Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

western sea, but they descend so abruptly from the mountains, that they have not time to collect into streams of magnitude.

The Mahanada, Mahanuddy, or Kuttak, rising in the mountains of Bundelcund, traverses, with many windings, the province of Berar and the district of Kuttak in Orissa, frequently changing its name, and dividing into several branches ; and it at length forms a delta covered with jungle, and intersected by the various channels by which it falls into the Bay of Bengal. Its whole course is estimated at 550 miles. The Goda. very (Gadavari) has its source in the Western Ghauts, about 70 miles N.E. of Bombay. After traversing the province of Aurungabad in the Nizam territory, and the Tilligana country, from W. to E., it bends to the S.E., and receives the Bhaigonga, about 90 miles from the sea; having previously been joined by the Wurda, the Silair, and some smaller streams. At Rajamundry,* it separates into two great branches, which again subdivide, falling by many mouths into the Bay, and forming tide-harbours for vessels of moderate burthen. Including the windings, its course may be estimated at 850 miles in length, extending nearly across from sea to sea. This river is held very sacred by the Hindoos of the Deccan, by whom it is called Gunga Godavery, or simply Gunga; and its source, like that of the Bhagiruttee, is fabled to be a cow's mouth.

The Krishna (sometimes written Kistna), which, according to the Mohammedan geographers, bounds the Deccan on the south, (separating it from the Peninsula,) has also its source in the Western Ghauts at not more than 50 miles from the western coast. Its

* Below Rajamundry, it forms, by this division, the fertile island of Nagar, which comprehends about 500 square miles,

direction is to the S.W., till it reaches Merritch in Bejapoor, where it meets the Warnah, composed of several streams from the Ghauts. From this point, it bends more to the eastward, receiving, in its progress through Beeder, Hyderabad, and the Northern Circars, the waters of the Malpurba, the Gutpurba, the Beemah, and the Toombuddra. It forms the northern boundary of the Guntoor Circar, separating it from Condapilly, which, with Ellore, occupies the whole space between this river and the Godavery. After a course of nearly 650 miles, it forms a delta near Masulipatam. This river is also an object of worship, its name, which signifies black, or dark blue, being that of Vishnoo under his ninth incarnation. Like the Ganges, it has its periodical floods; and in the fertility which it creates, it ranks among the most useful of the Indian rivers.

To the south of the Krishna, the principal rivers are, the Pennar, the Palar, and the Cavery. The first of these is believed to have its source not far from Nundydroog in Mysore. It flows northward, till it approaches Gooty, in the Balaghaut; then bends round to S.E., passing by Gandicotte and Cuddapah ; and finally, turning eastward, reaches the sea at Gungapatnam in the Carnatic, 108 miles north of Madras. The Palar also springs from the hills of Nundydroog, but takes a southerly direction, and, after flowing 220 miles through Mysore and the Carnatic, falls into the sea at Sadrass. The Cavery rises among the Coorg hills in the Western Ghauts, near the Malabar coast, and passes through Mysore, Coimbetoor, and the Carnatic below the Ghauts. The city of Seringa. patam stands on an island formed by this river, which is even there large and rapid. Opposite to Trichino. poly, it again divides, and forms the island of Seringham. The northern branch, under the name of the Coleroon, after a course of 80 miles, falls into the sea at Dericotta near Negapatam : it formerly bounded, on the south, the possessions of the Nabob of Arcot. The Cavery is prevented, by an immense mound, from falling into the bed of the Coleroon, which is 20 feet lower at the point where they approximate ; and by the skill and industry of the Hindoos in ancient times, it has been made to flow through a variety of channels, dispensing fertility throughout the province of Tanjore. It at length reaches the sea near the capital, forming a wider delta than any other river in the Peninsula. The whole course of the Cavery is about 300 miles. This river is regarded by the Hindoos as one of their most beneficent deities. The arrival of the waters of the interior, when, swelled by the rains, the river fills the canals, is celebrated with festivity like that which is occasioned at Cairo by the rise of the Nile; and the anniversary of the marriage of the river-goddess to the god Renganaden, is observed by the worshippers of Vishnoo.

There are but few lakes in India. The Chilka lake, which separates the Northern Circars from the Kuttak district, towards the sea, is one of the principal; and this has evidently been formed by the sea breaking over the flat, sandy shore ;-if, indeed, it be not rather the remains of a bay which has been con. verted into a lake by the accumulation of the sands, like those on the Egyptian coast. It is about 35 miles long and 8 broad; bounded, towards the east and south, by a narrow strip of sand, and on the north-west, by the mountains which extend from the Mahanady to the Godavery, and inclose the Northern Circars towards the interior, It receives one branch of the former river, and communicates with the sea by a

PART I.

D

very narrow and deep outlet. The water is salt, and very shallow. The lake contains several inhabited islands. The lake of Pullicat, on the coast of the Carnatic, has evidently a similar origin. It extends 33 miles from N. to S., and is ll miles across in the broadest part, inclosing several large islands. The Coloir lake, in the low tract of alluvial formation between the Krishna and the Godavery, is of a dif. ferent description, being a mere reservoir of the waters deposited by those rivers during the inun. dation, and which are retained by the sinking of the ground into a vast hollow, 47 miles from E. to W. by 14 in breadth. In North Canara, there is an extensive lake, called the lake of Onore, which reaches nearly to the Ghauts. In the dry season, it is almost salt, not having, apparently, any outlet ; but during the rainy season, the waters which it receives from the mountains, render the whole fresh. It abounds with fish, which, when salted, form a considerable article of inland commerce. In Hindostan Proper, there are still fewer lakes. There are two close under the walls of Ajmeer, the more northern of which is six miles in circumference, and very deep.

The nature of the country in the South of India, does not admit of that extensive inland navigation, either by the rivers or by artificial channels, that is carried on in the plains of Hindostan. In the Car. natic, there is a canal, near Fort St. David, connecting the Panaur with the Tripapolore river, which approach within 1800 yards of each other. But the only considerable work of the kind, is the canal made in 1803, from the Black Town of Madras to the river Ennore, 10,560 yards in length, and 12 feet deep, by which charcoal and fire-wood are brought to Madras from the high land behind Pullicat. The canal drawn

from the Jumna to Delhi, a distance of more than 100 miles, the work of the Mohammedan sovereigns, was, in 1810, repaired and cleansed by the Bengal Government. That which was to have communicated with the Sutlej, either was never completed, or has become choked up. There seems no reason, however, to doubt the practicability of thus connecting the waters of the Ganges and the Indus, when the political circumstances of the interjacent territory shall favour the project.

CLIMATE, SOIL, &c.

“ ONLY two seasons,” M. Malte Brun remarks, "are known in India ; the dry and the rainy, produced by the south-west and north-west monsoons.” The climate of India, however, and the alternation of the seasons, are subject to considerable local variations. It is in Southern and Peninsular India only that they are governed by the monsoons, which do not extend far beyond the tropics.* On the Malabar coast, the south-west monsoon commences about the middle of April, and continues till August or September, when it gradually loses its violence, and is succeeded by light, variable winds. Towards the latter end of October, the north-east monsoon begins on this coast ; and, what is singular, like the opposite monsoon, it blows first on the southern part, and is not felt in the northern for about a fortnight after. This monsoon lasts till April. On the Coromandel coast, the south

They are said to extend decidedly to Tatta, in lat. 24° 44', but do not reach Corachie, in lat. 24° 51'. South-west and west winds prevail here and all along the coast of Mekran, from April to October ; but they often veer round to N. and N. W., and are seldom attended with squalls and rain.

« ПредишнаНапред »