(With introductory comments by Jacqueline Banerjee)

BOOROOAH. 5th May 1850. Sunday.—Seven o'clock p.m.

On the first attempt to cross the Rotung Pass, Juliana Hervey showed extraordinary determination.

The rugged path lies along the right bank of the Beâs the whole way, and the scenery is wildly beautiful on every side. The channel of the river becomes more and more confined and the inclination at which it flows being so very abrupt, the waters boil and foam with a furious noise over the large rocks and stones that block up th bed, while spray is dashed to a great height and distance…. The mountain we ascended was wooded a great part of the way, and I am told that the grass which grows on it affords so very rich and luxurious a pasturage, that flocks and herds are sent from a great distance to graze.... After breakfast we began the ascent of the pass in earnest. We left our ponies at the tents; Captain H- walked, and I was carried in a dhoolie. The ascent was fearfully steep and by way of a path we had nothing but deep beds of snow and sheets of ice. There were regular steps the whole way up, but the higher we got the more these steps were embedded in snow. The Coolies had great difficulty carrying the dhoolie over some of the steeper parts… At the elevation of little more than eleven thousand feet we reached that part of the pass bearing the name of "Murree," where two small stone huts erected by the Emperor Len Singh. and called after him, stand on a small piece of table-land. To reach Murree, we had to cross a steep bed of snow many feet deep. The air was bitterly cold, and as we drew near, the sleet which had been falling for some time, turned into large flakes of snow. We went into the huts for shelter but as there was no appearance whatever of the weather clearing, I insisted on proceeding… On we toiled up the pass. The snow fell thicker and thicker and Captain H- begged me to return, as many people have been lost in snow-storms, by rashly braving them on this Pass. He turned back to the huts, but I persevered a mile further. The Coolies at last fairly declined to proceed, as we could no loger see the way, and their feet sunk deeper and deeper in the fresh-fallen snow.... the storm of snow at last drove me back.... [I: 79-82]

KHOKSUR, OR KOKSUR, (LAHOUL DISTRICT). June 23rd, 1850. Saturday.—

The intrepid lady traveller braves snow country in Lahoul District, at an elevation of 10,053 feet.

Lahoūl is the most peculiar looking country. A narrow valley flanked on both sides by high perpendicular peaks, bare and barren and covered with snow. Khōksur has been once or twice buried under an avalanche, since which, whenever the snow falls heavily and continuously, all the people adjourn to a habitation built in the rocks, where they remain snowed up for weeks or months. [I: 117]

BHOWARNUH. (KOT KANGRA ILLAKA.) 29th August, 1850. Wednesday.—

Already worn out and debilitated, Juliana Hervey undergoes the trials and tribulations of a traveller, being separated from her luggage, let down by her servants etc.

.... I left Rihloo about 9.0 o’clock, a.m., in my dhoolie, accompanied by Ghaussie, several Coolies carrying necessary things, and a Chuprassie. The first few miles lay through level ground, and I got on very well. I saw Kōt Kangra to the right, and Bhâgsoo on the left; they appeared to be nearly equidistant, three or four miles from the path we were following. I was almost tempted to go on to Bhâgsoo but I felt tired and ill, so I thought it better not to add to my fatigues. The wretched Dhoolie bearers knew nothing of the road and we had scarcely lost sight of Bhâgsoo when I found we were wandering about in the most hopeless manner, among rice-fields and ditches of water, two or three feet deep. We crossed several rivers too; one was so swollen that we had great difficulty ifording it. Unluckily, the Chuprassie and Coolies, having dropt a little way behind, were detained on the opposite side of the bank – the rush of water having suddenly and violently increased. almost directly after we had passed, so that the river was no longer fordable. We have thus become separated from all our baggage, even the most indispensable articles. The servants and loads sent on in advance were evidently not so foolish as to go through the rice fields, so Heaven knows where they are at present.

After wandering about all day in the jungles, without breakfast or dinner, about sunset we caught a guide, who led us to the road. The dhoolie bearers behaved disgracefully, setting me down at every few yards.... [1: 330-31]

11th August, 1851. Monday.—

This description of Lēh gives a vivid idea of the amazing range and profusion of goods, of different origins, being sold in the market there, and ends with a surprising reference to "Cockneys" — earlier in the same volume this class-conscious traveller talks about them as "Philistines, in the guise of English, Scotch, and Irish cockneys" (115).

....Lēh is a sort of centre of commerce. Merchants from Yârkhund, Kokhân, Indjân, Budakshân, Bokhâra, Bâlti, Kashmir, and even the Punjâb, congregate here. And barter or sell their goods. The natural products of the country of Ladâk are of some value; borax and sulphur, shawl-wool, salt and gold. The only manufactures appear to be, a narrow woollen cloth (Puttoo), about the length of nine yards, value from two to four rupees; and the chákmak, or steel, for striking a light. The price of the latter varies from eight annas to two rupees. I paid three Company's rupees for a chákmak and a kulumdân, or penholder. This article is of Chinese manufacture, and made of ornamented steel. Silks, satins, brocades and tea, are the principal imports from China; Yârkhund supplies boots, Russian leather, velvets and Russan broadcloth, Yambo (lumps of silver], excellent tea and a cloth made from camel's hair: from Bâlti, the shawl-wool or pashmina chudders, white and brown, are largely imported. "Syllung," a very fine Kashmirette, brought from beyond Kokhân, is also sold here. Every article is dearer this year than the last; probably from the influx of the "Cockneys." [II: 387-88]


The concludng chapter of Volume III looks at, among many other aspects of the "Island of Bombay," a Scottish doctor's enlightened treatment of patients in a mental institution.

Before leaving public buildings of Bombay, I must say a few words on the Lunatic Asylum, and its talented and indefatigable superintendent, Dr. William Campbell, whom I am proud to reckon in the number of my most esteemed friends. This establishment for the insane has long existed in Bombay, but it owes its present efficient state to the labours of the Medical Superintendent, who has devoted all his energies to the task he has undertaken.... creatures like ourselves, fallen to a par with the beasts of the field,— with reason dethroned and intellect extinguished, — are agreeably soothed by the manifestation everywhere apparent of a tender care for their welfare and a gentle leading back to sense and decorum. The unfortunate lunatics owe much to their kind-hearted talented master who has (I believe entirely at his own risk), introduced occupation into the establishment, as a means of cure. It is most interesting to see the elaborate works that these creatures bereft of reason can be taught… I saw weaving, rope-making, cotton-cleaning and spinning; mat-manufacture, straw-hat and bonnet ditto; and cane-work chair, stool and basket-making of very pretty and intricate patterns. All this gives occupation to the poor maniacs and idiots, and as no-one is in any way coerced to work, only gently coaxed thereto by offer of some trifling reward, or extra indulgence, the benefit derived is most wonderful in detail. It was quite touching to see how Dr. Campbell was beloved by one and all of his unfortunate patients, European and native, and his gentle voice spoke kind and cheering words, evincing the interest he took in their little plans and occupations. [III: 301]

Links to related material


Hervey, Mrs. The Adventures of a Lady in Tartary, Thibet, China, & Kashmir, Vol. I. London: Hope & Co., 1853. Internet Archive. Copied from PAHAR: Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset. Web. 8 August 2022.

_____. The Adventures of a Lady in Tartary, Thibet, China, & Kashmir, Vol. II. London: Hope & Co., 1853. Internet Archive. Copied from PAHAR: Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset. Web. 8 August 2022.

_____. The Adventures of a Lady in Tartary, Thibet, China, & Kashmir, Vol. III. 2nd ed. London: Hope & Co., 1854. Internet Archive. Copied from PAHAR: Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset. Web. 8 August 2022.

Created 8 August 2022