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Jain Temple and Reservoir.
By itself, the Jain temple is not a little curious object for sight-seeing. It crowns the hill only some 800 feet below the highest summit.
The site is on the top of a detached peak protected on three sides by protruding masses of rock thrown out from the hill. Parisnath must have had a fine poetic taste to pitch upon this spot for a romantic seclusion, and an undisturbed communion with the heavens. He was born in populous Benares, and he died here upon this lonely mountain-top. The pilgrims, climbing to see the last scene of his life and labours, are shown his foot-prints, marking the spot where he obtained his nirran. The footprints are quite Brobdignagian,—from which not Gulliver only, but any man might be in imminent danger of being trodden to death. The space for half a mile in circumference is cleared of all forest, and covered with temples and platforms of masonry. There is a reservoir of water, without which the residence of the priests and monks would have been quite out of the question. This reservoir is an artificial excavation, and a proof that Buddhists could as well “call forth waters from the barren rock.' The few human beings who live here isolated from all mankind are amply compensated by that fine health which is owed to a pure atmosphere. An intercourse, like a still under-current, passes throughout the year with the outside world, and supplies the religieuses perched above the smoke and stir' of this world with many of the dainties of life. The temple is about 100 years old. The reservoir must be of anterior date-probably of the age of Parisnath himself.
The season of pilgrimage is in March, when a great mela is held in the depths of this wilderness. Crowds of pilgrims, sometimes numbering 100,000 persons, then resort hither from distant parts of the Peninsula, and their annual offerings accumulate a large wealth at the shrine. The route from the north, lying through dry beds of torrents, and amid gloomy glens over-arched with foliage, is less steep and precipitous, and has been preferred from remote times. Immediately at the foot of the hill is a forest-clearance, which forms the encamping ground of the pilgrims. This spot is called Modoobun. Here also are some grand temples, in the principal of which is a black image of Parisnath. Over the god, a cobra spreads out its seven expanded heads as a canopy. There are other deities–Khetropal, which may be identified with the Nirsingha of the Brahminsand Chukreswari and Pudmabatti, with Doorga and Luchmee. A large aged banyan—a sacred tree with the Jains-is also an interesting object. The principal temple has been built by Juggut Sett-the famous Jain banker at Moorshedabad, of great wealth and influence in the days of Clive.
From all yesterday we have been accomplishing our journey with horses, each of which might furnish a subject for comment. How audacious the dawk-companies are to run such horses within ken and under the very cognisance of Parisnath. Lucky is it for them, that his godship never opens his eyes to their doings. *
* Non-cruelty to animals is the grand doctrine both of the Buddhists and Jains. In a remarkable sunnud or document bearing the
Doomree,-a rugged Country.
Doomree is situated in a valley shut in by lofty rocks. The spot is rich in natural beauties. The country hereabouts is wilder and more rugged than any we have yet seen. It is one continued series of hills and dales, rocks and ravines, and crags and caverns-agitated and torn all over, as if nature had been under a mighty convulsion. Here and there, the road passes over wide-yawning ravines, through which during the rains sweep down headlong torrents to form the far-off rivers. Detached boulders lie strewn in all directions, and woods of a dark imbrowned hue cover every inch of the land—forming those abodes of everlasting shade which are scarcely penetrated by the sun. In the distance rise monstrous masses that nature has piled one upon another in every mode of shapeless desolation. The table-land has reached here its highest elevation. This labyrinth of hills and jungles is not without its own attractions. The sublime and the awful largely enter into the ingredients of its character. But the sublime and the awful at last tire by their unbroken monotony. One misses the charm of a variegated landscape-the 'cottage peeping through the trees'—the 'waving cornfields '—the 'lowing herds '—the 'whistling ploughboy'-all, in short, to awaken interest or sympathy. The scene, no doubt, has its grandeur and magni ce bonâ fide seal of Akber, which has recently come to light, the name under which Parisnath was known in that emperor's age appears to have been Somed Sekhur. This whole hill, together with others in Behar and Guzerat, was granted to and bestowed upon Heer Bijoy Soor Acharya, the then pontiff of the Setamburry Jain sect, by Akber. They were given in perpetuity; and there is an especial clause prohibiting the killing of animals either on, below, or about the hills.
-but it is a solitary grandeur, and a dread magnificence.'
The hills always have a rich treat in store in a good first-view—when they break upon one for the first time in all their unrivalled sublimity. There they stand, ever the same as when the eyes of the first man permitted to have a sight of them gazed upon their majestic heights, defying winds and storms, and even old Time himself. But gradually they take off the edge of the appetite, till at last we feel to have supped full on horrors' and hills.
To this day, as some thirty years ago, when Jacquemont travelled through these regions, “there is scarcely to be observed a house in a day's journey. The wild tract is not fit for the abode of man. Not even the poor Santhal thinks of rearing a hut in these rocky solitudes. Particular spots remain perhaps in the same state as on the day of creation. Ages have rolled away, and yet the steps of man have not trod upon them, nor the stroke of the spade hath changed a single item in their features.
No doubt that, in the abundance of vegetation all around us, there are thousands of shrubs and trees, the use of which is yet unknown to man. How is a modern botanist at a loss to reconcile with old Moses' account all this vegetation, the seeds of which alone would have freighted Noah's whole ark. Near the foot of the hills was a solitary man cutting away wood for fuel. He has nearly filled up a cart-load. It has cost him only his labour, and he shall go to the next bazar to sell the A Tiger, and a Bear.
wood for the necessaries of life. Of the waste-lands spreading on all sides, much is now suffered to be common property by use, if not by right. No bunkur revenue is derived from them yet. The proprietors, therefore, connive at the trespasses of cattle browzing, or cutting wood, or hunting for birds or honey-combs on the lands, the value of which they would fain see to have been increased by such trespasses.
Though the bears and tigers formerly infesting these regions have greatly diminished, still the traveller is not without apprehensions of their turning up in his path. Not many years ago, a number of passengers were coming down the road after dark. There was a Hindoostanee, who happened to go ahead of the company by a few steps, carrying slung across his shoulders a lotah fastened to his club. A tiger, lurking near the road, suddenly sprang upon and ran off with him to the woods. It was vain to have attempted a rescue in the dark night; and the poor Hindoostanee was carried away-the clink of his brass-pot being distinctly heard, as he was dragged to the bush over the rugged ground.
Only last year, an up-country gentleman fell in with a bear. It was a hot day, and the animal had been tempted from his den by the outside cool air of the evening. The brute lay straight across the road. Luckily it was not quite dark, and Bruin could be distinctly seen stretched out in his hideous length, from some fifty or sixty yards off. The horse shied, and would not move forward a step. The coachman began to blow hard on his horn. But Bruin cared not to obstruct the public