The Rocks of Colgong
Aquatinter: Hunt, George (fl. 1800-1850)
Medium: Aquatint, coloured
This is plate 7 from Charles Ramus Forrest's 'A Picturesque tour along the rivers Ganges and Jumna, in India'. Forrest was an East India Company official who made several excursions along the great rivers, producing drawings "attentively copied from nature, and in many instances coloured on the spot, ... while the magic effects of the scenes represented were still impressed on [his] mental vision."
On 2 December 1807, Forrest set out from Calcutta. After twenty days, the Rajmahal hills came into view. Forrest wrote that the "Ganges, having its sources is a very mountainous region, is subject to periodocal, vernal and autumnal floods, and its bed being a very rich alluvial soil, is constantly changing by the force and rapidity of the current. Some trifling accident generally commences this deviation".
During his voyages in the upper provinces, Forrest had himself seen banks and cliffs some 50 or 60 feet tall collapse into hundreds of disparate rocky masses, plunging into the river below. The rocks of Colgong owed their structure a more gradual change. "A Fakeer, or wandering mendicant friar, occasionally takes up his abode on one of these rocks," Forrest noted.