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One can indeed almost trace the elongation of the terraced Tope or
Degopa” into the storied temples of the Buddhist Chinese, and into the great Minar or tower at Delhi, which is surrounded with Buddhist remains. The buildings of the Nepalese show the transition or intermediate state in the one instance, and the present Jain models of Meru or of a Tope, well represent the Qootub Minar with its succession of balconies. The traceable change of the flat Basilica of declining Rome into the lofty Cathedrals of the middle ages seems to illustrate this speculation.
The impression left on the mind after an examination of these sculptures is, that while they are eminently Indian in their characteristics, there is nevertheless something Persian or Babylonian, and also something Egyptian about them. The Persian seems the stronger of two complementary elements, and the impression at the same time is, that the people of Mesopotamia influenced those of India mainly by sea, and not by land routes and communications, or through commerce and emigration rather than by conquest, but that the snake-protected Bud. dhists did so by military expeditions also is more than probable.
Oodehghir.—To the west of the Betwah river, and a mile and a half or two miles from Bhilsa, there is a low range of hills named Oodehghir, in the soft sandstone of which many small caves or niches have been hollowed. The largest is dedicated to Shiv, and is 17 or 18 feet square, with 4 pillars, all cut out of the solid rock. This temple contains a Sanscrit inscription of little interest except that it gives a date, viz: 1093 Sumbut. There are also many figures sculptured outside the entrances, but most of these represent single divinities or heroes, and the interest of the series centres in two groups, one showing Vishnu as the Varaha avatar, or with a human body and the head of a boar, and the other showing Vishnu slumbering on the vertical folds of the serpent,
The Boar manifestation is 8 or 9 feet high, and is almost detached from the rock out of which it is carved. The god supports with his tusk a small female figure, which seems to cling to this natural weapon of the divinity. In front of Vishnu, there is a larger sized female figure, kneeling, and with uplifted hands imploring him as if to spare, perhaps the virgin in his power. This figure has the expanded hood of a snake over her head. Behind her there is another figure, also kneel. ing, but much mutilated, On the solid wall of live rock there are
sculptured above, before, and behind Vishnu, numerous small figures in successive rows and as if forming processions. Nearly all of these have the short tunic and cap noticed among a few of the figures of the Tope gateways. Some of the people represented are playing on musical instruments, and hence the country people call the monuments by the name of “ Mama Banjeeka Burdt,” or “the uncle and nieces marriage procession.”
The figure of Vishnu reclining on the serpent is about six feet long and is likewise in bold relief. The head of the reptile with its manyeyed hood, curves over the head of the God as if to protect or shadow it. The several Hindoo Divinities are represented by their symbols, of a bird, &c. as spectators of Vishnu's greatness.
The inscription sent is apparently incomplete; it is to be seen upon the rock near the Boar-god.
These sculptures seem typical of the triumph of Vishna over the Serpent, of Brahminism over Buddhism, and it is to be regretted the date cannot be ascertained, for the 1,093 Vicramaditya already quoted may have been inscribed by some pilgrim.
of the Jain hill three miles N. W. of Oodehghir, and of the unfinished figure of a horse south-east from the Satcheh Tope, which are mentioned by Dr. Yeld or Captain Fell, [Journal As. Soc. III. 489] I did not learn, but as I knew not that such had been noticed, I could only inquire generally for monuments and remains.
Ghearispoor or Gheiaspoor.-Ghearispoor, or Gheiaspoor, is on the road between Bhilsa and Saugor, two marches east of the former place. The Hindoos connect the name with the importance they attach to the 11th day of their half months, and the Mahometans regard one Gheias as its founder. It is certainly a place of some antiquity, and among its remains the Buddhist temple deserves notice. The site of the temple is nearly at the top of a sandstone hill, and it is built on a platform gained from the hill by making the step side a complete precipice. A small square “ adytum" with pillars before it supporting a dome, is inclosed in a rectangular building about 50 feet long by 30 feet wide, which has one entrance with a portico in front of, or outside, the four pillared dome. The external walls are not finished, for the live rock prevents the completion of half a side and a portion of the back or end. The "adytum” is surmounted by a pyramid or spire, resting partly on
the external walls, and as in front of it there is the dome, the temple resembles the ordinary Indian type, except that it is more rectangular and less "crucial” in plan, and that it has one entrance only instead of the three common to many other temples of the same dimensions,
There are several images of Buddha in this temple, and among the sculptures may be noticed a figure resting on a cornucopia, and a
Merman,” or a human head and shoulders, &c. with a fishy extremi. ty. The merman's head is shaded by a serpent's hood. Birds eating clustering fruits are also carved with some spirit.
There are no inscriptions on this building except such as pilgrims or visitors may have cut; one of these is dated 1551 Sumbut (1494 A. D.) one period of the re-assertion of Ilindoo independence, but the temple serves to show the Buddhist love for hilly spots; and this ornate edifice is situated much as the comparatively rude “ Tope" in the Khyber Pass has been placed, or like that of Belur and others near Rawul Pindee.
Oodeh poor.–The decayed town of Oodehpoor is situated to the eastward of the Betwah river, and to the eastward likewise of the road leading from Bhilsa to Seronj. It stands at the foot of an iso. lated standstone hill, and is said to take its name from Oodehajeet, a lineal descendant of Vicramaditya and of Bhoj, who acquired a great name in Malwa about the middle of the 17th century of our era, and whose rights are declared to be still inherent in a Powar Thakoor, the Zemindar of the Pergunneh.
The temple of Mahadeo at Oodehpoor, is still a work of great beauty, although it has been much injured by the Mahometans. Its ground, plan forms a Greek, or nearly equal-armed cross, with the outline every where broken by regular projections, and with the corners filled in, much as we are told Sir Christopher Wren wished to do when he built Saint Paul's. It is about 70 feet long by about 60 wide; the walls are thick,-three arms of the cross contain entrances with external porticos, while the fourth, opposite the main entrance, forms the "adytum” or recess in which is placed the Lingam or mark of Siva. The interior forms an irregular or broken rectangle, which again includes right pillars forming an unequal-sided Octagon. Over the Adytum or Lingam rises the usual storied or clustered pyramid, while a dome with side vaults rests upon the other three arms of the cross and upon
pillars. The temple is built of red sandstone without lime, or at least without any readily perceivable in the joints, for the blocks are very nicely fitted. Every stone is an ornament in itself, a human or animal figure, or a flower, or a portion of a fillet or ovolo,--but the individual beauty has at the same time been rendered subordinate to the general effect.
The Lingam with its shapely pedestal is about eight feet high, but the plain cylinder has been capped with a brazen head, to make the presence of the god more clear to the apprehensions of the rude and the superstitious. Under the dome and facing the Lingam, is placed the cumbrous recumbent Bull dedicated to the divinity.
On a stone of the passage of the main entrance there is a long Sanskrit inscription, but the door opens back upon it, and as the passage is not well lighted otherwise, the partial closing of the entrance makes it so dark as to render the writing difficult to decipher. Many of the letters have also been imperfectly cut or are now defaced, and the transcript which is sent may not accurately represent the original. It is such however as three or four men tolerably well versed in Sanscrit were able to make of it, and it cannot be far wrong in any essential point. *
As it has been read to me, the inscription states that Biboodh, Gokul Deo, and Gheata (or Soojan, who built many temples to Shio) were succeeded in the dominion of Malwa by Oodehajeet, who died in 1116 Sumbut (1059). After Oodehajeet the power of the Yuvvuns or Mahometans prevailed for 446 years, at the end of which time Chanddeo became powerful and was termed the Lord of Magadha, and whose son, Lohugraee, collected stones for a temple in 1562 Sumbut, (1505 A. D.) The inscription concludes with the remark that what had been understood had been written, and it is hence probable that it is not a contemporary record, but the work of some pilgrim, and that the temple may in reality have been built by Oodehajeet about the middle of the 11th century of our era. The rise of Chanddeo is synchronous with the dominion of Singram Singh of Chittor, the Rana Sanka of Baber, and is another corroboration of the declension of the Mahometan power which took place under the Khizzers and Lodis of Delhi.
The Toghluks in their career of conquest, visited and defaced this elaborate temple of idols, and built within its precincts a simple mosque to the God of Mahomet. The mosque is still standing, and
* This inscription has been given with translation, in Vol. IX. p. 545.- Eds.
its gates or entrances, now represented by two solitary jambs with broad lintels, are within a dozen yards of the back of the temple itself. There are Arabic inscriptions over these gates, to the effect that the mosque was built in the year of the Hijree 739 (1338-39 A. D.) and in the reign of Abool Moojahid Mahomed Ibn Toghluk Shah. Another mosque, one of some pretensions, was afterwards erected in the vicinity of the temple. It was finished in 1041 Hijree (1631-32), as the inscription says, “at Oodehpoor on the borders of Gondwana.”
The temple at Oodehpoor is perhaps as elegant a specimen of old Hindoo architecture as is now to be found to the north of the Nerbadda, always excepting the Qootub Minar at Delhi. It yields indeed in size to the temple built at Bindrabun by Man Singh of Jeypoor, which was defaced by Aurungzeb, but it surpasses it in the proportions of its design and in the elaborateness of its details. It is a monument moreover of the varying fortunes of brahminism. It was most likely erected when the "twice-born” had fairly triumphed over the Buddhists. Within three hundred years it was despoiled by the Mahometans. In two hundred years more the victories of Rana Sanka allowed votaries once again to flock to it, but the rise of the Moghuls soon consigned it a second time to the neglect of the rich, The Mo. ghuls fell, and a dynasty of brahmins from the south mastered the country, and showed at once their gratitude and the grossness of their apprehensions, by capping the simple black stone of Muhadeo with an idolatrous brazen head. This last bequest to the temple is dated in 1841 sumbut (1784 A. D.), and in two generations from that time the new masters from the west, while admiring the beauties of the fabric can trace the corruption which beset brahminism in the hour of its
Fetichism had been sublimed into a symbolic yet philosophic Deism, but in the eleventh century priestcraft fully appreciated the advantage of mystery, the blackstone is no longer conspicuous in the open air or in the centre of a lofty edifice, it is concealed in an "adytum,” a “ holy of holies," and the trembling devotee reaches it through a gloomy passage, and can at last only see it by the partial and flickering light of an oil-fed taper.
Oodebpoor has its fane attributed to Jains or Buddhists, as well as its temples, certainly Brahmin and Moslem. The Beeja (or Vijaya) mundur is two-storied and about 40 feet long by 20 or 22 feet wide,