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sort of projection enlarging the diameter of the hill, and gradually increasing to the base. The upper formation is evidently of the same nature as the detached pieces of sandstone found at the surface, while the great body of the hill is composed of granite, (and also perhaps trap,) similar to that of the pyramidal hills formerly described. Some /«queers, or religious devotees, have taken up their abode on this hill, at the junction of the sandstone with the granite formation, and the face of their caves cut out of the solid rock, and chunamed over, with the elevated platform on which are placed the objects of their idolatrous worship, present altogether a very striking and conspicuous appearance from the plain below.
On passing the fukeer's hill, we came in sight of the eastern extremity of Adjeeghurh.* This fort like Callinger, crowns the summit of an isolated hill, and derives its principal strength from a table-face of sandstone rock. The sides of the elevation are covered with thick jungle, composed of beautiful low trees of every shade of green in their leaves, and of every size and shape, from the pinnated peaked leaflet of the tamarind to the broad expanded foliage of the teak, which, according to m v knowledge of Indian dendrology, is very abundant in all these hills.
As far as my limited observation enabled me to determine, granite forms the great body of Adjeeghurh, and" sandstone lies over it at the upper part, presenting all round a perpendicular face of rock to the height of between thirty and fifty feet, and constituting a natural barrier of defence, that of itself seems to render the place impregnable. The sandstone has a slight reddish tint, and is of the formation termed the old red sandstone Its position is perfectly horizontal, and its structure in general quite sound. The view from the ramparts of the fort displays well the peculiarity I remarked before, respecting the want of general elevation in the whole of this mountainous tract. Hills are seen in every direction covered with jungle, and rising abruptly out of an intervening flat country, the dull and cheerless aspect of which conveys to the mind the idea of an uninhabited waste, or the haunt of savage beasts only. It is precisely the expression Daniel has given in his delineation of a fort in the Mysore, where a sort of sombre stillness reigns, (if I may be allowed so to term it) that no language can pourtray. Adjeeghur and Callinger are no less • Sp. No. 9 and 10.
interesting to the antiquary and mythological enquirer, than to the geologist; and the lover of arts will find abundant subject of admiration in the beautiful remains of ancient Hindoo architecture which still exist within the walls of both these forts.
The country for a short distance from Adjeeghur is open, and the soil which hitherto had partaken of the qualities of the prevailing rock, again resembles that on the other side of Banda. It is of a dark colour and soft, what by agriculturists at home would be termed rotten soil, the "putre soliem" of the Poet.
"Nigra fere, et presso, pinguis, sub vomere terra"
"Et cui putre soliem
"Optima frumentis; non ullo exaequore cernes,"
A few miles further on, we came to the village or hamlet of Besseramgunge, beautifully situated at the foot of a wooded hill over which are the Ghaut passes to the upper district. This Ghaut leads from the low country of Bundelcund to the elevated table-land on a level with the hills last mentioned. The path is cut through, or carried over granite, trap, and sandstone. At first the ascent, though pretty steep, is not dimcult, as there are few large stones, and no rock rising from the surface. Soon, however, it becomes steeper and more obstructed; granite, trap, and sandstone masses presenting themselves in succession, and in many of the last, may be perceived quartz nodules included, like those found in the sandstone of Table Mountain at the Cape. The arrangement of the sandstone is in general horizontal, but at some points it appears to rise from the surface, in the form of ridges almost vertical. The trap rock exhibits no well defined arrangement at the several points where it is found in the Ghaut; and I could not penetrate into the jungle here to examine the strata more extensively. It may, however, be inferred, that it is in every respect similar to that rock at Callingtr, which I afterwards found lying chiefly in rounded masses of various sizes, occupying the middle of the elevation, and composing the greater part of it. These were in general mouldering at the surface, and many of the smaller boulders could be reduced to powder without the assistance of the hammer. The larger masses were more compact, and possessed great hardness. This rock belongs to the transition trap of Werner, to which class may also be referred that formerly met with at Kurtal, lying immediately over the granite of the peaked hills. The elevation may be altogether from 1,000 to 1,200 feet above the plain of the Jumna.
On reaching the top of the Ghaut, we cross one or two clear running streams, and some oozing rills and pools of stagnant water are met with, most of which indicate, by their blue slimy and iridescent surface, an impregation of iron in the adjoining soil. This is indeed composed of ferruginous gravel and reduced sandstone, and if we may judge from the luxuriant grass growing over it, it must be one of considerable fertility. The town of Punnah is distant about eight miles from the Ghaut, and the whole of the surrounding country here derives an additional interest from its being the source of the diamond. In my march thither, 1 passed several of the mines close to the road, but having resolved to halt a day at the town, I deferred my examination of them till the following morning.
Having started early next day, I soon reached the scene of operations, distant about three miles to the westward of the town, and in a situation corresponding to that on the other side. It was a thin jungle, with long delicate grass growing out of a reddish soil. The mines are mere narrow pits, four, five, or more feet deep, according to the distance of the subjacent rock from the surface, and dug out of a ferruginous gravelly soil, of a dark brown or blackish colour, like hepatic cinnabar.* It feels moist, and consists of fine sand, with a large proportion of small dark red and whitish, or yellowish-white pebbles, the former appearing to contain a large quantity of iron. When I arrived at the ground, two men were engaged in searching for the precious mineral, the chief of whom very readily replied to all my questions, and explained and exemplified the series of operations gone through. These are extremely simple. The soil.f as it is brought from the neighbouring pit, is thrown into a small square excavation in the ground, about two or three feet deep, the sides of which have been well beaten to prevent the gravel from adhering to them; a quantity of water being added, a man steps into the place with a small hoe and mixes the whole together, using his hands also for that purpose, and tossing away all the larger pebbles. This movement being continued for some time, the water is then thrown out by means of a small wicker • 8p. No. II. f Sp. No. 13.
basket, and carries with it the sand, leaving the gravel behind. After repeated application and discharges of water, the gravel is removed into another small basin of a circular figure, where it receives the last washing. From these it is conveyed to a large floor on the surface of the ground made of hardened earth, and there left to dry ; the finishing operation consisting merely in a minute examination of this dry gravel, by a person acquainted with the external characters of the jewel in its rough state. Judging from the condition of the people employed, one would hardly believe that they could be able to detect a stone, but they assured me, they did so with the greatest ease, and it appears to be the transparency and lustre, even in this state, which directs them. The chief man picked out several pieces of transparent quartz from the gravels which he said resemble the diamond, "he had found them of "all colours and sizes, but the discovering of these, he added, did not "depend upon his own skill or exertions, it was altogether the '* work of God,"—salaaming at the same time respectfully; and pointing with a most expressive manner to the heavens.
From the inquiries I made, diamond mining appears by no means a profitable concern at Punnah. Any one may dig, subject to paying the common duty of a fourth part of the produce to the Rajah, who is here, (as is the case every where else in Hindostan,) paramount lord of the soil. All stones, however, beyond a certain carat, are exclusively claimed by him; but it may be supposed, where the means of concealment are so much in the power of the workman, that the prince's treasury very seldom benefits by this source of revenue. In the farm or spot which I examined, two diamonds only had been found during the preceding year, and these fetched each 200 rupees. The number of workmen commonly employed, (in the various operations of digging, carrying, washing, and searching,) is from four to five, though I saw only two. Of these, the sirdar or chief, has a salary of five rupees per month, and the others have four, and when a valuable stone is found, some present proportioned to that, is generally made them by their master. So that after paying the duty and expence of working, it is obviouhis gains in this instance must have been very small and not sufficient to induce him to persevere much longer in these operations. Indeed, the business of mining appeared altogether at a stand when I passed the spot; and judging from the remains of pits in every direc
tion, it must have been carried much more extensively in former years than at present.
Red ferruginous gravel, the matrix of the diamond, may be considered as terminating the regular formations of the hills in this part of Bundelcund, the order from below being granite, trap, or basalt sandstone and gravel.
In taking a comprehensive view of these four formations as developed at the different sites mentioned, whether singly or in combination, we must at the same time consider the qualities of the soil in the intermediate and adjoining districts derived from them.
The prevailing soil in Bundelcund, and indeed all the way between the rivers Jumna and Nerbudda, is the black coarse earth already alluded to, consisting apparently of a larger proportion of clay and carbonized vegetable remains than is found in the lands to the north of the former stream. It retains moisture more perfectly than the common soil of Hindostan, hence its miriness in the rainy season, and its disposition to unite into masses, and form rifts and cracks during the dry and hot weather. Even in its driest state, however, it has not the stony compactness of pure clay soils, but when separated in small pieces from the mass, is found to be friable and easily reduced to powder. I think it probable, that this contains a proportion of magnesian earth, though never having subjected it to chemical analysis, I am not warranted in drawing this inference from any accurate data. It is reckoned exceedingly fertile, and the richness of the Bundelcund lands, where this soil predominates, is quite proverbial in India. From its quality of retaining moisture, the process of irrigation is not so frequently resorted to, and the labour of the husbandman becomes thereby lessened. Greater exertions, however, are necessary for preparing it for the seed, and in keeping it clear of weeds, than we see applied to the lands in Hindostan generally. A long grass, not unlike some of the troublesome varieties at home, was then springing up every where, at the time I passed through the district, and formed the only obstacle to the ploughing then going on in all directions.
One would imagine that the above characters of the soil would affect the atmosphere, and render the climate of Bundelcund moist and unhealthy. As far as my own observation extends, agues are very prevalent in the whole of the low country, and sometimes prove so