[Extract of General Cunningham's Archœological Report for
1864-5,—Page 1.]

“In his account of the geography of Northern India, the celebrated Abú Ríhán makes the city of Narain the starting point of three different itineraries to the south, the south-west, and the west. This place has not been identified by M. Reinaud, the learned historian of ancient India, but its true locality has been accurately assigned to the neighbourhood of Jaypur. Its position also puzzled Sir H. Elliot, who says, however, that with one exception “Narwar satisfies all the requisite conditions.” But this position is quite untenable, as will be seen by the proofs which I am now about to bring forward in support of its identification with Náráyan, the capital of Bairát, or Matsya.

According to the Chinese pilgrim, Hwen Tsang, the capital of the kingdom of Po-li-ye-to-lo, which M. Reinaud has identified with Páryátra, or Bairát, was situated at 500 li, or 83 2/3 miles, to the west of Mathura, and about 800 li, or 133 2/3 miles, to the south-west (read south-east) of the kingdom of She-to-tu-lo, that is, of Satadru, on the Sutlej—The bearing and distance from Mathura point un­equivocally to Bairát, the ancient capital of Matsya, as the city of Hwen Tsang's narrative; and this being fixed, we may identify the capital of Satadru, or the Sutlej Provinces, with the famous Fort of Hansi, which successfully resisted the arms of Mahmúd of Ghazní. According to the Tabakát-i Násirí, Hansi was the ancient capital of the Province of Siwálik, and up to the time of its capture by Mas'úd had been considered by the Hindus as impregnable.

Abú Ríhán, the contemporary of Mahmúd, places Narána, the capital of Karzát, at twenty-eight parasangs to the west of Mathura, which, taking the parasang at three and a half miles, would make the distance ninety-eight miles, or fourteen miles in excess of the measurement of Hwen Tsang. But as the narratives of the different Muhammadan historians leave no doubt of the identity of Narána, the capital of Kárzát, with Náráyana, the capital of Bairát, this difference in the recorded distance from Mathura is of little moment. According to Abú Ríhán, Narána, or Bazána,* was called Náráyan <arabic> by the Musulmans, a name which still exists in Náráyanpur, a town situated at ten miles to the north-east of Bairát itself. From Kanauj to Narána, Abú Ríhán gives two distinct routes:—the first direct, via Mathura, being fifty-six parasangs, or 196 miles, and the other to the south of the Jumna being eighty-eight parasangs, or 308 miles. The intermediate stages of the latter route are, 1st., Asi, 18 parasangs, or 63 miles; 2nd., Sahina, 17 parasangs, or 59 1/2 miles; 3rd., Jandara (Chandrá), 18 parasangs, or 63 miles; 4th., Rajauri, either 15 or 17 parasangs, 54 or 59 1/2 miles; and 5th., Bazána, or Narána, 20 parasangs, or 70 miles. As the direction of the first stage is especially recorded to have been to the south-west of Kanauj, it may be at once identified with the Assai Ghát on the Jumna, six miles to the south of Etawa, and about sixty miles to the south-west of Kanauj. The name of the second stage is written Sahina, <arabic>, for which, by the simple shifting of the diacritical points, I propose to read Sahania, <arabic>, which is the name of a very large and famous ruined town, situated twenty-five miles to the north of Gwalior, of which some account will be given in the present report. Its distance from the Assai Ghát is about fifty-six miles. The third stage named Jandara by M. Reinaud, and Chandra by Sir Henry Elliot, I take to be Hindon, reading <arabic>. Its distance from Sahaniya by the Khetri Ghát on the Chambal river is about seventy miles. The fourth stage, named Rajori, still exists under the same name, twelve miles to the south of Mácheri, and about fifty miles to the north-west of Hindon. From thence to Narainpur and Bairát, the road lies altogether through the hills of Alwar or Mácheri, which makes it difficult to ascertain the exact distance. By measurements on the lithographed map of eight miles to the inch, I make the distance to be about sixty miles, which is sufficiently near the twenty parasangs, or seventy miles of Abú Ríhán's account.

According to the other itineraries of Abú Ríhán, Narána was twenty-five parasangs to the north of Chitor in Mewár, fifty para­sangs to the east of Multán, and sixty parasangs to the north-east of Anhalwára. The bearings of these places from Bairát are all sufficiently exact, but the measurements are more than one-half too short. For the first distance of twenty-five parasangs to Chitor, I would propose to read sixty-five parasangs, or 227 miles, the actual distance by the measured routes of the Quarter-Master General being 217 3/4. As the distance of Chitor is omitted in the extract from Abú Ríhán, which is given by Rashídu-d Dín,* it is probable that there may have been some omission or confusion in the original of the Táríkh-i Hind from which he copied. The erroneous measure­ment of fifty parasangs to Multán is, perhaps, excusable on the ground that the direct route through the desert being quite impass­able for an army, the distance must have been estimated. The error in the distance of Anhalwára I would explain by referring the measurement of sixty parasangs to Chitor, which lies about midway between Bairát and Anhalwára. From a comparison of all these different itineraries, I have no hesitation whatever in identifying Bazána or Narána, the capital of Karzát or Guzrát,* with Náráyanpur, the capital of Bairát or Vairát. In Firishta the name is written either Kibrát, <arabic> as in Dow, or Kairát, <arabic> as in Briggs, both of which names are an easy misreading of <arabic> Wairát or Virát, as it would have been written by the Muhammadans.

* * * * * * *

According to Abú Ríhán the town was destroyed, and the people retired far into the interior. By Firishta this invasion is assigned to the year A.H. 413, or A.D. 1022, when the king (Mahmúd), hearing that the inhabitants of two hilly tracts named Kairát and Nárdin (or Bairát and Naráyan) still continued the worship of idols (or lions in some manuscripts), resolved to compel them to embrace the Muhammadan faith. The place was taken and plundered by Amír 'Alí.”]