“为了留住根脉,我们一起创业”

[Pg 270]

As soon as he had bid us welcome, bunches of chrysanthemums were presented to us tied round a little stick. The Rajah hung garlands of jasmine round our neck, and a servant sprinkled us with otto of roses. The conversation turned on Europe, which Rawl Shri regards as a land of marvels, where fairy-like manufactures are produced and extraordinary forces have subjugated nature. He, like his cousin of Palitana, has a passion for horses, and he took me to visit his stud. The game had begun. The prince's cousins, dressed in light white muslin, seemed to fly as they ran after the ball in the fluttering of the diaphanous stuff.

Here again the cars of the gods were neglected in the open air, and one of them, older than the rest, was fast being transfigured into a pyramid of shrubs and flowers. Delhi appeared in the blinding light like an unsubstantial vision, white against a bleached sky; and as we got nearer the city half vanished like a mirage, blotted out and dim through a shifting cloud of dust.

At every street-corner there were blocks of salt,[Pg 298] which the cows and goats licked as they went past.

When the dead are to be honoured in this land each true believer lays a pebble as homage on the tomb, and the dead man's repute is estimated by the size of the pile of stones that covers him.

Everything seems fused in a haze under the sun, as it grows hotter and hotter, and in that quivering atmosphere looks like a mass in which red and white predominate, with the persistent harmony of motion of the swaying, barefooted crowd.

Above the mausoleum a fort with battlements towers over the pass, "an impregnable position," the guides tell us.

Close to the monumental trophy of Khoutab is a temple with columns innumerable, and all different, overloaded with carvings incised and in relief, with large capitals; beams meet and cross under the roof, also carved in the ponderous stone, and the whole forms a cloister round a court; while in the centre, amid Moslem tombs, an iron pillar stands, eight metres high, a pillar of which there are seven metres sunk in the grounda colossal casting placed here in 317, when half the civilized world was as yet ignorant of the art of working in metal. An inscription records that "King Dhava, a worshipper of Vishnu, set up this pillar to commemorate his victory over the Belikas of Sindhu."