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in Lat. 26° 57'N. and Long. 93° 28′ E.1 They consist now of two long walls situated as shown in the sketch map. That marked A which is by far the longest, consists of a long continuous barrier made of faced sandstone blocks, put together with great precision. The general character of this wall is shown in the accompanying photographs (see Plates V and IV) which we were able to procure. Plate IV, No. 1 shows most clearly the accuracy with which the stones are keyed into one another.
This wall was some ten feet in thickness, and the inside appeared to be filled in with ordinary river stones, without any arrangement. It ran from N.E. to S.W. or nearly so, and commanded the right bank of the river. It was from its arrangement and structure evidently used as a fortification against the plains, as while it was protected most completely on the South side, it lay almost entirely open from the hills. The North end was protected by the sheer cliff on the opposite bank of the river shown in Plate IV, No. 2.
The place is difficult of access, and in part buried in cane jungle. On a second visit, when there was more leisure to examine the whole situation and material of the fortification, it was found to be three hundred yards long, and a very large number of the blocks of stone of which it is composed, on being cleared showed marks, which we take to be builder's marks, cut deeply into the sandstone, and always on the outside face. Some of these marks are shown in the accompanying diagram, (which does not of course represent an actual group of
Fig. 2. Marks found on stones in the Buroi fortifications.
marks but is purely diagrammatic). That to the left hand on the top row is by far the most common. It is a curious point to note that some of these same marks were found on the worked stones at Rājā Bhismaka's temple near Sadiya by Colonel Hannay, in 1848, indicating
that the same race of people was concerned with the building of both.
At two separate places this wall has been built up on the inside with a flat tile like brick, and there is, as described by Captain Dalton, a gateway in the face of the wall, (though not, as he says, in the centre), where bricks also occur. The bricks here found are of similar shape and size to those occurring at Pertabgarh on the Bishnath plain, as well as in the tanks and buildings which abound on that plain. The bricks have, however, evidently been made in the vicinity, as on being broken they showed a very sandy texture, and were much softer than is usual with this class of bricks made in the plains.
The stones of which this wall were made ranged from 12 to 14 inches in length and 8 to 10 inches in breadth and depth, to small pieces four inches square, but all were equally dressed.
Behind the wall, and to the north of it, there is a ditch, and then a high plateau stretching right back to the steep hill side. All this is now covered with dense jungle, some of it being composed of large old hardwood forest trees presumed to be at least sixty to eighty years old, and these were in certain cases growing out of the wall itself. (See Plate IV, Fig. 1.)
The second part of the fortification, the stone wall B (Fig. 1) is the complement and completion of that already described, but it is in a much worse state of repair, and in places can hardly be traced. At the end where it overhangs the river, it appears to have been partly washed away. At the other extremity it encloses a natural spring, or any rate what seems to have been such from the remains, and the whole wall being on a bluff at the foot of the hills, it commands the course of the river.
It will be noticed from the photograph in Plate V, No. 2, that the left bank of the stream at the north end of the wall A is formed of a sheer inaccessible cliff, which itself rendered the continuation of the fortification in this direction unnecessary, and made an extremely strong position. Two miles above this point is the cave to which the defender of this position is stated to have retired, now locally known as the "Badli Karang," the cave of bats.
The folklore attached to these fortifications, is not very great, and their existence does not now seem to be known to the Assamese. The Daphlas know of them, but few are acquainted with any tradition concerning them. One old Daphla, however, said a story was formerly current among his tribe that these walls were built by a Rājā of Pratābpur-(Pertabgarh) who, having killed his father, had taken to the hills with his followers, and there entrenched himself against his
father's subjects. This old Dapbla could give us no idea of how long ago this was reputed to be, or for what length of time they were supposed to have remained there, but it at once connects them with Assamese tradition, and with the unexplained ending of the life of Arimuri or Arimatta, a former traditional ruler of Nowgong and Darrang.
The local tradition attached to this ruler is as follows; it differs somewhat from that which has been published elsewhere, though in essentials the two stories are the same.
About the year 1238 A.D. (1160 Sak.) Ārimatta (i.e., Arimuri) the reputed son of Pratāpa Rājā was reigning in Assam, holding sway in what are now the districts of Nowgong and Darrang. The tradition of his birth is as follows: Pratapa Rājā was the king of the country lying between Viśvanatha (Mod. Bishnath) and the Subansiri River, and had his capital at Ratnapura. He married Hārmāti the daughter of Hirabinda, King of Saumāra, and on taking her to his kingdom, built a town for her which he called by her name, the name and ruins of which still are to be found at Hārmāti (on the Dikrang river) in North Lakhimpur. Ia crossing the Brahmaputra the god of the river (the son of Brahma) became enamoured of this girl, and in order to force her husband to give her up, did much damage to the country. Pratapa, eventually, launched her in a small boat filled with food and drink on the Brahmaputra, when she was embraced by the river god, and some days after landed at Viśvanātha, where the villagers at once acknowledged her as their sovereign, and built the town of Pratābpur for her, the outworks of which are still to be seen at Pertābgarh. The more usual form of this story represents Pratapa as having removed his Court to the hills to avoid the requests of the son of Brahma, and commanded his wife in future only to bathe in the Buroi river. Against his wish she went to bathe in the Brahmaputra, and was at once carried off by the current and only emerged at Viśvanath. To continue, however, the local story, for nine months she remained there and then gave birth to a son, who had a man's body, but the head of a fish, an āri fish, hence he was called Arimatta. His mother, to hide her shame, sent him to Nowgong, across the Brahmaputra, where he grew up, and became a powerful prince conquering most of his neighbours. His mother forbade him to visit the north bank of the river, but his curiosity to ascertain who his father was, was too much for him, and he disregarded her injunctions. Meeting with Pratapa, he fought with him and killed him. He subsequently learnt that Pratapa was
1 This is said to have occurred in crossing a stream the "Balam nadi," the river of the Javelin, as it is still called.
his mother's husband, and overcome with remorse he endeavoured to do penance, but no Brahman would accept his gifts, and he was abandoned by his people. One traditional account says he was shot by his own son with an arrow. Another story is that he burnt himself to death. A third account is that of the Daphlas to which we have previously referred.
Still a fourth story is a circumstantial one which appeared in and which we quote from the Calcutta Review. At this time Assam was invaded by the King of Kashmir and he met Ārimuri (Arimatta), as follows:
"The Cashmerian prince advancing into the country, found Arimuri posted with his forces on the bank of a river. Excited with the hope of a speedy triumph, he plunged into the stream, but found when it was too late, that he could not stem the current. Many of his soldiers followed him into the water and were drowned, and he, powerless to defend himself, was captured by a party of Ārimuri's men who launched out into the torrent on inflated skins. He was confined in a strong castle on the banks of the "Gondhica," the same river, in all probability, as the Gandak which, at that time, formed the Western boundary of Kamrup; whilst the remnant of his army returned in dismay to Cashmere. The tidings of this discomfiture and of the captivity of the king spread consternation throughout Cashmere. The ministers immediately met for deliberation, when one Deva Sarma undertook to effect the liberation of the monarch. Proceeding with a considerable force into Assam and encamping his men on the banks of the river opposite to where the fort stood which held his master captive, he himself repaired to the Court of Arimuri. At a private conference with the king, he intimated his readiness to give up to him the treasures of Joypira, which he represented to be with the invading army; but he at the same time intimated that as the amount and distribution of the money were known to the prince only, it would be necessary for him, the minister, to have an interview with Joypira, and on some pretence or other elicit from him the required information. The artifice succeeded, and Deva Sarma was admitted into his master's presence. In the interview that followed, the minister urged Joypira to let himself down from the window of his prison and swim across the river to his troops, but the latter declined to make an attempt that must fail on account of the impetuosity of the torrent below. After some further discussion, the minister withdrew to an adjoining chamber, promising soon to return; but as a considerable interval elapsed and he