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II.—GENEALOGY OF THE BAHMANY KINGS ACCORDING TO THE Burhan-i-Ma'āṣir.
(3) Mujahid Shāh
(5) Muḥammad Shah II (8) Firuz Shāh (9) Aḥmad Shah I
(6) Ghiyaṣu-d. (7) Shamsu-d- Hasan Khan Mubārak Khān (10) 'Ala'u-d-din din Shāh din Shāh
Three sons and two daughters
Note-The numbers in brackets indicate the order of accession to the throne. Maḥmüd seems to be regarded by the author of the Burhān-i-Mā’āṣir as the last of the Bahmani kings,
II.-GENEALOGY OF THE BAHMANI KINGS, COMPILED FROM VARIOUS SOURCES.
Makhdūma-i-Jahan=(11) HUMAYUN SHAH ZALIM
Muḥammad A daughter A daughter
married Shāh Habibu'llāh
m. Jalal Khäu
A daughter=Shāh Muḥabbu-❜llāh
(12) NIZAM SHAH (13) SHAMSU-D-DIN MUHAMMAD SHAH III
(18) KALIMU-'LLAH SHAH*
Note.-The numbers in brackets indicate the order of accession to the throne.
* It is not certain whether Kalimu-'llah was a son or younger brother of Aḥmad III.
On Some Archæological Remains in Bishnath.-By W. N. Edwards.
[Read November, 21st 1904.]
BISHNATH, or Visvanatha, as it was originally called, is one of the most interesting towns in the Assam Valley on account of its archæological remains and sacred Hindu traditions. At one time it was a large and populous town, as can be seen by the immense earthworks that surround the place, and in the 13th century it was in close communication with PRATAPPUR, the capital of Arimutta Raja who appears to have ruled over the tract of country lying between Visvanatha on the east to the Subonsiri River on the west about that time. There are still a large number of tanks on the Bishnath plain and in Behali and Gomiri mouzas that are ascribed to him. Another interesting discovery lately made is that the large earthen "bund" known now as the Majulighur, which runs almost straight from the old city Pratappur, to the low hills in the Duffla Range, a distance of about 12 miles, is nothing more or less than a fortification evidently thrown up as a protection against the people of the west. Deep in the heart of the forest where the "ghur " has been less disturbed, on the west, is a deep ditch running parallel to the "bund" for the whole of its length, and from the ditch the "ghur" rises very abruptly with a parapet on the western edge, and falling to the east in a gentle slope; furthermore, at intervals of about 80 yards there are bastions thrown out on the west face which command the rampart both to the north and south. There seems now little doubt from these facts that there being no natural boundary to the west of the kingdom as there was on the east (the Subonsiri) the fortification was made as a protection against aggression.
The Brahmins say that before Visvanath was built the place was called Viswagiri Porbot, and the present town and the island known as Oomatoomoni were joined in one large hill, which sunk under a severe volcanic disturbance leaving the place in its present form. It was renowned from time immemorial as the spot where Visnu lopped off the upper arm and chest of the dead body of Sati which Siva in his grief was carrying about, and the spots on which these portions of Sati's body fell are held sacred to this day. There are now the following
1 This information is derived from an old Buranji in the possession of Srijut
Rajoni Kanta Burdolai of N. Lackimpur.
temples in Bishnath :-Visvanath, Uma Dewal, Chandi Dewal, Sibanath Dewal, Komoleswar Dewal Basdeo Dewal and the Bordhol Dewal. Of these, there are now only two mandirs actually standing, and both are fine specimens of the architecture of the Ahoom kings, but both are abandoned as far as worship is concerned, the Thakurs having built small cutcha houses near them where "Puja " is carried on.
The Bor Dhol mandir, the larger of these, was built by the order of Gaurinātha Simha who reigned from 1780 to 1795, while the smaller one called "Sibanath Dewal" was built some 50 to 60 years previously in the reign of Sibasing. This is a somewhat smaller structure, and of less handsome design, and was constructed from the materials taken from the old temple of Visvanatha; which was dismantled owing to the depredations of the Brahmaputra river.
was was built by
The Visvanath temple was built by Godadhara Simha or, as he was known to the Ahooms, "Chupatpha." There is a copper plate still in existence which sets forth that in the year A.D. 1685 Godādhara Simha granted for the upkeep of the temple :-" Certain ornaments, four Brahmans, 40 Sudra Paiks, eight dancing girls, and also 20 puras of Brahmattar Land." There is also a second" Phuli” granting 24 Puras of Devottar Land and servants to the same temple dated 1815 A.D. This was in Chandrakant's reign.
The temple, however, has long since disappeared and the Linga is now only exposed for six months in the year when the river falls; for the rest of the time it is buried by the water.
Of the remaining temples, that of “Caṇḍi and “Umā" are the most important. The former is a square brick building, built on the rocks, at the edge of which, the new channel of the Brahmaputra flows. This was built from public subscriptions, some 60 years ago, by a religious mendicant named Brahma Chari Fakir, and covers the spot where Sati's chest fell. To the right of the temple there is a Linga carved out of the rock. The out-buildings attached to this temple have fallen into decay, though the temple itself commands worshippers. It is evident that the rents received by the owners of these temples from the Bramatta and Devottor lands are no longer utilized for the purpose for which they were intended. The last temple of importance is that of "Umāmāi " which is situated on the Island, and the Brahmin ministering there shows one the spot where Sati's arm fell. Here there is no brick building; merely a shed roofed with corrugated iron, built over the sacred rock. Close to this shrine is a rock on which the following inscription has been deciphered :
"Written by Holodhar, son of Laksimidhar Sarmah, Commander of the army of the king of Pratappur." There is no date. There are J. 1. 3
other inscriptions on the rocks on the island, but they have not been deciphered.
Buroi Fortification.-This is a most interesting ruin situated at the foot of the Duffla hills, where the Buroi river debouches into the plain; and was found by the writer some few years ago. The fortification consists of two stone walls, one on each side of the river—and it is assigned to the Pretappuria Raja who, the Dufflas say, entrenched himself in the hills with a considerable following. The stones bear distinct builders' marks on them, similar to those found by Capt. Hannay on the Copper temple of the Sutias beyond Sudiya, some 70 years ago. Hence we may suppose that the Sutias are responsible for these walls also. A detailed account of these ruins is given by the writer in a paper to the A. Soc. of Bengal. They appear to date back as far as the 13th Century.
Behali Mandir.-The remains of another small temple I was fortunate enough to discover in 1892, situated at the edge of an old tank in the Behali garden. All that remained was the plinth which was some 18′′ to 2' below the surface of the ground. The building had evidently been a small one, not more than 12'x 12', but was exceedingly well built with brick-the base had a projecting plinth with decorative mouldings; while the foundation of the structure, which was some 5′ below the plinth, rose from a small base gradually widening on all sides until it acquired the area of the plintha curious and uncommon method of building, which I think is never seen now-a-days.
Pertabghur.-This is the site of the ancient city of Pretappur which, in the middle ages, had acquired renown as "the Splendid City " the capital of the Pratappuria Raja. Captain Westmacott, in an article to the A. Soc. of Bengal, written in 1835, imagines that the city was situated on the present site of Tezpur, for he says:
"In the M.S. of the Assam Kings the city is stated to have been "placed on the North Bank of the Brahmaputra, a little below Bishnath,1 "and as the entire country bordering the river from Pora (Tezpur) "eastward to Bishnath * * * is covered with swamp to the extent of "several miles inland, there are strong grounds for supposing that Pretappur' and 'Pora' are the same.”
From the present configuration of the country there is now no doubt that the Brahmaputra at one time flowed at the foot of Pertabghur, as there is a drop of some 30 feet from the red deluvial lands of that part to the low alluvial swamps that Captain Westmacott desoribes. And this being the case, Pretappur would be "a little below
1 The italics are mine.