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“ I have at last the pleasure to send you my drawings of the Bakhra. column, and the Raidhia column, with their inscriptions, and a third of the Kesriah mound, surmounted with its hemispherical temple or Dehgope. I trust you will 8l1llTl8lIvert severely upon the barbarous custom of cutting cyphers and names upon these ancient m0numents—if there were any inscription on the Bakhra column, it must in this way have been scribbled over and destroyed.”
At one of the very earliest meetings of the Asiatic Society, held on the 29th January, 1784, I find by the records, that Mr. Law presented “ A Short Account of Two Pillars to the North of Patna.” The paper does not seem to have been printed, nor has it been preserved among our archives ; we may therefore conclude, that it was of a merely cursory nature : nor could we be certain to which of the three pillars. now again brought to our notice by Mr. Honosorv, the remark applied, were it not that the Bakhra pillar of Tirhut, and the Radhia or Arabraj pillar of Saran bear too palpable evidence of the visit of Europeans, in the names engraved over the surface of the stone. In the former we find the names of C. H. BARLOW, 1780, General BRISCO and others in 1799 ;—-in the other at the foot of the original inscription is inscribed the name of REUBEN Buaaow, 1792. This practice of scribbling over and disfiguring ancient monuments is as barbarous as the vain-glory of Jnuauom, evinced in the zone of Persian cut over the Allahabad inscription ; but fortunately in the case of the Bakhra column, it seems to have been harmless: for there are no traces of an ancient inscription upon it, at least on the parts of the shaft above ground. Such Nfigari characters as appear in Mr. HonosoN’s facsimile are all
modern, and record merely the names and dates of native visitors as gothic as their European precursors.
It is quite unnecessary, therefore, to give an engraving of the Bakhra transcript furnished by Mr. Honcsou. The view made by his native artist (see Pl. VII.) is very faithful, and entirely accords with two already in my possession, one by Mr. R. H. RATTRAY, the other by Mr. J. S'rE1>111zNso1~z*, whose accurate description of the monument, and of the marks of an ancient city in the neighbourhood, as well as his discovery of a Buddhist image there, form the subject of a very interesting note, already submitted to the Society, and to which I shall presently allude.
Passing then to the Rfidhia or Saran Lath, which is evidently the one alluded to by Mr. STIRLING, (and not the Bakhra column, as Mr. Honosou supposed, for the latter bears no inscription,) it is satisfactory to discover that this pillar is in very good preservation, although it has lost its capital and surmounting Sinha or lion; for
" Dr. MILL has also favored we with a sight of two paintings of the same column made by a native artist for Mr. J. R. Enrumsrons in 1814.
it bears a long inscription in the Allahabad character, No. l, which, upon a careful comparison with the plates of the 7th volume of Researches, is also identical with that of Fi'Roz’s Lath: so that we are now in possession of four copies of the same inscription, three of them perfect, viz. the Delhi, the Mattiah, and the present one, and that of Allahabad mutilated. The dimensions of the Rédhia Lath, are thus given by Mr. HoncsoN’s artist : (see Pl. VII.)
ft.in. Heightfromthegroundtothetopoftheshaft, 39 0 Circumferenceatthebase,........................................ ll 2 Ditto,atthesummit,...........................;................ 8 0
_~ Its locality is described in the Persian memorandum as in the village of Pzirnia, L53)” near Arakrdj, zijgji zillah Sdrun. I find in ARROWsM1'm’s map, a place called Pl1l‘0Wl'l3.ll, between Gorakhpur and Bettiah, which may probably be the spot indicated; for Mr. Honoson himself states it to be at Rzidhia, near Arahraj-Mahzideva, in the district of Majhuah, in the zemindfiry of Bettiah, (JOUR. Vol. III. p. 483.)
Mattiah, the site of the third pillar, is, by the map, a good way farther to the north.
In my notice on the latter pillar I mentioned that it wanted the last eleven lines of the Delhi version. The same omission occurs in the present copy; which corresponds also in some other respects with its neighbour, such as in having double letters, or letters superposed where they are single on F1’noz’s Léth :—in having the halfmoon letter in lieu of the triangle; in the frequent omission of the initial letter g, and the addition of the final inflection I (See Vol. III. p. 485). The suggested order of the reading, on F1’aoz’s Lfith, namely North, West, South, East, is also confirmed.
Being now in a condition to correct the few errors of the Delhi version, by collation with two other, and in many parts with three,
authentic texts, I propose immediately to lithograph a‘ revised-copy‘
of it, to assist in the elucidation of this very curious monument of antiquity; while, in the meantime, nowpannex a facsimile of the Szirun version, (Pl. VIII.) with interlineary notes of its chief variations from the standard text, to be consulted in any case of disputed reading. With regard to the architecture of these columns, it has been pointed out to me, that Lieut. BUM"s drawing of the Allahabad column did not render justice to the ornamental work on its capital, which has a. decidedly Greek appearance. That officer proves also in error (as was suspected by Mr. Honosou) in supposing the mutilated figure ‘on _ the summit to have been a ball. I have been favored with the following note on the subject from Lieut. Krrron, whose architectural taste and
peculiar study of the ornaments of Hindu and Mohammedan buildings in such parts of India as he has visited, will, we may hope, hereafter contribute to our better acquaintance with the detail of oriental
architecture of various epochs.
“ On perusing No. 27 of the Asiatic Society’s Journal, for March, 1834, 1 observed a long treatise on the Allahabad column, which has been lying partly buried since 1804, when wantonly taken down by that enemy to Hindustani architecture, Colonel KYD, at which time the capital of it (of which I am about to treat) was destroyed.
“ I obtained my information from a very old inhabitant, a Musalman classic, who had seen the obelisk erect, opposite the inner gate-way of the Jumné Durwézai; he informed me, that a. figure of a lion was on the capital before it was destroyed.
“ I am sorry to say, that from absorption of damp and saltpetre, the outer crust is fast caking off, carrying the inscriptions with it ; though, at the fiat of the commandant of the garrison, a working party of a couple of hundred sipahis could be sent and the column placed on stone trucks, or on logs of wood cut for the purpose, and thereby be saved from further destruction.
“ My attention was first drawn towards this monument of antiquity by the uncommon ornament on the periphery of the mutilated capital, of which I enclose a rough though correct sketch, (fig.4, Plate IX.) and upon examination, I found that Lt. BUR.'r’sbull wasonce a figure ofalion couchant, the claws in each paw being very plain ; and the square shape in which the chest is cut between the forelegs, led ins to‘-‘a supposition that there had been a like figure to the colossal representation of the'libn"' and elephant on the bridge at J aunpur, and which was found in the ruins o£;the fort there, during the repairs of the bridge by Capt. MCPHERSON, , who placed it on a pedestal—(if acceptable I will at a future period senda drawing and description of it*.) I am the more convinced of the correctness of my conclusion, since the perusal of Octoher’s number of A. S. Journal, in which a drawing and description of the Mattiah Latb is given, on which precisely the same figure occurs, the elephant excepted. '
“ The ornaments on the periphery of the block will be ‘found to resemble those common in the cimarecta of Grecian cornices; the astragal or beadingyof it is also of common occurrenceyin Grecian and Roman. architecture.
“ On comparing Lieut. BunT’s copy of the character No. 1, I observed several errors in the shape of the letters, and in their actual number; this however has become of no moment "sin"ce'your discovery, that the three inscriptions of the Delhi, Pryag, and Mattiah pillars are each other’s facsimiles. '
“ However, there is one omission, I consider, of great importance;—that of the interlineation of nearly the whole character No. 1, with one more modern, like unto No. 2, and which_,may probably be a translation into Sanscrit of the former ; it is cut ‘or rather dotted in a very rough manner, and in some places the letters join into those of No. l, to which I attribute the errors in the copy of that character.
“ I shall here conclude by remarking. that the number of lineseffaced by J sunnGin’s pedigreefare seven, by correct measurement; whereas three are the number menti'o'ned: this ma’y‘prohably'be‘a misprlnt." ‘ "" ' ~ "' ‘ '
'!28 Account of the Rains in the Neighbourhood of Bakhra. [MAacn,
The most important fact in the above note, namely,that of the ancient inscription No. 1, being interlined with a more modern character, was not adverted to by Lieutenant BURT, in his account of the pillar. I accordingly requested our associate, Mr. WALTER Ewan, of Allahabad, to re-examine the pillar, and his reply, received a few days since, says, " True enough, the unknown character is interlined with Sanskrit, which is the least distinct, and appears to be the older of the two.” It is possible they may prove to be contemporaneous, and there will be an end of the mystery which has hitherto hung over this writing. Mr. Ewan has undertaken to make a copy of the interlineation, and to collate the other printed inscriptions with the original.
I may here mention, that Major CoLv!N of the Engineers has given me notice of two more Léths in upper India, one at Hissar, and another at Fatihabad near Delhi. The former, though in a decayed condition, still contains a few characters : of both we may hope to obtain further particulars in a short time.
I now return to the Bakhra column, for the purpose of introducing Mr. Swan-inNsoN’s description of the discovery of an image of Buddha in its neighbourhood. The Kesariah mound, of which Mr. Honcson has also favored us with a drawing (Pl. VII. fig. 3.) is situated about 20 miles to the north of Bakhra, in sight of the
III.—E.z'eursion to the Ruins and Site of an Ancient City near Bakhra, 13 cos north of Patna, and sic’ north from Singhea. (Extracted from the Journal of Mr. J. Srarnsuson.)
[Read to the Asiatic Society on the 14th January, 1835.
Near to this village are the remains of a mound of solid brick-work, about 40 feet high, and about the same diameter at the base : on the top are two Musalman temples and the tomb of a saint, whose name I was told is Mfr-Abdulla, dead about 250 years ago. On the side of the mound fronting, the south, a large Burr tree rears its lofty branch. es to a great height, and supported by about 30 trunks, forming a cool pleasant shade to the Musalman devotees. A little to the north are the ruins of a large fort of an oblong shape, one side of which is full 1000 yards in length. It is surrounded by a ditch, at this season filled with water and jungle grass. Its elevation above the common level of the country is from 6 to 8 feet, and it appears to have been entirely built of brick—-a circumstance of which the native Hindus have taken