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Of the character of the Poem a few words remain to be said. It is composed in an ambitious style by an accomplished scholar. His verses are polished and elaborate; some however are obscure, and the quaint pedantry of Sanscrit Poetry here abounds. But in spite of these defects, many of the verses may be justly commended as containing much of truly poetical imagery, conveyed in lofty and polished diction. But we must leave space for Captain BURT's narrative.
Extract from the Journal.
I reached Chatterpore at 9 o'clock at night, (which was an earlier hour than I had stipulated for by twelve or thirteen hours), but my reason for pushing on was in order to have time to pay a visit to Khajrao, a place situated about nine pukka (full) koss (eighteen English miles) from Chatterpore, to the right of my road, and lying not far from Rajpore, or Ragurhy, or I think it is more correctly called Rajnuggur. The natives at a distance sometimes call Chatterpore Chatpore. It was whilst I was on my return trip from Eraw to Saugor that I heard, from a palky bearer, of the wonders of this place-Khajrao, near Chatpore, as he called it; and which he stated to be situated from Saugor seven munzils, or daily stages, for native pedestrians, which, at fifteen miles per day, is about the thing, Chatterpore being distant from Herrapore fifty miles, or one hundred from Saugor. I may as well now employ my twelve or thirteen hours spare time in taking a look at Khajrao along with the reader.
Immediately on my arrival at Chatterpore, at 9 o'clock at night, I told the dark moonshee, (baboo, or writer) to procure a double set of sixteen bearers, and two spare men for a bangie, containing my food and printing materials, to start as soon as possible for Khajrao. I wished to arrive there before sunrise in the morning, and it lay at a distance of eighteen or twenty miles thence by an indifferent road. I left a pair of trunks and a pair of patarahs (tin boxes) under the care of the baboo, as I should not require them until my return, and in about an hour started for Khajrao, viâ Rajnuggur, and reached the temples of the former at seven or eight o'clock in the morning. The ruins which I went to see lie at some distance from the village, which lies beyond them, and this place I did not see, as a quantity of jungle intercepts the view of it. I was much delighted at the venerable, and picturesque appearance these several old temples presented, as I got within view of them. They reared their sun-burnt tops above the huge trees by which they are surrounded, with all the pride of supe
rior height and age. But the chances are, the trees (or jungle rather) will eventually have the best of it. My first inquiry, after taking breakfast, was for ancient inscriptions, and a temple close by was immediately pointed out as the possessor of one. I went there, and sure enough there was an inscription in the No. 3 Sanscrit character of the Allahabad pillar, in the most perfect and beautiful state of preservation, engraved on a stone slab which measured about five feet by four, and was completely covered on the upper side with writing; the stone was laying at a slope against a step in the side wall of the temple. It was the largest, the finest, and the most legible inscription of any I had yet met with, and it was with absolute delight that I set to work to transfer its contents to paper. I took two copies, one on a plain white paper, without ink, by pressing it in a wet state with towels into the hollows formed by the letters, and another reversed with ink, which I spread upon the stone. The facsimile, or impression, obtained was the most beautiful specimen I have by me, and I regretted that the surface of the stone twenty square feet, was too large for me to spare time to make a duplicate with ink. The date of it is 1123,* Sunbat, or 771 years ago, as was distinctly pointed out in the lowermost line of the inscription; having done this I took a look around,"Si monumentum quæris, circumspice,”—and could not help expressing a feeling of wonder at these splendid monuments of antiquity having been erected by a people who have continued to live in such a state of barbarous ignorance. It is a proof that some of these men must then have been of a more superior caste of human beings than the rest. Khajrao is situated one koss distant from Rajnuggur, the Rajah of which sent to express a hope I would pay him a visit on my return : and as I was in his dominions, I thought it was as well to do so in the evening. I found in the ruins of Khajrao seven large Diwallas, or Hindoo temples, most beautifully and exquisitely carved as to workmanship, but the sculptor had at times allowed his subject to grow rather warmer than there was any absolute necessity for his doing; indeed, some of the sculptures here were extremely indecent and offensive; which I was at first much surprised to find in temples that are professed to be erected for good purposes, and on account of religion. But the religion of the ancient Hindoos could not have been very chaste if it induced people under the cloak of religion, to design the most disgraceful representations to desecrate their ecclesiastical erections. The palky bearers, however, appeared to take great delight at the sight of those to them very agreeable novelties, which they took good care to point out to all present. I was much struck with the beauty of the
*The impression gives 1173 Sambat.
inner roofs of the temples, which were circular, and carved in a most elaborate style.
I told one of the bearers to try and find out whether there were any passage or steps leading to the roof inside or outside the building: as if there were, I intended to pay a visit to it. After searching about for some time, he reported that there was a way; so I went to look at it, and found that the only means which presented itself of access to the upper story, existed on the inside, and from one of the side passages (dark as Erebus), and that it was requisite to ascend by climbing up the sacred images.
From the side wall, which was perpendicular, I first sent up one of the bearers, and then by laying hold of the leg of one god, and the arm of another, the head of a third, and so on, I was luckily enabled, not however without inconvenience, to attain the top of the wall; where, on the roof, I found an aperture, just large enough for me to creep in at. On entering upon the roof, I found that my sole predecessors there for several years before had been evidently the bat and the monkey, and the place was not for that reason the most odoriferous of all places in the world. However, it was necessary that I should see and inspect the nature and formation of these upper stories. The circular roofs, before referred to, were formed by the overlapping of huge long blocks of stone, which stretched from the capital of one pillar to that of another, and upon both of which they are supported. The others are placed so as to fill up the corners of the square (or other angular figure of which the plan of the roof was formed) by other huge long blocks laid across these interstices diagonally, from the centre of one face to centre of another. The same occurred above them, smaller blocks being used as the circle contracted, and as the roof tended towards a point. Here a square stone was laid on, resting upon the superincumbent ones. There was no masonry, I mean no plaster of any kind, used for the purpose of cementing these slabs to one another, their own weight and position alone being sufficient to give them permanence-a permanence which has lasted for ages, and which would, unless disturbed by the growing of trees or other disturbing cause, sempiternally exist. I saw nothing else worthy of notice, only here and there, immense parallelopipedons of stone, in some of which, the presence of holes apparently drilled for the intrusion of the lever for raising them was indicated. There appeared to be no way of returning excepting that by which I had effected my ascent, so I set about my descent as well as I could, for this was more difficult than the ascent; but after resting first one foot, then another, upon any projection I could meet with, I managed to effect, without loss of limb my perilous descent. I
noticed a vast quantity of beautiful sculptures of all kinds, to attempt to describe which would exceed the limits of this work, even if I possessed the means of doing so; but as I do not, and have made no sketches there, I must per force be excused from inserting any. Having visited several temples, in all seven, of which the names are as follow, I went to take a look at the rest of the wonders of the place. One temple was dedicated to Mahadeo; a second to Parwatti; a third to Kundari; a fourth to Lalaji;(1) in which I found the large inscription; a fifth to Nandeo, or the Mahadeo bullock god; opposite to which and facing it, in an outer building, contemporaneously erected, is a splendid figure of the largest bail, (or ox) I have ever seen; the animal was sitting upright upon the ground, and in this state measures seven feet long, five feet high, and three and quarter feet broad, and weighs by my old way of calculating 68 tons, or 1872 maunds. I had not sufficient time to make a drawing of him, being obliged to notice more interesting matters. The sixth temple is consecrated (may I use this term ?) to Chatterbhoj; and the seventh (what think ye of that reader) to our fourth friend of the Hog species-to Barao, (2) and in which there is, without exception, the finest, (and last) but not largest, specimen of this animal I have as yet seen; and I don't think there are many others in India, excepting one of which I know the locality, but have not visited it. The dimensions of this interesting object are as follow-His height is five and three quarter feet, his length eight feet, breadth three and quarter feet; all these dimensions are approximations, made by means of my walking stick, which measures rather more than a yard in length: so that each of them may be perhaps increased by about one inch; his weight will be, according to our method, ninety tons, or about 2461 maunds. This is pretty well for the weight of the gentleman just after breakfast. What the deuce would it be after luncheon? I am happy to say we have in this specimen unequivocal proof of the presence of a complete and well formed snake which is lying under him, (3) partly in an incurvated position, but evidently subdued; the female figure, that should be here has been taken away (confound the rascally despoilers), and nothing remaining of her beautiful form (for I am sure it must have been beautiful, judging from the rest) but two feet, and her hand, which is posited upon the left throat or neck of the
1. Divinities by the name of KUNDARI and LALAJI are not found in the Sanscrit theogonies, they may be familiar designations locally current.
2. The Vardha Avatar of VISHNU is well known.
3. The snake ANANTA or SESHA, which upholds the earth. The child is the infant HARI described as reposing on this snake.
animal. One additional circumstance occurs too in this specimen, which is the remains of a child resting upon the snake's neck. I should conceive that this figure of a child is meant to represent the child of. Prithei, viz. mankind, born of earth (or Prithec), and of whom the fable represents Hiran, the snake, to have been the enemy or destroyer, but who has here triumphed, and is resting upon the serpent's neck"Thou shalt bruise his head, and he shall bruise thy heel." Another very extraordinary fact is, that the tail of the Barao, though broken off, (as indeed is that of each of the other specimens) must evidently have joined on to the tail of the reptile; this would seem to convey the idea that the tail was either part of the enemy, or the enemy itself; but this discussion I must leave to the learned, being unable to grapple with it myself. The tusks of the Hog are curved in the finest and most determined manner. I do not recollect in what direction the woman's feet are turned in this specimen, whether towards the animal, or sideways from him. I would willingly have given a hundred rupees (107.) to have had a good sight of the " Prithee" creature, (who has been taken away,) and that in a mutilated state too, as they have left her feet and one arm. The Barao stands on a fine thick slab raised on a high chabutra, which is accessible by steps formed of red granite, (mind that). The roof is well formed, strong, and likely to last for ages; as is also the Hog. I think he was covered with parallel rows of human figures, like unto the others, but upon this fact I beg to say I do not feel justified in speaking decidedly.
Let us now look in at the little Mahadeo, or lingam, which is to be seen in another temple, situated not far from this one. In order to arrive at it, it is necessary to ascend a considerable number of steps, at the top of which is situated the representation of the vital principle. Let us now measure the height of the gentleman. The natives objected to my going inside, without taking off my boots, which would have been inconvenient; so standing at the door way, I saw a bearer measure the height with my walking stick, it amounted to 23 of its height, or eight feet, and its diameter about 1, or four feet. Its weight will be about 7 tons, or 207 maunds. It was erected in a receptacle, which was raised from the ground about four feet, and twenty-five feet in diameter. That of the room exceeded it by perhaps three or four feet on each side,-there being a passage all round it. I understand a light is regularly kept burning there during the night time, and it was considered by far the largest lingam in India, and is consequently much venerated. The dimensions of the stone slab from which I copied the inscriptions in the other temple, were 5 feet length, 3 feet breadth, and foot thickness-its weight is therefore about