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A Woman's Journey Round the World by Ida Pfeiffer

Part 6 out of 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHAPTER XIV. JOURNEY FROM DELHI TO BOMBAY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHAPTER XV. JOURNEY FROM DELHI TO BOMBAY CONTINUED.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On this side of Kottah the camel trains were less frequent, in
consequence of the very stony state of the road; instead of these,

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