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ON ANCIENT INDIA.
now twelve miles from it; but such deviations of rivers from their original course are of frequent occurrence.* Rennell, from the authority of Dow, says, that about 730 years before Christ, it was the capital of Bengal; and, as it appears to have been situated in the dominions of the prince called by the Greeks Sandrocotus, who had usurped the government, it is possible that he may have removed his residence from Gour to Palibothra; or, it is possible
that the seat of government may have been changed by his predecessors for reasons with which we are unacquainted. Gour was in some degree restored by Akber, in A.D. 1575, but is now in ruins." In taking the extent of these at the most moderate calculation," says Rennell, "it is not less than fifteen miles in length along the old bank of the Ganges, and from two to three in
* "However, a small stream that communicates with the Ganges now runs by its west side, and is navigable during the rainy season. On the east side it has the Mahanada river, which is always navigable, and communicates with the Ganges."-Rennell.
breadth. Several villages stand on part of its site; the remainder is either covered with thick forests, the habitations of tigers and other beasts of prey; or become arable land, whose soil is chiefly composed of brick-dust." We are told by Ferishta that it was deserted on account of the general unhealthiness of its air, which, perhaps, may have been occasioned by the change of the course of the river; but Rennell says that the present inhabitants informed him that it had been deserted during a pestilence, and had not again been peopled.*
three pla HAY LApanels, have ... been of H
* « The principal ruins now to be seen, are a mosque lined with black marble, elaborately wrought; and two gates of the citadel, which are strikingly grand and lofty. These fabrics, and some few others, appear to owe their duration to the nature of their materials, which are less marketable, and more difficult to separate, than those of the ordinary brick buildings, which have been, and continue to be, an article of merchandize; and are transported to Moorshedabad, Mauldah, and other places, for the purpose of building. These bricks are of the most solid texture of any I ever saw; and have preserved the sharpness of their edges, and smoothness of their surfaces, through a series of ages.
Dear the posed to i.. those parts above me. Jones, in spe
ON ANCIENT INDIA.
It is not, indeed, impossible that all the three places, Gour, Canoge, and Palibothra, may have been occasionally, or at different periods, used as capitals of the Prasii, as we have known both Agra and Dehly to have been of Hindustan during the last two centuries. But Ayodhya, which was situated near the present site of Fyzabad, is supposed to have been the chief city of all those parts of India, before of India, before any of the above mentioned places. Sir William Jones, in speaking of Audh, or Ayodhya,
The situation of Gour was highly convenient for the capital of Bengal and Bahar, as united under one government, being nearly centrical with respect to the populous parts of those provinces, and near the junction of the principal rivers that compose that extraordinary inland navigation, for which those provinces are famed; and, moreover, secured by the Ganges and other rivers, on the only quarter from which Bengal has any cause for apprehension""-Rennell.
The mosque was probably raised by Akber, the other buildings may have been of much more ancient date. We find in Stewart's account of Bengal, that Gour was the capital of a Mohammedan dynasty two centuries before Akber.
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says, that according to the reports of the
Though Pythagoras, it is said, had visit-
* Asiat. Res. vol. i. p. 259.
but had whose tem of that r. Indian contro the Indes, a tribute from Geth Satray?
The extent given to this city in the Ayeen Akbery, is fabulous: but it is there said, (and it probably may be true) that it was the largest city in Hindustan, and teemed one of the most sacred places of antic the Tereetah Joug it was the resid
chund, who enjoyed the t
we are to b
tasper wi ladus in Slexander,
explore the figuous to i Nearchos
• The fith
ON ANCIENT INDIA.
Indian provinces to the west of the Indus; but had also obliged some of the princes, whose territories lay along the eastern side of that river, to pay them tribute. The Indian conquered provinces on the west of the Indus, and the power of collecting the tribute from the others, formed the twentieth Satrapy of the Persian Empire. And we are told by Herodotus that Darius Hystaspes,* who, it appears, had crossed the Indus in person about 180 years before Alexander, sent Scylax, of Caryanda, to explore the Indus and the countries contiguous to it, as Alexander afterwards sent Nearchus.+
* The fifth sovereign of the Kyanian Dynasty of Persia.
+ Mr. Maurice, in his Indian Antiquities, announces the opinion that Darius and Zoroaster had both visited India, secretly. We shall in substance quote the passage:-"The principal fire temple and usual place of residence of Zoroaster, and of his royal protector Darius Hystaspes, was at Balkh, the capital of Bactria. Stationed so near the country of the Brachmans, this bold and judicious reformer would hardly fail of visiting them. In reality we are told, by one of the later
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