By William Eleroy Curtis
William Eleroy Curtis (1850-1911) was once an American writer and journalist. His works comprise: The Yankees of the East, Sketches of contemporary Japan (1896), smooth India (1905), The Turk and His misplaced Provinces, To-day in Syria and Palestine, Egypt, Burma and British Malaysia and usa to Dominate the Hemisphere.
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The other seven in order of size are Bombay, Madras, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Rangoon, Benares and Delhi. There are only twenty-nine towns with more than 100,000 inhabitants; forty-nine with more than 50,000; 471 with more than 10,000; 877 with more than 5,000, and 2,134 organized municipalities with a population of 1,000 or more. These municipalities represent an aggregate population of 29,244,221 out of a total of 294,361,056, leaving 265,134,722 inhabitants scattered upon farms and in 729,752 villages.
It is not so important for us to know when this great work was done, but it would be extremely gratifying if somebody could tell us who did it--what genius first conceived the idea of carving a magnificent house of worship out of the heart of a mountain, and what means he used to accomplish the amazing results. We would like to know for example, who made the designs of the Vishwa Karma, or carpenter's cave, one of the most exquisite in India, a single excavation 85 by 45 feet in area and 35 feet high, which has an arched roof similar to the Gothic chapels of England and a balcony or gallery over a richly sculptured gateway very similar to the organ loft of a modern church.
He had tried the same trick successfully upon his brother and predecessor, Gaikwar Khande Rao, the man who built a beautiful sailors' home at Bombay in 1870 to commemorate the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh to India. Colonel Phayre suspected something wrong, and declined to drink the toast His Highness offered. The plot was soon afterward discovered and Viceroy Lord Northbrook, who had tolerated his tyranny and fantastic performances as long as possible, made an investigation and ordered him before a court over which the chief justice of Bengal presided.