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figures of Buddha, the Teacher, are usually represented as seated under an umbrella.
“The lower part of the monument has eight projecting faces, each twenty-one feet six inches in width, with intervals of fifteen feet between them. In each of the faces, at a height of twenty-four feet above the ground, there is a semi-circular headed niche, five and a half feet in width, and the same in height. In each of the niches there is a pedestal, one foot in height, and slightly hollowed on the top, to receive the base of a statue; but the statues themselves have long disappeared, and I did not find the fragment of one, in my excavation at the base of the monument. There can be little doubt, however, that all the eight statues represented Buddha, the Preacher, in the usual form, with his hands raised before his breast, and the thumb and forefinger of the right hand placed on the little finger of the left hand, for the purpose of enforcing his argument. Judging by the dimensions of the niches, the statues must have been of life-size.
“ From the level of the base of the niches, the eight projecting faces lessen in width to five feet at the top; but the diminution is not uniform, as it begins gradually at first, and increases as it approaches the top. The outline of the slope may have been, possibly, intended for a curve; but it looks much more like three sides of a large polygon. Around the niches, seven of the faces are more or less richly decorated with a profusion of flowering foliage. The carving on some of the faces has been completed; but, on others, it is little more than half finished, while the south face is altogether plain. On
the unfinished faces, portions of the unexecuted ornamentation may be seen traced in outline by the chisel, which proves, that, in ancient times, the Hindus followed the same practice as at present, of adding the carving after the wall was built. . “On the western face, the same ornamentation of flowing foliage is continued below the niche; and, in the midst of it, there is a small plain tablet, which can only have been intended for a very short inscription, such, perhaps, as the name of the building. A triple band of ornament, nearly nine feet in depth below the niches, encircles all the rest of the building, both faces and re
The middle band, which is the broadest, is formed entirely of various geometrical figures, the main lines being deeply cut, and the intervening spaces being filled with various ornaments. On some of the faces, where the spaces between the deeply-cut lines of the ruling figures are left plain, I infer that the work is unfinished. The upper band of ornamentation, which is the narrowest, is, generally, a scroll of the lotus plant, with leaves and buds only; while the lower band, which is also a lotus scroll, contains the full-blown flowers, as well as the buds. The lotus flower is represented full to the front, on all the sides except the south south-west, where it is shown in a side view with the Chakwa or Brahmani goose seated upon it. This, indeed, is the only side on which any animal representations are given; which is the more remarkable, as it is one of the recesses, and not one of the projecting faces. In the middle of the ornament there is a human figure seated on a lotus flower, and holding two branches of the lotus in his
hands. On each side of him there are three lotus flowers, of which the four nearer ones support pairs of Brahmani geese; while the two farther ones carry only single birds. Over the nearest pair of geese, on the right hand of the figure, there is a frog. The attitudes of the birds are all good; and even that of the human figure is easy, although formal. The lotus scroll, with
its flowing lines of graceful stalk, mingled with tender buds, and full blown flowers, and delicate leaves, is very rich and very beautiful. Below the ornamental borders there are three plain projecting bands.
“ The breadth of one projecting face and of one recess is thirty-six feet six inches, which, multiplied by
eight, give two hundred and ninety-two feet as the circumference, and a trifle less than ninety-three feet as the diameter.
Photographed by D. Tresham, Esq.
CARVING ON THE BUDDHIST TOWER, SÁRNÁTH.—No. II. “Near the top of the north-west face there are four projecting stones, placed like steps—that is, they are not immediately over each other; and above them there is a fifth stone, which is pierced with a round hole for the reception of a post, or, more probably, of a flag-staff. The lowest of these stones can only be reached by a ladder; but ladders must have been always available, if, as I suppose, it was customary, on stated occasions, to fix flags and streamers on various parts of the building, in the same manner as is now done in the Buddhist countries of Burmah and Ladâk.
“On the 18th January, 1835, my scaffolding was completed, and I stood on the top of the great tower. On cutting the long grass, I found two iron spikes, each eight inches long, and shaped like the head of a lance. On the following day I removed the ruined brick pinnacle, and began sinking a shaft or well, about five feet in diameter. At three feet from the top, I found a rough stone, twenty-four inches by fifteen inches by seven inches; and, on the 25th January, at a depth of ten and a half feet, I found an inscribed slab, twentyeight inches and three-quarters long, thirteen inches broad, and four inches and three-quarters thick, which is now in the Museum of the Bengal Asiatic Society. The inscription consists of the usual Buddhist formula or profession of faith, beginning with the words, “ Ye Dharmmå hetu prabhavá,” etc., of which translations have been given by Mill, Hodgson, Wilson, and Burnouf. The following is Hodgson's translation, which has received the approval of Burnouf :—“Of all things proceeding from cause, their causes hath the Tathagata (Buddha) explained. The Great Sramana (Buddha) hath likewise explained the causes of the cessation of existence.” The letters of this inscription, which are all beautifully cut, appear to me to be of a somewhat earlier date than the Tibetan alphabet, which is known to have been obtained from India in the middle of the seventh century. I would, therefore, assign the inscription, and, consequently, the completion of the monument, to the sixth century.
“On the 22nd January I began to excavate a horizontal gallery on the level of the top of the stone-work;