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The Sikhs, after their defeat in the war of 1946, agreed to allow a British garrison, to be stationed in Lahore. This was the beginning of the end of the independence for the Sikhs. During this period, famous British resident in Lahore, Sir Henry Lawrence was assisted by a group of young officers, both from military and civil bureaucracy. These brilliant officers collectively are referred to, as 'Henry Lawrence’s Young Men'. These young officers played a key role in extending the British Rule over the vast North- West Frontier of India. P. A. Vans Agnew was one of these officers. He travelled to Gilgit in 1847, on a mission to negotiate with the local rulers, as well as collect intelligence. He wrote a series of diaries during his four months stay in Gilgit, which contain a treasure of information about the contemporary socio-political conditions in the region. Many historical facts about the Khowar Speaking world (Chitral, Ghizer and Yasen)have been recordrd in these diares, being one of the earliest of its kind.
Agnew was later killed in Multan in 1847, along with Lt. Anderson. This incident sparked the 2nd Sikh War, which put to end the Sikh Raj in Punjab.
Some of the Diaries of Mr. P.A. Vans Agnew are reproduced here, from the Record of the Punjab Government.

Diaries of Mr. P. A. Vans Agnew

Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General, North-West Frontier,On Deputation to Gilgit, in 1847.

No. 1.—Diary of Mr. P. A. Vans Agnew,
Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General, North-West Frontier,
on Deputation to Gilgit, from the 20th to the 26th of June 1847

21th June 1847.— Marched in company with Captain Abbott from Agrore to Khakee in Pukli, having to cross a low pass.

21st June.—Halted at Khakee previous to leaving Captain Abbott. .

22nd June.—Marched from Khakee to the Gurhee in the Koonharaki-Durra, nearly 20 miles. first symptoms of the rains to-day. Captain Abbott took the road to Mansera: found all Maharajah Golab Singh’s forces on their way to Moozuffurabad. .

23rd June,—Halted at the gurhee to arrange my baggage, £rom which I have been separated since the 1st instant. .

24th .June.—Rain all the morning; march in the afternoon to Moozuffurabad; crossed the river Kishengunga, above the fort. Means of crossing—one boat, one rope bridge, and an excellent gang of mallahs with double sheepskins. River said not to be so high as usual on account of the small quantity of snow which fell last cold weather. If so, this crossing mast be difficult in high floods. There was anciently a bridge of masonry here. It is a work much required and little to be hoped for I fear. .

25th, June.—Halted at Moozuurabad. Heavy rain. Visited by Sooltan Hussein Khan, who complained that no attention had yet been paid to the grant of his jageer and rozina obtained by me from Dewan Jowala Sahaie at Rawal Piudi. Saw Kurrurn Chand, Kardar, who admitted the fact. Reported on affairs here to the Agent. Received a letter from Mr.Winterbottom dated 31st May! Laid my own dak through Ameen KIan and the Sooltan to Kurna, From thence shall do the same to Gooreys. .

26th .June 1847.—Marched up the left bank of the Kishengunga to Noorasair, about nine miles; road bad for a traveler and fearful for troops. Dispatched yesterday’s letters to the Agent. Rain all night. Was shewn the place where the Kukka Bumbas destroyed a Sikh force of 3,000 or 4,000 near Kahmi: never saw such a trap in my life. .

Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General.

No. 2.—Diary of Mr. P. A. Vans Agnew, Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General, North-West Frontier, on deputation to Gilgit, from the 27th of June to the 3rd of July 1847.

27th June 1847.—Rain all the morning. Marched at noon (from Noorasair) to Puuj Giraon, eight (?) miles. Road better than that from Moozuffurabad to the last stage, but a mere track still. Received intelligence that Gour Aman of Yeseen is threatening Gilgit; the soldiers there mutinous and disheartened from being two years in arrears. There had been a few petty skirmishes, The Ukhbar intended more to represent the want of money than, give a true account of matters; also heard from Nuttu shah, Koomedan, that Maharajah Golab Siugh had summoned him to Cashmere for instructions. Desired him to go, but wrote to the Maharajah that I was not at liberty to delay for any one.

28th June.—Marched to Nousari, 12 (?) miles. Path practicable, and no more. This and yesterday’s march have been nearly due east. A little above this place the Kishengunga turns to the north. At the junction a valley called Punchkote joins it from the south-east. This village with many others, has been hardly used. The people were almost all up on the hills, as is usual at this season. This is the boundary of Moozuffurabad on this side With Kurna; and Kahouree on the other with’ Dürawa. The great boundary mark is a pyramidal peak called Chowgulla, I suppose’ from its situation at the meeting of four valleys.

29th June 1847.—Marched to Teetwal, eight (?) miles, that is, by the path I came; the horse-road goes a long way round over the high hill Reechmarg There is nothing to prevent a road being made, but these people never touch a stone. One place, called the Ranikut, is a precipice along the face of which a scaffolding of about 20 yards in length affords the only means of crossing. The people here make much of it, but I have passed half a dozen worse places with horses in a day in Ladak. The Kishengunga is here joined by the Kurna river, of no great size, and just below their junction it breaks through a hill. Visited by Rajah Shere Ahmad Khan of Kurna.

30th June.—Halted at Teetwal. Had a conversation with Rajah Shere Ahmed Khan. He is in reality tolerably hopeful, but pretends great fear and uncertainty lest Moizoodeen Khan’s offers should prevail at Court. Told him his failing to come in to Lieutenant Lumsden or’ me prevented his having any claim to be heard by me. Recommended him to give up Moizoodeen’s pioperty to the Maharajah, and send a Vakeel to Court. Joined by Nuttu Shah en ‘route to Cashmere. Wrote to Mr. Taylor at Cashmere, inclosing letters for Lieutenant Young and Mr. Winter- bottom, naming the 12th July as the day I should probably reach Gooreys.

1st July.—Dispatched a letter (care of Captain Abbott) to the Agent, Governor-General, North-Western Frontier (marked No. 2), containing my diary from 20th to 26th ultimo. Marched at 4 pm. to Meerpore, seven (?) miles up the Kishengunga, sending my baggage, and the most of my people via’ Kurna to Lolab. Road, as bad as it could well be. The river again breaks through a hill, evidently the ancient dam which formed a lake of the present valley of Durawa.

2nd July.—Marched to Chetun, eight (?) miles, in the morning, and in the evening to Salkhulla, three (?) miles. Road middling, but bad to walk nearly all the way. Weather oppressive. though the wind is cold when it blows. Turned round the third bend (or rather half bend from north to north-east) of the Kishengunga, the first being at Noorasair and the second between Nousari and TeetwaL. People here all dressed in dingy puttoo. Both in this, and in buildings, and occasionally scenery, there is a great similarity to Cashmere. They say this is the place for fever, and that the time is come.

3rd July 1847.—Marched in the morning to Pulri, about mile from Salkhulla by the river, but more than four of very steep ascent and descent by the circuit I was obliged to take to avoid a precipice. Sun unclouded; so halted. In the evening went on to Boojana, five (?) miles. The scenery here all very pretty, but rice khets ad rank jungle betoken unhealthiness. From Boojana I saw in reverse almost all the peaks of the Chilas and Kaghan hills which I had seen from Noorasar. Here the Kishengunga bends north again.

P. A. VANS AGNEW, Assistant to the Agent, Governor General  

No. 3.—Diary of Mr. P. A. Vans Agnew, Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General, North-West Frontier, on deputation to Gilgit from the 4th to the 10th of July 1847.

4th July, 1847.—Crossed the river opposite Boojana by a jhoola (about 2OO feet), and marched by an easy path sdme five rniles to Kayrun. The horse road crosses a very steep pass. Come again in sight of the snowy range now bearing west. Here I had intended to remain a day or two to explore, but the immediate illness of two of my servants gave credibility to the accounts of the unhealthiness of this the greenest and prettiest place in the world.

5th July.—Six out of fourteen attacked with fever and dysentery myself among the latter. Started as soon as I could get coolies and provisions for a night in bivouac. Marched about five miles up the pass, of which two were one continued steep ascent, Encamped at spot known as Indrgad.

6th July 1847— The road to-day along a tolerably level valley for about three miles, and then up a steep ascent of about half a mile to the summit of the pass. This is commonly called the “ Patra” gulen from a “Bahik” or grazing station of that name in the upper valley just mentioned. Descent about three miles to Becrum Buttoo in the purgunnah of Ootur.

7th July.—Marched in the morning to Trehgaon, and dispatched last week’s Diary to the Agent, Governor-General. on in the evening to Coopiwarra. Scenery very lovely.

8th July—Marched to Koorsun in Lolab, where my camp was waiting for me. It had reached this place in five average marches from Teetwal. No one in it had been sick. Found letters from Lieutenant. Young at Gooreys, and Mr. Winterbottom one march on this side of Husora.

9th July.—Halted at Koorsun. Laid in 64 truck of rice at 6- 1/2 truck the rupee, Hurree Singha, 5 seers tobacco at 5 seers ditto and 30 seers salt at the same rate.

10th. July.—Marehcd to Oolsee in Koohyam, crossing the ridge which separates the Lolab valley from the Oolur Lake. Received a letter from Agent, Governor-General, dated 28th ultimo. Dispatched a few lines to - Agent, Governor-General.

P. A. VANS AGNEW, Assistant to the Agent, Governor- General.  

No. 4.—Diary of Mr. P. A. Vans Agnew, Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General, North-West Frontier, on deputation to Gilgit, from the 11th to the 17th of July 1847.

11th. Juy 1847,---Marched from Oolsee to Bunkoot, just under the ascent of the Oolsee pass, about eight miles.

12th. July.—Ascended to Nunawarun, about six miles, of which three are very steep. Heard here that, in consequence of reports of a threatened attack upon Gilgit by Gour Aman of Yseen, Maharajah Golab Singh was preparing a force to accompany me. As I happened to know that Nuzzur Ali Shah, Thanedar of Gilgit, has for some time past been exaggerating the difficulties of his position in order to obtain payment of the two years’ arrears due to his people and himself, and foresaw clearly that the accompaniment of a force with the avowed object of coercion would put a stop to any hope of my proceeding beyond Gilgit itself, I wrote to Lieutenant Taylor begging him to present a morasilah. To His Highness protesting against this step until I should, from the spot, be able to judge of the necessity of it. From my own knowledge of the circumstances of the case, I am of opinion that His Highness’ chief object was to overawe o compel Gour Aman and others to acknowledge his sovereignty. This they certainly do not. It remains to be seen whether they should.

13th July 1847.—Marched about seven miles to Vijee, a halting place about two miles down the descent. Many of the people and myself suffered severely from headaches this and the previous day. Natives ascribe this to the flowers (?). The pass is not nearly so high as many I have crossed without any inconvenience to any of the party.

14th. July-- Marched to Gooreys,, about six miles. Part of the descent very steep. Saw great part of the rest of the Kishengunga to-day. Found Lieutenant Young at Gooreys.

15th. July.—Marched to Zean, six miles six furlongs. At 1 1/2 mile from the Thana of Gooreys we left the main source of the Kishengunga (about 40 yards wide), which rises in the great Mount at the head of the Dras valley, and followed, a tributary of about one-fourth its size to the north-east.

16th. July--Marched to Mupan, seven miles.. Found snow here in the bed of the river.

17th. July—Marched to Burzil, seven miles, the limit of visitation, and foot of the Himalayan chain.


No. 5.—Diary of Mr. P. A. Vans Agnew, Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General, North-West Frontier, on deputation to Gilgit, from the 18th to the 24th of July 1847.

18th. July 1847.—Crossed the pass. Ascent about three miles, of which half a mile is steep. Spent most of the day climbing for bearings, Weather cloudy. Halted at a place called (to us) Gajar.

19th. July.—Marched to Das. Sensible change in the climate. Found Sherokh barley here. Received a dak, containing private note from Lieutenant Taylor, stating that the advance of troops to Gilgit was countermanded.

20th July. —To Godaye. Sent a dak to Mr. Winterbottom across to Iskardoo.

21st July—To Nagaon. The roads here are very rugged, a is usual in a gneiss formation ; this too accounts for our s]iort marches. Rajah Jowahir Khan and the Thanadar of Husora met us here.

22nd July.—To Hussora. Encamped on the right bank of the river (the fort is on the left) at a place called Los, The Rajah resides opposite at Eedgah. Husora or Astor is the name of the “Raj,” not any village. This day Aman Ali Shah (with me) received a letter from his brother the Thanadar of Gilgit. He sent it to me. There is nothing the matter at all there at present About 20 days ago Akbur Aman, the brother of Gour Aman, made a foray on the confines of Gilgit, carried off a few sheep and goats, killed one man, and wounded two; but got the worst of it, it is said. This kind of raid is it seems a matter of common occurrence in these parts. The Thanadar here calls it “Admi-ki-lor” Gour Aman, be it remembered, is a slave-dealer. This particular attack was in retaliation of one previously made by Nuzzur Ali Shah. It also appears that the Thanadar (I speak from his own letter) has a candidate in training for the throne of the Amans, a certain Ibrahim Khan, for whom he is requesting honors and rewards from Cashmere. Ibrahim is a fugitive from his relation Gour Aman. I must claim credit for a correct anticipation of the truth of the Gilgit dangers. Nuzzur Ali Shah exaggerates a trifle (that is, in his estimation) to obtain his and his men’s arrears, and the Maharajah takes notice of it in order to make a convenient demonstration and relieve the said Thanadar without paying the said arrears. The Maharajah has ordered men from Iskardoo to Gilgit. His Highness, I may here mention, has sent about three months’ pay for the Gilgit Thana with Aman Au Shah.

23rd July 1847.—Halted. Had a long conversation with Rajah Jowahiar Khan, who is tolerably intelligent and speaks Persian fluently. He complains much of the license of the Thana people, of whom there are some 30 now; excepting the Thanadar, whether from fear or not, I cannot say. On Nuthu Shah’s arrival I hope to amend this. He also says that Rajah Kurrum Khan of Gilgit and his people have been much oppressed by Nuzzur Ali Shah, and are most anxious for his removal. As Nuzzur Ali wants to go, that will be easily managed) and as I believe he has made a good deal of money, he is in my hands. Five hundred khurwars of grain is said by the Rajah to be the tribute of Husora, and he claims a jageer of the same amount in Cashmere, bestowed on him by General Meean Singh, and now confiscated. His Wuzeer has gone to Lieutenant Taylor on the subject. What we have seen of the country, in addition to its poverty, bears marks of neglect and oppression. Mr. Moorcroft talks (on hearsay) of a town, Husar, containing 300 houses. The Thanadar tells me that there are not more than 120 in the whole Raj now.

24tl July.—Halted and dispatched a dak to Cashmere.

P. A. VANS AGNEW, Assistant to the Agent, Governor—General.  

No. 6.—Diary of Mr. P. A. Vans Agnew, Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General, North-West Frontier, on deputation to Gilgit, from the 1st to the 7th of August 1847.

1st Au.qust 1.547.—A steep ascent led from Mooshkin to Dhing, a village deserted since an inroad of the Dards, three miles. No water ahead.

2nd August.—Marched to the confluence of the Husora and Indus River. A short steep ascent led to Achur commemorated in M. Vigne’s map and books. The view thence is very extensive, but does not comprehend quite so much as M. Vigne thinks he saw. Say Achur is about 11,000 feet ; the Indus below is about 5,000 feet above the sea. Mr. Vigne, followed by Mr. Thornton’s Gazetteer, makes the difference 2,000 feet. But here the works of nature are on so gigantic a scale that Mr. Vigne only to be blamed for presuming to judge by the eye. Mr. Thorton is not so easily excusable for accepting Mr. Vigne as an authority. One of my guard reported missing.

3rd August 1847.—Crossed the Husora. river by a jhoola, leaving the horses to be brought over the Indus by mussukmen. The sipahee still missing, and from many circumstances there appears much ground for suspicion that he has strayed on the Chilas road and been carried off by the Dards. Sent to enquire.

4th August.—Marched along a wide stony valley to a deserted village called Boonjee. Opposite it is the ferry of the Indus, here a noble stream. We crossed in a squall, were carried down a long way by the wind, and I dare not guess the breadth. From hence it is about two miles to Sye.

5th August.—Halted at Sye for the horses, which not arriving, we went on next day on borrowed ones. The view of the great mountain of Diamur from hence is very fine. To all appearance it height is not less than M. Vigne’s guess of 19,000 feet. Sye I have said is about 5,000 feet, leaving 14,000 feet of apparent elevation, or nearly that of Mount Blanc from the sea. Of this the upper third is perpetual snow, which from this point of view covers horizontally an arc of 20°.

6th August.—Marched up the Sye river to Jagote. Passed two or three small villages. A tolerable amount of rather slovenly cultivation and many orchards. With the exception of the oriental plane and weeping willow, all the trees to the best of ray observation were fruit trees,-—the walnut, fig, pomegranate, peach, apricot, and others, of which many were luxuriantly festooned with vines. Distance about six miles.

7th Agust.—From Jagote we crossed the Sye river by a bridge, and ascended to a ridge separating it from the Gilgit river. The ascent is abrupt and considerable. The descent to the nearest point of the Gilgit river is rugged and tedious. The march between the rivers occupied us six hours, during which no water was procurable. Thence our stage was two hours more to Minor on a stony talus, at a gentle inclination, intermingled with sand, where the heat was really oppressive. The singularly low elevation of this valley with reference to its position in the mountains has not, I believe, been hitherto noticed. We are informed that snow is of very rare occurrence, and then of brief duration in Gilgit. Its temperature on a hasty comparison appears to be nearly 200 higher than that of the valley of Husora, whose river debouches into the Indus within 20 miles of the Gilgit river, and which is in a lower latitude. We were met here by Rajah Kurreem Khan of the valley, and Nuzzur Ali Shah, Thanadar of the fort. The Rajh appears more timid than intelligent. The Thanadar extremely officious, and talkative—apparently a “clever fool.” Opposite Minor is a fine sunny mountain shining at the head of a small valley. Its immense expanse of snow so deceives the eye that it is difficult to avoid believing that the snow line is not much above our present stand. The amount of nuzzzurs brought me is, I doubt not, a pretty fair criterion of the relative influence of the donors,—Thanada 12 rupees; a Wuzeer introduced by him, 5 rupees; Rajah 6 rupees.

P. A. VANS AGNEW, Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General.  

No. 7.—Diary of Mr. P. A. Vans Agnew, Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General, North-West Frontier, on deputation to Gilgit, from the 8th to the 14th of 1847.

8th. August 1847.—Halted at Minor, as the whole party required rest after yesterday’s fatiguing march. Had a private conversation with Rajah Kurreem Khan. Explained to him the object of my mission, and asked him to state his position. He said that his first agreement with the Sheikh was that he should acknowledge fealty to the Khalsa, but pay no tribute of any kind, merely granting a road for the Khalsa troops to the conquest of Budukshan. Subsequently he was persuaded to agree to a tribute of 1,500 khurwars of grain for the use of the permanent Thanah left for his support in Gilgit. Upon the whole, he had not much to complain of, and, as he heard the present Thanah was to be relieved, he should make no complaint at all, considering the manner in which they had been left without pay for two years as the chief cause of the trouble they had given him and his people. He stated further that he was, and had no choice in so being, tributary to the Khalsa formerly, and Maharajah Golab Singh now, as his country had been depopulated by Gour Aman, who would long since have absorbed him but for extraneous support. But, he trusted, that he should receive some assurance that no increase of tribute should be demanded from him. That of 1,500 kkurwars was yearly in arrears and levied with difficulty. I pointed out the security he would enjoy from his powerful neighbours under the protection of Maharajah Golab Singh, and avoided saying anything about the tribute. I then had a private conversation with the Thanadar, who corroborated the Rajah assertion of the difficulty of raising 1,500 khurwars of grain. Said, however, that there was but little in arrears; seemed much satisfied on my telling him that the Rajah made no complaint of him. Said that as to the men under him lie could not be fairly considered responsible; that he had exhausted both means and credit to keep them in discipline, but could never return any satisfactory answer to the taunt constantly used, that they got no pay; that the population of Gilgit was so small that the pressed labor of carrying in the 1,500 khrrwars to the fort from distant villages was a source of much discontent. He admitted that he had been engaged in constant guerilla warfare with Gour Aman, having made 800 prisoners during the last two years, and was also on bad terms with Hunza, indifferent with Nuggur and Chilas. In spite of the coincidence o the Rajah and Thanadur’s statement o the difficulty of raising 1,500 khurwars of grain in Gilgit, I am inclined partly to believe the rumour which accuses the Thanadar, in collusion with two Wuzeers, of collecting twice the quantity. On the whole, during the late revolution there seems to have been little harm done in Gilgit, and that it must always be an unprofitable acquisition to Cashmere, since any attempt to raise revenue would cause emigration when colonization is much required. In the afternoon a report was brought in that Mohturim Shah (commonly known as “ Adamkhor “ or “the Cannibal “ from his ferocious appearance), the grandson of Shah Kator, had just dispossessed his father, Shah Ufzul, the reigning Rajah of Chitral. As the latter is the friend, and the former the enemy, of Gour Azuan, this circumstance is of some consequence to me, and will probably make Gour Aman disposed to have friends in this direction as he must expect an attack in the other.

9th .Augusts 1847.—Marched to Gilgit over two long, stony taluses, about nine miles. It is a flat basin of cultivation sprinkled with dwellings, and thickly wooded with fruit trees, on the south side of the river. There is no appearance even of a village collected in any one spot.

10th August.—Halted, The heat is great here, thermometer reaching 96 in the shade. Dispatched purwannahs to the Hunza and Nuggur Rajahs (as below to Gour Aman).

11th August.—Went about eight miles to see an idol we had heard of. Found a colossal bas-relief carved on a rock which overhangs it above some 60 feet from the ground. My opinion is of no value in such matters, but I think myself pretty certain in saying it is Buddhist. The figure is a somewhat absurdly corpulent and placid looking divinity, regarding whose sex there seems so much doubt that it is probably the Buddhist “Androgynous” deity. On the way the Thanadar, as I passed the fort, gave me a salute of five guns. I noticed the small number. He pleaded ignorance, and after a few words of rebuke I let the matter drop, though still at a loss for the reason of it.

12th and 13th August.—Was unwell, and unable to go out, but Nuttu Shah, my Vakeel, arrived the first day, and the next I dispatched a messenger and purwannah to Gour Aman to the usual purport, explaining the object of my mission—the protection of Gilgit—the necessity of his sending someone on his part to represent his interests, and warning him against further collisions with Gilgit, which were positively prohibited on this side. I further added that the Thanah, with which he had been at issue, was about to be relieved, and hoped he would realize the good account given of him by Nuttu Shah, his son-in-law. Had muster of all the Thanah people present in Gilgit according to a request of Lieutenant Taylor.

14th August 1847.—Marched to Danyoor, crossing both Gilgit and Hunza rivers by jhoolas of 100 yards each nearly. The latter is at this season the largest.

P. A. VANS AGNEW, Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General.  

No. 8.—Supplement to the Diary of Mr. P. A. Vans Agnew, Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General, North-West Frontier, on deputation to Gilgit, from the 8th to the 14th August of 1847.

[In order to make my diaries intelligible it is necessary that I should at once forward some account of the late and present state of the countries from which I date. At the same time I must be allowed to state that such an account is compiled under great disadvantages, and that nothing but the evident necessity of such an accompaniment to a prescribed diary, which must allude to the past of unknown countries, would induce me to submit so premature a sketch.]

1. Gilgit proper is an open valley of which only the taluses of debris are partially cultivable. The first seven or eight miles of the river (from its mouth) are a mere ravine. Then the river bends to the south. Near Minor the valley opens, and the river bears nearly cast and west. Minor, though a large village for the country, is a mere spot of green in the surrounding stones and sand. Higher up is Sikwar on its own talus, and on the east side of the next is Gilgit. The peculiarity of Gilgit, and its recommendation, is that from the talus I have mentioned on to the next is all alluvial, irrigated soil, forming a basin of cultivation, some 3 miles by 1. Opposite Gilgit all is barren. Opposite Sikwar falls in the Hunza river, at the season of the melting of the snows, but that only, I believe, larger than that of Gilgit. Just below the junction is Danyoor on an immense talus, the meeting of which with that of Gilgit evidently formed the alluvial basin of Gilgit. Opposite Minor falls in the small snow-fed river of Bagrote, at the head of which is a small basin of cultivation. Above Gilgit are a few villages, which I have not seen, but all within two short marches. Up the Hunza river some 12 miles, is the basin of Naomul and about 8 miles higher is Chult and Boodlus. Formerly, 1 believe, the valley of Haramush, whose stream is the next tributary of the Indus above the Gilgit river, was subject to Gilgit. The valley of Sye, next below it, is still so; but I am doubtful about the next habitable spot below, called Gore. These are, if not all, at least all the principal sub-divisions of the petty Raj of Gilgit. Its population does not probably at present exceed 1,000 houses.

2. The population of Gilgit (said to have bee formerly called Gulgusht, the place of roses, from which in the Persian the distinguishing mark of the letter “ sheen.“ has been omitted, e. g., گلگشت or گلگت is supposed to have been in the time of its prosperity some 6,000 or 7,000 houses. Suliman Shah, the contemporary of Mr. Moorcroft, is said to have sold into slavery 2,000, Ahzad Khan 1,000, Mooluk Aman* 1,000, thus leaving 2,000 to Tyhir Shah (who died about 1838), and his son and successor, Secundur Khan.

3. It is not to be wondered at that a tribe of whom two-thirds had suffered the extreme of despotism should have lost loyalty to their rulers. Such was the case in the time of Seeundur Khan. He received an embassy from Sheikh Emamoodeen with much cordiality, and was apparently anxious for an alliance to strengthen him against his unruly subjects. It was, however, so distasteful to them as to induce a conspiracy in favor of their neighbour the Rajah of Yeseen, by name Gour Aman (the latter being the name of his family). Treachery still further favored the invader, and Secundur Khan with a few followers was invested in the small fort of Senukkur, while his brother Kurreem Khan, the present Rajah, sought a refuge in Gore. In the meantime Gour Ainan was recognized Rajah by the Gilgitees. He fully realized the fable, and the inertness of the deposed Chief was soon contrasted with the rapacity of his elected successor. He sold into slavery every living soul in Gilgit upon whom he could lay hands. During his uninterrupted reign of a year the besieged Raja and his brother were importunately claiming assistance from Sheikh Emamoodeen, who is accused of culpable supineness in affording them aid. At length he sent about 300 men under an Adjutant by name Nuttu Shah. It is a current report that the leader volunteered where none were willing to go. But the tardy assistance was too late for the gallant Secundur Khan. After holding out till every article of provision was consumed, and persevering to the brink of starvation, he capitulated, relying (to say nothing of the terms) on his wife’s relationship to Gour Aman, the presence of her brother in Gilgit and the improbability, according to the custom (!) of these unsettled countries, of his sueriug worse than imprisonment. Gour Aman was in Gilgit. Secundur Khan encamped on the opposite bank. During the night Gour Aman sent the Gilgit conspirators to murder him. He fell with 22 sword wounds. His wife, the niece of Gour Aman, who had urged him to surrender, died the same day. I have no doubt of the fact, and I may add that current opinion ascribes her death to an intensity of feeling which is rarely met with in more civilised countries. This occurred in June 1841.

4. In October of the same year Nuttu Shah reached Sye in company with Kurreem Khan and advanced on Gilgit with about 200 men, He was beat back, and a panic seizing his men they never stopped till they reached Sye, though unpursued.

5. He, however, persevered, and the news of his arrival brought to Kurreem Khan’s assistance all who had escaped the avarice of Gour Aman. They returned to the attack of Gilgit in November, and during a month were two or three times engaged with the enemy, besides carrying on the siege of the fort of Gilgit. In the end of December, however, they took the fort of Naomul by a coup-de-main, which turning his left and menacing his line of retreat Gour Aman immediately fell back on Yeseen.

6. The report of Nuttu Shah’s success in restoring the rightful claimant to the Raj of Gilgit induced the Sheikh to prosecute his chimerical project of conquering Budukhshan, the land of rubies. He, however, thought it safe to secure his line of advance, and sent the notoriously unfortunate Soojan Singh to subject Chilas. The object was temporarily gained, but, whether from negligence in the Commissariat or the proverbial difficulty of a large force in a mountainous country, Soojan Singh’s ill-luck was conspicuous, and he was beaten out of the country with disgrace.

7. Hearing of this repulse, Nuttu Shah, who had been doing his best to improve his early successes, commenced negotiations with his neighbours, and (to avoid further details) made amicable terms with them all, sealed by marriages with the daughters of Gour Aman and Shah Ghuzunfur of Hunza.

8. Not long after this, Nuttu Shah was relieved by Wuzeer Singh, Thanadar, who bullied the people, cut down the Rajah’s garden out of spite, and quarreled with his neighbours.

9. He was succeeded by Nuzzur Ali Shah (the present incumbent), a younger brother of Nuttu Shah, a weak man, who allowed the futile desire of revenge on the part of the Gilgitees to lead him to sanction the prosecution of a petty system of mutual retaliatious, which have prevailed to this day.

10. The people of Gilgit appear to me on first sight as a part of the remains of the great Buddhist Empire, of which so many traces have recently come to light. That they are recent converts to Mahomedanism is very evident. Mention of the Buddhist colossal base-relief will be found in my diary. The practice of incremation of the dead has only just been discontinued, and the common cemetery of their bones is still extant in Minor. Several villages and families refuse to touch a cow, far less eat its meat or drink its milk. And, it is only of late that the Gilgitees have paid any attention to the prescribed form for making their food lawful, having been accustomed to eat the flesh of animals that had died a natural death (a practice I have seen in Ladakh). They are a tolerably good looking race. But I shall defer any further speculations till a closer acquaintance, I may mention they know nothing of their own origin, sometimes repeating reports that they are “Ouladi Sikundur,” sometimes “Ouladi Jumshedi.”

11. The climate of the valley is tropical,—a burning sun in summer and mild winters. Little or no rain seems to fall, except in June. All cultivation depends on irrigation, for which there is a plentiful supply of water. The crops are numerous, and might, I conceive, be limited only by the number of varieties. Within Gilgit and its off shoots every variety, which can be suited, from the climate of rice and sugarcane to the climate of apricots and Sherokh barley, will thrive. To a casual observer nothing seems indigenous except the scrubby wormwood, which affects the bare hills. Mention of the fruit— trees will be found in my diary.

12. Up the Hunza river lie the two States of Nuggur an Hunza. It is said that the river is their boundary. Nuggur on the south, and its offshoots running back among the mountains dividing its river from the Indus, and then between it and Iskardoo and Shigur Hunza on the north and towards the grand chain which forms the Chinese Frontier.

13. Nuggur is said to have a population of about 6,000 houses, Its present Rajah, by name Zuffur Zahid, is said to be an imbecile.

14. Hunza by all accounts does not exceed 2,000 houses. But its Rajab, Shah (by which prefix he arrogates royalty) Ghuzunfur, is notorious for talent and daring.

15. He has the credit of having destroyed nine Rajahs of Nuggur, such being his policy to prevent his absorption by the more numerous population of Nuggur. He is in fact a leader of banditti, and there are few Central Asian merchants who have not suffered from his depredations. He is in close alliance with Gooyjal, the first chiefdom across the pass to China (and nine days’ journey from Hunza). Through this outlet his bands of plunderers waylay the roads and ravage the Sirikol valley up to Yarkund unmolested, indeed unnoticed, by the policy of the Chinese-Turkistan Administration.

16. About nine marches up the Gilgit river is Yeseen, and seven further Mistooche near the head of the Chitral branch of the Lundye river. Both these places are subject to Raja Gour Aman Khan, of whose doings in Gilgit I have made mention. His subjects arc not numerous. But he seems an active, unscrupulous and despotic Chief.

17. Below Mistooche is Chitral, whence the son of the late Shah Kator, Shah Ufzul, has just been expelled by his son, universally ‘ known by the sobriquet of “the Cannibal.” Next to the last is Ghuzun Khan of Swat, the most powerful Chief among these wild tribes. Directly south of Gilgit, across the range which separates the Gilgit river from the Indus, is Durel inhabited by Dards, between whom and Gilgit are pretty amicable relations at present.

18. By way of illustration I forward a sketch of my idea of the relative positions of these tribes, merely observing it makes no pretensions to accuracy.

P. A. VANS AGNEW, Assistant to the Agent, Governor General, North-West Frontier

*By the last account (which I give as I have heard it) Shah Ufzul had reached his friend Gour Arman in safety, and active hostilities, in the neighbourhood of Mistooch had commenced. The Cannibal is supported by Ghuzun Khan.

No. 9.—Diary of Mr. P. A. Vans Agnew, Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General, North-West Frontier, on deputation to Gilgit, from the 15th to the 21st of August 1847.

15th August 1847.—Started from Danyoor on an excursion to visit the Bagrote valley opposite to Minor. After proceeding about seven miles down the left bank of the Gilgit river, turned to the north up the inferior valley. This is to all appearances in a dangerous state of degradation. In many places the traces of fractures and slips were, so to speak, recent, and the occurrence of an earthquake, similar to that of 1840-41, would certainly occasion many more. We marched to Senukkur, a few houses under a magnificent chenar tree, whose roots are fed by a spring of delicious water. Here are the ruins of the fort in which Secundur Khan, the late Rajah, held out seven months against Gour Aman.

16th August.—Made a very long march. First up the Bugrote valley through a basin of cultivation intersected by the river till it was closed by an enormous glacier. Avoiding it by a detour, we reached another valley at right angles to that of Bugrote, scantily inhabited. Opposite us were two more immense glaciers joined at their base, but issuing from different sources. Along and across one of these we reached our halting place in the fork of the moraines at their junction. The march occupied us all day. The passage over the glacier was most fatiguing, though so dissimilar to those of Europe that but for the distress of the horses we might have ridden nearly the whole way. As it was, they were led after us, This is of course owing to a thick stratum of debris on the surface of the ice. The scene we this day reached may be described as a large valley, filled with a frozen sea, and bounded on two sides by a majestic amphitheatre of eternal snow. Just in the fork of the junction of the glaciers was our encampment on a triangular, level, meadow of green turf backed by a wooded hill. Its height was about 10,000 feet above the sea.

17th August.—Started, leaving camp standing, to reach the top of a pass whence we hoped to see over towards Rondo. Crossed the main glacier of the two to the south-west, about two miles breadth, and then proceeded up a small stream to its source. Here snow was lying in considerable quantities apparently fallen from a steep chain of rocks in our front. At the summit of these was the pass, which, with much labour owing to the steepness and loose stones, we reached by 1 o’clock. On the very crest we found perpetual snow and ice. Clouds unfortunately prevented any extended view ; but, though it is premature yet to make any assertion on this point, we have now better data for asserting the line of perpetual snow to be near 13,000 feet (about the height of this, the Rukun pass) than M. Vigne had for asserting that the average elevation of this enormous snowy chain was “not more”!

What we ascended was the lowest pass on the lowest spur of the range. Returned to camp by evening.

18th August 1847.—Returned to Purphoo, at the head of the Bugrote valley, but by a different road. On this occasion we had an opportunity of observing the incredible magnitude of the Himalayan moraines, or accumulations of debris thrown off by the glaciers. We also had an opportunity of examining the glacier, which closes the head of the Bugrote valley. It now abuts on the hill opposite its course, to which position we were informed (and I believe truly) it had advanced from several hundred yards distance within four years. I found its perpendicular height (that is, the thickness of the ice) here by rough measurement 20 feet.

19th August.—Went in the evening back to Senukknr and

20th August—to Dauyooi.—There was another road, and over a pass it is said higher than the one we had visited, but the prevalence of cloudy weather made it useless to ascend to such heights.

21st August.—We were joined at Danyoor, where we halted, by Lieutenant Young, who, we were happy to hear, had been more fortunate than we in the clear weather necessary to surveying. As I had to take the muster of the Thanah, we arranged to remain here till the 25th. This delay is caused by the number of men at outposts, whom as yet it is not safe to remove from the forts without a relief— difficult to be afforded from the small number of men in Gilgit. All in the country since our arrival has been perfectly quiet. The Gilgitees, and the refugees from Gour Aman resident in this place, are not much pleased’ at the prohibition to foray in Yeseen. There is not probably a man in the valley several members of whose family have not been slain or sold by the Aman. It seems hard to them that, now they may hope for powerful support, they should be compelled to forego “the virtue of revenge.” So strong is this feeling that I have thought it best to warn all concerned in the most decided manner that any attempt to render futile my negotiation for peace with Gour Aman will be instantly followed by deportation till further measures of punishment be sanctioned by higher authorities. In the meantime I lose no opportunity of expressing my sympathy with the sufferers and raising brighter hopes for the future.

P. A. VANS AGNEW, Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General  

No. 10.—Diary of Mr. P. A. Vans Agnew, Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General, North-West Frontier, on deputation to Gilgit, from the 22nd to the 28th of August 1847.

22nd and 23rd August 1847.—Halted at Danyoor; chiefly occupied in comparing notes with Lieutenant Young.

24th August.—In the evening crossed over to Gilgit to muster the rest of the Thana, They are a strange mixture of creeds and nations—Sikhs, Robillas, Brahmins, and kinds of Punjabees. As I turned to leave them one or two raised a “Dohai Sahiblog” about their pay. But I must say their appearance at muster was fair enough, and far from betokening destitution. At whose expense they have lived may be guessed. Returned to Dan yoor by moonlight.

25th August,—Marched to Naomul. Late in getting off; so passed the day halfway at a place without shade called Chihil Mish, where the thermometer under a double shamiana rose to 103° at 2 P. M. Our road was up the right bank of the Hunza river through extreme barrenness until we reached the basin of Naomul, where there was a most refreshing amount of cultivation.

26th Auqut.—A mistake about our coolies made it so late before we could start that we determined to halt. Naomul is better populated than any village we have yet seen owing to some 200 or 800 of its inhabitants having been rescued on the occasion when Nuttu Shah and Kurreem Khan took its fort by a surprise, killing two brothers and a nephew of Gour Aman and making his garrison prisoners.

27th August 1847.—Continued our march up the right bank of the Hunza river. The valley narrowed much, and beyond the little village of Gooech becomes a chasm between immense perpendicular cliffs. After with some difficulty getting down a small precipice, where the road is purposely kept difficult by the Gilgitees, we reached an oval basin of cultivation round one side of which the river flowed at a right angle to the course we had followed—from nearly north to nearly east. A vista in the hills showed the course of a considerable valley in that direction ; and a low spur on the other side of the river, intercepting the view, at a distance of about two miles, was pointed out to us as the boundary of Nuggur. At this place the Gilgitees have four or five small villages. These were seized by Shah Ghuzunfur of Hunza on the occasion of Secundur Khan’s assassination. Nttu Shah urged him to restore them, but without success. Then, to use his own words, “I made great friends with him, and married his daughter, and when his vigilance was thoroughly lulled I sent a party and took his six forts” (there is no other word for their walled inclosures) “in one night, and have kept them ever since.” Yet the speaker I have seen act more fairly than most of his class, both in Hazara and here.

28th August.—Halted at Chult, Up to this date no answer had reached me from either Nuggur or Hunza. This morning, however, a messenger, Nujjuff Shah by name, the bearer of a letter from Rajah Guffur Zahid of Nuggur, was announced. The letter is extremely polite, and invites a visit to his country (to which my letter made no allusion). Nujjuff Shah is a servant of the Rajah’s, but of no great rank. The council of Wuzeers with a pretty strong muster of Moolkeyas, and some say the Rajah, have come halfway from Nuggur to this place to a village named Nilt. As was to be expected, the approach of “a Sahib” has caused a good deal of alarm in Nuggur. Nujjuf Shah was silent in the presence of others, but during a private conversation with me was all smiles, though not communicative, I explained to him the object of my mission, and pointed out the advantages of a definition of frontier relations, referring to the standard of the past, and assuring him of the desire of the British Government to see justice done. He seemed to understand me, and I then told him to take his report of what he had seen and heard in my camp to the Wuzeers and bring one or two of them to meet me here. I should mention that he told me his orders were to remain with me if I wished it, and send some of the people with him to say what my wishes were. In consideration of the peculiar relations of Shah Ghuzunfur with Nuggur, his well-known character, and the absence of any reply from him to my communication of 18 days back, I have thought it right to proceed with some little caution before putting myself completely in the power of the Nuggur people. I would not hesitate a moment to enter Hunza, but think it proper to be certain that Shah Ghuzunfur, if, as he seems, averse to my visit, shall not make a cat’s-paw of the Nuggur people, the imbecility of whose nominal ruler aft’ords much room for intrigue. I sent an answer to the Rajah thanking him for his civility, whioh I proposed taking advantage of in a few days, and trusting that the report of his agent (of course a spy) would dispel any apprehension be might have entertained as to my intentions.

P. A. VANS AGNEW, Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General.  

No. 11.—Diary of Mr. P. A. Vans Agnew, Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General, North-West Frontier, on deputation to Gilgit, from the 29th of August to the 4th of September 1847.

29th August 1847.—Halted at Chult in expectation of the return of Nujjuff Shah, the messenger from Nuggur, in which I was disappointed. Lieutenant Young and Mr. Winterbottom made an excursion up an adjacent valley called Chuprote.

30th August.—Finding no sign of Nnjjuf Shah’s return, I joined them in the evening. That day they had ascended the spur of the hill behind to an elevation of 12,000 feet, and been able to trace the course of the Nuggur and Hunza river to its separation into the- upper valleys of those tribes.

31st. August.—As Chuprote was only three miles from Chult, we remained here, this day and the previous evening being so cloudy as to prevent some observations we were anxious to make.

lst September 1847.—The weather was clearer and we had a magnificent view of an immense snowy peak about 10 miles distant. From the best observations in our power we calculated its summit to be not less than 20,000 feet above the sea. It is not apparently so high as some others, which we have not yet had an opportunity of measuring with any hope of accuracy. In the evening we returned to Chult, where no one had arrived during our absence.

2nd September 1847.—This morning letters were received from the Nuggur and Hunza Rajahs, from which it was pretty clear that they had been pretending civility only so long as they feared I was backed by force. I had ascertained positively in the meantime that there had been much alarm in Nuggur and Hunza, and that the Rajah of Nuggur, cum suis, was all prepared for resistance had we, as they apprehended, proved to be invaders. The Nuggur Rajah now writes that he begs to be excused a visit from us. The Hunza Rajah (his first letter) mere unmeaning phraseology. Both in the very politest terms of high-flown Persian. Nuttu Shah, my Vakeel from the Maharajah, shewed me their letters to him, The Nuggur Rajah appealed to the former friendship between them, and wished for nothing else. The Rajah of Hunza (his father-in-law) said he had only one objection to having anything to do with the “Sahiblog,” and that was owing to their breach of faith with Ahmed Shah of Bultistan in allowing him to be destroyed by Golab Siugh after having concluded a treaty of alliance with him (Ahmed Shah) through Mr.Vigne! However, I fancy this was only impertinence, and that the Rajah of Hunza as well as others know that the late Ahmed Shah failed in all his attempts to be admitted to alliance. It shews, however, that it is necessary that there shall be “no mistake “ in one’s dealings with these people.

3rd September.—Having considered the matter fully, I resolved, as there was another valley in the vicinity for Lieutenant Young to visit on account of his survey, that I would make one effort more to get at least an intelligent Vakeel from these ignorant tribes. I accordingly wrote to the Nuggur Rajah that I was quite at a loss to understand his conduct in having sent me a volunteered invitation and following it up by an excuse; that my Government, knowing Maharajah Golab Singh’s conquest of Bultistan and Ladakh had caused him to be looked on with apprehension by the people of these countries, had sent me to reassure them, but that if they declined intercourse ‘with me they wore quite at liberty to settle as they best could with His Highness; that I saw plainly he and his tribe were made tools of by the Rajah of Huaza, their ancient enemy and notorious for treachery; that on this account I pitied them; and because of the good character I had heard of them in Gilgit, I made one more appeal to their common sense—the last, as I had no time to spare before my return—to send one of their Wuzeers to hear what I had to say; but that if he did not arrive in four days 1 should understand his absence as a decided negative. To the Hunza Rajah I wrote that I was fully aware that it was owing to his counsels thai the Nuggur people were acting so foolishly, but that in injuring them he would only injure himself still more, and that it would be for his good to send me an intelligent Vakeel to say something in his favor, unless he wished me to forward to my Government the common report that he was the reatest robber in these parts.

4th. September 1847.—Lieutenant Young started to Boodlus. The weather very cloudy.

P. A. VANS AGNEW, Assistant to the Agent, Governor- General.  

No. 12.—Diary of Mr. P. A. Vans Agnew, Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General, North-West Frontier, on deputation to Gilgit, from the 5thto the 11th of September 1847.

5th September 1847.—As it would take at least three days to get answers to my letters to Nuggur and Hunza, I went with Mr. Wintorbottom to Boodlus this day.

6th September.—Continued up the river of that name to Burr. There was no horse road. The path lay through a narrow valley running back among hills of increasing size as they receded. During the last night there had been a fall of rain with us, which covered all the considerable hills with snow.

7th. September—We moved our camp on to the extreme of cultivation and proceeded ourselves to see the glacier at the head of the valley. This glacier has advanced about five miles in about 15 years, that is in the memory of eye-witnesses of middle age. Its advance has thrown back the harvest 18 days in a village about a mile below it, where also grapes now seldom ripen. Returning to camp, we were pointed out some hot springs in the bed of the river, two of which emitted a continual blast of vapor with considerable force and sound.

8th September 1847.—As the hot springs were across the unfordable river, we commenced early making a temporary bridge and crossed over to them about 9 A. M. There were one copious and several small springs of water gushing out of a kind of cavity in the hillside (formed by the corroding vapors ?), and above them two crevices in the rook surrounded by incrustations emitting a continuous rush of steam with a loud noise—very like a locomotive. The temperature of the water where hottest was that of boiling water at this elevation. It seemed impregnated with sulphur among other matters. We then returned to Burr, and found another hot spring there, apparently from a similar origin, though at a lower temperature owing to its finding a vent through some alluvial deposits. All along the bank of the river for several miles a salt is effloresced in considerable quantities and the water retains the smell of the hot springs.

9th. September.—Returned to Boodlus in the morning. The Rajah of Huaza’s people had carried off a man from this place during our absence, and, having questioned him about us, let him go. This seems the regular way of gaining intelligence in these parts. In the evening we went on to Chult, where I found a messenger with a letter from the Huuza Rajah just arrived, but none from Nuggur.

10th September.—Halted. The Rajah of Hunza writes to say that he has nothing to do with Nuggur and is no robber. Ho calls his letter an “ Urzee” still, but does not give me nearly so many compliments as before. His messenger was the same spy he had waiting in Gilgit for us, by whom I sent my first letter to him; and he himself does not mention him as a Vakeel. If he did, the man is unfit. This day no reply from Nuggur, six days having passed instead of the four I fixed. I, therefore, finally determined to give up any hope of visiting Nuggur or Hunza, and to return to Gilgit at once. In reply to the Rajah of Hunza I wrote that, since it was evident he wished to have nothing to do with me, I had no further time to waste upon him. The decision was of his making, and I begged him to remember that, come what might out of his new relations with Maharajah Gólab ,Singh, as he bad declined the good offices of an emissary of the Indian Government, that Government had nothing to say to it. I said , this on account of his story of M Vigne’s treaty. With the Nuggur people I wasted no more words. I may as well mention here that the only road into Nuggur is across a rope-bridge, where they have a guard; that unless the Rajah sent me coolies there was nothing to be done. We could not push into the country and take the chance of their not daring to molest us. Anything like forcing an entry was of course, out of the question.

11th September 1847 —I am sorry to have to record that Mr. Wiiterbottom was far from well all yesterday, and got over our march to Naomul to-day with a good deal of difficulty, being also none the worse for the exertion. Sickness is general in the country, though said to be unusual. It is a remittent fever accompanied with great prostration of strength, and does not yield readily to simple treatment.

P A VANS AGNEW, Assistant to the Agent, Govenor-General.  

12th to 18th September, 1847.—This whole week halted at Naomul, and confined to camp in consequences of Mr. Winterbottom’s protracted illness. I am happy to say there is a decided change for the better. No occurrences of any moment. Lieutenant Young made the only excursion required in the vicinity on the 14th, 15th and 16th: On the: latter date ,I made Nuttu Shah write again to Gour Aman, urging him to send a reply to former communications. This Chief’s continued silence and detention of Nuttu Shah’s messenger do not promise much cordiality in his reception of any advance on our part. It is reported that he has made up his quarrel in Mistooche and returned to Yeseen, and that “the Cannibal” and his father Shah Ufzul of Chitral have been reconciled. However, I never found trustworthy’ intelligence so unattainable as here, and especially with’reference to Yeseen, The reaon’ is simply that Gour Aman sells into, slavery anyone he suspects of being a spy without the slightest regard to that unheard of code, the law of nations. I am anxious to ascertain his intentions as soon as possible, as, if we can do nothing more here, we might make a very profitable detour to Cashmere by Iskardoo, which would enable Lieutenant Young to furnish Government with the greater part of the basin of the Indus yet unknown, that is, between Iskardoo and this. Although the tract of country between the Indas and the Oxus covers much space on a map, it is hardly possible to conceive one more thinly inhabited. Hanza and Nuggur, containing together some 7,000 houses, are shut up in snowy hills with one outlet to Gilgit, one for a few days to Balti, and one (or two) into China. The country is doubtless a strong one, but I should think one regiment quite enough to take and keep it. The people want resources, unanimity, and courage. Gilgit is depopulated to about 1,000 houses. Yeseen cannot contain more than 3,000, stretching though it does from Gilgit to the Oxus. Mistooche, at the head of the Koonur river is a very small place. Darel, inhabited by an independent tribe, is the same. These tribes appear all descended from a common origin. They are utterly ignorant, except now in a small degree in Gilgit, of any form of society but their own. They have never been conquered by foreign invaders in the memory of tradition, except a vague story of a” Mogul “having marched down the Gilgit and up the Hunza valley. They know no kind of faith or fair dealing. The Rajahs are (and partly from necessity) either most despotic tyrants or perfect cyphers in the hands of a party. The people are either trembling slaves, constantly sold like dogs at the caprice of their Rajahs, or insensate intriguers to vary, generally for the worse, the form of their slavery. There is very little communication between any two tribes (at least for any length of time). Very often it is completely closed. Still worse, they seem only unanimous in closing two excellent lines of traffic,—that up the. Gilgit river into Budukshan and that up the Hunza River into Toàrkistan. Fuel is extremely scarce. There is no hope of coal in these primary formations, and wood is limited to the orchards near villages and belts of pine near the snow line. In the Hunza valley there is an absolute deficiency. The sands of the Nuggur river are said to be profitably washed for gold. Lead, sulphur and antimony probably exist in considerable quantities in Hunza. Iron in great quantity and good quality is said to be found in the hills between Yeseen and Mistooche. But these are nowhere worked beyond trifling present necessities, and the want of fuel makes anything on the large scale impracticable. In point of revenue these, like other valleys in the Himmalaya, would not probably pay their own costs. Money currency is barely known, and that in the vicinity of Gilgit.

It is very difficult to form any conjecture what will be the course of events among so barbarous a people in consequence of Maharajah Golab Singh’s occupation of Gilgit. Supposing, however, which is gratuitous, that the Mabarajah’s Thanadar here use any efforts to keep the peace, or rather abstain from breaking it, I much doubt whether there are not some grounds for an apprehension, which Nuttu Shah and the Gilgitees take much pains to bring to my conviction. They have reasons of their own for wishing hostilities, but it is not impossible that sooner or later, if not this winter, the neighhouring tribes may attempt to regain Gilgit from what they consider foreign intrusion. How far the Gilgitees would remain true to the Maharajah I cannot say, but there are a good many complaints of the Thanah. I hear His Highness is sending a strong relief of 600 or 700 men instead of 800, to which I shall say nothing. In a few days I hope to know Gour Anian’s intentions, when I shall forward a report for consideration.

P. A. VANS AGNEW, Assistant to the Agent, Governor-General.
The End
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