James Todd Annals/Personal Narrative
|Wikified by:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.), Jaipur|
- 1 Abstract of Chapter I
- 2 Khyroda
- 3 Heentah and Doondia
- 4 Abstract of Chapter III
- 5 Morwun: earlier capital of Chitrangada Mori
- 6 Abstract of Chapter V
- 7 Singoli Inscription of Maharaja Mokal S.1477 (A.D. 1421)
- 8 Dangermow
- 9 Abstract of Chapter VI
- 10 Antiquities and inscriptions of Bhynsror
- 11 Inscriptions at Sontra
- 12 Abstract of Chapter VIII
- 13 Description of Mandelgurh
- 14 Abstract of Chapter IX
- 15 Abstract of Chapter XI
- 16 Legend of the origin of the epithet Sisodia
- 17 The grand temple of Barolli
- 18 Abstract of Chapter XII
- 19 Ganga-bheva Mahadeva temple and Inscription
- 20 Dhoomnar
- 21 Abstract of Chapter XIII
- 22 Jhalrapatan
- 23 Jhalrapatan inscription dated S. 748 (A.D. 692) of Raja Doorgangul
- 24 Other Inscriptions
- 25 Naraynpoor
- 26 Gagraun Inscription of Khichi Chohans 1600 AD
- 27 Tale of Goman Sing Hara
- 28 Abstract of Chapter XIV
- 29 Bijolli Inscriptions
- 30 Mynal
- 31 Menal Inscription of Hara (Chohans) S. 1446 (1389 AD)
- 32 Bumaoda, the castle of Aloo Hara
- 33 Notes
Abstract of Chapter I
[p.544]: Departure from the valley of Oodipoor. — Lake of Khyroda, — Ancient temple of Mandeswar, — Bhartewar, — Its Jain temples, — Khyroda. — Connected with the history of the feuds of Mewar, — Exploits of Singram Sing. — He obtains Khyroda, — Curious predicament of Jey Sing, the adopted heir of Singram.— Calmness with which political negotiations are managed in the east— The agricultural economy of Khyroda, — Precarious nature of cultivation— Heentah, — Large proportion of land alienated as religious grants, — Heentah and Doondia established on church-lands. — Mandhata Raja, — Traditions of him. — Performed the Aswamedha. — His grant of Mynar to the Rishis. Grant inscribed on a pillar. — Exploit of Raj Sing against the Mahrattast.— Morwun, boundary of the Mewar territory. — Reflections on that state,—The author's policy during his official residence there,
Oodipoor, January 29, 1820. — The Personal Narrative attached to the first volume of this work terminated with the author's return to Oodipoor, after a complete circuit of Marwar and Ajmer. He remained at his head-quarters at Oodipoor until the 29th January 1820, when circumstances rendering it expedient that he should visit the principalities of Boondi and Kotah (which were placed under his political superintendence), he determined not to neglect the opportunity it afforded of adding to his portfolio remarks on men and manners, in a country hitherto untrodden by Europeans.
Although we had not been a month in the valley of Oodipoor, we were all desirous to avail ourselves of the lovely weather which the cold season of India invariably brings, and which exhilarates the European who has languished through the hot winds, and the still more oppressive monsoon. The thermometer at this time, within the valley, was at the freezing point at break of day, ranging after- wards as high as 90°, whilst the sky was without a cloud, and its splendour at night was dazzling.
Khyroda. — On the 29th, we broke ground from the heights of Toos, marched fifteen English miles (though estimated at only six and a half coss), and encamped under the embankment of the spacious lake of Khyroda. Our route was over a rich and well watered plain, but which had long been a stranger to the plough. Three miles from Duboke we crossed our own stream, the Bairis, and
[p.545]: to the village of Dorowlee is a small outlet from this river, which runs into a hollow and forms jheel, or lake. There is a highly interesting temple, dedicated to Mandeswar (Siva), on the banks of his stream, the architecture of which attests its antiquity. It is the outerpart in miniature of a celebrated temple at Chandravati, near Aboo, and verifies the traditional axiom, that the architectural rules of past ages were fixed on immutable principles.
We passed the serai of Soorujpoora, a mile to the right, and got entangled in the swampy ground of Bhartewar. This town, which belongs to the chief of Kanorh, one of the sixteen great barons of Mewar, boasts's high antiquity, and Bhartirri, the elder brother of Vicrama, is its reputed founder. If we place any faith in local tradition, the bells of seven hundred and fifty temples, chiefly of the Jain faith, once sounded within its walls, which were six miles in length ; but few vestiges of them now remain, although there are ruins of some of these shrines which show they were of considerable importance. Within a mile and a half of Khyroda we passed through Khyrsana, a large charity -village belonging to the Brahmins.
Khyroda is a respectable place, having a fortress with double ditches, which can be filled at pleasure from the river. Being situated on the nigh-road between the ancient and modem capitals, it was always a bone of contention in the civil wars. It was in the feuds of Rawut Jey Sing of Lawah, the adopted heir of Singram Saktawut, one of the great leaders in the struggles of the year 1748, an epoch as well known in Mewar as the 1745 of Scotland. Being originally a fiscal possession, and from its position not to be trusted to the hands of any of the feudal chiefs, it was restored to the sovereign ; though it was not without difficulty that the riever of Lawah agreed to sign the constitution of the 4th of May,* and relinquish to his sovereign a stronghold which had been purchased with the blood of his kindred.
The history of Khyroda would afford an excellent illustration of the feuds of Mewar. In that between Singram Sing the Suktawut, and Bhiroo Sing Chondawut, both of these chief clans of Mewar lost the best of their defenders. In S. 1733, Singram, then but a youth (his father, Lalji, Rawut of Scogurh, being yet alive, took Khyroda from his sovereign, and retained it six years. In S. 1740, the rival clans of Deogorh, Amait, Korabur, ete., under their common head, the chief of Saloombra, and having their acts legalized by the presence of the Depra minister, united to expel the Suktawut. Singram held out for months ; when he hoisted a flag of truce and agreed to capitulate, on condition that he should be permitted to retreat unmolested, with all his followers and effects, to Bheendir, the capital of ie Soktawuts. This condition was granted, and the heir of Seogurh was received into Bheendir. Here he commenced his depredations, be adventures attending which are still the topics of numerous tales. None of his expeditions to the estate of Korabur, be carried off both
- * See treaty between the Rana and his chiefs. Vol. I, page 693.
[p.546]: the cattle and the inhabitants of Goorli. Zalim Sing, the heir of Korabur, came to the rescue, but was laid low by the lance of Singram. To revenge his death, every Chondawut of the country assembled round the banner of Saloombra; the sovereign himself espoused their cause, and with his mercenary bands of Sindies succeeded in investing Bheendir. During the siege, Urjoon of Korabor, bent on revenge for the loss of his heir, determined to surprise Seogurh, which he effected, and spared neither age nor sex Khyroda remained attached to the fisc during several years, when the Rana, with a thoughtlessness which has nourished these feuds, granted it to Sirdar Sing, the Chondawut chief of Bhadaisir. In S. 1746, the Chondawuts were in rebellion and disgrace, and their rivals, under the chief of Bheendir, assembled their kindred to drive out the Sindie garrison, who held Khyroda for their foe. Urjoon of Korabur, with the Sindie Koli, came to aid the garrison, and an action ensued under the walls, in which Singram slew with his own hand two of the principal subordinates of Korabur, viz,, Goman the Sikerwal, and Bheemji Ranawut. Nevertheless, the Chondavuts gaiued the day, and the Suktawuts again retired on Bheendir. There they received a reinforcement sent by Zalim Sing of Kotah (who fostered all these disputes, truisting that eventually he should be able to snatch the bone of contention from both), and a band of Arabs, and with this aid they returned to the attack. The Chonrawuts, who, with the auxiliaries of Sinde, were encamped in the plains of Akolah, willingly accepted the challenge, but were defeated; Sindie Koli, leader of the auxiliaries, was slain, and the force was entirely dispersed. Singram, who headed this and every assault against the rival clan, was wounded in three places; but this he accounted nothing, having thereby obtained the regard of his sovereign, and the expulsion of his rival from Khyroda, which remained attached to the fisc until the year 1758, when, on the payment of a fine of ten thousand rupees, the estate was assigned to him under the royal signature. This was in the year AD. 1802, from which period until 1818, when we had to mediate between the Rana and his chiefs, Khyroda remained a trophy of the superior courage and tact of the Suktawuts. No wonder that the Rawut Jey Sing of Lawah, the adopted heir of Singram, was averse to renounce Khyroda. He went so far as to man its walls, and forbid any communication with the servants of his sovereign : the slightest provocation would have compelled a siege and assault, in which all the Chondawuts of the country would gladly have joined, and the old feuds might have been revived on the very dawn of disfranchisement from the yoke of the Mahrattas. But what will be thought of this transaction when it is stated, that the lord of Khyroda was at this time at court, the daily companion of his sovereign ! Although the dependents of Jey Sing would have fired on any one of his master s servants who ventured to its walk. and, according to our notions, he was that moment a rebel both to
- * The sequel of this feud has been related. Vol T. p, 376.
Heentah, January 30th,1820 —
[p.550]: This was a short march of three and a half coss, or nine miles, over the same extensive plain of rich black loam, or mal, whence the province of Malwa has its name. We were on horseback long before sunrise ; the air was pure and invigorating ; the peasantry were smiling at the sight of the luxuriant young crops of wheat, barley, and gram, aware that no ruthless hand could now step between them and the bounties of Heaven. Fresh thatch, or rising walls, gave signs of the exiles' return, who greeted us, at each step of our journey, with blessings and looks of joy mingled with sadness. Passed the hamlet, or poorwa, of Amerpooa, attached to Khyroda, and to our left the township of Mynar, held in sasun (religious grant) by a community of Brahmins. This place affords a fine specimen of 'the wisdom of ancestors' in Mewar, where fifty thousand beegas, or about sixteen thousand acres of the richest crown-land, have been given in perpetuity to these drones of society; and although there are only twenty families left of this holy colony, said to have been planted by Raja Mandhata in the trita-yug, or silver age of India, yet superstition and indolence conspire to prevent the resumption even of those portions which have none to cultivate them. A "sixty thousand years' residence in hell" is undoubtedly no comfortable prospect, and to those who subscribe to the doctrine of transmigration, it must be rather mortifying to pass from the purple of royalty into "a worm in ordure," one of the delicate purgatories which the Rajpoot soul has to undergo, before it can expiate the offence of resuming the lands of the church ! I was rejoiced, however, to find that some of 'the sons of Sukta,' as they increased in numbers, in the inverse ratio of their possessions, deemed it better to incur all risks than emigrate to foreign lands in search of bhom; and both Heentah and Doondia have been established on the lands of the church. Desirous of preserving every right of every class, I imprecated on my head all the anathemas of the order, if the Rana should resume all beyond what the remnant of this family could require. I proposed that a thousand beegas of the best land should be retained by them; that they should be not only furnished with cattle, seed, and implements of
[p.551]: Agriculture, but that there should be wells cleared out, or fresh ones dug for them. At this time, however, the astrologer was a member of the cabinet, and being also physician in ordinary, he, as one of the order, protected his brethren of Mynar, who, as may be supposed, were in vain called upon to produce the tamba-patra, or copper-plate warrant, for these lands.
Mandhata Raja, a name immortalized in the topography of these rerions, was of the Pramar tribe, and sovereign of Central India, whose capitals were Dhar and Oojein ; and although his period is uncertain, tradition uniformly assigns him priority to Vicramaditya, whose era (fifty-six years anterior to the Christian) prevails through-out India. There are various spots on the Nerbudda which perpetuate his name, especially where that grand stream forms one of its most considerable rapids. Cheetore, with all its dependencies, was but an appanage of the sovereignty of Dhar in these early times, nor can we move a step without discovering traces of their paramount sway in all these regions : and in the spot over which I am now moving, the antiquary might without any difficulty fill his portfolio. Both Heentah and Doondia, the dependencies of Mynar, are brought in connexion with the name of Mandhata, who performed the grand rite of aswamedha, or sacrifice of the horse, at Doondia, where they still point out the coond, or 'pit of sacrifice.' Two Rishs, or 'holy men,' of Heentah attended Mandhata, who, on the conclusion of the ceremony, presented them the customary poon, or 'offering,' which they rejected; but on taking leave, the Raja delicately contrived to introduce into the beea of pan, a grant for the lands of Mynar. The gift, though unsolicited, was fatal to their sanctity, and the miracles which they had hitherto been permitted to form, ceased with the possession of Mammon, Would the reader wish to have an instance of these miracles? After their usual manifold ablutions, and wringing the moisture of their dhoti, or garment, they would fling it into the air, where it remained suspended over their head, as a protection against the sun's rays. On the loss of their power, these saints became tillers of the ground. Their descendants hold the lands of Mynar, and are spread over this tract, named Burra Choubeesa, 'the great twenty-four!'
We also passed in this morning's march the village of Bamuneo, having a noble piece of water maintained by a strong embankment of masonry. No less than four thousand beegas are attached. It was fiscal land, but had been usurped during the troubles, and being nearly depopulated, had escaped observation. At this moment it is in the hands of Mooti Paban, the favourite handmaid of " the Sun " of the Hindus." This ' Pearl' (mooti) pretends to have obtained it as a mortgage, but it would be difficult to shew a lawful mortgager. Near the village of Bhansaira, on the estate of Futteh Sing, brother of Bheendir, we passed a seura or sula, a pillar or land-mark, having a grant of land inscribed thereon with the usual denunciations, attested by an image of the sacred cow, engraved in slight relief, as witness to the intention of the donor.
: Heentah was a place of some consequence in the civil wars and in S. 1808 ( A.D. 1752) formed the appanage of one of the babas, or infants of the court, of the Mahraja Sawunt Sing. It now belongs to a subordinate Suktawut, and was the subject of considerable discussion in the treaty of resumption of the 4th of May 1818, between the Rana and his chiefs.
It was the scene of a gallant exploit in S. 1812, when in thousand Mahrattas, led by Sutwa, invaded Mewar. Raj Sing, of the Jhala tribe, the chief of Sadri, and descendant of the hero who rescued that first of Rajpoot princes, Rana Pertap, had reached the town of Heentah in his passage from court to Sadri, when he received intelligence that the enemy was at Salairo, only three miles distant. He was recommended to make a slight detour and go by Bheendir; but having no reason for apprehension, he rejected the advice, and proceeded on his way. He had not travelled half a mile, when they fell in with the marauders, who looked upon his small but well mounted band as legitimate prey. But, in spite of the odds, they preferred death to the surrender of their equipments, and an action ensued, in which the Raj, after performing miracles of valour, regained the fort^ with eight only of his three hundred and fifty retainers. The news reaching Khoshial Sing, the chief of Bheendir, who besides the sufficient motive of Rajpooti, or ' chivalry,' was impelled by friendship and matrimonial connexion, he assembled a trusty band, and marched to rescue his friend from captivity and his estate from mortgage for his ransom. This little phalanx amounted only to five hundred men, all Suktawuts, and of whom three-fourths were on foot. They advanced in a compact mass, with lighted matches, the cavaliers on either flank, with Khoshial at their head, denouncing death to the man who quitted his ranks, or fired a shot without orders. They were soon surrounded by the cloud of Mahratta horse ; but resolve was too manifest in the intrepid band even for numbers to provoke the strife. They thus passed over the immense plain between Bheendir and Heentah, the gates of which they had almost reached, when, as if ashamed at seeing their prey thus snatched from their grasp, the word was given, " birchee de!" and a forest of Mahratta lances, each twelve feet long, bristled against the Suktawuts. Khoshial called a halt, wheeled in cavaliers to the rear, and allowed the foe to come within pistol-shot, when a well-directed volley checked their impetuosity, and threw them into disorder. The little band of cavalry seized the moment and charged in their turn, gave time to load again, and returned to their post to allow a second volley. The gate was gained, and the Sadri chief received into the ranks of deliverers. Elated with success, the Mahraja promptly determined rather to fight his way back than coop himself up in Heentah, and be starved into surrender; all seconded the resolution of their chief, and with little comparative loss they regained Bheendir. This exploit is universally known and related with exultation, as one of the many brilliant deeds of
[p.553]: "the sons of Sukta" of whom the Mahraja Khosliial Sing was conspicuous for worth, as well as gallantly.
Morwun, 31st January,1820 — The last day of January (with the thermometer 50° at day-break), brought us to the limits of Mewar. I could not look on its rich alienated lands without the deepest regret, or see the birthright of its chieftains devolve on the mean Mahratta or ruthless Pat'han, without a kindling of the spirit towards the heroes of past days, in spite of the vexations their less worthy descendants occasion mo ; less worthy, yet not worthless, for having left my cares behind me with the court, where the stubbornness of some, the vices and intrigues of others, and the apathy of all, have deeply injured my health. There is something magical in absence ; it throws a deceitful medium between us and the objects we have quitted, which exaggerates their amiable qualities, and curtails the proportions of their vices. I look upon Mewar as the land of my adoption, and, linked with all the associations of my early hopes and their actual realization, I feel inclined to exclaim with reference to her and her unmanageable children,
" Mewar, with all thy faults, I love thee still,"
The virtues owe an immense debt to the present feudal nobility, not only of Mewar but of Rajpootana, and it is to be hoped that the ruling generation will pay to it what has been withheld by the past ; that energy and temperance will supersede opium and the juice of the mawak, and riding in the ring, replace the siesta, and the tabor (tabla) and lute. I endeavoured to banish some of these incentives to degeneracy ; nor is there a young chieftain, from the heir-apparent to the throne to the aspirant to a skin of land (when opportunity was granted), from whom I have not exacted a promise, never to touch that debasing drug, opium. Some may break this pledge, but many will keep it ; especially those whose minority I protected against court-faction and avarice : such a one as Urjoon Sing, the young chief of Bussie, of the Sangawut branch of the Chondawut clan. His grandfather (for his father was dead) had maintained the old castle and estate, placed on the elevated Oopermal, against all attempts of the Mahrattas, but had incurred the hatred of Bheem Sing of Saloombra, the head of his clan, who in S. 1846 dispossessed him, and installed a junior branch in the barony of Bussie. But the energetic Tukt Sing regained his lost rights, and maintained them, until civil broils and foreign foes alike disappeared, on their connexion with the British in S. 1818. Then the veteran chief, with his grandson, repaired to court, to unite in the general homage to their prince with the assembled chiefs of Mewar. But poverty and the remembrance of old feuds combined to dispossess the youth, and the amount of fine (ten thousand rupees) had actually been fixed for the installation of the interloper, who was supported by all the influence of the chief of Saloombra. This first noble of Mewar tried to avail himself of my friendship to uphold the cause of his protegee, Burrud Sing, whom he often brought to visit me, as did old Tukta
[p. 454]: his grandson. Both were of the same age, thirteen ; the aspirant to Aussie, fair and stout, but heavy in his looks; while the possessor, Urjoon, was spare, dark, and beaming with intelligence. Merit and justice on one side; stupidity and power on the other. But there were duties to be performed; and the old T'hakoor's appeal was not heard in vain. " Swamm-dherma and this" (putting his hand to his sword), said the aged chief, " ave hitherto preserved our rights ; now, the cause of the child is in his sovereign's hands and your's ; but here money buys justice, and right yields to favour." The Rana, though had assented to the views of Saloombra, left the case to my adjudication. I called both parties before me, and in their presence, from their respective statements, sketched the genealogical tree, exhibiting in the remote branches the stripling competitor's, which I shewed to the Rana. Ever prone to do right when not swayed by faction, he confirmed Urjoon's patent, which he had given him three years previously, and girt him with the sword of investiture. This contest for his birthright was of great advantage to the youth ; for his grandfather was selected to command the quotas for the defence of the frontier fortress of Jehajpoor, a duty which he well performed; and his grandson accompanied him and was often left in command while he looked after the estate. Both came to visit me at Cheetore. Uijoon was greatly improved during his two years' absence from the paternal abode, and promises to do honour to the clan he belongs to. Amongst many questions, I asked "if he had yet taken to his uml?" to which he energetically replied, " my fortunes will be cracked indeed, if ever I forget any injunction of your's."
But a truce to digression : the whole village punchaet has been waiting this half hour under the spreading burr tree, to tell me, in the language of homely truth, khoosh hyn Compani sahib ca-perap sa, that " by the auspices of Sir Company they are happy ; and that " they hope I may live a thousand years."
I must, therefore, suspend my narrative, whilst I patiently listen till midnight to dismal tales of sterile fields, exhausted funds, exiles unreturned, and the depredations of the wild mountain Bhil.
Abstract of Chapter III
[p.564]: Morwun. — The solitude of this fine district. — Caused by the Mahrattas and their mercenaries. — Impolicy of our conduct towards the Mahrattas - Antiquities of Morwun. — Tradition of the foundation and destruction of the ancient city.— Inscriptions. — Jain temple. — Game, — Attack by a tiger.- Sudden change of the weather.— Destructive frost.- Legend of a temple Mama Deva.— Important inscription. — Distress of the peasantry. -Gratikii of the people to the author. — Nekoomp. — Oppression of the peasants.— Mulak -—Inhabited by Charuns, — Reception of the author. — Curious privilege of the Charunis. — Its origin. — Traditional account of the settlement of this colony in Mewar. — Imprecation of satis. — The tandas, or caravans. — Their immunity from plunder and extortion. — Neembaira. — Ranikhaira. — Indignity committed by a scavenger of Laisraumn. — Sentence upon the culprit. — Tablet to a Silpi. — Reception at Neembaira.
Morwun: earlier capital of Chitrangada Mori
Morwun, February 1st, 1820 — Yesterday, Maun Sing took up the whole of my time with the feuds of Lawah and their consequences. It obliged me to halt, in order to make inquiries into the alienated lands in its vicinity. Morwun is, or rather was, a township of some consequence, and head of a tuppa or subdivision of a district. It is rated, with its contiguous hamlets, at seven thousand rupees annual rent. The situation is beautiful, upon heights pleasingly diversified, with a fine lake to the westward, whose margin is studded with majestic tamarind trees. The soil is rich, and there is water in great abundance within twenty-five feet of the surface ; but man is wanting ! The desolation of solitude reigns throughout, for (as Rousseau observes) there is none to whom one can turn and say, que la solitude est belle !
I experienced another pang at seeing this fertile district revert to the destroyer, the savage Pat'han, who had caused the desolation, and in the brief but expressive words of a Roman author, solitudinem facit, pacem appellat. Morwun is included in the lands mortgaged for a war-contribution, but which with others has remained in the hands of the Mahratta mortgagees or their mercenary subordinates. But it is melancholy to reflect that, but for a false magnanimity towards our insidious, natural enemies, the Mahrattas, all these lands would have reverted to their legitimate masters, who are equally interested with ourselves in putting down predatory warfare. Justice, good policy, and humanity, would have been better consulted had the Mahrattas been wholly banished from Central India. When I contrasted this scene with the traces of incipient prosperity I had left behind me, I felt a satisfaction that the alienated acres produced nothing to the possessor, save luxuriant grass, and the leafless kesoola or plas.
Morwun has some claims to antiquity ; it derives its appellation from the Mori tribe, who ruled here before they obtained Cheetore. The ruins of a fort, still known by the name of Chitrung Mori's castle, are pointed out as his residence ere he founded Cheetore, or
[p.565]: lore properly Cheetrore. The tradition runs thus: Chitrung, a subordinate of the imperial house of Dhar, held Morwun and the adjacent tract, in appanage. One of his subjects, while ploughing, struck the share against some hard substance, and on examination band it was transmuted to gold. This was the paris-puttur* or philosopher's stone,' and he carried it forthwith to his lord, with whose aid he erected the castle, and enlarged the town of Morwun, and ultimately founded Cheetore. The (dhoollcote, or site of Mori-ca-puttun, is yet pointed out, to the westward of the present Morwun.
It was miraculously destroyed through the impieties of its inhabitants by fire, which fate recalls a more celebrated catastrophe ; but the act of impiety in the present case was merely seizing a rishi, or ' hermit,' while performing penance in the forest, and compelling him to carry radishes to market ! The tradition, however, is of some value ; it proves, first, that there were radishes in those days ; and secondly, that volcanic eruptions occurred in this region. Oojein- Ahar, in the valley of Oodipoor, and the lake of which is said in some places to be a'tac, ' deeper than plummet sounded,' is another proof of some grand commotion of nature. Morwun boasts of three mindras, or temples, one of which is dedicated to Schesnag, the thousand-headed hydra which supports the globe. Formerly, saffron was the meet offering to this king of reptiles ; but he is now obliged to be content with ointment of sandal, produced from the evergreen, which is indigenous to Mewar.
Having heard of an inscription at the township of Unair, five miles distant, to the south-west, I requested my old guru to take a ride and copy it. It was of modem date, merely confirming the lands of Unair to the Brahmins. The tablet is in the temple of Chatoorabhuja (the four-armed divinity), built and endowed by Rana Singram Sing in S. 1570 (A.D. 1514) ; to whose pious testament a codicil is added by Rana Juggut Sing, S. 1791, imprecating an anathema on the violator of it. There was also engraved upon one of the columns a voluntary gift, from the village-council of Unair to the divinity, of the first-fruits of each harvest ; viz,, two and a-half seers from each kulla, or heap, of the spring-crops, and the same of the autumnal. The date, S. 1845 (A.D. 1789), shews that it was intended to propitiate the deity during the wars of Mewar.
Directly opposite, and very near the shrine of the 'four-armed,' is a small Jain temple, erected, in S. 1774, to cover an image of the great pontiff, Parswanat'h, found in digging near this spot. Here at every step are relics of past ages.
February 2, 1820. — An accident has compelled another halt at Morwun. The morning was clear and frosty, not a cloud in the sky, and we pose with the sun ; my kinsman, Captain Waugh, to try his Arab at nilgae, and myself to bag a few of the large rock-pigeons which are numerous about Morwun. My friend, after a hard run, had
- * In the Sanscrit, puttur, 'stone, rock,' we have nearly petros of the Greeks.
[p.566]:drawn blood from the elk, and was on the point of spearing him effectually just as he attained a thick part of the jungle, which not heeding, horse and rider came in contact with a tree, and were dashed with violence to the ground. There he lay insensible, and was brought home upon a charpae, or cot, by the villagers, much bruised, but fortunately with no broken bones. A leech was not to be had in any of the adjacent villages ; and the patient complaining chiefly of the hip-bone, we could only apply emollients and recommend repose. I returned with no game except one or two black-partridges and batten-quail. The rock-pigeon, or bur-teetur, though unaccustomed to the fowler, were too wild for me to get a shot at them. The bird bears no analogy to the pigeon, but has all the rich game plumage of the teetur, or partridge, in which name the ornithologist of the west will see the origin of tetrao. There are two species of this bird in India, one much smaller than the common partridge ; that of which I speak is much larger, and with the peculiarity of being feathered to the toe. I have since discovered it to be the counterpart of a bird in the museum at Chambery, called ' barteveldt des Aipes ;' the ptarmigan of the highlands of Scotland. The male has exactly these redundant white feathers ; while that I saw in Savoy was a richly-plumaged female bur-teetur.
Our annual supply of good things having reached us this morning, we were enjoying a bottle of some delicious Burgundy and ' La Rose' after dinner, when we were roused by violent screams in the direction of the village. We were all up in an instant, and several men directed to the spot. Our speculations on the cause were soon set at rest by the appearance of two hircarras (messengers), and a lad with a vessel of milk on his head. For this daily supply they had gone several miles, and had nearly reached the camp, when having outwalked the boy, they were alarmed by his vociferations, "oh uncle, let go — let go — I am your child, uncle, let me go!' They thought the boy mad, and it being very dark, cursed his uncle, and desired him to make haste ; but the same wild exclamations continuing, they ran back, and found a huge tiger hanging to his tattered cold-weather doublet. The hircarras attacked the beast most manfully with their javelin-headed sticks, and adding their screams to his, soon brought the whole village men, women, and children, armed with all sorts of missiles, to the rescue ; and it was their discordant yells that made us exchange our good fare for the jungles of Morwun.
The ' lord of the black rock,' for such is the designation of the tiger, was one of the most ancient bourgeois of Morwun ; his free- hold is Kala-Pahar, between this and Mugurwar, and his reign for a long series of years has been unmolested, notwithstanding his numerous acts of aggression on his bovine subjects : indeed, only two nights before, he was disturbed gorging on a buffalo belonging to a poor oilman of Morwun. Whether this tiger was an incarnation of one of the Mori lords of Morwun, tradition docs not say ; but
[p.567]: neither gun, bow, nor spear, had ever been raised against him. In return for this forbearance, it is said he never preyed upon man, or if he seized one, would, upon being entreated with the endearing epithet of mamoo or uncle, let go his hold ; and this accounted for the little ragged urchin using a phrase which almost prevented the hircarras returning to his rescue.
February 3rd, 1820. — Another halt for our patient, who is doing well, and greatly relieved by the application of leeches obtained from Neembaira. What a night ! the clouds which had been alternately collecting and dispersing ever since we left Marwar, in December last, but had almost disappeared as we commenced our present march, again suddenly gathered. The thermometer, which had averaged 41° at daybreak throughout the last month, this morning rose to 60° On the 1st, the wind changed to the south, with showers, where it continued throughout yesterday ; but during the night it suddenly veered to the north, and the thermometer at day- break was 28° or four degrees below the freezing point. Reader, do you envy me my bon vin de Bourgogne et murailles de coton, with not even a wood fire, labouring under a severe pulmonary affection, with work enough for five men ? Only three days ago, the thermometer was 86° at noon, and to-day it is less at noon than yesterday at daybreak : even old England, with all her vicissitudes of weather, can scarcely show so rapid a change as this.
Ill-feted Mewar ! all our hopes are blasted ; this second visitation has frustrated all our labours. The frost of December, which sunk the mercury to 27° as we passed over the plains of Marwar, was felt throughout Rajwarra, and blighted every pod of cotton. All was " burnt up ;' but our poor exiles comforted themselves, amidst the general sorrow, with the recollection that the young gram was safe. But even this last hope has now vanished : all is nipped in the bud. Had it occurred a month ago, the young plant would have been headed down with the sickle, and additional blossoms would have appeared. I was too unwell to ride out and see the ravages caused by this frost.
February 4th, 1820 . — Our patient is doing so well, that we look to moving to-morrow. Thermometer 28° at daybreak, and 31° at sunrise, with a keen cutting wind from the north. Ice closed the orifice of the meshek, or leathern water-bag. Even the shallow stream near the tents had a pellicle of ice on its surface : our people huddling and shivering round their fires of bajra sticks, and the cattle of all classes looking very melancholy.
My Yati friend returned from Palode, where I had sent him to copy an inscription in a temple dedicated to Mama-deva, the mother of the gods ; but he was disappointed, and brought back only the following traditional legend. The shrine, erected by a wealthy Jain disciple was destined to receive the image of one of their pontiff's ; but on its completion, Mama-deva appeared in propria persona to the founder, and expressed so strongly her desire to inhabit it, that.
: heretic as he was, he could not deny the goddess' suit. He stoutly refused, however, to violate the rules of his order : " by my hands the blood neither of goats nor buffaloes can be shed" said the Jain. But, grateful for the permission that a niche should be set apart for her suroop (form), she told him to go to the Sonigurra chief of Cheetore, who would attend to the rites of sacrifice. The good Jain, with easy faith, did as he was commanded, and erecting another temple, succeeded at length in enshrining Parswanat'h. My old friend, however, discovered in a temple to Mataji, ' the Universal Mother,' an inscription of great importance, as it fixes the period of one of the most conspicuous kings of the Solanki dynasty of Nehrvalla, or correctly, Anhulwarra Puttun ; and, in conjunction with another of the same prince (which I afterwards discovered in Cheetore), also bearing the very same date,* demonstrates that the Solanki had actually made a conquest of the capital of the Gehlotes. The purport is simply that
- "Komarpal Solanki and his son Sohunpal, in the month of Pos (the precise day illegible), S. 1207 (winter of A.D. 1151), came to worship the Universal Mother in her shrine at Palode."†
The Seesodias try to t rid of this difficulty by saying, that during the banishment of Komarpal by Sidraj, he not only enjoyed sirna (refuge) at Cheetore, but held the post of prime minister to Rawul Samarsi, the friend and brother-in-law of the Chohan emperor of Dehli ; but the inscription (given in the first volume), which I found in the temple built by Lakha Rana, is written in the style of a conqueror, " who planted his standard even in Salpoor," the city of the Getes in the Punjab. At all events, it is one more datum in the history of Rajpootana.
February 5th, 1820 , thermometer 30°. — Mounted Bajraj, ' The royal steed,' and took a ride over the heights of Morwun, a wild yet fairy scene, with the Pat'har or table-land bounding the perspective to the east. The downs are covered with the most luxuriant grasses, and the dhak or plas dried by the wintry blast, as if scorched by the lightning, faintly brought to mind the poet's simile, applied to this tree, even in the midst of spring : " the black leafless kesoola". We entered a village in ruins, whose neem trees bid defiance to winter ; the 'thorny babool' (mimosa Arabica) grows luxuriantly out of the inner sides of the walls, and no hand invades the airy nest of the imitative papya, fantastically pendant from the slenderest branches. No trace of the presence of man ; but evidence that he has been here. The ground was covered with hoar-frost, and the little stream coated with ice. Many a heavy heart has it caused, and plunged joyous industry into utter despondence. Take one example : yonder Jat, sitting by the side of his field, which he eyes in despair ; three months since, he returned, after many years of exile, to the bapata, the land of his sires, without funds, without food, or even the imple-
- * See Inscription, Vol. I, p. 707.
- † The style of this inscription is perfectly in unison with the inscriptions on the temples and statues of Egypt.
[p.569]:ments for obtaining it. He had been labouring as a serf in other lands, but he heard of peace in his own, and came back to the paternal acres, which had been a stranger to the ploughshare since he was driven from his cot in S. 1844, immediately following the battle of Hurkea-Khal, when the ' Southron' completed the bondage of Mewar. What could he do ? his well was dried up, and if not, he had no cattle to irrigate a field of wheat or barley. But Mewar is a kind mother, and she yields her chunna crop without water. To the bohora (the metayer) he promised one-fifth of the produce for the necessary seed and the use of a pair of oxen and a plough ; one- fifth more was the share of the state from land so long sterile ; there -were three-fifths left for himself of his long neglected but at once luxuriant fields. He watched the crop with paternal solicitude, from the first appearance of verdure to the approach of bussunt, the joyous spring. Each night, as he returned to his yet roofless abode, he related the wondel's of his field and its rapid vegetation ; and as he calculated the produce, he anticipated its application ; " so much shall go for a plough, so much for the bohora, so much in part payment of a pair of bullocks, and the rest will keep me in bread till the mukhi crop is ready" Thus the days passed, until this killing frost nipped his hopes in the bud, and now see him wringing his hands in the bitterest anguish ! This is no ideal picture : it is one to be found in every village of Mewar. In this favoured soil, there is as much of chunna in the rubbee harvest as of wheat and barley conjoined, and in the first crop sown in bunjur, or soil long sterile, wheat and chunna are sown together. It is a sad blow to the exiles ; though happily in the crown-lands their distress will be mitigated, as these are rented on leases of five years, and the renters for their own sakes must be lenient, and moreover they are well watched.
January 6th, 1820 . — Still halting ; our patient very well, though he feels his bruises : but we shall put him on an elephant to-morrow. The jealousy of the Mahratta had hitherto prevented the inhabitants from fulfilling their desire to come and visit me ; but to-day, the elders forming the punchaet, heading the procession, they came en masse. The authorities need not have feared exposing the nakedness of the land, which is too visible ; but they apprehended the contrast of their condition with our poor subjects, who were at least unmolested in their poverty. It was a happiness to learn that this contrast was felt, and as the Patel presented to me an engaging little child, his daughter, he said, "let not our misfortunes be our faults ; we all belong to Mewar, though we are not so happy as to enjoy your protection and care." I assured him, that although under the Toork, I should look upon them as my children, and the subjects of the Rana ; and I have had it in my power to redeem this pledge — for, strange to say, even Ameer Khan, seeing that the prosperity of the subject is that of the prince, has commanded his governor of Neembaira to consult me in everything, and has even gone so far as to beg I would consider the place as under my authority. Already, following
[p.570]: our example, he has reduced the transit duties nearly one-half, and begins to think the Fringi notions of economy better than his own, his loss having proved a gain.
Nekoomp, January 7th, 1820 , eleven miles. — Midway, passed through Chakoorla, a village belonging to Meer Khan. Nekoomp is a talook of Jawud, which with Mundipea was held by the Pindarri freebooter, Fazil, while Jeswunt Row Bhao held them in jaedad. They are now leased to a Pundit by the Hakim of Jawud, which latter is assigned by Sindia to his father-in-law, the Senapati. Nekoomp is a good village, but more than two-thirds depopulated, and the renter is prevented from being lenient, as he experiences no mercy himself. Notwithstanding they have all been suffering as we have from this frost, an assessment is now levying. One poor fellow said to me, " I returned only three months ago from exile, and I had raised the mud-walls of my hut two feet, when my wife died, leaving me to take care of a boy eight years of age, and to get bread for both. If the walls were two feet higher I would cover it in ; but though I have not a foot of land, my roofless half-finished cot is assessed a rupee and a-half :" a gift of two rupees made him happier than his Hakim !
The country is beautiful, the soil rich, and water, as already mentioned, about twenty-five feet from the surface. We are now in the region of the flower sacred to " gloomy Dis," the accursed poppy. The crop looks miserable from the frost, but those patches within the influence of the wells are partly saved by the fields being inundated, which expedient is always successful upon such visitations, if applied with judgment. The mountains touching great Sadri lay twelve miles south coming from Pertabgurh, and ranging to Saloombra and Oodipoor, where they commingle with the giant Aravulli.
Murlah, January 8th, 1820 : seven miles. — Crossed two ridges running northward to Bhadaisir. The intervening vallies, as usual, fertile, with numerous villages, but alienated to the southern Goths or the partizan Pat'han. Passed many large townships, formerly in the fisc of Mewar, as Baree, Binotah, Bumboree, &c In the distance, saw "the umbrella of the earth," the far-famed Cheetore. Murlah is an excellent township, inhabited by a community of Charuns, of the tribe Cucholeah, who are Bunjarris (carriers) by profession, though poets by birth. The alliance is a curious one, and would appear incongiruous, were not gain the object generally in both cases. It was the sanctity of their office which converted our bardais into bunjarris, for their persons being sacred, the immunity extended likewise to their goods, and saved them from all imposts ; so that in process of time they became the free-traders of Rajpootana. I was highly gratified with the reception I received from the community, which collectively advanced to me at some distance from the town. The procession was headed by the village-band, and all the fair Charrunis, who, as they approached, gracefully waved their scarfs
[p.571]: over me, until I was fairly made captive by the muses of Murlah ! It was a novel and interesting scene : the manly persons of the Charuns, clad in the flowing white robe, with the high loose folded turban inclined on one side, from which the nula, or chaplet, was gracefully suspended ; the naiques or leaders, with their massive necklaces of gold, with the image of the pitriswar (manes) depending therefrom, gave the whole an air of opulence and dignity. The females were uniformly attired in a skirt of dark brown camlet, having a boddice of light-coloured stuff, with gold ornaments worked into their fine black hair ; and all had the favourite chooris, or rings of hatdant (elephants tooth), covering the arm, from the wrist to the elbow, and even above it. Never was there a nobler subject for the painter in any age or country ; it was one which Salvator Rosa would have seized, full of picturesque contrasts : the rich dark tints of the female attire harmonizing with the white garments of their husbands ; but it was the mien, the expression, the gestures, denoting that though they paid homage they expected a full measure in return. And they had it : for if ever there was a group which bespoke respect for the natural dignity of man and his consort, it was the Charun community of Murlah.
It was not until the afternoon, when the naiques again came to see me at my camp, that I learned the full value of my escape from the silken bonds of the fair Charunis. This community had enjoyed for five hundred years the privilege of making prisoner any Rana of Mewar who may pass through Murlah, and keeping him in bondage until he gives them a gote, or entertainment : and their chains are neither galling, nor the period of captivity, being thus in the hands of the captivated, very long. The patriarch told me that I was in jeopardy, as the Ranas representative ; but not knowing how I might have relished the joke, had it been carried to its conclusion, they let me escape, though they lost a feast by it. But I told them I was too much delighted with old customs not to keep up this ; and immediately sent money to the ladies with my respects, and a request that they would hold their gote (feast). The patriarch and his subordinate naiques and their sons remained with me to discourse on the olden time.
The founders of this little colony accompanied Rana Hamir from Guzzerat in the early part of his reign, and although five centuries have elapsed, they have not parted with one iota of their nationality or their privileges since that period : neither in person, manners, nor dress, have they anything analogous to those amidst whom they dwell. Indeed, their air is altogether foreign to India, and although they have attained a place, and that a high one, amongst the tribes of Hind, their affinity to the ancient Persian is striking ; the loose robe, high turban, and flowing beard, being more akin to the figures on the temples of the Guebres than to anything appertaining to the Chliarburrun, or four classes of the Hindus. But I must give the talc accounting for their settlemcnt in Mewar. Rana Hamir. so
[p.572]: celebratcd in the history of Mewar, had a leprous spot on his hand, to remove which he made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Hinglaz, upon the coast of Mekran, the division Oritae of Arrian's geography. He had reached the frontiers of Cutch Bhooj, when alighting near a tanda, or encampment of Charuns, a young damsel abandoned the meal she was preparing, and stepped forward to hold the stranger's steed. Thanking her for her courtesy, he jocosely observed that he wished his people had as good a breakfast as she was preparing, when she immediately made an offering of the contents oi the vessel ; on which Hamir observed, it would go but a short way to satisfy so many hungry mouths. " Not if it pleased Hinglaz-ji," she promptly replied ; and placing the food before the Rana and his train, it sufficed for all their wants. A little well, which she excavated in the sand, was soon filled with a copious supply of water, which served to quench their thirst. It was an evident interposition of the goddess of Hinglaz in favour of this her royal votary. He returned from her shrine cured, and the young Charuni's family were induced to accompany him to Mewar, where he bestowed upon them the lands of Murlah, with especial immunities in their mercantile capacity : and as a perpetual remembrance of the miraculous feast, permission was granted to the Charuni damsels to make captive of their sovereign as related above.
The colony, which now consists of some thousands of both sexes, presented an enigma to our young Englishmen, who think " all black fellows alike," and equally beneath notice : it was remarked how comfortable they looked in house and person, though there was not a vestige of cultivation around their habitations. The military policy of the troubled period accounts for the first ; and a visit to the altars of Murlah will furnish the cause of the neglect of the agrarian laws of Mewar. As the community increased in numbers, the subdivision of the lands continued, according to the customs of Cutch, until a dispute regarding limits produced a civil war. A ferocious combat ensued, when the wives of the combatants who were slain ascended the funeral pile ; and to prevent a similar catastrophe, imprecated a curse on whomever from that day should cultivate a field in Murlah ; since which the land has lain in absolute sterility ! Such is the implicit reverence for the injunction of a sati, at this moment of awful inspiration, when about to take leave of the world. In Mewar, the most solemn of all oaths is that of the sati, Maha satian-ca-an, 'by the great satis' is an adjuration frequently used in the royal patents.
The tanda or caravan, consisting of four thousand bullocks, has been kept up amidst all the evils which have beset this land, through Mogul and Mahratta tyranny. The utility of these caravans, as general carriers to conflicting armies, and as regular tax-paying subjects, has proved their safe-guard, and they were too strong to be pillaged by any petty marauder, as any one who has seen a Bunjarri encampment will be convinced. They encamp in a square ;
[p.573]: their grain-bags piled over each other breast-high, with interstices left for their matchlocks, make no contemptible fortification. Even the ruthless Toork, Jemshid Khan, set up a protecting tablet in favour of the Charuns of Murlah, recording their exemption from dind contributions, and that there should be no increase in duties, with threats to all who should injure the community. As usual, the sun and moon are appealed to as witnesses of good faith, and sculptured on the stone. Even the forester Bhil and mountain Mair have set up their signs of immunity and protection to the chosen of Hinglaz ; and the figures of a cow and its kairie (calf), carved in rude relief, speak the agreement that they should not be slain or stolen within the limits of Murlah.
Neembaira : seven miles. — The soil, as usual, excellent ; but from Ranikhaira to Neembaira the blue schist at intervals penetrates the surface, and there is but little superincumbent soil even to the bed of the stream, which makes an entire disclosure of the rock, over which flows a clear rivulet abounding with small fish, amongst which the speckled trout were visible Ranikhaira, through which we passed, is the largest township of this district, and was built by the Rani of Ursi Rana, mother of the present ruler of Mewar, at whose expense the temple, the bawari or 'reservoir,' and the paved street, were constructed. Although in the alienated territory, I had a visit from its elders to complain of an indignity to the community by the bungi, or scavenger, of Laisrawun, who had killed a hog and thrown it into the reservoir, whose polluted waters being thus rendered unfit for use, the inhabitants were compelled to get a purer element from the adjacent villages. This bawari is about half a mile from the town, and being upon the high-way, the council and train very wisely stopped at the spot where the aggression had happened : and although the cavalcade of the Hakim of Neembaira was in sight, advancing to welcome me, it was impossible to proceed until I heard the whole grievance, when adjured by "subjects of Mewar, and children of the Rana, though unhappily under the Toork," to see their wrongs redressed. I might not nave recorded this incident, but for its consequence ; as the hog thrown into the reservoir of BaejiRaj, the royal mother of Mewar, affords an instance of the extent to which mortgage is carried.
The Buhingis, or scavengers, of Ranikhaira, the very refuse of mankind, had mortgaged their rights in the dead carcass of their town to a professional brother of Laisrawun ; but, on the return of these halcyon days, they swerved from their bond. The chieftain of Laisrawun espoused his vassal's cause, and probably pointed out the mode of revenge. One morning, therefore, not having the fear of Jemshid of Neembaira before his eyes, the said mortgagee slew his pig ; and, albeit but the wreck of a human being, contrived to cast his victim into the pure fountain of 'Queenstown,' and immediately fled for sirna to Bheendir. But what could be done to a wretch, who for former misdeeds had already suffered the dismem-
[p.574]: berment of an arm, a leg, and his nose ? Here is the sentence " To be paraded, mounted on an ass, his face blackened, with a chaplet of shoes round his neck, and drummed out of the limits of Ranikhaira!' The fountain is now undergoing purification ; and when the polluted waters are baled out, it is to be lustrated with the holy stream of the Granges, and the ceremony will conclude with a gate, or feast, to one hundred Brahmins. Previous to this, I took a peep at the humble altars of Ranikhaira. All is modern ; but there is one tablet which pleasingly demonstrates that both public feeling and public gratitude exist in these regions. This tablet, set up by the council of the town, recorded that Kistna, the 'silpi' or stonecutter, did at his own expense and labour repair all the altars then going to decay ; for which pious act they guaranteed to him and his successors for ever six thalis or platters of various viands, saffron, oil, butter, and several pieces of money, at every village fete. Doubtless such traits are not confined to Ranikhaira. I accepted with kindness the offerings of the elders and assembled groups — a pot of curds and sundry blessings — and continued my journey to meet the impatient cavaliers of Neembaira, who, to fill up the interlude, were karowling, with matchlock and spear, their well-caparisoned chargers. The Khan was in the centre of the groupe, and we had a friendly,unceremonious dustabazee, or shaking of hands, without dismounting. He is a gentlemanly Pat'han, of middle age, courteous and affable, and a very different personage from the two-handed Jemshid his predecessor, who lately died from a cancer in his back : a judgment, if we are to credit our M^war friends, for his horrible cruelties and oppressions over all these regions, as lieutenant of Ameer Khan during many years. The Khan welcomed me to Neembaira with true Oriental politesse, saying, "that the place was mine ;" and that he had received the "positive instructions of the " Nawab Sahib (Ameer Khan, whose son-in-law he is) to look upon "me as himself." I replied, that, in accepting such a trust, I could not say more than that I would, whenever occasion presented itself, act for him as if Neembaira were really my own. The Khan had reason to find that his confidence was not misplaced ; and while enabled to benefit him, I had also the opportunity of protecting the interests of the feudatories, who by this alienation (as is fully related in the Annals of Mewar) were placed beyond the pale of the Rana's power. The Khan, after accompanying me to my tents, took leave; but paid me a long visit in the evening, when we discussed all that concerned the welfare of his charge and the peace of the borders. As matters stand, it is a duty to concilitate and to promote prosperity; but it is melancholy to see this fertile appanage of Mewar in the hand of so consummate a villain as Meer Khan ; a traitor to his master Holcar, for which he obtained the ' sovereignty in perpetuity' of many rich tracts both in Mewar and Amber, without rendering the smallest service in return. Let this be borne in mind when another day of reckoning comes. Neembaira is a considerable town, with an excellent stone circumvallation ; and, being on the high road
[p.575]: between Malwa and Hindust'han, it enjoys a good share of traffic. Upwards of one hundred villages are attached to it, and it was estimated at three lacs of rupees, of annual rent.
Chapter IV: Not taken
Abstract of Chapter V
[p.584]: Dhareswar. — Ruttungurh Kheyri. — Colony of Charuns.— Little Attoa, — Inscription at Paragurh, — Doongur Sing. — Seo Sing, — Law of adaption. — Kala Megh, — Omedpoora and its chief — Singolli. — Temple of Bhavani. — Tablet of Rana Mokul, — Traditionary tales of the Haras. — Aloo Hara of Bumaoda,— Dangermow. — Singular effects produced, by the sun on the atmosphere of the Pat'har.
Dhareswar, January 14, 1820, six miles ; therm. 46° at 5 A.M. — From Kuneroh to Dhareswar there is a gradual descent, perhaps equal to one-third of the angle of ascent of the table-land. For half the distance the surface is a fine rich soil, but the last half is strewed with fragments of the rock. Dhareswar is beautifully situated at the lowest point of descent, with a clear stream, planted with fine timber to the south. The Bhomia rights are enjoyed by some Cutchwaha Rajpoots, who pay a share of the crops to Kuneroh. Passed a few small hamlets in the grey of the morning, and several herd of elk-deer, who walked away from us with great deliberation ; but the surface was too stony to try our horses' mettle.
Ruttungurh Kheyri, January 15, 1820 - distance nine miles. — The road over a bare rock, skirting a stream flowing on its surface. Two miles from Dhareswar is the boundary of Kuneroh, and the chaurasi (eighty-four townships) of Kheyri ; the descent still graduating to Kheyri, which is probably not above one hundred feet higher than the external plains of Mewar. The road was over loose stones with much jungle, but here and there some fine patches of rich black soil. We kept company with the Dhareswar nulla all the way, which is well-wooded in its course, and presented a pretty fall at one point of our journey. Passed several hamlets, and a colony of Charuns, whom I found to be some of my friends of Murlah. They had not forgotten their privilege ; but as the ladles were only the matrons of the colony, there would have been no amusement in captivity ; so I dropped five rupees into the brazen kullaa, and passed on. The
- * It is to be borne in mind, that this was written on the spot, in January, A.D. 1820.
[p.585]: cavalcade of the Komasdar of Kheyri was also at hand, consisting of about two hundred horse and foot, having left his castle on the peak to greet and conduct me to my tents. He is a relation of old Lallaji Bellal, and intelligent and polite. Our tents were pitched near the town, to which the Pundit conducted us ; after which act of civility, in the character of the locum tenena of my friend Lallaji, and his sovereign Sindia (in whose camp I sojourned twelve long years), he took his leave, inviting me to the castle ; but as it contained nothing antique, I would not give cause for jealousy to his prince by accepting his invitation, and civilly declined.
The Chourasi, or eighty-four [townships] of Ruttungurh Kheyri, Was in S. 1828 (A.D. 1772) assigned to Madaji Sindia, to pay off a war-contribution; and until S. 1832, its revenues were regularly accounted for. It was then made over to B^rji Tdp ?, the son-in-law of Sindia, and has ever since remained alienated from Mewar. The treason of the chief of Beygoo, one of the sixteen nobles of the Rana, lost this jewel in his crown, for he seized upon the Chourasi, which adjoined his own estate, situated on the skirt of this alpine region. To expel him the Rana called on Sindia, who not only took the Chourasi, but Beygoo itself, which was heavily fined, and forty of its best villages, or half his fief, were mortgaged to pay the mulct. The landscape from these heights is very fine ; the Pundit, from his aerial abode, can look down on Kheyri, and exclaim with Selkirk :
- " I am monarch of all I survey ;" but I would dispute his right with all my heart, if I could do so with success.
Little Attoa. — Distance eight miles, thermometer at daybreak 40°, with a cutting wind, straight from the north, which we keenly felt as oiu: party ascended the heights of Ruttungurh. The altitude of this second steppe in the plateau is under four hundred feet, although the winding ascent made it by the perambulator five furlongs. The fort is erected on a projection of the mountain, and the works are in pretty good order. They had been adding fresh ones on the accessible side, which the general state of security has put a stop to. In fact, it could not hold out twenty-four hours f^inst ? a couple of mortars, the whole interior being commanded from a height within easy range. I asked my old guide if the castle had ever stood a storm ; his reply was in the negative ; " she is still a komari (a virgin), and all forts are termed komaris, until they stand an assault" We had a superb view from the summit, which is greatly above the level of Kuneroh, whose boundary line was distinct. The stream from Dhareswar was traced gliding through its embankments of black rock, covered with luxuriant young crops, and studded with mango and mowah trees. It is a singular fact, that the higher we ascended, the less mischief had been inflicted on the crops, although the sugar-cane looked prematurely ripe. The wheat fields were luxuriant, but the barley suiewed in their grizzly beards here and there an evidence of having suffered. I also noted
[p.586]: that invariably all the low branches of the mowah trees were injured, the leaves shrivelled and dried up, while the superior ones were not affected. The field-peas (butloe) sown with the barley were more or less injured, but not nearly so much as at Kuneroh.
The road was execrable, if road it could be termed, which for many miles was formed for me by the kindness of the Pundit, who cut a path through the otherwise impenetrable jungle, the abode of elks and tigers, sufficient to pass my baggage. This route is never passed by troops ; but I had curiosity to indulge, not comfort. About four miles from the castle, we ascended another moderate elevation to the village of Oomur, whence we saw Paragurh on the left, and learning that it contained an inscription, I despatched one of my Pundits to copy it. A mile further brought us to the extremity of the ridge serving as a land-mark to the Chourasi of Kheyri. From it we viewed another steppe, that we shall ascend the day after to-morrow, from which I am told the Pathar gradually shelves to the banks of the Chumbul, the termination of our journey.
As we passed the village of Omedpoora (Hopetown), a sub-infeudation of Beygoo, held by the uncle of its chief, we were greeted by the Thakoor, accompanied by two of his kinsmen. They were all well-mounted, lance in hand, and attired in their quilted tunics and deer-skin doublet, of itself no contemptible armour. They conveyed their chief's compliments, and having accompanied me to my tents, took leave.
Choota, or little Attoa, is also held by a sub- vassal of the same clan, the Meghawuts of Beygoo ; his name Doongur Sing, 'the mountain lion,' now with me, and who long enjoyed the pre-eminent distinction of being chief riever of the Pat'har. With our party he has the familiar appellation of Roderic Dhu, and without boasting of his past exploits, he never dreams of their being coupled with dishonour. Although he scoured the country far and near to bring black-mail to his mountain-retreat, it was from the Mahrattas chiefly that his wants were supplied ; and he required but the power, to have attained the same measure of celebrity as his ancestor the ' Black-cloud' (Kala Megh) of Beygoo. Still, bis name was long the bugbear of this region, and the words Doongur Sing aya ! ' the mountain lion is at hand !' were sufficient to scare the peaceful occupants of the surrounding country from their property, or to arm them for its defence. With the ' Southron' he had just cause of quarrel, since, but for him, he would have been lord of Nuddowae and its twenty-four villages, of which his grandfather was despoiled at the same time that this alpine region was wrested by Sindia from his sovereign. This tuppa, however, fell to Holcar ; but the father of Doongur, lance in hand, gave the conqueror no rest, until he granted him a lease in perpetuity of four of the villages of his patrimony, two of which were under Holcar's own seal, and two under that of the renter. About twenty years ago, the latter having been resumed, Seo Sing took up his lance again, and initiated the
[p.587]:mountain-lion, his son, in the lex talionis. He flung away the scabbard, sent his family for security to the Raja of Shapoora, and gave his mind up to vengeance. The father and son, and many other brave spirits with the same cause of revenge, carried their incursions into the very heart of Malwa, bringing back the spoils to his den at little Attoa But though his hand was now raised against every man, he forgot not his peculiar feud (b^r), and his patrimony of Nuddowae yielded little to the Mahratta. But Seo Sing was surrounded by foes, who leagued to circumvent him, and one day, while driving many a goodly buffalo to his shelter, he was suddenly beset by a body of horse placed in ambush by the Bhow. But both were superbly mounted, and they led them a chase through Mandelgurh, and were within the very venge of security, when, as Seo Sing put his mare to the nulla she played him false and fell, and ere she recovered herself the long lance of the Mahratta was through the rider. Young Doongur was more fortunate, and defying his pursuers to clear the rivulet, bound up the body of his father in his scarf , ascended the familiar path, and burnt it at midnight, amongst the family affars of Nuddowae. But far from destroying, this only increased the appetite for vengeance, which has lasted till these days of peace; and, had every chieftain of Mewar acted like Doongur, the Mahratta would have had fewer of their fields to batten on to-day. His frank, but energetic answer, when the envoy mentioned the deep complaints urged against him by the present manager of Nuddowae, was " I must have bread !" and this they had snatched from him. But Holcar's government, which looks not to the misery inflicted, carries loud complaints to the resident authorities, who can only decide on the principle of possession, and the abstract view of Doongur s course of life. For myself, I do not hesitate to avow, that my regard for the chiefs of Mewar is in the ratio of their retaliation on their ' Southron' foe ; and entering deeply into all their great and powerful grounds for resentment, I warmly espoused the cause of the 'mountain-lion ;' and as the case (through Mr. Gerald Wellesley) was left by Holcar's government to my arbitration, I secured to the chief a part of his patrimony under their joint seal, and left him to turn his lance into a ploughshare, until fresh causes for just aggression may arise. This settlement gave me another proof of the inalienable right in land granted by the ryot cultivator, and its superiority over that granted by the sovereign. There were certain rights in the soil (bhumi) which Doongur's ancestors had thus obtained, in the township of Nuddowae, to which he attached a higher value than to the place itself. Doongur's story affords a curious instance of the laws of adoption superseding, if not the rank, the fortune resulting from birthright. Seo Sing and Doulut Sing, both sub-vassals of Beygoo, were brothers ; the former had Nuddowae, the latter Rawurdo. But Doulut Sing, having no issue, adopted Salim Sing, the younger brother of Doongur, who has thus become lord of Rawurdo, of nearly four thousand rupees' annual rent, while Doongur's chief place is little Attoa, and
[p.588]: the bhom of Nuddowae. Salim Sing is now in high favour with his chief of Beygoo, to whom he is foujdar, or leader of the vassals. In personal appearance he has greatly the advantage of Doongur; Salim is tall and very handsome, bold in speech and of gentlemanly deportment; Doongur is compact in form, of dark complexion, rugged in feature, and bluntness itself in phrase, but perfectly good- humoured, frank, and unreserved ; and as he rode by my side, he amused me with many anecdotes connected with the scenery around.
Singolli, February 17th, 1820, eight and a half miles, thermometer 40° — This town is chief of a tuppa or subdivision, containing fifiy-two villages, of the district of Antri, a term applied to a defile, or tract surrounded by mountains. The Antri of Mewar is fertilized by the Bhamuni, which finds its way through a singular diversity of country, after two considerable falls, to the Chumbul, and is about thirty miles in length, reckoning from Beechore to the summit of the steppe of the plateau, by about ten miles in breadth, producing the most luxuriant crops of wheat, barley, gram, sugar-cane, and poppy ; and having, spread over its surface, one hundred villages and hamlets; but a section of the country will make it better understood.
From Beechore, the pass opening from the plains of Mewar, to the highest peak of this alpine Pat'har the Kala Meg'h, or ' black-cloud,' of Beygoo, bore sway. From him sprung another of the numerous clans of Mewar, who assumed the patronymic Meghawut. These clans and tribes multiply, for Kala Megh and his ancestors were recognized as a branch of the Sangawut, one of the early sab- divisions of the Chondawut, the chief ckm of Mewar. The descend- ant of the ' black-cloud,' whose castle of Beygoo is near the entrance to Antri, could not now muster above a hundred and fifty men at arms throughout the Pat'har ; to which he might add as many more of foreign Rajpoots, as the Hara and Gor, holding lands for service. The head of the Meghawuts has not above twenty villages in this fief of Beygoo, though these might yield twenty-five thousand rupees annually, if cultivated ; the rest is still in the hands of the Mahrattas, as a mortgage contracted nearly forty years ago, and which has been
[p.589]: liquidated ten times over : they include, in this, even a third of the produce of his own place of residence, and the town itself is never free from these intruders, who are continually causing disturbances. Unhappily for Mewar, the grand principle of the campaign and its political results "that of excluding the Mahrattas from the west bank of the Chumbul" was forgotten in our successes, or all the alienated lands of Mewar as far as the Malwa frontier would have reverted to the Rana. The hamlets on the Pat'har consist of huts with low mud walls, and tiled roofs: even Omedpoora, though inhabited by the uncle of the chief, is no better than the rest, and his house is one which the poorest peasant in England would not occupy. Yet steeped in poverty, its chieftain, accompanied by his son, nephew, and fifteen more of his kin and clan, came "for the purpose of doing himself, his lord paramount of Beygoo, and the British Agent, honour." The mountain-chief of Omedpoora affords a fine example, that noble bearing may be independent of the trappings of rank : high descent and proper self-respect appeared in every feature and action. Dressed in a homely suit of amovah, or russet green, with a turban of the same (the favourite hunting costume of the Rajpoot); over all the corselet of the skin of the elk, slain by himself; with his bright lance in hand, and mounted on a good strong horse, whose accoutrements like his master's were plain but neat, behold the vassal of Omedpoora equipped for the chase or foray. The rest of his party followed him on foot, gay and unconcerned as the wild-deer of the Pat'har ; ignorant of luxury, except a little uml-pani when they go to Beygoo : and whose entire wants, including food, raiment, gunpowder, and tobacco, can be amply supplied by about £8 a year each ! The party accompanied me to my tents, and having presented brilliant scarlet turbajis and scarfs, with some English gunpowder, to the chief, his son, and nephew, we parted mutually pleased at the rencontre.
The descent to Singolli is very gentle, nor are we above eighty feet below the level of Oomur, the highest point of the Pat'har, which I rejoice to have visited, but lament the want of my barometers. Singolli, in such a tract as this, may be entitled a town, having fifteen hundred inhabited dwellings encompassed by a strong wall. The Pundit is indebted to his own good management, and the insecurity around him, for this numerous population. In the centre of the town, the dingy walls of a castle built by Aloo Hara strike the eye, from the contrast with the new works added by the Pundit ; it has a deep ditch, with a fausae-braye, and parapet The circumvallation measures a mile and three-quarters.
Singoli Inscription of Maharaja Mokal S.1477 (A.D. 1421)
About a mile to the north-west are the remains of a temple to Vijyaseni Bhavani, the Pallas of the Rajpoots. I found a tablet recording the piety of the lord paramount of the Pathar, in a perpetual gift of lights for the altar. It runs thus :
- "Samvat 1477 (A.D. 1421), the 2d of Asoj, being Friday (Brigrvar*), Maharaja Sri Mokul-ji, in order to
:* A name of Sukra-acharya the Regent of the planet Venus. The ' star of eve' is always called Sukra, but presents a most unpoetic idea to the mind) when
[p.590]: furnish lights (jote wasta) for Vijyaseni Bhavani-ji, has granted one "beega and a half of land. Whosoever shall set aside this offering, the goddess will overtake him."
This is a memorial of the celebrated Rana Mokul of Mewar, whose tragical death by assassination has been recorded in the annals of that state.* Mokul was one of the most celebrated of this race ; and he defeated, in a pitched battle at Raepoor, a grandson of the emperor of Dehli. He was the father of Lal-Bae, called ' the Ruby of Mewar' regarding whom we have related a little scandal from the chronicle of the Bhattis (see p. 231) : but the bard of the Kheechies, who says that prince Dheeraj espoused her in spite of the insult of the desert chief, had no cause to doubt the lustre of this gem.
The Pat'har resounds with the traditionary tales of the Haras, who, at a very early period, established themselves in this alpine region, on which they erected twelve castles for its protection, ail of them still to be traced existing or in ruins ; and although they assumed the title of " lords of the Pat'har," they acknowledged the supremacy of the Ranas of Mewar, whom they obeyed as liege-lords at this very time. Of these twelve castles, Ruttungurh is the only one not entirely dismantled ; though even the ruins of another, Dilwargurh, have been the cause of a bloody feud between the Meghawut of Beygoo and the Suktawut of Gwalior, also in the Pat'har. That of Paranuggur, or Parolli, lays a short distance from thence, but the most famous of all is Bumaoda, placed upon the western crest of the
- we learn that this star, the most beautiful of the heavenly host, is named after an immoral one-eyed male divinity, who lost his other orb in an undignified personal collision, from an assault upon Tara (the star) the wife of a brother-god Sukra-acharya, notwithstanding, holds the office of guru or spiritual adviser, to the whole celestial body — we may add ex uno disce omnes : and assuredly the Hindu who takes the mythological biography of his gods an pied de la lettre, cannot much strengthen his morally thereby. The classical Hindu of these days values it as he ought, looking upon it as a pretty astronomical
fable, akin to the vovage of the Argonauts ; but the bulk enter the temple of the "thirty-three millions of gods" with the same firmness of belief as did the old Roman his Pantheon. The first step, and a grand one, has been made to destroy this fabric of Polytheism, and to turn the mind of the Hindu to the perception of his own purer creed, adoration of ' the one omniscient, omnipotent, and eternal God' Rammohun Roy has made this step, who "has become a law unto himself," and a precursor, it is to be hoped, of benefit to his race. In the practical effects of Christianity, he is a Christian, though still a devout Brahmin, adoring the Creator alone, and exercising an extended charity, with a spirit of meekness, toleration, and benevolence, added to manly resitance of all that savours of oppression, which stamps him as a man chosen for great purposes. To these moral, he adds mental qualifications of the highest order : clear and rapid perception, vigorous comprehension, immense industry of research, and perfect self-possession ; having, moreover, a classical knowledge, not of our language only, but of Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Persian, Arabic, and the 'mother-tongue, or langue-mere of all, the Sanscrit.
- * By means of this simple tablet, we detect an anachronism in the chronicle. It is stated in page 240 of the first volume, that Koombho succeeded his father Rana Mokul in S. 1454, or two years anterior to the date of the grant of lights for the goddess. Such checks upon Rajpoot chronology are always falling in the way of those who will read as they run.
January 18th 1820, Dangermow, eight miles ; thermometer 48° — A choice of three routes presented itself to us this morning. To the left lay the celebrated Mynal, once the capital of Oopermal ; on the right, but out of the direct line, was the castle of Bhynsror, scarcely less celebrated ; and straight before us the pole-star and Kotah, the point to which I was journeying. I cut the knot of perplexity by deviating from the direct line, to descend the table-land to Bhynsror, and without crossing the Chumbul, nearly retraced my steps, along the left bank, to Kotah, leaving Mynal for my return to Oodipoor. Our route lay through the antri, or valley, whose northern boundary we had reached, and between it and the Bhamuni. The tract was barren but covered with jungle, with a few patches of soil lodged amidst the hollows or otherwise bare rock, over whose black surface several rills had cut a low bed, all falling into the Bhamuni. One of these had a name which we need not translate, Ranibor-ca-Khal and which serves as a boundary between the lands of the Meghawuts of Antri and the Suktawuts of Bhynsror.
Dangermow-Borao, is a small putta of twelve villages, yielding fifteen thousand rupees of annual rent ; but it is now partitioned, — six villages to each of the towns above-mentioned. They are Suktawut allotments, and the elder, Sukt Sing, has just returned from court, where he had been to have the sword of investiture (tulwar bandai) girt on him as the lord of Borao. Bishen Sing of Dangermow is at Kotah, where he enjoys the confidence of Zalim Sing and is commandant of cavalry. He has erected a castle on the very summit of the third steppe of the Pat'har, whose dazzling white walls contrast
[p.594]: powerfully with the black and bleak rock on which it stands, and render it a conspicuous object. The Suktawuts of the Pathar are of the Bansi family, itself of the second grade of nobles of Mewar ; and the rank of both the chiefs of Dangermow and Borao was the third, or that termed gole ; but now, having each a putta (at least nominally) of above five thousand rupees yearly rent, they are lifted into the bateesa, or amongst the ' thirty-two' of the second class.
The Bhamuni, whose course will carry us to its close at Bhynsror, flows under the walls of both Dangermow and Borao, and is the cause not only of great fertility but of diversity, in this singular alpine region. The weather has again undergone a very sensible change, and is extremely trying to those, who, like myself, are affected by a pulmonary complaint, and who are obliged to brave the mists of the mountain-top long before the sun is risen. On the second, at daybreak, the thermometer stood at 60°, and only three days after, at 27° ; again, it rose to 40° and for several days stood at this point, and 75° at mid-day. The day before we ascended the Pat'har it rose to 54°, and 94° at noon ; and on reaching the summit, 60° and 90° ; again it falls to 40°, and we now shiver with cold. The density of the atmosphere has been particularly annoying both yesterday and to-day. Clouds of mist rolled along the surface of the mountain, which, when the sun cleared the horizon, and shot about 'spear-high' in the heavens, produced the most fantastic effects. The orb was clear and the sky brilliant ; but the masses of mist, though merely a thin vapour and close to the spectator, exhibited singular and almost kaleidoscopic changes. There was scarcely a figure that the sun did not assume; the upper half appearing orbicular, the lower elliptical : in a second, this was reversed. Some- times it was wholly elliptical, with a perfect change of the axis, the transverse and conjugate changing places — a loaf, a bowl, and at one instant a scollop-shell, then ' round as my shield,' and again a segment of a circle, and thus alternating until its ascension dissipated the medium of this beautiful illusion, the more perfect from the sky being cloudless. The mists disappeared from the mountain long before this phantasmagoria finished.
Abstract of Chapter VI
[p.595]: Bhynsrorgurh,- Cairn of a Rajpoot-Ragonath Sing of Bhynsror, -Castle of Bhynsror.—Paaaage forced by the Chumbul through the Plateau.— Origin and etymology of Bhynsror. — Charuns, the carriers of Rajwarra,— The young chief of Mehwo becomes the champion of Mewar. — Avenges the Ranas feud with Jessulmer, and obtains Bhynsror.— Tragical death of his Thakoorani, niece of the Rana,—He is banished,— The Pramar chiefs of Bhynsror, — Cause of their expulsion, — Lall Sing Chondaumt obtains Bhynsror, — Assassinates his friend the Rana's uncle, — Maun Sing, his son, succeeds, — Is taken prisoner. — Singular escape, — Reflections on the policy of the British government towards these people, — Antiquities and inscriptions of Bhynsror. — Dabi, — View from the pass at Nasairah, — Rajpoot cairns, — Tomb of a bard, — sentiments of the people on the effects of our interference, — Their gratitude. — Cairn of a Bhatti chief. — Kurripoor, — Depopulated state of the country, — Inscriptions at Sontra, — Bhil temple,— Ruins,— The Holi festival, — Kotah, its appearance.
February 19, 1820 ,Bhynsrorgurh, ten miles, four furlongs; thermometer 51°, — Atmosphere dense and oppressive, and roads execrable, through a deep forest ; but for the hatchets of my friends, my baggage never could have been got on. We passed several hamlets, consisting of a dozen or more huts, the first of which I find belongs to my young friend Morji of Goorah, himself a vassal of the Pramar of Bijolli (one of the sixteen Omras of Mewar), and holding a few beegaa of bhom, as his vat or share of the bapota (patrimony) of Borao. We have elsewhere given a copy of the tenure on which Morji holds a village in the fief of Bijolli.* At seven miles from Dangermow, we came to a small shrine of an Islamite saint, who buried himself alive. It is an elevated point, from whence is a wild but lovely prospect. There is a coond, or 'fountain,' planted with trees, close to the shrine, which attracts a weekly mela or 'fair,' attended by all classes, who cannot help attributing some virtue to a spot where a saint, though a Mooslem, thus expiated his sins. In descending, we heard the roaring of mighty waters, and soon came upon the Bhamuni, forming a fine cascade of about fifty feet in height ; its furious course during the monsoon is apparent from the weeds it has left on the trees, at least twenty feet above its present level. The fall of the country is rapid, even from this lower spot, to the bed of the Chumbul. Oopermal must have a considerable elevation above the table-land of Janapa, where the Chumbul and other streams have their fountains ; but of all this we shall by and bye form a more correct opinion. We passed the cairn of a Rajpoot who fell defending his post against the Meenas of the Kairar, a tract on the banks of the Bunas, filled with this banditti,
- * See Vol. I, p. 692.
[p.596]: in one of their last irruptions which disturbed the peace of this region. Each traveller adds a stone, and I gave my mite to swell the heap.
The putta of Bhynsror is held by Ragonath Sing, one of the sixteen great lords of Mewar, having the very ancient title of Rawut, peculiar to Rajpootana, and the diminutive of Rao. Bhynsror is one of the best fiefs of Mewar, and the lands attached to it are said to be capable of yielding one lac of annual revenue, equal to £50,000 in the dearest countries of Europe ; and when I add that a cavalier can support himself, his steed, &c., on £50, its relative value will at once be understood. He has also a toll upon the ferries of the Chumbul, though not content therewith, he levied until lately a per-centage on all merchandize, besides impositions on travellers of whatever description, under the name of kote murimut, or 'repairs of the castle :' were we, however, to judge by its dilapidated condition, we should say his exactions were very light, or the funds were misapplied. This is the sole passage of the Chumbul for a great extent, and all the commerce of higher Malwa, Harouti, and Mewar, passes through this domain. The class of bunjarris (traders) termed Vishnue, long established at the city of Poorh in Mewar, frequent no other route in their journey from the salt-lakes of the desert to Malwa or Boondelkhund. Their tanda or caravan consists of six thousand bullocks, and they never make less than two, and often three, trips in the year. The duty of the raj is five rupees for each hundred head thus laden ; but the feudatory, not content with his imposition of " castle repairs" and " bhom" as lord of the manor, has added a hundred and fifty per cent to the regular transit duty of the state, which is divided into two items ; viz., three rupees and a half for the ferry, and as much for bolai, or safe escort through his territoiy. But as Harouti always afforded protection (which could be said of no other region of independent India), the ghat of the Chumbul was much frequented, in spite of these heavy drawbacks to industry. My friend the Rawut has, however, found it expedient to remove all these war-taxes, retaining only that portion which has been attached to the frontier post, for protection ; and a portion of the ferry-rate granted to this fief nearly two centuries ago. Instead of about fifteen per cent., as heretofore levied, including that of the crown, it amounts to less than one-half, and the revenue has been quadrupled !
Antiquities and inscriptions of Bhynsror
The castle of Bhynsror is most romantically situated upon the extreme point of a ridge, on an almost isolated rib of the Pathar, from which we have descended. To the east, its abrupt cliff overhangs the placid expanse of the Chumbul, its height above which is about two hundred feet : the level of the river in the monsoon is marked at full thirty feet above its present elevation. The Bhamuni bounds Bhynsror on the west, and by the rapidity of its fall has completely scarped the rock, even to the angle of confluence within which is placed the castle, to whose security is smaller intermediate stream not
[p.597]: a little contributes. On the north alone is it accessible, and there the hill is scarped ; but this scarp, which is about three hundred yards distant, forms a good cover, and a few shells thence played upon the castle would soon (compel it to surrender. The rock is a soft, loose, blue schistose slate, which would not retard the miner. The approach from the river, here about five hundred yards wide, would be destruction. It is never fordable, and its translucent sea-green waters are now full forty feet in depth. When in the periodical rains it accumulates at its source, and is fed during its passage by many minor streams from the Vindhya and this oberland, its velocity is overwhelming ; it rises above the opposing bank and laying the whole tract to the base of the table-land of Harouti under water, sweeps away in its irresistible course even the rocks. Speculation might here be exhausted in vain attempts to explain how nature could overcome this formidable obstacle to her operations, and how the stream could effect its passage through this adamantine barrier. The channel cut in the rock is as clean as if performed by the chisel, and standing on the summit of the cliff, which is from three hundred to seven hundred feet in height, one discerns in imagination the marks of union : to use the words of our last great bard, on the Rhone,
- " Heights which appear as lovers who have parted
- "In hate, whose mining depths so intervene,
- " That they can meet no more, though broken-hearted."
I shall by and bye, I trust, obtain a more correct knowledge of the comparative elevation of this plateau, and the crest of the Vindhya whence issues the Chumbul ; but although this stream is, of course, much below the level of its source, yet there is little doubt that the summit of this chasm (Oopermal) is, as its name indicates, the ' highest land' of Malwa I say this after making myself acquainted with the general depression of Malwa to this point, in which we are aided by the course of the stream. Under Bhynsror, the current is never very gentle ; but both above and below there are rapids, if not falls, of thirty to fifty feet in descent. That above the stream is termed the Chooli, because full of whirlpools and eddies, which have given a sacred character to it, like the Nerbudda, at ' the whirlpools of the great god,' Chooli Maheswar, A multitude of the round stones taken out of these vortices, when they have been rounded by attrition into a perfectly orbicular form, only require consecration and a little red paint to be converted into the representatives of Bhiroo, the god of war, very properly styled the elder born of Siva, the destroyer. This is about two miles up the stream ; there is another at Kotrah, about three miles down, with several successive rapids. There is a fall in the vicinity of Rampoora, and another about five coss north of it, at Choraitagurh, where the river first penetrates the plateau. There, I understand, it is not above seventy yards in breadth, confined between cliffs perfectly perpendicular. There is also said to be another fall or rapid intermediate between Rampoora and its source in the peak of Janapa, in the neighbourhood of Oneil,
[p.598]: If these are all the falls, though only amounting to rapids, we may form a tolerable idea of the difference of level between the base of the Oopermal and the highland of the Vindhyaa whence the Chambal issues ; and still we snail see that there are points where the perpendicular cliffs must be some hundred feet above the peak of Janapa ; if so, this chasm was never formed by water.
Mewar still extends east of the river, and the greater part of. the estate of Bhynsror is on the opposite side. A small stream, called the Kurb-ca-Khal, divides the lands of the Haras from those of the Seesodias, and there is a beejuk-marka, or land-mark inscription, at the Shesa tallao, put up centuries ago. To this line, and between it and the Chumbul, is the putta of Koondal ; and farther south, towards Rampoora, is that of Puchail, both containing twenty-four villages attached to Bhynsror. All that tract farther inland in Upper Malwa, termed Malki-des, in which are the towns of Chychut and Sukeit, was in old times included geographically in Mewar ; it is yet possessed by the Suktawuts, though subject to Kotah.
'The etymology of Bhynsror: Tradition has preserved the etymology of Bhynsror, and dates its erection from the second century of the era of Vicrama, though others make it antecedent even to him. Be that as it may, it adds a fact of some importance, viz., that the Charuns, or bards, were then, as now, the privileged carriers of Rajwarra, and that this was one of their great lines of communication. Bhynsror, therefore, instead of being the work of some mighty conqueror, owes its existence to the joint efforts of Bhynsa Sah, the merchant, and Rora, a Charun and Bunjarri, to protect their tandas (caravans) from the lawless mountaineers, when compelled to make a long halt during the periodical rains. How many lines of heroes possessed it before the Haras established themselves among its ruins is unknown, though the "universal Pramar" is mentioned. Its subsequent change of masters, and their names and history, are matters of less doubt ; since the altars of the Dodeah, the Pramar, the Rahtore, the Suktawut, the Chondawut,
- "— who sought and found, by dangerous roads,
- " A path to perpetuity of fame ;"
are still visible. Of the Dodeah name we have already preserved one wreck, though whether the ' rocket of the moon' was of the family who dwelt upon the whirlpools of the Chumbul, we must leave to conjecture. Not so of his successor, the Rahtore, who was a scion of the house of Mehwo, on the Salt River of the desert, from which, though he was but a vassal of Mundore, the Rana scorned not to take a wife boasting the pure blood of the kings of Canouj. A younger brother accompanied her to the court of Cheetore. Soon after, the Rawul of Jessulmer dared to put an affront upon the Rana, the acknowledged head of the Rajpoot race ! The chivalry of Mewar was assembled, and the beera of vengeance held up, which the stripling heir of Mehwo, darting forward, obtained. Although but fifteen years of age, entreaties
[p.603] (part): Before, however, we altogether quit the wilds of the Chumbul, we must record that Bhynsror had been visited by another man of blood, the renowned Alla-o-din, in whose epithets of khooni or 'the sanguinary ;' and Secunder Sani, or 'the second Alexander,' by which history has given him perpetuity of infamy, we recognize the devastating and ferocious Ghilji king, who assailed every Hindu prince in India. Obedient to the letter of the law, he had determined to leave not one stone upon another of the temples or palaces of Bhynsror. Everywhere we searched for memorials of the Hoon, whose name is also connected with the foundation of Bhynsror ; of the Pramar, or the Dodeah ; but in vain. The vestiges of these ages had disappeared, or been built up in the more modern fortifications. Two such inscriptions we indeed discovered, reversed and applied as
[p.604]: common building materials in the walls around the town :
One was dated S. 1179 (A.D. 1123), but being in the old ornamented Jain character, would have required time and labour to decipher.
The other is also anterior to Alia, and the ornaments in this are decidedly Jain ; its purport is as given in the box.
|Bhainsrorgarh Inscription of S. 1302 (A.D. 1246) |
This form of sasun, or religious charity, is peculiar, and styled sasun Udyadit, which proves that the Pramar, of whom this is a memorial, was a feudatory of the prince of Dhar, whose era has been fixed. These discoveries stimulated our research, and my revered friend and guru, who is now deeply embued with antiquarian enthusiasm, vainly offered a large reward for permission to dig for the image of Parswdnat'h, his great pontiff, of whose shrine he has no doubt the first inscription is a memorial. When about to leave this place (indeed our baggage had gone on), we were informed of some celebrated temples across the river at a place called Barolli, anciently Dholpoor. The shrine is dedicated to Guteswara Mahadeva, with a lingam revolving in the yoni, the wonder of those who venture amongst its almost impervious and unfrequented woods to worship. As I could not go myself, I despatched the guru to hunt for inscriptions and bring me an account of it.
Dabi, 20th January , 1820, eleven miles ; thermometer 48°. — Re-ascended the third steppe of our miniature Alp, at the Nasairah pass (ghat), the foot of which was exactly five miles from Bhynsror, and three and a-half furlongs more carried us to its summit, which is of easy ascent, though the pathway was rugged, lying between high peaks on either side. This alone will give a tolerable idea of the height of the Pathar above the level of the river. Majestic trees cover the hill from the base to its summit, through which we could never have found a passage for the baggage without the axe. Besides some noble tamarind (imli) trees, there was the lofty semul, or cotton-tree ; the kharled sakoo, which looks like a leper amongst its healthy brethren ; the taindoo, or ebony-tree, now in full fruit, and the useful cUid ?, besides many others of less magnitude. The landscape from the summit was grand : we looked down upon the ChirmiUi (vulg. Chumbul) and the castle of Raghonath ; while the eye commanded a long sweep of the black Bhamuni gliding through the vale of Antri to its termination at the tombs of the Suktawuts. The road to Dabi was very fair for such a tract, and when within four miles of our tents, we crossed a stream said to have its fountain at Mynal, which must consequently be one of the highest points of Oopermal. This rill atibrded ? another means of estimating the height of our
[p.605]:position, for besides the general fall to the brink of the chasm, it precipitates itself in a fine cascade of three hundred feet. Neither time nor place admitted of our following this rill to its termination, about six miles distant, through a rugged woody tract. From the summit of the pass of Nasairah, we had a peep at the tomb of a Mooslem saint, whence the ground gradually shelved to the end of our journey at Kotah.
Dabi is the line of demarcation between Mewar and Boondi , being itself in the latter state, in the district of Loecha, — dreary enough ! It produces, however, rice and mukhi, or Indian corn, and some good patches of wheat. We passed the cairns, composed of loose stones, of several Rajpoots slain in defending their cattle against the Meenas of the Kairar. I was particularly struck with that of a Charun bard, to whose memory they have set up a pallia, or tomb-stone, on which is his effigy, his lance at rest, and shield extended, who most likely fell defending his tanda. This tract was grievously oppressed by the banditti who dwell amidst the ravines of the Bunas, on the western declivity of the plateau. " Who durst," said my guide, as we stopped at these tumuly have passed the Pathar eighteen "months ago ? they (the Meenas) would have killed you for the cakes you had about you ; now you may carry gold. These green fields would have been shared, perhaps reaped altogether, by them ; but now, though there is no superfluity, there is 'play for the teeth,' and we can put our turban under our heads at night without the fear of missing it in the morning. Atul Raj ! may your sovereignty last " for ever ." This is the universal language of men who have never known peaceful days, who have been nurtured amidst the elements of discord and rapine, and who, consequently, can appreciate the change, albeit they were not mere spectators. " We must retaliate" said a sturdy Chohan, one of Morji's vassals, who, with five besides himself, insisted on conducting me to Bhynsror, and would only leave me when I would not let them go beyond the frontier. I was much amused with the reply of one of them whom I stopped with the argumentum ad verecundian, as he began a long harangue about five buffaloes carried off by the Thakoor of Neemrie, and begged my aid for their recovery. I said it was too far back ; and added, laughing, " Come, T'hakoor, confess ; did you never balance the account elsewhere ?" — " Oh Maharaja, I have lost many, and taken many, but Ram-dohae! if I have touched a blade of grass since your Raj I am no Rajpoot." I found he was a Hara, and complimented him on his affinity with Aloo, the lord of Bumaoda, which tickled his vanity not a little. In vain I begged them to return, after escorting me so many miles. To all my solicitations the Chohan replied, " You have brought us comfort, and this is mun ca chakrie, 'service of the heart.'" I accepted it as such, and we " whiled the gait" with sketches of the times gone by. Each foot of the country was familiar to them. At one of the cairns, in the midst of the wood, they all paused for a second ; it was raised over the brother of the Bhatti T'hakoor, and each, as he passed, added a
[p.606]: stone to this monumental heap. I watched, to discern whether the same feeling was produced in them which the act created in me ; but if it existed, it was not betrayed. They were too familiar with the reality to feel the romance of the scene ; yet it was one altogether not ill-suited to the painter.
Kurripoor, 21st February 1820, 9½ miles. — Encamped in the glen of Kurripoora, confined and wild. Thermometer, 51°, but a fine, clear, bracing atmosphere. Our route lay through a tremendous jungle. Halfway, crossed the ridge, the altitude of which made up for the descent to Dabi, but from whence we again descended to Kurripoora. There were many hamlets in this almost impervious forest ; but all were desolate, and the only trace of population was in the altars of those who had defended to the death their dreary abodes against the ruthless Meena of the Kairar, which we shall visit on our return.
Inscriptions at Sontra
About a mile after we had commenced our march this morning, we observed the township of Sontra on our right, which is always conjoined to Dabi, to designate the tuppa of Dabi-Sontra, a sub-division of Loecha. Being informed by a scout that it contained inscriptions, I requested my guru and one of my Brahmins to go there. The search afforded a new proof of the universality of the Pramar sway, and of the conquests of another "Lord of the world " and the faith," Alla-o-din, the second Alexander. The Yati found several altars having inscriptions, and many pallias, from three of which, placed in juxta-position, he copied the following inscriptions(in box) : —
|Sootra Inscription of S. 1422 (A.D. 1366)|
|Sootra Inscription of S. 1446 (AD. 1390)|
|Sootra Inscription of S. S. 1466 (A.D. 1410)|
The following was copied from a coond, or fountain, excavated in the rock : —
renown is unequalled, the king, the lord of men, Maharaja Adheraj, Sri Alla-o-din, with his army of three thousand elephants, ten lacs of horse, war-chariots and foot without number, conquering from Sambhur in the north, Malwa, Kurnit,Kanor'h, Jhalore, Jessulmer, Deogir, Tylung, even to the shores of the ocean, and Chandrapoori in the east ; victorious over all the kings of the earth, and by whom Sutrawan Doorg, with its twelve townsips, have been wrested from the Pramar Maunsi ; by whose son, Beelaji, whose birth-place (oot-pat) is Sri Dhar, this fountain was excavated. Written and also engraved by Sydeva the stone-cutter (sootradhar)."
|Sootra Inscription of S.1370 (AD. 1314)|
[p.607]: Beneath the surface of the fountain was another inscription, but there was no time to bale out the water, which some future traveller over the Pat'har may accomplish. Sontra, or as classically written, Sutroodoorg, " the inaccessible to the foe," was one of the castles of the Pramar, no doubt dependent on Cheetore when under the Mori dynasty ; and this was only one of the subdivisions of Central India, which was all under Pramar dominion, from the Nerbudda to the Jumna: an assertion proved by inscriptions and traditions. We shall hear more of this at Mynal and Bijolli on our return over Oopermal, which I resolve to be thoroughly acquainted with.
Kotah, February 22d, 1820. eleven miles to the banks of the Chumbul. Although not a cloud was to be seen, the sun was invisible till more than spear-high, owing to a thick vapoury mist, accompanied by a cold piercing wind from the north-west. The descent was gradual all the way to the river, but the angle may be estimated from the fact that the pinnacle (kullus) of the palace, though one hundred and twenty feet above the level of the Chumbul, was not visible until within five miles of the bank. The barren tract we passed over is all in Boondi, until we approach Kotah, where the lands of Nandta intervene, the personal domain of the regent Zalim Sing, and the only territory belonging to Kotah west of the Chumbul. Kurripoora, as well as all this region, is inhabited by Bhils, of which race a very intelligent individual acted this morning as our guide. He says it is called by them Baba ca Noond, and that they were the sovereigns of it until dispossessed by the Rajpoots. We may credit them, for it is only fit for Bhils or their brethren of the forest, the wild-beasts. But I rejoiced at having seen it, though I have no wish to retrace my steps over this part of my journey. Half-way, we passed a roofless shed of loose stones, containing the divinity of the Bhils : it is in the midst of a grove of thorny tangled brushwood, whose boughs were here and there decorated with shreds of various coloured doth, offerings of the traveller to the forest divinity for protection against evil spirits, by which I suppose the Bhils them-selves are meant.*
We must not omit (though we have quitted the Pat'har) to notice the ' Maypoles' erected at the entrance of every village in the happy vasant or spring, whose concluding festival, the Holi or Saturnalia, is just over. This year the season has been most ungenial, and has produced sorrow rather than gladness. Every pole has a bundle of hay or straw tied at the top, and some have a cross stick like arms and a flag flying; but in many parts of the Pathar, the more symbolic plough was substituted, dedicated to the goddess of fruition, and served the double purpose of a Spring-pole, and frightening the deer from nibbling the young com.
The appearance of Kotah is very imposing, and impresses the mind with a more lively notion of wealth and activity than most cities in India. A strong wall with bastions runs parallel to, and at
- * The same practice is described by Park as existing in Africa.
[p.608]: no great distance from, the river, at the southern extremity of which is the palace (placed within a castle separated from the town), whose cupolas and slender minarets give to it an air of light elegance. The scene is crowded with objects animate and inanimate. Between the river and the city are masses of people plying various trades ; but the eye dwells upon the terminating bastion to the north, which is a little fort of itself, and commands the country on both banks. But we shall have more to say regarding this during our halt, which is likely to be of some continuance.
Chapter VII: Not taken
Abstract of Chapter VIII
[p.617]: Extraordinary attack of illness in the author. — Suspicion of poison. — Journey to Mandelgurh. — The Kirar. — Tranquil sate of the country, — The Meenas subsiding into peaceful subjects. — Scenery in the route. — Sahsun, or ecclesiastial lands. — Castle of Amergurh. — Kachowra, — Its ancient importance.- Our true policy with regard to the feudatoines in these parts. — Damnioh. — Manpoora. — Signs of reviving prosperity. — Arrival at Mandelgurh. — The Dussera. — Sickness of the party left behind.— Assembly of the Bhomias and Patels, — Description of Mandelgurh. — Rebuilt by one of the Takshac race. — Legend of Mandelgurh, — Genealogical tablet of stone. — Pedigrees of the tribes, — Mandelgurh granted to the Rahtores by Arungzeb. — Recovered by the Rana. — Taxes imposed, — Larish grants. — Bageet — The author rejoins his party. Birslabas, — Akolah. — Desolation of the country.— Inscriptions. — Hamirgurh. — Seoroh, — Superb landscape.— Mirage. — Testimony of gratitude from the elders of Poor'h, — Thriving state of Morowllee, — Rasmy. — Antiquities. — Curious law. — Jassmoh. — Waste country. — Inscriptions, — Copper mines.- Sunwar. — Triveni or point of junction of three rivers. — Temple of Parswanath. — Deserted state of the country. — Kurairah. — Mowlee. — Barren country. — Hunting seat of Nahra-Muggra. — Heights of Toos and Mairta. — End of second journey.
[p.620] (part): Kachowra is a township rated at six thousand rupees of annual revenue in the rent-roll of Mewar, but is now an inconsiderable village. In former times, it must have been a place of importance, for all around, to a considerable distance, the ground is strewed with fragments of sculpture of a superior character, and one spot is evidently the site of the cenotaphs of the family. The town had stood on the western bank of an immense lake, which through neglect is now a swamp ; and, half-way up the hill, are disclosed, amidst the brush- wood of the dho, the ruins of a temple : but tradition has perished with the population, who were subjected at once to the curse of constant foreign invasion and the inroads of the Meenas of the Kirar. Thus a soil, whose richness is apparent from the luxuriance of its meadows, is in a state of entire desolation. Kachowra forms the putta of Shahpoora in this district, whose chief has to serve two masters, for he is a tributary of Ajmer for Shahpoora, itself a fief of Mewar, and holds an estate of about forty thousand rupees of annual rent in Mandelgurh, which has been two years under sequestration for his refusal to attend the summons to Oodipoor, and for bis barbarous murder of the chief of Amergurh.* This is a state of things which ought not to exist. When we freed these countries from the Mahrattas, we should have renounced the petty tributes imposed upon the surrounding chiefs not within the limits of the district of Ajmer, and the retention of which is the source of irritating discussions with these princes through the feudatories. Presuming on this external influence, the Shahpoora Raja set his sovereign warrant at defiance, and styled himself a subject of Ajmer ; nor was it until he found he was bound by a double tie of duty, that he deigned to appear at the capital. The resumption of the estate in Mandelgurh alone overcame the inertness of the chief of Shahpoora; he has already tog much in the Chowrasi, or eightyfour townships of Shahpoora, for such a subject as he is, who prefers a foreign master to his legitimate lord. I would recommend that the Rahtore chiefs of Marwar, beyond the Aravulli hills, now tributary
- * See Vol. I, p. 163.
[p.621]: to Ajmer, and who consequently only look to that state, should be replaced under their proper head : the sacrifice is of no moment to us, and to them it will be a boon.
Damnioh, 9th October,1820. — I was detained at Kachowra by a violent accession of fever and ague, as well as spleen, increased no doubt by the unhealthiness of the position amidst swamps and jungle. This is a fine healthy spot, where I should like to convene the bhomias and ryots, to endeavour to remove the reproach of so beautiful a land remaining waste. Damnioh, which is in the sequestrated putta of Shahpoora, is a town of two thousand houses ; a universal ruin !
Manpoora, 15th October,1820. — After a week's halt, reached this spot, about a mile south-west of the town, and on the bank of the Bunas.* The entire population of Manpoora turned out to receive me ; the damsels with their brazen vessels of water on their heads ; but the song of the Suhailea had ceased to charm, and my ague made me too ill even to return their kindness. To-day it has abated, and to-morrow, with another respite, I will try to get through the work which brought me here. Mandelgurh is three coss from hence. I was rejoiced to see the signs of reviving prosperity about Manpoora ; some fine patches of sugar-cane were refreshing sights.
Description of Mandelgurh
Mandelgurh, 16th and 17th October,1820. — Proceeded up the valley and encamped within half a mile of the city, from which the governor and his cortege came to meet and welcome me ; but I was too enfeebled to ascend the fort, which was a subject of regret. It is by no means formidable, and may be about four furlongs in length, with a low rampart wall, and bastions encircling the crest of the hill. The governor's residence appears on the west side, at which spot the Regent of Kotah was compelled to abandon his ladders, which they retain as a trophy. This is the festival of the Dussera, the day sacred to Rama ; but feasting is lost upon me, for this is the ninth day of abstinence from dinner. Captain Waugh rejoined me yesterday, looking very ill, and giving a poor account of my friends, especially Gary, who is sinking rapidly. He left them encamped at Bageet, the point of rendezvous in the Bunas where I shall join them to-morrow. He found me on my charpai (pallet), with some threescore leeches (which I had got from Mandelgurh) on my left side,f while I was attending to and noting down the oral reports of the Bhomias and Patels of the district, who filled my tent, many remaining in groupes outside. I notwithstanding got through the work to my satisfaction, and have obtained a thorough insight into the agricultural details of this fine tract, which I may touch upon, if I am able, the first halt.
- * By mistake, Manpoora is not rightly placed in the map.
- † Enlargement of the spleen appears an invariable accompaniment of pro-tracted fever and ague, arising from such causes as afflicted us. I could feel the spleen at the very pit of the stomach, as hard as a stone. The bleeding reduced it, as it did generally in my case ; for the leeches were enormous, and must have each drained half an ounce of blood ; but I had only the choice of them or the actual cautery, which was strongly recommended by my native friends : of two evils I chose what appeared to me the least.
[p.622]: Mandelgurh was rebuilt by a chief of the Balaote tribe, one of the ramifications of the Solanki or Chalook race, which furnished a splendid dynasty of kings to Anhulwarra (Nehrwalla) Patun, who ruled over the western maritime provinces of India from the tenth to the fourteenth century. They were of the great Takshac or Ophite race, which, with three other tribes, became converts to Brahminism. The Balnote of Mandelgurh was a branch of the family which occupied Tonk-Thoda on the Bunas, recognized in their traditional poems as Takshac, or, in the dialect, Takitpoora, ' city of the Taksbac, or snake.'* Although tradition asserts that the Solanki of Thoda migrated from Patun during the religious wars in the twelfth century, it is more probable that the branch fixed itself here during their progress from the north in search of settlements ; for, their genealogical creed assigns Lokote, in the Punjab, as the cradle of their power. It is indeed a curious fact, amounting to demonstration of the Indo-Scythic origin of the Agnicula races, that they all lay claim to this northern origin, in spite of their entrance into the world through the medium of fire (agni) : in fact, the glorious egotism of the Brahmin is never more conspicuous than when he asserts the superiority of the Chohans over the more ancient races of Surya and Soma ; that "these were born of woman, but they were made by the Brahmins :" a proof of conversion which requires no comment. In spite of this fabled birth at the fountain-head, the Anhulcoond of Aboo, tradition negatives the assumed pedigree of the Brahmins, and brings them all from the north. Be this as it may, the branch which fixed itself at Mandelgurh gave its name to the tract, which is still recognized by some as Balnote.
The first possession the founder had was Larpoora, a town of great antiquity. He had in his service a Bhil, named Mandoo, who, while guarding the sugar-cane from the wild hog, came upon one sound asleep. To ensure his arrow piercing the animal, he began to sharpen it upon a stone ; and, to his astonishment, found it transmuted to gold. He repaired to his master, who returned with Mundoo, and found the stone, with the hog still asleep beside it ; but no sooner had he seized upon his prize, than Baraha disappeared. With the possession of the paris-putter the ' philosopher's stone,' he raised the walls of Mandelgurh, which was so named after the fortunate Bhil. By an act of injustice to one of his subjects, he forfeited Mandelgurh to a descendant. This subject was a Jogi, who had a mare of such extraordinary speed as to be able to run down an antelope. Whether the Balnote prince thought the sport unsuitable to an ascetic we are not told ; but he forcibly took away the mare. The Jogi complained to the king, who sent a force and expelled the Balnote from Mandelgurh, and his descendants are petty Bhomias at Jawul and Kachrode, retaining, though mere peasants, the distinctive title of Rao.
- * Tonk-Thoda is well worth visiting. The artist might fill a portfolio with architectural and picturesque sketches. Moreover, topazes of a good quality are found in its hills. The sacred cave of Gokurna, celebrated in the history of the great Chohan king, Besildeo of Ajmer, is also worth notice.
[p.623]: The numerous stories of this kind, common throughout Rajwarra, accounting for the foundation of many ancient places, may merely record, in this manner, the discovery of mineral wealth ; from the acquisition and the loss of which the legendary moralist has constructed his tale.
I discovered in the remains of a marble bawari, or reservoir, at Kachowra, two large tablets, containing the pedigree of the Solanki family, which will require time to decipher. Tradition, however, is busy with the name of Raja Bheem, and his son Burrun of Anhulwarra, from whom many tribes branched off ; and although, from the first, only royal houses were founded, the other claims a greater celebrity from originating a heterogeneous breed, which descended into the third and fourth great classes, the Vaisya and Sudra.
From him the Bhagairwal Mahajins, who became converts to the Jain faith, claim descent, as well as the Goojurs of Sonte-Katorioh, the Soonars, or goldsmiths, of Bonkun ; the Bhil communities of Oguna-Panora (or Mewar) ; and likewise those of Mow-Maidana, in Kotah.
Whether from Burrun and his degenerate offspring originated the name of burrun-sunkur, applied to the mixed classes, I am not informed.
The Bhagairwal is one of the " twelve and a half (sari bara nyat) " castes of Mahajins," or mercantile tribes, subdivided into innumerable families, the greater portion of whom profess the Jain creed, and nearly all are of Rajpoot ancestry : an important fact in the pedigree of this considerable part of the population. The lineal descendant of the Thoda Rao still resides at Bussie in a small village ; and two other branches, who held large possessions at Thodri and Jehajpoor retain the villages of Mircheakhaira and Butwarro, both in Cheetore ; they have preserved the title of Rao amidst all the revolutions that have deprived them of their estates ; nor would any prince of Rajwarra deem himself degraded by their alliance. Such is the virtue of pedigree in these regions. I should imagine that the Balnotes held of the Ranas of Mewar, as Mandelgurh has been an integral portion of that state during the most flourishing period of the Anhmwarra dynasty, although the inscription of Cheetore savours of conquest ; in which case we have at once a solution of the question, and proof that the Balnote was inducted into Mandelgurh by his superior, Komarpal.*
In S. 1755 (A.D. 1699), the tyrant Arungzeb granted Mandelgurh to the Rahtore chief of Pisangun, named Doodaji, who subdivided it into allotments for his brethren, leaving no revenue for the duties of the civil administration and repairs of the castle. To remedy this, he imposed a tax, called daotra or dasotra, or ' tenth' of the net value of each harvest, upon his Bhomia brethren. When the Rana succeeded in expelling the royal garrison, he found it a work of some difficulty to get rid of the Rahtore feudatories ; and he gave them regular puttaa for their estates, subject to the payment of dasotra ; but as he found it led to interference, in the inspection of crops, and
- * See Inscription, Vol. I. p, 702.
[p.624] : to fluctuation and appeals in bad seasons, he commuted the tax for service of one horseman and one foot-soldier for each five hundred rupees of rent, and a certain small sum annually to mark their tributary condition.
In these times of turbulence, other impositions were laid on the Bhomias of his own kindred, the Ranawuts, Kanawuts, and Suktawuts, who established their rights with their swords when the district was subjected to the emperor. In the same manner as with the Rahtores, the Rana confirmed their acquisitions on the payment of certain fines called bhom-burrur, which were either burzhar and trisala. or 'annual' and 'triennial ;' the first being levied from the holders of single villages, the latter from those who had more than one. Thus, Amergurh was fixed at two thousand five hundred rupees ; Amuldoh, fifteen hundred ; Teentoro, thirteen hundred ; Jhoonjralo, fourteen hundred, &a, triennially, having obtained their lands by main force. They also, when Mandelgurh was threatened, would repair with their vassals and defend it during ten days at their own expense, after which they received rations from the state.
There were various other fines collected from the Bhomia vassalage, such as loasma, or for the support of the Nakarchis (kettle-drummers), the mace, standard, and even the torch-bearers attached to each garrison. There was also khur-lakur, for wood and forage, which has been elsewhere explained ; Hal-burra, or 'plough-tax,' and ghasmali, or ' pasturage,' the rates of which are graduated, and vary in amount with the power of enforcing their collections. But owing to these circumstances, the best land in Mandelgurh belongs to the Bhomia chieftains.
It was about this time, in the reign of Juggut Sing II, that Omed Sing of Shahpoora had the grant of seventy-three villages in Mandelgurh, one-fifth of the whole district, subject only to the fine of three thousand two hundred and fifty rupees annually for ghas-mali, with five hundred more to the deputy governor, and two hundred to the Choudri, or territorial head of the district. In this lavish manner were estates disposed of This family continued to hold it until S. 1843, when the minister Somji, in order to obtain his support during the Chondawut rebellion, gave him a formal acquittance for this service, and in addition to these lands, the two subordinate fiefs of Dangermow and Borwah on the Plateau, and the rich estate of Ageoncha on the Khari ; in return for which, he exacted a stipulation to serve with four hundred horse : a contract fulfilled only by one chief of the family, who fell leading his contingent at the battle of Oojein. His descendants seem to have claimed immunity on the score of his service ; and the present incumbent is a madman. Great changes, however, have recently been made in the condition of the Bhomias, and these desultory fines have all merged into a duty more accordant with the character of the Rajpoot : service in the garrisons of Mandelgurh and Jehajpoor, and a fixed annual sum from those who are too poor to command even a
[p.625]: Bageet, 18th, October, 1820. eight miles. — A large village on the west of our own stream, the Bairis, coming from the Oodisagur. Our road lay over a rich soil, as usual overgrown with grass. Here I rejoined my sick friends, all very ill ; the Doctor better, but Cary in a very precarious condition.
Birslabas, 19th, October, 1820. — The route over the most fertile plains of Mewar ; but one continuous mass of jungle and rank grass. The Maharaja came out to meet me, a courteous, polished Rajpoot. He is of the Ranawut clan, descended from Rana Umra Sing, and the elder branch of the Shahpoora family. Both his father and grandfather fell defending the cause of Shah Jehan against the usurper Arungzeb, which lost him his birthright; but he has five villages left attached to Birslabas. Encamped near the altars of his heroic ancestors.
Ambah, 21st, October, 1820. six and a-half miles. — The route over a scene of desolation ; fine fields, fruitful of grass and ruins. Sent one of my Brahmins to the town of Akolah, two coss distant, and had several inscriptions copied ; they were all immunities or grants of privileges to the printers of that town, thence called Cheepa-ca-Akolah, to distinguish it from another of the same name. I halted at Birslabas, received several visits, and held interesting conversations with the Maharaja ; but fever and ague leave the mind in a sorry state. I can pay no attention to barometer or perambulator; of the latter Baboo Mohes keeps a diary, and on his intelligence I can depend.
Hamirgurh, 22d. October, 1820. — This town belongs to Beerumdeo, Ranawut, the son of Dheeruj Sing, who was the chief adviser of the Saloombra princes in the rebellion of S. 1843, during which he obtained it. The present chief is an oaf, always intoxicated ; and as he did not discharge the baoris, or professional thieves in his service, on the return of these days of peace, he was deprived of two towns amounting to seven thousand rupees annual rent. He ought, indeed, by the treaty of A. D. 1818, to have lost Hamirgurh, but he contrived by various indirect means to elude it, and to retain this, one of the most thriving places in Mewar. It contains about eight hundred inhabited houses, tenanted chiefly by manufacturers of chintz and dopattis, or ' scarfs,' such as are worn by all the Rajpootnis. It has a fine lake, filled with a variety of wild duck, which live unmolested amidst the sangara and lotos. The more ancient name of this place is Bakrole, as I found by two inscriptions, which again furnish specimens of sumptuary legislation.
Seanoh, 23d, October, 1820.eight miles and three furlongs. — We are now in the very heart of Mewar, plains extending as far as the eye can reach. Traces of incipient prosperity are visible, but it will require years to repair the mischief of the last quarter of a century. Passed through Ojhanoh, Amlee, Nereoh — all surrendered in consequence of the treaty of AD. 1818 : the last-mentioned, together with Seanoh, from the "Red Riever," as we have nicknamed the chieftain of Bhadaisir. The prospect from this ground is superb : the Oodipoor
[p.626]: hills in the distance ; those of Poorh and Goorlah, with their cupolas, on our right ; the fantastic peak of Burruk rising insulated from the plain. We are now approaching a place of rest, which we all much require ; though I fear Cary's will be one of perpetuity. Saw a beautiful Mirage (see-kote) this morning, the certain harbinger of the cold season. The ridge of Poorh underwent a thousand transformations, and the pinnacle of Burruk was crowned with a multitude of spires. There is not a more delightful relaxation than to watch the changes of these evanescent objects, emblems of our own ephemeral condition. This was the first really cold morning.
The 'punchaet, or elders of Poorh, with several of the most respectable inhabitants to the number of fifty, came all this way to see me, and testify their happiness and gratitude ! Is there another nook in the earth where such a principle is professed, much loss acted on ? Hear their spokesman's reply to my question, "why did they take the trouble to come so far from home? I give it verbatim : " Our town had not two hundred inhabited dwellings when you came amongst us ; now there are twelve hundred : the Rana is our sovereign, but you are to us next to Parmesawar (the Almighty) ; our fields are thriving, trade is reviving, and we have not been molested even for the wedding-portion.* We are happy, and we have come to tell you so ; and what is five coss, or five hundred, to what you have done for us ?" All very true, my friends, if you think so. After a little wholesome advice to keep party feuds from the good town of Poorh, they took leave, to return their ten miles on foot.
Since the town council left me, I have been kept until half-past seven by the Baba of Mungrope, and the T'hakoor of Rawurdoh, whose son I redeemed from captivity in the fortress of Ajmer. Worn out ; but what is to be done ? It is impossible to deny one's self to chiefs who hare also come miles from the best motives. Now for coffee and the charpae.
Rasmy 23d October, 1820. — The direct or usual route is thirteen and a-half miles, but as I made a circuit by Morowlee, it was fifteen. Had I taken the common route, I should have followed the Bunas the whole way ; as it was, for the last half I skirted its low banks, its limpid stream flowing gently to the north-east. Found the cultivation considerably increased compared with last year ; but it is still a desert, overgrown with grass and brushwood, in which these little cultivated oases are "few and far between." Morowlee was thriving in the midst of ruin, with fifty-seven ploughs at work there were but twelve when I entered Mewar. Rasmy has also seventy families instead of the twenty I found ; and in a few years I hope to see them greatly increased. We had some delicious tro from the Bunas, some of them equal to what we caught last year
- * When the Rana was about celebrating simultaneously the marriage of daughters and a grand-daughter to the princes of Jessulmer, Bikaner, Kishengurh, his suojcctti were called on for the " tenth."
[p.627]: Pohona, the largest of which weighed seventy-three rupees, or about two pounds, and near seventeen inches long by nine in girth. My friend Tom David Steuart was more successful than we were in getting them to rise at the fly ; in revenge we took them, unsports- manlike, in a net. This appeal's to be the season for eating them.
Rasmy is a place of considerable interest, and tradition is at work to establish its antiquity, connecting it with the name of Raja Chund ; but whether the Pramar of Chunderavati, or the Chohan of Abhanair, I cannot learn. There were vestiges of past days ; but even in these regions, where to a certain extent they respect antiquity, I find the ruined temples are despoiled, and appropriated to modern fabrics. Amongst the groves of Rasmy I found some fragments of patriarchal legislation, prohibiting "the ladies from carrying away under their ghagra (petticoats) any portion of the sad, or village- feast !"
I also discovered a tablet raised by the collective inhabitants of Rasmy, which well illustrates the truth, that they had always some resort against oppressions. It runs as follows :
" Written by the merchants, bankers, printers, and assembled punchaet of Rasmy — Whereas the collector of town-duties oppressed the merchant by name Pakur, and exacted exorbitant duties on grain and reza (unbleached cloth), for which he abandoned the place ; but the government-officer having forsworn all such conduct for the future, and prevailed on him to return, and having taken the god to witness — we, the assembled punch, have set up this stone to record it Asur the 3d, S. 1819."
Fourteen years have elapsed since I first put my foot in Mewar, as a subaltern of the Resident's* escort, when it passed through Rasmy. Since that period, my whole thoughts have been occupied with her history and that of her neighbours.
Jassmoh, 24th, October, 1820. ; distance fourteen miles, but not above twelve direct. — This in past times was a township of celebrity, and in the heart of the finest soil in India, with water at hand ; but it had not a single habitation when we entered the country ; now, it has eighty families. Our way for fourteen miles was through one wide waste of untrodden plain ; the Bunas continued our companion half way, when die departed for Guloond to our right. Saw many inscriptions, of which we shall give an account hereafter. Passed the copper-mines of Dureeba ; but they are filled with water, and the miners are all dead.
Sunwar, 25th ; October, 1820. distance twelve and a-half miles by the direct route throusrh Loneroh ; but I made a circuit to visit the celebrated field of battle between Rawul Samarsi, of Cheetore, and Bhola Bheem, of Anhulwarra Patun, recorded by the bard Chund in his Rasa. This magnificent plain, like all the rest of this once garden of Mewar, is overgrown with the kesoola or plas, and lofty rank grass ; and the sole circumstance by which it is known is the site. The bard
- * My esteemed friend, Mr. Graeme Mercer, of Maevisbank.
[p.628]: describes the battle as having occurred in Khet-Kuraira, or field of Kuraira, and that the Solanki, on his defeat, retreated across the river, meaning the Bairis, which is a few miles to the south. A little way from hence is the Sungum, or point of junction of the Bairis and Bunas, which, with a third small stream, forms a tinveni ; at their point of confluence there is an altar to Mahadeo.
At Kuraira there is a temple of some celebrity, dedicated to the twenty-third of the Jain apostles, Parswanath. I found several inscriptions recording its foundation in S. 11 . . , and several from 1300 to 1350. We must supply the figures wanting in the first. The priests are poor and ignorant ; but they are transcribing its history, and such as it is it shall be given. The temple is imposing, and though evidently erected in the decline of the arts, may be considered a good specimen for the twelfth century. It consists of two domes, supported by numerous massive columns of a species of porphyry, of close texture, excessively hard, and taking a fine polish. The capitals of the columns are filled with Jain figures of their pontiffs. The domes are of nearly equal diameters, about thirty feet each, and about forty in height ; under the further one is the sanctum of Parswa and the other within the votaries. There is a splendid colonnaded vestibule at the entrance, richly sculptured, which gives a very grand appearance to the whole edifice ; but it stands in the midst of desolation. Even thirty years ago, these plains were covered with crops of joar, in which an elephant would have been lost ; now there is scarcely the trace of a footpath, and with some difficulty did I make way in my palki (for I am unable to mount my horse) through the high grass which completely over topped it, and the babool trees, the thorns of which annoyed us. Kuraira, which formerly contained six hundred houses, has now only sixty ; and more than half of these have been built since we came amongst them. The damsels of Kuraira came out to welcome me with the 'song of joy,' and bringing water. The distance is seven miles from Rasmy to Kuraira, and nine thence to Sunwar. The latter belongs to one of the infants (baba) of Mewar, the Mahraja Dowlet Sing, now killehdar or commandant of Komulmer. This chief town of the estate of my friend the Mahraja is but small, and in no flourishing condition. There is a small fort, in which he contrived to maintain himself against the savage bands who long prowled over the country. — Transcribed an inscription, and found it to be the abolition of a monopoly of tobacco, dated S. 1826.
Maowlee, 26th, October, 1820. seven and a-half miles. — As usual, all was barren between Sunwar and Maowlee ; though at each are the traces of reviving industry. This was formerly a considerable town, and rated in the books at seven thousand rupees' annual rent ; but now it yields not seven hundred. Its population consists of about eighty families of all classes, half of which nave "been recalled from their long exile in Malwa and Candeish, and have already given a new aspect to Maowlee in its sugar-can‘’es. Her highness' steward, however, is not
[p.629]: one of the faithful. There is a very fine bawari, or reservoir, of coarse marble, constructed by Baeji Raj, ' the royal mother' of the present Rana and his sister, in whose appanage it is. — An inscription, dated S. 1737, recorded an ordinance in favour of the Jains, that " the oil-mill of Maowlee should not work on the four rainy months ;" in order to lessen the destruction of animal life.
Heights of Toos and Marta, 27th, fourteen miles and a-half — At length there is an end to our disastrous journey ; and from this ground I stir not again, till I start for Samoodra (the sea), to embark for the land of my sires. Our route, as usual, over desolate fields, doubly striking as we passed the hunting-seats of Nahra-Muggra, or ' tiger mount.' Bajraj, the royal steed, who seemed instinctively to know he was at the end of his journey, was unwilling to quit the path and his companions, when I urged him to pick his way amidst the ruined palace of the Ranas, where, without metaphor, " the owl stands sentinel ;" and which was crumbling into and choking up the Bhamuni, whose monotonous murmur over these impediments increased the melancholy sensations which arose on beholding such a scene. Every year is aiding its rapid decay, and vegetation, fixing itself everywhere, rends its walls asunder. The range of stabling for thirty horses, all of stone, even to the mangers, is one extensive ruin. It was on this spot, according to the chronicles, that the sage Harit bestowed the enchanted blade upon the great sire of the Seesodias, eleven centuries ago ; but they have run their career, and the problem remains to be solved, whether they have to commence a new course, or proceed in the same ratio of decay as the palace of the tiger-mount. The walls around this royal preserve no longer serve to keep the game from prowling where they please. A noble boar crossed our path, but had no pursuers ; ' our blood was cold ;' we wanted rest. As we approached our old ground, my neighbours of Mairta and villages adjacent poured out to welcome our return, preceded by the dholi of Toos and his huge kettle-drum, and the fair, bearing their lootas, or brazen vessels with water, chaunted the usual strain of welcome. I dropped a piece of silver into each as I passed, and hastened to rest my wearied limbs.
Poor Gary will never march again ! Life is almost extinct, and all of us are but the ghosts of what we were.
Abstract of Chapter IX
[p.630]: The author obliged to take a journey to Boondi. — Cause of the Journey, — Sudden death of the Rao Raja, who left his son to the author's care. — The cholera marbus or murri. — Its ravages, — Curious expedient to exclude it from Kotah and Boondi. — Bad weather. — Death of the author's elephant. — Pohona — Bhilwarra. — Gratifying reception of the author. — State of the town contrasted with its former condition. — Projects for its farther improvement — Reflections <m it$ rise, — Jehajpoor. — Difficulties of the road. — Arrival at Boondi. — The aspect of the court, — Interview with the young Rao Raja. — Attentions paid to the author.
Oodipoor, July 1821. — When I concluded the narrative of my journey in October last year, I had no expectation that I should ever put my foot in the stirrup again, except en route to Bombay, in order to embark for Old England ; but honhar as my Rajpoot friends exclaim, with a sigh, when an invincible destiny opposes their intentions. I had only awaited the termination of the monsoon to remove the wreck of a once robust frame to a more genial clime ; and now it will remain to be proved whether my worthy friend Duncan's prophecy — "you must die, if you stay here six months more" — will be fulfilled. Poor Gary lies entombed on the heights of Mairta ; the doctor himself is just going off to the Cape, half-dead from the Kotah fever ; and, as if that were not enough, the Narooa, or Guinea-worm, has blanched his cheek and made him a cripple. My cousin. Captain Waugh, is at Kotah, depressed by a continuance of the same malaria ?, and a few days I again start solius ?, in the midst of the monsoon, for Harouti.
A few days ago I received an express from Boondi, announcing the sudden death of my estimable friend, the Rao Raja, who in his last moments nominated me guardian of his infant son, and charged me to watch over his welfare and that of Boondi. The more formal letter of the minister was accompanied by one from the Rani, mother of the young prince, from whom- also, or in his name, I had a few lines, both seconding the bequest of the dying prince, and reminding me of the dangers of a minority, and the elements by which they were surrounded. The appeal was irresistible, and the equipage was ordered out for immediate departure to Mairta, and thence to Maow-lee, twenty-five miles distant, where I should join them.
The Raja fell a victim to murri, the emphatic appellation of cholera, which has now been wasting these regions since 1817. They might well say that, if at this important period in their history, we destroyed the demon of rapine, which had so long preyed upon their repose, we had in lieu of it, introduced death amongst them, for such is the interpretation of murri.* It was in our armies that this disease first appeared in northern India ; and although for some time we flattered ourselves that it was only the intemperate, the ill-fed
- * From the Sanscrit mri, ' to die'
[p.632]: Pownah, or Pohona, July 25th 1821. — Yesterday was a day of disaster: I left the capital amidst torrents of rain, and between Mairta and Maowlee found my best elephant lying dead ; the long and sadden march, and too heavy a load, had destroyed the fine animal It was rather ominous to lose the emblem of wisdom in the outset of this journey. We passed a most uncomfortable day, and still more uncomfortable night, for a strong gale forced up the tent-pins from the clay soil, and brought down the tent over my ears. I had an escape from the pole, part of which I propped under the fly to keep me from suffocation. Around me were nothing but yells of distress, half laughable, half serious ; horses loose, and camels roaring in discordant gutturals. We were glad long before dawn to pack up our chattels, thoroughly soaked, and consequently double weight and begin moving for Pohona, where we are promised a little repose. I have taken this route as it is the last occasion I shall have to visit the work of my own hands, the mart of Bhilwarra. Pohona is or was a place of some value ; but the Brahmins, through the influence of the Rana's sister, had got it by means of a forged grant, and abided by the privileges of their order. But fortunately they abused the right of sanctuary, in giving protection to a thief and assassin from interested motives ; consequently, the penalty of resumption was incurred, and we hope to suffer no other ill-effects than Chand Bae's displeasure.
Bhilwarra, July 26th, 1821. — Vardna, the Jupiter pluvialis of the Hindu, has been most complaisant, and for two days has stopped up all the " bottles of heaven" and I made my triumphal entry into our good town of Bhilwarra, on one of those days which are peculiarly splendid in the monsoon, when the sun deigns to emerge from behind the clouds.
My reception was quite Asiatic ; the entire population, headed by the chief merchants, and preceded by the damsels with their kullus advanced full a mile to meet and conduct me to a town which, a few years ago, had not one inhabited dwelling. I passed through the
Abstract of Chapter XI
[p.643]: Pass of Mokundurra. — View from the summit of the pass into Puchail. — Marks set up by the Bunjarris, — Monastery of Atteets, or Jogis. — Their savage aspect — The author elected a chela. — The head of the establishment. — His legend of the origin of the epithet Seesodia.— The grand temple of Barolli.— Conjecture as to its founder. — Barolli.
- * Durra corruption of Dwar, 'a barrier, pass, outlet, or portal ;' and Mokand, one of the epithets of Crishna. Mokundurra and Dwaricanath are synonymous ;— 'the pass and portal of the Deity.'
[p.644]: then turned abruptly to the right, and skirted the range which divides Haravati from Malwa, over a rich campaign tracts in a re-entering angle of the range, which gradually contracted to the point of exit, up the mountains of Puchail
The sun rose just as we cleared the summit of the pass, and we halted for a few minutes at the tower that guards the ascent, to look upon the valley behind : the landscape was bounded on either side by the ramparts of nature, enclosing numerous villages, until the eye was stopped by the eastern horizon. We proceeded on the terrace of this table-land, of gradual ascent, through a thick forest, when, as we reached the point of descent, the sun cleared the barrier which we had just left, and darting his beams through the foliage, illuminated the castle of Bhynsror, while the new fort of Dangermow, appealed as a white speck in the gloom that still enveloped the Pat'har.
We descended along a natural causeway, the rock being perfectly bare, without a particle of mould or vegetation. Small pillars, or uninscribed tablets, placed erect in the centre of little heaps of stone, seemed to indicate the scene of murders, when the Bhil lord of the pass exacted his toll from all who traversed his dominion. They proved, however, to be marks placed by the bunjarria to guide their tandas, or caravans, through the devious tracks of the forest. As we continued to descend, enveloped on all sides by woods and rocks, we lost sight of the towers of Bhynsror, and on reaching the foot of the Pass, the first object we saw was a little monastery of Atteets, founded by the chiefs of Bhynsror: it is called Jhalaca. We passed close to their isolated dwelling, on the terraced roof of which a party of the fraternity were squatted round a fire, enjoying the warmth of the morning sun. Their wild appearance corresponded with the scene around ; their matted hair and beard had never known a comb ; their bodies were smeared with ashes (bhaboot), and a shred of cloth round the loins seemed the sole indication that they belonged to a class possessing human feelings.
Their lives are passed in a perpetual routine of adoration of Chatoor- bhooja, the ' four-armed' divinity, and they subsist on the produce of a few patches of land, with which the chiefs of Bhynsror have endowed this abode of wild ascetics, or with what their patrons or the town's-people and passengers make up to them. The head of the establishment, a little vivacious, but wild-looking being, about sixty years of age, came forth to bestow his blessing, and to beg something for his order. He, however, in the first place, elected me one of his chelas, or disciples, by marking my forehead with a tika of bhaboot, which he took from a platter made of dhak-leaves ; to which rite of inauguration I submitted with due gravity.
Legend of the origin of the epithet Sisodia
The old man proved to be a walking volume of legendary lore ; but his conversation became insufferably tedious. Interruption was in vain ; ho could tell his story only in his own way, and in order to get at a point of local history connected with the sway of the Ranas, I was
: obliged to begin from the creation of the world, and go through all the theogonies, the combats of the Soors and Asoors, the gods and Titans of Indian mythology ; to bewail with Seeta the loss of her child, her rape by Rawun, and the whole of the wars of Rama wagged for her recovery; when, at length, the genealogy of the family commenced, which this strange being traced through all their varying patronymics of Dits, Rics, Gohelote, Aharya, Seesodia ; at which last he again diverged, and gave me an episode to explain the etymology of the distinguishing epithet. I subjoin it, as a specimen of the anchorite's historical lore : —
In these wilds, an ancient Rana of Cheetore had sat down to a gote (feast) consisting of the game slain in the chase ; and being very hungry, he hastily swallowed a piece of meat to which a gad-fly adhered. The fly grievously tormented the Rana's stomach, and he sent for a physician. The wiseman (bed) secretly ordered an attendant to cut off the tip of a cow's ear, as the only means of saving the monarch's life. On obtaining this forbidden morsel, the bed folded it in a piece of thin cloth, and attaching a string to it, made the royal patient swallow it. The gad-fly fastened on the bait, and was dragged to light. The physician was rewarded ; but the curious Rana insisted on knowing by what means the cure was effected, and when he heard that a piece of sacred kine had passed his lips, he determined to expiate the enormity in a manner which its heinousness required, and to swallow boiling lead (seesa) ! A vessel was put on the fire, and half a seer soon melted, when, praying that his involuntary offence might be forgiven, he boldly drank it off; but lo ! it passed through him like water. From that day, the name of the tribe was changed from Aharya to Seesodia.
The old Jogi as firmly believed the truth of this absurd tale as he did his own existence, and I allowed him to run on till the temple of Barolli suddenly burst upon my view from amidst the foliage that shrouded it. The transition was grand ; we had for some time been picking our way along the margin of a small stream that had worked itself, a bed in the rock over which lay our path, and whose course had been our guide to this object of our pilgrimage. As we neared the sacred fane, still following the stream, we reached a level spot over- shadowed by the majestic koroo and amba, which had never known the axe. We instantly dismounted, and by a flight of steps attained the court of the temple. To describe its stupendous and diversified architecture is impossible ; it is the office of the pencil alone, but the labour would be almost endless. Art seems here to have exhausted itself, and we were, perhaps now for the first time, fully impressed with the beauty of Hindu sculpture. The columns, the ceilings, the external roofing, where each stone presents a miniature temple, one rising over another, until crowned by the urn-like kullus, distracted our attention. The carving on the capital of each column would require pages of explanation, and the whole, in spite of its high antiquity, is in wonderful preservation. This is attributable mainly to two causes : every stone is chiselled out of the close-
[p.646]: grained quartz rock, perhaps the most durable (as it is the most difficult to work) of any ; and in order that the Islamite should have some excuse for evading their iconoclastic law, they covered the entire temple with the finest marble cement, so adhesive, that it is only where the prevalent winds have beaten upon it that it is altogether worn off, leaving the sculptured edges of the stone as smooth and sharp as if carved only yesterday.
The grand temple of Barolli
The grand temple of Barolli is dedicated to Siva, whose emblems are everywhere visible. It stands in an area of about two hundred and fifty yards square, enclosed by a wall built of unshaped stones without cement. Beyond this wall are groves of majestic trees, with many smaller shrines and sacred fountains. The first object that stuck my notice, just before entering the area, was a pillar, erect in the earth, with a hooded-snake sculptured around it. The door-way, which is destroyed, must have been very curious, and the remains that choke up the interior are highly interesting. One of these specimens was entire, and unrivalled in taste and beauty. The principal figures are of Siva and his consort, Parbutty, with their attendants. He stands upon the lotus, having the serpent twined as a garland. In his right hand he holds the dumroo, or little drum, with which, as the god of war, he inspires the warrior; in his left is the cupra, formed of a human skull, out of which he drinks the blood of the slain. The other two arms have been broken off : a circumstance which proves that even the Islamite, to whom the act may be ascribed, respected this work of art. The "mountain-born" is on the left of her spouse. standing on the coorm, or tortoise, with braided locks, and ear-rings made of the conch-shell. Every limb is in that easy flowing style peculiar to ancient Hindu art, and wanting in modern specimens. Both are covered with beaded ornaments, and have no drapery. The firm, masculine attitude of ' Baba Adam' as I have heard a Rajpoot call Mahadeo, contrasts well with the delicate feminine outline of his consort. The serpent and lotus intertwine gracefully over their heads. Above, there is a series of compartment filled with various figures, the most conspicuous of which is the chimerical animal called the gras, a kind of homed lion; each compartment being separated by a wreath of flowers, tastefully arranged and distributed. The animal is delineated with an ease not unworthy the art in Europe. Of the various other figures many are mutilated ; one is a hermit playing on a guitar, and above him are a couple of deer in a listening posture. Captain Waugh is engaged on one of the figures, which he agrees with me in pronouncing unrivalled as a specimen of art. There are parts of them, especially the heads, which would not disgrace Canova. They are in high relief, being almost detached from the slab. In this fragment (about eight feet by three) the chief figures are about three feet.
The centre piece, forming a kind of frieze, is nearly entire, and about twelve feet by three ; it is covered with sculpture of the same
[p.647]: character, mostly the celestial choristers, with various instruments, celebrating the praises of Siva and Parbutty. Immediately within the door-way, is a small shrine to the ' four-armed ;' but the Islamite having likewise deprived him of the supernumerary pair, the Bhil takes him for Devi, of whom they are desperately afraid, and in consequence the forehead of the statue is liberally smeared with veimiiion.
On the left, in advance of the main temple, is one about thirty feet high, containing an image of Asht-Mata, or the ' eight-armed mother ;' but here the pious Mooslem has robbed the goddess of all her arms, save that with which she grasps her shield, and has also removed her head. She treads firmly on the centaur, Maheswar, whose dissevered head lies at some distance in the area, while the lion of the Hindu Cybele still retains his grasp of his quarters. The Joginis and Apsaras, or ' maids of war' of Rajpoot martial poetry, have been spared.
On the right is the shrine of Tri-murti, the triune divinity. Brimha's face, in the centre, has been totally obliterated, as has that of Vishnu, the Preserver; but the Destroyer is uninjured. The tiara, which covers the head* of this triple divinity, is also entire, and of perfect workmanship. The skill of the sculptor " can no further go." Groupes of snakes adorn the clustering locks on the ample forehead of Siva, which are confined by a bandeau, in the centre of which there is a death's head ornament, hideously exact. Various and singularly elegant devices are wrought in the tiara : in one, two horses couped from the shoulder, passing from a rich centering and surmounted by a death's head : a dissevered arm points to a vulture advancing to seize it, while serpents are wreathed round the neck and hands of the Destroyer, whose half-opened mouth discloses a solitary tooth, and the tongue curled up with a demoniacal expression. The whole is colossal, the figures being six feet and a half high. The relief is very bold, and altogether the groupe is worthy of having casts made from it.
We now come to the grand temple itself, which is fifty-eight feet in height, and in the ancient form peculiar to the temples of Siva. The body of the edifice, in which is the sanctum of me god, and over which rises its pyramidal sikr, is a square of only twenty-one feet ; but the addition of the domed vestibule (munduf) and portico makes it forty-four by twenty-one. An outline of this by Ghassi, a native artist (who labours at Oodipoor for the same daily pay as a tailor, carpenter, or other artizan), will give a tolerably good notion of its appearance, though none of its beauty. The whole is covered with mythological sculpture, without as well as within, emblematic of the 'great god' (Mahadeo), who is the giver, as well as the destroyer, of life. In a niche outside, to the south, he is armed against the Dytes (Titans), the roundmala, or skull-chaplet, reaching
- * The Trimurti is represented with three faces (murti) though but one head.
[p.648]: to his knees, and in seven of his arms are offensive weapons, cap is the frustrum of a cone, composed of snakes interlaced, with a fillet of skulls : the cupra is in his hand, and the victims are scattered around.On his right is one of the maids of slaughter (Jogni) drunk with blood, the cup still at her lip, and her countenance expressive of vacuity ; while below, on the left is a female personification of Death, mere skin and bone : a sickle (koorpi) in her right hand,* its knob a death's head, completes this groupe of the attributes of destruction. To the west is Mahadeo under another form, a beautiful and animated statue, the expression mild, as when he went forth to entice the mountain-nymph, Mera, to his embrace. His tiara is a blaze of finely-executed ornaments, and his snake-wreath, which hangs round him as a garland, has a clasp of two heads of Scheshanaga (the serpent-king), while Nanda below is listening with placidity to the sound of the dumroo. His cupra, and karg, or skull-cap, and sword, which he is in the attitude of using, are the only accompaniments denoting the god of blood The northern compartment is a picture, disgustingly faithful, of death and its attributes. Vulgarly known as Bhooka Mata personification of famine, lank and bare ; her necklace, like her lord's, of skulls. Close by are two mortals in the last stage of existence, so correctly represented as to excite an unpleasant surprise.
The outline, I may say, is anatomically correct. The mouth is half open and distorted, and although the eye is closed in death, an expression of mental anguish seems still to linger upon the features. A beast of prey is approaching the dead body ; while, by way of contrast, a male figure, in all the vigour of youth and health, lies prostrate at her feet.
Such is a faint description of the sculptured niches on each of the external faces of the mindra, whence the spire rises, simple and solid. In order, however, to be distinctly understood, I shall give some slight ichnographic details. First, is the mindra or cella, in which is the statue of the god ; then the munduf, or, in architectural nomenclature, the pronaos ; and third, the portico, with which we shall begin, though it transcends all description.
Like all temples dedicated to Bal-Siva, the vivifier, or 'sun-god,' it faces the east. The portico projects several feet beyond the munduf, and has four superb columns in front, of which the outline by Ghaisi conveys but a very imperfect idea. Flat fluted pilasters are placed on either side of the entrance to the munduf, serving as a support to the internal torun, or triumphal arch, and a single column intervenes on each side between the pilasters and the columns in front. The columns are about eighteen feet in height. The proportions are perfect ; and though the difference of diameter
- * Nowhere else did I ever see this emblem of Time, the counterpart of scythe with which we furnish him, which is unknown to India.
[p.649]: between the superior and inferior portions of the shaft is less than the Grecian standard, there is no want of elegance of effect, whilst it gives an idea of more grandeur. The frieze is one mass of sculptured figures, generally of human beings, male and female, in pairs ; the horned monster termed gras, separating the different pairs. The internal torun or triumphal arch, which is invariably attached to all ancient temples of the sun-god, is of that peculiar curvature formed by the junction of two arcs of a circle from different centres, a form of arch well known in Gothic and Saracenic architecture, but which is an essential characteristic of the most ancient Hindu temples. The head of a gras crowns its apex, and on the outline is a concatenation of figures armed with daggers, apparently ascending the arch to strike the monster. The roof of the munduf (pronaos), cannot be described : its various parts must be examined with microscopic nicety in order to enter into detail. In the whole of the ornaments there is an exact harmony which I have seen nowhere else ; even the miniature elephants are in the finest proportions, and exquisitely carved.
The ceilings both of the portico and munduf, are elaborately beautiful : that of the portico, of one single block, could hardly be surpassed. Of the exterior I shall not attempt further description : it is a grand, a wonderful effort of the silpi (architect), one series rising above and surpassing the other, from the base to the urn which surmounts the pinnacle.
The sanctum contains the symbol of the god, whose local appellation is Rori Barolli, a corruption of Bal-rori, from the circumstance of Balnath, the sun-god, being here typified by an orbicular stone termed rori, formed by attrition in the choolis or whirlpools of the Chumbul, near which the temple stands, and to which phenomena it probably owed its foundation. This symbolic rori is not fixed, but lies in a groove in the internal ring of the Yoni ; and so nicely is it poised, that with a very moderate impulse it will continue revolving while the votary recites a tolerably long hymn to the object of his adoration. The old ascetic, who had long been one of the zealots of Barolli, amongst his other wonders gravely told me, that with the momentum given by his little finger, in former days, he could make it keep on its course much longer than now with the application of all his strength.
Some honest son of commerce thought it but right that the mindra (cella) of Bal-rori should be graced by a Parbutty, and he had one made and placed there. But it appeared to have offended the god, and matters soon after went wrong with the Banya:first his wife died, then his son, and at length he became devali, or 'bankrupt.' In truth he deserved punishment for his caricature of the ' mountain-born' Mera, who more resembles a Dutch burgomestre than the fair daughter of Syeel.
Fronting the temple of Bal-rori, and apart from it about twenty yards, is another superb edifice, called the Sengar-chaori, or nuptial
[p.650]: hall.* It is a square (chaori) of forty feet, supported by a double range of columns on each face, the intercolunmiations being quite open ; and although these columns want the elegant proportions of the larger temple, they are covered with exquisite sculpture, as well as the ceilings. In the centre of the hall is an open space about twelve feet square ; and here, according to tradition, the nuptials of Raja Hoon with the fair daughter of a Rajpoot prince, of whom he had long been enamoured, were celebrated ; to commemorate which event, these magnificent structures were raised: but more of this Hun anon. The external roof (or sicr, as the Hindu silpi term the various roofs which cover their temples) is the frustrum of pyramid, and a singular specimen of architectural skill, each stone being a miniature temple, elegantly carved, gradually decreasing in size to the kullus or ball, and so admirably fitted to each other, that there has been no room for vegetation to insinuate itself, and consequently they have sustained no injury from time.
Midway between the nuptial hall and the main temple, there is a low altar, on which the bull, Nand-isvar, still kneels before the symbolic representation of its sovereign lord, Iswar. But sadly dishonoured is this courser of the sun-god, whose flowing tail is broken, and of whose head but a fragment remains, though his necklace of alternate skulls and bells proclaims him the charger of Siva.
Around the temple of the ' great-god' (Mahadeva) are the shrines of the dii minores, of whom Ganesha, the god of wisdom, takes precedence. The shrine of this janitor of Siva is properly placed to the north, equidistant from the nuptial hall and the chief temple. But the form of wisdom was not spared by the Tatar iconoclast. His single tooth, on which the poet Chund is so lavish of encomium, is broken off; his limbs are dissevered, and he lies prostrate on his back at the base of his pedestal, grasping, even in death, with his right hand, the ladoos, or sweetmeat-balls he received at the nuptial feast.
Near the dishonoured fragments of Ganesha, and on the point of losing his equilibrium, is the divine Nareda, the preceptor of Parbutty, and the Orpheus of Hindu mythology. In his hands he yet holds the lyre (vina), with whose heavenly sounds he has been charming the son of his patroness ; but more than one string of the instrument is wanting, and one of the gourds which, united by a sounding board, from the vina, is broken off.
To the south are two columns, one erect and the other prostrate, which appear to have been either the commencement of another temple, or, what is more probable from their excelling every- thing yet described, intended to form a torun, having a simple architrave laid across them, which served as a swing for the recre-
- * This is not the literal interpretation, but the purpose for which it is applied. Chaori the term always appropriated to the place of nuptials: singer means ' ornament.'
[p.651]: ation of the god. Their surface, though they have been exposed at least one thousand years to the atmosphere, is smooth and little injured : such is the durability of this stone, though it is astonishing how it was worked, or how they got instruments to shape it. There is a bavari, or reservoir of water, for the use either gods or mortals, placed in the centre of the quadrangle, which is ..ewed with sculptured fragments.
We quit the enclosure of Raja Hoon to visit the fountain (coond) of Mahadeo, and the various other curious objects. Having passed through the ruined gate by which we entered, we crossed the black ..ream, and passing over a fine turf plot, reached the coond, which is a square of sixty feet, the water (leading to which are steps) ..ing full to the brim, and the surface covered with the golden and silver lotus. In the centre of the fountain is a miniature temple to the god who delights in waters ; and the dam by which it was once approached being broken, it is now completely isolated. The entrance to the east has two slender and well-proportioned columns, and the whole is conspicuous for simplicity and taste.
Smaller shrines surround the coond, into one of which I entered, little expecting in a comparatively humble edifice the surprise which awaited me. The temple was a simple, unadorned hall, containing detached piece of sculpture, representing Narayana floating on the ..aotic waters. The god is reclining in a fit of abstraction upon his Shes-seja, a couch formed of the hydra, or sea-snake, whose many heads expanded from a canopy over that of the sleeping divinity, at whose feet is the benignant Lacshmi, the Hindu Ceres, awaiting the aspiration of his periodical repose. A group of marine monsters, half-man, half-fish, support the couch in their arms, their scaly extremities gracefully wreathed, and in the centre of them is a horse, either too terrestrial to be classical, with a conch-shell and other marine emblems near him. The back-ground to this couch rises aboat two feet above the reclining figure, and is divided horizontally into two compartments, the lower containing a group of the chimerical monsters, each nearly a foot in height, in mutual combat, and in perfect relief. Above is a smaller series, depicting the Avatars, or incarnations of the divinity. On the left, curma, the tortoise, having quitted his shell, of which he makes ..pedestal, denotes the termination of the catastrophe. Another marine monster, half-boar (Varaha), half-fish, appears recovering the ..mi the symbol of production, from the alluvion, by his tusk. Next to him is Narsinga, tearing in pieces a tyrannical king, with other ..eorical mysteries having no relation to the ten incarnations, but being a mythology quite distinct, and which none of the well- informed men around me could interpret : a certain proof of its antiquity.
The position of Narayana was that of repose, one hand supporting the head, under which lay the gada or mace, while in another head the conch-shell, which, when the god assumed the terrestrial
Note - Some alphabets are missing in this page marked as ..
[p.652]: form and led the Yadu hosts to battle, was celebrated as Dakshinavrata, from having its spiral involutions reversed, or to the right (dekshin). The fourth arm was broken off, as were his nether limbs too near the knee. From the nab or naf (navel), the umbilical cord ascended, terminating in a lotus, whose expanded flower served as a seat for Brimha, the personification of the mind or spirit " moving on the waters" (Narayana) of chaos. The beneficent and beautiful Lacshmi, whom all adore, whether as Anapurana (the giver of food), or in her less amiable character as the consort of the Hindu Plutus, seems to have excited a double portion of the zealots' ire, who have not only visited her face too roughly, but entirely destroyed the emblems of nourishment for her universal progeny. It would be impossible to dwell upon the minuter ornaments, which, both for design and execution, may be pronounced unrivalled in India. The highly imaginative mind of the artist is apparent throughout ; he has given a repose to the sleeping deity, which contrasts admirably with the writhing of the serpent upon which he lies, whose folds, more especially under the neck, appear almost real ; a deception aided by the porphyritic tints of the stone. From the accompaniments of mermaids, conch-shells, sea-horses, &c., we may conclude that a more elegant mythology than that now subsisting has been lost with the art of sculpture. The whole is carved out of a single block of the quartz rock, which has a lustre and polish equal to marble, and is of far greater durability.
The length of this marine couch (seja) is nearly eight feet, its breadth two, and its height somewhat more than three : the figure, from the top of his richly wrought tiara, being four feet I felt a strong inclination to disturb the slumbers of Narayana, and transport him to another clime : in this there would be no sacrilege for in his present mutilated state, he is looked upon (except as a specimen of art) as no better than a stone.
All round the coond the ground is covered with fragments of shrines erected to the inferior divinities. On one piece, which must have belonged to a roof, were sculptured two busts of a male and a female, unexceptionably beautiful. The head-dress of the male was a helmet, quite Grecian in design, bound with a simple and elegant fillet : in short, it would require the labour of several artists for six months to do anything like justice to the wonders of Barolli.
There is no chronicle to tell us for whom or by whom this temple was constructed. The legends are unintelligible ; for although Raja Hoon is the hero of this region, it is no easy task to account for his connexion with the mythology. If we, however, connect this apparently wild tradition with what is already said regarding his ruling at Bhynsror, and moreover with what has been recorded in the first part of this work, when 'Ungutsi, lord of the Hoons' was enrolled amongst the eighty-four subordinate princes who defended Cheetore against the first attempt of the Islamite, in the eighth century, the mystery ceases, The name of Hoon is one of frequent
[p.653]: occurrence in ancient traditions, and the early inscription at Monghir has already been mentioned, as likewise the still more important admission of this being one of the thirty-six royal tribes of Rajpoots ; and as, in the Cheetore chronicle, they have actually assigned as the proper name of the Hoon prince that (Ungutsi) which designates, according to their historian Deguignes, the grand horde, we can scarcely refuse our belief that "there were Huns" in India in those days. But although Raja Hoon may have patronized the arts, we can hardly imagine he could have furnished any ideas to the artists, who at all events have not produced a single Tatar feature to attest their rule in this region. It is far more probable, if ever Grecian artists visited these regions, that they worked upon Indian designs — an hypothesis which may be still further supported. History informs us of the Grecian auxiliaries sent by Seleucus to the (Puar) monarch of Oojein (Ozene), whose descendants corresponded with Augustus ; and I have before suggested the possibility of the temple of Komulmer, which is altogether dissimilar to any remains of Hindu art, being attributable to the same people.
Inscriptions - We discovered two inscriptions, as well as the names of many visitors, inscribed on the pavement and walls of the portico, bearing date seven and eight hundred years ago ;
- one was " the son " of Jalunsi, from Dhawulnagri ;"
- another, which is in the ornamental Nagari of the Jains, is dated the 13th of Cartic (the month sacred to Mars), S. 981, or A.D. 925. Unfortunately it is but a fragment, containing five slocas in praise of Sideswar, or Mahadeo, as the patron of the ascetic Jogis. Part of a name remains ; and although my old Guru will not venture to give a translation without his sybelline volume, the Vyakurna, which was left at Oodipoor, there is yet sufficient to prove it to be merely the rhapsody of a Pundit, visiting Rori Barolli, in praise of the 'great god' and of the site.* More time and investigation than I could afford, might make further discoveries ; and it would be labour well rewarded, if we could obtain a date for this Augustan age of India. At the same time, it is evident that the whole was not accomplished within one man's existence, nor could the cost be defrayed by One year s revenue of all Rajpootana.
We may add, before we quit this spot, that there are two piles of stones, in the quadrangle of the main temple, raised over the defunct priests of Mahadeo, who, whether Gosens, Sanyasis, or Dadoopantis, always bury their dead.
Barolli is in the tract named Puchail, or the flat between the river Chumbul and the pass, containing twenty-four villages in the lord-ship of Bhynsror, laying about three miles west, and highly improving the scene, which would otherwise be one of perfect solitude.
According to the local tradition of some of the wild tribes, its more ancient name was Bhadravati, the seat of the Hoons ; and the traces of the old city in extensive mounds and ruins are still beheld around
- * This is deposited in the museum of the Royal Asiatic Society.
[p.654]: the more modern Bhynsror. Tradition adds, that the Chirmitti (the classic name of the Chumbul) had not then ploughed itself a channel in this adamantine bed ; but nine centuries could not have effected this operation, although it is not far from the period when Ungutsi, the Hoon, served the Rana of Cheetore.
Abstract of Chapter XII
[p.654]: The choolis or whirlpools of the Chumbul, — Grandeur of the scene. — Description of the falls and rocks of the Chumbul in this part — The remarkable narrowness of its bed, — The roris, or stones found in the whirlpools. — Visit to Ganga-bheva. — Its magnificent temple and shrines. — The details of their architecture, — The main temple more modern than the shrines around it. — Dilapidation of these fine specimens of art — Effects of vegetation, — The gigantic amervela. — Naoli. — Takaji-ca-coond, or fountain of the snake-king. — Fragments of sculpture, — Mausoleum of Jeswunt Rao Holcar. — Holcar's horde. — His elephant. — Bhanpoora. — Tranquility and prosperity of these parts. — Gurrote. — Traces of king Satal Patul, of the era of the Pandus. — Agates and cornelians, — The caves of Dhoomnar — Description of the caves and temples, — Explanation of the figures, — Jain symbols on one side of the eaves. Brahmin on the other, — Statues of the Jain pontiffs, — Bheem's bazaar,
December 3rd,1821 — Having halted several days at Barolli to admire the works of man, we marched to contemplate the still more stupendous operations of nature — the choolis, or ' whirlpools,' of the Chumbul. For three miles we had to hew a path through the forest for our camels and horses ; at the end of which, the sound of many waters gradually increased, until we stood on the bleak edge of the river's rocky bed. Our little camp was pitched upon an elevated spot, commanding a view over one of the most striking objects of nature — a scene bold beyond the power of description. Behind us was a deep wood ; in front, the abrupt precipices of the Pat'har ; to the left, the river expanded into a lake of ample dimensions, fringed with trees, and a little onward to the right, the majestic and mighty Chirmitti, one of the sixteen sacred rivers of India, shrunk into such a narrow compass, that even man might bestride it. From the tent, nothing seemed to disturb the unruffled surface of the lake, until we approached the point of outlet, and beheld the deep bed the river has excavated in the rock. This is the commencement of the falls. Proceeding along the margin, one rapid succeeds another, the gulf increasing in width, and the noise becoming more terrific, until you arrive at a spot where the stream is sput into four distinct channels ; and a little farther, an isolated rock appears, high over which the whitened spray ascends, the sun-beams playing on it. Here the separated channels, each terminating in a cascade, rail into an ample basin, and again unite their waters, boiling around the masses of black rock, which ever and anon peeps out and contrasts
[p.655]: with the foaming surge rising from the whirlpools (choolis) beneath. From this huge cauldron, the waters again divide into two branches, encircling and isolating the rock, on whose northern face they re-unite, and form another fine fall.
A tree is laid across the chasm, by the aid of which the adventurous may attain the summit of the rock, which is quite flat, and is called " the table of the T'hakoor of Bhynsror," who often, in the summer, holds his gote or feast there, and a fitter spot for such an entertainment can scarcely be imagined. Here, soothed by the murmur of foaming waters, the eye dwelling on a variety of picturesque objects, seen through the prismatic hues of the spray- clouds, the baron of Bhynsror and his little court may sip their amrit, fancying it, all the while, taken from the churning of the little ocean beneath them.
On issuing from the choolis, the river continues its course through its rocky bed, which gradually diminishes to about fifteen feet, and with greatly increased velocity, until, meeting a softer soil, under Bhynsror, it would float a man-of-war. The instance from the lake first described to this rock is about a mile, and the difference of elevation, under two hundred feet ; the main cascade being about sixty feet fall It is a curious fact that, after a course of three hundred miles, the bed of a mighty river like this should be no more than about three yards broad. The whirlpools are huge perpendicular caverns, thirty and forty feet in depth, between some of which there is a communication under-ground ; the orbicular stones, termed roris, are often forced up in the agitation of these natural cauldrons ; one of them represents the object of worship at Bal-rori. For many miles down the stream, towards Kotah, the rock is everywhere pierced by incipient choolis, or whirlpools, which, according to their size and force, are always filled with these rounded stones.
From hence the Chumbul pursues its course through the plateau (sometimes six hundred feet nigh) to Kotah. Here nature is in her grandest attire. The scene, though wild and rugged, is sublime ; and were I offered an estate in Mewar, I would choose Bhynsror and should be delighted to hold my gote enveloped in the mists which rise born the whirlpools of the Chumbul.
Ganga-bheva Mahadeva temple and Inscription
[p.656]: December 4th,1821 — The carpenters have been at work for some days hewing a road for us to pass to Ganga-bheva, another famed retreat in this wild and now utterly deserted abode. We commenced our march through a forest, the dog-star nearly south ; the river dimly seen on our right. On our left were the remains of a ruined circumvallation, which is termed Rana-Kote ; probably a rumna, or preserve. At daybreak we arrived at the hamlet of Kheyrli ; and here, our course changing abruptly to the south-east, we left the river, and continued our journey through rocks and thickets, until a deep grove of lofty trees, enclosed by a dilapidated wall, shewed that we had reached the object of our search, Ganga-bheva.
What a scene burst upon us, as we cleared the ruined wall and forced our way over the mouldering fragments of ancient grandeur ! Ganga-bheva, or 'the circle of Ganga,' appears to have been selected as a retreat for the votaries of Mahadeva, from its being a little oasis in this rock-bound valley ; for its site was a fine turf, kept in perpetual verdure by springs.
The chief object is the temple, dedicated to the creative power - it stands in the centre of a quadrangle of smaller shrines, which have more the appearance of being the cenotaphs of some ancient dynasty than domiciles for the inferior divinities. The contrast between the architecture of the principal temple, and that of the shrines which surround it, is remarkable. The body of the chief temple has been destroyed, and with its wrecks a simple, inelegant mindra has been raised ; nor is there aught of the primitive structure, except the portico, remaining. Its columns are fluted, and the entablature (part of which lies prostrate and reversed) exhibits a profusion of rich sculpture. In front of the temple is a circular basin, always overflowing, and whence the term bhevo or bheo, ' a circle,' added to the name of the spring, which is feigned to be an emanation of Ganga. The surface of its waters is covered with the flower sacred to the goddess, that particular lotus termed camodhun, which may be rendered, 'the riches of love'.
The chief temple evinces the same skill and taste as the structures of Barolli, and the embellishments are similar. We here recognize the groupes of Mahadeva and Parbutty, with the griffins (gras), the Nagunis, half-serpent, half-female, &c., though not in so finished a style as at Barolli. Whatever be the age of this temple (and we found on the pavement the name of a votary with the date S. 1011, or A.D. 955), it is many centuries more recent than those which surround it, in whose massive simplicity we have a fine specimen of the primitive architecture of the Hindus. Even of these, we can trace varieties. Five of these small shrines filled up each face of the quadrangle, but with the exception of those on the east side, all are in ruins. The doors of those which possess an enclosed sanctum, face inwards towards the larger shrine : and each has a simple low altar, on which are ranged the attendant divinities of Mahadeva. The sculpture of all these is of a much later
[p.657]: date than the specimens at Barolli, and of inferior execution, though far superior to anything that the Hindu sculptor of modern days can faoricate. They may possibly be of the date found inscribed (the tenth century), posterior to which no good Hindu sculpture is to be found. As this spot is now utterly deserted, and the tiger and wild boar are the only inhabitants that visit the groves of Ganga-bheva, I shall be guilty of no sacrilege in removing a few of these specimens of early art.*
Nature has co-operated with the ruthless Toork in destroying the oldest specimens of the art. Wherever there is a chink or crevice, vegetation fixes itself Of this we had a fine specimen in a gigantic but now mouldering koroo, which had implanted itself in the munduf of the principal-temple, and rent it to its foundation. On examining its immense roots, large slabs were actually encased with the wood, the bark of which nearly covers a whole regiment of petty gods. This fact alone attests the longevity of this species of tree, which is said to live a thousand years. The fountain temple has, in a similar way, been levelled by another of these koroo-trees, the branches of which had gradually pressed in and overwhelmed it. The Singar-chaoi, or nuptial-hall, is also nearly unroofed; and although the portico may yet survive for ages, time is rapidly consuming the rest.
I should have said that there are two distinct enclosures, an interior and exterior, and it is the first which is crowded with the noblest trees, everywhere clustered by the amervela, 'the garland of eternity,' sacred to Mahadeva, which shades the shrine, overhanging it in festoons. This is the giant of the parasitic tribe, its main stem being as thick near the root as my body. I counted sixty joints, each apparently denoting a year's growth, yet not half-way up the tree on which it climbed. That highly -scented shrub, the ketki, grew in great profusion near the coond, and a bevy of monkeys were gambolling about them, the sole inhabitants of the grove. The more remote enclosure contained many altars, sacred to the manes of the faithful wives who became satis for the salvation of their lends. On some of these altars were three and four pootlis, or images, denoting the number of devotees. It would require a month's halt and a company of pioneers to turn over these ruins, and then we might not be rewarded for our pains. We have there-fore set to work to clear a path, that we may emerge from these wilds.
- * Of the style of these specimens the curious are enabled to judge, as several are deposited in the museum of the Royal Asiatic Society. These mark the decline of the arts ; as do those of Barolli, its perhaps highest point of excellence.
In the evening I went to visit Takaji-ca-coond, or ' fountain of the snake-king. It is about two miles east of Naoli ; the road, through a jungle, over the flat highland of Pathar, presents no indication of the object of research, until you suddenly find your- self on the brink of a precipice nearly two hundred feet in depth, crowded with noble trees, on which the knotted koroo was again conspicuous. The descent to this glen was over masses of rock ; and about half-way down, on a small platform, are two shrines ; one containing the statue of Takshac, the snake-king ; the other of Dhunantra, the physician, who was produced at the ' churning of the ocean'. The coond, or fountain, at the southern extremity of the abyss, is about two hundred yards in circumference, and termed a'thag, or ' unfathomable,' according to my guide, and if we may judge from its dark sea-green lustre, it must be of considerable depth. It is filled by a cascade of full one hundred feet perpendicular height, under which is a stone-seat, sacred to the genius of the spot. At the west side issues a rivulet, called the Takhali, or serpentine, which, after pursuing a winding course for many miles, some hundred feet below the surface of the Pathar, washes the eastern face of Hinglazgurh, and ultimately joins the Amjar. Ghassi, my native artist, is busy with the effigy of the snake-king, and Dhunantra, the Vidya. From the summit of the plateau we had a view of the castle of Hinglaz, celebrated in Lord Lake's war with the Mahrattas, and which was taken by Captain Hutchinson with a few men of the Bengal artillery.
Bhanpoora, December 6th, 1821, eight miles. — This was a delightful march, presenting pictures at every step. Two miles, through jungle, brought us to the abrupt crest of the Pathar. For some distance the route was over a neck or chine, with deep perpendicular dells on each side, which, at its extremity, the point of descent, termed -the ghat or pass, became a valley, gradually expanding until we reached Bhanpoora. At the ghat are the remains of a very ancient fortress, named Indorgurh, which must have been one of the strong-holds of this region long anterior to the Chanderawut feudatories of Mewar. Some fragments of sculpture indicate the presence of the artist of Barolli ; but all search for inscriptions was fruitless. From hence we saw the well-defined skirts of the plateau stretching westward by Rampoora to the Lassaughat, Tarrapoor, and Jawud, the point of our ascent last year.
It was pleasing, after a week's incarceration amidst these ruins and scenes of natural grandeur, where European foot had never trod, to see verdant fields and inhabitants of the plains ; such alterations make each delightful in its turn. We had been satiated with the interminable flats and unvarying corn-fields of Harouti, and it was
[p.659]: a relief to quit that tame tranquillity for the whirlpools of tho Chumbul, the coonds of Ganga, and the snake-king in the regions of the inaccessible Doorga.
As we approached Bhanpoora, we crossed a small rivulet, called the Rewa, coming from the glen of the pass ; near which is the mausoleum of Jeswunt Rao Holcar, adjoining the scene of his greatest glory, when he drove an English army from his territory. The architecture is worthy of the barbarian Mahratta; it is a vaulted building, erected upon a terrace, all of hewn stone : its only merit is its solidity. There is a statue of this intrepid chieftain, of the natural size, in the usual ungraceful sitting posture, with his little turban ; but it gives but a mean idea of the man who made terms with Lake at the altars of Alexander. It is enclosed by a miniature and regularly-built fortress, with bastions, the interior of which are hollow and colonnaded, serving as a dhermsala, or place of halt for pilgrims or travellers ; and on the terrace are a few rekalas, or swivels. On the right of the temple destined to receive the effigy of Jeswunt, is a smaller cenotaph to the memory of his sister, who died shortly after him. The gateway leading into this castellated tomb has apartments at top, and at the entrance is a handsome piece of brass ordnance, called Kali, or 'death.' There is a temporary building on the right of the gateway, where prayers are recited all day long for the soul of Jeswunt, before an altar on which were placed twenty- four diwas, or lamps, always burning. A figure dressed in white was on the altar ; immediately behind which, painted on the wall, was Jeswunt himself, and as in the days of his glory, mounted on his favourite war-horse, Mowah. The chaour was waving over his head, and silver-mace bearers were attending, while the officiating priests, seated on carpets, pronounced their incantations.
I left the master to visit Mowah, whose stall is close to the mausoleum of Holcar, whom he bore in many a desperate strife. The noble animal seemed to possess all his master's aversion to a Frengi, and when, having requested his body clothes to be removed, I went up to examine him, he at first backed his ears and shewed fight; but at last permitted me to rub his fine forehead. Mowah is a chesnut of the famed Beemrathali breed ; like his master, a genuine native of Maharashtra, he exhibits the frame-work of a perfect horse, though under 14. 3. ; his fore-legs shew what he has gone through. His head is a model, exhibiting the highest quality of blood : ears small and pointed, eye full and protruding, and a mouth that could drink out of a tea-cup. He is in very good condition ; but I put in ray urzee that they would provide more ample and sweeter bedding, which was readily promised. The favourite elephant is a pensioner as well as Mowah. Even in these simple incidents, we see that the mind is influenced by similar associations all over tho world.
Bhanpoora is a town of five thousand houses, surrounded by a wall in good order ; the inhabitants apparently well contented with
[p.661]: strewed throughout, as yesterday, with agates. As we approached the object of our search, the caves of Dhoomnar, we crossed a rocky ridge covered with the dhak jungle, through which we travelled until we arrived at the mount. We found our camp pitched at the northern base, near a fine tank of water ; but our curiosity was too great to think of breakfast until the mental appetite was satiated.
The hill is between two and three miles in circumference ; to the north it is bluff, of gradual ascent, and about one hundred and forty feet in height, the summit presenting a bold perpendicular scarp, about thirty feet high. The top is flat, and covered with burr trees. On the south side it has the form of a horse-shoe, or irregular crescent, the horns of which are turned to the south, having the same bold natural rampart running round its crest, pierced throughout with caves, of which I counted one hundred and seventy ; I should rather say that these were merely the entrances to the temples and extensive habitations of these ancient Troglodytes. The rock is a cellular iron-clay, so indurated and compact as to take a polish. There are traces of a city, external as well as internal, but whether they were contemporaneous we cannot conjecture. If we judge from the remains of a wall about nine feet thick, of Cyclopean formation, being composed of large oblong masses without cement, we might incline to that opinion, and suppose that the caves were for the monastic inhabitants, did they not afford proof to the contrary in their extent and appropriation.
On reaching the scarp, we wound round its base until we arrived at an opening cut through it from top to bottom, which proved to be the entrance to a gallery of about one hundred yards in length and nearly four in breadth, terminating in a quadrangular court, measuring about one hundred feet by seventy, and about thirty-five feet in height; in short, an immense square cavity, hollowed out of the rock, in the centre of which, cut in like manner out of one single mass of stone, is the temple of the four-armed divinity, Chatoor-bhooja. Exclusive of this gallery, there is a staircase cut in the north-west angle of the excavation, by which there is an ascent to the summit of the rock, on a level with which is the pinnacle of the temple. Apparently without any soil, some of the finest trees I ever saw, chiefly the sacred peepul, burr, and tamarind, are to be found here.
The ground-plan of the temple is of the usual form, having a mindra, munduf, and portico, to which the well-known term pagoda is given, and there is simplicity as well as solidity both in the design and execution. The columns, entablatures, with a good show of ornament, are distinct in their details ; and there are many statues, besides flowers, not in bad taste, especially the carved ceilings. It would be regarded as a curiosity if found on a plain, and put together in the ordinary manner; but when it is considered that all is from one block, and that the material is so little calculated to display the artist's skill, the work is stupendous.
[p.662]: Vishnu, who is here adored as the " four-armed," was placed upon an altar, clad in robes of his favourite colour (pandu, or yellow ochre), whence one of his titles, Panduraung. The principal shrine is surrounded by the inferior divinities in the following order : First, on entering are the Poleas or ' Porters ;' Ganesha is upon the right, close to whom is Sarasvati, " whose throne is on the tongue ;" and on the left are the twin-sons of Kali, the Bhiroos, distinguished as Kala (black), and Gora (fair); a little in advance of these is a shrine containing five of the ten Mahabedias, or ministering agents of Kali, each known by his symbol, or vahan, as the bull, man, elephant, buflfalo, and peacock. The Mahabedias are all evil genii, invoked in. jup, or incantations against an enemy, and phylacteries, containing formulas addressed to them, are bound round the arms of warriors in battle.
At the back of the chief temple are three shrines ; the central one contains a statue of Narayana, upon his hydra-couch, with Lakshmi at his feet. Two Dytes, or evil spirits, appear in conflict dose to her ; and a second figure represents her in a running posture, looking back, in great alarm, at the combatants. Smaller figures about Narayana represent the heavenly choristers administering to his repose, playing on various instruments, the moorali, or flute, the vina, or lyre, the muyoora, or tabor, and the mudhung and thal, or cymbals, at the sound of which a serpent appears, rearing his crest with delight. The minor temples, like the larger one, are also hewn out of the rock ; but the statues they contain are from the quartz rock of the Pat'har, and they, therefore, appear incongruous with the other parts. In fact, from an emblem of Mahadeva, which rises out of the threshold, and upon which the " four-armed" Vishnu looks down, I infer that these temples were originally dedicated to the creative power.
We proceeded by the steps, cut laterally in the rock, to the south side, where we enjoyed, through the opening, an unlimited range of vision over the plains beyond the Chumbul, even to Mundisore and Sondwarra. Descending some rude steps, and turning to the left, we entered a cavern, the roof of which was supported by one of those singularly-shaped columns, named after the sacred mounts of the Jains ; and hero it is necessary to mention a curious fact, that while everything on one side is Budhist or Jain, on the other all is Sivite or Vishnuvi. At the entrance to the cave adjoining this are various colossal figures, standing or sitting, too characteristic of the Budhists or Jains to be mistaken ; but on this, the south side, everything is ascribed to the Pandus, and a recumbent figure, ten feet in length, with his hand under his head, as if asleep, is termed "the son of Bheem," and as the local tradition goes, " only one hour " old :" a circumstance which called forth from my conductor, who gravely swallowed the tale, the exclamation — "What would he have been if noh mahina ca baluc, ' a nine months' child' !" The chief group is called the Five Pandus, who, according to tradition, took
[p.664]: the Pandus, who robbed them of their kingdom. Close to the armoury is an apartment called the Rajloca, or for the ladies ; but here tradition is at fault, since, with the exception of Koonti, the mother, Droopadvi alone shared the exile of the Pandus.
Still further to the right, or south-west, is another vaulted and roof-ribbed apartment, thirty feet by fourteen, and about sixteen in central height, supported by another image of Soomeru. The sacred burr, or fig-tree (ficus religiosa), had taken root in the very heart of this cavern, and having expanded until checked by the roof, it found the line of least resistance to be the cave's mouth, whence it issued horizontally, and is now a goodly tree overshadowing the cave. Around this there are many pausid-salas, or halls for the Yatis, or initiated disciples, who stand in the same upright meditative posture as the pontiffs.
But it is impossible, and the attempt would be tedious, to give, by any written description, an adequate idea of the subterraneao town of Dhoomnar. It is an object, however, which will assist in illustrating the subject of cave-worship in India ; and though in grandeur these caves cannot compare with those of Ellora, Carli, or Salsette, yet in point of antiquity they evidently surpass them.
The temple dedicated to the Tirthancars, or deified Jin-eswars (lords of the Jains), are rude specimens of a rude age, when the art of sculpture was in its very infancy ; yet is there a boldness of delineation, as well as great originality of design, which distinguishes them from everything else in India. In vain we hunted for inscriptions ; but a few isolated letters of that ancient and yet undeciphered kind, which occurs on every monument attributed to the Pandus, were here and there observed. There were fragments of sculpture about the base of the hill, differing both in design and material from those of the mountain. Altogether, Dhoomnar is highly worthy of a visit, being one of the most curious spots in this part, which abounds with curiosities.
Abstract of Chapter XIII
[p.665]: Route over the ground of Monson's retreat. — Battle of Peeply — Heroism of Umr Sing Hara, chief of Koelah.— Conduct of general Monson. — Puchpahar, — Kunwarra, — Thriving aspect of the country. Jhalra-Patun, — Temples. — Commercial immunities of the city. — Judicious measures of the Regent in establishing this mart — Public visit of the community of Patun. — The ancient City, — Legends of its foundation. — Profusion of ancient ruins. — Fine sculpture and architecture of the temples. — Inscriptions. — Cross the natural boundary of Harouti and Malwa. — The chaoni of the Kotah Regent. — chaoni of the Pindarris. — Gagrown. — Naraynpoor — Mokundurra Pass. — Inscriptions. — Anecdotes of the "Lords of the Pass." — The chaori of Bheem. — Ruins. — Ordinances of the Hara princes. — Return to Kotah. — Field sports. — Author attacked by a bear. — Ruins of Ekailgurh.
Puchpahar, 10th December, 1821. — We returned to Gurrote yesterday, whence we marched ten miles north-north-east this morning over memorable ground. It was from Gurrote that the retreat of Monson commenced, an event as remarkable in the history of British India as the retreat of Xenophon in that of Greece. The former has not been commemorated by the commander, though even the pen of Xenophon himself could not have mitigated the reproach which that disastrous event has left upon our military reputation. Holcar was at Pertabgurh, when, hearing of the advance of the English army, he made direct on Mundisore, where he halted merely to refresh his horses, and crossing the Chumbul at the Aora ford, he pushed direct on Gurrote, a distance of nearly fifty miles. Local report states that Monson, in utter ignorance of the rapid advance of Holcar, had that morning recommenced his march for Chandwasso, with what object is unknown ; but as soon as he learned the vicinity of the foe, without awaiting him, he ordered a retrograde movement to gain the Mokundurra pass, leaving Lucan with the irregular horse and the Kotah auxiliaries, chiefly Hara Rajpoots, to secure his retreat.
Holcar's army amounted to ten thousand horse, in four goles, or masses, each acting separately. That under — : — Khan Bungush came on Lucan from the south, while that under Humat Dada, from the direction of Bhanpoor, attacked the Kotah contingent Lucan defended himself like a hero and having repelled all their charges, had become the assailant, when he received his death-blow from a hand in his own paega. My informant, who was that day opposed to this gallant soldier, described the scene, pointing out the mowah tree close to which he fell.
The auxiliary band of Kotah was led by the Hara chief of Koelah, his name Umr Sing. On receiving the orders of the English commander, he prepared, in the old Hara style, to obey them. The position he selected was about a quarter of a mile west of Lucan, on the north bank of the Amjar, his left protected by the village of Peeply, which stands on a gentle eminence gradually shelving to the stream, the low abrupt bank of which would secure him from
p.666-669: To be added
[p.670]:frail sisterhood paid their devoirs, and, in their modesty of demeanour, recalled the passage of Burke applied in contrast to a neighbouring state, " vice lost half its deformity, by losing all its gross- " ness." Sah Munniram himself preserved order outside, while to his colleague he left the formalities of introduction. The goldsmiths' company presented, as their nuzzur, a small silver powder-flask, shaped as an alligator, and covered with delicate chain- work, which I shall retain not only as a specimen of the craft, but in remembrance of a day full of unusual interest. They retired in the same order as they came, preceded by the town-band, flags, trumpets, and drums.
Such is Jhalra-Patun. May the demon of anarchy keep from its walls, and the orthodox and heterodox Duumvirs live in amity for the sake of the general good, nor by their animosities, increase the resemblance which this mart bears to the free cities of Europe !
From all I could learn, justice is distributed with as even a hand as in most societies, but wherever existed the community that submitted to restraint, or did not murmur at the fiat of the law ? Jhalra-Patun is now the grand commercial mart of Upper Malwa, and has swallowed up all the commerce of the central towns between its own latitude and Indore. Though not even on the high road, when established, this difficulty was overcome by the road coming to it. The transit-duties on salt alone must be considerable, as that of the lakes of western Rajwarra passes through it in its way to the south-east. It is not famed, however, for any staple article of trade, but merely as an entrepot.
We have said enough of the modem city, and must now revert to the ancient, which, besides its metaphorical appellation of the "city of bells," had the name of Chandravati, and the rivulet which flowed through it, the Chandrabhaga. There is an abundance of legends, to which we may be enabled to apply the test of inscriptions. In some. Raja Hoon is again brought forward as the founder of the city ; though others, with more probability, assign its foundation to the daughter of Chandrasen, the Pramar king of Malwa, who was delivered of a son on this spot while on a pilgrimage.
Another ascribes it to a more humble origin than either, i. e. to Jussoo, a poor wood-cutter of the ancient tribe of Or, who, returning home-wards from his daily occupation, dropped his axe upon the parisputtur, with the aid of which he transmuted iron to gold, and raised " the city of the moon" (Chandravati) ; and the lake is still called after him Jussoo Or ca-talabh.
The Pandu Bheem likewise comes in for his share of the founder's fame ; who, with his brethren during their covenant with the Kaorea, found concealment in the forest; but his foe, fearing the effect of his devotions, sent his familiar to disturb them. The spirit took the form of a boar, but as he sped past him through the thicket, Bheem discharged an arrow, and on the spot where this fell, the Chandrabhaga sprung up. Whoever was the founder, I have little doubt that tradition has converted Jussoo-verma, the grandson of Udyadit, the monarch of all Malwa,
[p.671]: into the wood-cutter ; for not only does this prince's name occur in one of the inscriptions found here, but I have discovered it in almost every ancient city of Central India, over which his ancestors had held supreme power from the first to the thirteenth century of Vicrama.
On a stone tablet, which I discovered at Boondi, of the Takshac race, are the names both of Chandrasen and Jussoo-verma, and though no date is visible, yet that of the latter is fixed by another set of inscriptions, inserted in the first volume of the Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, at S. 1191 or A.D. 1135 : the period when the old Hindu monarchies were breaking up, and consequently the arts beginning to decay.
The sites of temples mark the course of the stream for a considerable distance, the banks being strewed with ruins. Flights of steps, forming ghats, reach to the water's edge, where multitudes of gods, goddesses, and demons, are piled, and some of the more perfect placed upon altars of clay, around which some lazy, well-fed Gosens loiter, basking in the sun. Understanding that no umbrage could be taken if I exported some of them to Oodipoor, I carried off Narayana on his hydra-couch, a Parbutty, a tri-murti, and a cart-load of the dii minores, which I found huddled together under a burr-tree. There was a fine statue of Ganesa, but our efforts to move Wisdom wore ineffectual, and occasioned not a few jokes among my Brahmins ; nor must I pass over a colossal baraha (boar), of which no artist in Europe need be ashamed.
The powers of Destruction and Re-production were those propitiated among the one hundred and eight shrines of Chandravati ; of which only two or three imperfect specimens remain to attest the grandeur of past days. Everywhere, the symbolic lingam was. scattered about, and the munduf of one of those still standing I found filled with representations of the Hindu Hecate and a host of lesser infernals, the sculpture of which, though far inferior to that at Barolli, is of a high order compared with aught of modern times.
The attitudes are especially well-managed, though there is a want of just proportion. Even the anatomical display of the muscles is attended to ; but the dust, oil, and sindoor (vermilion) of twelve centuries were upon them, and the place was dark and damp, which deterred us from disturbing them.
Ghassi is now at work upon the outline of two of the remaining shrines, and has promised to give up ten days to the details of the ceilings, the columns, and the rich varied ornaments, which the pencil alone can represent. One of these shrines, having a part of the sengar chaodi still standing, is amongst the finest things in Asia, not for magnitude, being to all appearance merely receptacles for the inferior divinities surrounding some grand temple, but for the sculptured ornaments, which no artist in Europe could surpass. Each consists of a simple mindra or cella, about twenty feet square, having a portico and a long open colonnaded vestibule in front for the priests and votaries. Every one of these numerous columns
[p.672]: differs in its details from the others. But the entrance chiefly excites admiration, being a mass of elaborate workmanship of a peculiar kind, and the foliage and flowers may be considered perfect. It is deeply to be lamented that no artists from Europe have made casts from these masterpieces of sculpture and architecture, which would famish many new ideas, and rescue the land sacred to Bhavani (Minerva) from the charge of having taught nothing but deformity : a charge from which it is my pride to have vindicated her.
While I remained with Ghassi, amidst the ruins, I despatched my guru, and Brahmins to make diligent search for inscriptions ; but many of these, as well as thousands of divinities, the wrecks of ancient Patun, have been built up in the new town or its immense eircumvallation ; but our efforts were not altogether unrewarded.
Jhalrapatan inscription dated S. 748 (A.D. 692) of Raja Doorgangul
The oldest inscription, dated S. 748 (A.D. 692), bore the name of Raja Doorgangul, or ' the bar of the castle'. It is very long, and in that ornamented character peculiar to the Buddhists and Jains throughout these regions.
It contains allusions to the local traditions of the Pandu Arjoon, and his encounter with the demon virodhi under the form of Baraha, or the boar ; and states, that from the spot where the baraha was wounded, and on which his blood fell, a figure sprung, originating from the wound (khhet), whose offspring in consequence was called Khetrie : of his line was Crishna Bhut Khetrie, whose son was Takyac, What did he resemble, who obtained the fruits of the whole earth, conquering numerous foes ? He had a son named Kyuc, who was equal to the divinity which supports the globe : in wisdom he was renowned as Mahadeo: his name sent to sleep the children of his foe : he appeared as an avatar of Boodh, and like the ocean, which expands when the rays of the full moon fell upon it, even so does the sea of our knowledge increase when he looks upon it: and his verses are filled with ambrosia (amrtto).
From Cheyt to Cheyt, sacrifice never ceased burning : Indra went without offspring.* The contributions from the land were raised with justice, whilst his virtues overshadowed the three worlds. The light which shines from the tusks of his foe's elephant had departed ; and the hand which struck him on the head, to urge him on, emitted no sound. Where was the land that felt not his influence ? Suck was Sri Kyuk ! when he visited foreign lands, joy departed from the wives of his foe : may all his resolves be accomplished !
" S. 748 (A.D. 692), on the full moon of Jeyt, this inscription was placed in the mindra, by Goopta, the grandson of Bhat Ganeswar, lord of the lords of verse of Moondal, and son of Hur-goopta : this writing was composed, in the presence of Sri Doorgangul Raja, to "whom, salutation ! that forehead alone is fair which bows to the "gods, to a tutor, and to woman ! Engraved by Oluk the stone- " cutter."
|Jhalrapatan inscription dated S. 748 (A.D. 692) of Raja Doorgangul|
- * The allusion to this affords another instance of the presumption of the priests, who compelled the gods to attend the sacrificial rites, and hence Indra could not visit his consort Indrani.
Remarks by James Tod:
[p.673]: On this curious inscription we may bestow a few remarks. It appears to me that the wild legion of the creation of this Khetri, from the blood of Baraha, represented as a danoo, or demon in disguise, is another fiction to veil the admission of some northern race into the great Hindu family. The name of Baraha, as an ancient Indo-Scythic tribe, is fortunately abundantly preserved in the annals of Jessulmer, which state, at the early periods of the Yadu-Bhatti history, opposed their entrance into India ; while both Takshac (or Tak) and Kyuk are names of Tatar origin, the former signifying 'the snake,' the latter ' the heavens.' The whole of this region bears evidence of a race whose religion was ophite, who bore the epithet of Takshac as the name of the tribe, and whose inscriptions in this same nail-headed character are found all over central and western India. If we combine this with all that we have already said regarding Raja Hoon of Bhadraoti, and Ungutsi the Hun, who served the Rana of Cheetore at this precise period* when an irruption is recorded from Central Asia, we are forced to the conclusion, that this inscription (besides many others), is a memorial of a Scythic or Tatar prince, who, as well as the Gete prince of Salpoor,†- was grafted upon Hindu stock.
The inscription next in point of antiquity was from the Jain temple in the modern town. It was dated the 3rd of Jeyt, S. 1103 (A.D. 1047), but recorded only the name of a visitor to the shrine.
Near the dam of the Or-aagur, there was a vast number of funeral memorials, termed nisea, of the Jain priesthood. One is dated " the 3rd of Magh, S. 1066 (A.D. 1010), on which day Srimunt Deo, " Chela, or disciple, of Acharya Srimana Dewa, left this world." The bust of the acharya, or doctor, is in a studious posture, the book laying open upon the thooni or cross, which forms a reading- desk, often the only sign on the nisea to mark a Jain place of sepulture.
The adjoining one contained the name of Devindra Acharya ; the the date S. 1180.
Another was of " Komar-deo, the pundea or priest of the race of Koomad Chandra Acharya, who finished his career on Thursday (goorbar) the Mool nekshitra of S. 1289."
There were many others, but as, like these, they contained no historical data, they were not transcribed.
Naraynpoor, 13th December, 1821, eleven miles. — Marched at daybreak, and about a cosa north of the city ascended the natural boundary of Harouti and Malwa ; at the point of ascent was Gondore, formerly in the appanage of the Ghatti-Rao (lord of the pass), one of the legendary heroes of past days ; and half a coss further was the point of descent into the Antri, or ' valley,' through which our course lay due north. In front, to the north-west, Gagrown, on the opposite range, was just visible through the gloom ; while the yet more
- * See Vol. I, pp. 206-7.
- † See Inscription. Vol. I, p. 700.
[p.674]: ancient Mhow, the first capital of the Kheechees, was pointed out five coss to the eastward. I felt most anxious to visit this city, celebrated in the traditions of Central India, and containing in itself and all around much that was worthy of notice. But time pressed; so we continued our route over the path trodden by the army of Alla-O-din when he besieged Achildas in Gagrown. The valley was full three miles wide, the soil fertile, and the scenery highly picturesque. The forest on each side echoed with the screams of the peacock, the calls of the partridge, and the note of the jungle-cock, who was crowing his matins as the sun gladdened his retreat It was this antri, or valley, that the Regent selected for his chaoni, or ' fixed camp,' where he has resided for the last thirty years. It had at length attained the importance of a town, having spacious streets and well-built houses, and the materials for a circumvallation were rapidly accumulating : but there is little chance of his living to see it finished. The site is admirably chosen, upon the banks of the Amjar, and midway between the castle of Gagrown and Jhalra-patan.
A snort distance to the west of the Regent's camp, is the Pindari-ca-chaonni, where the sons of Kureem Khan, the chief leader of those hordes, resided ; for in these days of strife, the old Regent would have allied himself with Satan, if he had led a horse of plunderers. I was greatly amused to see in this camp, also assuming a permanent shape, the commencement of an eedga, or ' place of prayer;' for the villains, while they robbed and murdered even defenceless woman. prayed five times a day !
We crossed the confluent streams of the Aou and Amjar, which , flowing through the plains of Malwa, have forced their way through the exterior chain into the antri of Gagrown, pass under its western face, dividing it from the town, and then join the Caly Sinde.
Until you approach close to Gagrown, its town and castle appear united, and present a bold and striking object; and it is only on mounting the ridge that one perceives the strength of this position.
|Inscription of Khichi Chohans 1600 AD|
[p.676]: Mehraj Kheechee's charger, as he sprang upon the Islamite invaders. There are many cenotaphs to the memory of the slain, and several small shrines to Siva and his consort, in one of which I found an inscription not only recording the name of Mehraj, but the curious fact that four generations were present at the consecration of one to Siva. It ran thus:
Tale of Goman Sing Hara
We shall pass over the endless tales of the many heroes who fell in its defence, to the last of any note — Goman Sing, a descendant of Sawunt Hara. The anecdote I am about to insert relates to the time when Rao Doorjun Sal was prince of Kotah, and the post of Foujdar was held by a Rahtore Rajpoot, Jey Sing of Gagorni.
Through the influence of this Foujdar, Goman was deprived of the honour of defending the pass, and his estate sequestrated. He was proceeding homeward with a heavy heart from the presence of his sovereign, when he met the Foujdar with his train. It was dark, and a torch-bearer preceded him, whom Goman dashed to the earth, and with his iron lance transfixed the Rahtore to his palki. Making for the gate, he said it was 'the Rao's order that none should pass until his return. As soon as he gained his estate, he proceeded with his family and effects to Oodipoor, and found sirna with the Rana, who gave him an estate for the support of himself and his followers. There he remained until Kotah was besieged by Raja Esuri Sing of Jeipoor, when he obtained the Rana's leave to fly to its defence. Passing over the Pat'har, he made for Kotah, but it was invested on every side. Determined to reach it or perish, he ordered his nakarra to beat, and advanced through the heart of the enemy's camp. The Jeipoor prince asked who had the audacity to beat close to his quarters, and being told "the Rawut of the Pass, from Oodipoor," he expressed a wish to see the man, of whom he had heard his father say, he had, unarmed, slain a tiger. The Hara obeyed the summons, but would only enter the Presence in the midst of his band. He was courteously received and offered large estates in Jeipoor; the Raja remarking, that Goman Sing was only going to his doom, since " in the space of eating a pan, he (Esuri Sing) would be master of Kotah." Losing all patience, Goman said, "take my salaam and my defiance, Maharaj ; the heads of twenty thousand Haras are with Kotah." He was permitted to pass the batteries unmolested, and on reaching the river, he called aloud, "the Ghatta Rawut wants a boat," to conduct him to his sovereign, whom he found seated behind the walls encouraging the defence. At that very moment, a report was brought that a breach
[p.677]: was nearly effected at a particular point ; and scarcely had the prince applauded his swamdherma than, making his bow, Goman marched his followers to the breach, and " there planted his lance." Such were the Haras of past days; but the descendants of the 'Rawut of the Pass' are now in penury, deprived of their lands, and hard-pressed to find a livelihood.
We continued our march from this Pass, often moistened with Rajpoot blood, and reached the Durra, outside of which we found the old Regent encamped, and whence we issued on our tour just three weeks ago. It was by mere accident that, some distance up the valley, (a continuation of that we had just quitted,) we heard of some ruins, termed the " Chaori of Bheem," one of the most striking remains of art I had yet met with. It is the fragment only of a quadrangular pile, of which little now remains, the materials having been used by one of the Kotah princes, in erecting a small palace to a Bhilni concubine. The columns possess great originality, and appear to be the connecting link of Hindu and Egyptian architecture. Not far from the Caaori, where, according to local traditions, the Pandu Bheem celebrated his nuptials, are two columns, standing without relation to any other edifice ; but in the lapse of ages the fragments appertaining to them have been covered with earth or jungle. At every step we found joojarhs, or funeral stones ; and as this "Pass of Mokund" must, as the chief outlet between the Dekhan and northern India, have been a celebrated spot, it is not unlikely that in remote ages some city was built within its natural ramparts. Throughout this town, we found many traces of the beneficent but simple legislation of the Hara princes ; and when the Regent set up his pillar, prohibiting chiefly his own violence, he had abundant formulas to appeal to. We have already alluded to this circumstance in the sketch of his biography, and we may here insert a free translation of the ordinance we found engraved in the Pass, and which is recorded throughout Harouti.
- "Maharaj Maharao-ji Kishore Sing, ordaining! To all the merchants (mahajins), traders, cultivators, and every tribe inhabiting Mokundurra. At this time, be full of confidence ; trade, traffic,
exchange, borrow, lend, cultivate, and be prosperous ; for all dind (contribution) is abolished by the Durbar. Crimes will be punished according to their magnitude. All officers of trust, Patels, Patwarris, Sasunis (night-guards), and mootstudies (scribes), will be rewarded for good services, and for evil. None of them shall be guilty of exactions from merchants or others : this is a law sworn to by all that is sacred to Hindu or Mooslem. Ordained from the royal mouth, and by command of Nanah-ji (grandsire) Zalim Sing, and uncle Madhu Sing. Asoj the 10th, Monday S. 1877 (A.D. 1821)."
Having halted a few days, we returned to Kotah by the towns of Puchpahar and Anundpoor ; both large and thriving, situated upon the banks of fine pieces of water. Madhu Sing, at the head of a splendid cavalcade, with six field-pieces, advanced a couple of miles
[p.679]:Kotah. There is a spot of some celebrity a few coss to the south of this, called Gypur-Mahadeo, where there is a cascade from a stream that falls into the Chumbul, whose banks are said to be here upwards of six hundred feet in height. There are few more remarkable spots in India than the course of the river from Kotah to Bhynsror, where both the naturalist and the painter might find ample employment
I sent scouts in all directions to seek for inscriptions ; some of which are in an unknown character. One of the most interesting, brought from Kunswah, of a Jit prince, has-been given in the first volume of this work.
Abstract of Chapter XIV
[p.679]: Visit to Mynal. — Definition of the servile condition termed bussie. — Bijolli — Inscriptions. — Ancient history of Bijolli — Evidence that the Chohans wrested the throne of Dehli from the Tuars, — Jain temples. — Inscriptions, — Sivite temples. — Prodigious extent of ruins. — The Bijolli chief.- His daughter a siti — Mynal, or Mahanal. — Its picturesque site, — Records of Pirthi Raj, the Chohan. — Inscriptions, — Synchronism in an enigmatical date. — March to Beygoo. — Bumaoda, the castle of A loo Hara. — Legend of that chief. — Imprecation of the virgin Sati — Recollections of the Harass still associated with their ancient traditions. — Quit Bumaoda and arrive at Beygoo.
In February, I recommenced my march for Oodipoor, and having halted a few days at Boondi, and found all there as my heart could wish, I resumed the march across the Pat'har, determined to put into execution my wish of visiting Mynal. About ten miles north, on this side of it, I halted at Bijolli, one of the principal fiefs of Mewar, held by a chief of the Pramar tribe, with the title of Rao.
This family, originally Raos of Jugnair, near Biana, came into Mewar in the time of the great Umr Sing, with all his bussie, upwards of two centuries ago ; the Rana having married the daughter of Rao Asoca, to whom he assigned an estate worth five lacs annually. I have elsewhere (Vol. I, p. 160) explained the meaning of a term which embraces bondage amongst its synonyms, though it is the lightest species of slavery. Bussie, or properly vasi, means a 'settler,' an 'inhabitant,' from vasi, ' a habitation,' and Vasna, 'to inhabit,' but it does not distinguish between free settlers and compulsory labourers ; but wheresoever the phrase is used in Rajwarra, it may be assumed to imply the latter. Still, strange to say, the condition includes none of the accessories of slavery : there is no task-duty of any kind, nor is the individual accountable for his labour to any one : he pays the usual taxes, and the only tie upon him appears to be that of a compulsory residence in his vas, and the epithet, which is in itself a fetter upon the mind of the vasi of Bijolli.
Bijolli (Vijyavalli) stands amidst the ruins with which this Oopermal, or highland, is crowded. From the numerous inscriptions
[p.680] (N A)
Morakuro, about half a mile east of Bijolli, is now in ruins ; but there are remains of a kote or castle, a palace called the No-choki, and no less than five temples to Parswanat'h, the twenty-third of the Jain pontiffs, all of considerable magnitude and elaborate architectural details, though not to be compared with Barolli.
Indeed, it is everywhere apparent, that there is nothing classical in design or execution in the architecture of India posterior to the eleventh century. One of my scribes, who has a talent for design, is delineating with his reed (culm) these stupendous piles, while my old Jain guru is hard at work copying what is not the least curious part of the antiquities of Bijolli, two inscriptions cut in the rock ; one of the Chohan race, the other of the Sankh Puran, appertaining to his own creed, the Jain. It is fifteen feet long by five in breadth, and has fifty-two lines.* The other is eleven feet six inches by three feet six, and contains thirty -one lines : so that the old gentleman has ample occupation. A stream runs amidst the ruins, called the Mundagni (fire-extinguishing); and there is a coond, or fountain, close to the temples of Parswa, with the remains of two noble reservoirs. All these relics indicate that the Jains were of the Digumber sect. The genealogy is within the kote, or precincts of the old castle.
There are likewise three temples dedicated to Siva, of still greater magnitude, nearer to the town, but without inscriptions ; though one in an adjoining coond, called the Rewati, records the piety of the Gohil chief Rahil, who had bestowed " a patch of land in the Antri" defining minutely its limits, and inviting others (not ineffectually, as is proved by other bequests), in the preamble to his gift, to follow his example by the declaration that "whoever bathes in the Rewati fountain will be beloved by her lord, and have a numerous progeny."
The modern castle of Bijolli is constructed entirely out of the ruins of the old shrines of Morakuro, and gods and demons are huddled promiscuously together. This is very common, as we have repeatedly noticed; nor can anything better evince that the Hindu attaches no abstract virtue to the material object or idol, but regards it merely as a type of some power or quality which he wishes to propitiate. On the desecration of the receptacle, the idol becomes again, in his estimation, a mere stone, and is used as such without scruple. All around, for several miles, are seen the wrecks of past days. At Dorowlee, about four miles south, is an inscription dated S. 900 (A.D. 844), but it is unimportant ; and again, at Telsooah, two miles farther south, are four mundirs a coond, and a torun, or
- * I have never had time to learm the purport of this inscription, but hold it, together with a host of others, at the service of those who desire to expound them. For myself, without my old guru, I am like a ship without helm or compass (as Chund would say) "in ploughing the ocean of (Sanscrit) rhyme."
[p.682]: triumphal arch, but no inscription. At Jarowla, about six miles distant, there are no less than seven mundirs and a coond — a mere heap of ruins. At Ambaghati, one of the passes of descent from the table-land into the plain, there are the remains of an ancient castle and a shrine, and I have the names of four or five other places, all within five miles of Bijolli, each having two and three temple in ruins. Tradition does not name the destroyer, but as it evidently was not Time, we may, without hesitation, divide the opprobrium between those great iconoclasts, the Ghori king Alia, and the Mogul Arungzeb, the first of whom is never named without the addition of khooni, ' the sanguinary' whilst the other is known as Kal-jumun, the demon-foe of Krishna.
The Bijollia chief is greatly reduced, though his estates, if cultivated, would yield fifty thousand rupees annually ; but he cannot create more vasi, unless he could animate the prostrate forms which lie scattered around him. It was his daughter who was married to Prince Umra, and who, though only seventeen, withstood all solicitation to save her from the pyre on his demise.* I made use of the strongest arguments, through her uncle, then at Oodipoor, promising to use my influence to increase his estate, and doubtless his poverty reinforced his inclination ; but all was in vain — she determined " to expiate the sins of her lord." Having remained two or three days, we continued our journey in quest of the antique and the picturesque, and found both at
Mynal, February 21st. — It is fortunate that the pencil can here pourtray what transcends the power of the pen ; to it we shall, therefore, leave the architectural wonders of Mahanal, and succinctly describe its site. It is difficult to conceive what could have induced the princely races of Cheetore or Ajmer to select such a spot as an appanage for the cadets of their families, which in summer must be a furnace, owing to the reflexion of the sun's rays from the rock: tradition, indeed, asserts that it is to the love of the sublime alone we are indebted for these singular structures. The name is derived from the position Mahanal, ' the great chasm' or cleft in the western face of the Pat'har, presenting an abyss of about four hundred feet in depth, over which, at a sharp re-entering angle, falls a cascade, and though now but a rill, it must be a magnificent object in the rainy season. Within this dell it would be death to enter : gloomy as Erebus, crowded with majestic foliage entangled by the twisted boughs of the amervela, and affording cover to all description of the inhabitants, quadruped and feathered, of the forest. On the very brink of the precipice, overhanging the abyss, is the group of mixed temples and dwellings, which bear the name of Pirthi Raj ; while those on the opposite side are distinguished by that of Samarsi of Cheetore, the brother-in-law of the Chohan emperor of Dehli and Ajmer, whose wife, Pirth&-Bae, has been immortalized by Chund, with her husband and brother. Here, the grand cleft
- * See Transactions, Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. I, p. 152.
[p.683]: between them, these two last bulwarks of the Rajpoot races were accustomed to meet with their families, and pass days of affectionate intercourse, in which no doubt the political condition of India was a prominent topic of discussion. If we may believe, and we have no reason to distrust, the testimony of Chund, had Pirthi Raj listened to the counsel of the Ulysses of the Hindus, (in which light Samarsi was regarded by friend and foe), the Islamite never would have been lord of Hindusthan. But the indomitable courage and enthusiastic enterprize of Pirthi Raj sunk them all ; and when neither wisdom nor valour could save him from destruction, the heroic prince of Cheetore was foremost to court it. Both fell on the banks of the Caggar, amidst heroes of every tribe in Rajpootana. It was indeed to them, as the bard justly terms it, pralaya, the day of universal doom ; and the last field maintained for their national independence. To me, who have poured over their poetic legends, and imbibed all those sympathies which none can avoid who study the Rajpoot character, there was a melancholy charm in the solemn ruins of Mynal. It was a season, too, when everything conspired to nourish this feeling ; the very trees which were crowded about these relics of departed glory, appearing by their leafless boughs and lugubrious aspect to join in the universal mourning.
We found many inscriptions at Mahanal, and of one I shall here insert a free translation, as it may be applied hereafter to the correction of the chronology of the Haras, of which race it contains a memorial.
By Asapurana1 (the fulfiller of our desires) the kuladevi2 (tutelary goddess) of the race, by whose favour hidden treasures are revealed, and through whose power many Chohan kings have ruled the earth, of which race was Bhaonrd'hun;3 who in the field of strife attained the desires of victory. Of his race was the tribe of Hara, of which was Koolun4 of illustrious and pure descent in both races ; whose fame was fair as the rays of the moon. From him was Jypal5 who obtained the fruits of the good works of his former existence in the present garb of royalty ; and whose subjects prayed they might never know another sovereign. From him was Deva-raj,6 the lord of the land, who gave whatever was desired, and whose wish was to render mankind happy. He delighted in the dance and the song. His son was Hur-raj 7 whose frame was a piece of fire ; who, in the field of battle, conquered renown from the princes of the land [bhom-eswar], and dragged the spoils of victory from their pinnacled abodes.
From him were the lords of Bumaoda,8 whose land yielded to them its fruits. From Deva-raj was Rit-pal 9 who made the rebellious bow the head, or trod them under foot, as did Capila the sons of Sagara. From him was Kelhan, the chief of his tribe, whose son Koontul resembled Dhermaraj : he had a younger brother, called Deda. Of his wife, Rajuldevi, a son was born to Koontul, fair as the offspring of the ocean.10 He was named Mahadeva. He was [in wisdom] fathomless as the sea, and in battle immovable as Soomeru ; in gifts he was the Calpa-vricsha of Indra. He laid the dust raised by the hoofs of hostile steeds, by the blood of his foe. The sword grasped in his extended arm dazzled the eye of his enemy, as when uplifted o'er the head of Umi Shah he rescued the Lord of Medpat, and dragged Kaitah from his grasp, as is Chandra from Rahoo.11 He trod the Sooltan's army under foot, as does the ox the com ; even as did the Danoos (demons) churn the ocean, so did Mahadeva the field of strife, seizing the gem (rutna) of victory from the son of the King, and bestowing it on Kaitah, the lord of men. From the centre even to the skirts of space, did the fame of his actions extend, pure as curdled milk. He had a son, Doorjun, on whom he bestowed the title of Jiva-raj12 (Jeojraj), who had two brothers, Soobut-sal and Cumbhacarna13
Here, at Mahanal, the lord of the land, Mahadeva, made a mindra, in whose variously-sculptured wall this treasure (the inscribed tablet) is concealed. This (the temple) is an epitome of the universe, whose pinnacle (sikra) sparkles like a gem. The mind of Mahadeva is bent on devotion in Mahanal, the emblem of Kylas, where the Brahmins perform varied rites. While the science of arms endures, may the renown of Mahadeva never perish ;14 and until Ganges ceases to flow, and Soomeru to be immovable, may this memorial of Mahadeva abide fixed at Mahanal.
This invocation to Mahadeva was made by Mahadeva, and by the Brahmin Dhuneswar, the dweller in Chutturkote (Cheetore), was this prashiskta composed :
" The month of Bysak (soodi), the seventh. By Viradhwul, the architect (silpi), learned in the works of architecture (sipla-sastra), was this temple erected."
|Menal Inscription of Hara (Chohans) S. 1446 (1389 AD) |
Comments by James Tod:
- 1. Asa is literally, 'Hope.'
- 2. Goddess of the race, pronounced cool
- 3. 'The wealth of the bee ;' such are the metaphorical appellations amongst the Rajpoots.
- 4. This is the prince who crawled to Kedarnat'h (see p. 421), and son of Rainsi, the emigrant prince from Aser, who is perhaps here designated as 'the wealth of the bee.' This was in S. 1353, or A.D. 1297.
- 5. Jypal ('fosterer of victory') must be the prince familiarly called " Bango" in the annals (p. 422,) and not the grandson but the son of Koolun— there said to have taken Mynal or Mahanal.
- 7. Hur-raj, elder son of Dewa, became lord of Bumaoda, by the abdication of his father, who thenceforth resided at his conquest at Boondi — See p. 425.
- 8. Hur-raj had twelve sons, the eldest of whom, the celebrated Aloo Hara, succeeded to Bumaoda. See note, p. 422.
- 9. Here we quit the direct line of descent, going back to Dewa. Rit-pal, in all probability, was the offspring of one of the twelve sons of Hur-raj, having Mynal as a fief of Bumaoda.
- 10. In the original, "fair as Chanderma (the moon), the offspring of Samudra "(the ocean)." In Hindu mythology, the moon is a male divinity, and son of the ocean, which supplies a favourite metaphor to the Bardai, — the sea expanding with delight at the sight of his child, denoting the ebb and flow of the waters.
- 11. This Umi Shah can only be the Pathan emperor Humayoon, who enjoyed a short and infamous celebrity and Mahadeo, the Hara prince of Mahanal, who takes the credit of rescuing prince Kaitsi, must have been one of the great feudatories, perhaps generalissimo of the armies of Mewar (Medpat), it will be pleasing to the lovers of legendary lore to learn, from a singular tale, which we shall relate when we get to Bumaoda, that if on one occasion he owed his rescue to the Hara, the last on another took the life he gave ; and as it is said he abdicated in favour of his son Doorjun, whom he constituted Jiva-raj, or king (raj), while he was yet in life (jiva) it is not unlikely that, in order to atone for the crime of treason to his sovereign lord, he abandoned the gadi of Mynal.
- 12. Here it is distinctly avowed that Mahadeva', having constituted his son Jiva-raj, passed his days in devotion in the temple he had founded.
- 13. Pronounced Koombkurun, ' a ray of the Cumbha,' the vessel emblematic of Ceres, and elsewhere described.
- 14. It appears he did not forget he had been a warrior.
The cryptographic date, contained in the above four words, is not the least curious part of this inscription, to which I did not even look when composing the Boondi annals, and which is another of the many powerful proofs of the general fidelity of their poetic chronicles.
Arga is the sun, and denotes the number 12 ; goon is the three principal passions of the mind ; and Chandra and Indu each stand for one : thus,
Arga, Goon, Chandra, Indu,
12. 3. 1. 1.
and this " concealed (goopta) treasure," alluded to in the inscription, must be read backwards. But either my expounder, or the silpi, was out, and had I not found S. 1446 in a corner, we should never have known the value of this treasure. Many inscriptions are useless from their dates being thus enigmatically expressed ; and I subjoin, in a note, a few of the magic runes, which may aid others to decipher them.†
- † Indu (the moon).... 1
- Pukheo (the two fortnights).... 2
- Netra (the three eyes of Siva).... 3
- Veda (the four holy books).... 4
- Sur (the five arrows of Camdeo, or Cupid).... 5
- Sest (the six seasons, of two months each).... 6
- Juludhee (the seven seas, or Samoodras).... 7
- Sid'h.... 8
- Nid'h (the nine planet.... 9
- Dig (the ten comers of the globe) 10
- Roodra (a name of Siva).... 11
- Arga (the sun).... 12
- Anhul, Nund, Ind, Ind.
- 3. 9. 1. 1.
Anhul (fire) stands for three, denoting the third eye of Mahadevs, which is eventually to cause pralaya, or ' destruction.' Nund stands for nine, or the no-nund of their ancient histories. Indu, the moon, (twice repeated,) is one, and the whole, read backwards, is S. 1193, or A.D. 1137.
In the mundur of Samarsi, we found the fragment of another inscription, dated S. 12-2, and containing the eulogy of Samarsi and Arnoraj, lord of the region ; also the name of " Pirthi Raj, who " destroyed the barbarians ;" and concluding with Sawunt Sing.
Bumaoda, the castle of Aloo Hara
Beygoo, February. — We commenced our march at break of day, along the very crest of the Pat'har ; but the thick woods through which lay our path did not allow us a peep at the plains of Medpat, until we reached the peak, where once stood the castle of Aloo Hara. But silent were the walls of Bumaoda; desolation was in the courts of Aloo Hara. We could trace, however, the plan of this famed residence of a hero, which consisted of an exterior and an interior castle, the latter being a hundred and seventy cubits by a hundred and twelve. There are the ruins of three Jain temples, to Siva, Hanuman, and Dhermaraja, the Hindu Minos; also three tanks, one of which was in excellent preservation. There are like- wise the remains of one hall, called the andheari kotri, or ' dark chamber' perhaps that in which Aloo (according to tradition) locked up his nephew, when he carried his feud into the desert. The site commands an extensive view of the plains of Mewar, and of the arneo-ghati (pass), down the side of the mountain, to the valley of Beygoo. Beneath, on a ledge of rock, guarding the ascent, was the gigantic statue of Jogini Mata, placed on the very verge of the precipice, and overlooking one of the noblest prospects in nature. The hill here forms a re-entering angle of considerable depth, the sides scarped, lofty and wooded to the base ; all the plain below is covered with lofty trees, over whose tops the parasitic amervela forms an umbrageous canopy, extending from rock to rock, and if its superfluous supports were removed, it would form a sylvan hall, where twenty thousand men might assemble.
Over this magnificent scenery, " our Queen of the Pass" looks grimly down ; but now there is neither foe to oppose, nor scion of Bumaoda to guard. I could not learn exactly who had levelled the castle of Aloo Hara, although it would appear to have been the act of the lord paramount of Cheetore, on whose land it is situated ; it is now within the fief of Beygoo. We have already given one legend of Aloo ; another from the spot may not be unacceptable.
In one of the twenty-four castles dependant on Bumaoda, resided Lallaji, a kinsman of Aloo. He had one daughter, in whose name
[p.687]: he sent the coco-nut to his liege-lord, the Rana of Cheetore ; but the honour was declined. The family priest was returning across the antri, when he encountered the heir of Cheetore returning from the chase, who, on learning the cause of the holy man's grief, determined to remove it by taking the nuptial symbol himself. He dismissed the priest, telling him he should soon appear to claim his bride. Accordingly, with an escort befitting the heir of Cheetore, and accompanied by a bard then on a visit to the Rana, he set out for Bumaoda. Bheemsen Bardai was a native of Benares, and happened to pass through Mewar on his way to Cutch-Bhooj, at the very period when all " the sons of rhyme" were under sentence of exile from Mewar : a fate which we frequently find attending the fraternity in this country. The cause of this expatriation was as follows: an image of the deity had been discovered in clearing out the waters of the lake, of a form so exquisitely beautiful as to enchant every eye. But the position of the arms was singular : one pointed upwards, another downwards, a third horizontally towards the observer. The hand-writing on the wall could not have more appalled the despot of Babylon, than this pootli of Chutterbhooja, or 'image of the four-armed god.' The prophetic seers were convened from all parts ; but neither the Bhats nor the Charuns, nor even the cunning Brahmin, could interpret the prodigy; until, at length, the bard of the Jharejas arrived and expounded the riddle. He shewed that the finger pointing upwards imported that there was one Indra, lord of heaven ; and that down- wards was directed to the sovereign of patal (hell); whilst that which pointed to the Rana indicated that he was lord of the central region (Medpat), which being geographically correct, his interpretation was approved, and met with such reward, that he became the pat-bardai, or chief bard to Hamir, who, at his intercession, recalled his banished brethren, exacting in return for such favours that " he would extend the palm to no mortal but himself." This was the bard who accompanied the heir of Cheetore to espouse the daughter of Bumaoda. The castle of the Hara was thronged ; the sound of mirth and revelry rang through the castle-halls, and the bards, who from all parts assembled to sing the glories of the Haras, were loaded with gifts. Bheemsen could not withstand the offering made by the lord of the Pat'har, a horse richly caparisoned, splendid clothes, and a huge bag of money : as the bard of the Haras (who told me the tale) remarked, " although he had more than enough, who can " forget habit ? We are beggars (mangtas) as well as poets by " profession." So, after many excuses, he allowed the gift to be left ; but his soul detested the sin of his eye, and resolving to expiate the crime, he buried his dagger in his heart Cries rent the air ; " the sacred bard of Cheetore is slain .*"met the ear of its -prince at the very moment of hatali (junction of hands). He dropped the band of his bride, and demanded vengeance. It was now the Hara's turn to be offended : to break off the nuptials at such a moment was redoubling the insult already offered by his father, and a course
[p.688]: which not even the bard's death could justify. The heir of Cheetore was conducted forthwith outside Bumaoda; but he soon returned with the troops of Cheetore, and hostilities commenced where festivity so lately reigned. Falgoon approached, and the spring- hunt of the ahairea could not be deferred, though foes were around. Lallaji, father of the bride, went with a chosen band to slay a boar to Gouri, in the plains of Tookeraye ; but Kaitsi heard of it, and attacked them. Alike prepared for the fight or the feast, the Hara accepted the unequal combat ; and the father and lover of the bride rushed on each other spear in hand, and fell by mutual wounds.
The pyres were prepared within the walls of Bumaoda, whither the vassals bore the bodies of their lords ; on one was placed the prince of Cheetore, on the other the Hara kinsman; and while the virgin-bride ascended with the dead body of the prince, her mother was consumed on that where her father lay. It was on this event that the imprecation was pronounced that ' Rana and Rao should never meet at the spring-hunt (ahairea) but death should ensue.' We have recorded, in the annals of the Haras, two subsquent occasions; and to complete their quatrain, they have made the defeat of Rana Mokul (said Koombho in the Annals, see page 432) fill up the gap. Thus : —
- " Hamoo, Mokul marya
- Lalla, Khaita Ran
- Soojah, Rutna sengaria
- Ajmal, Ursi Ran"
In repeating these stanzas, the descendant of Aloo Hara may find some consolation for the mental sufferings he endures, when he casts a glance upon the ruins of Bumaoda and its twenty-four subordinate castles, not one of which now contains a Hara : —
- " And there they stand, as stands a lofty mind,
- Worn, but unstooping to the baser crowd ;
- All tenantless, save to the crannying wind,
- Or holding dark communion with the cloud."
That these ruins make a powerful appeal to the Hara, I can prove, by letters I received in October last year, when, in obedience ' to a mandate of the "Queen of the Pass," a band collected at her shrine to obey her behest, whatever that might be. — Extract from Akbar (newspaper), dated Boondi, October 18, 1820.
"Warmnts were sent to all the chiefs for their attendance at the capital to celebrate the festival of the Duserra. The whole of the chiefs and landholders came, with the exception of the Thakoors of Burr, who returned the following reply : — ' We have received a communication (pygam) from Sri Bhavani of Bumdoda, who commands us no longer to put the plough in the soil, but to sell our horses and our cattle, and with the amount to purchase sixty-four*
- * A number sacred (according to Chund) to this goddess, who is chief of the sixty-four Joginis.
[p.689]:buffaloes and thirty-two goats, for a general sacrifice to Mataji, by obeying which we shall re-possess Bumaoda.' Accordingly, no sooner was this known, than several others joined them, both from Boondi and Kotah. The Thakoor of Burr had prepared dinner near the statue of Mata for two hundred, instead of which five hundred assembled; yet not only were they all abundantly satisfied, but some food remained, which convinced the people there that the story (the communication) was true."
This was from Boondi; but the following was from my old, steady, and faithful Brahmin, Balgovind, who was actually on the spot, dated " Mynal, 1st Kartik : — A few days ago, there was a grand sacrifice to Jogini Mata, when thirty-one buffaloes and fifty-three goats were slain. Upon two bukras (he-goats), three Haras tried their swords in vain ; they could not touch a single hair, at which all were much surprised. These goats were afterwards turned loose to feed where they pleased, and were called amur (immortal)."
Not a comment was made upon this, either by the sensible Balgovind or the Yati Gyanji, who was with him. There was, therefore, no time to be lost in preventing an explosion from five hundred brave Haras, deeming themselves convened at the express command of Bhavani, to whom the sacrifice proved thus acceptable ; and I sent to the Raja to break up the party, which was effected. It, however, shews what an easy matter it is to work upon the credulity through the feelings of these brave men.
I left the spot, hallowed by many feelings towards the silent walls of Bumaoda. We wound our way down the rocky steep, giving a look to the ' mother of the maids of slaughter' as we passed, and after a short passage across the entrance of the valley, encamped in a fine grove of trees close to the town of Beygoo. The Rawut, descendant of ' the black cloud,' came out to meet me ; but he is yet a stranger to the happiness that awaits him — the restoration of more than half of his estate, which has been in the hands of the Mahratta Sindia since A.D. 1791.
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- James Todd Annals/Personal Narrative, Vol.II,p.604
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- James Todd Annals/Personal Narrative, Vol.II,pp.672-673
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- James Todd Annals/Personal Narrative, Vol. II,pp.683-686
- James Todd Annals/Personal Narrative, Vol. II,pp.683-686