« السابقةمتابعة »
general topographical features in their neighbourhood has fully borne. out the correctness of Kalhana's account. Without the help of a largerscale 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 Kalhana knew in his own time, is identical with the present junction opposite Shadipur, the old one lay about two miles to the south-east of it, between the village of Trigan and the Par spōr 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 Viṣņu Vainyasvāmin.
Kalhana mentions this temple as the point near which "the two rivers, the Sindhu and Vitastā, formerly met flowing to the left and right of Trigrami, respectively." Standing on the raised ground before the ruin and turning towards Shad1pur, 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 Nala continuing it towards Shad1pur, we can yet recognize the old bed of the Sindhu. On the right we have the Badrihēl Nala which divides the alluvial plateau of Trigam and Partspor. This Nala 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 Nala connects the great swamp to the east known as Panzinōr Nambal with the extensive marshes stretching west and northwest of Paraspōr towards the Volur. This channel still serves regularly as an outflow for the Panzinōr Nambal whenever the latter is flooded from the Vitasta at times of high-water. Were it not for the great embankments which guard the bed of the Vitasta towards the low Panzinōr Nambal, the latter would still form a regular course of the
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.
2 Shadipur is a modern contraction for Shahabuddīnpūr, 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 Vitasta and Sindhu,
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
The old course of the rivers here briefly indicated explains the curious position of the Nōr (map Noroo'). This canal which is of importance for navigation leaves the Vitasta on the left bank just opposite to the present junction with the Sindhu and practically continues the south westerly course of the latter for some distance. Only about mile of low ground divides the Nōr from the end of the swamp which marks the bed of the Sindhu at the point of its old junction. opposite the Vainyasvamin ruin.
Similarly the position of Parihasapura which King Lalitāditya chose for his splendid capital, becomes now intelligible. The plateau or Karēwa of Paraspor which still preserves its name is now flanked on the east by the Pauz1nōr Nambal and on the west by the marshes of Haratrath. 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 Vitasta 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.
Results of Suyya's
71. The object and result of the change of the confluence can, I think, also be traced yet. By forcing the Vitasta to pass north of Trigām instead of 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 Vitasta and Sindhu was a necessary condition for the subsequent course given to the united rivers. It
I See LAWRENCE, Valley, pp, 210 sq. Kalhana's account shows that the huge embankments guarding the Panz1nōr tract must be far older than the times of the Mughals to which they are popularly attributed.
2 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. Kalhana 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 reclaimed 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 kundel, derived from Skr. kunḍala. Utsakuṇḍal (map wrongly' Watr koondl') and Markuṇḍal 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 Trigrami and Shad1pur 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 Vitastā towards the Volur lake.
course of the Vitasta below its present confluence with the Sindhu we soon pass the village of Sambal where the route from Srinagar to 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 Jayāpīḍa in the second half of the eighth century. It is marked by the village of Andarkōṭh situated on an island between the Sambal marsh and a branch of the canal known as Nōr. An ancient causeway connects the island with the strip of land separating the marsh from the present course of the Vitastā.
1 See v. 103 sqq.
2 v. 101.
8 It is still the common belief in Kasmir 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.
See for the identification of this site, Rajat. v. 506 note, and below, § 122.
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 Jayāpiḍa's time one of the main branches of the Vitastā probably followed the line of the Nōr in this neighbourhood. The island of And rkōth 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 Anderkōth 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 Kalhana's time.
Close to Sambal the river passes the foot of an isolated hill known as Āhatyung, 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 Manasa [saras] in the Nilamata and by Jonaraja. It is about two miles long, and occupying a rock-basin is deeper than the other lakes of the Kasmir 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 Puranas and Epics and usually located in the Mansarovar of the Tibetan highlands.
A short distance lower down the villages of Ute kundal and Mar2kundal 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. Kalhana'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 Sudarkōth, to the vicinity of Dvārikā, near Andarkōṭh, 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 'Kuṇḍala' villages projects like a peninsula into the lake.
1 As Jonaraja, 864 sq., makes the ancient name quite certain, the latter could have safely been shown on the map. In some passages of the Nilamata and Mahatmyas it might be doubted whether this lake or the Uttaramanasa on Mount Haramukh is intended; see however Nilamata, 1338, where the Manasa lake is mentioned after the Vitastasindhusaṁgama.
2 The construction of this canal is ascribed by Jonarāja, 864 sq., to Zainu-1'abidin.
3 See Rajat. v. 120, and Jonar. 1230, (Bo. ed.).
4 See Sriv. i. 400 sq.
J. 1. 15
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.1
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-abidin from whom it took its proper designation of Jainalanka. It was then, according to Jonaraja'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 already become acquainted, is a very imporVolur lake. tant feature in the hydrographic system of Kaśmir. It acts as a huge flood-reservoir for the greatest part of the drainage of Kasmir 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.8 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 Khuyāśrama, the modern Pargaṇa of Khuy÷hōm. The ancient name of the lake is MAHAPADMASARAS, derived from the Naga Mahapadma, who is located in the lake. Mahāpadma Nāga. as its tutelary deity. This designation is by far the most common in the Chronicles, the Nilamata, and other old
1 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'abidin's time the waters of the Volur stretched south to Asam and Sambal.
2 See Jonar. (Bo. ed.) 1227 sqq. The name Jainalanka was mutilated in the Calcutta edition; else it would have been shown on the map.
8 See LAWRENCE, p. 20.