WHICH, beyond all controversy, was the earthly Paradise,
half-muttered reply of my Brahmin, Thakur-Das, when I asked him whether he would
accompany me to Kashmir, and I understood immediately that his words implied a
willing affirmative. In the north of India, a man is considered to betray a
total want of respect for the subject, who forgets to add the above-mentioned
encomium whenever Kashmir is named in his presence, or the speaker neglects the
I expected, in consequence of what had been told me, to meet with many
difficulties in engaging servants to accompany me, at the advanced season when I
undertook my journey, but was agreeably mistaken, as not one of the three
servants I had brought with me from Calcutta,-viz. a Hind Sirdar-bearer, a
Musselman Khidmatgar, and a Mushalchi,-made the slightest objection whatever.
The names and offices of these three important personages in an Indian
establishment require some explanation.
A Sirdar-bearer is a personal attendant. Mine was a native of Patna, an
excellent and trustworthy man, whom I always found indefatigable and attentive
to his duties. The name Bearer (Kahar in Hindusthani), given by the English to
this class, is taken from the palankeen-bearers, from whom the younger or more
economical of the Company's officers generally select their personal attendant:
they pay them about three or four rupees a month, a rupee is worth about a
silver florin, without board or livery; deducting from this sum the value of
everything that is lost in the house, or broken by them.
But my servant would have been highly incensed if he had been bound by the same
terms. The title Sirdar, the real meaning of which is the Officer, pointed out
his rank, contrasting strangely enough with bearer the name always given him by
his European master, while every other, the person in and out of the house
called him Sirdar. Many of these Sirdar-bearers lay claim to Rajput descent; and
in Upper India, the word Singh, or in Bengal, Rup, is not infrequently prefixed
to their, name, as a proof of military ancestry.
My Sirdar usually carried a shield on his back, and a sheathed sabre in his hand
and the expression of his visage was altogether so martial, that I could seldom
refrain from smiling as he went about his very unwarlike duties. On the
slightest occasion, he would put himself into a violent rage with his
companions, and became then, with his dark features, and his black rolling eyes,
a proper object to strike terror into his timid countrymen.
The Khidmatgar Hingham was the best servant I ever had in India, The Khidmatgar
holds the place of a butler in Europe, and is properly the only servant who
waits at meals. When his master accepts an invitation he repairs to the friend's
house also and waits upon him there. In a large establishment, there are often
two or three of these Khidmatgars; the first is then called the steward, and not
only prepares the tea and coffee but is expected to understand the way of
cooking the favourite English dishes.
The Mashalchi is properly a torch-bearer and runs before the palankeen or the
horse when the master travels or pays a visit in the night-time; while in the
house he is employed as a domestic servant. Our Austrian lackeys would probably
look down with great contempt on these slim light-footed messengers, but in no
one of their official capacities are they at all to be despised.
My Brahmin Secretary, or Munshi, Thakur-Das, was a native of Delhi. He did not
understand a syllable of English; but to make amends for this, he was a
thoroughly honest person, well acquainted with Sanskrit, and wrote Persian very
I had engaged an interpreter from the Agra College, to accompany me to Kashmir,
a well-educated Brahmin youth, by name Sitaram, perfectly conversant with
English, and of the most prepossessing exterior: but unluckily he could not bear
the motion of the palankeen in which he followed me; and falling ill on the way
from Agra to Delhi, I was under the necessity of sending him back. Another
interpreter was then recommended to me, a half-caste, who called himself an
Englishman, and with much expense, in consequence of the highly favourable terms
in which he was mentioned to me, I brought him from Meerut to Shimla, when I
found he was not of the least use and was only too glad to get rid of him within
twenty-four hours, the man himself declaring that he was afraid to encounter the
dangers of a journey to Kashmir. He had heard at first that he was to travel on
terra-firma, and now finding that we should have to cross mountains covered with
ice, he was sure that so timid a rider as he was, would never arrive there. In
fact, the very thoughts of it had haunted him all the way from Pahar to Shimla,
and he humbly besought me to spare his life, and allow him to depart; with which
solicitation I was only too happy to comply.
Purposing that this should be the last journey I should ever undertake, I was
additionally anxious to derive every possible advantage from it, and to neglect
nothing which could tend to make its results of some value. Unfortunately, I was
under the necessity of making the journey alone and foresaw months of solitude
before me, which yet I could not avert. I might readily have found some
companions to accompany me among my English friends; but the Government had
strictly forbidden its servants to cross the Setlej without permission, which
they would in no ease grant. So far as physical comforts could be provided, I
resolved to want for nothing, for a traveller's life is not such an easy one
that he should spare himself any enjoyments that can be procured.
Besides tents for my party, preserved meats hermetically sealed in tin boxes,
wines and drinks of various kinds, preserved fruits and sweetmeats, I did not
fail to provide myself with the hookah, universally used throughout the East;
with some Himalayan ghunts, or ponies, which climb the steepest mountains, and
tread firmly on the edge of the most fearful precipices, also with a sedan-chair
or Jampan, with twelve bearers. Besides my in-door servants, consisting of the
three men just mentioned, a Bawarchi or cook, with two assistants, &
Hookahburdar, or servant to attend my pipe, an Abdar for the water, & Durzee or
I had a Chobdar or herald, two Chaprasis, or messengers, having my name engraved
in Hindusthani and Persian on their breastplates, two Shikaris, or huntsmen, to
slay or stuff beast, two Paharis, or mountaineers, as butterfly-catchers, two
gardeners ty collect plants and seeds, two tent-bearers, in all thirty-seven,
Servants, sixty bearers, and seven beasts.
It was in vain that I sought an interpreter, sufficiently versed in English to
translate the manifold questions the object of my journey demanded when my
slight acquaintance with Hindusthani might cause me to falter. A lad of
fourteen, Mohan Bir, was the only one I could engage; and although I almost
despaired at first of making anything of him, he soon gained my good graces by
his quickness and liveliness of mind.
Three different routes to Kashmir lay before me; that over the highest mountains
of the Himalaya range; that which passes across the lowest mountains, or a third
through the plain of the Panjab. The first road might be taken either through
the Berenda Pass or by Mundi and Dankar; but for all or any of them, it was
necessary for me in the first place to obtain the permission of Ranjit Singh,
the Maha Raja of Lahore, to whom Kashmir is subject, for without it | should not
here have found the means of subsistence. I had therefore applied for this in
the month of May.
Ranjit Singh is considered altogether independent of the British Indian
Government, and in truth is as much so, as his position as a weaker neighbour
can admit of; but the best way of surmounting any difficulties or delays in
obtaining such leave, is to apply to the Political Agent of the Company for the
Panjab, who resides at Ludhiana, on the borders of the Lahore territory. To all
the unimportant requests of the Company, Ranjit Singh lends a very willing ear;
and in the present Resident, Captain Wade, travellers find a most courteous
To him, therefore, I applied and being already furnished with directions from
the Governor-General at Calcutta, that gentleman immediately forwarded an
application on my behalf to the Raja.
I had ‘hoped to receive his permission very shortly, but a dangerous illness
occasioned me and my petition to be equally forgotten; meanwhile, I remained in
the cool climate of the Himalaya. The English have established two sanitariums,
for the benefit of health and of a cooler retreat, in this mountainous region,
at Masuri and Shimla, I made my arrangements, therefore, while the permission
was preparing, to take a journey through the mountains, from the first to the
latter place, and thence commence my route to Kashmir.
Masuri is the nearest station to the plains of India, inhabited by Englishmen.
Shimla is on the confines of the British possessions and those of the Maha Raja.
Through this desolate plain, where everything was withered and burnt up, I
reached Masuri on the 21st of June, with the intention of remaining there a few
days, and on the 22nd, at the break of day, I left the hospitable abode of Mr
Hamilton, to view the snowy mountains of Gangotri and Jamnotri from a
Having arrived at the desired spot on the Landor, I had full time to survey the
majesty of scenes never to be forgotten. I was riding slowly homewards to enjoy
the refreshing shower which fell on the parched land, reviving everything in
nature, when finding the rain becoming more and more violent, I urged my steady
horse onwards over the mountain paths to Masuri. This rain, with the
intermission of a few hours only, lasted eighty-five days, the monsoon
prevailing in this part of India with more continuous wet weather than in any
During this long confinement, I heard frequently from Captain Wade, that he was
in daily expectation of Ranjit Singh's answer; and no sooner did the season
again clear up, than I proceeded to Shimla, not over the mountain road as I had
intended, for during the rainy season the passage is very insecure and
uncertain, but over the plains. On the 19th September, I quitted the beautiful
and agreeable station of Masuri, and after encountering some terrific storms in
the plain, reached Shimla by way of Ambala in six days, not without some
difficulty, however, for the rains had converted every brook into a torrent, and
the roads were completely flooded. The last rain fell as I reached Shimla, where
I fully expected to have received, from Captain Wade, the long-looked-for reply
from the Raja.
Disappointed in this, I again wrote in pressing terms. The reply informed me,
that I might certainly expect a favourable answer from the Raja, but
time-pressed and nothing were fixed. Of the three routes, I had taken a fancy to
pursue the one which, skirting the highest mountains, led through the Berenda
Pass by Ladhak into Kashmir, and had never as yet been trodden by any European
traveller. The season also was already far advanced.
From Shimla, the eye is accustomed to look over a splendid panorama, embracing a
line of the snow-capped Himalayas, whose average elevation is 15,000 feet above
the level of the sea, and which, according to the very lowest calculation, is
two hundred and forty miles in length. This line, during the summer, in spite of
its immense height, is not entirely covered with snow, except where it faces the
One morning I watched a cloud slowly approaching this far, distant chain of
hills, and gradually I observed it tracing its onward path with snow, until it
disappeared, and the sky, was cloudless as before. The sight was beautiful, but
it foreboded ill to my contemplated movements. In the course of the following
day, the snow melted, but the ridges of the Kailas had put on their winter
garments. It was twenty-three days' journey to the Berenda Pass; and long ere I
could reach it the snow would have formed an impenetrable barrier against me;
and, even had it not done so, how improbable was my chance of reaching Ladhak or
Kashmir, in this season, by an unfrequented route.
The prospect of remaining all through the winter in the tablelands of Tibet was
as miserable as it appeared inevitable, and this was all the information I could
get at Shimla. How far it was well-grounded will shortly appear. They told me,
also, that the road from the Panjab into Kashmir was usually blocked up at the
beginning of December; and here, for the benefit of future travellers in India,
let me advise that no report should be acted upon as correct which does not rest
on the personal experience of the informant; and that even in that case the
greatest caution should be exercised.
My plans were consequently changed. It was not without great reluctance that I
relinquished my purpose of going through the Berenda Pass. A different route was
still open to me, and a shorter one, from Bilaspoor through Mandi and Dankar to
Ladhak; but all agreed in one fact, that the passes would very shortly be
blocked up; and the fear lest my great object might fail, and that I should not
reach Kashmir before this happened, deterred me from following that road.
This finally determined me to take the direction of the lowest range of the
Himalaya, and to travel by way of Bilaspoor, Jwala Makhi, and Narpoor; from
thence, according to circumstances, to move forward to Kashmir either by
Kishtwar or the Pir-Panjal, preferring this route to the plain country of the
Panjab and Bimber.
My preparations were all made; but, although I: had consulted my comforts as
much as possible, I had made up my mind to relinquish anything which might in
the slightest way impede my onward progress, and expected to be compelled to
abandon my large tents, and even to leave my ponies to await my return from
Kashmir, at the foot of the mountains, making my Jampan render me good service.
The Jampan is a solid sedan-chair, supported between two thick bamboo poles, and
borne by four men, twelve being the complement of bearers usually taken on a
journey. It is the customary conveyance on a mountain excursion; but, to my own
mind, I relied more on my own two legs than on the twenty-four legs of my
At last, on the 6th October, I received an intimation from Captain Wade that the
Maha Raja had given me leave to travel through his states, and that an officer
would be in Bilaspoor on the 14th with the perwana, or royal mandate, addressed
to the governors of the provinces through which my way might lead me.
This perwana is of as much, or more important in India than our passports in
Europe; for whereas our passports only give permission to travel through the
state which grants it, a perwana commands the governors of every place to
furnish the traveller with bearers, beasts, provisions, and, in fact, everything
he may stand in need of on receiving this notice I sent off my people, with all
my bag, gage, on the 10th October, three days previous to my own departure, in
order to give them time to prepare everything properly, ordering them to pitch
my tent on the 12th, at the third station from Shimla, and, in order to give
them as much rest as possible, I did not leave Shimla until the 13th, when I
rode on one of my kind host's, Major Kennedy's horses to Saree, breakfasted
there, and then proceeded by Kunyar to Sahikoti. Kunyar is the residence of one
of the Rajas of the Himalaya, who resides under the protection of the English.
It is not my purpose to describe here any place on the left bank of the Setlej;
I shall, therefore, only pause to observe that the situation of Kunyar is
charming, that the residence of the Raja Scarce deserves the name of a house,
that his revenue may amount to a few thousand rupees, and his subjects to the
In Sahikoti I found my tents pitched in a picturesque little valley, According
to their different religions and castes my suite was formed into small groups;
white and black woollen tents pointed out the spots they had chosen, and each
man had kindled his own fire to cook his food himself, according to Indian
habits. It was evening when I joined them, and a simple but very well dressed
repast, eaten before my tent, under the cloudless canopy of heaven, made me
sensible of that independence which is enjoyed by Indian travellers especially.
Once having furnished himself with what is absolutely indispensable, the
European journeys through the land like a king: he can go wherever his fancy
leads him; and need not trouble himself either about custom-houses, barriers,
bridges, hedges, or turnpikes. Nobody inquires his name or demands his passport;
no broken wheel stops his way; no full or intolerable inn by the roadside rouses
his choler; every European he meets with is his friend, and every other being is
his humble servant.
As soon as night came on I strayed out to visit my little encampment of one
hundred and fifty men. To a novice in Indian travelling the variety displayed
even in this limited area, the difference in features, manners, and habits,
arising from the various castes and religions, would have afforded much
amusement and surprise. For me, used to all this, the loveliness of night and
the surrounding country, now illuminated with bright moonlight, had more charms,
though the thoughts of my home, far distant, but ever near to my heart, weighed
heavily on my spirits.
The next day brought me to Bayoon, under the fort of Malaun, erected on the very
highest ridge of a mountain, at least two thousand feet above the valley. Malaun
is one of those points in the Himalaya, where, in the Gorkha War of 1814, the
English met with brave resistance. The following evening I reached Bilaspoor, a
place under the rule of a Hindu Raja, called Kalur Raja.
From Shimla, where this Raja, and thirty-two of the petty sovereigns of the
Himalaya besides, have kept an agent since the peace of 1815, which placed them
all under the protection of the English, Major Kennedy, the Political Agent in
these parts, had forwarded notification of my arrival to Bilaspoor, that my
journey might not be impeded by any want of bearers or horses; and on my coming
1 found the Raja's own state or durbar tent, pitched for me, in a lovely garden
on the banks of the Setlej river.
I was soon honoured with a visit from the Raja in person, attended by his
miniature court. Of all the ignorant and unmannered native chiefs on this side
of the river, he is, perhaps, the rudest and unpolished. The half-hour he
remained proved a very tedious one to me.
His excesses in wine and spirit-drinking have well-nigh robbed him, though still
in the prime of life, of the miserable intellect he might once have had. His
favourites are two Bengalees, as unworthy as their lord, who speak a little
English. According to the custom of the country, he expected me to return his
visit, and receive the presents he had prepared for me; but the impressions J
had received were so unpleasant, that through my Munshi, Thakur-Das, I very
politely excused myself, and agreed, as a compensation, to accept of seven
mules, which were not to be had for any money.
The animals were to be sent the following morning; meanwhile, however, a certain
officer of Ranjit Singh's made his appearance, by the command of his master, and
brought me a letter from Captain Wade, advising me that Mirza Abdul had orders
to attend me to Narpoor, where a Chobdar, or herald, of the Maha Raja's, had
received instructions to be in readiness to wait on me also.
The Mirza affixed to his name, which answers nearly to the Turkish word Effendi,
made me instantly suspect that he was & spy, and I was happy to find that he was
not sent to remain any length of time a burden to me, through the ill provided
regions I was soon to traverse; for this escort or guard has prevented many
travellers from seeing a country under its true aspect; and it is ever a most
serious disadvantage, moreover, in India to be obliged to increase the number of
Europeans generally come to India fraught with ideas and expectations of finding
nature adorned in her richest garb, and & climate which injures health and
shortens life, from the very enjoyments to which it tempts you. These
anticipations are rarely realized; and the newcomer then falls into an extreme
opinion directly opposed to the first, that neither the country nor the climate
offers anything uncommon or attractive.
Both opinions are erroneous. During the greatest part of the year, Hindustan is
little better than a wilderness; the Dekhan is a stony unproductive region, and
to Europeans, the climate is, in general, very trying. There are many parts of
India, particularly towards the south-west, where the continual heat and damp
act powerfully on the constitution, enervating the body, and making exertion
In the north, the heat of the summer is terrific, the short winter is just as
cold in proportion, and the transition from one of these seasons to the other
occupies but a few days. But although these remarks apply generally to the
country, I allow that traveller lights often on spots which leave any picture
his imagination may have formed far behind; and if the skies favour him on such
occasions, he may well exclaim, How beautiful is India!
Bilaspoor lies in a spacious valley, through which the Setlej winds its long and
fertilizing course, while, in the distance, high and waving hills, crowned with
villages, stretched for several miles, the snowy peaks of the Himalaya being
distinctly visible on the horizon. The valley is extremely fertile, and every
tropical plant flourishes in richer profusion here than in most other parts of
Hindustan, as if the Great Author of all Nature had lavished his gifts on it
without any reserve.
The sun was sinking when first I gazed on this beautiful scene; the river rolled
proudly on beneath the garden where I stood, surrounded on every side by a
treasury of fragrant flowers, among which, rich orange and citron-trees
entangled with jasmines, and groups of magnolias, wafted their exquisite perfume
around, in the descending dews.
The stars and moon rose one by one; not a breath was felt; the lofty palms
rustled, and gently stirred their leaves as if some spirit breathed upon them;
the trees were lighted up by fire-flies, and within their deep recesses was
heard the soft twittering of the birds, and the shriller tones of a kind of
mantis, which has its dwelling in the citron-trees; in the distance bright lamps
shining through the night, pointed out the temple, where loud voices and noisy
drums were sounding to the praise of their idols; the fantastic costumes, the
dreamy air, all, all combining together, might well have inspired the coldest
spectator to exclaim, as he gazed, This is the very India of which I have
But the old traveller in the East knows well that these fair scenes and calm
moments are rarely enjoyed, and I wandered along through the broad terraces of
the garden ere I sought my tent.
There was no repose for me here.
This was the last night for a long time that I should pass in a country under
European protection, and bidding farewell to the hope of sleep, I again strayed
into the garden, where, except the mantis, everything was now buried in the
repose of nature. Long I watched for the first break of early dawn through that
lovely night, while all within my tent were sleeping heavily, enjoying the
comfort within, and unconscious of the charms without. At length it made its
appearance; the servants were soon up and stirring; and amid the din of packing
and lading, I had time to survey leisurely the scene around me.
Towards the east, the giant form of the Bondelah mountain was faintly illumined
by the first rays of the morning; while in the north, Tayuni, crowned with its
solitary castle, caught the newly awakened sunbeams on its loftiest peak.
Tradition says, that in an eave on the top of the Bondelah, lives an invisible
Bairagi, or Gosain, a penitent hermit who, from time to time, shakes the ashes
from his locks, when the whole valley quakes; houses are shaken down, and large
masses of stone tumble from the mountain: these are the ashes, according to the
inhabitants of the valley.
At Tayuni, an uncle of the present Raja has been confined for the last twelve
years, for having, in the plenitude of his folly, ventured, after Ranjit Singh's
treaty with England had changed thy order of things, to pursue the same
predatory course to which most of the Rajas of the Himalaya owe their
possessions; forgetting that what was all right and proper thirty years ago, is
now a criminal offence on either side of the river.
Towards the south, the three fortresses of Bahadurpoor, Futihpoor, and Champa
reminded me vividly of those knightly castles built oy the summits of the hills
in my native land. Not only is the likeness in a situation to be traced: erected
during the last century by the Gorkhas, like our own fortresses they served for
the security of the little tyrants who plundered both travellers and inhabitants
indiscriminately and then retreated with their ill-gotten booty within their
An end is now put to these robberies in India; regular contributions are
enforced by the Company on the property on one side of the Setlej; and no sooner
does an individual give his portion however small-to the common stock, than he
claims the protection of the government as his right. Throughout his own
territory, Ranjit Singh is free to levy what taxes he pleases.
But to return. The shoulders of the bearers and the backs of the asses were
already laden when the Wakil and the Wazir of the Raja of Bilaspur came to
attend me. These Wazirs, as they were called in the Himalaya, are, in point of
fact, the real governors of the land, it is looked on as a disgrace for a Raja
to concern himself about the administration of his country, or even know how to
read or write. His sluggish existence is dragged out in the Zenana, the Indian
harem, in eating opium, drinking brandy, and smoking; and in his few sober hours
he holds his court or Durbar, or rides from one of his summer-houses to another.
The Raja of Bilaspoor has now attained his thirtieth year,-é period when the
understanding and intellect have reached their prime; but Nature has been a
niggard to him in these; and the quantities of opium he swallows have rendered
him a disgusting object, with staring eyes devoid of expression, and a mouth
The extent of his capacity may be easily divined, from the questions he asks of
the persons who attend his levee, which is usually of the following nature: “Are
” “How can I be otherwise than well in the Raja's presence?”
To this, his Highness generally re-joins, “How old are you?” And being
enlightened on this point, his next question is, “How many wives have you?” If,
as in my case, the stranger answers that he is unmarried, the conversation
suffers a sudden check; and to all the questions which the latter puts in order
to while away the time, the Raja turns to the Wazir, that he may prompt some
answer, which by good luck may be brought to light after five minutes'
consultation between them.
The Raja of the Himalaya being thus sunk into a state of stupid imbecility, we
need not much wonder if the Wazir is supposed to be an influential favourite of
the Rani or first wife; but it usually happens in these cases, that if the
husband's eyes are opened but once to his wrongs, they are soon closed on all
things, and forever. A case of this kind occurred recently in one of the petty
states of the Himalaya, under British protection.
After the death of the Raja, however, the Wazir so far overstepped the limits
accorded to oriental exactions, that the enraged people burst into the
summer-dwelling, then occupied by him and the Rani, and burnt it to the ground.
The next morning, long after both they and their attendants had ceased to
breathe, came to a crowd to wail and lament over the accidental death of the
Rani; but though the real facts were well known to everyone, the crime was never
brought home to any individuals, and the English Government soon gave up the
inquiry they had instituted on the subject.
As my way from Bilaspoor led me through a part of the town, purposed to follow
it on foot as far as it skirted the river; but soon found out that my jampan was
never more needed, for the Street, are paved with flintstones about a foot in
diameter, and as often loge as not, dislodging the unsteady foot of a luckless
wayfarer, and knocking it violently to one side or the other. I was surprised to
see the natives step lightly over these stones without once stumbling, until
discovered that long acquaintance with the loose ones enabled them without much
difficulty, to avoid them.
The garden walls and inclosed places are well built with the same large round
stone, For a mile onwards, the road adjoined the left bank of the Setlej, it
then led to a rapid brook, and' thence to the ferry boat, which was nothing more
or less than a square box of wood, strongly put together, and having different
partitions a foot high; I had no sooner come up than I found about twenty
persons had already taken their places; in addition to these, Ranjit Singh's two
followers and their horses; my Munshi, on horseback, twenty of my people; and
after all, the Wakil and Wazir, with their servants, now stepped in, Against
this last addition I stoutly protested, and took the part of the poor natives,
who had arrived before us, whom the Wazir was ordering away, to make room for my
It is in such matters that every Indian, invested with power, is an absolute
tyrant, and considers all things on earth as made to obey the strongest. The
lower classes enjoy a certain degree of independence, attributable to the
smallness of their wants, the climate, and their indolent character, which is
content with the least possible indulgence; but when a higher than themselves
appears, they sink at once into nothingness, and from none do they receive less
compassion than from hired servants.
On all occasions, indeed, the poor Hindu is made to feel the bitterness of
inferiority; and if he sues for the smallest favour, he is often sent back to
his miserable hut day after day for many months, before' he obtains even an
answer; yet he bears all this without a murmur, in hopes of better times.
Our heavy cargo was at last set in motion, and we soon crossedG the roaring
stream, and landed safely on the opposite shore, although our strange vessel was
half-filled with water. The natives swim across the stream with the help of an
ox's skin, inflated with the wind, in an ingenious way. Having carried this on
their shoulders to the shore, they spread themselves upon it on the water,
laying fast hold with one hand, while they strike the water with a piece of
timber in the other. The sight of a number of these skins, with the head and
feet of the beast left on them as in life, constantly floating across the river,
is very amusing. Higher up towards the mountains, where the Setlej rushes over
rocks deeply embedded, and with amazing force, the passage is made in a basket
firmly tied on each shore with ropes which are swung across the stream.
- Navin Kumar Jaggi and
- Gurmeet Singh Jaggi