Sherring, Matthew A.
The sacred city of the Hindus: an account of Benares in ancient and modern times — London, 1868

Page: 19
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https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/sherring1868/0055
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CHAPTEE II.

No Architectural remains dating prior to the third century before Christ
yet found in India.—Ancient Hindu Edifices of the primitive period,
not of a rude character.—Did the Hindus borrow from, the Assyrian
and Persian Sculptors ? — Ancient remains found chiefly in the
northern quarter of the city.—Mohammedan lust for Hindu edifices.
—Shifting tendency of the modern city.—Origin of the appellation
" Benares."

The great antiquity of Indian civilization is proved,
directly and indirectly, in so many ways, that it has
come to be regarded as one of the ordinary truisms
about which all the world is agreed. Yet it is remarkable
that, although it admits not of the smallest question, no
evidence in its favour should be afforded by any monu-
ment of art hitherto discovered in the country. There
is no known specimen of architecture existing, of any
character, the date of which carries us back beyond the
third century before Christ. The pillars of Asoka, which
belong to this period, are the very earliest sculptured
remains yet found. " Of these," says Mr. Fergusson,
" one is at Delhi; having been re-erected by Feroze
Shah in his palace, as a monument of his victory over
the Hindus. Three more are standing near the river
Gunduck in Tirhoot; and one has been placed on a
pedestal in the fort of Allahabad. A fragment of
another was discovered near Delhi, and part of a seventh
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