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Jerdair( Jardhar ) Village In India , Uttarakhand

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November 22, 1838
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Mohammed Abdulkakrim
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Scenery and Places
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Bahadur Shah II

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The above image is found from the book The Indian Empire Illustrated, The London Printing and Publishing Company Limited.


The small and obscure village of Jerdair stands upon the slope of a mountain in the province of Ghurwal—a tract of country extending, on the north-east, to the summit of the Himalaya; on the north-west "to the hanks of the Sutlej; and bounded ou the east and south by the province of Delhi* The general aspect of the country is exceedingly mountainous, and difficult of cultivation; yet parts of it are tolerably fertile; and, though now but thinly peopled, Ghurwal retains the vestiges of mighty works, the achievements of former possessors of the soil. The sides of many of its hills exhibit a succession of terraces, of very solid construction; and upon the surfaces thus produced, water necessary for the cultivation of rice is still retained. Several branches of the Ganges flow through the valleys of this highly picturesque country, which is regarded with peculiar veneration by the people of Hindoostan, in consequence of its containing the holy ground from which the waters of the true Ganges issue into open light. I ormerly this province comprehended all the territory extending to Hurdwar, and stretched eastward to the borders of Nepaul: it is now restricted within much narrower limits*

Notwithstanding its extreme elevation, the climate of Ghurwal, owing to its south¬ western aspect, is very mild; and though the site of the village of Jerdair presents little more than a bleak and barren waste, the greater part of the province is richly clothed with trees. In many places the productions of the temperate and the torrid zones meet and mingle: the tiger makes his lair upon the confines of eternal snow; and the elephant is enabled to endure the severity of the climate by a provision of nature unknown to animals of his species in warmer latitudes—namely, by a shaggv covering of hair.

The inhabitants of Jerdair, like those of the province generally, are termed Khayasa; and all boast descent from Rajpoots of the highest caste , and are therefore exceedingly scrupulous in their eating, and in their regard for the sacred cow. They will not sell one of those animals except upon assurance that the purchaser will neither kill it himself, nor suffer it to be killed by another: their prejudices prevent them from keeping poultry; and travellers must bring sheep with them for food, or be content to live on fish and game, both of which are exceedingly abundant.

Many of the views of mountain scenery which open as the footpaths wind round projecting points, are magnificently sublime. The high ledges of the rock are the haunts of the chamois, and eagles have their eyries on hoary peaks, inaccessible to the depredations of man, Ghurwai is celebrated for a peculiar breed of ponies, called “ ghoouts J> —rough, stunted, and shaggy, but exceedingly sure-footed, and well adapted to carry a traveller in safety along the dizzy verge of narrow pathways, from which the eye endeavours in vain to penetrate the darkness of the abyss below.

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