GHAUT to GHILZAI
GHAUT, s. Hind. ghat.
a. A landing-place; a path of descent to a river; the place of a ferry, &c. Also a
quay or the like.
b. A path of descent from a mountain; a mountain pass; and hence
c., n.p. The mountain
ranges parallel to the western and eastern coasts of the Peninsula, through which the ghats or passes
lead from the table-lands above down to the coast and lowlands. It is probable that foreigners hearing
these tracts spoken of respectively as the country above and the country below the Ghats (see BALAGHAUT)
were led to regard the word Ghats as a proper name of the mountain range itself, or (like De Barros
below) as a word signifying range. And this is in analogy with many other cases of mountain nomenclature,
where the name of a pass has been transferred to a mountain chain, or where the word for a pass has
been mistaken for a word for mountain range. The proper sense of the word is well illustrated from Sir
A. Wellesley, under b.
1809.The dandys there took to their paddles, and keeping the beam to the current the whole way,
contrived to land us at the destined gaut.Ld. Valentia, i. 185.b.
1824.It is really a very large place,
and rises from the river in an amphitheatral form
with many very fine ghâts descending to the waters
edge.Heber, i. 167.
c. 1315.In 17 more days they arrived at Gurganw. During these 17 days the Gháts were passed,
and great heights and depths were seen amongst the hills, where even the elephants became nearly
invisible.Amir Khusru, in Elliot, iii. 86.The following passage indicates that the great Sir Walter, with his usual sagacity, saw the true sense of
the word in its geographical use, though misled by books to attribute to the (so-called) Eastern Ghauts
the character that belongs to the Western only.
This passage illustrates how the transition from b to c occurred.
The Ghats here meant are not a range of mountains so called, but, as the context shows, the passes
among the Vindhya and Satpura hills. Compare the two following, in which down the ghauts and down
the passes mean exactly the same thing, though to many people the former expression will suggest
down through a range of mountains called the Ghauts.
1803.The enemy are down the ghauts in
great consternation.Wellington, ii. 333.
The enemy have fled northward, and are getting down the
passes as fast as they can.M. Elphinstone, in Life by Colebrooke, i. 71.
1826.Though it was still
raining, I walked up the Bohr Ghât, four miles and a half, to Candaulah.Heber, ii. 136, ed. 1844.
That is, up one of the Passes, from which Europeans called the mountains themselves the Ghauts.
they approached the Ghauts, those tremendous mountain passes which descend from the
table-land of Mysore, and through which the mighty streams that arise in the centre of the Indian Peninsula
find their way to the ocean.The Surgeons Daughter, ch. xiii.
c. 1553.The most notable division
which Nature hath planted in this land is a chain of mountains, which the natives, by a generic appellation,
because it has no proper name, call Gate, which is as much as to say Serra.De Barros, Dec. I. liv.
iv. cap. vii.
1561.This Serra is called Gate.Correa, Lendas, ii. 2, 56.
1563.The Cuncam, which
is the land skirting the sea, up to a lofty range which they call Guate.Garcia, f. 34b.
Da terra os Naturaes lhe chamam Gate,Englished by Burton:
Do pe do qual pequena quantidade
huua fralda estreita, que combate
Do mar a natural ferocidade.
Camões, vii. 22.
The country-people call this range the Ghaut,
and from its foot-hills scanty breadth there be,
seaward - sloping coast-plain long
gainst Oceans natural ferocity.
1623.We commenced then to ascend the mountain-(range) which the people of the country call Gat,
and which traverses in the middle the whole length of that part of India which projects into the sea, bathed
on the east side by the Gulf of Bengal, and on the west by the Ocean, or Sea of Goa.P. della Valle,
ii. 32; [Hak. Soc. ii. 222].
1673.The Mountains here are one continued ridge
and are all along called
1685.On les appelle, montagnes de Gatte, cest comme qui diroit montagnes de
montagnes, Gatte en langue du pays ne signifiant autre chose que montagne (quite wrong).Ribeyro,
Ceylan, (Fr. Transl.), p. 4.
1727.The great Rains and Dews that fall from the Mountains of Gatti,