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called Närän Thal. Near it stands a little temple, with a spring close by which is visited by pilgrims and is probably identical with the Nārāyaṇasthana of the Nilamata.1
About a mile below this point and close to the village of Khādaniyār, the river turns sharply round a steep and narrow spur projecting into the valley from the north-west. A ledge of rocks continues the spur below the river-bed and forms the first serious rapid of the Vitasta below which boats cannot pass (see map). The road crosses the spur by a narrow and deep cut, known as Dyāregul. Kalhaṇa's Chronicle knows this curious cutting by the appropriate name of Yakṣadara, 'the demon's cleft.' According to the tradition there recorded the operations by which Suyya, Avantivarman's engineer, lowered the level of the Vitastā, extended to this point of the river bed.3 53. Two miles below Dyaragul we pass near the village of Zehenpōr some ancient sites vaguely described by Vigne and Hügel. Still further down near the village of Gingal the map marks the ruins of a temple which I have not been able to visit. But no localities on this route are known to us from our old sources until after about three and a half marches we reach the side valley marked on the map as 'Peliasa.' This valley and the large village at its entrance are known indeed to the Pahari population by the name of Peliasa. But the Kasmiris settled at several places along the Vitasta Valley call them Buliāsa. This form of the name which I ascertained by local enquiries, enables us to identify this locality with the BOLYASAKA of the Rajatarangiņi.
Old frontier in Vitastā Valley.
Kalhana in his account of Samkaravarman's ill-fated expedition towards the Indus (A.D. 902) mentions Bolyāsaka as the place where the Kaśmir army retreating from Uraśā reached the border of their own territory. This reference is of special interest as it shows that Kaśmir authority extended in Hindu times down to this point of the Valley. We can easily reconcile this fact with the existence of the 'Dvāra' at Varahamūla.
The gorge at the latter place offered a convenient position for establishing a watch-station which was to secure control over the traffic and the collection of customs. But in regard to military defence a frontier-line in the immediate vicinity of the Kasmir Valley would have been very unsafe. I believe, therefore, that the Vitasta Valley
1 See Nilamata, 1179, 1315, 1349. The name occurs also repeatedly in the several Varahakṣetramāhātmyas.
2 Perhaps the Khādanāvihāra of Rajat. iii. 14.
3 Compare Rajat. v. 87 note.
• See Rajat. v. 225 note.
below Varāhamula was held as an outlying frontier-tract as far as the present Buliasa. It is exactly a few miles below this place that ascending the Valley the first serious difficulties are encountered on the road. An advanced frontier-post could scarcely have occupied a strategically more advantageous position.
The conclusion here indicated is fully supported by what Kalhana's narrative tells us of a locality almost exactly opposite to Buliāsa. Kalhana mentions in two places a place called VIRANAKA in connection with events which make it clear that it lay in the Vitastā Valley and just on the border of Kasmir territory. I have been able to trace the position of Viranaka at the modern hill-village of Viran, near the left bank of the Vitasta and only a short distance above Buliasa. The valley below the old frontier thus marked is now known as Dvārbidī. Its ancient name is given by an old gloss of the Rajatarangiņi which speaks of Bolyāsaka as situated in DVĀRAVATI. Local enquiries have shown me that even to the present day popular tradition indicates a ridge a short distance above Buliasa as the eastern limit of Dvārbidi."
In the account of Samkaravarman's above-mentioned expedition six marches are reckoned from the capital of Uraśā to Bolyāsaka. This agrees exactly with the present reckoning which also counts six marches from the vicinity of Buliasa to Abbottabad. Near this place, the modern head-quarter of the Hazāra District, the old capital of Uraśā was in all probability situated.
54. It remains for us to notice briefly what is known of ancient localities on the left side of the Valley. As Left bank of Vitastā. already explained there was no great line of communication on this side corresponding to the present MurreeBārāmūla Road. Yet for two marches down the Valley, as far as Ūri, the route of the left bank is likely to have been much frequented. From Uri a convenient route leads over the easy Hāji Pir Pass to Prūnts or Parņotsa. This pass owing to its small elevation, only 8500 feet, is never completely closed by snow. It is hence much used during the winter-months when the more direct routes to Kasmir viâ the Pir Pantsal, Tōs maidān or other high Passes are rendered impracticable.
1 See Rajat. v. 214 and viii. 409. In the first passage we hear of an attack made on Vīrānaka by the chief commander of the frontier posts (dvāreśa). In the second Viranaka is referred to as a settlement of Khasas which offered the first safe refuge to Sussala when defeated before Varāhamula, A.D. 1111.
2 See Rajat. v. 225 and note v. 214.
8 Compare Rajat. v. 217 note; CUNNINGHAM, Anc. Geogr., p. 104, and DREW, Jummoo, p. 528.
Marching down the valley from Uşkür: Huşkapura, we first cross the spur which bounds the gorge of Varāhamūla from the south. We then reach a fertile little plain, about two miles broad, charmingly situated in an amphitheatre of high pine-clad mountains and facing the Dyar gul ridge. It is known as Nāravāv and contains at the village of Sir and Futtegarh considerable remains of ancient temples. On a small plateau which forms the western boundary of this plain by the river bank, lies the village of Kitsthōm It marks the site of the ancient Buddhist convent of Kṛtyāśrama, the foundation of which a curious legend related by Kalhana attributes to the son of Aśoka. k'ong refers to it as the 'monastère du mont Kitché.'
At Būniār, near the end of the first day's march we pass the wellpreserved ruins of an ancient temple which are of considerable antiquarian interest. Its name and date cannot be traced in our extant records. Another similar ruin, but far more decayed, flanks the road about midway between Būniār and Ūri.
From near the latter place the Vitastā Valley is held on the left bank chiefly by the Khakha tribe, on the right by the closely related Bombas. In the former we recognize the ancient Khasas whose settlements lower down the Valley, at Viranaka, are distinctly mentioned by Kalhana. The predatory habits and restless ways of the Khasas form a frequent theme in the Chronicle. The modern Khakhas and Bombas have up to the middle of the present century done their best to maintain this ancient reputation, just as their seats have remained the old
See Rajat. i. 147 note; also my Notes on Ou-k'ong, pp. 13 sqq. Kṛtyāśrama is mentioned already by Kṣemendra, Samayam. ii. 61.
2 Rajat. viii. 409.
SECTION IV.-NORTHERN MOUNTAIN RANGE,
Karnau and Sardi.
55. The mountains which enclose the Kaśmir Valley in the northwest and north, may be looked upon as one great range. Their chain nowhere shows any marked break though its direction changes considerably. The routes leading through these mountains have never been of such importance in the history of Kaśmir as the routes towards India and the west. Hence our information regarding the old topography of this mountain range is also less detailed.
We are least informed about that portion of the range which joins on to the Kājnāg Peak north-west of Bārāmula and then continues in the direction of south to north towards the upper Kisanganga. The watershed of this portion forms the western boundary of Kasmir towards Karnau, the ancient KARNAHA. This territory which may be roughly described as lying between the Kiṣanganga and the Kājnāg Range, seems at times to have been tributary to Kaśmir. Yet we hear of it only in the concluding portion of Kalhana's Chronicle, and there too no details. are given regarding the routes leading to it. These routes as the map shows, start from the ancient districts of Samālā (Hamal) and Uttara (Uttar).
At the point where the summit of the range comes nearest to the Kisanganga, it takes a turn to the east and continues in this direction for more than 100 miles. The summit ridge keeps after this turn at a fairly uniform height of 12,000 to 13,000 feet for a long distance. From the northern parts of the Uttar and Lōlau Parganas several routes cross the range in the direction of the Kiṣanganga.
Kalhana has occasion to refer to these in connection with the expedition which took place in his own time against the Siraḥsilā castle. This stood on the Kisanganga close to the ancient Tirtha of the goddess Saradā still extant at the present Sardi. One of these routes leads past the village of Drang, situated at 74° 18′ 45′′ long. 34° 33' 30" lat. It is certain that the place took its name from an ancient watch-station here located and is identical with the DRANGA mentioned by Kalhana in connection with the above expedition. I have not been able to visit the place in person but was informed in the neighbourhood that remains of
1 Compare Rajat. viii. 2485 note.
2 Compare regarding the Saradātirtha and the castle of Straḥsila, notes i. 36 (B) and viii. 2492 (L), respectively; also below, § 127.
8 See Rajat. viii. 2507 note.
old watch-towers are still found on the path which leads up behind the village of Drang.
to the pass
Besides the route marked by this old frontier-station there are others leading in the same direction. One is to the west over the Sitalvan Pass; the other lies in the west and passing through the valley of Krōras descends directly to Sardi along the Madhumati stream. The portion of the Kiṣanganga Valley into which these routes lead, can never have been of much importance itself though there are indications of gold-washing having been carried on in it. But from Sardi starts a route leading very directly, by the Kankatōri (Sarasvati) River and over a high pass, into Cilas on the Indus; this line of comunication may already in old times have brought some traffic to Sardi.
Owing to the inroads made by Cilasis and the restless Bomba chiefs of the Kiṣangangā Valley, the Pathan Governors found it necessary to settle Afridis at Drang and the neighbouring villages to guard the passes. The presence of these Afghan colonies shows that the conditions which necessitated the maintenance of the old frontier watchstation at Dranga, had altered little in the course of centuries. 56. Above Sardi the course of the Kisangangā lies for a long distance through an almost inaccessible and uninhabited gorge. Hence for over 30 miles
Fass of Dugdhaghāta.
eastwards we find no proper route across the Kalhana gives us a vivid and interesting account of the difficulties offered by a winter-march along the latter when he describes the flight of the pretender Bhoja from Sirahśilā castle to the Darads on the Upper Kisanganga.3
The line of communication we meet next is, however, an important one. It leads from the north shore of the Volur lake into that part of the Upper Kisanganga Valley which is known as Gurēz, and connects with the routes leading to Astōr and the Balti territory on the Indus. The road used in recent years, and now improved by British engineers into the 'Gilgit Transport Road,' crosses the range by the Tragabal or Razdiangan Pass, nearly 12,000 feet high. But the route frequented in ancient times lay some eight miles further to the east.
Kalhaṇa refers in several places to the hill fort of DUGDHAGHĀTA which guarded the mountain-route leading into Kasmir territory from inroads of the Darads. The latter can easily be shown to have held
1 Compare Note B on Sarada (Rājat. i. 36), §§ 2, 16. To this circumstance the of Drang owes probably the distinguishing designation of Sung-Drang 'the Gold Drang,' by which it is popularly known.
2 See BATES, Gazetteer, p. 490.
8 See Rajat. viii. 2710 sqq.
J. I. 12