James Todd Annals/Sketch of the Indian Desert

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James Tod: Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume III,
Publisher: Humphrey Milford Oxford University Press 1920
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Sketch of the Indian Desert
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BOOK VIII: SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT

Abstract of Chapter I

Chapter I: General aspect — Boundaries and divisions of the desert — Probable etymology of the Greek oasis — Absorption of the Ghaggar river — The Luni, or salt-river — The Rann, or Ran — Distinction of thal and rui — Thal of the LuniJalorSiwanchiMachola and MorsinBhinmal and SanchorBhadrajunMewaBalotra and Tilwara — Indhavati — Gugadeo-ka-thal — Thal of Tararoi — Thal of KhawarMallinath-ka-thal, or BarmerKherdhar — Juna Chhotan — Nagar Gura ...p 1257


Chapter I

[p.1257]: Having never penetrated personally farther into the heart of the desert than Mandor, the ancient capital of all Marusthali, the old castle of Hissar on its north-eastern frontier, and Abu, Nahrwala, and Bhuj, to the south, it may be necessary, before entering upon the details, to deprecate the charge of presumption or in- competency, by requesting the reader to bear in mind that my parties of discovery have traversed it in every direction, adding to their journals of routes living testimonies of their accuracy, and bringing to me natives of every thal from Bhatner to Umarkot, and from Abu to Aror.1 I wish it, however, to be clearly understood, that I look upon this as a mere outline, which, by showing what might be done, may stimulate further research ; but in the existing dearth of information on the subject I have not hesitated to send it forth, with its almost inevitable errors, as (I trust) a pioneer to more extended and accurate knowledge.

After premising thus much, let us commence with details, which, but for the reasons already stated, should have been comprised in the geographical portion of the work, and which, though irrelevant to the historical part, are too important to


1 The journals of all these routes, with others of Central and Western India, form eleven moderate-sized folio volumes, from which an itinerary of these regions might be constructed. It was my intention to have drawn up a more perfect and detailed map from these, but my health forbids the attempt. They are now deposited in the archives of the Company, and may serve, if judiciously used, to fill up the only void in the great map of India, executed by their commands.


[p.1258]: be [290] thrown into notes. I may add, that the conclusions formed, partly from personal observation, but chiefly from the resources described above, have been confirmed by the picture drawn by Mr. Elphinstone of his passage through the northern desert in the embassy to Kabul, which renders perfectly satisfactory to me the views I before entertained. It may be well, at this stage, to mention that some slight repetitions must occur as we proceed, having incidentally noticed many of the characteristic features of the desert in the Annals of Bikaner, which was unavoidable from the position of that State

Description of the Desert. — The hand of Nature has defined, in the boldest characters, the limits of the great desert of India, and we only require to follow minutely the line of demarcation ; though, in order to be distinctly understood, we must repeat the analysis of the term Marusthali, the emphatic appellation of this ' region of death.' The word is compounded of the Sanskrit mri, ' to die,' and sthala, ' arid or dry land,' which last, in the corrupted dialect of those countries, becomes thal, the converse of the Greek oasis, denoting tracts particularly sterile. Each thal has its distinct denomination, as the ' thal of Kawa,' the ' thal of Guga,' etc. ; and the cultivated spots, compared with these, either as to number or magnitude, are so scanty, that instead of the ancient Roman simile, which likened Africa to the leopard's hide, reckoning the spots thereon as the oases, I would compare the Indian desert to that of the tiger, of which the long dark stripes would indicate the expansive belts of sand, elevated upon a plain only less sandy, and over whose surface numerous thinly-peopled towns and hamlets are scattered.

Boundaries of the Desert. — Marusthali is bounded on the north by the flat skirting the Ghara ; on the south by that grand salt- marsh, the Ran, and Koliwara ; on the east by the Aravalli ; and on the west by the valley of Sind. The two last boundaries are the most conspicuous, especially the Aravalli, but for which impediment Central India would be submerged in sand ; nay, lofty and continuous as is this chain, extending almost from the sea to Delhi, wherever there are passages or depressions, these floating sand-clouds are wafted through or over, and form a little thal even in the bosom of fertility. Whoever has crossed the Banas near Tonk, where the sand for some miles resembles waves of the sea, will comprehend this remark. Its western boundary is alike


[p.1259]: defined, and will recall to the English traveller, who may be destined to journey up the valley of Sind, the words of Napoleon on the Libyan desert : " Nothing so much resembles the sea as the desert ; or a coast, as the valley of the Nile " : for this substitute 'Indus' [291], whence in journeying northward along its banks from Haidarabad to Uchh, the range of vision will be bounded to the east by a bulwark of sand, which, rising often to the height of two hundred feet above the level of the river, leads one to imagine that the chasm, now forming this rich valley, must have originated in a sudden melting of all the glaciers of Caucasus, whose congregated waters made this break in the continuity of Marusthali, which would otherwise be united with the deserts of Arachosia.

We may here repeat the tradition illustrating the geography of the desert, i.e. that in remote ages it was ruled by princes of the Panwar (Pramara) race, which the sloka, or verse of the bard, recording the names of the nine fortresses (Nau-koti Maru-ki), so admirably adapted by their position to maintain these regions in subjection, further corroborates. We shall divest it of its metrical form, and begin with Pugal, to the north ; Mandor, in the centre of all Maru ; Abu, Kheralu, and Parkar, to the south ; Chhotan, Umarkot, Aror, and Lodorva, to the west ; the possession of which assuredly marks the sovereignty of the desert. The antiquity of this legend is supported by the omission of all modern cities, the present capital of the Bhattis not being mentioned. Even Lodorva and Aror, cities for ages in ruins, are names known only to a few who frequent the desert ; and Chhotan and Kheralu, but for the traditional stanzas which excited our research, might never have appeared on the map.

Natural Divisions of the Desert.

We purpose to follow the natural divisions of the country, or those employed by the natives, who, as stated above, distinguish them as thals ; and after describing these in detail, with a summary notice of the principal towns whether ruined or existing, and the various tribes, conclude with the chief lines of route diverging from, or leading to Jaisalmer.

The whole of Bikaner, and that part of Shaikhavati north of the Aravalli, are comprehended in the desert. If the reader will refer to the map, and look for the town of Kanod,1 within the


1 [Kanod Mohindargarh in Patiala State (IGI, xvii. 385).]


[p.1260]: British frontier, he will see what Mr. Elphinstone considered as the commencement of the desert, in his interesting expedition to Kabul.1 " From Delly to Canound (the Kanorh of my map), a distance of one hundred miles is through the British dominions, and need not be described. It is sufficient to say that the country is sandy, though not ill cultivated. On approaching Canound, we had the first specimen of the desert, to which we were looking forward with anxious curiosity. Three miles before reaching that place we came to sand-hills, which at first were [292] covered with bushes, but afterwards were naked piles of loose sand, rising one after another like the waves of the sea, and marked on the surface by the wind like drifted snow. There were roads through them, made solid by the treading of animals ; but off the road our horses sunk into the sand above the knee." Such was the opening scene ; the route of the embassy was by Singhana, Jhunjhunu, to Churu, when they entered Bikaner. Of Shaikhavati, which he had just left, Mr. Elphinstone says : " It seems to lose its title to be included in the desert, when compared with the two hundred and eighty miles between its western frontier and Bahawulpoor, and, even of this, only the last hundred miles is absolutely destitute of inhabitants, water, or vegetation. Our journey from Shekhavati to Poogul was over hills and valleys of loose and heavy sand. The hills were exactly like those which are sometimes formed by the wind on the seashore, but far exceeding them in height, which was from twenty to a hundred feet. They are said to shift their position and alter their shapes according as they are affected by the wind ; and in- summer the passage is rendered dangerous by the clouds of moving sand ; but when I saw the hills (in winter), they seemed to have a great degree of permanence, for they bore grass, besides phoke, the babool, and hair or jujube, which altogether give them an appearance that sometimes amounted to verdure. Amongst the most dismal hills of sand one occasionally meets with a village, if such a name can be given to a few round huts of straw, with low walls and conical roofs, like little stacks of corn." This description of the northern portion of the desert, by an author whose great characteristics are accuracy and simplicity, will enable the reader to form a more correct notion of what follows.2


1 It left Delhi October 13, 1808.

2 " Our marches," says Mr. Elphinstone, " were seldom very long. The longest was twenty-six miles, and the shortest fifteen ; but the fatigue which our people suffered bore no proportion to the distance. Our line, when in the closest order, was two miles long. The path by which we travelled wound much, to avoid the sand-hills. It was too narrow to allow of two camels going abreast ; and if an animal stepped to one side, it sunk in the sand as in snow," etc. etc. — Account of the Kingdom of Caubul, ed. 1842, vol. i. p. 11.


[p.1261]: With these remarks, and bearing in mind what has already been said of the physiography of these regions, we proceed to particularize the various thals and oases in this ' region of death.' It will be convenient to disregard the ancient Hindu geographical division, which makes Mandor the capital of Marusthali, a distinction both from its character and position better suited to Jaisalmer, being nearly in the centre of what may be termed entire desert.

It is in fact an oasis, everywhere insulated by immense masses of thal, some of which are forty miles in breadth, without the trace of man, or aught that could subsist him. From Jaisalmer we shall pass to Marwar, and without crossing the Luni, describe Jalor and Siwanchi ; then conduct the [293] reader into the almost unknown Raj of Parkar and Virawah,1 governed by princes of the Chauhan race, with the title of Rana. Thence skirting the political limits of modern Rajputana, to the regions of Dhat and Umra-sumra, now within the dominion of Sind, we shall conclude with a very slight sketch of Daudputra, and the valley of the Indus. These details will receive further illustration from the remarks made on every town or hamlet diverging from the ' hill of Jaisal ' (Jaisalmer). Could the beholder, looking westward from this ' triple-peaked hill,' 2 across this sandy ocean to the blue waters (Nilab)3 of the Indus, embrace in his vision its whole course from Haidarabad to Uchh, he would perceive, amidst these valleys of sand-hills, little colonies of animated beings, congregated on every spot which water renders habitable. Throughout this tract, from four hundred to five hundred miles in longitudinal extent, and from one hundred to two hundred of diagonal breadth, are little hamlets, consisting of the scattered huts of the shepherds of the desert, occupied in pasturing their


1 [In Sind, on the N. shore of the Great Rann, about 10 miles from Nagar-Parkar.]

2 Trikuta, the epithet bestowed on the rock on which the castle of Jaisalmer is erected.

3 A name often given by Ferishta to the Indus


[p.1262]: flocks or cultivating these little oases for food. He may discern a long line of camels (called kitar, a name better known than either kafila or karwan), anxiously toiling through the often doubtful path, and the Charan conductor, at each stage, tying a knot on the end of his turban. He may discover, lying in ambush, a band of Sahariyas, the Bedouins of our desert (sahra),1 either mounted on camels or horses, on the watch to despoil the caravan, or engaged in the less hazardous occupation of driving off the flocks of the Rajar or Mangalia shepherds, peacefully tending them about the tars or bawas, or hunting for the produce stored amidst the huts of the ever-green jhal,2- which serve at once as grain-pits and shelter from the sun. A migratory band may be seen flitting with their flocks from ground which they have exhausted, in search of fresh pastures :

And if the following day they chance to find
A new repast, or an untasted spring.
Will bless their stars, and think it luxury !

Or they may be seen preparing the rabri, a mess quite analogous to the kouskous of their Numidian brethren, or quenching their thirst from the Wah of their little oasis, of which they maintain sovereign possession so long as the pasture lasts, or till they come in conflict with some more powerful community.

Oasis. — We may here pause to consider whether in the bah, bawa, or wah, of the Indian desert, may not be found the oasis of the Greeks, corrupted by them from el-wah, or, as written by Belzoni (in his account of the Libyan desert, while searching for the [294] temple of Ammon), Elloah. Of the numerous terms used to designate water in these arid regions, as par, rar, tar, dah or daha, bah, bawa, wah, all but the latter are chiefly applicable to springs or pools of water, while the last (wah), though used often in a like sense, applies more to a water-course or stream. El-wah, under whatever term, means — ' the water.' Again, daha or dah is a term in general use for a pool, even not unfrequently in running streams and large rivers, which, ceasing to flow in


1 [As has been already stated, Sahariya has no connexion with Arabic Sahra, ' desert.']

2 [Jhal, of which there are two varieties, large and small, Salvadora persica and S. oleoides.]


[p.1263]: dry weather, leave large stagnant masses, always called dah. There are many of the streams of Rajputana, having such pools, particularized as hathi-dah, or ' elephant-pool,' denoting a sufficiency of water even to drown that animal. Now the word dah or daha, added to the generic term for water, noah, would make wadi (pool of water), the Arabian term for a running stream, and commonly used by recent travellers in Africa for these habitable spots. If the Greeks took the word wadi from any MS., the transposition would be easily accounted for : wadi would be written thus <arabic>, and by the addition of a point <arabic>, wazi, easily metamorphosed, for a euphonous termination, into oasis.1

At the risk of somewhat of repetition, we must here point out the few grand features which diversify this sea of sand, and after defining the difference between rui and thal, which will frequently occur in the itinerary, at once plunge in medias res.

The Lost River of the Desert

We have elsewhere mentioned the tradition of the absorption of the Ghaggar river, as one of the causes of the comparative depopulation of the northern desert. The couplet recording it I could not recall at the time, nor any


1 When I penned this conjectural etymology, I was not aware that any speculation had been made upon this word : I find, however, the late M. Langles suggested the derivation of oasis (variously written by the Greeks .... from the Arabic ....: and Dr. Wait, in a series of interesting etymologies (see Asiatic Journal, May 1830), suggests वसि, vasi from वस, vas, 'to inhabit.' Vasi and νασις quasi vasis are almost identical. My friend. Sir W. Ouseley, gave me nearly the same signification of <arabic> Wadi, as appears in Johnson's edition of Richardson, namely, a valley, a desert, a channel of a river — a river ; <arabic>, wadi-al-kabir, 'the great river,' corrupted into Guadal-quiver, which example is also given in d'Herbelot (see Vadi Gehennem), and by Thompson, who traces the word water through all the languages of Europe — the Saxon waeter, the Greek νδωρ, the Islandic udr, the Slavonic wod (whence woder and oder, ' a river ') : all appear derivable from the Arabic wad, ' a river ' — or the Sanskrit wah ; and if Dr. W. will refer to p. 1322 of the Itinerary, he will find a singular confirmation of his etymology in the word bas (classically vas) applied to one of these habitable spots. The word basti, also of frequent occurrence therein, is from basna, to inhabit ; vasi, an inhabitant ; or vas, a habitation, perhaps derivable from wah, indispensable to an oasis ! [The Neiv English Diet, gives Lat. oasis, Greek οασις, apparently of Egyptian origin ; cf. Coptic ovahe (whence Egyptian Arabic wah), 'dwelling-place, oasis,' from ouih, ' to dwell.']


[p.1264]: record of the Sodha prince Hamir, in whose reign this phenomenon is said to have happened. But the utility of these ancient traditional couplets, to which I have frequently drawn the reader's attention, has again been happily illustrated, for the name of Hamir has been incidentally discovered from the trivial circumstance of an intermarriage related in the Bhatti annals. His contemporary of Jaisalmer was Dusaj, who succeeded in S. 1100 or [295] A.D. 1044, so that we have a precise date assigned, supposing this to be the Hamir in question. The Ghaggar, which rises in the Siwalik, passes Hansi Hissar, and flowed under the walls of Bhatner, at which place they yet have their wells in its bed. Thence it passed Rangmahall, Balar, and Phulra, and through the flats of Khadal (of which Derawar is the capital), emptying itself according to some below Uchh, but according to Abu-Barakat (whom I sent to explore in 1809, and who crossed the dry bed of a stream called the Khaggar, near Shahgarh)1 between Jaisalmer and Rori-Bakhar. If this could be authenticated, we should say at once that, united with the branch from Dara, it gave its name to the Sangra, which unites with the Luni, enlarging the eastern branch of the Delta of the Indus.'

The Luni River. — The next, and perhaps most remarkable feature in the desert, is the Luni, or Salt River, which, with its numerous feeders, has its source in the springs of the Aravalli. Of Marwar it is a barrier between the fertile lands and the desert ; and as it leaves this country for the thal of the Chauhans, it divides that community, and forms a geographical demarcation ; the eastern portion being called the Raj of Suigam ; and the western part, Parkar, or beyond the Khar, or Luni.2

The Rann of Cutch. — We shall hereafter return to the country of the Chauhans, which is bounded to the south by that singular feature in the physiognomy of the desert, the Rann, or Ran, already slightly touched upon in the geographical sketch prefixed to this work. This immense salt-marsh, upwards of one hundred and fifty miles in breadth, is formed chiefly by the Luni, which, like the Rhone, after forming Lake Leman, resumes its name at its further outlet, and ends as it confluences with a sacred character,


1 See IGI, xii. 212 f. ; E. H. Aitken, Gazetteer of Sind, 4; Calcutta Review, 1874 ; JRAS, xxv. 49 ff.

2 The derivation of Parkar is unknown ; that suggested in the text is impossible.


[p.1265]: having the temple of Narayan1 at its embouchure, where it mingles with the ocean, and that of Brahma at its source of Pushkar. The Rann, or Ran, is a corruption of Aranya, or ' the waste ' ; 2 nor can anything in nature be more dreary in the dry weather than this parched desert of salt and mud, the peculiar abode of the khar-gadha, or wild-ass, whose love of solitude has been commemorated by an immortal pen.3 That this enormous depository of salt is of no recent formation we are informed by the Greek writers, whose notice it did not escape, and who have preserved in Erinos a nearer approximation to the original Aranya than exists in our Ran or Rann. Although mainly indebted to the Luni for its salt, whose bed and that of its feeders are covered with saline deposits, it is also supplied by the overflowings of the Indus, to which grand stream it may be indebted for its volume of water. We have here another strong point of physical resemblance between the valleys of the Indus and the Nile, which Napoleon [296] at once referred to the sunple operations of nature ; I allude to the origin of Lake Moeris, a design too vast for man.4

Thal, Rui. — As the reader will often meet with the words thal and rui, he should be acquainted with the distinction between them. The first means an arid and bare desert ; the other is equally expressive of desert, but implies the presence of natural vegetation ; in fact, the jungle of the desert.

Thal of the Luni. — This embraces the tracts on both sides of the river, forming Jalor and its dependencies. Although the region south of the stream cannot be included in the thal, yet it


1 [Narayansar, an important place of pilgrimage, with interesting temples, is situated at the Kori entrance of the W. Rann (BG, v. 245 ff.).]

2 [Or irina. Yule, Hobson-Jobson, 2nd ed. 774.]

3 [Equus hemionus (Blanford, Mammalia of India, 470 f. ; Job xxxix. 5 ff.).]

4 " The greatest breadth of the valley of the Nile is four leagues, the least, one " ; so that the narrowest portion of the valley of Sind equals the largest of the Nile. Egypt alone is said to have had eight millions of inhabitants ; what then might Sind mountain ! The condition of the peasantry, as described by Bourrienne, is exactly that of Rajputana ; " The villages are fiefs belonging to any one on whom the prince may bestow them ; the peasantry pay a tax to their superior, and are the actual proprietors of the soil ; amidst all the revolutions and commotions, their privileges are not infringed." This right (still obtaining), taken away by Joseph, was restored by Sesostris.


[p.1266]: is so intimately connected with it, that we shall not forgo the only opportunity we may have of noticing it.

Jalor

This tract is one of the most important divisions of Marwar. It is separated from Siwanchi by the Sukri and Khari,1 which, with many smaller streams, flow through them from the Aravalli and Abu, aiding to fertilize its three hundred and sixty towns and villages, forming a part of the fiscal domains of Marwar. Jalor, according to the geographical stanza so often quoted, was one of the ' nine castles of Maru,' when the Pramar held paramount rule in Marusthali. When it was wrested from them we have no clue to discover ; - but it had long been held by the Chauhans, whose celebrated defence of their capital against Alau-d-din, in A.D. 1301, is recorded by Ferishta, as well as in the chronicles of their bards. This branch of the Chauhan race was called Mallani, and will be again noticed, both here and in the annals of Haraoti. It formed that portion of the Chauhan sovereignty called the Hapa Raj, whose capital was Juna-Chhotan, connecting the sway of this race in the countries along the Luni from Ajmer to Parkar, which would appear to have crushed its Agnikula brother, the Pramar, and possessed all that region marked by the course of the ' Salt River ' to Parkar.

Sonagir, the ' golden mount,' is the more ancient name of this castle, and was adopted by the Chauhans as distinctive of their tribe, when the older term, Mallani, was dropped for Sonigira. Here they enshrined their tutelary divinity, Mallinath, ' god of the Malli,' who maintained his position until the sons of Siahji entered these regions, when the name of Sonagir was exchanged for that of Jalor, contracted from Jalandharnath, whose shrine is about a coss west of the castle. Whether Jalandharnath [297], the ' divinity of Jalandhar,' was imported from the Ganges, or left as well as the god of hetiic Malli by the ci-devant Mallanis, is uncertain : but should this prove to be a remnant of the foes of Alexander, driven by him from Multan,3 its probability is increased


1 Another salt river.

2 The Chauhan Rao Kirttipal took it from the Pramaras towards the end of the twelfth century, and Kanardeo Chauhan lost it to Alau-d-din (Erskine iii. A. 109 f.). In Briggs' translation of Ferishta (i. 370) the place is called Jalwar, and the King Nahardeo.

3 Multan and Juna (Chhotan, qu. Chauhan-tan ?) have the same signification, ' the ancient abode,' and both were occupied by the tribe of Malli or Mallani, said to be of Chauhan race ; and it is curious to find at Jalor


[p.1267]: by the caves of Jalandhar (so celebrated as a Hindu pilgrimage even in Babur's time) being in their vicinity. Be this as it may, the Rathors, like the Roman conquerors, have added these indigenous divinities to their own pantheon. The descendants of the expatriated Sonigiras now occupy the lands of Chitalwana, near the furca of the Luni.

Jalor comprehends the inferior districts of Siwanchi, Bhinmal, Sanchor, Morsin, all attached to the khalisa or fisc ; besides the great pattayats, or chieftainships, of Bhadrajan, Mewa, Jasola, and Sindari — a tract of ninety miles in length, and nearly the same in breadth, with fair soil, water near the surface, and requiring only good government to make it as productive as any of its magnitude in these regions, and sufficient to defray the whole personal expenses of the Rajas of Jodhpur, or about nine lakhs of rupees ; but in consequence of the anarchy of the capital, the corruption of the managers, and the raids of the Sahariyas of the desert and the Minas of Abu and the Aravalli, it is deplorably deteriorated. There are several ridges (on one of which is the castle) traversing the district, but none uniting with the table-land of Mewar, though with breaks it may be traced to near Abu. In one point it shows its affinity to the desert, i.e. in its vegetable productions, for it has no other timber than the jhal, the babul, the karil, and other shrubs of the thal.

The important fortress of Jalor, guarding the southern frontier of Marwar, stands on the extremity of the range extending north to Siwana. It is from three to four hundred feet in height, fortified with a wall and bastions, on some of which cannon are mounted. It has four gates ; that from the town is called the Suraj-pol, and to the north-west is the Bal-pol (' the gate of Bal,' the sun-god), where there is a shrine of the Jain pontiff, Parsvanath. There are many wells, and two considerable baoris, or reservoirs of good water, and to the north a small lake formed by damming up the streams from the hills ; but the water seldom lasts above half the year. The town [298], which contains three


(classically Jalandhar) the same divinities as in their haunts in the Panjab, namely, Mallinath, Jalandharnath, and Balnath. Abu-1 Fazl says, " The cell of Balnath is in the middle of Sindsagar " ; and Babur (Elliot-Dowson ii. 450, iv. 240, 415, v. 114, Aln, ii. 315) places " Balnath-jogi below the hill of Jud, five marches east of the Indus," the very spot claimed by the Yadus, when led out of India by their deified leader Baldeo, or Balnath.


[p.1268]: thousand and seventeen houses, extends on the north and eastern side of the fort, having the Sukri flowing about a mile east of it. It has a circumvallation as well as the castle, having guns for its defence ; and is inhabited by every variety of tribe, though, strange to say, there are only five families of Rajputs in its motley population. The following census was made by one of my parties, in A.D. 1813 :

  • Malis, or gardeners....140
  • Telis, or oilmen, here called Ghanchi....100
  • Kumhars, or potters....60
  • Thatheras, or braziers....30
  • Chhipis, or printers....20
  • Bankers, merchants, and shopkeepers....1156
  • Musalman families....936
  • Khatiks, or butchers....20
  • Nais, or barbers....16
  • Kalals, or spirit-distillers....20
  • Weavers....100
  • Silk weavers....15
  • Yatis (Jain priests)....2
  • Brahmans....100
  • Gujars....40
  • Rajputs.... 5
  • Bhojaks1 ....20
  • Minas.... 60
  • Bhils....15
  • Sweetmeat shops....8
  • Ironsmiths and carpenters {Lohars and Suthars)....14
  • Churiwalas, or bracelet-manufacturers....4

The general accuracy of this census was confirmed.

Siwana, Machola,Morsin, Bhinmal, Sanchor, Bhadrajun, Mewa, Balotra, Tilwara, Kherdhar, Juna Chhotan

Siwana. — Siwanchi is the tract between the Luni and Sukri, of which Siwana, a strong castle placed on the extremity of the same range with Jalor, is the capital. The country requires no particular description, being of the same nature as that just depicted. In former times it constituted, together with Nagor, the appanage of the heir-apparent of Marwar ; but since the


1 Bhojak, ' a feeder,' a term usually applied to those Brahmans who are fed after a death, in order to pass on the food to the spirit.


[p.1269]: setting-up of the pretender, Dhonkal Singh, both have been attached to the fisc : in fact, there is no heir to Maru ! Ferishta mentions the defence of Siwana against the arms of Alau-d-din.1

Machola, Morsin. — Machola and Morsin are the two principal dependencies of Jalor within the Luni, the former having a strong castle guarding its south-east frontier against the [299] depredations of the Minas ; the latter, which has also a fort and town of five hundred houses, is on the western extremity of Jalor.

Bhinmal, Sanchor. — Bhinmal and Sanchor are the two principal subdivisions to the south, and together nearly equal the remainder of the province, each containing eighty villages. These towns are on the high-road to Cutch and Gujarat, which has given them from the most remote times a commercial celebrity. Bhinmal is said to contain fifteen hundred houses, and Sanchor about half the number.2 Very wealthy Mahajans, or ' merchants,' used to reside here, but insecurity both within and without has much injured these cities, the first of which has its name, Mal (not Mahl, as in the map), from its wealth as a mart.3 There is a temple of Baraha (Varaha, the incarnation of the hog), with a great sculptured boar. Sanchor possesses also a distinct celebrity from being the cradle of a class of Brahmans called Sanchora, who are the officiating priests of some of the most celebrated temples in these regions, as that of Dwarka, Mathura, Pushkar, Nagar-Parkar, etc.4 The name of Sanchor is corrupted from Satipura, Sati, or Suttee's town, said to be very ancient.

Bhadrajan. — A slight notice is due to the principal fiefs of Jalor, as well as the fiscal towns of this domain. Bhadrajan is a town of five hundred houses (three-fourths of which are of the Mina class), situated in the midst of a cluster of hills, having a small fort. The chief is of the Jodha clan ; his fief connects Jalor with Pali in Godwar.

Mewa. — Mewa is a celebrated little tract on both banks of the Luni, and one of the first possessions of the Rathors. It is,


1 Ferishta (i. 369) calls the Raja Sitaldeo ; Amir Khusru ( Elliot-Dowson iii. 78, 550, v. 186) Sutaldeo.

2 [The population of these towns is now respectively 4545 and 2066.]

3 The old name was Srimal or Bhillamala, which Erskine (iii. A. 194) identifies with Pi-lo-mo-lo of Hiuen Tsiaug. But Beal (Buddhist Records of the Western World, ii. 270) transliterates this name as Balmer or Barmer.

4 For the Sachora or Sanchora Brahmans see BG, ix. Part i. 18 ; Erskine iii. A. 84.


[p.1270]: properly speaking, in Siwanchi, to which it pays a tribute, besides service when required. The chief of Mewa has the title of Rawal, and his usual residence is the town of Jasol. Surat Singh is the present chief ; his relative, Surajmall, holds the same title, and the fief and castle of Sandri, also on the Luni, twenty-two miles south of Jasol. A feud reigns between them ; they claim co-equal rights, and the consequence is that neither can reside at Mewa, the capital of the domain. Both chiefs deemed the profession of robber no disgrace, when this memoir was written (1813) ; but it is to be hoped they have seen the danger, if not the error, of their ways, and will turn to cultivating the fertile tracts along the ' Salt River,' which yield wheat, juar, and bajra in abundance.

Balotra, Tilwara. — Balotra, Tilwara, are two celebrated names in the geography of this region, and have an annual fair, as renowned in Rajputana as that of Leipsic in Germany. Though called the Balotra mela (literally, 'an assemblage, or [300] concourse of people '), it was held at Tilwara, several miles south,1 near an island of the Luni, which is sanctified by a shrine of Mallinath, ' the divinity of the Malli,' who, as already mentioned, is now the patron god of the Rathors. Tilwara forms the fief of another relative of the Mewa family, and Balotra, which ought to belong to the fisc, did and may still belong to Awa, the chief noble of Marwar. But Balotra and Sandri have other claims to distinction, having, with the original estate of Dunara, formed the fief of Durgadas, the first character in the annals of Maru, and whose descendant yet occupies Sandri. The fief of Mewa, which includes them all, was rated at fifty thousand rupees annually. The Pattayats with their vassalage occasionally go to court, but hold themselves exempt from service except on emergencies. The call upon them is chiefly for the defence of the frontier, of which they are the Simiswara, or lord-marchers.

Indhavati. — This tract, which has its name from the Rajput tribe of Indha, the chief branch of the Parihars (the ancient sovereigns of Mandor), extends from Balotra north, and west of the capital, Jodhpur, and is bounded on the north by the thal of Guga. The thal of Indhavati embraces a space of about thirty coss in circumference.

Gugadeo ka Thal. — The thal of Guga, a name celebrated in the heroic history of the Chauhans, is immediately north of Indhavati,


1 Tilwara is about 10 miles W. of Balotra.


[p.1271]: and one description will suit both. The sand-ridges (thal-ka-tiba) are very lofty in all this tract ; very thinly inhabited ; few villages ; water far from the surface, and having considerable jungles. Tob, Phalsund, and Bimasar are the chief towns in this rui. They collect rain-water in reservoirs called tanka, which they are obliged to use sparingly, and often while a mass of corruption, producing that peculiar disease in the eyes called rataundha (corrupted by us to rotunda) or night-blindness,1 for with the return of day it passes off.

Tararoi. — The thal of Tararoi intervenes between that of Gugadeo and the present frontier of Jaisalmer, to which it formerly belonged.2 Pokaran is the chief town, not of Tararoi only, but of all the desert interposed between the two chief capitals of Marusthali. The southern part of this thal does not differ from that described, but its northern portion, and more especially for sixteen to twenty miles around the city of Pokaran, are low disconnected ridges of loose rock, the continuation of that on which stands the capital of the Bhattis, which give, as we have already said, to this oasis the epithet of Mer, or rocky. The name of Tararoi is derived from tar, which signifies moisture, humidity [301] from springs, or the springs themselves, which rise from this rui. Pokaran, the residence of Salim Singh (into the history of whose family we have so fully entered in the Annals of Marwar), is a town of two thousand houses, surrounded by a stone wall, and having a fort, mounting several guns on its eastern side. Under the west side of the town, the inhabitants have the unusual sight in these regions of running water, though only in the rainy season, for it is soon absorbed by the sands. Some say it comes from the Sar of Kanod, others from the springs in the ridge ; at all events, they derive a good and plentiful supply of water from the wells excavated in its bed. The chief of Pokaran, besides its twenty-four villages, holds lands between the Luni and Bandi rivers to the amount of a lakh of rupees. Dunara and Manzil, the fief of the loyal Durgadas, are now in the hands of the traitor


1 It is asserted by the natives to be caused by a small thread-like worm, which also forms in the eyes of horses. I have seen it in the horse, moving about with great velocity. They puncture and discharge it with the aqueous humour.

2 The name Tararoi seems to have disappeared from the maps, the tract being now known as Sankra.


[p.1272]: Salim. Three coss to the north of Pokaran is the village of Ramdeora, so named from a shrine to Ramdeo, one of the Paladins of the desert, and which attracts people from all quarters to the Mela, or fair, held in the rainy month of Bhadon.1 Merchants from Karachi-bandar, Tatta, Multan, Shikarpur, and Cutch here exchange the produce of various countries : horses, camels, and oxen used also to be reared in great numbers, but the famine of 1813, and anarchy ever since Raja Man's accession, added to the interminable feuds between the Bhattis and Rathors, have checked all this desirable intercourse, which occasionally made the very heart of the desert a scene of joy and activity.

Khawar. — This thal, lying between Jaisalmer and Barmer, and abutting at Girab into the desert of Dhat, is in the most remote angle of Marwar. Though thinly inhabited, it possesses several considerable places, entitled to the name of towns, in this ' abode of death.' Of these, Sheo and Kotra are the most considerable, the first containing three hundred, the latter five hundred houses, situated upon the ridge of hills, which may be traced from Bhuj to Jaisalmer. Both these towns belong to chiefs of the Rathor family, who pay a nominal obedience to the Raja of Jodhpur. At no distant period, a smart trade used to be carried on between Anhilwara Patan and this region ; but the lawless Sahariyas plundered so many kafilas, that it is at length destroyed. They find pasture for numerous flocks of sheep and buffaloes in this thai.

Mallinath, Barmer. — The whole of this region was formerly inhabited by a tribe called Malli or Mallani, who, "although asserted by some to be Rathor in origin, are assuredly Chauhan, and of the same stock as the ancient lords of Juna Chhotan. Barmer was reckoned, before the last famine, to contain one [302] thousand two hundred houses, inhabited by all classes, one-fourth of whom were Sanchora Brahmans.2 The town is situated in the same range as Sheo-Kotra, here two to three hundred feet in height. From Sheo to Barmer there is a good


1 Ramdeora is 12 miles N. of Pokaran. The saint is commonly called Ramdeo ji or Ramsah Pir.

2 Barmer, the ancient name of which is said to be Bahadamer, ' hill fort of Bahada,' is 130 miles W. of Jodhpur city; its present population is 6064. Mallinath was son of Rao Salkha, eighth in descent from Siahji, founder of Marwar State.


[p.1273]: deal of flat intermingled with low tibas of sand, which in favourable seasons produces enough food for consumption. Padam Singh, the Barmer chief, is of the same stock as those of Sheo Kotra and Jasol ; from the latter they all issue, and he calculates thirty-four villages in his feudal domain. Formerly, a dani (which is, literally rendered, douanier) resided here to collect the transit duties ; but the Sahariyas have rendered this office a sinecure, and the chief of Barmer takes the little it realizes to himself. They find it more convenient to be on a tolerably good footing with the Bhattis, from whom this tract was conquered, than with their own head, whose officers they very often oppose, especially when a demand is made upon them for dayid ; on which occasion they do not disdain to call in the assistance of their desert friends, the Sahariyas. Throughout the whole of this region they rear great numbers of the best camels, which find a ready market in every part of India.

Kherdhar. — ' The land of Kher '1 has often been mentioned in the annals of these States. It was in this distant nook that the Rathors first established themselves, expelling the Gohil tribe, which migrated to the Gulf of Cambay, and are now lords of Gogha and Bhavnagar ; and instead of steering ' the ship of the desert ' in their piracies on the kafilas, plied the Great Indian Ocean, even " to the golden coast of Sofala," in the yet more nefarious trade of slaves. It is difficult to learn what latitude they affixed to the ' land of Kher,' which in the time of the Gohils approximated to the Luni ; nor is it necessary to perplex ourselves with such niceties, as we only use the names for the purpose of description. In all probability it comprehended the whole space afterwards occupied by the Mallani or Chauhans, who founded Juna-Chhotan, etc., which we shall therefore include in Kherdhar. Kheralu, the chief town, was one of the ' nine castles


1 Named in all probability, from the superabundant tree of the desert termed Khair, and dhar, ' land.' It is also called Kheralu, but more properly Kherala, ' the abode of Khair ' ; a shrub of great utility in these regions. Its astringent pods, similar in appearance to those of the laburnum, they convert into food. Its gum is collected as an article of trade ; the camels browse upon its twigs, and the wood makes their huts. Kher is a ruined village, not far from Jasol, at the point where the Luni River turns eastward. Kheralu has disappeared from modern maps, if it be not a mistake for Keradu, where there are interesting temples {ASR, West Circle, March 31, 1907, pp. 40-43 ; Erskine iii. A. 201).


[p.1274]: of Maru,' when the Pramar was its sovereign lord. It has now dwindled into an insignificant village, containing no more than forty houses, surrounded on all sides by hills " of a black colour," part of the same- chain from Bhuj.

Juna Chhotan. — Juna Chhotan, or the ' ancient ' Chhotan, though always conjoined in name, are two [303] distinct places, said to be of very great antiquity, and capitals of the Hapa sovereignty. But as to what this Hapa Raj was, beyond the bare fact of its princes being Chauhan, tradition is now mute. Both still present the vestiges of large cities, more especially Juna, ' the ancient,' which is enclosed in a mass of hills, having but one inlet, on the east side, where there are the ruins of a small castle which defended the entrance. There are likewise the remains of two more on the summit of the range. The mouldering remnants of mandirs (temples), and baoris (reservoirs), now choked up, all bear testimony to its extent, which is said to have included twelve thousand habitable dwellings ! Now there are not above two hundred huts on its site, while Chhotan has shrunk into a poor hamlet. At Dhoriman, which is at the farther extremity of the range in which are Juna and Chhotan, there is a singular place of worship, to which the inhabitants flock on the tij, or third day of Sawan of each year. The patron saint is called Alandeo, through whose means some grand victory was obtained by the Mallani. The immediate objects of veneration are a number of brass images called Aswamukhi, from having the ' heads of horses ' ranged on the top of a mountain called Alandeo. Whether these may further confirm the Scythic ancestry of the Mallani, as a branch of the Asi, or Aswa race of Central Asia, can at present be only matter of conjecture.

Nagar Gurha. — Between Barmer and Nagar-Gurha on the Luni is one immense continuous thal, or rather rui, containing deep jungles of khair, or kher, khejra, karil, khep, phog,1 whose gums and berries are turned to account by the Bhils and Kolis of the southern districts. Nagar and Gurha are two large towns on the Luni (described in the itinerary), on the borders of the Chauhan raj of Suigam, and formerly part of it.

Here terminate our remarks on the thals of western Marwar, which, sterile as it is by the hand of Nature, had its miseries


1 Khair, Acacia catechu ; Khejra, Prosopia spicigera ; Karil, Capparia aphylla : Khep, Crotolaria burhia ; Phog, Calligonum polygonoides.


[1275]: completed by the famine that raged generally throughout these regions in S. 1868 (a.d. 1812), and of which this1 is the third year. The disorders which we have depicted as prevailing at the seat of government for the last thirty years, have left these remote regions entirely to the mercy of the desert tribes [304], or their own scarce less lawless lords : in fact, it only excites our astonishment how man can vegetate in such a land, which has nothing but a few sars, or salt-lakes, to yield any profit to the proprietors, and the excellent camel pastures, more especially in the southern tracts, which produce the best breed in the desert.

Chapter II

Abstract of Chapter II

Chauhan Raj— Antiquity and nobility of the Chauhans of the desert — Dimensions and population of the Raj — Nagar — BakhasarTharad — Face of the Chauhan Raj — Water — Productions — Inhabitants — Kolis and Bhils — Pitals — Thals of Dhat and Umrasumra — Depth of wells — Anecdote — City of Aror, the ancient capital of Sind — Dynasties of the Sodha, the Sumra, and the Samma princes — Their antiquity — Inferred to be the opponents of Alexander the Great, and Menander — Lieutenant of Walid takes ArorUmarkot : its history — Tribes of Sind and the desert — Diseases — Narua or Guinea-worm — Productions, animal and vegetable, of the desert — Daudputra — Itinerary ..... 1275

The Chauhan Raj

This sovereignty (raj) of the Chauhans occupies the most remote corner of Rajputana, and its existence is now for the first time noticed. As the quality of greatness as well as goodness is, in a great measure, relative, the Raj of the Chauhans may appear an empire to the lesser chieftains of the desert. Externally, it is environed, on the north and east, by the tracts of the Marwar State we have just been sketching. To the south-east it is bounded by Koliwara, to the south hemmed-in by the Rann, and to the west by the desert of Dhat. Internally, it is partitioned into two distinct governments, the eastern being termed Virawah, and the western from its position ' across the Luni,' Parkar ; 2 which appellation, conjoined to Nagar, is also


1 That is, 1814. I am transcribing from my journals of that day, just after the return of one of my parties of discovery from these regions, bringing with them natives of Dhat, who, to use their own simple but expressive phraseology, " had the measure of the desert in the palm of their hands " ; for they had been employed as kasids, or messengers, for thirty years of their lives. Two of them afterwards returned and brought away their families, and remained upwards of five years in my service, and were faithful, able, and honest in the duties I assigned them, as jamadars of daks, or superintendents of posts, which were for many years under my charge when at Sindhia's court, extending at one time from the Ganges to Bombay, through the most savage and little-known regions in India. But with such men as I drilled to aid in these discoveries, I found nothing insurmountable. [The famine of 1812-13 was the most calamitous of the earlier visitations (Erskine iii. A. 125).]

2 From par, ' beyond,' and kar or khar, synonymous with Luni, the 'salt-river.' We have several Khari Nadis, or salt-rivulets, in Rajputana, though only one Luni. The sea is frequently called the Luna-pani, 'the salt-water,' or Khara-pani, metamorphosed into Kala-pani, or ' the black water,' which is by no means insignificant. [The proposed etymology of Parkar is impossible, and Khara, ' saline,' has no connexion with Kala, ' black.']


[p.1276]: applied to the capital, with the distinction of Srinagar, or metropolis. This is the Nagar-Parker of the distinguished Rennel, a place visited at a very early stage of our inter- course with these regions by an enterprising Englishman, named Whittington.1

History of the Chauhans

The Chauhans of this desert boast the great antiquity of their settlement, as well as the nobility of their blood : they have only to refer to Manik Rae and Bisaldeo of Ajmer, and to Prithiraj, the last Hindu sovereign of Delhi, to establish the latter fact ; but the first we must leave to conjecture and their bards, though we may [805] fearlessly assert that they were posterior to the Sodhas and other branches of the Pramar race, who to all appearance were its masters when Alexander descended the Indus. Neither is it improbable that the Malli or Mallani, whom he expelled in that corner of the Panjab, wrested ' the land of Kher ' from the Sodhas. At all events, it is certain that a chain of Chauhan principalities extended, from the eighth to the thirteenth century, from Ajmer to the frontiers of Sind, of which Ajmer, Nadol, Jalor, Sirohi, and Juna-Chhotan were the capitals ; and though all of these in their annals claim to be ihdependent, it may be assumed that some kind of obedience was paid to Ajmer. We possess inscriptions which justify this assertion. Moreover, each of them was conspicuous in Muslim history, from the time of the conqueror of Ghazni to that of Alau-d-din, surnamed ' the second Alexander.' Mahmud, in his twelfth expedition, by Multan to Ajmer (whose citadel, Ferishta says, " he was compelled to leave in the hands of the enemy "),- passed and sacked Nadol (transliterated Buzule) ;3 and the traditions of the desert have preserved the recollection of his visit to Juna-Chhotan, and they yet point out the mines by which its castle


1 An account of the travels of Withington or Whithington is given in Purchaa his Pilgrimes, ed. 1625, i. 483. Mr. W. Foster, who is engaged on a new edition, describes the story as interesting, but muddled in history and geography.]

2 [Briggs' trans, i. 69, but compare Elliot-Dowson iv. 180.]

3 [See Vol. II. p. 807.]


[p.1277]: on the rock was destroyed. Whether this was after his visitation and destruction of Nahrvala (Anhilwara Patan), or while on his journey, we have no means of knowing ; but when we recollect that in this his last invasion, he attempted to return by Sind, and nearly perished with all his army in the desert, we might fairly suppose his determination to destroy Juna-Chhotan betrayed him into this danger : for besides the all-ruling motive of the conversion or destruction of the ' infidels,' in all likelihood the expatriated princes of Nahrvala had sought refuge with the Chauhans amidst the sandhills of Kherdhar, and may thus have fallen into his grasp.

Although nominally a single principality, the chieftain of Parkar pays little, if any, submission to his superior of Virawah. Both of them have the ancient Hindu title of Rana, and are said at least to possess the quality of hereditary valour, which is synonymous with Chauhan. It is unnecessary to particularize the extent in square miles of thal in this raj, or to attempt to number its population, which is so fluctuating ; but we shall subjoin a brief account of the chief towns, which will aid in estimating the population of Marusthali. We begin with the first division.

Chief Towns

The principal towns in the Chauhan raj are Suigam, Dharanidhar,1 Bakhasar, Tharad, Hotiganv, and Chitalwana. Rana Narayan Rao resides alternately at Sui and Bah, both large towns surrounded by an abbatis, chiefly of the babul and other thorny trees, called in these regions kantha-ka-kot, which has given these simple, but very [306] efficient fortifications the term of kantha-ka-kot, or ' fort of thorns.' The resources of Narayan Rao, derived from this desert domain, are said to be three lakhs of rupees, of which he pays a triennial tribute of one lakh to Jodhpur, to which no right exists, and which is rarely realized without an army. The tracts watered by the Luni yield good crops of the richer grains ; and although, in the dry season, there is no constant stream, plenty of sweet water is procured by excavating wells in its bed. But it is asserted that, even when not continuous, a gentle current is perceptible in those detached portions or pools, filtrating under the porous sand : a pheno-


1 Dharanidhar, the Kurma or tortoise, ' supporter of the earth,' the second incarnation of Vishnu. At Dhema in Tharad a fair is held in honour of Dharanidharji (BG, v. 300, 342).]


[p.1278]: menon remarked in the bed of the Kunwari River (in the district of Gwalior), where, after a perfectly dry space of several miles, we have observed in the next portion of water a very perceptible current.1

Nagar Parkar. — Nagar, or Srinagar, the capital of Parkar, is a town containing fifteen hundred houses, of which, in 1814, one- half were inhabited. There is a small fort to the south-west of the town on the ridge, which is said to be about two hundred feet high. There are wells and beras (reservoirs) in abundance. The river Luni is called seven coss south of Nagar, from which we may infer that its bed is distinctly to be traced through the Rann. The chief of Parkar assumes the title of Rana, as well as his superior of Virawah whose allegiance he has entirely renounced, though we are ignorant of the relation in which they ever stood to each other : all are of the same family, the Hapa-Raj, of which Juna-Chhotan was the capital.

Bakhasar. — Bakhasar ranks next to Srinagar. It was at no distant period a large and, for the desert, a flourishing town ; but now (1814) it contains but three hundred and sixty inhabited dwellings. A son of the Nagar chief resides here, who enjoys, as well as his father, the title of Rana. We shall make no further mention of the inferior towns, as they will appear in the itinerary.

Tharad. — Tharad is another subdivision of the Chauhans of the Luni whose chief town of the same name is but a few coss to the east of Suigam, and which like Parkar is but nominally dependent upon it. With this we shall conclude the subject of Virawah, which, we repeat, may contain many errors.

Face of the Chauhan Raj. — As the itinerary will point out in detail the state of the country, it would be superfluous to attempt a more minute description here. The same sterile ridge, already described as passing through Chhotan to Jaisalmer, is to be [307] traced two coss west of Bakhasar, and thence to Nagar, in detached masses. The tracts on both banks of the Luni yield good crops of wheat and the richer grains, and Virawah, though enclosing considerable thal, has a good portion of flat, especially towards Radhanpur, seventeen coss from Sui. Beyond the


1 One of my journals mentions that a branch of the Luni passes by Sui, the capital of Virawah, where it is four hundred and twelve paces in breadth : an error, I imagine. Suigam is on the E. shore of the Rann, and the Luni does not pass by it or by Virawah.


[p.1279]: Luni, the thal rises into lofty tibas : and indeed from Chhotan to Bakhasar, all is sterile, and consists of lofty sandhills and broken ridges often covered by the sands.

Water Production. — Throughout the Chauhan raj, or at least its most habitable portion, water is obtained at a moderate distance from the surface, the wells being from ten to twenty pursas,1 or about sixty-five to a hundred and thirty feet in depth ; nothing, when compared with those in Dhat, sometimes near seven hundred. Besides wheat, on the Luni, the oil-plant (til), mung, moth, and other pulses, with bajra, are produced in sufficient quantities for internal consumption ; but plunder is the chief pursuit throughout this land, in which the lordly Chauhan and the Koli menial vie in dexterity. Wherever the soil is least calculated for agriculture, there is often abundance of fine pasture, especially for camels, which browse upon a variety of thorny shrubs. Sheep and goats are also in great numbers, and bullocks and horses of a very good description, which find a ready sale at the Tilwara fair.

Inhabitants

We must describe the descendants, whether of the Malli, foe of Alexander, or of the no less heroic Prithiraj, as a community of thieves, who used to carry their raids into Sind, Gujarat, and Marwar, to avenge themselves on private property for the wrongs they suffered from the want of all government, or the oppression of those (Jodhpur) who asserted supremacy over, and the right to plunder them. All classes are to be found in the Chauhan raj : but those predominate, the names of whose tribes are synonyms for ' robber,' as the Sahariya, Khosa, Koli, Bhil. Although the Chauhan is lord-paramount, a few of whom are to be found in every village, yet the Koli and Bhil tribe, with another class called Pital,2 are the most numerous : the last named, though equally low in caste, is the only industrious class in this region. Besides cultivation, they make a trade of the gums, which they collect in great quantities from the various trees whose names have been already mentioned. The Chauhans,


1 Pursa, the standard measure of the desert, is here from six to seven feet, or the average height of a man, to the tip of his finger, the hand being raised vertically over the head. It is derived from purush, ' man.'

2 Pital is another name for the Kalbi farming caste, Kalbi being apparently the local form of the name Kanbi or Kunbi (Census Report, Mawar, 1891, ii. 343). The caste does not appear in the 1911 Census Report of Rajputana.


[p.1280]: like most of these remote Rajput tribes, dispense with the zunnar 1 or janeo, the distinctive thread of a ' twice-born tribe,' and are altogether free from [308] the prejudices of those whom association with Brahmans has bound down with chains of iron. But to make amends for this laxity in ceremonials, there is a material amendment in their moral character, in comparison with the Chauhans of the purab (east) ; for here the unnatural law of infanticide is unknown, in spite of the examples of their neigh- bours, the Jarejas, amongst whom it prevails to the most frightful extent. In eating, they have no prejudices ; they make no chauka, or fireplace ; their cooks are generally of the barber (Nai) tribe, and what is left at one meal, they, contrary to all good manners, tie up and eat at the next.

Kolis and Bhils. — The first is the most numerous class in these regions, and may be ranked with the most degraded portion of the human species. Although they puja all the symbols of Hindu worship, and chiefly the terrific Mata, they scoff at all laws, human or divine, and are little superior to the brutes of their own forests. To them every thing edible is lawful food ; cows, buffaloes, the camel, deer, hog ; nor do they even object to such as have died a natural death. Like the other debased tribes, they affect to have Rajput blood, and call themselves Chauhan Koli, Rathor Koli, Parihar Koli, etc., which only tends to prove their illegitimate descent from the aboriginal Koli stock. Almost all the cloth-weavers throughout India are of the Koli class, though they endeavour to conceal their origin under the term Julaha, which ought only to distinguish the Muslim weaver." The Bhils partake of all the vices of the Kolis, and perhaps descend one step lower in the scale of humanity ; for they will feed on vermin of any kind, foxes, jackals, rats, guanas,2 and snakes ; and although they make an exception of the camel and the pea-fowl, the latter being sacred to Mata, the goddess they propitiate, yet in moral degradation their fellowship is complete. The Kolis and Bhils have no matrimonial intercourse, nor will they even eat with each other — such is caste ! The bow


1 [Arabic zunnar, probably Greek ... The Hindi janeo is Skt. yajnopavita, the investiture of youths with the sacred thread, and later the thread itself.]

2 [For a full account of the Kolis see BG, ix. Part i. 237 If.]

3 [Iguanas (Yule, Uobaon-Jobson, 2nd ed. 379 f.]


[p.1281]: and arrow form their arms, occasionally swords, but rarely the matchlock.

Pital is the chief husbandman of this region, and, with the Bania, the only respectable class. They possess flocks, and are also cultivators, and are said to be almost as numerous as either the Bhils or Kolis. The Pital is reputed synonymous with the Kurmi of Hindustan and the Kulambi of Malwa and the Deccan. There are other tribes, such as the Rabari, or rearer of camels, who will be described with the classes appertaining to the whole desert.

Dhat and Umrasumra. — We now take leave of Rajputana, as it is, for the desert depending upon Sind, or that space between the frontier of Rajputana to the valley [309] of the Indus, on the west, and from Daudputra north, to Baliari on the Rann.1 This space measures about two hundred and twenty miles of longitude, and its greatest breadth is eighty ; it is one entire thal, having but few villages, though there are many hamlets of shepherds sprinkled over it, too ephemeral to have a place in the map. A few of these puras and vas, as they are termed, where the springs are perennial, have a name assigned to them, but to multiply them would only mislead, as they exist no longer than the vegetation. The whole of this tract may be characterized as essentially desert, having spaces of fifty miles without a drop of water, and without great precaution, impassable. The sandhills rise into little mountains, and the wells are so deep, that with a large kafila, many might die before the thirst of all could be slaked. The enumeration of a few of these will put the reader in possession of one of the difficulties of a journey through Maru ; they range from eleven to seventy-five pursa, or seventy to five hundred feet in depth. One at Jaisinghdesar, fifty pursa ; Dhot-ki-basti, sixty ; Girab, sixty ; Hamirdeora, seventy ; Jinjiniah, seventy-five ; Chailak, seventy-five to eighty.

The Horrors of Humayun's March. — In what vivid colours does the historian Ferishta describe the miseries of the fugitive emperor, Humayun, and his faithful followers, at one of these wells ! " The country through which they fled being an entire desert of sand, the Moguls were in the utmost distress for water : some ran mad ; others fell down dead. For three whole days


1 [That is to say, from Bahawalpur on the N. to Baliari on the N. shore of the Rann of Cutch, a distance, as the crow flies, of some 380 miles.]


[p.1282]: there was no water ; on the fourth day they came to a well, which was so deep that a drum was beaten, to give notice to the man driving the bullocks, that the bucket had reached the top ; but the unhappy followers were so impatient for drink, that, so soon as the first bucket appeared, several threw themselves upon it, before it had quite reached the surface, and fell in. The next day, they arrived at a brook, and the camels, which had not tasted water for several days, were allowed to quench their thirst ; but, having drunk to excess, several of them died. The king, after enduring unheard-of miseries, at length reached Omurkote with only a few attendants. The Raja, who has the title of Rana, took compassion on his misfortunes, and spared nothing that could alleviate his sufferings, or console him in his distress." — Briggs' Ferishta, vol. ii. p. 93.1

We are now in the very region where Humayun suffered these miseries, and in its chief town, Umarkot, Akbar, the greatest monarch India ever knew, first saw the light. Let us throw aside the veil which conceals the history of the race of Humayun's protector, and notwithstanding he is now but nominal sovereign of Umarkot, and lord [310] of the village of Chor,2 give him " a local habitation and a name," even in the days of the Macedonian invader of India.

Dhat. — Dhat,3 of which Umarkot is the capital, was one of the divisions of Marusthali, which from time immemorial was subject to the Pramar. Amongst the thirty-five tribes of this the most numerous of the races called Agnikula, were the Sodha, the Umar, and the Sumra ; 4 and the conjunction of the two last has given a distinctive appellation to the more northern thal, still known as Umarsumra, though many centuries have fled since they possessed any power.

Aror, Umarsumra. — Aror, of which we have already narrated


1 [The original is condensed. " The lands of the Rathor, who rules nine districts, are for the most part all sand ; they have little or no water. The wells in some places are so deep that the water is drawn with the help of oxen. When water is to be drawn, those who set the animals to work beat a drum as a warning that the pot is at the mouth of the well, and they are about to draw water " (Manucci ii. 4.32).]

2 [About 15 miles N. of Umarkot. See Elliot-Dowson i. .032.]

3 [The name Dhat has disappeared from modern maps, and is not to be found in the IGI.

4 See table of tribes, and sketch of the Pramaras, Vol. i. pp. 98 and 107.


[p.1283]: the discovery, and -which is laid down in the map about six miles east of Bakhar on the Indus, was in the region styled Umarsumra, which may once have had a much wider acceptation, when a dynasty of thirty-six princes of the Sumra tribe ruled all these countries during five hundred years.1 On the extinction of its power, and the restoration of their ancient rivals, the Sind-Samma princes, who in their turn gave way to the Bhattis, this tract obtained the epithet of Bhattipoh ; but the ancient and more legitimate name, Umarsumra, is yet recognized, and many hamlets of shepherds, both of Umars and Sumras, are still existing amidst its sandhills. To them we shall return, after discussing their elder brethren, the Sodhas. We can trace the colonization of the Bhattis, the Chawaras, and the Solankis, the Guhilots, and the Rathors, throughout all these countries, both of central and western Rajputana ; and wherever we go, whatever new capital is founded, it is always on the site of a Pramar establishment. Pirthi tain na Pramar ka, or ' the world is the Pramars,'2 I may here repeat, is hardly hyperbollcal when applied to the Rajput world.

Aror. — Aror, or Alor as written by Abu-l Fazl, and described by that celebrated geographer, Ibn Haukal, as " rivalling Multan in greatness," was one of the ' nine divisions of Maru ' governed by the Pramar, of which we must repeat, one of the chief branches was the Sodha. The islandic Bakhar, or Mansura (so named by the lieutenant of the Khalif Al-Mansur), a few miles west of Aror, is considered as the capital of the Sogdoi, when Alexander sailed down the Indus,3 and if we couple the similarity of name to the well-authenticated fact of immemorial sovereignty over this region, it might not be drawing too largely on credulity to suggest that the Sogdoi and Soda are one and [311] the same.4 The Sodha


1 Ferishta [iv. 411], Abu-1 Fazl [Ai7i, ii. 337, 340 ff.].

2 A better version runs :

" Pirthi bard Panwar, Pirthi Panwdran tani ;
Ek Ujjaini Dhar, duje Abu baithno."
" The Panwar the greatest on earth, and the world belongs to the Panwars. Their early seats were Ujjain, Dhar, and Mount Abu " {Census Report, Marwar, 1891, ii. 29).]

3 [St. Martin fixes the capital of the Sogdoi at Alor or Aror, but Cunningham would place it higher up stream, about midway between Alor and Uchh, at the village of Sirwahi (McCrindle, Alexander, 354).]

4 To convince the reader I do not build upon nominal resemblance, when localities do not bear me out, he is requested to call to mind, that we have elsewhere assigned to the Yadus of the Panjab the honour of furnishing the well-known king named Porus ; although the Puar, the usual pronunciation of Pramar, would afford a more ready solution. [This is doubtful (Smith, EHI, 40 note).]


[p.1284]: princes were the patriarchs of the desert when the Bhattis immigrated thither from the north : but whether, they deprived them of Aror as well as Lodorva, the chronicle does not intimate. It is by no means unlikely that the Umars and Sumras, instead of being coequal or coeval branches with the Sodha, may be merely subdivisions of them.

We may follow Abu-l Fazl and Ferishta in their summaries of the history of ancient Sind, and these races. The former says : " In former times, there lived a Raja named Siharas, whose capital was Alor. His sway extended eastward, as far as Kashmir and towards the sea to Mekran, while the sea confined it on the south and the mountains to the north. An invading army entered the country from Persia, in opposing which the Raja lost his life. The invaders, contenting themselves with devastating part of the territory, returned. Rae Sahi,1 the Raja's son, succeeded his


1 Colonel Briggs, in his translation [iv. 406], writes it Hully Sa, and in this very place remarks on the " mutilation of Hindu names by the early Mahomedan writers, which are frequently not to be recognized " ; or, we might have learned that the adjunct Sa to Hully (qu. Heri), the son of Sehris, was the badge of his tribe. Soda. The Roy-sahy, or Rao-sa of Abul Fazil, means ' Prince Sa ' or ' Prince of the Sodas.' Of the same family was Dahir, whose capital, in a.h. 99, was (says Abu-l fazil) " Alore or Debeil," in which this historian makes a geographical mistake : Alore or Arore being the capital of Upper Sinde, and Debeil (correctly Dewul, the temple), or Tatta, the capital of Lower Sinde. In all probababity, Dahir held both. We have already dilated, in the Annals of Mewar, on a foreign prince named " Dahir Despati," or the sovereign prince, Dahir, being amongst her defenders, on the first Mooslem invasion, which we conjectured must have been that of Mahomed Kasim, after he had subdued Sinde. Bappa, the lord of Cheetore, was nephew of Raja Maan Mori, shewing a double motive in the exiled son of Dahir to support Cheetore against his own enemy Kasim. The Moris and Sodas were alike branches of the Pramar (sec Vol. I. p.111 ). It is also worth while to draw attention to the remark elsewhere made (p. 2S(i) on the stir made by Hejauje of Khorasan (who sent Kasim to Sinde) amongst the Hindu princes of Zabulisthan : dislocated facts all demonstrating one of great importance, namely, the wide dominion of the Rajpoot race, previous to the appearance of Mahomed. Oriental literature sustained a loss which can scarcely be repaired, by the destruction of the valuable MSS. amassed by Colonel Briggs, during many years, for the purpose of a general history of the early transactions of the Mahomedans. [This note has been reprinted as it stands in the original text. Many statements must be received with caution. See Elliot-Dowson i. 120 ff.]


[p.1285]: father, by whose enlightened wisdom and the aid of his intelligent minister Ram, justice was universally administered and the repose of the country secured. ... In the caliphate of Walid bin Abdu'l Malik, when Hajjaj was governor of Irak, he dispatched on his own authority Muhammad Kasim, his cousin and son-in-law, to Sind, who fought Dahir in several engagements. . . . After Muhammad Kasim's death, the sovereignty of this country devolved on the descendants of the Banu Tamim Ansari. They were succeeded by the Sumrah race, who established their rule, and were followed by the Sammas, who asserted their descent from Jamshid, and each of them assumed the name of Jam." 1

Ferishta gives a similar version. " On the death of Mahomed Kasim, a tribe who trace their origin from the Ansarias established a government in Sind ; after which the zamindars [lords of the soil or indigenous chiefs], denominated in their country Soomura, usurped the power, and held independent rule over the kingdom of Sinde for the space of five hundred years. These [312], the Soomuras, subverted the country of another dynasty called Soomuna [the Samma of Abu-1 Fazl], whose chief assumed the title of Jam." 2

The difficulty of establishing the identity of these tribes from the cacography of both the Greek and Persian writers, is well exemplified in another portion of Ferishta, treating of the same race, called by him Soomuna, and Samma by Abu-l Fazl. " The tribe of Sahna appears to be of obscure origin, and originally to have occupied the tract lying between Bekher and Tatta in Sinde, and pretend to trace their origin from Jemshid." We can pardon his spelling for his exact location of the tribe, which, whether written Soomuna, Sehna, or Seemeh, is the Summa or Samma tribe of the great Yadu race, whose capital was Summa-ka-kot, or Sammanagari, converted into Minnagara, and its princes into Sambas, by the Greeks.3 Thus the Sodhas appear to have ruled


1 Of the latter stock he gives us a list of seventeen princes. Gladwin's translation of Ayeen Akberi, vol. ii. p. 122. [This has been replaced by that of Jarrett, Ain, ii. 343 fl.]

2 See Briggs' Ferishta, vol. iv. pp. 411 and 422.

3 For Minnagara see Vol. I. p. 255


[p.1286]: at Aror and Bakhar, or Upper Sind, and the Sammas in the lower,1 when Alexander passed through this region. The Jarejas and Jams of Navanagar in Saurashtra claim descent from the Sammas, hence called elsewhere by Abu-l Fazl " the Sind-Samma djmasty " ; but having been, from their amalgamation with the ' faithful,' put out of the pale of Hinduism, they desired to conceal their Samma-Yadu descent, which they abandoned for Jamshid, and Samma was converted into Jam.2

We may, therefore, assume that a prince of the Sodha tribe held that division of the great Puar sovereignty, of which Aror, or the insular Bakhar, was the capital, when Alexander passed down the Indus : nor is it improbable that the army, styled Persian by Abu-l Fazl, which invaded Aror, and slew Raja Siharas, was a Graeco-Bactrian army led by Apollodotus, or Menander, who traversed this region, " ruled by Sigertides " (qu. Raja Siharas ?) even to " the country of the Σώρα,"" or Saurashtra,3 where, according to their historian, their medals were existent when he wrote in the second century.4 The histories so largely quoted give us decided proof that Dahir, and his son [313] Raesa, the victims of the first Islamite invasion led by Kasim, were of the same lineage as Raja


1 The four races called Agnikula (of which the Pramar was the most numerous), at every step of ancient Hindu history are seen displacing the dynasty of Yadu. Here the struggle between them is corroborated by the two best Muhammadan historians, both borrowing from the same source, the more ancient histories, few of which have reached us. It must be borne in mind that the Sodhas, the Umars, the Sumras, were Pramars (vulg. Puar) ; while the Sammas were Yadus, for whose origin see Annals of Jaisalmer, p. 1185 above.


2 [This is very doubtful. See Yule, Hobson-Jobson, 2nd ed. 447.]

3 Sora is supposed to represent the Chola Kingdom in S. India (McCrindle, Ptolemy, 64 f.).

4 Of these, the author was so fortunate as to obtain one of Menander and three of Apollodotus, whose existence had heretofore been questioned : the first of the latter from the wreck of Suryapura, the capital of the Surasenakas of Manu {Laws, ii. 19, vii. 193] and Arrian ; another from the ancient Avanti, or Ujjain, whose monarch, according to Justin, held a correspondence with Augustus ; and the third, in company with a whole jar of Hindu-Scythic and Bactrian medals, at Agra, which was dug up several years since in excavating the site of the more ancient city. This, I have elsewhere surmised, might have been the abode of Aggrames, Agragram-eswar, the "lord of the city of Agra," mentioned by Arrian as the most potent monarch in the north of India, who, after the death of Porus, was ready to oppose the further progress of Alexander. Let us hope that the Panjab may yet afford us another peep into the past. For an account of these medals, see Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. i. p. 313. [Aggrames, King of the Gangaridae and Prasii, also known as Xandrames, probably the Hindu Chandra, belonged to the Nanda dynasty (Smith, EHI, 40 ; McCrmdle, Ancient India in Classical Literature, 43).]


[p.1287]: Siharas ; and the Bhatti annals prove to demonstration, that at this, the very period of their setthng in the desert, the Sodha tribe was paramount (see p. 1185) ; which, together with the strong analogies in names of places and princes, affords a very reasonable ground for the conclusion we have come to, that the Sodha tribe of Puar race was in possession of Upper Sind, when the Macedonian passed down the stream ; and that, amidst all the vicissitudes of fortune, it has continued (contesting possession with its ancient Yadu antagonist, the Samma) to maintain some portion of its ancient sovereignty imto these days. Of this portion we shall now instruct the reader, after hazarding a passing remark on the almost miraculous tenacity which has preserved this race in its desert abode during a period of at least two thousand two hundred years,1 bidding defiance to foreign foes, whether Greek, Bactrian, or Muhammadan, and even to those visitations of nature, famines, pestilence, and earthquakes, which have periodically swept over the land, and at length rendered it the scene of desolation it now presents ; for in this desert, as in that of Eg;^npt, tradition records that its increase has been and still is progressive, as well in the valley of the Indus as towards the Jumna.

Umarkot. — This stronghold (kot) of the Umars, until a very few years back, was the capital of the Sodha Raj, which extended, two centuries ago, into the valley of Sind, and east to the Luni ; but the Rathors of Marwar, and the family at present ruling Sind, have together reduced the sovereignty of the Sodhas to a very confined spot, and thrust out of Umarkot (the last of the nine castles of Maru) the descendant of Siharas, who, from Aror, held dominions extending from Kashmir to the ocean. Umarkot has sadly fallen from its ancient grandeur, and instead of the five thousand houses it contained during the opulence of the Sodha princes, it hardly reckons two hundred and fifty houses, or rather huts.2 The old castle is to the north-west of the town. It is


1 Captain, now Colonel, Pottinger, in his interesting work on Sind and Baluchistan, in extracting from the Persian work Mu'jamu-1 Waridat, calls the ancient capital of Sind, Ulaor, and mentions the overthrow of the dyasty of ' Sahir ' (the Siharas of Abu-1 Fazl), whose ancestors had governed Sind for two thousand years.

2 [The present population is 4924.]


[p.1288]: built of brick, and the bastions, said to be eighteen in number, are of stone. It has an inner citadel, or rather a fortified palace. There is an old canal to the north of the fort, in which water still lodges part of the year. When Raja Man [314] had possession of Umarkot, he founded several villages thereunto, to keep up the communication. The Talpuris then found it to their interest, so long as they had any alarms from their own lord paramount of Kandahar, to court the Rathor prince ; but when civil war appeared in that region, as well as in Marwar, the cessation of all fears from the one, banished the desire of paying court to the other, and Umarkot was unhappily placed between the Kalhoras of Sind and the Rathors, each of whom looked upon this frontier post as the proper limit of his sway, and contended for its possession. We shall therefore give an account of a feud between these rivals, which finally sealed the fate of the Sodha prince, and which may contribute something to the history of the ruling family of Sind, still imperfectly known.

The Fate of the Sodha Tribe. Assassination of Mir Bijar. — When Bijay Singh ruled Marwar, Miyan Nur Muhammad, Kalhora, governed Sind ; but being expelled by an army from Kandahar, he fled to Jaisalmer, where he died. The eldest son, Antar Khan, and his brothers, found refuge with Bahadur Khan Khairani ; while a natural brother, named Ghulam Shah, born of a common prostitute, found means to establish himself on the masnad at Haidarabad. The chiefs of Daudputra espoused the cause of Antar Khan, and prepared to expel the usurper. Bahadur Khan, Sabzal Khan, Ali Murad, Muhammad Khan, Kaim Khan, Ali Khan, chiefs of the Khairani tribe, united, and marched with Antar Khan to Haidarabad. Ghulam Shah advanced to meet him, and the brothers encountered at Ubaura (see map) ; but legitimacy failed : the Khairani chiefs almost all perished, and Antar Khan was made prisoner, and confined for life in Gaja-ka- kot, an island in the Indus, seven coss south of Haidarabad. Ghulam Shah transmitted his masnad to his son Sarfaraz, who, dying soon after, was succeeded by Abdul Nabi. At the town of Abhaipura, seven coss cast of Sheodadpur (a town in Lohri Sind), resided a chieftain of the Talpuri tribe, a branch of the Baloch, named Goram, who had two sons, named Bijar and Sobhdan. Sarfaraz demanded Goram's daughter to wife ; he was refused,


1 [In Shikarpiir, Sind, near the frontier of Bahawalpur.]


[p.1289]: and the whole family was destroyed. Bijar Khan, who alone escaped the massacre, raised his clan to avenge him, deposed the tyrant, and placed himself upon the masnad of Haidarabad. The Kalhoras dispersed ; but Bijar, who was of a violent and imperious temperament, became involved in hostilities with the Rathors regarding the possession of Umarkot. It is asserted that he not only demanded tribute from Marwar, but a daughter of the Rathor prince, to wife, setting forth as a precedent his grandfather Ajit, who bestowed a wife on Farrukhsiyar. This insult led to a pitched battle, fought at Dugara, five coss from Dharnidhar, in which the Baloch [315] army was fairly beaten from the field by the Rathor ; but Bijai Singh, not content with his victory, determined to be rid of this thorn in his side. A Bhatti and Chondawat offered their services, and lands being settled on their families, they set out on this perilous enterprise in the garb of ambassadors. When introduced to Bijar, he arrogantly demanded if the Raja had thought better of his demand, when the Chondawat referred him to his credentials. As Bijar rapidly ran his eye over it, muttering " no mention of the dola (bride)," the dagger of the Chondawat was buried in his heart. " This for the dola,' he exclaimed ; and " this for the tribute," said his comrade, as he struck another blow. Bijar fell lifeless on his cushion of state, and the assassins, who knew escape was hopeless, plied their daggers on all around ; the Chondawat slaying twenty-one, and the Bhatti five, before they were hacked to pieces.1 The nephew of Bijar Khan, by name Fateh Ali, son of Sobhdan, was chosen his successor, and the old family of Kalhora was dispersed to Bhuj, and Rajputana, while its representative repaired to Kandahar. There the Shah put him at the head of an army of twenty- five thousand men, with which he reconquered Sind, and commenced a career of unexampled cruelty. Fateh Ali, who had fled to Bhuj, reassembled his adherents, attacked the army of the Shah, which he defeated and pursued with great slaughter beyond Shikarpur, of which he took possession, and returned in triumph to Haidarabad. The cruel and now humbled Kalhora once more appeared before the Shah, who, exasperated at the inglorious result of his arms, drove him from his presence ; and after wander-


1 [By another story, Abdu-n-nabi Khan, brother of Ghulam Nabi Khan, prince of Sind, assassinated his too successful general, Mir Bijar, in a.d. 1781 (IGI, xxii. 399).]


[1290]: ing about, he passed from Multan to Jaisalmer, settling at length at Pokaran, where he died. The Pokaran chief made himself his heir, and it is from the great wealth (chiefly in jewels) of the ex- prince of Sind that its chiefs have been enabled to take the lead in Marwar. The tomb of the exile is on the north side of the town [316].1

This episode, which properly belongs to the history of Marwar, or to Sind, is introduced for the purpose of showing the influence of the latter on the destinies of the Sodha princes. It was by Bijar, who fell by the emissaries of Bijai Singh, that the Sodha Raja was driven from Umarkot, the possession of which brought the Sindis into immediate collision with the Bhattis and Rathors. But on his assassination and the defeat of the Sind army on the Rann, Bijai Singh reinducted the Sodha prince to his gaddi of Umarkot ; not, however, long to retain it, for on the invasion from Kandahar, this poor country underwent a general massacre and pillage by the Afghans, and Umarkot was assaulted and taken. When Fateh Ali made head against the army of Kandahar, which he was enabled to defeat, partly by the aid of the Rathors, he


1 The memoir adds : Fateh Ali was succeeded by his brother, the present Ghulam Ali, and he by his son, Karam Ali. The general correctness of this outline is proved by a very interesting work (which has only fallen into my hands in time to make this note), entitled Narrative of a Visit to the Court of Sinde, by Dr. Burnes. Bijar Khan was minister to the Kalhora rulers of Sind, whose cruelties at length gave the government to the family of the minister. As it is scarcely to be supposed that Raja Bijai Singh would furnish assassins to the Kalhora, who could have little difficulty in finding them in Sind, the insult which caused the fate of Bijar may have proceeded from his master, though ho may have been made the scapegoat. It is much to be regretted that the author of the Visit to Sinde did not accompany the Amirs to Sehwan (of which I shall venture an account obtained nearly twenty years ago). With the above memoir and map (by his brother, Lieut. Burnes) of the Rann, a new light has been thrown on the history and geography of this most interesting and important portion of India. It is to be desired that to a gentleman so well prepared inay be entrusted the examination of this still little-known region. I had long entertained the hope of passing through the desert, by Jaisalmer to Uchh, and thence, sailing down to Mansura, visiting Aror, Sehwan, Sammanagari, and Bamanwasa. The rupture with Sind in 1820 gave me great expectations of accomplishing this object, and I drew up and transmitted to Lord Hastings a plan of marching a force through the desert, and planting the cross on the insular capital of the Sogdoi ; but peace was the order of the day. I was then in communication with Mir Sohrab, governor of Upper Sind, who, 1 have little doubt, would have come over to our views.


[1291]: relinquished, as the price of this aid, the claims of Sind upon Umarkot, of which Bijai Singh took possession, and on whose battlements the flag of the Rathors waved until the last civil war, when the Sindis expelled them. Had Raja Man known how to profit by the general desire of his chiefs to redeem this distant possession, he might have got rid of some of the unquiet spirits by other means than those which have brought infamy on his name.

Chor. — Since Umarkot has been wrested from the Sodhas, the expelled prince, who still preserves his title of Rana, resides at the town of Chor, fifteen miles north-east of his former capital. The descendant of the princes who probably opposed Alexander, Menander, and Kasim, the lieutenant of Walid, and who sheltered Humayun when driven from the throne of India, now subsists on the eleemosynary gifts of those with whom he is connected by marriage, or the few patches of land of his own desert domain left him by the rulers of Sind. He has eight brothers, who are hardly pushed for a subsistence, and can only obtain it by the supplement to all the finances of these States, plunder.

The Sodha, and the Jareja, are the connecting links between the Hindu and the Muslim ; for although the farther west we go the greater is the laxity of Rajput prejudice, yet to something more than mere locality must be attributed the denationalized sentiment which allows the Sodha to intermarry with a Sindi : this cause is hunger ; and there are few zealots who will deny that its influence is more potent than the laws of Manu. Every third year brings famine, and those who have not stored up against it fly to their neighbours, and chiefly to the valley of the Indus. The [317] connexions they then form often end in the union of their daughters with their protectors ; but they still so far adhere to ancient usage as never to receive back into the family caste a female so allied.1 The present Rana of the Sodhas has set the example, by giving daughters to Mir Ghulam Ali and Mir Sohrab, and even to the Khosa chief of Dadar ; and in consequence, his brother princes of Jaisalmer, Bah and Parkar, though they will


1 [The chief connexion of the Sodhas with Cutch is through the marriage of their daughters with leading Jareja and Musalman families. Their women are of great natural ability, but ambitious and intriguing, not scrupling to make away with their husbands in order that their sons may obtain the estate (BG, v. 67).]


[1292]: accept a Sodha princess to wife (because they can depend on the purity of her blood), yet will not bestow a daughter on the Rana, whose offspring might perhaps grace the harem of a Baloch. But the Rathors of Marwar will neither give to nor receive daughters of Dhat. The females of this desert region, being reputed very handsome, have become almost an article of matrimonial traffic ; and it is asserted, that if a Sindi hears of the beauty of a Dhatiani, he sends to her father as much grain as he deems an equivalent, and is seldom refused her hand. We shall not here further touch on the manners or other peculiarities of the Sodha tribe, though we may revert to them in the general outline of the tribes, with which we shall conclude the sketch of the Indian desert.

Tribes

The various tribes inhabiting the desert and valley of the Indus would alone form an ample subject of investigation, which would, in all probability, elicit some important truths.

Amongst the converts to Islam the inquirer into the pedigree of nations would discover names, once illustrious, but which, now hidden under the mantle of a new faith, might little aid his researches into the history of their origin. He would find the Sodha, the Kathi, the Mallani, affording in history, position, and nominal resemblance grounds for inferring that they are the descendants of the Sogdoi, Kathi, and Malloi, who opposed the Macedonian in his passage down the Indus ; besides swarms of Getae or Yuti, many of whom have assumed the general title of Baloch, or retain the ancient specific name of Numri ; while others, in that of Zjat Jat, preserve almost the primitive appellation. We have also the remains of those interesting races the Johyas and Dahyas, of which much has been said in the Annals of Jaisalmer, and elsewhere ; who, as well as the Getae or Jats, and Huns, hold places amongst the " Thirty-six Royal Races " of ancient India.1 These, with the Barahas and the Lohanas, tribes who swarmed a few centuries ago in the Panjab, will now only be discerned in small luimbers in " the region of death," which has even preserved the illustrious name of Kaurava, Krishna's foe in the Bharat. The Sahariya, or great robber of our western desert, would alone afford text for discussion on his habits [818] and his raids, as the enemy of all society. But we shall begin with those who yet retain any pretensions to the name of Hindu (distinguishing them from the proselytes to Islam), and afterwards descant upon their


1 See sketch of the tribes, Vol. I. p. 98.


[p.1293]: peculiarities. Bhatti, Rathor, Jodha, Chauhan, Mallani, Kaurava, Johya, Sultana, Lohana, Arora, Khumra, Sindhal, Maisuri, Vaishnavi, Jakhar, Asaich, Punia.

Of the Muhammadan there are but two, Kalhora and Sahariya, concerning whose origin any doubt exists, and all those we are about to specify are Nayyads,1 or proselytes chiefly from Rajput or other Hindu tribes :

Zjat ; Rajar ; Umra ; Sumra ; Mair, or Mer ; Mor, or Mohor ; Baloch ; Lumria, or Luka ; Samaicha. ; Mangalia ; Bagria ; Dahya ; Johya ; Kairui ; Jangaria ; Undar ; Berawi ; Bawari ; Tawari ; Charandia ; Khosa ; Sadani ; Lohanas.

The Nayyads. — Before we remark upon the habits of these tribes, we may state one prominent trait which characterizes the Nayyad, or convert to Islam, who, on parting with his original faith, divested himself of its chief moral attribute, toleration, and imbibed a double portion of the bigotry of the creed he adopted. Whether it is to the intrinsic quality of the Muhammadan faith that we are to trace this moral metamorphosis, or to a sense of degradation (which we can hardly suppose) consequent on his apostasy, there is not a more ferocious or intolerant being on the earth than the Rajput convert to Islam.

In Sind, and the desert, we find the same tribes, bearing the same name, one still Hindu, the other Muhammadan ; the first retaining his primitive manners, while the convert is cruel, intolerant, cowardly, and inhospitable. Escape, with life at least, perhaps a portion of property, is possible from the hands of the Maldot, the Larkhani, the Bhatti, or even the Tawaris, distinctively called " the sons of the devil " ; but from the Khosas, the Sahariyas, or Bhattis, there would be no hope of salvation. Such are their ignorance and brutality, that should a stranger make use of the words rassa, or rasta (rope, and road), he will be fortimate if he escape with bastinado from these beings, who discover therein an analogy to rasul, or ' the prophet ' : he must for the former use the words kilbar, randori, and for the latter, dagra, or dag.2 It will not fail to strike those who have --- 1 Nayyad is the noviciate, literally new (naya), or original converts, I suppose. [In other parts of India they are known as Naumuslim.]

2 Dagra is very common in Rajputana for a ' path-way ' ; but the substitute here used for rassa, a rope, I am not acquainted with. [For a large collection of similar taboo names for persons, animals, and things see Sir J. Frazer, The Golden Bough, " Taboo and Perils of the Soul," 318 ff.]


[p.1294]: perused the heart-thrilling adventures of Park, Denham, and Clapperton — names which will live for ever in the annals of discovery — how completely the inoffensive, kind, and hospitable negro resembles in these qualities the Rajput, who is transformed into a wild beast the moment he can repeat, " Ashhadu an la ilaha illa allah ! [319] Ashhadu anna Muhammad rasulu-llah," " there is but one God, and Muhammad is the prophet of God " : while a remarkable change has taken place amongst the Tatar tribes, since the anti-destructive doctrines of Buddha (or Hinduism purified of polytheism) have been introduced into the regions of Central Asia.

On the Bhattis, the Rathors, the Chauhans, and their offset the Mallani, we have sufficiently expatiated, and likewise on the Sodha ; but a few peculiarities of this latter tribe remain to be noticed.

The Sodha Tribe. — The Sodha, who has retained the name of Hindu, has yet so far discarded ancient prejudice, that he will drink from the same vessel and smoke out of the same hukka with a Musalman, laying aside only the tube that touches the mouth. With his poverty, the Sodha has lost his reputation for courage, retaining only the merit of being a dexterous thief, and joining the hordes of Sahariyas and Khosas who prowl from Daudputra to Gujarat. The arms of the Sodhas are chiefly the sword and shield, with a long knife in the girdle, which serves either as a stiletto or a carver for his meat : few have matchlocks, but the primitive sling is a general weapon of offence, and they are very expert in its use. Their dress partakes of the Bhatti and Muhammadan costume, but the turban is peculiar to them- selves, and by it a Sodha may always be recognized. The Sodha is to be found scattered over the desert, but there are offsets of his tribe, now more numerous than the parent stock, of which the Samecha is the most conspicuous, whether of those who are still Hindu, or who have become converts to Islam.

The Kaurava Tribe. — This singular tribe of Rajputs, whose habits, even in the midst of pillage, are entirely nomadic, is to be found chiefly in the thal of Dhat, though in no great numbers.1 They have no fixed habitations, but move about with their Hocks, and encamp wherever they find a spring or pasture for their cattle ; and there construct temporary huts of the wide-spreading


1 [The name cannot be traced in recent Census Reports.]


[p.1295]: pilu,1 by interlacing its living branches, covering the top with leaves, and coating the inside with clay : in so skilful a manner do they thus shelter themselves that no sign of human habitation is observable from without. Still the roaming Sahariya is always on the look-out for these sylvan retreats, in which the shepherds deposit their little hoards of grain, raised from the scanty patches around them. The restless disposition of the Kauravas, who even among their ever-roaming brethren enjoy a species of fame in this respect, is attributed (said my Dhati) to a curse entailed upon them from remote ages. They rear camels, cows, buffaloes, and goats, which they sell to the Charans and other merchants. They are altogether a singularly peaceable race ; and like all their Rajput brethren, can at will [320] people the desert with palaces of their own creation, by the delightful amal-pani, the universal panacea for ills both moral and physical.

The Dhati Tribe. — Dhat, or Dhati, is another Rajput, inhabiting Dhat, and in no greater numbers than the Kauravas, whom they resemble in their habits, being entirely pastoral, cultivating a few patches of land, and trusting to the heavens alone to bring it forward. They barter the ghi or clarified butter, made from the produce of their flocks, for grain and other necessaries of life. Rabri and chhachh, or ' porridge and buttermilk,' form the grand fare of the desert. A couple of sers of flour of bajra, juar, and khejra is mixed with some sers of chhachh, and exposed to the fire, but not boiled, and this mess will suffice for a large family. The cows of the desert are much larger than those of the plains of India, and give from eight to ten sers (eight or ten quarts) of milk daily. The produce of four cows will amply subsist a family of ten persons from the sale of ghi ; and their prices vary with their productive powers, from ten to fifteen rupees each. The rabri, so analogous to the kouskous of the African desert, is often made with camel's milk, from which ghi cannot be extracted, and which soon becomes a living mass when put aside. Dried fish, from the valley of Sind, is conveyed into the desert on horses or camels, and finds a ready sale amongst all classes, even as far east as Barmer. It is sold at two dukras (coppers) a ser. The puras, or temporary hamlets of the Dhatis, consisting at most of ten huts in each, resemble those of the Kauravas.

The Lohana Tribe. — This tribe is numerous both in Dhat and


1 Salvadora oleoides or persica (Watt, Econ. Diet. vi. Part ii. 447 ff.).


[1296]: Talpura : formerly they were Rajputs, but betakins: themselves to commerce, have fallen into the third class. They are scribes and shopkeepers, and object to no occupation that will bring a subsistence ; and as to food, to use the expressive idiom of this region, where hunger spurns at law, " excepting their cats and their cows, they will eat anything." 1

The Arora Tribe. — This class, like the former, apply themselves to every pursuit, trade, and agriculture, and fill many of the inferior offices of government in Sind, being shrewd, industrious, and intelligent. With the thrifty Arora and many other classes, flour steeped in cold water suffices to appease hunger. Whether this class has its name from being an inhabitant of Aror, we know not.2

The Bhatia Tribe. — Bhatia is also one of the equestrian order converted into the commercial, and the exchange has been to his advantage. His habits are like those of the Arora, next to whom he ranks as to activity and wealth. The Aroras and Bhatias have commercial houses at Shikarpur, Haidarabad, and even at Surat and Jaipur [321].3

Brahmans. — Bishnoi is the most common sect of Brahmans in the desert and Sind. The doctrines of Manu with them go for as much as they are worth in the desert, where " they are a law unto themselves." They wear the janeo, or badge of their tribe, but it here ceases to be a mark of clerical distinction, as no drones are respected ; they cultivate, tend cattle, and barter their superfluous ghi for other necessaries. They are most numerous in Dhat, having one hundred of their order in Chor, the residence of the Sodha Rana, and several houses in Umarkot, Dharnas, and Mitti.4 They do not touch fish or smoke tobacco, but will eat food dressed by the hands of a Mali (gardener), or even a Nai (barber caste) ; nor do they use the chauka, or fireplace, reckoned


1 In Cutch they claim to be Rathors from Multan, and are said to have been driven by the Muhammadans from the Panjab into Cutch. In Gujarat they are Vaishnavas, and are particular about their food and drink, but in Sind they are more lax {BCI, v. 54 ff., ix. Part i. 122 ; Burton, Sindh, 314).]

2 They are numerous in S.W. Panjab, where Rose (Glossary, ii. 16 ff.) gives a full account of them.

3 On their connexion with the Bhatti Rajputs see Crooke, Tribes and Castes N. W.F. and Oudh, ii. 37 ; Russell, Tribes and Castes Central Provinces, i. 380 ; BG, V. 37 f.

4 About 45 miles S. of Umarkot.


[1297]: indispensable in more civilized regions. Indeed, all classes of Hindus throughout Sind will partake of food dressed in the sarai, or inn, by the hands of the Bhathiyarin. They use indiscriminately each other's vessels, without any process of purification but a little sand and water. They do not even burn their dead, but bury them near the threshold ; and those who can afford it, raise small chabutras, or altars, on which they place an image of Siva, and a ghara, or jar of water. The janiieo, or thread which marks the sacerdotal character in Hindustan, is common in these regions to all classes, with the exception of Kolis and Lohanas. This practice originated with their governors, in order to discriminate them from those who have to perform the most servile duties.1

The Rabari Tribe. — This term is known throughout Hindustan only as denoting persons employed in rearing and tending camels, who are there always Muslims. Here they are a distinct tribe, and Hindus, employed entirely in rearing camels, or in stealing them, in which they evince a peculiar dexterity, uniting with the Bhattis in the practice as far as Daudputra. When they come upon a herd grazing, the boldest and most experienced strikes his lance into the first he reaches, then dips a cloth in the blood, which at the end of his lance he thrusts close to the nose of the next, and wheeling about, sets off at speed, followed by the whole herd, lured by the scent of blood and the example of their leader.2

Jat Tribes

Jakhar, Asaich, Punia are all denominations of the Jat race, a few of whom preserve under these ancient subdivisions their old customs and religion ; but the greater part are among the converts to Islam, and retain the generic name, pronounced Zjat. Those enumerated are harmless and industrious, and are found both in the desert and valley. There are besides these a few scattered families of ancient tribes [322], as the Sultana3, and Khumra, of whose history we are ignorant,


1 These desert Brahmans, whose laxity of custom is notorious, have no connexion with other orthodox Brahmans, and are probably priests or medicine-men who now claim that rank.

2 Census Report, Bombay, 1911, i. 298.

3 Abu-l Fazl, in describing the province of Bajaur, inhabited by the Yusufzais, says : " The whole of the tract Swat] of hill and plain is the domain of the Yusufzai clan. In the time of Mirza Ulugh Beg of Kabul, they migrated from Kabul to this territory, and wrested it from the Sultans who affected to be descendants of Alexander Bicornutus " (Ain, ii. 392 f.). Mr. Elphinstone inquired in vain for this offspring of Alexander the Great.


[p.1298]: Johyas, Sindhals, and others, whose origin has already been noticed in the Annals of Marusthali.

We shall now leave this general account of the Hindu tribes, who throughout Sind are subservient to the will of the Muhammadan, who is remarkable, as before observed, for intolerance. The Hindu is always second : at the well, he must wait patiently until his tyrant has filled his vessel ; or if, in cooking his dinner, a Muslim should require fire, it must be given forthwith, or the shoe would be applied to the Hindu's head.

The Sahariya Tribe. — The Sahariya is the most numerous of the Muhammadan tribes of the desert, said to be Hindu in origin, and descendants of the ancient dynasty of Aror ; but whether his descent is derived from the dynasty of Siharas (written Sahir by Pottinger), or from the Arabic word sahra, ' a desert,' of which he is the terror, is of very little moment.1

The Khosa Tribe. — The Kosas or Khosas, etc., are branches of the Sahariya, and their habits are the same. They have reduced their mode of rapine to a system, and established kuri, or blackmail, consisting of one rupee and five daris of grain for every plough, exacted even from the hamlets of the shepherds throughout the thal. Their bands are chiefly mounted on camels, though some are on horseback ; their arms are the sel or sang (lances of bamboo or iron), the sword and shield, and but few firearms. Their depredations used to be extended a hundred coss around, even into Jodhpur and Daudputra, but they eschew coming in contact with the Rajput, who says of a Sahariya, " he is sure to be asleep when the battle nakkara beats." Their chief abode is in the southern portion of the desert ; and about Nawakot, Mitti, as far as Baliari.- Many of them used to find service at Udaipur, Jodhpur, and Suigam, but they are cowardly and faithless.

The Samaicha Tribe. — Samaicha is one of the nayyad, or proselytes to Islam from the Sodha race, and nunerous both in the thal and the valley, where they have many puras or hamlets. They resemble the Dhatis in their habits, but many of them associate with the Sahariyas, and plunder their brethren. They


1 [These derivations are impossible ; the name is possibly connected with that of the Savara tribe.

2 Nawakot and Mitti in the interior of Thar-Parkar ; Baliari on the shore of the Great Rann.


[p.1299[: never shave or touch the hair of their heads, and consequently look more like brutes than human beings. They allow no animal to die of disease, but kill it when they think there are no hopes of recovery. The Samaicha women have the reputation of being great scolds, and never veil their faces [323],

The Rajar Tribe. — They are said to be of Bhatti descent, and confine their haunts to the desert, or the borders of Jaisalmer, as at Ramgarh, Kiala, Jarela, etc. ; and the thal between Jaisalmer and Upper Sind : they are cultivators, shepherds, and thieves, and are esteemed amongst the very worst of the converts to Muhammadanism.1

The Umar Sumra Tribe. — Umars and Sumras are from the Pramar or Puar race, and are now chiefly in the ranks of the faithful, though a few are to be found in Jaisalmer and in the thal called after them ; of whom we have already said enough.2

The Kalhora, Talpuri Tribes. — Kalhora and Talpuri are tribes of celebrity in Sind, the first having furnished the late, and the other its present, dynasty of rulers ; and though the one has dared to deduce its origin from the Abbasides of Persia, and the other has even advanced pretensions to descent from the Prophet, it is asserted that both are alike Baloch, who are said to be essentially Jat or Gete in origin. The Talpuris, who have their name from the town (pura) of palms (tal or tar), are said to amount to one fourth of the population of Lori or Little Sind, which misnomer they affix to the dominion of Haidarabad. There are none in the thal.

Numri, Lumri, or Luka Tribe. — This is also a grand subdivision of the Baloch race, and is mentioned by Abu-l Fazl as ranking next to the Kulmani, and being able to bring into the field three hundred cavalry and seven thousand infantry. Gladwin has rendered the name Nomurdy, and is followed by Rennel.3 The Nunris, or Lumris, also styled Luka, a still more familiar term for fox,4 are likewise affirmed to be Jat in origin. What is the etymology of the generic term Baloch, which they have assumed,


1 The Rajar are recorded as a section of the Saman, an aboriginal tribe in Sind (Census Report, Bombay, 1911, i. 233).] 2 See Elliot-Dowson i. 489. 3 The true reading is Nohmardi (Ain, ii. 337).] 4 Cf. Hindi lokri or lokhri.


[p.1300]: or whether they took it from, or gave it to, Baluchistan, some future inquirer into these subjects may discover.1

The Zott2 or Jat Tribe. — This very original race, far more numerous than perhaps all the Rajput tribes put together, still retains its ancient appellation throughout the whole of Sind, from the sea to Daudputra, but there are few or none in the thal. Their habits differ little from those who surround them. They are amongst the oldest converts to Islam.

The Mer, Mair Tribe. — We should scarcely have expected to find a mountaineer (mera) in the valley of Sind, but their Bhatti origin sufficiently accounts for the term, as Jaisalmer is termed Mer.3

The Mor, Mohor Tribe. — Said to be also Bhatti in origin.4

The Tawari, Thori, or Tori Tribe. — These engross the distinctive epithet of bhut, or ' evil spirits,' and the yet more emphatic title of ' sons of the devil.' Their origin is doubtful, but [324] they rank with the Bawariyas, Khengars, and other professional thieves scattered over Rajputana, who will bring you either your enemy's head or the turban from it. They are found in the thals of Daudputra, Bijnot, Nok, Nawakot, and Udar. They are proprietors of camels, which they hire out, and also find employment as convoys to caravans.

Johya, Dahya, Mangalia Tribes. — Once found amongst the Rajput tribes, now proselytes to Islam, but few in number either in the valley or the desert. There are also Bairawis, a class of Baloch, Khairawis, Jangrias, Undars, Bagrias, descended from the Pramar and Sankhla Rajputs, but not possessing, either in respect to numbers or other distinctive marks, any claims on our attention.

Daudputra, Bahawalpur State

Daudputra, Bahawalpur State. — This petty State, though beyond the pale of Hinduism, yet being but a recent formation


1 Max Muller derived Baloch from Skt. mlechchha, ' a barbarian,' but this is doubtful.

2 Zott is the Arabic form of Jat or Jat (Sykes, Hist, of Persia, ii. 79).]

3 The ascription of Bhatti origin to the Mers is obviously intended to correspond with the assertion that they are a branch of the Mina or Maina tribe (Elliot-Dowson i. 523 f.).]

4 In the Panjab Mor is the name of a Jat sept which worship the peacock (mor) because it is said to have saved their ancestor from a snake (Rose, Glossary, iii. 129). There was a settlement of this tribe at Sarangpur on the Kali Sind River (ASR, ii. 228).


[p.1301]: out of the Bhatti State of Jaisalmer, is strictly within the limits of Marusthali. Little is known regarding the family who founded it, and we shall therefore confine ourselves to this point, which is not adverted to by Mr. Elphinstone, who may be consulted for the interesting description of its prince, and his capital, Bahawalpur, during the halt of the embassy to Kabul.1

Daud Khan, the founder of Daudputra, was a native of Shikarpur, west of the Indus, where he acquired too much power for a subject, and consequently drew upon himself the arms of his sovereign of Kandahar. Unable to cope with them, he abandoned his native place, passed his family and effects across the Indus, and followed them into the desert. The royal forces pursued, and coming up with him at Sutiala, Daud had no alternative but to surrender, or destroy the families who impeded his flight or defence. He acted the Rajput, and faced his foes ; who, appalled at this desperate act, deemed it unwise to attack him, and retreated. Daud Khan, with his adherents, then settled in the kachhi, or flats of Sind, and gradually extended his authority into the thal. He was succeeded by Mubarik Khan ; he, by his nephew Bahawal Khan, whose son is Sadik Muhammad Khan, the present lord of Bahawalpur, or Daudputra, a name applied both to the country and to its possessors, " the children of David." 2

It was Mubarik who deprived the Bhattis of the district called Khadal, so often mentioned in the Annals of Jaisalmer, and whose chief town is Derawar, founded by Rawal Deoraj in the eighth century ; and where the successor of Daud established his abode. Derawar was at that time inhabited by a branch of the Bhattis, broken off at a very early period, its chief holding the title of Rawal, and whose family since their expulsion have resided at Ghariala, belonging to Bikaner, on [325] an allowance of five rupees a day, granted by the conqueror. The capital of the " sons of David " was removed to the south bank of the Gara by Bahawal Khan (who gave it his name), to the site of an old


1 Account of the Kingdom of Caubul, 2nd ed. (1842) i. 22 ff. For a full account of the Abbasi Daudputras of Bahawalpur see the State Gazetteer by Malik Muhammad Din (1908), i. 47 ff.)-]

2 The succession runs: Bahawal Khan II. (a.d. 1772-1809); Sadik Muhammad Khan (1809-25) ; Muhammad Bahawal Khan III. (1825-52) ; Sadik Muhammad Khan II. (1853-58) ; Muhammad Bahawal Khan IV. (1858-66) ; Sadik Muhammad Khan III., a minor, installed in 1879.


[1302]: Bhatti city, whose name I could not learn. About thirty years ago1 an army from Kandahar invaded Daudputra, invested and took Derawar, and compelled Bahawal Khan to seek protection with the Bhattis at Bikampur. A negotiation for its restoration took place, and he once more pledged his submission to the Abdali king, and having sent his son Mubarik Khan as a hostage and guarantee for the liquidation of the imposition, the army withdrew. Mubarik continued three years at Kabul, and was at length restored to liberty and made Khan of Bahawalpur, on attempting which he was imprisoned by his father, and confined in the fortress of Khangarh, where he remained nearly until Bahawal Khan's death. A short time previous to this, the principal chiefs of Daudputra, namely, Badera Khairani, chief of Mozgarh, Khudabakhsh of Traihara, Ikhtiyar Khan of Garhi, and Haji Khan of Uchh, released Mubarik Khan from Khangarh and they had reached Murara, when tidings arrived of the death of Bahawal Khan. He continued his route to the capital ; but Nasir Khan, son of Alam Khan, Gurgecha (Baloch), having formerly injured him and dreading punishment, had him assassinated, and placed his brother, the present chief, Sadik Muhammad, on the masnad : who immediately shut up his nephews, the sons of Mubarik, together with his younger brothers, in the fortress of Derawar. They escaped, raised a force of Rajputs and Purbias,and seized upon Derawar ; but Sadik escaladed it, the Purbias made no defence [326], and both his brothers and one nephew were slain. The. other nephew got over the wall, but was seized by a neighbouring chief, surrendered, and slain ; and it is conjectured the whole was a plot of Sadik Khan to afford a pretext for their death. Nasir Khan, by whose instigation he obtained the masnad, was also put to death, being too powerful for a subject. But the Khairani lords have always been plotting against their liege ; an instance of which has been given in the [[Annals of Bikaner]], when Traihara and Mozgarh were confiscated, and the chiefs sent to the castle of Khangarh, the State prison of Daudputra. Garhi still belongs to Abdulla, son of Haji Khan, but no territory is annexed to it. Sadik Muhammad has not the reputation of his father, whom Bijai Singh, of Marwar, used to style his brother. The Daudputras are much at variance amongst each other, and detested by the Bhattis, from whom they have hitherto 1 This memorandum was written, I think, in 1811 or 1812.


[p.1303]: exacted a tribute to abstain from plunder. The fear of Kandahar no longer exists at Bahawalpur, whose chief is on good terms with his neighbour of Upper Sind, though he is often alarmed by the threats of Ranjit Singh of Lahore, who asserts supremacy- over "the children of David."

Diseases

Of the numerous diseases to which the inhabitants of the desert are subjected, from poor and unwholesome diet, and yet more unwholesome drink, rataundha or night-blindness, the narua or Guinea-worm, and varicose veins, are the most common. The first and last are mostly confined to the poorer classes, and those who are compelled to walk a great deal, when the exertion necessary to extricate the limbs from deep sand, acting as a constant drag upon the elasticity of the fibres, occasions them to become ruptured. Yet such is the force of habit that the natives of Dhat in my service, who had all their lives been plying their limbs as kasids, or carriers of dispatches, between all the cities on the Indus and in Rajputana, complained of the firmer footing of the Indian plains, as more fatiguing than that of their native sandhills. But I never was a convert to the Dhati's reasoning ; with all his simplicity of character, even in this was there vanity, for his own swelled veins, which could be compared to nothing but rattans twisted round the calf of his limbs, if they did not belie his assertion, at least proved that he had paid dearly for his pedestrianism in the desert [327]. From the narua, or Guinea- worm, there is no exemption, from the prince to the peasant, and happy is the man who can boast of only one trial. The disease is not confined to the desert and western Rajputana, being far from uncommon in the central States ; but beyond the Aravalli the question of " How is your narua ? " is almost a general form of greeting, so numerous are the sufferers from this malady. It generally attacks the limbs and the integuments of the joints, when it is excruciating almost past endurance. Whether it arises from animalculae in sand or water, or porous absorption of minute particles imbued with the latent vital principle, the natives are not agreed. But the seat of the disease appears immediately under and adhesive to the skin, on which it at first produces a small speck, which, gradually increasing and swelling, at length reaches a state of inflammation that affects the whole system. The worm then begins to move, and as it attains the degree of vitality apparently necessary for extricating itself, its motions


[p.1304]: are unceasing, and night and day it gnaws the unhappy patient, who only exists in the hope of daily seeing the head of his enemy pierce the cuticle. This is the moment for action : the skilful narua-doctor is sent for, who seizes upon the head of the worm, and winding it round a needle or straw, employs it as a windlass, which is daily set in motion at a certain hour, when they wind out as much line as they can without the risk of breaking it. Unhappy the wretch whom this disaster befalls, when, happening to fall into a feverish slumber, he kicks the windlass, and snajis the living thread, which creates tenfold inflammation and suppuration. On the other hand, if by patience and skill it is extracted entire, he recovers. I should almost imagine, when the patriarch of Uz exclaims, " My flesh is clothed with worms : my skin is broken and become loathsome. When I lie down, I say, when shall I arise and the night be gone ? " that he must have been afflicted with the narua, than which none of the ills that flesh is heir to can be more agonizing.1

They have the usual infantine and adult diseases, as in the rest of India. Of these the sitala, or ' smallpox,' and the tijari, or ' tertian,' are the most common. For the first, they merely recommend the little patient to Sitala Mata ; and treat the other with astringents in which infusion of the rind of the pomegranate is always (when procurable) an ingredient. The rich, as in other countries, are under the dominion of empirics, who entail worse diseases by administering mineral poisons, of whose effects they are ignorant. Enlargement of the spleen under the influence of these fevers is very common, and its cure is mostly the actual cautery.

Famines

Famine is, however, the grand natural disease of


:1 My friend Dr. Joseph Duncan (attached to the Residency when I was Political Agent at Udaipur) was attacked by the narua in a very aggravated form. It fixed itself in the ankle-joint, and being broken in the attempt to extricate it, was attended by all the evil results I have described, ending in lameness, and generally impaired health, which obliged him to visit the Cape for recovery, where I saw him on my way home eighteen months after, but he had even then not altogether recovered from the lameness. [Guinea-worm (Dracontiasis), a disease duo to the Filaria medinensis or Dracunculus, known in Persia as rishtah, infests the Persian Gulf and many parts of India. See Curzon, Per.sta, ii. 234 ; Fryer, Netv Accoutit of Eusl India and Persia, ed. 1912, i. 175; Sleeman, Bambles, 76; Asiatic Researches, vi. 58 ff. ; EB, 11th ed. xix. 361. The disease from which Job suffered (Job ii. 7) is generally believed to be elephantiasis (A. B. Davidson, The Book of Job, 13).]


[p.1305]: these regions, whose legendary stanzas teem with records of visitations of Bhukhi Mata, the ' famished mother,' from the remotest times. That which is best authenticated in the traditions of several of these States, occurred in the eleventh century, and continued during twelve years ! It is erroneously connected with the name of Lakha Phulani, who was the personal foe of Siahji, the first Rathor emigrant from Kanauj, and who slew this Robin Hood of the desert in S. 1268 (a.d. 1212). Doubtless the desiccation of the Ghaggar River, in the time of Hamir Sodha, nearly a century before, must have been the cause of this. Every third year they calculate upon a partial visitation, and in 1812 one commenced which lasted three or four years, extending even to the central States of India, when flocks of poor creatures found their way to the provinces on the Ganges, selling their infants, or parting with their own liberty, to sustain existence.1

Productions, Animal and Vegetable

The camel, ' the ship of the desert,' deserves the first mention. There he is indispensable ; he is yoked to the plough, draws water from the well [328], bears it for his lordly master in mashaks, or ' skins,' in the passage of the desert, and can dispense with it himself altogether during several days. This quality, the formation of his hoof, which has the property of contracting and expanding according to the soil, and the induration of his mouth, into which he draws by his tongue the branches of the babul, the khair, and jawas, with their long thorns, sharp and hard as needles, attest the beneficence of the Supreme Artist. It is singular that the Arabian patriarch, who so accurately describes the habits of various animals, domestic and ferocious, and who was himself lord of three thousand camels, should not have mentioned the peculiar properties of the camel, though in alluding to the incapacity of the unicorn (rhinoceros) for the plough, he seems indirectly to insinuate the use of others besides the ox for this purpose. The camels of the desert are far superior to those of the plains, and those bred in the thals of Dhat and Barmer are the best of all. The Rajas of Jaisalmer and Bikaner have corps of camels trained for war.2 That of the


1 [Since this was written Rajputana has suffered from terrible famines in 1868-69, 1877-78, 1891-92, and 1899-1900, besides several seasons of

scarcity.]

2 [These camel corps have been placed at the service of the Indian Government, and have done excellent service in several recent campaigns.]

[p.1306]: former State is two hundred strong, eighty of which belong to the prince ; the rest arc the quotas of his chiefs ; but how they are rated, or in what ratio to the horsemen of the other principalities, I never thought of inquiring. Two men are mounted on each camel, one facing the head, the other the rear, and they are famous in a retreating action : but when compelled to come to close quarters, they make the camel kneel down, tie his legs, and retiring behind, make a breastwork of his body, resting the match- lock over the pack-saddle. There is not a shrub in the desert that does not serve the camel for fodder.

The Wild Ass. — Khar-gadha, Gorkhar, or the wild ass,1 is an inhabitant of the desert, but most abounds in the southern part, about Dhat, and the deep rui which extends from Barmer to Bankasar and Baliari, along the north bank of the great Rann, or ' salt desert.'

Rojh or Nilgae, Lions, etc. — The noble species of the deer, the nilgae, is to be met with in numerous parts of the desert ; and although it enjoys a kind of immunity from the Rajput of the plains, who may hunt, but do not eat its flesh, here, both for food and for its hide, it is of great use.^ Of the other wild animals common to India they have the tiger, fox, jackal, hare, and also the nobler animal, the lion.

Domestic Animals. — Of domestic animals, as horses, oxen, cows, sheep, goats, asses, there is no want, and even the last mentioned is made to go in the plough.

Flocks (here termed chang) of goats and sheep are pastured in vast numbers in the desert. It is asserted that the goat can subsist without water from the month of Karttik to the middle of Chait, the autumnal to the spring equinox [329] — apparently an impossibility : though it is well known that they can dispense with it during six weeks when the grasses are abundant. In the thals of Daudputra and Bhattipo, they remove to the flats of Sind in the commencement of the hot weather. The shepherds,


1 [The wild ass (Equus hemionus) seems to have almost entirely disappeared in Jaisalmer. It is seldom seen in Marwar, and no specimen has appeared in Bikaner for many years (Erskine iii. A. 7, 50, 311 ; Blanford, Mammalia of India, 470 f.)- Herodotus (vii. 86) says that the Indian chariots in the army of Xerxes were drawn by horses or wild asses.]
2 [Nilgae, Boselaphus tragocamelus, is not a deer, but belongs to the order Bovidae (Blanford, 517 ff.).]

[p.1307]: like their flocks, go without water, but find a substitute in the chhachh, or buttermilk, after extracting the butter, which is made into ghi, and exchanged for grain, or other necessaries. Those who pasture camels also live entirely upon their milk, and the wild fruits, scarcely ever tasting bread.

Shrubs and Fruits

We have often had occasion to mention the khair or karil ; the khejra, whose pod converted, when dried, into flour, is called sangri ; the jhal, which serves to hut the shepherds, and in Jeth and Baisakh affords them fruit ; the pilu, used as food ;1 the babul, which yields its medicinal gum ; the ber, or jujube, which also has a pleasant fruit ; all of which serve the camel to browse on, and are the most common and most useful of the shrubs : the jawas, whose expressed juice yields a gum used in medicine ; the phog, with whose twigs they line their wells ; and the alkaline plant, the sajji, which they burn for its ashes. Of these, the first and last are worthy of a more detailed notice.

The karil, or khair (the capparis, or caper-bush), is well known both in Hindustan and the desert : there they use it as a pickle, but here it is stored up as a culinary article of importance. The bush is from ten to fifteen feet in height, spreading very wide ; there are no leaves on its evergreen twig-like branches, which bear a red flower, and the fruit is about the size of a large black currant. When gathered, it is steeped for twenty-four hours in water, which is then poured off, and it undergoes, afterwards, two similar operations, when the deleterious properties are carried off ; they are then boiled and eaten with a little salt, or by those who can afford it, dressed in ghi and eaten with bread. Many families possess a stock of twenty maunds.

The sajji is a low, bushy plant, chiefly produced in the northern desert, and most abundant in those tracts of Jaisalmer called Khadal, now subject to Daudputra. From Pugal to Derawar, and thence by Muridkot, Ikhtyar Khan-ki-garhi, to Khairpur (Dair Ali), is one extensive thal, or desert, in which there are very considerable tracts of low, hard flat, termed chittram,2 formed by


1 [The fruits or small red berries of the pilu (Salvadora persica) have a strong aromatic smell and a pungent taste, like mustard or garden cress, while the shoots and leaves are eaten as a salad (Watt, Econ. Diet. vi. Part ii. 449 ; Bumes, Traivels into Bokhara, iii. 122).]
2 Chitlram, the name applied to these flats of hard soil (which Mr. Elphin-

[p.1308]: the lodgment of water [330] after rain, and in these spots only is the sajji plant produced. The salt, which is a sub-carbonate of soda, is obtained by incineration, and the process is as follows : Pits are excavated and filled with the plant, which, when fired, exudes a liquid substance that falls to the bottom. While burn- ing, they agitate the mass with long poles, or throw on sand if it burns too rapidly. When the virtue of the plant is extracted, the pit is covered with sand, and left for three days to cool ; the alkali is then taken out, and freed from its impurities by some process. The purer product is sold at a rupee the ser (two pounds weight) ; of the other upwards of forty sers are sold for a rupee. Both Rajputs and Muhammadans pursue this employment, and pay a duty to the lord paramount of a copper pice on every rupee's worth they sell. Charans and others from the towns of Marwar purchase and transport this salt to the different marts, whence it is distributed over all parts of India. It is a consider- able article of commerce with Sind, and entire caravans of it are carried to Bakhar, Tatta, and Cutch. The virtue of the soda is well imderstood in culinary purposes, a little sajji added to the hard water soon softening the mess of pulse and rice preparing for their meals ; and the tobacconists use considerable quantities in their trade, as it is said to have the power of restoring the lost virtues of the plant.

Grasses. — Grasses are numerous, but unless accompanied by botanical illustration, their description would possess little interest. There is the gigantic siwan, or siun, classically known as the kusn, and said to have originated the name of Kusa, the second son of Rama, and his race the Kachhwaha. It is often eight feet in height ; when young, it serves as provender for animals, and when more mature, as thatch for the huts, while its roots supply a fibre, converted by the weavers into brushes indispensable to their trade. There is likewise the sarkanda, the dhaman, the duba, and various others ; besides the gokhru, the


stone happily describes, by saying that it rings under the horses' hoofs in marching over it), is literally ' the picture,' from the circumstance of such spots almost constantly presenting the mirage, here termed chittram. How far the soil, so deeply impregnated with alkaline matter, may tend to heighten, if not to cause this, we have elsewhere noted in a general account of this optical phenomenon in various parts of northern India.


[1309]: papri, and the bharut, which adhering to their garments, are the torment of travellers.1

Melons. — Of the cucurbitaceous genus, indigenous to the desert, they have various kinds, from the gigantic kharbuza and the chitra, to the dwarf guar. The tomato, whose Indian name I have not preserved, is also a native of these regions, and well known in other parts of India.- We shall trespass no further with these details, than to add, that the botanical names of all such trees, shrubs, or grains, as occur in this work, will be given with the general Index, to avoid unnecessary repetition [331].


Itinerary3

Jaisalmer to Sehwan, on the right bank of the Indus, and Haidarabad, and return by Umarkot to Jaisalmer

Kuldra (5 coss). — A village inhabited by Paliwal Brahmans ; two hundred houses ; wells.

Gajia-ki-basti (2 do.). — Sixty houses ; chiefly Brahmans ; wells.

Khaba (3 do.). — Three hundred houses ; chiefly Brahmans ; a small fort of four bastions on low hills, having a garrison of Jaisalmer.

Kanohi (5 do.).) — An assemblage of hamlets of four or five huts

Sum (5 do.). - on one spot, about a mile distant from each other, conjointly called Sum, having a burj or tower for defence, garrisoned from Jaisalmer ; several large wells, termed beria ; inhabitants, chiefly Sindis of various tribes, pasture their flocks, and bring salt and khara (natron) from Deo Chandeswar, the latter used as a mordant in fixing colours, exported to all parts. Half-way between Sum and Mulana is the boundary of Jaisalmer and Sind.


1 Sarkanda, Saccharum sara or arundinaceum ; dhaman, Pennisetum cenchroides ; dub, Cynodon dactylon ; gokhru, Tribulus lancigenosus ; bharut, Cenchrus catharticus.
2 The tomato, introduced in modern times into India, generally called wilayati baingan, ' the foreign egg-plant.'
3 Many of the places named in this Itinerary are merely temporary halting-places in the desert, which do not appear in modern maps. Hence, in several cases, the transliteration is conjectural, and depends on the method of the Author in the case of well-known localities. A series of similar routes is given by Lieut. A. H. E. Boileau, Narrative of a Tour through Rajwara in 1835 (Calcutta, 1837), p. 192 ff.]

[p.1310]: Mulana 1 (24 coss). — A hamlet of ten huts ; chiefly Sindis ; situated amidst lofty sandhills. From Sum, the first half of the journey is over alternate sandhills, rocky ridges (termed magra), and occasionally plain ; for the next three, rocky ridges and sandhills without any flats, and the remaining nine coss a succession of lofty tibas. In all this space of twenty- four coss there are no wells, nor is a drop of water to be had but after rain, when it collects in some old tanks or reservoirs, called nadi and taba, situated half-way, where in past times there was a town.

It is asserted, that before the Muhammadans conquered Sind and these regions, the valley and desert belonged to Rajput princes of the Pramar and Solanki tribes ; that the whole thal (desert) was more or less inhabited, and the remains of old tanks and temples, notwithstanding the drifting of the sands, attest the fact. Tradition records a famine of twelve years' duration during the time of Lakha Phulani, in the twelfth century, which depopulated the country, when the survivors of the thal fled to the kachhi, or flats of the Sind. There are throughout still many oases or cultivated patches, designated by the local terms from the [332] indispensable element, water, which whether springs or rivulets, are called wah, bah, beria, rar, tar, prefixed by the tribe of those pasturing, whether Sodhas, Rajars, or Samaichas. The inhabitants of one hamlet will go as far as ten miles to cultivate a patch.

Bhor (2 do.). - Palri (8 do.). - Rajar-ki-basti (2 do.). - Hamlet of Rajars (2 do.).

These are all hamlets of about ten huts, inhabited by Rajars, who cultivate patches of land or pasture their flocks of buffaloes, - cows, camels, goats, amidst the thal ; at each of these hamlets there are plenty of springs ; at Rajar-ki-basti there is a pool called Mahadeo-ka-dah. (Seep. 1263 above.)

Deo Chandeswar Mahadeo (2 do.). — When the Sodha princes held sway in these regions, there was a town here, and a temple to Mahadeo, the ruins of which still exist, erected over a spring called Suraj kund, or fountain of the Sun. The Islamite destroyed the temple, and changed the name of the spring to


1 There are two routes from Mulana to Sehwan. The Dhati went the longest on account of water. The other is by [[Sakrand, as follows :
Palri (5 Coss) - Padshah-ki-basti (6 Coss) - Udani (5 Coss) - Mitrao (10 Coss) - Mir-ki-khoi - Supari - Kambhar-ka nala (9 ) - Sakrand (3) - Nala (½ Coss) - Makrand - Koka-ki-basti (6 Coss) - The Sind (10 Coss) - Sehwan (½ Coss)
1 Town high road from Upper to Lower Sind.


[p.1311]: Dinbawa, or ' waters of the faith.' The kund is small, faced with brick, and has its margin planted with date trees and pomegranates, and a Mulla, or priest from Sind, resides there and receives tribute from the faithful. For twelve coss around this spot there are numerous springs of water, where the Rajars find pasture for their flocks, and patches to cultivate. Their huts are conical like the wigwams of the African, and formed by stakes tied at the apex and covered with grass and leaves, and often but a large blanket of camel's hair stretched on stakes.

Chandia-ki-basti (2 coss). — Hamlet inhabited by Muslims of the Chandia tribe, mendicants who subsist on the charity of the traveller.

Rajar-ki-basti (2 do.).

Samaicha-ki-basti (2 do.). - Rajar do. (1 do.). Five in No - Purwas, or hamlets of shepherds, Samaichas, Rajars, and others, who are all migratory, and shift with their flocks as they consume the pastures. There is plenty of water in this space for all their wants, chiefly springs.

Udhania (7 do.).— Twelve huts ; no water between it and the last hamlet.

Nala (5 do.). — Descent from the thal or desert, which ceases a mile east of the nala or stream, said to be the same which issues from the Indus at Dara, above Rohri-Bakhar ; thence it passes east of Sohrab's Khairpur, and by Jinar to Bersia-ka-rar, whence there is a canal cut to Umarkot and Chor.

Mitrao (4 do.). — Village of sixty houses, inhabited by Baloch ; a thana, or post here from Haidarabad ; occasional low sand-hills.

Mir-ki-kui (6 do.). — Three detached hamlets of ten huts each, inhabited by Aroras.

Sheopuri (3 do.).— One hundred and twenty houses, chiefly Aroras : small fort of six bastions to the south-east, garrisoned from Haidarabad.

Kamera-ka-Nala (6 do.). — This nala issues from the Indus between Kakar-ki-basti and Sakrand, and passes eastward ; probably the bed of an old canal, with which the country is everywhere intersected.

Sakrand (2 do.). — One hundred houses, one-third of which are Hindus ; patches of cultivation ; numerous watercourses neglected ; everywhere overgrown with jungle, chiefly jhau and [333] khejra (tamarisk and acacia). Cotton, indigo, rice, wheat, barley, peas, grain, and maize grow on the banks of the watercourses.

Jatui (2 do.).— Sixty houses ; a nala between it and Jatui.

Kazi-ka-Shahr (4 do.). — Four hundred houses ; two nalas intervene.


[p.1312]: Makera (4 coss). — Sixty houses ; a nala between it and Jatui.

Kakar-ki-basti (6 do.). — Sixteen houses ; half-way the remains of an ancient fortress ; three canals or nalas intervening ; the village placed upon a mound four miles from the Indus, whose waters overflow it during the periodic monsoon.

Pura or Hamlet (1 do.). — A ferry.

The Indus (1 do.). — Took boat and crossed to

Sewan or Sehwan (1½ do.). — A town of twelve hundred houses on the right bank, belonging to Haidarabad1 [334.].

1 Sehwan is erected on an elevation within a few hundred yards of the river, having many clumps of trees, especially to the south. The houses are built of clay, often three stories high, with wooden pillars supporting the floors. To the north of the town are the remains of a very ancient and extensive fortress, sixty of its bastions being still visible ; and in the centre the vestiges of a palace still known as Raja Bhartrihari-ka-Mahall, who is said to have reigned here when driven from Ujjain by his brother Vikramaditya. Although centuries have flown since the Hindus had any power in these regions, their traditions have remained. They relate that Bhartrihari, the eldest son of Gandharap Sen, was so devoted to his wife, that he neglected the affairs of government, which made his brother expostulate with him. This coming to his wife's ears, she insisted on the banishment of Vikrama. Soon after a celebrated ascetic reached his court, and presented to Bhartrihari the Amarphul, or ' fruit of immortality,' the reward of years of austere devotion at the shrine of Mahadeo. Bhartrihari gave it to his wife, who bestowed it on an elephant-driver, her paramour ; he to a common prostitute, his mistress ; who expecting to be higher rewarded for it, carried it to the raja. Incensed at such a decided proof of infidelity, Bhartrihari, presenting himself before his queen, asked for the prize — she had lost it. Having produced it, she was so overwhelmed with shame that she rushed from his presence, and precipitating herself from the walls of the palace, was dashed to pieces. Raja Bhartrihari consoled himself with another wife Rani Pingula, to whoso charms he in like manner became enslaved ; but experience had taught him suspicion. Having one day gone a-hunting, his huntsman shot a deer, whoso doe coming to the spot, for a short time contemplated the body, then threw herself on his antlers and died. The Shikari, or huntsman, who had fallen asleep, was killed by a huge snake. His wife came to seek him, supposing him still asleep, but at length seeing he was dead, she collected leaves, dried roods, and twigs, and having made a pyre, placed the body under it ; after the usual perambulations she set fire to, and perished with it. The raja, who witnessed these proceedings, went home and conversed with Pingulani on these extraordinary Satis, especially the Shikari's, which he called unparalleled. Pingulani disputed the point, and said it was the sacrifice of passion, not of love ; had it been the latter, grief would have required no pyre. Some time after, having again gone a-hunting, Bhartrihari recalled this conversation, and having slain a deer, he dipped his clothes in the blood, and sent them by a confidential messenger to report his death in combat with a tiger. Pingulani heard the details ; she wept not, neither did she speak, but prostrating herself before the sun, ceased to exist. The pyre was raised, and her


[p.1313]: Sehwan to Haidarabad

Jat-ki-basti (2 coss). — The word, Jāt or jat is here pronounced Zjat. This hamlet ' basti,' is of thirty huts, half a mile from the Indus : hills close to the village.


remaining were consuming outside the city as the raja returned from his excursion. Hastening to the spot of lamentation, and learning the fatal issue of his artifice, he threw off the trappings of sovereignty, put on the pilgrim's garb, and abandoned Ujjain to Vikrama. The only word which he uttered, as he wandered to and fro, was the name of his faithful Pingulani ! " Hae Pmgula ! Hae Pingula ! "

The royal pilgrim at length fixed his abode at Sehwan ; but although they point out the ruins of a palace still known even to the Islamite as the Am-khass of Raja Bhartrihari, it is admitted that the fortress is of more ancient date. There is a mandir, or shrine, to the south of the town, also called, after him, Bhartri-ka-mandir.

In this the Islamite has deposited the mortal remains of a saint named Lal Pir Shahbaz, to whom they attribute their victorious possession of Sind.1 The cenotaph of this saint, who has the character of a proselyte Hindu, is in the centre of the mandir, and surrounded by wooden stakes. It is a curious spectacle to see both Islamite and Hindu paying their devotions in the same place of worship ; and although the first is prohibited from approaching the sacred enceinte of the Pir, yet both adore a large salagram, that vermiculated fossil sacred to Vishnu, placed in a niche in the tomb. The fact is a curious one, and although these Islamite adorers are the scions of conversion, it perhaps shows in the strongest manner that this conversion was of the sword, for, generally speaking, the converted Hindu makes the most bigoted and intolerant Musalman. My faithful and intelligent emissaries, Madari Lal and the Dhati, brought me a brick from the ruins of this fortress of Sehwan. It was about a cubit in length, and of symmetrical breadth and thickness, uncommonly well burnt, and rang like a bell. They also brought me some charred wheat, from pits where it had been burned. The grams were entire and reduced to a pure carbon. Tradition is again at work, and asserts its having lain there for some thousand years. There is very little doubt that this is the site of one of the antagonists of the Macedonian conqueror, perhaps Mousikanos,2 or Mukh-Sehwan, the chief of Sehwan. The passage of the Grecian down the Indus was marked by excesses not inferior to those of the Ghaznavede king in later times, and doubtless they fired all they could not plunder to carry to the fleet. There is also a Nanak-bara, or place of worship sacred to Nanak, the great apostle of the Sikhs, placed between the fortress and the river. Sehwan is inhabited by Hindus and Islamites in equal proportions : of the former, the mercantile


1 The reference is to Lal Shahbaz, Qalandar, head of the Jalali order, who died at Sehwan, a.d. 1274. For a full account see R. F.Burton, Sindh, 21l f.
2 Mousikanos was the stiff-necked king of Alor or Aror who opposed Alexander, was captured and executed (Smith, EHI, 100 f; McCrindle, Alexander, 395).


[p.1314]: Samaicha-ki-basti (2| coss). — Small village.

Lakhi (2½ coss). — Sixty houses ; one mile and a half from the river:canal on the north side of the village ; banks well cultivated. In the hills, two miles west, is a spot sacred to Parbati and Mahadeo, where are several springs, three of which are hot.1

Umri (2 do.). — Twenty-five houses, half a mile from River ; the hills not lofty, a coss west.

Sumri (3 do.). — Fifty houses, on the River hills ; one and a half coss west.

Sindu or San (4 do.). — Two hundred houses and a bazar, two hundred yards from the River ; hills one and a half coss west.

Manjhand (4½ do.). — On the River two hundred and fifty houses, considerable trade ; hills two coss west.

Umar-ki-basti (3 do.). — A few huts, near the river.

Sayyid-ki-basti (3 do.).

Shikarpur (4 do.). — On the river ; crossed to the east side.


tribe of Mahesri from Jaisalmer, is the most numerous, and have been fixed here for generations.- There are also many Brahmans of the Pokharna 1 caste, Sunars or goldsmiths, and other Hindu artisans ; of the Muslims the Sayyid is said to be the most numerous class. The Hindus are the monied men. Cotton and indigo, and great quantities of rice in the husk (paddy), grown in the vicinage of Sehwan, are exported to the ports of Tatta and Karachi Bandar by boats of considerable burthen, manned entirely by Muhammadans. The Hakim of Sehwan is sent from Haidarabad. The range of mountains which stretch from Tatta nearly parallel with the Indus, approaches within three miles of Sehwan, and there turns off to the north-west. All these hills are inhabited as far as the shrine of Hinglaj Mata 2 on the coast of Mekran (placed in the same range) by the Lumri, or Numri tribe, who though styling themselves Baloch, are Jats in origin.3


1 These springs are frequented, despite the difficulties and dangers of the route from the savage Numri, by numerous Hindu pilgrims. Two of them are hot, and named Suryakund and Chandrakund, or fountains of the sun and moon, and imbued with especial virtues ; but before the pilgrim can reap any advantage by purification in their waters, he must undergo the rite of confession to the attendant priests, who, through intercession with Mahadeo, have the power of granting absolution. Should a sinner be so hardened as to plunge in without undergoing this preparatory ordeal, he comes out covered with boils ! ! ! This is a curious confirmation that the confessional rite is one of very ancient usage amongst the Hindus, even in the days of Rama of Kosala. — See Vol. I. p. 94.

1 See Annals of Jaisalmer, Vol. [I. p. 1 250.
2 This famous shrine of the Hindu Cybele, yet frequented by numerous votaries, is nine days' journey from Tatta by Karachi Bandar, and about nine miles from the seashore.
3 These are the Nomurdies of Rennel. [See p. 1299) above.]

[p.1315]: Haidarabad (3 coss). — One and a half coss from the river Indus. Haidarabad to Nasarpur, nine coss ; to Sheodadpur, eleven do. ; to Sheopuri, seventeen do. ; to Rohri-Bakhar, six do. — total forty-three coss.

Haidarabad via Umarkot, to Jaisalmer

Sindu Khan ki-basti (3 do.). — West bank of Phuleli river.

Tajpur (3 do.). — Large town, north-east of Haidarabad [335].

Katrel (1½ do.). — A hundred houses,

Nasarpur (1½ do.).— East of Tajpur, large town.

Alahyar-ka-Tanda (4 do.). — A considerable town built by Alahyar Khan, brother of the late Ghulam Ali, and lying south-east of Nasarpur. Two coss north of the town is the Sangra Nala or Bawa,1 said to issue from the Indus between Hala and Sakrand and passing Jandila.

Mirbah (5 do.). — Forty houses ; Bah, Tanda, Got, Purwa, are all synonymous terms for habitations of various degrees.

Sunaria (7 do.). — Forty houses.

Dangana (4 do.). — To this hamlet extend the flats of Sind. Sandhills five and six miles distant to the north. A small river runs under Dangana.

Karsana (7 do.). — A hundred houses. Two coss east of Karsana are the remains of an ancient city ; brick buildings still remaining, with well and reservoirs. Sandhills two to three coss to the northward.

Umarkot (8 do.). — There is one continued plain from Haidarabad to Umarkot, which is built on the low ground at the very extremity of the thal or sand-hills of the desert, here commencing. In all this space, estimated at forty-four kachha coss, or almost seventy miles of horizontal distance, as far as Sunaria the soil is excellent, and plentifully irrigated by bawahs, or canals from the Indus. Around the villages there is considerable cultivation ; but notwithstanding the natural fertility, there is a vast quantity of jungle, chiefly babul (Mimosa arabica), the evergreen jhal, and jhau or tamarisk. From Sunaria to Umarkot is one continued jungle, in which there are a few cultivated patches dependent on the heavens for irrigation ; the soil is not so good as the first portion of the route.

Katar (4. do.). — A mile east of Umarkot commences the thal or sandhills, the ascent a hundred and fifty to two hundred feet. A few huts of Samaichas who pasture ; two wells.

Dhat-ki-basti (4 do.). — A few huts ; one well ; Dhats, Sodhas, and Sindis cultivate and pasture.


1 This is the Sankra of Nadir Shah's treaty with Muhammad Shah of India, which the conqueror made the boundary between India and Persia, by which he obtained the whole of that fertile portion of the valley of Sind, east of that stream. Others say it issues from Dara, above Rohri Bakhar.

[p.1316]: Dharnas (8 coss).— A hundred houses, chiefly Pokharna Brahmans and Banias, who purchase up the ghi from the pastoral tribes, which they export to Bhuj and the valley. It is also an entrepot for trade ; caravans from the cast exchange their goods for the ghi, here very cheap, from the vast flocks pastured in the Rui.

Kherlu-ka-Par (3 do.). — Numerous springs (par) and hamlets scattered throughout this tract.

Lanela (l½ do.). — A hundred houses ; water brackish ; conveyed by camels from Kherlu.

Bhoj-ka-Par (3 do.). — Huts ; wells ; patches of cultivation.

Bhu (6 do.).— Huts.

Garara (10 do.). — A small town of three hundred houses, belonging to Sawai Singh Sodha, with several puras or hamlets attached to it. This is the boundary between Dhat or the Sodha raj and Jaisalmer. Dhat is now entirely incorporated in Sind. A dani, or collector of the transit duties, resides here.

Harsani (10 do.). — Three hundred houses, chiefly Bhattis. It belongs to a Rajput of this tribe, now dependent on Marwar [336].

Jinjiniali (10 do.). — Three hundred houses. This is the fief of the chief noble of Jaisalmer ; his name Ketsi,1 Bhatti. It is the border town of Jaisalmer. There is a small mud fortress, and several talaos, or sheets of water, which contain water often during three-fourths of the year ; and considerable cultivation in the little valleys formed by the tibas, or sand-ridges. About two miles north of Jinjiniali there is a village of Charans.

Gaj Singh-ki-basti (2 do.). — Thirty-five houses. Water scarce, brought on camels from the Charan village.

Hamirdeora (5 do.). — Two hundred houses. There are several beras or pools, about a mile north, whither water is brought on camels, that in the village being saline. The ridge of rocks from Jaisalmer here terminates.

Chelak (5 do.). — Eighty houses ; wells ; Chelak on the ridge.

Bhopa (7 do.). — Forty houses ; wells ; small talao or pool.

Bhao (2 do.). — Two hundred houses ; pool to the west ; small wells.

Jaisalmer (5 do.). — Eighty-five and a half coss from Umarkot to Jaisalmer by this route, which is circuitous. That by Jinjiniali 20 coss, Girab 7, Nilwa 12, Umarkot 25 — in all 70 pakka coss, or about 1.50 miles. Caravans or kitars of camels pass in four days, kasids or messengers in three and a half, travelling night and day. The last 25 coss, or 50 miles, is entire desert : add to this 41< short coss from Haidara- bad to Umarkot, making a total of 129½ coss. The most


1 See Annals of Jaisalmer for an account of the murder of this chieftain, Vol II. p. 1233.


[p.1317]: direct road is estimated at 105 pakka coss, which, allowing for sinuosities, is equal to about 195 English miles. Total of this route, 85½ coss.

Jaisalmer to Haidarabad, by Baisnau

Kuldar (5 coss).

Khaba (5 do.).

Lakha-ka-ganw (30 do.). — Desert the whole way ; no hamlets or water. Baisnau (8 do.).

Bersia-ka-Rar (16 do.). — Wells.

Thipra (3 do.).

Mata-ka-dher (7 do.). — Umarkot distant 20 coss.

Jandila (8 do.).

Alahyar-ka Tanda (10 do.). — Sankra, or Sangra nala.

Tajpur (4 do.),

Jam-ka-Tanda (2 do.).

Haidarabad (5 do.).

In the former route the distance from Alahyar-ka-Tanda, by the town of Nasarpur, is called 13 coss, or two more than this. There are five nalas V or canals in the last five coss.

Total of this route, 108 coss.


Jaisalmer, by Shahgarh, to Khairpur of Mir Sohrab

Anasagar (2 do.).

Chonda (2 do.).

Pani-ka-tar (3 do.). — Tar or Tir, Springs [337].

Pani-ki-kuchri (7 do.). — No village.

Kuriala (4 do.).

Shahgarh (20 do.1). — Rui or waste all this distance. Shahgarh is the boundary ; it has a small castle of six bastions, a post of Mir Sohrab, governor of Upper Sind.

Garsia (6 do.).

Garhar (28 do.). — Rui or desert the whole way ; not a drop of water. There are two routes branching off from Garhar, one to Khairpur, the other to Ranipur.

Baoch Ki Bast (5 do.).

Samaicha Ki Bast (5 do.) .... }Hamlets of Baloch and Samaiohas.

Nala (2 do.). — The same stream which flows from Dara, and through the ancient city of Alor ; it marks the boundary of the desert.


1 Shaikh Abu-1-barakat makes the distance only nine coss from Shahgarh to Kuriala, and states the important fact of crossing the dry bed of the Ghaggar, five coss west of Kuriala ; water found plentifully by digging in the bed. Numerous herns, to which the shepherds drive their flocks.

[p.1318]: Khairpur1 (18 coss). — Mir Sohrab, governor of Upper Sind, and brother of the prince of Haidarabad, resides here. He has erected a stone fortress of twelve bastions, called Nawakot or New-castle. The 18 coss from the nala to Khairpur is flat, and marks the breadth of the valley here. The following towns are of consequence.

Khairpur to Larkhana. — Twenty coss west of the Indus, held by Karam Ali, son of the prince of Haidarabad.

Khairpur to Lakhi. — Fifteen coss, and five from Shikarpur.

Khairpur to Shikarpur (20 do.).

Garhar to Ranipur

Pharara (10 do.). — A village of fifty houses, inhabited by Sindis and Karars ; several hamlets around. A dani, or collector of transit dues, resides here on the part of Mir Sohrab, the route being travelled by kitars or caravans of camels. The nala from Dara passes two coss east of Pharara, which is on the extremity of the desert. Commencement of the ridge called Takar, five coss west of Pharara, extending to Rohri Bakhar, sixteen coss distant from Pharara. From Pharara to the Indus, eighteen coss, or thirty miles breadth of the valley here.

Ranipur 2 (18 do.).

Jaisalmer to Rohri Bakhar

Kuriala (18 do.). — See last route.

Banda (4 do.). — A tribe of Muslims, called Undar, dwell here.

Gotru (16 do.). — Boundary of Jaisalmer and Upper Sind. A small castle and garrison of Mir Sohrab's ; two wells, one inside ; and a hamlet of thirty huts of Samaichas and Undars ; tibas heavy.

Udat (32 do.). — Thirty huts of shepherds ; a small mud fortress. Rui, a deep and entire desert, throughout all this space ; no water [838].

Sankram or Sangram (16 do.). — Half the distance sand-hills, the rest numerous temporary hamlets constructed of the juar, or maize stalks ; several water-courses.

Nala-Sangra (½ do.) — This nala or stream is from Dara, on the Sind, two coss and a half north of Rohri Bakhar ; much cultivation ; extremity of the sand-hills.

Targatia (½ do.). — A large town ; Bankers and Banias, here termed Karar and Samaichas. Low ridge of hills, called Takar (4 do.). — This little chain of


1 IGI, XV. 215 f.
2 Considerable town on the high road from Upper to Lower Sind. See

subaequent route.


[p.1319]: silicious rocks runs north and south ; Nawakot, the New-castle of Sohrab, is at the foot of them ; they extend beyond Pharara, which is sixteen coss from Rohri Bakhar. Gumat is six coss from Nawakot.

Rohri (4 coss).

Bakhar (½ do.).

Sakhar (½ do.).

On the ridge, on the left bank of the Indus. Crossed over to Bakhar ; breadth of the river near a mile. Bakhar is an island, and the other branch to Sakhar is almost a mile over also. This insulated rock is of silex, specimens of which I possess. There are the remains of the ancient fortress of Mansura, named in honour of the Caliph Al-Mansur, whose lieutenants made it the capital of Sind on the opening of their conquests. It is yet more famed as the capital of the Sogdoi of Alexander ; in all probability a corruption of Sodha, the name of the tribe which has ruled from immemorial ages, and who till very lately held Umarkot.

N.B. — Kasids or messengers engage to carry despatches from Jaisalmer to Rohri Bakhar in four days and a half ; a distance of one hundred and twelve coss.

Bakhar to Shikarpur

Lakhi, also called Lakhisar (12 do.).

Sindu Nala (3½ do.).

Shikarpur (½ do.).

Total of this route, 16 do.

Bakhar to Larkhana (28 do.).

Shikarpur to Larkhana (20 do.).

Jaisalmer to Dahir Ali Khairpur

Kuriala (18 do.).

Khara (20 do.). — Rui or desert all the way. This is the dohadd, or mutual boundary of Upper Sind and Jaisalmer, and there is a small mitti-ka-kot or mud fort, jointly held by the respective troops ; twenty huts and one well.

Sutiala (20 do.). — Rui all the way. A dani for the collection of duties ; six wells.

Khairpur (Dahir Ali) (20 do.). — Rui, and deep jungle of the ever- greens called lawa and jhal, from Sutiala to Khairpur. Total of this route, 78 do.

Khairpur (Dahir Ali) to Ahmadpur

Ubaura (6 do.). — Considerable town ; Indus four coss west.

Sabzal-ka-kot (8 do.). — Boundary of Upper Sind and Daudputra. This frontier castle, often disputed, was lately taken by Mir Sohrab from Bahawal Khan. Numerous hamlets and water courses [339].


[p.1320]:

Ahinadpur (8 coss). — Considerable garrison town of Daudputra ; two battalions and sixteen guns.

Total of this route, 22 coss.

Khairpur (Dahir Ali) to Haidarabad

Mirpur (8 do.). — Four coss from the Indus.

Matela (5 do.). — Four coss from the Indus.

Gotki (7 do.). — Two coss from the Indus.

Dadla (8 do.). — Two coss from the Indus.

Rohri Bakhar (20 do.). — Numerous hamlets and temporary villages, with many water-courses for cultivation in all this space.

Coss. Khairpur . ) 8

(Sohrab-k:i-) )

Gumat . . 8

Ranipur . 2

(See route to it from Garhar).

Hingor . . 5

Bhiranapur . 5

Haliani . 1

Kanjara . ;i

Naushahra . 8

Mora . . 7

Shahpura . 8

Daulatpur . '.i

Miqiur . . 3

Kazi-ka-Got . 9

Sakrand . .11

Hala . . 7

Khardao . 4

Matari . . 4

Haidarabad . 6

Six coss from the Indus.

The coss in this distance seems a medium between the pakka of two coss and the kachha of one and a half. The medium of one and three quarter miles to each coss, deducting a tenth for windings, appears, after numerous comparisons, to be just. This is alike applicable to all Upper Sind.

On the Indus. Here Madari crossed Sehwan, and returned to Mirpur.

to

The coss about two miles each ; which, deducting one in ten for windings of the road, may be protracted.

Total 145 coss.

Jaisalmer to Ikhtyar Khan-ki-Garhi


These villages are all inhabited by Paliwal Brahmans, and are in the tract termed I Kandal or Khadal, of which Katori, eight I coss north of Jaisalmer, is the chief town of about forty villages. — AM?. All towns with '- the affix of sur have pools of water. Nohar-ki-Garhi (2.5 do.). — Rui or desert throughout this space. The castle of Nohar is of brick, and now belongs to Daudputra, who captured it from the Bhattis of Jaisalmer. About

Brahmsar (4 coss)

Mordesar ( 3do.) .

Gugadeo (.3 do.) .

Kaimsar (5 do.) .


[p.1321]:

forty huts and little cultivation. It is a place of toll for the kitars or caravans ; two rupees for each [340] camel-load of ghi. and four for one with sugar ; half a rupee for each camel, and a third for an ox laden with grain.

Murid Kot (24 coss). — Rui or desert. Rangarh is four coss east of this.

Ikhtyar-ki-Garhi (15 do.). — Rui until the last four coss, or eight miles. Thence the descent from the tibas or sand-hills to the valley of the Indus. Total of this route, 79 coss. Ikhtyar to Ahmadpur 18 coss, Khanpur . 5, Sultanpur . 8


Jaisalmer to Sheo-Kotra, Kheralu, Chhotan, Nagar-Parkar, Mitti, and return to Jaisalmer.

Dabla (3 do.). — Thirty houses, Pokhama Brahmans.

Akali (2 do.). — Thirty houses, Chauhans, well and small talao.

Chor (5 do.). — Sixty houses, mixed classes.

Devikot (2 do.). — A small town of two hundred houses ; belongs to the Jaisalmer fisc or khalisa. There is a little fort and garrison. A talao or pool excavated by the Paliwals, in which water remains throughout the year after much rain,

Sangar (6 do.). — N.B. This route is to the east of that (following) by Chincha, the most direct road to Balotra, and the one usually travelled ; but the villages are now deserted.

Biasar (2 do.). — Forty houses, and talao. Bhikarae 2 coss distant.

Mandai (frontier) (2½ do.). — Two hundred and fifty houses. Sahib Khan Sahariya with a hundred horse is stationed here ; the town is khalisa and the last of Jaisalmer. The ridge from Jaisalmer is close to all the places on this route to Mandi.

Gunga (4½ do.). — Thana, or post of Jodhpur.

Sheo (2 do.). — A large town of three hundred houses, but many deserted, some through famine. Chief of a district. A Hakim resides here from Jodhpur ; collects the transit dues, and protects the country from the depredations of the Sahariyas.

Kotra (3 do.). — Town of five hundred houses, of which only two hundred are now inhabited. On the north-west side is a fort on the ridge. A Rathor chief resides here. The district of Sheo- Kotra was taken from the Bhattis of Jaisalmer by the Rathors of Jodhpur.

Vesala (6 do.). — In ancient times a considerable place ; now only fifty houses. A fort on the ridge to the south-west, near two hundred feet high ; connected with the Jaisalmer ridge, but often covered by the lofty tibas of sand.


[p.1322]: Kheralu (7 coss). — Capital of Kherdhar, one of the ancient divisions of Marusthali. Two coss south of Vesala crossed a pass over the hills.

Chhotan (10 do.). — An ancient city, now in ruins, having at present only about eighty houses, inhabited by the Sahariyas [341].

Bankasar (11 do.). Formerly a large city, now only about three hundred and sixty houses.

Bhil-ki-basti (5 do.) and Chauhan-ka-pura (6 do.) j

Nagar (3 do.). — A large town, capital of Parkar, containing one thousand five hundred houses, of which one-half are inhabited.

Kaim Khan Sahariya-ki-basti (18 do.). — Thirty houses in the thal ; wells, with water near the surface ; three coss to the east the boundary of Sind and the Chauhan Raj.

Dhat-ka-pura (15 do.). — A hamlet ; Rajputs, Bhils, and Sahariyas.

Mitti or Mittri-ka-kot (3 do.). — A town of six hundred houses in Dhat, or the division of Umarkot belonging to Haidarabad ; a relative of whose prince, with the title of Nawab, resides here ; a place of great commerce, and also of transit for the caravans ; a fortified mahall to the south-west. When the Shah of Kabul used to invade Sind, the Haidarabad prince always took refuge here with his family and valuables. The sand-hills are immensely high and formidable.

Chailasar (10 do.). — Four hundred houses, inhabited by Sahariyas, Brahmans, Bijaranis, and Banias ; a place of great importance to the transit trade.

Samaicha-ki-basti (10 do.). — Thal from Chailasar.

Nur Ali, Pani-ka-Tar (9 do.). — Sixty houses of Charans, Sultana Rajputs and Kauravas (qu. the ancient Kauravas ?) water (pani-ka-tar) plenty in the thal.

Rual (5 do.). — Twelve hamlets termed bas, scattered round a tract of several coss, inhabited by different tribes, after whom they are named, as Sodha, Sahariya, Kaurava, Brahman, Bania and Sutar, as Sodha-ka-bas, Sahariya-ka-bas, or habitations of the Sodhas ; of the Sahariyas, etc. etc. (see p. 1263).

Deli (7 do.). — One hundred houses; a dani, or collector of duties, resides here.

Garara (10 do.). — Described in route from Umarkot to Jaisalmer.

[[Raedana] (11 do.). — Forty houses ; a lake formed by damming up the water. Agar, or salt-pans.

Kotra (9 do.).

Sheo (3 do.). — The whole space from Nagar to Sheo-Kotra is a continuous mass of lofty sand-hills (thal-ka-tiba), scattered with hamlets {purwas), in many parts affording abundant pasture for flocks of sheep, goats, buffaloes, and camels ;


[p.1323]: the thal extends south to Nawakot and Balwar, about ten coss south of the former and two of the latter. To the left of Nawakot are the fiats of Talpura, or Lower Sind.

Jaisalmer to Sheo Kotra, Barmer, Nagar-Gura and Suigam.

Dhana (5 coss). — Two hundred houses of Paliwals ; pool and wells ; ridge two to three hundred feet high, cultivation between the ridges.

Chincha (7 do.). — Small hamlet ; Sara, half a coss east ; ridge, low thal, cultivation.

Jasrana (2 do.). — Thirty houses of Paliwals, as before ; Kita to the right half a coss.

Unda (1 do.). — Fifty houses of Paliwals and Jain Rajputs ; wells and pools ; country as before [342].

Sangar (2 do.). — Sixty houses ; only fifteen inhabited, the rest fled to Sind during the famine of 1813 ; Charans. Grand thai commences.

Sangar-ka-talao (½ do.). — Water remains generally eight months in the talao or pool, sometimes the whole year.

Bhikarae (1|- do.) Kharel (4 do.) Between is the sandh or boundary of Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. Bhikarae has one hundred and twenty houses of Paliwals ; wells and pools at both places.

Rajarel (1 do.). — Seventy houses ; most deserted since famine.

Gonga (4 do.). — Hamlet of twenty huts ; beras, or small wells and pools ; to this the ridge and thal intermingle.

Sheo (2 do.). — Capital of the district.

Nimla (4 do.). — Forty houses ; deserted.

Bhadka (2 do.). — Four hundred houses ; deserted. This is " the third year of famine ! "

Kapulri (3 do.). — Thirty huts, deserted ; wells.

Jalepa (3 do.). — Twenty huts ; deserted.

Nagar (Gurha) (20 do.). — This is a large town on the west bank of the Luni River, of four to five hundred houses, but many deserted since the famine, which has almost depopulated this region. In 1813 the inhabitants were flying as far as the Ganges, and selling themselves and offspring into slavery to save life.

Barmer (6 do.). — A town of twelve hundred houses.

Guru (2 do.). — West side of the Luni ; town of seven hundred houses ; the chief is styled Rana, and of the Chauhan tribe.

Bata (3 do.). — West side of river.

Patarna (1 do.) - Gadla (1 do.) — West side of river.

Ranas (3 do.). — East side of river.

Charani (2 do.). — Seventy houses ; east side.

Chitalwana (2 do.).— Town of three hundred houses ; east side


[p.1324]: of river ; belonging to a Chauhan chief, styled Rana. Sanchor seven coss to the south.

Ratra (2 coss). — East side of river ; deserted.

Hotiganw (2 do.). — South side of river ; temple to Phulmukheswar Maliadeo.

Dhuta ( 2 do.) - Tapi ( 2 do.) : North side. On the west side the thai is very heavy : east side is plain ; both sides well cultivated.

Lalpura (2 do.). — West side.

Surpura (1 do.). — Crossed river.

Sanloti (2 do.). — Eighty houses, east side of river.

Butera (2 do.). — East side ; relation of the Rana resides here.

Narke (4 do.). — South side river ; Bhils and Sonigiras.

Karoi (4 do.). — Sahariyas [343].

Pitlana (2 do.). — Large village ; Kolis and Pitals.

Dharanidhar (3 do.). — Seven or eight hundred houses, nearly deserted, belonging to Suigam.

Bah (4 do.).— Capital of Rana Narayan Rao, Chauhan prince of Virawah.

Luna (5 do.). — One hundred houses.

Sui (7 do.). — Residence of Chauhan chief.

Balotra on the Luni River to Pokaran and Jaisalmer.

Panchbhadra (3 do.). — Balotra fair on the 11th Magh — continues ten days. Balotra has four to five hundred houses in the tract called Siwanchi ; the ridge unites with Jalor and Siwana. Panchbhadra has two hundred houses, almost all deserted since the famine. Here is the celebrated Agar, or salt-lake, yielding considerable revenue to the government.

Gopti (2 coss). — Forty houses ; deserted ; one coss north of this the deep thai commences.

Patod (4 do.). — A considerable commercial mart ; four hundred houses ; cotton produced in great quantities.

Sivai (4 do.). — Two hundred houses, almost deserted.

Serara (1 do.). — Sixty houses. To Patod the tract is termed Siwanchi ; from thence Indhavati, from the ancient lords of the Indha tribe.


Bungara (3 do.) -Solankitala (4 do.) - Pongali (5 do.)

Bungara has seventy houses, Solankitala four hundred, and Pongali sixty. Throughout sand-hills. This tract is called Thalecha, and the Rathors who inhabit it, Thalecha Rathors. There are many of the Jat or Jat tribe as cultivators. Pongali a Charan community.

Bakri {5 do.). — One hundred houses ; inhabited by Charans.

Dholsar (4 do.). — Sixty houses, inhabited by Paliwal Brahmans.

Pokaran (4 do.). — From Bakri commences the Pokaran district ; all flat, and though sandy, no tibas or hills.


[p.1325]: Udhania (6 coss). — Fifty houses ; a pool the south side.

Lahti (7 do.). — Three hundred houses ; Paliwal Brahmans.

Sodakur (2 do.) - Channda (4 do.) : Sodhakur has thirty houses and Chandan fifty ; Palliwals. Dry nala at the latter; water obtained by digging in its bed.

Bhojka (3 do.). — One coss to the left is the direct road to Basanki, seven coss from Chandan.

Basanki-talao (5 do.). — One hundred houses ; Palliwals.

Moklet (1½ do.). — Twelve houses ; Pokharna Brahmans.

Jaisalmer (4 do.). — From Pokaran to Udhania, the road is over a low ridge of rocks ; thence to Lahti is a well-cultivated plain, the ridge being on the left. A small thal intervenes at Sodhakur, thence to Chandan, plain. From Chandan to Basanki the road again traverses the low ridge, increasing in height, and with occasional cultivation, to Jaisalmer [344].


Bikaner to Ikhtyar Khan-ki Garhi, on the Indus.

Nai-ki-basti (4 do.) ,

Gajner (5 do.,),

Gurha (5 do.),

Bitnok (5 do.),

Girajsar (8 do.),

Narai (4 do.)

Sandy plains ; water at all these villages. From Girajsar, the Jaisalmer frontier, the tibas, or sand-hills commence, and continue moderate to Bikampur.


Bikampur (9 do.),

Mohangarh (16 do.): Bikampur to Mohangarh, rui or desert all the way, having considerable sand-hills and jungle.

Nachna (16 do.).— Tibas, or sand-hills throughout this space.

Narai (9 do.). — A Brahman village.

Nohar-ki-Garhi (24 do.). — Deep rui or desert ; the frontier garrison of Sind ; the garhi, or castle, held by Haji Khan.

Murid Kot (24 coss). — Rui, high sand-hills.

Garhi Ikhtyar Khan-ki (18 do.) — The best portion of this through the Kachhi, or flats of the valley. Garhi on the Indus.

Total 147 coss, equal to 220½ miles, the coss being about a mile and a half each ; 200 English miles of horizontal distance to be protracted [345].


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