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in the right position was by some of the guides pointed out as Mt. Chappar, while others seemed doubtful of its existence.
And lastly, several prominent peaks have been for the first time named and placed.
As regards nomenclature the name Khojeh (or Kho'ja) Amra'n Range, is a misnomer. Ranges or lines of hills, as a rule, have no generic names in Afghanistan, the Afghan system of nomenclature not having yet reached that stage. But nearly every prominent or remarkable peak has a name of its own. In this case, Khwa'ja Amra'n is really the name of a point above the Gwa'ja Pass, and not that of the whole range. If any name belongs to the entire line of mountains it is Rogha'ni. However, as the name Kho'ja Amran has become popularised in geography, it would be a pity perhaps, as well as almost useless, to try and alter it.
The town Peshin also, mentioned by so many travellers, does not exist. They probably meant by the term the cluster of Sayad and Tari'n villages about Sayad Paind and A'li'zai in the Pishin Valley.
Scenery and Landmarks.-Looking eastwards from the Pishin, there is a grand and striking view of the series of mountainranges commencing from Mt. Chiltan on the south, and thence running past Mts. Takatu', Zarghu'n, Pi'l, and Chappar, to Mt. Kand on the north. Mt. Takatu' is a fine mountain from any point of view, as also is Mt. Ma'zhwö, of which a grand view is obtained from Shudand in the River Ro'd Gorge. Mt. Surghwand is likewise a fine and striking mountain from the north. There is also a very fine view from the Nangalu'na Pass over the Sho'r Valley and Ghobargai country, the Chimja'n Ghar Peak and Mt. Sya'jgai presenting a remarkable appearance, and there is a pretty view towards the She'rkai Peak and Koha'r Hills from Baia'nai. But with these exceptions the country is too bare and broken up into small points to be striking or pretty. Mt. Sya'jgai, an isolated square-topped peak, in the middle of the Sho'r Valley near Chimja'n, is here a remarkable object from all points; but it would not be so in India generally, where there are many like it in all parts of the country from Ra'jputa'na to Mysore.
Heights of Mountains.-Many of the mountains rise to a considerable elevation, but the heights stated in the accompanying list (page 230) were guessed at on the spot from such data as could be obtained.
The geological formation of the
A Paper by the author, on the geological formation of the country passed through by the Second Column Tal-Cho'tia'li Field Force, will be found in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal' for 1879.
greater part of the country passed through should apparently be referred to the Tertiary period. Messrs. Medlicott and Feistmantel, of the Geological Survey of India, who kindly examined the geological specimens the writer collected, reported after a first cursory examination as follows:
"The fossils are exclusively tertiary, none are post-tertiary. They are mostly nummulitic: possibly all of that age. The supposed lizard is a detached segment of an echinoderm. A very large proportion of the rocks are of such limestone, sandstone, and shale, as are usual in tertiary formations. There is no fragment of granitic or metamorphic rock, except one which is crystalline limestone, but this may be a contact rock. The same may be said of a few specimens of indurated silicious rock, which are of the type common at the contact of eruptive rock. Some of them are jaspidious. Of trappean rocks there are not a few; some are syenitic and dionitic (non-quartziferous), and some are earthy amygdaloids. The crystalline minerals are the commonest forms of quartz, calcspar and gypsum; one is clear, white, cubical rock-salt. There is no metalliferous rock or mineral in the whole collection" (600 specimens). When, however, the specimens shall have been referred to their proper geographical position a better idea of the geology of the country will be obtained.
The Glacis. But the most remarkable point as to conformation to be noticed is the peculiar glacis, or slope up to the hills from the valleys. And at the risk of recapitulating what has been published by the writer elsewhere, a short description of this glacis will be here given. It is to be seen everywhere in Afghanistan proper, though not noticeable in Beluchistan or south of the Bola'n or Han Passes, and is said to be a common
feature throughout Persia and Central Asia. It is to be seen at the foot of every range of hills, varying in length and height according to the elevation of the neighbouring mountains above the valley-level. In the Kadanei Valley, where the Kho'ja Amra'n Range rises 3000 feet and more above the mean valleylevel, it is 15 miles long, and nearly 1500 feet in height; while in the narrower valleys, such as the Gwa'l, the slopes on either side almost meet in the centre, leaving hardly any flat spaces at all. One result of this glacis is that the valley-level seems to be reached long before it really is so. Its surface is generally much water-scoured, and is covered over with stony detritus from the mountains, and over it also wander the stony beds of numerous torrents. The origin of the phenomenon apparently lies in excessive denudation of the mountains, caused by the absence of forests on their slopes, and the soft, shaly nature of many of the summits, which last, again, probably arises from the combined action of frost, snow, and rain.
Kala Abdullah Kha'n to Badwa'n. 6 miles. General forward bearing, 860. 11th March.
Kala Abdullah Kha'n, 5600 feet, is a village at the entrance to the Kho'jak Pass from the Pishin side to s. of the pass. It is the residence of Mi'r Aslam Kha'n, Abda'li, the Sirdaʼr, or chief, of the Achakzai section of the Dura'nis. He is the son of the late Mi'r Abdullah Kha'n. The village is not large, say twenty houses, though it has the appearance of being so on account of the sera'i or fort Mi'r Aslam Kha'n has built by it. There are some trees and a garden in this upon which the Sirda'r has spent, he says, Rs. 2000. The arable land between the Kho'jak stream and the village is said to be a ja'gi'r and rent-free.
The crops grown hereabouts are wheat, barley, millet, Indian corn (maize), and lucerne.
Supplies are plentiful of all the sorts generally obtainable in Afghanistan, viz., bhoosa, barley, milk, butter, fowls, eggs, and I saw some cloths of European make also being sold. The supplies come from the district round, Habi’bullah, a large Achakzai village to s.E., furnishing a quantity under the influence of the Sirda'r, who had the farming of this part of the Pishin under the Ameer's Government.
There is a large space for an encampment alongside the Kho'jak stream (about a mile from the village), which has here a broad stony bed like most mountain rivers, through which the river winds in several streams. At this time of the year, winter, the stream at this part is small, but clear and sweet, with a fast current. The drawbacks as an encamping-ground are that the place is liable to violent winds and dust-storms, and in the winter there is some danger of being snowed up. Wood, too, is scarce in the district, and the local supply is soon used up if a force has to halt in bad weather. The village and encampment are situated just within the range of low hills at the entrance of the gorge of the Kho'jak stream. These hills are bare and somewhat bleak, but the view is fair on the whole. There is a view N.E. into the Pishin through the entrance of the pass, but it is not extensive. Mount Takatu', 10,500 feet, is visible across the valley. There is considerable cultivation along the hill-slopes.
The road leads right through the Kho'jak River in its several beds altogether for about mile, then over some uncultivated lands for about 4 miles to Rahamdil Kha'n's village, and then through the Arambi stream, after which it passes a series of water channels, or torrent-beds, for 2 miles to Badwa'n. These beds are stony and full of detritus, which is washed down in enormous quantities from the bare hills to the N.; in fact, the whole country between the streams is waterworn and appears to be scoured after all heavy rains. It, with the Khojak and Arambi streams, is liable to sudden floods, when the water rushes down with great violence, but to no depth. The road is, on the whole, bad, except in fine weather, and in bad weather, if not impassable, would give great trouble to baggage-animals. The higher places between the river-beds, where the water cannot scour, are usually cultivated, and there are patches of cultivation along the hill-sides.
At 4 miles to the left, close by the road, are passed Rahamdil Kha'n's villages of the Mu'sizai sept of the Tor Tari'ns, a largish place, to the back of which, over the low hills, lie the villages of Mi'r Kalam Kha'n, of the Kaʼkozai sept of the Achakzais.
There is an interesting a'sya', or watermill, near this, with a raised ku'l (open watercourse) leading to it, and close by is a kaʼre'z, but most of its wells are dry. Some distance to the right also lie Brija'n Kala, called also Auli'a
Kala after its malik, of the Ma'ezai sept of the Tor Tari'ns about 4 miles off, and Da'dgwal, of the Mu'sizai sept of the same tribe, about 5 miles distant.
A noticeable feature in the country is the peculiar glacis or slope up to the hills on the valley-sides, which is also to be seen on the other side of the Kho'jak Pass in the Kadanei Valley. The houses also differ a good deal in build from those on the other side the Kho'jak, the peculiar domed roof is nowhere seen here. The kile's (properly kizhdais), or black semi-permanent tents of the Achakhais, are to be seen dotted all over the hill-sides and the plain. Large quantities of sheep and goats are to be seen grazing, but not many cattle: horses are to be found in the Sayad villages engaged in the Kara'chi horse-trade.
Badwa'n, 5600 feet, malik She'rdil Kha'n, is a To'r Tari'n village of the Badozai section; not particularly large, but straggling, like all the villages of the Pishin. Supplies were plentiful, and willingly offered-bhoosa, barley, wheat, eggs and butter, ghee, fowls, sheep and goats, and also several Persian greyhounds were offered for sale, but all the prices asked were exorbitant; water is plentiful from a small stream. Trees are seen on the hill-slopes and on the tops of the hills, but otherwise the country is bare of trees as usual. The chief natural products are southernwood and a weed like an onion.
There is a fine view from the village over the valley. To the s.E. is the Ghaz line of hills, separating the Pishin and Sha'lko't (Quetta) Valleys, behind which, lying to the s. of Quetta, rises Mt. Chiltan to a considerable height. To the E. lies Mt. Takatu' and the snow-capped peaks Zarghu'n, Pi'l and Kand, in succession, to the N. of Takatu'. Behind these ranges again is visible the round snowy head of Mt. Chappar in the distance. About 6 miles distant to the E. lie the Sayad villages of Shahda'd and Sayad Paind, and beyond them again, at some 10 miles, the Tor Tari'n village of Aʼliʼzai.
Badwa'n to Ali'zai. 12 miles. General forward bearing, 90°. 12th March.
The road runs mainly through light sandy soil at the foot of the hills to the N. of the Pishin for about 10 miles, but for the last 2 miles, it goes through torrent-scoured country, where it is stony and covered with detritus. In parts it is broken by water washing through the soil and creating irregularities in the surface, and it crosses several small nullahs with hard sandy bottoms and steep difficult banks. In fine weather the road is good, easy and pleasant, but heavy and troublesome for baggage-animals after rain or in bad weather, especially in the stream-beds or broken ground, where the soil is liable to become quicksand in places. Opposite Badwa'n the River Chór runs a few hundred yards to the s. of the road. Here its channel is very deep, and its banks impracticable except by ramping. About 5 miles out, to N., a mile distant from the road, are the ruins of Sayad Sa'lo, a large village, the inhabitants of which have removed to the Quetta district. At 6 miles out, the road passes Sayad Paind, 5 miles s. of which lies Karbe'la, whose inhabitants claim to be Sayads, but are disowned by them. The Karbe'las seem to be a sept apart, for neither Tari'ns, Ka'kars, Dura'nis or Sayads care to own them. About a mile off the road to N. lie three villages in quick succession, Haji'zi', Shahda'd, and Gauri, the first two are Sayad and the latter an A'li'zai (Tor Tari'n) village. Two bad nullahs are passed just before reaching Sayad Paind and the River Chór shortly afterwards. The villages about here lie pretty thick, and the land is extensively cultivated. After passing Gauri the road goes through a graveyard, in which is a mound with a Sayad Pi'r's (saint's) tomb on the top of it. His name was Ajaiab. Shortly after this it runs past Ajabzai, a Sayad village: to the s. of this, about mile distant, is a copse or