The Ancient Geography of India/Ransi

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The Ancient Geography of India: I.
The Buddhist Period, Including the Campaigns of Alexander, and the Travels of Hwen-Thsang
Sir Alexander Cunningham
Trübner and Company, 1871 - India

Ran-si, or Nara-Sinha

[p.193]: On leaving Tse-kia, Hwen Thsang travelled east-ward to Na-lo-Seng-ho, or Nara-Sinha, beyond which place he entered the forest of Po-lo-she, or Pilu trees (Salvadora Persica), where he encountered the brigands, as already related. This town of Nara-Sinha is, I believe, represented by the large ruined mound of Ran-Si, which is situated 9 miles to the south of Shekohpura, and 25 miles to the east-south-east of Asarur, and about the same distance to the west of Lahor.1 Si, or Sih, is the usual Indian contraction for Sinh, and Ran is a well-known interchange of pronunciation with Nar, as in Ranod for Narod, a large town in the Gwalior territory, about 35 miles to the south of Narwar, and in Nakhlor for Lakhnor, the capital of Katehar, or Rohilkhand. In Ransi, there- fore, we have not only an exact correspondence of

1 See Map No. VI.

[p.194]: position, but also the most precise agreement of name, with the long-sought-for Nara-Sinha of the Chinese pilgrim. This identification is the more valuable, as it furnishes the most conclusive evidence that could be desired of the accuracy of Hwen Thsang's emplacement of Sangala to the westward of the Ravi, instead of to the eastward, as indicated by the classical authorities.

The remains of Ran-si consist of a large ruined mound, 600 feet in length from north to south, and 500 feet from east to west, with a general height of from 20 to 25 feet. It is thickly covered with broken bricks of large size, and coins are occasionally found by the saltpetre manufacturers. All the old ruined mounds in the Punjab, as Shorkot, Multan, Harapa, etc., abound in saltpetre, which has been derived from man's occupation, and which, therefore, affords a certain proof that the mound of Ransi is not a natural elevation, but an artificial accumulation of rubbish, the result of many centuries. Ransi also possesses a tomb of a Nao-gaja, or giant of " nine yards," which I believe to be only the remains of a recumbent statue of Buddha, after his attainment of Nirvana, or death. Similar gigantic statues of bricks and mud are still made in Barma, which, when in ruins, present exactly the same appearance as these Nao-gaja tombs. As Buddha was believed to have died with his face to the east, all the Nirvana statues would, of course, be placed in a direction from north to south ; and as Muhammadan tombs in India are placed in the same direction, I believe that the early Musalmans took advantage of these Buddhist statues to form ready- made tombs for their leaders who fell in battle. I shall have more to say on this subject hereafter, and I only

[p.195]: mention it here as another proof of the antiquity of Ransi.

Ambakapi or Amakatis

Amba and Kapi are the names of two ruined mounds, the remains of ancient cities, which are said to have been called after a brother and sister, whose story has already been referred to in my account of Manikyala. According to the legend, the family consisted of three brothers, named Sir-kap, Sir-suk, and Amba, and of four sisters, named Kapi, Kalpi, Munde, and Mandehi, each of whom is said to have founded a city to the south of Shekohpura, and in the immediate vicinity of Ran-si. The ruins of these cities are pointed out at the following places :

1st. Sir-kap is a mound of ruins near the village of Balarh, 6 miles to the south of Shekohpura. It is remarkable that the name of Balarh is also connected with Sirkap in the legends of the Sindh Sagar Doab, which assign the Balarh Tope as the seat of this Raja.

2nd. Sir-suk is a ruined mound, near the village of Murad, 3½ miles to the south of Shekohpura, and 2½ miles to the north of this Sir-kap mound.

3rd. Amba is a large ruined mound and village, up-wards of 9 miles to the south of Shekohpara, and one mile to the east of Ran-si.

4th. Kapi, or Kanpi, as it is also written and pronounced, is a small mound 2½ miles to the east of Amba, on the old high-road to Lahor.

5th. Kalpi is another small ruined mound near the village of Bhuipur, about midway between the mounds of Sir-kap and Amba.

6th. Munde is a ruined mound and village on the

[p.196]: west bank of the Bagh-bachha river, 8 miles to the south of Ransi and Amba.

7th. Māndehi is a mined mound and village to the south-east of Amba and Kapi, from which it is equidistant 3½ miles.

All of these mounds are on the western bank of the Bagh-bachha river, and at a mean distance of about 25 miles to the westward of Lahor. The whole of the villages just mentioned will be found in the district map of Lahor, but the mounds themselves are shown only in the large map of the Sarakpur Parganah. I have already remarked that the name of the Bagh- bachha river is most probably connected with the legend of the "Seven hungry Tiger Cubs" (Bagh-bachhas), whose names are preserved in those of the seven mounds above noted. The same story is told here that is so common in the Sindh Sagar Doab. Rasalu, the Raja of Syalkot, plays at Chopar with Sir-kap for a human head, and having won it accepts his daughter Kokila instead of the stake. The people have the most undoubting faith in the truth of this legend, and they quoted, with evident satisfaction, the following couplet in support of their belief: —

Amba-Kapa pai larai,
Kalpi bahin chhurāwan ai."

When strife arose 'tween Arab and Kap Their sister Kalpi made it up.

As they could give no explanation of the nature of this quarrel, the couplet adds but little to our information regarding the seven brothers and sisters. I may observe, however, that the junction of the two names of Amba and Kapi is most probably as old as the time of Ptolemy, who places a town named Amakatis, or


Amakapis, to the west of Ravi, and in the immediate neighbourhood of Labokla, or Lahor.1

The mound of Amba is 900 feet square, and from 25 to 30 feet in height ; but as the whole of the surrounding fields, for a breadth of about 600 feet, are covered with broken pottery, the full extent of the ancient town may be taken at not less than 8000 feet, or upwards of 3 miles in circuit. The mound itself is covered with broken bricks of large size, amongst which I discovered several pieces of carved brick. I found also one piece of grey sandstone, and a piece of speckled iron ore, similar to that of Sangala, and of the Karāna hills. According to the statements of the people, the place was founded by Raja Amba 1800 or 1900 years ago, or just about the beginning of the Christian era. This date would make the three brothers contemporary with Hushka, Jushka, and Kanishka, the three great kings of the Yuchi, or Kushan race of Indo-Scythians, with whom I am, on other grounds, inclined to identify them. At present, however, I am not prepared to enter upon the long discussion which would be necessary to establish their identity.

Lohawar, or Lahor

The great city of Lahor, which has been the capital of the Panjab for nearly nine hundred years, is said to have been founded by Lava, or Lo, the son of Rama, after whom it was named Lohawar. Under this form it is mentioned by Abu Rihan ; but the present form

1 The identification of Ptolemy's Labokla with Lahor was first made in Kiepert's Map of India, according to Ptolemy, which accompanied Lassen's ' Indische Alterthumskunde.' It has since been confirmed by the researches of Mr. T. H. Thornton, the author of the ' History and Antiquities of Lahor.'

[p.198]: of tie name, Lahor, which was soon adopted by the Muhammadans, has now become universal. Its history has been described by Mr. Thornton in a very full and able account, replete with interesting information. He has identified Lahor with the Labokla of Ptolemy, which I believe to be correct, taking the first two syllables Labo to represent the name of Lava. But I would alter the termination of kla to lka, or laka, thus making the whole name Laboluka for Lavalaka, or the " abode of Lava."

Hwen Thsang makes no mention of Lahor, although it is almost certain that he must have passed through it on his way from Taki to Jalandhar. He notes1 that he halted for a whole month at a large city on the eastern frontier of Taki ; but as this kingdom ex- tended to the Byas river on the east, the great city on its eastern frontier should be looked for on the line of the Bias, and not on the Ravi. It was most probably Kasur. The first distinct mention of Lahor occurs in the campaigns of Mahmud of Ghazni, when the Brahman kings of the Kabul valley, being driven from Peshawar and Ohind, established their new capital first at Bhira on the Jhelam, and afterwards at Lahor. Thus both Jay Pal, and his son Anand Pal, the successive antagonists of Mahmud, are called Rajas of Lahor by Ferishta. This Hindu dynasty was subverted in A.D. 1031, when Lahor became the residence of a Muhammadan governor under the king of Ghazni.2

1 Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' i. 99.

2 This date is derived from Ferishta; but there are coins of Mahmud with Arabic and Sanskrit inscriptions, struck at Mahmudpur in A.H. 1019. Mr. Thomas has identified this city with Lahor. It is found in Abu Rihan, and other Muhammadan historians, under the corrupt form of Mandhukur, the capital of Lahor.

[p.199]: Upwards of a century later, in A.D. 1152, when Bahram was driven from Ghazni by the Afghans of Ghor, his son Kushru established himself at Lahor. But this new kingdom lasted for only two generations, until A.D. 1186, when the sovereignty of the Ghaznavis was finally extinguished by the capture and imprisonment of Khusru Malik, the last of his race.

Kusawar, or Kasur

According to the traditions of the people Kasur was founded by Kusa, the son of Rama, after whom it was named Kusawar, which, like the contemporary city of Lohawar, has been slightly altered in pronunciation by the transposition of the vowels. The town stands on the high bank of the old bed of the Bias river, 32 miles to the south-south-east of Lahor,1 and is popularly said to have once possessed bāra kilah, or " twelve forts," of which seven only are now standing. Its antiquity is undoubted. There are, however, no buildings or remains of any consequence ; but the extent of the ruins is very great ;2 and the situation on the high-road between Lahor and the old point of junction of the Bias and Satlej, opposite Firuzpur, is so favourable that it must have been occupied at a very early date. The position also is a strong one, as it is covered by the Bias river on the south, and by ravines on the other sides. It is quite impossible to define the limits of the ancient city, as the suburbs of the present town are entirely covered with the ruins of

1 See Map No. VI.

2 I speak from personal survey and examination ; but I can also refer to Lieutenant Barr's ' Kabul and the Panjab,' p. 409, — " Kasur, a large and ancient town, that in former days must have covered an extensive area, as its ruins are interminable."

[p.200]: tombs and masjids, and other massive buildings ; but it could not, I think, have occupied less than one square mile, which would give a circuit of about four miles for the walled town. Several of the tombs are fully a mile distant from the present town ; and at least one-half of the intervening space, which is thickly covered with ruins, would appear to have belonged to the ancient city. It seems probable, therefore, that this must be the "great town" on the eastern frontier of Taki, that is, on the Bias river, at whicb Hwen Thsang halted for a month on his way from the capital of Taki to Chinapati. Unfortunately, he has omitted the usual details, and we have only the one bare fact, that it was situated somewhere on the right bank of the Bias opposite Lahor, to guide us in determining its position.

Chinapati or Pati

Hwen Thsang places the town of Chinapati at 500 li, or 83 miles, to the east of Taki, a position which corresponds almost exactly with Patti, a large and very old town, situated 27 miles to the north-east of Kasur, and 10 miles to the west of the Bias river.1 Unfortunately there is a discrepancy in the recorded distance of the next place visited by the pilgrim, otherwise the site of Chinapati might have been fixed absolutely with reference to its bearing and distance from the well-known city of Jalandhar. In the Life2 of Hwen Thsang, Chinapati is said to be 50 li, or 8 miles, to the north-west of the Tāmasa-vana monastery, which was 150 li, or 26 miles, to the south-west of Jalandhar. But in the Travels3 of Hwen Thsang the

1 See Map No. VI.

2 Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' i. 102.

3 Ibid., ii. 198.

[p.201]: distance of the monastery is stated at 500 li, or 83 miles, from Chinapati. This last distance is quite impossible, as it would place Chinapati about 30 miles to the north of Taki, instead of 83 miles to the east of it, as specified by the pilgrim in his journal. On the other hand, the shorter distance of eight miles would place it in the midst of the sandy bed of the Bias river, where no town has ever existed. I would, therefore, propose to read 150 li, or 25 miles, which would fix Chinapati at the town of Patti, in the very position that has already been determined by the bearing and distance from Taki.

Patti is a large brick town of considerable antiquity. According to Burnes,1 it was built in the reign of Akbar; but he is undoubtedly wrong, as the town was already the head of a Parganah in the time of Humayun, who assigned it to his servant Jaohar.2 It is called Patti-Haibatpur by Abul Fazl,3 and it is still known as Haibatpur-Patti. According to the people, the town received its Muhammadan name from Haibat Khan, whose date is not known, but I think it probable that he may be identified with Haibat Khan Shirwani, who was a leading noble in the time of Sikandar Ludi, and who commanded the army of the Afghan king against Humayun on his return from Persia. The antiquity of Patti is proved by the numbers of burnt bricks and old wells which are found about the town. The old dry wells were noted more than three hundred years ago by Jaohar,4 the attendant of the Emperor Humayun ; and the pro-

1 ' Travels in Panjab and Bokhara,' ii. 9.

2 'Memoirs of Humayun,' 112.

3 ' Ayin Akbari,' ii. 260.

4 ' Memoirs of Humayun,' p. 113.

[p.202]: fusion of bricks struck Burnes,1 who remarks that " the houses are constructed of bricks, and the streets are even laid with them. Some workmen digging a well in this neighbourhood lately hit upon a former well on which was a Hindu inscription. It set forth that it had been built by one Agurtuta, of whom tradition gives no account." I visited the place in 1838, only a few years after Burnes, but I failed to recover the inscription.

Another proof of antiquity is the presence of one of the long graves or tombs, which the people call No-gaja, or " Nine-yards," that is the Giant. The Patti No-ffaja is said by Barr2 to have lived in the time of Akbar ; but these tombs, which are common in the north-west of India, are more usually referred to the Ghazis, who fell in fight against the infidels in the early ages of Muhammadanism. I would therefore assign the grave to the time of Mahmud of Ghazni, and the brick tomb which has been erected over it to the time of Akbar.

According to Hwen Thsang, the district of China-pata was about 2000 li, or 333 miles, in circuit. With these dimensions, it must have comprised the whole of the upper Bari Doab, between the Bias and the Ravi, from the foot of the hills to the old junction of the Bias and Satlej, near Firuzpur. The name of Chi-na-po-ti, or Chinapati, is referred to the time of the great Indo-Scythian king Kanishka, who fixed this place as the residence of his Chinese hostages. The pilgrim adds, that previous to their residence, India had possessed neither pears nor peaches, both of which were introduced by the Chinese hostages. The pears were

1 ' Panjab and Bokhara,' ii. 9. 2 ' Cabul and the Panjab,' p. 62.

[p.203]: called Chi-na-ni, or Chinani, that is, " brought from China," and the peaches Chi-na-lo-she-fo-ta-lo, or China-raja-putra, that is, the " China King's sons." This is not quite correct, as both pears and peaches are found growing wild in the neighbouring hills. But there are now two kinds of cultivated peaches, the one round and juicy, the other flat and sweet. The first, which is called āru in Hindi, and Shaftālu in Persian, is certainly indigenous ; but the other, which is called Chini-Shaftālu, is most probably that which Hwen Thsang refers to as having been introduced from China.

3. Shorkot

Hwen Thsang calls the central district of the Panjab Po-fa-to, or Po-la-fa-to, for which M. Stanislas Julien proposes to read Parvata. But to this it may be objected that parvata, which means a " hill," could not be, and in fact never is, applied as a name to any place in the plains. The capital was situated at 700 li, or 117 miles, to the north-east of Multan, a position which agrees almost exactly with the site of Jhang, on the Chenab. But as this place lies at some distance above the junction of the Jhelam and Chenab, it is most probable that it belonged to the northern division of Taki. In this case the distance recorded by Hwen Thsang would be too great, which might be due to his overlooking the shortness of the kos in this part of the country, as I have already explained in my account of Singhapura. This kos is only 1 mile and 2½ furlongs, or just 21/32 of the common kos. At this valuation Hwen Thsang's distance would be only 76 miles, which is within a few miles of the position of

[p.204]: Shorkot, or Shur, as it is called in the 'Ayin Akbari.' Now the initial syllable po of the Chinese name is frequently interchanged with the syllable so, of which we have a notable instance in Po-lo-tu-lo for So-lo-tu-lo, or Salatura, the well-known birthplace of the famous grammarian Panini. It is quite possible, therefore, that the same interchange may have occurred in the name of Po-lo-fa-to, for So-lo-fa-to, or Soravati, which would be a synonym for Shorkot. This is a mere suggestion to account for the Chinese name of the capital, which does not affect the identification of the province, as it is quite certain, from its position to the north-east of Multan, that it must correspond with the parganah, or district of Shorkot. The people I take to be the Sudrakae, or Oxudrakae of the classical writers, a point which will be fully examined in my account of Ajudhan.

The province is described by Hwen Thsang as being 5000 li, or 833 miles, in circuit, which must be greatly exaggerated. On the cast the boundary was limited by the Satlej, which for 100 miles formed the frontier line of the kingdom of Gurjjara ; on the north it was bounded by the province of Taki for a distance of 200 miles from the Indus to the old junction of the Byas and Satlej, near Firuzpur ; on the south it was bounded by Multan for a distance of 150 miles from the Indus, near Dera Din-panah, to the Satlej, below Pakpatan ; on the west it was bounded by the Indus itself for about 50 miles. The total length of frontier is therefore not more than 520 miles, which is considerably less than the circuit recorded by Hwen Thsang. The discrepancy may perhaps be explained, as before, by the use of the short kos, which would

[p.205]: reduce the circuit of 833 miles to 531, which agrees very closely with the actual measurements.

Within these limits there are several important towns, and many ruined mounds, the remains of ancient cities, which once played an important part in the history of the Panjab. These are : —

Region City
Richna Doab 1. Shorkot.
2. Kot Kamalia.
3. Harapa.
Bari Doab 4. Akbar.
5. Satgarha.
Doab Jalandhar Pith 6. Depalpur.
7. Ajudhan.

Shorkot - Shorkot is a huge mound of ruins, which gives its name to the parganah, or division of Shor, or the lower half of the Richna Doab.1 It was visited by Burnes2 who describes the place as "a mound of earth, surrounded by a brick wall, and so high as to be seen for a circuit of six or eight miles." He adds that it is much larger than Sehwan, which, following the measurement of De la Hoste, is 1200 feet long, by 750 feet broad.3 According to my information, Shorkot is much smaller than Harapa, and about the size of Akbar, that is, 2000 feet by 1000 feet, but loftier than either of them. The mound is surrounded by a wall of large-sized bricks, which is an undoubted sign of antiquity. Burnes was informed by the people that their town had been destroyed by some king from the westward, about 1300 years ago. The locality leads

1 See Map No. VI. 2 ' Bokhara and Panjab,' i. 113.

3 ' Journ. Asiat. Soc., Bengal, 1840, p. 913.

[p.206]: him to fix on it as the place where Alexander was wounded, and to assign its downfall to Alexander himself. I received the same tradition about its destruction, which I would attribute to the White Huns, who must have entered the Panjab from the westward during the sixth century, or about the very time specified in the tradition.

The foundation of the city is attributed to a fabulous Raja Shor, of whom nothing is known but the name. I think it probable that Shorkot may be the Alexandria Soriane, Σωριάνη, of Stephanus Byzantinus, who gives no clue to its position save the bare fact that it was in India. The names agree so exactly that I feel tempted to suggest that Shorkot may have been enlarged and strengthened by Philip, whom Alexander left behind as governor of the Oxudrakae and Malli. This suggestion seems the more probable when we remember that Shorkot was in the direct line of Alexander's route, from the junction of the Hydaspes and Akesines to the capital of the Malli.

I would, therefore, identify it with the city of the Malli, which, according to Diodorus and Curtius, surrendered after a short blockade.1 Curtius2 places it at 250 stadia, or 28¾ miles, from the junction of the rivers, a position which corresponds exactly with that of Shorkot. The account of Arrian differs from that of the other two historians in several very important particulars. He states that the first city taken by Alexander after leaving the confluence of the rivers was inland 400 stadia, or 46 miles,3 distant from the Akesines, and that it was captured by assault. I

1 ' Diodorus,' xvii. 52 ; Curtius, " corona cepit."

2 Vita Alex., ix. 4, 10. 3 ' Anabasis,' vi. 7.

[p.207]: infer that this city was Kot Kamalia, and I would explain the discrepancy in the two narratives by a reference to the details of this campaign which are given by Arrian. Alexander divided his army into three great bodies, of which the advanced division, commanded by Hephsestion, marched five days ahead ; the centre was commanded by himself, and the rear division, which was commanded by Ptolemy, followed three days behind. As the campaign was directed against the Malli, I conclude that the army marched by the direct route, via Shorkot towards Multan, which was certainly the capital of the Malli. Shorkot would thus have fallen to Hephsestion, who commanded the advanced division of the army. Alexander's own route will be described presently, when I come to speak of Kot Kamalia.

The antiquity of Shorkot may be ascertained approximately by the coins which are found in its ruins. These consist chiefly of Indo-Scythian copper pieces of all ages, with a few Hindu specimens, and a large number of Muhammadan coins. A single copper piece of Apollodotus was obtained by Burnes. From these data I would infer that the town was certainly occupied as early as the time of the Greek kings of Ariana and the Panjab, and that it was in a flourishing state during the sway of the Indo-Scythians, or from B.C. 126 down to A.D. 250, or perhaps later. But as the Hindu coins which I obtained from Shorkot were entirely confined to the Brahman kings of the Kabul valley and the Panjab, I conclude that the place was either deserted, or, at least, in a very decayed state, during the middle ages ; and that it was either re-occupied or restored in the tenth century by one of these Brahman kings.

Kot Kamalia

[p.208]: Kot Kamalia is a small but ancient town situated on an isolated mound on the right or northern bank of the Ravi, which marks the extreme limit of the river's fluctuations on that side.1 It is 44 miles to the south-east of the junction of the Hydaspes and Akesines, and 35 miles to the east-south-east of Shorkot. It possesses an ancient mound of burnt-brick ruins, and is said to have been overthrown by a king from the West at the same time as Shorkot and Harapa.

Its present name, according to some people, was derived from a Muhammadan governor, named Kamal-ud-din. But this is not certain ; and I think it is quite possible that it may owe its origin to the Malli tribe, which still exists in this part of the country ; but whether the name be old or not, it is quite certain that the site is very ancient ; and I am, therefore, led to believe that it may be identified with the first city captured by Alexander in his campaign against the Malli.

Arrian's account of the capture is so clear and concise that I will quote it in his own words.2

On leaving the junction of the rivers Alexander " marched through a desert country against the Malli, and the first day pitched his tents on the banks of a small rivulet, about one hundred stadia distant from the river Akesines. Having there allowed his troops a little time for refreshment and rest, he ordered every one to fill all his vessels with water, which done, he continued his march the remaining part of that day and all night, and early the next morning arrived at

1 See Maps Nos. V. and VI.

2 ' Anabasis,' vi. 7.


a city, whither many of the Malli had fled for refuge, and this was about 400 stadia distant from the Akesines."

The small rivulet here mentioned I believe to be the lower course of the Ayek river, which rises in the outer range of hills, and flows past Syalkot towards Sangala, below which the bed is still traceable for some distance. It appears again 18 miles to the east of Jhang, and is finally lost about 12 miles to the east of Shorkot.1 Now somewhere between these two points Alexander must have crossed the Ayek, as the desert country, which he afterwards traversed, lies immediately beyond it. If he had marched to the south he would have arrived at Shorkot, but he would not have encountered any desert, as his route would have been over the Khadar, or low-lying lands in the valley of the Chenab. A march of 46 miles in a southerly direction would have carried him also right up to the bank of the Hydraotes, or Ravi, a point which Alexander only reached, according to Arrian's narrative, after another night's march.2 As this march lasted from the first watch of the night until daylight, it cannot have been less than 18 or 20 miles, which agrees exactly with the distance of the Ravi opposite Tulamba from Kot Kamalia. The direction of Alexander's march must, therefore, have been to the south-east ; first to the Ayek river, where he halted to refresh his soldiers, and to fill their water vessels, and thence across the hard clayey and waterless tract called Sandar-Bar, that is, the 'Bār, a desert of the Sandar, or Chandra river. Thus the position of the rivulet, the description of the desolate country, and the distance of the city from the confluence of the rivers, all agree in

1 See Maps Nos. V. and VI.

2 'Anabasis,' vi. 7.

[p.210]: fixing the site of the fortress assaulted by Alexander with Kot Kamalia.

Arrian describes the place as a walled city with a castle seated on an eminence of difficult access, which the Indians held for a long time. At last it was carried by storm, and the whole of the garrison, to the number of 2000, were put to the sword.


[p.210]: Whilst Alexander was engaged in the assault of the city just described, Arrian relates that he had dispatched Perdikkas with the cavalry against "another city of the Malii, into which a great body of Indians had fled for safety."1 His instructions were to blockade the city until Alexander arrived ; but the inhabitants deserted the place on his approach, and took refuge in the neighbouring marshes. This city I believe to be Harapa. The mention of marshes shows that it must have been near the Ravi River, and as Perdikkas was sent in advance of Alexander, it must also have been beyond Kot Kamalia, that is, to the east or south-east of it. Now this is exactly the position of Harapa, which is situated 16 miles to the east-south-east of Kot Kamalia, and on the opposite high bank of the Ravi River.2 There are also several marshes in the low ground in its immediate vicinity.

Harapa has been described by two well-known travellers, Burnes and Masson, and to their descriptions I am not able to add much, although I have been encamped at the place on three different occasions. Burnes3 estimated the extent of the ruins as " about

1 'Anabasis,' vi. 6. 2 See Maps Nos.V and VI.

3 'Bokhara,' i. 117.

[p.211]: three miles in circumference, which is one-half too much, as the actual ruined mound forms an irregular square of only half a mile on each side, or two miles in circuit. But this comprises only the remains of the walled town, to which we may fairly add the suburbs, or fields now covered with broken bricks and other remains, which would bring the size of the old town quite up to Burnes's estimate. Masson1 notices a tradition that Harapa once extended on the west as far as Chichawatni, a distance of 12 miles, which serves, at least, to show the belief of the people as to the former size and importance of their town.

The great mass of ruins is on the western side, where the mound rises to 60 feet in height in the centre. At this point there are several massive walls built of large bricks, which are, no doubt, the remains of some extensive building. The other portions of the mound vary from 30 to 50 feet in height, the mass being formed almost entirely of broken bricks. Tradition assigns its foundation to Raja Harapa, of unknown date, and its destruction to the same western king, of the sixth century, who overthrew Shorkot, and whom I believe to have been the leader of the White Huns. The crimes of its ruler, who claimed the husband's privilege on every marriage, are said to have drawn down the vengeance of Heaven, and Harapa remained uninhabited for several centuries. As the coins that are found in its ruins are similar to those discovered at Shorkot, I think that the two places must have experienced the same fortunes ; I would, therefore, assign its downfall to the Arabs, who overran the whole of the lower Panjab

1 ' Travels,' i. 453, and Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, vi. 57.


immediately after the capture and occupation of Multan in A.D. 713.


The village of Akbar is situated on the high-road leading from Lahor to Multan, at 6 miles to the south-west of Gugera, and 80 miles from Lahor. The ruins of the old town, which stand close to the village, consist of a large mound 1000 feet square, with a small castle 200 feet square, and 7-5 feet high at its northern end ; and a second low mound 800 feet long, and 400 feet broad at the southern end. It must be a place of great antiquity, as I found many bricks of very large size, 20 by 10 by 3½ inches, such as have not been manufactured for many centuries past. The place was deserted until about A.D. 1823, when Gulab Singh Povindia established the present village of Akbar. The old name is now utterly lost, which is much to be regretted, as the number of moulded bricks found amongst the ruins show that the place must have contained buildings of some architectural consequence.


Satgarha is situated 13 miles to the east of Gugera, on one of the projecting points of the high bank which marks the limit of the windings of the Ravi on the east. The name means the " seven castles," but these no longer exist. There is an old brick fort on a mound, and several isolated mounds, covered with broken bricks and other remains, which mark the site of an ancient city. Old coins are found in considerable numbers, from the time of the Indo-Scythians downwards. It has, therefore, most probably been

[p.213]: continuously occupied from the beginning of the Christian era down to the present time.


During the rule of the Pathan emperors of Delhi, Depalpur was the capital of the northern Panjab. It was a favourite residence of Firuz Shah, who erected a large masjid outside the city, and drew a canal from the Satlej for the irrigation of its lands.

At the time of Timur's invasion it was second only to Multan in size and importance, and was popularly said to possess 84 towers, 84 masjids, and 84 wells.

At present it is very nearly deserted, there being only one inhabited street running between the two gates. In shape it is a square of nearly 1600 feet, with a projection 500 feet square at the south-east quarter. To the south-west there is a high ruined mound, which is said to be the remains of a citadel. It was connected with the town by a bridge of three arches, which is still standing ; and from its high and commanding position I conclude that it must have been the citadel. To the south and cast there are also long mounds of ruins, which are, no doubt, the remains of the suburbs. The actual ruins of Depalpur, including the citadel and suburbs, occupy a space three-quarters of a mile in length by half a mile in breadth or 2½ miles in circuit. But in its flourishing days it must have been much larger, as the fields to the east are strewn with bricks right up to the banks of the canal, near which Firuz Shah's masjid was situated. This extension of the city beyond the walls may also be inferred from the fact that the people of Depalpur, on Timur's invasion, sought refuge in

[p.214]: Bhatner, which they would not have done if their own city had been defensible.

The foundation of the place is assigned to Raja Deva Pala, wose date is unknown. Its antiquity, however, is undoubted, as the interior surface on which the houses are now built is on a level with the terreplein of the ramparts. The old coins, also, which are found there in great numbers, show that Depalpur was in existence as early as the time of the Indo-Scythians.

I am inclined, therefore, to identify it with the Daidala of Ptolemy, which was on the Satlej to the south of Labokla and Amakatis, or Lahor and Ambakapi.

Ajudhan or Pakpatan

[p.214]: The ancient town of Ajudhan is situated on the high bank of the old Satlej, 28 miles to the south-west of Depalpur Pakistan, and 10 miles from the present course of the river. Its foundation is assigned to a Hindu saint, or raja, of the same name, of whom nothing else is recorded. This part of the Doab is still known as Surāt-des, a name which recalls the Surakousae of Diodorus, and the Sudrakae and Oxudrakae of other Greek writers. Now, the Sudrakae are always coupled with the Malli by classical authors, just as Ajudhan and Multan are joined together by the Muhammadan historians. I think, therefore, that we may look upon Ajudhan and its neighbour Depalpur Pakistan as two of the chief cities of the Sudrakas, or Surakas, who, in the time of Alexander, were one of the free nations of India. Dionysius and Nonnus use the form of Hudarkae, Pliny has Sydrakae, which agrees with Strabo's Sudrakae ; and Diodorus has Surakousae. Arrian and Curtius alone give Oxudrakae. Strabo adds that they were said

[p.215]: to be descendants of Bacchus;1 and as Chares of Mytilene states that the name of the Indian god Σοροάδεως meant οινοποώς, or the "Wine-bibber," I infer that the people who boasted a descent from Bacchus may have called themselves Surakas, or Bacchidae. The d in Sudrakae I look upon as a redundant addition of the Greeks, which is also found in the Adraistae of Arrian and the Andrestae of Diodorus. The Sanskrit name of this people was Arashtraka, or "the Kingless," which is well preserved in Justin's Arestae. Surakai, or the descendants of Sura, must therefore be the true Greek form. This is confirmed by the longer form of the name given by Diodorus as Sυρακονσαι, which is most probably derived from the Sanskrit sura, "wine," and kusa, "mad, or inebriated." It would thus mean simply the " drunkards," a nickname which was no doubt given by their Arian neighbours, who were very liberal in their abuse of the Turanian population of the Panjab.

Thus the Kathaei of Sangala are stigmatized in the Mahabharata as "thieving Bahikas," as well as "wine-bibbers " and " beef eaters, "2 They are also called by a variety of names, as Madra, Bahika, Aratta, and Jarttikka, and not even once by their own proper name, which, as we know from Alexander's historians, was Kathaei, which is still preserved in the Kathi of the present day. I confess, therefore, that I look upon many of the ethnic appellations which the Greeks have handed down to us as mere nicknames, or abusive epithets applied by the Brahmanical Arians to their Turanian neighbours. For instance, the name of

1 Geogr., xiv. 1, 8, and 33.

2 Stenā-Bahikā dhaānāgaudasavain-pitwa gomānsam.


Kambistholi, which. Arrian1 gives to a people on the Hydraotes, or Ravi River, is most probably derived from the Sanskrit Kapisasthala, that is, "Wine-land, or the Tavern," which would be a natural epithet for the country of the Surākusas, or " wine-bibbers." Similarly I would explain Oxudraka as Asuraka, or the " Demons."

The doubt now arises whether Suraka' or " the drinkers," can have been the true name of this people. Arrian2 places the Oxudrakae; at the junction of the Hydaspes and Akesines, where Curtius locates the Sobii, Diodorus the Ibae, and Strabo the Sibae. The only explanation of this discrepancy that I can suggest is, the probable confusion between the name of Sobii, or Chobiya, of Ferishta,3 and that of Sorii, or Suraka. The former was the name of the subjects of Sopeithes, or Sophytes, whose rule extended over the Salt Range of mountains above the junction of the Hydaspes and Akesines. The latter name I would refer to Shorkot, which I have already identified with Alexandria Soriane. It is still the capital of the district of Shor, which lies just below the junction of the Hydaspes and Akesines. The Sobii, therefore, were the immediate neighbours of the Sorii, the former people occupying the country above the confluence of the rivers, and the latter the country just below it.

This location of the Sorii, or Surakas, explains the statement of Arrian4 that the Kathaei were allies of the Oxudrakae and Malii. They were neighbouring nations, who were generally at war with each other, but were always ready to join against a common enemy.

1 ' Indica,' iv. 2 ' Indica,' iv.

3 Briggs's ' Ferishta,' Introduction, i. lxxii. 4 'Anabasis,' v. 22.

[p.217]: Pliny places the limit of Alexander's career in the territory of the Sudrakas, " in Sudracis expeditio Alexandri termino,"1 and the altars on the opposite bank of the Hyphasis, or Bias river. From this point to the river Sydrus, that is the Hesidrus, or Satlej, he makes the distance 168 Roman, or 154 British miles ; and from the Sydrus to the Jomanes, or Jumna, exactly the same. But as the whole distance from the Bias to the Jumna varies from 150 to 160 miles, from the foot of the hills down to Kasur on the former river, and down to Karnal on the latter river, I presume that only one distance, namely, that from the Bias to the Jumna, was stated in Pliny's original authority. The famous spot on the eastern bank of the Hyphasis, where " Alexander halted and wept,"2 must have been somewhere in the low ground between the Satlej and the Bias, at a short distance above the old junction opposite Kasur and Bazidpur. For 20 miles above this point the courses of the two rivers ran almost parallel, and within a few miles of each other, from the earliest times down to A.D. 1796, when the Satlej suddenly changed its course, and joined the Bias above Hari-ki-patan. "Within this range of 20 miles the space between the two rivers was so small that it might easily have been overlooked in stating the distance from Alexander's camp to the Jumna. I believe, however, that it was actually noted by Alexander's contemporaries, for Pliny, after stating the distance to the Jumna, says, " some copies add five miles more."3

1 Hist. Nat., xii. 12.

2 Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:' "On the eastern bank of the Hyphasis, on the verge of the desert, the Macedonian hero halted and wept."

3 Hist. Nat., vi. 21. : " Exemplaria aliqua adjiciunt quinque millia passuum."

[p.218]: Xow these five Roman miles are the exact distance of the old bed of the Satlej from the eastern bank of the Bias, a measurement which some of the ancient writers may have omitted to note as a matter of little importance. On a general review of all the data, I think that the site of Alexander's altars must be looked for along the line of the present course of the Satlej, at a few miles below Hari-ki-patan, and not far from the well-known field of Sobraon, which is barely five miles distant from several bends of the old bed of the Satlej. To this point, therefore, the territory of the Sudrakae, or Surakas, must have extended in the time of Alexander.

For many centuries Ajudhan was the principal ferry on the Satlej. Here met the two great western roads from Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan ; the first via Mankera, Shorkot, and Harapa ; the second via Multan. At this point the great conquerors Mahmud and Timur, and the great traveller Ibn Batuta, crossed the Satlej. The fort is said to have been captured by Sabuktugin in A.H. 367, or A.D. 977-78, during his plundering expedition in the Panjub ; and again by Ibrahim Ghaznavi, in a.h. 472, or A.D. 1079-80. On the invasion of Timur, the mass of the population fled to Bhatner, and the few people that remained were spared by that ruthless barbarian out of respect for the famous saint Farid-ud-din Shakar-ganj, whose shrine is in Ajudhan. From this saint the place derives its modern name of Pak-pattan, or the " Ferry of the Pure One," that is, of Farid, whose latter days were spent at Ajudhan. By continued fasting his body is said to have become so pure that whatever he put into his mouth to allay the cravings of hunger, even earth


and stones, was immediately turned into sugar, whence his name of Shakar-ganj, or " Sugar-store." This miraeulous power is recorded in a well-known Persian couplet : —

" Sang dar dast o guhar gardad,
Zahar dar kām o shahar gardad : "

which may be freely rendered : —

" Stones in his hand are changed to money (jewels), And poison in his mouth to honey (sugar)."

From another memorial couplet we learn that he died in A.H. 664, or A.D. 1265-66, when he was 95 lunar years of age. But as the old name of Ajudhan is the only one noted by Ibn Batuta in A.D. 1334, and by Timur's historian in A.D. 1397, it seems probable that the present name of Pak-pattan is of comparatively recent date. It is, perhaps, not older than the reign of Akbar, when the saint's descendant, Nur-ud-din, revived the former reputation of the family by the success of his prayers for an heir to the throne.

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