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of the "eight divine towers ;” all of them having reference to certain leading events in the life of Buddha. It might be difficult to point decidedly to any further agreement in the two narratives ; although I am inclined to the belief, that “the temple of the Deer Park,” referred to in such a special manner by Fa Hian, was the Vihára, or temple-monastery, so particularly described and so prominently distinguished by Hiouen Thsang.
The mystery connected with these ruins, united with the indisputable fact that Buddhism once reigned paramount in India, and that Benares was long one of its principal seats, has excited the curiosity of multitudes of persons who have burned with desire to know the secrets which, it was supposed, were enshrined within them. It is no wonder, therefore, that the excavations which have been carried on at Sárnáth, at various times, have been viewed with great interest by the educated portion of Europeans in India. It is to be regretted that their superintendence has occasionally fallen into the hands of inexperienced persons — inexperienced, I mean, so far as the ability to decipher inscriptions and intelligently describe what has been from time to time discovered is concerned. The most extensive excavations which have been made were effected under the personal superintendence of MajorGeneral Cunningham and Major Kittoe, who dug out of the ruins an immense number of statues, bassreliefs, and other curious objects. The former alone, in 1835, found about a hundred statues and bass-reliefs, all which worth preserving were sent to the
Museum of the Asiatic Society in Calcutta. Mr. E. Thomas (late Judge of Benares), and Dr. F. Hall, also, following in the track of these great explorers, both made interesting discoveries. A considerable number of the Sárnáth relics have been deposited in the Government College of Benares, and are found both in the Museum and in the College grounds.
The ruins at Sárnáth consist of two towers, -separated by a distance of about half a mile or thereabouts,and of the walls and foundations of buildings which, for many years, remained covered over with earth, but have been lately exhumed. Moreover, there is a vast amount of broken bricks lying thickly scattered over the plain, some of which are grooved and carved, while all are hard and well-seasoned. Here and there, too, a statue, more or less mutilated, is to be seen. Near a stream which flows to the north of the plain, is a large stone figure, the base of which is imbedded in the soil. This may have been a representation of Buddha; but it is now worshipped by the Hindus, who profess to derive great benefit from their homage to it. The figure is so mutilated, that it is difficult to say what it was originally.
The account given of the great tower by Major-General Cunningham, in his Archäological Report, printed in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (vol. xxxii.), is so elaborate and exhaustive, and, withal, so interesting, that, although lengthy, I give the extract almost entire. He
says: “The Buddhist Stupa called Dhamek is a solid round tower, ninety-three feet in diameter at base, and one hundred and ten feet in
height above the surrounding ruins, but one hundred and twenty-eight feet above the general level of the country. The foundation or basement, which is made of very large bricks, has a depth of twenty-eight feet below the level of the ruins, but is sunk only ten feet below the surface of the country. The lower part of the tower, to a height of forty-three feet, is built entirely of stone from one of the Chunar quarries; and, with the exception of the upper five courses, the whole of this part of the building is a solid mass of stone; and each stone, even in the very heart of the mass, is secured to its neighbours by iron cramps. The upper part of the tower is built entirely of large bricks; but, as the outer facing has long ago disappeared, there is nothing now left to show whether it was formerly cased with stone, or only plastered over, and coloured to imitate the stone-work of the lower portion. I infer, however, that it was plastered; because the existing stonework terminates with the same course all round the building, a length of two hundred and ninety-two feet. Had the upper part been cased with stone, it is scarcely possible that the whole should have disappeared so completely that not even a single block out of so many thousands should not remain in its original position. In one part I observed some projecting bricks, which appeared very like the remains of a moulding at the base of the dome. On the top I found a small brick cap, eight feet in diameter and only four feet high. From its size, I infer that this was the ruin of the base of a small pinnacle, about ten feet square, which, most probably, once supported a stone umbrella. I infer this, because the