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of antiquity. One addition to its elucidation chance has enabled me
The late Mr. S. V. Srnor picked up at auction some original sketches of architectural monuments in central India, signed “ Ronaucx, 1819." Most of them are without any memorandum to explain to what monuments they belong: but one of them fortunately bears the title “Plan of the Jain or Buddhaic Building at Sanchee Kanikhéra, on the west bank of the Betwa near Bbilsa, called ‘ Sas buhoo Ica Bittha.' ” From the hand writing I should judge that the sketch must have been prepared by the late Dr. YELD, apparently for the guidance of some person about to visit the spot, probably Captain FELL. I have introduced the plan and elevation in Plate XXXI. as an appropriate accompaniment to the preceding plates. Some of the marginal notes are worthy of being transcribed :
“ In visiting this place, remember also to inquire for some buildings at a place called J hinneah kapuhar, three miles to the north-west of Oodygiri.” “ There is also an unfinished figure of a horse and a recumbent figure on an adjacent hill in the direction marked M.” “The arrow H points in the direction of Oodygiri, where there is a rock with some curious sculpture, and apparently the quarry whence the stone of the present building was derived.”
“ K points to a temple containing an image of Buddha.
L, to another of a similar nature, 200 yards of.
N, to a smaller temple.
A is the site of a pedestal imbedded in a square basement : near which lie the broken parts of a large image. .
B, B, and B are three images of Buddha within the enclosure.
C is a standing figure, with a smaller figure having curly hair, on his left hand: resting on an elephant on the right.
D is alarge broken pillar, the sum of the pieces exclusive of the capital, forming originally a single stone, measure 31 feet 10 inches.”
Whether or not this sketch was prepared for Captain E. FELL, it agrees precisely with the description published by him in the Calcutta Journal of 11th July, 1819. This account has not appeared in any work of a more permanent nature, nor is it alluded to by Mr. ERSKINE in his Dissertation on the Bauddha monuments of India, in the Bombay Transactions. I shall therefore make no apology for reprinting it from BUcKiNoHAM’s Journal, and if hereafter I am favored with any further drawings of the antiquities in its neighbourhood, they shall be added to the present plates. Captain FELL talks of ‘ numerous inscriptions,’ especially one which gives the date of the erection, in Samval 18, or 40 B. C. This point requires to be confirmed by a facsimile of the document before it can be credited. If it were possible to perforate the struc-‘ ture without injury, some coins might probably be found deposited in the interior which would better serve to determine its antiquity.
Description of an ancient and remarkable Monument, near Bhilsd.
On the table-land of a detached hill, distant from Bhilsri four miles and a half, in a south-westerly direction, is an ancient fabric, of a hemispherical form, built of thin layers of free-stone, in the nature of steps, without any cement, and to all appearance solid ; the outside of which has been faced throughout with a coat of chunam mortar, four inches thick ; most of this still remains in perfect preservation, but in one or two places a small portion has been washed away by the rain.
The monument (for such I shall term it) is strengthened by a buttress of stone masonry, 12 feet high and 7 broad, all around the base, the measured circumference of which is 554 feet. The diameter of the superior surface is 35 feet, the ascent to which is easy by the assistance of the projections of the different layers. Originally it was crowned with a cupola, supported by pillars; but the cupola is now split, and lies, as well as the pillars, on the top. A line drawn from any given point of the base to the centre of the crown measures 112 feet.
The weight, together with the age and extent of the structure, has forced a portion of the buttress to jut out and give way, by which I had a fair opportunity of fully determining that no cement has been used in the interior of it.
From the different buildings near it having fallen into decay, whilst this stands entire, together with its immense extent, which would rather aid dilapidation than otherwise, I am induced strongly to suspect (enforced by the general impression the structure made upon me whilst examining it, and an aperture appearing in every representation of the monument, sculptured in the ditlerent compartments of the gate-ways, and even on detached stones), that it is supported by internal pillars. If so, apartments undoubtedly exist within, highly interesting, and worthy of being further examined. Indeed when you view so large a mass of stone, placed in such neat order, without any cement in the interstices, it must forcibly strike the most superficial observer, that inner supporters were requisite to its completion, and were undoubtedly used in the construction.
This point could not be ascertained without much time and labour, and would require also, I presume, the acquiescence and countenance of the Nawéb of Bhopél, in whose territory it is situated ; but I conceive that no hesitation would be made to this on the score of its creating jealousies, as the monument is of a nature which prevents the orthodox Hindu from visiting it, and the Jainas, as well as every other class, have become totally indiiferent regarding it.
As dilapidation has commenced, the ravages of a few years, most probably, will cause the whole to fall into a mass of ruin, destroying the inner apartments and images, if any, and thus for ever depriving the curious from knowing what so wonderful a monument of human genius contains.
It is surrounded by a colonnade of granite pillars, 10 feet high, distant from each other a foot and a half, connected by parallels also of granite, of an elliptical form, united by tenons, leaving an area of 12 feet clear of the base of the monument, to Which it strictly conforms.
At the east, west, and north points, are gate-ways, plain parallelograms, the extreme height of each of which is 40 feet, and the breadth within the perpendiculars, 9 fact. They all measure 20 feet to the lintels, which are slightly curved and sculptured, with circlets of flowers. In the northern gate-way, which is the principal one, the lintcl rests on elephants, four feet in height, richly caparisoned, borne by a projecting cornice, 16 feet from the case. The perpendiculars are divided into four unequal compartments ; in the lower are statues of door-wardens, in long loose drapery, the left hand of each figure resting on the left side, and the right grasping a battle-axe ; their head dresses are not unlike the matted-hair tiara of Hindu devotees, with the top-knot thrown forward.
The other divisions are filled as follows : In one is n groupe of females, some sitting, others kneeling in homage to a tree and altar, their hands uplifted, and faces towards the tree, their countenances bearing marks of extreme devotional fervour. In another, the principal figure is a male, clothed in a long flowing garment, resembling a surplice, standing with joined hands, and in the act OL adoration to the tree and altar, which throughout the sculpture appear to be the objects of veneration. This male figure is attended by females, some holding umbrellas over his head, others using chowries ; above these, on a level with the top of the tree, are small winged figures, making offerings in censers.
The drapery throughout the groupe is generally, for the females, a long flowing vest, resembling that which we observe in Grecian sculpture ; that of the males, light lower garments from the navel as far as the middle of the thigh, tied with a. knot in front, and hanging down as low as the instep, as in the present Indian mode of dressing. The upper part of the body is naked, without any mark of a. sacerdotal thread ; and, with a very few exceptions, the head dress is a high turban, with plumes.
In another compartment is a representation of the monument, surrounded by figures in groupes, some standing, others sitting cross-legged, others bowing, all with joined hands, and in the act of worship. On the monument, and resting on a. square pedestal, are three layers jutting out beyond each otner, crowned by a lofty umbrella, supported by small winged figures, naked, their hands joined, and heads covered with numerous serpent hoods.
On entering the different gate-ways, is seen a statue of Buddha, as large as life, seated cross-legged on a throne, which is supported by lions couchant; the hack of the image rests against the buttress, and has attendants on both sides using chauris. All of these are much mutilated, and one is removed and thrown across the area.
The perpendiculars of the western gate-way, are also divided into four unequal compartments ; in the lower are statues of door-keepers, one of whom is armed with a mace : his head dress, a helmet, without visor or plumes ; another division is filled with groupes of figures sitting cross-legged, and standing, their hands joined, and all paying high homage to the sacred tree and altar. In another is a small convex body in a boat-, the prow of which is a lion’s head, and the stern the expanded tail of a fish, over which is suspended a long cable. In the boat are three male figures, two of whom are rowing, and the third holding an umbrella over the convex. The vessel is in an open sea, in the midst of a tempest ; near it are figures swimming and endeavouring by seizing piles, &c.to save themselves from sinking. One on the