The Great Tope of Manikyala

Ruth Laila Schmidt at EAST.UIO.NO
Fri Apr 24 07:00:30 UTC 1998

Isobel Shaw in _Pakistan Handbook_ (1989) reports that:
        "Manikalya Stupa is about two kilometers east of the main road
halfway between Mandra and Riwat. You can see it from the main road, but it
can easily be mistaken for a clump of banyan trees. A rough track leaves
the Grand Trunk Road on a corner a little way south of the radio masts and
crosses the railway to the stupa.
        "Manikalya Stupa is one of the largest in the area. The solid dome
supported on a square platform is still intact, but there are no carvings
or decorations left other than the simple pilasters ariound the drum, which
were restored in 1891.
        "You can climb the stupa from a break in the stone facing on the
east side and scramble to the grassy top for a good view over the plains
below. The deep hole in the top of the stupa was dug by treasure hunters,
who removed whatever relics and valuables it once held."

With best wishes,

Ruth Schmidt

>   I've not been keeping up with the literature on (buddhist) archaeology
>   in Pakistan for the last fifteen years, but am still being haunted
>   by an old question:
>   What has become of the 'Great Tope' near the village of Manikyala,
>   located to the south-east of Rawalpindi/Islamabad (33' 28", 75'15"),
>   since it was "discovered" at the beginning of the last century?
>   I think a remark of Debala Mitra (Buddhist Monuments, 1971) on
>   the old finds in this stupa (coins of Kanishka and Huvishka), is the
>   last information I have about it.
>   A reasonable state of preservation of this stupa would be one the
>   main reasons for an eventual trip to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
>   I guess there may be more appropriate Lists or Groups for dropping
>   my question. Most lists about Buddhisme however seem to be devoted
>   more to spiritual matters than just old mounds of bricks.
>   For any more recent information on this stupa, references to it,
>   or suggestions for other platforms to put my question,
>   I will be very grateful,
>   Jaap Pranger
>   ---------
>   Reference:
>   The "Great Tope" was opened first by General Ventura
>   in 1838. The account of its exploration was first published by
>   Wilson and afterwards by Prinsep.
>   Elphinstone, Mountstuart, "An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul",
>   London 1815, p. 78 (with illustrations)
>   Wilson, Horace Hayman, "Ariana Antiqua; A descriptive Account
>   of the Antiquities and Coins of Afghanistan, with a Memoir on the
>   Buildings called Topes, by Charles Masson", London 1841
>   Prinsep, James, "On the Coins and Relics discovered by M. le
>   Chevalier Ventura, General in the Service of Maharaja Runjeet Singh,
>   in the Tope of Manikyala", JASBe, no.31, III, July 1834, pp. 313-320,
>   pp. 556-62
>   Court, A., "Further Information on the Topes of Manikyala, being the
>   translation of an Extract from a Manuscript Memoir on Ancient Taxila,
>   Mons. A. Court, Engineer Officer in the Army of Maharaja Ranjit
>   JRAS, November 1834, pp. 556-576
>   PS
>   As I have moved less than a year ago and books
>   have not been unpacked, I could not check the
>   page numbers in the references.

Ruth Laila Schmidt
Dept of East European and Oriental Studies
University of Oslo
P.O. Box 1030 Blindern
N-0315 Oslo, Norway
Phone: (47) 22 85 55 86
Fax: (47) 22 85 41 40
Email: at

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