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of the Ganges. The river which comes from Gangotri is the Bhagirathi, one of the numerous Himalayan feeders of the true Ganges, into which it falls about forty miles above Hardwar, where the Ganges enters the plains of India. The main stream is that of the Alaknanda, which has a much longer course and a much larger body of water than the Bhagirathi ; its most distant sources are on the southern side of the watershed, near the Niti and Mána passes into Tibet, and it collects the drainage of the peaks and glaciers of the Kumaon and Garhwal Himálaya, from Nanda Devi to the sacred shrines of Badrinath and Kedárnáth. But the Ganges, like the Indus, the Sutlej, and the Bráhmaputra, has also its trans-Himálayan sources. The Gogra, or more correctly the Ghágra, which joins the Ganges above Patna, about 500 miles from the sea, is hardly known to European fame, but in the upper portion of its course it is a much larger river than the Ganges. It rises on the north of the Indian Himalaya, not far from the sources of the other great rivers, near the lake of Mánasarowar, finds its way through the mountains of Nepál, under the name of Kauriáli, and flows on through Oudh until it joins the Ganges. The Kauriali, near the borders of Nepál, after it has entered the plains, is said to have a minimum discharge of 11,000 cubic feet per second, whereas that of the Ganges at Hardwar is only 6,300 feet. Whether at the junction between the Ganges and the Gogra, the former, after its longer course through the plains of India, has become the larger stream, is a question to which no certain answer has hitherto been given ; but it is curious that it should still be possible to doubt whether the Gogra can properly be called an affluent of the Ganges, and whether it ought not rather to be held that the Ganges, in its passage from the mountains to the sea, falls into a river greater than itself, the very name of which is hardly known in Europe.

Between Assam, the British province on the extreme north-east of India, to the western frontiers of Kashmir, a distance of 1,500 miles, the countries of the Indian Himálaya are mostly under Native rule, and among them the most important is Nepál, the one State in India, or on its borders, which has remained entirely independent of our power.

In 1815 and 1816 the Nepalese measured their strength against ours, and lost in consequence Kumaon and Garhwal, their richest districts. Since that time they have preserved an unvarying policy of absolute but friendly isolation. The British representative at Kátmándu, their capital, is treated almost as a highly honoured prisoner, and Central Africa is more accessible to European travellers than the greater part of Nepál. However unenlightened from our point of view this policy, which the geographical position and configuration of the country alone rendered possible, may have been, it has had the result of shutting out all causes and opportunities of dispute, and of preserving the independence of Nepál. The other Native Hill States are all under British control.

In the Western Himálaya, in the Punjab LieutenantGovernorship, several districts, of which Kángra is the most important, are under British administration, and in one of them, a small patch surrounded by Native States, is Simla, the summer head-quarters of the Government of India. But the most considerable tract of British territory in the Himalaya, except Assam, is the province of Kumaon and Garhwal, bordering on the plains of Rohilkhand, in the North-Western Provinces.

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It would be foreign to my purpose to speak to you at length regarding this or any other portion of the chain, and, as I have just said, in treating of so vast a subject as the Himalaya it is easy to be misled by generalisations. I will, however, say something about Kumáon, because in its main features it affords instructive illustrations of many of the chief and most widely prevailing characteristics of these mountains, and because it is a country with which I have had unusual opportunities of making myself acquainted.

The province of Kumkon has an area of more than 12,000 square miles. Its whole surface is covered by mountains. They rise like a wall with strange suddenness from the plains of India. You pass almost in a moment into the mountains, and when you have once entered them, you will hardly find level ground again until you have gone

500 miles across the Himalaya, Tibet, and the Kuenlun. The Gágar range, described with enthusiastic admiration by Bishop Heber, rises immediately above the plains to more than 8,000 feet, and in one of its valleys lie the little lake and station of Naini Tál, the summer head-quarters of the Lieutenant-Governor of the North-Western Provinces.

After travelling through Kumaon for more than 100 miles, through a constant succession of high ranges and deep gorges, you pass the great peaks of the Indian Himálaya, and cross over into Tibet, but, looking northward from the watershed, you see again fresh snowy ranges and mountains that look as endless and as vast as those that you have left behind.

In the earlier part of my Indian life I had the good fortune to be employed for about ten years in various offices in Kumảon and Garhwal, and I spent many summers in the higher regions of the Himálaya, some

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times among the almost countless glaciers at the sources of the Ganges and its tributaries, or visiting the passes into Tibet, one of them more than 18,000 feet above the sea, or on the forest-covered ranges immediately under the snowy peaks. I have seen much of European mountains, but in stupendous sublimity, combined with a magnificent and luxuriant beauty, I have seen nothing that can be compared with the Himalaya.

Although none of the Kumaon summits reach an elevation equal to that attained by a few of the peaks in other parts of the chain, for only two of them exceed 25,000 feet, it is probable that the average elevation of the snowy range of Kumkon is nowhere surpassed. For a continuous distance of some 200 miles the peaks constantly reach a height of from 22,000 to more than 25,000 feet.

The Alpine vegetation of the Kumaon Himálaya, while far more luxuriant, closely resembles in its generic forms that of the Alpine regions of Europe ; but after you have left the plains for 100 miles and have almost reached the foot of the great peaks, the valleys are still, in many cases, only 2,000 or 3,000 feet above the sea, conveying, as General Strachey says, “the heat and vegetation of the tropics among ranges covered with perpetual snow.' Thus, he adds, the traveller may obtain at a glance a range of vision extending from 2,000 to 25,000 feet, ' and see spread before him a compendium of the entire vegetation of the globe from the tropics to the poles.' Something similar may be said of the animal world. Tigers, for instance, are common in the valleys; and it is not very unusual to see their footprints in the snow among oaks and pines and rhododendrons 8,000 or 10,000 feet above the sea.

If I wished to give to anyone some notion of the

scenery of the Kumaon Himálaya, at elevations of about 6,000 to 10,000 feet, I should advise him to travel in the Italian valleys of the Alps, to which, on a far greater scale, the gorges of the Himalaya have often a strong resemblance. The Val Anzasca, as you go up towards Macugnaga through the chestnut woods, with Monte Rosa always before you, is not unlike in miniature a valley in the Himálaya, and I hardly like to say that it is less beautiful. But the Indian mountains are grander, their forests are nobler, their whole vegetation is more rich and varied, and nowhere in Europe will

you find the splendour of the atmospheric effects and colouring of the Himálaya.

Still less is comparison possible in the higher regions of the mountains. To the traveller who remembers the wild magnificence of the peaks and glaciers of the Himalaya, and the general sublimity of its aspect, Zermatt and Chamouny seem insignificant. The mere fact that the ranges of the Himalaya are often twice as high as those of the Alps gives no idea of their relative magnitude. The whole of the Bernese Alps might, it has been said, be cast into a single Himalayan valley. You might almost as reasonably, when the Scotch or Welsh hills are white with snow, compare them with Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa, as compare anything in the Alps with Nanda Devi and Trisul. If, preserving the form of its great obelisk, you could pile the Matterhorn on the Jungfrau, you would not reach the highest summits of the Himalaya, and would have a mountain less wonderful than the astonishing peak of Dunagiri.

Among earthly spectacles, I cannot conceive it possible that any can surpass the Himálaya, as I have often seen it at sunset on an evening in October from the ranges thirty or forty miles from the great peaks.

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