Buddhist records of the Western world (Xuanzang)

by Samuel Beal | 1884 | 224,928 words | ISBN-10: 8120811070

This is the English translation of the travel records of Xuanzang (or, Hiuen Tsiang): a Chinese Buddhist monk who traveled to India during the seventh century. This book recounts his documents his visit to India and neighboring countries, and reflects the condition of those countries during his time, including temples, culture, traditions and fest...

Chapter 6 - Country of ’O-ch’a-li (Atali)

Note: 'O-ch'a-li appears to be far north of Kachh. May it not have been Uchh or Bāhwalpur? There is a town called Aṭāri in the neighbourhood of Multān (Cunningham, Anc. Geog., p. 228); but it is difficult to know what could have taken the pilgrim there. This place is identified by Cunningham with the city of the Brāhmaṇs, taken by Alexander the Great (l. c.)

This country is about 6000 li in circuit; the capital of the country is about 20 li or so in circuit. The population is dense; the quality of gems and precious substances stored up is very great; the produce of the land is sufficient for all purposes, yet commerce is their principal occupation. The soil is salt and sandy, the fruits and flowers are not plentiful. The country produces the "hu-tsian" tree. The leaves of this tree are like those of the Sz'chuen pepper (Shuh tsiau); it also produces the "hiun-lu" perfume tree, the leaf of which is like the "thang-li".[1] The climate is warm, windy, and dusty. The disposition of the people is cold and indifferent. They esteem riches and despise virtue. Respecting their letters, language, and the manners and figures of the people, these are much the same as in the country of Mālava. The greater part of the people have no faith in the virtue of religious merit; as to those who do believe, they worship principally the spirits of heaven, and their temples are some thousand in number, in which sectaries of different characters congregate.

Going north-west from the country of Mālava, after passing over 300 li[2] or so, we come to the country of K'ie-ch'a (Kachha).

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Can this be the Sālai from which Kimdura, Gujarāti Kindru or Sālainodhūpa, Indian gum, olibanum, is obtained? This tree (Boswellia thurifera, serrata and glabra) is found in Oudh, Khandes, and Kāthiāwāḍ. Guggula (bdellium), the gum resin of Balsamodenron roxburghii, pubescens, and mukul, is also produced in Kachh and Sindh.

[2]:

In Hwui-lih, the distance is "three days'" journey.

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