« PreviousContinue »
have only to regret on the present occasion, that the description of them is so obscure. Batnir, or Batnair, is the extreme point westwards, in Col.
This is a most useful point in the geography of Tamerlane's march from the Panjab; being the intermediate and only point between Adjodin and Samanah. How its position, which is 30 G. miles NNW from Sarsa, and 72 south-westward from Samanah, was obtained, we are not told : however, it will be found to accord with the march of Tamerlane ; and may therefore be supposed to rest on the authority of the computed distances from Samanah and Sarsa, to Batnir, and may be the result of recent inquiries.
Colonel James Browne informs us, that Batnir is also called Batinda, by the people of the Panjab ; and that it is situated in a country famous for pastures, and fine horses. On the W and N W, lies the desert described by Sherefeddin ; and which appears to extend to the borders of the Setlege.
Sursooty must stand on the N W of Hissar ; and east by south from Batnir: for it was at the end of Tamerlane's third march from Batnir towards Samanah ; and yet was four marches from the latter ; whence, by the direct distance between Batnir and Samanah, which is only 72 G. miles, Tamerlane’s march must make a deep curve to the east, or S E: for two of the seven marches are said to amount to 32 cosses ; and as he had only horse with him, the remainder were probably longer than ordinary marches. A MS. map describes the junction of the Sursooty and Caggar rivers: probably this junction is formed above Sursooty town; for Tamerlane had not crossed the Caggar when at Sursooty; and the Sursooty river lay beyond the Caggar. I conclude, therefore, that the town of Sursooty stood on the banks of the confluent rivers; perhaps nearly equidistant from Hissar and Batnir, and little more from Samanah. Tamerlane's invasion was about 40 years posterior to the time of Ferose’s improvements :
but Sherefeddin is silent on the subject; from all which I conclude that the fort of Ferozeh, to which Tamerlane came the 2d day from Batnir, cannot on any account be that of Hissar-Ferozeh.
On the west of Hissar and Batnir, our knowledge, both geographical and political, is very much confined. Timur's (or Tamerlane's) route from Moultan to Batnir, the course of the Caggar river, and the road from Agimere to Jesselmere, is all that we have towards filling up so large a void. The first is from Sherefeddin ; the others from Mr. Hastings's, and Col. Popham's
The common boundaries of Agimere, Delhi, and Moultan, we have no means of ascertaining: nor is the Ayin Acbaree particular enough on this subject, to lend any assistance towards it.
Mewat, or the hilly tract lying on the west of the Jumnah, between the parallels of Agra and Delhi, as well as the northern and eastern parts of Agimere, which are mountainous also, have their geography much improved by the MS. maps communicated by Mr. Hastings, and Col. Popham. There is little to be said on the subject of the construction of these parts. Agimere, which is the primary point that determines the parallel and scale of the western parts, will be discussed in the next Section, to which it properly belongs: the positions on the north and east of it, are taken chiefly from the MSS. just mentioned.
Jaepour, or Jaynagur, the capital of one of the Rajpoot princes in the eastern quarter of Agimere, has its longitude given by Claud Boudier, at 76° 9', or 2° 19' west from the city of Agra. All the MS. maps that I have consulted, place it very differently: and I find I cannot allow a greater difference than 1° 55', without rejecting the scales of all the MS. maps; which, as they are formed from the difference of latitude, would be absurd. Perhaps the numbers in Claud Boudier's table, are not right: M. D'Anville has them at 76° 5' in the Eclaircissemens, which is still wider from probability
It appears by M. D'Anville, that the rajah of Jaepour (by name Jessing) had erected two observatories, one in his newly built capital of Jaepour (which is about a league from Umbeer, or Ambeer, the ancient capital), the other in one of the suburbs of Delhi. Father Claud Boudier, at the rajah's request, visited the former of these observatories about the year 1732: and I think it probable that we are indebted to the rajah's assistance for some others of the observations made by Claud Boudier; particularly those at Agra and Delhi. The latitude of Jaepour is 26° 56'; and M. D'Anville, in his Antiquité Geographique de l'Inde, reckons it 50 leagues from Delhi, which accords well with my idea of the distance between them. The MS. maps
which I have mentioned as being communicated by Mr. Hastings and Col. Popham, together with others formerly in the possession of Col. Muir, and since his death* obligingly communicated by my friend Mr. Bensley, of the East-India Direction, are corrected in bearing and scale by the primary points of Agra, Delhi, and Agimere; but only a very trifling alteration was required. It may be observed, in respect of the new matter contained in these communications, that a great number of places appear, that were familiar to us, as well in the history of former times, as in the account of recent transactions, but which we could not, heretofore, refer even to any general situation in a map. Still, however, much is wanting to render in any degree perfect, the geography of the tract in question, both as to mathematical exactness, and to relative description : in particular the latitudes and longitudes of such places, as from their being a kind of centre, from which a number of roads issue, may be regarded as primary points, in the geographical construction. Until these are procured, we must be content to remain in ignorance con
• It is probable that the severe indisposition to which Col. Muir was constantly subject, from the moment of his arrival, to the time of his death, left him no leisure to recollect that such materials were in his possession. This excellent officer, and most worthy character, died in 1786.
cerning many curious particulars of Indian geography; and satisfy ourselves with having the situations of places that are the most interesting, either from having been the subjects of history, or as being connected with the politics of the present times.
Lahore is the next point, in order. This is a city of high antiquity in the Panjab, and is situated on the great road leading from Delhi to Persia, and Samarcand. For its geographical position, I have both its latitude and longitude from the tables of Ulug Beig, and Nasereddin; and also a great number of itineraries and other notices, respecting the roads between it and Sirhind. But some of the itineraries are defective, through omissions; others too obscure to be followed throughout. However, by a careful analyzation of the particulars of each, and by a comparison of the corresponding articles throughout, it appears that 93 cosses of the common kind, may
be taken for the distance of Lahore from Sirhind, by the road of Ludhana and Sultanpour, which is supposed to be the direct one. And of these, 52 are to be reckoned between Sirhind and Sultanpour; 41 between the latter and Lahore.
A Persian MS. map of the Panjab (of which more will be said in the sequel) gives for the distance of Rahoon from Lahore, 74 cosses: and Rahoon being 22 from Sirhind, by the road of Machiawara, (Bernoulli, Vol. I. p. 113, 146) this account allows 96 cosses.
In the Ayin Acbaree, the number of cosses between the Panjab rivers (Vol. II. p. 132) is faulty in the particular between the Beah and Rauvee; for no more than 17 are given, when most accounts allow more than 30 in the line of the route, between Sultanpour and Lahore. Besides Firosepour, or Ferosepour, which lies at the conflux of the Beah and Setlege, and nearly opposite to Lahore, is
30 cofses from that city (Kirkp. MSS.). Mr Forster also allowed about 30 cosses from Ray Gaut on the Beah, to Bissooly on the Rauvee. Possibly 27 might be meant, in the Ayin Acbaree, for the breadth of the space between the two rivers, directly across: in which
case no less than 33 can well be allowed on so oblique a line as the road from Lahore to Sirhind makes. And the space between the Beah and Setlege being 50 cosses in the same book, we have 77 for the two Doabebs, or space between the Rauvee and Setlege: and if Machiawara be the point reckoned to, on the latter, 14 more must be added to make up the distance to Sirhind (Bern. Vol. I. p. 146), and the sum total is 91.* But laying no stress on this last calculation, I shall consider the two former ones only. And it must be allowed that they come very near to each other; the one being 93, the other 96 cofses: and the latter, the Rahoon road, is supposed to make a small angle or bend to the north, which would necessarily make it longer than the road by Ludhana. I should, however, had the difference been more considerable, give the preference to the result of the simple calculation, through Rahoon, to the compound one through Ludhana and Sultanpour; as being in its nature less subject to error: but in effect, if we consider the quality of the materials, and the various channels through which they are transmitted to us, it may be said, that all the different accounts, in a general view, corroborate, rather than contradict one another.
Whether we take a mean of the two accounts, or allow two cosses for the bend in the Rahoon road, it will make only half a cofs difference: and if the latter rule be followed, 94 will be the number; and these produce 1341 G. miles of direct distance; and allowing that the calculation was made from the suburbs.of Lahore, 1351, or about 95 cosses, may be taken for the distance between Sirhind and the centre of Lahore. If then 95 be added to 105, the distance of Sirhind from Delhi, the sum total will be 200 cosses: and it
appears that Thevenot reports this distance between Delhi and Lahore: some accounts reckon it so high as 205.
* All the cosses of the Ayin Acbaree are of the old standard; that is, the common, or Hindoostanny cofs, such as Acbar found in use when he ascended the throne. The new standard is indeed described in Vol. II. p. 212; but Abul Fazil appears to have registered the distances and dimensions of provinces, in the itinerary measure in common use : had he done otherwise, he would have been less intelligible.