« السابقةمتابعة »
Chaitya at the end. This is called by Buchanan, “Lomas Rishi;” he gives a wood cut of this singular archway and frieze carved out of the solid rock over and about the usual shaped door, but as I shall have to draw attention to the peculier style of architecture it displays, I have annexed a drawing of my own ;* there is no Pâli inscription here, nor are there any traces of there ever having been any. The inscription No. 15 Pl. XXXVI. of the VI. Vol. of the Journal, occupies the spandril under the arch, also those marked 18 and 19, in the same plate, which are immediately under the other and above the head of the doorway. This external sculpture still retains the beautiful polish originally given to it.
Having described these caves I must conduct my readers to the summit of the “Kurun Chowpar” or “Sidh Eswar" Maha Deva, to this there is an almost impracticable and dangerous path on the southern face by which I ascended, having done so, I found the crest of the hill strewed with potsherds and bricks, and a narrow passage with Lingas and figures of " Ganesha,” rudely carved out of the masses of rock, the same as at the Kowa Dol; steps are here and there cut in the rock, and innumerable fragments of hewn stone lie scattered, over which the traveller climbs till he reaches a level spot, 50 feet or more below the highest point; on these are fragments of idols and one entire figure of Varaha ; there are two rows of sheds used by the confectioners, when the fairs are held. Upon ascending the peak we arrive at a modern building called Sidheswar, in which there are several large idols of considerable antiquity, on one of them is an inscription, see fig. 13 plate IX. In a dark chamber is a huge linga with garlands made of solah hanging over it; some portions of the base of the temple remain ; these, together with the fragments strewed about, and the great extent of the terrace, show not only that one magnificent temple at least must have crowned this height, but from their being fragments of various styles, that there have been successive temples; and I am further inclined to think, that there may have originally been a tope like those of Bhilsa, Sarnáth and Manikyala, though from discoveries made, there would be no reason for the worship of Siva (as Sidheswar) not being observed in connection with that of Budha, in the same vicinity, for not only is this anomaly apparent at the western caves, at Cuttack, Maha Bulli Poorum, Girrinár, &c. but in this district also, where it must have been up to the latest date : Even now, I consider it more than probable that the mút or monastery of Bôdh Gyah was originally a joint Budha and Saiva establishment ; it is now the latter only ; but this is a digression, the subject is one affording an ample text for a separate paper.
* This drawing is omitted as it will appear in connection with the subject of Budhist architecture hereafter,
That this temple of Sidheswar is of remote date we can infer from the early character of the sentence No. 6, Plate XXXV. Vol. VI. of the Journal, and of mine, of which a translation is given at page 679 of the same volume, “the irresistible and auspicious Joganund salutes Sidheswar ;" here then we see, how necessary it is in carrying out such studies, that the traveller should accurately copy even the most trivial sentence or word; the more I see the more I learn the value of this, therefore I would impress it on my fellow-labourers, and at the same time never to trust to native copyists.
On leaving Sidheswar peak, I descended on the north side, the face of which, though as steep if not more so than on the south, has a much more gentle and practicable path laid out diagonally towards the east, and in some places steps have been cut in the rock ; this passage leads on to the lower land already described as the site of a city. After proceeding for half a mile towards the river, between detached rocks, and leaving that which I have described as a tower or bastion to the left, and the Nag-arjuni peak to the right, and climbing over some masses of rock in front, the traveller meets with a large terrace of brick-work and stone, grown over with bushes with some ruined tombs ; beside this is a large brick well; turning to the left or north at a few yards distance a small cave is seen, fig. 1, plate VIII. This is the one which from the Pali inscription Prinsep has termed the Milkmaid's Cave. The salutation to Sidheswar, written, or rather rudely cut in the doorway of this cave, No. 1 of my plate, also No. 2 of the same. This room and its porch are as beautifully polished as the rest, the dimensions will be seen by the plate VIII. fig. 1.
Upon climbing the terrace named, (which has been that of a large temple,) and looking down where there is a gap in the rock, another doorway is seen, over which is a square polished surface containing the Pali inscription, fig. 3, plate IX. Upon entering this, the long inscription, fig. 9, plate X. is found cut on the right hand side of the entrance. *
* Note. For easier reference the spots where the inscriptions occur are marked a and b, on the plans.