Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official eBook

William Henry Sleeman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,051 pages of information about Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official.
from the town and can be made to stand for a time, are esteemed the best, as this water brings down with it manures of all kinds.[7] I had a good deal of talk with the cultivators as I walked through the fields in the evenings; and they seemed to dwell much upon the good faith which is observed by the farmers and cultivators in the Honourable Company’s territories, and the total absence of it in those of Sindhia’s, where no work, requiring an outlay of capital from the land, is, in consequence, ever thought of--both farmers and cultivators engaging from year to year, and no farmer ever feeling secure of his lease for more than one.


1.  December, 1835.

2.  The anthor’s favourite theory.  See ante, Chapter 14 note 7, Chapter 24 note 6, on the formation of black cotton soil.  The Gwalior plain is covered with this soil.

3.  It has a very desolate appearance.  The Indian Midland Railway now passes through Gwalior.

4.  In many parts of India, especially in Mathura (Mattra) on the Jumna, and the neighbouring districts, the peacock is held strictly sacred, and shooting one would be likely to cause a riot.  Tavernier relates a story of a rich Persian merchant being beaten to death by the Hindoos of Gujarat for shooting a peacock. (Tavernier, Travels, transl.  Ball, vol. i, p. 70.) the bird is regarded as the vehicle of the Hindoo god of war, variously called Kumara, Skanda, or Kartikeya. the editor, like the author, has observed that in Bundelkhand no objection is raised to the shooting of peacocks by any one who cares for such poor sport.

5.  In British India the manufacture of salt can be practised only by persons duly licensed.

6.  The Revenue Settlement Regulations now in force in British India provide liberally for the encouragement of groves, and hundred of miles of road are annually planted with trees.

7.  Sanitation did not trouble native states in those days.


Gwalior and its Government.

On the 22nd,[1] we came on fourteen miles to Gwalior, over some ranges of sandstone hills, which are seemingly continuations of the Vindhyan range.  Hills of indurated brown and red iron clay repose upon and intervene between these ranges, with strata generally horizontal, but occasionally bearing signs of having been shaken by internal convulsions.  These convulsions are also indicated by some dykes of compact basalt which cross the road.[2]

Nothing can be more unprepossessing than the approach to Gwalior; the hills being naked, black, and ugly, with rounded tops devoid of grass or shrubs, and the soil of the valleys a poor red dust without any appearance of verdure or vegetation, since the few autumn crops that lately stood upon them have been removed.[3] From Antri to Gwalior there is no sign of any human habitation, save that of a miserable police guard

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