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burning which I had accidentally brought with me. But to return to my subject, on the left corner of the door is the inscription number 5, plate IX. which is nearly obliterated, through the effects of the weather and probably by the hand of some fanatic, at a very remote period, it is much to be regretted, for there is just enough left to excite our curiosity, and show that the record was valuable : I have restored as much as I well could ; it appears to have entirely escaped notice hitherto, indeed, although a square space has been cut and polished, it is but barely perceptible, and not at all in the strong light of noon-day; it is best seen by clear moonlight standing beneath. I availed myself of the opportunity before I lay down to rest, to trace all the visible letters with red ochre ; sunrise and sunset are also favorable periods, which I remarked upon in my notes on the inscriptions of Cuttack. Dr. Bland, H. M. S. Wolf, made the same discovery whilst tracing the inscription at Singapore. I shall revert to this subject when treating of the whole of these Pali inscriptions together.
There are eight other short sentences, of some of which James Prinsep gave translations in the sixth volume of the journal, but as he had only very imperfect impressions with Persian labels, the work of a pedantic Kaith employed by Mr. Hathorn, he was led into error and difficulty thereby. I shall therefore embody the whole in a separate plate, * for easy reference: these I must again refer to under the head inscriptions.
On the right hand, facing the cave and separated from the main mass, is another, the eastern end of which has been scarped and a terrace cut; in this face are three niches with carvings rudely executed; the right hand one contains the linga, the two others, apparently figures of Siva and Parbutti, but they are undoubtedly of far later date than the caves, and the same as that of the sculptures at Kowa Dol and on the Sidheswur mount.
We now proceed to the largest caves, two in number, entered on the southern face of the ridge of rock, parallel with that of the cave above described, and which ridges are about 950 feet long, and 70 across, with a narrow passage between. There is a space of about 100 feet wide between the main hill and rocks and these ridges ; this is filled for some depth with bricks, earth and hewn stones, the ruins of temples, so as to block up the entrance of the westernmost cave,
* See plate IX,
leaving just room to crawl in, in a sitting posture; these may be the remains of the temple alluded to in the two inscriptions translated by Prinsep, and which, as he justly conjectures, are of a far more modern date than the caves or the Pâli inscriptions which record their construction, and first appropriation. I am in hopes of having a passage cut in front of the rock and doorways, by which means the water which now floods the caves will be let off and prevented again reaching them, and admit a free passage for visitors, and perhaps bring to light some hidden curiosities.
Figure 6, pl. VIII. will best explain the shape of this curious work of patience and labour ; the entrance has an outer recess or porch about three feet deep, the doorway of Egyptian shape, is six feet high ; the room is highly finished and polished though perfectly plain ; there is a niche in the centre of the east end, and on the west the singular convex end or side of the circular inner chamber with a projecting hood or dome like a mushroom, with its tapering doorway, faces the visitor, who, if inclined to the study of Budhist antiquities, will at once exclaim this is a Dehgope or cave Chaitya. On the left or east side of the entrance (outer) recess is the purposely mutilated inscription marked fig. 5, pl. IX. of which sufficient is left to show that in the 12th year of the reign of the beloved Rajah, this “ Nigope" cave was excavated; unfortunately the first syllable is doubtful, but the second is not so, and suffices I think to settle the point of the cave being a Chaitya or shrine ; indeed I am inclined to believe that three of the four on this hill were such, for the common name of “ Sutgurba,” which the Kaith moonshee, taking the word “ sat” as a numeral, wrote “huft khaneh," or seven chambers, the meaning generally however, though improperly given at the present time, should in my estimation be rendered the caves of righteousness. In the Pâli annals, the spot it called “Suttapanni Gurba," i. e. allowing my inference before explained as correct. The other caves at Nag-arjuni were perhaps not so, but intended as habitations for the ascetics, as already shown.
The extreme lengths of these chambers from end to end, as well as their width and height to crown of vault will be seen in the plate.
At the end and further east of the above mentioned, is a second double chambered cave of the same shape, but has remained unfinished, the sides only being polished and the vault left in the rough, as well as the
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T. Black. Asiatic Lith Fens. Celoutta