Charles Alfred Browne.

An introduction to the geography and history of India, and the countries adjacent; online

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constructed on piles of wood.

The district of Budukhshan, on the
contrary, is celebrated for its climate,
and for its abundance of fruits and flow-
ers, though from having been repeatedly
ravaged by the neighbouring tribes, it is
now almost depopulated.

Produc- Khoondooz produces abundance of rice,
and in the dry parts wheat and barley ;
silk also is produced on the banks of the

Budukhshan is celebrated for its ruby
mines. It also yields lapis lazuli, sul-
phur, salt, and iron.

The chief traffic of the province is in
cattle and slaves.

Towns. The principal towns are Khoondooz

and Khooloom.

Khoondooz is the residence of the
chief, but is otherwise an insignificant
town, and does not contain mare than
1500 inhabitants.

Khooloom is situated on the western
frontier, and is the principal trading town>

It contains about 10,000 inhabitants.


inhabit- The inhabitants of Khoondooz are
chiefly Tajiks, with a small proportion
of Uzbeks; and the province is under
the government of an Uzbek chief, who
bears the title of Meer of Khoondooz.

Name. The nairne of Tartary was formerly

given by European writers to the whole
of northern and central Asia, from
Persia, Hindoostan and China to the
Northern Ocean, and from the Black
Sea and the frontier of Russia to the
Pacific. The Tartars, properly Tatars,
were a tribe who usually led the van of
Jungez Khan's armies, and their name
was thus carried into Europe by the fu-
gitive inhabitants of the countries they
invaded, and gradually came to be em-
ployed to designate a great part of Asia
as above noticed.

The name of Tartary is not known in
eastern geography, the general name
given by eastern writers to the country
north of the Jaxartes being Toorkistan,
and to that part between the Jaxartes
and the Oxus, Mawur-ool-Nuhr.

By the Greeks it was divided into
Sogdiana, now the district of Samarcand
and Bokhara, on the north; and Bactri-
ana, or the modern Balkh, on the south.

Mawur-ool-Nuhr also is often desig-
nated as Transowiana, which names are
synonymous; the first meaning beyond the
river, as the second does beyond the Oxus.

The whole of this country in ancient
geography formed part of Scy thia.

The inhabitants of the several coun-
tries included under the name of Tar-


Inhabit- tary, are composed of Tajiks or Tats in
Mawur-ool-Nuhr, and various tribes of
Toork and Tartar origin.

The Tajiks are of Persian origin, and
are chiefly occupied in commerce and

Of the other tribes the principal are
the Toorkmans, the Uzbeks, the Kir-
ghizes, and the Kuzzaks, all of Toorkee
origin, and the Kalmuks who are Tartars.

The Toorkmans are entirely a nomade
race, divided into a number of tribes or
clans. They occupy Toorkistan, Khiva,
and Toorkmania. The Uzbeks, partly
-nomade, but generally living in a settled
manner, occupy Bokhara, Kokan, and

The Kirghizes inhabit the eastern
parts of Khoondooz, and the Kuzzaks,
(known in Europe as the Cossacks, who
appear to be nearly the same people as
the Kirghizes,) occupy the northern and
north-eastern borders towards Russia.

The Kalmuks, or Calmuck Tartars,
who for many centuries occupied the
eastern shores of the Black Sea, are
now chiefly to the north of the Jaxartes,
having migrated thither in the latter part
of the 18th century.

All these tribes have the same origin
as the Scythians and Huns of ancient
times, and have always been marked by
the same fierceness of character, and the
same wandering and predatory habits.

The Toorkmans and other nomade
tribes depend for their subsistence en-
tirely upon their flocks and herds.
Their chief food is mutton, and as a
delicacy, horse-flesh ; and their common


inhabit- drink is milk, not only of cows, but also
of mares, goats, ewes, and camels. Of
mares" milk the northern tribes make a
spirituous liquor, called Koumis, of which
they are exceedingly fond. They carry
on some trade with the neighbouring
districts, exchanging horses, cattle, wool,
and furs, for arms, and other manufac-
tured articles ; but their main traffic is
in slaves, whom they capture from the
Persian and Russian territories.

The Tajiks arid Uzbeks are greatly
superior to the others in all respects,
being industrious and civilized, and they
carry on a considerable commerce with
Persia, India, Tibet, China, and Russia.

History. This has been one of the most cele-
brated countries in the east, having been
the seat of empire of the famous Jungez
Khan and of his successors including
Tymoor, until the dissolution of the
Tartar government in the 1 6th century.

Very little, however, is known of its
early history. As far as has been ascer-
tained, it appears in all ages to have
been occupied by successive hordes of
restless plunderers, known under the gen-
eral appellations of Scythians, Huns,
and Tartars, whose devastations have
extended on all sides both in Europe
and Asia.

In the eastern districts south of the
Jaxartes kingdoms of some note have
existed, though they none of them ap-
pear to have subsisted for more than a
few centuries, owing to the constant in-
vasions to which they have been exposed.

The Greeks under Alexander overran


History, the province of Balkli, where they found-
ed the Greek kingdom of Bactriana ; and
/ several chiefs in Budukhshan, and to the
eastward, still claim a Greek descent,
some even affirming themselves to be of
the family of Alexander.

In the course of the 6th century, the
country was invaded by the Arabs, at
which time it appears to have contained
several principalities, but of little import-
ance, and in a low state of civilization.
The Arabs succeeded in a few years in
making converts of the people to the
Mahomedan faith ; and under its Ma-
homedan rulers the kingdom of Bokhara
soon became one of the most flourishing
in Asia.

In 1232 Bokhara was invaded and
overrun by the Tartars under Jungez
Khan, whose descendants subsequently
ruled over the greater part of the coun-
try. The Tartar dynasty attained its
greatest power under Tymoor, well
known in Europe as Tamerlane the
Great, who died A. D. 1405.

The successors of Tymoor, after some
generations, were driven out by an inva-
sion of the Uzbeks, and proceeding east-
ward under Sooltan Baber, established
themselves A. D. 1525 in India, where
their leader founded what has since been
styled the Mooghul empire of Delhi.

Tb Uzbeks maintained their supre-
macy until the invasion of the Persian
monarch Nadir Shah in the early part
of the 18th century, which was followed
by a long series of disorders and civil wars.

At present the principal states are
those of Khiva, Bokhara, and Khoondooz.

TARTAItr. 297

History. Under the descendants of Jungez
Khan, Kharizm and Bokhara were dis-
tinguished above all the countries of the
east for learning and magnificence, and
from the ruins which may still be seen
in places now quite desolate, it is evi-
dent that there were formerly many
populous and well built cities now un-
known. The Persian and Arabic lan-
guages were carefully cultivated under
the patronage of the Khans, and many
of the most learned of the Mahomedan
writers are numbered among those of
Samarcand. The name of Ulug Beg,
the grandson of Tymoor, is well known
to astronomers, and that of Abdool Gha-
zee, the Khan of Kharizm, is celebrated
for his history of the Tartars.

Religion. The tribes are generally Mahomedans
of the Soonnee sect, with the exception
of the Kalmuks, who follow the Lama
system of religion.

Language. The prevailing language is the Toork-
manee, and amongst the Tajiks, Persian.




CMnese Tartary.

Chinese Tartary lies between lat. 35
and 55 N. and long. 70 and 145 E. and
is bounded on the north by Siberia ; east,
by the Gulf of Tartary, and the Sea of
Japan ; south, by the Yellow Sea, China,
and Tibet ; and west, by Tartary.

Divisions. This country may be divided into the
country of the Eluts, or Kalmuck Tar-
tars, the country of the Mooghuls, and
the country of the Manshoors.

The Kalmuks occupy the western
parts, including little Bucharia or east-
ern Toorkistan, the Mooghuls the cen-
tral, and the Manshoors the eastern.
Belonging to the Manshoor country,
and separated from it by the gulf of
Tartary and a very narrow strait, is
the island of Sagalin.

Rivers. Jfc h as several rivers, but none of any

importance. The principal is the Sagalin,
flowing eastward into the gulf of Tarta-
ry. There are also several large lakes.

Mountains. Its principal ranges of mountains are
the Altaian on the north, and Beloot
Tagh, dividing it from Tartary on the
west. The Beloot Tagh mountains are
named in ancient geography the Imaus.


General The f ace o f this country is much diver-
tfon. ^ sified with mountain and plain, though
with little forest. The greater part con-
sists of a vast plain, supported like a
table by the Tibet mountains on the
south, and the Altaian on the north, and
considered the most elevated level land
on the face of the globe.

Part of this plain is occupied by two
large sandy deserts, the Desert of Gobi,
and the Desert of Sharno. The rest is
devoted to pasturage.

The productions of this country, as far
as they are known, are few ; the Tartar
tribes in general paying little or no at-
tention to agriculture or manufactures,
but depending chiefly upon their flocks
and herds, of which they have great
numbers. Horses and cattle are very
abundant, they have also the bush tailed
or grunting ox, and the camel. Wild
horses and asses are numerous, and the
tiger is also found in different parts.
Ginseng root, and sable, and other furs,
form the principal part of their trade,
and in the Manshoor country pearls are
found in some of the rivers.

Towns. The different tribes in general form

wandering hordes and live in tents,
which they remove from place to place
according to the season, or as they find
pasturage for their flocks. Except in the
western division, inhabited by the Kal-
mnks, there are consequently few towns.
The principal are Kashgar, Turfan, and
Yarkhund, in little Bucharia ; Hami or
Chaoail, in the Mooghul country ; and


Towns. Sangalin Oula, Tsitchikar, and Chinyang
or Moogden, in the Mairshoor country.

Name. The general name of Tartary has been

applied to this country by Europeans,
but it has no distinct native appellation,
the different tribes having each different
names for their respective lands.

inhabit- The inhabitants may be divided into
the three principal tribes of Kalmuks,
Mooghuls, and Manshoors. The ancient
inhabitants of the Kalmuk country were
of the race called by the Roman and
Greek historians the Scythians ; these
were driven westward by the Huns, and
these again by the Kalmuk tribes. The
Huns were, correctly speaking, the origi-
nal Tartars. Their complexion is gener-
ally of a reddish or yellowish brown.

History. From the earliest times this country
appears to have been inhabited by vari-
ous wandering hordes or tribes, addicted
to a pastoral life, each horde under its
own khan or chief. They were all, how-
ever, brought under subjection by the
celebrated Jungez Khan in the begin-
ning of the 13th century, and remained
under the rule of his family until their
empire fell to pieces in the 16th century,
and the tribes again became independent.
Jungez Khan invaded China, and his
Tartars maintained possession for about
a hundred years, but were driven out
in 3368. In 1644 the Manshoor tribes
again entered China, and finally estab-
lished themselves, and at present the
whole of Chinese Tartary is subject to
the authority of the Chinese empire.



Religion. r phe prevailing religion of the tribes is
Boodclhism of the Lama sect. Many are
also followers of what is called Shaman-
ism, that is idolaters who acknowledge
a Supreme Being, but worship a multi-
tude of inferior deities. In little Bu-
charia there are also Mahomedans of
the Soonnee sect.

Language. The languages of the tribes are dis-
tinct ; that of the Manshoors is said to
be exceedingly copious, though not writ-
ten until the 17th century, when the
Mooghul character was introduced.



Bound- This country lies on the northern fron-
tier of Hindoostan. It is bounded on
the north by Chinese Tartary ; east, by
China; south, by Assam, Bootan, and
Hindoostan ; west, by Cashmeer and
Tartary. In general terms it may be
said to lie between long. 74 and 100 E.
slanting southwards along the Hima-
laya mountains, from lat. 28 to 37 N.

Divisions. its chief divisions are Lakdack, Un-
desa, Teshoo-Loomboo, and Lassa.

302 TIBET.

Rivers. j S principal rivers are the Sanpoo and

Mounchoo, and in it are also the sources
of several of the principal rivers in Asia.
The Indus, Sutluj, Brahmapootra, of the
Indian rivers, besides others of China,
and of northern Tartary. The Sanpoo
is believed to be one of the most consid-
erable rivers in Avsia; but as yet the in-
formation regarding it is very defective.

Mountains, it has two great ranges of mountains,
the Himalayas lying along its southern
limits, and the Kailas, nearly parallel
to the Himalayas, in about lat. 32 N.
and of about the same elevation ; some
of the villages on them being situated at
a height of nearly 20,000 feet above the

General Tibet may be considered as consisting
tion? P " f two portions, the valley between the
Himalaya and Kailas mountains, stud-
ded with irregular hills, and averaging
a height of 10,000 feet above the sea ;
and an extensive table-land beyond the
Kailas of similar elevation, declining to-
wards the north and east.

Of the interior of Tibet, north of the
Kailas, little is known ; but it is believed
to consist of extensive stony and sandy
plains, diversified by hills, and by pas-
tures traversed by small streams.

Between the Himalayas and Kailas are
two remarkable lakes, the Manas warora,
in lat. 31 N. long. 81 E. and the Ra-
wun Hrood, about ten miles further
westward. The former is considered
by the Hindoos as the most sacred of
all their places of pilgrimage. The

TIBET. 303

General Chinese and Tibetians of Undesa call
tioaT P *t Choo Mapang, and it is considered
by them also a holy place. Rawun
Hrood is the source of the river Sutluj.

In consequence of the great elevation
of this country its climate is exceedingly
cold, particularly in the vicinity of the
Himalaya range ; where during winter
the cold is quite as severe as in the north
of Europe ; meat and fish being preserv-
ed in a frozen state as in Russia.

rroduc- Its vegetable productions are not nu-

tions. i j? i . - -L

merous, its chiet riches consisting in its
animals and minerals. Barley, coarse
peas, and wheat are the grains ; rice is
not cultivated. Turnips and radishes
are the only vegetables, and peaches and
bynes the only fruits. Tibet, however,
abounds in cattle and sheep and wild
fowl and game of every description.
Horses and mules are numerous, the
latter being commonly used for carriage.
The sheep also are used for the same
purpose. The horse and the ass are
both found wild. The most remarkable
animals of Tibet are the yak, or bushy
tailed ox, sometimes called the grunting
ox, the musk-deer, and the shawl goat.
The yak is rather larger than the Malwa
bullock, and is covered all over with a
long thick hair, from which are manu-
factured ropes and cloths for tents.
Their bushy tails are greatly valued,
and are much used as fly naps, (or
chowries) or as ornaments for horses
and elephants, for which purposes they
are in much request in India, China, and
Turkey. These oxen are never employ-

304 TIBET.

Produc- e( J J n agriculture, but generally for car-

tions. . rpi i -, & . , J . .,

riage. I he musk-deer is about the size
of a common hog, which it resembles a
good deal in appearance. The musk is
found only in the male, in a little bag at
its navel. The shawl goat is so named
from its yielding the soft silky hair used
for the manufacture of the celebrated
Cashmeer shawls. This species of goat
is found in no other country. All the
animals of Tibet are provided with thick
coats of hair and fur adapted to the cold-
ness of the climate. The dogs are large
and powerful, and the cat of the long-
haired kind, known in India by the name
of Persian or Lama cats. The minerals
are principally gold, quicksilver, nitre,
and salt. Firewood is very scarce
throughout the country beyond the Kai-
las, the dried dung of animals being al-
most the only fuel.

Towns. Tj ie principal towns are Leh, Garoo,

Teshoo-Loomboo, arid Lassa.

Leh, or Lah, the capital of Lahdack,
is situated on a branch of the Indus, here
called the Lahdack river, in lat. 34 JO'
N. and about long. 78 20' E. It is the
residence of the raja of Lahdack, and
is a place of considerable trade, being
a principal mart for the shawl wool of

In the neighbouring district is a breed
of remarkably small sheep, not larger
than lambs in India of six months old>
but covered with a very large and fine

Garoo, or Gartope, is situated in lat.
31 8' N. long. 80 23' E. It is only

TIBET. 305

Towns, noted as a mart for wool, the town itself
being a mere assemblage of woollen tents.
Teshoo-Loomboo is situated in lat. 29
7' N. long. 80 2' E., 180 miles north
from the frontier of the Rungpoor district
of Bengal. It is the second town in Tibet,
and the residence of the teshoo lama.

Lassa is situated in lat. 29 30' N.
and long. 91 6' E. It is the capital of
Tibet, and the residence of the dalai, or
grand lama.

Name. T he or |^ m Q f the name Tibet, HOW

generally given to this country, is not
known, as it does not appear to have
been applied by the Natives. In Hin-
doo geography, the tract lying along the
Himalaya mountains is termed Bhoot,
and the people Bhootiyas. The Native
name of Tibet is said to be Pue, or Pue-
Koachin, signifying "the snowy land."
By the Chinese it is called Tsang.

inhabit- The inhabitants are called by the Eng-
lish Tibetians. They are considered to
belong to the same general race as the
Tartars, and are entirely distinct in ap-
pearance from the Natives of Hindoostan.
They are described as a mild and con-
tented, but indolent people. Their man-
ufactures are chiefly of shawls and
woollen cloths, of which they supply
large quantities to China, their princi-
pal intercourse, both commercial and
political, being with that country. The
Tibetians have the singular custom of
polyandria,) that is, of one wife belong-
ing to several husbands ; the elder
brother of a family having the right to

306 TIBET.

1 an?8 >it " se ^ ect a W ^ e * r himself and all his
brothers. They do not bury their dead,
but burn the bodies of the lamas, and
expose those of the other classes to be
devoured by the beasts and birds. Their
chief food is mutton, which they are fond
of eating raw, and barley prepared in
various ways. They use plates of china
or copper, with knives and forks.

History. AS f ar as j s k nown o f the history of
this country, it appears to have been
formerly under the government of a
Tartar prince, who, in consequence of
his refusal to do homage to the dalai
Jama, was driven from his throne and
put to death ; from which time, sup-
posed to be between 1600 and 1650,
the dalai lama became the sovereign
of the whole of Tibet until about 1720,
when the emperor of China, taking the
opportunity to interfere on occasion of
disputes among the lamas, established
his authority ; and Tibet, though still
nominally under the sovereignty of the
grand lama, is now actually governed
by a Chinese viceroy who resides at the
lama's capital, and the country is gar-
risoned by Chinese troops. Lahdack,
however, is independent, and is still gov-
erned by its own chief who has the title
of raja of Lahdack.

Religion, The religion of Tibet is that of Booddh,
which appears to have been introduced
from India, and established throughout
this country at an early period. The
priests are all styled lamas, and amongst
these the dalai lama, or grand lama,

TIBET. 307

Religion. an( j t ne teslioo lama are held to be
particularly sacred. The grand lama
is considered to be no less than the
deity in a human form, on the disso-
lution of which he enters a new one.
The teshoo lama is also looked upon
as an incarnation of Booddh, and is honor-
ed by the emperor of China as his reli-
gious teacher and guide. There are two
sects of the lama Booddhists, distinguish-
ed from each other by the dress of the
lamas, the one wearing a red, and the
other a yellow cap. The latter may be
considered the principal, being that of
the grand and teshoo lamas and of
the Chinese emperor. The red division
is chiefly established in Bootan. The
lama Booddhists entirely reject all dis-
tinction of caste, and admit proselytes
of any nation. The principal idol in
their temples is that of Maha Moonee,
(great saint,) the Booddh of Hindoostan.

Language. The language appears to be quite dis-
tinct from the languages of India, though
the alphabet and character are believed
to have been derived from the Sanscrit.
It has two dialects ; one for works of
learning and religion, the other for
common purposes. The letters run
from right to left. Printing with
wooden blocks is practised, and is said
to have been known to the Tibetians
from a very early period, but it has
been so limited in its use through their
superstition, that not the slightest im-
provement in it seems to have been
made, and it therefore remains in a
very imperfect state.




Bound- China, properly so called, exclusive of

its territories in Tartary and Tibet, lies
between lat. 20 and 42 N. and long.
100 and 123 E. and is bounded on
the north by Chinese Tartary ; east, by
the sea ; south, by the sea, Tunquin,
and Siam ; and west, by Ava, Assam,
Tibet, and Chinese Tartary.

The different parts of the sea forming
the eastern and southern boundary, are
named as follows :

The Yellow Sea, from about lat. 42 to
34 N. ; the Eastern Sea, along the re-
mainder of the east coast ; the Chinese
Sea, along the south ; and the Gulf of
Tunquin, between Hainan and Tunquin.
These different seas all form part of
the Pacific Ocean.

Divisions. This empire is divided into 18 large
provinces, each governed by its viceroy.

River*. It has numerous rivers, of which the

principal are the Hoang-ho, or yellow
river, and the Kian-ku, or blue river ;
so named from the colour of their water ;
the first being very muddy, and the
other clear.





Both rivers rise in or near Tibet.
The Hoang-ho flows through China
into the Yellow Sea, after a course of
2,150 miles. The Kian-hu flows into
the same sea, about 100 miles to the
southward of the Hoang-ho, after a
course of about 2,200 miles. These are
considered the longest rivers in the

The Peiho and Quantung may also be
noticed the former is the Pekin river,
and flows into the Gulf of Peehelee at
the head of the Yellow Sea ; the lat-
ter is the Canton river, and flows into
the sea below that city.

There are also several extensive lakes,
one of which named the Tong-ting, sit-
uated in nearly the centre of the
country, is about 300 miles in circum-

Along the northern frontier runs what
is called by European writers the great
Wall of China. This is an immense
rampart built to protect the country
from the invasions of the Tartars. It
is upwards of 1,000 miles in length,
and in some parts, is carried over moun-
tains not less than 5,000 feet in height.
Since the establishment of the Tartar
empire in China, however, this wall has
been allowed to go to ruin.

The face of the country is much diver-
sified, in some parts mountainous, in
others level, but in all most carefully
cultivated ; in this respect excelling even
the most civilised countries of Europe.
Excellent paved roads communicate with
all parts, and there are every where inns

310 CHINA.

or choultries, for the accommodation of

Produc- The productions of this country in-
clude all that are known in India, be-
sides some peculiar to itself. Its grand
article of export is tea, the prepared
leaves of a plant, and the use of which
is now general throughout Europe and
America. Rice is the chief food of the
people. The manufactures are of every

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Online LibraryCharles Alfred BrowneAn introduction to the geography and history of India, and the countries adjacent; → online text (page 18 of 26)