INSCRIPTIONS OF THE MAHISHMATI
No.5; PLATE III A
KANAKHERA STONE INSCRIPTIONS OF SRIDHARAVARMAN:
(KALACHURI) YEAR 102
THE inscription was discovered by one of the Assistants of Sir John Marshall, Director
General of Archaeology in India at Kānākhērā, a village near Sāñchi in the
Bhopal State, Central India.1 It is now preserved in the Sāñchi Museum. The inscribed
stone was found built into a well. The record was first briefly noticed by Mr.
R.D. Banerji in the Progress Report of the Archaeological Survey of India, Western Circle, for the
year 1917-18, p. 37, and later edited by him in the Epigraphia Indica, VoI. XVI, pp. 230 ff.
It was re-edited by Mr. N.G. Majumdar, first in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal,
New Series, Vol XIX (1923), pp. 337 ff., and later in the Monuments of Sāñchī, Vol. I, pp.
392 ff. and Vol.III, Pl. CXXXIX. Mr. Majumdar corrected some mistakes in the transcript
of Mr. Banerji and gave a different reading of the date at the end. The record is edited here
from an excellent ink impression kindly supplied by the Government Epigraphist for
The inscription consist of six lines of writing, and covers a space, 6.75" broad
and 2.5" high. It is in an imperfect state of preservation. Several aksharas towards
the end of the first line have either become illegible or have been completely lost owing
to the breaking off of the upper right edge of the stone. Besides, many more have been
damaged in the middle of lines 4 and 5 by the flaking off of the surface of the stone. The
size of the letters varies between 1.25" and .4".
The characters belong to the western variety of the southern alphabets. Their
striking features are the elongated verticals of k, r and l, the beautiful superscripts curves
denoting medical i (short and long) and rarely medial ā, and the ornamental forms of the
subscript y and r. The following peculiarities may be noted:—n and n have a loop in the
lower part; see tridaśa-gang-and senāpatēr =, both in l.1; dh has generally an oval shape; see
dharmma-vijayinā, 1.2, but its archaic form is also noticed; see Śridharavarammanā in the same
line; y, though still tripartite, has a hook for its left limb; see-nāyaka-1.2; and ś has generally
a short horizontal bar but in ligatures it assumes a tripartite form; see śrādhayā, 1. 3 and
śāśvatē, 1.4. On the evidence of palaeography, the inscription may be referred to the 4th
The language is Sanskrit. The record begins in prose, but is rounded off
with a verse in the Sārdūlavīkrīdita metre, composed in a good kāvya style. The influence
of Prakrit is seen in the forms trayōdaśamē and khānāpita. The orthography shows the
usual reduplication of the consonant following r; see Śridharavarmmanā, 1. 2.
The inscription refers itself to the reign of them Mahādandanāyaka Śaka Śrīdharavarman who was the son of the Śaka Nanda. Though Śridharavarman belonged to the
Śaka race, he was a follower of the Hindu religion; for he was apparently described in the
mutilated line 1 as a worshipper of Svāmi-Mahāsēna (Skanda or Kārttikēya), the commander
of the celestial army. The object of the inscription is to record the excavation of a
well by Śrīdharavarman for the increase of welfare and prosperity, the acquisition of religious
merit and fame, and the everlasting attainment of heaven.
1Ep. Ind., Vol. XVI, p. 230.