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Notes on Buddhist Remains near Mgnpoorie.—By C. Horne, Esq.
B. C. 8.
[E«ceived, October 30th, 1866.]
At a distance of from 10 to 25 miles to the south of Mynpoorie extends of line of high Kheras, distant 3 or 4 miles apart.
On each of these, in ancient time, was some large building, but owing to their general transformation, some hundred years since, at a time of anarchy, into square mud forts, traces of these ancient buildings are hard to find.
In my former notes relative to Kerouli, Maloun and Kanemganj, I recorded evident traces of Buddhist buildings of probably tho 3rd or 4th century A. D., but in the mounds recently visited, I have not been so successful.
Leaving Bujaniganj canal station, opposite to which is a village perched on a high mound with its usual jheel around, created by tho excavation of earth to form the said mound which I could not visit, I proceeded to Tukrow (canal station), nearly west for 6} miles. Three miles from there, still going west, I arrived at Bhawanti, a village similar to that just spoken of and probably worthy of a visit— but the sun forbad my examining it, and I pushed on to Kiirhat— which is a mound of great extent, with a very large jheel almost enclosing it.
Here the fort arrangement had been carried out, as shewn in Fig. 1; hut I was fortunate in finding some very ancient solid brick blocks cut into ornamental patterns with a tool. (Fig. 2.) This block was burnt in one piece and was of very fine texture.
Fig. 1. Fig. 2.
The next illustration was a finial corner ornament. (Fig. 3.) The cutting was very sharply done, and I found fragments of many other such bricks.
Fine kunkur blocks are rare here, and stone is quite unknown, hence the use of brick. There was, however, one small column shaft in fine kunkur (Fig. 4) which shewed the trace of a small building, probably early Hindoo.
There were also heaps of fragments of small kinriaros or cherubs, such as are seen around later statues of Buddha, as well as 2 pairs of feet, with one or two round faces with very large ear-rings so that I think that this village would repay a careful search.
From Khurrah to Soj is only 2 or 3 miles. Soj is a mound of vast extent with a very large square mud fort rising 40 feet on its crest, and an immense jheel stretching away from its base. Near the jheel is an arrangement of old kunkur blocks 16' X 10'—being 5 courses 4'—9" in height, with many blocks lying around, amongst which I identified the centre block of a Jain ceiling as per fig. 5 in the margin
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This from its size would indicate a building of small size; but kunkur is a formation which does not readily indicate age.
I also noticed, set up as a sacred post, a kunkur ornament n being a large finial, the same as X_A found at Maloun. A portion of a statue of Buddha, being from the waist to the feet, also occurred, but I was much disappointed at finding so little that was really ancient.
Samon is about 1\ miles west of Soj, on a mound, with a jheel, and is entirely built in the said mound. It is the residence of Kullvan Sing, agent for the Rajah of Mynpoorie, and might repay a visit.
Proceeding still further west, we came to Kishm, on the metalled road frmn Futtyghur to Etawah. Here was one large mound covered with buildings in occupation, and so nearly inaccessible archaeological ly; and a smaller mound from which I was told large square bricks were excavated. I found here a heap of broken Hindoo deities, but not a trace of Buddhist remains.
Near Kuihul I also saw a round mound from which they said large bricks were taken, but neither at Kishm nor at Kurhal did I see an ancient brick either lying about or built into any structure.
The oldest coins I could get were some copper ones of the Delhi kings, but I have no doubt but that Ilindoo punch coins.are sometimes found. This line of country is worth carefully exploring, and as a road from Kurhal to Kishni is in course of construction, others will find it an easier matter than I did.
Notes on the Carvings on the Buddhist Rail-posts at Budh Gayd. By C. Horne, Esq. C. S.
In submitting to the Society the accompanying drawings of the more remarkable of the carvings on the Buddhist rail-posts at Budh Gaya, some from the court-yard of the mahant, but chiefly from the little temple by the tower, I would beg to draw attention to some of them—
Plate, No. IV. Firstly.—Tho boat scone, almost identical with the one figured by Cunningham in the Bhilsa Topes.
Secornlly.—The rest of tho upper portion is of the same sheet, all of them copies, doubtless of Buddhist rails, pillars, and buildings. Here we find the round and pointed arch, but this argues nothing, when we remember that there were imitations of wood work and of thatch and bamboos as in the cave of the rock temples of Barabur close by. *
Thirdly.—The central compartments are curious, but need little remark. At first I took them for astronomical emblems as signs of the zodiac, but I do not think they are.
Fourthly.—The lower ornament is nearly the same in all.
Memo.—Although drawn one over the other—it does not follow that the identical three were upon one and the same rail-post.
Plate No. V.—The figure shewn as No. 2, to the left, is rather unusual. It wants all the refinement of Buddha, and does not, I think, represent him.—There is another such figure let into the wall, as you enter the lower room in the great tower on the right hand, inside the doorway. The fifth sketch puzzled me. It is perhaps intended to represent a good trick. To the extreme left is, what I believe to be, the only remnant yet found in Benares of a Buddhist rail. It is much defaced, and obliterated with dirt and ghee, and stands nearly opposite to the door of the golden temple on the left hand of the street.
The demon face to the extreme left of the centre one much resembles the Sarnath demon face; whilst the cornice is very bold, free, and handsome. The single demon face inside the brick tower, left, above the floor of the highest chamber, must have been built in, when the tower was built, and I should not assign any great age to it.
The portion of the Singhusan or idol shrine drawn nearly to scale, and which shews the holes into which were set the fastenings of tho metal covering, is very curious. It exactly corresponds in style to the whole of the exterior plaistering of the great tower, and in tho event of the arches having been declared to be coeval with the tower, I must amend my former opinion, and would hold that the tower was rebuilt, interiorly arched, and wholly plaistered at or about 500 A. D.— the date of AmaraSinha, when the original Buddhist railing included both the Bo tree and the tower.
In conclusion, I may remark, that although my drawings are very defective, yet the original carvings are very rude, and clearly betoken their eaily execution.