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grand and lofty. These fabricks and fome few others, appear to owe their duration to the nature of their materials, which are less marketable, and more difficult to separate, than those of the ordinary brick buildings; which have been, and continue to be, an article of merchandize; and are transported to Moorshedabad, Mauldah, and other places, for the purpose of building. These bricks are of the most folid texture of any I' ever saw; and have preserved the sharpness of their edges, and fmoothness of their surfaces, through a series of ages.

• The fituation of Gour was highly convenient for the capital of Bengal and Bahar, as united under one government: being nearly centrical with respect to the populous parts of those provinces; and near the junction of the principal rivers that compose that extraordinary inland navigation, for which those provinces are famed : and moreover, secured by the Ganges and other rivers, on the only quarter from which Bengal has any cause for apprehension.

Tandah, or Tanrah, (called sometimes Chawafpour Tanda, from, the original name of the district in which it was situated) was for a short time in the reign of Shere Shaw, in about 1540, the capital of Bengal, and became the established capital under Acbar in about 1580. It is fituated very near to the site of Gour, on the road leading from it to Rajemal. There is little remaining of this place; save the rampart ; nor do we know for certain when it was deserted. In 1659, it was the capital of Bengal, when that foubah was reduced under Aurungzebe : and Rajemal; Dacca, and Moorshedabad, appear to have successively become the capital, after Tanda.

Pundua, or Purruah, mentioned as a royal residence in Bengal, in the year 1353 *, is about 7 miles to the north of Mauldah, and 10 from the nearest part of Gour. Many of its ruins yet remain ; particularly the Addeenah mosque, and the pavement of a very long street, which lies in the line of the road leading from Mauldah. to Dinagepour. • Dow ift. 340.


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Satgong, or Satagong, now an inconsiderable village on a small creek of the Hoogły river, about 4 miles to the north-west of Hoogly, was, in 1566, and probably later, a large trading city, in which the European traders had their factories in Bengal. At that time Satgong river was capable of bearing sinall vefsels; and, I sufpect, that its then course, after pafling Satgong, was by way

of Adaumpour, Omptah, and Tamlook; and that the river called the old Ganges, was a part of its course, and received that name, while the circumstance of the change was fresh in the meinory of the people. The appearance of the country between Satgong and Tamlook, countenances such an opinion.

Sonergong, or Sunnergaum, was a large city, and the provincial capital of the eastern division of Bengal, before Dacca was built ; but it is now dwindled to a village. It is situated on one of the branches of the Burrampooter, about 13 miles south-east from Dacca ; and was famous for a manufacture of fine cotton cloths.

In some ancient maps, and books of travels, we meet with a city named Bengalla ; but no traces of such a place now exist. It is described as being near the eastern mouth of the Ganges : and I conceive that the site of it has been carried away by the river : as in my remembrance a vast tract of land has disappeared thereabouts. Bengallah, appears to have been in existence during the early part

of the last century.

It does not fall within the compass of my design to describe all the principal cities of Hindoostan, which alone would require a large volume ; but it may not be amiss to point out their general positions, and the relation in which they stand to the several provinces or states, in which they are situated. Most of the capital citics are already described as they were in the last century, in the books of travels of Thevenot, Bernier, Tavernier, P. de la Valle, &c. which are in every body's hands. Most of these cities, have, I believe, very considerably declined since that time; owing to the almost continual wars and revolutions, that have taken place, since the death of Aurengzebe; and which were sufficient to desolate any country that did not produce almost spontaneously; and of course, where the deficiency of population is quickly replaced.

Within the tract discussed in the present section, the principal cities are, Calcutta, Moorshedabad, Patna, Dacca, Coflimbazar, Mauldah, and Hoogly, within the Bengal provinces : Benares, within the district of the same name, under the British sovereignty: and Lucknow, Fyzabad, Oude, Jionpour, Allahabad, Bereilly, and Corah, subject to the Nabob of Oude, our Ally: and Agra, late in the possession of Nudjuff® Cawn. Generally speaking, the description of one Indian city, is a description of all; they being all built on one plan, with exceeding narrow, confined, and crooked streets; with an incredible number of reservoirs and ponds, and a great many gardens, interspersed. A few of the streets are paved with brick. The houses are variously built : some of brick, others with mud, and a still greater proportion with bamboos and mats: and these different kinds of fabricks standing intermixed with each other, form a motley appearance: those of the latter kinds are invariably of one story, and covered with thatch. Those of brick, seldom exceed two floors, and have flat, terraced roofs. The two former classes far outnumber the last, which are often fo thinly scattered, that fires, which often happen, do not, sometimes, meet with the obstruction of a brick house through a whole street.

Calcutta, is in part, an exception to this rule of building; for there, the quarter inhabited by the English, is composed entirely of brick buildings, many of which have more the appearance of palaces than of private houses : but the remainder of the city, and by much the greatest part, is built as I have described the cities in general to be. Within thefe 20 or 25 years, Calcutta has been wonderfully improved both in appearance, and in the falubrity of its air : for the streets have been properly drained, and the ponds filled up; thereby removing a vast surface of stagnant water, the exhalations from which were particularly hurtful. Calcutta is well




known to be the emporium of Bengal, and the feat of the Governor General of India. It is a very extentive and populous city, being fupposed at present to contain at least 500,000 inhabitants. Its local situation is not fortunate; for it has some extensive muddy lakes, and a vast forest, close to it. It is remarkable, trat the English have been more inattentive than other European nations, to the natural advantages of fituation, in their foreign settlements. Calcutta is situated on the western arm of the Ganges, at about 100 miles from the sea; and the river is navigable up to the town, for the largest ships that visit India. It is a modern city, having risen on the site of the village of Govindpour, about yo years ago. It has a citadel, fuperior in every point, as it regards strength, and correctness of design, to any fortress in India : but on too extensive a fcale to answer the useful purpose intended, that of holding a post in case of extremity, fince the number of troops required for a proper garrison for it, could keep the field. It was begun immediately after the victory at Plafiey, which insured to the British, an unlimited influence in Bengal: and the intention of Clive was to render it as permanent as possible, by securing a tenable post at all times. Clive, however, had no forefight of the vast expence attending it, which perhaps may have been equal to two millions sterling

Hoogly is a small, but ancient city on the same river as Calcutta, though on the opposite fide ; and about 26 miles above it. In the time of the Mohamedan government, it was the Bunder or Port of the western arm of the Ganges; where the customs or duties on merchandise, were collected. The French, Dutch, Danes, and Portuguese, have each of them a town and factory on this part of the river, and between Hoogly and Calcutta ; and all within the extent of 10 miles, along the river. The French settlement of Chandernagore, and the Dutch one of Chinsura, are both very neat and pretty large towns; and each of them on a better site than Calcutta.

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Moorshedabad, situated also on the western arm of the Ganges which is there very low in the dry season, is about 120 miles above Calcutta. It was the capital of the Bengal provinces until the establishment of the British power : and even long after, it was the feat of the Collector general of the revenues; being a more centrical situation than Calcutta. It is very large, but ill built; and in its plan so very irregular, that it is difficult to estimate the quantity of ground it stands on. It is a modern city, and does not contain any magnificent buildings, either public or private: nor was it ever fortified except by an occasional rampart thrown up round it, on the Mahratta invasion in 1742 *. This city is now decaying, especially since the removal of the Board of Revenue to Calcutta,

in 1771.

Cossimbazar is a small city, nearly adjacent to Moorshedabad, and was at all times the place of residence of the different European factors; this being the centre of their trade.

Mauldah is a pretty neat city, not far removed from the north bank of the Ganges, and on a river that communicates with it. It arose out of the ruins of Gour, which are in its neighbourhood. In point of general situation, it is about 70 miles to the north of Moor hedabad. This, as well as Cossimbazar, is a place of trade, and in particular produces much silk

Rajemal lies on the west bank of the Ganges nearly in the parallel of Mauldah, and about 20 miles from it; at the foot of the chain of hills which projects into the river, at Siclygully and Terriagully. It is in a ruinous state, although the residence of the Viceroy not 130 years ago ; and has hardly the population of an ordinary market town, at present. Its situation is romantic, but not pleafant : for in Hindoostan, the hills and eminences being always covered with wood, that beautiful swelling of the ground, which is so justly adınired in European landscapes, is lost; and the fancy is

See Introduction.


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