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0079 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 79 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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northern approach of the Shdhkôt pass in Swat. However this may be, there can be no doubt about the base being far older than the superstructure in its present forms

Against the eastern end of the base there has been added a projecting bastion-like wall 9 feet thick and running east for over 25 feet ( Fig. 10) . It then turns at right angles northward and continues for 63 feet to where it breaks off on the precipitous rock slope. Its height at the corner is 29 feet. The whole of this terrace or bastion is built with dressed blocks of tufa varying in size from 12 x 18 X 6 inches to 11 x 17 x 5 inches. Large uncut blocks of sandstone form a plinth or foundation. That this mighty terrace must at one time have been utilized for a scheme of defence is proved by a manifestly late wall which runs from the broken northern end of the `bastion' at a sharp angle to the precipitous cliffs along the south-eastern edge of the ridge. This wall, 5 feet thick, is roughly built with uncoursed rubble, set in mortar, and carries a loop-holed parapet 2 feet thick.

I was unable to trace within the defences of the ridge any definite evidence of old arrangements for storing water. I noticed on the top of the ridge between the temple and the `bastion' two small depressions which looked as if they might have been utilized for that purpose; but they showed no stone lining such as would be needed to retain water for any time. On the other hand, low down on the north-western slope, but within the ancient line of wall, there is now to be seen a properly constructed stone-lined tank. It was said to date from the time when a bridle path passed here to the coal-mine below Ara. This was opened in the year 1893, and for reasons connected with the cost of transport was abandoned five years later. Whether this tank took the place of an old one I could not ascertain. By descending a steep path which leads down from the Kainthi plateau to the rivulet in the western gorge those holding Nandana could ordinarily secure water, or else it could be brought up by the road from the place where the two little streams join. Hence the need of cisterns within the fort may not have made itself felt.

It only remains for us to follow the route which the chiusa of Nandana guarded, from the mouth of the valley below it to the Jhelum. Baghanwala, a large village appropriately called after its gardens, looks a veritable oasis at the otherwise arid foot of the frowning hill chain rising above the riverine plain. It is the seat of a prominent family among the great Janjûa tribe which is known


6 Passing reference may be made here to a curious passage in `Utbi's Târikh-i yamini, quoted by Sir H. Elliott, History of India, ii. p. 59, in connexion with Mahmiid of Ghazna's capture of `Nàrdin', i.e. Nandana. It mentions a stone `found

there in the temple of the great Budda' (sic) with an inscription on it `purporting that the temple had been founded fifty thousand years ago'. The Sultan is said to have expressed reasonable surprise at this example of Indian indifference to chronology!