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GRAHĀRAS are meant the fertile lands of the present Gupkār, between the north foot of the Takht hill and the Dal. The name Gupakār may be, in fact, the direct phonetic derivative of the term used by Kalhana.'
Our surmise is supported by the reference which Kalhana in the verse immediately following makes to the village BRUKṢĪRAVĀṬIKĀ. This place is identified by the old glossator A, with Buchivōr, a small hamlet situated on the narrow strip of land at the rocky north-west foot of the Takht hill. The modern name is clearly derived from Kalhana's form. Gopaditya is said to have removed to this confined and secluded spot Brahmans who had given offence by eating garlic.
The combined mention of Gopadri, Gopāgrahāra and Bhūkṣiravātikā in Rajat. i. 341 sq. suggests that Kalhana has reproduced here local traditions collected from the sites immediately adjoining the hill. Whether the connection of these localities with King Gopaditya's reign was based on historical fact, or only an old popular etymology working upon the word Gopa found in the first two names, can no longer be decided.
Continuing our route along the eastern shore of the Dal we come, at a distance of about one mile from Gupakar, to the large village of Thid, prettily situated amid vineyards and orchards. It is the THEDA of the Rajatarangiņi, mentioned as one of the places which the pious King Samdhimat or Aryarāja adorned with Mathas, divine images, and Lingas. Abu-l-Fazl speaks of Thid as "a delightful spot where seven springs unite; around them are stone buildings, memorials of by-gone times." The remains here alluded to can no longer be traced, but the seven springs (Saptapuskarini) which are also referred to in the Haracaritacintamaņi (iv. 40 sqq.), are still pointed out.
The cluster of villages which we reach about one and a half miles beyond Thid, and which jointly bear the name Bran, can be safely identified with ВHĪMĀDEVI which Kalhaṇa notices along with Theda. The Nilamata knows the sacred site of Bhimadevi in conjunction with the Sureśvari Tirtha which we shall next visit, and in the Haracaritacintāmaņi it is named with the seven springs of Theda. The Tirtha of Bhīmādevi is no longer known, but may be located with some probability at the fine spring near Dāmpōr marked now by a Muhammadan shrine.
1 Gupakar may go back to a form Gupagar, with assimilation of g to the preceding tenuis. In Ks. the hardening of g to k is by no means unknown, see Dr. Grierson's remarks, Z.D.M.G., 1., p. 3. * Gupagar could easily be traced back to Gopagrahara through Pr. forms like Gupagrár.
See Rajat. ii. 135 note.
8 Ain-i-Akb., ii. p. 361.
103. A sacred site of far greater fame and importance is that of the present village of Isbar which lies about. Tīrtha of Sureśvarī. two miles further north on the Dal shore and a little beyond the Mughal garden of Nishat. The site was known in ancient times as Suresvarikṣetra ('the field of Sureśvari'). It was sacred to Durga-Sureśvari who is still worshipped on a high crag rising from the mountain range to the east of Isabar village. The seat of the goddess is on a rugged rock some 3000 feet above the village, offering no possible room for any building. The numerous shrines erected in her honour were hence built on the gently sloping shore of the lake below. The Tirtha of Sureśvari is often referred to in Kalhana's Chronicle and other Kasmirian texts as a spot of exceptional holiness. It was particularly sought by the pious as a place to die at. The pilgrimage to Sureśvari is connected with visits to several sacred springs in and about Is bar. One of them, Satadhārā, is already mentioned by Kṣemendra. It is passed in a narrow gorge some 1500 feet below the rock of Sureśvari.
Isabar derives its present name from the shrine of ISEśVARA which King Samdhimat-Aryarāja according to the Rajatarangini erected in honour of his Guru Iśāna.3 An earlier form, Isabrōr, which is found in an old gloss of the Chronicle and evidently was heard also by Abū-l-Fazl, helps to connect Isabar and Iśeśvara.4
Isabar is still much frequented as a pilgrimage place. The chief attraction is a sacred spring known as Guptagangā which fills an ancient stone-lined tank in the centre of the village. This conveniently accessible Tirtha is the scene of a very popular pilgrimage on the Vaiśākhi day and has fairly obscured the importance of the mountain seat of Sureśvari. A ruined mound immediately behind the tank is popularly believed to mark the site of the Isesvara shrine. Numerous remains of ancient buildings are found around the sacred springs and elsewhere in the village. They probably belong to the various other temples the erection of which is mentioned by Kalhaṇa at the site of Sureśvari. Passing round the foot of the ridge on which Sureśvari is
worshipped, we come to the small village of Harvan which the old glossator of the Rājata
rangini identifies with SADARHADVANA (the
1 Compare for Suresvari and the site of Isabar, note v. 37.
2 See Samay. ii. 29.
3 See Rajat. ii. 134 note.
-bar is a modern contraction for -brōr, from Skr. bhaṭṭāraka, which in Kasmir local names has often taken the place of its synonym -iśvara; comp. e.g., Skr. Vijayeśvara > Kś. Vijṛbrōr.
6 See Rajat. v. 37, 40 sq.; viii. 3365.
J. 1. 21
wood of the six Arhats'). This place is mentioned by Kalhana as the residence of the great Buddhist teacher Nagarjuna. The name Hārvan may well be derived from Saḍarhad vana, but in the absence of other evidence the identification cannot be considered as certain. On the hill-side south of the village I observed already in 1888 fragments of ornamented bricks. Since then remarkable remains of ancient brickpavements have come to light on occasion of excavations made for the new Srinagar waterworks.
Proceeding further up the valley of the stream which comes from the Mar Sar lake, we reach, at a distance of about three miles from the Dal, the village of Triphar. Evidence I have discussed elsewhere, makes it quite certain that it is the ancient TRIPURESVARA (Tripureśa).2 The latter is repeatedly mentioned as a site of great sanctity by Kalhaṇa as well as in the Nilamata and some Māhātmyas. But it has long ago ceased to be a separate pilgrimage place. A little stream known as the Tripuraganga near Triphar is, however, still visited as one of the stations. on the Mahadeva pilgrimage.
Kṣemendra in the colophon of his Dasavataracarita refers to the hill above Tripuresa as the place where he was wont to find repose and where he composed his work. In Zain-ul-'abidin's time Tripureśvara seems yet to have been a Tirtha much frequented by mendicants.3 Tripureśvara too possessed its shrine of Jyeṣṭheśvara, and to this King Avantivarman retired on the approach of death. A legend related by the Sarvavatāra connected the site of Tripureśvara with the defeat of the demon Tripura by Siva and with the latter's worship on the neighbouring peak of Mahadeva. I have not been able to examine the site and am hence unable to state whether there are any ancient ruins near it.
The whole mountain-ridge which stretches to the south of Triphar and along the Dal, bore in ancient times the name of SRIDVĀRA.5 On the opposite side of the Valley rises the great peak of MAHADEVA to a height of over 13,000 feet. Numerous references to it in the Nilamata, Sarvāvatāra, and other texts, show that it was in old times just as now frequented as a Tirtha.
We may now again descend the valley towards the north shore of the Dal. On our way we pass close to Harvan the village of Tsatsa where the convenience of modern worshippers has located a substitute for the
1 See Rajat. i. 173 note.
& Compare Rajat. v. 46 note.
8 See Sriv. i. 402.
See Rajat. v. 123 note.
See Rajat, viii. 2422,
ancient Tirtha of the goddess Sarada (see below (127). Leaving aside the famous garden of Shalimar of which our old texts know nothing,1 we come to a marshy extension of the Dal known as Tēlabal. The stream which flows through it and which forms a branch of the river coming from the Mar Sar, bore the old name of Tilaprastha."
104. The road which takes us from Telabal to the mouth of the Sind Valley is the same which was followed by the pretender Bhikṣacara and his rebel allies on a march to Sureśvari described in the Rājatarangiņi,3 The narrow embankment on which they fought and defeated the royal troops, leads across the Telabal marshes.
At the south foot of the ridge which runs down to the opening of the Sind Valley, we find the village of Ranyil, the ancient HIRAṆYAPURA. The place is said by Kalhana to have been founded by King Hiraṇyākṣa. As it lies on the high-road from the Sind Valley to Srinagar it is repeatedly mentioned also in connection with military operations directed from that side against the capital. The victorious Uccala when marching upon Srinagar, had the Abhiseka ceremony performed en route by the Brahmans of Hiranyapura. It seems to have been a place of importance, since it figures in a fairy-tale related in the Kathāsaritsāgara as the capital of Kasmir. A spring a little to the south of the village is visited by the pilgrims to the Haramukuṭagangā and bears in Mahatmyas the name of Hiranyākṣanāga.
From near Ranyil several old water-courses radiate which carry the water of the Sind River to the village lying between the Anchiar and the Dal lakes. One of these canals passes the village of Zukur. A tradition recorded already by General Cunningham identifies this place with the ancient JUSKAPURA. Kalhana names the place as a foundation of the Turuşka (i.e. Kuşana) King Juşka who also built a Vihāra there.6 The Muhammadan shrines and tombs of the village contain considerable remains of ancient buildings.
1 The first reference to this somewhat over-praised locality which I can find, is in Abu-l-Fazl who mentions the waterfall or rather the cascades of 'Shālahmār'; see ii. p. 361. The Vitastā-, Iśālaya-, and Mahādeva-Māhātmyas which are of very modern origin, show this faet also by their references to 'Sālamāra' and the whimsical etymologies which they give for the name (Māraśālā, etc.). We might reasonably expect that Jonarāja and Srivara in their detailed accounts of the Dal would have mentioned the place if it had then claimed any importance.
2 See Rajat. v. 46 note; Sriv. i. 421.
8 See Rajat. viii. 744 note.
For detailed references see Rajat, i. 287 note.
6 See Kathasar. lxv. 215 sqq.
6 See Rajat, i. 168 note; Anc. Geogr. p. 101.
To the west of Juşkapura and on the shore of the Anch1ar lies the large village of Amburher. It is the ancient AMARESVARA often mentioned in the Rājatarangiņi in connection with military operations to the north of Srinagar. This is easily accounted for by the fact that the place lay then as now on the high road connecting the Sind Valley with the capital. It took its name from a temple of Siva Amareśvara which Suryamati, Ananta's queen, endowed with Agrahāras and a Maṭha. The ancient slabs and sculptured fragments which I found in 1895 in and around the Ziarat of Farrukhzad Sahib, may possibly have belonged to this temple.
Continuing on the road towards Srinagar for about two miles further we come to the large village of Vicar Nāg prettily situated in extensive walluut groves. A fine Naga near the village forms the object of a popular Yātrā in the month of Caitra. It is supposed to be an epiphany of the Ailapattra Naga who is mentioned also in the Nilamata. An earlier designation seems to be MUKTĀMULAKANAGA which is given to the locality by Srivara and in the Tirthasaṁgraha. To the west of the village and near an inlet of the Anchiar are the ruins of three ancient temples now converted into Ziarats and tombs.5
Only a quarter of a mile to the east of Vicar Nag and on the other side of the old canal called Lacham Kul Amrtabhavana. (*Lakṣmikulyā) stands the hamlet of Ante. baran. In my "Notes on Ou-k'ong's account of Kasmir" I have proved that Ântabavan derives its name from the ancient Vibāra of AMṚTABHAVANA which Amṛtaprabhā, a queen of Meghavahana, is said to have erected.* Ou-k'ong mentions the Vihara by the name of Nyo-mi-t'o-po-wan which represents a transcribed Prakrit form *Amitabhavana or Āmitabhavana. An ancient mound with traces of a square enclosure around it, which is found between the canal and the hamlet, may possibly belong to the remains of this Vihara.
Tīrtha of Sodara.
Proceeding to the east of Ântabavan for about a mile we come to the large village of Sudar bal situated on a deep inlet of the Dal, known as Sudarakhun. The name of the village and the neighbouring portion of the lake make it very probable that we have to place here the sacred spring of SODARA.5 It formed the subject of an ancient legend related by
1 See Rajat. vii. 183 note.
2 See Sriv. iv. 65. On his authority the name Muktāmūlakanaga ought to have been shown on the map.
8 Compare for a view of these remains, COLE, Ancient Buildings, p. 31. See Rajat. iii. 9 note, and Notes on Ou-k'ong, pp. 9 sqq.
See Rājat. i. 125-126 note. Ks. bal in Sudarabal means merely 'place.'