Travels into Bokhara (Volume 1 of 3) Being the Account of A Journey from India to Cabool, Tartary, and Persia
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Printed by A. Spottiswoode,
BEING THE ACCOUNT OF
A JOURNEY FROM INDIA TO CABOOL, TARTARY,
ALSO, NARRATIVE OF
A VOYAGE ON THE INDUS,
FROM THE SEA TO LAHORE,
WITH PRESENTS FROM THE KING OF GREAT BRITAIN;
PERFORMED UNDER THE ORDERS OF THE SUPREME GOVERNMENTOF INDIA, IN THE YEARS 1831, 1832, AND 1833.
LIEUT. ALEXR BURNES, F.R.S.
OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY’S SERVICE;
AST POLITICAL RESIDENT IN CUTCH, AND LATE ON A MISSION TOTHE COURT of LAHORE.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.
TRAVELS INTO BOKHARA
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
LORD WILLIAM CAVENDISH BENTINCK, G.C.B.
GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF INDIA,
&c. &c. &c.
UNDER WHOSE AUSPICES
THEY WERE UNDERTAKEN AND PERFORMED,
HIS LORDSHIP’S MOST OBEDIENT,
TO THE READER.
The following volumes contain the Narrativeof my Voyage on the Indus, andsubsequent Journey into Bokhara. I havethrown the Journey into the first two volumes,from its interest being, perhaps,greater than that of the Voyage; and sincethe two subjects, though parts of a whole,are distinct from each other.
LIST OF PLATES.
|Plate I.||Costume of Bokhara, to face the title-page.|
|II.||Colossal Idols at Bameean, to face page 183.|
|(This is a double plate, and must be folded.)|
|III.||Bactrian and other Coins, to face page 455.|
|IV.||Bactrian and other Coins, to face page 455.|
|V.||View of Hydrabad on the Indus, to face title-page.|
|VI.||Natives of Cutch, to face page 9.|
|VII.||Natives of Sinde, to face page 87.|
|VIII.||View of Sindree, to face page 309.|
N.B. Mr. John Arrowsmith’s Map, constructed expresslyfor this work, is sold separately by all booksellers, price, insheets 7s., in cover 7s. 6d., and in case 10s.
THE MAP OF CENTRAL ASIA AND THE INDUS.
On my return to Europe, I gave my original manuscriptsurveys, protractions, and the whole of the observationswhich I had made during a period of nineyears, while employed in different surveys throughoutAsia, together with such other authentic documents asI had collected, to Mr. John Arrowsmith. He hasembodied these in a large and comprehensive map, toillustrate this work; combining, at the same time, thelatest and best information on the various countrieswithin the limits of the map. The task has been mostlaborious; but the accuracy with which it has been performedwill, I am sure, entitle him to the high approbationof the public: since this map throws a new lighton the geography of this portion of the globe. It isdue to Mr. Arrowsmith to state, that this map has beenengraved at his own expense, and is now published, inthe most public-spirited manner, at his own risk.
London, June, 1834.
In the year 1831, I was deputed in a politicalcapacity to the Court of Lahore, charged witha letter from the King of England, and apresent of some horses, to the ruler of thatcountry. The principal object of my journeywas to trace the course of the Indus; which hadonly been crossed at particular points by formertravellers, and had never been surveyed butbetween Tatta and Hydrabad. My success inthis undertaking, which was attended withmany difficulties, and the sight of so manytribes hitherto little known, gave fresh strengthto a desire that I had always felt to see newcountries, and visit the conquests of Alexander.As the first European of modern times whohad navigated the Indus, I now found myselfstimulated to extend my journey beyond that[x]river—the scene of romantic achievements whichI had read of in early youth with the most intenseinterest.
The design received the most liberal encouragementfrom the Governor-general ofIndia, Lord William Bentinck, whom I joinedat Simla, in the Himalaya Mountains, after thetermination of my mission to Lahore. HisLordship was of opinion that a knowledge of thegeneral condition of the countries throughwhich I was to travel, would be useful to theBritish Government, independent of other advantageswhich might be expected from such ajourney.
The hazardous nature of the expedition, andthe mode in which it could be best accomplished,required consideration. It would havebeen objectionable, and highly imprudent, tohave entered the countries lying between Indiaand Europe, as I had voyaged on the Indus, anaccredited agent; and I was directed to appear(which I myself had suggested) as a privateindividual.
I was furnished with passports as a Captain inthe British army returning to Europe, drawnout in French, English, and Persian; and insuch terms as would satisfy the people of myreal character; and show, at the same time,that Government was interested in my goodtreatment.
Every other arrangement regarding the journeywas left to myself; and I received the sanctionof the Governor-general to associate with meEnsign John Leckie—a young officer of the mostbuoyant disposition, who had been the companionof my voyage up the Indus. On theeve of departure, my fellow-traveller was recalledby the Government of Bombay. Believingthat his place might be well supplied by amedical gentleman, which I thought wouldfacilitate our progress through such countries,I prevailed on Mr. James Gerard, a Surgeon ofthe Bengal army, to accompany me. Thatgentleman had passed most of his life in India,in traversing the Himalaya regions; and possessedan ardent desire for travel. I was alsoattended by a native Surveyor, Mahommed Ali,a public servant, who had been educated in[xii]the Engineer Institution of Bombay, underCaptain G. Jervis, of the Engineers; andwho had entitled himself to my utmost confidenceby faithful and devoted conduct onmany trying occasions during the voyage toLahore. I also took a Hindoo lad, of Cashmerefamily, named Mohun Lal, who had beeneducated at the English Institution at Delhi, ashe would assist me in my Persian correspondence;the forms of which amount to a sciencein the East. His youth and his creed would, Ibelieved, free me from all danger of his enteringinto intrigues with the people; and both heand the Surveyor proved themselves to bezealous and trustworthy men, devoted to ourinterests. Being natives, they could detach[xiii]themselves from us; and, by reducing ourretinue, maintain our character for poverty,which I ever considered our best safeguard.We discharged the whole of our Indian servantsbut one individual, Ghoolam Hoosn, whodemands my lasting gratitude for the hardshipswhich he underwent on my account, and whois yet my faithful servant.
From the time I resolved to traverse thecountries that lie between India and the Caspian,I determined to retain the character of a European,accommodating myself in dress, habits,and customs, to those with whom I shouldmingle. The sequel has proved that the designhad much to recommend it, though the characterinvolved us in some difficulties. I adopted theresolution, however, in an utter hopelessness ofsupporting the disguise of a native; and fromhaving observed that no European traveller hasever journeyed in such countries without suspicion,and seldom without discovery. From longintercourse with Asiatics, I had acquired someinsight into their character, and possessed at thesame time a fair colloquial knowledge of the Persianlanguage, the lingua franca of the people I[xiv]should meet. I did not, then, hesitate to appearamong them in their own garb, and avow myselfa foreigner. By all the accounts which I collected,it did not appear to me that there wasany just cause for apprehending personal injuryor danger; but I received little consolationfrom my friends in India, who referred to thefate of our predecessors, poor Moorcroft andhis party, as our inevitable lot. I trust, however,that the happy termination of this journey willgive a more favourable impression of the Asiaticcharacter, and stimulate others (which I shallconsider a high reward) to view and visit theselands.
Such is a brief detail of the circumstances whichled me into these countries; the manner in whichI have performed my task must be decided bythe public. I have to solicit much indulgence,in the perusal of my book; I have had no assistancein its composition, and my career in theEast has been one of constant employment. Iam, however, deeply indebted to the Hon. MountstuartElphinstone, the late Governor of Bombay,for his advice in preparing for the press;and by which I have not failed to profit. If[xv]I had to congratulate myself on having reachedmy native shores in safety, I consider my goodfortune great indeed, to have met a gentlemanso eminently qualified to give me counsel. Theaversion to display, for which Mr. Elphinstoneis so distinguished, alone prevents my enlargingon this subject.
From Mr. James Bailie Fraser, the well-knownauthor of the Kuzzilbash, and my esteemedfriend and brother officer, Lieut. G. L. Jacob, ofthe Bombay army, I have received some judicioushints. To Mr. Horace Hayman Wilson, SanscritProfessor in the University of Oxford, and Mr.James Prinsep, Secretary of the Asiatic Societyof Bengal, my acknowledgments are due for illustratingmy collection of coins: the notes of thesegentlemen will speak for themselves.
To Captain R. M. Grindlay, author of a seriesof Views of Western India, I am indebted formost of the illustrations, which do ample creditto his talents and pencil. To my brother, Dr.David Burnes, who has assisted me in the laborioustask of correcting the press, I offer mybest thanks; which, I think, completes the wholeof my obligations.
I have now only to express an anxious hope,that my fellow traveller, Dr. Gerard, who hasnot yet reached India, may soon be restored tohis friends, to share in the approbation whichhas been bestowed, I fear too liberally, uponmyself.
London, June, 1834.
THE FIRST VOLUME.
|[xviii]Departure from Delhi.—Communication from Runjeet Sing.—Himalaya.—Villages on the Sutlege: People.—Banks of the Sutlege.—Physical Phenomena of Rivers.—Altars of Alexander.—Enter the Punjab.—Our Welcome chanted.—Civilities at Hurree.—Seik Fanatics.—Manja; country so called.—Antient Canals.—Town of Puttee.—Stud of Horses at Puttee.—An Acali, or Fanatic.—A Seik Chief and his Castle.—Famous Road of Juhangeer.—Enter Lahore.—Visit the Maharaja.—Earthquake at Lahore.—Join Runjeet Sing in the Field.—Description of his Camp.—Runjeet Sing marching.—Conversations of Runjeet Sing.—Superb Cashmere Tents.—A Visit from the Physician-general.—Runjeet Sing sporting.—Conversations of Runjeet Sing.—Return to Lahore.—Festival of the Busunt, or Spring.—Entertainment by the Maharaja.—Preparations for our Journey.—Kindness of Messrs. Allard and Court.—Audience of Leave.—Mons. Court’s Instructions||1-38|
|ACROSS THE PUNJAB TO THE INDUS.|
|Quit Lahore.—Reduction of Baggage.—Arrangements.—Garden described.—Himalaya.—Reach the Chenab or Acesines.—Soil and Wells.—Sugar.—A Seik Chief.—Seiks: Peculiarities of the Tribe.—Cross the Chenab.—Diseases: Opinions regarding them.—Cross the Jelum, or Hydaspes.—Arrival at Pind Dadun Khan.—Antiquities.—Salt Mines of Pind Dadun Khan.—Position of the Salt Range.—Formation, &c.—Mines, Strata, Temperature.—Manner of working the Salt.—Its Quality.—Supply of the Mineral.—Banks of the Hydaspes.—Villages.—Scene of Porus’s Battle.—Extensive Ruins.—Speculations.—Nicæ and Bucephalia.—Porus’s Army compared with Runjeet Sing’s.—Floating Islands.—Costume of the Ladies.—Arrival at Rotas.—Fortress.—Nature and Formation of Rocks.—Tope of Manikyala.—Coins and Antiques.—Manikyala identified with Taxilla.—Rawil Pindee.—Marks of quitting India.—Hurdwar Pilgrims: Reflections on seeing them.—Seik Priest.—Pass of Margulla.—Tope of Belur.—Garden of Hoosn Abdall.—See the Indus.—Encamp on the Indus.—Ford it.—Story of a Soldier.—Attok.—Phenomenon at Attok.—Washing Gold||39-80|
|[xix]Entrance into the Country of the Afghans.—Precautionary Arrangements.—Farewell Letter to Runjeet Sing.—Salt Monopoly.—Fields of Battle.—Entrance into Peshawur.—Afghan Entertainment.—Visitors.—Ride out with the Chief.—His Character.—Afghan manner of spending|