Sec. i] SIMHAPURA REVISITED 53
which seemed to agree in a truly striking fashion with Hsüan-tsang's description of that site. After my renewed examination of the site, I feel it the more necessary to give a brief description of the position of Mûrti and of the sculptural remains recovered there, since the result of the investigations carried out between the 27th of May and the 3rd of June 1890 has, through my own fault I admit, remained so far without being suitably published. The heavy burden of official work at Lahore and the absorption of my very scanty leisure in other branches of research may perhaps explain, if it cannot excuse, the omission.
The small stream, which the springs of the sacred pool of Ketâs help to feed, flows down eastwards to Chôa Saidân Shah in a narrow stony bed for about 22 miles. At the previously mentioned bridge it takes a sharp turn to the south and after half a mile, passing the raucla of Saidan Shah, enters the Gamdhâla valley, which descends in a south-westerly direction to the plain ( see Skeleton Map 1) . The valley is lined on both sides by picturesque hills. Those to the north rise in a succession of bold cliffs of sandstone to heights of about 3,000 feet above sea-level, while those to the south are somewhat lower and show more gentle slopes. The whole of the valley is now a Government Reserved Forest and, owing to the protection thus afforded, is covered with ample vegetation, the area being probably more productive of wood and grass than any other in the Salt Range. `The whole forms, perhaps, the best example of hill scenery that the district contains." At the bottom of the valley winds the limpid Ketâs stream, forming a succession of small pools. At a distance of about 21. miles below the ziarat of Saidân Shah the stream makes a sharp bend round the foot of a hillock of sandstone. There it expands into two large pools of considerable depth ( Fig. 1.5). Both pools are surrounded by luxuriant tree-growth and swarm with fish. On leaving them the rushing stream forces its way through the great boulders which line the northern foot of the hillock, its noise being clearly audible from the top.
The solid sandstone rock forming the core of the hillock is exposed on the east to a height of about 20 feet above the upper pool ( Fig. 18) . Farther up, the slopes are covered to the top with large stones and detritus. This forms a small plateau at a height of about 70 feet above the water of the pool, but much less from the level of the flat ground which adjoins the southern and western foot of the hillock ( Fig. 14) . The plateau, stretching approximately from east to west, measures about 75 yards in length and some 63 yards across where widest. Near its south-western end there rises a conical mound, measuring about 20 yards across at its foot, to a height of some 18 feet above the level of the plateau ( Fig. 16) . It is composed of rough blocks of sandstone and rests partly on a
ii Cf. Talbot, Gazetteer of the Jhelum District, p. 43.