1902 Encyclopedia > Himalaya

Himalaya




HIMALAYA is the name given to the mountains which form the northern boundary of British India, between the 75th and 95th meridians east of Greenwich. The word is Sanskrit, and literally signifies " snow-abode," from him, snow, and alaya, abode, and is well translated " snowy-range," though that expression is perhaps more nearly the equivalent of Ilimdchal, another Sanskrit word, derived from him, snow, and dchal, mountain, which is practically synonymous with Himalaya, and probably as often used in conversation by natives of northern India. The letter y in the last syllable of Himalaya is purely a consonant, and the last two syllables should be pronounced la-ya, the conversion of the ay into a diphthong being quite erroneous. The name, by transformations such as are common to all times and nations in the use of foreign words, was converted by the ancient Greeks into Fmodos and Imaos.

Although the term Himalaya is applied by the natives of India only to the ranges which they see covered with perpetual snow, it has been long used by Europeaii geographers to designate the whole mountain region for which the Indian has no other name than pahdr, i.e., " the mountains," of which the snowy ranges constitute but a small portion. The first mere cursory examination of these mountains by the older geographers rightly convinced them of the general physical unity of the mountainous region to the north of India, which in length extends from about 72° to 95° E. long., that is, between the rivers Indus and Brahmaputra, and in breadth includes the ranges between the plains of Hindustan and the upper parts of the main branches of these two great rivers. To these ranges the designation of Himalaya has by degrees been specially attached; and there is a certain convenience in still restricting the name to that part of the mountains which is accessible from British India, for this is the practical signification of it now commonly accepted.

Though it is to the area thus limited that the present article is mainly designed to refer, it will be necessary, for the correct apprehension of some of its main characteristics, to understand aright the relation which the Himalaya bears to the great mountain region beyond it, and a general description of that region thus becomes requisite.

Scientific investigation has clearly shown that, so far as the main characteristics of the mountains are concerned, the natural boundaries of the Himalayan system must be carried much farther than had at first been recognized. Considerable obscurity still involves the eastern portion of these mountains, and there is great want of precise knowledge as to their connexion with the ranges of western China, from which are thrown off the great rivers of China, Siam, and Burmah. On the west, however, it has been completely established that a continuous chain extends beyond the Indus along the north of the Oxus, and ends in that quarter about 68° E. long. In like manner it is found that no separation can be established, except a purely arbitrary one, between the Himalaya as commonly defined and the greatly elevated and rugged table-land of Tibet; nor between this last and the mountain ranges which form its northern border along the low-lying desert regions of Central Asia.

It thus appears that the Himalaya, with its prolongation west of the Indus, constitutes in reality the broad mountainous slope which descends from the southern border of the great Tibetan table-land to the lower levels of Hindustan and the plains of the Caspian ; and that a somewhat similar mountain face, descending from the northern edge of the table-land, leads to another great plain on the north, extending far to the eastward, to the northern borders of China. Towards its north-west extremity this great system is connected with other mountains,—on the south, with those of Afghanistan, of which the Hindu-Kush is the crest, occupying a breadth of about 250 miles between Peshawur and Ktinduz ; and on the north, with the mountains that flank the Jaxartes or Sir on the north, and the Thian-shan or Celestial Mountains. The eastern margin of Tibet descends to western China, and the south-eastern termination of the Himalaya is fused into the ranges which run north and south between the 95th and 100th meridians, and separate the rivers of Burmah, Siam, and western China.

Nor can any of the numerous mountain ranges which constitute this great elevated region be properly regarded as having special, definite, or separate existence apart from the general mass of which they are the component parts'; and Tibet cannot be rightly described, as it has been, as lying in the interval between the two so-called chains of the Himalaya and the Kouenlun or Kara Koram. It is in truth the summit of a great protuberance above the general level of the earth's surface, of which these alleged chains are nothing more than the south and north borders, while the other ranges which traverse it are but corrugations of the mass more or less strongly marked and locally developed.

The average level of the Tibetan table-land may be taken at about 15,000 feet above the sea. The loftiest points known on the earth's surface are to be found along its southern or Himalayan boundary; one of them falls very little short of 30,000 feet in elevation, and peaks of 20,000 feet abound along the entire chain. The plains of India which skirt the Himalayan face of the table-land, for a length of rather more than 1500 miles, along the northern border of British India, nowhere rise so much as 1000 feet above the sea, the average being much less. The low lands on the north, about Kashgar and Yarkend, have an elevation of from 3000 to 4000 feet, and no part of the Central Asiatic desert seems to fall below 2000 feet, the lake of Lob-nor being somewhat above that level, The greatest dimension of the Tibetan mountain area from east to west may be about 2000 miles, while its average breadth some-what exceeds 500 miles; about 100 miles on either side constitute the sloping faces, the central table-land having a width of about 200 miles on the west and probably 500 miles at its eastern border.

The southern portion of the Tibetan table-land throws off its waters to the north-west and south-east from a cen-tral line almost on 82° E. long., the Indus flowing in the former direction, and the Brahmaputra in the latter. These two rivers maintain their courses for a great distance in opposite ways, longitudinally, along the summit of the table-land ; they receive as they proceed the drainage of a large portion of its surface ; and their accumulated waters are at length discharged by two openings in the Himalayan slope across the plains of Hindustan into the Indian Ocean. With the one exception of the basin of the Sutlej, the Tibetan area that discharges itself southward at points intermediate between the debouchure of the Indus and that of the Brahmaputra is comparatively insignifi-cant. No important part of the drainage of the table-land, so far as is yet known, passes in the opposite direction through the northern slope to join the rivers which flow from that slope to the Central-Asiatic plain. The waters of the southern slope, together with the drainage of the exceptional Tibetan area above referred to, traverse the Himalaya more or less directly, and constitute the main tributaries of the Indus, the Ganges, and the Brahmaputra.
Thus the northern border of the table-land, or the sum-mit of its northern slope, so far as it is known, seems to form the real watershed between the rivers that flow to the Indian Ocean and those that lose themselves in the plains of Turkistan and Mongolia. The summit of the Himalayan slope forms a subordinate watershed, separating the rivers that fall into the Indian Ocean into two classes, those that pass directly through the Himalaya to the plains of India, and those that are collected on the summit of the table-land and discharged, also through the Himalaya, but by two concentrated streams at distant points towards the opposite ends of the chain. It has been proposed to call these dividing lines, respectively, the Turkish and the Indian watershed.

The waters that issue from the Himalaya to the west of the 77th meridian combine to form the Indus. Between the 77th and 88th meridians all the streams fall into the Ganges, and eastward of the 88th meridian into the Brahmaputra. Of the continuity of the Brahmaputra, beyond the point up to which it has been explored from Assam, with the Tibetan river called on the maps Sanpoo, Yarou-dzangbo-tchou, and so forth, there is no room for doubt. The correct Tibetan name for the river is Tachok-tsangpo, i.e., "Horse-river," or simply "Tsangpo," i.e., "Great river",—the word "tsangpo" being applied exactly like the corresponding Indian term " ganga," or the Chinese " kyang," as a generic affix to the name of any large river. In the mountains on the border of Assam the river is called " Dihong," but on entering the plain it receives the waters of the sacred stream locally called " Lohit," which is also believed to have a Tibetan source; and this name the united river retains throughout the greater part of its course in Assam, Brahmaputra being a classical Sanskrit name not commonly used. In its course through Bengal local names are given to the various branches into which it there divides ; and this is also the case with the Ganges, which unites with the Brahmaputra about 100 miles from the sea. That part of Tibet which lies north of the 30th parallel of latitude and between the 82d and 92d meridians east is believed to have no escape open for its waters, which are consequently collected in lakes occupying de-pressions on its surface. The region east of the 9 2d meridian, excluding the comparatively small tract which drains into the Brahmaputra, feeds the great rivers of western China, Siam, and Burmah.
At the western extremity of the Tibetan table-land two transverse watershed lines are established in connexion with it, by mountain ranges nearly at right angles to what may be regarded as its general direction in this region,—first, on the south by the mountains which under the name of Hindu-Kush form the north-east angle of the high land of Afghanistan, and from the north-west of which the waters flow into the Oxus (the true Turki name of which is " Amu "), and thence to the Aral Sea, while those from its south-eastern face join the Indus through the Cabul river; and second, on the north by the Terek-tagh, which unites the Tibetan system with the mountains of northern Turkis-tan, and separates the Jaxartes (in Turki " Sir ") from the basin of Yarkend. The Oxus and Jaxartes flow off to the Aral Sea in a north-westerly direction, having between them a range which probably represents the extremity of either the Tibetan or the Thian-shan mountains, and which falls away into hills of minor importance beyond the 70th meridian.

Some further particulars of the relations of the Tibeto-Himalayan region with the contiguous mountain systems, and of its influence both physical and political on the Asiatic continent in the heart of which it is situated, are contained in the article ASIA, to which reference may be made. A more detailed account of TIBET will be given under that heading, and the remainder of this notice will be confined to the description of the restricted Himalayan area, as already defined.

The northern provinces of British India occupy the great plain which flanks the Himalaya on the south, along its whole extent from the issue of the Brahmaputra on the east to the ranges that lie along the Indus. The whole tract, excepting Assam, i.e., the valley of the Brahmaputra, is highly cultivated and populous; and with the same ex-ception the population throughout is of the race known as Aryan, being almost exclusively Hindu in religion on the east, but passing into Mahometan on the west.

The most eastern portion of the Himalayan mountain slope, as far as the 92d meridian, is occupied by wild tribes of which, or of the country they occupy, little is known. They are in small communities under petty chiefs, and their languages, which vary considerably in detail, are to some extent allied to Tibetan and monosyllabic. Between the 92d and 89th meridians is the small state of Bhotan, the local name of which is " Lhopato." It approximates in language, customs, and religion to Tibet proper, and its government is carried on by two separate chiefs, temporal and spiritual. Its northern border, where it is met by Tibet, lies along the 28th degree of north latitude. The small British dis-trict of Sikim succeeds, occupying the lower part of the basin of the Tista river, and having Darjeling as its chief settlement. The native state of Sikim, in Tibetan called " Demojong," extends north of British Sikim to Tibet; it is almost as Tibetan as Bhotan, and still less important. Its western border falls nearly on the 88th meridian.

From the 88th nearly to the 80th meridian the whole southern slope is occupied by the kingdom of Nepal, which since the wars with the British in 1814-16 has retained complete independence. The jealousy with which its government has excluded Europeans from most parts of the country leaves us with little precise knowledge of any part of it except its eastern border and the neighbourhood of the capital, Kathmandu. The people pass from the Tibetan and Buddhist type, which prevails on the east, into almost pure Hindus, speaking a Hindi dialect, on the west. The rivers Kosi, Gandak, Rapti, and Karnali are the principal streams that issue from this part of the mountains. The northern border of Nepal follows the main watershed, and its western angle reaches the 30th parallel of north latitude in the vicinity of the well-known Tibetan lakes Rakas-tal and Manasarowar, where the general direction of the mountains has, from east and west, become nearly south-east and north-west.

The Kali or Sarda river forms the boundary between Nepal and the British provinces of Kumaon and Garhwal, the chief town in which is Almora, and which occupy the entire mountain face, from the watershed to the plains, as far as the main stream of the Ganges, for a distance from east to west of about 100 miles. Thence, an equal distance brings us to the Sutlej, the intermediate tract being occupied by many small principalities, independent in their civil government, but entirely under the political control of the British. In this region is situated Simla, the summer capital of the government of British India, on one of the outer ranges overlooking the Sutlej. Other small districts and principalities, partly British, occupy the Himalayan slope as far as the 76th meridian, beyond which we reach the territories of Jamu and Kashmir, which extend to within 50 miles of the Indus, a narrow band bordering on which river is mainly in the possession of Afghan tribes but partly under British rule. From the portion of the mountains west of the 79th meridian issue the rivers Ganges and Jumna; also the five rivers of the Punjab,— the Sutlej, the Ravi, the Chenab, the Jhelum, and the Indus, besides the Byas which unites with the Sutlej. The valley of Kashmir is the upper part of the basin of the Jhelum.

The population of the whole of the mountain districts west of Nepal maintains to a great extent its Hindu type, though the Mahometan religion gradually becomes more prevalent as we approach the Indus, where it is found to have superseded Hinduism. In the more remote and elevated valleys an infusion of Tibetan race, religion, and language is found, diminishing as we pass to the west; but otherwise the dialects spoken are everywhere Prakritic, and closely allied to Hindi. As a rule the people are short in stature, muscular, as is common among mountaineers, fairer than the inhabitants of the plains, and in the western regions, where the Hindu or Aryan stock prevails, women of remarkable beauty are often seen. At the lower altitudes cotton cloth-ing is usual, at the greater elevations hempen and woollen materials prevail, but an utter disregard of personal cleanliness is universal. Goitre is frequent in both sexes, and cretinism seems to occur much in the European form.

The eastern ranges are wetter, the climate generally warmer and more equable, and the vegetation more rank and of a more tropical character; the mountains are more copiously covered with forest, and the extent of cultivation is less, and the population probably less also. To the west, with a drier atmosphere and greater variations of temperature, the climate above 5000 or 6000 feet becomes more like that of southern Europe, and the main features of the scenery become more conspicuously similar to those of . European mountains. On the east the customs of the people differ little from those of the neighbouring Tibetan or semi-Tibetan provinces. On the west there is no great distinction between the people of the hills and of the plains in their customs, agriculture, or other occupations.

The summit of the table-land from the borders of China Tibet, to the 75th meridian, where the Indus suddenly turns off to the south, is comprised in Tibet, or as it is called in the language of its inhabitants " Bod " or " Bodyul," the latter word being equivalent to " Bod-land." Of the eastern half of Tibet very little is known, and that little chiefly relates to the most southern portion which borders on the Himalaya, and the most eastern which abuts on China. The tableland here has its greatest development, and is perhaps as much as 500 miles from north to south. At its northwestern end its breadth is reduced to something under 200 miles. The physical features of Tibet, from its great elevation, are so peculiar, and it is so cut off by nature from communication with its neighbours, that it is not surprising to find in it a distinct race with a language of their own, and habits widely different from the surrounding nations. The extreme cold and drought make Tibet essentially poor ; and the character of its inhabitants approaches that of the denizens of the Arctic regions, who live under somewhat simi-lar physical conditions. The people are broadly built, with a strongly marked Mongolian physiognomy, dark hair, little or no beard, oblique eyes, and prominent cheek bones. In the warmer valleys they are mainly agricultural, and live in houses ; in the higher regions they are shepherds, living in tents, thinly scattered over a large area. They are clothed in woollens or sheep skins. The practice of polyandry prevails, a woman marrying a whole family of brothers. The government at Lhassa is nominally administered by the Tibetans themselves, but in reality is altogether under the control of a Chinese resident. The authority of the Lhassan Government extends to about 78° E. long.; west of this as far as the Indus, the country was conquered some forty years ago by the sovereign of Kashmir and remains under him. In the most western province of Tibet, called " Balti," the Buddhist religion ceases to prevail; the population is exclusively Mahometan, and that religion only is known beyond the Indus.

To the west of Tibet the mountains are prolonged to the Pamir. 70th meridian at an elevation not greatly less than that which prevails eastward, and the table-land there ends in the region known as Pamir, which has all the characteristics of the higher parts of Tibet. Beyond this we pass into Turkistan and reach the limits by which the scope of the present article is restricted.

The difficulty of accomplishing with any approach to physical success such a task as that of giving a sufficient account features, of the chief physical and other characteristics of mountains ^"^°of like the Himalaya is much diminished by the remarkable struc. uniformity in many points of structure and other important ture. peculiarities, which prevails along the whole length of the chain. The perception of such general characteristics among mountains so vast is, indeed, too often overshadowed and obscured by the magnitude of their parts, the multitude of their details, and the variety of their forms ; yet when the idea of the subordination of all these elements to common laws has once been duly conceived, it obtains constantly growing confirmation from what at first only produced impressions of hopeless confusion.

The great plain of northern India stretches with an almost The unbroken surface along the foot of the Himalaya from the great upper Indus to the head of the delta of the Ganges, and northern, thence has a narrow prolongation along the Brahmaputra " m up the valley of Assam. Including its extensions to the sea, along the Indus on the west, and along the Ganges on the east, its area is about 500,000 square miles. It no-where rises to more than 1000 feet above the sea-level, and to the unassisted eye it appears a perfectly dead flat. That part of the plain which lies along the foot of the mountains, and more particularly the central and eastern portion, is well watered, being intersected by the numerous streams that flow from the mountains, and under the full influence of the periodical rains, and it comprises the best cultivated, the richest, the most populous, and most civilized districts of India.

The snowy peaks of the Himalaya are, under favourable conditions, visible from the plains at a distance of about 200 miles. It is not, however, till the traveller is within 30 or 40 miles of the foot of the mountains that the outlines of the great peaks become well defined and their grandeur appreciable. At about the same distance, too, the lower ranges begin for the first time to attract attention. At about 20 or 25 miles from the outer hills the cultivation of the plain commonly becomes less complete, and the villages more sparse ; an open grassy tract is entered, often traversed by shallow, sluggish streams, along which are formed morasses, or fringes of gigantic reeds and grasses, frequently occupying very large areas. This tract is known as the "Tarai," or "Tariyani." Where most strongly developed it has a width of 10 or 15 miles, but its existence is manifestly greatly dependent on the local conditions of drainage and of rainfall, and to the west of the point where the Ganges leaves the mountains the Tarai is not formed. It has been erroneously described as a depression along the foot of the mountains, but there is no foundation for such a view, and the causes that lead to the formation are not far to seek.

To explain these it is necessary to take a further step towards the mountains. Just as the Tarai somewhat suddenly appears along a certain definite line, so it as suddenly ceases, and is replaced by a band of forest of about equal breadth, known as the "Bhabar." This tract is almost waterless, and the soil is seen to be chiefly sand or shingle, more or less filled with boulders. The streams that issue from the outer hills on entering the Bhabar are for the most part rapidly absorbed, and finally disappear in their sandy or shingle beds, the water they pour into the soil being again discharged along the outer and lower border of the tract, and collecting once more in the streams which characterize the Tarai. How The Bhabar and Tarai slope continuously from the foot formed. 0f ^e mountains to the cultivated plain. The inclination is so uniform as to be hardly perceptible, but becomes gradually less as, the distance from the mountains becomes greater. Observation leads us to suppose that the upper part of this talus, lying along the foot of the outer hills, is composed of coarser matter, and the lower part, which comes into view at a greater distance, of a finer and less permeable silt; and that, the latter having a smaller in-clination and extending further than the former, the water absorbed by the upper beds will naturally be brought to the surface at their termination, where the finer materials forming clayey strata make their appearance. That the swampy Tarai is not developed in the western part of the range is doubtless due to the smaller rainfall in that region; while its more marked occurrence to the east of the Ganges at irregular intervals arises from the local peculiarities of the surface drainage, which at some places is carried off directly into the larger rivers without check, an^1 in others is forced to follow a line nearly parallel to that of the mountains for considerable distances, through a tract from which there is no free escape for the water; and which, thus becoming water-logged and covered with a rank development of vegetation, acquires its peculiarities, among which has to be reckoned a climate in which fevers of a deadly character are frequently induced, rendering its permanent occupation and cultivation difficult or impossible.

The transition from the plains to the mountains is sudden and well-defined along a line that is almost continuous. The ranges to which geologists have given the name of "Siwalik," and "sub-Himalayan," rise abruptly, and with- Siwalfc out any intermediate undulating ground from the apparently or sub-level surface of the plain. These hills, which from recent Hlma~ geological investigation we learn to be formed of deposits lay'1' of various periods of the Tertiary epoch, attain elevations from, a few hundred to 3000 or 4000 feet. The dip of the strata composing them is usually at a low angle towards the mass of the mountains, so that they present a steep face to the plains, while a comparatively easy declivity slopes inwards, and frequently, by meeting a corresponding but longer and more gradual talus descending from the foot of the internal line of mountains, forms a shallow, narrow valley which runs generally parallel to the outer range.

These valleys, which are very characteristic of the outer The border of the mountains, have by some writers been H"n.s 01 erroneously confounded with the Tarai. They are termed Mari' " Dun " in the western regions; in Nepal they are known by the name of " Mari." Their floors consist of deposits of gravel and boulders, having a maximum elevation of about 2000 or 2500 feet above the sea. Their continuity is broken at intervals by low, transverse, watershed lines, from which the drainage is thrown off along their longitu-dinal axis, and falls into some of the larger streams which cross them from the inner ranges, though less frequently it finds an independent exit into the plains by a sudden bend to the south through a rupture in the line of outer hills. At intervals these valleys are entirely wanting, and the outer hills which form them elsewhere are undistinguishable from the general mass of mountain within, except through the aid of their geological character. From the considerable elevation of the duns above the plains, down to the level of which the streams which drain them descend in a very short distance, the unconsolidated strata which form the floors of these valleys are often deeply cut into by the watercourses, and present a surface worn into terraces descending in steps of various heights. These conditions lead to a peculiarity which characterizes large parts of the duns, the almost complete impossibility of getting water from wells, due no doubt to the thorough desiccation of the subsoil.

The sub-Himalayan ranges have a well-defined distinct Extent geographical existence along the greater part of the chain, of sub-and their geological continuity is established where no valley ^ima" is formed between them and the inner ranges, and where they cannot be otherwise distinguished from the general mass of mountains. To the west of the Sutlej river these ranges and the valleys connected with them have an unusual development, the width over which they extend increasing from 10 or 15 miles to as much as 50 miles, with a series of two or three dun-like valleys one within another. West of the river Jhelum, again, the aspect of the outer Himalaya is entirely modified by a small table-land, which is formed to the north of the line of elevation known as the Salt range, and extends to the Indus. Its general surface lies at about 1000 feet above the general level of the plain, having a maximum elevation of about 1800 feet, and being remarkable for the extraordinary manner in which it is broken up by ravines, the number, gigantic dimensions, and intricacy of which are alike per-plexing and astonishing—the extremely dry climate leading to an almost total want of vegetation, and the absence of any such concealment exhibiting a picture of confusion and desolation not often seen.

The ranges which lie immediately within the external band of the Siwaliks, or sub-Himalaya, rise abruptly above it to much greater elevations, and constitute the first masses which in such a region we can with propriety dignify with the name of mountains. Their ordinary elevation is about 7000 feet, and the highest summits on them reach 8000 or 9000 feet above the sea. It is on them that sanitary stations have been established for the convenience of the European residents in the neighbouring provinces of India, as affording the nearest sites to the plains at which a temperate climate can be reached. These ranges cover a breadth of about 60 or 70 miles, within which the magnitude of the mountains does not very greatly vary, their crests rarely going above 10,000 feet or falling below 5000 feet. Beyond this again another great change is observed, and the mountains rise rapidly and attain those surpassing heights which place the snow-clad summits of the Himalaya in the foremost rank of all the mountains of the earth.

A remarkable deviation from the normal character of this zone of the mountains is observed to the west of the Sutlej, where, combined with the exceptional extension of the sub-Himalayan ranges already joticed, is found what may perhaps be best described as an outlier of the great central axis of snowy mountains. With a marked change in respect to elevation, as well as in respect to its mineral constituents, the range locally known as the " Dhaola-dhar," or White Mountain, rises directly from the dun of Kangra, the elevatior of which is about 2500 feet, into the regions of perpetual snow, its highest points reaching an elevation of 16,000 to 17,000 feet. The same features are prolonged still further to the west beyond the Kavi, and this line of elevation forms the great snow-clad range that shuts in the valley of Kashmir on the south, there known as the Plr-panjal, the general elevation of which is from 11,000 to 15,000 feet, and the passes over it not lower than 10,000 feet.

With this exception the ranges covered with perpetual snow are first met with on the southern slope of the great Indo-Tibetan table-land, along a line between 80 and 90 miles from the foot of the outer mountains, and 20 or 30 miles south of the Indian watershed, and from this line northward snowy peaks abound everywhere over the summit of the table-land. The highest yet measured are near the Indian watershed, but as it is only in this region of the western Himalaya, and in northern Ladak, that any complete survey has been made, it is necessary to be cautious in making statements as to absolute maximum elevation, for the known in these mountains still bears far too small a proportion to the unknown to afford sufficient ground for safe speculation on such a subject.

On the Himalayan slope the loftiest peaks are usually met on the first ranges that enter the limits of perpetual snow, advanced some 20 or 30 miles south of the Indian watershed, and not on a continuous ridge, but grouped in masses separated from one another by deep depressions, through which is discharged the drainage of the tract lying between them and the watershed.

The highest known peak in the Himalaya, and indeed in the world, is that in Nepal known as Mount Everest, which rises to 29,002 feet. Kinchinjinga, in Sikim, on the east, reaches 28,156 feet, and another peak more recently measured, in the extreme west, reaches 28,278 feet. Dhd-walagiri, in Nepal, is stated to be 26,826 feet, and Nanda-devi, in Kumaon, to be 25,700 feet above the sea. But many other points have been measured exceeding 25,000 feet in elevation, two of which are to the north of Kumaon; and the enumeration of all known peaks over 20,000 feet would be wearisome. These statements have reference to the particular zone along the Indian watershed above described, beyond which, as was before said, few measurements have been made (excepting in Ladak), but there is every reason to believe, from such scanty facts as are available for forming an opinion, that mountains rising considerably above 20,000 feet are of frequent occurrence throughout Tibet.





To give a more precise idea of the character of the snowy Jum-zone, it will be worth while to state somewhat in detail the hers of distribution of the great peaks which lie between the 78th 'rea* and 81st meridians, in the provinces of Kumaon and 1 Garhwal, which have been far better surveyed that any other part of the range. On a line of something less than 150 miles in length are found six great snowy groups, with five great rivers passing between them:—(1) on the east is the cluster of Api in Nepal, with a peak of 22,700 feet; (2) Yirnajang, between the Darma river and the Kali, rising to 21,300 feet; (3) the Panch-chuli group, between the Darma river and the Gori, with a maximum of 22,700 feet; (4) the great compound mass which lies between the Gori and the Dhaoli rivers, consisting of Nanda-devi, Nanda-kot, Dunagiri, and Trisul, the first reaching 25,700 feet, the second 22,600 feet, the third 23,200 feet, and the last, having a length of more than 10 miles, no part of which is under 20,000 feet, its central point reaching 23,400 feet above the sea; (5) the peaks between the Dhaoli and Vishnu-ganga rivers, three of which lie between 22,300 and 22,600 feet; (6) the great group of Badarinath, Kedarnath, and Gangotri, between the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi, the chief feeders of the Ganges, the first mass rising to 22,400 feet and the second to 22,900 feet, while the third has five points varying in height between these. All these masses are connected with the main watershed by ridges more or less covered with perpetual snow, on which have been measured two other peaks rising above 25,000 feet, several others reaching 23,000 feet, and many more between 19,000 and 20,000 feet. There is no reason for thinking that this gives an exaggerated idea of the vast scale on which these mountains are developed. There can be little doubt that as precise knowledge is advanced the number of peaks between 25,000 and 30,000 feet will be found to be very much extended; nor will it be surprising if points are eventually discovered exceeding 30,000 feet in altitude.

some 1500 miles, most ^™ At a comparatively few &]ie^

The average elevation of the crest of the Indian water-shed, between the points where the Indus and Brahmaputra cross it, a distance of probably exceeds 18,000 feet.

points only its continuity is broken, and it allows the passage of rivers that rise on its northern flank; but at all other parts its summit must be crossed to enter Tibet from the south. The passes over it, in ordinary use for men and animals, are frequently more than 18,000 feet above the sea, and except where it is broken through as just mentioned, one point only is believed to exist at which it can be surmounted under 16,400 feet. This pass, which leads directly from Kashmir into the Tibetan district of Dras, is only 11,300 feet, and is quite anomalous; such a depression elsewhere would have been sufficiently deep to open a passage for the drainage of the table-land, but the great depth of the valley further north, in which the Indus flows, here gives the waters a more favourable escape in that direction.

The valleys which traverse the mountains between the Valleys plains and the great watershed are for the most part little more than gigantic ravines, at the bottom of which flows the river each contaius, in a very contracted bed which at rare intervals opens out into a narrow alluvial flat capable of cultivation. The level of the river beds is necessarily very various. Valleys only 2000 or 3000 feet above the sea are often opened up into the very heart of the mountains, and carry with them the heat and vegetation of the tropics among ranges the summits of which are capped with eternal snow. In tracing up the larger streams it is usually found that on arriving within 10 miles of the line of the great peaks the rivers are flowing at an elevation of little more than 4000 or 5000 feet, but on crossing that line the acclivity suddenly and rapidly increases, and the river-beds in a very few miles are found to be at an altitude of 9000 or 10,000 feet, indicating that the sudden increase to the height of the mountains along this line is not confined to the peaks alone, but consists of a general elevation of the whole surface. Having once crossed the line of great peaks, the inclination of the valleys again becomes much less, and they thus continue for some miles, those that are fed from the larger glaciers frequently emerging from the ice at a level no more than 12,000 feet above the sea in the western mountains, 1000 or 2000 feet higher on the east.

The slope of the larger Himalayan rivers may be estimated to range from 20 feet per mile near the plains to between 100 and 200 feet per mile where they approach the snowy mountains. In their passage through these the inclination increases to as much as 700 or 800 feet in the mile, but to the north it is again reduced to 1 50 or 200 feet. Like all Indian rivers, they vary greatly in volume at different seasons of the year, and among the higher mountains are liable to special fluctuations from the more or less rapid melting of the snow from which they are fed. In the summer their waters increase and decrease with the varying temperature of the day or power of the sun, and in the winter they contract to a small fraction of their summer volume as the permanent frosts set in. In the lower parts of their courses the rivers commonly present an alternation of sparkling rapids with long reaches of deep, clear, tranquil water, in which the action of the current is often hardly visible ; as we ascend, the rapids become by degrees more frequent and more impetuous, till in passing among the snowy mountains we find only the most furious torrents, pouring their turbid glacier waters over boulders of gigantic dimensions among which they are at times almost lost to view, and filling the valleys with their incessant roar.

The valleys of Kashmir and Kathmandu, by their Kashnrii exceptionally large extent and comparatively level char- aD|i, acter, offer such remarkable deviations from the normal ^epa1-characters of Himalayan valleys as to require some com-ment. But the differences are after all rather in degree than in kind, and it would not be difficult to find somewhat similar areas, though on a much smaller scale of develop-ment. In Kashmir, too, is found one of the very few lakes which occur in the Himalaya. The almost complete absence of such collections of water is among the circum-stances which serve to give a special character to the scenery of the Himalaya, and to distinguish it from that of European mountains.

On crossing the Indian watershed into Tibet, the general character of the country completely changes. The summit of the table-land, though deeply corrugated with valleys and mountains in detail, is in its general relief laid out horizontally at a mean height little inferior to that of the watershed itself. The valleys of central Tibet are commonly long, flat, and open, of no great breadth, perhaps 1 to 3 miles, with a bottom of alluvial soil laid out nearly horizontally, from which the mountains rise abruptly on either side. The plateau of Guge, immediately to the north of Kumaon,

FIG. 1.—Sections of the Alps and of the Himalaya on the same scale.

the average elevation of which is not less than 15,500 feet above the sea, and at the extremity of which lie the two lakes of Rakas-tal and Manasarowar, the waters of which are also nearly at that level, is a remarkable expansion of the ordinary Tibetan valley, and calls for special notice. It varies in breadth from 15 to 60 miles, and its extreme length is 120 miles, lying along the upper course of the Sutlej, which runs through it at the bottom of a stupendous ravine furrowed out of the alluvial matter of which the plateau is formed, to a depth of 2000 or 3000 feet. Into this run, across the western part of the plain, numerous other similar ravines in every gradation of size, often for miles together as even and straight as a railway cutting; and so extraordinary is their magnitude in some cases that, in his account of a journey across the plateau, Moorcroft, a traveller of great accuracy in general, describes these slopes as those of mountains. Tibetan The main valleys are everywhere remarkable for their rivers gentle slope, and in the central parts of the table-land the inclination at length frequently becomes so small as to give rise to the accumulation of the drainage in lakes, invariably salt when there is no efflux, and as invariably fresh when there is. The upper Indus has a slope as little as 3 feet per mile. Further to the west, as it approaches its great bend to the south, the inclination becomes greater, aver-aging about 24 feet per mile, and the width of its valley floor is reduced. It descends to a level of little above 4000 feet before it finally leaves Tibet.

It may aid in conveying a clear conception of the magnitude of these Himalayan masses, to compare them with the Swiss Alps, which will be familiar to many English readers. The above diagram represents on the same scale sections of the Alps and of the Himalaya, the curved line from which the latter are shown to rise repre-senting the curvature of the earth. The Alps, measured across from the Lake of Thun to the plains of Lombardy, have a width of about 75 miles, the Tibeto-Himalayan mountains on a line drawn through Simla being about 400 miles across. To complete the comparison a few further explanations may be offered. The range that has already been noticed as the Dhaola-dhar, which rises from the KAngra diin, if measured in breadth from Kangra to the upper Ravi, and in length between that river and the Byas in Kullu, is about equal to the whole of the Bernese Alps comprised between Altdorf and Martigny in length, and laterally between lines drawn along the Rhone and Reuss on one side, and through the Lakes of Lucerne and Thun to the Lake of Geneva at Vevay on the other. The area covered in both cases is rather less than 100 miles in length by 20 or 25 in breadth, the highest peaks being in the Alps the Finsteraarhorn, 14,100 feet, and in the Dhaola-dhar a point 17,100 feet above the sea. The prolongation of the Himalayan ridge just spoken of, which bounds Kashmir cn the south, known as the Pir-panjal, would in like manner compare with the Pennine Alps and their continuation as far as St Gothard. Here the peak of Mont Blanc, 15,750 feet, slightly exceeds the highest point of the Pir-panjal, which is but little over 15,500 feet, though, with this single exception, the Kashmir range certainly much exceeds in general mass that of the por-tion of the Alps compared with it. To obliterate these two ranges from the Himalaya would make no very sensible iuroad on it, though they surpass in bulk the whole of the Swiss Alps ; and it is no exaggeration to say that, along the entire range of the Himalaya, valleys are to be found among the higher mountains into which the whole Alps might be cast without producing any result that would be discernible at a distance of ten or fifteen miles. And it is important to bear in mind these relations of magnitude, for the terms at our disposal in the description of mountains are so limited that it is necessary to employ the words chain, range, ridge, spur, &c, rather with reference to relative than to absolute importance, so that the scale of our nomenclature changes with the extent and altitude of the mountains of which we speak.
An examination of the maps of the Himalaya indicates that throughout their whole extent a constant tendency is discernible for the rivers to flow either parallel to the general direction of the part of the chain through which they run, or perpendicular to it,—many or perhaps most of them combining both tendencies, and running first in the one direction and then in the other. The conclusion is hence suggested that the system of surface drainage is determined by a series of longitudinal and transverse lines of rupture along and across the mountains. The study of the rivers and mountains themselves confirms this view. In many cases an apparent diagonal direction is found to be really clue to a succession of short abrupt bends, though no doubt the rivers at times actually take an oblique course across the mountains. Frequently, too, where a river changes from a longitudinal to a transverse direction, another longitudinal stream meeting the first flows down from an exactly opposite direction. The same disposition is otherwise often exhibited by the occurrence of both transverse and longitudinal lines of drainage, or valleys, starting in opposite directions from the same point on the main ranges, while a depression occurs in the ridge at the point whence such valleys take their departure.

As the rivers and ridges that separate them must be laid out on the same general plan, it is natural to find in these last the same tendency to follow lines perpendicular, or parallel, to the general direction of the chain. There is no part of the mountains in which these peculiarities may not be traced, the longitudinal character prevailing on the summit of the table-land, and the transverse being dominant on the Himalayan slope. By the combination of these tendencies the rivers flow to the plains along a line generally oblique to the component parts of their actual course; and the watershed ridges that separate them follow corresponding directions. But such watershed lines rarely have any true structural continuity, however strongly they may be marked on our maps, and great caution must be exercised in inferring physical relations among such features of the mountains without obtaining some knowledge of their geological structure.

Considering the vast extent of these mountains, and the material and political difficulties in the way of the traveller who visits them, it is not surprising that the knowledge of their geological structure is still very imperfect. From causes which are not very obvious, important parts of the deposits of which they consist have till now not yielded any fossil remains by which their age can be determined : the visits of qualified geologists to the more remote parts of the chain have been very rare ; and it is only within the last few months that any connected memoir on the subject has been published. Much that has been written on it is of too speculative a nature to find place in such an account as the present, and all that can be attempted is a brief outline of the main conclusions that seem established.

Of the great Indian plain nothing very definite can be The said. It is an alluvial deposit of sandy clay, on the sur- great face of which nothing in the shape of a pebble can be found Plam-excepting in the immediate vicinity of the hills that rise from it. In one place alone, in the north-west, on the Jumna river, have fossil remains been found imbedded in it, at some depth below the surface. They belonged to terrestrial mammals, with fish and crocodiles, which seem to be of the post-Tertiary epoch. A few borings have been made to depths of some hundreds of feet, but they throw no great light on the subject of the origin of the plain. There is no direct evidence either for or against its having been laid out by the sea ; on the one side it seems difficult to understand how so even a surface could have been produced otherwise than under the sea, while on the other there is a complete want of marine remains both in the alluvium itself and in the most recent deposits which form the hills that rise from it. It seems to be admitted that some parts of the alluvial plain of the Indus have been submerged, and in any case, if it was produced by river action, it must have been by rivers having a very small inclination, and in a delta, or at a low elevation.

The outermost ranges of the sub-Himalaya are also geolo- The gically the most recent. They are composed of grey outer micaceous sandstones, generally very soft and often quite °" unconsolidated, with beds of red and blue clays and marls interspersed, and boulder and gravel beds, at times hardly to be distinguished from those formed in the existing rivers, and often cemented by carbonate of lime into conglome-rates. Though these formations are most strongly developed to the west, they have been observed in Nepal and also in Bhotan. It is from the ranges in the vicinity of the Jumna river that the characteristic Siwalik fossils have chiefly been obtained. They consist of numerous species of mammals and reptiles, with a few fish, birds, and mollusca,—all, however, remains of land or freshwater animals, with no certain trace of marine creatures. Lignite occurs in thin isolated beds in small quantities. It had been commonly supposed that the Siwalik fauna was of Miocene age. The later views rather point to its being Pliocene. Sixteen genera among the fossil remains have not been found in any beds older than Pliocene, and of the many genera which continue to the present time, some of the forms preserved in these fossils are remarkably similar to existing species, all of which indicates a closer relation to the more recent than to the older Tertiaries.

In close juxtaposition with this external band, but con- The nected geologically in a manner that has not been very inner clearly established, is an older series of beds, the lowest ^j^a of which is nummulitic and of the oldest Tertiary epoch. laya The fossils found in these beds are as markedly marine as those of the other series are terrestrial. The junction of the newer with this more ancient series is concealed by disturbances, and the former has not been found overlying the latter, but only abutting upon it. This older section of the Tertiary beds of the sub-Himalaya has only been properly made out to the west of the Jumna, though it is likely that it is also represented in the central and eastern parts of the chain by certain sandstones which occur there at the foot of the higher mountains. It may be surmised also that the nummulitic beds of these ranges are connected on the one side with those which are found to the west of the Indus extending to Sindh, and on the other with the nummulitic rocks of the hills south of Assam.

A complete change of geological character occurs on passing from these outer and lower ranges to those higher mountains which extend to the line of snowy peaks. On the west of the chain the first of these ranges consists of argillaceous shales and schists, grits and limestones, intersected by several lines of igneous action, and all devoid of fossil remains. True slates also occur. The stratification is everywhere well marked, the clip being usually towards the interior of the chain at an angle of from 10° to 20°. Portions of the mountains are found in which the dip is quite reversed, or towards the plains, a result no doubt of absolute rupture and partial dislocation. The lines of igneous action follow generally the line of strike, the type of the rock being greenstone, and conglomerates or breccias being often associated with it.

How far these beds extend to the eastward is somewhat in doubt. Suggestions have been made that they are the representatives of the Silurian or other fossiliferous beds found to the north of the great snowy mountains, but the evidence for this is hardly conclusive. The occurrence at the foot of the mountains in Sikim and Bhotan of a deposit containing fossil coal-plants, which are apparently identical with those of the Bengal coal-field, renders it probable that the rocks there are of the age of that coal, that is to say, of the lower Trias, a conclusion which somewhat serves to corroborate the speculation as to the age of the western beds just referred to.

In certain parts of this outer region of the mountains granite also occurs, accompanied by gneiss and mica-schist, the latter often abounding in garnets. In mineralogical character this granite and its accompanying schists differ greatly from those of the great peaks, which are also formed of granite and schists; this has suggested a possi-ble difference of age, and it remains uncertain whether any or what connexion exists between them.

As we approach the line of great peaks the rocks pass into iighly crystalline gneiss or mica schist, and another more continuous line of granite intrusion occurs, divided into several branches, but distributed generally on the line of strike, that is, along the principal direction of the chain itself. It is chiefly in veins, though it expands at times into masses of considerable size, and more rarely into outbursts large enough to constitute whole mountains. The general dip of the strata continues throughout this area to be directed inwards, its angle being increased to as much as 45°, though seldom to more than that. Beds of highly crystalline limestone, some pure, and some not easily distinguished from the gneiss or mica schist among which they occur, are common along a band following the direction of the strike. The vein granite is usually large-grained; hornblende at times replaces the mica; the felspar is invariably white, and crystals of schorl and kyanite are frequently seen in it.

The great peaks are, with few exceptions, composed of schistose rock, though granite veins may be seen in the mountain faces to very great elevations; one of these exceptions is the great peak of Kamet in Kumaon, which rises to about 25,000 feet in what appears to be a mass of grey granite.

Passing to the north of the line of great peaks the metamorphosed schists are suddenly replaced by slates and limestones, which are in many places highly fossiliferous, exhibiting what appears to constitute in the aggregate a fairly continuous series from the Lower Silurian to the Cretaceous formations, though the complete sequence has not been observed in any one locality. The western region of the Himalaya alone has been sufficiently explored to admit of any positive statements, but the indications gathered from such imperfect accounts and other data as exist relative to the eastern parts of the mountains leave little doubt that the change observed in the west on approaching and enter-ing Tibet holds good on the east also, and that the general physical features of the whole tract are much alike, though doubtless with many differences in detail.

The fossiliferous strata of western Tibet are continued, Plateau ; though perhaps with some breaks, to the Tertiary period Tertiary In certain localities nummulitic rocks, probably Eocene, have been observed, and from the great alluvial deposit which forms the plain of Guge, already noticed, the remains of mammals, apparently of Siwalik age, have also been obtained. Among these were bones of the elephant and the rhinoceros, the existence of which, in the present condition of these regions, would be wholly impossible; so that there is no room to doubt that these deposits have been raised from a comparatively low level to their existing great elevation of upwards of 15,000 feet, since they were laid out. As in the case of the plain of India, we here, too, have no complete proof of the origin of these great nearly horizontal deposits, but it seems clear-from the materials of which they are formed, that they must have been laid out by water, either by the sea of some great inland lake. They are largely composed of boulder deposits, and large boulders are strewed over the surface imbedded in the ground in a manner that seems only explicable as the result of the action of a considerable body of water.

Several lines of granitic and eruptive rock occur in Eruptive western Tibet, of which all that need here be said is that rocks in they appear all to be older than the Tertiary alluvium, but Tll,et-some of them are possibly contemporaneous with the nummulitic and older formations.

The general conclusion that maybe drawn from the facts Epoch of structure thus briefly indicated is that the elevation of of ele-the Himalaya to its present great height is of compara- vatlcm-tively recent occurrence. An area of land must have existed where the main line of snowy peaks now stands, which has not been submerged since the Palaeozoic period, and which then had its northern boundary somewhere along what has been termed the Indian watershed. Evidence of a similar ancient sea on the south also exists, but in a less definite shape; and whether it was united with the northern sea or not is still a matter of conjecture, though the distinctive character of the fossils rather indicates that there was no direct union. The possible connexion of this ancient Himalayan land area with the pre-Tertiary land of the peninsula of India is also only a matter for speculation.

There is further reason to infer that the existence of Ancient the great line of peaks is rather due to some previous line of elevation on the ancient land, which has continued to retain its relative superiority while the whole area has been raised, rather than to any special line of energy of upheaval of recent date ; and that the fundamental features of its former configuration of surface in mountain and valley have been preserved throughout. There is evidence for the conclusion that the chief rivers of the pre-Tertiary land issued from the mountains where the present main streams are found, and this embryo Himalaya may have been of such moderate height as to have permitted the passage across it of the Siwalik mammals, the remains of which appear both on the border of the Indian plain and in Tibet. It is after the middle Tertiary epoch that the principal elevation of these mountains must have taken place, and about the same time also took place the movements which raised the table-lands of Afghanistan and Persia, and gave southern Asia its existing outlines.
The best answer that can be given to an inquiry as to Forces how changes of level could have arisen, such as those to which are observed in the Himalaya, is that they should ?s be regarded as due rather to secondary actions conse- their quent on the general contraction of the cooling terrestrial mode of sphere than to direct elevating forces, for which no action.


known origin can be assigned. The contraction of the cooling but now solid crust of the earth must have set up great horizontal strains, partly of tension and partly of compression, which would necessarily have been followed by rupture or crushing along lines of least resistance, and the movements on such lines are marked by the great mountain ranges that traverse the surface. A dislocation of the solid crust of the earth once having taken place, it would probably continue to be a line of least resistance ever after, and a succession of movements during past geological periods may thus be reasonably expected along such lines. Somewhat in proportion as the disturbing forces are intense, and the thickness of the crust on which they act is great, will be the tendency for the lines of rupture to be continuous for a considerable distance; and as the disturbed area is extended in its dimensions, the probability will increase of a repetition of a series of similar dislocations on lines approximately parallel to, or at right angles to, one another, and to the line on which the greatest compression and consequent tension take place. In a disturbed area, one transverse dimension of which is sensibly greater than the rest, the longitudinal ruptures will predominate in the interior and the transverse towards the borders. Almost all mountains give indications of having been shaped by forces thus related, and to the action of such forces may the main characteristics of the structure of the Himalaya, and the arrangement of its ridges and valleys, be attributed. Whatever may be the power of rivers in general as instruments of erosion, and whatever effect the Himalayan rivers have had in removing the fragments of the rocks over and among which they took their courses, it is hardly possible to doubt that their main directions were determined by the anterior lines of dislocation which opened up hollows down which they could flow, and which must invariably have been accompanied by a destructive and crushing action on the rocks along them, which has enabled the waters the more readily to sweep away the obstacles in their path. The parallelism of many of the great Tibetan and Himalayan rivers for hundreds of miles together, amid such mountains, seems wholly inexplicable in any other manner.

Although the loftiest mountains when compared to the earth's diameter are insignificant in their dimensions, and the irregularities of the surface would hardly be perceptible on any sphere, however large, that could be made to represent the earth, yet in relation to the depth of the atmosphere even moderate elevations become of great importance, and such heights as those reached by the Himalaya introduce modifications of climate in ascending over its slopes that are not surpassed by those observed in moving from the equator to the poles. One half of the total mass of the atmosphere and three-fourths of the water suspended in it in the form of vapour lie below the average elevation of the Himalaya, and of the residue one half of the air and virtually almost all the vapour come within the influence of the highest peaks.

The general changes of pressure of the atmosphere indicated by the barometer extend in a modified but well-marked manner to the greatest elevations to which observation has been carried, and the annual and diurnal oscillations are not less regular in Tibet than in the plains of India, though somewhat reduced in amount. With the increase of elevation the diminution of the quantity of vapour held in suspension is very marked, and at the greatest heights reached there is found not more than one-sixth or one-seventh part of that observed at the foot of the mountains, and the proportion is sometimes as low as a tenth, or less. As is well known, the maximum quantity of water that can be suspended in the air in a state of vapour depends on the temperature of the air, and observation has established that the actual quantity at all elevations is approximately proportionate to this maximum, and is thus determined by the temperature, which in turn is regulated by the elevation. The theoretical view once held that watery vapour was distributed in the atmosphere in accordance with the laws of pressure of elastic fluids is manifestly inconsistent with observed facts, which indicate that the diffusion of vapour is powerfully obstructed by the air particles, and that it by no means behaves as an independent elastic fluid, but rather as though it were merely mixed up with or entangled among the ai' particles.

The great elevations to which the Himalaya ascends, Temper-and the broad zone which it covers in respect to latitude, ature of and its varying distance from the sea necessarily lead to Hima-correspondingly great variations of climate in its different aya-parts, including the temperature and the degree of humidity in the atmosphere, and the amount of rainfall. The general position of the whole tract between the 25th and 35th degrees of north latitude renders it subject to high summer temperatures. The heat of the great plain of northern India is not surpassed at any other part of the earth, the air temperature rising in the hottest months to more than 110° Fahr.; the fall of temperature in the winter is considerable, the thermometer receding at times to the freezing point, or even a little below it; the mean temperature varies from 78° Fahr. in the east or southern portion to 75° in the west or north. On the mountains every altitude has its corresponding temperature, an elevation of 1000 feet producing a fall of about 3-jj°, or 1° Fahr. to 300 feet. The mean winter temperature at 7000 feet is about 41° Fahr., with a mean minimum of 32° Fahr., and the summer mean about 65° Fahr. At 9000 feet the mean temperature of the coldest month is 32° Fahr., at 12,000 feet the thermometer ceases to fall below freezing point from the end of May to the middle of October, and at 15,000 feet it is seldom above that point at the coldest part of the day in the height of summer. There seems to be less variation of temperature at equal altitudes on the mountains in passing from east to west than might have been expected from the greater winter cold of the western part of the plains. This is pro bably due to the greater relative humidity and heavier rainfall of the eastern regions, and the denser vegetation which covers them. These influences tend to keep down the day temperature on the eastern mountains, while the clearer skies and more open character of the west operate in the opposite direction. On the more woody and rainy mountains in the outer parts of the chain the mean summer temperature will be 60° at 10,000 or 11,000 feet, but it will still be as much as that up to 12,000 feet, or even to a greater elevation, in the bare and sunny valleys near the Indian watershed.

In Tibet the thermometrical conditions vary considerably Of Tibet, from those of the Himalayan slope. At 12,000 feet the maximum temperature is perhaps 70° Fahr. and the absolute minimum 5° Fahr. The ordinary winter temperature is from 0° Fahr. to 30° Fahr., with a mean of the coldest month of 10°. The mean of the hottest month is about 60°, and of the year 35°. At 15,000 feet the frost is permanent from the end of October to the end of April, and the lakes are usually frozen over for nearly five months in the year. Between 15,000 and 16,000 feet the thermometer will fall below the freezing point every night of the year. At heights of 17,000 or 18,000 feet it rises considerably above that point in the summer months. From 18,000 to 19,000 feet it thaws only in the afternoons of July and August, and at 20,000 feet there is probably perpetual frost in the shade, though in the sun the air no doubt rises above the freezing point to much greater elevations.

Freezing All ths rivers in Ladak are frozen over every winter of rivers, down to 8000 feet, a phenomenon that has been nowhere seen in the Himalaya, the rivers that are accessible during winter being at too small an elevation to be ever frozen, and the main streams probably everywhere too rapid.

The diurnal range of temperature is directly dependent on the condition of the surface and the state of the sky. On all well-wooded ranges it is very small, particularly in the cloudy and rainy months, when it will not exceed 5° or 6°. In the dry months of April or May, before the summer rains begin, and in the autumn when clear skies again prevail, the variation is greatest. In Tibet it is greatest in summer and least in winter, which is the most cloudy season. The annual variation follows a similar law, 20° being about the minimum mean monthly range on the wooded outer mountains, while in Tibet it amounts to as much as 50°.

The difference of temperature between ranges densely clad with forest and the Indian plains may be twice as much in April and May as in December or January; and the differences between the temperatures of a well-wooded hill-top and an open valley below have been observed to vary as much as from 9° in the coldest to 24° in the hottest hour. Precisely the converse may be found to hold good in comparing greater altitudes in Tibet with lesser in the Himalaya, where the humidity is greater.

It is generally true here as elsewhere—
(1) that the decre-ment of temperature with altitude is most rapid in summer ;
(2) that the annual range diminishes with elevation; and
(3) that the diurnal range also diminishes with elevation.
But the greater quantity of cloud and the more dense covering of forest between 9000 and 10,500 feet render comparisons between this zone and the more open and less cloudy regions above and below anomalous, for reasons that will be apparent after the above remarks.

The chief rainfall on the Himalaya, like that of India generally, occurs in the summer months between May and October, the remainder of the year being comparatively dry. The physical causes which give rise to the south-west monsoon, under which name is known the season of summer rain as well as the south-westerly winds which accompany it, have been sufficiently explained in the article on ASIA, to which the reader is referred for further details.

The fall of rain over the great plain of northern India gradually diminishes in quantity, and begins later, as we pass from east to west. At the same time the rain is heavier as we approach the Himalaya, and the greatest falls are measured on its outer ranges ; but the quantity is again much diminished as we pass onward across the chain, and on arriving at the border of Tibet, behind the great line of snowy peaks, the rain falls in such small quantities as to be hardly susceptible of measurement.

An important agent in distributing the rain which falls over the Himalaya, if indeed it be not the essential one, is found in the diurnal currents of wind which are established from the plains towards the mountains, and vice versa, blowing up the valleys towards the main watershed from about 8 A.M. to 8 P.M., and in the opposite direction during the corresponding hours of the night. These diurnal winds, which are a very striking phenomenon, and blow in the afternoon with great force along the Himalayan and Turkish watersheds and the neighbouring parts of the plain of Tibet, are common to all mountains, and are no doubt due to the disturbances of the planes of equal atmospheric pressure in a direction transverse to the mountains, caused by the unequal diurnal expansion and contraction of the columns of air respectively over the plains and mountains, the former being obviously longer than the latter, so that the planes of equal pressure are lifted by expansion higher over the plains during the day, and depressed by contraction during the night, thereby setting up currents to and from the highest region of the mountains, as these alternating actions take place.

The condensation of vapour from the ascending currents thus set up across the Himalaya from the Indian plain, and their gradual exhaustion by repeated precipitations as they cross successive ranges, is manifested to the traveller on the face of the mountains themselves, by the changes observed in the vegetation on passing to leeward of any important range, and more especially the line of great snow peaks. In the rainy months in the higher parts of the chain the southern face of each ridge is clothed by the day upwind with a crest of cloud, which hangs upon it, the northern face being often left entirely free, thus showing how large a portion of the vapour is arrested, and showing also that it is only up the deeper gorges that a small supply of moisture finds its way to the Tibetan table-land.

The yearly rainfall, which amounts to between 60 and 70 inches in the delta of the Ganges, is reduced to about 40 inches where that river issues from the mountains on the 78th meridian, and is no more than 30 inches near the foot of the mountains at the issue of the Indus. At Darje-ling, at about 7000 feet on the east, on the outer border of the mountains, it amounts to about 120 inches ; at Naini-tal, at about the same elevation and simil'irly situated in 79|° E. long., it is about 90 inches; and further west it is still more reduced in quantity. In passing from the exterior to the interior of the chain the quantity greatly diminishes. In Kumaon, while in three months 49 inches was registered at Naini-tal on the outer range, only 19 inches fell at Almora, at 5600 feet, 30 miles further in. At Joshimath, 50 miles onward and close under great snowy peaks, at 6500 feet, 22 inches were measured in the same period; while at Niti, 11,500 feet behind the snowy peaks, the fall did not exceed 5J inches. In a week of rainy weather, when 1-| inches fell at Joshimath, half an inch was measured at Niti; while beyond the Tibetan watershed during the same period the rain fell in a very faint drizzle which could not be measured at all. Similar facts might be quoted from the eastern mountains.





In the eastern Himalaya the ordinary winter limit of snow is 6000 feet, and it is rare for even 3 inches to remain as many days on the ground on a southern exposure at 7000 feet. In Kumaon, on the west, it is pretty certain that snow will fall every year at about 0500 feet, and at 5000 feet it will not fail one year out of ten; the lowest level to which sporadic snowfalls are known to descend is about 2500 feet, of which two or three instances have occurred in the present century. At Peshawar, at an elevation of a little above 1000 feet, snow occasionally falls, but very rarely. At L6, in western Tibet, the results of two years observations indicate that the depth of snow that falls is less than 2 feet, the heaviest continued fall measuring 8 inches and lasting three days, at an elevation of 12,500 feet Depths of 3 feet have been measured on passes between 17,000 feet and 19,000 feet above the sea. On the Indian watershed the falls are much heavier, and even in Septem-ber the passes are sometimes quite blocked by the falls which commonly occur after the equinox, and they are not usually open again till the middle of June.
It is now satisfactorily established that the snow line, or the level to which snow recedes in the course of the year, ranges from 15,000 to 16,000 feet on the southern ex-posures of the Himalaya that carry perpetual snow, along all that part of the chain that lies between Sikim and the Indus. It is probably not till December that the snow begins to descend for the winter, though after September light falls occur which cover the higher mountains down to 12,000 feet, but these soon disappear. On the Indian watershed the snowline is not lower than 18,500 feet, and on the summit of the table-land it reaches a height of about 20,000 feet. On all the higher passes into Tibet the vegetation reaches to about 17,500 feet, and in August they may all be crossed in ordinary years, even up to 18,100 feet, without finding any snow upon them; and it is as impossible to find snow in the summer on the great plain of Gug6 in western Tibet, at 15,500 feet above the sea, as on the plains of India.
There was at one time much discussion as to the true cause of the level of the snow line being higher in Tibet than on the outer ranges of the Himalaya. But the reason is obvious, namely, the greater quantity of snow that falls on the exterior ranges. The snow line marks the limit beyond which some snow always remains unmelted, that is, the point where on the average of years the summer heat will destroy the winter's snow. The main element in determining such a point will evidently be the quantity of winter snow that falls, the summer heat being not very different over the whole area. That the fall of snow on the outer ranges is greater than it is nearer the watershed at the same elevation is beyond doubt, and the smaller quantity of snow is more easily and earlier melted.

It was long affirmed that there were no true glaciers in the Himalaya, and ingenious arguments were adduced to account for their absence. But, in fact, they abound along all the higher ranges precisely in those circumstances under which they are found elsewhere, and all the phenomena observed elsewhere in connexion with them are reproduced in these mountains.

The level to which the Himalayan glaciers descend is very various, being greatly dependent on local conditions, principally the extent and elevation of the snow basins which feed them, and the slope and position of the mountain on which they are formed. A glacier formed on the southern face of the Himalaya may readily be in a position in which it might, with a length of 10 miles, descend from 18,000 feet to 11,500 feet. But in Tibet, or in the highest valleys, it might as readily happen that in 10 miles no lower level than 16,000 feet could be reached. With a larger snow basin on the south the greater waste in reaching the lower level might easily be compensated, while no conceivable supply would enable the Tibetan glacier to reach 11,500 feet, to do which it must extend perhaps 100 miles. These considerations will sufficiently explain the fact that the glaciers on the outer slopes of the Himalaya descend much lower than is commonly the case in Tibet, or in the most elevated valleys near the watershed. The glaciers of Sikim and the eastern mountains are believed not to reach a lower level than 13,500 or 14,000 feet. In Kumaon many of them descend to between 11,500 and 12,500 feet. In the higher valleys aud Tibet 15,000 and 16,000 feet is the ordinary level at which they end, but there are exceptions which descend far lower. In Europe the glaciers descend between 3000 and 5000 feet below the snow line, and in the Himalaya and Tibet about the same holds good. The summer temperatures of the points where the glaciers end on the Himalaya also correspond fairly with those of the corresponding positions in European glaciers, viz., for July a little below 60° Fahr., August 58°, and September 55°.

Measurements of the movement of Himalayan glaciers have been made which also give results according closely with those obtained under analogous conditions in the Alps, viz., rates from 9 J to 14J inches in twenty-four hours. The motion of one glacier from the middle of May to the middle of October averaged 8 inches in the twenty-four hours. The average yearly motion of the glacier of the Aar is said to be 7J inches in twenty-four hours. The dimensions of the glaciers on the outer Himalaya, where as before remarked, the valleys descend rapidly to lower levels, are fairly comparable with those of Alpine glaciers, though frequently much exceeding them in length—8 or 10 miles not being unusual. In the elevated valleys of northern Tibet, where the destructive action of the summer heat is far less, the development of the glaciers is enormous. At one locality in north-western Ladàk there is a continuous mass of snow and ice extending across a snowy ridge, measuring no less than 64 miles between the extremities of the two glaciers at its opposite ends. Another single glacier has been surveyed 36 miles long.

In connexion with almost all the Himalayan glaciers of Former which precise accounts are forthcoming are found ancient exten-moraines indicating some previous condition in which °°on their extent was much larger than now. In the east these preSent moraines are very remarkable, extending 8 or 10 miles, limits. In the west they seem not to go beyond 2 or 3 miles, and they have been observed on the summit of the table-land as well as on the Himalayan slope. The explanation suggested to account for the former great extension of glaciers in Norway would seem applicable here. Any modification of the coast-line which should submerge the area now occupied by the North-Indian plain, or any considerable part of it, would be accompanied by a much wetter and more equable climate on the Himalaya ; more snow would fall on the highest ranges, and less summer heat would be brought to bear on the destruction of the glaciers, which would receive larger supplies and descend lower. Such an explanation is not inconsistent with what is known of the geological formation of the mountains, and appears to be otherwise supported by the evidence of a greater former extension of the lakes of Tibet, and of the former existence of rivers flowing from the Himalaya between the Jumna and the Sutlej, the dry beds of which are now to be traced, in which water is never seen. Till now no geological evidence has been adduced to indicate in this region any-thing corresponding to the glacial epochs of northern Europe, to which these former extensions of the glaciers could be attributed.

Speaking broadly, the general type of the flora of the Botany, lower, hotter, and wetter regions, which extend along the General great plain at the foot of the Himalaya, and include the cluyrac-valleys of the larger rivers which penetrate far into the 0f flora" mountains, does not differ from that of the contiguous Malayan peninsula and islands, though the tropical and insular character gradually becomes less marked as we pass from east to west, where, with a greater elevation and distance from the sea and higher latitude, the rainfall and humidity diminish and the winter cold increases. The vegetation of the western part of the plain and of the hot test zone of the western mountains thus becomes closely allied to, or almost identical with, that of the drier parts of the Indian peninsula, more especially of its hilly portions ; and, while a general tropical character is preserved, forms are observed which indicate the addition of an Afghan as well as of an African element, of which last the gay lily Gloriosa superba is an example, pointing to some previous connexion with Africa.

The European flora, which is diffused from the Méditer- Relation ranean along the high lands of Asia, extends to the Hima- t0 ueigh-laya ; many European species reach the central parts of bourmS the chain, though few reach its eastern end, while genera common to Europe and the Himalaya are abundant throughout and at all elevations. From the opposite quarter an influx of Japanese and Chinese forms, such as the rhododendrons, the tea plant, Aucuba, Helvdngia, Shimmia, Adamia, Goughia, and others, has taken place, these being more numerous in the east and gradually disappearing in the west. On the higher and therefore cooler and less rainy ranges of the Himalaya the conditions of temperature requisite for the preservation of the various species are readily found by ascending or descending the mountain slopes, and therefore a greater uniformity of character in the vegetation is maintained along the whole chain. At the greater elevations the species which are identical with those of Europe become more frequent, and in the alpine regions many plants are found identical with species of the Arctic zone. On the Tibetan plateau, with the increased dryness, a Siberian type is established, with many true Siberian species and more genera; and some of the Siberian forms are further disseminated, even to the plains of Upper India. The total absence of a few of the more common forms of northern Europe and Asia should also be noticed, among which may be named Tilia, Fagus, Arbutus, Erica, Azalea, and Cistacece. Eastern In the more humid regions of the east the mountains are almost everywhere covered with a dense forest which reaches up to 12,000 or 13,000 feet. Many tropical types here ascend to 7000 feet or more. To the west the upper limit of forest is somewhat lower, from 11,500 to 12,000 feet, and the tropical forms usually cease at 5000 feet.

In Sikim the mountains are covered with dense forest of tall umbrageous trees, commonly accompanied by a luxuriant growth of under shrubs, and adorned with climb-ing and epiphytal plants in wonderful profusion. In the tropical zone large figs abound, Terminalia, Shorea (sal), laurels, many Leguminosce, Bombax, Artocarpus, bamboos, and several palms, among which species of Calamus are remarkable, climbing over the largest trees; and this is the western limit of Cycas and Myristica (nutmeg). Plantains ascend to 7000 feet. Pandanus and tree-ferns abound. Other ferns, Scitaminece, orchids, and climbing Aroidece are very numerous, the last-named profusely adorning the forests with their splendid dark-green foliage. Various oaks descend within a few hundred feet of the sea-level, increasing in numbers at greater altitudes, and becoming very frequent at 4000 feet, at which elevation also appear Aucuba, Magnolia, cherries, Pyrus, maple, alder, and birch, with many Ai-aliace.ee, HoUbollea, Skimmia, Daphne, Myrsine, Symplocos, and Rubus. Rhododendrons begin at about 6000 feet and become abundant at 8000 feet, from 10,000 to- 14,000 feet forming in many places the mass of the shrubby vegetation which extends some 2000 feet above the forest. Epiphytal orchids are extremely numerous between 6000 and 8000 feet. Of the Coniferse, Podocarpus and Pinus longifolia alone descend to the tropical zone; Abies Brunoniana and Smithiana and the larch (a genus not seen in the western mountains) are found at 8000, and the yew and Picea Webbiana at 10,000 feet. Pinus excelsa, which occurs in Bhotan, is absent in the wetter climate of Sikim. Inner On the drier and higher mountains of the interior of the ranges, chain, the forests become more open, and are spread less uniformly over the hill-sides, a luxuriant herbaceous vegeta-tion appears, and the number of shrubby Leguminosce, such as Desmodium and Indigo/era, increases, as well as Ranun-cidacece, Rosacea', Umbelliferce, Labiatce, Graminece, Cype-racece, and other European genera. Alpine The alpine flora of Sikim closely resembles that of the and western Himalaya, and so far as generic forms are concerned, Tibetan that of the alpine regions of Europe and western Asia, ^egion. rpjlg vegetation 0f the, Tibetan region appears on rising above 14,000 feet, and its last representatives reach even to 18,000 feet.

Passing to the westward, and viewing the flora of central Kumaon, which province holds a central position on the _am™" cnam> 011 tb-e 80th meridian, we find that the gradual decrease of moisture and increase of high summer heat are accompanied by a marked change of the vegetation. The tropical forest is characterized by the trees of the hotter and drier parts of southern India, combined with a few of European type. Among them are Moringa, Bombax, Butea, Anogeissus, Erythrina, Acacia, Bauhinia, Nauclea, and Ulmus integrifolia. Pinus longifolia descends almost to the level of the plains. Among the more common shrubs are Zizyphus, Adhatoda, Calotropis, Carissa. Ferns are more rare, and the tree-ferns have disappeared. Thf species of palm are also reduced to two or three, and bamboos, though abundant, are confined to a few species.

The outer ranges of mountains are mainly covered with The forests of Pinus longifolia, rhododendron, oak, and Pieris. outer At Naini-tal cypress is abundant. The shrubby vegetation j?"^'' comprises Rosa, Rubus, Indigofera, Desmodium, Berberís, Bcehmeria, Viburnum, Clematis, with an Arundinaria. Of herbaceous plants species of Ranunculus, Potentilla, Geranium, Thalictrum, Primula, Gentiana, and many other European forms are common. In the less exposed locali-ties, on northern slopes and sheltered valleys, the European forms become more numerous, and we find species of alder, birch, ash, elm, maple, holly, hornbeam, Pyrus, &c. At greater elevations in the interior, besides the above are met Corylus, the common walnut, found wild throughout the range, horse chestnut, yew, also Picea Webbiana, Pinus excelsa, Abies Smithiana, Cedrus Deodara (which tree does not grow spontaneously east of Kumaon), and several junipers. The denser forests are commonly found on the northern faces of the higher ranges, or in the deeper valleys, between 8000 and 10,500 feet. The woods on the outer ranges from 3000 up to 7000 feet are more open, and consist mainly of evergreen trees.

The herbaceous vegetation does not differ greatly, Her-generically, from that of the east, and many species of tiaceous Primidacece, Ranunculacece, Crucifera;, Labiatce, and ^^ta~ Scroplmlariacece occur; balsams abound, also beautiful forms of Campanuláceas, Gentiana, Meconopsis, Saxifraga, and many others.

Cultivation hardly extends above 7000 feet, except in the Cultiva-valleys behind the great snowy peaks, where a few fields of tl0n-buckwheat and Tibetan barley are sown up to 11,000 or 12,000 feet. At the lower elevations rice, maize, and millets are common, wheat and barley at a somewhat higher level, and buckwheat and amaranth usually on the poorer lands, or those recently reclaimed from forest. Besides these, most of the ordinary vegetables of the plains are reared, and potatoes have been introduced in the neighbourhood of all the English stations.

As we pass to the west the species of rhododendron, oak, Flora of and Magnolia are much reduced in number as compared most to the eastern region, and both the Malayan and Japanese ^gS*ern forms are much less common. The herbaceous tropical and semi-tropical vegetation likewise by degrees disappears, the Scitaminece, epiphytal and terrestrial Orchidece, Aracece, Cyrtandracecv, and Begonice only occur in small numbers in Kumaon, and scarcely extend west of the Sutlej. In like manner several of the western forms suited to drier climates find their eastern limit in Kumaon. In Kashmir the plane and Lombardy poplar flourish, though hardly seen further east, the cherry is cultivated in orchards, and the vegetation presents an eminently European cast. The alpine flora is slower in changing its character as we pass from east to west, but in Kashmir the vegetation of the higher mountains hardly differs from tha' of the mountains of Afghanistan, Persia, and Siberia, even in species.

The flora of western Tibet is essentially European in its Of character. The juniper and poplar are the only trees that w^*ni are seen, excepting fruit-trees, which include apricot, pear, and grape. The shrubby plants include small forms of willow, elm, Lonicera, rose, Myricaria, Ephedra, and Hippophae. The ordinary firewood of the more elevated tracts is supplied by bushes of Caragana, the furze of travellers, and dwarf Lonicera and willow. Species of Astragalus, Urtica, Allium, small Gruciferce and saxifrages. Saussurea, and Rheum are common. Artemisice and many salt-plants, with Glaux maritima and Triglochin, are found, especially on the o borders of the salt lakes. Mosses and ferns are very rare. Many European grasses and Carices occur in the pastures. The herbaceous vegetation ascends freely to 16,000 feet, and isolated plants may be found as high as 19,000 feet; but excepting in the close neighbour-hood of small streams the growth is very scanty, and not one-twentieth of the surface is commonly clothed with vegetation. Barley is cultivated up to 15,000 feet, wheat, millet, and rape, with buckwheat, being common up to 12,000 feet. Apples and apricots grow up to 11,000 and 12,000 feet, and grapes to 9000 feet.

The total number of flowering plants inhabiting the range amounts probably to 5000 or 6000 species, among which may be reckoned several hundred common English plants chiefly from the temperate and alpine regions; and the characteristic of the flora as a whole is that it contains a general and tolerably complete illustration of almost all the chief natural families of all parts of the world, and has comparatively few distinctive features of its own.

The timber trees of the Himalaya are very numerous, but few of them are known to be of much value, and the difficulties of transport are so great as to render their removal to a distance in many cases impracticable. The " S41" is one of the most valuable of the trees ; with the " Toon " and " Sissoo," it grows in the outer ranges most accessible from the plains. The "Deodar" is also much used, but the other pines produce timber that is not durable. Bamboos grow everywhere along the outer ranges, and ratans to the eastward, and are largely exported for use in the plains of India. Other vegetable products of economical value, excluding the ordinary cereals and esculent plants, are not numerous ; and the primitive condition of the people and the difficulties and expense of carriage are so great as to render the trade in such articles very insignificant.

Though one species of coffee is indigenous in the hotter Himalayan forests, the climate does not appear suitable for the growth of the plant which supplies the coffee of commerce. The cultivation of tea, however, is now carried on successfully on a large scale, both in the east and west of the mountains, and has already become an important item of the export trade of India. In the western Himalaya the cultivated variety of the tea plant of China has been introduced, and succeeds well; on the east the indigenous tea of Assam, which is not specifically different, and is perhaps the original parent of the Chinese variety, is now almost everywhere preferred. The produce of the Chinese variety in the hot and wet climate of the eastern Himalaya, Assam, and eastern Bengal is neither so abundant nor so highly flavoured as that of the indigenous plant, and therefore not so commercially valuable.

The cultivation of the cinchona, several species of which have been introduced from South America and naturalized in the Sikim Himalaya, is still in its infancy, but promises to yield at a comparatively small cost an ample supply of the precious febrifuge that is extracted from its bark. At present the manufacture is almost wholly in the hands of the Government, and the drug prepared is all disposed of in India. The progress of cinchona cultivation on the Nilgherries is not less promising than on the Himalaya.

The general distribution of animal life on these mountains is manifestly determined by much the same conditions that have controlled the vegetation. The connexion with Europe on the north-west, with China on the north-east, with Africa on the south-west, and with the Malayan region on the south-east is manifest; and the greater or less prevalence of the European and Eastern forms varies according to more western or eastern position on the chain. So far as is known these remarks will apply to the extinct as well as to the existing fauna. The Palaeozoic forms found in the Himalaya are very close to those of Europe, and in some cases identical. The Triassic fossils are still more closely allied, more than a third of the species being identical. Among the Jurassic Mollusca, also, are many species that are common in Europe. The Siwalik fossils contain 81 species of mammals of 45 genera, the whole bearing a marked resemblance to the Miocene fauna of Europe, but containing a larger number of genera still existing, especially of ruminants, and as before stated now held to be of Pliocene age.

The fauna of the Tibetan Himalaya is essentially Euro- Fauna of pean, or rather that of the northern half of the old con- Tibetan tinent, which region has by zoologists been termed Palae- region, arctic. Among the characteristic animals may be named the ydk, from which is reared a cross breed with the ordinary horned cattle of India locally called " zobu," many wild sheep, and two antelopes, as well as the musk-deer ; several hares and some burrowing animals, including pikas (Lagomys) and two or three species of marmot; cer-tain arctic forms of carnivora—fox, wolf, lynx, ounce, marten, and ermine; also wild asses. Among birds are found bustard and species of sand-grouse and partridge; water-fowl in great variety, which breed on the lakes in summer and migrate to the plains of India in winter; the raven, hawks, eagles and owls, a magpie, and two kinds of chough; and many smaller birds of the passerine order, amongst which are several finches. Beptiles, as might be anticipated, are far from numerous, but a few lizards are found, belonging for the most part to types, such as Phrynocephalus, characteristic of the Central-Asiatic area. The fishes from the head waters of the Indus also belong, for the most part, to Central-Asiatic types, with a small admixture of purely Himalayan forms. Amongst the former are several peculiar small-scaled carps, belonging to the genus Schizothorax and its allies.

The ranges of the Himalaya, from the border of Tibet Of Him-to the plains, form a zoological region which is one of the ^aya, richest of the world, particularly in respect to birds,- to s™e" which the forest-clad mountains offer almost every range of temperature.

Only two or three forms of monkey enter the mountains, tiie langur, a species of Semnopithecus, ranging up mals. to 8000 or 9000 feet. No lemurs occur, although a species is found in Assam, and another in southern India. Bats are numerous, but the species are for the most part not peculiar to the area; several European forms are found at the higher elevations. Moles, which are unknown in the Indian peninsula, abound in the forest regions of the eastern Himalayas at a moderate altitude, and shrews of several species are found almost everywhere; amongst them are two very remarkable forms of water-shrew, one of which, however, Nectogale, recently discovered, is probably Tibetan rather than Himalayan. Bears are common, and so are a marten, several weasels and otters, and cats of various kinds and sizes, from the little spotted Felis bengalensis, smaller than a domestic cat, to animals like the clouded leopard rivalling a leopard in size. Leopards are common, and the tiger wanders to a considerable elevation, but can hardly be considered a permanent inhabitant, except in the lower valleys. Civets, the mungoose (Ichneumon), and tree-cats (Paracloxurus) are only found at the smaller elevations. Wild dogs (Cuon) are common, but neither foxes nor wolves occur in the forest area. Besides these carnivora some very peculiar forms are found, the most remarkable of which is jtlurus, sometimes called the cat-bear, a type peculiar to the Himalaya. Two other genera, Helictis, an aberrant badger, and Prionodon, an aberrant civet, are representatives of Malayan types. Amongst the rodents squirrels abound, and the so-called flying squirrels with a membranous expansion or parachute between their fore and hind legs are represented by several species. Rats and mice swarm, both kinds and individuals being numerous, but few present much peculiarity, a bamboo rat (Rkizomys) from the base of the eastern Himalaya being perhaps most worthy of notice. Two or three species of vole (Arvicold) have been detected, and porcupines are common. The elephant is found in the outer forests as far as the Jumna, and the rhinoceros as far as the Sarda; the spread of both of these animals as far as the Indus and into the plains of India, far beyond their present limits, is authenticated by historical records ; they have probably retreated before the advance of cultivation and fire-arms. Wild pigs are common in the lower ranges, and one peculiar genus of pigmy-hog (Porcidia) of very small size inhabits the forests at the base of the mountains in NepAl and Sikim. Deer of several kinds are met with, but do not ascend very high on the hill sides, and belong exclusively to Indian forms. The musk deer keeps to the greater elevations. The chevrotains of India and the Malay countries are unrepresented. The gaur or wild ox is found at the base of the hills. Three very characteristic ruminants, having some affinities with goats, inhabit the Himalaya; these are the " serraw," "goral," and " tahr," the last-named ranging to rather high elevations. Lastly, the pangolin or manis is represented by two species in the eastern Himalaya. A dolphin living on the Ganges ascends that river and its affluents to their issue from the mountains. Birds. Almost all the orders of birds are well represented, and the marvellous variety of forms found in the eastern Himalaya is only rivalled in Central and South America. Eagles, vultures, and other birds of prey are seen soaring high over the highest of the forest-clad ranges. Owls are numerous, and a small species, Glaucidium, is conspicuous, breaking the stillness of the night by its monotonous though musical cry of two notes. Several kinds of swifts and nightjars are found, and gorgeously-coloured trogons, bee-eaters, rollers, and beautiful kingfishers and barbets are common. Several large hornbills inhabit the highest trees in the forest. The parrots are restricted to parrakeets, of which there are several species, and a single small lory. The number of woodpeckers is very great, and the variety of plumage remarkable, and the voice of the cuckow, of which there are numerous species, resounds in the spring as in Europe. It is impossible to do more than indicate some of the chief passerine birds ; their number is immense. Amongst them the sun-birds resemble in appearance and almost rival in beauty the humming-birds of the New Continent. Creepers, nuthatches, shrikes, and their allied forms, flycatchers and swallows, thrushes, dippers and babblers (about fifty species), bulbuls and orioles, peculiar types of redstart, various sylviads, wrens, tits, crows, jays, and magpies, weaver-birds, avadavats, sparrows, crossbills, and many finches, including the ex-quisitely coloured rose-finches, may also be mentioned. The pigeons are represented by several wood-pigeons, doves, and green pigeons. The gallinaceous birds include the peacock, which everywhere adorns the forest bordering on the plains, jungle fowl, and several pheasants ; partridges, of which the chukor may be named as most abundant; and snow-pheasants and partridges, found only at the greatest elevations. Waders and waterfowl are far less abundant, and those occurring are nearly all migratory forms which visit the peninsula of India,—the only important excep-tion being two kinds of solitary snipe, and the red-billed curlew.

Of the reptiles found in these mountains many are Reptiles peculiar. Some of the snakes of India are to be seen in the hotter regions, including the python and some of the venomous species, the cobra being found as high up as 8000 or 9000 feet, though not common. Lizards are numerous, and as well as frogs are found at all elevations from the plains to the upper Himalayan valleys, and even extend to Tibet.

The fishes found in the rivers of the Himalaya show the yisnes same general connexion with the three neighbouring regions, the Palsearctic, the African, and the Malayan. Of the principal families, the Acanthopterygii, which are abundant in the hotter parts of India, hardly enter the mountains, two genera only being found, of which one is the peculiar amphibious genus Ophiocephalus. None of these fishes are found in Tibet. The Siluridce or scaleless fishes, and the Gyprinidee, or carp and loach, form the bulk of the mountain fish, and the genera and species appear to be organized for a mountain-torrent life, being almost all furnished with suckers to enable them to maintain their positions in the rapid streams which they inhabit. A few Siluridce have been found in Tibet, but the carps constitute the larger part of the species. Many of the Himalayan forms are Indian fish which appear to go up to the highei streams to deposit their ova, and the Tibetan species as a rule are confined to the rivers on the table-land or to the streams at the greatest elevations, the characteristics of which are Tibetan rather than Himalayan. The Salrrwnidce are entirely absent from the waters of the Himalaya proper, of Tibet, and of Turkistan east of the Terektag. On crossing the watershed that leads from the streams flowing into the Indus to those falling into the Oxus, a trout is reported to have been found, though it is said not to live in the Jaxartes or its affluents.

No such general or connected account of the Mollusca, Other insects, or other lower forms of life, of these mountains orders o: exists as will admit of anything but very vague statements jj^n™al regarding them. It is, however, understood that the do same relations with the neighbouring European, Asiatic, and African regions are found to exist as have been noticed as characterizing the other forms of life.

Of the land Mollusca, one-half appear to belong to the Mo1" genera Helix and Bidimus, and about one-third to thellisca' family of Cyclostomidce; the species appear to be for the most part very local, and of about 120 species in all, only about one-tenth are recorded as being found in Tibet or the highest Himalayan valleys.

The Himalayan butterflies are very numerous and brilliant, Insects, for the most part belonging to groups that extend both into the Malayan and European regions, while African forms also appear. There are large and gorgeous species of Papilio, Nymphdlidce, Morphidce, and Danaidce, and the more favoured localities are described as being only second to South America in the display of this form of beauty and variety in insect life. Moths, also, of strange forms and of great size are common. The cicada's song resounds among the woods in the autumn ; flights of locusts frequently appear after the summer, and they are met far within the mountains, carried by the prevailing winds even among the glaciers and eternal snows. Ants, bees, and wasps of many species, and flies and gnats in great variety of form, and possessed of equal variety of powers of annoyance, abound, particularly during the summer rainy season, and at all elevations.

Apart from the connexion which subsists between the Himalaya and the earliest developments of the Hindu religion, there is little in these mountains that is of interest as throwing light on the earlier history of our race. The mythical geography of the Hindus represents the peak of Kailas, the snowy mountain north of the Tibetan lake Kelation of Manasarowar, as the centre of the world, around which of Him- its visionary kingdoms are spread out. The sanctity of Hhulu ° t^16 Himalaya, in Hindu mythology, is known to all, and mytho- thousands of pilgrims from all parts of India still continue logy: to seek salvation in the holy waters of the Ganges, and at mythical its sacred sources in the snowy Himalaya. " He who thinks ge0" on Himachal," says the Manas-khanda, one of the Puranas or holy books of the Hindus, "though he should not behold him, is greater than he who performs all worship at Kashi (Benares). In a hundred ages of the gods I could not tell of the glories of Himachal. As the dew is dried up by the morning sun, so are the sins of mankind by the sight of Himachal." And to those who have performed such a pilgrimage the wondrous snow-clad peaks of the Himalaya, though seen through the atmosphere of the 19th century, seem still to be surrounded with the same halo of glory as of old.

The Ganges, which issues from the mountains at Hardwar, is fed by two principal tributaries which unite about 40 miles higher up, the Alaknanda, far the larger, and the Bhaghirati, the more sacred. The source of the last-named river is in the glacier above the temple at Gangotri, which lies to the north of a great cluster of snowy peaks, on the south of which is found the temple of Kedarnath, and on the east that of BadarinAth. Large glaciers exist near both of these temples, that near Kedarnath feeding the Mandakni, and that near Badarinath feeding the Yishnuganga, which river gives the main supply of water to the Alaknanda. Both the valley above Gangotri and that above Badarinath lead to Tibet, passing through a region of snowy peaks of first-class magnitude. To the west of Gangotri and the Bhaghirati lies the hardly less sacred source of the Jumna and the temples of Jamnotri.

The temple at Badarinath, on the Vishnuganga, as the nath and latter name suggests, is dedicated to Vishnu, and is served by ndttf1'" Pries*'s °f ^he Vaishnava sect, presided over by a "Bawal" or abbot, who is invariably a Brahman from South India. The temple at Kedarnath is dedicated to Shiva, symbolized by the Lingam, and is more especially venerated by the Saiva sect; and the chief priest here, too, is a Brahman from Malabar in the same part of India. The origin of this connexion of the holy places in the Himalaya with southern India is very obscure; possibly, however, it dates back to the 8th or 9th century, to the time of Sankara Acharaya, a native of Malabar, the chief expositor of the Saiva doctrines, who is said to have died at Kedarnath. That the Himalaya and the sources of the Ganges, however, were regarded as holy, and had become places of pilgrimage for Hindus long before this event, or before the development of the two sects that have been here specially named, there can be no reasonable doubt; but how or when the Aryan races of India first developed for them-selves a system of mythology so intimately bound up with these mountains must ever remain a subject of mere speculation.

Remains of Buddhist monasteries and temples on a great scale, the majority of which are believed from inscriptions found on them to date back to about the commencement of the Christian era, are met with along the foot of the western end of the Himalaya, in the Yusafzai country bordering on the Indus, and similar ruins are seen as far west as Jellalabad in Afghanistan. Some of the buildings are doubtless of much greater age, and may go back to the earliest days of Buddhism, about six centuries before our era; and the discovery in this locality of what is probably a contemporaneous copy of Asoka's well-known inscription, cut into the face of a great rock, testifies to the development of a great centre of Buddhism in his days, that is, about 250 B.C. Among these ruins are found fragments of sculpture bearing the impress of the Greek art introduced by the successors of Alexander; and other relics of the Greco-Scythic kings, in the form of numerous coins, have been obtained from the same quarter. The exact point at which Alexander entered India is still a subject of discussion among antiquaries, but it probably was on the line following the skirt of the north-west Himalaya along which the road now runs, and which is known to have been the chief line of traffic for centuries. How the influence of Greek archi-tecture was carried forward both in time and place is illustrated by the curious temple of the sun, or "Marttand," in the valley of Kashmir, the date of which is about 400 A.D.

It would be a task, certainly fruitless, and probably impossible, to endeavour to estimate aright the con-flicting claims to admiration of the scenery of the Himalaya and other great mountain ranges. If some elements of the picturesque be better found elsewhere, and if the softer features of hill, valley, and lake be absent, yet nowhere can the Himalaya be surpassed in the mag-nificence and variety of its forests, or in the wealth and beauty of its alpine flora, which offer to the traveller ever-changing and ever-renewed pictures, combining the charm of former memories with fresh conceptions of the wonderful never-failing profusion of nature; and to the student of natural phenomena of every description surely no grander field will ever be open than that presented by these mountains.

In many circumstances mere magnitude may not be effectual in adding to the apparent grandeur or sublimity of mountain scenery, for everywhere the features nearest to the eye, though absolutely smaller, may cut off from view those of far greater importance which are further removed. And this is often conspicuously true in the valleys of the Himalaya. But the extraordinary scale on which every part of the mountains is developed, the actual vast dimensions of the main features, the apparently endless succession of range after range, of ascent and descent, of valley and mountain top, of river, torrent, and brook, of precipitous rock and grassy slope, of forest and cultivated land, cannot fail to produce impressions of wonder, which are not likely to be equalled and certainly will not be exceeded on any other chain. Upon these mountains alone, of all on the earth, can the traveller, as he climbs their slopes, obtain at a glance a range of vision extending 5 miles in vertical height, from 2000 or 3000 feet to 29,000 feet above the sea, and see spread out before him a compendium of the entire vegetation of the globe from the tropics to the poles. Here may the eye as it sweeps along the horizon embrace a line of snow-clad mountains, such as exist in no other part of the world, stretching over one-third of the entire circle, at a distance of 40 or 50 miles, their peaks towering over a sea of intervening ranges piled one behind another, whose extent on either hand is lost in the remote distance, and of which the nearest rises from a gulf far down beneath the spectator's feet, where may be seen the silver line that marks a river's course, or crimson fields of amaranth and the dwellings of man. Sole represen-tative of animal life, some great eagle floats high overhead in the pure dark-blue sky, or, unused to man, fearlessly sweeps down within a few yards to gaze at the stranger who intrudes among these solitudes of nature. As the sun sinks the cold grey shadow of the summit where we stand is thrown forward, slowly stealing over the distant hills, and, veiling their glowing purples as it goes, carries the night up to the feet of the great snowy peaks, which still rise radiant in rosy light above the now darkening world. From east to west in succession the splendour fades away from one point after another, and the vast shadow of the earth is rapidly drawn across the whole vault of heaven. One more departing day is added to the countless series which has silently witnessed the death-like change that passes over the eternal snows as they are left raising their cold pale fronts against the now leaden sky; till slowly with the deepening night the world of mountains rises again, as it were to a new life, under the changed light of the thousand stars which stud the firmament and shine with a brilliancy unknown except in the clear rarefied air of these sublime heights (E. S.)




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