« PreviousContinue »
Art is represented by two contributions. One is Mr. Manuk's lecture tracing the course of Indian painting from the earliest days, and the other by Mr. N. C. Mehta deals with the pictorial motif in ancient Indian literature.
The search for Sanskrit manuscripts is proceeding steadily. The Mithila Pandit is now working in Search for Sans- the district of Bhagalpur. Government krit Manuscripts having given the necessary financial assistance, an Oriya Pandit was appointed in September, and the search for similar manuscripts in Orissa was resumed. He is now working in Dhenkanal. The printing of the first volume (on Dharmasastra) of the eight contemplated volumes of the descriptive catalogue of Mithila Sanskrit MSS. prepared under the supervision of Mr. Jayaswal and Dr. Banerji-Sastri, has been finished and will be published as soon as the Index and Introduction are ready. The cost will be met from the first instalment of Rs. 5,000 given by the Maharajadhiraj of Darbhanga. The publication of a similar descriptive catalogue of the Oriya MSS. cannot be undertaken until funds are available. Two lectures, illustrated by lantern slides, were arranged during the year, in order to bring the members of the Society and the general public together. The first on Glimpses into the Study of Pictorial Art in India by Mr. P. C. Manuk, published in the June issue of the Journal, has already been referred to, and the second, on Antiquities in Mayurbhanj by Rai by Rai Bahadur Ramaprasad Chanda, will be published in the March issue of
As regards the important work which has been undertaken by the Society in connection with the publication of the Buchanan Journals and Reports, it is now possible to state that arrangements have been finally settled which bring the end of this heavy task definitely within sight. During the year, Mr. Oldham's edition of the Shahabad Journal has been completed by the addition of his Index, and the whole is soon to be published by Government in
volume form. I expressed the hope last year that we would be able to obtain the services of an equally competent editor for the third and last of the series of these hitherto unpublished Journals, and it is with special satisfaction that I can now announce that Mr. Oldham himself has consented to continue this work. He has been engaged for some time in editing this Journal, which refers to Buchanan's tour of Bhagalpur, the Santal Parganas, and Monghyr during the cold weather of 1810-11.
Several essential matters have been considered and settled during the year by the Council in connection with the four Bihar volumes of the Buchanan Reports, which are to be published for the first time in full. Government have been good enough to extend the privilege of publication at the Government Press to these volumes also, and have further undertaken to purchase a number of sets of each of the volumes at their published price. I gladly take this opportunity of expressing our appreciation of the assistance which we have received from the authorities of the Press, both in this matter and in the work of printing our own Journal.
The only one of Buchanan's Reports which has ever been published in complete form previously is that on the district of Dinajpur, written in 1808 and brought out in parts between 1831 and 1833 in Calcutta under the supervision of Captain Herbert, succeeded by the illustrious James Prinsep. In preparing the volume containing the Purnea Report for the Press, I have endeavoured to arrange it in a form which will be considerably more attractive to the reader than the Dinajpur edition, and also one which will be equally suitable for the three volumes to follow. Moreover, each of the new volumes will be provided with a much-needed index, and with a reproduction of Buchanan's own map of the corresponding district, improved in a way which I am about to describe.
The whole of the Purnea Report itself is already in type, and extends over more than 600 pages, but the preparation of the index has been unexpectedly delayed. We have found that so many alterations in the district have been caused
by the changes in the course of its rivers, particularly the Kosi, since Buchanan's time, that many of the places mentioned by him cannot be traced in the modern issue of standard survey sheets of the district. For instance, the town of Nathpur, where the Report itself was written in 1811, bas completely disappeared, having been swept away by the Kosi in 1875. It has therefore been considered necessary to await receipt of the new map which has been prepared in England by skilled photographers and cartographers. A copy which has just been received is exhibited at this meeting as specimen of our intentions. It is a collotype reproduction of a photograph of the manuscript map in the India Office Library, enlarged to a scale sufficient to permit conveniently the substitution of nearly all Buchanan's place-names for the figures by which he himself had to indicate them, and subsequently again reduced by photography to a scale slightly smaller than Buchanan's own. The number of place-names indicated in the original map is so great that no fewer than 67 have still to be shown by marginal references. The scale is reduced more than was originally intended, but this is due to the fact that at the time of the survey Purnea included a strip along the Kosi extending almost to the border of Murshedabad, and nearly fifty miles south of its present boundary; and the methods employed are a guarantee that the reproduction is strictly accurate in every detail.
Our thanks are again due to Mr. Oldham, not only for the trouble and care with which he has supervised the preparation of this map, but also for his expert assistance in supplying other material required for the new volumes. During the year we have received full information regarding the Statistical Tables relating to Purnea, as well as Miss Anstey's copy of the missing portion of the Patna- Gaya Report. After the completion of the Purnea volume, which should be ready by the end of this year, it is hoped that the rest can be issued at shorter intervals, though this may have to depend to some extent on the reception accorded to the first volume.
II-Notes from the Madala Panji-[Muhammadan Conquest of Orissa]
By Rai Bahadur Ramaprasad Chanda, B.A., F. A. S. B. THE word madala means drum, and the palm-leaf records of the Temple of Jagannath are so called because they are tied together in the form of big round bundles resembling the Indian drum. Every such madalā or drum-shaped bundle consists of several different pāñjis or manuscripts. These pāñjis differ from the ordinary palm-leaf puthis or manuscripts in arrangement and size. An ordinary palm-leaf manuscript consists of separate leaves held together by a string that passes through a hole in the middle of each leaf, but the pāñji of the Mādalā Pāōji consists of a number of pairs of palm leaves that are not completely separated from each other. These pairs of leaves are tied at one end by a string.
The Madalā Pāñjis include all classes of records relating to the Temple of Jagannath, such as inventories of articles in the stores, duties of different classes of temple servants, routine of ceremonies, copies of orders of the Gajapati Maharajas of Orissa who are the hereditary trustees of the Temple, and the annals of these Maharajas. This last section of the Mādalā Pāñji was first brought to the notice of the students of history by A. Stirling in his "An Account, Geographical, Statistical and Historical of Orissa Proper, or Cuttack", published in the Asiatic Researches, Vol. XV, 1825. Stirling thus describes the annals :
"The chapter of the Mandala Panji or Records preserved in the temple of Jagannath, called the Raj Charitra or 'Annals of the Kings' in the Uria
language, which records are stated to have been commenced upon more than six centuries back, and to have since been regularly kept up." Pp. 94-95.
Stirling embodied a summary of the annals in the historical section of his essay. A more detailed summary in Bengali verse was published by Bhabani Charan Bandyopadhyaya in bis Purushottama Chandrika in the Śaka year 1766 (a.d. 1844). Hunter based bis account of the Kings of Orissa on Bhabani Charan's work. Monmohun Chakravarti in his Notes on the Language and Literature of Orissa1 and other papers has made considerable use of the original manuscripts.
But as the text of the anuals included in the Mādalā Pāñji (henceforward named as the l'uri annals) has not yet been published, in October last (1926) I went to Puri to secure the original manuscripts. The Madalā Pāñjis are preserved by two officers of the Temple of Jagannath, the Deul Karan or the clerk of the temple, and the Tadhau Karan, or the keeper of the jewellery of the temple. Under the instruction of Raja Rama Chandra Deva of Puri, Babu Gauranga Charan Samanta Roy, the present Deul Karan, lent me two manuscripts (marked A and B), and Babu Shyam Sundar Patnayak, the present Tadhau Karan, lent me three manuscripts (marked C, D and E). These manuscripts are written or rather scratched on palm leaves in an archaic form of Oriya character and the language is colloquial Oriya. With my pupil, Babu Paramananda Acharya, B.Sc., I am now engaged in collating the manuscripts. These notes are intended to serve as a preliminary report on them.
4. This manuscript consists in all of 25 pairs of palm leaves. The first 22 pairs form a unit. It is entitled
Rajāmānanka rāya bhoga kāla
"The annals (lit. reigns) of kings."
It begins with a list of kings of the Satya Yuga and ends with the 8th Anka (A.D. 1742) of Rājā Virakesari Deva. The