Letters of Marque
Notes by Brigadier A. Mason, M.C., R.E. for the ORG, with minor additions and amendments by David Page.
[October 12 2011]
Proves conclusively the Existence of the Dark Tower visited by Childe Rolande, and of ‘Bogey’ who frightens Children
Consult the genius of the place in all;[Page 94, lines 15 & 16] red daubed lingam the phallus, also called linga or shivalinga, is a symbol of the god Shiva or Siva. Red in Hinduism is the colour of the utmost significance, most often used on auspicious occasions such as marriage, birth and festivals.
That tells the waters or to rise, or fall;
a large, sacred pool in a deep cleft at the top of the fort's western precipice; also called the Cow-Mouthed Reservoir and the Cow's Mouth (Gao-mukh) Fountain. Because of many underground pockets of rainwater within the hill, there is a permanent supply of water for the fortress.[Page 99, line 30] Ranis Queens, i.e., consorts of Rajahs.
This subterranean water issues forth in springs in many places. At Gomukh Kund it flows out on the high western side of the hill near Mahasati Sthal (see chapter X, page 88, line 10), through the mouth of a cow, a man-made addition cut into the rock face. It falls on to a Shiva lingam, thence into a man-made reservoir on the very edge of the precipice. Hindus consider this reservoir as a sacred tank and bathe there. Often, small fish are to be seen in the water, and are fed by visitors. The excess water of this tank, especially during the rainy season, falls down the cliff, the waterfall being called Jharna. [DP]
On one side (of the Gomukh Kund) is a tunnel, Rani-bhandar, which allegedly led from Kumbha's Palace to suites of chambers in the rock and the clearing above, the Mahasati Sthal. This was the scene of horrible jauhar (johur) which pre-climaxed Chitor's three sackings (1303, 1534 and 1568).[Page 102, line 8] choke-damp also known as 'black damp' and 'stythe', it is a mixture of carbon-dioxide and nitrogen and is the result of the absorption of the oxygen in the air by the coal substance in the mine and the formation of carbon-dioxide in the process; it is also produced by the decay of timber, the breathing of men and animals, the burning of lamps and handles and the firing of explosive.
On the first occasion, it is thought that the fort's queens and other women and children used the tunnel to reach the Gomukh Kund to purify their bodies in its waters, before going to the nearby cremation ground. There they sacrificed themselves on large bonfires, rather than be taken by the enemy. However, following the 1303 siege, the cavern's entrance was closed.