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I.—A Description, with Drawings, of the Ancient Stone Pillar at Alla~ habad called Bltim Se’n’s Gadzi 01' Club, with accompanying copies of four inscriptions engraven in diferent characters upon its surface. By Lieut. T. S. Burt, Engineers.
IN compliance with your request made some time since, that I would prepare copies of the characters engraven on an ancient pillar lying in the Fort of Allahabad, I have much pleasure in forwarding them, together with a geometrical and an explanatory drawing of the stone, (Plate III. et. seq.), which shew the situations occupied by each of the characters on the upper surface, as well as sections and elevations of the capital, which lies detached near to the top of the shaft.
The column tapers from the base to the capital from a diameter at
- the former of three feet two and quarter inches, to two feet two inches
at the latter; the circumference of the first mentioned part is about ten feet one inch, and of the last, six feet six and a quarter inches. This was about the size of the Delhi lath of Fmoz SHAH, which is stated to be ten feet four in circumference, and thirty-seven feet long, [see As. Res. vol. VII. p. 17 8 ;] the shaft of this one being thirty-five, and its total length, including the base, forty-two feet seven inches.
It appears to be a hard kind of red sandstone, nearly approaching to freestone, (and not granite,) and bears a kind of silvery bed in it, which accounts for its having peeled ofl’ at several places as hereafter noticed.
The common legend of the natives states the pillar to be the gadé or staff of Bum SEN. It may be hardly necessary to state, that Bum
SEN was the second brother of Raja Yunmsrmaa, or Jumsram, (Shakespear's Hindoo Dictionary, page 149, of the year 1817,) whom K1snm or BISHN protected; now Kmsnua, the Apollo of the Hindoos, appears from page 599 to have lived, according to Colonel Wxuroan, about 1300 years before Christ.
It is said to be the stall’, with which he ground his bhang, and that the bundi or vessel in which the bhang was ground, was thrown into the Jumna on our taking possession of the fort. It is reported that this pillar was formerly standing near to its present position inthe circular ring facing the gateway on the inside of this fort, and that it was taken down on the Fort undergoing alterations, which appears to have occurred in the 44th year of the reign of SHAH AULUM, when the plan of the fort is stated to have been altered by the English ; [see page 34 of Shakespear’s Hindustani Selections from the Khela'sat-ul-tawarikh, or Abridgment of History ;] SHAH AULUM the second, came to the throne in A. D. 1761 (Hamilton's India, volume I. p. 410) so that by adding 43 years we shall bring the date of the transfer up to 1804, which was then the period of alteration of the Fort, and as is reported, of pulling down the pillar, but I have lately heard that this took place in 1798 or 99.
The capital of the column (shewn in the accompanying drawings) appears to have formerly borne afour-footed animal sitting upon it, and the slight traces remaining have the appearance of the Bull which is generally attendant upon Mahadeva. The animal must have been evidently “ conchant,” for the remains of the body as well as of the legs are connected to the stone itself.
The capital has a circular hole in it, probably to allow of the entrance of a point bar for fixing it on the top of the shaft, in the centre of which a similar hole is cut for that purpose.
The base of the shaft has a couple of projections similar to the trunnions of a piece of ordnance, intended probably as a place of fixture for the ropes which might be used in erecting it, or otherwise as a hold when built into its bed of masonry.
Taking the specific gravity of the block at less than that of marble and hard stone, 2.650, the weight of it will be found on calculation to be about 17 tons, 12 cwt. or 493 mans.
It is to be regretted that so handsome a column should be allowed to lie as it now does “ unnoticed and unknown,” when the outlay of about two thousand rupees would place it upon a neat pedestal in a more appropriate position, as it is represented to have stood formerly in the sketch in the Asiatic Researches. The pedestal should of course be constructed entirely after the native method of architecture, and have nothing Eu
Iropean at all in its composition, unless an incongruous efi'ect were the desideratum of architectural beauty*.
My brother of the 64th regiment, was kind enough (for it was a work of labor) to make a copy of so much of the various characters as is situated on the present upper surface of the stone (or gadd as it is named by the natives). Lieut. BURT having to rejoin his corps before the stone could be removed, I have employed a moonshee in effecting a copy of the part which remained under ground, for the stone was buried about a foot in the soil, partly from the effect of its weight, and partly from the pathway having been added to from time to time with road material. I have examined each of the copies ‘(with the stone P), and corrected the shapes of those letters which appeared to require it both in the first copy and in its transcript.
The Persian inscription is so far peculiar, that in reading it upon the stone, the lower, or second line, is to be read first, so as to preserve the gradation of the nine Emperors of Delhi mentioned in it, TIMU'R. being the first, and Jnnanoin the last, in whose time it would seem to havebeen engraved. The year mentioned is 1014 (see compartment 2 from the left, vol. VII. page 180, Asiatic Researches), which appears on reference to Mr. SM1'rH’s Chronological Table, at page 447 of the same volume,to have been the year in which J EHANGlR was crowned at Agra.
I do not send an exact copy of the ornament surrounding the Persian inscription, as that. shewn in the volume referred to is so much more neatly done than any I could obtain that I beg to refer you to it: only one or two of the Persian letters differ from the copy now sent; they are in alto relievo, beautifully cut, and still appear as if newly executed
upon the pillar. The Persian letters being in alto relievo upon the central band of the
stone, induced me to think that they must have been cut or left upon it on its first removal from the quarry, or in A. H. 1014 (A. D. 1605), as above noticed ; but subsequent inspections induced me to think differently, for although the letters themselves are in alto relievo, or projecting far beyond the belt or zone upon which they rest, yet the plane of that belt or zone is excavated so deeply in the periphery of the stone that its depth is exactly equal to the height of the letters themselves, which shews without contradiction that the Persian inscription could have been engraved subsequently to the writing in the Sanscrit character, every letter of which is cut into the stone, and consequently has no projection whatever, excepting what the surface of the periphery pre
* Major Invmn, Engineers, C. B. states that in 1826, he sent in an estimate to put it up for about 1800 rupees, but the Governor General, Lord. Auunnsr, ob-I
jected to the expence on the grounds of its inutility !
sents at the interstices of the letters, whereas; if the sunken zone did not exist upon which the Persian characters stand prominently forth, and if the letters stood out beyond the general surface of the column itself, it might be reasonably assumed that the projecting Persian characters were coeval with the extraction of the stone from the quarry, or at least with the date of its receiving the final smoothing and polishing from its rough hewn state.
Measuring with a string I have perceived that the writer's name in Persian, ABDULLAH, in alto relievo in a separate compartment is likewise situated below the general surface of the stone: moreover, that it has been cut out at a part where the ancient inscription No. 2 had evidently peeled off before the Persian was written. This establishes the prior existence of the engravings Nos. 1 and 2, of which however, and without this proof, there could be no doubt. The same remark applies to the whole of the Persian inscription.
The Persian inscription runs thus, in the original, and rendered into Roman characters; each compartment of letters being read first from
" The Ildhl year should be 49, for the aura of Arcana commenced with his reign, in the 5th Rabi-m-84nl963(=1March, 1605); therefore the word 0->-| must be a
With respect to the specimen of the inscription on the pillar at Allahabad (shewu at page 180, volume VII. As. Res.) I beg to say that, that part which originally, or when it was copied in June 1797, was adjacent to the Persian writer’s name “ ABDULLAH,” no longer exists, and has evidently peeled off ; some of the letters I can find to agree, both of the stone and the specimen, but only a few, as most of the others are manifestly incorrect, as may be seen by comparing the specimen with the full copy now sent; the former should therefore be only looked upon as a partly correct and partly incorrect specimen of the character
chosen here and there, and not as an exact copy of any part of the inscription ; indeed, the line in this character which is situated above the
Persian in Ca tain Hoamfs s ecimen, does not now a car 11 on the PP P
column at all. The inscription No. 1, (which is evidently of the same character with
that upon the lat,h at Delhi,) is in many parts illegible, chiefly because the outer surface of the stone has peeled off to the depth of oneeighth or one-fifth of an inch from those parts, caused probably in the first instance by the efl'ect of the hammer and chisel,‘ or other instrument used in engraving the inscription, so as to have either cracked or loosened the general surface to the depth of the letters cut; which surface,although not at the time apparently injured, might have become, in suifering frequent alternations of heat, cold and damp, so loose in
some parts, as at last to peel and fall off in flakes. The natives state, some that the unknown character is Marhatta,
others that it is Punjabi, and that although no one at this place can now read it, a traveller from Bombay took a copy of it some years ago, and said that he could read and decipher the character ; I requested my brother to make inquiries at Benares, and I have also written to Cawnpur, near to which the Mahratta Prince BAJEE RAo is stationed, with a hope of procuring information, but without effect.
The size of the letters of the ancient Sanscrit character No. 2, was about an inch in height and an inch more or less in breadth, and of the unknown character No. I, nearly the same.
One part of the unknown character No. 1 similar in every respect to to that on the Delhi lat,h, is situated above the Persian writing on the left hand side of the drawing No. 1. and consists of but a small portion of the
difl'erent letters engraven on the stone.
wrong reading for M _ Shahryur is the 6th month, and falls in August. The Hijri also, Rabi-usséni 1014, corresponds with the same month. Axnnn died on the 13th of Rabi-u a sni 1014, (= 21 August, 1605;) he inscription therefore must have been cut within a few days of this event ;—the coronation of JEHANGXR did not
take place till Jamddl 2, or two months later.——En.