About the Book:
Fa-hien's account of travels in India and Ceylon from AD 399 to 414 is one of the most important source for reconstructing the life and conditions of the times. Though brief, his account of the general characteristics and tendencies of Gupta imperial administration is very valuable. Likewise, the account also gives a fair deal of information on the religious usages and practices and is invaluable for the graphic information it provides about Buddhism in India, Central Asia and Ceylon. Equally interesting and useful is the thrilling account of the perilous sea-voyage to South-East Asia and his journey through Central Asia to India.
A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms is the translation into English by James Legge of Fa-hien's narrative. It is also annotated with a Korean recension of the Chinese text. It consists of three parts: the translation of Fa-hien's narrative of his travels; copious notes; and the Chinese text of the copy. In the present translation, James Legge has also made frequent reference to and use of previous translations.
A brief introduction to the work containing information on the life of Fa-hien and the genuineness of the text of the narrative and an index have added to the value of this work. The present edition also contains a sketch-map of Fa-hien's travels and nine other illustrations on the life of the Buddha in best style of Chinese art.