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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

I departed from Yezd on October 26th


One of the most noticeable traits of the flourishing Parsees of Bombay is their extreme generosity, often hampered by petty, stupid, Anglo-Indian officialdom, which they seem to stand with amazing patience and good-nature. We find well appointed hospitals erected by them; schools, clubs, and only lately one of the richest of all Parsees, Mr. Jamsetsji Tata, has given the city of Bombay no less a gift than a quarter of a million pounds for the erection of a university on the most modern lines in that city.

CHAPTER XL

_Badjirs_--Below the sand level--Chappar service between Yezd and Kerman--The elasticity of a farsakh--Sar-i-Yezd--An escort--Where three provinces meet--Etiquette--Robbers' impunity--A capital story--Zen-u-din--The Serde Kuh range--Desert--Sand accumulations--Kermanshah--The Darestan and Godare Hashimshan Mountains--Chappar Khana inscriptions and ornamentations by travellers--Shemsh.

The most characteristic objects in Yezd are the _badjirs_, a most ingenious device for catching the wind and conveying it down into the various rooms of dwelling. These _badjirs_ are on the same principle as the ventilating cowls of ships. The ventilating shafts are usually very high and quadrangular, with two, three, or more openings on each side at the summit and corresponding channels to convey the wind down into the room below. The lower apertures of the channels are blocked except on the side where the wind happens to blow, and thus a draught is created from the top downwards, sweeping the whole room and rendering it quite cool and pleasant even in the hottest days of summer. The reason that one finds so many of these high _badjirs_ in Yezd is probably that, owing to constant accumulations of sand, the whole city is now below the level of the surrounding desert, and some device had to be adopted to procure fresh air inside the houses and protect the inhabitants from the suffocating lack of ventilation during the stifling heat of the summer. The _badjirs_ are certainly constructed in a most scientific or, rather, practical manner, and answer the purpose to perfection.

When we leave Yezd the city itself cannot be seen at all, but just above the sand of the desert rise hundreds of these quadrangular towers, some very large indeed, which give the place a quaint appearance.

From Yezd to Kerman there is again a service of post-horses, so I availed myself of it in order to save as much time as possible. The horses were not much used on this road so they were excellent.

I departed from Yezd on October 26th, and soon after leaving the city and riding through the usual plentiful but most unattractive ruins, we were travelling over very uninteresting country, practically a desert. We passed two villages--Najafabat and Rachmatabad--and then wound our way through avenues of dried-up mulberry trees at Mahommedabad or Namadawat, a village where silk-worms are reared in quantities, which accounts for the extensive mulberry plantations to provide food for them. The village is large and is three farsakhs from Yezd, or something like ten miles.


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