THE VISUAL INSTRUCTION COMMITTEE
OF THE COLONIAL OFFICE.
ii480 Slides, 60 for each Lecture, have been prepared in connection with this book, and are sold on behalf of the Committee by Messrs. Newton & Co., 3, Fleet Street, London, E.C., from whom the books of lectures can also be obtained. The complete set of 480 Slides, in eight padded boxes, may be had for £50, or the Slides to accompany the several Lectures will be sold for Six Guineas each Lecture. Single Slides will not be sold. The series consists for the most part of views taken by Mr. A. Hugh Fisher, the artist who went to India for the purpose on behalf of the Committee. Some of them are photographs coloured by hand from sketches in colour prepared by Mr. Fisher, and some are colour photographs by the Sanger Shepherd process reproducing Mr. Fisher’s own sketches. There are also many maps in colour prepared by the Diagram Company.
The Right Honourable The Earl of Meath, K.P., Chairman.
The Right Honourable Sir Cecil Clementi Smith, G.C.M.G.
Sir John Struthers, K.C.B., LL.D., Secretary to the Scotch Education Department.
Sir Philip Hutchins, K.C.S.I., late Member of the Council of the Secretary of State for India.
Sir Charles Lucas, K.C.M.G., C.B., of the Colonial Office.
Sir Charles Holroyd, Director of the National Gallery.
H. F. Heath, Ph.D., Director of Special Inquiries and Reports, Board of Education.
H. J. Mackinder, M.P., late Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science.
W. H. Mercer, C.M.G., Crown Agent for the Colonies.
R. D. Roberts, D.Sc., Secretary of the Gilchrist Educational Trust.
Professor Michael E. Sadler, LL.D., Professor of Education in the University of Manchester.
VISUAL INSTRUCTION COMMITTEE
OF THE COLONIAL OFFICE.
The component parts of the British Empire are so remote and so different from one another, that it is evident the Empire can only be held together by sympathy and understanding, based on widely diffused knowledge of its geography, history, resources, climates, and races. It is obvious that if this knowledge is to be effective it must be imparted to the coming generation. In other words it must be taught in the Schools of the Empire.
In the Autumn of 1902, a Committee was appointed by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to consider on what system such teaching might best be developed. The Committee came to the conclusion that children in any part of the Empire would never understand what the other parts were like unless by some adequate means of visual instruction; and, further, that as far as possible the teaching should be on the same lines in all parts of the Empire. It was decided to make a beginning by an experiment on a small scale, and for this purpose to invite the three Eastern Colonies of Ceylon, the Straits Settlements, and Hong Kong to bear the expense of a small book of Lantern Lectures on the United Kingdom for use in the Schools in those Colonies. Other parts of the Empire were afterwards invited to have editions which would be suited to their own special requirements viprepared at their own expense, and up to the present date editions have been issued for the Eastern Colonies, for the West Indies, for West Africa, for Mauritius, and for India. Editions are now in preparation for Canada and for South Africa.
The Committee, however, have always had in mind the preparation of illustrated lectures on the Colonies and India as well as on the United Kingdom. Their experience convinced them that if this part of the work were to be done as well as it could be done, it was advisable to have the illustrations prepared on a uniform system by a highly skilled artist or artists specially commissioned for the purpose. They were so fortunate as to interest in their work Her Majesty the Queen (then Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales), and through her powerful and gracious support, and that of Lady Dudley and a Committee of ladies who were good enough to collect a sum of nearly £4,000 for the purpose, they have been able to make a beginning of a work which will take some years to complete. The Committee desire to record their warm gratitude to Her Majesty, to Lady Dudley, and to the Committee of ladies for making this part of the undertaking possible.
The lectures contained in the present little volume are the first instalment of the work undertaken in connection with the Queen’s Fund. The Committee’s artist, Mr. A. Hugh Fisher, has travelled through India collecting material for the illustrative lantern slides. His sketches and photographs have been reproduced partly by the ordinary process in black viiand white, and partly by the Sanger Shepherd method in colour photography. Some of the slides have been coloured by hand after Mr. Fisher’s instructions. A series of maps has also been included, in order that the lessons of the lectures may be driven home.
The text of the lectures has been prepared at the request of the Committee by Mr. H. J. Mackinder, who has based his work on information placed at his disposal from many sources. The Committee believe that he has succeeded in presenting in their relative importance and proportion all the chief facts essential to the popular understanding of His Majesty’s Indian Dominions. It is, of course, obvious that no account confined within the narrow limits of the present lectures, of so wide and varied an Empire as that of India, can give a completely accurate picture of all the many important facts and questions that are referred to; but in order to reduce to a minimum the chance of giving misleading impressions, Mr. Mackinder has had the advantage of suggestions from several eminent authorities on the subject, and in this connection the Committee desire especially to thank Sir Walter Lawrence, Sir William Lee-Warner, Sir Theodore Morison, Sir Thomas Holdich, Sir William Bisset, Sir Philip Hutchins, Mr. G. W. Forrest, C.I.E., and others.
A. Seven Lectures on the United Kingdom,
1. Eastern Colonies Edition, Sept., 1905.
In use in Ceylon, the Straits Settlements, and Hong Kong.
2. Mauritius Edition, June, 1906.
In use in Mauritius.
3. West African Edition, Sept., 1906.
In use in Sierra Leone, the Gold Coast, and Southern Nigeria.
4. West India Edition, Sept., 1906.
In use in Trinidad, British Guiana, and Jamaica.
5. Indian Edition, March, 1907.
In use in the following Provinces:—Madras, Bombay, Bengal, the United Provinces, the Punjab, Burma, Eastern Bengal and Assam, the Central Provinces, the North West Frontier Province, and British Baluchistan.
6. Indian Edition for use in the United Kingdom, Jan., 1909. Price One Shilling net.
Canadian and South African Editions are being prepared by direction of the Governments of the Dominion of Canada and of South Africa.
B.—Eight Lectures on India. August, 1910.
|Lecture I.||—Madras—the Hindu Religion||1|
|Lecture II.||—Burma—the Buddhist Religion||19|
|Lecture III.||—Bengal—the Monsoons||35|
|Lecture IV.||—The United Provinces—the Mutiny||51|
|Lecture V.||—Bombay—the Marathas||66|
|Lecture VI.||—Rajputana—the Feudatory States||82|
|Lecture VII.||—Delhi-the Muhammadan Religion||95|
|Lecture VIII.||—The Northwest Frontier—the Sikhs||114|
xNOTE.—It is considered undesirable to overload this book with footnotes, and, therefore, this general acknowledgment is made of the indebtedness of the writer to various standard authors of whose works use has been made and quotations from which have in some cases been given.
India is an empire within an empire. There are four hundred million people in the British Empire, and of these three hundred million are in India. Though it is known by a single short name, India must not be compared with countries such as France and Germany. As regards both area and population it is the equal of half Europe, that half which includes all the countries except Russia. It is a land of many languages, some of them spoken by as many people as speak German or French. It is a land of several religions, differing more deeply than the sects of Europe It is, in short, a world in itself, of ancient civilisation, yet as the result of a wonderful modern history there is to-day peace from end to end of it, for though the systems of government are very different in different parts, yet everywhere the rulers, whether British officials or native princes, acknowledge the sovereignty or the suzerainty of His Imperial Majesty King George the Fifth.
Map of Journey, London to Colombo.India lies one quarter way round the globe, or ninety degrees eastward from Britain. It is placed wholly in warmer latitudes than Europe, for the northernmost point of India is almost precisely in the latitude of the southernmost point of Europe. It occupies the same latitudes as the great western wing of Africa. If lifted bodily northward and placed upon the map of Europe, it would extend from Gibraltar, past Spain, France, and Britain to a point beyond the Shetland Isles.
2The British Empire in India was won, organised, and defended in the days before steam. Access to it was possible only by sailing ship round the Cape of Good Hope, by an ocean path, that is to say, more than ten thousand miles long. The voyage took several months. To-day the British official, and soldier, and merchant go from London to Bombay, and the Indian student comes from Bombay to London in a fortnight. As we see on the map, the route is by rail to Dover, across the Straits of Dover, and by rail again through France to Marseilles. There the traveller joins the steamer which has carried a cargo, probably of cottons and machinery, through the Bay of Biscay. From Marseilles the track is through the two Straits of Bonifacio and Messina to the entry of the Suez Canal at Port Said. Here the mails are put on board, which have come through the Italian peninsula to Brindisi, and thence by rapid steamer. Thus it is only from Port Said through the Canal and the Red Sea to Aden that the vessel carries her complete burden—mails and passengers, and cargo. The redistribution commences at Aden. Our steamer happens to be bound, not for Bombay, but for Colombo and Australia, and the Indian mails and passengers are transferred at Aden to a local steamer, which crosses to Bombay.
From London to Colombo and Bombay is the naval high street of the British Empire. At Gibraltar, Malta, and Aden, where the waterways narrow and enemies might obstruct, are British garrisons and naval stations. Even the Suez Canal is partly owned by the British Government. A generation ago shares in that great undertaking were purchased by the United Kingdom for four million pounds sterling. To-day the British shares in the Canal are valued at more than thirty millions sterling, and each year a profit of more than a million pounds is paid into the British Exchequer. There is a garrison of British troops also in Egypt.
Colombo is one of the chief centres of communication in the world. Some day, when the Dominions beyond the seas have grown to be as rich and as populous as Britain 3herself, the way through the Mediterranean, to-day all important, will be reckoned as one of several equal threads of imperial power. Other great streams of traffic, India-bound, will then converge upon Colombo from the Cape in the southwest, from Australia in the southeast, and by way of Singapore from Canada in the east.
Map of the Indian Seas.Colombo is, however, not in the technical sense Indian. It is the chief city of the beautiful island of Ceylon, which is about as large as Ireland. The Governor of Ceylon writes his despatches home not to the Secretary of State for India but to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, for Ceylon is a Crown Colony, not a Province of the Indian Empire. We will, therefore, leave Ceylon to be studied at some other opportunity, and will take the steamer which in a night crosses the Gulf of Manar to Tuticorin, on the Indian coast opposite.
As we lie in our bunks that night, while the ship ploughs the water in the dark, let us realize to what point on the vast surface of the globe we have travelled. A hundred miles away to east of us are the mountains of Ceylon, rising some eight thousand feet above the level of the ocean. A hundred miles to west is Cape Comorin, the southernmost point of India, lying eight degrees north of the Equator. Let us not be deceived by the apparent smallness of space on the maps which we use—those eight degrees are nearly equivalent to the length of Great Britain.
From Cape Comorin two coasts diverge, the one known as the Malabar Coast northwestward for a thousand miles, the other known as the Coromandel Coast northward and then northeastward for a like distance. The surf of the Arabian Sea beats on the Malabar Coast, that of the Bay of Bengal on the Coromandel Coast. Both the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal open broadly southward to the Indian Ocean, for the great Indian Peninsula narrows between them to a sharp point at Cape Comorin.
Map of Southern India.The interior of the Indian Peninsula is for the most part a low plateau, known as the Deccan, whose western margin forms a steep brink overlooking the Malabar Coast. From the top of this brink, called the Western Ghats, the surface of the plateau falls gently eastward to a second lower brink, which bears the name of Eastern Ghats. Between the Eastern Ghats, however, and the Coromandel Coast there is a broad belt of low-lying plain, the Carnatic. Thus India presents a lofty front to the ship approaching from the west, but a featureless plain along the Bay of Bengal, where the trees of the coastline appear to rise out of a water-horizon when seen from a short distance seaward.
Approaching Tuticorin.We wake at the dawn of the equatorial day which comes almost suddenly at six in the morning. There is bustle on board, for the launch is alongside which is to carry us ashore. The ship is riding in a yellow, turbid sea, and the land is distant some miles to the west, a low dark line along the horizon. At one point are white buildings, which gleam in the increasing light. We cross the broad shoal, and gradually the detail of the coast separates into a rich vegetation of trees, and a city whose most prominent object is a cotton factory with tall chimneys—strange reminder at the very threshold of our journey that we are entering a land which is in process of economic change. The United Kingdom underwent such a change a century ago, when spinning and weaving were removed from the cottage to the steam-driven factory.
Nearer approach to Tuticorin.India is a land of cotton. The very name calico is derived from Calicut, a town on the Malabar Coast, which was a centre of trade when Europeans first came over the ocean. Lancashire now sends cotton fabrics to India, and the Lancashire power-looms compete seriously with the finer work of the hand looms of India. But India manufactures great quantities of her own coarser cottons, 5and such a mill as this at Tuticorin is doing more than Lancashire to change the occupations of the Indian people. The beautiful silks, however, worn by the better-to-do women of India are still manufactured by hand loom.
Landing at Tuticorin.7.
The Bazaar, Tuticorin.8.
Spinning Mill at Tuticorin.9.
Ducks at Tuticorin.We land. Dark gesticulating figures surround us, scantily clad in white cotton. The morning sun casts long shadows, but there is a throng of people, for the work of India is done in the cool of the morning. The express train to Madras is waiting, but we have a short time for that first stroll, which leaves so deep an impression on the traveller setting foot in a new land. Tuticorin is a remote provincial city, a Dover or a Calais, on the passage from Ceylon. Here is a picture of its little bazaar with dark people in flowing white robes; there is a country cart in the street—ox-drawn. Next we have a nearer view of the spinning mill with a half-naked workman in the foreground. Under the shade of these leafy trees is a flock of ducks for sale. At every turn we see something characteristic, and must ask questions.
Repeat Map No. 3.We leave Tuticorin and travel for a hundred miles across the plain. It is a barren-looking country and dry, though at certain seasons there is plentiful rain, and crops enough are produced to maintain a fairly dense population. Far down on the western horizon, as we journey northward, are the mountains of the Malabar Coast, for in this extremity of India the Western and Eastern Ghats have come together and there is no plateau between them. The mountains rise from the western sea and from the eastern plain into a ridge along the west coast whose summits are about as high as the summits of Ceylon, that is to say some 8,000 feet. A group of small hills, isolated on the plain, marks the position of Madura, a hundred miles from Tuticorin. Madura is the seat of one of the finest temples in the land.
Plan of a South Indian Temple.A Hindu temple in Southern India usually consists of a square building rising through several stories which grow gradually smaller. It is thus pyramidal in form, and is adorned with tiers of thronged sculpture. Within is a cell containing the image. The temple itself is surrounded by square and walled enclosures, one without the other; the great gateways through the successive walls are the chief glories of southern architecture. Though often larger than the central shrine, they are not unlike it in general appearance, but rectangular in plan, not square. They rise story above story to a summit ridge and are rich with thousands of sculptured figures. These great gateways are known as gopuras. In the courtyards enclosed between the successive walls are the homes of the priests, and usually a large water tank and a hall of a thousand columns. Some of these temples are very wealthy foundations.
The Tank of the Golden Lilies, The Temple, Madura.12.
The Temple, Madura.13.
A Gopura at Madura.Here we have the tank of the Golden Lilies in the Temple of Madura, surrounded by a colonnade, with gopuras rising from beyond; and here another view in the same temple, and here a gopura photographed from near.
Hinduism is in its essence a spiritual religion. Western thought instinctively takes for granted the reality of outward things. Eastern thought instinctively takes for granted the reality of the “soul” or inward life. In the cosmology of the West there are two worlds, the natural and the supernatural; in the East the soul is the only real existence. The world-soul, or soul of Universal Nature, is God, and this Divine Soul is the supreme and fundamental reality; by comparison with it all outward things are shadows. Eternity is a vital aspect of reality. The present existence of the soul is not more certain than its pre-existence and its future existence. The present life is always brief and fleeting, 7but the past began and the future will end in eternity. Issuing from the Universal Soul and passing through æons of what may be called prenatal existence, the soul at last becomes individualised and enters on a career of conscious activity. Far from being dependent on the body, the soul takes to itself the outward form which it needs and deserves, and the body dies when it is deprived of the vitalising presence that animated it. The destiny of the soul is determined by its origin. It issued from the Universal Soul, and into the Universal Soul, its source, it must eventually be re-absorbed, though it may pass through innumerable lives on its way to the goal of spiritual maturity. “As it nears the goal the chains of individuality relax their hold upon it; and at last, with the final extinction of egoism, with the final triumph of selflessness, with the expansion of consciousness till it has become all-embracing—the sense of separateness entirely ceases, and the soul finds its true self, or, in other words, becomes fully and clearly conscious of its oneness with the living whole.” Such, in a few words, is the inner faith of the East.
The religious books of India are written in Sanskrit, the tongue of Aryan conquerors who came into India across the northwestern mountains nearly two thousand years before Christ. The Aryans brought with them the worship of the powers of nature, the “devas,” or bright ones. From the Rig-Veda, or collection of hymns to various gods, which were composed for the worship of the Aryans during the earliest centuries of their dwelling in India, we learn something about these deities. Some were simply forces of nature, such as Father Heaven, Mother Earth, the Dawn Goddess, the Sun God, and the Wind God. With other deities new trains of ideas became connected that tended to obscure their original character. The Fire God, for instance, personified the fire of sacrifice and domestic use, the atmospheric fire of lightning, and sometimes even the sun. Thus he became the priest, 8mediating between man and the gods. Similarly Varuna, who at first apparently typified the open sky, whose eye is the sun, subsequently grew into a mighty guardian of the laws of nature and morality. This earliest age of Hinduism, the age to which the Rig-Veda belongs, is known as the Vedic Age, and the gods of this age were worshipped with sacrifice. In the Vedic period Aryan society probably divided itself into the soldier-yeoman and the priest. The soldier and yeoman, desirous of winning the goodwill and active assistance of the gods of the sky and earth, would hire the priest, who thus came to be regarded as the master of the rites which cajole or constrain the invisible powers. As the Aryans extended their sway over India, the influence of the Brahmans or priests increased, and in their hands religion underwent a profound change. Personal worship gave way to ecclesiastical ritualism. The idea of sacrifice as a means of compelling the gods grew to an enormous degree, and the welfare of the world was imagined to depend upon ritual, the key to which was in the hands of the Brahmans.
There was, however, another side to this religious development. Even in the Vedic Age, while the popular mind was imagining a deity in every startling natural phenomenon, there were thinkers who discovered behind all the “devas,” or gods, the one Supreme Power, the Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of all things, the Divine Soul of which we spoke just now. This Supreme Power, who became known as Brahma, is not only the real self of the whole Universe, but also, as we have seen, the real self of each individual soul. The one Supreme Power could, however, only be discovered after a severe moral and intellectual discipline, and those who had not yet discovered it were allowed to worship lower gods. In one of the Hindu Scriptures the Supreme Lord is represented as saying: “Even those who worship idols worship me.” No one can have any conception of Hinduism unless he realises that throughout it there runs a wide distinction 9between the popular faith and the philosophical faith which underlies it. This distinction continues to this day. Countless gods are still worshipped in India, but the few still hold and always have held that all gods to whom worship is offered are but names or masks of the Supreme Lord of the Universe.
The two principal gods of Modern Hinduism are Vishnu, the Preserver, and Siva, the Destroyer and Recreator; but they are worshipped under many different attributes. These two gods came into prominence after the Vedic Age, and their cults have passed through many phases; but a large number of Hindus still belong to sects which are called by their names. The sect to which a Hindu belongs is indicated by a coloured mark, erroneously described as a caste mark, made on the forehead. Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva are sometimes regarded as three persons of a Trinity.
Animals are still sacrificed in certain parts of India, and in honour of certain gods, but the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, and the teaching of various religious reformers, of whom Buddha is best known, has tended in the direction of humanity to all creatures; and the great majority of Hindus are unwilling to take life, and abstain from animal food. The cow is to all Hindus an object of veneration.
An elaborate mythology is connected with the Hindu religion, and the incidents of this mythology form the basis of Hindu sacred art, especially of the rich sculpture of the temples. Siva rides Nandi the Bull, and Vishnu rides Garuda the Eagle. Vishnu in some of his avatars, or incarnations, takes the form of a fish or of a man-lion, or for vast numbers of his followers he becomes Rama, the hero of the epic poem the Ramayana, or he is Krishna—another hero-God. Siva has a wife Kali, who is terrible, though at other times she is Parvati, the goddess of beauty; and Siva has sons, of whom one is Ganesh, with a fat human body and an elephant’s head.
A Marriage Procession, Trichinopoly.15.
A Group of Brahmans.Religion goes deep into the life of the Indian. It governs all his social relations. Here is a street at Trichinopoly, a hundred miles north of Madura. There happens to be the spire of a Christian church in the background. In the foreground is a temple elephant, heading a marriage procession. In white paint on the elephant’s head is the sect mark of the contracting parties. The Hindu community is divided not only in sects but also into castes, which are sternly separated, so that a man may not marry into another caste, or even eat with those of a lower caste. The tradition is that originally there were four castes; first the Brahmans, or priestly stock; then the Kshattriyas, or soldiers, the royal stock; third, the Vaishiyas, or merchants; and fourth, the Sudras, or artisans, labourers and agriculturists. But all these castes became sub-divided, and there are now more castes than callings.
Processional Car, Trichinopoly.A curious characteristic of Hinduism is the mixture of the squalid and crude with the grandeur of an architecture which in some respects is unsurpassed in the world. Not merely are the maimed and the beggars importunate in the temple passages, as in the church entries of Roman Catholic countries, but in every vacant corner of the outer courts of the temples are established little tradesmen. The properties of religious ceremony are often decrepit and tawdry. Here, for instance, we have a wooden processional car, rough roofed, awaiting the annual ceremony amid the live-stock of the yard. These warm-natured Southern people have the child’s power of making believe, and can worship the doll even when battered out of all recognition. They easily let loose the imagination and give devotion to the spirit embodied in a shapeless stone as sincerely as to that in the most finished allegorical sculpture.
Arch of Welcome to Prince of Wales, Trichinopoly.It is this sense of the spiritual and the allegorical in all things that makes the Indian so ready for loyal devotion to the person of the ruler. Here at Trichinopoly we 11have a triumphal gateway erected in honour of the visit to India of the Prince and Princess of Wales, which still bears the words “Glorious Welcome to our Future Emperor.” The Prince and Princess are now the Emperor and Empress. With us the gateway would have been demolished when it had served its immediate purpose. Here it remains, as does the memory of the visit. Ceremony rises in India to the rank of an historical event.
The Main Bazaar Street, Trichinopoly.19.
The Tank and the Rock, Trichinopoly.20.
The Same—another view.21.
The Rock temple, Trichinopoly.In the distance through the archway is the Rock of Trichinopoly which we approach nearer by the main bazaar of the town, and then, nearer still, we come to the tank which lies beneath the Rock. Amid the water is a pagoda or shrine. In the foot of the Rock itself there is excavated a temple. Such rock temples are frequent in India, perhaps because rock is less costly to carve where it lies undisturbed than it is to quarry and to remove and to build and to carve.
Trichinopoly, looking east from the top of the Rock.23.
Trichinopoly, looking south from the top of the Rock.24.
The Bull Nandi, Tanjore.25.
The Fort, Tanjore.26.
The Temple, Tanjore.27.
Police drilling on the Maidan, Tanjore.
Here we have views from the summit of the Trichinopoly Rock, looking eastward over the city, and then southward over the roof of the great temple to the tank and the Christian Church. Bishop Heber died at Trichinopoly. In each aspect we see the unbroken plain which surrounds the City. Do you notice the Bull Nandi as an ornament along the edge of the roof of the temple? Here we have him again carved from a great block of granite at Tanjore, a place not far from Trichinopoly. Other scenes at Tanjore follow. One shows us the wall of the Fort with the moat outside, and the gopura of the Great Temple. Another is a vista within the temple walls, 12and gives some idea of the great spaces which the larger temples occupy. Then suddenly we become conscious of one of the sharp contrasts which characterise the India of to-day. These are Police drilling on the Maidan, or public place of Tanjore, and away on the horizon are the semaphores of the railway.
In the plain of the Carnatic, which surrounds Madura, Trichinopoly, and Tanjore, we are not merely in the midst of the Hindu religion and caste system, but we are also near scenes rendered memorable by the struggle for India, a hundred and fifty years ago, between the French and the English. Two trading companies, the one seated in London and the other in Paris, obtained leave from the local princes to establish trading posts on the Coromandel Coast. They presently fortified these posts and became ambitious rivals.
Repeat Map No. 3.At this time there was a disputed succession in the Carnatic State, and the English supported one aspirant for the throne of the Nawab, the French another. The Nawab of the English party was besieged in the Fort of Trichinopoly by the French and their Nawab. To effect a diversion, a young Captain, Robert Clive, in the British company’s service, seized the Fort of Arcot, a hundred miles to the north, and by a prolonged heroic resistance to the siege which gathered round him, succeeded in relieving the pressure on Trichinopoly. That Captain Clive became Lord Clive, Baron of Plassey, the founder of the British Empire in India. He went out as a writer or clerk in the service of the East India Company, and rose to be Governor of Bengal.
It must be remembered, however, that in the time of Clive, no less than to-day, the number of the British in India was surprisingly small. As we saw just now, the Police, a great force, are not British but Indian, and the Indian army, though with British officers, is twice as numerous as the British garrison. The British have organised the peace and unity of India, rather than conquered it in the ordinary sense.
13The life of the white man in India is governed by the seasons. Here in the south the temperature is at all times high, though the heat is never so great as in the hot season of northern India. On the other hand there is no cool season comparable with that of the north. In most parts of India, however, there are five cool months, October, November, December, January, and February. March, April, and May are the hot season. The remaining four months constitute the rainy season, when the temperature is moderated by the presence of cloud, but the moisture is trying to the European constitution.
The Nilgiris, near Ootacamund.In all parts of India the white population seeks periodical relief by a visit to the hills. Here in the south the favourite hill station is Ootacamund, in the Nilgiri Hills. It is scattered over a wide space, with the bungalows in separate compounds or enclosures.
Ootacamund, The Bazaar.30.
Ootacamund, General View.31.
Ootacamund.Repeat Map No. 3.“Ooty,” as it is familiarly called, stands some seven thousand feet above the sea in the midst of a country of rolling downs rising yet another thousand feet. This lofty district forms the southern point of the Deccan plateau where the Eastern and Western Ghats draw together. A deep passage, twenty miles broad, known as the gap of Coimbatore or of Palghat, lies through the Ghats, immediately south of the Nilgiri Hills, from the eastern plain to the Malabar Coast. Other hills, equally high, lie southward of the gap and extend to Cape Comorin. We saw these last hills to our left hand as we travelled northward from Tuticorin to Madura.
On the Railway to Ootacamund.33.
The Same.The railway from the east coast goes through the Gap of Coimbatore to the Malabar cities of Cochin and Calicut, and 14from this railway a mountain line has been constructed up into the Nilgiri heights. We have here a succession of striking views on this mountain line. It is a rack and pinion railway, up which the train is worked on the central rail.
The Drug in the Nilgiri Hills.There are magnificent landscapes at the edge of the Nilgiris, where the mountains descend abruptly to the plains. This view was taken from a point called Lady Canning’s seat. It shows the Drug, from the top of which prisoners of war used to be thrown, in the days of the tyranny of Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan, the Mohammedan sovereigns of Mysore, of whom we shall hear more presently.
Tea Plantation, Nilgiri Hills.38.
Hill Tribe, Nilgiri Hills.40.
Toda People, near Ootacamund.The vegetation of the heights is naturally different from that of the lowlands, and the cultivation of the Nilgiris is chiefly tea and cinchona, from the latter of which crops quinine is prepared. Amid the great forests of the slopes large game is numerous, such as sambur, or Indian elk, and tiger. Here also tribes of savage peoples have survived through all the centuries of history practically untouched by the civilization of the plains. One of these tribes, the smallest but the most interesting, are the Todas, who number less than a thousand, but have their own strange, unwritten language.
Repeat Map No. 3.41.
Madras from the Sea.42.
The High Court, Madras.43.
St. Mary’s Church, Madras.44.
The Law College, Madras.45.
Y.M.C.A. Building, Madras.Northward of the group of temple cities, and eastward of the Nilgiris and of the plateau country of Mysore, on the low coastal plain is the great city of Madras, four hundred miles from our landing place at Tuticorin. Like the other seaports of modern India, Madras has grown from the smallest beginning within the European period. Its nucleus was Fort St. 15George, built to shelter the office and warehouse of the East India Company, in the time when Charles I. was king of England. To-day Madras has half a million people, and magnificent buildings in the European style. We have here a view looking northeastward over a corner of Fort St. George, and across the public grounds, to the High Court of Justice, whose lofty tower serves the purpose of a lighthouse for ships approaching the port. To the right of the High Court in the distance are the buildings round the harbour. Next we have St. Mary’s Church, standing within Fort St. George, the oldest British church in India, though the present structure was erected to replace an earlier church. And here we have the Law College, which stands beside the High Court, and close to it the building of the Young Men’s Christian Association. There are many Christians in southern India among the natives, indeed more than in any other part of the Indian Empire, although even here they are but a small minority. One Christian community on the Malabar coast is of the Nestorian sect, who came to India many centuries before the sea route was opened round the Cape.
The People’s Park, Madras.48.
The Same.Madras has a Corporation much after the European plan, and is a clean, well drained city with many public amenities. Here, for instance, is the electric tramway in front of the Madras Bank. Here we have a view in the People’s Park, with a group of sambur within an enclosure. One of the most remarkable and typical of ornamental trees in India is the banyan, with drooping branches, whose suckers take root when reach the ground, giving the effect of a grove, though in fact but a single tree.
Banyan Avenue.Here is a banyan tree seen from without and from within, and here a banyan avenue at Madras.
Grain Sellers, Madras.52.
Men ploughing, Madras.53.
Covered Bullock Cart, Madras.Before leaving Madras, let us look at three scenes of native life. Here are grain sellers, and here, outside the city, are men ploughing. Here we see the typical covered bullock cart.
Map of India, distinguishing Madras, Mysore, Cochin, and Travancore.55.
Coffee Planters, Coorg.Lastly, let us consider the map, and learn what part of India is ruled from Madras and Ootacamund. We have in the first place, coloured red, the territory of the Presidency of Madras, which is ruled directly by the Governor and his Council. In purple are shown the important native state of Mysore, separated from both coasts by British territory, and the two little native states of Travancore and Cochin along the Malabar Coast southward to Cape Comorin. Mysore is directly under the general supervision of the Government of India, but Travancore and Cochin are under that of the Government of Madras. Beside Mysore is the diminutive territory of Coorg, no larger than the County of Essex, in England. But Coorg has a certain importance for the growth of coffee. Here we have a group of native coffee planters.
Repeat Map No. 3.Then we look again at the map in which the lowlands were shown green and the uplands brown. We see the plain from Tuticorin to Madras city. We see the southern end of the Deccan plateau, with the state of Mysore upon it, and the Nilgiri hills at its extremity. We have the lowland passage of Coimbatore, to which we referred in describing Ootacamund, and south of this afresh the hills extending to Cape Comorin. The native states of Cochin and Travancore are on the westward descent from 17these southernmost hills. Note again how the railways take advantage of the lowland passages, especially the line from Madras leading westward to the Malabar Coast.
The Cauvery flowing eastward over the plateau is the most considerable river of Southern India. As it descends the Eastern Ghats it makes great falls, and these have been harnessed, as the phrase is, and made to supply power which is carried electrically for nearly a hundred miles to the Kolar goldfield, within the Mysore boundary. The engineer who superintended the construction of this work was a French Canadian officer of the Royal Engineers—interesting evidence of the increasing solidarity of the British Empire.
Bangalore is the chief military station of southern India. It is connected by rail with Madras, but is situated on the plateau within Mysore. From Bangalore the line runs on to Seringapatam on the Cauvery, and to Mysore city beyond. These were the seats of the Muhammadan Sultans, Hyder Ali and Tippu, father and son, who, a generation later than the time when Clive fought at Arcot, held Madras in terror from their highland fastness. The threat to the British position in India was a real one. Hyder Ali leagued himself with the French, with whom we were then at war, but he was defeated under the great Governor-General, Warren Hastings. Tippu, Hyder’s son, was also an ally of the French. He lived into the time of Napoleon, and made his chief attack on British power when the French were in Egypt, but he was defeated and killed. Colonel Wellesley, afterwards Duke of Wellington, first rose to notice in this campaign. He was appointed to command “the troops above the Ghats.” After the death of Tippu, the civil administration of Mysore was also assigned to Wellesley, and splendid work he did as civil administrator.
Southern India, showing rainfall of S.W. Monsoon.57.
Pykara Falls, Nilgiri Hills.58.
Gairsoppa Falls.A third map shows you the rainfall which is brought by the west winds of the summer time to the Malabar Coast. These winds strike the Western 18Ghats and the Nilgiri hills and drench them with superabundant moisture, so that they are thickly forested. At this season magnificent waterfalls leap down the westward ravines and feed torrents which rush in short valleys to the ocean. One of the grandest falls in the world is at Gairsoppa, in the northwestern corner of the state of Mysore.
Southern India, showing rainfall of N.E. Monsoon.60.
Southern India, showing density of Population.A fourth map indicates the rainfall on the east coast brought by the Northeast Monsoon of the winter season. Finally, a fifth map shows that the population is densest down on the lowlands precisely in those regions, on the east coast and on the west, which are best supplied with moisture. Throughout India the supply of water for agricultural purposes is the key to the prosperity of the country, for everywhere there is heat enough for luxuriant vegetation. It is only drought which is in places the cause of sterility. With all its vast population there are none the less great spaces in India very sparsely peopled. Once more let us remember that India is rather a continent than merely a country.
Map of India, distinguishing Burma.In the last lecture we visited Madras, the southernmost and oldest province of the Indian Empire. In this lecture we will cross the Bay of Bengal from Madras to Burma, the easternmost and newest of the provinces, if we except a recent sub-division of an older unit. Politically, Burma is a part of India, for it is ruled by the Viceroy, and commercially it is coming every day into closer relation with the remainder of India. In most other respects, however, Burma is rather the first land of the Far East than the last of India, the Middle East. In race and language probably, in religion and social customs certainly, it is nearer to China than to India. Geographically, however, though placed in the Indo-Chinese peninsula beyond the Bay of Bengal, Burma is in relation with the Indian world, for it has a great navigable river which drains into the Indian Ocean, and not into the Pacific as do the rivers of Siam and Annam, the remaining countries of the southeastward promontory of Asia.
The Shore, Madras.3.
In Madras Harbour.We embark from Madras on the steamer which is to carry us to Rangoon. Formerly it was necessary to go out to the vessel through the surf in specially constructed boats, for all the Coromandel Coast is shoal, and there is not a single natural harbour. Often the surf is very rough. Now, however, a harbour has been made at Madras. Two piers have been built out into the sea at right angles 20to the shore. They may be seen in the distance in this view. At their extremities they bend inward towards one another, so as to enclose a quadrangular space within which the steamers lie. None the less there are times when the mighty waves sweep through the open mouth, rendering the harbour unsafe, so that the shipping must stand out to sea. There have been many terrible disasters in the cyclones which from time to time strike the east coast of India. When the Madras harbour was half completed the works were overwhelmed by a storm and the undertaking had to be recommenced.
Coolies on Steamer.Our vessel carries nearly two thousand coolies, natives of Madras, going to Burma to work in the rice mills or on the wharves, for Burma is a thinly peopled land. It has great natural resources, which are being rapidly developed by British capital. The coolies take passage as deck passengers for a few rupees, and each on landing at Rangoon has to undergo a searching medical examination, because the Plague is often carried from Madras to Burma. The disease manifests itself first by swollen glands, especially under the arms. The contagion, caused by a minute organism, is conveyed by rats. This terrible sickness is one of the worst scourges of modern India. It first broke out in Bombay in August, 1896. Since that date there have been three years in each of which a million deaths were due to it. As time goes on the mortality will probably decrease, for the first onslaught of a new disease is generally deadly. We must beware, however, of exaggerating its significance. There are three hundred million people in the Indian Empire, and the death rate by plague, even at its maximum, is therefore not very high. It is, indeed, low as compared with the death rate by malarial fever.
Chinese Junk in the Rangoon River.After a probably rough passage, we approach the low-lying shore of the great delta of the Irawaddy river, and enter that branch of it which is known as the Rangoon river. 21A stray Chinese junk reminds us of the fact that we are entering Indo-China, and of the trade relations of Burma with Singapore and the regions of the Far East. Burmese rice is sent to China, the Malay States, India, East Africa, and Europe. Rangoon depends for her commerce mainly on the rice harvest. In recent years, famines in India have been mitigated by rice exported from Rangoon.
Map of Burma.As we steam up the river for some miles inland, let us consider, with the help of a map, the main features of the geography of the land which we are about to visit. In this map is shown nearly the whole of the great southeastward peninsula of Asia. The areas which are coloured green are lowland, those which are yellow are upland, and the brown signifies highland and mountain. A ridge of highland, broken only at two or three points, runs southward through the centre of the map, separating Burma and the river basins of the Indian Ocean from Siam and the river basins of the Pacific Ocean. This great divide of the drainage is continued beyond the southern edge of the map through the Malay Peninsula for some distance. It ends near Singapore in the southernmost point of Asia, only one degree north of the Equator.
In Burma, parallel with the dividing range, are three other ridges, striking southward side by side. These separate three valleys, through which flow severally the Salween, Sittang, and Irawaddy rivers. The valley of the Salween, as the yellow and brown colours upon the map indicate, is less deeply trenched between its bounding ranges than are the other two valleys. As we should therefore expect, the Salween river has a steeply descending course broken by rapids, and is of small value for navigation. At its mouth is the port of Moulmein. The valley of the Sittang, which is a short river, prolongs the upper valley of 22the Irawaddy, which latter river makes a great westward bend at Mandalay, and passes by a transverse passage right through one of the parallel mountain ridges. Beyond this passage it bends southward again, accepting the direction of its tributary, the Chindwin river. The great port of Rangoon is placed on a tidal channel at the eastern edge of the Irawaddy delta. The railway from Rangoon to Mandalay runs through the Sittang valley and does not follow the Irawaddy. There is navigation, however, by the Irawaddy past Pagan and Mandalay northward to Bhamo, which is close to the Chinese frontier. The coastal plain of Burma is known as Arakan where it runs northward from the Irawaddy delta, and as Tenasserim where it runs southward from that delta along a coast beset with an archipelago of beautiful islands. The delta itself bears the name of Pegu, or Lower Burma; while the region round Mandalay is Upper Burma.
Plan of Rangoon.We are in the Rangoon river. A tall, pointed pagoda appears on a hill to the right, and presently, as the channel bends to the west, we approach the busy commercial front of Rangoon city, surmounted by the golden spire of the great Shwe Dagon Pagoda.
Shwe Dagon Pagoda, from across the Royal Lakes.9.
The Shwe Dagon Pagoda, Rangoon.10.
Images of the Sitting Buddha.11.
Earning Merit at the Shwe Dagon Pagoda.Rangoon, apart from its chief Pagoda, is a modern city. Fifty years ago it was a village. To-day it has a quarter of a million people. A wharf-fronted road, the Strand, follows the shore of the main river for several miles. Up the Pegu tributary to the east for several other miles are many rice mills with tall chimneys throwing out black smoke. The harbour is busy with shipping. There are great timber yards, and there are oil mills, for the products of Burma are, first and foremost, rice, and then timber, especially great logs of teak—harder than oak, and then petroleum. Back from the Strand is a well kept town, with broad streets at right angles, though as yet there are few really impressive buildings to compare with the public buildings of Madras. There is a beautiful group of lakes, 23the Royal Lakes, set in wooded public grounds, and across these is the finest view of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, like a great hand-bell placed on a low hill. This pagoda is said to be the most frequented in the Buddhist world, for it has as relics eight hairs of Gautama, the founder of the Buddhist religion. It began some two thousand years ago as a small village fane. In successive ages the original structure has been encased afresh and afresh, until as the result of work done in the days of Queen Elizabeth, the great pagoda was completed which is now the glory of Rangoon. It rises to a height of nearly 400 feet, and is solid, there being no chamber within. The brickwork of which it is built makes a series of steps or ledges, so that it would be possible to climb for some distance up the spire. The whole is plated with gold-leaf, and the gilding is constantly renewed by pious devotees, who thus earn merit. The word “Shwe” in the name of this pagoda signifies golden. On the summit is a “hti,” or umbrella, of exquisite workmanship and material. It is said to have cost sixty thousand pounds. In the vane are 5,000 gems—diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. The base of the pagoda is surrounded first by shrines of varying sizes, and then by a flagged courtyard, which again is fringed with canopies and halls opening towards the pagoda, with many carved screens and arches, and innumerable shrines and altars, and images of Gautama. Flights of steps roofed over with teak descend from the courtyard, and one of the lower entries is guarded by great grotesque figures, partly lion and partly griffin, made of plastered bricks. We see one of them in this view. Then we have two very interesting pictures: the one represents three images of the Sitting Buddha from one of the shrines on the flagged courtyard at the foot of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, and the other shows a pilgrim “earning merit” by putting gold leaf on to the pagoda itself.
The Sule Pagoda, Rangoon.There is another considerable pagoda in the city, the Sule Pagoda. We have it here, with a corner of a building adjacent of European architecture, the Municipal Offices. Observe the watering of the streets by hand labour.
A Typical Burman.14.
Burmese Gambling, Rangoon.The Burmese are a short, sturdy people, merry and happy, and akin rather to the Japanese in temperament than to the people of the Indian Peninsula. The features of their faces are obviously Mongolian. They have the oblique eyes of the Chinaman. Here is a typical Burman with a rose coloured wrap round his head. The Burmese women, whose praises have been sung through the world, are dainty and, according to a more or less Chinese standard, not infrequently beautiful. They love to clothe themselves in silks of brilliant and delicate hue. Excessive industry is certainly not a failing of the race, yet there are no poor. We have here a group of Burmese gamblers at Rangoon. The theatres play all night and the spectators go home by daylight. The “pwe,” or show, consists invariably of three parts—a prince, a princess, and a clown; it may be compared with our traditional harlequinade. Both Indians and Chinese are migrating to Burma in great numbers, but agricultural work is still chiefly in native hands.
Elephants lifting Teak.16.
Elephants Pushing Teak.17.
Tusker Elephant lifting Teak.19.
The Same.One of the most curious and typical sights of Rangoon is that of elephants manipulating the great logs of teak wood in the timber yards. The logs are cut in the forests of the north of Burma, and are floated for hundreds of miles down the Irawaddy in large rafts, until they are stranded at a creek near Rangoon, called Pazundaung. Elephants are then employed for the purpose of moving and piling up the logs. The male elephant is very powerful and has strong tusks, on which he carries the logs, preventing them from falling with his trunk, but the female elephants are not so strong, and do not as a rule lift the logs 25off the ground, but merely drag them, or push them with the head. We have here two cow elephants, the one forty years old and the other seventy. We have them here again, one of them at the command of her rider pushing the logs forward with her head. In the next scene is a male elephant with tusks. He is fifty years old, and we realise his power in the next two views, where we see him poising on his tusks a great tree trunk. These huge animals are fed entirely on a grass which grows along the banks of the Irawaddy not far from Rangoon. Machinery is now taking the place of elephants in the timber yards, and Rangoon is, therefore, likely to lose one of its most interesting sights.
A Rice Mill, Rangoon.21.
The Same.While we are on the river front let us glance also at a rice mill, where a process equivalent to thrashing is carried out, the grain being separated from the husk. The black smoke is from the paddy husks used to supply the motive power of the mill. Paddy, or unthrashed rice, is mostly brought to Rangoon by water, though more than a million and a half tons now come annually by rail. After the milling process is complete, the rice is packed into bags for shipment all over the world.
A Burmese Railway Train.We will take train and run by the Burmese Sittang Railway over the broad levels of the delta, passing through fields from which the paddy has recently been cut. Only the ears are lopped off, and the straw is burnt as it stands. The Burmans are mostly yeomen, each owning his cattle and doing his own work in the field. Beyond Pegu we follow the Sittang River, with hill ranges low on the eastern and western horizons, until we come to Mandalay, once capital of the independent kingdom of Upper Burma. This kingdom was annexed to 26India in 1885 at the conclusion of the third Burmese war. Mandalay is the last of three capitals a few miles apart, which at different times in the past century have been the seat of the Burmese kings. Amarapura, a few miles to the south, was the earliest, and Ava, a few miles to the west, was the capital from 1822 to 1837.
The 450 Pagodas from Mandalay Hill.At Mandalay we are again on the banks of the Irawaddy. There is a hill in the northern suburbs several hundred feet in height, from which we may look over the city. The houses are so buried in foliage that, seen from the height, the place appears almost like a wood of green trees. The square Dufferin Fort, with walled and moated boundary, and sides more than a mile in length, is distinguishable in the centre, but for the rest there is none of the ordinary panorama of a European city. One striking feature, however, lies at our feet, a little to one side. It is a square group of 450 white pagodas, with a more considerable gilded pagoda in the centre. Beside each of these pagodas there stands a large stone, and on these stones are inscribed quotations from the sacred books of the Buddhists. In the distance to the southeast are the hills inhabited by the Shan tribes.
The Moat, Fort Dufferin.25.
King Thebaw’s Palace.26.
The Aindaw Temple, Mandalay.27.
Maker of Temple Htis, Mandalay.The Dufferin Fort was built around the Palace of King Thebaw, the last of the Burmese dynasty. It is enclosed by a square of red walls pierced by three gates on each side, each gate bearing a pointed pagoda-like super-structure. Without there is a broad moat, a hundred yards wide, with lotus plants, floating in it like water lilies. This moat is crossed by five wooden bridges. Inside the walls is the King’s Palace, of which we have here the spire, surmounted by a “hti” finial. This spire is called by the Burmese the “Centre of the Universe,” since it is in the centre of Mandalay, which they claim as in the centre of the world. A “hti” we may observe again at the summit of the great Aindaw Temple 27in the south of Mandalay, and here we have one before it has left the home of its maker.
The Queen’s Palace.29.
The Verandah of King Thebaw’s Palace.30.
Entrance to the Arakan temple, Mandalay.We return to the Fort, and to the palaces within it. This is the Queen’s Palace, a very beautiful building of gilded teak, exquisitely carved, and here is the verandah where King Thebaw in 1885 surrendered to the British generals. He was taken away to India, and there he still lives under surveillance on the Malabar Coast. Here we have the entrance to the Arakan Temple, specially venerated by Buddhists, for it contains a great image of Gautama, over twelve feet high, made of brass. Pilgrims gain merit by placing gold leaf upon this figure. This is the building which Kipling spoke of as the Moulmein Pagoda; it is not, however, a pagoda, which is a solid spire, but a temple.
Sappers and Miners, Fort Dufferin.32.
Crossing the Moat, Fort Dufferin.33.
A Garrison Family.Burma has been gradually annexed to India as the result of three successive wars. The first ended in 1826, and then the low-lying coastal strips known by the names of Tenasserim and Arakan were taken, and also the great valley of the Brahmaputra, known as Assam. In 1852 the country of Pegu, or Lower Burma, comprising the delta of the Irawaddy, was annexed, but Upper Burma round Mandalay remained independent. The last king of Mandalay was Thebaw, a notorious tyrant, guilty of the most horrible atrocities. Being anxious to maintain his independence, he intrigued with the French in the lands of Tonkin and Annam to the east of Burma, and as a result brought upon himself the conquest of his country in the time when Lord Dufferin was Viceroy of India. It took fully ten years to reduce Burma to order, for the land was infested with dacoits or robbers, as it is still in some of the remoter districts. Every village in those days was defended by a palisade. Here we have two views of a party of troops in Fort Dufferin, with the King’s Palace in the background, and 28then a family scene in the married quarters of the garrison. The Burman does not make a good soldier, for he has very little sense of discipline. Even the police of the province are for the most part Gurkhas, Sikhs, and Punjabi Musulmans.
The Bazaar, Mandalay.35.
The Flower and Seed Market, Mandalay Bazaar.The Bazaar or market of Mandalay, as in every other Indian city, is the centre of public life. Externally it is of little interest, having been constructed since the conquest, but internally it is an epitome of the varied peoples who have thronged of late into the growing centres of Burmese trade. Here is a scene in the fruit market; but it is the silk market which delights the Burmese lady, who will be seen there accompanied by her maid, making purchases and enjoying the touch of more than she buys, as in similar places in Europe. The most striking contrast which is presented by Burma to one accustomed to Indian life is the freedom of the women, who move about unveiled. In Burma, under the Buddhist religion, we have neither seclusion of women nor the distinctions of caste. The city of Mandalay has a population of about 190,000, so that it is now smaller than the upstart Rangoon.
Ferryshaw Siding, near Mandalay.37.
Katha.Let us make a voyage up the Irawaddy to the border of the Chinese Empire. This is a river scene a short way above Mandalay, with a group of white pagodas conspicuous on the bank, and here is a village scene. There follows a view at Katha, a large straggling village on the Irawaddy, remarkable for its many pagodas, most of them ruined. The majority of the Burmese pagodas are thus dilapidated for the reason that there is considered to be no merit in merely restoring an existing Buddhist shrine. The wealthy devotee prefers therefore to erect a new pagoda. The Shwe Dagon is an exception, for it contains sacred relics.
Raft on the Irawaddy.40.
On the Irawaddy.41.
In the defile between Katha and Bhamo.42.
Cart with solid Wheels.45.
Lacquer Workers.Here we have a raft of bamboos and teak logs floating down the river, and then a typical river craft with a great oar for a rudder. Our steamer must progress with care, measuring the depths with bamboo poles at either bow. None the less, navigation extends for more than nine hundred miles from the sea. From Mandalay to Katha the bank of the river is in most places low and sandy, but between Katha and Bhamo there are striking defiles, where the ground rises with wooded fronts from the water’s edge. There is population along the banks the whole way, as is evidenced by the pagodas amid the vegetation. Here are three little Burmese villagers, and then a rustic cart with solid wheels, and here a picture showing the process of the famous lacquer work of Burma. A “shell” is first made of very thin and finely plaited bamboo, and this is covered with a pigment which, when dry, is softened on a primitive lathe. Then red lacquer is put on by hand, and the bowl is dried in the sun. When dry it is buried for some days in order that it may harden. Finally it is engraved, and often inlaid with gold.
Bhamo from the Irawaddy.47.
China Street, Bhamo.48.
Kachin Women, Bhamo.49.
Houses at Bhamo.We approach Bhamo, at the head of the Irawaddy navigation, lying low along the bank of the river, twenty miles from the Chinese frontier. There are naturally many Chinese at Bhamo. This is China Street. Here, on the other hand, is a group of Kachin women, heavy-faced, in picturesque costume. The Kachins are the hill tribes of the northern frontier of Burma, as the Shans are of the eastern frontier and the Chins of the western. Until quite recently the Kachins often raided the caravans passing from Bhamo to 30China. They are now becoming civilised under British rule. The Burmese people proper, of ancient civilisation, are a relatively small population confined to the valley and the delta. Here we see a row of houses at Bhamo, raised high upon piles. The change which has come over Burma since the British occupation may be appreciated from the fact that twenty years ago it was no uncommon sight on the voyage up from Katha to Bhamo to see along the river banks, and on rafts floating down the river, the dead bodies of Kachins who had been tortured to death under the terrible rule of the kings of Mandalay.
The Gokteik Gorge and Bridge.51.
Native House, Hsipaw.52.
The Bazaar, Hsipaw.From Mandalay a railway runs eastward into the Shan country. At one point this line crosses a gorge by a steel bridge, nearly half a mile long and over 800 feet above the water of the stream. The bridge is so light in design that its great size and real solidity are difficult to grasp. Beyond this bridge we come to the chief place of the Shans, Hsipaw. Here are a couple of scenes in Hsipaw, the one of a Shan house, the other of a Shan market.
The Ananda Temple, Pagan.55.
The Ananda Temple, nearer view of the west side.56.
Buddha Image at Pagan.To realise the antiquity and the splendour of early Burmese civilisation, we must descend the Irawaddy below Mandalay to a place called Pagan. There, for some ten miles beside the river, and for three miles back from its bank, are the ruins of a great capital which flourished about the time of the Norman Conquest of England. From the centre of the ruined city it is impossible to point in any direction in which a pagoda or a temple is not visible. We have here a general view of the remains, and then the Ananda Temple, seen in the midst of a bank of vegetation, from which at various points rise other smaller red and white ruins. The Ananda Temple was built more than eight hundred years ago by the Thatons, the original inhabitants of the 31country, who were overcome by the invading Burmans. Some thirty thousand of these Thatons were brought to Pagan as slaves, and set to build the pagodas and temples, just as during the captivity in Egypt the Israelites were employed in building the pyramids. Here is the Ananda Temple close at hand, white and glittering in the sunshine, as though built of sugar. If we enter the great portal—there are three other portals similar, for the plan of the building is that of a cross—we find facing us a huge image of the Buddha, over ten yards in height.
Buddhism was developed from Hinduism. It originated as a revolt from the excessive ritualism of the Brahmans. We have seen that Hinduism became an all-embracing system of religious ritual and social organisation, but that alongside, as it were, of this process there was evolved a philosophical system based upon two theories: the belief in a Universal Soul as the centre of reality, and the belief in the ultimate identity of the Individual and the Universal Soul. In the sixth century before Christ India was seething and fermenting with spiritual thought. A great teacher was called for, and such a one was given to the world in Gautama, the Buddha, that is to say, the Enlightened or Awakened One.
Gautama was born on the frontiers of Nepal at the foot of the great Himalaya range about the year 557 before Christ. He was the only son of a chief or king. At the age of eighteen he was married to the daughter of the chief of a neighbouring clan, and a son was born to him. But the yearnings of a reformer were stirring within Gautama, and he could not rest. So one night in secret he left his wife and infant and went out into the world a wanderer in search of “that inward illumination on ‘great matters,’ which was the cherished dream of every thinker in that memorable era.” He followed to no purpose the paths of metaphysical speculation, of mental discipline, and of ascetic rigour, and at last on one eventful night, as he sat under the Bodhi Tree 32at Gaya, in Behar, “he reaped the fruit of his long spiritual effort, the truth of things being of a sudden so clearly revealed to him that from henceforth he never swerved for a moment from devotion to his creed and to the mission that it imposed upon him.”
The truth which Buddha discovered and preached to humanity was that the salvation of man lay not in sacrifices and ceremonial, nor in penances, but in spiritual effort and a holy life, in charity, forgiveness, and love. The sages of Hinduism had taught as a doctrine for the few that the Universal Soul is the only reality, and is therefore the real self of every man. Buddha gave to the world a system by which the truth of this doctrine could be realised in the life of an ordinary man.
The four-fold truth on which Buddha’s whole scheme hinges may be expressed as follows:—Life on earth is full of suffering; suffering is generated by desire; the extinction of desire involves the extinction of suffering; the extinction of desire, and therefore of suffering, is the outcome of a righteous life. But how is desire with the suffering which it generates to be extinguished? The answer of Buddhism is that the eightfold path which leads to the extinction of suffering is by “Right Belief, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Effort, Right Means of Livelihood, Right Remembrance and Self-discipline, Right Concentration of Thought.” In Buddha’s system, as he himself gave it to the world, doctrines and beliefs are of secondary importance. Fully alive to the truth that “what we do, besides being the outward and visible sign of our inward and spiritual state, reacts naturally and necessarily on what we are, and so moulds our character and controls our destiny,” he formulated for his followers a simple system of moral rules, obedience to which would set them on the path which leads to salvation. On this path there are successive stages, and each of these stages is marked by the breaking of some of the fetters which bind man to earth and to self, and when all the fetters are at last broken then the Holy One, as he is now called, has reached his 33goal. In other words, he has attained to that state which Buddhists call Nirvana, a state of “perfect knowledge, perfect love, perfect peace, and therefore of perfect bliss.”
The Buddhist system emphasises the importance of education and discipline. All over Burma there are schools conducted by Buddhist monastic orders at which instruction is gratuitously given to boys in the vernacular of the country, and one rarely finds a native of Burma who cannot read and write his own language. It is also part of the religious discipline of every Burman boy that he should become a novice in a monastic order and live for a time the life of a monk. The aim of this training is to teach obedience and self-control, and thus in these days of change, when strange and disintegrating influences are at work in the East, the Burman retains, to a certain extent at all events, his simplicity and his kindly faith. To appreciate the influence of Buddhism in Burma let us remember that a Buddhist priest is supported entirely by gifts in kind, and never touches a coin.
For some centuries Buddhism made great progress in India, the land of its birth; but in the end Hinduism re-asserted itself, and to-day there are very few Buddhists in India proper, though in Burma nearly all the people are of that faith. This is the chief cause of the difference in almost every respect between Burma and India. In the Ananda Temple, as we have seen, there are four images of Buddha, for it is the tradition of the religion that before Gautama there were in former ages of the world three other teachers who reached enlightenment and were therefore called Buddha.
The Wilderness of Bricks, Pagan.58.
Gadawpalin Temple, Pagan.59.
Vultures on a ruined Temple at Pagan.60.
Cactus at Pagan.Repeat Map No. 6.Here, still at Pagan, is the so-called Wilderness of Bricks, with the Ananda Temple in the distance to the right. Then we have the entry to one of the other temples, and then yet another Pagan ruin with vultures on the summit. Finally we have a scene of tall cactus growth, also at Pagan, for this city stands in what is 34known as the Dry Belt of Burma. The map shows us that two ranges of mountains extend northward, respectively to east and west of the Irawaddy valley. The winds of summer and autumn blow from the southwest, from the sea, bringing moisture which falls in heavy rains on the west sides of the mountains and over the delta. At Rangoon there is an annual rainfall of over one hundred inches, or more than three times the rainfall of London. To the east of the western range, however, as we leave the delta on our journey up the river, there is a low-lying district near Pagan, which is screened from the sea winds by the continuous mountain ridge, and here the rainfall is small, as little as twenty inches in the year, but the climate is hot and evaporation is rapid. In this district, therefore, cactus is the typical vegetation, but elsewhere in Burma are rich crops or the most luxuriant forests of leafy trees. These forests supply the teak wood, which is floated down the river. They are full of game, and the haunt of poisonous snakes. Wild peacocks come from the woods to feed on the rice when it is ripe, and tigers are not unknown in the villages. Only a few years ago a tiger was shot on one of the ledges of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda in the midst of Rangoon.
Notwithstanding the age of some of its temples and pagodas, Burma is in the main a new country, in which Nature is still masterful. It is the largest of the provinces under the Government of India, but all told it contains but ten million people—Burmese, Chinese, Hindus, and the Hill Tribes.
Map of Bengal.From Burma we take steamer again and cross the sea to Bengal, the Metropolitan Province of India. The heart of Bengal is one of the largest deltas in the world, a great plain of moist silt brought down by the rivers Ganges and Brahmaputra from the Himalaya mountains. But along the borders of the Province, and especially to the west, much hill country is included.
The map shows to the north the high tableland of Tibet, edged by the Himalaya range, whose southern slopes descend steeply, but with many foot hills, to the level, low-lying plains of the two great river valleys. Eastward of Bengal there is a ridge, rising to heights of more than six thousand feet, densely forested, which separates the Irawaddy valley of Burma from the plains of India. This ridge throws out a spur westward, which near its end rises a little into the Garo hills. The deeply trenched narrow valley of the Brahmaputra, known as the Assam Valley, lies between the Garo hills and the Himalayas. Away in the west of Bengal is another hill spur, bearing the name of Rajmahal, which forms the northeastern point of the plateau of Southern India. The Ganges flows through the plain bounded southward by this plateau and northward by the Himalayas. A broad lowland gateway is left between the Garo and the Rajmahal hills, and through this, on either hand, the Brahmaputra and Ganges rivers turn southward and converge gradually until they join to form the vast Megna estuary. The country which lies west of 36the Megna is the Ganges delta, traversed by many minor channels which branch from the right bank of the river before it enters the Megna. East of the Megna is another deltaic land whose silt is derived in the main from the Garo hills. It is said that the highest rainfall in the world occurs in these hills, when the monsoon sweeps northward from the Bay of Bengal and blows against their southern face. The rainfall on a single day in the rainy season is often as great as the whole annual rainfall of London. Little wonder that there is abundance of silt for the formation of the fertile plains below.
The approach to the coast, as may be concluded from this geographical description, presents little of interest. As you enter the Hooghly river, the westernmost of the deltaic channels, you see broad grey mud banks, with here and there a palm tree. From time to time, as the ship passes some more solid ground, there are villages of thatched huts surrounded by banana plantations with tall broad green leaves.
Coolie Emigrant Ship on the Hooghly.4.
The Hooghly at Calcutta, showing the High Court.5.
The Same.Calcutta, the chief port and capital of India, is placed no less than eighty miles up the Hooghly, on the eastern bank. As we approach it we pass mills and factories with tall chimneys throwing out black smoke. A steamer crosses us, outward bound, carrying, as we are told, coolies going to work in South Africa; for the basin of the Ganges, unlike Burma, is one of the most densely peopled lands in the world, and sends forth annually some thousand emigrants. At last we find ourselves amid a throng of shipping, and our steamer ties up to a buoy in the turbid river, with the great city of Calcutta on the eastern bank, and the large industrial town of Howrah on the western bank, and not a hill in sight round all the horizon, only the great dome of the Post Office rising white in the sunshine.
Plan of Calcutta.7.
Palm Avenue, Calcutta Botanical Gardens.Let us examine the plan of this mighty city with more than a million inhabitants, second in the Empire in population, and one of the twelve largest towns in the world. The Hooghly flows southward. On its eastern bank stands Fort William, a fortress which with its outworks occupies a space of nearly a thousand acres. Around, to the north, the east, and the south of the fort, is a wide green plain, the Maidan, separating the fort from the city. From north to south the Maidan extends for some two miles, and it is about a mile broad from east to west. In its southern end is the racecourse, where are held at Christmas time the races, the principal social event of Calcutta life. To the east of the Maidan is the European quarter, with its hotels, and clubs, and private houses. To the north, in a garden, is Government House, the residence of the Viceroy of India. Beside Government House, and also facing the Maidan, are the High Court of Justice and the Town Hall. Behind Government House is Dalhousie Square, occupied by a green, in the centre of which is a large tank. Facing this square is the Bengal Government Secretariat, between which and the river are the Post Office and the Customs House. Away to the north is the great native city. One bridge only connects Calcutta with the industrial town of Howrah, where are jute mills and great engineering works. In Howrah also is the terminus of the East Indian Railway. A hundred years ago Howrah was but a small village; to-day it contains some 160,000 people. Finally to the south of Howrah on the west bank of the river are the celebrated Botanical Gardens, containing many great palms, and most notable of all a banyan tree whose circumference measures nearly a thousand feet. North of Calcutta, and on the east bank of the Hooghly, is Barrackpur, with the country house of the Viceroy of India. There is a military cantonment at Barrackpur, and also a garrison in Fort William.
The Howrah Bridge, Calcutta.9.
Scene from the Howrah Bridge.Nothing impresses the stranger in Calcutta more than the density of life in this populous city, the focus of a great and fertile province. At no spot is it more evident than on the Howrah Bridge, where from morning to night a close throng crosses and re-crosses. From the approach to the bridge we look down on a crowd bathing in the muddy but sacred water. Cheek by jowl with the busy commercial traffic of the bridge, we have here the religion of the East. Purified by the bath, and clothed again, the bather sits in the crowd while for a few pies, or say a farthing, his sect mark is painted afresh on his forehead.
Calcutta from Howrah across the Hooghly.The buildings of Calcutta are worthy of the capital rank of the city, but they are of European design, for Calcutta is a modern city. Fort William was so named from King William III., in whose reign, little more than two centuries ago, Job Charnock, a factor or commercial representative of the East India Company, bought the little village Kalikata, probably so named from a local shrine of the goddess Kali. There he built, on the site of the present Customs House, the first Fort William. Within ten years the population had grown to some ten thousand, and it has never ceased growing to this day, although at one time, in the middle of the eighteenth century, there was an episode in the history of the place which for a time somewhat checked its advance. Suraj-ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, quarrelled with the English at Fort William, and finally attacked them. Most of them escaped down the river, but a hundred and forty-six were taken prisoners when Fort William fell, and were confined for a night in a small cell measuring 22 feet by 14 feet, and some 18 feet high. It was at the end of the hot season, and only twenty-three of the prisoners came out alive the next morning. This tragedy is known in history as the Black Hole of Calcutta. Soon afterwards Colonel Clive, the same Clive who as a Captain 39defended Arcot in the south of India, arrived with reinforcements and recaptured Calcutta. Fort William was rebuilt on a larger scale, and in a position a little south of the original site.
Suraj-ud-Daulah quarrelled with the East India Company again, and Clive led an army against him into the north of Bengal, and defeated him and his French allies in the famous battle of Plassey. The British force amounted to only three thousand men, of whom but two hundred were English, whereas the Nawab had an army of nearly forty thousand. In 1765 the whole of Bengal was annexed by the East India Company, and from 1772 was ruled from Calcutta. Suraj-ud-Daulah’s capital had been at a place called Murshidabad, a hundred miles to the north of Calcutta.
Black Hole Monument, Calcutta.12.
The Marble Pavement, Black Hole, Calcutta.Here, at the corner of Dalhousie Square, is the Black Hole Monument, erected by Lord Curzon when Viceroy of India, in the year 1902, upon the site of the original monument which was set up by one of the twenty-three survivors; and here is a marble pavement marking the exact position of the Black Hole.
Bengal Government Office, Calcutta.14.
The High Court, Calcutta.15.
Eastern Gateway, Government House, Calcutta.16.
Government House, Calcutta.17.
Imperial Museum, Calcutta.We have next the great red brick building in Dalhousie Square known as the Bengal Secretariat. Not far away are the public offices of the Government of India, but most of the staff are removed to Simla in the hills during the hot and rainy seasons. Here, facing the Maidan, is the frontage of the Supreme Court of Justice, with a fine tower nearly two hundred feet high, which we saw just now from the Hooghly. Next is the eastern gateway to the grounds of Government House, and here is Government House itself, with the 40Union Jack flying above it, and Indian sentries on guard. It was built a little more than a hundred years ago, and contains the throne of Tippu Sultan, the tyrant of Mysore, of whom we heard in the first lecture. Opposite Government House, on the Maidan, is the Jubilee Statue of Victoria, the Queen-Empress of India, which was unveiled in the year 1902. Here we have a more distant view of Government House, as seen from the Maidan, with a statue of one of the Viceroys in the foreground. Next, in Chowringhee road, is the Imperial Museum, a fine building with a valuable Gallery of Antiquities.
Musulmans at Prayer in the Maidan.20.
Ochterlony Monument, Calcutta.21.
Calcutta from the Ochterlony Monument.22.
Race Course, Calcutta.23.
St. Paul’s Cathedral, Calcutta.24.
Tiretta Bazaar Street, Calcutta.Let us walk round the Maidan, and note the curiously mingled life upon it. Here, for instance, are Musulmans at prayer, an impressive sight that may be witnessed every evening. Here we are at the foot of the Ochterlony monument, a column erected in honour of Sir David Ochterlony, a successful general in the wars with Nepal. From the top of it we have a fine view over the city. Notice Government House and the High Court. At the other end of the Maidan is the racecourse and polo ground, to which we have already referred, and here amid the trees in the southeastern corner, beside the tank, is the spire of the English Cathedral. Here, in contrast, is a view in the native city. The streets are with a few exceptions very narrow, as in most southern cities where the sunshine is dreaded and where shade is essential to comfort.
Jute Mills, Howrah.26.
A Workshop in Iron Foundry at Howrah.27.
The same, Plate Girders.28.
Workpeople bathing at Howrah.Now we cross to Howrah, to the great jute mills, where the jute fibre grown up country is spun and woven in competition with the jute manufacture of Dundee. In these mills you will find that the machinery bears the names of Dundee and Leeds makers, for the industry is relatively new in India, and has not yet reached the stage of manufacturing its own machinery. Next we pass into the engineering works of Messrs. Burn and Co., where some five thousand natives and some sixty Europeans are employed in the steel industry. Here are plate girders made in these works for railway bridge building, and here in this same industrial town of Howrah are people bathing after work in the jute mills.
Let us recount the essence of what we have seen—the Hooghly channel from the ocean, bearing inward the European ships; the Shrine of the Goddess Kali; the Fort which protected the factory of the East India Company; the Monument of the Black Hole; Government House and the Secretariat, whence the vast empire is ruled; the Cathedral and the Racecourse of the white rulers; the Courts of Justice, which, more than any military power, betoken the essence of British rule in India; the Native City with its narrow ways and crowded life drawn from the surrounding agricultural plain; the Howrah Bridge with the steel and jute mills beyond, which imply a vast incoming change in the economic life of this eastern land; and the Botanic Gardens with their wealth of vegetation typifying the ultimate resources of India—the tropical sunshine and the torrential rains.
Repeat Map No. 1.Now let us run northward by the East Bengal Railway for some three hundred miles to Darjeeling, the hill station of Calcutta, as Ootacamund is the hill station of Madras. We traverse the dead level of the plain with its thickly set 42villages and tropical vegetation. There are some seven hundred and fifty thousand villages in India, and these village communities are the real India, for only about ten per cent. of the total population is contained in the cities. Yet Bengal in its present limits, which exclude Eastern Bengal, has a population of more than fifty millions, on an area slightly smaller than that of the United Kingdom. Now the total population of the United Kingdom is only some forty-four millions, and of these forty-four millions fully one-third inhabit some forty large cities. Britain is therefore mainly industrial, whereas India is mainly agricultural, nine-tenths of all the people in India being supported by occupations connected with agriculture. From such statistics some idea may be gained of the density of the agricultural population of Bengal, a Province with one great city only, as greatness of cities is measured in our British Islands.
The rule of these village-dotted plains is the main daily business of the Indian Government. A great Province like Bengal is divided into Districts, each of them about as large as the English county of Lincolnshire or a little larger. On the average each of them contains from half a million to a million and a half of population. There are some 250 of such Districts in British India, that is to say in that greater part of India which is administered directly by British officials. In each District there is a chief executive officer, styled the Collector or Deputy Commissioner. He is the head of the District administration, and he is also the principal Magistrate in the District. Under the Collector there is a staff of Executive Officers, British and Indian, of whom the chief are the Assistant Collector, the Deputy Collector, the Superintendent of Police, the Engineer, and the Civil Surgeon. The Collector is so called because in the days of the old East India Company his main function was to collect revenue. In his other capacity of Magistrate, he is the head of the Magisterial Courts of the District. The laws which he and his assistants administer are made 43by the Viceroy in Council, and in a subordinate way by the Lieutenant-Governors and their Councils in the various Provinces. The Collector does not decide civil suits. These, as well as all serious criminal cases, come before Civil Judges of different grades, who are independent of the Collector.
Therefore we find in India that essential division of the Legislature, Judicature, and Executive which is the chief security of freedom in all British communities. Subject to the law and to the instructions of the superior Provincial Officers, the District Collector is, however, supreme, except in the Civil Courts of his District. He it is who alone for the vast majority of the Indian population represents the Raj or Rule of the King-Emperor. Between the Collectors and the Lieutenant-Governors are intermediate controlling officers known as Commissioners, who superintend Divisions or groups of several Districts.
The Higher Civil Service of India, recruited by competitive examination in England, consists of some twelve hundred officials—the Commissioners, the Collectors of the Districts, and some of the Assistant Collectors. The seniors of the Civil Service man the Provincial and Supreme Governments of India. Only the Governor-General and the Governors of Madras and Bombay are selected from outside the Indian Civil Service and sent out from Britain.
The Collector is constantly touring his District, in order that he may know it from personal investigation. A good Collector may become very popular, and may do much to make his District prosperous. It is a great position which may thus be held by young Englishmen of, say, thirty years of age. They are rulers of a million people at an age when their brothers of the professional classes at home are struggling to establish themselves as young barristers or doctors or clergymen.
It must not be thought, however, that the Government of India, either in its Legislative, Judicial, or Executive capacities, 44is wholly British, and alien from the subject population. The Legislative Councils of the Governor-General and also of the Lieutenant-Governors in the Provinces contain elected Indian representatives, both Hindu and Musulman. The provincial Councils have, in fact, non-official majorities. Only in the Council of the Governor-General is there an official majority. Many of the Judges even of the High Courts are Indian, either Hindu or Musulman. In the Executive some of the Collectors of Districts are Indian, and also the great majority of the assistant officials, who in the aggregate are an immense number.
Darjeeling Railway, Chinbatti Loop.30.
Darjeeling Railway, Loop No. 4.31.
Darjeeling.As we think over these things we are continuing our journey northward. We must change from train to steamer as we cross the Ganges. The passage of the river occupies about twenty minutes from one low-lying bank to the other. Then, as we traverse the endless rice fields with their clumps of graceful bamboo, the hills become visible across the northern horizon. We run into a belt of jungle, and change to the mountain railway, which carries us up the steep hill front with many a turn and twist. There is tall forest on the lower slopes, of teak and other great trees, hung thickly with creepers. Presently the wood becomes smaller, and we enter the tea plantations with their trim rows of green bushes. Far below us, at the foot of the steep forest, spreads to the southern horizon the vast cultivated plain. Trees of the fir tribe now take the place of leafy trees, and we rise to the ridge top on which is placed Darjeeling, a settlement of detached villas in compounds or enclosures, hanging on the steep hill slopes. Darjeeling is about seven thousand feet above sea level, on a ridge overlooking northward the gorge of the Rungeet River.
Kinchinjunga, from Darjeeling.33.
Mount Everest.In the early morning, if we are fortunate in the weather and rise before the sun, we may see from Darjeeling, over the valley to north of the hill ridge on which we stand, and 45over successive ridge tops beyond, the mighty snow range of the Himalayas, fifty miles away, with the peak of Kinchinjunga, more than five miles high, dominating the landscape. Behind it, a little to the west, and visible from Tiger Hill near Darjeeling, though not from Darjeeling itself, is Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, five and half miles high. The glittering wall of white mountains, visible across the vast chasm and bare granite summits in the foreground, seems to hang in the sky as though belonging to another world. The broad distance, and the sudden leap to supreme height, give to this scene a mysterious and almost visionary grandeur. It is, however, only occasionally that the culminating peaks can be seen, for they are often veiled in cloud.
Nepali Ladies.The people of Sikkim in the hills beyond Darjeeling are Highlanders of Mongolian stock and not Indian. They are of Buddhist religion like the Burmans, and not Hindu or Musulman like the inhabitants of India. They are small, sturdy folk, with oblique cut eyes, and a Chinese expression, and they have the easy-going humorous character of the Burmans, though not the delicacy and civilization of those inhabitants of the sunny lowland. They and the kindred and neighbour Tibetans rarely wash, and the women anoint their faces with a mixture of pigs’ blood, which gives them a dark and mottled appearance. Here we have in colour a portrait of a Tibetan woman, and then a group of Nepali ladies, with various head ornaments.
Political Map of India, distinguishing Bengal, Eastern Bengal and Assam, Nepal, and Bhutan.It is an interesting fact that these hill people should belong to the race which spreads over the vast Chinese Empire. That race here advances to the last hill brinks which overlook the Indian lowland. The political 46map of this portion of India illustrates a parallel fact. While the plains are administered directly by British officials, the mountain slopes descending to them are ruled by native princes whose territories form a strip along the northern boundary of India. North of Assam and Bengal we have in succession from east to west, in the belt of hill country, the lands of Bhutan, Sikkim, and Nepal. From Nepal are recruited the Gurkha Regiments of the Indian army, the Gurkhas being a race of these same hill men, of small stature and sturdy agility, of Hindu religion, but of more or less Mongolian stock, and therefore intermediate between the Tibetans and the Hindus.
The Bazaar, Darjeeling.39.
The same—Nepali Vegetable Sellers.40.
Man carrying Fodder, Darjeeling.41.
Native Loom, Darjeeling.43.
Village in Sikkim.44.
The same.Here we have a typical market scene in Darjeeling. Notice the women doing coolie work. Next are vegetable sellers in the Darjeeling Bazaar, and here is a man carrying fodder. The man with his back turned is a Lepcha of Sikkim. Then we have a group of Sikkim peasants drinking the native beer, made from marwa, a kind of millet. They draw it up through straws from cups made of bamboo. Next we see a native working a hand loom, and then a village in Sikkim. Here in the same village we see a woman carrying baggage.
Lama Monastery, near Darjeeling.46.
The same—Devil Dancers.47.
The Amban Dance, Darjeeling.49.
The same—another view.Near Darjeeling there is a small Buddhist monastery, a two-storey building of which we have here a view. Notice the semi-circle of tall poles, with linen flags, on which prayers are inscribed. By the entrance are a number of prayer-wheels fastened to the wall. Outside the monastery are men wearing the costumes 47of devil dancers, such as are used in Buddhist religious ceremonies of these parts. There are long trumpets placed against the door post. Let us glance for a moment within this monastery, and see the hideous wooden masks, and the silk dresses of the priestly dancers. Two scenes follow, from Darjeeling itself, of an elaborate dance by Tibetan peasants called the Amban dance. The lions and dragons are each made of two men, whose bodies are hung with white yak hair and tails. They have grotesque heads, with enormous eyes and gaping mouths, from which hang large scarlet tongues. So we obtain some idea of the stage of barbarism in which the hill tribes remain.
North Bengal Mounted Rifles, Lebong.51.
The same—Sword Pegging.52.
Coolies at Darjeeling.In contrast with these scenes are now two slides illustrating the volunteer service of the white tea planters. Of these the second shows tent-pegging on the Lebong parade ground, above the Rungeet river. This form of tent-pegging is with a sword, and not with the more usual lance. Here is a scene showing Darjeeling coolies returned from work in the tea gardens.
The Rungeet Gorge.54.
The Rungeet Bridge, Sikkim.56.
A Himalayan Glacier.57.
Glacier-fed Torrent in the Himalaya.58.
Cane Bridge in the Himalaya.Finally we have two views in the gorge of the Rungeet river, between Darjeeling and Sikkim, with precipitous sides, and then a glimpse of the Rungeet bridge. The Rungeet drains from the hills of Darjeeling, and from the snow mountains beyond, into a tributary of the Ganges. 48Several hundred such torrents burst in long succession through deep portals in the Himalayan foot hills and feed the great rivers of the plain, the Brahmaputra and the Ganges. They are perennial rivers, for they originate in the melting of the glaciers, and the Himalayan glaciers cover a vast area, being fed by the monsoon snows. Nearly all the agricultural wealth of Northern India owes its origin to the summer monsoon.
Map of the Himalayan River System.To understand the fundamental conditions governing the Indian climate let us examine the two concluding maps of this lecture. On the first of them all the country with an elevation of more than fifteen hundred feet is coloured with a dark brown, and that with a lower elevation is coloured a light brown. A great angle of the Indian lowland is seen to project northward into the Asiatic upland. For fifteen hundred miles the Himalaya limits the lowland with a gracefully curving mountain edge, and from this edge there flow the series of tributaries which gather to the rivers Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra. Beyond, to the south, are seen in dark brown the higher portions of the Deccan plateau.
Map of South-West Monsoon.Now compare with this the succeeding map, which shows the winds of the summer time and the average rainfall. The winds sweep in from the southwest, but as they cross Bengal they bend so as to blow from the south and then from the southeast. The dark arrow with the broken shaft striking northwestward through the heart of India represents the usual track of the storms which prevail in the Central Provinces during the summer season, producing the havoc along the Madras coast and northward, of which we spoke in the second lecture. The maximum rainfall, it will be seen, occurs in three regions—first on the west face of 49the Western Ghats, and on the west face of the mountains of Ceylon; secondly in the east of the Indian Peninsula near the track of the storm centres; and thirdly along the south face of the Garo hills and of the Himalayas north of Bengal, and on the west face of the various mountain ranges of Burma. In other words, in the first and third cases the rain is due to the winds striking the mountain ranges, and is great only on the windward faces of those ranges. In the second case the rainfall is mainly the result of the storms. On the other hand, there is drought at this season under the lee of the mountains of Ceylon and of the Western Ghats, and again in a comparatively small belt, near Pagan, along the Irawaddy river, between the western and the eastern ridges of Burma. Tibet, which is under the lee of the Himalayas, and northwestern India, which is out of the track of the southwest winds, are wide deserts. This map explains the exceptional fertility and density of population of the Province of Bengal.
Repeat Map No. 1.India is so vast a country, and so varied, that no traveller can hope to visit all parts of it. On our journey from Calcutta to Darjeeling, we have left the province of Assam away to the east of us. Assam is a through road nowhither, for high and difficult mountains close the eastern end of its great valley. Moreover, though it has vast natural resources, Assam is a country which throughout history has lain for the most part outside Indian civilisation, and, even to-day, has but a sparse population and a relatively small commercial development. Let us, then, just remember in passing that this remote province of India has a geography which, though simple, is built on a very grand scale.
The San-po river rises high on the plateau of Tibet northward of Lucknow. For more than 700 miles it flows eastward over the plateau in rear of the Himalayan peaks; then it turns sharply southward and descends steeply through a deep gorge little known, for it is tenanted by hostile tribes. Where it emerges from the mountains the river 50has a level not a thousand feet above the sea, and here, turning westward, it forms the Brahmaputra—that is to say, the Son of Brahma, the Creator. The Brahmaputra flows for 450 miles westward through the valley of Assam, deeply trenched between the snowy wall of the Himalayas on the one hand and the forested mountains of the Burmese border and the Khasia and Garo hills on the other hand. The river “rolls down the valley in a vast sheet of water,” depositing banks of silt at the smallest obstruction, “so that islands form and re-form in constant succession. Broad channels break away and rejoin the main river after wide divergences, which are subjected to no control. The swamps on either hand are flooded in the rainy season, till the lower reaches of the valley are one vast shining sea, from which the hills slope up on either side.” The traffic on the river is maintained chiefly by exports of tea and timber, with imports of rice for the labourers on the tea estates. Some day, when great sums of money are available for capital expenditure, the Brahmaputra will be controlled, and Assam will become the seat of teeming production and a dense population. The Indian Empire contains some 300 million people; but, as we learn, it also contains some of the chief virgin resources of the world.
Map of India, distinguishing the United Provinces.Northwestward from Bengal, over the great plain of the Ganges, we enter the next region of India. The United Provinces of Agra and Oudh have an area almost equal to that of Great Britain, and a population as dense. When we go from Bengal to the United Provinces, it is as though we were crossing from one to another of the great continental States of Europe, say from Germany into France.
Map of the United Provinces.The Himalayan mountains lie to the north; the hills of Central India to the south. The plain between them, raised only a little above the sea, is two hundred miles across, measured from the foot hills of the Himalayas to the first rise of the Central Indian hills. Two great rivers, the Ganges and the Jumna, emerge from Himalayan valleys, and traverse the plain southward, and presently southeastward, leaving between them a tongue of land, known in Hindustani as the Doab, or two waters. Mesopotamia, between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris in the Nearer East, signifies the same in the Greek language. The Jumna joins the Ganges near the southern limit of the plain, and in the angle of the confluence is the large city of Allahabad, the capital and seat of the Lieutenant-Governor of the United Provinces. Other great tributaries flow to the Ganges from more eastern parts of the Himalayas, and bending southeastward join the main river one after another.
52Five considerable cities focus the great population of the United Provinces—Allahabad, already mentioned, Cawnpore, Lucknow, Agra, and Benares. A hundred miles above Allahabad, on the right or south bank of the Ganges, is the city of Cawnpore, and on the opposite or northern bank extends the old Kingdom of Oudh, with Lucknow for its capital, situated some forty miles northeast of Cawnpore. Agra, which gives its name to all that part of the United Provinces which did not formerly belong to Oudh, is situated on the right or south bank of the Jumna, a hundred and fifty miles west of Lucknow. Eighty miles below Allahabad, on the north bank of the Ganges, is Benares, the most sacred city of the Hindus. All these distances between the cities of Agra, Cawnpore, Lucknow, Allahabad, and Benares, lie over the dead level of the plain, dusty, and like a desert in the dry season, but green and fertile after the rains. Scattered over the plain are innumerable villages, in which dwell nineteen out of twenty of the inhabitants of the joint Provinces. Lucknow is the largest of the cities, yet it has only a quarter of a million inhabitants.
The United Provinces are the heart of India, the typical Indian land, safe from invasion from the north by reason of the Himalayan barrier and the desert plateau of Tibet; relatively inaccessible from the ocean, and not conquered by Britain until long after Bengal had become a Province of the East India Company; relatively safe also from northwestern invasion. Its people remain dominantly Hindu in their religion and customs, whereas the great province of the Punjab further northwestward has a majority of Musulmans. Southward is the plateau of Central India, comparatively thinly peopled.
The language of the United Provinces, and of considerable districts to west, south, and east of them, is Hindi, the most direct derivative of the ancient Sanskrit tongue, whose use was contemporary with that of Latin and Greek. All three of these ancient tongues, as well as Old Persian, 53belong to the family of the Indo-European languages. Sanskrit was brought into India by a conquering people from the northwest. Hindi is now spoken by a hundred million people in all the northern centre of India. It is the language not only of the United Provinces but also of the western part of Bengal which is known as Behar, of that part of the Punjab which surrounds Delhi, and of a wide district in Central India ruled by the great Maratha chiefs, Sindhia and Holkar. Other tongues of similar origin are spoken in the regions around—Bengali in Bengal, Marathi and Gujrati in the lands which lie east and north of Bombay, and Punjabi in the Punjab. We must think of these various Indian languages as differing from one another much as French and Spanish and Italian differ, which are all derived from a common Latin source. The Hindi language was picked up by the Musulman conquerors of India, and by adding to it words of their own Persian speech they formed Urdu, the language of the camp. This is the language of educated Musulmans all over India to this day. Under the name of Hindustani it has become a sort of lingua franca throughout India, and is used by Europeans when talking to their servants.
Away to the south, beyond the limit of the Sanskrit tongues, in the province of Madras and neighbouring areas, are talked languages wholly alien from Sanskrit, and differing from Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujrati, and Punjabi, much as the Turkish and Hungarian languages differ from the group of allied Indo-European tongues spoken in Western Europe. These southern Indian tongues are known as Dravidian. The most important of them are Telugu, spoken by twenty millions, and Tamil, spoken by some fifteen millions. The Hindu religion, however, is held by the great majority both of the Dravidian south and of the Indo-European north and centre.
If there be one part of India which we may think of as the shrine of shrines in a land where religion rules all life, 54it is to be found in a triangle of cities just contained within the map before us. There on the Ganges we see Benares and Patna, and some fifty miles south of Patna the smaller town of Gaya. Benares from prehistoric times has been the focus of Hinduism. Patna was the capital of the chief Gangetic kingdom more than two thousand years ago, when the Greek ambassador Megasthenes, first of the Westerns, travelled thus far into the East. Gaya was the spot where Buddha, seeking to reform Hinduism some six hundred years before Christ, obtained enlightenment, and then migrated to teach at Benares, or rather at Sarnath, now in ruin, some three or four miles north of the present Benares. The peoples of all the vast Indian and Chinese world, from Karachi to Pekin and Tokyo, look to this little group of cities as the centre of holiness, whether they be followers of Brahma or of Buddha.
Buddhist Tope at Sarnath.4.
Sculptures at Sarnath.5.
Lion-capital at Sarnath.Old Benares, whose ruins are now known as Sarnath, was a few miles north of the existing city. We have here one of the Buddhist topes of Sarnath, which was the spot to which Buddha removed after he had received enlightenment at Gaya. Here he and his disciples began to teach. We have another view at Sarnath, showing some of the ancient sculptures, and a gigantic lion-capital recently excavated. Its size can be appreciated by noticing the man behind.
Plan of Benares.7.
View across the Ganges to the Southern Shore.8.
Panchganga Ghat, Benares.9.
The Same—another view.10.
Palace of the Raja of Bhinga, Benares.11.
The Same—another view.Benares extends for four miles along the northern bank of the Ganges. This bank is here higher than the southern, and descends to the river edge with a steep brink. Down this brink are many flights of steps, known as “ghats,” which we may translate by the word “approaches.” We have already heard the word “ghat” applied to the steep mountain-high brinks of the southern plateau of India, where the upper ground breaks away to the shore of the Arabian Sea on 55the one hand, and to the low-lying plain of the Carnatic on the other. The city of Benares is situated on the plateau top above the ghats, and for four miles the river front is crowned with palaces and temples, built of a yellow sandstone. The opposite, the southern, shore lies low and without buildings. Here is a view looking southward across the river from the brink edge; it shows the low and non-sacred southern shore. Here are two views of the brink itself, faced and crowned with buildings of yellow sandstone. There follow two views of the palace of the Raja of Bhinga, and in both we see the ghat steps descending to the water’s edge.
Dasashwamedh Ghat, Benares.13.
Manikarnika Ghat, Benares.The population of Benares numbers some two hundred thousand, of whom the great majority are of the Hindu faith, and no fewer than thirty thousand are Brahmans, the priestly caste. It is said that more than a million pilgrims visit the city every year. In the early morning they descend the ghats to bathe in the river and to drink the sacred water. Here we have the scene at one of these ghats, with the conical towers of a temple, and the great sun umbrellas. Another scene of a similar character follows at another ghat, the most sacred in Benares.
Burning Ghat, Benares.15.
Another Burning Ghat, Benares.Some of the ghats are used for the burning of dead bodies. Wrapped in a white shroud, the corpse is dipped into the river, then laid on a pile of faggots, and other faggots are built around, and a light is set to the pile. The ashes are thrown into the river. These rites are performed by the nearest relatives. We have here the body of a woman of the poorer classes nearly consumed, and the few relatives looking on. Here preparations are in progress for another cremation. The 56corpse may be seen, with its feet in the water, resting aslant at the foot of the ghat. The bodies of the higher castes are burnt at the Raja Ghat on costly fires of sandal-wood. At night, from the water, the city, with its thousands of lights and the tall flames at the Burning Ghats, is deeply impressive.
The Observatory, Benares.17.
The Samrat Yantra in the Observatory.18.
Eclipse Festival, Benares.Perhaps the most interesting of all the buildings at Benares is the Observatory, a lofty structure placed on the river brink and commanding a wide view. Within are instruments of stone on a great scale for the observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies. This is the Samrat Yantra, used for observing the declination and right ascension of the stars. Astronomy plays no inconsiderable part in the rites of Benares. The pilgrimages are thronged at the time of eclipse of the sun, and there are certain ghats of special resort during the occurrence of eclipses.
Roof of Golden Temple, Benares.20 Vishnagi Temple, Benares.21.
Aurangzeb’s Mosque, Benares.22.
The Same—another view.Set a little back from the river front in a small square is the chief temple of the Hindus. Europeans are not permitted to go within, but only to peep through a hole in the wall, and also from an upper balcony of a neighbouring house to look down upon the gilded roof. Beside this temple there is another, half of which is in ruin, and the remainder has been converted to the purpose of a Musulman mosque. The old part is of yellow-grey sandstone, tawny with age, but the mosque has been white-washed and shines brightly in the sunlight. We have here a view of this temple-mosque, and then there follow two views, showing the tall minarets of Aurangzeb’s Mosque, built on the site of another Hindu temple which he destroyed. For two centuries until the advent of British power the rulers of this Hindu land were of the Musulman faith, conquerors from the northwest. 57The Musulmans destroyed many of the ancient Hindu temples of Benares, so that most of the buildings of the city are comparatively modern.
A Fakir, Benares.24.
Snake Charmers, Benares.As in a Christian country, such a resort of pilgrims brings together men from far distant and different lands, and we have at Benares an epitome of all Hindu India. In the narrow deep-shaded streets, and the sordid and tawdry purlieus of the temples may be seen many a typical scene of Eastern life. Here, for instance, close to Aurangzeb’s Mosque, is a Fakir or religious enthusiast, to whom the alms of the faithful are due. He rests on this bed of spikes day and night. Such Fakirs get much alms, which they are supposed by the envious to bury underground. We have another characteristic scene here, two snake charmers on one of the ghats, with a fine assortment of reptiles—cobra, python, and other snakes, as well as scorpions. There is always a ready crowd for them, as for jugglers of curious skill.
Bullock Cart, Benares.26.
A Camel, Benares.27.
A Bridegroom, Benares.The traffic in the streets is of the most various kind. Here is an ox waggon, with cumbrous wooden wheels, laden with rough stone for road making, and here a tall camel bringing in tobacco from some outlying village. This is a bridegroom of the highest, the Brahman caste, mounted on a white horse, and clothed in a golden dress shot with pink. He is probably on his way to pay a ceremonial call.
Prince of Wales Hospital, Benares.29.
Queen’s College, Benares.30.
Central Hindu College, Benares.Further inland, near the railway station, is grouped the European quarter, with a Christian church, the post office, the regimental barracks of the cantonment, missionary colleges, villas of officials, and a few fine public buildings of recent date. Here for instance, with a bullock cart passing it, and another vehicle behind with a sun-hood, is the 58Prince of Wales Hospital. Here is Queen’s College, where a modern education is given to some five hundred students, and here finally is the Central Hindu College, opened in 1899, “for the education of Hindu youth in their ancestral faith and in true loyalty and patriotism.” This college contains about two hundred and fifty students.
Army Factory, Cawnpore—Native Cutters at work.We now leave Benares, noticing the great railway bridge over the Ganges, and travel by rail over the grey monotony of the plains, varied by patches of cultivation, herds of long-eared goats, long-legged pigs, large black vultures, and here and there a string of camels. So we come to Cawnpore, the Manchester of India. Cawnpore is the chief inland manufacturing city of India, a great contrast in all its ways with Benares. Western capital, Western ideas, and Western organisation are at work on a large scale. There are mills and factories for the spinning and weaving of wool, mostly Indian wool, but some Australian brought by way of Calcutta. One of these mills seen by our artist had on hand at the time of his visit an order for eleven thousand coats, and had just finished thirty-three thousand for the police of the great native state of Hyderabad. This is the mill in question. The cutters are shearing coats from a great piece of khaki, on which the patterns to be cut have been chalked. Both the spinning of the yarn and the weaving of khaki cloth have been accomplished by native labour and British machinery at Cawnpore. Khaki signifies the colour of khak, or dust.
The Same—the Raw Hide Shed.33.
The Same—unloading Bark.34.
The Same—the Boot Shop.35.
Well in Messrs. Cooper Allen’s Model Village, Cawnpore.36.
The Same.Here is a leather factory for making Government boots and army equipment. This view shows the raw hides, mostly buffalo, gathered by rail from all parts of India. The hides on the weighing machine have been dried. This is 59bark being unloaded from the train for use in the tannery. Then we see the boot shop itself, thronged with workmen. These workmen are mostly Musulmans. As will be seen, the boots are hand-sewn. One large firm, employing daily some three thousand five hundred hands, has built a model village, of which we have here the well, the central feature of every Indian village, whether of the new and garden type, or of the old and traditional. What a contrast must all this be to the inhabitants of the country districts, where village tradesmen still follow their traditional crafts! Here, for example, are two views in a pottery near Benares. The potters turn the wheel with their feet. Most Hindu workmen use their feet a good deal, and of course the typical squatting attitude makes it easier for them to do so.
Consider the revolution in all the social life of India, which is involved in the steady displacement of these village-made wares by the cheaper machine-made products of Cawnpore and other factory centres. There is a change beginning throughout the length and breadth of this vast land, not wholly unlike that which took place in Britain under the name of the Industrial Revolution a century and a half ago. As higher and more skilled industries are introduced, it seems likely ultimately to result in a migration of workers from the villages to the cities, in the growth of the size of the cities, and in the greater monotony of life in the rustic villages. No doubt there will be some inevitable suffering, especially on the part of those workers who cannot adapt themselves to the new conditions. In the main, however, the factory operatives have thus far been peasant proprietors who forsake their villages only for a time.
The Rumi Gate, Lucknow.39.
The Same—from within.40.
The Imambara, Lucknow.41.
The Same—the Great Hall.Lucknow is a city of modern temples and palaces, many 60of them stucco buildings of debased architecture, which appear beautiful only by moonlight and when artificially illuminated. We have here the Rumi Gateway, and here the same gateway from within. Then we have the Imambara, built under Asaf-ud-daulah, who also built the Residency, as a relief work in a great famine in 1784. The most striking feature is the successful construction of an enormous roof of coarse concrete without ribs, beams, pillars, or visible support of any kind, except that from the four surrounding walls. Here is the great hall, beneath this roof. It is about a hundred and sixty feet long, fifty feet wide, and some fifty feet high. On the floor is the tomb of Asaf-ud-daulah, a slab of plain masonry surrounded by silver, and covered with a canopy. The tomb is not in line with the sides of the hall, but is a little askew in order that it be oriented in accordance with the direction of Mecca. Near by can be seen a huge tazia, which is carried through the streets on the Musulman anniversary of the Moharam.
In the Chauk Bazaar, Lucknow.43.
A Musulman Woman in a Burka.45.
The Jama Masjid, Lucknow.46.
The Husainabad Imambara, Lucknow.47.
Karbala of Diana-ud-daula, Lucknow.48.
The Kasmain, Lucknow.Next we have two views in the Bazaar of Lucknow, which forms one of the six wards of the city. In the bazaar are to be found jewellers and silversmiths, together with brassworkers and woodcarvers. Then we come to a very characteristic Indian scene, a Musulman woman wearing a burka, that is to say, a veil with eye-slits. All Musulman women of a higher class are veiled when they leave the privacy of their houses, in accordance with the general feeling of Islam, alike in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Here we see the Jama Masjid, a three-domed mosque, with decorations painted in blue and purple upon its walls. Within it is a curious ledge 61used by the Shiahs, one of the two great sects of the Musulmans, for resting their foreheads at prayer time. From the platform of this mosque, we have a view of one of the largest Muhammadan buildings of the city, the Husainabad Imambara, built in 1837, by Muhammad Ali Shah, as a burial place for himself and his mother. It is almost entirely of painted stucco. Beyond its tallest minaret can be seen in the distance the red brick Clock-Tower of the city. Here we see the Karbala or burying place of Diana-ud-daula, of red sandstone, with a gilded cupola, and close by is the Kasmain, whose architecture is copied from that of a sacred place in Bagdad.
The Chhattar Manzil, Lucknow.50.
Women planting Tobacco Plants, Lucknow.Next we see the Chhattar Manzil, once the Palace of the Kings of Oudh, now transformed into the United Service Club. Finally, in contrast, is a scene near the Residency, showing women planting out young tobacco plants, with an irrigation well in the background. Notice the oxen pulling at the rope with a skin attached, which draws up the water.
Already the busy hive of industry at Cawnpore plays no mean part in the economy of the Indian Empire, but for British ears Cawnpore and Lucknow have a historical and deeper interest. These two cities were the focus of those events in the tragic year 1857, which we speak of as the Indian Mutiny. At that time British India was still ruled by the East India Company, an Association founded at the close of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. The British East India Company had at first purely mercantile aims, but, as we have already heard in these lectures, was soon involved in native intrigues and wars owing to the rivalry of the competing French Company. Robert Clive went out to 62India as a writer or clerk in the employ of “John Company,” as it was called, but he exchanged the pen for the sword, and by his defence of Arcot brought about the defeat of the French party in the Carnatic, and the supremacy of the British Company in that state. So he established the Madras Province around Fort Saint George on the southeastern coast. The great Colonel Clive, who recaptured Calcutta and won the Province of Bengal by the decisive victory at Plassey, was the same soldier grown a little older in the service of the same great Company.
By successive stages in the next two or three generations the East India Company was deprived of its trading monopolies. At the time of the Mutiny it was in fact merely the Government of India, and was controlled even in this function by the British Government. The Company maintained a large army of sepoys or native soldiers, officered by Europeans, and also a small force that was wholly British. In the years immediately preceding the Mutiny, great changes had been made in India. In one way or another several native governments had been overthrown, and among these was the Kingdom of Oudh, whose capital was at Lucknow, which was annexed because of its misrule. There was hence much unrest among some of the Indian peoples, and the spirit of discontent spread to the native army of Bengal, mostly recruited from Oudh. Then an unfortunate incident occurred. A new form of cartridge was supplied to the troops, the end of which had to be bitten off before the old fashioned gun of those times could be loaded. Rumour got about that beef grease or pigs’ fat had been employed in the manufacture of these cartridges. Now the Hindus regard oxen as sacred, and the Musulmans look on the pig as unclean. The Hindus use oxen as draught animals for their ploughs and their carts, but to kill them or to eat their flesh is sinful. So it was that the agitators were able to play on the superstitions and prejudices of the ignorant soldiers. The mutinous troops murdered many of their white officers, and gradually gathered into three armies, which 63attacked the small loyal native forces and the white men and women who had collected at Delhi, Cawnpore, and Lucknow. Of the fall of Delhi and its re-capture by the British we will speak later when we come to describe in the seventh lecture the northern part of India. Assistance came to that place, not from Calcutta and the sea, but from the great newly acquired Province of the Punjab, which remained loyal. Cawnpore and Lucknow lay, however, far to the southeast of Delhi, and were inaccessible from that direction. Sir Henry Lawrence was in command at Lucknow, and General Wheeler at Cawnpore. In each case the native city was abandoned, and the small loyal native force and white refugees were gathered into an area more possible of defence. General Havelock led the first army of relief from Calcutta and Allahabad towards Cawnpore, but before he arrived, the little garrison, trusting to treacherous promises, had surrendered. They marched down to the river to take boat for Allahabad, and there most of them were slain—men, women, and children. A few were imprisoned at Cawnpore and were massacred a fortnight later.
Massacre Ghat, Cawnpore.52.
The Same—another View.We have here the ghat, now known as Massacre Ghat, by which the English went down to the fatal shore, and here another and wider view of the same scene. The road that leads down to the ghat is shaded by some fine trees, behind which were hidden on the 27th June, 1857, the mutineers who carried out the massacre. In the distance can be seen the red brick piers of the Oudh and Rohilkund Railway bridge, built of course since the Mutiny.
Retribution soon came to the mutineers. General Havelock marched from Allahabad with some two thousand men, and in a fierce battle defeated the rebels under Nana Sahib, and entered Cawnpore. He then tried to carry relief across the forty miles of plain northeastward to Lucknow. Twice he failed, and was forced back, but at last he effected his entry to that city, with a force so weak, 64however, that it was impossible to keep open his communications, and the reinforced garrison at Lucknow was subjected to a renewal of the siege. At last Sir Colin Campbell, afterwards Lord Clyde, arrived with an army sent out from Britain. We must remember that in those days there was no Suez Canal, and communication with India was round the Cape of Good Hope. Fortunately an expedition was on its way to China when the Mutiny broke out, and this force was diverted to Calcutta, and supplied the first relief, which was led, as we have seen, by General Havelock.
The Residency, Lucknow.54.
The Tower of the Residency.55.
The Baillie Gate, Lucknow.56.
The Ammunition Mosque in the Residency.57.
The Monument outside the Residency.The defence at Lucknow centered in the Residency, the official home that is to say of the British Resident at the court of the recently dethroned King of Oudh. The Residency is now in ruins, as we see in the three slides which follow. Here is a view taken from the direction of the Baillie Gate, and here is the Tower. Here is the Baillie Gate itself, the scene of the most furious attacks on the British position. The old man whom we note with his hat off and a medal on his breast is the guardian of the place, a veteran of the Mutiny, who as a boy took part in the defence of Lucknow. These Mutiny veterans have now become but a very small band. Here in the Residency is another ruin, the mosque in which the ammunition was kept during the siege, and here is the Monument to the loyal native soldiers. It bears the following inscription:—“To the memory of the native officers and sepoys who died near this spot nobly performing their duty.” This monument was erected in 1875 by Lord Northbrook, Viceroy and Governor-General of India, and serves to remind us that the Indians who fell in defence of our flag outnumbered the British. The Tower of the Residency can be seen in the background.
All Souls Memorial Church, Cawnpore.59.
The Well Memorial, Cawnpore.At Cawnpore, also, there are sad memorials of massacre and defeat, not of ultimate victory as at Lucknow. We have here All Souls Memorial church, containing monuments to those who fell near by. The low evergreen hedge seen in the picture marks the line of General Wheeler’s unfortunately chosen entrenchments. Here, at the east end of the city, in the beautiful Memorial Gardens, over the well into which the dead bodies were cast after the second massacre, is a figure of the Angel of the Resurrection, sculptured by Marochetti in white marble. In each hand is a palm, the emblem of peace. Around the circle of the well is the following inscription:—
“Sacred to the perpetual memory of the great company of Christian people, chiefly women and children, who near this spot were cruelly murdered by the followers of the rebel Nana Dhundu Pant of Bithur, and cast, the dying with the dead, into the well below, on the 15th day of July, 1857.”
The Queen’s Statue, Cawnpore.Finally, we look at the bronze monument of the Queen-Empress Victoria, whose direct government displaced that of the East India Company after the quelling of the Mutiny in 1858. Hindu gardeners are at work in the foreground. No Briton can visit Lucknow and Cawnpore without being moved. We may well be proud of the heroic deeds of those of our race who in 1857 suffered and fought and died to save the British Raj in India.
Map of Indian Railway System.Two new facts have of recent years altered all the relations of India with the outer world, and have vitally changed the conditions of internal government as compared with those prevailing at the time of the Mutiny. The first of these facts was the opening of the Suez Canal, and the second was the construction, and as regards main lines the virtual completion of the Indian Railway System. Formerly shipping came round the Cape of Good Hope, and it was as easy to steer a course for Calcutta as for Bombay. To-day only bulky cargo is taken from Suez and Aden round the southern point of India through the Bay of Bengal to Calcutta. The fast mail boats run to Bombay, and thence the railways diverge northward, northeastward, and southeastward to all the frontiers of the Empire. Only the Burmese railways remain for the present a detached system. But in regard to tonnage of traffic Calcutta is still the first port of India, for the country which lies in rear of it in Bengal and the United Provinces contains a very large population.
From Bombay inland runs the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, or as it is known everywhere in India, the G.I.P. This line branches a short distance from the coast, striking on the one hand southeastward in the direction of Madras, and on the other hand northeastward in the direction of Allahabad. A second great railway system, the East Indian, begins at Howrah on the shore of the Hooghly opposite to Calcutta, and thence crossing the low Rajmahal spur of the 67central hills descends to the bank of the Ganges at Patna, from which point it follows the river to Allahabad, and there branches, one line continuing northwestward to Delhi and beyond, the other striking southwestward through the hills to Jubbulpore, where it meets the northeastward branch of the G.I.P. Each week, four hours after the arrival of the mail steamer at Bombay, three express trains leave the Victoria Station of that city. One of them is bound southeastward for Madras. The second runs northeastward over the G.I.P. and East Indian lines, by way of Jubbulpore and Allahabad, to the Howrah Station at Calcutta. The third also runs northeastward by the G.I.P. line, but diverges northward from the Calcutta route to Agra and Delhi. When the Government of India is at Simla, the last mentioned train continues northward beyond Delhi to the foot of the mountains. The time taken to Madras is 26 hours, to Calcutta 36 hours, and to Delhi 27 hours.
Access to the great plains at the foot of the Himalayas was formerly by the navigation of the Ganges and of its tributaries. Then the Grand Trunk road was constructed from Calcutta northwestward through the Gangetic plain to the northwest of India. It was by this road that relief was brought during the Mutiny to the besieged garrisons of Cawnpore and Lucknow. Finally, the East Indian Railway was built from Bengal to the Punjab through the whole length of the densely peopled belt which is enriched by the monsoon rains of the Himalayas.
Recently a more direct line from Bombay to Calcutta, which does not pass through Allahabad, has been constructed through Nagpur, the capital of the Central Provinces of India. This runs, however, through a hilly country, much forested and relatively thinly peopled. There are now two daily mails between Calcutta and Bombay, the one running via Nagpur and the other viâ Allahabad.
Indian Railway Station.We have here an Indian train standing at a platform. Note the screens constructed to give shade in the heat of the day.
Bhor Ghat Reversing Station.4.
The Same.The two branches of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway approach one another at an angle from Allahabad and the northeast and from Madras and the southeast. They descend the steep mountain face which edges the Deccan plateau by two passes, the Bhor Ghat and the Thal Ghat. The lines are constructed downward, with remarkable skill of engineering, by loops, and in places by blind ends on which the trains are reversed. Here are two views of the Bhor Ghat Reversing Station, the first taken from below, and the second from above. The Junction of the two lines is in the narrow coastal plain at the foot of the descent. Thence the rails are carried by a bridge over a sea strait into Sashti Island, and by a second bridge over a second strait into Bombay Island, and so to the great Victoria Terminus in the midst of the city.
Map of Bombay District.The island of Bombay is about twelve miles long from north to south. The harbour, set with hilly islets, lies between Bombay and the mainland, the entry being from the south round the long Colaba Point. Westward of Colaba is Back Bay, formed by the Malabar Point, on whose end, extended as it were to meet Europe, is the residence of the Governor of the great Province of Bombay.
Plan of Bombay City.7.
Bombay, from top of Rajabaie Tower, looking South.8.
The Same, looking Southeast.9.
The Same, looking Northeast.10.
The Same, looking Northwest.Repeat Map No. 1.The most conspicuous feature of the now magnificent city is a range of public buildings, running north and south about mid-way between the harbour and Back Bay. East of these buildings is the oldest quarter of the city, known as the Fort. Westward, on the shore of Back Bay, is a broad expanse of garden. The native town lies to the north, and beyond it is Byculla, where are the mills and factories, and to the east of Byculla on the harbour front is the dockyard of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. How fine a city is Bombay may 69be realised from the top of the great tower of the University, some two hundred and fifty feet high, the most conspicuous building in the place. It is the central feature of the range of public buildings just referred to. We have here in succession from south and southeast to northeast and northwest, four views from the top of this tower. The first is to the south, and shows the Union Jack flying from the Secretariat of the Government of Bombay, and the entry to the harbour beyond. The edge of the garden belt towards Back Bay is seen along the right hand edge of the view. In the southeastward view we have the shipping and the islands of the harbour, and the Government Dockyard with its long jetty. Notice the island fort guarding the channel. In the northeastward view we look towards the native city, and see the factories smoking in the distance. It will be seen that there are practically no chimneys on the nearer buildings, and no smoke in the air. Finally from our tower top we turn northwestward, and look across the head of Back Bay towards Malabar Point. The building on the shore of the Bay is the office of the Bombay and Baroda Railway, which runs northward along the coast into a densely peopled lowland round the head of the Gulf of Cambay. Away in the distance on that Malabar Promontory, but not visible in this view, are the Towers of Silence, where the Parsis dispose of their dead.
Group of Parsis.12.
Parsi Tower of Silence.The Parsis (i.e. Persians) are a community, chiefly of merchants, who came to Bombay in the Middle Ages, flying from Persia when the Musulmans conquered that land. They hold the ancient faith of Persia, and are commonly described as Fire Worshippers. They regard the elements 70fire, water, and earth as sacred, and therefore refuse to pollute them with the decay of dead bodies. They build round towers, known as Towers of Silence, and these they place in large grounds equivalent to our cemeteries. Each tower is hollow and exposed to the sky within. There on stone ledges the dead bodies are laid, and the vultures pick the flesh from the bones. The ash of the bones is washed by the rain into a central pit at the bottom of the hollow tower, where it slowly accumulates, so that, in accordance with one of the tenets of their faith, the Parsis, rich and poor, meet in death. The Parsis of Bombay are a wealthy and enterprising community, who do no small part of the commerce of the city. One of their number recently sat in the House of Commons at Westminster as the representative of a London constituency. They have no caste prejudices like the Hindus, and no seclusion of women like the Musulmans, so that their ways of life are nearer to those of Europeans.
The Rajabaie Tower, Bombay University.14.
The Same, more distant view.15.
P. & O. Offices, Bombay.16.
Carmac Bund, Bombay.17.
Victoria Terminus, G.I.P., Bombay.18.
The Same: another view.19.
Municipal Buildings, Bombay.20.
Esplanade Road, Bombay.21.
Fountain in Esplanade Road, Bombay.22.
Statue of Queen Victoria.Now let us walk through the city, and realise its grandeur. Here we are down by the western façade of the University. The great tower rises above us from which we just now obtained our views. That tower is called the Rajabaie Tower, in memory of the mother of the founder of the building. This is a rather more distant picture of the same building. We have next the offices of the P. and O. Company, and then a wharfside with steamers about to start for Goa, the old Portuguese capital midway along the west coast of India southward of Bombay. Here we have the great Victoria Terminus of the G.I.P. Railway, with a central dome and an elaborately carved façade. Bombay claims that it is the finest railway 71station in the world. This is another view of the same building, with bullocks passing in front of it. Here are the Municipal Buildings with another fine dome. They are a combination of gothic with oriental architecture, and were opened about fifteen years ago. Notice the electric tramway wires above. Then we see another fine street, the Esplanade Road. The National Bank is to the left, and further along is the Bombay Club. Here is a fountain in the Esplanade Road, with a bullock passing in front of it, and here is the Statue of the Queen-Empress Victoria, unveiled in 1872. On the canopy are the rose of England and the lotus of India.
Bombay has a population only a little smaller than that of Calcutta, and, like Calcutta and Madras, it is a new city, as time goes in the Immemorial East. The island on which it stands was presented to King Charles II. as part of the dower of his Portuguese Queen, and in order to enable the British the better to co-operate with the Portuguese in resisting the aggressions and encroachments of the Dutch. When handed over by the Portuguese, there was but a small settlement on the island. In 1668, however, Bombay was ceded to the East India Company, and the Company transferred thither the centre of its trade on the west coast of India, which had up to that time been at Surat, a hundred miles north of Bombay. Gradually the commerce of the port increased, although for a long time it was far outdistanced by Calcutta, whose great riverway extends, as we have seen, through densely peopled plains for a thousand miles inland. Eastward of Bombay, on the other hand, is the mountain face of the Western Ghats, barring easy access to the interior. The greatness of Bombay came only with the opening of the Suez Canal and of the railway lines up the Bhor and Thal Ghats, northeastward and southeastward into India.
Exterior of Caves of Elephanta.24.
Caves of Elephanta.25.
The Same, showing the Trimurti.26.
Villagers of Elephanta.In Bombay Harbour there is a small island, about six miles from the city, which is called Elephanta. It contains carved rock temples whose antiquity contrasts strangely with the modern city close by. We have here the entry to these temple caves, and here a view within. This is another picture, showing a three-faced image. The carving is some twenty feet high, and represents Brahma the Creator, Siva the Destroyer, and Vishnu the Preserver. The nature of these gods was described in the first of these lectures. Here we have a little group of the villagers of Elephanta. The village has some seven hundred inhabitants. It is known as Elephanta because there was formerly conspicuous among the rock carvings of the temple a great elephant, which, however, decayed and fell some fifty years ago. The native name of the island means “the town of excavations.”
Map of Bombay Presidency, Nizam’s Territory, and Maratha Country.28.
The Satara Hills, Maratha Country.29.
Native Plough, Maratha Country.Now let us journey inland, up the Ghats, through their thick forests, and if it be the rainy season, past rushing waterfalls, until surmounting the brink top we come out on to the plain of the tableland, and into the relative drought of the upper climate. This is the Maratha country, and here we have a typical view of the open landscape which it presents. The hills in the distance are the Satara hills, extending west and east through the heart of India. Here is another view in this same Maratha Country. It shows a native plough at work, and in the background one of the table-topped mountains, which are studded over the surface of the generally level plateau, not unlike the kopjes of South Africa. These steep-sided isolated mountain blocks have often served as strongholds in warfare, and many of them are 73noted in connection with the Maratha wars, waged in this part of India a little more than a century ago under the lead of Sir Arthur Wellesley, afterwards the great Duke of Wellington. At the foot of the mountain may just be seen one of the Towers of Silence of the Parsis.
Map of the Maratha Dominions at their greatest extent.The Marathas are a people of Hindu religion and Marathi language, which is akin, as we learned in the last lecture, to the Hindi of the United Provinces. Some four generations ago they raided most of India from their home on this high plateau of the Western Deccan, and the troops of the East India Company had to wage three successive wars with them. Had it not been for the British victory, there can be little doubt that the Marathas would have established an Empire in India. Their homeland round the city of Poona now forms the main portion of the Province of Bombay, but Maratha princes still rule large conquered countries as feudatories of the King-Emperor. This map shows us the dominion of the Marathas at its greatest extent, near the end of the eighteenth century, when they were the dominant warlike race of India. Their original home was not far from Poona. As they spread, five principal officers of court and state took the place of the dynasty of the Rajas, which became decrepit. These were the Peshwa, the Gaikwar, Sindhia, Holkar, and the Bhonsla. These five great chiefs conquered far and wide through all the heart of India. Sindhia’s dominions extended northward to Delhi, and Bhonsla’s eastward to Orissa on the east coast. The Peshwa was on the plateau round Poona. Holkar was seated at Indore between the Peshwa and Sindhia, and the Gaikwar at Baroda, in the fertile lowland round the head of the gulf of Cambay. At times there was rivalry and war between them, but with the exception of the Peshwa they were united by French intrigue in the time of Napoleon, with the result that we had to fight between the years 1803 and 1805 the most widespread war which we have ever fought 74in India. Our generals were Lake and Wellesley. The most brilliant victory was that of Assaye, in the plateau country just north of Poona. There, with three thousand troops, Wellesley defeated Sindhia’s army of twenty thousand men, organised by French officers, and captured an artillery of a hundred guns. Peace was made with the conquered Marathas about the time when Trafalgar was fought, and it was stipulated that they were for the future to allow no European influence in their States except the British. There was a subsequent Maratha war, but the great war just referred to was the most serious crisis through which the British rule in India has had to pass, perhaps not even excepting the Mutiny of 1857.
The Marathas are of Hindu religion, but the caste system is not with them carried to the extreme that prevails among other Hindus. They present, in fact, the nearest approach to a national caste. As we shall learn presently, Sindhia, Holkar, and the Gaikwar still rule great territories as Feudatory Princes, but Nagpur, the Bhonsla’s capital, is now the chief town of the Central Provinces of British India, and Poona, the capital of the Peshwa, is the seat of the Bombay Government during part of the year.
Political Map of Bombay Province and Central India.In contrast with the last map, showing the extent of the former Maratha Dominions, we have here a map of the central parts of India as they are to-day, with the Province of Bombay ruled directly by the British Government marked in red, and also the Central Provinces under direct British rule from Nagpur, but in addition it will be seen that in blue colour there are two patches of territory northeastward of Bombay, which bear the inscription Central India, a term to be carefully distinguished from the Central Provinces.
Scene near Hyderabad.34.
Street Scene, in Hyderabad.35.
The Nizam’s Palace, Hyderabad.Central India consists of Native Feudatory States, which acknowledge the British suzerainty, but are immediately ruled by their own Maharajas, of whom the two most important are the Maratha princes Holkar at Indore, and 75Sindhia at Gwalior. There is another larger patch of blue, southeastward of Bombay. This is the State of Hyderabad, ruled under British suzerainty by the Nizam. This great prince is however no Maratha, but a Musulman. His people for the most part speak the Dravidian language Telugu, and are Hindu by religion. Thus we see that none of these large states, each as important as one of the smaller European kingdoms, has for its ruler a man of the same race as the people. Sindhia and Holkar are Marathas ruling Hindi populations; the Nizam is a Musulman ruling Telugu-speaking Hindus. The Gaikwar of Baroda, it may be added, who governs a small but very rich and populous territory, is a Maratha ruling a Gujrati population. We have here a typical landscape in the Nizam’s territory, and see that it is not very different from the Maratha landscapes. It is on the same open Deccan plateau. This is a scene in Hyderabad itself, showing a procession of elephants, and then we see the Nizam’s Palace.
Golkonda Fort.Next we have a view of Golkonda Fort, placed on one of the usual flat-topped hills, and defended on one side by a large sheet of water. Golkonda is in the neighbourhood of Hyderabad, the capital of the Nizam’s dominions. Its name has become proverbial as indicative of immense wealth. Formerly it was the great Indian centre of diamond cutting and polishing, or in other words the Amsterdam of India. The diamonds were not found in the immediate neighbourhood, but in the extreme southeastern corner of the Nizam’s territory.
The Same, nearer view.38.
A Bastion at the top of Golkonda Fort.39.
View from Golkonda Fort, looking Northeast.40.
Hindu Temple, Golkonda Fort.41.
Musulman Mosque, Golkonda Fort.Here is a nearer view of Golkonda Fort, and here a view over the plain, from the bastion at the top of the Fort, from which can be seen the Tombs of the Kings about half a 76mile away. These kings belonged to a great Musulman dynasty which ruled here during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, until it was overthrown by Aurangzeb. Next we have, near the summit of the Fort, the ruins of a Hindu temple, and close by, shown in the following slide, the remains of a Muhammadan mosque. The Fort, therefore, in its ruins, records the essential history of the country, first the Hindu civilization, and then two successive Musulman conquests.
Mahbub College, Secunderabad.43.
Ploughing at Agricultural School at Aurangabad.44.
A Queen’s Boy at the same School.Some of these Feudatory Native States do not lag far behind the territories directly ruled by British officials. Western civilization is permeating all India under the British suzerainty. At Secunderabad and Aurangabad, places in the Nizam’s Dominions, are, for instance, Agricultural and Industrial Schools. Here is a group of students at the Mahbub College, Secunderabad, and here a view taken at the Agricultural School at Aurangabad, which shows some of the students ploughing. One of the gentlemen in the foreground is the Director of Public Instruction in the Nizam’s State, and by his side is the Superintendent of the School. Then we see an orphan student, a “Queen’s boy.” He will probably settle down in a year or two’s time, very likely marrying one of the “Queen’s girls.” With a portion of his scholarship saved up for him, he will purchase the necessary bullocks and plough. He came to the college from the Victoria Memorial Orphanage, where each child is trained in his own religion.
Kinkob Loom, Secunderabad.46.
Carpenters at Aurangabad.In the midst, however, of this rapid advance we still find the older methods. Here at Secunderabad 77is a Kinkob loom of the old pattern. Kinkob work is made of gold and silver thread. The boy sitting above is controlling the threads, and helps to make the pattern by raising or lowering them in the warp. The boy sitting below in the well is working the shuttles. This is a street scene in Aurangabad showing natives of the carpenter caste sawing timber.
The Tomb of the Saint, Roza.48.
Daulatabad, from the Road to Roza.Another aspect of life in the Deccan of India is shown in the next slide, where round the tomb of a saint at a place called Roza is gathered the camp of a fair. A saint of great renown among the Musulmans was buried here in the fourteenth century, and deposited within the shrine are some hairs alleged to be from Muhammad’s beard. There follow two slides showing the usual amusements of the fair, in the latter of which we see a merry-go-round not at all unlike those typical of the country fairs of England. Next we have a view taken on the road from Roza, and in the distance can be seen the hill fort of Daulatabad, built in the thirteenth century on a great isolated mass of granite about five hundred feet high. In this fort was imprisoned and died the last King of Golkonda, and it became the favourite summer resort of his Mogul conqueror, Aurangzeb.
Repeat Map No. 27.The upland which fills most of the centre of India and bears in its midst the Nizam’s Dominions is in most parts of no great fertility. Over large areas it is fitted rather for the pasture of horses and cattle than for the plough. Agriculture is naturally best in the river valleys, but there is one large district lying on the plateau top east of Bombay, and on the hill tops about the Narbada valley east of Baroda, 78which is of a most singular fertility. The usually granitic and schistose rocks of the plateau have here been overlaid by great sheets of basaltic lava. Detached portions of these lava beds form the table tops of the hills in the country rendered famous by Wellesley’s Maratha campaigns. The lava disintegrates into a tenacious black soil, which does not fall into dust during the dry season, but cracks into great blocks, which remain moist. As the dry season advances these blocks shrink, and the cracks grow broader, so that finally it is dangerous for a horse to gallop over the plain lest its hoof should be caught in one of these openings of the ground.
This remarkable earth is known as the Black Cotton Soil. The cotton seeds are sown after the rains, and as the young plant grows a clod of earth forms round its roots, which is separated from the next similar clod by cracks. Wheat is grown on this soil in the same manner, being sown after the rainy season and reaped in the beginning of the hot season, so that from beginning to end the crop is produced without exposure to rain, being drawn up by the brilliant sunshine and fed at the root by the moisture preserved in the heavy soil.
Thus in the part of India which lies immediately east, northeast, and north of Bombay the lowlands and the uplands are alike fertile—the lowlands round Ahmadabad and Baroda and in the valleys of the Narbada and Tapti Rivers because of their alluvial soil, and the uplands round Poona and Indore because they are clothed with the volcanic cotton soil.
Just within the northwestern corner of the Nizam’s territory are the famous rock temples of Ellora, perhaps the most magnificent of their kind in the world. The sculpture is of Brahman, Buddhist, and Jain dates, the monuments of various religions being thus as it were imposed upon one another.
Entry to Jain Caves, Ellora.52.
Jain Caves, Ellora.53.
The Juggernath Temple, Jain Caves, Ellora.54.
The Kailas Caves, Ellora.56.
Buddhist Temple, Ellora Caves.58.
The Carpenter Cave, Ellora.This is the entry to the Jain part of the Ellora caves, and this is the interior of one of the Jain caves, story above story. The niches are full of statues, many of them in perfect condition. Here we have two views of the magnificent Juggernath Temple. Next, in the dim light, we realize something of the internal structure of the Brahman section of the caves. Notice the two men whose height enables you to judge of the scale. These are among the finest of all the monuments of antiquity in India. Here is a view taken on the floor of the Buddhist Temple, with large figures of Buddha seated on a throne, and there follows a view in another cave showing the beautifully carved roof. It will be seen then that in these Ellora caves several religions have contributed, the Jain no less than the Buddhist and the Hindu.
The Jains rose in the time of Buddha, five hundred years before Christ. That was a time of religious stir in India, which resulted in various revolts against the Brahmanical system. The Jain tenets are not unlike those of the Buddhists. They believe in the universal soul, and in the transmigration of souls, so that a man’s soul may pass into an animal. Their regard for animal life, for this reason so general in India, is carried to an extreme. The Jains were strongest in Western India, and they are still present there, although now in a very small minority. They probably total to-day not more than a million and a half, and are perhaps most numerous at Ahmadabad. Of their great temples at Mount Abu we shall hear presently.
The Mecca Gate, Aurangabad.60.
The Mausoleum of Rubia-ud-Daurani.In order to complete the range of the architectures of India, there follow two specimens of the Muhammadan 80buildings of the state of Hyderabad. First we see the Mecca Gate at Aurangabad, with the Mecca Bridge underneath it, and then we have the Mausoleum of Rubia-ud-Daurani, the wife of Aurangzeb. The door of the gateway is of brass and all the domes are of marble. The building has recently been restored by the Government of the Nizam, and is now probably second only to the Taj Mahal at Agra among the Muhammadan buildings of India.
Repeat Map No. 32.Finally, we must note that a portion of the Bombay Presidency lies far away to the northwest, detached from the remainder. This is the province of Sind, for the most part a desert area, but containing the delta of the river Indus, which is a second Egypt in fertility, for there the alluvium brought down by the great river from the distant Himalaya mountains is deposited, and water is available by irrigation from the same distant source. Curiously, Sind resembles Egypt in its human settlements. At the head of the delta where the distributaries divide, and therefore at the lowest convenient crossing place of the river, is situated the city of Hyderabad, corresponding to Cairo, and on the sea front westward of the deltaic mouths is Karachi, corresponding to Alexandria.
Repeat Map No. 27.Sind was conquered by Sir Charles Napier in 1843. The Sindi population is for the most part Musulman, and engaged in agriculture, but the significance of Sind has altered since it was first added to the directly ruled British territories. At first communication with the Punjab was relatively difficult, for the Indus is not navigated with the same ease as is the Ganges. In the days before railways it was therefore natural that the new province should be administered from Bombay by means of sea communications. To-day, however, with the construction of the 81North Western Railway from Karachi up the river Indus, the commercial relations of Sind have come to be with the Punjab, of which Karachi is now the great port, although it is still subordinate to Bombay for purposes of government.
It is interesting and significant to observe that the coastline of all India is now under direct British rule, except for the little States of Cochin and Travancore, in the far south, near Cape Comorin, and the peninsula of Kathiawar and the island of Cutch, which are divided among a multitude of petty chieftains subordinate to the Government of Bombay. Thus the larger Native States, being isolated from the sea, there is little fear of foreign intrigue in India such as we had to contend with during the French wars. There are a few diminutive scraps of territory belonging to the French and Portuguese Governments, but these are too insignificant to break the general rule, and moreover they are engirt landward by directly ruled British territory. The largest of them is at Goa, on the west coast, south of Bombay, the last remnant of the great Portuguese dominion in the Indies.
Map of India, Distinguishing Rajputana.In the centre of northwestern India is a group of large native States known as Rajputana, of the greatest historical interest. These States are inhabited by ancient Hindu Aryan tribes, collectively known as Rajputs, which literally means “of princely descent.” They represent the purest and most ancient Indian stock, and here, almost alone of the larger native States, the Chiefs belong to the same race as their people. Rajputana suffered much from the Musulmans, but was never completely conquered by them, a fact in part due to the physical character of the country.
Map of Northwestern India.Through the centre of Rajputana, diagonally from the southwest northeastward, there runs the range of the Aravalli hills for a distance of fully three hundred miles, its northern extremity being the Ridge at Delhi on the Jumna River. At the southern end of the Aravallis, but separated from the main range by a hollow, is the isolated Mount Abu, the highest point in Rajputana, standing up conspicuously above the surrounding plains to a height of some five thousand feet. The top is a rugged plateau measuring fourteen miles by four. On this little upland, are the signs both of the antiquity and modernity of Rajputana—on the one hand, the world-famed 83ruins of Jain temples, and on the other, round the beautiful Gem Lake, the residences of the Agent of the Governor-General and his staff, who maintain the suzerainty of the King-Emperor in Rajputana. East of the Aravalli hills, in the basin of the Chambal tributary of the Jumna-Ganges, is the more fertile part of Rajputana, with the cities of Jaipur, Ajmer, Udaipur, and the old fortress of Chitor. Beyond the Chambal River itself, but within its basin, may be seen on the map the positions of Indore and Gwalior, the seats of the Maratha princes Holkar and Sindhia. Indore and Gwalior, however, belong to the Central Indian Agency and not to Rajputana. West of the Aravalli hills is the great Indian Desert, prolonged seaward by the salt and partly tidal marsh known as the Rann of Cutch. In oases of this desert are some of the smaller Rajput capitals, notably Bikaner. Beyond the desert flows the great Indus river, through a dry although not wholly desert land, in the midst of which, from Hyderabad to the sea, is the delta of Sind, as was said in the last lecture, a second Egypt, fertile and thickly peopled. South of Mount Abu, where the rivers descend from the end of the Aravalli hills to the Gulf of Cambay is another fertile lowland, with the beautiful city of Ahmadabad in the centre of it, but this city is in British territory, being in the Province of Bombay, and therefore outside the Tributary States of Rajputana. Ajmer, beside the Aravalli hills, is in an island of directly ruled British territory completely surrounded by Feudatory Rajputana.
It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance to India of the existence of the great Indian Desert of Rajputana. The ocean to the southeast and the southwest of the Peninsula was an ample protection against overseas invasion until the Europeans rounded the Cape of Good Hope. The vast length of the Himalaya, backed by the desert plateau of Tibet, was an equal defence on a third side. Only to the northwest does India lie relatively open to the incursions of the warlike peoples of Western and Central Asia. It is precisely in that direction, as a great barrier extending 84northeastward from the Rann of Cutch, that we find the Indian Desert, and in rear of the Desert the minor bulwark constituted by the Aravalli range. Only between the northeastern extremity of the desert and the foot of the Himalayas below Simla is there an easy gateway into India. No river traverses this gateway, which is on the divide between the systems of the Indus and the Jumna-Ganges. Delhi stands on the west bank of the Jumna at the northern extremity of the Aravallis, just where the invading forces from the northwest came through to the navigable waters of the Jumna, which flow southeastward through Hindustan to Bengal.
Aided by such powerful natural conditions, the Rajputs have ever been the defenders of India. Unable to prevent the entry of invaders by the direct way to Delhi, they have maintained themselves on the southern flank of the advance, and to-day their princely families proudly trace their lineage back in unbroken descent from ancestors before the Christian era. In the gateway itself, between the desert and the Himalayas, beyond the limits of Rajputana, dwell another people of warlike disposition, the famous Sikhs. Here are still preserved as Feudatory States the Sikh Principalities of Patiala, Nabha, and Jhind.
Jama Masjid, Ahmadabad.4.
Rani Sipri’s Tomb, Ahmadabad.5.
Mohafiz Khan’s Mosque, Ahmadabad.6.
Hathi Singh’s Temple, Ahmadabad.Let us first visit Ahmadabad, in the midst of the fertile lowland at the head of the Gulf of Cambay. The territories of this part of the Bombay Presidency are much mixed with those of the Gaikwar of Baroda, so that the map of the plains round the two cities of Ahmadabad and Baroda almost resembles that part of Scotland which is labelled Ross and Cromarty. Ahmadabad was once the most important Mohammedan city of Western India, and contains many fine architectural monuments, surpassed only by those of the great Mogul capitals, Delhi and Agra. It is reached from Bombay by the Bombay and Baroda Railway along the coast northward. We have here the Jama Masjid or Great Mosque of the 85city, still one of the most beautiful in India, though it was damaged by an earthquake about a century ago. Then we have another fine building, Rani Sipri’s Tomb. There follows a view of Mohafiz Khan’s Mosque, whose fine minarets remind one of the Citadel at Cairo. Finally, just outside Ahmadabad, is the comparatively modern Temple of Hathi Singh, built of white marble in the Jain style, with many domes.
The Lake, Mount Abu.From Ahmadabad the Baroda Railway is continued northward and westward across the southern end of the Rajput Desert to Hyderabad, in Sind, but we will go on our journey by the narrow gauge railway through Rajputana to Mount Abu, which rises like an island of granite from amid the sandy desert. Here is the Gem Lake on the summit of the mountain, a most beautiful sheet of water, set with rocky islets and overhung with great masses of rock, with the Residency or house of the representative of the British Government on its shore, for Mount Abu is the centre from which Rajputana is controlled, as far as is necessary, by the advice of the Viceroy. It is, as we have already said, about 5,000 feet or a mile above the sea level, and the climate is therefore suitable for a hill station. It is used as a sanatorium for British troops and as a hot season resort.
The Dilwarra Temples, Mount Abu.9.
The Same, nearer view.10.
Door of the Adinat, Mount Abu.11.
Sava Munda, Mount Abu.12.
The Same, another view.13.
Paras Wanath Temple, Mount Abu.Mount Abu is famous for its Dilwarra temples, probably the most ancient of the Jain temples of India. We heard of the Jains at the close of the last lecture. This is a distant view of the Dilwarra temples among the palm trees. We see that the surface of the plateau is very rugged. Here is a nearer view of the temples, and here a doorway of the most ancient of them, built probably about the time of the Norman Conquest 86of England. Next we have two views of another temple, erected some two hundred years later. The carving of the small domes and vaults is most delicate, and stands almost unrivalled even in India, a land essentially of painstaking labour in small details. Finally, we have a view of yet another temple, said to have been built by the workmen in their spare time during the erection of the greater temples we have just seen. In spite of the dilapidation of many centuries, and of unskilled restoration in places, these ruins are still extremely beautiful amid the rugged scenery of the Mount. The British Station on Mount Abu was attacked during the Mutiny, but the attack was beaten off.
Sir Pratab Singh.15.
Himat Singh.One of the most progressive of the Rajput States, and the oldest, is Jodhpur, whose Prime Minister was, until lately, the distinguished officer Sir Pratab Singh, now Maharaja of his own little State of Idar, in the plain at the foot of Mount Abu. We have his portrait here, and those of his son and grandson.
H.H. The Maharana of Udaipur.18.
The Palace, Udaipur.19.
Udaipur, from the Jag Mandar.21.
Jag Mandar, Udaipur.22.
Jag Newas, Udaipur.Udaipur is the capital of another of the greater Rajput States, Mewar, which was founded in the Roman times of European chronology. This is a portrait of the Maharana of Udaipur, who is the highest in esteem of all the Rajput princes. Udaipur is one of the most beautiful cities in India, with its palaces and ghats reflected in the clear waters of a lake. Here are two views of the palace of the Maharana, built of granite and marble, rising to a hundred feet above the surface of the lake. Here we 87have the city seen across the lake, and then there follow two views showing the temples and terraces by the water’s edge.
The Ganesh Gate, Chitor.24.
The Tower of Victory, Chitor.East of Udaipur city, but in the same State, is the rock fortress of Chitor, anciently the capital, a most conspicuous object, standing high and isolated above the surrounding country. The slopes of the hill are covered with a thick jungle, and the summit is crowned with ruins of palaces and temples. The road which leads up to the top is about a mile in length, and on it at intervals are seven gateways. We have here a view of one of them, the Ganesh Gate. This roadway was the scene of a terrible struggle in the middle of the 16th century, when the invading Musulmans under Akbar attacked the Rajput stronghold. The citadel was at length taken, but the Rajputs sold their freedom dearly, nearly ten thousand of them falling in the battle. The old city of Chitor is now decayed and reduced to a mere village, but it still contains interesting ruins, notably the two Jain Towers of Victory and Fame. The Tower of Fame is the older, built in the time of our King Alfred. This is a view of the Tower of Victory, built in the early 15th century. It has nine stories. A stairway in the centre leads to the top. The dome has recently been restored, having been wrecked by lightning.
The Durga, Ajmer.26.
The Same, The Tomb of Chisti.27.
The Arhai-Din-Ka-Jhompra, Ajmer.28.
The Lake, Ajmer.29.
The Durga Bazaar, Ajmer.30.
Mayo College, Ajmer.Ajmer, now under direct British rule, is another ancient and beautiful spot, set in a hollow among low hills, and surrounded by a wall. It was the scene of many struggles between the Musulmans and the Rajputs, and was finally taken by Akbar in the middle of the 16th century. One of the principal buildings is the Durga, venerated both by Hindus and by Musulmans. We have here a view of the courtyard of the Durga. Notice to the right hand the huge metal cauldron set in stone. It is used for the cooking of rice given in charity, which is divided between poor pilgrims and the attendants at the 88shrine. Here is the Tomb of Chisti in the Durga. Next is a Muhammadan Mosque, called the Arhai-Din-Ka-Jhompra, which, tradition says, was built with divine assistance in two and a half days. Then we have a view of the lake at Ajmer. On the bank are a number of marble pavilions. This is one of them. Close by, on a small hill overlooking the lake, is the house of the Chief Commissioner of Ajmer, and Agent to the Governor-General for Rajputana. Here we have a street in Ajmer. And here is the Mayo College, for the education of the sons of the Rajput chiefs, an institution of the greatest importance, as it were the loyal Eton of India, for the Rajput Maharajas have the deepest instinct of personal loyalty to the Suzerain Lord, a result at once of their feudal pride, their religion, and their intelligence as rulers. The College was opened in 1875, and contains about a hundred students. The main building, seen in this view, is of white marble.
Chand Pol Gate, Jaipur.32.
A Street in Jaipur.33.
Chand Pol Bazaar, Jaipur.34.
A Wool Cart, Jaipur.Next we visit Jaipur, a walled city surrounded by rocky hills crowned with forts, the capital and residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur State, the best governed of all the Rajput States. This is one of the entrance gates, and through the archway may be seen the crenellated wall of the city, with thatched huts built against it. Here is a street within the city, with a fort-crowned rock visible at the end of it, and here is the Bazaar. Jaipur has a modern aspect, for it is a busy and prosperous commercial centre. Here is a wool cart in the city. The streets are broad—perhaps the broadest in the world—and cross one another at right angles, and at night are well lighted with gas.
The Samrat Yantra, Jaipur Observatory.One of the most interesting of the old Indian observatories, with great stone instruments, even larger than those of Benares, is in this city. It was constructed at the beginning of the 18th century, and has recently been restored by the progressive Maharaja. This is the great Samrat Yantra, or sundial, the largest in the world. The gnomon is 75 feet in height. Notice how small in comparison is the keeper of the observatory, who may be seen standing just outside the line of the shadow on the circumference of the dial. In the distance, above some dwelling houses, is visible the clock-tower of the Maharaja’s palace, the time of which is regulated by this sundial.
The Palace Gardens, Jaipur—Crocodiles.37.
The Same, Tomb of a pet dog.38.
Flamingoes at Jaipur.39.
Sita Ranji Temple, Jaipur.The palace stands amid beautiful gardens. We have here a tank in these gardens showing the Maharaja’s crocodiles, and here is the tomb among the trees of one of the late Maharaja’s pet dogs. Outside the city walls are fine public gardens, covering some forty acres, containing an aviary and menagerie. Here is a group of flamingoes, caught in the neighbourhood. Finally, we have one of the temples in the city, built of red sandstone and finely carved.
The Lake and Palace, Amber.41.
Shish Mahal, Amber.42.
The Palace, Alwar.43.
The Same from above.A few miles from Jaipur is Amber, the ancient capital of Jaipur State, but now abandoned and in ruins. Here we have a view of the old Palace and the Lake, and here one of the many fine buildings, the Shish Mahal. Next we see the Palace at Alwar, a comparatively modern city, the present capital of the State of Alwar, and then we have a view over the palace looking down from the hill above.
City Gate, Bikaner.45.
Jain Temple, Bhandashar, Bikaner.46.
Bikaner from the Jain Temple.47.
Street in Bikaner.48.
Grain Sellers, Bikaner.49.
Bikaner Fort.Now we visit Bikaner, in an oasis of the northwestern desert. This is the city gate, with a level railway crossing in front. Notice the camel waiting for the passing of the 90train, and the water-carriers. Here of course water is a valuable commodity. The district of which Bikaner is the centre suffers frequently from famine owing to drought. Then we have a Jain temple crowning a rocky mound, and from the terrace of this temple we obtain a view over the city, with its flat roofs and desert spaces. There follows a view in one of the narrow streets, showing the carved front of a house belonging to one of the richer Jains of the city. Finally we have a typical group of grain sellers in front of the Customs House, and a view of the Fort.
H.H. The Raja of Nabha and his ministers.51.
H.H. The Raja of Nabha.52.
The Palace of the Crown Prince of Nabha.53.
Sirdar Fateh Singh.54.
Sikhs at Nabha.55.
An Akali at Nabha.56.
The Chief Justice of Nabha.57.
Sirdar Bisham Singh.On our way northeastward we will next visit the city of Nabha, though it is the centre of a Sikh and not of a Rajput State. Here is the Raja of Nabha surrounded by his Council of Ministers, and here his portrait. Then we have in the distance the palace of the Crown Prince of Nabha, seen from the roof of Elgin House, the home of the British Resident. Next there follow a series of portraits. The first is of a young princeling. The second is of a group of Sikhs; in front is a priest, and to the right, in black, an Akali, or warrior-monk. There follows another slide showing one of these Akalis in ancient fighting costume. Then we have, by way of contrast, the very up to date Chief Justice of Nabha, but notice in the background sentry duty economically performed by a pasteboard soldier! Here is a typical Sikh face, that of the Vakil to the Political Agent at the British Residency.
Repeat Map No. 2.Finally, we will cross the Chambal river and, leaving Rajputana, will enter Central India, and visit the two cities 91of Gwalior and Indore, the capitals of the Maratha Princes Sindhia and Holkar. Gwalior lies a little south of Delhi and Agra. The city is dominated by an isolated rock fort, flat-topped and steep-sided, more than three hundred feet in height. There is but a single road up, and along this road are six successive gates, arranged as at the fort of Chitor in Rajputana. Sindhia captured Gwalior rather more than a hundred years ago. When the Indian Mutiny broke out his people, being of Hindi race, of the same kin therefore as the people of Agra and Oudh, revolted and joined the mutineers, but Sindhia and his Maratha officers remained loyal and escaped to British protection.
The Fort, Gwalior.Gwalior was the scene of the last episodes in the Indian Mutiny. Driven from Delhi and from around Cawnpore and Lucknow, the mutineers marched in 1858 against Sindhia, who met them in battle, but was defeated. Then General Sir Hugh Rose followed them up in what is known as the Central Indian campaign, and defeated them at Gwalior. The fort of Gwalior itself was taken by a remarkable feat of daring. Two British subalterns with a blacksmith and an outpost force picked the locks of the first five gateways up the road entry before they were discovered. They stormed the last gate, one of them being killed. So Gwalior Fort was taken, and for a generation was garrisoned by British troops, but about twenty years ago it was restored to the Maharaja Sindhia.
Holkar’s Palace, Indore.Indore lies in the land of Malwa, a considerable distance south of Gwalior and on high ground about the sources of the Chambal river. The Governor-General’s Agent for Central India has his residence here by treaty, and close at hand is now the army cantonment of Mhow. At the time of the Mutiny some of Holkar’s infantry attacked the Residency, and as the Resident, Sir Henry Durand, had only twenty men to defend it, he 92was compelled to retreat with some women and children. But it was soon recovered and nothing very serious ensued in this part of India.
The Rajputana Agency is as large as the whole British Isles, but it contains only about ten million people, since a great part of it is desert. The Central Indian Agency is about as large as England and Scotland without Wales. It has a population only a little smaller than that of Rajputana. We may measure the significance of the more important chiefs in these two Agencies by the fact that Sindhia rules a country little less, either in area or population, than the Kingdom of Scotland.
The Native States of India, of which we have seen a series of examples, occupy about a third of the area of the whole country, and contain about one-fifth of the population. They represent in their present secure position a new phase of Anglo-Indian policy. The Indian Mutiny closed a period characterised by successive great annexations to the territory directly ruled by Britain. Since the Mutiny there has been no acquisition of directly ruled provinces, except in Burma. Therein the policy of the Empire differs markedly from that of the old East India Company. The King-Emperor now guarantees the privileges and separate modes of rule in the Feudatory States. As a result, there are no more loyal supporters of the British Raj than these great native chiefs, who in recent years have raised an army of Imperial Service Troops, to reinforce the Indian and British armies for the defence of the Empire and the maintenance of internal order.
Political Map of India.Let us cast our eye over the map and enumerate the principal divisions of India. Under direct British rule are in the south Madras and in the east Burma. Then in succession through the plain at the foot of the Himalayas are Eastern Bengal and Assam; Bengal; the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh; and the Punjab. In the east centre round Nagpur are the Central Provinces, 93and in the west is the Presidency of Bombay, with the detached territory of Sind on the lower Indus. On the Northwestern Frontier are British Baluchistan and the Northwest Frontier Province, while in the midst of Rajputana is the little district of Ajmer, and away in the south amid the forests of the Western Ghats the little district of Coorg. Ceylon, as was said in the first lecture, though British, is not a part of India, but a separate Crown Colony. All these Provinces are directly administered by the British Civil Service.
Now consider the Feudatory States. In the far south, from Cape Comorin along the west coast, we have the two little countries of Travancore and Cochin, ruled by Hindu Maharajas. They are far removed from all the greater problems of Indian Government, remote homes of the caste system in its most stringent form, and also, curiously, of a most ancient form of Christianity introduced long centuries ago from Nestorian sources in Western Asia. Then, north of the Nilgiri hills and the hill station of Ootacamund, is the State of Mysore, high on the plateau, completely surrounded by British territory of the Provinces of Madras, Bombay, and Coorg. The Maharaja here is a Hindu in religion, and the people are chiefly Hindu. Northward again, and still on the Deccan plateau, is the largest and most important native State of India, ruled from Hyderabad by the Nizam, a Musulman, who administers a country largely of Hindu religion. Then we have the two great groups of States, whose relations with the Empire are conducted by the Agencies of Central India and Rajputana. The most important of the Central Indian chiefs are Holkar and Sindhia, Marathas in a Hindi-speaking country, though in faith Hindus like their subjects. In Rajputana are the Rajput States of which we have spoken in this lecture.
It will be observed that, with the small exceptions of Travancore and Cochin, all the States thus far enumerated lie inland and are surrounded by British territory directly administered. The remaining native 94states form a fringe along the northern and northwestern borders. To the northeast amid the foot hills of the Himalayas are in succession, from east to west, Bhutan, Sikkim, and Nepal. Of these, Nepal stands outside the Indian Protectorate in a special relation of independent alliance with the British Government. In the far north is the state of Kashmir, whose centre is a beautiful valley, with a lake in its midst, deeply sunk amid the Himalayan ranges proper. A part of the foot hills on the one hand and a length of the Tibetan Indus on the other hand are also included within the territory ruled by the Maharaja of Kashmir. To the northwest are the Pathan and Baluchi hill tribes in relation with the North West Frontier Province and British Baluchistan.
Such a survey as that which we have thus rapidly made gives perhaps the best idea of the complexity and vastness of the Indian Political System. The Indian Empire is in fact not a country but, as the inhabitants of the United States say of their own land, a sub-continent, and as regards everything but mere area the expression is far more true of India than of the United States, for in the United States a single race and a single religion are dominant, but in India a long history lives to this day in the most striking social contrasts, presenting all manner of problems which it will take generations to solve.
Map of Northern India.Once more we look at the map of Northern India. We realise the great mountain wall of the Himalayas, four and five miles high, curving through fifteen hundred miles along the northeast frontier of the Indian lowland. Behind the Himalayas is the Tibetan plateau, three miles in average elevation. Northwestward of India there is another plateau, but a lower one than Tibet, and the mountain ranges which divide it from the Indian plain are lower than the Himalayas. Observe the great series of streams which emerge from the Himalayas, and gather on the one hand into the Indus River, flowing southwestward, and on the other hand into the Ganges, flowing southeastward. See the position of the Indian desert and the Aravalli Hills, and note the exact spot where stands the city of Delhi.
Map of the neighborhood of Delhi.We turn now to a map on a larger scale of the region round Delhi. We see the Himalaya mountains, the Aravalli hills, and the Indian Desert. We see the streams of the Indus and Ganges systems turning away from one another, and we see Simla, the summer capital of India, high on a spur of the Himalayas, above the divide between the Indus and the Ganges tributaries. Just north of Simla is the valley of the Sutlej, tributary to the Indus, and where the Sutlej issues from the 96mountains we note the off-take of a great system of irrigation canals. It is true that the lowland northwestward of Delhi is not quite desert. Nevertheless it has but a sparse rainfall, and the result of the construction of the irrigation canals derived from the Himalayan waters is that great colonies have been established in this region, and wheat is grown on thousands of square miles that were formerly waste. India has a great population, but with modern methods of water supply, and more advanced methods of cultivation, there is still ample room for settlement within its boundaries. We see on the map that there are other irrigation canals derived from the Ganges where it emerges from the mountains at Hardwar, and from the Jumna.
Delhi is the Musulman capital of India. What Benares and Patna and Gaya were and are to the Brahman and Buddhist civilisations native to India, what Calcutta and Madras and Bombay and Karachi are to the English from over the seas, that are Delhi and Agra to the Musulmans entering India from the northwest. The Musulmans were not the first to come this way into India. The oldest of the sacred books of the Hindus tell of a people who came from the northwest and apparently founded the Hindu religion, accepting no doubt some of the religious beliefs of the earlier, the Dravidian, population. From these Aryan invaders, speaking Sanskrit, have been derived the languages of the peoples of Northern India. Southeastward, southward, and southwestward from Delhi as far as the centre of India, there spread the Hindi, Bengali, and Marathi languages, as evidence of the effective conquest made by those remote invaders entering through the Delhi passage between the desert and the mountains. So far, however, as their language was concerned, they failed to establish themselves in the Dravidian south. Long afterwards, but still some three hundred years before the Christian era, the Greeks under Alexander the Great traversed Persia and Turkestan and came over the Hindu Kush, the mountain backbone of what is now Afghanistan, down into the plains of the Punjab. Alexander advanced across the rivers of the 97Punjab, tributary to the Indus, apparently as far as the Sutlej, and then turned southward and followed the Indus to its mouth. Part of his troops returned through the Persian Gulf on board the fleet, and part he led back with great loss along the barren northern shore of the Arabian Sea. Alexander and the Greeks came therefore to the very threshold of India, and then turned aside towards the sea, leaving the desert of Rajputana between them and the great prize of the conqueror.
In the seventh century of the Christian era there arose in Arabia the prophet Muhammad, who in his youth had been influenced both by Christian and Hebrew teaching. He preached to the Arabs that there was but one God, and that Muhammad was his prophet.
Muhammad, “The Praised,” was born in Mecca, about the year 570. He belonged to one of the ruling families of the tribe of Arabs who held Mecca and the surrounding country, but his father died before he was born, and his mother when he was only six months old. From his earliest youth Muhammad was addicted to solitude and musing. In his wanderings he visited Syria, and in a Nestorian convent there learned many of the Hebrew and Christian ideas which he subsequently incorporated into his teaching. In his twenty-fifth year he married Khadija, a widow of noble birth and considerable wealth. This marriage placed him in a position of independence, for he had previously been very poor.
When Muhammad was forty years old there came to him a Divine Call, bidding him teach his people to abandon their idols, to worship God, and to accept him as God’s Prophet. At first Muhammad met with the most bitter opposition, and in the year 622 A.D. he had to flee from Mecca to a city called Yathreb, which received him and made him its chief magistrate. Ever since that event this city has been called Medinat-un-Nabi, the City of the Prophet; or, shortly, Medina. The flight of Muhammad from Mecca is called the Hegira, and it is 98from this event that the Muhammadan calendar dates. In the year 630 A.D. Mecca was conquered, and shortly after this all Arabia submitted to the claims of the prophet.
After Muhammad’s death the Arabs set forth to conquer the world and to convert it to Islam. They subdued Egypt and Syria and the plain of the Euphrates. They marched to the gates of Constantinople, and through Northern Africa to the Strait of Gibraltar, and beyond Gibraltar through Spain into France, there to suffer a great defeat at the hands of the Christian Franks, which saved the remainder of Christendom. All this was accomplished in little more than a hundred years from the Hegira.
But the Musulmans did not wage war only against Christendom. Their armies advanced from the Euphrates up on to the Persian plateau and down into the lowlands of Turkestan in the heart of Asia, and over the Hindu Kush into Afghanistan, and then down into the plain of the River Indus. Already in the seventh century there had been Musulman incursions into India overseas, by way of Sind. In the eleventh century after Christ the Musulmans entered Gangetic India, and took Delhi. They founded there a Muhammadan realm, which presently extended through most of Northern India.
The Mogul Empire at its greatest extent.Five hundred years later a second Musulman invasion, more effective than the first, came into India by way of Delhi. The Moguls or Mongols of Central Asia had been converted to Islam, and in the time of our King Henry the Eighth they refounded the Musulman power at Delhi. For a hundred and fifty years, from the time of our Queen Elizabeth to that of our Queen Anne, the series of Mogul Emperors, from Humayun to Aurangzeb, ruled in splendid state practically the whole of India. This map shows the greatest spread of the Mogul Empire. Agra, a hundred miles down the Jumna from Delhi, became a subsidiary capital to Delhi, and in these two cities we have 99to-day the supreme examples of Muhammadan architectural art.
The Musulman, it must be remembered, came as an alien to India. He is no polytheist or pantheist, but a believer in the one God, and that a spiritual God, so that he holds it wrong to make any graven image, whether of man or of animal. Islam is the name which the followers of the prophet gave to their religion: it means primarily submission, and so peace, greeting, safety, and salvation, and in its ethical sense it signifies striving after righteousness. Islam is in its essence pure Theism coupled with some definite rules of conduct. Belief in a future life and accountability for human action in another existence are two of the principal doctrines of the Islamic creed. Every Musulman is his own priest, and, in theory at any rate, no divisions of race or colour are recognised among the followers of the Prophet. Musulmans are forbidden to take alcohol. The gospel of Islam is the Koran—The Book—in which are embodied the teachings and precepts of the Arabian Prophet. The Koran incorporates, as we have already seen, much that was drawn both from Hebrew and Christian teaching.
More than sixty millions of the Indian population hold the faith of Islam. They are scattered all over the land, usually in a minority, although that minority, as we have already learned, is frequently powerful, for it gives ruling chiefs to many districts which are dominantly Hindu. In two parts only of India are the Musulmans in a majority, namely, in the far east, beyond the mouths of the Ganges in the newly formed Province of Eastern Bengal and Assam, and in the Indus Basin from the neighbourhood of Delhi through the Punjab into Sind. For this reason, and also because of its physical character—lying low beneath the uplands of Afghanistan, and separated from the greater part of India by the breadth of the desert—we may think of the Indus Valley as being an ante-chamber to India proper. In this ante-chamber, and in the Delhi passage, 100between the desert and the mountains, for more than nine hundred years the Musulmans have predominated.
When the decay of the Mogul Empire began in the time of our Queen Anne, the chief local representatives of the Imperial Rule, such as the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the Nawabs of Bengal and Oudh, assumed an independent position. It was with these new dynasties that the East India Company came into conflict in the days of General Clive, and thus we may regard the British Empire in India as having been built up from the fragments into which the Mogul Empire broke. In one region, however, the Western Deccan, the Hindus re-asserted themselves, and there was a rival bid for Empire, as we have already learned, on the part of the Marathas. It was the work of General Wellesley, afterwards Duke of Wellington, to defeat the Marathas. In the north also, in the Punjab, there was a recrudescence of the Hindu race, due to the new sect of the Sikhs, who set up a power with which at a later time the British Raj came into conflict. But this was not until after Delhi, the very seat of the Mogul throne, had been taken.
Repeat Map No. 2.4.
Simla, Viceregal Lodge—distant view.5.
Simla, Bazaar and Town Hall.We are now prepared for the fact shown in this map, that the tract northwestward of Delhi, in the gateway between the desert and the mountains, is sown over with battle fields—ancient battlefields near Delhi, where the incoming Musulmans overthrew the Indian resistance, and modern battlefields near the Sutlej, where advancing British power inflicted defeat upon the Sikhs after severe contests. It is by no accident that Simla, the residence during more than half the year of the British Viceroy, is placed on the Himalayan heights above this natural seat of Empire and of struggle for Empire.
In the Mutiny of 1857 the Sikhs of the Punjab, and of the still continuing Tributary States of Nabha and Patiala, 101mentioned in the last lecture, remained loyal to the British rule, although they had been conquered in the terrible battles on the Sutlej less than ten years before. In no small measure this was due to the extraordinary influence wielded over them by Sir John Lawrence, afterwards Lord Lawrence, the brother of that Sir Henry Lawrence who defended the Residency of Lucknow. As a result of the Sikh loyalty some of the British forces in the Punjab were free to march to the re-capture of Delhi. Thus the Indian Mutiny was overcome from two bases, on the one hand at Lucknow and Cawnpore by an army from the sea and Calcutta, and on the other hand at Delhi by an army advancing from the Punjab over the track beaten by so many conquerors in previous ages. Let us visit Delhi and see its defences, its mosques, the palaces of its Emperors, and the memorials of the Mutiny. Then we will go to Agra to see other splendid monuments of the Musulman dynasty. After that we will turn to Hardwar, at the point where the sacred Ganges bursts from its Himalayan valley on to the plain. Hardwar is a pilgrimage centre of the Hindus, second in sanctity only to Benares itself.
The Kashmir Gate, Delhi.East of Delhi, running almost due southward, is the river Jumna, crossed by the great bridge of the East Indian Railway, which carries the main line from Delhi through the United Provinces and Bengal to Calcutta. West of the city is the last spur of the Aravalli hills, the famous Ridge of Delhi, striking northeastward. The city lies between the Ridge and the Jumna. It may be divided into three parts. To the north is the European quarter. In the centre is Shahjahanabad, or modern Delhi, entered from the north by the Kashmir Gate. Between Shahjahanabad and the river is the Fort. The Jama Masjid (Great Mosque) stands in the centre of Shahjahanabad, and the Kalan Masjid (Black Mosque) is about half a mile further south. Passing out of the modern city southward by the Delhi Gate we enter Firozabad, or ancient Delhi, the capital of the earlier Mogul rulers. Further still to the south are even more ancient ruins.
Jama Masjid, Delhi.8.
View from halfway up a Minaret, Jama Masjid.9.
View from top of Minaret, looking south.10.
The Same, looking northeast.11.
Kalan Masjid, Delhi.Let us begin our sight-seeing in the centre of the modern city, at the Jama Masjid, a great building of marble and sandstone. Its principal treasures are a hair of Muhammad, and some of his handwriting. Here is a view of the mosque from the balcony of a neighbouring house. Let us go up one of the minarets and look over the city. This is a view taken from a little gallery half way up. To the left is seen part of the large central dome of the mosque, and to the right the top of one of the columns which rise on either side of the main archway. Beyond, far below, can be seen part of the city. Next we have a view, due southward, from the top of the minaret. The Kalan Masjid is just visible in the foreground, but a smoke haze obscures the more distant part of the town. We turn round and look northeastward over the Fort. Notice on the ground the shadow of the other minaret of the mosque. In the distance can be seen the Jumna, and crossing it the great bridge of the East Indian Railway. Here we have a closer view of the Kalan Masjid, or Black Mosque, built in the original style of the mosques of Arabia with many small solid domes, unadorned by carving. It has a sombre appearance. We see in front one of these domes, and behind it the tops of two others.
The Lahore Gate, Delhi Fort.13.
The Delhi Gate, Delhi Fort.14.
The Pearl Mosque, Delhi Fort.15.
The Hall of Public Audience, Delhi Fort.16.
The Orpheus Panel.The chief glory of Delhi is, however, the Fort, and the group of palace buildings within its precincts. It is approached through the Lahore Gate, of which we have here a view. This gate is in the middle of the west side of the Fort. Along the east side flows the River Jumna. In the southern face there is another great gateway, the Delhi Gate, with a grey stone elephant on 103either side of the entry. Within the Fort, is the Moti Masjid, or Pearl Mosque, built by Aurangzeb, of white and grey marble. The finest of the buildings of the Fort is, however, the great Hall of Public Audience, the Diwan-i-Am. There is a raised recess, in the wall of this hall, where formerly stood the famous Peacock Throne of Aurangzeb, made of solid gold inlaid with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, and backed by two peacocks set thick with gems. This throne was carried off when the Persians under Nadir Shah sacked the city in 1739, and massacred most of its inhabitants. Above the entry to the recess of the Peacock Throne are a number of panels about nine inches high and six inches broad, made of inlaid stones. Here is a photograph of one of them. Some of these panels were injured, but, thanks to Lord Curzon, an expert artist from Florence has recently restored them and made new ones in the spirit of the earlier to fill the vacant spaces.
The Hall of Private Audience, Delhi Fort.We pass next to the innermost court of the Fort-palace, the Hall of Private Audience, the Diwan-i-Khas, ninety feet long and seventy feet broad, built of white marble with many inlaid flowers of jewels. Beneath the cornice runs the famous inscription: “If there is a Paradise upon earth it is this, it is this.” Here we see one of the graceful arches, and beyond in the distance the towers of the Pearl Mosque, already described.
Mausoleum of Humayun, Delhi.To see old Delhi we must drive from the modern city either by the Delhi Gate in the south wall of the Fort or by the Ajmer Gate in the southeast corner of the city wall, past great dome-topped temples, most of them in ruins, until a few miles out, not far from the trunk road leading from Delhi 104to Agra, we come to the Mausoleum of Humayun, of which we have here a view. The design, as will be realised presently, is very similar to that of the Taj Mahal at Agra, but the Mausoleum is the older building. Notice the terraced platform on which it stands. It is built of red sandstone and marble. Beneath the platform, and approached by a long dark passage, is the vault where Humayun is buried. Around the Mausoleum are a number of old ruins, and the debris and cactus remind one of Pagan in Burma, which we saw in the second lecture.
The Kutab Minar and Iron Pillar, Delhi.We resume our drive, past ruined tombs and walls, and at last, about eleven miles south of Delhi, we come to the buildings of the Kutab Minar, where are some of the few remains of the Hindu period now visible in the neighbourhood, though the mass of the work is of Muhammadan date. The Kutab was begun at the end of the 12th century, on the site of an ancient Hindu temple destroyed by the Musulmans. The famous Iron Pillar stands in front of the mosque. It is one of the most remarkable of all the antiquities of India, for it consists of a solid mass of wrought iron, weighing probably more than six tons, and measuring some 24 feet in height, with an average diameter of a little over a foot. At the base is an inscription in Sanskrit, from which it appears that its probable date is the fourth century, A.D. This inscription runs thus: “As long as I stand so long shall the Hindu kingdom endure.” The Kutab mosque is the Moslem reply to this. The wrought iron of the Pillar has an almost bluish colour when seen against the warm sunlit red sandstone of the great Kutab Tower. In this photograph a man has climbed to the top of the Pillar, and stands there as though a statue, giving us the scale of the monument.
The Lat of Asoka, the Ridge, Delhi.Now let us visit the district to north of the modern city, of deep interest in connection with the Mutiny. On the 105Ridge top, between the Flagstaff Tower towards its northeastern end and the Mutiny Memorial further south, is another curious pillar, this one of stone, called the Lat of Asoka. At its base is the following modern inscription:
“This pillar was originally erected at Meerut in the third century B.C. by King Asoka. It was removed thence, and set up in the Koshuk Shikar Palace by the Emperor Firuz Shah in A.D. 1356, but was thrown down and broken into five pieces by the explosion of a powder magazine A.D. 1713-1719. It was restored and set up in this place by the British Government A.D. 1867.”
The Flagstaff Tower, the Ridge, Delhi.We will walk past the various memorials of the Mutiny struggle. Here is the Flagstaff Tower, in which were gathered at the outbreak of danger the women and children of the British garrison anxiously looking for relief from Meerut. But the relief did not come, and Delhi was stormed and captured by the mutineers. The refugees in the Flagstaff Tower were compelled to fly for their lives to Karnal, on the road to the Punjab, where gradually British troops and loyal natives were assembled. The British returned to the Ridge, and for two months the siege of the city was pressed, but unsuccessfully. A brigade and a siege train then arrived from the Punjab, commanded by General Nicholson. The struggle continued for yet another month. Our troops were not in sufficient force to surround and starve the city, and it was therefore necessary to bombard and storm the defences. Slowly the British won their way into the town, though with terrible loss. General Nicholson was himself wounded in one of the assaults, and died a week later. At last, on the 20th September, the Fort was taken, and next day the rebel King of Delhi was captured at Humayun’s Tomb, and was exiled to Rangoon. Two of his sons were shot in front of the Delhi Gate. The terrible nature of this siege may be realised from the fact that of the ten thousand British and loyal native troops who took part in it nearly four thousand 106were killed and wounded. Here is the statue of General Nicholson in the park named after him, just south of the cemetery, outside the Kashmir Gate, where he is buried. On the Ridge itself is the Mutiny Memorial, unfortunately not a very beautiful building.
General Nicholson’s Statue, Delhi.23.
The Mutiny Memorial, the Ridge, Delhi.
Horse Fair, Delhi.25.
Dariba Street, Delhi.Finally, we have two scenes of native life at Delhi. The first is a horse fair outside the Kashmir Gate, and the second a street view.
Let us travel to Agra, which stands on the right bank of the Jumna, about a hundred miles southeast of Delhi. The Jumna flows from north to south until beside Agra Fort, and then turns sharply eastward. About a mile and a half further on, on the same right bank, now the south side of the river, there stands the Taj Mahal, the most celebrated of all Muhammadan tombs. The building of Agra Fort was commenced by the Emperor Akbar in the middle of the 16th century, and was completed by Shah Jahan, the father of Aurangzeb, in the 17th century. It was this Shah Jahan who built the Palace within the Fort and also the Taj.
The Pearl Mosque, Agra Fort.The Fort and the buildings which it contains rise by the side of the river and dominate the plain beyond it. Here within the Fort we have a view of the marble interior of the Moti Masjid, or Pearl Mosque, built by Shah Jahan in the middle of the 17th century. The floor is divided by inlaid lines of black and yellow marble into some six hundred separate divisions, called Masalas, used by the Musulmans for prayer. In the centre is a large marble tank. The effect produced on entering this mosque is profound. Outside, the city may be quivering in a haze of heat, but here the cool and soft light, and an entire absence of any discordant features in the architecture, 107combine to give a sense of rest and peace. Many Europeans have remarked that this mosque is a rendering in stone of the text “My house shall be called the house of prayer.”
Jehangir’s Throne, Agra Fort.28.
The Jessamine Tower, Agra Fort.29.
The Seat of the Jester, Agra Fort.Let us go out on to the open space by the wall, and look over the moat which divides the main buildings of the Fort from the outer rampart by the river. Across the water the Taj Mahal can just be seen beyond the bend of the river. In front of us is Jehangir’s throne, set up in the time of Akbar. It consists of a single great slab of black marble. Close by, is the Jessamine Tower. Here we have another view in which we see the Throne from the back and a corner of the Jessamine Tower. Notice the lower slab opposite, which is called the Seat of the Jester. The effect of its presence is by contrast to enhance the beauty of Jehangir’s Throne itself. Between the wall in the foreground and the outer ramparts by the river there is a drop of some sixty feet, and in this ditch fights between lions and elephants used to be held in the days of the Mogul Emperors.
Jama Masjid, Agra.Just outside the Fort, facing the west or Delhi Gate, is the Jama Masjid, of which we have here a view. We see the courtyard and one of the entries. The peculiarity of this mosque lies in the structure of the three great domes. They are without necks. We can just see the tops of two of them. They are built of red sandstone, and the encircling bands are of white marble.
Taj Mahal, Agra.32.
The Taj Gardens.33.
The Same, by moonlight.We will now visit the Taj Mahal. It was built, chiefly of marble inlaid with precious stones, by Shah Jahan as a tomb for his queen. Here we have a view of the Taj taken from without the entrance gateway. Then we pass 108through the gateway and enter the Taj Gardens. The watercourse in the centre is of marble, and along each side is a row of cypresses. The original cypresses had grown to such a height that the view of the Taj was becoming obstructed. They were therefore removed, and those which we see in the picture were planted by Lord Curzon, when he was Viceroy. The Taj is perhaps most beautiful in the light of the setting sun, or by moonlight. We have here a photograph made from a painting of the Taj by moonlight.
The Bazaar, Agra.35.
Agra Jail—Wool spinning.37.
Agra Jail—Carpet making.We will drive back through the native city. This is a typical scene in the Bazaar. Notice the Kotwal, or Chief of the Police, in the centre of the crowd. He is an Afghan, standing well over six feet in height and finely proportioned. On the awning over one of the shops an advertisement obtrudes, showing that even the native quarters of the cities of India are being permeated with European methods. Here is Agra College, endowed about a century ago by the then Maharaja of Gwalior. There are about a thousand students. Close by is the Jail. In this picture we see some of the prisoners spinning wool, and in the next they are making carpets.
The next series of pictures relates to the great Muhammadan anniversary of the Moharam, and in order to understand them it is necessary to say a few words regarding the history of Islam and the contending sects which have emerged from that history. Muhammad died in the year 632. He left no son; but one of his daughters, Fatima, was married to a cousin whose name was Ali. Abu Bakr, who had been a great friend and supporter of Muhammad, was elected Caliph or Vice-Regent of the Prophet. Abu Bakr died in 634, 109and was succeeded by Omar, who conquered Persia and Syria. To him Jerusalem capitulated. Omar was murdered in the same year, and was succeeded by Osman, who was killed in 656. Then Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, was elected to the Caliphate. Ali was murdered in 661, and Hasan, his son, was elected Caliph in his place, but was induced to resign in favour of a Caliph of another family. Husain, the second son of Ali, never acknowledged the title of the Caliph who had superseded his brother Hasan, and when the Musulmans of Mesopotamia invited him to overthrow the usurping Caliph he felt it his duty to respond to their appeal. Accompanied by his family and a few retainers he left for Mesopotamia. On the way, at a place called Karbala, on the west bank of the Euphrates, they were overtaken by the Caliph’s army, and after a heroic struggle lasting several days were all slaughtered, save the women and a sickly child called Ali, who died soon afterwards. Thus ended the Republic of Islam. Up to this time the office of Caliph had been elective and the government essentially democratic. The seat of government was now moved from Medina to Damascus.
In the middle of the eighth century of the Christian era a great revolution took place in Western Asia. The revolt was headed by a descendant of Abbas, an uncle of the Prophet, and the outcome of it was that the Abbassides, or members of the family of Abbas, established themselves as Caliphs, and ruled at Bagdad from the year 756 to the year 1258. When Bagdad was destroyed by the Mongols a member of the Abbassides family escaped to Cairo, where he was recognised as Caliph by the Sultan of Egypt. The eighth Caliph in succession from this man renounced the Caliphate in favour of Sultan Salim, the great Ottoman conqueror, and it is on this renunciation that the title of the Sultan of Turkey to the spiritual headship of Islam is based.
It will be seen from this short statement of the history that a great change took place in Islam when Husain, the descendant of the Caliph Ali and of Fatima, the Prophet’s 110daughter, was slain at Karbala, on the Euphrates. From that tragedy dates the chief division of Islam. The Shiah sect traces its foundation to the Caliph Ali and the immediate descendants of the Prophet, who are regarded as the rightful exponents of his teaching. Some twenty millions of the Indian Musulmans are Shiahs, and Shiahism is also the State religion of Persia. There are a large number of Shiahs also in other parts of the Muhammadan world, but nowhere, except in Persia, a majority. The Shiahs are advocates of Apostolic descent and lineal succession to the Caliphate.
The other of the two great divisions of the Musulmans are the Sunnis, who advocate the principle of election to the Caliphate. Almost all the Sunnis acknowledge the spiritual headship of the Sultan of Turkey, who is, of course, repudiated by the Shiahs. At the present time nearly 50 millions of the Musulmans of India are Sunnis, and there are Sunni Musulmans in China, Tartary, Afghanistan, Asiatic and European Turkey, Arabia, Egypt, Northern and Central Africa, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Russia, Ceylon, and the Malay Archipelago.
Moharam Time at Agra.39.
Shiahs burying Tazias.We are now in a position to understand the significance of the anniversary of the Karbala. Annually there is held in the Muhammadan month Moharam a festival in memory of the death of Husain. The scenes of the battle are reproduced, and the tazia or tomb of Husain is carried in procession amidst cries of “Hasan, Husain!” Properly, this is a Shiah festival only, but in India both the Sunnis and Shiahs take part in it. Here are photographs representing the festival. The tazias are pagoda-like structures, made of a variety of materials. They are carried in long procession through the town, and finally the little biers—representative of the biers of Hasan and Husain—contained inside the tazias are buried at the Karbala, outside the city. We have first a street view in Agra showing the crowd at Moharam time. In the distance 111is Agra Fort. Next we have three views of the procession of the tazias, and then a view of the Karbala beyond the city, where the biers from the tazias are buried. The Shiahs, however, do not bury their tazias in the Karbala, but on the banks of the Jumna. Here we see them in the early morning conducting the ceremony with most solemn ritual.
Fields of Wheat and Barley.45.
The Public Audience Hall, Fatehpur Sikri.46.
The Great Capital, Fatehpur Sikri.47.
Gate of Victory, Fatehpur Sikri.Let us drive out from Agra southwestward on the road to Fatehpur Sikri, the city erected by the Emperor Akbar, but abandoned by his successors in favour of Agra. On the way, we note fields of wheat and barley, separated by an irrigation channel. We pass villages amid mango trees, and occasional ruins, and arrive at Fatehpur Sikri. There we enter the great quadrangle and the Public Audience Hall of the Palace, built of red sandstone. It was in this hall that Akbar used to sit on certain days to see personally anyone who had grievances to lay before him. Notice in the quadrangle the stone pierced with a hole which is fixed in the ground. Criminals were put to death by being trampled upon by an elephant, and to that ring the elephant was tied. We pass on to the Private Audience Hall of Akbar, the Diwan-i-Khas. Note the huge capital of the column in the centre. Tradition says that Akbar used to sit on the top of this capital. Finally, here is the magnificent Gate of Victory.
Mausoleum of Akbar, Sikandra.49.
The Same—a Marble Inscription.50.
The Same—the Cloisters.We leave Fatehpur Sikri, and drive back, past many other tombs, in the direction of the Cantonment at Agra until we come to the burial place of Akbar at Sikandra. This is the gateway of the 112great Mausoleum. Notice the cut marble inscriptions down the sides of the arch. They are quotations from the Koran. Here is a clearer photograph of a part of these inscriptions, and here we have the marble court above the tomb of Akbar. Round the Cloisters are verses celebrating his greatness. “Think not that the sky will be so kind as Akbar was,” is the tenor of one of them.
Hariki Piri, Hardwar.52.
Sarwan Nath Temple, Hardwar.53.
The Same, from above.54.
Camels at Hardwar.
Finally we will travel away to Hardwar, some two hundred miles due north of Agra. It is on the Ganges, at the point where the river leaves the last foot hills of the Himalayas and enters the plain. Hardwar is a great centre of Hindu pilgrimage for the purpose of ablution in the sacred waters. At the annual fair are gathered hundreds of thousands of worshippers. So great has been the crush of people endeavouring to bathe that on occasion many have been trampled upon and drowned. The great day at Hardwar is towards the end of March, when the Hindu year begins, and when, according to tradition, the Ganges river first appeared from its source in the mountains. There was a town of Hardwar more than a thousand years ago, but its ancient buildings have disappeared. Here we have a view of the famous Bathing Ghat, a comparatively small flight of steps, where the river is considered to be specially sacred. The water is purer than at Benares in the plain. It flows swiftly and is as clear as crystal. Near by we have a temple, the Sarwan Nath, with great stone elephants, and here is a second view of the same temple seen from a neighbouring roof. Notice the Trisul, or bronze trident, the typical weapon of Siva, the Destroyer.
Sacred Cow at Hardwar.Here is a string of camels at Hardwar, and then a sacred cow—especially sacred because deformed, for a freak of nature is miraculous.
The Road to Mussoorie.57.
The Same, Coolies carrying Baggage.58.
The Same, a Tree across the Road.59.
The Himalayas from Mussoorie.Not far northward of Hardwar, among the foot hills of the Himalayas, is Mussoorie, a hill station supplementary to Simla. Mussoorie is about a mile above sea level. We have two views taken on the steep mountain road up to it; the second shows coolies carrying baggage. In the next view we realise something of the difficulties of travel in these hill districts of much rainfall, for the road is blocked by the fall of a great tree. Here we have a view of Mussoorie itself, and then the landscape from Mussoorie looking towards the Himalayan ranges to the north. Close by, but lower down, is Dehra Dun, the headquarters of the Gurkha Rifles, enlisted from Nepal, and also of the Imperial Cadet Corps, a small training force consisting wholly of the sons of ruling chiefs. We shall hear of the Gurkhas again in connection with the defences of India, which will be the subject of the next and concluding lecture of this Course.
In the British Empire there is but one land frontier on which warlike preparation must ever be ready. It is the Northwest Frontier of India. True that there is another boundary, even longer, drawn across the American Continent, but there, fortunately, only customs houses are necessary and an occasional police guard. The Northwest Frontier of India, on the other hand, lies through a region whose inhabitants have been recruited throughout the ages by invading warlike races. Except for the Gurkha mountaineers of Nepal, the best soldiers of the Indian Army are derived from the northwest, from the Rajputs, the Sikhs, the Punjabi Musulmans, the Dogra mountaineers north of the Punjab, and the Pathan mountaineers west of the Punjab. The provinces along the frontier, and the Afghan land immediately beyond it, are the one region in all India from which, under some ambitious lead, the attempt might be made to establish a fresh imperial rule by the overthrow of the British Raj. It would not be the freedom of India which would ensue, but an oriental despotism and race domination from the northwest. Such is the teaching of history, and such the obvious fate of the less warlike peoples of India, should the power of Britain be broken either by warfare on the spot, or by the defeat of our navy. Beyond the northwest frontier, moreover, at a greater or less distance are the continental Powers of Europe.
Political Map of Northwest India.The Indian army and the Indian strategical railways are therefore organized with special reference to the belt of 115territory, extending from northeast to southwest, which lies beyond the Indian desert and is traversed from end to end by the Indus River. This frontier belt divides naturally into two parts. Inland we have the Punjab, where the rivers, emerging from their mountain valleys, gradually close together through the plain to form the single stream of the lower Indus; seaward we have Sind, where the Indus divides into distributaries forming a delta. Sind, as already stated, is a part of the Bombay Province, with which it is connected by sea from the Port of Karachi. Of late a railway has been constructed from Ahmadabad in the main territory of Bombay, across the southern end of the Desert, to Hyderabad at the head of the Indus delta. The Punjab is a separate Province with its own Lieutenant-Governor resident at Lahore. It was conquered from the Sikhs by a British army based on Delhi, and therefore ultimately on Calcutta.
Map of Lower Asia.To understand the significance of the Northwest Frontier of India we must look far beyond the immediate boundaries of the Empire. We have here a map of Lower Asia. Upon it we see a broad tract of upland which, commencing in Asia Minor, extends through Armenia and Persia to include Baluchistan and Afghanistan. There is thus one continuous belt of plateau stretching from Europe to the boundary of India. The eastern end of this belt, that is to say, Persia, Afghanistan, and Baluchistan, is known as Iran. On all sides save the northwest and the northeast, the Iranian plateau descends abruptly to lowlands or to the sea. Southward and southwestward lie the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf, and the long lowland which is traversed by the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. Northward, to the east of the Caspian Sea, is the broad lowland of Turkestan, traversed by the Rivers Oxus and Jaxartes, draining into the Sea of Aral. Eastward is the plain of the Indus. The 116defence of India from invasion depends in the first place on the maintenance of British sea power in the Persian Gulf and along the south coast of Baluchistan, and in the second place on our refusal to allow the establishment of alien bases of power on the Iranian plateau, especially on those parts of it which lie towards the south and east.
Map of the Northwest Frontier.In the next map we have on a larger scale the detail of that part of Iran which lies nearest to India. Here we see, west of the Punjab, a great triangular mass of mountain ridges which splay out westward and southward from the northeast. These ridges and the intervening valleys constitute Afghanistan. Flowing from the Afghan valleys we have on the one hand the Kabul river, which descends eastward to the Indus, and, on the other hand, the greater river Helmund, which flows southwestward into the depressed basin of Seistan, where it divides into many channels, forming as it were an inland delta from which the waters are evaporated by the hot air, for there is no opening to the sea. The valley of the Kabul river on the one hand, and the oasis of Seistan on the other, might in the hands of an enemy become bases wherein to prepare the invasion of India. Therefore, without annexing this intricate and difficult upland, we have declared it to be the policy of Britain to exclude from Afghanistan and from Seistan all foreign power.
Further examination of the map will show that there are two lines, and only two, along which an invasion of India might be conducted. On the one hand, the mountains become very narrow just north of the head of the Kabul River. There in fact a single though lofty ridge, the Hindu Kush, is all that separates the basin of the Oxus from that of the Indus. As we see from the map, low ground is very near on the two sides of the Hindu Kush. The way into India over the passes of the Hindu Kush is known as the Khyber route, from the name of the last defile by which the track descends into the Indian Plain.
117If we now look some five hundred miles to the southwest of Kabul, we see that the Afghan mountains come suddenly to an end, and that a pathway leads round their fringe from Herat to the Indus Basin, passing along the border of Seistan. From Herat to beyond Kandahar, this way lies over an upland plain and is easy, but the last part of the journey is through a mountainous district down to the lowland of the Indus. This is the Bolan route, so called from the last gorge towards India. It will be noticed that the Bolan route debouches upon the Indus opposite to the great Indian Desert. Therefore it is that the Khyber route has been the more frequented. It leads directly between the desert and the mountain foot, upon the inner gateway of India at Delhi.
We conquered the Punjab from the Sikhs, but for many centuries it had been ruled by the Musulmans. In the break up of the Mogul Empire invaders had come, during the eighteenth century, from Persia and from Afghanistan, who carried devastation even as far as Delhi. Thus it was that with relative ease the Sikhs as contemporaries of the Marathas established a dominion in the helpless Punjab. They extended their rule also into the mountains of Kashmir, north of Lahore.
Let us commence our survey of the northwest at Dehra Dun, which is placed in a mountain valley among the foot hills of the Himalayas, not far from the hill station of Mussoorie, of which we heard in the last lecture. Then from Dehra Dun we will travel two hundred miles northwestward, crossing the Beas, one of the five rivers of the Punjab, to Amritsar, the holy city of the Sikhs. Fifty miles west of Amritsar, on the Ravi, another of the Indus tributaries, is Lahore, the traditional capital of the Punjab. From Lahore onward we traverse irrigated strips of fertile ground, with sandy plains intervening, with a scanty herbage for a few camels. Then follows a broken and more desolate country in the north of the Punjab. So we come to the Indus itself, and beyond 118this, nearly three hundred miles from Lahore, to the military station of Peshawar, the last Indian city on the great track leading northwestward from Calcutta, through Allahabad and Delhi. Not far from Peshawar is the Khyber Pass.
The Khyber is protected by its own hill tribes. We have enlisted them on the side of law and order by enrolling them into military forces, just as the Scottish Highlanders were enrolled in the British army in the 18th century.
Then leaving Peshawar we will visit Quetta, some five hundred miles southwestward, and see there the second great centre of British force on the Frontier. It has been established to command the Bolan route to Kandahar and Herat. The whole army in India is organised with reference to these two points, Peshawar and Quetta, or in other words, the Khyber and the Bolan. There are many other passes in the frontier mountains, but they offer merely loopways from the two main routes.
12th Bengal Infantry.5.
Bombay Mountain Battery.6.
Heavy Battery in Elephant Draught.The Indian forces are now grouped into a Northern and a Southern army. The Northern army is distributed southeastward from Peshawar past Delhi and Allahabad to Calcutta, so that all the forces along that long line may be regarded as supporting the brigades on the Khyber front. The Southern army is similarly posted for the reinforcement of Quetta. It is distributed in the Bombay Presidency and immediately around. The conditions of the defence of India have of course been vitally changed by the construction of the Northwestern Railway from the port of Karachi through the Indus basin, with its two branches towards the Bolan and the Khyber. To-day that defence could be conducted over the seas directly from Britain through Karachi, so that the desert of Rajputana would lie between the defending forces and the main community of India within.
18th P. W. Tiwana Horse.8.
Gurkha Rifles: Physical Drill.9.
The Same—Bayonet Practice.10.
32nd Mountain Battery, Advancing Down Hill.11.
The Same—Retiring Up Hill.12.
Battery in Action.As we start for Dehra Dun let us stop for a moment on the ridge at Delhi to see a squadron of the 18th Prince of Wales’s Tiwana Horse, recruited partly from among the Sikhs and partly from the Musulmans. Then at Dehra Dun we have the Gurkha Rifles. We see them at physical drill and then at bayonet practice. At the same place we visit a battery of Mountain Artillery, for Dehra Dun is in the Terai, at the foot of the Himalayas. Mountain batteries are much utilised in operations over the broken and hilly country towards the Northwest Frontier. The men are Punjabis; and it will be noticed that the guns are carried by mules. Here we see the battery advancing down hill, and here we see it retiring up hill. Then we have a mountain gun in action.
From Dehra Dun we proceed to Amritsar, the chief centre of the Sikh religion, which resulted from a reformation of Hinduism in the middle of the fifteenth century. It is therefore modern indeed as compared with the parent religion itself. The Sikhs abandoned idolatry, and also distinctions of caste. The word Sikh means “disciple.” In their origin a religious sect, the Sikhs developed into a powerful military commonwealth, which rose to great position in the Punjab and surrounding lands as the Mogul strength decayed at Delhi. The Sikhs only succumbed to the British after two wars, fought in 1846 and 1849, which were among the severest in the whole history of British India. Yet they remained loyal during the Mutiny.
The Causeway and the Golden Temple, Amritsar.14.
The Golden Temple, Amritsar.15.
The Akal Bungah, Amritsar.The Emperor Akbar granted to the Sikhs a site for their capital by the shore of a sacred tank, and this capital, Amritsar, has now grown to be a city of over 150,000 inhabitants, the third most wealthy and populous of the Punjab. It is 120surpassed only by Delhi and Lahore, and Delhi has been included in the Punjab only in recent times, and for convenience of administration. In this view we see the famous Golden Temple, built in the centre of the sacred tank. The bridge across the water leading to the entry is of marble. The doors of the gateway are of silver without, and on the inner side of wood inlaid with ivory. The lower part of the walls of the temple itself are of white marble inlaid with jaspar and mother-of-pearl, but the upper part is plated with gilded copper. In the middle of the temple, under a canopy, is the Grant Sahib, the sacred book of the Sikhs, covered with a cloth of gold. Here we have another view of the Golden Temple seen across the tank, and behind it is the Clock Tower. Opposite the chief entry to the temple is a square surrounded by public buildings, of which the most important is the Akal Bungah, wherein are performed the ceremonies of initiation and investiture of the Sikhs.
School of Sikh and Hindu Children.17.
Street Scene, Amritsar.18.
Street Conjurer, Amritsar.A few scenes follow showing phases of life at Amritsar. Here we see a part of the tesselated pavement which surrounds the sacred tank, and a school of Hindu and Sikh children. Next is a street scene showing the gateway leading to another sacred tank, and here is a conjurer with a cobra entwined about his neck. Amritsar has to-day become an important manufacturing city. From raw materials brought by the Khyber route, from the central Asian markets, are here manufactured shawls of the famous Kashmir design, and also fine silks, embroideries, carpets, carvings, and metal work of various kinds.
Lahore, from roof of Shish Mahal.20.
West Gate, Jama Masjid, Lahore.Let us now go on to Lahore, the ancient and the modern capital of the Punjab. Here is a view taken from the roof of the Shish Mahal, or Palace of Mirrors, in the Fort of Lahore, looking towards the southwest, over the Jama Masjid, towards the River Ravi, on whose left bank the city stands. Next is seen the fine west gate of the Jama Masjid, a mosque built by the Emperor Aurangzeb, which contains relics of Muhammad.
The Same, showing Wazir Khan’s House.24.
Old Houses, Lahore.Do you remember “Kim” in Rudyard Kipling’s book? We have in this view the Zamzamah, the old gun under the tree on which Kim sat in the first chapter. Astride on its muzzle is an urchin, just like what Kim must have been. Here is the Sarai, a quadrangle about sixty yards square, with round arched verandahs on all sides. Note the well in the centre. Next is the actual house where Wazir Khan, Kipling’s Mahbub Ali, used to sleep. Beyond may be seen horses brought for sale. The Sarai belongs to-day to the Maharaja of Kashmir, who obtains a revenue from the fees paid by the horsedealers using it. Near by we have a busy street scene, showing old houses belonging to Hindu merchants.
The Court of Justice, Lahore.26.
Mayo School of Art, Lahore.27.
Statuette of Buddha.At Lahore there are a number of really handsome modern buildings. We have in this view the Court of Justice, situated in the chief street, the Mall. Next is the fine building of the Lahore School of Art, showing students sketching out of doors, and then a number of Punjabis in the wood-working room of the school. 122Here is the metal-working department. At the back of the room some senior students are finishing a large lamp in hammered brass-work, which was afterwards exhibited in London. The Lahore Museum, a corner of which we saw just now in the view of the “Kim” gun, is another fine building, containing among other curiosities a statuette of Buddha after his forty-nine days’ fast, excavated at Sikri near Peshawar. This statuette, some three feet high and two feet broad, is one of the finest examples of ancient sculpture found in India. It is carved with extreme delicacy and refinement, and is supposed to date back to about the first century of the Christian era.
Bridge of Boats over the Ravi, near Lahore.31.
Jehangir’s tomb.We will drive out from Lahore to the west of the city on the high road to Peshawar. We pass the Musulman cemetery and the Hindu burning ground, and then reach the banks of the Ravi. A bridge of boats crosses the river a little below the railway bridge. Here we turn aside from the Peshawar road and reach Shahdara, where is the tomb of the Emperor Jehangir. In this picture we have a close view of part of it, showing the inlaid marble. Near by is the ruined tomb of Jehangir’s wife, Nur Jehan. It was probably never finished, and has been neglected.
Edwardes Gate, Peshawar.33.
Kissa Kahani, Peshawar.34.
Police Station, Peshawar.35.
Silk Market, Peshawar.36.
In the Silk Market, Peshawar.From Lahore we travel by the Northwestern Railway to Peshawar, a distance of nearly three hundred miles. Peshawar, as we have already learned, is the most important garrison city on the Northwest Frontier, and the capital of the recently created Northwest Frontier Province. It has about a hundred thousand inhabitants, chiefly Musulmans. Here we see the Edwardes Gate, with its fine pointed arch, and 123passing through it we enter the Kissa Kahani, the Lombard Street of Peshawar. The Edwardes Gate may be seen from within at the end of the street. Here is the Kotwali, or Police Station, and just within the gateway of the Kotwali is the Silk Market. Peshawar is a most important commercial centre on the great road from Samarkand and Bokhara in Central Asia, through Kabul and the Khyber, to Lahore and Delhi. In the bazaar we find representatives of many Asiatic races. Here we see skeins of Chinese silk, red and white and yellow, hung out in the sun to dry after being dyed. Near by are the stalls of bankers and money-changers, which are sometimes raided by the wild tribesmen visiting Peshawar from the neighbourhood of the Khyber Pass.
Ghor Khatri, Peshawar.38.
Peshawar from the Ghor Khatri, looking north.39.
The Same, looking west.In the northeastern corner of Peshawar is the famous Ghor Khatri, which stands on a piece of rising ground commanding a fine view over the whole city. Here is a part of the building, with a bullock cart in front. The Ghor Khatri was successively a Buddhist Monastery and a Hindu temple, and is now used as municipal offices and as the official residence of the agents of the Ameer of Afghanistan when they visit Peshawar. We climb to the roof and look upon the city beneath. A second view is in the direction of Jamrud and the Khyber.
Gymnastic Class, Government High School, Peshawar.41.
Lowest Class, same School.Here in Peshawar, on the very border of British rule, it is interesting to see the progress of western education. This is the Government High School. A class is in the playground under gymnastic instruction. The boys are mostly Musulmans, though a few Hindus 124may be distinguished by their caps in the place of turbans. This is the lowest class of the school, and is being taught reading and writing by a native master. Notice that the boys’ shoes have been taken off.
Khyber Rifles drilling.44.
Khyber Rifles marching.45.
Zakka Khel Afridis.46.
The Sarai, Jamrud.47.
Caravan, near Jamrud.48.
Ali Masjid, nearer view.50.
A Subadar, 59th Sind Rifles.Jamrud, at the immediate entrance to the Khyber, lies some nine miles west of Peshawar. Here is a distant view of it from the Peshawar road. To the right can just be seen the Fort, and to the left Jamrud Village. Next we see a company of the Khyber Rifles, photographed at Jamrud, and here the same company marching. By way of striking contrast, are a group of the Zakka Khel Afridis in their native dress. They are the raw material from which the Khyber Riflemen are made. Typical wild tribesmen of the hills, they have been enlisted in the British Army to keep them out of mischief, and also to assist in repelling raids by their fellow-tribesmen, who continue to dwell amid the hill fastnesses of the region. The Afridis, of whom the Zakka Khel is a clan, seem perfectly well content, provided that there is fighting, which they love for its own sake. Here we see the Sarai at Jamrud, where all caravans going into India or returning to Central Asia halt for the night. The men in this picture are mostly Kabulis, with long-haired Bactrian camels from Central Asia, stronger and finer than the Indian species. These camels are laden with tea, sugar, and general supplies. Outside Jamrud we see a caravan of Indian camels taking stores back to Peshawar after operations in the Khyber against the hill tribes. Beyond Jamrud the road enters the Khyber, with the sweeping curve seen in this view. The Fort of Ali Masjid, nearly three thousand feet above 125sea level, crowns a steeply sloping hill on the crest of the path between Jamrud and Landi Kotal, where begins the descent into Afghanistan. Here is a nearer view, with the tents of an expeditionary force at the foot of the Fort. It shows the continuation of the way in the direction of Landi Kotal. Notice how steep are the cliffs and how narrow the Pass at this point. Beneath the Fort, in the face of the hill, are seen caves in which dwell during the winter months the wild clan known as the Kuchi Khel. Finally, we have a portrait, painted in the camp at Ali Masjid, of Nasar Khan, a Subadar, or native officer, of the 59th Sind Rifles.
We now leave the Khyber region and, following the Indus for some six hundred miles, we travel southward through a land which was not very long ago a desert. To-day, as the result of a great investment of British capital, irrigation works have changed the whole aspect of the country. The provinces of the Punjab and Sind have hitherto been regarded as significant chiefly in relation to the defence of the Northwest Frontier of India. They have now no less importance when considered in their economic development. The plain of the Indus has become one of the chief wheatfields of the British Empire, for wheat is the principal crop in the Punjab, in parts of Sind, and outside the basin of the Indus itself, in the districts of the United Provinces which lie about Agra. The wheat production of India on an average of years is five times as great as that of the United Kingdom, and about half as great as that of the United States. In one recent year at least, the export of wheat from India to the United Kingdom has exceeded that from the United States to the United Kingdom.
The brown waste of the plains of the Punjab becomes after the winter rains a waving sea of green wheat extending over thousands of square miles. Cultivation now spreads far beyond the area within which the rainfall alone suffices. 126The lower Punjab and the central strip of Sind have been converted into a second Egypt. Though the navigation of the Indus is naturally inferior to that of the Ganges, yet communication has been maintained by boat from the Punjab to the sea from Greek times downward. The Indus flotilla of steamboats has, however, suffered fatally from the competition of the Northwestern Railway, and the wheat exported from Karachi is now almost wholly rail-borne.
The Lansdowne Bridge.52.
Khwaja Khizir Island.Running southward through the fertile strip, not very far from the left or western bank of the river, the railway leaves the Punjab and enters Sind. At Rohri, one of the hottest places in all India in the summer time, a line branches northwestward to Quetta and Chaman, on the frontier of Afghanistan. Sukkur stands opposite to Rohri on the right bank of the river, and the Lansdowne Railway Bridge between these two towns is perhaps the most remarkable bridge in India. It was built between 1887 and 1889, and about three thousand tons of steel and iron were employed in its construction. It is eight hundred and forty feet in length, with two magnificent spans. We see in this slide a view of the Rohri end of it, taken from Suttian, an old nunnery founded for women who preferred seclusion rather than the funeral pyre. The Hindu custom was to burn the wife or wives with the husband’s body, until the British Government intervened to prevent the practice. One end of the town of Rohri, with its tall grey wattle and daub buildings, can be seen under the bridge. A train is upon the bridge, and in front are some Pala fishers, sailing on metal chatties into which they put the fish as they catch them. This is another view of the bridge seen from Rohri itself. We are here in the very heart of the rainless region. During twelve years there have only been six showers at Rohri! A great engineering scheme is now under consideration for 127damming the Indus near this point so as to raise the level of the water in the upper reaches of the river. In this manner the irrigation canals would be fed not only in time of flood, as at present, but in the dry season as well. Near Rohri, in the middle of the Indus channel, is Khwaja Khizir Island, on which stands an ancient Hindu temple. In the foreground of the picture near the water’s edge are Sindi boatmen mending their sails.
From Sukkur, passing through Shikarpur and Jacobabad, the railway traverses the desert to the foot of the hills, and then ascends to Quetta either by the Mashkaf—the actual line of the Bolan having been abandoned—or by a longer loop line, the Harnai, which runs to the Peshin valley. The latter is the usual way. By the Mashkaf route the line is carried over a boulder-strewn plain about half a mile broad in the bottom of a gorge with steeply rising heights on either side. Here and there the strip of lower ground is trenched and split by deep canyons. At first the line follows the Mashkaf river, and the gradients are not very severe, but once Hirok, at the source of the Bolan river is passed, a gradient of one in twenty-five begins, and two powerful engines are required to drag the train up. The steep bounding ridges now close in on either side with cliffs rising almost perpendicularly to several hundred feet. Occasional block-houses high up amid the crags defend the Pass.
The Chappar Rift.55.
The Same.The gradients of the Harnai route are not quite so steep as those of the Mashkaf. Should either way be blocked or carried away by landslips or floods the other would be available. The Harnai line passes through the Chappar Rift, a precipitous gorge in a great mass of limestone. In this view we are approaching the Rift from Mangi, and then we have a view looking back from the middle of the Rift. As will be 128seen, the railway runs across high bridges and through tunnels in the mountain masses.
Native Bazaar, Quetta.Quetta occupies a very important strategical position, about a mile above sea level, in the midst of a small plain surrounded by great mountain ridges rising to a height of two miles and more. Irrigation works have been constructed in the Quetta plain, which is now an oasis among desert mountains, and has a population of some thirty thousand, including many Afghans. The Agent General for British Baluchistan resides there. The town, with its outposts, is of course very strongly fortified, commanding as it does the railways leading southeastward to the Indus, and the Khojak Pass leading northwestward to Chaman and Kandahar. Here we have a scene in the native bazaar, with Hindus performing a festival dance.
Street in Chaman.From Quetta the railway is carried northwestward, through the Khojak tunnel, for another hundred and twenty miles to Chaman on the frontier, where is a British outpost. Here is a street in Chaman, with two old Pathans. Chaman is at present the terminus of the railway. The material is, however, kept ready for its continuation, in case of need, to Kandahar, in Afghanistan, seventy miles further. From Kandahar through Herat to the rail-head of the Russian Trans-Caspian Railway is some four hundred miles. By this route, did circumstances allow, a connection might be made, giving through railway communication between Europe and India.
The Proclamation of the Queen-Empress at the Delhi Durbar, 1st Jan., 1877.At this last outpost of British Power we complete our journey through the great Indian Empire. It was with no intention of Empire that a few London merchants formed themselves into an East India Company in the days of Queen Elizabeth. It was with no great force of white soldiers that the conquest was in after centuries effected, 129but by the organisation of Indian strength in a time of disorder, due to the downfall of the Mogul Empire at Delhi. Province was added to province under the British Raj of no set design and ambition, but for defensive reasons under the threat of French or Maratha or Sikh rivalry. In the great Mutiny the system of power and administration, thus upbuilt almost casually, was tested, and it survived the test, but with a fundamental change. The East India Company was dissolved, and the British Government made itself directly responsible for peace and order in the Indian Continent. The proclamation by which Queen Victoria assumed the rule of India solemnly promised that in the administration of the country due regard should be paid to the ancient rights, usages, and customs of India. The change which was made in 1858, after the Mutiny, was completed in 1877, when at a great durbar of the princes of India, held at Delhi, Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India.
The Same.The British Raj in India is an organisation unparalleled in history, for the Roman Empire consisted of provinces grouped round the Imperial City, but Britain is a quarter of the globe removed from India. Our power ultimately rests on our command of the seas and on the justice of our administration. When either of these fail, the British position in India will crumble. Within our duty of justice is included the generous but firmly-directed readjustment of the methods of Indian government, so as to adapt them to the now changing conditions of oriental society.
The Same.The responsibility for India is, indeed, a great one. It is idle to ask whether our forefathers should have assumed it. We could not withdraw now without throwing India 130into disorder, and causing untold suffering among three hundred million of our fellow human beings. Yet the administration of such an Empire calls for virtues in our race certainly not less than those needed for our own self-government. Above all, we require knowledge of India, and sympathy with the points of view begotten of oriental history.
|Viscount Canning, to March,||1862|
|Earl of Elgin,||1862-3|
|Sir John Lawrence,||1864-9|
|Earl of Mayo,||1869-72|
|Marquess of Ripon,||1880-84|
|Earl of Dufferin,||1884-88|
|Marquess of Lansdowne,||1888-94|
|Earl of Elgin,||1894-99|
|Lord Curzon of Kedleston,||1899-1905|
|Earl of Minto,||1905-1910|