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I took down his deposition in writing and determined to report their conduct, which I did subsequently; a further complaint was made of the oppressive conduct of one of the postmaster's jemadars, who had been extorting money, right and left, under false pretences of having been ordered to take the road first through one place then another; this individual had however lately been severely punished and discharged by Mr. B. who had heard of some of his pranks.
Being informed that the road in advance was very difficult and rugged, I thought it prudent not to push on in the evening as I had at first intended, so I passed the night at Goorsunk.
May 29th. Started this morning at half-past three and reached Tungoora at the top of the ghat at 10 A. M. after a most fatiguing march up and down hill for twelve and a half miles (by my perambulator) but by a previous measurement made by one of Mr. B's people it was much less,† the whole ascent being only 1,800 feet in all. This must however be an error, as the least, actual height of Tungoora above Goorsunk must be from 1,800 to 2,000 feet; the difference of atmosphere and of the range of the thermometer clearly indicates it; the latter was ten degrees below the range at Barsing and Goorsunk, and it must I should think be at least fifteen degrees below the usual range in the country below. The Malagir mountain (which is seen in all its grandeur from hence) appears to be considerably higher, therefore the thermometer at the hottest season ranges perhaps at six or eight degrees less still, which would make it a desirable spot for a sanatarium.
The road from Goorsunk as far as the village of Mandarah-six miles and a quarter-has a direction slightly northerly; there are many small watercourses and much uneven ground, also two large nullas over which rope bridges would be requisite, but it appeared to me that a much more favorable line could be laid down and innumerable windings avoided, also many watercourses. From Mandarah the bearing of the valley from which the ghats (viz. Tungoora and Muttíghattí) branch off is 60° south; I proceeded up the elevated ground in the centre of this valley, till a little beyond the village of Rungaree, at five miles and six furlongs I crossed a deep nulla and turning due north entered a narrow branch valley with a watercourse down its centre, at this spot the path to the Muttíghattí
* Major W-. I believe attempted to inquire into this matter, but was unable to gather the witnesses; these people would sacrifice any thing rather than leave their homes and venture before our cutcheries, however kind the European officer.
† I subsequently found that I had been led by another path the worst of all.
continued in a south-east direction. At seven miles and one furlong I reached the first perceptible ascent, and at nine miles and one furlong reached the top of the first ghat which was tolerably steep, much more so than necessary, as were the path to have an even ascent it would be less fatiguing, but at its best it would be difficult for wheeled carriages; the path runs along the edges of the watercourse, crossing occasionally from side to side, beyond this there is much gentle ascent over good ground; the second, third, and fourth ascents are very steep, but of no great duration, there are also several descents. If this ghat be adopted, the path must be judiciously managed so as to wind down by the edges of the watercourses; the greatest obstacle is the rocky nature of four out of five of the ascents, and of threefourths of the whole distance; the stones could be thrown aside, but such as could not be removed could also scarcely be blasted, as the rock is of the hardest quartz and granite; they might perhaps be broken with sledge hammers and wedges.
Nature offers a capital hint for protecting the inclined surfaces of roads in the hilly tracts from being washed away and cut into furrows, and in many instances completely destroyed,—it is the effect produced by those trees which have fallen athwart the paths, likewise parallel to them; at these spots there are regular steps formed (as it were) and the intermediate spaces are quite level; whenever I have passed over undulating lands (which are as ten to one) I have observed that paths are less cut up and much better when there are fallen trees.
The hills have a superstratum of stiff red marl, and many are cultivated to the very peaks ;* it has a lively appearance and bespeaks industry, for great labour must be bestowed in clearing these lands.
Tungoora is a large village surrounded with plantain gardens, it is in the Lehra zemindaree, and is supplied with good water from two strong springs flowing down both to the north and south sides of the hill, several hundred feet below. The view from hence is very grand but confined, owing to the trees.
The jungle on this morning's march was the same as usual, rather scanty but the trees very lofty, there are many wild mangoes along the ghat, the fruit is small and extremely acid.
The direction from the entrance of the ghat thus far, has been considerably north of east. Mr. B's road has never been surveyed, therefore the real direction is not known; I should not be surprised at
From the specimens I have seen of the soils in which the tea plant grows, I should think these tracts would prove favorable to its cultivation, I have already described the climate.-M. K.
finding it the proper one from Byega to Terentee, I shall be the better pleased as there will then be no necessity for going near Keunjurgurh (which is far too much south,) and thereby all cause of discontent will be removed.
In the evening I ascended the highest spot of ground near the village, from whence I had a noble view of the country to the east, south, and west. The beautiful mountain described in yesterday's journal is seen in all its grandeur, bearing south-east; I took a rough sketch of it and the country below it. [See the plate.]
May 30th. Marched this morning at twenty minutes past 1 a. M. and reached our ground at 7 o'clock, distance nine miles per perambulator. I halted three times on the road, in all about an hour and a half, to allow the palkee to come up; I was led by a very rough path but not so much as yesterday, for the descent upon the whole is more gradual, with less jungle, and with care and ingenuity could be improved. I passed through three villages on the road; the first (which is deserted) at four miles and forty yards is called Keeragurh, the second at six miles and one furlong, Sura,-this one is a good size, and the boundary of Keunjur and Lehra, it is at the bottom of the ghat at the head of a long valley. At eight miles one furlong and one hundred and eighty yards I came to a large village in Keunjur called Turmagurh, three-quarters of a mile beyond which, or nine miles from Tungoora, is the small village of Ballera, both are in the centre of an extensive valley (bearing east and west) which is almost entirely cleared of jungle, likewise several of the hills. During this morning's march I searched in vain in the beds of all the nullas to find any traces of limestone rocks, the pebbles and boulders consisted generally of quartz, sienite, hornblende, felspar, greenstone, but no ores of any kind.
I saw but few birds, but observed a great variety of moths and butterflies of beautiful colors, and while resting under a tree I remarked a peculiar kind of stick worm, which formed a coat of fine straws and small pieces of bamboo leaves, the worm is about an inch and a half long; my attention was attracted to it by seeing a dry leaf travelling along, there were many of them; I was too fatigued to occupy myself with collecting either any of these or of the moths and butterflies. There seems to be always something new to learn, and to amuse the traveller; while resting, some of my people wanted to light their pipes, but there was no fire, one of the coolies volunteered to produce some, which he did by the following means:-the man searched for a piece of dry bamboo which he split in half, and with a piece of iron made a small hole in the centre of one of the joints on the inside, he then cut a small switch of a peculiar kind of pithy