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Title: Kashmir
Author: Younghusband, Sir Francis Edward
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber's note:

      Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).



KASHMIR


       *       *       *       *       *

_UNIFORM WITH THIS VOLUME_


BURMA
BY R. TALBOT KELLY, R.B.A., F.R.G.S.

Containing 75 Full-page Illustrations in
colour facsimile.


INDIA
BY MORTIMER MENPES
TEXT BY FLORA ANNIE STEEL

Containing 75 Full-page Illustrations in
colour facsimile.


A. AND C. BLACK, SOHO SQUARE, LONDON, W.


AGENTS

AMERICA              THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
                      64 & 66 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK

AUSTRALASIA          THE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
                      205 FLINDERS LANE, MELBOURNE

CANADA               THE MACMILLAN COMPANY OF CANADA, LTD.
                      ST. MARTIN'S HOUSE, 70 BOND STREET, TORONTO

INDIA                MACMILLAN & COMPANY, LTD.
                      MACMILLAN BUILDING, BOMBAY
                      309 BOW BAZAAR STREET, CALCUTTA

GERMANY, AUSTRIA-HUNGARY,     } BROCKHAUS AND PEHRSSON
RUSSIA,                       } 16 QUERSTRASSE, LEIPZIG
SCANDINAVIA, AND              }
GERMAN SWITZERLAND            }

       *       *       *       *       *


  [Illustration: WILD RHODODENDRONS]



KASHMIR

Described by

SIR FRANCIS YOUNGHUSBAND, K.C.I.E.

Painted by Major E. Molyneux, D.S.O.



London
Adam and Charles Black
1911

First published September 1909
Reprinted August 1911



     TO
     HIS HIGHNESS
     MAJOR-GENERAL MAHARAJA SIR PRATAP SINGH
     G.C.S.I.
     MAHARAJA OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR

     THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED

     IN RECOGNITION OF MUCH HOSPITALITY AND IN TOKEN OF
     A FRIENDSHIP OF MANY YEARS



PREFACE


When Major Molyneux asked me to combine with him in the production of
a book on Kashmir I could not resist the temptation to describe what
he had so faithfully depicted, though my official duties naturally
leave me insufficient time to do real justice to the theme. I have not
been able to write with the completeness that I should have wished;
and I am aware of many sins of omission. I can only hope that when the
description fails the reader will be fortunate to have his attention
irresistibly diverted to one or other of my collaborator's beautiful
pictures.

     THE RESIDENCY, SRINAGAR,
     _September 1908_.



CONTENTS


     CHAPTER I

     SCENERY AND SEASONS

     Bernier's impression of Kashmir in 1665--Comparison of
     Kashmir and Switzerland--The road in--First signs of
     spring--Srinagar in March--A start for
     Shikar--Shikaris--Forest-clad hill-sides--Signs of
     stag--View over the valley--Rosy mountains--Unrealised
     beauties--A duck-shoot--The view from Hokrar--Harwan in
     spring--Varying beauties of Kashmir--Harwan in May--Clouds
     on the mountains--A Kashmir village--Irises and
     roses--Trout-culture--A trout stream--Srinagar in April--The
     view from Gupkar--A spring scene--Unusual rain--The Nishat
     Bagh--Pandrathan--Srinagar in summer--The valley in
     September--The end of the monsoon--The gorgeous autumn--A
     Hokrar duck-shoot--The valley in winter--Shikaris--Shooting
     in winter                                                       1


     CHAPTER II

     TRAVEL IN KASHMIR

     Travel in old times--My first entrance--My old
     retainer--Present modes of travel--Stages from the
     railway--Srinagar house-boats--Srinagar shops--Expeditions
     from Srinagar--The descent from the Tragbal                    47


     CHAPTER III

     SRINAGAR AND NEIGHBOURHOOD

     An old capital--The Maharaja's arrival--Procession through
     the city--The European quarter--The Jama Masjid--Shah
     Hamadan--Dr. Neve's Hospital--The
     Takht-i-Suliman--Pandrathan--The Dal Lake--The Nasim
     Bagh--The Shalimar Bagh--The Nishat Bagh--Parihasapura         63


     CHAPTER IV

     THE RESIDENCY GARDEN

     The first week in March--Fruit trees in bloom--Kashmir
     tulips--Golden orioles--Roses in
     May--Strawberries--Burbank's Delphiniums--The height of
     summer--The garden in autumn--Autumnal colours                 87


     CHAPTER V

     GULMARG

     The "Meadow of Flowers"--Its numerous attractions--Views
     over the valley--Flowers--Nanga Parbat                         98


     CHAPTER VI

     THE VALLEYS AND PLACES OF INTEREST

     The Sind Valley--Gangabal Lake--The Lolab--The Lidar
     Valley--Martand--Achibal                                      108


     CHAPTER VII

     SPORT

     Game Preservation--The year's bag--Duck-shooting--Fishing
                                                                   118


     CHAPTER VIII

     THE PEOPLE

     Kashmir beauties--The Pundits--Mohamedans--The Quadiani
     sect--Kashmiri villagers--Boatmen                             125


     CHAPTER IX

     THE HISTORY OF KASHMIR

     Possible effect of natural beauty--Ancient
     ruins--Martand--Greek influence--Buddhist
     influence--Kanishka--Lalitaditya--Avantivarman--Short
     reigns--Internal struggles--Perpetual intrigue--Advent of
     Mohamedans--Zain-ul-ab-ul-din--Akbar--The Moghals--Afghan
     oppressors--Sikhs--Rise of Gulab Singh--Break-up of
     Sikhs--Gulab Singh and the British--Treaty of 1846--Gulab
     Singh acquires Kashmir--Its deplorable state--Ranbir
     Singh--Country still depressed--Famine of 1877--Improvements
     during present reign                                          133


     CHAPTER X

     ADMINISTRATION

     System of rule--Personal--Sources of revenue--Land revenue
     assessment                                                    183


     CHAPTER XI

     PRODUCTS AND MANUFACTURES

     Wool--Silk--Fruit--Rice--Other grains--Experimental
     farm--Soil--Implements--Forests--Mineral
     products--Shawls--Carpets--Silk--Papier-mâché--Puttoo--
     Boat-building--Trade                                          194


     CHAPTER XII

     THE ELECTRICAL SCHEME

     Water-power turned to electric power--The Jhelum River
     harnessed--The flume--The power-house--Difficulties
     encountered--The dredging scheme                              222


     CHAPTER XIII

     THE PEAKS AND MOUNTAIN RANGES

     The Peak K2--Errors in observation--Nanga Parbat--Rocks of
     great peaks--The Himalayan range                              234


     CHAPTER XIV

     THE STORY OF THE MOUNTAINS

     Interest of study--Kashmir under the sea--100,000,000 years
     ago--Kashmir an archipelago--Finally upheaved--Cause of
     upheaval--History of life--At first no land life--Ferns--The
     Coal Measures--Great reptiles--Mammals--Kashmir valley a
     lake--Appearance of man--Reflections on the story--Need to
     look forward--Creating higher man                             251



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

BY MAJOR E. MOLYNEUX, D.S.O.

                                                                  PAGE

     1. Wild Rhododendrons                              _Frontispiece_

     2. Approach to Srinagar                                         2

     3. The Land of Roses                                            4

     4. Mouth of the Sind Valley                                     6

     5. Sunset on the Wular Lake                                     8

     6. Dawn in the Nulla                                           10

     7. Kotwal from the Forest above Kangan, Sind Valley            12

     8. Above the Camping-Ground, Sonamarg, Sind Valley             14

     9. The Kajnag from Sopur, Early Spring                         16

     10. Kotwal from near the Dal Darwaza                           18

     11. The Lull before the Storm, Dal Lake                        20

     12. Above Lidarwat, Lidar Valley                               22

     13. Sunset on the Jhelum, above Srinagar                       24

     14. Spring in Kashmir                                          26

     15. On the Dal Lake in Spring                                  28

     16. Entrance to the Mar Canal                                  32

     17. The Temple, Chenar Bagh                                    34

     18. Ruins of Lalla Rookh's Gardens, Lake Manasbal              36

     19. A Ladaki in Summer Costume                                 52

     20. The Valley of Gurais                                       62

     21. Market Boats on the Mar Canal, Srinagar                    64

     22. Above the Fifth Bridge, Srinagar                           66

     23. Shawl Merchants' Shops, Third Bridge, Srinagar             68

     24. Mosque of Shah Hamadan, Srinagar                           70

     25. A Hindu Temple, Srinagar                                   72

     26. In the Mar Canal, Srinagar                                 74

     27. Guggribal Pointe on the Dal Lake                           76

     28. Lotus Lilies on the Dal Lake                               78

     29. Shalimar Gardens                                           80

     30. The Nishat Bagh                                            82

     31. A Terrace of the Nishat Bagh                               84

     32. The Residency and Club, Srinagar                           88

     33. The Takht-i-Suliman, from the Residency Garden             94

     34. On the Circular Road, Gulmarg                             100

     35. In the Forest                                             102

     36. From the Circular Road, Gulmarg                           104

     37. Gorge of the Sind Valley at Guggangir                     108

     38. The Frozen Lake, Gangabal                                 110

     39. Early Morning near Pahlgam, Lidar Valley                  112

     40. The Ruins of Martand                                      114

     41. A Srinagar Bazaar                                         116

     42. A Corner of the Village of Pahlgam, Lidar Valley          128

     43. A Mountain Farm-House                                     130

     44. A Boatman and his Family                                  132

     45. Ruins of Temples, Wangat, Sind Valley                     134

     46. Ruined Gateway of Martand                                 136

     47. Ruined Temples of Avantipur                               138

     48. Gate of the Outer Wall, Hari Parbat Fort, Srinagar        156

     49. At the River's Edge, Srinagar                             160

     50. Lalla Rookh's Tomb, Hassan Abdal                          162

     51. Bridge of Burbur Shah, Chenar Bagh, Srinagar              164

     52. Spring Floods in the Kutical Canal, Srinagar              166

     53. Looking down the Gurais Valley, from Dudhgai Village      168

     54. Akbar's Bridge, Karallayar                                174

     55. The Camping-Ground at Lidarwat                            198

     56. A Wayside Shrine                                          202

     57. Evening on the Dal Lake                                   210

     58. Mount Haramokh, from the Erin Nullah                      238

     59. A Mountain Glen, before the Melting of the Snows          240

     60. Lake Shisha Nag, Lidar Valley                             244

     61. Distant View of Nanga Parbat, from the Kamri Pass         246

     62. Mount Kolahoi, Lidar Valley                               248

     63. Rampur, Jhelum Valley Road                                252

     64. In the Sind Valley                                        254

     65. Lake Shisha Nag at Sunset                                 258

     66. The Tannin Glen, Lidar Valley                             260

     67. Going to the Wedding, Upper Indus Valley                  262

     68. Mountain Mists                                            264

     69. Near the Kolahoi Glacier, Lidar Valley                    266

     70. Lake Sinsa Nag, Lidar Valley                              270


     _Sketch Map of Kashmir at end of Volume._



KASHMIR



CHAPTER I

SCENERY AND SEASONS


Bernier, the first European to enter Kashmir, writing in 1665, says:
"In truth, the kingdom surpasses in beauty all that my warmest
imagination had anticipated." This impression is not universally felt,
for one of the very latest writers on Kashmir speaks of it as
overrated, and calls the contour of the mountains commonplace and
comparable to a second-rate Tyrolean valley. And fortunate it is that
in this limited earth of ours we every one of us do not think alike.
But I have seen many visitors to Kashmir, and my experience is that
the bulk of them are of the same view as the above-mentioned
Frenchman. They have read in books, and they have heard from friends,
glowing descriptions of the country; but the reality has, with most,
exceeded the expectation. Some have found the expenses of living and
the discomforts of travel greater than they had expected. And some
have arrived when it was raining or cloudy, and the snows were not
visible; or in the middle of summer when the valley is hazy, steamy,
and filled with mosquitoes. But when the clouds have rolled by, the
haze lifted, and a real Kashmir spring or autumn day disclosed itself,
the heart of the hardest visitor melteth and he becomes as Bernier.

The present book will deal, not with the whole Kashmir State, which
includes many outlying provinces, but with Kashmir Proper, with the
world-renowned valley of Kashmir, a saucer-shaped vale with a length
of 84 miles, a breadth of 20 to 25 miles, and a mean height of 5600
feet above sea-level, set in the very heart of the Himalaya, and
corresponding in latitude to Damascus, to Fez in Morocco, and to South
Carolina.

  [Illustration: APPROACH TO SRINAGAR]

The country with which one is most apt to compare it is, naturally,
Switzerland. And Switzerland, indeed, has many charms, and a
combination of lake and mountain in which, I think, it excels Kashmir.
But it is built on a smaller scale. There is not the same wide sweep
of snow-clad mountains. There is no place where one can see a
complete _circle_ of snowy mountains surrounding a plain of anything
like the length and breadth of the Kashmir valley, for the main
valleys of Switzerland are like the side valleys of Kashmir. And above
everything there is not behind Switzerland what there is at the back
of Kashmir, and visible in glimpses from the southern side,--a region
of stupendous mountains surpassing every other in the world.

By these Himalayan regions only, by the mountains of Baltistan and
Hunza, and by those unequalled mountains seen from Darjiling, can
Kashmir be excelled. There indeed one sees mountain majesty and
sublimity at their very zenith. And with such as these Kashmir cannot
compare. But it possesses a combination of quiet loveliness and
mountain grandeur which has a fascination all its own. If one could
imagine the smiling, peaceful Thames valley with a girdle of snowy
mountains, he would have the nearest approach to a true idea of
Kashmir it is possible to give. He would not expect the stern
ruggedness and almost overwhelming majesty of the mighty mountains
beyond Kashmir. But he would have the tranquil beauty and genial
loveliness which to some are even preferable.

Of this, my collaborator's pictures will give a true and vivid
impression, though every artist allows that it is impossible to give
in a single picture the broad general effect of those wide-flung
landscapes and of the snowy ranges stretching from one horizon to
another. For that impression and for the varying effect of spring and
autumn, of winter and summer, dependence must be on the pen alone.

Which is the most lovely season each must decide for himself. In the
spring we think the spring the most exquisitely beautiful. In the
autumn we say that nothing could exceed the charm of the brilliant
autumn tints. But as it is in the spring that most visitors first
arrive, and as it is the real beginning of the year, there will be
some advantage in commencing in that season the delicate task of
describing Kashmir.

In the first week in March I drove into Kashmir,--this last year,
fortunately, in fine weather. In other years at this season I might
not have been so fortunate, and the reader must take this possibility
of drenching rain, of muddy roads, and dangerous landslips into
account. For that purpose, however, there is no need to offer aid to
his imagination, as rainy days are much the same all the world
over.

  [Illustration: THE LAND OF ROSES]

The long drive from the Railway Station at Rawal Pindi, 196 miles from
Srinagar, was nearly ended. We had steadily ascended the valley of the
Jhelum, with the river continually dashing past us on the left, a
strong impetuous stream now being turned to useful ends, firstly, in
generating electric power near Rampur, and secondly, in irrigating
millions of acres in the plains of the Punjab below. We had passed
through the peaceful deodar forest on either side of Rampur, and the
splendid limestone cliffs which rise precipitously from them. Just
beyond we had passed massive ruins of the so-called Buddhist, but
really Hindu temple, dating about 700 A.D. All the country had been
blanketed with snow; the hill-sides forested with thousands of
Christmas trees glistening in the brilliant sunshine, and the frozen
road had been rattling under the ponies' feet. When gradually the
narrow valley opened out. The enclosing hills widened apart. The river
from a rushing torrent became as placid as the Thames, with numerous
long-prowed boats gliding smoothly downward. The little town of
Baramula, and the first distinctive chalet-like, but dirty, shaky
habitations of Kashmir; a graceful Hindu temple; fine specimens of the
famous chenar trees; and a typical log bridge, came into view; and
then, as the hill-sides finally parted asunder, the glorious valley
itself--a valley on so extensive a scale as really to be a plain
amidst the mountains--was disclosed; and faintly mingling with the
cloudless azure of the sky, on the far side stretched the great range
of snowy mountains which bound Kashmir on the north, with the Haramokh
peak, 16,900 feet high, standing boldly out 35 miles distant
immediately in front; and from just beyond Baramula even Nanga Parbat
itself, 26,600 feet, and 70 miles distant, towering nobly over the
lower ranges, the solitary representative of the many mountain giants
which lay behind.

Then as we emerged into the open valley the snow disappeared and the
first faint signs of spring were visible. All the trees were indeed
still bare. Neither on the massive chenar nor on the long lines of
poplars which bordered the road continuously from Baramula to Srinagar
was there a vestige of a leaf; and all the grass was absolutely brown.
But in the willows there was just the suspicion of yellow-green. The
little leaf-buds were just preparing to burst. On the ground were
frequent masses of yellow crocuses and familiar bluebells. Here
and there were clumps of violets. Occasionally a tortoise-shell
or cabbage-white butterfly would flutter by. Above all, the glorious
brilliant sunshine, the open, clear blue sky, and the soft touch and
gentle feel which at noonday replaced the crisp, frosty nip of the
morning air gave certain promise of the approach of spring.

  [Illustration: MOUTH OF THE SIND VALLEY]

Again, when at length Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, was reached,
and I was back in my much-loved garden, still other signs of spring's
arrival were evident. Violets, pansies, wallflowers, narcissus,
crocuses, and daisies were out. A few green blades were showing
through the brown grass. Rose leaf-buds were bursting. In one garden
near a few apricot blossoms had actually bloomed. And the whole garden
was filled with the spring song of the birds lightly turning to
thoughts of love--thrushes, minas, sparrows, blue-tits, hoopoes,
starlings; bold, familiar crows, and, most delightful of them all, the
charming little bulbuls with their coquettish top-knots--the friendly
little beings who come confidingly in at the windows and perch on the
curtain rails or chairs, and even on the table to peck sugar from the
basin.

And so for many days the weather continued, the temperature a degree
or two below freezing-point at night, and rising to a maximum of 55°
in the shade and 105° in the sun in the day-time. Day after day
cloudlessly clear. The snowy ranges standing out sharp and distinct.
The nearer mountains still covered with snow to within a thousand or
two feet of the valley level. In the early morning all the
valley-bottom glistening silvery-white with hoar frost. Then towards
noon a curious struggle between summer and winter. The aspect of the
country outside the garden entirely winter--leafless trees and
frost-withered grass; but in the still air the sun's rays, with daily
increasing power, having all the warmth of an early summer day in
England; and under the noonday sun the mountains fading in a dreamy
haze.

       *       *       *       *       *

Then, of a sudden, came one of those complete and rapid changes which
so enhance the charm of Kashmir. Dark ominous clouds settled on the
near mountain-tops; here and there sweeping along their summits
whirling snowstorms were driven along; the distant snows showed up
with that steel-grey definition which in storm-ridden days replaces
the dreamy indistinctness of more sunny times; now and then a glinting
sun-ray breaking through the driving clouds would brighten up
some solitary peak; and in the valley bottom periods of threatening
stillness would alternate with gusty bursts of wind.

  [Illustration: SUNSET ON THE WULAR LAKE]

Such signs are usually the presage of unpleasant weather. But in the
present case rain did not fall; and this was fortunate, for I had gone
into camp to shoot a bara-singh, the famous Kashmir stag. Rising at
four on the following morning, and, as soon as I had had a hurried
breakfast, mounting a shaggy, naughty little pony captured in the
fighting in Tibet, I followed the shadowy form of a shikari bestriding
a still more diminutive country pony. Most of the clouds of the
previous day had disappeared. The wind had died down, and the stars
were shining out with that clear brilliance only seen amidst the
mountains and in the desert. There was a sharp, bracing feeling in the
air--not the same stinging cold I had felt when riding along this road
at night in January, but strong and invigorating. We stumbled along on
our ponies across fields and by paths which only a native could
detect. At each village dogs howled dismally at us, but not a soul was
astir. We gradually approached the dark outlines of the mountains, and
near their base, while it was still pitch dark, we were joined by
other shikaris who, like stage conspirators and with bated breath,
explained where a stag had been seen on the previous day. I had then
to dismount and walk; steadily and silently we ascended the
mountain-side, and by sunrise were 3000 feet above the valley. The
shikaris were now visible, and like their class hard and keen-looking,
clearly used to living on mountain-sides in cold and heat, and to be
ever peering into distances. The head shikari was a grey, grizzled,
old-looking man, though I daresay he was really not over fifty; hard
and tough, and very grave and earnest--for to him all else in the
world is play, and shikar is man's real work in life. Residents, no
doubt, have some employments to amuse themselves with in ordinary
times; but when the real business of life has to be done they come to
him, and he takes them gently in hand like little children, and shows
them the haunts of the Kashmir stag, his habits, where he wanders, and
how to pursue him.

  [Illustration: DAWN IN THE NULLA]

So now I put myself humbly in charge of the shikaris, for I make no
pretence to be a sportsman. They thereupon proceed to whisper together
with profound earnestness and dramatic action. They point out the
exact spot where, on the previous afternoon, a stag was seen. They
pick up little tufts of his hair brushed off, as they say, in
fighting. They show his footsteps in the soft soil and on patches of
snow. And they are full of marvellous conjectures as to where he can
have gone. But gone he has, and that was the main fact which no amount
of whispering could get over.

So on we went along the mountain-side, and now through deep snow, for
we were on a northward-facing slope of an outlying spur--and all
slopes which face northward are wooded, while southward-facing slopes
are bare. The explanation was evident. For on the latter slopes the
sun's rays fell directly and almost at right angles, and in
consequence fallen snow quickly disappears: while on the northern
slopes the sun's rays only slant across the surface; the snow remains
much longer; the moisture in the soil is retained; vegetation
flourishes; trees grow up; they in their turn still further shade the
snow, and with their roots retain the moisture. And so as a net result
one side of a mountain is clothed in dense forest, and on the other
there may not be a single tree. Thus it is that on the southern side
of Kashmir, that is, on the _northward_-facing slopes of the Pir
Panjal range, there is, as at Gulmarg, dense and continuous forest,
while on the northern side of the valley, on the slope of the hill
that consequently faces southward, there is no forest except on the
slopes of those subsidiary spurs which face northward.

We followed the tracks of the stag through this patch of forest,
mostly of hazels, the shikaris pointing out where the stag had nibbled
off the young leaf-buds and bark which seem to form the staple food of
the deer at this time of year. At last we came to another shikari who
said he had seen the stag that very morning. But I suspect this was
merely a form of politeness to reinspire my lagging hope, for though I
went down and up and along the mountain-side, and spent the whole day
there, I saw no stag. Once we heard a rustling among the leaves, and
hope revived, but it was merely a troop of monkeys. A little later a
boar shuffled out; and again, on a distant spur, disporting himself in
the sunshine, we saw a bear; but no stag.

  [Illustration: KOTWAL FROM THE FOREST ABOVE KANGAN, SIND VALLEY]

Still, in spite of the exertion and in spite of the disappointment, a
day like this on the mountain-side is felt as one of the days in which
one lives. The air was fresh and bracing. There was something both
soothing and inspiring in the quiet of the mountains and the
immense distances before me. Far away to the south majestic clouds and
snowstorms were sweeping along the snowy range of the Pir Panjal.
Beneath was the placid river wending its tortuous way through the
peaceful valley. On one hand would be seen angry storm-clouds rolling
threateningly across with numerous sun-rays piercing through and
lighting up the serpentine course of the river. On the other, emerging
from the black masses, would appear the sunlit snowy range, not hard,
defined, and clear, and rooted on earth, but to all appearances hung
from the heavens like an ethereal transparency.

Hour after hour I alternately feasted on the changing scenes displayed
across the valley, and with my field-glasses searched the
mountain-side for bara-singh. When evening closed in I returned to
camp, where business kept me on the following day, but on the day
after I again rode out while it was yet dark. As the first faint signs
of dawn appeared I began the ascent of the mountain with the shikaris.
The heavens were clear and cloudless. The bluey-black of the sky
imperceptibly faded into grey. The mountain slowly turned from grey to
brown as we steadily worked upward. The reposeful stillness which is
the characteristic charm of the mountains was only broken by the
cheerful chuckle of the chikor, or the occasional twitter of a bird
calling to its mate. Then as we reached the summit of a ridge, and I
looked out through the greys and browns, a sudden thrill struck
through me as, all unexpectedly, my eye lit on the long flush of rosy
pink which the yet unrisen sun had thrown upon the distant mountains,
and which was the more pronounced and striking because their skyey
background and their base was still the grey of night. Not often does
one see a range of _rosy_ mountains. And even now the effect lasted
for a short time only. For rapidly a faint blue drowned the grey. The
sky grew bluer and bluer. The valley became filled with light. But,
alas! the rosy pink that had flushed the snowy summits faded
imperceptibly away to barren whiteness. The whole long range of
mountains showed themselves out with admirable clearness, but
distinctly rooted in the unromantic brown of the valley.

  [Illustration: ABOVE THE CAMPING-GROUND, SONAMARG, SIND VALLEY]

By seven we were at the summit of the mountain with the sun now
shining full upon us, the air crisp and frosty-the very ideal of young
and vigorous day. We marched steadily along the ridge searching the
hollows on either side for stag, but all we saw was a boar breaking
the ice in a pool on the ridge to get a morning drink. At length
we halted for refreshment and rest still on the summit of the ridge
with the most beautiful valley on earth spread out in all its
loveliness 3000 feet below, and the heavenly snowy range bounding the
horizon from end to end before us. Just faintly the sounds from some
village below would be wafted to us through the clear still air. But
otherwise we seemed serenely apart from the noisy turmoil of humanity;
and bathed in the warm noonday sunlight I was able to drink in all the
spirit of the loveliness around me.

And there came upon me this thought, which doubtless has occurred to
many another besides myself--why the scene should so influence me and
yet make no impression on the men about me. Here were men with far
keener eyesight than my own, and around me were animals with eyesight
keener still. Their eyes looked on the same scene as mine did, and
could distinguish each detail with even greater accuracy. Yet while I
lay entranced with its exquisite beauty the keen-eyed shikaris, the
animals, and the soaring eagle above me, might have been stone blind
for all the impression of beauty it left upon them. Clearly it is not
the eye, but the soul that sees. But then comes the still further
reflection--what may there not be staring _me_ straight in the face
which I am as blind to as the Kashmir stags are to the beauties amidst
which they spend their entire lives? The whole panorama may be
vibrating with beauties man has not yet the soul to see. Some already
living, no doubt, see beauties that we ordinary men cannot appreciate.
It is only a century ago that mountains were looked upon as hideous.
And in the long centuries to come may we not develop a soul for
beauties unthought of now? Undoubtedly we must. And often in reverie
on the mountains I have tried to imagine what still further loveliness
they may yet possess for men.

       *       *       *       *       *

From clambering over the high mountains in search of a solitary stag
to sitting in a boat in the middle of a lake with thousands of ducks
incessantly swishing round, is only one other example of the variety
of scene and interest which Kashmir affords. There was just time
before the end of the season for a final duck shoot, and eight of us
rode or drove out six miles from Srinagar to the famous Hokrar Ghat,
"jheel," which the Maharaja had so kindly placed at the disposal of
the Resident for the season.

  [Illustration: THE KAJNAG FROM SOPUR, EARLY SPRING]

We meet at the edge of the lake and draw lots for the numbered butts.
The shikaris, boatmen, and boats are awaiting us, and as soon as we
have decided where each is to go, and have fixed a time to cease
shooting as an interval for lunch, and to give the ducks time to
settle again for the further shooting in the afternoon, we embark each
on a light shallow skiff with our guns, cartridges, and tiffin, and
glide out through a narrow channel in the reeds to the open water
beyond.

Hokrar is right in the centre of the valley, and from the lake a
complete elliptical ring of snowy mountains can be seen. The nearest
and most conspicuous peak is Haramokh, 16,903 feet, and 24 miles
distant. From this the eye ranges from peak to peak to the Khagan
range 70 miles distant in the extreme west of the valley; then along
over the Kaj Nag mountains separated by the gorge of the Jhelum River
valley from the Pir Panjal range, which forms the southern boundary of
the valley with Gulmarg, 24 miles distant, on its southern slopes.
Then traversing the whole length of the Pir Panjal range from the
highest point, Tatakute, 15,524 feet, the eye falls to the depression
over which lies the Banihal Pass, and rising again meets the Kishtwar
range 65 miles distant, closing in the valley on the east, from whence
the eye wanders on snowy ranges till Haramokh in the north again is
met.

The day was another of glorious sunshine, and in the noonday sun the
southern range was bathed in dazzling light, the northern showed up
sharp and clear with the sun's rays beating straight upon it, while
the distant ranges right and left faded away in haze and dreamland.
Soft woolly clouds floated along the mountain-sides. A sharp, crisp
air freshened one up and broke the water into dancing glittering
ripples on which innumerable duck were bobbing up and down.

Here we shot for a couple of hours before tiffin, and afterwards till
evening closed in. It was not one of the great shoots like we have in
the autumn, and which I will describe later, but was none the less
enjoyable, and being the last of the season each made the most of it.

  [Illustration: KOTWAL FROM NEAR THE DAL DARWAZA]

At the end of March I visited Harwan, a very favourite spot, once the
abode of a famous Buddhist saint, and now best known as the site of
the reservoir for the water-supply of Srinagar and of the tanks for
trout-breeding. Rain had fallen in the night, and heavy clouds hung
overhead with only occasional glimpses of intensely clear blue sky
between them. But spring was now clearly advancing. The great chenar
trees, two and three centuries old, were still bare, but the willows
were showing fresh young leaves; the apricot trees were covered with
clouds of blossom, pink and white. The mountain-sides were dotted with
white wild cherry and pear and apple in full bloom; the ground was often
white like snow with the fallen petals; the young hazel-nut leaves gave
freshness to the mountain-side; and near at hand were violets, anemones,
and cuckoo flowers. The air was rich with the scent of the fruit trees.
Swarms of bees were humming around them; butterflies--tortoise-shell,
clouded yellow, and cabbage-white--fluttered in the sunshine; and the
lively twittering of birds--bulbuls, goldfinches, wagtails, and
tits--gave yet one further evidence of the awakening spring.

Each spot in Kashmir one is inclined to think the most beautiful of
all--perhaps because each in some particular excels the rest.
Certainly Harwan has many fascinations of its own. Rising sheer behind
was a mountain crowned with dark precipices overhung by heavy clouds
through which pierced the snowy summit. Clear crystal streams rushed
along the valley with a cheery rustling sound. In the middle distance
lay the placid Dal Lake--on the far side overshadowed by the Hari
Parbat fort. The main valley was interspersed with village clumps of
fresh willow, clouds of fruit blossom, and majestic chenars. In the
far distance lay the snowy ranges of the Pir Panjal, the Kaj Nag, and
Khagan; and facing round again to the north rose the striking Mahadeo
peak--rocky, bold and precipitous, and pine-clad to near the summit.

And one of the further attractions of Kashmir is not only that each
spot is so different from the other, but that each spot has a
different aspect every day. Bright days are the more numerous, but
dull days also have no less striking attractions. The day after our
arrival at Harwan was still and heavy; the whole sky was overhung with
clouds, though they were high above the mountains, and even the most
distant ranges showed up with unusual clearness white and distinct
against the grey monotone sky. The stillness and the heavy cloud
evidently portended a storm, and in the afternoon the distant horizon
grew darker and darker. The snowy mountains were gradually
obscured from view. Then the middle distance became black and
threatening. At the same time on the mountain craigs behind heavy
clouds imperceptibly settled down, and the great cliff grew darker and
darker. Blackness seemed to grow all round, and the mountain summits
with the angry clouds upon them looked more and more sombre and
threatening. Meanwhile all was still and noiseless. Then suddenly out
of the stillness came a rush of air. The poplar trees bent like whips.
The long shoots of the willow trees lashed backwards and forwards.
Great drops of rain came spitting down. A bright, quick flash darted
out from the mountain. Then crash came the thunder--clap after
clap--and torrents of rain. Few things in Nature are more impressive
than a thunderstorm among the mountains.

  [Illustration: THE LULL BEFORE THE STORM, DAL LAKE]

When next I visited Harwan in the middle of May spring had given way
to early summer. The mountain-sides were dotted over with clumps of
yellow barberry and wild pink roses; clematis was in bloom, and
honeysuckle was trailing from the trees. On the ground were large wild
geraniums, the big purple iris, white dead nettle, yellow potentillas,
strawberry blossom, tom-thumbs, clover, ferns, speedwell, and
primulas. The rocks by the stream were often covered with ivy and
overhung by sprays of pink roses. While on the mountain-sides, on the
northward-facing slopes, the wild apricot, cherry, and wych hazel, and
in the valley bottom willow, mulberry, and walnut were in full leaf.
And among the birds were now golden orioles, wagtails (white and
yellow), kingfishers, herons, water-robins, buntings, grey tits, wren
warblers, paradise fly-catchers, bulbuls, thrushes, redstarts,
pigeons, doves, and shrikes.

The morning was cloudy and misty, but again with special beauties of
its own. Long streaks of mist were drifting along the mountain-sides,
all at precisely the same level. Mahadeo, 15,000 feet, was at first
quite clear and lighted by the sun. Then a mist drifted towards it,
and rapidly, but by almost imperceptible increase, the cloud enveloped
it. Light misty clouds swirled about the mountain as currents and
counter-currents seized them. Anon the mist in great part cleared
away, and Mahadeo was seen peering through the clouds, bold and
supernaturally high. Then the peak and all the mountain-sides were
enveloped in dark heavy clouds, rain fell, and there seemed every
prospect of a wet and gloomy day. But all unexpectedly rifts
again appeared, and Mahadeo was once more seen rising composedly above
the clouds, the young green foliage standing out distinct and bright,
and each rock sharp and well defined. And so, hour after hour, the
struggle between cloud and sunshine, between good and evil continued,
it being impossible to tell at any moment which was more likely to
prevail. The clouds seemed settling down, then a glint of sunshine was
seen high on some upland lighting the fresh green grass and some stray
shepherd hut. Finally wet prevailed, and the mist settled lower and
lower on the valley, the rain poured down and a seemingly regular
rainy day set in. But there was fascination yet in watching the mists
floating along the mountains, forming and dispersing, enshrouding and
revealing the mountain peaks; and the green of the little valley
showed up greener than ever. The mountain-sides, usually so brown,
were seen to be tinged with a delicate shade of green. The poplars,
mulberries, and chenars at the mouth of the valley had each their own
especial tint. The rice-fields showed up in brilliant emerald.

  [Illustration: ABOVE LIDARWAT, LIDAR VALLEY]

Yet after it had appeared to settle down for a whole day's rain the
mists suddenly cleared away from the mountain. The sun broke through
the clouds and showed up the rounded higher spurs with the soft,
downy brown of an Oriental carpet, and the higher peaks stood out
sharp and clear. An hour later long level lines of mist appeared and
swiftly grew thicker, the whole mountain from one level upward was
once more enveloped in cloud which thus gained the final victory.

       *       *       *       *       *

Harwan village itself at this time of year was strikingly picturesque.
It was enshrouded in massive clumps of chenar foliage, below which
were the lighter shades of the willow, mulberry, and walnut, and the
straight, graceful, white-trunked poplars piercing through. Here and
there a horse-chestnut in full flower lit up the foliage, and most
beautiful of all were the patches of tall irises--dark purple, mauve,
and white--which now surrounded the village. Numerous water-courses
rushing through the village lands gave brightness, cheeriness, and a
sense of coolness; while the crowing of cocks, the twittering of the
birds, the lowing of cattle, and the neighing of the ponies grazing on
the rich green grass in the valley bottom, and the distant calls of
the shepherd boy to the flocks of sheep and goats on the mountain,
gave further animation to the scene. And whether it was more
entrancing now, or three weeks later when the irises were over, but
when it was wreathed in white roses, it would be difficult to say.
Irises and roses are the two especial beauties of Kashmir villages and
Kashmir lanes and hedgerows. And I would not like to positively state
which was the more beautiful--the rich clumps of mauve and purple
irises surrounding the village with warmth and colour in the spring,
or the clustering wreaths of roses, white and pink, brightening the
village lands and hedgerows in the summer.

  [Illustration: SUNSET ON THE JHELUM, ABOVE SRINAGAR]

Only one desire we must feel in regard to these villages--that all
this natural beauty could not be further enhanced by the trim little
cottages of rural England or the picturesque chalets of Switzerland.
Every time one sees a Kashmir village and succumbs to the charm of all
that Nature has done for it, one longs to see the squalor, untidiness,
and dirt of house and man and clothing removed, and justice done by
man to what Nature has done for _him_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Harwan is not only noted for its natural beauty, and as having been
the abode of a celebrated Buddhist saint: it is also now remarkable as
possessing a hatchery of English trout, the ordinary brown trout, and
of Danube trout or huchon; and here can be seen English trout of all
sizes up to 11 lbs.

These trout were first placed in the Dachigam stream which runs
through the valley opening out at Harwan; and now all up this valley
ideal trout-fishing is given by H.H. the Maharaja to his guests. And
what more perfect spot for the purpose could be found? Kept as a close
preserve for two purposes; firstly, for stag-shooting; and, secondly,
to insure the freshness of the water which furnishes the water-supply
of the whole city of Srinagar, it is absolutely quiet and peaceful.
There are no inhabitants, and no life but wild life; and, except for
the superior grandeur of the mountains on either side, it exactly
resembles a Highland valley. We see the same clear rushing river, here
dashing over boulders in a series of rapids, and there lying in cool,
peaceful pools alongside a grassy bank or beneath some overshadowing
trees. On a cloudy day, when the high mountains are shrouded in mist
and a gentle rain is falling, you might be in Scotland itself. On a
fine day, with Mahadeo towering 10,000 feet immediately above you, and
with glimpses of snowy ranges in the distance, you have Scotland and
something _more_.

  [Illustration: SPRING IN KASHMIR]

This is the valley especially reserved for the sport of Viceroys,
and here it was that in the autumn of 1906 the Maharaja entertained
Lord Minto. And well do I remember the intense relief of the Viceroy
as he turned into the valley and left all ceremonials and State
business behind, and felt that here at least he was in a haven of rest
and natural enjoyment. The air was clear and bracing, the sky
cloudless, and the evening sun throwing long soothing shadows up the
valley. Who could feel a care while he fished or hunted stag in a
valley with more than the beauty and with all the freshness of his
native land?

       *       *       *       *       *

I have said so much about Harwan and the Dachigam valley as they are
typical of the prettiest parts of rural Kashmir and the side-valleys,
but I must now return to the description of Srinagar and the main
valley itself and go back to where we left it in the spring. On April
1st, the chief glory of the Kashmir spring, peach trees were in full
blossom, and forming in the landscape little clouds of the purest and
most delicate pink, and giving it an exquisite touch of light and
colour. The taller and larger pear trees were snow-white masses. The
pink-tinged apple blossoms, the chenar, and walnut leaves were just
appearing, and the poplar and mulberry leaves showed faint symptoms
of bursting. We were in the first, most delicate flush of early
youthful spring.

A mile from Srinagar, on the way to Gupkar and the Dal Lake, the road
passes over a gap between the Takht-i-Suliman and the range to the
north. This spot is well known as "The Gap"; and as it is perhaps a
hundred feet above the valley level an extensive view is obtained, on
the one hand, over the great vale of Kashmir to the snowy Pir Panjal
range in the background on the south, and on the other hand to the Dal
Lake, Haramokh, and the mountain range, close by on the north. There
were very few days when either in the morning or evening I did not
visit this spot, and hardly ever did I see the same view. Every day
there seemed some fresh beauty; and which day in spring, and whether
the days in spring were more beautiful than the days in autumn, I
could never satisfy myself. On April 1st, looking southward, there was
first on the sloping foreground an almond orchard with a sprinkling of
trees in white and pink blossom and the remainder in young leaf. Then
in the valley bottom were clumps of willows in the freshest yellowy
green; light green wheat-fields; bunches of chenar trees not yet
in leaf; broad reaches of the placid river glistening in the sunshine,
with numerous boats gliding gracefully on its surface; and away over
the valley were little clusters of villages, with the land gradually
rising to that range of snowy mountains which forms the culminating
touch of beauty in every Kashmir scene.

  [Illustration: ON THE DAL LAKE IN SPRING]

Looking in the opposite direction from the Gap towards the Dal Lake
was a less extensive, but scarcely less attractive scene. On the
foreground of the gentle slopes towards the lake were tall pear trees
in fresh white bloom dotted prettily among the fields of new green
wheat. Away to the left was an orchard of peach in the purest and
lightest of pink. Little hamlets nestled among the fruit trees; and
immediately beyond them stretched the still, clear lake reflecting in
its mirror surface the graceful willows and chenar trees by its edge,
and the mountain ranges by which it was encircled. As it seemed
floating in its midst lay the famous Isle of Chenars mirrored again in
its glassy surface. By its shore stretched the renowned Moghal
gardens--the Nishat Bagh and the Shalimar Bagh--with their grand
avenues of chenars sloping to the water's edge. Above the far border
rose a mountain ridge still clothed in snow; above that again the
lofty Haramokh; and away in the extreme distance lay the fairy Khagan
snows, while on the whole scene there swam a purple-bluey haze,
growing more purple and more blue the more distant it fell, and giving
to all a softening sense of peace and ease. For tenderness of restful
beauty this scene is not excelled.

       *       *       *       *       *

So far the weather had been exceptionally fine and warm for the
season, and the rainfall to date from the commencement of the year had
been three inches below the normal; but now a wet spell set in such as
one has to expect in the spring in Kashmir, which is always very
uncertain. On April 12th there were 2¾ inches of rain. The total for
the year now exceeded the normal by four inches. The river rapidly
rose ten feet, flooded all the low-lying fields, and seriously
threatened the European quarter; and, finally, snow fell in Srinagar
itself. The maximum temperature in the shade rose to only 50° while
the minimum at night fell to 33°. It is always the exceptional which
happens--in weather at any rate. So this must not be expected every
year. But something else exceptional will occur whatever year we
choose, and there is little use in describing a normal year, for no
such year ever comes in real life.

On the road into Kashmir very serious breaks were made by the rain and
by the melting snow and the mud floods which it brought down. Whole
stretches of road were completely carried away and wiped out of
existence. Bridges were broken; and so dangerous were the falling
boulders, that one European was knocked straight into the Jhelum River
and drowned, and several natives were badly injured. The dak bungalows
were crammed with travellers rolling up from behind, and we
subsequently heard of the misery they suffered from overcrowded rooms,
from the never-ending rolling of the thunder, and the incessant
pelting of the rain. The beauties of Kashmir cannot be attained
without suffering, and the suffering on the road up is often
considerable.

A hard-worked member of the Government of India came from Calcutta to
spend a ten-days' holiday with us in the middle of this deluge, and as
day after day of his holiday went by with nothing but rain, our pride
in the glories of Kashmir sank lower and lower, and we feared he would
go back to give the country but an evil reputation. But the final day
of his stay redeemed all, and for that single day he was good enough
to say he would have come the whole way from Calcutta. We drove out
along the shores of the Dal Lake to the Nishat Bagh, and anything more
exquisitely lovely than the combination of the freshness of the young
spring green, with the whiteness of the snow now low down on the
mountain-sides with the blue sky, the brilliant sunshine, the dreamy
purply haze, the mirror lake, the yellow mustard fields, and the
clouds of pink and white fruit blossom now in its perfection, this
earth can surely nowhere show.

The lake was full from the recent rain, and lapped up to the edge of
the garden. On either side of the gateway were masses of Kashmir
lilac. Stretching up the mountain-side, on either side of the line of
fountains and waterfalls which flowed down from the upper end of the
garden, was a long avenue of massive chenar trees just freshly tinted
with budding foliage, and at the sides and by the entrance were peach,
and pear, and cherry in brilliant bloom. Slowly we ascended the
avenue, and then from the top looked down between the great chenar
trees, over the cascades falling to the lake, over the smooth green
turf, over the clumps of purple iris, over the white cherry blossom
and the mauve lilac; to the still waters of the lake; to the willows
and poplars along its edge; to the fort of Hari Parbat; and then on
to the radiant snows now glistening more brightly, and looking
more ethereal and lovely than ever before. Spring is beautiful
everywhere. Spring is more beautiful in Kashmir than anywhere else,
and in a Kashmir spring this was the most beautiful day of all.

  [Illustration: ENTRANCE TO THE MAR CANAL]

Yet another attractive spot near Srinagar is the site of the original
city founded by Asoka at Pandrathan, three miles distant on the
Islamabad road. Here at the end of a spur running down from the
mountains and jutting out to meet a bend in the river, stands the
remains of an immense monolith lingam on the levelled edge of the
spur, eighty feet or so above the river. Immediately beneath is a
majestic bend of the river, and one April evening when I visited the
sight I looked out from the raised plateau up two glistening reaches,
bordered by fresh green grass and overhung by graceful willows and
poplars in their newest foliage. The wheat-fields on the opposite bank
were a brilliant emerald, and the fields of glowing yellow mustard and
young linseed interspersed with scarlet poppies gave a relieving touch
of colour. All the valley was dotted over with picturesque hamlets
half-hidden in clumps of willow and over-towering chenar trees. The
recent floods gave a lake-like appearance to the middle distance. On
the right the temple on the Takht-i-Suliman formed a graceful feature
in the scene; and from there completely round the semicircle to the
distant left stretched the dreamy snowy mountains, hazy immediately
under the sun, but white and distinct when the evening sun struck full
upon them. A more fitting site for worship could hardly be found.

       *       *       *       *       *

In full summer the Kashmir valley is, perhaps, in its least
interesting condition. The snow has nearly melted from the mountains.
They are often hidden by heat-haze or dust. The fruit blossoms are all
over. The yellow mustard and the blue linseed in the fields have gone
to seed. The green of the trees has lost its freshness; and the
prevailing tones are heavy greens and browns. The weather too is
sultry. The thermometer rises to 95° or 97° in the shade. A heavy,
lethargic feeling oppresses one. Mosquitoes appear in swarms. And by
the end of June every one who can flees to Gulmarg, to Pahlgam in the
Lidar valley, to Sonamarg in the Sind, to Gurais and to the numerous
other cool mountain resorts.

  [Illustration: THE TEMPLE, CHENAR BAGH]

But early in September the valley renews its charms and visitors
return. The atmosphere has been freshened and cooled by the rains
which, though they fall lightly in the valley itself, are often heavy
on the surrounding mountains. The ripe rice-fields show an expanse of
green and yellow often two or three miles in extent. The villages,
dirty and untidy at close quarters, it is true, but nestling among the
chenars, willows, poplars, walnuts, and mulberries, show as entrancing
islands amidst the sea of rice. Ponies browse among the marshes up to
their knees in water; and groups of cattle graze along the grassy edge
of the streams and water-ducts.

The sun is still powerful in the daytime, and the sky usually bright
and clear. But the monsoon will often make a few final efforts. One
such day I note when voluminous masses of cloud rolled up from behind
the Pir Panjal to a height of twenty-five or thirty thousand feet,
their westward edges aglow from the setting sun, and showing clear and
distinct against the background of pinky light blue sky, while the
great main volume remained dark, heavy, and sombre, with now and then
a spit of lightning flashing out, and on the far side, away from the
setting sun, threatening tentacles stretched out across the valley in
unavailing effort to reach the mountains on the northern side. Under
these mighty monsoon masses even the great mountains looked dwarfed
and puny. It was a great and final effort of that stupendous natural
phenomenon which bears the waters of the Indian Ocean to beat upon the
Himalaya; and as an omen that the monsoon was now over, the sky behind
the storm-clouds was intensely clear and tranquil, and the moon slowly
ascended in undisturbed serenity.

And the rainy season being finished there now commenced almost the
most charming time of all, not, indeed, with the freshness of spring,
but with more certainty of continual brightness and light, and more
vigour and strength in the air, and above all, with that warmth and
richness of colour in the foliage which makes an autumn in Kashmir
unique. Towards the end of October the green of the immense masses of
chenar slowly turns to purple, red, and yellow, and every intervening
shade. The poplars, mulberries, and apricots add each their quota of
autumnal beauty. The valley and the river edge are resplendent in the
gorgeous colouring. And beautiful as is the spring, I was tempted to
think that even more exquisitely lovely still was the bright autumnal
day when we drifted down the river in our house-boat, when all
the chenars along the river bank were loaded with the richest and most
varied colouring, when the first fresh fall of snow on the mountains
was glistening in the radiant sunshine, and there ran through the air
that restful sense of certainty that this was no hurried pleasure
snatched from a stormy season, but that for day after day and week
after week one might count on the same brilliant sunshine, the same
clear, blue sky, and daily increasing crispness, freshness, and vigour
in the air.

  [Illustration: RUINS OF LALLA ROOKH'S GARDENS, LAKE MANASBAL]

The great broad reaches in the river, glistening in the sunlight and
fringed with the rich autumnal foliage, were superlatively beautiful.
Shadipur, at the junction of the Sind River, where there is a little
temple on an island and hoary old chenars drooping over it to the
water's surface, was a dream of all that is most lovely. And the
Manasbal Lake, so fresh and deep and clear, set like a jewel among the
mountains, with clumps and avenues of these same red and purple
foliaged trees upon its edge, and reflecting in its surface the white
snowy range of the distant Pir Panjal, was the supreme gem of all
Kashmir. All these are beauties which one cannot describe, for
whatever one may say, the reality must ever remain more beautiful
than the picture. But perhaps by the unison of pen and brush some
faint impression of the loveliness of a Kashmir autumn may yet have
been conveyed.

       *       *       *       *       *

This season to the sportsman also is the most enjoyable. For now come
in the duck and geese from far-away Siberia, halting here for a time
in the lakes and marshes on their way to India. I have already
described a duck-shoot in spring. In the autumn there is still finer
shooting, for the duck have come in fresh and are in greater numbers
than on their return journey. As I have already said, the Maharaja
most hospitably places at the disposal of the Resident the shooting on
the Hokrar Lake and marsh, which affords some of the best
duck-shooting in the world, and it was here that Lord Minto and party
shot over 1500 duck in one day in 1906.

Last year we had our first shoot on October 4th. We rode for six miles
in the fresh morning air and brilliant sunshine to the edge of the
lake, where the shikaris and boatmen were awaiting us. Over the reeds
and over the open expanse of water beyond there was that glorious view
of the distantly encircling mountains which I have before described.
The lower slopes were at this season a reddish pink which merged into
the rich purply blue of the higher and more distant portion of the
range. Soft fleecy clouds and a hazy blue in the sky gave a dreamy
tone to the scene. Many kinds of waterfowl were lazily disporting
themselves on the water and among the reeds. The surface was often
covered with numerous flat, round leaves and pure white waxy
water-lilies with rich yellow centres.

Through these we were paddled swiftly to the butts, which were
skilfully hidden among the reeds, and here amid clouds of mosquitoes,
dragon-flies, and gnats, we awaited the first shot to be fired by the
occupant of the farthest butt. The sun beat powerfully down. All was
still, and drowsy, and silent, save for the drone of the flies and the
occasional "quack, quack!" of the ducks paddling unsuspiciously on the
lake.

At last a distant shot was heard, and then a suppressed roar, as of
breakers on a far-off shore. Then from the direction of the shot a
black cloud arose and advanced rapidly upon us. The roar increased,
and in a few seconds the whole sky was covered with a whirling,
swishing, whizzing flight of ducks. Thousands and thousands of them:
flashing past from right to left, from left to right, backwards and
forwards, forwards and backwards, in bewildering multitudes. For the
moment one's breath was absolutely taken away. There was such a swish
and swirr it was impossible to aim. Then as the first wild rush was
over it became easier to be deliberate, and duck after duck fell to my
companions' guns.

After a quarter of an hour or so a lull occurred. In the distance,
flights of duck were seen circling high in the air, but none came
near. A lazy interval ensued. The sun beat down with unexpected force.
Perspiration poured down head and neck. Dragon-flies, blue and red,
large and small, with gauze-like wings and brilliant bodies, floated
swiftly but noiselessly among the reeds. The purring of the crickets,
the occasional twitter of birds, the swishing of high flights of duck
far out of reach, the call of a goose and the bang of a distant gun at
intervals broke the silence; but otherwise all was wrapped in dreamy
noonday stillness. Then, of a sudden, another succession of flights of
duck came whizzing past, and as fast as we could fire the gun was put
to the shoulder. Another lull followed, only to be succeeded by more
flights, and so on through the day. At 1.30, by previous arrangement,
we stopped for lunch and to give the duck an opportunity of settling,
then renewed the shooting till nightfall. At the end of the day
Colonel Edwards, the Residency Surgeon, had himself shot 203, and
others had shot well over the hundred.

From this time onward, on three or four days in each month, the
duck-shooting on this famous lake continues. The weather now gets
gradually colder, till by December there are sixteen degrees of frost.
All the leaves have now left the trees. The grass is quite brown. But
the days are nearly always fine and clear; and though there will be
thick ice and long icicles in the early morning, by ten or eleven all
the ice not in the shade has disappeared, the air is pleasantly warm,
and there is seldom any wind.

Christmas brings a round of festivities, dances, dinners, and
children's parties, for even in the winter as many as seventy or
eighty will assemble at a dance, and occasional outside travellers or
sportsmen drop in all through the winter. After Christmas a change in
weather sets in. Clouds bank up and snow or rain falls. January and
February are the worst months in the year.

But just before leaving the valley this last year I had one further
attempt to shoot a Kashmir stag. Six miles out from Srinagar, up the
valley, we had a little camp on the edge of the river--a lovely spot
in summer when the rich foliage overhangs the water, and when the
grassy banks are green and fresh, and the river is full up to the lip;
but now when the trees were bare, the banks brown and bleak, and the
water at its lowest, an uninviting-looking spot. Moreover, the sky was
overcast and threatening. Women who came to draw water from the river
were pale and shivering. Our servants were huddled up with the cold. A
raw wind whistled down the valley, and snow threatened on the higher
mountain.

This latter was precisely what I wanted, for it would drive the stag
down to the lower ridges when I would be stalking next day. At four in
the morning, therefore, I rose, and after a solid early breakfast
mounted my faithful but naughty Tibetan pony, and, accompanied by a
guide, rode for seven miles through the darkness and frosty but
invigorating air to the foot of the hills, where the two shikaris
awaited me.

Like their class, they were hard, keen-looking men, accustomed to live
on the mountain-side, to weather hardship and exposure, and live with
Nature and wild animals--an altogether different type from the crafty
townsman or indolent dwellers on boats. Rahem Sheikh, the chief, was
a grizzled old man, with keen, far-seeing eyes, tough physique, and a
grave, earnest demeanour as if the business of his life was of the
most serious. This, indeed, as I have already said, is a special trait
of head shikaris all India over; and during viceregal visits to Native
States I have never been able to decide which takes himself most
seriously--the head shikari or the European caterer. Both look upon
the Viceroy, the Chief, and the Resident, in the way of children who
are to be indulged. They have to be amused and fed. They no doubt have
unimportant business of their own. But the really serious business in
this life is--to the shikari to find game, and to the caterer to
provide food. Things would rub along somehow or other without a
Viceroy; but how would life be without the head shikari to show the
stag, or the caterer to produce meat and drink?

Knowing the point of view of head shikaris I placed myself, therefore,
with child-like but misplaced confidence in his hand. But, alas! snow
had not fallen on the higher mountains. The clouds had cleared away,
and the stags must have remained on the distant peaks--many miles away
and thousands of feet higher. Two days of hard climbing and careful
search produced no result.

On the third day, rising early and looking out of my tent, I saw a
perfectly clear sky and the ground covered thick with hoar frost; a
sharp crisp nip was in the air, the thermometer registered 16° Fahr.,
and away across the glistening reach in the river appeared a rose-pink
range of mountains showing up sharply against the clear blue sky. Let
the reader imagine a frosty morning in the Thames valley. Let him
imagine, what we never have in England, a really clear blue sky. And
then, filling up the distant end of one of its most beautiful reaches,
let him imagine a lofty range of rose-coloured mountains; and he will
then have a picture of the view from my camp at sunrise on the January
morning.

Mounting my pony, I rode off in the now radiant sunshine to another
hill-side nine miles distant. The frosty morning air at first nipped
my ears and fingers, but the hard galloping soon sent the blood
tingling through my veins, and in little over an hour I again joined
the shikaris. With bated breath and significant glances at the
mountain-side, they informed me that they had seen seven hinds and two
stags, though the latter were both small.

I dismounted, and left the wicked little Tibetan with his head well
buried in a bundle of grass; and then with a coolie to carry my
tiffin, overcoat, and rifle, started up the hill-side. One quickly
becomes fit in such a climate. This was my third day out, and now I
climbed the mountain almost as easily as the shikaris themselves. What
on the first day was a decided effort was now a scarcely perceptible
strain. Perhaps, too, the greater expectation of finding a stag had
something to do with the increased elasticity with which I ascended
the mountain. Anyhow, taking off my coat, as with the exertion of
climbing and in the brilliant sunshine it was now really hot, I was on
the summit of the ridge 3000 feet above the valley, almost without
noticing the climb.

At our feet on the opposite side lay a cosy little side-valley with
villages nestling among the chenar and mulberry trees. Behind us lay
the broad main valley with the great river gliding through it; and
away in the distance the rugged Pir Panjal mountains were glistening
in the noonday sun.

The scenery was perfect. But again no stags were seen. Till dark we
scoured the mountain-side, but all we saw were the tracks of
stags--or may be hinds--leading away to the higher mountains.

Then I had to hurry back to camp, and the next day to Srinagar, to
prepare for a long journey down to Calcutta for the very dull object
of giving evidence to a Royal Commission on Decentralisation.

The cycle of the seasons has been completed; and the aspect of the
valley under the varying conditions of spring and summer, autumn and
winter, has been depicted. In another chapter I will describe the
means and methods of travel.



CHAPTER II

TRAVEL IN KASHMIR


I have known Kashmir for twenty-one years, and ever since I have known
it people have said it is getting spoilt. "It is not now what it used
to be" is so often said. When the cart-road was being built every one
said it would be spoilt. And now, when the construction of a railway
is in contemplation, exactly the same remark is made. The impression
conveyed is that the pleasures of travel in Kashmir are surely and
steadily deteriorating. And this, no doubt, is true in certain
aspects. Supplies are dearer. Coolies demand higher wages. The visitor
disposed to solitude more frequently encounters his fellow Britisher.
These are decided drawbacks, and the visitor who telegraphs to
Danjhibhoy for a tonga, to Nedou's for a room in the hotel, and to
Cockburn's for a house-boat, and has simply to pay his fare and his
hotel bill, no doubt pines for the virgin time of Kashmir travel
before the rattle of the tongas or the tooting of the motor car was
heard in the valley.

Yet I doubt if all was bliss in those "good old days." Certainly
Moorcroft, the first Englishman to visit Kashmir, had no very
comfortable time, and must often in his turn have pined for a good
hotel, a clean room, and a decent dinner--and, who knows, for a game
of golf? Moorcroft visited Kashmir in 1823, and first had enormous
difficulty in obtaining from Ranjit Singh, the ruler of the Punjab, to
whom Kashmir was then subject, leave to come to Kashmir at all. He
arrived there from the north in the autumn, and had fresh difficulty
in obtaining permission to remain there for the winter. At the
quarters he occupied he was "beset by crowds of people who not only
filled the garden, but also came in boats." He was pursued wherever he
went by inquisitive crowds, by importunate beggars, and by suspicious
officials. When he wished to make short excursions from Srinagar
objections were at once raised. When he was at length allowed to leave
for the Lolab, officials were appointed to accompany him "to watch his
proceedings and check inquisitiveness." And when he finally left
Kashmir for the Punjab by the Jhelum valley he was stopped by a small
semi-independent chief near Uri, who demanded Rs. 15,000 as customs
duty on his caravan, and as Moorcroft refused to pay more than Rs. 500
he was compelled to return to Srinagar and reach the Punjab by another
route.

These certainly were not the halcyon days of Kashmir travel. But I
suppose there must have been an intermediate time between then and now
when travelling in Kashmir was perfection to those who had time enough
at their disposal to "march" in. In those delightful times the
traveller pitched his little camp wherever he wished. Grain was
ridiculously cheap. Fowls were considered dear at twopence each.
Coolies were thankful enough to get any payment at all. There were no
game laws or game licences, so that the sportsman could shoot to his
heart's content. The number of visitors for the year was restricted to
100, so that each had 700 or 800 square miles to himself, and there
was no need of dress clothes, white shirts, or Ascot dresses.

When I first visited Kashmir in the autumn of 1887 its glory had
already begun to depart, though as regards simplicity of travelling my
methods were of the simplest. I had no other clothes but what I stood
in, and only the under portion of these were of European origin. All
my outer clothes, including my boots, were worn out long before I
reached Kashmir, and I was accordingly clothed in a long Central Asian
robe and high native boots, for I was at the end of a journey of
nearly four thousand miles from Peking. I had crossed--and was the
first European to accomplish the feat--the Mustagh Pass, 19,000 feet
high, into Baltistan; and the "Pass" being nothing else than a hard
ice slope and a rocky precipice, down which I and my five servants and
coolies had to let ourselves by means of turbans and waist-clothes
tied together, I had been able to carry with me little even of the
scanty baggage I had brought up to the other side of the Pass. I had
indeed only a roll of bedding, which was thrown down the precipice,
and a big kettle. I had no tent and no money! I had slept in the open
from one side of the Himalayas to the other, and my funds were
entirely exhausted, so that when I landed in Kashmir territory I had
to borrow money from the Governor of Baltistan, Pandit Rada Kishen
Kol, a very popular and respected official who is still in the
Maharaja's service, and is now Chief Judge.

Simplicity of travel was, then, at least possible twenty years ago,
and I managed, after crossing the Pass, to get along with only one
servant who cooked, performed every function of the numerous servants
we employ in India, and carried a load himself in emergency. But he
was the most faithful, and my favourite of all the servants I have
ever had. His name was Shukar Ali, and I must ask my reader's
indulgence for a digression to describe him. I picked him up in
Yarkand, in Chinese Turkestan, but he was a native of Ladak. He was
the most cheery, happy-go-lucky, easy-going man, who ever proved a
good servant in spite of his carelessness. Always laughing, always
chaffing with the pony-men or coolies, always losing something vitally
necessary, but always ready to do the hardest and most dangerous piece
of work when the crucial moment arrived, he was the only Ladaki who
dared to cross the Mustagh Pass with me, and but for one incident I
would have a most grateful recollection of his services then. That
incident I have often since reminded him of. After crossing the Pass
we had to cross a very full and rapid stream flowing straight out of a
glacier. Immense blocks of ice were breaking off the glacier and
floating down the stream. The bottom was also partly ice and partly
boulder. Shukar Ali, with his usual readiness, volunteered to carry me
across this stream on his back. But in mid-stream he slipped. I was
precipitated into the icy water, while Shukar Ali, in his frantic
efforts to regain his own footing, unknowingly kept pressing me under
water. We both eventually gained the opposite bank all right. But I
had no change of clothes, and every stitch I had on was wringing wet
with ice-cold water.

When, two years later, Government sent me to explore all the northern
frontier of Kashmir from Ladak and the Karakoram Pass to the Pamirs
and Hunza, I again sought out Shukar Ali; and yet a third time, when I
was sent on a political mission to Chinese Turkestan and the Pamirs in
1890-91. On each of these occasions he rendered unfailing service, and
once both he and I were nearly drowned in an avalanche. We had been
hewing our way up the steep slopes of an ice pass in a snowstorm, when
suddenly out of the snow-clouds above us we heard a roar like thunder
approaching nearer and nearer. We could not run if we would, for we
were on an ice slope. We could only await our doom, for we knew it was
an avalanche. But with a mighty rush it crashed past a few paces
in front of us, and we were safe.

  [Illustration: A LADAKI IN SUMMER COSTUME]

After 1891 I did not see Shukar Ali for seventeen years, for my
travels never took me to that frontier again. But I heard of him from
Dr. Sven Hedin who employed him in Tibet, and who told me of the
wonderful tales which the imaginative Shukar Ali related of the
journeys we had made together. And last summer the dear old man
suddenly appeared at the Residency. He had heard that I was now
Resident, and had walked 240 miles across the mountains to see me, and
he presented himself wearing the identical coat I had given him
seventeen years ago. He kept jumping up and down, first kissing my
feet, then touching my coat, then salaaming, and all the time
ejaculating an unceasing flow of speech, calling me by every
affectionate term. Then from under numerous folds of his clothing he
produced a wooden bowl, a bag full of sweets, a pair of goat horns for
my wife and myself, and a marvellous collection of showy-looking
stones which he had picked up in Tibet for my little girl.

He remained with me for a few weeks. I gave him something to keep him
comfortable at home, but which I am sure in his good nature he will
let his relations squeeze out of him, and then I sent him off back to
Ladak. But before he left I asked the Maharaja to give him an order
exempting him from service in his village. His Highness, with his
usual kindness, readily acceded. An order was made out with the
Maharaja's own signature attached, and at a garden-party at the
Residency Shukar Ali was had up and presented with the order. His
Highness addressed him in a most kindly manner, and on the following
day presented him in Durbar with a shawl of honour.

Poor Shukar Ali left with many tearful farewell expressions, and a few
weeks later I received from him the following letter:--

   Sir--I reached very well home, with very felt happy and found all
   my poor family very well and showed the all kindly of your they
   got very glad, and we all family thankfully to you to remember us
   so much, to little people and my all friends got very glad too,
   they said thank you, and hope you would not be angry with this
   English written, please you pardon for this, and could not write
   myself and could not get other munshi write you, because and
   found Rassul, he was my old friend and let him write this letter.
   please give my salaam to Mem Sahib and Baby Baby Sahib.

   --Your obedient servant
     SHUKAR ALI

       from poor Rassul plenty salaam,

         the mark of Shukar Ali _O_.

All this, however, is a digression, and I have to describe the normal
modes of travel of the present day. Srinagar is 196 miles distant from
the railway at Rawal Pindi, and is connected with it by a good
cart-road--good, that is in its normal condition, but excessively bad
after heavy rain, when at places the whole mountain-side slides down
with the road into the river. The usual mode of conveyance is a tonga,
a very common form of vehicle in the Indian "hills." It has two
wheels, is drawn by a pair of ponies, has four seats back to back, and
carries a mountain of luggage piled up on the splash-boards and on the
roof. The ponies, when the season is not crowded and the road is good,
gallop at full speed, and are changed every five or six miles. In the
full part of the season, which generally coincides with the heaviest
fall of rain, with much beating, pulling, and shouting they can
scarcely be induced to reach a trot, and may think themselves lucky if
they find a change at the end of their stage.

Other means of conveyance for which extra charge is made are landaus
and victorias. These, though more comfortable, are heavier for the
ponies, and are more difficult to manipulate over bad places in the
rainy season.

Spare baggage and servants can be brought up in the ordinary Indian
ckka which, with one pony without changes, takes six to eight days to
reach Srinagar; or in bullock carts which take fourteen days.

Tongas will take two, three, four or more days according to the length
of the day, the nature of the road, and the disposition of the
traveller. The tonga carrying the English mail, travelling almost
continuously, covers the distance in thirty-six hours. In the long
summer days travellers, starting early, can accomplish the journey in
two days.

Every fourteen miles or so is a dak bungalow, where for the payment of
one rupee a furnished room is provided, and on further payment meals
may be obtained at any time, but "bedding" must always be taken, as
nothing but the bare bed is provided.

The stages from Rawal Pindi (1790 feet) at which these bungalows may
be found, are:--

     Tret                          25½ miles       25½ miles
     Sunnybank (6000 feet) (for
       Murree, 2 miles distant)    11¼   "         36¾   "
     Kohala (2000 feet)            27½   "         64¼   "
     Dulai (2180 feet)             12    "         76¼   "
     Domel (2320 feet)              9    "         85¼   "
     Garhi (2750 feet)             13½   "         98¾   "
     Chakoti (3780 feet)           21  miles      119¾ miles
     Uri (4425 feet)               13½   "        133¼   "
     Rampur (4825 feet)            13    "        146¼   "
     Baramula (5150 feet)          16    "        162¼   "
     Patan (5200 feet)             16½   "        178¾   "
     Srinagar (5250 feet)          17½   "        196¼   "

The road is usually open all the year round except in January,
February, and part of March, when it is liable to be blocked by snow
over the Murree hill and between Rampur and Baramula. In such
emergencies the alternative route by Abbotabad may be used, and the
traveller must make up his mind to walk the few miles of bad road near
Rampur.

Instead of going all the way by road, boat may be taken at Baramula
for Srinagar. This, though longer, is much more comfortable and
enjoyable. The time occupied is from two to three days.

       *       *       *       *       *

At Srinagar there is no dak bungalow, but an hotel--Nedou's--which is
open the whole year round. Srinagar is the central starting-point for
all expeditions. Here house-boats, dunga-boats, camp equipage, and all
the paraphernalia of Kashmir travel may be obtained, and shikaris and
servants engaged. House-boats are not indigenous to Kashmir. They were
introduced by Mr. M. T. Kennard some twenty years ago, but now they
may be numbered by hundreds. Some are permanently occupied by
Europeans, who live in them nearly the whole year round for years
together, but most are let out at from Rs. 70 to Rs. 100 per mensem
for the season. In midsummer they are hot abodes, but they form a most
convenient and luxurious mode of travel. Each would contain, probably,
a couple of sitting-rooms with fireplaces, bedrooms, and bath-rooms,
and with a cook-boat attached for cooking and servants, the traveller
launches forth complete, and either drifts lazily down the river to
the many attractive spots along its banks, and to the Wular Lake, or
else is towed upwards to Islamabad. The house-boat likewise forms a
very convenient base from which short expeditions into the mountains
can be made.

Dungas and dunga house-boats are not so luxurious and commodious as
the fully developed house-boat; but they are lighter, they travel
quicker, and they go up shallow tributaries where the larger boat
would stick. They are also less expensive. The former have only loose
matting for walls; the walls of the latter are wooden.

For getting about the river in Srinagar itself the still lighter
shikara or ordinary paddle-boat is used, paddled by two to eight men
according to the size. House-boats and dunga house-boats require a
crew of six to twelve men. Dungas carry a family in the stern who work
the boat. Paddles, poling, and hauling are the means of progression.

Quite good shops for European stores and articles are now springing up
in Srinagar. Cox & Co. and the Punjab Banking Co. have branches there,
and Cockburn's Agency do every kind of agency work, engage boats and
servants, and let out tents, camp furniture, etc. There are also many
respectable native firms who do the same--of whom, perhaps, the best
is Mohamed Jan, because he does not pester and importune the visitor
in the way that most others do, and really render life in Srinagar
intolerable.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a large choice of expeditions from Srinagar to points of
interest, which will be described in detail in a later chapter. First
in the immediate vicinity there are picnics to be made to the Dal
Lake, to the two Moghal gardens,--the Nishat Bagh and the Shalimar
Bagh,--and to the beautiful camping ground of the Nasim Bagh. These
are expeditions which can be made in a single afternoon if necessary.

Of more remote tours the favourites are:--up the river to Islamabad
and the beautiful Achibal spring and garden; to the clear crystal
springs of Vernag, one of the many sources of the Jhelum; to the
famous ruins of Martand which occupy the grandest site for a temple of
any in the world; to the Lidar valley, Pahlgam, the Kolahoi glacier,
and the caves of Amar Nath. Islamabad is the starting-point for both
the Lidar valley and Martand, and here the house-boat may be left.
Islamabad, thirty-four miles distant, may also be reached by a road
which, though unmetalled, is in dry weather quite good. I have left
Srinagar in a motor car at 8.45, have spent over an hour going round
Islamabad, have eaten lunch under the glorious chenar trees at
Bijbehara, and have been home again at Srinagar by 3.15 the same
afternoon.

Down the river are equally delightful tours to be made. At Shadipur,
at the junction of the Sind River with the Jhelum River, there is a
charming grassy camping-ground under chenar trees. Ganderbal is a few
miles higher up the Sind River, and forms the base for expeditions to
(1) the Wangat ruins and the Gangarbal Lake, an exquisite
torquoise-coloured sheet of water reposing immediately beneath the
great cliff and glaciers of the Haramokh mountain; and (2) the
beautiful Sind valley with its grand mountain scenery, and the
charming camping-ground of Sonamarg (the golden meadow) also under
towering mountain masses and close to glaciers. Up this valley also
lies the road to the Zoji-La Pass on the far side of which branch off
roads to Baltistan, on the one hand, with its fine ibex-shooting
ground, immense glacier region, and K2, the second highest mountain
in the world; and on the other to Ladak with its Buddhist monasteries
perched on any inaccessible rocky pinnacle that can be found, and Leh,
the meeting-place of caravans from Lhasa and from Central Asia--a most
quaint and picturesque little town embedded among bare, sun-baked
mountains which has been the starting-point of two journeys I have
made across the dreary, lofty Karakoram Pass (18,500 feet) to
Turkestan and to the Pamirs.

From Shadipur, at the junction of the Sind with the Jhelum, the next
expedition to be made is to the Wular Lake and Bandipur, from whence
ascends immediately the long and numerous zigzags to Tragbal, a
favourite camping-ground amid the pines, and to the Tragbal Pass
(12,600 feet), from whence a magnificent view of Nanga Parbat (26,600
feet) may be seen, though I am bound to say that I have never seen it
myself in spite of having crossed the Pass six times on the way to, or
returning from, Gilgit and the Hunza frontier which lies in this
direction. It is by this route, too, that sportsmen proceeding to
shoot markhor in Astor, or ibex and bear in Tilail and Gurais, make
their way, as also the few who obtain permission to shoot Ovis Poli on
the Pamirs. For myself the Tragbal and Bandipur have many welcome
associations, for it is here that I have finished two great exploring
expeditions, and on a third occasion returned there after a stay of
two and a half years hard service on the Hunza and Chitral frontier.
It is impossible to convey the delicious sense of relief the traveller
feels in descending from the Pass, in leaving behind all the rigors of
severe mountain travel and intense cold, and with each easy step
downward feeling the air growing warmer and warmer, and at length
reaching the lake throwing himself into an armchair in a comfortable
house-boat, and then gliding smoothly over the placid lake with the
evening sunlight flooding the beautiful valley, and a soothing sense
suffusing him at difficulties surmounted, at hardships past, and at
present relaxation of body, mind, and purpose.

  [Illustration: THE VALLEY OF GURAIS]



CHAPTER III

SRINAGAR AND NEIGHBOURHOOD


Entering now into greater detail, first among the places of interest
to be described must be Srinagar, the City of the Sun, the capital of
the country, and the dwelling-place of 120,000 inhabitants. From both
the sanitary and the æsthetic point of view I am always disappointed
that Srinagar was not placed either on the plateau of Pariansipura in
the centre of the valley, or on the plateau just above Pampur on the
west. The former was chosen by the great king Lalataditya for the site
of his capital, of which the ruins remain to this day. It is a karewa
just opposite the junction of the Sind River with the Jhelum, high and
dry above all floods and marshes. And it stands well away from the
mountain ranges on either hand, right out in the centre of the valley,
so that all the higher peaks and the complete circle of snowy
mountains may be seen. A nobler site could not be found. The Pampur
plateau has the like advantage of being high and dry and healthy, and
of being sufficiently raised above the ordinary level of the valley to
command views right over the fields and marshes and wooded hamlets;
and it also immediately overhangs the river, and commands a view of
the most picturesque reaches in its course.

Either of these sites would have been preferable to the present
low-lying situation amid the swamps, so muggy in summer and so chill
in winter. Yet this site has attractions of its own, and built as it
is on either side of the river, with canals and waterways everywhere
intersecting it, and with the snowy ranges filling the background of
every vista, the city of Srinagar must be ranked among the most
beautiful in the East, and in its peculiar style unique.

The distinguishing feature is the combination of picturesque but
rickety wooden houses, of mosques and Hindu temples, of balconied
shops, of merchants' houses and the royal palaces with the broad
sweeping river and the white mountain background.

  [Illustration: MARKET BOATS ON THE MAR CANAL, SRINAGAR]

Perhaps Srinagar never looks more beautiful than in the fulness of
spring towards the end of April, when the Maharaja arrives from Jammu
and enters his summer capital by boat. On such occasions the
Resident and his staff, all the State officials, and many of the
Europeans resident in Srinagar, go by boat to meet His Highness some
distance below the city. The Maharaja arrived this year on the most
perfect day in spring. Before the time of his arrival the river was
alive with craft of every description, from the Resident's state barge
of enormous length, and manned by about fifty rowers dressed in
scarlet, to light shikaras, and even two motor boats. As we emerged
from the town the banks on either side were covered with fresh green
grass. The poplars and some magnificent chenar trees overhanging the
river were in their freshest foliage. And coming up a long reach of
the broad glistening river was the Maharaja's flotilla, with their
long lines of red and of blue oarsmen giving colour to the scene.

The two flotillas joined and slowly made their way through the city.
On either side were piled up masses of wooden houses, some low, some
high, some leaning to one side, some to the other,--none straight and
no two alike. All were crowded with people craning at the windows to
see the procession. From many hung shawls, the distinctive decoration
of the city for state occasions. And most striking and most beautiful
feature of all, and only to be seen at this time of year and in
Kashmir, the earth-covered roofs were now covered with fresh green
grass, with delicate mauve irises, and in some few cases with the
gorgeous scarlet Kashmir tulip. A more beautiful object than that of a
little mosque on the edge of the river with its chalet-like roof
covered with this blaze of scarlet, its graceful spire tapering
skywards, its tassel-like bells of brass suspended from the corners
all set in a group of overshadowing chenar trees, with the snowy
ranges in the far distance, the clear blue sky above and the spring
sunshine bathing all in warmth and light, it would be hard indeed to
find outside Kashmir.

Beyond the seventh bridge is the Yarkand serai, filled with the
Tartar-featured Yarkandis from Central Asia, in whose garb I myself
arrived in Srinagar twenty-one years ago, and fully as dark as they
from many months' exposure to the sun and snow.

Above this is the first neat, well-constructed buildings--the Zenana
hospital built and supported by the State, and now lined by the
medical and nursing establishment come out to welcome the Maharaja.

  [Illustration: ABOVE THE FIFTH BRIDGE, SRINAGAR]

The sixth and most of the other bridges of Srinagar are built up on
piers of crossed horizontal logs of wood. They occupy much of the
river way, but are very distinctive, and harmonise most picturesquely
with the wooden houses of the city. They were all crowded with people.
And on the banks near one were assembled many hundreds of school-boys
carrying small flags, which they waved as the Maharaja passed, and
shouted "Eep, eep, ra! Eep, eep, ra!" continuously for many minutes in
imitation of the British cheer. Mottoes of welcome were stretched
across the houses in places, some invoking long life for the
King-Emperor, and others expressing loyal wishes for the Maharaja.
Between the third and fourth bridges are the shops of most of the
chief bankers and merchants, big, handsome, picturesque buildings of
small bricks and woodwork, with semicircular balconies jutting out
over the river and pretty carved and lattice-work windows. Near the
third bridge is the fine Shah Hamadan mosque of an almost Norwegian
type of architecture, built of wood with a tall taper spire and
handsome hanging ornaments from the eaves. Beyond the third bridge is
the chief Hindu temple, of quite a different order of architecture,
built of stone--and, as along the whole embankment of the river, with
the great stone blocks from the temples and cities of ancient Hindu
times.

And so the procession up the river continues, through the avenue of
houses, mosques, and temples; past rows of grain barges and
house-boats tethered to the shores; past the curious wooden
bathing-boxes, under the old-style wooden bridge; past flights of
steps leading to the water's edge and crowded with people mostly, it
is sad to say, in dull brown or the dirtiest white, but sometimes in
gay orange-green or purple; past the old residence of the Governors
and the new villa of Sir Amar Singh till the Maharaja's palace is
reached, where the procession finally halts while all the hundreds of
little boats which had followed in rear swarm round the palace steps.
The Resident then takes leave, the Maharaja ascends into his palace,
and the Resident and the European community proceed still farther up
the river to the European settlement in the area known as the Munshi
Bagh.

The palace, though large, is disappointing. It is not what one would
have expected on such a site. Even the native portion is not handsome,
and on to this has been tacked an ugly European edifice. A great
chance has been thrown away, and one can only hope that time will
either tone down the present ungainliness or remove it altogether, and
erect a building more worthy of the rulers and of the beautiful
country which they rule.

  [Illustration: SHAWL MERCHANTS' SHOPS, THIRD BRIDGE, SRINAGAR]

On either side are two handsome villas of brick and wood such as are
seen on the banks of the Thames; the one belongs to the Maharaja's
brother Raja Sir Amar Singh, and the other is allotted by His Highness
to his chief spiritual adviser. Beyond is the great flight of steps,
at which Lord Minto landed on his arrival in 1906, leading to the main
land entrance of the palace on the one hand, and on the other to a
new, well-built, fairly clean and extremely picturesque bazaar.

Then the last, or rather, as it is commonly known, the first bridge is
passed, over which lies the main road from Rawal Pindi and Baramula to
Srinagar and the Munshi Bagh; and beyond this are passed more villas,
then the State Hospital and the Museum on the right and various State
buildings on the left, including the old Guest House in which were
entertained Sir Henry Lawrence and John Nicholson. Beyond is clear of
the town, and along the "Bund" or embankment, which forms a lovely
walk by the water-edge, has now arisen a series of smart European
buildings--the missionaries' quarters, the Punjab Bank, Parsi shops,
the Post Office, the Residency clerks' quarter and office, and then
the Residency itself, a regular English country-house; and beyond it a
tidy little Club, the second Assistant Resident's quarters, the
Parsonage, the Church, and a line of houses each in its own snug and
pretty little garden, the residences of British officials in the
employ of the Kashmir State. The whole Bund is overshadowed by great
chenar trees and willows, and both sides of the river are lined with
house-boats. A thousand feet immediately behind rises the
Takht-i-Suliman with the graceful Hindu temple on its summit, and
behind this again the great ranges with snow still lying low upon
them.

Behind the Bund lie many other modern houses, including Nedou's hotel,
and on the slopes of the Takht and towards Gupkar many English villas
are springing up--all in much the same style, built of brick and
cross-beams of wood with gable roofs. There are also tennis courts and
a croquet and badminton grounds round the Club, and on the open plain
golf links, a polo ground, and a cricket ground. Srinagar is indeed a
gay place for the summer months, with games going on every day, dances
nearly every week, dinners, garden parties, and picnics.

  [Illustration: MOSQUE OF SHAH HAMADAN, SRINAGAR]


THE JAMA MASJID

The largest and most striking, though not the most beautiful, of the
Mohamedan buildings in Srinagar is the Jama Masjid, which was built by
the Emperor Shah Jehan. It is constructed of wood throughout, and is
in the form of a square enclosing a courtyard. The main building, of
course, faces Mecca. Here there is a forest of pillars all of single
deodar trees, and remarkable for their height and grace. A staircase
leads on to the roof, from which a good view over the sea of
mud-roofed houses of Srinagar may be obtained.

Taken as a whole the building is not very remarkable. The graceful
steeples, of the style characteristic of Kashmir, in the centre of
each face are worthy of note. But all is in disrepair and neglected,
and is hardly worthy of a city of over a hundred thousand Mohamedans.


SHAH HAMADAN MASJID

A more beautiful building than the Jama Masjid is the graceful Mosque
of Shah Hamadan, situated close upon the river, and a very favourite
object for artists and photographers. It also is built of wood with
pointed steeple, beautifully carved eaves and hanging bells, like
most of the Mohamedan structures in Kashmir.


OTHER BUILDINGS

Scattered throughout the city are other mosques of much the same style
of architecture. There are also several Hindu temples of the usual
type, and not especially characteristic of Kashmir.


DR. NEVE'S HOSPITAL

Conspicuous above the European quarter stand the group of buildings
known all over Kashmir as Dr. Neve's Hospital, a mission hospital
which, with Mr. Biscoe's School, is the most sincerely appreciated of
all the efforts which Europeans have made for the welfare of the
Kashmir people. Last year no less than 22,735 new out-patients were
treated, and the total number of visits amounted to 56,280. 1764
in-patients, of whom 476 were females, were also treated; and 5038
surgical operations were performed. Sometimes over 200 out-patients,
and on a few days over 300 out-patients, were treated in a single day.
These figures speak for themselves. They show the confidence the
people now have in the wonderful institution and the steady practical
good it is doing. The heads of the hospital are the brothers Drs.
Arthur and Ernest Neve; and they are assisted by Dr. Rawlence, Miss
Neve, Miss Robinson, Mr. S. Wilson, and 54 native assistants and
servants.

  [Illustration: A HINDU TEMPLE, SRINAGAR]

The hospital was founded in 1865 by Dr. Elsmie, who for many years had
uphill work in starting the institution, but at length gained the
confidence of the people and of the late Maharaja. Dr. Downes
succeeded Dr. Elsmie, and carried the work forward. In 1881 Dr. Neve
took it up. In that year 10,800 new patients were treated; there were
23,393 visits, and 1418 operations were performed. Year by year since
then the good work has progressed. The original mud-buildings have
gradually been replaced by the present solid masonry structures. And
the steady growth of the number of in-patients, and the readiness with
which even upper-class women remain in the hospital, testify to the
confidence with which the institution is now regarded. It is now
renowned through all the north of India, and is a splendid testimony
to the steady, thorough, and persevering work of two self-sacrificing
men.


THE TAKHT-I-SULIMAN

The most conspicuous object in the neighbourhood of Srinagar is the
Takht-i-Suliman, a hill exactly a thousand feet above the valley
plain, and surmounted by an ancient Hindu temple. Both for the sake of
the view over the valley, up the reaches of the Jhelum, and down on to
the Dal Lake and the city of Srinagar immediately at the foot, and
also to see the older temple even now frequented by pilgrims from all
over India, a climb to the summit is well repaid.

The temple is believed to have been dedicated to Jyesthesvara, a form
of the god Siva. It was at one time thought that it was built 220
B.C., but it is now believed by the best authorities that while the
massive basement and stairs are remains of an ancient building
(possibly Gopaditya's, as Dr. Stein thinks), the present
superstructure may be of later date. The roof is certainly modern, but
the temple as a whole probably belongs to the same period as the other
temples in Kashmir.

It is of the typical Hindu plan of a square with recessed corners, and
is built like all the ancient Kashmir temples of massive blocks of
stones.

  [Illustration: IN THE MAR CANAL, SRINAGAR]


PANDRATHAN

Three miles up the river from Srinagar is the site of what is very
probably the original city of Srinagar founded by Asoka. The name of
Pandrathan now given to the village is identified with the
Puranadhisthana, or "ancient capital" of the records, and this has
been presumed to be the same as Srinagar founded by Asoka, the
Buddhist king. But of this city nothing now remains, and the
picturesque temple there is of later date. It was built by the
minister Meruvad-dhana in the beginning of the tenth century, and
dedicated to Vishnu.


THE DAL LAKE

The Dal Lake, with the canal leading into it, and the various gardens
on its shores, is one of the chief attractions of the neighbourhood of
Srinagar. It is always lovely, but perhaps at no season more beautiful
than early in May. Passing through the lock known as the Dal Darwaza,
we glide through channels of still, transparent water hedged in by
reeds and willows. On the right rises the Takht-i-Suliman immediately
out of the lake. In front are the snowy ranges bordering the Sind
valley. Numerous side-channels branch off and intersect. The shores
are covered with market gardens. Country boats laden with their
produce continually pass, usually propelled by some old man or woman
squatting at the extreme prow, and balancing him or herself there with
extraordinary confidence and skill. Numerous kingfishers of brilliant
sky-blue plumage flash across the water; and gorgeous yellow-golden
orioles dart from tree to tree. Clumps of noble chenar trees with the
Kashmir chalet houses are grouped along the banks, and often overhang
the mirror waters. Orchards of quince trees with their delicate pink
and white blossom and fields of brilliant yellow mustard line the
shores. Cows and their calves, sheep and their little lambs, graze on
the fresh green grass; and pretty but dirty little children, geese and
goslings, ducks and ducklings, dabble in the water, and all tell of
the rich abundant life now bursting into being.

Rounding a turn in the canal a graceful Hindu temple is seen forming
the end of a reach, and on its steps leading to the edge of the water
and reflected in it are picturesque groups of women, most of them
indeed in the dull brown which they wear with lamentable frequency,
but some of them also in bright greens and yellows which furnish the
needed touch of colour to the scene.

  [Illustration: GUGGRIBAL POINTE ON THE DAL LAKE]

Some hundreds of yards farther on we pass under an old bridge with a
pointed arch of quaint artistic design of Moghal times. Numerous grain
boats of enormous size are congregated here; and half a mile farther
the channel gradually opens out, and at length we emerge on to the
open lake itself.

The water is so still and so clear that the reflections of the
surrounding mountains are seen as in the most polished mirror. The
reflected mountain is as sharp and distinct as the mountain itself.
The luxuriant plant growth from the bottom and the numerous fishes are
seen as in clear air. On the far shores of the lake the stately
avenues of the Nishat and Shalimar Baghs approach the water's edge.
Above them rise high mountain cliffs. Graceful boats glide smoothly
over the glassy surface of the lake--some the bearers of market
produce, some occupied by fishermen, and a few filled with
holiday-makers enjoying thoroughly the beauty of the scene, and giving
expression to the enjoyment in songs and music.

May is not the season for the lotus, so that one additional attraction
is lacking; but in July and August, when the lotus is in full bloom,
the lake itself, though not the shores and setting, is at perfection.
The lotuses are as large as the two hands joined together, of a
delicate pink, and set on the water in hundreds. In the midst of their
graceful leaves they add a beauty to the lake which attracts
multitudes from the city.

Gliding on beyond the lotuses we pass the famous Isle of Chenars with
its magnificent trees and grassy velvet banks; we pass a little
promontory with another huge chenar tree growing out right over the
water, and giving shelter to a house-boat comfortably ensconced
beneath its shade; and then we reach the widest and most open portion
of the lake. In the distance, towards the Sind valley, well-wooded
villages cover the lower slopes of the mountains inclining towards the
lake, and away in the farthest westward distance the Khagan snows are
faintly traced.

From here to the Nishat or Shalimar Baghs we would bear off to the
right. To the Nasim Bagh we bear to the left, and closing in to the
southern shore pass a picturesque village by the side of the lake with
chalet-like house, a handsome ziarat, a background of chenar trees and
long lines of steps, generally crowded with people, leading to the
water's edge. In about an hour's row from the start at the Dal Darwaza
the Nasim Bagh is reached.

  [Illustration: LOTUS LILIES ON THE DAL LAKE]


NASIM BAGH

The Nasim Bagh is a series of avenues of glorious chenar trees
crossing one another at right angles, and each avenue about three
hundred yards in length. Under these is soft, fresh green grass, and
the whole is raised twenty or thirty feet above the water. There are
no flower gardens, but the site makes a perfect camping-ground, and
many house-boats anchor here in the summer.

Looking out from the shade of the chenars we see straight across the
lake the Shalimar Bagh with the Dachigan valley behind it, and the
snowy Mahadeo Peak towering above. From the opposite side of the Bagh,
looking away from the lake, there are views over the Kashmir valley to
the snows of the Pir Panjal and of the Khagan range. And round the
edges were clumps of large white and purple irises.

In the autumn the Nasim Bagh is more beautiful still, for then the
chenars are in all the richness of their autumn foliage, and a more
perfect camping or picnic spot man could hardly wish for.


THE SHALIMAR BAGH

On the north-east corner of the Dal Lake, and approached by a canal
about a mile in length, with banks of soft green turf, and running
between an avenue of chenars and willows, is the Shalimar Bagh, or
royal garden, the favourite resort of the Moghal Emperor Jehangir and
his wife, the famous Nurmahal, for whom the Taj at Agra was built as a
tomb. The gardens can also be reached by a beautiful road along the
shores of the lake, nine miles from the city of Srinagar.

The situation is not so beautiful as the site of the Nishat Bagh, for
it is almost on a level, and is surrounded by a high wall. But it is
only in comparison with the Nishat Bagh that it can suffer
disparagement, and anywhere else than in Kashmir it would be hard to
find a more beautiful garden than the Shalimar on an autumn evening,
when the great avenue of chenar trees is tinged with gold and russet,
when the lofty mountains which rise behind it take on every shade of
blue and purple, and the long lines of fountains running through the
avenue sparkle in the sunshine.

  [Illustration: SHALIMAR GARDENS]

The garden is remarkable too for a pavilion, with exquisitely carved
pillars of black marble. It is set in a tank in which play numbers of
fountains, and round the borders of the tank are massive chenar trees.
The total length of the garden is 600 yards, and it is arranged in
four terraces, on three of which are pavilions. Except for the
pavilion with marble pillars and the water channel, the garden is in a
state of ruin; but Mr. Nichols of the Archæological Department Survey
has attempted to reconstruct its former outlines. There is a tradition
that the garden was originally larger than the present walled
enclosure, and there are found along the canal which connects it with
the Dal Lake the ruins of masonry foundations, which mark either the
beginning of the old garden or the site of a pavilion within it.
Causeways and channels probably extended across the garden with tanks
and platforms.

The garden was in the strictest sense a formal garden, and in making
his recommendation for its restoration, Mr. Nichols enlarges on the
artificiality which is the charm of a formal garden. Appreciation of a
formal garden requires, he thinks, an acquired taste, but the Moghals
certainly understood such matters. They were quite right in selecting
trees of formal growth, and planting them on geometrical lines, the
essence of a good garden being that it should form a pleasing
intermediate step between the free treatment which Nature lavishes on
hills and plains, field and forest, and that necessarily artificial
object--a building made by the hand of men.

Such are Mr. Nichols' ideas, for which there is a good deal to be
said. But some may also think that when a once formal garden and
formal buildings have _already_ fallen into ruin and returned as it
were to nature, there may be less need to restore the formality, and
that to fall in with the ways of Nature may be the best method of
adding to the existing beauty of the garden. In any case the
improvement of the turf, the removal of modern hideosities of
buildings, and the replacing of the makeshift fountains by fountains
of really tasteful design, would greatly improve this beautiful
garden.


THE NISHAT BAGH

The Nishat Bagh is decidedly the favourite garden in Kashmir, though
it has no building so fine as the pavilion with the black pillars in
the Shalimar Bagh. Its situation on the rising ground sloping up from
the Dal Lake, backed by a range of mountains immediately behind, and
with views far over the water and over the valley to the distant snowy
mountains, gives it an advantage over every other garden, and its
beauty in spring-time when the Kashmir lilac and the fruit trees are
in blossom, when the chenars are in young leaf and the turf in
its freshest green, I have already described.[1] In the autumn it is
scarcely less beautiful in a different way. Then the chenars are in a
gorgeous foliage of gold and purple. Day after day of brilliant
sunshine and cloudless sky give a sense of security of beauty, and no
more perfect pleasure-ground could be imagined.

  [Illustration: THE NISHAT BAGH]

The garden was constructed by the Moghal Emperor Jehangir. It can be
reached either by water or by road along the shores of the lake. It is
about 600 yards long and divided into seven terraces, each rising well
above the other. Down the centre runs a water-channel broken into a
succession of waterfalls and fountains, and shaded by an avenue of
chenars.

The pavilion at the entrance, though affording from its upper story a
striking view of the garden right up the line of waterfalls and
fountains, and on to the mountains which hang over the garden, is a
modern structure and is not beautiful in itself. It is a thousand
pities, indeed, that this most superb site has not been made use of to
construct a really beautiful pavilion on the lines of that in the
Shalimar Bagh. On the higher terraces are the foundations of other
pavilions and massive stone throne-like seats which indicate the
fuller beauties of the Moghal times.

On the topmost terrace is a beautiful clump of magnificent chenar
trees and a wide extent of soft green turf--an ideal spot for picnics
and garden-parties. And it is from this point that can be seen the
most beautiful and extensive views through the avenue of chenar trees,
over the fountains and waterfalls, on to the glassy lake and the
distant snowy ranges.


PARIHASAPURA

A very little known but very accessible and particularly interesting
spot is the site of the ancient city of Parihasapura, the modern
Paraspur, situated two and a half miles south-west of Shadipur, and
stretching from there on a karewa, or raised plateau, to the Srinagar
and Baramula road. There is not much left now above ground, for
numbers of the massive blocks of stone of which the city and temples
were built have been taken away ages ago to build the temples of Patan
close by, and, alas! also to metal the Baramula road. But the outlines
of the walls may still be traced sufficiently well to attest the grand
scale on which the city was built; and we know from records that
it was built by the same great king Lalataditya, who erected the
temple of Martand in the eighth century.

  [Illustration: A TERRACE OF THE NISHAT BAGH]

And Parihasapura, like Martand, has been set off to the greatest
advantage by natural scenery. This Kashmir king must indeed have been
worthy of the beautiful country which he ruled. In his time the Sind
and Jhelum rivers met, not at Shadipur as now, but at the edge of the
karewa on which Lalataditya built his city. And from the plateau views
could be obtained right up the Sind valley to Haramukh and the craggy
mountain peaks which bound it on either side; far up and down the main
valley, over the fields of emerald rice or golden mustard, and the
numerous hamlets hidden in clumps of chenar and willow, mulberry and
walnut; over also the glistening reaches of the Jhelum River, to the
snowy ranges which at a distance far enough away not to dwarf or
overpower the city encircled it on every side. No temple was ever
built on a finer site than Martand, and no city was ever set in more
lovely surroundings than Parihasapura.

According to a passage in the Rajatarangini the king Lalataditya
erected five large buildings: (1) a temple of Vishnu Parihasakesava
with a silver image; (2) a temple of Vishnu Muktakesava with a golden
image; (3) a temple of Vishnu Mahavaraha with an image clad in golden
armour; (4) a temple to the god Govardhanadhara with a silver image;
(5) the Rajavihara or monastery with a large quadrangle and a colossal
statue of Buddha in copper, which indicate that in ancient times there
must have been a large and important Buddhist settlement. The same
king is also said to have erected a stone pillar 54 cubits high with
an image of Garuda on the top.

FOOTNOTE:

[1] P. 32.



CHAPTER IV

THE RESIDENCY GARDEN


Among the beauties of Kashmir the Residency Garden must surely not be
omitted. The Maharaja has provided for the Residency one of the most
charming houses in India--a regular English country-house. And
successive Residents, in my case aided by Mr. Harrison and Major
Wigram, have striven to make the garden worthy of the country and the
house. Here grows in perfection every English flower. The wide lawns
are as soft and green as any English lawn. All the English
fruits--pears, apples, peaches, apricots, plums, greengages, cherries,
walnuts, mulberries, gooseberries, currants, raspberries, and
strawberries--grow to perfection and in prodigious quantities; and the
magnificent chenar and innumerable birds add a special charm of their
own.

Perhaps a record of the cycle of the birds and flowers will give an
idea not only of the beauties of the garden, but of the climate of the
valley.

Early in March the garden beauties begin to develop. The turf is then
still quite brown and the trees leafless, but on March 8th, when I
returned to Srinagar this year, violets, pansies, wall-flowers,
narcissus, crocuses, and daisies were all in flower. Daffodils,
hyacinths, stock and a few carnations were in bud. Columbine and
larkspur leaves were sprouting. Peas and broad beans sown in November
were a few inches high. And of the trees, willow leaf-buds were just
bursting and showing a tinge of fresh light yellow green, and one
apricot tree was nearly bursting into blossom. Of birds there were
thrushes, minas, bulbuls, sparrows, crows, kites, blue-tits, hoopoes,
and starlings; and of butterflies, a few tortoise-shell and
cabbage-whites.

The maximum temperature in the shade was 55° and in the sun 104°, and
the minimum temperature was 31°.

On March 17th the willow trees had acquired a distinct tinge of green,
as also had the grass. Wild hyacinths (blue-bells) and yellow crocuses
were well out. The maximum temperature was 68° in the shade and
110° in the sun, and the minimum was 32°.

  [Illustration: THE RESIDENCY AND CLUB, SRINAGAR]

On the same day in the previous year the maximum was 56° and the
minimum 35°, and four days later there was snow.

By March 20th the apricot blossoms were in full bloom. Willow trees
were in half-leaf. Garden hyacinths, daffodils, Crown Imperials, and
English primroses were just beginning to bloom; and greengages were in
blossom.

By the end of March the maximum temperature had reached 75° in the
shade and 125° in the sun, while the minimum stood at 40°. This,
however, was an exceptionally warm March.

By April 1st the garden was exquisitely beautiful. The willows were
now well out, and in all the charm of fresh young spring foliage.
Apricots and peach trees formed little clouds of delicate pink and
white dotted lightly over the garden, and not too dense to hide the
glories of the snowy mountains in the background. The tall pear trees
were nearly in full bloom. A few of the pinky-white apple blossoms
were just appearing. The May leaves were showing a tinge of green.
Chenar leaves were just appearing. The mulberry leaf-buds were
beginning to burst. Catkins were hanging from the poplars. Rose
leaves were fully out. The grass had nearly turned from brown to
green. Iris buds were showing a tinge of purple. Hyacinths were well
out, and Crown Imperials and daffodils in full bloom.

On April 3rd the first of the pretty little wild tulips striped white
and pink appeared, and on the following day the first of the large
dark purple irises and two or three large white irises came into
bloom. Heavy rain fell, and on the 5th the grass was entirely green.
On that day the pears were in full blossom. Two of the magnificent
scarlet Kashmir tulips, which are a joy to any garden, came into
blossom, and two English tulips also came out. Rose-buds were
beginning to form. The maximum temperature was 59° and the minimum
42°. On April 7th the first columbine came into bloom, and on the 9th
the first shrike appeared.

Now followed a deluge of rain. On the 12th 2½ inches fell. By the
morning of the 13th 14·65 inches had fallen since January 1st, in
comparison with a normal fall of 10·6 inches. And, most unexpected of
all, on the night of 12th-13th snow fell! The maximum temperature was
only 50° and the minimum 33°. In a single night all the lovely
delicate peach blossoms, the crowning glory of the Kashmir spring,
were withered up, and for the moment we seemed plunged back once more
to winter.

But April 15th was one of Kashmir's most lovely days. The poplars were
now in fresh light foliage. May was in full leaf. Irises were
plentiful. Several columbines were in bloom. Both the Kashmir and
English tulips were well out; and the strawberries were in blossom. On
this day, too, I saw a flight of green parrots with long yellow tails
in the garden.

The first rose bloomed on April 17th, a white climber whose name I do
not know, growing on the south verandah. Last year the first did not
appear till the 26th.

May came into bloom on April 24th, and on the 25th a scarlet poppy and
a white peony blossomed. For some days then the weather had been
exceptionally warm, the maximum rising to 80° in the shade and 129° in
the sun, and the minimum to 51°.

The first golden oriole appeared on the 26th--exactly the same date as
that on which it appeared last year. The golden orioles have a
glorious deep liquid note which thrills through the whole garden. Two
or three pairs always settle there, and all day long their brilliant
yellow plumage is seen flashing from tree to tree.

Three days later another brilliant visitant appears, the paradise
fly-catcher. He has not the beautiful note of the golden oriole, nor
such striking plumage. But he has exceedingly graceful form and
movements. He has a very long, wavy, ribbony tail, like a paradise
bird, and the two or three pairs of them which yearly settle in the
garden may be seen at any hour undulating through the foliage or
darting swiftly out to catch their prey.

By May 1st the magnificent chenar trees were in full leaf. Mulberry,
horse-chestnut, and walnut were also well in leaf. The roses were
coming into bloom--numerous Maréchal Neil, and a beautiful single pink
rose--the sinica anemone--a few of Fortune's yellow, and many
tea-roses. The May trees were in full blossom. The bank on the south
side of the garden was a mass of dark purple and white irises, and of
an evening when the sunlight glancing low along its length caused each
flower to stand out in separate state, became a blaze of glory.
Another beauty of this season were bushes of what is generally known
as Indian May, with long slender stalks bent gracefully downward like
a waterfall of snowy flowers. Stock was in full bloom. Pansies were
out in masses. Both the English and Kashmir lilac were in blossom, and
the columbines were in perfection. I had had out from Barr & Sons a
number of varieties, and the success was remarkable. The Kashmir soil
and climate seem to suit columbines, and varieties from every part of
the world, deep purple, light mauve, white, mauve and white, pink and
red of many different graceful forms, came up luxuriantly. They were
one of the successes which gladden an amateur gardener's heart.

The maximum in the shade was 60°, in the sun 122°, and the minimum
48°.

The first strawberries ripened a week later. The first horse-chestnuts
came into blossom on May 10th, and on that date the single pink rose,
sinica anemone, on the trellis at the end of the garden, was in full
bloom and of wondrous beauty; a summer-house covered with Fortune's
yellow was a dream of golden loveliness; I picked the first bloom of
some English roses which a kind friend had sent out, and which had
been planted in a special rose garden I had made for them--William
Shean, Mrs. Ed. Mauley, Mrs. W. J. Grant, and Carmine Pillar; and we
had our first plateful of strawberries.

A light mauve iris, a native of Kashmir, now came into bloom;
geraniums and some lovely varieties of Shirley poppy which I had
obtained from Mr. Luther Burbank, the famous plant-breeder of
California, began to blossom; and roses of every variety came rapidly
on till the garden became a blaze of colour.

The first of some remarkably beautiful delphiniums--some a deep blue,
some sky blue, and some opalescent--which I had also obtained from
Luther Burbank appeared in bloom on May 17th.

A spell of hot weather now set in, and on May 21st the maximum
temperature rose to 84° in the shade and 134° in the sun, and the
minimum to 54°.

  [Illustration: THE TAKHT-I-SULIMAN, FROM THE RESIDENCY GARDEN]

By May 25th the roses were at their maximum of beauty. The
sweetly-scented and delicately-coloured La France roses were at
perfection. Rich bushes of General Jacqueminot, of John Hopper, of the
pink rose of Kashmir, and of many other kinds whose names I do not
know, formed great masses of colour against the soft green leaves and
the plentiful foliage of the chenar trees. William Alan Richardson
climbed over the trellises. The Shirley poppies gave every deep or
delicate shade of red and pink. Sweet-peas were in full bloom,
and of them also I had had a marvellous variety from England. Pinks
and carnations were coming rapidly on. A mauve and yellow iris had
appeared. Luther Burbank's delphiniums formed welcome patches of real
true blues in the herbaceous border round the lawn. The light and
graceful gypsophylis and phlox were in bloom; gladioli were just
coming out; and the horse-chestnut trees were all in gorgeous blossom.

Early in June the gladioli, Canterbury bells, pinks, sweet-williams,
and foxgloves were in full bloom, and the sweet-william especially
gave masses of beautiful and varied colour. The temperature now rose
to 88° in the shade and 135° in the sun, and the minimum to 54°. On
June 10th, carnations, phlox, and Eschscholtzia were in full bloom.
And by June 15th, though many of the best roses had passed over two
beautiful climbers which I had obtained from home, Dorothy Perkins and
Lady Gay were in full blossom, and the delicate pink and graceful form
of the latter were especially lovely. Geraniums and fuschias were now
fully out, and masses of tall hollyhocks in many different shades of
colour were most effective. A few cannas and some lilies also came
into bloom.

By the end of June apricots were ripe. Petunias and dahlias were out,
and a few columbines still remained in bloom. The temperature had now
gone up to 94° in the shade and 142° in the sun, and the minimum to
62°; and early in July it rose to 97° in the shade, which is about as
hot as it ever becomes in the valley.

On returning to Srinagar on September 7th I found the bed of scarlet
salvias giving brilliant patches of colour and most effectively
lighting up the garden. The autumn crop of roses was beginning, though
the blooms were not so fine as the spring crop. Geraniums, fuschias,
asters, cannas, zinnias, gallardia, and verbena were in abundance;
stock and phlox were still out, and the hibiscus bushes were in full
bloom. Burbank's delphiniums were also having a light second bloom.
The maximum in the shade was 81° and in the sun 128°, and the minimum
52°. The rainfall to date from January 1st was 27·4 inches in
comparison with a normal fall of 21·7 inches.

By the beginning of October last year cosmos was blooming luxuriantly.
Christmas roses were in full blossom, and the first chrysanthemum
appeared. During the month these blossomed in great beauty and became
the chief attraction in the garden. Towards the end of the month and
beginning of November the great chenar trees gradually assumed the
gorgeous autumn colouring. The Virginian creeper on the porch turned
to every rich hue of red and purple. Then the glories of the garden
slowly vanished away. The leaves fell from the trees. The frost turned
the turf brown. On December 1st there were still a few brave remnants
of the summer splendour--a few tea-roses, stocks, phlox, wallflower,
chrysanthemums, carnations, petunias, gallardia, nasturtiums, salvia,
snapdragons, and one or two violets. But the temperature was now 25°
at night, and the maximum in the day only 54°, and these too soon
disappeared, and the only consolation left was the clearer view of the
mountains of which the absence of foliage on the trees allowed. Thus
ends the story of a garden's glory.



CHAPTER V

GULMARG


What will be one day known as the playground of India, and what is
known to the Kashmiris as the "Meadow of Flowers," is situated
twenty-six miles from Srinagar, half-way up the northward-facing
slopes of the Pir Panjal. There is no other place like Gulmarg.
Originally a mere meadow to which the Kashmiri shepherds used to bring
their sheep, cattle, and ponies for summer grazing, it is now the
resort of six or seven hundred European visitors every summer. The
Maharaja has a palace there. There is a Residency, an hotel, with a
theatre and ball-room, post office, telegraph office, club, and more
than a hundred "huts" built and owned by Europeans. There are also
golf links, two polo grounds, a cricket ground, four tennis courts,
and two croquet grounds. There are level circular roads running all
round it. There is a pipe water-supply, and maybe soon there will be
electric light everywhere. And yet for eight months in the year the
place is entirely deserted and under snow.

Like Kashmir generally, Gulmarg also is said by those who knew it in
the old days to be now "spoilt." With the increasing numbers of
visitors, with the numerous huts springing up year by year in every
direction, with the dinners and dances, it is said to have lost its
former charms, and it is believed that in a few years it will not be
worth living in. My own view is precisely the opposite. I knew Gulmarg
nineteen years ago, and it certainly then had many charms. The walks
and scenery and the fresh bracing air were delightful. Where now are
roads there were then only meandering paths. What is now the polo
ground was then a swamp. The "fore" of the golfer was unknown. All was
then Arcadian simplicity. Nothing more thrilling than a walk in the
woods, or at most a luncheon party, was ever heard of.

And, doubtless, this simplicity of life has its advantages. But it had
also its drawbacks. Man cannot live for ever on walks however charming
and however fascinating his companion may be. His soul yearns for a
ball of some kind whether it be a polo ball, a cricket ball, a tennis
ball, a golf ball, or even a croquet ball. Until he has a ball of some
description to play with he is never really happy.

So now that a sufficient number of visitors come to Gulmarg to supply
subscriptions enough to make and keep up really good golf links, polo
grounds, etc., I for my part think Gulmarg is greatly improved. I
think, further, that it has not yet reached the zenith of its
attractions. It is the Gulmarg of the future that will be the really
attractive Gulmarg, when there is money enough to make the second
links as good as the first, to lay out good rides down and around the
marg, to make a lake at the end, to stock it with trout, and to have
electric light and water in all the "huts," and when a good hotel and
a good club, with quarters for casual bachelor visitors, have been
built.

  [Illustration: ON THE CIRCULAR ROAD, GULMARG]

All this is straying far from the original Arcadian simplicity, but
those who wish for simplicity can still have it in many another valley
in Kashmir--at Sonamarg, Pahlgam, or Tragbal, and numerous other
places, and the advantage of Gulmarg is that the visitor can still if
he choose be very fairly simple. He can go about in a suit of
puttoo. He need not go to a single dance, or theatrical performance,
or dinner-party, or play a single game. He need not speak to a soul
unless he wants to. He can pitch his tent in some remote end of the
marg, and he can take his solitary walks in the woods; _but_, if after
a while he finds his own society is not after all so agreeable as he
had thought, if he feels a hankering for the society of his fellows,
male or female, and if he finds the temptation to play with some ball
is irresistible, then just under his nose is every attraction. He can
indulge his misanthropic inclinations at will, and at a turn in those
inclinations he can plunge into games and gaiety to his heart's
content.

The main charm of Gulmarg will, however, always remain the beauty of
its natural scenery and the views of the great peak, Nanga Parbat,
26,260 feet above sea-level, and 80 miles distant across the valley.
The marg or meadow itself is a flowery, saucer-shaped hollow under a
mountain 13,000 feet high, and bounded by a ridge directly overhanging
the main valley of Kashmir. It is 8500 feet above sea-level, open and
covered with flowers and soft green turf, but on all sides it is
surrounded by forests of silver fir interspersed with spruce, blue
pine, maple, and a few horse-chestnuts, and the great attraction is
that through this forest of stately graceful firs the most superb
views may be had, first over the whole length and breadth of the vale
of Kashmir, then along the range of snowy mountains on the north, and
as a culminating pleasure, to the solitary Nanga Parbat, which stands
out clear and distinct above and beyond all the lesser ranges, and
belonging, so it seems, to a separate and purer world of its own. And
there is the further attraction in the Gulmarg scenery that it is ever
changing--now clear and suffused in brilliant sunlight, now the
battle-ground of monsoon storms, and now again streaked with soft
fleecy vapours and bathed in haze and colour. No two days are alike,
and each point of view discloses some new loveliness.

Round the outside of the ridge runs what is known as the circular
road. It has the advantage of being perfectly level, and is fit for
riding as well as walking. Except the road through the tropical
forests near Darjiling, along which I rode on my way to and from
Tibet, and which runs for miles through glorious tropical vegetation,
by immense broad-leaved trees with unknown names, all festooned with
creepers and lighted with orchids; by great tree ferns, wild
bananas, and a host of other treasures of plant life, and through
which glimpses of the mighty Kinchinjanga, 28,250 feet, could be
caught,--except that I know of no other more beautiful road than this
along the ridge of Gulmarg.

  [Illustration: IN THE FOREST]

From it one looks down through the wealth of forest on to the valley
below, intersected with streams and water-channels, dotted over with
wooded villages, and covered with rice-fields of emerald green; on to
the great river winding along the length of the valley to the Wular
Lake at its western end; on to the glinting roofs of Srinagar; on to
the snowy range on the far side-valley; and, finally, on to Nanga
Parbat itself.

And never for two days together is this glorious panorama exactly the
same. One day the valley will be filled with a sea of rolling clouds
through which gleams of sunshine light up the brilliant green of the
rice-fields below. Above the billowy sea of clouds long level lines of
mist will float along the opposite mountain-sides. Above these again
will rise the great mountains looking inconceivably high. And above
all will soar Nanga Parbat, looking at sunset like a pearly island
rising from an ocean of ruddy light.

On another day there will be not a cloud in the sky. The whole scene
will be bathed in a bluey haze. Through the many vistas cut in the
forest the eye will be carried to the foot-hills sloping gradually
towards the river, to the little clumps of pine wood, the village
clusters of walnut, pear, and mulberry, the fields of rice and maize,
to the silvery reaches of the Jhelum, winding from the Wular Lake to
Baramula, to the purply blue of the distant mountains, then on to the
bluey white of Nanga Parbat, sharply defined, yet in colour nearly
merging into the azure of the sky, and showing out in all the greater
beauty that we see it framed by the dark and graceful pines in which
we stand.

And this forest has no mean attractions of its own, of which to my
little girl the chief were the white columbines. Here also are found
purple columbines, delphiniums, what are known as white slipper
orchids, yellow violets, balsams, mauve and yellow primulas,
potentillas, anemones, Jacob's ladder, monkshood, salvias, many
graceful ferns, and numerous other flowers of which I do not pretend
to know the name.

  [Illustration: FROM THE CIRCULAR ROAD, GULMARG]

The Residency is situated on the summit of the ridge above the
circular road, and from it can be seen not only Nanga Parbat (through
a vista cut in the trees) and the main valley, but also a lovely
little side-valley known as the Ferozepur nulla. Looking straight down
two thousand feet through the pine trees we see a mountain torrent
whose distant rumbling mingles soothingly with the sighing of the
pines. Brilliant green meadows, on which a few detached pine trees
stand gracefully out here and there, line the river banks. Steep
hill-sides, mostly clad in gloomy forest, rise on either hand, but
relieved by many patches of grassy sun-lit slope. The spurs become a
deeper and deeper purple as they recede. The openings in the forests
become wider higher on the mountain-side where the avalanches have
scoured them more frequently. Higher still the forest-line is passed,
and the little stream is seen issuing from its source among the
snow-fields and flowing over enticing grassy meadows. Above the
glistening snow-fields rises a rugged peak of the Pir Panjal which,
when it is not set against a background of intense blue sky, is the
butt of raging storm-clouds.

The most beautiful time in Gulmarg is in September, when the rains are
over and the first fresh autumn nip is in the air. Then from the
summer-house in our garden, in the early morning, to feast my eyes on
Nanga Parbat was a perpetual delight. It was the very emblem of
purity, dignity, and repose. Day after day it would appear as a vision
of soft pure white in a gauze-like haze of delicate blue. Too light
and too ethereal for earth, but seemingly a part of heaven; a vision
which was a religion in itself, which diffused its beauty throughout
one's being, and evoked from it all that was most pure and lovely.

The foreground in this autumn month was also worthy of the supreme
subject of the picture. Through the pines the touches of sunlit
meadow, fresh and green, with long shadows of the trees thrown here
and there across them and intensifying the effect of the sunlight; the
groups of cattle; the horizontal streaks of mist floating on the edge
of the woods; the cheerful twittering of the birds; the soothing hum
of the bees and insects; the crowing of cocks; the rippling sound of
running water; and then, looking towards Aparwat, the brilliant
sunshine brightening the emerald grass of the marg; the patches of
yellow flowers; the little meandering stream; the pretty chalet huts
peeping out from the edge of the trees; the background of dark firs
and pines getting lighter as they merge into the bluey haze of the
distance; the fresh green meadows over the limit of the pines; the
snow-fields; the rocky peaks, and above all the clear blue liquid
sky,--all this gave a setting and an atmosphere which fitly served as
an accompaniment to this most impressive of Nature's works.



CHAPTER VI

THE VALLEYS AND PLACES OF INTEREST


THE SIND VALLEY

The most bold and striking of the side-valleys is undoubtedly the Sind
valley. A fourteen-miles' ride, or a night in a boat, takes the
traveller to Ganderbal at its mouth, from which Sonamarg, the
favourite camping-ground near the head of the valley, is four marches
distant. The lower portion is not particularly interesting, though
even here the pine woods, the rushing river, and the village clusters
are beautiful. But at Sonamarg--"the golden meadow"--the great peaks
close round, glaciers pour down from them almost on to the
camping-ground, and the scenery has all the grandeur of the Alps.

  [Illustration: GORGE OF THE SIND VALLEY AT GUGGANGIR]

Sonamarg itself is a narrow grassy flat, 8650 feet above sea-level,
extending for some two miles between the hill-side and the river bank
where another beautiful valley joins in from the south-west. All
the slopes and meadows are covered with alpine flowers. Rich forests
of silver fir, intermingled with sycamore and fringed on their upper
borders with silver birch, clothe the mountain-sides. From each valley
flows a rich white glacier. Grand rocky cliffs encircle the forests
and meadows, and culminate in bold snowy peaks which give a crowning
beauty to the whole. It is an ideal camping-ground and a strong rival
to Gulmarg.

Some fifteen miles beyond Sonamarg is the Zoji-la Pass leading to
Ladak and Baltistan. It was by this pass that I first entered Kashmir
in 1887, and coming thus from the opposite direction, the change in
scenery was most remarkable. For hundreds of miles from the northern
side I had traversed country which though of the grandest description,
was absolutely devoid of forest. The great mountains, sublime in their
ruggedness and in the purity of their snowy mantle, were yet
completely barren. Then, of a sudden, as I crossed the Zoji-la all was
changed in a moment, and I burst into one of the loveliest valleys in
the world with glorious forests clothing every slope. It was a
refreshing and delightful change, a relaxation from a sublimity too
stern to bear for long, to the homely geniality of earthly life, and
the remembrance of it still lies fresh upon my memory.


GANGABAL LAKE

About forty miles from Srinagar, and lying at the foot of the great
peak Haramokh, is the remarkable Gangabal Lake. It is reached by a
steep pull of 4000 feet from the Sind valley. By the side of the path
rushes a clear, ice-cold stream. From the top of the rise are superb
views precipitously down to the Wangat valley leading up from the Sind
and beyond it to a jagged range of spires and pinnacles. The path then
leads over rolling downs, covered in summer with ranunculus and
primulas, to a chain of torquoise and ice-green lakes, above which
grimly towers the massive Haramokh six thousand feet above the water,
and giving birth to voluminous glistening glaciers which roll down to
the water's edge.

It is a silent, solitary, and impressive spot, and is held in some
reverence by the Hindus.


THE LOLAB

  [Illustration: THE FROZEN LAKE, GANGABAL]

The Lolab is the western end of the vale of Kashmir, and is remarkable
rather for the homely picturesqueness of its woodland and village
beauty than for the grandeur of its scenery. It is usually reached by
boat up the Pohru River three miles below Sopur. In two days the limit
of navigation at Awatkula is reached. From thence the road leads to
Kofwara, eight miles, and Lalpura, the chief place, twelve miles
farther. The hill-sides are entirely clothed with thick forests of
deodar and pine. In the valley bottom are beautiful stretches of soft
green turf. Dotted over it are villages buried in park-like clumps of
walnut, apple, and pear trees; and numerous streams ripple through on
every side. For forest and village scenery it is nowhere excelled. It
is like a series of English woodland glades, with the additional
beauty of snowy peaks in the background.


THE LIDAR VALLEY

A favourite side-valley is the Lidar, for which the road takes off
from the main valley at Bijbehara. It is not of such wild rocky
grandeur as the Sind valley, but has milder beauties of its own,
charming woodland walks, and in summer a wealth of roses pink and
white, jasmine, forget-me-nots, a handsome spiræa, strawberry,
honeysuckle, etc. By the side of the road runs the cool, foaming
Lidar stream, and everywhere are villages hidden amongst masses of
chenar, walnut, and mulberry.

On the left bank one and a half miles from Islamabad is the famous
spring of Bawan--a great tank under cool chenar trees. The spring is
sacred to Vishnu, and is in the charge of Brahmins, who keep a book in
which visitors have inscribed their names since 1827. The tank is full
of fishes fed by the Brahmins, and thousands dash to catch the bread
when thrown into the water. Altogether the village and the cool spring
welling out of the mountain-side, and the whole shaded by magnificent
old chenar trees, form a most attractive spot well worth a visit.

Twenty-four miles from Bijbehara, or twenty-eight from Islamabad, is
Pahlgam, always the camping-ground of several visitors during the
summer. Here, too, Colonel Ward for many years has resided in the
summer in a small house built by himself, but now taken over by the
State. I fancy life here is dull compared with life at Gulmarg, but
for those who wish to vegetate and lead an absolutely quiet existence
Pahlgam is admirably suited. It is two thousand feet higher than
Srinagar. The camping-ground is in a wood of blue pines, and the
fresh, clear, pine-scented air is refreshing after the stuffy main
valley in midsummer.

  [Illustration: EARLY MORNING NEAR PAHLGAM, LIDAR VALLEY]

Above Pahlgam the valley bifurcates, one branch going to Aru, by which
a road leads over a troublesome pass into the Sind valley; and the
other leading to Shisha Nag and to the famous caves of Amarnath, the
resort of many hundreds of pilgrims in July and August. Immediately
beyond Pahlgam, on this latter route, the path leads through beautiful
woods with fine views of rocky heights and snowy peaks. Numerous
maiden-hair and other ferns, primulas, crane's bill, gentians, and
many other well-known flowers line the road-side. Above the wood line
are fine grassy uplands frequented by Gujars with their cattle,
ponies, buffaloes, sheep, and goats. Lidarwat is a lovely
camping-ground in a green lawn fringed by a deep belt of trees. Beyond
is the Kolahoi glacier, the road to which leads over a wide and
treeless valley, and in places crosses snow bridges. The
camping-ground is 11,000 feet above sea-level, and is set in a circle
of stately peaks. The end of the glacier is of grey ice, and so strewn
over with fragments of grey rock as hardly to be recognisable as ice,
though the ice is, in fact, two hundred feet thick. Above it rises
the bold peak of Kolahoi, so conspicuous in its sharp needle form from
Gulmarg, and six thousand feet above the glacier.

The cave of Amarnath is about 41 miles from Pahlgam, and is about
13,000 feet above sea-level. It is therefore above all tree
vegetation, and is set in wild and impressive scenery. The cave itself
is of gypsum, and is fifty yards long by fifty broad at the mouth, and
thirty at the centre. Inside is a frozen spring which is the object of
worship, and beside it is a noble glacier and bold and rugged cliffs.


MARTAND

Of all the ruins in Kashmir the Martand ruins are both the most
remarkable and the most characteristic. No temple was ever built on a
finer site. It stands on an open plain, where it can be seen to full
advantage. Behind it rises a range of snowy mountains. And away in the
distance before it, first lies the smiling Kashmir valley, and then
the whole length of the Pir Panjal range, their snowy summits mingling
softly with the azure of the sky. It is one of the most heavenly spots
on earth, not too grand to be overpowering, nor too paltry to be
lacking in strength and dignity, and it is easy to understand the
impulse which led a people to here raise a temple to heaven.

  [Illustration: THE RUINS OF MARTAND]

The temple of Martand is the finest example of what is known as the
Kashmirian style of architecture, and was built by the most noted of
the Kashmir kings, Lalataditya, who reigned between the years 699 and
736 A.D.

Apart from its site it cannot be considered one of the really great
ruins of the world; but yet there is about it a combination of
massiveness and simplicity, and of solidity combined with grace, which
have earned it fame for a thousand years. There is something of the
rigidity and strength of the Egyptian temples, and something of the
grace of the buildings of Greece. Yet it is neither so Egyptian nor so
Grecian as the one or the other. Though Hindu, it differs from the
usual Hindu types; and is known distinctively as Kashmirian. It is,
however, decidedly Hindu, and not either Buddhist or Jain, and owes
much to the influence of Gandhara, while the sculptures show,
according to Marshal, a close connection with the typical Hindu work
of the late Gupta period.


ACHIBAL

At the eastern end of the valley is another of the Moghal gardens, at
the spot where quite a little river comes gushing straight out of the
mountain-side. Leaving the house-boat at Kanibal, near Islamabad, we
ride through a charming country, not so flat and swampy as the lower
portion of the valley. We approach the semicircle of mountains which
bound the valley on the east. Numerous streams rush down from the
mountains. The valley is divided up into rice-fields, and is
everywhere dotted over with hamlets hidden among chenar, mulberry,
walnut, and pear or apple trees. Passing through one of these
villages, which is alive with running water, and completely
overshadowed by massive chenar trees, we enter a garden of the usual
Moghal type, with a straight line of fountains and waterfalls, and an
avenue of chenars. At the head of the garden is the mountain-side
covered with deodar forest, and welling out of the mountain is a
rushing stream of clean, clear water. It is a delicious and remarkable
sight; but I think the spot would be more beautiful if the natural
conditions had been preserved, and the artificial garden and
unsightly buildings had not been constructed round it. For they only
serve to hide the magnificent prospect right down the length of the
Kashmir valley and the snowy mountains on either hand.

  [Illustration: A SRINAGAR BAZAAR]

It is, however, in spite of this a fascinating spot, and the camp
which the Maharaja pitched here for the entertainment of Lord Minto
was the prettiest I have ever seen, for the lines of the tents
accorded with the formality of the garden, and the running water, the
fountains, and the waterfalls gave a special charm to the encampment.



CHAPTER VII

SPORT


Sport is, as is well known, one of the chief attractions of Kashmir.
Every year, like the swallows, with the coming of spring, tonga loads
of ardent sportsmen begin swarming into the country. Nowadays they
cannot, as formerly, shoot wherever they like and as much as they
like; and in their own interests it is well they cannot, for if they
still had the freedom of former days no game would now be left. For
some years past a Game Preservation Department has been formed by the
Maharaja, and placed under the charge of a retired British officer,
that keen sportsman Major Wigram. Licences to shoot have now to be
taken out, and regulations for sportsmen are published annually.
Certain localities are strictly preserved for the Maharaja's own use
and for the entertainment of his guests. Others are reserved for Raja
Sir Amar Singh. Others again as sanctuaries. The number of head of
the various kind of game which a sportsman may shoot is laid down. The
number of sportsmen which may be permitted to visit each locality in
the year is fixed. And regulations determine how the places are
allotted among the numerous applicants. Major Wigram has also under
him an establishment to prevent poaching by the natives, and he
himself is incessantly touring and keeping a watch on the due
preservation of the game. He obtains an income of about Rs. 25,000 per
annum from the sale of licences, and spends about Rs. 20,000.

Under these conditions sport in Kashmir will always remain. The total
bags of big game for the last two years are:--

                    1907     1906
     Ibex            219      260
     Markhor          51       52
     Stags            49       51
     Black bears     223      226
     Brown bears      62       59
     Leopards         22       27
     Shapoo          100       85
     Burhel           64       57
     Goa              57       57
     Ovis ammon       16       15

These figures do not include what was shot in the Maharaja's
preserve, but they were not all shot within the limits of the Kashmir
Province. They include also what was shot in the high mountains at the
back of Kashmir proper--in Ladak, Baltistan, and Astor.

In this last year it so happens that magnificent trophies were
obtained. Captain Barstow shot a markhor of 61 inches, which is the
largest "shot head" ever obtained, though a head measuring 63 inches
was once picked up. In the Kajnag mountains, which tower over the
Jhelum River on the drive into Kashmir, one sportsman shot a markhor
of 57½ inches, and several other heads of 50 were obtained last year.
And as showing the pure luck which attends sport, it may be mentioned
that Captain Barstow had never shot a markhor before he shot the
record head.

Three good ibex heads, measuring close on 50 inches, were shot last
year, and the other trophies shot were good. The reputation of Kashmir
for sport is therefore being well maintained, though sportsmen have,
in their own interest, to conform to more restriction than of old.

Last year the record ibex was also obtained by a well-known Kashmir
sportsman, though not in Kashmir. Mr. Frank Hadow shot a 59½-inch
head, but had the bad luck to lose it in a stream while having it
cleaned.

In duck-shooting, too, last season was a record year. Mr. T. Kennard
shot 325 duck in one day by himself. And Colonel Edwards twice shot
over 200 to his own gun while shooting with others. But it would be a
mistake to suppose that Mr. Kennard secured this record bag merely by
good shooting, and by being placed down amidst a crowd of ducks as in
a big ceremonial state shoot. Mr. Kennard is among the most scientific
sportsmen who have ever visited Kashmir. I first met him twenty years
ago when he built the first house-boat ever seen in Kashmir. He used
then to come out to Kashmir regularly every cold weather, and spend
many happy months shooting small game in the Kashmir valley, markhor
and ibex in Baltistan, the Gilgit district, and Astor, and stag in the
Kashmir mountains. No man had a more glorious time, when Major Wigram
and the whole Game Preservation Department were still unthought of,
and at a time of year when game was most easily obtained, and all the
sportsmen in India were bound down to their official duties. After an
interval of several years Mr. Kennard returned last year to Kashmir
for yet another shoot. He set to work in a most methodical and
business-like way. He studied his ground well. He found out exactly
when most ducks came. He studied their habits. He spared himself no
labour and neglected no detail. And he devoted the entire cold weather
to this single sport.

Besides duck and goose shooting there is excellent chikore shooting on
the hill-sides, and a few manaul pheasants may also be shot.

The Maharaja's preserves have for many years been under the management
of that old and experienced sportsman and naturalist, Colonel Ward, to
whose book, the _Sportsman's Guide to Kashmir and Ladak_, all those
who want full information on shooting in Kashmir should refer.

And in addition to shooting, trout-fishing will soon be established as
a further attraction to the sportsman.

Some years ago a number of keen fishermen banded together, and after
some failure and much trouble, and with the assistance of the State
authorities in Kashmir and of the Duke of Bedford in England,
succeeded in introducing the ova of the English brown trout into the
valley. Under the special charge of Mr. Frank Mitchell a hatchery has
been established at Harwan, nine miles out of Srinagar, just beyond
the Shalimar garden, and at the outlet of the Dachigam--a perfect
trout stream--the valley of which is preserved for the Maharaja's
shooting.

From these stock ponds a trout weighing twelve and a half pounds was
taken on Lord Minto's visit in 1908. The Dachigam stream itself is now
well stocked, and affords some excellent fishing to those who have
obtained His Highness' permission. In addition aged ova and yearling
trout have been sent to other streams in Kashmir--to the Achibal,
Beoru, Wangat, Vishu, Kishenganga at Badwan, the Liddar at Aru and
Tannin, Marwar, Erin. Yearlings have also been let out in the Burzil
stream, the Gorai (on the north side of the Tragbal Pass), in the
Gangarbal Lake, and in the Punch River.

It has been proved satisfactorily that when the snow-water has run
off, the biggest trout will take a fly put to them at the right
moment, though when the snow-water is coming down there are few flies
rising and the fish do not take. A constant enemy of the trout is the
poacher. English trout are, unfortunately, becoming very popular among
the Kashmirs, and it is difficult to protect the fishing. The biggest
trout caught so far is a nine-pounder caught in the Dachigam stream
when the trout have been let out some years. In the summer of 1908 a
fish weighing two and a half pounds, which must have been one of the
yearlings turned out in 1906, was caught in the Vishu stream. By both
Major Wigram and Mr. Frank Mitchell great attention is being paid to
the development of trout-fishing.

Seeing the success which has attended the introduction of trout the
Maharaja on the occasion of Lord Minto's visit ordered the importation
of the ova of the huchon (_Salmo Hucho_), or so-called Danube salmon.
Mr. Frank Mitchell in the spring of 1908 successfully introduced them,
and about 2000 hatched out in the Harwan hatcheries. They will
probably be put out in the rapids of the Jhelum River below Baramula,
and as they run to some 26 lbs. in weight, and are known to be one of
the most sporting as well as the largest of the Salmonidæ, they should
afford another welcome attraction for the sportsman in Kashmir.



CHAPTER VIII

THE PEOPLE


Kashmir is very generally renowned for the beauty of its women and the
deftness and taste of its shawl-weavers. And this reputation is, I
think, well deserved. Sir Walter Lawrence indeed says that he has seen
thousands of women in the villages, and cannot remember, save one or
two exceptions, ever seeing a really beautiful face. But whether it is
that Sir Walter was unfortunate, or that he is particularly hard to
please, or that villages are not the abodes of Kashmir beauties,
certain it is that the visitor, with an ordinary standard of beauty,
as he passes along the river or the roads and streets, does see a
great many more than one or two really beautiful women. He will often
see strikingly handsome women, with clear-cut features, large dark
eyes, well-marked eyebrows, and a general Jewish appearance. As to
the deftness and taste of the weavers the shawls themselves are the
best testimony.

The population of the whole Kashmir State is 2,905,578, and of the
Kashmir Province 1,157,394. Of these 93 per cent of the Kashmir
Province and 74 per cent of the whole State are Mohamedan, and the
remainder chiefly Hindu. But the rulers are Hindus, and consequently
the Mohamedans are as much in the shade as Hindus are in States ruled
by Mohamedans. The ruling family is also alien, coming not from the
valley itself, but from Jammu, on the far side of the mountain to the
south.

The inhabitants were not, however, always Mohamedans. Originally they
were Hindus. It was only in the fourteenth century that they were
converted--mostly by force--to become Mohamedans. The present
indigenous Hindus of the valley are generally known as Pundits, and
Kashmir Pundits are well known over India for their acuteness and
subtlety of mind, their intelligence and quick-wittedness. They prefer
priestly, literary, and clerical occupation, but in the severe
competition of life many have been compelled to make more use of their
hands than their brains, and have had to take up agriculture, and
become cooks, bakers, confectioners, and tailors, and, indeed, to
follow any trade except the following which, according to Lawrence,
are barred to them--cobbler, potter, corn-frier, porter, boatman,
carpenter, mason, or fruit-seller. It is hard for us occidentals to
understand why the line should have been drawn at these apparently
harmless occupations, but those of us who have lived in India know
that the Hindu does fix his lines with extraordinary sharpness and
rigidity, and a Kashmir Pundit would as much think of working as a
boatman as an English gentleman would think of wearing a black tie at
a formal dinner-party.

The Kashmir Pundits are essentially townspeople, and out of the total
number about half live in the city of Srinagar. But they are also
scattered sparsely through the villages, where the visitor will easily
distinguish them by the caste mark on the forehead. On the whole they
have a cultured look about them and a superior bearing.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Mohamedans, forming the large majority of the population, strictly
speaking having no caste, are engaged in various occupations, and
found in every grade of social life. And the Mohamedan gentleman of
good position has something singularly attractive about him. He
combines dignity with deference to a noteworthy degree, and between
him and the European there is not that gulf of caste fixed which makes
such a bar to intercourse with Hindus. Not that the Mohamedans of
India have not absorbed to a certain degree the atmosphere of caste
with which they are surrounded. They are not so entirely free in their
customs and behaviour as their co-religionists in purely Mohamedan
countries. When travelling in Turkestan I lived with Mohamedans, slept
in their houses and tents, ate with them, and generally consorted with
them with a freedom that Mohamedans in India would think prejudicial
to some vague sense of caste which, theoretically, they are not
supposed to have, but which in practice they have absorbed from the
atmosphere of Hinduism which they breathe. The Mohamedan, even of
Kashmir, is not quite so unrestricted as the Mohamedan of Central
Asia. Still, he is a very attractive gentleman, and though not easily
found, for nowadays he lives in some pride of seclusion, and in the
pestering importunate merchant the visitor sees but a sorry
representative of the class, yet he is occasionally met with--grave,
sedate, polite, and full of interesting conversation, and bearing with
him a sense of former greatness when his religion was in the
ascendant in the seats of power. These old-fashioned Mohamedan
gentlemen have little or no English education, but they have a culture
of their own; and among the mullas may be found men of great learning.

  [Illustration: A CORNER OF THE VILLAGE OF PAHLGAM, LIDAR VALLEY]

Other interesting types of Kashmir Mohamedans are found among the
headmen of the picturesque little hamlets along the foot-hills. Here
may be seen fine old patriarchal types, just as we picture to
ourselves the Israelitish heroes of old. Some, indeed, say, though I
must admit without much authority, that these Kashmiris are of the
lost tribes of Israel. Only this year there died in the Punjab the
founder of a curious sect, who maintained that he was both the Messiah
of the Jews and the Mahdi of the Mohamedans; that Christ had never
really died upon the Cross, but had been let down and had disappeared,
as He had foretold, to seek that which was lost, by which He meant the
lost tribes of Israel; and that He had come to Kashmir and was buried
in Srinagar. It is a curious theory, and was worked out by this
founder of the Quadiani sect in much detail. There resided in Kashmir
some 1900 years ago a saint of the name of Yus Asaf, who preached in
parables and used many of the same parables as Christ used, as, for
instance, the parable of the sower. His tomb is in Srinagar, and the
theory of this founder of the Quadiani sect is that Yus Asaf and Jesus
are one and the same person.

When the people are in appearance of such a decided Jewish cast it is
curious that such a theory should exist; and certainly, as I have
said, there are real Biblical types to be seen everywhere in Kashmir,
and especially among the upland villages. Here the Israelitish
shepherd tending his flocks and herds may any day be seen.

Yet apart from this, the ordinary Kashmiri villager is not an
attractive being. Like his house he is dirty, untidy, and slipshod,
and both men and women wear the most unbecoming clothing, without
either shape, grace, or colour. But the physique of both men and women
is excellent. They are of medium height, but compared with the people
of India of exceptional muscular strength. The men carry enormous
loads. In the days before the cart-road was constructed, they might be
seen carrying loads of apples sometimes up to and over 200 lbs. in
weight; and the labour they do in the rice-fields is excessively
severe.

  [Illustration: A MOUNTAIN FARM-HOUSE]

Good as is their physique, the Kashmiris are, however, for some
quite unaccountable reason lamentably lacking in personal courage. A
Kashmiri soldier is almost a contradiction in terms. There is not such
a thing. They will patiently endure and suffer, but they will not
fight. And they are very careful of the truth. As an American once
said to me, they set such value on the truth that they very seldom use
it.

Their good points are, that they are intelligent and can turn their
hands to most things. They are, says Lawrence, excellent cultivators
when they are working for themselves. A Kashmiri can weave good
woollen cloth, make first-rate baskets, build himself a house, make
his own sandals, his own ropes, and a good bargain. He is kind to his
wife and children, and divorce scandals or immorality among villagers
are rarely heard of.

He is not a cheery individual, like many hillmen in the Himalayas, but
he seems to be fond of singing; and dirty as he, his wife, his house
and all that belongs to him is, he has one redeeming touch of the
æsthetic--all round the village he plants his graves with iris and
narcissus. The final conclusion one has, then, is that if only he
would wash, if only he would dress his wife in some brighter and
cleaner clothes, and if only he would make his house stand upright,
then with the good points he already has, and with all Nature to back
him, he would make Kashmir literally perfection.

The boatmen, who are the class with whom visitors to Kashmir come most
intimately into contact, are a separate tribe from the villagers. They
are said to claim Noah as their ancestor, and certain it is that if
they did not borrow the pattern of their boats from Noah's ark, Noah
must have borrowed the pattern from them. They are known as Hanji or
Manjis, and live permanently on their boats with their families
complete. Some of these boats will carry between six and seven
thousand pounds of grain. Others are light passenger boats. They all
have their little cooking place on board, and a gigantic wooden pestle
and mortar in which the women pound the rice. Both men and women have
extremely fluent and sharp tongues, and have not so far earned the
reputation for truthfulness. But they are quick-witted, and can turn
their hands to most things, and make themselves useful in a variety of
ways.

Besides carrying goods and passengers among the numerous waterways of
Kashmir, some gather the singháre (water nuts) on the Wular Lake,
others work market gardens on the Dal Lake, others fish, and others
dredge for driftwood in the rivers.

  [Illustration: A BOATMAN AND HIS FAMILY]



CHAPTER IX

THE HISTORY OF KASHMIR


A country of such striking natural beauty must, surely, at some period
of its history have produced a refined and noble people? Amid these
glorious mountains, breathing their free and bracing air, and
brightened by the constant sunshine, there must have sprung a strong
virile and yet æsthetic race? The beautiful Greece, with its purple
hills and varied contour, its dancing seas and clear blue sky,
produced the graceful Greeks. But Kashmir is more beautiful than
Greece. It has the same blue sky and brilliant sunshine, but its
purple hills are on a far grander scale, and if it has no sea, it has
lake and river, and the still more impressive snowy mountains. It has,
too, greater variety of natural scenery, of field and forest, of
rugged mountain and open valley. And to me who have seen both
countries, Kashmir seems much the more likely to impress a race by
its natural beauty. Has it ever made any such impression?

The shawls for which the country is noted are some indication that its
inhabitants have a sense of form and colour, and some delicacy and
refinement. But a great people would have produced something more
impressive than shawls. Are there no remains of buildings, roads,
aqueducts, canals, statues, or any other such mark by which a people
leaves its impress on a country? And is there any literature or
history?

  [Illustration: RUINS OF TEMPLES, WANGAT, SIND VALLEY]

All over the Kashmir valley there are remains of temples remarkable
for their almost Egyptian solidity, simplicity, and durability, as
well as for what Cunningham describes as the graceful elegance of
their outlines, the massive boldness of their parts, and the happy
propriety of their outlines. The ancient Kashmirian architecture, with
its noble fluted pillars, its vast colonnades, its lofty pediments,
and its elegant trefoiled arches, is, he thinks, entitled to be
classed as a distinct style; and we may take it as implying the
existence of just such a people as this mountain country might be
expected to produce. Three miles beyond Uri, on the road into Kashmir,
are the ruins of a temple of extremely pleasing execution. Near
Buniar, just beyond Rampur, is another right on the road. At
Patan, 13 miles before reaching Srinagar, are two more ruined temples
of massive construction. Two and a half miles southward of Shadipur,
the present junction of the Sind River with the Jhelum, are the
remains of a town, the extent and nature of which show conclusively
that it must once have been a large and important centre. On the
summit of the hill, rising above the European quarter in Srinagar, is
a dome-shaped temple erroneously known as the Takht-i-Suliman. At
Pandrathan, three miles from Srinagar, is a graceful little temple and
the remains of a statue of Buddha, and of a column of immense strength
and size. At Pampur and Avantipur, on the road to Islamabad at Payech,
on the southern side of the valley, where there is the best preserved
specimen temple, and at many other places in the main valley, and in
the Sind and Lidar valleys, there are remains of temples of much the
same style. But it is at Martand that there is the finest, and as it
is not only typical of Kashmir architecture at its best, but is built
on the most sublime site occupied by any building in the world,--finer
far than the site of the Parthenon, or of the Taj, or of St. Peters,
or of the Escurial,--we may take it as the representative, or rather
the culmination of all the rest, and by it we must judge the people of
Kashmir at their best.

On a perfectly open and even plain, gently sloping away from a
background of snowy mountains, looking directly out on the entire
length both of the smiling Kashmir valley and of the snowy ranges
which bound it--so situated, in fact, as to be encircled by, yet not
overwhelmed by, snowy mountains--stand the ruins of a temple second
only to the Egyptians in massiveness and strength, and to the Greek in
elegance and grace. It is built of immense rectilinear blocks of
limestone, betokening strength and durability. Its outline and its
detail are bold, simple, and impressive. And any over-weighing sense
of massiveness is relieved by the elegance of the surrounding
colonnade of graceful Greek-like pillars. It is but a ruin now, but
yet, with the other ruins so numerous in the valley, and so similar in
their main characteristics, it denotes the former presence in Kashmir
of a people worthy of study. No one without an eye for natural beauty
would have chosen that special site for the construction of a temple,
and no one with an inclination to the ephemeral and transient would
have built it on so massive and enduring a scale. We cannot, for
instance, imagine present-day Kashmiris building anything so noble, so
simple, so true, and so enduring. The people that built the ancient
temples of Kashmir must have been religious, for the remains are all
of temples or of sacred emblems, and not of palaces, commercial
offices, or hotels; they must have held, at least, one large idea to
have built on so enduring a scale, and they must have been men of
strong and simple tastes, averse to the paltry and the florid. What
was their history? Were they a purely indigenous race? Were they
foreigners and conquerors settled in the land, or were they a native
race, much influenced from outside, and with sufficient pliability to
assimilate that influence and turn it to profitable use for their own
ends?

  [Illustration: RUINED GATEWAY OF MARTAND]

Fortunately one of their native historians has left us a record, and
Dr. Stein's skill and industry in translating and annotating this
record makes it possible to obtain a fairly clear idea of ancient
Kashmir. From this and from the style of the ruins themselves, we
gather that the main impulses came from outside rather than from
within, from India and from Greece. And perhaps, if in place of their
mountains, which tend to seclusion and cut a people off from the full
effects of that important factor in the development of a race, easy
intercourse and strenuous rivalry with other peoples, the Kashmirians
had, like the Greeks, been in contact with the sea, with ready access
to other peoples and other civilisations, they might have made a
greater mark in the world's history. But they had this advantage, that
the beauty of their country must always, as now, in itself have been
an attraction to outsiders, and so from the very commencement of its
authentic history we find strong outside influences at work in the
country.

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus among the first authentic facts we can safely lay hold of from
among the misty and elusive statements of exuberant Oriental
historians, is the fact that Asoka's sovereign power extended to
Kashmir-Asoka, the contemporary of Hannibal, and the enthusiastic
Buddhist ruler of India, whose kingdom extended from Bengal to the
Deccan, to Afghanistan and to the Punjab, and the results of whose
influence may be seen to this day in Kashmir, in the remains of
Buddhist temples and statues, and in the ruins of cities founded by
him 250 years before Christ, 200 years before the Romans landed
in Britain, and 700 years before what is now known as England had yet
been trodden by truly English feet.

  [Illustration: RUINED TEMPLES OF AVANTIPUR]

At this time Buddhism was the dominating religion in northern India,
and perhaps received an additional impulse from the Greek kingdoms in
the Punjab, planted by Alexander the Great as the result of his
invasion in 327 B.C. Asoka had organised it on the basis of a state
religion, he had spread the religion with immense enthusiasm, and in
Kashmir he caused stupas and temples to be erected, and founded the
original city of Srinagar, then situated on the site of the present
village of Pandrathan, three miles above the existing capital. He had
broken through the fetters of Brahminism and established a friendly
intercourse with Greece and Egypt, and it is to this connection that
the introduction of stone architecture and sculpture is due. The
Punjab contains many examples of Græco-Buddhist art, and Kashmir
history dawns at the time when Greek influence was most prominent in
India.

The first great impulse which has left its mark on the ages came,
then, not from within, but from without--not from within Kashmir, but
from India, Greece, and Egypt. Little, indeed, now remains of that
initial movement. The religion which was its mainspring has now not a
single votary among the inhabitants of the valley. The city Asoka
founded has long since disappeared. But the great record remains; and
on a site beautiful even for Kashmir, where the river sweeps
gracefully round to kiss the spur on which the city was built, and
from whose sloping terraces the inhabitants could look out over the
smiling fields, the purple hills, and snowy mountain summits of their
lovely country, there still exist the remnants of the ancient glory as
the last, but everlasting sign that once great men ruled the land.

       *       *       *       *       *

The next great landmark in Kashmir history is the reign of the king
Kanishka, the Indo-Scythian ruler of upper India. He reigned about 40
A.D., when the Romans were conquering Britain and Buddhism was just
beginning to spread to China. He was of Turki descent, and was part of
that wave of Scythian immigration which for two or three hundred years
came pouring down from Central Asia. And he was renowned throughout
the Buddhist world as the pious Buddhist king, who held in Kashmir the
famous Third Great Council of the Church which drew up the Northern
Canon or "Greater Vehicle of the Law." In his time, too, there lived
at a site which is still traceable at Harwan, nestling under the
higher mountains at the entrance of one of the attractive side-valleys
of Kashmir, and overlooking the placid waters of the Dal Lake, a
famous Bodhisattva, Nagarjuna, who from this peaceful retreat
exercised a spiritual lordship over the land.

Buddhism was, in fact, at the zenith of its power in Kashmir. But a
reaction against it was soon to follow, and from this time onward the
orthodox Brahministic Hinduism, from which Buddhism was a revolt,
reasserted itself, and Buddhism steadily waned. When the Chinese
Buddhist pilgrim Hiuen Tsiang visited Kashmir, about A.D. 631, he
said, "This kingdom is not much given to the faith, and the temples of
the heretics are their sole thought."

Passing now over a period of six centuries, the only authentically
recorded event in which is the reign, A.D. 515, of Mihirakula, the
"White Hun," a persecutor of the Buddhist faith, "a man of violent
acts and resembling Death," whose approach the people knew "by
noticing the vultures, crows, and other birds which were flying ahead
eager to feed on those who were to be slain," and who succeeded to a
kingdom which extended to Kabul and Central India, we come to the
reign of the most famous king in Kashmir history, and the first really
indigenous ruler of note--Lalitaditya. And of his reign we must take
especial notice as Kashmir was then at its best.

       *       *       *       *       *

Whether Lalitaditya was a pure Kashmiri it is impossible to discover.
His grandfather, the founder of the dynasty to which he belonged, was
a man of humble origin--whether Kashmiri or foreign the historian does
not relate--who was connected by marriage with the preceding ruling
family. His mother was the mistress of a merchant settled in Srinagar.
The dynasty which his grandfather succeeded was foreign, and it is
impossible, therefore, to say how much foreign blood Lalitaditya had
in his veins; but his family had at any rate been settled in Kashmir
for a couple of generations, and Kashmir was not in his time the mere
appanage of a greater kingdom, but was a distinct and isolated kingdom
in itself. From this time for many centuries onwards, till the time of
Akbar, the tide of conquest and political influence was to turn, and
instead of more advanced and masterful races from the direction of
India spreading their influence over Kashmir, it was from Kashmir
that conquerors were to go forth to extend their sway over
neighbouring districts in the Punjab.

Lalitaditya's reign extended from about 699 to 736. He was therefore a
contemporary of Charlemagne, and preceded our own King Alfred by more
than a century. Mohamed was already dead a hundred years, but his
religion had not yet spread to India. The Kashmiri historians speak of
Lalitaditya's "conquering the world," and mix up much fable with fact.
But what certainly is true is that he asserted his authority over the
hilly tracts of the northern Punjab, that he attacked and reduced the
King of Kanauj to submission, that he conquered the Tibetans,
successfully invaded Badakhshan in Central Asia, and sent embassies to
Peking.

Though, then, he was not the "universal 'monarch' that the historian
described him, and did not move round the earth like the sun," or
"putting his foot on the islands as if they were stepping-stones, move
quickly and without difficulty over the ocean," he is yet the most
conspicuous figure in Kashmir history, and raised his country to a
pitch of glory it had never reached before or attained to since. It
was he who erected the temple at Martand; and the ruins of the city
Parihasapura, near the present Shadipur, are an even fuller testimony
to his greatness. These, therefore, we must regard as the most
reliable indication we have of the degree of culture and civilisation
to which Kashmir attained in its most palmy day twelve hundred years
ago.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lalitaditya's rule was followed by a succession of short and weak
reigns, but his grandson was almost as great a hero of popular legend
as himself. He too, "full of ambition, collected an army and set out
for the conquest of the world." He reached the Ganges and defeated the
King of Kanauj, but had to return to Kashmir to subdue a usurper to
his throne. He encouraged scholars and poets and founded cities. After
him followed, first, "an indolent and profligate prince"; then a child
in the hands of uncles, who as soon as he grew up destroyed him and
put another child on the throne. He indeed maintained his position on
the throne for 37 years, but only on account of the rivalries of the
uncles, and as a mere puppet king, and was eventually deposed by the
victorious faction to make place for yet another puppet king, who
again was killed by a treacherous relative. So the record goes on
till we come to the reign of Avantivarman, 855-883, and this appears
to have brought a period of consolidation for the country, which must
have greatly suffered economically as well as politically from the
internal troubles during the preceding reigns. There is no indication
of the reassertion of Kashmir sovereignty abroad, but there is ample
proof of the internal recovery of the country, and the town of
Avantipura, named after the king, has survived to the present day. It
lies one march above Srinagar, and the ruins of the ancient buildings,
though not equal in size to Lalitaditya's structures, yet rank, says
Stein, among the most imposing monuments of ancient Kashmir
architecture, and sufficiently attest the resources of the builder.

This reign was, too, remarkable for the execution of an engineering
scheme to prevent floods and drain the valley, a precisely similar
idea to that on which Major de Lotbinière is working under the
direction of the present Maharaja. The Kashmiri engineer Suyya, after
whom is named the present town of Sopur, saw more than a thousand
years ago what modern engineers have also observed, that floods in the
valley are due to the waters of the Jhelum not being able to get
through the gorge three miles below Baramula with sufficient
rapidity. The constricted passage gets blocked with boulders, and both
Suyya and our present engineers saw that this obstruction must be
removed. But while Major de Lotbinière imported electrically-worked
dredgers from America and a dredging engineer from Canada, Suyya
adopted a much simpler method: he threw money into the river where the
obstruction lay. His contemporaries, as perhaps we also would have,
looked upon him as a madman. But there was method in his madness, for
the report had no sooner got about that there was money at the bottom
of the river than men dashed in to find it, and rooted up all the
obstructing boulders in their search. So at least says the legend. In
any case the obstruction was removed by Suyya, and the result was the
regulation of the course of the river, a large increase of land
available for cultivation, and increased protection against disastrous
floods. May the modern Suyya be equally successful!

The successor of Avantivarman, after defeating a cousin and other
rivals to the throne, started on a round of foreign expedition, in the
historian's words, "to revive the tradition of the conquest of the
world." The practical result does not appear to have been much more
than an invasion of Hazara, an attack on Kangra and the subjugation of
what is now the town of Gujrat in the Punjab, since remarkable as the
spot where we finally overthrew the power of the Sikhs. But the record
is of interest, as showing that the conquering tendency was still from
Kashmir outwards, and not from the Punjab into Kashmir.

       *       *       *       *       *

But this was the last outward effort, and from this reign onward the
record is one long succession of struggles between the rulers and
usurping uncles, cousins, brothers, ministers, nobles, and soldiers.
The immediate successor was a child whose regent mother was under the
influence of her paramour the Minister. After two years he was
murdered by the Minister. Another boy succeeded who only lived ten
days. Then the regent mother herself ruled for a couple of years, but
a military faction overruled her councils, and by open rebellion
obtained the throne for a nominee of their own, and the land became
oppressed by exactions of the soldiery backed by unscrupulous
ministers. The Queen was captured and executed, and a disastrous flood
and terrible famine increased the general misery. After two years'
reign the soldiers' nominee was deposed and a child put in his place.
Then there was a fresh revolution and still another nominee, who, as
he could not pay a sufficient bribe to the soldiery, was deposed and
the crown sold to the Minister.

And now another power makes itself felt, the influence of the feudal
landholders, whose interests had suffered from the prolonged
predominance of the military party. They marched upon Srinagar,
defeated the soldiers, threw out the usurping minister, and restored
the legitimate king, who, however, showed little gratitude, but
abandoned himself to vile cruelties and excesses, till the feudal
landholders became so exasperated that they treacherously murdered him
at night within the arms of one of his low-caste queens. The successor
was no better. He surpassed his predecessor in acts of senseless
cruelty and wanton licence, and was encouraged by his ambitious
minister (who was scheming to secure the throne for himself) to
destroy his own relatives. Some were murdered, and others captured and
allowed to starve to death. He himself died after a reign of only two
years, and his successor had to flee after occupying the throne for a
few days. The commander-in-chief tried to seize it, but on placing the
election in the hands of an assembly of Brahmins, they chose one of
their own number, who for nine years, by a wise and mild rule, gained
a respite from the constant troubles of previous reigns. Only a short
respite, however, for on his death the aforementioned scheming
minister, after first putting his rivals out of the way, forced an
entrance to the palace, killed the successor of the Brahmin, and threw
him into the Jhelum. He grossly oppressed the land for a year and a
half, and then died of dropsy, to be succeeded by a youth grossly
sensual and addicted to many vices, who married a princess of the
house of Punch. This lady happened to have considerable force of
character, and when her son succeeded as a child, exercised as his
guardian full royal power. She ruthlessly put down all rival parties,
executing captured rebels, exterminating their families. She even, on
her son's death, murdered two of her own grandsons that she might
herself retain power. Finally, she fell in love with a letter-carrier
who had begun life as a herdsman; she appointed him her Minister, and
he retained undisputed predominance over her for her reign of
twenty-three years, his valour supplementing her cunning diplomacy and
bribes in overcoming all opposition.

The following reign, which was prudent, but weak, is noticeable from
the fact that the famous Mahmud of Ghazni, who forced Mohamedanism
upon upper India, made an attempt, A.D. 1015, to invade Kashmir. It
was unsuccessful, but it marks the first sign of the returning flood
of invasion from the Punjab inwards to Kashmir. The outward flow had
ceased. The inward was now to begin.

In the meanwhile, until the Moghals, five hundred years later, finally
established themselves in Kashmir, the ceaseless round of intrigue,
treachery, and strife continued. The powerful herdsman minister and
his son were foully murdered, and a succession of low favourites rose
to power and plundered the people. A reign of twenty-two days which
follows was terminated by the licentious mother killing her own son.
Then comes a dangerous rising of the feudal landholders and more short
reigns, murders, suicides, till we arrive at the reign of Harsa,
1089-1101, who is said to have been "the most striking figure among
the later Hindu rulers of Kashmir." He was courageous and fond of
display, and well versed in various sciences, and a lover of music and
the arts, but "cruelty and kindheartedness, liberality and greed,
violent self-willedness and reckless supineness, cunning and want of
thought, in turn displayed themselves in his chequered life." He kept
up a splendid Court and was munificent to men of learning and poets.
He also succeeded in asserting his authority in the hilly country
outside Kashmir on the south. But he eventually became the object of
conspiracies, and to put them down resorted to the cruellest measures.
He had his half-brother, as well as his nephews, and some other
relatives, who had given no cause for suspicion, heartlessly murdered.
Extravagant expenditure on the troops and senseless indulgence in
costly pleasures gradually involved Harsa in grave financial trouble,
from which he endeavoured to free himself by ruthless spoliation of
sacred shrines, and even by confiscating divine images made of any
valuable metal. He was further reduced to the necessity of imposing
new and oppressive imposts. All this misgovernment spread discontent
and misery among the people; and while the plague was raging, and
robbers everywhere infesting the land, there occurred a disastrous
flood which brought on a famine. A rising against Harsa was the
result. He was slain in the fighting; his head was cut off and burned,
while his body, naked like that of a pauper, was cremated by a
compassionate wood-dealer.

The position of his successor, Vecula, was no less precarious than
that of the generality of Kashmir rulers. His younger brother was
ready to rise against him, and the leaders of feudal landholders, to
whose rebellion he owed his throne, behaved as the true rulers of the
land. He protected himself by fomenting jealousy and mutual suspicion,
and murdered or exiled their most influential leaders, and then openly
turned upon the remainder and forced them to disarm and submit. He
also systematically persecuted the officials. On the other hand he
showed considerate regard for the common people, and was on the whole
a liberal, capable, and fairly energetic ruler. Nevertheless he, too,
met with a violent end. The city-prefect and his brothers attacked him
at night in the palace as, unarmed and attended only by a few
followers, he was proceeding to the seraglio. He fought with desperate
bravery, but was soon overpowered by his numerous assailants and
cruelly murdered, December 1111.

His immediate successor reigned only a few hours; his half-brother
only four months. He was then made prisoner by his brother, whose
reign of eight years was one succession of internal troubles caused by
rebellious and powerful landholders whom he in vain tried to subdue.
He imprisoned his Minister and the Minister's three sons, and finally
had them all strangled. He executed with revolting cruelty some
hostages of the landholders; and, finally, in face of a rebellion
caused by his cruelty and by his oppressive imposts, he had to fly
from Srinagar to Punch. A pretender occupied the throne for a year,
during which the people were at the mercy of bands of rebels, while
rival ministers contended for what was left of regal power. Trade was
at a standstill and money scarce. The rightful ruler returned and
again occupied the throne, and, owing to the want of union among the
feudal landholders, was able to retain it for another five years. But
eventually he also met the usual fate of Kashmir kings, and was
murdered.

Jayashima, the successor, reigned for twenty-one years, though he had
found his country in a pitiable state. The feudal landholders were
like kings, while the resources of the King and people alike were
well-nigh exhausted by the preceding struggles. His predecessor had
been unable by force to permanently reduce the power and pretensions
of these petty nobles, and Jayashima tried to effect the same object
by cunning diplomacy and unscrupulous intrigue. But he was no more
successful, and they continued to preserve a rebellious, independent
attitude for centuries later, far into the Mohamedan period.

       *       *       *       *       *

The accounts of this and the immediately preceding reigns are of
particular interest, because Kalhana, the historian to whom the facts
are due, lived at this period. We get then a first-hand account of the
state of Kashmir eight hundred years ago. It is a petty, melancholy,
and sordid history, but it is the record of a contemporary, and I have
no hesitation in adopting it as giving a true impression of the state
of the country, because I have myself seen a precise counterpart of it
in independent states on this very frontier. When I visited Hunza in
1889 the then chief--now in exile--had murdered his father, poisoned
his mother, and thrown his two brothers over a precipice. The chief of
Chitral, when I was there in 1893, was one of only four survivors of
seventeen brothers who were living when their father died, and he
himself was subsequently murdered by one of his three surviving
brothers--a brother whom he had frequently asked my permission to
murder, on the ground that if he did not murder the brother, the
brother would murder him. In Chitral there was also the same struggle
with "nobles" as is recorded of Kashmir, and murders of "nobles" were
horribly frequent.

We may accept, then, as authentic that the normal state of Kashmir for
many centuries, except in the intervals when a strong, firm ruler came
to the front, was a state of perpetual intrigue and assassination, of
struggles with brothers, cousins, uncles, before a chief even came to
the throne; of fights for power with ministers, with the military,
with the "nobles" when he was on it; of constant fear; of poisoning
and assassination; of wearying, petty internecine "wars," and of
general discomfort, uncertainty, and unrest.

       *       *       *       *       *

For two centuries more Hindu rule maintained itself, but it was
steadily decaying. In the meanwhile Mohamedanism had, especially in
consequence of the invasion of Mahmud of Ghazni in 1000 A.D., made
great advances in the adjoining kingdoms of the Punjab; and, in 1339,
a Mohamedan ruler, Shah Mir, deposed the widow of the last Hindu ruler
and founded a Mohamedan dynasty. The influx of foreign adventurers
from Central Asia as well as from India had prepared the ground for
Mohamedan rule, and when Shah Mir appeared there was little change in
the system of administration, which remained as before in the hands of
the traditional official class, the Brahmins.

From this time till the Moghal emperors finally conquered Kashmir in
1586, there was, with one exception, the usual succession of weak
rulers and constant struggles between rival factions of territorial
magnates. But this one exception is worthy of notice, as his reign is
even now quoted by Kashmiris as the happiest of their history.
Zain-ul-ab-ul-din (1420-70) was virtuous in his private life and
liberal. He was the staunch friend of the cultivators, and built many
bridges and constructed many canals. He was fond of sport, and was
tolerant towards Brahmins, remitting the poll-tax on them, and
encouraging them by grants of land. He also repaired some Hindu
temples and revived Hindu learning. Further, he introduced many
art-manufactures from foreign countries, and his Court was thronged by
poets, musicians, and singers.

  [Illustration: GATE OF THE OUTER WALL, HARI PARBAT FORT, SRINAGAR]

But this reign seems to have been a mere oasis in the dreary record,
and it was followed by a succession of weak reigns till 1532, when a
direct conquest of the country by a foreign invader was effected. In
that year Mirza Haider, with a following which formed part of the
last great wave of Turkis (or Moghals) from the north, invaded Kashmir
and held it for some years. Then followed one last short period,
during which Kashmir became once more the scene of long-continued
strife among the great feudal families, who set up and deposed their
puppet kings in rapid succession, till finally, in 1586, Kashmir was
incorporated in the dominions of the great Akbar, the contemporary of
Elizabeth, and remained as a dependency of the Moghal emperors for
nearly two centuries.

Akbar himself visited the country three times, made a land revenue
settlement, and built the fort of Hari Parbat, which from its
situation on an isolated hill, in a flat valley surrounded by
mountains, bears some resemblance to the Potala at Lhasa. Akbar's
successor, Jehangir, was devoted to Kashmir and he it was who built
the stately pleasure gardens, the Shalimar and Nishat Baghs, where we
can imagine that he and his wife, the famous Nurmahal, for whom he
built the Taj at Agra, must have spent many a pleasant summer day.

       *       *       *       *       *

The rule of the Moghals was fairly just and enlightened, and their
laws and ordinances were excellent in spirit. Bernier, who visited
Kashmir in the train of Aurungzebe, makes no allusion, as travellers
of a subsequent date so frequently do, to the misery of the people,
but, on the contrary, says of them that they are "celebrated for wit,
and considered much more intelligent and ingenious than the Indians."
"In poetry and the sciences," he continues, "they are not inferior to
the Persians, and they are also very active and industrious." And he
notes the "prodigious quantity of shawls which they manufacture."
Kashmir was indeed, according to Bernier, "the terrestrial paradise of
the Indies." "The whole kingdom wears the appearance," he says, "of a
fertile and highly cultivated garden. Villages and hamlets are
frequently seen through the luxuriant foliage. Meadows and vineyards,
fields of rice, wheat, hemp, saffron, and many sorts of vegetables,
among which are mingled trenches filled with water, rivulets, canals,
and several small lakes, vary the enchanting scene. The whole ground
is enamelled with our European flowers and plants, and covered with
our apple, pear, plum, apricot, and walnut trees, all bearing fruit in
great abundance."

All this and the absence of remarks on ruined towns and deserted
villages, such as we shall hear so much of later on, implies
prosperity. And of the governors of Kashmir under the Moghals, we read
that many were enlightened, reduced taxation, and put down the
oppression of petty officials. But as the Moghal Empire began to
decay, the governors became more independent and high-handed. The
Hindus were more oppressed. The officials fought among themselves, and
Kashmir fell once more into wild disorder; and eventually, in 1750,
came under the cruellest and worst rule of all--the rule of the
Afghans, who to this day are of all the oppressive rulers in the world
the most tyrannical. The period of Afghan rule was, says Lawrence, a
time of "brutal tyranny, unrelieved by good works, chivalry, or
honour." Men with interest were appointed as governors, who wrung as
much money as they could out of the wretched people of the valley. It
was said of them that they thought no more of cutting off heads than
of plucking a flower. One used to tie up the Hindus, two and two, in
grass sacks and sink them in the Dal Lake. The poll-tax on Hindus was
revived, and many either fled the country, were killed, or converted
to Islam.

       *       *       *       *       *

At last the oppression became so unendurable that the Kashmiris turned
with hope to Ranjit Singh, the powerful Sikh ruler of the Punjab,
who, after an unsuccessful attempt, finally in 1819, accompanied by
Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu, defeated the Afghan governor and annexed
Kashmir to his dominions. It came then once again under Hindu rulers,
though in the meantime nine-tenths of the population had been
converted to Mohamedanism.

But the unfortunate country had still to suffer many ills. The Sikhs
who succeeded the Afghans were not so barbarically cruel, but they
were hard and rough masters. Moorcroft, who visited the country in
1824, says that "everywhere the people were in the most abject
condition, exorbitantly taxed by the Sikh Government, and subjected to
every kind of extortion and oppression by its officers ... not
one-sixteenth of the cultivable surface is in cultivation, and the
inhabitants, starving at home, are driven in great numbers to the
plains of Hindustan." The cultivators were "in a condition of extreme
wretchedness," and the Government, instead of taking only one-half of
the produce on the threshing-floor, had now advanced its demands to
three-quarters. Every shawl was taxed 26 per cent upon the estimated
value, besides which there was an import duty on the wool with
which they were manufactured, and a charge was made upon every shop or
workman connected with the manufacture. Every trade was also taxed,
"butchers, bakers, boatmen, vendors of fuel, public notaries,
scavengers, prostitutes, all paid a sort of corporation tax, and even
the Kotwal, or chief officer of justice, paid a large gratuity of
thirty thousand rupees a year for his appointment, being left to
reimburse himself as he might."

  [Illustration: AT THE RIVER'S EDGE, SRINAGAR]

Villages, where Moorcroft stopped in the Lolab direction, were
half-deserted, and the few inhabitants that remained wore the
semblance of extreme wretchedness. Islamabad was "as filthy a place as
can well be imagined, and swarming with beggars." Shupaiyon was not
half-inhabited, and the inhabitants of the country round, "half-naked
and miserably emaciated, presented a ghastly picture of poverty and
starvation." The Sikhs "seemed to look upon the Kashmirians as little
better than cattle ... the murder of a native by a Sikh is punished by
a fine to the Government of from sixteen to twenty rupees, of which
four rupees are paid to the family of the deceased if a Hindu, and two
rupees if a Mohamedan."

Vigne's description is hardly more favourable. He visited Kashmir in
1835. Shupaiyon was "a miserable place, bearing the impression of once
having been a thriving town. The houses were in ruins." Islamabad was
"but a shadow of its former self." The houses "present a ruined and
neglected appearance, in wretched contrast with their once gay and
happy condition, and speak volumes upon the light and joyous
prosperity that has long fled the country on account of the shameless
rapacity of the ruthless Sikhs." The villages were fallen into decay.
The rice-ground was uncultivated for want of labour and irrigation.

       *       *       *       *       *

Clearly the Kashmiris had not yet come to a haven of rest, but they
were nearing it.

The Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu has already been mentioned as
accompanying Ranjit Singh's troops on their victorious march to
Kashmir in 1819. On the death of Ranjit Singh there was much violence
and mutiny among the Sikh soldiery, and the Governor of Kashmir was
murdered by them. Thereupon a body of about 5000 men, nominally under
the command of the son of Sher Singh, Ranjit's successor, but really
under the charge of Gulab Singh, was sent to Kashmir to restore
authority. This was in the year 1841, when the British were still
behind the Sutlej, but were engaged in the fruitless and disastrous
expedition to Kabul, which resulted in the murder of the envoy. Gulab
Singh quelled the mutiny in Kashmir, placed there a governor of his
own, and from this time he became virtual master of the valley, though
till the year 1846 it nominally belonged to the Sikh rulers at Lahore.

  [Illustration: LALLA ROOKH'S TOMB, HASSAN ABDAL]

As he was the founder of the present ruling dynasty, it will be well
to pause here to describe who he was and where he came from. He was
what is known as a Dogra Rajput, that is, a Rajput inhabiting the
Dogra country--the hilly country stretching down to the plains of the
Punjab from the snowy range bounding Kashmir on the south. His
far-away ancestors were Rajputs who for generations had followed
warlike operations. Originally settled in Oudh or in Rajputana they
eventually moved to the Punjab, and settled at Mirpur in the Dogra
country. One branch then migrated to Chamba, another to Kangra, and
the one to which Gulab Singh belonged to Jammu, where the
great-great-grand-uncle of Gulab Singh--Throv Deo--was during the
middle of the eighteenth century a man of importance. In 1775 the son
of Throv Deo built the palace at Jammu, and about 1788 Gulab Singh
was born. In 1807, when Ranjit Singh's troops were attacking Jammu,
Gulab Singh so distinguished himself that he gained the favour of
Ranjit Singh. He took service under the Sikh ruler, and with the
assistance of his brother, Ranjit Singh's Dewan, acquired such
influence that when the principality of Jammu had been annexed by the
Sikhs, Ranjit Singh in 1818 conferred it upon Gulab Singh, with the
title of Raja. The brother, Dhyan Singh, was likewise made Raja of
Punch, and the third brother, Raja of Ramnager.

In the course of the next 15 years the three brothers subdued all the
neighbouring principalities, and Gulab Singh's troops under Zorawar
Singh had conquered Ladak and Baltistan, and even invaded Tibet,
though there Zorawar Singh himself was killed and his army
annihilated.

Thus when Ranjit Singh died in 1839 Gulab Singh, though still feudatory
to the Sikh Government, had established his authority in Jammu and
neighbouring principalities, and in Ladak and Baltistan, and he had a
commanding influence in Kashmir then still under a Sikh governor. The
traveller Vigne saw him in this year at Jammu, and speaks of him as
feared for his cruelty and tyrannical exactions--very common and,
it would almost appear, _necessary_ characteristics of strong rulers
in those unruly times--but he remarks on his tolerance and liberality
in religious matters. He was never a popular ruler, and the people
feared and dreaded him; but he had courage and energy, and above all
was successful.

  [Illustration: BRIDGE OF BURBUR SHAH, CHENAR BAGH, SRINAGAR]

On Ranjit Singh's death all was once more in the melting-pot, and for
a time it looked as if Gulab Singh would come crashing down even
faster than he had risen. His influence at the Lahore Court was lost
through the murder of his brother. He himself was attacked by the
Sikhs and taken to Lahore. His fortunes were sinking rapidly. Then
suddenly there was a turn in the wheel of fortune; and the man who had
started life as a courtier of Ranjit Singh, was confirmed in the
possession not only of all that he had subsequently acquired by his
own prowess, but also of the rich and beautiful vale of Kashmir as
well. On the payment of three-quarters of a million sterling down, and
of an annual tribute of one horse, twelve goats, and six pairs of
shawls, all this was confirmed by the strongest power in Asia to
himself and his heirs for ever. It was one of those wonderful strokes
of fortune which must have lent such zest and interest to life in
those otherwise sordid days.

It was due to the advent of the British upon the scene. On the death
of the strong, stern ruler, Ranjit Singh, the Punjab had fallen into a
state of hopeless anarchy. His successor died prematurely of excess,
and Ranjit's reputed son, Sher Singh, once Governor of Kashmir, had
marched upon Lahore and seized the government in 1841. The Punjab was
now entirely in the hands of the Sikh soldiery, whose movements were
regulated not by the will of the sovereign or of the minister, but by
the dictation of army committees. The minister, Dhyan Singh (Gulab
Singh's younger brother) shot the ruler Sher Singh, and was in turn
murdered by a Sikh chieftain, Ajit Singh, who, again, was murdered by
the Sikh soldiers. Dhulip Singh, so well known afterwards as an exile
in England, and then a child of five years of age, was put on the
throne, and from this time the army became the absolute master of the
State, though Hira Singh, Dhyan Singh's son, and therefore nephew of
Gulab Singh, was nominally minister. He tried to curb the army by
distributing the regiments, but the army committees would not
allow a single corps to leave the capital without their permission. He
had eventually to flee, but he was overtaken and killed, and his head
brought back in triumph to Lahore.

  [Illustration: SPRING FLOODS IN THE KUTICAL CANAL, SRINAGAR]

On Hira Singh's death the power fell into the hands of the brother of
the infant Dhulip Singh's mother and her paramour, Lal Singh, a
Brahmin. They increased the pay of the soldiers, and in order to keep
them quiet turned them against Gulab Singh at Jammu. He was brought to
Lahore and had to pay a crore (ten millions) of rupees. They were then
turned against Multan. Another son of Ranjit Singh raised a revolt,
but was suppressed and murdered by the regnant maternal uncle of the
infant Dhulip Singh. Then this uncle was himself murdered. The mother,
with the aid of the minister Lal Singh, and of Tej Singh, the
commander-in-chief of the army, assumed the government and, as it is
thought, with the object of employing the army, which was a positive
danger to the throne, ordered an advance upon British territory. In
November 1845 the Sikh army of 60,000 men with 150 guns crossed the
river Sutlej which was then our frontier, and by the 16th of December
was encamped by Ferozepore fort held by only 10,000 British and
British Indian troops. A bloody and indecisive battle was fought at
Mudki, December 18, 1845. Another most hard-won battle--"the most
severe and critical the British army had ever fought in India"--and in
which the Governor-General, Lord Hardinge, himself took part, and lost
five aides-de-camp killed, and four wounded, was fought at Ferozeshah
on December 21. This just stemmed the tide of invasion, but at such a
cost of men and ammunition, that the British could not follow up their
success till January 28, 1846, when the decisive battle of Aliwal was
fought, which utterly disheartened the Government at Lahore. Lal
Singh, the minister, was deposed for his incapacity, and Gulab Singh
was invited from Jammu to negotiate with the Governor-General.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here was the wonderful turn in the wheel of fortune, which, when his
own brother and so many of the leading men of the Punjab had been
murdered or debased, brought him alone and his descendants after him
to a position of security.

  [Illustration: LOOKING DOWN THE GURAIS VALLEY, FROM DUDHGAI VILLAGE]

Gulab Singh immediately made overtures to the British Government, but
the Sikh army was not yet thoroughly defeated, and it was not till
after the battle of Sobraon, on February 10th, that the way for
negotiations was really clear. The British troops occupied Lahore. The
Sikh Government submitted, and the treaty of Lahore was concluded on
March 9th. By this, amongst other things, the Sikhs ceded to the
British all the hill country between the rivers Beas and Indus,
"including the provinces of Kashmir and Hazara"; and "in consideration
of the services rendered by Raja Golab Singh, of Jummu, to the Lahore
State, towards procuring the restoration of the relations of amity
between the Lahore and British Governments," the British agreed to
recognise "the independent sovereignty of Raja Golab Singh in such
territories and districts in the hills as may be made over to the said
Raja Golab Singh, by separate agreement between himself and the
British Government, with the dependencies thereof, which may have been
in the Raja's possession since the time of the late Maharaja Khurruk
Singh"; further, the British Government, "in consideration of the good
conduct of Raja Golab Singh," agreed "to recognise his independence in
such territories, and to admit him to the privileges of a separate
treaty with the British Government."

A week later, on 16th March 1846, was signed this separate treaty with
Gulab Singh, by which the British Government "transferred and made
over, for ever, in independent possession, to Maharaja Golab Singh and
the heirs male of his body, all the hilly and mountainous country,
with its dependencies, situated to the eastward of the river Indus and
westward of the river Ravi, including Chamba and excluding Lahoul,
being part of the territories ceded to the British Government by the
Lahore State." In consideration of this transfer Golab Singh was to
pay the British Government 75 lakhs of rupees, and in token of the
supremacy of the British Government, was "to present annually to the
British Government one horse, twelve perfect shawl-goats of approved
breed (six male and six female), and three pairs of Kashmir shawls."
He further engaged "to join with the whole of his military force the
British troops when employed within the hills, or in the territories
adjoining his possessions"; and on their part the British Government
engaged to "give its aid to Maharaja Golab Singh in protecting his
territories from external enemies."

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus it was that Kashmir came under its present rulers; and surprise
has often been expressed that when this lovely land had actually been
ceded us, after a hard and strenuous campaign, we should ever have
parted with it for the paltry sum of three-quarters of a million
sterling. The reasons are to be found in a letter from Sir Henry
Hardinge to the Queen, published in _The Letters of Queen Victoria_.
The Governor-General, writing from the neighbourhood of Lahore on 18th
of February 1846--that is nearly three weeks before the treaty of
Lahore was actually signed--says it appeared to him desirable "to
weaken the Sikh State, which has proved itself too strong--and to show
to all Asia that although the British Government has not deemed it
expedient to annex this immense country of the Punjab, making the
Indus the British boundary, it has punished the treachery and violence
of the Sikh nation, and exhibited its powers in a manner which cannot
be misunderstood." "For the same political and military reason," Sir
Henry Hardinge continues, "the Governor-General hopes to be able
before the negotiations are closed to make arrangements by which
Cashmere may be added to the possessions of Golab Singh, declaring the
Rajput Hill States with Cashmere independent of the Sikhs of the
Plains." "There are difficulties in the way of this arrangement," he
adds, "but considering the military power which the Sikh nation had
exhibited of bringing into the field 80,000 men and 300 pieces of
field artillery, it appears to the Governor-General most politic to
diminish the means of this warlike people to repeat a similar
aggression."

This was the reason we did not annex Kashmir. We had not yet annexed
the Punjab. We did not finally conquer it till three years later, when
the continued unruliness of the Sikhs and the murder of British
officers had rendered a second campaign necessary. In 1846 the East
India Company had no thoughts or inclinations whatever to extend their
possessions. All they wished was to curb their powerful and aggressive
neighbours, and they thought they would best do this, and at the same
time reward a man who had shown his favourable disposition towards
them, by depriving the Sikhs of the hilly country, and by handing it
over to a ruler of a different race.

       *       *       *       *       *

So Gulab Singh became nominal ruler of Kashmir. But he did not acquire
actual possession of his new province without difficulty. The governor
appointed under the Sikh Government showed no disposition to hand over
the province, and with the aid of feudatories attacked Gulab Singh's
troops. Gulab Singh had to apply to the British Government to aid him,
and British troops were accordingly sent to Jammu to enable Gulab
Singh to send his Jammu troops to Kashmir, and two British officers,
one of whom was the famous Sir Henry Lawrence, accompanied Gulab Singh
to Srinagar. Owing to his character for oppression and avarice he was
not a popular ruler, and the people did not welcome him. But with the
support of the British Government he was finally able to establish his
rule over Kashmir by the end of 1846, and Sir Henry Lawrence returned
to Lahore.

The state of Kashmir when Gulab Singh took it over was deplorable. The
Government took from two-thirds to three-quarters of the gross produce
of the land--about three times as much as is now taken. The crops when
cut by the cultivators were collected in stacks. One-half was taken as
the regular Government share, and additional amounts were taken as
perquisites of various kinds, leaving one-third or even only a quarter
with the cultivators. Of this some was taken in kind and some in cash.
The whole system of assessment and collection was exceedingly
complicated and workable only in the interests of the corrupt
officials; and Government held a monopoly in the sale of grain. Gulab
Singh during his lifetime did very little to ameliorate this state of
things. He took things as he found them and troubled little to improve
them. He died in 1857, and was succeeded by his son Ranbir Singh, who
rendered valuable services to Government during the Mutiny, and
received, in recognition, the right to adopt from collateral branches
an heir to the succession on the failure of heirs-male of Gulab Singh
on whom alone the country had been conferred by the British. Maharaja
Ranbir Singh died in 1885.

During his reign there was a steady improvement, but it was very slow,
and an account of the condition of Kashmir then reads curiously ill
beside the account of the province now after nearly a quarter of a
century of the present Maharaja's reign. The Maharaja Ranbir Singh
himself was extremely popular both with his people and with
Europeans--in this respect being a marked contrast to his father. He
was manly, fond of sport, affectionate in his family, and simple and
moral in his private life. And Mr. Drew has given a pleasant picture
of how this chief, in the old-fashioned way so liked by the
people and so conducive of good relations between rulers and subjects,
used to sit daily in public Durbar in full view of his people,
receiving and answering his people's petitions.

  [Illustration: AKBAR'S BRIDGE, KARALLAYAR]

With the vastly more complicated system of administration of the
present day it is practically impossible for a ruler of Kashmir to
conduct his business on precisely these lines; but I have seen the
same system working in Chitral, and quite realise the advantages it
has for small states. If it does nothing else it teaches the people
good manners, for they learn from observation of others how to comport
themselves in high society. But these public Durbars are also an
education of no small value. Here the people discuss men and events.
They learn character and hear outside news, and it is surprising to
see how much more native intelligence, dignity, and character men
brought up in these conditions have than the school-bred men of
to-day.

       *       *       *       *       *

Ranbir Singh was then a typical ruler of a type that is now almost
gone. Unfortunately he had not the officials capable of the immense
labour required to remove the terrible effects of many centuries of
misgovernment, and especially of the harsh, cruel rules of the Afghans
and Sikhs. His officials were accustomed to the old style of rule and
knew no better. In the early 'sixties cultivation was decreasing; the
people were wretchedly poor, and in any other country their state
would have been almost one of starvation and famine; justice was such
that those who could pay could at any time get out of jail, while the
poor lived and died there almost without hope. There were few men of
respectable, and none of wealthy appearance; and there were almost
prohibitive duties levied on all merchandise imported or exported. By
the early 'seventies some slight improvement had taken place. The
labouring classes as a general rule were well fed and well clothed,
and fairly housed. Both men and women were accustomed to do hard and
continuous labour, and it was obvious that they could not do this and
look well unless they were well nourished. Their standard of living
was not high, but they certainly had enough to eat. And this is not
surprising, for a rupee would buy 80 to 100 lbs. of rice, or 12 lbs.
of meat, or 60 lbs. of milk. Fruit was so plentiful that mulberries,
apples, and apricots near the villages were left to rot on the ground.
And fish near the rivers could be bought for almost nothing. Crime of
all kinds was rare, chiefly because of the remembrance of the terrible
punishments of Gulab Singh's time, and because of the system of fixing
responsibility for undetected crime upon local officials. Drunkenness,
too, was almost unknown. About half a lakh of rupees was spent upon
education, and another half-lakh on repairing the "paths." A slight
attempt was also made to assess the amount of land revenue at a fixed
amount This much was to the good, but yet the country was still very
far indeed from what it ought to have been. The means of communication
were rough and rude in the extreme, so that men instead of animals had
to be used as beasts of burden. Even the new assessment of the land
revenue was three times as heavy as that of the amount demanded in
British districts in the Punjab. And there was still much waste land
which the people were unwilling to put under cultivation, because
under the existing system of land revenue administration they could
not be sure that they would ever receive the results of their labour.
A cultivator would only produce as much as would, after payment of his
revenue, provide for the actual wants of himself and his family,
because he knew by experience that any surplus would be absorbed by
rapacious underling officials. In matters of trade there were, too,
still the impediments of former days. Upon every branch of commerce
there was a multiplicity and weight of exactions. No product was too
insignificant, and no person too poor to contribute to the State. The
manufacture or production of silk, saffron, paper, tobacco, wine, and
salt were all State monopolies. The sale of grain was a State
monopoly, and though the State sold grain at an extraordinarily cheap
rate, the officials in charge did not always sell it to the people who
most required it, or in the quantity they required. Favourite and
influential persons would get as much as they wanted, but often to the
public the stores would be closed for weeks together, and at other
times the grain was sold to each family at a rate which was supposed
to be proportionate to the number of persons in the family; but the
judges of the said quantity were not the persons most concerned, viz.
the purchasers, but the local authorities. Private grain trade could
not be openly conducted, and when the stocks in the country fell short
of requirements they could not be replenished by private enterprise.

On the manufacture of shawls parallel restrictions were placed. The
wool was taxed as it entered Kashmir; the manufacturer was taxed for
every workman he employed, and at various stages of the process
according to the value of the fabric; and, lastly, the merchant was
taxed, before he could export the goods, the enormous duty of 85 per
cent _ad valorem_. Butchers, bakers, carpenters, boatmen, and even
prostitutes were still taxed, and coolies who were engaged to carry
loads for travellers had to give up half their earnings.

The whole country, in fact, was still in the grip of a grinding
officialdom; and the officials were the remnants of a bygone,
ignorant, and destructive age, when dynasties and institutions and
life itself were in daily danger, when nothing was fixed and lasting,
when all was liable to change and at the risk of chance, and each man
had to make what he could while he could; and when, in consequence, a
man of honesty and public spirit had no more chance of surviving than
a baby would have in a battle.

       *       *       *       *       *

No wonder that in 1877, when--through excess of rain which destroyed
the crops--famine came on the land, neither were the people prepared
to meet the emergency, nor were the officials capable of mitigating
its effects, and direful calamity was the consequence.

In the autumn of 1877 unusual rain fell, and owing to the system of
collecting the revenue in kind and dilatoriness in collection, the
crop was allowed to remain in the open on the ground, and then it
rotted till half of it was lost. The wheat and barley harvest of the
summer of 1878 was exceedingly poor. The fruit had also suffered from
long continual wet and cold, and the autumn grains, such as maize and
millet, were partly destroyed by intense heat and partly devoured by
the starving peasants. The following year was also unfavourable, and
it was not till 1880 that normal conditions returned.

These were the causes of the scarcity of food-supply; and when this
calamity, which nowadays could be confidently met, fell upon the
country, it was found that people had nothing in reserve to fall back
on; that the administrative machine was incapable of meeting the
excessive strain; that even the will to meet it was wanting; and that
corruption and obstruction impeded all measures of relief, and even
forbade the starving inhabitants migrating to parts where food could
be had. In addition, the communications were so bad that the food, so
plentiful in the neighbouring province, could be imported only with
the greatest difficulty.

As a result two-thirds of the population died; a number of the chief
valleys were entirely deserted; whole villages lay in ruins, as beams,
doors, etc., had been extracted for sale; some suburbs of Srinagar
were tenantless, and the city itself was half-destroyed; trade came
almost to a standstill, and consequently employment was difficult to
obtain.

The test of this great calamity showed bare the glaring defects of the
system the present dynasty had taken over from their uncultured
predecessors, and which in their thirty years' possession of the
valley they had not been able to eradicate.

During the five years which remained of the late Maharaja's reign the
first important steps were taken to remedy this terrible state of
affairs; the assessment of the land revenue was revised, and the
cart-road into the valley was commenced. But it has been during the
twenty-three years of the present Maharaja's reign that the most real
progress has been made. First and foremost the land revenue has been
properly assessed; it has been fixed in cash for a definite number of
years, and the share claimed by the State has been greatly reduced.
Then a first-rate cart-road up the Jhelum valley has been made. The
heavy taxes on trade have been reduced. A well-trained set of
officials have been introduced, and they have been well paid.
Increased, though not yet nearly sufficient attention has been paid to
education. Surveys for a railroad have been made, and a great scheme
for draining the valley, reclaiming waste land, and preventing floods
has been commenced. As a result, and in spite of the State taking a
smaller share of the cultivator's produce, the revenue has more than
doubled. More land is being taken up. The population is steadily
increasing. The darkest days are over, and the future is assured.

The history of the people has shown that there is latent in them much
ability and taste, but that they have always prospered most when most
subjected to the influences of the great world outside Kashmir. Those
influences are now strong upon the country, and the future prosperity
of the people will very largely depend upon how they meet and profit
by them.

Needless to add, a weighty responsibility lies also upon the British
Government that it should guide their destinies aright.



CHAPTER X

ADMINISTRATION


A more detailed account of the administration may now be given.
Kashmir Proper, that is, what is known as the valley of Kashmir, is a
province of the Jammu and Kashmir State, which has a total area of
about 80,000 square miles, and a population of 2,905,578, while the
province, which includes for administrative purposes the valley of the
Jhelum River from Baramula to Kohala, as well as the district of
Gurais on the far side of the North Kashmir Range, has a population of
1,157,394.

Kashmir itself is administered by a Governor, and the whole State is
ruled over by a Maharaja. It is one of what are known as the Native
States of India,--States which are ruled by their own Chiefs, but
feudatory to the British Government, whose interests are represented
by a British Resident at the capital.

The present ruler, who succeeded his father in 1885, is Maharaja Sir
Pratap Singh, G.C.S.I., a major-general in the British Army, and a
Chief of strong religious tendencies, who is much respected in India
and loved by his own people. He is advised by a chief minister, his
very capable and business-like brother, Raja Sir Amar Singh, K.C.S.I.,
and by three subordinate ministers--one in charge of the foreign
relations of the State, of the Public Works, the Forests, and several
minor departments; another in charge of the Land Revenue
administration; and the third in charge of the Home Department,
including the Police, the Customs, Medical and other branches. The
Judiciary is presided over by a Judge of the High Court.

All of these officials are natives of India, and, except one, belong
to the British service, and have been trained in British provinces.
None are Kashmiris. They have been lent by the British Government to
the Maharaja for a specified number of years, and draw salaries of
from Rs. 1200 to Rs. 1500 a month, or £720 to £800 a year.

Under them, again, are the governors of Kashmir and of Jammu; and the
wazir-i-wizarats of Ladak (including Baltistan) and Gilgit, of whom
all except the latter are also Indian officials lent by the
Government of India.

Besides these, in the departments of the State where special technical
knowledge is required, European and American specialists are employed
under the ministers. The finances of the State are controlled by an
Accountant-General from the British service. The operations for
assessing the land revenue are under a Settlement Commissioner, a
member of the Indian Civil Service. The public works are under the
charge of a retired engineer from the Public Works Department of the
Government of India. The forests are controlled by a Conservator of
Forests from the Indian Forest Department. And under the State
Engineer is the Chief Engineer of the Electrical Department, a Royal
Engineer Officer, who in his turn has under him a large staff of
Englishmen, Americans, Canadians, engaged in carrying out the great
schemes for converting water power into electric power, and by means
of the latter draining the water-logged portions of the valley,
reclaiming land, and preventing floods.

This, in brief outlines, is the administrative system in the State. At
the head is an hereditary ruler. Immediately responsible to him are a
group of Indian officials mostly born, educated, and trained in the
adjoining British province of the Punjab. The local executive is
likewise chiefly presided over by Government of India native
officials; and in charge of technical departments are European and
American specialists.

What is chiefly remarkable is the very small number of Kashmiris who
are employed. Though the majority of the inhabitants are Mohamedans,
very few Mohamedans are employed in high positions. Though the
Kashmiris are very intelligent, extremely few have posts in the State
service; and this anomaly, though remarkable, is paralleled in many
other native States. They are most of them dependent on officials
trained or at least educated in British provinces. The Maharaja of
Kashmir realises, however, the necessity of educating and training his
own subjects, and most of the smaller officials and many of the clerks
in the offices are State subjects.

And these are the men with whom visitors to Kashmir come mostly in
contact. Immediately under the Governor of Kashmir are officials known
as tehsildars, in charge of tehsils or small districts, and under them
again are naib-tehsildars in charge of groups of villages; and,
finally, we come to the lumberdars, or head-men of the villages.
These officials with their attendants collect revenue, keep order, and
administer justice in small cases. But for the administration of
justice there is also in the Kashmir provinces a Chief Judge holding
his court at Srinagar, and minor judges known as munsiffs.

The chief revenue is derived from the land, and is assessed according
to a system which will presently be described. Out of a total revenue
for the whole State of one hundred lakhs of rupees, the revenue from
land amounts to over forty lakhs.

Customs is another principal source of revenue. The receipts for the
Kashmir province for the last three years were--

     Rs. 3,99,155 = £26,610
     Rs. 4,84,235 = £32,282
     Rs. 5,51,102 = £36,740

and for the whole Kashmir State--

     Rs.  7,62,582 = £50,839
     Rs.  8,93,438 = £59,562
     Rs. 10,09,647 = £67,243

In describing the history of the people we have seen that one of the
greatest reforms effected in the reign of the present Maharaja has
been in the system of assessing and collecting the land revenue--a
reform which was carried into effect mainly by Sir Walter Lawrence,
who in his work on Kashmir has described at length both the old system
and the one which has given it place. Of every village, with its
village lands, a map was made on a scale generally of 24 inches to the
mile--that is large enough to show every field accurately, and even
the trees on the fields. Then in the village registers all necessary
facts relating to each field were recorded, such, for instance, as the
area, the class of soil, the source of irrigation, the number and
description of trees on it, the name of the owner, the name of the
person who cultivated it, and the amount of rent payable by the
tenant, if any.

Of these entries the most important, as regards assessing the amount
of land revenue to be paid, was that regarding the class of soil. This
is now classified as A, irrigated land, (1) producing rice regularly;
(2) producing rice occasionally, but not in every year; (3) producing
other crops than rice; and B, unirrigated land, (1) manured; (2) level
unmanured; (3) sloping unmanured.

The name of the "owner" was entered, but "owner" is really an
incorrect term, for all land in the Kashmir valley is "owned" by the
State. The actual holders have a right of occupancy as against
the State as long as they pay its dues, and are practically
sub-proprietors; but they have no right of alienation or mortgage.

At each harvest an official called a patwari, made a field to field
inspection, and recorded in a Register the crops found in the fields.
These proceedings gave the assessing officer a record of crops which
formed an aid to assessment. The officer then estimated by
observation, inquiry, and experimental cuttings, the yield of average
fields of each class. The following are examples of some of the rates
of yield:--

                                                       Per Acre.

     _a._ Unhusked rice--                            lbs.     lbs.
         1. In villages affected by floods           1240 to  1520
         2. In villages above the floods but not
              too near the mountains                 1760  "  2600
         3. In villages close to the mountains
              and affected by cold winds and
              cold water                             1360  "  1800
     _b._ Maize on unirrigated land--
         1. By river                                 1200  "  1600
         2. Between river and mountains              1100  "  1500
         3. Near mountains                            800  "  1200
     _c._ Wheat on unirrigated land--
         1. By river                                  640  "   720
         2. Between river and mountains               560  "   640
         3. Near mountains                            500  "   560

All this information furnished the basis on which the amount of
revenue could be fixed. In old days the State claimed half the gross
produce as it was stacked on the field at harvest time, and various
perquisites of officials reduced the share left to the cultivator to
only about one-third. Moreover, in collecting the revenue in kind
there was much room for abuse and loss to both the State and the
cultivator, and endless vexation. It was therefore the object of the
new settlement to have the revenue paid as much as possible in cash
rather than in kind, so that the occupant of a field would be able to
know for certain what he would have to pay, and would not have
cormorant officials hanging over his field at harvest time; and also
so that the State on its side might know precisely what amount of
revenue to expect in a year, and not have the trouble of collecting in
kind with all its attendant risks and cost. What had to be fixed,
then, was the money value of the grain which the State would otherwise
have taken from the cultivator.

The settlement of this amount in the case of every single field in the
whole of Kashmir was, necessarily, a gigantic operation and took six
years to carry out. But the information collected regarding its area
and bearing capacity showed, with considerable degree of accuracy,
what each field could produce. The average cash value of this amount
of produce in an ordinary year was then determined, and the State had
then to say what proportion--whether two-thirds as before, or an half
or a third--they would take. Lastly, had to be decided for how many
years they would agree with the occupier to take this fixed amount of
cash--whether for ever, as in Lord Cornwallis' settlement of Bengal,
or for thirty, twenty, or ten years.

Mr. Lawrence, though making very great changes, had naturally to also
use caution. He could not at once fix the whole revenue in cash. Some
had still to be taken in kind. And he could not safely make his
settlement for more than ten years, for his calculations of the
produce of a field and of the money value of that produce might at
this first settlement often be unfair, either to the State or the
occupier.

At first even the villagers, who were most to be benefited, distrusted
the settlement and hampered the operations, and the old style petty
official, now happily extinct, encouraged them in their distrust. But
gradually, under Mr. Lawrence's influence, the attitude of the
villagers changed. When they saw that for ten years to come the amount
the State was to take was to be fixed and at a diminished rate, that
only a small part was to be taken in kind, and enough was to be left
to them for food, and that thereby the ever-present sepoy was to be
removed from the villages, the people began to realise that some good
was to come of these operations for settling the revenue. Ruined
houses and desolate gardens were restored, absentees returned, and
applications for waste land came in faster than was for the time
convenient.

At the end of the ten years a second settlement was made, and this
time with much diminished troubling, for not only were people and
officials better disposed, but there were now available much more
reliable statistics as to the produce of the fields. The yield of each
field and the money value of the yield could now be fairly accurately
known; and the proportion of this money value of the yield which the
State should take had now to be fixed. Formerly, exclusive of
perquisites for local officials, the State would take half the yield.
But it was now decided to take only 30 per cent of the gross yield,
and to take the money value of it instead of the actual produce in
kind as in old days. Each occupier was then given a small book
containing a copy of the entries in which he was interested, the area
of the field, the rate he had to pay, and so on.

The all-round incidence of the new land revenue proper is Rs. 3. As.
2. (or 4s. 2d) per acre cultivated; and the rates varied from Rs. 12
(16s.) per acre on some of the less irrigated (market garden) land, to
ten annas (tenpence) per acre on the poorest unirrigated land in the
coldest part of the province.

The period of the settlement was fixed at fifteen years.



CHAPTER XI

PRODUCTS AND MANUFACTURES


What Kashmir is principally known for to the outside world is its
shawls; but the wool from which they are manufactured is not produced
in Kashmir itself: it comes from Tibet and Chinese Turkestan. It is
the soft down lying under the long hair of the Tibetan goat. Kashmir
does, however, produce a coarser wool of its own. Kashmir villagers
keep immense numbers of sheep, for round their villages and on the
mountain uplands there is an abundance of rich grass, the leaves of
the willow trees and of irises furnish winter fodder, and these
animals are not only thus easily fed, but also furnish their owner
with clothing, with food and with manure, and by crowding in the lower
portion of his house keep him warm in winter. They are shorn twice in
the year, once in early summer and again in the autumn. The wool is of
good quality, and in the winter months the women spin it, and the men
weave it into blankets and into the well-known "puttoo" cloth, in
which sportsmen in Kashmir clothe themselves, and for which, since the
Swadeshi movement, there has been a great demand in India.

Silk is another and increasingly important product. The whole of the
valley is covered with mulberry trees, and for many centuries
sericulture has been practised in the country. But it is only recently
that it has been placed on a really business-like footing. Now good
"seed," _i.e._ silk-worms' eggs, are imported fresh every year from
France and Italy--about six-sevenths from France and one-seventh from
Italy--and in the spring are given out to the cultivators free of
charge. The villagers hatch out the eggs, feed the silk-worms on the
mulberry leaves, and then bring the cocoons to the State silk factory
at Srinagar for sale. 1720 lbs. of eggs were given out last year, and
1,712,000 lbs. of cocoons were bought in by the State. In the present
year the figures were 1762 lbs. of eggs and 2,273,760 lbs. of cocoons.
The amount paid for these cocoons to 17,433 rearers was Rs. 4,25,848,
so that the Kashmiri villagers at very little trouble and no cost are
able to put a nice little sum of money into their pockets every
summer, and are consequently now clamouring to be given seed. The
mulberry trees are carefully watched by the State, and an inspector of
mulberry trees goes round the valley, seeing that the trees are not
damaged and are properly pruned. Young mulberry trees are distributed
by the State to the villagers to the number of from 30,000 to 40,000 a
year.

Fruit is another of Kashmir's important products which may be expected
to largely increase in the future. Kashmir apples are renowned all
over India. They are large, red, and attractive looking, and sell well
as far down as Calcutta and Bombay. But they are not of really good
flavour, and the apples from European stock now being grown are sure
to have a large sale in the future. In the autumn months thousands of
cart-loads are carried down the roads to the railway at Rawal Pindi.
The apple grows wild in Kashmir, and the villagers uproot the wild
trees and plant them in their orchards. But the State also now
supplies them with young trees. Near Srinagar there are large State
nurseries stocked with the best kinds from Europe, and every year
thousands of young trees are given out free to the villagers, so that
the valley may gradually be filled with the best available trees. The
State also to a small extent grows apples for sale, and their trees
are extraordinarily prolific. In the autumn one sees these apple trees
weighed down to the ground with fruit, and M. Peychaud, the director
in charge, says that he has taken as many as 30,000 from one tree. The
apples also grow to an enormous size. And when the railway comes to
Kashmir, and carriage is easier and cheaper, the export of apples and
other fruit should increase to striking dimensions, and not only be
one of the best means of making the railway pay, but bring great
profits to the cultivators. The apple of Kashmir has a great future
before him.

So has the pear. He is not so much to the fore at present, because he
does not stand carriage as well; but the railway will remove that
drawback, and he will run the apple hard. Like the apple, the pear
also is found wild and transplanted into orchards. But good stock is
now being grown in the State orchard and distributed from there. Some
of these, and some that have been imported by European residents, have
taken so kindly to Kashmir, that I believe their present products are
not surpassed anywhere. From Major Wigram's garden comes a famous
pear, so large, and soft, and luscious, as scarcely to support its
own weight. Other winter pears keep right through to the early summer.

Quinces also are grown in considerable quantities. They make excellent
jam, but are chiefly grown for their seed, which is exported to the
Punjab.

Grapes have been tried, and on the shores of the Dal Lake there is a
vineyard under the charge of a Frenchman, from which what is known as
Kashmir wine is made. But this branch of fruit culture has not so far
been so successful as the culture of pears and apples. It is said that
the rain falls at the wrong time. But probably the most suitable
descriptions of grapes have not yet been tried or the most suitable
site yet selected. In the time of the Moghals they were plentiful, and
wild vines are often seen. So it is hard to believe that grapes cannot
be grown in Kashmir as well as the other fruits for which it is
famous.

Walnut trees are found all over the valley, and quantities of the nuts
are now exported, though formerly they were only used for oil. They
are an excellent fruit, and one kind known as the _kagazi_ has such a
thin shell that it is easily cracked between the fingers, and the
kernel is excellent. The villages on the lower slopes are often
surrounded with walnut trees, some of enormous size, and adding
greatly to the beauty of the village.

  [Illustration: THE CAMPING-GROUND AT LIDARWAT]

Mulberries, as has been remarked in regard to sericulture, are
plentifully grown. They are eaten in immense quantities by the people
as well as by their animals.

Almonds are grown in considerable quantities in large orchards.
Apricots are grown, but not very plentifully, and principally for oil.
Peaches, cherries, pomegranates, and plums are also cultivated, but
have not yet received much attention from the villagers. Strawberries
grow abundantly in the gardens of Europeans, and gooseberries and
currants also succeed. There is, indeed, scarcely a limit to what the
fruit production of Kashmir might be if it received attention and
care.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of the food grains rice is the principal. With all the streams running
down from the mountains ample water for the copious irrigation it
requires is available. The Kashmiris are exceptionally clever in its
cultivation, and they grow it up to an altitude of 7000 feet. The
fields are terraced carefully to hold the irrigation, and are
incessantly watered and anxiously weeded. Lawrence says that in one
district alone he has found fifty-three varieties, and certain
villages are famous for their peculiar rices. But they may be roughly
divided into two classes, the white and the red, of which the former
is the more esteemed by epicures, though the cultivators prefer the
latter as it is less delicate, suffers less from changes of climate,
and gives a larger out-turn. Lawrence gives the average crop of
unhusked rice per acre as 17 maunds, or 1220 lbs. Large quantities of
rice are exported to the Punjab.

Maize is the next most important crop. In the black peaty land lying
along the Jhelum, and in the high villages where numbers of cattle
graze and manure is plentiful, very fine crops are grown. As a rule it
is grown on dry land, and is seldom irrigated. The stalk forms
excellent fodder for cattle. The average yield in irrigated and dry
swamp land is 11 maunds, or 880 lbs., and on dry land 8 maunds, or 640
lbs. per acre. As a diet maize ranks after rice, but the villagers,
when money is scarce, will sell their rice and subsist on maize.

Barley is largely grown, but it is not of good quality, and no pains
are taken in its cultivation.

Wheat receives better treatment, but the wheat flour of Kashmir is not
esteemed. The average production on dry land is 7 maunds, or 560 lbs.
per acre.

Millet is another food grain grown in Kashmir, but not very generally.

Buckwheat is cultivated in the higher villages.

Pulses are not much grown. _Mung_ (_Phaseolus Mungo_) is the best, and
is often sown in rice lands which require a rest. Others are _raáh_
(_Phaseolus radiatus_) and _mothi_ (_Phaseolus aconitifolius_). Peas
and white beans are occasionally cultivated; in the gardens of
European residents they give excellent results.

Oil-seeds are largely grown, and now that a company for oil-pressing
is being started, still more attention is likely to be paid to them.
The Kashmiris do not use _ghi_ (clarified butter) in their food. They
consequently require vegetable oils for that purpose, and as mineral
oils are too expensive, they use them also for lighting. The principal
oil-seed grown is the rape, of which there are three varieties. An
average crop is 3 maunds, or 240 lbs. per acre. Large quantities of
linseed are also produced, of which an average crop would be 1½ to 2
maunds, 120 to 160 lbs. per acre. _Til_ (_Sesamum indicum_) is a very
common crop. It yields 1½ maunds, or 120 lbs. per acre. Til is also
extracted from the walnut and apricot. Rape seed gives the best oil
for lighting purposes, and linseed for eating.

Cotton is grown to a small extent all over the valley, and both the
fibre is used for home-manufactured cotton cloth, and the seed is used
as food for cattle.

Tobacco is cultivated in many parts. And two very beautiful crops are
amaranth and saffron. The former is grown in many places along the
edges of the fields, and gives a purply crimson touch to the
landscape. Its minute grains are first parched, and then ground and
eaten with milk or water. It is especially used by the Hindu on
festival days. The latter is grown on the plateau above Pampur, and
when in blossom forms one of the sights of Kashmir. The plant is like
a crocus, and the flower mauve and purple. A large space of the
plateau is covered with it, and this sheet of colour adds a strikingly
beautiful effect to an already beautiful landscape. The saffron of
Kashmir is famous for its bouquet, and is used as a condiment and as a
pigment for the forehead marks of the Hindus. The flowers are
dried in the sun, and the pollen is extracted by hand. It is this
pollen and the pollen-bearing portion of the flower which form the
saffron.

  [Illustration: A WAYSIDE SHRINE]

Mustard is also grown--mostly for oil; and round the town, especially
round Srinagar, in the vicinity of the Dal Lake, vegetables are
cultivated in market gardens. The cultivation of potatoes, indeed, is
now increasing so rapidly that many scores of cart-loads are annually
exported to the Punjab.

Hops are grown by the State at Dabgarh near Sopur, and their
cultivation could doubtless be extended, but so far the cultivators,
who are very conservative, have not taken to it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such are the chief vegetable products of Kashmir, and the State is
making endeavours to improve existing staples and introduce anything
new which may prove productive in the country. For this purpose the
Maharaja has established a model farm, known as the Pratab Model Farm,
and situated near the Shalimar garden to experiment with different
varieties of grain and different methods of cultivation, and it is
hoped that if new varieties prove specially productive they will be
taken up by the cultivators. The farm was opened by Lord Minto in the
autumn of 1906. Long rows of accurately measured plots of ground,
one-sixteenth of an acre each, are planted with the different
varieties, and their yield carefully measured. As one passes up the
line he sees at a glance the relative qualities of each variety of
wheat or maize or rice, and if the farm is carefully worked for a
series of years it ought to give some valuable results. Already the
cultivators have been attracted by the enormous size of some maize
from Canada grown on the farm. Some very straight Russian flax
recommended by the Dundee Chamber of Commerce seems to promise good
results. And perhaps beetroot for sugar may also have a success, for
almost any vegetable product that grows in a temperate climate will
grow in Kashmir.

The crops reaped in the spring in Kashmir are wheat, barley, rape,
flax, pea, and bean. Those reaped in the autumn are rice, maize,
cotton, saffron, millet, tobacco, hop, amaranth, buckwheat, pulse,
sesame.

       *       *       *       *       *

The alluvial soil of the valley is of great fertility, and every year
is renewed by rich silt from the mountain streams. The soil of the
higher parts is not so rich, though it, too, will give good returns.
Irrigation is largely used for water is abundant, as the snow on the
mountains forms a natural reservoir stored up for the hot weather,
when it melts and runs down to the valley at the time when it is most
wanted. The Kashmiri is very clever at making his little water
channels and leading the water on to his field.

The agricultural implements used are simple and primitive. The plough
is light, for the cattle which are yoked to it are small. It is made
of wood, and the ploughshare is tipped with iron. The spade likewise
is made of wood, has a long handle and a narrow face, and is tipped
with iron. A hand hoe is also used for weeding.

Ploughing for rice, maize, and other autumn crops commences in the
middle of March. In April and May these crops are sown. In June and
July wheat and barley, sown in the previous autumn, are harvested. In
July and August linseed is harvested. In August and September
cotton-picking commences. In September and October rice, maize, and
other autumn crops are harvested. In November and December ploughing
for wheat and barley takes place. And during the winter rice and maize
and other autumn crops are threshed.


FORESTS

Besides agricultural products the yield of the forests of Kashmir is
also of great value. All the northward-facing slopes are covered with
dense forests, a considerable part of which is of the valuable deodar.
This is cut into sleepers, launched into the streams which find their
way into the Jhelum, and so allowed to float down the river to the
plains of the Punjab. Here the sleepers are caught where the river is
slow and shallow, and sold at considerable profit to the State. The
deodar is a very handsome tree, and is a variety of the cedar of
Lebanon. It will be noticed by visitors to the valley along the road
between Uri and Baramula, especially near Rampur. Less beautiful and
less valuable as timber is the Blue pine (_Pinus excelsa_). It grows
to a greater height than the deodar, which does not flourish above
6000 feet, and it may be seen at Gulmarg. The Himalayan spruce (_Picea
morinda_) is very common, and also grows round Gulmarg, but its timber
is of little value. Birches grow high up above the pines and next the
snows; their timber is of no use, but the bark is much employed for
roofing. In the forests are also found silver fir, horse-chestnut, and
maple.

All these forests are owned by the State, and are now under the charge
of a Forest Department, with a conservator from the Government service
at its head. The boundaries of forests are being laid down, and the
State is determining under what conditions neighbouring villagers and
others may be granted the customary concessions for felling timber,
grazing, and gathering grass and fuel. It is usual for the State to
let fuel and fodder be gathered free, and to charge for grazing and
for cutting timber for building and agricultural purposes. But the
areas in which these operations can be permitted, and the rates to be
charged, have to be fixed, and the operations regulated. The trees are
counted, marked for felling according to their age, and in regular
succession, so as to allow of young trees growing up to fill their
place. And in many other ways the forests are watched so as to prevent
their denudation, and all the damage that would be caused through the
rainfall rushing off at once instead of being held up by the trees. By
the proper regulation of the forests the State raises a handsome
income; it secures the soil being retained on the hill-sides; and it
has the water held up in springs as a reservoir; while the authorities
in the Punjab know that the rain which falls in Kashmir will be held
up by the forests till the cold weather, when it is wanted for the
canals which are taken off from the Jhelum and Chenab rivers flowing
out of Kashmir territory.

Of the trees which grow in the level portions of the valley the chenar
is by far the most striking. As it grows in Kashmir it is a king among
trees, and in its autumn foliage is one of the many attractions which
go to make Kashmir one of the supremely beautiful spots in the world.
Its official botanical name is the _Platanus orientalis_, and it is
one of the varieties of the plane tree. The chief characteristic is
the massiveness of its foliage--its umbrageousness. It grows to a
considerable height; it has long outstanding branches and great
girth--one which Mr. Lawrence measured was 63 feet round the base. And
as the leaves are broad and flat, the whole mass of foliage is
immense, and so thick that both sun and rain are practically excluded
from any one sitting in its shade. Under the chenar trees in the
Residency garden one can sit through a summer day without a hat, and
through a summer shower without getting wet. All this mass of foliage
turned purple, claret, red, and yellow in the autumn tinting, backed
against a clear blue sky and overhanging the glittering, placid
waters of the Dal Lake or the Jhelum River, forms a picture which can
be seen in no other country than Kashmir.

The elm tree of Kashmir, though not so striking as the chenar, is
still a very graceful object. One in the Lolab valley has been
measured as 43 feet in girth, and in the Residency garden are some
fine specimens.

The walnut is more common, and round the villages many handsome trees
are often seen.

The poplar is now very common, and is planted alongside the road to
what is now a quite distressing extent, for though these trees give
shade they also cut out the view. The timber is used a good deal for
building, though it is of poor quality.

The willow is a more really useful tree, and is much planted in moist
places. Its leaves are used for fodder. Its shoots are to some extent,
though not sufficiently, used for basket-making.


MINERAL PRODUCTS

The mineral products of the Kashmir valley are small. In other
districts of the Kashmir State there are indications of a moderate
amount of mineral wealth. In the Jammu province there is a
considerable quantity of coal of a rather poor quality, and there is
good iron and bauxite. Sapphires also are found there. And in Ladak,
in the Indus and its tributaries, there are gold-washings. But in the
Kashmir valley, with which we are at present dealing, only a small
amount of iron has been worked so far, though it is believed that
large quantities exist near Sopor and about Islamabad and Pampur; and
copper has also been found near Aishmakam in the Liddar valley.

Peat is extracted from the low-lying lands on the Jhelum River, and
can be used as a cheap fuel. Several strong sulphur springs are found
in the valley, and limestone exists in many places, notably about
Rampur, and on the Manasbal Lake.


ARTS AND MANUFACTURES

Of manufactures the shawl is the best known, but the production has
sadly fallen off of late years. In accordance with the treaty between
the Kashmir State and the British Government, six pairs of shawls of
fine quality have to be yearly paid to the latter, and but for this
the industry would almost disappear. Kashmir shawls in the middle
of the last century used to be very fashionable in Europe, but the
Franco-Prussian War seems to have sealed the fate of the industry.
After 1870 the fashion went out and has never revived; and the famine
of 1877-79 carried off numbers of the weavers, so that now very few
carry on the industry. According to M. Dauvergne, who was for many
years connected with the shawl and carpet industry in Kashmir, the
Kashmir shawl dates back to the times of the Emperor Baber. The first
shawls which reached Europe were brought by Napoleon at the time of
his campaign in Egypt as a present to the Empress Josephine.

  [Illustration: EVENING ON THE DAL LAKE]

The best shawls are made from the very fine wool, known as pashm,
underlying the long hair of the Tibetan goat, which is woven into a
delicate material called pashmina on which the shawl patterns are
worked. Some of this pashm, and some of the best, is also imported
from Chinese Turkestan from the neighbourhood of Ush Turfan. It so
happens that I have been in this particular region, and I well
remember the rolling grassy downs among the Tian Shan mountains on
which the nomad Kirghiz kept immense flocks of sheep and goats. It was
an ideal country for the growth of wool, and I believe much of this
beautiful wool of which the finest shawls were made is now allowed to
run to waste.

From 1862 to 1870 the export of shawls averaged 25 to 28 lakhs of
rupees per annum, or over a quarter of a million sterling, and when
the trade was at its zenith 25,000 to 28,000 persons were engaged in
their manufacture.

Some of the best of the old shawls are preserved in the museum at
Srinagar. They show much tasteful arrangement of colour and fineness
of workmanship; but one does not wonder that they have gone out of
fashion, and even at their best one misses that extreme delicacy of
finish denoting strength and character in the worker which one sees in
Japanese, and more still in Chinese workmanship.

       *       *       *       *       *

Carpets have now surpassed shawls in order of importance, and two
European firms, Messrs. Mitchell and Co., and Mr. Hadow, have quite as
much as they can do to keep pace with the orders they receive, of
which a very large number come from America. Many of the old weavers
have taken to carpet-making, and the pashm used formerly for shawls is
now being increasingly used for the finer kind of carpets. The dyes
are good in Kashmir, and as the finest wool is to be had the carpet
industry ought to have a good future before it.

Silk is another most thriving industry with great future
possibilities. The State have now in Srinagar the largest silk factory
in the world, employing about 3300 men, and turning out 191,000 lbs.
of silk last year, and in the present year 230,939 lbs., most of which
is sold as yarn in the European market at prices varying from 14s.
10d. to 18s. 2d. per lb., and bringing in a very handsome profit to
the State. A small amount of silk weaving is also carried on in the
same factory, and 212 handlooms have been set up, but at present the
factory is only capable of turning out a comparatively light cloth in
what is called the green state. For throwing, dyeing, and finishing,
other machinery would be necessary, which the State will set up in
time as funds become available. The rough cloth already made is
admittedly superior to Japanese cloth of the same weight, and has sold
in London at somewhat higher prices. When it can be turned out dyed
and finished it should have a great sale in India, though the State
are not likely to derive the same high profits from the woven cloth
that they do from selling the yarn.

Electric power has now been supplied to the silk factory from the
great electric installation on the Jhelum River, and is used for
heating the water in the basins in which the cocoons are immersed for
reeling. It will also be used for turning some of the reeling
machinery, and possibly also for electrocuting the grubs in the
cocoons.

Papier-mâché is a favourite artistic product of Kashmir, and some very
handsome candlesticks, bowls, and vases, well adapted for English
country houses, may be purchased. The old designs are especially
beautiful. But nowadays very little is made from real pulp of paper,
and most of what is sold as papier-mâché is made of smooth wood.

The silver work is poor, as it lacks finish, and the modern designs
are not especially beautiful. But the Kashmiri workmen used to be able
to produce a peculiar sheen on the silver work which gave it a
striking and unusual appearance.

Some handsome copper work is also produced in Srinagar, and some
pretty enamel work.

But at present the fashion rather turns to wood-carving, which has
certainly much improved since I first knew it. Very handsome screens,
tables, panels, boxes, etc., are made, and the Kashmiri carpenter is
getting to finish his work much better. Whether the work is worth the
prices asked is, I think, doubtful. Better wood-carving can be had in
Europe for the same price.

       *       *       *       *       *

Turning from art industries to more practical manufactures the first
to notice is basket-work. Most villages have their artisan who makes
baskets for agricultural purposes, for carrying loads and for rough
village work. Willow trees are plentiful and might be much more
extensively grown; and Raja Sir Amar Singh has always been keenly
interested in establishing a really important basket industry in
Kashmir, and supplying the needs not merely of Kashmir villagers, but
of India generally.

Puttoo cloth and blankets are well-known manufactures of Kashmir.
Since the _Swadeshi_ movement has extended in India, and the demand
for goods made in India has increased, there has been a regular run on
the rough woollen "puttoo" of Kashmir, and the price has gone up.
Formerly a sportsman could get a good shikar suit for eight rupees.
Now he has to pay ten or twelve. It is excellent wearing material, but
is too loosely woven and liable to get out of shape. Proposals are on
foot for establishing woollen factories in Kashmir, and with suitable
machinery and proper supervision, good useful cloth should be made
from the excellent wool with which the country abounds.

Cotton cloth is also manufactured in the villages, of a rough, homely
description. But whether this manufacture will ever increase to a
great extent is doubtful. A French gentleman who has lived for many
years in Bokhara, and who visited Kashmir, told me that he considered
that as cotton was grown so successfully in Bokhara and Russian
Turkestan, it ought to grow equally well in Kashmir. This may be so,
and the State is making experiments in cotton growing to find a
variety suitable to the country. But so far the future of cotton
manufacture cannot be considered so assured as that of silk and wool.

Finally, among the industries of Kashmir must be mentioned
boat-building, which is indeed one of the most important in the
country. The Kashmiri is an intelligent and clever carpenter, though
in accordance with his character he lacks accuracy and finish. His
boats are of all sizes, from the great grain barges, carrying cargoes
of thirty tons, to State "parindas" or fliers propelled by forty or
fifty rowers, and to light skiffs for a couple of paddlers.
House-boats of quite elaborate design are also made. And if properly
supervised and instructed, the Kashmiri should be capable of
constructing any kind of craft.

There is little iron-work in Kashmir, for iron is not plentiful. But
the Kashmiri has such natural skill that he can turn out quite good
guns and rifles, and will make all the ordinary surgical instruments
required in the hospital.


TRADE

Of these products and manufactures considerable quantities are
exported to India, and will help to make the proposed railway pay,
while this railway on its part will help to increase the exports, for
much that cannot be taken out of the country, now that everything has
to be carried 196 miles by road, would be exported if railway carriage
were available. Apples and pears to the extent of 90,000 maunds, or
3210 tons, are exported annually, besides from 10,000 to 20,000 maunds
of other fruit. Rice and maize exports vary greatly according to the
demand in the Punjab. The present year was one of scarcity in the
adjoining British province, and, consequently, the export of grain was
quite unusual--amounting to 100,000 maunds, or more than three
thousand tons; but ordinarily it does not exceed more than about a
thousand tons. The export of ghi or clarified butter amounts to 720
tons. Potatoes are an increasingly important export, and the demand
for them is certain to rise. Last year 750 tons were exported. Hides
and skins to the amount of some 350 tons are annually exported.
Linseed was in special demand last year owing to the failure of crops
in the Punjab, and in consequence 1740 tons, to the value of Rs.
2,61,000, were exported; but the usual amount is only about one-fifth
of this. Silk to the value of Rs. 18,44,205 was exported last year,
and this may be taken as the normal amount. And wool and woollen
goods, to the value of about two lakhs of rupees, are also exported,
besides a few miscellaneous articles, and some 4000 live animals,
mostly sheep and goats. In addition, from ten to twelve lakhs of
rupees worth of timber are floated down the river.

Altogether the exports from the Kashmir valley, including timber,
during the last two years have amounted to--

     8,83,141 maunds = 31,540 tons
     9,77,305 maunds = 34,957 tons

and their value has been--

     Rs. 55,18,508 = £367,900
     Rs. 49,64,800 = £330,986

Of this amount, deducting the timber which was floated down the river,
there was exported by road--

     1,78,355 maunds = 6,370 tons
     3,28,027 maunds = 11,715 tons

Cotton piece-goods are the chief imports into Kashmir. Twenty-five to
thirty thousand maunds of piece-goods (895 to 1070 tons) are imported
annually, to the value of fifteen to nineteen lakhs of rupees
(£100,000 to £126,000). Some are the coarse, but rough and
well-wearing products of the Punjab peasants, but most are the
products of Manchester, and are worn by the Srinagar and other
townspeople.

Salt is the next most important import, and now that the Government of
India has decreased the duty on it, the quantity imported into Kashmir
is likely to steadily increase. In the last three years the amounts
imported have been 112,710, 119,803, and 201,451 maunds respectively
(4025, 4280, 7194 tons), with a value of Rs. 2,81,680, Rs. 4,83,698,
and Rs. 5,01,485, or £18,778, £32,246, and £33,432. It is sadly needed
by the poorer classes, both for themselves and for their animals, and
as yet not half enough for their real requirements comes into the
country. What is imported comes from the salt districts of the
Punjab.

Tea is now being largely imported, which shows that the people are
acquiring a larger purchasing power. One and a quarter million pounds
of tea, with a value of seven and a half lakhs of rupees, or £50,000,
are now imported annually.

Sugar is being imported in increasing quantities, the amounts for the
last three years being 57,931, 62,907, and 75,817 maunds respectively,
or 2070, 2246, 2709 tons, with a value of Rs. 4,58,183, Rs. 4,24,495,
and Rs. 4,95,895, or £30,545, £28,305, £33,059. The Kashmiris are very
fond of sugar, and as their condition improves the demand for sugar
and the amount of imports is sure to increase.

Metals are another import of increasing value and importance. 20,000
maunds are annually imported, with a value of three lakhs of rupees,
or £20,000. At present the Kashmiris use earthenware cooking pots, but
when in time they take to metal the import of copper must increase.

Other imports of minor importance are wearing apparel, twist and yarns
(of a value of nearly three lakhs, or £20,000), drugs and medicines
(half a lakh of rupees), turmeric, gunny bags, leather, liquors,
petroleum, provisions, seeds (half a lakh), manufactured silk, spices
(three-quarters of a lakh), stationery, tobacco (three lakhs), and raw
wool.

The total weight of imports during the last three years respectively
has been--

     3,35,889 maunds = 11,996 tons
     3,99,892 maunds = 14,281 tons
     4,53,202 maunds = 16,185 tons

and their value has been--

     Rs. 53,88,315 = £359,221
     Rs. 57,99,785 = £386,652
     Rs. 66,08,422 = £440,561



CHAPTER XII

THE ELECTRICAL SCHEME


In such a country as Kashmir, with a great river flowing through it,
and with numerous mountain torrents and subsidiary streams running
into that river, there is obviously an immense amount of water-power
at hand. The difficulty is to make it available for practical
purposes. But this difficulty is now being overcome by converting the
water-power into electric power, which can then be transmitted to
considerable distances and applied in a variety of ways. The idea of
thus converting this vast amount of water-power in Kashmir into
electric power had of recent years, since the development of
electrical appliances, naturally occurred to many; but it did not take
definite shape till the Maharaja engaged the services of Major Alain
de Lotbinière, R.E., to carry out a scheme of harnessing the waters
of the Jhelum River which that officer had formulated, and which has
just been completed.

Major de Lotbinière, a Canadian by birth, and endowed with a full
measure of the energy, resource and hopefulness of his countrymen, had
already executed a very successful scheme by which the water-power in
the Cauvery Falls in Madras had been converted into electric energy,
and transmitted to a distance of a hundred miles, to supply the Kolar
gold-fields in Mysore with motive power, at a cost 50 per cent lower
than that which they were paying for steam-power. He had also
inspected many electrical projects on the Continent and in Canada and
America. He therefore came to the work in Kashmir in September 1904
fully primed with the knowledge of all the latest developments of
electrical science, and at once conceived the idea of harnessing, not
any of the minor rivers of Kashmir, but the river Jhelum itself, and
selected a spot a few miles above Rampur where he might entrap some of
the water, lead it along the mountain-side at practically a uniform
level, till he could drop it through pipes on to turbines--very much
in the same manner as a mill-stream is led along and then dropped on
to a water-wheel--and so by setting in motion various machines
generate electrical energy.

The theory of the electric installation is then very simple. The
valley falls rapidly. At the part selected it falls about 400 feet in
6½ miles. Some of the water is taken out and kept at about the same
level so that at the end of the 6½ miles it has a fall of 401 feet.
Consequently when it is dropped those 400 feet it falls with immense
force and velocity. By most ingenious machinery this force is turned
into electrical energy, and then transmitted by wires to wherever
wanted--it is hoped even to the plains of the Punjab, to Rawal Pindi
at least.

Meanwhile the water, after fulfilling its mission, returns into the
river, and might, if need be, be taken out again, led along the
mountain-side, and a few miles lower down dropped once more on to
another electrical installation, and generate still more electrical
energy. The same lot of water might, in fact, go on performing the
same duty time after time till the plains of India were reached. Then
when it got on to the level, and there was no further fall, it would
be impossible to utilise it for generating electrical energy. But it
would promptly be seized for another equally important purpose. For it
would be caught in the great new canal which is being constructed at
the point where the Jhelum River emerges from its mountain barriers
and enters the plain; and from that point it would be led over some
hundreds of miles to irrigate rich, but as yet uncultivated lands,
only needing the touch of life-giving water to burst forth into
luxuriant vegetation and attract great populations to them.

The latent capacity for good of these waters of the Jhelum, now
tossing heedlessly about as they rush along beside the road into
Kashmir, is then for practical purposes almost unlimited. Even the
present installation only takes out a small proportion, and that
portion is utilised only once. In the driest season the Jhelum River
runs with a volume of about 5000 cubic feet per second--what are known
for short as "cusecs." But of this amount only 500 cusecs are taken,
and these 500 cusecs are utilised only once, and not several times, as
they might well be in their fall between the valley of Kashmir and the
plains of India.

With these 500 cusecs electrical energy to the extent of 20,000
horse-power will be generated; but Major de Lotbinière thinks that it
would be possible to economically develop an aggregate of at least
250,000 horse-power of electrical energy from the Jhelum River. It is
not possible to take out water and conduct it along the mountain-side
at any point. It is indeed a matter of some difficulty to choose a
site where safe headworks can be constructed to entrap the water of
the river, where the water can be taken along the hill-side, and where
a forebay or tank can be built from which to lead off the pipes to the
generating station below. In many parts the river runs between
precipitous banks so that it is impossible to get it out. In others,
even when it had been got out, the hill-sides would be found so loose
and unsafe it would be impracticable to take a water-course along
them. Still, in spite of the many difficulties in the way of making
practical use of the water-power in the Jhelum River, Major de
Lotbinière still thinks that, as above mentioned, electrical energy to
the extent of a quarter of a million horse-power could be economically
developed.

Water for the present project has been taken out a couple of miles
above Rampur at a most charming spot, where the river comes foaming
down over innumerable boulders, and the banks are overshadowed by the
same graceful deodar trees which clothe the mountain-sides. Here very
strong and solid masonry headworks and regulating sluices have been
built under the lee of some friendly boulders; and elaborate
precautions have been taken to protect these headworks from the impact
of the thousands of logs which are annually floated down the river by
the Forest Department to be caught and sold in the plains below.

From these headworks what is called a flume has been constructed in
which the water will run along the mountain-side to the forebay or
tank immediately above the generating station. This flume, answering
to the channel which conducts the water to a flour-mill, is to the eye
absolutely level, but it has in reality the very small drop of 1·05
feet in 1000 feet--just sufficient to make the water run easily along
it. Its length is about 6½ miles; and the main difficulty in the whole
project was found in constructing it. A road or even a railway when it
comes to an obstacle can very likely, by a change in the gradient,
rise over it or under it. But this flume had to go straight at any
obstacle in its way, for it obviously could not rise, and if it were
lowered it could not rise again, and so much horse-power would have
been lost at the far end. The flume, in fact, once it was started off
had to take things as it found them and make the best of them. The
first obstacle was a great spur of boulder conglomerate. This had to
be cut down into to a depth of forty feet. An arched masonry passage
had then to be made, and the whole covered over again. Five torrents
were negotiated by passing them clean over the flume. Over six other
torrents the flume--here made of wood--had to be carried on strong
iron bridges. And six tunnels were made through projecting rocky
spurs. Only one-third of the 6½ miles' length of flume could be built
of masonry, and the remainder had necessarily to be built of timber.
This portion had an internal section of 8-1/3 feet by 8½ feet, and was
constructed of tongued and grooved, machine-planed, deodar planking 2¾
inches thick, supported on cross frames 3½ feet apart.

The chief danger to guard against in constructing this flume for
carrying the water to the generating station was the risk of the
hill-sides either bodily slipping downward, as they are very apt to do
in heavy rain, or falling in heavy masses on to the wooden flume and
breaking through it, and thus completely breaking off the source of
power, and bringing all machinery to a standstill. These risks cannot
be entirely counteracted. In heavy rain a portion of the wooden flume
may be carried away or broken. An alternative supply of water on
occasions of exceptional rain has therefore been tapped close up to
the generating station, where a strong dam has been thrown across the
bed of a mountain torrent, and its waters impounded to lead through a
tunnel in a rocky spur almost immediately on to the forebay. In
ordinary weather there is little water in this torrent, but in heavy
rain, when the flume is most likely to be damaged, it has ample water.

And although there is this alternative supply, great precautions have,
nevertheless, been taken to ensure the flume against damage, and where
slips are to be expected immensely solid timber shoots have been
erected over it for rocks or snow and mud floods to shoot over.

On emerging from the flume the water enters the brick-lined tank or
reservoir called the forebay, where it settles for a moment before
descending the great iron pipe which conducts it on to the machinery
in the power-house below. In this forebay there are, of course, sluice
gates to regulate the flow, and shut it off altogether at one or all
the pipes. And there is also a spill channel for the water to flow
away to waste when it is not wanted.

Then four hundred feet below we come to the power-house, with all the
most modern electrical plant transported from America, and much of it
from the farthest western coast of America, across the Atlantic and
the Indian Oceans, right across India, and then for 150 miles by road
over a range 6000 feet high. The water-power made available by the
flume is capable of generating 20,000 horse-power; but as that amount
of power is not at present required, electrical machinery to develop
not more than 5000 h.-p. has as yet been put in, though space and all
arrangements have been provided in the power-house for machinery to
develop 15,000 h.-p. more whenever that is required. The machinery is
by the General Electric Co. of New York, and the generators supplied
are of the three-phase 25-cycle type. The water-wheels upon which the
water from the forebay, led down the pipes and contracted through a
nozzle, impinges with such tremendous velocity that a hatchet could
not cut the spout, are made of specially toughened steel, and are so
cunningly designed that the utmost effect is obtained from the fall of
the water, and that immediately the water has done its work it is
allowed to pass away at once through a waste channel back again into
the river without further impeding the machinery. These wheels were
supplied by Abner Doble of San Francisco. They are sent revolving with
immense rapidity--five hundred revolutions per minute, or eight every
second--and they cause to revolve the electrical generators which are
placed on the same axis, and thereby electric energy is generated. By
a series of very ingenious machines this electric energy is regulated
and conducted to the transmission wires which are at present carried
through Baramula to Srinagar, and which will transmit the power at the
extremely high voltage of 60,000 volts from the generating station to
the spot where the power is required.

The carrying out of such an undertaking in a remote mountainous
country, where no railway has yet penetrated and where no great
industrial enterprises have yet been established, required no small
amount of organising capacity, driving power, and foresight. In the
spring the melting snow combined with rain, and in the summer the
heavy rain brings down the mountain-sides, impedes construction
progress, often filling up what has already been done, and sometimes,
alas! burying workmen with it. In winter, snow and frost stopped all
work. Labour difficulties were another source of trouble. Enough was
not available on the spot, and many hundreds were engaged from
distant Baltistan and Ladak, and even Afghanistan. Skilled labour had
to be imported from the Punjab. With contractors other difficulties
arose. They would not work without an advance of money, and when they
got an advance many would decamp. Again cholera created still other
difficulties, and drove labour away when it had with much persuasion
been collected.

All these are no mean difficulties. They have, however, now been
overcome, and this autumn the Maharaja, in the presence of many
guests, opened the installation and transmitted the power to Baramula
and Srinagar.

The 5000 horse-power at present available will be utilised for
carrying out Mr. Field's and Major de Lotbinière's great scheme for
dredging the bed of the Jhelum River and neighbouring marshes, and
thus preventing floods, and for reclaiming some 60,000 acres of
cultivable land. It will also be used for heating the water basins in
the silk factory and turning the reeling machinery, as well as for
lighting Srinagar.

When the railway which has so long been contemplated is at last
constructed, more electric power will be needed. And if the Durbar in
any way encourage outside enterprise, there will be demand for
electric power for oil-crushing, for saw-mills, for wool factories,
match factories, and many other purposes. In any European country or
American State the whole amount of electric power would have been
already sold. Similar rapidity of progress cannot be expected in
Kashmir. But still we may hope that now every one can see that the
electric power is there, and that it is an eminently useful product,
the demand will gradually arise, and the financial success of the
project be worthy of the skill and enterprise displayed by the
engineers.



CHAPTER XIII

THE PEAKS AND MOUNTAIN RANGES


Not, indeed, from the valley itself, but from the mountains which
bound it, can be seen the second highest mountain in the world, and a
number of peaks of 25,000 feet and over. Kashmir is cradled amidst the
very loftiest mountains, and only Nepal can claim still higher peaks.

By a fortunate coincidence the Government of India have this year
published a remarkably interesting scientific treatise on the high
peaks and principal mountain ranges of Asia, by Colonel Burrard, R.E.,
F.R.S., the officiating Surveyor-General of India, and H. H. Hayden,
Superintendent in the Geological Survey of India. Both these officers
have unique qualifications for the task. Colonel Burrard has for years
made a special study of the Himalayas, and Mr. Hayden has for a great
part of his service been engaged in investigating the geology of
various districts of the Himalayas, and he accompanied me to Tibet.

The highest peak in the world is Mount Everest, which is taken to be
29,002 feet above sea-level, and is situated at the back of Nepal. The
_second_ highest is the peak K2 situated on the boundary between the
Kashmir State and Turkestan, and on the main watershed dividing the
rivers of India from the rivers of Central Asia. It is 28,250 feet
above the sea, and is visible from Haramokh on the northern range of
Kashmir.

It may be wondered why so high a peak has no name. The reason is that,
though high, it is not visible from any inhabited place. It is hidden
away in a remote mountain region behind other peaks of almost as great
magnitude, which being nearer overshadow it--as Mount Everest itself
is overshadowed from Darjiling by the Kinchinjunga range. There is no
village within six days' travel of K2 on either side, and,
consequently, until it was fixed by observation of the Survey, it was
unknown. Colonel Montgomerie, when making the survey of Kashmir,
discovered K2. It was among a series of peaks on what is known as the
Karakoram range, and each of these he designated by the capital letter
K, after Karakoram, and by a number, K1, K2, K3, etc. So it came
about that what proved to be the second highest mountain in the world
became known, not by any name, but by merely a letter and a number.

In 1887, on my way from Peking to India, I passed close under K2 on
its northern side, and in a paper read before the Royal Geographical
Society in the following year made some reference to it. At the
conclusion of my lecture, the late General Walker and Sir Henry
Rawlinson proposed the name of Godwin Austin, after the survey officer
who made the topographical survey of the southern portion of the
Karakoram range. This name was adopted by the Geographical Society,
and now appears on many maps. But it has never been accepted by the
Government of India, and Colonel Burrard in his above-mentioned
treatise now writes:--"Of all the designations suggested for the
supreme peak of the Karakoram that of K2 has now the widest vogue,
and it will be in the interests of uniformity if this symbol be
adopted in future to the exclusion of all others. The permanent
adoption of the symbol K2 will serve to record the interesting facts
that a mountain exceeding 28,000 feet in height had not been deemed
worthy of a name by the people living under its shades, and that its
pre-eminent altitude was unsuspected until it was brought to light by
trigonometrical observation."

With these observations I entirely agree.

K2 was, as I have said, discovered by Colonel Montgomerie in 1858. He
took the first observation to it from Haramokh, the conspicuous peak
on the north side of the valley of Kashmir, at a distance of 137
miles. I saw it first from the north from the Aghil range which I
discovered in 1887, and I subsequently passed close under it both then
and in 1889, and never shall I forget the impression it left on me as
I rounded a spur, and looking up a valley saw, quite unexpectedly,
this real mountain monarch towering almost immediately above me, very
abrupt and upstanding, and with immense masses of ice accumulated at
its base. I have also seen Mount Everest from the north, and it is
remarkable that both these peaks, which are so inconspicuous from the
southern side, should stand out so boldly from the north. K2 is not
so massive a mountain as Kinchinjunga and Nanga Parbat. It is rather
the bold culminating peak of a range.

The height of K2 is put down as 28,250 feet above the sea. How can we
be certain that this is right? The reply is that we cannot. The
observations have been made from immense distances, and are
consequently liable to certain errors which have been discussed by
Colonel Burrard.

It was observed from the following stations:--

     Station.       Height above Sea.     Distance.

     Shangruti           17,531             78·9
     Biachuthusa         16,746             99·0
     Marshala            16,906             58·6
     Kastor              15,983             66·0
     Thurigo             17,246             61·8
     Haramokh            16,001            136·5
     Kanuri-Nar          15,437            114·3
     Barwai              16,304             88
     Thalanka            16,830             74·7

And apart from the errors due to distance there are others which must
always be counted on. As he remarks, no telescope is absolutely
perfect; no level is entirely trustworthy; no instrumental graduations
are strictly exact; and no observer is infallible. Then, again, the
peaks themselves do not always have clearly defined summits, though
K2 happens in this respect to be a model for observation, and as it
has been observed on several occasions from different stations, the
errors in the mean value of height due to faults of observation are,
probably, in Colonel Burrard's opinion, less than ten feet. Another
source of error is the adoption of possibly erroneous altitudes
for the stations of observation. The altitude of K2 was observed from
Haramokh and other stations, but the altitude of Haramokh itself may
be a few feet wrong, and the altitude of K2 on this account may be
thirty feet in error. Another element of uncertainty in determining
the height of a peak is caused by the variation in the amount of snow
on its summit. There is clearly more snow on the summit of a peak in
winter than in summer, and in a hot, dry summer there may be less than
in a generally cloudy, snowy summer. A more complicated description of
error is introduced by the deviation of gravity from the normal in
great mountain ranges. The attraction of the great mass of the
Himalaya mountains and of Tibet pulls all liquids towards itself as
the moon attracts the ocean. The liquid in levels on the theodolites
with which observations of the peaks are made is similarly affected:
the plates to the theodolites in consequence cannot be exactly
adjusted, and when apparently truly levelled are in reality tilted
upwards towards the mountains. At Kurseong, near Darjiling, they would
be as much as 51" out of true level and at Mussouri about 37".

  [Illustration: MOUNT HARAMOKH, FROM THE ERIN NULLAH]

But the most serious source of uncertainty in the measurement of the
altitude of a peak is the refraction of the atmosphere. A ray of light
from a peak to an observer's eye does not travel along a straight
line, but assumes a curved path concave to the earth. The ray enters
the observer's eye--I quote from Colonel Burrard--in a direction
tangential to the curve at that point, and this is the direction in
which the observer sees the peak. It makes the peak appear too high.
This refraction is greatest in the morning and evening, and least in
the middle of the day; it is different in summer from what it is in
winter. One of the great Himalayan peaks visible from the plains of
India would appear, from observations with a theodolite made to it
from the plains, to fall 500 feet between sunrise and the afternoon,
and to rise again 300 feet before sunset; and even in the afternoon,
when it would appear lowest, it would still be too high by perhaps 700
feet. This is obviously a very fruitful source of error, and the
difficulty of determining the error is increased by the fact that the
curvature of the ray varies with the rarefaction of the atmosphere. In
the higher altitude, when the rarefaction of the atmosphere increases,
the ray assumes a less curved path. All these possible sources of
error due to the rarefaction of the atmosphere have been most
carefully studied, but even now we must allow 10 to 30 feet as
possible error due to the rarefaction of the atmosphere.

  [Illustration: A MOUNTAIN GLEN, BEFORE THE MELTING OF THE SNOWS]

Summarising the possible sources of error in fixing the height of K2
we may say the error may be from--

     Errors of observation                                    20 ft.
     Adoption of erroneous height for observing station       30 ft.
     Variation of snow-level from the mean                   Unknown
     Deviation of gravity                                    Unknown
     Atmospheric refraction                             10 to 30 ft.

K2, as I have said, though on the borders of the Kashmir State, and
visible from the range which bounds the Kashmir valley, is not visible
from the valley itself. But Nanga Parbat can be seen from near
Baramula and from a few other parts of the valley, and is the most
striking object in the view from Gulmarg and other points of the
northward-facing slope of the Pir Panjal. It ranks eighth among the
mountains of the world, except K2 all the others being in the Nepal
Himalayas. The order of the mountains is:--

                                     Feet.
     Mount Everest                  29,002
     K2                             28,250
     Kinchinjunga                   28,146
     Makalu                         27,790
     T15                            26,867
     Dhaulagiri                     26,795
     XXX                            26,658
     Nanga Parbat                   26,620

Being more accessible than the remote K2 the observations for its
height were made at much closer quarters, the nearest observation
point being 43 miles distant instead of 61 as in the case of K2. It
was observed in all from eleven different points, of which the most
remote was 133 miles. But until it had been measured by the Survey it
had been marked on maps as only 19,000 feet.

Colonel Burrard says it is "the most isolated and perhaps the most
imposing of all the peaks of Asia." It certainly is remarkable for its
isolation. With the exception of subordinate pinnacles rising from its
own buttresses, no peak within 60 miles of it attains an altitude of
more than 17,000 feet. Throughout a circle of 120 miles' diameter
Nanga Parbat surpasses all other summits by more than 9000 feet. And
its upper 5000 feet are precipitous. It stands out therefore in
solitary nobleness, and it can be seen on its northern side rising
23,000 feet from the Indus, there only 3500 above the sea. But whether
it is of all mountains the really most imposing it is not easy to
say, and personally I almost cling to Kinchinjunga. Rakaposhi in
Hunza, which is 25,550 feet in altitude, and can be seen rising sheer
up from the Hunza River 5000 feet above sea-level, is also wonderfully
impressive. There is a peak on the Pamirs 25,146 feet high which can
be seen rising abruptly from the plains of Turkestan, which are but a
little over 3000 feet; and there is the Musherbrum Peak near K2 which
is 25,660 feet--all of which I have seen, and which I find it hard to
place exactly in order of relative impressiveness. But if Nanga Parbat
cannot be placed in unquestionably the first position, it will in most
men's estimation approximate to it, and must in any case be reckoned
among the few most striking sights in the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of what are these great peaks built up? No one has yet ascended their
summits, and as Mr. Hayden points out, the geologist has to do his
work at close quarters, and not like the surveyor from a distance. So
the composition of the highest peaks is rarely known in any detail,
though the general character of the rocks can be ascertained with a
fair approximation to certainty, from observation of material on the
flanks, and from a distant view of the weathering character and
apparent structure of the peaks themselves. From such observations it
has been found that almost all the peaks of 25,000 feet or more in
height are composed of granite, gneiss, and associated crystalline
rocks. It had long be supposed that some of the granites found on the
flanks of the great peaks which presented a foliated appearance were
of sedimentary origin, and had therefore been once deposited beneath
the sea. But their truly intrusive nature was recognised by the late
Lieutenant-General M'Mahon, who proved conclusively that the great
central gneissose rock of the Himalayas was in reality a granite
crushed and foliated by pressure. It may certainly be taken that both
K2 and Nanga Parbat are composed of granite, and have been intruded
or compressed upward from beneath the earth's crust.

Mr. Hayden further concludes that the exceptional height of these
great peaks is due to their being composed of granite, for either the
superior power of the granite to resist the atmospheric forces tending
to their degradation has caused them to stand as isolated masses above
surrounding areas of more easily eroded rocks, or they are areas of
special elevation.

  [Illustration: LAKE SHISHA NAG, LIDAR VALLEY]

Now it is found that the axes of the great mountain ranges are also
composed of granite, and it seems probable that special elevating
forces have been at work to raise certain parts of their ranges above
the general level of the whole. And when once such elevation has been
brought about, the disparity between the higher peaks and the
intervening less elevated area would undoubtedly be intensified by the
destructive forces at work, for the mantle of snow and ice, while
slowly carrying on its work of abrasion, would serve as a protection
for the peaks against the disintegrating forces of the atmosphere,
while the lower unprotected areas would be more rapidly eroded.

So argues Mr. Hayden, who further demonstrates that when, during the
development of the Himalayas as a mighty mountain range vast masses of
granite welled up from below, forcing their way through and lifting up
the pre-existing rocks superimposed upon them, it is probable that,
owing to dissimilarity of composition and to structural weaknesses in
certain portions of the earth's crust, movement was more intense at
some points than at others, and that the granite was raised into more
or less dome-like masses standing above the general level of the
growing range, and subsequently carved by the process of erosion into
clusters of peaks.

The great peaks being thus of intrusive origin, the question naturally
arises whether they are _still_ being intruded upward; whether those
great forces at work beneath the surface of the earth are still
impelling them upward; and if so, whether they are being forced upward
more rapidly than the atmospheric forces are wearing down their
summits. From the geological standpoint Mr. Hayden says that it is not
at present possible to say whether the elevatory movement is still in
progress, but he adds that many phenomena observable in the Himalayas
lead us to infer that local elevation has until quite recently been
operative, and the numerous earthquakes still occurring with such
frequency and violence forcibly remind us that the Himalayas have by
no means reached a period of even comparative rest. The surveyor can
as yet give us no more certain answer. Colonel Burrard says the
original observations of the great peaks made between 1850 and 1860
were not sufficiently prolonged at any one station to enable us to
rely with certainty on the values of the height then obtained. When a
slow variation in height has to be determined it is better to carry
out a long series of observations from one station only, rather
than to take a number of observations from different stations, as is
necessary and as was done in determining the absolute height of peaks.
But in 1905 the Survey of India commenced a series of observations
from one station, and it is proposed to observe the heights of several
peaks for some years and at different seasons in each year. Then if a
reliable series of results be once obtained, a similar set of
observations can be repeated at a subsequent date, and any actual
change of height that has occurred in the interval may be discovered.

  [Illustration: DISTANT VIEW OF NANGA PARBAT FROM THE KAMRI PASS]

Until these observations are made we cannot say for certain whether
the great peaks are still rising.


THE MOUNTAIN RANGES

So far we have considered the isolated peaks rather than the ranges
themselves. It remains to study these latter. All of them are
popularly regarded as forming part of the "Himalayas." But
Himalaya--pronounced with the stress on the second syllable--simply
means the "abode of snow"; and geographers have had to define the
separate ranges into which this great Himalayan region is divided. The
name of the Great Himalaya is consequently reserved for the supreme
range which extends from the western borders of China, carries the
great peaks, Mount Everest and Kinchinjunga, and runs through Kumaon
and Kashmir to Nanga Parbat, and possibly farther. This is the
culminating range of the earth's surface. The range to the north, on
which stands K2 and some satellite peaks of 26,000 feet, is neither
so long nor has it quite such lofty peaks. It is known as the
Karakoram range because a pass called the Karakoram Pass crosses it.
But a pass called the Mustagh also crosses it, and Mustagh means Ice
Mountain, whereas Karakoram means black gravel. Mustagh, therefore,
appears to me a much more appropriate name for this gigantic range of
ice-clad mountains. It so happens that I am the only European who has
crossed both passes. Each of them is close upon 19,000 feet in
altitude, but the Karakoram, very curiously, has in summer no snow
upon it, and the route leads over black gravel. It is a better known
pass than the former, and, consequently, the name of black gravel got
the start, and now this superb range of mountains is doomed for all
time to suffer from this absurd nomenclature.

  [Illustration: MOUNT KOLAHOI, LIDAR VALLEY]

The range, however, lies far at the back of Kashmir, and it is
not so much with it as with the true Himalaya range that we are here
concerned. The mountain ranges which encircle the valley of Kashmir
are the final prolongations of that mighty range which runs from the
borders of Burma thirteen hundred miles away, and bifurcating at the
Sutlej River, forms with its subsidiary spurs the cradle in which the
Kashmir valley is set.

The southern branch of this bifurcation is known as the Pir Panjal
range, and is that which bounds Kashmir on the south. It is the
largest of all the lesser Himalayan ranges, and even at its extremity
in Kashmir it carries many peaks exceeding 15,000 feet; the Tatakuti
Peak, 30 miles south-west of Srinagar, 15,524 feet in height, being
the most conspicuous.

The northern branch of the bifurcation at the Sutlej River of the
great Himalayan range culminates in the Nun Kun peaks (23,410 feet and
23,250 feet), which stand conspicuously 3000 feet above the general
crest of the range, and can be seen on clear days from Gulmarg. From
near them, not far from the Zoji-la, an oblique range branches from
the great Himalayan range, and constitutes the parting between the
Jhelum River and the Kishenganga, the latter river draining the angle
formed by the bifurcation. The height of this North Kashmir range, as
Colonel Burrard calls it, is greatest near the point of bifurcation,
one of its peaks, Haramokh (16,890 feet), reaching above the
snow-line, and being the most conspicuous object which meets the eye
of a traveller entering the valley from the south. Farther westward
the range ramifies and declines.

The main line of the great range of the Himalayas has meanwhile
continued from the remarkable depression at the Zoji Pass along by the
Kamri Pass, to the immense mountain buttress of Nanga Parbat which,
overhanging the deep defiles of the Indus, seems to form a fitting end
to the mighty range which started on the confines of China. But there
are great mountains beyond the Indus also, and whether these form a
continuation of the great Himalayan axis which the river Indus would
in that case have merely cut through in the gorges below Nanga Parbat,
or whether the mountains west of the Indus are part of a separate
range, we shall not know till these latter have been geologically
examined.



CHAPTER XIV

THE STORY OF THE MOUNTAINS


How these peaks and mountain ranges arose is a fascinating and
impressive study. It has been made by Mr. Hayden, who, in the fourth
part of the scientific memoir quoted in the previous chapter, has
compiled their history from his own personal investigations and the
accounts of his fellow-observers in the Geological Survey of India.
And surely a scientific man could have no more inspiring task than the
unravelling of the past history of the mighty Himalaya. Here we have
clue after clue traced down, the meaning of each extracted, and the
broad general outline of the mountain's story told in all its grand
impressiveness, till one sees the earth pulsating like a living being,
rising and subsiding, and rising again, now sinking inward till the
sea flows over the depression, then rising into continental areas,
anon subsiding again beneath the waters, and finally, under titanic
lateral pressure and crustal compression, corrugating into mighty
folds, while vast masses of granite well up from below, force their
way through, lift up the pre-existing rocks and toss themselves upward
into the final climax of the great peaks which distinguish the
Himalaya from every other range of mountains in the world.

For millions of years a perpetual struggle has been going on between
the inherent earth forces pressing upward and the opposing forces of
denudation wearing away the surface. Sometimes the internal forces are
in commotion, or the contracting crust of the earth finds some weak
spot and crumples upward, and the mountains win. A period of internal
quiescence follows, and the rain and snow, the frost and heat, gain
the victory, and wear down the proudest mountains--as they have worn
away the snowy glacier mountains which once stood in Rajputana.

  [Illustration: RAMPUR, JHELUM VALLEY ROAD]

Of all this wonderful past the mountains themselves bear irrefutable
evidence. Near Rampur, on the road into Kashmir, are bold cliffs of
limestone, a rock which is merely the accumulation of the relics of
generations of minute marine shell-fishes. These cliffs, now
upturned to almost the perpendicular, must once have lain flat beneath
the surface of the ocean. High up in the Sind valley, embedded in the
rocks, are fossil oysters, showing that they too must once have lain
beneath the sea. More telling still at Zewan, a few miles east of
Srinagar, are fossils of land plants immediately below strata of rocks
containing fossils of marine animals and plants, from which may be
concluded that the land subsided under the sea, and was afterwards
thrust up again. Again, an examination of the rocks on the
Takht-i-Suliman shows that they are merely dried lava, and must have
had a volcanic origin--perhaps beneath the sea. And an investigation
of the rocks on the flanks of Nanga Parbat has shown that they are of
granite which must have been intruded from the interior of the earth.

Everywhere there is evidence that even K2 and Nanga Parbat lay
beneath the sea, and that where now are mountains once rolled the
ocean; that some once lay in soft, flat layers of mud or sand, or
plant and shell deposit on the ocean bottom, while others, as the
ocean bottom was upraised above the waters, were obtruded through
them; and that everywhere there has been an immense pressing and
crumpling of the earth's crust--a rising and subsiding, a throbbing
and pulsation, which at one time has brought Kashmir in direct contact
by land with Madagascar and South Africa, and at another has brought
it into through communication by sea with both America and Europe; and
which, finally, has projected it upward thousands of feet into the
air. The evidence, moreover, shows that millions of years have passed
while these titanic movements have been working out their marvellous
results.

Who can but be impressed by such ages and such forces? Who that looks
on those lovely Kashmir mountains, and on the mighty peaks which rise
behind, and has learnt their long eventful history, can help being
impressed by the immensity of time their structure betokens, by the
magnitude of the movements unceasingly at work within, and by the
dignity with which they yet present a front so impassive and so
sublime?

  [Illustration: IN THE SIND VALLEY]

To realise the full, long-measured roll of their majestic evolution we
should have to go back to the time when the swift revolving
sun--itself one only among a hundred million other stars of no less
magnitude--swished off from its circumference the wreath of fiery
mist now called the Earth; and we should have to trace that mist,
cooling and consolidating, first to a molten mass with a plastic crust
enveloped in a dense and watery atmosphere, and then to a hardened
surface of dry land with cavities in which the ocean settled. But the
story, as it is with more detailed accuracy known, commences at the
time when a shallow sea covered central and northern India, and
extended over the site of the present Himalaya, including Kashmir and
the region of the mighty peaks behind. This, then, is the first
essential fact to lay hold of, that at the commencement of the
authentic history of Kashmir, the whole--vale and mountain peak
alike--lay unborn beneath the sea.

How long ago this was it is not possible to say within a million years
or so. But this much may be said with certainty, that the period is to
be reckoned not in thousands, nor yet in hundreds of thousands, but in
millions of years. Geologists have names for different geological
epochs, and do not usually speak of them by definite numbers of years,
for there is still much controversy as to the precise length of time
occupied by each. But to fix in the mind of the general reader a rough
idea of the immense periods of time with which we are dealing in
tracing the history of the mountains, it is useful to speak in terms
of numbers, even though they may be only very approximately correct.
We may then assume that the oldest rocks in Kashmir were deposited in
sediment at the bottom of the afore-mentioned shallow sea a hundred
million years ago. Some geologists and biologists think that a still
longer time must have elapsed. Some physicists would maintain that
even so much is not allowable. But as an average opinion, we may take
a hundred million years ago as the commencement of Kashmir history.

What were the limits of the sea which then rolled over the site of
Kashmir is not yet precisely known. But the lower portion of the
Indian peninsula was then dry land, and connected by land with Africa;
and the sea probably extended westward to Europe and eastward to
China. Into it the rivers bore down the debris and detritus worked off
by the rain from the dry land; and thus were slowly deposited, in the
long course of many million years, sediments hundreds and thousands of
feet in thickness which, subsequently upheaved and hardened, form the
Kashmir mountains of the present day.

The first great movement of which authentic record has yet been
traced took place at the close of the Jaunsar period. The bosom of the
earth heaved restlessly, and what had already been deposited in the
depths of the sea now emerged above the surface. Volcanoes burst
through the crust, and the sedimentary deposits, hardened into rock,
were covered with sheets of lava and volcanic ash, which now form the
hills at the back of Srinagar, including the Takht-i-Suliman.

This was Kashmir's first appearance--not, however, in the form of a
beautiful valley surrounded by forests and snow-capped mountains, but
rather in the form of an archipelago of bare volcanic islands. And
even these were not permanent, for a period of general subsidence
followed and they slowly sank beneath the sea which was then probably
connected with America.

During the Devonian period Kashmir was still submerged; but in a
subsequent portion of the time when the Carbonaceous system was being
deposited there was a second period of great volcanic activity, when
the southern portion of Kashmir again formed an archipelago of
volcanic islands.

Eventually all Kashmir emerged, and became part of the mainland of
India at that time joined with Africa; so that Kashmir which had
before been joined by sea with America was now joined by land with
Africa. Such are the mighty movements of this seemingly immovable
earth.

But it was only for a brief space that Kashmir was visible. Then once
again, in mid-Carboniferous times, it subsided beneath the sea, there
to remain for some millions of years till the early Tertiary period,
four million years ago, when it again emerged, and the sea was
gradually pushed back from Tibet and the adjacent Himalaya, till by
the end of the Eocene period both Tibet and the whole Himalaya had
finally become dry land. Kashmir was now a portion of the continental
area and the culminating effort of the earth forces was at hand. For
yet another period of great volcanic activity ensued, connected,
perhaps, with the crustal disturbances to which the origin of the
Himalaya is attributed. Masses of molten granite were extruded from
beneath the earth's surface through the sedimentary deposit. And these
granitic masses, issuing from the fiery interior of the earth, pushing
ever upward, reached and passed the level of eternal snow till they
finally settled into the line of matchless peaks now known as the
Himalaya.

  [Illustration: LAKE SHISHA NAG AT SUNSET]

This then, briefly, is a record of the successive phases of
upheaval and subsidence through which Kashmir has passed. Through by
far the greater portion of the earth's history--through perhaps ninety
out of the hundred million years--Kashmir has lain beneath the sea.
And it is only within the last four million years that it has finally
emerged.

       *       *       *       *       *

What has actually caused the final upheaval; from whence came the
force which raised the mountains is not yet entirely known. One
well-known theory is that the earth's crust in cooling has to
accommodate itself to a constantly decreasing diameter, and so gets
crinkled and crumpled into folds. Anyhow from whatever cause, and
quite apart from the ordinary up-and-down movements of the crust,
there has evidently been immense lateral pressure, and on the drive
into Kashmir many instances may be observed of the once level strata
being crumpled into folds as the leaves of a book might be on being
laterally pressed. There has been, says Mr. Middlemiss, "a steadily
acting lateral pressure of the earth's crust tending to bank it up
against the central crystalline zone [that is the core of intrusive
granite of which the line of great peaks is formed] by a movement and
a resistance in two opposite directions." And besides this pressure,
the effect of tangential stresses tending to compress the earth's
surface laterally and so form corrugations on it, there was from some
remote internal cause this welling up from below of vast masses of
granite which forced their way through the pre-existing rocks and
formed the high peaks, the core of the Himalayan ranges.

These were the approximate causes--though the ultimate causes are not
known--from which the Kashmir mountains originated. And tremendous
though the forces must have been to cause such mighty effects, there
is no evidence that they were violent. The stupendous result may have
been imperceptibly attained. If Nanga Parbat rose not more than one
inch in a month, it would have taken only 26,600 years to rise from
the sea-level, and this is but a moment in the vast epochs with which
we are dealing. Nature has worked without haste and without violence.
Slowly, relentlessly, and uninterruptedly her work has progressed till
the great final result stands before us in all its impressive majesty.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such was the origin and history of the Kashmir mountains. It remains
to trace the course of life upon them, and picture their
appearance in the various stages of their history.

  [Illustration: THE TANNIN GLEN, LIDAR VALLEY]

In that remote time, which we have roughly taken as a hundred million
years ago, when the oldest rocks, those for instance at Gulmarg, were
first laid down in level soft deposit on the ocean bottom, there was
no life on land or sea. In no part of the world have the rocks of this
period given the slightest trace of any form of life. But in the
course of time, in some warm climate and in some quarter where sea and
land meet, and where, through the action of the tides, a portion of
the land is alternately covered and laid open to the sunshine--that
is, in some spot where earth and air, light, heat and water might all
have their effect--it has been surmised that minute microscopic specks
of slime must have appeared imbued with just that mysterious element
which distinguishes life from all chemical combinations however
complex.

Of this initial stage, which would not have been perceptible to the
naked eye, no trace could possibly be left, but in the pre-Cambrian
rocks in Europe there have been detected very minute specimens of the
simplest known forms of life--the Protozoa--and obscure tracks and
markings indicating the existence of life of some kind. And in the
next geological period--the Cambrian and Silurian, say between thirty
and fifty million years ago--there is not indeed in the Kashmir rocks
yet any sign of life, but in the neighbouring district of Spiti there
has been found in corresponding rocks fossils of corals, trilobites,
shell-fish, worms, brachiopods (lamp-shells), and gastropods.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Kashmir made its first brief emergence from the waters, in an
archipelago of volcanic islands, though there was life of low and
simple kind in the sea, on land there was none, and the islands must
have been absolutely bare. Neither on hill-side nor on plain was there
a speck of vegetation, not even the humblest moss or lichen, and not a
sign of animal life. No bird or insect floated in the air. And over
all there must have reigned a silence such as I remember in the Gobi
Desert, and which was so felt that when after many weeks I arrived at
an oasis, the twittering of the birds and the humming of the insects
appeared as an incessant roar.

  [Illustration: GOING TO THE WEDDING, UPPER INDUS VALLEY]

It does not, however, follow from its bareness that the scenery of
this archipelago may not have been beautiful, for those who have
frequently passed up the Gulf of Suez know that the early morning
and evening effects on bare deserts and rocky hills are often the most
perfect in the delicacy and brilliance of their opalescent hues, and
that the combination of this colouring with the bluey-green and the
life and sparkle of the sea makes up a beauty which wooded
mountain-sides may often lack. And as from the islands the summits of
snowy ranges in India and Central Asia might be discerned, Kashmir
even in its primitive and most barren stage must yet have had many a
charm of its own.

But the bareness of the islands must have shortened the term of their
existence, for it meant that the hills and plains were easily scoured
out by the torrential rains which then fell upon them. It seems
difficult in these days to imagine that when tropical rains fall on
barren land they will not at once bring up a luxuriant crop of
vegetation which would do much to keep the soil in its position; but
in those days there was on land no plant life of any description. The
hills and plains must, in consequence, have been deeply scoured, and
rushing rivers have rapidly carried, in sand and boulders and muddy
and chemical solution, the disintegrated surface of the land to the
bottom of the sea, and laid down there the sediments and deposits
which, subsequently upheaved, form the Kashmir rocks of the present
day.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is not until we come to the almost mediæval period corresponding to
the Coal Measures, about twenty million years ago, that the record of
land life in Kashmir begins.

In the hill-sides behind Khunmu, a little village about ten miles east
of Srinagar, there is a series of rocks lying in layers over the older
"trap" rocks of volcanic origin which form the great bulk of the
neighbouring mountains, and in these sedimentary rocks, in what are
called carbonaceous shales, are found some ferns named gangamopteris.
They were discovered in 1906 by Mr. Hayden, and they are estimated by
him to be "not younger than Upper Carboniferous," and they "may belong
to the basis of that subdivision, or even to the Middle
Carboniferous," that is, they may be about fifteen to eighteen million
years old. At the same place, but on a layer of later date, have also
been found fossil brachiopods--marine shell-fish resembling
cockles--also of Upper Carboniferous times.

  [Illustration: MOUNTAIN MISTS]

This, as it happens, was an interesting period in the earth's history.
For there occurred about then, or somewhat earlier, an extensive
upheaval in many parts of the world, and mountains which have been now
removed were upheaved to an altitude comparable with that of the
highest ranges of the present day, and in the Punjab there then
existed a snowy range with glaciers.

It was at this period that Kashmir was joined with the mainland of the
Indian peninsula, which in its turn was joined with Africa, and now,
at least, there must have been some vegetation and animal life. At
this time of the Coal Measures--the remnants of forests growing in
shallow sea-water--life was well advanced. Birds and mammals and
flowers, and the more highly developed animals and plants had not yet
appeared, but in the sea lived such things as star-fishes,
shell-fishes, corals, sea-urchins, sea-lilies, sea-cucumbers, feather
stars, sea-worms, sea-snails, cuttlefish, water-fleas and mussels,
shrimps, and lobsters and fishes. In the coal swamps were ferns,
"horse-tails" similar to the horse-tails of the present day, but of
gigantic size, club mosses more than fifty feet high, lycopods, trees
with trunks fifty feet high, and which bore catkins ripening into
berries not unlike those of yews. In the fresh water were some
shell-fishes, crustaceans, and fishes. On land were spiders,
scorpions, some of gigantic size, and centipedes. Through the air flew
hundreds of different kinds of insects, May flies, cockroaches,
crickets, and beetles. The magnate of the vertebrate world was the
labyrinthodont (traces of which have been found in Kashmir), which had
a salamander-like body, a long tail, bony plates to protect his head,
and armour of integumentary scales to protect his body. Of land trees
and plants there were lepidodendrons with huge stems clad with linear
leaves and bearing cones; huge club mosses, climbing palms, such as
grow in tropical forests of the present day, great funguses, and
numerous ferns.

Such was the type of vegetation and of land and sea animal life of the
Coal period, and although not many remains of this age have yet been
found in Kashmir, enough traces have been discovered to satisfy us
that in the shallow estuarial water and on the islands of the inland
sea there lived an animal and vegetable life which must have been very
similar to what we know existed elsewhere.

  [Illustration: NEAR THE KOLAHOI GLACIER, LIDAR VALLEY]

For another fourteen million years or so after the Coal period there
is nothing special to record in the history of Kashmir. There may have
been a line of islands along the core of the present ranges, but
the greater part of Kashmir had sunk once more beneath the waters, in
which new sediments to enormous thickness were being accumulated, till
in the late Cretaceous period, or about four million years ago, the
great crustal compression began which finally upheaved these deposits
from the ocean bottom, and formed the Kashmir of the present day. This
upheaval was, however, neither sudden nor continuous. It was very
gradual, it had three distinct phases, and was not complete till a
million years ago when the dividing ocean entirely disappeared, and
the Himalaya reached its maximum height.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now at this period of upheaval--the Tertiary period of
geologists--a great change had come in the animal and vegetable
worlds. _Man_ had not arisen even yet, but birds and mammals and
flowers, and all kinds of trees were now developed; and this marked
the threshold of the modern type of life. The ages when the great
ferns and palms and yew-like conifers were the leading forms of
vegetation had passed away, and the period of the hard-wood trees and
evergreens had commenced. The great reptiles, too, which in such
wonderful variety of type were the dominant animals of the earth's
surface in the period following the Carboniferous now waned before the
increase of the mammals.

At the commencement of the Tertiary period there grew cypress, sequoiæ
(Wellingtonia and redwood trees), chestnuts, beeches, elms, poplars,
hornbeam, willows, figs, planes, maples, aloes, magnolia, eucalyptus,
plums, almonds and alders, laurels, yews, palms, cactus, smilax,
lotus, lilies, ferns, etc. Later on appeared cedars, spurge laurel,
evergreen oak, buckthorn, walnut, sumachs, myrtle, mimosa and acacia,
birch, hickory, bamboos, rose laurel, tulip trees; and among flowers
buttercups, marsh marigolds, chick-weed, mare's tail, dock, sorrel,
pond-weed, cotton-grass, and royal ferns. Traces of all these trees
and plants have not been found in Kashmir, but remains of a great many
of them have been discovered, and, as it was linked on with Europe
where they have been found, there is no doubt that they and the
animals now to be described must have grown in the varying altitudes
of the now upraised mountains.

This period, as we have seen, is particularly remarkable for the
advent of mammals, and there now appeared the earliest representative
of the tribe of monkeys; the ancestors of the horse, about the size
of small ponies with three toes on each foot; herds of ancestral
hornless deer and antelope; animals allied to our wolves; foxes;
numerous hog-like and large tapir-like animals, some the size of
elephants with the habit of a rhinoceros; opossums; and
representatives of hedgehogs, squirrels, and bats. The reptiles
included tortoises and turtles, crocodiles and serpents. Birds had
also for some time past developed from reptiles, and now included a
kind of albatross and birds allied to the buzzard, osprey, hawk,
nuthatch, quail, pelican, ibis, and flamingo.

Later in the same period appeared parroquets, trogons, cranes, eagles,
and grouse. And now was the reign of the hippopotamus, while there
followed rhinoceros, shrew, moles, and musk rats. Later still the huge
animals with probosces held the first place--the colossal mastodons
and troops of elephants. The forests were also tenanted with apes.
Other animals were sabre-toothed tigers and the earliest form of bear.
Altogether Kashmir would at the time have been a paradise for
sportsmen. But man had not yet appeared.

       *       *       *       *       *

After the mountains had been finally upheaved it is evident, from the
existence of those level plateaux of recent alluvial deposit called
karewas, that the Kashmir valley must have been filled with a lake to
some hundreds of feet higher than the present valley bottom. Where the
Jhelum River at present escapes from the valley was then blocked up,
and the whole valley filled with what must have been the most lovely
lake in the world--twice the length and three times the width of the
Lake of Geneva, and completely encircled by snowy mountains as high
and higher than Mont Blanc; while in the immediately following glacial
period mighty glaciers came wending down the Sind, Lidar, and other
valleys, even to the very edge of the water.

  [Illustration: LAKE SINSA NAG, LIDAR VALLEY]

Whether man ever saw this lovely lake it is not yet possible to say.
The Glacial period commenced rather more than a quarter of a million
years ago, and it was about then that man first appeared, among other
places, in the great river valleys of central and southern India,
where the climate is not extreme, and wild fruits, berries, etc., were
procurable at every season of the year. But when he spread up the
valley of the Jhelum to Kashmir we have not yet the means of saying.
What appear to be some remains of the handiwork of man were recently
found by Mr. Radcliffe in a cave in the Lolab, near the borders
of the Wular Lake, and seem to indicate the presence of man long
anterior to the first dawn of Kashmir history. But the dawn of Kashmir
history is only 2200 years ago, and man must have appeared 250,000
years before that. For thousands of years he must have been bravely
battling against Nature and against the numerous and powerful animals
which then lorded the earth. Slowly he must have made his way from the
warm valleys of the Nerbudda and the Ganges to the rivers of the
Punjab, and up the Jhelum valley into Kashmir. But he eventually
established himself there as the beautiful lake was almost drained
away and the Kashmir of the present day was finally evolved.

       *       *       *       *       *

So we bring up the history of the mountains till it joins with the
history of the people; and as the story finishes, does not one great
thought emerge--the thought of the youth, the recentness of man
alongside the hoary mountains? During the one hundred million years of
the mountains' history mankind has existed only a quarter of a
million; and his recorded history extends over not even a hundredth
part of a single million years. And if we reflect on this, and
consider, too, that the sun's heat will last to render life possible
for many millions of years yet, does it not seem almost criminally
childish for us--Hindus, Christians, and Mohamedans alike--to be so
continually and incessantly looking backward to great and holy men of
the past, as if all the best were necessarily behind, instead of
sometimes looking forward to the even greater men to _come_--to the
higher _species_ of men who will yet evolve; of whom our holiest and
our greatest are only the forerunners; and for the production of whom
it should be our highest duty to consciously and of purpose pave the
way, as the poor primitive men, though unconsciously, prepared the
ground for the civilised men of to-day? Ought we not to more
accurately adjust our sense of proportion; to rise above the ant-like
attitude of mind, and attune our thoughts to the breadth and height of
the mountains, to the purity of their snowy summits, and to the depth
and clearness of the liquid skies they almost touch?

To some the sight of these mountain masses, the thought of the
tremendous forces which gave them rise, and the idea of the aeons of
time their moulding has involved, brings no other feeling than
depression. The size, the titanic nature of the forces and the
vastness of the time impress them only with a sense of the littleness
of man in comparison. But why should the mountains thus depress? Why
should not their history bring us the more worthy thought of the
mighty possibilities of the race? For man, small in stature though he
may be, is after all the flower and finish of the evolutionary process
so far; he is century by century acquiring a completer mastery over
Nature; and when we see how young and recent he is beside the aged
mountains, when we realise how they have only evolved by minute
gradations accumulating over vast periods of time, and when we reflect
that nearly similar periods may yet lie before mankind, should not our
thoughts dwell rather on man's future greatness and on the mighty
destiny which he _himself_ may shape?

With our imagination tethered to the hard-rock fact that man has
developed from a savage to a Plato and a Shakespeare, from the
inventor of the stone-axe to the inventor of telegraphy in the paltry
quarter million years of his existence, may we not safely give it rope
to wander out into the boundless future? We are still but children. We
may be only as young bees, crawling over the combs of a hive, who have
not yet found their wings to fly out into the sun-lit world beyond.
Even now we suspect ourselves of possessing wing-like faculties of the
mind whose use we do not know, and to which we are as yet afraid to
trust. But the period of our infancy is over. The time to let
ourselves go is approaching. Should we not look confidently out into
the future and nerve ourselves for bold, unfettered flight?

And may we not still further hope that in the many million years the
earth may yet exist we may master the depressing fate which lies
before us when the sun's heat is expended; and look forward to
evolving from ourselves beings of a higher order who will be
independent of the used-up planet which gave them birth, and may be
swarm away to some far, other sun-lit home?



INDEX


     Abbotabad, 57

     Achibal, 60, 116, 123

     Administration, 183

     Afghanistan, 138, 232

     Afghans, 159, 176

     Africa, 258, 265
       South, 254

     Aghil range, 237

     Agra, Taj at, 157

     Aishmakam, 210

     Ajit Singh, 166

     Akbar, 142, 157

     Alexander the Great, 139

     Alfred, King, 143

     Aliwal, 168

     Almonds, 199

     Amar Singh, Raja Sir, 68, 69, 118, 184, 215

     Amaranth, 202

     Amarnath, caves of, 60, 113, 114

     America, 257, 258

     Aparwat, 106

     Apples, 196, 217

     Apricots, 96, 176, 199, 202
       trees, 19, 36, 158

     Archæological Department Survey, 81

     Arts, 210

     Aru, 113, 123

     Asia, Central, 61, 143, 263

     Asoka, the Buddhist king, 33, 75, 138, 139, 140

     Astor, 62, 120, 121

     Austin, Godwin, 236

     Autumn in Kashmir, 36, 38

     Avantipur, 135

     Avantipura, 145

     Avantivarman, 145, 146

     Awatkula, 111


     Baber, Emperor, 211

     Badakhshan, 143

     Badwan, 123

     Baltistan, 3, 50, 61, 109, 120, 121, 164, 184, 232
       Governor of, 50

     Bandipur, 61, 62

     Banihal Pass, 17

     Baramula, 5, 6, 57, 69, 104, 124, 146, 183, 206, 231, 232, 241
       Road, 84

     Bara-singh. _See_ "Kashmir stag."

     Barley, 200, 205

     Barstow, Captain, 120

     Basket work, 215

     Bauxite, 210

     Bawan, 112

     Beans, white, 201

     Beas river, 169

     Bedford, Duke of, 122

     Bengal, 138
       settlement of, 191

     Beoru, 123

     Bernier, 1, 2, 158

     Bijbehara, 60, 111, 112

     Birches, 206

     Biscoe's School, Mr., 72

     Blue pine, 206

     Boat-building, 216

     Boatmen, 132

     Bodhisattva, 141

     Bokhara, 216

     Bombay, 196

     Brahminism, 139

     Brahministic Hinduism, 141

     Brahmins, 112, 149, 156

     British Government, 168, 169, 170, 173, 182, 183, 184, 210
       troops, 167
       Indian troops, 167
       Resident, 183
       territory, 167

     Buckwheat, 201

     Buddha, 135

     Buddhism, 139, 140, 141

     Buddhist monasteries, 61
       temple, 5, 138

     Bulbuls, 7

     Bullock carts, 56

     "Bund," 69, 70

     Buniar, 134

     Burbank, Mr. Luther, 94

     Burma, 249

     Burrard, Colonel, 234, 236, 238, 240, 242, 246, 250

     Burzil, 123

     Butter, clarified, 201, 218


     Calcutta, 31, 44, 196

     Cambrian period, 262
       rocks, pre-, 261

     Carbonaceous system, 257

     Carboniferous period, 268

     Carpets, 212

     Cashmere, 171

     Cauvery Falls, 223

     Chamba, 163, 170

     Charlemagne, 143

     Chenab river, 208

     Chenar, trees, 6, 19, 20, 23, 27, 28, 29, 32, 34, 36, 37, 43,
         60, 65, 66, 70, 76, 79, 80, 82, 83, 84, 85, 87, 89, 92, 97,
         112, 116, 208, 209
       foliage, 24

     Chenars, Isle of, 29, 78

     China, 250

     Chitral, 164, 155, 175
       frontier, 62

     Cholera, 232

     Christians, 272

     Clarified butter. _See_ "Butter"

     Coal Measures, 264, 265

     Coal period, 266

     Columbines, 93

     Copper, 210, 220
       work, 214

     Cornwallis, Lord, 191

     Cotton, 202, 205
       cloth, 216
       piece-goods, 219

     Cretaceous period, late, 267

     Customs, the (source of revenue), 184, 187


     Dabgarh, 203

     Dachigam stream, 26, 123, 124
       valley, 27, 79

     Dak bungalows, 31, 56, 57

     Dal Darwaza lock, the, 75, 78

     Dal Lake, 20, 28, 29, 32, 59, 74, 75, 79, 81, 82, 132, 141, 159,
         198, 203, 209

     Danjhibhoy, 47

     Darjiling, 3, 102, 235, 239

     Dauvergne, M., 211

     Deccan, 138

     Decentralisation, Royal Commission on, 46

     Deodar forest, 116, 206
       trees, 71, 206, 226

     Devonian period, 257

     Dhulip Singh, 166, 167

     Dhyan Singh, 164, 166

     Dogra country, 163
       Rajput, 163

     Downes, Dr., 73

     Dragon-flies, 39, 40

     Drew, Mr., 174

     Duck shooting, 16, 39, 41, 121

     Dundee Chamber of Commerce, 204

     Dunga-boats, 57, 58

     Durbar, 54, 175, 233


     East India Company, 172

     Edwards, Colonel, 41, 121

     Egypt, 139

     Egyptian temples, 115

     Electric installation, 214

     Electrical Department, 185
       Scheme, 222

     Elizabeth, Queen, 157

     Elm tree, 209

     Elsmie, Dr., 73

     Enamel work, 214

     Engineer, Chief, 185
       State, 185

     Eocene period, 258

     Erin, 123

     Everest, Mount, 235, 237, 248


     Ferozepur nulla, 105

     Ferozepore fort, 167

     Ferozeshah, 168

     Field, Mr., 232

     Fir, silver, 206

     Flax, Russian, 204

     Forest Department, 184, 207, 227

     Forests, 206

     Forests, Conservator of, 185

     Food grains, 199

     Fowls, 49

     Fruit, 196


     Game Preservation Department, 118, 121

     Ganderbal, 60, 108

     Gandhara, 115

     Gangabal Lake, 60, 110, 123

     Ganges, the, 144, 271

     Gap, the, 28, 29

     Garuda, 86

     Ghi, 201, 218

     Gilgit, 62, 184
       district, 121

     Gobi Desert, 262

     Gold-washings, 210

     Gopaditya, 74

     Gorai, 123

     Govardhanadhara, temple to the god, 86

     Græco-Buddhist art, 139

     Grain, 49, 199

     Grapes, 198

     "Greater Vehicle of the Law," 141

     Greece, 133, 137, 139

     Gujars, 113

     Gulab Singh, Raja, 160, 162, 163, 164, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170,
         171, 172, 173, 174, 177

     Gulmarg, 12, 17, 34, 98, 109, 114, 206, 241, 249, 260
       Residency at, 98, 104

     Gupkar, 28, 70

     Gupta period, 115

     Gurais, 34, 62, 183


     Hanji (boatmen), 132

     Haramokh peak, 6, 17, 18, 28, 30, 61, 85, 110, 235, 237, 239, 250

     Hardinge, Governor-General, Lord, 168, 171

     Hari Parbat fort, 20, 32, 157

     Harsa, King, 150, 151

     Harwan, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 141
       hatchery, 25, 122, 124

     Hayden, H. H., 234, 243, 244, 245, 246, 251, 264

     Hazara, 147, 169

     Hedin, Dr. Sven, 53

     Hemp, 158

     Hides, 218

     Himalaya, 2, 36, 50, 131, 234, 239, 241, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248,
         249, 250, 251, 255, 258, 260

     Hindu, the, 126, 128, 159, 161, 202, 272
       rule, 155
       rulers, 160
       temple, 5, 67, 70, 72, 74, 76, 156

     Hindustan, plains of, 160

     Hira Singh, 166

     Hiuen Tsiang, Chinese Buddhist pilgrim, 141

     Hokrar, 17
       Ghat, "jheel," 16
       marsh, 38
       Lake, 38

     Home Department, 184

     Horse chestnut, 24, 92, 102, 206

     House-boats, 57, 70, 216

     Hunza, 3, 52, 154, 243
       frontier, 63
       river, 243


     Ibex, 120, 121

     Ice mountain, 248

     Imports, 219

     India, 38, 137, 139, 215, 236, 257, 263, 270
       Central, 142
       Geological Survey of, 235, 247, 251
       Government of, 185, 186, 219, 234, 236
       Native States of, 183
       plains of, 224, 225, 240
       Superintendent in the Geological Survey of, 234
       Surveyor-General of, 234

     Indian Civil Service, 185
       Forest Department, 185
       Ocean, 36
       Peninsula, 265

     Indus river, 169, 170, 171, 210, 250

     Industries, 216

     Iris, 21, 24, 25, 32, 91

     Iron, 210, 217

     Islam, 159

     Islamabad, 33, 58, 60, 112, 116, 135, 161, 162, 210

     Iyesthesvara, 74


     Jama Masjid, the, 71

     Jammu, 126, 163, 164, 167, 168, 169, 173, 210
       Governor of, 184
       State, 183

     Jaunsar period, 257

     Javasimha, King, 153

     Jehangir, Moghal Emperor, 80, 83, 157

     Jhelum, the, 5, 17, 31, 49, 60, 61, 63, 74, 85, 104, 120, 124,
         135, 145, 149, 182, 183, 200, 206, 208, 209, 210, 214, 223,
         225, 226, 232, 249, 270, 271

     Josephine, Empress, 211

     Judiciary, The, 184

     Judge of the High Court, 184

     Judge, Chief, 50, 187


     K2 peak, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 241, 243, 244, 248

     Kabul, 142, 163

     _Kagazi_, 198

     Kaj Nag mountains, 17, 20, 120

     Kalhana, 154

     Kamri Pass, 250

     Kanauj, king of, 143, 144

     Kangra, 147, 163

     Kanibal, 116

     Kanishka, King, 140

     Karakoram Pass, 52, 61
       range, 235, 236, 248

     Karewa, a, 84, 270

     Kashmir, Governor of, 184, 186
       history of, 133
       the people, 125
       Proper, 2, 183
       Province, 126
       range, North, 183, 250
       stag, 9, 10, 13, 41
       State, 70, 126, 183, 209, 210, 235, 240
       tulips, 66, 90
       valley of, 2, 3, 6, 28, 34, 79, 114, 117, 121, 134, 136, 165,
         183, 225, 237, 241
       village, 25

     Kashmirian architecture, 134, 145

     Kashmiris, 98, 130, 137, 138, 186, 199, 201, 205, 216, 217, 220

     Kennard, Mr. M. T., 58, 121

     Khagan range, 17, 20, 70

     Khagan snows, 30, 78

     Khunnu, 264

     Khurruk Singh, Maharaja, 169

     Kinchinjunga peak, 103, 237, 243, 248
       range, 235

     King-Emperor, 67

     Kirghiz, 211

     Kishenganga, 123, 249

     Kishtwar range, 18

     Kofwara, 111

     Kohala, 183

     Kolahoi glacier, 60, 113
       peak, 114

     Kolar gold-fields, 223

     Kotwal, 161

     Kumaon, 248

     Kurseong, 239


     Ladak, 51, 52, 54, 61, 109, 120, 164, 184, 210, 232

     Lahore, 163, 165, 166, 167, 169, 171, 173
       Court, 165
       Government at, 168, 169
       State, 169, 170
       Treaty of, 169, 171

     Lahoul, 170

     Lalitaditya, King, 63, 85, 115, 142, 143
       structures, 145

     Lalpura, 111

     Lal Singh, 167, 168

     Land Revenue administration, 184

     Lawrence, Mr., 159, 191, 200, 208

     Lawrence, Sir Henry, 69, 173

     Lawrence, Sir Walter, 125, 127, 131, 188

     Leh, 61

     _Letters of Queen Victoria, The_, 171

     Lhasa, 61

     Lidar stream, 112
       valley, 34, 60, 111, 135, 270

     Lidarwat, 113

     Liddar, the, 123

     Liddar valley, 210

     Lilac, 93

     Limestone, 210

     Linseed, 33, 34, 201, 218

     Log bridge, 6

     Lolab, the, 48, 110, 161
       valley, 209, 271

     Lotbinière, Major Alain de, R.E., 145, 146, 222, 223, 225, 226, 232

     Lotus, the, 77

     Lumberdars, 187


     M'Mahon, Lieutenant-General, 244

     Madagascar, 254

     Madras, 223

     Mahadeo peak, 20, 22, 23, 79

     Maharaja, H.H. _See_ Pratab Singh
       the late, 73, 181

     Maharaja's preserves, 122

     Mahdi of the Mohamedans, 129

     Mahmud of Ghazni, 150, 155

     Maize, 200, 205, 217

     Manasbal Lake, 37, 210

     Manchester, cotton goods, 219

     Manjis, 132

     Manufactures, 194, 210

     Maple, 206

     Markhor, a, 120, 121

     Marshal, Mr., 115

     Martand, 60, 85, 114, 115, 135, 144

     Marwar, 123

     "Meadow of Flowers," 98

     Mecca, 71

     Meruvad-dhana, minister, 75

     Messiah of the Jews, 129

     Metals, 220

     Middlemiss, Mr., 259

     Mihirakula, the "White Hun," 141

     Millet, 201

     Mineral products, 209

     Minto, Lord, 27, 38, 69, 117, 123, 124, 204

     Mirza Haider, 156

     Mirpur, 163

     Mitchell, Mr. Frank, 122, 124

     Moghal emperors, 156
       Empire, 159
       gardens, 29, 59, 116
       times, 77, 84

     Moghals, the, 81, 150, 157, 159, 198

     Mohamed, 143

     Mohamed Jan, 59

     Mohamedan buildings, 71
       dynasty, 155
       period, 154

     Mohamedanism, 150, 155, 160

     Mohamedans, 126, 128, 129, 161, 186, 272

     Monsoon, the, 35

     Montgomerie, Colonel, 235, 237

     Moorcroft, Mr., 48, 49, 160, 161

     Mosquitoes, 39

     _Mothi_, 201

     Mount Everest, 235, 237, 248

     Mountain ranges, 234, 247

     Mudki, 168

     Mulberry, 22, 24, 28, 35, 36, 43, 85, 89, 92, 116, 176, 199
       trees, 195, 196

     Multan, 167

     _Mung_, 201

     Munshi Bagh, 68, 69

     Munsiff, 187

     Murree hill, 57, 232

     Musherbrum Peak, 243

     Mussouri, 239

     Mustagh Pass, 50, 51, 248

     Mustard, 203
       fields, 32, 33, 34

     Mutiny, the, 174

     Mysore, 223


     Nagarjuna, 141

     Naib-tehsildars, 186

     Nanga Parbat peak, 6, 61, 101, 103, 104, 106, 237, 241, 243, 244,
         248, 250, 253, 260

     Nasim Bagh, 59, 78, 79

     Nedou's hotel, 47, 57, 70

     Nepal, 234, 235

     Nerbudda, 271

     Neve, Dr. Arthur, 73

     Neve, Dr. Ernest, 73

     Neve, Miss, 73

     Neve's Hospital, Dr., 72

     Nichols, Dr., 81

     Nicholson, John, 69

     Nishat Bagh, 29, 32, 59, 77, 78, 80, 82, 157

     Northern Canon, The, 141

     Nun Kun peaks, 249

     Nurmahal, 80, 157


     Oil-seeds, 201

     Oudh, 163

     Ovis Poli, 62


     Pahlgam, 34, 60, 100, 112, 113, 114

     Pamirs, the, 52, 61, 62, 243

     Pampur, 63, 135, 202, 210
       plateau, 64

     Pandit Rada Kishen Kol, 50

     Pandrathan, 33, 75, 135, 139

     Papier-mâché, 214

     Paraspur, 84

     Pariansipura, plateau of, 63

     Parihasapura, 84, 85, 144

     Parsi shops, 70

     Pashm, 211, 212

     Patan, 135
       temples of, 135

     Patwari, 189

     Payech, 135

     Peaks, the, 234

     Pears, 197, 217

     Peas, 201

     Peat, 210

     Peking, 50, 143, 236

     Peychaud, M., 197

     _Phaseolus aconitifolius_, 201

     _Phaseolus Mungo_, 201

     _Phaseolus radiatus_, 201

     _Picea morinda_, 206

     _Pinus excelsa_, 206

     Pir Panjal range, 11, 13, 17, 20, 28, 35, 37, 43, 79, 98, 105,
         114, 241, 249

     _Platanus orientalis_, 208

     Pohru river, 111

     Police, the, 184

     Poplar trees, 21, 24, 32, 33, 35, 36, 65, 90, 91, 209

     Post Office, 70

     Potala at Lhasa, 157

     Potatoes, 203, 218

     Pratab Model Farm, 203

     Pratab Singh, Maharaja Sir, G.C.S.I., 16, 26, 27, 38, 50, 54, 65,
         66, 67, 87, 98, 117, 118, 123, 124, 145, 181, 184, 186, 187,
         203, 222, 232
       Palace, 68

     Products, 194

     Protozoa, 261

     Public Works Department, 184, 185

     Punch, 153
       House of, 149
       Raja of, 164
       River, 123

     Pundits, 126

     Punjab, the, 5, 48, 49, 129, 138, 139, 143, 147, 150, 155, 159,
         163, 166, 168, 171, 172, 177, 186, 198, 200, 203, 206, 207,
         217, 218, 220, 224, 232
       Bank, 70
       peasants, 219

     Puranadhisthana, 75

     "Puttoo" cloth, 195, 215


     Quadiani sect, 129, 130

     Quinces, 198


     _Raah_, 201

     Radcliffe, Mr., 270

     Rahem Sheikh, 43

     Rajatarangini, the, 85

     Rajavihara, the, 86

     Rajput Hill States, 171

     Rajputana, 163, 252

     Rakaposhi peak, 243

     Ramnager, Raja of, 164

     Rampur, 5, 57, 135, 206, 210, 223, 226, 252

     Ranbir Singh, Maharaja, 174, 175

     Ranjit Singh, 48, 159, 162, 164, 166, 167

     Ranjit Singh's Dewan, 164

     Rape, 201, 202

     Ravi river, 170

     Rawal Pindi, 5, 55, 56, 69, 196, 224

     Rawlence, Dr., 73

     Rawlinson, Sir Henry, 236

     Residency, the, 53, 54, 70
       garden, 87, 208, 209

     Resident, the, 16, 38, 43, 53, 65, 68

     Revenue from land, 187, 193

     Rice, 199, 205, 217
       fields, 23, 35, 158

     Robinson, Miss, 73

     Roses, 25, 92, 94

     Royal Engineer Officer, 185

     Royal Geographical Society, 236


     Saffron, 158, 202

     Salt, 219

     Sapphires, 210

     _Sesamum indicum_, 202

     Settlement Commissioner, 185

     Shadipur, 37, 60, 61, 84, 85, 135, 144

     Shah Hamadan, Mosque of, 67, 71

     Shah Jahan, Emperor, 71

     Shah Mir, 155, 156

     Shalimar Bagh, 29, 59, 77, 78, 79, 80, 82, 83, 157

     Shalimar garden, 123, 203

     Shawls, 134, 170, 194, 210, 211

     Sher Singh, 162, 166

     Shikar suit, a, 215

     Shikara, 58, 65

     Shikari, 9, 10, 12, 15, 17, 38, 41, 43, 57

     Shisha Nag, 113

     Shukar Ali, 51, 52, 53, 54

     Shupaiyon, 161, 162

     Siberian duck, 38

     Sikh army, 167, 168
       Government, 160, 169, 172

     Sikh rulers, 163
       soldiery, 166
       State, 171

     Sikhs, 147, 161, 164, 165, 169, 176
       of the Plains, 171

     Silk, 213, 218

     Silurian period, 262

     Silver fir, 206
       work, 214

     Sind river, 34, 37, 60, 61, 63, 75, 78, 85, 108, 111, 113, 135,
         253, 270

     Singháre, 132

     Siva, the god, 74

     Skins, 218

     Sobraon, 168

     Sonamarg, 34, 61, 100, 108, 109

     Sopur, 111, 145, 203, 210

     Spiti, 262

     Sport, 118

     Spring in Kashmir, 27, 30, 33

     Spruce, Himalayan, 206

     Srinagar, 5, 6, 7, 16, 18, 26, 27, 28, 30, 33, 41, 44, 48, 49, 55,
         56, 57, 59, 63, 65, 69, 70, 71, 74, 75, 80, 88, 98, 103, 110,
         112, 123, 127, 129, 130, 135, 139, 142, 145, 148, 153, 173,
         181, 187, 195, 196, 203, 213, 214, 219, 231, 232, 249, 253,
         257, 264
       City of the Sun, 63
       Guest House, 69
       Museum, 69, 212
       road, 84

     State, the, 178, 184, 185, 192, 196, 213, 216

     State Hospital, 69

     Stein, Dr., 74, 137, 145

     Sugar, 220

     Sulphur springs, 210

     Summer in Kashmir, 34

     Sutlej river, 163, 167, 249

     Suyya, 145, 146

     Swadeshi movement, 195, 215


     Taj at Agra, 80, 135

     Takht-i-Suliman, 28, 34, 70, 74, 75, 135, 253, 257

     Tannin, 123

     Tatakuti peak, 17, 249

     Tea, 220

     Tehsildars, 186

     Tej Singh, 167

     Tertiary period, 258, 267, 268

     Third Great Council of the Church, 140

     Throv Deo, 163

     Tian Shan mountains, 211

     Tibet, 102, 164, 194, 235, 239, 258

     Tibetan goat, 194, 211

     _Til_, 201, 202

     Tilail, 62

     Timber, 218

     Tobacco, 202

     Tonga, 47, 55, 56

     Trade, 217

     Tragbal, 61, 62, 100, 123
       Pass, 61

     Travel in Kashmir, 47

     Turkestan, 61, 128, 235
       plains of, 243
       Chinese, 51, 52, 194, 211

     Turkis. _See_ Moghals


     Uri, 49, 134, 206

     Ush Turfan, 211


     Vaishu stream, 124

     Vecula, King, 152

     Vernag, springs of, 60

     Viceroy, 43

     Viceroys, sport of, 27

     _Victoria, Queen, Letters of_, 171

     Vigne, 161, 164

     Vishnu, 75, 112
       Mahavaraha, temple of, 86
       Muktakesava, temple of, 86
       Parihasakesave, temple of, 85

     Vishu, 123

     Volcanoes, 257


     Walker, General, 236

     Walnut, 22, 24, 27, 35, 85, 92, 111, 116, 158, 198, 202, 209

     Wangat, river, 123

     Wangat ruins, 60
       Valley, 110

     Ward, Colonel, 112, 122

     Water-lilies, 39

     Water nuts, 132

     Wheat, 158, 201, 205
       fields, 33

     Wigram, Major, 87, 118, 121, 124, 197

     Willow, 22, 24, 32, 33, 34, 35, 70, 85, 88, 89, 209, 215

     Wilson, Mr. S., 73

     Wood-carving, 214

     Wool, 218

     Wular Lake, 58, 61, 103, 104, 132, 271


     Yarkand, 51
       serai, 66

     Yus Asaf, 129, 130


     Zain-ul-ab-ul-din, King, 156

     Zenana hospital, 66

     Zewan, 253

     Zoji Pass, 250

     Zoji-la-Pass, 61, 109, 249

     Zorawar Singh, 164


_Printed by_ R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, _Edinburgh_.



       *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's note:

  Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have
  been preserved.  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

  Page 56: "ckka" is possibly a typographical error.





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