« السابقةمتابعة »
jungle fever; for several days I had barely a servant to attend upon me, I was forced even to pitch my own tent, I soon followed the general example likewise my family, for our tents were saturated as well as the ground, which being soft caused the pole to sink into it; not a dry spot was to be found. I broke ground and moved to Phoolkonlaie, where the soil was better, but the fever was too much rooted in all, for the change to be of any benefit ; after passing many days in this unhappy state, I resolved on retreating the best way we could to Mednipúr, which station we fortunately reached on the sixth day ; this change restored us.
A few remarks on the climate of these tracts, and the apparent causes of sickness may be acceptable.
While at Phoolkonlaie stretched on my back with fever, I observed that the wind below was blowing in a different direction from what it was above, which latter was westerly with a clear sky, we were enveloped in clouds and mist, with variable wind from an easterly direction; this atmosphere, if I may so term it, appeared to extend to the height of the level of the mountain tops, viz. about 1600 feet. The tract of land extending between the Buddaum and Keunjur hills, a span of 50 miles, is considered very unhealthy by all, may it not then be attributed to the absence of free and variable currents which in other more open tracts dispel the earth’s vapors and prevent an accumulation, which must be the real cause of sickness ? as long as the ground is dry there is less danger, but a single heavy shower followed by cloudy weather causes the poisonous vapor to rise, and there is no escaping its evil effects.
I have here described one cause of fever, but there is another of an opposite nature, viz. the intense heat of the country in the months of May and June, after every particle of vegetation has been consumed by fire. From the description I have heard of this fever I should imagine it to be of the brain; the patient with little warning is seized with a shivering, violent head-ache, and vomiting, delirium quickly follows, and in three days death puts an end to his miseries ; natives and Europeans suffer alike from this scourge, for a more particular account of it, I would beg to refer my readers to Mr. Motte's Journey to the Diamond mines, alluded to in a former page.
Before I take leave of my readers, I will offer a few remarks on the products of the forests ; of these the tussur silk is the most common, and at the same time, most valuable. Lac is also to be found ; the production of both in large quantities might be effected, particularly of the former.
The tussur worm is reared on the assena trees (Terminalia alata tomentosa) which are left standing wherever the jungle is cleared and their branches are kept lopped to a certain height, the more easily to allow of collecting the cocoons, great quantities of which are also found in the forests; they are mostly bartered to the merchants from the plains, but some are spun and wove into coarse pieces for the wealthier ryots and zemindars of the country.
The lac insect is said to abound in the Nursinghur district, north of Dholbhoom, it has lately been imported and propagated in that purgunnah. It thrives on the peepul “Ficus religiosa" also on the kussum.
Those people who collect lac and attend to its culture, have certain superstitious rules, which they strictly adhere to, thinking that the slightest neglect will displease the patron deity and cause failure. They believe that there are certain quarters of the moon, and certain days, on which the insects taken from the parent stock must be spread on the trees, the persons who perform this office abstain from food or drink, neither do they wash nor perform any of nature's functions, there are other minor rules which I cannot recall to memory.
Dhoona (the resin of the sâl tree) is collected in considerable quantities, and likewise bartered.
I believe that very few deer hides and horns are collected in these parts of Orissa, although there is no scarcity of ruminants of various species, amongst which are the formidable Gowri Gaw (Bos gaurus.)
The forest abounds in fine timber, but unfortunately the largest and soundest trees are usually found in the most inaccessible glens. The Tendoo or bastard ebony grows to a great size and is very common; some trees produce very fine logs, and of any length, large quantities of this wood rough wrought in thin bars of from two to three feet in length, are exported to Mednipúr where they are sold to the turners and converted into rulers, walking clubs, and hooka pipes, and ultimately sent to Calcutta.
There are many kinds of wood which I have no doubt would answer well for furniture purposes, that of the nux-vomica in particular, as no insect will go near it, not even the white ant, it is hard with rather a fine grain and pretty colour; the tree grows to a great height and size.
A small quantity of “Kuth” (catechu) is prepared from the Krère “mimosa catechu" but not for exportation.
The pullas (Butea Fundosa) grow in the Keunjur jungles in greater numbers than in those of Mohurbhunj, and if there were a sale for the gum, no doubt the people would collect it.
There are many trees the seeds or nuts of which yield good oil, the mohwa or mowl (Bassia latifolia) in particular is very plentiful.
Having enumerated all the jungle products which came under my notice, I must now add that for Europeans to traffic in any, it would be advisable to establish a mart at Kumererha on the Subunreeka, a large village through which the road passes, it is in the Dholbhoom purgunnah belonging to the Raja of Ghatsilla, it is nearly opposite to Seersa in Mohurbhunj, where there has long been a weekly mart held on Tuesdays; this would soon give way to any new one established on the Dholbhoom side, as property is more secure. There is an indigo factory near the village, belonging to Messrs. Macdonald, the situation is far from unhealthy for there is no heavy jungle very near the place, it is under the influence of the sea breeze which blows up the valley of the river. The hot weather is also rendered less oppressive from the frequency of severe thunder storms, which are attracted by the adjacent hills, they are generally accompanied with showers of rain and hail. The country as I have before said, appears very fertile particularly the lands of Dholbhoom, very good sugar is produced, and I should think that the Mauritius cane would thrive on some of the gravelly jungle tracts, the soil of which remains moist a few inches below the surface. The white ants would be the greatest drawback. I must now conclude, trusting that ere long, British industry and capital will be profitably employed in the jungle mehauls to the benefit of the merchant and of the now unhappy ryots upon whom the light of civilization has not yet dawned.
ART. V.-Note on a pillar found in the Ganges near Pubna, and of
another at Kurra near Allahabad.-By Lieut. M. KITTOE. The elegant pillar represented in the accompanying plate, Fig. 1. (together with three others) was found a few months back in a chur, (sand bank), in the Ganges near Pubna, and sent to the Asiatic Society, by Mr. Allen of the Civil Service. I requested that gentleman to give me any information he might be able to obtain, to enable me to judge, whether these elegant pieces of Hindú sculpture had been sunk there by accident, or whether they might not have formed part of some temple existing on the spot, previous to the River having taken its present course; the following is the reply he has favoured me with
“ It was found with three others exactly of a similar kind (one of which has been slightly injured), embedded in a chur on the Ganges about four miles from this station (Pubna); the end of one of the pillars was visible on the sand bank, and all the four were dug up very close to one another, with them were found half a dozen stones, which were not sculptured, nor of any particular size; the latter seem to me to have been a part of the pavement or steps of the building."
Mr. Allen further states “ on referring to Rennel's old Maps, I observe that at that time in the direction that the chur now is, there must have been a village at some distance from the river, traces of the ancient course of the Ganges are still visible about two miles and a half or more off.”
On first examining the pillar it occurred to me that it had never been erected, as the capital is unfinished, and that in all probability it had been sunk by accident at a remote period, while being conveyed to some place lower down the river. I am now inclined to think that the whole may have belonged to some temple existing on the spot previous to the inroad of the river.
The pillar which is here represented is of a hard black stone, resembling basalt, but from the long action of the water and mud, its surface has become of a dirty white colour. Its height is seven feet in all, thirteen inches and a half at its base, (which is square) and ten inches and a half diameter at its summit which is circular; from the base to the second moulding, (three parts of its entire height) it has twelve sides; an exception to the more general rule, which requires the base to be square, the second division octagonal, the third of sixteen sides, and the fourth perfectly circular.
The style of architecture is that of the twelfth or thirteenth century. The workmanship is remarkably good, and the group of figures representing dancers and musicians though rather rudely proportioned, have · much life in them. On one of the sides is a lizard, and on another a bee of which I cannot make out the meaning, unless they be merely as guide marks to the mason for facing them properly.
The circumstance of four only being found, confirms my opinion that they have supported the roof of the “ Nandi Subha" or ante-room in which the “Nandi” (bull of Siva) is placed, and as the tops of the pillars are only rough hewn, it is probable that they supported a wooden roof such as are still common in the vicinity of Cuttack, where there are some of great antiquity and of most extravagant workmanship.
Fig. 2, represents the fragment of an elegant pillar at Kurra near Allahabad, which I drew several years ago, when encamped at that place. It is built into an old Mahomedan tomb of great antiquity, and