Page:Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol 34, Part 1.djvu/11

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1865.] Description of the Buddhist Ruins at Balm?“in Kund.

testimony of that keen and accurate observer, upwards of thirty Kim lam or sacred monasteries,—to most or all of which, temples were pro- bably attached—and with them about three thousand priests and disciples were associated. It cannot be for an instant supposed, that these monasteries, which were unquestionably built of strong material, have all been swept away with the lapse of ages, and have “left not a wreck behind.” ,Indeed the existence of the Sarnath ruins, which are mostly of the later Buddhist period,—some of which were seen by Fa Hian in the fifth century, and nearly all by Hwan Thsang in the seventh, is a strong argmnent for believing that portions, more or less considerable, of some, perhaps of most of these edifices, are still discoverable. We must not imagine that in any instance they are existing in their original integrity, but on the contrary, that where they exist at all, they have been appropriated by Hindus and Mohammedans, and principally by the latter, for their own purposes, and that therefore they have become blended with other buildings from which they must be disintegrated. The use of numerous pillars in the cloisters of Buddhist monasteries, which were mostly on a uniform pattern, greatly aids the identification of the remains of this ancient period.

A careful examination of Ben-ares will reveal those portions of the city which contain buildings, or parts of buildings, or sculptured stones, or other objects of undeniable antiquity. Such ancient remains are for the most part, we believe, only to be found in the northern division of the city, and among the narrow streets on its eastern border, rimming parallel with the Ganges, in a thin band, as far as the Man Mandil Observatory.

Under the conviction that Buddhist remains were to he met with in Benares, a search was made for some of them in the course of the year 1863. On the ver first day of the search the ruins at Bakan'ya Kund were discovered, which we shall now proceed to describe.

These ruins are situated at the north-west corner of the city in the Alaipore Mahalla, and are Visible from the Raj Ghaut road leading from the cantonments to the Ganges. The path conducting to the tank or Kund leaves the main road a short distance to the west of the 420th mile-stone. The tank commonly known as Bakariya Kund, is about 300 yards distant from this road, and upon the summit of its