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but “the immortal mind craves objects that endure,” and such are scarcely to be found in lower forms of life, or in the inorganic world, for even

“The lily fair a transient beauty wears,

And the white snow soon weeps away in tears.” Logical thought becomes impossible when we rise into these 18,000-feet regions of speculation; and it may be safer to trust our instincts, such as they are. Apparently heedless of us, the worlds roll through space, —

“While we, the brave, the mighty, and the wise,
We men who in our morn of youth defied
The elements, must vanish ;-be it so !
Enough if something from our hands have power
To live and act and serve the future hour;
And if, as toward the silent tomb we go,
Through love, through hope, and faith’s transcendent dower,
We feel that we are greater than we know.

CHAPTER XXXIII.

THE TSARAP LINGTI VALLEYS.

THE KHARJAK VALLEY-TREMENDOUS SERIES OF GLACIERS-GIGANTIC

PYRAMID-PERPLEXING MOUNTAINS-WONDERFUL COLOURS
FATIGUE OF THE JOURNEY-KHARJAK VILLAGE-ITS TALÚKDÁR
-THESUR-JUNCTION OF THE KHARJAK CHU AND TSARAP

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Next morning was excessively cold, and we were glad to hurry down the pass. The way ran down a not very steep slope to a glacier-stream (which it might be difficult to ford during the heat of the day), then on a slight ascent to the end of an enormous spur of the mountains where there was a very long and extremely steep descent to La-kúng—"the pass-house," a large, low, stone room, with no window but the door, and with open spaces between the stones,—which has been erected for the protection of shepherds and travellers. We were now within the watershed of the Indus, in the valley of the Kharjak Chu, one of the mountain streams which form the Tsarap Lingti river. There were very formidable-looking mountains to the right, through which the dhirzi, who was a great geographical authority, assured me there was no available pass to Ladák. In and descending from the mountains to the left—that is to say, on the left bank of the river down to Padam, and on the right bank of the river which runs from the Pense La down to Padam on the other side—there is probably the most tremendous series of glaciers to be found in the world, out of Arctic and Antarctic regions. There are literally hundreds of them; they extend on through Súrú, and even within the boundary of Kashmir proper, and at some parts they come down into the large rivers threatening to block them up.

As the path runs down its right bank we had to ford the Kharjak Chu; but though broad and rapid, it is shallow at this place, and there was little difficulty in doing so; but in warmer weather it must be impossible to cross it during the day. The path now followed the windings of the stream, sometimes over grassy meads, and anon over aggravating stone avalanches. We were now fairly in the almost fabulous Zanskar; but no signs of human habitations were visible. At first we passed beneath tremendous cliffs of cream-coloured granite, which, as we got farther down, appeared as one side of an enormous detached pyramidal mass, high and steep as the Matterhorn, and so smooth that scarcely any snow lodged upon it, though it could have been little short of 20,000 feet high. From some points this extraordinary mountain looked almost like a column; and I am sure if any Lama, Bawa, or lover of inorganic nature could get up to the top of it, he would enjoy the most perfect seclusion.

Of all the mountains I have ever beheld, those of Zanskar were the most picturesque, weird, astounding, and perplexing. For several marches, all the way down the valley of this river and through almost all the valley of the Tsarap Lingti, the precipice-walls were not only of enormous height, but presented the most extraordinary forms, colours, and combinations of rock. Even the upper Spiti valley has nothing so wonderful. There were castles, spires, plateaus, domes, aiguilles of solid rock, and spires composed of the shattered fragments of some fallen mountains. At the entrance of many of the ravines there were enormous cliffs thousands of feet high, which looked exactly as if they were bastions which had been shaped by the hands of giants. Every mile or so we had to scramble across the remains of some stone avalanche which deflected the stream from its course, and under cliffs from which great rocks projected so that it looked as if a slight touch would send them thundering down.

Then the colour of these precipice-walls was of the richest and most varied kind. The predominant tints were green, purple, orange, brown, black, and whitishyellow, but I cannot say how many more there might have been; and green, purple, and deep brown were most frequent. It can easily be imagined that, with such colours, the dazzling sunlight and the shadows of the mountains falling over the valley worked the most wonderful effects. Sometimes the sunlight came down through a dark-coloured ravine like a river of gold. In: certain lights the precipices appeared almost as if they were of chalcedony and jasper. The dark - brown manganese-like cliffs looked exceedingly beautiful; but no sooner was one extraordinary vista left behind than a different but not less striking one broke upon the view. The geology of these valleys was rather puzzling; for a remarkable feature here, as elsewhere to a less

degree among the Himálaya, is the way in which various rocks pass into each other—as the clay-slate into mica-slate, the mica-slate into granite, the quartzose conglomerate into greywacke, and the micaceous schist into gneiss.

I was unable to pay any special attention to the geology of this interesting region, and indeed I found the continuous journey I had undertaken rather too much for my strength. Could I have rested more frequently I would bave enjoyed it more, and have observed more closely. As it was, I had continually to press onwards, and being alone caused a great strain on my energies, because everything in that case depends on the one traveller himself. He has to see that proper arrangements are made ; that his servants do not practise extortion; that his camp is roused at an early hour in the morning; and he has almost to sleep with one eye open. Anything like an examination of these Zanskar cliffs would have required several days specially devoted to them, which I could by no means spare. Some of them were composed of rocks which I had never met with before ; and others, judging from the fragments in the valley below, were of quartzose conglomerate, passing into greywacke of

grey

and greenish colour, of clay-slate, very fine grained mica-slate, gneiss, greenstone, smooth soapy talc, and porphyry. There seemed to be much zeolite, and probably other minerals abounded. This part of Zanskar does not seem to have been examined by the Trigonometrical Survey, and is nearly a blank in all our maps.

After passing down the valley for several hours, we came at last upon Kharjak or Khargia, the first village of Zanskar, comprising little more than about a dozen

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