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or history. Excavations made by me at the site in 1891 brought to light interesting sculptures, but no evidence as to its name. The large village of Sutur (map 'Sootoor') to the south-west of Nārastān may possibly account for the entry of Satrava in the Lokaprakasa's list of Parganas.
District of Dakṣiņa
107. The eastern boundary of Vular is marked by the high spur which descends from the north towards the confluence of the Vitastā and Gambhirā. The adjoining district to the east is one of considerable extent. It comprises besides the whole right or western side of the Lidar Valley also the low-lying tract between the Vitastā and the lower course of the Visoka. The modern name of this great Pargana is Dachünpōr which appears in Srivara's Chronicle as DAKṢINAPĀRA. This clearly means the right bank' [of the Ledari or Lidar]. Another form, of the same significance, is Dakṣiṇapārśva found in the Lokaprakāśa and Mārtāṇḍamāhātmya. To this designation corresponds the term Vāmapārsva, now Khōvurpōr, which as we shall see, is applied to the left side of the Lider Valley.1
The junction of the Vitasta with the Gambbira, i.e., the united Visoka and Ramaṇyāṭavi, has already been mentioned above as a Tirtha. Not far from it lies the village of Marhōm, on the Vitastā, mentioned by Jonarāja under its old name of MADAVASRAMA. The first part of the name is identical with that of Maḍavarājya.
About two miles south-east of Marhōm and not far from the Vitastā, we find the village Vagthōm, with a sacred spring known by the name of HASTIKARŅA. This name seems to have applied formerly to the place itself which we find twice thus referred to by Kalhana. It is possibly the Hastikarņa, where Bhoja, Harsa's son, was treacherously murdered.
About one mile to the south of Hastikarna the Vitastā makes a great bend. The peninsula thus formed is occupied by a small Uḍar or alluvial plateau which owing to its height and isolated position
is a very conspicuous object in the landscape. It was once the site of
1 General Cunningham, Anc. Geogr., p. 94, assumes that Kś. dachün 'right' is 'now used to denote the "north," and kāwar, (recte khōvur) or "left," to denote the "south." This assumption, however, as well as the explanation given for the alleged change of meaning are based on some misunderstanding..
2 See § 64.
8 See Jonar. (Bo. ed.), 132.
♦ See Rājat. v. 23 note; also vii. 1650. Another Hastikarṇa, mentioned by Srivara, i. 441, seems to have been near Srinagar on the west.
one of the oldest and most famous shrines of the Valley, the temple of Viṣṇu CAKRADHARA.
The plateau is still known as Tsakodar Uḍar. Brahman tradition is aware of the derivation of this name from Cakradhara. It was first brought to the notice of European scholars by Prof. BÜHLER who had duly recognized the antiquarian importance of the site. The shrine of Cakradhara is often mentioned as a Tirtha of great sanctity. It was also closely connected with the legends regarding the burned city of Narapura, localized as we shall see in its close vicinity. But the only detailed notice of the temple we owe to a historical incident which occurred there during the civil wars of Sussala's reign.1
The royal troops having been forced to evacuate the neighbouring town of Vijayeśvara or Vij brōr, the inhabitants of the latter place and the neighbouring villages took refuge in the temple of Cakradhara. This, by its position on the high and steep Uḍar, was naturally well-adapted for defence. The temple filled by the crowd of fugitives and routed soldiers, was soon besieged by the rebel troops of Bhikṣacara. The temple courtyard was protected by massive wooden ramparts and gates. When these had been set on fire by the assailants a mighty conflagration ensued in which the whole mass of people inside perished. Kalhana vividly describes this great catastrophe which he believes to have provoked divine vengeance and thus to have brought about the downfall. of the pretender.
The account here given is of topographical interest. It shows that the temple actually stood on the flat top of the Uḍar, and also explains the scarcity of stone-remains in this locality. The absence of conspicuous ruins had already been noticed by Prof. Bühler. When visiting in 1895 the Tsakadar Uḍar, I found only traces of a quadrangular enclosure, about forty yards square. They are marked by hollows at the northern end of the Uḍar which is separated from the rest by a dip in the ground. These hollows may possibly be the last indications. of the wooden ramparts which enclosed the shrine.
The temple seems to have been subsequently restored,, and Jonarāja mentions the statue of Cakradhara among those chief divine images which Sikandar Butshikast destroyed." Jayadratha in his
1 See Rajat. i. 38, 201 notes.
2 See Report, p. 18.
3 See Rājat. vii. 258, 261, 269; Jonar. (Bo. ed.), 763; Srikanthac. iii. 12; Nila. mata, 1170.
See Rājat. viii. 971-995. The date of the burning of Cakradhara seems to have been the 12th Srāvaṇa śudi, A.D. 1121.
↳ See Jonar. (Bo. ed.), 763.
Haracaritacintamaņi devotes a separate canto, vii, to the relation of the legend which localized the disc-wielding god at the Tirtha of Cakradhara. The latter is still referred to in a general way in the old Vijayeśvaramāhātmya (No. 87, Poona MSS.). Now, however, Cakradhara is no longer visited by the pilgrims to Vijayeśvara though the Purohitas of the latter place still retain a recollection of the former sanctity of the site.
108. There can be no doubt that at the foot of the Cakradhara Uḍar there stood once an ancient town of conLegend of Narapura. siderable importance. From the low ground towards the river on the east and from the river-bed itself, ancient coins going back to Greek and Indo-Scythian rule are annually extracted in considerable quantities. Popular tradition still asserts that this site was once occupied by a great town. This tradition existed already in the time of Kalhana who records it in the interesting legend of the burned city of Narapura.
the First Book.
This is told at great length in a poetic episode of
King Nara is said to have founded a splendid capital, called after himself NARAPURA, on the sandy bank of the Vitasta close to the shrine of Cakradhara. "There in a grove was a pond of limpid water, the habitation of the Naga Suśravas." A young Brahman who had found occasion to assist the Naga and his two daughters when in distress, was allowed to marry in reward oue of the latter. He lived in happiness at Narapura until the beauty of the Naga lady excited the passion of the wicked king. When Nara found his advances rejected with scorn, he endeavoured to seize the beautiful Candralekha by force. The couple fled for protection to their father's habitation.
The Naga then rose in fury from his pool and "burned the king with his town in a rain of fearful thunderbolts." Thousands of people were burned before the image of Visņu Cakradhara to which they had fled for protection. Ramanya, the Naga's sister, came down from the mountains carrying along masses of rocks and boulders. These she dropped, as we have seen, along the bed of the Ramaṇyāṭavi or Rembyar, when she found that Suśravas had already wreaked his vengeance. The Naga himself feeling remorse at the carnage he had caused, removed to a lake on a far-off mountain. There "he is to the present day seen by the people on the pilgrimage to Amareśvara." 2 "To this day," thus closes Kalhana's narration, "that tale is remembered by the people when they behold close to Cakradhara that town destroyed by fire and that pond which has become a dry hollow."
1 See Rājat. i. 201-274.
• Compare regarding the lake of the Nāga Subravas on the route to Amburnāth, above, § 59.
Whatever the origin of the legend here told may have been, it is clear that popular tradition in Kalhana's time looked upon the barren ground which stretches along the river between Tsakdar and the present Vij bror as the site of an ancient city. The ruins which in the 12th century were pointed out as the remains of the burned Narapura, may have supplied the immediate starting point of the legend.
What these remains were we cannot say. As the ground referred to is subject to annual inundation it is possible that the remains meant have since disappeared under alluvial deposits. The habitation of the 'Suśram' Nāga was still shown to me in a hollow, generally dry, close to the south-east foot of the Uḍar. The name of Narapura and its king are no longer remembered. But the main features of the legend as heard by Kalhaņa, still live in the local tradition.
109. The ancient town which once stood in the position indicated, was evidently succeeded by VIJAYESVARA, the Vijayeśvara. present Vijebror. The latter place, situated less than two miles above Cakradhara, received its name from the ancient shrine of Siva Vijayeśvara (Vijayeśa, Vijayeśāna). This deity is worshipped to the present day at Vij brōr. The site has evidently from early times been one of the most famous Tirthas of Kaśmir. It is mentioned as such in the Rājatarangiņi and many old Kaśmīrian texts. The tradition regarding Aśoka's connection with it supplies historical proof for its antiquity. According to Kalhana's account which may well have been based on genuine local tradition or even inscriptional evidence, Aśoka had replaced the old stuccoed enclosure of the temple by one of stone. The great king was also credited with having erected within this enclosure two temples called Asokeśvara.
This old temple which is often mentioned by Kalhana and was the scene of many a historical incident, has now completely disappeared. According to the tradition of the local Purohitas it stood at a site close the river-bank and nearly opposite to the bridge over the Vitastā. When I first visited Vijabrōr in 1889 I still found some ancient slabs and fragments at this spot. It was then some 15 feet below the level of the surrounding ground,3 and has since been partly built over. Stone materials are said to have been removed from here for the new temple
1 Compare for detailed references, Rājat. i. 38, 105 notes.
The legend of the Tirtha is given at length in the x. Prakasa of the Haracari. tacintamani.
8 General Cunningham who saw these remains in 1847, rightly attributes them to the temple of Vijayeśa, but calls the place‘Vijayapāra.' He justly points to the difference of level as an indication of the antiquity of the structure; see Anc. Geogr., p. 98.
of Vijayeśvara which was built by Mahārāja Ranbir Singh some thirty years ago higher up on the river-bank.
It is probable that a temple so much frequented had undergone more than one restoration in the course of the fifteen centuries which lie between the time of Asoka and the end of Hindu reign in Kaśmir. Some time before A.D. 1081, while King Ananta was residing at the Tirtha of Vijayeśvara, the temple was burned down in a general conflagration, caused by his son Kalasa. The latter, however, subsequently restored the shrine. The old Linga of Siva Vijayeśvara seems to have fallen a victim to the iconoclasm of Sikandar Butshikast.1
The town of Vijayeśvara is ascribed by Kalhana to King Vijaya. 2 But nothing else is recorded of this ruler, aud this may cause a doubt as to his historical existence. It is significant that the town is designated either simply Vijayeśvara or as Vijayakṣetra, which is abbreviated from Vijayeśvarakṣetra. The modern name Vijsbrōr is the Ks. equivalent of Vijayeśvara, bror (from Skr. bhaṭṭāraka 'god') having replaced the more specific -isvara, the usual designation of Siva. 3
That the town had acquired importance at a comparatively early date, is indicated by the mention of a thousand Agrahāras said to have been granted here by King Mihirakula to a settlement of Gandhāra Brahmaus. It was large enough to accommodate the whole court and army of King Ananta when the latter removed his residence to Vijayeśvara. The narrative of the civil wars which fills the last Book of Kalhana's Chronicle shows the importance of the town by frequent references to the military operations of which it was the object. One of these passages proves that there was a bridge over the Vitastā here already in the twelfth century, just as there is one still.
Vij brōr has remained a town of some importance and still boasts of a considerable number of Brahmans, mostly Purohitas of the Tirtha. The latter being conveniently situated on the pilgrims' way to Mārtāṇḍa
1 See Jonar. (Bo. ed.), 762; for an earlier mention of this emblem see ib., 127. 2 Rajat. ii. 62.
3 Compare Rujat. i. 38 note; also ii. 134. In the same way Isabrōr represents Iseśvara; with the feminine-brṛr for bhaṭṭārikā we have Sundṛbrar for Saṁdhyādevi, Budobrar for Bheḍādevi, etc.
The forms' Bijbiāra,' 'Bijbihara,'' Bijbehara,' etc., under which the local name figures in European books, are all based on a faulty Panjabi pronunciation. A fanciful etymology of the name which sees in the first part of the word vidyā 'learning' and in the second Vihāra,' has found favour in the guide-books and may be mentioned here for curiosity's sake.
• See Rajat. i. 317.
b See Rajat. vii. 336 sqq.
6 Rajat. viii. 746 899., 969 842., 1140, 1509 sqq., eto.