Brookes’ Universal Gazetteer, page 329
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GHA    329    GHE

cnains of mountains in Hindoostan. The word
signifies
passes’ or gates’. These mountains
are considered as commencing at Cape Comorin :
yet the southern chain, or Malayala mountains
form a separate group, terminating in the district
of .Coimbetore, at the great valley in which the
forts of Palikadery and Annamaly are situated.

The Ghauts begin separately on the north of
these plains, forming two branches, one running
to the east, and the other to the west of north.
The eastern Ghauts extend 70 m, beyond Madras,
forming the boundaries of the. Carnatic, and to
the north of that country divide into several
branches, in which the mountains are subjected
to'interruptions, being separated by valleys cov-
ered with thick forests. But the principal chain
is divided by no hollow' grounds, except narrow
defiles, which are well lined with fortresses. To
the natives, this chain is known by the name of
Ellacooda, or the “ White Mountains.” It then
runs along the northern margin of the Circars,
forming an uninterrupted series of mountains so
close as to afford only two military passes.
At the place where the Ghauts separate the Cir-
cars from the province of Berar, the mountains
become almost inaccessible, and there is only one
passage for carriages and for horses, viz. that of
Salarghaut which leads to Behar. Nothing is seen
on every hand but masses of rock, rising perpen-
dicularlv to the clouds, and leaving apparently no
outlet for the intimidated traveller. All the sum-
mits of this chain are composed of granite, and it
every where presents one picture of total barren-
ness and utter nakedness. Yet large trunks of
trees in a state of petrification, are found here,
and most particularly in the ravines created bv
the torrents, where trunks, projecting from the
steep sides of the rocks, sometimes serve for
bridges.

The western chain of the Ghauts extends along
the west coast to a distance of 70 m., and acquires
a greater elevation than the eastern chain. Its
height has not yet been ascertained by barometri-
cal observations, but it is generally believed to
amount to three or four thousand feet. The chain
then crosses Kanara and Sunda, passes near to
Goa, enters the Mahratta country, and divides in-
to several branches. The closeness of the forests,
the depth of the precipices, and the rapidity of
the torrents, render these mountains very difficult
to cross, and the passage is in many places, 50
or 60 m. long. They are described as containing
much limestone, and some basaltic rocks, but no
one has deliberately studied the position and ma-
terials of the different strata. Towards the sea-
coast, the western Ghauts present a magnificent
amphitheatre -•‘f rocks and verdure, enlivened with
towns and Tillages. The highest, or at least the
steepest part t:- the east of Surat, goes under the
•jame of the Bila-Ghauts, which is sometimes ex-
tended to the -v'n-denf the western Ghauts, while
the eastern chi n. together with the intermediate
plateau, is call—i the Paian-Ghauts.

About the sources of the river Godavery, some
lower chains are sent off from the rnaqs of the
western Ghaut-, pass through the interior of the
peninsula, and j >:n the mountains of (Jerar and
Gundanwa.

The central chains which run parallel to the
course of the Nerbuddah river, one on its north
side, and the other on the south, generally pass
under the Sanscrit name of the Vindhias; the ex-
tent which this name embraces appears somewhat
arbitrary to our most learned eastern geographers.

But Arrow smith more positively confines it to
the mountains immediately adjoining the Nerbur-
dah. It is also in these central countries that the
Hindoos place their Sanyah and their Sookhian
mountains, though they have been mistaken for
the western Ghauts.

Ghent, called by the French Gand, the chief
town of East Flanders, is situate at the junction
of the Scheldt and Lys. Julius Caesar is said to
have been its founder. The Vandals afterwards
became its masters, and called it Vanda, or Wan-
da ; of which its present name is by some
thought to be a corruption.

This town has been the scene of some diplo-
matic transactions : the compact of the provinces
of the Netherlands against the tyranny of Spain
in 1578, called the Pacification of Ghent,' was
drawn up and executed here; the last treaty of
peace concluded between Great Britain and
America, in 1814, was signed here also. It was
likewise the residence of Louis XVIII. during
the period in ^hich he wins forced to quit France
after the return of Bonaparte from Elba.

Ghent is situate on a beautiful plain : its area
may vie in extent with that of any other city in
Europe, being little less than fifteen miles in cir-
cumference ; but no small portion of the enclosed
space is covered with gardens, orchards, and fields
of grain. Like all other towns in this flat coun-
try, it is intersected with numerous canals, cross-
ed by three hundred bridges ; some of stone, but
most of wood. Their banks, being generally
planted with majestic trees, afford an extensive
■and grateful promenade for the inhabitants. The
streets are spacious ; though some of the most
frequented, as is the case in many old towns,
are so narrow that two carriages can scarcely pass
each other. There are thirteen public squares,
the principal of which is ornamented with a pe-
destrian statue of Charles V.

The town hall is an immense pile of building,
presenting an incongruous combination of various
styles of architecture : one front, which is unfin-
ished, is Gothic ; another Italian; each story be-
ing supported by pillars of a different order;—
the ground story Doric, the next Ionic, and the
upper Corinthian. It is enriched* with many val-
uable documents of an early period, and with
some good paintings.

The structure and arrangements of the public
prison or house of correction are on an exoeilen?
plan. The building is a spacious octagon, having
a large court-yard in the centre, by means oi
which an immediate and constant communication
can be easily kept up with every part. Each,
department branches off from this ; and the pris-
oners are kept in separate classes, according to
the nature of their crimes and the depravity of
their character. In the centre of the woman s
apartment is a large basin or trough for washing
linen. Every prisoner is locked up at night in
a separate cell, and brought out to winrk at a sta-
ted hour in the morning. The average number
of prisoners is 1,300 ; the annual expenditure is

50,000 florins, or somewhat more than £4,000
sterling; therefore the cost of each prisoner to
the state is less than £4 annually. This eco-
nomical effect is produced by employing every
convict capable of working in some species of in-
dustry. The principal portion of the profits is
set apart for defraying the expenses of the estab-
lishment, and the remainder is divided into two
parts; one of which is allowed to the prisoner
for pocket-money, and the other forms a fund
2 £ 2







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