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0091 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 91 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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who has rightly pointed out how far removed from Kashgar are the known seats of the Khagas 21.

The name Khata has been used in Sanskrit literature for the designation of hill-tribes settled in widely different parts of the Himalaya regions, and is often applied very vaguely. But fortunately the territorial limits are well defined for those Khagas of the extreme northwest of India, who in Sanskrit writings of quasi-geographical character are ordinarily associated with the Dards (Darad, Deirada), and who alone could possibly be thought of in connexion with Kashgar. By a detailed analysis of the numerous passages in Kalhana's Sanskrit Chronicle of Kashmir, which mention these Kha§as, I have proved that they occupied the valleys encircling Kashmir on the south and west. By their settlements in the latter direction, on the Jehlam and Kisangarigâ rivers, they were thus the immediate neighbours of the Dards holding the valleys draining into the Indus 22.

In view of what we now know of the mighty mountain ranges, and the equally great barriers of distance which separate Kashgar from any known seats of Khagas, a reference to Burnouf's conjecture would scarcely have been needed had it not been recently revived, though on a different ground, by so distinguished an Indologist as Professor Pischel. In his notes discussing the alleged origin of the Kharosthi script from Kashgar, he suggests that the Khdsya or Khdsya writing, which is mentioned in a formal list of scripts given in the Lalitavistara, must mean the writing of Ktia-sha (Ch`ia-sha) or Kashgar 23.

It is true that the Khdsyaliii figures in the list between the Daradalifti and Cinali/i, i. e. the writings of the Dards and Chinese. But even if we credit the author of that Buddhist mythological poem with the intention or ability of following any strict geographical order in his enumeration of scripts (which comprises also numbers of purely apocryphal names), it appears far more probable that he intended a reference to the Khagas, whose name appears widely spread along the whole Himalaya range, from the Dards in the extreme north-west to Assam, than to Kashgar, a small and distant Central-Asian state altogether beyond the geographical horizon of ancient India 24. In this connexion it is well to remember that we have no evidence whatever of the local name corresponding to the present Kashgar having been applied in ancient times in a more extended sense to Eastern Turkestan generally. The term ` Kashgaria ', used in this sense, seems to be of modern Russian origin, probably due to Yaqui) Beg's short-lived domination, and has no equivalent in indigenous use.

(` hill of the Khagas ' with Avestic gairi ' hill ' in the second part) was adopted by Lassen, Indische Alterthumskunde, i. p. 1020, and V. de Saint-Martin, in the paper quoted above (see p. 5o, note x8).

21 Compare Richthofen, China, i. p. 485 note.

42 See my translation of the Râjalarangini, I. pp. 47 sq., note on L317; II. pp. 433 sq. The modern Khakha tribe, settled in the hill tracts immediately to the west and northwest of Kashmir, derives its name as well as its descent from the Khagas of the Chronicle.

23 Compare O. Franke and Pischel, ` Kaschgar and die Kharosthi,' Sb.P.A. W., 1903, p. 195.

[Prof. S. Lévi, in his paper Le pays de Kharosi;ra', Bull. de l'Ecole d'Extr. Or., 1904, p. 4o, has also discussed this question. From the Chinese texts quoted by him it appears that Jinagupta, in the seventh century, connected the name of Kashgar with the Khaias. The fact that the etymology occurred at so early a date to a Buddhist scholar of Indian

origin, does not, however, in my opinion, prove that there was any geographical or historical foundation for the connexion of local names so widely separated. Nor is it justifiable to ignore the absence of any aspiration in the initial consonant of the name of Kâshgar.]

24 How limited that horizon really was, and how vague was Indian knowledge of the regions beyond the great mountain walls of the Himalaya, is well illustrated by what I have had occasion to demonstrate in the case of Kalhana. Though the Kashmirian Chronicler, in dealing with the history and antiquities of his own country, displays thorough and extensive acquaintance with its topography, and must be credited with a far keener sense for matters geographical than we can trace in any other Sanskrit author, yet his knowledge of the regions to the north of the great mountain ramparts is remarkably limited. Even the valleys of the Dards on the Upper Indus, like Astor, Gilgit, Chilâs, near as they are, are seen in Kalhaua's narrative through a mythical

H 2

Supposed connexion with Khasa.