As we had mentioned in an earlier post here is an attempt to use modern techniques to verify some established reference points from the available literatures...
We try to find the values of Li and Yojan between the places mentioned by Xuanzang and Fahien using GIS software and GPS. For this we take few fixed points (reference) which are now established and confirmed as the places mentioned by Fahien and Xuanzang in their travel accounts.
Fixed points- Nalanda, Rajgir, Indrasaila Guha (Isolated Hill, Parwati) and Telhada
The distances found using the GIS are the shortest distance between the places. We do not have any information on the path used during earlier times. Some sites like Nalanda, Telhada and Rajgir must be much bigger than the existing remains. Also the cart-tracks in old times must be longer. It’s also not clear if Xuanzang himself measured the distances or they were based on enquiry. Also we know Xuanzang moved around Nalanda on an Elephant. Taking every thing in consideration it’s safe to have a margin of error of ±10% of the measured value, for measurement of average distances as we shall do in Nalanda and around.
1 Li= 416Mts, Buffer= 378 mts to 458 mts
1 Yojan= 9.3 Kms, Buffer= 8.37Kms to 10.23Kms –Xuanzang
1 Yojan= 12.5 Km, Buffer= 11.25 Kms to 13.75 Kms-Fahien