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
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.⁴ Lakshmaṇadēva seems to have been a petty chief under
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.