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0610 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 610 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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Indian ascetics.

Remainder of frieze.

Fragments of frieze on northern arc.

Figures of armed men, animals, etc.



meant for gold, with red lines marking the edges. While the left hand supported the elephant's trunk, the right carried a peculiarly shaped jug, painted a yellowish-brown, apparently representing metal. By its very narrow base and straight spout it closely resembled the vessel which is known in Northern India as ` Ganga-sagar ' and is in traditional use among the Hindus for sacrificial offerings of water.

Moving forward, in a row and with uniform attitude, to meet the prince were seen four plainly-dressed figures (Fig. 138). By their bushy hair and beards, and by the long staffs which they carried in their left hands along with a small bowl for water (kama.z 1ahc in Skr.), they could easily be recognized as typical representations of Indian ascetics. All of them had ruddy faces as befits men living in the open jungle, with bare browned breasts. The simple garments were alike in shape, but differed in colours. The white-bearded old man on the left had his head covered with a ,small white puggaree. With a yellow Dhoti below the hips he carried a green cloak laid over both shoulders in a fashion which is also adopted for the Satighäti elsewhere (see Plate XLIII), its ends descending below the knee. The middle-aged man next to him, with heavy black beard and moustache, was clothed in a purple cloak and yellow Dhoti. The beardless youth following had locks descending below the ears, and the rest of the hair, on the partly-effaced crown of the head, dressed into what looked like a knob. His garments were a bright green Dhoti and a yellow cloak. The last figure on the right, much better preserved, was again middle-aged, with bared head and curly beard and moustaches, all black. He wore a purple cloak and a green Dhoti.

Beyond this last figure, in the background, a tree was visible, with foliage made up of broad green leaves and small curves of white flowers edging it. In the foreground the portion of another quadriga (Fig. 140) still survived, the rest being lost through the breakage of the cella wall where it adjoined the previously mentioned cutting. In outlines and colours this quadriga was the exact replica of the one in the left part of the frieze, but the right arm and breast which remained of a figure holding the reins were clearly those of a male. Further on, what was left of the broken portion of the frieze only showed traces of the wheels of two more chariots with a large draped figure between them, moving ahead and carrying in his right hand a fan-like object.

In the northern arc of the circular passage, beyond the big cutting, the upper part of the cella wall had, as already stated, suffered so badly that only isolated fragments of the frieze once decorating its surface survived, and those, too, solely in the lowest parts. None of them were more than about a foot in height. The first fragment from the left containing some recognizable objects is faintly visible in the photograph, Fig. 143, above the border dividing the frieze from the dado. There a shaggy lion, with its head effaced and its tail drawn in between the hind legs, was seen seated and facing three animals of which only the legs with cloven hoofs remained. Beyond this to the right, after some remnants on which the legs of two standing figures and something like a curtained entrance might be recognized, portions of two small male figures followed, similar to those seen in Fig. 141. One of them, wearing a reddish-brown vest and a green under-garment, had a diaper of small squares, evidently meant to indicate scale armour, over the right arm and over a short skirt covering the abdomen. The right hand seemed to grasp the middle of what might be a lance.

After some badly effaced animal figures, among which the legs of a trotting horse, a yellow-skinned beast with black spots and short tail, and another beast in crouching position could just be made out, there followed the small fragment seen in Fig. 141. Here, too, were to be seen two male figures, moustached, of the type and dress just referred to. Their heads, fairly well preserved, had white puggarees wound round them in a fashion curiously reminiscent of the head-dress of Darius in the famous Pompeian mosaic of the battle of Alexander. Both figures wore closely-fitting