Saturday, May 26, 2012

On scribbled walls of Shankracharya



From
 'Indian pages and pictures: Rajputana, Sikkim, the Punjab, and Kashmir' (1912)
by Michael Myers Shoemaker (1853-1924)

If you have been atop the hill, if you have seen the temple, and if you have wondered about those names scribbled on its periphery wall, if you have wondered about '-Akbar-Ramesh-Suresh-' craved on its walls, read this passage by Augusta E. King from 'The diary of a civilian's wife in India, 1877-1882 (1884), Volume 2' describing her visit to the temple:

"I had thought that the practice of writing one's name on walls was confined to English and Americans, or the European nations. But here in this Hindu temple were  thousands of Hindu autographs, and it is evidently the proper thing for any pious Hindu, who can write his name, to do so on these walls."

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Here's another chapter On scribbled walls of Shankracharya:

"Some people commit an unpardonable offence by scratching in with knives their names or other idle scrawls in with knives their names or other idle scrawls on the walls of ancient buildings, and visitors are misled by them. Even an antiquarian like Dr.Fergusson was misled by one of such scratchings on the staircase of this temple,"A.H. 1069", and he, therefore, concluded that the temple was commenced "by a nameless Hindu in honor of Shiva during the tolerant reign of Jahangir"! There were also scratchings of the same nature inside the temple upon the pillar to its south-west, stating that "the idol was made by Haji Hushti, a Sahukar, in the year 54 of the Samvat era", while at the foot of the same pillar there was another scratching stating that "he who raised this temple was Khwaja Rukn, son of Mir Jan in the year___." Islam was unknown in that remote period when this temple was built, so there could not have been a Khwaya or a Mire then. Nor would have a Muhammadan built a temple as his own nor would he have used Sambat era for its erection."

~ Pandit Anand Koul from his book 'Archaeological Remains In Kashmir' (1935)

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Example of Fergusson's finding getting quoted by a western traveler:


~Rough notes of journeys made in ... 1868,'69,'70,'71, '72 &'73 in Syria, down the Tigris, India, Kashmir, Ceylon, Japan [&c.].

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