HotFreeBooks.com
Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and The - Neighbouring Countries
by William Griffith
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

Wednesday, 13th.—Reached Dacca about 2 P.M.: it is a large and populous place. The numerous grass of the jheels is sown there: it is the red bearded dhan or paddy grass: of this vast quantities are cut for fodder, for, the whole face of the country being overflowed, it follows that the cattle are throughout the rains kept in stalls.

Thursday, 14th.—Left about noon, and proceeded down the Dacca river about 5 miles, then diverged into a narrow creek running nearly south. Along this were observed fine specimens of tamarind trees. Stravadium in abundance. Sonninia scandens, and Mango, both in abundance. Passed at 5 P.M. Neerangunge, a large native town, and below it Luckepoor. A vast expanse of water appeared near this, viz., the Megna. A good deal of native shipping occurs, consisting of brigs: great quantities of rice being exported from both places. Pelicans I observed here to roost in trees.

[View in the jheels: p154.jpg]

Friday, 15th.—In the midst of jheels: the whole face of the country is covered with water several feet deep. Vast quantities of Oplismenus stagninus still occur.

Saturday, 16th.—Still in jheels. The same features continue. The country is still very populous, all the more elevated spots having villages. Oplismenus stagninus still prevails in vast quantities.

Sunday, 17th.—Jheels in every direction:—nothing indeed seen but water, with occasional grassy or reedy, and elevated spots occupied by villages:—here and there a round-headed tree springing apparently out of the water. Hills visible to the east. Cormorants, Ciconia nudiceps, paddy-birds, the common white ones with black feet, are abundant, and associate in flocks: there is one very nearly allied to this, which is solitary, having black feet with yellow toes. The boats of this district are very simple, something like a Bengal dingy reversed, but they are sharp in the bows and ought to be fast; their only mode of progression is to be pushed along by means of poles. There appears to be a great number of Mussulmans, who would here seem to form the majority of the population. Strong winds from the south interrupt our progress.

Monday, 18th.—Delayed by bad weather.

Tuesday, 19th.—Continued to pass through same kind of country, but less jheelly. The Cook boat was left behind on the 17th in a squall, and has not come up yet, so that I dine with the boatmen.

The black and white long-toed water-hen continues plentiful: when alarmed by kites, etc. it pursues them uttering a low mournful scream, until it has succeeded in getting its enemy off to some distance; it then returns, I suppose to its young; otherwise its cry is something like the mewing of a cat, or rather a low hollow moan. The hills are plainly visible to- day, lying towards the north.

The males of the white and black water-hen have tails something like those of a pheasant. There are two other species: one that is found on the Tenasserim coast; the other is much larger,—the size, of a large domestic fowl: one of the sexes, has red wattles on its head. The white and black one is far the most common; it feeds apparently, in flocks: the Maulmain one is the least common. These with Ardea Indica, the white, black-toed, yellow-beaked Ardea, Ciconia nudiceps a small brown chat?, Pica vagabunda, are the birds of the jheels or rather the dry spots in them. I saw yesterday a flock of the black Ibis, flying in a triangle (>) without a base, the party was headed by one of the white paddy-birds! Villages have become very numerous, and the population abundant and flourishing. The cattle are, as I have said, stalled and fed with paddy grass, quantities of boats being employed for its conveyance. Oplismenus stagninus appears less common about here.

Thursday, 21st.—Still among jheels; our progress is necessarily very slow; we are indeed scarcely moving, there being no tracking ground: jheels occur in every direction, although the hills are not 15 miles distant. Pelicans with white and black marked wings occur, together with the slate-colored eagle with white tail, barred at tip with black; it is common in the low wooded places surrounded by jheels. Black-bellied Tern occurs, but not that of Assam.

Friday, 22nd.—Arundo and two species of Saccharum occur, among which S. spontaneum, is very common and of large size. We reached the Soorma river about 12 o'clock, 3 or 4 miles above Mr. Inglis's house.

I arrived at Chattuc on the 21st, which place I left for Pundoa the following day. There are no mountains of this name as would seem from the habitat of some plants given in Roxburgh's Flora Indica. The mountains therein called Pundoa are the Khasya or Cossiah range; Pundoa, is the name of a village called by the natives Puddoa. The jheels are for a great part under cultivation. The paddy cultivation is of two kinds; it is either sown in the jheels just at the commencement of the inundation, or it is sown on higher portions, and then transplanted into the jheels. Jarool, Lagerstraemia Regina is the chief timber, it comes from Kachar; it is a dear and not a durable wood.

Dalbergia bracteata, first appears, on low hills about Chattuc; there is also a Grimmia here on the river banks.

Porpoises are often seen in the Soorma; alligators or crocodiles, very rarely.

Jheels continue nearly to the foot of the mountains; these last are not wooded more than half way up; the remaining wood being confined to ravines, the ridges appearing as if covered with grass. Here and there, scarped amphitheatres are visible, down which many fine cascades may be seen to fall.

Arrived at Mr. Inglis's Bungalow at Pundoa about 3 P.M., and here regulated my thermometers; temperature of boiling water taken with the large thermometer 210.5 degrees, by means of the one in wooden case 210.5 degrees, temperature of the air 92.5 degrees, red case thermometer indicated the boiling point at 206 degrees!! nor would the mercury rise higher.

Saturday, 23rd.—Commenced the ascent, from Terya Ghat. Up to which point the country is perfectly flat low and wet, covered for a great part with gigantic Sacchara; among which partridges are common. Osbeckia nepalensis, Marlea begonifolia, Gouania, Bignonia Indica, a Panax, Byttneria, Hedysarum gyrans, Pueraia, Mimosa stipulacea, a very large Rottboellia, Bauheniae 2, Bombax, Tetranthera arborea, Grewia sepiaria may all be observed. On the Terya river among stones, and where it is a pure mountain stream Eugenia salicifolia, as in the Upper Kioukdweng, between Terya and the foot of the hills occurs; Alstonia, Ophioxylon, Trophis aspera, Urtica naucleiflora, Varecae sp. Impatiens in abundance, oranges in groves occur; at the foot Cryptophragmium venustum; rather higher, Argostemma, and Neckera are common; AEschynanthus fulgens, jack and sooparee commonly cultivated. Then Oxalis sensitiva, a small tender Lycopodium; pine-apples, Pogonatherum crinitum; Gordonia soon commences, probably at 400 feet. Polytrichum aloides appears on banks with Gordonia; Eurya commences above the first cascade. Choripetalum, Modecca, Sonerila about two-thirds up to Mahadeb, and Commelina, C. bengalensis, and Anatherum muricatum continue to Mahadeb, as also Andropogon acicularis, the Impatiens, etc. No change takes place, in fact the vegetation being all tropical. Up to this place thick tree jungle continues; the ridges sometimes are covered with grass, either Saccharum, Anthistiria arundinacea or Manisuris; scarcely any oaks occur. Euonymus occurs at Mahadeb. Beyond Mahadeb the scene becomes changed especially after surmounting the first ridge, the face of the hills is covered with grasses, interspersed with rocks; the clumps of wooded vegetation being small, irregular, and composed of barren looking stunted trees.

Above this ridge the country puts on the appearance of a table land. At Mahadeb, Staurogyne, Ruellia Neesiana, and Cryptophragmium are common, a little above these is a species of Zalacca; Impatiens bracteata is very common from near the foot to beyond Mahadeb; but it becomes small and disappears before Moosmai is reached. Cymbidium bambusifolium commences 600 feet above Mahadeb. Linum trigynum commences at Mahadeb; Scutellaria a little above, but I have found this at the foot.

Dianella is found 1,000 feet above Mahadeb, as also Camellia candata; Plantago, and Eriocaulon 2 sp. appear about 500 feet above Mahadeb; and continue to Churra. Randia, the common one, is found up to 4,000 feet. Cinchona gratissima appears at Moosmai. The first Viburnum, also occurs here. Impatiens graminifolia a little lower. Salomonia, which appears half way to Mahadeb, continues to Moosmai and Churra, but is stunted.

Vaccinium, Ceratostemma, Crotalaria Hoveoides, Gnaphalia appear towards Moosmai. Wendlandia at Moosmai. Ruellia persicaefolia straggles a little lower than these. Smithia commences at Moosmai; Pandanus also; this is excessively common on hills to the left, towards the caves. Dipsacus commences above Moosmai.

Monday, 25th.—Churra is situated in a plain surrounded in every direction by low rounded hills, except to the E. and SE., on which side there is a deep ravine, the whole plateau rising considerably towards the north, in the direction of Churra itself. Ravines exist here and there; it is along these, and the water-courses, that the only woody vegetation is to be found. The rest of the surface is clothed with grasses, of which a number of species exist, they are chiefly Andropogoneae. Two or three Osbeckias exist; a Tradescantia (T. septem clavata) covers certain patches with its bright blue flowers. Three species of Impatiens, two with bright pink flowers are common. Spathoglottis, and Anthogonum occur on the flat rocks, which frequently prevail; Arundinaria is seen every where as well as a Smithia? with lotus-like blossoms. With regard to birds, the Motacilla or water-wagtails are seen at Churra and at Pundoa, are generally of yellow colour in place of white.

The woody vegetation consists of Berberis, Viburnum, Bucklandia, Cleyera floribus fragrantis, petalis sepalis oppositis, Myrsine and many others, too numerous indeed to mention.

The woods, towards Churra, assume that rounded and very determinate form, which is seen so commonly in some parts of England, Bucks for instance. None of the trees arrive to any great size. The generality are low, rounded, and stunted. It is in these, that Quercus, Viburnum, and Pandanus may be seen growing side by side.

October 4th.—Took the height of the station, which I make to be 3,921 feet; temperature 74 degrees; water boiled at 205 degrees; in the small metal thermometer 198 degrees! centigrade 97 degrees; large metal 205.25 degrees; wooden scale 204 degrees.

October 5th.—Left for Surureem. On the first height on which the village is situated, a Potentilla is to be found, and this becomes more abundant as we continue to ascend. The next European form that appears, is Fragaria, the height of which may be estimated at 4,200 feet, this too becomes more common as we ascend; Caryota may be seen, or at least, a palm tree, in ravines as high as 4,000 feet; Daucus appears at 4,300 feet in grassy plains; Prunella at about the same, Gerardia at 4,500 feet; Gaultheria and an Impatiens with very small yellow flowers at 4,800 feet, as well as Othonna.

With the exception of these, the vegetation is much the same as that about Churra: but the Balsams of that place disappear almost towards Surureem, as well as the Tradescantia 7-clavata. Plants which are not in flower about Churra, are found towards Surureem in perfection.

After the first considerable ascent is surmounted, and which is probably 4,750 feet, the country becomes more barren, the grass more scanty and less luxuriant. Spathoglottis, and Anthogonium disappear; Xyris continues in abundance, likewise Eriocaulons, especially the middling- sized one; Bucklandia becomes more common and more developed; a frutescent Salix commences at 4,800 feet, as well as a Gramen Avenaceum vel Bromoideum.

Surureem is a small village, 100 feet above the rude bungalow, provided for the few travellers who pass this way; close to it is to be found Zanthoxylum and Hemiphragma, which last commences at Moosmai. The simple leaved Rubus of Churra, petalis minutis carneis, has ceased; a trifoliate one foliis cordato-rotundatis, existing instead. Most of the grasses continue, but all are comparatively of small stature. Two new Andropogonoids make their appearance: of Compositae, a Tussilaginoid and a stout Senecionidea, the former not uncommon about Churra, but out of flower. Salomonia ceased.

The height of Surureem I calculate at 4,978 feet; temperature 65 degrees Fahr.; of centigrade 19 degrees; water boiled at 95.5 degrees of centigrade; 203 degrees Fahr., wooden scale; 203.5 degrees large metal; small ditto 195.5 degrees! Temperature of the air at 6 P.M., 63 degrees.

October 6th.—Temperature 6 A.M., 63.5 degrees. Left for Moflong. There is a considerable rise at first, then the country is tolerably level until one reaches the Kala Panee, the descent to this is about 7 or 800 feet, thence the rise is great, with a corresponding descent to the Boga Panee, which I estimate at 4,457 feet, and which is certainly 1,000 feet below the highest ground passed on this side of the Kala Panee. After crossing this torrent, by means of a miserably unsteady wooden bridge, the ascent is very steep for about 1,200 feet, thence there is a small descent to Moflong, which I find to be 5,485 feet. Most of the plants continue. Tradescantia and Commelina become much less common towards the Kala Panee, as well as the Impatiens of Churra, but their place is supplied by others. Along 100 yards of the Kala Panee, upwards of four species may be met with. Polygonum (Bistorta) becomes more common on the higher ground between Surureem and Kala Panee, thence diminishing in size and frequency. Polygonum Rheoides becomes abundant towards a height of 5,200 feet, when Pyrus, an apple-like species, and Spiraeas make their appearance at 5,300 feet. On the Kala Panee, Bucklandia re-appears, but thence would seem to cease: on the brow of the ascent from this, Pedicularis appears in abundance among grasses, with it Sphacele? At the same height, which cannot be less than 5,400 feet, Carduus or Cnicus, appears. Solidago commences in the valley of the Kala Panee, but becomes more abundant at higher elevations. Sanguisorba appears at 5,400 feet, but in small quantities, and at this height Anisadenia recommences. Epilobium appears at 5,300 feet, continues at the same elevation to Moflong, where it is common. On the descent to the Boga Panee, an European form of Euphorbia appears at 5,000 feet with Viola Patrinia and a Galium asperum. Hieracium appears at about the same height. Cuscuta is very common from 5 to 5,500 feet, continuing even to Moflong; the scales of this genus are, it appears to me, mere appendages of the filaments, and not due to non-development or suppression of parts. Erythrina, which is found about Churra, is seen on the road to Kala Panee, apparently quite wild; altitude 5,200 feet: it recommences at Moflong, where it is common about villages, but never exceeds the size of a small tree. Commelina bengalensis? continues throughout here and there, and may be found even about Moflong.

The most striking change occurs, however, in the Pines, which, although of small stature, exist in abundance on the north side of the Boga Panee; so far as may be judged of by the naked eye, they disappear on this side, about a mile to the westward, very few cross the torrent, and few indeed are found 100 feet above its bed on the south side. I took the height of the bed of this torrent. Temperature of the air 72 degrees; water boiled at 204 degrees; which gives the height about 4,400 feet. Between Surureem and the Boga Panee, many new plants occur; grasses continue, as also at Moflong, the prevailing feature. The principal new ones occur on the descent, consisting of two large Andropogons, one closely allied to A. schaeranthus and a tall Anthistiria habitu A. arundinacea; a beautiful Saccharum occurs here and there, especially before reaching the Kala Panee and the Gramina Bromoidea, which is the only really European form. On the Kala Panee, scarcely any Podostemon griffithia; except a few small ones, very few signs or appearance of fresh plants. Along the Boga Panee, among the wet rocks which form its banks, a fine Parnassia; a trailing Arbutoidea; a very European looking Quercus; Anesadenia pubescens, a Circaea, Campanulae 2, AEschynomene, Crotalaria, a Serissa?; this last continuing to Moflong, a fine Osbeckia, and Gnaphalium aereonitus may likewise be found. On the ascent, few new plants occur; Rhinanthoidea, Osbeckia nepalensis, and capitata, Conyzoidea, Dipsacus, Gnaphalium foliis linearibus, Crotolaria hoveoides, Colutoidea, Pteris (Aquilina.) Scutellaria, Potentilla, Smilax occur at 5,000 feet with Plantago, Fragaria and Artemisia, as well as lower down. The most striking plant is a Delphinium, which, at about 5,000 feet, occurs stunted; this is common about Moflong.

Agrimonia range from 3,500 to 5,500 feet, where they are very common, Hypericum three sorts occur, H. myrtifolium commences, about Churra, re- occurs here and there on the road to Moflong, about which it is very common. H. ovalifolium, is more elevational, scarcely descending below 5,000 feet; H. japonicum is found from towards Mahadeb to Moflong; H. fimbriatum foliis decussatis, scarcely below 5,000 feet; Leucas galea brunneo villosa on grassy hills is common towards Boga Panee, and continues as high as Moflong.

Quercus commences about Mahadeb: a new species occurs on the edge of woods towards the Kala Panee; altitude 5,000 feet; it nearly commences with two Rhododendra, which, at least the arborescent one, arrives at perfection on the Kala Panee.

Viburna continue; Salix (fruticose) commences about 5,000 feet, continues here and there to Moflong. Buddleia Neemda is found about Churra, but not commonly; and soon disappears. B. 4-alata commences beyond the Churra Punjee, and continues as far as Moflong.

Thibaudia buxifolia becomes less common beyond 5,000 feet; other forms of Ericineae appear in places about 5,000 feet, Gaultheria continuing as far as Moflong. Eurya species alterum, commences about the same elevation, continuing to Moflong.

Three species of Spiraea are found between Surureem and Moflong, none perhaps below 5,000 feet; Prunella occurs about the same height, continuing as far as Moflong.

On crossing the Boga Panee, the country becomes perhaps more undulated and much more barren, scarcely any arborescent vegetation is to be seen, the little woody vegetation consisting of stunted shrubs. Immediately around Moflong, the country is excessively bare, not a tree is to be seen, even the sides of ravines being clothed with stunted shrubs. Berberis asiatica, Viburna, Spiraea bella? Eurya camellifolia, Betula corylifolia.

To the north, fine woods are seen, and to the east, fir woods, the nearest being about 4 miles off. The village is small and wretchedly dirty, the paths being the worst of all I have seen on these hills. The houses and the adjoining fields are surrounded with hedges of Colquhounia, Erythrina, Buddlaea.

In waste places Colquhounia micrantha, Cysticapnos, Verbesina, Pteris, Davallia, etc. are to be found, as well as Codonopsis viridiflora. The hills are covered with low grass, almost a sward. On this, Potentilla, Agrimonia, Geranium as well as in fields, Pisoideum floribus cyaneis, Campanula, Aster disco azureo may be found; on low spots a very small Parnassia, and a still smaller Ischaemum.

Ranunculus, one species, but this is uncommon; Delphinium is common in thickets, etc.

The only cultivation is potatoes, a few years since introduced, and which answers admirably, some turnips and Glycine tuberosa. Cattle, goats and pigs abundant.

On the whole this is to be considered as the place where the peculiar vegetation of Churra, arrives at its boundary, for although many of the plants of the plains are to be found, they are all in a dwarf state.

Noticed a Hoopoo, but birds in general are not frequent.



CHAPTER X.

Continues the Journey towards Assam and Bootan.

The annexed table of the distributions of plants in relation to altitudes of the Khasyah mountains may render the subject of the preceding observations more clear and distinct. The dotted line along the left hand margin represents the elevation of the mountains, the greater height of which is something better than 6,000 feet.

[Gradient Surureem to Moflong: g163.jpg]

October 8th.—Visited the fir wood, which is about three miles to the eastward; the road runs over the same downey ground. The first plant that appears is a Boreal Euphorbia, allied to that previously mentioned. A Sanguisorba of large stature occurs in low wet places. Epilobum not uncommon. The Pines appear first straggling, and they only form a wood in one place, and even there not of much extent; none are of any size. Musci Lichens and fungi abound in the wood, as also Circaea and Herminium?

Osbeckia Nepalensis, Hedychia 2, a small Goodyera, Tricyrtis Hedera, Polygonum, Polypodium, Gaultheria, Viburnum, Thibaudiacea fructibus gratis, subacidis. Eurya, Valeriana, Quercus, may likewise be found. Salix occurs on the skirts in low places. The hills around are clothed with grasses, among which is a large Airoidea; in the low valleys between these, intersected with small water-courses, three species of Juncus, a curious Umbellifera fistulosa, and Mentha verticillata, occur. Another Hypericum is likewise found in lately cleared places.

Some cultivation occurs about the place on the slopes of hills, chiefly of a Digitaria, sown broadcast, and tied up in bundles when nearly ripe; together with Glycine tuberosa, and Coix Lacryme.

To the eastward the hills become more rocky, affording little vegetation, the chief plant is an Othonnoidea; another Herminioidea, and a Habenariod, both out of flower, may be found, the former on hills, the latter in low places; a tall Campanula was among the new plants, and an Umbellifera with curious foliage.

The height of this ridge is 5,768 feet, the temperature being 74 degrees, and water boiling at 201.75 degrees.

Took the elevation of Moflong bungalow. Temperature of the air 65 degrees; water boiled at 202.25 degrees; this gives 5,410 feet.

There are several high rounded hills about this place, (one to the south of the Boga Panee,) the generality of which are more elevated than those on the northern side; the most conspicuous is the hill near Moleem, the north face of which is wooded, and which is at least 1,000 feet above Moflong.

8 P.M. Temperature 58.5 degrees. 5 P.M. 65 degrees.

October 9th.—Rain as usual in the morning. Thermometer at 7 A.M., 58.5 degrees.

October 10th.—A fine bracing cold morning, with the thermometer at 53.5 degrees. 7 A.M. left for Myrung. The march to Syung is uninteresting, passing over precisely the same country as that about Moflong, with vegetation much the same. A tall Carduaceous tree with pink flowers was found in the swampy bottoms of the valleys. About Syung, a seneciois tree foliis angustissimus. It is about this place that the sides of the ravines become clothed with forest, and from this northward, Pines increase in abundance. Anthistiria speculis villosissimis continues here and there; a good deal of cultivation passed on the road, especially under Syung to the south, where there is a large valley. The chief cultivation appears to be Coix, Glycine, and some rice, but the produce seemed very small. At the foot of Syung on the north side, large tufts of Juncus occur, and on the first ascent another species of Valeriana foliis radicalibus reniformi cordatus occurs. Urena lobale was noticed as high as 5,300 feet. Between Syung and Myrung, especially about Nungbree, Parnassia recurs, with another species of Epilobium, Xyris, Juncus, the Senecioneoe, etc.; a new Impatiens occurs towards Myrung. Generally speaking, the plants are much the same as those about Moflong; but several new Compositae occur.

The road leaves Nungbree to the right, leaving the most interesting parts of the march behind. Altogether not more than 20 additional plants occurred in a journey of 6 hours. Many parts are wet and marshy, and there is an absence of all tree vegetation, until one reaches Syung. This makes the first part of the way somewhat tedious. At Syung an Elaeagnus occurs; Colquhounia as usual in hedges; Styrax occurs at foot of the hill the altitude of which is 5,000 feet.

An anemone is common on road sides, especially on this side of Syung; a new Potentilla occurs; and the only Boragineous plant hitherto seen by me on these hills, a Cynoglossum closely allied to C. canescens. The altitude of Syung is 5,594 feet. The temperature being 70 degrees, and water boiling at 202 degrees. Myrung 6 P.M. Thermometer 65 degrees.

October 11th.—Myrung 7 A.M. temp. 63 degrees Fahr.; noon 67 degrees; 6 P.M. temp. 65 degrees; 9 temp. P.M. 62.5 degrees. Weather unsettled, showery, and very cloudy, a very fine view is had of Bootan and the Himalayas from this place, particularly about 7 A.M. when the atmosphere is clear, the Durrung peaks being most magnificent. The vegetation of the hills about here is much the same as about Moflong. The woods are fine, composed chiefly of oaks; a Magnolia, which is a very large tree, likewise occurs together with Gordonia, an occasional Pinus, Myrica integrifolia. The most curious tree is one which with the true appearance of an Elaeagnus, seems to be a Loranthus, the first arborescent species yet found, although, as one or two other exceptions occur to parasitism, there is no reason why there should not be a terrestrial arborescent species, as well as a fruticose one. The wood to the east of the bungalow, which clothes a deep and steep ravine, has a very rich flora; a dryish ridge on the other side of its torrent abounds with Orchideae, and presents an arborescent Gaultheria. The ridge in question may be recognised by its large rocks which are covered with Epiphytes Mosses, etc. In this wood Pothos flammea is very common, climbing up the trees as well as hanging in festoons. The marshes which are frequented by a few snipe, present grasses, the usual Cyperaceae, Xyris, occurs but is not common; Panicum stagninum? Eriocaulon spe. fluitans? Burmannia Rungioidea floribus carneis magnis, Senecionides, Ammannia rotundifolia, Sphagnum, Carduacea floribus roseis, Limnophilae sp. Mentha verticillata, and the others previously found in similar situations. Goldfussia so common about Churra, recurs here, but rarely.

The wood abounds with several species of birds, among which a green Bulbul is the most common, then the fan-tailed Parus, with its coquettish airs; judging from the voice there is a species of Bucco. Both species of Phaenicornis, yellow and crimson, described in Gould's Century as male and female, and the black Edolius are found. The only animals are two species of squirrel, and a genet, of which I shot one, but although it fell from a height of 70 feet or so, I could not succeed in securing it; it is a lengthy animal, black and grey, with a long tail, climbing trees with great facility. The ring-dove of Churra continues.

The weather during the four days I stayed at Myrung was unsettled; fine usually in the morning, but cloudy and showery in the evening; the range of the thermometer from 53 degrees, at 6.5 A.M. to 68 degrees in the afternoon in an open verandah. The place, however, is not a cheerful one, for the aspect on every side except to the E. and NE. is dreary, marshes and the usual bleak grassy hills being alone visible. My favourite spot in this direction would be the Nungbree hill, the altitude of which, at least of that part over which the road to the village runs, is 5,439, (or probably 5,700,) temperature of the air being **, and water boiling at 202.5 degrees. There is a beautiful and very extensive wood at Nungbree, the largest I have yet seen; it consists, at least at the skirts, principally of oaks; a large Pyrus is also not uncommon. Eurya, and an arborescent Buddleia likewise occur.

[THE OK-KLONG ROCK: p167.jpg]

At this place Plectranthus azureus makes its appearance, otherwise the vegetation is that of Myrung; the most remarkable plant is a huge Sarcocordalis, parasitic on the roots of a large climbing Cissus cortice suberosa, foliis quinatis, on the wet parts of the wood, especially towards the mountain foot, mosses abound, chiefly the pendent Hypna and Neckerae.

On the 13th, I went to a celebrated rock called Kullung, bearing about NW. from Myrung, from the heights surrounding which it is visible; the road runs off from the Nunklow nearly opposite Monei, near to which village one passes; the village is of no great size, and as well as others in this direction is inhabited chiefly by blacksmiths, the iron being procured from the sand washed down the mountain torrents; the sound of their anvils when beaten is very soft and musical, not unlike that of a sheep bell. The road to the rock is very circuitous; it finally ceases, and for an hour one traverses ridges on which no path exists, having the usual vegetation. The rock is certainly a vast mass, forming a precipice of 700 feet to the westward, on which side it is nearly bare of vegetation, gradually shelving to the east, and covered with tree-jungle, among which huge mosses are to be found. At its foot some fine fir trees occur, one at its very base measured nine feet in circumference, but had no great height. The forest consists of Oaks, Pines, Panax, Erythrina Eurya, Gordonia.

The base of the rock is covered with mosses, Hepaticae, a Didymocarpus, Caelogyne and some other epiphylical orchideae, among others Bolbophyllum cylindraceum.

All these continue to its apex, except the mosses and Hepaticae, which are gained by clambering, and proceeding up fissures clothed with grasses. The apex is rounded, presenting here and there patches of grass, Aira, and Nardus, together with a few stunted shrubs—Viburnum, another Rhododendron, and Didymocarpus common, Caelogyne in profusion, Bolbophyllum cylindraceum in abundance, mosses, Lichens, an Allium also in abundance on the slopes, Stellaria in the woods towards the middle.

The view to the westward in particular was pretty, embracing a fine well- wooded undulated valley, with several villages and a stream of some size. The plains of Assam and the huge Brahmapoutra were likewise seen, but not very clearly. The distance from Myrung to the Kullung rock is certainly not less than eight miles, the time it took was 4 hours. The altitude of the rock is 5,392 feet, temperature 76 degrees, water boiling at 202.5. Wild hog are found round its base. {168}

October 14th.—I left for Moleem, the march is long and fatiguing; the road leaves the Moflong road at about four miles from the village of that name, continuing over similar barren hills, clothed with scanty grass. On reaching Morung firs become common, but they are small. The view of Moleem, from this direction is remarkably pretty; the country being better wooded, especially with young firs, and the effect being much increased by the quantities of large boulders that occur strewn in every direction. The Boga Panee is here a contemptible stream, not knee deep. Moleem is a place of some size on the left bank of the river, occupying the side of a hill of considerable height. Thermometer 7 P.M. 58 degrees.

October 15th.—Temp. 7 A.M. 53 degrees, at 3 P.M. 70.5 degrees, water boiled at 204 degrees, altitude 4,473 feet, or perhaps rather more. Walked towards Nogandree; between this and a stream resembling the Boga Panee there is a pretty valley, the eminences generally well-wooded with young firs. Pretty and eligible sheltered sites might here be chosen for a Sanatarium. The vegetation is the same as that of Moflong—Delphinium, Ranunculus, Anemone, Potentilla, Tricyrtis, Codonopsis, Lilium giganteum, Spiraeaceae, Viola, Pyrus, Galium, Carduus, Viburna.

The woods are not very frequent, they consist, when not exclusively of Pines, chiefly of Oaks and Chesnuts. Underwood almost entirely of Acanthaceae. Rhus Bucki-Amelam is common here, an Oxalis occurs in very shady places with fleshy leaves, it is so large that it is scarcely referrible to O. corniculata. Berberis asiatica is very common. 6 P.M. thermometer 58 degrees, 9 P.M. 50.5 degrees.

October 16th.—7 A.M. 842.5 degrees (sic). Ascended the Chillong hill, which is among the highest portion of this range, it is said that from this both the plains of Bengal and of Assam may be seen, not because it overtops all the intermediate ground, but because that happens in some places to be rather low; the termination of the 1st elevation above Churra, is seen to be very abrupt, but nothing can be seen beyond the elevated plateau of this part towards the south. To the east and west the view has the usual appearance—grassy valleys and hills—with a great disproportion of jungle.

The summit is gained after an easy march of two hours; the ascent is gradual. The highest ridge is naked of trees, but to the north the slope is in one portion covered with heavy tree-jungle, in which the underwood is as thick as I have ever seen it: it consists of an Acanthaceous plant; the forest itself of oaks, chesnuts and Rhododendron arboreum, which last is common on the highest margin. A few Pines occur, but scarcely above the middle of the hill. To the north very high ground is visible, as likewise from Myrung, and between this and Chillong is an elevated plateau which appears to me likewise very eligible for the sites of European residences.

But many places about Moleem are so, especially towards Nonkreem; and it is much to be regretted that some situation in this part of the range had not been selected for the site of a sanatarium instead of Churra. The Rhododendra were covered with mosses and other epiphytes, among which Otochilus occurred. Bambusae, 2 Fici sp. Andropogon, Gaylussacia, etc. occur about the wood. The vegetation of the grassy hills was precisely the same, Aroidea, Erianthus, Tofieldioidea, Parnassia nana potius collina, Sphacelioidea, Osbeckia, Arbutoideae, etc. I got scarcely a single new plant; the best was a fine large Neckera, sect. Dendroidea. The temperature being 70 degrees: water boiled at 201 degrees, making the altitude 6,167 feet. No view of any particular beauty was obtained, nor did any thing occur to repay me for the trouble and fatigue of the journey.

About Moleem an Osmundoid is common enough, but not in flower: the northern forms are Ranunculus, Anemone, Parnassia, Pyrus, Pinus, Viola, Galium, Campanula, Clematis, of which an additional species occurs, Bromoideae, etc. etc., as at Moflong. I took the height of this place again; the mean of the three thermometers gave 4,502 feet, the temperature being at 60 degrees: water boiling at 95 degrees, 203.75 degrees, 204 degrees. It must, however, be remembered that my residence is not 100 feet above the bed of the Boga Panee, so that it would be easy to attain an elevation of 5,000 feet in the village itself.

October 17th.—I returned to Churra to send away my collections and to consult with Major Lister as to the routes proposed for me by Capt. Jenkins, viz. through the Garrows, or through the Cacharees. Nothing particular occurred en route. I met with Hydrangea exaltata along a torrent flowing into the main-feeder of the Boga Panee, and two other Araliaceae. The highest ground crossed is towards the ravine of the Boga Panee, and from this a good view of Moflong is obtained, and also of the Himalayas in clear weather. Coelogyne Wallichiana was commencing to flower; this plant occurs in profusion in some rocky spots about Moflong. The only additional thing I remarked was, that Luculia scarcely reaches the Kala Panee.

On my return to Churra, a change was observed in the character of the vegetation, all the Tradescantias had ceased, as well as most of the Impatientes, and Eriocaulons. The grasses had become more withered, and the general tint was brown. No kites (Falco milvus) are to be observed out of Churra.

The plants which were particularly conspicuous about Churra, were past flowering in the interior; thus Osbeckia Nepalensis? was not to be met with in flower in the interior, while it is in profusion about the station. The same may be said of other instances.

After all Churra presents the richest flora of any other place in the Khasyah hills, because there is a greater extent of wood near it, than is found in any other locality, much greater altitudes and deeper descents in its ravines, and it is as it were the transit point between a tropical or sub-tropical, and a temperate vegetation. I have no doubt, that within a circle of three miles of Churra, 3,000 species might be found in one year.

The principal plants pointing out the tropical nature of the vegetation are Pandanus, which is almost limited to the limestone formation, on which it is excessively abundant, Chamaerops Martiana? which from its affecting particularly the walls of the amphitheatres so conspicuous about Moosmai, Mamloo and Surureem, and the depths of whose sides is probably at Mamloo 1,000 feet, might have been better named. I have never seen it on any other places. The Alsophila Brunoniana is likewise apparently confined to the limestone hills, while the tree fern, Polypodium, is found on sandstone, as well as Impatiens, Tradescantia, Commelineae, Eriocauloneae, Xyres, almost all the grasses, Melastomaceae, almost all the Leguminosae and the preponderance of tropical Rubiaceae, which are, however, few, Scitamineae, Epiphytical Orchideae, Urena Labiata, etc. etc.

On the 23rd I went to Mamloo, which is about four miles to the west of Churra. To this place the limestone ridge, extending from Churra, nearly approaches: its vegetation is not rich but always stunted: rocky amphitheatres are very remarkable at Mamloo, they are of excessive depth; their walls being generally perpendicular, often somewhat overhanging. The manner of their formation is now to be seen in the amphitheatre immediately contiguous to the village, although it appears to be very slow. It is thus, bodies of water falling from the edge of the table land, seem to undermine the sandstone below, producing land slips, which occur in this manner year after year. Since 1835, the edge of the Moosmai fall has receded at least 10 feet, and ample evidence remains of the recession to take place next rains. This simple undermining will suffice for the formation of ravines, which are formed by their sides merely slipping down without being carried away, this last only occurring in the immediate vicinity of the strength of the torrent. All the different stages may be easily seen. The edge of the table land I take to have been originally at Mahadeb. The time that has elapsed between the falling of the first cataract over its edge, and the formation of the edge over which the waters at present fall, must be immense, since that edge has now receded several miles. Allowing the annual recess to be 5 feet, and the distance 5 miles; the time occupied would be 5,700 years: that the time has been great, is proved by the sides of these places being clothed with large tree-jungle to the base of the scarp.

October 25th.—I went in search of the fossil marine beach, (found during our first visit in 1835,) but passed it, and my journey ended at the site of the Jasper beds: this occupies a ridge where roads strike off leading to the Orange villages, so called from the groves of orange trees by which they are surrounded, and from which they derive their name. From this spot, 3 villages are seen occupying sheltered situations, none much above 2,000 feet in elevation. Luckily I was accompanied, (although going down I was unconscious of it,) by a boy who had been with McClelland when he originally discovered the fossil remains, so I recommenced the ascent, after digging in many places without any success. The site is scarcely 1,000 feet below Mamloo, which is 3,153 feet; it is below the ridge along which the road is visible from the village, and is about 100 yards farther from it than the second square stone erection. One would imagine that one was passing through rocks presenting nothing interesting: the rocks are in many places very hard, particularly when they have been long exposed to the atmosphere, in which case they are less red than when sheltered by vegetation, when they are soft and of a reddish colour: the fossils are by no means frequent, the cylindric tubes appear to occupy the outer or rather upper surface of the sandstone, in the interior of which Medusae or Cyrtomae are most frequent, accompanied by shells, some of large size, the largest bivalves resembling scolloped oysters; the next in size looking like oblong cockles: for only in one position did I see a conglomeration of minute shells; this occurred above the others and nearer the jungle. I brought away with me, two boxes full. Owing to my presuming that I should meet with water near, I omitted the precaution of taking some with me, so I could not ascertain exactly the height of the place. All the fossils are easily friable. {172}

From the Jasper, which is scarce 1,800 feet in elevation, the following plants occurred nearly in succession—Holmskioldia, this is scarcely found above 2,000 feet; Porana in abundance, gradually diminishing above; Callicarpa arborea abundant, continuing to about 2,200; Triumfetta, Urena lobata, Arundo the same as above, Melica latifolia, Panicum plicatum, and one or two other species; a Polygonum, Andropogon, small Commeline, Leea, Erythrina are very close to the spot, and the only Churra plant, except the Arundo and Wendlandia is a Labiata, Geniosporum? so is Composita arborea; indeed the vegetation is almost decidedly tropical. The following plants are then seen—Tetranthera, Flemingia as at Mahadeb, Vitis, Drymaria, Panicum eleusinoides, Eurya, Panax foliis decompositis inermis, Pogonatherum crenitum, Wallichia, which occur before one has gained an ascent of 2,000 feet: Osbeckia nepalensis descends to this but in small quantities; then I remarked Bidens, AEtheilema, Caricineae, Rottlera, Didymocarpus, Begonia, Cheilanthes dealbata, Stemodia ruderalis? Scutellaria, Impatiens bracteata, Rungiae sp. Sida, Elephantopus sp. and Bambusa, Gordonii occurring there at an elevation of about 2,100 feet. Then Centotheca lappacea, Deeringia, Panicum centrum, Gouania, Caryophyllus, which last occurs on all the chain of Himalayas, and which I have seen as high as 6,000 feet in the Mishmee Mountains, latitude 28 degrees. Panax foliis palmatim partitis, Clerodendrum nutans, Ficus feruginea and F. hispida, foliis cordatis, serrato-dentatis: then Saurauja micrantha; before 2,300 feet were reached. There Oxyspora sp. paniculis cernius ramis ascendentibus, frutex, Croton of old, Ruellia persicaefolia appeared, and about 2,400 feet, the 1st Quercus appeared. Here, as at Mahadeb, Ruellia Neesiana became common, and Linum trigynum, Uncinia, etc. Grasses commence to preponderate at about 2,800 feet, but not the grasses of Churra. Holcus, Airoides, etc. not being found, but Panica varia, and Rottboellia which ceases above this.

At the raised Marine Fossil Beach, a queer Cephalanthus? Legumenosa arbuscula fol. pinnatis impari (Pongamiae) Legumenibus secus suturam quamque alatis, Mangifera indici, Anthistiria arundinacea are found, and an arbusculous Mimosa, but unarmed. Shortly above this, Holcus, Andropogons, etc., begin to preponderate, and thence the vegetation is nearly that of Churra. The woods of Mamloo consist of Bucklandia, oaks, chesnuts, Panax, Hyalostemma, Eurya, and Oleineoe; Epiphytes are very common. The most remarkable tree is one foliis alternis bistipulat; corymbis denis, Calycibus hinc fissis, petalis 5-albis, Antherae sinuosae columna terminans, et ovarium et stigma occultantes? fructibus pendulis stipilatis ovato oblongis, carpellis 5-latere marginatus.

This has some affinities apparently with Sterculiaceae; the flowers are perhaps polygamous.

Here Cypripedium insigne, Venustum, and various other fine Orchideae may be found.

The only bird I saw was a Bucco, which in voice resembled the green one of the plains.

The elevation of Mamloo is 3,153, the temperature being at 7 A.M. 63 degrees. The large metal thermometer rose at the boiling point to 206.25 degrees: wooden one to 206.5 degrees: centigrade 96.7 degrees: small metal 200 degrees.

One of the most curious places about Churra is situated over the ridge in which the coal is found; on surmounting this, which is steep and perhaps 400 feet high, one soon commences to descend gradually until you come to a water-course; on proceeding along this a short way you come to a precipice. The water falling over this, has cut a deep well in the limestone: the road to the bottom is precipitous and dangerous. On reaching the water-course again no signs of the well are observable, access to this is gained by subterranean passages, of which two, now dry, exist. The scene inside is very striking; you stand on the rugged bottom of the well which is 70 or 80 feet deep, the part above corresponding to the fall, being of about the same depth; the water now escapes through a chasm below the bed of the well, the other fissures or passages being above, and probably now rarely letting off the water. After a severe fall of rain the scene must be grand.

November 4th.—Nonkreem 6.5 A.M., thermometer 31 degrees: hoarfrost. Marched hither from Surureem. Vegetation the same until you reach the Boga Panee, when Delphinium, Anemone, and Ranunculus make their appearance. On the high ridges before reaching Boga Panee, found an Astragalus; at Nonkreem, a Scrophularia. Nonkreem is a curious place, the village of no great size in a valley: the sides of the valley are covered with boulders; those at the entrance from Churra of huge size, and thrown together with great confusion. Pines at this place occur of some size, but they are distinctly limited in this direction to the granitic formation. The downs have now assumed a withered wintry appearance. Nonkreem is a great place for iron; this is found in coarse red sandstone, or it may be fine granite, forming precipices; this is scraped or pushed down by iron rods, it is then washed by a stream turned off on to it: the stream is dammed up, and the irony particles by their weight fall to the bottom: they are very heavy, of a dull blackish appearance. All the streams are of a whitish colour, and the rocks are covered with Caelogyne Wallichiana.

The elevation of Nonkreem is 4,578 feet, the temperature of the air being 52 degrees. The large thermometer indicated boiling water 203 degrees: centigrade 96.5 degrees: wooden 204 degrees: small 197 degrees. In the Nonkreem jheel, Alisma, Villarsia! and Potamogeton occur.

November 5th.—The march to Suneassa continues over high downs, the vegetation being precisely as before, viz. Cnicus, Carduus, Prunella Pedicularis, Gaultheria, Gnaphalia, Bromoid acroideum, Tussilaginoid Andropogon, Sphacelia Daucas, Hypericum, Hedychium, Polygonum rheoides, Smithia but rare, Tradescantia clavigera, Parnassia collina, Pteris aquilina, Euphorbia, Dipsacus, Salix, Osbeckia capitata, AEthionnia, Eriocaulon, Knoxia cordata, and Campanula. In short, the higher ridges have the vegetation of those between the Kala and Boga Panee, the less elevated, that of Surureem. Along the watercourses Pyrus, Betula, Corylifoliae, and Eurya.

As one approaches Suneassa the ravines become wooded, and the aspect of country more diversified. The woods consist of a Castanea, 2 oaks, Rhododendron arboreum and R. punctatum, Panax, Eurya, Thebaudiaceae variae, no less than 4 or 5 of these, one is a Gaylussacia; Saccharum megala makes its appearance at Suneassa.

This is a small straggling village, on the brow of the ravine of the same name; it is like Moflong, each house being hidden by hedges composed as usual of Buddleia, Colquhounii, Solanum spirale? Erythrina, Ficus, and Rhus. Sugarcane, but of poor quality, is here cultivated, as well as capsicum, but this is also of inferior quality; the houses are worse than usual. Near this place several Nunklow plants appear, as Plectranthus caeruleus, Labiata foliis verticillatis of Suddya. Its elevation is 4,362 feet, the temperature being in the air, 59 degrees. Big thermometer boiling point ditto 204 degrees: wooden ditto 204 degrees: small 198 degrees: centigrade ditto 96 degrees. Pines occur here and there towards Suneassa, but of no size and no abundance.

November 6th.—Left Suneassa and proceeded down the ravine which is probably 1,200 to 1,500 feet deep. The scenery is very pretty, the sides being much wooded; the woods open, consisting chiefly of pines, which are of moderate size, Gordonia, Castanea, and Quercus: Mimosea occurs, also Saurauja. The grasses are as before, except that the Anthisteria of Nunklow appears, with Volkameria, Verbena Primulacae, and Osbeckia capitate, foliis lineari oblongis, floribus carneis. Towards the foot, the scenery still improves.

The woods consist of pines and a Quercus foliis castaneae cupulis echinatis, Arbor mediocris; the slopes as well as the valley are cultivated chiefly for rice, this last often assuming the terrace fashion. The river is of considerable width, 50 to 60 yards, but of no depth: two here flow together, and at the end of the valley a still larger stream not fordable in the rains, at least where I crossed, meets it. On the streams at the base of the Suneassa acclivity, Salix, Ligustrum, Ficus frutex humelis, and a fine Indigofera occur. Moving thence along the valley the vegetation becomes tropical, although pines descend nearly to its level. Pontederia the small one of Bengal, ditto Sagittaria Vandelliae, Poae 3, Apluda, Cyperaceae, Saccharum megala, and spontaneum, Elytrophorus, Ammannia, Erianthus, Cnicus! Artemisia as before, Arundo exalum, Cirsium, Carduus! Scitamineae 2, Panicum curvatum, Setaria glauca, Swertia angustifolia! Volkameriae sp., Ranunculus hirsutoideus! Zizania ciliaris.

Those marked with (!) have probably straggled down. The cultivation is chiefly of rice, Eleusine, Coix, and the edible seeded Labiata. Grasses abound; in addition to those above several new ones occur, Rottboellia exallata, Anthisteria of Nunklow, Arundinaceae, Andropogones several, Saccharum fusco-rubum, 25 species might certainly be collected.

Fine pines occur on the other ascent from its base to apex. Here also occurs Phoenix pumile, which as well as the Rottboellia, which I think I have seen in the Mogoung valley (during the journey to Ava), and Buddleia neemda.

The ascent gained, the country appears level, covered with the usual grasses. The ravines are well wooded, but few pines occur, although they may be seen here and there. The woods appear the same as those of Churra. Pandanus sp. altera? occurs. In one ravine gathered a new Thebaudiaceae allied to T. variegata, differing in its short greenish flowers and its smoothness.

[Gradient Nonkreem to Amwee: g176.jpg]

Amwee is situated on an undulated plain or table land; the undulations are gentle, separated by marshy tracts: no steep ravines occur, the face of the undulations is covered with grasses, among which are seen most of the Churra plants, the sides are covered with fine woods with defined edges, consisting chiefly of oaks, chesnuts and Bucklandia. The aspect of the country is pretty, resembling some woodland scenery in the south of England; close to Amwee is a fine stream 40 yards wide, this winds through the valley, and on its upper part fine cascades occur. No fish are to be found besides those of Churra. The river is crossed by a stone bridge consisting of pillars of single slabs of large size, one measuring 20 feet in length by from 4 to 5 in breadth. The temperature varies from 50 to 68 during the day in an open verandah. Fogs are not so common, nor is the rain so heavy as at Churra. The space being much greater, and the country more level, it would be better as a sanatarium than Churra, besides which, its access is as easy, it being reached in one day from Jynteapore. There is, however, a Toorai about Jynteapore, which is unhealthy. Its altitude is 3,500 feet, or nearly 500 below Churra.

The vegetation is nearly the same as about Churra, some new Castaneae and an Elaeocarpus occur, and Pandanus of large size in the woods. Epiphytical Orchideae abound; Nepenthes occurs here. Altitude from three observations 3,530 feet: 1st observation 3,439: 2nd 3,597: 3rd 3,624.

November 10th.—Joowye: this is north from Amwee, and about 8 miles distant. Two valleys have to be descended, one rather steep. The country alters immediately after the 1st ascent, the woods nearly disappearing except in the more favoured spots. Pines soon commence. In the second valley, the stream of which is large, and of which pretty views are to be obtained, the pines reach on the south side to the bank of the stream, on the north scarcely any are to be seen. In the woods about Amwee, Eugenia is very common: noticed on the route Lonicera.

Joowye is the largest village I have seen, it is of great extent but straggling; near its entrance is a breast-work now nearly complete. The houses are of a better description than those generally met with. They are surrounded by wood, especially fine bamboos, in habit not unlike B. baccifera. They are also surrounded by excellent timber palings. The people are different from Khasyas Proper—perhaps they are not so fine a race. Their features approach more to those of Bengallees, particularly the women, who dress their hair like those of Assam, indeed the dress generally of both sexes assimilates to that of Assamese, although their language seems to be Bengallee. In the wood surrounding this place curious features of vegetation occur, and beautiful lanes and pathways. One may see a beech now naked of leaves, standing out in graceful relief close to the elegant foliage of a bamboo. Bamboos surround all the houses—sugarcane, kuchoos, mustard, hemp, Musa, Ricinus were observed.

The plants are beech, which is common and of large size. Pyrus of Moleem, Pinus rare, Marlea begonifolia! Betula corylifolia common. Verbena chamaedrys, Rubi 3 or 4, Tetrantherae? Rubia cordifolia, Morus, Cerasus, Panax 3 species, Gleicheniae 2, Eurya, Juncus, Ranunculus, Viola, Verbesina of Moflong, Sida, Clematis pubescens, Caricineae, Myrica, Gordonia, Polygonum 3, among them Rheoides Engeldhaardtii common, Viburna 2, Wendlandia, Osbeckia capitata and nepalensis. The grasses chiefly Andropogons; Mussaenda, Bucklandia, Saurauja, Hiraea, Dipsacus rare, Camellia oleifolia, and C. axillaris, Begonia laciniata, Ficus, Vitis, Sonerila, Plectranthus azureus, Randia, Mephitidia, Psychotria, Galium, Clerodendrum infortunatum, Pyrus or crab, Fragaria, Potentilla, Urena lobata. The diversified nature of the vegetation, both tropical and temperate, is at once evident.

The altitude is 3,553 feet—temperature of the air 62 degrees; large thermometer boiling point 205.5 degrees: wooden ditto 206.75: centigrade ditto 96 degrees: small ditto 199.5 degrees.

The higher ground about the place is about 4,000 feet: Joowye being situated in a hollow. Viola and Peristrophe occur.

November 11th.—The march to Nurtung occupies about 6 hours. The country is level, or merely undulated, with no considerable descent, the steepest being that to the river on which Nurtung is situated. The vegetation continues the same, the trees except in the ravines almost exclusively pines, those on the ravines consisting of oaks, Rhododendra, Betula corylifolia, Betula moroides, Solidago, Verbena, Primulaceae, Othonna, occur; Anthistiriae, both those of Nunklow are common, Rottboellia Manisuris in low valleys: here and there Phoenix pumila is common. The country just before Nurtung is uninteresting, scarcely any thing but grass being visible in some directions. Indeed it falls off on leaving Joowye.

Rhinanthus, Corolla infundibulif. subbilabiat. lobis 2, superioribus minoribus, stam. ascendent. stigmati inclusi decurvo.

November 12th.—Nurtung is a large place for these hills, perhaps next in extent to Joowye, it occupies principally both sides of a sufficiently sheltered hill. The lanes adjacent to the place are narrow, often very wet, and always very dirty. The gardens are enclosed with wooden palings and are screened still further by bamboos. The houses, at least the better order, are still better than even those of Joowye. The exterior is of the same construction as all Khasya houses, but the lawns and the comparative cleanliness of the front makes them look much better. The market, which took place to-day, is outside the village and close to our bungalow: it is well attended, but the amount of persons could not exceed 100 to 200, and these form a considerable amount of all the persons capable of bearing burdens from the neighbouring villages. The luxuries exhibited are all Khasyan, consisting of stinking fish, some other things of dubious appearance and still more dubious odour, millet and the inferior grains, and the fashionable articles of Khasya clothing and the adjuncts to that abominable habit pawn eating. There was plenty of noise, but still order prevailed: no other rupees than the rajah's were taken, and even pice were refused. Iron implements of husbandry of native manufacture were vended, in short all the various luxuries or necessaries of a Khasya are obtainable.

This place bears evidence of having been ruled over by some chief pretending to Hindooism. This is observable in the large fig trees in some of the buildings, in most of the houses in the presence of some brahmins, in the tanks, and in a sacred lake. At any rate it is attended with bad effects, and to see a Khasya attempting the formalities of a rigid Hindoo is ridiculously absurd.

It must be a wealthy place, many of the natives are well off; and I saw a lady of a decidedly superior nature to the Khasya women, clad in snow white, reclining in oriental fashion on a platform. The vegetation of this place forms a curious melange around our huts: Rhus bucki ameli, two Artimiseae, Anthistiria arundinacia, Pteris aquilina, Callicarpa lilacina, Eurya, Bombax, Osbeckia nepalensis and linearis, Marlea begonifolia, Pyrus, Pinus, Urticia fructibus aurantiaceus capitulatis, Polygonum rheoides, Rubi 3, Swertia angustifolia, Polygonum globuliferum, Valerianae, Cacalia, Randia, Gnaphalia nervosa, and G. revoluta, Smilax, Plectranthus azureus, Trichosanthes, Leea, Tradescantia clavigera, Geniosporum, Butea, Hypericum, Knoxia cordata, Rice cultivation.

Along the path to the village are to be found, Carduus, Myrica crotalaria, Hacyoides, Cariceneae, Panicum curvatum, Arundo, Mentha verticillata, Cyperaecae usual, Zizania ciliaris, Panax, Wendlandia Salvinia, Isachne bigeniculata, Betula corylifolia common, Pontedera, Tetranthera, Erythrina, Celtis, Salix, Buddleia, Gordonia, Calamus abundant, Juncus, Arum macrophyllum, Cordiaceae, Urena lobata, Cynoglossum canescens, Bambusa, Verbesinea, Lavinia, Magnolia of Myrung, Camellia oleifolia, Gualtheria.

About the village, Porana, Musa, Verbena, Xanthophyllum, Xyris, Urtica herophylla, Sambucus, etc.

The cultivation consists of rice, millet, Soflong? pumpkins and tobacco; guavas and oranges, are also to be seen.

Daphne cannabina occurs here, as well as Loxotis obliqua, the Cardaminum, Plantago, and Martynia.

From a fresh observation and taking the mean, I find the elevation of Nurtung to be 3,302 feet.

On enquiry I find that Rulung is one march off, that the country is similar, and that pines grow there to a large size. From this place to Koppilee river it is said to be nine marches. A fuqueer from Cutch said several, six to ten—and as the distance is nearly fifty miles and the ground difficult, he was probably right.

You then come to the Meekir country. To get into Tooly Ram's country would require at least nine days, but with loaded people probably twelve or fifteen. The station between Rulung and the Koppilee is Hush Koorah. Thermometer varies here from 45 to 85 in the sun, in shade from 52 to 74.

November 13th.—Left for the Borpanee.

The country traversed is easy, consisting chiefly of undulations covered with grassy vegetation. There are no steep ascents nor descents; and the only obstacle is the Borpanee. The march is of about six hours' duration.

Butea suffruticosa is very common about Nurtung, but ceases soon after leaving its environs. All the valleys near this place are cultivated: the ground being now inundated in proportion. Dipsacus valeriana continued, and a short distance from Nurtung pines become very common. Thence the country became more undulated and scarcely a tree was met with: Hedysarum gyrans commenced shortly after leaving Nurtung: a sure sign of decreasing elevation. The country subsequently improved, being more diversified with wood: firs became abundant, Callicarpa arborea commenced. About Nonkreen, a small village to the east, close to our path the trees became mostly different. Kydia appeared, a tree like the mango, and some others unknown to me. Bauhinia, Randia, Phyllanthus Embelica, and a stunted arboreous Symplocos, Anthistiria arundinacea common, with chesnuts (Castaneae).

Close to this, Gordonia, pines of some size, Anthistiria arundinacea and Cassioides. The grasses continued the same, but two new Andropogons and a small Rottboellia appear; Holcus, Airoides, etc. of Churra have ceased: the other are Sacchara and various Andropogons. On approaching a considerable descent the woods became open, consisting at first entirely of pines, Betula of Joowye, etc. then of pines, Quercus castaneoides which attains a large size. It was here that the pines became large, one felled measured sixty-nine feet to the first branch, most are straight, the greatest diameter not two feet. Gordonia occurred here of large size, the woods are really delightful, reminding one much of England. Here Myrica occurs but rarely, Lematula, Flemingia, Elephantopus, Vanda, Quercus callicarpifolius commences, Biophytum appears a short distance hence. Also, Liriodendron, Dipterocarpus, Bambusa, Pinus but of smaller size, Engelhaardtia, Dioscorea, Castanea, Quercus callicarpa, which is very common.

Here Bombax appears somewhat lower, with it Castanea, Kydia, Gordonia. No pines now occur except on the neighbouring heights.

The descent to the Borpanee is not great, say 400 feet; on its banks Thunbergia grandiflora commences, but the Castanea castaneoides of large size, Camellia oleifolia, Daphne cannabina, Rhododendron punctatum variety. Engenia Wallichii (which commences), Quercus castaneoides, etc. may be found along its banks.

This is a large stream, not fordable at any time, nor passable in the rains; both banks are high, rocks of course break the stream, which is gentle at the points crossed. Breadth is 50 to 60 yards, the elevation of its bed is 2,508 feet, water boiling at 207.5 degrees: temperature 74 degrees.

The ascent of the north bank is great, on surmounting it one returns to grassy undulations, the vegetation of which is the same as before, Rottboellia of Suniassa as well as Manisuroides here occur. The village Madan is very small, the people, of course, as they have scarcely ever seen a white face, very polite and obliging: it is situated on a hill, but is still below the north bank of the river. Its altitude is 2,753 feet—temperature of the air 67 degrees: boiling water 207 degrees.

[Gradient Nurtung to Madan: g182.jpg]

The birds, as well as those of the Nurtung river, are the water-ouzel, the greyish-blue water-chat, the red and black ditto with a white head- top, and the black bird, durn-durns or bird producing that cry occurs, but not in great numbers. Pea-fowl at Madan. Elephants are abundant, especially towards the descent to the Borpanee. Fly wheel (?) insect is here common at Kokreen, a small village close to Nonkreen. Equisetum occurs along the Boga Panee as well as a new species of Podostemon, P. fronde profunde lobato, lobis liniaribus simplicibus vel lobatis saxis arcti adpressis, floribus marginalibus distiches. Polygala occurs at 3,000 feet and continues higher.

November 14th.—The march to Mengtung occupies about six hours, it is by no means difficult, and the only ascent of any length is that before descending on Nungtung. Throughout the 1st part, all the bottoms of the valleys are cultivated, thence all is jungle, either of high grass or of trees.

Near Madan, Arundinaria bambusifolia may be found, although at an elevation of 2,800 feet, Volkameria is common. The same grasses continue. In the rice field Butomus lanceolatus, Herpestes, Jussaeia, Juncus, Eriocaulon, Zizana ciliaris.

We then came after traversing such low swampy ground for sometime to a wood composed of Quercus castaneoidea, of large size; its bark is thick and somewhat corky, its diameter three feet. Quercus callicarpifolius appeared soon after, with Polygala linearis, Scitamineae are common in the valley. In similar low places, Impatiens graminifolia of Churra was seen, and Hedysarum gyrans.

Oolooks {183} and parrots are both found: Cnicus floribus roseis, Gerardia, Apluda, Senecio pubescens, were found in similar spots.

After traversing a low valley with gentle undulations presenting the usual grasses, we came to a wood presenting many tropical features. Oaks and chesnuts still continuing to be the usual trees. Much underwood, consisting of Acanthaceae, Laurineae, Anonaceae, Rubiaceae, among which Poederia triphylla and Mephitidia were common. Centothca sp., Sarcopyramis, Garcinia, Triumfetta were observed.

Thence we came to pines. Then a low valley, the altitude of the stream of which was 1,979 feet, the thermometer being in the air 82 degrees, boiling point 208.5 degrees. Then a wood.

In it Castanea ferruginea continued common, Quercus dalbergioides, Daphne cannabina, Acanthus leucostachyus (1st appearance), Oxyspora and Polypodium Wallichii were found; ascending a few feet, say 60, Randia microphyllum, Aneilema aspera, and pines appeared in the woods, with straight trunks and high branches, occasioned by the abortion of the lower branches, sometimes dichotomously forked, bark grey, and scaley, branches horizontal, approximated; cones inclining towards the axis. The descent occasioned a loss of pines, oaks and chesnuts continuing, Orthopogon, Pederia triphyllum.

This wood was of great extent, the path running along the precipitous or steep edge of a very wet water-course. Castanea ferruginea very common, Cyrtandracea.

Begonia malabarica, Achyranthes, Tradescantia flagellifera, Phlogacanthus, Acanthaceae, Sarcopyramis, Magnolia, Eupatorium arboreum, Laurineae, Gleichenia minor.

Pinus subsequently appears but is rare, Eurya.

Daphne involucrata, Gaultheria arborescens, Knoxia cordata, Polypodium arborescens, Thibaudia, Viburni sp., Vareca, Leucas galea brunacea.

Then still gradually ascending, open woods occurred.

Pines, Q. castaneoides.

Thence the ascent is still through open woods of pines. Castanea, Quercus castaneoides and callicarpifolia, Polygala here appears, Knoxia linearis, Flemingia, AEschynomene.

On the top no Pines. Oaks, chesnuts, and Gordoniae appear.

Thence a second but small ascent, pines re-appear with birch, Scutellaria, Erythrina, Melica latifolia, Epiphytes common, especially on Gordoniae. The altitude of the summit before descending on Nungtung was 3,359 feet: thermometer 75 degrees, boiling point 206 degrees.

The altitude of Nungtung is 2,862 feet, Temp. 64 degrees. Big Therm. in boiling water 206.5 degrees, ditto wooden 207 degrees, small ditto 201 degrees, centigrade 97.75 degrees.

[Gradient Madan to Nungtung: g185.jpg]

Nungtung is a small village not containing more than 12 houses; these are on michaowns, {186} and are built entirely of bamboos. The doors of curious construction, consisting of bamboos strung longitudinally over a transverse one, so that they can be only opened by pushing on one side. The pigs have similar doors to their houses and appear well acquainted with the mode of ingress and egress.

Tobacco flourishes here. Here also I saw Sesamum and Ricinus, sure signs of increasing temperature, Labiata edulis. The first part of the march lay through an oak and chesnut wood; then through the valley which is under rice cultivation; then through part of an oak and fir wood; I then turned off to NNE. traversing undulated hills entirely covered with grass; here and there an oak and chesnut wood occurred; this continued until 1 P.M., when the path joined the great road as it is called, but which is nearly as bad as the Nungtung one. The marching was very disagreeable, owing to the path being choked up with grass, particularly in the swampy valley just before Onkreem. In this valley wild elephants were first seen.

After leaving the halting or resting place under a large oak (Q. castaneoides) at Onkreem, the path improved and is only rendered bad by the swarms of elephants, by which animals we were disturbed twice; it continued until 6 P.M., over undulated ground becoming lower and lower until we arrived at the large valley of Onswye, which is even now at this advanced period of the season, the middle of November, considerably swampy.

Oaks and chesnuts continued, but pines ceased about half way between Onkreem and Onswye.

[Gradient Nungtung to Onkreem: g187.jpg]

[Gradient Journey towards Assam and Bootan: g188.jpg]

[Gradient From Onkreem to Onkreem: g189.jpg]

[Gradient Journey towards Bootan: g190.jpg]

[Gradient Descent into Assam: g191.jpg]

Onswye is a small village, seated on a low hill, and entirely hidden by trees: the access to it is pretty. Its elevation is 1,632 feet, temperature 63 degrees. Water boils at 98.75 of centigrade, small ther. 202.5 degrees, big ditto 208.75 degrees, wooden ditto 210 degrees: taking 209 degrees as the mean.

It is a Lalung village. These people have distinct habits and language from their neighbours: their dress is like that of the Khasyahs. They approach to Hindoos in not eating cows. They inhabit the lower northern ranges of these hills, but do not extend further east, nor into the plains at the foot, and are far less civilized than the Khasyahs.

They have religious houses or places of worship, deo-ghurs, in one of which I slept, having it first cleansed, and the deity appeased by some most villainous music, and a procession of men with knives.

At this village Carica, Ficus elastica, Ficus cordifolius, Ricinus, Artocarpus intigrifol, Tamarind, Guava, Musa, Solanum Melongena, tobacco, etc., are cultivated.

Caryophyllea scandens, Desmochaeta, Plumbago, Plectranthus azureus, Phlebochiton, Cassia tora, Orthopogon, Adhatoda, Mangifera, Croton malvaefol, Hastingsia, Torenia asiatica, Caricinea, Leea, Prunus! Congea! Antidesma, Rottleria, Clerodendron nutans, Calamus, Xanthochymus. Mesua ferrea, Garcinia Cowa, Leea arbuscula, Dalhousia, Roxburghia, are found on the ascent which is moderate and pretty.

The heavy tree or bamboo jungle does not begin until you attain 12 or 1,500 feet, up to that, the ridges present the former grasses. Rottboellia, Andropogons, Erianthus, Saccharum, Anthistiria, and the trees are scattered consisting of Arborescent Leguminosae, Sterculia, Cedrela, Semicarpus continues to the tree jungle, but rarely.

The road to the village runs through heavy woods, the plants forming which I have already mentioned, it is in good order. The village is a Lalung one.

At Dullagong, which is situated in the plains of Assam, at the foot of the range the temperature being 66 degrees, 8.5 A.M., water boiled at 211.1 degrees in the large thermometer. 100 centigrade, and above the boiling point in the wooden. 205.5 degrees in the small metal thermometer.

Between this and Goba, the path is generally through grass or tree jungle. I noticed Exacum, Careya, Butea arborea, Ficus, Cinchona, Kydia, Saccharum Megala fuscum masus, Spathodea, Alstonia, Bombax, Semicarpus! AEgle Marmelos, Emblica, Panax, Elephantopus, and Lagerstraemia Reginae succeeds about Goba: and between this and Dhumria, the country being low and highly cultivated, presents generally the appearance of one sheet of rice. In this march I observed one or two instances of the absolute enclosure of Dicotyledonous trunks by Fici. This enclosure arises entirely from the excessive tendency to cohesion between the roots and radicles of some of the species of this genus. With these, an expert gardener might produce any form he likes; the tendency exists in all to throwing out additional roots; in few only to excess. In the generality it is limited to the trunk and often to its base. Nobody can understand this genus who cannot study it from living specimens.

Cardiopterus is very common along the foot of these hills: it abounds with milky juice, and in habit and some other points approaches nearer to Chenopodiaceae than Sapindaceae.

December 7th.—Returned from Jeypore, whither I had been to report on the Caoutchouc trees. {193}

These trees appear to be limited to the belt of jungle or toorai which commences towards the foot of the Aka and Duphla hills, and which in the part in which I examined them is about 8 miles wide. They are said to be found likewise among the neighbouring villages, but I saw no instance of this. They occur solitarily, or at most in groups of two or three. They appear to be more frequent towards the immediate base of the hills, and to prefer the drier parts of those humid and dense forests called toorai. They are frequently of vast size, and by this as well as their dense head, may be at once recognised even at a distance of a few miles. Some idea of their size may be formed from the following measurements of a large one:

Circumference of main trunk, 74 feet Ditto, including the supports, 120 " Ditto, of space covered by crown branches, 620 " Height, ditto ditto, 80 to 100 "

The roots spread out in every direction on reaching the ground; the larger running along the surface, their upper portion being uncovered: occasionally they assume the form of buttresses, but never to such a marked degree as occurs in some other trees, such as the Simool, Herietiera, etc. The supports are only thrown out towards the base of the principal branches, not as in the banian at indefinite distances. The trunk is a compound one, formed entirely by the mutual cohesion of roots; not as in almost all other trees by the growth of parts in an ascending direction. Its aspect is picturesque and varied, occasionally putting on the appearance of sculpture. It is, I think, doubtful whether this as well as some other species of the genus are not to be considered as genuine parasites, at any rate they generally cause the destruction of the tree on which they originally grew. If this be the case the parasitism is the reverse of that which occurs in Cuscuta, in which the plantule draws its first nourishment from the earth, relinquishing this when sufficiently developed to enable it to draw its supply from other plants. I may here observe, that parasites are common on the peepul, contrary to the statement of M. DeCandolle.

The destruction of the foster-mother takes place by the mutual interlacement of the roots, which descending irregularly, form at first a strong net-work, subsequently becoming a cylindric binding, in the strongest possible way to the trunk, and preventing all lateral distinction. The hollow occupied by the trunk when dead may become filled up, when this has passed away, by other roots. The adhesion of the roots commences by abrasion of the bark, the union subsequently becomes of the most intimate kind. The supports are perfectly cylindrical; they become conical only towards the earth, on approaching which they divide into roots: they are strictly descending growths, and as such, under ordinary circumstances, they never produce leaves, etc. Roots likewise issue from every section of the bark of sufficient depth to reach the outer layer of wood, with the outer fibres of which they are obviously continuous. To such an extent is this carried, that transverse sections of young supports assume the appearance of coarse paint-brushes or tails. The lenticells, which are very numerous, have nothing whatever to do with their production; if the bark remains entire, no roots are thrown out except by division of the apex. The branches ascend obliquely, the outermost running nearly horizontally.

The juice is obtained from the larger; that from young parts is less thick: an exposed semi-denuded root, is selected for transverse incisions through the bark, from which alone the juice flows, a small hole is made in the ground immediately beneath the incised parts into which a leaf, generally of Phrynium capitatum is placed: it is collected in this simple manner in a very clean state, far more so than that which can be collected from the tree in any other situation. On issuing, it is of a very rich pure white; if good, of the consistence of cream: its excellence is known by the degree of consistence, and by the quantity of caoutchouc it contains. This is ascertained by rubbing a few drops up in the palm of the hand, which causes the watery juice to separate (probably by evaporation) from the caoutchouc which remains in the form of small, oblong, or round portions; and by kneading this in the hand, and striking it sharply once or twice with the fist it acquires elasticity, so that an additional test of excellence is at once pointed out. Many incisions are made in one tree, the juice flows rapidly at first, at the rate of sixty drops a minute from an ordinary incision, but this soon becomes so much diminished that it dwindles to eight. The bleeding is continued for two or three days, when it ceases spontaneously by the formation of a layer of caoutchouc over the wound; and it is to the commencement of this that the rapid diminution in the number of drops is perhaps to be attributed. The quantity obtained from one tree has not exactly been ascertained; by some it is stated to be as much as four or five maunds, while others say that a moderate tree will only yield one gurrah full, or about ten seers. From the slowness with which it flows, I should consider half a maund to be a fair average for each bleeding. The juice is, however, said to flow faster at night, but this demands verification.

The operation is repeated at the end of eighteen or twenty days. In seven miles of jungle we observed eighty trees, by far the greater portion of which were of large size. Lieutenant Vetch has made a calculation, (on the assumption that they are equally plentiful throughout Chardowar,) that the number in this district alone is —- trees.

I calculate the number to be about 20,000. There is no reason for supposing that they are not equally abundant throughout Noadwar, nor in fact on any line where toorai prevails between Goalpara and Bishnath; beyond this, however, the increase in latitude may occasion their decrease both in number and size. On the southern side of the valley there is every reason to believe it to be equally common. The general geographic range may hence be said to be in latitude 24 degrees, to 26.5 degrees in longitude. It has been stated by Mr. Royle that it does not extend beyond Pundua, Jynteapoor, and Churra Punjee, but on no other authority than that it had not been found elsewhere.

Taking the number of trees at 20,000, and the produce of each from four bleedings at two maunds, the annual supply that may be obtained from Durrung may be estimated at 13,000 maunds of the caoutchouc itself, assuming Dr. Roxburgh's proportion of one to three to be nearly correct. Some idea may be formed of the extent to which it is procurable, when from the mere outskirts of the forest, 300 maunds of juice may be collected in one month.

On the excellence of the Assam product as compared with that of America, it does not become me to pronounce. If strength, elasticity, clearness, and perfect freedom from viscidity, be tests of excellence, then this product may be considered as equal to any other. It has been pronounced by persons in Calcutta to be excellent, but no details have been entered into except by Mr. Bell, who objects to its snapping: if by this we are to understand snapping on being pulled too much, in contradistinction to breaking, it only proves its excellence. It is declared to be inferior to the American by Mr. McCosh, evidently on examination of the worst possible specimens.

The size of the trees as they generally occur in the limits above alluded to, entirely precludes all idea of any great liability to be destroyed by the extraction of juice, the amount of which must be so minute, compared to that of the whole tree. Still it may be considered desirable for the security of the tree to limit the bleedings to the cold months, and this is rendered more necessary by the inferiority of the juice during the season of active vegetation. And if it be possible to limit the number of bleedings of each tree to four or five during the above period, I consider that the present 3,000 stock cannot fail to be kept up. But to venture on still larger supplies, to meet the demand for this most useful article, a demand to which limits can scarcely be assigned, the formation of plantations should be encouraged, the sites chosen to be near the villages bordering on the line of the natural distribution of the tree. Propagation by cuttings or layers cannot fail to be of easy and rapid application; and if we consider that the tree is the most valuable receptacle of the lac insect, there is every reason to suppose that the natives will readily enter into such views.

The jungle in which the tree occurs is of the usual heavy description, presenting in fact no one feature in particular. The trees are all of a tropical nature, except towards the foot of the hills, when two species of chesnut and one of alder begin to shew themselves.



CHAPTER XI.

Journey from Assam towards Bootan.

Left Gowahatti on the 21st and halted at Ameengong ghat.

December 22nd, 1837.—Left at twelve and proceeded to Hazoo, which is nearly due west of Ameengong, and distant thirteen miles. Road, through grassy plains; much cultivation throughout the greater part. Passed several villages, and forded one stream. Hazoo is at the foot of some low hills, on one of which is a temple of great sanctity with the Booteahs. The hills above this, as well as between this and Ameengong, abound with Cycas, many of which were once dichotomous; on these hills a fleshy Euphorbia likewise occurs, a sure indication of barren soil. Pea- fowl abound. The light-blue Jay figured in Hardwickii, Sterna, Haliaetus pondicerianus, Chat, Butcher-bird, Edolius, Plovers, Hoopoe, and Ardea indica, were met with.

December 23rd.—Hazoo, a large village, extending nearly north and south, all the houses surrounded by trees. Areca bamboos, Ficus elastica, F. indicoides, F. religiosa, Sapotea (Mimusops) Arborea, Erythrina. Country to the east very jheely, and one huge expanse of paddy cultivation. Fine Loranthus, Hingtstha repens.

December 24th.—Nolbaree, seventeen miles nearly, N. by W., throughout the latter half of the way, the country consisted of highly cultivated plains, intersected by bamboo jungles, etc. Villages very abundant, surrounded by trees, especially bamboos. The hedges are made of a dwarf Pandanus. Crossed four streams, two not fordable. Grallatores and water-birds innumerable throughout, but especially after passing the Borolia, Bec ouvert or Anastomus coromandelianus, Pelicans, Water-hens, Divers, Ibis bengala, Cigoines (Ardea Pavonia) Syras, Mangoe-bird, large King-fisher, Hawks abundant, of which we observed five species; this is, generally speaking, one of the richest parts of Assam I have hitherto seen.

December 25th.—Dum Dummia, distance ten miles, direction north, country very open, in parts less cultivated than before, scarcely any jungle towards Dum; this is a straggling place on the banks of a small stream called Noa Nuddee.

The bamboo continues common, as well as Pandanus, Pterocarpus marsupium, Bombax, Diospyros ebenum, which are the most common trees. Villages are very numerous, but as usual, entirely concealed from view by jungle.

December 31st.—Up to this morning we remained at Dum Dummia, and had the Booteas alone been consulted, we should have remained there till to- morrow. It is a very uninteresting place, the country consisting of one extensive plain, diversified only by trees wherever there are villages. There is a good deal of cultivation, chiefly however, of rice; some sugarcane is visible, but it is of inferior quality, and evidently not sufficiently watered. Sursoo is considerably cultivated. The river Noa Nuddee is about seventy yards wide, with a stream of three miles an hour; it is full of sand-banks and of quicksands, and is crossed with great difficulty on elephants; by men it is easily fordable. The only shooting about the place is Floriken, which are very abundant, ten or twelve being seen in one day.

We left for Hazareegoung, a Bootea-Assam village to the north. We passed through a similar open country not much cultivated, but overrun with grassy vegetation. The path was of the ordinary description, and not kept at all cleared: crossed a small stream twice, with a pebbly bed and sub-rapids, a sure indication of approaching the hills. These, in their lower portion, have a very barren appearance, but this may arise from the cultivated patches: land-slips are of very frequent occurrence.

The grasses of the enormous plains, so prevalent every where in this direction, are Kagaia, Megala, Vollookher, Saccharum spontaneum, this is soft grass, and affords an excellent cover for game, Cymbopogon hirsutum, which is more common than the C. arundinaceum, Erianthus, Airoides, Rottboellia exaltata, Arundo, (?) Anatherum muricatum, Apluda, Trizania cilearis, is common in the old rice khets.

Among these occur a tall Knoxia, Plectranthus sudyensis, and P. uncinatus.

I observed Vareca, Grislea, about Dum Dummia. Elytrophorus is common in rice khets.

Towards Hazareegoung we came on a high plain, covered principally with S. spontaneum. Among this occurred Lactuioides, Premna herbacea, Grewia, with here and there Pterygodium. I observe here Bootea bamboo baskets made water-proof by caoutchouc; this is a practice much adopted by the Booteas: and the trees are here. The large coloured stipulae are peculiar to the young shoots cultivated, they are often a span long. The young fruit is enveloped by three large coloured scales, which originate from the annuliform base; this is hence a peduncle, not a bracte, as I before supposed.

January 1st, 1838.—Halted.

January 2nd.—Marched to Ghoorgoung, a small village, eight miles from Hazareegoung and nearly due north. We crossed similar grassy tracts: the country gradually rising as we approached the hills.

Very little cultivation occurred. Crossed the Mutunga, now dry, but the breadth testifies to its being a large stream in the rains, as the boulders do to its being a violent one. The same plants continue; small jungle or wood composed of Simool. Trophis aspera, Cassia fistula, Bauhinia, Butea scandens, Byttneria, underwood of Eranthemum, and another Acanthacea.

About this place Cnicus and Arundinaria occur, and a small Santalaceous or Olacineous plant, with the habit of a Polygala. Merops apiaster is very common.

January 3rd.—To Dewangeri, distance eight miles.

Our route hither lay for the greater portion up the bed of the Durunga, the stream of which makes its exit about one mile to the west of Ghoorgoung. After ascending its bed for some time, the ascent becomes steep, for perhaps 800 or 1,000 feet, when we reached a portion of Dewangeri, but two or three hundred feet below the ridge on which the village is situated. The hills bounding the watercourse are very steep, many quite perpendicular, owing to having been cut away; generally they are of decomposed granite as at Dacanara, in some parts of conglomerate.

The torrent contains but little water, and very few fish, the banks are wooded tolerably well, as soon as the lower barren ranges are past.

At the base Cassia fistula, Leguminous trees, Artemisia, Simool, Spathodea, Bignonia indica, Sterculia, Caesalpinea, Phlogacanthus thyrsiflorus, Paederia faetida, Eugenia, Rhamnea, Croton malvaefoliis are found among the usual grasses, which form the chief vegetation.

These continue along the sandy bed for some time, but afterwards the usual small Andropogons usurp their place. Anthistiria arundinacea continue longest; with some of the large Saccharum, Rubus moluccanus soon appears, with Melica latifolia, and a species of Rhus.

Leptospartion is very common up to 1,000 feet, Pandanus 3-500 feet, but soon ceases; the higher precipices abound with an elegant palm tree, habitu Cocos.

Fleshy urticeae and Aroideum become common at 300 feet, along the shaded watery banks, and continue so long as shade and humidity are found. Equisetum commences at 300 feet, Arundo, Saurauja, Pentaptera, which last ascends to 1,000 feet, as does Dillenia speciosa, Castaneae feorox commences at 500 feet. Between this and the Choky, Polypodium, Wallichianum arboreum, Davallia grandis, Oxyspora, Musci, Goodyera, and Composita arborea are found.

At the Choky, the elevation of which is 965 feet, OEsculus begins. Wallichia,* OEschynanthus, Urtica gigas,* Derngia,* Govania,* Anthistiria arundinacea, Alstonea, Angiopteris, are found. Grislea is found as high as 1,000 feet. Ficus obliquissima is found at 300 feet, and Ficus altera species as high as 700 feet.

At 1,200 feet Rubi sp., Panax, Cordia, are found, and on the steep ascent, Hastingsia,* Gordonia, Eurya, Corisanthera, Griffithia.

At one place the jack fruits, Ficus elastica, Compositi arborea, Panax altera species.

Dewangeri occupies a ridge 200 feet above our halting place, the elevation of which is 2,031 feet. The view to the north is confined to a ravine of 1,500 feet deep, at the bottom of which runs a considerable mountain torrent: to the SW. plains are visible, to the east and west the view is hilly.

The village itself is a poor one, containing perhaps sixty houses, but these are divided into three or four groups; the houses, with the exception of three or four stone and lime ones, are of the usual build, viz. of bamboo, and raised on muchauns. Filth and dirt abound every where, and the places immediately contiguous to the huts are furnished plentifully with various ordures.

Along the ridge three or four temples occur, these are of the Boodhistical form: they are composed entirely of slate, are white-washed; none are of any size, and the workmanship is rude in the extreme; on each face of the square basement, slabs of slate with inscriptions are visible, and in one instance many of these are ranged along a longish wall. The Pagodas are surrounded with long banners, with inscriptions fastened longitudinally to bamboos. On the west side of this the view is remarkably pretty, embracing all the temples, part of the village, and the Rajah's house. The hills adjoining being considerably diversified and remarkable, and for India over picturesquely wooded.

The pucka houses are ungainly structures, the height being out of all proportion to the width, the walls are very thick, and composed of slate slabs, the roof is choppered with projecting eaves, the windows are very narrow. Each has three stories, the middle one being occupied by the owner, this is divided into several rude compartments, each of which has one or two balconies.

The steps are rude and awkward, consisting of notches cut into large blocks. The cooking is carried on, on the ground floor, much to the edification of the residents above. Dirt abounds in every direction. The doors are rudely constructed of wood.

January 4th.—To-day was occupied by moving up into the village, in which we occupy a pucka house.

January 5th.—Visited the Sooba or Rajah, his house is very picturesque, reminding me much of the pictures of Swiss cottages: it is white-washed, with a red belt. The interior is capacious; the state room has hangings, which are decorated with native pictures on cloth. At the east end is a recess in which are some well-executed Chinese statues, the chief figure is of large dimensions, and is intended to represent the Durmah Rajah, whose statue is supposed to give infallibility. Two bells were suspended, one from the centre, the other from the balcony, the tongues of which were long, of ivory, and moved by a string. The Rajah received us in state, amidst discordant sounds of horns, pipes, and drums; his followers for the most part were badly clothed, the few decent looking persons being only decent externally. He was seated on a raised dais and was well dressed. He is a stout Chinese looking man, about 50 years old, and his deportment was certainly easy and dignified. The meeting was very friendly, but it is evident that we shall be delayed here at least seven days.

The central room in the Rajah's house is used as a guard house! arms were fixed round the walls, but they seemed to consist chiefly of spears, swords, and bucklers.

January 6th.—I walked this morning to a village, a mile to the west, in which there is a picturesque pucka house of religion. What pleased me especially was a specimen of a juniper, of extreme elegance, with drooping branches. The house itself was of the usual form, and one end was occupied as usual by an ornamental window and balcony. I noticed in addition Ulmus and Quercus.

The vegetation hitherto seen about this, consists of mango trees, several species of fig, among which were Ficus indica, elastica, terminalioides, Papyrifera, etc. two with cordate leaves occur. Ulmus, Quercus, Bombax, Juniperus and Pinus, both cultivated. Aralia or Panax, four or five species, Croton malvaefolium, Justicia, Adhatoda, Peristrophe, Amaranthaceae, Artemisia, Urtica urens? and heterophylla, Pogostemon, Triumfetta, (these occupy the old cleared spots,) Castaneae sp.? Artocarpus integrifolium, Erythrina, Sambucus ebulus, Rubi, three species, Solanum farinaceum, Engeldhaardtia, Pandanus, Leptospartion, Calamus, Nauclea, Euphorbia carnosa, foliis ligulatis, Artocarpus chaplasha, the fruit of which is eaten, Phlebochiton extensus, Sedgwickia cerasifolia, Callicarpa arborea, Porana, Randia, sugarcane, citrons, tobacco.

The fauna contains two or three squirrels, one of which is the small one of Upper Assam, Trocheloideus, the lesser Edolius or Drongo minor. Mainas, two kinds, carrion crows, Bucco, Muscipeta flammea, and one or two other species, Parus, two or three species, kites, large tailor-birds, sparrows. The black-bird of the torrents, and the usual water-birds, black pheasants; bulbuls very common, Bucco barbatus, parroquets, barking deer.

The temperature being 58 degrees 61', water boiled at 208 degrees. The mean of two observations accordingly gives the altitude as 2,165 feet above the sea.

The number of houses is about 130, but these form two or three detached villages. The population is considerable, and there is no want of children. The people are stout and very fair, with ruddy cheeks, but abominably dirty. Some of the men are six feet in stature. We had one opportunity of witnessing their practice with the bow, but only two or three of the dozen candidates were decent shots. The mark was a very small one, and the distance 120 steps, but none hit it during the time we looked on, nor even the circular patch of branches, on which the slab of wood of this form was placed. The practice was accompanied with the usual proportion of noise and gesticulations.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14     Next Part
Home - Random Browse