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0056 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 56 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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have been in the neighbourhood of Faizabad or even lower down, he entered the kingdom of Po-ssic tt ßr.31 Its territory, which was very confined, was traversed in seven clays. The mountaineerrs~ inhabiting it had extremely scanty resources and were of a wicked and insolent disposition, paying no respect to their king. In this territory there was a stream which had been shallow, but subsequently a landslip intercepted its course and transformed it into two lakes. A poisonous dragon lived there and produced many calamities ; in the summer it brought down violent rainstorms, in the winter it heaped up the snows. Travellers on its account experienced many difficulties ; the white glare of the snow dazzled their sight and made them close their eyes, so that with troubled sight they could no longer distinguish anything. So they sacrificed to the dragon-king and thereafter recovered peace.

An extract from Hui-shêng's record given by the Pei shih in substance reproduces the same information about this territory, which is there called Po-chin it 0 and is placed to the south-west

of Po-ho or Wakhan.32 This location led Professor Marquart to identify Po-ssû or Po-chih with the

mountain tract between Zebak and the Hindukush watershed towards Chitral,33 and a closer examination of the route which Sung Yün and his companions must have followed proves this

identification to be right. For travellers coming from Badakhshan and wishing to gain Swat,

the most direct, and probably also the easiest, route across the H indukush leads south of Zebak up the valley of Sanglich. From the headwaters of the Zebak River thus reached, two important

passes lead across the Hindukush watershed : one is the Dorah, Z4,800 ft. above the sea, which

gives access to the Lutkhô Valley, descending to the Chitral capital, and is crossed by a much-frequented caravan route.34 The other is the Mandai Pass, about Z 5,300 ft. high and about

six miles in a direct line to the south-west of the Dorah, over which a route leads down into the

Bashgol Valley, the easternmost main valley of Kafiristan. Where the tracks descending northward from the two passes join lies the Hauz-i-Dorah or Lake Dufferin, a sheet of water nearly two miles

long, and about half a mile wide, enclosed on both sides by steep slopes of rock which leave room only for a difficult path on the east. About a mile and a half lower down, the route to Zebak passes a second and much smaller lake.S6

That these are the two lakes to which Sung Yün's legendary account of the dragon refers, may be considered certain ; for the reliable information 36 I have been allowed to consult shows plainly

that this feature is not found on the northern approaches of any of the other H indukush passes, from

the Khatinza to the Kamarbida, which could possibly be connected with Sung Yün's route. The conclusion that the pilgrim travelled up by way of Zebak to Lake Dufferin is confirmed also by the

seven marches which he indicates for his passage of Po-chih ; for at the present day, too, the distance from the Dorah to Khairabad where the Warduj Valley comprising Zebak and Sanglich ends, is reckoned at seven marches.

From Lake Dufferin two routes, as already stated, were open to the pilgrims. That they chose not the Dorah but the Mandal Pass is evident from the details of their subsequent progress. In the second half of the eleventh month they entered the kingdom of Shê-mi where they gradually. passed out of the Ts`ung-ling Mountains. The cultivable soil there was stony, and the people mostly wretched. On the steep paths and dangerous routes it was with difficulty that a single man

$' See Chavannes, Voyage de Song Yun, pp. 27 sqq. 32 See Chavannes, Voyage de Song l'un, p. 27, note 7. „ Cf. Marquart, Éràn-Iahr, p. 245.

'' It is probable that the name Doràh which is locally understood to mean do-ra ' two roads' (the native survey edited by Raverty, Notes on Afghànisian, p. 16o, distinctly

calls the pass Eotal--i Do-Rahah), is due to the close vicinity of the two passes to which the northern approach lies by the same route as far as Lake Dufferin.

S6 Cf. North-Western Transfrontier Sheet, No. 26 S.E., Survey of India.

=6 Printed but not published.

Po-ssii identified with Zebak.

Sung Yün's reference to Lake Dufferin.

Sung Yün's Shê-mi identified with Kâfiristân.