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can be none regarding the antiquity of much of the material of which they are composed. We may fairly suppose that one or more of the monasteries referred to by Hiouen Thsang, together with the temples attached to them, -as in the case of the monasteries at Sárnáth,—were situated here on the banks of the Kund. Many of the blocks of stone have one or more letters or symbols inscribed upon them, of which I made a collection of seventy. They are, chiefly, of the Gupta period, which is, therefore, in all likelihood, the date of most of the buildings to which they primarily belonged. When looking upon these remains, we cannot fail to recall the time when the ancient edifices, formerly here, were frequented by crowds of priests, monks, and disciples of the Buddhist faith. Then, probably, the tank was flanked, on three sides, by a lofty terrace of stone, while a spacious gbát, or flight of stairs, was on its southern side. Around the edges of this terrace, both southwards and westwards, ran cloisters; and to the east there must have been massive temples, capable of supporting such caps or kalases,-one of them nine feet in diameter,—as have been referred to in this description. It is a matter of much interest to the archäologist, to save from total oblivion these scattered traces of the past, when the Buddhists, who were long since expelled the country, were still famous, if not powerful, and, perhaps, were already engaged in that persistent struggle with the Brahmans which eventually terminated in their own utter extinction in India.
In illustration of these investigations, there were originally submitted to the Bengal Asiatic Society two
plans, one representing this entire locality, and the other, the ground-floor of the Buddhist temple; and, besides, six photographic views, all which were appended, as plates, to the paper as it appeared in their Journal. Of these, one, namely, the representation of the Buddhist temple, has been reproduced in this work. It should be borne in mind that the dome is of Mohammedan construction, and that only the lower portion of the building is of Buddhist origin.
FURTHER Account of Ancient Remains recently discovered in Benares
and its vicinity.- Meaning of the epithets ancient' and 'old' in relation to Benares. — Ancient Remains, No. I., in Raj Ghát ForteAncient Remains, No. II., near Ráj Ghát Fort.-Ancient Remains, No. III., Small Mosque in the Budáon Mahalla.--Ancient Mound or Ridge.—Ancient Remains, No. IV., Tiliya Nala and Maqdam Sahib. -Ancient Remains, No. V., Lát Bhairo,--Ancient Remains, No. VI., Battis Khambha. — Ancient Remains, No. VII., Arhai Kangura Mosque.- Hindu Temple of Kirtti Bisheswar.-Ancient Remains, No. VIII., Chaukhambhá Mosque.—Ancient Remains, No. IX., Aurungzeb's Mosque, near Bishes war Temple.- Ancient Remains, No. X., Ad-Bishes war Temple and neighbouring Mosque.—Ancient Remains, No. XI., Stone Pillar standing in Sone ka Tálko.—Note.
FULLY satisfied, as we believe most persons are, that Benares is a city of extreme antiquity, we have endeavoured to ascertain to what portion's this epithet will apply. And by the term 'old' is meant, in this chapter, not a few hundred years merely, although a city six or seven hundred years old is generally regarded as an ancient city. But it is necessary to remember that Benares lays claim to an antiquity of several thousands of years; and, undoubtedly, it is referred to in various ancient Hindu and Buddhist writings. Consequently, we are not satisfied with discovering, in it, edifices erected half a dozen centuries ago, any more than we should feel satisfied with discovering edifices of a
similar date in Jerusalem, or Damascus, or Rome. The terms "ancient' and 'old' will, therefore, not .be applied here to buildings erected five hundred or even eight hundred years ago, but to those of an anterior
That wonderful mass of lofty houses, separated by narrow lanes, and packed together in such wild disorder,--appearing, in fact, like one immense structure of gigantic proportions,—which extends along the banks of the Ganges for more than two miles, having a circumference of at least six, and which is regarded, by all visitors of Benares, with great curiosity, although built, for the most part, of solid stone, and presenting, largely, the aspect of hoary age, has no right to the epithet of 'ancient. Some of the buildings of which : it is composed have been standing fully five hundred years; yet there are very few indeed, if any, that have not been erected since the commencement of the Mohammedan period in India. Nevertheless, speaking generally, this, together with a part of the northern boundary of Benares, is the oldest portion of the present city; while the vast expanse of buildings lying south and west beyond it, and occupying four or five times its area, is, chiefly, of recent date.
The question which we have attempted to investigate is, what is there in Benares more ancient than, say, the epoch of Mahmúd of sazní, who invaded India in the year of our Lord 1001? Are there any remains of the preceding Hindu, Jaina, and Buddhist periods ? And is there any remnant whatever of the first Hindu period, before the rise of Buddhism,-perhaps in the sixth cen. .
tury B.C., or even before that religion became paramount, in the reign of Asoka, B.C. 250 ?
When, after diligent search and careful scrutiny, we endeavoured to find proofs of the existence of Benares during these earlier periods, we soon ascertained that they were scanty, and, with a few exceptions, unimposing. The débris of ancient Benares, as was stated at the commencement of this work, may be traced in the multitude of carved stones, portions of capitals, shafts, bases, friezes, architraves, and so forth, inserted into modern buildings in the northern and north-western quarters of the city. These fragments exhibit a great diversity of style, from the severely simple to the exceedingly ornate, and are, in themselves, a sufficient proof of the former existence of buildings of styles of architecture corresponding to themselves, yet differing, in many important respects, from the styles of modern Hindu and Mohammedan structures, and coinciding with those of ancient temples and monasteries of the Gupta and pre-Gupta periods, the ruins of which still exist in various parts of India. Were these the only remains found in Benares, they could not fail to awaken much curious interest in the mind of the antiquarian ; and he would, naturally, carry on a process of induction in regard to them, and would say to him. self: “Here are the stones; but where are the buildings ? What was their form? What their age ?” And, with the help of the ruins of other places, he would be able to answer most of these questions satisfactorily, and would, to a large extent, describe the buildings to which the stones at one time belonged, and also determine the