The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - H.H. Godwin-Austen, Journal of a Tour in Assam, 26th November 1872 to 15th April 1873

caption: surveying
medium: tours
location: Thumbujong Khongba R. Kiomaru R. Koupru Mt.
date: 13.2.1873
person: Godwin-Austen/ H.H.
date: 26.11.1872-4.4.1873
person: Royal Geographical Society, London
text: [13th Feb.]
text: We the surveyors started next day up the main valley to observe at the village of Thumbujong standing on a commanding point [blank] ft at head of the Koimaru. Butler went off by the Road to Munipur which crosses the watershed further to the West. Black partridges numerous as we passed up the narrow belt of rice fields to where these ended in the narrower higher part of the valley. Here we stopped to bkfast & then commenced the ascent which was rather stiff all the way up with a rather dense forest in the ravines on either side. The walnut grows in the ravines here. The view on reaching the top was extremely fine towards the Munipur valley with a character quite peculiar & new. We were now on the water-parting of the Irrawaddy & Soorma Rivers. At the head of the Khongba river (Pemberton's name) (Head of Khongba A 26.57 at 5.30pm) flowing to the former & the Koimaru or Ngordui to the latter, we see the first, winding with sharp bends through a broad almost level valley. The steep slopes of the ridges on the West (which I shall call the Koupru from the name of the fine peak visible all over the Munipur valley) terminating some 2 miles from the base of those on the East ridges off from the base of the Western spurs in a very gradual nearly level slope of water worn detritus, through which flow 4 streams from the ridge above mentioned. This flat area is covered with grass about 6 feet & higher, at this season already burnt, the young fresh green now coming up. Here to be seen are 3 more of the large cairns of the dome shaped referred to on previous page. The hills on the East run in parallel low ridges of only some 300 ft above the valley, the next rising to abt 1000ft. Close to the camp of the 13th "Kaitalmambi" a higher mass of detritus mostly angular recurs abt 50ft above the lower level of the valley north. This has no doubt collected here & formed a shallow arm across the valley, brought out from the large ravine rising just under & north of Koupru. Looking up the valley the water parting is seen to be very low rising rapidly right & left in the wooded slopes of the Koupru ridge & the bare grassy hill on which is situated the village of Thumbujong. Looking at the valley from this point of view, the line of the old lake margin is distinctly seen & marked on the West by the sudden commencement of the level surface of detritus. It terminated down the valley (as the chain of lakes dried up with more perfect drainage) at the higher mass of detritus carried down from the slopes & ravines on the flank of Koupru. The river has since cut its way through this & skirts the base of the low hills on the east. On the low slopes up the valley near the pass stunted open woods of oak are passed through, their stunted growth due no doubt in great measure to the annual burning of the grass & the very dry stony nature of the soil. Did not reach camp again this evening the 13th until past 7 o/c & after the 3 last [45] days of hard work feeling rather done. Min again 25 degrees.