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The Coonoor Ghaut.
comes cooler and more exhilarating. The first time I ascended it, I was doomed to walk. I had engaged a man at Metapollium to let me have a pony early in the morning. The bungalow at Metapollium is fifteen miles from Coonoor, five miles being a level walk, or perhaps a little downhill. I was to meet the animal and its attendant in the early morning at the foot of the Ghaut itself, five miles from Metapollium and ten from Coonoor. I reached the point in good time, but found no pony there; and after waiting for some time in vain, was compelled at last to use the only means of locomotion with which kind nature had provided me. Breakfast I had had none, for not a biscuit was left in the Metapollium bungalow. I was in consequence excessively fatigued with the ten miles walk uphill: but the charm of the scenery kept me up.
One of the prettiest peeps that I had was from a broad rivulet a little below the bridge at Burliar. I stopped to sketch it, and refreshed my parched throat with some of the sweet running water. In the small val
. ley above the bridge I purchased a few plantains, but they were of too coarse a kind to be very enjoyable. When I gained the bridge at Coonoor, though I had thoroughly enjoyed my walk amid the wild roses, and honeysuckles, and rhododendrons, I nevertheless felt thankful to see the Public Bungalow on a hill at no great distance ; and then
: I ate a hearty breakfast, as indeed I was fully entitled to
do after a fifteen miles' walk; and, after first admiring the
; charming prospect around dotted here and there with snug little bungalows, beautiful gardens, and a church tower capping a hill in the distance, I slept from sheer fatigue till four o'clock in the afternoon.
Higher still we rose, next morning, towards Ootacamund, familiarly known as Ooty. Not so picturesque as Coonoor, Ooty is still the more favourite resort for pleasure and health-seekers. The breezes are cooler than at the latter place, and the prospects more extensive. It is situated in a wide valley, in the midst of which is a lake of no very great beauty. Round the lake is the fashionable drive. The grander scenery in the neighbourhood of Ootacamund is only to be found by quitting the valley, and visiting the outlying country. From Dodabet the scene all round is simply grand; but yet Coonoor is to my taste by far the more pleasant residence, and is far richer in picturesque peeps. How Turner, Creswick, Richardson, Collingwood Smith, would have revelled here in communion with nature, sketchbook in hand !
On the old road, between Ootacamund and Coonoor, lies Katy, the residence of the German missionaries. I breakfasted there with Messrs. Merike and Metz, the resident missionaries. These missionaries have worked for some years among the hill tribes, but with no very
The Badaghars and Todas.
marked success at present.
Their few converts are chiefly from the Badaghars, a low tribe of most decidedly filthy habits. The stench of a Badaghar house, to say nothing of a village, is unique. Pigs, buffaloes, men and women, and dogs, herd together in a delightful proximity. I saw several of the chief converts, and a small school of Badaghar children. It was pleasant to see that they were redeemed, at least during schoolhours, from their native dirt ; and let us hope that they will grow up to be men and women who shall appreciate the ineffable boon of heaven--redemption from the filth of sin. But, at present, the Badaghars seem slow of heart to believe. Still more backward in appreciating the message of the Cross are the more wealthy, proud, and exclusive Todas.
These people belong to the old Dravidian race, like all the other ancient hill tribes of whom I have any knowledge. They are the lords of the hills, and Europeans pay them a quit rent for the lands they occupy. They live in small villages, called Toda Munds, and in peculiar stone-built, compact, but small huts. They are few in number, and are said to practise the degrading custom of polyandria. The German missionaries have preached the gospel here ; but hitherto I believe they have received but few, if any, converts.
The Gospel Propagation Society has a native ordained missionary at Ootacamund, who presides over a small Tamil congregation, the members of which are chiefly drawn from among the Christian servants of the visitors and residents. At Coonoor the American Dutch Reformed Church maintains a missionary. For some time the Scudders resided there, and had a neat chapel, in which a small Tamil congregation assembled. This mission was commenced by the late Paul Pacifique Schaffter, one of the Church Missionary Society's missionaries in Tinnevelley, when at Coonoor for his health.
Meteorological notes—The bullock bandy–A thunderstorm—The
Backwater - Legend of Parasu-Râma — Cranganore - Solomon's
— The Jews—The decline of Cranganore-Rise of Cochin and
On our return from the conference at Ootacamund (I was accompanied by a friend), our journey from Trichoor to Cochin was nothing less than an adventure. It was in the month of May, when the south-west monsoon is ushered in by terrific thunderstorms, which usually occur about sunset. From November to May we have on the western coast a steady sea-breeze during the day, in which the thermometer seldom rises above 84° or 85° in the shade; and at night we have a gentler landbreeze, which lasts till a few hours after sunrise. During the sea-breeze I have repeatedly noticed an upper current of air from east to west; that is, exactly opposite in direction to the sea-breeze. This upper current I believe to be permanent at that time of the year.
When the south-west wind which brings the monsoon first sets in, probably about March, it has, I sus