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The Bridge at Bhurkote

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July 6, 1836
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Mohammed Abdulkarim
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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.


In travelling through the hill districts, tourists are continually surprised into a remark respecting the changeful nature of the scenery on their line of march; and it is difficult to attempt even a brief description of the country without frequent repetition of the observations to which such sudden alternations in the landscape naturally give rise. Ascending or descending, the transitions from heat to cold, and vice versa , are fre¬ quently very sudden and unexpected—the tourist being sometimes annoyed by the incumbrance of clothing while passing through a deep and sunny valley, and envying the freedom of the native attendants, who make no scruple of divesting themselves of every superfluous garment; at other times, and within a few hours, actually shivering with cold.

The features of the landscape are subjected to equally striking mutations : a horrid region of barren rocks, bare and bleak, without a trace of vegetation, surmounted by beetling cliffs frowning in unreclaimed sterility, afford an awful portraiture of desolation and famine. No living creature is to be seen in these dismal solitudes—neither bird nor beast intruding on the rugged wild. The pass threaded, some steep and rocky pathway is ascended, when, gaining the summit of a ridge, the traveller looks down for several hundred feet upon a tangled scene—trees scattering themselves between the rocks, through which an impetuous torrent rushes with dash and foam: anon emerging into green and smiling pastures, enamelled with flowers, and shaded with fruit-trees; amid Tillich some interesting memorial of the ingenuity and industry of man meets the eye : such, for instance, as the bridge at Bhurkote, which, in its way, is a perfect specimen of the architecture of the Himalayan engineers.


When, as in the case of the stream at Bhurkote, the space is too wide to be spanned by single trees, the banks on either side are brought nearly to a level by means of stone buttresses of solid construction ; these are surmounted by rows of stout beams laid close to each other, one end projecting about one-fourth of their extreme length across the stream, and the other firmly secured to terra firma. Over them another row of beams is placed, projecting still further, and supported by those below; and in this manner the sides are raised, floor above floor, until the vacant space between may be crossed by single planks. The whole is very skilfully put together-—neither glue, nails, or ropes being employed ; the absence of those articles, and the tools which a European work¬ man would consider necessary for any structure of Hie kind, being supplied in a very ingenious manner bv contrivances that are quite sufficient for the purpose. Even the masonry is occasionally hound together with a framework of wood, employed as a substi¬ tute for mortar, and so admirably managed as to give great strength and solidity to the fabric. The platform across is furnished on either side with rails; but although they afford some appearance of safety, the springing motion of the planks, and the rapidity of i the current that hurries along the rocky bed beneath, render considerable steadiness of brain necessary in crossing. This bridge is constructed of a species of larch, and the river is shaded by some very fine alders, which here attain a gigantic size.

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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.

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