William H. Seward's Travels around the World

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

CHAPTER XV.
BOMBAY.

The Ghaut Mountains.--A Cosmopolitan City.--The Natives of Bombay.--A Mixed Population.--Chinese, Siamese, Javanese, Cingalese, Sikh, Afghan, and Cashmerian.-- The Races of the South and the North, of the East and the West.--Parsee Customs. --Parsee Religion.--Hindoo, Mohammedan, and Parsee Disposal of the Dead.--AdmiralCockburn.--The Great Heat.--An Excursion to Elephanta.

United States Consulate, Bombay, April 13th.--We arrived here on the 11th. The two mountain-ranges of the west coast of India, called the Eastern and Western Ghauts, resemble our own Alleghanies. Their loftiest peaks are several thousand feet high. Although our journey from Jubbulpoor lay across both ranges, the highest plateau we crossed was two thousand feet. The largest cotton-fields of India are found in the valleys of the Nerbudda and the Taptee. Marvellous engineering has been practised in bringing the railway down from the plain of Nerbudda to the valley of the Taptee, which carries the ocean-tide up to the once great and now not unimportant port of Surat, one hundred and sixty miles north of Bombay.

Our first impression on arriving here was that Bombay is more cosmopolitan than any other city in India. We experienced a feeling almost of regret when we left the cosy railway-car, which, for nearly a month, had been our rolling home. The stars and stripes were floating over the consulate not far from the railway station, and Mr. Farnham, the consul here, was awaiting our arrival. The Governor of Bombay, Sir Seymour Fitzgerald, sent a secretary to

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