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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

We made our last halt at the pagoda like Bungalow of Kanak


The

railway will here follow the river which, coming from Mustang, flows south-west to Panchepoy. Then the line will proceed through the gorge in the mountains to the west. Some few miles from Kanak at the entrance of this gorge were curious cuts in the sand, evidently caused by water. Tamarisk was most luxuriant here.

[Illustration: Taleri (Kanak). The new type of Rest House between Nushki and Quetta.]

A small graveyard and a semi-natural Ziarat, formed by a much contorted centenarian tamarisk tree of abnormal proportions, were also to be seen here. The branches had been twisted to form a low doorway leading to a huge grave in the centre of the enclosing oval formed by the old tree and some other smaller ones. Large round stones, as well as palm leaves, brooms, and various implements had been deposited on the grave; while suspended to the tree branches over the doorway hung brass camel-bells and tassels from camel collars.

During that day we had come across a great many Mesjids, either single or in sets of three, and several other Ziarats of no special importance. In the valley of Kanak there were a number of Beluch towns and villages, two at the foot of the Shalkot Mountain and one in each valley to the south of the track.

We made our last halt at the pagoda-like Bungalow of Kanak, a comfortable large, black wood verandah with a tiny dwelling

in the centre, whitewashed walls, and a corrugated iron roof. The man who built it was apparently more of a mechanical engineer than an architect, and every detail is carried out on some highly scientific principle which impressed one much after the less elaborate but very practical abodes we had inhabited further east.

Here there was a gate suspended on long iron rods besides the usual hinges, each screw had a bolt at the end, and on proceeding inside, the ceiling was supported on very neat but most insecure-looking wooden bars no thicker than three inches. A most ingenious theory of angles kept up the heavy roof--why it did, Heaven only knows! In contrast to the other bungalows, where we had no glass at all, here we had glass everywhere. One's bedroom door was two-thirds made of the most transparent panes of glass that could be got, and so were the two doors of the bath-room--one leading directly on to the outside verandah. The boards of the floor had shrunk, and between the interstices one got a bird's-eye view of what went on in the underlying room.

A great deal of space and expense has been devoted to outer show and scientific detail, whereas the rooms were small, and unfortunate was the man who tried to occupy the upper room when a fire had been lighted in the chimney of the room below. The bungalow was, however, comfortably furnished, and from its spacious verandah afforded a most magnificent view all round.

The high Chiltan Mountains above Shalkot were on one side, and various picturesque hill ranges stretched across the large plane dotted with a Beluch village here and there.

In front of the entrance gate at the bungalow a nice pool of water reflected in its more or less limpid waters the images of over-leaning leafless trees.

[Illustration: The Horse Fair at Sibi, Beluchistan.]

Whatever remarks one may make about the construction of the bungalow it must be confessed that it photographed well. (See illustration facing page 438).


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