Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and The - Neighbouring Countries
by William Griffith
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Regarding the natives, I have little to say. They are a stout-built, squat, big-legged hill tribe: the women in regard to shape being exactly like their mates; and as these are decidedly ugly—somewhat tartarish- looking people, very dirty, and chew pawn to profusion—they can scarcely be said to form a worthy portion of the gentler sex. They appear to be honest; but that is a quality which, from the example of their European lords, they are said to be losing fast. They have no written character; every thing being transmitted by tradition, and performed by the interchange of tokens. They drink like fish, and manufacture a bad kind of arrack, the pernicious effects of which were experienced by the European invalids when the Sanatarium was in existence. They pay respect to their dead by the erection of a sort of kairns and large erect slabs of sandstone rounded off at the upper end: of these, I believe, they put up three or five to each friend, according to their means and, probably, rank. The Churra people cultivate nothing but a little cotton, and perhaps a species of Eleasine. They depend upon the plains for their support and supplies, and this is good management since rice at Terrya Ghat is sold at 70 or 80 seers a rupee. Their hire is, considering the cheapness of their food, very expensive; a man being rated at four annas a day, a woman at three, and a boy at two. I should add, that they have no caste.

The climate is certainly very cool and cold, the thermometer ranging from about 56 to 66 degrees in-doors at this time of the year. The rains are said to be the coldest part of the year; they are excessive, commencing in April and ceasing in October. It occasionally rains for fifteen or sixteen days in succession, and without intermission; and nine or ten inches have been known to fall in twenty-four hours. Since we have been here, inclusive of this, we have had four days of wet weather, of which three were continued rain. Both were ushered in by the sudden irruption of heavy mists from below, which soon spread over the country, obscuring every thing. These sudden irruptions occur during the partial breaking up of the rain, during which time the valleys are completely choked up with dense mists, the summits of the hills on the opposite side to that on which one stands being alone visible. After the rains were over, in the first instance, the plains, or rather the mass of haze hanging over them, presented a most curious spectacle.

The coldest weather we have yet experienced was at Maamloo, on the 27th, the thermometer at 8 P.M. being at 52 degrees. This is remarkable, as Maamloo is rather below Churra. There is however a good deal of wood round the place. {7}

With regard to Botany, the chief vegetation about Churra, as indeed is at once indicated by the appearance of the country, consists of grasses. Along the water-courses, which intersect this portion of the country, Bucklandia populnea, a species of Ternstraemia, Pandanus, Eugenia, Camellia, are found; while Compositae, Eriocaulon, and ferns abound in the same places. The vegetation of the valleys is very rich and very varied; and, an affinity is indicated with the botany of China by the existence of a species of Illicum, I. khascanam, and several Ternstroemiaceae. The great orders are grasses, ferns, compositae. During a trip to Maamloo, a beautifully situated village on the brink of the table-land, we discovered abundance of the tree-fern Alsophila Brunoniana, the highest of which measured 25 feet. The appearance of the tree is that of a palm. The flora surrounding these tree-ferns we found to be exceedingly rich. Among Nepal ferns, I may mention Anisadenia, Saxifraga ligulata.

Interior of the Khasyah Mountains.—On the 2nd, we left for Surureem; at which place we halted a day. Bucklandia here occurs, of a very large size, perhaps 50 or 60 feet. It is a rugged-looking tree, many of the branches being decayed. There we observed the first Rhododendrum arboreum. Our next stage was to Moflong; during our march thither, or rather mine, I had a fine view of the Himalayas, but not upon the regular road to Moflong. The European forms certainly increased in number between Surureem and the above place. Two great acquisitions occurred on the road; a new Crawfurdia, and a Podostemon which W. has named after me. This I found in the clear stream adjoining the Bogapanee growing upon stones, and adhering to them very firmly. It is on the hills about the Bogapanee that the firs first make their appearance, but do not attain to any great size. The valley of the Bogapanee is exceedingly deep, and both the descent and ascent are very difficult.

Moflong is a bleak exposed village and the bungalow or residence for travellers very bad. The number of European forms we found to increase considerably about this place. The only woods that occur are of fir, but the trees are of no great size; their frequent occurrence, however, stamps a peculiar feature on the scenery. We here experienced nearly three days of continued rain, and, as the place is bleak, we were miserable enough. We left for Myrung on the 9th, and the greater and all the first part of the long march was very uninteresting. At Mumbree, however, there is a decided improvement, and the scenery is very good. One here notices the occurrence of woods—of oaks, etc., and their form reminded me somewhat of the woods of Buckinghamshire. No woods of fir occur; all the trees occurring isolatedly. I should mention that the country between Molee and Moflong is quite peculiar in geological structure, abounding in Cyanite, the masses of which are of very considerable size. I imagine that the vegetation farther on in this direction would be more rich in European forms than elsewhere, at least between Churra and Mingklow.

Myrung is certainly far superior in every point to any place that we have yet seen; and, as the climate is peculiarly fine and the bungalow good, the degree of enjoyment is as great as can be expected. The features of the country are similar to those of Mumbree. The groves or woods are composed chiefly of oaks, intermixed with Magnolias, which attain a very large size. These forests seem all to have a northern aspect. Orchideae abound in these woods, and so far as herbaceous forms go, European vegetation is on the decrease. From the bungalow one has occasionally a remarkably fine view of the Himalayas, mountains intercepted by large tracts of very high land, probably Bootan. The coldest weather we have experienced here was when the thermometer sank to 46 degrees; even in the middle of the day the sun is not oppressive. It is singular enough, that the first attempts, so to speak, at a Fauna occur here. The woods abound with small birds. I shot one squirrel, with a very short tail and rounded head. Red deer (the Gyee of the Burmese) occur, though rarely. Two or three solitary snipes may be found during a day's excursion, and perhaps a brace of quail, which are nearly as large as English partridges. Pheasants are reported to occur in the woods. I should add, that both here and at Nunklow snipe of a very large description, and of the habits of the solitary snipe, are found in small numbers. They are very brown, as large as a wood-cock, and their cry is that of a common snipe. Lieutenant Townsend informs me, that these birds are a totally distinct species. Lieutenant Vetch tells me, that the Khasiyas declare that they are the females of the wood-cock, in other words, wood-hens, and that in March wood-cocks abound in the places with these wood-hens. He likewise informs me, that the only difference he could ascertain to exist between these birds and wood-cocks, consists in their having very short and thick legs.

I have seen two of this particular description, but have never shot any.

[View from Nunklow: p8.jpg]

After Myrung one can speak much less in favour of these hills. Nunklow is a pretty spot, and commands a really magnificent view of the Himalayas, of the Bootan mountains, and of the plains of Assam. Altogether this view is the finest which, in my limited experience, I have ever seen: I did not however like Nunklow, nor do my wishes recur to it. {9} The route thither is pretty enough, and not fatiguing. I may mention Nunklow as the station of some fine trees, among which is a Betula, two AEsculi, oaks, etc. in abundance. The pine is in fine order, but not large. Much more cultivation is carried on in this portion of the hills than elsewhere, and paddy is cultivated apparently to some extent. The temperature is much warmer, and the air by no means so bracing as that of Myrung. Perhaps at this place the flora resemble that of lower Himalaya more than other places we have yet seen. The march from Nunklow to Nowgong is very long, and, as we started late, owing partly to mismanagement and partly to the want of coolies, we were most agreeably benighted in the jungle. The descent is very sudden and commences at Nunklow; the valley, on the brink of which it is situated, being perhaps 2000 feet deep. It is in this valley or on its walls that the finest pines we have seen occur, but even here they do not attain a greater height than 60 feet, and perhaps a diameter of a foot or a foot and a half. As Mr. Brown of the Sillet Light Infantry informed me most correctly, many would make fine spars; but Mr. Cracroft's language in one of the Journals of the Asiatic Society when describing these firs, seems rather overwrought. During our march I picked up a pretty species of Sonerila. A small stream runs at the foot of the descent, by what name it goes I know not. Near the Bustapanee, flowing along a valley about two hours' walk from the last mentioned water. Wallich discovered abundance of his favourite and really splendid Polypodium Wallichianum, which I may accuse with justice of being an additional reason for our benightment. The stream is really the only respectable river we have seen, or rather the second one that can be called a torrent, the other being the Bogapanee. It boils along, and the body of water is great, even at the season of the year at which we passed it. It has forced enormous holes, frequently round, in the large masses of rock that form its bed, and then in and a few yards beyond the bridge of bamboos by which we crossed, it falls, they say, 70 feet into a fine bason, which however is only partly visible from above. They who have been on the edges of this bason say that the fall is really fine; it certainly has not much of this when viewed from above, neither can it, I think, even in the rains come up to Mr. Cracroft's description. Moosmai is, apres tout I will venture to say, the king of the falls between Terrya Ghat and Ranee Godown. On the farther side of this water, small trees of Cycas first make their appearance, but we had no time now or rather then to examine any thing. As the shades of evening lengthened we quickened our paces, and at last when it became dark, came up with the coolies in a most rugged road, and when it was dark, after stumbling about a good deal, I made my way to the foot of the descent, and reached a small stream, where we made preparations for a halt, and where we passed the night, during which we were treated with a slight shower of rain. As the season was far advanced we all escaped, scot-free, from fever, and reached the Bungalow called Nowgong about 10 o'clock next morning, where we spent the day.

[The village of Nunklow: p11.jpg]

From this time we were, I believe, all anxious to leave the hills, which had lost all their charms, although the vegetation was still more gigantic and interesting. But we were now confined to the road, which is very good, all digressions being prevented by the thickness of the jungles, and then in some places swarms of wild elephants. These animals appear most numerous about Onswye, near which there is a marshy place literally trodden up by them, and their tracks were so fresh that no traces of Wallich or his coolies could be identified, although they had preceded us only about half an hour. It was in this particular place that I gathered a solitary specimen of Butomus pygmaeus. Beyond Nowgong, saul first comes into view, and many trees attain a considerable size. Some fine ferns and two beautiful Acanthaceae, I may mention, as collected about that place. We reached Jyrung by an easy march the next day; every step adding only to a greater renewal of acquaintance with old faces, or at least old plain plants. Between Jyrung and the foot of the hills, we fell in with Henslowia glabra in fine flower: Wallich took many fine specimens, all of which were males. This species is, as well as the former, liable to deceive one as to the sex of the plant; but all the seeming ovaries beginning to enlarge are due to insect bites or punctures. To conclude: at the foot of the hills we were embraced with Marlea Begonifolia, Bauhinia purpurea, etc. almost exactly as at Terrya Ghat. Between the foot of these really delightful hills and Ranee Godown, I fell in with one plant only, deserving of mention, Dischedia Rafflesiana; this is worthy of notice, as our Indian Asclipiferous species have not hitherto been found, I believe north of Moulmain, nor otherwhere than that peninsula and the archipelago. From Ranee Godown we had the pleasure of walking nineteen miles to Gowahatty, which place we reached on the 23rd November.

All I can say in its favour is, that it is very cold in the mornings, always at this season cool; that it is very pretty, being situated on the Burrampooter, and surrounded with hills; that the women are good-looking, and the whole body of officers among the best. Of its botanical riches I can only say, that in a short afternoon's excursion we found Cardiopterus harnulosa, or rather saw it, and a species of Apocynea in fruit, probably the same with one I have from Tenasserim, and which is remarkable for the very many fleshy alae of its fruit. Gowahatty is particularly known as the station for Cycas circinatis, one fine specimen of which Captain Jenkins shewed us, and the height of which is perhaps 20 or 25 feet.

It was dichotomous, but only once. The rings formed by the scars of the foot stalks, as well as those of the fruit stalks, were most distinct on the two branches only, and gave them a very rich and less elated appearance. The examination of this specimen only strengthens me in my opinion derived chiefly from examination of those in the Botanic Gardens, that these rings which certainly afford the age of each branch, one being added of either sort every year, are not to be distinguished in the stem below its division. So that after all, Brongniart is only half-wrong, although he is ignorant of the saving clause.

I may add, that we were on the hills about thirty-eight days, of which seven and a half were rainy, a proportion of 1 in 5.5.

On the 2nd December, our party left Gowahatty for Suddiya, on the morning of the 4th I proceeded in advance in Captain Matthie's express canoe for Tezpoor, which place I reached on the evening of the 6th, and at which I met with a most kind reception from Captain Matthie, Principal Assistant to the Agent to the Governor General, and in Civil charge of the district of Durrung. Tezpoor possesses many advantages over Gowahatty, from which place it is about 120 miles distant, that is, following the river. It is situated on the banks of what was once a portion of the Burrampooter, but which is now nothing but a nullah, nearly dry at the present season. It is a completely new place, {12} Captain Matthie having arrived here about a year since, at which time it was a complete jungle. Some small hills run along the side of the nullah, on one of which Captain Matthie's house is situated. The clearings have already reached to a considerable extent, and there are two good roads for buggies. The great advantage it has over Gowahatty consists in its freedom from fogs, which evidently hug the Meekur hills on the opposite side of the Burrampooter, bearing about E.S.E. from Tezpoor. It is perhaps owing to the proximity of these hills that Nowgong until 10 A.M. appears completely enveloped in fog, while all round Tezpoor it is completely clear.

From this place the view of the Himalayas and of the intervening Bootan hills is very fine. The chain is of considerable extent, and presents three grand peaks, of which the most westerly one is the largest. They do not appear very distant, and are distinctly seen at this season at all times of the day. They are more soft and picturesque towards evening, at which time the different shades are better developed. The degrees of ascent of the Bootan hills are well shewn; the hills forming the lowest range being of no considerable height. It is at once obvious, that the ascent into Bootan from this place would occupy several days.

[Captain Mathie's Cutcherry: p12.jpg]

The view to the S. and S.S.W. is barren enough, and is completely flat; the country presenting nothing whatever but high grass, with an occasional peep of the river. That to the north is, owing to the Himalayas, very striking and picturesque.

Cultivation is carried on to a great extent about Tezpoor, and the district is populous, although few villages are to be seen, as they are all concealed among trees. Paddy is the principal grain cultivated, and this is carried on in low places, which appear on a casual examination to have been originally beds of rivers. Captain Matthie however tells me, that many of these have abrupt terminations and commencements, such may have been old jheels. Sursoo, opium, and sugar-cane are likewise cultivated, especially the former.

The whole land indeed, with the exception of the rice-places and the evidently old beds of the Burrampooter, are much more elevated than the land round Gowahatty. Both Tezpoor and Durrung are consequently less damp, and more healthy than the above-mentioned place. In fact, as a residence I would infinitely prefer Tezpoor to Gowahatty. With regard to the shikar, (shooting) both large and small game abound. Tigers are frequent as well as bears. Buffaloes are to be seen on the churs (islands) in large herds. Pea-fowl and jungle-fowl abound, as well as water-fowl; floricans and partridges, both black and red, are by no means unfrequent.

Upper Assam, Jan. 15th.—We arrived at Kujoo, a rather large village of Singfos, and within half a day's journey of which the tea is found in its native state. This is the first Singfo village I have as yet seen, and is situated on the skirts of a plain of small extent, and covered to all appearance by extensive grass jungles, among which trees are interspersed. The houses are not numerous, but they are of large size, and are raised in the Burman fashion on piles from the ground. Within one, many families are accommodated. The people themselves are fair, much like the Burmese, but still quite distinct. The male dress resembles the Burmese much; the female is more distinct, consisting chiefly of a sort of gown; and whilst tattooing is confined to the males in Burma, it here appears to be indulged in chiefly by the ladies; all the legs I saw during the day, being ornamented with rings of tattoo. The men are a stout, rather fine race; free, easy, and independent, and great admirers of grog in every form.

During our journey hither, and indeed en route from Kujoo Ghat, we passed over a clay soil and through a dense jungle, comparable to which I have seen but little. Our direction has been nearly south from the above place. The jungle consisted chiefly of trees, here and there large patches of bamboo or tobacco occurring: there was but little underwood. Among the trees the most gigantic was a species of Dipterocarpus, probably the same with that I have gathered on Pator hill, Mergui. We picked up likewise very large acorns with a depressed lamellated cap, and two fruits of Castanea, one probably the same with that from Myrung. But of all the vegetation, that of ferns is the most luxuriant and most varied.

Jan. 16th.—This day we gave up to the examination of the tea in its native place. It occurs in a deep jungle to the south of the village, and at a distance of about three miles from it. Our route thither lay through first a rather extensive grass jungle, then through a deep jungle. We crossed the Deboru once on our route; it is a mean and insignificant stream.

Nothing particular presents itself in the jungle until you approach the tea, on which you come very suddenly. This plant is limited to a small extent, perhaps to 300 yards square, the principal direction being N. and S. It grows in a part of the jungle where the soil is light and dryish, and throughout which, ravinules are frequent, due, Mac. tells me, to the effect of rain dropping from the heavy over-shadowing foliage on a light soil. In addition to this, small mounds occur about the roots of the large trees; but chiefly around bamboos, which are by no means unfrequent. This, however, is of common occurrence in all bamboo jungles. The underwood consists chiefly of Rubeaceae, a small Leea, Cyrthandraceae and Filices, Polypodium arboreum, Angiopteris orassipes, and a large Asplenium are common. Among the arbuscles are a large leaved Tetranthera, a Myristica, Anonaceae, Paederioidea faetidissima, foliis ternatis; stipulis apicee subulata, 3-fidis, etc. And among the forest trees are a vast Dipterocarpus, the same we met with en route to Kujoo, Dillenia speciosa, etc. Piper and Chloranthus are likewise not uncommon. There is no peculiar feature connected with the existence of the tea in such a place, and in such a limited extent. We were fortunate enough to find it both in flower and fruit, owing to its site; its growth is tall and slender, and its crown at least that of the smaller, very small and ill developed. Large trees are rare; in fact, they have been all cut down by the Singfos, who are like all other natives excessively improvident. The largest we saw, and which Wallich felled, was, including the crown, 43 feet in length. Small plants are very common, although Bruce had already removed 30,000. Mac. thinks they grow chiefly on the margins of the ravinules or hollows. Their leaves were all large, of a very dark green, and varying from four to eight inches in length. The pith of the tree felled was excentric, the greater development taking place as usual on the southern side; it was two and a half inches N., three and a half S.; but about 10 feet above the base this excentricity was nearly doubled. The wood is very compact, and the tree apparently one of slow growth. The largest that Bruce has seen, and which he felled last year, was 29 cubits in length. The jungle was so thick that all general views as to its real extent, and the circumstances limiting it, must be very superficial. To the East the cessation of the lightness of the soil and of the hollows is very abrupt, and strongly influences the tea, only a few small straggles being visible in that direction. The jungle here was choked with grasses, and the large viscous Acanthaceae of which we have elsewhere en route seen such abundance. The tree evidently, even in its large state, owes little gratitude to the sun, at least for direct rays, none of which I should think ever reach it. The Singfos however say, that it will only thrive in the shade. We halted after gathering a crop of leaves under a fine Dillenia, which was loaded with its fruit. Here the Singfos demonstrated the mode in which the tea is prepared among them. I must premise, however, that they use none but young leaves. They roasted or rather semi-roasted the leaves in a large iron vessel, which must be quite clean, stirring them up and rolling them in the hands during the roasting. When duly roasted, they expose them to the sun for three days; some to the dew alternately with the sun. It is then finally packed into bamboo chungas, into which it is tightly rammed. The ground on which it occurs is somewhat raised above the plain adjoining the village, as we passed over two hillocks on our route to the tea, and the descent did not evidently counterbalance the ascent.

Jan. 17th.—We arrived at Kujoo-doo this afternoon, having passed through a great extent of jungle, which I am sorry to say presented the usual features. We crossed the Deboro once during our march, and several tributary streams which, as may be supposed, from the size of the larger recipient river, are excessively insignificant. The soil throughout, a good part seemed to be of clay. The only plants of interest we found were two Bambusae in flower, and two species of Meniscium, and a Polypodium venulis tertiariis simplicibus. A Sarcopyramis Sonerilae was also found, but rather past flowering, and an Acrostichum? or Lomaria? We did not observe any ravinules or hollows, although mounds were by no means uncommon.

Jan. 18th.—We proceeded in a Southerly direction, and after marching for nearly seven hours arrived at, and encamped on, a largish plain, on which paddy had been extensively cultivated. The whole route lay through a vast and deep jungle, the road running partly on the side of an old bund: part of our road was through very wet ground, part through rather dry elevated woods, bamboos of two species occurred abundantly. We saw several vast specimens of Dipterocarpus, one which had been cut down measured from the base to first branch 110 feet. Ferns still continue in excess. I gathered another species of Sarcopyramis; a Goodyera, Chrysobaphus Roxburghii in flower, but rare; and an Apostasia not in flower.

Jan 19th.—We reached Negrigam early in the forenoon although we did not leave our ground before 10 A.M. The road to the village was pretty good. Negrigam is a largish village on the north bank of the Booree Dihing, which is here a considerable though not deep stream. This bank is at the site of the village very high. The population seemed to be considerable. To the south, large ranges of hills were visible, the first of which were close enough to admit of one's distinguishing them to be wooded to the top. The inner ranges were lofty. We had some difficulty in ascertaining where the tea was located, the accounts being rather contradictory. At length we proceeded up the bed of a small river, Maumoo, which runs into the Booree Dihing close to the village: after wading along in the waters for two hours we arrived at a khet where we encamped. The direction being from Negrigam N.W. along the banks of this stream. The Pavia I first observed at Silam Mookh, was abundant, and some of the specimens were very fine, the largest was a handsome, very shady tree, of perhaps thirty feet high. The only plant of interest was Gnetum scandens. On a high land bank I gathered a species of Polytrichum, and one of Bartramia.

January 20th.—This morning we crossed the small streamlet Maumoo, ascended its rather high bank, and within a few yards from it came upon the tea: which as we advanced farther into the jungle increased in abundance; in fact within a very few yards, several plants might be observed. The plant was both in flower and ripe fruit, in one instance the seeds had germinated while attached to the parent shrub. No large trees were found, the generality being six or seven feet high; all above this height being straggling, slender, unhandsome shrubs: the leaves upon the whole were, I think, smaller than those of the Kujoo plants. With respect to the plants with which it is here associated, I may observe that they were nearly the same with those of the Kujoo jungle, but here there was nevertheless one striking difference, that the jungle was by no means so dark in consequence of the smaller size of the jungle trees. The underwood consisted chiefly of ferns, among which Polipodium unitum was very common, and a Lycopodium. Bamboos occurred here and there, although by no means so extensively as at Kujoo.

Chrysobaphus Roxburghii, and a new Dicksonia, D. Griffithiana, Wall. were the plants of the greatest interest. With regard to the limits of the tea, it is by all accounts of no very great extent; but this is a point upon which it is difficult to say any thing decisive, in consequence of the thickness of the jungle. The space on which we found it may be said to be an elbow of the land, nearly surrounded by the Manmoo river, on the opposite side of which, where we were encamped, it is reported not to grow. Within this space the greater part consists of a gentle elevation or rather large mound. On this it is very abundant, as likewise along its sides, where the soil is looser, less sandy, and yellow (McClell.); along the base of this I think it is less common, and the soil is here more sandy, and much darker (McClell.) We partly ascertained that it was limited to the west, in which direction we soon lost sight of it. To the south and eastward of the elbow of land it is most common, but here it is, as I have said above, stopped by the river.

The greatest diameter of the stem of any plant that I saw in this place, might be two or three inches, certainly not more.

Nadowar, Feb. 17th.—Our route from this village, at which we were encamped, to the tea locality in the neighbouring forest, lay for the first time partly over paddy fields, the remainder over high ground covered with the usual grasses, with here and there a low strip; all was excessively wet. We next traversed a considerable tract of tree jungle, perhaps for nearly a mile; this was a drier and higher soil than the rice ground. On the northern flank of this, and close to the edge of the jungle we came to the tea, situated on a low strip of ground.

This plant here occupies an extremely limited space, and its greatest, and indeed almost only extent, is from south to north. It is in one spot excessively thick, and many of the plants had attained a considerable size, but the largest had been cut down, when it was visited by people from Suddiya in search of tea some short time ago. It had just passed flowering; all the plants looked well, better I think than those of Kujoo. The soil was very much like that of the Kujoo and Negrigam jungles, and was remarkable for its great dryness and looseness, in spite of the long continued and heavy rains. That near the surface was dark brown, below yellow brown, and the deeper it was examined the more yellow it seemed to become. We satisfied ourselves that its depth extended lower than two feet from the surface. The space the plant occupies in any numbers certainly does not exceed forty yards in length, by twenty- five in breadth. About fifty yards to the north several plants occurred, but the soil here was of a much darker tint, although it appeared to be nearly as dry as the other. The accompanying diagram may give some idea of its situation.

February 17th.—We arrived at Rangagurrah, the capital of the Muttack country, and the residence of the Burra-seena Puttee, or Bengmara. Our route thither occupied us, inclusive of the day spent in examining the tea at Noadwar, five days. During the three first, we passed through a low country admirably, and almost exclusively, adapted for rice cultivation, and consequently abounding in wild wading birds and water- fowl.

As we approached Rangagurrah the ground became higher, in addition to which it is better drained. We crossed about two miles from Rangagurrah a small rivulet, a tributary of the Deboro; no plants but one of much interest was detected en route. That one was a fine forest tree affecting damp low places, apparently very limited in extent. It is a new genus, belonging to Hamemelideae, and we have called it Sedgwickia cerasifolia. On our arrival at Rangagurrah we were met by the Burra- seena Puttee, 'Big warrior,' who escorted us to the houses he had caused to be erected for us, and which were at a little distance from the village itself. During our association with him or with his country, he was remarkably attentive and civil, and as he is an independent man he pleased me much. On the — Feb. we reached Tingrei, a poor village about ten miles to the S.E. of Rangagurrah, situated on the west bank of the rivulet of the same name, another tributary of the Deboroo. On the same morning as the march was very short, we proceeded to examine the tea, and the following day was likewise given up to another examination. The tea here may be characterised as dwarf, no stems that I saw exceeding fifteen feet in height; it had just passed flowering. It occurs in great abundance, and to much greater extent than in any of the places at which we had previously examined it. But here it is neither limited by peculiarity of soil or such slight elevation as the place affords; it grows indiscriminately on the higher ground where the soil is of a brownish yellow, and on which it attains a larger size than elsewhere, or on clumps occurring in low raviny ground and associated with fine bamboos. This ground was intersected by a very tortuous dry nullah bed, on the banks of which tea was very abundant. On either side of the jungle in which it is found, extensive clearings occur, so that it is impossible to say what its original extent may have been; I am inclined to think, however that its limit was with the commencement of a small clearing running to the N.W. of a village situated on the west bank of the Tingrei, and that not much has been cut down.

[The Himalaya from Rangagurrah: p19.jpg]

The extent may be roughly estimated as follows, reckoning from the entrance into the jungle in a south easterly direction: the one in fact of our route from the village to the tea.

S.E. 180 yards, after which it disappears, but shews itself again sparingly about 100 yards further on, and in the same direction.

To the S. of this I found none, its direction being totally changed; its general direction being now,

N.W. or N.N.W. in which, and in about 200 yards from the place at which it ceased towards the south, it becomes very abundant, and continues so in a

W.N.W. course for about 220 yards.

Thence it appears to be interrupted for the space of 80 or 100 yards.

It then recommences a course

N. by W. for about 100 yards, when it is terminated by cultivated ground to the east, and low raviny ground to the west.

200 yards to the north, and close to a small village, it is very abundant, and at least its stumps with numerous shoots, occupy almost the whole of a small clearing bounded on the N.E. by the rivulet Tingrei. It may be supposed to extend for a little distance into the contiguous jungle to the N.W.

On the whole, it may be said to occupy a narrow strip of jungle, extending from the village Tingrei in a S.E. direction about a .25 of a mile. I consider the plants here as finer than in any of the other tea jungles, the crown being much better developed owing at least in some parts to the less denseness of the jungle. The fact of the shoots appearing from the bases of the stems which had been cut down in the small clearing above mentioned, gave us good opportunities of seeing the effects of exposure to the sun. This they seemed to bear well, but the shoots were rather too much elongated, and the leaves had too much of a yellow tint to indicate that such was their natural situation. No part of the soil on which tea was found was like the soil of Nadowar or Manmoo; still, although stiffer than the others, it was characterised by a certain lightness.

The superstratum was very light, and brownish black, the remainder yellowish brown, the yellow tints as well as the stiffness increasing downwards. The soil was here deeper than in any of the other sites.

Many parts of the ground were excessively low, and very probably inundated during the rains.

From the fact of its occurring in such abundance in the small clearing to the N.W. of the village, I am induced to suppose that it had at some period extended down the large clearing which runs 200 yards to the south of the above village.

The associated vegetation presented no peculiarities; several plants, with which we had not previously met, occurred. One, a Stauntonia, was found, which may be supposed from analogy to indicate a certain coldness of climate. But on the other hand, it was associated with so many tropical forms that not much reliance can be placed on this isolated fact.

On the 25th we returned to Rangagurrah, where the elephants and dowaniers (drivers) were dismissed. On the 26th we commenced returning by the Deboroo, the descent of which occupied two days and a half.

Here let me express my opinion that in cases like ours, where a set of men are deputed to examine countries, time spent on rivers is absolutely thrown away. Of course in many instances such must be the case, but where it is avoidable, marching, and especially returning by a different route, should be adopted. Rangagurrah, be it known, is only two days' march from Suddiyah in a direct line, yet we have been a month proceeding by the circuitous line of rivers between these places.


Journal of a trip to the Mishmee Mountains, from the Debouching of the Lohit to about ten miles East of the Ghalooms. Lat. 27 degrees 50' to 28 degrees 10' N.; Long. 95 degrees 20' to 96 degrees 40' E.

I left Suddiya on the morning of the 15th October 1836, and halted at Noa Dihing Mookh, (river mouth) a place abounding in fish, and promising excellent sport both in fly and live-bait fishing. The temperature of the Noa Dihing, an indolent stream flowing over a flat, sandy plain, was 79 degrees; that of the B. pooter, which falls in large volume rapidly from the mountains, was 67 degrees. Fish congregate in vast numbers at the junction of rivers of different temperatures, and are there more easily captured than in other situations, a fact that ought to be borne in mind, whether for the mere object of sport or the more practical purpose of fisheries in India.

The following day (16th) we passed Choonpoora, where the rapids commence, and where stones first appear; one rapid, a little above Choonpoora, is severe. There is a severe one also at Toranee Mookh, on which the Copper temple is situated; and one at Tingalee Mookh, on which Lattow is situated. The river now commences to be more subdivided; there is but little sand deposited alone, but vast beds of sand and stones occur together. The banks are clothed with jungle, and are occasionally skirted with tall grasses, but the churs or islands disappear it may be said with the sands, and are only formed in lower and more distant parts from the mountains, where the velocity of the current is less. Temperature at 6 A.M. 66 degrees, 4 P.M. 76 degrees, (water of B. pooter 64.65,) 7 P.M. 72 degrees.

Buffaloes abundant, but I only saw a few.

The most interesting plants were a Cyclocodon, Liriodendron, Sanicula: 32 species were collected.

Oct. 17th.—Reached Karam Mookh, about noon. Rapids much increased, some very severe, especially that opposite Karam Mookh, which we crossed without accident, although as we crossed a confluence of two rapids, the water in the middle being much agitated; it was a wonder that no canoes were upset. The bed of the river is still more divided, the spots between the streams being for the most part entirely composed of stones. The lowest temperature of the B. pooter was 63 degrees. A severe but short rapid occurs at Karam Mookh itself, the fall being very great, but the body of water small. The water of this river is beautifully clear. Its temperature at the Mookh 72 degrees. The jungle extends down to both edges of the water, and the stream is not divided into branches. My guide in the evening disgusted me by asking how many days I intended to stop at the Koond before my return to Suddiya, when I had engaged him expressly to go into the Mishmee hills, and not merely to Brama Koond, as the above question implied. But such is the way in which our best designs depending on native agency are often tampered with. Thermometer at 8 P.M. 64 degrees. Species of Conaria grow abundantly on the banks!

Oct. 18th.—We are still in the Karam river. Reached about noon the Kamptee village, Palampan, or rather its Ghat. This Karam river is tortuous, generally shallow, with a more or less stony bed; it is nothing more in fact than a succession of rapids, between each of which the slope is very gentle, so that one makes good progress. Temperature at 6 A.M. 66 degrees in the canoe; but in the hut in which I slept, it is as low as 60 degrees. The dews are very heavy, and the jungle, as before, comes down to the edges of the water, but scarcely affords any marked feature. Kydia calycina is common, as is likewise a large Mimoseous tree. There is apparently very little diminution in the volume of water, though several minor streams were passed between this and the Mookh. Liriodendron is becoming more frequent. The views of the mountains are very varied; and that of the Koond defile or Chasm, very beautiful; water- falls seem to be distinctly visible down one hill or mountain, in particular. The finest view however is on the Lohit, opposite Dyaroo Mookh, at which place the three huge, ever snowy peaks, characteristic of the Mishmee portion of the mountains, are distinctly seen.

Left the Ghat for the village which is situate on the Dea-soon or Simaree, which flows into the Tenga-panee, and which is said now to carry off so much water from the Karam that this river ceases a short distance above this place to become navigable for boats like mine. The path we pursued ran in a S.E. or S.S.E. direction for about a mile; it is good, and leads through a thick jungle: the village contains probably fifteen houses. The Gohain, or chief, is a most respectable-looking man, and of very fair complexion. His people are for the most part stout. The women also of very fair complexion, with their hair tied in a large knot on the top of the head, in a peculiar way, putting one in mind of fat Norman damsels. Temperature in the boat to-day 76 degrees, the sky beautifully clear. The B. pooter seems still the only river, the temperature of which is always below that of the air. One interesting Elaeocarpus occurred—Petal. viridibus apice dentatis; calice griseo viridi, vix valvato. I may remark, that the aestivation of Kydia is scarcely valvate. I saw a, to me, new kingfisher and wood-pecker. The black and white kingfisher, Dalcedo rudus, is not found on the B. pooter beyond the termination of the sand banks.

Oct. 18th—Temperature in my hut at 5.5 A.M. is 56 degrees, outside it is 52.5 degrees, that of the river water 63 degrees. We left about 8, and proceeded up the Karam, which presented nothing singular. The volume of water is now less, and rapids are more frequent: heavy snow is visible from a little above Palampan Ghat, where the river bends to the northward; and a little further on a fine view of the Koond occurs. The Chasm is bounded in the rear by the fine rugged peak so distinctly seen from Suddiya due east. About 11, we reached the Ghat, beyond which boats, except of the smallest description, cannot pass; and about 1, started for the Mishmee village Jing-sha, situated on the Karam. Our course was along the bed of the river, and nearly due east. Formerly boats were able to reach the Ghat of the village, but the water has become shallower, owing, they say, to a larger portion being carried off by the Dea-soon, which runs into the Tenga-panee. We reached the village Ghat about four in the afternoon, but our people arrived very little before six o'clock. The march was tedious and difficult, owing to the numerous stones which are strewed in the way: and the necessity for crossing the river was so frequent, that all idea of shoes was quite out of the question. To increase the difficulty, the stones in the bed of river are very slippery, and as we crossed rapids, it frequently required some care to prevent our falling.

We were met by the Gam, or chief, before any signs of the village there were visible. The population is small; the people fair, but begrimed with dirt; the dress consists of a loose jacket without sleeves. The primary article of clothing is indeed so scanty, that the less one says about it the better. The women are decently clothed, and have generally enormous calves, certainly bigger than those of the men: their favourite ornament seems to be a band of silver, broadest across their forehead, which encircles their head. This village is close to the hills, and within a day's journey of the Koond, at least for a Mishmee. One Assamese slave is among the inhabitants, who was sold when a boy. A few of the men have Singfo dhaos or swords, others miserable knives, and some the usual spear so general with the tribes on this frontier. But in general the weapons of these people are most insignificant. The view of the hills is not fine from this place; it is too close to see any of great height, and they soon disappear to the westward. In the evening that of the Koond, which bears E.N.E. by N. is fine, particularly one mountain, which is known at once by its numerous cascades or appearances of water-falls, which, although they appear like streaks of white to the eye, are distinctly visible through a telescope. The bed of the Karam is almost entirely stony, and the immediate banks are clothed with grass. The jungle is of the usual thick description. The Gam, whose name is Jingsha, is a respectable looking man, fair in his dealings, and willing to oblige. They all have tobacco pipes.

Oct. 19th.—Halted to enable the people to bring up the baggage, and we shall in all probability have to halt to-morrow. I paid a visit to the Gam's house, Jingshi; it is to the S.E. of the Ghat, and about a mile and a half distant from it. The houses are all detached, and almost buried in jungle. Jingsha's house is a good one, very long, and well built; he has only about five skulls. {24} Mont was handed round to the Mishmees in large bamboo cups. From our encampment, abundance of clearances for cultivation are visible on the hills. Those to N., S., S.E. are of some extent, and belong to a Mishmee Gam, Tapa. Some fine timber trees exist on the road to the village, and a very large Ficus: no particular plants occur except a Chloranthus, fructibus albis, which is also common towards Palampan. Thermometer at noon, in imperfect shade, 83 degrees.

Oct. 20th.—The temperature of the air at 5.5 A.M. was 57.5 degrees. That of water, 60 degrees. I was obliged to halt again to enable the rice to be brought up. To-day we gathered on the banks of the Karam, a tree in fruit, Fol. alterna, impari-pinnata, stipulis caducis. Cymi compositi dichotomi; calyce minuto, 4 dentato, reflexo; corolla coriacea, viridi, rotata; stamina 4, hypogyna, gynobasi, maxima; carpellis 4, aggregatis, 1, 3, fecundalis, globosis, atro-cyaneis, baccatis; stylis lateralibus; semen 1, exalbumosum arbuscula mediocris; one Chrysobalanea? one Ochnacea?

Yesterday they brought me a beautiful snake, Collo gracillimo, colore pulchre fusco, maculis aterrimis, capite magno; {25} has all the appearance of being venomous. To-day we passed another place for catching fish: the water is prevented from escaping, (except at the place where the current is naturally most violent,) by a dam composed of bamboos, supported by triangles, from the centre of which hang heavy stones: the fish are prevented passing down except at the above spot, and here they are received on a platform of bamboo: the stream is so strong through this point, that when once the fish have passed down they are unable to return. One of these fish-traps on a larger scale exists below Palampan.

The Karam debuts from the hills a little to the S. of east of Jingsha Ghat: the chasm is very distinct. Temperature at 2 P.M. 87 degrees, at sunset 76 degrees, 8 P.M. 68 degrees.

Oct. 21st.—Left the Ghat about 9, and proceeded over the same difficult ground down the Karam until we arrived at Laee Mookh. This occupied about an hour; our course thence lay up the Laee, which runs nearly due east. The bed of the river throughout the lower part of its course is 60 or 70 yards across: the journey was as difficult as that on the Karam. Towards 2 P.M. we were close to the hills, and the river became contracted, not exceeding 30 or 40 yards across. It is here only that large rock masses are to be found, but the boulders are in no case immense. We arrived at the place of our encampment about 4 P.M., the porters coming up much later. The march was in every respect most fatiguing. Temperature about 6 A.M. 58 degrees, outside 57 degrees. Water 60 degrees. Temperature of Laee at sunset 66 degrees. Of the air 71 degrees.

Oct. 22nd.—Cloudy: during the night we were much annoyed by heavy gusts of wind sweeping down the river. Left our encampment at 7.5, and struck into the jungle, the porters still continuing along the course of the river; after crossing some rising ground we reached a path, which is tolerably good. Our course lay about N.E.; we crossed over some low hills, and after marching for about an hour and a quarter, came upon the Koond Chasm, or great defile; of which, however, from the thickness of the jungle, we had no view. We then descended a very steep, but not very high hill, and came upon the Koond; of which nothing is at first seen but large masses of rock strewed in every direction. We were accompanied by a number of Jingsha Gam's people, and in the evening we were visited by Tapan Gam himself, with a train of followers. This man assumes the sovereignty of the Koond. We encamped immediately under the Faqueer's Rock, which is known to the Mishmees by the name "Taihloo Maplampoo." The south bank is wooded to its brink, but not very densely: it is excessively steep, and in many places almost perpendicular. The strata composing it is partly limestone, lying at an angle of 45 degrees, and in many places at a greater one. The scenery is picturesque and bold: on either side of the river are hills rising abruptly to the height of a few hundred feet, but the hills are continued longer on the north side. From the Rock the river seems to run W.N.W. for a quarter of a mile, and then bends to the S.W. The breadth of the bed is a good hundred yards, but the stream at this season is confined to the fifty yards near the south bank, the remainder being occupied by rocks in situ, or boulders and sand: the edge of the N. bank is occupied by stunted Saccharum. The appearance of the water is characteristic, of a greyish green tinge, giving the impression of great depth. It is only here and there that it is white with foam, its general course being rather gentle. It is in various places encroached upon more or less by the rocks forming its bed, some of which are quite perpendicular. A little to the west of the Faqueer's Rock there is an immense mass of rock in the bed of the river, between which and the south bank there is now very little water and no current. The rocks are generally naked; here and there they are partially clothed with Gramineae, and a Cyperaceous-looking plant, something like an Eriophorum. The river, a short distance beyond the Deo- panee, takes a bend to the north; at the point where it bends there is a considerable rapid.

[Bramakhoond and Faqueer's Rock: p26.jpg]

The Faqueer's Rock itself is a loose mass of rugged outline, about 50 feet high: access to its summit is difficult to anybody but a Mishmee; it is, however, by no means impracticable. The path by which it may be gained, leads from the eastward. At the summit is an insulated, rounded, rugged mass of rock, on which the faqueers sit. It is however the descent by the path to the east which is difficult, and people generally choose another path to the west. This rock is clothed with ferns epiphytical Orchideae, an Arundo, and a few stunted trees are very common at its summit. Between it and the hill is another much smaller mass, and the intervening spaces are occupied by angular masses of rock. These spaces both lead westward to that corner of the river into which the Deo- panee falls. Eastward they lead to the margin of the bank.

The north face of the Faqueer's Rock is excavated into a hollow of the Deo Dowar. It has no resemblance to a Gothic ruin, which form is, I believe, peculiar to calcareous rocks. It is this rock which, by its eastern extremity projecting into the water, forms the reservoirs into which the Deo-panee falls, or rather at this season runs; the place resembles merely a sort of bay. The water-mark of floods visible on some of the rocks, is probably eight feet above that of this time of the year. The reservoir is completed by a projection from the rocks forming the south bank, but it is almost entirely abstracted from the stream. The south bank immediately beyond this is extremely precipitous, and very high. The Faqueer's Rock is three-peaked; two peaks can only be seen from the Deo-panee, the third is the low one to the west, the middle is the highest, and is perforated: the eastern represents a sugar-loaf appearance. Two distinct streams run into the reservoirs, the bed of one forms the second defile before alluded to: this is very insignificant. The other occupies the corner of the bay, and can only be seen from a low station on the sand beneath: it is an attempt at a small water-fall.

Oct. 23rd.—To-day I have been employed in collecting plants. Nearly due east of the Koond, and at a distance of about 40 yards, the face of the hill is perpendicular, and in some places overhanging; its extremity juts out into the stream, which here flows with great violence; the banks are occupied by masses of rock strewed in every direction, resulting from a landslip of great size: some of these masses are enormous. The greater portion of the slip is clothed with herbage and trees, so that it is of some age, or standing; but in one place over the river it is clean, as if fresh formed, and white-looking much like chalk. This cliff in many parts is a dripping well, particularly in one extremity where a good deal of water falls. It is clothed with the Eriophorum, which hangs down in long tufts; the moist parts with an Adiantum much like A. C. Veneris, a beautiful Pteris, a Pothos or Arum foliis pulchre nigro tinctis, and some mosses; B. speciosa out of flower, and some Hepaticae, Ruta albiflora, etc. Between this and the Deo-panee a small stream enters the Lohit: following this up to some height, one arrives at a pretty water-fall; here it is inaccessible in this direction, but by following a branch of the stream to the west, one may arrive at the summit of the hill, from which however no view is to be obtained. The summit is ridge-like, and excessively sharp; the descent on either side almost precipitous. I found several fine ferns up this hill; at its base an Acer and fine Equisetum.

[The Mori-Panee as it enters the Khoond: p27.jpg]

The Koond is apparently formed by the Deo-panee and Mori-panee. In the rains it must be a rather striking object, now however it is at this season, lost amidst the fine surrounding scenery. How the Faqueer's Rock and the rock between it and the Mori-panee were detached, is difficult to say. It is evident, however, that formerly the two rivers were not united to form the Koond as at present, but that they had each their own channels when the Faqueer's Rock must have stood between them. In fact both channels, in which water has flowed, still remain. My broken Thermometer pointed out the low temperature of the Lohit water, and 208 degrees was the point at which water boiled in two experiments. All attempts at passing along the river on this side would be vain, owing to a cliff which is totally impracticable. The Mishmees know of no rivulet called the Mtee; probably this has been mistaken for the Mishmee name for water, Mchee. The way Wilcox went I am at a loss to ascertain; as he could not have passed the Koond, he must have gone above it; although the hills are said to be impracticable for loaded coolies.

Oct. 25th.—The Koond is obviously little frequented. I left sometime after the coolies, pursuing the path leading to Ghaloom's, which extends to the eastward. An hour and a quarter brought me again to the Laee-panee, and three hours and a half to Laee Mookh: from this place to Jingsha Ghat is scarcely an hour's walk. The day's journey occupied about five hours inclusive of stoppages: the distance is probably about twelve miles. I came to the determination of returning, owing to the known difficulty of the route pursued by Wilcox, and the impossibility of making a collection of grain. The Tapan Gam, or Lord of the Koond, particularly insisted on the impossibility of ordinary coolies going this way, and as he offered men to bring up grain from the plains, I at once acceded to his proposal of making a granary in his village. This man had no delicacy in asking for presents: he at once said, "You must give gold, silver, and every thing in the calendar of presents to the Deo," meaning himself. As I found it impracticable to satisfy him, I sent him off with a small present, promising more when he should have amassed the grain. His brother, a tall, stout, and much more useful man, (as he does not refuse to carry loads,) on seeing me rub salt on a bird's skin, remarked, "What poor devils we are! Bird's skins with salt supply the Sahibs with food, while we can't get a morsel." They promised to take me all over the country, and to be my slaves, if I would point out to them where salt is to be found.

[The Deo-Panee as it enters the Khoond: p28.jpg]

I saw nothing particular in the woods. I picked up the fruit of a Magnolia and Castanea, and observed an arborescent Leea. Some of the timber is fine. A large Acrotirchea abounds between Laee and the Koond, as well as Chloranthus. Near the Laee a climber, the base of whose stem is elephantopoid and enormous considering the slender stem, is abundant. I could not get any of the leaves. At the Koond, Buddleia Neemda, a Prunus, etc. occur. Caelogyne polleniis 4 obovatis, faciebus incumbentibus complanates materie pulverea, mediocri. Dundoons are rather troublesome; they are flies, and nearly as large as an ordinary house fly: their proboscis is large, and leaves spots of extravasated blood where they bite, nearly of the size of an ordinary pin's head.

Oct. 27th.—My people brought me in a beautiful snake, Coluber porphyraceus, ventre albo, caeterum pulchre coccineo-badio, capite lineis nigris tribus quarum centralis brevior, dorso lineis nigris duabus postea gradatim evanescentibus, lineis circularibus minus conspicuis, iridibus carneis. {29a}

Oct. 28th.—Yesterday evening two elephants arrived with grain, so that I have every prospect of being fairly on my way in a day or two. Nothing worth seeing has occurred, except a man who by some accident had the lobe of his ear torn, and had the fragments stitched together with silver wire.

Oct. 31st.—Halted at the Laee-panee, and gathered an Oberonea, and specimens of fish. {29b}

Nov. 1st.—Dirty weather; rain looking much as if it were going to continue for several days. There is a small drupaceous fruit found here and at Beesa, the Singfo name of which is Let-tan-shee; it is the produce of a large tree probably the fruit of a Chrysobalanus, testibus stylo laterali, stam, perigynis: cotyledonibus crispatis. The flavour is acid, rather pleasant, and somewhat terebinthinaceous.

Nov. 2nd.—I thought it best to set off, although it was raining heavily. Our course lay in an E. direction up the Karam for about two hours, when it diverged: it thence after passing through some heavy jungle continued up the steep bed of the now dry Dailoom; it next diverged again about 2 P.M., when we ascended a small hill; it continued thence through heavy jungle chiefly bamboo, until we descended in an oblique manner on the Laee-panee, about a mile up which we found our halting place. The whole march occupied, including a few halts, seven hours; and as the pace was pretty good for six full hours, I compute the distance to be about fifteen miles. Hill Flora recommenced in the bamboo jungle; two fine species of Impatiens and several Urticeae making their appearance; Camellia axillaris and some fine Acanthacea: the best plant was a species of Aristolochea. The latter part of the day was fine, and the elephants with grain from Suddiyah arrived.

Nov. 3rd.—Passed the forenoon in ascending the hill opposite our encampment: it is of no great height, but like all the others very steep. To the N.W. of this has occurred a large slip, but long previous to this time; on it two or three Phaeniceous palms may be found. Pandanus still occurs. The hill was barren of Botany, excepting a few ferns towards base.

Nov. 4th.—Left Laee-panee at 9.5 A.M., and reached the encampment at 3.5 P.M. Our course diverged almost immediately from the last encampment, and we ascended for some time up the bed of a torrent. The first hill we ascended occupied an hour, and the remainder of the day's journey consisted of ascents and descents along the most difficult path imaginable. All the hills are very steep, and the paths when they wind round these, are very difficult; a slip would cause a dangerous fall. About 1 P.M. we reached two or three houses constituting a village.

From this, one has a fine view of the plains, and of the B. pooter near its exit from the hills: it is much intersected by islets covered with jungle. Leeches are not very numerous. Dundoons or sand flies very annoying. I have gathered plenty of plants, especially ferns. Wallichia continues; Wulfenia obliqua, and a Companula were the best. At our halting place I found the fruits of Sedgwickia in abundance. Passed two or three streams. Found the flowers of a large Loranthus, or rather its very large flowers on the ground. They are eaten by the natives, but the acidity is unpleasant, owing to its being mixed with a bitter; the flowers are two inches long: tubo 4 angulato, basi-coccinescenti, laminis viridibus interstibus carneis, coccineo lineatis praesenti transverse, antheris syngenesis. Sarcocordalis, common.

Nov. 5th.—Left at half-past 8, and reached extensive kheties (cultivated fields) with dispersed houses at about 1 P.M. This place is called Dilling. Our route consisted of the same fatiguing marching: we passed over some hills, from which we had fine views. The first gave us a fine sight of the Patkaye mountains, {31} S.E. of Upper Assam, which reach apparently a great height. The second, of the plains of Assam. The exact summits of all the hills are covered with a coarse spicate Saccharum. On one we met with a Melampyracea. The Botany is improving greatly; two species of Viola, two fine Cyrthandraceae occurring. I also noticed Sedgwickia again, and got abundance of ferns, a Buddleia, and a fine Amaranthacea. Halted on a cleared ground immediately under the Red mountain so plainly seen from Jingsha. There is now no appearance of water-falls on it, but there are several white spots owing to slips: the brink or brim of this hill is woody, but there is a considerable space covered only with short grass. The strata are inclined at an angle of 45 degrees. I here got two or three fine mosses. All the Mishmees have the idea, that on some hills at least rain is caused by striking trees of a certain size with large stones, some hills are again free from this charm; it was ridiculous to hear them call out not to throw stones whenever we approached one of these rainy hills. The people appear to get dirtier the farther we advance. I saw plenty of snow on two high peaks, and had a peep of the Lohit beyond Brahma Koond. Wallichia continues, as well as Bambusa, Saccharum Megala. The kheties are either of rice or Cynosurus or Zea. Tobacco is not cultivated, but left to take care of itself. Buddleia Neemda and wild plantain continue, the latter is probably a distinct species; leaves subtis glauco niveis. Pandanus continues. The name of the Red mountain before alluded to, is Thu-ma- thaya, the rivulet at its base is Tus-soo-muchee. Tus-soo Dee-ling is the name of the place; a large mountain bearing N.N.E., is Sun-jong-thaya. It is obvious that Dee-ling must be of some extent, as my site does not agree with that of Wilcox. The view to the E. is entirely limited to Thu-ma-thaya, and to the N.N.E., by Sun-jong-thaya; no B. pooter is visible, nor is Ghaloom's house. The snow collects on the Thu-ma-thaya this month: the clearings for cultivation on the declivities of Thu-ma-thaya are called Chim-bra: the houses, although at great distances from the village, are called Yeu.

Nov. 6th.—We arrived at our halting place after a march of seven hours, over a most difficult and fatiguing road: we skirted throughout the whole time the base of the huge Thu-ma-thaya; I never saw a worse road, if road it may be called—part of it lay over places where a false step or slip would be very dangerous, if not fatal. We came suddenly on the B. pooter; but as the place was not a good one for crossing, we prepared to go a little higher up the stream, and though the distance we had to go was not above 100 yards, yet as the river side was impracticable, it became necessary to ascend and descend by a most difficult path where a slip would have precipitated one into the river sixty or seventy feet below. What rendered this passage most difficult and dangerous, was the jungle which, while it caused you to stoop, at the same time concealed your footing. It is one of the characteristics of Mishmees, that they sooner risk their necks than take the trouble of cutting down underwood.

We have scarcely passed Thu-ma-thaya, so that the distance we have travelled in a direct line from Deeling must be very small. The stream of the Lohit is not forty yards broad, but the bed is about sixty. It has the appearance of great depth, and roars along amidst rocks in some places in fine style. I here picked up some small branches of an elm, very like U. virgata: the tree was too late to reach fruit. I also gathered a fine Acanthacea, and some good ferns. The north bank of the Lohit here has the same structure as the south at the Koond, and is perpendicular. The water of the Lohit is certainly much cooler than any of the mountain streams. Vast blocks of rock, of many sorts, lie strewed on the south side; one in particular is quartzose, remarkable for the indentations on its surface. I here gathered some mosses, and a good Marchantiacea, very nearly allied to Octoskepos, but culiculate. Pandanus still continues, as also Marlea, Wallichia, Caryota, and Pentaptera. Passed several streams, and a pretty fall, the water falling down a cliff almost perpendicular, about 100 feet high. The Mishmees use the fibres and reti of Caryota as an ornament to their baskets, from which it likewise keeps the rain. Wild plantain continues. Our encampment is on a fine bed of sand.

Nov. 7th.—Rain throughout the night at intervals, and sharp cold in the morning; we left at 9 A.M. and arrived at our encampment about 12 P.M. The first part of our march was very difficult, it in fact consisted of crossing a precipice overhanging the Lohit; the difficulty was increased by the slipperiness occasioned by the rain; no one could pass some of the places unless aided by ratans fixed to trees, etc. We came to the Sung river about 12 noon, but were delayed some time in building a bridge. This river appears to me to be in some places fordable, but the Mishmees say that it is not; the water is beautifully clear. The first cane suspended bridge occurs here; I did not fancy it, although I observed the Mishmees cross, the passage taking barely half a minute. Throughout the whole time the Mishmees use their legs and arms, to accelerate or determine their progress; the inclination caused by the weight is slight. I preferred one of our own erection, about 100 yards distant from it. The height is not great over the river, and the width is perhaps thirty yards. The Bourra crossed after some delay; we were then obliged to make two halts: we followed the Sung down to its mouth, which is barely 200 yards: its bed is rocky; at its junction there is a large bay formed, on the N. side of which is a fine sand bank. The Lohit there runs nearly N. and S., and is excessively violent in its course, certainly ten miles an hour. The scenery is pretty, but no hills of great height are seen to any extent. This is the most romantic spot I have seen in my course of travels as yet. We forded the bay about its centre, and encamped on the sand: the path we are to follow is said to be above, and very difficult. We here gathered some fine ferns and a Bleteoid Orchidea. A Gentianacea likewise occurred. The Tapan Gam, on my inquiring, said, that Wilcox passed by the upper path, the Lohit at that time running under the cliff which forms one side of the bay. {33} The course of the river, he says, has since changed by the occurrence of a large slip, principally of mica slate.

Nov. 8th.—The commencement of our march to-day was up a hill, the ascent, as in all the other cases, being very steep. From its summit we could see Dilling in a horizontal distance extremely near. We then proceeded skirting the hill, and descended subsequently to the O. rivulet, which is of no size. We then ascended another considerable height, and found ourselves on the site of Ghaloom's old dwelling. The situation was delightful; to the N.E., a high range was visible, which is covered with snow, the pines on the lower parts of the ridge standing out, in fine relief. To the N. was a noble peak bare at its summit, on which snow rests during some months, its centre being prettily marked out with numerous patches of cultivation. To the N. again the Tid-ding might be seen foaming along the valleys; the hills are evidently improving in height and magnificence of scenery. We reached this at 12 o'clock, our march having lasted five hours. We thence descended crossing a small stream at the base of the hill, on which Ghaloom's former house stood, called the Dhaloom Basee.

I thence proceeded over some nasty swampy ground with a few low elevations until we reached Ghaloom's, which we did about 2 P.M. A small spot was allotted to us some distance from the village, on which we erected our huts. Ghaloom changed his residence to this place, owing to the death of two of his people, which was attributed to the unhealthiness of the former site; but as might be expected from the nature of the place he has chosen, he has suffered very severely from fever since his removal. As soon as our huts were built, Ghaloom and his brother Khosha visited us, preceded by the hind quarter of a pig. Their appearance is somewhat better than the ordinary run of Mishmees, but they are just as dirty. Khosha is a little man, with a mahogany-coloured wrinkled face. Great attention was paid by their attendants to all they said, and Khosha himself is evidently the Demosthenes of the Mishmees. When interrupted, he commanded silence in an authoritative way. Krisong was not present. Khosha declares that Rooling, the Mezhoo chief, is nobody, and that Wilcox gave him his present unknown to them. The acquisitions in Botany consisted of some fine Cyrtandraceae, a Cymbidium, and some ferns. One of these Cyrtandraceae is very singular: the runners are long, producing one stem with a very small terminal leaf, and a very large flower. Afterwards this leaf enlarges, becomes a large cordate Begonioid one, bearing from its bosom apparently one or two Siliquae; Pandanus Bambusa continue. The fine Quercus is common, Megala, Podomolia, Triumfetta, Siegesbeckia. Cynoglossum, Callicarpa, Urena, Rottlera and several other low tropical forms continue. The Cymbidioid has pollena 4, incumbentia postice aliquoties minore, glandula nulla?

Nov. 9th.—Halted. Went to the suspension bridge over the Lohit, which is about 60 yards across, or double the length of the one we crossed on the 7th. The passage by Mishmees takes two, or two minutes and a half, requiring continued exertion the whole time, both by hands and feet, as above described. Both banks are very steep, yet the natives are so confident of safety, that of this bridge only one cane is trustworthy. Bathed in the river, which is very cold and deep, but comparatively quiet.

Nov. 10th.—Went to the Lohit, gathered Cymbidium giganteum, two or three ferns, and a Rafflesia in its several stages. I have not however yet seen the perfectly expanded flower, the natives do not know it, although it must be a sufficiently striking object, the alabastri before expansion are about the size of an orange. Went to Ghaloom's house, which is of great length, built of bamboos, raised high from the ground, divided into about twelve compartments, and containing 100 men, women, and children.

Nov. 11th.—Left for Khosha Gams; crossed the Lohit on a raft, and left its banks at noon. Followed the river for some distance, and then diverged towards the N.W. and reached Khosha at 3 P.M., the march owing to the heat was very fatiguing. Found very few plants; noticed a flower of a Ternstroemiacea nearly allied to the genus Camellia, cor. rotat. lacin. reflexis, albis fauce carnea. stam. 00, epipet. anther. erectis- apice dehiscent, and of a large Hibiscus; the Caelogyne of the Koond was also found. Two species of Castaneae occur in these woods, one with very stout thorns to its cupula, and not eatable fruit; the other has long slender prickles, and its fruit about the size of an acorn, is eatable, and not at all disagreeable. On all the hills of any height with grassy tops Compositae are among the most striking forms. Areca parva continues, Pentaptera, and Fici continue. Saccharum Megala very abundant and fine. Cupuliferae are becoming more abundant. The roofs of the houses which are built of bamboo, are covered with the leaves of the Marantaceous genus—capitulis densis lateralibus culmis I-foliosis. Buddleia N'eemda and Callicarpa continue.

Want of means forms the only limit to the number of wives of a Mishmee. A rich man who has at his disposal numerous cattle, etc, will give 20 mithuns; {35} but the wife appears to bring with her slaves, etc. as a return. A poor man will get a wife for a pig. Whatever the number of wives may be, each will have a separate khetee, (field) and each khetee has a separate granary. All the wives live in the same house; in fact, one house forms the village. Theft is punished by a fine inflicted by a meeting of all the Gams; if the fine is not paid, or the offender refuses to pay, he is slain in a general attack. Murder is punished in the same way, but by a heavier fine: adultery against the consent of the husband, or at least elopement, is punished by death; if with the consent of the husband, the delinquent is fined. There appears to be no regular law of succession: the favourite son succeeding without reference to age.

Nov. 12th.—I went out for plants, and descended to the Paeen rivulet, which is of small size: followed up its course some way, and then returned over a low hill to Khosha's. The guide who was some distance behind, came up with a Rafflesia bud. I returned with him, and saw it to perfection; he likewise succeeded in tracing the roots to a gigantic Cissus, the fruit of which I have before observed is eatable, and not unlike a greengage. I returned home loaded with this undescribed genus: I found likewise a fine Buddleia, and Menispermum, with some rare Compositae, among which was an arborescent Eupatorium and a gigantic thistle, a Prunus in flower and fruit, and a neat Liparis, Calamus, Tree- fern, Tupistra, Pandanus, were likewise observed, and a beautiful Viburnum, Corol sterilibus, 4 phyllis, foliis niveis carneo venosis: petal fertil calyptratis, deciduis, intus caeruleo tinctis: staminibus cyaneis, ovariis pallide caeruleis, stigmatib. carnosis.

Nov. 13th.—Opposite Khosha's, or rather his granaries to the E. is a high mountain excessively steep, only partially clothed with trees, and with stunted ones at its summit, which in December and the colder months is covered with snow: this they call Thaya-thro.

Khosha positively refuses to take me any farther into the interior, and Krisong begs that I won't come and see him. It is obvious that they are under great fear of other tribes. Khosha says, he should be attacked by all the Mishoos or Mizhoos, were he to conduct me any farther now, and that very probably the Lamas would attack him likewise. He says the only chance of success in penetrating to Lama, is to send previously a present of salt, (about a seer) to all the chiefs, and request their leave, without which preparatory donation, they would cut up any messengers he might send. He offers to do this at any time, and to let me know the result. He declined taking me to the Chibong Gam, a few days' journey up the Diree, although the man is a relation of his own, and a Deboro Mishmee. It is obvious that there is no chance of getting further at present, nor would it be fair even if one could bribe them. He says no reliance whatever is to be placed on Rooling, the Mizhoo who deceived Wilcox, and whom he represents to be an underhand person. I tried to overcome his scruples by assuring him that I only wanted to go as far as Rooling, but he declines taking me. He says I may go any where to the west of this, but to the north he dare not conduct me. I shall therefore go to Premsong to-morrow, and if that is not a favourable place, return forthwith to Ghaloom's, and thence to Deeling to botanise on Thuma-thaya.

Nov. 14th.—Proceeded to Premsong's, which we reached in less than two hours. Our march was in a westerly direction across a hill of some elevation: the remainder of it was over kheties and level ground. The plants evidently increase in interest as we advance in the interior, Compositae and Labiatae being most numerous. A large tree occurs not uncommonly, which is either a Birch or a Prunus, most probably from the venation of its leaves, the latter; the bark is exactly like that of a Birch. Close to Premsong's I gathered a Clematis, Valerian and a fine Botrychium, a Carex and a Cuscuta. The mountain on the base of which Premsong's house is situated, is a very high one; it is the one that is so striking from Ghaloom's old site: it is named Laimplan-thaya; its summit, which is a high peak, is very rugged, partially clothed with vegetation, in which, as in all the others of the same height autumnal tints are very distinct. Thai-ka-thaya is a smaller peak to the S.S.W. of Premsong's house. One of my Mishmee Dowaniers tells me that the Mishmee (Coptis) teeta Khosha gave me last evening, is cultivated near his native place; its flower buds are just forming and are enclosed in ovate concave squamae. The leaves are of a lively green, not unlike those of some ferns, but at once to be distinguished by the venation; it is very evident that the Mishmees know nothing about the period of its flowering, as they told me it flowered in the rains, at the same time as the dhak flowers in Assam; the radicles are numerous, tawny yellowish, the rhizomata are rugged tortuous, the bark and pith are of yellow orange colour, the woody system gamboge: this is the same in the petioles: it tinges the saliva yellow. It is a pure intense bitter of some permanence, but without aroma: it is dried over the fire, the drying being repeated three times. Judging from it in its fresh state, the test of its being recently and well dried is the permanence of the colors. The Bee flowers during the rains: its flower, (on dit) is white and small; they pretend that it is very dangerous to touch, causing great irritation; both Coptis teeta, and Bee, are found on high hills on which there is now snow; one of them, the Ummpanee or Moochee, is accessible from hence in three days.

The Mishmee name for the Teeta, is Yoatzhee; of Bee, Th'wee; Ghe- on is the Mishmee name for the smelling root, which the Assamese call Gertheon. The smell of this is a compound of Valeriana and Pastinaca; it is decidedly aromatic, and not at all disagreeable, it is white inside and abounds in pith, but has scarcely any taste.

Yesterday evening I visited Khosha's house, which is of immense length, and considerably longer, though not so high from the ground as Ghaloom's: it is divided into upwards of twenty apartments, on the right hand side of the passage are ranged the skulls of the cattle Khosha has killed, including deer and pigs; on the other side are the domestic utensils, the centre of the floor is occupied by a square earthen space for fire-place: the bamboos, of which the floor is composed being cut away. From the centre of each room over the fire-place, hangs a square ratan sort of tray, from which they hang their meat or any thing requiring smoke; their cooking utensils are, I believe, confined to one square stone vessel, which appears to answer its purpose remarkably well. The women appear to have no shame; they expose their breasts openly, which from their dirty habits by no means correspond with the exalted character of the sex. On hills to the N.E. of Khosha's first residence, forests are very visible, descending far down the sides.

On an open spot a little distance from Premsong's, there is a fine view of the course of the Lohit, and of the more remote (now) snowy ranges. The hills beyond this exactly answer to Wilcox's description, being very high, and all descending as it were unbroken to the Lohit.

Went out for about two hours over a tolerably level portion of the hill, covered with Artemesia; found abundance of interesting plants, Crawfurdia campanulacea, a Clematis, Acer, Prunus, Camellia axillaris, Cyathea, Myrica, Rhus, Sedgwickia, Polygala, Galium: and a beautiful very fragrant climbing Composita.

Great part of the side of the hill is covered with a small hard bamboo, which forms excellent walking sticks. An Urticea foliis peltatis, was among the novelties. The Paeen Panee forms the nearest ravine. The Polygonum, paniculis densissimis, is a certain indication of some elevation. I observed Calamus, and Torenia asiatica. There is likewise a large Mimoseous plant, which we found in fruit.

Nov. 15th.—Spent the greater part of the day attempting to reach the summit of Laim-planj-thaya, but my guide did not know the way. We ascended for upwards of four hours, slowly of course, but were still a long way from its summit. The face of the mountain is entirely occupied by woods, with but little underwood. Found abundance of plants, chiefly ferns, only saw 4 Orchideae, of which 2 were in flower. The novelties were a Polygonatum, Camellia, and Quercus lamellata.

I observed no less than 5 Araliaceae, of which I succeeded in getting 4: an Acer, probably that from Brahma Koond: and several incertae. Near Premsong's the varnish tree was shewn to me, it is obviously a species of Rhus. The Assamese name of the varnish plant is Ahametta Gas. I took specimens of it in fruit.

They obtain the juice by ringing, and the only two specimens I observed were evidently well drained: no preparation is required for the varnish; and it is applied one day, the next day is hard; it has a fine polish, and is of an intense black. It is the same probably with two small trees I had previously seen in Capt. Charlton's garden at Suddyah. Kydia continues; a fine Palm, caudex 8-10-pedali; it probably belongs to the genus Wallichia? Camellia is only found towards the top; the Polygonatum also does not descend far. I saw also species of an undescribed Bucklandia, likewise one specimen which had been damaged: the capituli pluriflori. Towards the middle a small bamboo becomes plentiful; the lower joints, from which no branches proceed, are armed with a verticillus of spines. I did not observe Pandanus, but it is used for constructing large mats: Megala continues, but not up the hill.

Nov. 16th.—Attempted to ascend Laim-planj-thaya by the Paeen rivulet which proceeds from the centre, but after proceeding about half an hour we found our progress effectually stopped by a water-fall, the sides of the stream being so precipitous as to render all idea of clambering over, or proceeding round ridiculous. Gathered two or three rare ferns, and a pretty Lobelia. On our return through the open grassy parts near Premsong's, we found a fine Choripetalum and Crawfurdia campanulacea, beautifully in flower; the flower is rose-coloured. Anthistiria arundinacea, the same Sambucus found at Suddya, Solanum 10 dentatum, a Kydia and Torenia continue.

Nov. 17th.—Left and returned to Khosha's, as we were all out of rice, and it was impossible to get anything in Premsong's absence. The march on return occupied us about two hours, but the path was so excessively slippery, owing to the grass not being cut away on either side and to the dry weather and heat, that our progress was very slow. Noticed Lactuca exalata and a Rottlera on the road; more snow has fallen on the hills E.N.E. The descent on returning, owing to the slippery state of the roads, was more fatiguing than the ascent. Hedychium angustifolium I also observed on the road.

I have as yet observed the following grains used by the Mishmees. 1st, Oriza, rice; variety of this called Ahoo Da; 2nd, a species of Eleusine, Bobosa; 3rd, Zea Mays, Gorm dan; 4th, Panicum Panicula nutanti, densa clavata. 5th, Konee, Chenapodium sp. panicula simili.

The Mishmee names are as follow: Dan-khai rice; khai hoo, bobosa, Mdo.-zea, or Maize, Ma-bon-konee-yo Chenopodium; Thenna, a kind of Polygonum; Hubra-Aloo, Ghee-kuchoo-shoom, Sweet potato; Gaihwan, Plantain; Puhee Dhoonhwa, Tobacco. They likewise cultivate Sesamum.

Nov. 18th.—Found more of the Rafflesiacea on low hills along the Paeen; it was attached to the roots of the same species of Cissus, on which it was found before. {40} I also gathered a Euonymus and a fine Engelhardtia. The hairs of the fruits of Engelhardtia create a disagreeable itching. All the Mishmees decline shewing me the road a foot in advance of this place. I tried every way I could think of, to overcome their objections, but to no purpose. They have so little regard for truth, that one cannot rely much on what they say: I begin to think that it is all owing to the Tapan Gam, who I suspected was insincere in his professions.

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