Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

CHAPTER VII.

Allahabad.—The Ganges and Jumna.—Shaving operation at

their confluence.—The Allahabad mela.—Antiquity of the
city.-Ancient Hindoo Republic at Allahabad.—Legend of
the Seraswattee river.—The Allahabad fort.—The transmi-

X

[ocr errors]

gration of Akber from a Hindoo Brahmin to a Mahomedan
emperor.—Importance of Allahabad during the mutiny.-
Patalpooree, or the subterranean temple.—Bheerna's Gada or
Lat.—Jehangeer and his Marwaree Begum.—Martial law at
Allahabad.—Stories of the mutiuy.-Hindoostanee peasant-
women.—The Duria-ghaut.—Bhradwaj Muni's hermitage.-
The Chusero Bagh.—The rebel Moulivie and his well.--
Battle of the Shoes.—The future of Allahabad.—The valley
of the Doab.—Berhampore.-Futtehpore.—Cawnpore, past
and present. —Shah Behari Lal's ghaut.-Nana and his
council.-Miss Wheeler.-

The House of Massacre.Intrench-
ments of General Wheeler.—Suttee-Chowra-ghaut.-Ancient
Khetryas and modern Sepoys.—The Ganges canal.—The
visionary attorney.—Idolatry in Hindoostan and Bengal.-
Chowbeypore.- Mera-ka-serai.—Kanouge.—Buddha's tooth
there in former times. The ancient Hindoo citadel.-The
Rang-Mahal.—Hindoo and Mahomedan accounts of Kanouge
criticized.—The Grand Trunk Road in the Doab.—The drought
of 1860.--The famine of 1861.—Mutiny-ruins along the road.

-A mango tope.—Mynporee.—Shecoabad.—The Hindoo-

stanes and Bengalee compared.—Former insecurity and pre-

sent security of travelling in the Doab.-European fugitives

during the mutiny.-Ferozabad.—Field of the wreck of

Hindoo independence. — Approach to Agra

301

[ocr errors]

INTRODUCTION.

TAE Travels of a Hindoo,' by Baboo Bholanauth Chunder, which are now for the first time published in Europe, will be found on perusal to be amon the most remarkable, and certainly among the most original, works which have hitherto appeared in connection with India. These Travels originally appeared from week to week in a Calcutta periodical entitled the ‘Saturday Evening Englishman,' and in that shape they soon attracted public attention. That the author was a Hindoo seemed scarcely open to question. His thoughts and expressions respecting family and social life were evidently moulded by a Hindoo training; whilst his observations and opinions, especially as regards places of pilgrimage and other matters connected with religion, were eminently Hindoo. At the same time, however, his thorough mastery of the English language, and his wonderful familiarity with English ideas and turns of thought, which could only have been obtained by an extensive course of English reading, appear to have led some to suspect that after all the real knight-errant might prove to be a European in the disguise of a Hindoo.

The present writer has been requested by Baboo Bholanauth Chunder to introduce his Travels to the English public; and accordingly considers it desirable in the first place to assure the reader that the Baboo is a veritable

b

VOL. I.

Hindoo, and the author of the entire work. The writer of this introduction has not added or altered a single line or word; and is given to understand that the Baboo has derived no literary assistance whatever from any one, whether Native or European. The Baboo has given his solemn assurance that he is the sole author of the narrative of his travels, and there is no reason whatever for doubting his words. Indeed, he has displayed in personal intercourse an amount of observation and thoughtfulness fully equal to that which characterizes the story of his sojournings. The value of the accompanying volumes is thus abundantly manifest. The Travels of the Baboo in India are not the sketchy production of a European traveller, but the genuine bona fide work of a Hindoo wanderer, who has made bis way from Calcutta to the Upper Provinces, and looked upon every scene with Hindoo eyes, and indulged in trains of thought and association wbich only find expression in Native society, and are wholly foreign to European ideas. European readers must be generally aware of the limited character and scope of the information which is to be obtained from the ordinary run of European travellers in India ; the descriptions, often very graphic, of external life; the appreciation of the picturesque in external nature; the perception of the ludicrous in Native habits, manners, and sentiments; and a moral shrug of the shoulders at all that is strange, unintelligible, or idolatrous :-all, however, combined with an utter want of real sympathy with the people, or close and familiar acquaintance with their thoughts and ways. Now, however, with the assistance of these · Travels,' Englishmen will be enabled, for the first time in English literature, to take a survey of India with the eyes of a Hindoo; to go on pilgrimages to holy places in the company of a guide who is neither superstitious nor profane, but a fair type of the enlightened class of English-educated Bengalee gentlemen.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Our traveller perhaps does not tell us all he knows. Probably, like the candid old father of history, be has been fearful of meddling too much with divine things, lest h should thereby incur the anger of the gods. But so far as he delineates pictures of Indian life and manners, and familiarizes his readers with the peculiar tone of Hindoo thought and sentiment, his Travels are far superior to those of any writer with which we have hitherto become acquainted. Even the observant old travellers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, who went peeping and prying everywhere, mingling freely with Natives, and living like Natives, never furnished a tithe of the stock of local traditions, gossiping stories, and exhaustive descriptions which are here presented to English and Indian readers.

Here it may be advisable to furnish a brief sketch of the author, and to describe the circumstances under which his travels were undertaken. In so doing free use will be made of such personal particulars as he himself thought proper to supply, in addition to such details as could be obtained from more general sources of information. Indeed, upon these points it will be advisable under the circumstances to enlarge more considerably than would otherwise be necessary; for unless the reader is familiarized with the particular religious ideas of the traveller, he will fail to take that interest in the Travels which they are well calculated to excite.

Baboo Bholanauth Chunder is at present a man of about forty years of age. He is by birth a Bengalee, and an inhabitant of Calcutta. He belongs to the class of Bunniahs, a caste of Hindoo traders, who hold the same rank as that of the ancient Vaisyas, or merchants, in the caste system of Maun, which comprises BRAHMANS, or priests ; KSHATRIYAS, or soldiers ; Vaidyas, or merchants, and Sudras, or servile cultivators. A history of the Bunniahs of Bengal would present many points of interest,

« PreviousContinue »