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Memoranda on the Geology of Bundelcund and Jubbulpore. By Dr. J.
Adam, B. M. S. The following paper has been found amongst some old records, and it has been thought that its contents well entitle it to be rescued from oblivion. I am happy also to add that the collection to which it refers is now safely placed beyond risk of loss in the Society's cabinets. Being No. IV. of our Geological Catalogues. 1T1
The observations I have now the honour to lay before the Society, were originally intended to accompany a series of geological specimens, for the purpose of illustrating their relative positions and localities, or (according to the technical phraseology of the day) their geognostic and geographic situations, without a knowledge of which, no collectioo can be of much value. At the time, however, of dispatching these, I was still prosecuting a long march in a remote part of the country, and could not then command leisure sufficient to enable me to throw together the detached memoranda I had committed to paper in the early part of the route. Other circumstances afterwards interfered to prevent my putting this intention into execution, and it is only lately that I have been reminded of it, by finding in the Museum below, the collection to which the notes refer.
While, with all deference, I solicit the attention of my fellow members to the subject of the following pages, I must at the same time crave their indulgence for the imperfections in the manner of treating it, necessarily arising out of the scantiness of my materials. In moving along, from day to day without intermission, I could only take a very hasty survey of the geological features of the districts through which I passed, and was often thereby precluded from obtaining all the information desired. I trust also, they will make allowance for the want of interest inherent in such details. The objects of geology present little to allure a general enquirer; and indeed taken singly, may be said to be the least attractive that can engage the attention of mankind. A bare rock, or a clod of earth offers in itself nothing interesting. But when viewed in combination with surrounding objects, when contemplated in its relation to these, its local site duly considered—and the influence which it may exert in the mass on the animal and vegetable world; it then assumes a higher degree of importance, and the study will be found not only a pleasing one, but a source of great public utility. Observation pointing out the path, the geologist ascends from facts to inferences, gradually but surely ; and though the way may be said to be long and wearisome, he obtains at length, in the great truths which it leads to, an ample recompense for all his toils. To trace the changes on the ever-varying surface of this globe; to compare the present with the past, and thus to study the history of its inhabitants in their several epochs of existence, from the shrub and insect up to man, the proud lord of all, constitutes the paramount aim of this research; while the discovery of new minerals, or their compounds, and new applications of them to the arts of life, stamp on his labours an additional value that they would not otherwise possess.
To qualifications leading to any such results, I have not the smallest pretensions, nor dare I aspire to the title of geologist from merely noting down a few simple facts and deducing the most obvious conclusions from them. Should the detail, however, prove the means of exciting those to prosecute the study of Indian geology, who possess 2reater ability and opportunities, I shall feel that my time has not been wholly misemployed. I need urge no stronger plea than this expectation for again bringing before the Society a collection apparently so little worthy their notice.
These specimens comprise all the rocks met with, between the Jumna and the Nurbudda, by the route of Banda, Lohargong, Bellary and Jubbulpore. They commence with the hills in Bundelcund, after crossing the Jumna at Chilly-terrah Ghaut. Between the hills and the river is situate a plain of considerable extent, the aspect of which differs so widely from that of the opposite country in the Dooab, as to merit particular notice. It may be observed, generally, that the soil of the plains of Hindostan intra Gangem, is alight coloured mould, consisting of a due proportion of argillaceous, siliceous, and calcareous earths, the last being most abundant above Monghyr. Its chief character is derived from the quantity of mica which it contains in minute grains and scales. This also prevails in the district I passed through from Allahabad to the Ghaut on the Jumna. About half a mile from this river we descend a bank, which at one time may have formed its boundary in the rainy season, and enter upon a low flat, where in place of a fair, shining, attenuated mould, the eye meets nothing but an uniformly dull coarse black earth, not unlike the half-digested soil of moss-lands at home. This dark soil is still more striking on the Bundelcund side, and continues almost the whole way to Besseramgunge. It seems to contain a larger proportion of argillaceous earth and vegetable recrement, than the lands on the left bank of the Jumna, and that generally observed in the Upper Provinces of India.
The Jumna, where the passage is made, is a smooth gently flowing stream. The banks shew no rock, but are high and perpendicular, and when viewed from the opposite shore along with the Kane, (which here joins its waters to the Jumna,) they look rather interesting, and are devoid of the dullness which characterizes the banks of the united rivers below Allahabad.
On approaching the town of Banda, distant two marches or about twenty miles from the river, several small hills are seen in the West, like erections for flagstaffs posted at regular intervals. They are of a conical, or rather pyramidal figure, and appear to run in one line from N. W. to S. E. One of these rises from the plain close to Bands. It is about three or four hundred feet high, and divided at the upper part into two or more smaller elevations, of which the central alone terminates with a pointed summit. The appearance of this hill from below » singular and fantastic; huge masses of stone presenting themselves in every position, and seeming quite unconnected the one with the other, while the few shrubs growing out from between them, serve as a contrast to the nakedness of the rock. On ascending the hill, we find this to be a reddish small-grained granite, having no regular arrangement, but lying in blocks of great size, some perpendicular, and others horizontal, with a convex or rounded surface in general. Many of these are scaling off; but the greater part remain perfectly entire, and possess more compactness of integrant structure than any rocks of tbe kind I have met with.
This hill at Banda may be considered to be the termination of the first of many series which traverse Bundelcund from W. to E., as Do more are observed here. Following that line, soon after leaving Bandit to the South, other hills come into view, and at first sight appear larger than the one at that place. This is chiefly owing to the effect of distance, increased by the dewy air of the morning; for on a near approach, we find these not to exceed the congeries at Banda, or the highest does so only on a small degree. Though evidently entering upon a mountainous country here, we are surprized to observe no general elevation of the surface; the same flatness of the plains continuing as on the opposite side of the Jumna, and the hills rising abruptly from a common level, like so many islands rearing themselves out of the ocean. They are, in fact, mere pictures on dry land of the rocky Madeira, Porto Santo or the Canaries, as seen in the voyage from England to India. At the village of Gerawah, twelve miles from Banda, we reached the second series. The general figure of these hills like the former mentioned is pyramidal, and they may be said in this respect, to resemble a fragment of the granite which composes them. They stretch from the village of Gerawah* in two or three directions, the line of some crossing that of others, and notwithstanding their irregularity as a range, they appear to follow individually particular series, and we can trace a succession of isolated rocky elevations, forming a sort of chain across the country. The largest of these situate to the right of the village, has at its summit a rock of a white colour like chalk, which I regretted the distance prevented me from examining. The others are composed entirely of granite similar to the rock at Banda, and present in general, the same deficiency of arrangement. There is, however, one apparent exception at the highest part of the hill immediately overlooking the village; there the piles have assumed the appearance of basaltic columns standing perpendicularly with four sides, and at a small distance, seem to be a superincumbent stratum of a different formation from the others underneath. On approaching as near as I could, I found the rock essentially the same however, but was at a loss to account for this peculiarity in its outward form. As I moved along the projecting blocks and ledges of this hill, I was particularly struck with the extreme heat which they retained. Although the sun had gone down some time on the opposite side, this was still so great as to be barely tolerable to the hand, and the atmosphere over them was proportionately elevated in its temperature.*
The country around here displays a thousand charms, compared with the district near the Jumna. The roads are dry, and the rocky elevation in front having a covering of beautiful shrubs entwined with every variety of climbing plant, which give quite a new feeling to the mind on • Sp, No. 1 to 3.
viewing the prospect. New animals too, inhabitants of these, present themselves. The peacock arrayed in all Iris' gorgeous hues, and shining in his native plumage, is not unfrequently seen perched on a block of granite, while herds of antelopes bound along the plain below, and the shrill cry of the Indian partridge heard on every hand, first cheers the traveller with the opening day.
At Pungrawah,* the second stage from Banda, we fmdthe rocks on every respect similar to those described. In the march from Pungrawah to Kurtal, the next village on the route, a range of hills is seen in front, and on the left hand, much higher than any previously met with, and which, in place of the peakeds ummit, are crowned with a flat table-land. On one of the most conspicuous of those to the left stands the celebrated fort of Callinger. On reaching Kurtal, we still find peaked hills composed of granite, having the same characters as that at Bandah, Gerawah, and Pungrawah: and besides this, masses of a bluish coloured trap and large boulders scaling off in concentric layers. This trap rock appears to have been at one time extensive; and I could trace a superficial stratum over the granite for some way up the hill. What remains of it rests on that rock, without any distinct arrangement. The whole seems much affected by the operation of the elements, and it is probable, that from this cause a large formation has been removed and reduced to soil. Many of the granite blocks here are also fast going into decay, and the soil of the district adjoining is entirely formed from them. Its colour is sandy red, that of the felspar, and in this red sand, as a basis, are contained a great many small quartz crystals, which still remain entire, and unaltered in their structure. Chalcedonic pebbles are also found at the bottom of the hills at Kurtal, which appear to have been imbedded in a rock that had likewise rested at a former period over the granite. They possess the same characters as the pebbles found in the river Kane, that are so much admired on account of their beautiful variegated appearance and lustre when cut.
After leaving Kurtal, the road strikes into a wood of low trees, flanked on both sides by hills with flat summits; and for the first time we observe pieces of sandstone strewing the path, mixed with broken blocks of granite, and the more complete detritus forming the soil. On one hill, which is nearer than the others, we can distinctly see a horizontal position of the superior strata; and under the table face, a • Sp. No. 1 to 8.