sketches of india

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: ADDENDA. THE FEAST. t r One of the greatest Hindoo festivals in the Carnatic is held annually at Conjeve- ram. It is called the Garudastavum, and celebrates the descent of the god Vishnu upon earth. For ten successive days a small, holy, and ancient image of the god is either borne in triumphal procession among his delighted followers, or exposed to their adoring gaze in the courts of his temple. For ten days the streets are thronged with Brahmins and fakirs, pilgrims from afar, and peasants from the neighbourhood. Nothing is heard but the frenzied shout of the exulting fanatic, or the song of the merry idler, whom the 336 ADDENDA. season of holiday sets loose from his wonted toil. I chanced to be stationed within a few miles of Conjeveram at the period of this festival, in June, 1822, and I went over to enjoy the scene. It was at the second hour after midnight that I mounted my horse, and rode forth alone. There had been rain in the night; the moon was still up ; and all around, and on my path, whether tree or shrub, grass, or gravel-' sand, or pool of water, was glistening and silvery. My heart beat happily as I looked about me, and though alone, I felt not lonely; no, not even when the moon set, and left me in darkness. The old world was present to my imagination; I was on my way to gaze on a scene familiar to those nations whose history and fate are recorded in the sacred page of the Old THE FEAST. 337 Testament,—a scene only to be now viewed among the idolaters of India. As I approached the town, I entered upon the more public road, and found numbers of native peasants in groupes of families, some with burthens on their 'heads ; others with children in their arms, or on their hips; or leading those who could run alone; some aged, and bending to ...
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