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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 recesses. 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
Photographed by D. Tresham, Esq?
CARVING ON THE BUDDHIST TOWER, SARNATlL-No. I.
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
“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 build
ing, in the same manner as is now done in the Buddhist countries of Burmah and Ladak.
“ 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 Dharmma". izetu prabhava‘,” 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 Tatluigata (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; and, on the 14th of February, at a distance of forty-four feet, the gallery joined the shaft, which had been sunk from above. As I now found that the upper course of stone was only a facing, I sank the gallery itself down to the level of the stone-work, and continued it right through to the opposite side. I thus discovered, that the mass of the inner stone-work was only thirty-three feet in height, while the outer stone-work was fortythree feet. In the middle, however, there was a pillar of stone-work, rising six feet higher than the inner mass. This was, perhaps, used as a point from which to describe the circle with accuracy. Small galleries were also made to reach the tops of the east and west faces; but nothing was discovered by these works.
“ The labour of sinking the shaft through the solid stone-work was very great, as the stones, which were large (from two to three feet in length, eighteen inches broad, and twelve inches thick), were all secured to each other by iron cramps. Each stone had, usually, eight cramps, four above, and as many below, all of which had to be cut out before it could be moved. I, therefore, sent to Chunar for regular quarry-men, to quarry out the stones; and the work occupied them for several months. At length, at a depth of one hundred and ten feet from the top of the monument, the stone gave place to brick-work, made of very large bricks» Through this the shaft was continued for a further depth of twenty-eight feet, when I reached the plain soil beneath the foundation. Lastly, a gallery was run right through the brick-work of the foundation, immediately below the stone-work, but without yielding any result.”