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of the island, but, owing to a blighting disease which attacked the coffee trees, the crop has failed and the cultivation of tea is fast taking its place.
Kandy is situated far up among the hills, on the shore of an artificial lake. It was the stronghold of the Kandyan, or Highland kings, who maintained their independence for more than three centuries after the lowlands had fallen into the hands of the English. The story of the construction of the artificial lake is of peculiar interest, since it gives a good idea of the ability and skill of these ancient kings.
It is related that one of the Kandyan kings, in order to cool the atmosphere of the mountain town, built an embankment at the end of a valley and so imprisoned the waters of a shallow river. The lake thus formed is encircled by a road, from which the view is one of ideal beauty. Here is still to be seen the palace of the kings, now occupied by government offices.
The object of greatest interest in Kandy is the Temple of the Tooth, the most famous of Buddhist shrines. Within its walls is the sacred tooth, believed, by his faithful followers, to be a relic of Buddha.
On rare occasions only is the sacred tooth exhibited, and at such times most imposing ceremonies are observed. It is described by the few privileged visitors who have seen it as an ivory fang at least three inches in length! It is kept in a casket of precious gems, which rests upon a table covered with richest draperies. It is held in reverence by Buddhists everywhere. Year after year priests from Burma and Siam come here with beautiful gifts, besides paying yearly
tribute to support the priests and monks who guard the temple.
From Kandy the mountain railway winds upward to a height of six thousand feet above the sea. Soon after leaving the historic town the road passes through dense forests of palm and bamboo, and then come the tea plantations.
The mountain sides have been cleared of jungle and the fields thus gained are set in rows of tea bushes. Brown coolies are at work among the tea plants. Many of these workmen are natives of southern India, coming here every year to work for the great planters, and returning to their humble homes after the harvest
The pearl fisheries of Ceylon form one of its most notable industries. Pearls of large size are classed among the world's most valuable gems, and have always been highly prized. The principal pearl oyster beds of Ceylon are found near the northwest coast of the island. Large numbers of the natives are engaged in the work. The divers, who secure the oysters in which pearls are formed, are trained to their work and become very expert. They can remain under water from sixty to eighty seconds, and during this time collect many shells in the net with which each diver is provided.
ACROSS the Bay of Bengal is the peninsula of IndoChina. The western portion is Burma, which belongs to England and forms a part of the Indian Empire. It is sometimes called Farther India.
The country is a succession of river valleys bounded by long ranges of hills and mountains. Much of the hilly country is covered with dense forests. Among other rare and useful trees growing in Burma is the teak. Great quantities of teak wood, cut in these forests, are floated down the rivers to the seaboard, there to be shipped to distant ports.
Teak wood is used for building ships and bridges, and for other kinds of work requiring strength and durability.
The great river İrrawady, rising among the snowy ranges of Tibet, flows through Burma and enters the sea by a network of channels, forming a great delta. It is navigable by steamers for more than eight hundred miles. During the rainy season this great river presents a grand spectacle. It overflows its banks and floods the valleys far and wide. The whole country from one range of hills to another appears to be a series of great lakes. The fields, roads, and bridges are covered with water from one foot to twelve feet in depth. In the villages cattle are to be seen stabled in the houses, which, like the houses along the rivers in Siam, are always built upon posts high above the river.
The people go from house to house in canoes. The children sometimes amuse themselves by catching fish on lines let down through holes in the floors.
Although this great overflow causes much inconvenience, there is very little excitement when the river begins to rise, because the people are so accustomed to