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events of that interesting period. Captain Lees has undertaken to edit the work; it will occupy about seven Fasieuli.
The report was adopted.
Communications were received
I. From Major J. T. Walker, extracts from a report from the Superintendent, Great Trigonometrieal Survey, to the Secretary to the Government of India, Military Department.
2. From Babu Rajendralal Mitra, a paper on two ancient Sanscrit Inscriptions from Central India.
3. From Herr E. Schlagintweit, a paper entitled “Translation and Tibetan text of a. Tibetan address to the Buddhas of confession.”
4. A letter from Colonel Cunningham on the Buddhist discoveries at Sultanganj.
Mr. Bayley read the above. It was as follows :—
Nynee Tal, 7th Sept. 1862. To THE SECRETARY, Asmrrc Socrnrr.
DEAR SIB,——In reply to your letter regarding Mr. Harris’s discovery of some Buddhist remains near Sultanganj, I beg to say that there seems to me every probability that the complete excavation of the ruined buildings would well repay the cost of the work. I have received from Mr. Harris a plan of the ruins, as far as they have been excavated, and I am able to state decidedly that they are the remains of an ancient Vihzir, or Buddhist chapel-monastery. The Vihér always included a temple or shrine, containing a figure of Buddha; and in the present case the enshrined figure has already been discovered. Around the shrine were the cells of the resident monks, who conducted pilgrims to all the holy spots, and retailed the legends connected with them. Six cells have already been uncovered by Mr. Harris. These six cells cannot form more than one-' sixth or perhaps only one-eighth of the whole number. The cells are always disposed on the four sides of a square ; and I would therefore recommend that the first operation should be to dig a narrow trench along the course of the inner wall, in order to determine at once the shape and extent of the mass of buildings.
In Mr. Ferguss-on’s .H¢m0l Book of Architecture you will find several plans of Viluir caves, excavated in the solid rock. In all these examples, the cells necessarily occupy only three sides of the square, the fourth side being required for the a4_1mi$si0n Of light
My reason tor believing that the continuance of the excavations will well repay the cost of the work, is chiefly founded on the discovery of the colossal copper image of Buddha; and on the unmutilated state of the other images and inscriptions. From these discoveries, I conclude that the resident monks had only just time to bury the colossal copper statue of Buddha, before making their escape from the Vilzér, and consequently that numerous objects of interest must have been abandoned by them. Mr. Harris does not mention whether there are any traces of fire; but I infer from the perfect state of the copper statue, that fire was not the means of destruction of the Sultanganj'Vih¢i1'. At Sarnath, Benares, all the metal objects discovered by Major Kittoe and myself had been wholly or partially fused, and the grain found in the cells was all charred.
I am indebted to the courtesy of Mr. Harris for a copy of one of the inscriptions discovered by him on the back of a small stone figure. The inscription itself is of no value, it being only the usual Buddhist formula, beginning with Ye Dkarmma hetu prabfiava, &c., but it is otherwise of value, as the forms of the letters show that the figure is of early date, most probably of the second or third century.
I have delayed answering your letter in the hope of being able to find some mention of this Vikzir either in Fa Hizm or in llwen T/zsang ; but 1 have been disappointed. The latter pilgrim describes Ohampa, (the modern Bhagulpore) and it is probable that the Sultanganj Vihdr is one of the “ several dozens of monasteries” which were then mostly in ruins. This is rendered still more probable by the early date of the inscription noticed above. .
If I am right in my conjecture that the Sultanganj Viluir is one of the many that were in ruins in the seventh century when visited by Hwen Tlzsang, it will only be the greater inducement to continue the excavations, as the objects which may be brought to light will belong to an early period of Buddhism, probably anterior to the introduction of the five Dhyain Buddhas and Bhodi Satwas, who were the principal objects of reverence at the time of Ewen T/esanfs pilgrimage.
The characters of the inscriptions sent to me by Mr. Harris are of the same age as those of the Gupta dynasty. The principal dcterminative letters are the Y and the sr, which in the inscriptions of later date, say of the 7th and 8th centuries, have changed to another form. A reference to Mr. Bayley regarding the probable age of the inscriptions in which the earlier forms of these letters are found, will at once satisfy you that I am right in assigning the occupation of the Sultanganj Vika'1' to an early date. I am, &c., (S<1.) A. CUNNINGHAM.
5. A letter from Babu Guru Churn Doss, containing an account of an old mosque situated in Pergunnah Habibe, with specimens of bricks of the mosque forwarded through Babu Gour Doss Bysack.
The Secretary read the above. The letter is subjoined :
To THE SECRETARY or THE Asiuro Soomrr, CALCUTTA-
SIR,—During one of my ofiicial tours in the district of Jessore, I visited a very old and curious mosque about two miles to the east of a small bazar called Bunghat, in Pergunnah Habibe, and although not surrounded with very great interest, yet the fact of its having been built in the time of the great Akber in such an out-of-the-way place is not quite unworthy of notice.
The mosque is said to have been built by one Khwajah Ally Khan, who came down from Delhi and took up his residence, it is impossible to say for what length of time, in that part of J essore, where it now stands. Besides this mosque, there are other buildings about a mile’s distance from it, but they are all either overgrown with jungles, or are in too great ruins to admit of my determining their exact nature and form ; one of which, however, I was told, goes under the name of Satgoombuz, meaning sixty pyramidal roofs, which was the palace of Khwajah Ally Khan. In the neighbourhood of this there are several other buildings apparently in ruins, but the general aspect of which leads one to imagine that this locality was once, no doubt, a scene of magnificence. Traces of broad and strongly metalled roads are yet to be seen in almost every direction of the mosque from the Satgoornbuz, thereby affording grounds for believing that the Sunderbuns shroud the ruins of once populous and flourishing towns.
Although the mosque and two other small buildings in its close vicinage were not very seriously damaged when I visited them, they were much out of condition. The entrance door of the mosque is towards the west. The material consisted of small but very strong bricks nicely cut and beautifully put together with mortar. The
structure in fact is very solid, and the floor is inlaid with beautifully small square and hexagonal bricks, the surface of which, however, is variegated and enamelled.
In the interior, save and except a tomb of ordinary elevation on rather an oblong base, a very large slab of white marble on which some couplets of the Koran are engraved in gilded characters, and placed upon an artificial raising, and the wood-work of the door, there is nothing else to attract notice.
In the front of the mosque there is a large tank, equal if not larger in size than that in the Dilkush Bang of the Rajah of Burdwan, and containing not a small number of alligators of different size. The whole of the space attached to the buildings and surrounding the tank is enclosed by walls of ordinary height.
I have found some difficulty in obtaining any authentic account of Khwajah Ally’s mission to Bengal, nor could I discover why he was induced to fix his residence at a locality beset by so many disadvantages. I
The bricks which I had taken out from the mosque have been handed over to Babu Gour Doss Bysack, for presentation to your Society.
I remain, &c.,
The Librarian submitted the usual monthly report.
The following books and periodicals were added to the Library since the September meeting.
Presented. Annual Report on the Administration of the Bengal Presidency.—-BY THE Bsnen. GOVERNMENT. A Work on Telegraphic Transmission of the Chinese characters. By the Count D’Escayrac de Lauture.—BY THE Aurnon.
Memorandum on the Panchoutee or Indian Gutta of the Western Coast—BY LIEUT.-COL. C. Douoms.
Report on the Hyderabad Assigned Districts for 1861-62.-—BY THE BENGAL GOVERNMENT. Report on the Administration of Port Blair for 1861-62.—BY THE sum.
Sakuntala, edited by Pandita Prem Chandra Tarkab£1gisa.—BY E. B. COWELL, Esq.
Selections from Records of the Madras Government for 1860.—BY ran Manms Govmmunxr.
Transactions of the Government of India, Military Department for 186162.—BY THE GOVERNMENT or INDIA.
Zijdschrift voor Indische Zaal-land en Volken kunde, Vols. VII. VIII. IX. and X.—BY THE Bxuvun Acxnmrx.
Verhandlingen van het Bataviasch Gentooschap, Vols. XXVII. and XXVIII.-—BY rm: Bsrarrm Acsnxux.
Nizami’s Sekander Nameh.