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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
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1 entry, paper

30.375321, 69.345116

Wed 21 [21 January 1903] Which I reached at 8. Made tea in the
station master's office (a friendly Sikh) and set off down the line on a
trolley with an aimiable [sic] Muhammadan who was going that way
and a Sikh boy. We had to get off once to let a train pass The tope is
a mile from the train across bare fields - my boy said there was no
rain now and the fields can't be cultivated. Also all the grain has
gone. I climbed to the top of the tope which is much ruined and had a
fine view of rolling country full of trees and villages and far away the
Himalayas topped with snow. A holy Muhammadan shrine near, the
tree by it hung with rags. Grey and cloudy. Went on through a village
where they offered me ...... to Sonala Pind near which was a Buddhist
monastery - it is now a Muhammadad graveyard and so to a mound,
also a graveyard, which is supposed to have been the site of the
Body Offering Tope described by Hionen Tseng. The earth is red -
they say with the Buddha's blood which he gave to satisfy the hunger
of 7 Tigers. Then on to the village of Sagra where I was taken into my
boy's house. His mother was frying cakes of bread over a wood fire.
I was give one with a mass of rice lentils and ghee on it, but not
allowed to come near the fire and cooking place. A good carved
wood door in the mud house. So back to the station at 12. My boy
has an odd mixture of station English, such as late, on time, eleven
thirty. Everyone most friendly. It was explained to all "She is of the
Sahib people, she gave in my house 4 annas and to a man in the
street 2 annas, she has come for the purpose of seeing: Now she
goes to the train house." My train was an hour and a half late - rather
tedious. I read the Times and wrote letters. Cold and grey. Dined at
Rawal Pindi at 6.30.

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