Asarur

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This article has been extracted from

THE IMPERIAL GAZETTEER OF INDIA , 1908.

OXFORD, AT THE CLARENDON PRESS.

Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts.Many units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.

Asarur

Village in the Khangah Dogran tahsil of Gujranwala District, Punjab, situated in 31 47' N. and 73 42' E. It is identified by Cunningham with the ancient city of Tse-kie or Taki, which was visited by Hiuen Tsiang in a. d. 630. The city was then one of great importance, and is said by the Chinese pilgrim to have been 3 miles in circuit, a measurement which agrees well enough with that of the ruins still existing. The antiquity claimed for the place is confirmed by the large size of the bricks, 18 by 10 by 3 inches, which are found all over the ruins, and by the great numbers of Indo-Scythian coins that are discovered after heavy rain. Its history therefore certainly reaches back to the beginning of the Christian era. The ruins consist of an extensive mound, 15,600 feet, or nearly 3 miles, in circuit. The highest point is in the north-west quarter, where the mound rises to 59 feet above the fields. This part, which Cunningham takes to have been the ancient palace, is 600 feet long and 400 feet broad, and quite regular in shape. It contains an old well, 21 feet in diameter, which has not been used for many years and is now dry. The place is com- pletely surrounded by a line of large mounds about 25 feet in height, and 8,100 feet, or \\ miles, in circuit, which was evidently the strong- hold or citadel of the place. The mounds are round and prominent, like the ruins of large towers or bastions. On the east and south sides of the citadel the mass of ruins sinks to 10 and 15 feet in height, but it is twice the size of the citadel, and is no doubt the remains of the old city. There are no visible traces of any ancient buildings, as all the surface bricks have been long ago carried off to the neighbouring shrine of Ugah Shah at Khangah Masrur on the road from Lahore to Pindf Bhattian ; but among the old bricks forming the surrounding wall of the mosque, Cunningham found three moulded in different patterns, which could only have belonged to buildings of some importance.

He found also a wedge-shaped brick, 15 inches long and 3 inches thick, with a breadth of ro inches at the narrow end and nearly 10^ inches at the broad end. This must have been made for a stupa, or for a well, but most probably for the latter, as the existing well is 2 1 feet in diameter. The modern village of Asarur contains only forty-five houses. At the time of Hiuen Tsiang's visit there were ten monasteries, but very few Buddhists, and the mass of the people worshipped the Brah- manical gods. North-east of the town, at 10 //, or nearly 2 miles, was a stTlpa of Asoka, 200 feet in height, which marked the spot where Buddha had halted, and which was said to contain a large number of his relics. This stupa General Cunningham identifies with the little mound of Salar, near Thatta Saiyidan, just 2 miles to the north of Asarur.

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