TRAVELS IN THE FAR EAST
TRAVELS IN THE FAR EAST
ELLEN M. H. PECK (Mrs. James Sidney Peck)
New York Thomas Y. Crowell & Co. Publishers
Copyright 1909 By Ellen M. H. Peck
The University Press, Cambridge, U.S.A.
I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed: And on the pedestal these words appear: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings; Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.
—PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
TO MY DAUGHTER
As the inspiration which caused the making of this "Tour" came from my daughter (the "you" of my story), and as she wished a record of the same published, my desire has been to give her as complete an idea of my journeyings as is possible by descriptive text and illustrations. The interest of friends in the plan has caused them to be included in my thought, and if the public desire to be added to the personal acquaintances whom I regard as my readers it will prove a pleasant recognition of a modest plan.
The nine months tour included Egypt, Northern India, Burma, Southern India, Ceylon, Malay Peninsula, Java, Siam, Southern China, Japan, Northern China, Manchuria, and Korea.
Realizing that impressions suddenly formed are not always to be trusted, an attempt has been made to have them tested by comparison with those formed by a longer residence.
In like manner only statements have been made on the authority of those who claimed to have knowledge and experience. The lack of guidance of either a Baedeker or a Murray has been felt in Java, Siam, China, Manchuria, and Korea, small local guide books and guides not being an equivalent as regards accurate testimony.
May these pages prove a pleasant reminiscence to those who have visited the scenes described, and an introduction to those who have not thus travelled, but some of whom may plan to "do likewise."
MILWAUKEE, December, 1908
NEW YORK 1
THE AZORES 4
PORT SAID 7
SUEZ CANAL 34
ADEN, ARABIA 36
SHWE DAGON 111
NUWARA ELIYA 127
BATAVIA, JAVA 145
A VISIT TO NORTH CHINA 264
PORT ARTHUR 310
CHEMULPO, SEOUL 317
TOWARD YOKOHAMA 326
HOMEWARD BOUND 345
The Pyramids from the Nile, Cairo Frontispiece
Meshrebeeyeah windows 6
A bridge spanning the Nile at Cairo 11
The peculiar head-dress of the Cairo women 13
The Mosque of Amr 17
The interior of the Tomb Mosque of Kalaun 20
Fountain in the Mosque of Sultan Hasan 24
Openwork dagobas 26
Citadel and Mosque of Mahomet Ali 28
The obelisk marking the site of Heliopolis 33
The Suez Canal near Port Said 36
Aden, Arabia 39
Victoria Station at Bombay 41
Queen's Road at Bombay 43
Country scene in Bombay 44
A Tower of Silence 46
Entrance to one of the Caves of Elephanta 48
Street scene in Jeypore 51
A Hindu woman of Jeypore 53
Interior view of Amber Palace 55
General view of Amber Palace and fort near Jeypore 57
A gateway built during the seventeenth century in Delhi 59
The Pearl Mosque at Delhi 59
The Hall of Private Audience in the Palace, Delhi 61
Jumma Musjid, Delhi 61
The tomb of Emperor Humayun 64
Northern colonnade of the Islam mosque, showing ruined arch 66
Kutub Minar, the Tower of Victory in Old Delhi 68
Gateway leading to Taj Mahal 70
Taj Mahal 70
Screen in Taj Mahal 70
Shah Jahan and his wife in whose memory the Taj was built 70
Agra Palace and part of wall and gateway to the fort 73
An Octagon Tower of the Agra Palace 73
The Pearl Mosque 74
Akbar's tomb in Sikandra 74
General view of Fatehpur-Sikri 77
A column in the Audience Hall (Diwan-i-Khas) 78
Jasmine Tower and distant view of the Taj 81
The ghat at Cawnpore 81
The Residency at Lucknow 82
Bathing ghat, Benares 84
Burning ghat, Benares, where cremations occur 84
The Tope of Sarnath and the Jain Temple near Benares 86
A view of Darjeeling and the Kanchanjanga Range 89
A Nepaulese group 91
The Government House in Calcutta 94
An avenue of palms in the Botanical Gardens 96
Fort Dufferin and the moat, Mandalay 98
Mandalay palace and its tower, called The Centre of the Universe 98
The Arakan Pagoda 100
One of the four gateways to the 450 Pagodas 100
The Queen's Golden Monastery 103
Karen women in Mandalay 103
Burmese country house near Mandalay 104
A national dance at Mandalay 107
On the Irrawaddy River, near Sagoing 109
General view of Rangoon 111
Shwe Dagon Pagoda at Rangoon 112
Entrance gateway, Shwe Dagon Pagoda 112
Chapels on platform around Shwe Dagon, Rangoon 112
Elephants carrying logs at Rangoon 115
The Gilded Sule as seen from Hytche Square 115
General view of Madras 117
The Great Subrahmanya Temple at Tanjore 119
Fort Rock, Trichinopoly 121
The Golden Lily Tank, Madura 123
Entrance to the Madura Temple 123
Street Scene in Colombo 124
General view of Nuwara Eliya 129
General view of Kandy 131
Entrance to the Botanical Gardens, Kandy 132
Temple of the Sacred Tooth in Kandy 132
Ruins of Anuradhapura 135
Near the Sacred Road, Thuparama Dagoba 136
The Moonstone Steps 139
Mihitale Steps 141
Street scene in Kandy, Ceylon 143
The canal in the old city of Batavia 144
Batavia, Java 147
View of Mt. Salak from the Hotel Belle Vue 149
A village scene in Garoet, Java 151
The crater of Papandajang 153
The ruined temple of Prambanam 155
Bas-reliefs in the Siva Temple, Prambanam 155
The stairs leading to a Prambanam temple 155
The Three Graces in the Lara Jongram Temple, Java 157
The old temple at Mendoet 159
Boro Boedor, in Java 162
Stairway of Boro Boedor, Java 162
Boro Boedor, Java, showing one part of the gallery 162
A public square in Djokjakarta, Java 165
Designing sarongs in Batavia 167
Landscape near Batavia 169
Javanese vegetable sellers 170
A Javanese dignitary and his attendants 172
The King of Siam 175
In the Royal Palace of Wang Chang, Bangkok 180
Entrance to Prakeo, the Royal Temple 182
The Klong Canal at Bangkok 185
The famous Elephants' Kraal 189
Tower of Royal Palace at Ban-Pa-In 190
A Siamese girl 193
A royal barge at Bangkok 194
The collier quay at Singapore 201
The Sultan's Palace at Johore 202
A general view of Hong-Kong 205
The public gardens in Hong-Kong 205
A typical street in a Chinese city 207
A five-story pagoda 211
Temple of the Five Genii at Canton 212
The San Paulo Facade 215
The bund at Macao, called Praia Grande 216
The bund at Shanghai 224
Mogi Road at Nagasaki 228
The main street in Kobe 231
The fort and castle at Osaka 232
The rapids near Kyoto 235
Bamboo Avenue in Kyoto 235
The Golden Pavilion 237
The largest pine tree in the world at Lake Biwa 238
Kasuga Temple 243
The Temple of Ise (Yamada) 249
Nagoya Castle 250
The way to the Temple, Ieyasu 254
Kokamon: Iemitzu Temple 254
A five-story pagoda 257
The gate called Yomei-mon 259
The Imperial Palace at Tokio 261
Court of the Temple Shiba at Tokio 263
Gate of Chionin in Kyoto 264
Ueno Park pagoda 264
The Little Orphan Rock in the Yangtse River 268
Road to Kaling above Kia-Kiang 270
The Hankow bund 272
The Great Wall at Peking 274
Hata-men Gate 277
Peking girls 278
Llama Temple 278
A Peking cart 281
The Confucius Temple 281
Temple of Classics 281
The Inner Temple of Heaven 282
Outer Heaven, Temple of Heaven, Peking 285
The White Pagoda of the Yellow Temple 286
The Winter Palace of the Forbidden City 289
View from the Forbidden City 288
Marble Terrace of the Summer Palace 291
Marble Bridge of the Summer Palace 291
Nankow Pass 292
A tower of the Great Wall 295
Five Arch: First pailow of the Ming Tomb 295
Emperor Yunglo's tomb 297
Emperor Kwangsu of China 298
The Dowager Empress of China 300
Gordon Hall at Tientsin 303
Old gateway of Tientsin 303
The Temple at Mukden 306
Port Arthur before the siege 313
Tiger-Tail Promontory and Port Arthur during the conflict 315
203-Metre Hill, Port Arthur—The last point to be taken 317
The city wall and gate of Seoul 319
A group of Koreans 320
An old tomb of a high official 323
A white marble pagoda in Seoul 324
Street scene in Seoul 326
Torii Miyajima 328
Stone lanterns, Miyajima 330
Islands of the Inland Sea 332
Mississippi Bay 335
View of Miyanoshita 336
Theatre Street in Yokohama 340
Mountains around Hakona 343
Mount Pali, Honolulu 344
TRAVELS IN THE FAR EAST
Milwaukee, October 27th, 1907: The adieux have been said, the friends have departed, and the train is moving slowly out of the station; a profusion of flowers, tempting new books, and other gifts are visible proofs of the thoughtfulness of friends on the eve of a long journey in untried fields, and it seems as if I had lost my moorings and was drifting out on an unknown way.
* * * * *
CHICAGO is reached, and after a hurried transfer of trains I am speeding on to my objective point, New York. An interval of two days and there is a hurried departure for the pier and "the die is cast."
There is always a sense of exhilaration on the sailing of a steamer from New York, despite the sadness of the leave-taking; and the receipt of many gifts, telegrams, and letters keeps up the excitement until after the departure of the pilot. But as the shore line recedes and we drift out to sea, there comes a realization of an entire change of environment and of the rending of former interests, which is, of itself, a fine preparation for the mental equipment necessary to assimilate the new scenes to be visited.
The November Second party of Collver Tours "Round the World," sailing on the Friedrich der Grosse, North German Lloyd line, was to embrace ten individuals, aside from an accomplished Director, each to be independent of the other, but all supposed to fit into a harmonious whole. After the formal presentations were over, there came a sense of relief, for refined manners, culture, and the experience of much travel were apparent, and promised well for the months of companionship which were to ensue.
The localities represented by the several members in the party were as follows: Boston, three; Philadelphia, four; New York, one; Lafayette, Indiana, one; Ottawa, Illinois, one; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, one. This is an indication of varied personality and diversified taste.
The elements did not prove propitious in the days that followed our departure, and we were forced to bear the stress of wind and storm with becoming resignation, feeling personally thankful for indemnity from fatal results. Such a voyage does not lend itself to much diversion or variety of interests, but there were the usual attempts at gayety in the line of dancing, music, and the exhilarating "Captain's dinner"; hence with congenial people the days were pleasantly whiled away. Among the fellow passengers were some former friends, but I will mention only those who in a sense belong to the public.
There was Mr. Edward P. Allis with his family; he was formerly of Milwaukee, but for many years has been a resident of Mentone, France, where he has continued his researches along biological lines, and where he has also superintended the publication of a valuable magazine relating to his special subject. I am happy to state that he has received, in consequence, distinguished recognition from the French Government, even the decoration of the Legion of Honor. He is also the recipient of orders from other foreign governments, and the Wisconsin University has conferred a high degree upon him.
Another friend was Dr. Baldwin, of Rome, Italy, who has an international reputation as a specialist on diseases of the heart.
A new acquaintance was Mr. Theodore M. Davis, of Newport, Rhode Island, who from November to April, on his finely appointed dahabiyeh, makes the Nile his home, at Luxor. For some years he has superintended valuable excavations in the Tombs of the Kings at Thebes, defraying the expense of the work himself. He holds the only concession granted by the Egyptian Government, on condition that the result of his discoveries become the property of the State; these so-termed "finds" are very valuable, and a special room has been devoted to them in the Museum of Gizeh at Cairo.
Our arrival at the Azores was the first excitement of the voyage, and I had expected to renew the pleasant associations of the day we passed together on San Miguel, at the picturesque city of Ponta Delgada. But, alas! we sailed on and there was only a memory; by the subtle power of association another memory haunted me also, that of Funchal, Madeira, with its balmy air and luxuriant vegetation.
* * * * *
GIBRALTAR: The world-renowned fortress of Gibraltar was reached after some hours' delay, and we were welcomed by sunshine and a June-like temperature.
The attractions there are not numerous, but they are unique; unfortunately, a visit to the fortified galleries is now denied to visitors, but a beautiful drive to Europa Point and to the neutral ground, together with a walk through the park called the Alameda, is a fair compensation. The shops which line the narrow streets possess an Oriental aspect, and the general view of the massive fortifications afforded much interest to those who had not made a previous visit. But the picturesqueness of former visits—the motley crowd of Moors, Arabs, Spaniards, and Turks at the wharf—was lacking; while the venders of fruit, flowers, and laces were far less numerous, but quite as persistent, as of old.
* * * * *
November 12th: The steamer Magnolia, of the P. & O. line, became our home to Port Said, named for the Viceroy of Egypt, who granted the concession for the building of the Suez Canal. We were at once charmed with the general arrangement of the vessel, the salons for ordinary use being large and airy; the staterooms were smaller than those of the Atlantic service, but were finely ventilated.
The passage to Marseilles, France, consumed about thirty-six hours, and the time was spent partly in planning a sight-seeing expedition to take place immediately after our arrival. The Gulf of Lyons, however, gave us a stormy reception; and, as the gale (mistral) increased, the harbor was reached. To be near a destination and yet unable to enter the port was most tantalizing!
* * * * *
MARSEILLES: The approach to Marseilles is rather disappointing, as there are intervening islands of bare rocks; but later the heights appear, the Church of Notre Dame de la Garde being a prominent feature of the view.
Owing to the delay in landing, only two hours' stay on shore was granted, which was a great disappointment to many of us, but less so to me, as I had previously visited the city, and remembered the enjoyment derived from my stay there.
On our return to the steamer, a novel sight presented itself. The vessel was anchored close to the dock on which is a low embarkation shed, fronting on a wide passage-way, which was now filled with a motley group. At the back there was a fringe of color from many baskets of fruit, flowers, and plants in charge of dealers, clad in costumes of varied hues, with red shawls tied over their heads. Each hawker was intent on extracting coins from the interested spectators, who hung over the side of the steamer. In the foreground were acrobats of every description, dressed in all the colors of the rainbow; among them was a group of five musicians of tender years, an acrobat in pink tights who was exploiting the skill of his little daughter, scarcely five years of age, and another similarly cruel father, who was compelling a little girl to go through all manner of contortions. There was also a group of little girl dancers. This picturesque but painful sight impressed us with the necessity for the establishment here of a society for the prevention of cruelty to children.
Two hundred and fifty more passengers were added to the steamer list at Marseilles, and henceforth the vessel was to be taxed to her utmost capacity. Most of the passengers were en route for a five weeks' voyage to Australia, many of them were friends, and a general spirit of jollity prevailed, the decks presenting the appearance of a seaside veranda, with their tables, lounging-chairs, work-baskets, and toys. A "sports" committee was at once formed, and games of all kinds were played (always for prizes), while a concert, dances, and bridge enlivened the evening hours.
On the night of November 17th we passed the volcano of Stromboli (now inactive), our steamer gliding between it on one side and the isles of Pina on the other; some hours later the Straits of Messina were reached; while, farther on, the island of Candida was passed. A church service was held aboard both morning and evening (the latter in the second-class salon), this being the invariable rule on English steamers.
* * * * *
PORT SAID, November 20th: As we approached Port Said, everything was at first shadowy—the lighthouse, a group of palms, and a minaret seeming to rise out of the sea. There were a few points of land called Damietta, but all else was flat. At last we steamed into the harbor, anchoring at the mouth of the Suez Canal, and were taken ashore in a launch amidst a confused yelling of voices,—indeed a perfect Babel.
With only three or four hours in Port Said, there was little time for a close survey, but we walked through some of the streets, called at a few shops of no special interest, and had afternoon tea at one of the hotels, to the accompaniment of music furnished by native musicians. We had always heard Port Said spoken of as "the wickedest place in the world," and we commented on the apparent absence of such a condition; but we were assured by one of the tourists that wickedness did exist, and we accepted the statement without an attempt to verify it.
Port Said gains its principal importance from being the starting-point of that great waterway, the Suez Canal, of which we form our first impression from the fact that ten years' time was required for its construction and $100,000,000 were expended on the work, the payment of which impoverished Egypt and was one of the causes that led to the protectorate of England. This is said to be a humiliating condition to all true Egyptians.
The monument at Port Said, raised in honor of Ferdinand de Lesseps, as the founder of the enterprise, emphasizes France's contribution to the project.
* * * * *
CAIRO, November 20th: A late train to Cairo caused us to arrive near midnight, an inopportune time for first impressions, but the memory of a former visit caused a pleasant anticipation of scenes to be revisited. A week, however, was too short a time in which to cover the ground, but by persistent effort on our part much was accomplished.
Having headquarters at Shepheard's Hotel—with its foreign arrangement of rooms and furnishings, together with its gayly attired attendants, many of them costumed in red, yellow, green, or blue silk trimmed with gilt, and wearing silk turbans to match—gave us at once an Oriental environment. The central location of the building, with the opportunity, also, which the wide terrace afforded guests for making observations, offered us an immediate insight into the unique life of the city. The venders of fruit, flowers, postal cards, and souvenirs formed a foreground of many colors, while beyond was an unceasing flow of motley carriages, native vehicles, carts, donkeys, and camels, and sometimes two resplendent outriders (called "Sikhs"), on fine chargers, heralded the approach of some dignitary,—a custom which is, however, dying out.
The most novel sight which came to our notice was a wedding procession, the bride being ever carefully concealed by silken curtains thrown over either a carriage or a peculiarly constructed litter borne by two camels, one at the front and one at the back; a band of music preceded, followed by vehicles of many different kinds containing members of the bridal party, all en route for the bride's home.
It must be remembered that Cairo, while in one sense a modern city, presents many clearly defined mediaeval phases; this is particularly true throughout its native quarters, as exemplified in streets and bazars in the vicinity of the Nile, and in its old-time mosques; in this connection I would emphasize the bazars, both Turkish and Arabic. Some of the old irregular thoroughfares on which the bazars are situated radiate from the wider and more important Muski; then, again, there are narrower alley-like streets, a veritable tangle! The bazars everywhere are similarly constructed, but vary in size and importance; they are box-like in form, from four to six feet in width, and six to eight feet in height, and are raised one or two feet from the ground, with three sides enclosed and the fourth open to the street by day, but at night closed, the fourth wall sliding into place like a folding door.
Here is usually to be found, for a certain distance, but one kind of goods, be it slippers, brass-work, or embroideries, alternating with eatables, fruit, pipes, and the like, there being no attempt at classification. Woe be to the unwary who approach these bazars without the ability to "bargain"; for there is ever a scale of prices, and the topmost one is usually exorbitant!
Within the open space of his shop sits the dealer, ready for the contest, sometimes complacently sipping his coffee, or smoking a cigarette, the long Turkish pipes having been largely abolished. The courtesy of coffee or a cigarette is often extended to the purchaser, which possesses a mollifying effect if the discussion over a purchase has waxed high.
It is said that the scenes in the Turkish bazars on a fete day are like a picture from the "Arabian Nights," the places being illuminated by many candles or chandeliers, and covered by awnings formed of rich shawls, scarfs, and embroideries brought from the interior. This gives each bazar the appearance of a reception room, with the dealer seated within, dispensing hospitality, every one being dressed in holiday attire. The bazars in Cairo are considered an important feature of the life of the city (as they are in every place throughout the Eastern or Western Orient), but they are less attractive than those I visited in Tunis, Constantinople, or Damascus.
The crowd that is passing the shops often proves more interesting than the display within, as there are natives of all ages and descriptions, Arabs, Bedouins, Turks, and Egyptians, some mounted on donkeys and some driving heavily laden camels. Water-carriers with jars, mostly women, are among them, while the natives usually carry under the arm the characteristic pigskin, filled with water. These are the sights to be seen, together with the venders of fruit and vegetables, alternating with richly equipped carriages, and funeral or bridal processions. Men and women in their Oriental dress jostle the crowd of sight-seers who ever throng these ways.
In these, but more often in a better class of streets, we pass the lovely meshrebiya windows, with their intricate turned lattice-work designs; they are very frequently oblong projecting windows, but instead of glass there is used the fine tracery or lattice-work in wood. Sad to relate, this fine work is sharing in the general decay to be found in the old quarters of Cairo, and, in a few years, the tourist will only be able to view the specimens even now being sent to the Arabian Museum, which institution is, by the way, doing a splendid work in preserving and classifying all artistic remains, notably those from the crumbling mosques.
Except in the matter of decay, I found little change in the native portion of the city since my visit in 1898; but the aspect of the city proper has grown modern. Fine new streets, public buildings and residences, are seen everywhere in the Ezbekieh and Ismailian quarters of the city, while certain sections suggest a European capital. The Ezbekieh Gardens, opposite the Continental Hotel, form really a small park in the centre of the city, and are a great resort for tourists as well as residents.
The Ismailian is the fashionable quarter of the city, and it is said that many wealthy citizens have left their former luxurious native homes for a modern residence in the new section. Hence many dealers in the bazars have secured the deserted Oriental homes, and now live in comparative luxury, showing that conditions and residential centres change in the Old World as well as in the New.
But note how much more attractive the original home must appear to native eyes. A passage leads from the street to a spacious court, and grouped around the court, which usually has a fountain in the centre (with sometimes one or two trees), are the rooms for general use and those assigned to guests. The apartments occupied by the women of the family, commonly called the harem, are not visible, but are generally spacious and well furnished, even luxuriously appointed, with inlaid floors, decorated walls, and rich rugs. The light filters through either meshrebiya or flat latticed windows, for no profane eye can gaze on the supposed loveliness of damsel and dame, nor can they, in their turn, gaze outward for any distance, which shows the restricted social condition of the women.
It is said that they are virtually regarded with contempt, and, though usually kindly treated in the harem, they are considered only as ornamental appendages of the home; hence they are rarely educated, and never in more than those accomplishments, such as music and dancing, which tend to add to their attractiveness.
The better classes of women are always seen veiled, and, with the peculiar covering over the nose, one can only judge of their appearance by their often very beautiful eyes. Oh, the infinite sadness to be found in the depths of many of them!
I was, however, told by a gentleman, long resident in Cairo, that there are indications of a gradual change as regards education, the wives of a few high officials having been educated on broader lines than mere accomplishments; hence it is to be hoped that the leaven will work in time. It may also be found later that the transference of the harem from an Oriental home to a Number 9 residence on a fashionable street will lessen the seclusion heretofore imposed.
The Nile is always a centre of interest, not only for those who explore it to the cataracts or Khartoum, but for natives and tourists who throng its banks to catch a glimpse of the queer sailing craft, and to watch the never-ending procession that passes over it,—men, women, vehicles, and animals filling every available space.
It is quite the fashion for parties of tourists to repair to the bridge at 5 A.M. in order to watch the marketmen, venders of all kinds, and the heavily laden donkeys and camels fulfilling their part in the labor of supplying the city markets.
Once across the bridge, the procession from the country is even more picturesque; and, viewed from a waiting "tram" in the late afternoon, when all are homeward bound, the scene is most incongruous. Sometimes four or five heavily veiled women in black robes are seen on one of the long two-wheeled carts, drawn by an emaciated horse with a native at his head as a propelling power; next, follow a flock of geese, two or three score of goats, a group of sheep, four or five camels looking down with a superior air on the donkeys, as well as pedestrians of many complexions and of varied dress—Arabs, Bedouins, Soudanese, and Egyptians,—their queerly shaped turbans and brilliant colors lending the finishing touch to the scene. Nowhere else in the Orient does such a view present itself, and its setting is the Nile!
The last glimpse of the Nile, the evening before my departure, will never be forgotten. The occasion was an invitation to indulge in afternoon tea at the Hotel Semiramis, near the entrance to the bridge. We lingered on for the sunset, which first appeared as a flaming ball of fire, succeeded by myriad shades of rainbow hues, these fading into softer tints and later into those more delicate tones that prelude the twilight. Then silence seemed to brood over the wonderful river, and we departed.
If the street scenes, the bazars, and the Nile are an index to the native life of Cairo, a greater claim may be made for the mosques, in which the city abounds; for they represent political changes, social evolution, and artistic development, as history proves. To substantiate this claim of the mosques, a brief digression is necessary.
The origin of Cairo dates back to the Muslim invasion in 640; the original Arab settlement was called Fustat, the "Town of the Tent," which is substantially the old Cairo of to-day. Here was erected almost at once the first mosque, that of Amr, sometimes called Amru. In 751 a northeast suburb was added, called El Askar; this was to be the residence of the Governor, and here also was erected the Mosque of El Askar. Keeping still to the northeast, another city was added, in 860, by the first independent Muslim King of Egypt, Ibn Tulun, called El Katai; the "wards" became divided into separate quarters for various nations and classes, and here was erected the remarkable Mosque of Ibn Tulun. A fourth city still farther northeast was added a little over a century later, called El Kahira (the Cairo of to-day); this did not become the commercial capital of Egypt, but occupied the same relation to Fustat that El Askar and Katai held. The Town of the Tent, resting on the bank of the Nile, still remained the metropolis, as it did after the fall of both El Askar and Katai—the disaster to these latter cities giving additional prestige to El Kahira.
The building of a mosque was regarded by the rulers not only as an expression of religious zeal, but as a contribution to the life of the State. Several mosques were erected during the two centuries of Arab rule, but Amr was the first and most important. It is situated near the site of the old Roman city of Misr, where Amr first pitched his tent, on the invasion of Egypt. The outside of the old mosque is not imposing, but, with the vast court forty thousand feet in area, surrounded by colonnades consisting of numberless columns with every variety of capitals (taken from Christian churches), it excites our admiration. Wooden beams, stretched from column to column, formerly supported one hundred and eighty thousand hanging lamps which illuminated the edifice every night, while throngs of learned men, professors, and persons of many conditions gathered there daily for lectures and discussion. The great convocation was on Friday, when a sermon and prayers were the order of the day, the immense court affording ample space for the multitude, while the large east end sanctuary gave room for persons of distinction to kneel. The mihrab, or niche, where worshippers turned toward Mecca, the pulpit, and the tribunal were also features of the edifice. We now see little of the original mosque, for it has been remodelled from time to time; but it still remains the best type of the congregational mosque (called Gami, meaning "assembly"), and to me it seemed, as I looked upon it, one of the most impressive monuments of a dead past that I had ever seen.
With the political change in 868, which introduced the Turkish period, Ibn Tulun became the ruler, and another era of mosque and palace and hospital building prevailed. The Mosque of Ibn Tulun is the only monument that survives; it is also a congregational type and has the same general style as Amr; it is the earliest instance of the use of the pointed arch throughout a building, this being two centuries earlier than its use in England. Five rows of arches form the arcade, or cloisters, on the Mecca end of the building, with two rows on the other three sides. The ornaments on the arches and around the windows are in stucco, and are worked by hand in the plaster, instead of being moulded as is the stucco work of the Alhambra. These consist of a bud, flower, and rosette pattern. Another century passed on, when, in 969, the victorious Gauhar forced the passage of the Nile and assumed possession in behalf of a Fatimid caliphate (named Fatimid, for a daughter of Mohammed). This event presaged a religious as well as a political change, for the Fatimids were apostates from the true faith and advocated the doctrines of Shi'a, one of the tenets being that the Koran had been created, and another that there had been Mohammeds or inspired men in every century. Shi'a now became the State religion, and for two centuries held sway over Egypt.
This period was famous for palace building, and the descriptions of the magnificence and luxurious furnishings read like a fairy tale. Mosque building was not neglected, and there are two notable examples of the congregational form, El Azhar and El Hakim. El Azhar was founded by Gauhar on April 3, 970, and in 988 it was especially devoted to the uses of learning. It soon became one of the chief universities of the time, and in 1101 there were nine thousand students and two hundred and thirty-nine professors. The foreign students even now pay no fee and are allowed rations of food, there being an endowment for this purpose. It is, however, still used to a certain extent as a mosque; but it does not now preserve the regular plan of a mosque, having been remodelled and added to several times. It has six minarets and a spacious court covering three thousand six hundred square yards, with one hundred and forty columns and numerous side chambers which are devoted to lectures, libraries, and laboratories.
At the time of our visit this court was filled with individual groups of about thirty students, each around a professor; they were sitting cross-legged on the floor, and were chanting their lessons with a swaying motion of the body. A class of small children was of special interest, studying passages of the Koran from cards. The Mosque of El Hakim was completed in 1013, and was so resplendent throughout that it was known as the "Brilliant." This mosque has suffered more indignities than even the old Amr, but the vast, empty court, with its partly ruined arches, still has a certain dignity. There were originally five minarets.
Leaving the Mosque of El Hakim on the right, we have Bab El-Futuh, the Gate of Capture, which is connected by the city wall with the companion Bab En-Nasr, or Gate of Victory. These two gates guard the strong northeast extremity of the old city fortifications, and in 1799 formed a strong position for the troops of Napoleon. With Bab Zuweyler, they are the most important of the sixty gates which once existed in the wall of Cairo. They have an inner and outer entrance and resemble a Roman gateway.
The Fatimid rulers outvied each other in embellishing Kahira with artistic structures; this seems surprising because, on account of the charge of heresy, Kahira was cut off from the Arabian centres of art and learning,—from Bagdad, Damascus, and Cordova,—and of course the artists and students, who formerly frequented the mosques, could not do so when they were in the hands of heretics. This condition of affairs, together with other causes, produced a crisis, as will be seen.
The advance of Amalric and the Crusaders, in 1168, not only resulted in the downfall of the Fatimids, but in the destruction of old Fustat, Shawar, the ruler, having issued a mandate for it to be burned in order to prevent the city from becoming a refuge for the Crusaders. The fire lasted fifty-five days, and the city in all its magnificence, having been the metropolis for five centuries, perished, a portion of the old Mosque of Amr alone remaining. Kahira then took its place as the official centre of Egypt.
Saladin, the King of Jerusalem, now became ruler of Egypt, and he at once adopted strong measures to win the apostates back to the true faith. With a wisdom far in advance of his time, he planned to educate the followers of Shi'aism by the introduction of madrasah mosques and colleges. Heretofore we have had the Gami, or congregational mosque, with a severely plain exterior. The madrasah mosques of this period contained a smaller court, which was frequently capped with a cupola in the centre; the sides of the court, instead of being surrounded by arcades, were formed of four transepts, each spanned by a single lofty arch. The transept toward the east was deeper than the others, forming the niche for prayer; it was also furnished with the usual mihrab, pulpit, and tribunal. Fine facades, minarets, and domes took the place of the usual plain exterior; the dome was generally utilized as the covering of a tomb or was intended for future memorial use. The religious exercises (daily prayers, except on Friday, with sermons) were in the nature of a school training in the interest of the true Mohammedan faith.
The exterior of the madrasah college was not unlike the mosque described, but the interior included facilities for theological lectures, together with classrooms and libraries for general study; the students were received on the very terms described in connection with the university Mosque of El Azhar. These, in general, were the means employed by Saladin to win all back to the true faith; in time he was successful, and Kahira no longer rested under the stigma of heresy.
The dignity of the Fatimid age was lowered by Saladin's quartering the officers of his army in the magnificent palaces, while he occupied the house of the Viziers. Shortly every monument of the brilliant Fatimid period had vanished, with the exception of four mosques and the three gates previously alluded to. Saladin, however, inaugurated a new era of building, and during his nominal reign of twenty-four years three mosques and sixteen colleges attest his zeal to the "cause." He also built the citadel, and the great wall which was to enclose not only Kahira but the remains of the old cities. To him the present city of Cairo owes its form and extent.
The tomb Mosque of Kalaun was built in 1279 by the ruler of that name, and is adjacent to the fine hospital, bearing the same name also; while not large, it contains exquisite examples of wood carving, marble mosaic, and plaster ornament worked in by hand. Seventy-seven years later, in 1356, we find that, in the Mosque of Sultan Hasan, the sculpture was in stone; hence, the material being unyielding, the designs are geometrical, instead of arabesque, as in the plaster. This is one of the most important mosques of any age, and is the most characteristic of the madrasah form. Seen from without, the walls appear even higher than the accredited one hundred and thirteen feet; they are built of fine cut stone, from the pyramids, and windows relieve the monotony of bare surface. There is a fine portal, set in an arched niche sixty-six feet high, which is decorated with geometrical designs and which has corner columns and capitals. The interior gives one an impression of immense size, on account of the great span of the four arches; the one at the east end is ninety feet high and seventy feet wide, and is unequalled. The mosaics and marbles, however, are less artistic than in the later mosques. The tomb chamber, entered from the east, has a finely decorated door of brass, and is encircled by a marble dado, twenty-five feet high, above which is a verse from the Koran carved in wood. In the centre of the room is the grave of the founder. The original dome fell in 1660, and was replaced by an inferior one; there were to have been four minarets, but these collapsed also. The court is well proportioned and contains an artistic fountain for ablution.
We saw the bronze lantern and many of the enamelled glass lamps in the Arabian Museum, which forms a depository for ancient works of art; the mosque has suffered greatly from devastation and abuse, but it still retains a prestige among its class that not even time can efface. It is said that Sultan Hasan was so delighted with the edifice that he ordered the architect's hands cut off, for fear he might duplicate his success,—an act committed presumably on the principle that "the end justifies the means."
The Circassian as well as the Turkish Mamelukes were great builders of mosques and colleges, particularly Sultan Barkuk (1382-1399) and Sultan Kait Bey (1468-1496). Their edifices are marvels of artistic skill, and, by the time of Kait Bey, perfection seemed almost to have been reached. This is particularly true of the tomb mosques, situated in the mausolea on the east side of the city, and known as the Tombs of the Khalifs. That of Barkuk is noticeable, on account of its two superb domes, its two minarets, and a carved pulpit, the latter erected by Kait Bey. The Mosque of Kait Bey is, however, the finest of the group; it has a lofty dome, adorned with bands of sculpture, minarets with galleries, and bronze doors. There are beautiful ivory carvings over the tomb, while the edifice is lighted by fifty colored glass windows. Near by, the smaller modern tomb mosque of the Khedive Tewfik (the father of the present Khedive), which is resplendent with a wealth of interior decorations, suffers in comparison.
The defeat of the Mamelukes, and the Ottoman occupation of Kahira in 1517, caused no cessation of mosque building; but there was a departure from the Saracenic models, and also a still more marked return to the congregational form than had been witnessed in the days of the great builders just noted. This is evident in the last great mosque of the modern period, that of Mohammed Ali (the independent monarch), begun by that ruler, but not completed until 1857. It is situated in the citadel and has an immense court, surrounded by arcades; but, unlike the original type, it is covered with an immense dome, producing an impressive effect. The exterior has also four smaller domes (one on each side) and two very tall minarets, with shorter ones on each corner. The mosque is likewise called the Alabaster Mosque, as the columns are built of yellow alabaster and the walls encrusted with it; its location in the citadel gives it a commanding position, and, being modern, it has escaped the ravages of time.
Only a few representative mosques have here been outlined architecturally (several others were visited), but an attempt has been made to give these their political and social significance and setting. Of the artistic side of the picture, it is claimed, on high authority, that there have been manifested, in the construction of these mosques, great architectural skill, perfection of ornament in wood, plaster, and stone, and a careful adherence to Saracenic principles.
The most conspicuous point in Cairo is the citadel, erected by Saladin in 1166, and constituting a fitting monument of his reign. From its position and its fortification, it would seem almost invincible; but, unfortunately, the fortress is itself commanded by the higher Mokattam hills, as was shown in 1805, when Mohammed Ali, by means of a battery placed on a hill, compelled Karishid Pasha to surrender the stronghold. The mosque of Mohammed Ali, placed in the citadel, as already described, can be seen from every side, and the barracks are also a prominent feature; but the presence of British troops seems hardly to harmonize with the Oriental environment.
A fine view of the city may be seen from the ramparts, but it is surpassed by the view to be had from the Mokattam hills; on our way there, some of the party took donkeys from near the citadel, but others (like myself) walked, if the exercise of ploughing through the deep furrows of sand may so be termed. A slippery climb, and all of Cairo with its environs lay before us—and such a view! It was in the late afternoon of a perfect day; the scene was, in the main, Oriental, the European touches being less visible from a distance. First, a confused stretch of domes, minarets, and roofs; then a separate mosque stood out, and we recognized Sultan Hasan and Ibn Tulun. Farther on were seen the towers above the Bab Zuweyler gate; then the Tombs of the Khalifs, blended together, and still farther there appeared the shadowy outlines of the old Mosque of Amr. At our feet stood the citadel, while the Alabaster Mosque and the line of arches marking the old aqueduct were clearly visible. The setting sun illumined the silver line of the Nile, touched the distant pyramids resting on the desert, and revealed the far-away step pyramid of Sakkara. Its glory seemed all to be gathered here, suffusing the whole panorama, and resting upon the scene like a silent benediction.
The island of Rodda divides the Nile, and was formerly connected by bridges of boats with both the island of Gizeh and Fustat, now old Cairo. It was formerly a place of commercial importance, and had extensive dockyards; according to tradition it is a place of Biblical associations, since a palace occupied by Pharaoh's daughter is pointed out, and also the place on the river where Moses was found in the bulrushes.
The old Nilometer, for measuring the depths of the Nile, which was erected in 716, is of interest. It consists of a square well, sixteen feet in diameter, having, in the centre, an octagonal column on which the ancient Arabic measures are inscribed. It was last remodelled in 1893. We visited old Cairo and the Coptic churches, six of which are situated in the precincts of the ancient castle of Babylon. The Copts are considered fine representatives of the old Egyptians, and they have succeeded in preserving their language and liturgy through twelve centuries of fierce oppression. The Fatimid period alone allowed them some measure of toleration; their religious forms are similar to those of the Greek church, but their discipline is more severe, their Lenten fast covering a period of fifty-five days, with abstinence from sunrise to sunset.
The Church of St. George will illustrate the peculiar arrangement of their religious edifices. Following the example of the older Egyptian Byzantine churches, the nave and tribune are uncovered and the side aisles have galleries. The nave has three divisions: first, a vestibule; second, a section set apart for women; and third, another section for men. There are the usual choir, sanctuary, and side chapels, and the division between the choir and the sanctuary is ornamented with carvings in wood and ivory. The church also contains Byzantine carving and mosaics, and is characterized by the usual richness in decoration. A flight of twelve steps descends into the crypt, a small vaulted chapel with marble columns situated under the choir. At the end of the nave is an altar, around which has sprung up the tradition that the Virgin and Child there rested during a month's stay, after the flight to Egypt. The Church of St. Sergius is similar in construction, as are others of the group, besides hundreds more scattered through Egypt. The dust of ages clung to our skirts as we left the desolate scene, and there was within us the consciousness that, for old Cairo, there could be no resurrection.
One of the places that might consume days in the inspection is the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, which it is impossible to describe in a limited space. But to the student of Egyptology and to the tourist it is alike important, because, in its monuments of stone and bronze, it presents visible proofs of a wonderful past, while the sarcophagi, mummies, and other remains taken from the tombs, reveal the life and habits of the early Egyptians.
With only two mornings for an inspection, we devoted one to a general view of the museum, and the other to the fine collection of our fellow-traveller, Mr. Theodore Davis, for which a special room is reserved. Mr. Davis courteously explained to us the different objects, or "finds"; these included artistic articles of household use, a fine group of Canopic jars, and miscellaneous pieces of unusual merit (all from the tombs of the Kings at Thebes); the whole exhibit showing what an enthusiast, with time and means, can accomplish in the interest of a buried past.
An excursion of great meaning is that to the pyramids. Crossing the Nile, we followed its course to the former palace of Gizeh; then the way led inland, along what was formerly a fine carriage drive, but now one usually takes the tram to save time. Our arrival was exciting, owing to the number of persistent Bedouins who met us with donkeys and camels. A white donkey, named Snowflake, and an attendant, named Yankee Doodle, fell to me, while a camel, named Mary Anderson, was allotted to a friend. An inquiry as to why American names prevailed, revealed the fact that the names of the animals are adjustable, according to the nationality of the party to be supplied.
The appearance of the pyramids is familiar the world over, but an actual view of these monuments of hoary age ever inspires awe and reverence. As we ascended the plateau (twelve hundred by sixteen hundred yards), and rode within the shadow of the pyramids, our feeling was deepened by the view of the barren waste stretched before us,—yellowish sand and piles of debris accentuating the solitude of the place, while the inscrutable Sphinx and other monuments added their silent testimony.
A more extended view revealed "the river of rivers," on each bank of which appeared a green line of foliage; beyond this could be dimly seen cultivated fields with intersecting canals, while tiny villages lent the human touch, and far away, Cairo, with her gleaming domes and minarets, became an appropriate background for the scene.
All the members of our party having previously visited the spot, we were spared the excitement of climbing the walls and entering the chambers, greatly to the disappointment of our guides, to whom the prospect of extra bakshish is always alluring. Our tour of observation consumed so much time that the usual programme of five o'clock tea at the Hotel Mene was abandoned. On our arrival in the city, the mantle of night had fallen,—a peaceful close to a never-to-be-forgotten day.
Another afternoon's excursion was made by carriage to the old villages of Matariya and Heliopolis. Near the former place is an ancient gnarled sycamore, under which, so tradition says, the Holy Family rested in their flight to Egypt. The present tree was planted in 1672, but the credulous still believe it to be a direct descendant of the original one. A fine spring which flows in the vicinity is also supposed to have lost its natural brackish taste on account of the infant Jesus having been bathed in it. A half-mile farther on is Heliopolis, the old City of the Sun. It is now marked by the solitary obelisk, which alone remains to remind us of a past that stretches untold centuries back of the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 640; and of a city that was the exponent of the most ancient civilization of the world.
The obelisk is the oldest Egyptian one known; it is of red granite, sixty-six feet in height, although it seems lower on account of the mass of debris at the base, and is inscribed with hieroglyphics. There remain a few granite blocks of the temple, designated the House of Ra, whose priests were so learned as to have attracted Plato when a student, to have drawn Herodotus into discussion, and to have laid the foundation of Moses' wisdom.
Heliopolis has been the scene of many stirring events, the victory of the Turks over the Mamelukes occurring there in 1517, while in 1800 General Kleber successfully led the French forces against the Turks. The memory of the active past serves to emphasize the present solitude of the place.
A favorite resort of the Cairo folk is the island of Gezireh; here a long avenue of lebbek trees furnishes a fashionable promenade, while games of golf, tennis, cricket, and polo, together with the races, are a constant source of attraction. The once famous palace of Gezireh (the scene of great festivities at the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869) is now turned into a popular hotel; its grounds slope down to the Nile, where dahabiyehs are sometimes anchored; an inspection of one of these, the Bedouin, excited our admiration.
The time of our stay was drawing to a close, and Cairo was again to become "memory" with a past stretching back into centuries without number. Egypt has a human history that is almost appalling to the thoughtful mind; this limitless stretch of time may, in part, explain the peculiar, indefinable charm that Cairo has upon the imagination of the beholder, thus winning for herself the appropriate name of the "Mysterious City of the Nile."
* * * * *
PORT SAID, November 26th: The return to Port Said in the afternoon was followed by our departure on another P. & O. steamer, the Arabia, for Bombay, India.
One enters the Suez Canal with peculiar sensations, as it is a waterway of vast importance, connecting the Mediterranean and Red Seas, and so narrow that the shores on both sides are distinctly visible. It extends from Port Said to Suez, and is nearly one hundred miles in length; it is artificial, with the exception of a channel through Bitter Lakes and Lake Tinsuh. All along the way, we were virtually traversing the desert, Isma'iliya presenting a small oasis, fifty miles from Port Said. From the deck we watched the monotonous scene, hour after hour, the landscape being old and colorless, with great billows of sand in the foreground, and here and there occasional hillocks. Once we saw mountains of sand, called the Gebel Abu Batah range. Sometimes a few native huts would appear (the mere semblance of a village), then a stray camel or two, or a group of natives with their pigskins, intent on securing water. The Great Bitter Lake is a fine body of water, and it afforded us a temporary relief from the monotony of the Canal. There was a short stay at Suez, which has all the stir of a noisy modern port. We were now for a time in the Gulf of Suez, but saw nothing except a yellow beach and low outlying mountains; we longed for even a patch of grass, but, alas! this was the season of drought, and vegetation was slumbering.
But if Nature was dull and lifeless, there was no lack of jollity on board the steamer; for the passengers were mostly English, and there were constant games or other devices for "killing time," in which the English as a nation are so proficient.
We sailed out of the Gulf of Suez into the Red Sea, which afforded some variety of scene, as there were occasional islands, that of Perim being the most important and a possession of Great Britain. It stands prominently out of the sea in its length of two miles, and seems almost destitute of vegetation, although there was a little settlement close to the shore.
Thus far, contrary to all expectation, we had had comfortable weather; but Aden, a few hours later, gave us a heated welcome. This small city of Arabia is picturesquely situated on the Arabian Sea, high up on rocky cliffs; we had anticipated a hurried survey of the city, but the heat was so excessive that only a few gentlemen ventured ashore; however, we had a little diversion on the steamer in the interval, as numerous natives appeared with amber beads, ostrich feathers (which are a noted commodity of the place) and fans; this provoked the usual contest in bargains.
The evening brought us compensation for a day of heat, with its consequent languor, in the shape of a gorgeous sunset; a huge ball of fire hung in the west and radiated great streaks of red, yellow, and blue, these fading away into the softer tints, and then came the most wonderful afterglow, the heavens being suffused, and the whole scene making one breathless, as if under a spell.
The Arabian Sea gave us an aftermath of heat, but, remembering with considerable satisfaction that the days of our transit were nearly over, we assumed an indifferent air.
* * * * *
BOMBAY, December 6th: On nearing India, with its far-away past, I was convinced that I would be first impressed with its Oriental aspect, but, on the contrary, the approach to Bombay presented a decidedly modern phase. There is a fine, almost semi-circular harbor, with a modern quay, and tall buildings encircling the shore, the tasteful Royal Bombay Yacht Club in the front, the spacious new Taj Mahal Hotel to the left, having about a block of frontage on the bay, while farther back were other tall buildings. Dusky faces greeted us at the landing, and a Babel of voices in an unknown tongue, or rather tongues, since many tribes were represented, each with their separate dialect.
Arriving at the Taj Mahal, we felt a sense of strangeness, as the arrangement of rooms and the service were distinctly foreign. There were almost too many attendants or servants (two for each room, an upper and a lower one), and the waiters in the dining-room were more interesting to me than the menu,—the Portuguese wearing white uniforms with short jackets, pink vests, and black ties; the Mohammedans attired in long white tunics, with wide belts at the waist, loose trousers, and barefooted.
It was reserved for an afternoon drive through the crowded native quarter, however, to give us a striking impression of the India of the past. Every nook and corner of the narrow streets seemed a blaze of color—women in their full skirts of many shades of red (that color predominating), with diverse novel waist arrangements and a profusion of jewelry, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and anklets. Men were in their many-hued turbans of various styles, with no clothing to the waist and a limited supply below. Then there were boys and small children,—the former with only a loin cloth, the latter as Nature made them, with silver chains bearing quite large hearts suspended around their waists, and with smaller chains around their necks, each supposed to ward off sudden calamity or disease.
But, if there was color in the dress, there was emaciation in the figure,—thin features, thin limbs, and flat chests being the prevailing type, a fair indication that their scanty supply of food does not furnish them sufficient nutrition. Northern India is the so-termed "famine district," and the famine of one year is said to have destroyed over four millions of people; pestilence is always threatening these natives, and besides, the demands for tribute of an enervated priesthood (who "toil not," alas! "neither do they spin") have to be met. So is it any wonder that poverty prevails and that sadness of countenance is everywhere seen?
The bazars are similar in arrangement to those in Cairo; but more novel wares are displayed, and less bargaining is resorted to. The European shops were satisfactory, and we invested at once in white felt topee hats lined with green, and also in ecru parasols similarly lined, for dire tales had been told us of the penalty we should suffer if we were not thus equipped, on account of the great power of the sun in midday; often the heat was known to bring on insanity (on the authority of a long-time resident of India). The wearing of that topee hat was a great personal sacrifice, as it was horribly unbecoming, and after some weeks of trial one of our party was brave enough to advise a second venture; a Calcutta style was tried, with no better results, so you can imagine the joy of the final "giving up"!
If the native quarters revealed to us an unknown life, so did a country drive, for there were trees and shrubs never before seen, and queer little thatched houses of the bungalow type. Groups of cocoanut and other palms were all lacking in freshness, as this was the dry season, and dust must prevail until the arrival of the "monsoon," or rainy season, in May. The domestic animals seemed to thrive, such as camels, donkeys, bullocks, and there were many birds, the little mina and the green paroquets being of special interest, while immense black crows hovered about everywhere.
The European aspect of Bombay is imposing, and the public and municipal buildings are hardly to be surpassed, the railway station claiming the distinction, architecturally, of being the finest in the world. The dominant type of public building is designed in what is called Gothic Indian style.
The drive along Queen's Road is a dream of beauty. The private residences, each with fine grounds, are many and tasteful, those along Queen's Road being usually occupied by the military class or by officials in the civil service. Malabar Hill is also a residential centre, and a drive there affords one an extended view of the city. There also one may have a glimpse of the Arabian Sea, but a much better view is to be had from the grounds of the Towers of Silence, that strange exemplification of the faith of a peculiar people.
We had met a Parsee gentleman of culture and refinement on the steamer, en route for Bombay, which fact made us eager to learn something of this sect. They came to India from Persia, twelve hundred years ago, driven away on account of Mohammedan persecution. They are strict followers of the tenets of Zoroaster, their creed, briefly epitomized, being "Good thoughts, good words, and good deeds." There are about one hundred thousand in Bombay; as a class they are well educated, and have great business capacity; hence they are prominent in commercial affairs, particularly in banking. They are generous and charitable, and are at the head of most of the philanthropic institutions of the city; many distinctions have been won by them from the English Government.
Their strange treatment of the dead shows what a strong hold custom and faith can have over a people; believing that fire is a symbol of Deity, and also revering the earth, neither cremation nor burial of the dead is permitted. The Towers of Silence, five of them occupying the most beautiful site on Malabar Hill, and surrounded by spacious grounds with trees, shrubbery, and flowers, hold the Parsee dead.
These towers are of whitewashed stone, two hundred and seventy-five feet in circumference, and twenty-five feet in height; the upper floors are of iron grating, with three circles, whereon the corpses are placed; the inner circle is for children, the next for women, and the outer one for men. Thus placed, the vultures, which have been hovering about awaiting their prey, complete the work, and soon only the skeletons remain; these are thrown into a circular well in the centre of the enclosure, where they quickly turn to dust. This well has perforated holes in the bottom, so that the action of the rain can carry away the dust to still another receptacle, which in time reaches the sea. Previous to the ceremony, one hundred or more mourners, robed in white, may be seen walking up the hill, preceded by four men, carrying the bier on their shoulders. They pass into the house of prayer for a time, and then proceed to the Towers, where they are met by the only two men (of the outcast class) who are ever permitted to enter, to whom the body is consigned for the final rite.
And yet, in spite of all this gruesomeness, the Parsees are a happy, social people, and their entertainments, particularly their weddings, are described as presenting a brilliant array of bejewelled women, tastefully dressed in the soft tinted silks they so much affect, with the long graceful veils falling to the feet. This is the only head covering worn in a carriage or on the street. The men, however, usually wear the conventional European dress, but on ceremonial occasions a white costume is required, with a small black hat.
Another sombre feature of Indian life is the prevalence of caste, which no foreigner can expect to understand, so complex is the system. There are four general classes: the Brahman, or princely caste (this has four subdivisions); the military caste; the commercial caste; and the laboring caste, commonly called "coolies." These in their turn admit of many subdivisions, and when we realize that caste is hereditary and that whatever a man's ambition he can never rise above his station, even though he seek to secure promotion, we may understand what a yoke it imposes on the people.
Another bar is custom, which is quite as iron-clad as is caste; whenever any improvement is suggested, either in dress or in living, the suggestion is usually met with the reply that it is prevented by custom. This applies particularly to the agricultural class, among whom the crude ploughs and other out-of-date implements cannot be replaced by modern ones, as it has been the custom to use the former. Even the carrying of heavy burdens on the head cannot be given up; woe to any one who suggests substituting the carrying of a basket! A laughable incident is told of a European gentleman who employed a number of men to carry sand; thinking to lighten their labor, he purchased wheelbarrows, but on visiting the scene of action a week later, he found the men with the barrows on their heads! No doubt, the reply to his protest was, "It is custom."
Another deplorable condition in India is found among women, particularly of the lower classes, as they are considered of a more inferior order than the men of the family and are treated with little respect, being virtually slaves. The higher class lead secluded lives, but do not escape the inflexible law that demands the marriage of a girl by the age of fourteen, or the ostracism thrust upon the child widow, who, on returning to a home of which she was once an honored member, finds herself virtually an outcast. Her pretty clothes are taken from her, and she is required to do the menial work of the family; this is the Indian protest against the abolishing of the suttee, or the burning of widows on the funeral pyre of their husbands,—cruelties prevented by English rule, as are also the practice of child suicide and the passing of the Juggernaut car over the prostrate bodies of living victims.
These phases are not pleasant to contemplate, but are none the less necessary to know, if one is to form even a superficial idea of "conditions." It is gratifying to learn that still more reforms are advocated, and that there are to be more schools established, similar to the one originated by Ramabai, not far from Bombay, as a refuge for child widows. She received financial aid when in the United States a few years since. Mrs. Annie Besant has also established, at Benares, a school under Theosophical auspices, called Central Hindu College; this has for its object the combination of religious, moral, mental, and athletic instruction for Hindu youths.
The European residents of Bombay lead their own lives, and the social usages are quite the same as in England; the usual "sports" abound there, such as golf, tennis, and cricket, polo, and the races, while yachting has great prestige under the auspices of the aristocratic yacht club on Apollo Bunder.
The Victoria and Albert Museum has a fine building, but an unimportant collection; it stands in Victoria Gardens (a park of thirty-four acres, well laid out), and near the south entrance are the remains of the stone elephant which gave the island of Elephanta its name; the gardens are a popular resort. In another portion of the city is the best statue of Queen Victoria to be found in India.
An unusually fine market building is surmounted by a handsome clock-tower. There are large, well-equipped hospitals and a college, in addition to the number of buildings for public uses. One frequently sees gayly painted mosques and temples. Among the many ruins, those of Siva, called the Caves of Elephanta, are of most interest.
A steam launch was taken at the Apollo Bunder, and, after an hour and a half on the bay, we arrived at the island; the landing was not agreeable, and we were met with a chorus of voices from boys and men, crying "Memsahib" this and "Memsahib" that; some were beggars, others were intent on renting their "chairs" for the ascent of the hill.
The caves are excavations in the solid rock from fifteen to seventeen feet in height; originally there had been a plan, showing the arrangement of columns and colonnades, but the depredations of the followers of Mohammed in the past are everywhere to be seen. The entrance to one cave, however, is well preserved, as is also a group, almost life size, of Siva, Vishnu, and Brahma, called the Trinity. The caves are said to be the home of many deadly snakes, but none appeared, and a death-like stillness prevailed; once in the sunshine again, we met a snake charmer with a lively collection of what seemed to be cobras, but we declined to gaze upon them.
Further visits to the streets and bazars revealed new scenes, and such a variety of nationalities! As Sir Edwin Arnold has written: "Here are specimens of every race and nation of the East, Arabs from Muscat, Persians from the Gulf, Afghans from the northern frontier, black shaggy negroes from Zanzibar, islanders from the Maldives and Laccadives; Malays and Chinese throng and jostle with Parsees in their sloping hats, with Jews, Lascars, Rajputs, Fakirs, European Sepoys, and Sahibs."
My vivid impression of Bombay is a memory of the June-like temperature (in December), the lovely drives, and the never-ending panorama of the water front as seen from my hotel windows, sometimes dazzlingly bright in the sunlight, and again subdued, as the soft opalescent tints of the twilight enveloped the landscape in a shadowy haze. Before me lay ocean steamers, merchantmen, a man of war, yachts, and many smaller vessels, with rowboats of diverse pattern; to the left was the pier, while the English flag floated from the attractive yacht club. It was, however, a typical Continental view, and not an Oriental one, so sharp an impress has England made on a city and island which were not acquired by conquest (it is pleasant to note), but as the marriage portion of Catharine of Braganza, of Portugal, when she became the bride of King Charles II of England. This transference was a fortunate thing for Bombay, all foreign residents and tourists agree, but native appreciation, if there is any, seems to slumber, as is the usual rule where colonization exists.
The equipment of a party leaving for a tour through India is important, for a poor guide or an indifferent travelling servant (also called bearer) would mar the pleasure. Bedding and towels for each member of the party must be looked after (mostly for night travel, as the hotels now usually prepare the beds), the guides must also be supplied, and one must be careful to have appropriate clothing for the journey. Your travelling servant is, according to custom, not expected to do any menial service (so considered), such as strapping your trunks, or removing your hand luggage from your room. This work is performed by so-called coolies; of course, a travelling servant may be so obliging as to offer to carry your handbag (as was often done by ours), but you must be duly appreciative of this show of favor.
* * * * *
JEYPORE, December 10th: On the morning of our departure from Bombay, we each found a fat, brown, English "hold-all," enclosing bedding, which was added to our luggage, the aggregate requiring much additional space in our compartments. Our route to Jeypore lay through Ahmedabad, once a place of much importance, and still of interest on account of its artistic mosques. But the lack of hotel accommodations for a party deterred us from stopping over, and also prevented our visiting the celebrated Jain temples at Mount Abu, a ride of several miles to the mountains in a jinrikisha. I would, however, advise all tourists to take this trip, even at some personal discomfort, as the temples are said to be marvellously beautiful.
The arrival at Jeypore was in the chill of late evening; as we approached the Hotel Kaiser-i-Hind (the best the place affords), a blaze of light showed us a large open veranda, furnished with chairs, sofas, and tables, and evidently the salon of the hotel. My room opened from the end of the balcony, and it was large and cheerless, so all hope of warmth vanished; a small, dark bathroom was at one side (with no light except when a door was opened), furnished with the regulation high round bathtub and a shaky washstand; neither of the outer doors would lock! The floors on opposite sides of both rooms contained ominous-looking square openings, suggesting the possibilities of certain reptiles which we had been told existed, but which we had not yet seen. After viewing all these "tranquillizing" influences, we retired, having first undone the distasteful "hold-all" for extra bedding.
The next morning dawned without the door having been opened and without the appearance of the dreaded lizards. The veranda salon presented an animated appearance; several men in turbans and wearing camel's-hair shawls (draped around the shoulders) were sitting on the floor, displaying their many commodities, which included embroideries, shawls, garnet beads (a specialty of Jeypore), necklaces of various kinds, together with swords, daggers, and the like, all warranted to be antique. "Memsahib" was heard in every direction, for the arrival of a party of supposedly rich Americans had been duly heralded. Resisting their importunities for the time being, we entered an inner room and found comfort and a fairly good breakfast waiting us. Such persistency and eloquence, nevertheless, as were later displayed by those dealers in describing their wares are seldom heard! Fortunate for us that some of the articles were attractive enough to be purchased, stilling the clamor for a time! But as we had been told that this would be the usual programme on our arrival at any place in the Orient, the future prospect was not alluring.
While over a quarter of India's population as well as a third of its area is under native rule, the "beaten track" is subject to English regime. Hence the visit to Jeypore, the capital of the independent province of Rajputana, is always regarded as a new experience. We found indeed a unique city, situated on a plain, hemmed in by lofty hills, with streets and buildings the color of old rose pink, and with broad, regularly laid out thoroughfares, two long straight streets intersecting each other at right angles near the palace, thus forming four corners. Here is a fountain, and the point is a centre of life and action; crowds of people surge back and forth, almost trodden underfoot by the ever-present, ponderous elephants, camels, and bullocks, drawing the little ekkas,—every one disputing the right of way. Proceed in any direction and more unusual street scenes present themselves along a single block than can elsewhere be found, and this in a city less than two centuries old! It is due, however, to the barbaric character of an environment where a gorgeous Maharaja, tigers, leopards, and elephants all figure in the scene, where the crowds always seem happy and life is one large "merry go round."
The Palace of the Wind is a peculiar structure; visitors are not admitted, and it is usually reserved for the guests of the Maharaja on State occasions, the ruler being very hospitable. It is said that a polite intimation on the part of a tourist that he desires to visit the interior, coupled with some slight credential, will cause one or two elephants and a body-guard to be placed at his disposal for the expedition.
Not much of the "Palace of Occupation" was seen; a large audience room was finely proportioned, but looked uninviting, as the rugs were rolled up and the furniture covered. The stables adjoining were, however, of great interest, as three hundred horses were in the collection, some of them of rare value. Later, we visited the elephant stalls and the leopard and tiger cages. In another locality the observatory, covering a large open space, was filled with the quaint old devices, now obsolete, for studying the heavens.
The long streets are lined with bazars of the usual plan but much larger; workers in brass predominated, that being a specialty of Jeypore. There is a flourishing Art School where old forms of vases, lamps, and boxes are reproduced, the original designs being loaned from the Victoria and Albert Memorial Museum, which occupies an artistic building in the centre of spacious grounds. There one may find a rare collection of old brass, gold and silver enamel, wood carving, weaving and embroidery, all classified and arranged in historical order.
A native school, or college, greatly interested us; there were groups of boys in a number of rooms, all belonging to the best Rajput families. There are special rooms devoted to Sanskrit, English (here the boys recited a poem in unison), history, logic, philosophy, and the natural sciences.
There were a number of unpretentious Hindu temples, and the Maharaja is said to be quite punctilious in his observance of religious forms. He was absent from the city, but several brothers of his were seen driving, clad in long garments of gaudy-colored striped calico, and wearing small turbans; the dress of the women was also peculiar, the skirt being so full that as they walked they resembled balloons; they are noted for wearing a profusion of jewelry,—necklaces by the half-dozen, bracelets sometimes nearly to the elbow, anklets, heavy earrings, nose-rings, and finger-rings without number.
Animals and birds in large quantities added motion and color to the street scenes, together with brightly caparisoned elephants, stately camels, and white bullocks with their long horns and dreamy eyes, drawing the little two-wheeled ekka, which sometimes carried four occupants. Peacocks flashed in and out at every turn (they are considered a sacred bird and are therefore protected), while blue-breasted pigeons came in clouds whenever there was a prospect of a feast.
There are processions of various kinds, the highest function of all being a wedding procession, where the brilliancy varies according to the amount of means that can be expended by the prospective bridegroom. In one afternoon we witnessed eight of these spectacles; the first was given by a man of wealth who was seated on an elephant, the palanquin of which was gorgeous in its decoration; he himself was richly dressed, as were the attendant friends. The procession was preceded by a band of music, and in the group were six nautch, or dancing girls; at intervals of about two blocks, the cavalcade stopped, matting was thrown down, and the dancers came and executed a slow-measured dance, which continued for about five minutes; then the procession moved on to the next point, this programme continuing until the home of the bride was reached. All of this we witnessed. The other seven wedding processions presented variations; in one the principal actor was a boy of about fourteen who looked terrified; two of the processions consisted of poor men; sometimes carriages were substituted for the elephants, and the dancing-girls were omitted, but there were always music and a crowd.
Elephants figured prominently in our trip to the old city of Amber, five miles distant, and the former capital of Rajputana. We left our carriage some distance away and were conveyed the remainder of the journey by two elephants, named Munsie and Bunsie, with gayly painted faces and trunks, furnished through the courtesy of the Maharaja. In this fashion we made our entrance.
The old city of Amber is situated below the palace, which is on the side of a mountain, with a long-stretching fort back of it; the situation, together with the gray walls of the palace and the fort, all makes a striking picture, reminding one of mediaeval times; the palace is well preserved, many of the rooms are artistic, and the fine public audience chamber particularly impressed us. Here large gatherings are held in connection with ceremonial occasions at Jeypore; the Prince of Wales had been entertained here two years previous, at which time the city of Jeypore was made resplendent with a fresh coat of the rose pink preparation.
Near the entrance to the Amber Palace was an exquisite little Hindu temple, dedicated to the terrible goddess, Kali, who delights in sacrifice; this was presided over by a revolting-looking priest, and there were evident traces of the daily morning sacrifice of a goat. Once a year one hundred goats are offered up, together with other animals; formerly human beings were sacrificed to appease the goddess, but this slaughter is now prohibited by law. In a well-kept garden back of the palace there is a fine collection of tropical fruits and of unfamiliar shrubs. This ruined city of Amber must have presented a wonderful spectacle two centuries ago, before the pageants and old-time customs were transferred to its modern prototype, Jeypore.
Another afternoon's experience in Jeypore seemed even more like a scene from a comic opera,—only the curtain is never lowered in this most spectacular city in India, if not in the entire world.
The pleasure of our stay in Jeypore was greatly enhanced by the intelligence of the local guide, who was of the Brahman class and broadly educated; he had an enlarged idea of the benefit to be derived from a sojourn in the New World, but he seemed uncertain with regard to securing a position in New York. One of the gentlemen suggested that he might at first seek employment as a butler, but his reply was that it would be impossible for him to engage in any menial work on account of his caste; this is a mild illustration of the domination of social lines.
A little wave of excitement was created on the morning of December 12th by a slight earthquake; we were still further shaken up by the constant presence of the persistent venders whenever we were at the hotel, who even followed us to the station the hour of our departure for Delhi, when articles were purchased by us at half their original price.
* * * * *
DELHI, December 13th: A greater contrast can hardly be imagined than that between barbaric, pleasure-loving Jeypore, and Delhi, a city full of old-time associations, whose triumphs of architectural skill and sculptured devices have won for it the admiration of the world.
The fort and palace, together with the adjacent mosque, called Jumma Musjid, are the chief centres of interest and the points we first visited. The two places suffered greatly during the mutiny of 1857, and the old Mogul capital has passed through so many vicissitudes that a little historical setting seems necessary.
Of the city's early history very little is known before the Mohammedan conquest, in 1193 A.D. There are, however, the ruins of two Hindu forts of the eleventh century in old Delhi (covering many miles south of Delhi), as well as the famous iron pillar of Kutub Minar, to be alluded to later. Delhi was not favored by the greatest of Mogul rulers, King Akbar, or by his son, King Jahangir; however, his grandson, Shah Jahan, built the fort in 1638, and later the palace and great mosque—hence the name, Shah Jahanabad, and in his connection with the Taj Mahal and palace at Agra, he won the title of the "Great Builder"; he also transferred the capital from Agra to Delhi.
A century later, the city was sacked by Nadir Shah, of Persia, and a general massacre occurred. Although finally defeated, he took with him many treasures, among them the priceless Peacock Throne and the valuable Kohinur diamond; the latter is now in the possession of King Edward of England.
Other changes followed, until, in 1804, British occupation was effected; but even then the descendants of the Mogul monarchs were allowed some show of royalty, until after the King's treachery and deposition at the time of the mutiny of 1857. This must be briefly alluded to, as it is truly said, "Delhi is steeped in mutiny memories!"
Various causes have been assigned for this great mutiny of the Bengal troops, but it was probably due in part to a season of unrest, some minor event precipitating the crisis. The revolt occurred on May 10th, at Meerut, forty miles distant; at first there were but twenty-five hundred men, then other regiments joined them, and, on their arrival in Delhi, they attacked the civil offices, and the inmates were compelled to flee to the fort, where they were murdered.
The Fifty-fourth Regiment marched to the relief, but most of the officers were shot, and the native soldiers refused to act,—a precedent followed by the natives of other regiments; thus the rebels were largely reinforced, and they soon had complete possession of the fort, which was then well garrisoned by native officers who were thoroughly trained in English tactics. The mutiny was now complete, and English rule for the time being ceased; disturbances also spread to Agra, Cawnpore, and Lucknow, so the army was necessarily divided; however, the bravery of the British forces at Delhi was such that by May 20th the fort and palace had been regained. The King was captured before Humayun's tomb (outside the city), and, the King's sons surrendering, they were shot in front of the Delhi gate of the fort. The victory, nevertheless, was only won through the sacrifice of many lives, the loss of officers being particularly heavy; the city also suffered greatly from the siege, and the beauty of the fort and palace was much impaired.
There are two fine gates to the fort,—the Lahore on the west side, and the Delhi on the south side,—both built by Shah Jahan, between 1638 and 1648. The fort is encircled by a massive red sandstone wall; we passed through the grand archway of the Lahore gate, into a vaulted arcade which Mr. Ferguson (the famous authority on architecture) considers the noblest entrance known to any palace. The arcade ends in the centre of the outer main court, measuring five hundred and forty by three hundred and sixty feet; the inner court is somewhat larger and is surrounded by cloisters or galleries. On the farther side of this inner court is the fine Hall of Public Audience, Diwan-i-Am, one hundred by sixty feet, where the proportions and the arrangement of columns and arches are perfect. At one end of this hall is a raised recess in which the Emperor used to be seated on the famous Peacock Throne, which Nadir Shah carried to Persia; before the throne, and lower, was the seat occupied by the prime minister, while above it were placed the inlaid panels by Austin of Bordeaux.
The hall was restored under the direction of the late viceroy, Lord Curzon, and we saw Florentine artists renewing the inlaid work in the panels. The remarkable throne was six feet long and four feet wide; it stood on six massive feet, which, with the body of the chair, were of solid gold, inlaid with rubies, emeralds, and diamonds. The throne took its name from having the figures of two peacocks standing behind it, their tails extended, and the whole so inlaid with sapphires, rubies, pearls, emeralds, and diamonds as to be lifelike in its color. All this was surmounted by a canopy of gold, and supported by twelve pillars, richly emblazoned with gems, while a fringe of pearls ornamented the edge of the canopy. There were still more costly adjuncts, but these details must suffice; it is needless to add that the loss of the throne was considered a national calamity.
A gate on one side of this hall led to the inner court of the palace, and to the Hall of Private Audience, or Diwan-i-Khas, which is among the most graceful assembly rooms in the world. It is ninety by sixty-seven feet, and is built entirely of white marble, inlaid with precious stones; at either end of the hall is the famous Persian inscription:
"If heaven can be on the face of the earth, It is this, oh! it is this, oh! it is this!"
Not far removed from here are the royal apartments, consisting of three suites of rooms, with an octagonal tower projecting over the river Jumna. These rooms are all finely decorated. Beyond them are the Rang Mahal, or Painted Palace,—the residence of the chief Sultana,—and the royal baths, consisting of three large rooms fitted in white marble, elaborately inlaid. Opposite to this is the Moti Musjid, or Pearl Mosque.
There are more buildings that could be described, but some were injured at the time of the mutiny, and others have since been removed, presumably in the interest of modern requirements.
We made our exit through the Delhi gate; between the inner and outer arches stand the Chettar elephants which were replaced by order of Lord Curzon. The Jumma Musjid is raised on a lofty basement; it has three gateways, four corner towers, two lofty minarets, and three domes. We ascended one of the towers and had an extended view; inside there is a spacious quadrangle, three hundred and twenty-five feet square, in the centre of which is a fountain for ablution; and on three sides there are sandstone cloisters. An immense concourse of people assemble here for prayer every Friday; the mosque in arrangement is very similar to the congregational mosques of Cairo.
The Kalun Musjid, usually called Black Mosque, dates from 1386. It is of peculiar construction, having two stories, and is somewhat Egyptian in appearance. A Jain temple was so hemmed in by streets that its appearance was much impaired, but the interior was beautiful in design and finish.
The street known as Chandni Chauk fully sustained its reputation as a shopping centre; it is over a mile in length and is always a scene of sparkle and commotion; on it were the usual bazars, but also many larger stores, as Delhi is considered the finest shopping point in India, particularly in precious stones,—jewelry being the commodity most heralded, as we learned to our sorrow.
On arriving at Maiden's Hotel (under English management, but semi-Oriental in its arrangement), we complacently viewed our rooms on the second floor, opening upon a gallery and overlooking a large court. Here at last, so we thought, was a haven of refuge from jewelry intruders, but, alas! we were no sooner located than they appeared,—not the impecunious class, but dealers with shops and a bank account,—bringing with them a vast array of really beautiful gems, which were tempting but high-priced. To say that, on an average, three of these men knocked at our door during the morning bath, while as many were waiting for us at the luncheon hour, literally camping out on the balcony during the evening hours, is no exaggeration. Then the cards they presented, the insinuations they indulged in with regard to the other man's goods (who was waiting outside)! It really was amusing, but it grew tiresome, and was demoralizing, because one was compelled to "bargain" if anything was purchased at all, the first scale of prices being purposely exorbitant.
A day's visit to old Delhi was most interesting; it is a ride of eleven miles to Kutub Minar, through sand and debris, comprising a portion of an area of forty-seven miles, covered with the remains of seven, once prosperous, cities. Several of the ruins were of interest, and they had a history, but I will describe only the well-preserved mausoleum of Emperor Humayun, which gains in importance from having been the model of the Taj Mahal at Agra. It stands on a lofty platform of red sandstone, and consists of a large central octagon, surmounted by a dome with octagon towers at the angles; the red sandstone exterior is artistically picked out in relief with white marble. The windows are recessed, and the lower doors are filled with beautiful lattices of stone and marble. In the centre of each side of the main octagon is a porch, forty feet high, with a pronounced pointed arch. The cenotaph of the Emperor is of white marble, without any inscription; his wife and several other persons, including two later Emperors, are buried here also. As was quite the custom of the time, the tomb is surrounded by a garden of thirteen acres. Farther on, was the Tomb of a Saint, a perfect gem! It is built of white marble, is eighteen feet square, and is surrounded by a broad veranda. Around the covered grave there is a low marble rail, and over it a beautiful canopy, inlaid with mother-of-pearl; in the walls are finely pierced screens. Near this tomb is a handsome red sandstone mosque, called Jumat Khana, and in the vicinity are a number of other important tombs of artistic design, two having elaborately carved marble doors, the design being like lacework.