boulders in the river here, although it runs with violence. This is
owing to the softness or tenacity of the rocks.
_March 4th_. - Our march commenced with a steep ascent up the ridge,
forming the west boundary of the valley, surmounting this we proceeded on
for some distance at about the same level, and thence descended rapidly
to a nullah. We then ascended slightly, and subsequently descended to
the valley, in which the village Jaisa is situated. The distance was
nine miles; the march was pretty, almost entirely through fir woods,
three villages were visible in a valley to the left, which is in fact the
termination of the Jaisa one, but beyond the valleys no cultivation
whatever was visible.
The first part was up a barren grassy slope, after which we entered fir
woods, these at first were almost entirely constituted of Abies pendula.
At 9,000 feet Chimaphila, Berberis spathulata, Abies pendula, Bambusa
microphylla of Sanah, Mespilus microphyllus, Rhododendron elliptica,
foliis basi cordatis subtus argenteis, Philadelphus Lycopod. of Surureem,
Gaultheria nummularifolia, Rhododendron viscosum.
At 9,300 feet, Abies spinulosa becomes more common, Rosa hispida and
microphylla! Pinus cedroides commences, Dalibarda, Daphne papyracea,
Thymus, Gnaphalia, Mespilus and Berberis, as before, Potentilla.
At 9,500 feet, snow lying on the path in sheltered places, Euphorbia,
Gaultheria arboreoides, Hypnum rubescens, scolopendrioids, Pteris
aquilina, Melianthus, Rosa, frutex erectus ramis hispidissimis, ramulis
subglabratis, fructibus pendulis glabris, tubo-ovato, sepalis
lanceolatis. Salix arbuscula, gemmis rubur glabris, foliis lanceolatis
subtus glaucis, amentis faeminies pendulis, Bupleurum, Hydrangea, Spiraea
densa belloides! Prunella, Pinus cedroides common at Potentilla.
At 9,700, 9,800, to 10,000 feet, Abies densa, a few trees, as usual many
blasted, from lightning confined entirely towards the summit, Acer
sterculiacea, Aruncus, Thibaudia orbicularis, A. spinulosa very common,
A. pendula ceases, or at most only stunted plants occur, Mespilus
microphyllus, Berberis spathulata, Baptisia, these were very common on
west face, which is level enough and open.
Here also Pedicularis, Bupleurum, stunted Pteris aquilina, Polygonum,
Rheum! Avena! Pendulous lichens luxuriant. Along the level tracts, the
woods consisted entirely of Abies spinulosa, a minute Gentiana common on
The descent was steep to the ravine; half-way down A. pendula commenced
to flourish, and towards the ravine it was more common than A. spinulosa;
Rhododendron microphyllum was seen on this face at 9,500 feet, Verbascum
at 9,200 feet, but most of the plants seen on the east face were not
found on this. Acer sterculiacea, however occurred at 9,800 feet,
otherwise pines were the most prominent feature.
At the nullah, Dipsacus, Elaeagnus, Salix lanata, Artemisia major, Daphne
papyracea, Rhododendron viscosum, Mespilus microphyllus, Rosa hispida,
spinus acutissimis, Bambusa of Sanah, Plectranthus a large suffruticose
annual species, common in all the same altitudes, were observed. The
subsequent descent was through woods of A. pendula, with a few of A.
The limits of A. densa, A. spinulosa and A. pendula, Melianthus, Acer
sterculiacea, Thibaudia orbicularis, A. cedroides, Rosa microphylla,
Pedicularis, Hydrangea, Baptisia, Berberis spathulata were well
determined. They may be expressed as follows: A. densa, 10 to 13,000
feet, A. spinulosa, 9 to 10,500 feet, A. pendula, 6 to 9,000 feet,
Melanthus, 9,500 feet, Acer sterculiaceum, 9,800 to 10,000 feet,
Thibaudia orbicularis, 10,000 feet, A. cedroides, 9,000 to 9,800 feet,
Rosa microphylla, 9,800 to 13,000 feet, Pedicularis, 10 to 12,500 feet,
Hydrangea, 4 to 10,000 feet unless two species are confounded, Baptisia,
9 to 9,800 feet, Berberis spathulata, 9 to 10,000 feet.
_Jaisa_ is a good sized village for Bootan, and the houses are rather
large. We were lodged in the castle, a large building, with a capacious
flagged court-yard, surrounded by galleries: we were housed in the grand
floor of the higher portion fronting the gate. A good deal of wheat
cultivation occurs around. The village is situated in a small nullah,
surrounded on all sides by pine-clad hills. The vegetation is precisely
the same as at Juggur, with the exception of a Ligustrum, which is common
along the nullah. Larks, red-legged crows and ravens, abound here.
_March 5th_. - Our march consisted of a progress along levelish ground
up the river, occasionally rounding small eminences: we then commenced
the ascent of a ridge, the summit of which we reached about half past-
twelve. Snow is common above 9,000 feet. The descent was steep and
uninterrupted from about 2,000 feet, when we reached a small river.
Thence we ascended a little to descend again, we continued over a ravine
at nearly the same level, for some time proceeding over undulated ground:
on reaching the debouchure of the ravine into a larger one running north
and south, we commenced to descend rapidly until we came to an elevation
situated above Tongsa, to this place the descent was excessively steep.
The march was thirteen miles long, the direction west.
At a temple near Jaisa found the Juniper of Oongar in flower, and
arboreous, attaining a height of about 40 feet. The whole march up,
nearly to the summit, was through pine woods, A. pendula and spinulosa
being intermixed for some time. I noticed Primula globifera, Eucalypta,
Thibaudia orbicularis, Aruncus, Rosa ramis hispidis, Dipsacus, Prunella,
Potentilla, Gnaphalium, Sphagnum, Daphne papyracea, Tofieldia, Gaultheria
nummularoides, as we approached the base of the ridge or rather the spot
at which the ascent commenced. At this place Abies cedroides commenced,
and Abies pendula became uncommon.
On a bank here, I gathered abundance of mosses, Bartramia, Dicrana, etc.
and some Jungermanniae.
The ascent was through precisely similar vegetation, in one place it was
exceedingly pretty, consisting of sward with pines. Here snow was lying
on the ground in sheltered places to the depth of several inches. The
ground hence was levelish, but between this place and the summit a rise
of a hundred feet took place. Between these places Abies densa,
cedroides and spinulosa, occurred, but this was uncommon, Rosa ramis
hispidis, Salix of yesterday, Bambusa of Sanah, stunted Pteris aquilina,
Betuloidea, Hydrangea, Hypnum rufescens, scolopendrioid as well as below:
Spiraea belloides, Rhododendron obovatum, which varies on the same plant
with ferruginous and white leaves, Sphagnum, Thibaudia orbicularis. On
sward Gentiana minima.
As the snow increased, Abies cedroides became less, Abies densa more
common. At the very summit Parnassia, Polygonum rheum, Composita
penduliflora, Rhododendron hispidum, Berberis spathulata, which had
occurred previously, Vaccinium pumilium, ciliatum, Gentiana minima,
Swertia, Cnicus, Compositae frequent, Labiata spicata of Dhonglaila.
The descent was at first open, through swardy places: here Acer
sterculiaceum, Geranium scandens, Avena, Abies densa, Juniperus
fruticosa, raro arbuscula.
At 9,800 feet, Rhododendron foliis lanceolato-oblongis subtus ferruginea
tomentosis, arborea, became very common, forming large woods, Abies densa
interspersed, Juniperus, Betuloidea which has six or seven layers of
bark, the _boj-putah_ of Hindoostan according to Blake, Rosa
microphylla, Hemiphragma, Daphne papyracea, Dicranum stratum, etc.
At 9,500 feet, Clematis, Berberis asiatica, commences, Betula, common
At 9,300 feet, Primula pulcherrima, Abies cedroides very common, Abies
densa ceasing, Buddlaea purpurescens, Aruncus, Bupleurum.
At 9,200 feet, Lonicera villosa, Vaccinium cyaneum, Bambusa alia, Abies
At 9,000 feet, the jungle now became humid, Gaultheria flexuosa, Mespilus
microphyllus, Quercus ilecifolia, Tetrantheroides baccis nigris,
Gaultherium nummularifolia common, Rubia cordifolia! Hydrangea.
At 8,900 feet, Junipers cease, woods of Q. ilecifolia and Pinus
cedroides, Rosa microphylla, shrubby Rhododendrons, that which was
arboreous previously now becoming shrubby, Berberis asiatica, Taxus or
Abies brunonis! Lomaria of Khegumpa, Rhododendron foliis oblongis subtus
punctatis ferrugineis, Rubus, Primula Stuartii! Quercus foliis, Castaneae,
Ilex, Betuloid, continues.
At 8,500 feet, Panax rhododendrifolia, Thibaudia obovata, Taxus
ophiopogon angustissimus, Rhododendron formosum majus! Smilax ruscoideus
vel gaultherifolia! Primula pulcherrima, very common.
At 8,200 feet, Spiraea decomposita, Thibaudia obovata very common. No
firs, woods of oaks and Rhododendron majus, Panax rhododendrifolia and
another species; Bambusa.
At the nullah, same vegetation, Tetranthera nuda, Primula pulcherrima,
Valeriana violifolia, Eurya acuminata, Daphne papyrifolia, Fragaria,
Potentilla supina, Rumex of Khegumpa, Poa annua, Stellaria media and
angustifolia, Rhodoracea deflexa!
At 8,000 feet, the woods at this elevation have the same characters,
Rhododendron argenteum becomes common, Q. ilecifolia and Castaneae
facies, both very handsome and large trees, covered with pendulous
mosses, Sphaeropteris, Saxifragea viridis, fleshy Urticea, Oxalis major
on sward at the same elevation, Vaccinium cyaneum, Mespilus microphyllus,
Artemisia major, Gnaphalium, Dipsacus, Elaeagnus in woods, Tetranthera
nuda, Taxus, Gaultheria flexuosa nummularifolia, Vaccinium cyaneum,
Lomaria, Lonicera villosa, paper plant, Thibaudia orbicularis, Hedera.
At 7,800 feet, towards open barren hills, Indigofera canescens, Q. robur,
Spiraea decomposita, Anthistiria minor, Composita penduliflora, Alnus of
Beesa, Juncus effusus, Viburnum caerulescens, Xyris, Scripus fuscescens
of Tassangsee, Gaultheria arborea and fruticosa, Polygonum rheoides,
Smilax auriculata, Saccharum aristata, Lobelia pyramidalis, Stauntonia
latifolia, Salix lanata, Deutzia.
At 7,500 feet, Quercus tomentosa commences, between this and Tongsa,
Berberis asiatica is very common, Rosa sp., quarta, Cyaneum dycopod. of
Surureem, Ilex dipyrena, Tuipus, Kysoor of Churra, Apple, Gleichenia
major, Rubus deltoideus. In wheat fields, 7,500 feet, Crucifera,
Thlaspa, Lamium, Ervum, are found, Vaccinium cyaneum continues to 7,000
feet, this Mespilus microphylla, Berberis asiatica, Cycnium, Lycopod. of
Surureem, Ilex, Daphne papyriferae, are the only elevational plants found
between 8 and 9,000 feet, and which continue low down. All the others
ceased with the jungles.
_March 13th_. - _Tongsa_: this, although the second place in the
kingdom, is a poor wretched village, the houses, always excepting the
palace, are poorer than ordinary, abounding in rats, fleas, and other
detestable vermin. Our reception would seem to be uncordial: we are
miserably housed in the heart of the village, which is a beggarly one. On
descending the hill some people in the Pillo's house behaved very
insolently, roaring out, and making most insolent signs for me to
dismount, of which of course I took no notice: sparrow-hawk was seen at
8,000 feet. There is but little cultivation, indeed the adjoining hills
are barren in the extreme. The little cultivation there is of barley,
which is now in the ear, and decent enough; the crops being much better
than any we have yet seen, although in many fields it is difficult to see
any crop at all. The village, including the houses on the surrounding
adjoining heights does not contain thirty houses. There is one flock of
sheep, which are in good condition, some small shawl-goats, and a few
cattle, but of a lighter breed than the Mithans, from which they are very
distinct, and which we have scarcely seen since crossing Dhonglaila, the
first high ridge. There is some rice cultivation along the nullah or
torrent, on which the village is situated. Pears, peaches likewise
occur, and are now both in flower. The hills around are bare, nothing
but shrubby vegetation being visible, the tree-jungle not descending
below 7,500 feet, except on one spur to the south-west, on which it
reaches nearly to our present level.
The shrubby vegetation consists of Hamamelidae, Salix, Gaultheria
fruticosa, Rosa, Rubus, Pomacea, Elaeagnus, Berberis asiatica, among
which Artemisia major occurs on sward. Primula Stuartii, Potentilla and
P. supina, Oxalis acetoseltoides, Juncus, Bartramia, Polytrichum glaucum,
Fragaria vesca. In the fields Lamium, Crucifera, Thlaspi, Gnaphalium
aureum, Prenanthoid, Fragaria indica, Viola, Ranunculus, Oxalis
acetosella, Poa annua.
Urtica urens, and urentior occur about the houses, Cupressus pendula and
a Magnoliaceous tree, with exquisitely fragrant blossoms.
The palace is a huge, long, straggling piece of patch-work, of ordinary
construction, and less imposing than that of Byagur, which the Pillo
makes his summer residence on the Bhoomlungtung; it is however ornamented
with three gilt umbrellas. It is situated on the bank of the nullah, and
defended by some outworks, 6 to 700 feet above it; to the east, these
might, from their situation, be easily demolished by stones. The palace
itself is commanded in every direction, particularly by the hill, along
which we came from Jaisa; indeed a person might jump from the summit of
this on to the outpost, and thence on to the palace; so precipitous is
The people, above all those hitherto seen, are dirty in their persons,
uniting curiosity with no small share of obstinacy and impertinence in
their manners. The birds are the blackbird, a black mina, the
house-sparrow, sparrow-hawk, larger crow, domestic pigeons, kites, and
hoopoo. The red-legged crows I have heard once, but far above, nor do I
think that they ever visit this. The productions being essentially
different from those of the elevated valleys we have lately quitted. Can
those valleys be the _steps_ to the table-land of Thibet to which they
must be near, and which is reached sooner in that direction than any
other? The idea of the high valleys in question being steps to table-
land is perhaps corroborated by the fact, that the table-land is said to
be within two days' journey from Byagur.
Our interview with the Pillo took place on the 15th, it was conducted
with some state, and with some impertinence. The latter was indicated by
delaying us at the door of the audience room, the former by the
attendance of more numerous and better dressed attendants than usual. Two
Pillos were present. The incense as usual was burning, and the Pillos,
both old and new, were seated before some large Chinese-looking figures.
The only novel ceremony was the praying over a mess of something which I
imagine was meant for tea; in the prayer all joined, when finished the
beverage was handed to the Pillos, who, however, were contented with
merely tasting it. Before this some was strewn on the floor in front,
and some to the right of the chieftains. The castle was in places
crowded with people, no less than 5 to 600, but all were as dirty as
usual. None but the immediate attendants appeared armed. The new Pillo
is a dark low-looking man, with an incipient goitre, the old one a more
decent aristocratic looking person, good-looking and very fair. The
presents were of course beggarly, consisting of indifferent oranges,
wretched plantains, sugarcane of still worse quality, and ghee of an
March 17th. - We still remain here, and do not expect to leave for two or
three days. The weather is unsettled, and the sun increasing in power
daily. The new Soobahs left to-day for their appointments, with the
exception of the Dewangur one. Pigs are here fed on boiled nettle
leaves: old ladies may be seen occasionally busily employed in picking
the leaves for this purpose, and which they do by means of bamboo pincers
or tweezers. A few plantains may be met with here, but in a wretched
state. Rice may be seen 500 feet above this, on the north of the castle,
the slope of a hill being appropriated to its cultivation; the terraces
above, owing to the inclination, are very narrow, and from the paucity of
straw, the crops must, I should infer, be very poor.
_March 22nd_. - To-day we took our leave of the Pillo, who received us
in a room to the south of the castle. He was friendly enough, but begged
for presents unconscionably. He was surrounded by a considerable number
of more mean-looking persons than ordinary. On the previous meeting he
talked openly of being at enmity with the present Deb Rajah, but on this
occasion he said little on the subject.
The castle is an ill-built, and worse arranged building, the windows and
loopholes being so placed as to afford every facility for shooting into
the air. In a court-yard, several tiger skins brought from the plains,
It now appears that this Pillo, who said previously that the new Deb was
never installed, is himself an usurper, previously handing the old Deb
from the throne. This latter personage appears to be by far the more
popular of the two. The Pillo must now have great influence, as all the
posts in his division, are either held by his own sons, or by his more
influential servants. The sons by the bye are, so long as they remain in
the presence, treated like ordinary servants. Joongar is held by one of
his sons, a lad of about eighteen, of plain but pleasing appearance and
of good manners. He visited us yesterday, and his newly acquired rank
sat easily on him. The old Pillo no doubt owes his rank to his having
been the father of the lad chosen to be Dhurma Rajah, he is himself very
evidently low-born and low-bred, and compared with the former one, so
poor a specimen, that the greater popularity of the former is not to be
wondered at. From all we have heard, they are contemptible rulers, as
they appear to do nothing but intrigue for power among themselves.
Changes are hence excessively frequent, and were they attended with much
bloodshed, the country would be depopulated.
This evening we had ample proof that the Bhootea houses are not water-
proof. Heavy showers occurred with thunder and dense clouds from the
_March 23rd_. - We left Tongsa, proceeding through the castle, and
thence struck down to the river Mateesun. The descent was very steep,
and amounted to about 1,200 feet. The river is crossed by an ordinary
bridge, it is a large and violent stream and contains fish, some of
which, seen by Blake, were of large size. Crossing this, we continued
throughout the remainder of the march, gradually rising along the ridges
bounding the Tongsa river. We continued rising until we reached our
halting place, Taseeling. In one or two places, the road was completely
built up; ascending by zig-zags up, in some degree, perpendicular cliffs.
The distance was seven miles.
Proceeding to the bridge, observed Rubus deltoideus, Pomacea, Quercus
tomentosa, Artemisia major, Cycnium, Gaultheria arborea and fruticosa,
Buddlaea, Quercus altera, Indigofera cana, Gaylussacia serratoides,
Hedera, Thibaudia myrtifolia, Pomacea sauraugifolia, Viburnum
caerulescens, Quercus robur budding, Pterogonium, Fragaria, Duchesnia.
The remaining hills were much similar, generally very bare, clothed with
partial woods of Q. tomentosa, Rhododendron minus; the oak changing to Q.
robur, as we increased our elevation. Near the bridge noticed
Bucklandia, Erythrina, which is likewise found at Tongsa, Maesa
salicifolia, Urena lobata, Cnicus, Mimosea! Arbuscula inermis, Senecio
scandens in flower, Araliacea subscandens, Didymocarp. contort., a
Solenia, Betuloideus, Panax curcifolia, Alnus, Arundo, Anthistiria
arundinacea, Cerasus, Tricerta unisexualis, at 6,000 feet.
At about the same elevation Rhododendron minus becomes common, Primula
Stuartii, Dipsacus, Verbenacea exostemma, Scleria, Valeriana,
Tradescantia on rocks, with Saxifraga ligularia in full flower at 6,500
About this, 6,500 to 6,800 feet, Spiraea decomposita, Hamamelidea here a
tree, occasionally but small, Erythroxyloides, Conyza nivea and communis,
Gleichenia major, Parochetus communis on wet dripping rocks, Woodwardia,
At 7,000 feet, Berberis asiatica, Q. tomentosa ceased, its place being
supplied by Q. robur, Verbascum, Juncus, Gaultheria nummularioid,
Mespilus microphyllus, Scirpus fuscus of Tassangsee, Thibaudia
gaultherifolia, Rubia cordifolia, Azalea, and Daphne capitulis pendulis,
Ranunculus uniflorus, Hydroctyle.
Taseeling is situated about 2,000 feet above the Mateesun, on a nakedish
hill; about it there is some cultivation, and one or two villages, one
towards Tongsa and above Taseeling of some size. The place itself
consists of a large house, with some fine specimens of Cypressus pendula,
the east face of the house has the red stripe, indicative of rank. Its
elevation is about 7,300 feet, close to the house I observed the Lamium
of Bulphai, Bursa pastoris, Oxalis corniculata, Cnicus out of flower,
Artemisia major, Fragaria vesca, Daphne pendula and papyracea,
Hemiphragma, Composita pendulifolia, Lycopod. of Surureem, Hypericum,
Berberis asiatica, Juniperus; Barley cultivation, and a Pomaceous
arbuscula, armat. ovar. 5-discretis. The red-legged crow occurs here,
and a thrush much resembling our English one. The raven of course
occurs. A curious opening occurs in the hills at Taseeling, affording a
prospect of the Bag Dooar plains, seven days' journey distant, but the
road is bad.
_March 24th_. - Leaving Taseeling we commenced to ascend until we
rounded a ridge, when we turned to the west, we then commenced to
descend, but slightly, winding over undulated surfaces of barrenish
hills. After some time we reached heavy tree jungle, the road proceeding
in the same undulating manner, so that it was impossible to say whether
we had risen or descended. About one we came on the river, up the ravine
of which we had been advancing ever since turning to the west. This
stream is of some size, very violent and rapid, but fordable. Near this
is a large pagoda, built after the old Boodhistical style, and the only
respectable one we have yet seen, its site is pretty, and it is
ornamented above with eyes and a fiery-red nose. Leaving this we
ascended along one bank of the river, until we reached Chindupjee, our
halting place; this was distant from the pagoda three miles, and from
Taseeling twelve. This latter part reminded me of Bhoomlungtung; firs
being the prevailing trees, and the valley having more pretensions to the
name than usually happens.
We encamped in a beautiful spot, the house being situated on fine sloping
sward, surrounded by picturesque trees of Q. ilecifolia, a few tall
Cypressus standing up in the centre. The village is a few feet above,
and of average size, although it looks from a little distance to be of
considerable size. The march throughout was beautiful, especially after
entering the wooded tract; this reminded me of the march near Khegumpa,
the woods were here and there very picturesque, glades and swards
abounding, water was very abundant here, and this no doubt causes the
development of so much vegetation.
At 7,800 feet, Thibaudiaceae very common, Rhododendron two species,
Gaultheria flexuosoides, Thibaudia obovata, Caudata myrtifolia,
Hydrangea, which I find to be a climber, Rhododendron majus, commencing,
pine wood; chatterers heard here. Hills naked or covered here and there
with stunted wood; marshy places common.
At 7,600 feet, Lomaria of Khegumpa, Tetranthera nuda, Sphaeropteris, pear
and apple, Q. tomentosa, Magnolia grandiflora begins, Polygonum rheoides,
Daphne pendula, which is used, as well as the other, both here and in
Nepal in the manufacture of paper: brick-red black-pate.
At this same elevation farther on, Rosa hispida! Gillenia, Juncus,
Rhododendron deflexa, Smilax gaultherifolia, Spiraea bella, Dipsacus,
Spiraea decomposita, Ilex, Vaccinium cyaneum, Magnolia grandiflora very
common. The country now becomes more wooded, the woods being confined to
moist ravines, and in other situations where water is very plentiful, the
woods throughout become continuous, and forming the large forests before
mentioned: having the open spaces between the woods covered with sward,
on which Gentiana pygmaea, and Fragaria are very common.
As we approached the wood or forest, Pinus cedroides commenced, and
towards the valley of Chindupjee this species became very common, Rumex
occurred throughout in wet places, also at Taseeling. Geranium is common
also in wet places, Stauntonia latifolia, Potentilla, Duchesnoides,