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famous Puppé. ironis ‘produced. They are not worked at this season of the year, when the population is employed in agriculture. In form they ‘differ entirely from any Indian furnace with which I am acquainted, and they are, so far as I am aware, quite peculiar in producing iron without the use of any artificial blast whatever. The iron obtained, although extremely impure, being mixed with slag and pieces of unburnt charcoal, is in large blocks and of excellent ‘quality, and from this district,'that is the country around Puppé, a very large proportion of the iron used in Burma is obtained.
The whole road so far had been a slow but constant ascent from the Irawaddi, but on reaching the village of Endotha a watershed was passed, and a valley lay between it and the mountain, the base of which was now only about five miles distant. The view from this point is perhaps the best on the whole road, and the mountain, its lower portion covered with dense jungle, and the bright grassy outer slopes of the top contrasting with the black precipices of the interior, has a most imposing appearance. Yet it loses much of its height from the elevation of the ground around.* The crater form, which had been gradually becoming more distinct as I approached, was now so remarkable as to leave little doubt of the mountain’s being of volcanic origin. To the South was the singular hill of Tounggalé, a peculiar mass in the shape of a truncated cone with very steep sides. It is referred to by Dr. Oldham. Another peculiarity, which here came into view, was a raised terrace-like expanse of flat ground, apparently encircling the mountain and separated from the undulating sandy country around by a precipitous searp about 500 feet high, which stretched for many miles, forming the opposite side of the hollow in front of me. My suspicions of the nature of this were confirmed on reaching it, by the first blocks of stone which I picked up proving to be an augite porphyry of unmistakeably volcanic origin. ‘A steep road leads up this cliff, the greater portion of which consists of sand, with a cap of volcanic rock, which has evidently preserved the soft underlying beds from the denudation which has reduced the level of the country around.
After ascending the scarp, a walk of about two miles brought me to the town of Puppa, from which the mountain derives its name. It is close to the foot of the volcano, and is said to have been a place of importance in the days when Pagan was the capital of Burma, but it is now only a small village of about forty houses, built in the usual Burmese fashion. I am inclined to doubt its ever having been a place of large size, for I saw no remains of pagodas around, and such usually abound in Burma in the neighbourhood of all towns that have once been wealthy.
* Endotha is at least 1000'feet above Pagan. _At the former place my uncroid at noon marked 28.3 inches, the thermometer being 83°.
The climate here is evidently very much altered ; the neighbourhood of the mountain and the increased elevation rendering it much moister than below. The temperature at sun-rise, on the three mornings I was at Poppa, viz., 28th, 29th and 30th October was 73°, 741° and 76°. At Pagan on two mornings, October 26th and November 1st, it was 80°. The change from the barren sand of the Pagan country to the rich soil produced by the decomposition of the volcanic rocks, causes perhaps an even greater alteration in the vegetation than would result from the increased moisture. Rice grows around the town, and fruit trees of many kinds replace the tamarinds which alone seem to flourish around the villages of the sandy country. The elevation by aneroid is about 1,600 feet above Pagan, or 1,900 above the sea.* Water is obtained from a fine spring, which, besides supplying the inhabitants, irrigates several paddy-fields. Indian corn is also largely grown, and in one house I saw it stored in the same peculiar manner as is practised in Sikkim and Nepal, viz. : hung around the top of a post. It is generally, however, strung upon a beam.
October 28th, I started early for the peak. The path led for two or three miles through jungle, the trees being large at first, and diminishing in size above. The dampness of the climate was shewn by the presence of several ferns : I counted nine species in the lower part of the ‘hill alone_* About 2000 feet above the town, the path emerged from the jungle upon the grass slopes of the crater. Just beneath this, the trees evidently shewed the effect of elevation, they were thin, with but few straggling branches, and covered with ferns, mosses and lichens. So far the ascent was easy, except that the jungle had, in places, somewhat overgrown the path, but there was a sharp climb to the peak, whiehis on the South side of the mountain. From this point the view is very fine, extending from the Arakan Yoma mountains, which are seen stretching for at least 100 miles, on the West, to a range of hills, apparently of nearly equal extent, on the East. These, I was told, are called Llein-dha and Theyin-dzu mountains, and are near the town of Penthelé. They could scarcely have been less than eighty miles distant. The whole of the country to the East, so far as its features could be made out, appeared to resemble that through which I had passed on my way from Pagan. All must lie at a considerable elevation, and may be, on that account, moister and less barren than in the neighbourhood of the Irawaddi. Al1'the small ranges of hills seen to the West resembled the Taywandoung, but to the East and South, hills were rather more numerous and irregular in form. One low range of somewhat indefinite shape and direction stretches away for some distance towards the S. E. from the base of Puppé, and I was led to speculate upon the possibility of its having been a lava stream, but, from the description given to me by my guides of the rocks composing it, I am doubtful if such is the ease, The sandy beds of streams are seen stretching away for miles, one winding away for an enormous distance to the South is said to be the large stream which flows into the river a few miles above Yénankhyoung.
* At Pagan, October 26th, 1861.
Aneroid at 6.30 A. M. 29.665, thermometer 80°.
October 31st, ditto at 12 noon, 29.505, ditto 84°.
November 1st, ditto at 6 A. ll. 29.515, ditto 80°. At Puppfi, October 27th, ditto at 6 P. M. 27.905, ditto 86°. 28th, ditto at 6 A. M. 27.905, ditto 74°. 29th, ditto at 6 A. M. 27.72, ditto 73°. 30th, ditto at 6 A. M. 27.74, ditto 76°. Very little reliance can be placed upon any of the altitudes mentioned except as approximations. Those of the mountain are much above the level at which an aneroid, the only instrument I possessed for measuring the height, is trustworthy ; and my only means of comparison is the mean of the Calcutta observations. Still I have no doubt that those mentioned above are approximations, and as such better than mere guesses. The higher ones are probably in excess, and I suspect the peak is not really more than 4,700 or 4,800 feet in height at
The mountain itself is a very fine extinct volcano, the highest peak being approximately 5000 feet above the sea.1' A strong wind was blowing, and the thermometer at midday stood at 79°, indeed it was so cool that, while I was waiting for a few clouds, which were passing rapidly over the highest peak, to clear off’, I preferred sitting in the sun, and out of the wind, which came roaring up from the great central hollow. The crater is about a mile across, and the sides stretch down in black precipices to a depth of probably not less than 2000 feet. I regretted much that I could not devote a day to the examination of the interior of the crater. Dense jungle filled the bottom, and trees grew upon the sides wherever there was a hold for their roots. On the North side or a little East of North, the side of the crater has been broken down, so that no lake exists within. The South side, opposite to the gap, is far higher than to the East or West, and the two highest peaks, one about 300 feet above the other, are about half a mile apart, and owe their prominence to being composed of dykes of a very granular and ill crystallized rock, which has resisted the wearing effects of decomposition and rain better than the softer beds of volcanic ash which form the cone, and the bedding of which is beautifully seen inside the crater. Their slope is about 35° to 40° in most parts. The whole upper portion of the volcano is formed of these ash beds, the lava flows having apparently been lateral. .
9 I only know of five or six species which grow near Tliayet Mic and above they are I suspect almost unknown until the Shan hills are reached.
1' On the highest peak 28th Oct., aneroid at 11 A. M. 21.75, thermometer 79° Ditto am» at 3 1-. M. 24.62, ditto 79°.
South peak ditto at 10 A. M. 25.05, ditto 76°.
I regret much that my ignorance of botanical science preventsime from giving any detailed account of the vegetation of this peak. There appeared to be a peculiar mixture of tropical and temperate forms, and the latter must be interesting from the complete isolation
of the hill.
The common brakes, Pteris aquilina, is abundant, toge
A large thistle with formidable spines is common, and the only plant which
has any claims to be considered a tree is, strangely enough, the wild date palmrl" A few straggling trees inside the crater were dwarfed and covered with lichens and mosses.
"‘ One is I think Nothochlwna argentea.
1' I have heard that the same is the case on the Western Ghats of India.
The complete change in the vegetation below 4000 feet upon a hill in Burma is very curious, when it is remembered that no such alteration takes place upon Parasnath (4500 feet high) in Bengal, a mountain which may fairly be compared, as being very nearly as high as Puppé, and equally isolated. The lower level to which temperate plants descend East of the Bay of Bengal has been attributed to the greater moisture of the climate, but, in upper Burma, the rain fall must be far less than in Bengal, and little if at all heavier than in the plains of the Carnatic. It is scarcely possible that more rain falls on Puppa, separated from the sea by the high range of the Arakan Yoma, than on Parasuath, with no such barrier to intercept the moisture.
I turned up several three toed quails in the grass, but saw scarcely any other birds. = The only large animal common on the hill is said to be the goat antelope, hemorhedus, which I had not the good fortune to see, although I came upon fresh tracks. They are said to keep mostly in the jungle, only occasionally venturing out upon the grass slopes to feed. The same animal is common on the Shan hills, East of Ava. The tigers said to abound upon Puppa are, I imagine, of nearly as dubious authenticity as the Naits and Biliis which also have the credit of taking up their residence there.
I found very few land shells, the only species which were abundant were an Alycwus and a Dqflommatina, both undescribed species. Somewhat to my surprise also I found Helix Hattoni, Pfr., a shell which occurs upon the Himalayas from Landour to Sikkim, and which I have also met with on the Nilgiris of Southern India. It was not very common. A smaller helix completed the list. Not many species, however, could be expected from an isolated peak. Near the base I found Cyclopkorus fulgumtus which I had not met with further North and one or two other species.
‘29th.—I passed the day in a partial examination of the rocks at the foot of Puppa, in the hopes of ascertaining the geological age of
the volcanic outburst. I went first to the _very singular hill of
Toung-gala, which lies W. by S. of the principal peak and is almost detached from the terrace before mentioned. It is a mass of very beautiful augite porphyry (somewhat trachytic in its composition,) and is evidently a comparatively isolated outburst, sandstones occurring between it and the large hill. It has, possibly, formed the nucleus of a lateral outburst of lava, but, if so, subsequent denuda
What rule governs the limit of grass on Indian mountains?
On the moist Sikkim Himalayas it is not found below 12,000 feet at least, on the drier eastern portion of that range it is, I believe, considerably lower. On lhe eastern side of the Nilgii-is, it is about 6000 feet. On the Kolnmullies near Tricliinopolye (as I have been informed by Mr. Foote) grass occurs ut about 5000. On Shwe 00 toung, North of Ava, in a much damper climate than Pagan, only the topmost peak as seen from Malé appears to be covered with grass. This mountain is certainly I think higher than Puppé, and Dr, Oldham egtimal-,. ed it at 6000 feet. So far we might suppose, that the drier the climate the lower the level of the grass slopes. But on the other hand, the level is much lower on the wet western side of the Nilgiris than on their drier eastern watershed, and on the wettist of all the Indian hills, viz., the Khasi range, it is said to be as low as 4000 feet. On the mountains west of Moulmein it is between 7000 and 8000 feet according to Major Tickell. The rocks on Pnppfi are peculiar, but nearly all the other mountains mentioned consist of gneiss.