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and none at all in the pass itself. The wind blew with irresistible violence, and although the thermometer was four degrees above the freezing point, it chilled us so much, that the numbness of our hands continued almost until we reached camp, to which we descended by a good broad road cut into long zigzags, and crossed by some rivulets entirely frozen.
Soongnum is a town of considerable extent and beauty, it is situate on the point under which the Darboong and Bonkeeo unite, the former is a stream of some size, and comes from the N. W., the latter is small, and has its source near Hungrung Pass. The dell through which the Darboong flows is broad and level, and almost an entire sheet of cultivation for about three miles; it is a beautiful spot, and the extensive vineyards and number of apricot trees have a fine effect; it is shut in to the north and south by mountains not under 14,000 feet, to the N. W. is a steep and high pass to Ludak, and on the eastward lies the Sutlej, which the Darboong joins under the village of Sheasoo, four or five miles further down the glen.
Soongnum is inhabited chiefly by Lamas, and its extreme height is 9,340 feet. Trees which we had not seen since we left Numgeea. appeared in this vicinity thinly scattered upon the surrounding mountains, they consist of keloo or kelmung and ree, both varieties of the pine; the last kind which produces the neoza almond in shape, resembling the pistachio nut, and in taste not inferior, is peculiar to Koonawur, and does not grow to the westward of the Buspa or Wangpo rivers.
In the evening we were entertained with a Lama concert, which was far from disagreeable, the music was high and low alternately, one set singing the bass and another the treble.
25th October.—After crossing the Darboong by a good saago we marched to Lubrung, a distance of ten and a half miles; the road was good, winding very much, and crossing the Roonung Pass, 14,50S feet high, at the top of which the wind was as strong and cold as yesterday. We found a great deal of juniper on the way, and the berriei were large and well tasted, having little bitterness.
Labrung is a large village upon the right bank of a rivulet called Zong, a couple of miles from the Sutlej, and 9,296 feet above theaea; opposite to it, and a mile distant, is the populous town of Kanum, where
the Wuzeer Loktus resides during winter; there are two brothers, named Buleeram and Busuntram, but they are both generally called Loktus, which word properly speaking, should be applied to their house, a building of great extent.
'26th October.—Marched to Leepe six and a half miles, the road was bad, lying upon sharp rocks. The houses here, as well as at Labrung, are wholly composed of wood, they are small, and in shape exactly resemble cisterns. Leepe consists of an upper and lower division, both of which contain a good many inhabitants; it lies upon the left bank of the Tetee, a large stream, having its source amongst snow twelve or fifteen miles to the N. W. The vineyards are numerous, and the grapes large and of a delicious flavour.
27th October.—Marched to Akpa ten and three-quarter miles. The road was rocky, passing the village of Jangee, and for the last four miles led through forests of pine upon the right bank of the Sutlej, about a mile from the stream.
28/A October.—Proceeded to Pangee ten and three-quarter miles. The footpath was rugged in the extreme, lying a great part of the way upon fragments of granite and gneiss, which appeared to have but lately fallen, and exhibited a heap of gigantic ruins, amongst which we saw many a noble pine lying prostrate, whilst a few with their branches broken off and otherwise disfigured, just barely peeped above the stones. Large portions of rock fall yearly, and their effects are truly dreadful, they sweep every thing with them, and sometimes stop the channels of the largest rivers for weeks.
From Leepe to this place there is a direct road not exceeding fourteen miles, but we chose to go round by the Sutlej, in order to have a better view of the Kylas peaks.
29th October.—Marched to Rogee nine miles. The road was first a very steep descent of 1,000 feet to the Mulgoon, a large stream descending at a considerable angle, rushing over rocks with rapid force, and forming a series of cascades; we crossed it by a couple of sangos, the current being divided into two; the ascent from it was fatiguing for a mile, the road then for the next five miles was excellent, leading upon soil through woods of pine, the trees of which attain a large size, but not quite equal to those near Brooang, one of which measured thirty-three feet in circumference; the last one and half mile was of an extraordinary nature along the brink of a tremendous precipice, and often upon unsteady scaffolding that has been constructed with very great labour, this continues for several hundred yards together, and is formed of spars driven into the crevices of perpendicular faces of rock, with their other ends resting upon trees or posts and boards across. Now and then you meet with a rude stair of wood and Btone, which must have required much trouble to erect; the rocks project above the path, and the traveller is frequently obliged to stoop in order to avoid them, whilst at the same time he must pay equal attention to his footing.
Part of the road was destroyed last rainy season, and had not upwards of twenty people been early sent off to repair it, we should have been forced to go by the Sutlej, which is nearly a whole march round; by the time we arrived at the place that had given way, they had made several clumsy wooden ladders, which answered our purpose tolerably well. The mountains latterly on either side of the river are craggy, rent in every direction, almost destitute of soil, and thinly wooded, but in the vicinity of Kushbeer, which we passed half way, the ground slopes gradually to the Sutlej at some distance, and is thickly studded with hamlets and adorned with vineyards.
There are several orchards belonging to Rogee, which contain apples of an excellent kind, nearly as large as those brought from Kabool which they far excel in flavour.
30/A October.—Proceeded to Meero eight and half miles. The road was very uneven upon angular pieces of quartz, gneiss, and granite, often bordering upon a precipice about a mile from the Sutlej, here called Sumudrung. The rocks on our right hand were of the same cracked appearance as yesterday, frequently overhanging the path, and menacing destruction to the left; towards the river the declivity is more gentle, and generally clothed with pines, unless where they have been buried amongst rocks dislodged from above.
Meeroo is situate in the district of Rasgramee, and is 8,550 feet high. Besides the subdivisions of Koonawur already noticed, there are three more, Utharabeesht on the southern bank of the Sutlej to the westward of Brooang, Pundrabeesht opposite it on the north side of the river, and Wangpo, containing only seven small villages to the N. W. of Meeroo.
31st October.—Marched seven and three-quarter miles, and encamped near a cave close on the right bank of the Sutlej. The pathway was indifferent, ascending and descending alternately, and passing the village of Chegaon or Cholang, pleasantly situate near a stream five miles from Meeroo; half a mile on this side of it the road led through an arch formed of two stupendous rocks of granite, which meet at an angle.
1*-/ November.—Marched to Nachar eight miles. The way was rough for four miles to the Wangpo, a large mountain torrent that rushes down a steep declivity, forming a succession of waterfalls in its course, and dashes against the huge masses of rock in its bed with a noise like thunder, throwing up the spray to an amazing height; we crossed it by a good sango, and proceeded half a mile upon level ground to Wangtoo Jhoola, a rope bridge over the Sutlej; it consists of five or six cables close together, upon which is laid half a hollow fir tree, about two feet long, with pegs driven through it to prevent its coming off; from this hangs a loop of three or four ropes in which the passenger takes his seat, it is pulled across by two pieces of rotten twine, that from constantly breaking occasion this to be a tedious mode of transporting baggage. The conveyance is a pretty safe one, but greatly alarming to a novice, for the Jhoola is elevated twenty feet above the stream, which runs with great rapidity and a deafening noise. Near this are the remains of a wooden bridge, such as described in Captain Turner's Narrative, that was destroyed on the Goorkha invasion of Busahir. We found the breadth of the Sutlej at the bridge eightyeight feet, and the height of its bed 5,200 feet, in some parts it is scarcely fifty feet broad, and it was in attempting to swim over at a narrow place that one of my servants was drowned here last year.
After much delay, we got every thing across without an accident, and ascended for three and a half miles to Nachar, where there are a few grapes which seldom ripen; the degree of cold does not depend nearly so much upon the absolute height of the place, as its elevation above the bed of a river, for vines come to maturity upon the banks of large streams, 9,500 feet from the level of the sea, and Nachar does not exceed 7,000 feet in height.
2nd November.—Proceeded eight miles to Turanda in Utharabeesht, and three miles from the western limit of Koonawur. This day's march was beautiful, for the first three and a half miles uj)on soil and through shady groves of lofty pines, from twenty to twenty-seven feet in circumference, the road then was a rocky descent of one and a half mile to the Syldung, a rapid torrent dashing over large stones, and coming from the Himalaya mountains to the southward; we crossed it above the union of two streams by a couple of bad sangos, and then ascended from its bed by a rocky footpath, winding amongst extensive forests of oak, yew, pine, and horse chesnut to camp.
3rd November.—We were detained by a heavy fall of snow and hail, which lay around us in large quantities many hundred feet below the village; had this shower come on ten days ago, we should have been prevented from crossing the passes near Soongnum, which together with those above 13,000 feet, are blocked up for four months in winter.
4th November.—Marched to Soorahun thirteen miles. It took us almost the whole day to perform the journey, for the path which is at all times dangerous from often lying near a precipice upon smooth stones, by the late shower of snow, now frozen hard, had become so slippery, that we could get on very slowly.
We crossed four streams of some size, besides many smaller ones, they are all rapid, but of no great depth. The mountains near this are heavily wooded to their summits, the cultivation increases at every step, and the villages are most thickly scattered.
Soorahun is 7,248 feet above the sea, in Dusow, one of the large divisions of Busahir; it is the summer residence of the Rajah and most of his Wuzeers, who stay here six or seven months in the year to avoid the great heats at Rampoor; it contains several good houses, and a temple attended by Brahmins.
5th November.—Marched to Dhar nine and a half miles. The road was bad crossing the Munglad, a rapid torrent, by a rotten sango, consisting of two fir trees, about a foot apart, with small twigs and slates laid across, one of the spars is much lower than the other, and the bridge is both unsteady and unsafe; the descent to the stream was at such a great angle, that we frequently slid many feet at a time, the ascent was equally bad, lying upon pure mica, shining with a bright lustre, and extremely slippery.
6th November.—Marched to Rampoor, distant eight and a quarter miles. The road was sometimes rugged; but more commonly even; part of the way it was a complete swamp, lying through rice fields intersected by many rills.