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rentions Desarene as situated—not in the vicinity of the Ganges, but it a considerable distance from it; and it is probable, therefore, that he refers to an inland country or tract of jungle, lying on the southwest side of Bengal, and called in ancient times, from its constituting to forest cantons,—Dásáranya or Dásáraná.* It seems to have comprised Sumbhulpore (celebrated for its diamonds) Sirgoojia, Ramghur, wd Chota Nagpore, whence come, according to Wilford, the rivers Codia or Koil and Brähmani, the united streams of which form the nor Dosaron of Ptolemy.t. In the Vishnu Purana, the Dosarnas are mentioned as a tribe or nation, and are designated by Professor H. H. Wilson in his translation of that work, “the people of the ten forts souently multiplied to thirty-six, such being the import of Chattooth, which seems to be the site of Dosarana.”: The words rendered: “the ivory of that species called Bósare,” are *** *** Aero-evor Bagaps in the original. Dr. Vincent supposes that they refer to the horn of the Rhinoceros, but it is more probable the Boao is a corrupt compound of Bovs, or Bos, and Armee, (the Hillee name of the buffalo) contracted into Bósare; and that Aéparra des not here signify ivory, but denotes the gigantic or elephantime size of the wild buffalo. Baeare, it may be mentioned, is the name which is given to the wild male buffalo in the eastern part of Bengal. Large bovine animals, as the buffalo and the bison, are frequently compared with the elephant, or have from their huge size, the term elephant applied to them. In Abyssinia, buffaloes are called elephant-bulls, not only from their immense bulk, but also from their naked black skin *mbling that of an elephant. § (Rees's Encyclopedia Art. Bubalus.) Speaking of the Urus (Bos sylvestris) of the Hercynian forest, Caesar *Larks: “these Uri are little inferior to elephants in size, but are bulls in their nature, color, figure.” Marco Polo, in describing the buffaloes of Benzal, also observes: “Oxen are found in Bengal as tall as **ants, but not equal to them in bulk.” The “Bos Indicus,”
Ancient Geography of India. As. Res. Vol. XIV. p. 391. * Wilford. As. Res. Vol. XIV. p. 405.
: ***on's Translation of the Vishnu Purana, page 180.
* Elephants are mentioned under the name of “Luca boves” by Pliny. DeBello Gallico Lib. VI. Chap. XXVIII.
* Marsden's Translation of the Travels of Marco Polo.
which Elian mentions as having horns large enough to contain thre amphorae,” is evidently the Armee or wild buffalo of India, which is remarkable for the immense size of its horms. It is the animal described by modern Naturalists under the name of the Gigantic or Taur-elephant Arnee,t an appellation, which it happens singularly enough is synonymous with Attavra Bagapi, the latter being a compound of Bag and aph. The Taur-elephant Arnee, which is also the quadruped referred to by Marco Polo, was formerly a denizen of the forests of Ramghur, which, together with Chota Nagpore, formed a part of the region of Dasaranya or Dasarana of the Puranas, or the Désarénè of the Periplus. The words, therefore, of the text, h Amrapmon x&pa popovaa Aéparta Tów Aerózerow Begaph translated by Dr. Vincent “Desarene where, the ivory is pro- cured of that species called Bósarè,” should be rendered Desarene where, the elephant-sized animal is procured of that species or rariety called Bósarè. The course or track of sailing after leaving Desaréné, is described as extending in a northerly direction along a line of coast inhabited by various barbarous tribes, one of which styled Kirrhadae (Koasa) is characterized as “a savage race with noses flattened to the face.” The Kirrhadae are regarded by some writers as a tribe of the “mountain and jungle tracts of Orissa,”f but the well marked Indo-Chinese feature, here ascribed to them, clearly indicates that they are a people of Eastern India. Dr. Vincent considers them, as the Mughs of Arracan, but it is more probable, that they are the Kiratas of the Puranas, and, that like Désaréne, their country is here erroneously described by Arrian, as bordering on the sea. In the Puranas they are designated “foresters;” “barbarians;” “mountaineers” $—appellations which are understood as referring to the inhabitants of the mountains of Eastern India. ... In the Brahmakanda Purana they are described as “shepherds living on the hills to the north-east of Bengal.” The Kiratas, who possess a * Cuvier's “Theory of the Earth,” page 69. t “The Gigantic or Taur-elephant Arnee which appears to be a rare species, only s found single or in small families in the upper eastern provinces and forests at the foot of the Himalaya, though formerly met in the Ramghur districts.” (Cuvier's Animal kingdom by Griffith's and others. Vol. IV. p. 389.) # Murray's Ency. Geograh. Part I. Book I. Chap. II. Sec. VII.
§ Wilson's Translation of the Vishnu Purana, pages 175 and 190. | Wilford's Essay on the Sacred Isles of the West. As. Res. Vol. VIII. p. 38. \ tract of hilly country in the Morung, to the west of Sikhim, and situated between Nepal and Bhotan, appear to be the descendants of the ancient Kiratas. Like almost all the aboriginal hill tribes of Eastern India, the Kiratas have the Mongolian features ascribed to the Kirrhadae: they are described as a brave and warlike race, and are said to have been an independent and a powerful people in former times. One of the ancient dynasties of Rajahs that governed Nepal, belonged to the “Kirrat tribe of Eastern mountaineers.” It comprised twenty-seven princes, the first of whom reigned B. C. 640.* The founders of this cyaasty were probably Hindus, viz., the Kiratas classed by Menu among the tribes who were expelled from the caste of Kshatriyas. That the Kirrhadae of the Sequel are identical with the Kiratas of the Puranas, or Kiratas of the Morung, is further probable from the circumstance of the Bargoosi being associated with them—the latter tribe being the Bhargas mentioned in the Vishnu Puranas, as neighbours of the Kiratas.t Arrian has erred in placing the Aithadae on the coast and on the western side of the Ganges. tolemy, with greater accuracy, has assigned to them an inland position eastward of that river. He describes their country as one of India extra Gangem, situated higher up than, or north-west of a range of mountains called Moeandrus, in the vicinity of which, there was a tribe or people named Pladae, or Besadae. Moeandrus is the Garo range of hills to the east of Sylhet and Mymensing—the posi tion assigned to it by D'Anville; while Kirrhadia, from the relative situation given to it by Ptolemy, may be regarded as the country of the Kiratas in the Morung. The Besadae, like their neighbours the Kirrhada, are described as flat-nosed, broad-faced, of a white colour (that is of a fair complexion when compared with the people of the plains) and of a short stature, which are characteristic features of most of the bill tribes on the eastern frontier of Bengal. The country of the Kirshade, according to Ptolemy, was celebrated for its malabathrum ; and on the supposition that this article is betel, Vincent refers the Kirrhade to Arracan and the country about the mouth of the Megna, where betelnut is extensively cultivated. Malabathrum, however, is to totel, but a species of Cinnamomum albiflorum which abounds in * Prinsep's Genealogical Tables. t Wilson's Translation of the Vishnu Purana, page 190.
the valleys along the base of the mountain ranges from Sylhet to Missouri.” It is said to be of a superior quality in the Morung, and doubtless, it is to this latter locality, which constitutes the country of the Kiratas, that Ptolemy alludes, when he states : “Top 8: The Kopačiar &v # part yiv's goal to Kdaxiotov uaxã8a0pov, viz., that the best malabathrum is produced in the country of the Kirrhadae. The Bargoosi (Bapyvowy) are an ancient hill tribe of Eastern India, called Bhargas in the Vishnu Purana.f The Bhargas and Kiratas are there mentioned as people of the East who were subdued by Bhima. This accords with a tradition current in Nepal and in the Morung, viz., that
Bhimsen the son of Pandu (the Bhima of the Vishnu Purana) had
dominion in that part of India, it being further stated that he was the “king of 1,10,000 hills that extended from the source of the Ganges to the boundary of the Plub, or people of Bhotan.” The Kirats mention
Belkakoth in the Morung, as having been the site of the capital of his
The mention of people “distinguished by the projection of the face
like that of the horse (iTriompoa orww and wakporporarwy) is not a fiction of Arrian's, but an absurdity, which he borrowed from the natives of the country, various fabulous or marvellous tribes of the description alluded to in the text, being mentioned in the Puranas, as inhabiting the mountains of Eastern India. Wilford, in speaking of a people in the vicinity of Bhotan, described by Ctesias as having the head and nails of a dog, remarks: “We read also of tribes with faces like horses in these mountains.”$ He also states that mention is made in the Wara Samhita Purama of a people called “Asvavadana” or horse-faced, and “Purushada” or cannibals. The belief, indeed, in the existence of people of forms or shapes, such as are here mentioned, has been entertained by the natives of India from the earliest times; and to them, doubtless, must be ascribed the origin of the numerous fabulous stories related by ancient authors from Megasthenes downwards, viz., “of men with ears so large that they could wrap themselves up in them, of others
* Buchanan—Royle. + Wilson's Translation of the Vishnu Purana, page 190. : Martin's Eastern India, Vol. 3, p. 38. As. Res. Vol. IX. page 68. § Wilford. As. Res. Vol. IX. p. 68. | Wilford. As. Res. Vol. VIII. p. 338.
with a single eye, without mouths, without noses, with long feet and toes turned backwards, of people only three spans in height.” The existence, however, of cannibals in the hilly countries bordering on the eastern frontier of Bengal is not fabulous, but a fact which is senerally admitted in the present day. It was known to Herodotus upwards of two thousand years ago. Speaking of the natives of India, he remarks: “Some inhabit marshes and live on raw fish which they catch in boats made of reeds divided at the joint, and every joint makes a carve. These Indians have a dress made of rushes which, having moved and cut, they weave together like a mat and wear in the manner of a cuirass.” This account seems to refer to the aboriginal tribes of the low country beyond the Ganges, or the ancient inhabitants of the rarshes of Mymensing and Sylhet. It is stated that to the east of then there are other Indians called Padaei (Tabato) who are cannibals. Tillust describes them as a people of the farther east; and though they have been mentioned by Cellarius as belonging to India intra Ganson, yet it is certain from his testimony and that of Herodotus, as is stated in the work, entitled “Universal History,” that they were situated “to the east of the Ganges and even at a considerable distance from it.” Herodotus, speaking of their customs, observes—“If any man among them be diseased his nearest connexions put him to death, alleging in excuse that sickness wastes and injures his flesh. They pay no regard to his assertions that he is not really ill, but without the smallest compunction deprive him of life. If a woman be ill, her female connéxions treat her in the same manner. The more aged among them are regulari: Ailed and eaten: but to old age there are very few who come, for in case of sickness they put every one to death.”f The practice here detailed is followed in the present day by a tribe of Kookis, who reside fu in the interior of the Tipperah country. An intelligent native, who
* Robertson's Ancient India, p. 34. "The Assamese believe in the existence of a tribe called Barkanas having ears horring down to the waist : the left ear serves as an ample bed to sleep on with *fcient to spare to wrap the body up in.” Wilcox. As. Res. Vol. XVII. p. 456. Appendir, Note II. The same idea is also entertained by many of the natives about Dacca. * “Ultima vicinus Phoebo tenet Arva Padacus.” Lib. IV. Eleg. 1. V. 45. : Rennell's Herodotus, p. 308.