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At Atuk, the Indus is considered as entering the plains of Hindoostan, but it is a mistake to consider the navigation as extending to this point from the sea. The river is a torrent for a hundred miles farther to Kalabagh, where it passes through a low range, full of salt mines, that runs across from Koliat to Pinddadur Khan on the Jhilum, and in crossing the Punjab, the route from this latter place to Attock is through a hilly country. From the Indus to Kabool, the ground rises to upwards of 7,000 feet above the sea. The Hindoo Koosh is to the north, and another snowy range, called the Sofed-Koh, to the south of the valley, and the spurs from both meeting at the river, leave successive passes, and beds or basins, of which former the Khyber, from i's breadth rather tlian height, is the most famous. The Julalabad basin is on the other side of the Khyber pass; between it and the fertile valley of Kabool, there are eight other passes, and the road leads away from the bank of the river to the south, because the passage is easier «litre the spurs join the higher range.
The Soofed Koh, or southern ridge of the Kabool valley, is a spur of the Hindoo Koosh, which, shooting out at a point west of Kabool, divides the sources of that river from the stream that waters Ghuzni, and thence sending one branch southward, (which extends even to the sea,) runs due east to the Indus, and terminates in the Kohat country.
This ridge is crossed about nine miles north of Ghuzni, at an elevation not much exceeding 9,000 feet from the sea, and consequently only 1,000 to 1,200 feet above the level of Kabool and Ghuzni; but it is much more elevated in the eastern branch, south of the Kabool valley, where it is called the Soofed Koh, white or snowy mountain, because so seen throughout tiie year. Close along the southern root of the Sofed Rob, is a road called the Bunghish route, communicating with both Kabool and Ghuzni. It has not yet been explored by any British officer, but was proposed to the troops at Kabool as to be followed on their retirement, in order to prevent their junction with General Sale at Julalabad, who had not submitted. The route was rejected as impassable at the season, (January,) because of the necessity it imposed of crossing the Sofed-Koh.
This route has a communication with Kohat, and with Banoo and Kala Bagh, at which latter place, or a few miles below, the river
it follows joins the Indus.
Next below the Bunghish route, is that of the Gomul river from Dera Ismail Khan. This route comes in to the Ghuzni valley from the south-east, and through Zoormut, east of Ghuzni, has a communication also with Kabool.
The Gomul route was followed by the late Lieut. Broadfoot of Engineers, and we have a survey and report upon it
Dera Deen Punah, below Leyra, is the next point of the Indus, from which there is a known route into Afghanistan. It is on the straight line from Feroozpoor to Kandahar, and the pass is south of the Tukht-i-Suleeman, the highest pinnacle of the Sulimaui range. It has yet been traversed by no British officer, but a route is marked in most maps as laid down from native information.*
Next below Dera Deen Punah, is Dera Ghazee Khan, the routes from which place westward are equally unknown. This tract of country is under the government of Sawun Mul, the Sikh soobah of Mooltan, whose disposition has not been considered sufficiently friendly, to warrant either the use of its passes, or any attempts to improve our intelligence respecting them. Below Dera Ghazee Khan, the Sulimaui mountains take a sharp turn westward, away from the Indus, and there is an indent of triangular shape, at the apex of which is the Bolan Pass to Quetta. The low ground is fertile and well watered under the hills, but is separated from the Indus by a sandy Desert of about ten or twelve miles breadth, in which the rivers of Dadur, Lehri, and Gundavalose themselves in the dry season before they reach the great stream. This tract is the valley of Kuchchee.
The notices to be obtained from history of the use made of these passes respectively in the different expeditions into India, are extremely scanty; the historians generally giving only the date of departure from the different capitals, and the places attacked in succession, with a detail of personal adventures and exploits in the actual fights.
Passing over the progress of Moosulman conquest through Khoras&n and Transoxania to Ghuzni and kabool, we find Subuktugeen established at those two places, and contending with the Hindoo Raja of Lahore, (Jypal,) for the possession of Lughman. The Hindoo Raja
• It has been stated, that Lieut. H. Marsh of the Cavalry, came from Kandahar to the Indus by this route, but I have never seen any notice of the line of road followed by this officer.
was the assailant, and suffering from rain, retired from Lughman upon a composition, the surrender of fifty elephants being one of the terms. The Raja, however, was not yet disposed to yield, and returned with a large army of Hindoo allies, stated to have exceeded 100,000 men. Subuktugeen defeated Jypal again in the Lughman or Julalabad valley towards the end of the tenth century of our aera, whereupon the tribes of that valley, and of the Khyber, submitted to the conqueror, and the Lahore authority ended at Peshawur.
Mahmood, the son of Subuktugeen, made twelve expeditions into India; the first ten of which were entirely directed against the Hindoos of the Punjab and Mooltan, and the tenth ended in the final establishment of Moosulman sovereignty at Lahore. Kanouj on the Ganges, and Muthra on the Jumna, were the limits of Mahmood's marches in these expeditions. His twelfth and last expedition took a different direction.
Starting from Ghuzni on the 12th October 1025, A. D., Mahmood reached Mooltan in a month and five days, and there having got together 20,000 camels, he marched across the Desert to Ajraeer, whence he turned south, and taking a place called in Ferishta, Niburwala,* and in the RoziU-oossufa Bhuwara, he reached Somnat on the sea-side close to Patun in Goozrat, in January 1026 A. D. The city and temple were sacked, and Mahmood remaiued upwards of a year in Goozrat, when his army being weakened by disease and desertions, he found a return by the route he had come impossible. He accordingly marched west to Sindh, and being overtaken by the hot season, suffered exceedingly before he reached Mooltau. In this expedition, and in another immediately following, to punish some Jats of the Mooltan district, he seems to have used the straight road from Ghuzni to Mooltan ; viz. that by the Gomul, for he could not otherwise have reached the latter place in a month and five days. None of the historians, however, say by what route he did march on either occasion, the omission of any mention of Kabool, Peshawur, &c. or of other intermediate places, combined with the shortness of the time allowed for the journey; being the proof relied upon for the fact, that he came direct by the Gomul route.
Mr. Elphinstone calls this place Anhalwara
The subsequent expeditions into India from Ghuzni, being in support of the dominion thus established at Lahore, and extended afterwards to Dehli, and even into the Dukhun, were not hostile in their traverse of the passes of Afghanistan.
The overwhelming irruption of Chungeez Khan, is therefore the next event in history to be noticed in connexion with these passes.
Chungeez Khan is said to have brought from Mongolia as many as 700,000 fighting men, and his army must have been immense, for detachments from it made expeditions, exceeding in daring and skill, every thing we read of since the march of Alexander to India. He entered by Toorkistan, where his son Joojee Khan, with an advance guard, fought with such determination the whole army of Mohummed Shah of Kharizm, as to induce that prince to yield the open plain, and betake himself to the defence of his cities and fortresses. The principal seats of this king's dominion were in Mawur-ool-Nuhur, that is, in the country between the Oxus and Jaxartes, (the Amoo and Sir rivers,) but the whole country from Ghuzni and Kabool, to the mouths of the Wolga, owed him fealty and allegiance, direct or tributary.
Chungeez Khan advanced himself to Bokhara, sending two detachments under bis sons to take Otrar, the'principal city on the Jaxartes on his right, and Khojund and other places in Furghana on his left. He was rejoined by them at Bokhara, after they had reduced all the places ou that river, so as to secure that base for future operations. In A. D. 1219, Chungeez reduced and utterly destroyed Bokhara, Samarkund, and Bulkh, and while he proceeded against the last named place, passing by and destroying Turmuz, he detached two of his sons against the capital of Kharizm, then called Orgunj, which they reduced after a long siege of seven months. He had thus the whole line of the Oxus at command. His generals had some years before overrun the whole of Kashghur and Yarkund, and had followed up and slain the chief of the hostile tribes of that region at Sir Kool, the source of the Oxus, so that his flanks were quite secure.
From Samarkund, Chungeez had detached a strong army, stated at 80,000 horse, to follow Mohummed Shah into Persia. This detachment admitted Merv, then a place of great consideration, to a composition, and advanced to Herat. The governor, Khan Malik, submitted, and two of Chungeez Khan's generals, Zena or Jmia
noyan and Suveda Buhadur, received the submission, and turned towards Nyshapoor and Persia. The third who followed the other two was not satisfied, and insisting on the possession of the citadel, stormed the town, but failed in the assault and was killed. From Bulkh, Chnngeez hearing of this disaster, despatched Toolee Khan with a large force, who reduced and established governors in both Merv and Herat, and rejoined his father during his siege of Talikan. Julalood-deen, son of Mohummed Shah, had by this time retired to Ghuzni, and, uniting in his cause all the Afghan tribes, promised to make head against the Tartars in the difficult field of Afghanistan. Chungeez marched against him from Bulkh by the road of Talikan, which place cost him a siege of seven months. Seeing the importance of cutting off the Afghans from Persia, where Mohummed Shah also threatened again to make head, Chungeez sent a second detachment of 30,000 horse from Talikan to Herat under three new generals. These advanced from Herat to a place called Sagil, by Abool Ghazee Khan, and supposed to be Kandahar, but I rather incline to think it may be Sakhir, the capital of the Ghor country, then a city of great consideration, or if not Sakhir,* some place on the Helmund, for a river is specifically mentioned. Julal-ood-deen advanced with all the troops of Afghanistan, and giving battle to Chungeez Khan's generals while engaged in this siege, defeated them with great loss and relieved the place. The Afghan chiefs, however, quarrelled about the booty, and one gave the other a box on the ear.f which led to two principal chiefs deserting from Julal-ood-deen's army, one of whom retired to Kurman in Persia, while the other, Khan Malik, went back to Herat. In the mean time, Chungeez Khan had taken Talikan, and advanced to Inderab, which detained him another month, and it was here that he heard of Julal-ood-deen's victory. He immediately advanced by Bameean to Kabool, but lost a favorite grandson, (son of Oghtaee Khan,) at the siege of the former place. Coming suddenly upon Ghuzni, it was yielded to him, and he learned that Julal-ood-deen had made for the Indus river only fifteen days before
* The Rozut-oos-sufa calls the place Valiban, and says it was on the river Baran. This book is a compilation of high authority made by Ameer Alee Khan, between the yean 1444 and 1496 A. D.
f The Rozut-oos-sufa says, a blow of a whip.