|About the Book|
This volume is from 1905.Excerpts from the book:Once you have visited the snows of the Himahl-yas, said a venerable old man of Kumaon to me, you will have to return to them time after timeuntil you die. When away from them, all throughyourMoreThis volume is from 1905.Excerpts from the book:Once you have visited the snows of the Himahl-yas, said a venerable old man of Kumaon to me, you will have to return to them time after timeuntil you die. When away from them, all throughyour life you will ever see them before you in yourdreams.Well, that was quite so - and that is what every-body feels who has spent some time on the higherelevations of that majestic range of mountains. Toany one who appreciates Nature in all its grandeur,the fascination is so great that everything else inthe way of scenery sinks into perfect insignificanceby their side.It is, to my mind, rather a pity that in Englandpeople have not yet learnt to call that range by itsproper and poetic name Himahlyas, by whichthe range is known all over Asia, instead of thedistorted Himalayas, which has no meaningwhatever except to natives of these foggy littleislands. The Americans, I am glad to say, whenthe corrected pronunciation was pointed out, atonce accepted it, and it is now taught in all theschools...............................................................................It was my intention to do a considerable amountof mountaineering en route, and I did it - but,contrary to the usual custom of British mountain-eering expeditions (which set out with muchflourish of trumpets) I did not burden myselfwith the company of Swiss Alpine guides. Hereis the reason. I am well aware that it impresses agood many brainless folks to hear that an expedi-tion to the Andes or the Himahlyas is accompanied,even led, by Swiss guides - but to any realmountaineer (I do not mean members of AlpineClubs) the very fact that the members of such anexpedition require guides at all is but a plainavowal that they have no faith in themselves,besides displaying a most infantile ignorance ofhow to find their way about. No mountaineer,who is a real mountaineer, ever needs to be toldwhich is the best way to go up a mountain whichis before him. His very instinct and observationtell him..............................................................................Everything at Debi Dhura is connected withstones and rocks. Between the two swings andnear a quadrangular stone wall some four or fivefeet high, lay a big natural ball of granite, called Chela, or the test of strength. They say thatonly one man in a hundred can raise it above theground, one in a thousand is able to lift it up tohis waist, and not a human being alive can lift itup and deposit it on the wall. Whoever performedthe latter deed would have every happiness forever. Although according to the priests the stoneweighed 4000 Ibs., its actual weight was not morethan 350 Ibs.- only it was difficult to get hold of it,and it was well-nigh impossible to do so by sheerstrength. But when brute strength fails, ruse isoften easily successful, and so, being somewhatversed in the laws of leverage, balance, and impetus,I succeeded, much to the amazement of everybody,in placing that stone upon the wall. It was aneffort though, I can tell you.