Page:The Stûpa of Bharhut - Alexander Cunningham.djvu/13

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The village of Bharhut is situated six miles to the north-east of TJchahara, and nine miles nearly due south of the 8utna station of the Jabalpur Railway. It is exactly 120 miles to the south-west of Allahabad, and rather more than halfway towards Jabalpur. The village belongs to the small state of N&god, and forms the J&gir of the present minister, by whose family it has been held for the last 60 years. In our maps it is entered either simply as Bharaody or sometimes with the addition of Ghhatri. But the Chhatri is a large stone on the top of the neighbouring hill of LcU-PahcMr^ and should not, therefore, be connected with the name of the village.

Bharhut is said to be the site of an old city, by some named Bhaironpur, which extended for 12 kos, embracing TJchahara on the south. The houses were scattered ; and all the surrounding villages of the present day are believed to have been the several Mahallas, or divisions of the ancient city. In proof of this the people argue that the same huge bricks are found all over this space, which is quite true, but they were no doubt all originally taken away by the people themselves from the great brick Stupa at Bharhut. The best proof of this origin is the fact that carved stones from the Buddhist Railing of the Bharhut Stupa may be seen in most of the large villages for several kos around Bharhut, particularly at TJchahara, BatanmS.ra, Pathora, and M&dhogarh (or Patharhat). It is certain, however, that Bharhut itself was once a considerable city, as I found the greater part of the ground around the present village, for upwards of one mile in length by half a mile in breadth, covered with broken bricks and pieces of pottery.

So little is known of the ancient geography of this part of India that it is almost useless to make any attempt to identify Bharhut with any one of the few places men- tioned by early writers. But in any attempt that is made we must not forget the happy position of Bharhut at the northern end of the long narrow valley of Mahiyar near the point where the high road from TJjain and Bhilsa to P&taliputra turns to the north towards Kosdmbi and Sr&vasti. That Kos4mbi itself was one of the usual halting places on the high road between TJjain and Pataliputra we have a convincing proof in the curious story of the famous physician Jivaka of R&jagriha. According to the legend Pradyota Raja of TJjain, who was suflfering from jaundice, invited Jivaka to his Court, to which the physician was very unwilling to proceed, as he knew that the cure of Pradyota who strongly disliked oil could not be eflfected without its use. " When the great physician had seen the king, it occurred to him that he might endeavour to give the B H266.