Page:Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol 7, Part 1.djvu/502

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Examination of the Inscription

tion of a grievous sin — I will here digress a little and relate the story told by the people of Orissd.

"Maha rajaadhi raja Gangeswara Deva, having become enamour- ed of his daughter (by name) Kosala, sought to cast off the odium of jncest he had committed, by the following stratagem.

" Having assembled the priests and other learned men of his court, he questioned them as to whether it was lawful for a man to enjoy the fruit of his own sowing ? Unaware of the real purport of the question, an affirmative answer, such as the raja wished, to suit his conscience, was given. After a time the princess being delivered of a son, the raja was taken to task for his infamy, but he, on the other hand, threw the blame upon those whose counsel he had sought, reminding them of their answer to the question by which he had deceived them.

" The brahmins, in atonement for the sin they had apparently been the cause of, ordained that a golden vase with a small perforation at the bot- tom should be placed, (filled with water) on the head of the offspring who was to be led by his mother round a space of ground as much as they could travel over until the whole of the water should be expended, and that a tank should afterwards be excavated comprising such space ; this mandate was obeyed and the tank (when finished) called " Kosala Gang" after the raja Gangeswara and his daughter Kosala.

" Raja Gangeswara Deva is said to have reigned in the 12th century of the Christian era*. "I must now describe the Aswasiama. The hills before alluded to, rise abruptly from the plains and occupy a space of about five furlongs by three ; they have a singular appearance from their isolated position, no other hills being nearer than eight or ten miles. They are appa- rently volcanic, and composed of upheaved breccia with quartzose rock intermixed.

" The northernmost hill may be about 250 feet at its highest or eastern end, on which is a ruined temple dedicated to Mahadeva : the other hills or rather rocks are less elevated.

" Beneath the temple on the eastern and southern declivities are several small caves (c c) and the remains of many more ; also two natural caverns or clefts in the rock, one being choked up with rubbish the other (d) clear for eighty or a hundred feet, beyond which it is impos- sible to penetrate, the passage becoming very narrow and the stench of the myriads of bats (inhabiting it) quite suffocatingf . At the mouth of

  • Vide Stirling's Orissi and Prinsep's Useful Tables.

f 1 found two species of bat new to tne, the one of a bright orange color, the other black with a very long tail, like a mouse but much thinner.