What Is India News Service
Tuesday, August 2, 2011


North Indian Inscriptions




THIS copper-plate was found in the possession of Mr. Gambhirsingh Adesingh Parmar at the village Kalachhala near Karali, about 10 miles west of Chhota Udaipur, in the Bombay State. It was brought to notice by Mr. Amrit Pandya of Vallabh Vidyanagar, who published a transcript of the text, with a photo- lithograph and an eye-copy of the record, but without any translation, in the brochure New Dynasties of Gujarat History (1950), pp.12 ff. At my request, Mr. Pandya very kindly supplied me with a copy of the photograph from which the record is edited here, the original Plate being inaccessible to me.

The copper-plate measures 8" broad and 2" high¹, and is inscribed on one side only. It has a hole in the centre, at the bottom, for the ring which must have connected it with the other Plate or Plates of the set. The weight of the Plate has not been recorded. This is Plainly the first plate of a grant which seems to have been written on two or three Plates2, but the other plate or plates of the set are not forthcoming. The characters belong to the western variety of the southern alphabets and resemble those of the grants of Svāmidāsa and Bhuluṇḍa. The average size of the letters is .2". The letters have small knobs at the top. Many of them, e.g., n, p, m, p, r, v, ś and s, closely resemble those in the Indore Plate of Svāmidāsa. Worthy of note are the initial ī Which occurs in Iśvararāta, 1.I, I, The right limb of which is a straight vertical stroke, in kuśala-,1.4, and the elongated subscript v in =sarvvān=, 1.2. The language is Sanskrit, and the extant portion is wholly in prose. The orthography shows the usual peculiarity of the reduplication of a consonant after r; see =sarvvān=, 1.2.

The plate refers itself to the reign of Īśvararāta. He bears no royal title; but like Svāmidāsa, Bhuluņḍa and Rudradāsa, he is described as Parama-bhaṭṭāraka-pād-ānudhyāta‘meditating on the feet of the Great Lord’. This Plainly indicates that like them, he was a feudatory chief who owed allegiance to some unnamed suzerain. The close resemblance in characters and wording3, which the present grant bears to those of the Mahārājas Svāmidāsa, Bhuluṇḍa and Rudradāsa, suggests that Īśvararāta flourished in the 4th century A.C., and that his suzerain was some king of the Ābhīra dynasty.

The plate was issued from the place Prachakāśā. The royal order is addressed to the officers ,Āyuktas, Viniyuktas, Kumārāmātyas, Uparikas, Dāņḍikas, Daņḍapāśikas, those in charge of elephants, horses and men, chāṭas and bhaṭas as well as to the residents of the village Kupikā, headed by the Brāhmaņas. The village was situated in the territorial division (paṭṭa) Vaṅkikā. The record ends here abruptly. All other details such as the name of the donee, the object and the occasion of the grant are, therefore, lost. Any date which it may have contained at the end is also unfortunately lost. It may have been recorded in the so-called Kalachuri era.

As for the localities mentioned in this grant, Prachakāśā may be identical with PraKāsha on the Tāpī, 10 miles south by east of Talōdā, as has been suggested.4 Vaṅkikā, the

1 Pandya gives the size as 8" by 3", this seems to be incorrect, judging by the published facsimile in his book.
2 The second plate of the set is said to have taken away by one Mr. Bechar Tadavi, but it could not be procured for decipherment and publication.
3 There are, in the margin, traces of some letters which may be of the sign-manual of the donor.
4 New Dynasties of Gujarat History, p. 12. The photograph reproduced here as well as the lithograph in Pandya’s book shows some creases.


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