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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 73.


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PHYSICAL ASPECTS
73
ceases to be the boundary, and a line crossing the Ujh river and the
watershed of the low Dogra hills runs fairly straight to Jammu. A
similar line, marked by a double row of trees, runs west from Jammu
to the Jhelum river, From the south-west corner of the territories the
Jhelum river forms an almost straight boundary on the west as far as
its junction with the Kunhar river, 14 miles north of Kohala. At that
point the western boundary leaves the river and clings to the moun-
tains, running in a fairly regular line to the grand snow scarp of Nanga
Parbat (26,182 feet). Thence it runs almost due north to the crossing
of the Indus at Rāmghat under the Hattu Pir, then north-west, sweep-
ing in Punial, Yasin, Ghizar, and Koh, the Mehtarjaos or chiefs of
which claim the Tangir and Darel country, and linking on to the Hindu
Kush and Muztagh ranges which look north to Chinese territory and
south to Hunza-Nangr and Gilgit.
It is said of the first Maharaja Gulāb Singh, the builder of the edifice
just described, that when he surveyed his new purchase, the valley of
Kashmir, he grumbled and remarked that one-third of the country was
mountains, one-third water, and the remainder alienated to privileged
pesons. Speaking of the whole of his dominions, he might without
exaggeration have described them as nothing but mountains. There',
are valleys, and occasional oases in the deep cartons of the mighty
rivers ; but mountain is the predominating feature and has strongly
affected the history, habits, and agriculture of the people. Journeying;
Along the haphazard paths which skirt the river banks, till the sheer
cliff bars the way and the track is forced thousands of feet over the
mountain-top, one feels like a child wandering in the narrow an'Id
tortuous alleys which surround some old cathedral in England.
It is impossible within the limit of this article to deal in detail with
the nooks and corners where men live their hard lives and raise their
poor crops in the face of extraordinary difficulties. There are interest-
ing tracts like Padar on the southern border, surrounded by perpetual
snow, where the edible pine and the deodir flourish, and where the
sunshine is scanty and the snow lies long. It was in Padar that were
found the valuable sapphires, pronounced by experts the finest in the
world. Farther east across the glaciers lies the inaccessible country of
Zāskār, said to be rich in copper, where the people and cattle live
indoors for six months out of the year, where trees are scarce and food
is scarcer. Ząskā! has a fine breed of ponies. Farther east is the
lofty Rupshu, the lowest point of which is 13,500 feet; and even at
this great height barley ripens, though it often fails in the higher places
owing to early snowfall. In Rupshu live the nomad Champas, who
are able to work in an air of extraordinary rarity, and complain bitterly
of the heat of Leh (r r,5oo feet).
Everywhere on the mass of mountains are places worthy. of mention,
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