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mentions Désarênè as situated-not in the vicinity of the Ganges, but at 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 It seems to have comten forest cantons,—Dásáranya or Dásáraná.* prised Sumbhulpore (celebrated for its diamonds) Sirgoojia, Ramghur, and Chota Nagpore, whence come, according to Wilford, the rivers Cocila or Koil and Brahmani, the united streams of which form the river Dosaron of Ptolemy. 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 subsequently multiplied to thirty-six, such being the import of Chattigerh, which seems to be the site of Dosarana."+
The words rendered: "the ivory of that species called Bôsarè," are ἐλέφαντα τὸν λεγόμενον βωσαρῄ in the original. Dr. Vincent supposes that they refer to the horn of the Rhinoceros, but it is more probable that Baph is a corrupt compound of Bous, or Bos, and Arnee, (the Hindee name of the buffalo) contracted into Bôsarè; and that èxépavтa does not here signify ivory, but denotes the gigantic or elephantine 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 resembling that of an elephant.§ (Rees's Encyclopedia Art. Bubalus.) Speaking of the Urus (Bos sylvestris) of the Hercynian forest, Cæsar remarks: "these Uri are little inferior to elephants in size, but are bulls in their nature, color, figure."|| Marco Polo, in describing the buffaloes of Bengal, also observes: “Oxen are found in Bengal as tall as elephants, but not equal to them in bulk." The "Bos Indicus,"
Ancient Geography of India. As. Res. Vol. XIV. p. 391.
+ Walford. As. Res. Vol. XIV. p. 405.
:Wilson's Translation of the Vishnu Purana, page 180.
Elephants are mentioned under the name of "Lucæ boves" by Pliny.
Marsden's Translation of the Travels of Marco Polo.
which Elian mentions as having horns large enough to contain three amphora,* is evidently the Arnee or wild buffalo of India, which is remarkable for the immense size of its horns. It is the animal described by modern Naturalists under the name of the Gigantic or Taur-elephant Arnee,† an appellation, which it happens singularly enough is synonymous with ἐλέφαντα βωσαρή, the latter being a compound of βωσ and αρή. 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 Dêsarênè of the Periplus. words, therefore, of the text, Anσapnvn xúpa pépovσa èλépavтa TÓV λEYÓWEYou Bwo aph translated by Dr. Vincent "Desarene where, the ivory is procured of that species called Bôsarè," should be rendered Desarene where, the elephant-sized animal is procured of that species or variety called Bósarè.
The course or track of sailing after leaving Dêsarêné, is described as extending in a northerly direction along a line of coast inhabited by various barbarous tribes, one of which styled Kirrhadæ (Kıßßadat) is characterized as "a savage race with noses flattened to the face." The Kirrhadæ are regarded by some writers as a tribe of the "mountain and jungle tracts of Orissa," 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 Dêsarênè, 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. +"The Gigantic or Taur-elephant Arnee which appears to be a rare species, only 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 Kirrhadæ : 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 dynasty were probably Hindus, viz., the Kiratas classed by Menu among the tribes who were expelled from the caste of Kshatriyas. That the Kirrhadæ 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.† Arrian has erred in placing the Kirrhade on the coast and on the western side of the Ganges. Ptolemy, 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 Mandrus,—in the vicinity of which, there was a tribe or people named Pladæ, or Besada. Mœandrus 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 Karatas in the Morung. The Besada, like their neighbours the Kirrhada, are described as flat-nosed, broad-faced, of a white colour (that 1s 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 Kirrhada, 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 not betel, but a species of Cinnamomum albiflorum which abounds in * Prinsep's Genealogical Tables.
+ 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: úñèр dè Thν Kißþadíar ἐν ἤ φασι γίνεσθαι τὸ Κάλλιστον μαλὰβαθρον, viz., that the best malabathrum is produced in the country of the Kirrhadæ.
The Bargoosi (Bapyvowv) are an ancient hill tribe of Eastern India, called Bhargas in the Vishnu Purana.+ 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 kingdom.‡
The mention of people "distinguished by the projection of the face like that of the horse (ιππιοπροσώπων and μακροπροσώπων) 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 Vara Sanhita Purana 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
+ 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 generally 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 canoe. These Indians have a dress made of rushes which, having mowed 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 marshes of Mymensing and Sylhet. It is stated that to the east of them there are other Indians called Padæi (πadio) who are cannibals. Tibullust describes them as a people of the farther east; and though they have been mentioned by Cellarius as belonging to India intra Gangem, 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 connexions treat her in the same manner. The more aged among them are regularly killed and eaten : but to old age there are very few who come, for in case of sickness they put every one to death." The practice here detailed is followed in the present day by a tribe of Kookis, who reside far 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 hanging down to the waist: the left ear serves as an ample bed to sleep on with suficient to spare to wrap the body up in." Wilcox. As. Res. Vol. XVII. p. 456. Appendix, Note II. The same idea is also entertained by many of the natives about Dacca.
+ “Ultima viciaus Phoebo tenet Arva Padæus." Lib. IV. Eleg. 1. V. 45.