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There is in the first place the significant name Purāņādhisthāna, “the Old Capital,' which shows that the site of Pāndrēțlian must have once been occupied by an important city. Next it is to be noted that Kalhana's narrative knows nothing of any other capital which might have been founded in this vicinity previous to the new capital built by Pravarasena II. on the site of the present Srinagar. Lastly we have an indication in the very name Srinagara which Pravarasena's city has come to bear in general usage instead of its proper and official designation Pravarapura.
If Asoka's Srinagari actually lay at or near the present Pāndrēthan the transfer of its name to the new capital is most readily accounted for. General Cunningham already has rightly pointed out the numerous analogies for such a transfer furnished by the history of other Indian capitals. Pravarasena's city was practically contiguous to the older Srinagari and existed for centuries side by side with it. We can hence easily understand that popular usage retained for the new capital the old familiar designation.3 Exactly in the same way the several new cities founded by successive kings in the vicinity of Delhi all continued to be known simply by the name “ Delhi,” though each of them was originally intended to bear the distinctive name of its founder.
Though Purāņādhişthiāna bad sunk to small importance already in Hindu times, extensive remains of ancient buildings can still be traced on the terraced slopes rising immediately to the north and north-east of Pāndrēķhan. Foundations of old walls, carved slabs, and architectural fragments cover the foot of the hill-side for about one and a half miles. Broken Lingas of colossal dimensions are scattered among them. All the remains above ground, however, are far too much decayed to permit of a distinction of individual structures.3
The advantages of Påndrēţhan as the site for a great city cannot be compared with those offered by the position of Srinagar. Yet the close vicinity of the Vitastā, covpled with the security from floods which the near hill-slopes afford, must have been appreciated in an earlier
I See Anc. Geogr., pp. 97 sq.
8 The feminine form Srinagari is used also for the new capital; comp. Rajat. i. 104 note. There is thus no difference in the name as applied to both A soka's and Pravarasena's cities. Srinagara or Srinaguri means the “City of Sri”, ie, of Laksmī, the Goddess of Fortune. For a whimsical etymology of European growth, wbich has turned Srinagar into the "City of the San", see above $ 4, note.
8 Compare for an account of these ruins, CUNNINGHAM, J. A. 8. B., 1848, pp. 283 8q., Anc. Geogr. 95 8q. [The remarks made in the latter place as to the supposed cause of the desertion of Purāņādbişçhāna rest on a misinterpretation of certain Rājatarangiņi passages. The reconstruction of an alleged ' Pravareśvara symbol' at Påndrēçuan, J; A. S. B., 1848, pp. 324 89., is also unsupported by evidence.]
period when probably the riveraine flats of the valley were less drained. The small semi-circular glens which are formed between projecting spurs both north and east of the present village, with their gentle slopes offer convenient building sites. The fertile shores of the Dal are also within easy reach of Pāndréthan through the gap in the hill-range which separates the Takht-i Sulaimān hill from the greater heights to the east. It is probably in this direction that we have to look for the Sanghārāma mentioned by Hiuen Tsiang in connection with the old city.' 91. Kalhaņa's Chronicle furnishes us with a full account of the
origin of the new city which was the capital Pravarasena's capital,
of the Kaśmir in his time and destined to
remain so to the present day. Kalbaņa attributes the foundation of this capital to King Pravarasena II. graphical details of bis description make it clear beyond all doubt that its site was that of the present Srinagar.
The identity of the latter with Pravarasena's town was duly recognized by General Cunningham who referred to the close agreement between the general features of Kalhaņa's description and the situation of the present capital. He also pointed out that Kalhaņa distinctly mentions as one of the pious buildings founded in Pravarasena's city that very Jayendravihāra in which Hiuen Tsiang resided during his long stay in the Kasmir capital. Subsequently Professor Bühler noticed the survival of several old local names for parts of the modern city which also prove its identity with Pravarasena's capital. The most convincing evidence, however, is contained in the long list of ancient buildings and localities which Kalhaņa mentions in Pravarasena's town. In the course of our survey we shall be able to identify many of them within the modern Srinagar and its environs.
The attribution of this new capital to King Pravarasena rests on equally strong proof. Through a chain of references extending over nearly twelve centuries we can trace the use of the name PRAVARAPURA, shortened (bhimavat) for Pravarasenapura, as the official and correct designation of the city occupying the site of the present Srinagar. We have found this appellation already in the record of the T'ang Annals going back to the commencement of the eighth century. It is also found in the works of Kşemendra, Bilhaņa, and numerous other Kaśmirian authors. It has continued to be used to the present day in colophons of Sanskrit Manuscripts, in horoscopes and similar documents.
I See Rajat. iji. 336-363. % See Anc. Geogr., p. 97 ; also Rajat. iii. 355 note. 8 Compare Report, p. 16. 4 For detailed references see my note Räjat. iii. 339-349. Sri.Pravarapure for
The date of King Pravarasena II. whose name the above designation of the new capital was intended to preserve, cannot be fixed with accuracy. Various historical and numismatic indications, however, make it probable that he ruled at some period of the 6th century. Thus we can easily understand that at the time of Hiuen Tsiang's visit (A.D. 631) Srinagara or Pravarapura was still the 'new city.'
92. The traditional account of the foundation of Pravarapura as Legend of foundation
recorded by Kalhaņa is of considerable interest. of Pravarapura.
Though largely interwoven with legendary
matter it preserves for us a series of exact topographical data. Kalhaņa's story is contained in verses 336–349 of the Third Book, and runs briefly as follows.?
When King Pravarasena II. had returned from his victorious expeditions abroad, he desired to found a new capital which was to bear his name. He was then residing in the city of his grandfather Pravarasena I., i.e., in Purāņādhişthiāna. From there the king went forth at night in order, as the text says, “to ascertain in a supernatural way the proper site and the auspicious time for the foundation of the new city.” On his way he reached a stream which skirted a burning ground, and was illuminated by the glow of funeral pyres. Then on the other bank of the stream there appeared to him a demon of terrible form. Promising him fulfilment of his desire, the demon invited the king to cross over to his own side by the embankment he was preparing for him. Thereupon “the Rākşasa stretched out his own knee from the other bank, and thus caused the water of the Mahāsarit to be parted by an embankment (Setu).” The courageous Pravarasena drew out his dagger (kşurikā), cut with it steps into the flesh of the Rākşasa, and thus crossed over to the place which has since been known as Kșurikābala. The demon then indicated to him the auspicious time and disappeared, after telling him to build his town where he would see the measuring line laid down in the morning. This line (sūtra) of the Vetāla the king eventually discovered “at the village of Sārīțaka at which the goddess Sūrikū and the demon Atļa resided." There he built his city in which the first shrine erected was the famous one of Siva Pravareśvara.
Sripravarasenapure is often written in the abbreviated form Sripre in the formulas of the Lokaprakāśa, almanacs, etc. Kalhaņa often uses the simple Pura for Parvarapura and Nagara for Srinagara.
| For all detailed references in connection with this story, note iii. 339–349 should be consulted.
? That Purāņādhisthana is meant is proved by iii. 99. There Kalhaņa, speaking of a foundation of Pravarasena I. in his capital, by a kind of anachronism uses the designation of Purāņādhisthāna.
Keeping in view the details of the ancient topography of Srinagar, we can still follow up step by step the localities by which the legend bere related leads King Pravarasena to the site of his new city. We have already seen that the Mahāsarit is the stream now known as Tsūņķh Kul which flows from the Dal into the Vitastā. Near its conAuence with the Vitastā which we have also found already mentioned as a Tirtha, there existed, until the times of Mahārāja Raņbir Singh, a much frequented Hindu burning Ghāț. It was undoubtedly of ancient date. Kalhaņa relates how the body of King Uccala, murdered in his palace at Srinagar, was hurriedly cremated at the burning place situated on the island at the confluence of the Mahāsarit and Vitastā.1 It is certain that the island of Māy&sum (Skr. Mākşikasvāmin) is meant here, at the western end of which the Mabāsarit or Tsūņth Kul falls into the Vitastā.
The stream flowing from the Dal is bounded on its northern bank by an old embankment which stretches from the west foot of the Takht-i Sulaimān close to the high bank of the Vitastā near the Second Bridge. This embankment which is the most substantial at or around Srinagar and known only by the general designation of Suth (from Skr. setu), dyke,' is undoubtedly of very early date. It protects the whole of the low-lying portions of the city on the right river-bank as well as the floating gardens and shores of the Dal which would otherwise be exposed to annual inundations from the Vitastā. A tradition still heard by Mr. Vigne ascribed the construction of this embankment to King Pravarasena. It is indeed evident that its construction was a necessary condition for the safety of the newly founded city.
Several topographical indications warrant the conclusion that it was this old dyke in which the popular legend recorded by Kalhaņa recognized the leg and knee of the demon. A glance at the map shows that the eastern portion of the 'Suth' turns sharply at a right angle and thus curiously resembles a bent knee. Kșurikābala was the name of the place where Pravarasena according to the legend was supposed to have reached firm ground after crossing the stream. I have shown that this name in the form of its Kaśmiri derivative Khudobal still attaches to the city quarter which lies at the western end of the Suth.8
Finally it will be seen from the map that Kalbana's words regarding the “Setu' dividing the waters of the Mabāsarit, describe exactly the present embankment which has on one side the Tsūņķh Kul and on the other side the various marshes and canals fed by the Mār. It
I See viii. 339.
has been shown above that this second outflow of the Dal also shared the old name of Mahāsarit.! 93. The name of the village Sārițaka wbere the demon showed
to the king the proper site for his city, has Old limits of Pravarapura.
long ago disappeared. Its position, however,
is sufficiently marked by the mention of the goddess Sārikā. The latter, a form of Durgā, has since ancient times been worshipped on the hill which rises to the north of the central part of Srinagar and is still called after her. The modern name of the hill, Hāra parvat, is the regular phonetic derivative of Skr. Sārikāparvata. By this name it is designated in the latter Chronicles and Māhātmyas.
Another passage of the Rājatarangiņi shows that the term Vetālasūtrapāta, the demon's measuring line,' clearly connected with the above legend, was also in later times applied to the limits of the oldest part of Pravarapura 8. But our materials do not enable us to ascer. tain these limits in detail. Kalhaņa it is true, has not failed to specify them, as he mentions the temples of Vardhanasvāmin and Visvakarman as marking the extreme ends of Pravarasena's city. Unfortunately the position of neither of these structures can now be traced.
So much, however, is clear that the new city was at first confined to the right bank of the river. Kalhaņa tells this distinctly,
6 and those sites and structures which he particularly mentions in his description of Pravarasena's capital, are all found as far as they can be identified, on the right bank. The account of Hiuen Tsiang and the T'ang Annals show that even in the 7th century Pravarapura extended mainly along the eastern bank of the river. 6 Kalhaņa follows up his account of the foundation of the city with
a brief description of its splendoors 7. He Kalhana's description of Pravarapura.
notes the extravagant story of its having once counted thirty-six lakhs of houses, and
I Compare § 65.
% See note iii. 339–349. Here is the Kaśmiri name of the goddess Sariki as well as of the Sarika bird (Maina); comp. BÜHLER, Report, pp. 16 sq.
Panjabis and other foreign visitors from India have by a popular etymology tarned the 'Hill of Särikā' into the ‘Hill of Hari (Vişņa)' or the 'Verdant Hill.' The latter interpretation could be justified only on the principle of lucus a lucendo ; for verdure is soarce indeed on the rocky faces of the Sārikåparvata. DR. BERNIER already, Travels, p. 398, was told this popular etymology, probably by his friends from Delhi.
8 See vi. 191 note. 4 jii. 357. 6 iii. 358. o See above, S$ 8, 10. 7 jii. 357-363.