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must be superfluous. The rocky point of Sehwun, in all probability, offers in its old castle the only monument of the Grecian expedition extant in the whole line of the Indus. It is possible that from this spot the Macedonian hero "made excursions against Oxicanus and Sambus in the mountains i. e. towards Gundava and those which approach the stream from the great range), and on his return built a commodious fort overlooking the river." The peculiar position of Sehwun, and the immense artificial mound in which its old fort is built, give it fair claims to rank as a genuine specimen of antiquity, failing at least any competitor with higher pretensions. Beyond this often-quoted but still uncertain remnant of Alexander's march, there is not immediately on the whole line of Indus, whether in Sindh or further north, one traceable monument of antiquity: even his altars have disappeared with the ground on which they were erected, and, as places, Pattala (Tattah) and the Delta itself are looked for with uncertainty. The "Barbaricum Emporium," whence, according to the "Periplus," the expedition sailed upwards to Minagara, whilst on their way to the South, would appear to reduce the latter to some point low down the river, whilst with antiquarian anxiety it is generally looked for some six hundred miles up the stream. Such are a few specimens merely adduced as unsatisfactory results of learned controversy in the comparative geography of the Indus. It should not
be omitted to mention, however, that while actual and existing proofs in relics and identity of localities are looked for in vain, the accuracy of Alexander's historians is daily proved by the natural phenomena of the river, character of the country through which it flows, and many of the customs of the inhabitants preserved even to the present day.
To come within the date of authentic history, there can be no doubt that the river took a more easterly course through a great part of Sindh than at present: its old channels still to be seen corroborate this, as also ruins of cities mentioned by the early Mahommedan historians, as having been situated on its banks: all the places described in the first conquest of the country are thus recognizable, particularly the ancient Hindú capital, situated in the northern division before alluded to, now some miles from the stream, though the river is expressly said to have washed the city walls: a bridge and dry channel testify to this fact. The progress of the Indus through Sindh to the present day is generally westward, and at Sehwun the rocky barrier even does not arrest its progress. A pass by the stream, which admitted the Bombay division of the Cabul army in 1839, was in 1841 obliterated; the road over a shoulder of the hills had succumbed to the action of the river. Bukkur could hardly have existed at the time of the Greeks, or they would have men
tioned so prominent a feature in the stream. Even here the rocky banks scarcely confine the stream just above this point. The Indus overspreads a great extent of its western bank, and has continued to do so for years, to the improvement of the revenues of the Mughulli district, in which Shikarpúr is situated, and consequent deterioration of the eastern districts of Khyrpúr. Between the Christian and Mahommedan eras the river in all probability forsook its old channel near Alor (traces of which are palpable), and has continued a westerly progress ever since as far as the Delta, where it hardly retains the same main branch of exit to the sea for two successive seasons.
The river runs in a general direction nearly north and south. The inundations commence in March (about the 23d), but are sensibly felt in the lower portions of Sindh, so as to fill the arms of the Delta, and the channels bordering from the main stream, only in the middle of May. The retiring of the waters begins about the end of September.
The rise is first shown, not by any very perceptible increase in quantity, so much as by accelerated flow. About August it attains its maximum, and the Lits, as they are called in the country, a general overspreading of the floods, on which fertility is so much dependent, are looked for at that particular period. The magnificence of this grand feature in nature must then be seen to be fully appreciated;
the Mita Durya, or "sweet water sea," as it is styled, is then in all its glory, and second only in sublimity of effect to those unrivalled streams which traverse the vast continent of the New World, but superior to all other rivers, whether of Asia or Africa, in size and volume. Its average breadth below Hyderabad is three quarters of a mile; but higher up, and at Sehwun, it is wider. In some places it is literally, as styled by the natives, a sea; for the banks are lost, and nothing but water meets the eye. The great expanse of lake Munchur has been alluded to; but when this space of nearly three hundred square miles of water is viewed only as an outlet of the waste inundations of the river, it affords a striking proof of their magnitude. A great peculiarity in the course of the stream and evidence of its force is here observed. Meeting the rocky barrier at Sehwun, it regurgitates for ten miles up a westerly channel into the lake, which is thus fed by the Narrah river flowing into it from the Indus northward, and another branch from the eastward.
From Sehwun to the northern extremity of Sindh the width of the river is less than below; but at Mittun, where the five great tributaries effect a junction, it is upwards of two thousand yards in expanse. The above dimensions of course apply to the period of floods.
The decrease in the river in September is steady; and although the exact period of its minimum in
Sindh has not been determined, it will probably be in February. Rain and the melting snows of the Himalaya Mountains are considered to supply the floods of the Indus, but principally the latter, as evinced in their steadiness of retreat, and a certain period of stationary maximum of inundation. Sudden rises may be attributed to rain in the countries to the north, through which the feeders of the Indus flow; but these are accidental, for these countries are not regularly supplied with rain: the position of the sun at the equinoxes determines the rise and fall, and affords a decisive proof of the great source whence the Indus derives its supply. For full and elaborate particulars, however, respecting the peculiar phenomena of the stream as observed in Lower Sindh, the reports of those scientific officers (Lieutenants Wood and Carless) whose attention was exclusively directed to this duty, must be referred to. To these it would be presumptuous to add, and therefore they may be considered as providing every requisite information on this interesting part of the subject.
The navigation of the Indus is the point of highest importance connected with Sindh, and that to which attention must daily become more particularly directed. The characteristic features of this river being for one half of the year extraordinary velocity, with a narrow and constantly varying main stream, and the other half the same uncertain course, want of depth of water, and a sluggish current, it is evident that no ordinary obstacles are to