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sides other streams of inferior note. In å military view, Major Rennell remarks, this river opens a communication between the different posts, which supersedes the necessity of forming magazines ; thus answering the purpose of a military way through the country, better than the roads of the Romans, and far surpassing the boasted inland navigation of North America, “ where the carrying-places not merely obstruct the progress of an army, but enable the enemy to determine the place and mode of attack.” So admirably are the natural canals formed by these rivers distributed over the flat country, that there is hardly any part of Bengal above twenty-five miles from a navigable river, even in the dry season.
The wood, salt, and provisions of ten millions of people are thus easily conveyed by water. Add to this, the transport of the commercial imports and exports, to the amount of 2,000,0001. sterling per annum, the interchange of manufactures and products throughout the country, the fisheries and travelling ; and some idea may be formed of the extent and importance of this inland navigation, which gives constant employment to not far short of 300,000 boatmen, the most laborious and hardy race in India.*
of 450 miles, joins the Ganges opposite to Patna. 7. The Cosa (or Cusi) rises in Nepaul, near Catmandoo, and flowing S.S.E., after a winding course of about 400 miles, joins the Ganges in the district of Purneah in Bengal. 8. The Teesta (Tishta, standing still), called in Nepaul the Yo Sanpoo, enters Bengal in the district of Rungpoor, and joins the Ganges after a course of about 400 miles. Besides these may be mentioned, 9. The Chumbul, or Sumbul, which has its source in Malwah, and flowing N.E., separates the British possessions in Hindostan Proper from those of Sindia on the south : after a course of 440 miles, it unites with the Jumna, 20 miles below Etaweh in Agra.
* Major Rennell, forty years ago, estimated them at 30,000. “ According to the Ayeen Akbaree,” Mr. Tennant remarks,
The Brahmapootra (commonly called and written Burrampooter), though larger than the Ganges, affords less assistance to commerce : during a great part of its course, it travels eastward through rugged and solitary defiles, seldom approaching the habitations of an opposite course, flowing eastward through Tibet, where it is known under the name of Sanpoo (the River). It passes near Lassa, the residence of the Grand Lama, and to the north of Teshoo Lom. boo, the seat of the Teshoo Lama ; receiving various rivers from the south, and probably from the north also. After a long easterly course, it deviates to the S.E., approaching within 220 miles of Yunnan, the westernmost province of China, and seeming to be making its way to the Gulf of Siam. Its course is now unknown to Europeans, but it is supposed to make a vast circuit round the mountains, before, sud. denly curving to the south, it descends by a series of cataracts into Assam, where it receives a copious augmentation from the numerous tributaries which flow from the mountains on either side.* Here, it first assumes the name of Burrampooter. In this part of its course, which is nearly due W., it separates into two branches, the southern taking the name of Kolong ; but these meet again, after inclosing an island five days' journey in length, and one in breadth. About Goalpara, the frontier town of Bengal, in lat. 26° 8', long. 90° 32', the expanse of the river is very grand ; but its water is impure and even offensive, owing to the quantity of vegetable matter and other wreck with which it is charged. After entering Bengal, it makes a circuit round the western point of the Garrow moun. tains, and then runs southward through the Dacca district, where, in about lat. 24° 10', it is joined by the Megna from Sylhet. This comparatively small river now gives its name to the united stream, which is regularly from four to five miles in width. Eighteen miles S.E. of Dacca, it is joined by the Issamutty, bringing the collected waters of the Dullasery, the Boorigunga, the Luckia, and many smaller rivers : the aggregate forms an expanse of water resembling an inland sea.
It is also among the least sacred of the rivers of India ; although it has been deified, and at a place three days' journey from Dacca, multitudes annually assemble to propitiate it by sacrifice, on the day that it usually begins to rise.* Its sources have never yet been explored, but are believed to be situated on the northern declivity of Himalaya, near Lake Manasarovara in Tibet ; not far from those of the Indus, the Sutlej, and perhaps the Ganges.t It takes, however, contribution to government must have exceeded this number, since it declares that 4000 boats were furnished by Bengal alone, and ten dandies to each boat is no extravagant allowance.... Yet, the trade carried on in this mighty stream, though it passes through the finest country, perhaps, in the world, appears trifling when compared to that of China. The Embassy found 100,000 marines on a single branch of the river Pei-ho."-TENNANT's Indian Recreations, vol. i. p. 51. Mr. Hamilton, however, thinks that some mistake must have occurred in the Major's calculation, “ as they are certainly much nearer ten times that number."-Vol. i. p. 36.
* Ward, vol. i. p. 279.
† D'Anville, for want of better information than was in his time accessible, supposed the Sanpoo (or Tsan-poo) to be the same as the Ava river, which is now believed to be the Nu-kianz of Yunnan. (Rennell, p. 296.) Recent accounts, however, render it not improbable that the sources of the two rivers are not very widely distant; and they are supposed to communicate by intermediate streams. The Ayeen Akbaree states, that the Burrampooter comes from Khatai; but the Assamese, Major Rennell says, affirmed that their river came from the N.W., through the Bootan mountains. The course of the Irrawaddy is known as high as Bamoo, in lat. 24o, long. 96° 56', only twenty miles from the Chinese frontier. To the north of this is the mountainous district of Bong, reaching to Assam on the N., Yun-nan on the E., and Cassay on the W.,
and separating, apparently, the heads of the Birman rivers from the streams which flow into the Assamese valley. Here is supposed to be the source of the Kiayn-duem, (one of the heads of the Irrawaddy,) unless it be a branch from the Brahmapootra.–See Mod. TRAV., Birmah, pp. 203, 244, 249, 250. The NQ-kiang will, per. haps, after all, be found to be the Thaluayn or San-luayn; and the identity of the Brahmapootra and the Tsan-poo must still be rę. garded as problematical.
* See Mod. Trav., Birmah, p. 249,
The course of the Megna is now S.S.E., until, at Luckipoor, it meets the Pudda or eastern branch of the Ganges, and they conjointly roll their muddy waters into the Bay of Bengal. Many islands are formed from the sediment deposited by this vast body of water. Among these are Dukkinshabazpoor, (30 miles in length and 12 in breadth,) Hattia, Sun. deep, and Bamony.* The sand and mud-banks extend 30 miles beyond these islands, and rise in many places within a few feet of the surface; so that future generations will probably see them converted into habitable islands. In the channels between the islands and banks, the sudden influx of the tide, called the bore, attains the perpendicular height of 12 feet ; but, after the tide is past the islands, no vestige of a bore is seen.
The whole course of the Brahmapootra is supposed to be 1650 miles in length. During its course of 400 miles through Bengal, it bears a close resemblance to the Ganges, except in the magnificent breadth which it attains during the last 60 miles before their junction. In Assam, the inundation commences from the northern rivers, which at length fill the Brahma. pootra ; and in May, the waters are usually at their height. In Bengal, the same general description applies to it as to the Ganges. So recently as the year 1765, the Brahmapootra was unknown in Europe as a capital river of India ; its junction with the Ganges was not ascertained when D'Anville wrote ; and it appears quite uncertain, under what name it was known, if at all, to the nations of ancient Europe. *
* Sce note at page 25.
The chief rivers of the Deccan are, the Nerbuddah and the Tuptee, flowing west; the Mahanada, the Godavery, and the Krishna, flowing east. The Nerbuddah is one of the largest rivers which have their rise in the interior of India. Its source is very near that of the Soane, in the table-land of Amerkoontuk, in the province of Gundwana, in lat. 22° 53', long. 82° 15'. While the Soane flows down the eastern declivity, and proceeds in a northerly direction, afterwards bending eastward, to join the Ganges in Babar, the Nerbuddah takes an opposite course, flowing nearly due west, and with fewer curvatures than most of the Indian rivers. After passing along part of Gund. wana, Khandeish, Malwah, and Gujerat, it falls into the Gulf of Cambay, about 25 miles below Baroach (or Barigosha), after a course of about 750 miles. It receives no river of magnitude, and in the dry season is very shallow. The Tuptee (Tapati), or Surat river, has its source also in Gundwana, near the vil. lage of Batool, and, flowing west, reaches the sea about 20 miles below Surat. Its course is very winding, through a fertile country producing much of the cotton exported from Surat and Bombay ; and its length is supposed to be about 460 miles. The mouths of both these rivers are obstructed by bars and shoals. To the south of the Tuptee, the course of all the rivers is to the east, in consequence of the superior elevation of the Western Ghauts. A few rivulets flow into the
Rennell, pp. 355—9. Hamilton's Gazetteer. Malte Brun, b, 4G