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are in general so averse; and though at first, it is not a little alarming to find them falling every instant on your face and person, as they get disabled in their constant battles above; yet they never sting, and you soon become accustomed to their buzzing around, and crawling about you. If once provoked however, their vengeance is dreadful ; and the chief of a Math of Gosains attached to the temple, assured me that on some few occasions when this has happened, it was not safe to approach the place for days. He likewise hinted that if a persecutor of their master approached the Ling, Mahadeo's Fouj would instantly detect him, and probably sting him to death. A Moonshi with us had laughed at the story; but just at this moment the wind grew high, and the scattered insects were blown about our faces in hundreds : our Mussulman friend evidently thought they had found him out, and much to our amusement, and most especially that of the Mahunt, we observed him quietly stealing off, and saluted him with a peal of laughter.
The Gosains of the Math, above alluded to, reside in a small court in front of the temple. As usual in these monasteries they were very civil and communicative, and though now poor,* (the few lands on which they have rights affording little else but pasturage,) boasted largely of their former fortunes, and assured us that the establishment was of a very ancient date; an assertion in some measure borne out by several venerable looking Samadhs, the graves of former Mahunts. They pretend indeed that the Apsara was founded by Bhoj, or that at least it was coeval with the temple; which claims may not be credited, but cannot be disproved,-all the papers and grants of the Society having been lost (in a fire, I think) many years ago; which leaves the question in a convenient uncertainty.+
Bhojpoor is at present a small poor village of mud huts, and if we may judge from the scantiness of its ruins, was never a town of any size or consequence. The only building worth visiting besides Bhojeswar, is a Jain temple, remarkable for an image twenty feet high. Statues, of such large dimensions are approached, to be worshipped, by stone steps, which are built close to the wall on either side of the
* I think the Mahunt calculated the yearly value of the lands at 750 rupees; the actual members of the establishment are about 30,-the residents not more than 10 or 12.
Hyat Mahomed of Bhopal renewed their Sunnuds (we could not however get a sight of the Tambaputras,) and from his time only their history can be depended upo They read to us the list of Mahunts, all whose names have the distinctive termination of Bun.
saints. In talking of these steps I carelessly made use of the word "siri," (instead of paoria or pugtia,) much to the horror of my companion, a Jutti. The incorrectness of the term as applied to stone steps, he said was a trifle, but the word itself was unlucky, and of bad omen, which to pronounce in a temple, was almost sacrilege, and to pronounce any where was a breach of good manners, as it is the name of the bier on which a corpse is carried. Close to the Jain temple, (Mr. Wilkinson informs me) there is a cavity in the earth, from which a warm air issues; unfortunately our guide, either stupid or sulky, failed to tell us of the phenomenon, and we lost the opportunity of examining its nature.
Continuing our journey in a southerly direction, some singular looking masses of black rock, cresting a high hill to the right of the road, attracted our attention. They are known by the name, (common in all parts of India to such seemingly art-shaped stones,) of the Pandu, Bhim; and though worshipped by the country folks, (who celebrate fairs there some once or twice a year,) are, we were assured by our guide, mere natural rocks, unfashioned into their present pillar-like form by human hands, and not sanctified by any ancient images or sculpture. A personal verification of the point would have been more satisfactory, but we were obliged to take our informant at his word; as though from their conspicuous position on the brow of the hill they appeared quite close, they were at least nine miles off, and our time only admitted of going as far as Asapuri, two miles from Bhojpoor.
This village should be visited for some very beautiful Vishnooi images; which though their temples have been thrown down by some zealous servants of Mahommud or perhaps of Sheo, are themselves generally unharmed, being concealed and protected by the huge stone beams of their roofs, which seem purposely to have been allowed to The fall over them, and under which you must creep to view them. scattered ruins are richly sculptured, but we will merely specify some of the principal images.
1st. Bhoot Nath Gee, so our guide named it, probably incorrectly; as Bhoot Nath is a form of Mahadeo, and here every thing seems Vishnooi. My pundit called the figure Hunuman, but the tail was wanting.
2nd. A highly ornamented image, the size of life of probably Indrajit, with a pair of ankleted feet in front; near it a Varaha.*
*The worship of Indrajit, or Megh Nath, seems (as will be seen in the sequel) to be popular in these parts. One of the most beautiful temples in Malwa, and the chief view at Wane, is a shrine of Indrajit.
3rd. A Shesh Sohai, sculptured with admirable skill and taste. On a table supported,-at the back, by the stalks of the lotus,-in front on the heads of worshippers,-lies folded the Nag, whose hood shades, as its body furnishes a bed for, the sleeping Bhugwan. The god is represented as Chatoor Bhooja, and is surrounded by attendants, choristers, &c. In front kneels, expecting his waking, Luchmi; before the image are the Churrun, two pair of which are also sculptured on a loose square stone near it.
4th. A curious image of the "Fulfiller of Hope," from whom the village takes its name; her immense breasts distinguish her as the Indian Juno Lucina.
The drawing represents a small conical cup or basket which appears to issue from her thigh: out of it peeps forth a child's face, round which the edges of the cup closely fitting, have much the appearance of a baby's cap.
On the other side of the village lie the ruins of what must have been a very large Jain temple: jungle, and thorns had grown over them; crawling among which, not without difficulty and pain, we discovered, a statue of Santinath, standing sixteen feet high, a large sitting figure without sanchun,-and many smaller images.
At a village near this, we were received with the country welcome of the kullus; a few women brought two lotas of water, one put over the other, with a pân leaf at the top, and placing them at our feet, began singing a song, which they expect one to reward by dropping a trifle into the kullus. The officiators at this little ceremony are usually those of the lower Jats, such as live in the outskirts of towns, near which they take a position when a great man is passing on any particular occasion, standing silent with their lotas on their heads. They thus waited outside Maheswar, when Hurry Holkar escaped from his prison. Occupied with more important matters, or perhaps having no superfluous cash, he passed them all, it is said, without notice, merely dropping one rupee into the last kullus. This so unusual a proceeding was considered most impolitic; the old crones in the neighbourhood shook their heads, and prophesied all manner of evil; and a failure would have been doubtless looked upon as omened by, or consequent on, this ill-timed parsimony. To pay this compliment (kullus budhana) is a not uncommon practice; Tod and others allude to it.*
*Near Purra and Saush in Afghanistan the old ladies have a less agreeable custom, though somewhat similar to this-they throw water over the traveller and his horse as he approaches, to guard him from the evil eye.
From Bhopal to Sanchi, the villages, (inhabited by Gonds, miserable in appearance, and sunk in the grossest ignorance) will afford but few ruins, on which the antiquary can exercise his fancy or judgment. Even the temples elsewhere so common, are seldom found here; or if found, have but little pooja made in them, in lieu of the more generally worshipped Deotas of the country-the Bairawas, Lings, and Matas. The villagers pay their adoration to a parcel of small stones arranged in a square or circle, forming walled enclosures of a few yards, with a small gap for an entrance, the stones opposite which, from their larger share of paint, seem the principal objects of pooja. These gods, with a curious contradiction, (for the stones are rarely so high as a foot,) they call the Burra Deos; and though they pay a general reverence to the Hindoo Pantheon-for as one of them told me, once a year a goat dies (bukri murta) to Kali-these are the powers to whom they look, in the hour of joy or sorrow, round whom they wind the votive thread,* before whom they throw the marriage mourt, and hang up the old plough at the singust. In one of these inclosures we remarked several clubs set up, and on asking the cause, were told that finding all prayers and ceremonies ineffectual to stop a sickness which afflicted the neighbourhood at the commencement of this year, they had determined to threaten the great gods with a beating; and sickness having shortly afterwards ceased, they believe their remedy to have been efficacious.§ At one village, Sahapoor, two miles south-east from the halting place between Bhopal and Bhilsa we were shewn about forty or fifty (unfortunately we forgot to count) figures of horsemen carved in sandstone, about a foot and a half high, and ranged round a small walled inclosure in an oval; of the warriors who
Made of threads, and commonly seen encircling Lings. The grateful piety of mothers whose infants have survived the small-pox, generally prompts this simple form of devotion.
The caps made of split date leaf, or false jewellery, of a Hindu bride and bridegroom. When a river is at hand, they are generally thrown into it, otherwise at the feet of some deity. The custom, doubtless of great antiquity, may be traced in other countries—and as one of the many coincidences between Yavan and Hindu manners, which seem to argue a common origin, we may notice the resemblance of the Sehura of an Indian maiden, to the tinsel cap of the Athenian bride.
The old plough alone is thus gratefully honored (the iron however taken off) every twelfth year, other worn out articles, brooms, baskets, ghurras, &c. are merely thrown out in a heap.
§ A method of managing the gods of which there is a well known example in History, and one still practised by some of the hill tribes of India.
rode the horses (many of which are richly housed in the native fashion) the legs and spears, and a few heads which lie at the feet of the chargers, alone remain. Not one body was to be found, which renders it probable that these fragments have been brought from some other place. We eagerly inquired of the villagers where they came from, their names, their history, and whether there were any more such statues in the neighbourhood: no one was able to give us the slightest information. At last to our reiterated questions, and promises of reward to whoever would shew us any temples-any Deos-a lad replied that he would be our guide to a big god. We toiled after him over several fields, doubting, guessing, and hoping, till he stopped and pointed with a grin (I really believe the half-idiot-looking rogue knew that he was taking us in) to what in our zeal we had quite forgot-the circle of little stones, the Burra Deos. Though we were thus unsuccessful, I am by no means satisfied that a more extended investigation than our time permitted, would not have brought to light some temples or mo- . numents with which these figures were associated, and which might afford some clue to their object and history.* We only saw one other statue of a horse in this neighbourhood, that of which mention has already been made in the Society's Journal. It stands unconnected with any other sculpture on the hill from which it has been cut, at a village a mile south-south-west from Sanchi. Supposing these horses to have been originally placed in their present position, several explanations of their history offer themselves, but none that seem to me sufficient; thus, for instance, in Mussulman astanas, hundreds of small horses with riders are heaped together in honor of Alexander; but the horses thus offered, are rudely made of burnt clay, while those be
Accompanying is a drawing of one of the images, which we brought away, as the villagers pay them no respect. The walled inclosure rather resembled the ruins of a hut than a place built expressly to receive them.
Journal Asiatic Society 3; 489, where the m of the plan should point S.S. W. instead of S.E. It was buried in earth, all but the head and upper part of the back, and had been so, said the oldest inhabitants of the village, as long as they could remember. Two men cleared out its grave in about 12 hours, and brought to light a rudely fashioned, unornamented figure 124 feet from head to tail, about 10 feet high, with a head 2} feet long. The neck and belly are clumsily supported on two columns (if I may so call them) of this shape which are cut out of, and still adhere to, the same block of stone from which the horse is carved. On the recess were scratched, rather than engraved, two marks The other image at the same place, alluded to in the Journal, is modern and Braminical.