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side of the Himálaya ; and that, at the foot of Jumnotri and Gangotri peaks, besides “them panthers,” and a a tiger or two, he is likely enough to have snow bears growling about his tent at night.

I had been unfortunate in not having obtained even a single glimpse of the snowy Himálaya from the plains, or from any point of my journey to Masúri, and I learned there that they were only visible in the early morning at that season. Accordingly I ascended one morning at daybreak to the neighbouring military station of Landaur, and there saw these giant mountains for the first time. Sir Alexander Burnes wrote in his Travels into Bokhara,' &c.—“I felt a nervous sensation of joy as I first gazed on the Himalaya.” When Bishop Heber saw them he “felt intense delight and awe in looking on them.” Even in these antienthusiastic times I fancy most people experience some emotion on first beholding those lofty pinnacles of unstained snow, among which the gods of Hindústhan are believed to dwell. From Landaur a sea of mist stretched from my feet, veiling, but not altogether concealing, ridge upon ridge of dark mountains, and even covering the lower portions of the distant great wall of snow. No sunlight as yet fell upon this dark yet transparent mist, in which the mountainous surface of the earth, with its black abysses, seemed sunk as in a gloomy ocean, bounded by a huge coral-reef. But above this, dazzling and glorious in the sunlight, high up in the deep blue heavens, there rose a white shining line of gigantic "icy summits reared in air.” Nothing could have been more peculiar and striking than the contrast between the wild mountainous country below-visible, but darkened as in an eclipse ---and these lofty domes and pinnacles of eternal ice and névé. No cloud or fleck of mist marred their surpassing radiance. Every glacier, snow-wall, icy aiguille, and smooth-rounded snow-field, gleamed with marvellous distinctness in the morning light, though here and there the sunbeams drew out a more overpowering brightness. These were the Jumnotri and Gangotri peaks, the peaks of Badrinath and of the Hindú Kailas; the source of mighty sacred rivers; the very centre of the Himalaya ; the Himmel, or heaven, of the Teuton Aryans as well as of Hindu mythology. Mount Meru itself may be regarded as raising there its golden front against the sapphire sky; the Kailas, or “Seat of Happiness," is the cælus of the Latins; and there is the fitting, unapproachable abode of Brahma and of his attendant gods, Gandharvas and Rishis.

But I now felt determined to make a closer acquaintance with these wondrous peaks—to move among them, upon them, and behind them—so I hurried from Masúri to Simla by the shortest route, that of the carriage-road from the foot of the hills through the Sewaliks to Sahárunpur; by rail from thence to Ambála, by carriage to Kalka, and from Kalka to Simla in a jhanpan, by the old road, which, however, is not the shortest way for that last section, because a mail-cart now runs along the new road. Ambála, and the roads from thence to Simla, present a very lively scene in April, when the Governor-General, the Commander-inChief, the heads of the Supreme Government, their baggage and attendants, and the clerks of the different departments, are on their way up to the summer retreat of the Government of India. It is

It is highly expedient for the traveller to avoid the days of the

a

veyance of

great rush, when it is impossible for him to find con

any kind at any price—and I did so; but even coming in among the ragtag and bobtail,-if deputy commissioners and colonels commanding regiments—men so tremendous in their own spheres—may be thus profanely spoken of,—there was some difficulty in procuring carriage and bungalow accommodation ; and there was plenty of amusing company,—from the ton - weight of the post-office official, who required twenty groaning coolies to carry him, to the dapper little lieutenant or assistant deputy commissioner who cantered lightly along parapetless roads skirting precipices; and from the heavy-browed sultana of some Gangetic station, whose stern look palpably interrogates the amount of your monthly paggár, to the more lilylike young Anglo-Indian, dame or damsel, who darts at you a Parthian yet gentle glance, though shown “more in the eyelids than the eyes,” as she trips from her jhanpan or Bareilly dandi into the travellers' bungalow.

In the neighbourhood of Simla there is quite a collection of sanitariums, which are passed, or seen, by the visitors to that more famous place. The first of these, and usually the first stopping-place for the night of those who go by the old bridle-road from Kalka, is Kussowli, famous for its Himálayan beer, which is not unlike the ordinary beer of Munich. It is more rainy than Simla, more windy, and rather warmer, though not so high, and is chiefly occupied as a depot for the convalescents of European regiments. Close to it rises the barren hill of Sonawar, where there is the (Sir Henry) Lawrence Asylum, for boys and girls of European or mixed parentage, between 400 and 500 being

usually supported and educated there at the expense of Government. Two other sanitariums, Dagshai (Dugshaie) and Subáthu (Subathoo), are also military depots ; the latter having large barracks, and houses with fine gardens and orchards. The British soldier improves greatly in strength and appearance on these heights ; but it is said he does not appreciate the advantages of being placed upon them.

them. He does not like having to do so much for himself as falls to his lot when he is sent to the mountains. He misses the Indian campfollowers, who treat him below as a Chota Lord Sahib; and, above all, he misses the varied life of the plains, and the amusement of the bazaar. I am afraid, too, mountains fail to afford him much gratification after his first burst of pleasure on finding himself among and upon them. “Sure, and I've been three times round that big hill to-day, and not another blessed thing is there to do up here !" I heard an Irish corporal indignantly exclaim. To the officers and their families the hills are a delightful change ; but to the undeveloped mind of Tommy Atkins they soon become exceedingly tiresome, though I believe the soldiers enjoy much being employed in the working parties upon the roads, where they have the opportunity of laying by a little money.

The mountains between Kalka and Simla are wild and picturesque enough, but they give no idea of either the grandeur or the beauty of the Himalaya ; and the traveller should be warned against being disappointed with them. No ranges of eternal snow are in sight ; no forests of lofty deodar ; no thick jungle, like that of the Terai ; no smiling valleys, such as the Dehra Doon. We have only the ascending of steep bare mountainsides, in order to go down them on the other side, or to

wind along bare mountain-ridges. The hills either rest on each other, or have such narrow gorges between, that there is no room for cultivated valleys; and their faces are so steep, and so exposed to the action of the Indian rains, that all the soil is swept away from them; and so we have nothing to speak of but red slopes of rock and shingle, with only a few terraced patches of cultivation, and almost no trees at all, except in the immediate vicinity of the military stations. The worst parts of Syria would show to advantage compared with the long approach to Simla. I understand, however, that the actual extent of cultivation is considerably greater than one would readily suppose, and occasionally the creeping vine and the cactus do their best to clothe the rocky surface. On ascending the Simla ridge itself, however, a change comes over the scene. Himalayan cedars and oaks cover the heights and crowd the glades ; rhododendrons, if it be their season of bloom, give quite a glory of colour; and both white and red roses appear among the brambles and barberries of the thick underwood; a healthy resinous odour meets one from the forest of mighty pine-trees, mingled with more delicate perfumes ; beds of fern with couches of moss lie along the roadside ; masses of cloud come rolling down the valleys from the rounded, thickly-wooded summit of Jakko; deep glens, also finely wooded, fall suddenly before our feet: on the one side, over a confusion of hills and edifices of Subáthu and Dagshai, we have glimpses of the yellow burning Indian plain; on the other, through the oak branches and the tower-like stems of deodar, there shines the long white line of eternal snow upon the giant mountains of Chamba, Kúlú, and Spiti. It was a matter of life or death for

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