Hurdwar,* a Place of Hindoo Pilgrimage. Engraved by W. J. Cook from a drawing by Samuel Prout based on a sketch by Captain R. N. Elliot, R.N. . From the 1832 Fisher’s Drawing Room Scrapbook edited by Letitia E. Landon. Click on image to enlarge it.

I Love the feeling which, in former days,
Sent men to pray amid the desert's gloom,
      Where hermits left a cell, or saints a tomb;
      Good springs alike from penitence and praise,
From aught that can the mortal spirit raise:
      And though the faith be false, the hope be vain,
      That brought the Hindoo to his idol fane;
Yet one all-sacred truth his deed conveys—
How still the heart doth its Creator own,
      Mid strange idolatry and savage rite,
      A consciousness of power eternal shown,
How man relies on some superior might.
The soul mid darkness feels its birth divine,
And owns the true God in the false god's shrine. [18]

* Hurdwar, or Haridwar, means the gate of Vishnoo, the Prinsir. The Hindoos perform this pilgrimage, to bathe in a particular spot of the Ganges,** at the time when the sun enters the sign Aries. A fair is then held, which, thanks to the precautions taken by the British government, has, of late years, gone off without bloodshed. “At the annual fairs, it is supposed, from 200,000 to 300,000 persons are collected. Once in twelve years, when particular ceremonies are performed, the number of those present has been computed at one million.”— Hamilton's Gazetteer.

** “Parvati, the bride of Siva, ventured one day to cover his eyes with her hands. Thereupon all the functions of life were suspended—time stood—nay, the drops poured from Siva's brow, to think of the awful consequences arising from his almighty eye relaxing from its eternal watchfulness. From these drops, the Ganges had its divine origin; hence the veneration of the Hindoos for the sacred river.”—Asiatic Researches.


Fisher’s Drawing Room Scrapbook. Ed. L.E.L. [Letitia E. Landown]. London: Fisher, Son, & Jackson, 1832. Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the University of Minnesota Library. Web. 21 July 2020.

Last modified 24 July 2020