SITTRINGY, s. Hind. from Ar. shitranji, shatranji, and that from Pers. shatrang, ‘chess,’ which is again of Skt. origin, chaturanga, ‘quadripartite’ (see SADRAS). A carpet of coloured cotton, now usually made in stripes, but no doubt originally, as the name implies, in chequers.

1648.—“… Een andere soorte van slechte Tapijten die me noemt Chitrenga.”—Van Twist, 63.

1673.—“They pull off their Slippers, and after the usual Salams, seat themselves in Choultries, open to some Tank of purling Water; commonly spread with Carpets or Siturngees.”—Fryer, 93.

[1688.—“2 citterengees.”—In Yule, Hedges’ Diary, Hak. Soc. ii. cclxv.]

1785.—“To be sold by public auction … the valuable effects of Warren Hastings, Esquire … carpets and sittringees.”—In Seton-Karr, i. 111.

SIWALIK, n.p. This is the name now applied distinctively to that outer range of tertiary hil ls which in various parts of the Himalaya runs parallel to the foot of the mountain region, separated from it by valleys known in Upper India as duns (see DHOON). But this special and convenient sense (d) has been attributed to the term by modern Anglo-Indian geographers only. Among the older Mahommedan historians the term Siwalikh is applied to a territory to the west of and perhaps embracing the Aravalli Hills, but certainly including specifically Nagore (Nagaur) an d Mandawar the predecessor of modern Jodhpur, and in the vicinity of that city. This application is denoted by (a).

In one or two passages we find the application of the name (Siwalikh) extending a good deal further south, as if reaching to the vicinity of Malwa. Such instances we have grouped under (b). But it is possible that the early application (a) habitually extended thus far.

At a later date the name is applied to t he Himalaya; either to the range in its whole extent, as in the passages from Chereffedin (Shariffuddin ’Ali of Yezd) and from Baber; sometimes with a possible limitation to that part of the mountains which overlooks the Punjab; or, as the quotation from Rennell indicates, with a distinction between the less lofty region nearest the plains, and the Alpine summits beyond, Siwalik applying to the former only.

The true Indian form of the name is, we doubt not, to be gathered from the occurrence, in a list of Indian national names, in the Vishnu Purana, of the Saivalas. But of the position of these we can only say that the nations, with whom the context immediately associates them, seem to lie towards the western part of Upper India. (See Wilson’s Works, Vishnu Purana, ii. 175.) The popular derivation of Siwalik as given in several of the quotations below, is from sawalakh, ‘One lakh and a quarter’; but this is of no more value than most popular etymologies.

We give numerous quotations to establish the old application of the term, because this has been somewhat confused in Elliot’s extracts by the interpolated phrase ‘Siwálik Hills,’ where it is evident from Raverty’s version of the Tabakat-i-Nasiri that there is no such word as Hills in the original.

We have said that the special application o f the term to the detached sub-Himalayan range is quite modern. It seems in fact due to that very eminent investigator in many branches of natural science, Dr. Hugh Falconer; at least we can find no trace of it before the use of the term by him in papers presented to the Asiatic Society of Bengal. It is not previously used, so far as we can discover, even by Royle; nor is it known to Jacquemont, who was intimately associated with Royle and Cautley, at Saharanpur, very shortly before Falconer’s arrival there. Jacquemont (Journal, ii. 11) calls the range: “la première chaine de montagnes que j’appellerai les montagnes de Dehra.” The first occurrence that we can find is in a paper by Falconer on the ‘Aptitude of the Himalayan Range for the Culture of the Tea Plant,’ in vol. iii. of the J. As. Soc. Bengal, which we quote below. A year later, in the account of the Sivatherium fossil, by Falconer and Cautley, in the As. Researches, we have a fuller explanation of the use of the term Siwalik, and its alleged etymology.

It is probable that there may have been some real legendary connection of the hills in the vicinity with the name of Siva. For in some of the old maps, such as that in Bernier’s Travels, we find Siba given as the name of a province about Hurdwar; and the same name occurs in the same connection in the Mem. of the Emperor Jahangir (Elliot, vi. 382). [On the connection of Siva worship with the lower Himalaya, see Atkinson, Himalayan Gazetteer, ii. 743.]


1118.—“Again he rebelled, and founded the fortress of Naghawr, in the territory of Siwalikh, in the neighbourhood of Birah(?).”—Tabakat-i-Nasiri, E.T. by Raverty, 110.

1192.—“The seat of government, Ajmir, with the whole of the Siwalikh [territory], such as (?) Hansi, Sursuti, and other tracts, were subjugated.”—Ibid. 468–469.

1227.—“A year subsequent to this, in 624 H., he (Sultan Iyaltimish) marched against the fort of Mandawar within the limits of the Siwalikh [territory], and its capture, likewise the Almighty God facilitated for him.”—Ibid. 611.

c. 1247.—“… W

  By PanEris using Melati.

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