« السابقةمتابعة »
several others of inferior note, such as the Berravol and the Caron; the latter intersects the district of Penjecooré between the Awchiri and the Suwat.
The river of Penjecooré is the most considerable in those regions next to that of Cabul; hence I have to say of this also, that during the liquefaction of the mountain snows it cannot be crossed but with rafts. Without being very deep its current is extremely rapid, and its bed is so sown with rocks and slippery stones, that of ten persons that wade it when its water is low, half are sure to stumble. After leaving Dhyr until its confluence with that of Suwat, it is known by the name of Penjecooré, and thence, until its union with the Cabul river, by that of Suwat.* I am inclined to think that it is the Guraus of the
Respecting the Suwat, I am at present unable to speak of it, being occupied at this very moment in getting its source explored. The Hindoos only know it by the name of Sihon pedra nadi. The latter is undoubtedly the Soobah Vastoo of the Chinese Religious, and the Suastus of Ptolemy. I would have it here observed, that the Suwat and Penjecooré rivers are frequently confounded with one another by the inhabitants themselves of lower Yousoufzeïs, because they mix their streams before they disembogue into the Cabul river, i.e. the Cophenes. This mistake only takes place below their confluence, which occurs at the point of Goozar Mamani, situated six or eight koss from the ruins of Talache, in as much as above it they retain their distinct denominations.
The Suwat is indisputably the Suastus of Arrian, on which Alexander sailed after coasting the Choes.
Of a vast number of ruined cities which those regions present to one's view, those that most deserve the attention of geographers and archæologists are the following:
1st. The ruins of Talache, situated between the confluence of the Penjecooré and the Suwat. In the midst of these massy and immense ruins exists an enormous cupola, of much more elaborate architecture than other monuments of that description, because it is said to 'support around its base a number of basso relievos.
2nd. The ruins of Berikoot, attributed to the Caffre Béri, on the eastern side of the Suwat, not far from the city of Manglore, or Mangar, near which is the cupola of Chinguerdar, attributed to Abou-Padsha, and equally remarkable with that of Talache. A beaten
* "Lundye river" of Tassin. The "Penjecooré R." of M. Court has no representalive in Tassin.
track through a rock leads to those ruins which are delineated on the back and top of the mountain. Farther on, on the same grounds, are those of Hira and Badakhel: the latter, being the vastest of all, are assigned to Doomma Padsha.
3rd. The ruins of the city of Aritchend, improperly denominated Artchend by the Mahometans. They are observable on a height environed on all quarters by deep ravines. They are eighteen koss north of Peshawur, and six east of Fengui. They are attributed to the Kaffrans, and may possibly be the Arigaum of the Greeks, which was razed by them, and whose advantageous position induced Alexander to order Craterus to demolish its walls. To the west of these ruins, and on the western bank of the Suwat and Penjecooré united, lie those of Khound, which reach down to the river.
To the north of Aritchend are the ruins also of Sakout, where the impression of a foot is visible, and those of Diguer, situated on the southern side of mount Malekan. To the south of Aritchend are also observable those of Radjer, or Razor, of Seidabad, and Kalader: they are attributed to the Caffre Farikhi.
4th. We cannot consider with equal attention the ruins of Béhi, attributed to the Rajah Verrat, which according to the inhabitants of the place were the former sojourn of the monarchs of that country. They lie to the north east of the present city of Achtnagar, and are situated on the level of mount Béhli, insulated as it is, in the centre of the immense plain of Yousoufzeïs. There are visible there, it is said, grand traces of massy walls, some basso-relievos, and the ruins of a subterraneous aqueduct, (which conveyed thither the water of the Penjecooré) after leaving the ruins of Radjer situated close to Achtnagar. Directing your course thence towards Booner you meet, at twelve koss distance, mount Mahram which contains also some ruins, and may probably be the Meros of Arrian, which Alexander ascended with all his army after taking possession of Nyssa, by our geographers supposed to be identical with Achtnagar. But what destroys this probability is, that the district the Macedonians recognised with jubilee is not discoverable in those parts, and cannot be traced out, but in a more northern latitude beyond the Malekan ridge. I must however here remark, that there are several mountains in those regions called Mahram, and among the rest one in Bajore, and another at Cashmeer close to the city.
5th. The ruins of Meidan, where a rather unimportant inscription has been reported to me to exist, merit not to pass unnoticed, in consequence of their extent and proximity to the Penjecooré. The same must be said of those of Ganchal, situated in the canton of Tal, three days journey north east of Meidan, and twelve koss from Dhyr, as well as
from the castle of Soun, observable to the south of the river Awchiri, and containing lead mines in its vicinity.
6th. The ruins of Doomma, situated on a very lofty mountain, whence the surrounding country is discernible; those of Dankool are a little further up. Those cities bear the names of the monarchs that founded them, and are situated in the eastern part of the Yousoufzeïs, not far from the Indus.
7th. I shall draw attention in the last place to the ruins that are two koss to the west of the present town of Dhyr, and which are assigned to the Kaffrans, who were dispossessed of them by the Mahometans, when that city was governed by the Caffer Kirkat. These merit that the greatest attention should be paid to them by travellers, in as much as, after the relations of Kazan Khan, chief of Dhyr, and on account of the combination of the latter name with the Dyrta of Arrian, I have scarcely any doubt on my mind that this is the city which Alexander passed, when he was pursuing the brother of Assacanus, and whence he set out for the Indus. If my opinion could be borne out, with such a cue it would be extremely practicable to determine the true positions of Ora, Bazira, Massaga, and other places mentioned by the above historian, concerning which I have been unable to obtain any precise information, notwithstanding the thorough researches I have made. Nevertheless I shall observe that the Hindoos of those districts assured me, that a city called Massangar, known also by the name of Maskhiné, exists on the southern frontier of Kaffristan, close to Baba Kara, twelve koss from Bajore, and four from mount Mahram, which is in that canton. They also added that the tribe called Assacenis exists in that country. If such a relation were well-founded, we should discover there the Massaga of the Greeks, the capture of which cost so much blood to Alexander, and the massacre of whose intrepid garrison cast a blemish on the exploits of that conqueror. I am not aware if this Massangar be identical with the one alluded to by Forster, who travelled through Suwat.
I have been similarly assured that there exist in the district of Booner the traces of a town called Oora, which has been also denominated Doora, and which on account of its proximity to the Indus may probably be the Ora of Arrian, (although Bazira has not been yet discovered in its vicinity) especially as that river is not known higher up, but by the name of Ab Sind, whence it may be conjectured, with some probability, that the country it washes in that part may have been the region of that Abissares, on whom our historians waste so many hypotheses, and who, according to Arrian, sent resources to Ores, when Alexander besieging that city. Apropos of Abissares, I do not deem it here
superfluous to remark that there is a mountain two days' journey N. of Dhyr, by name Ser-Adkamoos-Ouré, situated on the route leading to Badakchan, a region near which is a place called Hissar. This latter word in Hindee signifies a fortress, whence the present city of Achtnagar is also known by the name of Hissar.
I had also had scrupulous researches made concerning the Aornos, but with similar mal-success. Alluding to this rock, I have already observed in my journey through Affghanistan that a similar mount presents itself (with all the peculiarities described by Arrian) in the canton of Naoghi, near Bajore, where the vestiges also exist of a city named Ambar, which is probably the Ambolima of Ptolemy, placed by him on the lower branch of the Choes or Cophenes.
The persons I commissioned to explore the country about Dhyr reported to me, that in the canton of Laori, near that of Dhyr, there exists a mountain corresponding in all its particulars with the Aornos. Others have assured me that there is a similar one in the canton of Booner, a region, like all the rest of Yousoufzeïs, interspersed with insulated mountains, whither the inhabitants take refuge in case of imminent danger, and which, considering the proximity of the city of Amb, capital of a canton situated on the Indus, renders such an opinion sufficiently probable. I must also subjoin, that beyond the territory Mola Goori, situated below the confluence of the Penjecooré and the Suwat, to the west of both those rivers united, a mountain is observable called Salata, and also named Azarno, which on account of its insulated position and elevated form, resembling a flattened or headless cone, may be easily taken for the Aornos. This mount is quite perceptible from Peshawur, behind the defile of Fengui, as its summits far surpass the Malekan ridge. I shall also observe that on mount Guendeguer, to the N. E. of Azerou, places situated to the east of the Indus, there is the fort of Serikoot, a name bearing a striking resemblance to that of Sisicotte, to which Alexander confided the garrison of Aornos. The former is a renowned stronghold of those regions, having cost the Seiks a great deal of blood, and being the place whither the inhabitants of the surrounding countries resort for shelter in cases of peculiar peril.
After surmises of this sort, we must infer that it is extremely difficult to know which opinion to embrace, especially as the ancient historians themselves are not agreed on this important point, which constitutes one of the most brilliant of Alexander's exploits. Arrian collocates Aornos near Bazira; Strabo towards the sources of the Indus; and Quintus Curtius on the banks of that river. With reference to the latter opinion, I would observe, that a rock exists opposite
Attok, with all the peculiarities described by him, on a mountain that is
Those works are all entire, and have the
small forts defended by the Mazbis, an Indian sect in the service of the Maharajah of Lahore.
Of the great number of cupolas existing in those regions I shall distinguish the following:
1st. That of Talache, which I have already alluded to, and the five or six others that are discoverable not far from those ruins, in the defile that leads from the Suwat to the Penjecooré.
2nd. That of Chinguerdar, situated between the ruins of Berikoot and the town of Manglore. Another is observable more to the south
3rd. That of Charbag, present capital of Suwat.
4th. Those that exist among the ruins of Sedougan, to the east of Manglore.
5th. Those of Berikoot, situated near the village of Nakmira.
6th. That of Charkootliá, fifteen koss to the east of Aritchend, as well as that near the ruins of Seidabad. The latter is as large as that of Chinguerdar.
7th. That of Sepel-banda, near the village of Kharí, and as large as that of Chinguerdar.
8th. Those of Heniapoor, one of which is near the village of Fooraseuk, and the other under mount Jaffer.
9th. That near Sonigheran.
10th. The two existing on the ruins situated at the foot of mount Sookker, near the village of Riga.
11th. Those in the villages of Fakttahind and Caboolgheram.
12th. Those, in fine, of Chammely, situated on the top of a mountain.
All those massy cupolas which I am describing, are in the Yousoufzeïs territories, by which is meant all the territory comprised between the Indus and Penjecooré, from the snowy chain to the lower branch of the