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.

7.  Katak, or Cuttack, a district, with town of same name, in Orissa.

8.  In the Bilaspur district of the Central Provinces.  The distance in a direct line between Mandla and Katak is about 400 miles.

9.  Shahgarh was formerly a petty native state, with town of same name.  The chief joined the rebels in 1857, with the result that his dominions were confiscated, and distributed between the districts of Sagar and Damoh in the Central Provinces, and Jhansi (formerly Lalitpur) in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.  The town of Shahgarh is in the Sagar district.

10.  Raipur is the chief town of the district of the same name in the Central Provinces, which was not finally annexed to the British dominions until 1854, when the Nagpur State lapsed.


The Silver Tree, or ’Kalpa Briksha’—­The Singhara or Trapa bispinosa, and the Guinea-Worm.

Poor old Salamat Ali wept bitterly at the last meeting in my tent, and his two nice boys, without exactly knowing why, began to do the same; and my little son Henry[1] caught the infection, and wept louder than any of them.  I was obliged to hurry over the interview lest I should feel disposed to do the same.  The poor old Rani,[2] too, suffered a good deal in parting from my wife, whom, she says, she can never hope to see again.  Her fine large eyes shed many a tear as she was getting into her palankeen to return.

Between Jabera and Hardua, the next stage, we find a great many of those large forest trees called ‘kalap’, or ‘Kalpa Briksha’ (the same which in the paradise of Indra grants what is desired), with a soft, silvery bark, and scarcely any leaves.  We are told that the name of the god Ram (Rama) and his consort Sita will be found written by the hand of God upon all.[3]

I had the curiosity to examine a good many in the forest on both sides of the road, and found the name of this incarnation of Vishnu written on everyone in Sanskrit characters, apparently by some supernatural hand; that is, there was a softness in the impression, as if the finger of some supernatural being had traced the characters.  Nathu, one of our belted attendants[4] told me that we might search as deeply as we would in the forest, but we should certainly find the name of God upon every one; ‘for’, said he, ’it is God himself who writes it’.  I tried to argue him out of this notion; but, unfortunately, could find no tree without these characters—­some high up, and some lower down in the trunk—­some large and others small—­but still to be found on every tree.  I was almost in despair when we came to a part of the wood where we found one of these trees down in a hollow, under the road, and another upon the precipice above.  I was ready to stake my credit upon the probability that no traveller would take the trouble to go up to the tree above, or down to the tree below, merely to write the name

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Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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