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But there are numerous bazaars of another kind, with their “long rows of confined shops packed closely together like the cells of a beehive, and filled with all the bandiwork of Europe and Asia, where prosperous traders, squatting patiently throughout the day on earthen floors in dusty dens, live and die without a thought of turning their means to those purposes in life which are to the world at large the grand stimulus to industry—the golden future of toil."
Calcutta possesses an Anglican Cathedral, numerous Protestant and Roman Catholic churches, one Greek church, one Armenian church, a Jewish synagogue, about 160 Hindu temples and pagodas, and 74 Mohammedan mosques. “But," as Bishop Heber remarks, " there is absolutely not a single minaret in Calcutta. None of the mosques are seen in any general view of Calcutta, being too small, too low, and built in too obscure corners to be visible till one is close upon them. They rather resemble, indeed, the tombs of saints than places of public worship, such as are seen in Persia, Turkey, and the south of Russia. Though diminutive, however, many of them are pretty; and the sort of EasternGothic style in which they are built is to my eye, though trained up to the reverence of the pure English style, extremely pleasing." Calcutta also contains a Parsee “ Agiaree,”
Temple of the Sacred Fire," and one or two Chinese temples.
There are cemeteries used by the Europeans and Jews, and also a Parsee “ Temple of Silence," but the Hindus still adhere to their ancient practice of cremation. For this purpose there are “ Burning Ghâts” on the river-side, walled in on three sides nearest the town ; here the bodies of the dead are burnt to ashes. At one time the poor threw their dead into the river, but in order to stop this practice Government was compelled to provide gratuitous accommodation for cremation, for the benefit of those who could not otherwise afford to secure the rite for their dead, and who had considered the committal of the dead (and sometimes of the dying) to the sacred river as a satisfactory equivalent.
On the western bank of the Hooghly, opposite the citadel of Fort William, is the splendid Botanic Garden, covering 300 acres, and containing beautiful specimens of the Mauritius, the talipot, the sago, and other palms, a large variety of crotons, an enormous banyan-tree with a girth of eighteen yards, whose branches and descending roots extend to a circumference of 300 yards, besides a collection of nearly all the vegetable products of India, as well as a vast number of plants from Europe, Africa, and America.
Of the spread and progress of Christianity in India it is not necessary that we should speak here; but no visitor to Calcutta can pass through the city without being struck with the number of institutions, charitable, educational, and religious, which owe their origin to the labours of eminent Christian men. St. John's Church remains as memorial of the life and labours of Bishop Wilson. In Cornwallis Street is the Scottish Church, where the zealous Dr. Duff laboured ; in Cornwallis Square is the College which he first founded, now in the hands of the Scottish Established Church; near it is the Free Church College, afterwards built by Dr. Duff, in which he taught for many years. Dr. Alexander Duff was the greatest Christian reformer of his age in India ; he adopted a different method of instruction from that of any of his predecessors, his object being to "lay the foundation of a system of education which might ultimately embrace all the branches ordinarily taught in the higher schools and colleges of Christian Europe, but in inseparable
THE FREE CHURCH COLLEGE.
combination with the Christian faith, and its doctrines, precepts, and evidences, with a view to the practical regulation of life and conduct.” In 1863, when leaving India for the third and last time, he wrote in his diary, “I began my labours in 1830, literally with nothing. I leave behind me the largest and, in a Christian point of view, the most successful Christian institution in India, a native church nearly self-sustaining, with a native pastor,
three ordained native missionaries, besides—with catechists and native teachers—flourishing branch missions at Chinsurah, Bansbaria, Culna, Mahanad, &c.” And the good work goes on. A thousand young men and boys assemble daily in Dr. Duff's College for religious and secular education. It is an immense building, and in the centre hall, where the school assembles every morning to hear the Scriptures read, there is a bust of the founder.
A visit to the large college and compound of the London Mission; to the library and statue of Bishop Heber in the Cathedral of St. Paul ; or to any of the numerous mission stations in and around Calcutta, will recall the names and deeds of hero-missionaries who lived, laboured, and died in the cause they had at heart.
at the Imperial Durbar, on the 20th, Maharajahs and Begums and the crowd of inferior ranks listened to an eloquent speech from the Viceroy, unfolding the new order of things, and exhorting all to govern with wisdom, to encourage civilisation, and to prove themselves worthy friends of Her Majesty. For a month longer Agra was alive with the festivities attendant on this inauguration of a new era.
A hundred and fifteen miles to the north-west of Agra stands Delhi, on the right bank of the Jumna—a city of which the history is the history of India. According to Hindu legends, three cities — Madhanti, Hastinapoora, and Indrapêchta—succeeded each other on this site before Delhi. The ruins of Indrapêchta were ten centuries old when King Dilvu founded Delhi, in 57 B.C. Since then the city has been often destroyed and rebuilt, and fresh sites have been chosen, so that a plain of thirty miles along the banks of the Jumna is bestrewed with ruins. In 1193 it was seized by Mohammed of Ghor, and the Patan dynasty was founded there. In 1398 it was desolated by the great Tamerlane, and in 1526 it was seized by Baber, the founder of the long line of Mogul sovereigns. Akbar removed the throne to Agra, but in 1631 Shah Jehan built the present city, close to Old Delhi, and made it the royal city. Shahjehanabad—City of the King of the World—is still the Mohammedan name for it. In 1739 the Persian usurper Nadir Shah marched to Delhi, massacred thousands of the inhabitants, and bore away plunder to a fabulous amount, including the celebrated Peacock Throne and the Koh-i-noor diamond now in the possession of the British Crown. The Mogul Empire now rapidly declined, and for a time the Mahrattas held Delhi, till defeated by Lord Lake in 1803. Till 1827 the restored emperor nominally ruled, pensioned by the English Government. At that date his pension was increased to £150,000, but his authority was contracted to the limits of his palace, where some thousands of his relatives and servants swallowed up his pension. In 1857 came the Mutiny. Shah Mohammed Babadour, ninety years old, appointed officers and resumed imperial state.
In September, after a ten days' siege, the British troops recaptured the city, and the old monarch was tried and transported for life, and the sovereignty declared extinct. The city was much ruined by the siege, but has in great degree recovered its former importance.
Delhi, enclosed by red sandstone walls, is seven miles in circumference. The defences, which were erected by Shah Jehan, have been much improved by the English. The East India Railway enters the city by a magnificent bridge across the Jumna. The streets are in many cases narrow and tortuous, but there are ten main thoroughfares well drained, metalled, and lighted. The principal street is the Chandni Chowk, or Street of Silver, threequarters of a mile long and seventy-four feet broad, which is lined with gay bazaars and generally thronged with busy crowds. It extends from the Gate of Lahore to the great gate of the Palace. In the uniformly square shops are piled up Cashmere shawls, Bashampore gauzes, arms from the Punjaub, lacquer-work from Scinde, and carved casket-work from Shekawuttee. One long row of shops is occupied by the bankers. Shoemakers, with elegant slippers and silk-embroidered shoes; hatters, with strangely-fashioned turbans and caps, to suit the various castes and classes; goldsmiths, with elaborate specimens of artistic work;
THE PALACE OF SHAH JEHAN.
pastry-cooks, kneading their tempting wares in sight of the public—all these and many others, in their distinct groups, help to make the Chandni Chowk an intensely interesting thoroughfare.
Delhi has ever been famous for its architectural glories. It is, of course, impossible here to enumerate the buildings, ruins, columns, arches, and other structures of this historic locality. The Palace of Shah Jehan and the Jumma Musjid, or Great Mosque, call for a brief description. Such works as Mr. Fergusson's “History of Indian and Eastern Architecture" will supply full details.
The Fort or Palace of Shah Jehan resembles a city in miniature, its high red walls being a mile and a half in circumference. The Dewani-Am, or Hall of Public Audience, is a large and lofty hall, in which stands the marble throne whereon sat Shah Jehan, with his face toward Mecca, as Vicegerent of God on earth, to receive the homage of his subjects. The Dewani-Khâs, or Hall of Private Audience, is the most ornamented of all Jehan's buildings. It overhangs the river, and its poetical design and elaborate delicacy of execution are beyond all description. Around the roof once ran the famous inscription, “If there is a heaven on earth, it is this, it is this !” The pavement is of jasper ; the pillars and arches are ornamented with wreaths and flowers in precious stones; the ceiling was entirely covered with a rich filagree-work of silver, which was torn down and melted into seventeen lacs of rupees by the Mahrattas in 1759. The harem and private apartments of the palace covered more than twice the area of any palace in Europe. The halls we have mentioned, and one or two others, are all that are now left of the wonderful palace of which Bernier and Tavernier gave such simple yet graphic accounts.
What we now
'gems of the palace, it is true," says Fergusson, “but without the courts and corridors connecting them they lose all their meaning and more than half their beauty. Being now situated in the middle of a British barrack-yard, they look like precious stones torn from their setting in some exquisite piece of Oriental jeweller's work and set at random in a bed of the commonest plaster.”
Close beside the Chandni Chowk, on some rocky rising ground, stands the Jumma Musjid, the highest building in Delhi. It was raised in nineteen years by Shah Jehan at a cost of ten lacs of rupees, when food and labour cost far less than now. A red sandstone colonnade encloses a magnificent paved terrace commanding a view of the whole city. On this terrace stands the splendid mosque, with its three white marble domes and its graceful minarets. Travellers unite in praising the “chaste richness, elegance of proportion, and grandeur of design ” of this building. This mosque was the head-quarters of Mohammedan revolt in 1857, and it only just escaped demolition. For some years the Mussulmans were not allowed to go near it.
Terrible indeed were the scenes that took place in Delhi during the sepoy rebellion of 1857, when, after the outbreak at Meerut, the mutineers made their appearance at the gates at early morn. The houses of the European residents were plundered, and their inmates murdered, and by eight o'clock the rebels held the whole city, except the Magazine and Main Guard. The Magazine was blown up, to prevent it from falling into the hands of the rebels. At the Main Guard the native troops threw off their allegiance towards
Barrackpore is known to English readers as the station at which the signs of coming trouble were first observed, rather than as the place where the Viceregal Lodge is situated, in a charming park, to which the Viceroy usually flies from the turmoils of Government House on Saturdays, returning on Mondays after a quiet day in the country. There is a church near at hand, and a large population of officials, who can afford to pay high rents for their bungalows, are quartered on the banks of the river, at the other side of which is Serampore. In the noble park, the bombax, the casuarinas hung with creepers, the calabash, and many other trees, with the ordinary types of Bengal vegetation,
seen in great beauty. “Times are changed since 1857,” says Dr. Russell, “and Barrackpore has ceased to be a great station.” Not far from the Viceregal Lodge is the tomb of Lady Canning, in one of the most lovely spots on the river ; her remains were long since removed to England.
Opposite Barrackpore, on the west bank of the river, is Serampore, once a Danish settlement, the site of the Baptist College and the scene of the labours of Carey, Marshman, and Ward. “Carey landed at Calcutta in 1793, and after some struggles for subsistence set up a printing-press. His colleagues came in 1797; and they would all have been re-shipped by the authorities had they not found refuge at Serampore under the protection of the Danish flag. The college is a substantial building with a noble staircase, and possesses a fine library, in which is an interesting collection of Bibles in Oriental languages, and some valuable manuscripts. One of Carey's, a polyglot dictionary of Sanscrit words, with the corresponding words in six languages, is beautifully written, and shows the toil and perseverance of its author. The burial-ground is about half a mile distant, where lie the mortal remains of Carey, Ward, and Marshman.”
William Carey, the Northamptonshire shoemaker, led the van of missionary enterprise in India ; for forty years he laboured in that cause, and he realised his own well-known maxims, "Attempt great things for God;” “Expect great things from God.”
At Aldeen, on the river-side, at no great distance from the church in which Carey preached, stood the pagoda in which the justly-celebrated Henry Martyn took up his abode on his arrival in India, in 1806, and where he spent much of his time in mastering Hindustani and in translating portions of the Scriptures.
Calcutta is a great city, and it of course possesses colleges and libraries, public buildings, institutions, and societies in addition to those already alluded to-political, social, educational, and literary; but they are societies such as are for the most part to be found in all cities under similar conditions. The most wonderful thing about Calcutta is the fact that only a little more than a hundred
years ago “all that was English within many miles of Government House was represented by a handful of fugitives from the fort of Calcutta ere it fell into the hands of Surajah Dowlah, embarked in a few small vessels off Fulta, awaiting anxiously the arrival of Clive from Madras, to avenge the 'Black Hole,' and, as it turned out, to win Plassy and to found an empire.”
Without attempting to describe the routes conducting thither, we shall now proceed to give some account of the most noted cities of North-west India which are connected with Calcutta by the water of the Ganges and its various branches.