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0536 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 536 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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there, but as soon as they have arrived at the borders of the place a furious wind has sprung up, dark clouds have gathered together from the four quarters of heaven, and they have become lost to find their way.'

The distance of 330 li east of the Khotan capital indicated by Hsüan-tsang's account clearly points to some locality in the neighbourhood of the closely-adjoining oases of Chira, Gulakhma, and Domoko as the probable position of Fi-mo, seeing that three daily marches from Yôtkan would be counted to any of them. With this location might also be reconciled the Hsi yü-chi's record of the next stage on the pilgrim's onward journey. We are told that, going to the east of ` the valley of Ti-mo' he entered a desert, and after having travelled for about 200 li arrived at the town of Ni fang or Niya. The distance and character of the ground here indicated are quite correct when referred to the journey from the Keriya river to Niya, a distance still ordinarily reckoned at two marches. But the very distinction made here between the town of P`i-mo and the valley of 131-mo seemed to me an indication that the town could not have been situated about the present Keriya, quite apart from the fact that the distance between the latter and Yôtkan, about II o miles by the present road, could not have been treated in Hsüan-tsang's days as a three days' journey, any more than it is at present.

Sung Yün's narrative, as apparently first recognized by Beal', supplies an earlier reference to P`i-mo, but under a different name, and with topographical indications which seem less precise at first sight than those of the Hsi yii-chi s. Yet we shall see how important they have proved for the identification of the site. Sung )(tin, coming from Tso-mo, which, as we have seen above, is identical with Hsüan-tsang's and the Tang Annals' Chii-mo (Tsiu-mo), and must be located at the present oasis of Charchan 9, travelled 1275 li westwards, and arrived at the town of Mo *, where flowers and fruits reminded him of those of Lo-yang (the present Ho-nan-fu) ; but the flat roofs of the mud-built houses formed a contrast.

`After travelling22 li to the west of the town of Mo, [Sung Yün] came to the town of

Han-mo   rg or nMI Fifteen li to the south there is a great temple with more than three
hundred monks ; in it there is a gilt statue six feet high, of marvellous aspect ; on it there are displayed in a manifest fashion the distinctive marks [of Buddha], primary and secondary. Its face is always turned towards the east, and it has refused to turn round to the west. According to the story of the old people it arrived flying through the air ; the king of the kingdom of Yü-t`ien came in person to see it, and after having worshipped the statue carried it away on a car, but in the middle of the journey, during a night's halt, it suddenly disappeared ; people were sent to search for it, and found that it had returned to its original position ; thereupon [the king] erected a temple, and assigned for its maintenance four hundred homesteads ; when the people of these families have some disease they apply a gold leaf to the statue in the place where they suffer, and are all at once miraculously healed. Since then thousands of people have by the side of the statue erected statues 16 feet high and all kinds of buildings and shrines.' Sung Yün further records that the banners and canopies of embroidered silk put up there counted by tens of thousands. More than half of them, we are told, were banners presented under the Wei dynasty ; many of the Chinese inscriptions on them recorded dates from 495 to 513 A.D., while one of them dated as far back as the period of the Yao Chin, 384-417 A. I). 1D

7 See Travels of Sung-Fun in Si-yu-ki, i. p. lxxxvi, note 9.

8 I take all details as to Sung Yün's description from M. Chavannes' Voyage de Song Yun, p. 14. See above, p. 436, note 15.

10 The banners here referred to were evidently of the same type as the often costly prayer-flags and painted banners still to be found as votive offerings in Buddhist temples of Tibet, China, &c. We have found modest minia-

Topographical data of Hsiyii- chr:

Sung Yün's Han-mo.

Legend of sacred image.