Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/130

This page needs to be proofread.



clays, and sandstone with fossils, which, in age, range from the British Baluchistan. The degree of independence enjoyed by the Lower Eocene to the Miocene. Beyond the Siwaliks, still looking various districts of Baluchistan may be said to vary in direct proeastwards, are the sand waves of the Indus plain; a yellow sea portion to their distance from Quetta. No part of Baluchistan broken here and there with the shadow of village orchards and the is beyond the reach of the political officer, but there are many parts sheen of cultivation, till it rests against the long black sinuous line where he is not often seen. The governor - general’s agent at which denotes the fringe of trees bordering the Indus. Such is the Quetta is invested with supreme authority. The climate oi British scene which Solomon is said to have invited his Indian bride to Baluchistan is dry and bracing—even exhilarating—but the extremes gaze upon for the last time, as they rested on the crags of the of temperature lead to the development of fever in very severe southern buttress of the Takht—where his shrine exists to this day. forms. On the whole it is favourable to European existence. South-west of the dividing railway lies the great block of Southern To that shrine thousands of pilgrims, Mahommedans and Hindus alike, resort on their yearly pilgrimages, in spite of its dangerous Baluchistan. Within this area the drainage generally trends south approach. All this country, so far, is independent Baluchistan and west, either to the Arabian Sea, or to the central _§ou^^ern within the jurisdiction of the Baluchistan Agency, with the swamps of Lora and Mashkel. The Hab river, which exception of certain clans of the Sheranis on the eastern slopes of forms the boundary west of Karachi; the Purali (the ancient the Takht-i-Suliman, north of the Yihowa, who are under Punjab Arabis), which drains the low-lying flats of Las Bela ; the Hingol administration.1 Wedged in between the railway and the Indus, (the ancient Tomer os) and the Dasht, which drain Makran, are all but still north of the railway, is a curious mass of rough mountain considerable streams, draining into the Arabian Sea, and forming country, which forms the southern abutment of the Sulimani important arteries in the network of internal communication. An system. The strike of the main ridges forming that system is exception to the general rule is found in the Mulla, which carries almost due north and south till it touches 30° N. lat. Here it the floods of the Kalat highlands into the Gandava basin, and assumes a westerly curve, till it points north-west, and finally which forms one of the most important of the ancient highways merges into the broad band of mountains which hedge in the from the Indus plains to Kandalhar. The fortress of Kalat is situated about midway between the sources of the Bolan and the Quetta and Pishin uplands on the north and east. At this point, as might be expected, are some of the grandest Mulla, near a small tributary of the Lora (the river of Pishin and Quetta), about 6800 feet above sea-level, on the western edge of a peaks and precipices in Baluchistan. Khalifat on the east of cultivated plain in the very midst of hills. (See Kalat.) To the Quetta, flanking the Harnai loop of the Sind-Pishin railway ; Takatu to the north ; Chahiltan on the south-west; and the great north are the long sweeping lines of the Sarawan ridges, enclosing square-headed Murdar to the south—all overlook the pretty canton- narrow fertile valleys, and passing away to the south-west to the ment from heights which range from 10,500 to 11,500 feet. Lying edge of the Kharan desert. East and south are the rugged bands in the midst of them, on an open plain formed by the high-level of Jalawan, amongst which the Mulla rises, and through which it tributaries of the Lora (which have also raised the Pishin valley to breaks in a series of magnificent defiles in order to reach the Gandava the north), 5500 feet above the sea, is Quetta. Quetta was founded plain. Routes which converge on Kalat from the south pass for in 1873, and has now grown into one of the most popular, as it is one the most part through narrow wooded valleys, enclosed between of the most picturesque, of Indian military stations. The mass of steep ridges of denuded hills, and, following the general strike of twisted flexures, the curved wrinkles that end the Sulimani system, these ridges, they run from valley to valley with easy grades. Kalat is occupied by true Baluchis, the Mari and Bugti sections of the great is the “hub” or centre, from which radiate the Bolan, the Mulla, Rind confederation of tribes owning an Arabic origin. There are and the southern Lora affluents; but the Lora drains also the no Pathans here. To the north of them are the Bozdars, another Pishin valley on the north ; the two systems uniting in Shorawak, Rind clan ; and these Rind tribes form the exception to the general to lose themselves in the desert and swamps to the west of Nushki, rule of Pathan occupation of Northern Baluchistan. Amongst the on the road to Sistan. Sixty miles south of Kalat, and beyond Pathans, the Kakurs and Dumurs of Pishin, with the Mando Khel the Mulla sources, commences another remarkable hydrographic system which includes all Southern and South-Western Baluchistan. of Zhob, are the most prominent tribal divisions. The curved recession of the Sulimani ranges to the north-west To the west lies the Kharan desert, with intermittent river leaves a space of flat alluvial desert to the south, which forms a sort channels enclosed and often lost in sand-waves ere they reach the Mashkel swamps on the far borders of Persia. To the southinlet orTh bay point striking Baluchistan mountain Central. Sofystem> of into this the desert inlet receives the west are the long sweeping valleys of Rakshan and Panjgur, e drainage of two local basins, the Bolan and the Nari. Both drain which, curving northwards, likewise discharge their drainage into south-eastwards from the central Quetta-Pishin plateau, and both the Mashkel. Directly south are the beginnings of the meridional have served for railway alignment. Being fed by tributaries which arteries, the Hab, the Purali, and the Hingol, which end in the for the most part drain narrow valleys where gradual denudation Arabian Sea, leaving a space of mountainous seaboard (Makran) has washed bare the flat-backed slopes of limestone ridges, and south of the Panjgur and west of the Hingol, which is watered (so which consequently send down torrents of rapidly accunralating far as it is watered at all) by the long lateral Kej stream and rainfall, both these central lines of water-course are liable to terrific several smaller mountain nullahs. Thus Southern Baluchistan floods. The drainage of the Bolan and Nari finally disappears in comprises four hydrographical sections. First is the long extension the irrigated flats of the alluvial bay (Kach Gandava), which from Kalat, southwards, of that inconceivably wild highland country extends 130 miles from the Indus to Sibi at the foot of the hills, which faces the desert of Sind, the foot of which forms the Indian and which offers (in spite of periodic Indus floods) an opportunity frontier. This is the land of the Brahui, and the flat wall of its for railway approach to Baluchistan such as occurs nowhere else on frontier limestone barrier is one of the most remarkable features in the frontier. Kach Gandava, whilst its agricultural development the configuration of the whole line of Indian borderland. For the has in no way receded, is now rivalled by many of the valleys of first 60 miles from the sea near Karachi the Hab river is the the highlands. Its climate debars it from European occupation. boundary of Sind, and here, across the enclosing desolation of It is a land of dust-storms and poisonous winds ; a land where the outcropping ridges and intervening sand, a road may be found thermometer never sinks below 100° F. in summer, and drops below into Makran. But from the point where the boundary leaves the freezing-point in winter; where there is a deadly monotony of Hab to follow the Kirthar range not a break occurs (save one) in dust-coloured scenery for the greater part of the year, with the 150 miles of solid rock wall, rising many thousands of feet straight minimum of rain and the maximum of heat. The Quetta and from the sandy plain. The one break, or gorge, which allows the Pishin plateau to which it leads is the central dominant water- Kej waters to pass only forms a local gateway into a mass of impracticable hills. Secondly, to the west of this mountain wilderdivide of Baluchistan and the base of the Kandahar highway. An irregularly-shaped block of upland territory, which includes all ness, stretching upwards from the sea in a wedge form between the the upper Lora tributaries, and the Toba plateau beyond them; rest- Brahui highlands and the gronp of towering peaks which enclose on the Kojak range (with an advanced loop to in- the Hingol river and abut on the sea at Malan, are the alluvial flats British. ing cluq0 t|ie chaman railway terminus) on the west; reachand delta of the Purali, forming the little province of Las Bela, the ing south through Shorarud to Nushki; including the basins of the home of the Las Rajput. In this hot and thirsty corner of Baluchirailed by the Jam or Cham, there is a fairly wide stretch of Bolan and Nari as far as Sibi to the south-east; stretching out an stan, cultivation, nourished by the alluvial detritus of the Purali, and well arm to embrace the Tal Chotiali valley on the east, and following irrigated. a little garden to the south of the modern town of the main water-divide between the Zhob and Lora on the north, is Las Bela (theInancient is the tomb of Sir Robert Sandeman, called British Baluchistan. It is leased from Kalat, and forms a who spent the best Armabel) and active life in the distinctive province, being brought under the ordinary forms of making of Baluchistan.part of an energetic _ • , civil administration in British India. Beyond it, north and south, of the Hingol, and fringing the Arabian Sea, stretcnlies independent Baluchistan, but this independence is not that of ingWestward to the Persian frontier (here defined by the Dasht river), is the Afghanistan—hardly that of the native states of the Indian penin- maritime province of Makran, the home of many mixed Makrdn. sula. Instead of being subject to civil administration, independent races, amongst the Arab Rind predominates. , Baluchistan is under political control; and its administrative staff The long lateralwhich valley of Kej is usually associated with Makran is more distinctly military than that of the assigned districts of in early geographical records. The Kej-Macoran of Marco 1 o o is 1 Makran of to-day. Behind a stretch of sandy foreshore, which Now included within the limits of the lately formed frontier the is broken on the coast-line by the magnificent cliffs of Malan, the province.