Rajasthan: Lt Col Tod's Surveys, 1829
This page is an extract from
OR THE CENTRAL AND WESTERN
Edited with an Introduction and Notes by
In Three Volumes
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Rajasthan: The Author's Surveys.
The route of the embassy was from Agra, through the southern frontier of Jaipur to Udaipur. A portion of this had been surveyed and points laid down from celestial observation, by Dr. W. Hunter, which I adopted as the basis of my enterprise. The Resident Envoy 1 to the court of Sindhia was possessed of the valuable sketch of the route of Colonel Palmer's embassy in 1791, as laid down by Dr. Hunter, the foundation of my subsequent surveys, as it merited from its im- portance and general accuracy. It embraced all the extreme points of Central India : Agra, Narwar, Datia, Jhansi, Bhopal, .Sarangpur, Ujjain, and on return from this, the first meridian of the Hindus, by Kotah; Bundi, Rampura (Tonk), Bayana, to Agra. The position of all these places was more or less accurately fixed, according to the time which could be bestowed, by astro- nomical observation .
At Rampura Hunter ceased to be my guide : and from this point commenced the new survey of Udaipur; where we arrived in June 1806. The position then assigned to it, with most inade- quate instruments, has been changed only 1 ' of longitude, though the latitude amounted to about 5'.
From Udaipur the subsequent march of the army with which we moved led past the celebrated Chitor, and through the centre of Malwa, crossing in detail all the grand streams flowing from the Vindhya, till we halted for a season on the Bundelkhand frontier at Khimlasa. In this journey of seven hundred miles I twice crossed the lines of route of the former embassy, and was gratified to find my first attempts generally coincide with their established points.
In 1807, the army having undertaken the siege of Rahatgarh, I determined to avail myself of the time which Mahrattas waste in such a process, and to pursue my favourite project. With a small guard I determined to push through untrodden fields, by tlte banks of the Betwa to Chanderi, and in its latitude proceed in a westerly direction towards Kotah, trace the course once more of all those streams from the south, and the points of junction of the most important (the Kali Sind, Parbati, and Ranas) with the Chambal ; and having effected this, continue my journey to Agra. This I accomplished in times very different from the 1 My esteemed friend, Graeme Mercer, Esq. (of Maevisbank), who stimu- lated my exertions with his approbation.
present, being often obliged to strike my tents and march at mid night, and more than once the object of plunder.1 The chief points in this route were Khimlasa, Rajwara, Kotra on the Betwa, Kanyadana,2 Buradungar,3 Shahabad, Barah,4 Puleta,5 Baroda, Sheopur, Pali,6 Ranthambhor, Karauli, Sri Mathura, and Agra.
On my return to the Mahratta camp I resolved further to increase the sphere, and proceeded westward by Bharatpur, Katumbar, Sentri, to Jaipur, Tonk, Indargarh, Gugal Chhapra, Raghugarh, Aron, Kurwai, Borasa, to Sagar : a journey of more than one thousand miles. I found the camp nearly where I left it.
With this ambulatory court I moved everywhere within this region, constantly employed in surveying till 1812, when Sindhia's court became stationary. It was then I formed my plans for obtaining a knowledge of those countries into which I could not personally penetrate .