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: evidence of 1869 earthquake; surveying
medium: tours
person: GordonPemberton
location: Thoubal (Thobal)
date: 11.3.1873
person: Godwin-Austen/ H.H.
date: 26.11.1872-4.4.1873
person: Royal Geographical Society, London
text: 11th March
text: Fine view away to the SEward & South on the one side over Thobal & its valley which merges on the South into that portion on the Eeril & now at times its full breadth. Thobal like Imphal is a mass of bamboo, its houses completely buried in their foliage. A good deal of marsh is seen under the lea of the Phunan spur. [60] While I was observing & sketching the country about, the Khasi coolies got matting made up for the mark & all was finished about 10.30. Then down to camp to breakfast. (Banks of the river still shew the effects of the earthquake of 1869 January. Banks of reaches running N-S or NE-SW have suffered exclusively, shewing that the waves were here travelling from West & perhaps the after shocks from NW which would have given the curious circular motion felt in that great cosmical disturbance. (Little Bank martin observed on the Eril here.)
text: [From Phunan ft. extensive marshes are seen on the SE & about 3 miles south is a considerable piece of open water & marsh. Thobal lies SE buried in bamboo clumps. To the Eastward stretch a long line of peaks thrown off from Noopitel & bounding the valley on that side. At the base of the Eastern hills several detached lines of low hills occur, & one large irregular shaped mass of low tilas is seen to the SSE of Thobal lying out in the middle of the plain. To the South the great valley depression evidently is continued for a very long distance until at about [blank] miles some high peaks are visible in very clear weather in the Kamhow country. To the SSW lies the Logtak with another batch of more detached tilas on its SE side. The extent of open water to be seen in this direction during the rains must be very considerable & the view must then be superb. Now at this dry season there is not much to break the dull brown coloration of the plain.] Off for the next trig station on the Langthobal Hill. Near this was the old fort lying to the North & here Gordon & Pemberton lived & I was very sorry that I never had time to go & see the tomb of the former, but by the time I had done the work at the station it was already dusk & a walk of [blank] miles before me which I did not get over until nearly eight. It was a good day's work as I had managed to observe all the peaks at both stations & they cannot fail to work out right. It is a terrible nuisance when one's points won't come out, & some angle books are at most impossible to fathom. I have now fixed sufficient for good extension of our topography Eastward as almost every point of note East of the Thobal has been observed to & several far away in the Southern parts of the valley. All we have to concentrate our energies on now is to connect with the main work in the Naga Hills & there will be as much computation as two individuals can well get through during the recess. It was a fine moonlight night as I walked into Imphal & found them just sitting down to dinner. The long looked-for telegram had come in ordering Survey to proceed & giving the Raja a caution & the arms promised he is not to get, to be withheld. On this he has said Survey shall go on up on the watershed, but his ultimatum is to arrive in a day or two meanwhile Butler is going to make a trip to the Logtak & Thomson goes with him. After my hard day's work, standing for 6 hours at a theodolite I was glad to get off to bed.