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descend to the level of 13000 feet: for from the head of the ice to the crest of "Traill's Pass"-the col which may be considered as the root of the glacier,—there is an uninterrupted surface of snow, and that, from its low angle except for the lowest thousand feet, evidently in situ. In short no one in Kumaoon can doubt the existence of permanent snow, when he contemplates daily the faces of Trisool, Nunda Devee, and others, exposed to the full blaze of the meridian sun, and yet preserving in many spots, and those by no means the highest, spacious fields of snow without a speck or rock.
None of the culminating pinnacles of the Himalaya are visible from Pindree; though the great Peak, No. 15, 22,491 feet, is immediately above on the east-but its northern shoulder, a massive snowy mountain, forms a grand object to the north-east, and this, passing the depression forming Traill's Pass, is continued in glorious domes and peaks to the left, where a beautiful pinnacle terminates the view, apparently the easternmost of the two lower peaks of Nunda-Devee. The adytum of the Goddess herself is utterly concealed. By many she is irreverently confounded with THE BULL of Siva; but H. H. Wilson gives us Nunda and Nundee as epithets of Durgá, the inaccessible goddess." The largest temple at Almorah is dedicated to her, and though several hundred years old, is there very generally believed by the credulous mountaineers to have been built and endowed by Mr. Traill, the late Commissioner, in gratitude for his recovery from temporary blindness from the snow glare, when crossing the pass now named from him. An equally lying tradition purports that, like Heliodorus, he was struck blind at Almorah for forcing his way into her temple, and only restored on endowing it handsomely. These legends, credited against all evidence on the very spot and in the very age where and when they were invented, reduce the value of tradition, and even of contemporary testimony, unless assured of the witness' judgment, considerably below par! Amongst some great rocks on the east of the moraine, I found numbers of the curious Saussurea obvallata, here called the "Kunwul," or Lotus of Nunda Devee; near it grew the Dolomiæa macrocephala, another sacred plant, bearing the strange name of “KalaTugur," or Black Tabernæmontana; and the common Rhubarb, Rheum Emodi, here called Doloo." The rocks in situ about the glacier .are mica-slate and gneiss, but on the moraine, the fragments consist
also of crystalline and slaty quartz, the latter often considerably colored with iron between the layers; horneblende rock is also common; and masses of the same granite which forms the great range at least up to Gungootee. Though it exhibits quartz, felspar, and mica, the felspar is in such excess to the other minerals, and large crystals of black schorl are so abundant, that Captain Herbert probably did not recognize it to be granite, and hence his denial that this rock is found in the snowy range. It certainly differs much in appearance from the more authentic granite which we find north and south of the Great Chain, in Kunawar and Kumaoon.
My investigations were cut short by the very threatening appearance of the weather, and to his great relief, I at last commanded Ramsingh to retreat. At one period, he had evidently lost his way, and become confused on the glacier, and on quitting it, he turned round, joined his hands, and made a low reverence towards Nunda Devee; on the intensitive principle invented by Puff in the critic of firing six morning guns instead of one, I own I was strongly tempted to imitate and even surpass my guide by making six vows in the same direction, but there was no time for formalities, and the goddess who is pacified for a million of years by the sacrifice of a man, is not to be bearded with impunity in her own den; so, without further ceremony, we started, and passing Dooglee, in one hour reached Diwalee, in an hour and a half more, under pelting showers the whole distance. Messrs. Hort and Powys had arrived from Khathee an hour before me.
The existence of alternate diurnal currents of air to and from the Himalaya, the first of which I experienced to-day, resembles in its regularity, the land and sea breezes of many tropical coasts, and is a fact which all travellers in these mountains must have remarked, though none that I am aware of, has recorded or attempted to explain it.* All along the exterior ranges we find that during the warm season, at least, about 9 or 10 A. M. a strong gale sets in from the plains, well known at Mussooree as the "Dhoon Breeze," and equally prevalent and grateful at Nynee Tal, &c. from 2 to 3 P. M.; it reaches the snowy range, blowing violently up all the passes from the Sutlej to the Kalee;
*Mr. Batten informs me that the Rev. J. H. Pratt has written an essay on this subject in a literary Journal of Cambridge; which I have not had the advantage of consulting.
and so furious in Hoondes and upper Kunawar as to preclude the use of pitched roofs, and to render it necessary to secure the flat ones by heavy stones. On the other hand, along the base of the mountains at Hurdwar, Dikkolee (on the Kossillah), Bhumouree, and Burmdeo, we find, so far as my own experience goes, that from November till April, from perhaps 2 till 7 or 8 A. M. a perfect hurricane rushes down the great vallies from the mountains, and being greatly cooler than the surrounding air, and soon followed by an oppressive calm, is perhaps the cause of much of the insalubrity of the tarai; as the reverse gale probably originates much goitre in the mountains. The explanation which suggests itself is as follows: Sir J. Herschel states that at 10,600 feet about the sea, one-third of the atmosphere is below us, and at 18,000 feet, one half. For the sake of round numbers, let us assume the attenuated stratum of air resting on the Himalaya and Tibet, to be deficient by about half the weight of the whole atmosphere; during the day time, owing to the heat reflected and radiated from this elevated plateau, and the rocks and snows of the Main Chain, (a source of heat wanting of course to the corresponding stratum over the plains,) this is further expanded or rarified, so that it becomes specifically lighter, and ascends. Hence, owing to the great pressure of the whole mass of the atmosphere incumbent on the plains, the air thence is forced to flow upwards, to fill the comparative vacuum, and the current is generated, which commencing at the outer range, reaches the higher one in the afternoon, laden with vapor, which is there condensed by the cold, and astonishes the traveller by those storms of rain and snow which succeed, and are indeed a necessary result of the serene morning. It is for this reason that the guides are always so anxious to set out betimes, so as to cross the passes by noon. It may be objected that as the process of rarefaction commences at the summit of the mountains, and must be gradually communicated to each stratum beneath, where it comes in contact with the heated ground, the current should begin instead of ending at the higest elevations; but it would appear probable that the movements of the air from this cause is trifling; the main agency being the pressure of the atmosphere on the plains, which necessarily commences its operation with the outer ranges. During the night, the atmosphere, like Penelope, undoes what it did by day. From the absence of the sun, the mountain air is cooled and condensed,
and, recovering its former bulk and weight, descends, to restore the equilibrium by forcing the aerial invader back to the plains, the process being no doubt greatly aided, or rather caused, by gravitation as well as by the expansion and consequent diminution aud negation of pressure which the plain atmosphere has itself experienced from the intense heat of the earth and sun's rays by day, the former of which is dispersed into the air during the whole night, and till about sunrise, when the gale from the mountains attains its maximum of intensity.
Both "up and down trains" must be much modified and complicated by the direction of the mountain ranges and great vallies; these last determine of course their usual route, and by their narrowness and depth tend greatly to augment the force of the wind. At Bheemtal, 12 miles from the plains, its effect is but too sensible; but at Ramgurh, as much farther in, it is unknown; the Ghagur serving as a most efficient screen in this direction. The entire career is run out in about 100 miles; this distance is so short, and the anomalies from the irregularity of the ridges so great, that the effect of the earth's rotation may be unappreciable; if not, the day breeze coming from the south, where the velocity of rotation is greater, ought to blow from the southwest and the night one from north-east: and this is certainly true at Almorah of the first.*
*The climate of Ludakh, 11,000 feet above the sea, as observed by Moorcroft, fully bears out the above theory. Frost and snow continue from the beginning of September till that of May. "In May, the days become warm, although early in the morning the rivulets not unfrequently present a coat of ice, and this may be observed in some spots even in June, whilst on the loftiest mountains, snow falls occasionally in every month of the year. During the summer months, the sun shines with great power, and, for a short part of the day, his rays are intensely hot. At Lé, on the 4th July, the Thermometer in the sun rose at noon to 134°, and on the march to Piti, it stood ten degrees higher. At night the temperature was 74 degrees. Even in the depth of winter, the heat of the sun is very considerable for On the an hour or two, and the variation of temperature is consequently extreme. 30th of January, the thermometer shewed a temperature of 83° at noon, when it was only 1210 at night. The great heat of the sun in summer compensates for the short duration of the season, and brings the grain to rapid maturity. Barley that was sown in the neighbourhood of Lé on the 10th of May, was cut on the 12th of September; and at Pituk, five miles from Lé and about 800 feet lower, in a sheltered angle of the valley, the same grain is ready for the sickle in two months from the time of sowing. (Travels, I. 268) Much further eastward, Captain Weller
The trade and similar periodical winds are of no mean benefit to the navigator; the use of their mountain counterparts is unknown, unless it be to scour the deep vallies of their malaria. One abuse of them was too evident; the locusts were everywhere taking advantage of them to penetrate into the mountains, and were in considerable numbers, living, dying, and dead, at the very head of the Pinduree glacier. How strong must be the instinct of wandering and self-preservation in these scourges, when, in search of sustenance (which they would scarce find in Tibet,) it thus leads them, as the moth in the case of light, to their own destruction amongst the ice and snows of the Himalaya! But so long as rational men are found to resort to Sierra Leone, &c. on the same errand, and with the same fate, though from an opposite cause, we have not much room to boast of our superior discretion. The natives of Kumaoon consider that the flights of locusts, which have in late years, done immense damage to their crops, are produced from the sea. I KNOW them to be produced in Rajpootana; on our return to Almorah on the 2nd October, we found vast swarms of them settled on the fields and fresh ones coming from the south and south-east; fortunately the harvest was too advanced to admit of much injury.
September 26th.-Walked to Khathee in 34 hours, with soft showers at intervals; and heavy rain from 4 to 6 P. M.; at one of the bridges we met the Putwaree Mulkoo, or Mulkih Singh, a regular short, thickset, mountain savage, not unlike one of his own bears.
September 27th.-To the Tantee châlet (now deserted) on the Dhakree Benaik, which we walked in 34 hours. From half-past 12 till 6 was told that in May and June "it is hot below Dhapa (Daba,) that sealing wax melts if carried on the person during the day," a significant hyperbole. Moorcroft suffered severely from fever in the same district, probably from these rapid extremes.
During the rainy season of the Indian Himalaya, the prevalence of clouds and moisture, by equalizing the temperature, must in a considerable degree, neutralize these currents: but to solve the problem satisfactorily, careful and extended observations are requisite, with the comments of an experienced meteorologist; several necessary elements, evaporation, electricity, &c. probably playing no mean role in the phenomena.
In the Arctic regions, Dr. Richardson found the radiation of heat from the snow in spring to exceed greatly that from the soil in summer and in the Himalaya, the ** Dhoon Breeze" is most regular and powerful from April till June.