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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 13, p. 123.


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THE HIMALA YAS
situated in 25 rg' N. and 85 17' E., 13 miles from the Fatwa station
on the East Indian Railway, with which it is connected by road.
Population (rgor), 2,478. Hilsa is a large market, where a brisk trade
in food-grains and oilseeds is carried on with Patna, Gaya, Hazaribagh,
and Palamau.
Himalayas, The.-A system of stupendous mountain ranges, lying
along the northern frontiers of the Indian Empire, and containing some
of the highest peaks in the world. Literally, the name is equivalent
to `the abode of snow' (from the Sanskrit hima, `frost,' and dlaya,
'dwelling-place'). To the early geographers the mountains were
known as Imaus or Himaus and Hemodas ; and there is reason to
believe that these names were applied to the western and eastern parts
respectively, the sources of the Ganges being taken as the dividing line.
Hemodas' represents the Sanskrit Himdvata (Prakrit Hemota), mean-
ing 'snowy.' The Greeks who accompanied Alexander styled the
mountains the Indian Caucasus.
Modern writers have sometimes included in the system the Muztagh
range, and its extension the Karakoram ; but it is now generally agreed
that the Indus should be considered the north-western limit. From
the great peak of Nanga Parbat in Kashmir, the Himalayas stretch
eastward for twenty degrees of longitude, in a curve which has been
compared to the blade of a scimitar, the edge facing the plains of
India. Barely one-third of this vast range of mountains is known with
any degree of accuracy. The Indian Survey department is primarily
engaged in supplying administrative needs ; and although every effort
is made in fulfilling this duty to collect information of purely scientific
interest, much still remains to be done.
A brief abstract of our knowledge of the Himalayas may be given by
shortly describing the political divisions of India which include them.
On the extreme north-west, more than half of the State of KASHMIR
AND JAMMU lies in the Himalayas, and this portion has been described
in some detail by Drew in Jammu and Kashmir Territories, and by
Sir W. Lawrence in The Valley of Kashmir. The next section,
appertaining to the Punjab and forming the British District of Kangra
and the group of feudatories known as the Simla Hill States, is better
known. East of this lies the Kumaun Division of the United Provinces,
attached to which is the Tehrf State. This portion has been surveyed
in detail, owing to the requirements of the revenue administration, and
is also familiar from the careful accounts of travellers. For 500 miles
the State of Nepal occupies the mountains, and is to the present day
almost a terra incognita, owing to the acquiescence by the British
Government in the policy of exclusion adopted by its rulers. Our
knowledge of the topography of this portion of the Himalayas is limited
to the information obtained during the operations of 1816, materials
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