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0085 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 85 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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interest. This is due mainly to the detailed notice which Hsüan-tsang, the great Chinese pilgrim, has left us of his visit to the territory of Simhapura and of the sacred spots seen by him in the neighbourhood of its capital. General Cunningham had been the first to look for Simhapura at Ketas, a much-frequented place of Hindu pilgrimage situated about 2 miles to the west of Chôa Saidan Shah and marked by a number of ruined temples around its sacred pool. But he had not been able to advance conclusive proof for this identification and had subsequently changed his location of the site to Malôt, some 10 miles from Ketas to the south-west.2

At neither place had he succeeded in tracing a sacred site of the Jainas to which Hsüan-tsang makes detailed reference in connexion with Simhapura. The special interest attaching to this site induced that great Indologist, the late Professor G. Bühler, to call my attention to the problem presented. I accordingly used the brief freedom from official duties afforded by a Christmas vacation to visit Ketas in December, 1889. Led by local information about a ruin which had furnished much ancient sculpture and building material, I traced the remains, plentiful if sadly damaged, of what evidently had been the sanctuary referred to at a place called Mürti situated in the Gamdhala valley some 5 miles down the stream which issues from the sacred pool of Ketas. A small grant kindly placed at my disposal by the Panjab Government enabled me in the following hot weather with the assistance of my friend Mr. F. H. Andrews, then officiating Principal of the Mayo School of Art, Lahore, rapidly to clear what was left of the ruined structure. It had been extensively quarried before for building operations at Chôa Saidan Shah. An account of the discovery of the site and of the main result of the clearing, which had brought to light a mass of fine sculptural remains, was recorded by me in letters addressed to Professor Bühler and published by him in the Vienna Oriental Journal.3

The agreement between the situation of Milrti, the remains found there, and Hsüan-tsang's description of the spot is so close that the location of the capital of Simhapura at or near Ketas could in the opinion of such competent scholars as Professor Bühler and Mr. Vincent Smith be safely deduced from it. But as the late Mr. T. Watters, in his posthumous work dealing with Hsüan-tsang's `Records of Western Countries', has treated this identification with a good deal of scepticism,4 it seems desirable to review here briefly the reasons, both topographical and archaeological, which notwithstanding the doubts raised by that distinguished Sinologist point clearly to the Salt Range being intended by the pilgrim's territory of Sirhhapura, and the vicinity of Ketas by his account of its

2 See Cunningham, Archaeol. Survey Report, ii. genlandes, iv (1890), pp. 90 sqq., 260 sq.

pp. 188 sqq.; v. pp. 90 sqq.   4 See Watters, On Yuan Chwang's Travels, i.

3 See Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Mor- pp. 248 sqq.