William H. Seward's Travels around the World

By William Henry Seward; Olive Risley Seward | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII.
A GLANCE AT THE HIMALAYAS.

Departure from Putteeala.--Along the Banks of the Jumna.--Protection from the Sun. --Reception at Pindarrie.--An Illumination.--Kalka and Kussowlee.--The British Commissioner.--A View of the Himalayas.--An Irish Home.

April 3d.--We left Putteeala, on the morning of the 2nd instant, by a train of four-horse post-coaches, which the maharajah had placed at our service, and, under a farewell salute, began the last stage of our excursion to the Himalayas. After stopping here to lunch, we continued the journey thirty-five miles along the banks of the Jumna, making in all sixty-nine miles. Though the country over which we passed seemed sandy and barren, yet the firm metallic roads were crowded with bullock and dak mule-trains carrying freights to the troops, dwellers, and sojourners, in the mountains. All classes here regard the sun as their chief enemy, and the head as his point of attack. The natives, not content with covering it with a thick turban, draw all their garments over it, and even wear their pallet beds upon it. For ourselves, we have divided on this subject. The ladies wear the solar topees (pith hats) of the country, while Mr. Seward adheres tenaciously to his light, broadbrimmed "Panama." As the night came on, the dak animals, arriving at their frequent stations, were unharnessed, and, as they would say on the Plains, were "corralled." Their drivers sat down to enjoy their frugal meals under the trees. The breeze, however, on that day awakened a driving, blinding sand-storm, bringing on

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