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clear, and free of obstructions. Captain Anderson calls it 25 miles, but I think this is a misprint for 15. The river, when I reached the Hirn Phal, had risen about 18 feet above hot weather height.* I had often before been at the place, and was therefore enabled to estimate the height with tolerable accuracy. Like Captain Anderson, I experienced very little difficulty in descending this rapid, for it is nothing more, but it is the Boorkherry rapid, one mile below, that offers the chief obstruction. This Captain Anderson mistakes for the Hirn Phal, whereas the first place goes under that name. The Boorkherry rapid I succeeded in getting my boats down with some difficulty, by the southern channel, but a road, I am inclined to think, would be the best mode of overcoming this obstacle; as when the river is low the length of the rapid would increase the difficulty considerably. The immense height to which the river rises in the monsoon, sometimes 70 feet above hot weather height, would be a serious objection to a lock or locks; but on this point I am not competent to speak.
4th. About two miles lower down (or even less) is another place called the Gunnee Ghat, the features of which are precisely similar to the Boorkherry rapid. Here, however, the fall being inconsiderable, it would be necessary only to clear away the detached fragments of rocks in the bed of the channel, to render it perfectly passible. From hence to Beytala, 20 miles, a Bheelala village on the north bank, 4 miles below the Hutnee river, the river is clear and deep, and the voyage offered no difficulty.
5th. The hills on either side from Dhurmrai, above the Hirn Phal, to Beytala, rise to a good height, and are covered with jungle. Inhabitants are very scanty. Dhurmrai is inhabitated by a few Bheels, under Kaloo Sing Bheelala. On the north bank, 10 miles lower down, is the large Bheel hamlet of Dussana, the people of which were formerly notorious for their predatory habits, but they are now peaceable enough; 6 or 7 miles beyond this, about one mile inland, from the mouth of the Hutnee, is Kukrana, a Bheelala village, in the Rajpoor district; and two miles lower down, on the south bank, is Bhudul, a
* The boats were let down by ropes attached to the stern by a channel in the middle of the belt of rocks, the said channel being a rocky slope in which the water was some 2 feet deep. In the fair weather when the river is low, boats go by the backwater channel.
Bheel village, the residence formerly of the notorious freebooter Bamun Naik, now held by his son, a peaceable reformed character.
6th. To Kukrana, Captain Anderson penetrated, and it was the fear of Bamun Naik, then openly in arms, that caused his boatmen to refuse to advance.
7th. At Beytala is an obstruction very much resembling the Suheshur Dharrah. It is a belt of rocks stretching diagonally across the river. From the middle to the north bank, the rocks are perpendicular, except in one narrow channel near the bank, but towards the south bank, they are worn away, and I found little difficulty in letting my boats down, guiding them by ropes attached to the stern. There may however be more trouble in doing so in the dry season ;-when I passed, the river was fully 20 feet above hot weather mark.
8th. Below this again is a very bad rapid, about mile from Beytala. I tracked my boats down near the northern bank, but am inclined to think that there is deeper water in the middle of the river, merely obstructed by some large rocks, which just showed their heads above water, at the bottom of the rapid, and caused such a sheet of broken water, that I dared not trust my boats within it.
9th. From about 5 miles below this, the hills rise to a much greater height, the scenery is magnificent, and the river deep, very rapid, and free from material obstructions. Both banks are studded with Bheelala villages, but the jungle is very dense around their little patches of cultivation. The rocks, forming the banks, are high, in many parts almost perpendicular; the stream has a current of about 6 miles an hour. From Bhadul the southern bank is Akranee, a portion of Khandeish, and the northern from the Hutnee is Mutwar, a Bheelala Thakoorship.
10th. To Haump, 25 miles, the features of the river are the same, lofty hills, scarped rocky banks, deep channel, here and there rapids of no consequence, and a strong current. Haump belongs to the Raja of Oodeypore, a feudatory, I believe, of the Guicowar, and is merely a temple, there being no village; here the river narrows still more, and about 2 miles below commences a series of rapids, known as the "Balu Gori," of the difficulties of which I heard much. It continues about 4 miles; the river much confined rushes rapidly between high rocks; and with ordinary care in a large boat there is no danger.
But with the raft, the waves washing in filled the canoes, and swamped them, and we had to swim for it. Whereas the flat bottomed boat passed without trouble; nevertheless, it is a place that would always require care, yet, as it become known, I have little doubt it would be scarcely thought of.
11th. As far as Soolpan, 27 miles from Haump, the river is, as I have described it. About 6 miles below Soolpan are the Mookree falls, These being always mentioned as nearly, if not totally insurmountable, I examined carefully. The river at its ordinary rainy height, about 25 feet above hot weather mark, covers the rapids entirely, and we shot past them with little trouble. But when the river is low, there is a fall of 8 or 10 feet. Now all the people spoke of the existence of a backwater, by which, as at the Suheshur Dharrah, I can conceive no obstacle to boats passing either up or down. Moreover, from my own inquiries, and as mentioned by Lieut. Elwan, of the Hon. Company's Marine (vide his report) it seems that small boats do actually now ascend, and carry Kupra-kerana, and salt to Haump, whence they return with timber. Lieut. Elwan says that toonies drawing 3 feet water go up, but my informants only spoke of canoes, which draw when loaded 6 inches. However, all whom I conversed with agreed that nothing exists to prevent large boats from going up. With Mokree end the hills and therefore the difficulties, from thence to Telluckwara, about 20 miles, is plain sailing, and below that boats of large size come up constantly.
12th. On carefully considering the character of the river, I may, I think, venture an opinion that it would take very little to render it navigable, in the following manner; although I should like to see it as well in the fair season, when it is low, so as to leave no room for doubt, as during my voyage it was swollen.
13th. At the Suheshur Dharra, the Hirn Phal, and Mokree, perhaps also at the Beytala Ghat, a road along the bank might be formed, for which the nature of the bank offers great facilities. There would be objections to the plan chiefly on account of the trouble and delay of unloading and reloading above and below; but when the difference of expense between a road and locks is considered, I think the former will be considered preferable. Moreover, by it the boatmen on the river would only have to work in their respective districts. The Bur
waee, Mundlaisur, and Mhyshwur men would work between the Suheshur Dharra and the Dharree falls (above Oonkar, Maundata) the Ackburpore, Durrampore, and Chukuldah men would carry on to the Ilirn Phal. From thence another stage (or two) would bring to Mokree, below which the Tilluckwara boatmen come into play. At present there are no regular boatmen between Hirn Phal and Mokree (about 80 miles), the canoes that come up to Haump, being brought by fishermen and others incompetent to manage a larger boat.
14th. The Map, accompanying Mr. Shakespear's resumé of reports upon the river, is, generally speaking, very accurate. There are a few inaccuracies between Hirn Phal and Haump, but of no consequence. I regret that when my canoes were swamped at the Balagori rapids, my papers containing the bearings of the river in that part, were washed
15th. I may add that the difficulties to be surmounted seem to me to have been very much exaggerated. Such was also the opinion of my friend and brother-officer Captain Anderson, and I feel great pleasure in having followed where he had led the way. He was the first to descend the Hirn Phal; it was when the river was low, in March, and he felt confident, as do I, that the obstructions below the Hutnee river beyond which his boatmen's fears prevented his proceeding, were no more insurmountable, even at that season, than those above the Hirn Phal, for instance, which until his time was considered perfectly impassable for even empty boats.
16th. I have navigated the river above Mundlaisur for 60 miles, to the Darree falls, to which place it is perfectly passable, and boats constantly go up. At Darree, a road would also be required—above Darree, the falls of Mundhur are spoken of as bad, but the report is by a native, and I have no doubt it is by no means worse than those below. Indeed, the present Colonel Ousely, when formerly at Hoosungabad, states that from his inquiries he is convinced that Mundhur can be cleared. We should then have communication from Hoosungabad, near which the coal is found, to the sea. Coal, grain, linseed, and many other articles of the produce of central India, amongst which, not the least considerable, would be opium, would pass down; and from October, goods, cloth, spices, cocoanuts and Europe articles, supplies, could come up. The places where roads would be required would be trifling, and in the
rains, the time when coal could be sent down, even that would be diminished.
1st Stage-Hoosungabad to Dharree, about 100 miles.
2nd. Do. Dharree to Suheshur-Dharra, 70 miles.
Do. Suheshur-Dharra to Hirn Phal, 67 miles.
4th. Hirn Phal to Beytala Ghat, 20 miles. I am by no means certain that a road would be requisite at Beytalla.
5th. Do. Beytala Ghat to Mook ree, 60 miles.
6th. Do. Mookree to Baroach, about 80 miles.
17th. I arrived at Baroach on the 1st August, having accomplished the whole distance from Mundlaisur in 11 days, during which I was 102 hours actually under way. The distance between Dhurmrai, above Hirn Phal, and Mookree, about 80 miles, occupied 21 hours only, although spread over nearly 5 days.
18th. The various reports referred to in this memorandum, Colonel Ousely's, Captain Anderson's, and Lieutenant Elwan's, I have quoted from a resumé made by Mr. A. Shakespear, Assistant Secretary to Government, North Western Provinces, entitled "Notes on the Navigation of the Nerbudda," and which with the map accompanying, require to be referred to, to render this intelligible.