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0034 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 34 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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described as being right to the west of the Tibetans and adjoining ` the Little P`o-lü', i.e. Gilgit, while westwards it had as its neighbour ` the territory of Wu-ch`ang (Udyâna) which belongs to Northern India'. In regard to the latter indication it must be remembered that the ancient Udyâna, as shown by the accounts of the Chinese pilgrims and other evidence, comprised not only the whole of the Swat Valley but also the mountains on the right bank of the Indus, even beyond the river's great bend to the south.

At the time of Hsüan-tsang's visit (circa 63i A. D.) the frontiers of Udyâna in the north-east evidently extended to the Valley of Daral ( Ta-li-lo), almost opposite Childs, and possibly even further up the Indus 4. On the other hand, we find to the present day the half-Tibetan Baltis, who have given their name to Baltistdn, settled along the Indus to within a short distance above the point where the Gilgit river joins it. Thence toward Childs and Darél the rocky gorge of the Indus is even more confined and barren than elsewhere, and must in early times have held a very small population. Thus we can fully account for Udyâna being named in the Chinese description as the western neighbour of ` Great P`o-1ü' s.

We learn from the notice in the Annals that ` the Great P`o-lit' had become subject to the Tibetans some time before the middle of the eighth century. But both the Annals and the official records preserved in the encyclopaedia Ts`ê fu yiian kuei show that previously, in 717 and 721, two successive rulers of Great P`o-lü had acknowledged the suzerainty of China, and received the decree of royal investiture from the Imperial court. We have no means of ascertaining to what extent the ethnic character of the present Balti population, Tibetan in language and largely also in race, is due to this Tibetan occupation. Possibly the close ethnic connexion of Baltistdn with Laddk is of far earlier date, and may have facilitated the extension of Tibetan power along the Indus Valley.

The ancient local term reproduced by the P`o-lü of the Chinese records still survives in the designation Paloyo which, as I ascertained on my passage through Gilgit, is applied by the Dards of those parts to their eastern neighbours, the Baltis.

Little Po-   The territory of ` Little P`o-lü' has been identified by M. Chavannes with the modern Gilgit 6.

Hi' of the   A short analysis of the topographical and historical data furnished by the Annals proves that


Annals.   this identification is undoubtedly correct, if the term Gilgit is extended so as to include the

valleys drained by the Gilgit river in its upper course, and in particular the important mountain tract to the north-west known as Yasin. ` Little P`o-lü' is described as having ` Great P`o-Iii' or Baltistdn on its south-east, at a distance of three hundred li ; Ku-shih-mi or Kashmir lay five hundred li to the south of it ; while at the same distance to the north there was the town

See Siyu-ki, transl. Beal, i. p. 134. Also Fâ-hien's Travels, transi. Legge, p. 24, speaks of T`o-li (T'o-leih), which is plainly shown by the context to be identical with Hsüan-tsang's Ta-lz=1o, or Darél, as being immediately within the borders of Northern India. This evidently indicates dependence on, or ethnic connexion with, Udydna, to which country the traveller next proceeded and which he further on specifies as the commencement of North India.

5 The country of Po-lu-lo, which Hsüan-tsang reached after leaving Ta-11-10, by going to the east up the course of the Indus, for a distance of about Soo li, or circ. x oo miles, was manifestly Baltistdn. The direction and character of the route (` by the help of flying bridges and footways made of wood across the chasms and precipices ') distinctly point to this. Also the description of the territory as ` long from east

to west and narrow from north to south,' as rich in gold and silver and possessing a climate continually cold, would apply more strictly to Baltistdn than to Gilgit. But it is well to remember that the term ' Bolor' or ' Bolur,' which Hpüantsang's Po-lu-lo is undoubtedly meant to represent, had a much wider application, including at one time or other all the mountain tracts on the southern slopes of the eastern Hindukush, from Kdfiristân to Skardo. Compare, regarding this somewhat loose and once much-disputed term, Sir H. Yule's note, Marco Polo, i. pp. 178 sq., giving a lucid summary of exhaustive researches, and the judicious remarks of Elias, Tdrikh-i-Rashidi, p. 385, note. The origin of the term is doubtful ; and so, too, its philological relation to

6 See Turcs occid., pp. xso sq.