VALE OF CASHMERE, INDIA — So much has been written of the beauties of the Vale of Cashmere that it has become almost an ideal locality — a sort of Utopia, Mohammedan writers have descanted extravagantly on its beauties and the poet Moore, taking these as a guide and with modern additions, has built up a great part of his romantic descriptions of this lovely vale. And yet when we consider the beautiful aspect of this valley in its different phases — its fresh green foliage of Spring, its many-hued autumnal tints, together with its glistening snow-capped mountains, and the quiet glassy river meandering through its shadowy groves, we think few will say that romance has drawn a too vividly colored picture of its loveliness. The Vale of Cashmere (or Kashmir) is an enclosed and elevated valley in the Himalaya mountains, north of the Punjab, through which flows the river Jhelum. It is about 120 miles in length and its greatest width is about 75 miles. The valley has, in modern times, been a resort for English sportsmen, but quite recently the shooting has been carried to such an extent that game is only found in the most secluded ravines and on the more difficult hill-sides. Among the game found here has been antelope, ibex, musk deer, wild goat, brown and black bear and leopard. The convolutions of this river winding through miles upon miles of cultivated fields, which resemble in the distance oriental rugs, undoubtedly suggested the general designs of the beautiful Indian shawls produced here with such labor and highly prized throughout the world. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)


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