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0369 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 369 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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via Saca and Nina, i. e. Niya ; 19 for it is probably this full form of the local name Calmadana which Hsiian-tsang's transcript Che^-mo-t`o-na is intended to reproduce.Z°

Interesting geographical information regarding the territory and its river is furnished at a somewhat later period by a commentary on the Simi thing,` the Classic of the Waters ', from which M. Chavannes' translation has made important extracts accessible.21 Li Tao-yuan, the author of this commentary, died in A. D. 527 ; but various observations prove that his remarks concerning the Tarim Basin are largely based on earlier materials. We shall have occasion further on to consider his statement concerning the lowest course of the Tarim and the marshes of Lop-nar.22 After discussing the course of the Khotan River and its junction with the Tarim, the commentary informs us that the river, ` going further east, passes north of the territory of Chu-nao 11*; still further

eastward it receives on its right the great A-nora-la rif   I river (i. e. the Charchan River). To
this river also the Shih shih Iasi yüi chi is referring when it says : " To the north-west of the A-nou-ta mountains there is a great river which flows northward and throws itself into the Lao-lan Lake (Lopneir)." This river flows northward ; it cuts through the mountains which are to the south of Chü-mo ; further north it passes to the west of the walled town (eh'big) of Chii-mo.' Then follow some remarks on the latter which are manifestly based upon the Hsi yu chuan of the Former Han Annals, if not literally taken from it.23 ` This kingdom [of Chii-mo] has for its capital the town of Chit-mo, which, towards the west, communicates with [the kingdom of] Clain;-chüeh at 2,000 li distance, and which, towards the east, is 720 li from Shan-span. The five kinds of cereals are there cultivated ; the customs are approximately the same as in China.'

The notice concludes with an account of the further course of the A-non-ta River. ` From here onward it is called " the river of Chii-mo ". Flowing towards the north-east, it passes to the north of Chii-mo. Flowing still further, it unites itself on its left with the River of the South (i. e. with the Khotan River merged in the Tarim). Together [the two rivers] flow in an oblique

course towards the east, and, having joined, become the Chu pin j   River. The Chu-pin
River further east passes north of the kingdom of Shan-shan.'

A reference to the map will show how correctly the chief topographical facts about the river of Charchan are delineated by the Chinese commentator. South of Charchan it breaks through the northernmost chain of the K`un-lun, to which in its eastern extension the name A-nou-ta applies. Its course from the debouchure as far as the Charchan oasis and its subsequent deflexion to the north-east are accurately stated. So is also the easterly direction assumed. by the river near its junction with the Tarim and beyond, until its waters are lost in the Kara-koshun marshes of Lopnôr. The exactness of these details creates a strong presumption of the correctness also of the statement which makes the river pass to the west of the old town, though its course now lies through the existing oasis. To this point we shall return presently.

A somewhat more detailed account of Charchan is contained in the itinerary of Sung Yün.24

This Buddhist pilgrim passed here about A. D. 519 along the southern route on his way from China to Khotan : ` Having marched sixteen hundred and forty li westward after leaving Shan-

shan, [the travellers] arrived at the walled town (cliêng) of Tso-mo   *. In this town there

reside about a hundred families. In this region it does not rain. Irrigation is used to make the wheat grow. The people know the use neither of oxen nor of ploughs for tilling their fields. In this town there are representations of a Buddha and a Bodhisattva which have by no means

19 Cf. Ancient Khotan, i. pp. 31r, note 7; 326. [Calma-   21 See Toung-pao, 1905, pp. 564 sq.

dana is named also in other Niya tablets, e.g. N. iv. 59 ; xv.   22 See below, pp. 325 sqq.

136, 158, 164, 310.]   23 Cf. above, pp. 295 sq.

40 Cf. below, p. 298.   24 See Chavannes, Voyage de Song l'un, pp. 12 sq.

Charchan noticed by Li Tao- ytian.

Course of Charchan R. described.

Sung Yün's account of Charchan.