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MEMOIR

OF A

MAP OF HINDOOSTAN, &c.

S.

great an extent of country is contained in this map, and the quality of the materials is so various in different parts, that it became necessary, in order to prevent confusion, to divide the account of its construction into separate sections, agreeable to the natural division of the country; and, in some measure, to the nature of the materials. It is accordingly divided into seven sections.

The first contains the sea coasts and islands.

The second, the surveyed tract on the side of Bengal; or that occupied by the Ganges and its principal branches, as far west as the city of Agra.

The third, the tract occupied by the Indus and its branches.

The fourth contains the tract between the Kistnah river and the countries traversed by the Ganges and Indus; that is to say,

the middle parts of India.

The fifth contains the peninsula south of the Kistnah.

The sixth, the countries situated between Hindoostan and China; namely, Thibet, Bootan, Assam, Pegu, Aracan, Ava, and part of Siam : and

The seventh, and last, contains Tables of distances between the principal cities, &c.

But, before I proceed to the particulars of the construction of the map, it will be necessary to explain the itinerary measure adopted

in places where no surveys have been taken. The usual measure of this kind in Hindoostan, is the coss, of which the standard has varied considerably at different times, owing to the caprice of certain emperors: but, it would appear, that those new standards never existed long enough to obtain an establishment in the public mind; which never lost the idea of the ancient standard.

Acbar was the first who made a great innovation in the standard of the cofs. He directed it to be taken at 5000 guz, equal to 4757 yards; that is, about 2 British miles and 5 furlongs. And Shah Jehan, about half a century afterwards, increased the standard onetwentieth part, making the coss more than 2 miles and 6 furlongs.* But since the time of Aurungzebe, the ancient, or common coss, has resumed its place, and those of Acbar and Shah Jehan are only heard of in the histories of the times when they were in use.

It may reasonably be expected, that in a country of half the extent of Europe, the estimated length of the itinerary measures, although of the same denomination, must vary in different parts of it. It is no more than what happens in different provinces of the same kingdom, in Europe. But as far as we have any data for making a just comparison, the coss does not vary so much as one-sixth part over the whole country; and between the northern and southern extreme of India (that is, in an extent of about 1700 miles), the difference is not more than one-sixteenth part. The miles vary much more in their proportions, in the different parts of Europe.

Taking the medium of the cofs throughout Hindoostan, and the Deccan, there will be about 40 of them to a degree of a great circle on the globe: that is, each coss is about a geographical mile and half. But this is to be understood of horizontal measure; in which the windings and inflections of the roads are allowed: for the estimated routes could not be applied to geographical purposes, by any other rule. The coss, in road measure, is about one statute mile and nine-tenths; or at the rate of 190 British miles to 100

* Captain Kirkpatrick's MSS. of which much more will be said hereafter.

cosses; one part in seven, being allowed for winding, when the line of distance is extensive. Or, seven miles of road measure, are allowed to produce six miles horizontally, or in a direct line.

In Malwa and its neighbourhood, the cosses are larger than any where else, and are about 1,7 geographical miles, or 35 to a degree.

And on the road from Baglana to Masulipatam, they are so short, that 46 are required to make a degree. But having only one example for the latter proportion, I shall found no rule on it. The proportions that I have adopted for Hindoostan, Malwa, and the Carnatic, from a great number of examples, are respectively 1,43; 1,71; and 1,6 of geographical miles to a horizontal coss; or 42, 35, and 371 to a degree of a great circle. The cofs of Hindoostan proper, is therefore shorter than any other, and prevails throughout the

greatest extent of country. There is again in Nagpour (the ancient Goondwaneh) a Goondy cofs, which by the medium of all the accounts I could get, is about 2,76 geographical miles, reduced to horizontal distance; or 21,9, or 22 to a degree. This measure appears to be in use by the natives, throughout Mundilla and Boggilcund, as well as in Nagpour ; and sometimes occasions great confusion in the reports of the cossids, or couriers: however, they have a computation of Hindoostanny cosses also, in the same country; and the proportions agree in general remarkably well with that scale, between the Bengal Provinces and Aurungabad; and between Mundilla and Hydrabad.

Having mentioned the windings of the roads, it may not be improper to give the result of my inquiries on this head, for the benefit of those who may have itineraries, kept in estimated distances,

One in seven is allowed as above: and is what will be found to take place in large distances, in such countries as are intersected by deep rivers, or watercourses; or in such as have no artificial roads; and where those on the natural level, have obstacles to surmount. The degree of winding of roads, in different coun

to work up.

[6] tries, is, (cæteris paribus) according to the state of improvement in which the roads are. In India, the roads are at best, little better than paths, and whenever deep rivers (which in that country are frequent, and without bridges), mərasses, chains of mountains, or other obstacles, oppose themselves to the line of direction of the road, it is carried round, so as to effect the easiest passage; and for this reason the roads there, have a degree of crookedness, much beyond what we meet with in European countries, where bridges are laid over every considerable watercourse, and where hills are either levelled, or reduced to a convenient degree of acclivity; and after all, expences saved in many cases, by the difference of labour between the smoothing of the direct road, and the forming of a road on the natural level. But the proportions, must, of course, vary with circumstances; and

may be only one in ten, in a dry, open, country, and one that has a tolerably even surface: but this happens too rarely to found any general rule on. As the line of distance increases, a greater degree of winding will take place; or, a short distance will always be on a straighter line than a long one; for in countries where the management of the roads is not arrived at a high degree of perfection, the road through a kingdom will be made up of portions, consisting of the particular roads leading from one city, or principal town, to another, although they may not lie in the general line of direction; and then there will be a general winding, added to the particular one; and the above proportion of 1 in 7, is applied to this compound winding. And, added to this, in very long distances, some riatural obstacle, will, very probably, oppose itself: an arm of the sea; a river. of difficult passage; a morass; or an impassable ridge of mountains; and change totally the direction of the road: whilst the parts, on each side of the obstacle, might have but an ordinary degree of winding: and it is seldom, but that one or other of these, occurs in the

space

of

150 or 200 miles. Probably 1 in 8 may be a pretty just general proportion for distances of about 100 miles; that is, 8 miles by the

road, will be seven direct; or what is commonly termed bird-flight: and where the extent is from 200 to 300 miles, 1 in 7.

Measured distances in Hindoostan, do not often occur, where, at the same time, the true horizontal distance is given, except in Bengal: and that is a country too full of deep rivers, lakes, and morasses, to serve as a general standard. In the Carnatic, a drier country, the medium of winding, in distances of about 100 miles, is 1 in 9. In England, as far as we can trust the maps (which may be done, where the distance consists chiefly of difference of latitude), 1 in 11 is the proportion, in distances of about 100 miles; and in very great distances, such as Edinburgh, 1 in 7.

It may happen that the direct route may lie through a desert or an ill-governed country; in which case, travellers will avoid the

, in which famine, or robbery, threatens them; and by these means be carried out of the true line of direction: but it is obvious that no rule can be given for such cases. Upon the whole, the degree of winding, as far as depends on natural causes, must be estimated by the compound ratio of the length of the line of distance, and of the nature of the country, as to evenness, dryness, and openness. And of course, some local knowledge of it will be required, in order to correct the distances in a just degree.*

M. D'Anville concludes his inquiry + into the length of the coss, by determining the number in a degree, on a medium, to be 37; but it must be observed, that he had no measured lines with which he could compare his estimated distances. On the other hand, in the respective distances of Candahar, Cabul, and Attock, as described by him, each degree contains 47 of Tavernier's cofses.

way,

• Those who wish for a general rule for changing horizontal distance into road distance, in their common references to maps, in general, may break the line of distance (if very long), into portions of not more than 100 or 150 miles; and then add to the whole sum of the distances, so obtained, one eighth part. These portions should be contrived, so as severally to include the spaces, between the points, that diverge most from the general line of direction of the whole road. By this means, the errors arising from the compound winding, will be avoided.

+ Eclaircissemens, p. 14.

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