Himalayan Journal vol.04
The Himalayan Journal

Publication year:

Kenneth Mason
    (Professor GIOTTO DAINELLI)
    (N. E. ODELL)
    (Lieut-Colonel R. C. F. SCHOMBERG)
  14. Lhonak, 1930
    (G. B. GOURLAY)
  15. A Journey in Upper Kumaun and Garhwal
    (Lieutenant HUGH ROSE)
  16. Expeditions
  17. In memorium
  18. Notes
  19. Reviews
  20. Correspondence
  21. Club Proceedings


Tub Ephedra, the Hum Plant, and the Soma

(Under the above title appears in the Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies, Vol. vi, Part 2, 1931, a very interesting short paper by sir Aurel Stein. I am indebted to Mr. C. W. Gurner, I.C.S., for the following summary and review of this paper)
SIR AUREL STEIN'S article deals with two detached aspects of problems associated with the Soma Plant of geographical interest , It should be briefly premised that the ancient ‘Soma' plant common both to Zoroastrian and Rigvedic ritual, is represented in the modern form of these rituals by two separate plants, the Ephedra in Zoroastrian ritual, and the Sarcostemma, one of the Asdepiadece, in Rigvedic ritual. Neither of these two plants can, for conclusive reasons, be identified with the original ' Soma’.

In 1914, Sir Aurel found in tombs at an outpost in the Lop desert, dating from the 4th Century a.d., the twigs of the Ephedra plant. There is here no trace of ritualistic descent. The burial belongedto the ancient Lou-Ian people who have nothing to do with Aryan descent, and the only interest at this point lies in the coincidence. The Ephedra seems to have assumed the functions of the ' Soma' Zoroastrian ritual simply because of its prevalence in Persia and neighbouring ring parts.

If geographical considerations, however, account for a substitute, they may help to identify the original plant. Sir Aurel Stein quotes a passage from the Avesta bearing on the origin of the Soma plant in montainous regions, which are identified by him with the ranges in the north-eastern portion of the present Afghanistan. Again from the Rigveda, he quotes well-known passages which, if we accept identifications of Rigvedic names with the Kurram, Gumal and Zhob rivers and the Hariob hill-tract, localize the Aryan community in the region of Waziristan. A plant which grows plentifully in this region is the wild rhubarb, the colour and physical characteristics of which agree well enough with the indications of those of the Soma given in the Rigveda. A missing link in the chain is that no intoxicating preparation from it is known, whereas its intoxicating capacity is an essential feature of the original Soma; there appears, however, to be no reason why such a preparation should not be made. The identification appears to have occurred casually to Dr. A. Regel, a lan botanist, in 1884.

Based as it is ultimately on broad geographical considerations, the identification of the Soma with the wild rhubarb will be held in suspense by students of the Rigvedic literature; but it merits careful testing on literary grounds, and, as presented by Sir Aurel Stein, it carries with it a good deal of probability.

C. W. G.

Colonel H. H. Godwin Austen, f.r.s.

Mr. F. Ludlow informs me that during the summer of 1929 he and Mr. J. P. Gunn came across Colonel Godwin Austen's initials carved on a granite boulder by the roadside about three or four miles west of Dras. The inscription reads:

H. H. G. A.


It will be interesting to recall some details of the life of one of the most distinguished explorers and surveyors of the Himalaya, who died at the ripe age of ninety a few years before the founding of the Himalayan Club.

Henry Haversham Godwin Austen, the eldest son of Professor R. A. C. Godwin Austen, f.r.s., of Shalford House, Surrey, was born at Teignmouth on the 6th July 1834. He went to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, at the age of fourteen and studied there for three years. He was a contemporary at Sandhurst of Field-Marshal Earl Roberts, before the latter went on to Addiscombe. After receiving his commission in 1851, he joined the old 24th Foot (now the South Wales Borderers), and in 1852 first saw service during the second Burmese War, as A. D. C. to his kinsman General Godwin. It was in Burma that he first surveyed unknown ground, for he carried out a rapid reconnaissance survey of the Irrawaddy north of Rangoon and the regions bordering it. With General Godwin he went to the Punjab, whence he was transferred to Peshawar as A. D. C. to General Reed.

It was at Peshawar, on a certain day towards the end of 1856, that he dropped into Captain Peter Lumsden's bungalow for a chat. Lumsden(1), who was in the Q. M. G.'s department, had recently returned from a season's survey in Kashmir, having been lent to the Great Trigonometrical Survey for six months, and was now struggling with a map of the Frontier. On Godwin Austen offering to help, Lumsden asked him to take it away and complete it. Godwin Austen, who even then was an artist of no mean talents, did so and a very beautiful brush-shaded map of the Frontier was finished a fortnight later. Shortly afterwards, Colonel Andrew Waugh, the Surveyor- General, applied to the Quartermaster-General for the services of two or three officers to assist with the survey of Kashmir, as had been done in 1856. No officers of the Q. M. G.'s department could however be spared, and on Lumsden's recommendation Godwin Austen was one of the officers appointed. Thus Godwin Austen commenced his career of exploration which was to bring him international fame.

(1) Afterwards General Sir Peter Lumsden, g.c.b., successively Quartermaster-General and Adjutant-General in India. When Lumsden was lent to the Survey of India the year before, his place was taken in Peshawar by Lord Roberts, then a subaltern in the Gunners. Roberts was also offered a post in the Survey of Kashmir, but after some hesitation declined it.

Godwin Austen reported to Lieutenant T. G. Montgomerie, of the Great Trigonometrical Survey, on Manganwar hill, in Kashmir, early in 1857. From it Montgomerie pointed out the great snow peaks to the north that he had first observed the previous year, among them Nanga Parbat and K2, which he surmised would prove to be one of the highest mountains of the earth, and which for a few moments one morning they could see in the far distance to the north-east. Little did Godwin Austen dream that a future Surveyor-General(2) would propose his name for that distant peak.

The year 1857 was a stormy one for India. When the Mutiny broke out, the local authorities were at first inclined to refuse all supplies to British surveyors, some of whom for a time were in considerable difficulties. Sir John Lawrence, however, advised Montgomerie that his surveyors should carry on with their work as long as possible in order to show the Maharaja that there was no fear in British minds as to the result of the Mutiny. Montgomerie received instructions to remain in Srinagar as political adviser to the aged ruler until the crisis passed and he remained on friendly terms with him throughout. When Maharaja Gulab Singh died on the 2nd August 1857 and was succeeded by his son Banbir Singh, there was some apprehension that political relations might be complicated, but in spite of occasional alarms, often caused by marauding bands of rebels who attempted to make their way into Kashmir, work was carried on to the end of the season with little serious interruption. During these exciting events Godwin Austen was surveying the Kaj Nag range and the mountains on both sides of the Jhelum below Baramula. He was the first to put Gulmarg upon the map, and his sketches on this, his first season in the Great Trigonometrical Survey, showed the detail with great clearness and definition.

During 1858 and 1859 Godwin Austen was sketching the topography of the Marau Warwan and the northern parts of Jammu. Before the end of 1859 he left Kashmir to rejoin his regiment in England, but he could not have stayed there long-if indeed he ever left India-for he was back again in Kashmir in 1860.

In 1856 Montgomerie, from Haramukh, had first observed K2; two years later it was definitely fixed by Mr. Shelverton from the Indus valley series of triangulation; but as late as 1860 it was still uncertain whether the great mountain stood within the borders of India or not. Nor, indeed, is the matter yet decided for no frontier has yet been fixed in those inaccessible regions, though there appears to be no objection to travellers passing all round the mountain without leave from China. In 1860 Godwin Austen worked in the Shigar and lower Saltoro regions. The following year he crossed the Skoro La and discovered the Baltoro, the Punmah, the Biafo and the Hispar glaciers, together with the great snow basin at the head of the Biafo. He could therefore definitely claim to be the discoverer of this whole glacier system, the greatest outside sub-Polar regions.

Godwin Austen's artistic planetable surveys of those great ice- regions were beautiful examples of the surveyor's art of those days. Some fifty years afterwards when I remarked on the beauty of his 1861 surveys, he observed: " Surveying and military drawing were splendidly taught at Sandhurst in those days. The art had come down from the days of the old French Professors. Their beautiful drawings were our copies. One reason why my planetable of 1861 strikes you as being so good is that I tried to make the topography as accurate to nature as possible. I was always mapping with a geological eye and that makes a man look well at the country."

During the surveys in the more remote parts of Kashmir, the topographical surveyors were instructed not to waste time over uninhabited regions above 16,000 feet. Godwin Austen was however ideally built for this mountain work : slight and extremely hardy, with little to carry, and an intense enthusiasm; it was the combination of these qualities which set no altitude limit to hisi work; and subsequent travellers have remarked on the accuracy of Godwin Austen's surveys of the higher regions compared with those of some of his assistants.

In 1862 Godwin Austen sketched the upper Changchenmo and northern border of the Pangong district, including a small portion of the lake. Towards the end of the season he took up the topography of the higher parts of the Zaskar valleys, including the numerous glaciers on the northern side of the Sutlej-Zaskar watershed. It was presumably on his return from this work that he carved his initials on the rock near Dras. The following year, however, he must have passed the same way again, for in 1863 he completed the survey of the Pangong lake and district up to the Rudok frontier. His journal for this year, which was reprinted by the Government of India, gives a most interesting description of this lake and should be studied by those undertaking the morphology in that area to-day.

Before the end of the year his work here was completed and he hurried back from Kashmir in order to take part in a special mission to Bhutan. It was then that he proved what can be done by one expert surveyor, single-handed, with a planetable. His topographical surveys between Darjeeling and Punakha, and later with the Bhutan Field Force, when his assistant was, I believe, Lieutenant Holdich, were of the greatest value. He afterwards carried out much useful reconnaissance survey on the North-eastern Frontier among the wild tribes of the Khasi and Naga Hills and the then unvisited Dafflas.

Throughout his career in the Survey of India, Godwin Austen's inherited love of geological science was always predominant, and his work exhibited in a striking manner the most interesting geological detail, woven into the brush-drawings on his planetable. There was no better authority in his day on the structure of the Karakoram and he was the only scientific man of his time with firsthand knowledge of that region. He was also one of the first to exploit the rich storehouse of palseontological evidence which lay in the Siwaliks, the foothills of the Himalaya.

Fever contracted on survey work undermined his health and caused his premature retirement. He arrived in England a physical wreck. His interests sustained him; he recovered his health and set to work to study natural history in all its branches, and attained distinction in many of them. He was elected to the Royal Society, received the Founder's Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, became President of the Geological Section of the British Association, of the Malacological Society and of the Conchological Society; and he published numerous scientific papers on his geographical, geological and ethnographical studies, besides important works on the mollusca and fauna of India. He died in 1924.

Seventeenth Century Jesuit Missionaries in the Himalaya

The exploration of the Arwa valley by the Smythe expedition rather naturally turns our thoughts to those intrepid Jesuit missionaries, who early in the seventeenth century were the first Europeans to traverse the Saraswati headwaters of the Alaknanda and to reach and cross the Mana pass. Largely owing to the fact that most of the accounts written by them lay buried among the archives of the Society of Jesus, until unearthed during the present century by Father Wessels, s.j., these old pioneers have received scant justice at the hands of European geographers during the last hundred years. The geographers can hardly be blamed for this, but it seems an appropriate moment to recall, at least briefly, their names and exploits(1).

It was on the 30th March 1624 that Father Antonio de Andrade and Brother Manuel Marques set out from Agra to search for the Christians who were reported to be living in Tibet. Their route lay through Srinagar (Garhwal) (2), and by Badrinath and the Mana pass. After some opposition to their departure from Srinagar, Andrade, with two Indian Christians, having left Marques behind at that place, made for the pass. This attempt, probably made at the beginning of June, failed. Andrade and his companions were overtaken by a blizzard and frostbitten(3), but they eventually struggled back to the shelter of a cave near Mana, where they were joined by Marques. The second attempt, with guides from the Tibetan side, was successful, and the four eventually crossed the Mana pass (17,890 feet) at the end of July (?) and reached Tsaparang on the Sutlej, the capital of Guge, at that time a prosperous little kingdom in this part of Tibet, where they were well received by the Raja or " King ".

(1) Antonio de Andrade'a account of his mission first appeared at Lisbon in 1626, and since then has been well known. Owing to various critical summaries and the difficulty of access to the original document, as well as to geographical ignorance of the regions traversed, mistaken comments have been passed on from one writer to another, with the result that up to the twentieth century many people had come to throw discredit on the whole adventure of Andrade. For instance, because near the headwaters of the Saraswati Andrade mentioned that there was a lake, geographers, and among them an authority no less reliable than the great Rennell, attributed the source of this branch of the Ganges to Lake Manasarowar, partly in conformity with ancient Hindu writings. Andrade mentioned no Lake Manasarowar ; and the small lake to which he referred is in existence to-day. To the Rev. A. H. Francke, the Moravian missionary at Leh, and to Mr. Mackworth Young, our Honorary Secretary, must be given the credit of first showing, in 1912, that Andrade's account was accurate. The publication, in 192-1 by Father Wessels, s.J., of further documents in the possession of the Society of Jesus, more than confirms their conclusions.

(a) Srinagar, Garhwal, is on the Alaknanda, 77 miles north of Hardwar (Map 53 J/16). Because Andrade mentioned Srinagar, some commentators have confused it with the better-known capital of Kashmir; this error, too, has been the source of much confusion to those who made it.

() " Our feet were frozen and swollen, so much so that we did not feel it when later on they touched a piece of red-hot iron ".

After a very brief stay at this place, the two Portuguese returned to Agra, which they reached early in November, but they were back again at Tsaparang with a third missionary, was Gonzales de Sousa, by July 1625. The foundation stone of the first christian church in Tibet was laid at Tsaparang on the 12th April 1626, and for four years the mission flourished. The Alaknanda and the Saraswati, with the Mana pass, became the main line of communication for the several it Jesuit missionaries who travelled to Tsaparang (4).

The favour shown to the missionaries and their religion by the king, who himself was willing to be baptized, led to a revolution in1630 (5). The king of Tsaparang and the two Jesuits at that time at the mission (probably Alano dos Anjos and Antonio da Fonseca) were carried ofi captive to Leh. The church and mission were sacked and most of the four hundred Christians were reduced to slavery(6).

(4) The following Jesuit missionaries are known to have crossed the Mana bntween 1624 and 1640.

Antonio de Andrade (of Oleiros, Portugal, 6. 1580), crossed July (?) 1624, October 1624, July 1625, 1629 (?).

Manuel Marques (of Massao, b. 1596), crossed July (?) 1624, October 1624, 1025, July 1631, August 1631, November 1635, July (?) 1640.

Gonzales de Sousa (of Mathozinhos, Portugal, b. 1580), crossed June 1625, 1626(?).

John de Oliveira (of Daman, Surat, b. 1595), crossed June 1626.

Alano dos Anjos (Alain de la Beauehere, of Pont-a-Mouason, Lorraine, b. 1592), crossed June 1626, August 1635.

Francis Godinho (of Evora, Portugal, b. 1596), crossed June 1626, 1627.

Antonio Pereira (of Lixa, Portugal, 6. 1596), crossed 1627, 1630.

Antonio da Fonseca (of Mourao, b. 1600), crossed 1629, August 1635.

Francisco de Azevedo (of Lisbon, b. 1578), crossed August 1631.

Nuno Coresma (of San Roman, Spain, 6. 1600), crossed June 1635, November 1635.

Ambrosio Correa (of Aveiro, Portugal, 6. 1606), crossed June 1635, August 1635.

Stanislaus Malpichi (of Catanzaro, Naples, b. 1600), crossed July (?) 1640.

(5) in 1909 and 1912, the rev. a. h. francke discovered two ancient inspirations, at horling and at tabo, in spiti. the first gives the name of the king who according to francke's calculations ruled at tsaparang between 1600 and1630; the second mentions the same king's name and refers to ' apostasy and darkness' at tsaparang.

Francisco de Azevedo, who was appointed Visitor to the Tsaparang Mission after the revolution, arrived at Srinagar, Garhwal, in July 1631. Here he picked up Marques who had crossed the Mana pass for supplies. Azevedo, with Marques, reached Tsaparang in August('). He found the mission in a state of considerable dejection owing to the definite hostility of the governor who had been appointed by the king of Ladakh. He therefore undertook the journey to Leh, in order to obtain permission for the Fathers to carry on their work. With him went John de Oliveira who had been at Tsaparang for five years and who knew the language well. Their route lay across the high plateau north of the Sutlej through Shangtse, Hanle and Gya. Leh was reached on the 25th October. Thus the first recorded visit to the capital of Ladakh by Europeans was from the Tibetan side.

After obtaining the king's consent to carry on mission work in Tsaparang, Leh and Rudok, Azevedo and Oliveira left Leh in November, and, in order to avoid the journey by the bleak plateau back to Tsaparang and the dangerous crossing of the Mana pass in the depths of winter, they set out direct for India by the Tagalaung La (17,500 feet), Lachalung La (16,600 feet), Baralacha La (16,200 feet), the Rohtang pass (13,050 feet), and Kulu, this being the first time that this now well-known trade-route was traversed by Europeans ; even to-day it is not considered open at the season of the year that Azevedo passed along it(8).

Though Azevedo had managed to obtain permission for his Jesuit brethren to preach Christianity, there is little doubt that obstacles were put in the way of the men on the spot. There appear to have been five missionaries in Tibet up till 1635, but it is not known whether they were all working at Tsaparang. It seems at least possible that two were either at Rudok or Leh(9). Seven others set out from Goa the same year, but only two of them, Fathers Nuno Coresma and Ambrosio Correa, reached Tsaparang. Two died on the way and three arrived at Srinagar so ill that they could proceed no further. Correa, who had been sent to report on the Mission, noems to have been so thoroughly disheartened by his troubles on the journey and by the condition of affairs on his arrival, that after a brief stay of less than two months he decided to return to India and recommend the abandonment of the Mission. He left Tsaparang early in August and two others, dos Anjos and Fonseca, who had been in Tibet for nine and six years respectively, appear to have left either with him or about the same time. Only Coresma and Marques remained at Tsaparang, and they were driven out less than three months later.

(6) In 1912 Mr. Mackworth Young reached Tsaparang and made a complete study of the ruins. It is believed that he is the first and only European to visit the place since the final abandonment of the mission in 1641.

(7) Father H. Hosten, who has studied and knows more about the history of the old Jesuit missionaries than any man living, appears to be incorrect in saying that Father Stephen Cacella reached and died at Tsaparang after pioneering a very difficult route through Nepal (Hakluyt Society, LXI, App., p. 392). A letter written from Shigatse about July 1631 by Father John Cabral, which reached Francisco de Azevedo at Tsaparang about the end of August, states definitely that Cacella died at Shigatse on the 6th March 1630, seven days after his arrival there Azevedo himself makes no mention of Cacella having reached Tsaparang.

(8) For a modern description of the route, see Routes in the Western Himalaya vol. i, Route 55B.

Some four years afterwards a final effort was made to re- entablish the Mission. In June 1840 four Jesuit Fathers, under the guidance once more of Brother Marques, were again at Srinagar, With the intention of accepting the invitation of the governor of Tsaparang. Suspicions seem to have been aroused as to the bona fides of the latter, and once more Marques, with Father Stanislaus Malpichi, ventured across the Mana pass, to ascertain the possibilities of a friendly reception. Both Jesuits were immediately seized ; and though Malpichi managed to escape, Marques was made prisoner. With the return of Malpichi, the other Fathers came back to Agra, and though efforts were made to obtain the release of Marques, they were unsuccessful. He is known to have been alive at Tsaparang late in 1641, but his ultimate fate is unknown. Of the two founders of the Mission, Antonio de Andrade died on the 19th March 1634, fore its abandonment, while Marques disappeared in Tibet at the end. He alone saw the founding of the Mission and its eclipse. It was not till the nineteenth century that the footsteps of these old travellers across the Mana pass were followed, and not till the twentieth that Tsaparang itself has again been visited by a European.

(9) There is no tradition in Leh that any Jesuits established a mission there, Eudok. though it has been visited twice by British travellers during the present century, is still too little known for us to say whether one was formed there ; but it seeems at least more than possible. Sir Clements Markham was incorrect, according to our present knowledge, in saying that Andrade visited Rudok Ntrrative of the Mission of George Bogle to Tibet and of the Journey of Thomas Manning to Lhasa, lvi).

What traces are left on the ground to-day ? On the map published by the Survey of India in 1900, in very small type, is the word Chab-rang Dzong, beside a small stream entering the then unsurveyed Sutlej river. In the new map, published in 1930, Chabrang Dzong is shown more prominently. Mr. Mackworth Young, who examined the whole site in 1912 and made a study of the rise and fall of Guge, and its relations with Bashahr, found extensive remains, but no trace of church or Mission. Though many of the houses are well preserved, the only Christian relic that he could find-and that conjectural- was a weather-beaten cross of wood on the summit of an ancient chorten. The permanent population of Tsaparang then consisted of only four families, gathered at the foot of the hill on which stands the ancient fort, and among them remained no tradition of the noble effort of Father Andrade and Brother Marques(10).

Mount Everest and its " Native " Names(1)

It is to be sincerely hoped that with the publication of Sir Sidney Burrard's paper on Mount Everest and its Tibetan Names, geographers will accept once and for all this name for the highest mountain of our earth. Sir Sidney Burrard has for the last forty years seen most, if not all, of the various " native " names for the mountain proposed, and their champions routed. Some champions have transferred their allegiance from one name to another, others have suggested new ones. Sven Hedin is the last to enter the lists, and, though he applauds the defeat of others, he is no more successful than they, while Sir Sidney Burrard is as vigorous and convincing as ever on this subject. In studying the details of this last battle, I have noticed one or two points that support my old chief's arguments, which I cannot refrain from adding.

Tchoumou Lancma of D'Anville's map, as Sir Sidney Burrard shows, " is placed on the lowest ground (height 10,000 feet), in the angle between the two rivers Sun Kosi and Arun some sixty miles south of Mount Everest. Had Sven Hedin's zeal for historical research carried him to the period of the Great Trigonometrical Survey, he would never have set himself out to belittle the work and the personality of the most honoured name and the most scientific geographer that the continent of Asia has ever seen. He might even have discovered that during the observations in 1859 a summit some 20 miles south of Mount Everest was observed and recorded as XIV, Mount Everest coming next in the round of observations as XV, and Makalu coming before it as XIII. In the efforts which the Great Trigonometrical Survey made to find native names for these three summits, they were given Makalu for XIII, Chamlang (which is sufficiently near the Chama Lung of the Everest passport and the Tchoumou Lancma of D'Anville's map as to make no difference in those days) for XIV, and no name for XV, that could be accepted. Hodson's name Devadhunga and Schlagintweit's Gaurishankar were to be false. I have already pointed out (Himalayan Journal, vol.ii, p. 133) that Makalu is almost certainly derived from Khamba, Lung tho adjoining district of Tibet, or Kama Lung, the valley which it overlooks. It now seems equally certain that Chamlang, which topographically is much closer to the Tchoumou Lancma of D'Anville's map than Mount Everest, has been derived from Chama Lung, the “southern district where birds are kept ". Anyone with any experience of surveying in the Himalaya knows how often he is given a district name for a high nameless peak in that district. During the recent survey of Nepal, the height of Chamlang, 24,012 feet above sea-level, was confirmed and it was found to lie on the snowy range known in Nepal as the " Choyang Himal ", while Mount Everest lies on the “Mahalngar Himal”(2).

(10) For a detailed account of the kingdom of Tsaparang and de Andrade'a stay there as well as of his examination of the ruins, see G. M. Young: A Journey to Toling and Tsaparang in Western Tibet. Journal of the Punjab Historical Society, vol. vii (Calcutta, 1919). For a full and sympathetic account of the travels of these old Jesuits, based on records in the possession of the Society of Jesus, see C. J. Wessels, s.j. : Early Jesuit Travellers in Central Asia, 1603-1721, {The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1924).

(') See Review by Lieut.-Colonel F. M. Bailey in this volume, page 192.

To my mind there are two further very strong arguments against being any native Tibetan name, used geographically for Mount Everest. I have not seen these recorded before. Sir Charles Bell has written as follows :-

" When the Dalai Lama gave me the permission for the Mount Everest Expedition to take place, he handed me a paper on which was written in Tibetan, ' To the west of the Five Treasuries of the Great Snow (in the jurisdiction of White Glass Fort, near Rocky Valley Inner Monastery) is the Southern District where birds are kept' ".

Now, whatever the original derivation of the word " Kangchen- junga ", there is no doubt whatever that its Tibetan name means the Five Treasuries of the Great Snow, and that this name has a definite geographical significance in Tibet. Why then should the Dalai Lama use this mountain as a reference point to indicate roughly the district in which Mount Everest lies ? Why did he not write : " In the jurisdiction of White Glass Fort, near Rocky Valley Inner Monastery is the mountain called Chama Lung " ? There can be only two reasons : either the mountain has no Tibetan name, or the Lhasan authorities do not know of one.

But hold! We are told that the Tsarong Shap-pe, one of the highest officials in Tibet, when taxed to find the Tibetan name for the mountain, explores the ancient writings. Why ? Obviously because none is known to-day. And what does he find after much scholarly research ? A fantastic allusion to a mountain called Mi-ti Gu-ti Cha-pu Long-nga, more correctly written Mi-thik Dgu-thik Bya-phur Long-nga, meaning, we are told, " You cannot see the summit from near it, but you can see the summit from nine directions, and a bird that flies as high as the summit goes blind

Surely no such awkward and inconvenient description, of whatever fantastic or religious significance, should ever be accepted as a geographical name, unless a convenient abbreviation of it is actually in use geographically.

One last point. In his paper Sir Sidney Burrard has shown what an eminent geodesist and scientific geographer Sir George Everest actually was. Sir George Everest found the maps of India in much the same state of accuracy as living explorers will find the maps of Tibet to-day. He originated the famous " gridiron " network of geodetic triangulation, which has placed the maps of India on a scientific framework. No geographer has done the same service for Tibet. So far from being, in the words of Sven Hedin, merely " a conscientious officer, able but not outstanding " Sir George Everest is still the most outstanding scientific geographer and geodesist that Asia has ever seen. His fame rests on his own scientific attainments and on his own indomitable energy and will. So far from " becoming undying, by sheer accident and without a trace of want of breath ", this great man, stricken with fever and paralysed (3), carried through the herculean task which he had set himself, short of funds through official parsimony and short of men through sickness, to a triumphant conclusion. With him it was brains, not breath, that mattered.

Surveys in Chitral and Gilgit

With the summer of 1931 the Survey of India has brought to a close its programme in Dir, Swat, Chitral and the Gilgit Agency. Lower Swat, Buner and Dir were surveyed in 1926 and 1927 on the one-inch scale, Lower Chitral in 1928, on the same scale for the inhabited portions and on smaller scales (half and three-quarter-inch) for the north-western regions, including the Tirich Mir Group (Himalayan Journal, vol. ii, p. 68). During the winter of 1928-9, Lower Kagan, the Black Mountain and Nandihar territory were completed on the one-and-a-half-inch scale; and in the following summer, northern and eastern Chitral, to the boundaries at the Tui, Karumbar and Baroghil passes, and including the interesting mountain groups of Tui, Darkot, Garmush, Sad Ishtragh, Lunkho (1) and Ochili, as well as the western part of the Gilgit Agency (Ghizar), were surveyed chiefly on the half-inch scale, for publication on that scale. In 1930 the Kagan valley was completed up to the Babusar pass (2). It was hoped also in that year to survey Allai and Swat Kohistan, the latter a well-wooded country with a delightful climate, but with a population distinctly treacherous. Unfortunately, and in spite of the efforts of Major J. W. Thompson-Glover, the Political Officer at the Malakand, and almost the only British Officer to penetrate Swat Kohistan, the survey of this region had to be abandoned at the last moment, owing to a change in the political situation ; Allai was however completed the following season.

(3) " Everest himself was attacked with a severe fever and his limbs wore paralysed. Still he resolutely persevered, lest, if he broke down, the establishment should be scattered and the trained men be lost, whom it would be impossible to replace. He was lowered into and hoisted out of his seat by two men when he observed with the zenith sector."-Clements Markham : A Memoir on the Indian Surveys. London: H. M. Sec. of State for India, 1878. 2nd Ed., p. 84.

(l) The name Lunkho was not identified during the detail survey, but I have Ntkined it in this note for want of a better name.

(*) An account of the triangulation of the Kagan valley by Lieut. J. B. P. Angwin appeared in The Himalayan Journal, vol. ii, p. 48.

Last year (1931) the survey of the remainder of the Gilgit Agency, less the States of Hunza and Nagar, was taken up and completed. The basins of the Astor, the Yarkhun and the Gilgit rivers (including Yasin and the Karumbar valley) have now been surveyed, as has the Indus valley in the Gilgit Agency down to below Chilas Fort. For part3 of Tangir and Darel we are still dependent on the rapid surveys executed during Sir Aurel Stein's Third Expedition to Central Asia, when during the later lifetime of Raja Pakhtun Wali, these countries became accessible. Of particular importance to mountaineers is the detailed survey last year of the Nanga Parbat massif. The map of this, though only on the quarter-inch scale will be far in advance of any map so far produced.

The maps of all these regions will be looked forward to with interest by geographers, and they should be most valuable for determining the trends of the ranges of the Hindu Kush and their relation with those of the Himalaya and Karakoram. Lieut.-Colonel C. G. Lewis, who was in charge of the surveys almost throughout, is a keen mountaineer and enthusiastic glacier and mountain cartographer, while the Mehtar of Chitral took great interest in the survey of his country. A few minor mountaineering accidents occurred during the surveys, and some difficulties were experienced in persuading the inhabitants to " violate the haunts of the fairies", but there was a complete absence of any serious friction.

A few gaps remain. Parts of Tangir and Darel, Sazin, Kandia, Talkot, etc., comprising the Indus Kohistan, were politically closed. This country has not been entered since " the Mullah's " rapid explorations in 1876 and 1878. The whole of the northern slopes of the Rakaposhi group and the range extending east from it to the Hispar tributaries, in the State of Nagar, were not included in the programme. Beyond the Hispar tributaries we have the surveys of Sir Martin Conway and the Workmans. The northern side of the Hunza valley between Chalt and Baltit (Hunza) was also omitted from last year's programme, and there is therefore a considerable gap in the survey of this area; this gap is bounded on the west by the Karambar watershed, and on the north by the southern wall shutting off the Batura and Pasu glaciers. Here are to be found the Chaprot, the Daintar, the Tutu Uns and the Hasanabad valleys. The glacier complexes of the last two should be of considerable interest. The existing map of these parts is almost entirely guesswork, though the remainder of this sheet, comprising the surveys of Khan Sahib Afraz Gul and Surveyor Torabaz Khan, who were attached by the Surveyor-General to the Vissers' expedition of 1925 and the Montagnier expedition of 1927, is a beautiful production.

While on the subject of gaps in the mountain survey of the Karakoram, it may be well to point out that much detailed modern survey remains to be done north of Skardu and between the Shigar and the Nubra, while immediately north of the middle Shyok, between the acute-angled bends of the Nubra and the upper Shyok, the details of the topography cannot be considered other than extremely rough. Within the last twenty-five years much has been done among the great glaciers at the heads of these two rivers, and the recent surveys by Khan Sahib Afraz Gul Khan and Muhammad Akram in 1928 and 1929, during the Visser expedition, have filled in large blanks In our knowledge; nevertheless, whatever may be said of the rest of the world, the survey and scientific study of the various ranges of the Karakoram cannot yet be said to be completed. Owing to retrenchment, it will not be possible for the Survey of India to fill these blanks for some years to come, and for better maps we shall have to hope that private expeditions will come to the rescue. It is to be hoped that it will still be possible to continue the policy of attaching trained Indian topographers to enterprising mountaineers who may be prepared to lead expeditions into some of these little- known regions.


An extremely interesting paper by Mr. D. N. Wadia, of the Geological Survey of India, on the Syntaxis of the North-West Himalaya; its Rocks, Tectonics, and Orogeny, appears in the Records of his Department for September, 1931. Mr. Wadia has traversed almost all the ground he is describing, with the advantage of accurate one-inch maps in his hands, and in the second part of his paper lays bare " the anatomy of the syntaxial area " and describes “the course of the various inwardly looping folds right round the ,re-entrant " in considerable detail.

To quote from Mr. Wadia's introductory remarks: "The area comprised within this zone is characterized by a deeply-inflexed knee-bend in the geological strike of the North-West Himalaya, forming a unique feature in the orography. The inflexion affects some hundreds of miles' depth of the mountains, extending from the foot-hill zone to a considerable distance beyond the axis of the great Himalayan Range. In width, however, the belt of mountains dealt with here is barely 30-50 miles from west to east; its general trend is in a N -S direction, but on either side of it the main Himalayan strike rapidly diverges, in opposite directions, viz., to the south-east on the Kashmir side, and to the W. S. W. on the Hazara side. Northwards the same geniculate bend is perceived in the mountain system, beyond the central axis of the Great Himalaya, to as far north as the foot of the Pamirs (Lat. 37°N.)."

Mr. Wadia puts forward three hypotheses of origin of the depressed bay in the mountains of North-West India and suggests that the cause of it is the " reaction of the newly rising mountains under the ; stress of tangential pressures from the north against a tongue-like projection from the Archaean shield ", and that the Himalayan system ' of earth-folds has moulded itself on to this shield. The syntaxis is created, in his view, by pressure acting from the north, driving successive folds as they rise from the geo-svnclinal belt against this northern promontory of the Gondwana foreland ; this pressure being resolved into two components against the shoulders of a triangular horst which has divided the orogenic wave-front into the two ares which are so obvious to-day.

Another paper of very great interest which has appeared in 1931 is that on "Island Ares and Mountain Building ", by Mr. Philip Lake in the Geographical Journal for August, in which the author expounded very clearly the geometry of the thrust-plane intersecting a sphere in order to explain the circular form of certain mountain arcs. Both the paper itself and the discussion afterwards, especially the contribution of Mr. N. E. Odell, who spoke more particularly on the building of the Himalayan Arc, are most stimulating.

To some people Mr. Wadia's " orogenic wave-front" will appear to be too fluid a conception of mountain-building; and it would be easy to reject his hypothesis by reading into it an analogy to ocean waves, which is certainly a misleading one; but Mr. Wadia does not mean this, and if he did it would not necessarily affect his contention(1). Mr. Lake's conception of the Himalaya being pushed over the thrust- , plane of the Gondwana foreland and being thickened by the folding and faulting which has accompanied the movement is still possible with the north-east component of Wadia's northern pressure acting ; against the triangular horst, if the surface of the horst is a true planedipping towards the north-east. Mr. Lake does not explain the geological unity of the Himalayan Arc and the mountains west of tho syntaxis, which do not form a truly circular arc, but he seems to nfer that such arcs that are not truly circular may have been formed pon a thrust-plane and that there has been subsequent deformation. Lgain there is nothing fundamentally inconsistent in this general tiitoment with Wadia's views, if the Gondwana foreland terminated B a true plane.

(1) This point was referred by me to Mr. Wadia, who has replied as follows: " My use of the terms waves and wave-front in orography is entirely in the conventional sense and does not imply analogy with waves in fluids. It is convenient to speak of an earth-wave for a strongly-marked folded belt of the earth's crust-the mechanics of such folding being of course quite different from wave-motion in fluids."

Mr. Lake and Mr. Wadia both write of the direction of the over- thrust as the direction of movement. The former however distinctly states that he does this conventionally and that he believes the motion to be due to an underthrust in the opposite direction. He reasons hat one land-mass cannot move outwards in two directions simultaneously and so form the Himalayan Arc at the same time as the series of island arcs east of the Asiatic continent. By most geologists the terms overthrust and underthrust are not used in a wholly exclusive sense, but to some extent in a mutually complementary sense, an overthrust from one direction implying a certain amount of under- thrust from the opposite direction. In the region we are dealing with, the movement is certainly a relative one between the over- riding mass and the over-ridden. The two mountain arcs of the syntaxis of the North-West Himalaya have moved inwards. An underthrust from the south could produce the two components required by Mr. Wadia's hypothesis for the formation of the two arcs.

A study, on the same lines as those by Mr. Wadia, of the junction of the Burmese Arc (itself apparently a continuation of the East Indian Are which was also dealt with by Mr. Lake) with the Himalayan Are, seems now to be desirable. These two arcs are almost tangential at the point where the Brahmaputra breaks into the foreland. The ground here is, unfortunately, not mapped on the one- inch scale, and the inhabitants are not likely to take too kindly to the operations of a wandering geologist. But a detailed study of the foothills and foreland should not be impossible. Mr. Wadia would also like more geodetic observations in the area of his Archaean promontory, even though these may not give conclusive results, owing to the depth of the Tertiary covering.

There are some purely geographical points that are of interest connection with these two ideas on mountain-building. They may or may not have some bearing on the questions. Mr. Lake quotes Professor Sollas as placing the pole of the Himalayan Arc at Lat. 42°N., Long. 90°E. This is very close to the extraordinary Turfan depression, where the earth's surface sinks to a thousand feet below sea-level. Is this a coincidence ?

A point of some geographical similarity between the two ends of the Himalayan Arc is the behaviour of the mountain trends well beyond the existing ' bays ' in the mountains. Mr. Wadia postulates a northward projecting ' cape ' on the west; on the east of the Himalayan foothills the ' bay ' penetrates into the mountains in a northeasterly direction. On the Pamirs there is a series of parallel ranges trending east and west(2) ; in the far north-east of Burma and in China there are the parallel divides of the Salween, the Mekong and the Yangtse.

A point of minor geographical dissimilarity between the two ends seems to be that the two great rivers, the Indus and the Brahmaputra, do not behave in quite the same manner. The latter seems to cut into the foreland near the point of contact of the Burmese and Himalayan Arcs, and the ' bay ' is drained by the Brahmaputra ; the Indus seems to cut a gorge considerably to the west of the Himalayan Arc, and the ' bay ' here is drained not by the Indus, but by the Kunhar and the Jhelum below Domel.

After reading the discussion on " Problems of the Earth's Crust " held in Section E (Geography) of the British Association on the 28th September 1931 at the Royal Geographical Society's Hall, it seems almost sacrilegious to tread the holy ground of others. The mountain geographer, without necessarily concerning himself too deeply with Continental Drift and the Movement of the Poles, may however perhaps be permitted to interest himself in the structure of the mountains he climbs and traverses without becoming unduly hot and bothered.

The Karumbar Glacier

Dr. T. G. Longstafl has sent me an interesting note on his observations of the glaciers draining into the Karumbar valley in 1916. He crossed and recrossed three glaciers on his way up the valley through Ishkuman District to Sokhta Robat, between the 20th and 23rd October of that year. He states that, though there was no lake forming, the glaciers completely blocked the route, and he alludes to Mr. H. Todd's observations recorded in The Himalayan Journal, Vol. iii, p. 110, and my comments. He writes: " It took two hours to get my horses over the Karumbar glacier, under which the river tunnelled. The crossing of the Chillinji glacier next day was harder, but the distance less. See photo in Alpine Journal, November 1920, vol. xxxiii, p. 156. You give 1891-2, 1904-5, and 1929-30. Interpolate my date 1916 and you get your nice 12-13 year period!! For though the river was not blocked, all the glaciers were vigorously hanging their tongues out: it was a maximum period of advance all right! "

(2) The trend of the range3 across the Pamirs I have shown oa the sketch to illustrate Sir Aurei Stein's paper On Ancient Tracks across the Pamirs, in this volume.

Dr. Longstafi also sends a photograph of the Wargot glacier > which came down on the true right bank of the Karumbar river, forcing them into the stream. The photograph shows the snout ice very active and in one place overhanging, an unusual occurrence in October unless the glacier is still advancing.

These observations are of importance, for we now have three complete cycles of periodic movement of the Karumbar glacier snout and the periodicity is shorter than that of any other glacier so far observed ; so short that it can bear no relation whatever to Bruckner cycles or any other known cycles of climate(1). We believe now that we can trace periodicity of advance and retreat in five glaciers of Asia, but at present there seems to be no connexion between them The five are:

The Karumbar, max. advance 1891-92, 1904-5, 1916-17, 1929-30. Periods 13 years, 12 years, 13 years.

The Chong Kumdan, max. advance 1839, 1884, 1929. Periods 45 years, 45 years.

The Kichik Kumdan, max. advance 1863, 1908. Period 45 years.

The Aktash, max. advance 1852 (?), 1907. Period 55 years.

The Minapin, max. retreat 1889, max. advance 1913. Probable max. retreat about 1937 (?). Probable period about 48 years.

Nothing can at present be established from these figures; but the publication of them will, we hope, stimulate travellers to record the positions of, the snouts of these glaciers whenever they pass them by. The great advantage of the Karumbar's period'iis-its shortness ; we may expect the next maximum advance in 1942-43. Some of us may not be in India in 1974, 1953 or 1962 to see the others, but they are well worth watching in the meanwhile.

Major G. V. B. Gillan, who took over the appointment of Political Agent at Gilgit towards the end of 1931 from Mr. H. Todd, informs me that the Karumbar glacier is said to have retreated during 1931 and that he hopes to get up to Ishkuman in March when he will investigate. Captain W. R. F. Trevelyan hopes to examine the Hunza glaciers during the year.

The Kailas Range

We are glad to learn that the Surveyor-General of India has decided to drop the official use of the term " Kailas Range" north-west of longitude 79° (Pangong Lake neighbourhood). The application of this name as far west as Rakaposhi was advocated in A Sketch of the Geography and Geology of the Himalaya Mountains and Tibet, by Colonel S. G. Burrard and H. H. Hayden, which was published in 1907, but there have been many protests at the confusion caused by the use of this important name in a region where it is entirely unknown and where the mountains bear no structural identity or geographical connexion with the well-known Kailas peak in Tibet.

The region from which this name has now been excluded is almost universally considered to-day to be part of the Karakoraru, and the next step would seem to be a careful study and grouping of the mountain massifs, geographically and geologically. A great amount of field work has been done in the Karakoram during the last twenty years ; this should be co-ordinated and studied as a whole at leisure.

Wapitis on the Flank of Nanga Parbat

Squadron Leader S. B. Harris, Commanding No. 39(B) Squadron, R.A.F., has very kindly sent me the following notes on the flight of five Wapiti aircraft to Gilgit in 1931, together with the . photograph of Nanga Parbat which is reproduced as the frontispiece to this volume.

The formation, led by Squadron Leader Harris, left Risalpur at 7 a.m. on the 30th March, and, climbing gently, proceeded via the Mahaban mountain and Baffa up the Kagan valley. The country on either side of the valley rises to from 13,000 to 17,000 feet above sea- level and being under snow at the time of the flight was remarkably beautiful. At 8-15 the formation passed over Kagan town at a height of 16,000 feet and the Batogah and Babusar passes lay right ahead towards the north-east. Twenty minutes later the Batogah pass (14,180 feet) was crossed at a height of 16,500 feet.

The ground between the Batogah and Babusar passes consists of a very large undulating plateau, and the views at this point were magnificent, with the pure white snow beneath, and the great peaks surrounding the formation on all sides. These included, to the northeast, Nanga Parbat, 26,620 feet above sea-level.

At 8-50 a.m., after some twenty minutes flying over this most impressive plateau, the Indus was crossed at Chilas and a course was set to pass west of point 15,808. This summit was rounded at five minutes past nine, Gilgit being sighted almost immediately. At 0-10 Gilgit was passed and landings were made some four miles east of that place ten minutes later.

The duration of the outward flight was 2 hours 15 minutes, the distance covered being 205 miles.

On the 31st March, the personnel of the Eoyal Air Force attended the Annual Durbar as the guests of Mr. H. Todd, the Political Agent, und were given the opportunity of meeting the local Chiefs. The following morning, at ten o'clock, the return flight was commenced and, in order to gain further experience, the Indus valley route was taken, instead of that by the Kagan valley.

At 10-45 a.m., after flying right round the bend of the Indus, Chilas was reached and the formation continued down the Indus valley, passing successively Poguch, Luruk, Kotgala and Jalkot. The flight was uneventful, but again remarkable for the beauty of the Hennery. The Indus gorge was magnificent and in places narrowed to such an extent that the water of the river was white with loam.

At 11-35 Palae was reached and a course set for Risalpur. Five minutes later the formation left the Indus and, striking across country, landed at Risalpur at 12-30, having covered 248 miles in 2 hours and 30 minutes.

During both flights the weather was excellent, and, although on the return there was some cloud to be observed clinging to the Biouutain tops, this never interfered with progress.