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0090 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 90 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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Ketas we must rely upon the location of the site which Hsüan-tsang's subsequent account, as translated by Mr. Watters, describes as follows:

`Forty or fifty li to the south-east of the capital is a stone tope above 200 feet high built by Moka. Here are also more than ten tanks large and small—"a scene of sunshine". The banks of these tanks are of carved stone representing various forms and strange kinds of creatures. The struggling water (that is, the river which supplied the tanks ) is a clear brawling torrent; dragons, fish and other watery tribes move about in the cavernous depths; lotuses of the four colours cover the surface of the clear ponds; all kinds of fruit trees grow thick, making one splendour of various hues and, the brightness of the wood mixing with that of the tanks, the place is truly a pleasure-ground.

`Beside [the tope?] is a Buddhist monastery which has long been unoccupied. Not far from the tope is the place at which the founder of the "White-clothes" sect, having come to realize the principles for which he had been seeking, first preached his system, the place being now marked by a memorial beside which a Deva-temple has been erected. The disciples [of the founder of the "White-clothes" sect] practise austerities, persevering day and night without any relaxation, etc.'

Then follows a brief but correct description of the white-robed heretics and their system by which, as long ago recognized by students of the Hsi yü-chi, the Jaina sect of the Svetambaras and their doctrine are intended. The translations of Julien and Beal agree with the above rendering of Mr. Watters in all essentials, except that they refer to the spot where the founder of Jainism found enlightenment as being marked by an inscription. Whether the Chinese words quoted by Mr. Watters imply an inscription or other form of memorial, it is certain that the site where the founder of the Jaina doctrine, that early rival of Buddhism, was believed to have attained his bodhi may claim exceptional interest.

I do not propose to relate here afresh how on my first arrival at the pleasant District Bungalow of Chôa Saidan Shah on Christmas Day, 1889, I learned from the villagers that in the valley of Gamdhala there was a place called significantly enough Marti, `the [place of] sculptures'. It was said to have yielded stone images and beautifully carved blocks of stone, such as had been taken some years before to build a new bridge at Chôa Saidan Shah over the small stream that descends from Ketas.10 After satisfying myself that the materials of the bridge, partly showing relief decoration, must have been taken from an old temple, I followed the stream downwards, and to my joyful surprise was shown by my guide the place from which all the sculptures had been obtained. It was a spot

10 A couple of years later a big flood in the valley it seemed, for a structure built with materials washed away the whole of the bridge—a fit fate, obtained in such a vandal fashion!