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and through the treachery of a drummer of the garrison, who gave notice of a fitting time for attack, he surprised a part of the works that were imperfectly defended, made himself master of the fortress, and beheading R.A'MACHANDRA returned in triumph to Badyagarh.
Some discrepancies are here apparent in two MSS. I consulted ; one account states A’a1MA'rn slew PHENUA, while another maintains that PHENUA usurped the throne of A'|mv1A'rH on the death of the latter, and abode in Phenuzigarh. GAJANK, the son of A'mMA'rH, succeeded Pl-IENUA, and made his residence near Pratappur, in the vicinity of Agnigarh, and it is provoking that from this time no further mention is made of the place. I shall merely add, that the last named prince was followed by his son SUKRANK, who died without issue A. S. 1400, (A. D. 1478-9,) when the dynasty of Jitari became extinct.
The destruction of the tepiples at P055. is ascribed by some to an apostate bréhman of Kauoj, called Poms’ SUTI-IAN, or KXLXPAHAR, who was compelled to embrace Muhammedanism, and at whose door the Chérdwzirians and others in Assam lay all the sacrilege and mischief that has been consummated in the province. From their massive proportions, and the carving and ornaments being so much worn by time and exposure. the fanes are evidently the work of a remote era; I sought in vain for an inscription, and neither the priests of the district, nor the ancient families whom I consulted, could assist my researches, or point with an approximation to accuracy, to the date of their origin.
Unconnected with the first temple, and retired some yards deeper in the wood, or rather grove of trees, which was in likelihood planted by the priests who ministered at the temples, I found the ruins of six or seven other enormous structures of granite, broken into thousands of fragments, and dispersed over the ground in the same extraordinary manner as those already described. Altars of gigantic proportions were among the most remarkable objects: one of these measuring upwards of six feet each way, and eighteen inches thick, was elevated from seven to eight feet above the level of the plain, and approached on each side by layers of stone disposed in the nature of steps. It was hewn from a single block of granite ; underneath was a sort of cavern : the top had holes for iron links, and a. receptacle to receive flowers and water to bedew the Nandi or sacred bull of SIVA, who was placed, my informants imagined, on the brink of the reservoir. Six or eight other altars, one of them making a square of forty-six feet, and eighteen inches thick, are to be seen in other parts of the ruins, and several square blocks, each measuring from twenty to thirty feet, concave in the centre, and sculptured in imitation of circlets of flowers,
must have formed the Bedi or altar-place of SIVA, as there is a seat for the Ling or symbol of the deity in the middle of each.
Among the specimens of sculptured figures that fell under observation, I discerned on a portion of frieze, nine images, each about afoot high, of whom KANHEYA playing on a flute, and flanked by two Suhelis (damsels), were the only persons I could identify, though assisted by the priests of Chardwzir. There were four figures of naked children eight inches high, that looked very much like Cupids; they were executed like the rest in basso relievo and were dancing or gambolling together in pairs, and another groupe of five figures, eight inches high, two of them in an obscene attitude, appeared like the others to have formed part of a cornice.
It will be seen from the sketch which accompanies this description, that the ruins are partly encompassed by walls, which extend in so many directions that it is scarcely possible to guess at the purpose of the architect. The walls have their foundations laid very deep in the earth; they are in an unfinished state, and were evidently constructed at a period long subsequent to the temples ; they are built of massive blocks of cut stone, sometimes disposed in a double row, and exhibit a good deal of carving. The stones are of various shapes, and rise three or four feet from the ground, and were all intended to be united with bands of iron. The entrance of the principal enclosure appears to have been from the south, where lie some pedestals, and three or four wedge-shaped stones, about five feet long and three broad, of a flattened pentagonal shape, intended I presume to have formed the voussoirs of an arch ; and the middle of the key-stone is decorated with a handsome diadem or plumed tiara.
A little to the north of the wood, buried in a forest of reed grass, which an elephant penetrated with difficulty, I discovered a very interesting fragment ; this was a solid mass of granite, of a much finer grain than the kind used in the temples, measuring ten and a half feet’ in length, two and three-quarters in breadth, and two feet in depth. On this were sculptured, in very high relief, eighteen figures of gods, partially mutilated, but generally in a good state of preservation. Fifteen of the figures correspond in size, and are each eighteen inches high, and placed lengthwise in compartments, in groupes of threes. Of these the two external groupes, and the centre one representing, I think, PADMA' (LACSHMI), supported by two females, are raised on the stone more than half a foot above the others ; and again, each centre figure (PADMA') of the compartments is more in relief than its fellows. The whole of the images have high cone-shaped head-dresses and
earrings, and PADMA' is represented standing on a snake, and the
attendants are supported on or rising from lotos flowers. The groupes‘ of the two divisions, which are less elevated than the others, exhibit, I believe, Dunes’, flanked by Lscsnm and SARASWATI; five of these figures are crowned with a sort of tri-pointed diadem, while the sixth has a round turban or cap. One of the forms of Donna’ has the right foot on the head of the demon, while the left is twisted up at her side, and the hands are elapsed over the breast, in the attitude of supplication ; under the central groupe of the whole, and forming part of what may have been intended for the ornamented frieze of the tempie, is a seated figure of Gnrvnsn in relief, five inches high, flanked by two other persons, one of them playing on a stringed instrument, and the other wielding a club. The lower part and sides of the block are decorated with a band of carving, showing beasts of different kinds, encircled by wreaths of flowers, in relief, and the gods are placed in scalloped arches, supported by pillars, which divide each of the images from its neighbour.
The priests are so little versed in the distinguishing characteristics of the Hindu deities, that they could not determine whom the figures were intended to represent.
Near the images are nine square pedestals of large dimensions, with three carved feet, which must have been intended to give support to as many columns: of these. several have almost disappeared in the earth ; and it is likely, others are lost altogether. It shows at all events the design of the temple must have been projected on a large scale. These pedestals do not appear to have been moved from the spot where they were originally carved, and they are so little impaired by time and exposure to the elements, that I feel assured they are of modern date, compared with the buildings in the plantation and on the adjacent plains ; they were, indeed, as fresh to look at as if but recently executed by the mason’s chisel. Vast fragments of the epist_vlium and frieze, carved with beaded drapery, also lie half buried in the soil. The people at one time commenced fracturing the stones, from an idea that gold was concealed in their cavities, but desisted, on a mysterious warning of the goddess DURGA', who threatened to visit such sacrilegious attempts with death.
In the south-west angle of the Poia plains, there is another curious remnant of sculpture, also wrought from a single mass of granite, up-' wards of ten feet long, and two and a half feet thick at the middle; it appears to have formed the side of a gate, and has a band of carving three inches broad on each side, showing in relief elephants, tigers, deer, rams, cattle, and swans, encircled by scrolls of flowers. The stone has in all twent)-five figures of' Hindu deities, disposed