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them; instead of which, some of them, it is to be regretted, are used to find fault with each other's creed, and to point out the rocks and shoals upon which other sects have split, instead of looking out for the whirlpools into which they are themselves rapidly gliding," Oh, we thought, would that religion in England was not taken up as a trade! would that charity and brotherly love were preached up and acted upon, instead of finding fault with their fellow-brethren, and exciting each other to bitter religious hatred, which has for centuries past thrown discord among men, and severed the dearest ties of friendship and love in society!
They were disappointed with our gardens; they are not arranged like those in Bombay, which have "fruit trees standing in the middle, at certain distances, and vegetables growing between them; gravel walks having plants of rose, jessamine, and other scented flowers, on both sides. In England, on the contrary, flowers and fruits are grown in separate pieces of ground, the latter very often of one particular sort, so that, when the season is over, they present a dull appearance." English travellers (Miss Roberts, for example) complain of the heterogeneous mixture of the kitchen and flower gardens in Bombay, as unsightly so much is taste a matter of habit.
The Parsees made a tour in the interior of England, and even visited Scotland, of which they give very faithful details. They will excite the wonderment of untravelled Parsees by the statement that, in this journey, they travelled 1,240 miles in three days and eleven hours, by three sorts of conveyances, on an average at little more than 24d. per mile, and at the rate of 11 miles per hour.
In the chapter on our customs, manners, education, &c., they restrict their notices to the mere external forms, without venturing any critical remarks. With great good feeling, they say: "Our only object is to convey to our countrymen such things as appeared singular to us, and we should consider ourselves very ungrateful and undeserving, received as we have been into families with perfect confidence, if we violated that confidence by making any remarks disrespectful to our good and kind friends."
Such is the curious Journal of these two Parsee travellers, which is a fit counterpart to the "Notes of a Journey to Bombay" by the lamented lady we have just named, and may be read in this country as an amusing and not an uninstructive book.
FROM THE NIGARISTAN.
بر کف مدبر و کف مقبل
زر شود خاک و خاک زر گردد
RAMBLES IN CEYLON.
BY LIEUTENANT DE BUTTS.
THE conical formation of the mountain known by the name of " Adam's Peak" renders it a remarkable object, which, to be recognised, requires only to be seen. To ships approaching the island from the westward, it forms an important landmark, that, although many miles from the sea-coast, is often seen long before any other land is visible above the horizon. Tradition, which assigns to it the honour of being the spot from whence our first parents were ignominiously expelled, gives the Peak that undefinable degree of interest, with which we fondly contemplate the scene of ancient tales and legends old," however unsupported by probability or the credence of mankind. With a brief account of this sacred mountain, for such it is considered by the followers of both Boodhoo and Siva, I propose to conclude my reminiscences of the Kandian provinces.
By the devotees who frequent, and by the curious who visit it, the mountain is usually approached from the side of Colombo. It is situate in the province of Saffragan, one of the finest in the island, and, on account of the facilities of water-communication which it enjoys, one likely to become the most important and valuable. The Kalu Ganga, a river which has its source at the foot of Adam's Peak, and enters the Saffragan district, affords the best line of route to and from that holy hill. It discharges itself into the sea in the neighbourhood of Caltura, a place nearly midway between Galle and Colombo. From Caltura, therefore, most tourists take their departure when about to plunge into the recesses of the Saffragan country, which, although possessing advantages superior to those enjoyed by any other province in the island, is but little known and still less frequented by Europeans.
To make way against the stream of the Kalu Ganga, which, like all other rivers in Ceylon, is extremely rapid, is a tedious operation, that would be intolerable to the most enthusiastic traveller, were it not that the grand character of the country through which the river wanders serves to divert his attention from the contemplation of all the ills that are concentrated in the island paddy-boats.
The river is navigable as far as Ratnapoora, a small village at the base of Adam's Peak, which derives its name from the numerous gems and precious stones that are found in the beds of the tributary streams which here join the Kalu Ganga. Being a central point in Saffragan, Ratnapoora has been selected as a military post, and as the residence of the government agent of that district. A temple, dedicated to Samen, the tutelar deity of the province, is the chief object worthy of attention in the place, and serves as a rendezvous for the pilgrims to the Peak, who generally pass the night within its sacred precincts, before attempting to climb the lofty mountain. From this village the road or path, which leads to the summit of Adam's Peak, follows for a short distance the line of the Kalu Ganga, and then suddenly ascends from the banks of that river. At this point, palanquins or other conveyances must be dispensed with, and the remainder of the journey is necessarily performed on foot. Unlike the mountains of the interior, which gradually attain their extreme altitude, Adam's Peak rises precipitately from the Kalu Ganga to an elevation of seven thousand feet. To reach the celebrated Peak is, therefore, a feat of no ordinary difficulty, and however the fatigue attendant on
the undertaking may affect the devotion of those who visit it from religious motives, there can be no doubt that it acts as an unpleasant sedative on the ardour of the unbelieving but inquisitive Christian.
But all who have stood on that lofty summit, which, towering over all surrounding objects, seems to "dally with the wind and scorn the sun," will readily admit that the toils of the way are more than compensated for by the extensive and beautiful landscape which is on every side seen from Adam's Peak. The view towards the west is that most generally admired. In that direction, the splendid province of Saffragan, with its hills covered with some of the finest timber in the island, and its valleys for the most part in a state of cultivation that forcibly contrasts with the wild character of the mountains within which they are embosomed, stretches towards the ocean, which is distinctly visible in the far distance. When the first rays of the morning sun bathe this landscape in a flood of light, such as is emitted only from the sun of the tropics, and the nocturnal mist, which usually overhangs the depths of valleys, begins to yield to their cheering influence, the gorgeous magnificence of its appearance at that moment is the theme of universal admiration.
The mountains of the interior, amid which those around Newera-Ellia are, by reason of their superior loftiness, most prominent and distinct, afford on the other hand some wild and grand scenery, which is but little inferior to that of the Saffragan province. Adam's Peak is separated from the chain of mountains that intersect the Kandian province by a tract of comparatively low country. Its consequent isolation renders it particularly conspicuous from most of the principal heights in the interior, and it has thus been of eminent service as a trigonometrical point in the survey of the island that, under the superintendence of Colonel Fraser, is now in progress. The web of triangu lation that, under the auspices of the late Colonel Lambton, has been woven over the whole of Southern India, has in no instance been extended to Ceylon, the best maps of which are erroneous in the extreme, and undeserving of the slightest credit. Much of the interior provinces has, however, of late years, been surveyed for civil and military purposes, and there is reason to hope that a map more worthy of the colony will be published in the course of the present year.
The summit of Adam's Peak embraces a flat oblong area of two hundred square yards. Of this space a large portion is occupied by a mass of rock, upon which a gigantic impression of the human footstep is stamped. The impression is slightly, but indelibly, indented on the smooth surface of the rock, and measures nearly five feet and a half in length by thirty inches in average breadth. Believers and sceptics are indifferently permitted to ascend this rock and examine the footprint; but the entrée into a small temple, which is erected upon and adorns this sacred spot, is reserved for the devout disciples of Boodhoo.
Respecting the origin of this sacred footstep, a great variety of opinions exists. The Hindoos, Moors, and Boodhists, all ascribe its sanctity to very different causes. The first of these assert the Hindoo god, Siva, was pleased to bestow on the island this visible sign of his favour. The Boodhists, on the other hand, hold that Boodhoo was the deity in question. But the theory entertained by the Moors, if not more probable, is undoubtedly more interesting, than those of the rival creeds. The Moorish traditions declare that Serendib was the site of Paradise, from whence our first parents were, for their transgressions, expelled to the neighbouring continent of Hindoostan. From the summit of the Peak, the first man was, according to this legend, permitted
to behold for the last time the happy scene of his nativity and existence, while yet in a state of innocence. The mystery of the footprint is thus easily solved.
The interest that may attach to Adam's Peak is, however, infinitely less than that belonging to Anarajahpoora, the ancient capital of Ceylon. This city, and the populous and cultivated country that once surrounded it, are now transformed into an uninhabited desert. Its ruins are situate about midway between the northern extremity of the island and Kandy, from which place it is most easily approached. The investigation of the annals of, and the legends concerning, a place so famous in island story as Anarajahpoora, will naturally lead to the consideration of that highly interesting period of its history, when Taprobane, as Ceylon was called by the Romans, contributed largely to supply the demands of the luxury that marked the decline of the "sometime" mistress of the world.
According to the Maha Wansa, a work to which reference has already been made in a former chapter, and which is held by the Cingalese to contain the most authentic accounts of their early history, Anarajahpoora is a corruption of Anarudhapura, a word derived from the name of a prince who founded the city. A succession of pious monarchs contributed to the embellishment of a locality, for which Boodhoo was believed to have evinced a decided partiality, from the circumstance of his having been sheltered under the umbrageous trees in its vicinity. To commemorate this happy event, a large tree, called the Ski Maha Bodi, has, in all subsequent ages, been the object of the devotion of the devotees who annually undertake a pilgrimage to the "Holy City." The priests of Boodhoo pretend that the Ski Maha Bodi tree has received from the grateful deity the boon of immortal youth and of eternal luxuriance. Not doubting but that, for his own especial purposes, Boodhoo has emancipated his favourite tree from the immutable laws which govern the vegetable as well as the animal world, the credulous pilgrims fondly imagine that the leaves they now behold on the Ski Maha Bodi are those which, when he took upon himself the form of man and visited the earth, protected him from the fierce rays of a vertical sun.
One of the principal objects of attraction to the antiquary, who wanders amid the ruins of Anarajahpoora, is the Sowamahapaaya. The ancient documents relating to the city concur in stating that this was formerly a majestic structure of nine stories. Of these, none are now in existence; but sixteen hundred stone pillars, upon which the building was erected, are still in tolerable preservation. This immense number are disposed in a perfect square, the side of which is about two hundred feet in length. Along each side, at nearly equal distances, forty pillars are ranged. The interval between the rows varies from two to three feet, and the square of the pillars, which, with few exceptions, are uniform in size and height, is two feet.
Around the Sowamahapaaya, which was probably a temple dedicated to the worship of Boodhoo, are six Dagobas, or immense solid domes, the altitude of which is equal to their greatest diameter. They are for the most part surmounted by spiral cones, that in some measure relieve the vastness and massiveness of their gigantic proportions. Like the Pyramids of Egypt, they were designed to commemorate the reign of the monarch to whose honour they were raised. In either case, the simplicity and solidity of the construction have defied the ravages of time, and insured its permanence. But the handiwork of the ignorant labourers of Ceylon, though it may rival and even surpass the massive greatness, wants the elegance and grandeur, that belongs to
the more majestic productions of the Egyptian architects. The Dagobas have a ponderous and ignoble appearance; their magnitude is, however, almost unparalleled, and elicits the admiration or the contempt of the European pilgrim, who may either applaud the perseverance or ridicule the injudicious taste of the ancient islanders. The solid contents of the largest of them have been estimated to exceed four hundred and fifty thousand cubic yards; its greatest diameter and altitude are equal, and measure two hundred and seventy feet.
The extent of Anarajahpoora can still be faintly traced. Its perimeter is believed to have exceeded nine miles, and the ancient walls that encircled the city, and are in some places visible, give some probability to this conjecture. Nearly in the centre of the space formerly occupied by the city, the present mean village, which still retains the name of Anarajahpoora, remains to mark the site of the fallen capital.
During the last ten centuries, Anarajahpoora has been neglected by the monarchs who have successively ruled the destinies of Ceylon. The central position and numerous advantages enjoyed by Kandy would seem to have attracted their attention, and induced them to abandon the unhealthy site of the former seat of government; but, prior to the desertion of the ancient capital, Ceylon attained the highest degree of prosperity which it has, either in former or later ages, experienced. From its discovery in the reign of the first Claudius, it rapidly rose to commercial importance, to which its geographical position, centrically situated with regard to the eastern confines of the Roman empire and the more remote India, mainly contributed. The merchants from China and the Eastern Archipelago awaited at Ceylon, as a midway station, the periodical arrival of the Roman fleets, which, taking advantage of the south-west monsoon, usually accomplished the voyage from the Red Sea to the coast of Taprobane in six weeks. The silks of China, the precious stones of Ceylon, and the rich spices and aromatics of India, were the articles of trade principally sought for by the Roman navigators. In lieu of these trifling but costly objects of luxury, the Romans were unable to barter the manufactures of Europe, and were thus reduced to the necessity of exchanging their silver for the productions of the Eastern world.*
It was estimated that eight hundred thousand pounds sterling were thus annually expended. Of this sum, which must have appeared immense to the Indian merchants of that age, the capital of Ceylon largely participated. There is good reason to believe that the whole of the extensive public buildings and vast Dagobas which adorned, and of which the ruins still indicate the position of, Anarajahpoora, were designed and erected during this era of opulence and national prosperity.
It appears that the Kandian provinces were not, at this remote period, subject to the rule of the sovereign of the sea-bound provinces. The Kandian king "possessed the mountains, the elephants, and the luminous carbuncle," while the rival monarch "enjoyed the more solid riches of domestic industry, foreign trade, and the capacious harbour of Trinquemale, which received and dismissed the fleets of the East and West." With the decay of the Roman empire, the lucrative trade, to which the historian here alludes, gradually declined. The profitable traffic was at length monopolized by the Persian navigators. The subjects of the great king sailed from the Persian Gulf,
• Gibbon's Roman Empire.