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XII. —Hastivanj

  • H. Beveridge

There is a mountain-ridge on the old route to Kamīr viâ Bhimbar and Bahrāmgala which bears the name of Hastīvanj. It is near the ‘Alīābād Serai, but is on the other, or right, bank of the Pīr Pantsāl stream, and is marked on Dr. Stein's map of Kamīr. See also his Rājataranginī, book i, pp. 44–5, and vol. ii, pp. 394–5. Dr. Stein visited the spot and identified it as the place where King Mihrakul, who lived in the first part of the sixth century, is said to have had a hundred elephants thrown over the cliffs. The circumstance is mentioned in the Āīn Akbarī, Jarrett, ii, 382, but both there and at p. 347 id. the place is called in the Persian text Hastī Watar or Vatar. The name Hastīvanj occurs apparently for the first time in Ḥaidar Malik's history of Kamīr, which was written during Jahāngīr's reign and about 1621. After that it occurs in a note to the oldest MS. of the Rājataranginī, written apparently about 1680, and in Narayan Kūl's history, which was written about 1710. Ḥaidar Malik mentions the place in his account of Mihrakul near the beginning of his book. He there describes the incident, and says that the place has since been called Hastīvanj , because hastī means elephant (fīl) in the Hindī (qu. Sanskrit) tongue, and vanj in the same language means ‘going’ (raftan). Narayan Kūl's explanation is similar, and is probably copied from Ḥaidar.

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1 The Newal Kishore (Lucknow) ed. has girewa-zind at the place corresponding to p. 540 Bib. Ind., and which the Bib. Ind. gives there as a variant. At the other three places the Lucknow ed. has watīr, etc. Nowhere has it vani. The authority of this edition is very small.

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Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
  • ISSN: 1356-1863
  • EISSN: 1474-0591
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-royal-asiatic-society
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