Our knowledge of the Indian Hunas is chiefly derived from coins, from a few inscriptions distributed from the Punjab to central India, and from the account of the Chinese pilgrim Hsuan Tsang, who visited the country just a century after the death of Mihiragula.
The Chinese pilgrims, Fa Hien and Hsuan Tsang, visiting India in the 5th and 7th centuries A.D., were shown the site; and the latter (ed.
15-19) mentions that he saw there an Asoka pillar, with a horse on the top, which had been split, when Hsuan Tsang saw it, by lightning.
The existence, a few miles beyond the Nepalese frontier, of an inscribed pillar had been known for some years when, in 1895, the discovery of another inscribed pillar at Nigliva, near by, led to the belief that this other, hitherto neglected, one must also be an Asoka pillar, and very probably the one mentioned by Hsuan Tsang.
Except so far as the excavation of the pillar is concerned the site has not been explored, and four small stupas there (already noticed by Hsuan Tsang) have not been opened.
The Chinese traveller, Hsuan Tsang, in the 7th century, found 20 Buddhist temples with 3000 monks at Ajodhya among a large Brahmanical population.
The first known mention of it seems to be that by Hsuan-Tsang, at a time when apparently it had already passed its meridian, and was the head of one of the small states into which the empire of the White Huns had broken up. At a later period Bamian was for half a century, ending A.D.
HSUAN TSANG (HIOUEN THSANG, HIWEN T'SANG, Yuan Tsang, Yuan-Chwang), the most eminent representative of a remarkable and valuable branch of Chinese literature, consisting of the narratives of Chinese Buddhists who travelled to India, whilst their religion flourished there, with the view of visiting the sites consecrated by the history of Sakya Muni, of studying at the great convents which then existed in India, and of collecting books, relics and other sacred objects.
Hsuan Tsang, who travelled in the first half of the 7th, found the monastery where Asanga had lived in ruins, and says that he had lived one thousand years after the Buddha.'