Brahmi Publication

Mithila, History, Literature and Art

Date of the Decampment of Harisimha deva of Mithila

कर्णाटशासक हरिसिंह देवक पलायनक तिथि

हरिसिंहदेवक पराजय आ हिमालयक जंगल दिस भागि जेबाक तिथिक सम्बन्धमे जे परम्परागत श्लोक वर्तमानमे उपलब्ध अछि से भाषाक दृष्टिसँ ततेक अशुद्ध भए गेल अछि जे ओहि पर विश्वास करब कठिन। एतेक धरि जे प्रो. राधाकृष्ण चौधरी सेहो अशुद्ध रूप मे उद्धृत कए देने छथि-

वाणाब्धि बाहु सम्मित शाकवर्षे पौषस्य शुक्ल दशमी क्षितिसूनुवारे।

त्यक्त्वा स्वपट्टन पुरी हरिसिंह देओ दुर्दैव देशित पथे गिरिमाविवेश

प्रो. एस. एन. सिंह के उद्धृत करैत डा. जयकान्त मिश्र सेहो एकरा उपर्युक्त रूपमे उद्धृत करैत छथि। मुदा एकर सभसँ सुन्दर पाठ आ संगत अनुवाद जर्नल ऑफ एसियाटिक सोसायटी ऑफ बंगाल के 1835 ई. क अंकमे भेटैत अछि। एतए ई दूनू श्लोक एहि रूप मे देल गेल अछि-

रामस्य वित्तं नलराजवित्तं पुरूरवावित्तमलर्कराजः।

ह्रदात्समुद्धृत्य निपात्य नागं श्रीनान्यदेवो निरमात् स्वगर्तम्।

अर्थात् रामक धन, राजा नलक धन आ पुरूरवाक धन पोखरिसँ निकालि, नाग कें मारि अलर्कराज जे नान्यदेव से अपन गर्त अर्थात् वास्तु लेबाक लेल खाधि खुनलनि, अर्थात् नेओं लेलनि।

वाणाब्धियुग्मशशिसम्मितशाकवर्षे पौषस्य शुक्लनवमीशशिसूनुवारे।

त्यक्त्वा स्वपट्टनपुरं हरिसिंहदेवो दुर्दैवदेशितपथाथ गिरिं विवेश।।

शक संवत् 1245 मे (बाण-5, अब्धि-4, युग्म-2, शशि-1- अंकस्य वामा गतिः के अनुसार ई भेल 1245) पौष मासक शुक्ल पक्षक नवमी, बुध दिन हरिसिंह देव अपन पट्टनपुरी कें छोड़ि दुर्भाग्य द्वारा देखाओल रास्तासँ पर्वत मे प्रवेश कएलनि।

वर्तमानमे उपलब्ध पाठ मे क्षितिसूनुवारे के अर्थ मंगल दिन थीक, जखनि कि एहि पाठमे बुध दिन होइत अछि। वर्तमान उपलब्ध पाठमे पथे शब्द अशुद्ध अछि। एतए पथाथ अर्थात् पथा अथ विच्छेद संगत अछि। तें हरिसिंहदेवक पलायनक तिथि एहि रूपमे लेल जाए। एकर लेखक ओहि समय 1835ई.मे सिमरौन गढक परिसरमे रहैत छलाह आ हुनका जे केओ पण्डित कहलथिन तनिका शुद्ध रूप बुझल रहनि।

एतए ई सम्पूर्ण आलेख देल गेल अछि, जाहिमे मिथिला आ सिमरौन गढक सम्बन्धमे आरो कतेको महत्त्वपूर्ण सूचना अछि।

Journal of the Asiatic Society, No. 39- March, 1835


by B.H. Hodgson, Esq. Resident in Nepal

[In a letter to the Editor.,]

I trust that the drawings and inscriptions lately sent you from Bakra, Mathiah, Radhiah, and Kesariah, -will serve to draw attention towards the remains of Buddhist science and power still extant in this direction—the Mithila, or Maithila Desa of the Sastras, and North Bihar of the Moghuls. But it is not merely on the British side of the boundary that these astonishing traces of ancient civilization exist; for, in the Nepaulese Tara’i, also within a few miles of the hills, where now (or recently) the tiger, wild boar, and wild buffalo usurp the soil, and a deadly malaria infects the atmosphere for three-fourths of the year, similar vestiges are to be found. The Nepaulese Tara’i is synominous amongst Europeans with pestilential jungle. It was in the halls, of Janakpur, however, that the youthful RAMA sought a bride: it was from the battlements of Simroun that the last of the Deva dynasty defied so long the imperial arms of TOGLAK SHAH!

But the ruins of Janakpur and of Simroun still exist in the Nepaulese low-lands: and he who would form a just idea of what the Hindoos of Mithila achieved prior to the advent of the Moslems must bend his pilgrim steps from the columns of Radhiah and of Mathiah, in the British territories, to the last but still astonishing vestiges of the cities of Kings JANAKA and NANYUPA, in those of Nepaul.

Of the Nepaulese Tara’i it might justly be said, until very lately,

‘A goodly place it was in days of yore,

But something ails it now: the place is cursed.’

Five centuries of incessant struggle between Moslem bigotry and Hindoo retaliation had indeed stricken this border land with the. double curse of waste and pestilence. Nature, as it were, in very scorn of the vile passions of man, having turned the matchless luxuriance of the soil and climate into the means of debarring his future access! Such was the Nepaulese Tara’i until 1816. But since that period the peace and alliance existing between the two efficient Governments of the hills and the plains have given security to the borderers, and man is now fast resuming his ancient tenure of this fertile region. Still, however, there is little temptation or opportunity for Europeans to enter it; and as chance recently conducted me past the ruins of Simroun, I purpose to give you a hasty sketch of what I saw and heard: because these ruins are evidently disjecta membra of the same magnificent body to which the mausoleum of Kiisariah, and the solitary columns of Mathiah, of Radhiah, and of Bakhra belong. About 15 miles from the base of the hills, and at a nearly equal distance from the Bagmatty,. south of the former, and west of the latter, stand the remains of Simroun, in the Nepaulese district of Rotahat, and opposite to the Champarun division of the British zillah of Sarun.

The boundary of Nepaul and of our territories confines the ruins to the south, and the Jamuni Nadi to the west. On the immediate east lies the village of Kachorwa, and on the north, that of Bhagwanpur, both belonging to Nepaul. Here, in the midst of a dense jungle, 12 miles probably in circuit, rife with malaria, and abounding in tigers, wild boar, and spotted axis, are secluded these, wonderful traces of the olden time. The country around is well cultivated now, both on our and the Nepaulese side, but no one presumes to disturb the slumber of the genius of Simroun; superstition broods over the tainted atmosphere; and the vengeance of Kali is announced to the rash peasant who would dare to ply an axe, or urge a plough, within her appropriately desolate domain. It was only with difficulty that my elephants could make their way through the jungle; and when I had reached a central position, and ascended an elevation of some 25 feet, composed of the debris of the palace, nothing but a wilderness met my eye. Yet it is barely 500 years since Simroun was a pakka, fortified city, the pride and the defence of Mithila! After the war with Nepaul, Lieutenant BOILEAU, I think, surveyed these ruins, and drew up a plan of them. What is become of it, I know not; and regret that my own opportunity of research was limited to one hasty visit. In this, however, I traced the northern wall, in all its extent: measured the dimensions of the great Pokra or reservoir called Isra; and clambered to the top of what were once the citadel and the Rani-bas or Mahal Sara’i. On my return I had much conversation with an intelligent Brahman of Bhagwanpur, who told me that in April and May, when the jungle is at its barest state, the form and extent of the city may be distinctly traced. From his communications, and from my own observations, I gather that the form of the city is a parallelogram, surrounded by an outer and an inner wall, the former of unburnt, the latter of burnt, brick—the one having a compass of seven cos, and the other, of about five cos.

On the eastern side, six or seven wet ditches may still be traced, outside the pakka wall, and three or four on the western side. The Isra reservoir or tank is still perfect. It is 333 paces along each greater, and 210 along each shorter, face; and its containing walls or sides consist of the finest burnt bricks, each of which is a cubit square, and nearly a maund in weight. 50 to 60 yards of causeway, constructed of similar bricks or tiles, are yet entire in the neighbourhood of the palace; and vestiges of the same causeway, traceable at other points, indicate that all the streets of the city were of this careful and expensive structure. The remains of the palace, of the citadel, and of the temple of the tutelary goddess, exhibit finely carved stone basements, with superstructures of the same beautifully moulded and polished bricks for which the temples and places of the valley of Nepaul are so justly celebrated. I measured some of the basement stones, and found them each 5 feet long by 1.1/5 broad and deep : and yet these blocks must have been brought from a distance of 25 miles at least, and over the “lesser range of hills ; for, till you come to the second or mountainous and rocky range, no such material is to be had.

Some twenty idols, extricated from the ruins by the pious labour of a Gosain, are made of stone, and are superior in sculpture to modern specimens of the art. Many of them are much mutilated; and of those which are perfect, I had only time to observe that they bore the ordinary attributes of Puranic Brahmanism. Not a single inscription has yet been discovered: but wherefore speak of discovery where there has been no search? I noticed four or five pakka wells round, and each having a breast-work about three feet above the ground, similar precisely to the wells of this valley.

What I have called the citadel is styled on the spot the Kotwali Choutara, and my palace is the Rani-bãs. The latter has a very central position. The Kotwali Choutara is in the northern quarter; and the great tank, called Isra Pokra, is about 1 of a mile from the north-east corner of the city wall. As already mentioned, the last is still complete : the two former exist only as tumuli, some 20 to 25 feet high; and more or less coated with earth and trees.

Hindu tradition, eked out by a couple of Sanscrit slokas, a copy of which I subjoin, asserts that Simroun was founded by NANYUPA DEVA, A. D. 1097; that six* ( footnote in original-* 1. Nanyupa. 2. Ganga. 3. Nara Sinha. 4. Rama Sinha. 5. Sakti Sinha. 6. Hari Sinha, all with the cognomen Deva.) of the dynasty reigned there with great splendour ; and that the sixth, by name HARI SINHA DEVA, was compelled to abandon his capital and kingdom, and take refuge in the hills A. D. 1322. The Moslem annals give 1323 for the date of the destruction of Simroun by TOGLAK SHAH. Of the accuracy of the latter date there can be no doubt; nor is the difference between the Musalman and Hindu chronology of the least moment. But, unless NANYUPA had more than five successors, we cannot place the foundation of Simroun higher than about 1200 A. D. That is clearly too recent; and, in fact, no part of the tradition can be trusted but that vouched by the memorial verses, which only give the date of destruction.

Memorial verses of the founding and desertion of Simroun.

रामस्य वित्तं नलराजवित्तं पुरूरवावित्तमलर्कराजः।

ह्रदात्समुद्धृत्य निपात्य नागं श्रीनान्यदेवो निरमात् स्वगर्तम्।

वाणाब्धियुग्मशशिसम्मितशाकवर्षे पौषस्य शुक्लनवमीशशिसूनुवारे।

त्यक्त्वा स्वपट्टनपुरं हरिसिंहदेवो दुर्दैवदेशितपथाथ गिरिं विवेश।।

The following is the substance of these memorial verses: ‘The wealth accumulated by Rajas RAMA, NALA, PURURAVA, and ALARKA, was preserved in a tank (that of Isra,) and guarded by a serpent. NANYUPA DEVA destroyed the serpent; appropriated the wealth; and built (Simroun) Garh with it. (His descendant) HARI SINHA, compelled by cruel fate, abandoned his beautiful city, and went to the hills in the year of the Saka 1245.’

The kingdom of the Deva dynasty in the plains expired with the destruction or desertion of Simroun. It extended from the Kosi to the Gandak, and from the Ganges to the hills of Nepaul: at least, such were its limits in the days of its greatest splendour, when consequently it embraced all the several localities from which I have recently forwarded to you such signal memorials of Hindu power and science.

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