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were seen, broken or whole, the pottery vessels of every day requirement; and the iron nails which connected the cross rafters, still fixed in the larger beams that had escaped complete combustion. Among other bits of iron-work, there remained a well-fashioned ring-bolt, that might pass muster at the present day. Of matters of domestic utility, I must not omit to mention a clay chirágh or lamp, of the pointed wick-holder description, which, though it has retained its position in that form in other parts of India, is now superseded, in local use, by the ordinary small circular saucers of baked clay.” 1
Thus perished Buddhism in India, where it had reigned, as the dominant religious power, for, at least, seven hundred years, and had exerted an influence of gradually diminishing strength during several hundred years more.
Bengal Asiatic Journal for 1854, p 476.
ANCIENT Buddhist Ruins at Bakariya Kuņd-Remains of old Wall
Carved Stones and Ancient Pillars.--Remains of small Buddhist
A STRICT investigation instituted in places where Buddhism was once famous and powerful would, in most cases, bring to light certain relics which it has left behind. New discoveries of Buddhist remains are continually being made in various parts of Northern India, every instance of which is a fresh illustration of our conviction, that Buddhism has left numerous footprints of itself in all places where it eminently flourished. Seeing that it existed in Benares during many centuries, and was the dominant faith professed there,—casting into the shade the elder creed, and asserting proudly its triumph over it,-it is highly interesting to inquire what Buddhist remains are yet traceable in the city, whereby its historical position, as one of the chief seats of Buddhism, may be tested. Strange to say, until very recently, few or no remains, in the city proper, had been discovered; but the reason of this was, I believe, that they had never been carefully sought after. The extensive ruins at Sárnáth, described in the
previous chapter, are, at least, three miles distant from the present city.
Now, while the hope of finding any buildings of the early Buddhist period in Benares might be pronounced too sanguine, yet, on the other hand, he would betray a singular ignorance of the massiveness and durability of Buddhist architecture, who should venture to assert that it was otherwise than exceedingly likely that portions of buildings of the later Buddhist period were still existing, waiting to be discovered. Even as late as the seventh century, A.D., when Hinduism had regained much of its old prestige and influence, there were, as we have already seen, in the city and kingdom of Benares, according to the testimony of Hiouen Thsang, upwards of thirty Buddhist monasteries,—to most or all of which temples were, probably, attached, -and, with them, about three thousand priests and disciples were associated. It cannot be, for an instant, supposed that these monasteries, which were, unquestionably, built of strong material, have all been swept away with the lapse of ages, and have “ left not a wreck behind.” Several of these were, doubtless, situated at Sárnáth and in its immediate neighbourhood. Indeed, the existence of the Sárnáth ruins, which are, mostly, of the later Buddhist period, is a strong argument for believing that portions, more or less considerable, of some, perhaps of most of the remaining edifices, are still discoverable. We must not imagine, that, in any instance, they are existing in their original integrity ; but, on the contrary, that, where they exist at all, they have been appropriated by Hindus and Mohammedans, and, principally, by the latter, for their own purposes; and that, therefore, they have become blended with other buildings, from which they must be disentangled. The use of numerous pillars in the cloisters of Buddhist monasteries, which were frequently of uniform patterns, greatly aids the identification of the remains of this ancient period.
A careful examination of Benares will reveal those portions of the city which contain buildings, or parts of buildings, or sculptured stones, or other objects, of undeniable antiquity. Such ancient remains are, for the most part, I believe, to be found only in the northern division of the city, and among the parrow streets on its eastern border, running parallel with the Ganges, in a narrow band, as far as the Mán-Mandil Observatory.
Under the conviction that Buddhist remains were to be met with in Benares, I commenced' a search for some of them in the course of the year 1863. On the very first day of the search, the ruins at Bakariya Kuņd were discovered, which I shall now proceed to describe.
I would here acknowledge my deep obligations to my friend and fellow-labourer, Charles Horne, Esq., C.S., late Judge of Benares, and now Judge of Mynpoory, N.W.P., a gentleman to whom I am greatly indebted for much valuable information in these researches, and with whom I was associated in the preparation of two papers
"Ancient Remains found in Benares,” which were presented to the Asiatic Society of Bengal, and published in their Journal, and are now, with a few necessary alterations and corrections, introduced into this volume, forming this and the succeeding chapter.
These ruins are situated at the north-west corner of the city, in the Alipore Mahalla, and are visible from the Ráj Ghát road, leading from the cantonments to the Ganges. The path conducting to the tank, or Kund, leaves the main road a short distance to the west of the 420th mile-stone. The tank commonly known as Bakariyá Kund is about three hundred yards distant from this road; and upon the summit of its banks the ruins are, in the main, to be found. In the hot season very little water remains in the Kund; but, during the rains, it contains a considerable body of water. It is about five hundred and fifty feet in length, and two hundred and seventy-five in breadth.
On approaching the tank, you pass along the foot of a high mound, on its northern side, on the top of which lie several blocks of stone. Proceeding to the western bank, you perceive a massive breastwork, formed by large stones, bearing upon them various mason-marks,some of which are similar to those inscribed on the stones at Sárnáth,--and sustaining a solid platform or terrace, which runs by the side of the Kund to a great distance. This terrace is twenty feet above the tank, and supports two others of smaller dimensions, one above the other, each of which is girded by a breastwork of huge stones. The lower terrace is one hundred and thirty feet broad, two hundred and seventy feet long on its western face, and three hundred and thirty on its eastern face, overlooking the tank. It was, originally, held up by the wall of heavy stones just referred to; but this wall is, in many places, much broken down, especially towards the Kund, the great blocks lying in