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Bilsad (Balsar) is a town in Aliganj tahsil of Etah district in Uttar Pradesh.

Short history

The earliest inscription of Kumara Gupta I, seems to be that on the Bilsad monolithic of red sand-stone dated 415-16 AD. Bilsad is a village consisting of three parts in Eta district of the United Provinces. The two inscribed pillars at Bilsad seem to have had a direct connection with a temple, now ruined. The object of the inscription is to record the accomplishment of a temple of Kartikeya, its pratoli, and the establishment of a Satra. It also gives the genealogy of the Gupta sovereign.

Kumara Gupta I

Kumara Gupta started his imperial career peacefully, but it ended in disaster, he had been bequeathed, by his noble and great father, the glorious heritage of the vast and well-administered Gupta Empire, and consequently the earlier part of Kumara Gupta I's long rule was by far the most prosperous period in the whole history of the Gupta dynasty. He is described, by the Manju-sri-mulakalpa, as by no means 'a weak king', but an 'excellent and leading' sovereign. Kumara Gupta I's extensive coinage and the wide distribution of his inscriptions and of the find-spots of his silver coins clearly indicate that he was able to retain intact his father's empire including the western provinces, under him. The Gadhwa stone inscription of Kumara Gupta I, is engraved immediately below the inscription of Chandra Gupta II, separated by a line across the stone. The inscription is badly damaged and no date, except the day, is available. Neither the religion, nor the object of this inscription can be determined, the only act to be gleaned therefrom being that a gift of ten dinaras and an uncertain amount was given for a Satra. The other Gadhwa inscription of Kumara Gupta I, which also is badly broken gives the date 417-18 AD. The earliest inscription of Kumara Gupta I, seems to be that on the Bilsad monolithic of red sand-stone dated 415-16 AD.

Bilsad Pillar Inscription of Kumaragupta I (415-416 CE)

  • (Line 6.)-In the ninety-sixth year, (and) in the augmenting victorious reign of the Mahârâjâdhirâja, the glorious Kumâragupta,-
  • (L. 5.)-Who is the son, begotten on the Mahâdêvî Dhruvadêvî, of the Mahârâjâdhirâja, the glorious Chandragupta (II.), who was himself without an antagonist (of equal power); who was a most devout worshipper of the Divine One; (and)
  • (L. 4.)-Who was the son, begotten on the Mahâdêvî Dattadêvî, of the Mahârâjâdhirâja, the glorious Samudragupta,--
  • (L. 1.)- [Who was the exterminator of all kings; who had no antagonist (of equal power) in the world]; whose fame was tasted by the waters [of the four oceans]; [who was equal to (the gods) Dhanada and Varuna and Indra and Antaka; who was the very axe of (the god) Kritânta]; who was the giver of [many] millions of [lawfully acquired cows and] gold; who was the restorer of the ashvamêdha-sacrifice, that had been long in abeyance; (and)
  • (L. 3.)- [Who was the son of the son's son of the Mahârâja, the illustrious Gupta;-the son's son of the Mahârâja, the illustrious Ghatôtkacha];-(and) the son of the Maharajadhiraja, the glorious Chandragupta (I.), (and) the daughter's son of Lichchhavi, begotten on the Mahâdêvî Kumâradêvî;
  • (L. 7.)- On this (lunar day), (specified) as above by the day (&c.),-at this temple of the divine (god) Svâmi-Mahâsêna, whose wondrous form is covered over with the accumulation of the lustre of the three worlds ; who is the god Brahmanya; (and) who resides at . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .,-this great work has been accomplished by Dhruvasharman, who follows the path of the customs of the Krita age, and of the true religion, (and) who is honoured by the assembly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • (L. 10.)-- Having made a gateway, charming, (and) . . . . . . . . . the abode of saints, (and) having the form of a staircase leading to heaven, (and) resembling a (pearl)-necklace of the kind called kaubêrachchhanda, (and) white with the radiance of pieces o f crystalline gems;-(and having made), in a very proper manner, a [religious] almshouse(?), the abode of those who are eminent in respect of virtuous qualities; resembling in form the top part of a temple;-he, the virtuous-minded one, roams in a charming manner among the items of religious merit (that he has thus accumulated); may the venerable Sharman endure for a long time!
  • (L. 12.)-This lofty pillar, firm and excellent, has been caused to be made by that same Dhruvasharman, whose piety, having acquired the excellent reputation of nectar . . . . . . . . . . . . . on the earth, is so highly esteemed by all perfect beings that there is no one who would fail to worship him; (and) by whom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by means of the abundance of (his) unprecedented accumulation of superhuman power.
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 44-45.

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