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Rambles and recollections of an Indian official!
Major-General Sir W. H. Sleeman, K.C.B.
Gwālior and its Government

On the 22nd,[1] we came on fourteen miles to Gwālior, over some ranges of sandstone hills, which are seemingly continuations of the Vindhyan range. Hills of indurated brown and red iron clay repose upon and intervene between these ranges, with strata generally horizontal, but occasionally bearing signs of having been shaken by internal convulsions. These convulsions are also indicated by some dykes of compact basalt which cross the road.[2]

Nothing can be more unprepossessing than the approach to Gwālior; the hills being naked, black, and ugly, with rounded tops devoid of grass or shrubs, and the soil of the valleys a poor red dust without any appearance of verdure or vegetation, since the few autumn crops that lately stood upon them have been removed.[3]

From Antrī to Gwālior there is no sign of any human habitation, save that of a miserable police guard of four or five, who occupy a wretched hut on the side of the road midway, and seem by their presence to render the scene around more dreary.[4] the road is a mere footpath unimproved and unadorned by any single work of art; and, except in this footpath, and the small police guard, there is absolutely no single sign in all this long march to indicate the dominion, or even the presence, of man; and yet it is between two contiguous [sic] capitals, one occupied by one of the most ancient, and the other by one of the greatest native sovereigns of Hindustan.[5]

One cannot but feel that he approaches the capital of a dynasty of barbarian princes, who, like Attila, would choose their places of residence, as devils choose their pandemonia, for their ugliness, and rather reside in the dreary wastes of Tartary than on the shores of the Bosphorus. There are within the dominions of Sindhia seats for a capital that would not yield to any in India in convenience, beauty, and salubrity; but, in all these dominions, there is not, perhaps, another place so hideously ugly as Gwālior, or so hot and unhealthy. It has not one redeeming quality that should recommend it to the choice of a rational prince, particularly to one who still considers his capital as his camp, and makes every officer of his army feel that he has as little of permanent interest in his house as he would have in his tent.[6]

Phūl Bāgh, or the flower-garden, was suggested to me as the best place for my tents, where Sindhia had built a splendid summer-house. As I came over this most gloomy and uninteresting march, in which the heart of a rational man sickens, as he recollects that all the revenues of such an enormous extent of dominion over the richest soil and the most peaceable people in the world should have been so long concentrated upon this point, and squandered without leaving one sign of human art or industry, I looked forward with pleasure to a quiet residence in the flower-garden, with good foliage above, and a fine sward below, and an atmosphere free from dust, such as we find in and around all the residences of Muhammadan princes.

On reaching my tents I found them pitched close outside the flower-garden, in a small dusty plain, without a blade of grass or a shrub to hide its deformity—just such a place as the pig-keepers occupy in the suburbs of other towns. On one side of this little plain, and looking into it, was the summer-house of the prince, without one inch of green sward or one small shrub before it.

Around the wretched little flower-garden was a low, naked, and shattered mud wall, such as we generally see in the suburbs thrown up to keep out and in the pigs that usually swarm in such places—'and the swine they crawled out, and the swine they crawled in'.[7]

When I cantered up to my tent-door, a sipāhī of my guard came up, and reported that as the day began to dawn a gang of thieves had stolen one of my best carpets, all the brass brackets of my tent-poles, and the brass bell with which the sentries on duty sounded the hour; all Lieutenant Thomas's cooking utensils, and many other things, several of which they had found lying between the tents and the prince's pleasure-house, particularly the contents of a large heavy box of geological specimens. They had, in consequence, concluded the gang to be lodged in the prince's pleasure-house.

The guard on duty at this place would make no answer to their inquiries, and I really believe that they were themselves the thieves. The tents of the Rājā of Raghugarh, who had come to pay his respects to the Sindhia, his liege lord, were pitched near mine. He had the day before had five horses stolen from him, with all the plate, jewels, and valuable clothes he possessed; and I was told that I must move forthwith from the flower-garden, or cut off the tail of every horse in my camp.

Without tails they might not be stolen, with them they certainly would. Having had sufficient proof of their dexterity, we moved our tents to a grove near the residency, four miles from the flower-garden and the court.[8]

As a citizen of the world I could not help thinking that it would be an immense blessing upon a large portion of our species if an earthquake were to swallow up this court of Gwālior, and the army that surrounds it. Nothing worse could possibly succeed, and something better might.

It is lamentable to think how much of evil this court and camp inflict upon the people who are subject to them. In January, 1828, I was passing with a party of gentlemen through the town of Bhīlsā, which belongs to this chief, and lies between Sāgar and Bhopal,[9] when we found, lying and bleeding in one of the streets, twelve men belonging to a merchant at Mirzapore, who had the day before been wounded and plundered by a gang of robbers close outside the walls of the town.

Those who were able ran in to the Āmil, or chief of the district, who resides in the town; and begged him to send some horsemen after the banditti, and intercept them as they passed over the great plains. 'Send your own people', said he, 'or hire men to send. Am I here to look after the private affairs of merchants and travellers, or to collect the revenues of the prince?'

Neither he, nor the prince himself, nor any other officer of the public establishments ever dreamed that it was their duty to protect the life, property, or character of travellers, or indeed of any other human beings, save the members of their own families. In this pithy question the Āmil of Bhīlsā described the nature and character of the government.

All the revenues of his immense dominions are spent entirely in the maintenance of the court and camps of the prince; and every officer employed beyond the boundary of the court and camp considers his duties to be limited to the collection of the revenue. Protected from all external enemies by our military forces, which surround him on every side, his whole army is left to him for purposes of parade and display; and having, according to his notions, no use for them elsewhere, he concentrates them around his capital, where he lives among them in the perpetual dread of mutiny and assassination.

He has nowhere any police, nor any establishment whatever, for the protection of the life and property of his subjects; nor has he, any more than his predecessors, ever, I believe, for one moment thought that those from whose industry and frugality he draws his revenues have any right whatever to expect from him the use of such establishments in return. They have never formed any legitimate part of the Marāthā government, and, I fear, never will.[10]

The misrule of such states, situated in the midst of our dominions, is not without its use. There is, as Gibbon justly observes, 'a strong propensity in human nature to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times'; and, if the people had not before their eyes such specimens of native rule to contrast with ours, they would think more highly than they do of that of their past Muhammadan and Hindoo sovereigns; and be much less disposed than they are to estimate fairly the advantages of being under ours.

The native governments of the present day are fair specimens of what they have always been—grinding military despotisms—their whole history is that of 'Saul has killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands'; as if rulers were made merely to slay, and the ruled to be slain.

In politics, as in landscape, ''Tis distance lends enchantment to the view', and the past might be all couleur de rose in the imaginations of the people were it not represented in these ill-governed states, where the 'lucky accident' of a good governor is not to be expected in a century, and where the secret of the responsibility of ministers to the people is yet undiscovered.[11]

The fortress of Gwālior stands upon a tableland, a mile and a half long by a quarter of a mile wide, at the north-east end of a small insulated sandstone hill, running north-east and south-west, and rising at both ends about three hundred and forty feet above the level of the plain below. At the base is a kind of glacis, which runs up at an angle of forty-five from the plain to within fifty, and, in some places, within twenty feet of the foot of the wall.

The interval is the perpendicular face of the horizontal strata of the sandstone rock. The glacis is formed of a bed of basalt in all stages of decomposition, with which this, like the other sandstone hills of Central India, was once covered, and of the debris and chippings of the rocks above. The walls are raised a certain uniform height all round upon the verge of the precipice, and being thus made to correspond with the edge of the rock, the line is extremely irregular.

They are rudely built of the fine sandstone of the rock on which they stand, and have some square and some semicircular bastions of different sizes, few of these raised above the level of the wall itself.[12] On the eastern face of the rock, between the glacis and foot of the wall, are cut out, in bold relief, the colossal figures of men sitting bareheaded under canopies, on each side of a throne or temple; and, in another place, the colossal figure of a man standing naked, and facing outward, which I took to be that of Buddha.[l3]

The town of Gwālior extends along the foot of the hill on one side, and consists of a single street above a mile long. There is a very beautiful mosque, with one end built by a Muhammad Khan, A.D. 1665, of the white sandstone of the rock above it. It looks as fresh as if it had not been finished a month; and struck, as I passed it, with so noble a work, apparently new, and under such a government, I alighted from my horse, went in, and read the inscription, which told me the date of the building and the name of the founder.

There is no stucco-work over any part of it, nor is any required on such beautiful materials; and the stones are all so nicely cut that cement seems to have been considered useless. It has the usual two minarets or towers, and over the arches and alcoves are carved, as customary, passages from the Korān, in the beautiful Kufic characters.[14] The court and camp of the chief extends out from the southern end of the hill for several miles.

The whole of the hill on which the fort of Gwālior stands had evidently, at no very distant period, been covered by a mass of basalt, surmounted by a crust of indurated brown and red iron clay, with lithomarge, which often assumes the appearance of common laterite. The boulders of basalt, which still cap some part of the hill, and form the greater part of the glacis at the bottom, are for the most part in a state of rapid decomposition; but some of them are still so hard and fresh that the hammer rings upon them as upon a bell, and their fracture is brilliantly crystalline.

The basalt is the same as that which caps the sandstone hills of the Vindhya range throughout Mālwā. The sandstone hills around Gwālior all rise in the same abrupt manner from the plain as those through Mālwā generally; and they have almost all of them the same basaltic glacis at their base, with boulders of that rock scattered over the top, all indicating that they were at one time buried, in the same manner under one great mass of volcanic matter, thrown out from their submarine craters in streams of lava, or diffused through the ocean or lakes in ashes, and deposited in strata.

The geological character of the country about Gwālior is very similar to that of the country about Sāgar; and I may say the same of the Vindhya range generally, as far as I have seen it, from Mirzapore on the Ganges to Bhopāl in Mālwā—hills of sandstone rising suddenly from alluvial plain, and capped, or bearing signs of having been capped, by basalt reposing immediately upon it, and partly covered in its turn by beds of indurated iron clay.[15]

The fortress of Gwālior was celebrated for its strength under the Hindoo sovereigns of India; but was taken by the Muhammadans after a long siege, A.D. 1197.[16] the Hindoos regained possession, but were again expelled by the Emperor Īltutmish, A. D. 1235.[17] the Hindoos again got possession, and after holding it one hundred years, again surrendered it to the forces of the Emperor Ibrāhīm, A.D. 1519.[18]

In 1543 it was surrendered up by the troops of the Emperor Humāyūn[19] to Shēr Khān, his successful competitor for the empire.[20] It afterwards fell into the hands of a Jāt chief, the Rānā of Gohad,[21] from whom it was taken by the Marāthās. While in their possession, it was invested by our troops under the command of Major Popham; and, on the 3rd of August, 1780, taken by escalade.[22] The party that scaled the wall was gallantly led by a very distinguished and most promising officer, Captain Bruce, brother of the celebrated traveller.[23]

It was made over to us by the Rānā of Gohad, who had been our ally in the war. Failing in his engagement to us, he was afterwards abandoned to the resentment of Mādhojī Sindhia, chief of the Marāthās.[24] In 1783, Gwālior was invested by Mādhojī Sindhia's troops, under the command of one of the most extraordinary men that have ever figured in Indian history, the justly celebrated General De Boigne.[25]

After many unsuccessful attempts to take it by escalade, he bought over part of the garrison, and made himself master of the place. Gohad itself was taken soon after in 1784; but the Rānā, Chhatarpat, made his escape. He was closely pursued, made prisoner at Karaulī, and confined in the fortress of Gwālior, where he died in the year 1785.[26]

He left no son, and his claims upon Gohad devolved upon his nephew, Kīrat Singh, who, at the close of our war with the Marāthās, got from Lord Lake, in lieu of these claims, the estate of Dholpur, situated on the left banks of the river Chambal, which is estimated at the annual value of three hundred thousand, or three lākhs, of rupees. He died this year, 1835, and has been succeeded by his son, Bhagwant Singh, a lad of seventeen years of age.[27]


1. December, 1835.

2. Throughout the northern edge of the trap country in Rājputāna, Gwālior, and Bundēlkhand, dykes are rare or wanting.' (W. T. Blandford, in Manual of the Geology of India, 1st ed., Part 1, p. 328.) The dykes mentioned in the text may not have been visited by the officers of the Geological Surrey.

3. 'Basalt generally disintegrates into a reddish soil, quite different from regar in character. This reddish soil may be seen passing into regar, but, as a rule, the black soil is confined to the flatter ground at the bottom of the valleys, or on flat hill-tops, the brown or red soils occupying the slopes' (ibid. p. 433).

4. Johnson, in his Journey to the Western Islands, observes: 'Now and then we espied a little corn-field, which served to impress more strongly the general barrenness.' [W. H. S.] The remark referred to the shores of Loch Ness (p. 237 of volume viii of Johnson's Works, London, 1820).

5. By this awkward phrase the author seems to mean Lucknow, on the east, the capital of the kingdom of Oudh, and Udaipur, to the west, the capital of the long-descended chieftain of Mēwār. Alternatively, the author may possibly have referred to Agra and Gwālior, rather than Lucknow and Udaipur.

6. 'The new city at Gwālior below the fortress is, like the city of Jhānsī, known as the 'Lashkar', or camp. The old city of Gwālior encircles the north end of the fortress. The new city, or Lashkar, lies to the south, more than a mile distant. In January, 1859, the population of the two cities together amounted to 142,044 persons (A.S.R., vol. ii, p. 331).

7. Only those readers who have lived in India can fully understand the reasons why the pigs should frequent such a place, and how great would be the horrors of encamping in it.

8. In the description of the author's encampment at Gwālior, he fell into a mistake, which he discovered too late for correction in his journal. His tents were not pitched within the Phūl Bāgh, as he supposed, but without; and seeing nothing of this place, he imagined that the dirty and naked ground outside was actually the flower-garden. The Phūl Bāgh, however, is a very pleasing and well-ordered garden, although so completely secluded from observation by lofty walls that many other travellers must have encamped on the same spot without being aware of its existence. (Publishers' note at end of volume ii of original edition. )

9. Bhīlsā is the principal town of the Isāgarh subdivision in the Gwālior State. The famous Buddhist antiquities near it are described at length in Cunningham, The Bhīlsā Topes, or Buddhist Monuments of Central India (1854), and in Maisey, Sānchi and its Remains. A full Description of the Ancient Buildings, Sculptures, and Inscriptions at Sānchi, near Bhīlsā, in Central India.

With an Introductory Note by Major-General Sir Alexander Cunningham, K.C.I.E. (1892). It is surprising that so keen an observer as the author appears not to have noticed any of the great Buddhist buildings of Central India.

10. The government of Gwālior has improved since the author wrote. Many reforms have been begun and more or less fully executed. In May, 1887, the vast hoard of rupees buried in pits in the fort, valued at five millions sterling, was exhumed, and lent to the Government of India to be usefully employed. The passive opposition of a court like that of Gwālior to the effectual execution of reforms is continuous and difficult to overcome.

11. The author's description of the ordinary Asiatic government at almost all times and in all places as 'a grinding military despotism' is correct. Sentimental persons in both India and England are apt to forget this weighty truth. The golden age of India, excepting, perhaps, the Gupta period between A.D. 330 and 455, is as mythical as that of Ireland. What Persia now is, that would India be, if she had been left to her own devices.

12. Sir A. Cunningham was stationed at Gwālior for five years, and had thus an exceptionally accurate knowledge of the fortress. His account, which corrects the text in some particulars, is as follows:-'the great fortress of Gwālior is situated on a precipitous, flat-topped, and isolated hill of sandstone, which rises 300 feet above the town at the north end, but only 274 feet at the upper gate of the principal entrance.

The hill is long and narrow; its extreme length from north to south being one mile and three- quarters, while its breadth varies from 600 feet opposite the main entrance to 2,800 feet in the middle opposite the great temple. The walls are from 30 to 35 feet in height, and the rock immediately below them is steeply, but irregularly, scarped all round the hill.

The long line of battlements which crowns the steep scarp on the east is broken only by the lofty towers and fretted domes of the noble palace of Rājā Mān Singh. On the opposite side, the line of battlements is relieved by the deep recess of the Urwāhi valley, and by the zigzag and serrated parapets and loopholed bastions which flank the numerous gates of the two western entrances.

At the northern end, where the rock has been quarried for ages, the jagged masses of the overhanging cliff seem ready to fall upon the city beneath them. To the south the hill is less lofty, but the rock has been steeply scarped, and is generally quite inaccessible. Midway over all towers the giant form of a massive Hindu temple, grey with the moss of ages. Altogether, the fort of Gwālior forms one of the most picturesque views in Northern India' (A.S.R., vol. ii, p. 330).

13. The nakedness of the image in itself proves that Buddha could not be the person represented. His statues are never nude. The Gwālior figures are images of some of the twenty-four great saints (Tīrthankaras or Jinas) of the Digambara sect of the Jain religion. Jain statues are frequently of colossal size. The largest of those at Gwālior is fifty-seven feet high. The Gwālior sculptures are of late date—the middle of the fifteenth century. The antiquities of Gwālior, including these sculptures, are well described in A.S.R., vol. ii, pp. 330-95, plates lxxxvi to xci.

14. This mosque is the Jāmi', or cathedral, mosque 'situated at the eastern foot of the fortress, near the Ālamgīrī Darwāza (gate). It is a neat and favourable specimen of the later Moghal architecture. Its beauty, however, is partly due to the fine light-coloured sandstone of which it is built. This at once attracted the notice of Sir Wm. Sleeman, who, &c.' (A.S.R., vol. ii, p. 370). This mosque is in the old city, described as 'a crowded mass of small flat-roofed stone houses' (ibid. p. 330).

15. The Geological Survey recognizes a special group of 'transition' rocks between the metamorphic and the Vindhyan series under the name of the Gwālior area. 'The Gwālior area is . . . only fifty miles long from east to west, and about fifteen miles wide. It takes its name from the city of Gwālior, which stands upon it, surrounding the famous fort built upon a scarped outlier of Vindhyan sandstone, which rests upon a base of massive bedded trap belonging to the transition period' (Manual of Geology of India, 1st ed., Part l, p. 56).

The writers of the manual do not notice the basaltic cap of the fort hill described by the author, and at p. 300 use language which implies that the hill is outside the limits of the Deccan trap. But the author's observations seem sufficiently precise to warrant the conclusion that he was right in believing the basaltic cap of the Gwālior hill to be an outlying fragment of the vast Deccan trap sheet. The relation between laterite and lithomarge is discussed in p. 353 of the Manual, and the occurrence of laterite caps on the highest ground of the country, at two places-near Gwālior, 'outside of the trap area', is noticed (ibid. p. 356).

These two places are at Rāipur hill, and on the Kaimūr sandstone, about two miles to the north-west. No doubt these two hills are outliers of the Central India spread of laterite, which has been traced as far as Siprī, about sixty miles south of the Rāipur hill (Hacket, Geology of Gwālior and Vicinity, in Records of Geol. Survey of India, vol. iii, p. 41).

The geology of Gwālior is also discussed in Mallet's paper entitled 'Sketch of the Geology of Scindia's Territories' (Records, vol. viii, p. 55). Neither writer refers to the basaltic cap of Gwālior fort hill. For the refutation of the author's theory of the subaqueous origin of the Deccan trap see notes Chapters 14, note 13, and Chapter 17, note 3 ante.

16. In the reign of Muizz-ud-dīn, Muhammad bin Sām, also known by the names of Shibāb-ud-din, and Muhammad Ghorī. He struck billon coins at the Gwālior mint. the correct date is A.D. 1196. The Hījrī year 592 began on the 6th Dec., A.D. 1195.

17. Shams-ud-dīn Īltutmish, 'the greatest of the Slave Kings', reigned from A.D. 1210 to 1235 (A.H. 607-633). He besieged Gwālior in A.H. 629 and after eleven months' resistance captured the place in the month Safar, A.H. 630, equivalent to Nov.-Dec. A.D. 1232. The date given in the text is wrong. The correct name of this king is Īltutmish (Z.D.M.G., vol. lxi (1907), pp. 192, 193). It is written Altumash by the author, and Altamsh by Thomas and Cunningham.

A summary of the events of his reign, based on coins and other original documents, is given on page 45 of Thomas, Chronicles of the Pathān Kings of Delhi. Īltutmish recorded an inscription dated A.H. 630 at Gwālior (ibid. p. 80). This inscription was seen by Bābur, but has since disappeared.

18. Ibrāhīm Lodī, A.D. 1517-26. He was defeated and killed by Bābur at the first battle of Pānīpat, A.D. 1526. the correct date of his capture of Gwālior, according to Cunningham (A.S.R., vol. ii, p. 340), is 1518.

19. Humāyūn was son of Bābur, and father of Akbar the Great. His first reign lasted from A.D. 1530 to 1540; his second brief reign of less than six months was terminated by an accident in January A.D. 1556. The correct date of the surrender of Gwālior to Shēr Shāh was A.D. 1542, corresponding to A.H. 949 (A. S .R., vol. ii, p. 393), which year began 17th April, 1542.

20. Shēr Khan is generally known as Shēr (or Shīr) Shāh. A good summary of his career from A.D. 1528 to his death in A.D. 1545 (A.H. 934 to 952) is given by Thomas (op. cit. p. 393). He struck coins at Gwālior in A.H. 950, 951, 952 (ibid. p. 403).

21. Gohad lies between Etawah (Itāwā) and Gwālior, twenty-eight miles north-east of the latter. The chief, originally an obscure Jāt landholder, rose to power during the confusion of the eighteenth century, and allied himself with the British in 1789 (Thornton, Gazetteer, s.v. 'Gohad').

22. This memorable exploit was performed during Warren Hastings's war with the Marāthās, Sir Eyre Coote being Commander- in-Chief. Captain Popham first stormed the fort of Lahar, a stronghold west of Kālpī (Calpee), and then, by a cleverly arranged escalade, captured 'with little trouble and small loss' the Gwālior fortress, which was garrisoned by a thousand men, and commonly supposed to be impregnable. 'Captain Popham was rewarded for his gallant services by being promoted to the rank of Major' (Thornton, The History of the British Empire in India, 2nd ed., 1859, p. 149).

'It is said that the spot (for escalade) was pointed out to Popham by a cowherd, and that the whole of the attacking party were supplied with grass shoes to prevent them from slipping on the ledges of rock. There is a story also that the cost of these grass shoes was deducted from Popham's pay when he was about to leave India as a Major-General, nearly a quarter of a century afterwards' (A.S.R., vol. ii, p. 340).

23. James Bruce, 'the celebrated traveller', was Consul at Algiers. He explored Tripoli, Tunis, Syria, and Egypt, and travelled in Abyssinia from November 1769 to December 1771. He returned to Egypt by the Nile, arriving at Cairo in January 1773. His travels were published in 1790. He died in 1794.

24. The Sindhia family of Gwālior was founded by Rānojī Sindhia, a man of humble origin, in the service of the Peshwā. Rānojī died about A.D. 1750, and was succeeded by one of his natural sons, Māhādajī (corruptly Mahdaju, &c.) Sindhia, whose turbulent and chequered career lasted till 1794, when he was succeeded by his grand-nephew, Daulat Rāo.

The Marāthā power under Daulat Rāo was broken in 1803, by Sir Arthur Wellesley at Assaye and Argaum, and by Lord Lake at Laswārī. Māhādajī's career is treated fully by Grant Duff, A History of the Mahrattas (1826 and reprint). Mr. H. G. Keene in his little book (Rulers of India, Oxford, 1892) erroneously gives the chiefs name as 'Mādhava Rao'. The anthor's 'Mādhojī' also is wrong.

25. It is impossible within the limits of a note to give an account of the extraordinary career of General De Boigne. His Indian adventures began in 1778, and terminated in September 1796, when he retired from Sindhia's service, and sold his private regiment of Persian cavalry, six hundred strong, to Lord Cornwallis, on behalf of the East India Company, for three lakhs of rupees (about £30,000).

He settled in his native town, Chambéri in Savoy, and lived, in the enjoyment of his great wealth, and of high honours conferred by the sovereigns of France and Italy, until 21st June, 1830. He was created a Count, and was succeeded in the title by his son. See G. M. Raymond, Mémoire sur la Carrière Militaire et Politique de M. le Général Comte de Boigne, 2ième ed., Chambéry, 1830. Nine chapters of Mr. Herbert Compton's book, A Particular Account of European Military Adventurers of Hindustan (London, 1892), are devoted to De Boigne.

26. The cession of Gohad to Sindhia, sanctioned in the year 1805, during the brief and inglorious second term of office of Lord Cornwallis, was effected by Sir George Barlow. The transaction is severely censured by Thornton (History, p. 343) as a breach of faith. Gwālior was given up to Sindhia along with Gohad.

In January 1844, shortly after the battle of Maharājpur, Gwālior was again occupied by the forces of the Company, and the fortress (save for the Mutiny period) continued in British occupation until the 2nd December 1885, when Lord Dufferin restored it to Sindhia in exchange for Jhānsī. In June 1857 the Gwālior soldiery mutinied and massacred the Europeans, but the Maharājā remained throughout loyal to the English Government.

Sir Hugh Rose recaptured the place by assault on the 28th June 1858. In the changed circumstances of the country, and with regard to the modern developments of the art of war, the Gwālior fortress is now of slight military value.

27. The territory of the Dholpur chief is about fifty-four miles long by twenty-three broad. The town of Dholpur is nearly midway between Agra and Gwālior. The revenue is estimated by Thornton (1858) as seven lākhs, not only three lākhs as stated by the author. It was about eight lākhs in 1904 (I.G., 1908).

The book




1893 1915




Annual Fairs held on the Banks of Sacred Streams in India


Hindoo System of Religion


Legend of the Nerbudda River


A Suttee on the Nerbudda


Marriages of Trees—The Tank and the Plantain—Meteors—Rainbows


Hindoo Marriages


The Purveyance System


Religious Sects—Self-government of the Castes—Chimneysweepers—Washerwomen —Elephant Drivers


The Great Iconoclast—Troops routed by Hornets—The Rānī of Garhā—Hornets' Nests in India


The Peasantry and the Land Settlement




The Silver Tree, or 'Kalpa Briksha'—The 'Singhāra', or Trapa bispinosa, and the Guinea-Worm


Thugs and Poisoners


Basaltic Cappings of the Sandstone Hills of Central India—Suspension Bridge—Prospects of the Nerbudda Valley—Deification of a Mortal


Legend of the Sāgar Lake—Paralysis from eating the Grain of the Lathyrus sativus


Suttee Tombs—Insalubrity of deserted Fortresses


Basaltic Cappings—Interview with a Native Chief—A Singular Character


Birds' Nests—Sports of Boyhood


Feeding Pilgrims—Marriage of a Stone with a Shrub


The Men-Tigers


Burning of Deorī by a Freebooter—A Suttee


Interview with the Rājā who marries the Stone to the Shrub—Order of the Moon and the Fish


The Rājā of Orchhā—Murder of his many Ministers


Corn Dealers—Scarcities—Famines in India


Epidemic Diseases—Scape-goat


Artificial Lakes in Bundēlkhand-Hindoo, Greek, and Roman Faith




Pestle-and-Mortar Sugar-Mills—Washing away of the Soil


Interview with the Chiefs of Jhānsī—Disputed Succession


Haunted Villages


Interview with the Rājā of Datiyā—Fiscal Errors of Statesmen—Thieves and Robbers by Profession


Sporting at Datiyā—Fidelity of Followers to their Chiefs in India—Law of Primogeniture wanting among Muhammadans




The Suicide-Relations between Parents and Children in India


Gwālior Plain once the Bed of a Lake—Tameness of Peacocks


Gwālior and its Government


Contest for Empire between the Sons of Shah Jahān


Aurangzēb and Murād Defeat their Father's Army near Ujain


Dārā Marches in Person against his Brothers, and is Defeated


Dārā Retreats towards Lahore—Is robbed by the Jāts—Their Character


Shāh Jahān Imprisoned by his Two Sons, Aurangzēb and Murād


Aurangzēb Throws off the Mask, Imprisons his Brother Murād, and Assumes the Government of the Empire


Aurangzēb Meets Shujā in Bengal, and Defeats him, after Pursuing Dārā to the Hyphasis


Aurangzēb Imprisons his Eldest Son—Shujā and all his Family are Destroyed


Second Defeat and Death of Dārā, and Imprisonment of his Two Sons


Death and Character of Amīr Jumla


Reflections on the Preceding History


The Great Diamond of Kohinūr


Pindhārī System—Character of the Marāthā Administration—Cause of their Dislike to the Paramount Power


Dhōlpur, Capital of the Jāt Chiefs of Gohad—Consequence of Obstacles to the Prosecution of Robbers


Influence of Electricity on Vegetation—Agra and its Buildings


Nūr Jahān, the Aunt of the Empress Nūr Mahal, over whose Remains the Tāj is built


Father Gregory's Notion of the Impediments to Conversion in India—Inability of Europeans to speak Eastern Languages


Fathpur-Sīkrī—The Emperor Akbar's Pilgrimage—Birth of Jahāngīr


Bharatpur—Dīg—Want of Employment for the Military and the Educated Classes under the Company's Rule


Govardhan, the Scene of Kriahna's Dalliance with the Milkmaids




Declining Fertility of the Soil—Popular Notion of the Cause


Concentration of Capital and its Effects


Transit Duties in India—Mode of Collecting them


Peasantry of India attached to no existing Government—Want of Trees in Upper India—Cause and Consequence—Wells and Groves


Public Spirit of the Hindoos—Tree Cultivation and Suggestions for extending it


Cities and Towns, formed by Public Establishments, disappear as Sovereigns and Governors change their Abodes


Murder of Mr. Fraser, and Execution of the Nawāb Shams-ud- dīn


Marriage of a Jāt Chief


Collegiate Endowment of Muhammadan Tombs and Mosques


The Old City of Delhi


New Delhi, or Shāhjahānābād


Indian Police—Its Defects—and their Cause and Remedy


Rent-free Tenures—Right of Government to Resume such Grants


The Station of Meerut—'Atālīs' who Dance and Sing gratuitously for the Benefit of the Poor


Subdivisions of Lands—Want of Gradations of Rank—Taxes


Meerut-Anglo-Indian Society


Pilgrims of India


The Bēgam Sumroo



Abolition of Corporal Punishment—Increase of Pay with Length of Service—Promotion by Seniority


Invalid Establishment


Thuggee and the part taken in its Suppression by General Sir W. H. Sleeman, K.C.B., by Captain J. L. Sleeman

Supplementary Note by the Editor

Additions and Corrections

Maps Showing Author's Route


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