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No. Paqb 

68-69. Square and oblong Cells from 

a Bas-relief at Bharhat . . . . 135 

70. Ganesa Cave 140 

71. Pillar In Ganesa Cave, Outtack .. 140 

72. Upper Storey, Rani Gumpha .. 140 

73. Tiger Cave, Cuttack 143 

74. Cave No. 11, at Ajtinta .. v. 145 

75. Cave No. 2, at Ajunta .. ..146 

76. Cave at Bagh 146 

77. Darbar Cave, Salsette .. ..147 

78. NahapanaViharayNassick .. .. 149 

79. Pillar in Nahapana Cave, Nassick 150 

80. Pillar in Gautamiputra Cave, Nas- 

sick 150 

81. Yadnya Sri Cave, Nassick .. .. 151 

82. Pillar in Yadnya Sri Cave .. ..152 

83. Plan of Cave No. 16 at AjunU .. 154 

84. View of Interior of Vihara No. 16 

at Ajunta 154 

85. View in Cave No. 17 at Ajunta 155 

86. Pillar in Vihara No. 17 at Ajunta 156 

87. Great Vihara at Bagh .. ..160 

88. Plan of Dehrwarra, Ellora .. 163 

89. Circular Cave, Junir 167 

90. Section of Circular Cave, Junir 167 

91. Round Temple and part of Palace 

from a bas-relief at Bharhut .. 168 

92. Plan of Monastery at Jamalgiri 171 

93. Plan of Monastery at Takht-i- 

Bahi 171 

94. Corinthian Capital from Jamal- 

giri .. .. 173 

- 95. Corinthian Capital from Jamal- 
giri 173 

96. Plan of Ionic Monastery, Shah 

Dehri 176 

97. Ionic Pillar, Shah Dehri .. ..176 

98. Elevation of front of Staircase, 

Ruanwelli Dagoba 190 

99. View of Frontispiece of Stairs, 

Ruanwelli Dagoba 191 

100. Stelft at the end of Stairs, Abha- 

yagiri Dagoba 192 

101. Thuparamaya Tope 192 

102. Lankaramaya Dagoba, A.D. 221 194 

103. Pavilion with Steps at Anurad- 

hapura 197 

104. Moon Stone at Foot of Steps lead- 

ing to the Platform of the Bo- 
tree, Anuradhapura . . . . 197 

105. The Jayta Wana Rama— Ruins of 

PoUonarua 201 

106. Sat Mehal Prasada 202 

107. Round House, called Watt^ Daj6, 

in PoUonarua 203 

108. View of City Gateway, Bijanagur 211 

109. Gateway, Jin jiiwarra 211 

110. Radiating Arch 213 

111. Horizontal Arch 213 

No. Paob 

112. Diagram of Roofing 213 

113-114. Diagrams of Roofing .. ..214 

115. Diagram of Roofing 214 

116. Diagram of Indian construction . . 215 

117. Diagram of the arrangement of 

' the pillars of a Jaina Dome . . 216 

118. Diagram Plan of Jaina Porch .. 216 

119. Diagram of Jaina Porch .. ..217 

120. Old Temple at AiwuUi .. ..219 

121. Temple at AiwuUi 220 

122. Plan of Temple at Pittadkul ..221 

123. Restored Elevation of the Black 

Pagoda at Kanaruc 222 

124. Diagram Plan and Section of the 

Black Pagoda at Kanaruc . . 223 

1 25. The Sacred Hill of Sutrunjya, near 

Palitana 227 

126. Temple of Neminatha, Gimar .. 230 

127. Plan of Temple of Tejpala and 

Vastupala 232 

128. Plan of Temple at Somnath .. 232 

129. Temple of Vimala Sah, Mount 

Abu 235 

130. Temple of Vimala Sah, Mount 

Abu 236 

131. Pendant in Dome of Vimala Sah 

Temple at Abu 237 

132. Pillars at Chandravati .. ..238 

133. Plan of Temple at Sadri .. ..240 

134. View in the Temple at Sadri .. 241 

135. External View of the Temple at 

Sadri 242 

136.* Jaina Temple at Gualior .. ..244 

137. Temple of Parswanatha at Kha- 

jurftho 245 

138. Chaonsat Jogini, KhajurAho . . 246 

139. The Ganthai, Khajuraho .. ..248 
140.* Temple at Gyraspore .. ..249 

141. Porch of Jaina Temple at Amwah, 

near Ajunta 251 

142. JainaTowerof Sri Allat,Chittore 252 

143. Tower of Victory erected by 

Khumbo Rana at Chittore .. 253 
144.* View of Jaina Temples Sona- 

ghur, in Bundelcund . . . . 256 

145. View of the Temple of Shet 

Huttising at Ahmedabad .. 257 

146. Upper part of Porch of Jaina 

Temple at Delhi 259 

147. Entrance to the Indra Subba Cave 

at Ellora 262 

148. Colossal Statue at TannCir .. .. 268 

149. Jaina Basti at Sravana Belgula 270 

150. Jaina Temple at Moodbidri .. 271 

151. Jaina Temple at Moodbidri .. 272 

152. Pillar in Temple, Moodbidri .. 273 

153. Pavilion at Gumsankerry •• .. 274 

154. Tombs of Priests, Moodbidri .. 275 

155. Stambha at Gurusankerry . . .. 276 

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156. Tomb of Z«in-ul-ab-ad-dlii. £le- 

vatioii of Arches .. .. .. 281 

157. Takt-i-Suleiman. Elevation of 

Arches 282 

158. Model ox Temple in Kashmir .. 283 

159. Pillar at Srinagar 284 

160. Temple of Miurttand 286 

161. View of Temple at Marttand .. 287 

162. Central Cell of Court at Marttand 288 

163. Niche with Naga Figure at Mar- 

ttand 290 

164. Soffit of Arch at MartUnd .. 291 

165. Pillar at Avantipore 292 

166. View in Court of Temple at Bha^ 

niyar 293 

167. Temple at Pandrethan .. ..294 

168. Temple at Payech 295 

169. Temple at MMot in the Salt 

Range .. 296 

170. Temple of Swajambnnath, Nepal 302 

171. Nepalese Kosthakar 303 

172. Devi Bhowani Temple, Bhatgaon 304 

173. Temple of Mahadeo and Krishna, 

Patau 306 

174. Doorway of Durbar, Bhatgaon . . 307 

175. Monoliths at Dimapur .. ..309 

176. Doorway of the Temple at Tassi- 

.ding. 313 

177. Porch of Temple at Pemiongchi 314 

178. Temples at Kiragrama, near Kote 

Kangra 316 

179. Pillar at £run of the GupU age 317 

180. Capital of Half Column from a 

temple in Orissa 317 

181. Baths, Mahavellipore 328 

182. Axjuna's Rath, Mahavellipore . . 330 

183. Perumal Pagoda, Madura .. ..331 

184. liJitrance to a Hindu Temple, 

Colombo 332 

185. Tiger Cave at Saluvan Kuppan . . 333 

186. Kylas at Ellora 334 

187. Kylas, Ellora 335 

188. Deepdan in Dharwar 337 

189. PlanofGreat Temple at Purudkul 338 

190. Diagram Plan of Tanjore Pagoda 343 

191. View of the Great Pagoda at Tan- 

jore 344 

192.* Temple of Soubramanya, Tanjore 345 

193. Inner Temple at Tiruvalur .. 346 

194. Temple at Tiruvalur 346 

195.* View of the eastern half of the 

Great Temple at Seringham . . 349 

196. Plan of Temple of Chillambaram 351 

197. View of Porch at Cliillarabaram 353 

198. Section of Porch of Temple at 

Chillambaram 353 

199.'* Ruined Temple or Pagoda at 

Chillambaram 354 

No. Pack 

200. Plan of Great Temple at Ramis- 

seram 356 

201. Central Corridor, Ramisseram .. 358 

202. PlanofTirumuUaNayak'sChoul- 

trie 361 

203. Pillar in Tirumulla Nayak's Choul- 

trie 361 

204.» View in Turumulk Nayak's 

Choultrie, M&dura 363 

205. Half-plan of Temple at Tinne- 

velly 366 

206.* Gopura at Combaoonum .. .. 368 

207. Portico of Temple at Vellore ..371 

208. Compound Pillar at Vellore ..372 

209. Compound Pillar at Peroor . . 372 

210. View of Porch of Temple of Vi- 

toba at Vijayanagar . . 375 

211.* Entrance through Gopura at 

Tarputry 376 

212.* Portion of Gopura at Tarputry 377 

213. Hail in Palace, M&dura .. ..382 

214. Court in Palace, Tanjore .. ..383 

215. Garden Pavilion at Vijayanagar 384 

216. Temple at BuchropuUy .. ..389 

217. Doorway of Great Temple at 

Hammoncondah 390 

218. Kirti Stambha at Worangul .. 392 

219. Temple at Somnathptir .. ..394 

220. Plan of Great Temple at Bailiar 395 

221. View of part of Porch at BaillOr 396 

222. Pavilion at Bailliir 397 

223. Kait Iswara, Hullabid .. ..398 

224. Plan of Temple at Hullabid .. 399 

225. Restored View of Temple at Hut- 

labtd .. ...,..' .. .. 400 

226. Central Pavilion, Hullabid, East 

Front 402 

227. Dravidian and Indo-Aryan Temples 

atBadami 411 

228. Modern Temple at Benares . . 412 

229. Diagram Plan of Hindu Temple.. 412 

230. Temple of Parasurameswara .. 418 

231. Temple of Mukteswara .. ..419 

232. Plan of Great Temple at Bhu- 

vaneswar 421 

233. View of Great Temple, Bhu- 

vaneswar. 422 

234. Lower part of Great Tower at 

Bhuvaneswar 423 

235. Plan of Raj Rani Temple 424 

236. Doorway in Raj Rani Temple .. 425 

237. Plan of Temple of Juganftt at 

Puri 430 

238. View of Tower of Temple of Juga- 

nat 431 

239. Hindu Pillar in Jajepur . . . . 433 

240. Hindu Bridge at Cuttack . . . . 434 

241. View of Temple of Papanatha at 

Pittadkul 438 

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Fa Paob 

242. Pillar in Eylas, Ellon .. ..443 

243. Plan of Care No. 3, Badsmi .. 444 

244. Section of Care No. 3, Radami .. 444 

245. Dhnmnar Loia Gaya at Ellora .. 445 

246. Rock-cat Temple at Dhnmnar .. 446 

247. Saira Temple near Poonah .. 446 

248. Temple at ChandraTati .. ..449 

249. Temple at Barrolli 450 

250. Plan of Temple at Barrolli .. 450 

251. Pillar in Barrolli 451 

252.* Teli ka Mandir, Gualior .. ..453 
253.'* Kandarya Mahadeo, Khajorftho 455 

254. Plan of Kandarya Mahadeo, Kha- 

jnrftho 456 

255. Temple at Ddaipnr 457 

256. Diagram ezplanatorr of the Plan 

of Heera Bale's Temple, Chit- 
tore 458 

257.* Temple of Vriji, Chittore .. 469 

258. Temple of Vishyeshwar .. ..460 

259. Temple of Scindiah's Mother, 

Gnalior 462 

260. Plan of Temple at Bindrabnn .. 463 

261. View of Temple at Bindrabnn .. 464 

262. Balcony in Temple at Bindrabnn 465 

263. Temple at Eantonnggnr .. ..467 
264.» The Golden Temple in the Holy 

Tank at AmriUur 468 

265.* Cenotaph of Singram Sing at 

Ondeypore 471 

266.* Cenotaph in Maha S&ti at Oudcy- 

pore 472 

267.* Tomb of Rajah Baktawar at 

Ulwar 474 

268.* Palace at Duttiah 477 

269.* Palace at Onrtcha, Bnndelcnnd 478 

270. Balcony at the Observatory, 

Benares 481 

271. HalUtDeeg 482 

272. View from the Central Pavilion 

in the Palace at Deeg .. .. 483 

273. Ghoosia Gh&t, Benares .., .. 485 

274. Bund of Lake Rajsamnndra .. 487 

275. Minar at Ghazni ..495 

276. Ornaments from the Tomb of 

Mahmiid at Ghazni 496 

277. Plan of Ruins in Old Delhi .. 501 

278. Section of part of East Colonnade 

at the Kutob, Old Delhi .. ..503 

279. Central Range of Arches at the 

Kutnb 504 

280. Minar of Kntub 505 

281. Iron PUlar at Kntub 507 

282. Interior of a Tomb at Old Delhi 509 

283. Mosqne at Ajmir 511 

284. Great Arch in Mosqne at Ajmir 512 

285. Pathan Tomb at Shepree, near 

Gnalior 515 

Na Paor 

286. Tomb at Old Delhi 516 

287. Tomb of Shere Shah at Sasseram 516 

288. Tomb of Shere Shah 517 

289. Pendentive from Mosqne at Old 

Delhi 519 

290. Plan of Western Half of Conrt- 

yard of Jnmma Musjid, Jann- 
pore 522 

291. View of lateral Gateway of Jnm- 

ma Mnsjid, Jaanpore .. 522 

292. Lall Dnrwaza Mosqne, Jannpore 523 

293. Plan of Jnmma Musjid, Abme- 

dabad 528 

294. Elevation of the Jnmma Musjid 528 

295. Plan of the Queen's Mosqne, 

Mirzapore 529 

296. Elevation of the Queen's Mosqne, 

Mirzapore 529 

297. Section of Diagram explanatory 

of the Mosques at Ahmedabad 529 

298. Plan of Tombs and Mosque at 

Sirkej 531 

299. Pavilion in front of tomb at 

Sirkej 532 

300. Mosque at Moohafiz Khan .. .. 532 

301. Window in Bhndder at Ahme- 

dabad 533 

302. Tomb of Meer Abu TourAb .. 534 

303. Plan and Elevation of Tomb of 

SyadOsmin 534 

304. Tomb of Kutub-ul-Alam, Butwa 536 

305. Plans of Tombs of Kutnb-uI-Alnm 

and his Son, Butwa 536 

306. Plan of Tomb of Mahmiid Begnrra, 

near Kaira 538 

307. Tomb of Mahmiid Begnrra, near 

Kaira 538 

308. Plan of Mosque at Mandn .. ..542 

309. Courtyard of Great Mosqne at 

Mandn 543 

310. Modem curved form of Roof .. 546 

311. Kudam nl Roussoul Mosque, Gaur 548 

312. Plan of Adinah Mosque, Maldah 549 

313. Minar at Gaur 550 

314. Mosque at Kalburgah 554 

315. Half-elevation, half-section, of the 

Mosque at Kalburgah . . . . 555 

316. View of the Mosqne at Kalburgah 555 

317. Plan of Jumma Musjid, Bijapnr 559 

318. Plan and Section of smaller Domes 

of Jumma Musjid 560 

319. Section on the line A B through 

the Great Dome of the Jumma 
Musjid 560 

320. Tomb or Rozah of Ibrahim .. 561 

321. Plan of Tomb of Mahmdd at Bija- 

pnr 562 

322. Pendentives of the Tomb of Mah- 

miid, looking upwards .. .. 563 

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Na Pm» Ho. 

323. Section of Tomb of Mahmiid at ! 359, 

fiU*par 564 350" 

324. Diagrnro illiutntiTe of Domical | 

CoQstrnction 565 

325. Audience Hall, Bijapur .. ..566 

326. Tomb of Nawab Amir Khan, near 

Tatta,A.o. 1640 568 

327. Plan of Tomb of Mohammad 

Ghaus, Gnalior 576 

328. Tomb of Mohammad Ghaoa, 

Gualior 677 

329. Carved Pillars in the SulUna's 

Kiosk, Futtehpcre Sikri .. .. 579 

330. Mosque at Futtehpore Sikri .. 580 
3H1. Southern Gatewaj of Mosque, 

Futtehpore Sikri 581 

332. Hall in Palace at Allahabad .. 583 

333. Plan of Akbar's Tomb at Se- 

cundra 584 

834. Diagram Section of one-half of 
Akbar's Tomb at Secundra, ex- 
planatory of its Arrangements 585 

335. View of Akbar's Tomb, Secundra 586 

336. Palace at Delhi 592 

337.* View of Taje Mehal 596 

338. Plan of Taje Mehal, Agra .. ..597 

339. Section of Taje Mehal, Agra .. 597 

340. PlanofMatiMu5Jid 599 

341. View in Courtyard of Milti Mus- 

jid, Agra 600 

342. Great Mosque at Delhi from the I 

N.E, 601 

343. Plan of Imambara at Lucknow . . 605 

344. Tomb of the late Nawab of 

Junaghur 606 

345. Mosque of Shah Hamadan, Sri- 

nugger 609 

346. Plan of Ananda Temple .. .. 615 

347. PlanofThapinya 615 


, 364. 

I 365. 


: 367. 

' 368. 


, 371. 

j 372. 

, 374. 

i 375. 



I 379. 

Section of Thapinya 616 c 


349. View of the Temple of Gauda- 

H«n 617 

350. Kong Madii Dagoba 620 

35 K Shoemadou Pagoda, Pegu .. .. 621 

352. Half-plan of Shoedmadou Pagoda 621 

353. View of Pagoda in Rangiin .. 623 

354. Circular Pagoda at Mengfln . . 625 

355. Facade of the King's Palace, Bur- 

mah 627 

356. Burmese Kioum 628 

357. Monastery at Mandal^ . . . . 629 

358. Ruins of a Pagoda at Ayuthia . , 632 

, 381. 

I 382. 





Ruins of a Pagoda at Aynthia .. 6.')3 
The Great Tower of the Pagoda 

Wat-ching at Bangkok .. ..634 
Hall of Audience at Bangkok .. 635 
Ualf.pian of Temple of Boro Bud- 
dor 645 

Eleration and Section of Temple 

of Boro Buddor 645 

Section of one of the smaller 

Domes at Boro Buddor . . . . 646 
Eleration of principal Dome at 

Boro Buddor 646 

View of central entrance and 

stain at Boro Buddor .. 649 

Small Temple at Brambanam . . 652 
Terraced Temple at Panataram . . 655 
View of the Maha Vihara, Annrad- 

hapura 657 

Plan of Temple of Nakhon Wat 668 
EleTation of the Temple of Nakh<m 

Wat 670 

Diagram Section of Corridor, 

Nakhon Wat 671 

View of Eiterior of Nakhon Wat 671 
View of Interior of Corridor, 

Nakhon Wat 672 

General yiew of Temple of Nakhon 

Wat 675 

Pillar of Porch, Nakhon Wat .. 676 
Lower Part of Pilaster Nakhon 

Wat 677 

One of the Towers of the Temple 

atOngcorThom 680 

Temple of the Great Dragon .. 690 
Monumental Gateway of Buddhist 

Monastery, Pekin 693 

Temple at Macao 694 

Porcelain Tower, Nankin .. .. 695 
Pagoda in Summer Palace, Pekin 696 

Tung Chow Pagoda 697 

Chinese Grave 699 

Chinese Tomb 699 

Group of Tombs near Pekin .. 700 

Pailoo near Canton 701 

Pailoo at Amoy 702 

Diagram of Chinese Construction 703 
Pavilion in the Summer Palace, 

Pekin 705 

Pavilion in the Summer Palace, 

Pekin 706 

View in the Winter Palace, Pekin 707 
Archway in the Nankau Pass .. 709 

NoTB.— Thoge woodcuts in the above list marked with an asterisk are borrowed 
irom * L'Inde des Rajahs,' published by Hachette et Cie., Paris, translated and 
republished in this country by Messrs. Chapman and Hall. 

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It is in vain, perhaps, to expect that the Literature or the Arte of any 
other people can be so interesting to even the best educated Europeans 
as those of their own country. Until it is forced on their attention, 
few are aware how much education does to concentrate attention 
within a very narrow field of observation. We become familiar in 
the nursery with the names of the heroes of Greek and Boman 
history. In every school their history and their arts are taught, 
memorials of their greatness meet us at every turn through life, and 
their thoughts and aspirations become, as it were, part of ourselves. 
So, too, with the Middle Ages : their religion is our religion ; their 
architecture our architecture, and their history fades so insensibly 
into our own, that we can draw no line of demarcation that would 
separate us from them. How different is the state of feeling, when 
from this familiar home we turn to such a country as India. Its 
geography is hardly taught in schools, and seldom mastered perfectly ; 
its history is a puzzle; its literature a mythic dream; its arts a 
quaint perplexity. But, above all, the names of its heroes and great 
men are so unfamiliar and so unpronounceable, that, except a few of 
those who go to India, scarcely any ever become so acquainted with 
them, that they call up any memories which are either pleasing or 
worth dwelling upon. 

Were it not for this, there is probably no country— out of Europe 
at least— that would so well repay attention as India. None, where 
all the problems of natural science or of art are presented to us in so 
distinct and so pleasing a form. Nowhere does nature show herself in 
such grand and such luxurious features, and nowhere does humanity 
exist in more varied and more pleasing conditions. Side by side 
with the intellectual Brahman caste, and the chivalrous Rajput, are 
found the wild Bhll and the naked Gond, not antagonistic and 

uigiiizea uy v^jOOV Iv^ 


warring one against the other, as elsewhere, bnt living now as they 
have done for thousands of years, each content with his own lot, and pre- 
pared to follow, without repining, in the footsteps of his forefathers. 

It cannot of course be for one moment contended that India ever 
reached the intellectual supremacy of Greece, or the moral greatness 
of Eome ; but, though on a lower step of the ladder, her arts are 
more original and more varied, and her forms of civilization present 
an ever-changing variety, such as are nowhere else to be found. 
What, however, really renders India so interesting as an object of 
study is that it is now a living entity. Greece and Home are dead and 
have passed away, and we are living so completely in the midst of 
modem Europe, that we cannot get outside to contemplate it as a 
whole. But India is a complete cosmos in itself; bounded on the 
north by the Himalayas, on the south by the sea, on the east by 
impenetrable jungle, and only on the west having one door of com- 
munication, across the Indus, open to the other world. Across that 
stream, nation after nation have poured their myriads into her coveted 
domain, but no reflex waves ever mixed her people with those 
beyond her boundaries. 

In oonsequenoe of all this, every problem of anthropology or 
ethnography can be studied here more e€isily than anywhere else ; 
every art has its living representative, and often of the most pleasing 
form ; every science has its illustration, and many on a scale not 
easily matched elsewhere. But, notwithstanding all this, in nine 
cases out of ten, India and Indian matters fail to interest, because 
they are to most people new and unfamiliar. The rudiments have 
not been mastered when young, and when grown up, few men have 
the leisure or the inclination to set to work to learn the forms of a 
new world, demanding both care and study ; and till this is attained, 
it can hardly be hoped that the arts and the architecture of India 
will interest a European reader to the same extent as those styles 
treated of in the previous volumes of this work. 

Notwithstanding these drawbacks, it may still be possible to 
present the subject of Indian architecture in such a form as to be 
interesting, even if not attractive. To do this, however, the narrative 
form must be followed as far as is compatible with such a subject. 
All technical and unfamiliar names must be avoided wherever it is 
possible to do so, and the whole accompanied with a sufficient number 
of illustrations to enable its forms to be mastered without difficulty. 
Even if this is attended to, no one volume can tell the whole of so 
varied and so complex a history. Without preliminary or subsequent 
study it can hardly be expected that so new and so vast a subject can 
be grasped ; but one volume may contain a complete outline of the 
whole, and enable any one who wishes for more information to know 
where to look for it, or how to appreciate it when found. 

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Whether successful or not, it seems well worth while that an attempt 
should be made to interest the public in Indian architectural art, 
first, because the artist and architect will certainly acquire broader 
and more varied views of their art by its study than they can 
acquire from any other source. More than this, any one who masters 
the subject sufficiently to be able to understand their art in its best and 
hightest forms, will rise from the study with a kindlier feeling towards 
the nations of India, and a higher — certainly a corrector — appreciation 
of their social status than could be obtained from their literature, or 
from anything that now exists in their anomalous, social, and political 

Notwithstanding all this many may be inclined to ask, Is it worth 
while to master all the geographical and historical details necessary 
to unravel so tangled a web as this, and then try to become so 
familiar with their ever-varying forms as not only to be able to 
discriminate between the different styles, but also to follow them 
through all their ceaseless changes? 

My impression is that this question may fairly be answered in 
the affirmative. No one has a right to say that he understands the 
history of architecture who leaves out of his view the works of an 
immense portion of the human race, which has always shown itself 
so capable of artistic development. But, more than this, architecture 
in India is still a living art, practised on the principles which caused 
its wonderful development in Europe in the 12th and 13th cen- 
turies ; and there consequently, and there alone, the student of archi- 
tecture has a chance of seeing the real principles of the art in action. 
In Europe, at the present day, architecture is practised in a manner so 
anomalous and abnormal that few, if any, have hitherto been able 
to shake off the influence of a false system, and to see that the art of 
ornamental building can be based on principles of common sense, 
and that, when so practised, the result not only is, but must be, 
satisfactory. Those who have an opportunity of seeing what perfect 
buildings the ignorant uneducated natives of India are now producing, 
will easily understand how success may be achieved, while those 
who observe what failures the best educated and most talented archi- 
tects in Europe are constantly perpetrating, may, by a study of 
Indian models, easily see why this must inevitably be the result. 
It is only in India that the two systems can now be seen prac- 
tised side by side — the educated and intellectual European always 
failing because his principles are wrong, the feeble and unedu- 
cated native as inevitably succeeding because his principles are 
right. The Indian builders think only of what they are doing, 
and how they can best produce the effect they desire. In the 
European system it is considered more essential that a building, 
especially in its details, should be a correct copy of something else, 

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than good in itself or appropriate to its purpose ; henoe the difiFerenoe 
in the result. 

In one other respect India affords a singularly favourable field to 
the student of architecture. In no other country of the same extent 
are there so many distinct nationalities, each retaining its old faith 
and its old feelings, and impressing these on its art. lliere is conse- 
quently no country where the outlines of ethnology as applied to art 
can be so easily perceived, or their appHcation to the elucidation of 
the various problems so pre-eminently important. The mode in 
which the art has been practised in Europe for the last three cen- 
turies has been very confusing. In India it is clear and intelligible. 
No one can look at the subject without seeing its importance, and no 
one can study the art as practised there without recognising what the 
principles of the science reaUy are. 

In addition, however, to these scientific advantages it will un- 
doubtedly be conceded by those who are familiar with the subject that 
for certain qualities the Indian buildings are unrivaUed. They dis- 
play an exuberance of fancy, a lavishness of labour, and an elaboration 
of detail to be found nowhere else. They may contain nothing so sub- 
lime as the hall at Kamac, nothing so intellectual as the Parthenon, 
nor so constructively grand as a mediaeval cathedral ; but for certain 
other qualities— not perhaps of the highest kind, yet very important 
in architectural art— the Indian buildings stand alone. They conse- 
quently fill up a great gap in our knowledge of the subject, which 
without them would remain a void. 


One of the greatest difficulties that exist— perhaps the greatest — 
in exciting an interest in Indian antiquities arises from the fact, that 
India has no history properly so called, before the Mahomedan inva- 
sion in the 13th century. Had India been a great united kingdom, 
like China, with a long line of dynasties and well recorded dates 
attached to them, the task would have been comparatively easy, but 
nothing of the sort exists or ever existed within her boundaries. On 
the contrary, so far as our knowledge extends, India has always been 
occupied by three or four different races of mankind, who have never 
amalgamated so as to become one people, and each of these races have 
been again subdivided into numerous tribes or small nationalities 
nearly, sometimes wholly, independent of each other— and what is 
worse than all, not one of them ever kept a chronicle or preserved a 
series of dates commencing from any well-known era.' 

* The following brief rdsnme of the 
principal events in the ancient history 
of India has no pretensions to being a 

complete or exhaustive view of the sub- 
ject. It is intended only as such a 
popular sketch as jshall enable the gone- 

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The absenoe of any historical record Ib the more striking, because 
India possesses a written literature equal to, if not surpassing in variety 
and extent, that possessed by any other nation, before the invention, or 
at least before the adoption and use of printing. The Yedas themselves 
with their Upanishads and Brahmanas, and the commentaries on them, 
form a literature in themselves of vast extent, and some parts of which 
are as old, possibly older than any written works that are now known 
to exist ; and the Puranas, though comparatively modem, make up a 
body of doctrine mixed with mythology and tradition such as few 
nations can boast of. Besides this, however, are two great epics, sur- 
passing in extent, if not in merit, those of any ancient nation, and a 
drama of great beauty, written at periods extending through a long 
series of years. In addition to those we have treatises on law, on 
grammar, on astronomy, on metaphysics and mathematics, on almost 
every branch of mental science — a literature extending in foct to 
some 10,000 or 11,000 works, but in all this not one book that can be 
called historical. No man in India, so far as is known, ever thought 
of recording the events of his own life or of repeating the previous 
experience of others, and it was only at some time subsequent to the 
Christian Era that they ever thought of establishing eras from which 
to date deeds or events. 

All this is the more curious because in Ceylon we have, in the 
* Mahawanso,' and other books of a like nature, a consecutive history 
of that island, with dates which may be depended upon within very 
narrow limits of en-or, for periods extending from b.c. 250 to the present 
time. At the other extremity of India, we have also in the Baja 
Tarangini of Kashmir, a work which Professor Wilson characterised 
as " the only Sanscrit composition yet discovered to which the title 
of History can with any propriety be applied."^ As we at present 
however possess it, it hardly helps us to any historical data earlier 
than the Christian Era, and even after that its dates for some centuries 
are by no means fixed and certain. 

In India Proper, however, we have no such guides as even these, 
but for written Mstory are almost wholly dependent on the Puranas. 
They do furnish us with one list of kings' names, with the length 
of their reigns, so apparently truthful, that they may, within narrow 
limits, be depended upon. They are only, however, of one range 

nJ reader to grasp the main features of 
the story to such an extent as may enable 
bim to understand what follows. In order 
to make it readable, all references and all 
proofk of disputed lacts have been post- 
poned. They will be found in the body 
of the work, where they are more appro- 
priate, and the data on which the principol 
disputed dates are fixed will be found in 

an Appendix especially devoted to their 
discussion. Unfortunately no book exists 
to which the reader could with adyantege 
be referred; and without some such in- 
troductory notice of the political liiatory 
and ethnography the artistic history would- 
be nearly, if not wholly, unintelligible. 
> * Astatic Besearches,* vol. xv. p. i. 

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of dynasties — probably, however, the paramount one — and extend only 
from the accession of Chandragupta— the Sandrocottus of the Greeks 
— B.C. 325, to the decline of the Andra dynasty, about a.d. 400, or 408. 
It seems probable we may find sufficient confirmation of these lists 
AS far back as the Anjana era, B.C. 691, so as to include the period 
marked by the life and labours of Sakya Muni — the present Buddha 
— in our chronology, with tolerable certainty. All the chronology 
before that period is purposely and avowedly falsified by the intro- 
duction of the system of Yugs, in order to carry back the origin 
of the Brahmanical system into the regions of the most fabulous 
antiquity. From the 6th century onwards, when the Puranas began 
to be put into their present form, in consequence of the revival of the 
Brahmanical religion, instead of recording contemporary events, they 
purposely confused them so as to maintain their prophetic cha- 
racter, and prevent the detection of the falsehood of their claim to an 
antiquity equal to that of the Vedas. For Indian history after the 5th 
century we are consequently left mainly to inscriptions on monuments 
or on copper-plates, to coins, and to the works of foreigners for the 
necessary information with which the natives of the country itself 
have neglected to supply us. These probably will be found 
eventually to be at least sufficient for the purposes of chronology. 
Already such progress has been made in the decipherment of inscrip- 
tions and the arrangement of coins, that all the dynasties may be 
arranged consecutively, and even the date of the reigns of almost 
all the kings in the north of India have been already approxi- 
matively ascertained. In the south of India so much has not been 
done, but this is more because there have been fewer labourers in the 
field, than from want of materials. There are literally thousands of 
inscriptions in the south which have not been copied, and of the few 
that have been collected only a very small number have been trans- 
lated, but they are such as to give us hope that when the requisite 
amount of labour is bestowed upon them, we shall be able to fix the 
chronology of the kings of the south with a degree of certainty 
sufficient for all ordinary purposes.^ 

It is a far more difficult task to ascertain whether we shall ever 
recover the History of India before the time of the advent of Buddha, 
or before the Anjana epoch, B.C. 691. Here we certainly will find no 
coins or inscriptions to guide us, and no buildings to illustrate the 
arts, or to mark the position of cities, while all ethnographic traces 
have become so blurred, if not obliterated, that they serve us Httle as 
guides through the labyrinth. Yet on the other hand there is so large 

* Almoei the only person who lias of 
late done anything in this direction is 
Sir Walter Elliot. His papers in the 
* Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society' 

and the * Madras Journal * throw immense 
light on the subject, but to complete the 
task we want many workers Instead of 
only one. 

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a mass of literature — such as it is— bearing on the subject, that we 
cannot but hope that when a sufficient amount of learning is brought 
to bear upon it, the leading features of the history of even that period 
may be recovered. In order, however, to render it available, it will 
not require industry so much as a severe spirit of criticism to 
winnow the few grains of useful truth out of the mass of worthless 
chaff this literature contains. But it does not seem too much to expect 
even this, from the severely critical spirit of the age. Meanwhile, 
the main facts of the case seem to be nearly as follows, in so far as 
it is necessary to state tbem, in order to make what follows in- 


At some very remote period in the world's history — for reasons 
stated in the Appendix I believe it to have been at about the epoch 
called by the Hindus the Kali Yug, or B.C. 3101 — the Aryans, a Sanscrit- 
speaking people, entered India across the Upper Indus, coming from 
Central Asia. For a lon^ lime they remained settled in the Punjab, or 
on the banks of the Sarasvati, then a more important stream than now, 
the main body, however, still remaining to the westward of the Indus. 
If, however, we may trust our chronology, we find them settled 2000 
years before the Christian Era, in Ayodhya, and then in the plenitude 
of their power. It was about that time apparently that the event 
took place which formed the groundwork of the far more modem 
poem known as the * Eamayana.' The pure Aryans, stiU uncontami- 
nated by admixture with the blood of the natives, then seem to have 
attained the height of their prosperity in India, and to have carried 
their victorious arms, it may be, as far south as Ceylon. There is, 
however, no reason to suppose that they at that time formed any 
X>ermanent settlements in the Deccan, but it was at all events opened 
to their missionaries, and by slow degrees imbibed that amount of 
Brahmanism which eventually pervaded the whole of the south. 
Seven or eight hundred years after that time, or it may be about or 
before b.c. 1200, took place those events which form the theme of 
the more ancient epic known as the ' Mahabharata,' which opens 
up an entirely new view of Indian social life. If the heroes of 
that poem were Aryans at all, they were of a much less pure type 
than those who composed the songs of the Vedas, or are depicted in 
the verses of the * Eamayana.' Their polyandry, their drinking bouts, 
their gambling tastes, and love of fighting, mark them as a very 
different race from the peaceful shepherd immigrants of the earlier 
age, and point much more distinctlj' towards a Tartar, trans-Him- 
alayan origin, than to the cradle of the Aryan stock in Central Asia. 
As if to mark the difference of which they themselves felt the existence, 
they distinguished themselves, by name, as belonging to a Lunar race, 

uigiiizeu uy VjOOV IC 


dietiQct from, and generally antagonistic to, the Solar race, which 
was the proud difitinotion of the purer and earlier Aryan aettlers in 

Five or six hundred years after this, or about b.o. 700, we again 
find a totally different state of affairs in India. The Aryans no longer 
exist as a separate nationality, and neither the Solar nor the Lunar 
race are the rulers of the earth. The Brahmans have become a 
priestly caste, and share the power with the Kshatriyas, a race of far 
less purity of descent. The Yaisyas, as merchants and husbandmen, 
have become a power, and even the Sudras are acknowledged as a 
part of the body politic; and, though not mentioned in the Scriptures, 
the Nagas, or Snake people, had become a most influential part of 
the population. They are first mentioned in the ' Mahabharata,' where 
they play a most important part in causing the death of Farikshit, 
which led to the great sacrifice for the destruction of the Nagas by 
Janemajaya, which practically closes the history of the time. 
Destroyed, however, they were not, as it was under a Naga dynasty 
that ascended the throne of Magadha, in 691, that Buddha was bom, 
B.C. 623, and the Nagas were the people whose conversion placed 
Buddhism on a secure basis in India, and led to its ultimate adoption 
by Asoka (b.c. 250) as the religion of the State.^ 

Although Buddhism was first taught by a prince of the Solar 
race, and consequently of purely Aryan blood, and though its first 
disciples were Brahmans, it had as little affinity with the religion of 
the Yedas as Christianity had with the Pentateuch, and its fate was 
the same. The one religion was taught by one of Jewish extraction 
to the Jews and for the Jews; but it was ultimately rejected by 
them, and adopted by the Gentiles, who had no affinity of race or 
religion with the inhabitants of Judsea. Though meant originally, no 
doubt, for Aryans, the Buddhist religion was ultimately rejected by 
the Brahmans, who were consequently utterly eclipsed and superseded 
by it for nearly a thousand years ; and we hear little or nothing of 
them and their religion till they reappeared at the court of the great 
Vicramaditya (490-630), when their religion began to assume that 
strange shape which it now still retains in India. In its new form 
it is as unlike the pure religion of the Vedas as it is possible to conceive 
one religion being to another ; unlike that, also, of the older portions 
of the ' Mahabharata '; but a confused mess of local superstitions and 
imported myths, covering up and hiding the Vedantic and Buddhist 
doctrines, which may sometimes be detected as underlying it. What- 
ever it be, however, it cannot be the religion of an Aryan, or even of 
a purely Turanian people, because it was invented by and for as 

* All this has been so faUy gone into | Worship,' pp. 68, et teqq.^ that it will not 
by ino in my work on ' Tieo and Serpent I be nocessoiy to repeat it here. 

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mixed a population as probably were ever gathered together into one 
country — a people whose feelings and superstitions it only too truly 


Although, therefore, as was hinted above, there might be no great 
difficulty in recovering all the main incidents and leading features of 
the history of the Aryans, from their first entry into India till they 
were entirely absorbed into the mass of the population some time 
before the Christian Era, there could be no greater mistake than to 
suppose that their history would folly represent the ancient history 
of the country. The Dravidians are a people who, in historical 
times, seem to have been probably as numerous as the pure Aryans ; 
and at the present day form one-fifth of the whole population of 
India. As Turanians, which they seem certainly to be, they belong, 
it is true, to a lower intellectual status than the Aryans, but they 
have preserved their nationality pure and unmixed, and such as they 
were at the dawn of history, so they seem to be now. 

Their settlement in India extends to such remote pre-historic 
times, that we cannot feel even sure that we should regard them as 
immigrants, or, at least, as either conquerors or colonists on a large 
scale, but rather as aboriginal in the sense in which that term is usually 
understood. Generally it is assumed that they entered India across the 
Lower Indus, leaving the cognate Brahui in Belochistan as a mark of 
the road by which they came, and as the affinities of their language 
seem to be with the Ugrians and northern Turanian tongues, this 
view seems probable.* But they have certainly left no trace of their 
migrations anywhere between the Indus and the Nerbudda, and all 
the facts of their history, so far as they are known, would seem to 
lead to an opposite conclusion. The hypothesis that would represent 
what we know of their history most correctly would place their 
original seat in the extreme south, somewhere probably not far from 
Madura or Tanjore, and thence spreading fan-like towards the north, 
till they met the Aryans on the Vindhya mountains. The question, 
again, is not of much importance for our present purposes, as they 
do not seem to have reached that degree of civilization at any period 
anterior to the Christian Era which would enable them to practise 
any of the arts of civilized life with success, so as to bring them 
within the scope of a work devoted to the history of art. 

It may be that at some future period, when we know more of the 
ancient arts of these Dravidians than we now do, and have become 
familiar with the remains of the Accadians or early Turanian in- 

* Dr. OftldweU, the author of the * Dravidian Qiammar,* ia the greatest and moet 
tnutwortby advocate of this view. 

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habitants of Babylonia, we may detect affinities wLich may throw 
some light on this very obscure part of history. At present, however, 
the indications are much too hazy to be at all relied upon. Geogra- 
phically, however, one thing seems tolerably clear. If the Dravidians 
came into India in historical times, it was not from Central Asia 
that they migrated, but from Babylonia, or some such southern 
region of the Asiatic continent. 


In addition to these two great distinct and opposite nationalities, 
there exists in India a third, which, in pre-Buddhist times, was as 
numerous, perhaps even more so, than either the Aryans or Dravidi- 
ans, but of whose history we know even less than we do of the two 
others. Ethnologists have not yet been even able to agree on a name 
by which to call them. I have suggested Dasyus,* a slave people, as 
that is the name by which the Aryans designated them when they 
found them there on their first entrance into India, and subjected them 
to their sway. Whoever they were, they seem to have been a people 
of a very inferior intellectual capacity to either the Aryans or 
Dravidians, and it is by no means clear that they could ever of them- 
selves have risen to such a status as either to form a great community 
capable of governing themselves, and consequently having a history,^ 
or whether they must always have remained in the low and barbarous 
position in which we now find some of their branches. When the 
Aryans first entered India they seem to have found them occupying 
the whole valley of the Ganges — the whole country in fact between 
the Vindhya and the Himalayan mountains.^ At present they are only 
found in anything like purity in the mountain ranges that bound 
that great plain. There they are known as Bhtls, Coles, Sontals, 
Nagas, and other mountain tribes. But they certainly form the lowest 
underlying stratum of the population over the whole of the Gangetic 
plain.* So far as their affinities have been ascertained they are with 

» • Tree and Serpent Worship,' pp. 244- 

' In Arrian there is a cnrions passage 
which seems certainly to refer to this 
people. "During the spcwje," he says, 
'* of 6042 years in which the 153 monarchs 
reigned, the Indians had the liherty of 
being governed by their own laws only 
twice, once for about 200 years, and after 
that for about 120 years."—* Indica.' ch. 
ix. The Puranas, as may be supposed, 
do not help us to identify these two periods. 

• I cannot help fancying that they oc- 

cupied some part of southern India, and 
even Oeylon, before the arrival of the 
Dravidiana It seems difficult otherwise 
to account for the connexion between 
Behar and Ceylon in early ages, and the 
spread of Buddhism in that island leaping 
over the countries wliich had been Dra- 

* 1 cannot help suspecting that the 
Gonds also belong to this northern race. 
It is true they speak a language closely 
allied to the Tamil, but language, though 
invaluable as a guide, is nearly useless as 

uigiiized by 




the trans-Himalayan population, and it either is that they entered 
India through the passes of that great monntain range, or it might 
be more correct to say that the Thibetans are a fragment of a great 
population that occupied both the northern and southern slope of that 
great chain of hills at some very remote pre-historic time. 

Whoever they were, they were the people who, in remote times, 
were apparently the worshippers of Trees and Serpents, but what 
interests us more in them, and makes the inquiry into their history 
more desirable, is that they were the people who first adopted 
Buddhism in India, and they, or their congeners, are the only people 
who, in historic times, as now, adhered, or still adhere to, that 
form of faith. No purely Aryan people ever were, or ever could be, 
Buddhist, nor, so far as I know, were any Dravidian community 
ever converted to that feith. But in Bengal, in Ceylon, in Thibet, 
Burmah, Siam, and China, wherever a Thibetan people exists, or a 
people allied to them, there Buddhism flourished and now prevails. 
But in India the Dravidians resisted it in the south, and a revival 
of Aryanism abolished it in the north. 

Architecturally, there is no difficulty in defining the limits of the 
Dasyu province: wherever a square tower- like temple exists with a 
perpendicular base, but a curvilinear outline above, such as that shown 
in the woodcut on the following page, there we may feel certain of the 
existence, past or present, of a people of Dasyu extraction, retaining 
their purity very nearly in the direct ratio to the number of these 
temples found in the district. Were it not consequently for the diffi- 
culty of introducing new names and obtaining acceptance to what is 
unfamiliar, the proper names for the style prevailing in northern 
India would be Dasyu style, instead of Indo- Aryan or Dasjru- Aryan 
which I have felt constrained to adopt. No one can accuse the pure 
Aryans of introducing this form in India, or of building temples at 
all, or of worshipping images of Siva or Vishnu, with which these 
temples are filled, and they confeequently have little title to confer 
their name on the style. The Aryans had, however, become so impure 
in blood Ijefore these temples were erected, and were so mixed up 
with the Dasyus, and had so influenced their religion and the arts, 
that it may be better to retain a name which sounds familiar, and does 
not too sharply prejudge the question. Be this as it may, one thing 
seems tolerably clear, that the legions occupied by the Aryans in 
India were conterminous with those of the Dasyus, or in other words, 

a test of afiinity. The Romans imposed 
their language on all the diverse nation- 
alities of Italj, France, and Spain. We 
have imposed ours on the Cornish, and 
are fast teaching the Irish, Welsh, and 
Highlanders of Scotland, to ahandon their 

tongue for ours, and the process is rapidly 
going on elsewhere. The manners and 
customs of the Gonds are all similar to 
those of the Coles or Khonds, though 
it is trae they speak a Dravidian tongue. 

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that the Aryans conquered the whole of the ahor>ginal or native 
tribes who occupied the plains of northern India, and ruled over 
them to such an extent as materially to influence their religion and 
their arts, and also very materially to modify even their language. 
So much so, indeed,' that after some four or five thousand years of 
domination we should not be surprised if we have some difficulty in 
recovering traces of the original population, and could probably not 
do so, if some fragments of the people had not sought refuge in 
the hills en the north and south of the great Gangetic plain, and 
there have remained fossilised, or at least sufficiently permanent for 
purposes of investigation. 

Hindu Temple, Bancorah. 

SisuNAGA Dynasty, b.c. 691 to 325. 

Leaving these, which must, for the present at least, be considered 
as practically pre-historic times, we tread on surer ground when we 
approach the period when Buddha was bom, and devoted his life to 
rescue man from sin and suffering. There seems very little reason 
for doubting that he was bom in the year 623, in the reign of Bim- 
basara, the fifth king of this dynasty, and died B.C. 543, at the age of 
eighty years, in the eighth year of Ajattasatru, the eighth king. New 
sources of information are opening out so rapidly regarding these 
times that there seems little doubt we shall before long be able 
to recover a perfectly authentic account of the political events 
of that period, and as perfect a picture of the manners and the 
customs of those days. It is too true, however, that those who wrote 

uigiiized by VjOOQIC 



the bic^rapby of Buddha in subflequent ages 80 overlaid the simple 
narrative of his life with fables and absurdities, that it is now 
difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff; but we have sculp- 
tures extending back to within three centuries of bis death, at 
which time we may fairly assume that a purer tradition and cor- 
recter version of the Scriptures must have prevailed. From what has 
recently occurred, we may hope to creep even further back than this, 
and eventually to find early illustrations which will enable us to 
exercise so sound a criticism on the books as to enable us to restore 
the life of Buddha to such an extent, as to place it among the 
authentic records of the benefBictors of mankind. 

Immense progress has been made during the last thirty or forty 
years in investigating the origin of Buddhism, and the propagation 
of its doctrines in India, and in communicating the knowledge so 
gained to the public in Europe. Much, however, remains to be 
done before the story is complete, and divested of all the absurdities 
which subsequent commentators have heaped upon it; and more 
must yet be effected before the public can be rendered familiar with 
what is so essentially novel to them. Still, the leading events in 
the life of the founder of the religion are simple, and sufficiently 
well ascertained for all practical purposes.^ 

The founder of this religion was one of the last of a long line 
of kings, known as the Solar dynasties who, from a period shortly 
subsequent to the advent of the Aryans into India, had held para- 
mount sway in Ayodhya — the modem Oude. About the 12th or 13th 
century b.c. they were superseded by another race of much less 
purely Aryan blood, known as the Lunar race, who transferred the 
seat of power to capitals situated in the northern parts of the Doab. 
In consequence of this, the lineal descendants of the Solar kings 
were reduced to a petty principality at the foot of the Himalayas, 
where Sakya Muni was bom about 623 b.c. For twenty-nine years 
he enjoyed the pleasures, and followed the occupations, usual to the 
men of his rank and position ; but at that age, becoming painfully 
impressed by the misery incident to human existence, he determined 
to devote the rest of his life to an attempt to alleviate it. For this 
purpose he forsook his parents and wife, abandoned friends and all 
the advantages of his position, and, for the following fifty-one years, 
devoted himself steadily to the task he had set before himself. Years 
were spent in the meditation and mortification necessary to fit 

^ The most pleanng of the histories 
of Baddha, iirritton wholly from a Euro- 
pean point of yiow, is that of Barth^emy 
8t Hilaire, Fftris. Of those partially 
native, partly Emopean, are those ot 
Bishop Bigandet, from the Burmese le- 

gends, and the *Romnntic History of 
Buddha,' tmnslated from the Chinese 
by the Rev. 8. Beal. The * Latita Vis- 
tara,' translated hy Foucaud, is more 
modem tlian these, and consequently 
more fabulous and absurd. 

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himself for hia mission; the rest of his long life was devoted to 
wandering from city to city, teaching and preaching, and doing 
everything that gentle means could efifect to disseminate the doc- 
trines which he believed were to regenerate the world, and take the 
sting out of human miseiy. 

He died, or in the phraseology of his followers, obtained Nirvana 
— was absorbed into the deity— at Kusinara in noHhem Behar, in the 
80th year of his age, 543 years ^ b.c. 

With the information that is now fast accumulating around the 
subject, there seems no great difficulty in understanding why the 
mission of Sakya Muni was so successful as it proved to be. He 
was bom at a time when the purity of the Aryan races in India had 
be(X)me so deteriorated by the constant influx of less pure tribes from 
the north and west, that their power and consequently their influence 
was fast fading away. At that time, too, it seems that the native 
races had, from long familiarity with the Aiyans, acquired such a 
degree of civilization as led them to desire something Uke equaUty 
with their masters, who were probably always in a numerical 
minority in most parts of the valley of the Ganges. In such a 
condition of things the preacher was sure of a willing audience who 
proclaimed the abolition of caste, and taught that all men, of what- 
ever nation or degree, had an equal chance of reaching happiness, 
and ultimately heaven, by the practice of virtue, and by that only. 
The subject races — the Turanian Dasyus— hailed him as a deliverer, 
and it was by them that the religion was adopted and proclaimed, 
and that of the Aiyan Brahmans was for a time obliterated, or at least 
overshadowed and obscured. 

It is by no means clear how far Buddha was sucoesoful in convert- 
ing the multitude to his doctrines during his lifetime. At his death, 
the first synod was held at Bajagriha, and five hundred monks of a 
superior order, it is said, vrere assembled there on that occasion,^ and 
if so they must have represented a great multitude. But the accounts 
of this, and of the second convocation, held 100 years afterwards 
at Vaisali, on the Gunduck, have not yet had the full liglit of recent 
investigation brought to bear upon them. Indeed the whole annals 
of the Naga dynasty, from the death of Buddha, b.c. 543, to the 
ficces.sion of Chandragupta 325, are about the least satisfactory of 
the period. Those of Ceylon were purposely falsified in order to 
carry back the landing of Vyjya, the first conqueror from Kalinga, 
to a period coincident with the date of Buddha's death, while a period 

* There may possibly be an error of 
forty to sixty years in this date ; but, ou 
the whole, that here given is supported 
by the greatest amount of concurrent testi- 
mony, and may, after all, prove to be 

minutely correct. 

» »Fo^ Koue Ki,' xxv. ch. 11; *Maha. 
wanso/ V. p. 20 ; * Journal of the Abiatic 
Society of Bengal,' vol. vi. 527. 

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apparently of sixty years at least elapsed between the two events. 
All this may, however, be safely left to future explorers. We have 
annals and ooins,^ and we may recover inscriptions and sculptures 
belonging to this period, and though it is most improbable we shall 
recover any architectural remains, there are evidently materials 
existing which, when utilised, may suffice for the purpose. 

The kings of this dynasty seem to have been considered as of a 
low caste, and were not, consequently, in favour either with the 
Brahman or, at that time, with the Buddhist ; and no events which 
seem to have been thought worthy of being remembered, except the 
second convocation, are recorded as happening in their reigns, after 
the death of the great Ascetic— or, at all events, of being recorded 
in such annals as we possess. 

Maurya Dynasty, b.c. 325 to 188. 

The case was widely different with the Maurya dynasty, which 
was certainly one of the most brilliant, and is fortunately one of the 
best known, of the ancient dynasties of India. The first king was 
Chandragupta, the Sandrocottus of the Greeks, to whom Megasthenes 
was sent as ambassador by Seleucus, the successor of Alexander in 
the western parts of his Asiatic empire. It is from his narrative — 
now unfortunately lost — that the Greeks acquired almost all the 
knowledge they possessed of India at that period. The country was 
then divided into 1 20 smaller principalities, but the Maurya residing 
in Palibothra — the modem Patna — seems to have exercised a para- 
mount sway over the whole. It was not, however, this king, but his 
grandson, the great Asoka (b.c. 272 to 236), who raised this dynasty 
to its highest pitch of prosperity and power. Though utterly un- 
known to the Greeks, we have from native sources a more complete 
picture of the incidents of his reign than of any ancient sovereign of 
India. The great event that made him famous in Buddhist history 
was his conversion to that faith, and the zeal he showed in propaga- 

' One coin at least of the period is well 
known. It belongs to a king called 

Knnanda or Kiananda, generally assumed 
to be one of the nine Kandas with whom 
this dynasty closed. In the centre, on 
one side, is a Dagoba with the nsual 
Buddhist Trisul emblem over it, and a 
serpent below it; on the right the Sacred 

Tree, on the left a Swastica with an altnr ? 
on the other side a lady with a lotus (Sri ?) 
with an animal usually called a deer, but 
from its tail more probably a horde, with 
two serpents standing on their tails over 
its head, which have been mistaken for 
homa. Over the animal is an altar, with 
an umbrella over it. In fact, a complete 
epitome of emblems known on the monu- 
ments of the period, but savouring much 
more of Tree and Serpent worship than 
of Buddhism, as it is now' known. * Jour- 
nal of the Royal Asiatic Society,* vol. i. 
(N. S.) p. 447, et seqq. 



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ting the doctrines of hie new religion. He did, in fact, for Bnddhism 
exactly what Constantine did for Christianity, and at about the same 
distance of time from the death of the founder of the faith. From a 
struggling sect he made it the religion of the State, and established it 
on the basis on which it lasted supreme for nearly 1000 years. In 
order to render his subjects fiamiliar with the doctrines of his new 
faith, he caused a series of edicts embodying them to be engraved on 
rocks near Peshawur, in Gujerat, in the valley of the Dhoon under the 
Himalayas, in Cuttack, and in several intermediate places. He held 
the third and greatest convocation of the faithful in his capital at 
Fatna, and, on its dissolution, sent missionaries to spread the faith in 
the Yavana country, whose capital was Alexandria, near the present 
city of Cabul. Others were despatched to Kashmir and Gandhara ; 
one was sent to the Himawanta — the valleys of the Himalaya, and 
possibly part of Thibet; others were despatched to the Maharatta 
country, and to three other places in Central and Western India 
which have not yet been identified with certainty. Two missionaries 
were sent to the Souvema Bhumi, a place now known as Thatun 
on the Sitang river, in Pegu, and his own son and daughter were 
deputed to Ceylon.^ All those countries, in fact, which might be 
called foreign, but which were inhabited by races who might in any 
way be supposed to be allied to the Dasyus of Bengal, were then 
sought to be converted to the faith. He also formed alliances with 
Antiochus the Great, Antigonus, and with Ptolemy Philadephus, and 
Magas of Cyrene, for the establishment of hospitals and the protection 
of his co-religionists in their countries. More than all this, he built 
innumerable topes and monasteries all over the country ; and though 
none of those now existing can positively be identified as those 
actually built by him, there seems no reason whatever for doubting that 
the sculptured rails at Buddh Gaya and Bharhut, the caves at Bhara- 
bar in Behar, some of those at Udyagiri in Cuttack, and the oldest 
of those in the western Ghats were all erected or excavated during 
the existence of this dynasty, if not by him himself. These, with 
inscriptions and coins, and such histories as exist, make up a mass of 
materials for a picture of India during this dynasty such as no other 
can present ; and, above all, they offer a complete representation of the 
religious forms and beliefs of the kings and people, which render any 
mistake regarding them impossible. It was Buddhism, but without 
a personal Buddha, and with Tree and Serpent worship cropping up 
in every unexpected corner. 

There is certainly no dynasty in the whole range of ancient Indian 

' AH these particulars, it netd hardly I firmed by the inscripHona themselves and 
be said, are taken from the 12th and the relics found at Sanchi, to all which 
15th chapters of the * Mahawanso,' con- ' reference will l)e made hereafter. 

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history that would better repay the labour of an exhaustive investi- 
gation than that of these Maurya kings. Not only were they the 
first in historical times who, so far as we know, united the whole of 
India into one great kingdom, but they were practically the first who 
came in contact with European civilization and Western politics. 
More than even this, it is probably owing to the action of the third 
king of this dynasty that Buddhism, from being the religion of an 
obscure sect, became, at one time, the faith of a third of the human 
race, and has influenced the belief and the moral feelings of a greater 
number of men than any other religion that can be named. 

Fortunately, the materials for such a monograph as is required 
are abundant, and every day is adding to them. It is to this dynasty, 
and to it only, that must be applied all those passages in classical 
authors which describe the internal state of India, and they are 
neither few nor insignificant. Though the Hindus themselves cannot 
be said to have contributed much histor3% they have given us, in the 
* Mudra Bakshasa,' ^ a poetical version of the causes of the revolution 
that placed the Mauryas on the throne. But, putting these aside, 
their own inscriptions give us dates, and a perfectly authentic con- 
temporary account of the religious faith and feelings of the period ; 
while the numerous bas-reliefs of the rails at Buddh Gaya and 
Bharhut afford a picture of the manners, customs, and costumes of the 
day, and a gauge by which we can measure their artistic status and 
judge how far their art was indigenous, how far influenced by foreign 
elements. The dates of the kings of this dynasty are also perfectly 
well known,* and the whole framework of their history depends so 
completely on contemporary native monuments, that there need be 
no real uncertainty regarding any of the outlines of the picture 
when once the subject is fairly grasped and thoroughly handled. 

It is the firmest standpoint we have from which to judge of 
Indian civilization and history, whether looking to the past or to the 
future, and it is one that gives a very high idea of the position at 
which the Hindus had arrived before they came practically into 
contact with the civilization of the West. 

SuNGA Dynasty, b.c. 188 to 76, 
Kanwa Dynasty, b.c. 76 to 31. 

History affords us little beyond the dates of the kings' reigns for the 
next two dynasties, but there seems no reason to doubt the general 

' Wilson's * Hindu Drama/ toI. zlL 
p. 151, et aeqq., edition 1871. 

' Lassen, it is true, brings these dates 
down by ten years below where I have 
placed it. Bnt he overlooks the fitct that 

according to his hypothesis Asoka, in the 
sixteenth year of his reign, would claim 
Hugas as his ally ten or twelve years after 
Ins death, which is improbable. 

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correctness with which these are recorded in the Puranas, and by 
degrees we are collecting inscriptions and finding caves that certainly 
belong to their time, so that we may hoi>e to breathe life into what 
has hitherto appeared only a dry list of names. Such inscriptions 
as bear their names have yet only been discovered on the western 
caves at Karli, Nassick, and similar places, but there seems no reason 
for doubting that they reigned also in Magadha, and if so, over 
Orissa, so that we may look for further information regarding them 
on the eastern as well as on the western side of India. These 
dynasties were not, however, apparently known to the Greeks, and, 
being Buddhist, are passed over in comparative silence in the 
Puranas. It is thus only from their monuments that we can hope 
to recover their history. Up to the present time, those identified as 
belonging to them are few and far between, but they have not yet 
been systematically searched for, and fill this is done there is no reason 
to despair of ultimate success. 

Andra Dynasty, b.c. 31 to a.d. 429. 

The dynasty that succeeded to these Rois faineants is— after the 
Mauryas— the most important of all those about this period of Indian 
history. To the classical authors they are known as the Andrai, in 
the Puranas as Andrabrityas, and in the inscriptions as Satakarnis or 
Satavahanas ; but under whatever name, notwithstanding occasional 
periods of depression, they played a most important part in the 
history of India, during more than four centuries and a half. Latterly 
they have been very much overlooked in consequence of their leaving 
no coins behind them, while it is from numismatic researches, 
principally, that precision has been given to much of the history of 
the period. The dynasties in India, however, who practically intro- 
duced coinage within her limits, all came across the Indus as strangers 
bringing with them an art they had learnt from the Bactrians, or 
those who succeeded them in the north-west. The Andras being a 
native dynasty of Central India, had no coinage of importance, 
and have consequently no place in these numismatic researches ; 
they have, however, left many and most interesting inscriptions in 
the western caves, and traces of their existence occur in many parts 
of India. 

Architecturally, their history begins with the gateways of the Tope 
at Sanchi ; the southern or oldest of these was almost certainly erected 
during the reign of the first Satakarni in the first quarter of the 
1st century — while Christ was teaching at Jerusalem — and the other 
three in the course of that century. It ends with the completion of 
the rail at Amravati, which with almost equal certainty was com- 

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menoed in the first quarter of the 4th oentury, and completed about 
A.D. 460.* 

Between these two monuments there is no great difficulty in 
filling up the architectural picture from the caves, at Nassick and 
Ajunta, and other places in western India, and more materials will no 
doubt eventually be discovered. 

The history of this dynasty is more than tsually interesting for 
our purposes, as it embraces nearly the whole period during which 
Buddhism reigned almost supreme in India. It became the state re- 
ligion, it is true, two centuries earlier under Asoka, but there is no 
reason for believing that the Vedic religion or Brahmanism vanished 
immediately. During the first four centuries, however, of the Christian 
Era we have not a trace of a Hindu building or cave, and so far as any 
material evidence goes, it seems that Buddhism at the time was the 
religion of the land. It cannot of course be supposed that the Hindu 
faith was wholly obliterated, but it certainly was dormant, and in 
abeyance, and to use a Buddhist expression, the yellow robes shone 
over the length and breadth of the land. 

It was during the reign of these Andras, though not by them, that 
the fourth convocation was held by Kanishka, in the north of India, 
and the new doctrine, the Mahayana, introduced by Nagdrjuna — 
a change similar to that made by Gregory the Great when he 
established the Church, as opposed to the primitive forms of Christi- 
anity, at about the same distance of time from the death of the 
founder of the religion. My impression is, that this convocation was 
held in the last quarter of the first century of our era, probably 79. 
Certain at least it is, that it was about that time that Buddhism was 
first practically introduced into China, Ihibet and Burmah, and 
apparently by missionaries sent out from this as they were from the 
third convocation. 

It was towards the end of the reign of the Andras that Fa Hian 
visited India (a.d. 400). As his objects in doing so were entirely of a 
religious nature, he does not allude to worldly politics, nor give us a 
king's name we can identify ; but the picture we gather from his 
narrative is one of peace and prosperity in so far as the country is 
concerned, and of supremacy for his religion. Heretics are, it 
is true, mentioned occasionally, but they are few and far between. 
Buddhism was then certainly the religion of the north, especially 
in the north-west of India; but even then there were symptoms 
of a change, in the central provinces and outlying parts of the 

> For complete detaib of these two 
monuments and the dates, the reader is 
referred to my *Trce and Eorpent Wor- 

ship/ which is practically devoted to a 
description of these two monuments. 

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Guptas, 319 to 465. 
Ballabhis, 465 to 712 (?). 

At the time when Fa Hian was visiting the sacred places in India, 
the power of the Andra dynasty was passing away. It had culmi- 
nated with Gautamiputra (312 to 333), and they were fast sinking into 
a second-class position among Indian princes. The dynasty that 
superseded them was that of the Guptas, who, at the end of the 
fourth century of our era, seem to have attained to the position of lords 
paramount in northern India. 1 hey date their inscriptions, which 
are numerous and interesting, from an era established by the Andra 
king Gauta,miputra, four cycles of 60 years each, or 240 years after the 
Saka era of a.d. 79 or in 319 ; but it was not apparently till under the 
third king, Samudra, about 380, that they really obtained the empire 
of northern India, which they retained till the death of Skandagupta, 
about the year 465, or it may be a little later. 

It is during their reign that we first perceive in high places the 
germs of that change which was gradually creeping over the religious 
system of India. That the Guptas were patrons of Buddhism is 
evident from the gifts Chandragupta II. made to the tope at Sanchi 
in the year 400, and recorded on the rail of that monument, but their 
other inscriptions, on the lats at Allahabad and Bhitai i, show a 
decided tendency towards Hinduism, but a class of Hinduism which was 
still far removed from the wild extravagances of the Puranas. There 
seems little doubt that the boar at Erun, and the buildings there, 
belong to this dynasty, and are consequently among the earliest if 
not the very oldest temples in India, dedicated to the new religion, 
which was then raising its head in defiance to Buddhism. 

From their coins and inscriptions, we may feel certain that the 
Guptas possessed when in the plenitude of their power the whole of 
northern India with the province of Gujerat, but how far the boasts 
of Samudra Gupta on the AUahabad pillar were justified, is by no 
means clear. If that inscription is to be believed, the whole of the 
southern country as far as Ceylon, together with Assam and Nepal, 
were subject to their sway. However briUiant it may have been, their 
power was of short duration. Gnjerat and all the western provinces 
were wrested from them by the Ballabhis, about the year 465, and a 
new kingdom then founded by a dynasty bearing that name, which 
lasted till the great catastrophe, which about two and a half centuries 
afterwards revolutionised India. 

Ujjain Dynasty. 

Although it was becoming evident in the time of the Guptas that 
a change was creeping over the religious belief of India, it was not 

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then that the blow was struck which eventually proved fatal, but by 
a dynasty which succeeded them in Central India. Being Hindus 
we know less that is authentic about their history than about the 
Buddhist dynasties, who lived to inscribe their names on rocks and in 
caves ; but there seems very little doubt that the great Vicramaditya 
reigned in Malwa from 495 to 630, though the Hindus in order to 
connect his name with an era they thought fit to establish 56 years 
B.C., have done all they can to mystify and obscure the chronology 
of the period. Notwithstanding this, it seems perfectly clear that 
about this time there reigned in Central India a king, who, by his 
liberality and magnificence acquired a renown among the Hindus, 
only second to that obtained by Solomon among the Jews. By his 
patronage of literature and his encouragement of art, his fame spread 
over the length and breadth of the land, and to this day his name is 
quoted as the symbol of all that is great and magnificent in India. 
What is more to our present purpose he was an undoubted patron 
of the Brahmanical religion, a worshipper of Siva and Vishnu, and 
no tradition associates his name directly or indirectly with anything 
connected with Buddhism. Unfortunately we have no buildings which 
can be attributed to him, and no inscriptions. But the main fact of 
a Brahmanical king reigning and acquiring such influence in Central 
India at that time, is only too significant of the declining position of 
the Buddhist religion at that period. 

His successor, Siladitya, seems to have returned to the old faith, 
and during his long reign of sixty years to have adhered to the Buddhist 

In the beginning of the next century after a short period of anarchy, 
we find a second Siladitya seated on the throne of Canon ge as lord 
paramount in India, and during a prosperous reign of thirty-eight to 
forty years, exercising supreme sway in that country. It was during 
his reign that the Chinese pilgrim Hiouen Thsang visited India, and 
gave a much more full and graphic account of what he saw than his 
predecessor Fa Hian. Nothing can be more characteristic of the state 
of religious feeling, and the spirit of toleration then prevailing, than 
the fete given by this king at Allahabad in the year 643, at which the 
kings of Ballabhi and Kamarupa (Assam) were present. The king 
being himself a Buddhist, the first days were devoted to the distri- 
bution, among the followers of that religion, of the treasures accumu- 
lated during the previous five years, but then came the turn of the 
Brahmans, who were treated with equal honour and liberality ; then 
followed the f§te of the other sects, among whom the Jains appear con- 
spicuous. All were feasted and f§ted, and sent away laden with gifts 
and mementos of the magnificence and liberality of the great king. 

Pleasant as this picture is to look upon, it is evident that such a 
state of affairs could hardly be stable, and it was in vain to expect 

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that peace could long be maintained between a rising and ambitions 
sect, and one which was fast sinking into decay ; apparently beneath 
the load of an overgrown priesthood. Accordingly we find that ten 
years after the death of Siladitya troubles supervened as prophesied,* 
and the ctirtain soon descends on the great drama of the history of 
northern India not to be raised again for nearly three centuries. It 
is true, we can stiH foUow the history of tbe Ballabhis for some little 
time longer, and it would be satisfactory if we could fix the date of 
their destruction with precision, as it was the event which in the Hindu 
mind is considered the closing act of the drama. If it was destroyed 
by a foreign enemy it must have been by the Moslem, either before or 
during the time Mohammed Kasim, A. h. 712, 713. It was a flourish- 
ing city in 640, when visited by Hiouen Thsang, and from that time 
till the death of Kasim, the Moslems were in such power on the Indus, 
and their historians tell us the events of these years in such detail, 
that no other foreigner could have crossed the river during that 
period. If it perished by some internal revolution of convulsion, which 
is more probable, it only shared the fate that overtook all northern 
India about this period. Strange to say, even the Moslems, then in 
the plenitude of their power during the Khalifat of Bagdad, retired 
from their Indian conquests, as if the seething caldron were too hot 
for even them to exist within its limits. 

The more southern dynasty of the Chalukyas of Kalyan seem to 
have retained their power down to about 750, and may, up to that 
time, have exercised a partial sway to the north of the Nerbudda, but 
after that we lose all sight of them ; while, as a closing act in the 
great drama, the Eaja Tarangini represents the King of Kashmir — 
Lalitaditya — as conquering India from north to south, and subjecting 
all the five kingdoms, into which it was nominally divided, to his 
imperious sway. 

We need not stop now to inquire whether this was exactly what 
happened or not. It is sufficient for present purposes to know that 
about the middle of the 8th century a dark cloud settled over the 
north of India, and that during the next two centuries she was torn 
to pieces by internal troubles, which have left nothing but negative 
evidence of their existence. During that period no event took place 
of which we have any record ; no dynasty rose to sufficient distinction 
to be quoted even in the lists of the bard; no illustrious name 
appears whose acts have been recorded ; no buildings were erected of 
which we have a trace;* and but few inscriptions engraved. Dark 

* * Vie et Voyages de Hiouen Thsang,* 
i. p. 215. It need hardly be said that all 
these particulars are taken from the three 
volumes relating his Indian experiences, 
tmuslated by Stanislas Jullcn. 

' This does not apply to Orisaa, which, 
from its remote situation, and having at 
that time no resident Buddhist popula- 
tion, seems to have escaped being drawn 
into the vortex of these troubles. 

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Bight seems to have settled over the land, and whether we shall ever 
be able to penetrate into its mysteries seems more than doubtful. 

When light again appears in the middle of the 10th century the 
scene is wonderfully changed. Buddhism had practically disappeared 
in the north and west at least, though it still lingered on in Bengal, 
and Jainism had supplanted it in most places ; but the mass of the 
people had become followers of Vishnu or Siva. New dynasties had 
arisen which, though they try to trace their lineage back to the 
troublous times when Ballabhi fell, were new to Indian history. 
Old India had passed away, and the history of modem India was 
about to open. The old dynasties had become extinct, and the 
Hajput races were gaily stepping forward to assume their places — 
too soon, alas ! to be engaged in a life or death struggle with the 
most implacable foe to their race and religion that India has over 
known. It was a cruel Nemesis that their victories over the 
Buddhists should soon have been followed by the fatal siege at 
Somnath in 1024, and the fight on the banks of the Ghaghar in 1193, 
which practically laid India at the feet of the Moslem invader, and 
changed the whole course of her subsequent career. But, as hinted 
above, with the appearance of the Moslem on the scene, our chronolo- 
gical difficulties cease, and the subject need not therefore be further 
pursued in this introduction. 


From the above brief sketch of ancient Indian history it may be 
gathered that it is doubtful whether we shall ever be able to clothe 
with solid flesh the skeleton of history which is all we possess anterior 
to the advent of Buddha. It is also possible that pious frauds may 
have so confused the sequence of events between his death and the 
rise of the Mauryas, that there will be great difficulty in restoring 
that period to anything like completeness. But for the thousand 
years that elapsed between " the revenge of Chanakya " and the fall 
of Ballabhi the materials are ample, and when sufficient industry is 
applied to their elucidation, there is little doubt that the whole may 
be made clear and intelligible. It does not fall within the scope of 
this work to attempt such a task ; but it is necessary to endeavour 
to make its outlines clear, as without this being done, what follows 
will be utterly unintelligible ; while, at the same time, one of the 
principal objects of this work is to point out how the architecture, 
which is one important branch of the evidence, may be brought to 
bear on the subject. 

No direct evidence, however, derived only from events that 
occurred in India itself, would suffice to make the phenomena of her 
history clear, without taking into account the successive migrations 

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of tribes and peoples who, in all ages, so far as we know, poured 
across the Indus from the westward to occupy her fertile plains. 

As mentioned above, the great master fact that explains almost 
all we know of the ancient history of India, is our knowledge that 
two or three thousand years before the birth of Christ a Sanscrit- 
speaking nation migrated from the valleys of the Oxus and Jaxartes. 
Thoy crossed the Indus in such numbers as to impress their civilization 
and their language on the whole of the north of India, and this to 
such an extent as practically to obliterate, as far as history is con- 
cerned, the original inhabitants of the valley of the Ganges, whoever 
thoy may have been. At the time when this migration took place 
the power and civilization of Central Asia were concentrated on 
the lower Euphrates, and the Babylonian Empire never seems to 
have extended across the Carmanian desert to the eastward. The 
road, consequently, between Bactrim and India was open, and nations 
might pass and re-pass between the two countries without fear of 
interruption from any other people. 

If any of the ancient dynasties of Babylonia extended their power 
towards the East, it was along the coast of Gedrosia, and not in a 
north-easterly direction. It is, indeed, by no means improbable, 
as hint,ed above, that the origin of the Dravidians may be found 
among the Accadian or in some of the Turanian peoples who occupied 
southern Babylonia in ancient times, and who may, either by sea or 
land, have passed to the western shores of India. Till, however, 
further information is available, this is mere speculation, though 
probably in the direction in which truth may hereafter be found. 

When the seat of power was moved northward to Nineveh, the 
Assyrians seem to have occupied the country eastward of the Caspian 
in sufficient force to prevent any further migration. At least, after 
that time — say B.c. 1000 — ^we have no further trace of any Aryan 
tribe crossing the Indus going eastward, and it seems mainly to 
have been a consequence of this cutting off of the supply of fresh 
blood that the purity of their race in India was so far weakened as 
to admit of the Buddhist reform taking root, and being adopted to 
the extent it afterwards attained. 

During the period of the AchemEcnian sway, the Persians cer- 
tainly occupied the countries about the Oxus in sufficient strength 
to prevent any movement of the peoples. So essentially indeed 
had Bactria and Sogdiana become parts of the Persian empire, that 
Alexander was obliged to turn aside from his direct route to conquer 
them, as well as the rest of the kingdom of Darius before advancing 
on India. 

Whether it were founded for that purpose or not, the little Greek 
kingdom of Bactria was sufficiently powerful, while it lasted, to keep 
the barbarians in check; but when about tho year 127-126 B.C., 

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the Yueclii and other cognate tribes invaded Sogdiana, and finally 
about 120 B.C. conquered the whole of Bactria,^ they opened a new 
chapter in the history of India, the effects of which are felt to the 
present day. 

It is not yet quite clear how soon after the destruction of the 
Bactrian kingdom these Turanian tribes conquered Cabul, and occu- 
pied the country between that city and the Indus. Certain it is, 
however, that they were firmly seated on the banks of that river 
before the Christian Era, and under the great king Eanishka had 
become an Indian power of very considerable importance. The 
date of this king is, unfortunately, one of those small puzzles that 
still remain to be solved. Generally, it is supposed he reigned till 
about twenty to forty years after Christ.^ Evidence, however, has 
lately been brought to light, which seems to prove that he was the 
founder of the Saka era, A.n. 79, and that his reign must be placed 
in the last quarter of the first century of our era, instead of in 
the earlier half.^ 

Be this as it may, it seems quite certain that the power of these 
Turuska kings spread over the whole Punjab, and extended as far 
at least as Muttra on the Jumna, in the first century of the 
Christian Era. 

At the same time another horde, known to us only from the coins 
and inscriptions in which they call themselves Sahs or Sah kings, 
crossed the Indus lower down, and occupied the whole of the province 
of Gujerat. It is not quite clear whether the first of them, Naha- 
pana, was only the viceroy of one of these northern kings — pro- 
bably of Kanishka himself — though he and his successors afterwards 
became independent, and founded a kingdom of their own. They seem 
to date their coins and inscriptions from the Saka era, a.d. 79, and the 
series extends fiom that date to a.d. 349, or at latest to 371.^ It 
thus happens that though Gautamiputra, the Andra king (312-333), 
boasts of having humbled them,*^ they were only in fact finally 
disposed of by the rise of the Guptas. 

No other foreign race, so far as we know, seems to have crossed 
the Lower Indus into India. But the whole external history of 
northern India, from the time of Eanishka to that of Ahmed Shah 
Durani (1761), is a narrative of a continuous succession of tribes of 

The beet and most accepted aoconnt in fayour of this last view, which I in- 

of these events is found in Vivien de St. 
llartin's * Les Huns blancs,* Paris, 1849. 

' Cunningham's 'Numismatic Ghron.,' 
▼iii. 175 : * Journal of the Asiatic Society 
of BengaV vii. 704 ; Lassen's, ' Indische 
Alterth^ ' ii. p. 24. 

* I wrote a paper stating the evidence 

tended should appear in the ' Journal of 
the Asiatic Society.' The evidence being, 
however, incomplete, it has only been 
printed fur private circulation. 

* * Journal Bombay Branch of the 
Royal Asiatic Society,' vol. viii. p. 28. 

* Ibid., vol. V. p. 42. 

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Scytliiaii origin, pouiing acrcss the Upper Indus into India, each more 
Turanian than the one that, preceded it, till the whole culminated in 
the Mogul conquest of India, in the 15th century, by a people as 
distinct in blood from the Aryans, as any that exist. 

Of the older races, it seems piobable that the Yavanas must be dis- 
tinguished from the Turanians. It will hardly now be contended 
that they were pure Greeks, though their name may be merely a 
mispronunciation of Ionian. The term seems to have been applied by 
Indian authors to any foreign race coming from the westward who 
did not belong to one of the acknowledged kingdoms known to them. 
As such it would apply to any western adventurers, who during the 
existence of the Bactrian kingdom sought to establish settlements in 
any part of India, and would also apply to the expatriated Bactrians 
themselves, when driven from their homes by the Yuechi, 120 or 130 
years b.c. It is only in this sense that we can explain their presence 
in Orissa before and about the Christian Era, but in the west the term 
may have been more loosely applied. The Cambojas seem to have 
been a people inhabiting the country between Candahar and Cabul, 
who when the tide was setting eastward, joined the crowd, and 
sought settlements in the more fertile countries within the Indus. 

The Sakas were well known to classical authors as the Sacte, or 
Scythians. They pressed on with the rest, and became apparently 
most formidable during the first four centuries of the Christian Era. 
It was apparently their defeat by the great Vicramaditya in the 
battle at Koriir, on the banks of the Indus, a.d. 524 or 544, that 
raised the popularity of that monarch to its highest pitch, and 
induced the Hindus at a subsequent age to institute the era known 
by his name 600 years before his time, and another called by his 
other name, Sri Harsha, 1000 years before the date of the battle 

Another important horde were the Ephthalites, or White Huns, 
who came into India apparently in the 4th century, and one of whose 
kings, if we may trust Cosmas Indicoj)leustes, was the head of a 
powerful state in northern India, about the year 535. They, too, 
heem to have been conquered about the same time by the Hindus, and 
as both the Sakas and Hunas were undoubtedly Buddhists, it may 
have been their destruction that first weakened the cause of that 
religion, and which led to its ultimate defeat a little more than a 
century afterwards. 

During the dark ages, 750 to 950, we do not know of any horde 
passing the Indus. The Mahomedans were probably too strong on 

* The argument on which these asser- 
tions are founded is stated at length in the 
privately printed pamphlet alluded to on 
preceding page. It is too long to insert 

here, but if not published before this work 
is complete, an abstract will be inserted in 
the Appendix. 

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the frontier to admit of its being done, and after that age they — and 
they only — condncted the varions invasions which completely changed 
the face and character of northern India. For seven centuries they 
were continued, with only occasional interruptions, and at last re- 
sulted in placing the Mahomedan power supreme, practically, over 
the whole of India, but only to fall to pieces like a house of cards, 
before the touch of Western civilization. All this, however, is 
written, and written so distinctly, in so many books, that it need 
not be recapitulated here. 

Southern India. 

If the records of the ancient history of northern India are 
unsatisfactory and untrustworthy, those of the Fouthem part of the 
peninsula are at least ten times more so. The Dravidians have no 
ancient literature like that of the Vedas. They have no traditions 
which point to any seat of their race out of India, or of their having 
migrated from any country with whose inhabitants they can claim 
any kindred. So far as they know, they are indigenous and abori- 
ginal. The utmost extent to which even their traditions extend is 
to claim for their leading race of kings — the Pandyas — a descent from 
Arjuna, one of the heroes of the * Mahabharata.' He, it is said, when 
on his travels, married a princess of the land, and she gave birth to 
the eponymous hero of their race, and hence their name. It is true, 
indeed, that they produce long lists of kings, which they pretend 
stretch back till the times of the Pandus. These were examined by 
the late Professor Wilson in 1836, and he conjectured that they might 
extend back to the 5th or 6th century before our era.^ But all that 
has since come to light has tended to show that even this may be an 
over-estimate of their antiquity. If, however, as Dr. Kern believes, 
the Choda, Pada, and Keralaputra of the second edict of Asoka do 
really represent the Cholas, Pandyas, Cheras, of modem times, this 
triarchy existed in the third century b.c., but there are difficulties in 
the way of this identification which have not yet been removed. In 
fact, all we really do know is that, in classical times, there was a 
Begio Pandionis in the country afterwards known as the Pandyan 
kingdom of Madura, and it has been conjectured that the king who 
sent an embassy to Augustus in 27 b.c.^ was not a Porus, which 
would indicate a northern race, but this very king of the south. Be 

^ 'Journal of the Boyal Asiatic Society/ origin of the embaasy. We are now in a 
ToL iii. p. 202. position to prove an intimate connexion 

' For an exhaustive description of this between the north of India and Rome at 
snbject see Priaulx, * India and Rome,' that time. With tlic south it seems to have 
London, 1873. My own impressions are, been only trade, but of this hereafter. 
I confess, entirely in fovour of the northern ' 

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this, however, as it may, we do know, by the firequont meution of this 
country by classical authors, that it was at least sufficiently civilized 
in the early centuries of our era to carry on a considerable amount of 
commerce with the western nations, and there is consequently no 
improbability that at least one powerful dynasty may then have 
been established in the south. If so, that dynasty was certainly the 
Pandyan. The Chola and the Chera became important states only at 
a much later date. 

When we turn to their literature we find nothing to encourage 
any hope that we may penetrate further back into their history than 
we have hitherto been able to do. Dr. Caldwell, the best and latest 
authority on the subject, ascribes the oldest work in the Tamil, or any 
southern language, to the eighth or ninth century of our era,* and 
that even then can hardly be called native, as it undoubtedly belongs 
to the Jains, who are as certainly a northern sect. According to 
the same authority, it was superseded by a Vaishnava literature about 
the 12th or 13 th century, and that again made way for one of Saiva 
tendency about the latter date. There is no trace of any Buddhist 
literature in the south, and nothing, consequently, that would enable 
us to connect the history of the south with the tolerably well ascer- 
tained chronology of Ceylon or northern India, nor am I aware of the 
existence of any ancient Buddhist monuments in the south which 
would help us in this difficulty.^ 

Not having passed through Bactria, or having lived in contact 
with any people making or using coins, the Dravidians have none of 
their own, and consequently that source of information is not avail- 
able. Whatever hoards of ancient coins have been found in the Madras 
Presidency have been of purely Roman origin, brought there for the 
purpose of trade, and buried to protect them from spoliation. 

The inscriptions, which are literally innumerable all over the 
Presidency, are the one source from which we can hope that new light 
may be thrown on the history of the country, but none of those 
hitherto brought to light go further back than the 5th or 6th century, 
and it is not clear that earlier ones may be found.^ It is, at all events, 
the most hopeful field that lies open to future explorers in these dark 
domains. There is nothing, however, that would lead us to expect to 
find any Tamil or native inscription in the country extending so far 

> *Dra vidian Grammar,' second edition. 
London, 1875, p. 129, et seqq. 

* Sir Walter Elliot and others frequently 
speak of Buddhist monuments in the south. 
I have never, however, been able to see a 
photograph or drawing of any one except 
at Amravati and its neighbourhood. 

* In his * Elements of South Indian 
Palaeography,* Mr. Bumell, the last and 

best authority on the subject, divides the 
South Indian alphabet into Chera, Cha- 
lukya, and Vengi. The first, he states, 
appears in Mysore in the second half of 
the 5th century. The oldest specimen 
of the second he dates from the first half 
of that century. The third is more 

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back as the age of ConBtantine. Those on the raths at Mahavellipore, 
or the caves at Badami, which may be as old as the age of Justinian, 
are in Sanscrit, and consequently look more like an evidence of the 
northern races pushing southward than of the southern races extend- 
ing themselves northward, or being sufficiently advanced in civiliza- 
tion to erect for themselves the monuments on which these inscriptions 
are found. 

From a study of the architecture of the south we arrive at pre- 
cisely the same conclusions as to the antiquity of Dravidian civiliza- 
tion that Dr. Caldwell arrived at from a study of their literature. 
The only important Buddhist monument yet discovered in the 
Presidency is that at Amravati, on the Kistnah,^ but that is avowedly 
a foreign intrusion. It was a colony or settlement formed by the 
northern Buddhists at or near their port of departure for Java and 
their eastern settlements. The rock-cut temples at Mahavellipore and 
Badami seem to be the works of northern Hindus advancing south- 
ward in the 6th or 6th century, and engraving the evidence of their 
religion on the imperishable rock. So far as is yet known, no indi- 
genous native temple has been brought to light, built by any native 
king, or with inscriptions in any southern tongue, whose date can be 
carried further back than the 8th century. From that time forward 
their building activity was enormous. The style culminated in the 
ICth and 17th centuries, to perish in the 18th, under the influence of 
a foreign and unsympathetic invader. It is, however, by no means 
impossible that future investigation may enable us to fill up a portion 
at least of the gap that exists between the 5th and the 8th century. 
There may be buildings yet undescribed which are older than any we 
now know. But if they do carry us back to the 5th century, w^hich 
is more than can reasonably be expected, they are still seven or eight 
centuries behind what we know for certainty to have existed in the 
north. There we have buildings and caves certainly, extending back 
to B.C. 250, and it seems by no means impossible that with sculptures, 
coins, and inscriptions, and written documents, we may some day be 
able to bridge over the gulf that exists between the death of Buddha 
and the accession of the Mauryas. In other words, the materials for 
history in the north of India carry us back with the same relative 
degree of certainty for more than a thousand years beyond what those 
found in the south enable us to trace of her history or her arts. 

' I am, of conree, aware of the existence 
of a so-called Buddhist pagoda at Kega- 
p:itam. It was, however, utilised by the 
British — for railwuy purpose^ I believe — 
before it waB photographed, so its history 
may for ever remain a mystery. On the 
spot it was apparently known as the 

Jaina (hence China) pagoda, which it 
may have been. To me it looks like the 
gopura of a small Hindu temple, but I 
have no real knowledge on the subject. 
See Yule's • Marco Polo,* vol. ii. p. 320, 
second edition. 

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When the history of the Bouth does acquire something like con- 
sistency it takes the form of a triarchy of small states. The eldest 
and most important, that of Madura — so called after Muttra on the 
Jumna — was also the most civilized, and continued longest as a 
united and independent kingdom. 

The Chola rose into power on the banks of the Cauvery, and to the 
northward of it, about the year 1000, though no doubt they existed 
as a small state about Conjeveram for some centuries before that 
time. The third, the Chera, were located in the Southern Mysore 
country, and probably extending to the coast as early as the 4th or 
5th century, and gradually worked their way northward, and became 
so powerful that there is reason for believing that during the dark 
ages of the north (750 to 950) their power extended to the Nerbudda, 
and it may be to them that we owe the Kylas and other excavations at 
Ellora, erected in the southern style about that time. They were, 
however, superseded, first by the Cholas, about a.d. 1 000, and finally 
eclipsed by the Hoisala Bellalas, a century or so afterwards. These 
last became the paramount power in the south, till their capital — 
Hullabid — was taken, and their dynasty destroyed by the Maho- 
medan, in the year 1310. 

With the appearance of the Mahomed ans on the scene the diffi- 
culties of Indian chronology disappear in the south, as well as in 
the north. Fix>m that time forward the history of India is found in 
such works as those written by Ferishta or Abul Fazl, and has 
been abstracted and condensed in numerous works in almost every 
European language. There are still, it must be confessed, slight 
discrepancies and difficulties about the sequence of some events in 
the history of the native principalities. These, however, are not 
of such importance as at all to affect, much less to invalidate, any 
reasoning that may be put forward regarding the history or affinities 
of any buildings, and this is the class of evidence which principally 
concerns what is written in the following pages. 


In order to render the subject treated of in the following pages 
quite complete, it ought, no doubt, to be preceded by an introduction 
describing first the sculpture and then the mythology of the Hindus 
in so far as they are at present known to us. There are in fact few 
works connected with this subject more wanted at the present day 
than a good treatise on these subjects. When Major Moor published the 
* Hindu Pantheon ' in 1810, the subject was comparatively new, and 
the materials did not exist in this country for a full and satisfactory 
illustration of it in all its branches. When, in 1832, Coleman 
published his * Mythology of the Hindus,* he was enabled from the 

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more recent researches of Colebroke and Wilson, to improve the text 
considerably, but his illustrations are very inferior to those of his 
predecessor. Moor chose his from such bronzes- cfcr marbles as existed 
in our museums. Coleman's were generally taken from modem draw- 
ings, or the tawdry plaster images made for the Durga puja of 
Bengali Babus. By the aid of photography any one now attempting 
the task would be able to select perfectly authentic examples from 
Hindu temples of the best age. If this were done judiciously, and 
the examples carefully engraved, it would not only afford a more 
satisfactory illustration of the mythology of the Hindus than has yet 
been given to the public, but it might also be made a history of the 
art of sculpture in India, in all the ages in which it is known to us. 
It is doubtful, however, whether such a work could be fiuccessfally 
carried through in this country at the present day. The photographs 
that exist of the various deities have generally been taken representing 
them only as they appear as ornaments of the temples, without special 
reference to their mythological character. They are sufficient to 
show what the sculptor intended, but not so detailed as to allow all 
their emblems or characteiistics being distinctly perceived. To be 
satisfactory as illustrations of the mythology, it is indispensable that 
these points should all be made clear. At the same time it is to be 
feared that there is hardly any one in this country so familiar with 
all the details of emblems and symbols as to be able to give the exact 
meaning of all that is represented. It would require the assistance of 
Bome Pandit brought up in the faith, and who is familiar with the 
significance of all the emblems, to convey to others the true meaning of 
these innumerable carvings. In India it could easily be accomplished, 
and it is consequently hoped it may before long be attempted there. 

From its very nature, it is evident that sculpture can hardly ever 
be so important as architecture as an illustration of the progress 
of the aiis, or ihe affinities of nations. Tied down to the reproduction 
of the immutable human figure, sculpture hardly admits of the same 
variety, or the same development, as such an art as architecture, 
whose business it is to administer to all the varied wants of mankind 
and to express the multifaiious aspirations of the human mind. Yet 
sculpture has a history, and one that can at times convey its meaning 
with considerable distinctness. No one, for instance, can take up such a 
book as that of Cicognara,^ and follow the gradual development of the 
art as he describes it, from the first rude carvings of the Byzantine 
school, till it returned in the present day to the mechanical perfection 
of the old Greek art, though without its ennobling spirit, and not 

' * Btoria della Scnltura, dal buo risoi gimento in Itulia sino al seculo di Kapo- 
leone,' Venezia, 1813. 


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feel that he has before him a fairly distinct illustration of the 
progress of the human mind during that period . Sculpture in India 
may fairly claim to rank, in power of expression, with mediaeval 
sculpture in Europe, and to tell its tale of rise and decay with equal 
distinctness ; but it is also interesting as having that curious Indian 
peculiarity of being written in decay. The story that Cicognara teUs 
is one of steady forward progress towards higher aims and better 
execution. The Indian story is that of backward decline, from the 
sculptures of the Bharhut and Amravati topes, to the illustrations of 
Coleman's * Hindu Mythology.' 

When Hindu sculpture first dawns upon us in the rails at Buddh 
Gaya, and Bharhut, B.C. 200 to 250, it is thoroughly original, absolutely 
without a trace of foreign influence, but quite capable of expressing 
its ideas, and of telling its story with a distinctness that never was 
surpassed, at least in India. Some animal**, such as elephants, deer, 
and monkeys, are better represented there than in any sculptures 
known in any part of the world ; so, too, are some trees, and the 
architectural details are cut with an elegance and precision which 
are very admirable. The human figures, too, though very different 
from our standard of beauty and* grace, are truthful to nature, and, 
where grouped together, combine to express the action intended 
with singular felicity. For an honest purpose-like pre-Raphaelite 
kind of art, there is probably nothing much better to be found 

The art certainly had declined when the gateways at Sanchi were 
executed in the first century of the Christian Era. They may then 
have gained a little in breadth of treatment, but it had certainly lost 
much in delicacy and precision. Its downward progress was then, 
however, arrested, apparently by the rise in the extreme north-west 
of India of a school of sculpture strongly impregnated with the 
traditions of classical art. It is not yet clear whether this arose 
from a school of art implanted in that land by the Bactrian Greeks, 
or whether it was maintained by direct intercourse with Home 
and Byzantium during the early centuries of the Christian £ra. 
Probably both causes acted simultaneously, and one day we may be 
able to discriminate what is due to each. For the present it is 
sufficient to know that a quasi-classical school of sculpture did exist 
in the Punjab, and to the west of the Indus during the first five 
centuries after Christ, and it can hardly have flourished there so 
long, without its presence being felt in India. 

Its effects were certainly apparent at Amravati in the 4th and 
6th centuries, where a school of sculpture was developed, partaking 
of the characteristics of both those of Central India and of the west. 
Though it may, in some respects, be inferior to either of the parent 
styles, the degree of perfection reached by the art of sculpture at 

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Amravati may probably be considered as tbe cnlminating point 
attained by that art in India. 

AVhen we meet it again in the early Hindu temples, and later 
Buddhist caves, it has lost much of its higher aesthetic and phonetic 
qualities, and frequently resorts to such expedients as giving dignity 
to the principal personages by making them double the size of less 
important characters, and of distinguishing gods from men by giving 
them more heads and arms than mortal man can use or understand. 

All this is developed, it must be confessed, with considerable 
vigour and richness of effect in the temples of Orissa and the Mysore, 
down to the 13th or 14th century. After that, in the north it was 
checked by the presence of the Moslems ; but in the south, some of 
the most remarkable groups and statues— and they are very remark- 
able — were executed after this time, and continued to be executed, in 
considerable perfection down to the middle of the last century. 

As we shall see in the sequel, the art of architecture continues 
to be practised with considerable success in parts of India remote 
from European influence; so much so, that it requires a practised 
eye to discriminate between what is new and what is old. But 
the moment any figures are introduced, especially if in action, the 
illusion vanishes. No mistake is then possible, for the veriest novice 
can see how painfully low the art of sculpture has fallen. Were it not 
for this, some of the modem temples in Qujerat and Central India 
are worthy to rank with those of past centuries ; but their paintings 
and their sculptured decorations excite only feelings of dismay, and 
lead one to despair of true art being ever again revived in the East. 

To those who are familiar with the principles on which these 
arts are practised, the cause of this difference is obvious enough. 
Architecture being a technio art, its forms may be handed down 
traditionally, and its principles practised almost mechanically. The 
higher phonetic arts, however, of sculpture and painting admit of 
no such mechanical treatment. They require individual excellence, 
and a higher class of intellectual power of expression, to ensure their 
successful development. Architecture may, consequently, linger on 
amidst much political decay; but, like literature, the phonetic arts 
can only be successfully cultivated where a higher moral and intel- 
lectual standard prevails than, it is feared, is at present to be foimd 
in India. 


"Whenever any one will seriously undertake to write the history 
of sculpture in India, he will find the materials abundant and the 
sequence by no means difficult to follow ; but with regard to mytho- 
logy» the case is different. It cannot, however, be said that the 
materials are not abundant for this branch of tho inquiry also ; but 

uigiiizea uy V^JvJOy Iv^ 


they are of a much less tangible or satisfactory nature, and have 
become so entangled, that it is extremely difficult to obtain any clear 
ideas regarding them ; and it is to be feared they must remain so, 
until those who investigate the subject will condescend to study the 
architecture and the sculpture of the country as well as its books. 
The latter contain a good deal, but they do not contain all the 
information available on the subject, and they require to be steadied 
and confirmed by what is built or carved, which alone can give 
precision and substance to what is written. 

Much of the confusion of ideas that prevails on this subject no 
doubt arises from the exaggerated importance it has of late years 
been the fashion to ascribe to the Vedas, as explaining everything 
connected with the mythology of the Hindus. It would,- indeed, 
be impossible to over estimate the value of these writings from a 
philological or ethnological point of view. Their discovery and 
elaboration have revolutionised our ideas as to the migrations of 
races in the remote ages of antiquity, and established the affiliation 
of the Aryan races on a basis that seems absolutely unassailable; 
but it cannot be too strongly insisted upon that the Aryans are a 
race of strangers in India distinct, from the Indian people themselves. 
They may, as hinted above, have come into India some three thousand 
years before Christ, and may have retained their purity of blood and 
faith for two thousand years ; but with the beginning of the political 
Kali Yug — or, to speak more correctly, at the time of the events detailed 
in the * Mahabharata,' say 1200 years B.C. — they had lost much of 
both ; while every successive wave of immigration that has crossed the 
Indus during the last three thousand years has impaired the purity of 
their race. From this cause, and from their admixture with the abori- 
gines, it may probably be with confidence asserted that there is not now 
five per cent. — perhaps not one— of pure Aryan blood in the present 
population of India, nor, consequently, does the religion of the Yedas 
constitute one-twentieth part of the present religion of the people. 

Though this may be absolutely so, it must not be overlooked 
that there are few things more remarkable, as bearing on this subject, 
than the extraordinary intellectual superiority of the Aryans over 
the Dasyus, or whatever we may call the people they found in India 
when they entered it. This superiority was sufficient to enable them 
to subdue the country, though they were probably infinitely inferior 
in numbers to the conquered people, and to retain them in subjection 
through long ages of time. Even now, when their purity of blood 
has become so diluted that they are almost lost among the people, 
their intellect, as embalmed in their writings, has left its impress 
on every comer of the land, and is still appealed to as a revelation of 
the will of God to man. 

With the Vcdas, however, we have very little to do in the present 

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work. The worship they foreshadow is of a class too purely intel- 
lectual to require the assistance of the stonemason and the carver 
to give it expression. The worship of the Aryans was addressed to 
the sun and moon. The firmament and all its hosts ; the rain-bearing 
doud ; the sun-ushering dawn ; all that was beautiful in the heavens 
above or beneficent on earth, was sung by them in hymns of elevated 
praise, and addressed in terms of awe or endearment as fear or hope 
prevailed in the bosom of the worshipper.^ Had this gone on for 
some time longer than it did, the objects worshipped by the Aryans 
in India might have become gods, like those of Greece and Borne, 
endowed with all the feelings and all the failings of humanity. In 
India it was otherwise ; the deities were dethroned, but never were 
degraded. There is no trace in Yedic times, so far as at present 
known, of Indra or Yaruna, of Agni or Ushas, being represented in 
wood or stone, or of their requiring houses or temples to shelter 
them. It is true indeed that the terms of endearment in which they 
are addressed are frequently such as mortals use in speaking of each 
other ; but how otherwise can man express his feeling of love or fear, 
or address his supplication to the being whose assistance he implores ? 

The great beauty of the Veda is, that it stops short before the 
powers of nature are dwarfed into human forms, and when every man 
stood independently by himself and sought through the intervention 
of all that was great or glorious on the earth, or in the skies, to 
approach the great spirit that is beyond and above all created things. 

Had the Aryans ever been a numerical majority in India, and 
consequently able to preserve their blood and caste in tolerable 
purity, the religion of India never could have sunk so low as it did, 
though it might have fallen below the standard of the Yeda. What 
really destroyed it was, that each succeeding immigration of less 
pure Aryan or Turanian races rendered their numerical majority 
relatively less and less, while their inevitable influence so educated 
the subject races, as to render their moral majority even less im- 
portant. These processes went on steadily and uninterruptedly till, 
in the time of Buddha, the native religions rose fairly to an 
equality with that of the Aryans, and afterwards for a while eclipsed 
it. The Yedas were only ultimately saved from absolute annihilation 
in India, by being embedded in the Yaishnava and Saiva supersti- 
tions, where their inanimate forms may still be recognised, but 
painfully degraded from their primitive elevation. 

Wben we turn from the Yedas, and try to investigate the origin 
of those religions that first opposed and finally absorbed the Yedas in 
their abominations, we find our means of information painfully scanty 

> " The ritual of the Veda is chiefly, if I ticularly to fire."— H. H. Wilson, * Asiatic 
nut wholly, addressed to the elements, par- I Researches/ xvii. p. 194 ; ibid., p. 614. 

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and nnsatiafactory. As will appear in the sequel, all that was written 
in India that is worth reading was written by the Aryans ; all that 
was built was built by the Turanians, who wrote practically nothing. 
But the known buildings extend back only to the 3rd century B.C., 
while the books are ten centuries earlier, or possibly even more than 
that, while, as might be expected, it is only accidentally and in the 
most contemptuous terms that the proud Aryans even allude to the 
abject Dasyus or their religion. What, therefore, we practically 
know of them is little more than inferences drawn from results, and 
from what we now see passing in India. 

Notwithstanding the admitted imperfection of materials, it seems 
to be becoming every day more and more evident, that we have in 
the north of India one great group of native or at least of Turanian 
religions, which we know in their latest developments as the Buddhist, 
Jaina, and Vaishnava religions. The first named we only know as 
it was taught by Sakya Muni before his death in 543 B.C., but no one 
I presume supposes that he was the first to invent that form of faith, 
or that it was not based on some preceding forms. The Buddhists 
themselves, according to the shortest calculation, admit of four pre- 
ceding Buddhas — according to the more usual accounts, of twenty-four. 
A place is assigned to each of these, where he was bom, and when he 
died, the father and mother's name is recorded, and the name, too, of 
the Bodhi-tree under whose shade he attained Buddhahood. The 
dates assigned to each of these are childishly fabulous, but there 
seems no reason for doubting that they may have been real person- 
ages, and their dates extend back to a very remote antiquity.^ 

The Jains, in like manner, claim the existence of twenty-four 
Tirthankars, including Mahavira the last. Their places of birth and 
death are equally recorded, all are in northern India, and though 
little else is known of them, they too may have existed. The series 
ends with Mahavira, who was the contemporary— some say the 
preceptor — of Sakya Muni. 

The Vaishnava series is shorter, consisting of only nine Avatars, 
but it, too, closes at the same time, Buddha himself being the ninth 
and last. Its fifth Avatar takes us back to Eama, who, if our chrono- 
logy is correct, may have lived b.o. 2000 ; the fourth — the Narasinha, 
or man lion — points to the time the Aryans entered India. The three 
first deal with creation and events anterior to man's appearance on 
earth. In this respect the Vaishnava list differs from the other two. 

» A list of the tweuty-four Buddhas, 
with these particulars, is given in the 
intrt)duction to Tumour's 'Mahawanso,* 
p. 32. Representations of six or seven 
of these Bodhi-trees, with the names at- ' found, 
tached, have been found at Bharhut, I 

showing at least that more than four 
were recognised in the time of Asoka. 
If the rail there were entire, it is probable 
representations of the whole might be 

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They only record the existenoe of men who attained greatness hy the 
practice of virtne, and immortality by teaching the ways of God to 
man. The Yaishnavas brought God to earth, to mix and interfere in 
mnndane affairs in a manner that neither the Aryan nor the Buddhist 
ever dreamt of, and so degraded the purer religion of India into the 
monstrous system of idolatry that now prevails in that country. 

No attempt, so far as I know, has been made to explain the origin 
of the Saiva religion, or even to ascertain whether it was a purely local 
superstition, or whether it was imported from abroad. The earliest 
authentic written allusion to it seems to be that of the Indian ambas- 
sador to Bardasanes (a.d. 218, 222), who described a cave in the north 
of India which contained an image of a god, half-man, half-woman.^ 
This is beyond doubt the Ardhanari form of Siva, so familiar after- 
wards atElephanta and in every part of India. The earliest engraved 
representations of this god seem to be those on the coins of Kadphises 
(B.C. 80 to 100 ^), where the figure with the trident and the Bull 
certainly prefigure the principal personage in this religion. Curiously 
enough, however, he or she is always accompanied by the Buddhist 
trisul emblem, as if the king, or his subjects at least, simultaneously 
professed both religions. Besides all this, it seems now tolerably 
well ascertained, that the practice of endowing gods with an infinity 
of limbs took an earlier, certainly a greater development in Thibet 
and the trans-Himalayan countries than in India, and that the wildest 
Tan trie forms of Durga are more common and more developed in 
Nepal and Thibet than they are even in India Proper. If this is so, 
it seems pretty clear, as the evidence now stands, that Saivism is a 
northern superstition introduced into India by the Yuechi or some of 
the northern hordes who migrated into India, either immediately 
before the Christian Era, or in the early centuries succeeding it. 

It does not seem at first to have made much progress in the valley 
of the Ganges, where the ground was preoccupied by the Vaishnava 
group, but to have been generally adopted in Rajputana, especially 
among the Jats, who were almost certainly the descendants of the 
White Huns or Ephthalites, and it seems also to have been early 
carried south by the Brahmans, when they undertook to instruct the 
Dra vidians in the religion of the Puranas. That of the Vedas never 
seems to have been known in the south, and it was not till after 
the Vedas had been superseded by the new system, that the Brah- 
manical religion was introduced among the southern people. It is 
also, it is to be feared, only too true that no attempt has yet been 
made to ascertain what the religion of the Dravidians was before the 
northern Brahmans induced them to adopt either the Jaina or the 

* Stobieas, ' Physica,' Gaisford's edition, p. 54. See also Prianlx, ' India and Borne,' 
. 15.3. ■ Wilson's * Ariana Antiqua/ plates 10,* 11. 

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Yaislinava or Saiva forma of faith. It is possible that among the 
Panda Eolis, and other forms of * Rude Stone Monuments ' that are 
found everywhere in the south, we may find the fossil remains of 
the old Dravidian faith before they adopted that of the Hindus. 
These monuments, however, have not been examined with anything 
like the care requisite for the solution of a problem like this, and 
till it is done we must rest content with our ignorance.^ 

In the north we have been somewhat more fortunate, and enough 
is now known to make it clear that, so soon as the inquirers can con- 
sent to put aside personal jealousies, and apply themselves earnestly 
to the task, we may know enough to make the general outline at 
least tolerably clear. When I first published my work on ' Tree and 
Sei-pent Worship,' seven years ago, no one suspected, at least no one 
had hinted in type, that such a form of religion existed in Bengal. 
Since that time, however, so much has been written on the subject, 
and proof on proof has accumulated with such rapidity, that few wiU 
now be bold enough to deny that Trees were worshipped in India in 
the earliest times, and that a Naga people did exist, especially in the 
north-west, who had a strange veneration for snakes. It may be too 
bold a generalisation to assert, at present, that no people became 
Buddhists who had not previously been serpent worshippei-s, but it 
certainly is nearer the truth than at first sight appears. It is, at all 
events, quite certain that underlying Buddhism we everywhere find 
evidence of a stratum of Tree and Serpent worship. Sometimes it 
may be repressed and obscured, but at others it crops up again, and, 
to a certain extent, the worship of the Tree and the Serpent, at some 
times and in certain places, almost supersedes that of the founder of 
the religion himself. 

The five, or seven, or one thousand-headed Naga is everywhere 
present in the temples of the Jains, and pervades the whole religion 
of the Vaishnavas. In the great act of creation the Naga performs 
the principal part in the churning of the ocean, and in almost every 
representation of Vishnu he appears either as supporting and 
watching over him, or as performing some subsidiary part in the 
scene. It is, in fact, the Naga that binds together and gives unity to 
this great group of religions, and it is the pi'esence of the Tree and 
Serpent worship underlying Buddhism, Jainism, and Yishnuism that 
seems to prove almost incontestably that there existed a people in the 
north of India, whether we call them Dasyus, Nishadhas, or by any 
other name, who were Tree and Serpent worshippers, before they 

^ A book has recently been published 
by the late Mr. Breeks, of the Madras 
Civil Service, on the primitive tribes of 
the Nilugiris, which gives a fuller ac- 
count of these * nide stone monuments * 

than any other yet given to the public 
It can hardly, however, be accepted as a 
solution of the problem, which requires 
a wider survey than he was able to 

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adopted any of the Hindu forms of faith. Nothing can be more 
antagonistic to the thoughts and feelings of any Aryan race than such 
forms of worship, and nothing more completely anti-Vedio than its 
ritee. It seems also to have no connexion with Saivism.^ Nor is 
there any trace of it found among the Dravidians. There appears, in 
fact, no solution of the riddle possible, but to assume that it was an 
aboriginal superstition in the north of India : and it was the conver- 
sion of the people to whom it belonged that gave rise to that triarchy 
of religions that have succeeded each other in the north dui ing the 
last two thout^and years. 

This solution of the difficulty has the further advantage that it 
steps in at once clearly to explain what philology is only dimly 
guessing at, though its whole tendency now seems in the same 
direction. If this view of the mythology be correct, it seems certain 
that there existed in the north of India, before the arrival of the 
Aryans, a people whose affinities were all with the ITiibetans, Burmese, 
Siamese, and other trans-Himalayan populations, and who certainly 
were not Dravidians, though they may have been intimately connected 
with one division at least of the inhabitants of Ceylon. 

Both the pre-Aryan races of India belonged, of course, to the 
Turanian group ; but my present impression is, as hinted above, that 
the Dravidians belong to that branch of the great primordial family 
of mankind that was developed in l^Iesopotamia and the countries to 
the westward of the Caspian. The Dasyus, on the contrary, have all 
their affinities with those to the eastward of that sea, and the two 
might consequently be called the Western and the Eastern, or the 
Scythian and Mongolian Turanians. Such a distinction would cer- 
tainly represent our present knowledge of the subject better than 
considering the whole as one family, which is too often the case at the 
present day. 

These, however, are speculations which hardly admit of proof in 
the present state of our knowledge, and would consequently be quite 
out of place here, were it not that some such theory seems indispens- 
able to explain the phenomena of the architectural history of India. 
That of the north is so essentially different from that of the south 
that they cannot possibly belong to the same people. Neither of them 
certainly are Aryan ; and unless we admit that the two divisions of 

' The serpent of Siva is always a cobra, i priated to Siva, and no trace of tree vor- 
or poisonous snake, and used by him as ' ship mingled with the various forms of 

adoration paid to this divinity — a cir- 
cumstance in itself quite sufficient to 
distinguish this form of faith from tliat of 
the Dasyu group which pervaded the 
valley of the Ganges. 

an awe-inspiring weapon, a very different 
animal from the many-headed tutelary 
Naga, the guardian angel of mankind, 
and regarded only with feelings of love 
and veneration by his votaries. It may 
also be remarked that no tree is appro- 

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the country were occupied by people essentially different in blood, 
though still belonging to the building races of mankind, we cannot 
possibly understand how they always practised, and to the present 
employ, styles so essentially different. Until these various ethno- 
graphical and mythological problems are understood and appreciated, 
the styles of architecture in India seem a chaos without purpose 
or meaning. Once, however, they are grasped and applied, their 
history assumes a dignity and importance far greater than is due to 
any merely aesthetic merits they may possess. Even that, however, 
is in many respects remarkable, and when combined with the scien- 
tific value of the styles, seem to render them as worthy of study as 
those of any other people with whose arts we are acquainted. 


It would add very much to the clearness of what follows if it were 
possible to compile any statistical tables which woidd represent with 
anything like precision the mode in which the people of India are 
distributed, either as regards their religious beliefs or their ethno- 
graphical relations. The late census of 1871-72 has afforded a mass 
of new material for this purpose, but the information is distributed 
through five folio volumes, in such a manner as to make it ex- 
tremely difficult to abstract what is wanted so as to render it in- 
telligible to the general reader. Even, however, if this were done, 
the result would hardly, for several reasons, be satisfactory. In the 
first place, the census is a first attempt, and the difficulty of col- 
lecting and aiTanging such a mass of new materials was a task of 
the extremest difficulty. The fault of any shortcomings, however, 
lay more with the enumerated than with the enumerators. Few 
natives know anything of ethnography, or can give a distinct answer 
with regard to their race or descent; and even with regard to 
religion their notions are equally hazy. Take for instance the table, 
page 93 of the Bombay Keport. The compilers there divide the 
Hindus of that Presidency into three classes : — 

3,465.349 Saivas. 
1,419,233 Vaishnavaa. 
8,029,989 Mixed. 


The mixed class they proceed to define as "all who simply 
worship some god or goddess, without knowing anything of theo- 
logy " — a description that probably applies with equal truth to two- 
thirds of the Hindu population of the other presidencies. The upper 
and educated classes do know now what sect they belong to, and 

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the sects are so. distinctly marked as to admit of no doubt ; bnt even 
that was not so clear in former days. 

The great defect, however, of the census is, that it does not 
include the population of the Native States, estimated at 46,245,000, 
or one-fifth of the whole population of India ; and though it may be 
fair to assume that the proportions of races and their beliefs are the 
same as those of the adjacent states under British rule, this is only 
an assumption, and as such must vitiate any attempt at precision in 
statements regarding the whole of India. 

Notwithstanding these difficulties or defects, it may be useful 
to state here that the population of the whole of India — exclusive, 
of course, of British Burmah — was ascertained by the late census 
to amount to 235,000,000 of souls. Of these, about 7-lOths — or, more 
nearly, 15-20ths — or 175,000,000, belonged to the various branches 
of the Hindu religion; more than l-5th or 4-2(>ths or 50,000,000, 
professed the Mahomedan faith; and the remaining 1-2 0th was made 
up principally of the uncivilized hill tribes, and various minor sects 
-which cannot correctly be classified with the followers of Siva and 
Vishnu. In this last group of 11,000,000 are the Jains and the 
Christians, who, though ro influential from their wealth or intellect, 
form numerically but a very small fraction of the entire population. 

The tables of the census, unfortunately, afford us very little 
information that is satisfactory with regard to the distribution of 
races among the people. From the new edition of CaldwelFs * I>ra- 
vidian Grammar,' we learn that upwards of 45,000,000 are IJravidian 
or speak Tamil, or languages allied to that dialect.^ This may be some- 
-what of an over-estimate, but, taking it as it stands, it accounts for 
only l-5th of the population ; and what are we to say regarding the 
other 4-5th8, or 1 90,000,000 of souls ? Four or five millions may be 
put on one side as Koles, Bhils, Sontals, Nagas, &c.— hill tribes of 
various classes, whose affinities are not yet by any means settled, but 
whose ethnic relations are of very minor importance compared with 
those of the 185,000,000 remaining. 

As the census leaves us very much in the dark on this subject, 
supposing we assume that one-half, or 90,000,000 more or less, of the 
inhabitants of northern India are the descendants of the original 
inhabitants of the country — Dasyus, Nishadhas, or whatever we may 
call them. Let us further divide the remaining 90,000,000 into three 
parts,' and assume that one-third are lineal descendants of the Aryans 
who entered India before the time of Buddha; one-third the de- 
scendants of Yavanas, Sakas, Hunas, and other Scythian tribes who 
crossed the Indus between the Christian Era and the time of the 

' Page 41. Dr. CorniBh, in the Intro- very considerable difference; but on the 
dnction to the ' Madraa Statistical Tables/ ' whole I am incline! to place faith in 
p. 67, states this at only 30,000,000— a Dr. Caldwell's figures. 

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Mabomedan invasion ; and that the remainder are the Moslem races, 
or their descendants, who have entered India during the last 800 
years. Such a scheme may nearly represent the facts of the case; 
but it seems almost certainly to exaggerate the importance of the 
foreign immigrant element. Taking, for instance, the last, about 
which we know most, it seems hardly probable that since the time 
of Mahmood of Guzni any such number of tribes professing the 
Mahomedan religion could have entered India so as to be able to 
procreate a population of 30,000,000 of souls, even supposing they 
had brought their women with them— which they certainly did not, 
except in the most exceptional cases. Two or three millions of 
warriors may have crossed the Indus in that time and settled in 
India, and, marrying the females of the country, may have had a 
numerous progeny; but thirty millions is a vast population by direct 
descent, especially as we know how many of the Moslems of India 
were recruited from slaves purchased and brought up in the faith 
of their masters. In Bengal especially, where they are most nu- 
merous, they are Bengalis pure and simple, many, perhaps most, 
of whom have adopted that faith quite recently from motives it is 
not difficult to understand or explain. Though there may conse- 
quently be 60,000,000 of Mussulmans in India at the present day, 
we may feel quite certain that not one-half of this number are 
immigrants or the descendants of. emigrants who entered India 
during the last eight centuries. 

The same is probably true of the Turanian races, who entered 
India in the first ten centuries after our era. It is most improbable 
that they were sufficiently numerous to be the progenitors of thirty 
millions of people, and if they were so, the mothers, in nine cases 
out of ten, were most probably natives of India. 

Of the Aryans we know less, but if so great a number as thirty 
millions can trace anything like a direct descent from them at the 
present day, the amount of pure Aryan blood in their veins must 
be infinitesimally small. But though their blood may be diluted, 
the influence of their intellect remains so powerfully impressed on 
every institution of the country that, had they perished altogether, 
their previous presence is still an element of the utmost importance 
in the ethnic relations of the land. 

Another census may enable us to speak with more precision with 
regard to these various divisions of the mass of the people of Hindu- 
stan, but meanwhile the element that seems to be most important, 
though the least investigated hitherto, is the extent of the aboriginal 
race. It has hitherto been so overlooked, that putting it at ninety 
millions may seem to many an exaggeration. Its intellectual in- 
feriority has kept it in the background, but its presence everywhere 
seems to me the only means of explaining most of the phenomena we 

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meet continnally, especially those connected with the history of the 
architecture of the country. Except on some such hypothesis as that 
just shadowed forth, I do not know how we are to aooonnt for the 
presence of certain local forms of buildings we find in the north, or 
to explain the persistence with which they were adhered to. 

When from these purely ethnographic speculations we turn to ask 
how far religion and race coincide, we are left with still less infor- 
mation of a reliable character. As a rule, the Dravidians are Saiva, 
and Saiva in the exact proportion of the purity of their blood. In 
other words, in the extreme south of India they are immensely in the 
majority. In Tanjore, 7 to 1 of the followers of Vishnu ; in M4dura, 
5 to 1 ; in Trichinopoly, 4 to 1 ; and Salem, and generally in the 
south, 2 to 1 ;^ but as we proceed northward they become equal, and 
in some of the northern districts of the Madras Presidency the 
proportions are reversed. 

In Bengal, and wherever Buddhism once prevailed, the Vaishnava 
sects are, as might be expected, the most numerous. Indeed if it 
were not that so much of the present Hindu religion is an importa- 
tion into the south, and was taught to the Dravidians by Brahmans 
from the north, it would be difficult to understand how the Vaishnava 
religion ever took root there, where Buddhism itself only existed to a 
slight extent, and where it, too, was an importation. If, however, 
it is correct to assume that Saivism had its ongin to the northward 
of the Himalayas, among the Tartar tribes of these regions, there is 
no difficulty in understanding its presence in Bengal to the extent 
to which it is found to prevail there. But, on the other hand, 
nothing can be more natural than that an aboriginal Naga people, 
who worshipped trees and serpents, should become Buddhists, as 
Buddhism was originally understood, aud, being Buddhists, should 
slide downwards into the corruptions of the present Vaishnava form 
of fsiith, which is avowedly that most fashionable and most prevalent 
in the north of India. 

One of the most startling facts brought out by the last census, is 
the discovery that nearly one-third of the population of Eastern 
Bengal are Mahomedan— 20,500,000 out of 66,000,000— while in the 
north-west provinces the Mahomedans are less than l-6th — 4,000,000 
among 25,000,000; and in Oude little more than 1-1 0th. It thus 
looks more like a matter of feeling than of race; it seems that as 
the inhabitants of Bengal were Buddhists, and clung to that faith 
long after it had been abolished in other parts of India, they came 
in contact with the Moslem religion before they had adopted the 
modem form of Vishnuism, and naturally preferred a faith which 
acknowledged no caste, and freed them from the exactions and 

» • Mavlnis Report,* p. 90. 

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tyranny of a dominant priesthood. The Mahomedan religion is in fact 
much more like Buddhism than are any of the modern Hindu forms, 
and when this non- Aryan casteless population came in contact with it, 
before they had adopted the new faith, and were free to choose, after 
the mysterious evaporation of their old l)eliefs, they naturally adopted 
the religion most resembling that in which they had been brought 
up. It is only in this way that it seems possible to account for the 
predominance of the Moslem faith in Lower Bengal and in the 
Punjab, where the followers of the Prophet outnumber the Hindus, 
in the proportion of 3 to 2, or as 9,000,000 to 6,000,000. 

Where Buddhism had prevailed the choice seemed to lie between 
Vishnu or Mahomet. Where Saivism crept in was apparently 
among those races who were Turanians, or had affinities with the 
Tartar races, who immigrated from the north between the Christian 
Era and the age of the Mahomedan conquest. 

To most people these may appear as rash generalisations, and at 
the present stage of the inquiry would be so in reality, if no further 
proof could be afforded. After reading the following pages, I trust 
most of them at least will be found to rest on the firm basis of a fair 
induction from the facts brought forward. It might, consequently, 
have appeared more logical to defer these statements to the end of 
the work, instead of placing them at the beginning. Unless, however, 
they are read and mastered first, a great deal that is stated in the 
following pages will be unintelligible, and the scope and purpose 
of the work can neither be understood nor appreciated. 

I. Naga people worehipping the Trisul emblem of DuddhA, on a fiery pilUr. 
(From a bas-relief at Amravati.) 

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p E y c\a r.. 





fc HodsaiuL:tho,188. Strand. W. 

uigiiizeo Dy v-j v^'v^'pt iv 

( 4* ) 





itig i)f ili 8/1 |>i ointment in some minds wlien they 
iM no stone iirchitectui-e in India older than two 

li^forc tL*.* ( liristian Era ; but, on the other hand, 
i* tlie clearjiCHS of what follows to be able to assert 

introduction of the use of stone for architectural 
% that of Biuidhism as a state religion, to the great 
I fiom n.r. 272 to 236. 

irso, meant to insinuate that the people of India 

*j bofoi'c that date; on the contrary, it can be 

[)OHsest»Qd palaces and halls of assembly, perhaps 

wtt niaginfioence and splendour, long anterior to 

^t1t^ like tbci buildings of the Burmese at the present 

u wood. Stone, in those days, seems to have been 

thii foundations of buildings, or in engineering 

walls and ^ates, or bridges or embankments; all 

from the eequel, were framed in carpentry. Much 

;Tet this, aa all these buildings have consequently 

> clear, as it may at first appear, that the Indians 

7 i, inasmucli as, in all respects, except durability, 

ildiDg material than stone. It is far more easily 

get epacGs can be covered with fewer and less cum- 

|3jh>rt than is possible with stone, and colour and 

iiurr- ci^tRily applied to wood than to stone. For the 

Tilt; ^|l■^1 .* can be covered, and more than twice 
unrA ]py tlio use of the more perishable material. 
Vet lu iriu ihnt it is ephemeral. It fails also in 
ii .- [i N H i ilurability which is so essential to archi- 
lile, at the same time, the facility with which it 
adurned tt^nds to produce a barbaric splendour far 
an tbo more sober forms necessitated by the employ^ 
niciiiMe uut tonal. 

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Book I. 

Be this as it may, it will, if I mistake not, become quite clear 
when we examine the earliest '' rock-cut temples " that, whether from 
ignorance or from choice, the Indians employed wood, and that only 
in the construction of their ornamental buildings, before Asoka's 
time.^ From this the inference seems inevitable that it was in con- 
sequence of India being brought into contact with the western world, 
first by Alexander's raid, and then by the establishment of the 
Bactrian kingdom in its immediate proximity, that led to this change. 
We do not yet know precisely how early the Bactrian kingdom 
extended to the Indus, but we feel its influence on the coinage, on the 
sculpture, and generally on the arts of India, from a very early date, 
and it seems as if before long we shall be able to fix with precision 
not only the dates, but the forms in which the arts of the Western 
world exerted their influence on those of the East. This, however, will 
be made clearer in the sequel. In the meanwhile it may be su£Scient 
to state here that we know absolutely nothing of the temples or archi- 
tecture of the various peoples or religions who occupied India before 
the rise of Buddhism,^ and it is only by inference that we know any- 
thing of that of the Buddhists before the age of Asoka. From that 
time forward, however, all is clear and intelligible ; we have a sufficient 
number of examples whose dates and forms are known to enable us 
to write a perfectly consecutive history of the Buddhist style during 
the 1000 years it was practised in India, and thence to trace its 
various developments in the extra Indian countries to which it was 
carried, and where it is still practised at the present day.^ 

If our ethnography is not at fault, it would be in vain to look for 
any earlier architecture of any importance in India before Asoka's 
time. The Aryans, who were the dominant people before the rise of 

* These remarks mu&t not be taken as 
applying to sculpture also. It is quite 
true that no stone sculptures have yet 
been found in India of an earlier date 
than the age of Asoka ; but, as will be seen 
in the sequel, the perfection the Indian 
artists had attained in stone sculpture 
wlien they executed the bas-reliefs at 
Bharhut (b.c. 200), shows a &miliarity 
with the material that oould only be at- 
tained by long practice. 

* No mention of temples or, indeed, of 
buildings is, I believe, found in the Vedas. 
and though both are frequently alluded 
to. and described in the Epic Poems and 
the Puranas, this hardly helps us; first 
because, like all yerbal descriptions of 
buildings, they are too vague to be in- 
telligible, and secondly, because there is 
uu proof thut the passages containing 

these descriptions may not have been 
interpolated after — probably long after— 
the Christian Era. 

' I believe I was the first to ascertain 
these facts from a personal inspection of 
the monuments themselves. They were 
communicated to the Boyal Asiatic So- 
ciety in a paper I read on the * Bock-cut 
Temples of India/ in 1 842. Every subse- 
quent research, and every increase of our 
knowledge, has tended to confirm those 
views to such an extent that they are not 
now disputed by any one acquainted with 
the literature of the subject, though some 
writers do still indulge in rhapsodies about 
the primsBval antiquity of the caves, and 
their connexion with those of Egypt, &c. 
Till all this is put on one side, no clear 
idea can be obtained of the true position 
of the art in India. 

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BuddhiBiD, were essentially a non-artistio race. They wrote books 
and expressed their ideas in words like their congeners aU the world 
over, but they nowhere seem suocessfuUy to have cultivated the 
aesthetio arts, or to have sought for immortality through the 
splendour or durability of their buildings. That was always the 
aspiration of the less intellectual Turanian races, and we owe it to 
this circumstance that we are enabled to write with such certainty 
the history of their rise and fall as evidenced in their architectural 

There is no & priori improbability that the Dravidian races of the 
south of India, or the indigenous races of the north, may not have 
erected temples or other buildings at a very early date, but if so, all 
that can be said is that all trace of them is lost. When we first meet 
the Buddhist style it is in its infancy — a wooden style painfully 
^struggling into lithic forms— and we have no reason to suppose that 
the other styles were then more advanced. When, however, we first 
meet them, some six or seven centuries afterwards, they are so com- 
plete in all their details, and so truly lithic in their forms, that they 
have hitherto baffled all attempts to trace them back to their original 
types, either in the wood or brick work, from which they may have 
been derived. So completely, indeed, have all the earlier examples 
been obliterated, that it is now doubtful whether the missing links 
can ever be replaced. Still, as one single example of a Hindu temple 
dating before the Christian Era might solve the difficulty, we ought 
not to despair of such being found, while the central provinces of 
India remain so utterly unexplored as they now are. Where, under 
ordinary circumstances, we ought to look for them, would be among 
the ruins of the ancient cities which once crowded the valley of the 
Ganges ; but there the ruthless Moslem or the careless Hindu have 
thoroughly obliterated all traces of any that may ever have existed. 
In the remote valleys of the Himalaya, or of Central India, there may, 
however, exist remains which will render the origin and progress of 
Hindu architecture as clear and as certain as that of the Buddhist; 
but till these are discovered, it is with the architecture of the 
Buddhists that our history naturally begins. Besides this, however, 
from the happy accident of the Buddhists very early adopting the mode 
of excavating their temples in the living rock, their remains are im- 
perishably preserved to us, while it is only too probable that those of 
the Hindu, being in less durable forms, may have disappeared. The 
former, therefore, are easily classified and dated, while the origin of 
the latter, for the present, seems lost in the mist of the early ages 
of Indian arts. Meanwhile, the knowledge that the architectural 
history of India commences b.c. 250, and that all the monuments now 
known to us are Buddhist for at least five or six centuries after that 
time, are cardinal facts that cannot be too strongly insisted upon by 


uigiiizeu uy 



those who wish to clear away a great deal of what has hitherto tended 
to render the subject obscure and unintelligible. 


For convenience of description it will probably be found expedient 
to classify the various objects of Buddhist art under the five following 
groups, though of course it is at times impossible to separate them 
entirely firom one another, and sometimes two or more of them most 
be taken together as parts of one monument. 

1st. Stambhas, or lAU. — These pillars are common to all the styles 
of Indian architecture. With the Buddhists they were employed to 
bear inscriptions on their shafts, with emblems or animals on their 
capitals. With the Jains they were generally Deepdans, or lamp- 
bearing pillars ; with the Yaishnavas they as generally bore statues 
of Garuda or Hunaman; with the Saiva they were flag-stafEs; but, 
whatever theii- destination, they were always among the most original, 
and frequently the most elegant, productions of Indian art. 

2nd. Stupas, or Topes. — These, again, may be divided into two 
classes, according to their destination: first, the true Stupas or 
towers erected to commemorate some event or mark some sacred 
spot dear to the followers of the religion of Buddha : secondly, 
Dagobas, or monuments containing relics of Buddha, or of some 
Buddhist saint.^ If it were possible, these two ought always to be 
kept separate, but no external signs have yet been discovered by 
which they can be distinguished from one another, and till this is so, 
they must be considered, architecturally at least, as one. 

3rd, Bails. — These have recently been discovered to be one of the 
most important features of Buddhist architecture. Generally they 
are found surrounding Topes, but they are also represented as 
enclosing sacred trees, temples, and pillars, and other objects. It 
may be objected that treating them separately is like describing the 
peristyle of a Greek temple apart from the oella. The Buddhist rail, 
however, in early ages at least, is never attached to the tope, and is 
used for so many other, and such various purposes, that it will 
certainly tend to the clearness of what follows *if they are treated 

4th. Ohaiiyca^^ or Assembly HaUs. — These in Buddhist art cor- 

1 From two Sanscrtt words, Dhata, a 
relic, and Garbha (Pali, Gabbhan), the 
womb, receptacle, Bhrine of a relic. (Tur- 
nour, • Mahawanso,* p. 5,) The word Pa- 
goda is probably a corruption of Dagoba. 

* In Nepal, according to Hodgson, and, 

are called Stupas in India are there called 
Chaityaa. Efcymologically, this is no 
doubt the correct designation, as Chaitya, 
like Stupa, means primarily a heap or 
tumulus, but it also means a place of 
sacrifice or religious worship— an altar 

I believe, in Tbibet, the monuments which i from Chita, a heap, an assemblage, a 

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Chap. I. 



respond in every respect with the churches of the Christian religion. 
Their plans, the position of the altar or relic casket, the aisles, and 
other peculiarities are the same in both, and their uses are identical, 
in so far as the ritual forms of the one religion resemble those of the 

6th. ViharaSj or Monasteries. — Like the Chaitjas, these resemble 
very closely the corresponding institutions among Christians. In 
the earlier ages they accompanied, but were detached from, the 
Chaityas or churches. In later times they were furnished with 
chapels and altars in which the service could be performed inde- 
pendently of the Chaitya halls, which may or may not be found in 
their proximity. 

miiltitiide, &c. (Monier Williams' ' Sans- 
crit Dictionaiy ' mb voce). Properly speak- 
ing, therefore, these caves ought perhaps to 
be called '* halls containing a chaitya," 

or ** chaitya halls," and this latter term 
will consequently be used wherever any 
ambiguity is likely to arise fh)ra the use 
of the simple term Chaitya. 


oo a LotuB, wttb two Elephants pouring wnter over ber. 
(From a modem sculpture from Indore.) 

Di^'ftizld by Google 




It is not clear whethor we ought to claim a wooden origin for tbese, 
as we can for all the other objects of Buddhist architecture. Certain 
it is, however, that the l&ts of Asoka, with shafts averaging twelve 
diameters in height, are much more like wooden posts than any 
forms derived from stone architecture, and in an age when wooden 
pillars were certainly employed to support the roofs of halls, it is 
much more likely that the same material should Le employed for 
the purposes to which these stambhas were applied, than the more 
intractable material of stone. 

The oldest authentic examples of these l&ts that we are acquainted 
with, are those which King Asoka set up in the twenty-seventh year 
after his consecration— the thirty-first of his reign — to bear in- 
scriptions conveying to his subjects the leading doctrines of the new 
faith he had adopted. The rock-cut edicts of the same king are 
dated in his tweJfth year, and convey in a less condensed form the 
same information — Buddhism without Buddha — but inculcating 
respect to parents and priests, kindness and charity to all men, and, 
above all, tenderness towards animals.^ 

The best known of these lats is that set up by Feroze Shah, in 
his Kotila at Delhi, without, however, his being in the least aware 
of the original purpose for which it was erected, or the contents of the 
inscription. A fragment of a second was recently found lying on 

1 These inscriptions have been published 
in various forms and at various times by 
the Asiatic Societies of Calcutta and Lon- 
don (* Journal of the Asiatic Society of 
Bengal,' vol. vi. p. 566, et aeqq. ; * Journal 
of the Royal Asiatic Society/ voL xii. p. 1 53, 
el teqq.) and in various other publications, 
but always mixed up with extraneous 
matters. It is, however, veiy much to be 
regretted that a carefully-edited translation 
is not issued in some separate form easily 
aocessiblu to the general public. An abso- 
lutely authentic and unaltered body of 
Buddhist doctrine, as it stood 250 years 

before the birth of Christ, would be one of 
the most valuable contributions possible to 
the religious history of the modem world, 
and so much has been already done that 
tlie task does not seem difBeult Among 
other things, they explain to us negatively 
why we have so little history in India in 
these days. Asoka is only busied about 
doctrines. He does not even mention his 
Cither's name ; and makes no allusion to 
any historical event, not even those oon- 
necled with the life of the founder of the 
religion. Among a people so carelesB of 
genealogy, history is impossible. 

Digitized by 


Chap. II. 



the ground near Hindu Bao's house, north of Delhi.^ Two others 
exist in Tirhoot, at Badhia, and Mattiah, and a fragment of another 
was recognised utilised as a roller for the station roads, 
by an utilitarian member of the Bengal Civil Service. 
The most complete, however, is that which, in 1837, 
was found lying on the ground in the fort at Allah- 
abad, and then re-erected witK a pedestal, from a design 
by Captain Smith.* This pillar is more than usually 
interesting, as in addition to the Asoka inscriptions 
it contains one by Samudra Gupta (a.d. 380 to 400), 
detailing the glories of his reign, and the great deeds 
of his ancestors.^ It seems again to have been thrown 
down, and was re-erected, as a Persian inscription tells 
us, by Jehangir (a.d. 1605), to commemorate his acces- 
sion. It is represented without the pedestal (Wood- 
cut No. 3). The shaft, it will be observed, is more 
than 3 ft. wide at the base, diminishing to 2 ft. 2 in. 
at the summit, which in a length of 33 ft.' looks more 
like the tapering of the stem of a tree— a deodar pine, 
for instance — than anything designed in stone. Like 
all the others of this class, this 14t has lost its crown- 
ing ornament, which probably was a Buddhist emblem 
— a wheel or the trisul ornament* — but the necking 
still remains (Woodcut No. 4), and is almost a literal 

f 'i 

Lit at AllAbabod. 

Assyrian honevBackle ornament from capital 
of Ut, at i 

b Allahabad. 

copy of the honeysuckle ornament we are so familiar 
with as used by the Greeks with the Ionic order. In 
this instance, however, it is hardly probable that it was 
introduced direct by the Greeks, but is more likely to 

* • Journal of the Aaiatic Society of Bengal,' vol. vi. p. 794. 

* Ibid., plate 40. • Ibid., p. 969, et seqq, 

* Theae dimensions are taken from Gapt. Burt's drawings pub- 
lished in the ' Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal/ vol. iii. 

* • Tree and Serpent Worship,' plates 9, 10, 10a, et passim. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Book I. 

have been bon-owed from its native country Assyria, whence the 
Greeks also originally obtained it. The honeysuckle ornament, again, 
occurs as the crowning member of a pillar at Sankissa, in the Doab, 
half-way between Muttra and Canouge (Woodcut No. 6), and this 
time surmounting a capital of so essentially Persepolitan a t3rpe, 
that there can be little doubt that the design of the whole capital 
came from Central Asia. * This pillar, which is of a much stouter and 
shorter proportion than the edict Uts, is surmounted by an elephant, 
but so mutilated that even in the 7th century the Chinese traveller 

Hiouen Thsang mistook it for a lion, if 
this is indeed the effigy he was looking 
at as General Cunningham supposes,^ 
which, however, is by no means so 
clear as might at first sight appear. 

&. CipiUl at Sankissa. (From a Drawing 
by Geo. CminingbaiD.) 

6. O&pital of Lit In Tirhoot. (From a Draw- 
ing bj the late Capt. KHtoe.) 

Another capital of a similar nature to that last described crowns a 
lAt at Bettiah in Tirhoot — this time surmounted by a lion of bold and 
good design (Woodcut No. 6). In this instance, however, the honey- 
suckle ornament is replaced by the more purely Buddhist ornament of 
a flock of the sacred hansas or geese. In both instances there are cable 
ornaments used as neckings, and the bead and reel so familiar to the 
student of classical art. The last named form is also, however, found 
at Persepolis. These features it may be remarked are only found on 
the lats of Asoka, and are never seen afterwards in India, though 
common in Gandhara and in the Indus for long afterwards, which 
seems a tolerably clear indication that it was from Persia, though 
probably on a suggestion from the Greeks, that he obtained those 

' ' Arclifeological Report«/ vol. i. p. 274, plute 40. 

uigiiized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. II. 



hints which in India led to the conversion of wooden architectnre 
into stone. After his death, these classical features disappear, and 
wooden forms resume their sway, though the Persian form of capital 
long retained its position in Indian art. 

it is more than probable that each of these Asoka I4ts stood in 
front of, or in connexion with some stupa, or building of some sort ; 
but all these have disappeared, and the l&ts themselves have — some of 
them at least — ^been moved more than once, so that this cannot now 
be proved. So far, however, as can now be ascertained, one or two 
stambhas stood in front of, or beside each gateway of every great 
tope, and one or two in front of each chaitya hall. At least we 
know that six or seven can now be traced at Sanchi, and nearly an 
equal number at Amxavati,^ and in the representation of topes at the 
latter place, these l&ts are frequently represented both outside and 
inside the rails. 

At Karli, one still stands in front of the great cave surmounted by 
four lions, which, judging from analogy, once bore a chakra or wheel, 
probably in metal.' A corresponding pillar probably once stood on 
the opposite side of the entrance bearing some similar emblem. 
Two such are represented in these positions in front of the great cave 
at Kenheri, which is an exact but debased copy of the great Earli 

The two lats at Erun and the iron pillar at Delhi, though similar 
in many respects to those just described, seem certainly to belong to 
the era of the Guptas at the end of the fourth or the beginning of 
the fifth century of our era, and to be dedicated to the Yaishnava 
faith, and in consequence belong to a subsequent chapter. That at 
Fathari is not inscribed or is at least unedited, and though it looks 
old, may also be of the Gupta times. 

This is a meagre account, it must be confessed, of Buddhist l&ts, 
which probably at one time could be counted by hundreds in the im- 
portant Buddhist localities in Bengal ; but it is feared we shall hardly 
be able to add many more to our list. They are so easily overthrown 
and so readily utilised in populous localities, that all trace of most of 
them has probably been irrecoverably lost, though one or two more 
examples may probably be found in remote, out-of-the-way places. 

^ * Tree and Berpent Worahip/ plates 1 
and 5, and plates S9 and 90. 

* Ibid., plate 42. 

' In the descriptian accompanying 
DanielVs view of this oaye he eays : ** On 
the pillars to the right, above the capital, 
is a gioup of lions, from the centre of 
wliich a few years since aiose the chacia, 
or war disk of Yiohnoo, though not the 
least appearance of it at present remains." 

On the left he remarked a figure of 
Buddha, which he mistook for Mahadeya, 
and in another part a row of bulls, and 
he adds : " The Chacra of Yichnou, the 
Kahadeya, and the bulls, seem not to 
fayour the opinion of its being a temple 
of the Bhoods." He was not aware how 
inextricably these religions were mixed 
up at the time when this caye was ex- 
cayatecl, about a.u. 400. 

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There is no instance, bo far as I am aware, of a bnilt monnmental 
pillar now standing in India. This is sufficiently accounted for by 
the ease with which they could be thrown down and their materials 
removed, when they had lost the sanctity which alone protected them. 
There are, however, two such pillars among the topes of Cabul, and evi- 
dently coeval with them, now called the Surkh Minar (Woodcut 
No. 7), and the Minar Chakri. These are ascribed by the traditions 
of the place to Alexander the Great, though they are evidently 
Buddhist monuments, meant to mark some sacred spot, or to com- 
memorate some event, the memory of which has passed away. There 
can be little doubt that their upper members are meant to be copies 
of the tall capitals of the Persepolitan pillars, which were probably 
common also in Assyria, and throughout this part of Asia, but their 
shape and outline exhibit great degeneracy from the purer forms 
with which that architecture commenced in India, and which were 
there retained in their purity to a much later period than in this 
remote province. No reliable data seem to exist for ascertaining what 
the age of these monuments may be. It probably was the third or 
fourth century of our era, or it may be even earlier. 

1. Surkh Minar. CabuL 

(tYum a Drawing by Mr. MaaaoD. in Wiiaon's ' Ariana Autiqua.') 

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Chap. HI. ' STUPAS. 67 




Bhilaa Topes — Topes at Sarnath and in Behar — Amrayati Tope — Gandhara 
Topes — Jelalabad Topes — Manikyala Tope. 

There are few subjects of like nature that would l)etter reward the 
labour of some competent student than an investigation into the 
origin of Belie Worship and its subsequent diffusion over the greater 
part of the old world. So far as is at present known, it did not 
exist in Egypt, nor in Greece or Home in classical times, nor in 
Babylon or Assyria. In some of these countries the greatest possible 
respect was shown to the remains of departed greatness, and the 
bones and ashes of persons who were respected in life were preserved 
with care and affection; but there was no individual so respected 
that a hair of his head, a tooth, or a toe-nail, even a garment or a 
utensil he had used, was considered as a most precious treasure after 
his death. In none of these countries does it appear to have occurred 
to any one that a bone or the begging-pot of a deceased saint was a 
thing worth fighting for; or that honour done to such things was 
a meritorious act, and that prayers addressed to them were likely 
to be granted. Yet so ingrained do these sentiments appear to be 
among the followers of Buddha, that it is dif&cult to believe that the 
first occasion on which this sentiment arose, was at the distribution 
of his remains on his attaining Nirvana at Kusinagara, b.c. 543. On 
that occasion, eight cities or kingdoms are said to have contended for 
the honour of possessing his mortal remains, and the difiiculty was met 
by assigning a portion to each of the contending parties, who are said 
to ha¥e erected stupas to contain them in each of their respective 
localities.^ None of these can now be identified with certainty — 
everything in future ages being ascribed to Asoka, who, according to 

^ Tumour in 'Journal of the Asiatic 
Society of Bengal/ vol. vii. p. 1013. 

The fame of this distribution seems to 
have reached Europe at least as early as the 
Ist century of the Christian Era, inasmuch 
as Plutarch (< Moralio,* p. 1002, Diibner 
edition, Paris, 1841) describes a similar 

partition of the remains of Menander, 
among eight cities who are said to have 
desired to possess his remains; but as 
he does not hint that it was for pur- 
poses of worship, the significance of the 
fact does not seem to have been appre- 

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popular tradition, is said to have erected the fabulous number of 84,000 
relic shrines, or towers to mark sacred spots.* Some of these may be 
those we now see, or are encased within their domes ; but if so, they, 
like everything else architectural in India, are the earliest things we 
find there. It is true, the great pagoda— the Shew^ Dagon — at Bangoon 
is said to contain relics of all the four Buddhas of the present Ealpa, 
the staff of Kakasanda ; the water-dipper of Eonagamma ; the bathing 
garment of Kasyapa, and eight hairs from the head of Gautama 
Buddha ; ^ but supposing this to be true, we only now see the last and 
most modern, which covers over the older erections. This is at least 
the case with the great Dagoba at Bintenne, near Eandy, in Ceylon, 
in which the thorax-bone of the great ascetic lies enshrined. The 
' Mahawanso,' or great Buddhist history of Ceylon, describes the mode 
in which this last building was raised, by successive additions, in a 
manner so illustrative of the principle on which these relic- shrines 
arrived at completion, that it is well worth quoting : — " The chief of 
the Devos, Sumano, supplicated of the deity worthy of offerings for 
an offering. The Vanquisher, passing his hand over his head» 
bestowed on him a handful of his pure blue locks from the growing 
hair of the head. Beceiving and depositing it in a superb golden 
casket, on the spot where the divine teacher had stood, he enshrined 
the look in an emerald dagoba, and bowed down in worship. 

" The there Sarabhu, at the demise of the supreme Buddha, re- 
ceiving at his funeral pile the Thorax-bone, brought and deposited it 
in that identical dagoba. This inspired personage caused a dagolia 
to be erected 12 cubits high to enshrine it, and thereon departed. 
The younger brother of King Devenampiatisso (b.c. 259), having 
discovered this marvellous dagoba, constructed another -encasing it, 
30 cubits in height. King Duttagamini (b.c. 161), while residing 
there, during his subjugation of the Malabars, constructed a dagoba, 
encasing that one, 80 cubits in height." Thus was the " Mahiyan- 
gana dagoba completed."^ It is possible that at each successive 
addition some new deposit was made; at least most of the topes 
examined in Afghanistan and the Punjab, which show sigps of these 
successive increments, seem also to have had successive deposits, one 
above the other. 

Of all the relics of Buddha, the most celebrated is the left canine 
tooth. At the original distribution it is said to have fallen to the 
lot of Orissa, and to have been enshrined in a town called from that 
circumstance "Dantapura." This, most probably, was the modern 
town of Puri, and the celebrated temple of Juggemath, which now 

^ * Mahawanso,* p. 26, ' Hiouen Tbsang,' 
vol. ii p. 417. 

• Account of the great bell at Ran- 
goon, Hough, * Asiatic Researches,' vol. 

xiv. p. 270. 

* Abstracted &om 'Tumour's 'Maha- 
wanso,' p. 4. 

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Chap. III. 



flourishes there, not only in all probability oooupies the same spot, 
bat the worship now celebrated there is the same, mtUato nomine, 
as that which was once performed in honour of this tooth. Be this 
as it may, it seems to have remained there in peace for more than 
eight centuries, when the king of the country, being attracted by 
some miracles performed by it, and the demeanour of the priests, 
became converted from the Brahmanical faith, to which he had 
belonged, to the religion of Buddha. The dispossessed Brahmans 
thereon complain to his suzerain lord, resident at Falibothra, in 
the narrative called only by his title Pandu, but almost certainly 
the Gautamiputra of the Andrabhitya dynasty. He ordered the tooth 
to be brought to the capital, when, from the wonders it exhibited, he 
was converted also ; but this, and the excitement it caused, led to 
its being ultimately conveyed surreptitiously to Ceylon, where it 
arrived about the year 311 ;^ and in spite of various vicissitudes still 
remains in British custody, the Palladium of the kingdom, as it has 
done during the last fifteen centuries and a half.^ 

About the same time (a.d. 324^) another tooth of Buddha was 
enshrined in a tope on the island of Salsette, in Bombay harbour, 
apparently in the time of the same Gautamiputra, but what its 
subsequent fate was is not known.^ When the tope was opened for 
Dr. Bird, it was not there, but only a copper plate, which recorded 
its enshrinement, by a noble layman called Pushyavarman.^ 

Almost as celebrated as these was the begging-pot of Sakya 
Muni, which was long kept in a dagoba or vihara erected by 
Kanishka at Peshawur, and worshipped with the greatest reverence.* 
After paying a visit to Benares,' it was conveyed to Kandahar, and 
is still said to be preserved there by the Mussulmans, and looked upon 
even by them as a most precious relic.® 

> There may be an error in this date 
to the extent of its being from fifteen to 
twenty years too early. 

' The principal particulars of this story 
are contained in a Cingalese work called 
the ' Daladavamsa,' recently translated by 
SirMntu Oomara Swamy. I have col- 
lected the further evidence on this subject 
in a paper I read to the Asiatic Society, 
and published in their * Journal ' (N.B.), 
▼ol. iii. p. 132, ei aeqq., and again in * Tree 
and Serpent Wonhip,' p. 174, et seqq. 

' The date being given as 245, Samvat 
has generally been assumed to be dated 
from the era of Yicramaditya. I am not 
aware, however, of any inscription of so 
early an age being dated from that era, 
nor of any Buddhist inscription in wliich 
it in U0(>d eitlier then or thereafter. 

* The same fate had overtaken another 
tooth relic at Nagrak in northern India. 
Fa Hian, b.o. 400, describes it as perfect in 
his 18th chapter. ' Hiooen Thsang,' vol. 
ii. p- 97, describes the stupa as ruined, 
and the tooth having disappeared. 

* For a translation, &c., see 'Journal 
Bombay Branch of the Boyal Asiatic 
Society,* vol. v. p. 33. See also Bird, 
* Historical Besearches,' Bombay, 1847. 

* * Fo€ Kou^ Ki,' ch. xii. p. 77. 

* * Hiouen Thsang,* vol. i. p. 83. 

* 'Fo^ Kou^ Ki,' p. 853. A delailed 
account of its transference from the true 
Gandhara — Peshawur — to the new Gan- 
dhara in Kandahar will be found in a 
paper by Sir Henry Bawlinson, ' Journal 
of the Boyal Asiatic Society,' vol. xi. 
p. 127. 

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All tliis will become plainer as we prooeed, for we shall find 
every Buddhist locality sanctified by the presence of relics, and that 
these were worshipped apparently from the hour of the death of the 
founder of the religion to the present day. Were this the place to do 
it, it would be interesting to try and trace the path by which, and 
the time when, this belief in the efficacy of relics spread towards the 
west, and how and when it was first adopted by the early Christian 
Church, and became with them as important an element of worship 
as with the Buddhists. That would require a volume to itself; 
meanwhile, what is more important for our present purpose is the 
knowledge that this relic- worship gave rise to the building of these 
great dagobas, which are the most important feature of Buddhist 
architectural art. 

No one can, I fancy, hesitate in believing that the. Buddhist 
dagoba is the direct descendant of the sepulchral tumulus of the 
Turanian races, whether found in Etruria, Lydia, or among the Scyths 
of the northern steppes. The Indians, however, never seem to have 
buried, but always to have burnt, their dead, and consequently 
never, so far as we know, had any tumuli among them. It may be 
in consequence of this that the dagobas, even in the earliest times, 
took a rounded or domical form, while all the tumuli, from being of 
earth, necessarily assumed the form of cones. Not only out of doors, 
but in the earliest caves, the forms of dagobas are always rounded ; and 
no example of a straight-lined cone covering a dagoba has yet been 
discovered. This peculiarity, being so universal, would seem to indi- 
cate that they had been long in use before the earliest known example, 
and that some other material than earth had been employed in 
their construction; but we have as yet no hint when the rounded 
form was first employed, nor why the conical form of the tumulus 
was abandoned when it was refined into a relic shrine. We know, 
indeed, from the caves, and from the earliest bas-reliefs, that all the 
roofs of the Indians were curvilinear ; and if one can fancy a circular 
chamber with a domical roof— not in stone, of course — as the original 
receptacle of the relic, we may imagine that the form was derived 
from this.^ 

Bhilsa Topes. 

The most extensive, and taking it altogether, perhaps the most 
interesting, group of topes in India is that known as the Bhilsa 

* Among the bas-reliefs of the Bharhnt 
tope is one representing just such a 
domical roof as this (Woodcut Ko. 90). 
It is not, however, quite easy to make 

out its plan, nor to feel sure whether 
the object on the altar is a relic, or 
whether it may not be some other kind 
of offering. 

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Topes, from a town of that name in the kingdom of Bhopal, near 
which they are situated. There, within a district not exceeding ten 
miles east and west and six north and sonth, are five or six groups of 
topes, containing altogether between twenty-five and thirty indi- 
vidual examples. The principal of these, known as the great tope 
at Sanchi, has been frequently described, the smaller ones are known 
from General Cunningham's descriptions only;^ but altogether they 
have excited so much attention that they are perhaps better known 
than any group in India. We are sot however, perhaps, justified 
in assuming, from the greater extent of this group, as now existing, 
that it possessed the same pre-eminence in Buddhist times. * If we 
could now see the topes that once adorned any of the great Buddhist 
sites in the Doab or the Behars, the Bhilsa group might sink into 
insignificance. It may only be, that situated in a remote and thinly- 
peopled part of India, they have not been exposed to the destructive 
energy of opposing sects of the Hindu religion, and the bigoted 
Moslem has not wanted their materials for the erection of his 
mosques. They consequently remain to us, while it may be that 
nobler and more extensive groups of monuments have been swept 
from the face of the earth. 

Notwithstanding all that has been written about them, we know 
very little that is certain regarding their object and their history. 
Our usual guides, the Chinese Pilgrims, fail us here. Fa Hian 
never was within some hundreds of miles of the place ; and if Iliouen 
Thsang ever was there, it was after leaving Ballabhi, when his 
journal becomes so wild and curt that it is always difficult, some- 
times impossible, to follow him. He has, at all events, left no 
description by which we can now identify the place, and nothing to 
tell us for what purpose the great tope or any of the smaller ones 
were erected. 1'he 'Mahawanso,' it is true, helps us a little in our 
difficulties. It is there narrated that Asoka, when on his way to 
Ujj^ni (Ujjain), of which place he had been nominated governor, 
tarried some time at Ch6tyagiri, or, as it is elsewhere called, Wessa- 
nagara, the modem Besnagar, close to Sanchi. He there married 
Devi, the daughter of the chief, and by her had twin sons, Ujjenio 
and Mahindo, and afterwards a daughter, Sanghamitta. The two last 
named entered the priesthood, and played a most important part in 
the introduction of Buddhism into Ceylon. Before setting out on this 
mission, Mahindo visited his royal mother at Ch6tyagiri, and was 

BhUfia Topes, or Buddhist Mcmu- Tope; and numerous papers have ap- 

ments in Central India,' Smith, Elder, 
and Co., 1854. One half of my work on 
* Tree and gerpent Worship,* and forty- 
fiTe of its plates, besides woodcuts, are 
devoted to the illustration of the great 

peared on the same subject in the 
^ Journal of the Asiatic Society * and 
elsewhere. A cast of the eastern gate- 
way is in the South Kensington Museum 

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lodged in "a superb vihara," whicli had been erected by herself.* 
In all this there is no mention of the great tope, which may have 
existed before that time ; but till some building is found in India 
which can be proved to have existed before that age, it will be safe 
to assume that this is one of the 84,000 topes said to have been 
erected by him. Had Sanchi been one of the eight cities which 
obt«dned relics of Buddha at the funeral pyre, the case might have 
been different ; but it has been dug into, and found to be a stupa, 
and not a dagoba. It consequently was erected to mark some sacred 
spot or to commemorate some event, and we have no reason to believe 
that this was done anywhere before Asoka's time. 

On the other hand two smaller topes on the same platform con- 
tained relics of an undoubted historical character. That called No. 2 
Tope contained those of ten Buddhist teachers who took part in the 
third great convocation held under Asoka, and some of whom were sent 
on missions to foreign countries, to disseminate the doctrines then 
settled, and No. 3 Tope contained two relic caskets, represented in 
the fitccompanying woodcuts (Nos. 8 and 9). One of these contained 

8. R«lic Casket of MoggaUuuu 9. ReUc Casket of Saripatxm. 

relics of Maha Moggalana, the other of Sariputra, friends and com- 
panions of Buddha himself, and usually called his right and left 
hand disciples.^ It does not of course follow from this that this 
dagoba is as old as the time of Buddha; on the contrary, some 
centuries must elapse before a bone or rag belonging to any mortal 
becomes so precious that a dome is erected to enshrine it. The great 
probability seems to be that these relics were deposited there by 
Asoka himself, in close proximity to the sacred spot, which the great 
tope was erected to commemorate. The tope containing relics of his 
contemporaries must of course be much more modem, probably con- 
temporary with the gateways, which are subsequent to the Christian 

» * Mahawanso,' p. 76. See also * Tree 
and Serpent Worship,' p. 99, et seqq.y 
where all this is more fully set out than 
is necessary here. 

* Cunningham, ' Bhilsa Topes,* p. 299, 
et 9e.qq. \ 

* The Chandragupta inscription on the 
rail near the eastern gateway (' Journal 
of the Asiatic Society of Bengal,' voL ii. 
p. 454) is eyidently a subsequent addition, 
and belongs to the year a.d. 400. 

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Chap. IH. 



The general appearance of the Sanchi Tope will be imderstood 
from the view of it on Woodcut No. 1 0, and its shape and arrange- 

View of the great Tope at SaochL 

Sole 100 ft to 1 in. 
11. Plan of great Tope at Sanchi. 


^^^ !_? \ 

Scale 50 n. to 1 in. 

Section of great Tope at Sanchi. 


ment from the plan and section, Nos. 11 and 12. From these it 
will be observed that the principal building consists of a dome 

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Bomewliat less than a hemisphere, 106 ft. in diameter, and 42 ft. in 

On the top of the tope is a flat space about 34 ft. in diameter, 
formerly surrounded by a stone railing, some parts of which are stiU 
lying there ; and in the centre of this onoe stood a feature known to 
Indian archaeologists as a Tee. The woodcut (No. 13), from a rock- 
out example at Ajunta, repre- 
sents the usual form at this 
age. The lower part is adorned 
with the usual Buddhist rail 
(to be described hereafter), the 
upper by the conventional win- 
dow, two features which are 
universal. It is crowned by a 

13. Tee cut la the n>ck on a Dagoba at AjanI ^^ <>^ *^^ 8^^' ^'^^ ^^ ^O'*^* 

either was or simulated a relic 
casket. No tope, and no representation of a tope — and we have 
hundreds— are without this feature, and generally it is or was sur- 
mounted by one or more discs representing the umbrellas of state ; 
in modern times by as many as nine of these. The only ancient 
wooden one now known to exist is that in the cave at Earli (Wood- 
cut No. 56), but the representations of them in stone and painting 
are literally thousands in number. 

The dome rests on a sloping base, 14 ft. in height by 120 ft. in 
diameter, having an offset on its summit about 6 ft. wide. This, to 
judge from the representations of topes on the sculptures, must have 
been surrounded by a balustrade, and was ascended by a broad double 
ramp on one side. It was probably used for processions round the 
monument, which seem to have been among the most common 
Buddhist ceremonials. The centre of this great mound is quite solid, 
being composed of bricks laid in mud ; but the exterior is faced with 
dressed stones. Over these was laid a coating of cement nearly 4 
inches in thickness, which was, no doubt, originally adorned either 
with painting or ornaments in relief. 

Beside the group at Sanchi, which comprises six or seven topes, 
there are at Sonari, six miles distant, another group of eight topes. 
Two of these are important structures, enclosed in square courtyards, 
and one of these yielded numerous relics to the explorers. 

At Satdhara, three miles further on, is a great tope 101 ft. in 
diameter, but which, like that at Sanchi, seems to have been a stupa, 
and yielded no relics. No. 2, however, though only 24 ft. in diameter, 
was found to contain relics of Sariputra and Moggalana, like No. 3 at 

1 These views, plane, &o., are taken I ham, * Journal of the Asiatic Society of 
from a Memoir by Capt. J. D. Cunning- I Bengal,* August, 1847. 


uzed by Google 


Sanclii. Besides these there are several others, all small, and very 
xnuch rained. 

The most numerous group, however, is situated at Bhojpur, seven 
miles from Sanohi, where thirty-seven distinct topes are grouped 
together on various platforms. The largest is 66 ft. in diameter, but 
Ko. 2 is described as one of the most perfect in the neighbourhood, 
and, like several others in this group, contained important relics. 

At Andher, about five miles west of Bhojpur, is a fine group of 
three small> but very interesting topes. With those above enume- 
rated, this makes up about sixty distinct and separate topee, in this 
small district, which certainly was not one of the most important 
in India in a religious point of view, and consequently was probably 
surpassed by many, not only in the number but in the splendour 
of its religious edifices.^ 

Without more data than we at present possess, it is of course 
impossible to speak Yiith. certainty with regard to the age of this 
group of topes, but so far as can be at present ascertained, there seems 
no reason for assuming that any of them are earlier than the age 
of Asoka, B.C. 250, nor is it probable that any of them can be of later 
date than the era of Salivahana, a.d. 79, or say after the first century 
of our era. Their rails may be later, but the topes themselves seem 
all to be included within these three centuries and a-half. 


Not only is there no other group of topes in India Proper that 
can be compared, either in extent or in preservation, to those of 
Bhilsa, but our knowledge of the subject is now so complete that it 
is probably safe to assert that only two, or at most three, topes exist 
between the Sutlej and the sea, sufficiently perfect to enable their 
form and architectural features to be distinguished. There are, of 
course, numerous mounds near all the Buddhist cities which mark 
the site, and many of which probably hide the remains of some of the 
hundreds of stupas or dagobas mentioned by the Chinese Pilgrims, 
besides many that they failed to distinguish. All, however, with the 
fewest possible exceptions, have perished; nor is it difficult to see 
why this should be so. All, or nearly all, were composed of brick or 
small stones, laid either without mortar, or with cement that was 
little better than mud. They consequently when desecrated and 
deserted, formed such convenient quarries for the villagers, that 

* As all the particulars regarding all 
theee topes, except the great one and 
No. 3 of Sanchi, are taken from Gen. 
Gunningham's work entitled ' Bhilsa 

Topes,* published by Smith and Elder, 
in one volume 8yo., in 1854, it has not 
been thought necessary to repeat the 
reference at every statement. 

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Book I. 

nearly all have been utilised for building huts and houses of the 
Hindus, or the mosques of the iconoclastic Mussulmans. Their rails, 
being composed of larger stones and not so ea«ily removed, have in 
some instances remained, and some will no doubt be recovered when 
looked for; and as these, in the earlier ages at least, were the 

Tope at Sarnalb, near BeoareB. (From a Photograph.) 

iconostasis of the slirine, their recovery will largely compensate for 
the loss of the topes which they surrounded. 

The best known, as well as the best preserved of the Bengal topes, 
is that at Samath, near Benares (Woodcut No. 14). It was carefully 
explored by General Cunningham in 1835-36, and found to be a 
stupa: viz., containing no relics, but erected to mark some spot 
sanctified by the presence of Buddha, or by some act of his during 

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hiB long residence there. It is situated in the Deer Park, where he 
took up his residence with his five disciples when he first removed 
from Gaya on attaining Bnddhahood, and commencing his mission 
as a teacher. What act it commemorates we shall probably never 
know, as there are several mounds in the neighbourhood, and the 
descriptions of the Chinese Pilgrims are not sufficiently precise to 
enable us now to discriminate between them. 

The building consists of a stone basement, 93 ft. in diameter, and 
solidly built, the stones being clamped together with iron to the 
height of 43 ft. Above that it is in brick work, rising to a height of 
110 ft. above the surrounding ruins, and 128 ft. above the plain.^ 
Externally the lower part is relieved by eight projecting faces, each 
21 ft. 6 in. wide, and 15 ft. apart. In each is a small niche, intended 
apparently to contain a seated figure of Buddha, and below them, 
encircling the monument, is a band of sculptured ornament of the 
most exquisite beauty. The central part consists — as will be seen by 
the cut on the next page — of geometric patterns of great intricacy, 
but combined with singular skill ; and above and below, foliage 
equally well designed, and so much resembling that carved by Hindu 
artists on the earliest Mahomedan mosques at Ajmir and Delhi, as 
to make us feel sure they cannot be very distant in date. 

The carvings round the niches and on the projections have been 
left so unfinished — in some instances only outlined — that it is impos- 
sible to guess what ultimate form it may have been intended to give 
them. The upper part of the tower seems never to have been finished 
at all, but from our knowledge of the Afghanistan topes we may sur- 
mise that it was intended to encircle it with a range of pilasters, 
and then some bold mouldings, before covering it with a hemi- 
spherical dome. 

In his excavations. General Cunningham found, buried in the 
solid masonry, at the depth of 10^ ft. from the summit, a large stone 
on which was engraved the usual Buddhist formula, " Ye dharmma 
hetu," &c., in characters belonging to the 7th century, from which 
he infers that the monument belongs to the 6th century. To me 
it appears so extremely improbable that men should carefully en- 
grave such a formula on a stone, and then bury it ten or twelve 
feet in a mass of masonry which they must have hoped would endure 
for ever, that I cannot accept the conclusion. It seems to me much 
more probable that it may have belonged to some building which 
this one was designed to supersede, or to have been the pedestal 
of some statue which had been disused, but which from its ago had 
become venerable, and was consequently utilised to sanctify this 

* These dimensions and details are taken from Gen. Cunningham's ' Archaeological 
Reports,' vol. i. p. 107, et teqq. 

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Book I. 

new erection. I am consequently mnch more inclined to adopt the 
tradition preserved by Captain Wilford,^ to the effect that the Samath 
monument was erected by the sons of Mohi Pala, and destroyed 
(interrupted?) by the Mahomedans, in 1017, before its completion.* 
The form of the monument, the character of its sculptured oma- 

Panel on the Tope »t Sarnath. (From a Phot<igraph.) 

ments, the unfinished condition in which it is left, and indeed the 
whole circumstances of the case, render this date so much the most 
probable that I feel inclined to adopt it almost without hesitation. 

The other Bengal tope existing nearly entire is known as Jara- 
sandha Ka Baithak. General Cunningham states its dimensions to 

* * Asiatic Researches/ vol. ix. p. 203. 
* See also paper by Vesy Westmacott, * Calcutta Review,' 1874, vol. lix. p. 68. 


Chap. III. BUDDH GAYA. 69 

be 28 ft in diameter by 21 ft. in height, resting on a basement 14 ft. 
high, so that its total height, when complete, may have been about 
55 ft.^ As it was not mentioned by Fa Hian, a.d. 400, and is by 
Hiouen Thsang, a.d. 640, its age is probably, as General Cunningham 
states, intermediate between these dates, or about a.d. 500.' It is a 
bold, fine tower, evidently earlier than that at Samath, and showing 
nothing of the tendency towards Hindu forms there displayed. It 
has, too, the remains of a procession-path, or extended basement, 
which is wholly wanting at Samath, but which is always found in 
the earlier monuments. It was erected, as Hiouen Thsang tells us, 
in honour of a Hansa — goose — who devoted itself to relieve the wants 
of a starving community of Bhikshus.^ 

The third stupa, if it may be so called, is the celebrated temple 
at Buddh Gaya, which stands immediately in front of the celebrated 
Bodhi-tree (^Ficus religiosa)* under whose shade Buddha attained 
complet-e enlightenment in the thirty-fifth year of his age, b.o. 588. 
Its history is told in such detail by Hiouen Thsang ^ that there seems 
little doubt as to the main facts of the case. According to this 
authority, Asoka built a small vihara here, but long afterwards this 
was replaced by a temple 160 ft. high and 60 ft. (20 paces) wide, 
which are the exact dimensions of the present building, according to 
Cunningham,* and we are further told that it was erected by a 
Brahman, who was warned by Maheswara (Siva), in a vision, to 
execute this work. In this temple there was a cella corresponding 
with the dimensions of that found there, in which the Brahman 
placed a statue of Buddha, seated cross-legged, with one hand pointing 
to the earth. Who this Brahman was we learn from an inscription 
translated by Mr. Wilkins in vol. i. of the * Asiatic Researches ' (p. 
284), for it can hardly be doubted that the Brahman of the Chinese 
Pilgrim is identical with the Amara Deva of the inscription, who was 
one of the ornaments of the court of Vicramaditya of Malwa, a.d. 
495-530. From a Burmese inscription on the spot, first translated by 
Colonel Bumey, we further learn that the place, having fallen into 
decay, was restored by the Burmese in the year 1306-1309.' 

From the data these accounts afford us we gather, with very 
tolerable certainty, that the building we now see before us (Woodcut 

1 ' Archttological Reports,' voL i. p. 17. has been so long forgotten. Montgomery 

* Ibid., p. 19. BTartin*8 * Eastern India,' vol. 1. p. 76. 

* * Hiouen Thsang,* vol. iii. p. 60. * * Hiouen Thsang,' vol. ii. pp. 464-468. 

* Buchanan Hamilton was told by the ' ' Arohieologioal Reports,' vol. i. p. 5. 
priests on the spot, in 1811, that it was ; ' 'Journal of the Asiatic Society of 
planted there 2225 years ago, or b.c. 414, ' Bengal,' 1834, vol. iv. p. 214. See also 
and that the temple was built 126 years , Cimningham, * Archfeological Reports,' 
afterwards, or in 289. Not a bad guess for , vol. i. p. 5, et seqq. 

Asoka's age in a locality where Buddhism I 

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Book I. 

No. 16) is Bubstantially that erected by Amara the Brahman, in the 
beginning of the 6th century, but the niches Hiouen Thsang saw, 
containing golden statues of Buddha, cannot be those now existing, 
and the sculptures he mentions find no place in the present design ; 
and the amalakas of gilt copper that crowned the whole, as he saw 
it, have disappeared. The changes in detail, as well as the intro- 
duction of radiating arches in the interior, I fancy must belong to 

16. Temple at Buddh Gayd with Bo-tree. (From a Photograph by Mr. Peppe, CJi.) 

the Burmese restoration in the beginning of the 14th century. 
Though these, consequently, may have altered its appearance in 
detail, it is probable that we still have before us a straight-lined 
pyramidal nine-storeyed temple of the 6th century, retaining all its 
essential forms — anomalous and unlike anything else we find in 
India, either before or afterwards, but probably the parent of many 
nine-storeyed towers found beyond the Himalayas, both in China and 

Eventually we may discover other examples which may render 

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Chap. 111. AMRAVATI. 71 

this noble tower less exceptional than it now appears to Ije; but 
perhaps its anomalous features may be due to the fact that it was 
erected by Brahmans for Buddhist purposes in an age of extremest 
toleration,^ when it was doubtful whether the balance would incline 
towards Buddhist or Brahmanical supremacy. In less than a century 
and a half after its erection the storm burst (a.d. 648) which eyentu- 
ally sealed the fate of Buddhism in Central India, with only a fitful 
flickering of the lamp afterwards during lulls in the tempest. 

At Eeseriah, in Tirhoot, about 20 miles north of Bakra, where one 
of the pillars of Asoka mentioned above is found, are the ruins of 
-what appears to have been a very large tope. It is, however, entirely 
ruined externally, and has never been explored, so that we cannot 
tell what was its original shape or purpose.^ All along this line of 
country numerous Buddhist remains are found, all more or less ruined, 
and they have not yet been examined with the care necessary to 
ascertain their forms. This is the more to be regretted as this was 
the native country of the founder of the religion, and the place where 
his doctrines appear to have been originally promulgated. K any- 
thing older than the age of Asoka is preserved in India, it is probably 
in this district that it must be looked for. 


Although not a vestige remains in situ of the central dagoba at 
Amravati, there is no great difficulty, by piecing together the frag- 
ments of it in the India Museum — as is done in Plate 93 of ' Tree and 
Serpent Worship ' — in ascertaining what its dimensions and general 
appearance were. It was small, only 30 ft. to 35 ft. in diameter, or 
about 100 ft. in circumference, and 50 ft. high. The perpendicular part, 
34 ft. high, was covered with sculptures in low relief, representing 
scenes from the life of Buddha. The domical part was covered with 
stucco, and with wreaths and medallions either executed in relief 
or painted. No fragment of them remains by which it can be ascer- 
tained which mode of decoration was the one adopted. 

Altogether, there seems no doubt that the representation of a tope 
on the following page (Woodcut No. 17), copied from the inner rail at 
Amravati, fairly represents the central building there. There were 
probably forty-eight such representations of dagobas on this rail. In 
each the subject of the sculpture is varied, but the general design is 
the same throughout ; and on the whole, the woodcut may be taken as 
representing the mode in which a Buddhist dagoba was ornamented in 

* * Hiouen Thsang, Festival of the | 'A view of it is given, * Journal of the 
three Religions at Allahalmd in 643,* , Asiatic Society of Bengal,* vol. iv. p. 122. 
vol. i. p. 254. 1 

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Book I. 

the 4th or 6th century, which is the time at which the style seemB 
to have reached its highest point of elaboration, in India at least. 

17. Representation of a Tope from the Kail at Amravati. (From a bas-relief in the India Museum.) 

Gandhara Topes. 

The extreme paucity of examples retaining their architectural 
form, in the valley of the Ganges, is, to some extent, compensated for 
by the existence of a very extensive range of examples in Afghanistan 
and the western Punjab. In his memoir on these topes, published 
by Professor Wilson, in his * Ariana Antiqua,' Mr. Masson enumerates 
and describes, in more or less detail, some sixty examples, or almost 
exactly the same number which General Cunningham described as 
existing at Bhilsa. In this instance, however, they extend over a 
lange of 200 miles, from Cabul to the Indus, instead of only 16 or 

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17 miles from Sonari to Andher. To these must be added some fifteen 
or twenty examples, found at Manikyala or in its neighbourhood, and 
it is probable about the same number still exist undescribed, making 
altogether perhaps 100 stupas in this province. 

Notwithstanding this wealth of examples, we miss one, which 
was probably the finest of all. When Fa Hian passed through the 
province in a.d. 400, he describes the dagoba which King Eanishka 
had erected at Peshawur as " more than 470 ft. in height, and decorated 
with every sort of precious substance, so that all who passed by 
and saw the exquisite beauty and graceful proportions of the tower 
and the temple attached to it, exclaimed in delight that it was 
incomparable for beauty;" and he adds, " Tradition says this was the 
highest tower in Jambudwipa." ^ When Hiouen Thsang passed that 
way more than two hundred years afterwards, he reports the tower 
as having been 400 feet high, but it was then ruined — "the part 
that remained, a li and a half in circumference (1500 ft.) and 150 ft. 
high ;" and he adds, in twenty-five stages of the tower there were a 
*- to " — 10 bushels of relics of Buddha.^ No trace of this monument 
now exists. 

These north -wes>tem topes are so important for our history, and 
all have so much that is common among them, and are distinguished 
by so many characteristics from those of India Proper, that it would 
be extremely convenient if we could find some term which would 
describe them without involving either a theory or a geographical 
error. The term Afghanistan topes, by which they are generally 
designated, is too modem, and has the defect of not including 
reehai\Tir and the western Punjab. "Ariana," as defined by Pro- 
fessor Wilson, describes very nearly the correct limits of the province ; 
for, though it includes Bactria and the valley of the Upper Oxus, 
where no topes have yet been found, we know from the Chinese 
Pilgrims that in the 5th and 7th centuries these countries, as far 
as Khoten, were intensely Buddhist, and monuments must exist, 
and will, no doubt, be found when looked for. The name, however, 
has the defect' that it seems to imply the existence in that region 
of an Aryan people, and consequently an Aryan religion. At the 
time to which he was referring, that was no doubt the case, and 
therefore from the Professor's point of view the name was correctly 

When the Sanscrit-speaking races first broke up from their 
original settlements in the vaUey of the Oxus, they passed through 
the valley of the Cabul river on their way to India, and lingered, in 
all probability, both there and in the Punjab before reaching their 
first permanent position on the Saraswati — the true " Arya Varta " — 

* BeaFs * Fa Hian,* p. 35. * 'Vie et Voyages de Hiouen Thsang/ vol. i. p. 83. 

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between the Sutlej and the Jumna. It is also nearly certain that 
they remained the dominant caste in these countries down to the 
time of Alexander's invasion, and during the supremacy of the 
Bactrian kingdom. About 130 years, however, before the Christian 
Era, if we may trust the Chinese accounts,^ the Yuechi, and other 
tribes of Tartar origin, were on the move in this direction. About 
that time they struck down the Bactrian monarchy, and appear from 
thenceforward to have permanently occupied their country. It is 
not clear whether they immediately, or at what interval they pene- 
trated into the Cabul valley ; but between that time and the Christian 
Era successive hordes of Yuechi, Sakas, Turuskas, and Hunas, had 
poured into the valley and the western Punjab to such an extent as 
to obliterate, or at least for the time supersede, the Aryan population, 
and supplant it by one of Turanian origin, and with this change 
of race came the inevitable change of religion. Turania would there- 
fore for our purposes bo a more descriptive name than Ariana: but 
it is not sufficiently precise or well defined. No people, so far as is 
known, ever adopted and adhered to the Buddhist religion who had 
not a large proportion of Turanian blood in their veins, and the 
name would consequently include all the people who adopted this 
faith. Oandhara is, on the contrary, a local name, which certainly, 
in early times, included the best part of this province, and in 
Kanishka's time seems to have included all he reigned over, and, 
if so, would be the most appropriate term we could find. 

It has, moreover, this advantage, that it is essentially Buddhist. 
In the time of Asoka, it was Kashmir and Gandhara to which he sent 
his missionaries, and from that time forward Gandhara is the term 
by which, in all Buddhist books, th»»t kingdom is described, of 
which Taxila was the capital, and which is, as nearly as can now 
be ascertained, conterminous with our architectural province. 

It is not clear whether Eauishka was or was not the first 
Buddhist king of this country ; but, so far as is at present known, 
he seems to have done for Buddhism in Gandhara exactly what Asoka 
did for that religion in Central India. He elevated it from its posi- 
tion as a struggling sect to that of being the religion of the State. We 
know, however, that Asoka himself sent missionaries to this country ;^ 
and, more than this, that he engraved a complete set of his edicts on a 
rock at Eapurdigiri, 30 miles north-east from Peshawur, but we do 
not know what success they or he attained. Certain it is, as Pro- 
fessor Wilson remarks, that " no coin of a Greek prince of Bactria 
has ever been met with in any tope.*' ^ The local coins that are found 
in them all belong to dynaslies subsequent to the destruction of the 

> Do Guigne's 'IliHtrnre des Huns,* vol. ii. p. 40, ei ^qq. 
^ *MahawanKo,* p. 71. * *Ariuna Anticiua,' p. 43. 

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Chap. III. 



Bactrian kingdom, and, according to the same authoiity (p. 322), 
" were selected from the prevailing currency, which was not of any 
remotely previous issue ;" ** while the Greek Bactrian coins had long 
ceased to be current, though they had not, perhaps, become so scarce 
as to be enshrined as rarities " (p. 44). Under these circumstances, 
Professor Wilson arrives at the conclusion that the topes " are un- 
doubtedly all subsequent to the Christian Era" (p. 322 )• It is true 
that some of the kings whose coins are found in the topes, such as 
HermsBus, Azes, Eadphises, and others, may have lived prior to that 
epoch, but none of their coins show a trace of Buddhism. On those 
of the last-named king, it is also true that we find the trisul emblem 
of the Buddhists on the reverse, but it is coupled with the bull and 
trident of Siva in so remarkable a manner that it can hardly be 
doubted that the monarch was a follower of the Hindu religion, 
though acknowledging the presence of Buddhism in his realm.* 
With Eanishka, however, all this is altered. He was a Buddhist, 
beyond all doubt ; he held the (jonvocation called the third by the 
northern Buddhists — ^the fourth according to the southern— at which 
Nagarjuna "nas apparently the presiding genius. From that time the 
Thibetans, Burmese, and Chinese date the introduction of Buddhism 
into their countries : not, however, the old simple Buddhism, known as 
the Hinayana, which prevailed before, but the corrupt Mahayana, 
which was fabled to have been preserved by the Nagas from the 
time of Buddha's death, and from whom Nagdrjuna received it, and 
spread it from Peshawur over the whole of northern and eastern 
Asia. It was precisely the same revolution that took place in the 
Christian Church, about the same time after the death of its founder. 
Six hundred years after Christ, Gregory the Great established the 
hierarchical Boman Catholic system, in supersession of the simpler 
primitive forms. Six hundred years after the Nirvana, Nag4rjuna 
introduced the complicated and idolatrous Mahayana,^ though, as we 
learn from the Chinese Pilgrims, a small minority still adhered in 
after times to the lesser vehicule, or Hinayana system. 

Although, therefore, we are probably safe in asserting that none 
of the Gandhara topes date before the Christian Era, it is not because 
there is any inherent, a priori, improbability that they should date 
before Kanishka, as there is that those of India Proper cannot 
extend beyond Asoka. There is no trace of wooden construction here. 
All is stone and all complete, and copied probably from Bactrian 
originals that may have existed two centuries earlier. Their dates 
depend principally on the coins, which are almost invariably found 

' ' Ariana Antiqtia,' plate 10. 
' Yassilief, 'Le Bouddhiame, ses 
Dogmes/ &c., Paris, 18G5, p. 31, et 

passim. He spells the words Makkaiaim 
and Khinaiana. 

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Book I. 

deposited with the relics, in these topes. No coins so far as I know have 
been found in any Indian tope. They are found in hundreds in these 
north-western ones, and always fix a date beyond which the tope cannot 
be carried back, and generally enable us to approximate very nearly 
to the true date of the monument in question. If those of Kanishka 
are the earliest, which appears to be the case, the great one which he 
commenced, at Manikyala, is probably also the last to be finished in 
its present form, inasmuch as below 1 2 ft. of solid masonry a coin of 
Yasoverma of Canouge was found, and his date cannot be carried back 
beyond a.d. 720. Between these dates, therefore, must be ranged the 
whole of this great group of Buddhist monuments. 

There probably were no great Buddhist establishments in Gand- 
hai-a before Kanishka, and as few, if any, after Yasoverma, yet we learn 
that between these dates this province was as essentially Buddhist as 
any part of India. Fa Hian tells us, emphatically, that the law of 
Buddha is universally honoured, and enumerates 500 monasteries,^ and 
Hiouen Thsang makes no complaint of heretics, while both dilate in 
extasies on the wealth of relics everywhere displayed. Part of the 
skull, teeth, garments, staffs, pots of Buddha — impressions of his 
feet, even his shadow — was to be seen in this favoured district, which 
was besides sanctified by many actions which had been commemorated 
by towers erected on the spot where these meritorious acts were per- 
formed. Many of these spots have been identified, and more will no 
doubt reward the industry of future investigators, but meanwhile 
enough is known to render this province one of the most interesting 
of all India for the study of the traditions or art of Mediaeval 

The antiquities of the western part of the province were first 
investigated by Dr. Honigberger, in the years 1833-34,^ and the result 
of his numismatic discoveries published in Paris and elsewhere ; but 
the only account we have of the buildings themselves, is that given 
by Mr. Masson, who, with singular perseverance and sagacity, com- 
pleted what Dr. Honigberger had left undone.^ Those of the eastern 
district and about Manikyala were first investigated by General 
Ventura and M. Court, officers in the service of Eunjeet Sing, and 
the result of their researches published by Prinsep in the third volume 
of his ' Journal ' in 1830 ; but considerably further light has been 
thrown on them by the explorations of General Cunningham, and 
published. in his * Archaeological Keports ' for 1863-1864. 

* Bears translation, p. 26. 

* Honigberger, * Reiae.' 

* Mr. Masson's account was communi- 
cated to Professor Wilson, and by him 
published in his * Ariana Antiqua,' with 

lithographs from Mr. Masson 's sketches 
which, though not so detailed as we could 
wish, are still sufficient to render their 
form and appearance intelligible. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. III. 


Jelalabad Topes. 

'i he topee examined and de8cril)ed by Mr. Masson as existing around 
Jelalabad arc thirty-seven in number, viz., eighteen distinguished as 
the Darunta group, six at Chahar Bagh, and thirteen at Hidda. Of 
these about one-half yielded coins and relics of more or less importance, 
which proved the dates of their erection to extend from the Christian 
Era, or it may be a few years before it, to the seventh or eighth 

One of the most remarkable of these is No. 10 of Hidda, which 
contained, besides a whole museum of gems and rings, five gold solidi 
of the emperors Theodosius (a.d. 408), Marcian and Leo (474) ; two 
gold Canouge coins; and 202 Sassanian coins extending to, if not 
beyond the Hegira.* This tope, therefore, must belong to the 7th 
century, and would be a most convenient landmark in architectural 
history, were it not that the whole of its exterior is completely peeled 
off, so that no architectural mouldings remain, and apparently from 
the difficulty of ascertaining them, no dimensions are quoted in the 
text.^ About one-half of the others contained relics, but none were 
found to be so rich as this. 

In general appearance they differ considerably from the great 
Indian topee just described, being all taller in proportion to their 
breadth, and having a far more tower- like appearance, than any found 
in India, except the Sarnath example. They are also smaller, the 
largest at Darunta being only 160 ft. in circumference. This 
is about the usual size of the first-class topes in Afghanistan, the 
second-class being a little more than 100 ft., while many are much 

In almost every instance they seem to have rested on a square base, 
though in many this has been removed, and in others it is buried in 
rubbish. Above this rises a circular base or drum, crowned by a belt, 
sometimes composed merely of two architectural string-courses, with 
different-coloured stones disposed as a diaper pattern between them. 
Sometimes a range of plain pilasters occupies this space. More gene- 
rally the pilasters are joined by arches sometimes circular, sometimes 
of an ogee form. In one instance — the Bed Tope — they are alternately 
circular and three-sided arches. That this belt represents the enclosing 
rail at Sanchi and the pilastered base at Manikyala cannot be doubted. 

> The length of time over which these 
coins range — ^more than 200 years — ^is 
sufficient to warn ns what caution is re- 
quisite in fixing the date of buildings 
from their deposits. A tope cannot he 

earlier than the coins deposited in it, 
hut, as in this case, it may he one or two 
hundred years more modern. 
' * Ariana Antiqua,' p. 109. 

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Book I. 

Tope at Bimeran. (From a Drawing by Mr. Masson, 
in WilBou's * Ariona AiiUqua.') 

It fihows, however, a very considerable change in style to find it 
elevated so far up the monument as it here is, and so completely 
changed from its original purpose. 

Generally speaking, the dome or roof rises immediately above this, 
but no example in this group retains its termination in a perfect state. 

Some appear to have 
had hemispherical 
roofs, some more 
nearly conical, of 
greater or less 
steepness of pitch ; 
and some (like that 
represented in Wood- 
cut No. 18) were 
probably flat, or 
with only a slight 
elevation in the 
centre. It seems 
probable there may 
have been some con- 
nexion between the 
shape of the roof and the purpose for which the tope was raised. 
But we have no evidence to lead us to any decision of this point. 

One interesting peculiarity was brought to light by Mr. Masson 
in his excavation of the toj)e at Sultanpore, and is shown in the 

annexed section (Woodcut No. 
1 9). It is proved that the monu- 
ment originally consisted of a 
small tope on a large square 
base, with the relic placed on 
its summit. This was afterwards 
increased in size by a second 
tope being built over it. 

Besides those already men- 
tioned there are about twenty 
or thirty topes in the neigh- 
bourhood of Cabul, but all much 
ruined, and few of any striking appearance. So at least we are led 
to infer from Mr. Masson's very brief notice of them. No doubt 
many others still remain in spots hitherto unvisited by Europeans. 

In the immediate vicinity of all these topes are found caves and 
tumuli, the former being the residences of priests, the latter for the 
most part burying-places, perhaps in some instances smaUer reUc- 
shrines. Theii: exact destination cannot be ascertained without a 
careful investigation by persons thoroughly conversant with the 

Tope, Sultanpore. (From a Drawing hj Mr. 
Mastfon, in Wilaun'tf ' Ariona Antiqua.') 

juzed by Google 

Chap. Ill, MANIKYALA. •» 

subject. There are still, however, many points of great interest 
which require to be cleared up by actual examination. When this 
has been done we may hope to be able to judge with some certainty 
of their affinity with the Indian buildings on the one hand, and those 
of Persia on the other. 


The most important group, however, of the Gandhara topes is that 
at Manikyala in the Punjab, situated between the Indus and the 
Jelum or Hydaspes. Fifteen or twenty examples are found at this 
place, most of which were opened by General Ventura and M. Court 
about the year 1830, when several of them yielded relics of great 
value, though no record has been preserve^l of the greater part of 
their excavations. Jn one opened by Mr. Court, a square chamber 
was found at a height of 10 ft. above the ground-level. In this was 
a gold cylinder enclosed in one of silver, and that again in one of 
copper. The inner one contained four gold coins, ten precious stones 
and four pearls. These were, no doubt, the relics which the tope 
was intended to preserve. The inscription has only partially been 
read, but. certainly contains the name of Eanishka,^ so that we may 
feel assured it was erected during his reign. Some Roman coins were 
found much worn, as if by long use,^ before they reached this remote 
locality ; and as they extend down to a date 33 b.g.,^ it is certain the 
monument was erected after that date. The gold coins were all those 
of Eanishka. This tope, therefore, oould hardly have been erected 
earlier than twenty years before Christ ; how much later, we will be 
able to say only when we know more of the date and history of the 
monarch to whom it owes its origin. To the antiquary the inquiry 
is of considerable interest, but less so to the architect, as the tope 
is so completely ruined that neither its form nor its dimensions can 
now be distinguished. 

Another was recently opened by General Cunningham, in the relic 
chamber of which he found a copper coin, belonging to the Satrap 
Zeionises, who is supposed to have governed this part of the country 
about the Christian Era, and we may therefore assume that the tope 
was erected by him or in his time. This and other relics were enclosed 
in a glass stoppered vessel, placed in a miniature representation of 
the tope itself^ 4]^ in. wide at base, and 8^ in. high (Woodcut No. 20), 
which may be considered as a fair representation of what a tope was, 
or was intended to be, in that day. It is, perhaps, taller, however, 

' Thomas in * Prinsep,' vol. i p. 144. I Bengal,' vol. iii. p. 559. 

• 'Journal of the Asiatic Society of | • Thomas in *Prinsep,' p. 148. 

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Book I. 

than a structural example would have been; and the tee, with its 
four umbrellas, is, no doubt, exaggei-ated. 

The principal tope of the group is, perhaps, the most remark- 
able of its class in India, though inferior in size to several in Ceylon. 
It was first noticed by Mountstuart Elphinstone, and a very 
correct view of it published by him, with the narrative of 

his mission to Cabul in 1815. Jt w&s 
afterwards thoroughly explored by 
General Ventura, in 1830, and a com- 
plete account of his investigations 
published by Prinsep in the third 
volume of his 'Journal.* Since then 
its basement has been cleared of the 
rubbibh that hid it to a depth of 
12 ft. to 16 ft. all round by the officers 
of the PubHc Works Department. 
They also made careful plans and 
sections of the whole, manuscript 
copie3 of which are now before me. 

From those it appears that the 
dome is an exact hemisphere, 127 ft. 
in diameter, and consequently, as 
nearly as may be, 400 ft. in circum- 
ference. The outer circle measures 
in like manner 159 ft. 2 in., or 500 ft. 
in circumference, and is ascended by 
four yery grand flights of stejis, one 
in each face, leading to a procession- 
path 16 ft. in width, ornamented both above and below by a range 
of dwarf pilasters, representing the detached rail of the older Indian 
monuments. It is, indeed, one of the most marked characterihties 
of these Gandhara topes, that none of them possess, or ever seem 
to have possessed, any trace of an independent rail ; but all have 
an ornamental belt of pilastere, joined generally by arches simulating 
the original rail. This can hardly be an early architectural form, and 
leads to the suspicion that, in spite of their deposits, their outward 
casing may be very much more modem than the coins they contain. 

The outward appearance of the Manikyala tope, in its present 
half-ruined state, may be judged of from the view (Woodcut No. 21). 
All that it really requires to complete its outline is the tee, which 
was an invariable adjunct to these buildings; no other feature 
has wholly disappeared. The restored elevation, half-section, half- 
elevation (Woodcut No. 22), to the usual scale, 50 ft. to 1 in., will 

20. Relic Casket tnm Tope at Manikyala. 
(Found and drawn by Qen. Cunnlngbani.i ) 

* Archieological Reports,' vol. ii. p. 167, plate 65. 

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Chap. III. 



afford the means of comparison with other monuments; and the 
section and elevation of the base (Woodcut No. 23, next page) will 
explain its architectural details in so far as they can be made out. 

View of ManikyaU Tope. (From a Fhotograpb.) 

23. R«6U>red Elevation of the Tope at Manikyala. Scale 60 ft. to 1 in. 

On digging into this monument, General Ventura found three 
separate deposits of relics, deposited at apparently equal distances 
of 25 ft. ii-om the surface of the finished monument and from each 
other, and each apparently increasing in value or importance as it 

uigiiizeu uy VjOOy Lv^ 


doBcended. The first was at the base of a solid cubical mass of 

PANT or rmoNT klkvatiom. 

23. Elevation and 5^tion of Portion of Basement of Tope at Manikyala. 

squared masonry, and contained, inter cdiq^, some Sassanian coins 
and one of Yasoverma (a.d. 720), and one of 
Abdullah ben Hassim, struck at Merv a.h. 66^ 
or A.D. 685.^ The second, at a depth of 50 ft., 
contained no coins. The principal deposit, at 
a depth of 75 ft., was on the exact level of the 
procession-path outside. It consisted of a copper 
vessel, in which was a relic casket in brass, 
represented in the annexed woodcut (No. 24), 
containing a smaller vessel of gold, filled with 
a brown liquid, and with an inscription on the 
lid which has not yet been fully deciphered, but 
around it were one gold and six copper coins of 
the Kanishka type. 

If this were aU, it would be easy to assert 
that the original smaller tope, as shown in the 
section (Woodcut No. 22), was erected by Kanishka, 
or in his age, and that the square block on its 
summit was the original tee, and that in the 8th 
century an envelope 25 ft. in thickness, but 

following the original form, was added to it, and with tlie extended 

Relic Casket, 

* Thomas's * Prinsep,* vol. i. p. 94. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


procession-path it asBumed its present form, which is very much 
lower than we would otheiwise expect from its age. 

Against this theory, however, there is an ugly little fact. It is 
said that a fragment ^ or, as it is printed, three Sassanian coins were 
found at a depth of 64 ft. (69 ft. from the finished surface) ; and 
if this were so, as the whole masonry was found perfectly solid and 
undisturbed from the surface to the base, the whole monument must 
be of the age of this coin. As engraved, however, it is such a frag- 
ment ^ that it seems hardly sufficient to base much upon it. Unless 
the General had discovered it himself, and noted it at the time, 
it might so easily have been mislabelled or mixed up with other 
Sassanian fragments belonging to the upper deposits that its position 
may be wrongly described. If, however, there were three, this ex- 
planation will not suffice. It may, however, be that the principal 
deposit was accessible, as we know was sometimes the case ^ in this 
instance, at the bottom of an open well-hole or side gallery, before 
the time of the rebuilding in the 8th century, and was then, and then 
only, built up solid. If, however, neither of these explanations suffice, 
the Manikyala tope is a mystery and a riddle I cannot unravel. If 
-we may disregard this deposit, its story seems self-evident as above 
explained. But whatever its internal arrangements may have been, 
it seems perfectly certain that its present external appearance is due 
to a rebuilding in the early part of the 8th century. 

General Cunningham identifies M. Court's tope as the Huta Murta, 
one of the most celebrated topes in the province, erected to commemo- 
rate Buddha, in a previous stage of existence, oflfering his body to 
appease the hunger of a tiger, and — according to another version — of 
its seven famishing cubs ;* but, as before remarked, nothing of its ex- 
terior coating now remains. Unfortunately, the same is true of all the 
other fifteen topes at this place, and, what is worse, of all the fifty or 
fifty-five which can still be identified at Taxila. As General Cunning- 
ham remarks, of all these sixty or seventy stupas there is not one, 
excepting the great Manikyala tope, that retains in its original position 
a single wrought stone of its outer facing ;^ none, consequently, are 
entitled to a longer notice in a work wholly devoted to architecture. 

» In the text it is certainly printed 
"three" with a reference to 19 in the 
plate 21 of Tol. iii. The latter ia nn- 
doabtedly a migprint, and I cannot help 
believing the former is so also, as only 
one fragment is figured; and Prinsep 
complains more than once of the state 
of the French MS. from which he was 
compiling his account. I observe that 
General Cunningham, in his volume just 
received, adopts the same views. At 

p. 78, vol. v., he says : " I have a strong 
suspicion that General Ventura's record of 
three Sassanian coins having been found 
below deposit B may be erroneous." 

* * Journal of the Asiatic Society of 
Bengal,' vol. iii. plate 21, fig, 18. 

» ' Fo6 Kou^ Ki/ chap. xiii. 

* ' Fa Hian,' Beal's translation, p. 32. 
'Hiouen Thsang,* vol. i, p. 89. 

* 'Archffiological Reports,' vol. ii. p. 

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Rails at Bharhut, Muttra, Sanohi, and Amravati. 

It is only recently that our rapidly -increasing knowledge has enabled 
us to appreciate the important part which Rails play in the history of 
Buddhist architecture. The rail of the great Tope at Sanchi has, it 
is true, been long known ; but it is the plainest of those yet dis- 
covered, and without the inscriptions which are found on it, and the 
gateways that were subsequently added to it, presents few features 
to interest any one. There is a second rail at Sanchi which is more 
ornamented and more interesting, but it has not yet been published 
in such a manner as to render its features or its history intelligible. 
The same is at least partially true of the great rail at Buddh 
Gaya, though it is one of the oldest and finest of its kind. When, 
however, the Amravati sculptures were brought to light and pieced 
together,* it was perceived that the rail might, and in that instance 
did, become one of the most elaborate and ornamental features of 
the style. Since then General Cunningham has found two or three 
buried rails at Muttra, and his crowning discovery of the great rail 
at Bharhut, has made it clear that this was the feature on which the 
early Buddhist architects lavished all the resources of their art, and 
from the study of which we may consequently expect to learn most. 

The two oldest rails of which we have any knowledge in India 
are those at Buddh Gaya and that recently discovered at Bharhut. 
The former, General Cunningham thinks, cannot be of much later 
date than Asoka.^ The latter, in his ' Memorandum,'* he ascribes to the 
age of that monarch. These determinations he founds principally on 
the form of the characters used in the inscriptions on them, which 
certainly are nearly identical with those used on the lats. From 
them, and the details of the sculptures, it is quite evident they 
cannot be far removed in age from the dates so assigned to them. 

> * Tree and Serpent Worship,* Prefaoo 
to the First Edition. 
' * ArchnBolo«rical Reports,* vol. i. p. 10. 

* ^Memorandum,' dated 13th April, 
1874, printed by the Bengal Govern- 
ment, but not published. 

uigiiizea uy v^jOOV Iv^ 

Chap. IV. RAILS. 86 

On the whole, however, I am inclined to believe that the Buddh 
Gaya rail was really erected by Asoka, or during his Teign. At all 
events, we know from the fifteenth chapter of the * Mahawanso ' that 
evai if he did not worship this tree, he certainly reverenced it to 
such an extent that when he sent his daughter Sangamitta to aid in 
the conversion of Ceylon to the true faith, he cut off and entrusted her 
with a branch of this tree planted in a golden vessel. That tree was 
replanted with infinite ceremony at Anuradhapura, and it, or its lineal 
descendant, remains the principal numen of the island to this day. 
Hiouen Thsang tells us that Asoka built a small vihara to the east of 
the tree on the spot where the present temple stands ;^ and nothing 
is consequently more probable than he should have added this rail, 
which is concentric with his vihara, but not with the tree. 

There certainly is no inherent improbability that he should have 
done so, for it seems hardly doubtful that this was the tree under 
whose shade Sakya Muni attained '' complete enlightenment," or, in 
other words, reached Buddhahood ; and no spot consequently could be 
considered more sacred in the eyes of a Buddhist, or was more likely 
to be reverenced from the time forward. 

The Bharhut rail, according to the inscription on it, was erected 
by a Prince Vadha Pala, son of Raja Dhanabhuti, — a name we cannot 
recognise in any list, but hardly could have been contemporary with 
the all-powerful and all-pervading rule of Asoka, and must conse- 
quently have been subsequent, as no such works were, so far as wo 
now know, erected in India before his day. The ultimate deter- 
mination of the relative dates of these two monuments will depend 
on a careful comparison of their sculptures, and for that the materials 
do not exist in this country. I have, thanks to the kindness of 
General Cunningham, a nearly complete set of photographs of the 
Bharhut sculptures, but not one of the Buddh Gaya rail. It is true 
the drawings by Major Eittoe, in the India House Library, are very 
much better than those published by General Cunningham in his 
report ;' but they do not suffice for this purpose. In so far, however, 
as the evidence at present available enables us to judge, it seems 
nearly certain that the Bharhut sculptures are half a century nearer 
those of the gateways at Sanchi than those at Buddh Gaya are ; and 
consequently we may, for the present at least, assume the Buddh 
Gaya rail to be 250 b.c., that at Bharhut 200 b.c., and the gateways at 
Sanchi to range from 10 to say 70 or 80 a.d.^ 

The Buddh Gaya rail is a rectangle, measuring 131 ft. by 98 ft., 
and is very much ruined. Its dimensions were, indeed, only obtained 

> * Voyagefi dans les Contrees Occiden- 
tales,' ?oL i. p. 465. 
* * Archnologioal Repiirts,' vol. i. platpB 

8 to 11. 

» For thin last detennination, see * Tree 
and Serpent Worship,' p. 99, et 9eqq, . 

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Book I. 

by excavation. The pillars are apparently only 5 ft. 11 in. in height, 
and are generally ornamented with a semi-disc top and bottom, 
containing a single figure, or a group of several. They have also 
a central circular disc, with either an animal or bust in the centre of 
a lotus. No pai*t of the upper rail seems to have been recovered, and 
none of the intermediate rails between the pillars are sculptured. 
As the most ancient sculptured monument in India, it would be 
extremely interesting to have this rail fully illustrated,^ not so much 
for its artistic merit as because it is the earliest authentic monu- 
ment representing manners and mythology in India. Its religion, as 
might be expected, is principally Tree and Serpent worship, mingled 
with veneration for dagobas, wheels, and Buddhist emblems. The 
domestic scenes represent love-making, and drinking, — anything, in 
fact, but Buddha or Buddhism, as we afterwards come to understand 
the term. 


Whatever interest may attach to the rail at Buddh Gaya, it is 
surpassed ten times over by that of the newly-discovered rail at 

* It is to be hoped that when Gen. 
Cunningham publishes, the volume he is 
preparing on the Bharhut Tope, he will 
add photographs of the pillars of this 
rail. It would add immensely to the 
value of his work if it afforded the means 
of comparing the two. Some illustrations 
of the sculpture from Major Kittoe*s draw- 
ings will be found in * Tree and Serpent 
Worship,' woodcuts 7, 20, 24. Two of 
them are reproduced here, the first re- 

presenting a man on his knees before an 
altar worshipping a tree, while a flying 
figure brings a garland to adorn it. The 
other represents a relic casket, over which 
a seven-headed Naga spreads his hood, 
and over him an umbrella of state. There 
are, besides, two trees in a sacred en- 
closure, and another casket with three 
imibrellas (Woodcuts Nos. 25, 26). They 
are from drawings by Major Kittoe. 

25. 1 ree Worship : Biiddh Gaya Rnil. 

1 ■'''"" I' J I III ii 

2 J. lieUc Oiricet : Bnddh Gay.i RaiU 

uigiiizeu uy - 



Bharhnt, which, taking it all in all, is perhaps the most interesting 
monument — certainly in a historical point of view — known to exist 
in India. The tope itself, which seems to have been 68 ft. in dia* 
meter, has entirely disappeared, having been utilised by the natives 
to build their villages; but about one-half of the rail, which was 
partly thrown down and buried in the rubbish, still remains. 
Originally it was 88 ft. in diameter, and consequently some 275 ft. 
in length. It was divided into four quadrants by the four entrances, 
each of which was guarded by statues 4^ ft. high, carved in relief 
in the comer pillars of Yakshas and Yakshinis, and Naga Bajas — 
the representatives, in fact, of those peoples who afterwards became 
Buddhists. The eastern gateway only seems to have been adorned 
with a Toran — or, as the Chinese would call it, a "Pailoo" — like 
those at Sanchi. One pillar of it is shown in the following woodcut, 
(No. 27), and sufficient fragments were found in the excavations to 
enable G eneral Cunningham to restore it with almost absolute cer- 
tainly. From his restoration it appears to have been 22 ft. 6 in. in 
height from the ground to the top of the ehakra, or wheel, which 
was the central emblem on the top of all, supported by a honeysuckle 
ornament of great beauty. The beams had no human figures on 
them, like those at Sanchi. 1 he lower had a procession of elephants, 
bringing offerings to a tree ; the middle beam, of lions similarly em- 
ployed ; the upper beam has not been recovered, but the beam-ends 
are ornamented with conventional crocodiles, and show elevations of 
buildings so correctly drawn as to enable us to recognise all their 
features in the rock-cut edifices now existing. 

The toran, most like this one, is that which surmounted the 
southern entrance at Sanchi, which, for reasons given elsewhere,^ I 
believe to be not only the oldest of the four found there, but to have 
been erected in the first quarter of the first century of our era (a.d. 10 
to 28). This one, however, is so much more wooden than even that 
and constructively so inferior, that I would, on architectural grounds 
alone, be inclined to affirm that it was at least a century older, and 
see no reason ^hy it should not be two centuries more ancient. The 
age of the rail, however, does not depend on this determination, as 
the toran may have been added afterwards. 

The rail was apparently 9 ft. in height, including the coping, 
and had three discs on intermediate rails. The inner side of the 
upper rail was ornamented by a continuous series of bas-reliefs, 
divided from each other by a beautiful flowing scrfJll. The inside 
also of the discs were similarly ornamented, and some of the pillars 
had bas-reliefs in three storeys on three of their sides. Altogether, 
I fancy not less than one hundred separate bas-reliefs have been 

* * Tree and Serpent Worship,* p. J>9, et teqq. 

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Book I. 

recovered, aU representing some scene or legend of the time, and 
nearly all inscribed not only with the names of the principal persons 
represented, but with the title of the jataka or legend, so that they 
are easily recognised in the books now current in Buddhist countries. 


Portion of Rail At Bharhut, an first uncovered. (From a Photograph.) 

It is the only monument in India that is so inscribed, and it is this 
that consequently gives it such value for the history not only of art 
but of Buddhist mythology.* 

If this worlj professed to be a history of Indian art, including 
sculpture, it would be necessary to illustrate this rail to a much 

* \yhen I wrote my work on * Tree and 
Serpent Worship * nothing was practically 
known as to the age of the jatakas, or 

the early form in which they were repre- 
sented; much, therefore, that was then 
advanced was, or at least appeared to 



greater extent than is attempted ; but as architectuTally it is hardly 
more important than others, that task may well be left to its 
discoverer. Meanwhile, however, it cannot be too strongly in- 
sisted npon that the art here displayed is purely indigenous. There 
is absolutely no trace of Egyptian influence. It is, indeed, in 
every detail antagonistic to that art; nor is there any trace of 
classical art; nor can it be affirmed that anything here exhibited 
could have been borrowed directly from Babylonia or Assyria. The 
capitals of the pillars do resemble somewhat those at Persepolis, 
and the honeysuckle ornaments point in the same direction ; but, 
barring that, the art, especially the figure-sculpture belonging to 
the rail, seems an art elaborated on the spot by Indians, and by 
Indians only.^ 

Assuming these fiEkcts to be as stated, they give rise to one or two 
inferences which have an important bearing on our investigations. 
First, the architecture of this rail, with its toran, are more essentially 
wooden than even those at Sanchi, and, so far as it goes, tends to con- 
firm the conclusion that, at the period they were erected, the style 
was passing from wood to stone. On the other hand, however, the 
sculpture is so sharp and clean, and every detail so well and so 
cleverly expressed in the hard sandstone in which it is cut, that 
it is equally evident the carvers were perfectly familiar with the 
material they were using. It is far from being a first attempt. 
They must have had chisels and tools quite equal to carving the 
hardest stone, and must have been perfectly familiar with their use. 
How long it may have taken them to acquire this degree of perfection 
in stone carving, it is of course impossible to guess, without further 
data ; but it must have been centuries. Though, therefore, we may 
despair of finding any architectural buildings older than the time of 
Asoka, it is by no means improbable that we may find images or bas- 
reliefs, and inscriptions of a much earlier date, and for the history of 
India and her arts they would be as useful as the larger examples. 
They, like this rail, are probably buried under some neglected mound 
or the ruins of some forsaken city, and will only be recovered by 
excavation or by accident. 

others to be, mere guess work, or daring 
speculation. It is, consequently, no small 
satisfaction to me to find that this sub- 
sequent discovery of a monument 200 
years earlier does not force me to unsay 
a single word I then said. On the con- 
trary, everything I then advanced is 
confirmed, and these inscriptions render 
certain what before their discovery was 
necessarily sometimes deficient in proof. 
* The following outline (Woodcut No. 

28, on the next page) of one of the bas- 
reliefs on a pillar at Bharhut may serve 
to convey an idea of the style of art 
and of the quaint way in which the 
stories are there told. On the left, a 
king with a five-headed snake-hood is 
represented, kneeling before an altar 
strewn with flowers, behind which is a 
tree (SirisaAceaHa ?) hung with garlands. 
Behind him is an inscription to this 
eflTect, " Erapatra the Naga Raja worshijMk 

, Google 



Book I. 

For the present we must be content with the knowledge, that we 
now know perfectly what the state of the arts was in India when the 

the Divinity (Bhagavat ." Above him is 
the great five-headed Xaga himself, rising 
from a lake. To its right a man in the 
robes of a priest standing up to his 
middle in the water, and above the Naga 
a female genius, apparently floating in 
the air. Below is another Xaga Raja, with 
his quintuple snake-hood, and behind 
him two females with a single snake 
at the back of their heads— an arrange- 
ment which is universal in all Naga 
sculpture. They are standing up to their 
waists in water. If we may depend on 
the inscription below him, this is Era- 
patra twice over, and the females his 

two wives. I should, however, rather be 
inclined to fancy there were two Naga 
Rajas represented with their two wives. 

This bas-relief is further interesting 
as being an epitome of my work on 
* Tree and Serpent Worship.' As ex- 
pressing in the shortest possible com- 
pass nearly all that is said there at 
length, it will also serve to explain 
much that is advanced in the following 
pages. As it is 200 years older than 
anything that was known when that 
book was written, it is a confirmation 
of its theories, as satisfactory as it is 

Tree and 8oriK»nt Wurship at Bharhnt. (From a rhot(»graph.) 

juzed by Google 

Chap. IV. MDTTRA. 91 

Greeks first visited it. Neither the Buddh Gaya nor the Bharhnt 
rails were, it is true, in existence in Alexander's time ; but both were 
erected within the limits of the century in which Megasthenes visited 
the country, as ambassador from Seleucus, and it is principally from 
him that we know what India was at that time. If he did not see 
these monuments he must have seen others like them, and at all events 
saw carvings executed in the same style, and wooden chaityas and 
temples similar to those depicted in these sculptures. But one of the 
curious points they bring out is, that the religious observances he 
witnessed at the courts of the Brahmanical king, Chandragupta, are 
not those he would have witnessed, had he been deputed to his 
Buddhist grandson the great Asoka. There, as everywhere else at 
this age, everything is Buddhist, but it is Buddhism without Buddha. 
He nowhere appears, either as a heavenly person to be worshipped, 
or even as an ascetic. The nearest indication of his presence is in a 
scene where Ajatasatra — the king in whose reign he attained Nirvana— 
kneels before an altar in front of which are impressions of his feet. 
His feet, too, seem impressed on the step of the triple ladder, by 
which he descended from Heaven at Sankissa; Maya's dream, and 
the descent of the white Elephant can be recognised, and other 
indications sufficient to convince an expert that Buddhism is the 
religion indicated. But, as at Sanchi, by far the most numerous 
objects to which worship is addressed in these sculptures, are trees, 
one of which the inscription tells us, is the Bodhi-tree of Sakya 
Muni. Besides this, the Bo-trees of six or seven of his predecessors 
are represented in these sculptures, and both by their foliage and their 
inscriptions we can easily recognise them as those known at the 
present day as belonging to these previous Buddhas.^ 

Naga people, and kings with their five-headed serpent-hoods are 
common; but only one instance has yet been brought to light in 
which the serpent can be said to be worshipped. Making love and 
drinking are not represented here as at Sanchi — nor are females 
represented nude as they are at Muttra. All are decently clothed, 
from the waist downwards at least, and altogether the manners and 
customs at Bharhut are as much purer as the art is better than 
it is in the more modem example at Sanchi. 


When excavating at Muttra, General Cunningham found several 
pillars of a rail, which, judging from the style, is most probably of 
about the same age as that at Bharhut, or it may bo a little more 
modem, but still certainly anterior to the Christian Era. The pillars. 

* MahawanHo,' lutmcluction, p. 32. 

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Book I. 

however, are only 4i ft. high, and no trace of the top rail nor of the 
intermediate disc8 has been found. Each pillar is adorned by a figure 
of a naked female in high relief, singularly well executed, richly 
adorned with necklaces and bangles, and a bead belt or truss round 
their middles. Each stands on a crouching dwarf, and above each, 
in a separate compartment, are the busts of two figures, a male and 
female, on a somewhat smaller scale, either making violent love to 
each other, or drinking something stronger than water.^ 

Though the sculptures at Sanchi and Cuttack have made us 
familiar with some strange scenes, of what might be supposed an 
anti-Huddhistical tendency, this rail can hardly be Buddhist. We 
do not, indeed, know if it was straight or circular, or to what class of 
building it was attached. If part of a palace, it would be unobjection- 
able. But if it belonged to a temple, it ought to have been dedi- 
cated to Krishna, not to Buddha. It is not, indeed, impossible that 
a form of Yishnuism may have co- existed with Buddhism in the 
neighbourhood of Bindrabun, even at this early age. But these are 
problems, the existence of which is only just dawning upon us, and 
which cannot be investigated in a work like the present. 


Though the rails surrounding the topes at Sanchi are not, in them- 
selves, so interesting as those at Buddh Gaya and Bharhut, still they 
are useful in exhibiting the various steps by which the modes of 
decorating rails were arrived at, and the toraus or gateways of the 

great rail are quite unequalled 
by any other examples known 
to exist in India. The rail that 
surrounds the great tope may 
be described as a circular en- 
closure 140 ft. in diameter, but 
not quite regular, being elliptical 
on one side, to admit of the ramp 
or stairs leading to the berm or 
procession-path surrounding the 
monument. As will be seen from 
the annexed woodcut (No. 29), it 
consists of octagonal pillars 8 ft. 
in height, and spaced 2 ft. apart. These are joined together at the 
top by a rail 2 ft. 3 in. deep, held in its position by a tenon cut 






[ ( 



9* • 


Rail at Sanchi. (From a Drawing by 
Gen. Cunningbam.) 

* Outlines of these sculptures are given 
in General Cunningham's third volume 
of his • Reports/ plate 6. I have photo- 

graphs of the \?hole, \?hich represent 
what is omitted in the lithographs. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chai\ IV. 



on the top of the pillars, as at St-onehenge ; between the pillars are 
three intermediate rails, which are slipped into lens-shaped holes, 
on either side, the whole showing how essentially wooden the con- 
struction is. The pillars, for instance, could not have been put up 
first, and the rails added afterwards. I'hey must have been inserted 
into the right or left hand posts, and supported while the next pillar 
was pushed laterally, so as to take their ends, and when the top rail 
was shut down the whole became mortised together as a piece of car- 
|>entry, but not as any 
stone-work was done, 
either before or after- 

The next stage in 
rail design is exempli- 
fied in that of No. 2 
Toi>e, Sanchi (Woodcut 
No. 30); there circular 
discs are added in the 
centre of each pillar, 
and semicircular plates 
at top and bottom. In 
carpentry the circular 
ones would represent a 
great nail meant to 
keep the centre bar in 
its place ; the half discH, 
top and bottom, metal 
plates to strengthen the 

junctions — and this it seems most probably may really have been the 
origin of these forms. 

If from this we attempt to follow the progress made in the 
ornamentation of these rails, it seems to have been arrived at by 

Rail, No. 2 Tope, Sanchi. 
(From a drawing by Colonel Mateey.) 

ii« - ur lit- III --invv^iiiicss^ 

111 ill Mi 


31. RepreeenUtion of Rail. (From a Baa-relief at Amravati.) 

placing a circular disc in each of the intermediate rails, as shown in 
the woodcut (No. 31), copied from a representation of the outer face 

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Book I. 

of tho Aniravati rail, carved upon it. In the actual rail the pillai-s 
are proportionally taller and the spaces somewhat wider, but in 
all other respects it is the same — it has the same zoophorus below, 
and the same conventional figures bearing a roll above, both which 
features are met with almost everywhere. 

A fourth stage was reached in that shown in the next woodcut 
(No. 32), from a representation of a rail in the Gautamiputra cave 
at Nassick, a.d. 312 to 333, where there are three fiill discs on the 

lUil in Gautamiputra Cave, Nassick. 

pillaiTS, as well as on the rails, and no doubt other variations may 
yet be found ; but these are sufficient to show how the discs were 
multiplied till the pillars almost become evanescent quantities in 
the composition. 

The greatest innovation, however, that took place, was the substi- 
tution of figure-sculpture for the lotus or water leaves of the discs, 
if that can be called an innovation, which certainly took place in the 
wooden age of architecture, before it was thought of translating these 
things into stone. The earliest rails we know, those at Buddh Gay a 
and Bharhut, show these changes already completed in the manner 
above described. The plainness of the rail, or the absence of figure- 
sculpture, is consequently no test of its greater or less antiquity, 
though the extreme multiplication of discs, as shown in the last 
example, seems only to have taken place just before their dis- 

To return, however, from this digression. The rail that surrounds 
the great tope at Sanchi was probably commenced immediately after 
its erection, which, as explained above, was probably in Asoka's time, 
B.C. 250 ; but as each rail, as shown by the inscription on it, was the 

uigiiized by VjOOQIC 


gift of a different individual/ it may have taken 100 or 150 years to 
erect. The age of the torans is more easily ascertained. There is 
an inscription on the south gateway, which is certainly integral, 
which states that the gateway was erected during the reign of a Sat 
Kami king, and it is nearly certain that this applies to a king of 
that name who reigned a.d. 10 to 28. As this gateway is certainly 
the oldest of the four, it gives ns a starting point from which to 
determine the age of the others. The next that was erected was 
the northern. That was followed by the eastern — the one of which 
there is a cast at South Kensington — and the last erected was the 
western. The style and details of all those show a succession and a 
progress that could hardly have taken place in less than a centiiry, 
and, with other reasons, enable us to assert without much hesitation, 
that the four gateways were added to the rail of the great tope during 
the first century of the Christian Era, and their execution spread 
pretty evenly over that period.^ The northern gateway is shown in 
the general view of the building (Woodcut No. 10), but more in 
detail in the cut (No. 33) on the following page. 

In design and dimensions these four gatewa3"8 are all very similar 
to one another. The northern is the finest,^ as well as somewhat 
larger than the others. Its pillars, to the underside of the lower 
beam, measure 18 ft., including the elephant capitals, and the total 
height to the top of the emblem is 35 ft. The extreme width across 
the lower beam is 20 ft. The other gateways are somewhat less in 
dimensions, the eastern being only 33 ft. in height, 'i'he other two 
having fallen, it is not easy to be sure what their exact dimensions 
may have been while standing. 

All these four gateways, or toi*ans as they are properly called, 
were covered with the most elaborate sculptures both in front and 
rear — wherever, in fact, their surface was not hidden by being 
attached to the rail behind them. Generally the sculptures represent 
scenes from the life of Buddha when he was the Prince Siddharta, 
rarely, if ever, after he became an ascetic, and nowhere is he repre- 
sented in the conventional forms either standing or seated cross-legged, 
which afterwards became universal. In addition to these are scenes 
from the jatakas or legends, narrating events or actions that took place 
during the five hundred births through which Sakya Muni had passed 
before he became so purified as to reach perfect Buddhahood. One of 

' General Cnnningham collected and et eeqq. It is consequently not necessary 

translated 196 inscriptions from this tope, to repeat them here. 
wliich will be found in his work on the ' It is very much to be regretted that 

BhlLsa Top€», p. 235, et seqq., plates 16 -19. when Lieut. Cole had the opportunity he 

The details from which these de- 
terminations are arrived at will be found 
in 'Tree and Serpent Worship/ p. 98, 

did not take a cast of this one instead of 
the eastern. It is far more complete, and 
its sculptures more interesting. 

juzed by Google 



Book I. 

NoTthorn Gateway of Tope at Sanchl. (From a Photogrnph.) 

Chap. IV. 








these, the Wessantara, or " alms-giving Jataka," occupies the whole 
of the lower beam of the northern gateway, and reproduces all the 
events of that wonderful tale exactly as it is narrated in Ceylonese 
books at the present day. 
Besides these historical 
scenes, the worship of 
trees is represented at 
least seventy-six times ; of 
dagobas or relic shrines, 
thirty-eight times ; of the 
chakra, or wheel, the em- 
blem of Dharma— ^the law 
— ten times ; and of Devi 
or Sri, the goddess, who 
afterwards, in the Hindu 
Pantheon, became the con- 
sort of Vishnu, ten times. 
The trisul or trident em- 
blem which crowns the 
gateways may be, and I 
am inclined to believe 
does, represent Buddha 
himself. On the left-hand 
pillar of the north gate- 
way it crowns a pillar, 
hung with wreaths and 
emblems, at the bottom of 
which are the sacred feet 
(Woodcut No. 34). The 
whole looking like a 
mystic emblem of a divi- 
nity, it was forbidden to 
represent it under a human 
form. The corresponding 
face of the opposite pillar 
is adorned with architec- 
tural scrolls, wholly with- 
out any esoteric meaning 
so far as can be detected, 
but of great' beauty of* 

Bo-relief OD left-hand PilUr, design (Woodcut No. 35). Ornament on right-hand Pillar. 
Northern Gateway. ^y^^^ BCUlpturCS re- Northern Gateway. 

present sieges and fighting, and consequent triumphs, but, so far 
as can be seen, for the acquisition of relics or subjects connected 
with the faith. Others portray men and women eating and drinking. 


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and making love, and otherwise occupied, in a manner as unlike any- 
thing we have hitherto been accustomed to connect with Buddhism 
as can well be imagined. Be this as it may, the sculptures of these 
gateways form a perfect picture Bible of Buddhism as it existed in 
India in the first century of the Christian Era, and as such are as 
important historically as they are interesting artistically.* 

The small tope (No. 3), on the same platform as the great tope 
at Sanohi, was surrounded by a rail, which has now almost entirely 
disappeared. It had, however, one toran, the pillars and one beam 
of which are still standing. It is only about half the size of those 
of the great tope, measuring about 17 ft. to the top of the upper 
beam, and 13 ft. across its lower beam. It is apparently somewhat 
more modem than the great gateways, and its sculptures seem to 
have reference to the acts of Sariputra and Moggalana, whose relics, 
as above mentioned, were deposited in its womb. 

This tope was only 40 ft. in diameter, which is about the same 
dimension as No. 2 Tope, containing the relics of the ten apostles 
who took part in the third convocation under Asoka, and afterwards 
in the diffusion of the Buddhist religion in the countries bordering on 

As above pointed out, the rails at Buddh Gaya and Bharhut afford 
a similar picture of Buddhism at a time from two to three centuries 
earlier. At first sight the difference is not so striking as might be 
expected, but on a closer examination it is only too evident that both 
the art and the morals had degenerated during the interval. There is 
a precision and a sharpness about the Bharhut sculptures which is 
not found here, and drinking and love-making do not occur in the 
earlier sculptures — they do, however, occur at Buddh Gaya — to any- 
thing like the extent they do at Sanchi. There is no instance at 
Bharhut of any figure entirely nude ; at Sanchi nudity among the 
females is rather the rule than the exception. The objects of worship 
are nearly the same in both instances, but are better expressed in the 
earlier than in the later examples. Till, however, the Bharhut 
sculptures are published in the same detail as those of Sanchi, it is 
hardly fair to insist too strongly on any comparison that may be 
instituted between them. I believe I know nearly all, but till the 
publication of General Cunningham's work the public will not have 
the same advantage. 

Before leaving these torans, it may be well to draw attention 
again to the fact of their being, even more evidently than the rails, 
so little removed from the wooden originals out of which they were 

> For details of these sculptures and I described in great detail. Sculptures 
references, I must refer the reader to my ] do not, strictly speaking, belong to this 
work on * Tree and Serpent Worship,* work, and, except for historical purposes, 
where they are aU represented and are not generally alluded to. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


elaborated. No one can look at them, however carelessly, without 
perceiving that their forms are such as a carpenter would imagine, 
and could construct, but which could not be invented by any process 
of stone or brick masonry with which we are familiar. The real 
wonder is that, when the new fashion was introduced of repeating 
in stone what had previously been executed only in wood, anyone 
had the hardihood to attempt such an erection in stone; and still 
more wonderful is it, that having been done, three of them should 
have stood during eighteen centuries, till one was knocked down by 
some clumsy Englishmen, and that only one— the earliest, and con- 
sequently the slightest and most wooden— should have fallen from 
natural causes. 

Although these Sanchi torans are not the earliest specimens of 
their class executed wholly in stone, neither are they the last. We 
have, it is true, no means of knowing whether those represented 
at Amravati^ were in stone or in wood, but from their different 
appearances, some of them most probably were in the more permanent 
material. At all events, in China and Japan their descendants are 
counted by thousands. The pailoos in the former country, and the 
toris in the latter, are copies more or less correct of these Sanchi 
gateways, and like their Indian prototypes are sometimes in stone, 
sometimes in wood, and frequently compounded of both materials, in 
varying proportions. What is still more curious, a toran with five 
bars was erected in front of the Temple at Jerusalem, to bear the 
sacred golden vine, some forty years before these Sanchi examples. 
It, however, was partly in wood, partly in stone, and was erected to 
replace one that adorned Solomon's Temple, which was wholly in 
bronze, and supported by the celebrated pillars Jachin and Boaz.^ 


Although the rail at Bharhut is the most interesting and important 
in India in a historical sense, it is far from being equal to that at 
Amravati, either in elaboration or in artistic merit. Indeed, in these 
respects the Amravati rail is probably the most remarkable monu- 
ment in India. In the first place it is more than twice the dimensions 
of the rail at Bharhut, the great rail being 195 ft. in diameter, the 
inner 165 ft., or almost exactly twice the dimensions of that at 
Bharhut ; between these two was the procession-path, which in the 

* They muat certainly have been very 
common in India, for though only one 
representation of them has been detected 
among the sculptures at Sanchi (*Tree 
and Serpent Worship,' plate 27, fig. 2), 
at least ten representations of them 
arc found at Amravati, plates 59 (fig. 2), 

60 (fig. 1), 63 (fig. 3\ 64 (fig. 1), 69, 83 
(fig. 2), 85 (figs. 1 and 2), 96 (fig. 3), 
98 (fig. 2), and no doubt many more 
may yet be found. 

» * Tree and Serpent Worship,' Appen- 
dix, I. p. 270. 

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Book I. 

earlier examples was on the tope itself. Externally, the total height 
of the great rail was about 14 ft. ; internally, it was 2 ft. less, while 
the inner rail was solid, and only 6 ft. in height. 

The external appearance of the great rail may be judged of from 
the annexed woodcut (No. 36), representing a small section of it. The 
lower part, or plinth, was ornamented by a frieze of animals and 
boys, generally in ludicrous and comic attitudes. The pillars, as usual. 

Extomal Elevation of Great Bail at Amravati 

were octagonal, ornamented with full discs in the centre, and half 
discs top and bottom, between which were figure sculptures of more or 
less importance. On the three rails were fuU dis&<), all most elabo- 
rately carved, and aU diflferent. Above runs the usual undulating roll 
moulding, which was universal in all ages,* but is here richly inter- 
spersed with figures and emblems. The inside of the rail was very 

• 111 Burmah at the present day a roll 
precisely similar to this, formed of coloured 
muslin, distended by light bamboo hoops, 
is borne on men's shoulders in the same 

manner as shown here, on each side of 
the procession that accompanies a high 
priest or other ecclesiastical dignitary to 
the grave. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. IV. 



much more richly ornamented than the outside shown in the wood- 
cnt ; all the central range of discs, both on the pillars and on the 

-^ rails, being carved with figured 

subjects, generally of very great 
elaboration and beauty of detail, 
and the upper rail was one con- 
tinuous bas-relief, upwards of 600 
ft. in length. At the returns of 
the gateways another system was 

Angle pillar at Amravatl, 

Slab from Inner JbUil, Amravati. 

adopted, as shown in the above woodcut (No. 37). The pillars being 
narrower, and the discs smaller, the principal sculpture was on the 
intermediate space : in this instance a king on his throne receives 
a messenger, while his army in front defends the walls ; lower down 

Digitized by 




Book I. 

the infantry, cavalry, and elephants sally forth in battle array, 
while one of the enemy sues for peace, which is probably the 
information being communicated to the king. 

The inner rail, though lower, was even more richly ornamented 
than the great rail, generally with figures of dagobas— apparently 
twelve in each quadrant — most elaborately carved with scenes from 
the life of Buddha or from legends. One of these dagobas has 
already been given (Woodcut No. 17). Between these were pillars 
and slabs ornamented, either as shown in Woodcuts Nos. 38 and 39, or 
with either Buddhist designs or emblems, but all as rich, at least, as 

these; the whole making up a 
series of pictures of Buddhism, 
as it was understood in the 4th 
and 6th centuries, unsurpassed by 
anything now known to exist in 
India. The slab represented in 
Woodcut No. 38 (p. 101), though 
now much ruined, is interesting 
as showing the three great objects 
of Buddhist worship at once. At 
the top is the dagoba with its rail, 
but with the five-headed Naga 
in the place usually occupied by 
Buddha. In the central compart- 
ment is the chakra or wheel, now 
generally acknowledged to be the 
emblem of Dharma, the second 
member of the Buddhist Trinity ; 
below that the tree, possibly re- 
presenting Sanga or the congrega- 
tion ; and in front of all a throne, 
on which is placed what I believe 
to be a relic, wrapt up in a silken 
This combination is repeated again and again in these sculptures, 
and may be almost designated as the shorter Buddhist catechism, or 
rather the confession of faith, Buddha, Dharma, Sanga. The last 
woodcut (No. 39) is also interesting, as showing, besides the three 
emblems, the form of pillars with its double animal capitals so 
common in structures of this and an earlier age. 

The age of these rails does not seem doubtful.^ The outer or 

4- cl -^^fei "^^^^ 

^_^r '^^■ 

39. Dagoba (flrom a Slab), Amravati. 

* For the reasons of the following de- are set out at length. A short aocotmt 
termination and other particulars, the | of the tope will also be found in the 
reader is referred to my work on ' Tree * Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society,' 
and Serpent Worship,* where the whole ! vol. iii. (N. S.) p. 132, et seqg. 



great rail seems to have been commenced about a.d. 319, at the time 
when the tooth relic paid this place a visit on its way from Puri to 
Ceylon, and its erection may have occupied the whole of the rest of 
that century. The inner rail is more modem, and seems to have been 
begun about a.d. 400, and, with some other detached fragments, carry 
the history of the monument down, it may be, to 500. At the same 
time it is clear that an older monument existed on the spot. The 
fragments that exist of the central tope are certainly of an earlier 
age, and some of the slabs of the inner rail exhibit sculptures of a 
much earlier date on their backs. It seems as if they had belonged 
to some disused earlier building, and been re- worked when fitted to 
their new places. 

When Hiouen Thsang visited this place in the year 639 it had 
already been deserted for more than a century, but he speaks of its 
magnificence and the beauty of its site in more glowing terms than 
he applies to almost any other monument in India. Among other 
expressions he uses one not easily understood at first sight, for he 
says, '* It was ornamented with all the magnificence of the palaces of 
Bactria " ^ (Tahia). Now, however, that we know what the native art 
of India was from the sculptures at Bharhut and Sanchi, and as we 
also know nearly what the art of Bactria was from those recently 
dug up near Peshawur, especially at Jamalgiri, we see at once that 
it was by a marriage of these two arts that the Amravati school of 
sculpture was produced, but with a stronger classical influence than 
anything of its kind found elsewhere in India. It is now also 
tolerably evident that the existence of so splendid a Buddhist esta- 
blishment so far south must have been due to the fact of the mouths of 
the Kistnah and Godavery being ports of departtire from which the 
Buddhists of the north-west and west of India, in early times, conquered 
or colonised Pegu and Cambodia, and eventually the island of Java. 

All this will be clearer as we proceed. Meanwhile it seems pro- 
bable that with this, which is certainly the most splendid specimen 
of its class, we must conclude our history of Buddhist rails. No later 
example is known to exist ; and the Gandhara topes, which generally 
seem to be of this age or later, have all their rails attached to their 
sides in the shape of a row of pilasters. If they had any figured 
illustrations they must have been in the form of paintings on plaster 
on the panels between the pilasters. This, indeed, was probably the 
mode in which they were adorned, for it certainly was not with sculp- 
tures, but we cannot understand any Buddhist monument existing 
anywhere, without the jatakas or legends being portrayed on its walls 
in some shape or other. 

At Samath aU reminiscences of a rail had disappeared, and a new 

^ * Histoire de Hiouen Thsang,* traduite par Julien, vol. 1. p. 18P. 

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Book I. 

mode of ornamentation introduced, which bore no resemblance to 
anything found on the earlier topes. 

Although, therefore, our history of the rails may finish about 
A.D. 500, it by no means follows that many examples may not yet be 
brought to light belonging to the seven and a half centuries that 
elapsed between that date and the age of Asoka. As they all 
certainly were sculptured to a greater or less extent, when they are 
examined and published we may hope to have an ancient pictorial 
history of India for those ages nearly as complete as that possessed 
by any other country in the world. At present, however, we only 
know of ten or twelve examples, but they are so easily thrown down 
and buried that we may hope to find many more whenever they are 
looked for, and from them to learn the whole story of Buddhist art. 

Note. — The central crowning orna- 
ment in Woodcut No. 33, page 96, is a 
chakra or wheel in the centre, with trisul 
emblemB right and left. On the upper 
beam, five dagobas and two trees are 
worshipped ; on the intermediate blocks, 
Sri and a chakra : on the middle beam 
are seven sacred trees, with altars; on 
the intermediate blocks, Sri and the 

chakra again. The lower beam is wholly 
occupied by the early scenes in the 
Wessantara jataka, which is continued 
in the rear. The subjects on the pillars 
have all been described in * Tree and 
Serpent Worship/' but are on too small 
a scale to be distinguishable in the 

40. rrlsul Emblem. (From a sculpture at 

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Chap. V. 






Bebar Caves — Western Chaitya Halls, &c. 

Although, if looked at from a merely artistic point of view, it will pro- 
bably be found that the rails are the most interesting Buddhist remains 
that have come down to otir time, still, in an historical or architectural 
sense, they are certainly surpassed by the chaitya halls. These are 
the temples of the religion, properly so called, and the exact counter- 
part of the churches of the Christians, not only in form, but in use. 

Some twenty or thirty of these are known still to exist in a state 
of greater or less preservation, but, with one exception, all cut in the 
rock. In so far as the interior is concerned this is of little or no 
consequence, but it prevents our being able to judge of their external 
form or effect,* and what is perhaps worse, it hides from us entirely 
the mode in which their roofs were constructed. We know that they 
were formed with semicircular ribs of timber, and it 
is also nearly certain that on these ribs J^planks in two 
or three thicknesses were laid, but we cannot even guess 
what covered the planks externally. It could hardly 
have been metal, or any kind of felt, and one is unwill- 
ing to believe that they were thatched with grass, 
though I confess, as the evidence at present stands, this 
seems to me the most probable suggestion.^ 

The only structural one is at Sanchi, and is shown 
in plan in the accompanying woodcut (No. 41). It does 
not, however, suffice to show us how the roofs of the 
aisles were supported externally. What it does show, 
which the caves do not, is that when the aisle which surrounded 

41. Planof Chaiiya 

HalU Sanchi. 
Scale 30 ft. to 1 in. 

' It is probable that a tolerably correct 
idea of the general exterior appearance of 
the buildings &om which these cayes were 
copied may be obtained firom the Baths 
(as they are called) of Mahavellipore 
(described further on, p. 328). These 
are monmnents of a later date, and 
belonging to a different religion, but 
they correspond so nearly in all their 
parts with the temples and monasteries 

now under consideration, that we cannot 
doubt their being, in most respects, close 
copies of them. Curiously enough, the 
best illustrations of some of them are to 
be found among the unpublished sculp- 
tures of the Bharhut Tope. 

' The only buildings in India I know 
of that gave the least hint of the ex- 
ternal forms or construction of these 
halls are the huts of the Todas on the 



the apse could be lighted from the exterior, the apse was carried 
up solid. In all the caves the pillars surrounding the dagoba are 
different from and plainer than those of the nave. They are, in fact, 
kept as subdued as possible, as if it was thought they had no business 
there, but were necessary to admit light into the circumambient aisle 
of the apse. 

As almost all our information regarding these chaityas, as well as 
the viharas, which form the next group to be described, is derived 
from the rock-cut examples in western India, it would be convenient, 
if it were possible, to present something like a statistical account of 
the number and distribution of the groups of caves found there. The 
descriptions hitherto published, do not, however, as yet admit of this. 

I have myself visited and described all the most important of 
them ; * and in an interesting paper, communicated to the Bombay 
branch of the Asiatic Society by the Kev. Dr. Wilson, he enumerated 
thirty-seven different groups of caves, more or less known to 
Europeans.^ This number is exclusive of those in Bengal and Madras, 
and new ones are daily being discovered; we may therefore fairly 
assume that certainly more than forty, and probably nearly fifty, 
groups of caves exist in India Proper. 

Some of these groups contain as many as 100 different and distinct 
excavations, many not more than ten or a dozen ; but altogether I feel 
convinced that not less than 1000 distinct specimens are to be found. 
Of these probably 100 may be of Brahmanical or Jaina origin ; the 
remaining 900 are Buddhist, either monasteries or temples, the former 
being incomparably the more numerous class ; for of the latter not 
more than twenty or thirty are known to exist. This difference arose, 
no doubt, from the greater number of the viharas being grouped 
around structural topes, as is always the case in Afghanistan and 
Ceylon : and, consequently, they did not require any rock-cut place 
of worship while possessed of the more usual and a^jpropriate edifice. 

The fa9ades of the caves are generally perfect, and form an excep- 
tion to what has been said of our ignorance of the external appearance 
of Indian temples and monasteries, since they are executed in the rock 

Nilgiri Hills. In a work recently pub- 
lished by the late Mr. Breeks, of the 
Madras Civil Service, he gives two photo- 
graphs of these dwellings, plates 8 and 
9. Their roofs have precisely the same 
elliptical forms as the chaitya with the 
ridge, giving the ogee form externally, 
and altogether, whether by accident or 
design, they are miniature chaitya halls. 
Externally they are covered with short 
thatch, neatly laid on. Such forms may 

have existed in India two thousand years 
ago, and may have given rise to the 
peculiarities of the chaitya halls, but it 
is, of course, impossible to prove it 

* * Illustrations of the Rock-oai TemploH 
of India,' 1 vol., text 8vo., with folio plates. 
Weale, London, 1845. 

* * Journal Bombay Branch of the 
Royal Asiatic Society,* vol. iii. pt. ii. 
p. 36, €t 8€qq.t and vol. iv. p. 340, et seqq. 

Digitized by 


Chap. V. CHAITYA HALLS. 107 

with all the detail that could have graced the buildings of which 
they are copies. In the investigation of these objects, the perfect im- 
mutability of a temple once hewn out of the living rock is a very 
important advantage. No repair can add to, or indeed scarcely alter, 
the general features of what is once so executed ; and there can be no 
doubt that we see them now, in all essentials, exactly as originally 
designed. This advantage will be easily appreciated by any one who 
has tried to grope for the evidence of a date in the design, afforded 
by our much-altered and often reconstructed cathedrals of the 
Middle Ages. 

The geographical distribution of the caves is somewhat singular, 
more than nine-tenths of those now known being found within the 
limits of the Bombay Presidency. The remainder consist of two groups 
in Bengal ; those of Behar and Cuttack, neither of which is important 
in extent ; one only is known to exist in Madras, that of Mahavel- 
lipore ; and two or three insignificant groups, which have been traced 
in Afghanistan and the Punjab. 

At one time some were inclined to connect this remarkable local 
distribution with the comparative proximity of the west side of India to 
the rock-cutting Egyptians and Ethiopians. But the coincidence can 
be more simply accounted for by the existence in both countries of 
rocks perfectly adapted to such works. The great cave district of 
western India is composed of horizontal strata of amygdaloid and 
other cognate trap formations, generally speaking of very considerable 
thickness and great uniformity of texture, and possessing besides the 
advantage that their edges are generally exposed in perfectly perpen- 
dicular cliffs. No rock in any part of the world could either be more 
suited for the purpose or more favourably situated than these forma- 
tions. They were easily accessible and easily worked. In the rarest 
possible instances are there any flaws or faults to disturb the uni- 
formity of the design ; and, when complete, they afford a perfectly 
dry temple or abode, singularly uniform in temperature, and more 
durable than any class of temple found in any other part of the world. 
From the time of Asoka, who, two hundred and fifty years before 
Christ, excavated the first cave at Bajagriha, till the great cataclysm 
in the 8th century, the series is uninterrupted; and, if properly 
examined and drawn, the caves would furnish us with a complete 
religious and artistic history of the greater part of India during ten 
or eleven centuries, the darkest and most perplexing of her existence. 
But, although during this long period the practice was common to 
Buddhists, Hindus, and Jains, it ceased before the Mahomedan conquest. 
Hardly any excavations have been made or attempted since that 
period, except, perhaps, some rude Jaina monoliths in the rock at 
Gualior, and it may be one or two in southern India. 

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Book I. 

Behar Caves. 

As might be expected from what we know of the history of the 
localities, the oldest caves in India are situated in Behar, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Rajagriha, which was the capital of Bengal at the time of 
the advent of Buddha. There is, indeed, one cave there which claims 
to be the Satapanni cave, in front of which the first convocation was 
held B.C. 543. It is, however, only a natural cave very slightly im- 
proved by art, and of no architectural importance. 

The most interesting group is situated at a place called 
Barabar, sixteen miles north of Gaya. One there, called the 
Kama Chopar, bears an inscription which records the excavation 
of the cave in the nineteenth year of Asoka (b.c. 245).^ It 
is very simple, and, except in a doorway with sloping jambs, 
has no architectural feature of importance. A second, called the 
Sudama or Kigope cave (Woodcut No. 42), bears an inscription 
by Asoka in the twelfth year of his reign, 
the same year in which most of his edicts 
are dated, 260 or 264 b.c, and, consequently, 
is the oldest architectural example in India. 
It consists of two apartments : an outer, 82 ft. 
9 in. in length, and 19 ft. 6 in. in breadth, 
and beyond this a circular apartment, 19 ft. 
in diameter, in the place usually occupied by 
the solid dagoba ; ^ in front of which the roof 
hangs down and projects in a manner very 
much as if it were intended to represent 
thatch. The most interesting of the group is that called Lomas 
Bishi, which, though bearing no cotemporary inscription, certainly 
belongs to the same age. The frontispiece is singularly interesting, 
as representing in the rock the form of the structural chaityas of the 
age. These, as will be seen from the woodcut (No. 43), were apparently 
constructed with strong wooden posts, sloping slightly inwards, 
supporting a longitudinal rafter morticed into their heads, while 
three small blocks on each side are employed to keep the roof in form. 
Between the i^illars was a framework of wood, which served to 
support five smaller rafters. Over these lies the roof, apparently 

Nigupe Cave, Sat Ohurba group. 

* Cunningham, * Archieological Re- 
ports,' vol. 1. p. 45. 

' At Kondooty, near Bombay, there is 
a chaitya cave of much more modem 
date, which posscHses a circular chamber 
like this. In the older examples it in 
proljuble a relic or Home wicred Hvmlx)! 

occupied the cell; in the later it may 
have been an image of Buddha. No 
plans or details of the Kondooty temple 
have, so far as I know, been published. 
1 speak from information derived from 
MS. drawings 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. V. 



formed of three thicknesses of plank, or probably two of timber planks 
laid reverse ways, and one of metal or some other substance externally. 

43. Facade of Lomas RUhi Cave. (From a Pbotograph by Mr. Peppe, C.E.) 

The form of the roof is something of a pointed arch, with a slight 
ogee point on the summit to form a watershed. The door, like all 
those of this series, has sloping jambs* — a peculiarity arising, as we 
shall afterwards see, from the lines of the openings following, as in 
this instance, those of the supports of the roof. 

The interior, as will be seen from the annexed plan (No. 44), is 
quite plain in form, and does not seem to have been ever quite com- 
pleted. It consists of a hall 33 ft. by 19 ft., 
beyond which is an apartment of nearly 
circular form, evidently meant to represent 
a tope or dagoba, but at that early age the 
architects had not quite found out how to 
accomplish this in a rock-cut structure. 

Judging from the inscriptions on these 
caves, the whole were excavated between the date of the Nigope and 
that of the Milkmaid's Cave, so called (w^hich was excavated by 
Dasaratha, the grandson of Asoka), probably within fifty years of 
that date. They appear to range, therefore, from 260 to 200 B.C., and 

Lomas Rishi Cave. 

^ General Cunningham (* Arcbssolngi- 
cal Reports,' vol. i. p. 45) and others are 
in the habit of calling this an Egyptian 
form. This it certainly is not, as no 
Egyptian doorway had sloping jambs. 

Nor can it properly bo called Pelasgic. 
The Pelasgi did use that form, but de- 
rived it from stone constructions. The 
Indians only obtained it from wood. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


the Lomas Rishi is probably the most modem * — it certainly is the 
most richly ornamented. No great amount of elaboration, however, 
is found in these examples, inasmuch as the material in which they 
are excavated is the hardest and most close-grained granite ; and it 
was hardly to be expected that a people who so recently had been 
using nothing but wood as a building material would have patience 
sufficient for labours like these. They have polished them like glass 
in the interior, and with that they have been content. 

Western Chaitya Halls. 

There are in the Western Gh4ts in the Bombay Presidency five 
or six important Chaitya caves whose dates can be made out, either 
from inscriptions, or from internal evidence, with very fair ap- 
proximate certainty, and all of which were excavated, if I am 
not very much mistaken, before the Christian Era. The oldest 
of the.«e is situated at a place called Bhaja, four miles south of 
the great Karli cave in the Bhore Gh4t. There is no in- 
scription upon it, but I have a plan and several photographs. 
From the woodcut (No. 46), it will be perceived that it is a chaitya 

hall of the usual plan, but of no great 

^|PPH|HH dimensions, being only 60 ft. from the 

^W back of the apse to the mortices (a a), in 

■ which the supports of the wooden screen 

H once stood. From the woodcut (No. 46), 

^^^^ taken from one of these photographs, it 

^^^■1^^ will be perceived that the pillars of the 

^^^^^^^^ interior slope inwards at a considerable 

It^ ^^^B ^^^ uiost unpleasing angle. The rood- 

"^^— -^-^''xviHARA >3f screen which closes the front of all other 

^"^^^^^ hg caves of this class is gone. In all other 

^^r examples it is in stone, and consequently 

'VS'r'X^'o'^e.frStS" remains; but in this instance, being in 

wood, it has disappeared, though the 
holes to receive its posts and the mortices by which it was attached to 
the walls are still there. The ogee fronton was covered with wooden 
ornaments, which have disappeared ; though the pin-holes remain by 
which they were fastened to the stone. The framework, or truss 
that filled the upper part of the great front opening, no longer 
exists, but what its appearance was may be judged of by the 
numerous representations of itself with which it is covered, or 

^ A very detailed account of all these cavee will be found in Gen. Cunningham's 
* Archaeological Report' for 1861-62. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. V. 



Facade of the Cave at Bhivl^ (Krom a Fbotograpb.) 

from the representation of a chaitya fa9ade from the contemporary 
rail at Buddh Gaya (Woodcut 
No. 47), and there are several 
others on the rail at Bharhut, 
which are not only correct ele- 
vations of such a fa9ade as this, 
but represent the wooden carved 
ornaments which — according 
to that authority — invariably 
adorned these fa9ade8. The only 
existing example of this wooden 
screen is that at Karli, but the 
innumerable small repetitions 
of it not only here, but in all 
these caves, shows not only its 
form, but how universal its em- 
ployment was. The rafters of 
the roof were of wood, and 
many of them, as may be seen in the woodcut, remain to the present 

Front of a Chaitya Hall. 
(From a Bas-relief at Buddh Gaya.) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


day. EverythiDg, in fact, that could be made in wood remained in 
wood, and only the constructive parts necessary for stability were 
executed in the rock. 

It is easy to understand that, the first time men undertook to 
repeat in stone forms they had only been accustomed to erect in 
wood, they should have done so literally. The sloping inwards 
of the pillars was requisite to resist the thrust of the circular roof in 
the wooden building, but it must have appeared so awkward in stone 
that it would hardly be often repeated. As, however, it was probably 
almost universal in structural buildings, the doorways and openings 
naturally followed the same lines, hence the sloping jambs. Though 
these were by no means so objectionable in practice, they varied with 
the lines of the supports, and as these became upright, the jambs 
become parallel. In like manner when it was done, the architects 
could hardly fail to perceive that they had wasted both time and 
labour in cutting away the rock to make way for their wooden 
screen in front. Had they left it standing, with far less expense they 
could have got a more ornamental and more durable feature. This 
was so self-evident that it never, so far as is known, was repeated, 
but it was some time before the pillars of the interior got quite 
perpendicular, and the jambs of the doors quite parallel. 

There is very little figure-sculpture about this cave; none in 
the interior, and what there is on the fa9ade seems to be of a very 
domestic character. But on the pillars in the interior at g and h in 
the plan (Woodcut No. 46), we find two emblems, and at a, c, and / 
three others are found somewhat rudely formed, but which occur 
again so frequently that it may be worth while to quote them here. 

Trimil. Shield. Cfaakra. Trisul. 

They are known as the trisul, or trident, the central point being 
usually more important than here shown, the shield, and the 
chakra, or wheel. The two first are generally found in combination, 
as in Woodcut No. 33, and the wheel is frequently found edged with 
trisul ornaments, as in the central compartment of Woodcut No. 38 
from Amravati. The fourth emblem here is the trisul, in combination 
with a face, and the fifth is one which is frequently repeated on coins 
and elsewhere, but to which no name has yet been given. 

The next group of caves, however, that at Bedsa, ten or eleven 
miles south of Karli, shows considerable progress towards lithic 
construction. The screen is in stone ; the pillars are more upright. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. V. 



though still sloping slightly inwards, the jambs more nearly parallel, 
and in fact we have nearly all the features of a well designed 

49. Han of C*ve «i BedsA. (From a Plan by Mr. BurgeM.) Scale SO ft. to 1 in. 


#-f'' Vt i ■ '^ 

Capital of PUlar in front of Cave at Bedsa. (From a Photograph.) 

chaitya cave. The two pillars in front, however, as will be seen 
from the plan (Woodcut No. 49), are so much too large in proportion 

uigiiizeu uy V^jOOVJ Lv^ 



Book I. 

to the rest, that they are evidently stambhas, and ought to stand 
free instead of supporting a verandah. Their capitals (Woodcut 
No. 50, p. 113) are more like the Persepolitan than any others in 
India, and are each surmounted by horses and elephants bearing men 

View on Verandiili of Cave a| Bedsa. <Froin a Pbotograph.) 

and women of bold and free execution. From the view (Woodcut 
No. 51) it will be seen how much the surface is covered with the rail 
decoration, a repetition on a small scale of the rails described in the last 
section, and which it may here be mentioned is a fair test of the age 
of any building. It gradually becomes less and less used after the date 


Chap. V. 



CbAltira C»v» ai Nnasick. (Pram a Photograph.) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


of these two chaitya caves, and disappears wholly in the 4th or 
6th centuries, but during that period its greater or less prevalence 
in any building is one of the surest indications we have of the 
relative age of any two examples. In this cave, as will be observed, 
nearly the whole of the ornamentation is made up of miniature 
rails, and repetitions of window fronts or fa9ades. It has also a 
semicircular open work moulding, like basket work, which is only 
found in the very oldest caves, and is evidently so unsuited for 
stone-work that it is no wonder it was dropped very early. No 
example of it is known after the Christian Era. There is an inscrip- 
tion in this cave in an ancient form of letter, but not sufficiently 
distinct to fix its age absolutely without further evidence. 

The third cave is the Chaitya at Nassick. Its pillars internally are 
so nearly perpendicular that their inclination might escape detection, 
and the door jambs are nearly parallel. 

The facade, as seen in the woodcut (No. 52, p. 115), is a very perfect 
and complete design, but all its details are copied from wooden forms, 
and nothing was executed in wood in this cave but the rafters of 
the roofs internally, and these have fallen down. 

Outside this cave, over the doorway, there is an inscription, stating 
that the cave was the gift of a citizen of Nassick,^ in the reign of 
King Krishna, the second of the Andrabritya kings, who reigned just 
before the Christian Era,^ and inside, on the pillars, another in an 
older form of character, stating that it was excavated in honour of 
King Badrakaraka,^ who was almost certainly the fifth king of the 
Sunga dynasty, and who ascended the throne about B.C. 129. It may 
be possible that a more critical examination of these inscriptions may 
render their testimony less absolute than it now appears, but taking 
them in conjunction with the architecture, the age of this cave 
hardly seems doubtful. For myself, I see no reason for hesitating to 
accept B.C. 129 as the date of its inception, though its completion 
may be a century later, and if tliis is so, it carries back the caves 
of Bhaja and Bedsa to a period considerably before that time, while 
on the other hand, it as certainly is older than the Karli cave, 
which appears to come next to it in age. 


The fourth cave mentioned above, known as that at Karli, is 
situated on the road between Bombay and Poonah, and is the finest 
of all — the finest, indeed, of its class. It is certainly the largest as 
well as the most complete chaitya cave hitherto discovered in India, 

* From a photograph and an unpub- i » From Bhandarknr's paper, ubl supra. 
lished paper by Professor Bhandarknr, I ■ * Journal Bombay Branch of the 
rpftd before the Oriental rongross. i Royal Asiatic Sooiety,* vol. v. p. 55. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




and was excavated at a time when the style was in its greatest 
purity. In it all the architectural defects of the previous examples 
are removed ; the pillars of the nave are quite perpendicular. The 
screen is ornamented with sculpture— its first appearance apparently 
in such a position — and the style had reached a perfection that was 
never afterwards surpassed. 

Scalp fiO ft. tu 1 in. 

Plan of Cave at Karli. 

In this cave there is an inscription on the side of the porch, and 
another on the lion-pillar in front, which are certainly integral, and 
ascribe its excavation to the Maharaja Bhuti or Deva Bhuti,* who, 
according to the Puranas, reigned b.c. 78, and if this is so, they fix 
the age of this typical example beyond all cavil. 

The building, as will be seen by the annexed illustrations (Nos. 53, 
54, 55), resembles, to a very great extent, an early Christian church 
in its arrangements : consisting of a nave and side-aisles, terminating 
in an apse or semidome, round which the aisle is carried. Tlie general 
dimensions of the interior are 126 ft. from the entrance to the back 
wall, by 45 ft. 7 in. in width. The side-aisles, however, are very 
much narrower than in Christian churches, the central one being 
25 ft. 7 in., so that the others are only 10 ft. wide, including the 
thickness of the pillars. As a scale for comparison, it may be men- 

» * Journal Bombay Hniiich of llu* Koyul Asiatic SiH'ii'ty,* vol. v. pp. 152-3. 

uigiiizeu uy VjOOV IC 



Book I. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


tioned that its arrangement and dimensions are very similar to those 
of the choir of Norwich Cathedral, or of the Abbaye anx Hommes at 
Caen, omitting the outer aisles in the latter buildings. I'he thickness 
of the piers at Norwich and Caen nearly corresponds to the breadth 
of the aisles in the Indian temple. In height, however, Karli is very 
inferior, being only 42 ft. or perhaps 45 ft. from the floor to the apex, 
as nearly as can be ascertained. 

Fifteen pillars on each side separate the nave from the aisles ; each 
pillar has a tall base, an octagonal shaft, and richly ornamented 
capital, on which kneel two elephants, each bearing two figures, gene- 
rally a man and a woman, but sometimes two females, all very much 
better executed than such ornaments usually are. The seven pillars 
behind the altar are plain octagonal piers, without either base or 
capital, and the four under the entrance gallery differ considerably 
from those at the sides. The sculptures on the capitals supply the 
place usually occupied by frieze and cornice in Grecian architecture ; 
and in other examples plain painted surfaces occupy the same space. 
Above this springs the roof, semicircular in general section, but some- 
what stilted at the sides, so as to make its height greater than the 
semi-diameter. It is ornamented even at this day by a series of 
wooden ribs, probably coeval with the excavation, which prove beyond 
the shadow of a doubt that the roof is not a copy of a masonry arch, 
but of some sort of timber construction which we cannot now very 
well understand. 

Immediately under the semidome of the apse, and nearly where 
the altar stands in Christian churches, is placed the dagoba, in this 
instance a plain dome slightly stilted on a circular drum. As there 
are no ornaments on it now, and no mortices for woodwork, it pro- 
bably was originally plastered and painted, or may have been adorned 
with hangings, which some of the sculptured representations would 
lead us to suppose was the usual mode of ornamenting these altars. 
It is surmounted by a Tee, the base of which is similar to the one 
shown on Woodcut No. 13, and on this still stand the remains of an 
umbrella in wood, very much decayed and distorted by age. 

Opposite this is the entrance, consisting of three doorways, under 
a gallery exactly corresponding with our roodloft, one leading to the 
centre, and one to each of the side-aisles ; and over the gallery the 
whole end of the hall is open as in all these chaitya halls, forming 
one great window, through which all the light is admitted. This 
great window is formed in the shape of a horseshoe, and exactly 
resembles those used as ornaments on the facade of this cave, as well 
as on those of Bhaja, Bedsa and at Nassick described above, and which 
are met with everywhere at this age. Within the arch is a frame- 
work or centering of wood standing free (Woodcut No. 65). This, so 
far as we can judge, is, like the ribs of the interior, coeval with the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Book I, 

building ; ^ at all events, if it has been renewed, it is an exact copy of 
the original form, for it is found rei>eated in stone in all the niches 
of the fa9ade, over the doorways, and generally as an ornament every- 
where, and with the Buddhist " rail," copied from Sanchi, forms the 
most usual ornament of the style. 

The presence of the woodwork is an additional proof, if any were 
wanted, that there were no arches of construction in any of these 
Buddhist buildings. There neither were nor are any in any Indian 

&6. View of Interior of Cave at Kuril. (From a Photograph.) 

building anterior to the Mahomedan Conquest, and very few indeed in 
any Hindu building afterwards. 

To return, however, to Karli, the outer porch is considerably wider 

' A few years ago it was reported that 
this screen was in danger of falling oat- 
wards, and I wrote repeatedly to India 
begging that something might be done 
to preserve it; bnt I have never been 
able to learn if this has been attended 
to. Only a small {K)rtion of the original 
ribbing of the Bhaja cave now remains. 
That of the Bedsa cave has been des- 
troyed within the last ten or twelve years. 
('Journal Bombay Branch of the Royal 

Asiatic Society,' vol. ix. p. 223) ; and it 
would be a thousand pities if this, which 
is the only original screen in India, were 
allowed to perish when a very small out- 
lay would save it. Like the Iron pillar 
at Delhi which never rusts, teak wood 
that does not decay though exposed to 
the atmosphere for 2000 years, is a phe- 
nomenon worth the attention nut only of 
antiquaries, but of natural philosophers. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


than the hody of the building, being 52 ft. wide, and is closed in front 
by a screen composed of two stout octagonal pillars, without either base 
or capital, supporting what is now a plain mass of rock, but which was 
ouce ornamented by a wooden gallery forming the principal ornament 
of the fa9ade. Above this a dwarf colonnade or attic of four columns 
})etween pilastei-s admitted light to the great window, and this again 
was surmcmted by a wooden cornice or ornament of some sort, though 
we cannot now restore it, since only the mortices remain that attached 
it to the rock. 

In advance of this screen stands the lion-pillar, in this instance 
a plain shaft with thirty-two flutes, or rather faces, surmounted by a 
capital not unlike that at Kesariah (Woodcut No. 6), but at Karli 
supporting four lions instead of one, and for reasons given above 
(p. 55), they seem almost certainly to have supported a chakra or 
Buddhist wheel. A similar pillar probably stood on the opposite 
side, but it has either fallen or been taken down to make way for 
the little temple that now occupies its place. 

The absence of the wooden ornaments of the external porch, as 
well as our ignorance of the mode in which this temple was finished 
laterally, and the porch joined to the main temple, prevents us from 
judging what the effect of the front would have been if belonging 
to a free-standing building. But the proportions of such parts as 
remain are so good, and the effect of the whole so pleasing, that 
there can be little hesitation in ascribing to such a design a tolerably 
high rank among architectural compositions. 

Of the interior we can judge perfectly, and it certainly is as 
solemn and grand as any interior can well be, and the mode of lighting 
the most perfect — one undivided volume of light coming through a 
single opening overhead at a very favourable angle, and falling 
directly on the altar or principal object in the building, leaving the 
rest in comparative obscurity. The effect is considerably heightened 
by the closely set thick columns that divide the three aisles from one 
another, as they suffice to prevent the boundary walls from ever being 
seen, and, as there are no openings in the walls, the view between the 
pillars is practically unlimited. 

These peculiarities are found more or less developed in all the 
other caves of the same class in India, varying only with the age and 
the gradual change that took place from the more purely wooden 
forms of these caves to the lithic or stone architecture of the more 
modem ones. This is the principal test by which their relative ages 
can be determined, and it proves incontestably that the Karli cave 
was excavated not very long after stone came to be used as a building- 
material in India. 

There are caves at Ajunta and probably at Junir which are as 
old as the four just described, and when the history of cave archi- 

uigiiizeu uy VjOOV IC 


tecture comes to be written in extenso, will supply details that are 
wanting in the examples just quoted. Meanwhile, however, their 
forms are sufficient to place the history on a firm basis, and to 
explain the origin and early progress of the style with sufficient 

From the inscriptions and literary evidence, it seems hardly doubt- 
ful that the date of -the Karli cave is about 78 b.c, and that at Nassick 
about 129 B.C. We have no literary authority for the date of the two 
earlier ones, but the archoDological evidence appears irresistible. The 
Bhaja cave is so absolutely identical in style with the Lomas Rishi 
cave at Behar (Woodcut No. 43) that they must be of very nearly 
the same age. Their pillars and their doorways slope so nearly at 
the same angle, and the essential woodei^ness— if the expression may 
be used — of both is so exactly the same, that the one being of the 
age of Asoka, the other cannot be far removed from the date of his 
reign. The Bedsa cave exhibits a degree of progress so nearly half- 
way between the Bhaja and Nassick examples, that it may safely 
be dated 150 to 200 B.C., and the whole four thus exhibit the progress 
of the style during nearly two centuries in the most satisfactory 
manner, and form a basis from which we may proceed to reason with 
very little hesitation or doubt. 


There are four chaitya caves in the Ajunta series which, though 
not so magnificent as some of the four just mentioned, are nearly as 
important for the purposes of our history. The oldest there (No. 9) 
is the lowest down on the cliflf, and is of the smallest class, being 
only 45 ft. by 23 ft. in width. All its woodwork has perished, though 
it would not be difficult to restore it from the mortices left and the 
representations of itself on the fa9ade. There are several inscriptions, 
but they do not seem integral. They are painted on the walls, and 
belong, from the form of their characters, to the second or third century 
of our era, when the frescoes seem to have been renewed, so that the 
real tests of its age are, first, its position in the series, which make 
it, with its accompanying vihara (No. 12) undoubtedly the oldest 
there ; the other test is the architecture of its fa9ade, which so much 
resembles that of the Nassick chaitya (b.c. 129) that it cannot be far 
off in date. It may, however, be somewhat earlier, as the pillars in 
the interior slope inwards at a somewhat greater angle, and, in so far 
as that is a test of age, it indicates a greater antiquity in the Ajunta 

For further particulars regarding the 
Ajunta caves, the reader is referred to a 

Royal Asiatic Society,' J 842, and repub- 
lished afterwards with a folio volume of 

paper I wrote in the * Journal of the plates to illustrate it. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. V. 



ITie next chaitya (No. 10) is situated very near to the last, a 
little higher up in tlie rock, however, and of nearly twice its dimen- 
sions. It is 94 ft. 6 in. in depth by 41 ft. 3 in. in width internally. 
As may be seen from the annexed view (Woodcut No. 57), the nave 

67. Interior of Cbaltya Cave No. 10 at AJuiita. (From a Sketch by the Author.) 

18 separated from the aisles by a range of plain octagonal shafts, 
perfectly upright, but without capitals or bases. The triforium belt 
is of unusual height, and was originally plastered and painted. 
Traces of this can still be seen, though the design cannot be made 
out (Woodcut No. 68). One of 
the most remarkable character- 
istics of the cave is that it shows 
signs of transition from wood to 
stone in its architectural details. 
The ribe of the aisle are in stone 
cut in rock, but copied from the 
wooden forms of previous ex- 
amples. The vault of the nave 
was adorned with wooden ribs, 
the mortices for which are still 
there, and their marks can still 
be traced in the roof, but the 
wood itself is gone. 

There are two inscriptions in this cave which seem to be integral, 
but unfortunately neither of them contain names that can be iden- 
tified ; but from the form of their characters a palseographist would 

Crods-Sertion of Cure No. 10 at AJunta. 
No scale. 

Digitized by 




Book I. 

almoet certainly place them anterior to the Christian Era.^ Taking, 
however, all the circumstances of the case into consideration, and so 
as to avoid stretching any point too far, it would, perhaps, be better 
to assume for the present that the cave belongs to the first century 
of our era. 

The facades of both these caves are so much ruined by the rock 
falling away that it is impossible to assert that there was no sculp- 
ture on the lower parts. None, certainly, exists in the interior, 
where everything depends on painting ; and it is, to say the least of 
it, very improbable that any figure -sculpture ever adorned the oldest, 
while it seems likely that even No. 10 depended wholly on con- 
ventional architectural forms for its adornment. 

The next chaitya cave in this series (No. 19) is separated from 
these two by a very long interval of time. Unfortunately, no in- 
scription exists upon it which would assist in assigning it any precise 
date; but it belongs to a group of viharas, Nos. 16 and 17, whose 
date, as we shall afterwards see, can be fixed with tolerable certainty 
as belonging to the fifth century of our era. The cave itself, 
as will be seen from the plan (Woodcut No. 69), is of the smallest 
size, nearly the same as No. 9, or 46 ft. 4 in. by 
23 ft, 7 in., and its arrangements do not differ 
much, but its details belong to a totally different 
school of ajt. All trace of woodwork has dis- 
apjKJared, but wooden forms are everywhere re- 
peated in stone, like the triglyphs and mutules of 
the Doric order, long after their original meaning 
was lost. More than this, ]>ainting in the interA'al 
had to a great extent become disused as a means 
of decoration, l^oth internally and externally, and 
sculpture substituted for it in all monumental 
works ; but the greatest change of all is that 
Buddha, in all his attitudes, is introduced every- 
where. In the next -woodcut (No. 60) — the view of the fa9ade — it 
will be seen how completely figure-sculpture had superseded the 
plainer architectural forms of the earlier caves. The rail ornament, 
too, has entirely disai>peared ; the window heads have been dwarfed 
down to mere framings for masks ; but what is even more significant 
than these, is that from a pure theism or rather atheism we have 
passed to an overwhelming idolatry. At Karli, the eight figures 
that originally adorned the porch are chiefs with their wi\es, in 
pairs. All the figures of Buddha that appear there now are long 

Cliait.Vfl No. 19 

at AJuula. 

Settle 60 ft. to 1 in. 

' These inscriptions are translateil in 
Jiliau Dajis* {taper on the Ajimta iu- 
bcripticins, * Journal Bonilmy Hianch of 
llie Royal Asiatic Sociely/ vol, viii. i>. (IIJ, 

as if found in cave 2. On the accompauy- 
inp plate they are described as one on 
cave 10, the otlier on cave 12. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. V. 



View of Facade, Cbaltya Cave No. 19 at AJunta. (From a Photograph.) 

subsequent additions. None but mortals were sculptured in the 
earlier caves, and among these mortals Sakya Muni nowhere appears. 
Here, on the conti-ary, he is Bhagavat — the Holy One — the Deity — 
the object of worship, and occupies a position in the front of 
the dagoba or altar itself (Woodcut No. 61, p. 126), surmounted by 
the triple umbrella and as the Numen of the place. 

At a future stage of our inquiries we may be able to fix more 
nearly the time in which this portentous change took place in 
Buddhist ritual. For the present, it is sufficient to remark that 
images of Buddha, and their worship, were not known in India in 
the first century of our era, and that the revolution was complete 
in the 5th century. 

Before leaving this cave, however, it may be well to remark on 
the change that had taken place in the form of the dagoba during 
these 500 years. If Woodcut No. 61 is compared with the dagobas 
in Nos. 56 and 67, it will be seen how much the low rounded form 
of the .early examples had been conventionalised into a tall steeple- 
like object. The drum had become more important than the dome, 
and was ornamented with architectural features that have no meaning 
as applied. But more curious still is the form the triple umbrella 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Book I. 

had assumed. It had now become a steeple reaching to the roof of 
the cave, and its original form and meaning would hardly be suspected 
by those who wore not familiar with the intermediate steps. 

I am not aware of more than three umbrellas being found sur- 
mounting any dagoba in the caves, but the annexed representation 

of a model of one found at Sultan- 
pore, near Jelalabad (Woodcut No. 
62), probably of about the same age, 
has six such discs ; and in Behar 

Bock-cnt Dagoba at AJunU. 
(From a Drawing 1^ the Author.) 

62. Small Model foand in the Tope at Soltanpore. 
(From Wilson's * Ariasu Antiqua.*) 

numerous models are found with seven, making with the base and 
finial nine stoi-eys,^ which afterwards in China became the conven- 
tional number for the nine-storeyed towers of that land. 

The last chaitya at Ajunta (No. 26) is of a medium size, 66 ft. by 36, 
and has a long inscription, but which unfortunately contains nothing to 
enable us to fix its date with certainty. It is certainly more modem 
than the last named, its sculptures are coarser, and their meaning more 
mythological. We shall probably not err in assuming that it was 
excavated towards the end of the 6th or beginning of the 7th century ; 

' Kittoe in * Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal,' March, 1847, plate 6. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


and that the year 600 is not far from its true date. Its chief interest 
is in showing how nearly Buddhism was approximating to Brahmanism 
when the catastrophe took place which expelled the former from the 
country of its birth. 


The celebrated Viswakarma cave at Ellora is a chaitya of the first 
class, intermediate in age between the two last descnl)ed caves at 
Ajunta, or it may be as modern as the last. There are unfortunately no 
inscriptions nor any traditions ^ that would assist in fixing its ago, 
which must consequently depend wholly on its position in the series 
and its architectural peculiarities. 

The dimensions of this cave are considerable, 86 ft. by 43 ft., and 
the inner end is entirely blocked up by the dagoba which, instead of 
being circular as in all the older examples, has a frontispiece attached 
to it larger than that in cave No. 1 9 at Ajunta, which, as shown in 
Woodcut No. 60, makes it square in front. On this addition is a figure 
of Buddha seated with his feet down, and surrounded by attendants, 
and fiying figures in the latest style of Buddhist art. In the roof, all 
the ribs and ornaments are cut in the rock, though still copied from 
wooden prototypes, and the triforium has sculptured figures as in 
Nos. IJ) and 20 of Ajunta. Its most marked characteristic, however, 
is the facade, where for the first time we miss the great horseshoe 
opening, which is the most marked feature in all previous examples. 
We can still trace a reminiscence of it in the upper part of the 
window in the centre (Woodcut No. 63, p. 128) ; but it was evidently 
considered necessary, in this instance, to reduce the size of the 
opening; and it is easy to see why this was the case. At Bedsa, 
Karli, Kenheri and elsewhere, there was a verandah or porch with a 
screen in front of the great window, which prevented the direct 
rays of the sun from reaching it, and all the older caves had 
wooden screens, as at Karli, from which curtains could be liung so 
as to modify the light to any desired extent. At Ellora, "no screen 
could ever have existed in front, and wooden additions had long ceased 
to be used, so that it consequently became necessary to reduce the 
size of the opening. In the two later chaityas at Ajunta^ ,this is 
effected by simply reducing their size. At Ellora it was done by 
dividing it. If we had the structural examples in which this change 
was probably first introduced, we might trace its progress ; but as 
this one is the only example we have of a divided window, we must 

^ Bir Charles Mallet, in the second 
volume of the ' Bombay Literary Transao- 
tions,' quotes a tradition that the Ellora 
caves were excavated by a Raja Eelu, 

1000 years before his day. This might 
be true if applied to the Brahman, 
ical Kailas, but hardly to any Buddhibt 
cave in the series. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Book I. 

accept it as one of the latest modifications of the fa9ades of these 
chaityas. Practically, it may be an improvement, as it is still 
sufficiently large to light the interior in a satisfactory manner ; but 
artistically it seems rather to be regretted. There is a character and 
a grandeur about the older design which we miss in this more 

63. Fofade of tbi* Viiswakarma Cave at Ellon. (From a Pbutugntpb.) 

domestic-looking arrangement, though it is still a form of opening 
not destitute of beauty. 

Owing to the sloping nature of the ground in which it is excavated, 
this cave possesses a forecourt of considerable extent and of great 
elegance of design, which gives its fa9ade an importance it is not 
entitled to, from any intrinsic merit of its own. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



One of the beet known and most frequently described chaityas in 
India is that on the island of Salsette, in Bombay Harbour, known 
as the great Eenheri Cave. In dimensions it belongs to the first rank, 
being 88 ft. 6 in. by 89 ft. 10 in., and it has the advantage that its date is 
now almost absolutely fixed. In the verandah there is an inscription 
recording that the celebrated Buddhaghosha dedicated one of the 
middlcHsized statues in the porch to the honour of the lord Bhagawan,^ 
and in the same porch another inscription records the execution of the 
great statues of Buddha by " Gotamiputra's imperial descendant Sri 
Yadnya Sat Karni."^ Now we know that the first named, Buddha- 
ghosha, went on his mission to Ceylon, b.c. 41 0,^ and he is not known 
ever to have returned to India; and Yadnya Sri has always been 
assumed to have lived 408-428, generally it must be confessed on the 
mistaken etymology of confounding his name with that of Yuegai of 
the Chinese. That, however, is apparently only a translation of the 
" Moon beloved king," and more applicable, consequently, to Chandra 
Sri or Chandragupta, who was his contemporary. The true basis 
for the determination of his date is the Puranio chronology which, 
for this period, seems indisputable.* Be all this as it may, the con- 
junction of these two names here in this cave settles their date, and 
settle also the age of the cave as belonging to the early years of the 
6th century, at the time when Fa Hian was travelling in India. 

This being so one would naturally expect that the architecture of 
the cave should exhibit some stage of progress intermediate between 
cave No. 10 and cave No. 19 of A junta, but nothing of the sort is 
apparent here ; the Kenheri cave is a literal copy of the great cave 
at Karli, but in so inferior a style of art that, when I first saw it, I 
was inclined to ascribe it to an age of Buddhist decrepitude, when 
the traditions of true art had passed away, and men were trying 
by spasmodic efforts to revive a dead art. This being now proved not 
to be the case, the architecture of this cave can only be looked upon 
as an exceptional anomaly, the principles of whose design are unlike 
anythii^ else to be found in India, emanating probably from some 
individual caprice, the origin of which we may probably never now 
be able to recover. 

Internally the roof was ornamented with timber rafters, and, 
though these have fallen away, the wooden pins by which they were 

> 'Jonnial Bombay Branch of the I ' Introduction to * Mahawanso/ p. 80. 
Rojal Asiatic Society/ vol. y. p. 14. * See Appendix. 

Lcc. dt. p. 25. • 





Book T. 

fastened to the rock still remain ; and the screen in front has all the 
mortices and other indications, as at Karli, proving that it was 
intended to be covered with wooden galleries and framework. What 
is still more curious, the figures of chiefs with their wives, which 
adorn the front of the screen at Karli, are here repeated literally, but 
copied so badly as not at first sight to be easily recognisable. 'J his is 
the more strange as it occurred at an age when their place was reserved 
for figures of Buddha, and when at Karli, itself, they were cutting 
away the old sculptures and old inscriptions, to introduce figures of 
Buddha, either seated cross-legged, or borne on the lotus, supported 
by Naga figures at its base.^ 

In front of this cave is a dwarf rail which, with the knowledge 
we now have, would in itself be almost sufficient to settle the age, in 
spite of these anomalies (Woodcut No. 64). Unfortunately it is so 
weather-worn that it is difficult to make out all its details ; but 
comparing it with the Gautamiputra rail (Woodcut No. 32) and the 

Uail in front of Great Cave, Kenberi. (From a Draw ing by Mr. West.) 

Amravati rail (Woodcut No. 36), it will be seen that it contains all 
those complications that were introduced in the 3rd and 4th centuries, 
but which were discontinued in the 5th and 6th, when the rail in any 
shape fell into disuse as an architectural ornament.^ 

'I'he evidence in fact seems complete that this cave was excavated 
in the early years of the 5th century, but admitting this, it remains 
an anomaly, the like of which only occurs once again so far as I know 
in the history of Indian architecture, and that in a vihara at Nassick 
of the same age, to be described hereafter. 

* A tolerably correct representation of 
these sculptures ia engraved in Langle^s 
* Hindostan,' vol. li. p. 81, after Niebuhr. 
The curious part of the thing is, that the 
Buddliist figures of the KarU fa9ade 
are not copied here also, from which I 
would infer, as well as from their own 

intrinsic evidence, that they were more 
modern than even this cave. 

^ For further particulars regarding this 
cave, the reader ia referred to my work on 
the * Rock-cut Temples of India,* p. 3(5, 
plates 11 and 12. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

(^AP. V. 




About half way between Kotah and Ujjain, in Bajpntana, there 
exists a series of caves at a place called Dhumnar which are of con- 
siderable extent, but the interest that might be felt in them is 
considerably diminished, by their being cut in a coarse laterite con- 
glomerate, so coarse that all the finer architectural details had to be 
worked out in plaster, and that having perished with time, only their 
plans and outlines can now be recognised. Among the sixty or seventy 
excavations here found one is a chaitya of some extent, and presenting 
peculiarities of plan not found elsewhere. It is practically a chaitya 
cella ntuated in the midst of a vihara (Woodcut No. 65). The cell 

Cave at Dhnxnnur. (From a Plan by Gen. Cunningham.) 
Scale 60 ft. to 1 In. 

in which the dagoba is situated is only 35 ft. by 13 ft. 6 in., but to 
this must be added the porch, or ante-chapel, extending 25 ft. further, 
making the whole 60 ft. On two sides, and on half the third, it is 
surrounded by an open verandah leading to the cells. The third side 
never was finished, but in two of the side cells are smaller dagobas — 
the whole making a confused mass of chambers and chaityas in which 
all the original parts are confounded, and all the primitive simplicity 
of design and arrangement is lost, to such an extent that, without 
previous knowledge, they would hardly be recognisable. 

There are no exact dates for determining the age of this cave, 
but Hke all of the series it is late, probably between the years 500 
and 600 a.d., or even later, and its great interest is that, on comparing 


it with the chaitya and vihara at Bhaja or Bedsa (Woodcuts Nob. 46 
and 49), we are enabled to realise the progress and changes that 
took place in designing these monuments during the seven or eight 
centuries that elapsed between them. 


Not far from Dhumnar is another series of caves not so extensive, 
but interesting as being probably the most modem group of Buddhist 
caves in India. No very complete account of them has yet been 
published/ but enough is known to enable us to feel sure how 
modem they are. One called Arjun's House, is a highly ornamented 
dagoba, originally apparently some 20 ft. in height, but the upper 
part being in masonry has fallen away. Inside this is a cell open to 
the front, in which is a cross-legged seated figure of Buddha, showing 
an approach to the Hindu mode of treating images in their temples, 
which looks as if Buddhism was on the verge of disappearing. 

The same arrangement is repeated in the only excavation here 
which can be called a chaitya hall. It is only 26 ft. by 13 ft. inter- 
nally; but the whole of the dagoba, which is 8 ft. in diameter, has 
been hollowed out to make a cell, in which an image of l*»uddha is 
enshrined. The dagobas, in fact, here — there are three standing by 
themselves — have become temples, and only distinguishable from 
those of the Hindus by their circular forms. ^ 

It is probably hardly necessary to say more on this subject now, 
as most of the questions, both of art and chronology, will be again 
touched upon in the next chapter when describing the viharas which 
were attached to the chaitytis, and were, in fact, parts of the same 
establishments. As mere residences, the viharas may be deficient in 
that dignity and unity which characterises the chaityas, but their 
number and variety make up to a great extent for their other defi- 
ciencies; and altogether their description forms one of the most 
interesting chapters in our history. 

* The plates in Gen. Gunuingham's 
* Arcbnologioal Reports,' vol. ii. pi. 70 
and 74, are on too small a scale to be of 
much use. I have nut myself visited 

ning'iiam's report above alluded to. I 
entirely agree with him as to their age, 
and am surprised Dr. Impey could be 
so mistaken regarding them. * Journal 

these caves. Bombay Bi-anch of tho Royal Asiatic 

' The particulars of the architecture Society,* vol. v. p. 336, et $eqq. 
of tliese caves are taken from Gen. Gun- i 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. Vf. 





Structural Yiharas — Bengal and Western Yihaia Caves — Nassiok, Ajunta, Bagh, 
Dhumnar, Kholvi, and Ellora Yiharas — Circular Cave at Junir. 

Structural Vi haras. 

We are almost more dependent on rock-ciit examples for our know- 
ledge of the Yiharas or monasteries of the Buddhists than we are 
for that of their Chaityas or churches : a circumstance more to be 
regretted in this instance than in the other. In a chaitya hall 
the interior is naturally the principal object, and where the art 
of the architect would be principally lavished. Next would come 
the fa<;ade. The sides and apse are comparatively insignificant and 
incapable of ornament. The fa9ades and the interior can be as well 
expressed in the rock as when standing free ; but the case is different 
with the viharas. A court or hall surrounded with cells is not an 
imposing architectural object. Where the court has galleries two or 
three storeys in height, and the pillars that support these are richly 
carved, it may attain an amount of picturesqueness we find in our 
old hostelries, or of that class of beauty that prevails in the courts 
of Spanish monasteries.^ Such was, I believe, the form many of the 
Indian structural viharas may have taken, but which could hardly 
be repeated in the rock; and unless some representations are dis- 

» Throughout this work the term " Yi- 
hara " is applied only to monasteries, the 
abodes of monks or hermits. It was not, 
however, used in that restricted gense 
only, in fonner times, though it has been 
80 by all modem writers. Hioaen Thsang, 
for instance, calls the Great Tower at 
Baddii Gaya a vihara, and describes 
similar towers at Nalanda, 200 and 300 
feet high, as viharas. The * Mabawanso ' 
also applies the term indiscriminately to 
temples of a certain class, and to resi- 
dences. My impression is that all build- 
ings designed in storeys were called 
viharas, whether used for the abode of 
priests or to enshrine relics or images. 

The name was used to distinguit^h them 
from sfupas or towers, which were always 
relic shrines, or erected as memorials of 
places or events, and never were resi- 
dences or simulated to be such, or con- 
tained images, till the last gasp of the 
style, as at Kholvi. At present this is 
only a theoiy, it may, before long, become 
a certainty. Strictly speaking, the resi- 
dences ought probably to be called 
Sangharamas, but to avoid multiplication 
of terms, vihara is used in this work as 
the synonym of monastery, which is the 
sense in which it is usually understood 
by modem authors. 
« Ytl. iv.. Woodcuts Nos. 89, 90, 

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Book I. 

covered among the paintings or Hculptures, we shall probably never 
know, though we may guess, what the original appearances may 
have been. 

Great Rath at Mabavellipore. (From a Photograph.) 

b7. IHagrHm KxpUnatorj' of the Arrangf'mcnt of a Buddhii^t ViriHru of Four KtortyK in Height. 

uigiiizeu uy ' 

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Chap. VI. 



ITiere was, however, I believe, another form of Vihara even less 
capable of being repeated in the rock. Jt was pyramidal, and is the 
original of all the temples of southern India. Take, for instance, a 
description of one mentioned both by Fa Hian and Hiouen Thsang,^ 
though neither of them, it must be confessed, ever saw it, which 
accounts in part for some absurdities in the description : — " The 
building," says Fa Hian, " has altogether five storeys. The lowest is 
shaped into the form of an elephant, and has 500 stone cells in it ; 
the second is in the form of a lion, and has 400 chambers ; the third 
is shaped like a horse, and has 800 chambers ; the fourth is in the 
form of an ox, and has 200 chambers ; and the fifth is in the shape of 
a dove and has 100 chambers in it" — and the account given of it by 
Hiouen Th^ang is practically the same.^ At first sight this looks wild 
enough ; but if we substitute the assertion that the several storeys were 
adorned with elephants, lions, horses, <&c., we get a mode of decoration 
which began at Karli, where a great range of elephants adorn the 
lower storey, and was continued with variations to HuUabid, where, 
as we shall see further on, all these five animals are, in the 13th 
century, superimposed upon one another exactly as here recounted. 

The opposite woodcut (No. 66), taken from one of the raths at Maha- 
vellipore, probably correctly represents such a structure, and I believe 
also the form of a great many ancient viharas in India. The diagram 
(No. 67) is intended to explain what probably were the internal ar- 
rangements of such a structure. As far as it can be understood from 
the rock-cut examples we have, the centre was occupied by halls of 
varying dimensions according to height, supported by wooden posts 
above the ground-floor, and used as the common day-rooms of the 
monks. The sleeping-cells 
(Woodcuts Nos. 68, 69) 
were apparently on the 
terraces, and may have 
been such as are fre- 
quently represented in the 
bas-reliefs at Bharhut and 
elsewhere. Alternately 
they seem to have been 
square and oblong, and 
with smaller apartments 
between. Of course we must not take too literally a representation 
of a monastery carried out solidly in the rock for a different purpose, 
as an absolutely correct representation of its original. The import- 
ance, however, of this form, as explaining the i)eculiaritie8 of sub- 

68. 69. 

Square and oblong Cells ftx>m a Baa-relief at Bharhnt. 

' Betirs "Fa Hian,' p. 
Tlisanp,* vol. iii. p. 102. 

liiO. -Hiouen I 

- JournHl of the Eoyal Aainlic Stxjiety, 
vol. vi. (N.S.) p. 257, H »eqq. 

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sequent Buddhist and Dra vidian architecture, is so great that it is 
well worth quoting here, though this will be more evident in the 
sequel than it can be at present. In construction the breadth, in 
a structural building, would probably have been greater in proportion 
to the height than in this example, but that is of little consequence 
for our present purposes. 

It is, of course, always difficult, sometimes impossible, to realise 
the form of buildings from verbal descriptions only, and the Chinese 
Pilgrims were not adepts at architectural definitions. Still Hiouen 
Thsang's description of the great Nalanda monastery is important, and 
so germane to our present subject that it cannot well be passed over. 

This celebrated monastery, which was the Monte Cassino of India 
for the first five centuries of our era, was situated thirty-four miles 
south of Patna, and seven miles north of the old capital of Raja- 
griha. If not founded under the auspices of the celebrated Nag4r- 
juna in the 1st century, he at all events resided there, introducing the 
Mahayana or great translation, and making it the seat of that school for 
Central India. After his time six successive kings had built as many 
viharas on this spot, when one of them surrounded the whole with 
a high wall, which can still be traced, measuring 1600 ft. north and 
south, by 400 ft., and enclosing eight separate courts. Externally to 
this enclosure were numerous stupets or towerlike viharas, ten or 
twelve of which are easily recognised, and have been identiOed with 
more or less certainty, by Greneral Chinningham, from the Pilgrim's 
description.* The general appearance of the place may be gathered 
from the following : — *' In the different courts the houses of the 
monks were each four storeys in height. The pavilions had pillars 
ornamented with dragons, and had beams resplendent with all the 
colours of the rainbow — rafters richly carved — columns ornamented 
with jade, painted red and richly chiselled, and balustrades of carved 
open work. The lintels of the doors were decorated with elegance 
and the roofs covered with glazed tiles of brilliant colours, which 
multiplied themselves by reflection, and varied the effect at every 
moment in a thousand manners." Or as he enthusiastically sums 
up: — "The Sangharamas of India are counted by thousands, but 
there are none equal to this in majesty or richness, or the height 
of their construction." ^ 

From what we know of the effects of Burmese monasteries at the 
present day this is probably no exaggeration ; and with its groves of 
Mango trees, and its immense tanks which still remain, it must have 
been, as he says, " an enchanting abode." Here there resided in his 
time — within and without the walls — 10,000 priests and neophytes, and 

* * Archwological Reports' vol. i. p. 28, I ' ' Hiouen Thsang.* vol. i. p. 151. 
plate IB. I 

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Chap. VI. VIHARAS. * 137 

religion and philosophy were taught from a hundred chairs, and here 
cx>n8eqnently onr Pilgrim Bojonmed for five years, imbibing the 
doctrines of the Law of Buddha. What Cluny and Clairvaux were 
to France in the Middle Ages, Nalanda was to Central India, the 
depository of all true learning, and the foundation from which it 
spread over all the other lands of the faithful ; but still, as in all 
instances connected with that strange parallelism which existed 
between the two religions, the Buddhists kept five centuries in 
advance of the Christians in the invention and use of all the cere- 
monies and forms common to both religions. 

It would indeed be satisfactory if the architecture of this cele- 
brated monastery could be restored and its arrangements made clear. 
Something has been done by Cunningham ^ towards this, and 
excavations have been made by Mr. Broadley and Captain Marshall. 
The former it is feared has destroyed more than he has restored, and 
his drawings are so imperfect as to be utterly unintelligible. The 
latter has not yet published his discoveries. Nothing, however, 
would probably better repay a systematic exploration than this cele- 
brated spot, if undertaken by some one accustomed to such researches, 
and capable of making detailed architectural drawings of what is 

If, however, it should turn out, as hinted above, that the whole of 
the superstructure of these viharas was in wood, either fire or natural 
decay may have made such havoc among all that remains of them, as 
to leave little to reward the labours of the explorer. What has been 
done in this direction certainly affords no great encouragement to 
hope for much. At Sultangunge, near Monghyr, a large vihara was 
cut through by the railway, but except one remarkable bronze ste^tue 
of Buddha ^ nothing was found of importance. The monastery 
apparently consisted of two large courtyards surrounded by cells. 
What was found, however, could only have been the foundations, 
as there were no doorways to the apartments or means of commu- 
nication between each other or with the exterior.^ 

The vihara excavated by Captain Kittoe and Mr. Thomas, at 
Samath, seems certainly to have been destroyed by fire. All that 
remained was a series of some twenty cells and four larger halls 
surrounding a pillared court 60 ft. square. On one side were three 
cells evidently forming a sanctuary, as is frequently found in the later 
rock-cut examples.^ 

The excavations conducted by General Cunningham, at the same 
place, are hardly more satisfactory in their result. The two buildings 

* * Archeeological Reports,' vol. i. pp. 
2S-36, plate 16. 
' Now in private hands in Biruiingham. 

' * Journal of the Asiatic Society of 
Bengal,' vol. xxxiii. p. 360, et eeqq, 
* Ibifl., vol. xxiii., p. 460, ei aeqq. 

uigiiizeu uy VjOOV IC 


he explored seem to bear the relation to one another of a vihara 60 ft. 
square over all, and a temple of little more than half these dimensions 
with a projecting porch on each face.^ Only the foundation of these 
buildings now remains, and nothing to indicate how they were 
originally finished. 

Wo may eventually hit on some representation which may enable 
us to form definite ideas on this subject, but till we do this we 
probably must be content with the interiors as seen in the rock-cut 

Bengal Caves. 

None of the Behar caves can, properly speaking, be called viharas, 
in the sense in which the word is generally used, except perhaps the 
Son Bhandar, which, as before mentioned. General Cunningham iden- 
tifies with the Sattapanni cave, in front of which the first convocation 
was held iA'l B.C. It is a plain rectangular excavation, 83 ft. 9 in. 
long by 17 ft. wide, and 11 ft. 7 in. to the springing of the curved 
roof.'-* Jt has one door and one window, but both, like the rest of the 
cave, without mouldings or any architectural features that would 
assist in determining its age. The jambs of the doorway slope 
slightly inwards, but not sufficiently to give an idea of great 
antiquity. In front there was a wooden verandah, the mortice holes 
for which are still visible in the front wall. 

The other caves, at Barabar and Nagarjuna, if not exactly chaityas 
in the sense in which that term is applied to the western caves, were at 
least oratories, places of prayer and worship, rather than residences. 
One Arhat or ascetic may have resided in them, but for the purpose 
of performing the necessary services. There are no separate cells in 
them, nor any division that can be considered as separating the cere- 
monial from the domestic uses of the cave, and they must consequently, 
for the present at least, be classed as chaityas rather than vijiaras. 

The case is widely different when wo turn to the caves in Orissa, 
which are among the most interesting, though at the same time the 
most anomalous, of all the caves in J ndia. They are situated in two 
isolated hills of sandstone rock, about twenty miles from Cuttack 
and five from Bhuvaneswar. The oldest are in the hill called 
Udayagiri ; the more modem in that portion designated Khandagiri. 
They became Jaina about the 10th or 11th century, and the last- 
named hill is crowned by a Jaina temple, erected by the Maharattaa 
in the end of the last century. 

' For this and the other Sarnatli re- ' These dimcDsions arc from plate 42, 
mains «ee Cunningham'K * Areliajolo;;ieal * Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal,* 
Reports,' vol. i. p. 114, et t^qq., plates I for 1847, by the late Capt. Kittoo. 

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What we know of the age of the older caves Ib principally derived 
from a long inscription on the front of the oldest, known as the Hathi 
Gumpha, or Elephant Cave.^ From it we learn that it was engraved 
by a king called Aira, who ascended the throne of Kalinga in his 
twenty-fourth year, and spread his power by conquest over neigh- 
bouring rajas. He seems at first to have vacillated between the 
Brahmanical and Buddhist faiths, but finally to have adopted the 
latter and distributed infinite alms. Among other good works, he 
is said " to have constructed subterranean chambers — caves con- 
taining a chaitya temple, and pillars." 

PalBBographically, the forms of the letters used in this inscription 
are identical with those used by Asoka in the copy of his edicts on 
the Aswatama rock close by, and that recently found at Aska, near 
the northern comer of the Chilkya lake. The first presumption, there- 
fore, is that they may be of about the same date. This is justified 
by the mention of Nanda in the past tense, while there seems no 
reason for doubting that he was one of the kings of that name who 
immediately preceded the revolution that placed Chandragupta on 
the throne. Besides these, there are other indications in this in- 
scription which seem to make it almost certain that Aira wa-s 
contemporary with the great Mauryan dynasty of Magadha ; but 
whether he preceded or followed Asoka is not quite so clear. Still 
it appears unlikely that Asoka would have been allowed to set up 
two copies of his edicts in the dominions of such powerful kings as 
Aira and his father seem to have been, and as unlikely that Aira 
should make such a record without some allusion to the previously 
promulgated edicts, had they then existed. On the whole, I am in- 
clined to believe that Aira lived before Asoka, and, if so, that this is 
the oldest inscription yet found in India. Be this as it may, the cave 
in which it is found is certainly the oldest here. It is a great natural 
cavern, the brow of which has been smoothed to admit of this in- 
scription, but all the rest remains nearly in a state of nature. Close 
to it is a small cave, the whole " fronton " of which over the doorway 
is occupied by a great three-headed Naga, and may be as old as the 
Hathi cave. The inscription on it merely says that it is the un- 
equalled chamber of Chulakarma, who seems also to have excavated 
another cave, here called the Pa wan Gabha,'^ or Purification Cave. 

Besides these, and smaller caves to be noticed hereafter, the great 
interest of the Udayagiri caves centres in two — the so-called Ganesa 

1 This inacriptiou first attracted the 
atteution of Stirling, and a plate repre- 
senting it very imperfectly is given in the 
15th volume of the 'Asiatic Researclies.' 

admitted, made by Priujscp, with tUe 
assistance of his pundits, and publi;«hed. 
* Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal,' 
vol. vi. p. 1080, et teqq. 

It was afterwards copied by Kittoe, and ' * Journal of the Asiatics Society of 
a translation, as far as its imperfection | IJcnpal,' vol. vi. p. 1078, plato .54. 

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Book I. 

cave, and that called the Raj Rani, or Rani Hanspur, from a tradition 
— Hindu — that it was excavated by the Pani of Lelat Indra Keeari, 
the celebrated builder of the Bhuvaneswar temple in the 7th century. 
The former is a small cave, consisting of two cells, together 30 ft. 
long by 10 ft. wide, in front of which is a verandah, slightly longer, 
that was once adorned with five pillars, though only three are now 
standing (Woodcut No. 70). There is an inscrip- 
tion on this cave in the Kutila characters, de- 
dicating it to Jaganath ; but this is evidently an 
addition in modem times. ^ I'he style of the 
architecture may be judged of from the annexed 
woodcut, representing one of its pillars (Wood- 
cut No. 71). I'hey are of extreme simplicity, 
being square piers, changing into octagons in the centre only, and 
with a slight bracket of very wooden construction on each face. The 

doorways leading into the cells are 
adorned with the usual horseshoe 
formed canopies copied from the fronts 
of the chaitya halls, and which we are 
now so familiar with from the Bharhnt 
sculptures, and from the openings com- 
mon to all wooden buildings of that 

7.I. GaneM Cave. (Fmm 

a Plan by Mr. I»cke.) 

Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 

Pillar in Ganrfut CVive, Cutt^ick. 
(From a Skitch by tha Author.) 

72. Upper Storey, Rant Gumpha. (From a Plan by 
11. H. Locke.) Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 

'i'he other cave is very much larger, being two storeys in height, 
both of which were originally adorned by verandahs: the upper, 
62 ft. long, opening into four cells (Woodcut No. 72), the lower, 44 
ft., opening into three. All the doors leading into these cells have 
jambs sloping slightly inwards, which is itself a sufficient indication 
that the cave is anterior to the Christian Era, it may be, by a century 
or thereabouts. Of the nine pillars of the upper verandah only 

' ' JoiiriiHl of th<* Ahiatic Society of Bc-njEral,' vol. vi. p. H)7.5. 

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Chap. VI. 



two remain standing, and these much mutilated, while all the six 
of the lower storey have perished. It seems as if from inexperience 
the excavators had not left sufficient substance to support the mass 
of rock above ; and probably, in consequence of some slight shocks 
of an earthquake, the mass above fell in, bearing everything before 
it. Either then, or at some subsequent period, an attempt has been 
made to restore the lower verandah in wood, and for this purpose 
a chase has been cut through the sculptures that adorned its back 
wall, and they have been otherwise so mutilated that it is almost 
impossible to make out their meaning. Fortunately, those of the 
upper verandahs are tolerably entire, though in some parts they, too, 
have been very badly treated. 

Besides this, which may be called the main body of the building, 
two wings project forward : that on the left 40 ft., that on the right 
20 ft. ; and as these contained cells on both storeys, the whole 
afforded accommodation for a considerable number of inmates. 

The great interest of these two caves, however, lies in their 
sculptures. In the Ganesa cave there are two bas-reliefs. The first 
represents a man asleep under a tree, and a woman watching over 
him. To them a woman is approaching, leading a man by the hand, 
as if to introduce him to the sleeper. Beyond them a man and a 
woman are fighting with swords and shields in very close combat, 
and behind them a man is carrying off a naked female in his arms.^ 

The seoond bas-relief comprises fifteen figures and two elephants. 
There may be in it two successive scenes, though my impression is, that 
only one is intended, while I feel certain this is the case regarding 
the first. In the Baj Kani cave the second bas-relief is identical, in 
all essential respects, with the first in the Ganesa, but the reliefs 
that precede and follow it represent different scenes altogether. It 
is, perhaps, in vain to speculate what episode this rape scene repre- 
sents, probably some local tradition not known elsewhere ; its greatest 
interest for our present purposes is that the first-named is singu- 
larly classical in design and execution, the latter wilder and both 
in action and costume far more purely Indian. Before the discovery 
of the Bharhut sculptures, it is hardly doubtful that we would have 
pronounced those in the Ganesa cave the oldest, as being the most 
perfect. The Bharhut sculptures, however, having shown us how 
perfect the native art was at a very early date, have considerably 
modified our opinions on this subject ; and those in the Eani cave. 

' There is a very faithful drawing of 
this bas-relief by Kittoe in the * Journal 
of the Asiatic Society of Bengal,' vol. 
vii., plate 44. But casts of all these 
sculptuies were taken some three years 
ago by Mr. Ix)cke, of the School of De- 

sign, Calcutta, and photographs of these 
casts, with others of the caves, are now 
before me. Reduced copies of some of 
these were published on plate 100, * Tree 
and Serpent Worship.' 2nd edition, 1878. 

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being so essentially Indian in their style, now appear to me the 
oldest. Those in the Ganesa Gnmpha, as more classical, may have 
been executed by some Yavana artist at a subsequent age, but still 
both seem anterior to the Christian Era.* The other bas-reliefs in 
the Haj Eani cave represent scenes of hunting, fighting, dancing, 
drinking, and love-making — anything, in fact, but religion or praying 
in any shape or form. From the sculptures at Sanchi and Bharhut, 
we were prepared to expect that we should not find any direct 
evidence of Buddhism in any sculptures anterior to the first century 
of the Christian Era ; but those at this place go beyond these in that 
respect. Nothing here can be interpreted as referring to any scenes 
in the life of Sakya Muni, or to any known jataka, and it is by no 
means clear whether we shall ever discover the legends to which they 
refer. Besides these bassi-relievi, there is in the Eani cave a figure, 
in high relief, of a female (?) riding on a lion. Behind him or her, 
a soldier in a kilt, or rather the dress of a Boman soldier, with laced 
boots reaching to the calf of the leg — very similar, in fact, to those 
represented Plate 28, fig. 1, of ' Tree and t^erpent Worship,' as 
strangers paying their addresses to the three-storeyed dagoba — and 
behind this again, a female of very foreign aspect. 

In another cave of the same group, called the Jodev Garbha, and 
of about the same age, between the two doorways leading to the cell, 
a sacred tree is being worshipped. It is surrounded by the usual 
rail, and devotees and others are bringing oflferings.'^ 

In another, probably older than either of the two last-mentioned, 
called Ananta Garbha, are two bassi-relievi over the two doorways : 
one is devoted, like the last, to Tree worship, the other to the honour 
of Sri {vide ante, p. 61). She is standing on her lotus, and two 
elephants, standing likewise on lotuses, are pouring water over her.' 
The same representation occurs once, at least, at Bharhut, and t«n 
times at Sanchi, and, so far as I know, is the earliest instance of 
honour paid to god or man in Indian sculptures. 

One other cave deserves to be mentioned before leaving Udayagiri. 
It is a great boulder, carved into the semblance of a tiger s head, 
with his jaws open, and his throat, as it should be, is a doorway 
leading to a single cell (Woodcut No. 73). It is a caprice, but one 
that shows that those who conceived it had some experience in the 

' That there were Yavanas iu Orissa | brother of Kanlshka), whose inscriptions 
about this tiiiie is fibundautly evident, | are found at Muttra. — Cunningham, 
from the native authorities quoted by | ' Archajological Reports,' vol. iii. p. 32, et 

Stirling — * Asiatic Researches,' vol. xv. p. 
258, et seqq. These represent them as 
coming from Kashmir and Babul Des, 
or Persia, and one account names the 
invader as Hangsha Deo, which looks 
very like Hushko, or Huvishka (tlie 


^ * Journal of the Asiatic Society of 
Bengal,' vol. vii., plate 42. *Tree and 
Serpent Worship,' plate 100. 

■ *Tree and Serpent Worship,' plate 
100, p. 105. 

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Chap. VI. 



Tiger Cave, Cnttack. 

plastic arts before they undertook it. From the form of the characters 
which are engraved upon it, it is undoubtedly anterior to the 
Christian Era, but how much ^ v - - , r 

earlier it is difl&cult to say. 

From whatever point of 
view they are looked at, these 
Orissan caves are so unlike 
anything that we have pre- 
viously been in the habit of 
considering Buddhist, that it 
may well be asked whether 
we are justified in ascribing 
their excavation to the fol- 
lowers of that religion at all. 
Not only is there no figure 

of I'uddha, in the conventional forms and attitudes by which he 
was afterwards recognised, but there is no scene which can be inter- 
preted as representing any event in his life, nor any of the jatakas 
in which his future greatness was prefigured. There is no dagoba 
in the caves ^ or represented in the sculptures, no chaitya cave, no 
wheel emblem, nor anything in fact that is usually considered 
emblematical of that religion. 

When we look a little more closely into it, however, we do detect 
the Swastica and shield emblem attached to the Aira inscription, and 
the shield and trisul ornament over the doorways in the older caves, 
and these we know, from what we find at Bharhut and Sanchi, and at 
Bhaja (ante, p. 1 1 2), were considered as Buddhist emblems in these 
places. But were they exclusively so? The trisul ornament is found 
on the coins of Kadphises, in conjunction with the bull and trident of 
Siva,^ and we have no reason for assuming that the Swastica, and it 
may be even the shield, were not used by other and earlier sects. 

The truth of the matter appears to be that hitherto our knowledge 
of Buddhism has been derived almost exclusively from books, which 
took their present form only in the fourth or fifth century of our era, 
or from monuments erected after the corruptions of the Mahayana intro- 
duced by Nagdrjuna, and those who assisted at the fourth convocation 
held by Kanishka in the first century of our era. We now are able 
to realise from the sculptures of Bharhut, of these caves, and of the 
Sanchi gateways, and the older western caves, what Buddhism really 
was between the ages of Asoka and Kanishka, and it is a widely 
different thing from anything written in the books we possess, or 

* There may have been a strnctural 
dagoba attached to the sericR, which 

may have disappeared. 

^ Wilson, ' Ariana Antiqua,* plate 10. 

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represented afterwards in sculptures or paintings. Whether wo 
shall ever recover any traces of what BuddhiBm was between the 
death of Sakya Muni and Asoka is more than doubtful. If found, it 
would probably be even more unlike the present Buddhism than that 
of the intermediate period. Judging from what we have hitherto 
found, it looks as if it would turn out to be a pure worship of trees 
by a Naga or serpent reverencing race, on whose primitive faith 
Asoka engrafted the teachings of Sakya Muni. There were Buddhists, 
of course, in India before Asoka's time, but it seems doubtful if they 
were sufficiently powerful to dig caves or erect monuments. None at 
least have yet been discovered, and till they are we must be content 
to stop our backward researches with such a group of monuments as 
these Udayagiri caves. 

Wkstern Vihara Caves. 

There are at least four Yiharas which we know for certainty were 
excavated before the Christian Era. There are probably forty, but 
they have not yet been edited with such care as to enable us to feel 
confident in affixing dates to them. The four that are known are 
those attached to the chaityas at Bhaja and Bedsa (Woodcuts Nos. 
45, 49), and the two oldest at Ajunta, Nos. 12 and 11. Those at 
Karli are probably coeval with the great chaitya itself, but, strange to 
say, they have never been drawn or investigated, so that we really 
know little or nothing about them. At Junir there are several, which 
arc very old, and at Sana and Tulaja, in Gujerat, there are several of 
very ancient date, but they, like those at Jiinir, are too imperfectly 
known to be quoted as authenticated examples of the i)eriod. 

The oldest of these is that attached to the chaitya at Bhaja 
(ante^ Woodcut No. 45). It is five-celled ; three of these have single 
stone beds in them, one is double bedded, and one, apparently the resi- 
dence of the superior, is without that uncomfortable piece of furniture. 
In front of these are two long stone benches at either end of a hall 
33 ft. in length. It is not clear whether this hall was always open 
as at present, but if it was closed, it was by a wooden screen like the 
chaitya beside it, which is undoubtedly of the same age. They are 
indeed parts of one design. The same may be said of the Bedsa 
vihara, though placed a little further apart. In this case, however, 
there are three cells with stone beda in the verandah of the chaitya, 
and a fourth was commenced when apparently it was determined to 
remove the residence a little further off, and no instance, I believe, 
occurs afterwards in which they were so conjoined, till at least a very 
late date, when, as at Dhumnar (Woodcut No. 66), all the parts got 
again confounded together. As will be seen from the plan (Woodcut 
No. 49) it is exceptional in form, being apsidal like the chaitya itself 

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It is not clear whether this is a copy of any existing wooden erection, 
or whether it was that, being the first attempt at an independent 
vihara in the rock, they thought it ought to resemble a chaitya in 
plan. My impression is that the latter is the true explanation ; such 
an arrangement in a free- standing structure intended for a residence 
would be absurd, but we are here assisting at the " incunabula " of 
the style, and must not be surprised at anomalies. 

Number 12 at Ajunta is merely a square hall, measuring 36 ft. 
7 in. each way. It has no pillars, and its only ornament consists of 
seven horseshoe arches, four of which are over the doors of cells, 
the other three only ornamental. Unfortunately, the rock over its 
front has given way, and carried with it the facade, which probably 
was the most ornamental |)art of the design. 

Number 11 is a step in advance of this one, there being four 
pillars in its centre (Woodcut No. 74). It has nine cells, but is without 
any sanctuary or ritual arrangement. 
In age, it seems to be contemporary 
with the chaitya No. 10, to which it 
evidently belongs, and like it may bo 
considered as a transitional example, 
dating about the Christian Era, or 
rather before that time. 

The most marked characteristic 
of these early viharas on the western 

side of India, is that unlike their ^^ cave No. ii. at Ajunta. 
eastern contemporaries, they are wholly ^^""^i^ w ft! to ^i hi"'^"*'*^ 

devoid of figure-sculpture : no bassi- 

relievi, not even an emblem, relieves the severity of their simplicity. 
Over the doorways of the cells there are the usual horseshoe arches, 
copied from the windows of the great chaityas, and the invariable 
Buddhist rail repeated everywhere as a stringcourse, with an occa- 
sional pillar or pilaster to relieve the monotony. 

There do not at present seem to exist any data sufficient to 
account satisfactorily for this curious difference between the ex- 
uberance of figure-sculpture in the east, and its total absence in the 
west in the pre-Christian Bra caves, and the problem must be relegated 
for further inquiries. Looking, however, at the progress made of late 
years in these subjects, there is little doubt that its solution is not far 
off, and will, when reached, throw fresh light on the early history of 
Buddhism. Meanwhile, it may be woi-thy of remark, that the only 
living representation that is common to both sides of India, is the 
presence of the three-headed Naga on the fagade of the Nassick 
chaitya (Woodcut No. 52), and its appearance in a similar position 
on the Chulakarma and Ananta caves at Udayagiri in Orissa. It points 
to an important feature in early Buddhist history, but not exactly 

uigiiizea uy v-jOvJV Iv^ 



Book I. 

what we are now looking for. Besides this the three, five, or seven- 
headed Naga occurs so frequently at Bharhut, Sanchi and elsewhere, 
that his presence here can hardly be called a distinctive peculiarity. 

The next step after the introduction of four pillars to support the 
roof, as in cave No. 11 at Ajunta (Woodcut No. 74), was to introduce 

twelve pillars to support the roof, 
there being no intermediate number 
which would divide by four, and 
admit of an opening in the centre 
of every side. This arrangement 
is shown in the woodcut (No. 75), 
representing the plan of the cave 
No. 2 at Ajunta. Before this stage 
of cave architecture had been 
reached, the worship had degene- 
rated considerably from its original 
purity ; and these caves always 
possess a sanctuary containing an 
image of Buddha. There are fre- 
quently, besides this, as in the 
instance under consideration, two 
side chapels, like those in Catholic churches, containing images of 
subordinate saints, sometimes male, sometimes female. 

Cave No. 3, at Ajunta. 

(From a Plan by the Author.) 

Scale 60 ft. to 1 in. 

76. Cave at Bagh. (From a Plan, by Oaptaln Dangerfleld, In the ' Transactions of the Bombay 
Literary Society.*) Scale 60 ft. to 1 in. 

The next and most extensive arrangement of these square 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


monastery-cavee is that in which twenty pillars are placed in the 
floor, so as to support the roof, six on each side, counting the comer 
pillars twice. There are several of these large caves at Ajunta and 
elsewhere ; and one at Bagh, on the Tapty, represented in the last 
woodcut (No. 76), has, besides the ordinary complement, four additional 
piUars in the centre ; these were introduced evidently in consequence 
of the rock not being sufficiently homogeneous and perfect to support 
itself without this additional precaution. 

These — which might be classed, according to the terms used in 
Greek architecture, as astyle, when having no pillars ; distyle, when 
with two pillars in each face ; tetrastyle, with four ; and hexastyle 
with six — form the leading and most characteristic division of these 
excavations, and with slight modification are to be found in all the 
modem series. 

The forms, however, of many are so various and so abnormal, that 
it would require a far more extended classification to enable us to 
describe and include them aU. In many instances the great depth of 
the cave which this square arrangement required was felt to be incon- 
venient ; and a more ^_^^^^^^__^^_^^^^^_.*^^^^_^^ 
oblong form ^l^l^l^pHpBH^H^H^P^H^P^^ 

adopted, as in the Lwi X ^ ^ JIv ^ '^ ^ J ■ 
Durbar cave at Sal- B ' * ■ , « VT" ■ ■ ^ ^^M 
sette (Woodcut No. B^^ ^^M 

77), where, besides, ^h^ " * "^B 

the sanctuary is pro- ^^J ■ ■ kvj 

jected forward, and I "~ I 

assists, with the ^■^P^="'^"^'^^"^"*=*"*-^^"^B^B 
pillars, to support ^^^Lv ■»••••>• ^^^^t 
the roof. In some ^^^^P i^^^E 

examples this is (B^^ ^^^R 

carried even further, ll. Dnrbor Gave, Salsettc. (From a Plan by the Author.) 

_ , , . Scale 60 ft. to 1 in. 

and the sanctuary, 

standing boldly forward to the centre of the hall, forms in reality 
the only support. This, however, is a late arrangement, and must 
be considered more as an economical than an architectural improve- 
ment. Indeed by it the dignity and beauty of the whole composi- 
tion are almost entirely destroyed. 

Nassick Viharas. 

The two most interesting series of caves for the investigation of 
the history of the later developments of the Vihara system, are those 
at Nassick and Ajunta. The latter is by far the most extensive, con- 
sisting of twenty-six first-class caves, four of which are chaityas. 
The latter group numbers, it is true, seventeen excavations, but 

uguzifj^ Google 


only six or seven of these can be called first-class, and it possesses 
only one chaitya. The others are small excavations of no particular 
merit or interest. Ajunta has also the advantage of retaining the 
greater portion of the paintings which once adorned the walls of all 
viharas erected subsequently to the Christian Era, while these have 
almost entirely disappeared at Nassick, though there seems very little 
doubt that the walls of all the greater viharas there were once so 
ornamented. This indeed was one of the great distinctions between 
them and the earlier primitive cells of the monks before the Christian 
Era. The Buddhist church between Asoka and Kanishka was in the 
same position as that of Christianity between Constantino and Gregory 
the Great. It was the last-named pontiflf who inaugurated the Middle 
Ages with all their, pomp and ceremonial. It might, therefore, under 
certain circumstances be expedient to describe the Ajunta viharas 
first ; but they are singularly deficient in well -preserved inscriptions 
containing recognisable names. Nassick, on the other hand, is 
peculiarly rich in this respect, and the history of the series can be 
made out with very tolerable approximative certainty.^ 

The only difficulty is at the beginning of the series. If the chaitya 
cave was, as above stated, commenced 129 years before Christ, there 
ought to have been a vihara of the same age attached to it, but such 
does not seem to exist. There is indeed a small vihara close to it, 
and on a lower level than those now on each side of it, and conse- 
quently more likely to be what we are looking for, than they are. It 
is a simple square hall measuring 14 ft. each way, with two square 
cells in three of its sides, the fourth opening on a verandah with two 
octagon pillars in front. The only ornament of the interior is a horse- 
shoe arch over each opening, connected with a simple Buddhist rail. 
In every detail it is in fact identical with the two old viharas Nos. 
12 and 11 Ajunta, and certainly anterior to the Christian Era; but it 
bears an inscription of Krishna Raja, and he seems almost certainly 
to be the second of the Andrabritya race, and he ascended the throne 
B.C. 8, or 120 years after the time we are looking for.^ But for this 

* These msoriptions were first pub- 
lished by Lieut. Brett, with translations 
by Dr. Stevenson, in the fifth volume of 
the Journal Bombay Branch of the 
Royal Asiatic Society,* p. 39, ei seqq.^ 
plates 1 to 16. They were afterwards 
revised by Messrs. £. W. and A. A. West 
in the eighth volume of the same journal, 
p. 37, et seqq.f and translated by Professor 
fihandarkar in a paper not yet published, 
but to which I have had access. I have 
also been assisted by manuscript plans 
and notes by Mr. Burgess ; and, tliough 

I have not seen the caves myself, I fancy 
that I can realise all their main features 
without difficulty. 

* Professor Bhandarkar, in his paper 
on these inscriptions, passes over the 
inscriptions in the interior of the chaitya, 
without alluding to them in any way. 
Is it that there is any mistake about 
them? and that the cave is a century 
more modern than they would lead us 
to suppose ? The answer is probably to 
be obtained on the spot, and there only. 

Digitized by 


Chap. VI. 



the architectural details would accord perfectly with those of the 
chaitya, and the age ascribed to it ; but the inscriptions may have 
been added afterwards. If this is not so, the only suggestion that 
occurs to me is that, as originally executed, the chaitya had a forecourt, 
and that the cells were in this, as at Bedsa and Sana, but that having 
fallen away, fix)m some flaw in the rock, was entirely removed, and 
at a subsequent time that on the right was added at a height of 6 ft. 
above the level of the floor of the chaitya, that on the left at 12 ft., 
about the same datum,^ which could hardly have been the case if they 
were part of the original conception. 

Turning from these, which practically belong to the last chapter 
rather than to this, the interest is centred in three great viharas, 
the oldest of which bears the name 
of Nahapana (Woodcut No. 78), the 
second that of Gautamiputra, and 
the third that of Yadnya Sri — if my 
chronology is correct, their dates 
are thus fixed, in round numbers, 
as A.D. 100, 300, and 400. 

The two principal viharas at 
Nassick, Nos. 3 and 8, are so similar 
in dimensions and in all their ar- 
rangements, that it is almost impos- 
sible to distinguish between their 
plans on paper. They are both 
square halls measuring more than 40 ft. each side, without any pillars in 
the centre, and are surrounded on three sides by sixteen cells of nearly 
the same dimensions. On the fourth side is a six-pillared verandah, 
in the one case with a cell at each end, in the other with only one 
cell, which is the most marked distinction between the two plans. 
The architecture, too, is in some respects so similar that we can 
hardly hesitate in assuming that the one is an intentional copy of the 
other. It is in fact the problem of the great cave at Kenheri, being 
a copy of that at Earli repeated here.^ Only the diflFerence in age 
between the two chaityas being five centuries, the degradation in 
style is greater than here, where it appears to be little more than two. 

The pillars in the verandah of cave No. 8 (Woodcut No. 79, p. 160) 
are so similar to those in the great Karli chaitya, that if it should turn 
out, as Justice Newton ^ supposes, that Nahapana was the founder of the 
Samvat era, 66 B.C., there would be nothing in the architecture to con- 
tradict such a date. According to Mr. West, " the pillars are shorter 

NahApaiut Viluura, Naaslck. 

(From a Plan by Mr. Burgess.) 

Scale 60 ft. to 1 in. 

* * Journal Bombay Branch of the 
Royal Asiatic Society,' vol. viii, p. 40. 

* AnUy p. 129. See also plate 11 of 
my folio work on the * Rock-cut Temples,' 

where the pillars of the two caves are 
contrasted as here. 

' 'Journal Bombay Branch of the 
Roytil Asiatic Society,* vol. ix. p. 16. 

, Google 



Book I. 

in proportion, and the human figures more rudely designed ;" ^ but 
whether to such an extent as to justify an interval of nearly two cen- 
turies is not quite clear. On the other hand no vihara I know of on 
this side of India has a fa9ade so richly ornamented as this. Those 
at Bhaja and Bedsa are quite plain, and those around Karli, though 
richer, are far inferior to this, so that on the whole the architectural 
evidence tends strongly to a date subsequent to the Christian Era. 
The inscription on this cave says, that it was excavated by 


79. Pillar in Nah.i[)aim Cave, Naaslolc. 
CFrom a I'botograph.) 

80. Pillar in Gautamipntra Cave, Nassick. 
(From a Photograph.) 

Ushavadata, son-in-law of Nabapana, viceroy under King Kshaha- 
ratra,2 evidently a foreigner, whose proper name has not yet been 
discovered, but for reasons given in the Appendix, there seems little 
doubt but that the Saka era (.4.D. 78-9) dates from his coronation, 
and as some years must have elapsed before the son-in-law of the 
viceroy could have been in a position to undertake such a work as 
this, I presume a.d. 100 is not far from the date of the cave. 

The pillars of the Gautamiputra cave No. 3 have, as will bo seen 

Journal Bombay Branch Royal Asiatic Society/ vol. viii. p. 43. « lb., vol. v. p. 49. 

uigiiized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. YI. 



from the last woodcut (No. 80), loet much of the elegance of those 
last described. Instead of the graceful bellHshaped Persian capitals, 
we have the pudding forms that afterwards became so prevalent. The 
shafts are straight posts, and have no bases, and the whole shows an 
inferiority not to be mistaken. The richly carved and sculptured 
doorway also belongs to a much more modem age. Besides this, 
there are three things here which prove almost incontestably that it 
belongs to the same age as the Amravati tope erected in the 4th cen- 
tury — the rail in front, already given (Woodcut No. 36), the pilaster 
at the end of the verandah,^ and the bas-relief of a dagoba, which 
occupies the same position on the back wall in this cave that the man 
with the club occupies in No. 8. It has the same attendants, and the 
same superfluity of umbrellas, as are foimd there,* so that altogether 
the age of the excavation can hardly be considered doubtful. 

Cave No. 12 is a small vihara, the central hall being 30 ft. by 23 

ft., and with only four cells on one side. Considerable alterations 
have been attempted in its interior at some date long subsequent to 
its first excavation, to adapt it apparently to Hindu worship. Its 

verandah, however, consisting of two attached and two free-standing 

columns, is undoubtedly of the same age as the Nahapana cave No. 8. 

An inscription upon it states that it was excavated by Indragnidatta, 

prince regnant under Patamitraka of the northern region.^ None of 

these names can be recognised, but they point to an age when foreign 

kings, possibly of the Punjab, 

ruled this country by satraps. 
The great vihara beyond the 

chaitya cave, and 1 2 ft. above its 

level, is one of the most importcmt 

of the series, not only from its 

size, but from its ordinance and 

date (Woodcut No. 81). The hall 

is 60 ft. in depth by 40 ft. wide 

at the outer end, increasing to 

45 ft. at the inner, and with 

eight cells on either side. The 

most marked peculiarity, how- 
ever, is that it has a regular 

sanctuary at its inner end, with 

two richly - carved pillars in 

front (Woodcut No. 82, p. 152), 

and within, a colossal figure of 

Buddha, seated, with flying and 


Tadnya Sri Cave. Nassick. 

(From a Plan by Mr. Burgess.) 

Scale 60 ft. to 1 in. 

standing attendants, dwarpals, 

» * Tree and Serpent Worship,* wood- 
rut 12, p. 92. 
* Ibid., plates 81, 91, 97, et passim. 

* * Journal Bombay Branch of 
Royal Asiatic Society,' vol. v. p. 55. 


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Book T. 

dwarfs, and aU the usual acoompaniments usually found in the fifth 
and subsequent centuries, but never, so far as I know, before. 

Fortunately we have 
^F . i^,»--^ ^ in this cave an inscription 
containing a well-known 
name. It is said to have 
been excavated by the wife 
of the commander-in-chief 
of the Emperor Yadnya 
Sri, Sat Kami, descendant 
of King Gautamiputra, in 
the seventh year.^ We 
are not able to fix the ex- 
act year to which this date 
refers; probably it was 
only regnal, but it does 
not seem doubtful that 
this king reigned in the 
first quarter of the 5th 
century, and we conse- 
quently have in this cave 
a fixed point on which to 
base our calculations for 
the period about the time. 
Beyond this there is 
still another excavation, 
No. 17 — ^it can hardly be 
called a vihara — of very irregular shape, and covered with sculpture 
of a date at least a century more modem than that of the cave last 
described. Buddha is there represented in all his attitudes, standing 
or sitting, accompanied by chowrie bearers, flying figures, dwarfs, 
&c. On one side is a colossal recumbent figure of him attaining 
Nirvana, which is a sure sign of a very modem date. Besides these, 
there are Dyani Buddhas, Bodhisatwas, and all the modem pan- 
theon of Buddhism, arranged in most admired confusion, as in all 
the most modem caves. There is no inscription, but from its sculp- 
ture and the form of its pillars we may safely ascribe it to the last 
age of Buddhist art, say about the year 600 or later. The pillars 
approximate closely in style to those found at Elephanta, and in the 
Brahmanical caves at Ellora, which from other evidence have been 
assigned to dates varying from 600 to 800 years of our era. 

More has perhaps been said about the Nassick caves than their 
architectural importance would seem at first sight to justify, but they 

Pillar In Yadnya Sri Cave. 
(From a Drawing by Mr. Borgeas.) 

* Journal Bombay Branch of the Royal Aeiatic Society,' vol. viii. p. 56. 

uigiiizeu uy V^jOOy Iv^ 


are one of the most important of the purely Buddhist groups, and they 
have hardly yet been alluded to in European books. Their great 
merit, however, is that they belong to one of the most important of 
the older Indian dynasties, known as the Andrabrityas, Sata Eamis, 
or Satavahanas. Being of purely Indian extraction, they, however, 
did not coin money like the Punjab dynasties, nor their contempora- 
ries and rivals the Sah kings of Gujerat, who brought the art with 
them when they came as conquerors from the north-west, where 
they had learnt the art from the Greeks. This dynasty has, con- 
sequently, been overlooked by numismatists and others, and can only 
be rehabilitated by their inscriptions and their architectural work, 
on which these are found inscribed. 


As before mentioned, the central group of the four oldest caves 
at Ajunta forms the nucleus from which the caves radiate north and 
south — eight in one direction, and fourteen in the other. It seems, 
however, that there was a pause in the excavation of caves after the 
first great effort, and that they were then extended, for some time at 
least, in a southern direction. Thus caves Nos. 13 to 20 form a 
tolerably consecutive series, without any violent break. After that, 
or it may be contemporaneously with the last named, may be grouped 
Nos. 8, 7, and 6 ; and, lastly, Nos. 21 to 26 at one end of the series, 
and Nos. 1 to 5 at the other, form the latest and most ornate group of 
the whole series.^ 

As above explained of the central four, three are certainly anterior 
to the Christian Era. One, No. 10, being transitional in some of its 
features, may belong to the 1st century, and be consequently contem- 
porary with the gateways at Sanchi. After this first effort, however, 
came the pause just alluded to, for Nos. 13, 14, and 15, which are the 
only caves we can safely assign to the next three centuries, are com- 
paratively insignificant, either in extent or in richness of detail. 

Leaving these, we come to two viharas, Nos. 16 and 17, which are 
the most beautiful here, and, taken in conjunction with their paintings, 
probably the most interesting viharas in India. 

No. 16 is a twenty-pillared cave, measuring about 65 ft. each way 
(Woodcut No. 83, p. 164), with sixteen cells and a regular sanctuary, 
in which is a figure of Buddha, seated, with his feet down. The 
general appearance of the interior may be judged of by the following 
woodcut (No. 84) in outline, but only a coloured representation in much 

* The cave8, it may he explained, were 
numbered oonsecntively, like houses in a 
Btreet, beirinninp at the north end, the 

tirst cave there being No. 1, the last 
accessible cave at the southern end being 
No. 26. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Took I. 

83. Plan of Cave No. 16 at AJunta. ^From a I'lan by Mr. Burgess.) Scale 60 ft. to 1 in. 

H4. View of Interior of Vihara No. 16 at Ajnnta. (From a Sketch by the Author.) 

Digitized by 


Chap. VI. 



greater detail could give an idea of the richness of effect produced by 
its decoration. All the walls are covered with frescoes representing 
scenes from the life of Buddha, or from the legends of saints, and the 
roof and pillars by arabesques and ornaments, generally of great 
beauty of outline, heightened by the most harmonious colouring. 

No. 17, which is very similar in plan, is generally known as 
the Zodiac cave, from the figure of a Buddhist chakra or wheel 

View in Gave No. 17 at AJunta. (From a Photograph.) 

painted at one end of its verandah, which was mistaken by early 
visitors for a celestial emblem. The general effect of its architecture 
internally may be gathered from the above woodcut (No. 85) from 
a photograph, or from the next woodcut (No. 86) representing one 
of its pillars to a larger scale, from which the curiously wooden 
construction of the roof will be better observed than from the photo- 
graph. It is, in fact, the usual mode of forming flat or terraced 
roofs at the present day throughout India, and which consequently 




Book I. 

does Dot seem to have varied from the 5th century at all events. 
As may be gathered from these illustrations the pillars in these 
caves are almost indefinitely varied, generally in pairs, but no pillars 

in any one cave are 
at aU like those in 
any other. In each 
cave, however, there 
is a general harmony 
of design and of form, 
which prevents their 
variety from being 
unpleasing. 'i'he ef- 
fect on the contrary 
is singularly harmo- 
nious and satisfac- 
tory. The great 
interest of these two 
caves lies, however, 
in their frescoes, 
which represent 
Buddhist legends on 
a scale and with a 
distinctness found 
nowhere else in 
India. The sculp- 
tures of Amravati — 
some of which may 
be contemporarj% or 
only slightly earlier 
— are what most 
nearly approach 
them; but, as in 
most cases, painting 
admits of greater 
freedom and greater 
variety of incident 
than sculpture ever 
does, and certainly 
in this instance 
vindicates its claim 
to greater phonetic 
power. Many of the 
frets and architectural details painted on the roofs and pillars of 
these and in viharas are also of great elegance and appropriateness, 
and, when combined with the architecture, make up a whole un- 

Plll&r in ViLara No. 1 7 at AJunta. 
(From a Sketch' by the Author.) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


rivalled in India for its ethnographic as well as for its architectural 

Fortunately the age of these two caves is not doubtful; there 
is a long inscription on each, much mutilated it must be confessed, 
but of which enough can be made out to show that they were 
excavated by kings of the Yindhyasacti race, one of whom, Prava- 
rasena, whose name appears in the inscription on No. 16, married a 
daughter of Maharaja Deva, alias Chandra-gupta.^ We have in- 
scriptions of the last king dated 82 and 93 of the Gupta era, or in 
A.D. 400 and 411, and his son-in-law may probably have reigned a 
few years later. We may consequently safely place these two caves 
in the first half of the oth century. They are thus slightly more 
modern than the Yadnya Sri cave. No. 15, at Nassick, which is 
exactly the result we would expect to arrive at from their architec- 
ture and the form of their sanctuaries. 

Their great interest, therefore, from a historical point of view, 
consists in their being almost unique specimens of the architecture 
and arts of India during the great Gupta period, when Theodosius II. 
was emperor of the East, and at a time when Bahram Gaur, the 
Sassanian, is said to have visited India. He reigned 420 to 440 ; if 
he did visit India, it must have been while they were in course of 
l)eing excavated.^ 

Nos. 18, 19, and 20 succeed this group, both in position and in 
style, and probably occupied the remaining half of the 6th century 
in construction, bringing down our history to about a.d. 500. 

Before proceeding further in this direction, the cave-diggers 
seem to have turned back and excavated Nos. 8, 7, and 6. The last- 
named is the only two-storeyed cave at Ajunta, and would be very 
interesting if it were not so fearfully ruined by damp and decay, 
owing to the faulty nature of the rock in which it is excavated. 
No. 7 has a singularly elegant verandah, broken by two projecting 
pavilions.^ Internally, it is small, and occupied by a whole pantheon 
of Buddhas. It resembles, in fact, in almost every respect, No. 17 at 
Nassick, with which it is, no doubt, contemporary. 

There still remain the five first caves at the northern end, and 
the six last at the southern : one of these is a chaitya, the other ten 
are viharas of greater or less dimensions. Some are only commenced, 

1 'Journal Bombay Branch of the 
Royal ABiatio Society,' yoI. viii. p. 56. 
See also, ' Journal of the Asiatic Society 
of Bengal,* vol. v. p. 726. 

' Curiously enough, on the roof of this 
cave there are four square compartments 
representing the same scene, in different 
manners — a king, or very important pcr- 
Bonapre, drinking out of a cup with male 

and female attendants. What the story 
is, is not known, but the persons repre- 
sented are not Indians, but Persians, and 
the costumes those of the Sassanian 
period. Copies of these pictures by Mr. 
Griffith are now exhibited in the India 
Museum at Kensington. 
' * Rock-cut Temples,* pi. 8. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


and two, Nos. 4 and 24, which were intended to have been the finest 
of the series, are left in a very incomplete state : interesting, how- 
ever, as showing the whole process of an excavation from its com- 
mencement to its completion. Both these were intended to be 28- 
pillared caves, and the hall of No. 4 measures 84 ft. by 89 ft. 

Caves Nos. 1 and 2 are among the most richly-scnlptnred of 
the caves. The facade, indeed, of No. 1 is the most elaborate and 
beautiful of its class at Ajunta, and with the corresponding caves at 
the opposite end conveys a higher idea of the perfection to which 
decorative sculpture had attained at that age than anything else at 
Ajunta. With the last chaitya, which belongs to this group, these 
caves carry our history down certainly into the 7th century. The 
work in the unfinished caves, I fancy, must have been arrested by 
the troubles which took place in Central India about the year 650, 
or shortly afterwards, when, I fancy, the persecution of the Buddhists 
commenced, and after which it is hardly probable that any com- 
munity of that faith would have leisure or means to carry out any 
works, on such a scale at least, as these Ajunta viharas. 

It is, of course, impossible, without a much greater amount of 
illustration than is compatible with the nature of this work, to 
convey to those who have not seen them any idea of the various 
points of interest found in these caves ; but it is to be hoped that a 
complete series of illustrations of them may be one day given to the 
world. The materials for this nearly existed when the disastrous 
fire at the Crystal Palace, in 1860, destroyed Major GilVs facsimiles 
of the paintings, which can hardly now be replaced.^ A good deal, 
however, may be, and it is hoped will be, done, as they afford a 
complete series of examples of Buddhist art without any admixture 
from Hinduism, or any other religion extending from 200 years 
before Christ to 600 or 700 years after his era; and besides illus- 
trating the arts and feelings of those ages, they form a chronometric 
scale by which to judge of, and synchronise other known series with 
which, however, they differ in several important particulars. For 
instance, at Ajunta there is no single example of those bell-shaped 

» Eight large lithographic plates illus- 
trating these caves will be found in my 
work on the * Rock -cut Temples of India,* 
1843. In 1864 1 published a small volume 
containing fifty-eight photographic illus- 
trations of the same series. Keductions 
of some of the more important frescoes, 
copied by Major Gill, were fortunately 
published by Mrs. Speir in her * Life in 
Ancient India,' in 1856 ; and since then 
Mr. (iriffith, of the School of Arts at 

Tombay, has been employed to recover, 
as far as it can now be done, the frescoes 
destroyed in the Crystal Palace fire. If 
he is successful, these curious paintings 
may still be made available for the his- 
tory of art in India. It is feared, how- 
ever, that the means taken by Major 
Gill to heighten their colour before copy- 
ing them, and the destructive tendencies 
of British tourists, have rendered the 
tiisk to a great extent a hopoless one. 

uigiiizeu uy VjOOV IC 

Chap. VI. BAGH VIHARAS. 159 

Persian capitals to pillars, with waterpot bases; nor is there any 
example of animals with riders crowning the capitals, such as are 
found at Bedsa, Earli, Nassick, Salsette, and elsewhere in the Gh&ts. 
These differences seem to point to a western influence, Persian, 
Saka or Scythian, or by whatever name we like to designate it, which 
did not penetrate so far inland as Ajunta or Ellora, but was confined 
to those regions where we know the foreign influence prevailed. 

These, and many more ethnographic distinctions in architecture 
will, no doubt, be brought out by careful examination and com- 
parisons, from which, when made, it can hardly be doubted that the 
most important results will be derived. 


At a distance about 1 50 miles a little west of north from Ajunta, 
and thirty miles west of Mandu, near a little village of the name of 
Bagh, there exists a series of viharas only little less interesting than 
the later series at Ajunta. They are situated in a secluded ravine in 
the side of the range of hills that bounds the valley of the Nerbudda 
on the north, and were first visited or at least first described by 
Lieutenant Dangerfield, in the second volume of the * Transactions of 
the Literary Society of Bombay.* They have since been described more 
in detail by Dr. Impey in the fifth volume of the ' Journal Bombay 
Branch of the Eoyal Asiatic Society.' Unfortunately the plates that 
were to accompany that paper were not published with it, but being 
deposited by the author in the library of the India Office, they are 
now before me, and from them and from this paper the principal 
details that follow have been gleaned. 

The series consists of eight or nine viharas, some of them of the 
very first class, but no chaitya hall, nor does any excavation of that 
class seem ever to have been attempted here. On the other hand, the 
larger viharas seem to have had a shala or schoolroom attached to 
them, which may also have been employed for divine service. The 
fact, however, that the sanctuaries of the viharas generally have 
a dagoba in them, instead of an image of Buddha, points to a distinc- 
tion which may hereafter prove of value. On the whole they are purer 
and simpler than the latest at Ajunta, though most probably of about 
the same age. 

The plan of one has already been given, but it is neither so large 
nor architecturally so important as the great vihara, shown in plan, 
Woodcut No. 87. Its great hall is 96 ft. square, and would at Ajunta 
rank as a twenty-eight pillared cave, like No. 4 there, but inside this 
are eight pillars ranged octagonally ; and at a later age, apparently 
in consequence of some failure of the roof, four structural pillars — 




Book T. 

shaded lighter — were introduced. It is not clear froin Dr. Impey's 
description how the central octagon was originally roofed. He seems 

Great Vihara at Bagh. (From a Plan by Dr. Impey.) 

to have believed that a dagoba originally stood in the centre, and 
having been destroyed brought down the roof with it. As, however, 
there is a dagoba in the sanctuary, this is hardly probable, and it 
seems much more likely that it was a copy of a structural octagonal 
dome, such as we find the Jains invariably employing a few centuries 
afterwards. If this is so, it would be highly interesting that it should 
be examined by some architect capable of restoring it constructively 
from such indications as remain. We have hundreds, almost thousands, 
of these domes supported on eight pillars after the revival in the 
10th century, but not one before. If this is one, it might help to 
restore a missing link in our chain of evidence. 

The shala connected with this vihara measures 94 ft. by 44 ft., and 
the two are joined together by a verandah measuring 220 ft. in length, 
adorned by twenty free-standing pillars. At one time the whole of 
the back wall of this gallery was adorned with a series of frescoes, 
equalling in beauty and in interest those of Ajunta. As in those at 
A junta, the uninitiated would fail to trace among them any symptoms 
of Buddhism as generally understood. The principal subjects are 
processions on horseback, or on elephants. In the latter the number 
of women exceeds that of the men. Dancing and love-making are as 
usual prominently introduced, and only one small picture, containing 
two men, can be said to be appropriated to worship. 

With one exception, no man or woman has any covering on their 
heads, and the men generally have the hair cropped short, and with 
only very small moustaches on the fac^. Some half-dozen are as 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. VI. SAL8ETTE. 161 

dark as the IndianB of the present day. The rest are very muoh 
fairer, many as fair as Spaniards, and nearly all wear coloured 

We are not at present in a position to say, and may not for a 
long time be able to feel sure, who the races are that are repre- 
sented in these frescoes or in those at Ajiinta. Negatively we may 
probably be justified in asserting that they are not the ancestors 
of the present inhabitants of Bajpntana, nor of any of the native 
races— BMLs, Gonds, or such like. Are they Sakas, Yavanas, or any 
of the trans-Indus tribes, who, in the first centuries of the Christian 
Era flowed into India across that river, bringing with them their 
arts and religious forms ? The style of art, especially at Bagh, is very 
similar to that of Persia at about the same date. 

The date of this group of caves seems hardly doubtful. The earliest 
could not well have been commenced much before a.d. 600 ; the date of 
the latest, if our chronology is correct, could not well be carried down 
beyond 650 or 700, unless it was, that the troubles that convulsed the 
rest of India after that date did not reach those remote valleys in 
Bajputana till some time afterwards. 


One of the most extensive, but one of the least satisfactory of all 
the groups of Indian caves, is that generally known as the Kenheri 
Caves on the Island of Salsette in Bombay Harbour. The great chaitya 
cave there, as mentioned above, is only a bad copy of the Karli cave, and 
was excavated in the beginning of the 6th century, and none of the 
viharaa seem to be earlier. The place, however, must have had some 
sanctity at an earlier date, for there seems no doubt that a tooth of 
Buddha was enshrined here in the beginning of the 4th century, when 
these relics were revolutionising the Buddhist world, at least at two 
diametrically opposite points of the coast of India, at Puri, and in this 
island.^ It may have been in consequence of the visit of this relic 
that the island became holy, and it may have been because it was 
an island, that it remained undisturbed by the troubles of the main- 
land, and that the practice of excavating caves lasted longer here 
than in any series above described. Be this as it may, the caves here 
go straggling on tiU they fade by almost imperceptible degrees into 
those of the Hindu religion. The Hindu caves of Montpezir, Kundoty 
and Amboli are so like them, and the change takes place so gradually, 
that it is sometimes difficult to draw the line between the two 

Although, therefore, we have not at Salsette any viharas that can 
compare with those of Nassick, Ajunta, or Bagh, and they nowhere 

» Antcj p. 59. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Rook T. 

form a series which might assist us in guessing their dates, yet, just 
because they are so late, and because they do fade so gradually into the 
next phase, are they worthy of more attention than has been bestowed 
upon them. 

As these caves are so near Bombay, and so easily accessible, it 
seems strange that they have lately been so much neglected, and no 
one seems to have visited, or at least described, the outlying groups. 
What we know of those of Montpezir or Amboli is derived from 
DanielFs drawings,^ made at the end of the last century, or from the 
travels of Lord Valentia or Niebuhr.* The Kenheri group is better 
known, and I can speak of them from personal knowledge. 

A plan of one has already been given (Woodcut No. 77). It is a 
two-storeyed vihara, and one of the finest here, though it would not 
be considered remarkable anywhere else. Another, of which a repre- 
sentation is given in my * Rock-cut Temples,' plate 19, represents 
Avalokiteswara with ten heads, — the only instance I know of in 
India, though it is common in Thibet in modem times.^ The others 
are generally mere cells, or natural caverns slightly improved by art, 
and hardly worthy of illustration in a general history, though a 
monograph of these caves would be a most valuable addition to our 
scanty stock of knowledge. 

Dhumnar and Kholv^i. 

There are no viharas at either of these places which can at all 
compare, either in dimensions or in interest, with those already de- 
scribed. The largest, at Dhumnar, is that already given in com- 
bination with the chaitya. Woodcut No. 65, and, though important, 
is evidently transitional to another state of matters. Next to this 
is one called the Great Kacheri; but it is only a six-celled vihara, 
with a hall about 25 ft. square, encumbered by four pillars on its 
floor; and near the chaitya above alluded to is a similar hall, but 
smaller and without cells. At Kholvi there is nothing that can 
correctly be called a vihara at all. There is, indeed, one large hall, 
called Bhim*8 home, measuring 42 ft. by 22 ft. ; but it has no cells, 
and is much more like what would be called a shala at Bagh than 
a vihara. The others are mere cells, of no architectural impoi-tance.* 

' I possess a large collection of MS. 
drawings of these caves, made for Daniell 
by his assistants in 1795-6. 

' * Voyage en Arabic et d'autres pays 
ciroonvoisins,' 1776-80. Most of the 
plates referring to these caves were re- 
produced by Langles in his *■ Monuments 
d'Hindostan,' vol. ii., plates 77, et $eqq. 

• Schlagintweit, ' Buddhismus in 
Thibet,' plate 3. 

* Plans of these caves, with descrip- 
tions and some architectural details, will 
be found in Gen. Cunningham's * Archseo- 
logical Reports,* vol. ii. pp. 270-288, plates 
77-84. Those of Dhumnar I have seen 
myself, but till those of Kholvi are 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. VI. 



The fact seems to be that when these two groups of caves were 
being excavated Buddhism was fast losing its original characteristics, 
and fading into the bastard Brahmanism that succeeded it. When 
that took place, we cannot at present exactly say ; but I cannot help 
fancjdng that this religion may have lingered on, and flourished in 
the remote wilds of Bajputana * or in the island of Salsette long after 
it had been driven from the neighbourhood of the great cities and 
from the populous and well-cultivated plains; and these caves, 
especially those of Kholvi, may have been excavated in the eighth or 
even in the ninth century of our era. 


At Ellora there are numerous viharas attached to the Viswakarma, 
or the great chaitya above described (p. 1 28). Like it, however, they 
are all modem, but on that very account interesting, as showing 
more clearly than elsewhere the 
steps by which Buddhist cave- 
architecture faded into that of the 
Hindus. Every step of the process 
can be clearly traced here, though 
the precise date at which the 
change took place cannot yet be 
fixed with certainty. 

The great vihara, which is also 
evidently contemporary with the 
chaitya, is known as the Dehr- 
warra, and, as will be seen from 
the plan (Woodcut No. 88), differs 
considerably from any of those 
illustrated above. Its dimensions 
are considerable, being 110 ft. in 
depth by 70 ft. across the central 
recesses, its great defect being the 
lowness of its roof. Its form, too, 
is exceptional. It looks more like 
a flat-roofed chaitya, with its three 
aisles, than an ordinary vihara; 

and such it probably was intended to be, and if so, it is curious to 
observe that at Bedsa (Woodcut No. 49) we had one of the earliest 

t. Plan of nehrwarra, Ellora. (From 
Daniell'8 • Views.') Scale 60 ft. to 1 in. 

photographed we Bhall not be able to 
speak poBltively regarding them ; the 
General's drawings are on too small a 
scale for that purpose. 

* The Kholvi group is situated more 

than sixty miles north of Ujjain, that 
of Dhumnar about twenty-five further 
north, and deeper into the Central Indian 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


oomplete viharas, looking like a chaitya in plan ; and here we have 
one of the latest, showing the same confusion of ideas ; a thing very 
common in architectural history, where a new style or a new arrange- 
ment generally hampers itself with copying some incongruous form, 
which it casts off during its vigorous manhood, but to which it 
returns in its decrepitude — a sure sign that it is passing away. 

Close to the Yiswakarma is a small and very pretty vihara, in 
which the sanctuary stands free, with a passage all round it, as in 
some of the Saiva caves further on; and the appearance of the 
warders on each aide of the door would lead one rather to expect 
an image of Siva inside than the Buddha which actually occupies 
it. The details, however, of its architecture are the same as in the 
great cave. 

Communicating with this one is a small square vihara, the roof 
of which is supported by four pillars of the same detail as the 
Dookya Ghur, which is the cave next it on the north ; but though 
surrounded by cells it has no sanctuary or images. 

Higher up the hill than these are two others containing numerous 
cells, and one with a very handsome hall, the outer half of which has 
unfortunately fallen in ; enough, however, remains to show not only 
its plan, but all the details, which very much resemble those of the 
last group of viharas at Ajunta. 

In the sanctuaries of most of these caves are figures of Buddhas 
sitting with their feet down. On each side of the image in the 
principal one are nine figures of Buddhas, or rather Bodhisatwas, 
seated cn)6s-l6gged, and below them three and three figures, some 
cross-legged, and others standing, probably devotees, and one of them 
a woman. 

Neither of these caves have been entirely finished. 

There is still another group of these small viharas, called the 
Chumarwarra, or (if I understand correctly) the Chumars' (or shoe- 
makers') quarter. The first is square, with twelve pillars on the 
same plan as those at Ajunta, though the detail is similar to the 
Viswakarma. There are cells, and in the sanctuary Buddha sitting 
with the feet down; it never has been finished, and is now much 

The second is similar in plan, though the pillars are of the 
cushion form of Elephanta and the Dehrwarra, but the capitals are 
much better formed than in the last example, and more ornamented ; 
the lateral galleries here contain figures of Buddha, all like the one 
in the sanctuary, sitting with their feet down, and there are only two 
cells on each side of the sanctuary. 

The last is a small plain vihara with cells, but without pillars, 
and much ruined. 

The whole of the caves in this group resemble one another so 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. VL ELLOBA. 165 

much in detail and execution tliat it is difficult to make out any sue- 
cession among them, and it is probable that they were all excavated 
within the same century as the Viswakarma. 

The next three temples are particularly interesting to the anti- 
quarian, as pointing out the successiTe steps by which the Buddhistical 
caves merged into the Brahmanical. 

The first is the Do Tal, or Dookya Ghur, a Buddhist vihara of 
two storeys ; most of its details are so similar to those above described 
that it may be assumed to be, without doubt, of the same age. It 
is strictly Buddhistic in all its details, and shows no more tendency 
towards Brahmanism than what was pointed out in speaking of 
the Viswakarma. It apparently was intended to have had three 
storeys, but has been left unfinished. 

The next, or Teen Tal, is very similar to the last in arrangement 
and detail, and its sculptures are all Buddhistical, though deviating 
so far from the usual simplicity of that style as almost to justify the 
Brahmans in appropriating them as they have done. 

The third, the Das Avatar, is another two-storeyed cave, very 
similar in all its architectural details to the two preceding, but 
the sculptures are all Brahmanical. At first sight, it seems as if the 
excavation had been made by the Buddhists, and appropriated and 
finished by their successors. This may be true to a certain extent, 
but on a more careful examination it appears more probable that we 
owe it entirely to the Brahmans. It is evidently the earliest Brahma- 
nical temple here, and it is natural to suppose that when the Saivites 
first attempted to rival their antagonists in cave-temples they should 
follow the only models that existed, merely appropriating them to 
their own worship. The circumstance, however, that makes this most 
probable, is the existence of a pseudo- structural mantapa, or shrine of 
Nundi, in the courtyard; this evidently must have been a part of 
the original design, or the rock woxdd not have been left here for it, 
and it is a model of the usual structural bidlding foimd in Saiva 
temples in different parts of India. This is a piece of bad grammar 
the Buddhists never were guilty of; their excavations always are 
caves, whilst the great characteristic of Brahmanical excavations, as 
distinguished from that of their predecessors, is that they generally 
copied structural buildings : a system that rose to its greatest height 
in the Kylas, to be described further on. The Buddhist excavations, 
on the contrary, were always caves and nothing else. 

It is not easy, in the present state of our knowledge, to determine 
whether the Ellora Buddhist group is later or earlier than those o£ 
Dhumnar and Kholvi. It is certainly finer than either, and conforms 
more closely with the traditions of the style in its palmiest days ; but 
that may be owing to local circumstances, of which we have no precise 
knowledge. The manner, however, in which it fades into the Hindu 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


group is in itself sufficient to prove how late it is. If we take a.d. 600 
as the medium date for the Viswakarma and its surroundings, and 
A.D. 750 as a time when the last trace of Buddhism had disappeared 
from western India, we shall probably not err to any great extent ; 
but we must wait for some inscriptions or more precise data before 
attempting to speak with precision on the subject. 

A great deal more requires to be done before this great cartoon 
can be filled up with anything like completeness ; but in the mean- 
while it is satisfactory to know that in these " rock-cut temples," eked 
out by the few structural examples that exist, we have a complete 
history of the arts and liturgies of the Buddhists for the thousand 
years that ranged from B.C. 250 to a.d. 760 ; and that when any one 
with zeal and intelligence enough for the purpose will devote himself 
to the task, he will be able to give us a more vivid and far more 
authentic account of this remarkable form of faith than can be 
gathered from any books whose existence ia now known to us. 


When the history of the cave-temples of western India comes to 
be written in anything like a complete and exhaustive manner, the 
groups situated near and around the town of Junir, about half-way 
between Nassick and Poonah, will occupy a prominent position in 
the series. There are not, it is true, in this locality any chaityas so 
magnificent as that at Karli, nor any probably so old as those at 
Bhaja and Bedsa ; but there is one chaitya, both in plan and dimen- 
sions, very like that at Nassick and probably of the same age, and 
one vihara, at least, quite equal to the finest at that place. The 
great interest of the series, however, consists in its possessing examples 
of forms not known elsewhere. There are, for instance, certainly 
two, probably three, chaitya caves, with square terminations and 
without internal pillars, and one circular cave which is quite unique 
so far as we at present know. 

These caves have long been known to antiquarians. In 183.*i 
Colonel Sykes published a series of inscriptions copied from them, 
but without any description of the caves themselves.* In 1847, 
Dr. Bird noticed them in his ' Historical Eesearches,' with some 
wretched lithographs, so bad as to be almost unintelligible ; in 1850, 
Dr. Wilson described them in the * Bombay Journal;' and in 1857 
Dr. Stevenson republished their inscriptions, with translations, in 
the eighth volume of the same journal ; and lastly Mr. Sinclair, of the 
Bombay Civil Service, wrote an account of them in the * Indian 
Antiquary ' for February, 1874. Notwithstanding all this, we are 

* 'Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society/ vol. iv. pp. 287-291. 

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Chap. VI. 



still without drawings or photographs which would enable us to 
understand their peculiarities. The late Dr. Bhau Daji had a set of 
negatives taken, but never would allow any prints to be made from 
them ; and when Mr. Burgess visited the caves last autumn, he did 
not take a photographic apparatus with him, as he depended on 
obtaining, through Government, the use of Dr. Bhau Daji*s negatives. 
I'his has not yet been effected, and till it is this series is hardly 
available for the purposes of our history, yet it can hardly be passed 
over in silence. 

The great peculiarity of the group is the extreme simplicity of the 
caves composing it. ITiey are too early to have any figures of Buddha 
himself, but there are not even any of these figures of men and women 
which we meet with at Karli and elsewhere. Everything at Junir 
wears an aspect of simplicity and severity, due partly to the antiquity 
of the caves of course, but, so far as at present known, unequalled else- 
where. One exception — but it is in the most modern cave here — is 
that Sri, with her two elephants pouring water over her, occupies the 
frontispiece of a chaitya cave.^ Though so ubiquitous and continuous 
through all ages, it is seldom this goddess occupies so very important 
a position as she does here ; but her history has still to be written. 

The annexed plan and section (Woodcuts Nos. 89, 90) will explain 
the form of the circular cave above alluded to. It is not large, only 

circular Cave, Junir. 

(From a Plan by Mr. fiurgesa.) 

Scale 50 n. to 1 in. 

Section of Circular Cave, Junir. 

(From a Drawing by Mr. Burgess.) 

Scale 26 ft. to 1 in. 

25 ft. 6 in. across, while its roof is supported by twelve plain octa- 
gonal pillars which surround the dagoba. The tee has been removed 
from the dagoba to convert it into a lingam of Siva, in which form it 
is now worshipped: a fact that suggests the idea — I fancy a very 
probable one — that the lingam is really a miniature dagoba, though 
bearing a different meaning now, and that it was really originally 
copied from that Buddhist emblem. The interest of the arrangement 
of this cave will be more apparent when we come to describe the dagobas 
at Ceylon, which were encircled with pillars in the same manner as 

* There is a representation of this cave 
in Dr. Bird's book, plate 16, but so badly 

I done that it requires being told what is 
I intended in order to find it out. 

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Book I. 

this one. Meanwhile the annexed representation (Woodcut No. 91) 
of a circular temple from the Buddhist sculptures at Bharhut may 
enable us to realise, to some extent at least, the external form of 
these temples, which probably were much more common in ancient 
times than any remains we now possess would justify us in assuming. 

91. Round Temple and part of P&lace, fh>m a ba«-relief at Bharhut. 

Besides this group at Junir, there is one apparently equally 
extensive near Aurungabad, and two others, still more extensive, at 
Daraseo, or Darasinha, and at Hazar Eotri, in the Nizam's territories ; 
but they are even less known than the Junir group, and there are 
several others whose existence is only known to us by hearsay. If 
Mr. Burgess is enabled to continue his explorations a few years longer, 
they may be brought within the domain of history. At present, like 
those at Junir, they are not available for any historical or scientific 


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Monasteries at Jamalgiri, Takht-i-6ahi, and Shah Dehri. 

Few of the recent discoverieB in India promise to be more fruitful 
of important results for the elucidation of the archaeology of India 
than those obtained from the recent excavations of ruined monas- 
teries in the neighbourhood of Peshawur. A great deal still remains 
to be done before we can speak with certainty with regard either to 
their age or origin, but enough is known of them to make it certain 
that the materials there exist for settling not only the question of 
the amount of influence classical art exercised on that of India, but 
also for solving many problems of Buddhist archaeology and art. 

As mentioned above, it is from their coins, and from them only, that 
the names of most of the kings of Bckctria and their successors have been 
recovered; but we have not yet found a vestige of a building that 
can be said to have been erected by them or in their age, nor one 
piece of sculpture that, so far as we now know, could have been 
executed before their downfall, about b.c. 130. This, however, may be 
owing to the fact that Bactria proper has long been inhabited by 
fan&iiG Moslems, who destroy any representations of the human form 
they meet with, and no excavations for hidden examples have yet been 
undertaken in their country ; while it is still uncertain how far the in- 
fluence of the true Bactrians extended eastward, and whether, in fact, 
they ever really possessed the valley of Peshawur, where all the sculp- 
tures yet discovered have been found. No one, in fact, suspected their 
existence in our own territory till Lieutenants Lumsden and Stokes, in 
1852, partially explored the half-buried monastery at Jamalgiri, which 
had been discovered by Qeneral Cunningham in 1848. It is situated 
about thirty-six miles north-east from Peshawur, and from it these 
officers excavated a considerable number of sculptures, which after- 
wards came into the possession of the Hon. E. Clive Bayley. He 
published an account of them in the * Journal of the Bengal Asiatic 
Society,' in 1853, and brought the collection itself over to this 
country. Unfortunately, they were utterly destroyed in the dis- 
astrous fire that occurred at the Crystal Palace, where they were 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Book L 

being exhibited in 1 860, and this before they had been photogi-aphed, 
or any serious attempt made to compare them with other sculptures. 

Since that time other collections have been dug out of another 
monastery eight miles further westward, at a place called Takht-i- 
Bahi, and by Dr. Bellew at a third locality, ten miles southward, 
called Sahri Bhalol, some of which have found their way to this 
(country ; and two years ago Dr. Leitner brought home an extensive 
collection, principally from Takht-i-Bahi. The bulk of the sculp- 
tures found in these places have been deposited in the Lahore Museum, 
where upwards of 800 specimens of this class of art now exist, and 
many are being added every season. Some of these have been photo- 
graphed,^ and these representations, together with the specimens 
brought home, are sufficient to enable a student to obtain a fair 
general idea of the art they represent. The worst thing is, that 
the excavations have been so unsystematically carried on that it 
is impossible to ascertain, in most instances, where the sculptures 
came from,^ and in almost no instance can the position of any one 
piece of sculpture be fixed with anything like certainty.^ 

The following plans (Woodcuts Nos. 92, 93) of the two principal 
monasteries which have been excavated in the vicinity of Peshawur, 
will explain their arrangements in so far as they have yet been made 
out. As will be seen at a glance, they are very similar to each other, 

* I have for some time possessed pho- 
tographs of about one hundred objects 
obtained in these excavations, princi- 
pally those in the Lahore Museum ; and 
latterly I have received from Gen. Cun- 
ningham twenty largo photographic 
plates, representing 1(55 separate objects 
recently obtained in a more methodical 
manner by himself, principally from 
Jamalgiri. These plates are, as I under- 
stand, to form part of the illustrations 
of a work he intends publishing on the 
subject. When it is in the hands of the 
public there will be some data to reason 
upon. At present there is scarcely any- 
thing to which a reference can be made. 

* When Gen. Cunningham was select- 
ing specimens in the Lahore Museum, 
to be photographed for the Vienna Ex- 
hibition, he complains that he could 
only ascertain the " find sjwt " of five 
or six out of the whole number — 500 
or GOO. It is therefore to >)e regretted 
that, when publishing a list with descrip- 
tions of the 165 objects discovered by 
himself (' Archroological Reports,* vol. v. 

pp. 197-202), he does not mention where 
they came from, and gives tlie dimensions 
of a few only. 

■ The mode in which the excavations 
have recently been conducted by Govern- 
ment has been to send out a party of 
sappers in the cold weather to dig, but 
the officer in charge of the party has 
been the subaltern who happened to be 
in command of the company at the time. 
A new officer is consequently appointed 
every year, and no one has ever been 
selected because he had any experience 
in such matters or any taste for such pur- 
suits. What has been done has been done 
wonderfully well, considering the cir- 
cumstances under which it was under- 
taken; but the result on the whole is, 
as might Ih) expected, painfully disap- 
pointing. Quite recently, however, it 
is understood that Gen. Cunningham 
has taken charge of the excavations, 
and we may consecjuently hope that in 
future these defects of arrangement will 
be remedied. 

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Chap. VII. 



or at least consist of the same parts. First a circular or square court, 
A A, surrounded by cells, too small for residence, and evidently intended 


F^^lij-f I'l 

r 1 y 


Plan of Monastery at Jamalgiri. Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 

93. Plan of Monastery at Takht-i-Bahl. Scale 60 ft. to 1 lii. 

to contain images, though none were found in situ. In the centre 
of each stands a circular or square platform or altar, approached by 
steps. The circular one at Jamalgiri is adorned with cross-legged, 

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conyentional, seated figures of Buddha, the square one at Takht-i-Bahi 
by two rows of pilasters one over the other. ^ Beyond this is an oblong 
court, 6B, called the pantheon, from the number of images, small 
models of topes, and votive offerings of all sorts, that are found in it. 
It, like the last oourt, is surrounded by niches for images. Beyond 
this again the vihara or residence, C C, with the usual residential cells. 
At Takht-i-Bahi there is a square court, D, surrounded by a high wall 
with only one door leading into it. A corresponding court exists 
at Jamalgiri ; but so far detached that it could not be included in 
the woodcut. It is called the cemetery, and probably not without 
reason, as Turner in his * Embassy to Thibet ' ' describes a similar 
enclosure at Teshoo Loomboo in which the bodies of the deceased 
monks were exposed to be devoured by the birds, and what happened 
there in 1800 may very well have been practised at Peshawur at a 
much earlier age. 

When we attempt to compare these plans with those of our rock- 
cut examples in India, we at once perceive the difficulty of comparing 
structural with rock-cut examples. The monastery or residential 
parts are the only ones readily recognised. The pantheon does not 
apparently exist at Ajunta, nor is anything analogous to it attached 
to other series of caves, but a group of small rock-cut dagobas exists 
just outside the cave at Bhaja, and a much more extensive one at 
Kenheri,^ and similar groups may have existed elsewhere. Numbers 
of small models of topes and votive offerings are found in the neigh- 
bourhood of all Buddhist establishments, and were originally no 
doubt deposited in some such place as this. The circular or 
square altar is, however, a feature quite new to us, and takes the 
place of the dagoba in all the rock- cut chaitya halls. From its 
having steps to ascend to it, it seems as if it was intended either for a 
platform from which either a congregation could be addressed, or a 
prayer offered up to a deity. If, however, it was really a dagoba, as 
General Cunningham supposes, that difficulty disappears, and on the 
whole I am inclined to believe he may be right in this decision. 

* In the fifth volume of his ^Archaso- 
logical Reports' just received. Gen. 
Cunningham assumes that both these 
were stupas of the ordinary character 
They may have been so, but both having 

Jamalgiri monastery, is clearly of opinion 
that it was a platform — see page 2 of his 
report, published in the * Lahore Gazette,' 
30th August, 1873. To prevent mis- 
understanding, I may mention that Gen. 

steps up to them would seem to ndlitate { Cunningham in his plate Xo. 14, by mis- 

against that assumption. The circular 
one is only 22 ft., the square one 15 ft. 
in diameter, and there is consequently 
no room on cither for a procession-path 
round the dome, if it existed ; and if this 
is so, of what use could the steps be? 
Lieut. Crompton, who excavated the 

take, ascribes the plan to Sergt. Wilcher, 
instead of to Lieut. Crompton. 

« * Embassy to Thibet,' p. 317. 

' 'Journal Bombay Branch of the 
Royal Asiatic Society,' vol. vii., No. 21, 
p. 116, etseqq. 

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Chap. VII. 



One of the moet remarkable ornamental features that adorn this 
monastery is a series of bas-reliefs that adorn the front of the 
steps of the stairs leading from the so-called Pantheon to the 
circular court at Jamalgiri. I'hey are sixteen in number, and each 
is adorned with a bas-relief containing twenty, thirty, or forty 
figures according to the subject.* Among these the Wessantara 
and Sama jatakas can easily be recognised,^ and so may others 
when carefully examined. Besides these there are representations of 
the chase, processions, dancing, and domestic scenes of various kinds. 

Corinthian Capital fh>in Jamalgiri. (From a Photograph.) 

95. Corinthian Capital from Jamalgiri. (From a Pnotograph.) > 

In fact, such a series of sixteen bas-reliefs, one over another, is 
hardly known to exist anywhere else, but is here only an appropriate 
part of an exuberance of sculptural ornamentation hardly to be 
• matched, as existing in so small a space, in any other building of its 

' The86 have been removed, and are 
now in Gen. Cunningham's posseBsiou 
at Simla, I believe. He has sent me 
photographs of twelve of them. 

* * Tree and Serpent Worship,* plates 

24 (fig. 3) and 36 (fig. 1). 

' The modillion cornice, though placed 
on the capital in the photograph, be- 
longs in reality to another part of tlie 

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The architecture of this monastery seems to have been of singular 
richness. General Cunningham brought away a dozen of capitals of 
the Corinthian order, and others exist in the Lahore Museum. As will 
be seen from the last two illustrations (Nos. 94, 95), they are unmistake- 
ably classical, but of a form to which it is not at first sight easy to 
assign a date. They are more Greek than Roman in the character 
of their foliage, but more Eoman than Greek in the form of their 
volutes, and general design. Perhaps it would be correct to say they 
are more Byzantine than either, but, till we have detailed drawings 
and know more of their surroundings, it is difficult to give a positive 
opinion as to their age. 

Not one of these was found in situ, nor, apparently, one quite 
entire, so that their use or position is not at first sight apparent. 
Some of them were square, and it is consequently not difficult to see 
they may have formed the caps of the antse on each side of the cells, 
and are so represented in General Cunningham's plate (lo). If this is 
so, the circular ones must have been placed on short circular pillars, 
one on each side, forming a porch to the cells. One at least seems to 
have stood free — like a stambha — and, as the General represents it 
on plate 48, may have carried a group of elephants on its head. 

All these capitals were apparently originally richly gilt, and most 
of them, as well as some of the best of the sculptures, show traces of 
gilding at the present day,^ and as others show traces of colour, the 
effect of the whole must have been gorgeous in the extreme. From 
the analogy of what we find in the contemporary caves at Ajunta 
and Bagh, as well as elsewhere, there can be little doubt that fresco- 
painting was also employed ; but no gilding, as far as I know, has 
been found in India, nor indeed any analogue to the Corinthian 
capital. All the capitals found in India are either such as grew out 
of the necessities of their own wooden construction, or were copied 
from bell-shaped forms we are familiar with at Persepolis, where alone 
in Central Asia they seem to have been carried out in stone. There 
is little doubt, however, that before the time of the Acha^menians the 
same forms were used in wood by the Assyrians ; ^ and they may 
have been so employed down to the time of Alexander, if not later. 
Certain it is, at all events, that this was the earliest form we know of, 
employed in lithio architecture in India, and the one that retained 
its footing there certainly till long after the Christian Era, and also 
among the Gandhara sculptures probably to a very late date. 

It is not difficult to restore, approximately, the front of the cells 
in these monasteries, from the numerous representations of them 

' * Archaeological Reports,' vol. v. pp. 
49 and 196. 

• 'The Palaces of Nineveli and Per- 

sepolis Restored.* By the Author. Part 
II. sect, i., et pasnm. 

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Chap. Vll. 



fonnd among the ruins, where they are used as conventional frames for 
sculptures. It probably was owing to the fact that their fronts 
may have been adorned with paintings representing scenes from 
the life of Buddha, or emblems of various sorts, that these miniature 
representations of them were used to convey the same design in 
sculpture. The form of the wooden framework which filled tbe upper 
part of all the great windows of the chaitya halls, from the earliest 
known examples, is also used for the same purpose in these Gandhara 
monasteries. Few things among these sculptures are more common 
than these semicircular frames, filled with sculpture of the most 
varied design. They are in fact the counterparts of what would have 
been carried out in painted glass had they possessed such a material. 

It is to be feared that it is hardly likely we shall now recover one 
of these cells or chapels in so perfect a state as to feel sure of its form 
and ornamentation. It would, however, be an immense gain to our 
knowledge of the subject if one were found, for it is hardly safe to 
depend on restorations made from conventional representations. 

Meanwhile there is one monument in India which — mutatis 
mutandis — ^reproduces them with considerable exactness. The small 
detached rath at Mahavellipore is both in plan and dimensions, as 
well as in design, an almost exact reproduction of these Jamalgiri 
cells. Its lower front is entirely open, flanked by two detached 
pillars. Above this are two roofs, with a narrow waist between 
them — somewhat differently arranged it must be confessed, but still 
extremely similar. In the Jamalgiri representations of these cells 
everything is simplified to admit of the display of sculpture. At 
Mahavellipore all the architectural features are retained, but they are 
still marvellously alike, so much so, that there seems no doubt this 
little rath (Woodcut No. 181, p. 328), with its circular termination, is 
as exact a copy of what a Buddhist chaitya hall was at tbe time it was 
carved, as that the great rath (Woodcut No. QG) is a correct reproduc- 
tion of a Buddhist vihara at the same period. 

If this is so, these Gandhara sculptures and these raths represent 
the chaitya hall of the Buddhists in a much more complicated and 
elaborate form than we find it in the simple but majestic examples at 
Karli, Nassick, or Ajunta. The Jamalgiri cells need not be so modem 
as the rath at Mahavellipore, but they are certainly approaching to 
it ^ as nearly in date, as they are in form. 

Quite recently. General Cunningham has dug out a small vihara 

^ One curious peculiarity of these 
Gandhara sculptures is that they gene- 
rally retain the sloping jamb on each 
side of their openings. In India and in 
a structural building this peculiarity 
would certainly fix their age an anterior 

to the Christian Era. In Gandhara it is 
only found in decorative sculpture, and 
retained apparently from association. It 
does not, at all events, appear as if any 
argument coiild be based on its use as 
there employed. 

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Book I. 

Plan of Ionic MonAStery, Shah Dehri. (From a Plan 
by General Cunninghajn.) Scale 60 ft. to 1 inch. 

at Shah Dehri, the ancient Taxila, which seems more ancient than 
these Peshawur monasteries. As will be seen from the plan (Wood- 
cut No. 96), it is not 
only small in dimen- 
sions, but simple in 
its arrangements — as 
simple, indeed, as any 
of those at Cuttack or 
in the western Ghats. 
Like them it has a 
raised bench, not how- 
ever divided into beds 
as there, but more like 
a continuous seat. It 
no doubt, however, was 
used for both purposes. 
Its most remarkable 
peculiarity, however, is its Ionic order. As will be seen, the bases of 
the pillars are of the usual form, and as correct as any that could be 
found in Greece or Home, from before the Christian 
Era to the age of Constantine, and though the 
capital is not fully made out, there can be little 
doubt what was intended (Woodcut No. 97); twelve 
coins of Azes were found close by, from which it 
may be inferred the building was of his age, or 
belonging to the first century b.c.,^ and there is 
nothing in the architecture to militate against this 
idea. It seems the oldest thing yet found in this 

Ionic Piiiar.shah Dehri. The extraordinary classical character and the 
(jeuTrai^CuniJngLm.) beauty of the sculptures found in these Gandhara 
monasteries is of such surpassing interest for 
the history of Indian art, that it is of the utmost importance 
their age should be determined, if it is possible to do so. At 
present, sufficient materials do not exist in this country to enable 
the general public to form even an opinion on any argument that 
may be brought forward on the subject; nor will they be in a 
position to do so till the Government can be induced to spend the 
trifling sum required to bring some of them home. They are quite 
thrown away where they now are ; here, they would hardly be sur- 
passed in interest by any recent discoveries of the same class. Pending 


* Assuming that his age has been correctly ascerttiined, which I am beginning, 
however, to doubt exceedingly. 

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this, the reader must be content with such a statement of the argu- 
ment as may be put forward by those who have access to phot-ographs 
and such materials as are not available to the general public* It 
is understood that (leneral Cunningham intends to publish photo- 
graphs of the 165 objects in his collection. When this is done, it 
will supply the want to a certain extent, but a really correct judg- 
ment can only be formed on an actual inspection of the objects 

Among Indian antiqu&ries there are two different views as to the 
age of these sculptures, regarding either of which a great deal may be 
urged with a considerable degree of plausibility. The first is, that the 
Bactrian Greeks carried with them into Asia the principles of Grecian 
sculpture and the forms of Grecian architecture, and either during 
their supremacy or after their expulsion from Bactria established a 
school of classical art in the Peshawur valley. It further assumes 
that when Buddhism was established there under Eanishka and his 
successors, it bloomed into that rich and varied development we find 
exhibited in these Gandhara monasteries. This is the view adopted 
by General Cunningham, who, however, admits that as all the sculp- 
tures are Buddhist, the earliest must be limited to the age of 
Kanishka, which he assumes to be about B.C. 40,^ and that they extend 
to A.D. 100, or thereabouts. 

The other theory equally admits the presence of the claf^sical 
element, derived from the previous existence of the Bactrian Greeks, 
but spreads the development of the classical feeling through Buddhist 
art over the whole period during which it existed in the valley, 
or from the first to the seventh or eighth century of our era, and 
ascribes its peculiar foi*ms as much, if not more, to constant com- 
munication with the West, from the ago of Augustus to that of 
Justinian, rather than to the original seed planted there by the 

Confining the argument as much as possible to the instances 
above quoted, either it is that these Corinthian capitals are a local 
development of forms the Greeks took with them to Bactria, or 
they were executed under Western influence when the classical 
orders had lost their original form after the age of Constantino. We 
know perfectly the history of the Corinthian capitals in Italy, in 
Greece, and in Syria, between the ages of Augustus and of Aurelian 
at all events (a.d. 270) ; and we know that it requires a practised 
and well-educated eye to distinguish between the capitals of the 

' I poflseBB photographs of about 300 
objects from the Lahore and other mu- 
seums, and have had access to about as 
many actual examples— of an inferior 
class, howevrr—in collections in this 

country, but even they barely suffice for 
the purpose. 

' * ArchiBological Beports,' vol. v., 
Introduction, p. vi. See also Appendix 
tfl the same volume, pp. 193-4. 

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Pantheon of Agrippa and those last executed at Baalbec or Palmyi-a. 
The entablatures show considerable progress, but the capitals were 
so stereotyped that it is evident, if any Greek or Roman artists had 
designed capitals in Gandhara during the period just alluded to, we 
oould predicate ex€w;tly what they would have been. After Constantino, 
however, the design of the capitals went wild, if the expre^on may 
be used. The practice of springing arches from them, instead of their 
supporting horizontal architraves, required a total change, and in the 
West it produced exactly the same eflfects that we find in Gandhara. 
The capitals, for instance, in the churches of St. Demetrius and that 
now known as the Eski Jouma at Salonica, both built in the early 
part of the 5th century, are almost identical in design with these ;^ 
and many in the churches in Syria and Asia Minor ^ show the same 
" abandon " of design, though frequently in another direction. 

The presence of little cross-legged figures of Buddha among the 
foliage of the capitals is another sign of a comparatively modern age. 
The first prominent example of the practice, I believe, in classical art, 
seems to be found in the Baths of Caracalla, at Rome (a.d. 312-330) ;^ 
but it certainly did not become common till long afterwards, and 
only general in what may be called mediaeval art.* It is not, how- 
ever, so much in the presence of figures of Buddha on these capitals 
that I would insist on as an indication of age, as on their presence in 
the monastery at all. 

In the first place, I believe it is correct to state that no statue 
of Buddha, in any of his conventional attitudes, has been found in 
India executed as early as the Christian Era. Those on the fa9ade 
at Karli and in the western caves are avowedly insertions of the 
4th or 6th centuries or later. There are none belonging to the eastern 
caves ; nor any found at Buddh Gaya, Bharhut, or Sanohi ; nor do 
I know of any one in India that can be dated before a.d. 100. In 
these Gandhara monasteries they are very frequent, and of a type 
which in India would be assumed to bo certainly as late as the 4th 
or 5th century, some of them very much later. 

It is true Buddhist books tell us frequently of statues of Buddha 

* Toxier and Pullan, * Byzantine Ar- i described, namely, the latter half of the 

chitecture,* London, lii64, pis. 22-25 and 
pi. 44. 

* De Vogue, * Hjne C^ntrale,* passim. 

' By a curious slip of the pen General 
Cunningham (* ArcheBological Reports,* 
vol. V. p. 193) places "These Roman 
examples in the baths of Caracalla in 

first century b.c." This is so evidently 
a mere slip that I would not allude to 
it were it not that much of his argument 
for tlie early age of these sculptures is 
based upon this coincidence. 

* There is a capital at Siah, in Syria, 
on which a bust is introduced, which may 

the beginning of the first century of the be as early as the Christian Era, but it 

Christian Kra, almost contemporary," lie is a solitary example not repeated after- 

adds, " with that which I assign tx> the wards, so fur as I know. 8eo • Syrie 

finoHt Indo-Corinthian examples just C<»ntralc,* by De Vogue, pluto 3. 

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having been made at much earlier dates.^ But Indian books have 
this fatal defect, that they represent facts and beliefs at the time 
they were written, or acquired the forms in which we now find them 
without much reference to contemporary authorities or facts at the 
time at which they are supposed to have happened. Consequently, 
till we get some book that assumed its present shape before a.d. 400,' 
their testimony is of very little avail in the controversy. 

Besides these figures of Buddha, there are a great number of 
figures which General Cunningham supposes represent kings. This 
can hardly be the case, as they have all got nimbuses or glories at 
the back of their heads. All have the tika on their foreheads, as 
Buddha has, and none have any kingly attributes, but" all wear the 
same ornaments and amulets. The first impression was, they may 
represent Bodhisatwas, or Buddhist saints ; but as no similar figures 
occur anywhere in India, it is not easy to feel certain on this point. 
If I may be allowed to hazard a guess, I would suggest that they 
may represent the patriarchs who presided over the Church from 
the time of Ananda till it ceased to be a living institution in India. 
Nagdrjuna was one of the most important of these, and if this theory 
is correct, his statue will certainly be found among the series ; but 
this is, I fear, a point that must be left for future investigation .^ 
The misfortune is, that no inscribed statue has yet been found in 
Gandhara, and, till it is, all identification must be more or. less 
guess-work or conjecture. 

A more important point than the mere presence of these con- 
ventional figures of Buddha or of saints in these monasteries, is 
their excessive reduplication,, which renders it probable that they 
are very much more modem than is generally assumed. 

In India, no building or cave is known with a date anterior to, 
say, A.D. 300 or 400,. in which more than one such figure is repre- 

In BeaPs introduction to * Fa Hian,' have been lost, and what we have ia what 

p. 18, he mentions, on Chinese autho- 
rity, which is much more reliable than 
Indian, that a statue of Buddha was 
brought to China from Kartchou (?) in 
B.C. 1*21. On asking Mr. Beal to look 
carefully into the authorities for this 
statement, he reports them to be hazy 

the ¥rriters of the «5th and subsequent 
centuries thought they ouglit to be. 

* Unfortunately no Indian list of these 
patriarchs has yet come to light. Those 
we have are derived from Japanese or 
Chinese sources, and are all tainted with 
the falsification which the Chinese made 

in the extreme, and not to be relied upon. | in Buddhist chronology by putting 
* I believe it is generally admitted 1 Buddha's date back to about 1000 b.c, in 
that the redaction of the * Mahawanso,' ; order that he might have precedence cf 

and other Ceylonese scriptures made in 
Buddbaghosha's time, a.d. 408-420, is the 
oldest authentic BuddhlBt work we now 
possess. They, like the ^ Lalita A'istara,' 
and other works, are founded on older 
works of course, but the earlier forms 

Confucius in antiquity I for so it is that 
history is written in the East. For a 
list of the twenty -eight known patriarchs, 
. see Lassen, * Indische Alterthumskunde,' 
vol. ii., Beilage ii. p. 1004. 

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sented. Even at Amravati they do not occur on the great rail which 
was erected in the beginning of the 4th century (onic, p. 100), but 
appear first on the inner rail which was added a century afterwards ; 
and they first occur in such caves as No. 19 and No. 20 at Ajunta, and 
in the later caves in the island of Salsette, none of which seem to be 
earlier than a.d. 500, if so early. 

In the Gandhara monasteries they exi^t literally in hundreds — 
on the base of the altars or stupas, on the walls, and in the cells. 
The latter is, indeed, the most remarkable peculiarity of any. In no 
Buddhist monument in India, so far as is known, have the monks been 
thrust out of their cells to make way for images. The practice is 
universal with the Jains, and in the latest Buddhist monuments the 
cells are ignored; but here we have what in all earlier Buddhist 
monuments would be cells surrounding courts or halls, but all filled 
with images of Buddha or saints. To such an extent is this carried^ 
that if the plans of these monasteries had been submitted to me, with 
merely a verbal or written description of their sculptures, I would 
unhesitatingly have pronounced them to be Jaina temples of the 
9th or 10th century-. The sculptures, of course, negative any such 
adscription, but the similarity of their plans is most striking. 

(jonsiderablo allowance must also be made for the fact that the 
Mahayana, or Greater Translation, introduced in the north of India 
by Nagarjuna, was considerably in advance of the Hinayana school 
of Central India in all complications of ritual observances. Making, 
however, an allowance of one or even two centuries for this, it is 
difficult to believe that any of these monasteries yet brought to light 
are earlier than the 4th or 5th century. 

If I am correct in assigning the outer casing of the Manikyala 
tope to the beginning of the 8th century (ante, p. 83), there is cer- 
tainly no a priori improbability in this view. The pilasters that 
surround its base are so similar to those represented in the bas-reliefs 
of the monasteries ^ that they must belong nearly to the same age. 
Those of the tope are less classical, it is true, than those of the bas- 
reliefs, and may, therefore, be more modem ; but they cannot be very 
far apart. 

All these statues of Buddha, or of Buddhist saints, in the Gandhara 
monasteries, have a peculiarity which will interest the Christian 
archaeologist. Without exception, they have a nimbus or circular disc 
behind their heads. This does not occur at Sanchi in the first century 
of our era, nor, so far as is known, in any sculpture, on any rail, or in 

* The capitals of these pillars are so : ham has published drawings of them, 
ruined that it is difficult to speak very { * Archaeological Reports,' yoI. v. pi. 24. 
confidently about them. I have draw- ' None of them are quite satisfactory, but 
ings of them by Col. Yule and by Mr. j this must arise from the difficulty of the 
W. Bimpflon, nnd latt^erly Gen. Gunning- task. 

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any cave, before it appears at Amravati on the great rail, in the 
fourth century of our era. Earlier exarap'es may be found, but till 
they are, its presence militates against the idea that these sculptures 
can be so early as the first century after Christ, and, with the other 
evidence, would seem to indicate a much more modem date. 

One other argument seems to bear directly on this point. From 
what has been said above (ante, page 76), it appears that the erection 
of the topes in Gandhara was spread pretty evenly over the whole 
time that elapsed from the Christian Era till Buddhism ceased to be 
the religion of the country, in the 7th or 8th century ; and that the 
most flourishing period was about the year a.d. 400, when Fa Hian 
visited the country. It seems reasonable to suppoe that the erection 
of the monasteries would follow the same court:e, and that we might 
expect their greatest development to be simultaneous. To compress 
the monasteries and their sculptures within the limits of the first 
century after Christ would seem to violate all the probabilities of 
the case. 

In addition to all this local evidence, when we come to compare 
these sculptures with those of the western world, especially with 
those of sarcophagi or the ivories of the lower empire, it seems 
impossible not to be struck with the many points of resemblance 
they present. There are many of the Gandhara bas-reliefs which, 
if transferred to the Lateran Museum, and labelled as ** Early 
Christian," would pass muster with ninety-nine people out of one 
hundred who visit that collection. There may be one or two that 
might be described as belonging to as early an age as that of Hadrian, 
but generally they would seem of later date. 

Among the ivories, those about the time of Constantino present 
about the same jumble of the classical orders, the same reminiscence 
of classical art in the figure-sculpture, mixed up with the incon- 
gruities borrowed from extraneous sources which it is diflScult to 
account for ; but both in their perfections and their faults they seem 
so distinctly to belong to the same class of art that it is difficult to 
believe they do not belong to the same age. The great difficulty here 
is to know what equation we ought to allow for distance in space 
which may have the same effect as time in producing apparent 
differences ; but this hardly seems to have been of much importance 

Against all this may be urged the difficulty of understanding how 
such direct and important influence could have been exercised by the 
Byzantines in this remote province without its leaving any trace of 
its existence on the arts of the Parthians or Sassanians, whose king- 
dom lay between, and without our having any written record of such 
intimate relations. It is difficult, of coarse, but if the facts are as 
stated above, such negative inferences must make way before the posi- 

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tive testimony of the sculptures themselves. Till within the last very 
few years no one dreamt of classical art having any such influence 
at any age on the arts of Gandhara. That being established in con- 
tradiction of all previously conceived ideas, the time at which it 
took place ought to be ascertainable with comparative facility ; and 
in BO far as any written evidence is concerned, may have been as pro- 
bably at or after the time of Constantine, as at or after that of 

It would be easy to extend this argument to any length; but 
without producing the data on which it is based, or giving references 
to drawings and photographs which have not been published, it 
would hardly carry conviction to the minds of those who have not 
access to means of information not yet made public.^ To avoid, 
therefore, being tedious, perhaps I may be allowed to state that, 
having given the best attention to the materials at my command, the 
conclusion I have arrived at is, that though some of these Gandhara 
sculptures probably are as early as the first century of the Christian 
Era, the bulk of those at Jamalgiri and more especially those at 
Takht-i-Bahi, are subsequent to the third and fourth, and that the 
series extends down to the eighth — till, in fact, the time when 
Buddhism was obliterated in these countries. 

The discovery of some new fact, or of an inscription on a piece of 
sculpture, either with a date or a king^s name that can be recognised, 
may any day settle beyond dispute which of these views is the correct 
one. Meanwhile, however, as the evidence at present stands, it seems 
hardly doubtful that the theory which assigns the more modern dat« 
to these sculptures, is that which accords best with all that has 
hitherto been brought to light, or with the history of the Buddhist 
religion as at present known. 

If this is so, it is evident that the term Graeco^Bactrian, or 
Graeco-Buddhist, which has been applied to these sculptures, is a 
misnomer. The BactrianB may have sown the seeds of a classical 
style in these parts, but the art we now find there would be more' 
properly called Indo- Roman or Indo-Byzantine, and must have been 
nourished and kept up by constant communication between the East 
and the West during the period at which it was most flourishing, 
which may be described as that intervening between the age of 
Constantine and that of Justinian. 

* No complete history of the ivoriee 
has been published which is sufficient 
for reference on this subject. Gori's 
are too badly engraved for this purpose ; 
but the first twelve plates in Ijabarte's 
* Histoire de 1* Art ' are perfect as far as 
they go. So arc the plates in Muskcirs 

'Catalogue of the South Kensington 
Museum,* and those published by the 
Arundel Society; but it is to the col- 
lection of casts in these two last-named 
institutions that the reader should refer 
for fuller information on the subject. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


From what has been said above regarding the sculptures of 
Bharhut and Sanchi, it appears evident that the Indians had a school 
of art of their own before they knew anything of the arts of the 
western world ; but that native art seems to have had very little 
influence on the arts of Gandhara. The western arts, on the con- 
trary, acting through that country, seem to have had considerable 
influence on those of India at periods subsec^uent to the Christian 
Era. It seems at least almost impossible to escape the conviction 
that the arts of Amravati and the later caves, say of the Gupta period, 
betray most marked evidence of Western influence, and it seems that 
it is only through Gandhara that it can have reached them. 

So strongly marked is all this that it may become a subject of 
an interesting investigation to inquire whether the Greeks weie not 
the first who taught the Indians idolatry. There is no trace of images 
in the Vedas or in the laws of Manu, or any of the older books or 
traditions of the Hindus. As repeatedly mentioned, there is as little 
trace of any image of Buddha or Buddhist figures being set up for 
worship before the Christian Era, or for a century after it. But 
the earliest, the finest, and the most essentially classical figures of 
Buddha are to be found in Gandhara, and, so far as we at present 
know, of an earlier date there than any found in India Proper. 

If General Cunningham s sculptures or the contents of the Lahore 
Museum could only be made available to the learned in Europe, with 
the requisite local information, they would, I fancy, at once super- 
sede the meagre and most unsatisfactory written details which have 
alone come down to us, and would throw a flood of light on one of 
the most interesting but most obscure chapters of the history of the 
commerce and of the early intercourse between the western and the 
eastern world. 

Pending this being done, we already know enough to open our 
eyes to many things that promise to result in the most interesting 
discoveries, and to teach us to cease to wonder at many things which 
hitherto appeared inexplicable. If, for instance, it is not true that 
the King of Taxila, in the 1st century, spoke good Greek, as Apol- 
lonius of Tyana would persuade us he did, we know at least that ho 
practised Greek architecture. If St. Thomas did not visit Gondo- 
phares, king of Gandhara, in the same century, many, at least, of his 
countrymen did, and there is no a irriori reason why he should not 
have done so also. If there are traces of Christian doctrine in the 
' Bhagavat Gita,' and of classical learning in other poetic works of 
the Hindus, we now know at least where they may have come from. 
In short, when we realise how strongly European influence prevailed 
in Gandhara in the first five or six centuries after Christ, and think 
how many thousands, it may be millions, crossed the Indus, going 
eastward during that i)eriod, and through that countr\', wo ought not 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Book I. 

to be surprised at any amount of Western thought or art we may find 
in India. These, however, are problems that are only just dawning 
upon us, and which are certainly not yet ripe for solution, though it 
may be most important they should be stated as early as possible, 
as it seems evident that the materials certainly exist from which an 
early answer may be obtained. 

In the meanwhile the question that bears most directly on the 
subject now in hand, is the inquiry, how far the undoubted classical 
influence shown in these Gandhara sculptures is due to the seed 
sown by the Bactrian Greeks during the existence of their kingdom 
there, and how much to the direct influence of Home and Byzantium 
between the times of Augustus and Justinian ? Both, most probably, 
had a part in producing this remarkable result ; but, so far as we at 
present know, it seems that the latter was very much more important 
than the former cause, and that in the first centuries of the Christian 
Era the civilization of the West exercised an influence on the arts 
and religion of the inhabitants of this part of India far greater than 
has hitherto been suspected. 

Feet of Buddha. (From a bas-relief at Amravati.) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. VIH. CKYLON. 185 




Introductory — Anuradhspura — Pollonairua. 


Ip the materials existed for writing it in anything like a complete 
and satisfactory manner, there are few chapters in this history that 
ought to be so interesting or instructive as that which treats of the 
architecture of Ceylon. It alone, of all known countries, contains a 
complete series of Buddhist monuments extending from the time of 
Asoka to the present day, and in the ' Mahawanso,' it alone possesses a 
histoiy so detailed and so authentic, that the dates and purposes of the 
earlier buildings can be ascertained with very tolerable precision. 
Besides its own intrinsic interest, if it were possible to compare this 
unbroken series with its ascertained dates with the fragmentary groups 
on the continent of India, its parallelisms might throw much light on 
many questions that are obscure and uncertain, and the whole acquire 
a oonsistency that is now only too evidently wanting. Unfortu- 
nately, no one has yBt visited the island who was possessed of the 
necessary qualifications to supply the information necessary for these 
purposes. Sir Emerson Tennent's book, published in 1859, is still the 
best work on the subject. He had, however, no special qualifications 
for the task, beyond what were to be expected from any well-educated 
gentleman of talent, and his description of the buildings ^ is only 
meant for popular reading. 

The two papers by Captain Chapman, in the third volume of the 
' Transactions,' and thirteenth volume of the ' Journal of the Asiatic 
Society,' are still the best account of the ruins of Anuradhapura, and 
beyond these a few occasional notices are nearly all the printed matter 
we have to depend upon. Some seven or eight years ago, a series of 
photographs, by the late Mr. Lawton, threw some light on the matter, 
and quite recently a second scries by Captain Hogg, R.E., have added 

^ I purchased from hin artlHt, Mr. I sketches from which the illuHtratioDH of 
KichoU, and pofMess all the original I his book were engraved. 

Digitized by 



something to our knowledge. But photographs without plans or 
dimensions or descriptions are most deceptive guides, and as none of 
these have been supplied, they add little to our scientific knowledge 
of the subject. This is the more to be regretted, as quite recently 
some excavations have been undertaken at Anuradhapura which are 
calculated to throw considerable light on the structure of the great 
dagobas there, but regarding which no information, except what is 
afforded by these photographs, has reached this country.^ 

One of the most striking peculiarities of Ceylonese art, as compared 
with that of the continent, is the almost total absence of sculpture 
which it exhibits, and may be a peculiarity that may render it much 
less useful for comparison than might at first sight appear. The most 
obvious suggestion to meet this difficulty is to assume that the 
sculptures are buried in the accumulated ruins, in the cities w^here 
the great monuments are found, and will be discovered when excava- 
tions are made. It is to be feared, however, that this theory is hardly 
tenable ; Ceylon has never been occupied by Mahomedans, or other 
hostile races, and there is no reason to suppose that at any time 
statues would be thrown down, or bas-reliefs destroyed ; besides this, 
such excavations as have been made — and they are in the most likely 
places — have revealed nothing that would lead us to hope for better 
results elsewhere. Perhaps this ought not to surprise us, as nearly 
the same thing occurs in Burmah. In that country there is an 
unlimited amount of painting and carving, but no sculpture pro- 
perly so called ; and the same thing may have occurred in Ceylon. 
So far as we can now see, all the great topes were covered with 
chunam, which may have been painted to any extent, and all 
the viharas, as in Burmah, were in wood, and consequently unfitted 
for permanent sculpture. Besides this, such information as we have 
would lead us to suppose that painting was a more favoured art 
with the islanders than sculpture. When Fa Hian, for instance, 

* When the present governor was ap- 
pointed hopea ran high that this unsatis- 
factory state of our knowlotlge would be 
cleared away. The stars, however, in 
their courses have warred against archoeo- 
logy in Ceylon ever since he assumed 
sway over tlie island, and the only re- 
siduum of his exertions seems to be that 
a thoroughly competent German scholar, 
Herr Goldsmidt, is occupied now in copy- 
ing the insciiptions, which are numerous, 
in the island. These, however, are just 
what is least wanted at present. In 
India, where we have no history and 
no dates, inscriptions are invaluable, 

and are, in fact, our only sources of 
correct information. In Ceylon, how- 
ever, they are, for archseological pur- 
poses, comparatively unimportant. What 
is there wanted are plans and architec- 
tural details, and these, accompanied by 
general descriptions and dimensions, 
would, with the photographs we possess, 
supply all we now want. Any qualified 
person accustomed to such work could 
supply nearly all that is wanted in twelve 
months, for the two principal cities at 
least ; but I despair of seeing it done 
in my day. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. VIII. 



visited the island in 412-413, he describes an accompaniment to the 
procession of the tooth relic as follows : — " The king next causes to 
be placed on both sides of the road representations of the 500 bodily 
forms which Hodisatwa assumed during his successive births " (the 
jataka in fact). " These figures " he adds, " are all beautifully painted 
in divers colours, and have a very life-like appearance." ^ It was 
not thai they could not sculpture in stone, for, as we shall pre- 
sently see, some of their carvings are of great delicacy and cleverness 
of execution, but they seem to have preferred colour to the more 
permanent forms of representation. If this is so, it certainly is 
remarkable, when we think of the wealth of sculpture exhibited by 
such monuments as Bharhut, Sanchi, or Amravati. In so far as our 
present information goes, one single monastery in Gandhara, such as 
Jamalgiri, for instance, possessed more sculpture than is to be found 
in the whole island of Ceylon. The form, too, of such sculptures as 
have been discovered, is almost as curious as its rarity. Only one 
ancient figure of Buddha has yet been discovered at Anuradhapura. 
It may be of the 3rd or 4th century, and is placed unsymmetrically 
in a chapel in front of the Kuanwelli dagoba. Everywhere, 
however^ there are statues of five or seven-headed serpents, or of men 
with serpent-hoods, which may be of any age, and at the foot of every 
important flight of steps there are two dwarpals or doorkeepers with 
this strange appendage,^ and attached to each flight of steps of all 
the larger and older dagobas are figures of the great Naga himself. 
In fact, in so far as the testimony of the sculptures alone is concerned, 
we would be forced to conclude that all the great monuments of the 
capital were devoted to Serpent worship instead of that of Buddha, 
with one exception, however; that one is dedicated to the Bo-tree, 
which is supposed to be the tree originally sent by Asoka from Buddh 
Gaya more than 2000 years ago. We know, of course, that all this 
is not so, but it is a testimony to the early prevalence of Tree and 
Serpent worship in the island, as strange as it was unexpected. 

Another peculiarity of the Ceylonese monuments is their situation 
in the two capitals of the island, for it will have been observed, none 
of the remains of Buddhist architecture described in the previous 
chapters are found in the great capital cities of the Empire. They 
are detached monuments, spared by accident in some distant comer 
of the land, or rock- cut examples found in remote and secluded 
valleys. Buddhist Palibothra has entirely perished— so has Sravasti 
and Vaisali ; and it is with difficulty we can identify Kapilawastu, 
Kusinara, and other famous cities, whoso magnificent monasteries and 

* B€al*B translation, p. 157. 

' The artist who made the drawings 
for Sir E. Tennent's book, not knowing 
what a serpent-hootl was, has in ahnost 

all instances so drawn it as to be un- 
recof^nisable. The photographs, however, 
make it quite clear that all had sci-pent- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


stupas arc described by the Chinese travellers in the fifth or seventh 
ceiiturj'' of our era. In a great measure, this may be owing to their 
having been built of brick and wood ; and, in that climate, vegetation 
is singularly destructive of the first, and insects and decay of the 
second. But much is also due to the country having been densely 
peopled ever since the expulsion of the Buddhists. It may also be 
remarked, that the people inhabiting the plains of Bengal since the 
expulsion of the Buddhists, were either followers of the Brahmanical 
or Mahomedan religions — both inimical to them, or, at least, having 
no respect for their remains. 

In Ceylon the case is different. Though the great capitals were 
early deserted, the people are now Buddhists, as they have been for 
the last 2000 years, and there, consequently, cities are still found 
adoiTied with monuments, which, though in ruins, convey a sufficient 
impression of what those of India must have been in the days of her 

Anuradhapura seems to have become the capital of Ceylon about 
400 years before Christ, or about a centurj' and a half after the death 
of Buddha, and the fabled introduction of his religion into the island. 
It was not, however, till after the lapse of another 150 years that it 
l)ecame a sacred city, and one of the principal capitals of Buddhism 
in the East, which it continued to be till about the year 769, when, 
owing to the repeated and destructive invasions of the Malabars, the 
capital was removed to PoUonarua. That city reached its period of 
greatest prosperity and extension, apparently in the reign of 
Prakrama Bahu, U5d~1186, and then sunk during a long and 
disastrous period into decay. The seat of government was afterwards 
moved hither and thither, till the country fell into the hands of the 
Portuguese and Dutch, and finally succumbed to our power. 


The city of Anuradhapura is now totally deserted in the midst of an 
almost uninhabited jungle. Its public buildings must have suffered 
severely from the circumstances under which it perished, exposed for 
centuries to the attacks of foreign enemies. Besides this, the rank 
vegetation of Ceylon has been at work for 1000 years, stripping off 
all traces of plaster ornaments, and splitting the masonry in many 

The very desolation, however, of its situation has preserved these 
ancient monuments from other and greater dangers. Ko bigoted 
Moslem has pulled them down to build mosques and monuments of 
his own faith ; no indolent Hindu has allowed their materials to be 
used for private purposes or appropriated as private plunder ; and no 

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English magiBtrate has yet rendered them available for mending 
station roads and bridges. We may be sure, therefore, that these 
ruins deserve the greatest attention from the student of Buddhist 
architecture, and that a vast fund of information may be drawn from 
them when sufficiently explored and described. 

The peculiar fortune of Anuradhapura is that it continued the 
capital of Ceylon for ten centuries ; and, alone of all Buddhist cities, it 
retains something like a complete series of the remains of its greatness 
during that period. We possess, moreover, in the ' Mahawanso ' and 
other Ceylonese scriptures, a tolerably authentic account of the build- 
ing of all these monuments, and of the purposes to which they were 
dedicated. Among the vestiges of its former grandeur still to be 
found, are the ruins of seven dome shaped topes or dagobas, of one 
monastery, of a building erected to contain the sacred Bo-trce, and 
several other ruins and antiquities. Among these is the great mound, 
called the tomb of the usurper Elaala, but more probably it is a tope 
erected by the king Duttagaimuni to commemorate the victory over 
that intruder which he gained on this spot about the year b.c. 161. 
As it is now a mere mound, without any distinguishable outline, it 
will not be again alluded to. 

Two of the topes are of the largest size known : one, the Abhayagiri, 
was erected b.c. 88 ; its dome is exactly hemispherical, and described 
with a radius of 180 ft., being thus more than 1100 ft. in circum- 
ference, and with the base and spire making up a total elevation of 
244 ft., which is only 1 6 ft. less than the traditional height of 1 20 
cubits assigned to it in the ' Mahawanso.'^ It was erected by a king 
Walagambahu, to commemorate his reconquest of his kingdom from 
a foreign usurper who had deposed him and occupied his throne for 
about sixteen years. 

The second tope is the Jetawana, erected by a king Mahasena 
A.D. 275. In form and dimensions it is almost identical with the last 
described, though somewhat more perfect in outline, and a few feet 
higher, owing probably to its being more modem than its rival. 
These two were commemorative monuments, and not relic shrines. 

Next to these, but far more important from its sacredness, is the 
Ruanwelli dagoba, erected by king Duttagaimuni, between the years 
16! and 137 B.C., over a very imposing collection of relics, of which a 
full account is given in the 31 st chapter of the * Mahawanso.* Its 
dimensions are very similar to those of the two last described, but it 
has been so much defaced, partly by violence, and partly, it seems, 
from a failure of the foundations, that it is not easy to ascertain either 
its original shape or size. The same king erected another smaller 
tope, 260 ft. in diameter. It is now known as the Mirisiwellya. Like 

» The cubit of Ceylon i« nearly 2 ft. 3 in. 

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Book I. 

the last described it is very much ruined, and not particularly in- 
teresting either from its form or history. 

Some excavations that have recently been undertaken have dis- 
closed the fact that the Ruanwelli dagoba had at its base three offsets, 
or procession-paths, rising like steps one behind, and above the other, 
but with no ornament now apparent, except a plain Buddhist rail of 
two bars on the outer edge of the two lower ones, and of an elephant 
cornice to the upper. It can hardly, however, be doubted that the inner 
faces were originally plastered, and painted with historical scenes. On 


Elevation of front of StAircase, Ruauwelli Uigobcu No Scale. 

each of the four fronts of this dagoba was an ornamental projection 
containing and partially concealing the flights of steps by which access 
was had to these galleries.^ From the photographs, it is not clear 
where the steps were that lead to the first, but those leading from the 
first to the second and third were arranged like those at Sanchi 
(Woodcut No. 11) behind this frontispiece. Without apian, however, 
it is difl&cult to make out exactly what the arrangement may have 

A precisely similar arrangement of stairs exists on the four faces 
of the Abhayagiri and Jetawana dagobas, to that shown in the two 
Woodcuts Nos. OS, 99, and consists first of a plain base, above which is 
a frieze of elephants' heads with pateree between them, very like those 
used in the metopes of the Eoman Doric order ; above this are three 
plain faces divided by ornamental stringcourses. Then a bracket cornice 
with paterae again, and above this, two or three more cornices. 
Above this there was probably a parapet simulating a Buddhist rail. 

At each end of this projecting arrangement were two stelas — at 
the Ruanwelli the inner covered by a foliaged pattern, the outer by 

In the phoU»pn"aph.s it in called an allar, which it certainly was not. 

uigiiizeu uy V^jOOVJ Iv^ 

Chap. VIII. 



a seven headed Naga, as will be observed in the Woodcut Ko. 99 ; 
at the Abhayagiri, the inner stele is adorned with a pattern so 
nearly identical with that on the pillars of the western gateway at 
Sanchi,^ that we have no difficulty in recognising them as belonging 
to about the same age; though this one, of course, is the older of 

99. View of Frontispiece of Stairs, Ruanwelli Dagoba. (From a Photograph.) 

the two (B.C. 104.). On the other stele in this tope (Woodcut No. 100), 
we recognise the shield, the Swastica, the trisul, the conch (of 
Vishnu?), and all the other Buddhist emblems with which we are 
already familiar. The Naga here has a stele of his own and 
detached from the other two. 

All this is architecturally so unlike anything we find of the same 
age on the continent of India, while its sculptured details are so 
nearly identical, that when we come to know more about it, these 
diflferences and similarities may lead to most important inferences ; 
but we must at present wait for the requisite information to enable 
us to see the bearing of these peculiarities. 

Besides these four large buildings there are two smaller ones, 
known as the Thuparamaya and Lankaramaya, very similar to one 

' * Tree and Serpent Worship,' pi. 19. In some respects it rcdembles the Wood- 
cuts Nos. 34 and 35. 

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Book I. 

iJV^^^^'i K,^ 

100. Stelai at the end of St^ire, Abhayagiri DdgolwL (From a Photograph.) 

another in size and arrangement. The first named is represented in 
Woodcut No. 101. The tope itself, though small and somewhat 

101. Thuparamaya Tope. (From an nnpubliiihod Lithograph by the lat^* .Tam«» Prinaep.) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


mined, is of a singularly elegant bell- shaped outline.^ Its diameter 
and height are nearly the same, between 50 ft. and 60 ft., and it 
stands on a platform raised about 9 ft. from the ground, on which 
are arranged three rows of pillars, which form by far the most impor- 
tant architectural ornament of the building. The inner circle stands 
about 2 ft. from the dagoba, and the other two about 10 ft. from each 
other. The pillars themselves are monoliths 26 ft. in height, of which 
the lower part, to the height of 9 ft., is left square, each side being 
about 1 ft. The next division, 14 ft. 6 in. in length, has the angles 
cut off, as is usual in this style, so as to form an octagon ; the two 
parts being of one piece of granite. These sustain a capital of the 
same material, 2 ft. 6 in. in height. 

Accounts differ as to the number of the pillars, as Mr. Knighton 
says they were originally 1 08 ; * whereas Captain Chapman counted 
149, and states the original number to have been 184.^ 

This relic-shrine was erected by the celebrated king Devenampia- 
tiflsa, about 250 years b.c., to contain the right jawbone of Buddha, 
which — ^say the Buddhist chroniclers — descending from the skies, 
placed itself on the crown of the monarch. As contemporary with 
Asoka it belongs to the most interesting period of Buddhist history, 
and is older, or, at least, as old, as anything now existing on the con- 
tinent of India ; and there is every reason to suppose it now exists, as 
nearly as may be, in the form in which it was originally designed, 
having escaped alteration,^ and, what is more unusual in a Buddhist 
relic-shrine, having escaped augmentation. When the celebrated 
tooth relic was brought hither from India at the beginning of the 
4th century, it was deposited in a small building erected for the 
purpose on one of the angles of the platform of this building, instead 
of being placed, as seems generally to have been the case, in a shrine 
on its summit, and eventually made the centre of a new and more 
extended erection. Perhaps it was an unwillingness to disturb the 
sacred circle of pillars that prevented this being done, or it may have 
been that the tooth relic, for some reason we do not now understand, 
was destined never to be permanently hid from the sight of its adorers. 
It is certain that it has been accessible during the last 2000 years, 
and is the only relic of its class that seems to have been similarly 
preserved and exhibited. 

The Lankaramaya (Woodcut No. 102^ is extremely similar to the 
last — though considerably more modem, having been erected A.i). 221 

* Since the drawing was made from i ■ * Transactiona of the Royal Asiatic 

which this cut is taken, it has been 
thoroughly repaired and made as unlike 
what it was as can well be conceived. 

• 'Journal of the Asiatic Sccioty of 
lionpil ' for Marcli, 1847, p. 218. 

Society,' vol. iii. p. 474, and * Journal of 
the Royal Asiatic Society,* vol. xiii. p. 168. 
* I am afraid this is no longer true. 
From what 1 learn, I fear it has been 

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Book I. 

—and looks of even more recent date than it really is, in consequence 
of a thorough repair some time ago, which has nearly obliterated 
its more ancient features. 

Lankaramaya Dagoba, a.d. 2QI. (From a Photograph.) 

As will be observed the two last-mentioned dagobas present us 
with a peculiarity not found on any example we have yet met 
with, inasmuch as they are surrounded by three circles of slender 
monolithic columns, of very elegant design. It can hardly be doubted 
that these represent, and take the place of, the rail of the northern 
topes, and subserve the same purpose, but in what manner is not at 
first sight very apparent. Referring, however, to what was said above, 
about the Ceylonese preferring painting to sculpture, it does not 
seem difficult to explain the anomaly. These pillars were originally, 
I fancy, connected with one another by beams of wood on their 
capitals, and from these, frames or curtains may have been suspended 
covered with the paintings which are so indispensable a part of 
Buddhist decoration. But it may be objected why three ? or, as I 
believe, the Lankaramaya had originally, four such ranges of pillars? 
It is true the northern dagobas had generally only one rail, but that 
at Amravati had two, and as the great dagobas here had three pro- 
cession-paths, while none of the northern ones had more than one, we 
should not be surprised if the smaller dagobas had three paths also, 
though differently arranged, and even then hardly capable of dis- 
playing the same amount of painting. When we come to describe the 
great temple of lk)ro Buddor in Java it will be seen that it had five 

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procession-patliB, and that their walls were sculptured, both inside 
and outside, with an amount of stone decoration which none of these 
Ceylonese topes could display, even in painting, by any arrangement 
we can now understand. 

There is still another— the Saila dagoba — within the limits of the 
city, but so ruined that its architectural features are undistinguishable, 
though tradition would lead us to suppose it was the oldest in the 
place, belonging to a period even anterior to Sakya Muni. The spot 
at all events is said to have been hallowed by the presence of Easyapa, 
the preceding Buddha. 

Besides these, there are on the hill of Mehentole, a few miles to 
the north-east of the city, two important relic-shrines: one of the first 
class, erected on its summit to cover a hair that grew on the forehead 
of Buddha over his left eyebrow. The other, on a shoulder of the hill 
immediately below this, is of the same class as the Thuparamaya ; a 
small central building surrounded by concentric rows of granite pillars, 
which, as appears to have been usual when this mode of decoration 
was employed, rose to half the height of the central mound. 

There are, in addition to these, a great number of topes of various 
sorts scattered over the plain, but whether any of them are particularly 
interesting, either from their architecture or their history, has not been 
ascertained, nor will it be till the place is far more carefully surveyed 
than it has yet been. 

There is another ruin at Anuradhapura, which, if a little more 
perfect, would be even more interesting than those topes. It goes 
by the name of the Lowa Maha Paya, or Great Brazen Monastery. 
We have a full account in the * Mahawanso ' of its erection by the pious 
king Duttagaimimi (b.c. 161),^ according to a plan procured from 
heaven for the purpose — as well as a history of its subsequent destruc- 
tion and rebuildings. 

When first erected it is said to have been 100 cubits or 225 ft. 
square, and as high as it was broad ; the height was divided into nine 
storeys, each containing 100 cells for priests, besides halls and other 
indispensable apartments. Nearly 200 years after its erection (a.d. 
30) it required considerable repairs, but the first great disaster occurred 
in the reign of Mahasena, a.d. 285, who is said to have destroyed it 
utterly.* It was re-erected by his son, but with only five storeys 
instead of nine ; and it never after this regained its pristine magnifi- 
cence, but gradually fell into decay even before the seat of govern- 
ment was removed to PoUonarua. Since that time it has been 
completely deserted, and all that now remains are the 1600 pillars 
which once supported it. These generally consist of unhewn blocks of 
granite about 12 ft. high; some of the central ones are sculptured, and 

* * Mahawanso,* Tumour's translation, p. 163. * Loc. cit., p. 235. 

uigiiizeu uy VjOOV IC 


many have been split into two, apparently at the time of the great 
rebuilding after its destruction by Mahasena; as it is, they stand 
about 6 ft. apart from centre to centre in a compact phalanx, forty on 
each face, and covering a space of 250 ft. or 260 ft. each way. Upon the 
pillars must have been placed a strong wooden framing from which 
the remaining eight storeys rose, as in the modem Burmese monasteries, 
in a manner to be explained in a subsequent chapter. 

There is only one difficulty, so far as I can see, in understanding 
the arrangement of the superstructure of this building, and that is the 
assertion of the * Mahawanso ' that it consisted of nine storeys — after- 
wards of five — each containing 100 apartments. For myself I have 
no hesitation in rejecting this statement as impossible, not only from 
the difficulty of constructing and roofing such a building, but because 
its form is so utterly opposed to all the traditions of Eastern art. If 
we turn back to Fa Hian or Hiouen Thsang's description of the great 
Dekhani monastery (page 135) or to the great rath at Mahavellipore 
(Woodcut No. 66), or, indeed, to any of the 1001 temples of southern 
India, all of which simidate three, five, or nine storeyed residences, 
we get a distinct idea of what such a building may have been if 
erected in the Indian style. It would, too, be convenient and 
appropriate to the climate, each storey having its terrace for walk- 
ing or sleeping in the open air, and the whole easily constructed 
and kept in order. All this will be clearer in the sequel, but in 
the meanwhile it hardly appears doubtful that the Lowa Maha Paya 
was originally of nine, and subsequently of five storeys, each less in 
dimension than the one below it. The top one was surmounted as at 
Mahavellipore by a dome, but in this instance composed of brass — 
whence its name ; and, gilt and ornamented as it no doubt was, it 
must have been one of the most splendid buildings of the East. It 
was as high as the topes, and, though not covering quite so much 
ground, was equal, in cubical contents, to the largest of our English 
cathedrals, and the body of the building was higher than any of them, 
omitting of course the spires, which are mere ornaments. 

Besides these there are scattered about the ruins of Anuradhapura 
some half dozen, it may be a dozen, groups of pillars, whose use and 
purpose it would be extremely interesting to know something about. 
They all seem raised on a platform or stylobate, and approached by 
one or more flights of steps, of a highly ornamental character. One 
of these, leading to a group of pillars attached to the Ruanwelli dagoba, 
will convey some idea of their general character (Woodcut No. 103). 
At the foot of the flight of stcjps is a semicircular stone, popularly 
known in Ceylon as a moon stone (Woodcut No. 104). At least a dozen 
of these are known to exist at Anuradhapura and as many probably 
at Pollonama. Some are large and some smaller than others, but they 

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Chap. VIII. 



are all nearly identical in design and quite pecidiar to Ceylon — nothing 
of the sort having yet been found on the continent of India or else- 
where. Inside an outer ornamental ring is a procession of animals, 
divided from the next compartment by a richly elaborated scroll . 

Pavilion with StqM at Anuradliapiira. (From a Iliotograph.) 

104. Moon Stone at Foot of Steps leading to the Platfonn of the Bo-tree, Anuradliapura. 
(From a Photograph.) 

within that again a row of birds bearing lotus buds, and then a lotus 
flower with a disc ornamented with circles. The animals are always 
elephants, lions, horses, and bulls, the birds either hansas, or sacred 
geese, or it may be pigeons. These, it will be recollected, are the 



animals which Fa Ilian and Hiouen Thsang describe as ornamenting 
the five storeys of the great Dekhani monastery, and which, as we 
shall afterwards see, were also arranged at HuUabid in the 13th 
century in precisely the same manner. For 1500 years they, and 
they only, seem to have been selected for architectural purposes, but 
why this was so we are yet unable to explain.^ 

The risers of these stairs, though not adorned with storey ed bas- 
reliefs, like those of the Jamalgiri monastery in Gandhara, are all 
richly ornamented, being divided generally into two panels by figures 
of dwarfs and framed by foliaged borders, while the jambs or flanking 
stones are also adorned by either figures of animals or bas-reliefs. 

If we had plans or any architectural details of the imvilions to 
which these steps led, it probably would Ihj easy to say to what pur- 
pose they were dedicated and how they were roofed. The photographs 
do not enable us to do either, but from them we gather that some 
of these halls were certainly enclosed by walls, as the outer side of 
the pillai*s is left rough and unsculptured, while thoie in the centre 
are sculptured all round. Meanwhile my impression is that they are 
the buildings Fa Hian describes as preaching halls — the chaitya or 
ceremonial haUs attached to the great dagobas. In India the form 
these take is that of halls with simulated dagobas inside them, towards 
which the worship was addressed, but when a real dagoba existed 200 ft. 
to 400 ft. in diameter, what was wanted was a hall in which the 
priests could assemble to chant their liturgies, and from which to 
address their prayers to the great object of their reverence. If this 
were so the axis of these halls ought to be turned towards the dagobas, 
but whether this was so or not is not yet ascertained.^ 

Besides these there is at Anuradhapura a temple called Isurumuuiya, 
partly cut in the rock, partly structural, regarding which some infor- 
mation would be extremely interesting. Till within the last few 
years the pillars of its porch still carried the wooden beams of a roof, 
but whether it was the oiiginal one or a subsequent addition is by no 
means clear. From the mortises in the face of the rock I would be 
inclined to believe that it was at least in the original form, but the 
building has been so knocked about and altered in modern times, that 
it is impossible to speak with certainty regarding it. So far as can be 

* At Amravatl the Zoophorus (Wood- 
cut No. 3()) consisted of the same ani- 
mals, I bclioTC, but it is not complete, 

and drawings requisite to give us all 
the information required respecting these 
halls in Anuradliapura. I am not sure 

no fragment of the horse having been that Capt. Hogg has not already done 
brought home, and gononilly, it seems, j all that is wanted, but ho was sent oflf 
that this limitoil menagerie is to be ho suddenly to 8t. Helena that no time 
found in all Buddhist works. was allowed him to communicate his 

' Any architect of or<linury ability information to others, evtm if he ha<l it. 

(»uld in a wi'ck easily make the plans 

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judged from such photographs as have come home, I would be inclined 
to ascribe the original excavation to the 6th or 7th century. The 
architecture of the steps and the Naga dwarpals are all of the old 
pattern, but coarser and showing unmistakeable signs of decadence. 

To us these are the most interesting of the remains of the 
ancient city, but to a Buddhist the greatest and most sacred of the 
vestiges of the past is the celebrated Bo-tree. This is now reverenced 
and worshipped even amidst the desolation in which it stands, and 
has been worshipped on this spot for more than 2000 years ; and thus, 
if not the oldest, is certainly among the most ancient of the idols that 
still command the adoration of mankind. 

When Asoka sent his son Mahindo, and his daughter Sangamitta, 
to introduce Buddhism into Ceylon, one of the most precious things 
which they brought was a branch of the celebrated tree which still 
grows at Gaya ^ (Woodcut No. 16). The branch, so says the legend, 
spontaneously severed itself from the parent stem, and planted itself 
in a golden vase prepared for its reception. According to the pro- 
phecy, it was to be " always green, never growing nor decaying," and 
certainly present appearances would go far to confirm such an assertion, 
for, notwithstanding its age, it is small, and, though healthy, does not 
seem to increase. Its being evergreen is only a characteristic of its 
species, the Fums religiosa ; our acquaintance with it, however, must 
extend over a longer series of j-ears than it yet does, before we can 
speak with certainty as to its stationary qualities. 

It grows from the top of a small pyramid, which rises in three 
terraces, each about 12 ft. in height, in the centre of a large square 
enclosure called the Maha Vihara. But though the place is large, 
sacred, and adorned with gates of some pretension, none of the 
architectural features which at present surround it are such as to 
require notice in a work like the present. 


Although very much more modem in date, and consequently less 
pure in style, the ruins at PoUonarua are scarcely less interesting than 
those of the northern capital to which it succeeded. They form a link 
between the ancient and modem styles at a time when the Buddhists 
had ceased to exist, or at least to build, on the continent of India, and, 

^ Singularly enough, the natives of 
Behar ascribe the planting of their Bo- 
tree to Duttagaimuni, the pious king 
of Ceylon. — See Buchanan Hamilton's 
* Statistics of Behar,' p. 76» Montgomery 
Martin's edition. 

' According to Mr. Rhys Davids, the 

proper name of the city is Pulastipura 
(* Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society,' 
vol. Wi. (N.S.) p. 156), and its modem 
name Topawoowa or Topawa. As, how- 
ever, that here given is the only one by 
which it is known in English literature, 
it is rctaiued. 

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Book I. 

when properly illustrated, will enable us to speak with oonfidenoe of 
much that we find beyond the Ganges. Almost all we know at present 
of these ruins is due to the publications of Sir Emerson Tennent/ 
which, though most valuable contributions, are far from exhausting 
the subject. According to this authority, the principal ruins extend 
in a line nearly north and south for about a mile and a half from the 
palace to the Gal Yihara, and comprise two dagobas, besides a 
number of smaller edifices. The greater part seem to have been 
erected during the reign of Prakrama Bahu, 1 1 53-86, though, as the 
city became the capital of the kingdom in the 8th century, it is pro- 
bable that an intelligent search would reveal some of earlier date ; 
while, as it was not deserted till 1235, some of them may also be 
more modem. 

If not the oldest, certainly the most interesting group at Pollona- 
rua is that of the rock-cut sculptures known as the Gal Yihara. They 
are not rock-cut temples in the sense in which the term is under- 
stood in India, being neither residences nor chaitya halls. On the 
left, on the face of the rock, is a figure of Buddha, seated in the usual 
cross-legged conventional attitude, 16 ft. in height, and backed by 
a throne of exceeding richness : perhaps the most elaborate specimen 
of its class known to exist anywhere. Next to this is a cell, with 
two pillars in front, on the back wall of which is another seated 
figure of Buddha, but certainly of a more modem aspect than that 
last described ; that appearance may, however, be owing to whitewash 
and paint, which have been most liberally applied to it. Beyond 
this is a figure of Buddha, standing in the open air; and still 
further to the right another of him, lying down in the conventional 
attitude of his attaining Nirvana. This figure is 45 ft. long, while 
the standing one is only 25 ft. high.* These Nirvana figures are 
rare in India, but there is one in the most modem cave at Ajunta, 
No. 26, and others in the latest caves at Nassick and Salsette. None 
of these, however, so far as I know, ever attained in India such 
dimensions as these. In another century or two they might have 
done so, but the attainment of such colossal proportions is a sure sign 
of their being very modern. 

In front of the Gal Vihara stands the principal religious gi'oup of 

» * Chriatianity in Ceylon,' Murray, 
1850; ^An Account of the Island of 
Ceylon,' 2 vols., Longmans, 1859. Since 
then Mr. Lawton's and Col. Hogg's pho- 
tographs have added considerably to the 
precision but not to the extent of our 
knowledge. Not one plan or dimension, 
and no description, so far as I know, 
have reached this coimtry. 

* Among Capt. Hogg's photographs 
are two oolossal statues of Buddha, one 
at Seperawa, described as 41 ft. high, 
the other at a place called Aukana, 40 
ft. high; but where these places are 
there is nothing to show. They are 
extremely similar to one another, and, 
except in dimensions, to that at the Gal 

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Chap. VIII. 



the city, consisting first of the Jayta Wana Bama Temple, 170 ft. 
long by 70 ft. wide (Woodcut No. 105), containing an erect statue of 
Buddha 68 ft. in height. On one side of it is the Kiri dagoba — 

oil the right of the woodcut — with two smaller topes, standing on 
raised ]»latforms, the whole space measuring 577 ft. by 500 ft., and 
was apparently at one time entirely filled with objects of religious 

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adoration. The whole certainly belongs to the age of Prakrama- 
Bahu. It was, however, built of brick, and plastered, which gives it 
an appearance of inferiority even beyond what is due to the inferior 
style of that age. 

Next in importance to this is the Bankot Dagoba, 186 ft. in 
diameter. This, though only half that of some of those in the older 
capital, is still larger than any known to exist on the continent of 
India. Its base is surrounded, like those in Burmah, by a number 
of small shrines, which at this age supplied the place of the pillars 
or of the rails which formed so important a part of the structure of 
the older examples. 

At some distance from this, and near the palace, stands the Sat 
Mehal Prasada (Woodcut No. 106), which is one of the most 

106. Sftt Mehal Praaada. (From Sir J. E. Tennent's • Ceylon.') 

interesting buildings of the place, as it is one of the most perfect 
representations existing of the seven-storeyed temples of Assyria 
already described, vol. i. page 152, et seqq. That this is a lineal 
descendant of the Birs Nimroud can hardly be doubted. It is also 
interesting as affording a hint as to the appearance of the five or 
nine-storeyed monasteries mentioned in a previous page (196). This 
one, however, never wa« a residence, nor does it simulate one, like 
the raths at Mahavellipore or other buildings in the Dravidian style, 
which will be described in a subsequent chapter. 

In front of it lies a splendid dolmen, or stone table, 26 ft. long, 
4 ft. broad, and 2 ft. thick. It would be interesting to know if 
the dolmen rests on the ground, or is supported on three or more 
upright stones — most probably the latter. Like most of the Indian 
examples, it api)ears to be a squared and carved repetition of what 

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Chap. VIII. 



in Europe we find only rough and unhewn. The carving on its 
border represents a number of hansas or sacred geese — always a 
favourite subject of the Buddhist sculptors.* At one end of this 
stone is engraved a representation of Sri, with her two elephants 
with their water-pots (Woodcut No. 2) ; and I fancy I can detect 
her also in other photographs elsewhere in Ceylon, but not so dis- 
tinctly as to feel sure. 

Close to the Sat Mehal is a circular building, which, so far as is 
at present known, is unique. It may almost be described as a hollow 
dagoba, being a circular enclosure surrounded by a wall, but empty 
ill the centre, at least containing nothing now. Originally, it may 

107. Roand Hoase. caUed Watte DiO«> *n PoUoDArua. (From Sir J. E. Tennent.) 

have had a shrine in its centre, or tabernacle of some sort, con- 
taining a relic or, more probably, a sacred Tree. It is surrounded by 
a procession-path, enclosed by a highly-ornamental screen, and beyond 
this by a second gallery adorned with a range of slender pillars, 
like those which surround the dagobas at Anuradhapura (Woodcut 
No. 107) ; below this, again, is a richly-carved stylobate. 

Four flights of steps lead up to its procession-paths, more magni- 
ficent and elaborate than any others that have yet been discovered 
in Ceylon. They all have most elaborate moon stones to start from. 
Their risers are each adorned with twelve figures of dwarfs, and their 
side-pieces, or jambs, are also of exceptional richness, and each has 

* They occur also on Asoka*8 pillars 
in the earliest known senlptiires in India 
(WfHHlcut No. 6). It was the cackling 

of these sacred peese which is said to 
have 8ave<l the Capitol at liome from 
heinjr snrprised l>y the Gaids. 

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Book I. 

a pair of Naga-headed dwarpals on each side of its upper flight. 
The photographs are sufficient to show that this is one of the most 
interesting buildings in Ceylon, as well as one of the richest in 
sculptural decorations; but unless the antiquiiiea of Java throw some 
light on the subject, we must be content with ignorant admiration 
till some one capable of investigating its history visits the place. ^ 

Besides these, there are in PoUonarua several of Those groups of 
pillars, without roofs or walls, which we tried to describe in speaking 
of Anuradhapura. One, called the Audience Hall, seems to be verj'^ 
similar to those of the northern capital ,* another, known as the Hetti 
Vihara, is more extensive, and may really be the foundation of a 
vihara ; but till we have plans and more details it is needless specu- 
lating on what they may or may not have been. 

Although built in brick, and very much ruined, there still exist 
in PoUonarua a palace and a vihara — the Abhayagiri — which was 
really a residence, and whose examination would, no doubt, throw 
considerable light on the arrangement of similar buildings in India. 
That information might, however, be difficult to obtain, and, till the 
simpler and more monumental buildings are examined and drawn, 
it« investigation may well be postponed. 

Besides these, PoUonarua possesses another point of interest of 
considerable importance, though hardly germane to our present 
subject. Among its ruins are several buildings in the Dra vidian 
style of architecture, whose dates could easily, I fancy, be at least 
approximately ascertained. One of these is caUed the Dalada Mali- 
gawa, apparently from its possessing at one time the tooth relic ; for 
it is hardly probable that when migrating southward for fear of the 
Tamils they would have left their cherished palladium behind them. 
If it was sheltered here, and this was the first building erected to 
receive it, it would be a most important landmark in the very vague 
chronology of that style. Another, though called the Vishnu Dey- 
anne Dewala, was certainly either originaUy, or is now, dedicated to 
the worship of Siva, as is testified by the presence of the bull along- 
side of it, and also apparently on its roof. But be this as it may, 
it is the lowest and flattest of those buildings I have yet met with, 
and more Uke a direct literal copy from a constructive vihara than 
even the raths at Mahavellipore (VN'oodcut No. 181). This may arise 
either from its being a copy of an actual vihara existing at the 
time it was buUt, or to its being very old. Those at MahaveUipore, 

* The preceding woodcut, from Sir 
E. Tennent's book, is far from doiog 
justice to the building or to Mr. Nichoirs 
clrawiugs, which ivre before me ; but among 
the half dozen piiotographB I poftsess of 

it, not one is sufficiently explanatory to 
convey a correct idea of its peculiarities, 
and, aftvr all, without plans or dimensions, 
it is in vain to attempt to convey a correct 
idea of it to f>ther8. 

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even if older than this one, may have gone through certain stages 
towards their present conventional forms before they were cnt in the 
rock. But more of this hereafter. 

It is unfortunate for the history of architecture in Ceylon that 
the oldest and finest of her rock-cut temples — as those, for instance, 
at Dambul and Dtmumadala Eanda — are only natural caverns, 
slightly imptoved by art ; and those mentioned above, as the Isuru- 
muniya at Anuradhapura, and Gal Vihara at PoUonarua, besides being 
cjomparatively modem, have very little architecture about them, and 
that little by no means of a good class. Generally speaking, what 
architecture these Ceylonese caves do possess is developed on applied 
facades of masonry, never of the same age as the caves them- 
selves, and generally more remarkable for grotesqueness than beauty. 
Besides, the form of these caves being accidental, they want that 
interest which attaches so strongly to those of India, as illustrating 
the religious forms and ceremonies of the early Buddhists. Indeed, 
their only point of interest seems to consist in their being still used 
for the celebration of the same rites to which they were originally 
dedicated 2000 years ago. 


Although the above sketch cannot pretend to be anything like 
a complete and exhaustive treatise on the subject, it may probably 
be accepted, as far as it goes, as a fairly correct and intelligible descrip- 
tion of Buddhist architecture in India. We certainly know the 
beginning of the style, and as certainly its end. The succession of 
the buildings hardly admits of doubt, and their dates are generally 
ascertained within very narrow limits of error. A great deal more 
must, of course, be done before all the examples are known and all 
the lacuruB filled up; but this is being rapidly done, and in a few 
years from this time all that is necessary to complete the history 
may be available for the purpose. It is hardly probable, however, 
that anything will be now discovered in India which will materially 
alter the views put forward in the preceding pages. Another dis- 
covery like General Cunningham's at Bharhut may reward the 
industry of explorers; but even that, though it has given breadth 
and precision to our inquiries, and added so much to our stores 
of knowledge, has altered little that was kno^ii before. What 
was written in my work on 'Tree and Serpent Worship' before 
the discovery was made, has, in almost every instance, been con- 
firmed, and in no important particular modified or changed; and 
our knowledge is now so extended, it probably will be the same in 
other cases. It is difficult, however, to form an opinion on the chances 

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of any such diflcoveriea being now made. The one important build- 
ing we miss of which accounts have reached us, is the rock-cut 
monastery described by the Chinese Pilgrims (ante, p. 135). If it 
was rock-cut, it almost certainly exists, and may yet be found in 
some of the unexplored parts of the Nizam's territory. If it is dis- 
covered, it will throw more light on Buddhist architecture in the 
first century of our era than anything yet brought to light. That 
it did exist seems hardly doubtful, inasmuch as we have in the 
great rath at Mahavellipore (Woodcut No. 66) a literal copy of it — 
on a small scale, it is true — but so perfect that it certainly is not 
a first attempt to repeat, in a monolithic form, a class of building 
that must have been very common at the time this was attempted. 

Be this as it may, even such a sketch as that contained in 
the preceding pages is sufficient to prove that it is almost impos- 
sible to overrate the importance of architecture and its associated 
arts in elucidating and giving precision to our knowledge of Buddhist 
history and mythology, from the time when it became the religion 
of the state till it i^erished in so far as India was concerned. In 
the rails at Buddh Gaya and Bharhut, with the eastern caves, we 
have a complete picture of Buddhism as it existed during the great 
Mauryan dynasty (b.c. 325 to B.C. 188). At Sanchi and the western 
caves we have as complete a representation of the form it took 
from the first century before our era to the third or fourth after it. 
At Amravati, and from the Gandhara monasteries, we learn what 
modifications had been introduced before and during the 4 th century ; 
and from the Ajunta and later caves we trace its history down- 
ward through its period of decay till it became first almost Jaina and 
then faded away altogether. 

During the first half of this thousand years we have no con- 
temporarj'^ records except those written in stone, and during the 
latter we have no books we can depend upon ; but the architecture, 
with its sculptures and paintings remain, and bear the indelible 
impress of the thoughts, the feelings, and the aspirations of those 
who executed them, and supply us with a vast amount of exact 
knowledge on the subject which is not attainable by any other 
means now known to us. 

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( 207 ) 





There are few of the problems connected with this branch of our 
subject 80 obscure and so puzzling as those connected with the early 
history of the Architecture of the Jains. When we first practically 
meet with it in the early part of the 11th century at Abu, or at 
Gimar, it is a style complete and perfect in all its parts, evidently 
the result of long experience and continuous artistic development. 
From that point it progresses during one or two centuries towards 
greater richness, but in doing so loses the purity and perfection it 
had attained at the earlier period, and from that culminating point 
its downward progress can be traced through abundant examples to 
the present day. When, however, we try to trace its upward progress 
the case is widely different. General Cunningham has recently found 
some Jaina statues at Muttra, with dates upon them apparently of 99 
and 177 a.d.^ If this is so, it is the earliest material trace of Jainism 
that has yet been discovered, and they must have been associated 
with buildings which may yet reward the explorer. From this time 
forward, till the 11th century, we have only fragments of temples of 
uncertain origin and date, and all in so very ruined a condition that 
they hardly assist us in our researches. Yet we cannot doubt that the 
Jains did exist in India, and did build temples, during the whole of 
this interval, and the discovery of some of them may yet reward the 
industry of some future investigator. 

Meanwhile one thing seems tolerably clear, that the religions of 
the Buddhists and that of the Jains were so similar to one another 

* * ArohsBological Reports,' vol. iii. 
p. 31, ei seqq., plates 13 and 15. As 
neither photographs nor even drawings 
of these fig^ires are yet available, we arc 
still unable to speak of their style of 
art, or to feel sure of their authenticity ; 

nor has the era from which these dates 
are to be calculated been fixed with any- 
thing like certainty. The evidence, how- 
ever, as it now stands, is strongly in 
favour of their being what they are re- 
l)ro8ented to be. 

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both in their origin, and their development and doctrines, that their 
architecture must also at one time have been nearly the same. In 
consequence of this, if we could trace back Jaina art from about 
the year 1000, when practically we first meet it, to the year 600 or 
700, when we lose sight of Buddhist art, we should probably find 
the two very much alike. Or if, on the other hand, we could trace 
Buddhist art from a.d. 600 to a.d. 1000, we should as probably find 
it developing itself into something very like the temples on Mount 
Abu, and elsewhere, at that period of time. 

A strong presumption that the architecture of the two sects was 
similar arises from the fact of their sculptures being so nearly identical 
that it is not always easy to distinguish what belongs to the one and 
what to the other ; and in all instances it requires some experience to 
do this readily. The Tirthankars are generally represented seated in 
the same cross-legged attitude as Buddha, with the same curly hair, 
and the same stolid contemplative expression of countenance. Where, 
however, the emblems that accompany the Jaina saints can be recog- 
nised, this difficulty does not exist. Another, but less certain test 
arises from the fact that the Jaina saints are generally represented 
as naked — Digambaras or Sky-clad, which in ancient times seems 
to have been the most numerous sect, though another division or 
the Swetambaras, or White-robed, were clothed much like the Bud- 
dhist. When, therefore, a figure of the class is represented as naked 
it may certainly be assumed to belong to the sect of the Jains, but 
the converse is by no means so certain. If clad it may belong to 
either, and in consequence it is frequently difficult to distinguish 
between late Buddhist and early Jaina bas-reliefs and sculptures. 

So far as we can at present see, the most hopeful source of informa- 
tion regarding Jaina architecture seems to be the ruined monasteries of 
the Gandhara country (Woodcuts Nos. 92, 93, 96). The square or poly- 
gonal court of these viharas surrounded by cells containing images is 
what is found in all Jaina temples. The square or circular altar, or 
place of worship, may easily be considered as the prototype of the 
Sikra surrounded by cells of the Jains ; and altogether these viharas, 
though probably as early as the fourth or fifth century of our era, are 
more like the temples at Abu and Girnar than anything intermediate. 
It is indeed every day becoming more and more apparent that, in 
consequence of our knowledge of Buddhist architecture being derived 
almost exclusively from rock-cut examples, we miss a great deal 
which, if derived from structural buildings, would probably solve 
this among other problems that are now perplexing us. 

The same remarks apply equally to the Jaina caves. Those at 
EUora and Badami do not help us in our investigation, because they 
are not copies of structural buildings, but are imitations of the rock- 
cut examples of the Hindus, which had grown up into a style of 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. I. 



their own, distinct from that of structural edifices. These, being 
interposed between the Buddhist and Jaina styles, separate the two 
as completely as if no examples existed, and prevent our tracing any 
connexion that may have existed between the two forms of art. 

The earliest hint we get of a twelve-pillared dome, such as those 
universally used by the Jains, is in a sepulchre at Mylassa,^ probably 
belonging to the 4th century. A second hint is found in the great 
cave at Bagh (Woodcut No. 87) in the 6th or 7th century, and 
there is little doubt that others will be found when looked for— but 
where ? In the valley of the Ganges, and wherever the Mahomedans 
settled in force, it would be in vain to look for them. These zealots 
found the slender and elegant pillars, and the richly carved horizontal 
domes of the Jains, so appropriate and so easily re-arranged for their 
purposes, that they utilised all they cared not to destroy. The great 
mosques of Ajmir, Delhi, Canouge, Dhar and Ahmedabad, are all merely 
reconstructed temples of the Jains. There is, however, nothing in any 
of them that seems to belong to a very remote period — nothing in fact 
that can be carried back to times long, if at all, anterior to the year 
1000. So we must look further for the cause of their loss. 

As mentioned in the introduction the curtain drops on the drama 
of Indian history about the year 650, or a little later, and for three 
centuries we have only the faintest glimmerings of what took place 
within her boundaries. Civil wars seem to have raged everywhere, 
and religious persecution of the most relentless kind. When the cur- 
tain again rises we have an entirely new scene and new dramatis 
personsB presented to us. Buddhism had entirely disappeared, except 
in one comer of Bengal, and Jainism had taken its place throughout 
the west, and Vishnuism had usurped its inheritance in the east. On 
the south the religion of Siva had been adopted by the mass of the 
people, and these three religions had all assumed new and complex 
forms from the adoption of local superstitions, and differed widely 
from the simpler forms of the earlier faiths. My impression is that it 
was during these three centuries of misrule that the later temples and 
viharas of the Buddhists disappeared, and the earlier temples of the 
Jains ; and there is a gap consequently in our history which may be 
filled up by new discoveries in remote places,* but which at present 
separates this chapter from the last in a manner it is by no means 
pleasant to contemplate. 

» VoL L p. 859, Woodcut No. 241. 
' The imtiqnities of Java will probably, 
to aome extent at least, supply this defi- 

ciency, as will bo pointed out in a sub- 
sequent chapter. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




Arches — Domes — Plans — Sikras. 


Before proceeding to describe the arrangements of Jaina or Hindu 
temples, it may add to the clearness of what follows if we first explain 
the peculiar modes of constructing arches and domes which they 
invariably employed. 

As remarked above, although we cannot assert with absolute 
certainty that the Buddhists never employed a true arch, this at 
least is certain — that no structural example has yet been found in 
India, and that all the arched or circular forms found in the caves 
are without one single exception copies of wooden forms, and nowhere 
even simulate stone construction. With the Hindus and Jains the 
case is different : they use stone arches and stone domes which are 
not copied from wooden forms at all ; but these are invariably 
horizontal arches, never formed or intended to be farmed with 
radiating voussoirs. 

It has already been explained, in speaking of Pelasgic art,^ how 
prevalent these forms were in ancient Greece and Asia Minor, and how 
long they continued to be employed even after the principles of the 
true arch were perfectly understood. In India, however, the adherence 
to this form of construction is even more remarkable. As the Hindus 
quaintly express it, ** an arch never sleeps ; " and it is true that a 
I'adiating arch does contain in itself a vis viva which is always tending 
to thrust its haunches outwards, and goes far to ensure the ultimate 
destruction of every building where it is employed : while the hori- 
zontal forms employed by the Hindus are in stable equilibrium, and, 
unless disturbed by violence, might remain so for ever. 

There can be no doubt that the Hindus carried their horror of an 
arch to an excess which frequently led them to worse faults on the 
other side. In city walls, for instance, where there is a superabundant 

Vol. i. p. 212, et ifi'qij. 

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Chap. II 



108. View of City Gateway, Byanagur. (From a rhotograph.) 

abutment on either hand to counteract any thrust, the horizontal 
principle is entirely mis- 
placed. If we take, for f 
instance, one of the city 
gates at Bijanagur <^ 
(Woodcut No. 108), we 
cannot help perceiving 
that with much smaller 
stones and less trouble a 
far more stable construc- 
tion could have been ob- 
tained, so long as the wall 
on either hand remained 
entire. What the Hindu 
feared was that if the wall 
were shattered, as we now 
find it, the arch would 
have fallen, though the 
horizontal layers still re- 
main in their places. 

Instead of a continuous 
bracket like that shown in 
the last example, a more 
usual form, in modern 
times at least, is that c)^ 

#v if 

«N, i 

Gateway, Jiiyilwarra. 
(From Kinloch Forbes' ' Ras Mala.') 

P 2 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


eevoral detached brackets placed a little distance apart the one from 
the other. When used in moderation this is the more pleasing form 
of the two, and in southern India it is generally used with great 
success. In the north they are liable to exaggerate it, as in the 
gateway from Jinjiiwarra in Gujerat (Woodcut No. 109, p. 211), when 
it becomes unpleasing, though singularly characteristic of the style. 

It is this horizontal or bracket mode of construction that is the 
formative principle of the Dravidian or Southern style of Hindu 
architecture, every form and every ornament depending almost wholly 
upon it. In the north, however, another development of the same 
principle is found in the horiz6ntal dome, which is unknown in the 
south, but which has givien a new character to the style, and, as 
one of its most beautiful features, demands a somewhat detailed 


It is to be regretted that, while so much has been written on the 
history of the pointed arch, so little should have been said regarding 
the history of domes : the one being a mere constructive peculiarity 
that might very well have been dispensed with ; the other being the 
noblest feature in the styles in which it prevails, and perhaps the 
most important acquisition with which science has enriched the art of 

The so-called Treasuries of Mycenae and Orchomenos, as well as the 
diambers in Etruscan tombs, prove that as early as ten or twelve cen- 
turies before Christ the Pelasgic races had learned the art of roofing 
circular chambers with stone vaults, not constructed, as we construct 
them, with radiating vaults, on the principle of the common arch, but 
by successive layers of stones converging to a point, and closed by one 
large stone at the apex. 

Whoever invented the true or radiating arch, the Bomans were 
the first who applied it as a regular and essential architectural feature, 
and who at the same time introduced its complement, the radiating 
dome, into architectural construction ; at what period it is not now 
known. The earliest example, the Pantheon, is also the finest and 
largest; but we have lost entirely the innumerable steps by which 
the architects must have slowly progressed to so daring an experi- 

There is, however, a vast difiference between these two classes of 
domes, which it is necessary to bear in mind in order to understand 
what follows. 

The Eoman arch and Roman dome are always constructed (Woodcut 
No. 110) on the principle of voussoirs, or truncated wedges, radiating 
from a centre. This enabled the Romans to cover much larger spaces 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Cn^p. II. 



with their domes than perhaps was possible on the horizontal prin- 
ciple; but it involved the inconvenience of great lateral thrusts, 
continually tending to split the dome and tear the building in pieces, 
and requiring immense and massive abutments to counteract their 
destructive energy. 

RjulUting Arch. 

Horizontal Arch. 

The Indian or horizontal dome never can be made circular in 
section, except when used on the smallest scale, but almost always 
takes a form more or less pointed (Woodcut No. 111). From the time 
of the building of the Treasury of Mycenaj * to the birth of Christ we 
have a tolerably complete series of arches and vaults constructed on 
this principle, but few domes properly so called. After the Christian 
.Era the first example is found in a singular tomb at Mylassa,* 
near Halicamassus,^ where the dome exhibits all the peculiarities of 
construction found in the Jaina temples of India. After this we lose 
the thread of its history till the form reappears in porches like those 
of the 11th century on Mount Abu, where it is a perfectly established 
architectural feature, that must have been practised long before it 
could be used as we find it in that building. Whether we shall ever 
be able to recover the lost links in this chain is more than doubtful, 
but it would be deeply interesting to the history 
of art if it could be done. In the mean time, 
there is no difficulty in explaining the construc- 
tive steps by which the object is now attained 
in India. These may also throw some light on 
the history of the invention, though this is not, 
of course, capable of direct proof. 

The simplest mode of roofing a small square 
space supported by four pillars is merely to run 
an architrave or stone beam from each pillar, and 
cover the intermediate opening by a plain stone 
slab. Unless, however, slabs of great dimensions are available, this 
mode of construction has a limit very soon anived at. The next step 
therefore is to reduce the extent of the central space to be covered by 
cutting off its comers ; this is done by triangular stones placed in each 
angle of the square, as in Woodcut No. 112, thus employing five stones 

112. Diagram of Roofing. 

> Vol. i. p. 213. « Ibid., p. 334. 

Fully illiwtratod iu vol. ii. of the Dilettanti Society's ' Antuiuities of Ionia.' 

uigmzeo uy V^jOOy Iv^ 



Book II. 

instead of one. By this means, the size of the central stone remaining 
the same, the side of the square space so roofed is increased in the ratio 
of ten to seven, the actual area being doubled. The next step in the 
process (Woodcut No. 113) is by employing three tiers and nine stones 


1 — r 


Dia^.iras of Kuofing. 

instead of two tiers and five stones, which quadruples the area roofed. 
Thus, if the central stone is 4 ft., by the second process the space 
roofed mil be about 5 ft. 8 in. ; by the third 8 ft. square ; by a fourth 
process (Woodcut No. 114; — with four tiers and thirteen stones — the 
extent roofed may be 9 ft. or 10 ft., always assuming the central stone to 
remain 4 ft. square. All these forms are still currently used in India, 
but with four pillars the process is seldom carried further than this ; 
., with another tier, however, and eight 

pillars (as shown in Woodcut No. 115), 
it may be carried a step further — exactly 
the extent to which it is carried in the 
tomb at Mylassa above referred to. In 
this, however, as in all instances of octa- 
gonal domes in this style, instead of the 
octagonal form being left as such, there 
are always four external pillars at the 
angles, so that the square shape is re- 
tained, with twelve pillars, of which the 
eight internal pillars may be taken as 
mere insertions to support the long archi- 
trave between the four angular j)illar8. 

It is evident that hero again we 
come to a limit beyond which we can- 
not progress without using large and long stones. This was some- 
times met by cutting off the angles of the octagon, and making the 
lower course of sixteen sides. When this has been done an awkward- 
ness arisee. in getting back to the square form. This was escaped 

Digitized by VjOOQ i^ 

115. Diagram of Roofing. 

Chap. II. 



from, in all the instances I am acquainted with, by adopting circular 
courses for all above that with sixteen sides. In many instances the 
lower course with sixteen sides is altogether omitted, and the circles 
placed immediately on the octagon, as in the temple at Yimala Sah 
(Woodcut No. 130, p. 236). It is difficult to say how far this 
system might be carried constructively without danger of weakness. 
The Indian domes seldom exceed 30 ft. in diameter, but this may have 
arisen more from the difficulty of getting architraves above 12 ft. or 13 
ft. in length to support the sides, than from any inability to construct 
domes of larger diameter in themselves. This last difficidty was to 
some extent got over by a system of bracketing, by which more than 
half the bearing of the architrave was thrown on the capital of the 
column, as shown in Woodcut No. 116. Of course this method might 

1 1 6. Diaipram of loiiiau oouAiructiuii. 

B. Form of bracket cap.tal in the angle of an octagonAl dome. 

have been carried to any extent, so that a very short architrave would 
suffice for a large dome ; but whether this could be done with elegance 
is another matter. The Indians seem to have thought not ; at least, 
so far as I know, they never carried it to any extent. Instead of 
bracketing, however, they sometimes used struts, as shown in Wood- 
cut No. 116, but it is questionable whether that could ever be made 
a really serviceable constructive expedient in stone architecture. 

The great advantage to be derived from the mode of constructing 
domes just described was the power it gave of placing them on pillara 
without having anything to fear from the lateral thrust of the vault. 
The Eomans never even attempted this, but always, so to speak, 
brought their vaults down to the ground, or at least could only erect 
them on great cylinders, which confined the space on every side. The 

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Book II. 

Byzantine architects, as we have seen, cut away a great deal of the 
substructure, but nevertheless could never get rid of the great heavy 
piers they were forced to employ to support their domes, and in all 
ages were forced to use either heavy abutments externally, or to 
crowd their interiors with masses of masonry, so as in a great mea- 
sure to sacrifice either the external effect or the internal convenience 
of their buildings to the constructive exigences of their domes. This 
in India never was the case; all the pressure was vertical, and to 
ensure stability it only required sufficient strength in the support to 
bear the downward pressure of the mass— an advantage the import- 
ance of which is not easily over-estimated. 

One of the consequences of this mode of construction was, that all 
the decoration of the Indian domes was horizontal, or, in other words, 
the ornaments were ranged in concentric rings, one above the other, 
instead of being disposed in vertical ribs, as in Boman or Gothic 
vaults. This arrangement allows of far more variety without any 
offence to good taste, and practically has rendered some of the 
Indian domes the most exquisite specimens of elaborate roofing that 
can anywhere be seen. Another consequence of this mode of con- 
struction was the employment of pendants from the centres of the 
domes, which are used to an extent that would have surprised even 
the Tudor architects of our own country. With them, however, the 
pendant was an architectural tour de force, requiring great construc- 
tive ingenuity and large masses to counterbalance it, and is always 
tending to destroy the building it ornaments; while the Indian 
pendant, on the contrary, only adds its own weight to that of the 
dome, and has no other prejudicial tendency. Its forms, too, generally 
have a lightness and elegance never even imagined in Gothic art ; it 
hangs from the centre of a dome more like a lustre of crystal drops 
than a solid mass of marble or of stone. 

As before remarked, the eight pillars that support the dome are 
almost never left by themselves, the base being made square by the 
addition of four others at the angles. 
I'here are many small buildings so con- 
structed with only 
twelve pillars, £U3 
shown in the an- 
nexed diagram (No. 
117), but two more 
are oftener added on 
each face, making 
twenty altogether, as 
shown on the upper 
side of the annexed diagram (No. 118) ; or four on each face, making 
twenty-eight; or again, two in front of these four, or six on each 



Diagram of the arrasgement 
ot the pUtara of a Jaina 



Diagram Plan of Jaliui Porch. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. II. 



Dl<kgr«m uf Jtiliia Porch. 

face, so as to make thirty-six ; and the same system of aggregation 
is carried on till the number of pillars reaches fifty-six (Woodcut 
No. 119), which is the largest 
number I ever saw surrounding 
one dome; but any number of 
these domes may surround one 
temple, or central dome, and the 
number consequently be multi- 
plied ad infinitum. When so 
great a number of pillars is 
introduced as in the last in- 
stance, it is usual to make the 
outmost compartment on each 
face square, and surmount it 
with a smaller dome. This is 
occasionally though rarely done 
even with the smallest number. 

The first result of this arrangement is, that the Hindus obtained 
singularly varied outline in plan, producing the happiest effects of 
light and shade with every change in the sun's position. Another 
result was, that by the accentuation of the salient and re-entering 
angles, they produced those strongly-marked vertical lines which give 
such an appearance of height to Gothic designs. To accomplish this, 
however, the Western architects were obliged to employ buttresses, 
pinnacles, and other constructive expedients. The Hindus obtained 
it by a new disposition of the plan without anywhere interrupting 
the composition. This form of outline also expresses the internal 
arrangements of the porch better than could be done by the simpler 
outline of either a square or circle, such as is usually employed 
in Europe. Its greatest merit, however, is, that the length of the 
greater aisles is exactly proportioned to their relative width as com- 
pared with that of the subordinate aisles. The entrance being in 
the angle, the great aisle forms the diagonal, and is consequently 
in the ratio of 10 to 7, as compared to what it would be if the 
entrance were in the centre of the side, where we usually place it. 
From the introduction of the octagonal dome in the centre the same 
proportion (correctly 707 to 1000) prevails between the central and 
side aisles, and this again is perhaps the most pleasing that has yet 
been introduced anywhere. In Gothic churches the principal aisles 
are generally twice as wide as the side ones, but they are also twice 
as high, which restores the proportion. Here, where the height of 
all is the same, or nearly so, this gradation just suffices to give 
variety, and to mark the relative importance of the parts, without 
the one overpowering the other : and neither has the appearance 
of being too broad nor too narrow. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


It is, of course, difficult for those who have never seen a building 
of the class just described to judge of the effect of these arrangements ; 
and they have seldom been practised in Europe. There is, however, 
one building in which they have accidentally been employed to a 
considerable extent, and which owes its whole beauty to the manner 
in which it follows the arrangement above described. That building 
is Sir Christopher Wren's church of St. Stephen's, Walbrook. In- 
ternally its principal feature is a dome supported on eight pillars, 
with four more in the angles, and two principal aisles crossing the 
building at right angles, with smaller square compartments on each 
side. This church is the great architect's masterpiece, but it would 
have been greatly improved had its resemblance to a Hindu porch 
been more complete. The necessity of confining the dome and aisles 
within four walls greatly injures the efifect as compared with the 
Indian examples. Even the Indian plan of roofing, explained above, 
might be used in such a building with much less expense and less 
constructive danger than a Gothic vault of the same extent. 


Up to the present time only one temple has been discovered in India 
which gives us even a hint of how the plans of the Buddhist Chaitya 
Halls became converted into those of the Jaina and Hindu temples. 
Fortunately, however, its evidence is so distinct that there can be 
very little doubt about the matter. The temple in question is situated 
in the village of Aiwulli, in Dharwar, in western India, not far from 
the place where the original capital of the Chalukyan sovereigns is 
supposed to have been situated, and near the caves of Badami on the 
one hand and the temples of Pittadkul on the other. Its date is 
ascertained by an inscription on its outer gateway, containing the 
name of Vicramaditya Chalukya, whom we know from inscriptions 
certainly died in a.d. 680, and with less certainty that he commenced 
to reign a.d. 660.^ The temple itself may possibly be a little older, 
but the latter may fairly be taken as a medium date representing 
its age. It is thus not only the oldest structural temple known to 
exist in western India, but in fact the only one yet discovered that 
can with certainty be said to have been erected before the great 
cataclysm of the beginning of the 8th century. 

Mr. Burgess is of opinion that it was originally dedicated to 
Vishnu,^ but this does not seem quite clear. There certainly are 
Jaina figures among those that once adorned it ;^ and it seems to be 

* * Journal of the Royal Asiatic So- , Society,* vol. iii. p. 206, et 8eqq. 
ciety,' vol. iv. p. 1, et seqq.; * MadniB | ' *Archffiological Reports,* 1874. pp. 41 
Journal,* vol. xx. p. 78, et neqq. ; ' Journal aud 42. 
Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic ' loc. cit., plate 54. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. II. 



a fact that though the Jains admitted Siva, Vishnu, and all the gods 
of the Hindu Pantheon into their temples, there is no evidence of the 
reverse process. The Hindus never admitted the human Tirthankars 
of the Jains among their gods. Its original dedication is fortunately, 
however, of very little importance for our present purposes. The 
religions of the Jains and Vaishnav€U3, as pointed out above (p. 40), 
were, in those days and for long afterwards, so similar that it was 
impossible to distinguish between them.^ Besides this, the age when 
this temple was erected was the age of toleration in India. The 
Chinese traveller Hiouen Thsang has left us a most vivid description 
of a great quinquennial festival, at which he was present at Allahabad 
in A.D. 643, at which the great King Siladitya presided, and distri- 
buted alms and honours, on alternate days, to Buddhists, Brahmans, 
and heretics of all classes, who were assembled there in tens of 
thousands, and seem to have felt no jealousy of each other, or rivalry 
that led, at least, to any disturbance.^ It was 
on the eve of a disruption that led to the most 
violent contests, but up to that time we have no 
trace of dissension among the sects, nor any recuson 
to believe that they did not all use similar edifices 
for their religious purposes, with only such slight 
modifications as their different formulae may have 
required (Woodcut No. 120). 

Be this as it may, any one who will compare 
the plan of the chaitya at Sanchi ( Woodcut No. 40), 
which is certainly Buddhist, with that of this temple 
at Aiwulli, which is either Jaina or Vaishnava, can 
hardly fail to perceive how nearly identical they oid Temple at Aiwuiii. 
must have been when complete. In both instances, '^'^Burgess.) ^ 
it will be observed, the apse is solid, and it appears 
that this always was the case in structural free-standing chaityas. 
At least, in all the rock-cut examples, so far as is known, the pillars 
round the apse are different from those that separate the nave from 
the aisles ; they never have capitals or bases, and are mere plain 
makeshifts. From the nature of their situation in the rock, light 
could not be admitted to the aisle behind the apse from the out- 
side, but must be borrowed from the front, and a solid apse was 
consequently inadmissible; but in free-standing examples, as at 
Aiwulli, it was easy to introduce windows there or anywhere. An- 
other change was necessary when, from an apse sheltering a relic- 
shrine, it became a cell containing an image of a god; a door was 
then indispensable, and also a thickening of the wall when it W£U3 

* * Asiatic Researches,* vol. ix. p. 270, I * * Hiouen Thsaug, Vie et Voyages,* 
vol. zvii. p. 285. I vol. i. p. 253, et seqq. 

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Book II. 

necessary it should bear a tower or sikra to mark the position of the 
cella on the outside. Omitting the verandah, the other changes intro- 
duced between the erection of these two examples are only such as 
were required to adapt the points of support in the temple to carry 
a heavy stone roof, instead of the light wooden superstructure of the 
Buddhist chaitya. (Woodcut No. 1 2 1 .) 

It may be a question, and one not easy to settle in the present 
state of our knowledge, whether the Buddhist chaityas had or had 
not verandahs, like the AiwuUi example. The rock-cut examples 
naturally give us no information on this subject, but the presump- 
tion certainly is, looking at their extreme appropriateness in that 
climate, that they had this appendage, sometimes at least, if not 

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Chap. II. 



If from tliis temple at Aiwulli we pass to the neighbouring one at 
Pittadkul, built probably a couple of centuiies later, we find that we 
have passed the boundary line that separates the ancient from the 
mediaeval architecture of India, in so far at least as 
plans are concerned (Woodcut No. 1 22). The circular 
forms of the Buddhists have entirely disappeared, and 
the cell has become the base of a square tower, as 
it remained ever afterwards. The nave of the chaitya 
has become a well defined mantapa or porch in front 
of, but distinct from, the cell, and these two features 
in an infinite variety of forms, and with various 
subordinate adjuncts, are the essential elements of 
the plans of the Jaina and Hindu temples of all the 
subsequent ages. 

The procession- path round the cell— called Pra- 
dakshina — as that round the apse, remained for some 
centuries as a common but not a universal feature. 
The verandah disappeared. Bound a windowless 
cell it was useless, and the pillared porches contained 
in themselves all the elements of shelter or of shadow that were 

122. Plan of Temple 

at Pittadkul. 

(From a Plan by 

Mr. Burg»B.) 

Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 


There is one other peculiarity common to both Jaina and Hindu 
architecture in the north of India that requires notice, before pro- 
ceeding to describe particular examples. It is the form of the towers 
or spires called Sikras, or Vimanas, which invariably surmount the 
cells in which the images are placed. It is probably correct to assert 
that the images of the Tirthankars or of the Hindu deities are in- 
variably placed in square, generally cubical cells, of no great dimen- 
sion, and that these cells receive their light from the doorway only. 
It seems also an invariable rule that the presence and position of the 
cell should be indicated externally by a tower or spire, and that these 
towers, though square or nearly so in plan, should have a curvilinear 
outline in elevation. If the tower at Buddh Gaya (antey p. 70) 
retains unaltered the original form given to it when erected in the 
5th or 6th century, this dictum would not apply to Buddhist architec- 
ture. As it is, however, the only Buddhist sikra yet discovered it is 
hardly fair to draw any decided inference from one single example, 
while with Jaina or Hindu towers I know of no exception. Take for 
instance the tower represented in the following woodcut (No. 123), 
which purports to be an elevation of the celebrated Black Pagoda at 
Eanaruc in Orissa, and may be looked upon as a typical example 
of the style, and of which it may bo considered as a fair medium 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Book II. 

example. The upper part of the tower, to some extent, overhangs 
its base. It bends inward towards the summit, and is surmounted by 

what is called an Amalaka from 
itrt NuppoHeil reBembJance to a fruit 
of tJic na,niQ—P}tifUanthm embliva. 
This, however, is eertainly a niif?- 
tnkc*. Had It iHjen ftiiid it was tMpic<l 
fri»m a inolrm or any large gomd 
that was divide<i into pips exter- 
nally —if there are any mich— there 
are some early examples that might 
setnn to conntenauce such an idea ; 
but the Phylianihtm is so insigiiifi- 
uaut a berry that it ctiuhl hardly 

123. Restored Klevation of the Black Pngoda at Kanaruc. 

(From a Drawing by the Author.) No scale. 

ever have Ix^en adopted as an architectural model. Besides this its 
peculiar nicked form occurs frequently in old examples as a sort 
of blocking course dividing the sikras horizontally into numerous 
small compartments, and it seems as if what is used there in a 
straight-lined form was employed as a circular ornament at the 
summit. It is a very beautiful architectural device, and was, as far 
as I can see, adopted only because it was so, and contrasted brilliantly 
with the flat ornaments with which it was employed. At present 
we do not seem to be in a position to explain its origin, or that 
of a great many otlier details that are frequently met with in 
Hindu architecture. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. II. 



Whatever its origin, this amalaka is generally surmounted by a 
flat dome of reverse curvature, in the centre of which stands the 
kullus, or pinnacle, in the form of a vase, generally of very beautiful 
and graceful design. 

The great and at first sight puzzling question is, from what 
original is this curious combination of forms derived ? It is like 
nothing found anywhere out of India, and like no utilitarian form in 

India that we now know of. It 
etumot be (If rivufl fram thu dome- 
like foniifi of the topea. Thoy are 
circular buth m plan tind eleva- 
tion. The Nikiaw an- Htrajght-linii<l 
ill [linn, nod their section ia never 
a KCguieiit of a circle; it is nc^t 

124. Diagram Plan and Section of the Black Pagoda at Kananic, designed to explain 
the construction of Hindu Temples. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


derived from any many-storeyed buildings, as the sikras or vimanas 
of the Dravidian architecture of the south of India, which seem 
certainly to have been copied from the many-storeyed viharas of the 
Buddhists, and we cannot fancy any class of domestic building which 
could have formed a model out of which they could have been 
elaborated. One curious thing we do know, which is that all the 
ancient roofs in India, whether represented in the bas-reliefs or copied 
in the caves, were invariably curvilinear — generally circular or 
rather ogee — having a ridge added externally to throw oflf the rain 
from that weakest part ; but nothing on any bas-relief or painting 
gives us a hint of any building like these sikras. 

Another curious and perplexing circumstance regarding the sikras 
is that when we first meet them, at Bhuvaneswar for instance, or the 
Bay of Bengal, or at Pittadkul in the 7th century, on the west coast of 
India, the style is complete and settled in all its parts. There was 
no hesitation then, nor has there been any since. During the twelve 
or thirteen centuries that have elapsed since the erection of these 
earliest known examples, they have gone on becoming more and more 
attenuated, till they are almost as pointed as Gothic spires, and 
their degree of attenuation is no bad test of their age ; but 
they never changed in any essential feature of the design. All 
the parts found in the oldest examples are retained in the most 
recent, and are easily recognisable in the buildings of the present 

The one hypothesis that occurs to me as sufficient to account for 
this pecidiarity is to assume that it was a constructive necessity. If 
we take for instance an assumed section of the diagram (Woodcut 
No. 124, p. 223), it will be seen how easily a very tall pointed 
horizontal arch, like that of the Treasury at Mycenss (Woodcut 
No. 122, vol. i.), would fit its external form. In that case we 
might assume that the tower at Buddh Gaya took a straight- 
lined form like that represented in Woodcuts Nos. 128, 129, vol. i., 
while the Hindus took the more graceful curvilinear shape, 
which certainly was more common in remote classical antiquity,^ 
and as it is found in Assyria may have reached India at a remote 

This hypothesis does not account for the change from the 
square to the circular form in the upper part, nor for its peculiar 
ornamentation; but that may be owing to our having none of the 
earlier examples. When we first meet with the form, either in 
Dharwar or Orissa, it is complete in all its parts, and had evidently 

> See Woodcuts Nos. 99, 112, 122, 124, 127, 172, 177 and 178 of vol. i. of this 

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Chap. II. 



reached that state of perfection through long stages of tentative 
experience. The discovery of some earlier examples than we now 
know may one day tell us by what steps that degree of perfection 
was reached, but in the meanwhile I fear we must rest content with 
the theory just explained, which, on the whole, may be considered 
sufficient for present purposes at least. ^ 

> In his work on the ' Antiquities of 
Orisea,' Babu Bajendra LaU Mittra sug- 
gests at page 31 something of this sort, 

but if his diagram were all that is to 
be said in favour of the hypothesis, I 
would feel inclined to reject it. 

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Palitana — Giinar — Mount Abu — Parisnath — Gualior — Khajurdho. 


The grouping together of their temples into what may be called 
" Cities of Temples " is a peculiarity which the Jains practised to a 
greater extent than the followers of any other religion in India. The 
Buddhists grouped their stupas and yiharas near and around sacred 
spots, as at Sanchi, Manikyala, or in Peshawur, and elsewhere ; but 
they were scattered, and each was supposed to have a special meaning, 
or to mark some sacred spot. The Hindus also grouped their temples, 
as at Bhuvaneswar or Benares, in great numbers together ; but in all 
cases, so far as we know, because these were the centres of a popula- 
tion who believed in the gods to whom the temples were dedicated, 
and wanted them for the purposes of their worship. Neither of these 
religions, however, possess such a group of temples, for instance, as 
that at Sutrunjya, or Palitana, as it is usually called, in Gujerat, 
about thirty miles from Gogo, on its eastern coast (Woodcut No. 1 25). 
No survey has yet been made of it, nor have its temples been counted ; 
but it covers a very large space of ground, and its shrines are 
scattered by hundreds over the summits of two extensive hills and 
in the valley between them. The larger ones are situated in tuks, or 
separate enclosures, surrounded by high fortified walls ; the smaller 
ones line the silent streets. A few yatis, or priests, sleep in the 
temples and perform the daily services, and a few attendants are 
constantly there to keep the place clean, which they do with the 
most assiduous attention, or to feed the sacred pigeons, who are the 
sole denizens of the spot; but there are no human habitations, 
properly so called, within the walls. The pilgrim or the stranger 
ascends in the morning, and returns when he has performed his 
devotions or satisfied his curiosity. He must not eat, or at least 
must not cook his food, on the sacred hill, and he must not sleep 
there. It is a city of the gods, and meant for them only, and not 
intended for the use of mortals. 

Jaina temples and shrines are, of course, to be found in cities, and 

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Chap. III. 



where there are a sufficient number of votaries to support a temple, 
as in other religions ; but, beyond this, the Jains seem, almost more 
than any sect, to have realised the idea that to build a temple, and 

to place an image in it, was in itself a highly meritorious act, wholly 
irrespective of its use to any of their co-religionists. Building a 
temple is with them a prayer in stone, which they conceive to be 

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eminently acceptable to the deity and likely to secure them benefits 
both here and hereafter. 

It is in consequence of the Jains believing to a greater extent 
than the other Indian sects in the efficacy of temple-biiilding as a 
means of salvation, that their architectural performances bear so 
much larger a proportion to their numbers than those of other re- 
ligions. It may also be owing to the fact that nine out of ten, or 
ninety-nine in a hundred, of the Jaina temples are the gifts of single 
wealthy individuals of the middle classes, that these buildings 
generally are small and deficient in that grandeur of proportion that 
marks the buildings undertaken by royal command or belonging to 
important organised communities. It may, however, be also owing 
to this that their buildings are more elaborately finished than those 
of more national importance. When a wealthy individual of the 
class who build these temples desires to spend his money on such an 
object, he is much more likely to feel pleasure in elaborate detail and 
exquisite finish than on great purity or grandeur of conception. 

All these peculiarities are found in a more marked degree at 
Falitana than at almost any other known place, and, fortunately for 
the student of the style, extending through all the ages during which 
it flourished. Some of the temples are as old as the 11th century, 
and they are spread pretty evenly ovet all the intervening period 
down to the present century. But the largest number and some of 
the most important are now erecting or were erected in the present 
century or in the memory of living men. Fortunately, too, these 
modem examples by no moans disgrace the age in which they are 
built. Their sculptures are inferior, and some of their details are 
deficient in meaning and expression; but, on the whole, they are 
equal, or nearly so, to the average examples of earlier ages. It is this 
that makes Falitana one of the most interesting places that can be 
named for the philosophical student of architectural art, inasmuch 
as he can there see the various processes by which cathedrals were 
produced in the Middle Ages, carried on on a larger scale than almost 
anywhere else, and in a more natural manner. It is by watching the 
methods still followed in designing buildings in that remote locality 
that we become aware how it is that the uncultivated Hindu can 
rise in architecture to a degree of originality and perfection which 
has not been attained in Europe since the Middle Ages, but which 
might easily be recovered by following the same processes. 


The hill of Gimar, on the south coast of Gujerat, not far from 
Puttun Somnath, is another shrine of the Jains, as sacred, but some- 

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Chaf. UI. GIRNAR. 229 

how not 80 fashionable in modem times as that at Palitana. It wants, 
consequently, that bewildering magnificence arising from the number 
and variety of buildings of all ages that crowd that temple city. 
Besides this, the temples themselves at Gimar lose much of their 
apparent size from being perched on the side of a hill rising 3500 ft. 
above the level of the sea, composed of granite rocks strewn about in 
most picturesque confusion. 

Although we have no Gimar Mahatmya to i-etail fables and 
falsify dates, as is done at Sutrunjya, we have at Gimar inscriptions 
which prove that in ancient times it must have been a place of great 
importance. On a rock outside the town at its foot, called par excel- 
lenee Junaghar — the Old Fort — Asoka, b.c. 250, carved a copy of 
his celebrated edicts.^ On the same rock, in a.d. 151, Rudra Dama, 
the Sah king of Saurastra, carved an inscription, in which he boasted 
of his victories over the Sat Kami, king of the Dekhan, and recorded 
his having repaired the bridge built by the Maury a Asoka.^ The 
embankment of the Sudarsana lake again burst and carried away 
this bridge, but was again repaired by Skanda, the last of the great 
Guptas, in the year a.d. 457,^ and another inscription on the same 
rock records this event. 

A place where three such kiugs thought it worth while to record 
their deeds or proclaim their laws must, one would think, have been an 
important city or place at that time ; but what is so characteristic of 
India occurs here as elsewhere. No material remains are found to 
testify to the fact.* There are no remains of an ancient city, no 
temples or ruins that can approach the age of the inscriptions, and 
but for their existence we should not be aware that the place was 
known before the 10th century. There are, it is true, some caves in 
the Uparkot which may be old; but they have not yet been exa- 
mined by any one capable of discriminating between ancient and 
modem things, and till so visited their evidence is not available.* 

* No really satisfactory translation of i most of the facts here recorded, is 

these Asoka edicts has yet been pub- 
lished. The best is that of Professor 
Wilson, in vol. xii. * Journal of Royal 
Asiatic Society.' Mr. Burgess has, how- 
ever, recently re-copied that at Gimar, 
and General Cunningham those in the 
north of India. When these are pub- 
lished it may be possible to make a 
better translation than has yet appoared. 

' 'Journal Bombay Branch of the 
Royal Asiatic Society,' vol. viii. p. 120. 

» Ibid., vol. vii. p. 124. 

* Lieut. Postans' * Journey to Gimar,' 
* Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bcii< 

taken either from Mr. Burgess's descrip- 
tions of the photographs in his 'Ybit 
to Somnath, Gimar, and other places in 
Eathiawar,' or Lieut. Postans' * Journey,' 
just referred to. Col. Tod's facts are too 
much mixed up with poetry to admit of 
their being quoted. 

* Mr. Burgess visited this place during 
the spring of the present year, and has 
brought away plans and sections, from 
which it appears these caves are old, but 
till his materials are published it is im- 
possible to state exactly how old they 
may be. I am afraid this work will be 
gal,' vol. vii. p. 865, ft tteqq. Thin, with ! published long bcfori* his Roport. 

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ItoOK II. 

My impression is that they may belong to the age of the Guptas, 
which was a great age for excavating caves of this class in India, but 
we must await farther information before deciding. 

The principal group of temples at Gimar, some sixteen in number, 
is situated on a ledge about 600 ft. below the summit, and still conse- 
quently nearly 3000 ft. above the level of the sea. The largest, possibly 
also the oldest of these, is that of Neminatha (Woodcut No. 126). An 

126. Temple of Neminatha, Qirnar. (From a Plan I7 Mr. Burgess.) Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 

inscription upon it records that it was repaired in a.d. 1278, and 
unfortunately a subsequent restorer has laid his heavy hand upon it, 
so that it is difficult now to realise what its original appearance may 
have been. This unfortunately is only too often the case with Jaina 
temples. If a Hindu temple or Mahomedan mosque is once deserted 
and goes to decay, no one ever after repairs it, but its materials are 
ruthlessly employed to build a new temple or mosque according to the 
newest fashion of the day. With the Jains it is otherwise. If a man 

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Chap. IH. GIRNAB. 231 

18 not rich enough to build a new fane, he may at least be able to 
restore an old one, and the act with them seems equally meritorious, 
as it usually is considered to be with us ; but the way they set about 
it generally consists in covering up the whole of the outside with a 
thick coating of chunam, filling up and hiding all the details, and 
leaving only the outline. The interior is generally adorned with 
repeated coats of whitewash, as destructive to artistic e£fect, but not 
so irreparable. 

The plan and the outline are generally, however, left as they were 
originally erected, and that is the case with the temple of Neminatha. 
It stands in a courtyard measuring 1 95 ft. by 130 ft. over all externally. 
The temple itself has two porches or mantapas, one of which is called 
by Hindu architects the Maha Mantapa, the other the Ard'ha 
Mantapa,^ though it is not quite dear to which of the two the term 
Maha, or great, should be applied in this instance ; I would say the 
inner, though that is certainly not the sense in which the term is 
usually understood. 

Around the courtyard are arranged seventy cells with a 
covered and enclosed passage in front of them, and each of these 
contains a cross-legged seated figure of the Tirthankar to whom the 
temple is dedicated, and generally with a bas-relief or picture 
representing some act in his life. But for the fall of the rock there 
would have been nine or ten more cells, and indeed this repetition of 
the images of the saint, like the multiplication of temples, seems to 
have been the great aim of the Jaina architects. As we shall presently 
see in a Jaina temple at Brambanam in Java, there were 236 small 
temples or cells surrounding the great one, and there, as here, each of 
them was intended to contain a similar image of one of the Tir- 

Immediately behind the temple of Neminatha is a triple one 
erected by the brothers Tejpala and Vastupala, who also erected one of 
the principal temples in Abu. From inscriptions upon its walls it 
seems to have been erected in a.d. 1177. The plan is that of three 
temples joined together, an arrangement not unfrequently found in 
the south, but rare in the north, which is to be regretted, as it is 
capable of great variety Of effect, and of light and shade to a greater 
extent than plainer forms. In this instance there is an image of Mai- 
linatha, the 19th Tirthankar, in the central cell, but the lateral ones 
each contain a remarkable solid pile of masonry called a Samosan, that 
on the north side named Mera or Sumera — a fabled mountain of the 
Jains and Hindus — shaving a square base (Woodcut No. 127); that on 
the south, called Samet Sikhara — Parisnath, in Bengal — with a nearly 
circular base. Each rises in four tiers of diminishing width, nearly to 

* Ram Raj, * Architecture of the HiucluB,' p. 49. 

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Book II. 

the roof, and is Burmounted by a small square canopy over the images.^ 
From this it would appear that with the Jains, the Mounts Gimar, 
Sutrunjya, Abu, &c., were not only holy plaoes, but holy things, and 
that with them— as with the Syrians— the worship of high places was 
really a part of their religion. 

127. Plau of Temple of Tejpala &nd Vastupala. (From a Plan by Mr. Burgess.) Scale 50 ft. to I iu. 

Some of the other temples at Gimar are interesting from their 

history, and remarkable from fragments 
of an ancient date that have survived 
the too constant repairs; but without 
illustrating them it would only be 
tedious to recapitulate their names, or 
to attempt to describe by words objects 
which only the practised eye of the 
Indian antiquary can appreciate. Not 
far from the hill, however, on the sea- 
shore, stands the temple of Somnath, 
historically perhaps the most celebrated 
in India, from the campaign which 
Mahmood of Gazni undertook for its 
destruction in 1025, and the momentous 
results that campaign had eventually on 
the fate of India. 

As will be seen from the annexed plan 
Scale 60 ft. to 1 in. " ' ( Woodcut No. 128) the temple itself never 
could have been remarkable for ite dimensions, probably it never 

Plan of Temple at Somnath. 
(Froma Plan by Mr. Burgess.) 

Burgost*, * Visit to Girnar,' &c., p. 3. 

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Chap. hi. 



exceeded about 130 ft. over all, but the dome of its porch, which 
measures 33 ft. across, is as large as any we know of its age. From 
the accounts, however, which we have of the siege, it is evident 
that it was enclosed like the temple of Neminatha (Woodcut No. 
1 26) in a courtyard, and that may have been of surpassing magnifi- 
cence. Though very similar in plan, it is nearly twice the dimensions 
of that of Neminatha, and if its court was proportionately large, it 
may really have justified all that has been said regarding its splen- 
dour. From what fragments of its sculptured decorations remain, 
they too must have been of great beauty, quite equal to anything 
we know of this class, or of their age. It has not yet been deter- 
mined, however, whether what we now see are fragments of the 
temple attacked by Mahmood, and consequently whether they belong 
to the 10th or even the 9th century, or whether they may be due to 
a repair which was eflfected in the 12th. As the story is now 
told, after Mahmood*s departure it was restored by Bhima Deva 
of Anhilwarra Puttun, who reigned 1021-1073, and adorned by Siddha 
Raja, 1093-1143, and lastly by Kumara Pala in 1168. Generally it 
is thought that what we now see belongs to the last named king. 
Anyone on the spot, thoroughly acquainted with the subject, might 
discriminate among these and tell us its story. In so far as photo- 
graphs enable us to judge, it would appear that a considerable portion 
of what we now see belongs to the original fane, though very much 
altered and knocked about by subsequent restorers. 

Another point of dispute is the name of the god to whom the 
temple was dedicated when the Moslem marched against it. From 
the name Someswara, it is generally assumed to have been Siva. If» 
however, that had been the case, the image in the sanctuary would 
almost certainly have been a lingam. The Mahomedan historians, 
however, represent it distinctly as having a head with eyes, arms, 
and a belly. ^ In that case it must either have been Vishnu or one of 
the Tirthankars. I can find no trace of Vishnuism in Gujerat at 
this period, but what seems to me to settle the case is, that all the 
kings above mentioned, who took part in the repairs after the 
departure of Mahmood, were undoubtedly Jains, and they would hardly 
have repaired or rebuilt a temple belonging to another sect. 

• ' Ferishta,' translated by General 
Briggs, vol. i. p. 72. Wilson, however 
C Asiatic Researches,' vol. xvii. p. 194), is 
clearly of opinion that it was a lingam. 
One slight circumstance mentioned inci- 
dentally by Ferishta (p. 74) convinces 
me as clearly it was Jaina. After de- 
scribing the destruction of the great idol. 

he goes on to say, " There were in the 
temple some thousands of small images, 
wrought in gold and silver, of various 
shai)es and dimensions." I know of no 
religion except that of the Jains— and 
the very late Buddhists— who indulged 
in this excessive reduplication of images. 

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Book II. 

MouxT Abu. 

It IS hardly to be wondered at that Monnt Abu was early fixed 
upon by the Hindus and Jains as one of their sacred spots. Rising 
from the desert as abruptly as an island from the ocean, it presents 
on almost every side inaccessible scarps 6000 ft. or 6000 ft. high, and 
the summit can only be approached by ravines that cut into its sides. 
When the summit is reached, it opens out into one of the loveliest 
valleys imaginable, six or seven miles long by two or three miles in 
width, cut up everywhere by granite rocks of the most fantastic 
shapes, and the spaces between them covered with trees and luxuriant 
vegetation. The little Nucki Talao, or Pearl Lake, is one of the love- 
liest gems of its class in all India, and it is near to it, at DUwarra, 
that the Jains selected a site for their Tirth, or sacred place of 
rendezvous. It cannot, however, be said that it has been a favourite 
place of worship in modem times. Its distance and inaccessibility 
are probably the causes of this, and it consequently cannot rival 
either Falitana or Gimar in the extent of its buildings ; but during 
the age of Jaina supremacy it was adorned with several temples, 
two of which are unrivalled for certain qualities by any temples in 
India. They are built wholly of white marble, though no quarries 
of that material are known to exist within 300 miles of the spot, 
and to transport and carry it up the hill to the site of these 
temples must have added immensely to the expense of the under- 

The more modem of the two was built by the same brothers, 
Tejpala and Vastupala, who erected the triple temple at Gimar 
(Woodcut No. 127). This one, we learn from inscriptions, was erected 
between the years 1197 and 1247, and for minute delicacy of carving 
and beauty of detail stands almost unrivalled even in the land of 
patient and lavish labour.^ 

The other, built by another merchant prince, Vimala Sah, appa- 
rently about the year a.d. 1032,* is simpler and bolder, though still 
as elaborate as good taste would allow in any purely architectural 
object. Being one of the oldest as well as one of the most complete 
examples known of a Jaina temple, its peculiarities form a convenient 
introduction to the style, and among other things serve to illustrate 
how complete and perfect it had already become when we first meet 
with it in India. 

> A view of this temple, not very ooi' 
rect but fairly ilhiBtratiTe of the style, 
forms the title-page to Col. Tod's * Travels 
in Westoni India/ 

' See * lilastrations of Indian Archi- 
tecture,' by the Author, p. 30, from which 
work the plan and view are taken. 

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The annexed plan (Woodcut No. 129) will suffice to explain the 
general arrangements of the temple of Vimala Sah, which, as will be 
observed, are similar to some we have already met, though of course 
varying considerably in 
extent and detail. 

The principal object 
here, as elsewhere, is 
a cell lighted only 
from the door, contain- 
ing a cross-legged seated 
figure of the saint to 
whom the temple is 
dedicated, in this in- 
stance Parswanatha. 
The cell, as in all other 
examples, terminates 
upwards in a sikra, or 
pyramidal spire - like 
roof, which is common 
to all Hindu and Jaina 
temples ^ of the age in 
the north of India. 
To this, as in almost 
all instances, is attached 
a portico, generally of 
considerable extent, and 
in most examples sur- 
mounted by a dome 
resting on eight pillars, which forms indeed the distinguishing cha- 
racteristic of the style, as well as its most beautiful feature. In 
this example the portico is composed of forty-eight free-standing 
pillars, which is by no means an unusual number ; and the whole 
is enclosed in an oblong courtyard, about 140 ft. by 90 ft., surrounded 
by a double colonnade of smaller pillars, forming porticos to a range 
of cells, fifty-five in number, which enclose it on all sides, exactly 
as they do in Buddhist viharas. In this case, however, each cell, 
instead of being the residence of a monk, is occupied by one of 
those cross-legged images which belong alike to Buddhism and 
Jainism, and between which so many find it difficult to distinguish. 
Here they are, according to the Jaina practice, all repetitions of the 
same image of Parswanatha, and over the door of each cell, or on its 
jambs, are sculptured scenes from his life. 

In other religions there may be a great number of separate similar 

Temple of Vimala Sah, Mount Abu. 

(From a Plan by the Author.) 

Scale 50 ft. to 1 In. 

' See ante, p. 221. 

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Book II. 

chapels attached to one building, but in no other would fifty-five be 
found, as in this example, or the seventy that surround the temple of 
Neminatha at Gimar (Woodcut No. 126), each containing an image of 
the same saint, and all so identical as to be undistinguishable. With 
the Jains it seems to be thought the most important point that the 

deity or saint is honoured by the number of his images, and that each 
image should be provided with a separate abode. In other examples, 
however, it is only a separate niche. On some Jaina monuments the 
image of the Tirthankar is repeated hundreds, it may almost be said 
a thousand times over, all the images identical, and the niches 
arranged in rows beside and above each other, like pigeon-holes in 
a dovecote. 

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Chap. III. 



Externally the temple is perfectly plain, and there is nothing to 
indicate the magnificence within, except the spire of the cell peeping 
over the plain wall, though even this is the most insignificant part of 
the erection. 

The woodcut (No. 130) will give some idea of the arrangement 
of the porch, but it would require a far more extensive and elaborate 
drawing to convey a correct impression of its extreme beauty of 
detail and diversity of design. The great pillars, as will be seen, 

131. Pendant in Dome of Vlmala Sah Temple at Abu. (From a Photograph.) 

are of the same height as those of the smaller external porticos ; and 
like them they finish with the usual bracket-capital of the East ; 
upon this an upper dwarf column or attic, if it may be so called, is 
placed to give them additional height, and on these upper columns 
rest the great beams or architraves which support the dome ; as, 
however, the bearing is long, at least in appearance, the weight is 
relieved by the curious angular strut or truss of white marble, men- 
tioned above (p. 215), which, springing from the lower capital, seems 
to support the middle of the beam. 

That this last feature is derived from some wooden or carpentrj^ 

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Book II. 

original, can, I think, scarcely be doubted; but in what manner it 
was first introduced into masonry construction is unknown : probably 
it might easily be discovered by a more careful examination of the 
buildings in this neighbourhood. It continues as an architectural 
feature down almost to the present day, but gradually becoming 
more and more attenuated, till at last, except in one example at Delhi, 
to be mentioned hereafter, it loses all its constructive significance as 
a supporting member, and dwindles into a mere ornament. 


PilUre at Chandrivfttl. (I->om Tod's • Western India.') 

On the octagon so formed rests the dome, the springing of which 
is shown in Woodcut No. 130 (p. 236). In this instance a single 
block in the angles of the octagon suffices to introduce the circle. 
Above the second row of ornaments sixteen pedestals are introduced 
supporting statues, and in the centre is a pendant of the most exqui- 
site beauty; the whole is in white marble, and finished with a 
delicacy of detail and appropriateness of ornament which is probably 
unsurpassed by any similar example to be found anywhere else. 
Those introduced by the Gothic architects in Henry VII.'s chapel at 

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Chap. III. * PABISNATH. 239 

WeetminBter, or at Oxford, are coarse and clumsy in comparison. It 
is difficult, by any means of illustration, to convey a correct idea of 
the extreme beauty and delicacy of these pendant ornaments, but the 
woodcut on page 237 (No. 131) from a photograph will explain their 
form, even if it cannot reflect their beauty. 

As before hinted, there never seems to have been any important 
town on Mount Abu. It was too inaccessible for that purpose ; but 
a few miles to the southward on the plain are the remains of an 
extensive city, called Chandr&vati, where there are extensive remains 
of Jaina temples of the same age and style as those on the mount, 
some of them probably more modem, but still all of the best age. 
The place, however, was destroyed at the time of the Mahomedan 
conquest in the middle of the 14th century, and has since remained 
wholly deserted. It has in consequence been used as a quarry by the 
neighbouring towns and villages, so that few of its buildings remain 
in a perfect state. The fragment, however, shown in Woodcut No. 
132, may serve to illustrate the style in which they were erected, 
but as no two pillars are exactly alike, it would require hundreds to 
represent their infinite variety of detail. 


The highest point of the Bengal range of hills, south of Raj- 
mahal, has characteristically been appropriated by the Jains as one 
of their most favourite Tirths. Its original name apparently was 
Mount Sikhar, and no less than nineteen of their twenty-four Tirth- 
ankars are said to have died and been buried there, among others 
Parswanatha, the last but one, and he consequently gave the hill the 
name it now bears. 

Unfortunately, no photographer has yet visited the hill, nor 
any one who was able to discriminate between what was new and 
what old. Such accounts, however, as we have are by no means 
encouraging, and do not lead us to expect any very remarkable 
architectural remains. The temples on the hill are numerous, but 
they seem all modem, or at least to have been so completely repaired 
in modem times that their more ancient features cannot now be 
disoemed. Something may also be due to the fact that, since the 
revival of that religion, Bengal has never been essentially a Jaina 
country. The Pala dynasty of Bengal seem to have remained 
Buddhist nearly to the Mahomedan conquest (a.d. 1203), when they 
seem suddenly to have dropped that religion and plunged headlong 
into the Yaishnava and Saiva superstitions. Whether from this, or 
from some other cause we cannot now explain, Jainism never seems 
to have taken root in Bengal. At the time that it, with Buddhism, 
took its rise in the sixth century B.C., Behar was the intellectual 

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Book IT. 

and the political centre of India, and Buddhism long held its sway 
in the country of its birth. Before, however, Jainism became politi- 
cally important, the centre of power had gravitated towards the 
West, and Jainism never seems to have attained importance in the 
country where it first appeared. Were it not for this, there seems 
little doubt but that Parisnath would have been more important in 
their eyes than Palitana or Gimar ; but it is not so, and it conse- 
quently occupies only a very slight comer in an architectural history 
of India. 

Besides the eflfect the Jains sought to obtain by grouping their 
temples on hill-tops, the love of the picturesque, which they seem 
to have cultivated more than any other sect in India, led them to 
seek it in an exactly opposite direction. Some of their favourite 
Tirths are found in deep and secluded valleys. One at Muktagiri, 
for instance, near Gawelghur, is situated in a deep well-wooded 
valley, traversed by a stream that breaks in its course into numerous 
picturesque waterfalls. 

Another example of this love of the picturesque is found at 
Sadri. In a remote valley piercing the western flank of the Ara- 
vulli, there is a group of temples, neither so numerous nor perhaps 

80 picturesquely situated as 
p-ry — " ■ r ■; those at Muktagiri, but of 
more interest architecturally, 
and situated in a spot evi- 
dently selected for its natural 

The principal temple here 
was erected by Khumbo Rana 
of Oudeypore. He seems to 
have been a zealous promoter 
of the Jaina religion, and 
during his long and pros- 
perous reign filled his 
country with beautiful build- 
ings, both civil and eccle- 
siastical. Amongst others, 
he built this temple of Sadri, 
situated in a lonely and de- 
serted glen, running into the 
western slope of the Ara- 
vulli, below his favourite fort of Komulmeer. Notwithstanding 
long neglect, it is still nearly perfect, and is the most complicated 
and extensive Jaina temple I have myself ever had an opportunity 
of inspecting. 

From the plan (Woodcut No. 133) it will be perceived that it is 

Plan of Temple at Sadri. 

(From a Plan by the Author.) 

Scale 100 n. to 1 in. 

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Chap. III. 



nearly a square, 200 ft. by 225 ft., exclusive of the projections on each 
face. In the centre stands the great shrine, not, however, occupied, 
as usual, by one cell, but by four ; or rather four great niches, in 
each of which is placed a statue of Adinatha, or Kishabdcva, the first 
and greatest of the Jaina saints. Above this are four other niches, 
similarly occupied, opening on the terraced roofs of the building. 
Near the four angles of the court are four smaller shrines, and around 
them, or on each side of them, are twenty domes, supported by about 
420 columns ; four of these domes — the central ones of each group — 

View in the Temple at Sadri. (From a Sketch by the Author.) 

are three storeys in height, and tower over the others ; and one — that 
facing the principal entrance — is 8upporte<l by the very unusual 
number of sixteen columns, and is 86 ft. in diameter, the others being 
only 24 ft. Light is admitted to the building by four uncovered 
courts, and the whole is surrounded by a range of cells, many of them 
now unoccupied, each of which has a pyramidal roof of its own. 

The internal effect of this forest of columns may be gathered from 
the view (Woodcut No. 1 34) taken across one of its courts ; but it is 
impossible that any view can reproduce the endless variety of perspec- 
tive and the play of light and shade which resulte from the disposition 
of the pillars, and of the domes, and from the mode in which the light 

uigiiizeu uy VjOOy IC 



Book II. 

is introduced. A wonderful oflfect also results from the number of 
cells, most of them containing images of the Tirthankar, which everj^- 
where meet the view. Besides the twelve in the central sikras there 
are eighty-six cells of very varied form and size surrounding the 
interior, and all their facades more or less adorned with sculpture. 

The general external effect of the Sadri Temple may be judged 
of by Woodcut No. 135 ; owing to its lofty basement, and the greater 

135. External View of the Temple at Sodri. 

elevation t)f the principal domes, it gives a more favourable impres- 
sion of a Jaina temple than is usually the case— the greatest defect 
of these buildings as architectural designs being the want of orna- 
ment on their exterior faces; this, however, is more generally the 
case in the older than in the more modem temples. 

The immense number of parts in the building, and their general 
smallness, prevents its laying claim to anything like architectural 
grandeur ; but their variety, their beauty of detail — no two pillars 
in the whole building being exactly alike— the grace with which 
they are arranged, the tasteful admixture of domes of dififerent heights 
with flat ceilings, and the mode in which the light is introduced, 
combine to produce an excellent effect. Indeed, I know of no other 
building in India, of the same class, that leaves so pleasing an im- 
pression, or affords so many hints for the graceful arrangement of 
columns in an interior. 

Besides its merits of design, its dimensions are by no means to be 
despised ; it covers altogether about 48,000 sq. ft., or nearly as much 
as one of our ordinary modiaBval cathedrals, and, taking the basement 
into account, is nearly of equal bulk ; while in amount of labour and 
of sculptural decorations it far surpasses any. 

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Chap. III. GUALIOR. 243 


The rock at Gualior is, and must always have been, one of the 
most remarkable high places in Central India, and seems, as such, 
early to have been appropriated by the Jains. Its position and its 
scarps, however, led to its being fortified, and, as one of the strongest 
places in India, it was attacked and taken by storm by Altiunsh, 
the first Moslem emperor of Delhi, in a.d. 1232; and from that time 
till the fall of the Mogul empire it was held by the Mahomedans, or 
by Hindu kings subject to their siizerainty. Under these circum- 
stances, w^e should hardly expect to find any extensive ancient Hindu 
remains in the place. There are, however, two very remarkable 
temples : one, known as the Sas Bahu, is generally understood to be 
a Jaina erection, and seems to be so designated and dedicated to 
Padmanatha, the sixth Tirthankar. General Cunningham doubts this 
adscript ion, ^ in consequence of the walls being adorned with bas- 
reliefs, belonging certainly to the Vaishnava and Saiva sects. As 
in the case of the AiwuUi temple, it is extremely difficult sometimes 
to say for what sect a temple was originally erected. In the times 
of w^hich we are now speaking the sects had not become distinct 
and antagonistic as they afterwards were. The different deities were, 
like those of the Greeks and Eomans, parts of one religion, which all 
shared in, and the temples were frequently of a most pantheistic 
character. Be this as it may, this temple was finished apparently 
in A.D. 1093, and, though dreadfully ruined, is still a most pic- 
turesque fragment. What remains is the cruciform porch of a temple 
which, when complete, measured 100 ft. from front to rear, and 63 ft. 
across the arms of the porch. Of the sanctuary, with its sikra, 
nothing is left but the foundation; but the porch, which is three 
storeys in height, is constructively entire, though its details — and 
principally those of its roof — are very much shattered (Woodcut 
No. 136, next page). 

An older Jaina temple is described by General Cunningham, but 
as it was used as a mosque it is more likely that it is a Mahomedan 
building entirely, though made up of Jaina details.* The most 
striking part of the Jaina remains at Gualior are a series of caves 
or rock-cut sculptures that are excavated in the rock on all sides, and 
amount, when taken together, to hardly less than a hundred, great 
and small. They are, however, very unlike the chaityas or viharas of 
the Buddhists, still less do they resemble the Brahmanical caves, to 
be mentioned hereafter. Most of them are mere niches to contain 
statues, though some are cells that may have been originally intended 

• * Archaolopical RcimrtH,' vol. ii. p. 367. « Ibid., plate 00. 

R 2 

uigiiizea uy 





for refiidcnooB. One curious fact regarding them is, that, according to 
inscriptions, they were all excavated within the short period of about 

thirty-three years, between a.d. 1441 and a.d. 1474. Some of the 
figures are of colossal size : one, for instance, is 57 ft. high, which is 

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Chap. III. 



greater than any other in the north of India, though in the south 
there are several which equal or surpass it, and, as free-standing 
figures are more expressive and more difficult to executo. 


The city of Khajuraho, 
the ancient capital of the 
Chandels, is situated atout 
125 miles W.S.W. from Allah- 
abad, and about JiO miles 
S.E. from Gualior. It is now 
a wretched deserted place, 
but has in and around it a 
group of some thirty temples, 
which, so far as is at present 
known, are the most beauti- 
ful in form as well as the 
most elegant in detail of any 
of the temples now standing 
in India.* 

So far as can be made 
out from such inscriptions as 
exist, as well as from their 
style, it appears that all 
these temples, with two un- 
important exceptions, were 
executed simultaneously and 
within the limits of the 11th 
century; and, what is also 
curious, they seem to be, as 
nearly as possible, equally 
divided between the three 
religions. In each group 
there is one greater than 
the rest — a cathedral in fact 
— round which the smaller 
ones are clustered. In the 
Saiva group it is the Kan- 
darya Mahadeva, of which 
a representation will be given further on ; in the Vaishnava group it 

Temple of FarewanAtha at Khi^ur&ho. 
(From a Photograph.) 

* The only person who has described 
these temples in any detail is Gen. Cun- 
ningham, * Archa)ological Reports,' vol. 
ii. p. 412, et seqq.^ from which conse- 
quently all that is here said is taken. 

I am also indebted to the General for 
a very complete set of photographs of 
these temples, which enables me to 
six'ak of their appearance with confi- 

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Book II. 

is the Hamacliandra ; and in the Jaina the Jinanatha : all three so 
like one another that it requires very great familiarity with the 
photographs to distinguish the temple of one religion from those 
of the others. It looks as if all had been built by one prince, 
and by some arrangement that neither sect should surpass or bo 
jealous of the other. Either from this, or from some cause we do 
not quite understand, we lose here all the peculiarities we usually 
assign to Jaina temples of this age. The vimana or sikra is more 
important than the porch. There are no courtyards with circum- 
ambient cells ; no prominent domes, nor, in fact, anything that dis- 
tinguishes Jaina from Hindu architecture. If not under the sway 
of a single prince, they must have been erected in an age of extreme 
toleration, and when any rivalry that existed must only have been 
among the architects in trying who could produce the most beautiful 
and most exquisitely adorned building. 

As an illustration of one of the three great temples will be given 

further on, a view of one of the 
smaller Jaina temples, that of 
Parswanatha (Woodcut No. 137), 
will suffice to illustrate the stylo 
of art here employed. Its porch 
either never was added or has been 
removed and replaced in modem 
times by a brick abomination with 
pointed arches. This, however, 
hardly interferes with the temple 
itself. There is nothing probably 
in Hindu architecture that sur- 
passes the richness of its three- 
storeyed base combined with the 
extreme elegance of outline and 
delicate detail of the upper part. 

The two exceptional temples 
above alluded to are, first, one 
called the Chaonsat Jogini, or 
sixty-four female demons. It 
consists merely of a courtyard, 
measuring 105 ft. by 60 ft, and 
surrounded by sixty - four small 
cells, each of which is surmounted by a small spire, as shown in the 
woodcut (No. 138). This is so essentially a Jaina arrangement (see 
Temple of Neminatha, for instance — Woodcut No. I'iO), that I have 
very little doubt this was originally a temple bclimging to that 
religion. The temple itself it is true has gone, but if it was as old 

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CliaoD8at Jogini. Kbi^arabo. 
(From a Plan by Hen. Canninghaiu.) 
Scalo 50 ft. to 1 in. 

Chap. III. KHAJURAHO. 247 

88 I believe it is,* notliing is more probable than that it was of 
wood, like the old chaityas of the Buddhists, and has perished. If 
this view is correct it is probably the oldest Jaina temple yet 

The other exceptional building is one of totally diflFerent character, 
and is as remarkable for its extreme elegance, even at Khajuraho, as 
the other is for its rudeness. It is called Ganthai, cither from the bells 
sculptured on its pillars, or for some other cause unknown. Unfortu- 
nately it is only a fragment — a skeleton without flesh — a few pillars 
of a double portico now standing alone without the walls that once 
enclosed them (Woodcut No. 139, next page). 

From the form of several lett-ers in an inscription, found among 
these ruins. General Cunningham is inclined to believe that this 
temple may belong to the sixth or seventh century of our era ; which 
is, as near as may be, the date I would ascribe to it, from the character 
of its architectural details. But when at the same time from finding 
a Buddhist statue and a short Buddhist inscription near them (p. 431), 
he is inclined to assign them to that religion, I beg leave to differ. 
Till, however, we know more than we now do of what the diff*erences 
or similarities between the architecture of the Jains and Buddhists 
were- at the age when the temple was erected, it is impossible to argue 
the question. Almost all wo know of Buddhist art at that time 
being derived from rock- cut examples, we have no pillars so slender 
as these, but it by no means follows that they may not have existed. 
They are not known however, while many Jaina examples are 
known so nearly like these as to establish a strong presumption that 
they belong to that religion. The plan too of the building, so far as 
it can be made out, is utterly unlike anything we know that is 
Buddhist, but very similar to many that certainly are Jaina.* 

Be this as it may, these pillars are singularly graceful in their 
form, and elegant in their details, and belong to a style which, if there 
were more examples of it, I would feel inclined to distinguish as the 
"Gupta style." Except, however, some fragments at Erun and 
these pillars, we have very little we can ascribe with anything like 
certainty to their age, 400 to 600. It would be most interesting, 
however, if something more could be discovered, as it is the age when 
the great Vicramaditya lived, and when Hindu literature reached its 
highest point of perfection, and one Hindu temple of that age would 
consequently throw light on many problems. Some Buddhist caves 

* General Cunningham hcsitatee to ' duce me to believe it to be exceptionally 

adopt its extreme simplicity and rude- old. 

nc8B as a test of its age, because it is 
built of granite, the other in the exquisite 
stone of the neighbourhood. Its plan, 
however, and the forms of its sikras, in- 

• For plans of similar Jaina temples, 
see Mr. Burgess's Report on Belgom and 
KuUidgi, pis. 2, 10 and 45. These, how- 
ever, are more modem tban this one. 

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and thoso Jaina fragments are all, however, that have yet come to 
light. There seems, nevertheless, very little doubt that more exist in 

The Oantbai, Khqjar&bo. (From a Photograph ) 

Rajputana and Central India. At Gyraspore, near Bhilsa, 140 milen 
south-west from this, there is a grouji of columns arranged like these, 

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Chap. III. 



and like them deprived of their walls (Woodcut No. 140). In the 
Mokundra pass there is a third example.^ Was it that their walls 
were of sun-burnt bricks? or merely of small square stones which, 
being easily removed, were utilised? My impression is, the latter 
was the case ; but be this as it may, these Gyraspore pillars are un- 
doubtedly the remains of a Jaina edifice, but of an age considerably 

140. Toiu|/le at Gyrospure. ^Fruiu a J'hotugraph.) 

more modem than the Ganthai. They can hardly under any circum- 
stances be ascribed to an age anterior to the great civil war which 
commenced a,v, 650; but they are almost certainly anterior to the 
great revival in the 10th century. In the same town of Gyraspore is 
a very grand old temple apparently of about the same age as these 
pillai-B. Its details at least are old, but it has been so ruined and 

* * ricturcsque lUustratioua of Indiuii Architecture,* by the Author, plate 5. 

uigiiizeu uy VjOOVJ IC 


repaired, and almost rebuilt, that it is extremely difficult to say what 
the form or purpose of the original erection may have been. There is 
also a toran of great beauty in the village, probably of the 11th 
century, and in fact throughout this region there are numberless 
remains partially made known to us by photography, but which if 
scientifically examined would probably suffice to fill up some of the 
largest gaps in our history, and especially in that of Jaina archi- 

At Bhanghur for instance, in the Alwar territory, there are some 
very beautiful Jaina temples. One in that neighbourhood, photo- 
graphed by Captain Impey, belongs to the 10th or 11th century, and is 
as beautiful as any of its class, either at Ehajur&ho or elsewhere, 
and near it again is a colossal Jaina image, called Nan Gihigi, some 
20 ft. in height, which is apparently of the same age as the temples, 
and consequently superior to any of the colossi at Gualior or in the 
south of India.^ 'I'he Jains as a sect are hardly now known in 
Eajputana, and their temples are consequently neglected and falling 
into decay ; though some of them, being of the best age and unrestored, 
are of extreme interest to the investigator of Indian art. 

Among these, few are more pleasing than the little temple at 
Amwah, near Ajunta (Woodcut No. 141). It is only a fragment. 
The sanctuary with its spire are gone, only the portico remaining ; 
and its roof externally is so ruined, that its design can with diffi- 
culty be made out. Yet it stands so well on its stylobate, and 
the thirty-two small columns that support the roof externally are so 
well proportioned and so artistically arranged, as to leave little to 
be desired. 

The great feature of the interior is a dome 21 ft. in diameter, 
supported on twelve richly carved pillars, with eight smaller ones 
interspersed. Like all Indian domes, it is horizontal in construction, 
and consequently also in ornamentation, but as that is done here, it 
is as elegant or more so than the ribbed domes of western art. This 
one is plain in the centre, having no pendant — which, however, is 
one of the most marked and pleasing features of Jaina domes, as 
may be gathered from the example in the temple of Vimala Sah at 
Mount Abu (Woodcut No. 131). 

As before mentioned, the Buddhists, though always employing 
circular roofs, and in all ages building topes with domical forms 
externally, never seem to have attempted an internal dome, in stone 
at least. The Hindus occasionally essayed a timid imitation of those of 
the Jains, but in no instance with much success. It is essentially a 
feature of Jaina architecture, and almost exclusively so among the 

* Impey, * Vi<iws in Delhi, Agra, and Rajpootana,' London, 1S65, froutigpiecc 
and plate 60. 

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Chap. 111. 



northern Indians, though, why this particular sect should have 
adopted it, and why they, and they only, should have persevered in 
using it through so long a period, are questions we are not yet in 
a position to answer. It was an essential feature in the architecture 
of the Moslems before they came into India, and they consequently 
eagerly seized on the domes of the Jains when they first arrived 
there, and afterwards from them worked out that domical style 
which is one of the most marked characteristics of their art in India. 

141. Porch of Joina Temple at Amwah, near AJunta. (From a Photograph by M^or Gill.) 

One of the most interesting Jaina monuments of the age is the 
tower of Sri AUat,^ which still adorns the brow of Chi ttore ( Woodcut 
No. 142, next page), and is one probably of a great number of similar 
monuments that may at one time have existed. From their form, how- 
ever, they are frail, and trees and human violence so easily overthrow 
them, that we ought not to wonder that so few remain. This one is 
a singularly elegant specimen of its class, about 80 ft. in height, and 
adorned with sculpture and mouldings from the base to the summit.^ 
An inscription once existed at its base, which gave its date as a. p. 
896, and though the slab was detached this is so nearly the date we 
would arrive at from the style that there seems little doubt that it 

' Sri Allat, to whom the erection of this 
lower ia ascribeil, is the 12th king, men- 
tioned in TocVs Aitporo inscriptions 
(* Rajastan,* vol. i. p. 802). 

' * Picturesque Illustrntions of Ancient 
Arcliitccture in Himlostdn/ by the 

Autiior, pi. 8, p. 38. 

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Book II. 

Jaina Tuwcr of Sri Allat, Chittorc. (From a Photograph.) 

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Chap. III. 



was of that age. It was dedicated to Adnath, the first of the Jaina 

Tirthankars, and his figure _^ _ _ 

is repeated some hundreds " ^ ~ I 

of times on the face of the 
tower, but, so far as I could 
perceive, not that of any of 
the other Jaina saints. 

The temple in the fore- 
ground is of a more modem 
date, being put together 
principally of fragments of 
older buildings which have 

Most of the buildings 
above described belong to 
the first or great age of 
Jaina architecture, which 
extended down to about the 

year 1300, or perhaps a little 

after that. There seems 

then to have been a pause, 

at least in the north of India, 

but a revival in the 15th 

century, especially under 

the reign of Khumbo, one of 

the most powerful of the 

kings of the Mewar dynasty 

whose favourite capital was 

Chittore. His reign ex- 
tended from 1418 to 1468, 

and it is to him that we owe 

the other of the two towers 

that still adorn the brow of 

Chittore. The older one 

has just been described and 

illustrated. This one was 

erected as a pillar of vic- 
tory to commemorate his 

victory over Mahmiid of 

Malwa, in the year 1489. 

It is therefore in Indian 

phraseology a J ay a Stanibha, 

or pillar of victory, like ^^3 ^r^^.„ „f vict..ry erected by Khmnlx. Raua at 

that of Trajan at Kome, Chittore. (Fro... a rhotogniph.) 

but in infinitely better taste as an architectural object than the 

uigiiized by VjOOQIC 


Koman example, though in sculpture it may be inferior. As will bo 
seen from the last woodcut (No. 143), it is nine storeys in height, each 
of which is distinctly marked on the exterior. A stair in the centre 
communicates with each, and leads to the two upper storeys, which 
are open, and more ornamental than those below. It is 30 ft. wide 
at the base, and more than 120 ft. in height ; the whole being covered 
with architectural ornaments and sculptures to such an extent as to 
leave no plain parts, while at the same time this mass of decoration 
is kept so subdued, that it in no way interferes either with the 
outline or the general effect of the pillar.^ 

The Mahomedans, as we shall afterwards see, adopted the plan of 
erecting towers of victory to commemorate their exploits, but the 
most direct imitation was by the Chinese, whose nine-storeyed 
pagodas are almost literal copies of these Jaina towers, translated 
into their own peculiar mode of expression. 

Other examples of this middle style of Jaina architecture are to be 
found at Palitana, Gimar, and all the fashionable tirths of the Jainas, 
but they have not yet been described or illustrated to that extent 
that enables us always to feel sure that what we see really belongs to 
this date, and may not be a repair or a modification of some pre-existing 
building. The Chaumuk — or Four-faced— at Palitana seems certainly 
to have been erected in its present form in 1(518, and is a very grand 
and beautiful example of the style.^ The temple too of Ardishur 
Bagavan, which is the largest single temple on that hill, seems to 
have assumed its present form in 1530,^ though parts of it may be 
older. At least, it is certain that an older temple stood on the spot, 
though not with the fabulous antiquity ascribed to it by the priests, 
and credulously repeated by Colonel Tod.* 

Though deficient in the extreme grace and elegance that charac- 
terised the earlier examples, those of the middle style are bold and 
vigorous specimens of the ai-t, and still show an originality and an 
adherence to the traditions of the style, and a freedom from any 
admixtures of foreign elements, which cannot be predicated of the 
modem style that succeeded it. 

^ The dome that now crowns this tower several photographs, 
was substituted for the old dome since I * Burgess, loc. cit., p. 2.5. 

sketched it in 1839. 

' Burgess, * Sutrunjya,* p. 20. A plan 
of this temple is given by him and 

Tod's 'Travels in Western India,' 
pp. 280, 281. 

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Jaina Temple, Delhi — Jaina Caves ~ Converted Moequos 

The two places in northern India where the most modern styluH 
of Jaina architecture can probably be studied to most advantage 
are Sonaghur, near Dutteah, in Bundelcund, and Muktagiri, near 
Gawelghur, in Berar. ITie former is a granite hill, covered with large 
loose masses of primitive rock, among which stand from eighty to one 
hundred temples of various shapes and sizes (Woodcut No. 144, p. 250). 
So far as can be made out from photographs or drawings,^ not one 
of these temples assumed its present form more than one hundred 
years ago. Their original foundation may be earlier, but of that we 
know nothing, no traveller having yet enlightened us on the subject, 
nor explained how and when this hill became a sacred mount. 

Like most Hindu buildings of the period, all these temples show 
very distinctly the immense influence the Mahomedan style of archi- 
tecture had on that of the native styles at this ago. Almost all the 
temples hero are surmoimted by the bulbous dome of the Moguls. 
The native sikra rarely appears, and the openings almost invariably 
take the form of the Mahomedan foliated pointed arch. The result 
is picturesque, but not satisfactory when looked closely into, and 
generally the details want the purity and elegance that characterised 
the earlier examples. 

Muktagiri, instead of being situated on a hill, as the tirths of 
the Jains usually are, is in a deep romantic valley, and the largest 
group of temples are situated on a platform at the foot of a waterfall 
that thunders down from the height of 60 ft. above them. Like 
those of Sonaghur, they are all of the modem domed style, copied 
from Moslem art, and none of them, so far as can be ascertained 
from such illustrations as exist, remarkable for beauty of design. 
It would, however, be difficult to find another place in India where 

* L. Rousselet, in * L*Inde dea Rajahs,' i temples. I possess several photographs 
devotes three plates, pp. 396-8, to these | of them. 

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Ik>OK 11. 

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Chap. IV. 



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architecture is so happily combined with the beauties of nature and 
produces so pleasing an impression on the lover of the picturesque, 
though nearer acquaintance may result in disappointment to the 
antiquarian student of the style. 

In remote parts of the empire, and especially in the immediate 
vicinity of the older shrines, this Mahomedan influence was much 
less felt than in the places just mentioned. The modem temples, for 
instance, at Palitana have domes, it is true, but they arc much more 
directly the lineal descendants of the old Jaina domes than copies of 
those of the Moguls, and the foliated pointed arch rarely, if ever, 
occurs in the waUs of that old city. It requires, indeed, a practised 
eye to discriminate between what is old and what is new, and 
without the too manifest inferiority of modem sculpture this would 
not always be easy even to the most accomplished antiquary. 

One example must for the present suffice to show the effect aimed 
at by this style in recent times, as well as to illustrate how little it has 
degenerated from its ancient excellence. For, though this woodcut 
(No. 145) does not prove it, there are photographs in this country 
which do exhibit the marvellous details of this temple in a manner 
not to be mistaken. It was erected about thirty years ago by Hutti- 
sing, a rich Jaina merchant, and dedicated to Dharmanath, the 15th 
Tirthankar. In this instance the external porch between two circular 
towers is of great magnificence and most elaborately ornamented, 
and leads to an outer court with sixteen cells on either side. In the 
centre of this is a domed porch of the usual form, with twenty pillars 
(see Woodcut No. 117). This leads to an inner porch of twenty-two 
pillars, two storeys in height, and with a roof of a form very fashion- 
able in modem Jaina temples, though by no means remarkable for 
beauty, and difficult to render intelligible without more illustration 
than it merits. This leads to a triple sanctuary, marked by throe 
sikras, or spires externally. Behind this is a smaller court with 
two groups of eight cells, one in each angle, with a larger cell in 
the centre, and two, still more imjwrtant, at the point of junction 
between it and the first court. To the eye of a European, un- 
accustomed to its forms, some of them may seem strange ; but its 
arrangement, at least, will probably be admitted to be very perfect. 
Each part goes on increasing in dignity as we approach the sanctuary. 
The exterior expresses the interior more completely than even a 
Gothic design ; and whether looked at from its courts or from the 
outside, it possesses variety without confusion, and an appropriate- 
ness of Qvcry part to the purpose for which it was int^jnded. 

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Chap. IV. 



Jaina Temple, Delhi. 

There is one other example that certainly deserves notice before 
leaving this branch of the subject, not only on account of its beauty, 

146. Upper part of Porch of Jaina Temple at Delhi. (From a Photoirraph.) 

but its singularity. In the preceding pages it has frequently been 
necessary to remark upon that curious wooden strut by which the 

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Jains songht to relieve the apparent weakness of the longer beams 
under their domes. It occurs at Abu (Woodcut No. 129), at Gimar, 
at Oudeypore, and many other places we shall have to remark upon 
in the sequel; everywhere, in fact, where an octagonal dome was 
used. It was employed also by the Hindus in their torans, and so 
favourite an ornament did it become that Akbar used it frequently 
both at Agra and Futtehpore Sikri. For centuries it continued with- 
out much alteration, but at last, in such an example as the great 
Bowli at Bundi,^ we find it degenerating into a mere ornament. 
It was left, however, for a Jaina architect of the end of the last 
or beginning of this century, in the Mahomedan city of Delhi, to 
suggest a mode by which what was only conventionally beautiful 
might really become an appropriate constructive part of lithic 

As will be observed in the last cut (No. 146), the architect has 
had the happy idea of filling in the whole of the back of the strut 
with pierced foliaged tracery of the most exquisite device— thus 
turning what, though elegant, was one of the feeblest parts of Jaina 
design into a thoroughly constructive stone bracket; one of the 
most pleasing to be found in Indian architecture, and doing this 
while preserving all its traditional associations. The pillars, too, 
that support these brackets are of great elegance and constructive 
propriety, and the whole makes up as elegant a piece of architectural 
design as any certainly of its age. The weak part of the composition 
is the dome. It is elegant, but too conventional. It no longer has 
any constructive propriety, but has become a mere ornament. It 
is not difficult, however, to see why natives should admire and 
adopt it. When the eyes of a nation have been educated by a 
gradual succession of changes in any architectural object, persevered 
in through five or six centuries, the taste becomes so accustomed 
to believe the last fashion to be the best, the change has been so gra- 
dual, that people forget how far they are straying from the true path. 
The European, who has not been so educated, sees only the result, 
without having followed the steps by which it has been reached, and is 
shocked to find how far it has deviated from the form of a true dome 
of construction, and, finding it also unfamiliar, condemns it. So, 
indeed, it is with nine-tenths of the ornaments of Hindu architec- 
ture. Few among us are aware how much education has had to do 
with their admiration of classical or mediasval art, and few, con- 
sequently, perceive how much their condemnation of Indian forms 
arises from this very want of gradual and appropriate education. 

* * Picturesque Illustrations of Indian Architecture,' pi. 17. 

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Chap. IV. CAVES. 261 

Jaina Caves. 

The Jains never were great cave-diggers ; the nature of their 
religion did not require great assembly halls like the chaityas of the 
Buddhists, nor was it necessary that their priests should live apart in 
monasteries like those of their predecessors, and their ceremonial 
affected light and air rather than gloom or mystery. Like the 
Brahman 8, however, during the stage of transition they could hardly 
refuse entirely to follow a fieushion set by the Buddhists, to which all 
India had been accustomed for nearly 1000 years, and which was 
in reality a singularly impressive form of temple-building. We find 
them, consequently, excavating caves at Ehandagiri near Guttack, in 
succession to the older ones in the Udayagiri. At Ellora they followed 
immediately after the Buddhists ; and elsewhere there are caves which 
may be claimed by either religion, so like are they to each other in 
their transitional state. 

Great light has recently been thrown on the history of these 
excavations by the discovery of a Jaina cave at Badami, in Dharwar, 
with a well-ascertained date.^ There is no inscription on the cave 
itself, but there are three other Brahmanical caves in the same place, 
one of which has an inscription with an undoubted date, 500 Saka 
or A.D. 679 ; and all four caves are so like one another in style that 
they must have been excavated within the same century. The Jaina 
cave is probably the most modem ; but if we take the year a.d. 650 
as a medium date, we may probably consider it as certain within an 
error of twenty years either way. 

The cave itself is very small, only 31 ft. across and about 19 ft. 
deep, and it is a little uncertain whether the groups of figures at 
either end of the verandah are integral, or whether they may not 
have been added at some subsequent period. The inner groups, how- 
ever, are of the age of the cave, and the architecture is imaltered, 
and thus becomes a fixed standing-point for comparison with other 
examples ; and when we come to compare it with the groups known 
as the Indra Subha and Jagan&t Subha at Ellora, we cannot hesitate 
to ascribe them to about the same age. Hitherto, the Jaina group 
at Ellora has been considered as the most modem there: an im- 
pression arising partly from the character of the sculptures them- 
selves, which are neither purely Jaina nor purely Hindu — more, 
however, from the extreme difficulty of comparing rock-cut examples 
with structural ones. Our knowledge of the architecture of temples 
is, in nine cases out of ten, derived from their external forms, to which 
the interiors are quite subordinate. Cave-temples, however, have 
practically no exteriors, and at the utmost facades modified to admit 

Burgess, * Report on BelgAm and Kuladji Districts,' 1875, p. 25, plates 36 and 37. 

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Book IL 

more light than is usual in structural edifices, and then strengthened 
and modified so as to suit rock-cut architecture. As no ancient Jaina 
temple hitherto known had a dated inscription upon it, nor a tolerably 
authenticated history, it is no wonder that guesses might be wide of 
the tnith. Now, however, that we know positively the age of one 
example, all this can be rectified, and there seems no doubt that all 
the Indra Subha group were finished before the cataclysm — say 
before a.d. 750. 

When with this new light we come to examine with care the 
architecture of these fagades, we find the Ellora group exhibits an 

147. Entrance to the Indra Subha Cave at Ellora. (From a Photograph.) 

extraordinary affinity with the southern style. The little detached 
shrine in the courtyard of the Indra Subha, and the gateway shown 
in the above woodcut (No. 147), are as essentially Dravidian 
in style as the Kylas itself, and, like many of the details of these 
caves, so nearly identical that they cannot possibly be distant in 
date. May we, therefore, assume from this that the Chalukyan king- 
dom of Kalian, in the seventh century of our era, extended from 
Ellora on the north to Badami on the south, and that all these rock- 
cut examples, with the temple at Aiwulli (Woodcut No. 120), were 
excavated or erected under their auspices ? 

To this Avo shall have occasion to revert presently, when de- 

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soribing the Dravidian style ; but meanwhile it may be assumed that 
this theory represents the facts of the case more nearly than any 
hitherto brought forward. The Chalukyas of Kalian were situated 
on the border-line, halfway between the north and the south, and 
they, or their subjects, seem to have practised the styles of archi- 
tecture belonging to those two divisions indiscriminately — it might 
almost be said alternately — and we consequently find them mixed up 
here and at Dhumnar in a manner that is most puzzling. 

The last king of this race, Vicramaditya II., ascended the throne 
A.D. 733,^ and died probably in or about the year a.d. * 760. It was 
probably, therefore, before that date that these Dravidian temple- 
forms were introduced by the Jains at Ellora. The Kylas and other 
great Saiva temples were, I believe, excavated by the Cheras or 
Cholas, who were the Dravidian races, and, if I mistake not, superseded 
the Chalukyas on the death of Vicramaditya, their last king, and 
carried their power, as will presently be explained, up to the Ner- 
budda. The Jains, however, seem to have been earlier in the field, 
and this little shrine in the court of the Indra Subha looks very 
much as if it may have been the model that suggested the Kyleus, the 
greatest of all Indian rock-cut examples of its class. 

Converted Mosques. 

Another form in which we can study the architecture of the 
Jains in the north of India is the courtyards of the early mosques 
which the Mahomedans erected on their first entry into India. So 
essentially do some of these retain their former features that it might 
be convenient to describe them here. It is doubtful, however, in 
some instances whether the pillars are — some or all of them — in their 
original position, or to what extent they have been altered or eked out 
by the conquerors. Be this as it may, for our present purposes 
the one fact that is certain is, that none of them are now Jaina 
temples. All are Mahomedan mosques, and it will, therefore, be 
more logical, as well as more convenient, to group them with the 
latter rather than with the former class of buildings. 

Were it not for this, the Arhai-din-ka Jomphra, at Ajmir — so 
called — ^might be, and has been, described as a Jaina temple.^ So 
might a great part of the mosque at the Kutub, Delhi. That at 
Canouge, however, was originally a rearrangement, and has been 
much altered since I knew it ; that at Dhar, near Mandu, is of com- 
paratively recent date; while the Jaina pillars, so frequently used 

* ' Journal of the Boyal Asiatic So- I * Tod*8 * Rajaatan,' vol. i. p. 778, and 
ciety,* vol. iv. p. 7; 'Madras Journal,' | plate facing it. 
vol. XX. p. 78, et seqq. • 

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at Ahmedabad in the loth oentury, are all imported, and used in 
poeitions for which they never were intended. 

The astylar temples of the Hindus were useless to the Moslems 
except as quarries — a purpose to which they were frequently applied ; 
but the light columnar style of the Jains not only supplied materials 
more easily adapted to their purposes, but furnished hints of which 
the Moslem architects were not slow to avail themselves. The archi- 
tecture of Ahmedabad, for instance (a.d. 1396 to 1672), is derived 
far more directly from the Jaina than from any style familiar to 
their co-religionists in any other part of the world. The same may 
be said of that of Juanpore, though in the last-named city there 
is hardly a stone that can be said to be derived direct from any 
previously existing building. 

The process by which this conversion of a Jaina temple to a 
Moslem mosque was effected will be easily understood by referring to 
the plan of that of Vimala Sah, on Mount Abu (Woodcut No. 129, 
p. 236). By removing the principal cell and its porch from the 
centre of the court, and building up the entrances of the oells that 
surround it, a courtyard was at once obtained, surrounded by a 
double colonnade, which always was the typical form of a mosque. 
Still one essential feature was wanting — a more important side 
towards Mecca; this they easily obtained by removing the smaller 
pillars from that side, and re-erecting in their place the larger pillars 
of the porch, with their dome in the centre ; and, if there were two 
smaller domes, by placing one of them at each end. Thus, without a 
single now column or carved stone being required, they obtained a 
mosque which, for convenience and beauty, was unsurpassed by any- 
thing they afterwards erected from their own original designs. 

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Bettus — BttStifl. 

A (iooD deal has been done lately in the way of photographing 
the monuments of the Jains in southern India, but nothing, so far 
as I am aware, has recently been written that gives any statistical 
account of their present position in the country, nor any information 
when their establishments were firht formed in Mysore and Canara.^ 
VV hat is even more to be regretted for our present purposes is, that 
no plans have been made of their buildings and no architectural 
details drawn, so that altogether our knowledge of the subject is 
somewhat superficial; but it is interesting from its extent, and 
curious from the unexpected relationship it reveals with other styles 
and countries. 

Mr. Burgess's report has proved that Jains did exist at Aiwulli 
and Badami {supra, p. 2(51) as early as the end of the 6th, or cer- 
tainly in the 7 th century ; but after that there is a pause or break 
of four or five centuries, when the style reappears in strength at 
Belgaon and in that neighbourhood in the 11th and 12th centuries. 
In the same manner southern Jains seem to have pressed northward 
as far as Ellora in the 7th or 8th century, taking their Dravidian 
style with them (supra, p. 261); but there again we stop, in so far 
as any direct evidence has been found, till the great outburst of Jaina 
magnificence at the end of the 10th century, which then seems to have 
continued in the north till disturbed by the Mahomedan invasion. 
It is by no means clear whether the destruction of their temples, as at 
Ajmir and Delhi, and the persecution of their faith generally, may 
not have been the cause that induced the Jains to migrate south- 
ward. It certainly was about that time when its greatest develop- 
ment in the south took place. Of course it existed there before, 

> Unfortunately the oenBus of 1872 did 
not extend to the Mysore, where the 
principal Jaina establishments are situ- 
ated, nor to any of the native states of 

southern India. The figures thus given 
do not consequently at all represent the 
facts of the case. 

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and some of the early kings of Hoisala Bellalas were Jains, nominally 
at least. All their buildings, however, so far as we know them, 
either at Somnathpur, BellAr, or Hullabld, belong to the Vaishnava 
or Saiva faiths. 

Another circumstance which is perplexing, or at least unusual, is, 
that the Jainism of the south does not seem to be foimded on any pre- 
existing Buddhism. No important Buddhist remains have yet been 
discovered south of Poona, with the single exception of the Amravati 
tope and a few caves in its immediate neighbourhood. More may pro- 
bably exist, or have existed ; but the rapid manner in which Hiouen 
Thsang passes through these countries, and the slight mention he 
makes of Buddhist establishments,^ render it doubtful if any im- 
portant communities belonging to that faith existed in Dravida-desa.^ 
In the capital, indeed, Konkanapura, which seems to have been situ- 
ated somewhere in Northern Mysore, there may have been some ex- 
tensive Buddhist establishments; but as they have left no memorials 
on the spot, and no monuments, we may be allowed to suspect they 
were not so important as he describes them to be in the 7th century. 

If, however, there was no Buddhism in the south on which 
Jainism could be based, there are everywhere traces of the prevalence 
of Serpent worship in those districts where the religion of Jaina now 
prevails. Sculptured serpents, with many heads and in all their 
conventional forms, are found everywhere about and in the temples ; 
and Subramuni, below the Ghats, is still one of the principal seats 
of Serpent worship in southern India. It is not, imfortunately, easy 
to say how far Tree worship was mixed up with the latter faith. 
Trees perish more easily and quickly than sculptured stones, and 
when the worship ceases its traces disappear more readily. There 
are some indications that it did prevail here also, but, till purposely 
inquired after, it is impossible to say to what extent or how far the 
indications can be relied upon. Enough, however, is known, even 
now, to justify the assertion that Tree and Serpent worship did exist 
antecedently in those districts in which Jainism prevailed in the 
south, but did not appear in the more purely Dravidian countries, 
where the people are now devoted to the worship of Siva and the 
Hindu Pantheon, 

The truth of the matter appears to be, that until the numerous 
Jaina inscriptions which exist everywhere in the south, are collected 

* *Vie et Voyages,* vol. i. p. 201, et 
seqq.j vol. iii. p. 146, et seqq. 

' Sir Walter Elliot and others have 
told me there are Buddhist remains in 
the south, and I know the general 
opinion is that this is so. I have never 
myself seen any, nor been able to obtain 

photographs or detailed information re- 
garding them. When they are brought 
forward these assertions may be modi- 
fied. They, however, express in the 
meanwhile our present knowledge of 
the subject. 

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Chap. V. 



and translated, and until plans are made of their buildings, and 
statistics collected about them, it is idle to speculate either about 
the time of the introduction of Jainism into the south, or its vicis- 
situdes during its existence there. It is a task which, it is to be 
feared, few in that Presidency are capable of undertaking, and that 
fewer still are willing to devote the time and labour requisite for 
its successful accomplishment ; but it is worthy of being attempted, 
for, if successfully carried out, it would add to our scant stores of 
knowledge one of the most interesting chapters still available for 
the religious and artistic history of the people of India. 


The first peculiarity that strikes one as distinguishing the Jaina 
architecture of the south from that of the north, is the division of the 
southern temples into two classes, called Bastis and Bettus.^ The 
former are temples in the usual acceptance of the word, as understood 
in the north, and, as there, always containing an image of one of the 
twenty-four Tirthankars, which is the object there worshipped. The 
latter are unknown in the north ; and are courtyards open to the 
sky and containing images, not of a Tirthankar, but of a G6mati or 
Gdmata Baja so called, though who he was, and why worshipped, no 
one seems exactly to know. He is not known to the Jains in the 
north. All the images on the rock at Gualior arc of one or other of 
the Tirthankars, and even the Ulwar colossus, Nan Giingi, can hardly 
be identified with these southern images. It looks almost as if some 
vague tradition of Gautama Buddha the prince, as distinguished from 
Mahavira the last of the Tirthankars, and who is said to have been 
his preceptor, had in late times penetrated to the south, and given 
rise to this peculiar form. Be this, however, as it may, the images 
of this king or Jaina saint are among the most remarkable works of 
native art in the south of India. Three of them are known, and have 
long been known to Europeans,* and it is doubtful if any more 
exist. They are too remarkable objects not to attract the attention 
of even the most indifferent Saxon. That at Sravana Belgula attracted 
the attention of the late Duke of Wellington when, as Sir A. 
Wellesley, he commanded a division at the siege of Seringapatam. 
He, like all those who followed him, was astonished at the amount of 
labour such a work must have entailed, and puzzled to know whether 
it was a part of the hill or had been moved to the spot where it 
now stands. The former is the more probable theory. The hill called 

* *■ Asiatic BeBearches/ vol. ix. p. 285. 
' These three were engraved in Moor*8 
Pantheon,* plates 78 and 74, in 1810. 

I have photographs of them, but not of 
any others, nor have I been able to hear 
of aiiv but these three. 

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Indra Giri is one mass of granite about 400 ft. in height, and 
probably had a mass or Tor standing on its snmmit — either a part of 
the subjacent mass or lying on it. This the Jains undertook to 
fashion into a statue 70 ft. 3 in. in height, and have achieved it with 
marvellous success. The task of carving a rock standing in its place 
the Hindu mind never would have shrunk from, had it even been twice 
the size ; but to move such a mass up the steep smooth side of the hill 
seems a labour beyond their power, even with all their skill in con- 
centrating masses of men on a single point. Whether, however, the 
rock was found in situ or was moved, nothing grander or more 
imposing exists anywhere out of Egypt, and even there no known 
statue surpasses it in height, though, it must be confessed, they do 

excel it in the perfec- 
tion of art they exhibit. 
The image at E&r- 
kala which is next — its 
size being 41 ft. 5 in. 
in height, and weighs 
about 80 tons^ — was 
moved certainly to the 
place where it now 
stands, and its date 
luckily is engraved 
upon it, A.D. 1432, and 
it is so like that at 
Belgula, that there can 
hardly be much dif- 
ference between their 

The third at Yanntir 
is smaller, about 35 ft. 
high apparently,* but 
from the style of art 
in which it is executed 
it is probably the oldest 
of the three (Woodcut 
No. 148). 

All these three 

figures belong to the 

Digambara sect of Jains, being entirely naked ; and all possess the 

peculiarity of having twigs of the Bo-tree of Sakya Muni — the Ficus 

religiosa — twisted roimd their arms and legs in a manner found 

Colossal Statue at Yanniir. 
(From a Photograph.) 

* * Asiatic Researches,* vol. ix. p. 285 ; * Indian Antiquary,' vol. ii. p. 353. 
' Moor's * Pantheon,* plate 73. 

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Chap. V. 



nowhere else, and in having serpents at their feet. In the Jaina 
cave at Badami a similar figure has two serpents wound round its 
arms and legs precisely as these twigs are here, and the Bo-tree is 
relegated to the background.^ This figure, though probably not 
so old as the cave in which it is found — say a.d. 600 — is certainly 
much older than the three great monoliths, and with other indications 
renders it probable that the greater prominence of the serpent or the 
tree is no unfair indication of the relative age of any two statues. 
In that at Yann^, the serpents are three-headed and very prominent 
beside the statue, on steles alongside the legs. At K&rkula they 
are lees so,* and at Belgula they are relegated to the base, while 
the tree with its leaves is there thickly spread over the whole 


The principal group of the Bastis of the Jains, at present known 
at least, above the Ghats, is that at Sravana Belgula. There are there 
two hills — the Indragiri, on whose summit the colossal imago just 
described stands, and dominates the plain. On a shoulder of the other, 
called Chandragiri, stand the Bastis, fifteen in number. As might be 
expected from their situation, they are all of the Dravidian style of 
architecture, and are consequently built in gradually receding storeys, 
each of which is ornamented with small simidated cells, as was 
explained above, p. 134, and will be more fully described presently. 
No instance occurs among them of the curvilinear sikra or spire, 
which i« universal with the northern Jains, except in the instance of 
Ellora above alluded to. 

Unfortunately, no one has yet thought it worth while to make a 
plan of any of these temples, nor even to describe them in detail, so 
that it is difficult to feel sure of anything regarding them. The 
following woodcut (No. 149) conveys, however, an idea of the general 
external appearance, which is more ornamental than that of the 
generality of northern Jaina temples. The outer wall of those in the 
north is almost always quite plain. The southern ones are as gene- 
rally ornamented with pilasters and crowned with a row of orna- 
mental cells. Inside is a court probably square and surrounded by 
cloisters, at the back of which rises the vimana over the cell, which 
contains the principal image of the Tirthankar. It always is sur- 
mounted by a small dome, as is universally the case with every 
vimana in Dravidian architecture, instead of with the mysterious 
amalaka ornament of northern sikras. 

* Burgess, * Archoological Reporte,' 
1875, p. xxxvii., plate 25. 

• The artist who drew the lithographs 
for the * Indian Antiquary,* vol. ii. plate 

on p. 853, not knowing that serpents were 
intended, has supplied their place with 
an ornamentation of his own design. 

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Book 11. 

It may be a vain speculation, but it seems impossible to look at 
this woodcut, and not be struck with its resemblance to the temples 
of southern Babylonia (Woodcuts Nos. 47 and 48 of vol. i.). The same 
division into storeys, with their cells ; the backward position of the 
temple itself; the panelled or pilastered basement, are all points of 
resemblance it seems difficult to regard as purely accidental. The 
distance of time would seem to bar such an idea, but the combinations 
of men with bulls and lions, and the many similarities between the 
Pantheons of Babylonia and India, render the fact of the architecture 

Jalna Basti at Sravana Belgula. (From a Photograph.) 

of the one country influencing that of the other, far from being 
impossible, though by some it may be considered improbable. I have 
long tried to shake off the idea as an untenable hypothesis, but every 
time I return to the study of the subject, its likelihood recurs -with 
increasing strength. Its verification, however, or refutation, must 
depend on our possessing greater knowledge of the subject than wo 
do at present. 

When we descend the Ghats into Canara, or the Tulava country, 
we come on a totally different state of matters. Jainism is the 
religion of the country, and all or nearly all the temples belong to 

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Chap. V. 



this sect, but their architecture is neither the Dravidian style of the 
south, nor that of northern India, and indeed is not known to exist 
anywhere else in India Proper, but recurs with all its peculiarities 
in Nepal. 

The annexed two views (Woodcuts Nos. 150-51) of one of the largest 
of these temples, found at a place called Moodbidri^ in Canara, will give 
a fair idea of the general aspect of these temples externally. They are 
much plainer than Hindu temples usually are. The pillars look like logs 

160. Jaina Temple at Moodbfdri. (From a Photograph.) 

of wood with the angles partially chamfered off, so as to make them 
octagons, and the sloping roofs of the verandahs are so evidently 

* Among the photographs of the 
* Architecture of Dharwar and Mysore,* 
plates 74 and 75, there labelled Hir- 
ponhuUy. "When writing the descrip- 
tions of these plates, I was struck with, 
and pointed out, the curiously exceptional 
nature of the style of that temple, and 
its affinities with the style of Nepal; 
but I had no idea then that it was )>elow, 
and not above, the Ghats, and far from 
being exceptional in the country where 
it was situated. In fact, one of the 

p^eat difficulties in writing a book liko 
the present is to avoid making mis- 
takes of this sort. Photographers are 
frequently so careless in naming tlie 
views they are making, and mounters 
frequently more so, in transferring the 
right names to the mounts, that in very 
many instances photographs come to mo 
with names that have no connexion with 
the subjects; and it is only by careful 
comparison, aided with extraneous know- 
ledge, that grave errors can be avoided. 

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Book II. 

wooden that the style itself cannot be far removed from a wooden 
original. In many places, indeed, below the Gh&ts the temples are 
still wholly constructed in wood without any admixture of stone, and 
almost all the features of the Moodbidri temples may be found in wood 
at the present day. The blinds between the pillars, which are there 
executed in stone, are found in wood in every city in India, and with 
very little variation are used by Europeans in Calcutta to a greater 
extent, perhaps, than they were ever used by the natives. 


Jaina Temple at MoodbidrL (From a Photograph.) 

The feature, however, which presents the greatest resemblance to 
the northern styles, is the reverse slope of the eaves above the 
verandah. I am not aware of its existence anywhere else south of 
Nopal, and it is so pecidiar that it is much more likely to have been 
copied than re-invented. 

The interiors of the Canarese temples are in marked contrast with 
the plainness of the exteriors. Nothing can exceed the richness or the 
variety with which they are carved. No two pillars seem alike, and 
many are ornamented to an extent that may seem almost fantastic. 
This again seems an indication of their recent descent from a wooden 

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original. Long habit of using stone would have sobered their forms, 

162. Pillar in Temple, Moodbidrl. (From a Photograph.) 

and they are now of great thicknoRs— it may even be said massive- 



uigiiizeu uy ^ 



Book II. 

ne88 — and this is just such an excess of strength as a people accus- 
tomed to wooden architecture would employ when first called upon to 
replace in stone supports which in wood would have appeared neces- 
sary to carry a heavy stone roof (Woodcut No. 162, p. 273). 

Their plans, as far as can be made out from photographs, are those 
usual in Jaina temples — spacious, well-lighted porches, leading to a 
dark cell in which the image of one of the Tirthankars is placed, 
naked of course, as all the southern Jains seem to have belonged to 
the Digambara sect. 

Their age has not yet been determined with certainty, as no 
inscriptions from them have yet been published or translated, but 
in so far as information can be gathered from the various sources 
available, three or four hundred years seems to be about the limit of 
their age. Some may go back as far as 1300, but it looks as if the 
kingdom of the Zamorin was at the height of its prosperity about the 
time it was first visited by the Portuguese, and that the finest temples 
may belong to that age. 

Besides the greater temples, there are several varieties of smaller 
ones which seem peculiar to the style— such, for instance, as the five- 
pillared shrine at Gurusan- 
kerry (Woodcut No. 153). 
Four-pillared pavilions are 
not uncommon in front of 
Hindu temples in the south. 
There is a very famous one, 
for instance, on the opposite 
shore of India at Mahavelli- 
pore, but not one, that I know 
of, with five pillars, or with 
access to the upper chaml)ers. 
There are three of these upper 
chambers in this instance — 
the two lower now closeil, 
but apparently originally 
open ; but to what use they 
were devoted, or what pur- 
ix>se they were intended to 
subserve, is by no means 
clear. At the base of the 
temple are a number of 
stones bearing images of 
serpents; seven or eight are 
now there, and the serpents themselves are some with one, others 
three, five, or seven heads. It may be that this is a serpent temple, 
and that the living fonn of this strange divinity, when alive. 

Pavilion at Ournsankerry. 
(From a Hiotograph.) 

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Chap. V. 



inhabited the upper storey. But it may also be, that the stones were 
brought there in modem times, so that till some one on the spot 
will take the trouble to ascertain the facts of the case, it is not safe 
to speculate regarding them. 

A third feature, even more characteristic of the style, is found 
in the tombs of the priests, a large number of which are found in 
the neighbourhood of Moodbidri. Three of these are illustrated in 
the annexed woodcut (No. l/)4). They vary much in size and magni- 


Tombs of Priests, Moodbidri. (From a Pbotograph.) 

ficence, some being from three to five or seven storeys in height, 
but they are not, like the storeys of Dra vidian temples, ornamented 
with simulated cells and finishing with domical roofs. The division 
of each storey is a sloping roof, like those of the pagodas at Kat- 
mandhu, and in China or 1'hibet. In India they are quite anomalous. 
In the first place, no tombs of priests are knowTi to exist anywhere 
else, and their forms, too, are quite unlike any other building now 
known to be standing in any other part of India. 

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Book II. 

Though not the grandest, certainly the most elegant and graceful 
objects to be found in Canara belonging to the Jaina style of archi- 
tecture are the stambhas, which are found attached to almost every 
temple. These are not, however, peculiar to the place or style. They 
are used sometimes by the Hindus, but then generally as deepdans, 
or lamp-bearing pillars, and in that case have some arrangement 
for exhibiting light from their summit. With the Jains this does 
not appear ever to have been the case. Their pillars are the lineal 
descendants of those of the Buddhists, which bore either emblems 
or statues — generally the former— or figures of animals; with the 
Jains or Vaishnavas they as generally bore statues. Be this as it 

may, they seem nowhere to 
have been so frequent or so 
elaborately adorned as among 
the Jains in the south, and 
especially in Canara. The ex- 
ample here given of one at 
Gurusankerry is a fair average 
specimen of its class (Woodcut 
No. 155). The sub-base is 
square and spreading ; the base 
itself square, changing into an 
octagon, and thence into a 
}K)lygonal figure approaching 
a circle; and above a wide- 
spreading capital of most ela- 
borate design. To many this 
may at first sight appear top- 
heavy, but it is not so in 
reality. If you erect a pillar 
at all, it ought to have some- 
thing to carry. Those we erect 
are copied from pillars meant 
to support architraves, and are 
absurd solecisms when merely 
supporting statues ; we have, 
however, got accustomed to 
them, and our eye is offended 
if anything better proportioned to the work to be done is proposed ; 
but, looking at the breadth of the base and the strength of the 
shaft, anything less than here exhibited would be found dispropor- 
tionately small. 

On the lower, or square part of these stambhas, as well as on 
the pillars inside the temples at Moodbidri (Woodcut No. 152) and 
elsewhere in Canara, we find that curious interlaced basket-pattern, 

btimbba at GuruMnkerry. 
(From A Photograph.) 

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Chap. V. STAMBHAS. 277 

which is so familiar to us from Irish manuscripts or the ornaments 
on Irish crosses. As pointed out in a former volume (ii. p. 475), it 
is equally common in Armenia, and can be traced up the valley of 
the Danube into central Europe ; but how it got to the west coast 
of India we do not know, nor have we, so far as I know, any indi- 
cation on which we can rely for its introduction. There was at all 
times for the last fifteen centuries a large body of Christians esta- 
blished on this coast who were in connexion with Persia and Syria, 
and are so now. It would be strange, indeed, if it were from them 
the Jains obtained this device. But stranger things have happened . 
than even this in the history of architecture, and few things can be 
more interesting when tLe means exist of tracing any connexion that 
may be detected between them. 

If any one wished to select one feature of Indian architecture 
which would illustrate its rise and progress, as well as its perfection 
and weakness, there are probably no objects more suited for this 
purpose than these stambhas, or free-standing pillars. They are found 
of all ages, from the simple and monolithic I4ts which Asoka set up 
to bear inscriptions or emblems, some 250 years' B.C., down to the seven- 
teenth or perhaps even eighteenth century of our era. During these 
2000 years they were erected first by the Buddhists, then by the Jains, 
and occasionfkUy by the other sects in all parts of India ; and not- 
withstanding their inherent frailty, some fifty — it may be a hundred 
— are known to be still standing. After the first and most simple, 
erected by Asoka, it may be safely asserted that no two are alike, 
though all bear strongly the impress of the age in which they were 
erected, and all are thoroughly original and Indian in design. 

It may be owing to the styloclastic propensities of the Moslems 
that these pillars are not foimd so frequently where they have held 
sway, as in the remoter parts of India; but whether from this 
cause or not, they seem to be more frequent in Canara and among 
the southern Jains than in any other part of India. In the north we 
depend mainly on the rock-cut examples for their forms, but they 
are so usual there that it seems hardly doubtful they were relatively 
as frequent in connexion with structural examples, though these 
have generally disappeared. 

It has been suggested that there may be some connexion between 
these stambhas and the obelisks of the Egyptians. The time that 
elapsed, however, between the erection of the monoliths in the valley 
of the Nile and those in India seems to render this doubtful, though 
they were certainly erected for similar purposes and occupied the 
same position relatively to the temples. When, however, we look at 
the vast difference between their designs, it is evident, oven assuming 
a connexion, that vast ages must have elapsed before the plain 
straight-lined forms of the obelisks could have been changed into the 

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complicated and airy fonnB of the Jaiua stambhas. The two arc the 
Alpha and Omega of architectural design — the older, simple and 
severe, beyond any other exami)les of purely ornamental objects ; the 
latter, more varied and more highly ornamented than almost any 
others of their class that can be named. 

We are hardly yet in a position to push these speculations to 
their legitimate issue, and must wait for further information before 
any satisfactory conclusion can be derived from them; but mean- 
while it may be pointed out how curiously characteristic of Indian 
art it is that this little remote province of Tulava, or Cauara, should 
have a style of its own, diflfering essentially from that found in any 
other part of the Indian continent, but still having affinities wdth 
outlying and distant countries, with which one would hardly suspect 
any connexion but for the indications derived from their architecture. 

I cannot offer even a plausible conjecture how or at what time 
a connexion existed between Nepal and Thibet and Canara; but 
I cannot doubt that such was the ease, and that some one with 
better opportunities will hereafter explain what now seems so mys- 
terious. It is less difficult to conjecture how early and frequent 
intercourse may have existed between the Persian Gulf and the 
western shores of India, and how the relations between these two 
countries may have been so intimate as to account for the amount of 
Assyrian, or, as we now call them," Armenian, forms we now find in 
the Jaina architecture of southern India, especially in that below the 
Ghats. It will require, however, that the Indian branch of the 
subject should be much more fully and more scientifically investi- 
gated than has hitherto been the ctxse before it is worth while to do 
more than indicate how rich a field lies ojhju to ixjward the industry 
of any future explorer. 

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p K A^ C H f - - 


kii« Miles 




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( 279 ) 





Temples — Marttand -- Avantipore — Bhaniyar. 

Although neither so beautiful in itself, nor so interesting either 
from an artistic or historical point of view as many others, the archi- 
tecture of the valley of Kashmir has attracted more attention in 
modem times than that of any other styles in India, and a greater 
number of special treatises have been written regarding it than are 
devoted to all the other styles put together. This arises partly from 
the beauty of the valley in which the Kashmiri temples are situated. 
The beauty of its scenery has at all times attracted tourists to its 
verdant snow-encircled plains, and the perfection of its climate has 
induced them to linger there, and devote their leisure to the investi- 
gation of its treasures, natural and artistic. In this respect their 
fate is widely different from that of temples situated on the hot 
and dusty plains of India, where every official is too busy to devote 
himself to such a task, and travellers too hurried to linger for a 
leisurely and loving survey of their beauties. 

Apart, however, from this adventitious advantage, the temples 
of Kashmir do form a group well worthy of attention. When one 
or two spurious examples are got rid of, they form a complete and 
homogeneous group, extending through about six centuries (a.d. 600 
to A.D. 1200), singularly uniform in their development and very 
local, being unlike any other style known in India. They have 
besides this a certain classical element, which can hardly be mis- 
taken, and is sufficient in itself to attract the attention of Europeans 
who are interested in detecting their own familiar forms in this 
remote valley in the Himalayas. 

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Book III. 

The earliest of the modem investigators of the STibject were 
Messrs. Moorcroft and Trebeck, who visited the valley in 1819-25> 
They were both acute and intelligent observers, but having no special 
knowledge of the subject, their observations on the architecture of the 
valley do not add much to our knowledge of its history. 

They were followed by G. T. Vigne in 1833, who being an artist 
drew the buildings with wonderful correctness, so as to bring out the 
peculiarities of the style, and also to approximate their history with 
very tolerable exactness.^ About the same time. Baron Hugel gave 
his impression on the subject to the public, but in a manner much 
less critical than his predecessors.^ 

In 1848, Captain (now General) A. Cunningham published in the 
September number of the * Journal of the Eoyal Asiatic Society' 
an essay on what he called the Aryan order of architecture, but 
which was wholly devoted to that of Kashmir. It was illustrated by 
fifteen folding plates, containing plans, elevations, and views, and in 
fact all that was required for settling the history of the style, and, 
but for one or two unfortunate mistakes, would have left little to be 
done by his successors in this field of inquiry. 

In 1866, the Rev. W. C, Cowie, Chaplain on duty in Kashmir, 
published in the same journal an essay on the same subject, as a supplei- 
ment to General Cunningham's paper, describing several temples he 
had not visited, and adding considerably to our knowledge of those 
he had described. This paper was also extensively illustrated. 

In consequence of all this wealth of literature, very little remained 
to be done, when in 1868 Lieutenant Cole, R.E., obtained an appoint- 
ment as superintendent of the Archaeological Survey of India, and 
proceeded to Kashmir with a staff quite sufficient to settle all 
the remaining outstanding questions.* Unfortunately, however, 
Lieutenant Cole had no previous knowledge of Indian antiquities 
in general, and had not qualified himself by any special study for 
the investigation he was deputed to imdertake. AH, therefore, he 
could do was to adopt blindly General Cunningham's dates, and in 
this there would have been no great harm, but when he came across a 
temple which had escaped his predecessor's attention, he arbitrarily 
interpolated it with a date of his own, into the General's series. As 
all these dates are given as if perfectly ascertained without any of 
the reasoning on which they are based, they would, if accepted, lead 

* * TraTels in the Himalayan Provinces 
and in Ladakh and Kashmir,' London, 
Murray, 1841. 

' 'Travels in Kashmir, Ladak,' &c., 
two vols. 8vo., London, Colbiim, 1842. 

■ 'Travels in Kashmir and the Pun- 
jab.' Translated by Major Jervis, Lon- 

don, 1845. 

* ' Illustrations of the Ancient Build- 
ings in Kashmir,' &c., prepared, under 
the authority of the Secretary of State 
for India in Council, by Lieut. H. H. 
Colo, R.E., quarto, Allen and Co., Lon- 
don, 1869. 

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to the most erroneous conclusions. Putting these, however, aside, 
Lieutenant Cole's plans and architectural details are a valuable 
contribution to our knowledge of the subject, and with his photo- 
graphs and those now available by others, enable those w^ho have not 
had an opportunity of visiting the valley to form an opinion of their 
own, and with all these lights there seems little difficulty in ascer- 
taining all the really important facts connected with this style. 

The first and most misleading mistake that has been made with 
reference to Kashmiri architecture, was the assumption by General 
Cunningham that the enclosure to Zein-ul-ab-ud-dfn's tomb in 
Srinagar originally belonged to an ancient Kashmiri temple. 
Lieutenant Cole boldly prints on his plates, " probable date a.d. 400 
to 500," a mistake as nearly as may be of 1000 years, as it is hardly 
doubtful that it was erected for or by the prince whose name it bears, 
and who in a.d. 1416 succeeded his father Sikandar, who bore the ill- 
omened nickname of Butshikan, the idol-breaker. As will be seen from 
the woodcut (No. 156), it consists of a series of small pointed arches in 
rectangular frames, such as are very frequently found in Mahomedan 
art, and the peculiarities of the gateways 
and other parts are just such as are found 
in all contemporary Moslem art in India. 
All the mosques and tombs for instance 
at Ahmedabad, a.d. 1396-1572, are made 
up of details borrowed from the architecture 
of the Jains, and the bases of their minarets "*• '*'o™*> ^^ Zein-ui-ab-ud-dfn. 

' ^ Elevation of Arches. * 

and their internal pillars can only be dis- (From a Drawing by Lieut. 

tinguished from those of the heathen by 

their position, and by the substitution of foliage for human figures 
in the niches or places where the Hindus would have introduced 
images of their gods. 

In this instance there is no incongruity, no borrowed features ; 
every stone was carved for the place where it is found. There are 
niches it is true on each side of the gateway, like those found at 
Marttand and other Pagan temples; but like those at Ahmedabad 
they are without images, and the arch in brick which surmounts this 
gateway is a radiating arch, which appears certainly to be integral, 
but if so, could not possibly be erected by a Hindu.^ When General 
Cunningham visited the valley in 1848, he was not so familiar as 
he has since become with the ruins of Gour, Juanpore, Ahmedabad, 
and other Moslem cities where the architectural forms adopted by the 

1 . _■■.;.!, ' 


I cannot make out the span of this according to the scale on the plan, only 

arch. According to the rods laid across 
the photograph, it api)ear8 to be 15 foot ; 

half that amount. 

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MobIoiub arc with difficulty diHtiiiguiHhed from those of the Hindus. 
With the knowledge wo now possess it is not likely that any one can 
mistake the fact, that this enclosure was erected by the prince whose 
name it bears to surround his tomb, in the Mahomedan cemetery of 
the city in which it is found. 

Assuming this for the present it gives us a hint as to the age of 
the other anomalous building in Kashmir— the temple that crowns the 
hill, callcil the Takt-i-Suleiman, near the capital Inside the octagonal 
enclosure that surrounds the platform on which 
the temple stands is a range of arches (Woodcut 
No. 157), similar to those of the tomb of Zein-ul- 
al)-ud-din (Woodcut No. 156), not so distinctly 
pointed, nor so Saracenic in detail, but still very 
1S7. Takt-i-Suiciman. nearly resembling them, only a little more debased 

(From a Drawing by in style. At the bottom of the steps is a round- 
headed doorway, not it is true surmounted by a 
true arch, but by a curved lintel of one stone, such as are universal 
in the Hindu imitations of Mahomedan architecture, in the 17th and 
18th centuries. The same is the case in the small temples alongside, 
which are evidently of the same age.* The temple too, itself, is far 
from having an ancient look. The one most like it, that I am 
acquainted with, is that erected by Cheyt Sing at Kannuggur, near 
Benares, at the end of the last century. I know of no straight- 
lined pyramid of a much older date than that, and no temple with 
a i)olygonal plan, combined with a circular cell, as is the case here, 
that is of ancient date. The four pillars in the cell, with the Persian 
inscriptions upon them, are avowedly of the 17 th century. It is 
suggested, however, that they belong to a repair; my conviction, 
however, is, from a review of the whole evidence, that the temple, 
as it now stands, was commenced by some nameless Hindus, in 
honour of Siva, during the tolerant reign of Jehangir, and that the 
building was stopped at the date engraved on the staircase, a.h. 1 069 
(a.d. 1659), the fii*st year of the reign of the bigot Aurungzebe. It 
was then unfinished, and has consequently remained a ruin ever 
since, which may give it an ancient look, but not such as to justify 
any one putting it 1879 years before what seems to be its true date, 
as is done by General Cunningham and his follower Lieutenant 

If we may thus get rid of these two anomalous and exceptional 
examples, the history of all the remaining temples in the valley is 
more than usually homogeneous and easily intelligible. The date 
of the principal example — the temple at Marttand — is hardly doubtful 
(a.d. 750) ; and of the others, some may be slightly older, but none 

' Lieut. Cole's plates, 1-68 to 4-G8. 

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ClIAI'. I. 



can bo carried further back than the reign of Ranaditya, a.d. 578 U) 
594. Nor can any one be brought down below, say 1200, which is 
probably the date of that of Payech. Between these dates, with a 
very little local knowledge, the whole might easily be arranged. 
Such a classification is, however, by no means necessary at present. 
The style during these six centuries is so uniform that it may be 
taken as one, for the purposes of a general history. 


Before proceeding to speak of the temples themselves, it may aild 
to the clearness of what follows if we first explain what the pecu- 
liarities of the styles are. This we are able to 
do from a small model in stone of a Kashmiri 
temple (Woodcut No. 158), which was drawn by 
General Cunningham ; such miniature temples 
being common throughout India, and in all in- 
stances exact copies of their larger prototypes. 

The temple in this instance is surmounted 
by four roofs (in the built examples, so far as 
they are known, there are only two or three), 
which are obviously copied from the usual 
wooden roofs common to most buildings in 
Kashmir, where the upper pyramid covers the «« : 
central part of the building, and the lower a % ; 
verandah, separated from the centre either by 
walls or merely by a range of pillars.^ In the 
wooden examples the interval between the two 
roofs seems to have been left open for light and 
air; in the stone buildings it is closed with 
ornaments. Besides this, however, all these roofs 
are relieved by dormer windows, of a pattern 
very similar to those found in mediaival build- 
ings in Europe ; and the same steep, sloping lines 
are used also to cover doorways and porches, these 
being virtually a section of the main roof itself, and 
evidently a copy of the same wooden construction. 

The pillars which support the porticos and the one on which 
the model stands are by far the most striking peculiarity of this 
style, their shafts being almost identical with those of the Grecian 
Doric, and unlike anything of the class found in other parts of India. 

15d. Model of Temple in 

* See drawing '>f nionque by Vi^e, containing General A. Cunningham*K 
\o\. i. p. 2(>1> ; and aljso ' Journal of the iwfier on the Bulyeet, from which this 
Asiatic Society of Bengal,' 1848, p. 258, w<XKlcut in ttiken. 

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Book III. 


Generally they are from three to four diameters in height, dimi- 
nishing slightly towards the capital, and adorned with sixteen flutes, 
rather shallower than those of the Grecian order. Both the bases 
and capitals are, it is true, far more complicated than would have 
been tolerated in Greece, but at Peestum and in Rome we find with 
the Doriq order a complexity of mouldings by no means unlike that 
found here. These pecidiarities are still more evident in the annexed 
representation of a pillar found in Srinagar (Woodcut No. 159), 
which is a far more highly ornamented example than the last, but 
equally classical in its details, and, if anything, more unlike any 
known examples of true Hindu architecture. Nowhere in Kashmir 
do we find any trace of the bracket capital of the Hindus, nor of the 
changes from square to octagon, or to the polygon of sixteen sides, 
and so on. Now that we are becoming familiar with the extent of 

classical influence that prevailed in 
Gandhara (ante, p. 176) down to the 
7th or 8th century, we have no diffi- 
culty in understanding whence these 
quasi-Grecian forms were derived, nor 
why they should be found so pre- 
valent in this valley. It adds, how- 
ever, very considerably to our interest 
in the subject to find that the civiliza- 
tion of the West left so strong an 
impress on the arts of this part of 
India that its influence can be de- 
tected in all the Kashmiri buildings 
down to the time when the local style 
perished under Mahomedan influence 
in the beginning of the 14th century. 
Although, therefore, there can be no 
mistake about the principal forms of 
the architecture of Kashmir being derived from the classical styles 
of the West, and as little doubt as to the countries through which 
it was introduced into the valley, it must not be overlooked that the 
classical influence is fainter and more remote from its source in Kash- 
mir than in Gandhara. Nothing resembling the Corinthian capitals 
of the Jamalgiri monaster}'' are found in the valley. The classical 
features in Kashmir are in degree more like those of the Manikyala 
tope and the very latest examples in the Peshawur valley. The one 
style, in fact, seems to commence where the other ends, and to carry 
on the tradition for centuries after it had been lost in the country 
from which it was introduced. 

The fact, however, of a quasi-Doric order being currently used 
in the valley from the 8th to the 12th century is one of the many 

159. Pillar at Srinagar. (From a Drawing 
by W. Carpenter, Esq.) 

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Chap. I. MARTTAND. 285 

aTguments that tend to confirm the theory that the Corinthian order 
of the Gandhara monasteries is not so ancient as might at first sight 
appear. At all events, if a Doric order was the style of the Kashmiri 
valley at so late a date, there is no a priori improbability in a 
Corinthian order being used at Peshawnr in the 6th or 6th century. 
On the contrary, as both were evidently derived from the same 
source, it seems most unlikely that there should bo any break in the 
continuity of the tradition. Strange though it may at first sight 
appear, it seems as if the impulse first given by Bactria three centuries 
before the Christian Era continued without a break to influence the 
architecture of that comer of India for twelve centuries after that 

No example of the Doric order has yet been found in Qandhara, 
but as both Ionic and Corinthian capitals have been found there, it 
seems more than probable that the Doric existed there also ; but as 
our knowledge, up to this date, is limited practically to two monas- 
teries out, probably, of a hundred, we ought not to be surprised at 
any deficiencies in our series that may from time to time become 

There is still one other peculiarity of this style which it is by 
no means easy to account for. This is the trefoiled arch, which is 
everywhere prevalent, but which in our present state of knowledge 
cannot be accounted for by any constructive necessity, nor traced 
to any foreign style from which it coiild have been copied. My own 
impression is, that it is derived from the fa9ades of the chaitya halls 
of the Buddhists. Eeforring, for instance, to Woodcut No. 46 or to 
No. 68,^ it will be perceived that the outline of the section of the 
cave at Ajunta, which it represents, is just such a trefoil as is every- 
where prevalent in Kashmir ; and, as both there and everywhere else 
in India, architectural decoration is made up of small models of large 
buildings applied as decorative features wherever required, it is by 
no means improbable that the trefoiled facade may have been adopted 
in Kashmir as currently as the simple horse-shoe form was through- 
out the Buddhist buildings of India Proper. All these features, 
however, mark a local style differing from anything else in India, 
pointing certainly to another race and another religion, which we are 
not as yet able to trace to its source. 


By far the finest and most typical example of the Kashmiri 
style is the temple of Marttand, situated about five miles east of 

^ On the Toran attached to the rail at I shown in section, which represent this 
Bharhut are elevations of chaitya halls, I trefoil form with great exactness. 

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iBlainabad, the ancient capital of the valley. It is the architectural 
lion of Kashmir, and all tourists think it necessary to go into 
raptures about its beauty and magnificence, comparing it to Palmyra 
or Thebes, or other wonderful groups of ruins of the old world. 
Great part, however, of the admiration it excites is due to its 
situation. It stands well on an elevated plateau, from which a most 
extensive view is obtained over a great part of the valley. No tree 
or house interferes with its solitary grandeur, and its ruins— shaken 
down apparently by an earthquake— lie scattered as they fell, and 
are unobscured by vegetation, nor are they vulgarised by any modern 
accretions. Add to this the mystery that hangs over their origin, 
and a Western impress on its details unusual in the East, but which 
calls back the memory of familiar forms and suggests memories 
that throw a veil of poetry over its history more than sufficient to 
excite admiration in the most prosaic spectators. When, however, 

we come to reduce its dimensions 
to scale (Woodcut No. IGO), and 
to examine its pretensions to rank 
among the great examples of archi- 
tectural art, the rhapsodies of which 
it has been the theme seem a little 
out of place. 

The temple itself (Woodcut No. 

zV VSl ^^^) ^® * v®^ small building, be- 

^ "' ~^^ ing only 60 ft. in length by 88 ft. 

in width. The width of the fa9ade, 
however, is eked out by two wings 
or adjuncts, which make it 60 ft 
As General Cunningham estimates 
that its height, when complete, 
was 60 ft. also, it realises the pro- 
blem the Jews so earnestly set 
themselves to solve— how to build 
a temple with the three dimensions 
equal, but yet should not be a cube. 
Small, however, as the Jewish temple was, it was more than twice as 
large as this one. At Jerusalem the Temple was 100 cubits, or 150 
ft., in length, breadth, and height.* At Marttand these dimensions 
were only 60 ft. But it is one of the points of interest in the Kash- 
miri temple that it reproduces in plan, at least, the Jewish temple 
more nearly than any other known building. 

leo. Temple of Marttand. (From a Drawing 
by General A. Chinningham.) 
Scale 100 feet to i inch. 

* Josephns, * Bell. Jud.,' v. v. 4, Mid- 
cloth, iv. (J. I have written a work I hope 
one day to pnUish, *0n the Temples 

of the Jews,' in which all these dimensions 
will be drawn to scale. 

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Chap. I. 



The roof of the temple has so entirely disappeared that Baroh 
Hugel doubted if it ever possessed one.^ General Cunningham, on 
the other hand, has no doubts on the subject, and restores it in stone 
on his plate No. 14. The absence, however, of any fragments on the 
floor of the temple that could have belonged to the roof, militates 
seriously against this view ; and, looking at the tenuity of the walls 
and the large voids they include, I doubt extremely if they ever 
could have supported a stone roof of the usual design. When, too, 


View of Temple at Marttand. (Prom a Photograph.) 

the plan is carefully examined, it will be seen that none of the masses 
are square ; and it is very difficult to see how the roof of the porch 
could, if in stone, be fitk^d to that over the cclla. 'J'aking all these 
things into consideration, ray impression is, that its roof — it certainly 
had one — was in wood ; and knowing how extensively the Buddhists 
used wooden roofs for their chaitya halls, I see no improbability of 
this being the case here at the time this temple w^as erected. 

The courtyard that surrounds and encloses this temple is, in its 
state of ruin, a. more remarkable object than the temple itself. Its 

> * Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bt^npal,' Sept. 1848, p. 267. 

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Book III. 

internal dimensions tfre 220 ft. by 142 ft./ which are respectable, 
though not excessive; they are not much more than those of the 
temple of Neminatha at Gimar (Woodcut No. 126), which are 165 ft. 
and 105 ft., though that is by no means a large Jaina temple. Oh 
each face is a central cell, larger and higher than the colonnade in 
which it is placed (Woodcut No. 162), but even then only 30 ft. 

162. Central Cell of Court at Marttand. (From a Drawing by General A. Cunningham.) No scale. 

in height to the summit of the roof, supposing it to be completed, 
and the pillars on each side of it are only 9 ft. high, which are 
not dimensions to go wild about, though their strongly-impressed 
Grecian aspect is certainly curious and interesting. 

One of the most remarkable features of the courtyard, though it 
is common to all true Kashmiri temples, is thus described by General 
Cunningham : — " I have a suspicion also that the whole of the in- 
terior of the quadrangle was originally filled with water to a level 

* Cimningham in the 'Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal,* Sept. 1848, 
p. 269. 

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Chap. I. 



within one foot of the bases of the columns, and that access to the 
temple was gained by a raised pathway of slabs, supported oh solid 
blocks at short intervals, which connected the gateway flight of steps 
with that leading to the temple. The same kind of pathway must 
have stretched right across the quadrangle from one side doorway to 
the other. Similar pathways still exist in the Shalimar gardens, as 
passages across the different reservoirs and canals. On the outside 
of the quadrangle, and close by the northern side of the gateway, 
there is a drain by which the surplus water found its exit, thus 
keeping the surface always at the same level. The temples at Pan- 
drethan Ledari, and in the Barahmula Pass, are still standing in the 
midst of water. A constant supply of fresh water was kept up by a 
canal or watercourse from the Kiver Lambadari, which was conducted 
alongside of the mountain for the service of the neighbouring village 
of Sinharotsika," &o. " The only object," the General goes on to 
remark, " of erecting temples in the midst of water must have been 
to place them more immediately under the protection of the Nagas, 
or human-bodied and snake-tailed gods, who were zealously worshipped 
for ages throughout Kashmir." ^ 

There are no inscriptions on this temple which would enable us 
to fix its date with certainty, but all authorities are agreed that the 
enclosure at least was erected by I^alitaditya,^ who reigned a.d. 725 
to 761 ; and my conviction is that he also erected the temple itself. 
General Cunningham, however, on the strength of a passage in the 
' Raja Tarangini,' ascribes the building of the temple to Ranaditya,^ 
who reigned a.d. 578 to 594. He may have local information which 
enables him to identify the village Sinharotsika with this place 
which he has not given to the public ; but even then it is only said 
he erected a temple to the sun at that place,* but nothing to show 
that it was this temple. Whether also it was dedicated to the sun is 
not clear. I never saw a sun temple, or a drawing of one, and can, 

* 'Journal of the Asiatic Society of 
Bengal,' Sept. 1848, p. 273. 

' Cunningham, Loc. cit., p. 263; 
Vigne, *Travelfl in Kashmir,' vol. i. p. 

' It is not a little singular, however, 
that the only temple I know of in India 
that resembles this one, either in plan 
or arrangement, is the smaller temple of 
Conjeveram in the Ghola country, near 
Madras ; and it is curious that both the 
' Raja Tarangini,' the Kashmiri history, 
and that of the Chola country, mention 
that Ranaditya of Kashmir married a 
daughter of the Chola king, and assisted 

in forming an aqueduct from the Cauvery 
— showing at least an intimacy wbich 
may have arisen from that affinity of 
race and religion, which, overleaping 
the intruded Aryans, united the two ex- 
tremities of India in one common bond- 
True, the style of the two temples is 
different'; but when I saw the one I did 
not know of the existence of the other, 
and did not, as I now should, examine 
the details with that care which alone 
would enable any one to pronounce de- 
finitely regarding their affinities. 
* Troyer's * Translation,' lib. iii., v.462. 

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Book III. 

therefore, give no opinion on that head. Be this, therefore, as it 
may, it seems to me extremely improbable that the temple should 
have stood naked for 150 years, and then that a far greater king than 
its founder should have added^ the indispensable adjunct of a court. 
If, like all Kashmiri temples, it was intended to stand in the water, 
something of the sort must have existed from the beginning, and very 
little have been left for the great Lalitaditya to add. In addition to 
this, many of the details of the temple itself are so nearly identical 
with those of the temple at Avantipore, erected a.d. 862 or 853, that 
it is very much more likely that only 100 instead of 250 years inter- 
vened between the dates of the Marttand and Avantipore temples. 
The question as to what deity this temple was dedicated to is 

more difficult to determine 
than its date. According to 
the * Raja Tarangini,* ^ espe- 
cially as summarised by 
Wilson,^ Lalitaditya was at 
the same time Buddhist, 
Jaina, or Vaishnava — three 
religions that were undistin- 
guishable in that time of 
tolerance, but which after 
200 years of persecution and 
wars, came out distinct and 
antagonistic in the 10th 
century. If only the plan 
were submitted to me, I 
would unhesitatingly declare 
it Jaina ; when its water 
arrangements were explained, 
it would as clearly appear 
Naga^ (Woodcut No. 163), 
but not at all necessarily 
antagonistic to either Budd- 
hism or Vishnuism at that 
age. As I have just said, 
I know nothing of sun 
temples, and cannot, therefore, say whether this resembles them or 

Unfortunately, the stone of which the temple is built is of so 
friable a nature that the sculptures are now barely recognisable, but, 
so far as can be made out from such photographs as exist, all the 


Kiche with Naga Figure at Marttand. 
(From a Photograph.) 

Troyer's * Translation,' lib. iv., v. 1 26-371 . ' * Asiatic Researches/ vol. t v. p. 49. 
* * Tree and Serpent Worship,' p. 47. 

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Chap. I. 



principal figures in the niches have snake-hoods — are Nagas, in fact, 
with three or five-headed snakes at the backs of their heads. Any 
one on the spot, with his attention tnmed to this, could easily deter- 
mine in a few minutes how far this was the case or not ; but no one 
has yet visited it with the prepara- 
tion necessary to settle this and 
many other uncertain points regard- 
ing the architecture and mythology 
of the place. A monograph, however, 
of this temple would be a work well 
worthy of any pains that might be 
bestowed upon it by any Indian 
archaeologist; for, besides its historical 
and mythological importance, many 
of its details are of great beauty, 
and they have never been drawn 
with the care they so well merit. 
(Woodcut No. 164). As the typical 
example of a quasi-classical style, a 
perfect knowledge of its peculiarities would be a landmark in the 
history of the style both before and after its date. 

164. Soffit of Arch at Maritand. (From a 
Sketch by the late Mr. Wilson. B.C.S.) 


Next in importance to Marttand, among Kashmiri temples, are 
those of Avantipore, all erected certainly within the limits of the 
reign of Avantiverma, the first king of the Utpala dynasty, and 
who reigned from a.d. 875 to a.d. 904. The stone with which they 
are erected is so friable, and the temples themselves are so ruined, 
that there might be a difficulty in ascertaining to what religion 
they were dedicated if the *Kaja Tarangini' were not so distinct 
in describing this monarch as a devoted follower of Siva,^ and naming 
these temples as dedicated to various forms of that god. 

The two principal ruins stand in courtyards of nearly the same 
size, about 200 ft. by 160 ft. or 170 ft. internally. One, called 
Avantiswami, has pillars all round, like Marttand, and almost 
identical in design and dimensions. The other is astylar, but the 
temple itself was much more important than in the first example.^ 

» * Asiatic Researches, vol. xv. p. 61. 
Troyer's * Translation,* lib. v., c 128. 

' Plans of these temples with details 
are given by Ganningham, plates 17 and 
18, and by Lieut. Cole with photographs, 
plates 20 to 27, and 2 to 5 for details. Mr. 

Gowie also adds considerably to our in- 
formation on the subject. Th^ dimen- 
sions quoted in the text are from Lieut. 
Cole, and are in excess of those given by 
General Cunningham. 

u 2 

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Tho characteristic that seems most clearly to distinguish the 
style of the temples at Marttand from that of those at Avantipore 
is the greater richness of detail which the latter 
exhibit; just such a tendency, in fact, towards 
the more elaborate carvings of the Hindu style 
as one might expect from their difference in date. 
Several of these have been given by the three 
authors to whose works I have so often had occasion 
to allude, and to which the reader is referred ; but 
the annexed fragment (Woodcut No. 165) of one 
of its columns is as elegant in itself, and almost 
as interesting historically, as the Doric of the ex- 
amples quoted above, inasmuch as if it is compared 
'^^.^^It^om^'^p^w^ with the pillars of the tomb of Mycene (Woodcut 
fcg by Mr. Wilson, j^q j^j^ y^j i^ j^ seems difficult to escape the con- 
viction that the two forms were derived from some 
common source. At all events, there is nothing between the Pelo- 
ponnesus and Kashmir, so far as we now know, that so nearly 
resembles it. 


At a place near the remote village of Bhaniyar, on the road 
between Uri and Naoshera, there stands one of the best-preserved 
temples in the valley. Like all the older temples, it was supplied 
with the means of keeping its courtyard full of water, and during 
the long ages of neglect these brought down silt and mud sufficient 
to half bury the place. It was recently, however, excavated by 
order of the Eaja of Kashmir, and hence its nearly perfect state.^ Its 
dimensions are less than those of the temples last described, being only 
145 ft. by 120 ft., but, except from natural decay of the stone, it is 
nearly perfect, and gives a very fair idea of the style of these buildings. 
The trefoiled arch, with its tall pediment, the detached column and 
its architrave, are as distinctly shown here as in any other existing 
example of a Kashmiri colonnade, and present all those quasi- 
classical features which we now know were inherited from the 
neighbouring province of Gandhara. The central temple is small, 
only 26 ft. square, and its roof is now covered with wooden shingles ; 
but whether that was the original covering is not certain. Looking, 
however, at the central side-cell of the colonnade (Woodcut No. 166), 
it seems to me extremely doubtful whether General Cunningham is 
justified in restoring the roof of the temple, or of the central cell at 

^ Lieut Cole, ' niustratians of Ancient Buildings in Kashmir/ p. 23, plates 37 
and 38. 

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Chap. I. BHANIYAR. 293 

Marttand in stone. My impression rather is, as hinted above, that 
the temple-roof was in wood ; that of the side-cell in stone, but flat. 

166. View in Court of Temple at Bhaniyar. (From a Photograph.) 

At a place called Waniyat are two groups of temples, which were 
carefully examined and described by the Rev. Mr. Cowie,^ and plans 
and photographs are found in Lieutenant Cole's book.^ They differ 
somewhat from those wo have been describing, inasmuch as they do 
not seem to have been enclosed in colonnaded courts, and consist each 
of one large and several smaller temples, unsym metrically arranged. 
The larger ones are 30 ft. and 32 ft. square in plan over all; the 
smaller 10 ft. or 12 ft. 

There are no inscriptions, nor any historical indications that would 
enable us to fix the date of the Waniyat temples with certainty, 
and the stone has decayed to such an extent that the details cannot 
be defined with the precision necessary for comparison with other 
examples ; but whether this decay arises from time or from the nature 
of the stone there are no means of knowing. Lieutenant Cole, 
basing his inferences on certain similarities he detects between them 
and the temple of the Takt-i-Suleiman, which he believes was erected 
B.C. 220, ascribes their erection to the first century after Christ. 
Reasoning from the same basis, if the temple on the Takt belongs 
to the 1 7th century, I would infer that they were among the most 
modem temples in this style in the valley. Besides this, they are 
purely Hindu temples, without any of those Naga or Jaina peculi- 
arities that distinguish the older ones, and almost certainly, therefore, 
may be placed after the year a.d. 1000. How much more modem 
they may be must be left for future inquiry. 

* * Journal of the Asiatic Society of I ' * IlluBtrationfl of Ancient Buildings in 
Bengal,* 1866, p. 101, et seqq. \ Kashmir,* p. 11, plates 6 to 11. 

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Book III. 

Among the remaining examples, perhaps the one that most clearly 
exhibits the characteristics of the style is that at Pandrethan (Wood- 
cut No. 167). It still 
stands, as it has always 
stood, in the centre of 
its tank ; but the over- 
flow drains, which ori- 
ginally served to keep 
the water at the same 
level, having become 
choked by neglect, it 
can now only be ap- 
proached by swimming 
or in a boat. Originally, 
it seems to have had a 
third storey or division 
to its roof, but that has 
fallen ; the lower part 
of the building, how- 
ever, exhibits all the 
characteristic features 
of the style in as much 
perfection as almost any 
other known example. 
One last example must conclude our illustrations of Kashmiri 
architecture. The temple at Payech, though one of the smallest, is 
among the most elegant, and also one of the most modem examples 
of the style (Woodcut No. 168). Its dimensions are only 8 ft. square 
for the superstructure, and 21 ft. high, including the basement ; but 
with even these dimensions it acquires a certain dignity from being 
erected with only six stones — four for the walls and two for the 
roof.^ It stands by itself on a knoll, without any court, or any of 
the surroundings of the older temples, and, being dedicated wholly 
to the gods of the Hindu Pantheon, it certainly belongs to an age 
when their worship had superseded the older faiths of the valley. It 
would be interesting if its date could be ascertained, as it carries with 
it that of the caves of Bhaumajo and of several other temples. So 
far as can at present be made out, it seems to belong to the thirteenth 
century of our era, but is probably of a more modem rather than 
of a more ancient date. 

In order to write a complete monography of the Kashmiri style, 
we ought to be able to trace it very much further back than any- 
thing in the previous pages enables us to do, and by some means 


Temple at Pandrethan. 
(From a Drawing by General Connlngfaam.) 

» Gunuinghani, ' Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal/ Sept. 1848, p. 256. 

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Chap. I. 




Temple at Pkyech. (From a Photograph.) 

to connect it witli the other styles of India. In order to do this, 
however, we must discover some Buddhist remains in Kashmir. We 
know from history that Asoka, B.C. 260, sent missionaries to convert 
the inhabitants of the valley to the Buddhist faith, and that in the 1st 
century Kanishka, a Buddhist king, reigned here absolutely ;* and we 
know that in the 7th century Hiouen Thsang found Buddhism, if not 
the only religion, at least one of the dominant faiths of the people. The 
details he mentions, and the fact of his lingering here for two whole 
years (a.d. 633 to a.d. 634) to study its forms and scriptures, proves how 
important this religion then was.* But not one vestige of a chaitya 
or of a vihara has yet come to light ; and though there are mounds 
which may contain stupas, it is most improbable that they will con- 
tain any architectural forms that may be of any use for our purposes. 
When we know more of the forms and ages of the Gandhara monas- 
teries (ante, pages 169, ei seqq.), they may supply some of the missing 
links required to connect the Kashmiri style to that of the outer 
world ; but till the temples in Salt Range, and other little-fi*equented 
parts of the Punjab are examined, we shall not know all that we 

» * Baja Tarangini,' vol. i. verse 170. * * Vie et Voyages,* vol. i. p. 96. 

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Book III. 

desire. Meanwhile the annexed woodcut (No. 169), representing a 
temple at Mulot, shows how nearly the Punjabi style resembled that 
of Kashmir. There are the same trefoil-headed openings ; the fluted 

169. Ttmple at Mulot In the Salt Honge. (From a Photograph.) 

pillars, with quasi-classical bases and capitals ; and a general simi- 
larity of stylo not to be mistaken. There is another temple very 
similar, but smaller, at Kathwai ; both are near Find Dadan Khan, 
and from what I can learn there are others which may form a con- 
necting link between the Gandhara monasteries and the Kashmiri 
temples. It may be that Mahomedan bigotry has defaced them all ; 
but, looking at the immense strides that have been made during the 
last few years in this direction, I feel confident that so soon as they 
are looked for all that is still wanting will certainly be found. 

So many and so various are the points of interest connected with 
the style of the ancient buildings in Kashmir, that they deserve much 
fuller illustration than is compatible with the scope of the present 
work. Though not magnificent, they are very pleasing and appro- 
priate examples of art, and they have this advantage over most 
of the Indian styles, that Kashmir possesses, in the * Raja Tarangini,' 

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what may be said to be the only Indian history in existence. Any 
one familiar with that work, and with the actual buildings, could 
without much difficulty fix their dates, and from the buildings illus- 
trate the history. This has not yet been accomplished, but there is no 
doubt that it can be done. 

Another point of interest connected with this style is the strange 
but undoubted afi&nity which exists between it and the architectural 
forms of ancient Greece. This, when fully investigated, may reveal 
to us relations between the two countries or their outlying depend- 
encies which are not now suspected. 

But the greatest point of interest is that arising out of the con- 
nexion which at one time seems to have existed between Kashmir 
and Cambodia, which will form the subject of a subsequent chapter. 
Between the two we shall probably be able to gather up the threads 
of the long-lost form of Serpent superstition, and learn to know 
what were the arrangements of the temples, and what the worship 
addressed to that mysterious deity. 

I have already in my work on Tree and Serpent worship, and in 
the Introduction, entered so fully into this subject, and said all that 
I have at present to say about it, that I need not do more here than 
recapitulate the results, but they can hardly be too often repeated in 
order to render the context intelligible. So far as I can ascertain, the 
people who adopted Buddhism in India were neither the Aryans nor 
the Dravidians, but a native aboriginal race in the north, whom the 
Aryans called Dasyus. Before their conversion they worshipped 
trees and serpents, and after their adoption of the higher and purer 
form of worship they continually relapsed to their old faith and old 
feelings whenever the influence of Buddhism became weak, or its 
discipline relaxed. This was especially the case in Kashmir, with 
Taxila, and Gandhara ; it was the head-quarters of Naga worship in 
northern India; and though the inhabitants embraced Buddhism 
with avidity, there are everywhere signs of thdir backslidings. In 
Kashmir the oldest temples, if not exclusivelyr^aga, certainly show 
an unmistakeable tendency in that direction, and continued to do so 
till the Hindu revival in the 11th century. After that they were 
dedicated to Siva and Vishnu, and the people of the valley seem to 
have been completely converted to the Hindu religion, when they 
fell under the influence of the followers of Mahomet, and adopted the 
faith of the Arabian Prophet in or about the 14th century. 

It is between the fall of Buddhism and the rise of Mahomedanism 
that all the temples in the true Kashmiri style must be ranged. 
Before that we have nothing — after that, only the tomb of Zein-ul- 
ab-ud-din and the temple on the Takt-i-Suleiman can be classed as 
examples of the style, though the latter can hardly even claim a 
title to that affiliation. 

Digitized by 






Stupos or Chaityas —Wooden Temples — Thibet — Temples at Kaugra. 

Any one looking at the map, and the map only, would probably be 
inclined to fancy that, from their similarity of situation and sur- 
roundings, the arts and archeeology of Nepal must resemble those of 
Kashmir. It would not, however, be easy to make a greater mistake, 
for there are no two provinces of India which are more diametrically 
opposed to one another in these respects than these two Himalayan 
states. Partly this is due to local peculiarities. The valley of Nepal 
proper — in which the three capitals, Patau, Bhatgaon, aud Khat- 
mandu, are situated — is only twelve miles north cmd south, by nine 
in width east and west. It is true, the bulk of the population of the 
Gorkha state live in the valleys that surround this central point ; but 
they are sparse and isolated communities, having very little com- 
munication with each other. Kashmir, on the other hand, is one of 
the most beautiful and fertile valleys in the world, measuring more 
than one hundred miles in one direction and more than seventy in 
another, without any ridges or interruptions of any sort, and capable 
of maintaining a large population on one vast, unbroken, fertile 

Another point of difference is, that Kashmir never was a thorough- 
fare. The population who now possess it entered it from the south, 
and have retained possession of it — in all historical times, at least — 
in sufficient numbers to keep back any immigration from the north. 
In Nepal, on the contrary, the bulk of the population are Thibetans, 
a people from the north, left there apparently in their passage south- 
ward ; and, so far as we can gather from such histories as exist, the 
southern races who are found there only entered the valley in the 
beginning of the 14 th century, and never in such numbers as 
materially to modify the essentially Turanian character of the 

Nepal also differs from Kashmir from the fact that the Maho- 
medans never had possession of their valley, and never, consequently, 
influenced their arts or their religions. The architectural history of 

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Chap. II. NEPAL. 209 

the two valleys differs, oonsequently, in the following particulars : — 
In Kashmir we have a Buddhist period, superseded in the 8th century 
by an original quasi-classical style, that lasted till it, in its turn, 
was supplanted by that of the Moslem in the 15th century. In 
Nepal we have no succession of styles — no history in fact — for we do 
not know when any of the three religions was introduced ; but what 
we find is the Vaishnava, Saiva, and Buddhist religions existing side 
by side at the present day, and flourishing with a rank luxuriance 
unknown on the plains of Bengal, where probably their exuberance 
was checked by the example of the Moslems, who, as just remarked, 
had no influence in the valley. 

Owing to all the principal monuments in Nepal being modem — 
all, certainly, subsequent to the 14th century — and to the people 
being too poor to indulge in such magnificence as is found on the 
plains, the buildings of Nepal cannot compare, as architectural objects, 
with those found in other parts of India. But, on the other hand, 
the very fact of their being modem gives them an interest of their 
own, and though it is an exaggeration, it is a characteristic one, 
when it is said that in Nepal there are more temples than houses, and 
more idols than men ; it is true to such an extent that there is an 
unlimited field for inquiry, and even if not splendid, the buildings 
are marvellously picturesque. Judging from photographs and such 
materials as are available, I have no hesitation in asserting that 
there are some streets and palaces in Khatmandu and Bhatgaon 
which are more picturesque, and more striking as architectural 
compositions, than are to be found in any other cities in India. 
The style may be called barbarous, and the buildings have the 
defect of being principally in wood ; but their height, their variety 
of outline, their wealth of carving and richness of colour, are 
such as are not to be found in Benares or any other city of the 

The real point of interest in the architecture of Nepal to the true 
student of the art lies in its ethnographic meaning. When fully 
mastered, it presents us with a complete microcosm of India as it 
was in the 7th century, when Hiouen Thsang visited it — when the 
Buddhist and Brahmanical religions flourished side by side; and 
when the distinctive features of the various races were far more 
marked than they have since become under the powerful solvent of 
the Mahomedan domination. 

From all these causes I believe that if the materials existed, and 
it were possible to write an exhaustive history of the architecture 
of the valley of Nepal, it would throw more light on most of the 
problems that are now perplexing us than that of any other province 
in India. It only, however, can be done by some one on the spot, 
and perfectly familiar not only with the Nepalese buildings but with 

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Book III. 

all the phases of the question ;^ but even then its value would be more 
ethnographic than aesthetio. If this were an ethnographic history 
of architecture, to which the aesthetic question were subordinate, it 
would be indispensable that it should be attempted, however incom- 
plete the materials might be ; but the contrary being the case, it 
must suffice here to point out the forms of the architecture, merely 
indicating the modes in which the various styles are divided among 
the different races. 

Like that of so many other countries of India, the mythic history 
of Nepal commences with that of the heroes of the * Mahabarata,' but 
with some more reasons in this case than in most others, for it seems 
probable that it was through the Himalayas that the Pandus entered 
India, and certain, at all events, that the poem represents the sur- 
vivors of the great war returning to their homes, accompanied by 
their dogs, across these mountains, through the dominion of the 
Gorkhas, if not actually through the valley of Nepal. The long 
lists of names, however, that connect these events with modem 
events, if not purely fabulous, are at least barren of all interest, and 
no event is recorded between 1300 years B.C. and a.d. 1300 that need 
arrest attention. What we do gather is, that at some remote period, 
probably the first century of our era. Buddhism did penetrate into 
the valley, and, finding it inhabited by a people of Thibetan origin, 
it was, of course, easily adopted, and has since remained the religion 
of that section of the population.* 

* Nepal is fortunate in having pos- 
sessed in Mr. Brian H. Hodgson one of 
the most acute observers that ever graced 
the Bengal Civil Service. At the time, 
however, when he was Resident in the 
vuUey, none of the questions mooted in 
this work can be said to have been 
started; and he was mainly engrossed 
in exploring and communicating to others 
the unsuspected wealth of Buddhist learn- 
ing which he found in Nepal, and the 
services he rendered to this cause are in- 
calculably great. Nor did he neglect the 
architecture. I have before me a short 
manuscript essay on the subject, only 
four sheets foolscap, with about one bun- 
dled illustrations, which, if fully worked 
out, would be nearly all that is required. 
Unfortunately there are neither dates 
nor dimensions, and the essay is so 
short, and the drawings, made by na- 
tives, so incomplete, that it does not 
supply what is wanted ; but if worked 
out on the spot and supplemented by 

photographs, it might be all that is 

' A curious mistake occurs in Buchanan 
Hamilton's 'Account of the Kingdom of 
Nepal.* At page 57 he says " Gautama, 
according to the best authorities, lived 
in the sixth century b.o., and Sakya in the 
first century a.d. The doctrines of Sakya 
Singha differ most essentially from those 
of Gautama," In the writings of any 
other man this would be put down as 
a stupid mistake, but he was so careful 
an observer that it is evident that his 
informers confoimded the founder of the 
Saka era— whether he was Eanishka or 
not — with the founder of the religion, 
though they seem to be perfectly aware 
of the novelty of the doctrines introduced 
by Nagdrjona and the fourth convocation. 
He adds, page 190, that Buddhism was 
introduced into Nepal a.d. 33, which is 
probably, however, fifty years too early 
—if, at least, it was consequent on the 
fourtli convocation. 

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Chap. II. 



There are two accounts of the mode in which the Hindu or Rajput 
element was introduced into the valley. The favourite one is, that 
after the sack of Chittore by Ala-u-dtn, in 1306, the conqueror sought 
the hand of the proud Rajput's daughter, and to avoid the con- 
tamination he and his followers fled and sought refuge in Xepal.^ 
Another account represents the Rajas of Mithila and Semrun — de- 
scendants of the Surya Yansa kings of Ayodhya — and the Rajputs of 
Canouge flying in like manner, in 1 326, to avoid the tyranny of the 
Delhi emperors ; and that it was these tribes, and not the fugitives 
from Chittore, who conquered and colonised a part of the valley.^ 
Both accounts are probably to some extent true, and they and their 
followers form the Parbuttya or Hindu element in the population 
at the present day, and make up the bulk of those who profess the 
Hindu religion and worship Siva and Vishnu and the other gods of 
the Hindu Pantheon. 

Before they entered the valley, however, it seems to have been 
occupied by Kiratas, Bhotyas, Newars, and other tribes of impure 
origin,* according to the Hindu idea of purity — in other words, 
Tartars or Thibetans — and they are those who had early adopted 
the doctrines of Buddha and still adhere to them. The Newars seem 
to have been the governing caste till the year 1768, when a weak 
sovereign having called in the assistance of a neighbouring Gorkha 
Raja, he seized the kingdom, and his successors still rule in Nepal. 
They apparently were originally of the Magar tribe,* but having mixed 
with the immigrant Hindus call themselves Rajputs, and have adopted 
the Hindu religion, though in a form very different from that known 
in the plains, and differing in a manner we would scarcely be inclined 
to expect. When the religion of the destroyer was introduced into 
a country that professed the mild religion of Buddha, it might 
naturally be supposed that its most savage features would be toned 
down, so as to meet, to some extent at least, the prejudices of the 
followers of the religion it was superseding. So far from this being 
the case in this instance, it is said that when first introducing the 
religion the Gorkhas propitiated the deity with human sacrifices, till 
warned in a dream to desist and substitute animals.^ Besides this, 
the images of Durga or Kali, though hideous and repulsive enough in 
the plains, are ten times more so in Nepal ; and, in fact, throughout 
there is an exaggeration of all the most prominent features of the 
religion, that would lead to the belief that it found a singularly 
congenial soil in the valley and blossomed with unusual exuberance 
there. This, in fact, is one of the reasons that lead to the belief that 

* Buchanan Hamilton, * Account of 
the Kingdom of Nepal,' p. 12 

• Ibid., p. 49. 

* Buchanan Hamilton, * Account of the 
Kingdom of Nepal,' p. 190. 

* Ibid., p. 22. » Ibid., pp. 35 and 211. 

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the religion of Siva is a northern Tartar superstition, which, when 
introduced into India, was softened and modified to suit the milder 
genius of the people; but among the hill tribes, with northern 
affinities, it was practised with all the Tantric devil-worshipping 
peculiarities that characterise its original birthplace. So far, too, as 
the architecture of the Saiva temples in Nepal is concerned, it seems 
to indicate that the worship came into the valley from the north, 
and not from the plains of Bengal. The architecture of the temples 
of Vishnu, on the contrary, seems evidently to be an ofishoot of the 
art of the plains. 

Stupas or Chaityas. 

The two oldest and most important Buddhist monuments in the 
valley of Nepal are those of Swayambunath and Bouddhama : ^ the 
former, beautifully situated on a gentle eminence about a mile from 
Khatmandu, the latter at Easachiel, at some distance off. 

170. Temple of Swayambanath, Nepal. (From a Drawing in the Hodgson Collection). 

> A view of this temple from the frontispiece of Buchanan Hamilton's volume. 

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Chap. II. 



No very precise information is to be had about the date of either, 
but, in their present form at least, they are not the oldest in the 
valley. According to Brian Hodgson, there are several low, flat, 
tumuli-like chaityas, with very moderate tees, which are older, and 
may be of any age ; but, as will be seen from the previous woodcut 
(No. 170), that at Swayambunath is of an irregular clumsy form, 
and chiefly remarkable for the exaggerated form of its tee. This 
is, in fact, the most marked characteristic of the modem Thibetan 
dagoba, which in China is carried frequently to such an extent that 
the stupa becomes evanescent, and the tee changes into a nine or 
thirteen-storeyed tower. According to Kirkpatrick (p. 151), "this 
temple is chiefly celebrated for its perpetual Are, the two principal 
wicks having preserved their flames from time immemorial." The 
continual presence of the fire-altar, in connexion with statues of 
Buddha in Gandhara, would lead us to suspect a connexion between 
fire-worship and Buddhism in that province, but hardly so intimate 
as this would seem to 

In Mr. Hodgson's 
collection there are 
nearly one hundred 
drawings of chaityas 
in Nepal, all diflerent, 
most of them small, 
and generally highly 
ornamented ; but none 
of them grand, and 
none exhibiting that 
elegance of form or 
beauty of detail which 
characterises the build- 
ings of the plains. 
From a low, flat 
mound, one -tenth of 
its diameter in height, 
they rise to such a tall 
building as this, which 
is a common form, 
bearing the name of J 
Eosthakar (Woodcut 
No. 171), in which 

the dagoba is only the crowning ornament, and between these there 
is every conceivable variety of shape and detail. Among others, 
there is the four-faced lingam of Siva, with a corresponding emblem 
with four Buddhas; and altogether such a confusion of the two 


Nepaleae Koethakar. No scale. 

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religions as to confirm the idea hinted at above, that the lingam 

172. Itevi Bhowani Temple, Bhatgaon. (From a Photograph.) 

is really a diminutive dagoba, and not the emblem it is usually 

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Chai>. II. . NEPAL. 305 

8Up|K)Bed to represeut, though, no doubt, in inodeni times understood 
to have that meaning. 

By far the most oharacteristic and beautiful temples of the 
Nepalese are those possessing many storeys divided with sloping 
roofs. They are unlike anything found in Bengal, and all their 
affinities seem with those in Hunnah or China. Usually, they seem 
to bo dedicated U) the Saiva faith, but Mr. Hodgson mentions one at 
Patau, where " Sakya occupies the basal floor, Amitabha the second 
storey, a small stone chaitya the thinl, the Dharmadatu Mandala the 
fourth ; the fifth, or apex of the building, externally consisting of a 
small churamani, or jewel-headed chaitj^a." 

One of the most elegant of this class is the Bhowani temple at 
Bhatgaou, represented in the previous woodcut (Nf). 172). It is five 
storeys in height, but stands particularly well on a pyramid of five 
steps, which gives it a greater dignity than many of its congeners. 
Another, dedicated to Mahadeo, is seen in the centre of the next 
woodcut (No. 173). It is only two storeys in height, but has the 
same characteristic form of roof, which is nearly universal in all 
buildings, civil or ecclesiastical, which have any pretension to archi- 
tectural design. The temple on the left of the last cut is dedi- 
cated to Krishna, and will be easily recognised by any one familiar 
with the architecture of the plains from its sikra or spire, with the 
curvilinear outline, and its clustering pavilions, not arranged quite 
like the ordinary types, but still so as to be unmistakeably Bengali. 

One other example must complete our illustration of the archi- 
tecture of Nepal. It is a doorway leading to the durbar at Bhatgaon, 
and is a singularly characteristic specimen of the style, but par- 
taking much more of C'hina than of India in the stylo of its orna- 
ments (\N oodcut No. 174, p. 307). It is indeed so like an archway in 
the Nankau Pass, near Pekin— given further on — that I was at first 
inclined to ascribe them to the same age. The Chinese example, 
however, is dated in 1345 ;^ this one, according to Mr. Hodgson, was 
erected as late as 1725, yet their ornamentation is the same. In the 
centre is Garuda, with a seven-headed snake-hood ; and on either 
hand are Nagas, with seven-headed hoods also; and the general 
character of the foliaged ornaments is so similar that it is difficult to 
believe in so great a lapse of time between them ; but I dare not 
question Mr. Hodgson's evidence. Since he was in Nepal the building 
on the left-hand side of the cut has been ** improved." His drawings 
show it to have been one of the most picturesque buildings in the 
valley. It certainly is not t>o now. 

It may be rememl)ered that in speaking of the architecture of 
( anara (ante, p. 272), I remarkeil on the similarity that existed 

> • Juuriml oi tlu- Koyal Auiiilic S<K'kty,' vol. v. (N.S.) p. 18. 


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Rw)x III. 

between that of that remote province and the style that is found in 
this Himalayan valley ; and I do not think that any one can look 

173. Temple of Mahadeo and Krishna, Patan. (From a Photograph.) 

at the illustrations quoted above, especially NVoodcuts Nos. 150 and 
15:5, and not i)erceive the similarity between them and the Nepalese 
examines, though it mig;ht recjuire a familiarity with all the photo- 
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Chap. II. NEPAL. 307 

graplis to make it evident, without its being pointed out. This 

Doorway or Durbor, Bhatgaon. (From a Photojrai>h.) 

being the case, it is curious to find Colonel Kirk pa trick stating, more 

ugSzt^oy Google 


thau seveuty years ago, that " it is remarkable enougli that the 
Newar womeu, like those amoug the Naire, may, in fact, have as 
many husbands as they i)lease, being at liberty to divorce them con- 
tinually on the slightest pretence."^ Dr. I'uchanan Hamilton also 
remarks that " though a small portion of the Newars have forsaken 
the doctrine of I»uddha and adopted the worship of Siva, it is without 
changing their manners, which are chiefly remarkable for their extra- 
ordinary' carelessness about the conduct of their women ;" and he 
clsewhei-e remarks on their promiscuousness and licentiousness.^ In 
fact, there are no two tribes in India, except the Nairs and Newars, 
who are known to haye the same strange notions as to female chastity, 
and .that, coupled with the architecture and other peculiarities, seems 
to i)oint to a similarity of race which is both curious and interesting ; 
but how and when the connexion took jjlacc I must leave it to otheiTj 
to determine. I do not think there is anj'thing in the likeness of 
the names, but I do j)lace faith in the similarity of their architec- 
ture combined witli th'it of their mannera and customs. 

Wooden Templ's. 

In the Himalayan districts between Kashmir and Nepal, in Kulu, 
Kangra, and Kumaon, there are a vast number of temples, regarding 
which it would be extremely interesting to have more information 
than we now ixttjscss. 'J'hey are all in wood, generally Deodar pine, 
and, like most buildings in that material, more fantastic in sha{ie, 
but at the same time more picturesque and more richly carved than 
buildings in more permanent and more intractable materials. AVhat 
we now know of them, however, is mainly derived from photographs, 
taken without any system, only as pictures, because the buildings 
were either picturesque in themselves or so situated as to improve 
the landscape. No one yet has thought of measuring them, nor of 
asking to what divinities they are dedicated, and still less of inquiring 
into their age or traditions ; and till this is done it is im^>0S8ible to 
treat of them in anything like a satisfactory- manner. 

Whenever this chapter of Indian architectural history comes to 
be written, it will form a curious pendant to 'that of the wooden 
architecture of Sweden and Norway, the similarities between the two 
groups being both striking and instructive. It can hardly be ex- 
l)ected that any ethnographical or political connexion can be traced 
between peoples so remote from one another which could influence 
their architectural forms ; but it is curious, if this is so, to observe 
how people come independently to adopt the same forms and similar 

' * Nepaiil,' p. 187. I the Kingdcmi of Niiwl,' pp, 29, 42, 

' BuciiauHii Hnmilton, 'Atvoiint of | 51, &c 

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Chap. II. 



. ^>.o-v/SL.-^- 

mcdes of decoration when nsing the same materials for like pnr- 
poFos, and under similar climatic influences. Although it may, 
consequently, be imjiossible to trace any influence that the people of 
the Himala^'as could have exerted on the peoples of the north-west 
of Europe, it is by no means clear that in these wooden structures we 
may not find the germ of much that is now perplexing us with regard 
U) the earlier forms of Hindu stone architecture. Like Buddhist 
architecture, there can hardly be a doubt that much of it was derived 
from wooden originals, and it is diflicult to see any locality where 
wooden styles were likely to be earlier adopted and longer practised 
than in those valleys where the Deodar pine is abundant, and forms 
80 excellent and so lasting a building material. 

An exploration of these valleys would, no doubt, bring to light 
many curious monument*, which would not only be interesting in 
themselves, but might 
throw considerable light 
on many now obscure 
points of our inquiries. 
One monument, for in- 
stance, has recently been 
discovered by Major God- 
win Austen near the foot 
of the Naga hills in As- 
sam, which is unlike any 
other known to exist an}^- 
where cke.^ The temple 
— if temple it may be 
called— consists of a long 
corritlor, about 250 ft. in 
length and 21 ft. wide, 
the roof of which was 
supported by pillars 
richly carved, spaced 15 
ft. to 21 ft. apart; but 
its most remarkable fea- 
tures are two rows — one 
of sixteen, the other of 
seventeen monoliths — 
standing in front of this. 
The tallest is 15 ft., the smallest 8 ft. 5 in., the general range being 
from 12 to 13 ft. in height, and 18 ft. to 20 it. in circumference. 


MonnlitliH at Dinupur. 

(From a [drawing by Major Godwin Austen.) 

* The following paiticulars are talen I * Joiinial of the Ahintic Society uf Ben- 
from a paper l)y Major Austen in the I gal/ vol, xliii. j art i.. 1874. 

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No two are exactly alike, though aU have a general similarity of 
design to those represented in the preceding woodcut (No. 175), 
which may be considered as typical of the style. Another similar 
monolith was found a small distance off, measuring IG ft. 8 in. in 
height, and 23 ft. in circumference. 

The natives were quite unable to give any account of these curious 
monuments, nor is it easy to guess why they were placed where they 
are. So far as I know, no similar monument exists anywhere, for 
the pillars seem perfectly useless, though attached to two rows of 
stones that may have borne a roof; otherwise they look like those 
rows of rude stone monuments which we are familiar with in this 
country and in Brittany, but which a more artistic people may have 
adorned with rude carvings, instead of leaving them quite plain, as 
our forefathers did. As for their carving, the only things the least 
like them, so far as I know, in India, are the pillars in the temple 
at Moodbidri (Woodcut No. 152), and in other places in Canara, but 
there the pillars are actual supports of roofs ; these are round-headed, 
and evidently never were intended for any utilitarian purpose. 

Judging from the gateway and other remains of the town of 
Dimapur, in which these pillars are found, they cannot be of any 
great age. The gateway is of the Gaur type, with a pointed nrch, 
probably of the 16th or 17th century; and, if Major Austen's obser- 
vation is correct, that the sandstone of which they are composed 
is of a friable and perishable nature, they cannot be of any remote 

It would be very interesting if a few more similar monuments 
could be found, and Assam is one of the most promising fields in India 
•for such discoveries. When Hiouen Thsang visited it, in the 7th 
century, it was known as the kingdom of Kamrup, one of the three 
principal states of northern India, and continued populous and im- 
])ortant till the Pathan sovereigns of Delhi attempted its conquest in 
the 1 5th century. Owing to the physical difficulties of the country, 
they never were able to succeed in this attempt ; but they blockaded 
the country for many years, and, cut off from the rest of the world, 
the savage hill tribes on either hand, aided by famine, so depopu- 
lated the country that the jungle overpowered the feeble remnant 
that survived, and one of the richest valleys in the world is now 
one of the most sparsely inhabited. A good and liberal government 
might, in a few years, go far to remedy this state of affairs, and, if 
so blessed, the jungle might again be cleared and rendered fit for 
human population. When this is done there can be no doubt but 
that the remains of many ancient cities will be found. Already 
Captain Dal ton has given an account of the ruins of Gohati, which 
was almost certainly the ancient capital of the province. " Its former 
importance," the Tommissioner says, " is weH atteste<l by the immense 

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Chap. II. 



extent of its fortifications, and the profusion of carved stones which 
every excavation of the modem town brings to light. The remains 
of stone gateways and old stone bridges are found both within and 
without the old city walls." * Captain Hannay gives a view of one of 
these bridges. Like all the rest, it is constructed, without arches, on 
the horizontal principle,^ but it may be as old as the time of the 
Chinese Pilgrims. Besides these, other ruins have been found and 
described, in more or less detail, in the pages of the * Journal of the 
Asiatic Society of Bengal.' When more fully known they will certainly 
be of considerable historic and ethnographic value, though they 
hardly can compare with the \ ast monuments of such provinces as 
Orissa or Gujerat, and other parts of India Proper. 


It would be extremely interesting if, before leaving this part of 
the world, it were possible to compile anything like a satisfactorj'- 
account of the Buddhist style in Thibet, for it is there that Buddhism 
exists in its greatest purity at the present moment, and there only 
is it entirely and essentially a part of the system of the people. Wo 
would gladly, therefore, compare the existing state ef things in 
Thibet with our accounts of India in the days of the supremacy of 
the same religion. The jealousy of the Chinese, however, who are 
now supreme over that nation of priests, prevents free access to the 
country, and those who have penetrated beyond its forbidden barriers 
have either done so in the disguise of mendicants, and, consequently, 
dared neither to diaw nor examine minutely what they saw, or else 
had little taste for portraying what was unintelligible, and, conse- 
quently, of very little interest to them.^ 

So far as can be made out from such narratives as we have, there 
does not seem to be in Thibet a single relic-shrine remarkable either 
for sanctity or size, nor does relic-worship seem to be expressed either 
in their architecture or their religious forms. But as no country 
in the world possesses a larger body of priests in proportion to its 
population, and as all these are vowed to celibacy and live t( gethcr, 
their monasteries are more extensive than any wo know of elsewhere 
— some containiog 2000 or 3000 lamas, some, if we may trust M. Hue, 
as many as 15,000.* The monasteries do not seem to be built with 

* 'Journal of the Asiatic S<x'iety of 
Bengal,' vol. xxiv. p. 1 , et seqq. 

* Ibid., vol. XX. p. 291, et seqq. 

' Capt. Turner, it is true, who was went 
to Teeshoo Lomboo by Warren Hastinj^s, 
has published with his Interesting nar- 
rative a number of very faithful views of 

what he : aw, but they are not selectetl 
from that class of monuments which is 
the subject of our present inquiry. 

* * Voyage dans le Thibet,* vol. ii. p. 
289. The monastery referred to is that 
of S^ra, in the nrij^hbourhoo^l of Las.<«a, 
the capit il. 

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any regularity, or to be grouped into combinations of any architectural 
preten.sion, but to conBist of long streets of cells, mostly surrounding 
small courtyards, three or four on each side, and sometimes two or 
even three storeys high ; genei'ally, perhaps always, with a small 
shrine or altar in the centre. The monastery of Bouddha I.a, outside 
the city of Lassa, where the Dclai Lama resides, seems to be of more 
magnificence than all the rest— the centre being occupied by a building 
four storeys high, crowned by a dome (making the fifth) covered 
entirely with sheets of gold (rather, perhaps, merely gilt), and sur- 
rounded by a peristj'le of columns, which are gilt also. Around this 
central palace are grouped a number of smaller ones, where the inferior 
members of this great cede iastical order reside ; but of all this it is 
difficult to form a distinct idea without some better drawings than 
the native ones, which are at present alone available. 

The Delai Lama, who resides in this palace, is Iwlieved by the 
Thibetans to be the living incarnation of the Deity, and, in conse- 
quence, is the principal, if not the only, object of worshij* in I^assa. 
There are, however, four or five subordinate incarnations in different 
parts of Thibet and Mongolia, who, though inferior to this one, are 
still objects of worship in the places where tliej reside, and by 
particular sects of Buddhists. 

It is this worship of a living rather than of a dead deity that 
seems to be the principal cause of the difference of the architectural 
forms of India and Thibet. In the countries we have hitherto been 
describing no actual incarnation of the Deity is believed to have taken 
place since the death of Sakya Muni, though the spirit of God has 
descended on many saints and holy men ; in India, therefore, they 
have been content to worship images of tiro departed deity, or relics 
which recall His presence. In Thibet, where their deity is still present 
among them, continually transmigrating, but never dying, of course 
such a form of worship would be absurd ; no relic of a still living god 
can exist, nor is the semblance or the memory of any past mani- 
festation thought worth preserving. A priori, therefore, we should 
scarcely look here for the same class of sacred edifices as we find in 
India or Ceylon. 

Owing to the jealousy with which the country is guarded against 
the intrusion of Europeans, we may probably have to wait some time 
before Thibet itself, or even the valleys dependent upon it in the 
Himalayas, are so accessible to European travellers as to enable 
them to supply the data requisite for the purpose. In the mean- 
while, however, the view (Woodcut No. 176) of the doorway of 
the temple at Tassiding is curious as showing a perseverance 
in the employment of sloi)ing jambs, w^hich we do not meet 
with in the plains. It will be recollected that this feature is 
nearly universal in the Cehar and early western caves (W(x>dcutH 

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Chap. II. 



176. Doorway of the Temple ift Tassidiiig. (From It. Hooker's * Himalayan Journals.') 

Nos. 4'^, 45, and 50), but there we lose it. It may have con- 
tinued to be commonly employed during the Middle Ages, though 
the examples have pei-ished ; but it is curious to find it cropping up 
here again after a lapse of 2000 years. ^ 

Another view in the porch of the temple at Pemiongchi is also 
interesting, as showing the form of roof which we are familiar with 
in the rock examples, and also as illustrating the extent to which the 
bracket capital of India may be carried under the influence of wooden 
architecture (Woodcut No. 177). It hardly seems doubtful that the 
idea was originally derived from wooden construction, but was 
ec^ually appropriate to masonic forms, and is used in masonry so 
judiciously by Indian architects that we lose sight of its origin in 
most instances altogether. 

Interesting as these minor styles undoubtedly are fnmi their 
variety, and valuable though tliey may be for tlie hints thi^y aft'nrd 
us in understanding the history of the other styles, they never can 
be so important as the greater architectural groups that are found on 
the plains of India itself. A monograph of the styles of Kashmir or 
Nepal, or of the intermediate valleys, would be an invaluable addition 
to our knowledge ; but hardly more is recjuirid in a general history 
than that their places should be indicated, and their general charac- 

* It is found currently employed in the I monafcterie.s, but never as a constructivo 
decorative sculpture of the Gandhaia I fenlure. 

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Book III. 

teristics so defined as to render them recognisable. Even these minor 
styles, however, will become more intelligible when studied in con- 
nexion with the Dravidian and northern styles, which are those it 
is next; projwsed to define and describe. 

Tkmples at Kangra. 

Though a liltle out of their place in the series, there are two small 
temples in one of the Himalayan valleys which it may bo expedient 

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to describe here before leaving this part of the subject, as theii* 
peculiarities will assist us in understanding much that has just been 
said, or that will be presently advanced. Besides this, they do not 
exactly fit into any other series, but they can hardly be passed 
over, as they possess what is so rare in Indian temples — a well- 
ascertained date. 

The temples are situated in the village of Kiragrama, not far 
from Kote Kangra, and, as an inscription on them records, were 
built by two brothers, Baijnath and Siddhnath, in the year 804 a.d.^ 
Neither of them are large. I'he larger has a porch 20 ft. square 
inside by 28 ft. (not 48 ft.) over all externally, and the whole length 
of the temple, from front to rear, is 60 ft. The smaller one is only 
33 ft. over all, including the sanctuary. In 1786, the large temple 
underwent a thorough repair at the hands of a Raja Sinsarchand, 
which has obliterated many of its features ; but it is easy to see at a 
glance what was done in the beginning of the 9th century, and what 
1000 years afterwards. The small temple, though ruinous, is more 
interesting, because it has escaped the hand of the sjwiler. As will 
be seen from the woodcut (No. 178), it has all the features of a very 
old temple — great simplicity of outline, no repetitions of itself, and 
the whole surface of the upper part covered with that peculiar horse- 
shoe diaper which was so fashionable in those early days. It looks 
here as if* it must be copied from some brick or terra-cotta construc- 
tion; otherwise its repetition over a whole surface seems unac- 
countable. The amalaka stringcourses are subdued and in g<v>d 
taste, and the crowning ornament well proportioned.^ 

ITiere is little doubt that the sikra of the larger temple was simi- 
larly adorned, but all its details are so completely obliterated by the 
coating of plaster it has received that it has lost its interest. The 
pillars, however, of its porch retain their forms up to their capitals, 
at least. The architraves, as may be seen from the woodcut, belong 
to the repair in 1 786. The shafts of the pillars are plain cylinders, 
of very classical proportions, and the bases also show that they are 
only slightly removed from classical design. The square plinth, 
the two toruses, the cavetto, or hollow moulding between, are all 
classical, but partially hidden by Hindu ornamentation, of great 
elegance, but unlike anything found afterwards. The capitals are, 
however, the most interesting parts, though their details are con- 
siderably obliterated by whitewash. They belong to what may be 
styled the Hindu-Corinthian order, though the principles on which 

* Gunningham, * Archaeological Re- 
ports,* vol V. p. 178, et seqq.j from which 
the following particulars are abstracted. 

' I hope no one will mistake the ele- 

vation, pi. 44, vol, V. of Cunningham's 
* Arch«ological Reports' for a representa- 
tion o.f this temple. It does not in the 
least resemble it 

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they are designed is diaiuetrieally o[)posed to those of the classical 

178. Temples at Kiragraraa, near Kote Kangra. (From a Photograph.) 

order of the same name. The object of both — as is well known — is 
to convert a circular shaft into a Fqnare architrave-hearing capital 

uigiiizeu uy VnOOy IC 

CiiAP. ir. 



in a graceful and pleasing manner. We all know the manner in 
which the Ionic and Corinthian capitals effect this ; pletisingly, it 
is true, but not without effort and some little clumsiness, which it 
required all the skill and taste of classical architects to conquer. 
To effect this object, the Hindus placed a vase oh the top of 
their column, the bowl of which was about the same diameter as 
that of the pillar on which it w^as placed, or rather larger ; but such 
an arrangement was weak, Ijecause the neck and base of the vase were 
necessarily smaller than the shaft of the pillar, and^ both were still 
circular. To remedy these defects, they designed a very beautiful 
class of foliaged ornament, which appears to grow out of the vase, on 
each of its four faces, and, falling downwards, strengthens the hollows 
of the neck and leg of the vase, so as to give them all the strength 
they require, and at the same time to convert the circular form of 
the shaft into the required square for the abacus of the capital. The 
Hindus, of course, never had sufficient ability or ccmstructive skill to 
enable them to produce so perfect a form a« the Corinthian or Ionic 
capitals of the Greeks or Komans ; but it is probable that if this 
form were taken up at the present day, a ca[)ital as beautiful as 
either of these might even now 1x3 produced. It is, indeed, almost 
the only suggestion that Indian architecture seems to offer for 
European use. 

It is by no means clear when this form of capital was first intro- 
duced. It first appears, but timidly it must be confessed, in such 

Pillar at Eruii of the 
<}npta ago. 

IH}. Capital of HairColuiun fntiii a t4ni|iU> in 
Orlpsa. (From a Lilliograpl).) 

late Buddhist caves as were excavated after the beginniug of the 
5th centurv:— as, for instance, in the Yadnva Sri eave at Xassick 

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(Woodcut No. 81); in the courtyard of the Vi8wakarma, at Ellora 
(Woodcut No. 03); aud in some of the later cavet) at A junta — ihe 
twenty -foui th for instance. It is found at Erun (Woodcut No. 
1 7*.'), among some fragments that I Ixilieve to be of the ago of 
the Guptas, about a.d. 400, and it is currently emjdoyed in the 
middle group of Hindu caves at Ellora, such as the Ashes of Ravana, 
and other caves of that age, tay about a.d. 600. It afterwards 
became frequent, almost universal, with the Jains, down to the 
time of the Mahomedan conquest. The preceding representation of 
one (Woodcut No. 180), from a half column of a temple in Orissa, 
shows it in a skeleton form, and therefore more suited to explain 
its construction than a fuller capital would do. On its introduction, 
the bell-shaped or Persepolitan capital seems to have gone out of 
fashion, and does not again appear in Indiati art. 

To return from this digression : there can be no doubt that the 
temple of Baijnath is dedicated to Siva, not only from the presence 
of the bulls in front of it, in pavilions of the same architecture as the 
porch, but also because Ganesa appears among its integral sculptures ; 
yet, strange to say, the back niche is occupied by a statue of Maha- 
vira, the last Jaina Tirthankar, with a perfectly legible inscription, 
dated in a.d. 1240.^ It looks as if the age of toleration had not passed 
even them. ^ 

* Cuuiiingliain, ' ArchiGological Reports,' vol. v. p. 183. 

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( 319 ) 




'1'he liinite withiu whicli the Dravidian style of arcliiti^ctu:e pre- 
vailed iu India are not diflBcult to define or understand. Practically 
they are those of the Madras Presidency, or, to speak more correctly, 
they are identical with the spread of the people speaking Tamil, or 
any of the cognate tongues. Dr. Caldwell, in his ' Grammar,* estimates 
these at forty-five or forty-six millions,* but he includes among them a 
number of tribes, such as the Tudas and Gonds, who, it is true, speak 
dialects closely allied to the 'i'amil tongues, but who may have learnt 
them from the superior races, in the same manner that all the nations 
of the south-west of Europe learat to speak Latin from the Eomans ; 
or as the Cornish men have adopted English, and the Irish and 
northern Scots are substituting that tongue for their native Gaelic 
diale(5t8. Unless we know their history, language is only a poor test 
of race, and in this instance architecture does not come to our aid. 
It may do so hereafter, but in so far as we at present know, these tribes 
are in too rude a state to have any architecture of their own in a 
sufficiently advanced state for our purposes. Putting them aside, 
therefore, for the present, we still have, according to the last census, 
some thirty millions of people speaking Tamil, Telugu, Canarese, and 
Malayalam, whom we have no reason for doubting are practically of 
the same race, and who, in so far as they are Hindus —not Jains, but 
followers of Siva and Vishnu — practise one style of architecture, and 
that known as the Dravidian. On the east coast the boundaries of the 
style extend as far north as the mouth of the Kistnah, and it penetrat^js 
sporadically and irregularly into the Nizam's territories, but we 
cannot yet say to what extent, nor within what limits. 

• * ComiKirative Grammar of the Draviiliuii Languages.' Loudon, necoud edition, 
1875, p. 42. 

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On tho west coast its natural boundary northwards is the Kistnah, 
but it did at one time (a.d. 700 ?) reach as far as Ellora, in latitude 
20*^ ; but it seems to have been a spasmodic effort, and it took no per- 
manent root there, while the reflex wave brought the northern styles 
into the Mysore or other southern countries, where their presence was 
as little to be expected as that of the Dra vidian so far north. 

Although considerable progress has lately been made in the right 
direction, no satisfactory solution has yet been arrived at of the 
problem of the origin of the Pravidians. The usual theory is that, 
coming from the westward, they crossed the Lower Indus, passed 
through Scinde and Gujemt, and, keeping to the right, sought the 
localities in which we now find them ; or rather, that they were 
pushed into that corner, first by the Arj^ans, who almost certainly 
crossed tho Upper Indus, and jmssed through the Punjab into the 
valley ol the Ganges, and afterwards by the Rajputs, who followed 
nearly in their footsteps. 

In favour of this view is the fact first pointed out by Dr. Caldwell,* 
that the Brahuis in Bclochistan speak a Dravidian tongue, and may 
consequently be considered as a fragment of the i-ace dropped there in 
transitu. But against this view it may be urged that l>etween the 
Brahuis and the northern Tamils we have a tract of civilized country 
extending over 1000 miles in which we have no evidence of the 
passage of the Dravidians, and where it is nearly certain, if it were a 
national migration, we should find their traces. 

So far as history is concerned, in such glimmerings of tradition as 
we possess, they certainly do not favour this view of matters. Not 
only do they fail to afford us any trace of such a migration or con- 
quest, but at the earliest time at which we find any mention of them 
the most civilized and important of their communities occupied the 
extreme southern point of tho peninsula.^ North of them all was 
forest, but between the Christian Era and tho Mahomedan invasion 
we find the jungle gradually disappearing, and the southern races 
pushing northwards, till, in tho 14th century, they were checked and 
driven back by the Moslems. But for their interference it looks as 
if, at that time, the Dravidians might eventually have driven the 
Aryans through the Himalayas back to their original seats, as the 
Maharattas, who are half Dravidians, nearly did at a subsequent 

If any clear or direct relationship could be discovered between 

' 'Grammar,' p. 44. .sketch in the* 'Jourmil of tlie lioyal 

* The best account of the Pandyaii I Asiatic S<Kiety/ vol. iii. j). lyo, el seqq. 

kiiiplom- the Rcf^io Paiulionis (»f the . \7'Mj. 

ehitiyieal authi'rs— i>* Wilson's hir*loricul ' 

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Chap. I. 



the Tamil and the Median or Accadian languages of Turanian origin, 
which the decipherment of arrow-headed inscriptions is revealing to 
us, it might help a good deal in explaining the original introduction 
of the Dravidians into India, and the numerous Assyrianisms that 
exist in the mythc»logy and architecture of southern India. Till, 
however, more progress is made in that direction, it seems it would be 
more expedient for the present to assume that the Tamil-speaking 
races are practically aboriginal, and that the evidences of connexion 
between them and Babylonia are due to continued and close com- 
mercial intercourse between the Persian Gulf and the Malabar coast. 
That such did exist from very remote ages we may feel certain, and 
its extent seems such as to justify and explain any similarities that 
are now found existing in southern India. 

Be all this as it may, as far back as their traditions reach, we find 
the Dravida Desa, or southern part of India, divided into three king- 
doms or states, the Pandyas, the Cholas, and the Cheras, forming a 
little triarchy of powers, neither intei-fered with by the other nations 
of the earth, nor interfering with those beyond their limits. During 
the greater part of their existence all their relations of war and 
peace have been among themselves, and they have grown up a 
separate people, as unlike the rest of the world as can well be 

Of the three, the most southern was called the Pandyan kingdom ; 
it was the earliest civilized, and seems to have attained sufficient 
importance about the time of the Christian Era to have attracted the 
special attention of the Greek and Roman geographers. How much 
earlier it became a state, or had a regular succession of rulers, we 
know not,* but it seems certainly to have attained to some consistency 
as early as five or six centuries before the Christian Era, and main- 
tained itself within its original boundaries, till in the middle of 
the last century when it was swallowed up in our all-devouring 

During this long period the Pandyas had several epochs of great 
brilliancy and power, followed by long intervening periods of de- 
pression and obscurity. The 1st century and afterwards the 6th 
or 6th seem to have been those in which they especially dis- 
tinguished themselves. If buildings of either of these epochs still 
exist, which is by no means improbable, they are utterly unknown to 
us as yet, nor have we any knowledge of buildings of the intervening 
periods down to the reign of Tirnmulla Nayak, a.d. 1624. This 

* Besides the account of this state 
given by Professor Wilson in vol. iii. of 
the * Journal of the Roval Asiatic So- 

ciety,' there are many scattered notices 
found in Taylor's * Analysis of the 
Mackenzie MSS.* and elsewhere. 

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prince adorned the capital city of M&dura with many splendid 
edifices, some of which have been drawn by Daniell and others. 
What more ancient remains there may be will not be known till the 
place has been carefully and scientifically explored. 

The Chola kingdom extended northwards from the valley of the 
Cauvery and Coleroon rivers, whose banks seem always to have been 
its principal seat, nearly to Madras, all along the eastern coast, called 
after them Cholomandalam or Coromandel. The date of the origin of 
their kingdom is not known, but their political relations with Kash- 
mir can be traced as early as the 6th century, and probably earlier.^ 
Their epoch of greatest glory, however, was between the 10 th and 
12th centuries, when they seem to have conquered not only their 
neighbours the Fandyas and Cheras, but even to have surpassed the 
bounds of the triarchy, and carried their arms into Ceylon, and to 
have maintained an equal struggle with the Chalukyas in the north. 
After this period they had no great revival like that of the Pandyas 
under TirumuUa Nayak, but sank step by step under the Mahomedans, 
Mahrattas, and English, to their present state of utter political 

The Cheras occupied the country northward of the kingdom of 
Pandya, and westward of Chola, including a considerable part of 
what is now known as Mj'^sore. Their rise according to their own 
annals took place nearly at the time of the Christian Era, but this 
most probably is an exaggeration ; but there are inscriptions which 
prove that they were powerful in the 4 th and 6th centuries. From 
this time they seem gradually to have extended their conquest north- 
wards. Their sixteenth king boasts of having conquered Andhra and 
Kalinga,^ and their twentieth king, Kongani Eaya III., boasts of 
having conquered Chola, Pandya, Dravida, Andhra, Kalinga, Varada, 
and Maharastra desas as far as the Nerbudda river.^ According to 
the dates in the Kongadesa Eajakal, this must have taken place in the 
7 th century, but from what we know of history, it could not have 
taken place till after the overthrow of the Chalukyan dynasty, and 
consequently hardly before 750. That a southern conquest did take place 
about that time seems almost certain from the eclipse of the Chalukyas 
between 750 and 1000,* and from the excavation of the Kylas and 
other temples of Dravidian architecture at EUora about that time, 
and there seems no race but the Cheras who could have effected this. 

Vira Chola ( a. d. 927-977) seems first to have checked their victorious 
career, and Ari Vara Deva, another Chola king (1004^), to have com- 
pleted their destruction. He also boasts of having carried his 

* * Asiatic Researches,* vol. xv. p. 40. 
' ' Journal of the Royal Asiatic So- 
ciety,* vol. viii. p. 5. 

3 Ibid. 

* Ibid., vol. iv. p. 10. 

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Chap. I. 



victorious standard to the Nerbudda, and to have been a benefactor 
to Chillambaram, the then famed temple of his race. 

This was the last great effort of the early triarchy; after this 
the rise of the Bellalas in Mysore, and the revival of the Chalukyas in 
Central India, seem to have checked them to such an extent, that 
they never regained a perfect independence, though at times wealthy 
and powerful and capable of embarking in the most splendid architec- 
tural undertakings.^ 

Although, politically, these three states always remained distinct, 
and generally antagonistic, the people belonged to the same race. 
ITieir architecture is different from any other found in India, but 
united in itself, and has gone through a process of gradual change 
from the earliest times at which we become acquainted with it, until 
we lose sight of it altogether in the last century. This change is 
invariably for the worse, the earlier specimens being in all instances 
the most perfect, and the degree of degradation forming, as mentioned 
above, a tolerably exact chronometric scale, by which we may measure 
the age of the buildings. 

Buddhism, as before hinted, does not seem to have ever gained a 
footing of much importance among any of the Dravidian races of India, 
and as early as the 7th century the few votaries of Buddha that 
existed in the south of India were finally expelled.* So completely 
was it extirpated that 1 do not know of one single Buddhist monument 
south of the Eistnah, except the tope at Amravati described above, 
and am inclined very much to doubt if any really important ones ever 

The Jaina religion, on the contrary, continued to flourish at 
Conjeveram and in the Mysore, and seems to have succeeded Buddhism 
in these places, and to have attracted to itself whatever tendency 
there may have been towards the doctrines of Buddhism on the part 
of the southern people. Though influential from their intelligence, 
the Jains never formed more than a small numerical fraction of the 
people among whom they were located. 

The Hindu religion, which thus became supreme, is now commonly 
designated the Brahmanical, in order to distinguish it from the earlier 
Vedic religion, which, however, never seems to have been known in 
the south. The two sects into which it is divided consist of the 
worshippers of Siva and of Vishnu, and are now quite distinct and 
almost antagonistic; but both are now so overloaded with absurd 
&ble8 and monstrous supefstitions, that it is very difficult to ascertain 

* The particulars are abstracted from 
Sir Walter Elliot's paper in the fourth, 
and Mr. Dowson's paper on the Cheras 
in the eighth, Wnme of the ' Journal 
of the Royal Asiatic Society.' 

* The documents collected by Colonel 
Mackenzie are full of the disputes which 
ended in the persecution, and these ex- 
tended apparently from the 5th to the 7th 

Y 2 

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what they really are or ever were. Nor are we yet in a poeition to 
Bpeak confidently of their origin. 

Kecent discoveries in Assyria seem, however, to point to that country 
as the origin of mnch that we find underlying the local colouring of 
the Vaishnava faith. Garuda, the eagle-headed Vahana, and com- 
panion of Yishnu, seems identical with the figure now so familiar to 
us in Assyrian sculpture, probably representing Ormazd. The fish- 
god of the Assyrians, Dagon, prefigures the " Fish- Avatar," or 
incarnation of \^i8hnu. The man-lion is not more familiar to us in 
Assyria than in India, and tradition generally points to the West for 
the other figures scarcely so easily recognised — more especially Bali, 
whose name alone is an index to his origin ; and Maha Assura, who, 
by a singular inversion, is a man with a bull's head,^ instead of a bull 
with a man's head, as he is always figured in his native land. It is 
worthy of remark that the ninth Avatar of Vishnu is always Buddha 
himself, thus pointing to a connexion between these two extremes of 
Indian faith ; and we are told by inscriptions of the 14th century that 
there was then no appreciable dijBference between the Jains and 
Vaishnavas.^ Indeed, as pointed out in the introduction, it seems 
impossible to avoid considering these three faiths as three stages of 
one superstition of a native race — Buddhism being the oldest and 
purest ; Jainism a faith of similar origin, but overlaid with local 
superstitions ; and Vishnuism a third form, suited to the capacity of 
the natives of India in modem times, and to compete with the 
fashionable worship of Siva. 

Both these religions have borrowed an immense amount of nomen- 
clature from the more abstract religions of the Aryan races, and both 
profess to venerate the Vedas and other scriptures in the Sanscrit 
language. Indeed it is all but impossible that the intellectual supe- 
riority of that race should not make itself felt on the inferior tribes, 
but it is most important always to bear in mind thnt the Sanscrit- 
speaking Aryan was a stranger in India. It cannot indeed be too 
often repeated that all that is intellectually great in that country — 
all, indeed, which is written — belongs to them ; but all that is built — 
all, indeed, which is artistic — belongs to other races, who were either 
aboriginal or immigrated into India at earlier or subsequent periods, 
and from other sources than those which supplied the Aryan stock. 

There does not seem to be any essential difference either in plan 
or form between the Saiva and Vaishnava temples in the south of India. 
It is only by observing the images or emblems worshipped, or by 

* See Dr. Babington, Plate 4, vol. ii. 
of ' TraTisoctions of the Koyal Asiatic 
Society/ for the sculpture at Maha 


' * Asiatic Researches,' vol. ix. p. 270, 
and vol. xvii. p. 285. 

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reading the stories represented in the numerous sculptures with which 
a temple is adorned, that we find out the god to whom it is dedicated. 
Whoever he may be, the temples consist almost invariably of the four 
following parts, arranged in various manners, as afterwards. to be 
explained, but differing in themselves only according to the age in 
which they were executed : — 

1. The principal part, the actual temple itself, is called the Vimana, 
It is always square in plan, and surmounted by a pyramidal roof of 
one or more storeys ; it contains the cell in which the image of the 
god or his emblem is placed. 

2. The porches or Mantapna^ which always cover and precede the 
door leading to the cell. 

3. Gate pyramids, Gopuraa^ which are the principal featun s in the 
quadrangular enclosures which always surround the Vimanas, 

4. Pillared halls or Choultries, used for various purposes, and which 
are the invariable accompaniments of these temples. 

Besides these, a temple always contains tanks or wells for water — 
to be used either for sacred purposes or the convenience of the priests, 
— dwellings for all the various grades of the priesthood attached to it, 
and numerous other buildings designed for state or convenience. 

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Mahavellipore — Kjlas, EUora. 

Although it may not be possible to point out the origin of the 
Dravidian style, and trace its early history with the same precision as 
we can that of Buddhist architecture, there is nothing so mysterious 
about ifc, as there is regarding the styles of northern India, nor does 
it burst on us full blown at once as is the case with the architecture 
of the Chalukyas. Hitherto, the great difficulty in the case has been, 
that all the temples of southern India have been found to be of so 
modem a date. The great building age there was the 1 6ih and 1 7th 
centuries of our era. Some structural buildings, it is true, could be 
traced back to the 12th or 13th with certainty, but beyond that all 
was to a great extent conjecture ; and if it were not for rock-cut 
examples, we could hardly go back much further with anything like 
certainty. Eecent investigations, however, combined with improved 
knowledge and greater familiarity with the subject, have now altered 
this state of aiSairs to a great extent. It seems hardly doubtful now that 
the Eylas at Ellora, and the great temples at Purudkul (Pattadkul), 
are anterior to the 10th century.* It may, in fact, be that they date 
from the 8th or 9th, and if I am not very much mistaken the " raths," 
as they are called, at Mahavellipore are as early, if not indeed earlier, 
than the Sth or 6th, and are in reality the oldest examples of their 
class known, and the prototypes of the style. 

One circumstance which has prevented the age of the Mahavelli- 
pore raths being before detected is, that being all cut in granite and 
in single blocks, they show no sign of wearing or decay, which is so 
frequently a test of age in structural buildings, and being all in the 
same material produces a family likeness among them, which makes 
it at first sight difficult to discriminate between what is old and 
what new. More than this, they all possess the curious peculiarity of 
being unfinished, whether standing free, as the raths, or cut in the rock, 
as caves, or on its face, as the great bas-relief; they are all left with 
one-third or one-fourth merely blocked out, and in some instances with 

* Burgcsi?, ' Report ou IJelgam and Kaladgi,* 1875, plates 39, 40. 

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the intention merely indicated. It looks as if the workmen had been 
suddenly called off while the whole was in progrt ss, and native 
traditions, which always are framed to account for what is otherwise 
most unintelligible, have seized on this peculiarity, and make it the 
prominent feature in their myths. Add to this that it is only now 
we are acquiring that knowledge of the subject and familiarity 
with its details, which will enable us to check the vagaries of Indian 
speculation. From all these causes it is not difficult to understand 
how easily mistakes might be made in treating of such mysterious 

If we do not know all we would wish about the antiquities of 
Mahavellipore, it is not because attempts have not been made 
to supply the information. Situated on an open sea-beach, within 
one night's easy dak from Madras, it has been more visited 
and oftener described than any other place in India. The first 
volume of the 'Asiatic Researches' (1788) contained an exhaustive 
paper on them by W. Chambers. This was followed in the fifth (1 798) 
by another by Mr, Goldingham. In the second volume of the 
' Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society ' there appeared what was 
then considered a most successful attempt to decipher the inscriptions 
there, by Dr. Guy Babington, accompanied by views of most of the 
sculptures. The ' Madras Journal,* in 1 844, contained a guide to the 
place by Lieutenant Braddock, with notes by the Rev. W. Taylor and 
Sir Walter Elliot ; and almost every journal of every traveller in these 
parts contains some hint regarding them, or some attempt to describe 
and explain their peculiarities or beauties. Most of these were 
collected in a volume in 1869 by a Lieutenant Carr, and published at 
the expense of the Madras Government, but unfortunately the editor 
selected had no general knowledge of the subject, nor had he appa- 
rently any local familiarity with the place. His work in consequence 
adds little to our previous stores. 

In addition to all this. Colonel Mackenzie undertook to illustrate 
the place, and employed his staff to make detailed drawings of all the 
sculptures and architectural details, and a volume containing thirty- 
seven drawings of the place is in his collection in the India Office, and 
Daniell has also published some faithful representations of the place. 
Quite recently it has been surveyed by the revenue surveyors, and 
photographed by Dr. Hunter, Captain Lyon, and others, so that the 
materials seem ample ; but the fact is, they have been collected at such 
distant times, and by individuals differing so essentially in capability 
or instruction, .that it is almost impossible, except on the spot, to 
co-ordinate the whole. Any accomplished architect or archaeologist 
could do it easily in a month, and tell us the whole story. Meanwhile, 
however, the main features seem tolerably distinct, and ascertained 
within limits sufficient for our present purposes. 

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Booa IV. 

The oldeHt and most interesting group of monuments at Maha- 
vellipore, are the so-called five raths or monolithic temples standing 
on the gea-shore — one of these, that with the apsidal termination in 
the centre of the annexed woodcut (No. 181), stands a little detached 
from the rest. 'J'he other four stand in a line north and south, and 
look as if they had been carved out of a single stone or rock, which 
originally, if that were so, must have been between 3.5 ft. and 40 ft. 
high at its southern end, sinking to half that height at its northern 
extremity, and its width diminishing in a like proportion. 

The first on the north is a mere Pansala or cell 11 ft. square 
externally, and 16 ft. high. It is the onlj^ one too that seems finisheil 

Raths, Mahavellipore. (From a Sketch by the Author.) 

or nearly SO, but it has no throne or image internally from which we 
might guess its destination. 

The next is a small copy of the last to the southward, and measures 
1 1 ft. by 10 ft. in plan, and 20 ft. in height. The third, seen partially in 
the above woodcut, is very remarkable : it is an oblong building with a 
curvilinear shaped roof with a straight ridge. Its dimensions are 42 ft. 
long, 25 ft. wide, and 25 ft. high. Externally, it seems to have been 
completely carved, but internally only partially excavated, the works 
being apparently stopped by an accident. It is cracked completely 
through, so that daylight can bo seen through it, and several masses 
of the rock have fallen to the ground — this has been ascribed to an 
earthquake and other causes. My impression is, the explanation is 
not far to seek, but arose from unskilfulness on the part of workmen 

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Chap. II. 



employed in a first attempt. Having completed the exterior, they set 
to work to excavate the interior so as to make it resemble a structural 
building of the same class, leaving only such pillars and supports 
as were sufficient to support a wooden roof of the ordinary con- 
struction. In this instance it was a mass of solid granite which, 
had the excavation been completed, would certainly have crushed 
the lower storey to powder. As it was, the builders seem to have 
taken the hint of the crack and stopped the further progress of the 

The last, however, is the most interesting of the series. A view of 
it has already been given (Woodcut No. f)6), and it is shown on the 
right hand of the last woodcut. Its dimensions are 27 ft. by 28 ft. in 
plan, 34 ft. in height. Its upper part is entirely finished with its 
sculptures, the lower merely blocked out. It may be, that frightened 
by the crack in the last-named rath, or from some other cause, they 
desisted, and it still remains in an unfinished state. 

The materials for fixing the age of this rath are, first, the palsBo- 
graphical form of the characters used in the numerous inscriptions 
with which it is covered.^ Comparing these with Prinsep's alphabets, 
allowing for diflferenoe of locality, they seem certainly to be anterior 
to the 7 th century.* The language, too, is Sanscrit, while all the 
Chola inscriptions of the 1 0th and subsequent centuries are in Tamil, 
and in very much more modem characters.^ Another proof of 
antiquity is the character of the sculpture. Wo have on this rath 
most of the Hindu Pantheon, such as Brahma and Vishnu ; Siva too 
appears in most of his characteis, but all in forms more subdued than 
are to be found elsewhere. The one extravagance is that the gods 
generally have four arms - never mure — to distinguish them from 
mortals; but none of these combinations or extravagances we find 
in the caves here, or at £llora or Elephanta. It is the soberest and 
most reasonable version of the Hindu Pantheon yet discovered, and 
consequently one of the most interesting, as well, probably, as the 

None of the inscriptions on the raths have dates, but from the 
mention of the Pallavas in connexion with this place, I see no reason 
for doubting the inference drawn by Sir Walter Elliot from their 
inscriptions — " that the excavations could not well have been made 
later than the 6th century." * Add to all this, that these raths are 
certainly very like Buddhist buildings, as we learn to know them 
from the early caves, and it seems hardly to admit of doubt that we 

^ Most of these were copied by Dr. 
BabingtOQ, and published with the pa- 
pers above referred to, but others are 
given in the volume on the Mackenzie 
collection in the India Office. 

' * Journal of the Asiatic Society of 
Bengal,* vol. vi<. plate 13. 

» Sir Walter Elliot in Lieut. Carr's 
compilation, p. 127. 

* Ibid. 

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Book IV. 

havo hero petrifactions of the last forms of Buddhist architecture,* 
and of the first forms of that of the Dravidians. 

The want of interiors in these raths makes it sometimes difficult 
to make this so clear as it might be. We cannot, for instance, tell 
whether the apsidal rath in the centre of woodcut No. 181 was meant 
to reproduce a chaitya hall, or a vihara like that of woodcut No. 48. 
From its being in several storeys I would infer the latter, but the 
whole is so conventionalised by transplantation to the south, and by 
1,he different uses to which they are applied for the purposes of a 
different religion, that we must not stretch analogies too far.^ 

Arjuna'8 Rath, Mahavellipore. (From a Photograph.) 

There is one other rath, at some distance from the others, called 
Arjuna's rath, represented in the above woodcut (No. 182), which, 
strange to say, is finished, or nearly so, and gives a fair idea of the 
form these oblong temples took before we have any structural build- 

* Among the recently discovered ruins 
at Bharhiit is a bas-relief representing a 
building so exactly like the long rath 
here, that there can be no doubt that 
such buildings were used in the north 
of India two centuries at least before 
Christ, but to what purpose they were 
applied is not so clear. The one at 
Lharhut seems to have contained the 
thrones or altars of the four last Buddhas. 

* Among the sculjilures of the (iand- 

hara monasteries are several represent- 
ing facades of buildings. They may bo 
cells or chaitya halls, but, at all events, 
they are almost exact reproductions of 
the fa<;ade of this rath. Being used 
as frameworks for sculpture, the northern 
examples are, of course, conventionalised ; 
but it is impossible to mistake the iden- 
tity of intention. They may probably be 
of about the same age. 

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Chap. II. 



ings of the class. This temple, though entering in the side, was 
never intended to be pierced through, but always to contain a cell. 
The large oblong rath, on the contrary, was intended to be open 
all round, and whether, consequently, we should consider it as a 
choultrie or a gopura is not quite clear. One thing, at all events, 
seems certain — and it is what interests us most here — that the 
square raths are copies of Buddhist viharas, and are the originals 
from which all the vimanas in southern India were copied, and 

Penunal Pagoda, MMnra. (From MS. Drawing in the possession of 
the late General Honteitb, Madras Engineers.) No scale. 

continued to be copied nearly unchanged to a very late period. 
Woodcut No. 183, for instance, represents one from Madura, 
erected in the 18th century. It is changed, it is true, and the cells 
and some of the earlier features are hardly recognisable; but the 
wonder rather is that twelve centuries should not have more com- 
pletely obliterated all traces of the original. There is nothing, 
however, in it which cannot be easily recognised in intermediate 
examples, and their gradual transformation detected by any one 

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familiar with the subject. On the other hand, the oblong raths were 
halls or porticos with the Buddhists, and became the gopuras or gate- 
ways which are frequently — indeed generally — more important parts 
of Dra vidian temples than the vimanas themselves. They, too, like the 
vimanas, retain their original features very little changed to the 
present day, as may be seen from the annexed example from a modem 
Tamil temple on the opposite shore of the Gulf of Manaar (Woodcut 
No. 184). To all this, however, we shall have frequent opportuni- 
ties of refendng in the sequel, and it will Ikkjouio much plainer as we 

184. Entrance to a Hindu Temple, Colombo. (From bir J. K. Tenuent's * Ceylon.') 

The other antiquities at Mahavellipore, though very interesting in 
themselves, are not nearly so important for our history as the raths 
just described. The caves are generally small, and fail architecturally, 
from the feebleness and tenuity of their supports. 'I'he southern 
cave digger had evidently not been grounded in the art, like their 
northern compeers, by the Buddhists. The long experience of the 
latter in the art taught them that ponderous masses were not only 
necessary to support their roofs, but for architectural eflfect; and 
neither they nor the Hindus who succeeded them in the noith ever 
hesitated to use pillars of two or three diameters in height, or to crowd 
them together to any required extent. In the south, on the contrary, 
the cave diggers tried to copy literally the structural pillars used to 
support wooden roofs. Hence, I believe, the accident to the long rath, 
and hence certainly the poor and modem look of all the southern 
caves, which has hitherto proved such a stumbling-block to all who 
have tried to guess their age. Their sculpture is better, and some of 
their best designs rank witli those of Ellora and Elephanta, with 

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Chap. II. 



which they were, in all probability, contemporary. Now, however, 
that we know that the sculptures in cave No. 3 at Badami were 
executed in the fith century^ (a.d. 679), we are enabled to approximate 
the date of those in the Mahavellipore caves with very tolerable 
certainty. The Badami sculptures are so similar in style with the 
best examples there that they cannot be far distant in date, and if 
placed in the following century it will not probably be far from the 

The great bas-relief on the rock, 90 ft. by 40 ft , is perhaps the 
most remarkable thing of its class in India. Now that it is known to 
be wholly devoted to Serpent worship,^ it acquires an interest it had 
not before, and opens a new chapter in Indian mythology.^ There 
seems nothing to enable us to fix its age with absolute certainty ; it 
can hardly, however, be doubted that it is anterior to the 10th 
century, and may be a couple <»f centuries earlier. 

There is one other antiquity in a place called Saluvan Kuppan, 
two miles north of Mahavellipore, which has not yet been drawn or 

185. Tiger Cave at Saluvan Kuppan. (From a Photograph.) 

described, but deserves notice as a lineal descendant of the tiger cave 
at Cuttack (Woodcut No. 73). Here not one but a dozen of tiger 
heads welcome the anchorite to his abode. Here, too, they are conven- 
tionalised SkS we always find them in Chalukyan art ; and this example 
serves, like every other, to show how the Hindu imagination in art 

» Burgess, * Report on Belgam,' &c., 
p. 24. 

* * Tree and Serpent Worship,* p. 73. 

* If it were possible to rouse the Madras 
Government to take any interest in such 

matters, it might be hoped they would 
replace the head of the great Naga on 
his body before it is destroyed by being 
made a cockshye for idle Britishers. 

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Book IV. 

runs wild when once freed from the trammels of sober imitation of 
natural things, which we find to be its characteristic in the early 
stages of Buddhist art. 

Kylas, Ellora. 

From the raths at Mahavellipore to the Kylas at Ellora the transi- 
tion is easy, but the step considerable. At the first-named place we 
have manifest copies of structures intended originally for other pur- 
pose*, and used at Mahavellipore in a fragmentary and disjointed 
manner. At Ellora, on the contrary, the whole is welded together, 
and we have a perfect Dravidian temple, as complete in all iU parts 
as at any future period, and so far advanced that we might have 

some difficulty in tracing 
the parts back to their 
originals without the for- 
tunate possession of the 
examples on the Madras 

Independently, how- 
ever, of its historical or 
ethnographical value, the 
Kylas is in itself one of 
the most singular and 
interesting monuments of 
architectural art in India. 
Its beauty and singularity 
always excited the asto- 
nishment of travellers, and 
in consequence it is better 
known than almost any 
other structure in that 
country, from the nume- 
rous views and sketches 
of it that have been pub- 
lished. Unlike the Budd- 
hist excavations we have 
hitherto been describing, 
it is not a mere interior 
chamber cut in the rock, 
but is a model of a complete temple, such as might have been erected 
on the plain. In other words, the rock has been cut away, externally 
as well a« internally. The older caves are of a much more natural 
and rational design than this temple, because, in cutting away the 
rock around it to provide an exterior, the whole has necessarily been 

Kylas at Ellora. (Corrected from a Plan in Daniell's 
•Views In Hindoeton.') Scale 100 ft. to I ' 

I in. 

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Chap. If. 



placed in a pit. In the cognate temples at Mahavellipore (Woodcut 
No. 181) this difficulty has been escaped by the fact that the boulders 
of granite out of which they are hewn were found lying free on the 
shore; but at Ellora, no insulated rock being available, a pit was 
dug around the temple in the sloping side of the hill, about 100 ft. 
deep at its inmost side, and half that height at the entrance or 
gopura, the floor of the pit being 160 ft. wide and 270 ft. in length. 
In the centre of this rectangular court stands the temple, as shown 
in the preceding plan (Woodcut No. 186), consisting of a vimana, 

KyUui, Ellora. (From a Sketch by the Author.) 

between 80 ft. and 90 ft. in height, preceded by a large square porch, 
supported by sixteen columns (owing probably to the immense weight 
to be borne) ; before this stands a detached porch, reached by a bridge ; 
and in front of all stands the gateway, which is in like manner con- 
nected with the last porch by a bridge, the whole being cut out of 
the native rock. Besides these there are two pillars or deepdans 
(literally lamp-podts) left standing on each side of the detached 
porch, and two elephants about the size of life. All round the court 
there is a peristylar cloister with cells, and some halls not shown in 
the plan, which give to the whole a complexity, and at the same time 

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a completeness, which uever fail to strike the beholder with astonish- 
ment and awe. 

As will be seen from the view (Woodcut No. 187) the outline 
of the vimana is at first sight very similar to that of the raths at 
Mahavellipore, but on closer inspection we find everything so modi- 
fied at Ellora as to make up a perfect and well understood design. 
The vimana with its cells, and the porch in front of it with its side 
cells, make a complete Hindu temple such as arc found in hundreds 
in southern India, and instead of the simulated cells that surround 
the hall in the Madras example, they again become realities, but used 
for widely different purposes. Instead of being the simulated resi- 
dences of priests, the five or rather seven cells that surround the 
central object herc arc each devoted to a separate divinity of the 
Hindu Pantheon, and group most pleasingly with the central vimana. 
It is, however, so far as is now known, the last reminiscence of this 
Buddhist arrangement in Hindu architecture; after the year 1000 
even these cells disappear or become independent erections, wholly 
separated from the temple itself. 

Though considerably damaged by Moslem violence, the lower 
part of the gopura shows a considerable advance on anything 
found at Mahavelliporc, and a close approach to what these objects 
afterwards became, in so far, at least, as the perpendicular parts are 
concerned; instead, however, of the tall pyramids which were so 
universal afterwards, the gopura in the Kylas exhibits only what may 
be called the germ of such ^ arrangement. It is only the upper 
member of a gopura placed in the flat roof of the gateway, and so 
small as not to be visible except from above. In more modem times 
from five to ten storeys would have been interposed to connect these 
two parts. Nothing of the kind however exists here.^ 

On either side of the porch are the two squarc pillars called 
deepdans, or lamp-posts, before alluded to, the ornament at the top of 
which possibly represents a flame, though it is difficult to ascertain 
what it really is, while the temptation to consider them as represen- 
tatives of the lion pillars of the Buddhists (Woodcut No. 6) is very 
great (Woodcut No. 188). 

In the south of India, however, among the Jains, as mentioned 
above (p. 276), such pillars are very common, standing either singly 
or in pairs in front of the gopuras, and always apparently intended to 
carry lamps for festivals. They generally consist of a single block of 
granite, square at base, changing to an octagon, and again to a figure 
of sixteen sides, with a capital of very elegant shape. Some, however, 
are circular, and, indeed, their variety is infinite. They range from 

> In Daniell's plates, No. 16, the upper I rock, no addition or alteration could after- 
part of this is shown. Being cut in the I wards have been intended. 

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Chap. 11. 



188. Deepdan in Dharwar. (From a Photograph.) 

30 ft. to 40 ft. and even 50 ft. in height, and, whatever their dimen- 
sions, are among the most elegant specimens of art in southern 

Unfortunately, there is no inscription or other date from which 
the age of the Kylas can be asceii;aincd with precision. It is safe, 
however, to assert that it was erected by the southern Dravidians, 
either the Cheras or the Cholas who held sway here during the eclipse of 
the Chalukyas, or between a.d. 750 and 950; and Mr. Burgess' recent 
researches in Dharwar enable us to assert with tolerable confidence 
that its age must be nearer the first than the second of these dates. 
The great temple at Purudkul— his Pattadkal — is covered with inscrip- 
tions, none of which unfortunately are dated, but from their import 
and the form of their characters, both Bhau Daji ^ and himself ascribe 
to the 8th or 9th century,^ and I see no reason for doubting the 

* * Journal Bombay Branch of the 
Royal Asiatic Society,* vol. ix. p. 314, 
et seqq. 

^ ' Rci)ort oil Belgam and Kaladji,* 
1874, p. 81, ef seqq. 

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Book IV. 

correctness of the date assigned by Mr. Burgess to this temple, which, 
according to him was erected during the 8th century. In plan it is 
almost exactly a duplicate of the Kylas, as 
ni*y ^ gathered from the annexed woodcut 
(No. 189), but there is some little difficulty 
in instituting such a comparison of their archi- 
tecture as would enable us to feel sure of their 
relative dates ^ — in the first place, because the 
one is structural the other rock-cut, but also 
because we hardly know what allowance to 
1 i^f aiaii make for distance of locality. On the whole, 

P tjj however, I am inclined to believe the southern 

temple is the elder of the two, but certainly 
not distant in date. If, consequently, it were 
necessary to fix on a date which should cor- 
rectly represent our present knowledge of the 
fl ?1 i *^® ^^ *^® Kylas, I would put down a.d. 800, 

■"^TiJj""^" with considerable confidence that it was not 
LD many years from the truth either way, 

allowing, of course, some thirty to fifty 
years for the execution of so impoi-tant a 
Considerable misconception exists on the subject of cutting temples 
in the rock. Almost every one who sees these temples is struck with 
the apparently prodigious amount of labour bestowed on their exca- 
vation, and there is no doubt that their monolithic character is the 
principal source of the awe and wonder with which they have been 
regarded, and that, had the Kylas lx3on an edifice of masonry situated 
on the plain, it would scarcely have attracted the attention of European 
travellers. In reality, however, it is considerably easier and less 
expensive to excavate a temple than to build one. Take, for instance, 
the Kylas, the most wonderful of all this class. To excavate the area 
on which it stands would require the removal of about 100,000 cubic 
yards of rock, but, as the base of the temple is solid and the super- 
structure massive, it occupies in round numbers about one-half of the 
excavated area, so that the question is simply this —whether it is 
easier to chip away 50,000 yards of rock, and shoot it to spoil (to 
borrow a railway term) down a hill-side, or to quarry 50,000 cubic 
yards of stone, remove it, probably a mile at least to the place where 
the temple is to bo built, and then to raise and sot it. The excavating 
process would probably cost about one-tenth of the other. The 

189. rian of (Jreat Temple at 

(From a Flan by Mr. BurRess.) 
Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

* There are four photographs of this 
temple in the * Architectural Antiquities 
of Dharwar and Mysore,* plates 54-57. 

One of these is reiKMited in Mr. Burgess'n 
lx)ok, plate 38. 

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Chap. 11. ROCK-CUT TEMPLES. 339 

sculpture and ornament would be the same in both instances, more 
especially in India, where buildings are always set up in block, and 
the carving executed in situ. Nevertheless the impression produced 
on all spectators by these monolithic masses, their unalterable 
character, and appearance of eternal durability, point to the process 
as one meriting more attention than .it has hitherto leceived in 
modem times ; and if any rock were found as uniform and as easily 
worked as the Indian amygdaloidal traps, we might hand down to 
posterity some more durable monument than many we are now 
erecting at far greater cost. 

Before leaving this branch of the subject there is one other rock- 
cut example which deserves to be quoted, not either for its size or 
antiquity, but from the elegance of its details. It is situated at a 
place called Kumulfilii,^ thirty-five miles south-west from Shivelli- 
puttun, and consequently twice that distance north from Cape 
Comorin. Like the examples at Mahavellipore, this one never was 
finished, probably because the person who commenced it did not live 
to complete it, and it was nobody's business to finish what was of no 
use, and intended only to glorify him who made it. It is not cut out 
of a separate boulder, but out of a ridge, as I fancy those at Maha- 
vellipore to have been, and if successful, any number of others of any 
dimensions might have followed. The other side of the hill had been 
occupied by the Jains, and numerous images of their Tirthankars are 
carved upon it, with inscriptions that could easily be read if any one 
cared to do so. It was evidently to mark the triumph of Siva over 
Mahavira that this little shrine was undertaken, probably in the 
10th or 11th century, and if it had been completed it would have 
been one of the most perfect gems of the style. For some reason 
unexplained it was only blocked out, and the upper part only 
carved, when it was abandoned, and is now entirely forsaken. From 
its details, it certainly is more modem than the Kxlas — how much 
we cannot yet say with certainty. 

Several photographs of it will be found in Capt. Lyon's collection. 

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Tanjore — Tiravalor — Seringham — Chillambaram — RamiBseram — Madura — 
Tinnovelly — Combaoonum — Ck)njeveram — Vellore and Peroor — Vijayanagar. 

When we txim from these few scattered rock- cut examples to the great 
structural temples of the style, we find their number is so great, their 
extent so vast, and their variety so perplexing, that it is extremely 
difficult to formulate any distinct ideas regarding them, and still 
more so, as a matter of course, to convey to others any clear idea on 
the subject. To any one at all familiar with the present status of the 
population of the province, the greatest wonder is how such a people 
could ever have conceived, much less carried out, such vast under- 
takings as these, and that so recently that some of the greatest and 
boldest were only interrupted by our wars with ihe French little 
more than a century ago. The cause of this, however, is not far to 
seek. Ever since we took possession of the country, our countrymen 
have been actuated by the most beneficent intentions of protecting the 
poor against the oppression of the rich. By every means we have 
sought to secure the ryot in his holding, and that he should not bo 
called on to pay more than his fair share of the produce of his land ; 
while to the landowner we have offered a secure title to what 
belonged to him, and a fixed income in money in lieu of his portion 
of the produce. To a people, however, in the state of civilization 
to which India has reached, a secure title and a fixed income only 
means the power of borrowing on the occasion of a marriage, a funeral, 
or some great family festival, ten times more than the borrower can 
ever pay, and our courts as inevitably give the lender the power of 
foreclosing his mortgage and selling the property. Duriug the cen- 
tury in which this communistic process has been going on the 
landed aristocracy have gradually disappeared. All the wealth of 
the country has passed into the hands of the money-lenders of the 
cities, and by them dissipated in frivolities. If the aim of the govern- 
ment is to reduce the whole population to the condition of peasant 
proprietors, occupying the land without capital, and consequently on 
the verge of starvation, they have certainly succeeded. It may be 

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Chap. JII. TEMPLES. 341 

beneficent, and may produce the greatest happiness to the greatest 
number ; but in such a community neither science, nor literature, nor 
art have any place, and religion itself becomes degraded by the status 
of its votaries. 

Before we interfered, the condition of things was totally different. 
The practical proprietorship of the land was then in the hands of a 
few princes or feudal lords, who derived from it immense revenues 
they had no means of spending, except in works of ostentation, 
which in certain stages of civilization are as necessary for the em- 
ployment of the masses as for their own glorification. In such a 
country as India the employment of one-half of the population in 
agriculture is sufficient \o produce food for the whole, while the other 
half are free for any employment that may be available. We in this 
country employ our non-agricultural half in manufactures and com- 
merce. The southern Indians had neither, and found no better 
occupation for the surplus population than in temple-building. 
Whether this was more profitable or beneficial than hammering iron 
or spinning cotton is not a question it is necessary to enter on here. 
It is enough to know the fact, and to mark its consequences. The 
population of southern India in the 17th and 18th century was pro- 
bably hardly less than it is now— some thirty millions— and if one- 
third or one-fourth of such a population were to seek employment in. 
building, the results, if persevered in through centuries, would be 
something astonishing. A similar state of affairs prevailed appa- 
rently in Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs, but with very different 
results. The Egyptians had great and lofty ideas, and a hankering 
after immortality, that impressed itself on all their works. The 
soutjiem Indians had no such aspirations. Their intellectual status 
is, and always was, mediocre ; they had no literature of their own — no 
history to which they could look back with pride, and their religion 
was, and is, an impure and degrading fetishism. It is impossible that 
anything very grand or imposing should come out of such a state of 
things. What they had to offer to their gods was a tribute of labour, 
and that was bestowed without stint. To cut a chain of fifty links 
out of a block of granite and suspend it between two pillars, was with 
them a triumph of art. To hollow deep cornices out of the hardest 
basalt, and to leave all the framings, as if of the most delicate wood- 
work, standing free, was with them a worthy object of ambition, and 
their sculptures are still inexplicable mysteries, from our ignorance of 
how it was possible to execute thorn. All that millions of hands work- 
ing through centuries could do, has been done, but with hardly any 
higher motive than to employ labour and to conquer difficulties, so as 
to astonish by the amount of the first and the cleverness with which 
the second was overcome — and astonished we are ; but without some 
higher motive true architecture cannot exist. The Dravidians had 

uigiiizeu uy VjOOV IC 


not even the oonstnictive difficulties to overcome which enabled the 
mediaeval architects to produce puch noble fabrics as our cathedrals. 
The aim of architects in the Middle Ages was to design halls which 
should at the same time be vast, but stable, and suited for the accom- 
modation of great multitudes to witness a lofty ritual. In their 
struggle to accomplish this they developed intellectual powers which 
impress us still through their works. No such lofty aims exercised 
the intellectual faculties of the Hindu. His altar and the statue of his 
god were placed in a dark cubical cell wholly without ornament, and the 
porch that preceded that was not necessarily either lofty or spacious. 
What the Hindu architect craved for, was a place to display his 
powers of ornamentation, and he thought he had accomplished all his 
art demanded when he covered every part of his building with the 
most elaborate and most difficult designs he could invent. Much of 
this ornamentation, it is true, is very elegant, and evidences of power 
and labour do impress the human imagination, often even in defiance 
of our bettor judgment, and nowhere is this more apparent than in 
these Dra vidian temples. It is in vain, however, we look among them 
for any manifestation of those lofty aims and noble results which con- 
stitute the merit and the greatness of true architectural art, and 
which generally characterise the best works in the true styles of the 
western world. 

Turning from these generalities to the temples themselves, the 
first great difficulty experienced in attempting either to classify or 
describe them is that no plans of them exist. I know myself upwards 
of thirty great Dravidian temples, or groups of temples, any one of 
which must have cost as much to build as an English cathedral, some 
a great deal more; but of all these there are only three, or it may be 
four, of which even a moderately trustworthy plan is available. 
'iVo- thirds of these ha\e been sufficiently photographed by Dr. 
Hunter, Capt. Lyon,^ and others ; the remaining third I know either 
from personal inspection or from drawings and descriptions. This is, 
of course, irrespective of village temples, and, it may be, of some 
extensive groups which have been overlooked. If these temples had 
l)cen built like those of the Greeks, or even as the Christian churches 
in the Middle Ages, on one uniform plan, changing only with the 
progress of time, one or two plans might have sufficed ; but the fact 
is that, in nine cases out of ten, Dravidian temples are a fortuitous 
aggregation of parts, arranged without plan, as accident dictated at 

' Gapt. was eiiipl(>ye(l l)y Ciovcrn- j owing to difficiilties whicli occuircd in 

ni'jnt for this purix)8e, and made 276 , bringincf tlieni out, they can hardly l>e 

pliotographs of these temples. Fourteen said to be published— in tliiu country at 

tivii were furnished t'» (loveriimont, but, least. 

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Chap. 111. 



the time of their erection ; and, without plane, no adequate idea can 
be conveyed to those who have not seen them. The one great excep- 
tion to this rule is to be found at Tanjore. The great Pagoda there was 
commenced on a well-defined and stately plan, which was persevered 
in till its completion. As will be seen from 
the annexed diagram (Woodcut No. 190) it 
consists of two courts,^ one a square of 
about 260 ft., originally devoted to minor 
shrines and residences; but when the 
temple was fortified by the French in l???^ 
it was converted into an arsenal, and has 
not been re-appropriated to sacred purposes. 
The temple itself stands in a courtyard 
extremely well proportioned to receive it, 
being about 600 ft. long by half that in 
width, the distance between the gateway 
and the temple being broken by the shrine 
of the Bull Nundi,^ which is sufiiciently 
important for its purpose, but not so much 
so as to interfere with the effect of the 
great vimana, which stands near the inner 
end of the court. The perpendicular part 
of its base measures 82 ft. square, and is 
two storeys in height, of simple outline, 
but sufficiently relieved by niches and 
pilasters. Above this the pyramid rises in 
thirteen storeys to the summit, which is 
crowned by a dome said to consist of a 
single stone, and reaching a height of 190 
ft. The porch in front is kept low, and as 
will be seen from the woodcut (No. 191) 
the tower dominates over the gopuras 

and surrounding objects in a manner that imparts great dignity to 
the whole compo^ition. 

Besides the great temple and the Nundi porch there are several 


Diagram I 'Ian of Tanlore Pagoda. 

(From a Sketch by the Author.) 

Scale 200 ft. to 1 in. 

* As the plan is only an eye-sketch, 
and the dimensions obtained by pacing, 
it must not be too much relied on. It 
is sufficient to explain the text, and that 
is all that is at present required. 

* Inscription on gateway. 

' The dimensions of this image are 
IG ft. from muzzle to rump, by above 
7 ft. across, 12 ft. 2 in. to top of head, 
10 ft. 4 in. to top of hump, and 7 ft. 5 in. 

to top of back. It is coiDposed of a single 
block of stone, I believe granite, but it 
has been so fraiuently and so thoroughly 
coated with oil, which is daily applied 
to it, that it looks like l»r()iize. I tried 
to remove a jwrtion of this epidermis in 
order to ascertnin what was beneath, but 
was not successful. No other kind of stone, 
however, is used in any other part of the 

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liOOK IV. 

191. View of the Great Pagoda at Tanjore. (From a l^hotograph by Middleton Rayne. Esq., C.K.) 

other smaller shrines in the enclosure, one of which, dedicateil to 
Soubramanya, a son of Siva's, is as exquisite a piece of decorative 
architecture as is to be found in the south of India, and though small, 
almost divides our admiration with the temple itself (Woodcut No. 
192). It is built behind an older shrine, which may be coeval with 
the great temple as originally designed. 

One of the peculiarities of the Tanjoro temple is that all the sculp- 
tures on the gopuras belong to the religion of Vishnu, while everything 
in the courtyard is dedicated to the worship of Siva. At first I felt in- 
clined to believe it had been erected wholly in honour of the first- 
named divinity, but am now more inclined to the belief that it is 
only an instance of the extreme tolerance that prevailoil at the age 
at which it was erected, before those religions l>eeame antagonistic. 

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Chap. III. 



Temple of Soubramanya, Tai\Joi^' (From a Photograph.) 

What, then, was that age ? Strange to say, though so complete 
and uniform, and standing, as it does, almost alone, its date is not 
known. Mr. Norman, a competent authority, in the text that accom- 
panied Tripe's photographs, says it was erected by Kadu Vettiya 
Soran, or Cholan,^ a king reigning at Conjeveram in the beginning of 
the 14th century. At one time I hoped it was earlier, but on the 
whole I am now convinced that this must be very nearly the truth. 

The Soubramanya is certainly one century, probably two centuries, 
more modem. The Bull itself is also inferior in design, and therefore 
more modern than those at Hullabid, which belong probably to the 
18th century, and the architecture of his shrine cannot be carried 
back beyond the 15th century. It may even be conssiderably more 
modem. It is disappointing to find the whole so recent in date, but 
there seems no excuse for ascribing to this temple a greater antiquity 
than that just mentioned. 

* Though BO very important in Dra- 
vidian history, we have not oven now a 
correct list of the Chola kings from the 
year lOOJ downwards. There certainly is 
not one among the Mackenzie MSS. The 
late Mr. Ellis, it is said, had one, but 
he determineil not to publish anything 

before he was forty years of age, and be- 
fore that time he swallowed a bottleful 
of laudanum by mistake, and was found 
dead in his bed one morning. His papers 
serveil his successor's cook to light fires 
for some years afterwards. 

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Book IV. 



The tomplo at Tiruvalur, about thirty miles west of Madras, 
contrasts curiously with that at Tanjore in the principles on which it 
was designed, ancj serves to exemplify the mode in which, unfortu- 
nately, most Dravidian temples were aggregated. 

The nucleus here was a small village temple 
(Woodcut No. 103), drawn to the same scale as the 
plan of Tanjore in Woodcut No. 190. It is a double 
shrine, dedicated to Siva and his consort, standing 
in a cloistered court which measures 192 ft. by 
156 ft. over all, and has one gopura in front. So 
far there is nothing to distinguish it from the ordi- 
nary temples found in every village. It, however, 
at some subsequent period became sacred or rich, 
and a second or outer court was added, measuring 470 ft. each way, 
with two gojjuras, higher than the original one, and containing 
within its walls numberless little shrines and porches. Additions 


I9:i. Inner Temple at 


Suae 2i>0 ft. to 1 In. 

194. Temple at Tiruvalur. (^Krom a Drawing in I^m Raz's ♦ Himlu Architecture.') 

were again made at some subsequent date, the whole being enclosed 
in a court 940 ft. by 701 ft. — this time with five gopuras, and 
several important shrines. When the last addition was made, it was 
intended to endow the temple with one of tliose gre^it halls which 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. III. SERINGHAM. 347 

were considered indisjien sable in temples of the first clafis. Generally 
they had— or were intended to have— 1000 columns; this one has 
only 688, and only about one-half of these carry beams or a roof of 
any sort. There can, however, be very little doubt that, had time 
and money been available, it would have been completed to the 
typical extent. As it is, it is probably owing to our management 
of the revenues of the country that the requisite funds were not 
forthcoming, and the buildings stopped probably within the limits 
of the present century. 

The general effect of such a design as this may be gathered from 
the bird's-eye view (Woodcut No. 194). As an artistic design, no- 
thing can be worse. The gateways, irregularly spaced in a great 
blank wall, lose half their dignity from their positions; and the 
bathos of their decreasing in size and elaboration, as they approach 
the sanctuary, is a mistake which nothing can redeem. We may 
admire beauty of detail, and be astonished at the elaboration and 
evidence of labour, if they are found in such a temple as this, but as 
an architectural design it is altogether detestable. 


The temple which has been most completely marred by this false 
system of design is that at Seringham, which is certainly the largest, 
and, if its principle of design could bo reversed, would be one of the 
finest temples in the south of India (Woodcut No. 195, p. 349). Here 
the central enclosure is quite as small and as insignificant as that at 
Tiruvalur, and except that its dome is gilt has nothing to distinguish 
it from an ordinary village temple. The next enclosure, however, is 
more magnificent. It encloses the hall of 1000 columns, which mea- 
sures some 460 ft. by 130 ft. The number of columns is, I believe, 
sixteen in front by sixty in depth, or 9G0 altogether ; but I do not 
feel sure there is not some mistake in my observations, and that the 
odd forty are to be found somewhere. They consequently are not 
spaced more than 10 ft. apart from centre to centre ; and as at one 
end the hall is hardly over 10 ft. high, and in the loftiest place only 
15 ft. or 16 ft., and the pillars spaced nearly evenly over the floor, 
it will be easily understood how little efiect such a building really 
produces. They are, however, each of a single block of granite, and 
all carved more or less elaborately. A much finer portico stretches 
acri ss this court from gopuia to gopura; the pillars in it are 
much more widely spaced, and the central aisle is double that of 
those on the sides, and crosses tlie portico in the centre, making 
a transept; its height, too, is double that of the side aisles. It 
is a pleasing and graceful architectural design ; the other is only au 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


evidence of luistipplied labour. The next four enelosureB have nothing 
very remarkable in them, l)eing generally occupied by the Brahmans 
and jM^rsonB connected with the temple. Each, however, has, or was 
intended to have, four gojjuras, one on each face, and some of these 
are of very considerable magnificence. The outer enclosure is, prac- 
tically, a bazaar, filled with shops, where pilgrims are lodged, and 
fed, and fleeced. The wall that encloses it measures 2475 ft. by 
2880 ft.,* and, had its gopuras been finished, they would have sur- 
piissod all othere in the south to the same extent as these dimensions 
exceed those of any other known temple. The northern gopura, 
leading to the river and Trichinojwly, measures liiO ft. in width by 
100 ft. in depth; the opening through it measures 21 ft. 6 in., and 
twice that in height. The four jambs or gateposts are each of a 
single slab of granite, more than 40 ft. in height, and the roofing- 
slabs throughout measure from 2] ft. to 24 ft. Had the ordinary 
brick pyramid of the usual proportion been added to this, the whole 
would have risen to a height of nearly 300 ft. Even as it is, it is 
one of the most imposing masses in southern India, and probably — 
I)erhaps because it never was quite finished — it is in severe and good 
taste throughout.^ Its date, fortunately, is perfectly well known, as 
its progress was stopped by its being occupied and fortified by the 
French during our ten years' struggle with them for the possession of 
Trichinopoly ; and if we allow fifty years for its progress, even this 
would bring the whole within the limits of the 18th century. The 
other three gopuras of this enclosure are in the same style, and were 
commenced on the same scale, but not being so far advanced when 
we stopiKxl the work, their gateposts project above their walls in a 
manner that gives them a very singular appearance, and has led to 
some strange theories as to their design. 

Lookeil at from a distance, or in any direction where the whole 
can be grasped at once, these fourteen or fifteen great gate towers 
cannot fail to produce a certain effect, as may be gathered from 
the view in Woodcut No. 195; but oven then it can only be by 
considering them as separate buildings. As parts of one whole, 
their aiTangement is exactly that which enables them to produce the 
least possible effect that can be obtained either from their mass or 
ornament. Had the four great outer gopuras formed the four sides of 
a central hall, and the others gone on diminishing, in three or four 
directions, to the exterior, the effect of the whole would have been 
increased in a surprising degree. To accomplish this, however, one 

* Excel it this dimenBion, which is from ' A drawing of it was published in 

a survey, and those of the gopuras, the my ' Picturesque Illustrations of Indian 

dimensions above quoted must Ix) taken i Architecture.* It has since been fre- 

cum ijrano. They were obtained only by ' (picntly i)hot()gnii)hed. 
pacing and eye-sketching. 

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Chap. III. 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 


other defect must have been remedied : a gateway even 160 ft. wide 
in a wall nearly 2000 ft. in extent is a solecism nothing can redeem ; 
but had the walls been broken in plan or star-shaped, like the plans of 
Chalukyan temples, light and shade would have been obtained, and due 
proportions of parts, without any inconvenience. But if the Di-avidians 
ever had it in them to think of such things, it was not during the 
17th and 18th centuries, to which every tiling in this temple seems to 


The temple at Chillambaram is one of the most venerated, and 
has also the reputation of l)eing one of the most ancient, temples in 
southern India. It was. there, therefore, if anywhere, that I at one 
time hoped to find some remains that would help to elucidate the 
history of the style. It was, besides, so far removed fi-om any capital 
city or frequented haunt of man that one might hope to find its 
original form unaltered. 

It is old, but I am afraid the traditions that connect its founda- 
tion with Iliranya \'erma of Kashmir, in the beginning of the 6th 
century, on which I was at one time inclined to rely,^ are of too 
impalpable a nature to be depended upon. I see no great reason for 
doubting that there may have bt-en a connexion between the kings of 
Chola and those of Kashmir at the period ; but I cannot see anything 
in this temple either of so early an age, or any feature in the style of 
Kashmiri architecture. On the other hand, the foundation of the 
temple appears to be clearly described in the following passage of the 
Kongadesa Eaja Kal : — " ^ ira Chola Raya (a.d. 927 to 977) one day 
saw on the sea-shore the Sabhapati of Chillambara (Siva), attended 
by Parvati, dancing and beating the damaraka (a kind of drum) ; he 
therefore expended great sums of money in building the Kanaka, or 
Golden Sabha." ^ A little further on, it is said, " An Van Deva 
(a.d. 1004), observing that his grandfather had built only a Kanaka 
Sabha to the Chillambara deity, he built gopuras, maddals (enclosures), 
madapanas (image-houses), sabhas (holy places or apartments), and 
granted many jewels to the deity." If this last could be applied to the 
great enclosure, it would be a most important date ; but on a careful 
examination of the whole circumstances of the case I feel convinced 
that these passages refer only to the two inner enclosures, B B, at the 
west end of the tank (Woodcut Ko. lOG). They, indeed, measuring 
about 820 ft. square, appear to have Ixjcn the whole of the original 
temple, at least in the 10th and 11th centuries, always supposing 

* * Picturesque lUustintioUB of Ancient I * * Journal of the Royal Aftiatic 8o- 
Architeeture in Hindustan,' p. GO. I eiety,' vol. viii. p. 7. 

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Chap. IIL 



0omU ff Wt9t 

196. Plan of Temple of Chillambaram. 

(From a Plan by Admiral Paris, in * Tour du Monde,' vol. xvl. p. 35.) 

that any part of the building is really as old as this. On the whole, 
however, I am inclined to believe that this inner temple is really the 
one referred to in the above extract. The temple of Parvati, C, on 
the north of the tank, was added afterwards, most probably in the 
14th or 15th centnry, and to that age the great gopiiras and tlic 
second enclosure also belong. The hall of 1000 columns, E, was 
almost certainly erected between 1595 and 1685, at which time, wc 
learn from the Mackenzie MSS., the kings of the locality made 
many donations to the fane.* It was then, also, in all probability, 

' * Madras Journal,* No. 20, p. l.^. 

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the outer enclosure was commcncccl ; but it never was carried out, 
being in most places only a few feet above the foundation. 

The oldest thing now existing here is a little shrine in the inmost 
enclosure (opposite A in the plan), with a little porch of two pillars, 
about 6 ft. high, but resting on a stylobate, ornamented with 
dancing figures, more graceful and more elegantly executed than any 
other of their class, so far as I know, in southern India. At the sides 
are wheels and horses, the whole being intended to represent a car, 
as is frequently the case in these temples. Whitewash and modem 
alterations have sadly disfigured this gem, but enough remains to 
show how excjuisite, and consequently how ancient, it was. It was 
dedicated to Verma, the god of dancing, in allusion, probably, te 
the circumstance above mentioned as leading to the foundation of the 

In front of it is a shrine of very unusual architecture, with a tall 
copper roof, which, I have no doubt, represents or is the golden 6abh& 
alK)ve referred to, and in front of this is a gopura and pillared porch, 
making up what seems to have been the temple of Vira Deva. The 
outer enclosure, with the buildings it contains, are, it appears, those 
of Ari Vari. 

The temple of Parvati, C, is principally remarkable for its porch, 
which is of singjular elegance. The following woodcut (No. 197) 
gives some idea of its present appearance, and the section (Woodcut 
No. 198) explains its construction. The outer aisles are 6 ft. in 
width, the next 8 ft., but the architect reserved all his power for the 
central aisle, which measures 21 ft. 6 in. in width, making the whole 
50 ft. or thereabouts. In order to roof this without employing stones 
of such dimensions as would crush the supports, recourse was had to 
vaulting, or rather bracketing, shafts, and these brackets were again 
tied together by transverse purlins, all in stone, and the system was 
continued till the width was reduced to a dimension that could easily 
be spanned. As the whole is enclosed in a court surrounded by 
galleries two storeys in height, the effect of the whole is singularly 

Opposite to this, across the tank, is the hall of 100^) columns, 
similar in many respects to that at Seringham, above described, but 
probably slightly more modem. 1 1 ere the pillars are arranged twenty- 
four in front by forty-one in depth, making { 84 ; but in order to get 
a central space, four in the porch, then twenty-eight, then two, and 
again twenty-four, have been omitted, altogether fifty-eiglit ; but, on 
the other hand, those of the external portico must be added, which 
nearly balances the loss, and makes up the IGOO.^ It must be con- 

* Its d'mensionfi, as nearly ns can be ascertained from my paces, and Admiral 
I'aris' plans, are 340 ft. by 180 ft. 

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Chap. III. 



197. View of Forch at Cbillambaram. (trom Drawings by the Author.) 



198. Section of Porch of Temple at Chillambaram. (From a Sketch by the Author.) No. scale. 

uigiiizeu uy V^jOOVJ Iv^ 



Book IV. 

fessed this foroet of granite pillars, each of a single stone, and all 
more or less carved and ornamented, does produce a certain grandeur 

lif '']''' i;l' ' 



iw~ ,'1'""' ."II 
'I'liir '■' , . 1; I'll' n 

pvvii ■''r^if 

of effect, but the want of design in the arrangement, and of subordi- 
nation of parts, detract painfully from the effect that might have been 

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produced. Leaving out the pillars in the centre is the one redeeming 
feature, and that could easily have been effected without the brick 
vaults, formed of radiating arches, which are employed here — another 
certain proof of the modem age of the building. These vaults are 
certainly integral, and as certainly could not have been employed 
till after the Mahomedans had settled in the south, and taught the 
Hindus how to use them. 

Although this temple has been aggregated at different ages, and 
grown by accident rather than design like those at Tiruvalur and 
Seringham just described, it avoids the great defect of these temples, 
for though like them it has no tall central object to give dignity to 
the whole from the outside, internally the centre of its great court is 
occupied by a tank, round which the various objects are grouped 
without at all interfering with one another. The temple itself is one 
important object, to the eastward of it ; the Parvati temple another, on 
the north, and forms a pleasing pendant to the 1000-columned choultrie 
on the south. Alongside the Parvati another temple was commenced 
(Woodcut No. 199), with a portico of square pillars, four in front, 
and all most elaborately ornamented, but in such a manner as not to 
interfere with their outline or solidity. 

From its unfinished and now ruined state, it is not easy to say to 
whom this temple was dedicated — most probably Soubramanya — nor to 
feel sure of its age. From its position, however, and the character of 
its ornamentation, there seems little doubt that it belongs to the end 
of the 17th and first half of the 18th century. From its stylo, I 
would be inclined to ascribe it to the earlier date, but in that cisc 
it is difficult to understand its not being finished. When they had 
money to erect the great hall, and to commence a new enclosure, 
they might certainly have spared enough to complete this solitary 


If it were proposed to select one temple which should exhibit all 
the Iteauties of the Dravidian style in their greatest perfection, and at 
the same time exemplify all its characteristic defects of design, the 
choice would almost inevitably fall on that at Bamisseram, in the 
island of Paumben (Woodcut No. 200). In no other temple has the 
same amount of patient industry been exhibited as here, and in upne, 
unfortunately, has that labour been so thrown away for want of a 
design appropriate for its display. It is not that this temple has 
grown by successive increments like those last described; it was 
begun and finished on a previously settled plan, as regularly and as 
undeviatingly carried out as that at Tanjore, but on a principle so 
diametrically opposed to it, that while the temple at Tanjore produc^^ 

uigiiizea uy v^jOOV Iv^ 



Book IV. 

an effect greater than is due to its mass or detail, this one, with 
double its dimensions and ten times its elaboration, produces no effect 

Plan of Great Temple at Ramlsaeram. Scale lYO ft. to 1 In. 

externally, and internally can only be seen in detail, so that the parts 
hardly in any instance aid one another in producing the effect aimed at. 



The only part of the temple which is of a difierent age from the 
rest is a small vimana, of very elegant proportions, that stands in the 
garden, on the right hand of the visitor as he enters from the west^ (D). 
It has, however, been so long exposed — like the temple on the shore 
at Mahavellipore — to the action of the sea-air, that its details are so 
corroded they cannot now be made out, and its age cannot conse- 
quently be ascertained from them. It is safe, however, to assert that 
it is more modern than any of the rock-cut examples above quoted ; 
possibly it may be of the 11th or I2th century. Its dimensions may 
be guessed as 50 ft. in height, by 30 ft. or 40 ft. in plan, so that it hardly 
forms a feature in so large a temple. From the four bulls that 
occupy the platform under the dome, it is evident it was originally 
dedicated to Siva, as the whole temple now apparently is, though 
the scene of Rama*s most celebrated exploit, and bearing his name. 

Externally the temple is enclosed by a wall 20 ft. in height, and 
possessing four gopuras, one on each face, which have this peculiarity, 
that they alone, of all those 1 know in India, are built wholly of stone 
from the base to the summit. The western one (D) alone, however, is 
finished, and owing apparently to the accident of its being in stone, 
it is devoid of figure -sculpture — some half-dozen plaster casts that now 
adorn it having been added quite recently. Those on the north and 
south (A and C) are hardly higher than the wall in which they stand, 
and are consequently called the ruined gateways. Such a thing is 
however, so far as I know, unknown in southern India. Partly from 
their form, and more from the solidity of their construction, nothing 
but an earthquake could well damage them, and their age is not such 
as would superinduce ruin from decay of material. These, in fact, have 
never been raised higher, and their progress was probably stopped in 
the beginning of the last century, when Mahomedan, Mahratta, and 
other foreign invaders checked the prosperity of the land, and destroyed 
the wealth of the priesthood. The eastern fa9ade has two entrances 
and two gopuras. The smaller, not shown in the plan, is finished. The 
larger one (B in the plan) never was carried higher than we now see 
it. Had it been finished,' it would have been one of the largest of its 
class, and being wholly in stone, and consequently without its outline 
being broken by sculpture, it would have reproduced more nearly 
the e£fect of an Egyptian propylon than any other example of its 
class in India. 

" The plan of this temple (Woodcut 
No. 200) is taken from one in the 
* Journal of the Geographical Society 
of Bombay,' vol. viL, and may be de- 
pended upon in BO far as dimensions 

photographs since made reveal certain 
discrepancies of detail which prove it 
to require revision by some one on the 
* There is a view of it in the Atlas of 

and general arrangements are concerned. ; plates that accompanies Lord Yalentia's 
The officers who made it were surveyors, ' travels ; not very correct, but conveying 
but, unfortunately, not architects, and a fair idea of its proportions. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The glory, however, of this temple resides in its corridors. These, 
as will be seen by the plan, extend to nearly 4000 feet in length. The 
breadth varies from 20 ft. to 30 ft. of free floor space, and their height 
is apparently about 30 ft. from the floor to the centre of the roof. 
Each pillar or pier is compound, and richer and more elaborate in 
design than those of the Parvati jx>rch at Chillambaram (Woodcut 
No. 197), and are certainly more modem in date. 

The general appearance of these corridors may be gathered from 
the annexed woodcut (No. 201), but no engraving, even on a much 
more extended scale, can convey the impression produced by such a 
display of labour when extended to an uninterrupted length of 700 ft. 

201. Central Con idor, KamiHseram. (From a Photograph.) 

None of our cathedrals are more than 600 ft., and even the nave 
of St. Peter's is only 600 ft. from the door to the apse. Here the side 
corridors are 700 ft. long, and open into transverse galleries as rich in 
detail as themselves. These, with the varied devices and modes of 
lighting, produce an effect that is not equalled certainly anywhere in 
India. The side corridors are generally free from figure-sculpture, and 
consequently, from much of the vulgarity of the age to which they 
belong, and, though narrower, produce a more pleasing effect. The 
central corridor leading from the sanctuary is adorned on one side 
by portraits of the rajas of Ramnad in the 17th century, and 
opposite them, of their secretaries. Even they, however, would be 
tolerable, were it not that within the last few years they have been 

Digitized' by VjOOQIC 

Ghap. in. m1DU«A. 359 

painted with a vulgarity that is inconceivable on the part of the 
descendants of those who built this fane. Not only they, however, 
but the whole of the architecture has first been dosed with repeated 
coats of whitewash, so as to take oflF all the sharpness of detail, and 
then painted with blue, green, red, and yellow washes, so as to dis- 
figure and destroy its effect to an extent that must be seen to be 
believed. Nothing can more painfully prove the degradation to which 
our system has reduced the population than this profanity. No upper 
class, and consequently no refinement, now remains, and the priest- 
hood, instead of being high bred and intellectual Brahmans, must be 
sunk into a state of debasement from which nothing can now probably 
redeem them. 

Assuming, however, for the nonce, that this painting never had 
been perpetrated, still the art displayed here tvould be very- inferior 
to that of such a temple as, for instance, Hullabid, in the Mysore, 
to be described further on. The perimeter, however, of that temple 
is only 700 ft. ; here we have corridors extending to 4000 ft., carved 
on both sides, and in the hardest granite. It is the immensity of the 
labour here displayed that impresses us, much more than its quality, 
and that, combined with a certain picturesqueness and mystery, docs 
produce an effect which is not surpassed by any other temple in 
India, and by very few elsewhere. 

The age of this temple is hardly doubtful. From first to last its 
style — excepting the old vimana — is so uniform and unaltered that its 
erection could hardly have lasted during a hundred years, and if this 
is 80, it must have been during the 17 th century, when the Ramnad 
rajas were at the height of their independence and prosperity, and 
when their ally or master, Tiramulla Nayak, was erecting buildings in 
the same identical style at MAdura. It may have been commenced fifty 
years earlier (1550), and the erection of its gopuras may have ex- 
tended into the 18th century, but these seem the possible limits of 
deviation. Being so recent, any one on the spot could easily ascer- 
tain the facts. They could indeed be determined very nearly from 
the photographs, were it not for the whitewash and paint, which so 
disfigure tiie details as to make them almost unrecognisable. 


If the native authorities consulted by the late Professor Wilson in 
compiling his Historical sketch of the Kingdom of Pandya could be 
relied upon, it would seem that the foundation of the dynasty ought 
to be placed some five or six centuries before the Christian Era.^ 
Even, however, if this is disputed, the fact of the southern part of 

^ ' Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society,' vol. iii. p. 202. 

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EooK IV. 

the Peninsula being described as the " Eegio Pandionis " by classical 
authorities is sufficient to prove that a kingdom bearing that name 
did exist there in the early centuries of the Christian Era. Their 
first capitals, however, seem to have been Kurkhi, possibly the Eolkhi 
of the Periplus, near Bamnad, and Kalyana, near Cape Comorin. The 
story of Eula Sekhara foimding Mddura, and the fabulous incidents 
with which the tale is adorned, is one of the favourite legends of 
the south, and is abundantly illustrated in sculptures of Tirumulla 
Nayak^s choultrie and in other buildings of the capital. 

For our present purposes it is hardly worth while to attempt to 
investigate the succession of the dates of the seventy-three kings who 
are said to have succeeded one another before the accession of the 
Nayak or Naik dynasty, in 1632, inasmuch as no building is now 
known to exist in the kingdom that can claim, even on the most 
shadowy grounds, to have been erected by any of these kings. It 
may have been that, anterior to the rise of the great Chola dynasty, 
in the 10th and 11th century, that of Mddura may have had a long 
period of prosperity and power ; but certain it is, that if they did 
build anything of importance, its existence cannot now be identified. 
After that, for a while they seem to have been subjected to the Bellala 
dynasty of the Mysore, and the same Mahomedan invasion that 
destroyed that power in 1310 spread its baneful influence as far as 
Bamnad, and for two centuries their raids and oppressions kept 
the whole of southern India in a state of anarchy and confusion. 
Their power for evil was first checked by the rise of the great Hindu 
state of Vijayanagar, in the Tongabhadra, in the 14th century, and 
by the establishment, under its protection, of the Nayak dynasty 
by Viswanath Nayak, in the beginning of the 16 th. After lasting 
210 years, the last sovereign of the race — a queen — was first aided, 
and then betrayed, by Chanda Sahib the Nawaub of the Camatic, 
who plays so important a part in our wars with the French in these 

It may be — indeed, probably is the case — that there are temples in 
the provinces that were erected before the rise of the Nayak dynasty, 
but certain it is that all those in the capital, with the great temple at 
Seringham, described above, were erected during the two centuries of 
their supremacy, and of those in the capital nine-tenths at least were 
erected during the long and prosperous reign of the tenth king of 
this dynasty, Tirumulla Nayak, or as he is more popularly known, 
Trimul Naik, who reigned from 1G21 to 1667.^ 

Of his buildings, the most important, for our purposes^ at least, is 

* * Journal of the Royal Asiatic So- 
ciety,* vol. iii. p. 230, et seqq. 

* Fortunately this choultrie is also one 

of the best known of Indian buildiogs. 
It was drawn by Daniell in the end of 
the last century, and his drawings have 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. III. 



the celebi'ated choultrie which ho built for the reception of the pre- 
siding deity of the place, who consented to leave his dark cell in the 
temple and pay the king an annual visit of ten days' duration, on 
condition of his building a hall worthy of his dignity, and where he 
could receive in a suitable manner the homage of the king and his 
subjects. As will be seen from the plan (Woodcut No. 202) the hall 

202. Plan of Tlrumolla Nayak' 
Choultrie. (I«>om a Drawing 
In the poeseMion of the Koyal 
Asiatic Society.) Scale 100 fU 
tol in. 

203. Pillar in Tirumulla Nayak's Choultrie. 

(From a Drawing in the possession of the Royal 
Asiatic Society.) 

is 333 ft. long by 105 ft. in width, measured on the stylobafe, and 
consists of four ranges of columns, all of which are different, and all 
most elaborately sculptured. An elevation of one is given (Woodcut 
No. 203), but in not so rich as those of the centre, which have life- 

been repeated by Langlcs and others. 
It was described by Mr. Blackadder in 
the * Archaeologia,' vol. x. p. 457 ; and 
by Wilson, * Journal of the Royal Asiatic 
Society,* vol. iii. p. 232. Volumes of 

native drawings exist in some collections 
containing representations of every pillar. 
A model in bronze of a porch exists at 
South Kensington Museum, and it has 
been abundantly photographed. 

juzed by Google 


sized figures attached to them, and are oven more elaborate in their 
details. In this instance it will be observed that the detache^l 
bracketing shaft at Chillambaram has become attached to the square 
central pier, and instead of the light elegance that characterised that 
example, has become a solid pier, five or six feet in depth — richer cer- 
tainly, but far from being cither so elegant or so appropriate as the 
earlier example. 

The view of the interior (Woodcut No. 204) gives some, but only 
a faint, idea of the effect. The sides are now closed with screens, and 
it is difficult to procure good photographs ; but in effect, as in detail, 
it is identical with the corridors at liamisseram, where the light is 

As the date of this hall is perfectly well known — it took twenty- 
two years to erect it, 1623 to 164o— it becomes a fixed point in our 
chronology of the style. We can, for instance, assert with perfect 
certainty that the porch to Parvati's shrine at Chillambaram (Woodcut 
No. 107) is certainl}'^ anterior to this, probably by a couple of cen- 
turies, and, with equal certainty that the corridors at Hamisseram &y% 
contemporar}^ From the history of the period we learn that the 
rajas of Eamnad were at times independent, at others at war with 
the Nayaks ; but in TirumuUa Nayak's time either his allies or dei)end- 
ents ; and the style and design of the two buildings are so absolutely 
identical that they must belong to the same age. It is, indeed, most 
probable that the king of Madura may have assisted in the erection of 
the temple. If he had indeed l)een allowed any share in making the 
original design, the temple would probably have been a nobler build- 
ing than it is ; for, though the details are the same, his three-aisled 
hall leading to the sanctuary would have been a far grander feature 
architecturally than the singled-aisled corridoitj that lead nowhere. 
The expense of one of the single-aisled corridors at Hamisseram, 700 
ft. long, would have been about the same as the triple-aisled choultrie 
at Mddura, which is half their length. If, consequently, the choultrie 
cost a million sterling — as is confidently asserted— the temple must 
have cost between throe and four millions; and such an estimate 
hardly seems excessive when we consider the amount of labour ex- 
pended on it, and that the material in both is the hardest granite. 

The fa9ade of this hall, like that of almost all the great halls in the 
south of India, is adorned either with Yalis — monsters of the lion type 
trampling on an elephant — or, even more generally, by a group consist- 
ing of a warrior sitting on a rearing horse, whose feet are supported 
on the shields of foot soldiers, sometimes slaying men, sometimes 
tigers. These groups are found literally in hundreds in southern India, 
and, as works exhibiting difficulties overcome by patient labour, they 
are unrivalled, so far as I know, by anything found elsewhere. As 
works of art, they are the most barbarous, it may be said the most 


Chap. III. 



vulgar, to be found in India, and do more to shake one's faith in 
the civilization of the people who produced them than anything they 

did in any other department of art. Where these monstrosities are 
not introduced, the pillars of entrances are only enriched a little more 

uigiiizeu uy "v_jOOVc Iv^ 



Book IV. 

than those of the interior, when the ornamentation is in better taste, - 
and generally quite sufficiently rich for its purpose. 

Immediately in front of his choultrie, TirumuUa Nayak commenced 
a gopura, which, had he lived to complete it, would probably have 
been the finest edifice of its class in southern India. It measures 
174 ft. from north to south, and 107 ^ ft. in depth. Ihe entrance 
through it is 21 ft. 9 in. wide ; and if it be true that its gateposts are 
60 ft (Tiipe says 57 ft.) in height, that would haVe been the height 
of the opening.^ It will thus be seen that it was designed on even a 
larger scale than that at Seringham, described above, and it certainly 
far surpasses that celebrated edifice in the beauty of its details. Its 
doorposts alone, whether 67 ft. or 60 ft. in height, are single blocks 
of granite, carved with the most exquisite scroll patterns of elaborate 
foliage, and all the other carvings are equally beautiful. Being un- 
finished, and consequently never consecrated, it has escaped whitewash, 
and alone, of all the buildings of Mddura, its beauties can still be 
admired in their original perfection. 

The great temple at Mddura is a larger and far more important 
building than the choultrie ; but, somehow or other, it has not attracted 
the attention of travellers to the same extent that the latter has. 
No one has ever attempted to make a plan of it, or to describe it in 
such detail as would enable others to understand its peculiarities. It 
possesses, however, all the characteristics of a first-class Dravidian 
temple, and, as its date is perfectly well known, it forms a landmisirk 
of the utmost value in enabling us to fix the relative date of other 

The sanctuary is said to have been built by Viswanath, the first 
king of the Nayak dynasty, a.I). 1620, which may possibly be the case; 
but the temple itself certainly owes all its magnificence to TirumuUa 
Nayak, a.d. 1622-1657, or to his elder brother, Muttu Virappa, who 
preceded him, and who built a mantapa, said to be the oldest thing 
now existing here. The Kalyana mantapa is said to have been built 
A.D. 1707, and the Tatta Suddhi in 1770. These, however, are insig- 
nificant parts compared with those which certainly owe their origin 
to TirumuUa Nayak. 

I'he temple itself is a nearly regular rectangle, two of its sides 
measuring 720 ft. and 729 ft., the other two 834 ft. and 862 ft. It 
possessed four gopuras of the first class, and five smaller ones ; a very 
beautiful tank, surrounded by arcades ; and a hall of 1000 columns, 
whose sculptures surpass those of any other hall of its class I am 
acquainted with. There is a smaU shrine, dedicated to the goddess 

* In the description of Tripe's photo- 
graph this dimension is given as 117 ft. 

* Most of these particulars, with those 
that follow regarding the temples, are 

taken from Capt. I.yon*B description of 
his photographs of the places. He de- 
votes twenty-six photos, to this temple 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. 111. MAdURA. 365 

Minaksbi, the tutelary deity of the place, which occupies the space 
of fifteen columns, so the real number is only 986 ; but it is not their 
number but their marvellous elaboration that makes it the wonder of 
the place, and renders it, in some respects, more remarkable than the 
choultrie about which so much has been said and written. I do not 
feel sure that this hall alone is not a greater work than the choultrie ; 
taken in conjunction with the other buildings of the temple, it 
certainly forms a far more imposing group. 

As mentioned above, the great Vaishnava temple at Seringham 
owes all its magnificence to buildings erected during the reign of the 
Nayak dynasty, whose second capital was Triohinopoly, and where 
they often resided. Within a mile, however, of that much-lauded 
temple is another, dedicated to Siva, under the title of Jumbukeswara, 
which, though not so large as that dedicated to Sri Eangam, far sur- 
passes it in beauty as an architectural object. The first gateway 
of the outer enclosure is not large, but it leads direct to the centre of 
a hall containing some 400 pillars. On the right, these open on a tank 
fed by a perpetual spring, which is one of the wonders of the plaoe.^ 
The corresponding space on the left was intended to be occupied by 
the 600 columns requisite to make up the lOCO, but this never was com- 
pleted. Between the two gopuras of the second enclosure is a very 
beautiful portico of cruciform shape, leading to the door of the sanc- 
tuary, which, however, makes no show externally, and access to its 
interior is not vouchsafed to the profane.^ The age of this temple is 
the same as that of its great rival, except that, being all of one design, 
it probably was begun and completed at once, and from the simplicity 
of its parts and details may be earlier than the great buildings of 
TirumuUa Nayak. If we assume a.d. 1600, with a margin of ten or 
fifteen years either way, we shall probably not err much in its date. 

One of the great charms of this temple, when I visited it, was 
its purity. Neither whitewash nor red nor yellow paint had then 
sullied it, and the time-stain on the virarm-coloured granite was all 
that relieved its monotony ; but it sufficed, and it was a relief to 
contemplate it thus after some of the vulgarities I had seen. Now 
all this is altered. Like the pagodas at Bamisseram, and more so 
those at Mddura, barbarous vulgarity has done its worst, and the 
traveller is only too fully justified in the contempt with which he 
speaks of these works of a great people which have fallen into the 
hands of such unworthy successors. 

* The view in this tem|)le in my * Pic- 
tareaqiie IllustrationB of Indian Archl- 
teetare,' No. 21, is taken from the corner 
of this tank. 

* There is a native plan of this temple 
in the India Museum, which makes it 

very much more extensive than my in- 
spection of the part I was allowed access 
to would have led me to suppose. I do 
not know, however, how far the plan can 
be depended upon. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



rooK IV. 


Though neither among the largest nor the most splendid temples 
of southern India, that at Tinnevolly will servo to give a good general 


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205. Half-plan of Temple at Tinuevelly. (From a Plan in the poaaeaeion of the Royal Aaiatic Society.) 

Scale 100 ft to 1 In. J^ 



idoa of the arrangement of those edifices, and has the advant«ige of 
having heen built on one plan, and at one time, without subsequent 
alteration or change. Like the little cell in the Tiruvalur temple 
(Woodcut No. 193), it has the singularity of being a double temple, 
the great square being divided into equal portions, of which one is 
dedicated to the god Siva, the other to his consort Parvati. The 
preceding plan (Woodcut No. 205) represents one of the halves, which, 
though differing in an'angemeut from the other, is still so like it as 
to make the representation and description of one sufficient for both. 

The general dimensions of the whole enclosure are 608 ft. by 
756 ft., the larger dimension being divided into two equal portions of 
378 ft. each. There are three gateways to each half, and one in the 
wall dividing the two ; the principal gateway faces the entrance to 
the temple, and the lateral ones are opposite each other. An outer 
portico precedes the great gateway, leading internally to a very 
splendid porch, which, before reaching the gateway of the inner 
enclosure, branches off on the right to the intermediate gateway, and 
on the left to the great hall of 1000 columns — 10 pillars in width by 
100 in depth. 

The inner enclosure is not concentric with the outer, and, as 
usual, has only one gateway. The temple itself consists of a cubical 
cell, surmounted by a vimana or spire, preceded by two porches, and 
surrounded by triple colonnades. In other parts of the enclosure are 
smaller temples, tanks of water, gai*dens, colonnades, &e., but neither 
so numerous nor so various as are generally found in Indian temples 
of this class. 

The great 1000-pillared portico in the temple is one of the least 
poetic of its class in India. It consists of a regiment of pillars 10 
deep and extending to 100 in length, without any break or any 
open space or arrangement. Such a forest of pillars does, no doubt, 
produce a certain effect; but half that number, if arranged as in 
some of the Chalukyan or Jaina temples, would produce a far nobler 
impression. The aim of the Dravidians seems to have been to force 
admiration by the mere exhibition of inordinate patient toil. 


If the traditions of the natives could be trusted, Combaconum — 
one of the old capitals of the Chola dynasty — is one of the places 
where we might hope to find something very ancient. There are 
fragments of older temples, indeed, to be found everywhere, but none 
tn situ. All the older buildings seem to have been at some time ruined 
and rebuilt, probably on the same site, but with that total disregard 
to antiquity which is characteristic of the Hindus in all ages. One 
portico, in a temple dedicated to Sri Eama, is very like that leading 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Book IV. 

Gopnra at Gombaconnm (From a Photograph.) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


from the second to the third gopura in the temple of JumLukeswara, 
described above, but, if anything, it is slightly more modem. There 
is also one fine gopura in the town, represented in the last wood- 
cut (No. 20(3). It is small, however, in comparison with those we 
have just been describing, being only 84 ft. across and about 130 ft. 
in height. Those of Seringham and Mddura have, or were intended 
to have, at least double these dimensions. 

It is, however, a richly-ornamented example of its class, and the 
preceding woodcut conveys a fair impression of the effect of these build- 
ings generally. It is not old enough to be quite of the best age, but it 
is still not so modem as to have lost all the character and expression of 
the earlier examples. 


Conjeveram is another city where tradition would lead us to 
expect more of antiquity than in almost any city of the south. It is 
said to have been foimded by Adondai, the illegitimate son of Kolo- 
tunga Chola, in the 11th or 12th century, and to have succeeded 
Combaconum as the capital of the Chola Mandalam. Even before 
this, however, it is supposed to have been inhabited by Buddhists,* 
and that they were succeeded by Jains. If this is so, all that can bo 
said is, that neither of these religions have left any traces of their 
existence on the spot, and many passages in the Mackenzie MSS. 
would lead us to suppose that it was a jungle inhabited by savage 
Kurumbars when the Cholas took possession of it. 

Be this as it may, the two towns, Great and Little Conjeveram, 
possess groups of temples as picturesque and nearly as vast as any 
to be found elsewhere. The great temple at the first-named place 
possesses some first-class gopuras, though no commanding vimana. 
It has, too, a hall of 1000 columns, several large and fine mantapas, 
large tanks with flights of stone steps, and all the requisites of a first- 
class Dravidian temple, but all thrown together as if by accident. JS'o 
two gopuras are opposite one another, no two walls parallel, and there 
is hardly a right angle about the place. All this creates a picturesque- 
ness of effect seldom surpassed in these temples, but deprives it of that 
dignity we might expect from such parts if properly arranged. 

There may be some part I did not see ^ which may be older, but 
certainly none of the principal buildings are so old as Parvati's shrine 
at Chillambaram, but all seem equally to bo anterior to the gi-eat 
building epoch of the Nayak dynasty. They probably are the last 

It is supposed, erroneously, I believe he indicated. 

(* Journal of the Boyal Asiatic Society,' 
(N.S.) vol. vi. p. 265), to be the Kanchi- 
puram visited by Hiouen Thsang in 640. 
Nagapatam was more probably the place 

I was too unwell when I visited 
Conjeveram to make so careful a survey 
of its temples as I would have wished 
to have done. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


(efforts of the (/holaH; but here, again, whitewash and red paint have 
done 80 much to obliterate the record, that it is not safe to dogmatise 
regarding the age of any buildings in either of the two Conjeverams. 


Although the temples at Vellore and at Peroor, near Ooimbatore, 
t'Aii only rank among the second class as regards size, they possess 
porticos of extreme interest to architectural history, and are con- 
sequently worthy of more attention than has been bestowed upon them. 
That at Vellore, however, is unfortunately situated in the fort occupied 
by the British, and has consequently been utilised as a store. W alls 
have been built between its piers, and whitewash and fittings have 
reduced it to that condition which we think appropriate ft»r the 
noblest works of art in India. Enough, however, still remains to 
enable us to see that it is one of the most elegant as well as one of 
the oldest porches or mantapas in the south. As will be seen from 
the woodcut (No. 207), the Yalis and rearing horsemen are clearly 
and sharply cut, and far from being so extravagant as they sometimes 
are. The great cornice too, with its double flexures and lia little 
trellice-work of supports, is not only very elegfint in form, but one of 
those marvels of patient industry, such as are to be found hardly 
anywhere else. There are many such cornices, however, in the south : 
one at Avadea Oovill is deeper and more elaborate than even this one. 
The outer facing there is said to l3e only about an inch in thickness, 
and its network of supports is more elaborate and more delicate 
than those at Vellore, tliough it is difficult to understund how either 
was ever executed in so hard a material. The traditicms of the place 
assign the erection of the Vellore porch to the year 1350, and tliough 
this is perliaps being too precise, it is not far from the truth. 
The brack(>t shafts (Woodcut No. 20H) are similar but even more 
elegant than those in Parvati's porch at Chillambaram ; but they 
are — some of them at least -at t^iched to the pier by very elegant 
open-work, such as is found in Pratapa Kudra's temple at Worangul 
(Woodcut No. 217) or in the windows at Ilullabid. As both these 
examples are earlier than 1300, it might seem that this one was 
so also, but it is difficult to feel certain when comparing buildings 
so distant in locality, and belonging to diflerent styles of art. On 
the whole, however, I am inclined to l)elieve that between 1300 and 
1 400 will be found the true date of this i)()rch. 

The date of the porch at Peroor is ascertained within narrow 
limits by the figure of a Sepoy loading a musket being carved on the 
base of one of its pillars, and liis costume and tlie shape of his arm 
are exactly those we find in contemporary pictures of the wars of 
Aurungzebe, or the early Mahrattas, in the beginning of the 18th 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. IH. 



century. As shown in Woodcut No. 209, the Lracket shafts are there 
attached to the piers as in TirumuUa Nayak's buildings, and though 
the general character of the architecture is the same, there is a coarse- 

Portico of Temple at V^ el lore. 

ness in the details, and a marked inferiority in the figure-sculpture, 
that betrays the distance of date between these two examples. 

Slight as the difference may appear to the unpractised eye, it is 
within the four centuries that include the dates of these two buildings 
(1350 to 1750) that practically the whole history of the Dravidian 

uigiiizeu uy V^jOOVJ Iv^ 



Book IV. 

208. Compound Pillar at Vellore. (From 
a Photograph.) 

20y. 'L'uiJj]HPUi]d ["illrtr at I'^T^jor. (Kruqi 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


tomplearchitecture is included. There are rock-cut examples before 
the first date, and some structural buildings in Dharwar on a smaller 
scale, which are older, but it is safe to assert that nine-tenths, at 
least, or more, of those which are found south of the Tongabhadra, 
were erected between these dates. 

Of course it is not meant to assert that, before the first of these 
dates, there were not structural temples in the south of India. So 
far from this being the case, it seems nearly certain that during 
the six or seven centuries that elapsed between the carving of the 
rocks at Mahavellipore and the erection of the Yellore pagoda, 
numerous buildings must have been erected in order that a style 
should be elaborated and so fixed that it should endure for five 
centuries afterwards, with so little change, and with only that degra- 
dation in detail, which is the fatal characteristic of art in India. 

It seems impossible that the horsemen, the Yalis, and above all, 
the great cornice of double curvature, shown in the woodcut (No. 207) 
could have been brought to these fixed forms without long experience, 
and the difficulty is to understand how they could ever have been 
elaborated in stone at all, as they are so unlike lithic forms found 
anywhere else ; yet they are not wooden, nor is there any trace in 
them of any of their details being derived from wooden architecture, 
as is so evidently the case with the Buddhist architecture of the 
north. The one suggestion that occurs to me is that they are derived 
from terra-cotta forms. Frequently, at the present day, figures of 
men on horseback larger than life, or of giants on foot, are seen near 
the village temples made of pottery, their hollow forms of burnt clay, 
and so burnt as to form a perfect terra-cotta substance. Most of the 
figures also on the gopuras are not in plaster as is generally said, 
but are also formed of clay burnt. The art has certainly been long 
practised in the south, and if we adopt the theory that it was used 
for many ornamental purposes befdre wood or stone, it will account 
for much that is otherwise unintelligible in the arts of the south. 


The dates just quoted will no doubt sound strange and prosaic to 
those who are accustomed to listen to the childish exaggerations of 
the Brahmans in speaking of the age of their temples. There is, 
however, luckily a test besides the evidence above quoted, which, if 
it could be perfectly applied, would settle the question at once. 

When in the beginning of the 14th century the Mahomedans from 
Delhi first made their power seriously felt in the south, they struck 
down the kingdom of the Hoisala Bellalas in 1310, and destroyed 
their capital of Hullabld ; and in 1322 Worangul, which had been 
previously attacked, was finally destroyed, and it iH said they then 

uigiiizea uy v^jOOV Iv^ 

1574 I) HA VIDIAN STYLE. Hook IV. 

carried thoir victoriouB arms aH far ua Uamuad. The MahoiucdanH 
did not, however, at that time make any iK?rmanent s( ttlement in the 
hoiith, and the conrtequonce was, that as woon aH the Hindus were able 
to recover from the panic, Bukka and Harihara, princes it is said of 
the deposed house of Worangul, gathered around them the remnants 
of the destroyed states, and founded a new state in tlie town of 
Vijayanagar on the Tongabhadra. An earlier city it is said had been 
founded there in lllB, by a V'ijaya Kayal, but only as a dependency of 
the M^ sore Kaj, and there is eonsetiuently no reason for supposing that 
any of the buihliugs in the city belong to that i)eriod, nor indeed 
till the new dynasty founded by Bukka had consolidated its power, 
which was certainly not before the beginning of the ISth century. 

The city was finally destroyed by the Mahomedans in 15(55, but 
during the two previous centuries it maintained a gallant struggle 
against the Bahmuny and Adil Shahi dynasties of Kalburgah and 
Bijapur, and was in fact the barrier that prevented the Moslems 
from taking possession of the whole country as far as Cape Comorin. • 

Its time of greatest prosperity was between the accession of 
Krishna Dova, 1508, and the death of Achutya Rayal, 1542, and it is 
to their reigns that the finest monuments in the city must Ix) ascril)ed. 
There is, perhaps, no other city in all India in which ruins exist in 
such profusion or in such variety as in Vijayanagar, and as they 
are all certainly comprised within the century and a half, or at 
the utmost the two centuries, that i)receded the destruction of the 
city, their analogies afford us dates that hardly admit of dispute. 

Among those in the city the most remarkable is that dedicated 
to Vitoba, a local manifestation of Vishnu. It was erected by Achutya 
Rayal, a.d. 1529-1542, and never was finished ; and if it were not that 
no successor ever cares in India to complete the works begun by his 
predecessor, we might fancy the works were inteiTupted by the siege. 
The principal part of the temple consists of a porch, represented in 
the annexed woodcut (No. 2 1 0). It is wholly in granite, and carved 
with a boMness and exjiression of power nowhere surpassed in the 
buildings of its class.^ As will be observed, it has all the characteristic 
peculiarities of the Dravidian stylo : the bold cornice of double flexure, 
the detached shafts, the Yalis, the richly-carved stylobate, &c. But 
what interests us most here is that it forms an exact half-way house in 
style between such porches as those at Vellore and Chill ambaram, and 
that of Tirumulla Nayak at Madura The bracket shafts are detached 
here, it is true, but they are mere ornaments, and have lost their 
meaning. The cornice is as bold as any, but has lost its characteristic 

' I have never ))een able to anoertain ' dimensioiis and make even a sketch plan 
even approximately ittj dimensions. Hun- Heemn beyond the educationul capacity 
dreds visit it, many have photogri^phe*!. of our ormntrymen. 
some written descriptions, but (o measure 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




210. View of Porch of Temple of Vitoba at Vyayanagar. (From a Photograph by Mr. Neill ) 

supports, and other changes have been made, which would inevitably 
have led in a short time to the new style of the Nayak dynasty. 

The little building on the right is the car of the god, formed of a 
single block of granite, with moveable wheels, but they are the only 
parts that move. There are, l)esides, either one or two pavilions, 
smaller, but similar in design to that represented in the woodcut, a 
gopura, and other adjuncts, which would bo interesting, if we had 
the means of comparing and describing them. 

Although the temple of Vitoba is certainly one of the most remark- 
able ruins in India, and there are other temples of great beauty and 
extent in the capital, it is not quite clear that it is there the cJiefs- 
d'ceuvre of this dynasty are to be found, but rather at a place called 
Tarputry, about one hundred miles a little east of south from the 
capital. There are two temples there : the one now in use, dedicated 
to Vishnu, is the elder, and in so far as whitewash and paint will 
allow one to judge, ranges with the works of the earliest kings of the 
Vijayanagar dynasty ; but the wonders of the place are two gopuras 
Ixjlonging to a now deserted temple on the banks of the river, about a 
quarter of a mile from the others. One of these was apparently quite 
finished, the other never carried higher than the perpendicular part. 
In almost all the gopuras of India this part is comparatively plain, 
all the figure-sculpture and ornament being reserved for the upper 
or pyramidal part. In this instance, however, the whole of the per- 
pendicular part is covered with the most elaborate sculpture, cut with 
ex(iui«ito sharpness and precision, in a fine close-grained hornblende 
(?) stone, and produces an effect richer, and on the whole perhaps in 




Book IV. 

Entrance thfugh (Jopura at THrputiy. (I'r«>in 


Digiiizea oy 


Chap. III. 



Portion 01 (jopura at Tnrputry. (From a rtiotogrnph.) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


l)etter taste, than anytliinpj else in this style (Woodcuts Nos. 211, 212). 
It is difficult of course to institute a comparison between these 
gopuras and such works as Tirumulla Nayak's choultrie, or the corridors 
at Hamisserain ; they are ho different that there is no common basis 
of comparison but the vulgar one of cost ; but if compared with 
IluUabid or BailKir, these Tarputry gopuras stand that test l)etter 
than any other works of the Vijayanagar Eajas. They are inferior, but 
not so much so as one would exi>ect from the two centuries of decadence 
that elapsed between them, and they certainly show a marked supe- 
riority over the great unfinished gopura of Tirumulla Nayak, which 
was commenced, as nearly as may be, one century afterwards. 

About fifty miles still further east, at a place called Diggu Hublum, 
there is a large unfinished mantapa, in plan and design very like that 
of the temple of Vitoba at Vijayanagar, but its style and details are so 
much more like those of the Nayaks, that it must be at least a century 
more modem, and could not therefore have been erected before the de- 
struction of that capital in A.n. 1 565. The dynasty, however, continued 
to exist for one or two centuries after that time, till the country was 
finally conquered by Tipu Sultan. It must have been by one of the 
expatriated rajas that this temple was erected, but by whom even 
tradition is silent. Whoever may have built it, it is a fine l)old 6pe«'i- 
men of architecture, and if the history of the art in the south of India 
is ever seriously taken up, it will worthily take a place in the series as 
one of the best specimens of its age, wanting the delicacy and elegance 
of the earlier examples, but full of character and merit. ^ 


The buildings mentioned, and more or less perfectly described, in 
the preceding pages are in number rather more than one-third of 
the great Dravidian temples known to exist in the province. In im- 
portance and extent they certainly are, however, more than one- 
half. Of the remainder, none have vimanas, like that of Tanjore, 

' When I was in Madras, and indeed i them, publibhcd this year (1875) an ac- 
up to the present year, the temple on the count of wlmt they saw in the 'Calcutta 
hill of Tripetty or Tirupetty was reputed ^ Review*. As he exclaims, "Another 
to be the riclieat, the mtst magnificent, ^ of the illusions of my youth destroyed." 
US It was certainly the most sacred of The temple is neither remarkable for its 
all those in the Presidency. So bacred, size nor its mag-nificence. In these re- 
indeed, was it, that no unbelieving spects it is inferior to Conjeveram, 
foreigner had ever been allowed to climb ' Heringham, and mai»y others; and what- 
the holy hill (2500 ft. high), or profane ever may be done with its immense re- 
its sticred preciiiets. In 1870, a party of , venues, they ceitaiiily are not applied to 
I)olicc forced their way in, in pursuit of a , its adi)rnment. It is a fair siwciraen of a 
murderer who hud taken refuge there, Dravidian temple of the second elats, but 
and a Mr. Gribble, who aceompanicMl in a sad state ofdihijuchitioii and disrepair. 

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nor corridors, like those of Eamisseram ; but several have gopuras 
quite equal to or exceeding those mentioned above, and many have 
mantapas of great beauty and extent. Several — such as Avadea 
Covin, Veeringepuram, Taramungulam, and others— possess features 
unsurpassed by any in the south, especially the first-named, which 
may, jKjrhaps, be considered as one of the most elegant of its class, 
as well as one of the oldest. It would, however, be only tedious to 
attempt to descriljc them without plans to refer to, or more extensive 
illustrations than are compatible with a work of this class. They 
are, however, worthy of more attention than has been paid to them, 
and of more complete illustration than has hitherto been bestowed 
upon them. Taken altogether, they certainly do form as extensive, 
and in some respects as remarkable, a group of buildings as are 
to be found in provinces of similar extent in any part of the 
world — Egypt, perhaps, alone excepted; but they equal even the 
Egyptian in extent, and though at first sight so different, in some 
respects present similarities which are startling. Without attempt- 
ing to enumerate the whole, it may be mentioned that the gopuras, 
both in form and purpose, resemble the pylons of the Egyptian 
temples. The courts with pillars and cloisters are common to both, 
and very similar in arrangement and extent. The great mantapas 
and halls of 1000 columns reproduce the hypostyle halls, both in 
purpose and effect, with almost minute accuracy. The absence of any 
central tower or vimana over the sanctuary is universal in Egypt, 
and only conspicuously violated in one instance in India. Their 
mode of aggregation, and the amount of labour bestowed upon 
them for labour's sake, is only too characteristic of both styles. 
There are, besides, many similarities that will occur to any one 
familiar with both styles. 

Is all this accidental ? It seems strange that so many coincidences 
should be fortuitous, but, so far as hislory affords us any information, 
or as any direct communication can be traced, we must for the present 
answer that it is so. The interval of time is so great, and the mode in 
which we fancy we can trace the native growth of most of the features 
in India seem to negative the idea of an importation ; but there cer- 
tainly was intercourse between Egypt and India in remote ages, and 
seed may then have been sown which fructified long afterwards. 

If we were to trust, however, to either tradition or to mytho- 
logical or ethnological coincidences, it is rather to Babylonia than 
to Egypt that we should look for the incunahiUa of what are found 
in southern India. But here the architectural argument is far from 
having the same distinctness ; and, in fact, whichever way we turn, we 
are forced to confess that these problems are not yet ripe for solution, 
though enough is known to encourage the hope that the time is not 
distant when materials will be gathered tliat will make all clear. 






Palftces at Mddura and Tanjore— Garden Pavilion at Vijayanagar. 

Ar/iHOUGH, like all nations of Turanian race, the Dravidians were 
extensive and enthusiastic builders, it is somewhat singular that till 
they came in contact with the Mahomedans all their efforts in this 
direction should have been devoted to the service of religion. No 
trace of any civil or municipal building is to be found anywhere, 
though from the stage of civilization that they had attained it might 
be expected that such must have existed. What is, however, even 
more remarkable is, that kingdoms always at war with one another, 
and contending for supremacy within a limited area, might have been 
expected to develope some sort of military architecture. So far, how- 
ever, as is now known, no castle or fortification of any sort dates 
from the Pandya, Chera, or Chola days. What is still more singular 
in a people of Turanian blood is, that they have no tombs. The}' 
seeiu always to have burnt their dead, and never to have collected 
their ashes or raised any mounds or memorials to their departed 
friends or great men. There are, it is true, numberless " Rude stone 
monuments" all over the south of India, but, till they are more 
thoroughly investigated, it is impossible to say whether they belong 
to the Dravidians when in a lower stage of civilization than when 
they became temple builders, or whether they belong to other under- 
lying races who still exist, in scattered fragments, all over the south 
of India, in a state bordering on that of savages.^ Whoever these 
Dolmens or stone circles may have belonged to, we know, at least, 
that they never were developed into architectural objects, such as 
would bring them within the scope of this work. No Dravidian 
tomb or cenotaph is known to exist anywhere. 

When, however, the Dravidians came in contact with the Mussul- 
mans this state of affairs was entirely altered, in so far, at least, as 
civil buildings were concerned. The palaces, the kutcherries, the 

» What I know on this subject I have already said in my work on * Rude Stone 
Monuments/ p. 455, et seqq. 

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Chap. IV. 


38 L 

elephant-Btables, and the dependencies of the abodes of the rajas at 
Yijajanagar and M&dnra, rival in extent and in splendour the 
temples themselves, and are not surpassed in magnificence by the 
Mahomedan palaces of Bijapnr or Bidar. 

One of the most interesting peculiarities of these civil buildings 
is, that they are all in a new and different style of architecture from 
that employed in the temples, and the distinction between the civil 
and religious art is kept up to the present day. The civil buildings 
are all in what we would call a pointed-arched Moorish style — pic- 
turesque in effect, if not always in the best taste, and using the arch 
everywhere and for every purpose. In the temples the arch is never 
used as an architectural feature. In some places, in modern times, 
when they wanted a larger internal space than could be obtained 
by bracketing without great expense, a brick vault was introduced, 
— it may be said surreptitiously — for it is always concealed. Even 
now, in building gopuras, they employ wooden beams, supported by 
pillars, as lintels, to cover the central openings in the upper pyra- 
midal part, and this having decayed, many of the most modem 
exhibit symptoms of decay which are not observable in the older 
examples, where a stone lintel always was employed. But it is not 
only in construction that the Dravidians adhere to their old forms 
in temples. There are, especially, some gopuras erected within the 
limits of this century, and erecting even now, which it requires 
practised eye to distinguish from older examples ; but with the civil 
buildings the case is quite different. It is not, indeed, clear how 
a convenient palace could be erected in the trabeate style of the 
temples, unless, indeed, wood was very extensively employed, both in 
the supports and the roofs. My conviction is, that this really was 
the case, and its being so, to a great extent, at least, accounts for 
their disappearance. 

The principal apartments in the palace at M&dura are situated 
round a courtyard which measures 244 ft. east and west by 142 ft. 
north and south, surrounded on all sides by arcades of very great 
beauty. The pillars which support the arches are of stone, 40 ft. 
in height, and are joined by foliated brick arcades of great elegance 
of design. The whole of the ornamentation is worked out in the 
exquisitely fine stucco called "chunan," or shell lime, which is 
a characteristic of the Madras Presidency.^ On one side of the 
court stands the Swerga Vilasam, or Celestial Pavilion, formerly 
the throne-room of the palace, now used by the High Court of 

^ Some money was, I belieye, expended 
during Lord Napier's administration on 
the repairs of this court and its appur- 
tenances, but it was' quite beyond the 

purview of an Anglo-Saxon to make a 
plan of the place. It is, consequently, 
very difficult to describe it. 

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Book IV. 

Justice. It is an arcadod octagon, covered l»y a dome 60 ft. in 
diameter and <>0 ft. in height. On another side of this court 
is placed the splendid hall shown in the annexed woodcut (No. 
213), the two corresponding with the Dewanni Khas and Dewanni 
Aura of Mahomedan palaces. This one, in its glory, must have 
been as fine as any, barring the material. The hall itself is said 
to be 120 ft. long by G7 ft. wide,* and its height to the centre 
of the roof is 70 ft. ; but, what is more important than its diuicn- 
fiions, it possesses all the structural propriety and character of a 

213. Hall in Palace, MMura. (FYom Danlcll's • Views in TlindostAn.'^ 

Gothic building. It is evident that if the Hindus had persevered 
a little longer in this direction they might have accomplished some- 
thing that would have surpassed the works of their masters in this 
form of art. In the meanwhile it is curious to observe that the 
same king who built the choultries (Woodcuts Nos. 202, 203 and 204) 
built also this hall. The st^'le of the one is as diflferent from that of 
the other as Classic Italian from Mediaeval Gothic : the one as much 
over ornamented as the other is too plain for the purposes of a palace, 

' Description attacheil to Trijc's l*hoto«;rapIi8. 

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Chap. IV. 



but both among the best things of their class which have been built 
in the country where they are found. 

The modern dynasty of Tanjore w^as founded by Eccoji, a brother 
of Sivagi, the great Mahratta chief, during the decline of the Madura 

Digitized by 




Book IV. 

dynasty in 1G75. The palace wan probably commenced shortly after- 
wards, but the greater part of its buildings belong to the 18th 
century, and some extend even into the 19th. 

It is not unlike the Madura palace in arrangement — is, indeed, 
evidently copied from it — nor very different in style; but the orna- 
mentation is coarser and in more vulgar taste, as might be expected 
from our knowledge of the people who erected it (Woodcut No. 214). 
In some of the apartments this is carried so far as to become almost 
offensive. One of the most striking peculiarities of the palace is the 
roof of the great hall externally. As you approach Tanjore, you see 

ai5. Garden Pavilion at Vijayanagar. (From a rhotograph.) 

two gi'eat vimanas, not unlike each other in dimensions or outline, 
and at a distance can hardly distinguish which belongs to the great 
temple. On closer inspection, however, that of the palace turns out 
to be made up of dumpy pilasters and fat balusters, and ill-designed 
mouldings of Italian architecture, mixed up with a few details of 
Indian art! A more curious and tasteless jumble could hardly be 
found in Calcutta or Lucknow. 

The palace buildings at Vijayanagar are much more detached and 
scattered than those either at Tanjore or Mtidura, but they are older, 
and probably reproduce more nearly the arrangements of a Hindu 
prince's residence, before they fell completely under the sway of 

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Moslem influence. Practically the palace consists of a number of 
detached pavilions, baths, hareems, and other buildings, that may 
have been joined by wooden arcades. They certainly were situated 
in gardens, and may consequently have had a unity we miss in their 
present state of desolation. One of these pavilions is represented in 
the preceding woodcut (No. 215). It is a fair specimen of that pic- 
turesque mixed style which arose from the mixture of the Saracenic 
and Hindu styles. 

Even this mixed style, however, died out wherever the Europeans 
settled, or their influence extended. The modern palaces of the ' 
Nawabs of the Oamatic, of the Rajas of Kamnad or Travancofo, are 
all in the bastard Italian style, adopted by the Nawabs of Lucknow 
and the Babus of Calcutta. Sometimes, it must be confessed, the 
buildings are imposing from their mass, and picturesque from their 
variety of outline, but the details are always detestable, first from 
being bad copies of a style that was not understood or appreciated, 
but also generally from their being unsuited for the use to which 
they were applied. To these defects it must be added, that the whole 
style is generally characterised by a vulgarity it is difficult to under- 
stand in a people who have generally shown themselves capable of so 
much refinement in former times. 

In some parts of the north of India matters have not sunk so low 
as in the Madras Presidency, but in the south civil architecture as a 
fine art is quite extinct, and though sacred architecture still survives 
in a certain queer, quaint form of temple-building, it is of so low a 
type that it would hardly be a matter of regret if it, too, ceased to 
exist, and the curtain dropped over the graves of both, as they ai'e 
arts that practically have become extinct. 

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T<'nii)lo at Riicliropully — Kirti Stambha at Worangul — Temples at Somnathpur 
and Raillftr— TheKait Iswara at HiiUubid — Temple at Hullabid. 

Ok the three Bt^'les into which Hindu architecture naturally divides 
itself, the Chalukj'an is neither the least extensive nor the least beau- 
tiful, but it certainly is the least known. The very name of the 
people was hardlj^ recognised by early writers on Indian subjects, 
and the first clear ideas regarding them were put forwai-d, in 1826, 
in a paper by Sir Walter Elliot, in the fourth volume of the * Journal 
of the Eoyal Asiatic Society.' To this he added another paper, in 
the twentieth volume of the * Madras Journal :' and since then 
numerous inscriptions of this dynasty and of its allied families have 
l)een found, and translated by General Le Grand, Jacob and others, in 
the * Bombay Journal,' and by Professor Dowson in the ' Journal of 
the Koyal Asiatic Society ' liere.^ 

From all this we gather that early in the sixth century of our 
era^ this family rose into importance at Kalyan— in what is now the 
Nizam's territory — and spread eastward as far as the shores of the 
Bay of Bengal, in the neighbourhood of the mouths of the Kistnah and 
Godavcry. They extended, in fact, from shore to shore, right across 
the peninsula, and occupied a considerable portion of the country 
now known as Mysore, and northward extended as far, at least, as 

> Vol. i. (N.S.) p. 247, et seqq. 
« Professor Eggeling tells me he has reason for suspecting the date 411 

wrong about it, but how the error arose 
is not yet clear. It seems at least a 
century too early. See the * Journal of 

for Palakesi I. (* Journal of the Royal the Royal Asiatic Society,' vol. iv. p. 12 ; 
Asiatic Society,' vol. iv. p. 8) to be a ibid., vol. iv. (N.S.) p. 93. 
forgery. There is something certainly 

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Beyond this, they seem to have been closely allied with the 
Ballabhi dynasty of Gujerat, and afterwards to be the parent stems 
from which the Hoisala Bellalas of Dwarasamudra took their rise. 

'J'heir affiliations and descents are more easily traced than their 
origin. Jaya Singa, the founder of the Kalyan dynasty (a.d. 500 ?), 
claims to be of the Solar race of Eajputs, and descended from kings 
reigning in Ayodhya 1000 years (fifty-nine generations) before his 
time. This, however, seems as likely to be a reminiscence of the 
origin of their religion as of their race ; for, though we are not yet 
in a position to prove it, it seems likely that the Chalukyas were 
originally Jains. At all events, it seems clear that the extension of 
the Jaina religion is nearly conterminous with that of Chalukyan 
sway, and the time at which the religion spread over India was also 
coincident with their rise and fall. 

It would, of course, be too much to assert that the Chalukyas 
were either the revivors of the Jaina faith or even its principal 
propagators; but, during the early part of their history, this form 
of faith is inextricably mixed up with the more orthodox religions 
as practised by them, and prevails to the present day, in the countries 
where they ruled. The style of architecture which they invented 
when Jains was, it is true, practised afterwards by them both as 
Vaishnavas and Saivas; but it seems to have had its origin in the 
earlier form of faith. 

Like all dynasties of Central and Northern India, the Chalukyas 
suffered eclipse in the dark ages that intervened between a.d. 750 and 
9o0 ;^ and the difficulty is to know whether we have any temples in 
their style before that period. Those al Aiwulli and Purudkul, de- 
scribed above (Woodcuts Nos. 121 and 189), belong to their age, and 
may have been erected by early kings of this race ; but they do not 
belong to their style. Their sikras, or towers, either show the cur- 
vilinear outline of the northern style, or the storeyed pyramids of 
the Dravidians. It is as if this intrusive race adopted hesitatingly 
the styles of earlier inhabitants of the country, but that it was not 
till they had consolidated their power, and developed peculiar in- 
stitutions of their own, that they expressed them in the style to 
which their name has been affixed. 

It is more than probable that the materials exist for settling 
these and all other questions connected with this style; but, un- 
fortunately, if it is so, they exist in the Nizam's territory, and that 
is terra incognita to us in so far as architecture is concerned. No 
one has yet passed through it who had any knowledge of the art, or 
was even aware that any interest attached to the forms or age of the 
buildings. It thus happens that, but for a few stray photographs, it 

» 'Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society,* vol. iv. p. 10, rf seqq. 

2 c 2 

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must have been pcussed over as a style less known, from an artistic 
point of view, than that of almost any civilized country in the world. 
The rulers of the Hydrabad territory being bigoted Mahomedans, it is 
to be feared that great destruction of native temples may have taken 
place ; but the real cause of our ignorance on the subject is the in- 
difference and apathy to such matters in those who rule the rulers, 
and who, if they chose, could clear up the whole my&tery in a few 
months or years, and with little expense to themselves, beyond 
expressing a wish that it should be done. 

It may be, however, that the remains have perished. The line of 
Mahomedan capitals — Bijapur, Kalburgah, Bidar, and Hydrabad — 
which have long occupied the native country of the Chalukyas, is 
painfully suggestive of the destruction of Hindu temples ; but still 
the wealth of remains that exists in Dharwar on the south and west, 
and the Berars on the north of the Nizam's territories, is so great that 
all certainly cannot have perished, and many will probably be found 
to solve the historical enigmas, though they may not be sufficient to 
restore the style in its integrity. 

Whether Kalyani itself has escaped is by no means clear. In a 
list of remains in the Bombay Presidency, prepared by Mr. Burgess, 
dated 1873, there are the following entries : — " Three miles to the 
south-east of town, some fine temples and other ruins ;" and further 
on, on the authority of the late Bhau Daji, it is stated, " has extensive 
ruins for miles around. There are caves in the hills, called llazar 
Khotri, or ITiousand Chambers. Pir Padshah Musjid is probably 
part of a Hindu temple." If this is so, the history of the style is 
probably all there, and only awaits the advent of some one capable of 
reading it. 

The simplest and most typical example of the style that I know, 
and the one, consequently, which will serve best to explain its pecu- 
liarities, is at a place called Buchropully, not far from Hydrabad. 
It probably is also one of the oldest, and may even date before the 
cataclysm ; but this is only a guess. I have no such real knowledge 
of the early form of the style as would enable me to feel sure on such 
a subject. As will be observed, the temple itself is polygonal, or 
star-shaped, of twenty-four sides (Woodcut No. 216). These, however, 
are not obtained, as in the northern style, by increments added flatly 
to a square, as will be explained hereafter, but are points touching a 
circle, in this instance apparently right angles, but afterwards were 
either more acute or flatter than a right angle. There are four 
principal faces, however, larger than the others : three occupied by 
niches, the fourth by the entrance. The roof is in steps, and with a 
flat band on each face in continuation of the larger face below. The 
summit ornament is a flower or vase, in this instance apparently 
incomplete. The porch is simple, consisting only of sixteen pillars, 

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Chap. I. 



Temple at Bucbropully. (From a Photograph.) 

disposed equidistantly, without any attempt at the octagonal dome 
of the Jains or the varied arrangements subsequently attempted. 

Although of no great magnificenoe in itself, this temple is inte- 
resting as possessing all the features which distinguish the Chalukyan 
style from those that surround it either on the north or south. 
Instead of {heir square plans, this one is practically star-shaped. 
The sikra is a straight-lined cone, and its decorations in steps is 
as unlike the Dravidian spire in storeys as it is to the curvilinear 
outline of the Jaina or northern temples. The porch, too, is open, 
and consists of columns spaced equidistantly over its floor, without 
either the bracketing iirrangements of the southern or the domical 
forms of the northern styles. Situated as it was locally, half-way 
between the Dravidian and northern styles, the Chalukyan borrowed 
occasionally a feature or form from one or from the other, but never 
to such an extent as to obliterate its individuality, or to prevent its 
being recognised as a separate and distinct btyle of architecture. 

When the Nizam's territory is examined, we shall probably be 
able to trace all the steps by which this simple village example 
developed into the metropolitan temple of Hammoncondah, the old 
capital, six miles north of \Voi*angul. According to an inscription 
on its walls, this temple was erected, in a.d. 1 1 63, by Pratapa Rudra,^ 

Prinsep*8 * UBcful TaM(>P,' re-cditcd by Thomas, pp. 267-268. 

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Book V. 

who, though not exactly himself a Chalukya in blood, succeeded to 
their possessions and their style. The temple itself is triple, having 
three detached cells of very considerable dimensions, in front of which 
is a portico, supported by between 240 or 300 pillars, disposed in a 

217. Doorway of great Temple at Hammoncondah. (From a Photograph.) 

varied and complicated pattern,^ but without any sign, so far as I 
ca,n trace, of the Jaina octagonal arrangement for a dome. Like 

* If all the quaclraiit.s of this portico 
were equal the numbers ought to be 
300, or 75 in each, but I fanry a concjider- 
able jwrtion of two of them was cut off 
by the site of the temple. As I have 

notliing but pliotographs to go by, ami 
they only thow the exterior, even this is 
uncertain, and the dimensions I cannot 
oven guesa at. They are very large, 
liowever, for a Hin«lu temple. 

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Chap. L WOHANGUL. 391 

most of these late temples, this one was never finished. It was too 
extensive for one king's reign, even for one so powerful as he was 
who undertook it, and before it was heartily taken up again the 
Mahomedans were upon them (in a.d. 1309), and there was an end of 
Hindu greatness and of Hindu art. 

Some of its details, however, are of great beauty, especially 
the entrances, which arc objects on which the architects generally 
lavished their utmost skill. I'he preceding woodcut (No. 217) will 
explain the form of those of the great temple, as well as the general 
ordinances of the pillars of the great portico. Nothing in Hindu art 
is more pleasing than the pierced slabs which the Chalukyas used 
for windows. They are not, so far as I recollect, used — certainly, 
not extensively — in any other style, but as u^ed by them are highly 
ornamental and appropriate, both externally and internally. 

The pillars, too, are rich, without being overdone ; and as it is 
only in pairs that they are of the same design, the eflfect of the whole 
is singularly varied, bnt at the same time pleasing and elegant. 

There are at Hammoncondah or Worangul a great number of 
smaller temples and shrines, in the same style us the great temple, 
and, like it, apparently all dedicated to Siva, from the constant 
presence of his bull everywhere. Most are ruined ; but whether this 
is owing to iVloslem bigotry or faulty construction, it is difficult to 
say. Judging from appearances, I am inclined to believe the latter 
was the true cause. The mode of building is without mortar, and 
the joints are by no means well fitted. The style is also remarkably 
free from figure-sculpture, which is generally the thing that most 
easily excites the iconoclastic feelings of the followers of the 

In Worangul there are four Kirti Stambhas, as they are called, 
facing one another, as if they formed the entrances to a square 
enclosuie (Woodcut No. 218). No wall is there, however, nor is 
there anything inside ; so the object of their erection is by no means 
apparent. They were set up by the same Pratapa Rudra who built the 
great temple in the old capital, and built several others in this new 
city. It cannot be said they are particularly elegant specimens of 
art. Their main interest lies in their being the lineal descendants of 
the four gateways at Sanchi (Woodcut No. 33), and they may have 
been erected to replace some wooden or frailer structure which had 
fallen into decay. Whether this is so or not, they are curious as 
exemplifying how, in the course of a thousand years or thereabouts, 
a wooden style of building may lose all traces of its origin and 
become as essentially lithic as these, but still betray its origin as 
clearly as they do ; for it seems most unlikely that any such form 
oould have been invented by any one using stone constructions, and 
that only. 

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Book V. 


Kirti Stambha at WoranguL (From a Photograph.) 


It is in the province of Mysore, however, that the Chalukyan style 
attained its fullest development and highest degree of perfection 
during the three centuries — a.d. 1000 to 1300 — in which the Hoisala 
Bellalas had supreme sway in that country. Three temples, or rather 
groups of temples, were erected by them — the first at a place called 
Somnathpur, south of Mysore, by Vinaditya Bellala, who ascended the 
throne a.d. 1043 ; the second at Bailldr, in the centre of the province, 
owed its origin apparently to Vishnu Verddhana, in or about a.d. 1114 ; 
the last and greatest at a place they called Dwarsamudra — the Gate 
of the Sea — now known as IluUabid, not far from the last-named, 
from which the capital was removed by Vijaya Narsinha, in 1145. 
It continued to be the metropolis of the kingdom, till it was destroyed 


Chap. I. MYSORE. 393 

and the building of the great temple stopped by the Mahomedan 
invasion in a.d. 1310-1311.^ 

Even in this short series we see evidence of that downward 
progress of art, especially in sculpture, which is everywhere the 
characteristic of Hindu art. Though the design is the grandest, the 
sculpture and details of Hullabid are inferior to those of Baillur, and 
Somnathpiir seems superior to both. We consequently'^ long to trace 
back the history of the style to some mure distant date, when we 
might find it emerging in purity and elegance from some unknown 
prototype. Unfortunately, we are not at present able to do this. 
We are obliged to lenp over the dark ages to the caves and temples 
of Badami and Aiwulli, and have no intermediate examples to connect 
the two. It is more than probable that they do exist, and will be 
found when looked for. Meanwhile, however, we can only assume 
that the star-like plans and peculiar details of the style were elaborated 
between the 6th and the 1 th centuries in Central and Western India, 
but where and by whom remains still to be discovered. 

Like the great temple at Hammoncondah, that at Somnathpiir is 
triple, the cells, with their sikras, being attached to a square pillared 
hall, to the fourth side of which a portico is attached, in this in- 
stance of very moderate dimensions.^ The whole stands in a square 
cloistered court, and has the usual accompaniments of entrance- 
porches, stambhas, &c. 

The following illustration (No. 219) will give an idea— an* 
imperfect one, it must be confessed — of the elegance of outline and 
marvellous elaboration of detail that characterises these shrines. 
Judging from the figure of a man in one of the photographs, its height 
seems to be only about 30 ft., which, if it stood in the open, would 
Se almost too small for architectural eifect ; but in the centre of an 
enclosed court, and where there are no larger objects to contrast 
with it, it is sufficient, when judiciously treated, to produce a con- 
siderable impression of grandeur, and apparently does so in this 

The temple at Somnathpur is a single but complete whole ; that 
at Baillur, on the other hand, consists of one principal temple, sur- 
rounded by four or five others and numerous subordinate buildings, 
enclosed in a court by a high wall measuring 3C0 ft. by 440 ft , and 
having two very fine gateways or gopuras in its eastern front. As 

These dates are taken from a list of any triple temple. That at Girnar ( Wood- 

this dynasty among the Mackenzie MSS., 
quoted by Prinaep, * Useful Tables,* xli., 
and are confirmed by the architectural 
evidenoe and other indications. 

cut No. 127) belongs to another religion, 
and is too far distant in locality to assist 
us here. An imperfect one might be 
compiled from the photographs, but I 

• I regret that I have been unable to I have not even an approximate dimen- 
get a plan of this temple or, indee<l, of sion. 

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I\X>K V. 

219. Temple at SoiiinatbpQr. (From a I'holograph.) 

will be 80CI1 from the following plan (Woodcut No. 220), the great 
temple consists of a very solid vimana, with an anterala, or porch ; and 
in front of this a porch of the usual star-like form, measuring 90 ft. 
across. The whole length of the temple, fi'om the east door to the 
back of cell, is 115 ft., and the whole stands on a terrace about 3 ft. 
high, and from 10 ft. to 15 ft. wide. This is one of the characteristic 
features of Chalukyan design, and adds very considerably to the 
offect of their temples. 

The arrangements of the pillars liave miicJi of that pleasing 

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Chap. I. 





220. of Great Temple at Baillflr, Scale 60 ft. to 1 in. 

Bubordiuatiou and variety of spacing which is found in those of tlie 
Jains, but we miss here the octagonal dome, which gives such poetry 
and meaning to the arrangements they adopted. Instead of that, 
we have only an exaggerated compartment in the centre, wliich fits 
nothing, and, though it does give dignity to the centre, it does it so 
clumsily as to be almost oflfensive in an architectural sense. 

It is not, however, either to its dimensions, or the disposition of 
its plan, that this temple owes its pre-eminence among others of its 
class, but to the marvellous elal)oi ation and beauty of its details. The 
eflfect of these, it is true, has been, in modem times, considerably 
marred by the repeated coats of whitewash which the present low 
order of priests consider the most appropriate way of adding to the 
beauty of the most delicate sculptures. Notwithstanding this, how- 
ever, their outline can always be traced, and where the whitewash 
lias not been applied, or has been worn off, their beauty conies out 
with wonderful sharpness. 

The following woodcut (No. 221) will convey some idea of the 
richness and variety of pattern displayed in the windows of the 
porch. These are twenty -eight in number, and all are diflferent. 
Some are pierced with merely conventional patterns, generally star- 
shaped, and with foliaged bands between; others are interspersed 
with figures and mythological subjects —the nearest one, for instance, 
on the left, in the woodcut, reprcvsents the Varaha Avatar, and others 

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Book V. 

221. View of part of Porcb at Baillur. (From a Photograph.) 

dififerent scenes connected with the worship of Vishnu, to whom the 
temple is dedicated. The pierced slabs themselves, however, are 
hardly so remarkable as the richly-carved base on which they rest, 
and the deep cornice which overshadows and protects them. The 
amount of labour, indeed, which each facet of this porch displays is 
such as, I believe, never was bestowed on any surface of equal extent 
in any building in the world ; and though the design is not of the 
highest order of art, it is elegant and appropriate, and never o£fends 
against good taste. 

The sculptures of the base of the vimana, which have not been 
whitewashed, are as elaborate as those of the porch, in some places 
more so ; and the mode in which the undersides of the cornices have 
been elaborated and adorned is such as is only to be found in temples 
of this class. The upper part of the tower is anomalous. It may be 
that it has been whitewashed and repaired till it has assumed its 
present discordant appearance, which renders it certainly a blot on 
the whole design. My own impression rather is, that, like many 
others of its class, it was left unfinished, and the upper part added at 
subsequent periods. Its original form most probably was that of the 
little pavilions that adorn its portals, one of which is represented 
in the following' woodcut (No. 222), which has all the peculiar 
features of the style — the flat band on each face, the three star-like 
projections between, and the peculiar crowning ornament of the 

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Chap. I. 



style. The plan of the great tower, and the presence of the pavilions 
where they stand, seems to prove almost beyond doubt that this was 
the original design; but the design 
may have been altered as it pro- 
gressed, or it may, as I suspect, have 
been changed afterwards. 

There seems to be little or no doubt 
about the date of this temple. It was 
erected by Vishnu Verddhana, the 
fourth king of the race, to comme- 
morate his conversion by the cele- 
brated Rama Anuja from the Jain a to 
the Hindu faith. He ascended the 
throne a.d. 1114, and his conversion 
took place soon afterwards; but it 
is possible he did not live to finish 
the temple, and as the capital was 
removed by the next king toHullabld, 
it is possible that the vimana of the 
great temple, and the erection of some 
at least of the smaller shrines, may 
belong to a subsequent period. 


322. Pavilion at BaUlur. (From a 

The earliest temple known to exist Photograph.) 

at Hullabid is a small detached shrine, 

known by the inexplicable name of Kait Iswara, dedicated to Siva, 
and probably erected by Vijaya, the fifth king of the Bellala dynasty. 
Its general appearance will be understood from the next woodcut 
(No. 223). It is star-shaped in plan, with sixteen' points, and had 
a porch, now so entirely ruined and covered up with vegetation that 
it is difficult to make out its plan. Its roof is conical, and from 
the basement to the summit it is covered with sculptures of the 
very best class of Indian art, and these so arranged as not materially 
to interfere with the outlines of the building, while they impart 
to it an amount of richness only, to be found among specimens of 
Hindu art.^ If it were possible to illustrate this little temple in 

' In a very few years this building will 
be entirely destroyed by the trees, which 
have fastened their roots in the joints of 
the stones In a drawing in the Macken- 
zie collection in the India Office, made in 
the early part of this century, the build- 
ing is shown entire. Twenty years ago 

it was as shown at p. 398. A subsequent 
photograph shows it almost hidden ; a few 
years more, if some steps are not taken 
to save it, it will have perished entirely. 
A very small sum would save it ; and, as 
the country is in our charge, it is hoped 
that the expenditure will not be grudged. 

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KooK V. 

223. Kait Iswara, Hullabld. (Prom a Photograph by Capt. Trip .) 

anything like completeness, there is probably nothing in India which 
would convey a better idea of what its architects were capable of 

It is, however, surpassed in size and magnificence by its neigh- 
bour, the great temple at Hullabid, which, had it be^n completed, 
is one of the buildings on which the advocate of Hindu architecture 
would desire to take his htand. Unfortunately, it never was finished, 
the works having been stopped by the Mahomedan conquest in 
1310 A.D., after they had been in progress apparently for eighty-six 

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Chap. I. 



3'ear?!. It is instniotivo to observe that the single century that 
elapsed between the execution of the sculpture of the Kait Iswara and 
of this temple, was sufficient to demonstiate the decay in style which 
wo have already noticed as an inherent characteristic of Indian art. 
The sculptures of Hullabid are inferior to those of the Kait Iswara, 
and those of that temple, again, to those at Bailliir. 

The general arrangements of the building are given on the annexed 
plan (Woodcut No. 224), from which it will be perceived that it is 

224. I'Uu of Temple at Hullabid. Scale 50 a. to 1 in. 

a double temple. If it were cut into halves, each part would be com- 
plete, with a pillared porch of the same type as that at Bailliir, above 
referred to, an anterala or intermediate porch, and a sanctuary con- 
taining a lingam, the emblem of Siva. Besides this, each half would 
have in front of it a detached, pillared porch as a shrine for the Bull 
Nundi, which, of course, was not required in a Vaishnava temple. 
Such double temples are by no means uncommon in India, but the 
two sanctuaries usually face each other, and have the porch between 
them. Its dimensions may roughly be stated as 200 ft. square over 
all, including all the detached pavilions. The temple itself is 160 ft. 

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PooK V. 

north and eouth, by 122 ft. east and west. Its height, ns it now 
remains, to the cornice is about 25 ft. from the terrace on which it 
btands. It cannot, therefore, be considered by any means as a large 
building, though large enough for effect. This, however, can hardly 
be judged of as it now stands, for there is no doubt but that it was 
intended to raise two pyramidal spires over the sanctuaries, four 
smaller ones in front of these, and two more, one over each of the two 
central pavilions. Thus completed, the temple would have assumed 
something like the outline shown in the woodcut (No. 225), and if 
carried out with the richness of detail exhibited in the Kait Iswara 
(Woodcut No. 223) would have made up a whole which it would bo 
difficult to rival anywhere. 

The material out of which this temple is erected is an indurated 

Restored View of Temple ot HnlUbld. 

potstone, of volcanic origin, found in the neighbourhood. This stone 
is said to be soft when first quarried, and easily cut in that state, 
though hardening on exposure to the atmosphere. Even this, how- 
ever, will not diminish our admiration of the amount of labour 
bestowed on the temple, for, from the number of parts still unfinished, 
it is evident that, like most others of its class, it was built in block, 
and carved long after the stone had become hard. As we now see it, 
the stone is of a pleasing creamy colour, and so close-grained as to 
take a polish like marble. The pillars of the great Nundi pavilion, 
which look as if they had been turned in a lathe, are so polished as 
to exhibit what the natives call a double reflection — in other words, 
to reflect light from each other. The enduring qualities of the stone 
seem to be unnvalled, for, though neglected and exposed to all the 
vicissitudes of a tropical climate for more than six centuries, the 

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Chap. L HULLABID. 401 

minutest details are as clear and sharp as the day they were finished. 
Except from the splitting of the stone arising from bad masonry, 
the building is as perfect as when its erection was stopped by the 
Mahomedan conquest. 

It is, of course, impossible to illustrate completely so complicated 
and so varied a design; but the following woodcut (No. 226) will 
suffice to explain the general ordonnance of its elevati(m. The building 
stands on a terrace ranging from 5 ft. to 6 ft. in height, and paved 
with large slabs. On this stands a frieze ef elephants, following all 
the sinuasities of the plan and extending to some 710 ft. in length, 
and containing not less than 2000 elephants, most of them with 
riders and trappings, sculptured as only an Oi iental can represent the 
wisest of brutes. Above these is a frieze of " shardalas," or conven- 
tional lions — the emblems of the Hoisala Bellalas who built the temple. 
Then comes a scroll of infinite beauty and variety of design ; over 
this a frieze of horsemen and another scroll ; over which is a bas- 
relief of scenes from the *Ramayana,' representing the conquest of 
Ceylon and aU the varied incidents of that epic. This, like the other, 
is about 700 fr, long. (The frieze of the Parthenon is less than 
550 ft.) Then come celestial beasts and celestial birds, and all along 
the east front a fiieze of groups from human life, wid then a cornice, 
with a rail, divided into panels, each containing two figures. Over 
this are windows of pierced slabs, like those of Baillur, though not so 
rich or varied. These windows will be observed on the right and left 
of the woodcut. In the centre, in place of the windows, is first a 
scroll, and then a frieze of gods and heavenly apsaras — dancing girls 
and other objects of Hindu mythology. This frieze, which is about 
6 ft. 6 in. in height, is continued all round the western front of the 
building, and extends to some 400 ft. in length. Siva, with his 
consort Parvati seated on his knee, is repeated at lea«t fourteen times; 
Vishnu in his nine Avatars even oftener. Brahma occuis three or 
four times, and every great god of the Hindu Pantheon finds his 
place. Some of these are carved with a minute elaboration of detail 
which can only be reproduced by photography, and may probably be 
considered as one of the most marvellous exhibitions of human labotir 
to be found even in the patient East. 

It must not, however, be conhidered that it is only for patient 
industry that this building is remarkable. The mode in which the 
eastern face is broken up by the larger masses, so as to give height 
and play of light and shade, is a better way of accomplishing what the 
Gothic architects attempted by their transepts and projections. This, 
however, is surpassed by the western front, where the variety of 
outline, and the arrangement and subordination of the various facets 
in which it is disposed, must be considered as a masterpiece of design 
in its class. If the frieze of gods wore spread along a plain surface it 

uigiiizeu uy v^nOOy IC 



Rdok V. 

t'entral Pavilion, Hullabttl, Kast Front. (From a I'hotograph.; 

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Chap. I. HULLABlD. 403 

would lose more than half its effect, while the vertical angles, without 
interfering with the continuity of the frieze, give height and strength 
to the whole composition. The disposition of the horizontal lines of 
the lower friezes is equally effective. Here again the aitistic com- 
hination of horizontal with vertical lines, and the play of outline and 
of light and shade, far surpass an} thing in Gothic art. The effects 
are just what the medieeval architects were often aiming at, hut which 
they never attained so perfectly as was done at HuUabtd. 

Before leaving HuUabid, it may be well again to call attention 
to the order of superposition of the different animal friezes, alluded 
to already, when speaking of the rock-cut monastery described by 
the Chinese Pilgrims (ante, p. 135). There, as here, the lowest were 
the elephants ; then the lions ; above these came the horses ; then the 
oxen ; and the fifth storey was in the shape of a pigeon. The oxen 
here is replaced by a conventional animal, and the pigeon also by a 
bird of a species that would puzzle a naturalist. The succession, 
however, is the same, and, as mentioned above, the same five genera 
of living things form the ornaments of the moonstones of the various 
monuments in Ceylon. Sometimes in modem Hindu temples only 
two or three animal friezes are found, but the succession is always 
the same, the elephants being the lowest, next above them are the 
lions, and then the horses, &c. When we know the cause of it, it 
seems as if this curious selection and succession might lead to some 
very suggestive conclusions. At. present we can only call attention 
to it in hopes that further investigation may afford the means of 
solving the mystery. 

If it were possible to illubtrate the HuUabid temple to such an 
extent as to render its peculiarities familiar, there would be few things 
more interesting or more instructive than to institute a comparison 
between it and the Parthenon at Athens. Not that the two buildings 
are at all like one another; on the contrary, they form the two 
opposite poles — ^the alpha and omega of aichitectural design ; but they 
are the best examples of their class, and between these two extremes 
lies the whole range of the art. The Parthenon is the best example 
we know of pure refined intellectual power applied to the production 
of an architectural design. Evei y part and every effect is calculated 
with mathematical exactness, and executed with a mechanical pre- 
cision that never was equalled. All the curves are hyperbolas, paia- 
bolas, or other developments of the highest mathematical forms — 
every optical defect is foreseen and provided for, and every part has a 
relation to every other part in so recondite a proportion that we feel 
inclined to call it fanciful, because we can hardly rise to its appre- 
ciation. The sculpture is exquisitely designed to aid the perfection 
of the masonry — severe and godlike, but with no condescension to the 
lower feelings of humanity. 

2 1) 2 ^ T 

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The HuUabld temple is the opposite of all this. It is regular, but 
with a studied variety of outline in plan, and even greater variety in 
detail. All the pillars of the Parthenon are identical, while no two 
facets of the Indian temple are the same ; every convolution of every 
scroll is different. No two canopies in the whole building are alike, 
and every part exhibits a joyous exuberance of fancy scorning every 
mechanical restraint. All that is wild in human faith or warm in 
human feeling is found portrayed on these walls ; but of pure intellect 
there is little — less than there is of human feeling in the Parthenon. 

It would be possible to arrange all the buildings of the world 
between these two extremes, as they tended toward the severe intel- 
lectual purity of the one, or to the playful exuberant fancy of the 
other; but perfection, if it existed, would be somewhere near the 
mean. My own impression is, that if the so-called Gothic architects 
had been able to maintain for two or three hundred years more the 
rate of progress they achieved between the 11th and the 14th century, 
they might have hit upon that happy mean between severe construc- 
tive propriety and playful decorative imaginings which would have 
combined into something more perfect than the world has yet seen. 
The system, however, as I have endeavoured to point out elsewhere, 
broke down before it had acquired the requisite degree of refinement, 
and that hope was blighted never to be revived. If architecture 
over again assumes an ownward path, it will not be by leaning too 
strongly towards either of the extremes just named, but by grasping 
somewhere the happy mean between the two. 

For our present purpose, the great value of the study of these 
Indian examples is that it widens so immensely our basis for archi- 
tectural criticism. It is only by becoming familiar with forms so 
utterly dissimilar from those we have hitherto been conversant with, 
that we perceive how narrow is the purview that is content with one 
form or one passing fashion. By rising to this wider range we shall 
perceive that architecture is as many-sided as human nature itself, 
and learn how few feelings and how few aspirations of the human 
heart and brain there are that cannot be expressed by its means. On 
the other hand, it is only by taking this wide survey that we appre- 
ciate how worthless any product of architectural art becomes which 
does not honestly represent the thoughts and feelings of those who 
built it, or the height of their loftiest aspirations. 

To return, however, from this digression. There are some eight 
or nine different temples in this style illustrated by photographs in 
the great work on the ' Architecture of Dharwar and Mysore,' * which 
exhibit the peculiarities of this style in more or less detail ; but none 

» Platc'B I and 32-40, Pul.lishod by Murray, 18G4. 

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Chap. I. HULLABlD. 405 

of these plates are accompanied by plans or details that throw new 
light on the subject, and none of the temples are either so large or so 
beautiful as those just described, so that the enumeration of their 
unfamiliar names woiild add very little to the interest of the subject. 
It woiild be very interesting, however, if we could adduce some 
northern examples of the style from either the capital city of the 
Ballabhis, or some town in their kingdom. For about two centuries 
— A.D 500 to 700 — they were a leading power in India, and closely 
allied to the Chalukyas ; and their style, if any examples could be 
found, would throw great light on that of their southern allies just 
at the period when it is most wanted. Unfortunately, however, even 
the site of their capital is unknown. If it were at Wulleh, near Gogo, 
on the shores of the Gulf of Cambay, as is generally supposed, it has 
perished root and branch. Not one vestige of its architecture now 
remains, and what antiquities have been found seem all to belong to 
a much more modem period, when a city bearing that name may 
have existed on the spot. If it wei'e situated near Anhulwarra 
Puttun, which seems far more probable, it has been quarried to 
supply materials for the successive capitals which from that time 
forward have occupied that favoured neighbourhood, and it would 
require the keen eye of a practised archaeologist to detect Chalukyan 
details in the temples and mosques that have been erected there 
during the last 800 years. Nothing of the sort has yet been attempted, 
and no materials consequently exist for the elucidation of one of the 
most interesting chapters in the history of Indian art. 

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Introductory — Dravidian and Indo- Aryan Temples at Dadami— Modem Temple 

at Benarei. 

Of the three styles into which Hindu architecture naturally divides 
itself, the northern is found spread over a far larger portion of the 
country than either of the other two. It wants, however, the com- 
pactness and strongly-marked individuality of the Dravidian, and 
never was developed with that exuberance which characterised the 
southern style from the 15 th to the 18th century. In many respects 
it resembles more the Chalukyan style, the examples being small and 
elegant, and foimd dispersed over the face of the country, where 
wanted, without any apparent massing together in particular spots. 

Unfortunately, we have no name which would describe the style 
in its ethnographical and geographical relations without being open 
to the objection of expressing either too much or too little. In this 
respect, the southern style is singularly fortunate : Dravidian correctly 
limits it to people speaking Tamil, Telugu, or some cognate dialect ; 
and the country where the people speaking those tongues are to be 
found is generally and correctly known as Dravida Desa, or country 
of the Dra vidians. 

The term Chalukyan, applied to the second style, is not so 
expressive ; but it is unobjectionable, as it cannot mislead any one. 
It is only a conventional term, derived from the principal known 
dynasty ruling in that country, applied to a style occupying a border- 
land between the other two, but a land that has not yet been fully 
surveyed, and whose boundaries cannot now be fixed with precision. 
Till they are, a conventional name that does not mislead is all that 
can be hoped for. 

If it were allowable to adopt the loose phraseology of philological 

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ethnograpliy, the term Aryan might be employed, as it is the name by 
which the people practising this style are usually known in India, 
and it would be particularly convenient here, as it is the correct and 
direct antithesis of Dravidian. It is evident, however, that any such 
term, if applied to architecture, ought to be descriptive of some style 
practised by that people, wherever they settled, all across Europe and 
Asia, between the shores of the Atlantic and the Bay of Bengal ; ^ 
and it need hardly be said that no such style exists. If used in con- 
junction with the adjective Indian or Indo, it becomes much less 
objectionable, and has the advantage of limiting its use to the people 
who are generally known as Aryans in India — in other words, to all 
those parts of the country where Sanscrit was ever spoken, or where 
the people now speak tongues so far derived from Sanscrit as to be 
distinguishable as offsets of that great family of languages. Its use, 
in this respect, has the great convenience that any ordinary ethno- 
graphical or linguistic map of India is sufficient to describe the 
boundaries of the style. It extends, like the so-called Arj-^an tongues, 
from the Himalayas to the Vindhya mountains. On the east, it is 
found prevalent in Orissa; and on the west in Maharastra. Its 
southern boundary between these two provinces will only be known 
when the Kizam's territory is architecturally surveyed; but mean- 
while we may rest assured that wherever it is traced the linguistic 
and architectural boundary-lines will be found coincident. 

Another reason why the term Aryan should be applied to the style 
is, that the country just described, where it prevails, is, and always 
has been, called Aryavarta by the natives themselves. They consider 
it as the land of the pure and just — meaning thereby the Sanscrit- 
speaking peoples— as contradistinguished from that of the casteless 
Dasyus, and other tribes, who, though they may have adopted 
Brahmanical institutions, could not acquire their purity of race. 

The great defect of the term, however, is that the people inha- 
biting the north of India are not Aryans in any reasonable sense 
of the term, whatever philologists may say to the contrary. The 
Sanscrit-speaking people, who came into India 2000 or it may be 3000 
years B.C., could never have been numerically one-half of the inha- 
bitants of the country, except, perhaps, in some such limited district 
as that between the Sutlej and the Jumna ; and since the Christian 
Era no Aryan race has migrated eastward across the Indus, but wave 
after wave of peoples of Turanian race, under the names of Yavanas, 

* In 1848 Gen. Cunningbara applied | belongs to two continents to an insig- 

the lenn Aryan to the architecture of 
Kashmir, apparently on the strength of 
a pun (* Journal of the Asiatic Soi'iety 
of Bengal,' September, 1848, p. 242). 
This, however, was limiting a term that 

nificant valley, in one of them. It was, 
besides, wholly uncalled for. The term 
Kashmiri was amply sufficient, and all 
that was wanted for so strictly local a 

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Sakas, Hunas, or Mongols, have poured into India. This, combined 
with the ascendency of the aboriginal races during the period when 
Buddhism was the religion of the country, has so completely washed 
out Aryanism from northern India during the building ages, that 
there is probably no community there which could claim one-tenth of 
pure Aryan blood in its veins, and with nine-tenths of impurity the 
term is certainly a misnomer. If it were not, we would certainly 
find some trace of external Aryan affinities in their style ; but this is 
not the case. In fact, no style is so purely local, and, if the term 
may be used, so aboriginal, as this. The origin of the Buddhist style 
is obvious and unmistakeable ; that of the Dravidian and Chalukyan 
nearly as certain, though not quite so obvious ; but the origin of the 
northern Hindu stylo remains a mystery, unless, indeed, the solution 
suggested above (aw^e, p. 224) be considered an explanation. It may 
be so, to some extent ; but I confess it is to my mind neither quite 
satisfactory nor sufficient. 

The style was adopted by the Jains, who, as the successors of the 
Buddhists, certainly were not Aryans, and several examples of the 
peculiar forms of their vimanas or sikras have already been given 
(Woodcuts Nos. 137, 145, &c.) ; but it still remains to be ascertained 
from what original form the curvilinear square tower could have 
arisen. There is nothing in Buddhist, or any other art, at all like it. 
It does not seem to have been derived from any wooden form we 
know, nor from any brick, or stone, or tile mode of roofing found 
anywhere else. I have looked longer, and, perhaps, thought more, on 
this problem than on any other of its class connected with Indian 
architecture, but I have no more plausible suggestion to offer than 
that hinted at above. The real solution will probably be found in 
the accidental discovery of old temples— so old as to betray in their 
. primitive rudeness the secret we are now guessing at in vain. Mean- 
while we probably may remain sure that it was not an imported form, 
but an indigenous production, and that it has no connexion with the 
architecture of any other people Aryan, or others outside of India. 

The view above proposed for the origin of the style derives con- 
siderable support from the mode in which the temples are now foimd 
distributed. There are more temples now in Orissa than in all the 
rest of Hindustan put together. They are very frequent in Maha- 
rastra, and, if we admit the Jains, who adopted this style, they are ten 
times more frequent in Gujerat and the valley of the Nerbudda than 
in the valley of the Ganges, or in Aryavarta, properly so called. The 
first and most obvious explanation of this fact might be that the 
last-named country has for 600 years been occupied by a Mahomedan 
empire, and they, hating idolatry and idol temples, have destroyed 
them wherever they were so absolutely in possession of the country 
as to be able to do so with impunity, l^his may be so, and it is an 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


argument which, with our present materials, it is difficult to disprove. 
My impression, however, is that it does not correctly represent the 
true state of the case. That the Moslems did ruthlessly destroy Jaina 
temples at Ajmir, Delhi, Canouge, and elsewhere, may be quite true, 
but then it was because their columns served so admirably for the 
construction of their mosques. The astylar temples of the followers 
of Siva or Vishnu could only have served as quarries, and no stones 
that had been previously used in Hindu temples have been traced to 
any extent in Moslem buildings. Even admitting that at Delhi or 
AUahabad, or any of their capitals, all Hindu buildings have been 
utilised, this hardly would have been the case at such a provincial 
capital as Fyzabad, once Ayodhya, the celebrated capital of Dasaratha, 
the father of the hero of the * Ramayana,' but where not one carved 
stone or even a foundation* can be discovered that belongs to any 
ancient building.^ The most crucial instance, however, is the city of 
Benares, so long the sacred city, par excellence, of the Hindus, yet, so 
far as is known, no vestige of an ancient Hindu temple exists within 
its precincts. James Prinsep resided there for ten years, and Major 
Kittoe, who had a keener eye than even his great master for an 
architectural form, lived long there as an archaeologist and architect. 
They drew and measured everything, yet neither of them ever thought 
that they had found anything that was ancient ; and it was not till 
Messrs. Home and Sherring^ started the theory that the buildings 
around the Bakariya Eund were ancient Buddhist or Hindu remains, 
that anyone pretended to have discovered any traces of antiquity in 
that city. They certainly, however, are mistaken. Every building 
about the Bakariya Kund was not only erected by the Mahomedans, 
but the pillars and roofing-stones, with the fewest possible exceptions, 
were carved by them for the purposes for which they were applied. 
They may have used the stones of some deserted monasteries, or other 
Buddhist buildings, in the foundations or on their terraces, or for 
little detached pavilions ; but all the architecture, properly so 
called, is in a stylo invented, or at least introduced by the Pathans, 
and brought to perfection under Akbar. That the Moslems did 
destroy Hindu temples may be admitted, but it is not clear that this 
was done wantonly. In all the instances whieh are authenticated, it 

> ' Historical Sketch of Tahsil Fyza- Thsang were ever near the place. The 
bad,* by P. Camegy, Lucknow, 1870. city they visited, and where the Tooth- 
Gen. Cunningham attempts to identify brush-tree grew, was the present city 
the various mounds at this place with of Lucknow, which was the capital of 
those described as existing in Saketu the kingdom in Sukyu Muni's time, 
by the Buddhist Pilgrims (* Ancient ; * * Sacred City of the Hindus,' Ix)ndon, 
Geography of India,' p. 401, et seqq.; 1808, p. 271, et geqq.; * Journal of the 
* Archaeological Reports,' vol. i. p. 293, Atiatic Society of Bengal,' vol. xxxiv. p. 
et seqq.y The truth of the matter, how- 1 , ft $eqq. 
ever, is, that neither Fa Hian nor Hiouen 

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was to gain ready-made materials for their mosques, and it was not 
till the time of Aurungzebe that any of their monarchs felt himself 
sufficiently powerful or was so bigoted as to dare the power and 
enmity of the Brahmans of Benares, by erecting a mosque on the site 
of one of the most sacred temples as an insult and a defiance to the 
Hindus. Even then, had such a temple as the great one at Bhu- 
vaneswar ever existed in Benares, every stone of which, from the 
ground to the kuUus, is covered with carving, it seems impossible 
that all these carved stones should be hid away and not one now to 
be found. I am myself personally tolerably familiar with Benares, 
and the conviction such knowledge as I have foroes on my mind is, 
that though the city was the earliest and most important settlement 
of the Vedic Brahmans — the sacred city of the Aryan Hindus from 
the remotest ages — ^yet just from that cause it had fewer temples than 
any of the cities inhabited by less pure races. What few fragments 
remain are Buddhist or Jaina, and we must consequently ascribe the 
absence of anything really ancient more to the non-building instincts of 
the Brahmanical Aryans than the iconoclastic bigotry of the Moslems. 

All this will be clearer as we proceed ; but meanwhile it may be 
well to point to one or two other instances of this. The rock at 
Gualior was one of the earliest conquests of the Moslems, and they 
held it more or less directly for five centuries. They built palaces 
and mosques within its precincts, yet the most conspicuous objects 
on the hill are Hindu temples, that were erected before they obtained 
possession of it. In like manner Chittore was thrice besieged and 
thrice sacked by the Mahomedaus, but its numerous buildings are 
intact, and I do not recollect observing a single instance of wanton 
destruction in the place. An even more striking instance is found 
at EUora. Though Aurungzebe, the most bigoted of his race, built 
his capital in its neighboiQ-hood, and lies buried within sight of the 
caves, there is no proof that he or any of his race were ihe authors 
of any of the damage that has been done to the idols there. Prac- 
tically, they are intact, or have only received such mutilation as is 
easily accounted for from other causes. 

It would be tedious to attempt it, but, fortunately, it is not 
necessary for our present purposes to go into the whole evidence ; but 
I may state that the impression I have derived from such attention 
as I have been able to give to the subject is, that the absence of old 
temples in northern India is more owing to ethnographic than to 
religious causes. It seems more probable that they never existed 
than that they were destroyed, Ko temples are mentioned in the 
Vedas or the older Indian writings, and none were required for the 
simple quasi-domestic rites of their worship; and so long as they 
remained pure no temples were built. On the other hand, it appears 
as if between the fall of Buddhism and the advent of the Moslems 

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Chap. I. 



the Jains had stepped in with a ready-made religion and style, and 
the followers of Siva and Vishnu had not time to develope anything 
very important in these northern provinces before it was too late. 

If these views are correct, it is evident that though we may use 
the term Indo- Aryan as the most convenient to describe and define 
the limits of the northern style, the name must not be considered as 
implying that the Aryans, as such, had anything to do either with 
its invention or its use. All that it is intended to convey is, that it 


Dravidian and Indo- Aryan TempleH at Badaml. (From a Photograph.) 

was invented and used in a country which they once occupied, and 
in which they have left a strong impress of their superior mental 
power and civilization. 

If this reservation is always borne in mind, I know of no term 
that more conveniently expresses the characteristics of this style, 
and it is consequently proposed to adopt it in the following pages 
as the name of the style that prevailed among the Hindus in 
northern India, between the Vindhya and Himalayan mountains, 
from the 7th century to the present day. 

The general appearance of the northern temples, and the points 
of diflference between them and those of the south, will be appreciated 
from the above woodcut (No. 227), representing two very ancient 
temples, built in juxtaposition, at Badami, in Dharwar. That on 
the left is a complete specimen of Dravidian architecture. There is 
the same pyramidal form, the same distinction of storeys, the same 
cells on each, as we find at Mahavcllipuro (Woodcut Ko. 181), at 

uigiiizeu uy VjOOy IC 




Tanjore (Woodcut No. 191), or at Mddura (Woodcut No. 183). In 
the right-liand temple, the Indo- Aryan, on the contrary, the outline 

of th3 pyramid is curvilinear; no trace 
of division of storeys is observable, no 
reminiscence . of habitations, and no 
pillars or pilasters anywhere. Even in 
its modem form (Woodcut No. 228), 
it still retains the same characteristics, 
and all the lines of the pyramid or sikra 
are curvilinear, the base polygonal. No 
trace of utilitarianism is visible any- 
where. If Woodcut No. 228 is com- 
pared with that at page 331 (Woodcut 
No. 183), the two styles will be ex- 
hibited in their most modern garbs, 
when, after more than 1000 years' prac- 
tice, they have receded furthest from 
the forms in which we first meet them. 
Yet the Madras temple retains the 

WH. Modern Temple at Benarea. 

229. Diagram Plan of Hindu Temple. 

memory of its storeys and its cells. The Bengal example recalls 
nothing known in civil or domestic architecture. 

Neither the pyramid nor the tumulus affords any suggestion as to 
the origin of the form, nor does the tower, either square or circular ; 
nor does any form of civil or domestic architecture. It does not seem 
to be derived from any of these; and, whether we consider it as 
beautiful or otherwise, it seems certainly to have been invented 
principally at least for aesthetic purposes, and to have retained that 
impress from the earliest till the present day. 

The plan of a northern temple is always a square internally, and 
generally the same form is retained in the exterior ; but very rarely, 
if ever, without some addition. In some instfl^iiccs it is only a thin 

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parallel projection, as at A in the diagram (No. 229). Sometimes it 
has two such slices added, as at B ; but in the oldest examples these 
are only half the thickness shown here. From this they proceeded 
to three projections, as at C, the oldest examples being the thinnest. 
In more modem times the thickness of the projections became equal 
to their distance from each other, as at D ; so that the temple became 
in plan practically a square, the sides of which were parallel to the 
diagonal of the original square or to the line B F G. Even, however, 
when this was the case, the cell always retained its original form 
and direction, and the entrance and windows kept their position on 
what had thus practically become the angles of the building. This is 
the case with the temple at Benares, shown in Woodcut No. 228, and 
generally also with the Jaina temples, and especially the case with 
the temple on the Takht-i-Suleiman at Kashmir. Although the 
depth and width of these offsets vary considerably even in the same 
design, the original square is never lost sight of; the four central 
angles, as at F, being always larger and more strongly accentuated 
than the others, and their line is always carried through to the 
summit of the pyramid. 

It will be observed that by this process wo have arrived at the 
same form or plan for a solid building that was attained by the 
arrangement of pillars described above, page 216. In fact, the two 
forms were elaborated simultaneously, and were afterwards constantly 
used together. My impression is, that the pillared arrangement is the 
oldest, and led to the deepening of the additions to the solid square till 
the two became identical in plan. Whether this were so or not, it is 
one of the most distinguishing features of northern Hindu architecture. 

In the very centre of India, near a place marked Adjmtrghur on 
the map, is a sacred tank, from which it is said that the Soane flows 
to the north, the Mahanuddi to Cuttack in the Bay of Bengal, and 
the Nerbudda to the Indian Ocean. All these rivers certainly have 
their sources in the hill. The spot has always been held sacred, and 
is surrounded by temples — as far as can be gathered from the im- 
perfect accounts available — of great age. On the south and east of 
this hill extends the great and fertile table-land of Chutteesghur. 
This is now, and has always been, so far as our knowledge extends, 
one of the principal seats of the native tribes. My conviction is, that 
if that country and the surrounding valleys could be examined, much 
older forms of these temples might be discovered — some perhaps so 
old as to betray the secret of their origin ; but, till this is done, the 
Bengali devala must be relegated — like the Irish round towMs * — to 
the category of unexplained architectural puzzles. 

* Gariously enough they make their I time, and both Ihou complete and pcr- 
appearance on the stage about the same I fict in all their details. 

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UiaUtTj — Templt'R at BhuvaneBwar, Kanaruc, Puri, Jajepur, anil Cuttack. 

The two provinces of India, where the Indo-Aryan style can be 
studied with the greatest advantage, are Dharwar on the west, and 
Orissa on the east coast. The former has the advantage of beinp; 
mixed up with the Dravidian style, so as to admit of synonyms and 
contrasts that are singularly interesting, both from an ethnological 
and historical point of view. In Orissa, on the contrary, the style is 
perfectly pure, being unmixed with any other, and thus forms one of 
the most compact and homogeneous architectural groups in India, and 
as such of more than usual interest, and it is consequently in this 
province that the style can be studied to the greatest advantage. 

One of the most marked and striking peculiarities of Orissan 
architecture is the marked and almost absolute contrast it presents to 
the style of the Dravidian at the southern end of the peninsula. The 
curved outline of the towers or vimanas has already been remarked 
upon, but, besides this, no Orissan towers present the smallest trace 
of any storeyed or even step-like arrangement, which is so universal 
further south, and the crowning member is never a dome, nor a remi- 
niscence of one. Even more remarkable than this, is the fact that the 
Orissan style is almost absolutely astylar. In some of the most 
modem examples, as for instance in the porches added to the temples 
at Bhuvaneswar and Puri in the 12th and 14th centuries, we do find 
pillars, but it is probably correct to state that, among the 500 or 600 ^ 
original shrines at Bhuvaneswar, not one pillar is to bo found. This 
is the more remarkable, because, within sight of that capital, the 
caves in the Ddayagiri (ante, p. 140) are adorned with pillars to such 
an extent as to show that their forms must have been usual and well 
known in the province before any of the temples were constructed. 
When we recollect that no great temple in the south was considered 

♦ Hunter "s * Orissa,' vol. i. p. 233. 

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Chap. IT. ORISSA. 415 

complete without its hall of 1000 columns, and many besides 
this had hundreds dispersed about the place, and used for every 
conceivable purpose, the contrast is more striking, and shows 
what a complete barrier the Chalukyas, whoever they were, in- 
terposed between the two races on this side of India, though not 
on the other. As a rule, every Orissan temple consists of two 
apartments, similar in plan, as shown in the diagram (Woodcut 
No. 124). The inner one is generally a cube, surmounted by a tower, 
here called Bara Deul, or Dewul, corresponding with the vimana of 
the south, and in it the image or images of the gods are enshrined ; 
in front of this is a porch, called Jagamohan, equally a cube or ap- 
proaching it, and surmounted by a pyramidal roof of varying pitch. 
The peculiaritie^j are illustrated in the diagram (Woodcut No. 124) 
just referred to, which purports to be an elevation of the celebrated 
Black Pagoda at Kanaruc. It is only, however, an eye-sketch, and 
cannot be depended upon for minute detail and correctness, but it is 
sufficient to explain the meaning of the text. Sometimes one or two 
more porches were added in front of this one, and called Nat and 
Bhog mandirs (mantapas), but these, in almost every instance, are 
afterthoughts, and not parts of the original design. Be this as it 
may, in every instance in Orissa the tower with its porch forms the 
temple. If enclosed in a wall, they are always to te seen outside. 
There are gateways, it is true, but they are always subordinate, and 
there are none of those accretions of enclosures and gopuras that form 
so marked a characteristic of the southern sliyle. There generally are 
other shrines within the enclosures of the great temples, but they are 
always kept subordinate, and the temple itself towers over everything 
to even a greater extent than that at Tanjore (Woodcut No. 191), 
giving a unity and purpose to the whole design, so frequently wanting 
in the south. 

Other contrasts will come out as we proceed, but, in the mean- 
while, few examples bring out more clearly the vast importance of 
ethnography as applied to architecture. That two people, inhabiting 
practically the same country, and worshipping the same gods under 
the guidance of the same Brahmanical priesthood, should have adopted 
and adhered to two such dissimilar styles for their sacred buildings, 
shows as clearly as anything can well do how much race has to do 
with these matters, and how little we can understand the causes of 
such contrasts, unless we take affinities or difiFerences of race into 


Thanks to the industry of Stirling and others, the main outlines 
of the history of Orissa have been ascertained with sufficient accuracy 
to enable us to describe its architecture without the fear of making 

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Book VI. 

any important chronological blunders. It is true that the dates of 
only two of its temples haVe been ascertained with tolemble certainty. 
The great one at Bhuvaneswar is said to have been erected in or 
about A.D. 637, and that at Puri in a.d. 1174, nearly the first and the 
last of the series. My impression is that the series may be carried 
back to about the year 500, but in the other direction it can hardly 
be extended beyond the year 1200, but within these limits it seems 
possible to arrange the sequence of all the temples in the province 
without much difficulty, and to ascertain their dates with at least 
a fair approximate certainty.^ 

With the exception of the great temple of Jugan&t at Puri, all the 
buildings described in this chapter were erected under the great 
Eesari dynasty, or " Lion line," as Hunter calls them. Few of the 
particulars of their history have been recorded, but we know at least 
the date of their accession, a.d. 473, and that in a.d. 1131 they were 
succeeded by a new dynasty, called Ganga Vansa, the third of whom 
was the builder of the great Puri Temple. 

As mentioned in a previous part of this work, Orissa was princi- 
pally Buddhist, at least from the time of Asoka, B.C. 250, till the Gupta 
era, a.d. 319, when all India was distracted by wars connected with 
the tooth relic, which was said to have been preserved at Puri — then 
in consequence called Danta Pura — till that time. If the invaders 
came by sea, as it is said they did, they probably were either Mughs 

* I regret very much being obliged to 
send this chapter to press before the 
receipt of the second volume of Babu 
Rajeudra Lala Mittra's * Antiquities of 
Orissa.' He accompanied a Government 
expedition to that province in 1868 as 
archaeologist, and being a Brahman and 
an excellent Sanscrit scholar, he has had 
opportunities of nscertaining facts such as 
uo one else ever had. Orissa was the 
first province 1 visited in India for the 
purposes of antiquarian research, and, 
like every one else, I was then quite 
unfamiliar with the forms and affinities 
of Hindu architecture. Photographs 
have enabled me to supply to some ex- 
tent the deficiency of my knowledge at 
that time; but unless photographs are 
taken by a scientific man for scientific 
purposes, they do not supply the place of 
local experience. I feel confident that, 
on the spot, I could now ascertain the 
sequence of the temples with perfect 
certainty; but whether the Babu has 
sufficient knowledge for that purpose 
remains to be seen. His first volume 

is very learned, and may be very inter- 
resting, but it adds little or nothing to 
what we already knew of the history of 
Orissan architecture. 

I have seen two plates of plans of 
temples intended for the second volume. 
They are arranged without reference 
either to style or dates, so they convey 
very little information, and the phot-o- 
graphs prove them to be so incorrect that 
no great dependance can be placed upon 
them. The text, which 1 have not seen, 
may remedy all this, and 1 hope will, but 
if lie had made any great discoveries, 
such as the error in the date of the 
Black Pagoda, they most probably would 
have been hinted at in the first volume, 
or have leaked out in some of the Babu's 
numerous publications during the last 
seven or eight years. 

Mr. Hunter, who was in constant com- 
munication with the Babu, adds very 
little in his work on Orissa to what we 
learnt long ago from Stirling's, which up 
to this hour remains the classical work on 
the province and its antiquities. 

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Chap. II. ORISSA. 417 

from Arrakan, or the Burmese of Pegu, and if their object was to 
obtain possession of the tooth, they as probably were Buddhists ; but 
as they have left no buildings that have yet been identified as theirs, 
it is impossible now to determine this. Whoever they were, they 
were driven out, after 146 years' possession, and were succeeded in or 
about A.D. 473 by Yayati, the first of the Kesari line.^ The annals 
of the race unfortunately do not tell us who the Eesaris were, or 
whence they came. From the third king before the Yavana invasion 
being called Bato Kesari, it seems probable it may have been only a 
revival of the old dynasty; and from the circumstances narrated 
regarding the expulsion of these strangers, it looks as if it were due 
more to a local rising than to extraneous aid. If they came from the 
interior, it was from the north-west, where a similar style seems to 
have prevailed. Their story, as told in their own annals, states that 
the first, or one of the first kings of the race, imported, about the year 
A.D. 500, a colony — 10,000 Brahmans — from Ayodhya, and they being 
all bigoted Saivites, introduced that religion into the province, and 
rooted it so firmly there, that it was the faith of the land so long as the 
Eesaris ruled.^ If we read 100 as the number of the Brahmans, and 
A.D. 600 as the date of their advent, we shall probably be nearer the 
truth ; but be this as it may, these Brahmans were settled at Jajepur, 
not at Bhuvaneswar, and soon came into conflict with a class of " Old 
Brahmans,'* who had been established in the province long before 
their arrival. Mr. Hunter supposes them to have been Buddhists — 
Brahmans converted to the Buddhist faith — which seems probable, 
but if this were so, they woidd certainly have become Vaishnavas on 
the decline of that religion, and such, I fancy, was certainly the case 
in this instance. 

The architecture of the province seems to me to confirm this view 
of the case, for, unless I am very much mistaken, the oldest temple 
in the city of Bhuvaneswar is that called Parasurameswara (Woodcut 
No. 230), which from its name, as well as the subjects portrayed on 
its walls, I would take to be certainly Vaishnava. It may, however, 
belong to the preceding dynasty. Its style is certainly different from 
the early Kesari temples, and more like what we find in Dharwar 
and at other places outside the province. If, indeed, it were not 
found in a city which there seems every reason for thinking was 
founded by the Lion kings, I would not hesitate to give it a date of 
A.D. 450, instead of a.d. 500. It is not large, being only 20 ft. square ^ 

' These particulars are taken, of course, 
from Stirling, ' Asiatic Researches/ vol. 
XV. pp. 263, 264. The whole evidence 
was embodied in a paper on the Amra- 
vati tofje, * Journal of the Royal Asiatic 

Society,' vol. iii. (N.S.), p. 149, el aeqq. 

* Hunter's * Orissa,' vol. i. p. 238. 

• This dimension is from Babu Rajen- 
dra's 'Orissan Antiquities,' vol. i. p. 41, 
but I don't like it. 

2 E 

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Poor VI. 

230. Temple of Parasarameswara. (From a Photograph.) 

at its base ; but its sculptures are cut with a delicacy seldom sur- 
passed, and there is an appropriateness about the ornaments greater 
than is seen in most of the temples. 

The temple itself is apparently 38 ft. in height, and from the 
summit to the base it is covered with sculptures of the most elaborate 
character, but still without detracting from the simplicity and vigour 
of its outline. 

If I am correct in assigning so early a date to the tower of this 
temple, it is evident that the porch nfust be a subsequent addition : 
in the first place, because it fits badly to the tower, but more 
because the necessities of its construction require pillars internally, 
and they do not occur in Orissan architecture till a long subsequent 
date. It may, however, be that if this is really the oldest temple of 
its class in Orissa, its design may be copied from a foreign eicample, 
and borrowed, with all its peculiarities, from a style practised else- 
where. Be that as it may, it is interesting as showing the mode 
by which light was sometiDies introduced into the porches of these 
temples between the ends of the beams of the stone roof. As the 
sloping roofing-stones project considerably beyond the openings, a 
subdued light is introduced, without either the direct rays of the 
sun, or the rain l^eing able to penetrate. 

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Chap. II. 



The temple of Mukteswara (Woodcut No. 231) is very similar 
in general design to that of Parasurameswara, but even richer and 
more varied in detail, and its porch partakes more of the regular 
Orissan type. It has no pillars internally, and the roof externally 


Temple of Mukteswara. (From a Photograph.) 

exhibits at least the germ of what we find in the porches of the 
great temple at Bhuvaneswar and the Black Pagoda. Its dimensions 
are somewhat less than those of the last temple described, but in its 
class it may be considered the gem of Orissan architecture. 

^ ^ ^ ^Google 

E 2 

uigiiizea uy ^ 


The style of these temples differs so much from that of the next 
group, of which the great temple is the typical example, that I was 
at one time inclined to believe they may have belonged to different 
religions — this one to the Vaishnava, that to the Saiva. I have no 
means, however, of verifying this conjecture, and it is not always 
easy to do so even on the spot, for in India there is nothing bo 
common as temples originally destined for the worship of one deity 
being afterwards devoted to that of another. Whatever may be the 
case in this instance, it is well to bear this in mind, as, whenever we 
have a complete history of Orissan architecture, these distinctions 
may lead to most important historical deductions. 

Besides these, there are several other temples which, from the 
style of their architecture, I would feel inclined to place as earlier 
than the great temple. One is known as Sari Deul, near the great 
temple, and another, a very complete and beautiful example, is called 
Moitre (query Mittra) Serai, which is almost a duplicate, on a small 
scale, of the great temple, except that it has no repetition of itself on 
itself. As above pointed out, almost all the ornaments on the facades 
of Buddhist temples are repetitions of themselves; but the Hindus 
do not seem to have adopted this system so early, and the extent 
to which it is carried is generally a fair test of the age of Hindu 
temples. In the Great Pagoda there are eight copies of itself on each 
face, and in the Eaj Hani the system is carried so far as almost to 
obliterate the original form of the temple. 

Great Temple, Bhuvaneswar. 

The great temple at Bhuvaneswar is one of the landmarks in the 
style. It seems almost certainly to have been built by Lelat Indra 
Kesari, who reigned from a.d. 617 to a.d. 657, and, taking it all in all, 
it is perhaps the finest example of a purely Hindu temple in India. 

Though not a building of the largest class, the dimensions of this 
temple in plan are, so far as I can make out, far from contemptible. 
The whole length is nearly 300 ft., with a breadth varying from 
60 ft. to 75 ft. The original temple, however, like almost all those 
in Orissa, consisted only of a vimana, or Bara Dewul, and a porch 
or Jagamohan, shaded darker in the plan (Woodcut No. 232), and 
they extend only to 160 ft. The Nat and Bhog-mandirs, shaded 
lighter, were added in the beginning of the 12th century. Though 
several temples have all these four apartments, so far as I can make 
out, none were originally erected with them. The true Orissan 
temple is like that represented in Woodcut No. 124, a building with 
two apartments only, and these astylar, or practically so : the pillars 
were only introduced in the comparatively modem additions. 

The outline of this temple in elevation is not, at first sight. 

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Chap. II. 



pleasing to the Eur(^pean eye ; but when once the eye is accustomed 
to it, it has a singularly solemn and 
pleasing aspect. It is a solid, and would 
be a plain square tower, but for the 
slight curve at the top, which takes off 
the hardness of the outline and intro- 
duces pleasingly the circular crowning 
object (Woodcut No. 233). As compared 
with that at Tanjore (Woodcut No. 191), 
it certainly is by far the finer design 
of the two. In plan the southern ex- 
ample is the larger, being 82 ft. square. 
This one is only 66 ft.^ from angle to 
angle, though it is 75 ft. across the 
central projection. Their height is 
nearly the same, both of them being 
over 180 ft., but the upper part of the 
northern tower is so much more solid, 
that the cubic contents of the two are 
probably not very different. Besides, 
however, greater beauty in form, the 
northern example excels the other im- 
measurably in the fact that it is wholly 
in stone from the base to the apex, and 
— what, unfortunately, no woodcut can 
show — every inch of the surface is 
covered with carving in the most ela- 
borate manner. It is not only the divi- 
sions of the courses, the roll-mouldings 
on the angles, or the breaks on the face 
of the tower : these are sufficient to re- 
lieve its flatness, and with any other j 
jHJople they would be deemed suffi- K^ 
cient; but every individual stone in 
the tower has a pattern carved upon it, 
not so as to break its outline, but suffi- 
cient to relieve any idea of monotony. 
It is, perhaps, not an exaggeration to 
say that if it would take a sum — say 
a lakh of rupees or pounds — to erect 
such a building as this, it would take 

Plan of Great Temple At Bhnvane»- 
(Compiled partly ftvrn Plan in 
Babu Kajendra's work, but corrected 
from Photographs.) Scale GO ft. to 1 in. 


* This and the dimensioDs in plan I they are only round numbers, and 
generally are taken from a table in Babu certainly incorrect, but they suffice for 
Rajendra's work, p. 41. I am nfraid ' comparison. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Book VI. 

three lakhs to carve it as this one is carved. Whether such an 
outlay is judicious or not, is another question. Most people 
would be of opinion that a building four times as large would 
produce a greater and more imposing architectural effect; but 

View of Great Temple, BhuToneewar. (From a Photograph.) 

this is not the way a Hindu ever looked at the matter. Infinite 
labour bestowed on every detail was the mode in which he thought 
ho could render his temple most worthy of the deity ; and, 
whether he was right or wrong, the effect of the whole is cer- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. II. 



tainly marvelloTisly beautiful. It is not, however, in those parts 
of the building shown in the woodcut that the greatest amount 
of carving or design was bestowed, but in the perpendicular parts 
seen from the courtyard (Woodcut No. 234). There the sculpture 
is of a very high order 
and great beauty of 
design. This, however, 
ought not to surprise 
us when we recollect 
that at Amravati, on 
the banks of the Kist- 
nah, not far from the 
southern boundary of 
this kingdom, there 
stood a temple more 
delicate and elaborate 
in its carvings than 
any other building in 
India,^ and that this 
temple had been finished 
probably not more than 
a century before the' 
Eesari dynasty was 
established in Orissa ; 
and though the his- 
tory of art in India is 
written in decay, there 
was not much time for 
decline, and the dynasty 
was new and vigorous 
when this temple was 

Attached to the Jagamohan of this temple is a Nat-mandir, or 
dancing-hall, whose date is, fortunately, perfectly well known, and 
enables us to measure the extent of this decay with almost absolute 
certainty. It was erected by the wife of Salini between the years 
1099 and 1104.^ It is elegant, of course, for art had not yet 
perished among the Hindus, but it differs from the style of the porch 
to which it is attached more than the leanest example of Tudor art 
differs from the vigour and grace of the buildings of the early 
Edwards. All that power of expression is gone which enabled the 
early architects to make small things look gigantic from the exu- 
berance of labour bestowed upon them. A glance at the Nat-mandir 


gews^st— .-T *lv- 

[' ^^-1* 

- 'yi''^ 



■^^ ' 

^ ■■--'^Tril^l 

- '-^ii**^^^',' 


..,<^' jHI|4 

H l^^i^ 



Lower part of Great Tuwer at Bbuvancswar. 
(From a Photograph.) 

* Tree and Serpent Worship,' plates 48-98. * Hunter's * Orissa,' vol. I p. 237. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


is sufficient for the mastery of its details. A week's study of the 
Jagamohan would every hour reveal new beauties. 

The last woodcut may convey some idea of the extent to which 
the older parts were elaborated; but even the photograph hardly 
enables any one not familiar with the style to realise how exquisite 
the combination of solidity of mass with exuberance of ornament 
really is. 

During the four centuries and a half which elapsed between the 
erection of these two porches, Bhuvaneswar was adorned with some 
hundreds of temples, some dozen of which have been photographed, 
but hardly in sufficient detail to enable the student to classify them 
according to their dates. On the spot * it probably would be easy for 
anyone trained to this class of study, and it would be a great gain if 
it were done. The group nearest in richness and interest is that at 
Khajuraho, mentioned above (p. 245 ) ; but that group belongs to an 
age just subsequent '^ to that of the Bhuvaneswar group, and only 
enables us to see that some of the most elaborate of the Cuttack 
temples may extend to the year 1000 or thereabouts. It is to this 
date that I would ascribe the erection of the Eaj Rani temple. The 
names of those of which I have photographs, with their approximate 
data, are given in the list at the end of this chapter ; but I refrain 
from burdening the text with their unpronounceable names, as I 
despair, by any reasonable number of woodcuts, of illustrating their 
marvellous details in anything like a satisfactory 

The Raj Rani temple, as will be seen from the 
woodcut (No. 235), is small; but the plan is ar- 
ranged so as to give great variety and play of 
light and shade, and as the details are of the most 
exquisite beauty, it is one of the gems of Orissan 
art. The following woodcut (No. 236), without 
attempting to illustrate the art, is quoted as cha- 
i*acteristic of the emblems of the Kesari line. 
Plan of Raj uini ^elow the pillar are three kneeling elephants, over 
Su^R^^en^^nd"^^ which domineer three lions, the emblems of the race. 
JSte^/oTS^MiT''^^*'^ Above this a Nagni, or female Naga, with her 
seven-headed snake-hood, adorns the upper part of 
the pillar. They are to be found, generally in great numbers, in almost 
all the temples of the province. Over the doorway are the Nava 

' It is to be hoped that Babu Rajen- 1 this will be the case. 
(Ira's book may to some extent remedy » Cunningham's ' Reports,' vol. ii. p. 
this deficiency. In the jmrt, however, '416. 
now published, he does not promise that 

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Chap. II. 



Graha, or nine planets, which are almost more universal, both in 
temples dedicated to Vishnu and in those belonging to the worship 
of Siva. Indeed, in so far as any external signs are concerned, 
there does not ^eem to be any means by which the temples of the 
two religions can be dis- 
tinguished from one an- 
other. Throughout the 
province, from the time 
we first meet it, about 
A.D. 500, till it dies out, 
about A.D. 1200, the style 
seems to be singularly 
uniform in its features, 
and it requires consider- 
able familiarity with it to 
detect its gradual progress 
towards decay. Notwith- 
standing this, it is easy to 
jKjrceive that there are two 
styles of architecture in 
Orissa, which ran side by 
^ide with one another 
during the whole course. 
The first is represented 
by the temples of Parasu- 
rameswara and Muktes- 
wara (Woodcuts Nos. 230, 
231); the second by the great temple (Woodcut No. 233). They are not 
antagonistic, but sister styles, and seem certainly to have had at least 
partially different origins. We can find affinities with that of the 
Mukteswara group in Dharwar and most parts of northern India ; but 
I know of nothing exactly like the great temple anywhere else. It 
seems to be quite indigenous, and if not the most beautiful, it is the 
simplest and most majestic of the Indo- Aryan styles. It may look 
like riding a hobby to death, but I cannot help suspecting a wooden 
origin for it — the courses look so much more like carved logs of 
wood laid one upon another than courses of masonry, and the mode 
and extent to which they are carved certainly savours of the same 
material. There is a mosque built of Deodar pine in Kashmir, to be 
referred to hereafter, which certainly seems to favour this idea ; but 
till we find some older temples than any yet discovered in Orissa 
this must remain in doubt. Meanwhile it may be well to point out 
that about one-half of the older temples in Orissa follow the type of 
the great temple, and one-half that of Mukteswara ; but the two 
get confounded together in the 8th and 9th centuries, and are mixed 

236. Doorway in Raj Rani Temple. 
(From a Photograph.) 

juzed by Google 


together into what may almoBt bo called a new style in the Baj Bani 
and temples of the 10th and 11th centuries. 


With, perhaps, the single exception of the temple of Jngan&t at 
Pnri, there is no temple in India better known and about which more 
has been written than the so-called Black Pagoda at Kanaruc; nor 
is there any one whose date and dedication is better known, if 
the literature on the subject could be depended upon. Stirling 
does not hesitate in asserting that the present edifice, ''as is well 
knoYtm, was built by the Raja Langora Narsingh Deo, in a.d. 
1241, under the superintendence of his minister Shibai Sautra;"^ 
and every one who has since written on the subject adopts this 
date without hesitation,^ end the native records seem to confirm it. 
Complete as this evidence, at first sight, appears, I have no hesitation 
in putting it aside, for the simple reason that it seems impossible 
— after the erection of so degraded a specimen of the art as the 
temple of Puri (a.d. 1174) — the style ever could have reverted to 
anything so beautiful as this. In general design and detail it is so 
similar to the Jagamohan of the great temple at Bhuvaneswar that 
at first sight I should be inclined to place it in the same century ; 
but the details of the tower exhibit a progress towards modem forms 
which is unmistakeable,^ and render a difference of date of two or 
possibly even three centuries more probable. Yet the only written 
authority I know of for such a date is that given by Abul Fazl. 
After describing the temple, and ascribing it to Raja Narsingh Deo, 
in A.D. 1241, with an amount of detail and degree of circumstantiality 
which has deceived every one, he quietly adds that it is said " to be 
a work of 730 years' antiquity." * In other words, it was erected in 
A.D. 850 or A.D. 873, according to the date we assume for the com- 
position of the Ayeen Akbery. If there were a king of that name 
among the Rois faineants of the Kesari line, this would suffice ; but 
no such name is found in the lists.^ This, however, is not final ; for 
in an inscription on the Brahmaneswar temple the queen, who built 
it, mentions the names of her husband, Udyalaka, and six of his 

1 < Asiatic Researches,* vol. xt. p. 827. i leaque Illustrations of Indian Architeo- 
* Myself included in the number ! but, ture,' part iii It has since fallen entirely, 

OS explained above, I had no knowledge but whether from stress of weather or by 

of the style when I visited Orissa, and ' aid from the Public Works Department 

had no photographs to illustrate the | is by no means clear. 

architecture of temples to which I was i * * Ayeen Akbery,' Gladwin's tranS" 

not then allowed access. lation, vol. ii. p. 16. 

' When I visited Orissa in 1837 and ' * Hunter's * Orissa,* Appendix vii. p. 

sketched this temple, a great part of the ' 187, et seqq. 

tower was still standing. Bee ' Pictu- ' 

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Chap. II. 



anoeetoTS ; but neither he nor any of them are to bo found in the 
lists except the first, Janmejaya, and it is doubtful whether even he 
was a Eesari king or the hero of the ' Mahabharata.' ^ In all this 
uncertainty we have really nothing to guide us but the architecture, 
and its testimony is so distinct that it does not appear to me doubtful 
that this temple really belongs to the latter half of the 9th century. 

Another point of interest connected with this temple is, that all 
authors, apparently following Abul Fazl, agree that it was like the 
temple of Marttand, in Kashmir (ante^ p. 287), dedicated to the sun. 
I have never myself seen a Sun temple in India, and being entirely 
ignorant of the ritual of the sect, I would not wish to appear to 
dogmatise on the subject ; but I have already expressed my doubts 
as to the dedication of Marttand, and I may be allowed to repeat 
them here. The traces of Sun worship in Bengal are so slight that 
they have escaped me, as they have done the keen scrutiny of the 
late H. H. Wilson.^ 

In the Yedas it appears that Vishnu is called the Sun, or it may 
be the sun bears the name of Vishnu ;^ and this may account, 
perhaps, for the way in which the name has come to be applied to 
this temple, which differs in no other respect from the other temples 
of Vishnu found in Orissa. The architectural forms are identical; 
they are adorned with the same symbols. The Nava Graha, or nine 
planets, adorn the lintel of this as of all the temples of the Kesari 
line. The seven-headed serpent-forms are found on every temple 
of the race, from the great one at Bhuvaneswar to this one, and it 
is only distinguishable from those of Siva by the obscenities that 
disfigure a part of its sculptures. This is, unfortunately only too 
common a characteristic of Vaishnava temples all over India, but is 
hardly, if ever, found in Saiva temples, and never was, so far as I 
know, a characteristic of the worship of the Sun god. 

Architecturally, the great beauty of this temple arises from the 
form of the design of the roof of the Jagamohan, or porch — the only 
part now remaining. Both in dimensions and detail, it is extremely 
like that of the great temple at Bhuvaneswar, but it is here divided 
into three storeys instead of two, which is an immense improvement, 
and it rises at a more agreeable angle. The first and second storeys 
consist of six cornices each, the third of five only, as shown in the 

* * Journal of the Asiatic Society of 
Bengal,' toL vii. p. 557. 

* ' Asiatic Researches,' toI. xvi. p. 25. 
» In his < Antiquities of Orissa * (p. 15 1 ), 

Babu Rajendra sums up exhaustively the 
argument for and against Vishnu being 
considered the same as the Sun in the 
Vedas, and, on the whole, makes out 
a strong case in favour of the identifica- 

tion. Even, however, if the case were 
much less strong than it appears to be, 
it by no means follows that what was 
only dimly shadowed forth in the Vedas 
may not have become an accepted fact in 
the Puranas. and an established dogma 
in Orissa in the 9th century, when this 
temple was erected. 

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Book VI. 

diagram Woodcut No. 124. The two lower ones are carved with 
infinite beauty and variety on all their twelve faces, and the antefixas 
at the anglcH and breaks are used with an elegance and judgment a 
true Yavana could hardly have surpassed. There is, so far as I know, 
no roof in India whore the same play of light and shade is obtained 
with an equal amount of richness and constructive propriety as in 
this instance, nor one that sits so gracefully on the base that 
supports it. 

Internally, the chamber is singularly plain, but presents some 
constructive peculiarities worthy of attention. On the floor it is 
about 40 ft. square, and the walls rise plain to about the same height. 
Here it lx3gins to bracket inwards, till it contracts to about 20 ft., 
where it was ceiled with a flat stone roof, supported by wrought- 
iron beams — Stirling says nine, nearly 1 ft. square by 12 ft. to 18 ft. 
long.^ My measurements made the section less — 8 in. to 9 in., but 
the length greater, 23 ft. ; and Babu Bajendra points out that one, 
21 ft, long, has a square section of 8 in. at the end, but a depth of 
11 in. in the centre,^ showing a knowledge of the properties and 
strength of the material that is remarkable in a people who are now 
so utterly incapable of forging such masses. The Iron pillar at Delhi 
(Woodcut No. 281) is even a more remarkable example than this, and 
no satisfactory explanation has yet been given as to the mode in 
which it was manufactured. Its object, however, is plain, while the 
employment of these beams here is a mystery. They were not wanted 
for strength, as the building is still firm after they have fallen, and 
so expensive a false ceiling was not wanted architecturally to roof so 
plain a chamber. It seems to be only another instance of that pro- 
fusion of labour which the Hindus loved to lavish on the temples of 
their gods. 


When from the capital we turn to Puri, we find a state of affairs 
more altered than might be expected from the short space of time 
that had elapsed between the building of the Black Pagoda and the 
celebrated one now found there. It is true the dynasty had changed. 
In 1131, the Kesari Vansa, with their Saiva worship, had been super- 
seded by the Ganga Vansa, who were apparently as devoted followers 
of Vishnu ; and they set to work at once to signalise their triumph 
by erecting the temple to Juganat, which has since acquired such a 
world-wide celebrity. 

* ' Asiatic Researches,* vol. xv. p. 330. 

^ These discrepancies arise from the 
fact that the beams lie on the floor buried 
under the ruius of the stone roof thev 

once supported, and it is extremely diffi- 
cult to get at them so as to obtain correct 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. II. 



It is not, of course, to be supposed that the kings of the Ganga 
line were the first to introduce the worship of Vishnu to Orissa. The 
whole traditions, as recorded by Stirling, contradict such an assump- 
tion, and the first temple erected on this spot to the deity is said 
to have been built by Yayati, the founder of the Kesari line.' He it 
was who recovered the sacred image of Jugan&t from the place where 
it had been buried 150 years before, on the invasion of the Yavanas, 
and a " new temple was erected by him on the site of the old one, 
which was found to be much dilapidated and overwhelmed with 
sand." * This, of course, was before the arrival of the Ayodhya Brah- 
mans alluded to above, who, though they may have retained pos- 
session of the capital during the continuance of the dynasty, did not 
apparently interfere with the rival worship in the provinces. 

It would indeed be contrary to all experience if, in a country 
where Buddhism once existed, those who were followers of that faith 
had not degenerated first into Jainism and then into Vishnuism. At 
Udayagiri we have absolute proof in the caves of the first transition, 
and that it continued there till the time when the Mahrattas erected 
the little temple on the southern peak. In like manner, there 
seems little doubt that the tooth relic was preserved at Puri till 
the invasion of the Yavanas, apparently, as before mentioned, to 
obtain possession of it. According to the Buddhist version, it was 
buried in the jungle, but dug up again shortly afterwards, and con- 
veyed to Ceylon.^ According to the Brahmanical account, it was 
the image of Juganat, and not the tooth, that was hidden and reco- 
vered on the departure of the Yavanas, and then was enshrined at 
Juganat in a new temple on the sands. The tradition of a bone of 
Krishna being contained in the image* is evidently only a Brahmani- 
cal form of Buddhist relic worship, and, as has been frequently sug- 
gested, the three images of Jugan&t, his brother Balbhadra, and the 
sister Subhadhra, are only the Buddhist trinity — Buddha, Dharma, 
Sanga — disguised to suit the altered condition of belief among the 
common people. The pilgrimage, the Bat Jutra, the suspension of 
caste prejudices, everything in fact at Puri, is redolent of Buddhism, 
but of Buddhism so degraded as hardly to be recognisable by those 
who know that faith only in its older and purer form. 

The degradation of the faith, however, is hardly so remarkable as 
that of the style. Even Stirling, who was no captious critic, re- 
marks that it seems unaccountable, in an age when the architects 
obviously possessed some taste and skill, and were in most cases par- 
ticularly lavish in the use of sculptural ornament, so little pains 

> * Asiatic Researches,' vol. Z7. p. 316. 

« Loc. cit., p. 265. 

■ Tournour's abstract of the Dala- 

wanso in the ^Journal of the Asiatic 

Society of Bengal,' voL yi. p. 856, ei aeqq. 

* * Asiatic Researches,' vol. xv. p. 320. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Book VI. 

should have been taken with the decoration and finishing of this 
sacred and stupendous edifice.^ It is not, however, only in the detail, 
but the outline, the proportions, and every arrangement of the temple, 
show that the art in this province at least had received a &tal down- 
ward impetus from which it never recovered. 

As will be seen from the annexed plan ^ (Woodcut No. 237), this 
temple has a double enclosure, a thing otherwise unknown in the 
north. Externally it measures 670 ft. by 640 ft., and is surrounded 
by a wall 20 ft. to 30 ft. high, with four gates. The inner enclosure 

<ka«i' £nJomn^ WitU. 


Scale 200 ft todiAliu-lL 
Plan of Temple of JugaoBt at Purl. (From a Plan by R. P. Mukeiji.) 

measures 420 ft. by 316 ft., and is enclosed by a double wall with 
four openings. Within this last stands the Bara Dewul, A, measuring 
80 ft. across the centre, or 6 ft. more than the great temple at Bhu- 
vaneswar ; with its porch or Jagamohan, B, it measures 156 ft. east 
and west, while the great tower rises to a height of 192 ft.^ Beyond 

^ *■ Asiatio Besearohes,' vol. xv. p. 815. 

' The plan is reduced from one to a 
scale of 40 feet to 1 in., made by an 
intelligent native assistant to the Public 
Works Department, named Radhica Pur- 

s&d Mukerji, and is the only plan I ever 
found done by a native sufflcientiy cor- 
rect to be used, except as a diagram, or 
after serious doctoring. 
» Hunter, *Orissa,' vol. i. p. 128. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. II. 



this two other porches were afterwards added, the Nat-mandir, C, and 
Bhog-mandir, D, making the whole length of the temple about 300 ft., 
or as nearly as may be the same as that at Bhuvaneswar. Besides 
this there are, as in all great Hindu temples, numberless smaller 
shrines within the two enclosures, but, as in all instances in the 
north, they are kept subordinate to the principal one, which here 
towers supreme over all. 

23S. View of Tower of Temple of Jugonit (From a Photograph.) 

Except in its double enclosure, and a certain irregularity of plan, 
this temple does not differ materially in arrangement from the great 
ones at Bhuvaneswar and elsewhere ; but besides the absence of detail 
already remarked upon, the outline of its vimana is totally devoid 
either of that solemn solidity of the earlier examples, or the grace that 
characterised those subsequently erected ; and when we add to this 
that whitewash and paint have done their worst to add vulgarity to 
forms already sufficiently ungraceful, it will easily be understood that 

uigiiizeu uy "v_jOOy Iv^ 



Book YI. 

this, the most famous, is also the most disappointing of northern 
Hindu temples.^ As may be seen from the preceding illustration 
(Woodcut No. 238), the parts are so nearly the same as those found 
in all the older temples at Bhuvaneswar, that the difference could 
hardly be expressed in words; even the woodcut, however, is sufficient 
to show how changed they are in effect, but the building itself should 
l)c seen fully to appreciate the degradation that has taken place. 

Jajepur and Cuttack. 

Jajepur, on the Bytumi, was one of the old capitals of the pro- 
vince, and even now contains temples which, from the squareness of 
their forms, may be old, but, if so, they have been so completely dis- 
guised by a thick coating of plaster, that their carvings are entirely 
obliterated, and there is nothing by which their age can be deter- 
mined. The place was long occupied by the Mahomedans, and the 
presence of a handsome mosque may account for the disappearance of 
some at least of the Hindu remains. There is one pillar, however, still 
standing, which deserves to be illustrated as one of the most pleasing 
examples of its class in India (Woodcut No. 239). Its proportions 
are l)eautiful, and its details in excellent taste ; but the mouldings of 
the base, which are those on which the Hindus were accustomed to 
lavish the utmost care, have unfortunately been destroyed. Originally 
it is said to have supported a figure of Garuda — the Vahana of Vishnu 
— and a figure is pointed out as the identical one. It may be so, and 
if it is the case, the pillar is of the 12th or 13th century. This also 
seems to bo the age of some remarkable pieces of sculpture which 
were discovered some years ago on the brink of the river, where they 
had apparently been hidden from Mahomedan bigotry. They are in 

^ New8 has just reached this country 
of a curious accident having happened 
in this temple. Just after the gods 
liad been removed from their Sinhasan 
to take their annual excursion to the 
Gundicha Nftr, some stones of the roof 
fell in, and would have killed any at- 
tendants and smashed the gods had they 
not fortunately all been absent. As- 
suming the interior of the Bara Dowul 
to be as represented (Woodcut No. 124), 
it is not easy to see how this could have 
happened. But in the same woodcut the 
porch or Jagamohan of the Kananio 
pagoda is represented with a flat false 
roof, which has fallen, and now encum- 
bers the floor of the apartment. That 
roof, however, was formecl of stone laid 

on iron beams, and looked as if it could 
only have been shaken down by an earth- 
quake. I have little doubt that a simi- 
lar false roof was formed some way up the 
tower over the altar at Puri, but formed 
probably of stone laid on wooden beams, 
and either dewiy or the white ants having 
destroyed the timber, the stones have 
fallen as narrated. 

A similar roof so supported on wooden 
beams still exists in the structural temple 
on the shore at Mahavellipore, and, I 
have no doubt, elsewhere, but it is almost 
impossible to get access to these cells 
when the gods are at home, and the 
places are so dark it is equally impossible 
to see, except when in ruins, how they 
were roofed. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Chap. II. 



quite a different stylo from anything at Bhnvaneswar or Kananic, 
and probably more modem than anything at those places. 

Cuttack became the capital of the country in a.d. 089-1 OOG. when 
a certain Markut Kesari built a stone 
rev^tement to protect the site from en- 
croachment of the river. ^ It too, how- 
ever, has suffered, first from the intoler- 
ant bigotry of the Moslem, and after- 
wards from the stolid indifference^ of 
the British nilers, so that very little 
remains ; but for this the nine-storeyed 
palace of Mukund Deo, the contem- 
porary of Akbar, might still remain to 
us in such a state at least as to be intel- 
ligible. We hear so much, however, of 
these nine-storeyed palaces and viharas, 
that it may be worth while quoting 
Abul Fazl's description of this one, in 
order to enable us to understand some of 
the allusions and descriptions we after- 
wards may meet with: — "In Cuttack," 
he says, " there is a fine palace, built by 
Rajah Mukund Deo, consisting of nine 
storeys. The first storey is for ele- 
phants, camels, and horses; the second 
for artillery and military stores, where 
also are quarters for the guards and 
other attendants.; the third is occupied 
by porters and watchmen ; the fourth is 
appropriated for the several artificers ; 

the kitchens make the fifth range; the sixth contains the Rajah's 
public apartments ; the seventh is for the transaction of private 
business ; the eighth is where the women reside; and the ninth is the 
Hajah's sleeping apartment. To the south," he adds, " of this palace 
is a very ancient Hindu temple." ^ 

As Orissa at the period when this was written was practically a 
part of Akbar's kingdom, there seems little doubt that this description 
was furnished by some one who knew the place. There are seven- 
storeyed palaces at Jeypur and Bijapur still standing, which 
were erected about this date, and one of five storeys in Akbar's 
own palace at Futtehpore Sikri, but none, so far as I know, of nine 

Hindu Pillar in Jajepur. 
(From a Photograph.) 

' * Asiatic Researches,* vol. xv. p. 307. 
* Ibid., p. 335 ; Hunter's * Orissa,' vol. 
i. p. 266. 

* *Ayeen Akbery,' Gladwin's trans- 
lation, vol. ii p. 13. 

2 F 

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Book VI. 

storeys, though I see no reason for doubting the correctness of the 
description of the one just quoted. 

Although it thus consequently happens that we have no more 
means of ascertaining what the civil edifices of the Indo-Aryans of 
Orissa were like, than we have of those of the contemporary Di-a- 
vidians, there is a group of engineering objects which throw some 
light on the arts of the period. As has been frequently st-ated above, 
the Hindus hate an arch, and never will use it except under com- 
pulsion. The Mahomedans taught them to get over their prejudices 
and employ the arch in their civil buildings in later times, but to 

Hindu Bridge at Cuttjick. (From a Photograph.) 

the present day they avoid it in their temples in so far as it is 
possible to do so. In Orissa, however, in the 13th century, they built 
numerous bridges in various parts of the province, but never em- 
ployed a true arch in any of them. The Atarah Nullah bridge at 
Puri, built by Kebir Narsingh Deo, about 1250, has been drawn and 
described by Stirling, and is the finest in the province of those still 
in use. Between the abutments it is 275 ft. long, and with a road- 
way 35 ft. wide. That shown in the above woodcut (No. 240) is 
probably older, and certainly more picturesque, though constructed 
on the same identical plan. It may l>e unscientific, but many of 

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these old bridges are standing and in use, while many of those wo 
have constructed out of the niins of the temples and palaces have 
been swept away as if a curse were upon them. 


The above may be considered as a somewhat meagre account of 
one of the most complete and interesting styles of Indian architecture. 
It would, however, be impossible to do it justice without an amount 
of illustration incompatible with the scope of this work, and with 
details drawn on a larger scale than its pages admit of. It is to be 
hoped that Babu Eajendra's work may, to some extent, at least, 
supply this deficiency. The first volume can only, however, be con- 
sidered as introductory, being wholly occupied with preliminary 
matters, and avoiding all dates or descriptions of particular buildings. 
The second, when it appears, may remedy this defect, and it is 
to be ho2)ed will do so, as a good monograph of the Orissan style 
would convey a more correct idea of what Indian art really is than 
a similar account of any other style we are acquainted with in India. 
From the erection of the temple of Parasurameswara, a.d. 600, to that 
of Juganat at Pun, a.d. 1 174, the style steadily progresses without any 
interruption or admixture of foreign elements, while the examples 
are so numerous that one might be found for every fifty years of 
the period — probably for every twenty — and we might thus have a 
chronometric scale of Hindu art during these seven centuries that 
would be invaluable for application to other places or styles. It is 
also in Orissa, if anywhere, that we may hope to find the incuTiahula 
that will explain much which is now mysterious in the forms of the 
temples and the origin of many parts of their ornamentation. An 
examination, for instance, of a hundred or so of the ruined and half- 
ruined temples of the province would enable any competent person to 
say at once how far the theory above enunciated (Woodcut No. 124) — 
to account for the curved form of the towers — was or was not in 
accordance with the facts of the case, and, if opposed to them, what 
the true theory of the curved form really was. In like manner, it 
seems hardly doubtful that a careful examination of a great number 
of examples would reveal the origin of the amalaka crowning orna- 
ment. I feel absolutely convinced, as stated above, that it did not 
grow out of the berry of the PhyUanihu8 emhlica^ and am very 
doubtful if it had a vegetable origin at all. But no one yet has 
suggested any other theory which will bear examination, and it is 
only from the earliest temples themselves that any satisfactory 
answer can be expected. 

It is not only, however, that these and many other technical 
questions will be answered when any competent person undertakes a 



Book VI. 

thorough examination of the ruins, but they will afford a picture of 
the civilization and of the arts and religion of an Indian community 
during seven centuries of isolation from external influences, such as can 
hardly be obtained from any other source. So far as we at present 
know, it is a singularly pleasing picture, and one that will well repay- 
any pains that may be taken to present it to the English public in a 
complete and intelligible form. 

Tentative List of Dates axu Dikensions of the PBiyciPAL Orissan 







Parasurameswara . . 



Moitre Serai 

of Towers, 
ft. ft. 

.. 20 X 20 . 

.. 14 X U . 

.. 24 X 22 . 



of Cells. 

ft. ft. 

. 11 X 9 

e X G 

. 12 X 12 

Ananta Vasu Dev a . . 



.. 26 X 26 . 
.. 66 X 60 . 

. 16 X 14 
. 42 X 42 


Markandeswara in Puri . . 

• • 





Raj Rani 

Nat Mandir at Bhuvaneswar 
Jugan&t, Puri 

60 X 60 .. 40 X 40 (?) 
32 X 25 .. 12 X 12 
73 X 73 ."! 29 X 29 » 

* These dimensions, except those of 
Kanaruc, are taken from a table in Babu 
Rajendra's * Antiquities of Orissa/ vol. i. 
p. 41, and are sufficient to give an idea 
of the relative size of the building. So 
far as I can make out thej are taken 
from angle to angle of the towers, but as 
they all have projections on their faces, 

when cubed, as is done in the table re- 
ferred to, they are much too small. I may 
also observe that I know of no instance 
in which the two dimensions differ. The 
four faces are always, I believe, alike. 
The dates are my own ; none are given, 
except for the great temple, in the Babu's 
first volume. 

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Chap. III. DHARWAK. 437 




Dliarwar — Braliimiiiical Rook-cut Temples. 


If the province of OriBsa is interesting from the completeness and 
uniformity of its style of Indo- Aryan architecture, that of Dharwar, 
or, more correctly speaking of Maharastra, is almost equally so from 
exactly the opposite conditions. In the western province, the Dra- 
vidian style struggles with the northern for supremacy during all 
the earlier stages of their growth, and the mode in which the one 
influenced the other will be one of the most interesting and in- 
structive lessons we can learn from their study, when the materials 
exist for a thorough investigation of the architectural history of this 
province. In magnificence, however, the western can never pretend 
to rival the eastern province. There are more and far lyier buildings 
in the one city of Bhuvaneswar alone than in all the cities of 
Maharastra put together, and the extreme elaboration of their 
details gives the Orissan examples a superiority that the western 
temples cannot pretend to rival. 

Among the oldest and most characteristic of the Dharwar temples 
is that of Papanatha, at Purudkul, or Pittadkul, as it is now spelt. 
As will be seen from the plan of this temple given above (Woodcut 
No. 122, page 221), the cell, with its tower, has not the same 
predominating importance which it always had in Orissa; and 
instead of a mere vestibule it has a four-pillared porch, which would 
in itself be sufficient to form a complete temple on the eastern side 
of India. Beyond this, however, is the great porch, Mantapa, or 
Jagamohan — square, as usual, but here it possesses sixteen pillars, 
in four groups, instead of the astylar arrangements so common in 
the east. It is, in fact, a copy, with very slight alterations, of the 
plan of the great Saiva temple at the same place (Woodcut No. 189), 
or the Kylas at EUora ( V\'oodcut No. 186). These, with others recently 
brought to light, form a group of early temples wholly Dravidian in 
style, but having no affinity, except in plan, with the Temple of 

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Book VI. 

Papanatha, which is as esBcntially Indo-Aryan in all its architoctural 
arrangements. This, in fact, may be looked upon as the charac- 
teristic difference between the styles of Dharwar and Orissa. The 
western* style, from its proximity to the Dravidian and admixture 
with it, in fact, used pillars freely and with effect whenever wanted ; 
while their use in Orissa is almost unknown in the best ages of 
the style, and their introduction, as it took place there, showed only 


View of Temple of Papanatha at Pittadkul. (From a Photograph.) 

too clearly the necessity that had arisen in the decay of the style, to 
supply with foreign forms the want of originality of invention. 

The exteriial effect of the building may be judged of from the 
above woodcut (No. 241). The outline of the tower is not unlike 
that of the Parasurameswara temple at Bhuvaneswar, with which it was 
l)robably contemporary — circa a.d. oOO — but the central belt is more 
pronounced, and always apparently was on the west side of India. 
It will also bo observed in this tower that every third course has on 
the angle a form which has just l)een describetl as an amalaka in 
speaking of the crowning members of Orissan ti'mi)les. Here it looks 

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as if the two intermediate courses simulated roofs, or a roof in two 
storeys, and then this crowning member was introduced, and the same 
thing repeated over and over again till the requisite height was 
obtained. In the Parasurameswara there are three intermediate 
courses (Woodcut No. 230); in the great tower at Bhuvaneswar, 
five; and in the more modem temples they disappear from the 
angles, but are supplied by the miniature temple-forms applied to 
the sides. In the temple at Buddh Gaya the same form occurs 
(Woodcut No. 16) on the angle of each storey ; but there it looks 
more like the capital of a pillar, which, in fact, I believe to be its 
real original. But from whatever form derived, this repetition on 
the angles is in the best possible taste ; the eye is led upwards by 
it, and is prepared for the crowning member, which is thus no longer 
isolated and alone, but a part of a complete design. 

The frequency of the repetition of this ornament is, so far as is 
now known, no bad test of the age of a temple. If an example were 
found where every alternate course was an amalaka, it probably would 
be older than any temple we have yet known. It would then represent 
a series of roofs, five, seven, or nine storeys, built over one another. It 
had, however, passed into conventionalities before we meet with it. 

Whenever the temples of this district are thoroughly investigated, 
they will, no doubt, throw immense light on the early history of the 
style.^ As the case now stands, however, the principal interest 
centres in the caves of Badami, which being the only Brahmanical 
caves known that have positive dates upon them, they give us a fixed 
point from which to reason in respect of other series such as we have 
never had before. For the present, they must make way for other 
examples better known and of more general architectural interest. 

Brahmanical Kock-cut Temples. 

Although the structural temples of the Badami group '-* in Dharwar 
are of such extreme interest, as has been pointed out above, they are 
surpassed in importance, for our present purposes at least, by the 
rock-cut examples. 

At Badami there are three caves, not of any great dimensions, 

* The two works on this subject are * For architectural purposes the three 

the * Architectural History of Dharwar places may be considered as one. Aiwulli 

and Mysore,' fol., 100 plates, Murray, is five or six miles north of Badami, and 

1866, and Burgess's ^ Report on the Bel- Purudkul or Pittadkul as far south. Ten 

gam and Kuladgi Districts,' 1874. Con- miles covers the whole, which must have 

sidering the time available and the been in the 6th or 7th century a place 

means at his disposal, Mr. Burgess did of great importance — possibly Watipi- 
wonders, but it is no dispraise to say { pura, the capital of the Ghalukyas iu 

that he has not, nor could any man iu the 5th or 6th century. See * Journal of 

his place, exhaust so vast a subject. the Royal Asiatic Society,' vol. iv. p. 9. 

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but of siugular interest from their architectural details and sculp- 
tures, and more so from the fact that one of them. No. 3, contains an 
inscription with an undoubted date upon it. There are, as point€Mi 
out al)ove, innumerable Buddhist inscriptions on the western caves, 
but none with dates from any well-ascertained era, and none, un- 
fortunately, of the Brahmanical caves at Ellora or elsewhere have 
inscriptions that can be called integral, and not one certainly with a 
date on it. The consequence is, that the only mode by which their 
ages could be approximated was by arranging them in sequences, 
according to our empirical or real knowledge of the history of the 
|)eriod during which they were supposed to have been excavated. A t 
Ellora, for instance, it was assumxjd that the Buddhist preceded the 
Brahmanical excavations, and that these were succeeded by the Jaina ; 
and various local and architectural peculiarities rendered this hypo- 
thesis extremely probable. Arguing on this basis, it was found that 
the one chaitya cave there, the Viswakarma, was nearly identical in 
style with the last of the four chaityas at Ajunta (No. 26), and that 
cave, for reasons given above, was placed at the end of the 6th 
century, say a.d. 600. The caves next it were assumed to occupy the 
7th century, thus leading on to the Hameswara group, about a.d. 700, 
and the Jaina group would then have occupied the next century'. 
The age of the Kylas or Dravidian group, being exceptional, could 
only be determined by extraneous evidence, and, as already pointed 
out, from its extreme similarity with the great temple at Pittadkul, 
belongs almost certainly to the 8th century; and from a similar 
chain of reasoning the Jaina group is brought back to about the 
same age, or rather earlier, say a.d. 650. 

The inscription on the No. 3 cave at Badami is dated in the twelfth 
year of the reign of a well-known king, Mangaliswara, in the 500th 
year after the inauguration of the Saka king, or in 79; the dat« 
therefore is a.d. 579. Admitting, which I think its architecture ren- 
ders nearly certain, that it is the earliest of the three, still they are 
so like one another, that the latest njust be assumed to have been 
excavated within the limits of the next century, say a.d. 575-700. 
Comparing the architecture of this group with that known as the 
central or Rameswara group at Ellora, it is so nearly identical, 
that though it may be slightly more modern, it can hardly now be 
doubted they too, including perhaps the cave known as the Ashes of 
Kavana, must have been excavated in the 7th century. Instead, there- 
fore, of the sequence formerly adopted, we are forced to fall back on 
that marvellous picture of religious toleration described by the 
Chinese Pilgrim as exhibited at Allahabad in the year a.d. 643. On 
that occasion the King Siladitya distributed alms or gifts to 10,000 
priests (religieux), the first day in honour of Buddha, the second of