Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official eBook

William Henry Sleeman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 897 pages of information about Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official.

17.  The customary attitude of a suppliant.

18.  A small river which falls into the Nerbudda on the right-hand side, at Sankal.  Its general course is south-west.

19.  November, 1835.

20.  Described in the Gazetteer (1870) as ’a large but decaying village in the Jabalpur district, situated at the foot of the Bhanrer hills, twenty-two miles to the north-west of Jabalpur, on the north side of the Hiran, and on the road to Sagar’.

21.  The convenient restriction of the name Vindhya to the hills north, and of Satpura to the hills south of the Nerbudda is of modern origin (Manual of the Geology of India, 1st ed., Part I, p. iv).  The Satpura range, thus defined, separates the valley of the Nerbudda from the valleys of the Tapti flowing west, and the Mahanadi flowing east.  The Vindhyan sandstones certainly are a formation of immense antiquity, perhaps pre-Silurian.  They are azoic, or devoid of fossils; and it is consequently impossible to determine exactly their geological age, or ‘horizon’ (ibid. p. xxiii).  The cappings of basalt, in some cases with laterite superimposed, suggest many difficult problems, which will be briefly discussed in the notes to Chapters 14 and 17.

CHAPTER 9

The Great Iconoclast—­Troops routed by Hornets—­The Rani of Garha—­ Hornets’ Nests in India.

On the 23rd,[1] we came on nine miles to Sangrampur, and, on the 24th, nine more to the valley of Jabera,[2] situated on the western extremity of the bed of a large lake, which is now covered by twenty-four villages.  The waters were kept in by a large wall that united two hills about four miles south of Jabera.  This wall was built of great cut freestone blocks from the two hills of the Vindhiya range, which it united.  It was about half a mile long, one hundred feet broad at the base, and about one hundred feet high.  The stones, though cut, were never, apparently, cemented; and the wall has long given way in the centre, through which now falls a small stream that passes from east to west of what was once the bottom of the lake, and now is the site of so many industrious and happy little village communities.[3] The proprietor of the village of Jabera, in whose mango grove our tents were pitched, conducted me to the ruins of the wall; and told me that it had been broken down by the order of the Emperor Aurangzeb.[4] History to these people is all a fairy tale; and this emperor is the great destroyer of everything that the Muhammadans in their fanaticism have demolished of the Hindoo sculpture or architecture; and yet, singular as it may appear, they never mention his name with any feelings of indignation or hatred.  With every scene of his supposed outrage against their gods or their temples, there is always associated the recollection of some instance of his piety, and the Hindoos’ glory—­of some idol, for instance, or column, preserved from his fury by a miracle, whose divine origin he is supposed at once to have recognized with all due reverence.

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