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for the purpose of washing away their sins in a holy river. Accordingly the Baboo has made it his object in the following pages to interpret the various national legends and local traditions of the places he has visited, in such a way as to disabuse the minds of Native readers of the superstitious ideas which are at present connected with many of the localities. It is true that the narrative of his travels was also mainly intended for those who could read English ; but the author contemplates publishing a translation in Bengalee for the special purpose above indicated.

The proficiency of Baboo Bholanauth Chunder in the English language has already been noticed; and it should now be remarked that he is deeply indebted for this proficiency to a distinguished poet and essayist, who was widely known in India twenty and thirty years ago under the initials of D. L. R. The productions of this gentleman were honoured with the praise of Macaulay, and his memory is still cherished by his pupils, although it has almost passed away from the present generation of Anglo-Indians. Captain David Lester Richardson held the post of Principal of the Hindoo College at Calcutta, and taught English literature to the two upper classes. At this institution Bholanauth Chunder received tuition for several years, and at that time it occupied the first place in the field of Native education. Indeed, it was the Hindoo College that first sent out those educated Natives, who became distinguished from their orthodox countrymen by the designation of Young Bengal.

Baboo Bholanauth Chunder was naturally familiar from his early years with several places on the river Hooghly in the neighbourhood of Calcutta, such as Penhatty, Khurdah, and Mahesh, which are remarkable for many religious reminiscences connected with the worship of Vishnu, and at which the most reputed Gossains have taken up their residence. The annual fairs and festivals which are held in


those places are frequented by multitudes of people from Calcutta and its neighbourhood; and during his boyhood our traveller frequently visited those spots, and shared in the mingling of amusement with religious worship which is always to be found on such occasions. At a later period bis journeys extended to Serampore and Chinsurah, which in those days could only be reached by boats, but which are now within an easy distance by rail. Here it should be remarked that thirty years ago the strongest possible prejudice against travelling existed in the minds of the Bengalees; and to this day there are many families who have never been able to overcome this aversion. An old Bengalee proverb was universally accepted, that he was the happiest man who never owed a debt nor undertook a journey. It was only the old men and old widows who left their homes to go on pilgrimages to Benares and Brindabun; Benares being the sacred city to the worshippers of Siva, and Brindabun the sacred locality to the worshippers of Vishnu in his incarnation as Krishna. These ancient pilgrims never set out without first making their wills; and their return home was scarcely ever expected by their families. Under such circumstances a young Bengalee was rarely allowed to leave the parental roof; and a little voyage up the river to Chinsurah or Hooghly was often a matter of boast, and the hero of the journey was regarded by his associates as an adventurous traveller. The Baboo, however, had made the history of India his favourite study, and soon became imbued with a strong desire to visit the localities which were famous in the national traditions. Moreover, on leaving school he had chosen the hereditary profession of his caste; and accordingly often found it necessary to visit many parts of Bengal to institute inquiries respecting the country produce in which he traded. The first important trip which be undertook was in

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1843 to the once famous town of Dacca, which in the days of our grandmothers manufactured the celebrated muslin dresses, each of which was of so fine a texture that it could be drawn through a wedding-ring. Of course our young traveller was not at that period above the superstitions of his countrymen; and indeed never does a Hindoo take any step of importance without first consulting the stars. This is usually done by reference either to a Brahman astrologer, or to the astrological almanack. When business will not admit of delay, a Hindoo will consult either the Sivagyanmut, or 'advices of Siva,' or the buchuns, or sayings,' of Kbona, the wife of Varahamira, the great astronomer who was one of the nine gems in the court of Vikramaditya, the great monarch of Malwa, whose era of fifty-seven years before Christ is still in constant use throughout Hindoostan. Be. fore, however, starting on his trip to Dacca, Baboo Bholanauth Chunder had not only to fix upon an auspicious day, but also to perform certain ceremonies which are necessary on such occasions. These ceremonies generally consist in bowing to the elders of the family, males and females, with the head down to the ground, in which attitude their benedictions are received. The intending traveller then carries a leaf of the bale-tree which has been taken out of a brass pot all of Ganges water, and marches out of the house without looking backwards. All these rites being performed, the Baboo started on his first trip, which lasted only a month, and of which the results are comparatively unimportant, and do not appear in the present narrative of travels.

The journeys described in the present volumes were undertaken at intervals between 1845 and 1866, some being for purposes of trade, and others for amusement and information. In the first instance the Baboo relates the story of a trip up the river Hooghly, in which he describes the


principal places on the banks of the river, coinmencing from Chitpore to Nuddea, and thence from Kishnaghur to Cutwab, and the district of Beerbhoom, where he saw the tomb of Joydeva. Few Europeans probably are familiar with the name of Joydeva; and yet this man, like Choitunya, will hold a prominent place in some future history of India as an enthusiast and a reformer, who has left a lasting impress in Bengal. He too spiritualized the worship of Krishna, and denounced the caste system. One of his most celebrated poems was translated at full length by Sir William Jones, and is buried in one of the earlier volumes of the Journal of the Asiatic Society ; and though it abounds with that Oriental imagery and passion which seem to have characterized the most popular Eastern bards from time immemorial, it contains some undoubted beauties, and throws a new light upon some important phases of religious development. From the tomb of this important person our Hindoo traveller proceeded to Moorshedabad, the capital of the former Nawaubs of Bengal, of which he has given a full account; and he has also furnished interesting descriptions, of Gour, Rajmahal, Bhagulpore, Sultangunj, Monghyr, Patna, Ghazeepore, Chunar, and Mirzapore, interlarded with local traditions, many of which are of undoubted value, whilst many, we believe, are not to be found in


other European publication. Having finished these preliminary trips, the Baboo entered upon a tour through the North-Western Provinces about the year 1860, when the memory of the Mutiny was still fresh in the minds of the people, and before the railway could carry its crowds of passengers through the whole extent of Hindoostan. He proceeded from Raneegunj by the Grand Trunk Road, and visited Pariswath, Sasseeram, Benares, Allahabad, Cawnpore, Agra, Muttra, and Brindabun. His description of Brindabun, the great centre of the worship of Krishna, forms one of the most interesting and

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valuable portions of the entire work; and if the eye of the pilgrim sometimes wandered from the sacred temples to the fairer portion of the worshippers, his remarks only add a human interest to scenes, which, after all, are somewhat strange and unintelligible to European minds. In 1866 he paid a second visit to Delhi, and his antiquarian notices of that city and its ancient suburbs display an amount of investigation and research which are highly creditable to the writer, and his results are worthy of far more notice than can be awarded them in the present Introduction.

As regards the narrative generally, the Baboo has evidently endeavoured to combine all such legendary and positive history of the places he visited as would prove interesting to readers and travellers. He has presented pictures of varied scenes in the light and colouring in which they appeared before his own eyes; and has diversified the details of his information by references to local traditions, objects of antiquarian interest, social and religious institutions, and the manners, customs, and thoughts of his countrymen. In a word, whilst he has dwelt upon scenes and objects with the view of affording materials for Indian history, he has portrayed Hindoo life as it meets the eye in the present day.

Indeed, a journey up the valley of the Ganges and Jumna from Calcutta to Delhi is unequalled in objects of human interest by any other journey in the world. From Calcutta, the city of palaces, the finest European city in the Eastern hemisphere, and where European civilization reigns supreme, the Oriental pilgrim is carried perhaps in the first instance to Benares, the city beloved by the gods, with its mass of temples, ghấts, and dwelling-houses, crowding the banks of the holy stream for a distance of some miles. The narrow busy streets with pagodas on all sides; the gay bazars teeming with Native manufactures; the mysterious

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