South Indian Inscriptions
INSCRIPTIONS OF THE TRAIKUTAKAS
No. 8; PLATE IVA
PĀRDĪ is the headquarters of a tālukā of the same name, 50 miles south of Surat, in the Surat District of the Bombay State. The present plates, which were found in 1884 in the course of digging a tank at Pārdī, were first brought to notice by Pandit Bhagvanlal Indraji who edited them with a translation, but without a lithograph, in the Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. XVI, pp. 346 ff. They were subsequently published, with a translation and collotype plates, by Dr. E. Hultzsch in the Epigraphia Indica, Vol. X, pp. 51 ff. I edit them here from the facsimiles accompanying Dr. Hultzsch’s article.
‘The plates are two in number, each measuring about 9 3/16” by 3”. They are quite smooth, the edges of them being neither fashioned thicker nor raised into rims; but, as may be seen from the facsimile, the inscription is in a state of perfect preservation almost throughout. They are somewhat thin, so that the letters, though not very deep, show through on the backs of them, to such an extent that some of them can be read there. The interiors of the letters show the marks of the working of the engraver’s tool.
‘There is no ring of the ordinary kind, with a seal on it. But at each of the two ringholes the plates were held together by a long copper wire, 1/8" thick in the thickest part, which, after being passed through the ring-holes, has its ends twisted over and round and round so as to form a kind of complicated tie, without the ends being soldered together. As the ring-holes are not much larger than the wires, and as the plates appear to have been secured as soon as they were discovered, it would seem that these wires are the means by which the plates were fastened together ab initio.
‘The weight of the two plates is 31 tolas, and of the two wires 1½ tolas; total, 32½ tolas=12 ¾ oz.1
The record consists of nine lines only, of which four are inscribed on the first and the remaining five on the second plate. The outer sides of the plates are blank. The engraver seems to have found the metal somewhat hard to work upon; his tool seems to have slipped occasionally (see e.g., kh of Vaiśākha 1.9) and his strokes and curve are not properly formed. The average size of letters is .2".
The characters are of the western variety of the southern alphabets. Most of
the letters have knobs at the top. The mātrās for the medial ā, ē and ai generally appear
above the line (see e.g., skandhāvārād- and Traikkutakānām both in 1.1), while those
for the medial ō appear as a horizontal stroke on either side, see karmmakar ō, 1.2, pitrōr-,
1.4., yaśō-, 1.5 etc. Medial au, which occurs only once, is bipartite as in Vākātaka
records, see pautr-, 1.6. No distinction is made between the short and the long medial i.
The signs for medical short and long u are added to the right of the vertical stroke in some
cases and to its left in others. As instances of the former, see śuddha, 1.9 and bhūmidah,
1.8 and for those of the latter, notice pād-ānuddhyātō, 1.1 and dūtakam-, 1.8. The
curve for medial ri is curled in pitri 1.1, but in other cases (as e.g. in bhivriddhayē, 1.5,
samatisrishtō and krishatō in 1.6), it is exactly like that for r. The right hand hook of ñ
is added to its subscript ch which is open on the left, see uktañ=cha, 1.7. The subscript
1 From Dr. Fleet’s description of the plates in Ep. Ind., Vol. X, p. 51.