« السابقةمتابعة »
There is a good deal of wheat cultivation around the village, which is not the only occupant of the valley : this is the highest we had yet seen, and is perhaps one of the highest inhabited vallies known, as it is 9410 feet above the sea ; it is drained by a small stream, and is of less extent than either that of Byagur or Bhoomlungtung. The surrounding hills are covered with open fir woods, and are of no considerable height. Larks, magpies, and red-legged crows, continued plentiful, but on leaving this valley we lost them.
March 5th. We proceeded up the valley, keeping along the banks of the stream for sometime; we then commenced ascending a ridge, the top of which we reached about noon ; its elevation was 10,930 feet. The descent from this was for about 2500 feet very steep and uninterrupted, until we reached a small torrent at an elevation of 8473 feet; from this we ascended slightly through thick woods of oak, &c. until we came on open grassy tracts, through which we now gradually descended at a great height above the stream, which we had left a short time before. We continued descending rather more rapidly until we came to a point almost immediately above Tongsa, by about 1000 feet; from this the descent was excessively steep. The distance was 13 miles. On the ascent snow was common from a height of 9000 feet upwards. The vegetation on this, or the eastern side, was in some places similar to that above Byagur. Beautiful fir woods formed the chief vegetation, until we came close to the summit, when it changed completely. Rhododendrons, Bogh puttah, and a species of birch, and bamboos, were common, mixed with a few black pines. The woods through which we descended, were in the higher elevations almost entirely of rhododendrons; and lower down chiefly of various species of oak and maple—the former being dry and very open, the latter humid and choked up with underwood. After coming on the open grassy country we did not revert to well wooded tracts.
No villages occurred, nor did we see any signs of cultivation after leaving the valley of Jaisa until we came near Tongsa, above which barley fields were not uncommon. Tongsa, although the second, or at any rate the third place in Bootan, is as miserable a place as any body would wish to see. It is wretchedly situated in a very narrow ravine, drained by a petty stream, on the tongue of land formed by its entrance into the large torrent Matęesum, which flows 1200 fee below where the castle stands. The village is 6250 feet in altitude : i consists of a few miserable houses, one of the worst of which wa considerately lent to us. The castle is a large and rather imposia building, sufficiently straggling to be relieved from heaviness of ap pearance : it is so overlooked, and indeed almost overhung by som
unconscionably, and I thought that the list would never come to an end ; and he was obliging enough to say, that any thing he might think of subsequently would be announced in writing. He was very facetious, and evidently rejoiced at the idea of securing so many good things at such trifling expense as he had incurred in merely asking for them. Nothing could well exceed the discomfort we had to undergo during our tedious stay at this place. Our difficulties were increased subsequently to our arrival by the occurrence of unsettled weather, during which we had ample proofs that Bootan houses are not always water-proof; we were besides incessantly annoyed with a profusion of rats, bugs, and fleas; nor was there a single thing to counterbalance all these inconveniences, and we consequently left the place without the shadow of a feeling of regret.
On the 23rd of March we resumed our journey ; and having traversed the court yard of the castle, we struck down at once to the river Mateesum by a very steep path. Having crossed this by a bridge, we gradually ascended, winding round the various ridges on the right flank of the ravine of this river. We left it when it turned to the southward, in which direction Bagoa-Dooar was visible, and continued ascending gradually until we reached Taseeling, seven miles from Tongsa, and 7230 feet above the sea.
Taseeling consists of a large house, principally used as a haltingplace for chiefs going to and from Punukka and Tongsa. The surrounding mountains are rather bare, as indeed is the country between it and Tongsa. There is some cultivation to be seen around it, and several villages. As we approached Taseeling open oak and rhododendron woods recurred. The vegetation near the Mateesum was subtropical ; the road was good, and in one place was built in zigzag up the face of a cliff.
March 24th. To Tchinjipjee. We commenced by ascending until we had surmounted a ridge about 800 feet above Taseeling; during the remainder of the march we traversed undulating ground at nearly the same altitude, at first through an open country, afterward through beautiful oak and magnolia woods, until we came on the torrent above which we had been ascending since leaving the Mateesum ; a little farther on we came on the finest temple we had seen, and situated in a most romantic spot. It stood on a fine patch of sward, in a gorge of the ravine, the sides of which were covered with beautiful cedar-looking pines; the back ground was formed by lofty mountains covered with heavy snow.
Following the river upwards for about a mile and a half, we reached Tchinjipjee, which is situated on the right bank of the torrent,
base of the chief ascent, which is not steep, but long, the path running of its summit is 10,873 feet. Thence to Rydang was an uninterrupted and steep descent, the path traversing very beautiful woods of rhododendrons, oaks, yews, &c. Snow was still seen lingering in sheltered places above 10,000 feet. beautiful. In the higher elevations the Bogh Pat was very comthe base of the great ascent, built for the accommodation of the Yaks
Besides the village mentioned, two temporary ones were seen near and their herdsmen: of this curious animal two herds were seen at
Rydang is prettily situated towards the bottom of a steep ravine: barley and wheat cultivation.
March 28th. We descended directly to the river Gnee, which drains the ravine, and continued down it sometime, crossing it once; then diverging up a small nullah we commenced an ascent, which did not cease until we had reached an elevation of 8374 feet. Continuing for sometime at this elevation we traversed picturesque oak and rhododendron woods, with occasionally swardy spots ; subsequently descending for a long time until we reached Santagong. ed Santagong, in the direction of which the trees became stunted, and the country presented a barren aspect. Several villages were however seen in various directions, surrounded with cultivation.
The march was throughout beautiful, particularly through the forest, which abounded in picturesque glades. No villages or cultivation
Tchinjipjee is perhaps the prettiest place we saw in Bootan ; 'our halting place stood on fine sward, well ornamented with (Quercus seme carpifolia?) very picturesque oaks, and two fine specimens of weeping cypress. The surrounding hills are low, either almost entirely bare or clothed with pines. The village is of ordinary size, and is the only one visible in any direction ; its elevation is 786 feet. There is some cultivation about it, chiefly of barley, mixed
March 27th. We continued following the river upwards, the path running generally at a small height above its bed. Having crossed it by a rude wooden bridge, we diverged up a tributary stream, until We reached a small village ; we thence continued ascending over easy grassy slopes, here and there prettily wooded, until we reached the along the margin of a rhododendron and juniper wood: the height
The march throughout was its elevation is 6963 feet. A few villages occur about it, with some