At 8,500 feet, Rhododendron minus, Rhododendron oblonga, ochroleucum, Coccineum appears, Ribes, Smilax sanguinea, Gaultheria of Bulphai very common, arborea stunted, Limonia major, Clematis grata! Rhododendron hispida, Potentilla, Pteris aquilina, Berberis asiatica, Mespilus microphyllus, Gnaphalium, Swertia, Viola, Patrinum! Elaeagnus fragrans! Thymus, which ranges from 6 to 10,000 feet, Euphorbia, Pedicularis, Cycnii sp., Mimulus, Rhodora deflexa, Pinus pendula, Quercus ilecifolia, both stunted, Pteris aquilina.
The descent to the village was about 500 feet, Arenarium on rocks, Mimulus, Viola, Rumex, Juncus, Acorus veronica, Anagallis, Pythonium of Blake, Euphorbia, Pedicularis, Carex, Mespilus microphyllus: pine chatterers throughout, at least above 7,000 feet.
The summit, which was certainly 9,500 feet, was completely bare: Pinus pendula ascends a long way.
Chupcha—Hordeum hexastichor in beautiful order, the chief cultivation. Red-legged crow; larger dove. The form of the country traversed is as follows:-
[Teemboo to Chupcha: m291.jpg]
At Diglea we had an opportunity of seeing the mode of building in this part of Bootan; the houses are made of mud, which is trampled and beat down by men, who perform sundry strange evolutions while so employed; the mud is beat down in a frame-work; it is from the different layers formed that the lines seen outside finished houses result. The mode is slow, but must give great firmness.
May 14th.—Ascended to the Gylong village, above Chupcha, and then to the naked ridge. The village may be estimated as being 8,700 or 8,800 feet above the sea, and that part of the ridge to which I ascended as 9,800 or 10,000 feet. The ascent is uninterrupted up to the village; it winds through a fine fir wood, after diverging from the road to Panga, after that it is quite open, scarcely a shrub being met with until the ridge is surmounted. On turning to its northern face, woody vegetation becomes pretty abundant, and 500 feet below, woods occur. This is contrary to what usually happens; the south faces of mountains being supposed to be better wooded than the others, but in Bootan the difference would seem to be due to the piercing winds blowing from south, or up the ravine of the Teemboo. The scenery was very pretty, both in the woods before reaching the village, and from the ridge: vast quantities of snow visible to the north and north-east. I ascended to within 1,000 feet of snow, and I think that at this season, an elevation of 11,000 feet is required in open places to secure the presence of snow: it is obvious that local circumstances, such as shelter, etc. may cause it to descend nearly to 9,000 feet, and it is as obvious that snow will descend lower down a mountain of 15,000 feet high than one of 12,000; the difference in the beds of snow causing a greater reduction of temperature in the one than in the other. In an isolated mountain, an elevation of 11,000 feet will be required for the presence of snow in May.
At 8,000 feet, Baptisia, Viburnum canum, Umbellifera toxicaria, Colquhounia, Deutzia, the Symphoria of Teemboo.
At 8,200 feet, Salix, Abies spinulosa straggling, Rhododendron microphylla commences, the bruised has a terebenthaceous odour, Ilex, Gaultheria flexuosa, Parus major: variegated shortwing, Papilio machaonires.
At 8,300 feet, Saxifraga ligularis.
At 8,400 to 8,500 feet, Limonia, Viburnum grandiflorum or canum, Berberis asiatica, Mespilus microphyllus, Populus oblonga, Rhododendron ochrolena, Clematis grata viola lutea,* Epipactis, Hemiphragma.
At 8,700 feet, Rhododendron microphyllum very common, Ribes, Bupleuri sp.,* Rosa fructibus hispidis,* Rubia hispida, Sambucus, Berberis integrifolia, an vero distincta.
At 8,800 feet, Viola pusilla, Fragaria vesca and lutea, Baptisia, Rosa, Sphaerostemma, Clematis grata, Pinus pendula, etc.
At 9,000 feet, commencement of sward, no trees, except stunted shrubs of Pinus pendula, Mespilus microphyllus, Baptisia, Gnaphalium Pedicularis,* Rosa, Bistorta,* leaves with margins not united to the margins of pitchers of Nepenthes and Cephalotus, Pteris aquilina, Prunella, Rhododendron microphyllum, Euphorbia, Taxaxacum, Potentilla, Thymus, Primula Stuartii.
At 9,100 feet, Hyperica brachiata of Moflong.
At 9,300 feet, Morina Wallichiana, Osmundioid, Dipsacus, Scabiosa? capitulo nutanta, Verbascum, Juncus, Epilobia sp.
At 9,400 feet, Salix shrubby, Cyperus fuscescens of Tassangsee, dwarfed Larix.
At 9,500 feet, Anemona aurea commences, covering in some places the sward; it straggles down in favourable places with Iris angustifolia, to 9,300 feet, Primula Stuartii, Rhododendron microphyllum, Gnaphalia, Euphrasia.
At 9,800 feet, southern face of ridge bare, northern thickety, consisting of Rhododendron fruticosum, foliis ellipticis basi cordatis punctato lepidotis, Salix, Berberis, Pyrus aria, Bambusa, Tetranthera.
In wet sheltered spots, Iris angustifolia, Aconitum, foliis aconitoideum, on the sward Euphorbia radians. Below this a little, woods commence chiefly of Bogh Pata, Cerasus, Salix, Rosa fructibus hispidis, Acers, Abelia? Viburnum niveum, Hydrangea arbuscula, non-scandens, Berberis integrifolia. The woods are open, the open spaces occupied by remains of last summer's vegetation, as Compositae, Umbelliferae, Aquilegium, a plant five or six feet high, folii aconitoidie, etc. Epilobium.
Among these in the woods, Trillia sp., Saxifraga reniformis, Liliacea Brodidoid, Viola, Primula purpurea, a lovely species, Aconiti sp., Papaveracea hirsuta foliis, Aconitoid very common, Orchideae, Ribes sanguina, Composita penduliflora, Arenaria pusilla of above Telagoung, Polygoni sp., pusilla repens hirsuit foliis cordata ovatis, vel reniformibus subtus purpurescent, Salvia nubicola? Euphorbia coccinea.
Abies densa appears, as also close to the Gylong village, from this elevation upwards, it is common.
Abies spinulosa common on north face at 9,000 feet, Abies pendula ascends on south side as high as 9,300 feet, but is stunted beyond 9,000 feet, it does not exist on north face.
Primula Stuartii throughout, very abundant.
The plants most limited were Papaveracea, Aconitum folium aconitoideum, Saxif. reniformis, Primula purpuria, Euphorbia radians, Rhododendron cereum, mentioned above, and another at 9,800 feet with similar leaves, but normal flowers, Abelia, Cerasus, Trillii sp., Anemona, Iris, Bistorta, Ribes, A. densa.
The most dispersed are Euphorbia coccinea, Salix, Bogh Pata, Mespilus microphyllus, Cyperus fuscus, Primula Stuartii, Rhododendron microphyllum.
Hordeum hexastichum gives fine produce here; nothing can exceed it in appearance, oats also occur mixed with it, but is not sown, at least, it occurs rarely on walls, Arabis, Magus stolonifer, Juglans in villages, (Ribes Juniperus in the Gylong village), Acorus, Carex, Stellaria cana, Media, Caltha, and Thlaspi.
The temperature is delightful, thermometer 46 degrees at 7 A.M., 52 degrees in the middle of the day.
May 15th.—Left Chupcha for Chuka, distant seventeen miles. Our march commenced by a very steep and indeed almost precipitous descent to the nullah, at the foot of Chupcha, of 1,800 feet. Thence we ascended gradually until we reached a temple visible from Chupcha, at which place we returned to the course along the Teemboo. The remainder of the road undulating, varying in level from 6,000 to 6,500 feet, until we commenced the descent to Chuka, which was long and tedious: we reached this at 5.5 P.M. The road latterly was very bad, we passed Punukha, a small village, about 300 feet below our path. The mountains closing in the Teemboo continue lofty, at least 9,000 feet. Iris, cedars, and Abies densa, were common on the loftier parts.
We passed some beautiful places, indeed the march throughout was pretty. The vegetation was beautiful, owing to the quantity of water on the road, a stream occupying each hollow, round many of which we wound. Glades and pieces of green sward were not uncommon.
The Lamium of Bulphai is found about Chupcha. On the descent to the nullah the following plants were found.
At 7,000 feet, Iris commences, with a species of Lychnis, ground bare and rocky, Umbellifera cana, Umb., from which moud is prepared, common.
At 6,800 feet, Quercus ferruginea commences, on rocks here Stemodium ruderalis, Santonica of Panga, etc., Convallaria cirrhosa.
At 6,500 feet, Hedera common, Aristolochia tetrarima, Berberis obovata, Viburnum caerulescens, Filix ferrugineo tomentosa, Pteris dealbata.
Iris common to 6,500 feet, continues lower down, but scarce. Along the nullah, which is a middling-sized torrent, Rhus, Cederela toone, Acer sterculiacea, Hamamelis, Fici sp., scandens, Rhus, Juglandifolia! Populus oblonga, Sassafras, on the ascent to the temple, Populus of very large size, and the above trees. Fraxinus floribunda, Osmundia in profusion, Aristolochia tetrarima, Scabiosa of Bulphai, Prunella, Fragaria vesca, Duchesnum, Sarcococea, Elaeagnus fragrans, Galium of Panga cascade, Corydalis, which continues to Chuka, but is scarce below 5,000 feet, Deutzia, Lilium giganteum, Uvularia very common, Primula Stuartii, Woodwardia (scarce), Pythonium pallidium, Campanula cana, Panax herbacieae 2 species, Rhododendron agaleoides of ridge above Chupcha, Buddlaea cana, Ranunculus of Taseeling, Benthamia, Anemona ranunculacea, Buxus, Delphinum sp.? common, Gaultheria nummularifolia, Jasminum lutium, Conaria. This ascent was about 500 feet. Long-tailed pie seen here, red- billed shrikelet, first met with towards Tumashoo, common now as far down as 4,500 feet.
On passing the temple, or rather before coming to it, we changed the vegetation which became of the ordinary dry character. Woods of Q. ferruginea mixed with Pinus pendula, Benthamia, Pteris aquilina, Viburnum caerulescens, Conaria, Polygonum of Teemboo, Rhododendron minus, Gaultheria arborea.
The remainder of the march consisted of a series of winding round spurs: at about an average elevation of 6,000 feet found a Pythonium foliis pedalis, spad. apice filiformo recurvo, vel erecto, spathe viridi, Didymocarpea odora contuso terebinthaceo, Solanum nigrum, Succulent urticeae, Scabiosa of Bulphai, Gnaphalium, Polygonum globiferum, Scirpus eriophorus, Hippocratia angulata, Mitella, in damp spots, Cycnium, but rare, Sarcococea, Impatiens two species, one at 6,500 feet, with a creeping plant, foliis ranunculaceis floribus solitariis hypocrateriform albis. No Buxus or Delphinum was observed, in any other glens than the first crossed. Alnus became common soon, the pines disappeared, Osmundia common, Primula rotundifolia, Paris polyphylla, Bletia as of Churra at Punukha, Sphaeropteris.
In some places Rhododendron minus common, and with it Quercus ferruginea, Rubia hirsuta, not uncommon throughout as far as 15,000 feet, Thalictroides majus, Houttuynia, Betula.
In glades, Smilax gaultherifolia, in a wood round the marsh a Pomaceous tree: on the march, Swertia, Peloria, Carex stricta, and of Chupcha, Spiranthes rubriflora, Berberis pinnata, Saxifraga of Bulphai occur here.
Still further on, the forest assumed the appearance of those towards Khegumpa. Q. robur, recommences, cedars straggle down; Pinus pendula, more common, Arenariae sp., Lomaria of Khegumpa, Hottoneoides ranunculofolia common, Luzula, Sedi sp., Sambucus common throughout in shady spots, Radsurae sp., Daphne papyracea, rare, Acer sterculiacea common, Sabia, Hydrangeacea calyptrata, Hamiltonia, this last common to 4,500 feet.
On wet rocks Hutchinsia, Arenaria, succulent Urticea. In woods Cucurbitacea cessifolia, Ajugae sp., Polygonum rheoides. On open spots, Benthamium in flower, Gaultheria arborea, here of large size, pines cease without changing the elevation, Q. ferruginea ceased, this is limited to dry spots.
The first change indicated by the appearance of Laurineae, and Symplocos among oaks and chesnuts. The woods continued thick for some time, but on commencing the descent, which is gradual, especially at first, Q. robur is common, Gaultheria arborea, Rhododendron minus.
At 5,500 feet Hottonia, Rubia hirsuta, Hydrangeacea calyptrata, Phytolacea, also at 6,500 feet, and as low as 4,000 feet, Senecio scandens, Verbenacea of Dgin appears, Uvularia, Duchesnia, Polygonum rheoides.
Umbellifera gigantea, Potentilla supina appear, Pythonium recurvum, Rhus, Dipsacus of Churra, Alnus, Pomacea macrophylla, Stauntonia angustifolia, Photinea parviflora, Benthamea disappears, in flower at least, Didymocarpea, Rhamnus, and also at 5,000 feet, Fragaria vesca, in fruit! Paris, Curculigo pygmaea appears, Sedum continues and ceases at 4,500 feet, Ranunculus of Taseeling found also as low as 3,600 feet, Daphne nutans appears. This found first near Taseeling, found as low as 4,000 feet, Primula Stuartii, Rhododendron minus, Viburnum caerulescens continue, Thibaudia myrtifolia, Rubus deltoideus appears.
At 4,500 feet, a Malvaceae Sidoides, Erythrina, Rosa fragrans, Pythonium sp. majus, spadicis apice filiformi 2-pedali, Incerta of Taseeling, Ribesioides, Quercus ferruginoides, Indigofera major, Berberis obovata, in fruit.
At 4,400 feet, Cuscuta, Hamiltonia, Hottoneoides, Daphne pendula vel nutans, Impatiens, Mimosa, Menispermum tropaeolifolia, Celastrinia sp., Panax crucifolia, Hypericum japonicum.
At 4,300 feet, Conyza nivea, Q. robur, Indigofera major, of Tassgoung, etc. Gaultheria arborea, Hedychium appears! Buddlaea of Nulka, Maesa salicifolia!
At 4,200 feet, Thibaudia lanceolata appears, ranges between 4,200 and 2,000 feet, Sanicula, Cynoglossum, Zyziphi sp.
Along the bed of the river, Zizyphus arborea, Urtica, foliis apicae erosis, Berberis obovata, Erythrina, Artemisia major, Elaeagnus fragrans, and Stellaria cana, occur, the last ranges between 3 and 6,000 feet, Thlaspi, Polygonum globifera, Dendrobium pictum, Verbenacea of Dgin, Clematis, petiolis basi connatis demum induratus majus, Magnolia, Randia of Punukha, Liriodendron tulipif., Apocynum nerufolium.
At Chuka, Ficus elastica, but not flourishing, Musa, Salix pendula, Phytolacea, Buckwheat, Crucifera cordifructus, Sanicula, Stellaria cana, Thibaudia lanceolata, Cynoglossum, Vandea, Parkioides common.
The most limited plants are Iris, Silene, Aristolochia tetrarima vix infra 6,000 feet, Buxus, Delphinioid, Fraxinus non infra 6,000 feet, Epipactis ditto, Hutchinsia, Lomaria of Khegumpa, Mitella, Carex stricta of Chupcha, Petunia, Smilax gaultherifolia, Osmundia non infra 5,500 feet, Hydrangeacea ditto, Cucurbitacea cissifolia, found about Suddiya, etc.
The most diffused, Hottonia, Q. robur, Gaultheria arborea, 5 to 3,500 feet, Corydalis.
The subtropical forms, Mimosa, Impatiens, occurrence of fleshy Urticea, Ficus elastica, but not flourishing, Musa, Salix pendula, Buckwheat, Urtica urens, peaches, Stellaria cana, Crucifera cordifructus, Panax curcifolia, Andropogon arbusculoid, Rubia cordata.
May 16th.—The fort of Chuka not being whitewashed, is not conspicuous: its situation is strong, and against Bhooteas would be impregnable. It occupies a low hill arising from the centre of the valley, one side of which is washed by the Teemboo or Tchien-chiw. The room we were lodged in was a good one. The village is a mean one, and consisting of three or four houses.
We crossed the river by a suspension bridge much inferior to that of Benka, and then rose gradually and inconsiderably, following the Teemboo. To this we subsequently descended by a most precipitous road built for the most part on the face of a huge cliff: we reached the Teemboo at its junction with a small torrent; the tongue of land here was strewn with huge rocks, and bore evidences of the power of the torrents, for it evidently had been once a hill, such as that we had just descended. Thence we continued ascending, following the river, from which however we soon diverged to our right, but not far. The road was rugged beyond description. As we approached Murichom, it improved somewhat, but was still very bad. We reached this place which is visible for some distance at 5 P.M.; the march being one of eighteen miles. No villages occurred en route. The hills were densely wooded to the summits and much lowered in height than those to which we had been accustomed. Passed two waterfalls, one less high, but more voluminous than the other, is the Minzapeeza of Turner; both these occurred on the left bank of the river. Minzapeeza, is a fall of great height, but the body of water is small.
The vegetation to-day partook much of the subtropical character, almost all boreal plants being left behind. We ascended and descended between 3,000 to 4,500 feet near Chuka, Parkioides, Mimosa arborea! and M. frutex. Magnolia! Rubia munjista, Impatiens! Cucurbitacea!
Oxyspora latifolia! Rosa fragrans, Incerta ribesioides, Piper! Urtica heterophylla! Wendlandia! Phytolacea, Daphne nutans, Rottleria! Curculigo orchediflora, Acer, Eurya pubescens, Rhus, Alnus! Adamia, Gordonia! Q. robur reappears at a lower elevation than before seen: Dipterocarpioides arbor vasta trunco ramoso! Smilax auriculata! Pothos pinnatifid! Briedlia oblonga! Corydalis, Dipsacus, Acanthaceae common, Rubiaceae of a tropical character, such as Ophiorhizae; Celastrus! Pythonium majus, Tetranthera macrophylla! Quercus coriacea! Gaultheria arborea scarce, Deutzia on the descent to the Teemboo, Macrocapnos, Sterculia platanifolia, Melica latifolia! Arundo! Achyranthes densa! Labiata spinosa of Khegumpa or Phlomis, Labiata, Quercoides. The rocks on the river side are covered with Epiphytical Orchideae; Saurauja sterculifolia, Pythonium pallidum, Elaeagnus fragrans.
Along the banks of the Teemboo, Pandanus! Rhododendron azaleoides, R. pulchrum, Lyellia, Begonia picta, Composita arborea! Ficus! on ascent above its banks, Dioscorea! Elaeocarpus! Acrosticum atratum! Convallarium oppositifolia, Thibaudia loranthiflora! Pogostemon of Dgin! Leea! The only northern plant a species of Viola; Otochilus linearis! Entada! Kydia! Mussaenda! Macrocapnos altera of Yen, Callicarpa arborea! Panax aculeato palmiformis supra decompositae of Dgin! Solanum farinacium! Urena lobata! Marlea, Panicum plicatum! Before ascending to Murichom we made two descents to two streams, crossed by common wooden bridges: that nearer Murichom being the largest; elevation at 2,500 feet. Here tree- fern; Pythonium majus, Duchesnia, Lysimacha, Begonia of Punukha! Caryophyllea scandens, Urtica gigas! Modeceoides exembryonata! Commelina! Combretum sp.! Baehmeriae! Piper spica caudata pendula and another species!! Euphorbia! Galina of Panga, Croton malvifolius! Bambusa major! Bauhinia! Engeldhaardtii!
Although we subsequently ascended 1500 feet, very little change occurred: no re-appearance of tropical forms, Sterculiacea novum of Moosmai, Adamia, Volkameria! serrata, Triumfetta mollis! Briedlia ovalis of Chilleeri! Gortnera! Corydalis! Hydrangeacae! Melastoma malabathrica!
The march was very tiresome, some of the ranges passed were high and well clothed with firs. Those marked thus* are subtropical or tropical, and one glance will show their predominance: only Corydalis straggles down. The woods were in many places damp, in others dry: it was obvious that less rain had fallen between Chupcha and Chuka, than in other situations: a large proportion of Laurineae and Acanthaceae appeared in the woods, with Gordonia: the oaks and chesnuts when they did present themselves bore a tropical form, pointed out by their coriaceous undivided or merely serrated leaves. I certainly never saw such a predominance of tropical forms, at such an elevation as 3,500 or 4,000 feet.
For Lyellia I had been hunting for three years, but never thought of looking for it at low elevations; as it was I believe given out to be a native of high places. Of birds, Bucco, Picus intermedius, green pigeon, azure shrikelet, occurred.
May 17th.—Murichom is a small village of eight or nine thatched houses, it is well and prettily situated: about it maize and wheat are in cultivation, Ficus, Hoya, Dendrobium, Croton malvaefolius, Meliacea, Cedrela Toona, orange, Verbesina, Datura, Artemisia major, Echites, in fact it would be difficult to point out an elevational plant. The same remark applies to the march to Gygoogoo, distant twelve miles, and situated 500 feet below the road, but still it is about the same level as Murichom. The march commenced with a steep descent, followed by a steeper ascent, then winding along, in and out, at an average elevation of 5,000 feet. The road was very bad, rocky and rugged as usual, P. and B. passed the village, and pushed on to Buxa, a distance of twenty miles, which place they reached at 7 P.M. At Murichom, Ficus cordata, fructibus pyriformibus, Clerodendron infortunata, Adamia, Spilanthes, Melastoma malabathrica, Bignonia, Pentaptera. The Oollook or Simia Hylobates, of Upper Assam.
Scarcely any thing worth noticing occurred; the vegetation being precisely the same. No oaks or chesnuts, at least comparatively few: Elaeocarpus, Rhus, Gordonia are the most common trees; Pythonium common, Hoya rotundifolia. Gygoogoo, a small village of two or three houses, was passed.
May 18th.—Marched to Buxa, ascending from Gygoogoo over a wretched rocky road, winding in and out. No water was to be had until we reached a ridge from which to Buxa is one continued descent. This ridge is between 5 and 6,000 feet, and yet there is scarcely a change in the vegetation. Pythonium abounded, especially P. majus, which literally occurred in profusion. The trees towards the top of the ridge were covered with moss, but all appeared subtropical; a few chesnuts, E. spinosissima occurred, Bambusa nodosis, verticillatis, and spinosis.
En route thither, Pholidota imbricata, Thib. loranthiflora, Aralia terebinthacea, Rottleria foliis peltatis, Ranunculus of Taseeling, Meniscum majus, Byttneria ferox, Caladium foliis medio discoloratis saepius atratis, Gnetum, Ixora, Choulmoogra, Phlogacanthi sp., Corisanthes of Sudya, Acer platanifolia, Croton foliis oblongis irregularis dentato-lobatis occurred before, between 2,500 to 3,500 feet, Calamus, wild plantains as before, Gordonia, Rhus, Mimosa, Rottleria, Wallichia, Sida cuneata, Tradescantia cordata, AEschynanthus fulgens, et altera, Tupistra, Lobelia baccifera, Costus, tree-fern, as high as 5,000 feet, Bambusa fasciculata; of birds, the large Bucco.
At 5,000 feet, Thibaudia serrata, and on this side, as low as 2,500 feet, myrtifolia, Gordonia, Pythonium majus and medium, cinnamon, Piper, Acer platanifolia, Mucuna, Angiopteris, Saurauja ferruginea.
At 5,300 feet, Polygonia pinnatifolia, Hookeria macrophylla, Aralia scandens, etc. as before.
On descent nothing remarkable, except steepness: same vegetation. Pythonium majus not below 3,000 feet, Guttiferae at 3,000 feet, Acanthaceae, Carduaceus 2,800 feet.
At 2,500 feet, Buchanania undulata, Hyalostemma undulatum, Roydsia.
What can be the cause of this tropical elevation at such altitudes? Buxa is hot enough for any tropical plants, as jacks, mangoes, Cactus, etc. are found in fine order. It is not attributable to a gradual rise, as the ascent from this to 5,500 feet, is excessively steep. It must be owing to local causes modifying the climate: at 5,000 feet on the Dgin route, there are many elevational plants, indeed more than of subtropical.
It must not be forgotten that no Pinus longifolia exists on this route after leaving Telagoung.
Buxa is a rather pretty place, but as usual poor: the Doompa's house is the only decent one in the place, the others, amounting to eight or ten, are common huts. The big house occupies an elevation in the centre of the pass, being cut off from the neighbouring hill on either side by a ravine, one of which is now quite dry, the other affords a scanty supply of water. The hills are covered with jungle, the only clearing being about Buxa, and this, except the flat summit of the hill, is overrun with bushes, Capparis modecea, Croton malvaefolia, Menisperma tropaeolifolia. Bergerae 2 species, Ixora, Brucea same as of the plains, Atriplex, Tournefortia of plains, Maesa macrophylla, Mimosa scandens, Ficus elastica in good order, jacks, mangoes, oranges, plantains, Tabernamontana, Calamus, Cedrela Toona, are found.
Black pheasants, Bulbuls, Drongoles, Oorooa, Bucco, green pigeons. Long- tailed blue-crested shrike, etc. are found here. The Doompa, or Chong Soobah, is a man of no rank, and the place itself is of no importance, except as the pass or entrance between the mountains of Bootan and the plains of Bengal.
The descent from Buxa is gradual at first and not unpicturesque: after passing a small chokey about half a mile from Buxa, sandstone of a coarse nature commences. The descent is very steep, and continues so until within a short distance of a place called Minagoung, at which the bullocks are unladen at least of heavy baggage. The remaining descent is very gradual, and continues so for several miles. The march throughout and until the level of the plains is reached, was through tree jungle. The underwood being either scanty or consisting of grass.
On reaching the plains, the usual Assamese features presented themselves, viz. vast expanses of grass, intersected here and there with strips of jungle. Reached Chichacootta about 3 P.M.: distance eighteen miles, of which about fifteen were over either level or very gradually sloping ground. No villages occurred, and only one path struck off from the Buxa one. We passed two or three halting places.
The vegetation throughout was subtropical. At the same elevation as Buxa, noticed Cassia lanceolata, Torenia the common Leucas, Bheir, Solanum quercifolia, Banyan, Alstonia, Styrax, Caryota, Elephantopus, Osbeckia linearis, Herminioides, Wedelia scandens.
At 1,500 feet, Celastrus guttiferoid, Malvacea digyna, of which I found flowers on the path, Koempfera terminal, Antidesma, Anthericum, Echites arborea, Careya, Mimosa scandens, Pavetta, Rubiacea alia, Lepidostachys, Lagerstroemia grandiflora, Leea crispa, Costus, Thunbergia grandiflora, Gordonia, Commelina, Phyllanthus, Briedlia, Dioscorea, Cassia fistula.
As we approached a lower level, the same plants continued: a Dillenia very common, Urena lobata, Hedera terebenthacea: the root is in some cases like figs, Spathodea, Nauclea, Sterculia carnosa, foliis palmatis, Dalbergia, Panax, Semecarpus, Rhaphis trivialis, Cymbid. alvifolium, Sarcanthus guttatus common, Apocynea fauce, 10-glandulata, Ixora, etc.
Saul was not common, nor did I see one tree of any size; it commenced about the margin of the Toorai.
Among the grasses forming the underwood of the Toorai and the grassy masses clothing the plains, Sacchara were the most common and the most conspicuous: next to these a species of Rottboellia. Sciurus Bengmoria occurred, Hemarthria, Greweia edulis, Leea crispa, Crinum in the Toorai, Viburnum of Sudya, Millingtonia pinnata, Volkameria serrata, Labiata Sudyensis, Mussaenda erecta, humilis, Cinchona, Premna herbacea, Phoenix pumila.
Arrived at Chichacootta, a small village, situated in an open grassy plain, miserably stockaded; and lodged in a good well elevated house. The following day started and reached Cooch Behar territory, after crossing a considerable but fordable stream. The contrast between the desolate territories of Bootan, and the sheet of cultivation presented by Cooch Behar was striking.
The same contrast continued until we reached the Company's territories, and its less cultivated portions along the bed of the Brahmapootra. The only plant worth notice on the route, was a species of Swertia; the vegetation being almost precisely the same as in Upper Assam.
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Journey with the Army of the Indus. From Loodianah to Candahar through the Bolan Pass.
I reached Loodianah on the 10th December 1838, after a dawk journey of fourteen and a half days. After passing the Rajemahal Hills, the country presents an uniform aspect, but becoming more sandy as one proceeds to the northward. The hills alluded to, form a low range, the only one of any height being that called Pursunath. They are well wooded, the under- vegetation being grassy. Undulating ground bare of trees, but provided with shrubs, is passed before coming on the wooded tracts, the vegetation of these present much similarity with that of even 31 degrees N. The Dhak, Pommereulla, Zizzyphus, occurring. The Mahooa occurs in abundance on the hills, but does not reach much beyond Cawnpore. The country from the hills upwards, is almost entirely cultivated; very few trees occurring, and those that do, are almost entirely mango. The Borassus does not extend in abundance much beyond Benares, but the Khujoor is found everywhere in sandy soil.
Loodianah is situated about five miles south of the Sutledge, in the midst of a sandy country, very bare of trees. The fort and Capt. Wade's house are situated on a rising ground, at the base of which runs a nullah, a tributary of the Sutledge. There is much cultivation about the place, chiefly of grain, barley and wheat, bajerow, cotton, the latter bad, but there is much land uncultivated. The surface is often flat and somewhat broken; in such places there is much of a low prickly Bheir, much used for making fences. This and Dhak jungle, which occurs in strips, form two marked features, the Dhak occurs in patches. The grasses, which occasionally form patches, are Andropogoneous; Anathericum, Pommereulla, and Eleusine occur.
Sugar-cane occurs; it is cultivated in thick masses, it is poor, and always fenced with the Bheir.
The most common trees are the mango, Parkinsonia, Babool, Acacia altera babooloides, a Leguminous Mimosoid tree, Tamarisk, a middling sized tree and very pretty, Ficus.
The hedges about the cantonments, etc. are formed by prickly pear; much Ricinus occurs in waste places, and it appears to me to be different from that to the south.
The most varied vegetation occurs along the nullah, but consists entirely of aquatic or sub-aquatic plants; among these the most common are two or three Scirpi, particularly a large rush-like one, a large Sparganium, a very narrow leaved Typha, Hydrocharis! a pointed leaved Villarsia, Potomogetons three or four, one only natant; Chara, Naias, Ceratophyllum, Ulva, Valisneria, Marsilea, Herpestes, Jussieua repens, Fumaria common in fields.
The town is a large bustling place: the houses low and regular, and of a somewhat picturesque style, built of brick, the streets are wide and regular, having been laid out by our officers. There is a good deal of trade, and the place is filled with Cashmereans, who may be seen working their peculiar shawls, and producing very beautiful dyes.
January 22nd and 23rd.—Violent south-east winds during the day; abating at night.
February 4th.—Arrived at Hurreekee, having halted on the previous day at Mokhoo, a small village, with the usual style of mud fort. The marches were as follows: from Loodianah to Ghosepoora is eight miles; to Boondree, eight miles; Tiraia, ten miles; to Durrumkote, ten miles; to Futtygurh, ten miles; to Hurreekee, ten miles. Thus Hurreekee is at least eighteen miles from Durrumkote, although we had been told it was only five. The country near Loodianah, and, perhaps as far as Durrumkote, is occasionally very sandy, but beyond that it is easily traversed by hackeries. Being much less cultivated and overrun with grasses, among which Andropogons are the most numerous and conspicuous, these grasses are either coarse and stout or wiry and fine, should afford excellent cover for game, which however, does not seem to be very abundant. Very few trees are visible in any direction, and although neither very much cultivation nor many villages are visible, it would appear from charts that the country is very populous. The most interesting plant was a species of Fagonia.
Durrumkote is the largest of the villages we passed, and has a respectable looking mud and brick fort. Inside the village is filthy; the houses wretchedly small, and the streets very narrow. It is much the same sort of village as other Seikh ones. In the bazars cocoanuts were noticed. All the Seikhs eat opium, and very often in a particular way by infusing the poppy-heads, from which the seeds have been extracted by a hole in the side; great numbers of these are found in the bazars.
Hurreekee is on Runjeet's side. I crossed the Sutledge, which is between 400 to 500 yards broad with a sufficiently rapid stream, by a bridge of boats built by the Seikhs, under the superintendence of Mr. Roobalee. It contained 65 boats, placed alternately up and down the river; the boats were moored to posts: over them were placed, both lengthwise and across, timbers, then grass, then soil; many elephants passed over, until it gave in, but was quickly repaired, and since many more hundreds of camels, horses, and thousands of people have passed. The right bank is thirty feet high, the left low and sandy. The country where uncultivated, is clothed with grasses, and the only trees visible are perhaps the Pipul; the Jhow occurs but not the Parhass; a few Bukeens are visible, Ricinus, Salvadora, which is occasionally a climber, especially at Tiraia. The river rose suddenly on the night of the 6th and carried away the bridge. The Himalayas had been seen very distinctly throughout the day, so that the rain must have been local: the height of the rise was three feet.
We left Hurreekee on the 8th at 10 A.M., the river up to this time (9th) presents the same monotonous appearance—sandy banks clothed with grasses, intermixed with Jhow here and there, and occasionally AEschynomene, and Typha. Very few villages have been passed, nor does the rare occurrence of topes indicate that there are many near it. The channel has been throughout much subdivided, and flats are of frequent occurrence. Yesterday we passed two busy ferries, at which two or three boats were unceasingly employed, and there was an obvious demand for more. Black partridges were heard frequently, black-bellied tern, herons, cormorants, etc. The stream averages three miles an hour. Parkinsonia was seen near Hurreekee. Reached Ferozepore at 12.5 on the 9th; it is a very busy ghat, more so than that of Hurreekee: two large godowns were passed on the Company's side. The river is wider by 100 yards than at Hurreekee.
10th.—Reached Mamdot at 9.5 A.M. The fort appears of good size, with high walls: it is about half a mile from the river. The country continues the same. Some wheat cultivation, in which Fumaria, Anagallis, Medicago are abundant; Calotropis Hamiltonii common; some grapes; doob grass wherever there is or has been cultivation. The only trees I see are Babooloid, but not the true Babool, which has very odorous flowers, and is always an arbuscula, a shrubby Bheir, spina una erecta, altera recurvo also occurs; among the fields, Lathyrus, Aphaca, and a Compositae which has the leaves of a thistle, are common.
Halted at Buggeekee, which is, I imagine, the Pajarkee of Tassin's Map.
11th.—Continued passing down, breakfasting at Attaree: few signs of villages, but a good deal of cultivation. Persian wheels not unfrequently employed in raising water from the river: a short channel having first been cut in the bank, and the banks, when loose, propped up. Wheat, radishes, etc. Grasses appear to be much less common, while the Jhow is increasing much. The river is much subdivided, and the actual banks are scarcely discernible owing to the want of trees. The soil and current remain the same: no impediments have been met with by our boats, nor have I yet observed any to tracking, the grass jungle being easily overcome, and very unlike that of the Brahmapootra, and the Jhow not reaching that height necessary to make it troublesome. The Nawab of Mamdot visited the Envoy today, accompanied by a small party of horsemen. Only two alligators have been seen thus far: no game even to be heard, and but few living creatures visible.
12th.—The river becomes even less interesting than before; the channel is occasionally much narrowed by sands, over one of which we found yesterday evening some difficulty in passing; it is much more spread out and subdivided, and from this circumstance, will occasion difficulty in tracking up. The banks are low and generally within reach of inundation: scarcely a village is to be seen; and Jhow is the most uniform feature. Yesterday evening saltpetre was visible in abundance on some of the higher banks, and on these Phulahi, Jhow, a Composita, and Salsola? or Chenopodium were observed. Since the 10th, the few boats seen are of different structure from those to which we had been accustomed; they are flat, less wide, and much better fastened together, elevated at both ends; they are propelled as well as guided by the rudder, which is curved, so as to bring it within reach of the helmsman, who is on a level with the bottom of the boat. Very little cultivation: Tassin's Map of but little use, as few of the names are recognised by the boatmen or villagers.
Paukputtea was passed to-day; it is the shrine of a fakeer, and one in great repute, as passing through a particular gate is supposed to authorize one to claim admittance into Paradise. The Moulavee consequently has proceeded there in full faith and extravagant joy: with natives of the east such absurdities are to the full as much believed by the educated as by the uneducated; indeed the former are much the more bigoted of the two. The fakeer alluded to, not only lived for years on a block of wood carved into the likeness of a loaf, but subsequently suspended himself for several years in a well, without even the wooden loaf. He is then said to have disappeared, and is no doubt now enjoying all the pleasures of a Mohammedan paradise. We were detained by strong winds at a small village opposite Paukputtea, which is situated on rather high ground, as far as could be judged from the distance.
13th.—The cultivation round this village consists of wheat, radishes, a sort of mustard cultivated for its oily seeds, and the Mehta of Hindoostan. Among the fields I picked up a Melilotus, a Melilotoid, and a genuine Medicago, which is also found at Loodianah, both these last are wild, and their occurrence is as curious as it is interesting; the latter being a decidedly boreal form. In connection with these annuals I have to observe, that most flower about January or February, at which time the mornings and nights are the coldest: also observed Lathyrus cultivated, a Chenopodium was also found, Calotropis, a large Saccharoid, Amaranthaceae, were the most common plants, Gnaphalium, Lippia; Purwas, occurs scantily.
14th.—Detained till 12 P.M. by bad weather. Sissoo not uncommon but small, Babool, the true sweet scented sort. The Colocynth seen in fruit much like an apple, not ribbed; it has the usual structure of the order, viz. 3-carpellary with revolute placentae, so much so, that they are placed near the circumference; seeds very numerous, surrounded with pulp, not arillate: no separation taking place; oval, brown, smooth. In fields here, a wild strong smelling Umbellifera occurs, called Dhunnea, used as a potherb, and esteemed very fragrant by the natives. Besides the absence of an arillus, there is another anomaly about the above Colycynth, which is, that between each placenta a broad partition projects from the wall of the fruit, usually provided with 3-septa, so as to be divided into two chambers, these contain seeds, the funiculi passing completely through them; seeds are also contained between the outermost septa and the placentae themselves.
Passed two or three villages. The Persian wheels continue in vogue; their site is always on a sufficiently high and tenacious bank. I observed some wells, communicating with the river by an archway in the bank. Most of the cattle are blinded by the conical blinkers or hoods over the eyes.
15th.—Halted at a village partly washed away, surrounded by a good deal of wheat and radish cultivation. The mango tree and Moringa also occur here with the larger Babool, which invariably has long white thorns. The small Sissoo still occurs. Snake bird seen, black crowned tern.
The river remains most uninteresting; the banks are low and covered chiefly with Jhow. In many places recent shells are very abundant, but do not appear to be composed of more than three species. Reseda, Oligandra in fields.
16th.—No change in the country. Heavy fog yesterday morning; to-day strongish north-east winds. Grass and Jhow about equal.
17th.—Cloudy, drizzling, raw weather; river more sluggish; more villages and more cultivation: Phascum, and Gymnostomum common on tenacious sand banks.
18th.—Weather unsettled; windy and rainy. Jhow and grass jungle continue, Tamarisk, Furas fine specimens, Fumaria continues in fields, Capparis aphylla, which has something of a Cactoid habit, and whose branches abound with stomata, Reseda.
19th.—Weather finer but still cloudy, north-east wind still prevalent, and impeding our progress in some of the reaches very much. Salvadora, Capparis aphylla, Phulahi, Bheir, large Babool, Furas, Ranunculus sceleratus: Jhow and grass jungle are the prevailing features. Current much the same, only occasionally sluggish. Pelicans, black-headed adjutants, (Ardea capita,) wild geese, ducks very numerous in the jheels formed by alteration in the course of the river; the country is more cultivated, but as dreary looking as imaginable. Phoenix becoming more frequent and finer, P. acaulis? likewise occurs occasionally, rather young Khujoors. We passed Khyrpore about 3 P.M., it seems a straggling place, stretching along the bank of the Sutledge; there are a great many Khujoor trees about it, and indeed about all the villages near it. A little below this large tract, the banks were covered with a thick Sofaida shrubby jungle, which looked at a distance like dwarf Sissoo. The country is much improved, and there is a great deal of cultivation, especially on the left bank.
20th.—Continued—the river is very winding, and its banks present the same features: the immediate ones being covered with short Jhow or grass, or both intermixed, the extreme ones well wooded, and well peopled. Khujoor very common. Yesterday near Khanpore, caught a glimpse of the descent, and to-day again the ground appears uneven, and almost entirely barren. It must be within a mile of the Sutledge. The left bank continues well cultivated. In some of the fields I noticed Medicago vera, Anagallis, Fumaria, Chenopodium cnicoideus, Prenanthoid, the Furas, larger Babool, and Calotropis Hamiltonii continue. Radishes very common, as also Teera Meera.
21st.—Halted about 8 coss from Bahawulpore. The Khan's son, a boy of 8 years, came to see Mr. Macnaghten, and saluted him with "good night," he was attended by about twelve indifferent pony suwars, or horsemen. The river is very tortuous, both banks a good deal cultivated; there appear to be a good many canals, which have high banks owing to the excavated soil being piled up: they are 8 or 10 feet deep, and about 20 feet wide, at this season they are nearly dry, becoming filled during the rains. The same plants continue—Furas, Jhow, Chenopodia 2, Reseda, Linaria, Malva, Boraginea, Lactucoidea. The wheat throughout these countries is sown broadcast. Irrigation is effected by means of small ditches, and squares formed in the fields—each partition being banked in, so as to prevent communication; when one is filled, the water is allowed to pass off into its neighbour, and so on. Irrigation is entirely effected by Persian wheels; the cattle are hoodwinked in order to keep them quiet: besides from not seeing, they are led to imagine that the driver is always at his post, which is immediately behind the oxen and on the curved flat timber which puts the whole apparatus in motion. Saw a man cross the river by means of a mushuk or inflated skin. The very common bushy plant with thorns and ligulate leaves which commences to appear about Hazaribagh and continues in abundance throughout the sandy north-west, is, judging from its fruit, which is a moniliform legume—a Papilionacea; the fruit are borne by the short spine-terminated branches: the stalk of the pod is surrounded for the most part by a cupuliform membranous calyx. I have only seen however withered specimens. Reached Bahawul ghat at 1 P.M. The Khan visited Mr. Macnaghten in the afternoon, his visit was preceded by one from his Hindoo minister, and another man, Imaam Shah, who is a very fat ruffianly- looking fellow. The Khan was attended by numerous suwarries; he is a portly looking, middle-aged man.
22nd.—We returned the visit to-day, the Khan having provided us with one horse and two bullock rhuts: we traversed the sandy bank of the river for about a mile before we reached the town, the suburbs of which are extensive, but very straggling, and thinly peopled. The inner town seemed to be of some extent, the streets narrow, the houses very poor, and almost entirely of mud; there were a number of shops, and the streets were lined with men and a few old women. There is very little distinction in appearance between the Khan's residence and any other portion of the town, and I did not see a defence of any kind. The Khan received us on some irregular terraces; near his house, the street leading to the private entrance was lined with his troops, as well as that leading to the terrace, and this was surrounded with his adherents, variously and well-dressed. The troops, for such appeared, were decent, and those forming one side were dressed in white, in imitation of our Sepoys, and the other side were in red and blue, more proprio I imagine: they were armed with muskets; the red ones for the most part having muskets of native workmanship. A royal salute was fired when the meeting took place, which was on the terrace, and as we proceeded up the street, a band made a rude and noisy attempt at 'God save the King.' Having had a private consultation, Mr. Macnaghten withdrew with similar honours, presenting arms, etc. The presents were a handsome native rifle, with a flint lock, and the fabrics of the city, some of which called Kharse, were very creditable.
There are a good many trees about the place, indeed these form the chief mark when seen from the ghat: the principal are mangoes, Khujoors, Moringas, oranges. The natives are rather a fine race, but dirty: some of the women wore the Patani veils, or hoods, with network over the eyes.
Continued down the river; though much delayed by strong south-east winds. The vegetation, etc. continue the same, Potentilla sp. in flower, Phascum very common.
23rd.—Nothing new has occurred: the current is stronger than above Bahawulpore: the channel continues very winding, and sandbanks very frequent. Furas, Salvadora, Phulahi very common. The boats accidentally separated, and we went without dinner in consequence: came into the Pungnud. The mouths of the Chenab seem to be two, both apparently of no great size, yet the Pungnud is a noble river, and although much subdivided by sand banks, is a striking stream, the waters are very muddy, and when agitated by a strong wind become almost reddish. The jungle continues much the same: the Sissoid jungle again occurred to- day, the natives call it Sofaida; it has a very curious habit, and is gemmiferous, the gemmae abounding in gum. Quail, black-grey partridge, hares, continue; a goat-sucker (Caprimulgus,) was seen.
24th.—The boats joined early this morning: we were delayed the whole day by strong north-east winds; the whole country was obscured by the dust.
26th.—The wind abated towards evening, and occurred again in gusts during the night. This morning we came in sight of the southerly portion of the Soliman range, by which name however, these mountains do not appear to be known hereabouts; their distance must be forty miles at least, yet they appear to be of considerable height: the range runs north and south nearly. Wheat is here sown in rows. Khujoor, large Babool, Fagonia, continue, Jhow very common. Towards evening we came to a subdivision of the stream following the smaller one in which the current was very strong; in some places, apparently six knots an hour. We came to for the evening at a village on the limits of the Bahawul territory.
27th.—We came on the Indus early in the morning and stopped opposite Mittunkote until 2 P.M., awaiting the arrival of Mr. Mackeson. The mouths of the Attock river are scarcely more striking than those of the Chenab; neither is the combined river immediately opposite Mittunkote of any great size: certainly the stream we followed was not more than 800 or 900 yards wide, the extreme banks are at a considerable distance; and half a mile below Mittunkote the surface of the water must be one and a half to two miles in breadth; the river is much subdivided by banks, and shallows are frequent, yet some of the reaches are of great extent.
The banks are low and rather bluff, the vegetation continues the same, but Jhow is far the most common plant. Bheir, Babool, and the Seerkee Saccharum continue; the cultivation is the same; Calotropis Hamiltonii. Mittunkote appears, from a distance of two coss, a place of some size, with a somewhat conspicuous dome. Immediately behind it are the Soliman Hills, of no great altitude; and, except at the bases, which are covered with black patches of forest, they appear uniformly brown, otherwise there is nothing to vary the monotony of the scene, scarcely any trees being visible. On stopping for breakfast, a general scene of embracing among the dhandies or boatmen and their friends occurred; women were also embraced in the usual way, but with apparently less tenderness or warmth than the men. The boats tracking up, have masts, but the goon or rope is seized with both hands, a plan far less advantageous than that adopted on the Ganges and Bramahpootra, where the principal tracking is exercised by a bamboo placed over the shoulder, farthest from the goon.
28th.—No change worth noticing. The current continues rapid. The hills visible, running parallel to the river, and ending very gradually. Typha is very common, and in some places Arundo.
29th.—We remain in sight of, and generally continuing in the same direction as the hills, which run out very gradually indeed. Scarcely a tree is to be seen, and very few villages. The country continues to have some vegetation. The Sofaida is now found in flower, it is the Ban of the natives of these parts; the former name indicates in Persian, a tree, said to be wild Poplar, with which this has an obvious affinity. Saccharum Seerkee very common, growing in tufts and covering extensive tracts. Scarcely any cultivation is to be seen along the river, and altogether a very small proportion is rendered available. River very much subdivided: towards evening the sky is obscured to leeward by the smoke arising from burning jungle. Waterfowl are very common along the Indus; especially wild geese, which frequent open streams, whereas ducks, etc. haunt places which only communicate with the main streams during floods: myriads of Bogulas, (the general name for herons,) were seen yesterday in a compact body. The Soliman mountains are by no means rugged, and this only in one or two places, where they become peaked. In Mr. Elphinstone's account of a Journey to Cabul, the limestone said to be found in the desert contains shells; it would be most interesting to compare this with the limestone of Churra more especially. Mr. E. also mentions a wild rue as forming part of the very scanty vegetation of the desert; the chief plants being Kureel, which is a Capparis; Phoke —— and Bheir. Mr. E. also says that the material of which the tope of Manikyalah is built, resembles petrified vegetable matter, an observation to be kept in view. The mottled kingfisher occurs throughout, but is commoner in southern latitudes of India.
Alligators abounded to-day, and it was curious to see them basking in the sun with flocks of herons so close, that at a little distance they appeared to be perching on the backs of the alligators, or rather crocodiles. Again saw a man swim the Indus by means of a mushuk or inflated skin: he swam very rapidly, and with great ease; half his body nearly being out of the water; he reclined on the skin and kept the aperture by which it is inflated in his mouth, carrying his clothes on his head. Passed Chuck about 4.5 P.M. The country appears populous hereabouts.
30th.—We have seen a good many boats today employed in carrying grain to the camp; the smaller ones are not unlike Bengal boats, having a high stern; all on the Indus however have square bows and flat bottoms.
The Jhow has increased in size in some places as has Sofaida, which is occasionally a moderate tree, and it is now more advanced in flowering: the temperature having visibly increased. The river puts on the same features and is much subdivided; the channels by which we have come, are not above 400 to 500 yards in breadth, yet there is often seen to be a waste of low sand banks stretching to a great extent, and the extreme banks are very remote, so as generally not to be visible.
31st.—Arrived at Uzeeypore about 9 A.M. Here we found horses and camels for our conveyance to Shikarpore. Uzeeypore appears to be a well frequented passage of the river, although we did not see any ferry boats. Bukkur is visible from it, apparently occupying a hill almost to the extreme right of a low range running south-west; it is seven or eight coss distant. We left for Shikarpore about 2.5 P.M. and reached about 7 P.M.: the distance is said to be twenty-four miles; the road is generally very sandy, although the sand is not very deep; the substratum being solid. We passed some cultivation and a few villages, at one of which (Khye) there is a neat sort of fortification; here we changed horses. The jungle throughout consisted of Furas, Tamarisk, Salvadora, Phulahi parva, the prickly Leguminosa, with the habit of Fagonia, Calotropis Hamiltonii, Saccharum.
Shikarpore is not visible until one reaches the clearing around the town; in the twilight it appears to be a very large place.
February 2nd.—We do not proceed to Larkhanu, as daily news from Hyderabad is expected. I see nothing likely to interest me about this place; there is absolutely not a flower to be got any where. The jungles consist of Jhow, small Furas, Rairoo, a small arbusculoid Mimosa, Kureel, and Ukko, Calotropis Hamiltonii; Bheirs shrubby; one of the most abundant plants is the Joussa or prickly Leguminosa, with the habit of Fagonia; some of the saline loving Compositae, No. 51, frutex 2- 3 pedalis, foliis carnosis lanceolato-spathulatis, sessilibus. Corymbis et Cymi axillaribus et terminalibus pauci capitat. Floscules inconspicuis, also occurs. Near the Shah's tents there is a grove of Phulahi, all more or less demolished, and a good many Khujoors. Hares and grey partridges appear common. The changes of temperature are very great; in the mornings and evenings it is cold; in the afternoon the thermometer reaches as high as 82 degrees.
9th.—Shikarpore is getting hotter every day: thermometer ranges from 40 degrees to 85 degrees.
15th.—The heat continued to increase until the 12th; the range of thermometer being from 50 degrees to 95 degrees; the evenings gradually became hotter, and the night although cool, had the peculiar thrilling coolness of tropical nights.
On the 12th, the barometer commenced falling, and has since continued to do so. The visible signs of rain have been confined to cloudy mornings; the fall of the mercury is perhaps connected with the occasional strong northerly winds, which at times, as last night, blow nearly half gales. The range of thermometer is now from 55 degrees to 85 degrees. The change was sudden on the 9th or 10th; the nights were cold, thermometer at 5 A.M. 34 degrees 36'; and the days were only moderately warm. The weather now is pleasant. Shikarpore is disagreeable inter alia from its dust, every thing becoming covered with it.
The suburbs of the city are well wooded, and all such portions are well provided with gardens. The Khujoor is the most common tree, the Moringa, mango, Jamun, Bheir, Neem, Cassia fistula, Sissoo, Peepul, Furas, Phulahi, another Mimosa and Agati, occur; oranges in gardens, and a Pomaceous tree from Cashmere, which appears to thrive very well. The cultivation consists chiefly of wheat, Mahta, mustard, radishes, Soonf, coriander, beet, Bagree.
In these fields Phascum, Plantago, Ispaghula, Singee, Chenopodiaceae 1-2, Salsola lanata, and Boehmeria, may be found; Composita salinaria, stocks and wall-flowers in the gardens.
The vegetation elsewhere is very scanty; consisting of Jhow, Bheir, Furas, Ukko, Joussa, Andropogon Seerkee, Rairoo, Kureel, a low bush called ——, and a Lycium? Boehmeria albida.
The town is miserably defended: the streets are very irregular and very narrow: the houses all of mud, of the usual Scindian form, and completely irregular. The bazaars or arcades, are mere ordinary streets, covered in with timbers, over which tattered mats are placed: in these are situated the Hindoo shops, and in some places darkness is completely visible. These Hindoos have a peculiar elongated Jewish aspect, and are reported to be very wealthy. Grain and cloth are the principal articles in which they deal, and they say the streets are covered in order that the purchaser may buy with his eyes half shut. The city is a large rambling place, and each house deposits its own filth before it. The inhabitants, especially the Hindoo portion, have a peculiar complexion, and by no means a healthy one. No one seems to have deserted the town on account of our approach, neither has fear hitherto prevented them from bringing their merchandise into camp.
The weather has continued cool: yesterday we had a good deal of rain; to- day it is very cloudy. The range of the thermometers from 46 degrees and 48 degrees to 82 degrees outside.
Artificers are not uncommon, as carpenters and blacksmiths, but their tools are miserable: and there is no such thing as a large saw to be seen. Wages are high, and from the slowness with which they work, it is ruinous to employ them.
Left Shikarpore on the 21st and marched to Jargon, 13.5 miles, one of the usual fortified villages of kucha or unburnt brick. Houses surrounded also with Jhow fences. The jungle and country precisely the same as that round Shikarpore, road at first bad, but subsequently good enough: water is to be had very good: at no great depth.
22nd.—To Janidaira, 11.5 miles: road excellent throughout. Country less covered with jungle: features mostly the same: a curious looking plant occurred plentifully, but to a limited extent near Jargon and subsequently, as the country became more sandy, we had abundance of Salicornia, of which camels are excessively fond, otherwise Jhow, Furas, very common, Rairoo, Kureel, Ukko throughout; near Jargon, Elrua very common, Chenopodium cymbifolium throughout.
The soil at first is very fine, finely pulverized, brownish as we proceeded onwards, becoming more and more sandy. Hills of some height, apparently very distant, are seen ahead due north, and to the west. We passed one village to the left, two canals of small size, and some Bagree cultivation. A small ridge with a hillock occurred after passing the village, otherwise all was flat. And about this the jungle was thin, entirely of patches Kureel, Rairoo, and Furas, Peepul.
We had a violent north wind yesterday evening with some rain.
23rd.—To Rogan, distance 11 to 12 miles: country generally flat, presenting here and there sandy undulations, generally bare of vegetation. Salvadora, Jhow, Furas, Kureel, Rairoo, continue; Furas and Rairoo most common; a new Chenopodium and a Salsola, or a plant of the same genus as that met with yesterday, swarming in some places, both species were common in some parts, in others one of the two only occurred. Road generally excellent, level and unbroken. Two small ghurrees or forts occurred, with a large patch of cotton, and still larger of Bagree: a small Sedoid-looking plant with yellow flowers, and one or two other (to me) novelties occurred: Heliotropium, Fagonia, Joussa, Bheir. In those parts in which loose sand had become accumulated, it not only formed banks, but every bush was submerged in it. The fresh sand must be derived from decomposition of the hard level plain by the action of the air: yet there should be a regular gradation in size of the waves; those nearest the windward side of the desert ought to be the smallest. Rock pigeon of Loodianah seen.
There are two ghurrees or forts at the halting place, both small; the water is tolerable. The chief trees are Salvadora and Rairoo.
24th and 25th.—Left in the evening and marched all night through the desert, which commences within two miles of Rogan, and towards which place vegetation gradually becomes more scarce until it disappears entirely. This sandy waste is upwards of twenty miles in extent: in the direction we traversed it, NW. or NNW., it is almost totally deprived of vegetation; one or two plants, such as Salsoloid, being alone observable near its borders. The surface is generally quite flat, in some places cut up by beds of small streams: the surface is firm, and bears marks of inundation: tracks of camels, etc. being indented. We reached Bushore at 5.5 A.M.; the camels performed twenty-six miles in ten hours. We halted for four hours in the centre of the desert and tried to sleep but the cold was too great, striking up as it were from the ground. The camels marched through without halting, and we suffered only one loss amongst them next day. The occurrence of this peculiar desert is unaccountable, especially its almost absolute privation of vegetation; for many other places, equally dry, have their peculiar plants, such as Salsola, Chenopodium, Furas, Rairo, Ukkoo, Kureel.
25th.—Bushore is a miserable place, consisting of the usual mud houses and defences: the adjacent nullah does not invite attention; it is however the only seat of wells, which, as in all this country since leaving Rogan, are of small diameter, from thirty to forty feet deep, and contain very little water, which also is rather brackish and well impregnated with sand. The surrounding country is so barren that it may be called a desert, while the desert itself may be called the desert of deserts. I should mention that this ceases first to the west, in which direction shrubs encroach on it. Phulahi, Evolvulus acanthoides, Tribulus, Kureel, etc. are found about Bushore, but the prevailing plant is Chenopodium cymbifolium.
26th.—Leaving Bushore, we proceeded to Joke, which we reached late, it being nineteen miles: we lost the road however, which is in a direct line only sixteen miles. We soon came on a nullah, or canal, which we followed to Meerpore, a rather large double village, with a nice grove of Furas, situated on the dry river Naree, which is as contemptible in size as deficient in water, this is only procurable by digging wells of thirty feet deep, and even then in small quantity. Before reaching it, we passed several villages, mostly deserted and ruined.
The country is frightfully bare of wood; the chief plant is Chenopodium cymbifolium, and along the canal lemon grass, Kureel, Rairoo, Joussa, Ukko, Bheir, etc.; near Meerpore a Centaurea, and Evolvulus acanthaceus. But along the nullah some wood may be found, stunted though it be, it is chiefly Rairoo. We left Meerpore and proceeded about one and a half mile from Joke, following the nullah until we came on a canal in which, from a bund having been thrown across, there was a puddle or two of water. Here we halted. Much remains of cultivation is presented about this, chiefly Bagree, which is perennial. Durand tells me that the sprouts of the second year are poisonous to cattle, i.e. horses; but this report may have been given out purposely by the natives. Along the river, Jhow and Furas occur, in the naked plains, Chenopodium cymbifolium, Rairoo, and a few Kureel, but they are so naked as to afford little fodder for the camels: there is a little cultivation of mustard, and Taira meera. The hills are about twenty miles off, and appear about 4,000 feet high, they are precipitous, but the outline is not rugged: they appear perfectly barren. Those to the north which run nearly east and west are more distant. No new birds were seen; rock pigeons occur. The soil would be rich if water were abundant: in the Bagree fields it is of a cloddy kind.
Reseda, Euphorbia, Salsola lanata, Chenopodium cymbifolium, Evolvulus, Panicum, and Andropogon occur here. Jowaree sells at twelve seers a rupee, and Khurbee is very dear. A large plain occurs here covered with Gramen Panicum, which is in tufts, and has the appearance of being cultivated.
27th.—Halted at our camp near Joke. The Naree runs one and a half mile to the westward: its bed is fifty yards wide and about ten feet deep; the banks are well clothed with Furas. There is a good deal of Bagree cultivation.
28th.—To Oostadkote, nine and a half miles. The road is not a made one for the latter one-third. Crossed the Naree about two miles from our encampment: the country appeared the same. On arriving near our halting place, green wheat fields, intermixed with much fresh Chenopodium, Gramen Panicum, Reseda were most abundant, Chloroideum, Sinapis, Raphanus cultivated with Taira meera, two Cruciferous plants common, Salsola lanata also occurs. Water abundant in a channel of fifteen yards wide and three feet deep, clear and tasteless. Furas the most common shrub. No grass occurs but the remains of Panicum. Wheat is here sown in drills, in some places the crop is promising. The country is evidently occasionally overflowed, witness the indurated surface and the fissures, which away from the road, renders it bad for camels, being full of holes.
There are several villages visible round our camp, all of the usual miserable description, and there is a good deal of Bagree cultivation. The water does not extend more than a mile; it is eight feet deep, and about twenty yards wide towards the head, where the bund is thrown across.
March 1st.—To Bagh nine and a half miles. The country is quite similar: the chief plants continue to be Chenopodium cymbifolium, Kureel, a Rairoo, Ukko, Joussa, and Salsola robusta, but occur in no great plenty, they and all the face of the country exhibit marks of inundation. Bagh is visible a long way off from its being ornamented with a gamboge, or ochre-wash, otherwise its aspect is poor and muddy. We came on the Naree about three miles from the town, and as it has been bunded, it is full of clearish blue water, to a good depth. We encamped about one and a half mile on the south side of the town. About the head of the bund there is a good deal of wheat cultivation, and some mustard. In these khets Reseda is very abundant, Heliotrope is also common; I picked up a Matthiola and a Pommereulla. The banks of the Naree are clothed with small Furas, which in these parts are always encrusted with saline matter, or, as it would seem, pure salt. Rock pigeons both sorts, Loodianah rats, etc.
Bagh is celebrated for gunpowder; it is a largish, straggling, but poor place, though thickly tenanted. Its latitude is 29 degrees 1' 20", and is placed thirty miles too far south in Tassin's last map. Sugar-candy from Bussorah and cloth, are the principal articles sold.
4th.—Marched sixteen miles to Mysoor: direction at first NNW. and latterly west, close to the Brahorck hills. Water is plentiful in bunds and river, but the country is very very bare, Salicornia robusta uncommon, Plantago canescens, Poa, Cynodon, Ukko is very common, otherwise Kureel is the predominant plant. A good deal of wheat cultivation, every thing depends on water: the wheat along watercourses is luxuriant, but where water is less plentiful, stunted: soil the same, a tenacious sandy clay when wet: fields very free from weeds. Reseda very common, but very small, Heliotropium ditto, Crucifera hispida ditto. Green wheat a maund for a rupee. The road or rather country, is intersected here and there by ravines.
5th.—Halted. The nearest range of hills are six miles off, they have a very peculiar irregular brown appearance. The higher ones also have a similar appearance; these appear quite precipitous, and have in some parts a curious crenated outline. The chief vegetation about this place is Kureel, especially along the river and towards the bund, which last is well filled with water. Kureel, Furas, Ukko, very common, Cynodon, Prenanthoid, Poa minima, Joussa, Fagonia, Saccharum, Nerioid. In the water Scirpus, Cyperaceus, Charae two species, Potomogeton two species, Valisnaria, Typha. On banks, Plantago cana, a curious Sileneacea, a splendid Orobanche, and a Brassicacea.
The birds continue the same: there is abundance of Fulica, swarms of waterfowl, herons, plovers, etc.; starlings re-appear.
Some wheat fields well irrigated; most luxuriant Khujoors, radishes.
6th.—Marched to Nowshera, sixteen miles: five first miles across a plain scantily furnished with Kureel. Sturt tells me the country looks quite a desert to the eastward from one of the hills. Thence we came on the hills, through which and the dividing valleys we proceeded for two miles, thence emerging into a narrow valley in which Nowshera is situated, drained by the river of Mysoor, which is an insignificant running stream.
The hills are very curious, totally bare of vegetation, not more than two or three stunted Chenopodium cymbifolium being seen on or about them. They do not exceed 300 feet in height; their composition is various; they are much worn by rain, and the outline although generally sharp, is often rounded. They present great variety, but chiefly are of a soft clayish looking substance, distinctly enough stratified, the uppermost strata being indurated and often quite smooth, and of a sub-ochreous appearance. The outer ridges on each side of the range slope gradually outwards, and the surface in these slopes is smooth. Inside, or towards the inner part of the range, they are generally precipitous, but beyond the uppermost strata, the exposed face is not indurated, hence this can scarcely arise from exposure to the weather. In these places they look much like sandstone, the fragments at the base of the cliffs are clayey, mixed with brown angular masses, occasionally shingle, and indeed, a low ridge near the north side of the range is chiefly of shingle. The direction is NNE., the angle of inclination of the slopes say 30 degrees. The hills are highest towards the centre, and here some of the strata are curved.
The plain between this and the main range is much broken by ravines caused by rain; it is thinly covered with Kureel, Salsola robusta, Chenopodium, etc. The vegetation along the river is the same as at Mysoor. Durand finds nummulites, but thinks them brought down by the river. The strata or rather debris of slips often intersected by nearly erect projecting lines of a fibrous dyke. There is some wheat cultivation in the fields, a new Plantago, a Ruta, Silenacea, a curious Composita, two Boragineae, Phalaris, Phleum, Avena, two or three Crucifera, Trigonella, and Melilotus are to be found. The vegetation elsewhere is much the same, Rairoo, Kureel, Ukko, Chenopodium, Lycium albidum re-occurs.
7th.—Proceeded to Dadur, a distance of seven and a half miles, nearly north. The country is a good deal cut up by water: within two and a half miles of Dadur we crossed the Naree, a running stream, with small boulders, and high clayey banks. The country improves towards Dadur, topes becoming more frequent. Salsola lanata abundant: a good deal of cultivation occurs along the river.
10th.—Dadur is a good sized, and more orderly looking place than Bagh, and is ornamented with well wooded gardens, among which the Khujoor holds a conspicuous place. An elegant and large Bheir and a Mimosa, are two other trees of the place; it is situated on the left bank of the Bolan river. The bed of this river until the Levee bund was cut, had been dry, but there is now plenty of water in it. It is in some places much choked by bulrushes, etc., it is eighty yards broad, and is shingly. Dadur stands nearly on the end of a good sized plain, surrounded on all sides by hills, of which those traversed to Nowshera, run NNE. and are lowest. The main range is four or five miles off. The greater part of this plain is uncultivated and covered with Rairoo, Kureel, Joussa, Sal. lanata, and Chenopodium; but along the sides of the river, as well as near that crossed en route to this place from Nowshera, there is a highly luxuriant cultivation of wheat, bearded and beardless, and barley. In some places near the town, are rich gardens of sonff, coriander, Mola, cress, onions, carrots, beet, among which a few poppies and Cannabis occur. These, as well as the fields, are protected with loose Bheir fences. There are a few small villages around, all of the same kucha or temporary construction, together with some remains of cotton, which in these parts is perennial.
There are no wild trees to be found, excepting perhaps an elegant species of willow. The vegetation of the fields is highly interesting, consisting of many European forms, similar to those at Nowshera—Avena, Phleum, Polygonium, Zanthoxyloid, Erodium! Anagallis in abundance, Plantago, Pecagee, Cynodon two species, Andropogon, Melilotus, Medicago, Boraginea, Malva, Tetragonolotus, Astragaloides, Sperguloides, Cruciferae.
In the bed of the river Nerium, Paederioides, Crotalaria, etc. of which the former is common every where: Fagonia, Viola found in the bed of the river crossed en route hither, a very curious plant. Antirrhenoid was brought from the hills by Capt. Sanders, singular in the inequality of the calyx and the great development of the posticous sepal.
Altogether this spot is curious in regard to vegetation, for the mean annual temperature must be high, and the winter temperature by no means low enough to account for the appearance presented.
The only novel birds are a jackdaw, with the voice and manners of the red- billed Himalayan species, and which I have only seen at a distance, and a different sort of Pterocles.
11th.—Proceeded to Drubbee, eight miles from Dadur, and about three within the range of hills, the plain towards which is rather elevated, and generally covered with boulders and shingle. The vegetation of this shingly plain is much the same, Chenopodium, Ukko, Salsola, Kureel, Rairoo; the most common shrubby plant, however, is an elegant Mimosa, much like the Babool, with white thorns; Nerium oleander is also very common along cuts.
In some wheat fields I procured Imperata, a new Plantago, and a curious Gnaphalium. The entrance to the pass is gradual; the hills almost entirely bare. I noticed Rairoo, Salvadora, Kureel. The most novel plant is a curious, erect, bushy, thorny Convolvulus, which is one of the most common plants farther in. The pass to Drubbee is wide, say 300 yards; the only obstacle exists in the shingle, which renders the road heavy. No abutments are present, jutting out from the hills, the stream is considerable but easily fordable, and abounds with fish, the Mahaseer, and two or three species of Gonorhynchus. The hills about Drubbee are not more than 500 feet high. They are generally of a coarse breccia, the component parts principally limestone; abundance of nummulites. The chief vegetation of the pass is one or two Andropogoneous grasses, and Apocynum nerioides. There is absolutely no fodder for camels, which however, take readily to grass. Towards the mouth of the pass, Paederia involucrata, Villarsia, Lycioid, Stenophyllum and Ukko are common, but they are rare inside, although the last continues some distance up the hills and attains a large size, becoming quite arboreous. A Crucifera, a rhubarby sorrel, a Goodyera, and one or two grasses, were the only additional novelties met with.
12th.—Marched on eight miles, after five of which we turned to the right, and the pass became and continued narrow, until we reached our halting place, which is something like what we may suppose to be the remains of a mountain, still a good deal elevated above the bed of river. The mountains continued the same in the gorge, until we came to limestone cliffs, which afforded a peculiar vegetation, Linaria retephioides, Linaria alia pusilla foliis 5-gonis cordatis, floribus luteis minutis pubescens, specimen lost, one or two Rubiaceae, a Salvia, several very interesting grasses, among which is a Stipa, a Composita, Santanoides, a curious Capparidea, Cassia, etc. etc.
The hills have increased in height, in many places they were extremely picturesque, split and divided in every direction. The valley running off to south on our entrance into the gorge: river diminished somewhat in size. Jheely spots, with very deep water common, surrounded with thick Andropogon, Typha and Scirpus jungle. Few fish were seen and none taken. Can the Mahaseer not reach this? Gonorhynchus continue, but they never take a fly; Ophiocephalus, Sowlee; turtle caught by bearers, Silurus. No less than twenty-three plants novel to me were gathered on the limestone, which looks as bare as the breccia; all its plants grew in small tufts or singly, and all adhered firmly to the rock. The only tree which continues is Phulahi or Rairoo; Convolvulus spinosus very common, a very curious Chenopodioid, Reseda with Cruciferous qualities.
13th.—Proceeded to Gurmab, eight and a half miles. Country continues the same. The defile after crossing some rather broad water three feet deep, opened out into a rather large valley, near the south end of which Gurmab is situated, and it is ornamented with a good many Rairoo trees, of indifferent size and appearance. No change whatever in the vegetation; Salsola prima occurs sparingly.
14th.—Halted at Gurmab. The hills close to our encampment are of limestone, which is in many places very angular. Oolite found by Durand in a low range, standing by itself in the valley, it generally bears a vast quantity of nummulites and madrepores. A flat discoid organized remain occurs in abundance, and probably belongs to the same group. Ukko, Rairoo, Kureel rare, Convolvulus spinosus, Frankenioides, Stipaceum gramen, Euphorbia, Polygonum rheoides, Salvadora, may be found. Along the water Andropogonoides 2, Typha, Arundo, Juncus, Scirpus juncinus in abundance. In the water, a new Naias, and Conferveae. In a ravine near our camp, I found a Cynoglossum and a curious Periploceous plant, in habit approaching to certain Aphyllous, true Asclepiads.
A few stunted dates are visible near Gurmab, which is three miles from Kirtah, and towards the deep water there is a ruin of a single house. Rairoo, Nerioid, and Lycium albidum are the most common ground plants. There is only Rairoo for camels, who do not thrive on harsh grasses, although compelled by hunger to eat them. Large flocks of Doombah sheep and goats belonging to Khelat men were met with. Mahaseer in abundance, and very greedy after a red hackle of fish, Macrognathus and Opheocephalus occur also. Of birds the white vulture, Alauda cristata et alia, with a notched beak, a partridge which I had not previously seen, Motacilla alia.
15th.—Proceeded to Beebee Nanee, nine and a half miles up the valley in which Gurmab is situated. The road tolerably level and good; boulders not however common. The village of Kuttah, is one mile to the right, consisting of one ruined house; near the exit from the valley a burial ground occurs, having flags, or banners, pointing out the graves, which are covered with heaps of stones. The exit from the valley is by a narrow pass through a low range of angular limestone, thence up another narrow shingly valley or narrowish gorge, and over a small stream of water of ordinary temperature, where we encamped: in the second valley two spots were observed covered with graves. Immense flocks of birds were seen on the range to the west of the valley. In the first valley Paederia involucrata and Salsola prima, are the most common plants. On the limestone hills, Convolvulus spinosus, Frankeniacea, Plantago villosa, and a curious Composita, subacaulis, involucro foliaceo, of which the single specimen has been lost, a few Bheirs.
Encamped in a small valley or pass leading to Khelat, a marked one only a few hundred yards wide. To the west, the hills continue very barren. Gurmab—this takes its name from the warmth of the water, which apparently rises in several sedgy spots; the united waters form a small stream abounding with Mahaseer, Barbus, etc. and falling into another stream, again meets the main river, which runs off to the eastward from the place where it is crossed towards Gurmab. There is no sign of bubbling in the springs, although the water commences to run visibly from within a few yards. The temperature of one did not vary from 76 degrees, which must be about the mean temperature of the place, but the temperature of a deep body of water after the confluence of several springs was 82 degrees, so that some of them must hence be of considerable temperature: the highest examined was 81 degrees.
Of three springs examined—the first of these had a temperature of 82 degrees Fahr.—the second of 77 degrees, these unite to form the streamlet that runs towards the east—the third spring had a temperature of 77 degrees: this is crossed on entering the valley from the south, it runs under a limestone range, and then bends off to the south-east to unite with the main stream. Cyprinus fulgens and C. bimaculatus were found in the 82 degrees spring. From the variation in the temperature of the three, it is obvious that neither represents the mean temperature of the place.
16th.—To Abigoom, eight and a quarter miles, through a similar country up a valley in a NNW. direction; the valley is narrowed towards the middle, and is a plain of considerable inclination, the chief rocks passed are limestones. No fodder for camels, and little enough on the road for horses; the chief vegetation consisting of Nerioides, Paederia involucrata, and small tufts of Kuss-kuss grass; Ruwash is common, Lycium album; Salsola prima are not common, and the Bheir is rare. A new and curious plant looking like Kureel was found, male flowers with large semi-antheriferous bearing disc. Apocynum viminale not uncommon, and not ruined by cattle, Prenanthoid albiflora, Echinopsides, a fine Begonia, B. punicoides, arbuscula; Salvadora also occurred. The inclined valleys are very shingly and bouldery. The mountains as barren as ever.
There is at Beebee Nanee a running streamlet, in which small Mahaseer, Nepuroid, Gonorhynchus and Barbus may be found; also a species of Cancer. We were encamped close to the cliffy termination of a limestone range, in which Linaria, Trichodesma, Cynoglossum, Ruwash, Labiata, and a most singular Telepheoid polygalous looking plant were found. There is some fodder along the water for horses, but for camels scarcely any: we accordingly lose six to ten camels now daily. There was a curious echo from the cliff.
17th.—To-day we halt at Abigoom, which is at the extremity of an inclined plain, and 2,500 feet above the sea; some of the boundary hills are considerably higher, the valley is shingly and bouldery, covered with the usual plants, but more scantily: Nerioid, Paederia involucrata, Lycium albidium, Apocynum viminale.
I went to some wheat cultivation yesterday afternoon about two and a half miles off, in a small valley to the south-east. The wheat was fine, all bearded, most of the Dadur plant occurred in it with some curious novelties, Boraginea, Cynoglossum, Compositae, Cuscuta, and a new Reseda. The Melilotus and red Anchusoid were not found, Plantago, were among the most abundant. A single Furas tree and some Kureel were seen near the wheat. The weather unsettled; cloudy; rain fell at night and early this morning. A cafilah or caravan from Candahar with figs and raisins passed us. Rock pigeon of Loodianah and the small partridge were observed. There is a streamlet here.
18th.—Detained by bad weather, which threatened the whole of yesterday. The river came down during the night, flooded, and upset some of the tents, damaging many things, but not carrying off much. It rained smartly almost the whole night: we moved this morning to rather higher ground, but not so high as to preclude all danger should the river rise again. A dawk man arrived last night, bringing a handful of tulips which he said came from Shal; it is a small species, foliis subtortis undulatis caule 1-flora, flore amplo aureo subodora.
19th.—Advanced to Sirekhugoor, distance nineteen miles, ascent throughout on a considerably inclined plain up the bed of a river, shingly and bouldery; the pass is not much contracted, but a short distance from Abigoom we parted from every thing like valleys. The vegetation continues much the same: Kureel, Salsola prima re-occurred near Abigoom but sparingly, chief vegetation consists of clumps of withered coarse Andropogons, Nerioides, Paederia, and Lycium, but less common than before, while Apocynum viminale, and Convolvulus spinosus have increased. The bed of the streamlet is until near Sirekhugoor, chiefly occupied by a large Arundo just past flowering, in which Typha also occurs sparingly: within 300 feet of the halting place, a solitary Khujoor, and some wheat cultivation occurs, the latter much behind that of Abigoom. In the fields Polygala occurred with a Galium; the most common plant being a Sinapis found at Dadur: some Bheir trees also occur here; a few Compositae, Labiatae, and Cruciferae, similar to those at Abigoom, are also found: the novelties were Peganum which continues throughout the pass, Hyoscyamoid, and one or two Compositae; while in water-courses close to it the first dripping rocks occurred covered with Adiantum and fructiferous mosses, and a curious Primuloid plant out of flower, with a curious Clematis.
The halting place is at the head of the stream, which gushes copiously out of a rock; the bed of the river or defile is 100 yards wide: the mountains immediately adjoining not exceeding 1,000 feet in height, but the second range is much higher, that to our north being plentifully sprinkled with snow. These mountains are barren, chiefly covered with Convolvulus spinosus, which has a different aspect, with a Sytisoid, handsome silvery shrub, a species of Caragana and Apocynum viminale: about the spring and in other places there are thick patches of a very dwarf palm, and a solitary fig tree, a Lycium album continues: the bed occupied by tufts of coarse Andropogons and Apocynum viminale; about the spring Adiantum, a small Boraginia, white flowered small Compositae, a withered Hepaticum, two or three efructiferous mosses, and the Primuloid plant. In the stream Chara, Conferva, Peppermint, Beccabunga, Convolvulus, like C. reptans, Arundo left behind nearly. On the mountains fragrant Labiatae, Compositae, and Umbelliferae are commencing. The barometer stood at 25.669; thermometer 64 degrees at 11 A.M. Many soft rocks occurred: passed a clayey looking one, with very elevated strata, containing veins of transverse crystals: the sides of the defile are often precipitous, these are generally formed of conglomerate.
20th.—Continued up the same defile, a gradual ascent, and about two miles from Sirekhugoor entered the pass by pre-eminence; very much narrowed, precipitous cliffs on both sides: this continues for some time. The road good, shingly, but not very bouldery; very winding, and generally capable of strong defence; much cover exists from the rugged margins of cliffs, and windings of the road. The mountains, after four or five miles were passed, gradually receded and became less precipitous: at length we came to gradually rounded more distant mountains; then to a small valley; then ascended say 100 feet, over a low rocky range, and descended into a fine valley, surrounded by usual barren looking mountains: high ranges to the north and south covered with snow presenting a beautiful view—and now entered Khorassan. We were accompanied by several bands of a gypsyish-looking people, forming parts of a cafilah. They were accompanied with numerous goats: and camels ornamented with trappings.
Throughout the very narrow portion of the pass the vegetation continues the same: at Sirekhugoor a Xanthoxylon appears and continues nearly throughout: this and an oleinous looking small tree are the only arborescent plants: Apocynum viminale and the other plants of Sirekhugoor continue, nor did I notice any new ones further than a Sedum, and Tortula. However fragrant Labiatae and Compositae increase in number, but none are in flower.
As soon as we opened out from the pass, the vegetation almost entirely changed; the hills assumed a rounded form, covered with low bushes, and were much less rocky. Umbelliferae, Labiatae, and Compositae abound, some of them deliciously fragrant: an Astragaloid spinosus very common, a shrubby Cerasus, Thalictrum, Hypoxis, and small Cruciferae abundant. The chief vegetation consists of grasses in low round tufts; Anemone, Tulipa, etc. all small. After crossing a low range we came into the valley, which is almost entirely covered with an Artemisioid odoriferous plant; no verdure was visible, even on the snowy ranges. We encamped close under a ridge about two and a half miles to the north of the summit of the pass.
21st.—Halted: there being some water collected in attempts to form a nullah from the last rain, it is quite brownish and opaque, but deposits no sediment, and makes good tea, although disagreeable to drink in any other form. I walked out in the afternoon into a valley to the west, close to our encampment, and thence ascended a hill 600 feet high at least.
This valley like the one in which we are encamped is covered entirely by an Artemisioid, a very fragrant plant, each shrub of which is distinct; mixed with it are tulips, several small Cruciferae, and a Fritillarioides.
The same Artemisioid is also the chief plant on all the hills: it is mixed, but in small quantities with Cerasus pygmaeus, Equisetoid, Caragana, and one or two shrubby Labiatae; and also especially above, with a curious Astragaloid looking plant. The herbaceous plants are numerous, consisting of very fragrant Umbelliferae, bursting into leaf; tulips, Fritillarioides, Trichostema, Erodium, Iris, Thalictrum, Senecio, Boragineae 2, Gilenacea, several tufted Gramineae, Berberideae, Ranunculoides, Myosotis, Anemone cracea, Asphodeloid, Mesembryanthoids; of mosses Tortula, Grimmia.
22nd.—Proceeded to Sinab, a distance of fifteen and three quarter miles, up two valleys, no ascents. These valleys are elevated towards the mountains and generally depressed in the centre: in some they stretch out a long way from the mountain to which they may be imagined to belong. The mountains seen from a distance jutting out from perhaps the centre of a plain, look curious. The vegetation is generally Artemisioid, and very fragrant: the first valley in its depressed portions was covered with a Salsoloid looking plant, to the exclusion of Compositae, but these last recurred in the higher parts.
With the Compositae, swarms of small Cruciferae occur; that with purple flowers and pinnatisect leaves being the most common. Very rugged hills are visible to the north-east and north of our route, presenting a very different appearance from the usual aspect: they are steep to the east, and present inclined slopes to the west.
Sunday, 24th.—Halted this day. Little new occurs in the valley, except a few trees out of leaf and flower, which, though trees here, yet the species are not so elsewhere. At this place are the heads of the river of Pisheen, which appear to arise more artificially than naturally from Kahreezes, or wells dug in a rude way, and communicating by subterranean channels; those nearest the natural outlet of the water being the shallowest. The vegetation is the same; there is a little cultivation, but nothing to indicate any descent. The amount of population is not great; and the hills to the west are covered with snow. The chief vegetation is Santonica. In cornfields Fumariaceae, Adonis, Cruciferae, Pulmonaria, Arenaria, Hordei sp., Tulipa lutea, and Hyacinthus? may be found.
The vegetation of the plains, inclusive of Santonica, consists generally of three or four small Cruciferae, Tulipa lutea.
I went to the west towards the snow, and found in the river here an aquatic Ranunculus, foliis omnibus immersis, floribus albis, Chara is common; gravelly slopes commence some distance from hills, covered with Santonica, Astragaloid spinosus, Leguminosae, a spinous Statice, Cytisus argenteis, Composita floribunda carnosa.
The mountains are covered with masses of rock. One tree occurs with a Fraxinus? a Thymeleous looking shrub, Cytisus, Caragana. The herbaceous plants are very numerous, Compositae, Cruciferae, small Leguminosae, Berberideae, Isopyroides, Crocus? Gentiana, Onosma and other Boragineae, Umbelliferae, Silenaceae, especially small Arenariae; Cupressus commences about 6,500 feet, near the Cypress an Arctium occurred, at least it has the habit of that genus, Onosma, a curious Boraginea calyce sinubus bidentigeris, demum plano! ampliato bilabiato! clauso, quasi hastato lobato, nucibus compressis, 2, Sedums 4, Arenariae, a fine Gentiana, Crocoides, Iris, Ornithogaloides or Trichonema occurred, with many others. The greatest elevation attained was about 1,200 feet above the camp. Chikor and the smaller partridge were seen.
25th.—Marched to Quettah, eight and a half miles up the valley over a delightful road. The valley is cultivated, and many villages are visible with their orchards, consisting of mulberry trees, cherries, and apricots, surrounded with mud walls; the houses miserable, and all trees out of leaf: the crops under cultivation are more advanced, but depend on irrigation, some salad-bearing plant occurred cultivated in trenches like asparagus: the fields are clean, and sometimes well manured. A Veronica allied to V. agrestis, 2 or 3 Euphorbiaceae, a very well defined Plantago, Hyacinthus, and a pretty Muscari, were among the novelties; Juncus, Chara, Carex, occurred in some marshy spots. I was most struck with the occurrence of at least two species of Lucerne, or Trefoil: wells are common, and water abundant. The climate is delightful, temperature 49 degrees at 9 P.M. in a tent.
26th.—I ascended towards a snowy range to the ESE. of our camp, crossing a cultivated portion of the valley extending to the gradual slopes so universal between the level portion and the bases of the mountains, and which are always covered with shingle, and occasionally much cut up by watercourses. Turning a ridge I ascended up a ravine, rather wide and easy at first, but becoming gradually narrow, and at last difficult. On coming to its head I rambled some distance higher among precipitous rocks, the ground generally covered with loose shingle, giving bad footing. The rocks too were treacherous, often giving way under the feet. I was still 1,000 feet from the summit, which is the second range between our camp and the snow but which is not visible from the camp. From it I saw the camp, and the valley of Pisheen beyond the termination of the Tuckatoo range. Water boiled at 196 degrees 7', making the height about 8,300 feet, in my (new) Woollaston instrument at 686; temperature of the air 46 degrees 5'. Nothing occurred to repay me for the fatigue of the excursion. Junipers or cypress form the chief arbusculous vegetation, but even these are scanty; they commence at 6,500 feet, and continue to the snow: Fraxinus occurred about 7,000 feet, and another tree of which I could make nothing, it being out of flower and leaf. Compositae were the prevailing vegetation; but of these, only the remains were found, which were very fragrant. A large thorny Leguminous shrub out of leaf, etc. looking much like a Rosa, Equisetoides, etc.; of mosses, Weissia Templetonii, and Tortula, so that in these there is very little variety; the debris of one Hepatica occurred.
At the foot of the mountains, the only place out of the valley where any vegetation is to be found, Asphodelus, radicibus luteis, foliis triangularibus, a fine plant coming into flower, Cytisus, Caragana, Narcissus? Cruciferae, among them a small Draba, Cerasus pygmaeus, Peganum, Salsoloid of Mumzil, Trichonema, Myosotis, Gentiana of Chiltera, Buddlaea, Carex; indeed the vegetation is precisely the same as at Chiltera. The only novelty was Bardana in flower, and it proves to be a cruciferous plant of large size.
On the stony slopes, a shrubby spinous Centauroid, foliis pinnatifidis glaucis, Cytisus, Caragana, Asphodelus and Cheiranthus are the prevailing plants. No Santonica is found about here.