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105 Arts & Photography > Photography  
Himalayan Journals

On re-ascending from Punkabaree, the rocks gradually appear more and more dislocated, the clay-slate less so than the quartz and mica-schist, and that again far less than the gneiss, which is so shattered and bent, that it is impossible to say what is in situ, and what not.  Vast blocks lie superficially on the ridges; and the tops of all the outer mountains, as of Khersiong spur, of Tonglo, Sinchul, and Dorjiling, appear a pile of such masses.  Injected veins of quartz are rare in the lower beds of schist and clay-slate, whilst the gneiss is often full of them; and on the inner and loftier ranges, these quartz veins are replaced by granite with tourmaline.

Lime is only known as a stalactitic deposit from various streams, at elevations from 1000 to 7000 feet; one such stream occurs above Punkabaree, which I have not seen; another within the Sinchul range, on the great Rungeet river, above the exit of the Rummai; a third wholly in the great central Himalayan range, flowing into the Lachen river.  The total absence of any calcareous rock in Sikkim, and the appearance of the deposit in isolated streams at such distant localities, probably indicates a very remote origin of the lime-charged waters.

From Khersiong to Dorjiling, gneiss is the only rock, and is often decomposed into clay-beds, 20 feet deep, in which the narrow, often zigzag folia of quartz remain quite entire and undisturbed, whilst every trace of the foliation of the softer mineral is lost.

At Pacheem, Dorjiling weather, with fog and drizzle, commenced, and continued for two days:  we, reached Dorjiling on the 24th of March, and found that the hail which had fallen on the 20th was still lying in great masses of crumbling ice in sheltered spots.  The fall had done great damage to the gardens, and Dr. Campbell's tea-plants were cut to pieces

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 No. 33
 Posted on 7 June, 2006
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