Zxmmttmx^ of ftt ^ocietjj,






VOLUME xvin.










*^* The Members of the Asiatic Society, who have Superintended the Publication of the Transactions of the Physical Class, desire it may be known to the Public, that the Authors alone are responsible for the facts and opinions contained in their respective Papers.


In offering to the Public tht present portion of the Asiatic Researches in a distinct and separate form, and in thus deviating from the mode of publication which the Society has hitherto adopted, it appears expedient to state briefly the circumstances which have led to the present arrange- ment, and the motives by which it has been recommended.

Towards the close of 1827, several members of the Asiatic Society, who felt an interest in scientific enquiries, and who conceived that the ordinary Meetings of the Society were held at intervals too remote, and for purposes of too miscellaneous a nature to be calculated to promote scientific investigation, were induced to consider the most effective means to be pursued for the special furtherance of that object. On referring to the Minutes of the Society, it appeared that on the 7th of September;, 1808, it was resolved, that " a Committee should be formed to propose such plans, and carry on such correspondence as might seem best suited to promote the knowledge of Natural History, Philosophy, Medicine, Im- provements of the Arts and Sciences, and whatever is comprehended in the general term Physics and a Committee was formed accordingly, and Meetings were held, but they had for sometime past been discontinued. The formation of the Committee was, therefore, recalled to the notice of the Society, and on the 2d of January, 1828, it was resolved at a General Meeting, that the Physical Committee should be considered as in




existence, and for the same purposes as formerly, exclusive of Medicine, for which a distinct Institution had already been established. Resolutions were, at the same time passed, empowering the Committee to elect its own officers, to frame its own rules, and to publish its proceedings as a distinct portion of the Asiatic Researches.

Upon the organization of the Committee, communications were in- vited from various parts of Hindustafi, and the Papers consequently re- ceived, are now offered to the public. They are pi*inted in the same form and type as the Asiatic Researches, of which they are an integral por- tion ; but they are so far distinct that they need not be necessarily incor- porated with the Literary Transactions of the Society. By giving them a detached and separate existence, it has been thought that they would be more likely to attract the attention of the readers to whom they are chiefly addressed, or individuals engaged in scientific pursuits, than if they were associated with matters which are more especially addressed to literary men, or to the general reader.

The subjects to which the attention of the Physical Class of the Asia- tic Society is principally directed, are the Zoology, Meteorology, Miner- alogy, and Geology of Hindustan. To acquire an accurate knowledge of facts by observation and experiment, and to apply those facts to a synthe- tical explanation of particular phenomena, is the object of all Physical science. In those branches to which the attention of this class is particu- larly directed, facts may be accurately recorded even by the unscientific enquirer ; the connection of these facts and the deducing therefrom general conclusions, must be left to those whose habits of scientific combination and accuracy have qualified them for carrying on this last step in the process of induction. It was principally with the hope of collecting and recording with precision, facts, that this Class has been established. Scattered as are



our countrymen in the East, over so large a portion of the surface of the earth as yet unexplored by science, the most common observer can hardly fail to notice phenomena that may be important for the purpose of Physi- cal Research ; " observationes liunt spectando id quod natura perse ipsam sponte exhibet." Boscovich. Few apparently as are the labourers in this vast field, it seems but little understood how competent those few are to make the most valuable additions to our knowledge. The Physical Class hopes to encourage the spirit of enquiry by the assurance that the labours of the observer will be no longer in vain. In order to assist persons unpractised in Geology, the Physical Class are about to republish Dr. Fitton's instructions for collecting Geological specimens with additional directions, which they are anxious to distribute as extensively as possible to all who have an opportunity of collecting speci- mens and forwarding them to the Society. It is with sincere gratification that the Members of this Class are enabled to state, that although a year and a few months have scarcely elapsed since its re-establishment, communications have been received, affording ample materials for a conti- nuation of these Transactions, and that they have lost no time in placing a second part in the hands of their Printers.

It may be necessary to add a few words upon the mode adopted in the following pages of expressing native names in Roman characters, es- pecially as they are mostly the names of places, which often assume a very different character in the text or maps of the present publication, from that which they wear in the most improved maps of Arrowsmith or other Geographers. The system here adopted is that which is described by Sir William Jones, in the first volume of the Asiatic Researches, and which has been followed with very few exceptions in all the subsequent volumes, as well as in the Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society and of the Literary Society of Bombay. The orthography of the common maps



follows no rule whatever : the greater part of the names have been written down according to their fancied sound, and without any regard to their ori- ginal characters, or to their signification. They are consequently in general so expressed that, to a native ear, they would be unintelligible, and they cease to convey what, in their correct form, they very commonly imply, some circum- stances of interest respecting their history or origin, ttieir topographical site, or peculiarities of soil, climate, and natural or manufactured produce. It would have been as idle as unphilosophical therefore to have adopted the forms of these names vulgarly expressed, especially in opposition to the practice followed by the highest authorities. Their enunciation will be sufficiently correct by attention to a few simple rules.*

* Thus 1.— The Consonants should be pronounced as in English.

2 The Vowels as in Italian, the long Vowels being distinguished by an accent over them.

There is one exception to the Italian sound of the Vowels, that of the short a, which takes the sound it has in adorn, amend, and similar verbs ; or as in America, or that of u in Sun, &c.


I. Page General Observations on the Geology of India, by James Calder, Esq 1


On the Geology of a Portion of Bundelkhand, Boghelkhand and the Districts of

Sagar and Jebelpur, by Captain James Franklin, First Bengal Cavalry, M.A.S., 23


The Trap Formation of the Sagar District, and of those Districts Westward of it, as far as Bhopalpur, on the Banks of the River Newas, in Omatwara, by Captain S. Coulthard, of the Bengal Artillery, 47


Remarks on the Geology of the Country, on the route from Baroda to Udayapur,

via Birpur and Salambher, by James Hardie, Esq. Assistant Surgeon, M.A.S., 83


On the Diamond Mines of Panna in Bundelkhand, by Captain James Franklin,

First Bengal Cavalry, M. A. S., 100


On the Geological and Mineralogical Structure of the Hills of Sltabaldi, Nagpur, and its immediate vicinity, by the late H. W. Voysey, Esq., Assistant Surgeon His Majesty's 67th Foot, 123


Observations on the Geological appearances and general features of portions of the Malayan Peninsula, and of the Countries lying betwixt it and 18° North Lati- tude, by Captain James Low, of the Madras Army, 128


Description of the North West Coal District, stretching along the River Damoda, from the neighbourhood of Jeria or Juriagerh, to below Sanampur, in the Pergunnah of Sheargerh, forming a line of about sixty-five miles, by the late

Mr. Jones, of Calcutta, 163



IX. Page

Examination and Analysis of some Specimens of Iron Ore, from Burdwan, by

H. Piddington, Esq., ...... 171


On anew species of Buceros, by B. H. Hodgson, Esq., ...... ...... 178


On the Petrified Shells found in the Gawilgerh Range of Hills, in April 1823, by

the late H. W. Voysey, Esq., Assistant Surgeon His Majesty's 67th Foot, ... 187

* XII. An account of some Minerals collected at Nagpore and its vicinity, with Remarks

on the Geology, &c. of that part of the Country, by Captain F. Jenkins, 195


Notice of the Occurrence of Gypsum in the Iiido-Gangetic tract of Mountains, by

Captain J. D. Herbert, Superintendant Mineral Survey, 216


On the Fertilising Principles of the Inundations of the Hugii, by H. Piddington, Esq. 224


On the Mineral Productions of that part of the Himalaya Mountains, lying between the Satlaj and the Kali, (Gagra) Rivers ; considered in an economical point of viev/; including an Account of the Mines and methods of working them, with suggestions for their improvement, by Captain J. D. Herbert, 9th Regiment

B. N. I., late Superintendant Mineral Survey, and Assistant to the Surveyor General of India, ...... ...... S27


Tables exhibiting a Daily Register of the Tides in the River Hoogly, at Calcutta, from 1805 to 1828, with Observations on the results thus obtained, by James Kyd, Esq., ...... ....... 259


I. Page

Observations on the Inclination and Declination of the Magnetic Needle. By Lieutenant- Colonel J . A. Hodgson and Monsieur de Blossville. Communicated lij Captain J. D. Herbert, 1


On a species of Aquila Circceetus and Dicrurus. By B. H. Hodgson, Esq 13


Sketch of the Geology of Central India, exclusive of Malwa. By James Hardie, Esq. 27


On the FormulcB for ccdculating Azimuth in Trigonometrical Operations. By Cap-

tain G. Everest, 93


Memorandum on the Fossil Shells discovered in the Himalayan Mountains. By the

Rev. R. Everest, 107


On the Geology of the Peninsula. By Lieutenant S. Charters Macpherson, 115


On the Migration of the Natatores and Grallalores, as observed at Kathmandu.

By B. H. Hodgson, Esq 122


The Wild Goat, and the Wild Sheep, of Nepal. By B. H. Hodgson, Esq 129



' Page.

On the Ratwa Deer of Nepal, By B. H. Hoclgso7i, Esq 139


Short Sketch of the Geology of Piilo Pinang and the Neighbouring Islands, with

a Map and Sections. By T. Ward, Esq I49


Description of the Buceros Homrai of the Himalaya. By B. H. Hodgson, Esq. . . 169


On the Compensation Measuring Ajyparatus of the Great Trigonometrical Survey

of India. By Captain Everest, 189


Experiments on the Strength and Elasticity of Indian Woods. By Captain

H. C. Baker, . . . . , 215


Description of the Wild Dog of the Himalaya. By B. H. Hodgson, Esq 221


Observations on the Spiti Valley and Circumjacent Country within the Himalaya.

By Surgeon J. G. Gerard, 238


Note on the Discovery of Platina in Ava. By Ja^nes Prinsep, Esq 279

confuunVTiii ' f'Jir ,./io')nrjcf ■' ) I

rrtd to CR






It is singular to observe that, while England is ever ready to engage in enterprises to explore the secrets of nature, even in her most inaccessible retreats in other quarters of the globe, she should have shewn such supineness and indifference respecting the Natural History of her eastern dominions.

In the colonial possessions of other nations, the whole field of nature has been explored and described by scientific and enlightened travellers ; whilst, in India, it has been almost entirely neglected, with one splendid exception, in which the munificent patronage of the East India Company has enabled a distinguished Member of our Society to make magnificent discoveries in the vegetable kingdom. May we not hope that the same patronage may be extended to other departments of Physical Science, and that, as Indian Botany has found its Linnaeus, we may yet see the trea- sures of the Animal and Mineral kingdoms unfolded to us by a Humboldt and a Cuvier.

B In


In the field of Geology, indeed, some steady progress has been made, which the superintending care of the lamented Voysey promised to ripen into a rich harvest : fatally, however, for science, this ardent philosophic inquirer was a martyr in the cause to which he was devoted. His loss can only be duly appreciated by those who are aware of the great local knowledge and experience which he possessed, added to his general scien- tific acquirements, which so peculiarly qualified him for the task he had undertalven. The labors of Dr. Voysey (which, had life been spared to him, a short period of time would have matured,) are not altogether lost. Some of his journals are in the possession of those who know how to estimate their value, and who, it is hoped, will be enabled to present the matter they contain to the public in as perfect a form as the incom- plete state of the materials will permit. Availing ourselves partly of these materials, and of the scanty notices already in print, and the communica- tions of the few valuable explorers now zealously engaged in scientific research, a few remarks may here be offered, by way of conveying some general view of the little Ave can yet pretend to know of the geological outlines of the vast field in the centre of which we are placed.

Casting our eye over the map of India, v^^e are struck with the grand and extensive mountain ranges which form the principal boundaries. On the north we have the stupendous chain of the Himalaija, extending from the confines of China to Cashmir, and the basin of the Oxiis; that vast accumulation of sublime peaks ^the pinnacles of our globe^ ^is so extensive, that a plane, resting on elevations of 21,000 feet, maybe stretch- ed in one direction as far as the Hindu Coh, for upwards of 1000 miles, above which rise loftier summits, increasing in height to nearly 6000 fe%t more. Primitive rocks alone have been found to compose all that has yet been explored of the elevated portion of that chain; gneiss being, according to Captain Herbert, the predominating rock, along with granite,



mica-sJiist, hornblende- shist, chlorite- slate and crystalline lime-stone; on these repose clay-slate, and Jlinty-slate, and towards the base we find sand-stone composing the southern steps of the chain, and forming the N. E. barrier of the valley of the Jumna and Ganges, by which, and the diluvial plains of Upper Hindostan, this great Zone is separated from the mountain ranges of the peninsula. The opposite, or southern boundary of this valley, is of the same rock. Advancing to the south, we come to three inferior mountain ranges, on which the peninsular table land of India may be said to rest, or more properly, to which it owes its peculiar form and outline. We may consider these ranges separately, as the western or Malabar, the eastern or Coromandel, and the central or Vindhya.

The principal in elevation, and most remarkable in continuity of extent, is the western range, which commences in Candesh, and runs along the Malabar coast, within a short distance of the sea, in an unbroken chain, to Cape Comorin, excepting where it is interrupted near its southern extremity, by the great chasm which opens into the valley of Koimbetur. The direction of this range deviates but little from north and south, bending a little eastward towards its southern extremity ; its eleva- tion increases as it advances southward, the highest points being probably between latitudes 10° and 15° N. where peaks of granite rise to 6000 feet and upwards.* The northern extremity of this range is entirely covered by part of the extensive overlying trap formation, to be more particularly described hereafter ; extending, in this quarter, from the sea-shore of the


* In Mr. Babington's paper, in the 5th volume of the Geological Society's Transactions, the height of one peak, Bonasson hill, is stated to be 7000 feet above the sea, and in a recent descrip- tion of the JSilgiri region, by Dr. Sniith Young, the peak of Dodapet, situated between 11° and 12° S. Latitude, and 76° and 77° E. Longitude, is said to rise to an elevation of 8700 feet it is to be regretted that we have no published report of heights, by actual geometrical or barometrical measurements, of the principal summits of the mountain ranges of the peninsula.


northern Concan, to a considerable distance eastward above and beyond the Ghats, as far perhaps as the river Tmnhoodra and Nagpore. These rocks assume all the various forms of basaltic trap, passing from the prismatic and columnar (of which some fine specimens are to be seen opposite to Bassiii, near Bombay) into the globular, tabular, porpliy- ritic, and amygdaloidal ; the two latter containing an interesting varie- ty of included minerals peculiar to such rocks. The landscape here exhibits all the characteristic features of basaltic countries. The hills rising abruptly in perpendicular masses of a tabular form, or in mural terraces, piled on each other, like great flights of steps leading to some giant's throne, are frequently separated by immense ravines the whole clothed with luxuriant forests of teak and other trees, producing some of the most beautiful and romantic scenery of India. The elevation of this part of the range seldom exceeds 3000 feet ; but advancing to the south, its height gradually increases, and granitic rocks begin to re-appear, rising above the surface between 17' and 18° N. Latitude, and from thence, proba- bly, continuing to form the summits of the chain, with little interruption, all the way to Cape Comorin. In nearly the same parallel of latitude, this trap formation is observed to terminate also on the sea-coast, a little to ,the north of Fort Victoria, or Banleot, where it is succeeded by the iron- clay or laterite,* (a contemporaneous rock associating with trap) which


* We owe the first notice of this interesting Rock, which may, perhaps, be considered as pe- culiar to the Geology of this country, to Dr. Francis Buchanan, who gives the following description of it in his travels, vol. 3, p. 440. " What I have called indurated clay, is not the mineral so called " by Mr. Kirwan, who has not described this of which I am now writing. It seems to be the Argilla « Lapidea of Wallerius I. 395, and is one of the most valuable materials for building. It is diffused " in immense masses, without any appearance of stratification, and is placed over the granite that " forms the basis of Malayala. It is full of cavities and pores, and contains a very large quantity of " iron, in the form of red and yellow ochres. In the mass, while excluded from the air, it is so soft, «' that any iron instrument readily cuts it, and is dug up in square masses with a pick-a?^, and imme- " diately cut into the shape wanted, with a trowel, or large knife. It very soon after becomes as hard " as brick, and resists the air and water much better than any bricks that I have seen in India. I


from thence extends as the overlying rock, with little interruption, to the extremity of the peninsula, covering the base of the mountains, and the whole of the narrow belt of land that separates them from the sea, exhibiting a succession of low rounded hills and undulations, and repos- ing on the primitive rocks, which occasionally protrude above the surface, as at Mai wan, Calicut, and some other points, where granite, for a short space, becomes the surface rock ; from the main land, the laterite passes over into Ceylon, where it re-appears, under the name of Kabuk, and forms a similar deposit, of some extent, on the shore of that island. Passing onwards from the western, or Malahar coast, round the extremity of the peninsula, we leave this extensive iron-clay formation, and crossing the granitic plains of Travancore, which are strewed with enormous blocks of primitive rocks, we arrive at the termination of the chain. Here the eastern and western ranges appear united, and, converging to a point with- in about twenty miles of Cape Comorin, end abruptly at the Amboli pass in a bluff peak oi granite, probably about 2000 feet high, from the base of which a low range of similar rocks, forming a natural barrier to the kingdom of Travancore, extends southward to the sea. It is to be re- marked however, that the junction of the two great lateral ranges, (viz. the Malabar and Coromandel,) seems to take place at the Nilgherry hills, which rising into the loftiest summits of the peninsula, form the southern


" have never observed any animal or vegetable exuvia contained in it, but I have heard that such " have been found immersed in its substance. As it is usually cut into the form of bricks for biiild- " ing, in several of the native dialects, it is called the brick-stone (Itica CuUa). Wliere, however, " by the washing away of the soil, part of it has been exposed to the air, and has hardened into a " rock, its colour becomes black, and its pores and inequalities give it a kind of resemblance to the " skin of a person affected with cutaneous disorders ; hence, in the Tamul language, it is called Shuri " Cull, or itch-stone. The most proper English name would be Laterite, from Lateritis, the appel- " lation that may be given to it in Science." It is observed also on the shores of Sumatra and the Straits of Malacca, reposing on granitic rocks, particularly at Malacca, where that formation extends many miles inland, corresponding, in all respects, with that of the Malabar Coast.



boundary of the great table-land and the northern barrier of the remark- able valley of Koimhatur, from the opposite side of which proceeds the continuation of the mountain chains in one central range to the southern extremity, as already described. The whole of this western chain, and the narrow coast which lines its base, is remarkable for the absence of rivers and vallies of denudation, and, consequently, of alluvial plains or deposits of any extent. The precipitous sides of the mountains rising in some places, (to the south of Goa,) almost from the sea, are, nevertheless, covered in general by forests of the tallest trees and impenetrable jun- gles, which admit of gaining but a vague and scanty knowledge either of their geological features, or the mineral treasures with which they may abound.

The Island of Ceylon presents so much the appearance of having once formed part of the Continent of India, and there is such a striking similarity in the nature of its principal rocks (which are chiefly primitive,) to those of the mainland immediately opposite to it, that some notice of its geological structure should not here be omitted, of which Dr. Davy's valuable work affords the following interesting and scientific description.

" In Ceylon, nothing is to be observed of that order of succession of rocks that occurs in Saxony and England, and many other parts of Europe. Uniformity of formation is the most remarkable feature in the geological structure of the Island ; the whole of Ceylon, with few excep- tions, consists of primitive rock unconnected with any other class of rocks, exclusive of those of very recent formation. Another remarkable geolo- gical circumstance is, that though the varieties of primitive rock are ex- tremely numerous, almost infinite, yet the species are very few and sel- dom well defined.



" The most prevailing species is granite or gneiss, the more limited are quartz rock, hornblende rock, drnd dolomite rock, and a few others which may be considered under the head of embedded minerals.

" The varieties of granite and gneiss are innumerable, passing often from one into another, and assuming appearances for which, in small masses, it would be difficult to find out appropriate names, depending on composition and the proportions of the elements or addition of new ingredients ; regular granite is not common, graphic granite still rarer, it occurs at Trincomalee neither is sienite common, it occurs in the Can- dyan provinces. Well formed gneiss is more abundant than granite, it frequently consists of white felspar and quartz in a finely crystalyzed state, with layers of black mica, containing numerous crystals of light coloured garnets. A similar rock is found on the opposite Continent, in the mountains at Cotallum, and affords one amongst other evidences of a conformity, if not indentity, in geological character. Both the granite and gneiss of Ceylon, are much modified by an excess or deficiency of one or other of the ingredients. When quartz abounds in a fine granular state, the rock looks like sand-stone. When felspar or adularia abound, it ac- quires a new external character. This variety is common, and in some places it contains so much of these minerals that it may be called adularia, OY felspar rock. When mica prevails in gneiss, (which is rare) it acquires not only the appearance, but very much the structure of mica slate.

The more limited varieties of primitive rocks, as quartz, hornblende, and dolomite rock, seldom occur in the form of mountain masses. The rocks of recent formation are lime-stone and safid-stone. The former is con- fined to the northern shore of the Island, where it appears to be still form- ing in the coral shallows of the adjoining sea. The other, (sand-stone) a rock of pretty general occurrence along the shore of the Island, which it



may be said to surround by an interrupted chain chiefly between high and low water mark." The further detailed description of these rocks given by this scientific observer, and his account of the rich variety of beautiful minerals abounding in that Island, will be found highly interest- ing and instructive.

Proceeding on to the eastern side of the peninsular, and northward, along the foot of the mountains, we observe a country differing very con- siderably from the Malabar coast in appearance and geological charac- ter. The plains of the Cororaandel coast form rather a broad though unequal belt of land between the mountains and the sea, exhibiting the alluvial deposits of all the rivers and streams that descend from the southern portion of the table land. The mountain chain that forms the eastern boundary of the peninsula, begins to diverge eastward where its continuity is interrupted by the valley of Koimbatur (already mentioned) From thence it breaks into a succession of parallel ranges, inferior in elevation and in unbroken continuity to the western chain ; and in the further progress northward, after branching off into subordinate hilly ranges, occupying a wide tract of unexplored country, and affording vallies for the passage of the great rivers, that drain nearly all the waters of the peninsula into the Bay of Bengal, this eastern range may be said to ter- minate at the same latitude as that of the commencement of the western. Granitic rocks, (principally sieuite,) seem to form the basis of the whole of these eastern ranges, appearing at most of the accessible summits, from Cape Comorin to Hyderabad. Resting on the granite, gneiss, and mica-slate, that form the sides and base of the mountains, are sometimes seen clay-slate, hornblende-slate, Jlinly - slate, chlorite and talc -slate, and primitive or crystaline lime-stone, affording, in some places, marbles of various colours, as in the district of Tinnivelly, near Cotallum, where granite is observed rising above the surface, in remarkable globular



or concentric lamellar concretions, and in apparently stratified masses, forming low detached hills, the strata of which dip at an angle of abont 45° to the S. W.* Partial deposits, of the overlying rocks exist in this district, and of the black cotton soil, supposed to be produced by the de- composition of trap rocks. In the neighbourhood of Pondicherry, there are beds of compact shelli/ lime-stone, and some remarkable siliceous petri- factions, chiefly of the tamarind-tree, which have never been well described. The bed of the Caveri, or rather the alluvial deposits in the vicinity of Trichinopoly, produce a variety of gems corresponding to those of Ceylon : in general, however, the surface of the level country, as far north as the Pennar river, seems to consist of the debris of granitic rocks, and plains of marine sand, probably left by the retreat of the sea, with occasional alluvial deposits, and partial beds of iron-clay, and detach- ed masses of other rocks of the overlying class. In approaching the Pennar river, the iron-clay formation expands over a larger surface, and clay-slate and sand-stone begin to appear. In the hills behind Nellore^ are found specimens of a very rich copper ore, yielding from fifty to sixty per cent, of pure metal, according to Dr. Heyne, besides argentiferous galena.


* These appearances, hitherto considered foreign to the nature or aspect of granite rocks in other parts of the globe, miglit be deemed questionable here, did they not coincide with similar appearances throughout the peninsula, and remarkably so with those of the Ceylon granites as thus described by Dr. Davy. " In structure, the granitic varieties most commonly exhibit an appearance " of stratification. It is not easy to decide with certainty whether this appearance is to be attri- " buted to the mass being composed of strata, or of large laminae or layers. I must confess I am " more disposed to adopt the latter notion. I have found some great masses of rock decidedly of " this structure ; masses almost insulated, quite bare, several hundred feet high, in which the " same layer might be observed spreading over the rock, like the coat of an onion ; and which, if " only partially exposed, might be considered a strong instance of stratification ; and, if examined " in different places, on the top and at each side, might be considered an extraordinary instance of '* the dip of the strata in opposite directions. With this hypothesis of the structure of the rocks, " the appearance of stratification in all the granitic varieties may be easily reconciled."


It is to the observations of Drs. Heyne and Voysey, that we owe all the information we yet possess of the vallies of the Pennar, the Krishna, and the Goclaveri rivers. This interesting tract of country is not more re- markable as the ancient source of the most valuable productions of the mineral kingdom, being the repository of theGolconda diamonds; than for the extraordinary geological features which it presents. The Nella Media range of mountains, in which the diamond - breccia is found, is described by Dr. Voysey, as exhibiting a geological structure, that can- not easily be explained by either the Huttonian or Wernerian theories, the different rocks being so intermixed with regard to order of posi- tion, each in its turn being uppermost, that it is difficult to give a name to the formation that will apply in all places : the clay-slate forma- tion is the name he has adopted, under which are included clay-slate, every variety of slaty lime-stone, sand-stone, breccia, Jiinty-slate, horn-stone- slate and a tufaceous lime-stone, containing, embedded in it fragments, (rounded and angular) of all these rocks all passing into each other by such insensible gradations, as well as by abrupt transitions, as to defy arrangement, and render description useless. It is bounded by granite, which passes under it, and forms its base, some elevated points, such as Naggery Nose, having only their upper third composed of sand-stone and quartz, while the basis is generally granite or sienite.

The rocks above enumerated, with beds of compact lime-stone, resem- bling lias, of various colours, and the addition of the iron-clay and basaltic rocks, occupy extensive portions of the valleys of the Krishna and Goda- veri, covered in some places by the black trap soil ; a sienitic granite how- ever, composed of hornblende, and sometimes mica, with quartz, felspar, 2indL garnets, interspersed, forms the basis of the ranges that separate these rivers. From Condapilli northward, the granite is often penetrated, and apparently heaved up by injected veins or masses of trap and dykes of



green-stone. We hope soon to be enabled to lay before the Society, a de- tailed description of these formations, accompanied by sections of the strata between Madras and Hyderabad. The waters of the Krishna and Oodaveri expand as they approach the sea, dividing into numerous branches, and depositing their alluvial contents during inundations over the low level tract that separates them : these deposits consist, according to Dr. Heyne, of a black earth, resting on indurated marl, and composed partly of the debris of trap rocks, but chiefly of decayed vegetable matter, yielded by the extensive forests through which these rivers flow. Here may be noticed a characteristic diflerence that marks the alluvial deposits of the principal river of the south the Caveri. This river, flowing in a long course through the Mysore country, over an extensive and generally jbarren surface of granitic rocks, with scarcely any woods or jungle on its banks, seems to bring down little or no vegetable alluvium ; but a rich clay, produced by the felspar, which predominates in the granites of the south, intermixed with decomposed calcareous conglomerate, render- ing the plains of Tanjore the most fertile portion of the south of India.

Passing on to Vizagapatam and Ganjam, granitic rocks, chiefly syenite and gneiss, predominate, and are occasionally covered by laterite. The granite of Vizagapatam assumes a new and singular appearance, being small-grained, and intermixed with amorphous garnets, in rounded grains, or specks. This peculiar rock passes into the Province of Cuttack. The only information we possess regarding that interesting district, is derived from Mr. Stirling's valuable paper in the last volume of the Asiatic Researches. Rocks of the granitic class form the basis and principal elevations of this district; some of them are remarkable for their resemblance to sand-stone, and abounding in imperfectly formed garnets, disseminated throughout, with veins of steatite. Here some traces of coal have recently been discovered, which is likely to be produc- tive, and gold is found in the sands of the Mahanadi, brought down



probably from the valley of Sambhalpur. We next trace the laterite, as the overlying rock, through the district of Medinipur, and thence con- tinuing northward by Bishenjmr and Bancora to Birhlmm, reposing sometimes on sand-stone, but more frequently on granite or gneiss. At JBancora, the calcareous concretion called Kankar, begins to cover the surface of the granitic and sienite rocks, which rise above the surface to considerable elevations in that district.

Thence we pass on to the great coal field that occupies both sides of the river Damoda. The boundaries of this formation have not yet been accurately ascertained : to the southward we trace its associating rocks ( sand-stone and shales) to within a few miles of RagJmndthpur, re- posing on granite and sienite about forty miles north by east ; from that place we come to the first colliery ever opened in India. The late Mr. Jones, an enterprising miner, had the merit of commencing these works in 1815, at a place called Rani Ganj, on the left bank of the Damoda. Mr. Jones describes this as the N. W. coal district of Bengal : he states that he observed the line of bearing for sixty-five miles in one direction, its breadth towards Bancora, (on the S. W, side) being not more than eleven or twelve miles from the river ; and he conjectures that the same coal formation crossing the valley of the Ganges, near Catwa, unites with that of Sylhet and Cachar, which he denominates the N. E. coal district, and from which abundant specimens of coal have been produced. An accu- rate survey of this extensive and valuable deposit seems to be called for, by obvious considerations of the most important public advantage.

The principal rocks that compose this formation are varieties of sand-stone, slate-clay, and shales, with occasional dykes and veins of trap SLTid green- stone ; the shale immediately covering the coal, abounds with vegetable impressions, and some animal organic remains ; amongst these.



Dr. VoYSEY distinguished a pJiytolitkus, a calamite, a lycopodkim, and one specimen of a gigantic species of patella. The shale passes into slate-clay, above which succeeds a gritty, micaceous, broivnish-grey, sand-stone, here and there becoming indurated and slaty this forms the surface rock all over the coal district, rising into low round - topt hills and undulated grounds. In the coal pits (three in number,) which have only yet been sunk to a depth of about ninety feet, seven seams of coal have been met with, one of which exceeds nine feet in thickness : the quality of the coal (which is now consumed largely in and about Calcutta,) somewhat resem- bles the Sunderland coal, but leaves a larger propprtion of cinders and ashes.

Proceeding northward and westward, from Bancora, and the Da- moda river, the road to Benares passes over granitic rocks, of which the ranges of hills on the left, and the whole country, as far as the Sone and round by SJiirghati and Gay a, is probably composed. On approaching the Sone river, and crossing the hills behind Sasseram, sand-stone begins to appear, and continues to be the surface rock, with probably only one con- siderable interval, all the way to Agra, forming, as before noticed, the southern barrier of the valley of the Ganges and Jumna ; that interval oc- curs in the low lands of Bundelkhand, where the remarkable isolated hills, forming ridges, running S. W. and N. E. are all granitic, the high lands being covered with sand-stone. This brings us back to the rocky plains of Upper Hindustan, and to the last of the three principal mountain rafnges first alluded to. The Vindhya Zone, crossing the Continent, from east to west, may be said to unite the northern extremities of the two great ranges already described, which terminate nearly in the same parallel of latitude, forming, as it were, the base of the triangle that elevates the table land of the peninsula. This great chain, yielding little in classical character to the Himalaya, intersects the heart of the country, and is distinctly

E traceable,


traceable, even in our very imperfect maps, running about S. 75° W. from the point called the Ramgerh hills, towards Guzerat: this range has numer- ous divisions and a multitude of names, almost every district giving a change of denomination, but to the eye of a Geologist who considers things on an extended scale, there is a parallelism in the disjointed parts, and a general connection and dependance on the central range; the substrata prove this fact, for in every case they preserve that parallelism. The great surface formations of central India and the Dekhin, are the g ranitic, (including always gneiss and sienite ) the sand-stone, and the overlying rocks ; the latter exceeding in their extent those of any other country. The basaltic trap formation extends northward all over Maliva and Sugar, and eastward towards Sohagpur and Amerakantak ;* thence proceeding southward by Nagpur, it sweeps the western confines of Hyderabad, nearly to the fifteenth parallel of latitude, and bending to the N. W. connects with the sea near Fort Victoria, as already noticed, composing the shores of the Concan northward, all the way to the mouth of the Nerbadda, covering an area of upwards of 200,000 square miles. It overlies sand-stone in the dis- trict of Sdgar, and hence may be inferred, that a portion of it at least is posterior to sand-stone: it possesses the common property of trap rocks in general, viz. that of changing the nature of every other rock which comes in contact with it ; and in the district of Sdgar, it is always associated with an earthy lime-stone, which seems to have undergone great change, strongly indicating the agency of heat. According to Captain Franklin, the ^nd-stone deposits are very regular both in their deposition and geological character, and cannot well be mistaken ; their general pa- rallelism to the horizon, and their saliferous nature, appear to him to identify them with the 7mv red sandstone of England, whilst the i^ed marie,


* It is expected, that the limits of this eastern deposit of trap will soon be more acurately determined by Captain Franklin.


and its superincumbent variegated or mottled variety, (called by Werner bunter-sand-stein,) together with the deposits of lias lime-stone, place the matter almost beyond a doubt. In using the term new red sandstone, how- ever, it must be understood, as it is in England, to comprise all that series of beds which intervenes between the lias lime-stone and the coal measures; admitting which, he conceives that the water- falls of Bundelkhand, which occur in the lowest steps of the Vindhya range, will afford a series of for- mations corresponding perfectly with those of England; and to that school, therefore, our attention should be directed, in order to arrive at satisfactory conclusions regarding it.

On the western side of India it is, as we have seen, covered by over lying rocks, as 2it Sagar: it appears, however, flanking the large primitive branch which rums to Udaypur, on the side of Guzerat ; and to the north it sweeps into the desert to an unknown extent. A paper of Mr. Eraser's, in the London Geological Transactions, proves this fact, even if we had not the more substantial evidence of rock-salt, which is there produced in abundance.

The next of the great surface rocks of central India, is large-grained ^TamYe, frequently passing into gneiss, generally composed of quartz, Jlesh- coloured felspar, a little brown or black tnica and hornblende; it varies, how- ever, in appearance, and also in the proportion of its constituents ; but, generally speaking, it contains large crystals of felspar, and is, consequent- ly, much subject to decomposition; Captain Franklin has specimens shewing its unequivocal passage into green-stone, and, in some instances, it resembles green-stone porphyry, as in a small water course at the foot of the Sairamganj Ghat, in Bundelkhand: it sometimes also, he observes, resembles euphotide, and, in many cases, it would be difficult to decide whether it be granite or sienite; this circumstance renders it desirable that



observes, that these irregular beds of JcanJcar, which are found following every water course, and forming its banks, have often the appearance of having been deposited under circumstances peculiarly unfavourable to regularity ; <