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0061 Archaeological Reconnaissances in North-Western India and South-Eastern Īrān : vol.1
Archaeological Reconnaissances in North-Western India and South-Eastern Īrān : vol.1 / Page 61 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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river for the cavalry attack on the Indian left flank as indicated by Arrian's text.13 With regard to the latter point it is of interest to observe that the present main river bed makes a considerable bend to the north-west of Nûrpur, leaving between it and the village of Kbt Hast (north of Bâdshâhpur) a triangular stretch of ground with its apex near the hamlet of Sikandarpur ( see Skeleton Map 1 ) . If this bend existed already in antiquity it would make it easy to understand why Poros did not rest his left flank on the river. For if his army started from a place somewhere opposite Haranpur, i.e. from some point between the present towns of Malakwâl and Miâni, the direct line, as the map shows, for an advance to meet the landed Macedonians would have kept the Indian army away from the river anywhere near that bend.

Since we cannot locate the battle-field it is also impossible to determine the site of Nikaia, the town which Alexander is said to have founded there to commemorate his victory. To the south of the river's left bank, below the point where it may be assumed to have been reached by Alexander crossing from Jalâlpur, there are to be found the large villages of Bhagowâl, Haria, and Bâdshâhpur, at distances of 1 to 2 miles from the river, besides a number of smaller ones. The former, of town-like appearance and numbering 700-800 closely packed houses, are all built on mounds rising well above the alluvial plain and marking prolonged occupation. Owing to the fertile agricultural area around them they are flourishing places; but I found no indication which would justify even a tentative identification of any of them with the site of Nikaia.

About a mile to the east-north-east of the town of Malakwâl and at a direct distance of some 7 miles from Nûrpur there rises near the village of Kotehra a large and conspicuous mound, its top occupied by a much frequented ziârat and known as Jhandiwâla Tibba. It measures at its foot some 310 yards from north to south and about 250 yards across. Its height is over 20 feet. It has been dug into extensively for saltpetre and manuring soil. The salt efforescence (shôra) which covers the surface and affects all potsherds, impedes the search for such ceramic remains as might afford some chronological indication. Nor could I learn at the time of my visit of any coin finds. That the site is an old one is, however, evident from the height of the mound.14 Malakwal town, on the other hand, appears to be a recent place, owing its relative importance to the vicinity of the canal colonies served by the railway line for which it is the junction.

If Nikaia escapes definite location, we are in a better position as regards

13 See above, p. 14.

14 Here reference may be made to an extensive mound visited on November 26th some 3i miles due south of Nûrpur and situated a short distance to the west of the village of Sahna. It measures

about 330 yards in diameter and has an average height of 12 feet. Judging from decorated fragments among the abundant pottery with which the surface is covered, the site appears to have been occupied in medieval times, if not earlier.