Views in India, chiefly among the Himalaya Mountains/Views near the Source of the Jumna
VIEWS NEAR THE SOURCE OF THE JUMNA.
The glen of the Jumna, a deep and winding valley, sunk amid a most chaotic confusion of mountains, is inconceivably wild and grand throughout the whole of its course to the plains. In many places the river struggles through narrow passages formed by the angles which project into its bed; and the torrent, when circumscribed in spaces scarcely twenty feet in width, boils and foams so fearfully, that to gaze upon it causes the brain to whirl; and sight and sense would fail, if contemplated for many minutes without some strong feeling of security. The accompanying sketch represents a remarkable fall of the Jumna a short distance below its source, the point at which it receives a very considerable tributary stream. This beautiful accession may be traced to its mountain birth-place, winding over the rocky platform in graceful undulations, noiselessly, for its gentle murmurings, together with those of other rivulets, speeding onwards to the same point, are lost in the roar of the Jumna, which comes raging and thundering along, falling with prodigious force into a basin which it has worn for itself in the solid rock, whence it springs again in a sea of foam, and pursues its turbulent course, precipitating a raging torrent down an abyss yawning frightfully below.
The Jumna flows in a southerly direction through the province of Gurwhal, where, at Kalsee ghaut, in latitude 30° 30' north, it is joined by the Tonse, which, though a much more considerable stream, loses its name at the point of junction. Notwithstanding the rocks and rapids which impede the course of these rivers, some of our party were of opinion that timber could be floated down them—an undertaking which, if accomplished, would render the hills exceedingly profitable to any enterprising person: so thickly wooded are the surrounding regions in many places, that one single square mile would furnish a navy with timber; and the growth of a hill, all the navies in the world.
At the junction of the Banal with the Jumna, the latter is a very broad and rapid stream, flowing over scattered rocks. Throughout its whole mountain course, this fertilizing river constantly presents some beautiful or inspiring scene, its banks, though rocky and precipitous, and of the wildest character, being diversified with splendid foliage, while in some places the smiling stream glides along the bases of green slopes, rich with cultivation, and of the brightest verdure; and continually crossed by ravines, beautiful valleys may be approached on either side, teeming with every product that nature has given for the use or the enjoyment of man.
In the course of the tours made by the party throughout the province of Gurwhal, they frequently came upon the Jumna, and always with delight, although, as it has before been remarked, some awarded the preference to the scenery of the Rupin and Pabar rivers. The choice is, however, one of comparative beauty, and one which may be accorded to all the thousand streams which spring from the rocks and snows of these giant mountains, with the exception perhaps of the Sutlej, which does not possess the various charms of landscape which render the other views so interesting.