Notice on Khoten. 243 ' The trade between Hindoostan and Khoten was formerly very extensive; and it is even said, though I presume rather figura- tively, that a loaded cart could go all the way from Nugeebad to Sureekeea, in the mountains of Khoten. Sureekeea is said to be about half way between Yarkund and Karakash, on a road some- what circuitous, and the following are the stages on the route to it from Yarkund, viz. Yarkund to Karghalik 20 kos. Karghallk to Boyera 12 To Cungar 12 Kileean 1'2 Kathaee, or C?inese'Chou?ee ? (?.rtu..? 12 Duran Ustee 12 Dereas Kara, the Bl?ck River 8 Shaheed Oollah Kojah 12 Sureekeea 24 Sureekeea was frequented by the merchants of Hindoostan on account of its quarries of jasper or agate, once much used for drinking cups and ornaments for the person. And although the white marble employed in the mausoleum at Agra and Sekomdra may have been extracted from the neighbourhood of Joudpoor, it is not improbable but that some of the materials for the flower work and tracery may have been brought from the mountains of Khoten.
- ' Choukco is the Hindco?tanco and Ourtung the Tartar word for a military
or ?polico station.' . ?.s The road from Sureekcoa towards Hindoostan is reported to have passed by Rudokh and Gurkh-dokh, but at this latmr point information stops. Perhaps the more dire?t line from Gurkh-dokh to Nugeebad lies across the Neetco Ghat, through lqcotco, and probably by Joshco Muth, but I saw not any traces of an ancient; road between Neetee and the Pindar river. Having crossed this stream and proeeeded one ma?h on our return in 1812, some demonstrations among the Ooorkha troops who accompanied us, betrayed an intention to stop us, and this being supported by private communications from the peasantry to me, I determined to take a llne of road parallel to that on which we had been previously disposed to go, but some mila? distant, though joining it again in a day and a haft's journey. ? The object of this deviation was to avoid some narrow paths, through very high. grass in low groands? in which our progress might have been arrested without s favourable opportunity for employing resistance. My companion preferring the old road? I started soon after midnight on the new one, whic? led over the side? of mountains by a' narrow but exposed path? from every point of which much of the adjoining country could be seen. ' In the early part of the forenoon I suddenly came upon a road continuous with the ?arath, but much different in character. This road was about six feet in breadth, re?i- ly and substantiallypaved with small pebbles in some parts, and in other? formed of levelled rock. On the ?ight hand the rockwascut up here and there somewhat in the form of a hall, and on the ]eft side of the mountain? for some yards, was gently sloped downwards. In one part two conduits? or plpes? of a harder stone than that o� the mountain land, of a different naturo? d?livered each a small stream of cJear and excellent water from the roc? into the roa?I for the convenience of tra?,ellar?. .The Digitized by Google