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the subjects treated of in the many compartments, I may make a few observations on matters of some interest which they help to illustrate.
There are several representations of "Topes," mostly with one terrace, such as that actually existing-but one at least shows two terraces. Each "Tope" is surmounted by a circle of stone pillars, on which again rests a succession of architraves projecting one beyond the other so as to give a greater breadth at top than at bottom, From this highest platform again rises usually one "Chutree" or umbrella, but sometimes three are seen to spring from it. The stone inclosures round the basement, correspond exactly with that still existing-and the terraces with balustrades show that they could be reached, and indeed that they were formed for purposes of circumambulation. The crowning stone inclosure could also probably be reached by some temporary means of ascent--for there is no sign of any winding pathway round the building, either in the existing "Topes" or in the representations given in the reliefs. Nevertheless I think the Tope of Manikyala in the Punjab has such a spiral ascent.
With regard to religious ceremonies or opinions, the reliefs give representations of the adoration or consecration of Topes-of the adoration of trees and of the devotion paid to the sun.--Men and animals, wild beasts and tame, come separately, or crowded together to offer up prayers at a Tope"-or to bow to a tree growing out of a square or circular vessel or urn, or to adore the sun, resting the edge of its disc on the capital of a column. There are likewise images of Buddhas seated, male, and in one or more instances female, to whom perhaps some are offering worship. There is moreover a representation of a boat with a raised prow terminating in a lion's head, and a raised stern ending in a fish's tail, which contains an oblong seat or altar with a conopy. Two men stand by the side of the altar, one with a "Chowree" and the other with a "Chatta" or umbrella. If the altar is simply a seat, it is not at least represented as being occupied. In every direction the hooded snake-or at least the hood alone is to be seen veiling or sheltering or protecting the worshippers of the tree and the sun and the temple. Winged human figures are also to be seen as if hovering round a temple to guard it-and monkey-men, and monsters with human bodies and the heads of beasts, are occasionally seen side by side with ordinary mortals. Lastly, a square based pyramidal “Tope”
with a regular inclosure of pillars has four doorways with pointed arches, out of which are issuing flames. Nowhere did I notice a figure invested with the thread of the brahminical faith.
With regard to race these sculptures show that the dominant people was in dress and in many usages such as we may consider the old Hindoos, whether Brahminists or Buddhists, to have been. Another class however is also shown wearing a short tunic and a kind of cap, and who for the most seem to be engaged in menial offices or mechanic arts.
Among the animals represented, the elephant, the camel, the horse, the ox and the lion, are the most conspicuous. Birds and fishes and snakes are likewise shown. Among the birds, the peacock is prominent. Of the monsters represented are dragons, winged lions with beaks, horned and cloven-footed elephants; elephants terminating in fishes, centaurs mounted, and human bodies sustaining the heads of dogs or asses. The human portions of the centaurs seem female. Most of these fanciful or mythological animals are to be seen inclosure of the smaller "Tope," every pillar having three basses or circular spaces ornamented with reliefs of men or beasts or trees, &c.-It is to be observed that a Tiger nowhere appears, and that lions with bushy manes are frequently depicted. Sometimes they may be seen carrying away horned cattle smaller than themselves. Elephants, camels and horses are all used for riding, while chariots may be seen drawn by horses and containing an armed man with ensigns borne before him. Bullocks are likewise represented drawing cars.
The condition of life, or the degree of civilization of the people, may be further judged of by the representation of buildings with arched cloisters or colonnades, and with terraces and balustrades, or with balconies containing several people seated. The recurrence of water in waves with boats and with fish gambolling about would almost point to a maritime people, or to artists to whom the sea was familiar.
The inscriptions* which are now forwarded are all cut here and there upon one part or other of the stone inclosure, excepting one, which is fragmental only, and which is visible upon the remains of a column at the southern entrance. None may be contemporary so far as we have any fair reasons for concluding, except probably two and possibly a * Most of these have been published in the sixth volume of the Journal; such as are new will be given hereafter.-EDS.
third. The two in question are cut on the representations of " Topes" sculptured on the southern entrance which has fallen, but which when standing had the representations in question out of the reach of pilgrims and visitors. The third inscription occupies a band between two compartments on one of the pillars of the eastern gateway, and could not readily be reached. The two longest inscriptions are cut on the stone parallels or cross-bars of the inclosure, and could be removed for transmission to Calcutta without injury to the monument, except such as would arise from their absence.
The temple close to the eastern entrance to which Captain Fell alludes [Journal As. Soc. of Bengal. III, 493] is now wholly in ruins, and I did not notice the Sanscrit inscription giving the date of 20 Sumbut. I regret that Captain Fell's paper was not before me at the time, otherwise the search I should certainly have made might have recovered so valuable a record. I may here observe that Captain Fell's measurements of the circumference and height of the monument should be more accurate than mine, as it is now somewhat ruinous. I am sorry however that our measurements of some details do not agree better than they appear to do.
The Topes at Peepleea-Bijolee do not appear to have been before brought to notice. Three of the most conspicuous stand on the sloping top or back of a low hill, and seven or eight or more, nearly in a line, occupy a lower stage on the same hill. Between two of the upper Topes there is a square platform of earth and rubbish 18 or 20 feet high,-supported by walls of masonry, and ascended by means of a ruinous flight of steps, on which stand the remains of a small temple containing a statue of Boodha surrounded by numerous emblematical figures, and among them, two of men wearing the thread of the twiceborn Hindoo classes. The largest of the Topes in question does not appear to exceed 60 feet in diameter. All have a plinth or basement, from which springs the Hemisphere, and all have ramps by which the berm or pathway formed by the plinth may be reached. They appear to have stood within square courts, but there are no remains of circular inclosures of stone with the ornamented entrances which make the Satcheh Tope so remarkable. All of these Topes are more or less ruinous, and there are several heaps of loose stones which once probably formed small Topes. No inscriptions were any where observed.
It seems now to be certain that " Topes" are temples rather than tombs, and every thing I have observed of their structure, or which can be gathered from the representations given of them, corroborates this view of their use or purpose. They may nevertheless have occasionally been raised over the dead,—or some, like the gigantic one still existing at Unrodhpoora in Ceylon, may have contained such small and straggling chambers for the reception of funeral urns as are traceable in the pyramids of Egypt for the deposit of mummies. Their primary connection was however with the worship of the Divinity as then practised -and a consideration of their structure, and a comparison of the usages of the Jains, all show that a "Tope" was intended to represent Mount Meru, the central mount of the world, the native seat, or point of divergence of the Caucasian races with its four shadow-giving trees,* and four divergent rivers† which watered the earth. The Jain temples still contain models of towers, square or round, standing in inclosures, and diminishing by successive stories with balconies. These towers the "Juttees" or Jain priests declare to be symbolical of Meru, round which pilgrims should solemnly walk with their right hands to the mount. Circumambulation is still a ceremony of the Hindoos, more particularly during the Deewalee, or festival of light, at the temple on the fabled hill of Goverdhun near Muthra :-further, the holy hill of Gungree, the source, as is believed, of the Indus, the Sutlej, the Gogra [or Ganges] and the Burrampooter, is still, as I often heard when in Tibet, encircled by Lamaic pilgrims; the construction of the Topes admits of or provides for worshippers moving round and round them :the Jains now perambulate within the square areas of their temples and draw Parisnath on certain occasions on his elephant or car through the inclosing cloisters, that is round the square court, and lastly the Buddhists of Tibet similarly pass round and round the oblong structures of stone which are found near every village.
The worship of the tree which occurs so frequently among these sculptures has left its traces in the regard still paid by Jains and Hindoos to the Burr and Peepul trees, or especially to the Burr, the Peepul and the Awnla when growing together. To this devotion may
also be referred the circumstance that no Hindoo will ever cut down. or
* Jamun, Kuddamb, Burr, Peepul.
+ Seeta, Bhudra, Chuksoo, Aliknunda.
injure the tree of his birth or life, that is the tree dedicated to the day on which he was born, and which trees are made 27 in number, to cor. respond with the mansions of the Moon.
The worship of the Peepul and the superstitious regard paid to the tree of birth, lead the mind back to the Biblical injunctions about the tree in the midst of the garden, and the vessel containing the altar as represented in the sculptures, is almost a counterpart of the ark or sacred boat of Egyptian processions, and which has served to illustrate the ark of the Jewish covenant, except that waving punkahs and chowrees, the marks of dignity and respect, take the place of the overshadowing wings of angels or cherubim.
The actual worship of the serpent is not apparent among these reliefs, but their hoods every where protect worshippers, and snakes themselves sometimes seem the companions of devotees. Nevertheless on the smaller Tope there is a representation of a bird destroying a serpent. The subject however of the serpent-guarded race will be noticed in describing the next scries of remains at Oodehghir.
The marked devotion paid to the sun deserves notice mainly in connection with a snake-protected people, and with the worship of the tree and of the sacred mount. An unfinished inscription in a ruinous temple at Oodehpoor is solely in praise of the sun, as will be again noticed, and it may be well to bear in mind the existence of the "Saurya" sect among Hindoos, of the "Hom" offerings, and of the import of the brahminical "Gayatri."
In considering the structure of these Topes with their one or more terraces, and with entrances which images guard or sanctify, and in reflecting on the fact of their disuse for many ages among the Jain representatives of the Buddhists, one is almost led to the conclusion that as brahminism prevailed, the terraced mount gradually became changed into the "Gopura" and "Vimana"-the storied entrance and solid pyramidal temple of the superstitions of the south of India. A Pagoda still comprizes entrances, and courts, and shrines, as well as a principal place of worship, and such was very much the plan of the ancient Buddhist edifices under consideration, while the succession of doors which lead to nothing, or abut against a solid wall, seems but an improved copy of what a Tope must have presented with a succession of stories, and with entrances admitting merely to narrow passages.