o* The Defiles
The earth quaked, many thunderbolts fell, the Irrawaddy rolled up its waves and broke down its banks. Kuttha was seized with terror, and, as he fled forth from the city gate, the earth opened and swallowed him up.
It is not the least interesting feature of many legends in Burma that they enshrine the traditional knowledge of some ancient historical or natural fact, and I believe that in this pretty tale we have the record of some great convulsion, an episode of more than usual moment in the ceaseless conflict between the great river and its encompassing hills.
This, the place of the Great Cliff, is the finest portion of the Second Defile.
0 . at shwegu fair
boon after leaving
it, the river sweeps round in more than a semicircle, to emerge once more in untrammelled splendour at the foot of a rounded hill tinted with reddening grass and not unlike an English down.
Below the defile lie the island and village of Shwegu, through the tree-tops of which gleam the golden spires of many pagodas, the centre of a great annual festival attended by many thousands of pilgrims. An island of green and gold, set in the folds of a sunlit river fading away to steel-blue mist at the threshold of the