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0055 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 55 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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From Wu-ch`ang, the Fo-kuo-chi tells us, Fa-hsien with some of his companions ' descended

south, and arrived in the country of Su-ho-to'. In the name of this territory, IN tJJ   , a transcrip-
tion of an older form of Swat was long ago surmised. This is confirmed by the fact that the only sacred site mentioned here by Fa-hsien—the one where in a previous birth the Bodhisattva, in order to save a dove pursued by a hawk, was believed to have ` cut off a piece of his own flesh, and with it ransomed the dove '—is located by Hsüan-tsang in the hills to the south-west of Manglaur.23 Guided by the exact topographical indications in Hsüan-tsang's Memoirs, and by the rapid archaeological survey I had effected while accompanying the Bunér Field Force in January, 1898, I was able to identify the site indicated with the remains of a large Stttpa found near the village of Girarai in the extreme west of Bunér, and at the foot of the range dividing it from the Swat Valley.24 That Bunér was in Buddhist times reckoned as part of Udyana is proved by the series of sacred sites which Sung Yün and Hsüan-tsang describe in the south of Udyana, and which I traced during my survey in Buner.25 Why Fa-hsien should have distinguished Bunér by the separate designation of Su-ho-to can no longer be determined.26

The next and more detailed account of Udyana is supplied by the pilgrim Sung Yün and Hui-shêng, members of the religious mission which the Empress Hu of the Western Wei dynasty dispatched to the North-West of India in A. D. 518. Their journey from Khotan to Sarikol I have discussed elsewhere.27 Thence they made their way in the early autumn of A. D. 519 across the Pamirs to Wakhan, and the seats of the Yeh-tas or Hephthalites in the present Badakhshan.28 After a brief stay there, as Sung Yün's narrative and Hui-shêng's notes preserved in the Wei Annals tell us, the pilgrims passed through the small mountain tract of Po-chih into the territory of Shê-mi. There they gradually emerged from the Ts`ung-ling Mountains, and hence gained Udyana which lay to the south of Shê-mi.2° In my Ancient Khotan I have already had occasion to show that the territory of Shê-mi, which a passage of the Tang Annals describes as bordering Chieh-shih or Chitral on the west and south, corresponds to ` the cluster of valleys to the south of the great snowy range [of the Hindukush] which since mediaeval times has been known by the general name of Kafiristan'.30 There I also indicated my belief that the route followed by Sung Yün and his companions led them through one of the easternmost valleys of Kafiristan down to the Kûnar River and thence across Dir (or Bajaur) into the Swat Valley. But additional information since obtained about that region, as well as other reasons, make it desirable to trace the pilgrims' route here in fuller detail.

From Sung Ytin's narrative we learn that after leaving the Hephthalite king's encampment, which at the season indicated (tenth Chinese month, i.e. about November, A.D. 519) is likely to

by his native agents, and which he handed over to me early in 1898, there was one which showed a rock surface curiously cut up by natural cross lines, recalling the threads of some woven fabric. There were traces of some Kharosthi characters also. Some place in the Upper Swat Valley was vaguely indicated as the provenance. The publication of the estampage was prevented by the death of Professor Bühler for whom it was reserved, and subsequently by the doubts which (justly enough) arose about the genuineness of the many ' inscriptions in unknown characters ' supplied to Colonel Deane by the less scrupulous of his agents.

23 See Legge, Fd-hien, pp. 3o sq.; Watters, Yuan Chwang,

i. p. 234; Julien, Memoires, i. p. 137.

24 See my Archaeological tour with the Bunir Field Force, pp. 26, 62-2, and below, p. 16 with note. (Also Indian

Antiquary, 2899, pp. 22, 6o.)

25 For references see below, p. 16.

26 It is noteworthy that as far as Su-ho-to Fa-hsien's narrative shows none of those errors in bearings and distances which from the next territory, Gandhara, onwards often perplex the student of ancient Indian geography.

27 See Ancient Khotan, i. pp. 28 sqq.

28 For this portion of the pilgrims' route cf. below, pp. Go sqq.

29 See Chavannes, Voyage de Song Fun, pp. 27 sqq.

so See Ancient Khotan, pp. 24 sq. ; for the hill state of Chieh-shih (also appearing with a slight graphic variation under the name of Chieh-shuaz), cf. Chavannes, Turcs occid., pp. 258 sq., 214 sq. ; for its identity with Chitral see also below, p. 3o.

1374   C

Fa-hsien's account of Su-ho-to.

Sung Yiin's journey to Swat.

Sung Yün's passage through Po-3sû.