The Ancient Geography of India/Southern India

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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

Southern India

[p.515]: According to Hwen Thsang's account, Southern India comprised the whole of the peninsula to the south of the Tapti and Mahanadi rivers, from Nasik on the west, to Ganjam on the east. It was divided into nine separate kingdoms, exclusive of Ceylon, which was not considered as belonging to India. The whole of these kingdoms were visited by the pilgrim in A.D. 639 and 640. He entered Kalinga from the north-east, and turning to the north-west he visited the inland kingdoms of Kosala and Andhra. Then resuming his southern route, he passed through Dhanakakata, Jorya, and Dravida, to Malakuta. At Kanchi, the capital of Dravida, he heard of the assassination of the Raja of Ceylon, and was obliged to give up his intention of visiting that island on account of its unsettled state. Then turning to the north, he reached Konkana and Maharashtra, the last of the nine kingdoms of Southern India.1

1. Kalinga.

In the seventh century, the capital of the kingdom of Kie-ling-kia, or Kalinga, was situated at from 1400 to 1500 li, or from 233 to 250 miles, to the south-

1.See Map No.I

[p.516]: west of Ganjam.[1] Both bearing and distance point either to Rajamahendri on the Godavari river, or to Koringa on the sea coast, the first being 251 miles to the south-west of Ganjam, and the other 246 miles in the same direction. But as the former is known to have been the capital of the country for a long period, I presume that it must be the place that was visited by the Chinese pilgrim. The original capital of Kalinga is said to have been Srikakola, or Chikakol, 20 miles to the south-west of Kalinga-patam. The kingdom was 5000 li, or 833 miles, in circuit. Its boundaries are not stated ; but as it was united to the west by Andhra, and to the south by Dhanakakata, its frontier line cannot have extended beyond the Godavari river, on the south-west, and the Gaoliya branch of the Indravati river on the north-west. Within these limits, the circuit of Kalinga would be about 800 miles. The principal feature in this large tract of country is the Mahendra range of mountains, which has preserved its name unchanged from the time of the composition of the Mahabharata to the present day. This range is mentioned also in the Vishnu Purana, as the source of the Rishikulya river, and as this is the well-known name of the river of Ganjam, the Mahendra mountains can at once be identified with the Mahendra Male range, which divides Ganjam from the valley of the Mahanadi.

Rajamahendri was the capital of the junior, or eastern branch of the Chalukya princes of Vengi, whose authority extended to the frontiers of Orissa. The kingdom of Vengi was established about A.D. 540, by the capture of the old capital of Vengipura, the remains of

  1. Julieii's ' Hiouen Thsang,' iii. 92. See Maps Nos. I. and XIII.

[p.517]: which still exist at Vegi, 5 miles to the north of Ellur, and 50 miles to the west-south-west of Rajamahendri. About A.D.750, Kalinga was conquered by the Raja of Vengi, who shortly afterwards moved the seat of government to Rajamahendri.

The Calingae are mentioned by Pliny,[1] as occupying the eastern coast of India below the Mandei and Malli, and the famous Mount Maleus. This mountain may perhaps be identified with the high range at the head of the Rishikulya river, in Ganjam, which is still called Mahendra Male, or the " Mahendra mountain." To the south, the territory of the Calingae extended as far as the promontory of Calingon and the town of Dandaguda, or Dandagula,[2] which is said to be 625 Roman miles, or 574 British miles, from the mouth of the Ganges. Both the distance and the name point to the great port-town of Coringa, as the promontory of Coringon, which is situated on a projecting point of land, at the mouth of the Godavari river. The town of Dandaguda, or Dandagula, I take to be the Dantapura of the Buddhist chronicles, which, as the capital of Kalinga, may with much probability be identified with Raja Mahendri, which is only 30 miles to the north-east of Coringa. From the great similarity of the Greek Γ and Π, I think it not improbable that the Greek name may have been Dandapula, which is almost the same as Dantapura. But in this case, the Danta, or "tooth relic," of Buddha must have been enshrined in Kalinga as early as the time of Pliny,

  1. Hist. Nat. vi. 21. "Gentea: Calingae proximo mari, supra Mandei, Malli, quorum mons Mallus, finisque ejus tractus est Ganges."
  2. Hist. vi. 23. Philemon Holland's translation has Dandagula.

[p.518]: which is confirmed by the statement of the Buddist chronicles, that the "left canine tooth" of Buddha was brought to Kalinga immediately after his death, where it was enshrined by the reigning sovereign, Brahmadatta.[1] Dantapura, also, is said to have been situated on the northern bank of a great river, which can only be the Godavari, as the Kistna was not in Kalinga. This fact alone would be sufficient to fix the position of Dantapura at the old capital of Rajamahendri, which is situated on the north-eastern bank of the Godavari. The name of Mahendri is perhaps preserved in the Pitundra Metropolis of Ptolemy, which he places close to the Maisolos, or Godavari, that is, to the river of Masuli-patam.

A still earlier name for the capital of Kalinga was Sinhapura,[2] which was so called after its founder, Sinha-bahu,[3] the father of Vijaya, the first recorded sovereign of Ceylon. Its position is not indicated, but there still exists a large town of this name on the Lalgla river, 115 miles to the west of Ganjam, which is very probably the same place.

In the inscriptions of the Kalachuri, or Haihaya dynasty of Chedi, the Rajas assume the titles of "Lords of Kalanjjarapura and of Tri-Kalinga. Kalanjar is the well-known hill-fort in Bundelkhand; and Tri-Kalinga, or the " Three Kalingas," must be the three kingdoms of Dhanaka, or Amaravati, on the Kistna, Andhra or Warangol, and Kalinga, or Raja Mahendri.

  1. Turnour, Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 1837, p. 860, quoting the Dantha-dhatu-wanso, or " History of the Tooth-relic.
  2. Turnour, ' Mahawanso,' p. 46.
  3. Ibid. Appendix v. pp. 88, 89,, where the Princess Tilaka Sundari, of Kalinga, is said to have come from Sinhapura.

[p.519]: The name of Tri-Kalinga is probably old, as Pliny mentions the Macco-Calingae and the Gangarides-Calingae as separate peoples from the Calingae while the Mahabharata names the Kaliagas three separate times, and each time in conjunction with different peoples.[1] As Tri-Kalinga thus corresponds with the great province of Telingana, it seems probable that the name of Telingana may be only a slightly contracted form of Tri-Kalingana, or the " Three Kalingas." I am aware that the name is usually derived from Tri-Lingga, or the " Three Phalli", of Mahadeva. But the mention of Macco-Calingae and Gangarides-Calinga by Pliny, would seem to show that the " Three Kalingas" were known as early as the time of Megasthenes, from whom Pliny has chiefly copied his Indian Geography. The name must therefore be older than the Phallic worship of Mahadeva in southern India. Kalinga is three times mentioned in the Khandagiri inscription of Aira Raja,[2] which cannot be later than the second century B.C., and at a still earlier date, during the lifetime of Sakya-Muni, it was noted for its manufacture of fine muslins, and at his death, the king of Kalinga is said to have obtained one of the teeth of Buddha, over which he built a magnificent stupa.[3]

2. Kosala.

From Kalinga the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang proceeded about 1800 or 1900 li, or from 300 to 317 miles,[4] to the

  1. H. H. Wilson, in ' Vishnu Purana,' pp. 185, 187 note, and 188.
  2. James Prinsep in Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, vi. 1082.
  3. Csoma de Koros, in ' Asiatic Researches,' xx. 85 and 317.
  4. Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' vol. i. p. 185, gives 1800 li, and vol. iii. p. 94, 1900 U. See Map No. I.

[p.520]: north-west to the kingdom of Kiao-sa-lo, or Kosala. The bearing and distance take us to the ancient province of Vidarbha, or Berar, of which the present capital is Nagpur. This agrees exactly with the position of Kosala as described in the Ratnavali, and in the Vishnu Purana.[1] In the former, the king of Kosala is surrounded in the Vindhyan mountains, and in the latter it is stated that Kusa the son of Rama, ruled over Kosala, at his capital of Kusasthali, or Kusavati, built upon the Vindhyan precipices.

All these concurring data enable us to identify the ancient Kosala with the modern province of Berar, or Gondwana. The position of the capital is more difficult to fix, as Hwen Thsang does not mention its name ; but as it was 40 li, or nearly 7 miles, in circuit, it is most probably represented by one of the larger cities of the present day. These are Chanda, Nagpur, Amaravati, and Elichpur.

Chanda is a walled town, 6 miles in circuit, with a citadel. It is situated just below the junction of the Pain Ganga and Warda rivers, at a distance of 290 miles to the north-west of Rajamahendri, on the Godavari, and of 280 miles from Dharanikota, on the Kistna. Its position, therefore, corresponds almost exactly with the bearing and distance of Hwen Thsang.

Nagpur is a large straggling town, about 7 miles in circuit ; but as it is 85 miles to the north of Chanda, its distance from Rajamahendri is about 70 miles in excess of the number stated by the Chinese pilgrim.

Amaravati is about the same distance from

  1. H. H. Wilson, 'Vishnu Purana,' Hall's edition, ii. 172, note.

[p.521]: Rajamahendri, and Elichpur is 30 miles still further to the north. Chanda is therefore the only place of consequence that has a strong claim to be identified with the capital of Kosala in the seventh century. The recorded distance of 1800 or 1900 li from Rajamahendri is further supported by the subsequent distance of 1900 li, or 900 plus 1000 li, to Dhanakakata, which was almost certainly the same place as Dharanikota, or Amaravati, on the Kistna river. Now, the road distance of Chanda from Dharanikota is 280 miles, or 1680 li, by the direct route; but as Hwen Thsang first proceeded for 900li to the south-west, and then for 1000 li to the south, the direct distance between the two places would not have been more than 1700 li.

At 300 li, or 50 miles, to the south-west of the kingdom, there was a high mountain named, which is said to mean the " black peak." M. Julien identifies this name with " Baramula-giri of the present day;"[1] but I cannot find this place in any map or book to which I have access. The mountain is described as very lofty, and without either spurs or valleys, so that it resembled a mere mass of stone. In this mountain King So-to-po-ho, or Satavahan, hewed a pavilion of five storeys, which was accessible by a hollow road many dozens of li, that is many miles, in length. The place was not visited by Hwen Thsang, as the narrator of his journey uses the expression " on arrive," instead of " il arriva." But as the rock is said to have been excavated as a dwelling for the holy Buddhist sage Nagarjuna, the pilgrim would almost certainly have visited it, if it had been only 50 miles

  1. ' Hiouen Thsang,' iii. 101, note 4 : " aujourd'hui Baramulaghiri ; " and note 5, " en Chinois, He-fong, le pic noir.

[p.522]: distant from the capital ; and if the south-west bearing is correct, he must have passed quite close to the place on his subsequent journey to Andhra, which is said to be either in the same direction, or towards the south. I conclude, therefore, that the curious, " au sud-ouest du royauvie"[1] which the pilgrim uses to indicate the position of this excavated rock, may possibly refer to the boundary of the kingdom, and consequently that the place must be looked for at 300 li, or 50 miles, beyond its south-west frontier. This position would agree very well with that of the great rock fortress of Deogir, near Elura, and the name of Polomolokili, or Varamula-giri, might be accepted as the original of Varula, or Elura. Parts of the description, such as the long galleries hewn out of the rock, and the cascade of water falling from the top of the rock, agree better with the great Buddhist establishment at Elura than with Deogir. But as the place was not actually visited by Hwen Thsang, his description must have been made up from the varying accounts of different travellers, in which the contiguous sites of Elura and Devagiri were probably treated as one place.

The same rock-hewn habitations are also described by Fa-Hian[2], in the beginning of the fifth century. He calls the excavation the monastery of Pho-lo-yu, or the "Pigeon," and places it in the kingdom of Tathsin, that is in Dakshiana, or the south of India, the present Dakhan. His information was obtained at Banaras ; and as wonders do not lose by distance, his account is even more wonderful than that of Hwen Thsang. The monastery, hewn out of the solid rock, is said to be five storeys in height, each storey in the

  1. Julieu's ' Hiouen Thsang,' iii. 101.
  2. Beal's 'Fah-Hian,' c. xxxv.

[p.523]: shape of a different animal, the fifth, or uppermost, storey being in the form of a Pigeon, from which the monastery received its name. The Chinese syllables Pho-lo-yu must therefore be intended for the Sanskrit Pārāvata, a "pigeon." A spring of water rising in the uppermost storey, descended through all the rooms of the monastery, and then passed out by the gate. In this account we have the five storeys, the spring of water falling from the top, and the name of the place, all agreeing very closely with the description of Hwen Thsang. The chief point of difference is in the meaning assigned to the name, as Hwen Thsang states that Polomolo-kili signifies the "black peak," while according to Fa-Hian, Pholoyu means a " pigeon." But there is still another account, of an intermediate date, which gives a third meaning to the name.

In A.D. 503, the king of Southern India sent an ambassador to China, from whom it was ascertained that in his country there was a fortified city named Pa-lai, or "situated on a height." At 300 li, or 50 miles, to the eastward, there was another fortified town, named in the Chinese translation Fu-cheu-ching, or " ville soumise a ce qui est deteste,"[1] which was the birth-place of a famous saint, whose name was Chu-san-hu, or " Coral-beads " (grains de corail). Now, Pala-mala is the name of a " coral necklace," or " string of coral-beads ;[2] and as it represents every syllable of Hwen Thsang's Polomolo, I presume that it must be the same name. I am unable to explain Hwen Thsang's translation of the name as the "black

  1. Pauthier, "Bxamen Methodique desfaitsqui concement Tien-tehu, ou l'Inde ;" ' Journal Asiatique,' 1839, p. 292.
  2. Pauthier, ' Journal Asiatique,' Oct. 1839, p. 292.

[p.524]: peak " in any of the northern dialects ; and I can only suggest that he may perhaps refer to one of the southern or Dravidian dialects. In Kanarese, male is a "hill;" and as para, or "quicksilver," and paras, or the " touchstone," are both of black hue, it is probable that they are connected with πελός. Para, therefore, might signify "black," and paramale would then be the black hill. One of the most venomous snakes in southern India, which is of a very dark blue or almost black colour, is called Para-Gudu. It seems probable, therefore, that Hwen Thsang's translation may be derived from one of the southern dialects. This confusion in the Chinese translations is no doubt due to the very defective power of the Chinese syllables for the transcription of Sanskrit words. Thus, might be read as Paravata, a "pigeon," according to Fa-Hian; or as paravata, " subject," according to the Si-yu-ki ; while it is probable that the true reading should be parvata, a " mountain," as the monastery is specially stated to have been excavated in a rocky hill.

The capital itself was named Pa-lai,[1] which is said to mean " qui s'appuie sur une Eminence." Now the citadel of Chanda is called " Bala kila,", or the " High Fort," which, though a Persian appellation given by the Muhammadans, was very probably suggested by the original appellation of Palai. [2]

In all our Chinese authorities the rock-hewn monastery is connected with a holy sage ; but the name in each account is different. According to Fa-Hian,

  1. Pauthier in ' Journal Asiatique,' 1839, p. 293.
  2. We have an example of such translation in Buland-shahr, which the Hindus still call Uncha-gaon.

[p.525]: it was the monastery of the earlier Buddha named Kasyapa. In the Si-yu-ki, however, it is said to be the birthplace of the Muni Paramal, while Hwen Thsang states that the monastery was excavated by King Satavahan, for the use of the famous Nagarjuna. From the wonderful descriptions of Fa-Hian and Hwen Thsang I have been led to think that their accounts may possibly refer to the grand excavations of Deva-giri and Elura. But if the distance given by Hwen Thsang as well as by the Si-yu-ki is correct, the rock-hewn monastery must be looked for about 50 miles to the west or south-west of Chanda. Now in this very position, that is about 45 miles to the west of Chanda, there is a place in the map called Pandu-kuri, or the "Pandus' houses," which indicates an undoubted ancient site, and may possibly refer to some rock excavations, as the rock-hewn caves at Dhamnar and Kholvi are also assigned to the Pandus, being severally named " Bhim's cave, Arjun's cave," etc. In the total absence of all information, I can only draw attention to the very curious and suggestive name of this place. There is also a series of Buddhist caves at Patur, 50 miles to the south-west of Elichpur and Amaravati, and 80 miles to the east of Ajanta. As these have never been described, it is possible that the site may hereafter be found to correspond with the descriptions of the rock-hewn monastery by Fa-Hian and Hwen Thsang.

The mention of King Satavahana, or Sadavahana, in connection with Nagarjuna is specially interesting, as it shows that the Buddhist caves of Paramala must be as old as the first century of the Christian era. Sadavahana was a family name, and as such is mentioned in one of the cave inscriptions at Nasik.[1] But

  1. Bombay Journal, vii, Nasick inscriptions No. 6, by Mr. West.

[p.526]: Satavahana is also a well-known name of the famous Salivahan,[1] who founded the Saka era in A.D. 79, so that we have a double proof that the Buddhist caves of Paramala must have been excavated as early as the first century. The probable identity of Satavahan and Satakarni will be discussed in another place. We know from the western cave inscriptions that Kosala certainly formed part of the vast southern kingdom of Gotamiputra Satakarni ; and if he flourished in the first century as would appear to be the case,[2] his identity with Satavahan, or Salivahan, would be undoubted. It is sufficient here to note the great probability of this interesting point in the history of Southern India.

The kingdom of Kosala is estimated by Hwen Thsang at 6000 li, or 1000 miles, in circuit. Its frontiers are not named ; but we know from the pilgrim's itinerary that it must have been bounded by Ujain on the north, by Maharashtra on the west, by Orissa on the east, and by Andhra and Kalinga on the south. The limits of the kingdom may be roughly described as extending from near Burhanpur on the Tapti, and Nander on the Godavari, to Ratanpur in Chatisgarh, and to Nowagadha near the source of the Mahanadi. Within these limits the circuit of the

  1. Sata, or Sali, was the name of a Yaksha, or demigod, who, being changed to a lion, was ridden by the infant prince, who thus acquired the title of Satavahan, or Salivahan.
  2. The greater number of the inscriptions in the caves of Kanhari, Nasik, and Karle belong to one period ; and as several of them record the gifts of Gotamiputra Satakarni, Pudumayi, and Yadnya-Sri, the whole must be referred to the period of the Andhra sovereignty. But one of them is dated in the year 80 of the Sakaditya-kal, or Sake era, that is in A.D. 108 ; and, therefore, the Andhras must have been reigning at that time.

[p.527]: large tract assigned to Kosala is rather more than 1000 miles.

3. Andhra.

From Kosala, Hwen Thsang proceeded to the south for 900 li, or 150 miles, to An-to-lo, or Andhra[1] the modern Telingdna. The capital was named Ping-ki-lo, which M. Julien transcribes as Vingkhila, but it has not yet been identified. We know that Warangol, or Varnakol, was the capital of Telingana for several centuries afterwards, but its position does not agree with the pilgrim's narrative, as it lies too far from Chanda on the Pain Ganga river, and too near to Dharanikotta on the Kistna. The Chinese syllables also do not represent the name of Warangol, although they might perhaps be taken for Vankol. They may be read as Bhimgal, which is the name of an old town in Telingana mentioned by Abul Fazl. But Bhimgal is only 120 miles to the south-west of Chanda, instead of 150 miles to the south or south-west, and is upwards of 200 miles to the north of Dharanikotta instead of 167 miles. I should therefore be inclined to accept the Chinese syllables as a blundering transcription of Warangol itself, if the positions agreed more nearly. But the actual distance between Varangol and Chanda is 160 miles, and between Varangol and Dharanikotta only 120 miles. It is, therefore, too near the latter place, and too far from the former place, according to Hwen Thsang's account. If we might adopt Amaravati in Berar as the capital of Kosala, then Bhimgal would represent the capital of Andhra beyond all doubt, as it stands rather short of midway between

  1. Julien 's ' Hiouen Thsang,' iii. 105. See Map No. I.

[p.528]: Chanda and Dharanikotta ; but both the distances are too great to suit Hwen Thsang's numbers of 900 li and 1000 li, or 150 miles and 167 miles. The position of Elgandel, which is midway between Bhimgal and Varangol, agrees better with the pilgrim's narrative, as it is about 130 miles from Chanda, and 170 miles from Dharanikotta. I am, therefore, willing to adopt Elgandel as the probable representative of the capital of Andhra in the seventh century of the Christian era.

The province of Andhra is described as 3000 li, or 500 miles, in circuit. No frontier is mentioned in any direction ; but it may be presumed that the Godavari river, which is the modern boundary to the north and east, was likewise the ancient one, as it is also the limit of the Telugu language towards the north. To the west, where it met the great kingdom of Maharashtra, it cannot have extended beyond the Manjhira branch of the Godavari. The territory may, there- fore, be described as stretching from the junction of the Manjhira and Godavari to Bhadrachelam on the south-east, a length of 250 miles, and to Haidarabad on the south, a length of 100 miles, the distance between Haidarabad and Bhadrachelam being, 175 miles. These limits give a total circuit of 525 miles, or nearly the same as that stated by Hwen Thsang.

The Andhras are mentioned by Pliny[1] under the name of Andarae, as a powerful nation, who possessed thirty fortified cities, and a large army of one hundred thousand infantry, two thousand cavalry, and one thousand elephants. They are also noted in the Pen-tingerian Tables as Andrae-Indi. Wilson quotes these

  1. Hist. Nat, vi. 22.

[p.529]: Tables as placing the Andhras " on the banks of the Ganges,"[1] but the extremely elongated form of the Pentingerian Map has squeezed many of the peoples and nations far out of their true places. A much safer conclusion may be inferred from a comparison of the neighbouring names. Thus the Andrae-Indi are placed near Damirice, which I would identify with Ptolemy's Limyrike by simply changing the initial A to A, as the original authorities used for the construction of the Tables must have been Greek. But the people of Limyrike occupied the south-west coast of the peninsula, consequently their neighbours the Andrae-Indi must be the well-known Andhras of Telingana, and not the mythical Andhras of the Ganges, who are mentioned only in the Puranas. Pliny's knowledge of the Andarae must have been derived either from the Alexandrian merchants of his own times, or from the writings of Megasthenes and Dionysius, the ambassadors of Seleukus Nikator and Ptolemy Philadelphus to the court of Palibothra. But whether the Andarae were contemporary with Pliny or not, it is certain that they did not rule over Magadha at the period to which he alludes, as immediately afterwards he mentions the Prasii of Palibothra as the most powerful nation in India, who possessed 600,000 infantry, 30,000 horse, and 9000 elephants, or more than six times the strength of the Andarae-Indi.

The Chinese pilgrim notices that though the language of the people of Andhra was very different from that of Central India, yet the forms of the written characters were for the most part the same. This statement is specially interesting, as it shows that

  1. ' Vishnu Purana,' Hall's edition, iv. 203, note.

[p.530]: the old Nagari alphabet introduced from Northern India was still in use, and that the peculiar twisted forms of the Telugu characters, which are found in inscriptions of the tenth century, had not yet been adopted in the south.

4. Donakakotta

On leaving Andhra, Hwen Thsang proceeded to the south through forests and over desert plains for 1000 li, or 167 miles, to, which M. Julien renders by Dhanakakacheka. But I have already pointed out in my account of Tse-kia, or Taki, in the Panjab, that the Chinese syllable tse is used to represent the Indian cerebral ṭ, which would make the name Dhana-kaṭaka. I have also referred to the inscriptions in the caves of Kanhari and Karle with the name of Dhanakakaṭa, which I have suggested as the true reading of the Chinese word, by the transposition of the last two syllables.[1] The name of Dhanakakata is found in no less than four of the cave inscriptions, in all of which it has been read by Dr. Stevenson as the name of a man, whom he calls Xenokrates, a Greek. But according to my reading of these inscriptions, the name is undoubtedly that of the city or country to which the recorders of the inscriptions belonged. As these inscriptions are short, I will, in justice to Dr. Stevenson, here quote them.

The inscription on which Dr. Stevenson founds his

  1. See Maps Nos. I. and XIII. My correction was printed in my Archeological Report to the Government of India in 1864, but it was made several years previously. Dr. Bhau Daji has also identified the Chinese name with the Dhanakakata of the inscriptions, but he has not noticed the true reading of the Chinese syllable tse. (Bombay Journ., vol. vii. p. 68.)

[p.531]: opinion of the Greek origin of the recorder is thus read by himself:[1]

Dhanukākadha Yavanasa Sihadhāyanam thabha dānam.

" A gift of lion-supporting pillar by the Greek Xenocrates."

My rendering is somewhat different, —

"Lion-bearing pillar-gift of Yavana of Dhanuka-kaṭa"

Dr. Stevenson translates Yavana as " Greek ;" but the following inscription[2] shows most distinctly that Dhanukakaṭa is the name of a place, and consequently Yavana must be the name of a man.

Dhenukakaṭa Usabhadata-putasa
Mita Deva nakasa thabha dānam.

This is translated by Dr. Stevenson as : —

"The gift of a pillar by the chief Mitra Deva, son of Dhenukakata (surnamed) Rishabadatta."

To explain this translation he supposes Dhenuka-kata to be a Greek, with a Greek name, and to have also a Hindu name which he " probably assumed when he embraced Buddhism, or on adoption into some Hindu family, when names also are changed." But by taking Dhanukaka as the name of a place, this inscription may be rendered without any forced assumption of a second name. My rendering is, —

" Pillar-gift of the chief Mitra-Deva, son of Rishabadatta of Dhanukakaṭa"

The third Karle inscription is unfortunately slightly imperfect in the donor's name, and the concluding

  1. Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bombay, v. 156. Karle inscription No. 14.
  2. Ibid., V. 156. Karle inscription No. 11.

[p.532]: word is unintelligible, but the opening of the inscription as read by Dr. Stevenson is :[1]

Dhanukakata (su) bhavikasa, etc.

which he translates, " The gift of a pleasant abode by Dhanukakata," etc. Here the word which has been restored and translated as " a pleasant abode " is the recorder's name, which I feel strongly inclined to read as Bhoviveka, as Hwen Thsang mentions a famous saint of Donakakatta named Po-pi-fei-kia, that is literally Bhoviveka in Pali, or in Sanskrit Bhavaviveka.

The fourth inscription, which is found at Kanhari, consists of nine lines, and is one of the most important of the western cave records, as it is dated in the well- known era of Salivahana. Dr. Stevenson[2] reads the opening as follows : —

Upāsakasa Dhenukakatinasa kalapa (naka) manakasa, etc.

and refers the record to " Dhenukakaṭa the architect." But a more perfect copy of this inscription, published by Mr. West,[3]: gives the true reading of the first line as : —

Upāsakasa Dhanukakateyasa Kulapiyasa.

of which the literal translation is, " (Gift) of Kulapiya, an Upāsika of Dhanukakata."

The date of the inscription, which is at the end of the last line, is erroneously transcribed by Dr. Stevenson thus : —

data va salā sāka datya lena.

and by adding the previous word chivarika he translates it as follows :

  1. Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bombay, v. 155. Karle inscription No. 10.
  2. Ibid., V. 20. Kanhari inscription No. 8.
  3. Ibid., vi. Inscription No 39.

[p.533]:"Here is a hall established for Buddhist-priests; here the Buddha-tooth cave."

In his transcript of this record I notice that Dr. Stevenson altogether omits the letter k which occurs between datya and lena in both copies of the inscription, in that made by Lieut. Brett, which was published by Dr. Stevenson himself,[1] as well as in that made by Mr. West. "With this correction I read the concluding words of the inscription as follows : —

data vase 30 Sakāaditya kala,

of which the literal translation is : —

" Given in the year 30 of the era of Sakaditya" that is in A.D. 78 + 30 = 108. Sakaditya is one of the common titles of Salivahana ; and the Sake era, which was established by him, is usually called in an-ient inscriptions Saka-bhupa kala, or Saka-nripa kala, both terms being mere synonyms of Sakaditya kala. Dhanukakata must, therefore, have possessed a Buddhist establishment as early as the beginning of the second century of the Christian era ; and if my suggested reading of the name of Bhavaviveka in the Karle inscription be admitted, Buddhism must have been equally flourishing during the first century, as Bhavaviveka would appear to have been a disciple of Nagarjuna.[2]

In fixing the position of Dhanukakata, at Dharanikotta, or Amaravti, on the Kistna, I have been guided not only by the bearing and distance from Andhra and Kosala, but by several other concurring reasons, which I will now detail.

  1. Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bombay, v. No. 10 of Lieut. Brett's plates of Kanhari inscriptions, which accompany Dr. Stevenson's Memoir, No. 8, p. 20.
  2. Burnouf, ' Introduction a I'Histoire du Buddhisme Indian,' p. 560.

[p.534]: Amongst the Buddhist traditions of Ceylon and Siam, we have an account of a country lying between the mouth of the Ganges and the Island of Ceylon, which was inhabited by Nagas. These Nagas possessed either one or two Drona measures of the relics of Buddha, which were enshrined in a beautiful and costly stupa, near the " Diamond Sands." Originally, this portion of relics had belonged to Ramagrama, near Kapilavastu; but when the Ramagrama stupa was washed away by the river, the relic casket containing one of the original eight divisions of Buddha's remains was carried down the Ganges to the sea, where it was picked up by the Nagas, and conveyed to their own country, called Majerika. Now this country was to the south of Dantapura, because Prince Danta Kumara and the Princess Hemamala, when flying from Dantapura to Ceylon with the tooth of Buddha, were wrecked on the coast near the "Diamond Sands." The name itself also helps to fix the position of the Diamond Sands, at or near Dharanikotta, on the Kistna, as the diamond mines of this part of the country are restricted to the small district of Partial, lying immediately to the north of Dharanikotta. The flight from Dantapura took place in A.D. 310, at which time, according to the Siamese version, the two Drona measures of relics were still preserved in the Naga country.[1] But three years later, or in A.D. 313, the Raja of Ceylon sent a holy priest to bring away these relics from Majerika, which was miraculously effected, in spite of the opposition of the Nagas. The Naga king then solicited a few relics from the Raja of

  1. Colonel Low, in Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 1848 ; part ii. p. 87. Sec Map No. XIII.

[p.535]:Ceylon, "-which were bestowed upon him accordingly."

There are several minor variations in the Ceylonese account, but the chief difference is in the date. According to the ' Mahawanso,'[1] the relics at Ramagrama consisted of only one Drona measure, which, after being enshrined by the Nagas at Majerika, were carried off to Ceylon in the fifth year of the reign of Datthagamini, B.C. 157, by whom they were enshrined in the Maha-thupo, or great stupa, at Ruanwelli.

The author of the ' Mahawanso ' gives a glowing account of the magnificence of this great stupa of Ceylon ; but he admits that the Chaitya at Majerika, " was so exquisitely constructed, and so superbly ornamented in various ways , . . that all the accumulated treasures in Lanka would fall short of the value of the last step of its stair."[2] According to our present knowledge of the antiquities of Southern India, this description can apply only to the magnificent stupa of Dharanikotta, on the Kistna, which was literally encased in a profusion of sculptured bas-reliefs.

It is difficult to reconcile the discrepancy between the dates of the Siamese and Ceylonese chronicles ; but I think it is highly improbable that these Naga relics could have been carried to Ceylon at so early a date as 157 B.C., at which time it is more than doubtful whether Buddhism had penetrated to any part of Southern India. I would suggest, as a possible explanation of the discrepancy, that the relics may have been carried off to Ceylon in A.D. 313, as stated in the Siamese chronicles, and there enshrined in the great

  1. Tumour's 'Mahawanso,' p. 185.
  2. Ibid., p. 188.

[p.536]: stupa of Ruanwelli ; and that in after times their acquisition was erroneously assigned to Dutthagamini, the original founder of the stupa. The famous tooth itself, which was taken from Kalinga to Ceylon, in A.D. 310, was enshrined in the Dharmmachakra, an edifice erected by Devanam-piyatisso, the contemporary of Asoka, about 240 B.C., and was afterwards transferred to the Abhayagiri Vihara, which was erected in B.C. 89.[1]

But whether this explanation be accepted or not, we know from the general consent of all the Buddhist chroniclers and pilgrims, as well as of the 'Mahawanso' itself, that the Ramagrama relics were still enshrined in their original receptacle, at Ramagrama, in the middle of the third century, B.C., when Asoka was building stupas over all the relics of Buddha that were divided after his death. If, therefore, the relics were removed to Ceylon in B.C. 157, as stated in the ' Mahawanso,' we must crowd into a period of little more than 80 years the destruction of the original stupa at Ramagrama, the enshrinement of the relics at Majerika in the most magnificent stupa in all India, and their subsequent removal to Ceylon. But according to the very competent authority of Mr. Fergusson,[2] the erection of the Dharanikotta stupa, "judging from its elaboration, may have taken fifty years to complete." We have, therefore, only about thirty years left for the stay of the relics at Ramagrama, after the time of Asoka, and for their subsequent stay amongst the Nagas of Majerika. For this reason, I prefer the account of the Siamese chronicles ; and I

  1. Tumour's 'Mahawanso,' p. 211.
  2. Journ. Royal Asiat. Soc, new series, iii. 155

[p.537]: would accordingly fix the date of the removal of the Drona measure of relics, from Dharanikotta to Ceylon, in the year 313 A.D.

It must be noted, however, that the people of Northern India were happily unaware that the Drona of relics enshrined at Ramagrama had been carried off by the Nagas to Majerika, as both Fa-Hian and Hwen Thsang, who actually visited the place in the fifth and seventh centuries, mention that the stupa was still standing. It is curious, however, to learn from the journals of both pilgrims, that even in their days the Ramagrama relics were believed to be watched over by the Nagas of a tank close by the stupa.[1] According to the original Buddhist legend, these Nagas had prevented Asoka from removing the relics from Ramagrama. In the lapse of time, when Ramagrama had become deserted, as it was found by both pilgrims, this legend might easily have assumed the slightly altered form that the Nagas had carried off the relics to prevent their removal by Asoka. This form of the legend would have been eagerly seized upon by the Nagas of Southern India, and the transfer of the relics to their own country of Majerika, would at once have commanded the easy belief of a credulous people.

In mentioning the relics that were removed from Ramagrama, the Ceylonese chronicles call them one Drona measure, and the Siamese two Dronas. I presume, therefore, that they were generally known as the Drona-dhatu, or " Drona of relics." In Pali this name would be Dona, which may probably be the true original of Hwen Thsang's The full name

  1. Beal's 'Fah-Hian,' c. xxiii. ; and M. Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' ii. 326.

[p.538]: would have been Donakadhatu, or simply Donaka, which with kot a added would make Donaka-kotta, corresponding with the Chinese syllables, as well as with the Dhanakakata of the [inscriptions]]. Now I have already shown from the dated inscription of Kanhari that the name of Dhanakukata is as old as A.D. 108, but as it is spelt in all the inscriptions with dh and not with d, I infer that the legend about the Drona of relies is later than that date. We know that it was a common practice amongst the Buddhists to alter the spelling of the local names so as to obtain meanings which might be adapted to legends of their Teacher. Thus Taksha-sila, the "hewn stone," became Taksha-sira, or the " cut-off head," and Adi-chhatra, or " King Adi's canopy," became Ahi-chhatra, or the "serpent canopy," over the head of Buddha. With reference, therefore, to the Naga guardianship of the Drona of relics at Ramagrama, I think it highly probable that the old name of Dhanaka was changed to Donaka by the Buddhists, for the special purpose of adapting it to their legend regarding the disposal of the Ramagrama Drona of relics.

The present name of the place is Dharani-kotta, which I take to be derived from the later legend regarding Bhuvaviveka, which is preserved by Hwen Thsang. This holy priest, wishing to behold the future Buddha, Maitreya, fasted for three years, while he continually repeated the mystical verses called dharanis. At the end of that time Avalokiteswara appeared to him and instructed him to return to his native country of Dhanakakata, and in front of a cavern to the south of the town to recite with perfect

[p.539]: faith the dharanis, or mystical verses, addressed to Vajra-pani, when his wish would be accomplished. At the end of three years more Vajra-pani appeared to him, and taught him a secret formula which had power to open the cavern in the palace of the Asuras, where the future Buddha was dwelling. After three years spent in the recitation of these secret dharanis, the rock opened, and Bhavaviveka bidding farewell to the multitude, who were afraid to follow him, entered the cavern, which immediately closed upon him and he was no more seen. As this miraculous legend of the dharanis was the popular belief of Dhanakakata in the seventh century, the place would naturally have been known amongst the people as Dharani-kotta, or the " Cavern of the Dharani Miracle."

From the mention of Dhanakakata in the cave inscriptions of the first and second centuries of the Christian era, we might expect to find some trace of the name in the Geography of Ptolemy. But instead of this we find a people named Aruarni, or Avarni, occupying the country below the Maisolus, or Grodavari river, with a capital called Malanga, the residence of King Bassaronaga. As Malanga is placed between the two rivers Maisolus and Tyna, its position corresponds with that of Ellur, close to which are the remains of the old capital named Vengi, which are still known as Pedda and Chinna Vegi, or Great and Little Vegi[1] That Malanga was in this neighbourhood is proved by the existence of the name at the present day in Bandar-malanga, or the " port of Malanga" a small town on the coast; 54 miles to the east- north-east of Masulipatam. I conclude, therefore,

  1. See Map No. XIII.

[p.540]: that Dhanakakata was only the seat of a great religious establishment, while Vengi was the political capital of the country.

With regard to the king's name, I think that the Greek Bassaro-naga may be identified with the Pali Majeri-ka-Naga of the 'Mahawanso.'[1] Remembering the frequent interchange of the labials in m and b, and that ka is an optional affix, the Greek Bassaro may be accepted as a tolerably close rendering of the Pali Majeri ; and thus Ptolemy's Malanga would become the capital of the Nagas of Majerika.

On a general review of all the evidence in favour of the identification of Dharanikotta with the Dhanakakata of Hwen Thsang and with the Majerika Stupa of the Nagas, the most striking point is the exceeding beauty of the relic stupa, which is common to all of them. I have already quoted the account of the ' Mahawanso' as to the gorgeous magnificence of the Naga Stupa of Majerika, the last step of which was beyond the power of all the riches of Ceylon to equal. Similarly the Chinese pilgrim was struck with the unusual beauty of the religious edifices of Dhanakakata, which he describes as possessing all the magnificence of the palaces of Bactria.[2] We have also the evidence of our own eyes as to the exceeding beauty and lavish ornament of its sculptures, many of which now grace the India Office Museum, in London. And lastly, we have the tradition of the people that Dharanikotta was once the capital of this part of India.[3]

  1. Tumours ' Mahawanso,' p. 185, Manjerika-naga-bhawanan, "the land of the Nagas of Majeri."
  2. M. Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' i. 188.
  3. Hamilton's 'Gazetteer of India,' in voce " Amravatty."

[p.541]: The age of the stupa can only be determined approximately, as the twenty inscriptions on the sculptures in London give no dates, and make no certain mention of any kings or persons whose age is known. But from the style of the alphabetical characters, I am satisfied that the inscriptions belong to the same period as those of the famous caves of Kanhari, Nasik, and Karle, which record the gifts of Gotamiputra — Satakarni, Pudumayi, and Yadyna Sri, of the Andhra dynasty. They agree also with those of the Satakarni inscription on the gateway of the Bhilsa tope,[1] as well as with those of Rudra Dama's inscription on the rock of Girnar. I have already noted that one of the Kanhari inscriptions is dated in the year 30 of the Sakaditya Kal, or era of Sake, equivalent to A.D. 108; and I may now add that Rudra Dama's inscription is dated in the year 72, which, if referred to the Vikramaditya era, will be A.D. 15, or if to the Sake era, A.D. 150, both dates being within the period of the first two centuries of the Christian era, to which I refer the Amaravati inscriptions. Colonel Mackenzie also obtained some leaden coins of Gotamiputra[2] and of other princes of the Satakarni dynasty of Andhras, when excavating the ruins at Dharanikotta — a discovery which alone is sufficient to establish the existence

  1. ' Bhilsa Topes,' p. 264. Mr. Fergusson refers to this inscription as being in the same characters as the Lat inscriptions of Asoka ; but he is undoubtedly mistaken, as the gateway inscriptions of the [[Bhilsa tope]] are in a very different character, as may be seen by a reference to my work.
  2. Sir Walter Elliot, in ' Madras Literary Journal,' 1858, vol. iii. new series: " I am responsible for the readings." See Plate XI. No. 105, Rajnya Gotamiputa Satahanisa ; also Nos. 92 and 101. No. 96 has Satakanisa, and No. 100 Pudumdvisa.

[p.542]: of some important buildings at this very spot during their reigns. I have already suggested that Gotamiputra Satakarni was probably the same person as the great Salivahan, or Sadavahan, who established the Sake era ; and I am inclined to assign the foundation of the Amaravati stupa to him, in about A.D. 90, and its completion to Yadrya Sri Satakarni, one of his successors, who ascended the throne in A.D. 142. This date corresponds very well with the only facts that we possess regarding the age of the stupa, namely, that it cannot be earlier than the Christian era or later than A.D. 313, when its relics were carried away to Ceylon.

At a much later date, in the beginning of the eleventh century, Danaka is mentioned by Abu Rihan, who describes it as " the plains of the Konkan." Now, the Konkan is the valley of the Kistna river, and this description of the country of Danaka adds another proof to the correctness of my identification of Hwen Thsang's Dhanakakata with the ruined city of Dharanikotta on the Kistna. According to Abu Rihan,[1] Danaka was the native country of the Karkadun, or rhinoceros. Now the same statement is made by the merchant Suliman[2] of a country in the south of

India, named Ruhmi, ... which was famous also for extremely fine muslins, that could be passed through a ring. The same country is noticed by Masudi[3] as Rahma, and by Idrisi as Rumi. Masudi, also, notes that it extended along the seacoast. Now Marco Polo mentions the town of Miifafli, in the province of

  1. Reinaud, 'Fragments Arabes,' etc., p. 109.
  2. Sir Henry Elliot's ' Muhammadan Historians of India,' by Professor Dowson, i. 5.
  3. Ibid., i. 23.

[p.543]: Masulipatam and to the north of Maabar, as famous for diamonds and for the thinnest and most delicate cotton cloths resembling spiders' webs. Mutafili has generally been identified with Masulipatam itself ; but a considerable town named Mutapili still exists near the seacoast at 66 miles to the south of Dharanikotta., and 70 miles to the south-west of Masulipatam. In either case, however, Marco's notice determines the fact that the country about the mouths of the Godavari was famous for diamonds and for delicately fine muslins. It must, therefore, have included the diamond district of Partyal, immediately to the north of Dharanikota, as well as the muslin district of Masulipatam ; and, accordingly, it may be identified with the Rahmi or Dumi of the Arab geographers. By a very slight change in the characters ... Rahmi might become ... Dhanak, which would agree with the Danaka of Abu Rihan.

According to the chronicles of Orissa,[1] the present town of Amaravati was founded, or established as a subordinate seat of government, by Surya Deva, Raja of Orissa in the twelfth century. The name is connected with the worship of Siva as Amaranatha or Amareswara ; and one of the twelve great Lingas of this god, which is assigned to Ujain, almost certainly, belonged to the holy city on the Kistna, as we know that Ujain possessed its own famous temple of Mahakala, and that all the other ten shrines of Siva belong to different places.

I cannot close this account without noting that M. Yivien de Saint-Martin has stated his suspicion that

  1. Stirling in Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 1837, p. 760.

[p.544]: the name of Dandaka is connected with Dhanakakata[1] The Dandakaranya, or forest of Dandaka, is celebrated in Indian story. Varaha Mihira,[2] the great astronomer, mentions Dandaka along with other places in the South of India as follows : Kerala, Karnata, Kanchipura, Konkana, Chinna-pattana (or Madras), etc. In this list Dandaka is distinct from Konkana, or the Upper Kistna ; and may, therefore, perhaps be identified with the lower valley of the Kistna of which Dhanakakata was the capital. But as the latter name is found in the early inscriptions of the western caves, it is probable that the mere verbal resemblance of Dandaka may be quite accidental.

Hwen Thsang describes the province of Dhanakakata as 6000 li, or 1000 miles, in circuit. These large dimensions are corroborated by its other name of Ta-an-ta-lo, that is Maha Andhra, or the great Andhra, which is noted by the Chinese editor,[3] as the other districts of Telingdna, namely Kalinga and Andhra proper are smaller than Dhanakakata. No frontier is mentioned in any direction ; but it is most probable that the boundaries of the province corresponded as nearly as possible with the limits of the Telugu language, which extended to Kulbarga and Pennakonda on the west, and to Tripati and the Pulikat lake on the south. On the north it was bounded by Andhra and Kalinga, and on the east by the sea. The circuit of these boundaries is, as nearly as possible, 1000 miles; and I am, therefore, inclined to believe that the large tract of

  1. M. Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' iii. 396. ' Memoire Analytique sur la Carte de I'Asie Centrale et de I'lnde.'
  2. Kern's ' Brihat-Sanhita,' c. xiv. ; v. 12, 13, 14.
  3. M. Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' iii. 110, note 2.

[p.545]: country thus described is the famous Dhanakakata of Hwen Thsang.

5. Choliya or Joriya

From Dhanakakata, Hwen Thsang travelled to the south-west for 1000 li, or 167 miles, to Chu-li-ye, or Jho-li-ye, which he describes as a small district only 2400 li, or 400 miles, in circuit.[1] To enable us to fix the position of this unknown territory it is necessary to note the pilgrim's subsequent route to the south for 1500 or 1600 li, or about 260 miles, to Kanchipura or Conjeveram, the well-known capital of Dravida. Now, the distance of Kanchipura from the Kistna is from 240 to 260 miles, so that Chuliya must be looked for somewhere along the south bank of that river, at 167 miles to the south-west of Dharanikotta. This position corresponds almost exactly with Karnul, which is 230 miles in a direct line to the north-north- west of Kanchipura, and 160 miles to the west- south- west of Dharanikotta. M. Julien has identified Choliya with Chola, which gives its name to Chola-mandala, or Coromandel. But Chola was to the south of Dravida, whereas the Choliya of Hwen Thsang lies to the north of it. If we accept the pilgrim's bearings and distances as approximately correct, the position of Choliya must certainly be looked for in the neighbourhood of Karnul.

Professor Lassen has suggested that the names of Choliya and Dravida may have been transposed by the Chinese editor of the pilgrim's travels. The same suggestion occurred to me when I first examined the travels some years ago ; and if it was quite certain that the Chinese syllables Chu-li-ye represented Chola,

  1. Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang," iii. 116. See Map No. I.

[p.546]: there would be a very strong temptation to adopt the suggestion. But I agree with M. Vivien de Saint- Martin[1] that it is difficult to admit the possibility of such a transposition, although an adherence to the text of Hwen Thsang involves the total omission of any mention of the famous kingdom of Chola. M. de Saint- Martin points to the present use of the name of Coromandel, which is applied to the whole of the Madras coast, as far north as the mouths of the Godavari, as a possible explanation of the extension of the name of Chola to the country immediately to the south of the Kistna. But I believe that this extension of the name is solely due to European sailors, who adopted it for the sake of convenience. This name be-sides applies only to the sea-coast, whereas Chuliya is described by Hwen Thsang as a small district lying to the south-west of Dharanikotta, so that if we accept the pilgrim's account as it stands, it is scarcely possible that Choliya could have extended so far to the east as the sea-coast.

It is admitted that the identification of Choliya is difficult ; but I am of opinion that we must either accept the pilgrim's account as it now stands, or adopt the transposition suggested by Professor Lassen. In the former case, we must look for Choliya in the neigh-bourhood of Karnul ; in the latter ease, it may be at once identified with the famous province of Chola, and its well-known capital Tanjor.

In the Chino-Japanese map of India, constructed to illustrate the pilgrim's travels, the district of Choliya is named Chu-ey-no, and is placed to the north of Dravida, and to the south-west of Dhanaka, as in the

  1. M. Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' iii. 398.

[p.547]: text of Hwen Thsang. These Chinese syllables may perhaps represent Kandanur, which, according to Buchanan, is the correct form of the name of Karnul.

Immediately under the walls of Karnul, lies the old town of Zora, or Jora, the Jorampur of the maps, which answers exactly to the Choliya or Joriya of the pilgrim. The initial Chinese syllable seems to be very rarely used, but a similar letter is found in Kajugira, Jutinga, and Jyolishka, and I am satisfied that M. Julien's reading of the characters,ju, or jo, is correct. I am also inclined to identify Jora with Ptolemy's Sora regia Arcati. In some editions the words are transposed, as Arcati regia Sora. But though the cart may be put before the horse, it is still the cart, and there- fore, I take Sora to be the capital of King Arkatos, whether it be placed before or after his name. Arkatou has been usually identified with Arcot, near Madras ; but the name of this city is believed to be quite modern, and the position of Sora must be far to the north of Arcot. The Soree Nomades of Ptolemy may therefore be a branch of the Sauras, who are still located on the banks of the Kistna river. One hundred miles to the west-north-west of Karnul, there is also a large town, named Sorapur, the Raja of which " still holds his patrimonial appanage, surrounded by his faithful tribe (Bedars), claiming a descent of more than thirty centuries."[1]

As Chuliya is described as being only 2400 li, or 400 miles, in circuit, its small size offers no help towards its identification. If it is placed in the Karnul district, it will cut off the north-western corner of the province of Dhanakakata, but will not lessen its circuit,

  1. General Briggs in Journ. Royal Asiat. Soc, xiii. 294.

[p.548]: although it will diminish its area. If, however, Chuliya is to he identified with Chola, I would assign to it the modern district of Tanjor, extending from Sankeri-Drug, near Salem on the north-west, to the mouth of the Kaveri or Kolrun river, on the north-east, and from Dindigal, on the south-west, to Point Calimere on the south-east. This tract is about 120 miles in length, by 80 miles, or just 400 miles, in circuit.


In the seventh century the province of Ta-lo-pi-cha, or Dravida, was 6000 li, or 1000 miles, in circuit, and its capital, named Kien-chi-pu-lo, or Kanchipura, was 80 li, or 5 miles, in circuit.[1] Kanchipura is the true Sanskrit name of Conjeveram, on the Palar river, a large straggling town of great antiquity. As Dravida was bounded by Konkana and Dhanakakata on the north, and by Malakuta on the south, while no district is mentioned to the west, it seems certain that it must have extended right across the peninsula, from sea to sea. Its northern boundary may therefore be approximately defined as running from Kundapur, on the western coast, via Kadur and Tripati, to the Pulikat Lake, and its southern boundary from Calicut to the mouth of the Kaveri. As the circuit of these limits is very nearly 1000 miles, the boundaries suggested may be accepted as very nearly correct.

During the pilgrim's stay at Kanchipura, about 300 Buddhist monks arrived from Ceylon, which they had quitted on account of political disturbances, consequent on the death of the king. By my reckoning, Hwen Thsang must have arrived in Kanchipura, about the

  1. Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' iii. 118. See Map No. I.

[p.549]: 30th of July, A.D. 639, and, according to Tumour's list of the kings of Ceylon, Raja Buna Mugalan was put to death in A.D. 639. From the information furnished by these monks, the pilgrim drew up his account of, or Ceylon, which he was prevented from visiting by the disturbed state of the country.

7. Malakuta or Madura

From Kanchipura, Hwen Thsang proceeded to the south for 3000 li, or 500 miles, to Mo-lo-kiu-cha[1] which M. Julien renders by Malakuta. In the southern part of the territory, towards the sea-coast, stood the mountain named Mo-la-ye, or Malaya, which produced sandal-wood. The country thus described is therefore the southern end of the peninsula, part of which is still called Malayalam and Malayawara, or Malabar ; I would accordingly read the Chinese syllables as an abbreviated form of Malayakuta. The circuit of the kingdom was 5000 li, or 833 miles, being bounded by the sea to the south, and by the province of Dravida to the north. As this estimate agrees almost exactly with the measurement of the end of the peninsula, to the south of the Kaveri river, the province of Malayakuta must have included the modern districts of Tanjor and Madura, on the east, with Coimbator, Cochin, and Travancore, on the west.

The position of the capital is difficult to fix, as a distance of 500 miles, to the south of Conjeveram, would take us out to sea beyond Cape Kumari, (Comorin). If we might read 1300 li, or 217 miles, instead of 3000 li, both bearing and distance would agree exactly with the position of the ancient city of

  1. Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' iii. 121. See Map No. I.

[p.550]: Madura, which was the capital of the southern end of the peninsula in the time of Ptolemy. It is possible that Kaulam (Quilon) may have been the capital at the time of Hwen Thsang's visit; but neither the distance nor the bearing agrees with the pilgrim's statement, as the place is not more than 400 miles to the south-west of Conjeveram. To the north-east of the capital there was a town named Charitrapura, or "Departure-town," which was the port of embarkation for Ceylon. If Madura was the capital, the "port-city" was probably Negapatam ; but, if Kaulam was the capital, the "port-city" must have been Ramnad (Ramanathapura). From this port, Ceylon was distant 3000 li, or 500 miles, to the south-east.

According to the writer of the ' Life of Hwen Thsang,[1]Malayakuta was not visited by the pilgrim, but described by hearsay, and the distance of 3000 li is said to be from the frontiers of Dravida. But this would only increase the difficulty by placing the capital of Malayakuta still further to the south. In a note to this passage,[2] M. Julieu quotes the Si-yu-ki as fixing the distance at 300 li, instead of 3000 li, as given in his translation of the Memoirs of Hwen Thsang. If this number is not a misprint, these different readings may show that there is some uncertainty as to the distance, as well as to the point of departure. I am inclined, therefore, to think that the original distances given in the memoirs and life of the pilgrim may perhaps have been 300 li, or 50 miles, from the frontiers of Dravida in the latter, and 1300 li,

  1. Julieu, i. 193 : " II entendit dire qu'a trois mille li des frontieres de ce pays [Dravida] il y avait un royaume appele Mo.lo.kiu.cha."
  2. ' Hiouen Thsang,' i. 193 ; and iii. 121.

[p.551]: or 217 miles, from the capital of Dravida in the former. In either case, the capital of Malayakuta would be fixed at Madura, which has always been one of the principal cities of Southern India.

According to Abu Rihan, and his copyist, Eashid-ud-din, Malya and Kutal (or Kunak) were two distinct provinces, the latter being to the south of the former, and the last, or most southerly district of India. It seems probable therefore, that Malyakuta is a compound name, formed by joining the names of two contiguous districts. Thus, Malya would answer to the district of Pandya, with its capital of Madura, and Kuta, or Kutal, to Travancore, with its capital of Kochin, the Kottiara of Ptolemy.

Hwen Thsang's omission of any mention of Chola may be explained by the fact that at the time of his visit the Chola-desa formed part of the great kingdom of the Cheras. Chola is, however, duly noticed by Ptolemy, whose Orthura regia Sornati must be Uriur the capital of Soranatha, or the king of the Sorinyae, that is the Soras, Choras or Cholas. Uriur is a few miles to the south-south-east of Trichinopoli. The Soringae are most probably the Syrieni of Pliny with their three hundred cities, as they occupied the coast between the Pandae and the Derangae or Dravidians.

According to M. Julien[1] Malyakuta was also called Chi-mo-lo, which I read as Jhi-mu-ra, because the initial syllable is the same as the second syllable of Chi-chi-to, or Jajhoti. Jhimura is perhaps only a variant form of the Limurike of Strabo, Ptolemy, and Arrian, and of the Damirice of the Peutingerian Tables. It would also appear to be the same name as Pliny's

  1. 'Hiouen Tlisang," iii. 121.

[p.552]: Charmae, a people who occupied the western coast immediately above the Pandae.

Tn the Chino-Japanese map of India the alternative name of Malyakuta is Hai-an-men, which suggests a connection with Ptolemy's Aioi.

8. Konkana

From Malayakuta the pilgrim returned to Dravida (Conjeveram), and then proceeded to the north-west for 2000 li, or 333 miles, to Kong-kien-na-pu-lo, or Konkanapura.[1] Both the bearing and distance point to Annagundi on the northern bank of the Tungabhadra river, which was the ancient capital of the country before the Muhammadan invasion. M. Vivien de Saint-Martin has suggested the old town of Banawasi, which is mentioned by Ptolemy as Banauasei. But the distance is rather too great, and the subsequent bearing to the capital of Maharashtra would be almost due north instead of north-west as stated by the pilgrim. Annagundi is a remarkable old site, and was the capital of a Yadava dynasty of princes before the foundation of the modern city of Vijayanagar on the southern bank of the river.[2]

According to Hamilton, the name of Konkana amongst the natives includes " much country lying to the east of the western ghats." This extension agrees with Abu Rihan's description of Danaka as the "plains of the Konkan" which can only apply to the table-land above the ghats. Such also may have been its application in the time of Hwen Thsang, as ho describes the kingdom as being 5000 li, or 833

  1. Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' iii. 146. See Map No. I.
  2. Wilks' ' Mysore,' i. 14; note, quoting from the Mackenzie MSS.

[p.553]: miles, in circuit, which, if limited to the narrow strip of land between the ghats and the sea, would include the whole line of coast from Bombay to Mangalur. But in the seventh century the northern half of this tract belonged to the powerful Chalukya kingdom of Maharashtra ; and consequently, if the pilgrim's estimate of its size is correct, the kingdom of Konkana must have extended inland far beyond the line of the western ghats. Its actual limits are not mentioned, but as it was bounded by Dravida on the south, by Dhanakakata on the east, by Maharashtra on the north, and by the sea on the west, it may be described as extending along the coast from Vingorla to Kundapur, near Bednur, and inland from the neighbourhood of Kulbarga to the ancient fortress of Mad-giri, which would give a circuit of about 800 miles. This was the ancient kingdom of the Kadambas, which for a time rivalled that of the Chalukyas of Maharashtra. Hamilton states that the name of the country is pronounced Kokan by the natives, which suggests its identification with the people called Cocondae by Pliny, who occupied a middle position in the route from the south of India towards the mouth of the Indus.

9. Maharashtra

From Konkana the pilgrim Xuanzang proceeded to the north-west for 2400 to 2500 li, or upwards of 400 miles, to Mo-ho-la-cha, or Maharashtra. The capital was 30 li, or 5 miles, in circuit, and on the west side touched a large river.[1] From this description alone I should be inclined to adopt Paithan, or Pratishthana, on the Godavari as the capital of Maharashtra in the seventh

  1. Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' iii. 149. See Map No. I.

[p.554]: century. It is mentioned by Ptolemy as Baithana, and by the author of the 'Periplus' as Plithana, which should no doubt be corrected to Paithana. But the subsequent distance of 1000 li, or 167 miles, westward or north-westward[1] to Bharoch is much too small, as the actual distance between Paithan and Bharoch is not less than 250 miles. M. Vivien de Saint- Martin thinks that Devagiri accords better with the position indicated ; but Devagiri is not situated on any river, and its distance from Bharoch is about 200 miles. I think it more probable that Kalyani is the place intended, as we know that it was the ancient capital of the Chalukya dynasty. Its position also agrees better with both of Hwen Thsang's distances, as it is about 400 miles to the north-west of Annagundi, and 180 or 190 miles to the south of Bharoch. To the west of the city also flows the Kailas river, which at this point is a large stream. Kalyan or Kalyani is mentioned by Kosmas Indikopleustes in the sixth century as the seat of a Christian bishopric, under the name of Kalliana, and by the author of the ' Periplus ' in the second century as Kalliena, which had been a famous emporium in the time of Sarayanos the elder.[2] The name of Kaliyana also occurs several times in the Kanhari Cave inscriptions, which date from the first and second centuries of the Christian era.

The circuit of the province is said to be 6000 li, or 1000 miles, which agrees with the dimensions of the

  1. M. Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' iii. 401. In the life of the pilgrim, i. 203. the direction is said to be north-east, but as this would place the capital of Maharashtra in the midst of the Indian Ocean, the correction to north-west is absolutely necessary.
  2. Hudson, Geogr. Vet. i- 30 : <greek>.

[p.555]: tract remaining unassigned between Malwa on the north, Kosala and Andhra on the east, Konkana on the south, and the sea on the west. The limiting points of this tract are Daman and Vingorla on the sea-coast, and Idalabad and Haidarabad inland, which give a circuit of rather more than 1000 miles.

On the eastern frontier of the kingdom there was a great mountain with ridges rising one over another, and scarped crests. In former days the Arhat Achara had built a monastery, with rooms excavated in the rock, and a front of two storeys in height facing a " sombre" valley. The Vihar attached to it was 100 feet in height; and in the midst of the monastery there was a stone statue of Buddha about 70 feet high, which was surmounted by seven stone caps suspended in the air without any apparent support. The walls of the Vihar were divided all round into panels in which were sculptured with minute detail all the great events of Buddha's life. Outside the north and south gates of the monastery there were stone elephants, both on the right-hand and on the left, which according to the belief of the people occasionally roared so loudly as to make the earth quake. The description of the hill is too vague to be of much use in identifying its position ; but if the easterly bearing is correct, the hill of Ajayanti is most probably the place intended, as its bluff ridges appear to answer better to the pilgrim's account than the smoother slopes of Elura. But with the exception of the stone elephants, the account is too vague to enable us to identify the place with any certainty. There are two stone elephants outside the Kailas excavation at Elura, but that is a Brahmanical temple, and not a Buddhist

[p.556]: vihar. There is also an elephant close to the Indra-sabha at Elura, but the animal is inside the courtyard, instead of outside the gate as described by the pilgrim. Scenes from Buddha's life formed the common subjects of Buddhist sculpture, and would therefore offer no special assistance towards the identification of the monastery. But though the pilgrim's account is vague, it is so minute as to the positions of the elephants and the arrangement of the sculptures that I am inclined to think he must have seen the place himself. In this case I would read " western " frontier of the kingdom, and identify his cave monastery with the well-known excavations of Kanhari in the island of Salsette. Indeed, if I am correct in the identification of Kalyani as the capital of Maharashtra in the seventh century, it is almost certain that the pilgrim must have visited the Buddhist establishments at Kanhari, which are not more than 25 miles distant from Kalyani. The numerous inscriptions at Kanhari show that some of its excavations must date as early as the first century before Christ, and the bulk of them during the first and second centuries after Christ. One of the inscriptions is dated in the year 30 of the Sakadityakal, or A.D. 108. No remains of stone elephants have yet been found at Kanhari, but as the structural facades in front of the excavated vihars have all fallen down, some elephant torsos may yet be discovered amongst the ruins along the foot of the scarped rock. Mr. E. West has already disinterred the remains of a stone stupa with all its sculptured friezes from amongst these ruins, and further research will no doubt bring to light many other interesting remains.

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