« السابقةمتابعة »
had been employed by the late Mr. Scott, Governor General's Agent in Assam, to explore some of the countries in the vicinity of that valley, lately assured me that he and his party once met a tribe of Kookis, who made it a practice to kill the sick and aged among them, and to eat their flesh. He mentioned that he had occular demonstration of the fact, and that he ascertained it was the practice among them, to allow neither the aged to die from natural decay, nor the young or old to be cut off by disease, but to anticipate this result by slaying them, and then to eat their bodies. They believed that by so doing, they prevented the transmigration of the soul of the deceased into the body of an inferior animal, and that they thus retained it among them. The Battas of Sumatra, and the tribe of Gonds called Binderwurs,* near the source of the Nerbuddah, are cannibals like the Kookis here mentioned. They kill and eat the sick and the aged among them. Dr. Leyden considers the former as the Padæi of Herodotus, but it is more probable that the latter were the cannibals of the Tipperah hills. Besides the Kookis of the Tipperah and Chittagong hills, there are other tribes called Abor and Tikleya Nagas on the northern part of Assam, who are mentioned by Dr. Buchanan as cannibals. They appear to be the Anthropophagi of Ptolemy, mentioned by him as inhabiting together with the Annibi, &c. a country on the northern side of Serica.
Arrian states, that "after passing these," (viz., the Kirrhadæ, Bargoosi, and other barbarous tribes) "the course turns again to the east, and sailing with the coast on the left and the sea on the right, you arrive at the Ganges." This has been supposed to refer to that part of the bay which extends from Orissa to the eastern mouth of the Ganges; but the tribes, mentioned in the text, cannot possibly be identified with people inhabiting any part of the coast situated between Masulipatam and the Ganges; and the course or track of sailing, which Arrian here describes, must, therefore, be regarded as erroneous. Dêsarênè and the country of the Kirrhadæ and Bargoosi are, not maritime, but inland regions; and it is obvious, therefore, that the line of coast, which is here delineated, is entirely imaginary.
Arrian correctly describes the Ganges as being the largest river in India, and as having an increase and decrease, or a periodical rise and fall, like the Nile. Herodotus alludes to the Ganges, not by name, but *Coleman's Hindu Mythology.
as the river beyond which, the tribes living in marshes and the cannibals called Pàdæi, were situated. Iambulus, the history of whose life and travels is recorded by Diodorus Siculus,* appears to have been the first foreigner who arrived at the mouths of the Ganges. It is not known in what age he lived, but it is probable, that it was subsequent to Alexander's expedition to India. He and his companion after leaving the island (supposed to be Ceylon) where they had resided for seven years, came to the territory of a king of India, through sandy and shallow places of the sea (the mouths of the Ganges), and were there shipwrecked. The companion of Iambulus was drowned, but he himself was cast on shore and carried by the villagers to the king at the city of Palibothra, many days journey distant from the sea. The king, who had a great regard for the Greeks, received him well, and supplied him with the means of enabling him to return to Greece. Strabo, as I have already stated, describes the Ganges as having only one mouth. Ptolemy, however, mentions it as terminating by five branches called Cambusiam, Magnum, Camberichum, Pseudostomum and Antibole, which are enumerated with reference to their relative position as first, second, third, fourth, and fifth-Cambusiam the most westerly branch, being the first, and Antibole the most easterly, the fifth one. Wilford remarks: "Ptolemy's description of the Delta is by no means a bad one, if we reject the longitudes and latitudes as I always do, and adhere solely to his narrative which is plain enough." Accordingly, he identifies the Cambusiam branch with the Balasore river, which, he states, was in former times erroneously supposed to be a branch of the Ganges. The Ostium magnum is regarded as the Hooghly. The Camberichum derives its name from the Cambàdàcca or Cambaric river-the Jumna or Jubuna river which unites with the Ganges and Saraswati at Treveni near Hooghly. The Pseudostomum, or false mouth, was probably so called, because it lay "concealed behind numerous islands," and was "often mistaken for the easternmost branch of the Ganges." Antibole was the most eastern channel of all, and is the Dacca river, or the old Ganges, as its name of Buri-Ganga imports. It seems from the Periplus Marciani Heracleotot to have been the limit or boundary of India extra Gangem, and the point from which measurements and dis* Lib. II. Cap. IV.
+ Geograph. Veter. Script. Gr. Minores. Hudson, Vol. I. p. 28.
tances relating to countries in India were frequently made. Pliny alludes to a large island situated between two branches of the Ganges.. It was called Modogalica or Modogalinga, and is described as constituting the territory of a separate people or nation. According to Wilford, the upper part of the Bay of Bengal was divided into three parts, called in general Calinga, or the sea shore in Sanscrit, from its abounding with creeks. Modo-Galenca or Galinga from the Sanscrit Madhya Calinga, or middle Calinga, comprised the Delta of the Ganges; the country between Cuttack and the western branches of the Ganges being the western Calinga, and Arracan or the country of the Mughs the eastern one (Errata et Addenda As. Res. Vol. IX.). Madukali, supposed to signify Madhas creek, seems rather to be synonymous with Madhya Calinga, or the middle region of creeks, and to be identical, therefore, with the Modogalinga of Pliny. Modukali is situated on the river Borrassia between the Jessore and Furreedpore districts. Satore, which is within a few miles of it, is evidently a place of great antiquity: and, in all probability, it was the site of the capital of the ancient Modogalinga. There are a great many ancient tanks in its vicinity, and large quantities of bricks are still found at a great depth under ground. There is also a very large mosque here, which appears, from its style of architecture, to have been built soon after the Mahomedan conquest of the country.*
The mart, which derived its name from the Ganges, (μmópióv éσiv ὁμώνυμον τῶ ποταμῶ ὁ Γάγγης) appears from the circumstance of the fine Gangetic muslins being mentioned as an export from it, to have been an emporium situated in the vicinity of Dacca, where the finest cotton fabrics in all India have been made from the earliest times. It is likely, that it stood in the neighbourhood of Sonargong, situated about twelve miles to the south-east of the city of Dacca. Sonargong (Suvernagrama) is mentioned in the Sanscrit work called Jatimala,† as one of the countries in which the descendants of certain brahmins from Sacadwipa
*This mosque is perhaps the largest in the southern part of Bengal. It has nine domes supported by as many stone pillars, and its walls are of great thickness. The date of its erection is not known, but it is probable, from its style of architecture resembling that of some of the mosques of Vicramapura and Sonargong, that it was erected in the 13th century.
† See enumeration of Indian classes. As. Res. Vol. V.
settled in early times. A remote antiquity also attaches to it, from its possessing a place called Panchomee Ghaut which, tradition asserts, derived its name from the circumstance of the five sons of Pandu, viz., Yudhisthera, Bhima, Arjunah, Nakula, and Sahadeva, having bathed there on the occasion of the Asocashtami festival, which is held in the month of March. In the historical annals of Ceylon mention is made of Singababoo, who shortly before the death of Buddha, obtained the throne of Bengal, then designated Wango, apparently a corruption of Vanga or Banga (See Knighton's History of Ceylon). The ancient Hindu capital of the kingdom of Banga, or Bengal, was situated (at a later date than that above referred to) in the vicinity of Sonargong, at a place called Vicramapura.* The latter now constitutes a pergunnah, which comprises a considerable tract of country around Feringy-bazar on the western bank of the Issamuty,† formed by the junction of the Dellasery and Luckia rivers. It is said to have been originally an island, and to have derived its name from Rajah Vicramaditya, who is supposed to have resided here for some time. This prince was probably Sriman Hersha Vicramaditya, the ruler of Oojeen, “who, after expelling the Mlèch'chhas and destroying the Sacas, had established his power and influence throughout India." Pravaraséna, a king of Cashmere, who flourished in the second century of the Christian era, is said to have waged war against the kingdoms of the south, and to have defeated the son and successor of Vicramaditya, named Pratapa Sila or Siláditya. He is represented by Bedea ad-din, a Mahomedan historian of Cashmere, as having invaded Bengal; and after subduing Behar Sinh, the ruler of Dacca (Sonargong), he is said to have given the government to Palas Sinh, the son of Siláditya, whom he had conquered.‡ Vicramapura was, at a subsequent period, the place of residence of Adisur and Bullal-sen, whose rule, it is well known, extended over the whole of Bengal. Prior to the time of Adisur, Bengal was under the government of the kings of Magadha, from whose yoke he is said to have delivered it. Banga was the eastern kingdom belonging to his
Vieramapura in Bengal, which is Paundraka" is inscribed on the Kesava Sena Plate found at Edilpore in zilla Backergunge (Vide Jour. of As. Society, No. 73, for January 1838.)
† See Rennell's Map of the environs of Dacca.
*As. Researches, Vol. XV. page 41.
Bullal-sen, who is
dominions, and from it Bengal derived its name.
† See Preface to Bengali Dictionary by Babu Ramcomul Sen.
§ Rennell's Map of the Environs of Dacca.