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be done, and the words "Ramjee," "Sri Ram," "Sri Ganesh," "Sri Jugnath," Bulbudrajee," &c. &c. have been scratched in common Nagree to supply their place, as his European friend suggested that it was not right to allow Mahomedan badges to remain in a Hindu Temple: however, his having at the same time recommended substantial repairs which were executed, may be considered as some slight set-off to such outrageous folly.
The next object worthy of notice is a large slab of chlorite containing the long inscription before mentioned, recording the building of the Temples, and other great works which surround it. This I regret to state is said to have been taken from its proper site by another indiscreet officer with the intention of carrying it away; it has been lying out of doors trodden under foot and used as a whetstone till very much injured; I have had it set upright within the Temple, where I hope it will be preserved. I offered two years ago to have it properly fixed, but the young Raja of Deo, like all his kindred, made excuses owing to some absurd suspicion of my intentions, a suspicion which pervades all alike, and is the greatest bar to finding such valuable records of byegone times and events. The Raja informs me that a fine slab was taken from the Deo Temple by some gentleman (name unknown) many years ago to Benares. I have had one verse given me that the Brahmins know by heart, only that they have added several zeros to increase the date; this may give a clue to what has become of it. Shame upon such mischievous spoliation!
The view from either balcony of the Temple is very extensive and beautiful; two prettier landscapes could not be seen in any country— from the south the visitor looks down on the site of the deserted and ruined town of Oomga, with its magnificent tank and high square mound surrounded by a (now) dry ditch, once the Noor or palace of Byrub Indra, the founder, and subsequently of the Oomga Chiefs, the last of whom, Purbeel Singh, was attacked by the emperor (name unknown), his town and palace sacked and laid in ruins, and himself taken to Aurungabad, a town 14 miles further west, and there blown from the muzzle of a gun.
The Tank is now much choked with mud, and in the hot weather dries up, it is about 300 yards long by 200 wide, has a sluice in the centre of the northern face which empties into an extensive "Ahur" or
reservoir covering many acres of ground, the banks of which as well as those of the Tank, formed part of the town enclosure and defences: on the east side in the centre and opposite the palace, is a fine Ghat or flight of stone steps-there is also an elegant pillar in the centre of the tank, about 20 feet high, a single block of granite, the capital not included. The Tank "Ahur," and city walls (mud), had, till three years back, fine bamboo hedges which are now no more, for strange to say, the whole blossomed and bore seed like rice, after the ripening of which the plantation died, though it is said to have existed for several centuries—it was expected that fresh shoots would spring up, but such has not been the case.
About five hundred yards further west is another fine Tank, 200ft. square, and it is much to be regretted that these as well as many other fine reservoirs in the district are allowed to fill up without an attempt to clear them, a labour which would be amply repaid in a few years. This remark is more particularly applicable to many of the noble Tanks in the north-west provinces built by the emperors of Dehli, and their ministers. Surely a little encouragement on the part of Government and of the Civil functionaries in districts, wealthy individuals might be induced to bestow a portion of their hoardings on undertakings which would perpetuate their names; it would cost far less to repair such tanks than to dig and construct others of a fraction of their dimensions, and be of greater service-though I believe that there exists a prejudice against repairing the works of others—the result of false pride, but no doubt were encouragement given a sounder feeling would arise.
The fort of Oomga has been very injudiciously placed, for although the hills which command it were impracticable for artillery, still wall pieces and small arms would be used against it with deadly effect.
The hills are, as I have before said, covered with small temples, chiefly to Mahadeva and Ganesh; the natural hollows at the top have been converted into reservoirs, beside one of which is an idol called Oomgeswuree, to which goats and buffaloes are sacrificed; a fair is also held once a year.
Although we learn from the flowery Sanscrit verses that Bhyrub Indra built temples, dug tanks and wells, &c. I am convinced that the spot has been dedicated to the worship of Mahadeva and his emblem, the Lingam, for centuries previous to the advent of that chief, for some of
the Linga are very ancient and have been covered in with brickwork. Bhyrub Indra appears to have had great power in this province, and to have expended much wealth in building Temples. There is one at Deo Surya (the sun), and another to the same deity at Kooch near Tikaree, 14 miles north-west of Gya, mention of which is made by Buchanan, whose notice the present inscription as well as the locality appears to have escaped. It is surprising that an indefatigable inquirer should have learnt or said so little of a person whose name and exploits are so well known in the district. Nevertheless the name is not to be found in any of the lists of dynasties published by Prinsep; hence we may infer that he was some powerful usurper in the early part of the 15th century during the reign of the Puthan emperor Mohummed Shah the Sumbat date given in 1495, A. D. 1439, in the light half of the month of Vaisakh, which seems from the many inscriptions I have collected to have been a favorite period of the year for dedications of the kind.
Since writing the foregoing I have been favoured, through the kindness of a gentleman of known acquirements, Seyed Azmud Deen Hossein, Deputy Collector of Behar, with the following translation of two lines of the Cufic inscriptions, which I had almost despaired of being ever decyphered: they clearly allude to the event handed down by the tradition I have alluded to; a victory is recorded, but by whom still remains doubtful. The longer inscription over the great doorway most probably contained both the name of the conqueror and the date of conquest; we can only then lament the more the act of folly which has deprived us of
only نَصْرُ من الله فتح بشير قريب the information; the next sentence
differs in the word & instead of the literal meaning of which Azmud Deen gives as "By the help of God Victory is gained," though perhaps some might construe it thus "By the help of God Victory is nigh at hand."
I send also a rudely executed inscription from the walls of the Sooruj Mundir at Deo, which my draftsman tells me is executed in plaister; the date is Sumbut 1605; the Temple is said to be very perfect; I only regret I have no leizure to prepare a drawing, which would be useful. I suspect that the great inscription, plundered as before stated, must have been dedicated to some deity other than "Surya" or the Sun as
the door faces the west instead of the east; it may have been a Budha Temple. In the verse of the inscription given by the Brahmins Budda as the son of Ila is mentioned. Divesting the figures given of the string of zeros, we have the dates 1293 Sumbut, or A. D. 1239, by the original inscription, and A. D. 1548 or S. 1605, in that now sent, which for the first gives a difference of 202 years earlier than the Oomga Temple, consequently it could not have been built by Bhyrub Indra as related.
On the Gamboge of the Tenasserim Provinces, by the
In conversation with a distinguished medical officer, and member of the Asiatic Society, I found that he was not at all aware that the Tenasserim Provinces produce Gamboge. It has therefore occurred to me that a brief notice of the Gamboge of these provinces might not be unacceptable to the readers of the Journal, and would contribute its influence to draw attention to a most interesting portion of the British Provinces in the east; one that is exceeded by few in the richness and variety of its natural productions.
Three works in my possession describe Gamboge each as the product of a different tree; a fourth represents all to be wrong, and a fifth suggests a different plant, still. One refers it to Cambogia gutta, a plant which, as described by Linneus, has probably no existence. He described a Ceylon plant, and it is now quite evident, says Dr. Wight, "that the character of the flower and ovary is taken from one specimen, and that of the fruit from a different one, owing to the imperfection of his specimens, and his not being aware that the lobes of the stigma afford a sure indication of the number of cells of the fruit."
Another refers it to Garcinia cambogia, but Dr. Wight says that the exudation of this tree is "wholly incapable of forming an emulsion with the wet finger," a statement which the writer knows to be correct. The tree is very common in the Tenasserim Provinces, but the bright yellow exudation it produces is certainly not Gamboge.
A third refers it to Stalagmitis cambogioides, but Dr. Wight remarks "The juice of this tree differs so very widely in its qualities from good Gamboge, that it can never be expected to prove valuable as a pigment."
Dr. Graham has described a Ceylon tree under the name of Hebradendron cambogioides, which is said to produce good Gamboge; but no Gamboge has ever been exported into the English market from Ceylon. Thus it would appear, to use the language of Dr. Wight, that "the tree, or trees, which produce the Gamboge of commerce is not yet known."
Dr. Helfer who was employed by government as a scientific naturalist in these Provinces, at an expense of thirteen hundred rupees per month, reported "the Gamboge of this country dissolves very little with water, and consequently does not yield that yellow emulsion as the common guttifera. It will never serve as a color, but promises to give a very beautiful varnish." This statement was controverted by a writer in our local periodical at the time, who said he had obtained "fine Gamboge of the very best description" from our jungles; in which he was no doubt correct, but he erred when he added that it came from the "true Stalagmitis cambogioides." A very small amount of botany would have served to preserve him from falling into this error; for that plant has a quinary arrangement of its flowers, while the arrangement of the flowers in those that produce Gamboge in these Provinces is quaternary.
The hills that bound the valley of the Tavoy river, on both sides, from their bases to their summits, abound with a tree which produces a fine Gamboge. It is Roxburgh's Garcinia pictoria, which he knew produced Gamboge, but which he said was liable to fade. As soon as I satisfied myself of the identity of the trees by an examination of the inflorescence of our plant compared with Roxburgh's description, I colored a piece of paper, one band with this Gamboge, and another with the Gamboge of commerce; and subsequently exposed both to the weather equally for more than twelve months, but without being able to discover that one faded any more than the other. South of the lattitude of the mouth of Tavoy river, and throughout the Province of Mergui, there is found on the low plains at the foot of the hills, and on the banks of the rivers, almost down to tide waters, another species of Garcinia that also produces good Gamboge. I have no doubt but it is the tree from which Dr. Griffiths furnished Dr. Wight with specimens, and which the latter says, "I refer doubtfully to Wallich's G. elliptica." We will call it then G. elliptica, a species which Dr. Wight has