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A Woman's Journey Round the World
by Ida Pfeiffer
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On the following morning the Rajah sent to inquire how the excursion had pleased us, and presented me with confectionery, sweetmeats, and the rarest fruits; among others, grapes and pomegranates, which at this time of the year are scarce. They came from Cabul, which is about 700 miles distant from this place.

Finally, I must mention that for many years no one has died in the palace which the Rajah occupies. The reason of this is said to be the following:—"One of the rulers of this palace once asked a Brahmin what would become of the soul of any one who died in the palace. The Brahmin answered that it would go to heaven. The Rajah repeated the same question ninety-nine times, and always received the same answer. But on asking the hundredth time, the Brahmin lost patience, and answered that it would go into a donkey." Since that time every one, from the prince to the meanest servant, leaves the palace as soon as they feel themselves unwell. None of them are desirous of continuing after death the part which they have, perhaps, so frequently commenced in this life.

While in Benares I had two opportunities of seeing the so-called martyrs of the Fakirs (a priestly sect of the Hindoos). These martyrs impose upon themselves the most various tortures: for example, they stick an iron hook through their flesh, and have themselves drawn up to a height of twenty or five-and-twenty feet; or they stand several hours in the day upon one foot, and at the same time stretch their arms in the air, or hold heavy weights in various positions, turn round in a circle for hours together, tear the flesh off their bodies, etc. They frequently torment themselves so much as to be in danger of their lives. These martyrs are still tolerably venerated by the people; however, there are at the present time but a few more remaining. One of the two whom I saw, held a heavy axe over his head, and had taken the bent attitude of a workman hewing wood. I watched him for more than a quarter of an hour; he remained in the same position as firmly and quietly as if he had been turned to stone. He had, perhaps, exercised this useless occupation for years. The other held the point of his foot to his nose.

Another sect of the Fakirs condemn themselves to eat only a little food, and that of the most disgusting kind: the flesh of oxen that have died, half-rotten vegetables, and refuse of every kind, even mud and earth; they say that it is quite immaterial what the stomach is filled with.

The Fakirs all go about almost naked, smear their bodies with cow- dung, not even excepting the face; and then strew ashes over themselves. They paint their breasts and foreheads with the symbolical figures of Vishnu and Shiva, and dye their ragged hair dark reddish brown. It is not easy to imagine anything more disgusting and repulsive than these priests. They wander about all the streets, preaching and doing whatever they fancy; they are, however, far less respected than the martyrs.

One of the gentlemen whose acquaintance I made in Benares, was so obliging as to communicate to me some information as to the relation of the peasants to the government. The peasant has no landed property. All the land belongs either to the English government, the East India Company, or the native princes. It is let out altogether; the principal tenants divide it into small lots, and sublet these to the peasants. The fate of the latter depends entirely upon the disposition of the principal tenant. He determines the amount of rent, and frequently demands the money at a time when the crops are not harvested, and the peasant cannot pay; the poor people are then obliged to sell the unripe crops for half their worth, and their landlord generally contrives to buy it himself in the name of another person. The unfortunate peasant frequently has scarcely a sufficiency left to keep life in himself and his family.

Laws and judges there certainly are in the country, and, as everywhere else, the laws are good and the magistrates just; but it is another question whether the poor ever receive justice. The districts are so extensive, that the peasant cannot undertake a journey of seventy or eighty miles; and even when he lives near, he cannot always reach the presence of the magistrate. The business of the latter is so great, that he cannot himself attend to the details, and generally he is the only European in office, the remaining officials consisting of Hindoos and Mahomedans, whose character—a lamentable fact—is always worse the more they come in contact with Europeans. If, therefore, the peasant comes to the court without bringing a present, he is generally turned away, his petition or complaint is not accepted or listened to; and how is he to bring a present after being deprived of everything by the landlord? The peasant knows this, and therefore seldom makes a complaint.

An Englishman (unfortunately I have forgotten his name) who travelled in India for scientific purposes, proves that the peasants have now to suffer more than formerly under their native princes.

In India, under the so-called "free English government," I found a sad proof that the position of the slaves in Brazil is better than that of the free peasants here. The slave there has not to provide for any of his wants, and he is never burdened with too much work, as the interest of his master would then suffer; for a slave costs seven or eight hundred gulders (70 or 80 pounds), and it is to the interest of his owner that he should be well treated, that he may be longer of service. It cannot be denied that there are cases in which the slaves are tyrannically treated, but this is extremely rare.

Several German and English missionaries reside in the neighbourhood of Benares, and go constantly to the town to preach. At one of these missionary establishments is a Christian village, which contains more than twenty Hindoo families. Nevertheless, Christianity makes scarcely any advance. {173} I inquired of each of the missionaries how many Hindoos or Mahomedans they had baptized in the course of their labours: generally they said, "None;" very seldom, "One." The above mentioned families result from the year 1831, when nearly the whole of India was ravaged by cholera, nervous fever, or famine; the people died, and many children remained orphans, wandering about without a home. The missionaries took these, and brought them up in the Christian religion. They were instructed in all kinds of trades, were housed, married, and their whole maintenance provided for. The descendants of these families are continually educated by the missionaries, and strictly watched: as to new converts, however, there are unfortunately none.

I was present at several examinations: the boys and girls seemed to have been taught well to read, write, reckon, and were well acquainted with religion and geography. The girls were clever embroiderers, they did needle-work very well, and sewed all kinds of things; the boys and men made tables, carpets, bound books, printed, etc. The director and professor of this excellent establishment is the missionary, Mr. Luitpold; his wife has the superintendence of the girls. The whole is sensibly and intelligently arranged and conducted; Mr. and Mrs. Luitpold attend to their proteges with true Christian love. But what are a few drops in an immeasurable sea?



CHAPTER XIII. ALLAHABAD, AGRA, AND DELHI.



ALLAHABAD—CAUNIPOOR—AGRA—THE MAUSOLEUM OF SULTAN AKBAR—TAJ- MEHAL—THE RUINED TOWN OF FATIPOOR—SIKRI—DELHI—THE MAIN STREET— PUBLIC PROCESSIONS—THE EMPEROR'S PALACE—PALACES AND MOSQUES—OLD DELHI—REMARKABLE RUINS—THE ENGLISH MILITARY STATION.

From Benares, Mr. Law and myself travelled in a post-dock to Allahabad. The distance, which amounts to seventy-six miles, occupies about twelve or thirteen hours. We left the sacred town on the 7th of January, 1848, at 6 o'clock in the evening, and early in the morning found ourselves already near Allahabad, at a long bridge of boats which here crosses the Ganges.

We left the post-dock, and were carried in palanquins to the hotel, about a mile further on. When we arrived there, we found it so occupied by some officers of a regiment on the march, that my travelling companion was received only upon condition that he would content himself with a place in the public-room. In these circumstances, nothing remained for me but to make use of my letter of introduction to Dr. Angus.

My arrival placed the good old gentleman in no little embarrassment: his house was also already filled with travellers. His sister, Mrs. Spencer, however, with great kindness, at once offered me half of her own sleeping apartment.

Allahabad has 25,000 inhabitants. It lies partly upon the Jumna (Deschumna), partly on the Ganges. It is not one of the largest and handsomest, although it is one of the sacred towns, and is visited by many pilgrims. The Europeans reside in handsome garden-houses outside the town.

Among the objects of interest, the fortress with the palace is the most remarkable. It was built during the reign of the Sultan Akbar. It is situated at the junction of the Jumna with the Ganges.

The fortress has been much strengthened with new works by the English. It serves now as the principal depot of arms in British India.

The palace is a rather ordinary building; only a few of the saloons are remarkable for their interior division. There are some which are intersected by three rows of columns, forming three adjoining arcades. In others, a few steps lead into small apartments which are situated in the saloon itself, and resemble large private boxes in theatres.

The palace is now employed as an armoury. It contains complete arms for 40,000 men, and there is also a quantity of heavy ordnance.

In one of the courts stands a metal column thirty-six feet high, called Feroze-Schachs-Laht, which is very well preserved, is covered with inscriptions, and is surmounted by a lion.

A second curiosity in the fort is a small unimportant temple, now much dilapidated, which is considered as very sacred by the Hindoos. To their great sorrow they are not allowed to visit it, as the fort is not open to them. One of the officers told me that, a short time since, a very rich Hindoo made a pilgrimage here, and offered the commandant of the fortress 20,000 rupees (2,000 pounds) to allow him to make his devotions in this temple. The commandant could not permit it.

This fortress also has its tradition:—"When the Sultan Akbar commenced building it, every wall immediately fell in. An oracle said that he would not succeed in its erection before a man voluntarily offered himself as a sacrifice. Such an one presented himself, and made only one condition, that the fortress and town should bear his name. The man was called Brog, and the town is, even at this time, more frequently called Brog by the Hindoos than Allahabad."

In memory of the heroic man, a temple was erected near the fortress, under ground, where he is interred. Many pilgrims come here annually. The temple is quite dark; lights or torches must be used on entering it. It resembles, on the whole, a large handsome cellar, the roof of which rests upon a number of plain columns. The walls are full of niches, which are occupied by idols and figures of deities. A leafless tree is shown as a great curiosity, which grew in the temple and made its way through the stone roof.

I also visited a fine large garden, in which stood four Mahomedan mausoleums. The largest contains a sarcophagus of white marble, which is surrounded by wooden galleries extremely richly and handsomely decorated with mother-of-pearl. Here rests the Sultan Koshru, son of Jehanpuira. Two smaller sarcophagi contain children of the sultan. The walls are painted with stiff flowers and miserable trees, between which are some inscriptions.

One part of the wall is covered with a small curtain. The guide pushed it with great devotion on one side, and showed me the impression of a colossal open hand. He told me that a great-great- uncle of Mohamet once came here to pray. He was powerful, large, and clumsy; when raising himself up, he stumbled against the wall and left the impression of his sacred hand.

These four monuments are said to be upwards of 250 years old. They are constructed of large blocks of stone, and richly decorated with arabesques, friezes, reliefs, etc. The sepulchre of Koshru and the impression of the hand are much venerated by the Mahomedans.

The garden afforded me more pleasure than the monuments—especially on account of the enormous tamarind-trees. I thought that I had seen the largest in Brazil, but the ground, or perhaps the climate, here appears more favourable to this species of trees. Not only is the garden full of such magnificent specimens, but there are beautiful avenues of them round the town. The tamarinds of Allahabad are even mentioned in geographical works.

On one side of the lofty wall which surrounds the garden, two caravansaries are built, which are remarkable for their beautiful high portals, their size, and convenient arrangement. They presented an uncommonly lively appearance, containing people in all costumes, horses, oxen, camels, and elephants, and a large quantity of wares in chests, bales, and sacks.

10th January. About 3 in the afternoon, we left Allahabad and continued our journey in a post-dock as far as Agra, with some short stoppages. The distance is nearly 300 miles.

In twenty-two hours we reached Caunipoor (150 miles), on the Ganges, a town which is remarkable for its English settlement.

The journey so far offered little change, an uninterrupted richly- cultivated plain and an unfrequented road. With the exception of a few companies of military, we did not meet a single traveller.

A party of military on the march in India resembles a small emigration company; and, after seeing one, it is easy to form an idea of the enormous trains of the Persian and other Asiatic armies. The greater part of the native soldiers are married, as well as the officers (Europeans); therefore, when the regiment marches, there are nearly as many women and children as soldiers. The women and children ride, two or three together, upon horses or oxen, or sit upon cars, or go on foot with bundles on their backs. They have all their effects packed upon cars, and drive their goats and cows before them. The officers follow, with their families, in European carriages, palanquins, or on horseback. Their tents, house furniture, etc., are packed upon camels and elephants, which generally bring up the rear. The camp is pitched on both sides of the road—on one side are the people, and on the other the animals.

Caunipoor is a strong military station, with four handsome barracks; there is also an important missionary society. The town possesses some handsome schools and private buildings, and a Christian church, in pure Gothic style.

12th January. Towards noon, we reached the small village of Beura. Here we found a bungalow; that is, a small house with two or four rooms barely furnished with the most necessary and plainest furniture. These bungalows stand upon the post-roads, and supply the place of hotels. They are built by government. One person pays one rupee (2s.) a day for a small room; a family, two rupees. The payment is the same in most bungalows, if the travellers remain twenty-four hours or only half an hour; it is only in a few that it is considered enough to pay half-price for staying a short time. At each bungalow, a native is placed as superintendent, who waits on the travellers, cooks for them, etc. The control is carried out by means of a book, in which each traveller writes his name. If there are no travellers, a person may remain as long as he chooses; when the contrary happens, he cannot stay more than twenty-four hours.

The villages which lie on the road are small, and appear very miserable and poor. They are surrounded by high mud walls, which give them the appearance of a fortification.

After we had travelled three nights and two days and a half, we reached Agra on the 13th of January—the former residence of the Great Mogul of India.

The suburbs of Agra resemble, in poverty, the miserable villages before mentioned. They are composed of high walls of earth, within which are small dilapidated huts and barracks. A change was at once apparent when we had passed through a stately gateway. We then suddenly found ourselves in a large open square, surrounded by walls, from which four lofty gates led to the town, the fortress, and the suburbs. Agra, like most Indian towns, has no inn. A German missionary received me kindly; and, in addition to his hospitality, was obliging enough to show me personally whatever there was of interest in the town and neighbourhood.

Our first visit was to the beautiful mausoleum of the Sultan Akbar, at Secundra, four miles from Agra.

The porch which leads into the garden is a masterpiece. I stood before it for a long time amazed. The enormous building is raised upon a stone terrace, which is approached by broad steps; the gate is lofty, and is surmounted by an imposing dome. At the four corners are minarets of white marble three stories high; unfortunately, their upper parts are already somewhat dilapidated. On the front of the gate are the remains of a stone trellis-work.

The mausoleum stands in the centre of the garden; it is a square building four stories in height, each becoming narrower at the top, like a pyramid. The first sight of this monument is not very attractive, for the beauty of the gateway eclipses it; however, it improves on a more detailed examination.

The bottom story is surrounded by fine arcades; the rooms are plain, the walls covered with a brilliant white cement, intended as a substitute for marble. Several sarcophagi stand inside.

The second story consists of a large terrace, which covers the whole extent of the lower one; in its centre is an open airy apartment with a light arched roof, supported by columns. Several small kiosks at the corners and sides of the terrace give to the whole a somewhat bizarre though tasty appearance. The pretty domes of the kiosks must formerly have been very rich and splendid, for on many there are still to be seen beautiful remains of coloured glazed tiles and inlaid marble-work.

The third story resembles the second. The fourth and highest is the most handsome. It is constructed entirely of white marble, while the three lower ones are only of red sandstone. Broad-roofed arcades, whose exterior marble lattice-work is inimitably executed, form an open square, over which the most beautiful roof—the blue sky—spreads. Here stands the sarcophagus which contains the bones of the sultan. On the arches of the arcades, texts from the Koran are inlaid in characters of black marble.

I believe this is the only Mahomedan monument in which the sarcophagus is placed at the top of the building in an uncovered space.

The palace of the Mongolian Sultan stands in the citadel. It is said to be one of the most remarkable buildings of Mongolian architecture. {177}

The fortifications are nearly two miles in extent, and consist of double and treble walls, the outer one of which is said to be seventy-five feet high.

The interior is divided into three principal courts. In the first live the guards; in the second, the officers and higher authorities; in the third, which occupies the side towards the Jumna, stands the palace, the baths, the harem, and several gardens. In this court, everything is made of marble. The walls of the rooms in the palaces are covered with such stones as agates, onyxes, jasper, cornelian, lapis-lazuli, etc., inlaid in mosaic work, representing flowers, birds, arabesques, and other figures. Two rooms without windows are exclusively destined to show the effects of illumination. The walls and the arched roof are covered with mica slate in small silvered frames; fountains splash over glass walls, behind which lights can be arranged, and jets of water are thrown up in the centre of the room. Even without lights, it glittered and sparkled most marvellously; what must be the effect when innumerable lamps throw back their rays a thousandfold! Such a sight enables one easily to understand the imaginative descriptions of the Eastern tales of "a thousand-and-one nights." Such palaces and rooms may be truly considered works of magic.

Near the palace stands a small mosque, which is also entirely constructed of white marble, richly and artistically furnished with arabesques, reliefs, etc.

Before leaving the fortress, I was led to a deep underground vault— the former scene of numerous secret executions. How much innocent blood may have been shed there!

The Jumna Mosque, which the erudite affirm to surpass that of Soliman's in Constantinople, stands outside the fortress, upon a high terrace near the river. It is of red sandstone, has the same wonderful domes, and was built by the Sultan Akbar. In the arches are to be seen remains of rich paintings in light and dark-blue, intermixed with gilding. It is to be regretted that this mosque is in a rather dilapidated condition; but it is hoped, however, that it will soon be completely restored, as the English government have already commenced repairing it.

From the mosque we returned again to the town, which is, for the most part, surrounded by rubbish. The principal street, "Sander," is broad and cleanly paved in the middle with square stones, and at the sides with bricks. At both extremities of this street stand majestic gateways. The houses of the town (from one to four stories high) are almost entirely of red sandstone; most of them are small, but many are surrounded by columns, pillars, and galleries. Several are distinguished by their handsome porches. The streets are narrow, crooked, and ugly; the bazaars unimportant. In India, as well as in the East, the more costly wares must be sought in the interior of the houses. The population of this town is said to have amounted formerly to 800,000; it is now scarcely 60,000.

The whole environs are full of ruins. Those who build can procure the materials at the mere cost of gathering them from the ground. Many Europeans inhabit half-ruinous buildings, which, at a small expense, they convert into pretty palaces.

Agra is the principal seat of two missionary societies—a Catholic and a Protestant. Here, as in Benares, they educate the offspring of the children they picked up in 1831. A little girl was pointed out to me that had recently been bought of a poor woman for two rupees (4s.)

At the head of the Catholic mission is a bishop. The present one, Mr. Porgi, is the founder of a tastefully-built church. In no similar establishment did I ever see so much order, or find the natives so well-behaved as here. On Sundays, after prayers, they amuse themselves with decorous and lively games; while in the Protestant establishments, after having worked all the week, they are compelled to pray all day long, and their greatest amusement consists in being allowed to sit for a few hours gravely before the house-doors. A person who passed a Sunday in this country among strict Protestants would imagine that God had forbidden the most innocent amusements.

These two religious societies, unfortunately, are not on very amicable terms, and censure and persecute every slight irregularity on the part of each other; by this means not setting the natives living round them a very good example.

My last visit was to the magnificent treasure of Agra, and, indeed, of all India—the famous Taj-Mehal.

I had read somewhere that this monument ought to be visited last, as the others would not be admired at all after seeing this. Captain Elliot says: "It is difficult to give a description of this monument; the architecture is full of strength and elegance."

The Taj-Mehal was erected by the Sultan Jehoe (Dschehoe), in memory of his favourite muntaza, Zemani. Its building is said to have cost 750,000 pounds. Properly speaking, the sultan's memory is more perpetuated by this building than that of his favourite, for every one who saw it would involuntarily ask who erected it. The names of the architect and builder are unfortunately lost. Many ascribe it to Italian masters; but when it is seen that there are so many other admirable works of Mahomedan architecture, either the whole must be considered foreign or this must be admitted to be native.

The monument stands in the centre of a garden, upon an open terrace of red sandstone, raised twelve feet above the ground. It represents a mosque of an octagon form, with lofty arched entrances, which, together with the four minarets that stand at the corners of the terrace, is entirely built of white marble. The principal dome rises to a height of 260 feet, and is surrounded by four smaller ones. Round the outside of the mosque extracts from the Koran are inlaid in characters of black marble.

In the principal apartment stand two sarcophagi, of which one contains the remains of the sultan, the other those of his favourite. The lower part of the walls of this apartment, as well as both sarcophagi, are covered with costly mosaic work of the most beautiful stones. A marble lattice-work, six feet high, surrounding the two sarcophagi, is a masterpiece of art. It is so delicate and finely worked, that it seems as if turned out of ivory. The graceful columns and the narrow cornices are also covered, above and below, with jasper, agate, etc. Among these, I was shown the so- called "goldstone," which has a perfect gold colour, and is said to be very costly, even more so than lapis-lazuli.

Two gateways and two mosques stand at a small distance from the Taj- Mehal. They are built of red sandstone and white marble. If they stood apart, each would be considered a master-work; as it is, however, they lose in attraction by their proximity to the Taj- Mehal, of which a traveller says, with full justice: "It is too pure, too sacred, too perfect, to have been constructed by men's hands—angels must have brought it from heaven; and one imagines there ought to be a glass shade over it, to protect it from every breath and every wind."

Although this mausoleum is more than 250 years old, it is as perfect as if it was only just finished.

Many travellers affirm that the Taj-Mehal produces a magical effect when lighted by the moon. I saw it during a full moonshine, but was so little pleased, that I much regretted, by this sight, having somewhat weakened my former impression of it. The moon's light gives a magical effect to old ruins or Gothic buildings, but not to a monument which consists of white brilliant marble. Moonlight makes the latter appear in indistinct masses, and as if partly covered with snow. Whoever first promulgated this opinion respecting the Taj-Mehal perhaps visited it in some charming company, so that he thought everything round him was heavenly and supernatural; and others may have found it more convenient, instead of putting it to the test themselves, to repeat the statement of their predecessors.

One of the most interesting excursions of my whole journey was to the ruins of the town of Fattipoor Sikri, eighteen miles from Agra, and six miles in circumference. We rode thither, and had ordered changes of horses, so as to be able to make the journey in one day.

On our way, we passed at times over extended heaths, on one of which we saw a small herd of antelopes. The antelope is a kind of deer, but smaller in size. It is extremely delicate and prettily formed, and is distinguished by narrow dark-brown stripes along the back. The herd crossed the road before us without much timidity, passing over ditches and bushes, and leaping more than twenty feet at a time, with such graceful movements that they seemed as if dancing through the air. I was not less delighted by the sight of two wild peacocks. It afforded me peculiar pleasure to see these animals in a state of freedom, which we Europeans are accustomed to keep as rarities, like exotic plants.

The peacock is here somewhat larger than any I had seen in Europe; the display of colours also, and the general brilliancy of the plumage, struck me as being finer and brighter.

These birds are considered by the Indians almost as sacred as the cow. They appear to fully understand this kindness, for they are seen, like house-birds, walking about in the villages or quietly resting upon the roofs. In some districts, the Indians are so prejudiced in their favour, that no European can venture to shoot one of them without exposing himself to the greatest insults. Only four months since, two English soldiers fell victims to this neglect of Hindostanee customs. They killed several peacocks; the enraged people fell upon them and ill-used them in such a way that they shortly afterwards died.

Fattipoor Sikri stands upon a hill; the fortress walls, the mosque, and other buildings can therefore be seen from a distance. On both sides of the road, a short distance outside the walls, lie remains of houses or single apartments, fragments of handsome columns, etc. With great regret I saw the natives breaking many of them, and converting them into building materials for their houses.

The entrance to the fortress and town was through three handsome gates, and over masses of rubbish and fragments. The view which here presents itself is much more impressive than that at Pompeii, near Naples. There, indeed, everything is destroyed, but it is another and more orderly kind of destruction—streets and squares appear as clean as if they had only been abandoned yesterday. Houses, palaces, and temples are free from rubbish; even the track of the carriages remain uneffaced. Pompeii, moreover, stands on a plain, and it cannot, therefore, be seen at one glance; its extent, too, is scarcely half so great as that of Sikri; the houses are smaller, the palaces not so numerous, and inferior in splendour and magnitude. But here a larger space is covered with magnificent buildings, mosques, kiosks, columned halls, and arcades, with everything that was in the power of art to create; and no single object has escaped the destructive influence of time—all is falling into ruin. It is scarcely more than two hundred years since the town was in a flourishing state of wealth and magnificence, and it is hardly possible to divest the mind of the idea of a terrible earthquake having overwhelmed it. Unlike Pompeii, it was not covered by protecting ashes, but laid openly exposed to the weather. My sadness and astonishment increased at every step—sadness at the terrible destruction, astonishment at the still perceptible magnificence, the number of splendid buildings, the beautiful sculptures, and the rich ornaments. I saw some buildings whose interior and exterior were so covered with sculptures, that not the smallest space remained bare. The principal mosque exceeds in size and artistic construction even the Jumna Mosque in Agra. The entrance porch in the fore-court is said to be the loftiest in the world. The interior arch measures 72 feet, and the entire height amounts to 140 feet. The fore-court of the mosque is also one of the largest existing; its length is 436 feet, its breadth 408; it is surrounded by fine arabesques and small cells. This court is considered almost as sacred as the mosque itself, in consequence of the Sultan Akbar, "the just," having been accustomed to pay his devotions there. After his death, this spot was indicated by a kind of altar, which is of white marble, and of wonderful workmanship.

The mosque itself is built in the style of the Jumna Mosque, and has, like that, four enormous domes. The interior is filled with sarcophagi, in which lie the remains either of relations or favourite ministers of the Sultan Akbar. An adjoining court also contains a great number of sepulchral monuments.

The Sultan Akbar passed several hours every day in the Hall of Justice, and gave audience there to the meanest, as well as the most important of his subjects. A single column, standing in the centre of the hall, was the divan of the emperor. This column, the capital of which is marvellously executed, becomes broader towards the top, and is surrounded by a beautifully worked stone gallery, a foot high. Four broad stone passages or bridges lead into the adjoining apartments of the palace.

The sultan's palace is less remarkable for size than for its sculptures, columns, ornaments, etc. Every part is over-richly furnished with them.

I found less to admire in the famous Elephant gate. It is, indeed, loftily arched, but not so high as the entrance gate in the fore- court of the mosque; the two elephants, which were very beautifully executed in stone, are so much dilapidated, that it is scarcely possible to tell what they are intended to represent.

The so-called Elephant's Tower is in a better state of preservation. In some descriptions of this, it is stated that it is constructed only of elephants' tusks, and even of the tusks of those elephants only which were taken from enemies during Akbar's time, or had been captured by him in hunting. This is, however, not the case; the tower, which is sixty feet high, is built of stone, and the tusks are fastened on from top to bottom, so that they project out from it. The Sultan Akbar is said to have frequently sat upon the top of this tower, occupying himself by shooting birds.

All the buildings, even the enormous wall, are of red sandstone, and not, as many affirm, of red marble.

Many hundreds of small green birds have formed their nests in the holes and crevices of the buildings.

On the 19th of January I left the famous town of Agra, in the company of Mr. Law, in order to visit the still more celebrated city of Delhi, which is 122 miles from Agra. There is an excellent post- road all the way.

The country between Agra and Delhi continues tolerably unchanged; there is no elevation to be seen. Far and wide, cultivated land alternates with heaths and sandy moors, and the miserable villages or small towns which lie on the road, excite no desire to delay the journey even for a moment.

A long and handsome chain bridge crosses the Jumna near the town of Gassanger.

On the 20th of January, at 4 in the afternoon, we reached Delhi. Here I met with Dr. Sprenger, a very kind and amiable countryman. Dr. Sprenger, a Tyrolese, has won for himself, by his remarkable abilities and knowledge, a considerable reputation, not only among the English, but throughout the whole learned world. He holds the position of Director of the College in this place, and but a short time since was requested by the English government to go to Lucknau, for the purpose of examining the library of the Indian King of Lucknau, to make known the valuable works, and put the whole in order. He is a perfect master of the Sanscrit, the ancient and modern Persian, the Turkish, Arabic, and Hindostanee languages, and translates the most difficult of them into English and German. He has already made the most valuable and interesting contributions to literature, and will still continue to do so, as he is an extremely active man, and scarcely thirty-four years of age.

Although he was on the eve of his departure for Lucknau, he was, nevertheless, kind enough to become my Mentor.

We commenced with the great imperial town of Delhi; the town to which formerly the eyes not only of all India, but almost of all Asia, were directed. It was in its time to India what Athens was to Greece, and Rome to Europe. It also shares their fate—of all its greatness only the name remains.

The present Delhi is now called New Delhi, although it is already two hundred years old; it is a continuation of the old towns, of which there are said to have been seven, each of which were called Delhi. As often as the palaces, fortifications, mosques, etc., became dilapidated, they were left to fall into ruins, and new ones were built near the old ones. In this way, ruins upon ruins accumulated, which are said to have occupied a space more than six miles in breadth, and eighteen in length. If a great part of them were not already covered with a thin layer of earth, these ruins would certainly be the most extensive in the world.

New Delhi lies upon the Jumna; it contains, according to Bruckner, a population of 500,000, {183} but I was informed that there was really only 100,000, among which are 100 Europeans. The streets are broader and finer than any I had yet seen in any Indian town. The principal street, Tchandni-Tschank, would do honour to an European city: it is nearly three-quarters of a mile long, and about a hundred feet broad; a narrow canal, scant of water and half filled with rubbish, runs through its entire length. The houses in this street are not remarkable either for magnitude or splendour; they are at most one story high, and are furnished below with miserable porches or arcades, under which worthless goods are exposed for sale. I saw nothing of the costly shops, the numerous precious stones glittering in the evening with the lamps and lights, of which many travellers speak. The pretty houses and the rich shops must be sought for in the bye streets near the bazaar. The manufactures which I saw, consisted of gold and silver work, gold tissues and shawls. The natives execute the gold and silver wares so tastefully and artistically, that finer cannot be found even in Paris. The tissues woven in gold, the gold and silk embroideries and Cashmere shawls, are of the highest degree of perfection. The finest Cashmere shawls cost here as much as 4,000 rupees (400 pounds). The dexterity of the workmen appears still more surprising after seeing the simple machines which they employ to produce their beautiful wares.

It is extremely interesting to walk about the principal streets of Delhi in the evening. There may be seen at once the modes of life of both the rich and the poor Indians. There is no town in which there are so many princes and nobles as in this. Besides the pensioned emperor and his relations, whose number amounts to several thousand, many other deposed and pensioned regents and ministers reside here. Their presence gives great animation to the town; they are fond of going out in public, frequently make greater or less parties, and ride (always on elephants) either in the neighbouring gardens, or in the evenings through the streets. In the day excursions, the elephants are decorated in the most costly manner with rugs and fine stuffs, gold lace, and fringe; the seats called the howdahs are even covered with Cashmere shawls; richly fringed canopies keep off the heat of the sun, or else servants hold enormous umbrellas for this purpose. The princes and nobles sit in these howdahs to the number of two or four, and are very gorgeously attired in Oriental costumes. These processions present a most beautiful appearance, and are even larger and more splendid than those of the Rajah of Benares, which I have described. Each procession consists frequently of as many as a dozen or more elephants, and fifty or sixty soldiers on foot and mounted, and as many servants, etc. In the evenings, on the contrary, they are not so pompous—one elephant, together with a few servants, suffices; they ride up and down the streets, coquetting with females of a certain class, who sit richly dressed and with unveiled faces at open windows or outside galleries. Others ride noble Arabian horses, whose stately appearance is still more increased by gold- embroidered trappings and bridles inlaid with silver. Between these riding parties, heavily laden camels from far distant regions walk deliberately along. There are, moreover, not a few bailis, drawn by beautiful white oxen, which the less wealthy people or the above mentioned women use. The bailis, as well as the oxen, are draped with scarlet cloths: the animals have their horns and the lower half of their feet painted brownish-red, and round their neck is a handsome collar, on which bells are fastened. The most beautiful women peep modestly out of the half-open bailis. If it were not known to what class unveiled women belong in India, it would be impossible to tell their position from their behaviour. Unfortunately, there are more of this class in India than in any other country: the principal cause of this is an unnatural law, a revolting custom. The girls of every family are generally betrothed when they are only a few months old; if, however, the bridegroom dies immediately, or at any time after the betrothal, the girl is considered as a widow, and as such cannot marry again. They then generally become dancers. The condition of widowhood is looked upon as a great misfortune, as it is believed that only those women are placed in this position, who have deserved it in a previous state of existence. An Indian can only marry a girl belonging to his own caste.

To the various objects of interest in the streets already noticed, must be added the jugglers, mountebanks, and serpent charmers, who wander about everywhere, and are always surrounded by a crowd of curious people.

I saw several tricks performed by the jugglers which were truly astonishing. One poured out fire and smoke from his mouth; then mixed white, red, yellow, and blue powders together, swallowed them, and then immediately spit out each one separately and dry; some turned their eyes downwards, and when they again raised them the pupils appeared as if of gold; they then bowed the head forward, and on again raising it, the pupils of their eyes had their natural colour, and their teeth were gold. Others made a small opening in their skin, and drew out of it yards of thread, silk cord, and narrow ribbons. The serpent charmers held the animals by their tails, and allowed them to twine round their arms, neck, and body; they took hold of large scorpions, and let them run over their hands. I also saw several battles between large serpents and ichneumons. These little animals, rather larger than a weasel, live, as is known, upon serpents and the eggs of crocodiles. They seize the former so dexterously by the neck that they always master them; the crocodile eggs they suck.

At the end of the principal street stands the imperial palace, which is considered one of the finest buildings in Asia. It occupies, together with its adjoining buildings, an extent of more than two miles, and is surrounded by a wall forty feet high.

At the principal entrance, a fine perspective view is obtained through several successive gateways, which is terminated in the background by a handsome hall. This hall is but small, and is inlaid with white marble and rare stones; the roof is arched over with mica, powdered over with small stars. Unfortunately, these will soon lose all their glittering brilliancy, as the greater portion of the mica has already fallen, and the remainder is likely to follow. At the back of the hall is a door of gilt metal, decorated with beautiful engraved work. In this hall the ex-monarch is accustomed to show himself to the people, who, from traditionary respect or curiosity, visit the palace. He also receives European visitors here.

The handsomest parts of the imperial palace are the universally admired and magnificent audience saloon and the mosque. The former stands in the centre of an open court; it is a long, square building; the roof is supported by thirty columns, and is open on all sides; several steps lead up to it, and a prettily decorated marble gallery, two feet high, surrounds it.

The present Great Mogul has so little taste, that he has had this divan divided into two parts by a very paltry partition wall. A similar wall adjoins both sides of the saloon, for what purpose I could not learn. In this divan is a great treasure: the largest crystal in the world. It is a block of about four feet in length, two and a half broad, and one foot thick; {185} it is very transparent. It was used by the emperors as a throne or seat in the divan. Now it is hidden behind the blank wall; and if I had not known of its existence from books, and been very curious to see it, it would not have been shown to me at all.

The mosque is indeed small, but, like the judgment-hall, it is of white marble, and with fine columns and sculptures.

Immediately adjoining the mosque is the garden "Schalinar," which is said to have been formerly one of the finest in India, but has now quite fallen to decay.

Heaps of dust and rubbish were laying in the court-yards; the buildings were almost like ruins; and miserable barracks stood against dilapidated walls. On account of the emperor's residence, it soon became necessary to build a new Delhi.

On my entrance to the palace, I had observed a group of men collected together in the court-yard. An hour afterwards, when we were returning from our visit, they were still seated there. We drew near to discover what it was that so attracted their attention, and saw a few dozen of tame birds seated upon perches quietly taking their food from the hands of attendants, or else fighting for it. The lookers-on were, as I was told, nearly all princes. Some were seated upon chairs, others stood round, together with their followers. In their home dresses, the princes are hardly to be distinguished from their servants, and in education and knowledge they are certainly not much in advance of them.

The emperor amuses himself with a diversion which is not more commendable. His troops consist of boys about eight or fourteen. They wear a miserable uniform, which in make and colour resembles the English; their exercises are conducted partly by old officers and partly by boys. I pitied the young soldiers from my heart, and wondered how it was possible for them to handle their heavy muskets and banners. The monarch generally sits for some hours every day in the small reception hall, and amuses himself by watching the manoeuvres of his young warriors. This is the best time to get presented to his majesty. He is eighty-five, and at the time of my visit was so unwell, that I had not the good fortune to see him.

The emperor receives from the English government a yearly pension of fourteen lacs (1,400,000 rupees = 140,000 pounds). The revenues of his own possessions amount to half as much more; but with all this, he is not so well off as the Rajah of Benares. He has too large a number of people to maintain: of the descendants of the imperial family alone more than three hundred, as well as a hundred women, and two thousand attendants. If to these are added the numerous elephants, camels, horses, etc., it may be easily understood why his exchequer is always empty.

He receives his pension on the first of every month. It has to be brought to him under the protection of the English military, or it would otherwise be seized by his creditors.

The emperor is said to be very discreet in raising his revenues by various means. For example, he confers honorary posts and appoints officials, for which he requires considerable sums of money; and— can it be believed!—he always finds fools enough to pay for such absurdities. Parents even buy appointments for their children. The present commander of the imperial troops is scarcely ten years old. The most remarkable fact, however, is that the vizier, who manages the emperor's income and expenditure, not only receives no salary, but pays the emperor annually 10,000 rupees for this office. What sums must be embezzled to make up for this!

The emperor issues a newspaper in his own palace, which is in the highest degree absurd and laughable. It does not treat of politics or the occurrences of the day, but exclusively of domestic incidents, conversation and relative affairs. It states, for example, "that the sultan's wife, A., owed the laundress, B., three rupees, and that the laundress came yesterday to ask for her money; that the lady had sent to her imperial husband to ask for the sum. The emperor referred her to the treasurer, who assured her, that as it was near the end of the month, he could not command a penny. The laundress was therefore put off until the next month." Or, "The Prince C. visited at such an hour the Prince D. or F.; he was received in such a room; stayed so long; the conversation was on this or that subject," etc.

Among the other palaces of the town, that in which the college is located is one of the handsomest. It is built in the Italian style, and is truly majestic; the columns are of uncommon height; the stairs, saloons, and rooms are very spacious and lofty. A fine garden surrounds the back of the palace, a large court-yard the front, and a high fortified wall encloses the whole. Dr. Sprenger, as director of the college, occupies a truly princely dwelling in it.

The palace of the Princess Begum, half in the Italian and half in the Mongolian style, is tolerably large, and is remarkable for its extremely handsome saloons. A pretty and hitherto well kept garden surrounds it on all sides.

The Princess Begum attracted great attention at the time before Delhi was under the English dominion, by her intelligence, enterprise, and bravery. She was a Hindoo by birth, and became acquainted in her youth with a German named Sombre, with whom she fell in love, and turned Christian in order to marry him. Mr. Sombre formed a regiment of native troops, which, after they were well trained, he offered to the emperor. In the course of time, he so ingratiated himself with the emperor, that the latter presented him with a large property, and made him a prince. His wife is said to have supported him energetically in everything. After his death, she was appointed commander of the regiment, which post she held most honourably for several years. She died a short time since at the age of eighty.

Of the numerous mosques of New Delhi, I visited only two, the Mosque Roshun-ad-dawla, and the Jumna Mosque. The former stands in the principal street, and its pinnacles and domes are splendidly gilt. It is made famous through its connection with an act of cruelty on the part of Sheikh Nadir. This remarkable, but fearfully cruel monarch, on conquering Delhi in the year 1739, had 100,000 of the inhabitants cut to pieces, and is said to have sat upon a tower of this mosque to watch the scene. The town was then set fire to and plundered.

The Jumna Mosque, built by the Sheikh Djihan, is also considered a masterpiece of Mahomedan architecture; it stands upon an enormous platform, to which forty steps lead up, and rises in a truly majestic manner above the surrounding mass of houses. Its symmetry is astonishing. The three domes, and the small cupolas on the minarets, are of white marble; all the other parts, even the large slates with which the fine court-yard is paved, are of red sandstone. The inlaid ornamental work and stripes on the mosque, are also of white marble.

There are great numbers of caravansaries, frequently with very handsome portals. The baths are unimportant.

We devoted two days to making an excursion to the more distant monuments of Delhi. We first stopped at the still well-preserved "Purana Kale." All the handsome mosques resemble each other much. This one, however, is distinguished by its decoration, the richness and correctness of its sculptures, its beautiful inlaid work, and its size. Three lightly arched and lofty cupolas cover the principal building, small towers adorn the corners, and two high minarets stand at the sides. The entrance and the interior of the domes are inlaid with glazed tiles and painted, the colours are remarkably brilliant. The interior of every mosque is empty; a small tribune for speakers, and a few glass lustres and lamps, constitute the whole decoration.

The mausoleum of the Emperor Humaione, very much in the same style as the mosque, was commenced by this monarch himself. But as he died before it was completed, his son Akbar carried out his intentions. The high-arched temple, in the centre of which stands the sarcophagus, is inlaid with mosaic work of rare stones. Instead of window-panes, the openings are furnished with artistically worked stone lattices. In adjoining halls, under plain sarcophagi, rest the remains of several wives and children of the Emperor Humaione.

Not far from this is the monument of Nizam-ul-din, a very sacred and greatly venerated Mahomedan. It stands in a small court, the floor of which is paved with marble. A square screen of marble, with four small doors, surrounds the sarcophagus. This screen is still more delicate and finely worked than that in the Taj-Mehal; it is scarcely conceivable how it was possible to execute such work in stone. The doors, pillars, and elegant arches are covered with the most chaste reliefs, as fine and perfect as any that I have seen in the most artistic towns of Italy. The marble used for them is of remarkable whiteness and purity, worthy, indeed, of these great works of art.

Adjoining this are several pretty monuments, all of white marble. They are passed by with some indifference when the most perfect of them all has been seen first.

A great deal has been said about a large water basin, which is surrounded on three sides by cells, already much dilapidated; the fourth side is open, and from it a beautiful stone staircase, forty feet broad, leads to the water basin, which is twenty-five feet deep. Every pilgrim would consider his pilgrimage of no account if he did not step in here immediately on his arrival.

Divers plunge from the terraces of the cells to the bottom of the basin, and fetch out the smallest pieces of money which have been thrown in. Some are dexterous enough to catch the coin even before it touches the bottom. We threw in several coins, which they succeeded in bringing up every time, but I can scarcely believe that they caught them before they reached the bottom. They remained long enough under water each time, not only to pick the coin up, but also to look for it. The feat was certainly surprising, but not, as some travellers affirm, so remarkable that similar ones might not be seen elsewhere.

Our last visit on this day was to the beautiful monument of the Vizier Sofdar-Dchang, which is also a mosque. In this monument I was especially struck by the inlaid work of white marble in red sandstone upon the four minarets, it was so diversified and so delicate; so chastely executed that the most expert draughtsman could not have produced it more correctly and delicately upon paper. The same may be said of the sarcophagi in the principal temple, which is hewn out of a block of fine white marble.

The monument is surrounded by a tolerably well-kept garden, laid out in the European style.

At the end of the garden, opposite the mausoleum, stands a small palace, principally belonging to the King of Lucknau. It is at present kept in good condition by the few European inhabitants of New Delhi. It contains a few articles of furniture, and serves for the accommodation of visitors to these ruins.

We remained here over night, and, thanks to the good-hearted and amiable Mrs. Sprenger, found every possible convenience we could desire. The first and most agreeable thing after our long wandering, was a well-furnished table. Such attentions are doubly deserving of thanks, when it is remembered at what a great amount of trouble they are procured. It is necessary on such excursions to take not only provisions and a cook, but also cooking utensils, table-services, bed-linen, and servants, enough in short for a small establishment. The train of baggage, which is always sent on before on these occasions, resembles a small emigration party.

On the following morning we went on to Kotab-Minar, one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings of the Patanas (from which people the Affghans derive their origin). The most wonderful part of this monument is the so-called "Giant's Column," a polygon with twenty-seven sides or half-round corners, and five stories or galleries, whose diameter at the basement is fifty-four feet, and whose height is twenty-six feet. A winding staircase of 386 steps, leads to the top. This building is said to belong to the thirteenth century, and to have been built by Kotab-ud-dun. The column is of red sandstone, and only the exterior is of white marble; decorations and wonderful sculptures are wound in broad stripes around the column; these are so finely and neatly chiselled as to resemble an elegant lace pattern. Any description of the delicacy and effect of this work would be far exceeded by the reality. The column is fortunately as well preserved as if it had only been standing about a hundred years. The upper part leans a little forwards (whether artificially, as in the tower at Bologna, is not decided); its top is flat, like a terrace, which does not correspond with the remainder of the architecture. It is not known whether anything formerly stood upon it. The column was in its present condition when the English conquered Delhi.

We mounted as far as the highest point, and a most charming view of the whole remains of Delhi, the Jumna, and the unbounded plain, opened itself here before us. The history of the people who once ruled Hindostan may here be studied in the ruins of imperial towns, lying one close beside the other. It was a great and imposing prospect.

Many places where magnificent palaces and monuments formerly stood are now cultivated fields. Wherever the ground is broken up, fragments of ruins show themselves.

Opposite the tower or column of Kotab-Minar stands a similar unfinished building, the base of which is considerably larger in circumference than that of the finished one. It is supposed that these two towers belonged to a magnificent mosque, {190} of which some courts, gateways, columns, and walls still remain.

These few remains of the mosque are remarkable for the perfect sculptures which covered the walls, gateways, etc., both outside and inside. The entrance-gateway has a considerable height. The columns in the courts are of Buddhist origin; the bell with long chain is sculptured on them in relief.

In the fore-court of the mosque stands a metal column similar to that at Allahabad, except that there is no lion upon its summit, and its height is not more than thirty-six feet. It is defaced by several marks and slight injuries, which are ascribed to the Mongolians, who, when they conquered Delhi, attempted in their destructive rage to pull down these columns; but they stood too firmly, and all their exertions were insufficient to destroy any of the inscriptions on them.

The remaining Patan or Affghan temples and monuments which lie dispersed among the other ruins, resemble each other as much as they differ from the Mahomedan and Hindoo buildings. The monuments of this kind generally consist of a small round temple, with a not very high cupola, surrounded by open arcades supported on pillars.

Here also, in the neighbourhood of Kotab-Minar, a hospitable dwelling is to be found. A ruined building is fitted up, and three of the rooms are furnished.

On the way homewards, we visited the observatory of the famous astronomer, Dey Singh. If that at Benares has been seen, this may well be passed by. Both were built by the same architect, and in the same style; but that at Benares is well preserved, while the one here is already much dilapidated. Some travellers consider this memorial as one of the most wonderful works of Indian art.

Near the observatory stands the old madrissa (school-house), a large building, with numerous rooms for teachers and pupils, and with open galleries and halls, in which the teachers sat surrounded by groups of youths. The building is rather neglected, but is partly inhabited by private persons.

Adjoining the madrissa stands a pretty mosque and a very handsome monument, both of white marble. The latter was erected by Aurang Zeb, in memory of his vizier Ghasy-al dyn Chan, the founder of the madrissa. It is as perfect in its execution as that of the saint Nizam-ul-din, and appears to have been erected by the same artist.

The palace of Feroze Schah is near New Delhi. It is indeed somewhat in ruins, but there is much to be seen in the existing remains of the building. The fore-court of the mosque was a short time since cleared with great labour of the rubbish and masses of stone which covered it, by the untiring zeal of Mr. Cobb, the esteemed editor of the English Delhi News. It is in very good preservation. In this palace stands the third metal column—Feroze-Schachs-Laht. The inscriptions upon it show that it existed a hundred years before the birth of Christ, and may therefore be considered as one of the oldest monuments of India. It was brought here from Lahore at the time this palace was built.

The Purana-Killa, or the old fortress of the palace of Babar, is much decayed. From the height and style of the remaining fragments of gateways and walls, an idea may be formed of the magnitude of the palace.

The ruins of Loglukabad are in an advanced state of dilapidation, and do not repay the trouble of a journey of seven miles.

The other numerous ruins are little more than mere repetitions of those already described, with which, however, they cannot be compared in size, elegance, and beauty. They may be of great interest to antiquarians and historians; but by myself, I candidly admit, they were not much valued.

I must not neglect to mention the English military station, which is situated upon some low hills near New Delhi. The peculiar formation of the ground renders a journey there extremely interesting: a district of enormous blocks of red sandstone, between which beautiful flowers were growing. There are numerous ruins here, much the same as in Delhi.



CHAPTER XIV. JOURNEY FROM DELHI TO BOMBAY.



THE THUGS OR STRANGLERS—DEPARTURE—CATTLE-MARKET—BARATPOOR—BIANA— WELLS AND PONDS—GOOD-NATURE OF THE INDIANS—POPPY PLANTATIONS—THE SUTTIS—NOTARA—KOTTAH—DESCRIPTION OF THE TOWN—THE ROYAL PALACE OF ARMORNEVAS—AMUSEMENTS AND DANCES—THE HOLY VILLAGE OF KESHO-RAE- PATUM.

In order to reach Bombay, I had two routes before me; the one leads past Simla to the foot of the Himalayas, the other to the famous rock temples of Adjunta and Elora. I would gladly have chosen the former, and have penetrated as far as the principal chain of the Himalayas—Lahore and the Indus; but my friends advised me not to make the attempt, for the simple reason, that these mountains were covered with deep snow, in which case I must have postponed my journey for at least three months. As I was unable to wait so long, I decided upon taking the latter road. In Calcutta, I had been recommended not to continue my journey beyond Delhi at all. They said the country was not under the control of the English government, and the people were far less civilized. People endeavoured more especially to excite my apprehension by terrible accounts of the Thugs or stranglers.

These Thugs form a singular sect, whose object is robbery and murder, and who, like the Italian banditti, are prepared to undertake any atrocity for which they are paid. They must not, however, in any case shed blood, and dare only make away with their victim by strangling. The act is not considered as very criminal, and the murderer absolves himself by a small present, which he gives to his priest; but, if he sheds only one drop of blood, he falls into the deepest disgrace, is expelled from his caste, and abandoned even by his own associates.

Many travellers affirm that the Thugs are a religious sect, and that they do not murder for the sake of plunder or of revenge, but in order, according to their belief, to ensure a meritorious action. I made many inquiries about this, and learnt from every one that it was no religious compulsion, but hatred, revenge, or desire of gain, which led to these acts. These stranglers are represented as possessing a most extraordinary dexterity in their abominable trade, united with the most untiring patience and perseverance; they frequently follow the victims they have selected for months, and strangle them either while sleeping, or by stealing behind them and throwing a twisted cloth or a cord round their necks, which they draw tight with such rapidity and force that death ensues instantaneously.

In Delhi, I gained more information. I was assured that all these dangers were exaggerated; that travellers were very rarely attacked in India, and that the Thugs were much reduced in numbers. Moreover, they did not make any attempt upon Europeans, as the English government instituted the strictest search for the culprits. With regard, therefore, to the danger, I was tolerably at ease, but I had still to anticipate privation and fatigue.

The first part of the journey was to Kottah, distant 290 miles. I had the choice of three modes of conveyance—palanquins, camels, or oxen bailis. None of them are expeditious; there are no highroads, and no organized accommodation for travelling; you must retain the same men and animals to the end of the journey, and, at the utmost, cannot go more than from twenty to twenty-two miles in one day. For a palanquin, it is necessary to engage eight bearers, besides several for the luggage. Although each does not receive more than eight rupees a-month, out of which he pays his own expenses; still the expense is heavy, because so many are required, and their return journey must be paid for. Travelling on camels is also expensive, and is the most inconvenient. I decided, therefore, on adopting the less costly mode of conveyance by oxen. As I travelled alone, Dr. Sprenger very kindly made all the necessary preparations; he drew up a written contract with the tschandrie (waggoner) in Hindostanee to the effect that I was to pay him the half of the fare, fifteen rupees (1 pounds 10s.), immediately, and the other half when we arrived at Kottah, to which place he was to bring me in fourteen days; for every day over that time I had the right to deduct three rupees (6s.) Dr. Sprenger also sent one of his most trusty cheprasses {193} to accompany me, and his good wife furnished me with an excellent warm wrapper, and every kind of provision, so that my waggon would hardly hold all that I had.

With a sorrowful heart I parted from my good country people. God grant that I may see them yet again during my life!

On the morning of 30th of January, 1848, I left Delhi. The first day, we made very little progress, only eighteen miles, which brought us to Faridabad; the heavy awkward animals required to be first used to the draught. The first twelve miles of the journey afforded me some gratification, as along both sides of the road lay innumerable ruins, which I had visited with my friends only a few days previously.

This, as well as the following nights, were passed in caravansaries. I had no tent—no palanquins, and on this road there were no bungalows. Unfortunately, the caravansaries in the smaller villages are not to be compared with those in the larger towns; the cells are rudely constructed of clay, their length is scarcely seven feet, and the small opening, only four feet high, is without a door; but, to my astonishment, I found them always very cleanly swept, and I was also furnished with a low wooden stool, covered with network, upon which I threw my wrapper, and which served me for an excellent couch. The cheprasse laid himself, like Napoleon's Mameluke, before the entrance of my cell; but he slept much more soundly, for, even on the first night, he did not hear the least of a very sharp encounter which I had with an enormous dog that had been attracted by my well-filled provision basket.

31st January. Towards noon, we passed through the little town of Balamgalam, in which there is a small English military station, a mosque, and a very recently-erected Hindoo temple. We passed the night in the little town of Palwal.

In this neighbourhood, the peacocks are very tame. Every morning, I saw dozens of these beautiful birds on the trees; they come into the fields, and even into the towns, to fetch food from the good-natured natives.

1st February. Our night's station on this day was the small town of Cossi. We had already been overtaken during the last mile by a number of natives, who were busily hurrying into the town, in and outside of which a considerable cattle-market was being held. This market presented a picture of the greatest confusion; the animals stood on all sides between a multitude of trusses of hay and straw, the sellers crying and praising their wares without cessation, and leading the buyers here and there, partly by persuasion and partly by force, who also made no less noise than the former.

I was most struck by the innumerable cobblers, who set up their simple working implements between the piled-up bundles of hay and straw, consisting of small tables with thread, wire, and leather, and who were busily engaged at their trade, repairing the coverings for the feet. I remarked at this time, as well as on several other occasions, that the natives are by no means so indolent as they are generally represented to be, but, on the contrary, that they avail themselves of every favourable opportunity of earning money. All the caravansaries at the entrance of the town were crowded, and there was no other alternative except to pass through the whole town to the other side. The town-gate had a very promising appearance, rising proudly and boldly into the air; I hoped to see corresponding buildings, and saw instead wretched mud hovels and narrow lanes; so narrow, indeed, that the foot passengers were obliged to step under the entrances of the huts to allow our baili to pass them.

2nd February. A few miles distant from Matara, we turned out of the beaten road which leads from Delhi to Mutra, a town which still remains under English government. Matara is a pretty little town, with a very neat mosque, broad streets, and walled houses, many of which, indeed, are decorated with galleries, columns, or sculptures of red sandstone.

The appearance of the country here is of monotonous uniformity— boundless plains, on which orchards and meadows alternately present themselves, the latter apparently quite scorched up in consequence of the dry season. The corn was already a foot high; but such large quantities of yellow flowers were mixed with it, that there was great difficulty in telling whether corn or weeds had been sown. The cultivation of cotton is of very great importance here. The Indian plant does not, indeed, attain the height and thickness of the Egyptian; however, it is considered that the quality of the cotton does not depend upon the size of the plants, and that the cotton of this country is the finest and the best.

I observed upon these plains little houses here and there, built upon artificially-raised perpendicular mounds of clay, of from six to eight feet high. There are no steps leading to the tops of these mounds, the only means of access being by ladders, which can be drawn up at night. From what I could draw from the explanations of my servants, which, however, I only partially understood, they are used by families, who live in retired places, for security against the tigers, which are here very frequently seen.

3rd February. Baratpoor. We passed a place which was overgrown, in broad patches, with misshapen stunted bushes—a rare occurrence in this part of the country, where wood is scarce. My driver bestowed upon this tangled brushwood the high-sounding name of jungle. I should rather have compared them with the dwarfed bushes and shrubs of Iceland. The country beyond this woody district had a very remarkable appearance; the ground was in many places torn and fissured, as if in consequence of an earthquake.

In the caravansary at Baratpoor there were a great number of natives, soldiers, and particularly some very rough-looking men, of whom I felt inclined to be afraid: I was no longer in the English territories, and alone among all these people. However, they behaved themselves with the greatest civility, and greeted me in the evening and morning with a right hearty salaam. I think that a similar set of men in our own country would scarcely have shown me the same respect.

4th February. On the other side of the town, I saw two fine monuments before the door, round temples with lofty cupolas, and carved stone lattice work in the window openings. The fields and meadows were richly strewed with Indian fig-trees, a thing which I have scarcely met with anywhere else, except in Syria and Sicily; to the right of the road was a low rocky peak, whose highest point was crowned by a fortress. The dwelling-houses of the commanders, instead of being sheltered by the walls, rose high above them, and were tastily surrounded by verandahs; on the terrace of the principal building was a handsome pavilion, supported upon pillars. The outer walls of the fortress extended down into the valley below. We had proceeded about fourteen miles, when we came upon some monuments which had a very unique appearance. On a small spot, shaded by beautiful trees, was a round wall, formed of a number of flagstones of seven feet high and four feet wide; in the middle stood three monuments of a circular form, built of large square stones. The diameter of their tower part was about twelve feet, their height about six. They had no entrance.

I also saw a new species of bird today. It was very similar in size and form to the flamingo, with beautiful pinion feathers; its plumage was tinged with a rich whitish grey shade, the head was covered with deep red feathers. We rested this night at the somewhat large town of Hindon. The only object which attracted my notice here was a palace with such small windows, that they seemed more fitted for dolls than for men.

6th February. As I was about to leave the caravansary this morning, three armed men placed themselves before my waggon, and in spite of the exclamations of my people, prevented our starting. At last, I succeeded in understanding that the dispute was about a few pence, for having kept watch before the door of my sleeping-room during the night, which my people would not pay. The caravansary did not appear to the cheprasse very safe, and he had requested a guard in the evening from the serdar (magistrate). The people might have slept quite soundly in some corner of the court-yard, and, perhaps, have dreamt of watching, for although I had looked out several times during the night, there was not one of them to be seen; however, what can one expect for a few pence? I satisfied them with a small present, upon which they made a regular military movement, and allowed us to proceed.

If I had been inclined to be timid, I must have been in continual anxiety for several days from the appearance of the natives.

All of them were armed with sabres, bows and arrows, matchlocks, formidable clubs bound with iron, and even shields of ironplate. These arms were also carried by the cattle tenders in the fields. But nothing disturbed my equanimity, although ignorant of the language, and with only the old cheprasse with me; I always felt as though my last hours were not yet come. Nevertheless, I was glad that we had passed by clear daylight the dangerous ravines and deep gorges through which our road lay for several miles. From these we entered a large valley, at the entrance of which was an isolated mountain, surmounted by a fortress; four miles further on, we came to a small group of trees, in the middle of which was a stone terrace, five feet in height, upon which was a life-size statue of a horse carved in stone. By the side of this a well was dug out; a kind of cistern, built of large blocks of red sandstone, with steps leading up to the water.

Similar wells and cisterns, some of which are much larger, screened by beautiful mango and tamarind trees, are frequently met with in India, especially in districts where, as in the present one, good springs are scarce. The Hindoos and Mahomedans have the good belief that by the erection of works for general benefit, they may more easily attain future happiness. When such water reservoirs and groups of trees have been founded by Hindoos, several sculptured figures of their deities, or red painted stones, are commonly found placed on them. At many of the wells, and cisterns also, a man is placed, whose business it is to draw water for the weary travellers.

However agreeable the erection of these reservoirs may be in many respects, there is one circumstance which detracts from their value; the people always wash and bathe in the same ones from which they must procure their drinking water. But what objections will not thirst silence? I filled my jug as well as the others!

7th February. Dungerkamaluma is a small village at the foot of a low mountain. A short distance from the station lay a true Arabian sand desert, but which was fortunately not of very great extent. The sand plains of India are generally capable of being cultivated, as it is only necessary to dig a few feet deep to reach water, with which to irrigate the fields. Even in this little desert were a few fine-looking wheat fields.

This evening I thought that I should have been obliged to make use of my pistols. My waggoner always wanted every one to give him the road; if they did not do so, he abused them. Today we came upon half a dozen of armed traveller-waggoners, who took no notice of the calls of my driver, upon which he was enraged, and threatened to strike them with his whip. If it had come to blows, we should, no doubt, in spite of my aid, have come off the worst; but they contented themselves with mutual abuse and threats, and the fellows got out of the way.

I have everywhere remarked that the Indians jangle and threaten a great deal, but that they never go beyond that. I have lived a great deal among the people and observed them, and have often seen anger and quarrelling, but never fighting. Indeed, when their anger lasts long, they sit down together. The children never wrestle or pull each other about, either in sport or earnest. I only once saw two boys engaged in earnest quarrel, when one of them so far forgot himself as to give the other a box on the ear, but he did this as carefully as if he received the blow himself. The boy who was struck drew his sleeve over his cheek, and the quarrel was ended. Some other children had looked on from the distance, but took no part in it.

This good nature may partly depend upon the fact that the people eat so little flesh, and, according to their religion, are so extremely kind to all animals; but I think still that there is some cowardice at the bottom of it. I was told that a Hindoo could scarcely be persuaded to enter a dark room without a light; if a horse or ox makes the slightest start, both great and small run frightened and shrieking away. On the other side, again, I heard from the English officers that the sepoys were very brave soldiers. Does this courage come with the coat, or from the example of the English?

During the last day I saw a great many poppy plantations. They present a remarkable appearance; the leaves are fatty and shining, the flowers large and variegated. The extraction of the opium is performed in a very simple, but exceedingly tedious manner. The yet unripe poppy heads are cut in several places in the evening. A white tenacious juice flows out of these incisions, which quickly thickens by exposure to the air, and remains hanging in small tears. These tears are scraped off with a knife in the morning, and poured into vessels which have the form of a small cake. A second inferior quantity is obtained by pressing and boiling the poppy heads and stems.

In many books, and, for instance, in Zimmerman's "Pocket-Book of Travels," I read under this head that the poppy plants reached a height of forty feet in India and Persia, and that the capsules were as large as a child's head, and held nearly a quart of seeds. This is not correct. I saw the finest plantations in India, and afterwards also in Persia, but found that the plants were never more than three, and, at the most, four feet high, and the capsule about as large round as a small hen's egg.

8th February. Madopoor, a wretched village at the foot of some low mountains. Today also we passed through terrible ravines and chasms, which like those of yesterday, were not near the mountains, but in the middle of the plains. The sight of some palms was, on the contrary, agreeable, the first I had seen since I left Benares; however, they bore no fruit. I was still more surprised to see, in a place so destitute of trees and shrubs, tamarind, and banyan or mango trees planted singly, which, cultivated with great care, flourish with incomparable splendour and luxuriance. Their value is doubled when it is known that under each there is either a well or a cistern.

9th February. Indergur, a small, unimportant town. We approached today very much nearer to the low mountains which we had already seen yesterday. We soon found ourselves in narrow valleys, whose outlets appeared to be closed with high, rocky wells. Upon some of the higher mountain peaks stood little kiosks, dedicated to the memory of the Suttis. The Suttis are those women who are burnt with the corpse of their husbands. According to the statement of the Hindoos, they are not compelled to do so, but their relations insult and neglect them when they do not, and they are driven out of society; consequently the poor women generally give their free consent. Upon the occasion, they are handsomely dressed and ornamented, and frequently stupefied with opium almost to madness; are led with music and singing to the place where the corpse of the husband, wrapped in white muslin, lies upon the funeral pile. At the moment that the victim throws herself upon the corpse, the wood is lighted on all sides. At the same time, a deafening noise is commenced with musical instruments, and every one begins to shout and sing, in order to smother the howling of the poor woman. After the burning, the bones are collected, placed in an urn, and interred upon some eminence under a small monument. Only the wives (and of these only the principal or favourite ones) of the wealthy or noble have the happiness to be burnt! Since the conquest of Hindostan by the English, these horrible scenes are not permitted to take place.

The mountain scenery alternated with open plains, and towards evening we came to still more beautiful mountains. A small fortress, which was situated upon the slope of a mountain, quite exposed, presented a very interesting appearance; the mosques, barracks, little gardens, etc., could be entirely overlooked. At the foot of this fortress lay our night-quarters.

10th February. Notara. We travelled a long distance through narrow valleys, upon roads which were so stony that it was scarcely possible to ride, and I thought every moment that the waggon must be broken to pieces. So long as the sun was not scorching on my head, I walked by the side, but I was soon compelled to seek the shade of the linen covering of the wagon. I bound up my forehead tightly, grasped both sides of the car, and submitted to my fate. The jungle which surrounded us resembled in beauty and luxuriance that near Baratpoor but it afforded me more amusement, as it was inhabited by wild apes. They were tolerably large, with yellowish, brown hair, black faces, and very long tails.

It was very pretty to see how anxious the mothers were about their young. When I startled them, she took one upon her back, the other clung to her breast, and with this double weight she not only sprung from branch to branch, but even from tree to tree.

If I had only possessed somewhat more imaginative power, I should have taken the forest for a fairy wood, for besides the merry monkeys, I saw many remarkable things. The rock sides and debris to the left of the road, for example, had the most singular and varied forms. Some resembled the ruins of temples and houses, others trees; indeed, the figure of a woman with a child in her arms, was so natural, that I could scarcely help feeling a regret at seeing it turned into this dismal lifelessness. Further on, lay a gate, whose noble artistic construction so deceived me, that I long sought for the ruins of the town to which it appeared to lead.

Not far distant from the jungle is the little town of Lakari, situated upon the almost perpendicular declivity of a mountain ridge, and also protected by fortifications. A beautiful pond, a large well with an artificial portico, terraces with Hindoo idols and Mahomedan funeral monuments, lie in very attractive disorder. Before Notara I found several altars, with the sacred bull carved in red stone. In the town itself stood a handsome monument, an open temple with columns upon a stone terrace, which was surrounded with fine reliefs, representing elephants and riders.

There was no caravansary at this place, and I was obliged to go about the streets with my cumbrous equipage in search of a lodging; but as no one would receive a Christian, not from any want of good nature, but in consequence of an erroneous religious opinion that a house which has been visited by an unbeliever is defiled. This opinion also extends to many other matters.

There was no alternative left for me except to pass the night in an open verandah.

In this town I saw a circumstance which proved the amiability of the people. A donkey, that was maimed either from its birth or by an accident, was dragging itself with great exertion across the street, a task which it required several minutes to accomplish. Several people who were coming that way with their loaded animals waited with great patience, without making a single murmur or raising a hand to drive the creature on. Many of the inhabitants came out of their houses and gave it fodder, and every passer-by turned out of the way for it. This feeling of sympathy touched me uncommonly.

11th February. On this, the thirteenth day of my journey, I reached Kottah. I was very well satisfied with my servants and driver, and indeed with the journey altogether! The owners of the caravansaries had not charged me more than a native; and had afforded me all the conveniences which the strict rules of religion allowed. I had passed the nights in open chambers, even under the open sky, surrounded by people of the poorest and lowest classes, and never received the slightest ill-treatment either by word or deed. I never had anything stolen, and when ever I gave any little trifle to a child, {200} such as a piece of bread, cheese, or the like, their parents always endeavoured to show their gratitude by other acts of kindness. Oh, that the Europeans only knew how easily these simple children of nature might be won by attention and kindness! But, unfortunately, they will continue to govern them by force, and treat them with neglect and severity.

Kottah is the chief city of the kingdom of Rajpootan. Here, as in all those provinces which the English government has left under the dominion of their native princes, there is an English official appointed, who bears the title of the "Resident." These residents might be properly called "kings," or at least the king's governors, since the real kings cannot do anything without their consent. These miserable shadows of kings dare not, for example, cross the boundaries of their own states without permission of the resident. The more important fortresses of the country have English garrisons, and here and there small English military stations are established.

This control is in some respects beneficial to the people, in others injurious. The custom of burning widows is done away with, and strictly forbidden; as well as the horrible punishment of being trodden to death by elephants, or dragged along, tied to their tails. On the other hand, the taxation is increased, for the king is obliged to pay a considerable tribute for the right of ruling according to the will of the resident. This naturally comes out of the pockets of the people. The King of Rajpootan pays annually 300,000 rupees (30,000 pounds) to the English government.

The resident at Kottah, Captain Burdon, was an intimate friend of Dr. Sprenger's, who had previously acquainted him with my speedy arrival. But, unfortunately, he was at that time inspecting the different military stations; however, he had before his departure made arrangements for my reception, and requested Dr. Rolland to see them carried out. He carried his attentions so far as to send on books, newspapers, and servants, to the last station, which, however, I missed, as my driver had turned off from the main road, during the last two days, into a shorter one. I reached the handsome bungalow of the resident, and found the house quite vacant; Mrs. Burdon, together with her children, had accompanied her husband, as is generally the case in India, where frequent change of air is very necessary for Europeans. The house, the servants, and sepoys which were left, and the captain's palanquin and equipage, were placed entirely at my disposal; and in order to complete my happiness, Dr. Rolland was so good as to accompany me in all my excursions.

12th February. This morning, the king, Ram-Singh, who had been immediately informed of my arrival, sent me a quantity of fruits and sweetmeats in large baskets, his own riding elephant, handsomely caparisoned, an officer on horseback, and some soldiers. I was very soon seated with Dr. Rolland in the howdah, and trotted to the neighbouring town. Kottah contains about 30,000 inhabitants, and lies on the river Chumbal, in a far stretching and, in some places, very rocky plain, 1,300 feet above the level of the sea. The town, which is conspicuously situated, is surrounded by strong fortified works, upon which are placed fifty pieces of cannon. The immediate neighbourhood is rocky, naked, and barren. The interior of the town is separated into three parts by as many gates. The first part is inhabited by the poorer classes, and appeared very wretched. In the two other parts the tradespeople and the gentry reside; they have an incomparably better aspect. The principal street, although uneven and stony, is sufficiently wide to allow carriages, and ponderous beasts of burden, to pass without hindrance.

The architecture of the houses is in the highest degree original. The smallness of the windows had already attracted my notice in Benares, here they are so narrow and low that it is hardly possible to put the head out; they are for the most part closed with finely worked stone lattice, instead of glass. Many of the houses have large alcoves; in others there are spacious saloons on the first floor, which rest on pillars and occupy the whole front of the house; many of these halls were separated by partition walls into smaller open saloons. At both corners of the hall were decorated pavilions, and at the further end, doors leading to the interior of the house. These halls are generally used as shops and places of business; also as the resort of idlers, who sit upon mats and ottomans, smoking their hookas and watching the bustle in the streets. In other houses, again, the front walls were painted in fresco, with terrible-looking dragons, tigers, lions, twice or thrice as large as life, stretching their tongues out, with hideous grimaces; or with deities, flowers, arabesques, etc., without sense or taste grouped together, miserably executed, and bedaubed with the most glaring colours.

The numerous handsome Hindoo temples, all built upon lofty stone terraces, form an agreeable feature of the town. They are higher, more capacious, and finer buildings than those of Benares, with the exception of the Bisvishas. The temples here stand in open halls, intersected by colonnades, ornamented with several quadrangular towers, and surmounted by a cupola of from twenty to forty feet in height. The sanctuary is in the middle; it is a small, carefully enclosed building, with a door leading into it. This door, as well as the pillars and friezes, is covered with beautiful sculptures; the square towers are quite as carefully constructed as those at Benares. Hideous statues and fanciful figures stand under the halls, some of which are painted in bright red colours. On the side walls of the terraces are arabesques, elephants, horses, etc., carved in relief.

The royal palace lies at the extremity of the third part of the town, and forms a town within a town, or rather a fortress in a fortress, as it is surrounded by immense fortified walls, which command the town as well as the country round it; many large and small buildings are enclosed within these walls, but do not present anything remarkable beyond their handsome halls. Had the resident been in Kottah I should have been presented to the king, but as it was not etiquette in his absence, I was compelled to put up with my disappointment.

From the town we proceeded to Armornevas, one of the neighbouring palaces of the king's. The road to it was indescribably bad, full of rocks and large stones. I was astonished to see with what dexterity our elephant set his plump feet between them, and travelled on as quickly as if he was going over the levellest road.

When I expressed my surprise to Dr. Rolland that the king should not have a good road made to his residence, which he so often visited, he informed me that it was a maxim with all Indian monarchs not to make roads, for, according to their opinion, in case of a war, they offered too great facilities to the invasion of the enemy.

The castle is small and unimportant. It lies on the river Chumbal, which has here hollowed out for itself a remarkably deep bed in the rock. Picturesque ravines and groups of rock form its shores.

The garden of the castle is so thickly planted with orange, citron, and other trees, that there is not room for even the smallest flowering plant or shrub.

The few flowers which the Indian gardens contain, are placed at the entrances. The paths are raised two feet, as the ground is always muddy and damp in consequence of the frequent watering. Most of the Indian gardens which I afterwards saw resembled these.

The king frequently amuses himself here with tiger-hunting. Somewhat higher up the river small towers are erected upon slight eminences; the tigers are driven gradually towards the water, and always more and more hemmed in, until they are within shot of the towers; the king and his friends sit securely upon the tops of the towers, and fire bravely upon the wild beasts.

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