صور الصفحة
PDF

general topographical features in their neighbourhood has fully borne out the correctness of Kalhaņa's account. Without the help of a larger. scale map it would, however, be impossible to explain here accurately the topographical evidence collected. I must, therefore, once more refer to the above-quoted detailed note in my forthcoming work, where a special map, on the scale of one inch to the mile, has been inserted for the illustration of this tract. In the present place I must restrict myself to indicating the main results of my enquiries.

These have shown that while the new confluence which Kalhaņa knew in his own time, is identical with the present junction opposite Shād'pūr,& the old one lay about two miles to the south-east of it, between the village of Trigānı and the Par?spār plateau. The latter is the site of the great ruins of Parihāsapura, first identified by me and shown on the map (see below, $ 121.) Trigām marks the position of the ancient Trigrāmī, and a short distance south of it stands the temple ruin which I identify with the shrine of Vişņu Vainyasvāmin.

Kalhaņa mentions this temple as the point near which “ the two rivers, the Sindhu and Vitastā, formerly met flowing to the left and right of Trigrāmi, respectively.” Standing on the raised ground before the ruin and turning towards Shad?pūr, we have on our left a narrow swamp about a quarter of a mile broad which runs north-east in the direction of Trigām. In this swamp and a shallow Nála continuing it towards Shădipūr, we can get recognize the old bed of the Sindhu. On the right we have the Badrihāl Nāla which divides the alluvial plateau of Trigām and Paraspor. This Nāla is clearly marked as an old river-bed by the formation of its banks and is still known as such to the villagers of the neighbourhood.

The Badrihēl Nāla connects the great swamp to the east known as Panzinār Nambal with the extensive marshes stretching west and northwest of Paraspor towards the Volur. This channel still serves regularly as an outflow for the Pạnzinār Nambal whenever the latter is flooded from the Vitastā at times of high-water. Were it not for the great embankments which guard the bed of the Vitastā towards the low Panzinăr Nambal, the latter would still form a regular course of the river. Even so it is still liable to be invaded by the Vitastā at times of flood. For the swamp as well as the fertile village lands reclaimed around it, lie below the level of the river-bed.

1 In the copies of the map accompanying this memoir the faint outlines by which the engraved Atlas of India sheet marks the low alluvial plateaus, the marshes, and similar features of this tract, have become much effaced. A reference to the original groundmap or the larger Survey map (2 miles to the inch) is hence recommended.

% Shādipūr is a modern contraction for Shahabuddinpar, the name given to the place by Sultan Shahābu-d-din (A.D. 1354–73) who founded it, as Jonarāja, 409, tells us, at the confluence of the Vitastā and Sindhu.

The old course of the rivers here briefly indicated explains the curious position of the Nõr (map • Noroo'). This canal which is of importance for navigation leaves the Vitastā on the left bank just opposite to the present junction with the Sindhu and practically conti. naes the southwesterly course of the latter for some distance. Only about mile of low ground divides the Nör from the end of the swamp wbich marks the bed of the Sindhu at the point of its old junction opposite the Vainyasvāmin ruin.

Similarly the position of Parihāsapura which King Lalitāditya chose for his splendid capital, becomes now intelligible. The plateau or Karēwa of Par&spār which still preserves its name is now flanked on the east by the Pạnzłnor Nambal and on the west by the marshes of Háratrath. Neither of them affords in their present condition the convenient waterway we find invariably near all other Kaśmir capitals. Before Suyya's regulation, however, the Vitastā flowed as we have seen, immediatly to the north of the plateau and at the very foot of the great temples erected here by King Lalitāditya. 71. The object and result of the change of the confluence can, I

think, also be traced yet. By forcing the Results of Suyya's

Vitastā to pass north of Trigām instead of regulation.

south of it, the reclamation of the marshes south of the Volur lake must have been greatly facilitated. The course thus given to the river carries its waters by the nearest way into that part of the Volur which by its depth and well-defined boundaries is naturally designed as a great reservoir to receive the surplus water of dangerous floods. The southern shores of the lake are still to this day the scene of a constant struggle between the cultivator and floods. The reclamation of land which has gone on for centuries in these low marshy tracts, could never have been undertaken if the Vitastā had been allowed to spread itself over them from the south, the direction marked by its old course.

The change in the confluence of the Vitastā and Sindhu was a necessary condition for the subsequent course given to the united rivers. It

I See LAWRENCE, Valley, pp, 210 sq. Kalhaņa's account shows that the huge embankments guarding the Panzłnor tract must be far older than the times of the Mughals to which they are popularly attributed.

% Compare DREW, Jummoo, p. 116, for a description of these tracts and the amphibious ways of the inhabitants who get their living as much from the water as the land around.

was thus closely connected with the general scheme of regulation and drainage. Kalhaņa indicates this by referring immediately after the above passage to stone-embankments constructed along the Vitastā for seven Yojanas (circ. 42 miles) and the damming-in of the Volur lake.1

On the land reclaiined new populous villages were founded. From the circular dykes which were built around these villages, they are said to have received the popular designation of kundala, ‘ring. We actually still find two villages on the low ground near the Volur showing in their modern names the ending kundol, derived from Skr. kundala. Utskundal (map wrongly · Watr koondl ') and Marakuņďal are situated both close to the left bank of the Vitastā before it enters the marshes at the south-eastern end of the Volur. Their names and position seem to support the assumption that the present northerly course of the river above Trigrāmi and Shādépār is directly due to Suyya's operations.

Kalhana adds that even in his own time, i.e., two and a half centuries later, there were “seen, growing on the banks of the former river-beds, old trees which bore the marks of the boat ropes fastened to them.”% Similarly the observant Chronicler noted the old pales secur. ing the embankments “ which the rivers displayed when low in the autumn."3 We must be grateful to him for the evident interest with which he ascertained and recorded the details of Avantivarman's operations. For he has thus enabled us even at the present day to trace some of the important changes then effected in the hydrography of the whole Valley. 72. Following the course of the Vitastā below its present conflu

ence with the Sindhu we soon pass the village Course of Vitastā to.

of Sambal where the route from Srinagar to wards the Volur lake. I

the north of the Volur lake and thence to the Trāgabal Pass, crosses the river. Here at some distance from the left bank is the site of the ancient Jayapura, the capital founded by King Jayāpida in the second half of the eighth century. It is marked by the village of Andørkoth situated on an island between the Sambal marsh and a branch of the canal known as Nor. An ancient causeway connects the island with the strip of land separating the marsh from the present course of the Vitastā.

i See v. 103 899. % v. 101.

8 It is still the common belief in Kaśmir that "no embankment on the riverside is sound unless it has a foundation of piles”; LAWRENCE, Valley, p. 211. Considering the peaty nature of the soil along the lower course of the river, this belief may be justified by old experience.

4 See for the identification of this site, Rajat. v. 506 note, and below, $ 122,

e the simore Kalhanhill kn

We should have some difficulty in understanding the position chosen for a town which was intended to be a place of importance if we did not know the great change effected in the course of the river by the subsequent regulation of Avantivarman. In King Jayāpīļa's time one of the main branches of the Vitastā probably followed the line of the Nõr in this neighbourhood. The island of Andørkoth which forms a small alluvial plateau, raised perhaps artificially in parts, was then a convenient site. This is no longer the case since the river flows to the east of Andørkoth and at a considerable distance. We can safely attribute to this change the fact that Jayapura like the similarly situated Parihāsapura had fallen into insignificance already before Kalhaņa's time.

Close to Sambal the river passes the foot of an isolated hill known as Āhotyung, rising about a thousand feet above the plain. Under its shelter on the north is the small lake of Mānasbal which is mentioned by the name of Mānasa(saras] in the Nilamata and by Jonarāja.' It is about two miles long, and occupying a rock-basin is deeper than the other lakes of the Kaśmir plains. It is connected with the river by a short channel and partially fed by an irrigation canal carried into it from the Sind River. Its ancient name is derived from the sacred lake on Kailāsa, famous in the Purāṇas and Epics and usually located in the Mansarovar of the Tibetan highlands.

A short distance lower down the villages of Uteokuņďal and Mar. kundal already referred to above, are passed on the left bank. There are various indications which make it probable that in old times the Volur lake reached much closer to these villages than it does at present. Kalhaņa's reference seems to indicate that these villages enclosed by circular dykes were actually reclaimed from the lake, and Jonarāja still places them on the very shore of the lake. In the same way Srivara speaking of the villages stretching from Samudrakota,the present Sudarköth, to the vicinity of Dvārikā, near Andørköth, seems to place them along the shore of the Volur.

A glance at the map shows that the land on the left bank of the river below the ‘Kundala' villages projects like a peninsula into the lake.

[ocr errors]

It can be safely assumed that the creation of this strip of land which now accompanies the river-channel for some seven miles farther, is due to the continual deposits of silt. This silting-up process is still going on in this as in other portions of the Volur where streams enter it, and is likely to reduce the expanse of the lake still further in the future.!

A striking proof for the gradual change thus effected is afforded by the position of the artificial island known now as Zainalānk. It was constructed by King Zainu-l-'ābidin from whom it took its proper designation of Jainalarkā. It was then, according to Jonarāja's description, in the middle of the Volur where the water was deep.% It is now situated in a shallow marsh close to the present embouchure of the river.

73. The great lake, with the southern shores of which we have Volur lake.

already become acquainted, is a very impor

tant feature in the hydrographic system of Kaśmir. It acts as a huge flood-reservoir for the greatest part of the drainage of Kaśmir and gives to the western portion of the Valley its peculiar character. Its dimensions vary at different periods, owing to the low shores to the south being liable to inundation. In normal years the length of the lake may be reckoned at about 12 and its width at 6 miles, with an area of about 78 square miles. In years of flood the lake extends to about 13 miles in length and 8 miles in width.s Its depth is nowhere more than about 15 feet and is continually lessening in those parts where the streams debouch into it. Notwithstanding this slight depth navigation on the lake often becomes dangerous when violent storms sweep over it from the mountains in the north. The boundaries of the lake are ill-defined in the south and partly in the east; the marshes and peaty meadows merge almost imperceptibly into the area of the lake. On the north the shores slope up towards an amphitheatre of mountains from which some rocky spurs run down to the water's edge. The fertile tract at the foot of these mountains forms the ancient Khūyāśrama, the modern Pargana of Khuyqhom.

The ancient name of the lake is MAHĀPADMASARAS, derived from the Mahāpadma Nāga.

. Nāga Mahāpadma, who is located in the lake

" as its tutelary deity. This designation is by far the most common in the Chronicles, the Nilamata, and other old

i Compare Drew, p. 166, and LAWRENCE, Valley, p. 20. The latter author is probably reproducing a popular tradition when mentioning that in King Zainu-l. 'ābidin's time the waters of the Volur stretched south to Asam and Sambal.

2 See Jonar. (Bo. ed.) 1227 sqq. The name Jainalankã was matilated in the Calcutta edition ; else it would have been shown on the map.

8 See LAWRENCE, p. 20.

« السابقةمتابعة »