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Tuesday, August 2, 2011


 

North Indian Inscriptions


 

MISCELLANEOUS INSCRIPTIONS

N0. 109; PLATE XC.
CHHAPRI STATUE INSCRIPTIONS OF GOPALADEVA: (KALACHURI) YEAR 840

THESE inscriptions were first¹ brought to notice by sir A. Cunningham who published transcripts of them together with a photozincograph in his Archaelogical survey .of India Reports, Vol. XVII (1881-82), pp. 34 ff. and plate xxii. They were subsequently noticed by Rai Bahadur Hiralal in his Inscriptions in C.P. and Berar.² They are edited here from estampages kindly supplied by Mr. M. A. Suboor of the Central Museum, Nāgpur.

The inscriptions are incised on the pedestal of a large statue. The temple of Boramdeo, in which the inscribed statue is now placed, is situated at the western end of a long embankment which forms a lake in the valley near Chhaprī, 11 miles east of Kawardhā, in the Chhattisgarh Division of Madhya Pradesh. The statue is of a bearded man sitting with folded hands, and measures 2' 7" high and 1' 11" broad. On its pedestal is figured a 'Rājā on horseback with an attendant carrying an umbrella and a female offering food to the horse. To the right is a jōgī seated with knees bound.'³

The inscriptions are four in number. Two of them, called here A. and B, are divided by the dress of the statue into two parts. The Characters of all are Nāgarī of about the eleventh century A.C. The average size of the letters is . 4"

The language is Sanskrit. The only orthographical peculiarity that calls for notice is the use of sh for kh (representing the Sanskrit kshma) in Lashaṇadēvarāyō in 1.I of B.

The first of these inscriptions (A) names jōgī kānhō and describes him as proficient in all arts and as a human incarnation of the illustrious Rāma. He is evidently the personage whom the statue was intended to represent . Cunningham took him to be identical with the Jōgī figured on the pedestal of the image and thought that he was the religious adviser of the Rāja on horseback, whom he considered to be the builder of the temple. The second inscription (B) gives the names of the king Lakshmaṇadēva and his crowned queen, son and daughters. The third record (C) gives the dates as Saṁvat 840 (expressed in decimal figures only) during the reign of the Rāṇaka, the illustrious Gōpāladēva, while the last one (D) states that the very beautiful image of Umā-Mahēśvara was caused to be made by Sādhu, the son of Dhāṅgū.

The date of the inscription must, on the palæographic grounds, be referred to the Kalachuri era and would correspond to 1048-49 A.C. It does not admit of verification. The use of the Kalachuri era suggests that Gōpāladēva was a feudatory of the Kalachuri ruler of Ratanpur. It may be noted in this connection that some other inscriptions in and near the temple of Boramdeo, dating from the 14th to the 16th century A.C., are recorded in the Vikrama era. Lakshmaṇadēva seems to have been a petty chief under Gōpāladēva.

The temple of Boramdeo has been praised by Cunningham as one of the most richly
_____________

1 The memorandum of inscriptions in Chhattisgarh in the .Asiatic Researches, Vol. XV, pp. 505-6 includes six inscriptions at 'Bhyram Deo'. but the present records are not named therein.
2 First ed., p. 162; second ed., p.174.
3 C. A. S. I. R., . Vol. XVII, p. 35.
4 Loc. cit., p.37.

 

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