In order to reach Bombay, I had two routes before me; the one leads past Simla to the foot of the Himalayas, the other to the famous rock temples of Adjunta and Elora. I would gladly have chosen the former, and have penetrated as far as the principal chain of the Himalayas - Lahore and the Indus; but my friends advised me not to make the attempt, for the simple reason, that these mountains were covered with deep snow, in which case I must have postponed my journey for at least three months. As I was unable to wait so long, I decided upon taking the latter road. In Calcutta, I had been recommended not to continue my journey beyond Delhi at all. They said the country was not under the control of the English government, and the people were far less civilized. People endeavoured more especially to excite my apprehension by terrible accounts of the Thugs or stranglers.

These Thugs form a singular sect, whose object is robbery and murder, and who, like the Italian banditti, are prepared to undertake any atrocity for which they are paid. They must not, however, in any case shed blood, and dare only make away with their victim by strangling. The act is not considered as very criminal, and the murderer absolves himself by a small present, which he gives to his priest; but, if he sheds only one drop of blood, he falls into the deepest disgrace, is expelled from his caste, and abandoned even by his own associates.

Many travellers affirm that the Thugs are a religious sect, and that they do not murder for the sake of plunder or of revenge, but in order, according to their belief, to ensure a meritorious action. I made many inquiries about this, and learnt from every one that it was no religious compulsion, but hatred, revenge, or desire of gain, which led to these acts. These stranglers are represented as possessing a most extraordinary dexterity in their abominable trade, united with the most untiring patience and perseverance; they frequently follow the victims they have selected for months, and strangle them either while sleeping, or by stealing behind them and throwing a twisted cloth or a cord round their necks, which they draw tight with such rapidity and force that death ensues instantaneously.

In Delhi, I gained more information. I was assured that all these dangers were exaggerated; that travellers were very rarely attacked in India, and that the Thugs were much reduced in numbers. Moreover, they did not make any attempt upon Europeans, as the English government instituted the strictest search for the culprits. With regard, therefore, to the danger, I was tolerably at ease, but I had still to anticipate privation and fatigue.

The first part of the journey was to Kottah, distant 290 miles. I had the choice of three modes of conveyance - palanquins, camels, or oxen bailis. None of them are expeditious; there are no highroads, and no organized accommodation for travelling; you must retain the same men and animals to the end of the journey, and, at the utmost, cannot go more than from twenty to twenty-two miles in one day. For a palanquin, it is necessary to engage eight bearers, besides several for the luggage. Although each does not receive more than eight rupees a-month, out of which he pays his own expenses; still the expense is heavy, because so many are required, and their return journey must be paid for. Travelling on camels is also expensive, and is the most inconvenient. I decided, therefore, on adopting the less costly mode of conveyance by oxen. As I travelled alone, Dr. Sprenger very kindly made all the necessary preparations; he drew up a written contract with the tschandrie (waggoner) in Hindostanee to the effect that I was to pay him the half of the fare, fifteen rupees (1 pounds 10s.), immediately, and the other half when we arrived at Kottah, to which place he was to bring me in fourteen days; for every day over that time I had the right to deduct three rupees (6s.) Dr. Sprenger also sent one of his most trusty cheprasses {193} to accompany me, and his good wife furnished me with an excellent warm wrapper, and every kind of provision, so that my waggon would hardly hold all that I had.

With a sorrowful heart I parted from my good country people. God grant that I may see them yet again during my life!

On the morning of 30th of January, 1848, I left Delhi. The first day, we made very little progress, only eighteen miles, which brought us to Faridabad; the heavy awkward animals required to be first used to the draught. The first twelve miles of the journey afforded me some gratification, as along both sides of the road lay innumerable ruins, which I had visited with my friends only a few days previously.

This, as well as the following nights, were passed in caravansaries. I had no tent - no palanquins, and on this road there were no bungalows. Unfortunately, the caravansaries in the smaller villages are not to be compared with those in the larger towns; the cells are rudely constructed of clay, their length is scarcely seven feet, and the small opening, only four feet high, is without a door; but, to my astonishment, I found them always very cleanly swept, and I was also furnished with a low wooden stool, covered with network, upon which I threw my wrapper, and which served me for an excellent couch. The cheprasse laid himself, like Napoleon's Mameluke, before the entrance of my cell; but he slept much more soundly, for, even on the first night, he did not hear the least of a very sharp encounter which I had with an enormous dog that had been attracted by my well-filled provision basket.

31st January. Towards noon, we passed through the little town of Balamgalam, in which there is a small English military station, a mosque, and a very recently-erected Hindoo temple. We passed the night in the little town of Palwal.

In this neighbourhood, the peacocks are very tame. Every morning, I saw dozens of these beautiful birds on the trees; they come into the fields, and even into the towns, to fetch food from the good-natured natives.

1st February. Our night's station on this day was the small town of Cossi. We had already been overtaken during the last mile by a number of natives, who were busily hurrying into the town, in and outside of which a considerable cattle-market was being held. This market presented a picture of the greatest confusion; the animals stood on all sides between a multitude of trusses of hay and straw, the sellers crying and praising their wares without cessation, and leading the buyers here and there, partly by persuasion and partly by force, who also made no less noise than the former.

I was most struck by the innumerable cobblers, who set up their simple working implements between the piled-up bundles of hay and straw, consisting of small tables with thread, wire, and leather, and who were busily engaged at their trade, repairing the coverings for the feet. I remarked at this time, as well as on several other occasions, that the natives are by no means so indolent as they are generally represented to be, but, on the contrary, that they avail themselves of every favourable opportunity of earning money. All the caravansaries at the entrance of the town were crowded, and there was no other alternative except to pass through the whole town to the other side. The town-gate had a very promising appearance, rising proudly and boldly into the air; I hoped to see corresponding buildings, and saw instead wretched mud hovels and narrow lanes; so narrow, indeed, that the foot passengers were obliged to step under the entrances of the huts to allow our baili to pass them.

2nd February. A few miles distant from Matara, we turned out of the beaten road which leads from Delhi to Mutra, a town which still remains under English government. Matara is a pretty little town, with a very neat mosque, broad streets, and walled houses, many of which, indeed, are decorated with galleries, columns, or sculptures of red sandstone.

The appearance of the country here is of monotonous uniformity - boundless plains, on which orchards and meadows alternately present themselves, the latter apparently quite scorched up in consequence of the dry season. The corn was already a foot high; but such large quantities of yellow flowers were mixed with it, that there was great difficulty in telling whether corn or weeds had been sown. The cultivation of cotton is of very great importance here. The Indian plant does not, indeed, attain the height and thickness of the Egyptian; however, it is considered that the quality of the cotton does not depend upon the size of the plants, and that the cotton of this country is the finest and the best.

I observed upon these plains little houses here and there, built upon artificially-raised perpendicular mounds of clay, of from six to eight feet high. There are no steps leading to the tops of these mounds, the only means of access being by ladders, which can be drawn up at night. From what I could draw from the explanations of my servants, which, however, I only partially understood, they are used by families, who live in retired places, for security against the tigers, which are here very frequently seen.

3rd February. Baratpoor. We passed a place which was overgrown, in broad patches, with misshapen stunted bushes - a rare occurrence in this part of the country, where wood is scarce. My driver bestowed upon this tangled brushwood the high-sounding name of jungle. I should rather have compared them with the dwarfed bushes and shrubs of Iceland. The country beyond this woody district had a very remarkable appearance; the ground was in many places torn and fissured, as if in consequence of an earthquake.

In the caravansary at Baratpoor there were a great number of natives, soldiers, and particularly some very rough-looking men, of whom I felt inclined to be afraid: I was no longer in the English territories, and alone among all these people. However, they behaved themselves with the greatest civility, and greeted me in the evening and morning with a right hearty salaam. I think that a similar set of men in our own country would scarcely have shown me the same respect.

4th February. On the other side of the town, I saw two fine monuments before the door, round temples with lofty cupolas, and carved stone lattice work in the window openings. The fields and meadows were richly strewed with Indian fig-trees, a thing which I have scarcely met with anywhere else, except in Syria and Sicily; to the right of the road was a low rocky peak, whose highest point was crowned by a fortress. The dwelling-houses of the commanders, instead of being sheltered by the walls, rose high above them, and were tastily surrounded by verandahs; on the terrace of the principal building was a handsome pavilion, supported upon pillars. The outer walls of the fortress extended down into the valley below. We had proceeded about fourteen miles, when we came upon some monuments which had a very unique appearance. On a small spot, shaded by beautiful trees, was a round wall, formed of a number of flagstones of seven feet high and four feet wide; in the middle stood three monuments of a circular form, built of large square stones. The diameter of their tower part was about twelve feet, their height about six. They had no entrance.

I also saw a new species of bird today. It was very similar in size and form to the flamingo, with beautiful pinion feathers; its plumage was tinged with a rich whitish grey shade, the head was covered with deep red feathers. We rested this night at the somewhat large town of Hindon. The only object which attracted my notice here was a palace with such small windows, that they seemed more fitted for dolls than for men.

6th February. As I was about to leave the caravansary this morning, three armed men placed themselves before my waggon, and in spite of the exclamations of my people, prevented our starting. At last, I succeeded in understanding that the dispute was about a few pence, for having kept watch before the door of my sleeping-room during the night, which my people would not pay. The caravansary did not appear to the cheprasse very safe, and he had requested a guard in the evening from the serdar (magistrate). The people might have slept quite soundly in some corner of the court-yard, and, perhaps, have dreamt of watching, for although I had looked out several times during the night, there was not one of them to be seen; however, what can one expect for a few pence? I satisfied them with a small present, upon which they made a regular military movement, and allowed us to proceed.

If I had been inclined to be timid, I must have been in continual anxiety for several days from the appearance of the natives.

All of them were armed with sabres, bows and arrows, matchlocks, formidable clubs bound with iron, and even shields of ironplate. These arms were also carried by the cattle tenders in the fields. But nothing disturbed my equanimity, although ignorant of the language, and with only the old cheprasse with me; I always felt as though my last hours were not yet come. Nevertheless, I was glad that we had passed by clear daylight the dangerous ravines and deep gorges through which our road lay for several miles. From these we entered a large valley, at the entrance of which was an isolated mountain, surmounted by a fortress; four miles further on, we came to a small group of trees, in the middle of which was a stone terrace, five feet in height, upon which was a life-size statue of a horse carved in stone. By the side of this a well was dug out; a kind of cistern, built of large blocks of red sandstone, with steps leading up to the water.

Similar wells and cisterns, some of which are much larger, screened by beautiful mango and tamarind trees, are frequently met with in India, especially in districts where, as in the present one, good springs are scarce. The Hindoos and Mahomedans have the good belief that by the erection of works for general benefit, they may more easily attain future happiness. When such water reservoirs and groups of trees have been founded by Hindoos, several sculptured figures of their deities, or red painted stones, are commonly found placed on them. At many of the wells, and cisterns also, a man is placed, whose business it is to draw water for the weary travellers.

However agreeable the erection of these reservoirs may be in many respects, there is one circumstance which detracts from their value; the people always wash and bathe in the same ones from which they must procure their drinking water. But what objections will not thirst silence? I filled my jug as well as the others!

7th February. Dungerkamaluma is a small village at the foot of a low mountain. A short distance from the station lay a true Arabian sand desert, but which was fortunately not of very great extent. The sand plains of India are generally capable of being cultivated, as it is only necessary to dig a few feet deep to reach water, with which to irrigate the fields. Even in this little desert were a few fine-looking wheat fields.

This evening I thought that I should have been obliged to make use of my pistols. My waggoner always wanted every one to give him the road; if they did not do so, he abused them. Today we came upon half a dozen of armed traveller-waggoners, who took no notice of the calls of my driver, upon which he was enraged, and threatened to strike them with his whip. If it had come to blows, we should, no doubt, in spite of my aid, have come off the worst; but they contented themselves with mutual abuse and threats, and the fellows got out of the way.

I have everywhere remarked that the Indians jangle and threaten a great deal, but that they never go beyond that. I have lived a great deal among the people and observed them, and have often seen anger and quarrelling, but never fighting. Indeed, when their anger lasts long, they sit down together. The children never wrestle or pull each other about, either in sport or earnest. I only once saw two boys engaged in earnest quarrel, when one of them so far forgot himself as to give the other a box on the ear, but he did this as carefully as if he received the blow himself. The boy who was struck drew his sleeve over his cheek, and the quarrel was ended. Some other children had looked on from the distance, but took no part in it.

This good nature may partly depend upon the fact that the people eat so little flesh, and, according to their religion, are so extremely kind to all animals; but I think still that there is some cowardice at the bottom of it. I was told that a Hindoo could scarcely be persuaded to enter a dark room without a light; if a horse or ox makes the slightest start, both great and small run frightened and shrieking away. On the other side, again, I heard from the English officers that the sepoys were very brave soldiers. Does this courage come with the coat, or from the example of the English?

During the last day I saw a great many poppy plantations. They present a remarkable appearance; the leaves are fatty and shining, the flowers large and variegated. The extraction of the opium is performed in a very simple, but exceedingly tedious manner. The yet unripe poppy heads are cut in several places in the evening. A white tenacious juice flows out of these incisions, which quickly thickens by exposure to the air, and remains hanging in small tears. These tears are scraped off with a knife in the morning, and poured into vessels which have the form of a small cake. A second inferior quantity is obtained by pressing and boiling the poppy heads and stems.

In many books, and, for instance, in Zimmerman's "Pocket-Book of Travels," I read under this head that the poppy plants reached a height of forty feet in India and Persia, and that the capsules were as large as a child's head, and held nearly a quart of seeds. This is not correct. I saw the finest plantations in India, and afterwards also in Persia, but found that the plants were never more than three, and, at the most, four feet high, and the capsule about as large round as a small hen's egg.

8th February. Madopoor, a wretched village at the foot of some low mountains. Today also we passed through terrible ravines and chasms, which like those of yesterday, were not near the mountains, but in the middle of the plains. The sight of some palms was, on the contrary, agreeable, the first I had seen since I left Benares; however, they bore no fruit. I was still more surprised to see, in a place so destitute of trees and shrubs, tamarind, and banyan or mango trees planted singly, which, cultivated with great care, flourish with incomparable splendour and luxuriance. Their value is doubled when it is known that under each there is either a well or a cistern.

9th February. Indergur, a small, unimportant town. We approached today very much nearer to the low mountains which we had already seen yesterday. We soon found ourselves in narrow valleys, whose outlets appeared to be closed with high, rocky wells. Upon some of the higher mountain peaks stood little kiosks, dedicated to the memory of the Suttis. The Suttis are those women who are burnt with the corpse of their husbands. According to the statement of the Hindoos, they are not compelled to do so, but their relations insult and neglect them when they do not, and they are driven out of society; consequently the poor women generally give their free consent. Upon the occasion, they are handsomely dressed and ornamented, and frequently stupefied with opium almost to madness; are led with music and singing to the place where the corpse of the husband, wrapped in white muslin, lies upon the funeral pile. At the moment that the victim throws herself upon the corpse, the wood is lighted on all sides. At the same time, a deafening noise is commenced with musical instruments, and every one begins to shout and sing, in order to smother the howling of the poor woman. After the burning, the bones are collected, placed in an urn, and interred upon some eminence under a small monument. Only the wives (and of these only the principal or favourite ones) of the wealthy or noble have the happiness to be burnt! Since the conquest of Hindostan by the English, these horrible scenes are not permitted to take place.

The mountain scenery alternated with open plains, and towards evening we came to still more beautiful mountains. A small fortress, which was situated upon the slope of a mountain, quite exposed, presented a very interesting appearance; the mosques, barracks, little gardens, etc., could be entirely overlooked. At the foot of this fortress lay our night-quarters.

10th February. Notara. We travelled a long distance through narrow valleys, upon roads which were so stony that it was scarcely possible to ride, and I thought every moment that the waggon must be broken to pieces. So long as the sun was not scorching on my head, I walked by the side, but I was soon compelled to seek the shade of the linen covering of the wagon. I bound up my forehead tightly, grasped both sides of the car, and submitted to my fate. The jungle which surrounded us resembled in beauty and luxuriance that near Baratpoor but it afforded me more amusement, as it was inhabited by wild apes. They were tolerably large, with yellowish, brown hair, black faces, and very long tails.

It was very pretty to see how anxious the mothers were about their young. When I startled them, she took one upon her back, the other clung to her breast, and with this double weight she not only sprung from branch to branch, but even from tree to tree.

If I had only possessed somewhat more imaginative power, I should have taken the forest for a fairy wood, for besides the merry monkeys, I saw many remarkable things. The rock sides and debris to the left of the road, for example, had the most singular and varied forms. Some resembled the ruins of temples and houses, others trees; indeed, the figure of a woman with a child in her arms, was so natural, that I could scarcely help feeling a regret at seeing it turned into this dismal lifelessness. Further on, lay a gate, whose noble artistic construction so deceived me, that I long sought for the ruins of the town to which it appeared to lead.

Not far distant from the jungle is the little town of Lakari, situated upon the almost perpendicular declivity of a mountain ridge, and also protected by fortifications. A beautiful pond, a large well with an artificial portico, terraces with Hindoo idols and Mahomedan funeral monuments, lie in very attractive disorder. Before Notara I found several altars, with the sacred bull carved in red stone. In the town itself stood a handsome monument, an open temple with columns upon a stone terrace, which was surrounded with fine reliefs, representing elephants and riders.

There was no caravansary at this place, and I was obliged to go about the streets with my cumbrous equipage in search of a lodging; but as no one would receive a Christian, not from any want of good nature, but in consequence of an erroneous religious opinion that a house which has been visited by an unbeliever is defiled. This opinion also extends to many other matters.

There was no alternative left for me except to pass the night in an open verandah.

In this town I saw a circumstance which proved the amiability of the people. A donkey, that was maimed either from its birth or by an accident, was dragging itself with great exertion across the street, a task which it required several minutes to accomplish. Several people who were coming that way with their loaded animals waited with great patience, without making a single murmur or raising a hand to drive the creature on. Many of the inhabitants came out of their houses and gave it fodder, and every passer-by turned out of the way for it. This feeling of sympathy touched me uncommonly.

11th February. On this, the thirteenth day of my journey, I reached Kottah. I was very well satisfied with my servants and driver, and indeed with the journey altogether! The owners of the caravansaries had not charged me more than a native; and had afforded me all the conveniences which the strict rules of religion allowed. I had passed the nights in open chambers, even under the open sky, surrounded by people of the poorest and lowest classes, and never received the slightest ill-treatment either by word or deed. I never had anything stolen, and when ever I gave any little trifle to a child, {200} such as a piece of bread, cheese, or the like, their parents always endeavoured to show their gratitude by other acts of kindness. Oh, that the Europeans only knew how easily these simple children of nature might be won by attention and kindness! But, unfortunately, they will continue to govern them by force, and treat them with neglect and severity.

Kottah is the chief city of the kingdom of Rajpootan. Here, as in all those provinces which the English government has left under the dominion of their native princes, there is an English official appointed, who bears the title of the "Resident." These residents might be properly called "kings," or at least the king's governors, since the real kings cannot do anything without their consent. These miserable shadows of kings dare not, for example, cross the boundaries of their own states without permission of the resident. The more important fortresses of the country have English garrisons, and here and there small English military stations are established.

This control is in some respects beneficial to the people, in others injurious. The custom of burning widows is done away with, and strictly forbidden; as well as the horrible punishment of being trodden to death by elephants, or dragged along, tied to their tails. On the other hand, the taxation is increased, for the king is obliged to pay a considerable tribute for the right of ruling according to the will of the resident. This naturally comes out of the pockets of the people. The King of Rajpootan pays annually 300,000 rupees (30,000 pounds) to the English government.

The resident at Kottah, Captain Burdon, was an intimate friend of Dr. Sprenger's, who had previously acquainted him with my speedy arrival. But, unfortunately, he was at that time inspecting the different military stations; however, he had before his departure made arrangements for my reception, and requested Dr. Rolland to see them carried out. He carried his attentions so far as to send on books, newspapers, and servants, to the last station, which, however, I missed, as my driver had turned off from the main road, during the last two days, into a shorter one. I reached the handsome bungalow of the resident, and found the house quite vacant; Mrs. Burdon, together with her children, had accompanied her husband, as is generally the case in India, where frequent change of air is very necessary for Europeans. The house, the servants, and sepoys which were left, and the captain's palanquin and equipage, were placed entirely at my disposal; and in order to complete my happiness, Dr. Rolland was so good as to accompany me in all my excursions.

12th February. This morning, the king, Ram-Singh, who had been immediately informed of my arrival, sent me a quantity of fruits and sweetmeats in large baskets, his own riding elephant, handsomely caparisoned, an officer on horseback, and some soldiers. I was very soon seated with Dr. Rolland in the howdah, and trotted to the neighbouring town. Kottah contains about 30,000 inhabitants, and lies on the river Chumbal, in a far stretching and, in some places, very rocky plain, 1,300 feet above the level of the sea. The town, which is conspicuously situated, is surrounded by strong fortified works, upon which are placed fifty pieces of cannon. The immediate neighbourhood is rocky, naked, and barren. The interior of the town is separated into three parts by as many gates. The first part is inhabited by the poorer classes, and appeared very wretched. In the two other parts the tradespeople and the gentry reside; they have an incomparably better aspect. The principal street, although uneven and stony, is sufficiently wide to allow carriages, and ponderous beasts of burden, to pass without hindrance.

The architecture of the houses is in the highest degree original. The smallness of the windows had already attracted my notice in Benares, here they are so narrow and low that it is hardly possible to put the head out; they are for the most part closed with finely worked stone lattice, instead of glass. Many of the houses have large alcoves; in others there are spacious saloons on the first floor, which rest on pillars and occupy the whole front of the house; many of these halls were separated by partition walls into smaller open saloons. At both corners of the hall were decorated pavilions, and at the further end, doors leading to the interior of the house. These halls are generally used as shops and places of business; also as the resort of idlers, who sit upon mats and ottomans, smoking their hookas and watching the bustle in the streets. In other houses, again, the front walls were painted in fresco, with terrible-looking dragons, tigers, lions, twice or thrice as large as life, stretching their tongues out, with hideous grimaces; or with deities, flowers, arabesques, etc., without sense or taste grouped together, miserably executed, and bedaubed with the most glaring colours.

The numerous handsome Hindoo temples, all built upon lofty stone terraces, form an agreeable feature of the town. They are higher, more capacious, and finer buildings than those of Benares, with the exception of the Bisvishas. The temples here stand in open halls, intersected by colonnades, ornamented with several quadrangular towers, and surmounted by a cupola of from twenty to forty feet in height. The sanctuary is in the middle; it is a small, carefully enclosed building, with a door leading into it. This door, as well as the pillars and friezes, is covered with beautiful sculptures; the square towers are quite as carefully constructed as those at Benares. Hideous statues and fanciful figures stand under the halls, some of which are painted in bright red colours. On the side walls of the terraces are arabesques, elephants, horses, etc., carved in relief.

The royal palace lies at the extremity of the third part of the town, and forms a town within a town, or rather a fortress in a fortress, as it is surrounded by immense fortified walls, which command the town as well as the country round it; many large and small buildings are enclosed within these walls, but do not present anything remarkable beyond their handsome halls. Had the resident been in Kottah I should have been presented to the king, but as it was not etiquette in his absence, I was compelled to put up with my disappointment.

From the town we proceeded to Armornevas, one of the neighbouring palaces of the king's. The road to it was indescribably bad, full of rocks and large stones. I was astonished to see with what dexterity our elephant set his plump feet between them, and travelled on as quickly as if he was going over the levellest road.

When I expressed my surprise to Dr. Rolland that the king should not have a good road made to his residence, which he so often visited, he informed me that it was a maxim with all Indian monarchs not to make roads, for, according to their opinion, in case of a war, they offered too great facilities to the invasion of the enemy.

The castle is small and unimportant. It lies on the river Chumbal, which has here hollowed out for itself a remarkably deep bed in the rock. Picturesque ravines and groups of rock form its shores.

The garden of the castle is so thickly planted with orange, citron, and other trees, that there is not room for even the smallest flowering plant or shrub.

The few flowers which the Indian gardens contain, are placed at the entrances. The paths are raised two feet, as the ground is always muddy and damp in consequence of the frequent watering. Most of the Indian gardens which I afterwards saw resembled these.

The king frequently amuses himself here with tiger-hunting. Somewhat higher up the river small towers are erected upon slight eminences; the tigers are driven gradually towards the water, and always more and more hemmed in, until they are within shot of the towers; the king and his friends sit securely upon the tops of the towers, and fire bravely upon the wild beasts.

Near the castle was a small wooden temple, which had just been built; the principal part, however, the amiable idols, was awanting. It was owing to this fortunate circumstance that we were allowed to enter the sanctuary, which consisted of a small marble kiosk standing in the centre of the hall. The temple and the columns were covered with bad paintings in the most brilliant colours. It is strange that neither the Hindoos nor the Mahometans should have applied themselves to painting, for there are neither good pictures nor drawings to be seen among any of these people, although they have displayed such proficiency in architecture, carving in relief, and in mosaic work.

We lastly visited a remarkably fine wood of tamarind and mango trees, under the shadows of which the ashes of a number of kings are preserved in handsome monuments. These monuments consist of open temples, with broad flights of ten or twelve steps leading up to them. At the bottom of the steps, on each side, stand stone figures of elephants. Some of the temples are ornamented with beautiful sculptures.

The evening was passed in all kinds of amusements. The good doctor would have made me acquainted with all the arts of the Hindoos; however, the greater number of them were no longer new to me. A snake-charmer exhibited his little society, which performed very clever tricks, and also allowed the most poisonous serpents to twine themselves round his body, and the largest scorpions ran over his arms and legs. Afterwards, four elegant female dancers appeared dressed in muslin, ornamented with gold and silver, and loaded with jewellery, - ears, forehead, neck, breast, loins, hands, arms, feet, in short, every part of the body was covered with gold, silver, and precious stones; even the toes were ornamented with them, and from the nose, a large ring with three stones hung over the mouth. Two of the dancers first commenced. Their dance consisted of the same winding movements which I had already seen in Benares, only they were far more animated, and twisted their fingers, hands, and arms about in every conceivable manner. They might well be said to dance with their arms but not with their feet. They danced for ten minutes without singing, then they began to scream, without however keeping time, and their motions became more violent and wild, until in about half an hour both strength and voice failed, they stopped quite exhausted, and made way for their sisters, who repeated the same spectacle. Dr. Rolland told me that they represented a love story, in which every virtue and passion, such as truth, self- devotion, hate, persecution, despair, etc., played a part. The musicians stood a little behind the dancers, and followed all their movements. The whole space which such a company requires, is at the most ten feet in length and eight broad. The good Hindoos amuse themselves for hours together with these tasteless repetitions.

I remember having read in books that the Indian female dancers were far more graceful than the European, that their songs were highly melodious, and that their pantomime was tender, inspiring, and attractive. I should scarcely think the authors of such books could have been in India! Not less exaggerated are the descriptions of others, who affirm that there are no dances more indelicate than those of the Indians. I might again ask these people if they had ever seen the Sammaquecca and Refolosa in Valparaiso, the female dancers of Tahiti, or even our own in flesh-coloured leggings? The dresses of the females in Rajpootan and some parts of Bundelkund are very different from those of other parts of India. They wear long, coloured, many-folded skirts, tight bodies, which are so short that they scarcely cover the breasts; and, over this, a blue mantle, in which they envelop the upper part of the body, the head, and the face, and allow a part to hang down in front like a veil. Girls who do not always have the head covered, nearly resemble our own peasant girls. Like the dancers, they are overloaded with jewellery; when they cannot afford gold and silver, they content themselves with some other metals. They wear also rings of horn, bone, or glass beads, on the fingers, arms, and feet. On the feet they carry bells, so that they are heard at a distance of sixty paces; the toes are covered with broad heavy rings, and they have rings hanging from their noses down to the chin, which they are obliged to tie up at meal time. I pitied the poor creatures, who suffered not a little from their finery! The eyebrows and eyelids are dyed black while the children are very young, and they frequently paint themselves with dark-blue streaks of a finger's breadth over the eyebrows, and with spots on the forehead. The adult women tattoo their breasts, foreheads, noses, or temples with red, white, or yellow colours, according as they are particularly attached to one or the other deity. Many wear amulets or miniatures hung round their necks, so that I at first thought they were Catholics, and felt gratified at the brilliant successes of the missionaries. But, when I came nearer to one of the people, that I might see these pictures better, what did I discover there? Perhaps a beautiful Madonna! - a fair- haired angel's head! - an enthusiastic Antonio of Padua! Ah no! I was met by the eight-armed god Shiva grinning at me, the ox's head of Vishnu, the long-tongued goddess Kalli. The amulets contained, most probably, some of the ashes of one of their martyrs who had been burned, or a nail, a fragment of skin, a hair of a saint, a splinter from the bone of a sacred animal, etc.

13th February. Dr. Rolland conducted me to the little town of Kesho-Rae-Patum, one of the most sacred in Bunda and Rajpootan. It lies on the other side of the river, six miles from Kottah. A great number of pilgrims come here to bathe, as the water is considered particularly sacred at this spot. This belief cannot be condemned, when it is remembered how many Christians there are who give the preference to the Holy Maria at Maria-Zell, Einsiedeln, or Loretto, which, nevertheless, all represent one and the same.

Handsome steps lead from the heights on the banks down to the river, and Brahmins sit in pretty kiosks to take money from believers for the honour of the gods. On one of the flights of steps lay a very large tortoise. It might quietly sun itself there in safety - no one thought of catching it. It came out of the sacred river; indeed, it might, perhaps, be the incarnation of the god Vishnu himself. {204} Along the river stood numbers of stone altars, with small bulls, and other emblematical figures, also cut in stone. The town itself is small and miserable, but the temple is large and handsome.

The priests were here so tolerant as to admit us to all parts of the temple. It is open on all sides, and forms an octagon. Galleries run round the upper part, one-half of which are for women, the other for the musicians. The sanctuary stands at the back of the temple; five bells hang before it, which are struck when women enter the temple; they rung out also at my entrance. The curtained and closed doors were then opened, and afforded us a full view of the interior. We saw there a little group of idols carved in stone. The people who followed us with curiosity commenced a gentle muttering upon the opening of the doors. I turned round, somewhat startled, thinking that it was directed against us and indicated anger, but it was the prayers, which they repeated in a low voice and with a feeling of devotion. One of the Brahmins brushed off the flies from the intelligent countenances of the gods.

Several chapels join the large temple, and were all opened to us. They contained red-painted stones or pictures. In the front court sits a stone figure of a saint under a covering, completely clothed, and with even a cap on the head. On the opposite bank of the river, a small hill rises, upon which rests the figure of a large and rather plump ox hewn in stone. This hill is called the "holy mountain."

Captain Burdon has built a very pretty house near the holy mountain, where he sometimes lives with his family. I saw there a fine collection of stuffed birds, which he had brought himself from the Himalayas. I was particularly struck by the pheasants, some of which shone with quite a metallic lustre; and there were some not less beautiful specimens of heathcocks.

I had now seen all, and therefore asked the doctor to order me a conveyance to Indor, 180 miles distant, for the next day. He surprised me with the offer, on the part of the king, to provide me with as many camels as I required, and two sepoys on horseback as attendants. I asked for two; the one for myself, the other for the driver and the servants which Dr. Rolland sent with me.