Sec. iv] THE PASS OF NANDANA AND ITS RUINS 41
resting on squinches about 4 feet high at the corners. As usual in the case of temples of this style, the shrine comprised two stories, there being an upper cella about 9 feet 6 inches square. This, too, carried a dome which rested in the corners on squinches formed by four projecting courses. This cella was enclosed within a square circumambulatory passage about 2 feet wide. From this it received light through windows 2 feet 3 inches wide and a door probably once situated above the entrance of the lower cella. The enclosing passage had three narrow loophole-like openings on each side splayed towards the interior. The passage slightly ascended from its south-west corner. To this stairs built into the thickness of the wall enclosing the lower cella, but now no longer traceable, appear to have given access. Whether the sloping passage ascended still farther, or what surmounted the now broken top of the upper dome, can no longer be ascertained.
From Fig. 6 it will be seen that the height of the whole structure, as extant, measured from the foot of the base, is approximately 35 feet 8 inches. It is likely to have been originally considerably greater. Owing to the heavy debris covering the floor of the lower cella it was not possible to ascertain by tracing the position of the snânadroni or by other indications, to which divinity the shrine was dedicated. The three deep niches on the outside walls, no doubt, once held images; but of these nothing has survived. By clearing the debris below the northern corner of the temple there was laid bare the top of a platform showing a moulding decorated with a string of lotus petals, pointed and of late shape. None of the other temples in the Salt Range showing a similar style of construction and decoration can be exactly dated, and in the case of the Nandana temple, too, definite evidence as to the date is wanting. But on general grounds I am inclined to believe that the temple was erected in the period of the Hindu Shâhiya dynasty (A. D. 9th-10th century) or possibly somewhat earlier.
At a distance of about 130 yards from the temple there rises at the northeastern end of the top of the ridge and at its highest point a conspicuous ruin of a puzzling character. Its large base is joined by a high bastion-like terrace ( Fig. 10) . As seen in the sketch plan ( Plan 4) , this massive pile of solid masonry extends for about 48 feet in length and is 9 feet thick in the middle, where a hole has been cut right through it. Obviously it is but the remnant of a large structure, the rest of which has completely fallen owing to the base having given way on the very steep slope to the north-west. Heavy masses of debris cover this slope, marking the extent of that portion of the structure which has disappeared. Its remains rise to a maximum height of about 18 feet 6 inches, including a barely recognizable plinth of about 4 feet. On its top the ruin measures about 32 feet in length. The hole already referred to, about 5 feet