ILEDONG, site in Central Asia. Its location is not quite certain. The name itself (Eastern Turkish for “a road-sign hillock”) is no help in the identification, as it is a factual description rather than a real place name, iles being “road signs, established on every dominant height or hill in the form of small stone cairns” (S. Hedin, who transcribes ille-dung). It has been suggested that it should be identified with Kuduk-Köl near Dumaqu in the eastern part of the Khotan region (G. Gropp, Archäologische Funde aus Khotan, Chinesisch-Ostturkestan, Bremen, 1974, p. 24). Twenty-six items labeled “Ile-dong” were brought back to Europe by M. Auriel Stein from his third expedition. They were collected for him by Badruddin Khan in Khotan and include a number of Khotanese fragments of Mahāyāna Buddhist works and a Khotanese document on a wooden tablet, as well as two Tibetan and some Sanskrit fragments (M. A. Stein, Innermost Asia, Oxford, 1928, pp. 1020, 1026-27, and 1098; the Tibetan fragments are not listed). Of the Khotanese fragments, Iledong 04 and 06 are from the Suvarṇabhā-sottamasūtra, Iledong 05 and 017 from the Saṅghāṭa-sūtra, and Iledong 015.1 from the Bhaiṣajyaguruvaiḍūr-yaprabharājasūtra (q.v.).



On the place name and for Hedin’s quotation see G. Jarring, Central Asian Turkic Place-Names: Lop Nor and Tarim area: an attempt at classification and explanation based on Sven Hedin’s diaries and published works, Stockholm, 1997, pp. 134 and 180.

Edition of the Khotanese fragments in H. W. Bailey, Khotanese Texts III, Cambridge, 1956, pp. 132-35, and Idem, Khotanese Texts V, Cambridge, 1963, p. 295.

For an edition of the Bhaiṣajyaguru fragment see R. E. Emmerick, “A Khotanese Version of the Sūtra of the Lord of Healing,” in Buddhism and its Relation to other Religions: Essays in Honour of Dr. Shozen Kumoi on his Seventieth Birthday, Kyoto, 1985, p. 231.

(Mauro Maggi)

Originally Published: December 15, 2004

Last Updated: March 27, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XII, Fasc. 6, p. 645