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Report On The Antiquities In The Bidar And Aurangabad Districts

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Item Code: NAW825
Author: James Burgess
Language: English
Edition: 138
Pages: 138
Other Details 11.00 X 8.50 inch
Weight 1.01 kg
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Book Description

THIS Third Report of the Archaeological Survey of Western India describes the principal remains examined during the annual tour made in the cold season of 1875-76 through the western districts of the territories of His Highness the Nisam. Hitherto these provinces have been quite unknown to the antiquary, and if the results of the survey have not been so important as might have been anticipated from their nearness to the ancient capital of the great Western Chalukya dynasty, still they are not altogether without interest, and it is at least satisfactory to know what does or does not exist. Every inquiry was made for coins and inscriptions, but without much result. Two of the latter were found at Amba, but the Silasasanams, or large engraved slabs, that, for many years, have been gradually disappearing in our own districts, seem to be already totally destroyed throughout the western parts of the Haidarabad territories.

The latter portion of the season was mostly spent at Aurangabad, where a thorough survey was made of the very interesting and but little known groups of Buddhist Caves in the neighbourhood. The drawings from these, illustrating the following pages, will be found of special interest by..those who concern themselves with the history of Indian Art and Religion during an age of which we have as yet but few other records.

After completing the survey of these Cave Temples, that of the grand series at Elura, was commenced, and considerable prpgress was made in the examination of the Bauddha group, but as the survey occupied nearly the whole of the following season also, it has not been thought desirable to enter upon it in this volume. The modern temple of Ahalyabai, however, has been noticed.

The Junnar Buddhist Cave Temples also, which were surveyed the year before and which it was intended to have included in this, have been reserved. for another volume now in preparation, and which will be devoted exclusively to Rock-Temples.

My best thanks are due to H. E. Nawab Mukhtar-ul Mulk Sir Salar Jung Bahadur, G.C.S.I., the Diwan of Haidarabad, without whose ready assistance and instructions to local officers I should have found it nearly impossible to carry out the survey. And among those officials who by their knowledge and interest afforded me specially valuable aid, I should not. forget to mention B. Fitch, Esq., C.E., Engineer at Aurangabad, under whose superintendence the Caves at Elura were then being cleaned out, Mr. Fardunji Jamshedji, Second Talukdar at Aurangabad, and the very intelligent Parsi Tehsildar of Paithan,-who rendered the survey valuable assistance.

In Chapter XII. (pp. 85 ffg.) are given one of the inscriptions found at Mominabad or Amba, kindly deciphered and translated for me by Dr. Georg buhler; a number of Valabhi grants-fair samples of their class-also prepared by the same able scholar, with the genealogy of the Valabhi dynasty embracing the latest additions ; and, lastly, facsmiles and transliteration of a fine pair of copper-plates, obtained on loan from Indor, and which contain a grant, made in A.D. 975, by Raja Vakpati-probably the grandfather of the celebrated Bhoja Raja of Dhara.

A note on Hemadpanti Temples, which properly belongs to Chap. IV. (pp. 20-22) but which did not occur to me till too late for insertion there, has been added in connexion with the inscription in the Amba Temple, at pp. 92, 93.

In the Appendix, J. F. Fleet, Esq., Bo.C.S., M.R.A.S. has supplied a valuable contribution to our knowledge by transliterating and translating the Sanskrit and Old Canarese Inscriptions in the First of these Reports, with the addition of several new ones, from excellent impressions made by himself. His assistance to me otherwise in the `preparation of this volume has been of the greatest value, and calls for my hearty thanks. He has also voluntarily undertaken to analyse between two and three hundred Sanskrit and Old Canarese Inscriptions from photographs, impressions, &c., chiefly belonging to the India Office, of which a few copies will be printed shortly.

Lastly, as to the photographs and other plates, much credit is due to Mr. W. Griggs, of Peckham, who prepared and printed off not a few of them whilst I was absent in India, and so precluded from guiding or correcting his work, and he has spared no pains or trouble to do all to my satisfaction. I feel assured that the labour he has bestowed upon this work cannot be nearly covered by the amount of his remuneration.


THE antiquities described in the following Report are arranged in the order in which they were visited, and therefore not in any chronological or natural one. The majority of them are groups of caves or rock-cut,temples in the Haidarabad territories ; but the Elura or Verula Rock Temples, also visited, and partly surveyed, towards the end of the season, have been omitted, as that portion of the work will be more fitly combined with the complete survey made there during the following season.

For the proper understanding, therefore, of the arrangement, it is necessary here briefly to sketch the route. Owing partly to the arrival at Bombay of His Royal Highness' the Prince of Wales, and the consequent temporary interference with the ordinary routine of the Government Offices, as well as to a pressure of office work at the time, the month of November 1875 was far advanced before the survey was fairly entered upon.. From Solapur, on the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, the first march of twenty-eight miles was made northwards to Tuljapur. The next was to Dharasinva, where two assistants joined, in December. After completing the survey of the caves there, the party proceeded eastwards to Ausa, thirty-two miles, and thence to Karusa about sixteen miles further. There a good deal of excavation had to be accomplished before the caves could be satisfactorily examined.

On 17th January 1876, a visit was made to Hasaganw, about ten miles to the north. Nilanga, to the south-east of Karusa was the next stage, where an old Hemadpanti temple was examined; and from thence the route lay south-east through a country devoid of anything worthy of the name of a road, to the ford of the Tauraj at Aurad, and then south to Kalyana, the old capital of the Chalukya kings, where, from native reports, it was expected many objects of interest would be found to reward a visit. No satisfactory local assistance, however, was obtained, but from what Was seen, it did not appear that, after the many devastations the place has suffered from Muhammadan arms in former times, there is much left to reward the explorer, .unless he had time, means, and permission to make extensive excavations. In connexion with it, however, a brief sketch has been given of the Chalukya dynasty derived from copperplate and other inscriptions.

On 25th January the party marched for Narayanpur, on the way to which I made a detour among the hills in search of caves. The route then taken was by umnabad to Bidar, where only a short stay was made, as it was evident that to make a full survey of the Muhammadan remains there would have occupied the whole of the remainder of the season. From Bidar I turned towards the north-west, a hundred miles to Mominabad or Jogai Amba, examining different old temples by the way, which proved of much less interest than had been anticipated. Like most architectural remains all over the surrounding provinces, they have been almost utterly destroyed by Musulman armies. To visit them, however, necessitated -toilsome journeys over unmade roads, and considerable loss of time. From Mominabad, where the caves of jogai Amba were surveyed, the party marched. twenty miles westwards to Darur, descended. the very difficult ghat to the north of it, and proceeded to Paithan, on the Godavari, a distance of about seventy miles. Here every assistance was offered by the very intelligent Parsi talukdar, who brought to my notice the few poor remains that. are left of Pratishthana, the ancient capital of Salivahana. About seventeen miles up the river I visited the Hindu Tirtha, or sacred place at Sanvkhed, on 25th February, and from thence marched to Aurangabad, a distance of twenty-eight miles. A careful survey was made of the cave-temples there, previously so little known, and the remainder of the working season was spent at Elura, Surveying the first section of the Bauddha caves, usually known as the Phedwacla.

From the time necessarily consumed in travelling such distances, mostly through a country where there are no proper roads, that left as available for actual work was considerably shortened. Still a large section of the Nizam's territory has been examined, and the character of the remains in it determined.

Unlike the Kanarese country farther south, it seems to be remarkably devoid of inscriptions : not a single Silasasana, or inscribed stone, was met with, nor were any reported in reply to frequent inquiries. Whether this is due to the entire destruction of such large slabs as they are usually engraved upon, or owing to the genius of the people, Marathas and Telingis, who may not have so usually set up such records, I am unable to say, but it is well known that Silasasanas are very rare over the whole of the Maratha, country.

In the Appendix will be found specimens of Valabhi and Malwa inscriptions, together with a valuable contribution by Mr. J. F. Fleet, of the Bombay Civil Service, on the inscriptions given in the First Report from Badami, Pattadkal, and Aihole, together with others procured by him from the same localities.

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