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Budha and Siva temples on the rocks, of which traces only are left ; under a tree are heaped fragments of idols of all ages, amongst them were two small figures of sows with seven sucking pigs on their hind legs; one of these sculptures I have secured for the Museum.
Leaving Manda and proceeding south-east towards Seerghatty for three miles, we reach a place called “Goonerria,” the site of a large town and of a Vihara, the name of which appears from inscriptions to have been formerly “Sri, Gooncherita." There are numerous small Budha and Siva idols collected around a very fine figure of Budha of large size, on the throne of which is the annexed inscription plate. * In the same plate I have given some shorter inscriptions from smaller idols: there has been a fine tank to the north of the town and several Linga temples near it.
One of the inscriptions is written on the lotus leaves of the throne of a Budha; it seems to be what is termed a Muntra, and reads perhaps three ways.
From this place we return to Seerghatty, which is six miles to the south-east, passing on our way a large tank and mound called Kurmaine ; a mile further south of which are two other mounds ; one is
very extensive and elevated, but there is neither name nor tradition to guide us to any conclusion,
Such are the sites I have visited. I must here remark with reference to ancient sites, that it is much to be regretted that when the revenue surveys take place accurate notes should not be made of all the sites of ancient towns and villages, the high mounds of which are every where to be seen in India—this province in particular, where the most important events of early history have occurred.
In the north-western provinces above Agra, and as far as Lahor, there are many remarkable spots, but of all of these some legend more or less absurd, though instructive in a measure, exists. In the Jallunder Doaub might not this plan be adopted as a survey is being made ?
Before I conclude this brief notice, I must not forget to mention Pawapuri, which I am told is the site of a very large city. The present village is inhabited chiefly by Surrawues or Jains, who claim the place as a seat of that sect ; according to a clever Bengáli pundit, Pawapuri was the capital of Magda in Chundra Goopta's time, and it was here
* We have been obliged to omit this inscription in the plate for want of space.
he received Alexander's ambassador Antiochus ; this is strange, and if correct, we shall again be at fault as to Asoka and the pillar inscriptions. I beg to invite attention to this subject.
I shall never feel satisfied till I shall have seen Pawapuri, Burgaon, Giryek, Raja-griha and Behar, and several other places which have been pointed out to me. I hope the time is not far distant ; until then I must take leave of the Viharas.
Geological Notes on Zillah Shahabad, or Arrah.-By Lieut.
W. S. SHERWILL.
The southern portion of Zillah Arrah, or Shahabad, is occupied by an elevated plateau of table-land, forming the eastern extremity of the Kymore range of sandstone mountains. From whichever side it is viewed, it presents a series of high bluffs, or precipices, similar to those so often seen on sea coasts; these precipices, varying from 300 to 1500 feet in perpendicular height, are supported by bulging buttresses covered with almost impenetrable bamboo forests. The summit of this extensive plateau is covered with forests of Ebony, Saloogunje, a few Saul, and a variety of other trees, and has several ranges of low hills traversing it in various directions ; many rugged and deep valleys indent the northern face, which is of a much less elevation than the southern face. These valleys, extending for ten or twelve miles into the body of the table-land, gradually contract in width from one mile to a few hundred yards, similar valleys branching off from them laterally. The ends of these valleys terminate abruptly in mural precipices, down which, during the rainy season, mountain streams are precipitated with a deafening roar. These valleys present to the traveller views of exceeding beauty: in many spots where they happen to be only a few hundred yards across, the deep shade at mid-day caused by the dense foliage and perpendicular walls a thousand feet in height, is quite a phenomenon for India. The most extensive of these valleys, or as they are styled by the natives k’hohs, is that through which the Doorgoutee river flows ; a more beautiful spot it is difficult to imagine ; at the spot where the Doorgoutee falls from the table-land, the valley named Kudhur-k’hoh, is only a few hundred feet in width, dark, deep and cold ; immediately below the falls the valley is darkened by an immense grove of mango trees, which extends for two miles along the bosom of the valley. Proceeding to the northward the valley deepens rapidly from 700 to 1,000 feet, sometimes expanding to a mile in width, sometimes contracting to a few hundred yards ; diverging from this valley are numerous smaller k’hohs, almost impenetrable to man, but all affording excellent shade and pasture to large herds of buffaloes, which help to supply the Mirzapoor and Benares markets with Ghee. After having traversed about eight miles of this valley the Soogeea-k’hoh strikes off' west and extends into the mountains for about ten miles; in this valley are situated the extraordinary limestone caves, a surveyed map of which appears as a vignette on the accompanying map.
Sandstone. This mineral forms the grand mass of the table-land, and I am inclined to think overlies an equally extensive bed of mountain limestone. It is to this sandstone that the mountains owe their grand appearance, displaying as it does the most tremendous precipices ; it varies in color in almost every specimen ; it is exceedingly hard, strikes fire with a steel readily, is ponderous and tough, fracture conchoidal; that it is of a durable nature is proved by the buildings at Sasseram, Rhotas and Shergurh. The sandstone in some of the buildings in the two last named places cannot have been quarried and used for building less than 800 years ago and yet is still as perfect as the rock from whence quarried. It is universally quarried wherever a town or village requiring stone happens to be near the hills. The colors are principally white, red, pink, striped and grey, and is used for all sorts of building purposes, handmills, sugarmills, pestles, mortars, steps, door-posts and a variety of other domestic purposes: to it, the fortresses of Rhotas and Shergurh are beholden for all their palaces, and battlements; Sasseram for the greater part of its city, the tomb of Sher Shah is built of it, as also the bridge over the Kurrumnassa river at Musehee; on the northern face of the table-land it is of a softer texture ; here it is extensively quarried for a variety of purposes.
The vast precipices exhibited in this sandstone admirably display the horizontal formation of the mass; one of the precipices in the fort of Rhotas I found by measurement to be 1,300 feet, a sheer mass of stone without a bush, or tree on its surface ; it is situated close to an overhanging mass of building known as the Hujjam's palace, a few minutes'
walk from the gateway leading up from Rajghat. The echo at this spot, which is a complete amphitheatre of precipices, is very distinct and grand, giving seven distinct responses to several syllables; the report of a gun reverberates like thunder; the sandstone at this spot is of a dark red, an overhanging rock at this spot enabling a person to look over and to fully contemplate this fearful abyss. At the foot of a small detached hill at Sasseram a very curious apparently horizontal column, or formation in the sandstone appears, which has been described by me in the 163: No. of the Journal of the Asiatic Society at pp. 495— +97.
Mountain Limestone.- Next in order, is the lime one, and from the fact of its appearing in so many places, though far apart, separated even for many miles and yet always appearing of the same structure, I am inclined to think that it penetrates in an unbroken stratum under the sandstone.
Start, for instance, from the eastern face of the table-land, where the limestone forms an unbroken bed from the foot of the Fortress of Rhotas to the village of Dhowdand, a distance of 30 miles north, and proceeding in a north-westerly direction at the distance of thirteen miles we meet with the same limestone in the valley of Soogeea-k’hoh at the depth of a thousand feet below the summit of the table-land and in company with the limestone Gupta caves; nine miles further in the same direction, it again appears at Buranoon in two low detached hills, much lower than their sandstone neighbours ; four miles further north it again appears in a low hill at Nowhutta, then turning nine miles to the west, it again appears at Musehee; beyond that, I lost all trace of it, but I have little doubt that from the fragments that are washed out of the numerous k’hohs, that it will be shown to exist wherever the sandstone has been deeply penetrated. To the west of Rhotas limestone appears cropping out as two small hillocks situated in the forest under the lofty sandstone precipices bounding the southern face of the mountains. It also appears at the foot of the sandstone at the western entrance of the large valley named Doomur-khar, on the northern face of the hills about 12 miles south-west of the town of Sasseram. This limestone is extensively quarried wherever it appears, and from Tilothoo on the banks of the Sone, large quantities are burnt for lime and taken down the river in boats to Dinapore, Patna, Arrah, Chupra and to other large towns.
Specimens of this stone were sent by me to Calcutta in December 1844, hoping they would prove useful as Lithographic stones, but they were declared to be too siliceous and too thin for any practical purposes; but I feel convinced, that any one who could command time and had the inclination, would be rewarded by finding some good and serviceable beds of this most useful article.
In the valley named Soogeea-k’hoh, in a jungly and wild spot, are situated the Gupta limestone caves, which penetrate to a great distance into the mountain ; the hill Khyrwars insisted that the low passages which are met with after penetrating the hill for about 300 yards and through which it is almost impossible for a human being to penetrate, communicate with the other side of the spur of the hill, which is about half a mile broad, (vide map) and upon going round to the eastern side I saw the opening, but masses of rock fallen from the roof having blocked up the entrance, I was content with viewing it from the distance of a few hundred yards across a deep ravine. The cave is about ten or twelve feet in height, eighteen or twenty feet in width, and has a few stalagmites and stalactites, worshipped by the Ilindus at particular periods of the year. I penetrated these caves for about 500 feet. The strata of limestone in the caves are very narrow and flinty, much waved and contorted, and in some parts of the roof appear to have been forcibly torn asunder, or as if the sides of the cave had sunken into the earth, the roof splitting in the middle to allow of such an arrangement.
The general appearance of this limestone is of a dark blue slate color, fracture conchoidal, strikes fire, difficult to break; when burnt forms the best lime, is quite free from any animal exuviæ, and impalpable in texture. In a few cases it is nearly black, also of a pale yellow or buff ; the latter appears to be in a state of decay and is not burnt for lime.
Chalk.--Associated with the limestone, chalk is found in a great many spots ; wherever known to exist it is extensively quarried and exported. By the natives it is known as Khari Muttee, but is very different from the English chalk. It is found in thin strata of a few inches thick, is unctuous to the touch ; has a shiny appearance, but soils the fingers ; a small detached hill at the foot of Rhotus is composed almost entirely of this mineral.
Hornstone. - This mineral is found in several spots underlying the sandstone ; it is met with at a waterfall named Tootala Koond, on the