صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

direct road. Upon questioning him, I received the usual evasive replies of " that is not a high road, it merely leads into the forest ;" and “ what do I know; I live at Bahum ;" “I have not seen, &c. &c.” I took the knave aback by asking him the name of the ghat I was going to, and insisting that that was it, pointing to the gap. Forgetting himself, he replied that that was the Baghloth ghat; he then admitted that the road led direct to it. I was obliged to strike off to the right, and travel for some miles along a narrow and winding path through a heavy Saul forest to the foot of the ghat, which is about a mile from a large village called Kundeswuri, belonging to Chundro Bearer, a Kund chief who holds the adjacent hill lands (more by might than right) from the Baumurra Raja ; this man has a few followers, who, united in one interest, set all the neighbouring Zemindars at defiance, and make frequent plundering excursions into the plains; he is much dreaded by all. The Kunds are however industrious, and if treated kindly, peaceable; but such is the dislike the Ooreyas entertain towards them, and the consequent annoyances and tyranny they exercise over them when they perchance fall into their power, that they are obliged to retaliate in self-defence ; this is the case throughout the tributary mehauls in which there are Kund villages.

The Kunds of these hills have no turmeric cultivation, nor do they perform the horrid Merria pooja, which is in a manner connected with it.

The ascent of the ghat is by a narrow glen between two ridges of hills, those to the right being very lofty quartzose rocks ; it is at first very gradual and easy, but higher up becomes very steep, continuing so as far as the summit, the whole distance being a little more than three-quarters of a mile. The road is difficult on account of the loose stones of all sizes which are strewed about ; there were remains of fences and other contrivances for defending the pass, which had been constructed the previous year, during some disputes with the Sumbulpúr Raja, who summoned all his vassals to assist him, but the Kunds had the best of it, as is generally the case.

There is a fine view to be had here of the Sumbulpúr plains, but owing to the haziness of the atmosphere I was unable to see any objects distinctly enough to take their bearings, except the high peak at the north-western extremity of the range of hills ; following the course of the Mahanuddí, distant six miles south-east of Sumbulpúr, it bears 70° south-west ; the soil at the top of the ghat is a hard red loam with much quartz, gneiss, and hornblende. I here remarked two heaps of stones each at the foot of a tree, which reminded me of the tu

[ocr errors]

muli the ancient Britons in the north of England used to construct over the graves of fallen warriors, on which each traveller used in olden times to throw a stone on passing by ; upon inquiry I found that these were of the same nature, the like practice existing. Those which I allude to, are over the remains of two chiefs who fell in battle on the spot. I had often remarked similar tumuli in the Kund districts, also in other parts of India, for it is in some places customary to heap stones or bricks on spots where persons have been killed by wild beasts.

Two miles and a half beyond the ghat I reached my encamping ground, at the village of Burorumma. There is a gradual fall the whole way; the path is through a thin forest of large Saul and other timber trees with no underwood. Much ground has been lately cleared in the vicinity of the village which is situated at the head of a large valley extending for many miles in a south-easterly direction at the back of the range of hills before described ; there are many fine mango, tamarind, jaumun, date, and other trees around the village ; it is nearly depopulated owing to the misrule of the chief (Chundro Bearer); the sepahees and peada whom I had sent some days previously to prepare for me, had been nearly starved, the chief having forbid. den supplies; a little firewood and some milk were however brought to me. I rigged out a shed with my carpets, palkee, &c. under the trees near the village, and hoped to have passed a tolerably pleasant day, but as soon as the sun got high myriads of small insects ( ? ), descended from the trees and rendered it impossible for me to remain, for in addition to the discomfort their presence occasioned, their bite was painful: I was compelled to seek refuge in a ruined hut in which the thermometer stood at 106° 2'.

Shortly after my arrival I was visited by Chundro Bearer's eldest son, who came with a number of retainers armed with swords, matchlocks, and bows. He is rather a fine young man ; he made many apologies for the supplies not being ready, and shortly sent us what was required. The retainers did not seem inclined to be over civil, several of them were intoxicated, one fellow in particular, who came just after the remainder had left, threw himself down close to my carpet and began raving, and from what he said, it was evident that they would have been glad to have found oat what persons had recommended me to come by this route, and most likely have taken some means of revenge. To add to the discomfort of my camp followers, the people most effectually concealed the well or spring which supplied the village with excellent water; they were compelled to help themselves from a small well which did not afford more than a lotah full of bad water every four or five minutes.

Being anxious to push on, and get out of this inhospitable track, I packed up and resumed my march at 6 P. M.; as long as it was day-light we got on tolerably well, although the road had been obstructed for miles together with trees felled and thrown across, but as soon as the evening closed, our troubles commenced ; the heat was oppressive beyond measure, and not a drop of water was to be found to quench the tormenting thirst my followers were suffering from ; we had been led to expect some from the bed of a large torrent two coss distant from our camp, but upon reaching it, the guide and coolies all denied there being any. A poor coolie was taken to task by one of the Kunds for offering to point out where it was.

1 would have resented this in the most summary manner, but I knew that we were completely at their mercy, for they had taken us off the road, and were leading us over a most rugged path, and whenever chance led us on to the high road, (which was a very excellent one), they halted, and pretended they had lost their way; then after hunting for some time, led us again into the villainous track by which, after five and a half hours' toil we reached Jaumunkeera. This is a large village in the centre of the valley, which is here open and well cultivated; the distance was nine miles and three quarters, and by the better one which the Moonshee followed, only eight and a half. We rested in a paddy field near the village till 4 o'clock the next morning (25th May) at which hour I attempted to move onwards, but the Kunds tried to detain me, refusing to allow the Burorumma coolies to go on with us, or to get others that day in their room. I would not be trifled with, and commenced my march. Their next step was to deny any knowledge of the road ; it then became high time to put a stop to this insolence; I brought the ringleaders to their senses with the help of the “argumentum bacculinum,"

. a road was pointed out, and a relief of coolies arrived forth with. I had proceeded about two miles, when I discovered that the guides were playing me the same game that those had done on the previous night ; I met a Paun* who was just returning from the very place I was proceed. ing to, so I promised him a reward, and took him with me. He soon led me on to a good, and much frequented road to Burghat, the spot where supplies had been collected for me by the Baumurra people

, and which I reached at 11 a. M. much fatigued, having travelled eleven miles. I took shelter in a hut that had been prepared for me by the sepahees, of green boughs, on the edge of the Burghat nulla ; in this I passed the day with comparative comfort ; some of my people, however, suffered very severely from thirst and exposure to the sun.

* A person of low caste; they make the best guides, for being given to make plandeying excursions, they are acquainted with erery nook and corner.

The country through which I travelled this day is open, with evident traces of having been in a much more prosperous condition at no distant period. There are extensive pasture lands, and large herds are brought from long distances to graze, the herdsmen living in temporary huts, and having enclosures annexed to protect the cattle from wild beasts. I observed many traces of recent cultivation, and occasionally fields freshly ploughed, although I could not discover a single village the whole way, I was also assured that there were none; I am, however, convinced that there are many at no very great distance, hidden by the intervening jungle, beyond which I could see clumps of mangoes, tamarind, date, and tarji trees, which latter seldom occur except in the vicinity of habitations. I felt moreover convinced that there must be other roads up this fine table land than that by which I came. On inquiring of the Baumur. ra people, and of some bunjarahs I had met on my way, I found that my surmises were correct, not only in this particular, but as to the Baghloth ghat

, which, as I have before stated, had been kept a secret from me. I determined to satisfy myself of these points by directing the guard of regular sepahees to return by the other path and by the ghat ; I sent them the next day from Deogurh, and I subsequently received a report from the Naick of the guard who stated that he had passed through many villages with abundance of water, and that the ghat was perfectly easy, with an excellent path; the very reverse of what the knaves of guides

There is no habitation any where near Burghat, which is merely a pass (as the name implies *) leading from the high land before described, down to the less elevated tracts of Baumurra, all inclining towards the Brahmení river, into which all the torrents (that of Burghat among the rest) empty themselves. My people were too much fatigued to allow of my resuming my

so we lighted numerous bonfires round the camp to keep off wild beasts, and passed the night where we were.

had told me.

march that evening,

(To be continued.)

Ghat" or

· Kend-ghatti”' the Kend (or ebony tree) pass; "Sher-ghatti” the Tiger pass; “Kus

"Ghattimeans a pass, they are aflixed to proper names, such as sum-ghat” the Kussum (tree) pass; “ Burghat” the Bur (tree) pass, &c. &c.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Art. IV.- Proposed publication of Plates of Hindu Architectural

Remains. To the Secretary of the Asiatic Society. Sir, In the sixth volume of the Journal of the Asiatic Society, page 453, in an article from the able pen of our late Secretary, touching the sculpture at Sanchí near Bhilsa, he expresses his opinion that it would be of advantage to publish a series of Hindu Architectural Remains,* and I am aware wished to introduce the subject in the Journal, but the difficulty and expense attending the preparation of plates, requiring even little labor, prevented his doing so. Latterly, at his request, I prepared several lithographs representing different pieces of sculpture which I collected during my different tours in Orissa ; having many more in my portfolio which might prove interesting to some of your readers, I propose (should you be of this opinion, and it meet with your approval) to publish occasionally one or two plates, with such explanatory notes as I may be able to give.f

In the present number I have given a drawing of an elegant piece of sculpture which I copied at Badeswur, in the valley of the Mahanuddí, and which I have alluded to at page 370.

This image represents the goddess Durga as Parvatti', wife of MAHADEVA (Siva), and daughter of the Hymalya mountain in the Partatti Avatar.

The figure, though mutilated, shews that the different emblems named were originally present. In one of her right hands she holds the Nag-phans, or serpent noose; the other (which is broken off) she holds up in assurance of no evil intention, it is called T272 “a-bhai," which means

“ without fear,” or “fear not ;" in one of her left hands was the Unkoos (elephant goad), part of the staff of which still remains on the arch ; in her second she held the Pudma, or lotus, by the stem, part of which is destroyed ;-I speak positively on this head, having seen many images of the same form in which the different parts wanting in this example were present excepting the a-bhai.

This deity is (like most others) presented as standing on an expanded lotus, with the Singha, or lion, and the Vahun, or vehicle of Siva, at her feet.

* "It would be well worthy of the Asiatic Society to publish from time to time in England a volume of Hindu Architectural Remains from the materials in its possession ; to this reference could always be made, and those who regarded only the works of Art, would find a volume to their taste, kept distinct (like the Physical Volume,) from the graver subjects of the Society's Researches."

† We most gratefully accept Lieut. Kittoe's proposal.-Eds.

« السابقةمتابعة »