صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

these religious structures left their names to the sites at which they were erected. They can thus be traced to the present day in the designations of villages or city quarters.

The topographical interest which Kalbana's notices of town-foundations possess is considerably enhanced by the fact that in more than one case they are accompanied by accurate descriptions of the site chosen and the buildings connected with them. Thus Kalhaņa's detailed accounts of the foundation of Pravarapura, iii. 336–363, is curiously instructive even in its legendary particulars. It enables us to trace with great precision the original position and limits of the city which was destined to remain thereafter the capital of Kaśmir: Similarly the description given of Purihăsapura and its great shrines has made it possible for me to fix with accuracy the site of the town which Lalitāditya's fancy elevated for a short time to the rank of a capital, and to identify the remains of the great buildings which once adorned it.8 Not less valuable from an antiquarian point of view is the account given to us of the twin towns Jayapura and Dvāravati which King Jayāpida founded as his royal residence near the marshes of Andørkoth.“ We shall see below to what extent the correct identification of the extant ruins of Kaśmir has been facilitated by these and similar accounts of the Rājatarangiņi. 20. Valuable as the data are which we gather from the two

groups of potices just discussed, it may yet Topographical data

be doubted wbether by themselves, that is, in historical

unsupported by other information, they can narrative.

throw as much light on the old topography of Kaśmir as the notices which we have yet to consider. I mean the whole mass of incidental references to topographical points which we find interwoven with the historical narrative of the Chronicle.

It is evident that where localities are mentioned in the course of a connected relation of events, the context if studied with due regard to the facts of the actual topography, must help us towards a correct identification of the places meant. In the case of the previous notices the Chronicler has but rarely occasion to give us distinct indications as to the position of the sites or shrines he intended. In our

I The name of the Amrtabhuvana, iii. 9, survives in the present Ântabavan ; Diddāmatha and Skandabhavana in the Didemar and Khanda bavan quarters of Srinagar ; similarly Lalitāditya's great temple of Märtānda left its uame to the village and district of Matan.

8 See note iii. 339-349 and below, $ 92. 8 Compare Note F, iv. 194–204, and below, $ 121. * See note iv. 506-511; also below, § 122.

attempts to identify the latter we have therefore only too often to depend either on the accidental fact of other texts furnishing the required evidence, or to fall back solely on the comparison of the old with modern local names. That the latter course if not guided and controlled by other evidence, is likely to lead us into mistakes, is a fact which requires no demonstration for the critical student.

It is different with the notices the consideration of which we have left to the last. Here the narrative itself, in the great majority of cases, becomes our guide and either directly points out to us the real locality meant or at least restricts to very varrow limits the area within which our search must proceed. The final identification can then be safely effected with the help of local tradition, by tracing the modern derivative of the old local name, or by other additional evidence of this kind.

For the purpose of such a systematic search it is, of course, a very great advantage if the narrative is closely connected and detailed And it is on this account that, as already stated above ($ 17), Kalhaņa's lengthy relation of what was to him recent history, in Books vii. and viii., is for us so valuable. An examination of the topographical notes in my commentary on the Chronicle will show that the correct identification of many of the localities mentioned in the detached notices of the first six Books has become possible only by means of the evidence fornished by the more detailed varrative of the last two.

In this respect the accounts of the endless rebellions and other internal troubles which fill the greater portion of the reigns of the Lohara dynasty, have proved particularly useful. The description of the many campaigns, frontier-expeditions and sieges connected with these risings supplies us with a great amount of topographical details mutually illustrating each other. By following up these operations on the map,-or better still on the actual ground, as I was often able to do,-it is possible to fix with precision the site of many old localities which would otherwise never have emerged from the haze of donbt and conjecture.

In order to illustrate these general remarks it will be sufficient to refer to a few typical examples among the many identifications thus arrived at. As the corresponding notes of my commentary fully indicate the evidence on which these identifications are based, as well as the process of reasoning by which they were arrived at, it will not be necessary here to go into details. A very characteristic example is furnished by the important stronghold and territory of LOHARA, which was formerly supposed to bo Lahore. Its correct location at the present Lohorin and the identification of the several places and routes mentioned in the same neighbourhood became possible only, as Note E, iv. 177, shows, through the indications contained in Kalhaņa's description of the several sieges which this mountain fastness underwent in his own time. Similar instances are the identitications of the GoPĀdri hill (the present Takht-i Sulaimān), and of the streams MAHĀSARIT and KŞIPTIKA (Mār and Kutakul). Though prominent features in the topography of the capital itself, they could not have been correctly located but for the evidence supplied by the narrative of the last Book. The same is the case, e.g., with the name of the district HOLADĀ (Vular) and the important ethnic designation of Khasa.3 21. It is impossible to read attentively Kalhaņa's Chronicle and

in particular those portions which give fuller Accuracy of

occasion for the notice of localities, without Kalhaņa's

being struck with the exactness of his statetopograhy.

ments regarding the latter and with, what I may call, his eye for matters topographical.

We must appreciate these qualities all the more if we compare Kalbaņa's local references with that vague and loose treatment which topographical points receive at the hands of Sanskrit authors generally. If it has been possible to trace with accuracy the great majority of localities mentioned in the Chronicle, this is largely due to the precision which Kalhaņa displays in his topographical terminology. It is evident that he had taken care to acquaint himself with the localities which formed the scene of the events he described.

Here too I may refer for more detailed evidence to my translation of the work and the notes which accompany it. A few characteristic points may, however, be specified as examples.

Striking evidence for the care with which Kalhaņa indicates topo

i Compare also my paper on the Castle of Lohara,' Ind Ant. 1897, p. 225 899. below, § 49.

% Compare for Gopadri, notes i. 341 ; viii. 1104-10; for the Mahāsarit, note iii. 339-349; for the Kșiptikā, note viii. 732.

8 See notes i. 306 and i. 317.

* Nor should we forget the difficulty which Kalhaņa bad to face by writing in metrical form. True indeed it is what Albērūni says of this form as adopted by Hinda scientific writers : “Now it is well-known that in all metrical compositions there is much misty and constrained phraseology merely intended to fill ap the metre and serving as a kind of patchwork, and this necessitates a certain kind of verbosity. This is also one of the reasons why a word has sometimes one meaning and sometimes another” (India, i. p. 19).

Fortunately Kalhaņa has managed to esoape these dangers as far as the topographical notices of his work are concerned. We find in his local terminology neither that mistiuess nor multiplicity of meaning Albērūni so jastly complains of.

graphical details, is furnished by his description of the great operations which were carried out under Avantivarman with a view to regulating the course of the Vitastā and draining the Valley. Thanks to the exactness with which the relative position of the old and new confluence of the Vitastā and Sindhu is described, before and after the regulation, respectively, it has been possible even after so many centuries to trace in detail the objects and results of an important change in the hydrography of the Valley.*

Equal attention to the topographical details we find in numerous accounts of military operations. Of these it will suffice to quote here the descriptions of the several sieges of Srinagar, under Sussala ;8 the battle on the Gopālri hill in the same reign ;t the blockade of Lohara, with the disastrous retreat through the mountains that followed,6 avd, last but not least, the siege of the Sirahsilā castle. The topographical accuracy of the latter account as proved in Note L, viii. 2492, almost presupposes on Kalhaņa's part a personal examination of the site. It is all the more noteworthy, because the scene of the events there recorded was a region outside Kaśmir proper, distant and difficult of access.

There are also smaller points that help to raise our estimate of Kalhaņa's reliability in topographical matters. Of such I may mention for example the close agreement we can trace everywhere between Kalhaņa's statements regarding distances, whether given in road or time-measure, and the actual facts. The number of marches reckoned by him is thus always easily verified by a reference to the stages observed on the corresponding modern routes. Not less gratifying is it to find bow careful Kalhaņa is to distinguish between homonymous localities. In addition we must give credit to our author for the just observation of many characteristic features in the climate, ethnography, and economical condition of Kaśmir and the neighbouring regions. All these notices help to invest with additional interest the data furnished for the old topography of the couutry.

1 Compare v. 84-121. 2 Compare Note 1, v. 97-100, on the Vitastāsindhusamgama, and below, $8 69–72. 8 See viii. 729 sqq ; 1060 sqq. • Compare viii. 1099–1115. 6 See viii. 1842-80 and Note E, iv. 177, § 10.

& Compare for distance measurements note i. 264 ; v. 103 ; vii. 393 ; for the reckoning of marches on the Vitastā Valley route, v 225; on the Tõşomaidan pass, vii, 140; on the route to the Pir Pantgal Pass, vii. 558; on the way to Mārtāṇda, vii. 715, eto.

7 Compare notes i. 113; i. 124 ; v. 123 on the several Jyeștharudras and the way in whicb Kalhaŋa specifies them.

8 Compare below, 88 77-79.

If the advantages thus accorded to us are duly weighed there seems every reasou to congratulate ourselves on the fact that the earliest and fallest record of Kaśmir history that has come down to us was written by a scholar of Kalhaņa's type. Whatever the shortcomings of his work from a historical point of view may be, we may well claim for him the merit that he has provided us with a sound and ample basis for the study of the historical geography of his country. 22. Another point still remains to be considered here in connection

with Kalhaņa's Chronicle, viz., to what extent Sanskrit form of

can we accept the Sanskrit forms found in his local names.

text as the genuine local names of the period. This question deserves attention, because the popular language actually spoken in Kaśmir in Kalhaņa's time and for many centuries earlier, was not Sauskrit but undoubtedly an Apabhrań śa dialect derived from it, which has gradually developed into the modern Kasmiri.

Notwithstanding this circumstance I think that Kalhaņa's local names can on the whole safely be taken as the genuine designations of the localities, i.e., those originally given to them. My grounds for this belief are the following.

We have ample evidence to show that Sanskrit was the official and sole literary language of the country, not only in Kalhaņa's own time but also in those earlier periods from which the records used by him may have dated. This official use of Sanskrit we know to have continued in Kaśmir even into Muhammadan times. It assures us at once that the vast majority of village and town names must from the beginning have been given in Sanskrit. A detailed examination of Kalhaņa's local names will easily demonstrate, on the one hand that these names are of genuinely Sanskrit formation, and on the other, that their modern Kaśmiri representatives are derived from them by a regular process of phonetic conversion. We look in vain among this class of old local names for any which would show a foreign, i.e., nonAryan origin and might be suspected of having only subsequently been pressed into a Sanskritic garb.

As Sanskrit was used as the language of all official records for many centuries previous to Kalhaņa's time, the Sanskrit names origin. ally intended for the great mass of inhabited places could be preserved, in official documents anyhow, without any difficulty or break of tradi. tion. And from such documents most of Kalhaņa’s notices of places were undoubtedly derived, directly or indirectly.

Only in rare cases can we suppose that the original form of a local name of this kind had been lost sight of, and that accordingly the Chronicler, or his authority, had to fall back on the expedient of sanskriti.

« السابقةمتابعة »