The Vale of Kashmir is too well known to require description. It is
the 'happy hunting-ground' of the Anglo-Indian sportsman and tourist,
the resort of artists and invalids, the home of pashm shawls and
exquisitely embroidered fabrics, and the land of Lalla Rookh. Its
inhabitants, chiefly Moslems, infamously governed by Hindus, are a
feeble race, attracting little interest, valuable to travellers as
'coolies' or porters, and repulsive to them from the mingled cunning
and obsequiousness which have been fostered by ages of oppression.
But even for them there is the dawn of hope, for the Church
Missionary Society has a strong medical and educational mission at
the capital, a hospital and dispensary under the charge of a lady
M.D. have been opened for women, and a capable and upright
'settlement officer,' lent by the Indian Government, is investigating
the iniquitous land arrangements with a view to a just settlement.
I left the Panjab railroad system at Rawul Pindi, bought my camp
equipage, and travelled through the grand ravines which lead to
Kashmir or the Jhelum Valley by hill-cart, on horseback, and by
house-boat, reaching Srinagar at the end of April, when the velvet
lawns were at their greenest, and the foliage was at its freshest,
and the deodar-skirted mountains which enclose this fairest gem of
the Himalayas still wore their winter mantle of unsullied snow.
Making Srinagar my headquarters, I spent two months in travelling in
Kashmir, half the time in a native house-boat on the Jhelum and Pohru
rivers, and the other half on horseback, camping wherever the scenery
was most attractive.
Enter page number
Page 1 of 101
Words from 1 to 284