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titular kinds of worship. It is a pity, and will -always be one, that India never had exact historians, to chronicle the various circumstances, manners, and customs of her several races; any information thatmay be obtainable, such, for example, as may concern these temples, is invariably from some vague, unsatisfactory, and fabulous source— tradition.
Muk-ta-gi-rr is pronounced as if written Mook-to-gu-ree.
HAPPY DAYS IN CASHMERE. .
The Punjab is a magnificent territory: it possesses bold mountain ranges, fine well watered plains, and broad rivers ; it can boast of wealthy cities, many of them handsome, and worthy of a traveller's attention ; it is peopled by hardy and industrious subjects, handsome, bold, and open-hearted ; its chiefs are, many of them, models of manly beauty—fiery, admirable soldiers. There are two things which the Punjab Government much wants—Scinde, and a little modesty. With the addition of Scinde to the limits of the Punjab, what a magnificent governorship it would form ; how the heart of Sir Charles Napier would again beat with animated pulsation, could he see Kurrachee what he predicted she would one day be—a great port! With modesty, the Punjab Government would rise on eagle's wings; if she would only consent, like the Negress girl, to wear her Sunday dress on alternate days with her sister at Agra, the world would not think the worse of her. Since the Sikh Government fell, and the flag of England took its stand on the citadel of Lahore, the country has improved wonderfully, and the general system of administration is very creditable to the abilities of those who have raised it. The people of the country are fully impressed with the advantages of a good Government, and we reaped the fruits of justice in 1857, when the Punjab so nobly responded to the call to arms. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to the Punjab: may
her chiefs increase in wealth, and souud principles—the attendants of a liberal and enlightened education.
Bismillah was anxious to see all the sights of Lahore—the place where Runjeet Singh lived, and was burnt, with his wives and slave girls; the place where Maharajah Nao Nehal Singh was killed, immediately after he had attended the funeral of his father Maharajah Kurruk Singh ; the fatal garden where Maharajah Shere Sing was so treacherously murdered ; the spot where the Prime Minister Dhyan Singh fell mortally wounded ; the room in which old Zamman Shah was almost starved to death by the cunning old Runjeet Singh, before he would part with the Koh-iNoor—now a bright jewel of the Crown of England!
Bismillah saw -everything there was to be seen at Lahore, through the admirable arrangements of Indad Ali. He pointed out the old residency, formerly occupied by Sir Henry Lawrence; the house built by Sir John Lawrence ; the one in which Sir Robert Montgomery used to live ; the new cantonments of Mean Meer were inspected, dirty, unfinished, and (fesolate. All admired the line church—a conspicuous object. It only now remained for Bismillah to see the Lieutenant Governor ; and he was pointed out by Indad Ali, as he took his eveaing ride, attended by a single aide-de-camp.
Bismillah was pleased with the appearance of the ruler of the Punjab, and remarked,—" How simply these English hakims move about!"
But what most pleased Bismillah was a general parade for the Pattiala Rajah. As General Wyndham, the hero of the Redan, dashed up on a superb charger, richly caparisoned, attended by a brilliant staff, a salute was fired in his honour, and the troops presented arms, the bands striking up " God save the Queen." Then it was that Bismillah saw England's power, as regiment after regiment passed by with a firm step and* gallant bearing. She turned to Indad Ali, and said,—" Happy the Queen who can command the services of men us' these! I now feel that the race of Timour can never again rise as long *J Hindoostan is held by such Roostums —and then, woman-like, she wept.
But relief was at hand: Mr. Green Poppy came thundering over the parade, holding on by the pommel of his saddle; the horse on which he rode stopped short, and Poppy laid a suppliant at Bismillah's feet! She drew her veil over her face, and laughed!
As soon as she recovered, she said— "Foolish the nation which sends a man to India who cannot ride a donkey; still more foolish the Government of India, which, having discovered his weakness, makes him a Secretary!"
Poppy returned home, broken-kneed, and sadly out of condition.
• * * » #
The trip to Bhimber, a frontier post of the Jumoo territory, occupies three days by palkee dak ; the metal road stops short at Lahore. On the 21st of May, our Delhi travellers arrived there. What a change, from the dusty plains to the pure, fragrant, balmy air of Bhimber, upon which the cool breeze blows noiselessly, direct from the everlasting, the immortal, the towering peaks of the snow-capped Peer Pinjal Mountains!
"The want of occupation is no* rest;
- A mind quite vacant is a mind distrest."
Bismillah slumbered on quietly, sweetly, refreshingly—a peculiar blessing, only vouchsafed to youth; for as years roll on, the cares of the world trespass on the golden hours of sleep—our dreams are disturbed with the vulgar cares of life. But, in youth, we wander in our dreams amongst the emerald and velvet like fields of Fairy Land. Bismillah occupied a small hill-tent ; it had been pitched for her in a few minutes by Indad Ali, under a fine shady, lofty chenar tree, the plane tree of the Bosphorus ; a dhari, or carpet of blue and white, spread over the soft turf, was a manufacture of Agra. A charpoy or bed was occupied by Bismillah, its legs adorned with paintings on a green ground : there were elephants with magnificent trappings—horses with tails which, if measured by a practical surveyor, would be as ten miles compared with one mile of body—birds with plumages so brilliant, so gay, and so curiously formed, that it would take the ornithologist years to class them properly— dancing man and dancing women—and
flowers of all colours, formed into the most impracticable garlands. The feet of the charpoy were also ornamented with tassels of red silk, enlivened with gold tissue. There were sheets and pillows to the bed, and a railing at its head to prevent their falling off. The coverlet was of fine red and crimson Lahore silk, trimmed with a fringe of green and a broad border of yellow.
Zeenut Begum was also provided with a bed, in a separate tent. The nurse Kareeman slept at the door of Bismillah's tent. All these precautions had been taken at the advice of a friend, who said—" Beware of the fleas on the road to Cashmere, which infest all the houses used for the accommodation of travellers."
Now as to Bismillah's education : she had received none, or nearly so. She had, as to reading, been taught to read the koran : it was a pretty sight to watch her hour after hour trying to master chapter after chapter of this sacred book .; she swung her body backwards and forwards, as the book or koran sharif lay on the ground before her. But, alas! she hardly understood the meaning of a single passage ; she committed the words to memory, but they conveyed no new ideas to her mind. The Mahomedau Native lady of Hiudoostan has hardly any, if any, opportunity of improving her mind from external objects: born in a zenana, in the midst of a crowded city, brought up there from year to year, restricted to the society of a few select friends—youth is gradually swallowed up by old age ;years have been passed in sleeping, eating, drinking, and dressing ; and thus, generation after generation passes away, without any moral improvement. There «an be no study of nature in a bricked-up courtyard. The sun shines, the wind blows ; it is cold or hot ;the shadows on the courtyard change as season after season passes away ; the sands of life run out apace,—and then comes the grave. Englishwomen, even if they do not read much, and especially Londoners, have many external objects to amuse them: a walk, a drive, a ball, a dinner ;a visit to a museum, to the opera, the theatre ;to a concert, a missionary meeting, church, or the sea-side, and so on. A Mahomedan lady generally talks well ; she can mould her language to all those polite forms of expression which are in such repute in the East; her words are well chosen, and their intonation musical and attractive. Family pedigrees are always at her finger ends, and her memory is invariably well stocked with past and present gossip; her knowledge of history is derived from oral communication ; she also has wonderful legends to recount, and sundry stories of ghosts and evil spirits.
That Native ladies are capable of taking'a part in politics, is proved by a perusal of Indian history ; and in our own days, we can mention the Queen of Jhansi, who died fighting gallantly when her soldiers fled ;—we could admire her as a heroine, did we not think her memory as a woman stained with the blood of our countrymen and women. The old Baeza Baee of Gwalior is an instance of what a woman can effect in the councils of a state.
To an uneducated mind, travel will develop it ; and especially in Hindoostan, a trip to the hills. Who can gaze on the Himalayas, on a dark stormy winter's day, and see that dark blue mass on the horizon, with its peaks, capped with snow, towering to the heavens, or view it in the bright tints of an evening's sun, of a beautiful rose colour, without encouraging his thoughts to wander and linger on the happy land beyond? Who has not felt the ecstatic feeling of youth, as he first inhales fresh mountain air in the Himalayas?
A vast amount of information may be collected by a careful observer in the hills. Bismillah felt such to be the case. She opened her eyes at the sound of a song which ran thus :—
"Be it ours to embellish thy pillow, With everything beauteous that grows in the deep; [the billow,
Each flower of the rock and each gem of Shall sweeten thy bed and illumine thy sleep."
The gardener's wife at Bhimber placed a nosegay in her hands, made up of flowers which she had never seen before : how sweet, how fragrant!
"But what are their names V cried the impatient Bismillah.
The gardener's wife carefully untied the string round the nosegay, and, classing the flowers, recounted their names and peculiar qualities:
"This is the Forget-me-not, given by young Feringhee ladies, I am told, to their lovers," said the gardener's wife.
Bismillah bit her lip, and said— "Talk not to me of our rulers ; tell me about the flowers of a Timour!"
The gardener's wife held up an Iris, and said—" The Emperor Akbar, of blessed memory, has snid regarding this flower, that' it is banished to the graveyard since there was no spot to hold it in Cashmere!"
"Enough !" said Bismillah—and her first lesson in botany ended.
When the gardener's wife left the tent, Bismillah burst into tears, and exclaimed passionately—" The Iris is indeed emblematic of our race : we shall soon find no safe resting-place but the tomb!"
Far, far in the distance, up amongst the clouds there, the English love to dwell, at Darjeeling, Almorah, Nynee Tal, Mussoorie, Landour, Kussowlie, Dugshai, Simla, Kangra, Dharamsala, Murree, and Cashmere ; never did a Grecian on the burning sands of Egypt pant more frantically for his cool Athens of Olympus than does the English soldier for a cool hill-station in the month of May. "Oh !" cries the sick soldier, in the close hospital, "if I could but again hear the robin redbreast, or black-bird, or thrush, or lark, sing amongst the cool recesses of the hills, I should surely live!"
When will the Anglo-Indian nice flourish like the green palm, as colouists in the hills,—when will the English child blush amongst the cool groves of the Himalaya mountains ?—not the child of the rich man, but the child of the colonist, of hardy frame, of iro" sinew. Those will be happy days, when we miss the small rows of graves in the Indian churchyard.
A mind soon expands. Bismillah had fancied, when at Delhi, that there was no land beyond it; she had seen Lahore, an English army ;and now tor the world of Cashmere. Then her mi"d wandered to the land from which the Feringhee came, miles and miles aW»J . Where was it? what was it like ."" What would Cashmere, the far-fam^ valley, resemble ?—what would '» people be like ?—Would one feel vf7
cold so close to the snow
vvaa suow like ?—how wonderful ! All these thoughts crowded on her, like clouds driven one against another, a strong wind urging them on.
All was ready for a start; all were dressed. The baggage was carried by coolies. Iudad Ali rode a small, lean, narrow-chested pony, "very active in the hills," as the driver said. Zynoodeen was mounted on a mule, called Burakh. Bismillah and Zeeunt Begum each sat in a small square doolee, or chair without legs, carried like a sedan chair, by four men. Four more men were allowed as a change, thus making a complement of eight men for each doolee ; with a mate or chief man to see that all went right. He generally ran by the side of one of the doolees, with his right hand on it, to steady it. Kareeman was carried by four men. On past Bhimber, a place not worth stopping at, hot in the middle of the day, and not remarkable in any way. The first water is passed, the Tovee, which the traveller has to pass time after time on his road to Cashmere. The first range of hills is gained, the Adhidak ; the breeze blows fresh amongst the fine pine trees—the sun is hot, notwithstanding the cover over the ladies' doolees, and the word is given— "Halt!"
"Oh ! to see it at sunset, when, warm o'er the lake,
Its splendour at parting a summer eve throws."
The valley of Cashmere, which has often served to fire a poet's fancy, and to afford such ample materials for the writer wandering through the imaginative regions of romance, is cut off from the outer world, as it were, by the lofty snow-capped range of the Peer Pinjal. This far-famed stupendous mountain range prevents a free communication between the province of Cashmere and the plains of the Punjab. It is the watch-dog which never sleeps of the jewel spread out in the broad and fertile plaius of a secluded valley. It is not only on the south that nature has provided a strong protector for the valley of Cashmere ; she is girt round on all sides by most lovely shaped mountain ranges. When the valley of Cashmere is, in early spring, blushing Vol. I.—60
with her rich treasure of apple, pear, aud peach blossoms, her guardians are still clothed in a mantle of pure white snow, which gradually clears away, forced to yield to the vigour of a July sun. In addition to the firm barrier of the Peer Pinjal range, whose highest peak reaches an altitude of 11,400 feet above the level of the sea, we have to encounter two other covering ranges— that of the Adhi-dak, on which we halted Bismillah and her party, and also the Kamari-goshak, whose ascent is steep, and calls forth the vigour and resolution of the traveller fresh from the plains, and somewhat enervated with a residence in a hot climate. The special characteristic of the line of country to the Peer Pinjal range is a succession of valleys, cut off from each other, it is true, by subsidiary hills, but well marked as the highway to the great object of the traveller—the Vale of Cashmere. It is in these valleys that the imperial stages have been fixed ; it was here that the emperors of Delhi ordered serais to be erected, for the accommodation of their courts, and for the general convenience of travellers— their ruins even now are of service; but the man who has any regard for his personal feelings must, like Bismillah and her party, provide himself with small handy hill-tents. This location of halting-grounds in the valleys, although convenient for large camps and their requisite supplies, is nevertheless inconvenient to the European traveller, since he is thus deprived of the fine air and prospect which halting on the higher ranges of hills would give him. To a Native, the sudden change to a cold climate is objectionable, and hence guarded against by the forethought of the emperors of Delhi. In days of yore, Cashmere was but imperfectly described or known, except by rumour. Bernier partly lifted up the veil of obscurity; after him Forster ; but it was reserved to our own countryman Vigne to so accurately describe Cashmere, as to render his popular work an agreeable and instructive companion when bending our steps to Cashmere. Immediately Bhimber is left behind, and indeed even at it, we become sensible of a change of climate; and as we push on, the varied flowers of spring, flourishing shrubs, and other changes in the products of nature, remind us at every step that we are about to tread new paths, of fresh and attractive novelty. Prior to the first inroad of the couqueror bearing in one hand the koran, in the other the sword, some 700y ears ago, Cashmere was happy aud prosperous under its Hindoo rulers; and prior again to their existence, as at present socially and religiously constituted, other kings ruled : the Buddhist temples, used by them, still adorn the valley—of ponderous size, aud not devoid of architectural beauty. We are thus carried back into the ages of darkness, superstition, and doubt ; but a legacy, in the shape of a mythology of undoubted antiquity, still serves to enslave the Hindoo mind of the present day. Whilst the Mahomedan pilgrim from the north, from Yarkund, Kokan, Balkh, Bokhara, and Cabool, toils over rough and inhospitable regions to visit his favourite patron saint, Hamdan, men from the south are equally anxious to crown the Peer Pinjal in search of peace of mind in holy offices rendered to some good saints whose shrines are to be found scattered over the most lovely spots in the valley. Again, the Hindoo pilgrim, with his sable skin and fine organisation, must search for pardon as a penitent at the Cave of Amarnath : passing through drifts of snow almost naked, he trusts to wash away sins committed in the heat of the plains by the side of the crystal glacier. , Legends of ages long since gone by are kept alive by the assiduity of the guardian priests.
Since the year 1846, when Maharajah Goolab Singh came into possession of the valley of Cashmere, in consequence of a treaty with the British Government, which represented the receipt by it of seventy-five lakhs of rupees, the valley has been a favourite resort of British officers ; to it they now flock from the dull, dusty, hot stations in the plains—from Lahore, Sealkote, Rawul Pindee, Peshawur, and other more distant parts, such as Agra, Allahabad, and Mooltan. In 1859, two hundred British officers probably visited Cashmere. The interests of the British Government are partially represented by a British officer, who is deputed to Cashmere for six months to settle all disputes which may arise
between British subjects aud the court of the Maharajah of Jumoo.
Certain routes from the plains lo Cashmere are available for British officers, and on them they experience every attention and civility from the officials of His Highness Maharajah Ruubeer Singh. The authorised routes are those from Bhimber, from Abbotabad, from Murree, and from Thanah via Barsmullah.
The route via Bhimber, passing over the high pass of the -Peer Pinjal, will occupy ten days ; but if the season be early, and the snow deep on the Peer Pinjal,—it is generally clear by the 10th May,—then the route will occupy four or five days more, the circuitous road of Thauah being resorted to. The Peer Pinjal will thus remain on the right hand, and the lower portiou of it being passed,, the station of Vri will find the traveller on the high-road which leads to Moozutferabad. The direct route to liawul Pindee and Peshawur via Abbotabad, and the road to Murree, a hill station at which the Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab resides during the hot season, will be from Vri. Travellers from ThaDah, Abbotabad, and Murree, meeting at Vri, will proceed together to Bai amullah, via Noshera, through a lovely hill country, and a small pass must be crowned, when Baramullah will lie at our feet, a town on the river Jhelum. We thus gain the western limit of the vale of Cashmere. The Jhelum rushes with frantic violence at the travellers feet, via Vri, and thus on to the 'arid plains of the Punjab, to gain the Indus, and meet the ocean at Kurrachee.
The prohibited routes, used only by the Maharajah of Jumoo and his family, are those which, coming from Jumoo and Aknoor, join the maw road at Thanah, then over the Peer; but there is a more direct route from Jumoo via Banihul; it is rough, and difficult. The direct road from Sealkote is via Jumoo, the capital of His Highness' territory. The most easy route into Cashmere is that tvi Abbotabad; it is open all the y&r round.
A decided change in the temperature will first be experienced at Thanah; we here for the first time quite reab80