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with the Presi
and ENQUIRIES connected
dency of MADRAS.
LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE Fac-similies of ancient inscriptions, with translations and alphabets of their characters.
Well written alphabets of all the modern languages. : It is certain that the Hindu languages of the south of India are not derived from the Sanscrit, and it is a tradition which this circumstance confirms that the Brahmans, with their religion and language, came from the north. The question regarding the time when the Vadamozhi or northern tongue (the Sanscrit) was introduced, is one of great interest.
A comparison of the different languages of the south and an examination of what they have borrowed from the Sanscrit, with an accurate account of the geographical limits of these languages.
Which is the most ancient character in use in the south of India ?
Is there any trace of a language which may be considered the parent of those now existing in Southern India? If so, what is its name? Where was it vernacular? And how far has it entered into the formation of the other peninsular languages?
Does the Purvada Hali Canada answer in any degree this description? Some account of this language with a well written al. phabet of its characters as appearing in inscriptions, it is believed may be obtained from learned Jain Brahmans. One of this sect, employed by Colonel Mackenzie, thoroughly understood it and if still living, might probably furnish the information here desired.
Copies and translations of the inscriptions at the caves of Kenera in the Island of Salsette, which are in this character, might be useful
for this purpose.
Notices and catalogues raisonnées of Libraries at Native Courts, in Pagodas, &c. accounts of their foundation, how they are maintained; if additions of books are occasionally made to them, and by what means they are obtained.
HISTORY. Historical accounts of the erection of religious and charitable edifices.
In the province of Tanjore there are many Jains, principally Shroffs, and two or three ancient Jain temples. There are also some Jain
temples in the neighbourhood of Conjeveram, and in all likelihood
History of the provinces of Tinnevelly and Madura and of the erection of the several pagodas and forts, and of the settlement of the various tribes of Northern Brahmans on the lands on the banks of the Tambrapournie river in the province of Tinnevelly.
An account of the Cotta Vellalers in the Tinnevelly district.
An account of the origin of the Southern Poligars and the means by which they acquired the lands held by them.
An account of the settling of the Brahmans on the irrigated lands of Tanjore and Trichinopoly.
An account of the settlement of the Vellalers in the lands of the Carnatic Payenghat; with a notice of the countries whence they emigrated.
The History of the Northern Circars, with an account of the Rashwar settlers in that province.
To ascertain whether any native histories exist of the invasion of the south eastern peninsula by the Mahomedans and Mahrattas.
At Madura some notices it is supposed are still preserved in the hands of the Brahmans, which may throw light on the ancient government and colonies believed to have migrated to the eastern and western parts of the coast.
In Malabar and Travancore, vestiges of the early colonization of Keraa, Mallialum, &c. are supposed to exist. At Cochin the Jewish establishment deserves notice, and enquiry should be made respecting the ancient records preserved among the Jews, and the ancient inscriptions on copper which they possess.
Does the town of Cochin give origin to an era in use in the neighbouring districts?
The ancient history, state and institutions of the south of India might be illustrated by materials of various descriptions in the hands of the Natives, which are liable to be neglected and lost ; but might yet be recovered, such, as MSS. in any lauguage, with translations relating to the ancient government of the Pandayen, Chola, and Chera dynasties. Such MSS, are believed to exist in the Tanjore country, at Trivalore, Cumbeconum, Seringham, Chiduinbrum, and in the Tondeman's country.
Records of the following descriptions may also be found. Genealogies of the several dynasties and considerable families.
Chronologies, Registers and Records, sometimes preserved by official persons.
Prophecies, often really conveying under that assumed disguise, historical information with more apparent freedom than could be addressed to Oriental Sovereigns.
Tales and popular stories, sometimes containing correct information of remarkable characters and events. The Mahratta Bakeers are of this description.
Historical notices of changes of government and of facts connected with local establishments, which are occasionally to be found in the ancient financial records.
In the temples and agrarums of the Brabmans, the mutts of the Jangham priests of the Lingavunt sect, and the busties and temples of the Jain, two species of records were kept; lst, the Mahatyams or religious legends, which appear to consist of passages extracted from the Puranums and apply to the local circumstances of the establishment; 2d, the Stalla Puranums, which are carried through the earlier periods of real history to modern times, detailing the dates of the several grants of land to the pagodas, agrarums, &c. of the immunities and benefactions granted, and the benefactors' names, titles and genealogies. Considerable information may be derived from these documents, and there is reason to think that some of the most correct are still preserved by the Jains and Janghums.
ANTIQUITIES. As there is reason to think that a general comparison of the antiquities preserved in different provinces would be the most effectual means of throwing light on the early history of India; it is suggested that detailed descriptions of them, accompanied by drawings, be if possible, furnished.
These antiquities may be generally classed under the following heads, viz.
1. Sepulchral monuments, mounds and tumuli.
2. Single stones on which rude figures of warriors are represented, and flat stones, with rude sculptures representing combats, objects of worship, &c. with or without inscriptions. These are in the Deckan denominated Veeracull, or heroic monuments.
3. Sassanams or inscriptions in various characters cut in stone, these generally commemorate grants of land, &c.
4. Vases, urns and lamps of clay and metal.
5. Statues, whether those so remarkable for their size and the uniformity of their sitting and standing attitudes, which belong to the Bouddhaic and Jain worship; or the more varied personifications of the Brahminical system.
6. Sculptured excavations, as those of Mahamaleipur, &c.
With respect to the sepulchral monuments, it is desirable to ascertain whether there are any ancient capitals of sovereigns in their vicinity, to whom they might have served as burying places. Some observations on the nature of the ground, and corresponding localities, will be useful in determining whether they were family tombs of dynasties ; tombs of particular tribes or castes; the common sepulchres of large communities, or structures erected in commemoration of the slain in some remarkable battle.
In some instances the inner chamber of the sepulchre is composed of four stones, one of which is pierced by a circular opening. Sometimes a second enclosure of stone occurs, of which one of the stones, has a corresponding aperture. Do
avy of the stones appear to have been chiselled? Are the quarries near that supplied them, and do they seem to have been constructed by the labour of numbers hastily collecting rude materials; or by workmen who had leisure to erect more laboured structures ?
Are there any circles of stone, great or small, surrounding these tombs or any single stones of superior height and size, that might have been erected as particular marks or trophies?
Enquiries are recommended among the intelligent natives relative to their own ideas of these structures and of the traditions regarding them : the class of Vyvyas, or native Physicians, the Jotishees, or Astronomers, and frequently the head Ryots of villages, are the most intelligent and unbiassed sources of information.
COINS, The ancient coins found in the Peninsula of India, may be divid. ed into four classes.
1. Roman and Greek, which, when not corroded by rust, are ea. sily distinguished by the character and the outlines of the figures.
2. Mahommedan coins of the different dynasties, Arabic, Persian, Patan, Mogul, &c. and sometimes of the Caliphs who reigned previously to the first Mahommedan invasion. They are distinguished by inscriptions in Arabic or Persian, and few of them, except the Zodiac coins, have figures of any living creature: they are either round or square.
3. Hindu coins of various descriptions, sometimes with only inscriptions in Sanscrit, in the Dewanagari character, but generally distinguished by emblems of religion, by figures of deities and of animals, and by heads of sovereigns, frequently very rude. The most remarkable are the Rama Tanka, a gold coin, convex on one side and concave on the other, on which the coronation of Rama is represented, and the Canoge coins, on some of which is represented a king enthroned ; on others an idol, &c.
4. Ancient Persian or Parthian coins, with inscriptions in the Pahlevi character, and sometimes in Greek. These are rarely found in India, and generally represent the fire worship on one side.
Curious coins are often presented at certain Pagodas, as Triputty, Trivalore, and Paddapollam. Various Chinese coins are also occasionally found on the sea coast.
In describing coins, a distinction should be made between such as were intended for money and such as served the purpose of medals.
COUNTRIES AND PEOPLE. If there are any races in India with woolly hair, their history should be investigated, as they are probably not of Asiatic origin.
An account of the state of slavery in the peninsula, both domestic and agricultural
An account of the Abyssinian slaves on the western coast of the Peninsula, their numbers and the date of their transportation thither.
Are there any traces of a colony of Abyssinians in Central India, or among
the Vellalers of the Carnatic ? An account of military tribes, the composition, organization, discipline and tactics of native armies; and any elucidation of military institutions, and the art of war under the different empires which have successively existed in India.
An account of the Parsees, their numbers, religion and literature.