Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/104

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the British advanced to Lahore, where the treaty of Lahore was signed on the 11th of March.

Second Sikh War (1848–1849).—For two years after the battle of Sobraon the Punjab remained a British protectorate, with Sir Henry Lawrence as resident; but the Sikhs were unconvinced of their military inferiority, the Rani Jindan and her ministers were constantly intriguing to recover their power, and a further trial of strength was inevitable. The outbreak came at Multan, where on the 20th of April 1848 the troops of the Dewan Mulraj broke out and attacked two British officers, Mr Vans Agnew and Lieutenant Anderson, eventually murdering them. On hearing of the incident, Lieut. Herbert Edwardes, who was Sir Henry Lawrence's assistant in the Derajat, advanced upon Multan with a force of levies drawn from the Pathan tribes of the frontier; but he was not strong enough to do more than keep the enemy in check until Multan was invested by a Bombay column under General Whish. In the meantime Edwardes wished for an immediate British advance upon Multan; but Lord Gough, as he had now become, decided on a cold season campaign, on the ground that, if the Sikh government at Lahore joined in the rising, the British would require all their available strength to suppress it. Multan was invested on the 18th of August by General Whish in conjunction with the Sikh general Shere Singh; but during the course of the siege Shere Singh deserted and joined the rebels, thus turning the rising into a national war. The siege of Multan was temporarily abandoned, but was resumed in November, when Lord Gough's main advance had begun, and Mulraj surrendered on the 22nd of January. In the meantime Lord Gough had collected his army and stores, and on the 9th of November crossed the Sutlej.

On the 22nd of November there was a cavalry skirmish at Ramnagar, in which General Cureton and Colonel Havelock were killed. For a month after this Lord Gough remained inactive, waiting to be reinforced by General Whish from Multan;Chillianwalla. but at last he decided to advance without General Whish, and fought the battle of Chillianwalla on the 13th of January 1849. Lord Gough had intended to encamp for the night; but the Sikh guns opening fire revealed the fact that their army had advanced out of its intrenchments, and Lord Gough decided to seize the opportunity and attack at once. An hour's artillery duel showed that the Sikhs had the advantage both in position and guns, and the infantry advance commenced at three o'clock in the afternoon. The battle resulted in great loss to the European regiments, the 24th losing all its officers in a few minutes, while the total loss in killed and wounded amounted to 2338; but when darkness fell the British were in possession of the whole of the Sikh line. Lord Gough subsequently retired to the village of Chillianwalla, and the Sikhs returned and carried off their guns. After the battle Lord Gough received an ovation from his troops, but his losses were thought excessive by the public in England and the directors of the East India Company, and Sir Charles Napier was appointed to supersede him. Before, however, the latter had time to reach India, the crowning victory of Gujrat had been fought and won.

After the fall of Multan General Whish marched to join Lord Gough, and the junction of the two armies was effected on the 18th of February. In the meantime the Sikhs had withdrawn from their strong intrenchments at Russool, owing to want of provisions,Gujrat. and marched to Gujrat, which Lord Gough considered a favourable position for attacking them. By a series of short marches he prepared the way for his “last and best battle.” In this engagement, for the first time in either of the Sikh wars, the British had the superiority in artillery, in addition to a picked force of 24,000 men. The battle began on the morning of the 21st of February with two and a half hours' artillery fire, which was overwhelmingly in favour of the British. At 11.30 A.M. Lord Gough ordered a general advance covered by the artillery; and an hour and a half later the British were in possession of the town of Gujrat, of the Sikh camp, and of the enemy's artillery and baggage, and the cavalry were in full pursuit on both flanks. In this battle the British only lost 96 killed and 700 wounded, while the Sikh loss was enormous, in addition to 67 guns. This decisive victory ended the war. On the 12th of March the Sikh leaders surrendered at discretion, and the Punjab was annexed to British India.

See Sir Charles Gough and A. D. Innes, The Sikhs and the Sikh Wars (1897); and R. S. Rait, Life and Campaigns of Viscount Gough (1903).

SIKKIM, called by Tibetans Dejong (“the rice country”), a protected state of India, situated in the eastern Himalaya, between 27° 5' and 28° 9' N. and between 87° 59' and 88° 56' E. It comprises an area of 2818 sq. m. of what may be briefly described as the catchment basin of the headwaters of the rivers Tista and Rangit. On the S. and S.E., branches of these rivers form the boundary between Sikkim and British India, while on the W., N. and N.E. Sikkim is separated from Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan by the range of lofty mountains which culminate in Kinchinjunga and form a kind of horse-shoe, whence dependent spurs project southwards, gradually contracting and lessening in height until they reach the junction of the Rangit and the Tista. Thus the country is split up into a succession of deep valleys surmounted by open plateaus cut off from one another by high and steep ridges, and lies at a very considerable elevation, rising from 1000 ft. above sea-level at its southern extremity to 16,000 or 18,000 ft. on the north. The main trade-passes into Tibet, such as the Jelep (14,500), Chola (14,550), and Kangra-la (16,000), are not nearly so high as in the western Himalaya, while those into Nepal are less than 12,000 ft.

Physical Features.—Small though the country is, a wide variation of climate makes it peculiarly interesting. From a naturalist's point of view it can be divided into three zones. The lowest, stretching from 1000 to 5000 ft. above sea- level, may be called the tropical zone; thence to 13,000 ft., the upper limit of tree vegetation, the temperate; and above, to the line of perpetual snow, the alpine. Down to about 1880 Sikkim was covered with dense forests, only interrupted where village clearances had bared the slopes for agriculture, but at the present time this description does not apply below 6000 ft., the upper limit at which maize ripens; for here, owing to increase of population (particularly the immigration of Nepalese settlers), almost every suitable spot has been cleared for cultivation. The exuberance of its flora may be imagined when it is considered that the total flowering plants comprise some 4000 species; there are more than 200 different kinds of ferns, 400 orchids, 20 bamboos, 30 rhododendrons, 30 to 40 primulas, and many other genera are equally profuse; in fact Sikkim contains types of every flora from the tropics to the poles, and probably no other country of equal or larger extent can present such infinite variety. Butterflies abound and comprise about 600 species, while moths are estimated at 2000. Birds are profusely represented, numbering between 500 and 600 species. Among mammals, the most interesting are the snow leopard (Felis unica), the cat-bear (Aelurus fulgens), the musk deer (Moschus moschiferus) and two species of goat antelope (Nemorhaedus bubalinus and Cemas goral). Copper and lime are the chief minerals found and worked in Sikkim, but they are of little commercial value at present.

Government and Population.—The population is essentially agricultural, each family living in a house on its own land: there are no towns or villages, and the only collection of houses, outside the Lachen and Lachung valleys, are the few that have sprung up round country market-places, such as Rhenock, Dikkeling and Gangtok; but in the above-mentioned valleys the inhabitants, who are Bhutanese in origin and herdsmen in occupation, have large clusters of well-built houses at various altitudes up the valleys, which they occupy in rotation according to the season of the year.

The seat of government, or in other words the palace of the raja, was formerly situated at Rubdentze; but when that place was taken and destroyed by the Gurkhas, a new palace was built at Tumlong, close to the eastern and Tibetan boundary, while a subsidiary summer residence was erected on the other side of the Chola range at Chumbi, in the Am-mochu valley. At the present time the raja and his court remain in the more open country at Gangtok, where the British political officer and a small detachment of native troops are also stationed.

The first regular census of Sikkim, in 1901, returned the population at 59,014, showing an apparent increase of nearly twofold in the decade. Of the total, 65% were Hindus and 35% Buddhists. The Lepchas, supposed to be the original inhabitants, numbered only 8000, while no less than 23,000 were immigrants from Nepal.

The state religion is Buddhism as practised in Tibet, but is not confined to one particular sect; while among the heterogeneous population of Sikkim all manner of religious cults can be found. Education is at a low ebb, though the monasteries are supposed to maintain schools, and missionary enterprise has established others.

The revenue of Sikkim has increased under British guidance from Rs. 20,000 a year to nearly Rs. 1,60,000, derived chiefly from a land and poll tax, excise, and sale of timber; the chief expenditure is on