Charles Alfred Browne.

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

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rule of a succession of Hindoo kings until
conquered by the Mahoniedans some time
during the llth century, when it came
under the government of a long race of
Tartar Princes. In 1586, it was subdu-
ed by Akber, and annexed to the empire
of Delhi, with which it remained until
1750, when it was taken possession of
by Ahrned Shah Abdalli of Cabool. In
1809 the Afghan Soobadar, or governor
of the province, taking advantage of the
disturbed state of affairs in Cabool,
threw off his allegiance, and established
himself as an independent sovereign.


Cashmeer has since been in a very un-
settled state, exposed to invasion from
Cabool, and latterly from Lahore. It is
at present under the government of the

Religion. Mahomedanism may be considered
the predominant system of religion but
there are also many Hindoos. The
whole of this province is still consider-
ed holy land by the latter class.

Language. The general language of the province
is styled Kasmeeree. It is a dialect de-
rived from the Sanskrit, somewhat re-
sembling the Mahratee. Their songs are
usually written in Persian.




North, the Himalayas ; east, the Jum-
na, separating it from Gurwal ; south,
Delhi ; and east, the Sutluj, separating
it from Lahore.

No ne O f any note<

Sutluj, Paber, Tonse or Tonsa, and

With the exception of a small portion,
called the Karda Doon, the whole of this
province consists of ranges of mountains,
with narrow valleys and ravines. The
Karda Doon is a valley in the south-
eastern part, bordering upon the Jumna,
consisting principally of marsh and low


jungle, but capable of being rendered
very fruitful. Coal is found near Na-

Towns. Simla, Subathoo, and Nahan.

Subathoo is a military post in lat. 30
58' N. long. 76 59' E.

Simla is a station on the hills near
Subathoo, about 7,000 feet above the
level of the sea, which has been recently
formed by the English, who resort to it
on account of its cool and healthful cli-

Nahan is situated in lat. 30 33' N.
long. 77 16' E. It is a neat open town,
and the capital of the Raja.

Name. The origin of the name Sirmoor is not


inhabit- The inhabitants, usually called Sir-
morees, are Hindoos, including a large
proportion of Rajpoots.

History. Very little is known of the history of
this province it appears to have been for
many years under the government of a
race of Rajpoot princes, said to have
come, originally, from Jussulmeer. To-
wards the end of the eighteenth century
it was conquered by the Goorkhas, from
whom it was reconquered -in 1814 by
the English, who restored it to the Raja,
with the exception of Karda Boon, which
they retained.

Religion. The religion of the province is the

language. The Khasiya dialect.




North, the Himalayas ; east, Nepal,
from which it is divided by the river
Kalee ; south, Delhi ; and west, Gurwal.

Divisions. Kumaoon, Bhootant, and Painkhun-





Ganges on the west, and Kalee on the

The whole of this province is moun-
tainous. At the foot of the hills on the
Delhi side is a belt of jungle, and higher
up, throughout the ranges of mountains,
are forests, producing various kinds of
trees, including the oak and fir. Parts of
the province are open and naked, particu-
larly about Almora.

The northern part of Bhootant, through
which are several passes into Tibet, is
covered with snow during more than
half the year.

The productions of this province are
principally a coarse kind of wheat, bar-
ley, and chenna. The tea plant grows
wild, but not fit to use. In the forests
are oak and fir ; and gold is supposed to
exist in the mountains. In the Paink-
hundee cedars grow of a large size, and
hemp. Paper of a particular kind is ma-
nufactured from a plant in this district.

The only place of any consequence in
the province is Almora, situated in lat.


Towns. 290 35' N. long. 79 44' E. about 90
miles to the northward of Bareilly. It
is the modern capital of the province.

Name. The origin of the name of this pro-

vince is not known.

inhabit- Bhooteeas and Khasiyas, with about
6,000 Brahmins scattered through the dis-
tricts, but the province is very thinly in-

History. This province appears to have been, in.
early times, an independent principality
under a Brahminical government. In
1790, it was conquered by the Goorkhas,
and annexed to the kingdom of Nepal,
from which it was taken by the English
during the war with that country in 1815;
and it is now part of the British domin-

Religion. The Brahminical system generally pre-

Language. The Khasiya dialect is commonly
spoken in this province.


Bound- North, Himalaya mountains ; east,
Kumaoon ; south, Delhi ; west, the
Jumna, separating it from Sirmoor.

Divisions. Gurwal, the sources of the Ganges^
and Deyra Doon.


Rivers. Ganges, called in this province, the

Bhagirathi, Alcananda which joins the
Bhagirathi at Devapra} 7 aga, where the
two form what is then called the Ganges
and the Jumna.

General r p ne W h le of this province consists of
tkm. lp an assemblage of hills, some covered with,
trees and verdure, others perfectly bare
and stony, affording shelter neither for
birds nor beasts. The valleys are all
narrow, often little more than mere
watercourses between the hills. Only a
small portion of the country is either
populated or cultivated, the larger part
being left to the wild animals.

Froduc- There are extensive forests of oak raid
fir, and also copper mines of some value.

Towns. Barahat and Sreenuggur.

Barahat, situated on the bank of the
Ganges in lat. 30 35' N. long. 78 22' E.,
is the modern capital of the province.

Sreenuggur, the former capital, is in
lat. 30 ll'N. long. 78 44' E.

In the mountains, on the north-eastern
side of the Deyra Doon, are the stations
of Landour and Mussoorie. These have
been formed by the English, who resort to
them for change of air, the climate berni?-
cold and healthful.

This province is often called Sreenug-
gur from its former capital. The origin
of the name Gurwal is not known.

Inhabit- The inhabitants are generally termed
Khasiyas, but they claim to be consid-


ered as the descendants of Hindoos and
reject the former name.

History, The province appears originally to
have been under the rule of a petty raja,
who, about the middle of the fifteenth
century, was expelled by a Rajpoot Chief
from the south, whose descendants were
afterwards known as the Sreenuggur
Rajas. In 3803 the province was con-
quered by the Goorkhas, from whom it
was reconquered by the English in 1815,
and by them restored to the raja, who
now holds it under their protection; with
the exception of the southern frontier
district, called the Deyra Doon, which
was retained by the English.

Migion, The religion of the inhabitants is the

Language. The prevailing language is the Kha-



North, the Himalayas, separating it
from Tibet ; east, Sikhim ; south, Ben-
gal, Bahar, Oude, and Delhi ; west, Ku-

Jemla, Goorkba, Nepal, Mukwanpoor,

Kalee, Suryoo, which, joining together
ut Bramadee, form theGoggra, and Gun-


Rivers. The Gunduck is supposed to rise in

the Himalayas, and flows into the Ganges
near Patna. The upper part of the
river is called the Salgramee, from the
stones called Salgrams which are found
in it. These stones are considered sa-
cred by the Hindoos, and are carried for
sale to all parts of India. Some have
been sold for as much as 2,000 rupees

J wer P ar ^ f ^ ie country, lying
along the borders of Oude and Bahar,
and which is called the Turiyanee, {low
lands,} consists of a long belt or strip of
low level land. Beyond this is a strip of
nearly the same width of hills and val-
leys, rising gradually towards the north,
The upper or northern part is composed
of high mountains terminating in the Hi-

P tions C- Wheat, oats, barley, millet, maize, and
other grains ; and, in the valleys, large
quantities of rice, which forms the prin-
cipal article of food. Sugar and carda-
nmms, wax, dammer, and oil. Amongst
other trees, the forests produce oak and
pine, with rattans and bamboos, both of
enormous size. Elephants are numerous*
The sheep are large and their wool good.
Iron and copper are found in the hills.

The sheep and goats are used in the
mountain districts to carry burdens.
These animals being saddled with small
bags of grain are despatched in flocks un-
der the charge of a few shepherds and
their dogs. An old ram furnished with
a bell leads them,


Towns. Malebum, Goorkha, Khatmandoo, Lali-

taputtun, Mukwanpoor.

Malebum stands on the west bank of
the Gunduk, in lat. 28 32' N. long. 83
IS' E.

Goorkha is situated in lat. 27 52' N.
long. 84 22' E. This was formerly the
capital of the Goorkhas, before the for-
mation of the present kingdom of Nepal.

Khatmandoo, the capital of Nepal,
stands upon the bank of a small river
called the Bishenmuttee, in lat. 27 42'
N. long. 85 E.

Lalitaputtun stands about a couple of
miles to the south of Katmandoo. This
is the largest town in Nepal, and con-
tains about 25,000 inhabitants.

Name. The name of the province is said to be

derived from that of its first raja.

inhabit- The inhabitants of Nepal are com-
ants * posed of a number of tribes of different
origin, and differing from one another in
their language and manners. The origi-
nal inhabitants appear to have been of
Tartar descent. They now chiefly oc-
cupy the northern parts. The tribes oc-
cupying the central and southern districts
form a mixed race, partly Tartar and
partly Hindoo. Of these the principal
are the Goorkhas, composed mostly of
Khasiyas and Mugurs, both original
tribes, and the Purbuttees and Newars.
The Mugurs constitute the principal mili-
tary force. The Purbuttees usually in-
habit the mountains and are a pastoral
race ; while the Newars live in the val~


leys, and are engaged in agriculture and

History. This country appears, in early times,
to have been divided into a number of
little principalities, the chiefs of which
were most frequently at war with one
another, but still continuing independent.
About the year 1320 the district of Ne-
pal was subdued by a Rajpoot Chief from
Oude. It subsequently passed under the
government of a chief of Newar origin,
with whose family it remained till 1768,
when it was conquered by the Goorkha
Chief, Prithi Narrain. His successors
prosecuted their conquests until their ter-
ritory extended to the Sutluj on the west,
and Bhootan on the east. Continuing
their encroachments along their southern
frontier also, they at last came in contact
with the British provinces, until, in 1814,,
in consequence of an attack made by them
upon two of the English stations, the
latter were obliged to declare war against
them. The war lasted for more than
two years, and, at first, through misman-
agement, the English sustained several
severe defeats ; ultimately, however, the
English were victorious, and, in 1816,
when the army, under Sir David Oehter-
lony, had arrived within three days"
march of Katmandoo, the raja was com-
pelled to submit, and to give up all his
conquests beyond the river Kalee on the
west, and Morung upon the east, within
which limits it has since remained.

Keligion. The prevailing religion is the Brahmin-
ical, but many of the tribes still follow a


sect of Booddhism, and, latterly Maho-
medanism has been introduced.

Language. ^ number of different dialects are
spoken, of which the principal is the Pur-
buttee, called, in the western parts the
Khasee, which appears to be derived from
the Hinduwee, and is written in a charac-
ter resembling the Nagree.



Lahore or the Punjab.

Bound- North, the Himalayas, Cashmeer, and

the Himalayas ; east, the Sutluj, separat-
ing it from Delhi ; south, Mooltan ; west,
the Indus.

Divisions. The province is divided into a number
of small districts for the purposes of go-
vernment, but the two principal natural
divisions may be said to be the Lower
Punjab, or level country, between the ri-
vers, and the Kohistan, or hill country,
occupying the northern part.


Rivers. fhe principal rivers are the Indus, Je-

lum, Chenab, Ravee, Beya or Beas, and

The Indus and Sutluj have been al-
ready described.

The Jelum, called, by the Greek wri-
ters the Hydaspes, has its source in the
south-eastern corner of Cashmeer, and
flowing first westward, and afterwards to
the south, falls into the Chenab, after a
course of about 450 miles, 100 miles
above Mooltan.

The Chenab, which is the largest of
the five rivers forming the Punjab, rises
in the Himalayas, eastward of Cashmeer,
and flowing south-westerly is joined by
the Jelum at Trimoo Ghat. Lower
down, about 50 miles north of Mooltan,
it receives the Ravee, arid a little above
Ooch, it is joined by the Sutluj, or, as it
is also called at this part, the Garra,
whence it flows south-westerly into the
Indus at Mittun. The Chenab is consi-
dered to be the Acesines of the Greeks.

The Ravee, or Hydraotes of the
Greeks, rises in the Kohistan, near the
Himalayas, and flowing south-westerly
past the city of Lahore, joins the Chenab
about 50 miles to the northward of Mool-

The Beya or Beas, the Hyphasis of
the Greeks, also rises in the Himalayas,
and falls into the Sutluj some distance
above Ferozepoor.

General f h e Kohistan division, as implied by

tioiT P the name, is hilly throughout, and its

productions are not numerous ; the cold,

for some months, being too severe for


General those of India generally, and the heat
tioh. ^ during others being too great for those of
more northern climates. The declivities
of the mountains, however, produce
abundant crops of wheat, barley, and
peas, which constitute the principal arti-
cles of food of the inhabitants.

The Punjab is generally level, and af-
fords both pasturage and tillage. It
yields wheat, barley, rice, pulses of all
sorts, sugar, and tobacco. Horses of
tolerably good quality are bred in great
numbers, and the oxen and buffaloes are
of a large powerful kind. Large quanti-
ties of fossil salt are found in many places,
particularly between the Indus and the

Towns. Attok, Rawulpindee, Rotas, Kishta-

wur, Lahore, Umritsir.

Attok is a fortress situated on the
eastern bank of the Indus, in lat. 33 56'
N. long. 71 57' E. It is noticed as be-
ing placed on the principal route across
the Indus, and as marking the point at
which Alexander the Great, Tymoor, and
Nadir Shah all entered India. The
name Attok, (Utok,) means limit or hin-
drance. It is a place of little strength,
and does not contain more than 2,000 in-

Rawulpindee is a populous and well
built town, situated in lat. 35 36' N.
long. 73 45' E.

Rotas, situated about 100 miles to the
northward of Lahore, is a strong fortress,
much celebrated in the early history of
the Mahomedans in India, as one of their


Towns. main bulwarks between Tartary and

Lahore, the capital of the Punjab, is
situated on the south side of the Ravee,
lat. 3i36'N. long. 74 3' E.

In the earliest times of which we have
any historical record, this appears to have
been a place of consequence as the capital
of the Rajpoot Kings of Lahore. Subse-
quently, in the year 1520, Sooltan Baber
made it the capital of his empire, and it
continued to be the seat of government
for nearly a hundred years. Though the
old city is now, in many parts, nearly in
ruins, it still retains the vestiges of its
former grandeur, and contains several
magnificent edifices, particularly the pa-
lace built by the Emperor Akbar, the
Shah Dura, or Mausoleum of the Em-
peror Juhangeer on the opposite side of
the river, and the tomb of his queen, the
celebrated Noor Juhan.

There is also the" beautiful garden of
Shah Juhun, called the Shalimar, inter-
sected by a canal, which throws up its
water in 450 fountains to cool the air.

Umritsir is situated 50 miles north-
westerly -from Lahore. This is properly
the capital of the Sikh nation, being con-
sidered by them as their holy city. It
derives its name, which signifies the pool
of immortality, from a small tank, in
the centre of which stands a temple dedi-
cated to Gooroo Govind Singh, and con-
taining the book of laws written by him.
It is larger than Lahore, and the principal
mart of the province. Many rich mer-
chants and bankers reside here, and


amongst its inhabitants are several hun-
dred Akalees or priests.

-Name, Lahore is the ancient Hindoo name of

this province, but it is now usually deno-
minated the Punjab, from Pun j, Jive, and
ab, river, in allusion to the five rivers by
which it is traversed.

inhabit- The inhabitants of this province are
Sikhs, Singhs, Jats, Rajpoots, and other
Hindoos, of inferior castes, and Mahome-
dans. The latter are still numerous, but
chiefly of the poorer classes. The total
population is supposed to amount to be-
tween three and four millions. They are
generally a robust, athletic race, and of
martial habits.

History. J n early times, Lahore formed an inde-
pendent kingdom, which appears to have
continued for many centuries under a suc-
cession of Rajpoot rajas. There is, how-
ever, no historical record upon which any
reliance can be placed, prior to the times
of the Mahometans. Alexander the
Great entered Lahore, by Attok, about
the year B. C. 327, and captured the city
of Lahore, after having defeated the raja,
Porus, on the banks of the Jelum.

On the withdrawal of the Greeks, the
country reverted to its own rulers, and
little more is known of it till A. D. 711,
when it was attacked by the Arabs who
had conquered Mooltan. They do not
appear, however, to have effected any per-
manent conquest, and were finally expel-
led about the year 750. The Mahoinedans
having, subsequently, established them-


History, selves in Afghanistan, frequent collisions
took place between them and the Hindoos
on the Indus, until, in 977, Jypal, the raja
of Lahore, determined to attack them.
He was twice defeated, the second time,
when he was accompanied by the rajas of
Delhi, Ajmeer, Kalinjer, and Kanouj, with
immense slaughter, and in A. D. 1001,
the country was invaded and overrun by
Sooltan Mahmood of Ghuznee. From
this time Lahore was exposed to continu-
al attacks from the Mahomedans, until it
was finally subjugated and added to the
Mahomedan empire of Delhi, on the dis-
solution of which it fell into a state of
great disorder, and became the scene of
frequent revolutions, until it was conquer-
ed by the Afghans, under Ahmed Shah,
in 1748. It continued subject to Cabool,
but with frequent revolts, until 1758,
when a general insurrection of the Sikhs
broke out, assisted by a large body of
Mahrattas, and the province remained for
gome time in a state of great confusion.
After the battle of Paniput, in 1761, it
again submitted to the authority of
Ahmed Shah ; but, during these con-
tinued disturbances, the power of the
Sikhs had been rapidly increasing, and
after repeated conflicts with the Afghans,
they at last succeeded, about the year
1768, in completely expelling them from
the province. From this period, the regu-
lar government of the Sikhs may be consi-
dered to have commenced, the country
being gradually settled under the govern-
ment of a number of independent chiefs.
It was, however, again invaded by the
Afghans, under Shah Zuman, in 1795 ;


History. an d the Sikhs were at first overcome, and
driven out of the Punjab, into the Kohis-
tan. but Shah Zuman being obliged sudden-
ly to return to Afghanistan, which had mean-
while been invaded by the Persians, they
were saved. Shah Zuman again invaded
Lahore in 1797 and 1798, and at last
succeeded in bringing most of the Sikh
chiefs to submit to his authority. An in-
surrection in his own country, however,
again recalled him to Cabool; and the
subsequent wars amongst themselves put a
final stop, on the part of the Afghans, to
any further attempts at conquest in
India. As late as 1805, the Sikhs were
still divided into a number of petty re-
publics. Between that period and 1812,
the celebrated Runjeet Singh taking ad-
vantage of the constant feuds between
the various chiefs and the distracted state
of the country, succeeded, partly by
force and partly by fraud, in establishing
his own authority over the whole. Un-
der the rule of this remarkable man, the
constitution of the Sikh government soon
passed from a pure republic into an abso-
lute monarchy ; the bounds of which he
extended by successive conquests until
they included Mooltan, Cashmeer, and the
town of Peshawur, with part of the sur-
rounding district. Runjeet Singh died in,
1839, leaving an only son, Kurruk Singh,
and a grandson, Noor Nihal Singh ; be-
sides two adopted sons, Shere Singh,
and Tara Singh. He was succeeded by
Kurruk Singh, who died in November,
1840 ; and Noor Nihal Singh, while re-
turning from the funeral, was killed, it is
said accidently, by the falling in of a


History. g a t e through which he had to pass.
'Shere Singh then obtained possession of
the kingdom, which he has since continued
to hold.

The title of the monarch is the Muha
Raja, or the great raja. By the English
he is usually styled the Ruler of the

Religion. The religion of the Sikhs may be de-
scribed as a mixture of Hindooism and
Deism. It was founded about the middle
of the 15th century, by a Hindoo priest,
named Baba Nanuk, or Nanuk Sab,
who desired to reform what he looked
upon as the corruption of his religion.
His system gradually spread under the
influence of the Gooroos, or teachers, who
succeeded him, until the time of the tenth
Gooroo, Govind Singh, who, animated by
the ambition of worldly, as well as reli-
gious power, entirely remodelled the Sikh
constitution, and converted his followers
into a body of fierce and formidable sol-
diers, changing their designation from
Sikhs, signifying simply disciples, into
Singhs or lions, which before had exclu-
sively belonged to the Rajpoot tribes.
The Sikhs revere Gooroo Nanuk, as the
founder of their religion, but have still
greater veneration for Gooroo Govind, as
the founder of their national power.
Gooroo Govind is believed to have died
about the year 1708, and was the last of
the Gooroos.

Their tenets are contained in a number
of books written at different times, by
Nanuk and others of the Gooroos, and
finally arranged in one volume, called the


Religion. Grinth or Grunth, a Sanskrit work, mean-
ing book or writing.

The Sikhs reject all distinction of
caste, and admit converts from all

Language. The language of the Sikhs is called
the Punjabee. It is a mixture of Hin-
doostanee and Persian.


Bound- North, the Punjab ; east, the Punjab

aries. i A A, A J o- J

and Ajmeer ; south, Ajmeer and Smd ;
west, the Indus.

Divisions. Mooltan and Buhawulpoor.

Rivers. The Chenab and Sutluj.

General This province is generally level and

Descrip- . J ,., 6 -, ft ,,.

tion, open, m parts fertile and well cultivated,
but with large tracts of arid sandy soil;
and partly from natural causes, but
chiefly from its having been, during many
centuries, the scene of continual invasions
and warfare, it has become for the greater
part a poor and thinly inhabited country.

Prociuc- Wheat and other grains, cotton, and

tirmc *



Towns. Mooltan, Buhawulpoor, and Ooch.

Mooltan, one of the most ancient cities
in India, stands in lat. 30 9' N. long.


Towns. 71 7' E. four miles from the left bank of
the Chenab. This was, formerly, the cap-
ital of a Hindoo kingdom, and, subse-
quently, the residence of a viceroy of the
emperor of Delhi, but it has latterly be-
come a plaee of little importance. It is
noted for its manufactures of silks and
carpets. It contains about 6,000 inhabit-
ants principally Mahomedans.

Buhawulpoor, which stands about 60

Online LibraryCharles Alfred BrowneAn introduction to the geography and history of India, and the countries adjacent; → online text (page 4 of 26)