Statue of a Bodhitsattva and plaster-cast of Kharoshti inscription from Kaldarga near Dargai, Swat Valley
Photographer: Caddy, Alexander E.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a statue of a Bodhisattva and plaster-cast of Kharoshti inscription from Kaldarga near Dargai, Swat Valley taken by Alexander .E Caddy in 1896. The ancient kingdoms of Udyana (Swat) and Gandhara (Peshawar), ruled by the Kushans from the first century AD, corresponded fairly closely with the northern part of the North West Frontier Province. The sculpture of the area, referred to as Gandharan, was influenced by Graeco-Roman elements. In this sculpture this influence is shown in the draped clothing the figure wears, and in the naturalistic modelling of the body. In 1895 Surgeon-Major L.A.Waddell went to the Swat valley to undertake archaeological research and met with, Major Deane, the Chief Political Officer. Deane was a well-known archaeologist, who for many years has been zealously and most successfully exploring the Buddhist remains of Peshawar and its frontier countries. Concerning the meeting between the two, at that time Waddell stated that:
"To him I explained the object of my mission, and pleaded the need in which the Indian Museum of Calcutta stood of specimens of Buddhist sculpture of the Gandhara type. Major Deane kindly promised his aid, and he generously said that he would make over to me all the numerous sculptures found in the Swat Valley, of which he had already got possession."
The sculpture pictured here was one of those transferred to Calcutta and remains there today. The plaster cast is one of the longest Kharoshthi inscription discovered by Dr. L. A. Waddell on his tour of Kaldarra near Dargai and was inscribed on a rough block of stone measuring about 27" by 9". An article by George Buhler in 'The Indian Antiquary' of May 1896, p.141, (Vol XXV) translates the inscription as follows: "By the son of Dati, the Thera Nora, a tank (pushkarini) was caused to be made for the worship of all snakes (in) the year 113, (in the) bright half (of the month of) Sravana". This photograph was printed from a broken glass plate.