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(with their various branches of a steep character and moderate height.) in the middle of the range of 34°, in nearly the whole of that of 32°, in the beginning of the salt range, on the mountain called Tuchti-Sooliman, on the lofty mountain Bunseekurn, and the Jadran range, on the Ootman Khel hills, on the Aktan hills in Toorkistan, and some of the mountains of Chinese Toorkistan. Pines are also found in some spots of the Kokur country; Cabul is supplied from the mountain of Kulkucha, about three days to the east. Bameean, Ghuznee, the Huzara and Ymak countries have no pine trees. Some are found in a few spots of Bulochistan. The natives distinguish at least seven kinds, but all are not found in the same quarters. Toorkistan and Kushmeer do not seem to possess that species which is called Julghoza, and which bears a large cone, the seeds of which are idly supposed to possess many good qualities. Another species by the Afghans called Shouty, is remarkable for its being so combustible that the natives use it as a torch; this too seems unknown in Toorkistan. I have received no hint of the larch or any other deciduous species of the pine being found in any of those countries. It may be observed, that the fall of the leaf does not take place even in the same species at one time in climates so different. In Peshawur most trees retain their leaves till near spring, but in Cabul, Khoorasan, and Toorkistan the autumn frosts shed the foliage.
136. Evergreens, besides the pines, are but few. It may be conjectured holly grows on the lofty mountains, but I have never received any hint of it. The cypress is chiefly known as a cultivated tree, but is found wild in some situations. Excepting it, the natives reckon the chinar or sycamore, the most beautiful of trees. Some are found at Lahour, but are certainly not indigenous. There are two species, the Chinar or Sufeda, which has a broad shade, and the Punja-chinar or Sufedar, which grows slender and tall. The Chinar is indigenous in Kushmeer, Khost of Bunnoo, Goorzwan in the Ymak country, Durwaz, and various other situations. It prefers a moderate climate inclining to cold, deep valleys, and a moist, fat soil.
137. The same situations are most favourable to willows, but some of them are seen growing in all climates, from the plain of Peshawur to the country of the Huzaras. This is perhaps the only tree which withstands the cold of the Pamer. The willow is banished only from the hot and dry plains, and some peculiar situations. There are seve ral species, but four are the most known, viz.-the weeping willow, which the natives call Mujnoon, and value for its beauty, the Bedi Mooskk from which is extracted a perfumed water, the green willow which is the commonest of all, and the red, which grows straight and
tall. The two last are used in building, chiefly for rafters of houses, and insects do not eat their timber. All the four species are cultivated, though some more than others. In Kushmeer and some other places the twigs of willows are given to cattle. In none of these countries are osier baskets made.
138. It is probable that the high mountains have some English trees which we cannot identify from the descriptions of the natives. The birch is plentiful in Kushmeer, and also many places of the Belur mountains, yet its bark is imported from Russia into Bokhara, where it is used to stuff saddles-an article there manufactured of good quality. The only species of oak is that known in systems by the name Quereus Bilote, which does not become a great tree. It is not found in Khoorasan, or Toorkistan, or in the warmer countries towards India; the Cabulees call it Buloot. I know not what are the trees called Seah, Chob, Bulhuk, Pudda, and Gurung.
139. The mulberry grows wild over a vast expanse of country, yet is rarely seen in the plains. It grows in the vallies of all but the warmest hills. Its fruit is much improved by cultivation, and it has varied into at least twelve varieties, all of them good. There is a difference in their ripening, but the mulberry harvest generally speaking coincides with that of wheat and barley in the same climate. In various parts of Toorkistan the mulberry is very important to the natives, furnishing a fruit, a doshab, and when preserved a considerable article of food. Now here is it so important as in Punjsher, where the natives grind it into flour, and this forms the chief food of the country. The mulberry plantations are so extensive that they are not walled in, and some individuals are said to possess ten thousand trees, but this seems an exaggeration. A very good tree will bear ten maunds of mulberries, and if the average produce be one-third of this, it is calculated to support a far greater population than tillage. The produce is little affected by the seasons and is remarkably equable. Silk is not made except in certain quarters. Kushmeer raises enough for its own scanty consumption, but Peshawur and other countries of the east are supplied from abroad, chiefly from Goojrat, and our provinces. To the west the first place which produces silk is Gundumuk, in a temperate climate between Cabul and Jellalabad, but there is none in Cabul or Ghuznee; considerable quantities are raised in the Afghan Khoorasan, but less than in the Persian part of the province and in Toorkistan. Great quantities are raised in Khootun.
140. The pistachio tree is confined to Toorkistan and that side of the Paraparnisan which lies towards it, but it is little cultivated. The wild
almond shrub (which when cultivated attains a great size) is very common in many places, but its fruit is not eatable. An oil esteemed in medicine is extracted from the stones both of this and the cultivated sort. The oil of walnuts is so cheap in Kushmeer, that it is more used in food than any other oil or fat. The tree requires a colder climate than the mastich, but like it is found in the very cold ones. Where it is naturally very abundant, it is not cultivated. A good tree in perfection will bear, it is said, forty thousand walnuts in a season, and two thousand in Cabul fetch a rupee when cheap. The wood is good for some purposes, by reason of its strength and hardness. The natives are not accustomed to use olive oil in their food, but apply it to medicinal purposes: this plant grows on most of the low hills. Though it is not found in Cabul, Toorkistan, or Khoorasan, it is plentiful in some places between the Euxine and Caspian.
141. Nearly all the species of fruits cultivated in these countries are also found natural in some parts of them, chiefly in the vallies of cool and cold mountains. These are the apple, pear, cherry, plum, apricot, peach, quince, and pomegranate. The fig, though found in most of these climates seems yet to prefer the warm. The naring, a species of wild orange, grow on the hills south west of Kushmeer.
142. Of these countries Kushmeer has probably the greatest variety of indigenous species, and is at the same time as well wooded as any. It may be remarked that the same situations are generally well wooded which have been already described as favourable to the pine (see paragraph 135), the steep sides of hills being favourable to its growth, whether it be that forest trees love shelter, or because they are here best secured from animals. The low hills are not so woody as the high, being more affected by shrubs and low trees of little use as timber, than by forest trees. On the whole these countries are but ill wooded, though superior to Persia. Toorkistan, excluding the deserts of the west, is on the whole superior to Afghanistan, and the northern part of that country to the southern Bulochistan has very little wood. The plains of these countries have naturally but few trees and (contrary to what takes place in most countries of Europe) they become better wooded with the progress of cultivation. Few of the natives plant for timber, but a good deal is yielded from the numerous orchards of the countries of the west, which have been planted for fruit.
(To be continued.)
ART. II. Journal of a trip through Kunawur, Hungrung, and Spiti, undertaken in the year 1838, under the patronage of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, for the purpose of determining the geological formation of those districts.-By THOMAS HUTTON, Lieut., 37th Regt. N. I. Assistant Surveyor to the Agra Division.
Towards the close of the year 1837, a proposal was made to the Asiatic Society of Bengal, to undertake, with their patronage and assistance, an expedition into the Spiti Valley, where the late Dr. Gerard, some years since discovered the fossil exuviæ of marine mollusca; but which interesting discovery was never followed up by a close examination of the geological formation in which they occurred.
The proposal meeting with the approbation of the Society, I proceeded with as little delay as possible to Simla, whence in a few days having completed my arrangements, and procured all necessaries for the journey, I started on the 14th of May, 1838.
So many travellers have at various times passed over the first four stages of my journey, and the appearance and productions of the country from Simla to Kotgurh have been so often described, that it would be tedious to repeat the information already published; and I shall therefore pass over the four first stages of my trip and commence my notes from the military post of Kotgurh, where I arrived on the 19th of May.
Here previous to starting for Kunawur, I received a visit from a vuzeer of the Bussaher Rajah, who, at the kind suggestion of Colonel Tapp, the Political Agent, furnished me with some information regarding my route, and also sent with me one of his Churriahs or Chupprassees, to accompany me as far as Spiti, in order to procure provisions for my followers, and to give any assistance which his knowledge of the people and their different dialects would enable him to furnish.
From Kotgurh, the road winds down a steep and somewhat sudden descent of about four thousand feet to the bank of the Sutledge, along which it continues, with an occasional moderate ascent and descent, to the village of Dutnuggur, which is generally the first stage towards Rampore.
To avoid as much as possible the heat of the march, which along the bed of the river is little inferior to that of the provinces, I took the
pugdundee, or village road across the brow of the hill, by the village of Logo, where iron is procured, which is also a nearer route than by the descent to Kaypoo. A walk of about three miles and a half brought me gradually down to the Sutledge, where the thermometer which at Kotgurh at sunrise stood at 54°, now rose at ten o'clock A.M. to 98°; this sudden change of climate from temperate to torrid was by no means an agreeable transition to a pedestrian traveller, with more than half his march still before him. Passing the village of Neert or Neertnuggur, a few miles farther on brought me to Dutnuggur, and the end of my day's journey, right glad to seek a rest and a shelter from the burning sun, beneath the grateful shade of a large burgut tree.
The presence of this beautiful tree is of itself sufficient to stamp the character of the climate of Dutnuggur, and looking around we find along with it the peepul, the bukkine, the pomegranate, and the plantain, with many shrubs abundant in the hot provinces of India. All these, with the exception of the burgut, are indigenous to the soil, but that noble tree was long since brought from the plains by some traveller now many years dead and gone, and the date even of its arrival is now alike forgotten with the name of him who brought it.
Beneath the shade of its spreading branches I pitched my tent, and amused myself until the arrival of my baggage, with watching the parrots and minas as they threw down in showers the red fruit with which the tree was loaded; even in this delightful shelter the thermometer stood at 92°, while in the sun it rose to 120° at 12 o'clock.
Those who have figured to themselves the valley of the Sutledge to consist of a large river winding beautifully through a broad and fertile vale, well cultivated and studded with habitations and villages, will feel a degree of disappointment and surprise, on finding it in reality to be no more than a steep and rugged mountain glen of unusual grandeur, with a broad and rapid torrent roaring and foaming as it rushes impetuously along the bottom over the fragments of rock, which everywhere strew its bed, causing its waters to curl and rise in waves, which hurl the white spray on high, and give to the surface of the stream the appearance of a ruffled sea.
Broad and fertile valley there is none, but in its place are frowning hills rising high on either side from the water's edge, clothed, and that scantily, with tufts of grass and shrubs, while near their ragged crests are scattered dark groves of bristling pines, giving to the scene an air of stern and bold magnificence, which cannot fail to impress the traveller with an idea that some vast and more than usual agent has been the means of stamping the landscape with unwonted grandeurs.