colour, however, only extended to the tips of the hair,

the body of each hair being dark slaty-blue only visible when the

fur was thrown back ; fur loose, length, three-eightlis of an inch ;

whiskers, even-eighths ; ears rounded, medium size, rather oppressed.

I subsequently got several more, mostly half-grown, by watching

near their holes with a gun.

18th.-Camp a little below halting-place of the 16th.

19th, Phalang-pa2ra.-A mere halting-place among loose rocks

which afford shelter from the wind. A few miles from last night’s

camp recross the Para river, which here was in several channels, in

two of which the water nearly reached to a man’s hips.

20th, Tatun9.-(Tratung Kongma of Cunningham). A mere halt-

ing-place close to the highest limit of furze on the west bank of the

Para river, a little above where I halted on the 13th. Sleet fell dur-

———————– Page 43———————–

520 ,YO/P$ of a trip from Simln to the Spiti Talall~y. [No. 5,

irig the day, anJ the tllermometrr in my tent went down towards

morning to 30.0

2let.-Recross the pass to camping ground in the Parilanghi river.

Temperature of the air st the top of the paes 56′. Much fresh snow

had fallen since first crossing it, the glare of which was very unplea-


2 2 4


23rd, Chikirn.-Having procured fresh coolies, cross the &earn

separating Kiba from Chikirn and devote a day to the examination

of the neighbourhood. Chikim ie situated in a broad valley partially

cultivated and well watered. The barley crops are now either ripen-

ing or being gathered in ; a t Kiba they were still green in some

places, but heavy in the ear.

21th, Ki, 12,600 !%.*-Halt a day hereto examine the neighbourhood.

The m o n ~ t e r yadjoining is one of the most picturesque buildings I

have ever seen, or rather group of buildings, perched on the aummit

of an ifiolated peak a oouple of hundred feet above the plain, and

protected behind by a stupendous limestone cliff, some fourteen hdn-

drud feet high.

26th, K~tling.-Cross the Spiti river four miles below Ki, where

the rocky chasm through which it rushes like an arrow, is spanned by

a bridge formed of two trees, on which are laid wicker hurdles which,

though rather shaky, will support a horse or yak.

2Tth, Chang, 11,568 ft.*-A tedious march, road in parts very steep

and bad. I n the small stream flowing into the Spiti river below

Kuling, found a species of Limnrea adhering beneath stones, the

same as noticed at Danka ; and near the camp, among river rejecta-

menta, a pupa and a couple of helicee,* small but very abundant.

Theae are the only land mollusca noticed in the valley, but they were

nowhere found in a living state. I n a small feeder of the Spiti near

the camp saw some snlall fish, long and eel-like, sheltering under

stones, but could not capture any. Temperature of water 4A0.

29fh, Xikim, 11,762 ft.* A rather pretty village ~ituated on the

west bank of the Pin river, a little better than eight miles from its


80fh, Nuth, 12,900 ft.*- (Xud of Cunningham). Cross the Pin river

a little below Mikiin. Like all rivers flowing from glaciers, this

Yupn muscorutn, Helix fulva, H. pnlcl~ella.

———————– Page 44———————–

1862.1 Notas of a trip from Simla to tha Spiti Valley. 521

ahould be crossed early in the day, as in thc afternoon the melting

of the snow roieea it to a dangerous height. I cronsed on a pony

about 8 A. Y., ond the water was then up to the coolies’ hips, and so

powerful the current that a single man could buely stem i t ; the

plm adopted being for all to join hands and force their way over in

a body. A gentleman who cronsed the day before had been separated

all night from his baggage, owing to the men delaying to cross with

him and being subsequently prevented following by the rapid rise of

the river as the day advanced ;-an unpleanant accident to happen

anywhere, but particularly unfortunate in such an inhoepitable region

.s Spiti. At the village of Tiling, three miles from BZuth, noticed s

large number of Ibex horns, which I have nowhere else seen in the

valley, ” burrel” horns being those commonly met with. Camping

ground on the opposite side of the stream from the village, opposite

which there is s wretched suspension bridge.

slut, Baloir, 19,225 ft.+-A mere halting-place, eight milea from

the crest of the TBri or Bdba pass. Near Balair pwsed large flocks of

sheep and goats driven up hare for pasturage, which is very lnruri-

ant. I purchased one very fine ram of the Hunk breed of sheep with

a fine pair of home for four rupees. I t was amusing to see how he

sent my men reeling like ninepins, when they attempted to separate

him from his fellows ; but when my sheep came up, he suffered him-

self to be led along with them essily enough. Notwithstanding his

size and fine horns, he proved to be little more than four years old,

if no much. As I only required his skull, I gave the body to the

coolies, who were more pleased than if I had given them a sheep

with greater pretensions to edibility. The blood was oarefully col-

lected m d cooked into a so* of pudding, but the headman first dipped

his fore finger into it whilst still reeking, m d flipped a little into the

air and over the stones three or four times, muttering a short prayer

whilst doing so. This I presume was a sort of expiation, or lustra-

tion for the act of shedding blood, which is theoretioally a orime

according to Buddhist notions. Among the loose rocks round the

camp, shot severd specimens, with feet furred to the her, of &90mY8

Boylei, Ogilvie. Though not rare here, I saw none south of the paas,

though the ground was very favorable for them ; and I conclude they

do not range south of the Spiti valley. In a stream croesed in this

march, collected many didoma.

8 r

———————– Page 45———————–

622 Notee of a t r i p f i m Simlo to tha Spiti Pallay. [No. 6,

lrt &ptcmber, Camp, eouth of Bdbapass 12,793 ft.+

The ascent to the Biba pass is far from difficult, tl~ough a large

glacier dwcends from the summit. This glacier in fissured by numer-

ous crevasses stretching nearly across it, and a t ehort intervals from

one another. Few of these crevaes are so broad as to be impassable,

but in order to select the best spots for crowing, the road winds con-

eiderably, and it would be decidedly difficult t o cross without a guide

who knew the track. The day before I crossed much new snow hrd

fallen, which made the walking rather laborious and from its dazzling

whiteness proved very annoying, though not to the extent to necea-

sitate the use of a veil, though travellers would do well always to

provide themselves with this article or a good pair of tinted specta-

cles or eyeshades.

On the eouthern descent of the pass a small glacier was crowd,

but a very inconsiderable one compared with that to the north. The

descent was extremely eteep, far more so than on the opposite side,

and eoon brought me to the region of birches and verdure, the en-

camping ground being a rather straitened plot on the hill side

covered with a rank crop of grass, wild flowers, and ferns.

2nd, Camp on s a t bank of the Wangw river, a t Umpti 9,317 ft.*-

There is no village here, but a mere camping ground in a fine forest

of pines. This day’s msrch appeared much longer than the map

ehows i t to have been. The whole of the Wangur valley is remark-

ably picturesque, the centrsl portion being well wooded with pinea,

oaks, birches, &c., whilst on either side rise up steep mountains ter-

minating in snowy peaks and glaciers, and in many placea scarped

into precipices of the grandest dimensions. One of these magnificent

precipices opposite the camp exhibited a sheer wall of rock ~pring-

ing from the Wangur river to a perpendicular height of three thou-

sand feet, unquel;tionably the most majestic scarp I have ever beheld.

8rd, Wangtu Bridge.-At the village of Yangpa, some few milea

below camping place, changed my Pin coolies, who from this return to

Muth. About Yangpa, apricok, peach and walnut trees were flourish-

ing in abundanoe, and in front of a wooden temple two trees very

like fine elms. Some way below Yangpa the Wangur river is cross-

ed by a timber bridge, after which the road keeps along ite west bank

to Wangtu. This portion of the road ia steep and difficult, ascend-

ipg and descending most precipitous rocks and is quite impassable

———————– Page 46———————–

1862.1 Notes of a trip from Simla lo the &ti Falley. 523

for any quadruped larger than a goat. I n one spot the r o d crosses

a highly inclined slippery surface of gneiss, on which a footing in

impossible, but small holes have been drilled at intervals in the rock

in which one can place one’stoes whilst others above support the

fingers, and by their means a passage across is effected. Ascending

thin place is comparatively easy, but to descend requires some nerve,

as in going down all the danger of the spot is clearly discerned, to say

nothing of the greater actual difficulty of descending than ascend-

ing a difficult slippery incline, where a single slip is annihilation.

The last descent to Wangtu is excessively steep and difficult, from

the precarious footpath being to a great extent concealed by long

grass, which greatly impodes walking over such gronnd, and on this

account some of my coolies did not reach Wangtu till after nightfall.

Luckily met here a large company of grain merchants conveying

wheat into t,he interior, from whom my coolies purchased some flour,

of which their supply was completely exhausted ; and there being no .

village here, I was at first sadly afraid, before meeting these men,

that my coolies after their hard day’s work would have had to pme

the night supperless.

I n the book a t this bungalow I noticed several complaints from

travellers regarding the difficulty of getting coolies and the impu.

dence of the man who had to supply them. No doubt the charges

were well founded, but there are some people who seem to suppose

that all natives, official and others, should always bestir themselves

with alacrity for the mere pleasure and glory of so doing, and my

o m experience goes to prove that in places where delay ie to be

anticipated from any cause, a small present coupled with a few civil

wordn is all that L required to obtain anything that is obtainable.

Men, accustomed to deal with European travellers along thL road

soon .distinguish for whom they are working, and if they find

the new arrival a close fisted individual, they am liable of course,

naturally enough, not to exert themselves as they otherwise might.

Travellers am too apt to forget, when they arrive perhaps in the

middle of the day and want a fresh relay of coolies, that a t such a time

dl the villsgsrs around are scattered in the fielda a t work and cannot

easily be gathered together. I myself experienced no difficulty or

incivility at this bungalow, wherefore I have been induced to offer

the above remarks.

3 1 . 2

———————– Page 47———————–

4th* Pa* buqslow 6,864 Pt.*-Made a f o d march to this bung.-

low which ie a oomfortable one on the line of uncompleted new road,

but not quite finished. Felt quite jolly at being once more under

comfortable roof, instead of s dripping tent.

Sth, &aon b u n g a h 6,682 ft.*-Made a forced march into Skson.

I n the woods near SLiraon hazel nuts were ple~ltiful, and many of them

ripe and falling from the trees.

I put up for the night in a large well built room, probably intend-

ed for labourere employed on the bridge or road, the only drawback

being a few fleas which occupy such situations. The building stande

in what evidently once formed the gorge of the Sutlej, before the

river had cut its present deep channel a little to the north ; though

during floods possibly the superfluous waters may etill find m exit

down thie channel. At present, however, it is need as a camping

ground for the flocks of sheep which convey grain into the interior*

and the whole ie clothed with a thick crop of ” Batu” dropped by

passing grain merchants or travellere, and which flourishes loxurianb

ly in this moist well manured spot. After my hard march I slept

soundly, aided perhaps by the subdued murmurs which reverberated

among the rocks from the r u r g i ~ ~river g below.

4th, Painda bungalow, 6,854 a.*-Before breakfast strolled out md

shot several blue pigeona which abound on the precipitoae rocks

which line the Sutlej here. Lsrge lizards, (Zaudnkia nrskrnura P)

also abound among the rocks, to the crevices of which they r e h d

when frightened. They seem to attain their largest size a t a height

of 4000 or 5OOO ft., occurring much snialler at Simla than rt lower

elevations along the road. Their abdominal cavity usually oontainr

a great number of entozoa lying freely among the viscera, probably

the undeveloped or couchant stage of some trenia, whoae perfect form

must be sought for in the viscera of some carnivorous bird or mammd

Dhurni hutgalow, 9,376 h.*-This bungalow is situatedon the


crest of a ridge, and the road is carried over a very sharp ascent,

with little attempt to preserve a uniform gradieut. I n the village

just below walnuts were being gathered and peaches covered the

trees in profusion, but mostly small and unripe. L i m a altiwgw,

arihi, wes also common in the early morning, its traces being nnmer-

ous, though I noticed none of the animals during the day.

I n front of the bungalow was a large pieco of ground under pta-

———————– Page 48———————–

1062.1 Notu of a trip from Sim& to tha hiti Fblhy. 625

b e cultivation, of which long unttuted vegetable I made free to dig

op a few pounds. This must be near the highest limit at which

they will thrive, and they certainly oould not compare with the p o h

toea of Kureiang (Drjiling) or Cherra, though it w l s too early fa

obtain them of their full eize. I do not know if the s d , potatoes

ue cut up in the hilla or planted whole, as is invariably the cane in

the plains, a plan which would account for the smallness of the

tubers, independently of other causes affecting the plant.

7th, Nogri bungalow, 4,865 ft.*-Road descends sharply la a feeder

of the Sutlej, on the banks of which the bungalow is situated in a

narrow picturesque vrlley, but not, I should be afraid, above the

region of malaria. On the way down witnessed the rude way in

which sheep are sometimes shorn here. The unfortunate animal I

saw, when being operated on, was firmly necured on hie side by a rope

round his horns, the other end of which wae secured to a peg driven

into the ground, his hind legs were in like manner pulled out taught,

and fastened to another peg, so as to prevent much flinching, whilst

his owner was leisurely carving off his wool in short strips by means

of a small cheese knife, or a knife of precisely that shape. Up the

vlrlley chskor were numerous, but I saw no other game.

8th, BowZi bungah, 7,709 ft.*-A steep ascent to the bungalow,

which is situated on the ridge opposite to that on which Dhurni

bungalow is built. This bungalow has an evil repute for fleas, but

reemed to have just been cleaned when I used it, and I was not con-

requently troubled with bed-fellows.

Qth, Sungri bungalow, 8,356 kg-An extremely good and pretty

road, rising slightly to the bungalow. I n the morning was awakened

by the noise made by the koklas pheasants in the brushwood close by ;

but so thick was the vegetation that I could not catch a glimpse of

a bird. Mona1 are also common about here, and I purchased a couple

of fine skins well prepared by a shikaree.

IOtA, Bcighi bungalow, 8,691 ft.*-Two short atages, amounting to

about sixteen miles, passing the Kand4la bungalow half way ; road

excellent and county open and rather pretty. Noticed a ewarm of

wild bees in a hole in a clay bank, or rather beside a large block of

stone embedded in the bank, but only a small chink for entrance.

Such a situation is I euspect unueud, and strange to say I have

noticed no wild bees’ combo on the rooks adjoining the Sntlej, thougl~

———————– Page 49———————–

526 Note* of a tripf.01)) Sirnla to the 8piti Fallny. [No. 5,

they would certainly be found in such spots in the plains. I once,

however, found near the Son a small comb on the under eurfrce of a

stone little more than a foot square, which wee propped up against

another resting on the ground and exposed to be trodden on by men

or animals. The only place where I noticed tame beea was a village

below Yangpa, iu which a large well built h o w contained an

immense number of hives ranged in the walls, small openings being

made for their entranpe in the timbers of which the house was

partially constructed. This house most have contained close on fifty

hives. The owner being absent, I could neither taste tbe honey nor

rscertain the mode of hiving the bees, but i t is probably similar to

that practised in Kashmir, where it is a very usual thing for a house

to have a dozen hives in the wall, each consisting of an earthen pot

or cylinder contkined in a small chamber in the wall with but a small

external opening for the egress of the beee, but closed internally

by a cover luted on, through which the honey is renloved after the

bees are stupified by smoke.

1 1th, Narkanda bungalow.

12th, dlatiana bungalolo.

13th, Fdgu bungalow.

1&h, Simla ( B a w t h m s cottaga (6,579 ft., mean of 5 0bs.)-The

moat remarkable fenture of interest I noticed on my return was the ap-

pearance presented by the cedars. On quitting Simla, the most con-

spicuous cones were those on the female trees, of a large size and a bright

apple green, but now the male treea were covered with great numbers

of small cones not a fifth of the dimensions of the others, but prominent

– from their immense numbers on the trees, and the copious cloude of

pollen that they were discharging. The advent of autumn wae aleo

marked by the absence of numerous familiar flowers and ferne, fit

and beautiful emblems of man and his short-lived destiny.

” Orv wacp +&Awv ywq roll 8; K& civ8pGv’

& A h rh piY r’ dvacps p@rs xlcc, 82 0′ $AT

T+Odwa +;EL & p s 6′ irrcyrylyvtrat

0’s dv8pCv ywq, 4 p.b +;cc 4 8′ cirrcyoA?jycr.”-Hom. 11. VT.

Which same idea Crabbe thus paraphrases and enlarges in his

Parish ~ e ~ i s t e r


“Tea, he ia gone, and we a n going all,

Like flowem we wither and like leared we faU

———————– Page 50———————–

1862.1 Notar of a trip- Sirnla to tLa Spiti Vali’cy. 527

Hem with an infant jojful rponnom come,

Then bear the new-mads Chrirtian to itr home ;

A few’ahort jmm, and we behold liim stand

To ask a bleeding wit11 lria bride in hand;

A few rtill, seeming shorter, and we hear

Hia widow weeping over her husband’r bier ;

Thus, r r the rnontlir succeed, r h d l infante take

Their namer, while parsntr them and nr fomrke ;

Thus brides again and bridegroom# blithe rhall kneel

By lore or law compelled their rowr to real J

E m I again or one like me explot-e

Theae rimple annalr of the rillage poor.”

On the whole, though reaching Simla proved a grateful change to

the hard fare and vicissitudes of hill travelling, I did not now expe-

rience the same buoyant feelings of pleasure as on my first visit in

early summer, and it was with less regret, therefore, that I commen-

ced immediate preparstions for quitting pleasant friends and a fine cli-

mate and once more devoting myself to routine pursuits in the plains.

l’ha Bhdmini Y i k a of Pditarcija Jqanndtka, adilad by P a d i t

Jdu Nbth Tarkaratna.

Cakutta, 1869.

This is an edition of one of the modem Sanskrit poets, whose

works are very scarce and couseqnently but little known. Like the

modem Latin poets of Europe, P a ~ Q i t d j aJagannhth hae but a

reflected beauty,-he feels only a t second hand ; still he has consi-

derable elegance of atyle and occasionally even some originality of

thought. Dr. Aufrecht, in his Catalogue, would fix his date a~ late

as the emperor Akber, but we know not on what grounds. The only

personal allusion in the poems themselves is in the last stanza but


I have read all the Bbtraa and performed all the necessary rites,

and my early days were spent under the branch of .the hand of

Dehli’s lord, but now I have changed my dwelling place and worship

Hari in Mathurh; I have achieved all superhuman tasks, the orna-

ment of the assembly of pre-eminent papQits.”