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The Jhoola ( Rope Bridge ) , In Uttarakhand

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July 5, 1837
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Mohammed Abdulkarim
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Scenary 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.


Toxjeists having crossed the various streams and rivers of the mountain districts in, as they imagine, every possible sort of wav—that is, by fording, swimming, on the trunk I of a tree, by the sangha, or by the commodious structure at Bhurkote—must also I be initiated into a new method of getting over a stream by means of the jhoola. The | natives perform the operation with great apparent ease; to strangers it is not unaccom¬ panied with difficulty, and occasionally with danger; and the following is the process of crossing the Tonse^a tributary of the Jumna—by tlie jhoola.

Upon approaching the river, which is too deep to be fordable, it will be seen that the bank on which the travellers stand is considerably higher than that on the opposite I side of the river. From this elevated ground a three-stranded rope, about as thick as a maiPs wrist, is attached to a log of wood secured among the rocks. The rope being then stretched across the river, is passed through the prongs of a fork, or wooden prop, planted firmly in the ground; and being now divided into three strands, is secured to , the trunk of a tree, kept in its place by heavy stones. Upon this rope, well twisted and greased, is placed a semi circular slide of hollowed wood, with two handles, to which a loop is attached. In this novel conveyance the traveller seats himself, and, holding by the handles, is launched from the higher to the lower bank of the river with astonishing celerity; a thin cord at the same time remains attached to the slide, from either side of the river, for the purpose of recovering it, or of pLilling the traveller from t he lower to the higher hank.

Other jhoolas in the mountains vary a little in their construction: halfla-doztm stout worsted ropes are stretched across the river, and fastened to a projecting buttress on either side. On these ropes runs a block of wood, which is drawn backwards and forwards to either side of the stream, hy means of strings attached to it. There are other loops which pass round the body of the passenger, who, thus secured, swings off from the buttress, and is 1 muled across. In this manner goats and sheep are conveyed one by one; and though the danger appears to. he considerable, it is only realised, in fact, by the chance of having to trust to a rope that has seen too much service* If the apparatus he new, and sufficiently strong to bear the weight placed upon it, there is not the least perilin this method of getting across the deep and rapid rivers of the Himalaya: hut such a fortunate accident must not always be depended upon ; and fatal results have occasionally been produced through the fragile state in which the jhoolas are permitted to remain.

The existence of the river To use was not known to Europeans previous to the year 1814. Losing its name in the Jumna (which it trebles in size previous to its junction with that stream), it is one of the most considerable of the mountain-torrents* When it issues from its bed of snow, at an elevation of 12,784 feet above the level of the sea, it flows in a volume thirty feet wide, and three de%—maintaining its dignity of character until its continence with the river Jumna; which should, if rivers had their just rights, j have been considered its tributary, and have borne its name

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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.

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