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A Woman's Journey Round the World
by Ida Pfeiffer
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Near the castle was a small wooden temple, which had just been built; the principal part, however, the amiable idols, was awanting. It was owing to this fortunate circumstance that we were allowed to enter the sanctuary, which consisted of a small marble kiosk standing in the centre of the hall. The temple and the columns were covered with bad paintings in the most brilliant colours. It is strange that neither the Hindoos nor the Mahometans should have applied themselves to painting, for there are neither good pictures nor drawings to be seen among any of these people, although they have displayed such proficiency in architecture, carving in relief, and in mosaic work.

We lastly visited a remarkably fine wood of tamarind and mango trees, under the shadows of which the ashes of a number of kings are preserved in handsome monuments. These monuments consist of open temples, with broad flights of ten or twelve steps leading up to them. At the bottom of the steps, on each side, stand stone figures of elephants. Some of the temples are ornamented with beautiful sculptures.

The evening was passed in all kinds of amusements. The good doctor would have made me acquainted with all the arts of the Hindoos; however, the greater number of them were no longer new to me. A snake-charmer exhibited his little society, which performed very clever tricks, and also allowed the most poisonous serpents to twine themselves round his body, and the largest scorpions ran over his arms and legs. Afterwards, four elegant female dancers appeared dressed in muslin, ornamented with gold and silver, and loaded with jewellery,—ears, forehead, neck, breast, loins, hands, arms, feet, in short, every part of the body was covered with gold, silver, and precious stones; even the toes were ornamented with them, and from the nose, a large ring with three stones hung over the mouth. Two of the dancers first commenced. Their dance consisted of the same winding movements which I had already seen in Benares, only they were far more animated, and twisted their fingers, hands, and arms about in every conceivable manner. They might well be said to dance with their arms but not with their feet. They danced for ten minutes without singing, then they began to scream, without however keeping time, and their motions became more violent and wild, until in about half an hour both strength and voice failed, they stopped quite exhausted, and made way for their sisters, who repeated the same spectacle. Dr. Rolland told me that they represented a love story, in which every virtue and passion, such as truth, self- devotion, hate, persecution, despair, etc., played a part. The musicians stood a little behind the dancers, and followed all their movements. The whole space which such a company requires, is at the most ten feet in length and eight broad. The good Hindoos amuse themselves for hours together with these tasteless repetitions.

I remember having read in books that the Indian female dancers were far more graceful than the European, that their songs were highly melodious, and that their pantomime was tender, inspiring, and attractive. I should scarcely think the authors of such books could have been in India! Not less exaggerated are the descriptions of others, who affirm that there are no dances more indelicate than those of the Indians. I might again ask these people if they had ever seen the Sammaquecca and Refolosa in Valparaiso, the female dancers of Tahiti, or even our own in flesh-coloured leggings? The dresses of the females in Rajpootan and some parts of Bundelkund are very different from those of other parts of India. They wear long, coloured, many-folded skirts, tight bodies, which are so short that they scarcely cover the breasts; and, over this, a blue mantle, in which they envelop the upper part of the body, the head, and the face, and allow a part to hang down in front like a veil. Girls who do not always have the head covered, nearly resemble our own peasant girls. Like the dancers, they are overloaded with jewellery; when they cannot afford gold and silver, they content themselves with some other metals. They wear also rings of horn, bone, or glass beads, on the fingers, arms, and feet. On the feet they carry bells, so that they are heard at a distance of sixty paces; the toes are covered with broad heavy rings, and they have rings hanging from their noses down to the chin, which they are obliged to tie up at meal time. I pitied the poor creatures, who suffered not a little from their finery! The eyebrows and eyelids are dyed black while the children are very young, and they frequently paint themselves with dark-blue streaks of a finger's breadth over the eyebrows, and with spots on the forehead. The adult women tattoo their breasts, foreheads, noses, or temples with red, white, or yellow colours, according as they are particularly attached to one or the other deity. Many wear amulets or miniatures hung round their necks, so that I at first thought they were Catholics, and felt gratified at the brilliant successes of the missionaries. But, when I came nearer to one of the people, that I might see these pictures better, what did I discover there? Perhaps a beautiful Madonna!—a fair- haired angel's head!—an enthusiastic Antonio of Padua! Ah no! I was met by the eight-armed god Shiva grinning at me, the ox's head of Vishnu, the long-tongued goddess Kalli. The amulets contained, most probably, some of the ashes of one of their martyrs who had been burned, or a nail, a fragment of skin, a hair of a saint, a splinter from the bone of a sacred animal, etc.

13th February. Dr. Rolland conducted me to the little town of Kesho-Rae-Patum, one of the most sacred in Bunda and Rajpootan. It lies on the other side of the river, six miles from Kottah. A great number of pilgrims come here to bathe, as the water is considered particularly sacred at this spot. This belief cannot be condemned, when it is remembered how many Christians there are who give the preference to the Holy Maria at Maria-Zell, Einsiedeln, or Loretto, which, nevertheless, all represent one and the same.

Handsome steps lead from the heights on the banks down to the river, and Brahmins sit in pretty kiosks to take money from believers for the honour of the gods. On one of the flights of steps lay a very large tortoise. It might quietly sun itself there in safety—no one thought of catching it. It came out of the sacred river; indeed, it might, perhaps, be the incarnation of the god Vishnu himself. {204} Along the river stood numbers of stone altars, with small bulls, and other emblematical figures, also cut in stone. The town itself is small and miserable, but the temple is large and handsome.

The priests were here so tolerant as to admit us to all parts of the temple. It is open on all sides, and forms an octagon. Galleries run round the upper part, one-half of which are for women, the other for the musicians. The sanctuary stands at the back of the temple; five bells hang before it, which are struck when women enter the temple; they rung out also at my entrance. The curtained and closed doors were then opened, and afforded us a full view of the interior. We saw there a little group of idols carved in stone. The people who followed us with curiosity commenced a gentle muttering upon the opening of the doors. I turned round, somewhat startled, thinking that it was directed against us and indicated anger, but it was the prayers, which they repeated in a low voice and with a feeling of devotion. One of the Brahmins brushed off the flies from the intelligent countenances of the gods.

Several chapels join the large temple, and were all opened to us. They contained red-painted stones or pictures. In the front court sits a stone figure of a saint under a covering, completely clothed, and with even a cap on the head. On the opposite bank of the river, a small hill rises, upon which rests the figure of a large and rather plump ox hewn in stone. This hill is called the "holy mountain."

Captain Burdon has built a very pretty house near the holy mountain, where he sometimes lives with his family. I saw there a fine collection of stuffed birds, which he had brought himself from the Himalayas. I was particularly struck by the pheasants, some of which shone with quite a metallic lustre; and there were some not less beautiful specimens of heathcocks.

I had now seen all, and therefore asked the doctor to order me a conveyance to Indor, 180 miles distant, for the next day. He surprised me with the offer, on the part of the king, to provide me with as many camels as I required, and two sepoys on horseback as attendants. I asked for two; the one for myself, the other for the driver and the servants which Dr. Rolland sent with me.



CHAPTER XV. JOURNEY FROM DELHI TO BOMBAY CONTINUED.



TRAVELLING ON INDIAN CAMELS—MY MEETING WITH THE BURDON FAMILY—THE DIFFERENT CLASSES OF WOMEN AMONG THE NATIVE POPULATION IN INDIA— UDJEIN—CAPTAIN HAMILTON—INTRODUCTION AT COURT—MANUFACTURE OF ICE— THE ROCK TEMPLES OF ADJUNTA—A TIGER HUNT—THE ROCK TEMPLES OF ELORA—THE FORTRESS OF DOWLUTABAD.

14TH February. The camels were ordered at 5 o'clock in the morning, but it was not until towards noon that they came, each with a driver. When they saw my portmanteau (twenty-five pounds in weight), they were quite puzzled to know what to do with it. It was useless my explaining to them how the luggage is carried in Egypt, and that I had been accustomed to carry very little with me on my own animal: they were used to a different plan, and would not depart from it.

Travelling on camels is always unpleasant and troublesome. The jolting motion of the animal produces in many people the same ill effects as the rocking of a ship on the sea; but in India it is almost unbearable, on account of the inconvenience of the arrangements. Here each animal has a driver, who sits in front and takes the best place; the traveller has only a little space left for him on the hinder part of the animal.

Dr. Rolland advised me at once to put up with the inconvenience as well as I could. He told me that I should fall in with Captain Burdon in the next day or two, and it would be easy to obtain a more convenient conveyance from him. I followed his advice, allowed my luggage to be carried, and patiently mounted my camel.

We passed through extensive plains, which were most remarkable for some considerable flax plantations, and came to a beautiful lake, near to which lay a very pretty palace. Towards evening, we reached the little village of Moasa, where we stayed for the night.

In those countries which are governed by native princes, there are neither roads nor arrangements for travelling; although in every village and town there are people appointed whose business it is to direct travellers on their way and carry their luggage, for which they are paid a small fee. Those travellers who have a guard from the king or aumil (governor), or a cheprasse with them, do not pay anything for this attendance; others give them a trifle for their services, according as the distance is greater or less.

When I reached Moasa, every one hastened to offer me their services— for I travelled with the king's people, and in this part of the country a European woman is a rarity. They brought me wood, milk, and eggs. My table was always rather frugally furnished: at the best I had rice boiled in milk or some eggs, but generally only rice, with water and salt. A leathern vessel for water, a little saucepan for boiling in, a handful of salt, and some rice and bread, were all that I took with me.

15th February. Late in the evening I reached Nurankura, a small place surrounded by low mountains. I found here some tents belonging to Captain Burdon, a maid, and a servant. Terribly fatigued, I entered one of the tents directly, in order to rest myself. Scarcely had I taken possession of the divan, than the maid came into the tent, and, without any observation, commenced kneading me about with her hands. I would have stopped her, but she explained to me that when a person was fatigued it was very refreshing. For a quarter of an hour she pressed my body from head to foot vigorously, and it certainly produced a good effect—I found myself much relieved and strengthened. This custom of pressing and kneading is very common in India, as well as in all Oriental countries, especially after the bath; and Europeans also willingly allow themselves to be operated upon.

The maid informed me, partly by signs, partly by words, that I had been expected since noon; that a palanquin stood ready for me, and that I could sleep as well in it as in the tent. I was rejoiced at this, and again started on my journey at 11 o'clock at night. The country was indeed, as I knew, infested with tigers, but as several torch-bearers accompanied us, and the tigers are sworn enemies of light, I could composedly continue my uninterrupted sleep. About 3 o'clock in the morning, I was set down again in a tent, which was prepared for my reception, and furnished with every convenience.

16th February. This morning I made the acquaintance of the amiable family of the Burdons. They have seven children, whom they educate chiefly themselves. They live very pleasantly and comfortably, although they are wholly thrown on their own resources for amusement, as there are, with the exception of Dr. Rolland, no Europeans in Kottah. It is only very rarely that they are visited by officers who may be passing through, and I was the first European female Mrs. Burdon had seen for four years.

I passed the most delightful day in this family circle. I was not a little astonished to find here all the conveniences of a well- regulated house; and I must take this opportunity of describing, in few words, the mode of travelling adopted by the English officers and officials in India.

In the first place, they have tents which are so large, that they contain two or three rooms; one which I saw was worth more than 800 rupees (80 pounds). They take with them corresponding furniture, from a footstool to the most elegant divan; in fact, nearly the whole of the house and cooking utensils. They have also a multitude of servants, every one of whom has his particular occupation, which he understands exceedingly well. The travellers, after passing the night in their beds, about 3 o'clock in the morning either lie or sit in easy palanquins, or mount on horseback, and after four or five hours' ride, dismount, and partake of a hot breakfast under tents. They have every household accommodation, carry on their ordinary occupations, take their meals at their usual hours, and are, in fact, entirely at home.

The cook always proceeds on his journey at night. As soon as the tents are vacated, they are taken down and quickly removed, and as quickly re-erected: there is no scarcity of hands or of beasts of burden. In the most cultivated countries of Europe, people do not travel with so much luxury and ease as in India.

In the evening, I was obliged to take my departure again. Captain Burdon very kindly offered me the use of his palanquin and the necessary bearers as far as Indos, but I pitied the people too much, and declared that I did not find travelling on camels unpleasant; that in fact, on account of the open view, that mode was to be preferred to palanquins. However, on account of my little portmanteau, I took a third camel. I left the sepoys behind here. This evening we went eight miles towards the little town Patan.

17th February. It was not till this morning that I saw Patan was situated on a romantic chain of hills, and possesses several remarkably handsome temples, in the open halls belonging to which are placed sculptured stone figures, the size of life. The arabesques and figures on the pillars were sharply executed in relief. In the valleys which we passed through, there was a large quantity of basaltic rock and most beautifully crystallized quartz. Towards evening, we reached Batschbachar, a miserable little town.

18th February. Rumtscha is somewhat larger and better. I was obliged to put up my bed in the middle of the bazaar under an open verandah. Upon this road there were no caravansaries. Half of the inhabitants of the town gathered round me, and watched all my motions and doings with the greatest attention. I afforded them an opportunity of studying the appearance of an angry European female, as I was very much displeased with my people, and, in spite of my slight knowledge of the language, scolded them heartily. They allowed the camels to go so lazily, that although we had travelled since early in the morning until late in the evening, we had not gone more than twenty or twenty-two miles, not faster than an ox- waggon would have gone. I made them understand that this negligence must not happen again. I must now take occasion to contradict those persons who affirm that the camel can travel on the average eighty miles daily, and that even when they go slowly, their steps are very long. I examine every circumstance very accurately, and then form an opinion from my own experience, without allowing myself to be misled by what has been written about it. Before commencing a journey, I observe not only the principal distances, but also those between the individual places, arrange a plan of my journey with the help of friends who are acquainted with the subject, and by this means have the advantage over my driver, who cannot persuade me that we have gone forty or sixty miles, when we have not gone more than half this distance. Moreover, I was able, while travelling from Delhi to Kottah by the ox-waggon, to observe several camel equipages, which I fell in with every evening at the same night station. It is true that I had most excellent oxen, and that the camels were ordinary; but in this journey, with good camels, I did not go more than thirty, or at the utmost, thirty-two miles in the day, and travelled from 4 o'clock in the morning until 6 in the evening, without any other stoppage than two hours at noon. A camel which is able to travel eighty miles in a day is an exception to the general rule, and would scarcely perform such a feat the second or third time.

19th February. Ranera is an unimportant place. I was here offered a cow-stall to sleep in. It was indeed kept very clean; but I preferred sleeping in the open air.

Till a late hour of the night this town was very lively: processions of men and a number of women and children followed the noise of the tam-tam, which they accompanied with a wild, howling song, and proceeded to some tree, under which an image of an idol was set up.

We had on this day to cross several ranges of low hills. The uncultivated ground was everywhere scorched up by the sun; {209} nevertheless, the plantations of poppies, flax, corn, and cotton, etc., grew very luxuriantly. Water-dykes were let into the fields on every side, and peasants, with their yokes of oxen, were engaged in bringing water from the wells and streams. I did not see any women at work.

In my numerous journeys, I had an opportunity of observing that the lot of the poorer classes of women in India, in the East, and among coloured people generally, was not so hard as it is believed to be. In the towns where Europeans reside, for example, their linen is washed and prepared by men; it is very seldom that it is necessary for women to take part in out-door labour; they carry wood, water, or any other heavy burdens only in their own houses. At harvest time, indeed, the women are seen in the fields, but there also they only do the lighter kind of work. If carriages with horses or oxen are seen, the women and children are always seated upon them, and the men walk by the side, often laden with bundles. When there are no beasts of burden with the party, the men carry the children and baggage. I also never saw a man ill use his wife or child. I heartily wish that the women of the poorer classes in my own country were treated with only half the consideration which I saw in all other parts of the world.

20th February. Udjein on the Seepa, one of the oldest and best built towns of India, is the capital of the kingdom of Sindhia, with a population of more than 100,000 souls.

The architecture of this town is quite peculiar: the front walls of the houses, only one story high, are constructed of wood, and furnished with large regular window openings in the upper part, which are securely closed by beams, instead of glass. In the interior, the apartments are built very lofty and airy: they have the full height from the level of the ground to the roof, without the interruption of an intermediate arch. The outer walls and beams of the houses are painted with a dark brown oil colour, which gave to the town an indescribably dusky appearance.

Two houses were remarkable for their size and the uncommonly fine execution of the wood carvings. They contained two stories, and were very tastefully ornamented with galleries, pillars, friezes, niches, etc. As far as I could learn from the answers I received to my questions, and the numerous servants and soldiers walking about before them, they were the palaces of the aumil and the Queen Widow of Madhadji-Sindhia.

We passed through the entire town; the streets were broad, the bazaars very extensive, and so overcrowded with men, that we were frequently compelled to stop; it happened to be a large market. Upon such occasions in India, as well as at great festivals and meetings of people, I never once saw any one intoxicated, although there was no lack of intoxicating drinks. The men here are temperate, and restrain themselves, yet without forming into societies.

Outside the town I found an open verandah, in which I took up my quarters for the night.

I was here a witness of a deplorable scene, a consequence of an erroneous religious belief of the otherwise amiable Hindoos. Not far from the verandah lay a fakir, outstretched upon the earth, without any signs of life; many of the passers-by stopped, looked at him, and then went on their way. No one spoke to or helped him. The poor man had sunk exhausted on this spot, and was no longer capable of saying to what caste he belonged. I took heart, approached him, and raised the head-cloth, which had fallen over a part of his face; two glassy eyes stared at me. I felt the body; it was stiff and cold. My help came too late.

The next morning the corpse still lay in the same place. I was informed that they waited to see if any relations would come to carry it away, if not it would be removed by the pariahs.

21st February. In the afternoon I reached Indor, the capital of the kingdom of Holkar.

As I approached the dwelling of the Europeans, I found them just about to ride out. The equipage of the resident, Mr. Hamilton, to whom I had letters, was distinguishable from the others by its greater splendour. Four beautiful horses were harnessed to an open landau, and four servants, in Oriental liveries, ran by the side of the carriage. The gentlemen had scarcely perceived my approach, when they stopped, and sent a servant towards me; they, perhaps, wished to know what chance had thrown a solitary European female into this remote country. My servant, who already had the letter to Mr. Hamilton in his hand, hastened to him directly, and gave it to him. Mr. Hamilton read it hastily through, alighted from his carriage immediately, came and received me very cordially. My shabby clothes, faded by the sun, were of no account to him, and he did not treat me with less respect, because I came without much baggage, and without a train of attendants.

He conducted me himself to the bungalow, set apart for strangers, offered me several rooms, and remained until he saw that the servants had properly provided all conveniences. After he had given me a servant for my own exclusive use, and had ordered a guard before the bungalow, in which I was about to live alone, he took his departure, and promised to send for me to dinner in an hour.

A few hundred paces distant from the bungalow is the palace of the resident; it is a building of very great beauty, constructed of large, square stones, in a pure Italian style of architecture. Broad flights of steps led up into halls which are peculiarly remarkable for their magnitude and beautifully arched roofs, the latter being finer than any that I had yet seen. The saloons, rooms, and internal arrangements corresponded to the high expectations which the sight of the outside raised.

It was a Sunday, and I had the pleasure of finding the whole European society of Indor assembled at the house of the resident. It consisted of three families. My astonishment at the magnificence surrounding me, at the luxuries at table, was yet more increased when a complete, well-trained band of musicians commenced playing fine overtures and some familiar German melodies. After dinner Mr. Hamilton introduced the chaplain to me, a Tyrolese, named Naher. This active man had established his chapel in the space of three years, the congregation consisting chiefly of young natives.

I was invited to be present on the following morning at the first operation performed here, by a European surgeon, on a patient under the influence of ether. A large tumour was to be extracted from the neck of a native. Unfortunately the inhalation did not turn out as was expected: the patient came to again after the first incision, and began shrieking fearfully. I hastily left the room, for I pitied the poor creature too much to bear his cries. The operation indeed was successful, but the man suffered considerable pain.

During breakfast, Mr. Hamilton proposed that I should exchange my apartments in the bungalow for a similar one in his palace, because the going backwards and forwards at each meal time was very fatiguing. He placed at my disposal the rooms of his wife, who was deceased, and appointed me a female servant.

After tiffen (lunch) I was to see the town, and be presented at court. I employed the intermediate time in visiting Mr. and Mrs. Naher. The latter, who was also a German, was moved even to tears when she saw me: for fifteen years she had not spoken with a fellow-countrywoman.

The town of Indor contains nearly 25,000 inhabitants; it is not fortified; the houses are built in the same manner as those in Udjein.

The royal palace stands in the centre of the town, and forms a quadrangle. The middle of the front rises in the form of a pyramid, to the height of six stories. A remarkably lofty and very handsome gateway, flanked on both sides by round and somewhat projecting towers, leads into the court-yard. The exterior of the palace is completely covered with frescoes, for the most part representing elephants and horses, and from a distance they present a good appearance. The interior is separated into several courts. In the first court, on the ground floor, is situated a saloon, surrounded by two rows of wooden pillars. The Durwar (ministerial council) is held here. In the first story of the same building a fine open saloon is appropriated to the use of some sacred oxen.

Opposite this cattle-stall is the reception-room. Dark stairs, which require to be lighted in broad daylight, lead to the royal apartments. The stairs are said to be equally dark in almost all the Indian palaces; they believe it is a security against enemies, or, at least, that it makes their entrance more difficult. In the reception saloon sat the queen, Jeswont-Rao-Holcar, an aged, childless widow; at her side her adopted son, Prince Hury-Rao- Holcar, a youth of fourteen years, with very good-natured features and expressive eyes. Seats, consisting of cushions, were placed for us by their side. The young prince spoke broken English, and the questions which he put to me proved him to be well acquainted with geography. His mundsch, {212a} a native, was represented as a man of intelligence and learning. I could not find an opportunity, after the audience, of complimenting him upon the progress which the prince had made. The dress of the queen and of the prince consisted of white Dacca muslin; the prince had several precious stones and pearls upon his turban, breast, and arms. The queen was not veiled, although Mr. Hamilton was present.

All the apartments and passages were crowded with servants, who, without the slightest ceremony, came into the audience-hall, that they might observe us more closely; we sat in a complete crowd.

We were offered sweetmeats and fruits, sprinkled with rosewater, and some attar of roses was put upon our handkerchiefs. After some time areca nuts and betel leaves were brought on silver plates, which the queen herself handed to us; this is a sign that the audience is at an end, and visitors cannot leave until it is made. Before we got up to go, large wreaths of jasmine were hung round our necks, and small ones round our wrists. Fruits and sweetmeats were also sent home to us.

The queen had given the mundsch directions to conduct us round the whole of the palace. It is not very large, and the rooms, with the exception of the reception-saloon, are very simple, and almost without furniture; in each, cushions covered with white muslin lie upon the floor.

As we stood upon the terrace of the house, we saw the prince ride out. Two servants led his horse, and a number of attendants surrounded him. Several officers accompanied him upon elephants, and mounted soldiers closed the procession. The latter wore wide white trousers, short blue jackets, and handsome round caps; they looked very well. The people raised a low murmur when they saw the prince, as an indication of their pleasure.

The mundsch was good enough to show me the mode adopted for making ice. The proper time for this is during the months of December and January; although, even in the month of February, the nights, and especially the early hours of the morning before sun-rise, are so cold, that small quantities of water are covered with a thin sheet of ice. For this purpose, either shallow pits are dug in earth rich in saltpetre, {212b} and small shallow dishes of burnt porous clay are filled with water, and placed in these pits, or when the soil does not contain any saltpetre, the highest terraces on the houses are covered with straw, and the little dishes of water are placed up there. The thin crusts of ice thus obtained are broken into small pieces, a little water is poured over them, and the whole is put into the ice-houses, which are also lined with straw. This mode of obtaining ice is already practised in Benares.

Mr. Hamilton was so obliging as to make the arrangements for the continuance of my journey. I could have had the royal camels again, but preferred a car with oxen, as the loss of time was inconsiderable, and the trouble far less. Mr. Hamilton himself made the contract with the driver, pointed out the stations at which we should stop between this and Auranjabad (230 miles), gave me an excellent servant and sepoy, furnished me with letters, and even asked me if I had sufficient money. This excellent man did all this with so much amiability, that, in fact, I scarcely knew whether the kindnesses or the way in which they were offered, were most to be admired. And not only in Indor, but everywhere else that he was known, I heard his name always mentioned with the most profound respect.

On the 23rd of February I left Indor on my way to the little village of Simarola. The road led through delightful groves of palm-trees and richly cultivated land. In Simarola, I found a pretty and comfortably furnished tent, which Mr. Hamilton had sent on, in order to surprise me with a good night station. I silently thanked him most heartily for his care.

24th February. From Simarola the country was truly picturesque. A narrow ledge of rock, in some places scarcely broad enough for the road, led down a considerable declivity {213} into small valleys, on the sides of which beautiful mountains towered up. The latter were thinly wooded; among the trees I was particularly struck by two species, the one with yellow, the other with red flowers; both of them, very singularly, were quite destitute of leaves.

On this side of Kottah the camel trains were less frequent, in consequence of the very stony state of the road; instead of these, we met trains of oxen. We passed some today of incredible extent. I do not exaggerate when I affirm that I have seen trains of several thousand head of cattle, on whose backs, corn, wool, salt, etc., were conveyed. I cannot imagine where the food for so many animals is obtained; there are nowhere any meadows, for, with the exception of the plantations, the ground is scorched up, or at most covered with thin, parched, jungle grass, which I never saw any animal eat.

The industry of the women and children in the villages through which these trains pass is great beyond measure; they provide themselves with baskets, and follow the train for a considerable distance, collecting the excrement of the oxen, which they work up into flat bricks, and dry them in the sun to use as fuel. Late in the evening, we entered the village of Burwai, which lies on the river Nurbuda, in the midst of a storm of thunder and lightning. I was told that there was a public bungalow here, but as the darkness of the night prevented our finding it, I contented myself with the balcony of a house.

25th February. We had this morning to cross the river Nurbuda, which, with the preparations for doing so, occupied two hours.

26th February. Rostampoor. Between this place and Simarola, the land is rather barren, and also very thinly inhabited; we often travelled several miles without seeing a village.

27th February. Today we were gratified with the prospect of a fertile country and beautiful mountains. On an isolated mountain was situated the famous old fortress of Assergur, from which arose two half-decayed minarets. Towards evening we passed between many ruins; amongst which I observed another handsome mosque, the fore- court, the minarets, and side walls of which were standing. Adjoining this district of ruins, lay the very flourishing town of Berhampoor, which still numbers 60,000 inhabitants, but I was told that it was formerly much larger.

An aumil resides in the town, and also an English officer, who keeps an eye on his proceedings. We were obliged to pass through the whole town, through the deep river Taptai, up and down hill, and over shocking roads, to reach the bungalow of the latter, so that we did not arrive there till late at night. Captain Henessey and his family were already supping: they received me with true cordiality, and, although worn out with fatigue, and much travel-stained, I took my place at their hospitable table, and continued a conversation with this amiable family until a late hour of the night.

28th February. Unfortunately I was obliged to proceed on my journey again this morning. Between Berhampoor and Ichapoor, there were the most beautiful and varied plantations—corn, flax, cotton, sugar- cane, poppies, dahl, etc. The heat had already began to be oppressive (towards 108 degrees Fah.) I was at the same time continually on the road from 4 o'clock in the morning, till 5 or 6 in the evening, and only seldom made a short halt on the banks of some river, or under a tree. It was altogether impossible to travel at night, as the heaths and jungles were frequently of great extent, and moreover, somewhat infested with tigers, the presence of which we experienced on the following day; besides all this, my people were unacquainted with the road.

29th February. Today's stage was one of the most considerable; we therefore started as early as 3 o'clock in the morning; the road passed through terrible wastes and wild jungles. After we had proceeded for some time quietly, the animals stopped short and remained as if fixed to the ground, and began to tremble; their fear soon communicated itself to my people, who shouted, without intermission, the words "Bach! bach!" which means "Tiger! tiger!" I ordered them to continue making as much noise as possible, in order to scare away the animals if they really were near. I had some jungle grass gathered and made a fire, which I kept constantly blazing. However, I heard no howling, and observed no other indication of our dreaded neighbour than the terror of my people and cattle. Nevertheless, I awaited the sunrise this time with great anxiety, when we continued our journey. We afterwards learnt that scarcely a night passes in this neighbourhood without an ox, horse, or goat being carried off by tigers. Only a few days previously, a poor woman who was late in returning from gathering jungle grass, had been torn to pieces. All the villages were surrounded with high stone and mud walls, whether from fear of the wild beasts, or from any other cause, I could not learn with certainty. These fortified villages extend as far as Auranjabad, over a distance of 150 miles.

March 1st. Bodur is an unimportant village. Upon the road from Indor to Auranjabad, there are no bungalows with rooms, and it is very seldom that even an open one is to be found—that is, a building with three wooden walls, over which a roof is thrown. We found one of these bungalows in Bodur. It was indeed already taken possession of by about a dozen Indian soldiers, but they withdrew unasked, and gave up to me half of the airy chamber. During the whole night they remained still and quiet, and were not the slightest annoyance.

2nd March. Furdapoor, a small village at the foot of beautiful mountains. As the poor oxen began to be wearied with travelling, the driver rubbed them down every evening from head to foot.

3rd March. Adjunta. Before coming to this place we passed a terrible rocky pass which might be easily defended. The road was very narrow, and so bad that the poor animals could scarcely make any way with the empty cars. On the heights of the pass, a strongly fortified gate was placed, which closed the narrow road; it was, however, left open in time of peace. The low ground and the heights on the sides were rendered inaccessible by strong and lofty walls.

The view became more delightful at every step: romantic valleys and ravines, picturesque masses and walls of rock lay on both sides, immeasurable valleys spread themselves out behind the mountains, while in front the view swept over an extensive open plain, at the commencement of which lay the fortress of Adjunta. We had already reached it at about 8 o'clock in the morning. Captain Gill resides in Adjunta, and I had letters of introduction to him from Mr. Hamilton. When I expressed a wish, after the first greeting was over, to visit the famous rock temples of Adjunta, he deeply regretted that he had not received a letter from me four-and-twenty hours sooner, as the temples were nearer to Furdapoor than to Adjunta. What was to be done? I was resolved upon seeing them, and had but little time to lose, so I decided upon retracing my way. I only provided myself with a small stock of provisions, and immediately mounted one of the horses from the captain's stable, which brought me past the rocky pass in a good hour. The road towards the temples here turns off to the right into desolate, barren mountain valleys, whose death-like stillness was unbroken by the breathing of an animal, or the song of a bird. This place was well calculated to raise and excite expectations.

The temples, twenty-seven in number, are excavated in tall perpendicular cliffs, which form a semicircle. In some of the cliffs there are two stories of temples, one over the other; paths lead to the top, but these are so narrow and broken, that one is frequently at a loss where to set the foot. Beneath are terrible chasms, in which a mountain stream loses itself; overhead, the smooth rocky surface extends several hundred feet in height. The majority of the temples are quadrangular in form, and the approach to the interior is through verandahs and handsome gateways, which, from being supported on columns, appear to bear the weight of the whole mass of rock. These temples are called "Vihara." In the larger one I counted twenty-eight, in the smallest eight pillars. On one, and sometimes on both side-walls, there is a very small dark cell, in which most probably the priest lived. In the background, in a large and lofty cell, is the sanctuary. Here are gigantic figures in every position; some measure more than eighteen feet, and nearly reach to the roof of the temple, which is about twenty-four feet high. The walls of the temples and verandahs are full of idols and statues of good and evil spirits. In one of the temples, a battle of giants is represented. The figures are above life size, and the whole of the figures, columns, verandahs and gateways, are cut out of the solid rock. The enormous number and remarkable beauty of the sculptures and reliefs on the columns, capitals, friezes, gateways, and even on the roof of the temples, is indeed most astonishing; the variety in the designs and devices is inexhaustible. It appears incredible that human hands should have been able to execute such masterly and gigantic works. The Brahmins do, indeed, ascribe their origin to supernatural agencies, and affirm that the era of their creation cannot be ascertained.

Remains of paintings are found on the walls, ceiling, and pillars, the colours of which are brighter and fresher than those of many modern works of art.

The second class of temples have an oval form, and have majestic lofty portals leading immediately into the interior; they are called chaitya. The largest of these temples has on each side a colonnade of nineteen pillars—the smallest, one of eight; in these there are no verandahs, no priest's cells, and no sanctuaries. Instead of the latter, a high monument stands at the extremity of the temple. Upon one of these monuments an upright figure of the deity Buddha is sculptured in a standing position. On the walls of the larger temple gigantic figures are hewn out of the solid rock, and under these a sleeping Buddha, twenty-one feet in length.

After I had wandered about here for some hours, and had seen enough of each of the temples, I was led back to one of them, and saw there a small table well covered with eatables and drinkables, inviting me to a welcome meal. Captain Gill had been so kind as to send after me a choice tiffen, together with table and chairs, into this wilderness. Thus refreshed and invigorated, I did not find the return fatiguing. The house in which Captain Gill lives at Adjunta is very remarkably situated: a pleasant little garden, with flowers and shrubs, surrounds the front, which commands a view of a fine plain, while the back stands upon the edge of a most fearful precipice, over which the dizzy glance loses itself among steep crags and terrible gorges and chasms.

As Captain Gill had learnt that I wished to visit the famous fortress of Dowlutabad, he told me that no one was admitted without the permission of the commander of Auranjabad; but, to spare my going out of my way (as the fortress lies on this side of Auranjabad), he offered to send a courier there immediately, and order him to bring the card of admission to me at Elora. The courier had to travel altogether a distance of 140 miles—70 there and as many back. I looked upon all these attentions as the more obliging, as they were shown to me—a German woman, without distinction or attractions—by English people.

4th March. At 4 o'clock in the morning, the good captain joined me at the breakfast table; half an hour later, I was seated in my waggon and travelling towards the village of Bongeloda, which I reached the same day.

5th March. Roja is one of the most ancient towns of India. It has a gloomy aspect; the houses are one story high, and built of large square stones, blackened by age; the doors and windows are few in number and irregularly situated.

Outside the town lay a handsome bungalow with two rooms; but, as I was informed that it was occupied by Europeans, I decided upon not going there, and took up my quarters for the night under the eaves of a house.

The country between this and Adjunta is a flat plain; the parched heaths and poor jungles are interspersed with beautiful plantations. The land near Pulmary was especially well cultivated.

6th March. Early in the morning, I mounted a horse for the purpose of visiting the equally-renowned rock temples of Elora (ten miles from Roja). But, as it frequently happens in life that the proverb, "man proposes and God disposes," proves true, such was the case in the present instance—instead of the temples, I saw a tiger-hunt.

I had scarcely left the gates of the town behind, when I perceived a number of Europeans seated upon elephants, coming from the bungalow. On meeting each other, we pulled up, and commenced a conversation. The gentlemen were on the road to search for a tiger-lair, of which they had received intimation, and invited me, if such a sport would not frighten me too much, to take part in it. I was greatly delighted to receive the invitation, and was soon seated on one of the elephants, in a howdah about two feet high, in which there were already two gentlemen and a native—the latter had been brought to load the guns. They gave me a large knife to defend myself with, in case the animal should spring too high and reach the side of the howdah.

Thus prepared, we approached the chain of hills, and, after a few hours, were already pretty near the lair of the tigers, when our servants cried out quite softly, "Bach, bach!" and pointed with their fingers to some brushwood. I had scarcely perceived the flaming eyes which glared out of one of the bushes before shots were fired. Several balls took effect on the animal, who rushed, maddened, upon us. He made such tremendous springs, that I thought every moment he must reach the howdah and select a victim from among us. The sight was terrible to see, and my apprehensions were increased by the appearance of another tiger; however, I kept myself so calm, that none of the gentlemen had any suspicion of what was going on in my mind. Shot followed shot; the elephants defended their trunks with great dexterity by throwing them up or drawing them in. After a sharp contest of half an hour, we were the victors, and the dead animals were triumphantly stripped of their beautiful skins. The gentlemen politely offered me one of them as a present; but I declined accepting it, as I could not postpone my journey sufficiently long for it to be dried. They complimented me on my courage, and added, that such sport would be extremely dangerous if the elephants were not particularly well trained; above all, they must not be afraid of the tigers, nor even stir from the spot; for, if they ran away, the hunters would be upset by the branches of the trees, or be left hanging upon them, when they would certainly become the victims of the bloodthirsty animals. It was too late to visit the temples today, and I therefore waited till the next morning.

The temples of Elora lie on that kind of table-land which is peculiar to India. The principal temple, Kylas, is the most wonderful of all those which are hewn out of the rock. It surpasses, in magnitude and finish, the best specimens of Indian architecture; it is, indeed, affirmed to have claims to precedence over the marvellous buildings of the ancient Egyptians. The Kylas is of conical form, 120 feet in height and 600 in circumference. For the construction of this masterwork, a colossal block was separated from the solid rock by a passage 240 feet long and 100 broad. The interior of the temple consists of a principal hall (66 feet long by 100 broad), and several adjoining halls, which are all furnished with sculptures and gigantic idols; but the real magnificence consists in the rich and beautiful sculptures on the exterior, in the tastefully-executed arabesques, and in the fine pinnacles and niches, which are cut out on the tower. The temple rests on the backs of numerous elephants and tigers, which lie next to each other in peaceful attitudes. Before the principal entrance, to which several flights of steps lead, stand two figures of elephants above life-size. The whole is, as has been said before, hewn from a single mass of rock. The cliff from which this immense block was separated surrounds the temple, on three sides, at a distance of 100 feet, forming colossal perpendicular walls, in which, as at Adjunta, enormous colonnades, larger and smaller temples, from two to three stories high, are excavated. The principal temple is called Rameswur, and somewhat exceeds in size the largest vichara at Adjunta; its breadth is ninety-eight feet, it extends into the rock 102 feet, and the height of the ceiling is twenty-four feet; it is supported by twenty-two pilasters, and covered with the most beautiful sculptures, reliefs, and colossal gods, among which the principal group represents the marriage of the god Ram and the goddess Seeta. A second vichara, nearly as handsome as this last, is called Laoka; the principal figure in this is Shiva.

Not far distant, a number of similar temples are excavated in another rock. They are much more simple, with unattractive portals and plain columns; therefore, not to be compared with those at Adjunta. This task would have been impossible if the rock had been granite or a similar primitive foundation; unfortunately, I could not ascertain what the rock was, I only examined the pieces which were here and there chipped off, and which were very easily broken. It is not with the less astonishment that one contemplates these surprising works, which will always be considered as inimitable monuments of human ingenuity.

The temple of Kylas is, unfortunately, somewhat decayed from age and the destructive action of the weather. It is a sad pity that the only monument of this kind in the world will, by-and-bye, fall into ruins. Towards 11 o'clock in the morning I returned to Roja, and immediately continued my journey to the famous fortress Dowlutabad, having safely received the admission in Roja.

The distance was only eight miles; but the roads were execrably bad, and there was a mountain-pass to cross similar to that near Adjunta. The fortress, one of the oldest and strongest in India, is considered as the most remarkable of its kind, not only in the Deccan but in all India. It presents a most imposing aspect, and is situated upon a peak of rock 600 feet high, which stands isolated in a beautiful plain, and appears to have been separated from the adjoining mountains by some violent natural convulsion. The circumference of this rock amounts to about a mile. It is cut round perpendicularly to a height of 130 feet and thirty feet below the top of the moat by which it is surrounded, which cutting is equally perpendicular, so that the whole height of the escarpment is 160 feet, and the rock, consequently, inaccessible. There is no pathway leading to the fortress, and I was, therefore, extremely curious to know by what means the summit was reached. In the side of the rock itself was a very low iron door, which is only visible in time of peace, as the ditch can be filled a foot above its level when required. Torches were lighted, and I was carefully conducted through narrow low passages, which led with numerous windings upwards through the body of the rock. These passages were closed in many places by massive iron gates. Some considerable distance above the precipitous part of the rock, we again emerged into the open air; narrow paths and steps, protected by strongly-fortified works, led from this place to the highest point. The latter was somewhat flattened, (140 feet in diameter), completely undermined, and so contrived, that it could be heated red-hot. A cannon, twenty-three feet long, was planted here.

At the foot of this fortress are scattered numerous ruins, which, I was told, were the remains of a very important town; nothing is left of it now except the fortified walls, three or four feet deep, which must be passed to reach the peak of rock itself.

In the same plain, but near to the range of mountains, standing on a separate elevation, is a considerably larger fortress than Dowlutabad, but of far inferior strength.

The numerous fortresses, as well as the fortified towns, were, as I here learned, the remnants of past times, when Hindostan was divided into a great number of states, continually at war with each other. The inhabitants of the towns and villages never went out unarmed; they had spies continually on the watch; and to secure themselves from sudden attacks, drove their herds inside the walls every night, and lived in a continual state of siege. In consequence of the unceasing warfare which prevailed, bands of mounted robbers were formed, frequently consisting of as many as ten or twelve thousand men, who too often starved out and overcame the inhabitants of the smaller towns, and completely destroyed their young crops. These people were then compelled to enter into a contract with these wild hordes, and to buy themselves off by a yearly tribute.

Since the English have conquered India, peace and order have been everywhere established; the walls decay and are not repaired; the people indeed frequently wear arms, but more from habit than necessity.

The distance from Dowlutabad to Auranjabad was eight miles. I was already much fatigued, for I had visited the temples, ridden eight miles over the mountain pass, and mounted to the top of the fortress during the greatest heat; but I looked forward to the night, which I preferred passing in a house and a comfortable bed, rather than under an open verandah; and, seating myself in my waggon, desired the driver to quicken the pace of his weary oxen as much as possible.



CHAPTER XVI. CONTINUATION OF JOURNEY AND SOJOURN.



AURANJABAD—PUNA—EAST INDIAN MARRIAGES—THE FOOLISH WAGGONER— BOMBAY—THE PARSEES, OR FIRE-WORSHIPPERS—INDIAN BURIAL CEREMONIES— THE ISLAND OF ELEPHANTA—THE ISLAND OF SALSETTE.

On the 7th of March, late in the evening, I reached Auranjabad. Captain Stewart, who lived outside the town, received me with the same cordiality as the other residents had done.

8th March. Captain Stewart and his wife accompanied me this morning to the town to show me its objects of interest, which consisted of a monument and a sacred pool. Auranjabad is the capital of the Deccan, has 60,000 inhabitants, and is partly in ruins.

The monument, which is immediately outside the town, was built more than two hundred years since by the Sultan Aurung-zeb-Alemgir, in memory of his daughter. It by no means deserves to be compared to the great Tadsch at Agra. It is a mosque, with a lofty arched dome and four minarets. The building is covered all round—the lower part of the outside with a coating of white marble five feet high; the upper portion is cased with fine white cement, which is worked over with ornamental flowers and arabesques. The entrance doors are beautifully inlaid with metal, on which flowers and ornamental designs are engraved in a highly artistic manner. Unfortunately, the monument is already much decayed; one of the minarets is half fallen in ruins. In the mosque stands a plain sarcophagus, surrounded by a marble trellis-work. Both have nothing in common with the great Tadsch beyond the white marble of which they are constructed; in richness and artistic execution, they are so much inferior, that I could not understand how any one could be led to make so incredible a comparison.

Near the mosque lies a pretty marble hall, surrounded by a neglected garden.

The reigning king would have removed the marble from this monument for use in some building in which he was to be interred! He requested permission to do so from the English government. The answer was to the effect, that he could do so if he wished, but he should remember, that if he had so little respect for the monuments of his predecessors, his own might experience a similar fate. This answer induced him to relinquish his intentions.

The pool considered sacred by the Mahomedans is a large basin, constructed of square stones. It is full of large pikes, none of which, however, are allowed to be taken; in fact, there is an attendant appointed to supply them with food. The fish are consequently so tame and familiar, that they will eat turnips, bread, etc., out of the hand. The rainy season causes the death of many of them: were it not for this fortunate circumstance, the pool would before long contain more fish than water. Since the English have come here, the attendants are said not to be so conscientious, and very often smuggle fish out of the pool into the English kitchens, for the sake of a little ready money.

After spending a very agreeable day, I took a hearty farewell of my friendly hostess, and continued my journey in a fresh waggon towards Puna, 136 miles distant.

9th March. Toka. The roads here began to be better, and there were bungalows to be had on payment of the ordinary fees.

10th March. Emanpoor, a small village situated on the summit of a chain of hills. I found here the handsomest bungalow I had seen during the whole journey from Benares to Bombay.

11th March. We passed the whole day in travelling through a barren country, over naked hills and mountains: the majestic solitary trees with the wells had already ceased at Auranjabad.

Towards noon we passed the very flourishing town of Ahmednugger, in the neighbourhood of which a large English military station is established.

12th March. The bungalow at Serur was too near, that at Candapoor too distant. I therefore decided upon taking up my quarters for the night under the eaves of a house.

13th March. In Candapoor there are some handsome Hindoo temples and several small Mahomedan monuments. Near Lony is a large English military station. I also found an obelisk erected there in memory of a battle won by 1,200 English against 20,000 natives.

14th March. Puna. I had endless trouble here to find Mr. Brown, to whom I had an introduction from Mr. Hamilton. The Europeans reside in all parts of the town, for the most part miles apart, and I had the misfortune to meet with some who were not the most polite, and did not consider it worth taking the trouble to give me information. Mr. Brown, on the contrary, received me as kindly as I could desire.

His first inquiry was whether any accident had happened to me on the road. He told me that, only a short time since, an officer was robbed between Suppa and Puna, and as he attempted to defend himself, was murdered; but he added that such instances were extraordinarily rare.

I had arrived about noon. After dinner, Mr. Brown conducted me to the town, which belongs to the East India Company. It contains 15,000 inhabitants, and is situated at the junction of the rivers Mulla and Mutta, over both of which handsome bridges are thrown. The streets are broad and kept clean; the houses, like those in Udjein, are furnished with false wooden walls. Some were painted all over, and belonged mostly, as I was informed, to fakirs, with whom the town swarmed.

It was the month in which the Hindoos prefer to celebrate their marriages, and we met in several streets merry processions of that kind. The bridegroom is enveloped in a purple mantle, his turban dressed out with gold tinsel, tresses, ribbons, and tassels, so that from a distance it appears like a rich crown. The depending ribbons and tassels nearly cover the whole face. He is seated upon a horse; relatives, friends, and guests surround him on foot. When he reaches the house of the bride, the doors and windows of which are securely closed, he seats himself quietly and patiently on the threshold. The female relations and friends also gather together here, without conversing much with the bridegroom and the other men. This scene continues unchanged until nightfall. The bridegroom then departs with his friends; a closely covered waggon, which has been held in readiness, is drawn up to the door; the females slip into the house, bring out the thickly-veiled bride, push her into the waggon, and follow her with the melodious music of the tam-tam. The bride does not start until the bridegroom has been gone a quarter of an hour. The women then accompany her into the bridegroom's house, which, however, they leave soon afterwards. The music is kept up in front of the house until late in the night. It is only the marriages of the lower classes that are celebrated in this manner.

There is a road leading from Puna to Pannwell, a distance of seventy miles, and travellers can post all the way. From Pannwell to Bombay the journey is made by water. I adhered to the cheaper baili, and Mr. Brown was so obliging as to procure one for me, and to lend me a servant.

On the 15th of March I again set out, and on the same day arrived at Woodgown, a village with one of the dirtiest bungalows in which I ever made up my bed.

16th March. Cumpuily. The country between this place and Woodgown is the most beautiful that I saw in India; the view from a mountain some miles on this side of Kundalla, was particularly striking. The spectator stands here in the midst of an extensive mountainous district: peaks of the most diversified forms are piled in numerous rows above and alongside of each other, presenting the most beautiful and variegated outlines.

There are, also, enormous terraces of rock, flattened cones of peaks, with battlements and pinnacles, which at first sight might be taken for ruins and fortresses. In one place the lofty roof of a majestic building presents itself—in another, a gigantic Gothic tower rises aloft. The volcanic form of the Tumel mountain is the most uncommon object which meets the eye. Beyond the mountains extends a wide plain, at the extremity of which lies the polished surface of the long wished-for ocean. The greater part of the mountains is covered with beautiful green woods. I was so much delighted with the extreme beauty of the prospect, that I congratulated myself for the first time on the slow pace of my sleepy oxen.

The village of Karly lies between Woodgown and Kundalla; it is famous on account of its temples, which are about two miles distant. I did not visit them, because I was assured that they were not half so interesting as those at Adjunta and Elora.

Kundalla lies upon a mountain plateau. There are several pretty country-houses here, to which many European families, from the neighbourhood of Bombay, resort during the hot weather.

In the Deccan, and the province of Bombay, I found the natives were less handsome than in Bengal and Hindostan; their features were much coarser, and not so open and amiable.

For several days we have again met very large trains of oxen, some of the drivers of which had their families with them. The females of these people were very ragged and dirty, and at the same time loaded with finery. The whole body was covered with coloured woollen borderings and fringes, the arms with bracelets of metal, bone, and glass beads; even to the ears large woollen tassels were hung, in addition to the usual ornaments, and the feet were loaded with heavy rings and chains. Thus bedecked, the beauties sat on the backs of the oxen, or walked by the side of the animals.

17th March. Since the attack of the negroes in Brazil, I had not been in such a fright as I was today. My driver had appeared to me, during the whole journey, somewhat odd in his manner, or rather foolish: sometimes abusing his oxen, sometimes caressing them, shouting to the passers-by, or turning round and staring at me for some minutes together. However, as I had a servant with me who always walked by the baili, I paid little attention to him. But this morning my servant had gone on, without my consent, to the next station, and I found myself alone with this foolish driver, and on a rather secluded road. After some time he got down from the waggon, and went close behind it. The bailis are only covered over at the sides with straw matting, and are open at the front and back; I could therefore observe what he was doing, but I would not turn round, as I did not wish to make him think that I suspected him. I, however, moved my head gradually on one side to enable me to watch his proceedings. He soon came in front again, and, to my terror, took from the waggon the hatchet which every driver carries with him, and again retired behind. I now thought nothing less than that he had evil intentions, but I could not fly from him, and dare not, of course, evince any fear. I very gently and unobserved drew my mantle towards me, rolled it together, so that I might, at least, protect my head with it, in case he made a blow at me with the hatchet.

He kept me for some time in this painful state of suspense, then seated himself on his place and stared at me, got down again, and repeated the same proceedings several times. It was not until after a long hour that he laid the hatchet on one side, remained sitting on the waggon, and contented himself with gaping vacantly at me every now and then. At the end of a second hour we reached the station where my servant was, and I did not allow him to leave my side again.

The villages through which we passed today were of the most wretched description; the walls of the huts were constructed of rushes, or reeds, covered with palm leaves; some had no front wall.

These villages are chiefly inhabited by Mahrattas, a race which were, at one period, rather powerful in India, and indeed in the whole peninsula. They were, however, expelled from Hindostan by the Mongols, in the eighteenth century, and fled into the mountains which extend from Surata to Goa. During the present century, the majority of these people were compelled to place themselves under the protection of the English. The only Mahratta prince who still maintains, in any degree, his independence, is the Scindiah; the others receive pensions.

The Mahrattas are adherent to the religion of Brahma. They are powerfully built; the colour of their skin varies from dirty black to clear brown; their features are repulsive and ill-formed. They are inured to all manner of hardships, live chiefly upon rice and water, and their disposition is represented as being morose, revengeful, and savage. They excite themselves to fighting by means of opium, or Indian hemp, which they smoke like tobacco.

In the afternoon, I reached the little town of Pannwell. Travellers embark, towards the evening, in boats, and proceed down the river Pannwell to the sea, reaching Bombay about morning.

I had safely completed the long and tedious journey from Delhi to Pannwell in seven weeks. For having accomplished it I was especially indebted to the English officials, who afforded me both advice and assistance; their humanity, their cordial friendliness I shall ever remember. I again offer them my most sincere and warmest thanks; and the greatest compliment which I can pay them is the wish that my own countrymen, the Austrian consuls and ambassadors, resembled them!

At Bombay I stayed at the country-house of the Hamburgh consul, Herr Wattenbach, intending only to draw upon his hospitality for a few days, and to leave as soon as possible, in order to take advantage of the monsoon {225} in my passage through the Arabian and Persian seas. Days, however, grew into weeks, for the favourable time was already past, and the opportunity of meeting with ship conveyance was there very rare.

Herr Wattenbach made my stay in Bombay very agreeable; he showed me everything worth seeing, and accompanied me in excursions to Elephanta and Salsette.

Bombay lies on a small but remarkably pretty island, which is separated from the mainland by a very narrow arm of the sea; its extent is about five square miles, and it is inhabited by 250,000 souls. Bombay is the principal town of Western India, and as its harbour is the best and safest on the whole west coast, it is the chief seat of commerce for the produce and manufactures of India, the Malay country, Persia, Arabia, and Abyssinia. In a commercial respect, it stands only second to Calcutta. In Bombay, every language of the civilized world is to be heard, and the costumes and habits of every nation are to be seen. The finest view of the whole island and town of Bombay, as well as the neighbouring islands of Salsette, Elephanta, Kolabeh, Caranjah, and the mainland, is to be had from the Malabar point. The country, at some distance from the town, consists chiefly of low hills, which are covered with beautiful woods of cocoa-nut and date-trees; in the plain surrounding the town there are also many such groves divided into gardens by walls. The natives are very fond of building their dwellings under the dark shadows of these trees; while, on the contrary, the Europeans seek for as much light and air as possible. The country-houses of the latter are handsome and convenient, but not to be compared with those of Calcutta, either in size or magnificence. The town lies on a level, along the sea-shore.

The active life of the rich inland and European commercial population must be sought for in the fortified parts of the town, which constitute a large quadrangle. Here is to be found merchandise from all parts of the world. The streets are handsome, the large square called The Green especially so. The buildings most remarkable for their architectural beauty are the Town-hall, whose saloon has no equal, the English Church, the Governor's Palace, and the Mint.

The Open Town and the Black Town {226} adjoin the fortified portions, and are considerably larger. In the Open Town, the streets are very regular and broad, more so than any other Indian city that I saw; they are also carefully watered. I observed many houses decorated with artistically-carved wooden pillars, capitals, and galleries. The bazaar is an object of great interest; not, as many travellers affirm, on account of the richness of the merchandise, of which there is not more to be seen than in other bazaars—in fact, there is not even any of the beautiful wood mosaic work of which Bombay produces the finest—but from the diversity of people, which is greater here than anywhere else. Three parts, indeed, are Hindoos, and the fourth Mahomedans, Persians, Fire- worshippers, Mahrattas, Jews, Arabs, Bedouins, Negroes, descendants of Portuguese, several hundred Europeans, and even some Chinese and Hottentots. It requires a long time to be able to distinguish the people of the different nations by their dress and the formation of their faces.

The most wealthy among people owning property here are the Fire- worshippers, called also Gebers, or Parsees. They were expelled from Persia about 1,200 years since, and settled down along the west coast of India. As they are remarkably industrious and hard- working, very well disposed and benevolent, there are no poor, no beggars to be found among them—all appear to be prosperous. The handsome houses in which the Europeans reside mostly belong to them; they are the largest owners of land, ride out in the most beautiful carriages, and are surrounded by innumerable servants. One of the richest of them—Jamsetize-Jeejeebhoy—built, at his own expense, a handsome hospital in the Gothic style, and provides European medical men and receives the sick of every religious denomination. He was knighted by the English government, and is certainly the first Hindoo who could congratulate himself on such a distinction.

While speaking of the Fire-worshippers, I will relate all that I myself saw of them, as well as what I learnt from Manuckjee- Cursetjee, one of the most cultivated and distinguished among them.

The Fire-worshippers believe in one Supreme Being. They pay the greatest reverence to the four elements, and especially to the element of fire, and to the sun, because they look upon them as emblems of the Supreme Being. Every morning they watch for the rising sun, and hasten out of their houses, and even outside of the town, to greet it immediately with prayers. Besides the elements, the cow is considered sacred by them.

Soon after my arrival, I went one morning upon the esplanade of the town for the purpose of seeing the great number of Parsees {227} who, as I had read, assembled themselves there waiting for the first rays of the sun, on the appearance of which, as if at a given signal, they throw themselves on the ground, and raise a loud cry of joy. I, however, merely saw several Parsees, not in groups, but standing separately here and there, reading silently from a book, or murmuring a prayer to themselves. These did not even come at the same time, for many arrived as late as 9 o'clock.

It was precisely the same with the corpses which are stated to be exposed upon the roofs for the birds of prey to feed upon. I saw not a single one. In Calcutta, Mr. V—-, who had but recently come from Bombay, assured me that he had himself seen many. I cannot believe that the English government would permit such a barbarous proceeding, and one so prejudicial to health. But I must resume my narrative. My first question, after I had been introduced to Manuckjee, was as to the manner in which the Parsees bury their dead. He conducted me to a hill outside the town, and pointed out a wall, four-and-twenty feet high, enclosing a round space of about sixty feet in diameter. He told me that within this wall there was a bier, with three partitions, built up, and near to it a large pit excavated. The bodies of the deceased are placed upon the bier, the men on the first, the women on the second, and children on the third compartment, and are fastened down with iron bands; and, according to the commands of their religion, are left exposed to the action of the element of air. The birds of prey, which always gather in large swarms round such places, fall upon the bodies ravenously, and in a few minutes devour the flesh and skin; the bones are gathered up and thrown into the cave. When this becomes full, the place is abandoned and another erected.

Many wealthy people have private burial-places, over which they have fine wire gauze stretched, so that the deceased members of their family may not be stripped of their flesh by birds of prey.

No one is allowed to enter the burial-ground except the priests, who carry the bodies; even the door is rapidly closed, for only one glance into it would be a sin. The priests, or rather bearers, are considered so impure that they are excluded from all other society, and form a separate caste. Whoever has the misfortune to brush against one of these men, must instantly throw off his clothes and bathe.

The Parsees are not less exclusive with respect to their temples; no one of any other belief is allowed to enter them, or even to look in. The temples which I saw here, of course only from the outside, are very small, extremely plain, and destitute of the slightest peculiarity of architecture; the round entrance-hall surrounds a kind of fore-court, enclosed by a wall. I was only allowed to go as far as the entrance of the wall leading to the fore-court. The handsomest temple in Bombay {228} is a small unimportant building, and I must again contradict those descriptions which make so much of the beautiful temples of the Fire-worshippers.

As I was informed by Manuckjee, the fire burns in a kind of iron vase, in a completely empty, unornamented temple or apartment. The Parsees affirm that the fire which burns in the principal temple, and at which all the others are lighted, originates from the fire which their prophet, Zoroaster, lighted in Persia 4,000 years since. When they were driven out of Persia they took it with them. This fire is not fed with ordinary wood alone; more costly kinds, such as sandal, rose-wood, and such like, are mixed with it.

The priests are called magi, and in each temple there is a considerable number of them. They are distinguished, as regards their dress, from the other Parsees, only by a white turban. They are allowed to marry.

The women visit the temple generally at different hours from the men. They are not forbidden to go there at the same time as the latter; but they never do so, and, indeed, very seldom go at all. A pious Parsee is supposed to pray daily four times, and each time for an hour; for this purpose, however, it is not necessary that he should go to the temple; he fixes his eyes upon fire, earth, or water, or stares into the open air. Whoever finds four hours of prayer daily too much, ingratiates himself with the priests, who are humane and considerate, like the priests of other religions, and willingly release applicants from their cares for the consideration of a moderate gift.

The Parsees prefer offering up their prayers in the morning in the presence of the sun, which they honour the most, as the greatest and most sacred fire. The worship of fire is carried to such an extent by them that they do not pursue any trades which require the use of fire, neither will they fire a gun, or extinguish a light. They let their kitchen-fires burn out. Many travellers even affirm that they will not assist in extinguishing a conflagration; but this is not the case. I was assured that on such an occasion, some years since, many Parsees had been seen giving their help to put the fire out.

Manuckjee was so obliging as to invite me to his house, that I might become acquainted in some degree with the mode of life of Parsee families; he also conducted me to the houses of several of his friends.

I found the rooms furnished in the European manner, with chairs, tables, sofas, ottomans, pictures, mirrors, etc. The dress of the women was little different from that of the more wealthy Hindoos; it was more decorous, as it was not made of transparent muslin, but of silk; and they had, moreover, trousers. The silk was richly embroidered with gold, which luxury is extended to three-year old children. The younger ones, and even the newly-born infants, are wrapped in plain silk stuff. The children wore little caps, worked with gold and silver. The Parsee women consider gold ornaments, pearl and precious stones as necessary a part of their dress as the Hindoos; even in the house they wear a great quantity, but when visiting, or on the occasion of any festival, the jewellery of a wealthy Parsee woman is said to exceed in value 100,000 rupees (10,000 pounds). Children of only seven or eight months old, wear finger-rings and bracelets of precious stones or pearls.

The dress of the men consists of wide trousers and long kaftans. The shirts and trousers are chiefly made of white silk, the jacket of white muslin. The turban differs greatly from that of the Mahomedans; it is a cap of pasteboard, covered with coloured stuff or waxed cloth, ten or twelve inches high.

Both men and women wear round their waists, over the shirt, a girdle passing twice round, which they take off during prayers and hold in their hands; with this exception, they are never seen without it. The law is so strict with regard to the point, that whoever does not wear the girdle is driven out of society. No agreement or contract is valid if the girdle is not worn when it is made. The children begin to wear it when they reach their ninth year. Before this ceremony, they do not belong to the community; they may even eat of food prepared by Christians, and the girls can accompany their fathers in a public place. The girdle changes all; the son eats at his father's table, the girls remain at home, etc.

A second religious ordinance relates to the shirt; this must be cut of a certain length and breadth, and consist of nine seams, which are folded over each other on the breast in a peculiar manner.

A Parsee is allowed to have only one wife. If the wife has no children, or only girls, during a period of nine years, he can, if she consents, be divorced from her, and marry another; he must, however, still provide for her. She can also marry again. According to the religious belief of the Parsee, he is certain to enjoy perfect happiness in a future state of existence if he has a wife and a son in this life.

The Parsees are not divided into castes. In the course of time the Parsees have acquired many of the customs of the Hindoos. For example, the women are not allowed to show themselves in public places; in the house they are separated from the men, take their meals alone, and are, upon the whole, considered more as mere property. The girls are promised when children, and betrothed to the man when in their fourteenth year; if, however, the bridegroom dies, the parents can seek for another. It is considered by the Parsees to be a disgrace if the father does not find a husband for his daughter.

The Parsee women, however, enjoy far more freedom in their houses than the unfortunate Hindoos: they are allowed to sit even at the front windows, and sometimes be present when their husbands receive visits from their male friends, and on both occasions without being veiled.

The Parsees may be easily distinguished from all other Asiatic people by their features, and especially by the lighter colour of their skin. Their features are rather regular, but somewhat sharp, and the cheekbones are broad. I did not think them so handsome as the Mahomedans and Hindoos.

Manuckjee is a great exception to his country people. He is, perhaps, the first who has visited Paris, London, and a considerable part of Italy. He was so well pleased with European manners and customs, that on his return he endeavoured to introduce several reforms among the people of his sect. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful. He was decried as a man who did not know what he would be doing, and many withdrew from him their friendship and respect in consequence.

He allows his family to go about the house with freedom; but even there he cannot depart much from established custom, as he does not wish to separate entirely from his sect. His daughters are educated in the European method; the eldest plays a little on the piano, embroiders, and sews. She wrote a small paragraph in English in my album very well. Her father did not engage her as a child, but wished that her own inclinations might correspond with his selection of a husband. I was told that she would probably not meet with one, because she is educated too much in the European style; she is already fourteen years of age, and her father has not yet provided her with a bridegroom.

When I first visited this house, the mother and daughters were seated in a drawing-room, engaged with needlework. I remained during their meal-time, a liberty which an orthodox Parsee would not have afforded to me; I was not, however, allowed to join them at table. It was first laid for me, and I ate alone. Several dishes were placed before me, which, with slight deviations, were prepared in the European manner. Everyone, with the exception of the master of the house, watched with surprise the way in which I used a knife and fork; even the servants stared at this, to them, singular spectacle. When I had sufficiently appeased my appetite in this public manner, the table was as carefully brushed as if I had been infected with the plague. Flat cakes of bread were then brought and laid upon the uncovered table, instead of plates, and six or seven of the same dishes which had been served to me. The members of the family each washed their hands and faces, and the father said a short grace. All except the youngest child, who was only six years of age, sat at the table, and reached with their right hands into the different dishes. They tore the flesh from the bones, separated the fish into pieces, and then dipped the pieces into the various soups and sauces, and threw them with such dexterity into the mouth, that they did not touch their lips with their fingers. Whoever accidentally does, must immediately get up and wash his hand again, or else place before him the dish into which he has put his unwashed hand, and not touch any other one. The left hand is not used during the whole meal time.

This mode of eating appears, indeed, very uninviting; but it is, in fact, not at all so; the hand is washed, and does not touch anything but the food. It is the same in drinking; the vessel is not put to the lips, but the liquid is very cleverly poured into the open mouth. Before the children have acquired this dexterity in eating and drinking, they are not permitted, even when they wear the girdle, to come to the table of the adults.

The most common drink in Bombay is called sud or toddy, a kind of light spirituous beverage which is made from the cocoa and date- palm. The taxes upon these trees are very high; the latter are, as in Egypt, numbered and separately assessed. A tree which is only cultivated for fruit, pays from a quarter to half a rupee (6d. to 1s.); those from which toddy is extracted, from three-quarters to one rupee each. The people here do not climb the palm-trees by means of rope-ladders, but they cut notches in the tree, in which they set their feet.

During my stay here, an old Hindoo woman died near to Herr Wattenbach's house, which circumstance gave me an opportunity of witnessing an Indian funeral. As soon as she began to show signs of death, the women about her every now and then set up a horrible howling, which they continued at short intervals after her decease. Presently, small processions of six or eight women approached, who also commenced howling as soon as they discovered the house of the mourners. These women all entered the house. The men, of whom there were a great number present, seated themselves quietly in front of it. At the expiration of some hours, the dead body was enveloped in a white shroud, laid upon an open bier, and carried by the men to the place where it was to be burnt. One of them carried a vessel with charcoal and a piece of lighted wood, for the purpose of igniting the wood with the fire of the house.

The women remained behind, and collected in front of the house in a small circle, in the middle of which was placed a woman who was hired to assist in the lamentations. She commenced a wailing song of several stanzas, at the end of each of which the whole joined in chorus; they kept time also by beating their breasts with the right hand and bowing their heads to the ground. They executed this movement as quickly and regularly as if they had been dolls worked by a wire.

After this had been carried on for a quarter of an hour, there was a short pause, during which the women struck their breasts with both their fists so violently, that the blows could be heard at some considerable distance. After each blow, they stretched their hands up high and bowed their heads very low, all with great regularity and rapidity. This proceeding seemed even more comical than the first. After much exertion, they seated themselves round in a ring, drank toddy, and smoked tobacco.

On the following morning, both men and women repeated their visit. The former, however, did not enter the house; they lit a fire and prepared a plain meal. As often as a party of women came, one of the men went to the house-door and announced them, upon which the principal mourner came out of the house to receive them. She threw herself with such violence on the ground before them, that I thought she would not be able to rise up again; the women struck themselves with their fists once on their breasts, and then drew their hands to their heads. The widow raised herself in the meantime, threw herself impetuously round the necks of each of the women, throwing, at the same time, her head-dress over the head of her consoler, and both endeavoured to out-do each other in howling. All these evolutions were very rapidly performed; a dozen embraces were gone through in a moment. After the reception, they went into the house and continued howling at intervals. It was not until sun-set that all was still, and a supper concluded the whole affair. The women ate in the house—the men in the open air.

Funerals and marriages always cost the Hindoos a great deal. The one here described was that of a woman of the poorer class. Nevertheless, it is considered essential that there should be no want of toddy during two days, or of provisions for meals, at which there are an abundance of guests. In addition to this, there is the wood, which also costs a considerable sum, even when it is only common wood. The rich, who use on such occasions the most costly wood, frequently pay more than a thousand rupees (100 pounds).

I once met the funeral procession of a Hindoo child. It lay upon a cushion, covered with a white sheet, and was strewed with fresh and beautiful flowers. A man carried it on both his arms as gently and carefully as if it was sleeping. In this instance, also, there were only men present.

The Hindoos have no particular festival-day in the week, but festivals at certain times, which last for some days. I was present at one of these during my stay, Warusche-Parupu, the New-Year's festival, which took place on the 11th of April. It was a kind of fast-night celebration. The principal amusement consisted in throwing yellow, brown, and red colours over each other, and painting themselves with the same on their cheeks and foreheads. The noisy tam-tam, or a couple of violins, headed the procession, and greater or less followed, who, laughing and singing, danced from house to house, or from one place to another. Several, indeed, on this occasion, found the toddy rather too exciting, but not so much as to lose their consciousness or to exceed the bounds of decorum. The women do not take part in these public processions; but, in the evening, both sexes assemble in the houses, where the festivities are said not to be carried on in the most decorous manner.

Martyrs' festivals are no longer celebrated with full splendour. I did not see any; their time is past. I was, however, so fortunate as to see a martyr, to whom great numbers of people flocked. This holy man had, for three-and-twenty years, held one of his arms raised up with the hand turned back so far that a flower-pot could stand upon it. The three-and-twenty years were passed, and the flower-pot was removed; but neither hand nor arm were to be brought into any other position, for the muscles had contracted, the arm was quite withered, and presented a most repulsive appearance.

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