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Chapter VII
Crossing of the Indus. When Buddhism First Crossed the River for the East

The travellers went on to the south-west for fifteen days (at the foot of the mountains, and) following the course of their range. The way was difficult and rugged, (running along) a bank exceedingly precipitous, which rose up there, a hill-like wall of rock, 10,000 cubits from the base. When one approaches the edge of it, his eyes become unsteady; and if he wished to go forward in the same direction, there was no place on which he could place his foot; and beneath where the waters of the river called the Indus.1 In former times men had chiselled paths along the rocks, and distributed ladders on the face of them, to the number altogether of 700, at the bottom of which there was a suspension bridge of ropes, by which the river was crossed, its banks being there eighty paces apart.2 The (place and arrangements) are to be found in the Records of the Nine Interpreters,3 but neither Chang K’een4 nor Kan Ying5 had reached the spot.

The monks6 asked Fa-hien if it could be known when th............
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