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amount of humour, a lively imagination, and great literary knowledge. In the Rev. John Fordyce of the Union Church I found an old friend, who had created a high reputation for himself by his combination of prudence and zeal. Nor can I omit to make mention of Mr Edmund Downs, whose courageous attempt to reach Kafiristan in disguise had brought him into public notice; and of two Bombay officers, Colonels Ker and Farquharson, who did a great deal to make my stay at Simla agreeable.
SIMLA AS A SANITARIUM.
COMMENCEMENT OF SIMLA-LORD DALHOUSIE-POPULATION-ADVAN
TAGES AND DEFECTS OF THE CLIMATE-A STARTING-POINT FOR
“NO SUPPLIES CENTRAL ASIAN ROUTES FROM SIMLA.
THE hill on which Simla is situated was first made known by the visit to it in 1817 of the brothers Gerard, two Scotch officers who were engaged in the survey of the Sutlej valley; and the first house was built upon it in 1822 by the political agent of the district. About that latter year it was purchased, by exchange, by the British Government, from the Rana of Keonthul, and made into a regular sanitarium. The first GovernorGeneral who visited it was Lord Amherst, in 1827. Jacquemont described it as having sixty houses for Europeans in 1831; and Lord Auckland was the first Governor-General to spend a summer there—that of 1841. The annexation of the Panjáb gave a great impetus to the development of this hill-station. Lord Dalhousie liked to establish the headquarters of his government there in summer, because that allowed him to reside much during the rains in the drier region of Chini, which suited his health. Lord Lawrence accepted the Viceroyship on the express condition that he should be allowed to spend the summer on the hills, Simla being the most convenient spot; and thus the arrangement has continued, except that the exigencies of the Bengal famine led the Supreme Government to remain in Calcutta this year. In the height of the season Simla has now usually a population of about fifteen hundred Europeans, and as many thousand natives. In a former chapter I have briefly described its general appearance and surrounding scenery. One of its drawbacks is a deficiency in the supply of water; but this might easily be remedied, at some expense, and probably would be if the house-proprietors were assured that the Supreme Government intended to continue its summer residence there ; though I do not quite see how that doubt should be allowed to have so much influence, because many of them argue that the example of Masúri has shown that Simla might flourish even if it were unvisited by any Government, and might thus secure a less uncertain income.
The permanent residents of the place are enthusiastic in their praises of its winter climate, and that is really the only season of the year in which Simla is calculated to do much positive good to invalids, the cold then not being extreme, though it has been known to fall ten degrees below freezing-point, while the air is still, dry, and both invigorating and exhilarating ; but it is as a retreat in the hot weather of April and May, and of the rains, that it is most used, and I do not know that much can be said in its praise as a sanitarium during that long season. Of course it is a great thing to escape from the fiery heat of the Indian plains in April and May, and from their muggy oppressive warmth
during the five succeeding months; but that is about the extent of the sanitary advantages of Simla in summer, and the climate then has serious drawbacks of its
I derived no benefit from it, nor did any of the invalids there with whom I was acquainted; and its effects upon some of them were such that they had to leave before the stay they had marked out for themselves had been accomplished. In May the climate was exceedingly changeable, being sometimes oppressively hot, but for the most part cold and damp, with thick mists and fierce storms of thunder and rain. And when the great rains of the south-west monsoon set in upon Simla, there must be few invalids indeed for whom it can be a suitable place of residence; and I should think at that season, or for nearly four months of the year, a state of almost robust health must be necessary in order to derive benefit or enjoyment from a stay there. It would be well if more invalids at that season followed the example of the great Lord Dalhousie and went up to Chini, or to some other place, where they are close to eternal snow, and are protected by a snowy range from the Indian monsoon.
Whether the traveller be in search of health, or sport, or sublime scenery, there is no other place from which he can have such convenient access as Simla to the interior of the Himálaya, and to the dry elevated plains of Central Asia. Routes proceed from it up to Chinese Tibet on the east; to Ládak and the upper Indus valley ; beyond Ládak to the Karakorum Mountains and Yarkand; to Spiti, Lahaul, Zanskar, and all the elevated provinces of the Western Himálaya ; to Chamba and all the other hill states to the north-west: and to Kashmir, Little Tibet, Gilgit Yassin, and the
“ Roof of the World” itself. Indeed, now that the Russians have established a post-office at Kashgar, it would be quite possible, and tolerably safe, to walk from Simla to St Petersburg, or to the mouth of the Amúr on the Pacific coast. Those who wish particularly to know what can be done from Simla will do well to examine the “Route Map for the Western Himalayas, Kashmír, Panjáb, and Northern India,” compiled by Major Montgomerie of the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India. In the appendix to this map he gives no less than sixty-three routes, almost all of which either proceed from Simla or are connected with it by intervening routes. It will soon be seen, from the Major's remarks on these various routes, that the traveller in the Himalaya must lay aside his ordinary ideas as to roads and house accommodation. Such references as the following to the roads and halting-places for the night, occur with a frequency which is rather alarming to the uninitiated : “No supplies ;" “ditto, and no fuel ; " "cross three miles of glacier ; " "very bad road ;” “ ditto, and no supplies;” “road impassable for ponies ;” “ rope-bridge;” cross the river twice-very difficult to ford ;” “Kirghiz summer camp --yaks, &c., supplied ;” “site of a deserted village ;” “muddy water only can be got by digging holes ;
grass doubtful, no fuel ; ”“ ford river, water up to waist ;” “cross river on mussaks ;” “ generally a Tartar or Boti camp;
cross the Tagalank Pass, 18,042 feet ;” and “cross several torrents.”
. The great routes from Simla are those which lead to Chinese Tibet, to Ládak, and to Kashmir, and run from north-east to north-west. The road towards Chinese Tibet, at least as far as Chini and Pangay in the Sutlej