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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Vishnu Varaha Statue Eran

Eran (एरण) is an ancient historical place in Sagar district in Madhya Pradesh, India. It can be called to be the oldest historical town of Sagar district in Madhya Pradesh.

Variants of name


In earlier coins and inscriptions its name appears as Airikiṇa (ऐरिकिण). From an early inscription at Sanchi we know that the residents of Eran had made some gifts to the famous Stupa situated at Sanchi. Eran is derived from Eraka. The word erakā probably refers to a kind of grass which grows at Eran in abundance. [1] Eraka is also the name of a Nagavanshi King descended from Kauravya mentioned in Mahabharata Adi Parva.[2]

Eran is the site of first reported case of Sati in India. The archaeological site nearby Eran has revealed several Gupta inscriptions. The village of Eran has a most interesting collection of archaeological relics. There is a fort in rulings attributed to the Dangis, who formerly dominated over this region. The site had a number of Vishnu shrines but nothing now remains except some of the lower courses of masonry, four standing columns with there architrave and some beams and part of door ways. The Principal statue is a colossal Varaha about 10 feet high. The excavation conducted by the Department of Archaeology of the University of Sagar have yielded relics similar to those found at Maheshwar and Tripuri showing that Eran formed the Northern most limit of the Chalcolithic culture in Madhya Pradesh. [3] Excavations were carried out at Eran in 1960-61 to 1964-65; and 1987-88. [4] Excavations at Eran have revealed about the earliest fort built by mud ramparts. Prof. K.D. Bajpai has has studied coins from Eran excavations and has done a chronological analysis.[5] He has given a note on ‘Svabhoganagara’ in the Eran inscription of Samudragupta. [6]

Eran is situated (Latitude 24°.5'North and longitude 78°.10'East) 75 k.m. North-west of Sagar town in Madhya Pradesh. Eran comes under Tehsil Bina of District Sagar. T.S. Bart was the first to discover there a number of antiquities[7], some being of great historical significance 1838 A.D. Eran is situated on the bank of river Bina (Ancient Venva)[8], a tributary of river Betwa (Ancient Vetravati). By encircling from their sides it, provides natural protection to Eran. In the fourth unprotected direction, there is a fortified wall and a ditch of Chalcolithic Period3[9]. Eran is approachable by the road from Mandibamora, which passes through Gohar and Dhansara villages. Mandibamora is about 12 km. far from Bina -Bhopal railway (central railway) track. The archaeological excavation was Conducted at Eran during 1960-65 and subsequently during 1987-88 &1998 A.D. by Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture & archaeology. Sagar University, Sagar (M.P.). The antiquities of Neolithic and Chalcolithic culture has been found from Eran[10]. The Mauryas, The Sungas,The Satvahanas,The Shakas,The Nagas,The Guptas, The Hunas, The Kalchuris, The Chandellas and The Parmaras[11] had their hold over Eran region respectively. The Gupta monarch Samudra Gupta visited Eran which was his 'Swabhog Nagar'[12]. A group of Temples is situated on the south bank of Bina River, just half a kms. to the west of the Village. In this group Vishnu Temple[13], Varaha Temple[14], Nrisingh Temple, Garuda Pillar[15] and other ruined Temples are of architectural importance. The various inscriptions have found from Eran, These are inscription of Budhagupta,[16] inscription of Saka ruler Sridhar Verma[17],inscription of Huna ruler Tormanh[18],inscription of Samudragupta and Gopraj Sati Pillar inscriptions[19]. The several Sati Pillars have found from Eran. One of the Earliest Sati Pillars of India has been found from Eran. This was discovered by General Alexander Cunningham in 1874-1875 A.D. This inscriptions shows that in Gupta Era 191 (510 A.D.) [20]Gopraj a warrior of Gupta ruler Bhanugupta came to Eran and lost his life in a great War. His wife became Sati in her husband's Pyre. Eran is a an important site of archaeological importance. Eran can be called to be oldest historical town in the Madhya Pradesh. Eran was known as Airikina in ancient time. Inscription and coins its name occurs as Airikina. The word 'eraka' Probably refer to a kind of grass. Which grows at Eran in abundance.[21]

General A. Cunningham during his survey of this part of the country in 1874-75 visited Eran. [22]Here he discovered a number of ancient copper coins. Some being of great historical value. These Included a good number of the punch-marked coins from Eran bear the figure of goddess Lakshmi other show animals horse & elephant , tree, within- railing and various other symbols, such as swastika, triratna, Indradhwaja, dharmachakra, lotus, Ujjain symbol, river with fishes semi-cercle design, crescent, cakra, bull, sadarcakra, hill, taurine and the vajra symbol, river with fish and the cross and ball symbol. Among the inscribed coins the most remarkable one is that of a ruler named Dharmapala.[23] The legend rano dhamapalasa (of king Dharmapala) is written one the coin reversely in large brahmi letter of the Morya period. This coin presently display securely in British Museum, London. A number of very Important Coin and Inscribed Selling have been Found at Eran. One copper Coin bearing the name of king "Dharmapala" is counted among the earliest inscribed coins in India.[24] On the paleographic grounds this coin has been assigned to the late third century B.C.. One Circular lead Piece bearing the Name of the another ruler "Indragupta" assignable to the same period has been discovered at Eran. [25]Local Uniscribed copper coins of a number of varieties have been discovered at Eran. Attesting to the great Importance of this town as a political seat and also as a Coin-minting Center.[26] Early Punch-marked and tribal coins were obtained from period II in excavation at Eran.

Several inscribed copper coins bearing the name 'Erakanya' or 'Erakana' in the Brahmi script have also been found at Eran.[27] Besides giving the old name of the town, these coins exhibit a semi-circle design, acresent, swastika, tree- within-railing, dharmachakra bull and the Ujjain symbol. Cunningham proposed that the symbol of the river represent the river Bina on which the village stands. He also surmised that the semi-circle on the coins was representative of the old Eran town. Which was probably so shaped. The Brahmi script of these coins assigns them to second first century B.C., The rest of the copper coins from Eran do not bear any inscription some of the square copper coin from Eran represent the old karsnapanas bit some typical symbols of Eran. The number of punch-marked copper coins from Eran are pretty large. The excavation conducted at Eran by the university of sagar have yielded besides numerous other antiquities, a good number of coins. An interesting thin round gold piece(diam9,weight 20 grains). from the late chalcolithic level, assignable to about 1000 B.C.may be mentioned here. The piece, although well cut in a circular form, does not bear any symbols. It also does not indicate any clear signs to infer that it was used as an ornament. It appears that the piece was prepared just to serve as an object of money. The gold piece probably served as the medium of exchange for the chalcolithic people.[28] The other finds of the period included silver and copper punch-marked coins. The excavation at Eran have yielded a hoard of 3,268 coin, in which most of the coins are made by copper and some of theme were silver coated.[29] belonging to 2nd cent. B.C. It seems that there was a mint at Eran for a large scale production of copper coin of particular types.

Among the coins from Eran, Cunningham found a fairly good number of punch-marked, die-struck and cast coins. The number of copper punch-marked coins was found to be much larger than the silver punch-marked coins. Most remarkable among the die-struck coins were the square karsapanas of a standard weight of 144 grains and their several denominations.[30] coins of these occur on the tribal coins of weight of the most of the coins varies from 17.45 grains to 24.43 grains. Punch-marked coins to about 300 B.C., if not a little earlier the latest phase of the copper punch-marked coins at eran comes to a close by the end of the 3rd century A.D., as revealed from the excavation.[31]

Coins of the Kshatrapas, satavahana and Nagas, of the Gupta king Ramagupta, Huna ruler Tormana and of the Indo-sassanian rulers.[32] The Naga coins found at Eran, Vidisha, Pawaya (Padmabati), and Mathura show various common features the names of rulers occurring on these coins are to be carefully studied and compared in order to arrive at a correct attribution and chronology of the Nagas.[33] The mints at Eran and Vidisha produced a large number of copper coins. Copper was available in large quantities in the Balaghat area for the mints at Eran, Vidisha attesting to the great importance of this town as a political seat and also as a mint-town.

It may be remarked here that the economic condition of the Malwa and Bundelkhand areas must have been quit sound during the period of sunga-satavahana supremacy.[34] Gold coins were unknown in the aria during this period and the silver currency in the form of punch-marked coin was also not much in use.

After the Sunga-Satavahana period, there was a political change in the region western Malwa was occupied by the Saka-kshatrapas and remained under there rule right from the middle of the second century A.D. till about the and introduced there silver currency in western Malwa, for some time they also minted there coins in the mint at Eran which was occupied by them, although for a short time.[35]

Excavation has been found two hundred inscribed clay sealing (size 2.2 m.m ) on this sealing read the following bharmi inscription written in the well-known kshatrapa style.[36] Rajno Isvaramitraputrasya rajno, simhasrisenasya (i.e of king Simhasrisena, son of king Isvaramitra) All though the titles 'kshatrapa' or Mahakshatrapa are replaced here by the titles 'Rajno' the style of the legend and the occurrence of the hill and river symbols, so common on the kshatrapa currency, leave no doubt that these two were kshatrapa chiefs. On the basis of palaeography the sealing can not be placed after 350 A.D. the two rulers Isvaramitra and his son Simhasrisena seem to have ruled over the Eran region of eastern Malwa some time at the and of the 3rd or in the beginning of the 4th century A.D.[37]

Mention may be made of a very large number of copper coins of Ramagupta from Eran and Vidisha.[38] The excavation conducted at Eran by the University of Sagar have brought to light four type of copper coins of Ramgupta. These types are 1. Lion 2. Garuda 3. Garudadhvaja 4. Boder legend type. All the coins of Ramgupta are of copper, varying in the weight from 20 to 30 grains. The coins are circulars in shape and their fabric is very similar to that of Naga coins, Wich have been discovred in large numbers at Eran & Vidisha. The name of Ramgupta is clearly written on some of the coins excavation at Eran.[39]

The symbols Lion Garuda and Garudadhvaja are also quit distinction them. The brahmi legend on the coins is early Gupta, The stratigraphic. Evidence tallies with the numismatic evidence on that basis. It can be said that the coins were. Issued about the close of the 4th century A.D.33[40]

Besides the coins of Ramagupta Eran has also yielded copper coin of Chandragupta Vikramadiya.[41] These are of two types, chakra and purhaghata. The excavation at Vidisha have also brought to light copper coin of Ramgupta in size and fabric they resemble the Eran coin of that ruler. Ramgupta can be called the originator of the copper currency in the imperial Gupta dynasty. His numerous copper coins with certain characteristic features of this dynasty should be taken in to consideration when we study the coin age of the imperial Guptas, It is true that the monetary issues of Ramgupta were minted in eastern Malwa specially in the mints at Eran and Vidisha. These copper coins of Ramgupta are a king to the Naga coins and to some coins of the local Malwa rulers issued in this area prior to the Gupta period. [42] It may; how ever be clearly pointed out here that the coins bearing the name Ramgupta are not the issues of any local officer of the imperial Guptas, nor of any feudatory king named Ramgupta. This king Ramgupta was the elder brother of Chandragupta II Vikrmadiya.

During digging out Excavation in Eran, post ancient era and Middle Period last layer of Excavation few Mughal emperor, Bhopal and Gwalior states coins are also found.[43] During monsoon periods various punch marked coins of Naga, Shaka,Gupta, Mughal periods Bhopal and Gwalior states coins are also flash out by rains which exposed ancient Eran economic importance.

Recently authors of these lines have acquired 460 punch marked coins in a small clay pot this clay pots was totally damaged.[44] Above said coins are made by silver, copper, tin and bronze alloy metal etc and approximately 2300 years old (i.e. 3th Century B.C.). This coins consisting of elephant, Sun, Sadara Cakra, Taurine, Tortoise, point in circle, Tree on platform, Swastika, Ox, hills, Fish, Tween snake, Vajra, Ujjain symbol etc. On these coins obverse side mainly consisting of five sign and reverse side one or two signs. Most commonly reverse side "Swastika" are displayed. Son, sadara cakra, Fish symbols were displayed on obverse side of all punch marked coins. Three coins are having holes probably those coins are used by people as necklace or ornaments. Above mentioned symbols are considered as kingdom, capital, prime minister, head of mint etc. These symbols prove of originality of the coins. Reverse side symbol related to the mint of the coin. Approximately weight of four types coins are found in 460 coins, which are prepared in rectangle and square shape, few of them are prepared in punch marked methods and few were made by stamping methods, previous one types weighted 1.30 grams, second one types weighted 2.50 grams, third one weighted 3.80 grams and last fourth types weighted 9.60 grams are found.

During the course of preparing these coins, hot metals were spread like sheet and then marked with symbols, afterwards, they were cut down into pieced to make a coin, and therefore few marks on the coins are left half due to cutting process.

These Included a good number of the punch-marked coins from Eran bear the figure of Son & Moon other show animals elephant &, horse, tree, within-railing and various other symbols, such as swastika, triratna, Indradhwaja, dharmachakra, Ujjain symbol, river with fishes semi-circle design, crescent, cakra, bull, sadarcakra, hill, taurine and the vajra symbol, These coins are displayed in Archeological museum of Dr. Harisingh Gour University, Sager (M.P.).

Mint of Eran producing coins till third century B.C. to sixth century B.C. An important role of Eran was performed to produce coins in ancient India during regime of various kings in Indian History. General Alexander Cunningham has considered Indian punch marked coins as basic and origins of coins concept. John Allen asserted 500 B.C. as origins of coins in India.

At the beginning Cunningham, found a number of coins imprinted written matters and unwritten coins in Eran. Thereafter under supervision of Prof. K.D. Bajpai & Dr. U.V. Singh, Prof. S.K. Pandey & Prof. V.D. Jha number of thousand coins are found during excavation. A vital nature information pertaining to immediate Indian society, culture, Art, religion, economic system, political affairs and arrangements are acquired by study of these coins. During ancient coins production mint was established in important cities, which were situated on important trade route of Empire. Eran situated in centre between Bharruch (Bhragu Kachha), Ujjain to Kaushambi, Mathura, Taxshila trade route. In various periods coins were produced in large scale by mint of Eran, it is proved by number of thousand coins acquired in Eran.

Sati Inscriptions

Ist Sati Pillar

This Pillar inscription is badly affected and contains probably the date 'Samvat' 788 (866 A.D.) which is probably 'Sak Samvat'. In this inscription 'Erani' is inscribed instead of Eran. It proves the 'Erakanya'[45] of the Pre-Gupta Period 'Erakaina' [46] of the Gupta Period was known as 'Erani' in Early Medieval Period .From 'Erani' the village derived its modern name 'Eran'. The length, width, and thickness of this Pillar are respectively 1.67mts., 40 cms. and 10cms. The inscription is of 4 lines. The Horse and a human couple is engraved in standing position. On the top of the Pillar, the hand is engraved in blessing pose. The Sun , The Moon , Five Stars and Holy Furnace are also engraved. The stone is of hard red color.

IInd Sati Pillar

The term 'Ram- Ram' has been found inscribed for the first time on this Pillar. Pillar inscription is Samvat 1155 (1233 A.D.). 'Maharajadhiraj Sujitanmah' is inscribed in this Pillar. The Pillar proves that Sujitanmah was the native ruler of Eran in 1233 A.D. This Pillar is made up of brown sandstone. The respective length, width and thickness of this Pillar are 1.73 mts., 36cms. and 15cms. A couple is shown holding some pots. On the top of the Pillar blessing hand is shown. The inscription is of about 11 lines. Near this Sati Pillar other Sati Pillars are lying their inscriptions are mutilated .

IIIrd Sati Pillar

This Pillar is dated in Sak Smvat 1314 (1392A.D.). Two women worshiping 'Shivalinga' are carved. Both women are having 'bun-shaped hairdo' the 'Shivalinga' is on a platform. Two women are shown involved the combat. One is on the elephant and another is on the horse. Both are shown holding sword and javelin . A woman is shown between them having. The elephant and horse are adorned by cloths . It seems that after the death of the husband his wife led the army and after getting victory. She went 'Sati' . The length, width and thickness of the Pillar are 2.28 mts, 46cms. and 15cms respectively .

IVth Sati Pillar

Jai Sri Ram is mentioned at the beginning on Pillar. This Sati Pillar is situated on the Northern bank of Bina River. It belongs to 'Sak Samvat' 1335 (1413A.D.) . A Horse is inscribed on this Pillar. A couple has been shown in standing position holding their hands. Hands are depicted in blessing posture . The Sun, The Moon, Five Stars , Holy Furnace are shown. On the top of this Pillar there is 'Mangalghat' the length, width and thickness of this are 1.68 mts, 46 cms., 9 cms. respectively. This inscription is of 10 lines. The term 'Eran' is inscribed. The another Sati Pillar is close by this Sati Pillar, which was unearthed by the villagers besides illegible inscription two women figures are shown on it worshiping 'Sivalinga' . The husband is shown lying on a Pyre, his wife is shown, shampooing his feet. The length, width and thickness of the Pillar are 91cms, 46cms, 7cms respectively.

Vth Sati Pillar

At beginning the term 'Jai Sri Ram' is mentioned on this Pillar .It is dated in 'Sak Samvat' 1400 (1478A.D.). The length, width, and thickness of this Pillar are 2.16 mts, 74 cms. and 18 cms respectively. There are 10 lines in this inscription . Two women are shown worshiping ' Sivalinga'. The husband is lying on Pyre wife is shown shampooing his feet. The Horse is also inscribed. On both the sides of the hands The Sun, The Moon, Five Stars and Holy Furnace are inscribed. Near the Holy Furnace, an ox is depicted.

VIth Sati Pillar

This Sati Pillar is dated in 'Sak Samvat' 1402 (1480A.D.) . On this Pillar, the husband is lying on the Pyre his wife has been shown holding his feet. Two women are shown, worshiping 'Shivalinga' .On the top of the Pillar there are two blessing hands. The Sun, The Moon, Five Stars are shown on both sides of the hands. The length, width, thickness of the Pillar are 1.37 mts., 63 cms. and 7 cms respectively .There are 4 lines in this inscription which is an illegible.

VIIth Sati Pillar

This Pillar is dated 'Sak Samvat' 1628 (1706 A.D.). The length, width and thickness of this Pillars are 1.8 mts , 48 cms, and 10 cms respectively. On the top of the Pillar two blessing hands are shown The Sun, The Moon , five stars and holy furnace are inscribed .A couple has been shown in standing position holding the hands of each other.

VIIIth Sati Pillar

In the beginning of the inscription term 'Sri Ganesh Shaya Nama' is mentioned. It is dated in 'Sak Samvat' 1802 (1880 A.D.). This Sati Pillar belongs to Chaudhary Majoop Singh'. 'Khichi' is inscribed as 'Gotra'. The descendents of 'Chaudhary Majoop Singh' narrate that died in the Battle, his wife went Sati with pillow. They are still living at Eran . The length, width and thickness of the Pillar are 1.73 mts , 53 cms.,10 cms respectively.. The inscription is of 10 lines. The horse is inscribed on the Pillar. A couple has been shown in standing position, holding hands. The riding persons having sword in his waist. On the both sides of the blessing hand The Sun, The Moon , Five Stars and Pillow are inscribed ..

IXth Sati Pillar

The term 'Sri Ram' and 'Sri Ganesh Shaya Nama' are inscribed on this Pillar .The Pillar is dated in 'Sak Samvat' 1831(1909A.D.) . Term 'Sri Dubey Srvani Das' is inscribed on this Pillar. This Sati Pillar belongs to 'Brahamna society'. The length, width and thickness of the Pillar are 1.90 mts, 41cms, 10 cms respectively . A couple has been shown in standing position, holding hands. On the top of the Pillar there are blessing hands. The Sun, The Moon, Five Stars and Holy Furnace are inscribed term 'Eran Battisi' is inscribed instead of village Eran . The inscription is of about 16 lines. The inscription is completely damaged.

Xth Sati Pillar

This Pillar is dated 'Sak Samvat' 1832 (1910A.D.). The Length, width and thickness of this Pillar are 1.32 mts., 43 cms.and 10 cms respectively. The inscription starts from the bottom of the Pillar and runs gradually upwards. The figure of the Horse is also depicted upside down. The blessing hand The Sun, The Moon , Five Stars, Holy Furnace are engraved. A couple has been shown in standing position , holding hands 'Eran Battisi' is inscribed instead of Eran.

Besides the above Sati Pillars many Sati Pillars have been found in Eran , The Pillars have been fitted on the platforms and houses by the Natives of Eran. By these Sati Pillars much information is obtained about the conditions of women and Eran village during Medieval Period and Modern Period.

On the basis of the inscription and figures on the Pillar it can be informed that during the Medieval Period and Modern Period villagers of Eran were Followers of 'Ganpti Sampradaya' , 'Vaisnava Sampradaya', and 'Shaiva Sammradaya'. The inscription exhibit that an addition to the Kshtriyas the Brahamas also followed Sati system. Even after the death of King 'Maharajadhiraj Sujitanmah' his chaste wife become Sati. It shows that the royal families also involved in were Sati system. The depiction The Sun, The Moon, and Holy Furnace on the Sati Pillar indicates that the natives had the faith on natural powers. The blessing hands have been engraved or these Pillars for global welfare. The above mentioned inscribed Pillars of Eran throw light on social and cultural life of 'Bundelkhand'.

Eran Stone Inscription of Samudragupta

  • (Lines 1 to 6, containing the whole of the first verse and the first half of the second, are entirely broken away and lost.)
  • (Line 7.)— giving gold ...................................... [by whom] Prithu and Râghava and other kings [were outshone.]
  • (L. 9.)— . . . . . . . . . there was Samudragupta, equal to (the gods) Dhanada and Antaka in (respectively) pleasure and anger; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by policy; (and) [by whom] the whole tribe of kings upon the earth was [overthrown] and reduced to the loss of the wealth of their sovereignty;—
  • (L. 13.)— [Who], by . . . . . . . . . satisfied by devotion and policy and valour,—by the glories, consisting of the consecration by besprinkling, &c., that belong to the title of 'king,'— (and) by . . . . . . . . . . . combined with supreme satisfaction, — .................. (was) a king whose vigour could not be resisted;—
  • (L. 17.)— [By whom] there was married a virtuous and faithful wife, whose dower was provided by (his) manliness and prowess; who was possessed of an abundance of [elephants] and horses and money and grain; who delighted in the houses of .............; (and) who went about in the company of many sons and sons' sons;—
  • (L. 21.)— Whose deeds in battle (are) kindled with prowess; (whose) . . . . . . very mighty fame is always circling round about; and whose enemies are terrified, when they think, even in the intervals of dreaming, of (his). . . . . . . that are vigorous in war; —
  • (L. 25.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in a place in Airikina, the city of his own enjoyment. . . . . . . . . . . . . has been set up, for the sake of augmenting his own fame.
  • (L. 27.) — . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . when the king said . . . . . . .
(The rest of the inscription is entirely broken away and lost.)
  • Source: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 20-21.

Eran Stone Pillar Inscription of Budhagupta GE 165 (484-485 CE)

  • Victorious is the lord, the four-armed (god Vishnu)— whose couch is the broad waters of the four oceans; who is the cause of the continuance, the production, and the destruction, &c., of the universe; (and) whose ensign is Garuda!
  • (Line 2.)— In a century of years, increased by sixty-five; and while Budhagupta (is) king; on the twelfth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month Âshâdha; on the day of Suraguru; (or in figures) the year 100 (and) 60 (and) 5:—
  • (L. 3.)— And while Surashmichandra is governing, with the qualities of a regent of one of the quarters of the world, (the country that lies) between the (rivers) Kâlindi and Narmadâ, (and) is enjoying in the world the glory of (being) a Mahârâja;—
  • (L. 4.)— On this (lunar day), (specified) as above by the year and month and day; — by the Mahârâja Mâtrivishnu, who is excessively devoted to the Divine One; who, by the will of (the god) Vidhâtri, was approached (in marriage-choice) by the goddess of sovereignty, as if by a maiden choosing (him) of her own accord (to be hey husband); whose fame extends up to the borders of the four oceans; who is possessed of unimpaired honour and wealth; (and) who has been victorious in battle against many enemies;—who is the son of the son's son of Indravishnu, who was attentive to his duties; who celebrated sacrifices; who practised private study (of the scriptures); who was a Brâhman saint; (and) who was the most excellent (of the followers) of the Maitrâyanîya (sâkhâ);— who is the son's son of Varunavishnu, who imitated the virtuous qualities of (his) father;— (and) who is the son of Harivishnu, who was the counterpart of (his) father in meritorious qualities, (and) was the cause of the advancement of his race;—
  • (L. 8.)— (By him) and by his younger brother Dhanyavishnu, who is obedient to him, (and) has been accepted with favour by him,— this flag-staff of the divine (god) Janârdana, the troubler of the demons, has been erected, for the purpose of increasing the religious merit of (their) parents.
  • (L. 9.)— Let prosperity attend all the subjects, headed by the cows and the Brâhmans!
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 90.

Eran Posthumous Stone Pillar Inscription of Goparaja GE 191 (510-511 CE)

  • Ôm! In a century of years, increased by ninety-one; on the seventh lunar day of the dark fortnight of (the month) Srâvana; (or in figures) the year 100 (and) 90 (and) 1; (the month) Srâvana; the dark fortnight; the day 7: —
  • (Line 2.)—(There was) a king, renowned under the name of . . . . râja, sprung from the . . laksha (?) lineage; and his son (was) that very valorous king (who was known) by the name (of) Mâdhava.
  • (L. 3.)— His son was the illustrious Gôparâja, renowned for manliness; the daughter's son of the Sarabha king; who is (even) now (?) the ornament of (his) lineage.
  • (L. 5.) — (There is) the glorious Bhanugupta, the bravest man on the earth, a mighty king, equal to Pârtha, exceedingly heroic; and, along with him, Gôparâja followed . . . . . . . . . . (his) friends (and came) here. [And] having fought a very famous battle, he, [who was but little short of being equal to] the celestial [king (Indra)], (died and) went to heaven; and (his) devoted, attached, beloved, and beauteous wife, in close companionship, accompanied (him) onto the funeral pyre.
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 93.

Notes by Wiki editor -

  • Lakhi - Here the name of grandfather of Goparaja is missing but his lineage is from Laksha indicates he is probably of Lakhi/Lakhanwal clan which is a Jat Clan. Lakhlan (लाखलान) Lakhilan (लाखीलान) Lakhi (लाखी) is gotra of Jats found in Distt Sikar and Hanumangarh in Rajasthan. Also found in Haryana. This gotra has originated from place called Lakhi Jungle (लाखी जंगल).[47] They were branch of Chauhans.
  • Śarbharāja - He was the maternal grandfather of Goparaja, the feudatory chief of king Bhanugupta. Sarabha is the name of a people and also refers to a fabulous animal supposed to have eight legs and to inhabit the snowy mountains; it is represented as stronger than the lion and the elephant. The name may literally mean 'a king of the Sarabha people'. It may also be treated as a name based on an animal. [48] In freedom movement of India we find name of Kartar Singh Sarabha, who led Ghadr Party along with Sardar Ajit Singh.


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[49] ने लेख किया है ...एरकिण = एरण (p.111): एरण गुप्तकाल में एक महत्त्वपूर्ण नगर था। एरण का प्राचीन नाम एरकिण था। यहाँ से गुप्तकाल के अनेक अभिलेख प्राप्त हुये है। गुप्त सम्राट समुद्रगुप्त के एक शिलालेख में एरण को 'एरकिण' कहा गया है। इस अभिलेख को कनिंघम ने खोजा था। यह वर्तमान में कोलकाता संग्रहालय में सुरक्षित है। यह भग्नावस्था में हैं। फिर भी जितना बचा है, उससे समुद्रगुप्त के बारे में काफ़ी जानकारी प्राप्त होती है। (देखें: एरण)

एरण मध्य प्रदेश

एरण मध्य प्रदेश के सागर ज़िले में विदिशा के निकट बेतवा नदी के किनारे विन्ध्याचल पर्वतमालाओं के उत्तर में एक पठार पर स्थित एक वैष्णव क्षेत्र है, जो मंदिरों की एक महान् श्रंखला के रूप में जाना जाता है। इस स्थल पर चार सांस्कृतिक स्तर मिले हैं। प्रथम ताम्राश्मीय कालीन, द्वितीय लौहयुगीन तथा अन्य दो परवर्ती हैं। यहाँ से पंचमार्क सिक्कों के भारी भण्डार मिले हैं।[50]

इतिहास: एरण गुप्तकाल में एक महत्त्वपूर्ण नगर था। यहाँ से गुप्तकाल के अनेक अभिलेख प्राप्त हुये है। गुप्त सम्राट समुद्रगुप्त के एक शिलालेख (402 ई.) में एरण को 'एरकिण' कहा गया है। इस अभिलेख को कनिंघम ने खोजा था। यह वर्तमान में कोलकाता संग्रहालय में सुरक्षित है। यह भग्नावस्था में हैं। फिर भी जितना बचा है, उससे समुद्रगुप्त के बारे में काफ़ी जानकारी प्राप्त होती है। इसमें समुद्रगुप्त की वीरता, सम्पत्ति-भण्डार, पुत्र-पौत्रों सहित यात्राओं पर उसकी वीरोचित धाक का विशद वर्णन है। यह भी उल्लेख है कि समुद्रगुप्त ने यह लेख अपनी यशोवृद्धि के लिए अंकित किया था. [51]

यहाँ गुप्त सम्राट बुद्धगुप्त का भी अभिलेख (485 ई.) प्राप्त हुआ है। इससे ज्ञात होता है, कि पूर्वी मालवा भी उसके साम्राज्य में शामिल था। इसमें कहा गया है कि बुद्धगुप्त की अधीनता में यमुना और नर्मदा नदी के बीच के प्रदेश में 'महाराज सुरश्मिचन्द्र' शासन कर रहा था। एरण प्रदेश में उसकी अधीनता में मातृविष्णु शासन कर रहा था। यह लेख एक स्तम्भ पर ख़ुदा हुआ है, जिसे ध्वजास्तम्भ कहते हैं। इसका निर्माण महाराज मातृविष्णु तथा उसके छोटे भाई धन्यविष्णु ने करवाया था।[52] यह आज भी अपने स्थान पर अक्षुण्ण है। यह स्तम्भ 43 फुट ऊँचा और 13 फुट वर्गाकार आधार पर खड़ा किया गया है। इसके ऊपर 5 फुट ऊँची गरुड़ की दोरुखी मूर्ति है, जिसके पीछे चक्र का अंकन है।[53]

सती अभिलेख: एरण से एक अन्य अभिलेख प्राप्त हुआ है, जो 510 ई. का है। इसे 'भानुगुप्त का अभिलेख' कहते हैं। अनुमान है कि भानुगुप्त राजवंश से सम्बन्धित था। यह लेख महाराज भानुगुप्त के अमात्य गोपराज के विषय में जो उस स्थान पर भानुगुप्त के साथ सम्भवतः किसी युद्ध में आया था और वीरगति को प्राप्त हुआ था। गोपराज की पत्नी यहाँ सती हो गई थी। इस अभिलेख को एरण का सती अभिलेख भी कहा जाता है। एरण से प्राप्त एक वराह मूर्ति के अभिलेख में हूण शासक तोरमाण और उसके प्रथम वर्ष का उल्लेख है। इसमें दिवंगत महाराज मातृविष्णु के छोटे भाई धन्यविष्णु द्वारा वराह विष्णु के निमित्त मन्दिर निर्माण करवाने का उल्लेख है। [54]

सती प्रथा का प्रथम अभिलेखीय प्रमाण गुप्तकाल में मिलता है. 510 ई. के एक लेख से पता चलता है कि गुप्त नरेश भानुगुप्त का सामन्त गोपराज हूणों के विरुद्ध युद्ध करता हुआ मारा गया और उसकी पत्नी उसके शव के साथ सती हो गई थी।

श्री भानुगुप्तो जगति प्रवीरो, राजा महान्पार्थसमोडति शूरः।
तेनाथ सार्द्धन्त्विह गोपराजो, मित्रानुगत्येन किलानुयातःड्ड
कृत्वा च युद्ध सुमहत्प्रकाशं, स्वर्ग गतो दिव्य नरेन्द्रकल्पःड्ड
भक्तानुरक्ता च प्रिया च कान्ता, भार्यावलग्नानुगताग्निराशिम्ड्ड

(ऐरण अभिलेख) [55]

एरकिण गुप्तकाल में अवश्य ही महत्वपूर्ण नगर रहा होगा। इसको एक लेख में स्वभोगनगर भी कहा गया है। यह नाम शायद समुद्रगुप्त ने एरण को दिया था। स्थानीय जनश्रुति के अनुसार इस स्थान पर महाभारत काल में विराटनगर की स्थिति थी। आज भी अनेक प्राचीन खंडहर यहां बिखरे पड़े हैं। पिछले वर्षों में सागर विश्वविद्यालय ने यहां उत्खनन द्वारा अनेक महत्वपूर्ण ऐतिहासिक तथ्यों का उद्घाटन किया है।[56]


एरण में गुप्तकालीन नृसिंह मन्दिर, वराह मन्दिर तथा विष्णु मन्दिर पाये गये हैं। ये सब अब ध्वस्त अवस्था में हैं। एरण के मन्दिरों में उत्कीर्ण मूर्तिकला गुप्त काल के दौरान विकसित की गयी थी। एरण में मिले अभिलेख, समुद्रगुप्त के शासनकाल से लेकर छठी शताब्दी के प्रारंभ में हूण आक्रमण के समय की कलात्मक गतिविधियों के दस्तावेज है। यहाँ मिली वाराह की वृहद् मूर्ति पांचवी शताब्दी के प्रारंभ में एरण व उदयगिरि के मध्य कलात्मक विकास व मूर्तिकला के परस्पर संबंधों को दर्शाती है। जिसमें देवी-देवताओं की शक्ति को पूरी तरह से शरीर के भाव और उसकी भंगिमा द्वारा प्रदर्शित किया गया है।[57]

सागर जिले के ऐरण नामक स्थान में वाराह, विष्णु तथा नरसिंह मन्दिर स्थित हुए। भू विन्यास में वाराह मन्दिर का गर्भ गृह एक मण्डप से युक्त था। छत सपाट रही होगी। विष्णु मन्दिर चार ऊँचे स्तम्भों पर आश्रित है, इसमें गंगा और यमुना को गर्भगृह द्वार में दिखाया गया है। नरसिंह मन्दिर भी भग्नावस्था में है।

गुप्तयुगीन मूर्तियां सीमित मात्रा में प्राप्त हैं। इस युग की मूर्तियों में प्राचीनतम् रामकथा के दृश्य तथा शिवगणों की सुन्दर मूर्तियों नचना कुठार -- पन्ना -- में प्राप्त हुई हैं। विष्णु, नृवाराह तथा पशुवाराह की गुप्तयुगीन मूर्तिया ऐरण में मिली हैं। देवगढ़ से शेषशायी विष्णु, नर-नारायण, गजेन्द्र मोक्ष तथा राम और रामायण कथाओं के गुप्त युगीन सुन्दर अंकन मिले हैं। इन मूर्तियों में संतुलित शरीर सौष्ठव, सुन्दर केश विन्यास, झीनें वस्र सूक्ष्म अलंकरण तथा गतिशीलता के दर्शन होते हैं।

ऐरण की गुप्तयुगीन विष्णु प्रतिमा में गोलाकार प्रभा मण्डल, शैल के विकसित स्वरुप का प्रतीक है।

समुद्रगुप्त के ऐरण अभिलेख में लिखा हुआ है : ‘‘स्वभोग नगर ऐरिकरण प्रदेश...,’’

वाकाटकों का बनवाया हुआ मडखेडा में सूर्य मंदिर दर्शनीय है। वाकाटक, गुप्त और नाग राजा समकालीन थे। गुप्त सम्राट समुद्र गुप्त ने नागों की सत्ता को विखंटित कर स्वयं इस क्षेत्र को अपने आधीन कर लिया था। और वैष्ठव धर्म, संस्कृति का प्रचार किया था। बीना नदी के किनारे ऐरण में कुवेर नागा की पुत्री प्रभावती गुप्ता रहा करती थी जिसके समय काव्य, स्तंभ, वाराह और विष्णु की मूर्तिया दर्शनीय है। इसकी समय पन्ना नागौद क्षेत्र में उच्छकल्प जाति कें क्षत्रियों का शासन स्थापित हुआ था जबकि जबलपुर परिक्षेत्र में खपरिका सागर और जालौन क्षेत्र में दांगी राज्य बन गये थे। जिनकी राजधानी गड़पैरा थी दक्षिणी पश्चिमी झांसी–ग्वालियर के अमीर वर्ग के अहीरों की सत्ता थी तो धसान क्षेत्र के परिक्षेत्र में मांदेले प्रभावशाली हो गये थे। [58]

External links

Foot Notes

वन एवं जल से रहित (उषर या रेगिस्तान क्षेत्र में स्थित) दुर्ग को इरिण दुर्ग कहते हैं.


  1. K D Bajpai, Indian Numismatic studies, Ch 5, Pl I,4
  2. Mahabharata (1.57.12)
  4. Excavations by ASI - Since Independence - Madhya Pradesh
  5. Indological Researches in India : Selected Works of Prof. K.D. Bajpai/edited by S.K. Bajpai. Delhi, Eastern Book Linkers, 2003, x, 452 p., $66. ISBN 81-7854-025-8, p. 35
  6. Indological Researches in India : Selected Works of Prof. K.D. Bajpai/edited by S.K. Bajpai. Delhi, Eastern Book Linkers, 2003, x, 452 p., $66. ISBN 81-7854-025-8, p. 41
  7. J.F. Fleet. Corpus Inscriptionum Idicarum, Vol.3,p.88-90
  8. General A. Cunningham, Report of tours in Malwa and Bundelkhand, varansi,1966,p,46
  9. Bajpai K.D. : Sagar through the ages, New Delhi, 1967, p.27.
  10. Ibid, p.26-27.
  11. Jha, V.D., Recent excavation at eran, Archaeological studies, Journal of Esuri. University of sagar ,vol. 4,p,8
  12. J.F. Fleet. C0rpus Inscriptionum Idicarum, Vol.3,pp.18ff.
  13. Bajpai K.D. : Sagar through the ages, New Delhi, 1967, p.11-12
  14. Ibid
  15. Ibid
  16. Ibid
  17. Ibid
  18. Ibid
  19. Ibid
  20. Corpus Inscriptionum Idicarum, Vol.3,91-93
  21. Bajpai K.D. : Sagar through the ages, New Delhi, 1967,pp,36
  22. Cunningham, coins of Ancient India, London, 1891,p,101,pl.xi
  23. Bajpai ,K.D., Indian Numismatic Studies, New Delhi,1996,pp,19
  24. Cunningham.A., Coins of Ancient India, London, 1891,p,101,pl.xi fig. 18
  25. Bajpai ,K.D., Indian Numismatic Studies, New Delhi,1996,p.23
  26. Bajpai K.D. : Sagar through the ages, New Delhi, 1967,pp,36
  27. Cunningham, A., Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi , Vol .xiv ,plate xxxi
  28. Bajpai ,K.D., Indian Numismatic Studies, New Delhi,1996,p.07
  29. Ibid
  30. Ibid
  31. Ibid p,08
  32. Bajpai, K.D. ,Editor,Bulletin of ancient Indian history and Archaeology, University of Sagar, Vol. No,1,1967,p,124
  33. Bajpai, ,K.D., Indian Numismatic Studies, New Delhi,1996,p.11
  34. Ibid.p.16
  35. Ibid
  36. Ibid.p.101
  37. Ibid.p.17
  38. Ibid.p.131
  39. Ibid
  40. Ibid
  41. Ibid
  42. Ibid.p.121
  43. Lal,Mohan, Eran ki Tamrapasan Sanskriti,Sagar,2009,p. 43
  44. Ibid.p.34
  45. Krishnadutta Bajpai : Sagar through the ages, Sagar, 1954, P. 35.
  46. Epigraphiya Indica : Vol.(2), P. 87.
  47. Dr Mahendra Singh Arya, Dharmpal Singh Dudee, Kishan Singh Faujdar & Vijendra Singh Narwar: Ādhunik Jat Itihasa (The modern history of Jats), Agra 1998, p. 279
  48. Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions/Names of Feudatory Kings and High Officers, p.44
  49. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.111
  50. भारत-डिस्कवरी-एरण
  51. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur,p.111-112
  52. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur,p.111
  53. भारत-डिस्कवरी-एरण
  54. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur,p.111-112
  56. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur,p.112
  57. भारत-डिस्कवरी-एरण