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The Dihang river, which now falls into the Brahmaputra north of Sibsagar, flowed during the seventeenth century for many miles further west and united its waters with those of the Brahmaputra at Likhau near the south-western corner of the Majuli island which then extended to the Namrup hill (T. 42). This fact has to be constantly borne in mind in studying the following notes. T means Talish's Fathiyya-i-ibriyya, Asiatic Society of Bengal Persian MS., D. 72.
We start with Garhgaon as our fixed point. It is situated 26.056 N. 94°45 E, eight miles south-east of Sibsagar town. (Indian Allas, 129 S.E.). Seven miles south-east of Garhgaon stood the village of Mathurapur on an eminence, not far from the ancient Ahom capital Charaideo, at the foot of the Tiru mountain. (T. 72). Sixteen miles north of Mathurapur lies Abhaypur (T. 73); Sologuri, four days' march north-east of Garhgaon, stands on the south bank of the Dihang. (In Indian Atlas the distance is 33 miles). T. 92 speaks of Sologuri as a former capital of the Ahoms.
Garhgaon is situated on the eastern or right bank of the Dikhu river. One kos (two miles) north-east of the town flows the Dandka river (spelt Darika in Indian Alias) which used in those days to terminate in the Dihang and not in the Dikhu as now. The road connecting Garhgaon and Mathurapur passed over a (wooden) bridge across the Dandkā river (T. 101). On this road, one kos out of Garhgaon, the Ahmon Rajahs had a palace (of Lamboo). (T. 134).
A nala named Kākujan flowed nor.h of the Dandka, and further north lay the Dili river [molern Diro], which is described as issuing from the (eastern) hills, passing by Mathurapur and falling into the Dihang. (T. 112, 92). The Diroi is now an affluent of the Disang.
Sixteen miles west of Garhgaon was Trimohani ("three channels"), the place where the Dikhu joined the Dihang (T. 42) In modern times the Dikhu falls into the Brahmaputra 18 miles from Garhgaon. Between Gajpur and Trimohani stood a village written in the Persian MSS. variously as Batak,
Bang, Tik, etc., where the Ahom kings had a dockyard for boats (nausai, Sanskrit at nau-shälä). Between Trimohani and Garhgaon was situated the village of Ramdang (variant, Lamdang), in front of a nala issuing from the hills. (T. 45, 82.)
On the north bank of the Brahmaputra, some 27 miles east of Bishnath, stood the village of Lakhau, where the Mughal flotilla was anchored and off which the Dihang fell into the Brahmaputra (T. 42). Leaving Lakhau the Mughal army forded a nala in front of that village and proceeded eastwards along the southern bank of the Dihang, as it then was. One march brought them to the Ahom king's navalyard (nausāl) and a second day's march led them to the village of Dewalgaon, the home of the Rajah's guru. This place had a fine temple and orange garden overlooking the Dihang (T. 41, 43.) Dewalgaon may be identified with Debergaon, 14 miles due north of Golaghat and nearly the same distance west of Jorhat. (Indian Allas, 130 N.W.)
From Dewalgaon to Gajpur (one mile east of Jorhat) was only one day's march, in the course of which a village named Bansoari (Assamese Bahobāri) was passed. (T. 120.) From Gajpur to Trimohani was also one day's march eastward, and from Trimohani to Garhgaon another day's march in the dry season. From Dewalgaon to Sairing (Persian spelling, Charing)" on the skirt of the (southern) hills", the distance was 7 or 8 kos. (T. 139.) There was an al or embanked road from the west bank of the Dikhu, opposite Garhgaon, to Dewalgaon, by way of Sairing. (T. 93, 139.) A royal road, well shaded with trees (mostly bamboo-groves), ran from Koliabar, on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra, opposite Bishnath, to Gargaon. Another road connected Lakhau (27 miles east of Bishnath) with the Ahom capital. (T. 53.) These roads were carried on embankments raised above the neighbouring fields. A third road (evidently not an al) ran from Garhgaon towards Tipām; horsemen could use it, but the first mile of it was through
*There is a Nowsuli-goan at the south-western corner of Indian Atlas, sheet 129 S. E. But I doubt whether it was the place meant.
a dense jungle, and thereafter for ten or twelve miles it narrowed down to a defile strewn over with rocks and mud-pools, and flanked with high and steep ridges. (T. 71.)
The Mughals occupied the following places for military purposes:-Samdhārā, Koliābar, Lakhau, Dewalgaon, Gajpur, Garhgaon, Mathurāpur, Trimohani, Rāmdāng, Silpāni, Deopāni, Abhaypur, Dihang bank, and, later, Sologuri.
During the time that Mir Jumla was besieged at Garhgaon (June-Nov. 1662), the Bijdalai Phukan constructed a "broad, high, battlemented wall" for sixty miles along the Diloi river from the (eastern) hills to the junction of the Diloi and the Dihang. The right bank of the Diloi, in front of the wall, was scarped so as to prevent ascent even by infantry (T. 92.) J. M. Foster, in his Note on Ghargaon published in the J.4.§.B. Pt. I, 1872, p. 39, mentions a bund some four or five miles outside Garhgaon proper and asks if it was an outer line of defence. I am inclined to regard it as the remnant of the Bijdalai Phukan's wall. [If the Diroi then flowed through the channel of the modern Disang, the distance would be like that given by Foster.]
A description of Garhgaon and its fortifications has been given from Talish, in this Journal, December 1915 (T. 66-69). The Mughal defensive works are described in T. 97, 98, 99, 101, 103, 10, 110 and 112. But probably no trace of them survives to-day.
* Two MSS. road six miles.
II. The Word Kikata in the Rigveda in Reference to South Bihar.
By Rai Bahadur Purnendu Narayan Sinha, M.A, The Rigveda has the word Kîkața in the following Rik :fa' à acrafa alady mât anfuieg a aufa yửu i ब्या नो भर प्रमगन्दस्य वेदो नचाशाखं मघवनन्वयानः ॥
Rioveda III. 53. 14.
Kin te Kriņvantı Kiktaeshu gâvo nâsiranduhre na tapanti gharmam â nō bhara Pramagandasya vedo naichâsâkham Maghavanrandhayânah. The metrical translation of the Rik is thus given by Mr. Griffith:
"Among the Kikaṭas what do thy cattle? They pour no milky draught, they heat no caldron.
Bring thou to us the wealth of Pramaganda; give up to us, O Maghavan, the low-born."
The hymn is addressed to Indra, and Visvamitra is the Rishi thereof. The prayer purports to be on behalf of the clan of Visvamitra. Nighanțu takes up the word "Kikateshu" in this Rik. Yâska therefore comments upon the Rik in his Nirukta. (VI.82). "What do the cows do for thee in the Kîkatas? Kîkata is the name of a land, where the Non-Aryans reside. Kikața is (the corruption of) Kinkritâh (what have they done?) or Kinkriyâbhih (by what acts ?). They do not give any milk which is â-sira or fit to be mixed with Soma juice; nor do they (by giving milk give occasion to) the heating of the milk pot. Bring thou to us the riches of Pramaganda. Maganda' is one who lends money on interest (Kusidi). (The word is really) Mângada, i.e. one who gives money to another (with the intention) it will come back (gada) to me (mân)". The son (or descendant) of Maganda is
Pramgaanda-one accustomed to lend money on exhorbitant interest.
Or (the real word is) Pramadaka-he who believes in the existence of this world only and not of any other.......
Nirukta VI. 32.
Sâyana follows the Nirukta in his commentary on the Rik "O Indra in the Kîkatas (regions where dwell the Non-Aryans or people who doubt in the efficacy of such acts as sacrifices, gifts, or offerings of ghee in fire and do not believe in them, rather who say Eat and drink, only this world exists, not another, the unbelievers). What do the cows do for thee? (They do nothing to serve thee). They do not give milk for mixture with Soma juice. used in Pravargya part of the sacrifice, become heated with their milk.........
Nor does the pot known as Mabavira
Therefore as these cows are helpful in any Vedic performance do thou bring them to us. Not only that. Bring us also the wealth of Pramaganda. (The money by becoming double or so will come back to me-he who with this intention gives money to others is called Maganda, i. e. one who lives upon increase (vriddhi). His descendants are called Pramaganda, people who are extremely usurious. O Maghavan! bring to our service (the wealth of) those that are low-born". Sáyana.
Wilson says:-" Kikața is usually identified with South Behar ".1 Weber says:-"In the Rik Samhita, where the Kikatas the ancient home of the people of Magadha and their King Pramaganda are mentioned as hostile, we have probably to think of the aborigines of the country....
It seems not impossible that the native inhabitants, being particularly vigorous, retained more influence in Magadha than elsewhere even after the country had been Brahmanised.
... and that is how we have to account for the special sympathy and success which Buddhism met with in Magadha." I have not been able to find out why Weber calls Pramaganda
1 Quoted by R. C. Dutt in his Bengali translation of Rigveda Sanhits. • Weber's Indian Literature (Translation), page 79.