Inscriptions From The Bastar State

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Compiled and Wikified by:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Bastar was site of many Inscriptions of Nagavanshi rulers in 11th century. E. Hultzsoh & Sten Konow have mentioned that from the Inscriptions of Nagavanshi rulers it would appear that Bastar, which has been held to have always been the home of wild animals, with almost wilder tribes, was once ruled by a people who are civilization is sufficiently evidenced by the remains of temples, some of which are of great architectural beauty. These inscriptions carry the history of Bastar back to the eleventh century A.D., when at least the central portion of the State was ruled by the Nagavanshi Jat kings. Who were these ruling people?

In this article we have compiled and wikified all the Inscriptions from the Bastar State from the following books -

Jat History in Bastar

Here is partial list of the Jat Clans mentioned in the Inscriptions found in Bastar State. In list below those on the left are Jat clans (or Jat Places) and on right are people or place names in these Inscriptions. With each entry a pagewise reference to particular inscription is also given. Such a similarity is probably due to the fact that Nagavanshi Jats had been rulers of this area in antiquity as is proved by Inscriptions found in this region. There is further need to establish any inter-connection and their migration from the region.

  • Mavali Goddess: Bastar's native deity, The Goddess Mavali is considered to be the elder sister of Danteshwari. In Narayanpur, Dantewada and Jagdalpur, all rituals and offerings in Dussehra are done in the Mavali temples. Mawli or Mavli (मावली) is a deity worshipped by Jats, as well as other communities in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra states. Every village in Rajasthan has a temple of the deity. In both Bastar and Rajasthan Mavli is considered as a protector deity of villages. This common tradition needs further research. It is surprising to find no mention of Mavli in any of inscription found in Bastar State.
  • Naga (Jat clan) - It is important to bring all these Inscriptions of Nagavanshi rulers of Bastar at one place for further research. Our point of interest here is what happened to those Nagavanshi Jat rulers?

Inscriptions from Epigraphia Indica Vol. IX

No. 19.- Inscriptions From The Bastar State

No. 19.- Inscriptions From The Bastar State
by Hira Lal, BA, MRAS, Nagpur

SourceEpigraphia Indica Vol. IX (1907-08), p.160-170

[p.160]: Mr. Cousens in the Annual Report of the Archaeological Survey of India, 1903-04 (p. 54) opens his report on the conservation of antiquarian remains in the Central Provinces with the remarks that- 'the Central Provinces and Berar cannot be said to be rich in antiquarian remains,' but ' possibly there exists many an old relic of considerable interest lying hidden away in some of the extensive jungles and little known tracts in the province, that has not come under the notice of any one capable of estimating its value.' Exactly from such a place do I draw the materials for the subject I propose to notice on.

Bastar is a feudatory state in the extreme south of the province situated between 17 46' and 20 14' north latitude and 80 15' and 82 15' east longitude, touching the Godavari and comprising an area of 13,000 square miles, all covered with dense forests and populated by the wilder tribes, some of whom did not till very recently know the use of clothes. This extensive jungle has been made to yield no less than 22 inscriptions1 through the strenuous efforts of my friend Mr. Baijnath, B.A., Superintendent of the Bastar State. Three of these inscriptions were noticed by Colonel Glasfurd, Deputy Commissioner of the then Upper Godavari District, about the year 1862 A.D.2 So far as is known, only one of them has been published, vis., the so called Nagpur Museum inscription of Somesvara.3 On the authority of the information supplied by the Curator of the Nagpur Museum it is there stated that the stone was brought from a village Kowtah, near Sironcha, which is incorrect as will presently be shown. It belonged to Barsur, of the Bastar State, and is an important record of the predecessors of the present line of Rajas.

In order that the references to places in the Bastar inscriptions may be easily understood, I append a map of the State showing their positions as also some other places possessing archaeological remains. As most of the latter have never been noticed before, a brief mention of at least some of the important ones may not be out of place here. These places are Dantewara, Gadia, Bhairamgarh, Narayanpal, Sunarpal, Kuruspal, Tirathgarh, Potinar, and Chapka and Dongar.

Barsur is a place of very great interest. It is 55 miles west of Jagdalpur, the capital of Bastar. It contains ruins of many temples, the most important of which is a Siva temple with two sanctuaries having a common mandapa supported on 32 pillars in four rows. In each of the sanctuaries there is a linqa, and a Nandi, and old people remember that an inscription was removed from, this place about half a century ago. Another Siva temple has a mandapa with 12 pillars in three rows, and the third is called Mama bhanja-ka mandir and is distinguished by carvings on the inside walls in the shape of bells suspended from chains. Outside the Ganesha temple there is a huge figure of Ganesa, 17' in circumference and about 7' or .." high. Numerous images are lying about or collected together under huts, of which most noticeable is one of Vishnu, 4' high, and showing good workmanship. There are also images of Mahishasuramardini, one of which is inscribed. All the temples are of Brahmanic style, most of them built of stone without lime.

Dantewara is about 20 miles of Barsur, and in the intervening villages there are sculptured stones lying about, some of being five-hooded- cobras or intercoiled snakes. Dantewara contains the shrine of Danteshvari the tutelary goddess of the present ruling family. The temple is built at the junction of two

1 Since I wrote this Mr. Baijnath has made further discoveries which will be described in another paper.

2. See Selections from the Reeords of the Government of India in the Foreign Department, No XXXIX P. 62 et sqq.

3. Above, Vol. III. p. 314.

Bastar State Map.jpg

[p.161]: called Sankhini (संखिनी ) and Dankini (डंकिनी), and is notorious as a place where human sacrifices were formerly annually offered. At least a place was pointed out to me in the innermost; sanctum, close to the goddess, where they said the victims used to be decapitated. The goddess has eight arms and is represented in the act of killing the buffalo demon. She is in reality Mahishasuramardini, locally known as Dantesvari. There are various other images such as those of Vishnu, Kartikeya, Ganesha, etc., some of which were brought away from the ruins of Barsur. There are five inscriptions here, three inside the Dantesvari temple, one just outside it, and another near a mud hut called Bhairamgudi. There are remains of several other temples buried in, ruins. For the support of the Dantesvari Temple, an estate consisting of several villages is attached.

Bhairamgarh is about 70 miles west of Jagdalpur and has three or four temples, together with remains of a fort and a ditch and several tanks. There is an inscription on a pillar, and at Potinar, a village near Bhairamgarh, there is a slab1 inscribed on four sides.

Gadia is 20 miles west of Jagdalpur and has a stone temple with no idol, but built in the same style as those of Barsur. About 400 yards away there is a big inscription, and a linga was found buried in a brick mound.

Narayanpal and Kuruspal are quite close to each other, the former being situated on the river Indravati. Near these villages are the forts of Rajapur and Bodra, and not far away the beautiful falls of the Indrvati at Chitrakut present a magnificent appearance.

Narayanpal is only 6 miles from Gadia and has an old temple, an image of Vishnu, and an inscription.

Sunarpal and Chapka are -within 12 miles from Narayanpal.

Chapka has a number of sati pillars, several of which are inscribed.

Tirathgarh also contains some temples and relics.

Dongar is a place where according to custom the present Rajas go to be crowned. Here one of the queens, whose finger was chopped of by royal order and who ventured to inform her father, writing the letter with the blood so wantonly spilt, was buried alive. The pit, which is still pointed out, was once disturbed by a greedy Raja of the same family , who also brought down the temple of Narayanpal and some others in search of supposed buried treasure.

I now proceed to give a short notice of each inscription of which I possess impressions, with very brief remarks where necessary, reserving a fuller account for other papers. The Bastar inscriptions may be roughly divided into three classes, viz., those of the (1) Nagavanshi kings, (2) the Kakatiyas, and (3) miscellaneous. Of 22 yet discovered, ten belong to the 1st class, five to the 2nd, and the rest to the 3rd.

The Nagavamshi Inscriptions

I. Narayanpal Stone inscription of Queen Gunda-mahadevi, the mother of Somesvaradeva 1111 AD

I. Narayanpal Stone inscription of Queen Gunda-mahadevi, the mother of Somesvaradeva 1111 AD

SourceEpigraphia Indica Vol. IX (1907-08), p.161

Narayanpal is a village 23 miles west of Jagdalpur. The inscription is on a stone slab and is in Nagari characters, and the language is Sanskrit. It records the grant of the village Narayanapura to the god Narayana and some land near the Khajjuri tank to the god Lokesvara, and it is dated in the Saka year 1033 on Wednesday, the full moon-day of the Karttika month in the Khara samvatsara (Saka-nripa-kalatite dasa-sata.traya[s*]-trims-adhike Khara-samvatsare Kartika-paurnimasyam Budhavare) corresponding to 18th October 1111 A. D., and issued by Gunda Mahadevi (गुंड महादेवी), the chief queen of Maharjaa Dharavarsha, the mother of Somesvaradeva and the grand mother of Kanharadeva, who was then ruling on the death of his father (Maharaja-Somesvara-devasya swar (swr)gate tesham putrasya, asam, naptuh . . . Srimad-vira-Kanharadevasya kalyana-vyaya-raiya). The dynasty claims to belong to the Nagavansha and the Kasyapa gotra, to have a tiger with a calf as their crest and to be the lords of Bhogavati the best of the cities (Nagavamsodbhava, Bhogavati-pura-var-esvara savatsa-vyaghra Lamchhana Kas(s)yapa,-gotra). At the end of the inscription the sun and moon, a cow and a calf, and a,

1. This has now been removed to a roadside place called Jangla, six miles north of Potinar, for easy access.

[p.162]. dagger and shield with a linga in its socket, exactly of the shape in which the Lingayats wear them, are engraved. There is a postscript to this inscription in which it is stated that the land was given by Dharana-mahadevi, who was probably the widow of Somesvara, as will appear further on. There can be no doubt that Narayanpal is the Narayanapura of the inscription. A temple of Narayana is still standing there. The image of Vishnu, about 2' high, canopied by a hooded snake, is exquisitely executed.

II. Barsur inscription of Ganga-mahadevi, wife of Somesvaradeva Saka year 1030 (1109 AD)

II. Barsur inscription of Ganga-mahadevi, wife of Somesvaradeva Saka year 1030 (1109 AD)

Source – Epigraphia Indica Vol. IX (1907-08), p.162-63

[p.162]: This inscription is now in the Nagpur Museum. It is a slab 9' 2" long, 14" broad and 3-1/2" thick, broken into two pieces. The inscribed portion of each flat side is about 4-1/2', thus leaving half of the pillar buried underground. As the whole of the inscription could not be completed within the allotted space, the remaining portion has been inscribed on the third side, on which the writing runs to the length of 31". The stone is stated to have been brought from Kowtah near Sironcha, but the Tahsildar of Sironcha informs me that it was never sent from that place.

The stone is indisputably from Barsur. Happily Col. Glasfurd has given a facsimile in his report on the Dependency of Bastar. Speaking of the Barsur temples he says: "In front of (this temple I found a slab with an ancient Sanskrit and Telugu inscription on both sides ; part of it had been broken off and was nowhere to be found. After offering a reward and causing search to be made I had the satisfaction of obtaining it. As the Telugu is of an antiquated character, I regret to say I have not succeeded in obtaining an accurate translation of the inscription. A facsimile is appended. From what I can ascertain it would appear that the temple of Mahadeva where the slab was found was built by a Raja Somesvaradeva, a Nagavanshi Kshatriya, in the Saka year 1130."

The inscription is in the Telugu character, and the language is also Telugu prose, the birudāvali or titles of the king being in Sanskrit and corresponding with those in the Narayanpal Sanskrit inscription. It records that Ganga-mahādevi, the chief queen of Somesvaradeva gave a village named Keramaruka or Keramarka to two temples of Siva (both of which she had built) on Sunday, the 12th tithi of the bright fortnight of Phalguna in the Saka year 1130. The two temples referred to here still exist, having one common mandapa, and from local enquiry it appears that it was from this place that Col. Glasfurd removed the slab.

Although the names of the temples Virasomesvara and Gangadharesvara given after the royal couple as recorded in the grant, are forgotten, a tank still remains which is called Gangasagar and retains the memory of the charitable queen Ganga-mabadevi. If the Somesvara of this inscription is identical with that of Narayanpal, there has apparently been a mistake in engraving the date which should be 1030 and not 1130, and that is perhaps the reason why the week day does not correspond with the tithi given there, viz,, the 12th of the bright fortnight of Phalguna, on a Sunday. According to Mr. Dikshit's calculations, Phalguna Sukla 12 of Saka-Samvat 1130 ended on Wednesday. So it was concluded that the year meant was Saka 1131 expired, in which year the tithi given in the inscription fell on a Sunday, But on calculating the week day for the same tithi in Saka 1030 expired I find that

1. Above, Vol. III. p. 314.

2. A similar error seems to have been committed In relegating the Buddhist stone inscription of Bhavadeva (published in J. R. A. S. 1905, p. 617, by Dr. Kielhorn) to Ratanpur, whereas from nay enquiry in situ I found that the inscription was really brought from Bhandaka, and this is confirmed by General Cunningham, Reports, Vol. IX, p. 127.

3. Report on the Dependency of Bastar, 1862, p. 62.

[p.163]: it also fell on Sunday.1 In the Narayanpal inscription it is stated that the grant of Narayanapura was made in Saka 1033, in the reign of Kanharadeva, who had succeeded his father Somesvaradeva2, on his death. And as there is nothing to show at present that there were two Somesvaras, the date 1030 fits in very well. It, however, seems somewhat extraordinary that such a palpable mistake should have been allowed to remain when it could be corrected by joining together with a curved line the two ends of the Telugu which is like an egg half-cut (at least it is so in the inscription) thus transforming easily the second 1 of 1130 into a zero. I am very reluctant to suppose that the engraver committed a mistake, but that he did is patent enough in this case whether we read 1030 or 1130. The village Keramaruka may be identified with Kodmalnar, which is situated quite close to Barsur and is said to have been mu'afi or exempt from the payment of taxes for a long time.

1. Sice I wrote the above, Prof. Kielhorn has kindly calculated the date and finds that Saka 1030 Phalgtuia Sudi 12 Sunday regularly corresponds to Sunday, 14th Feb. A.D. 1109.

2. I do not think that much importance can be attached to the different birudas used in the Barsur and Narayanpal inscriptions. The Somesvara of the former has the title jagadekabhushana-maharaja, which does not occur in the latter. But then the birudas used in the Bastar inscriptions are not always the same.

III. Kuruspal inscription of Dharana-Mahadevi, second queen(?) of Somesvara

III. Kuruspal inscription of Dharana-Mahadevi, second queen(?) of Somesvara

Source – Epigraphia Indica Vol. IX (1907-08), p.163

Kuruspal is a village about a mile off from Narayanpal. The inscription was found built upside down into the steps of a small tank, which shows that it did not belong to the tank itself, but was brought away from some ruins, possibly the temple built in the centre of the tank, and was utilised without regard to what was engraved on it. It is in the Nagari character, the language being Sanskrit with very bad spellings. The object of the inscription is to record a grant of land situated near Kalamba by Dharana-Mahadevi, who seems to have been the second queen of Somesvaradeva. The inscription belongs to the victorious reign of Maha-rajadhiraja Somesvaradeva

The same long birudas are in the Narayanpal and Barsur inscriptions are attached to Somesvaradeva's name. The inscription also mentions the name of Narayanapura. It is dated in the Saumya samvatsara.

IV. Sunarpal stone inscription of Mahadevi, queen of Jayasimhadeva

IV. Sunarpal stone inscription of Mahadevi, queen of Jayasimhadeva

Source – Epigraphia Indica Vol. IX (1907-08), p.163

[p.163]: Sunarpal is about 10 miles from Narayanpal. The stone is partially broken, and a part of the inscription is gone. It is undated. It records the grant of land, or, more properly, an imprecation against the resumption of granted land, and gives the names of witnesses before whom the gift was made, but it is not stated where. The gift was apparently made by Mahadevi, the chief queen of Jayasimhadeva of the Naga race, the supreme lord of Bhogavati, having the tiger with a calf as his crest. He is called Rajadhiraja Maharaja Sri Jayasimhadeva.

V. Dantesvari gudi inscription3 of Narasimhadeva Saka year 1140

V. Dantesvari gudi inscription3 of Narasimhadeva Saka year 1140

Source – Epigraphia Indica Vol. IX (1907-08), p.163

[p.163]: This is another stone inscription in Telugu character found in the temple of the goddess Dantesvari at Dantewara. It is dated in the dark fortnight of the month Jyeshtha in the Saka year 1140 (expired). In this year there was an eclipse of the sun, and the month of Jyeshtha was intercalary. At that tune Maharaja Narasimhadeva, the ornament of the race, of the best of serpents, Was ruling (Sri-bhujaga-vara-bhushana-Maharajul=aina. Sriman-Nara-sinhadeva-Maharajula rajyamu). The inscription is only a fragment.

3. For reading this I am indebted to Mr. Sitaramayya, one of the Superintendents in the Comptroller's office, Central Provinces.

[p.164]: Of the remaining five Nagavamsi inscriptions it has not yet been possible to obtain good impressions. They are all in Telugu.

The Potinar slab seems to refer to Narasimhadeva and the Dantewara stone lying outside the Dantesrari temple to Jayasimhadeva.

The Bhairamgarh inscription contains birudas similar to those found in the Barsur one, and the king is stated in both to be the worshipper of Manikyadevi (Sri-Māṇikyadevi-divya-sripāda-padm-ārādhaka:श्री-माणिक्यदेवी-दिव्य-श्रीपाद-आराधक), which is an older name of Dantesvari, so named by the successors of the Nagavamsis, the Kakatiyas, although the latter claim that Dantesvari came with them from Warangal, where she was called Manikyesvari.1 This inscription is incomplete and it appears that it was never completed.

The Bhairamgudi inscription at Dantewara appears to be the oldest of all, as its date appears to be Saka 984. 2

The Gadia inscription, apparently of Someshvaradeva's time, contains the usual figures of the cow and calf, Sun and Moon, Siva, etc., the peculiar signs of the Nagavamsi kings, although they do not seem to refer to their family crests. They are all picture imprecations. The sun and moon represent that the grant is to last aa long as these luminaries endure. Siva is the protector against violation of the grant on the spiritual side, and the dagger and shield of the king on the temporal. The cow and calf depict the grave sin which the transgressor would commit, exactly equal to taking away the cow from the calf. This interpretation is supported by the fact that the Kuruspal inscription, has a representation of an ass associating with a pig, the imprecation being explained in the text thus, Jo (yo) anyathā karoti tasya pitā gardabhah sūkari mātā (he who acts otherwise has for his father an ass and for his mother a pig.)

From these inscriptions it would appear that Bastar, which has been held to have always been the home of wild animals, with almost wilder tribes, was once ruled by a people whose civilization is sufficiently evidenced by the remains of temples, some of which are of great architectural beauty. These inscriptions carry the history of Bastar back to the eleventh century A.D., when at least the central portion of the State was ruled by the Nagavamsi kings. They apparently belonged to the Sinda family of Yelburga, whose titles are strikingly identical with those of the Bastar Nagavamshi kings. Dr. Fleet states 3 that there appear to have been more branches than one of this family. One of these was that of Bastar, which has been hitherto unknown.

These inscriptions disclose the names of five or six different kings, vis., Dharavarsha (), his son Someshvaradeva (), and his grandson Kannaradeva, Jayasimhadeva, Narasimhhadeva, and a possible Somesvara II. In view of the fact that half the inscriptions relating to these kings have not yet been deciphered owing to their incompleteness or want of proper impressions, I reserve a fuller discussion of the history of these kings for another occasion.

1. Elliots Report on the Bastar and Kharonde Dependencies, 1861, p. 13.
2. As read by Rai Bahadur V. Venkayya.
3. Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, Vol. I, Part II, p.572.

II. The Kakatiya Inscriptions

II. The Kakatiya Inscriptions

Source – Epigraphia Indica Vol. IX (1907-08), p.163

[p.164]: All these are modern ones, the oldest being those of the Dantesvari temple at Dantewara written by the rājaguru of the present family, who was a Maithila Pandit. One of these is in Sanskrit and the other is a Maithili rendering of the same with some additions. Col. Glasfurd has given a very defective transcript of both in Ms report. They are dated in the Vikrama Samvat 1760, or 1703 A.D. on the 3rd day of Baisakh, dark fortnight. They record the pilgrimage of Raja Dikpaladeva to the Dantesvari shrine when ' so many thousands of buffaloes and goats were sacrificed that the waters of the Sankhini river became red like kusuma flowers and remained so for five days.' The Kakatiyas are stated to be Somavamsis, 4 born of the

4. In the Ekāmranatha inscription of Ganapati (Ind, Ant. Vol. XXI, p. 200) they are stated to belong to the solar race to which ' Sagara, Bhagiratha, Baghu. and Rama ' belonged. This apparent contradiction is, however, capable of being explained. The Kakatiya king Ganapati had no male issue. He had a daughter named Rudrāmbā, who succeeded him on the throne. Apparently she also had no male issue and had therefore to adopt her daughter's

[p.165]: Pandava Arjuna. The genealogy begins with Kākati Prataparudra, who was king of Warangal. His brother Annamraja was the first to come to Bastar, and the genealogy is continued to Dikpaladeva, nine successors being mentioned. The present Bastar family is the representative of the old Warangal family, who, having been defeated by Musalmans, fled to Bastar. Combining the information hitherto available, the following list of Kakatiya kings may be made up.

l.- Predecessors of Annamdeva, from Professor Kielhorn's Southern list, above, Vol. VIII, Appendix, p. 18.

1. Durjaya.

2. Beta (Betmaraia) Tribhuvanamalla, son of 1.

3. Prola (Proleraja, Proḍaraja) Jagatikesarin, son of 2 ; made the Western Chalukya Tailapadeva prisoner; defeated Gavindaraja and Gunda of Mantrakuta; conquered but reinstated Chododaya ; put to flight Jagaddeva. .

4. The Mandaleshvara Rudradeva, son of 3; subdued Ḍomma; conquered Mailigideva, burnt the city of Chododaya. A.D. 1163 -[and 1186].

5. Mahadeva (Madhava), brother of 4

6. Ganapati (Ganap) Chhalamatiganda, son of 5; defeated Devagiri Yadava Singhana , the king of Chola etc. A. D. [1199-1200 to 1260-61].

7. Mahamandalachakravartin Prataparudra of Ekashilanagari i.e. Warangal. His general Muppidi entered Kanchi and installed Manayira as governor. A.D. 1316.

2. Succesors of Annamdeva down to Dikpaladeva according to the Dantewara inscriptions.

1. Annamraja, brother of Prataparudra.

2. Hamiradeva. -

3. Bhairava (Bhai Raj) deva.

4. Purashottamadva.

5. Jayadirayadeva.

6. Narasimhadeva; his queen Lachhami-dei dug many tanks and planted gardens.

7. JagadiSarayadeva.

8. Viranarayanadeva.

9 Virasimhadeva, married Vadanakumari, a Chandella princess.

10. Dikpaladeva, married Aiabakumari, of the Chandellas, visited the Danteshvari temple in Samvat 1760, A.D. 1703.

and Prataparudra. It is possible that Parataparudra's father may have belonged to the lunar race, and while Prataparudra became by adoption a Kakatiya of the solar race, his brother Annamadeva, the founder of the Bastar family, must have refined what his father was, that is, of the lunar race. Strictly speaking Prataparudra himself does not seem to have a very strong claim to be a solar Kakatiya. He was adopted by his grandmother, whereby he became member of her grandmother's husband's) race, but it can be urged in his favour that he succeeded to the Kakatiya throne, and that adoption by females was valid in ancient times (See Dattakamomansa VII § 30-38 as quoted by Mayne, Hindu Law and Usage, vith edition, p.130), whereas Ganapati's daughter, whom her father had called son and had given a male name 'Rudra' (on which account she was called Rudramba, see Ind. Ant. XXI, p.199) became incorporated with thw parental race of Solar Kakatiyas. It is in this sense alone that Bastar family could be called as Kakatiya. This would not affect their true lineage ,viz., the lunar race. All this however would apply if Annamadeva was a brother of the Prataparudra of our list I. But list II with 10 kings for a period of about 400 years postulates the existence of another Prataparudra, who probably ruled a hundred years later and 'lost his kingdom and his life in the battle with Ahmad Shah Bahmani' in 1424 AD. This Prataparudra was also probably engrafted from another family like his predecessor, in all likelyhood from the lunar race to which his brother Annamdeva as a matter of natural course continued to belong.

[p.166]: 3. Successors of Dikpaladeva down to the present ruling chief, according to records kept in the Raja's family.

1 Rajpaldeva,

2 Dalpatdeva.

3 Daryaodeva ; his brother Ajmer Singh rebelled against him in Samvat 1836, A,D. 1779.

4 Mahipaladeva.

5 Bhupaladeva.

6 Bhairamadeva.

7 Rudrapratapadeva, the present chief .

The family records place another Prataparajadeva between Narasimhadeva and Jagadisarayadeva, Nos. 6 and 7 of List 2. Rudrapratapadeva, the brother of Annamraja, is stated to have had three eyes; his army was composed of nine lac archers,1 and during his time golden rain fell. Prataparudra I. was a great patron of learning, and Vidyanatha wrote a work on Alankara, which he called after him Prataparudrayashobhushana or Prataparudriya.2

The other three inscriptions are at Dongar ; they are written in Hindi. Two of them are dated in Samvat 1836, or A.D. 1783, and refer to a visit of Raja Daryaodeva in order to quell a local rebellion. The third is dated in Samvat 1928, or A.D. 1871, and records the pattabhisheka ceremony of Bhairamadeva, the father of the present ruler.

III. Miscellaneous Inscriptions.

III. Miscellaneous Inscriptions.

Source – Epigraphia Indica Vol. IX (1907-08), p.166

[p.166]: All these are unimportant and give no historical data. Six belong to Chapka and are engraved on sati memorial stones and, with one exception, in Nagari characters. Most of these have the usual marks of the sun, the moon and the outstretched hand with figures of husband and wife. Some have got temples engraved, with the couple in the act of worshipping the linga represented there. One is found at Barsur on the pedestal of a goddess and is fragmentary.

No. 20.- Kanker Copper Plates Of Pamparajadeva (Kalachuri) Samvat 965 And 966.

No. 20.- Kanker Copper Plates Of Pamparajadeva (Kalachuri) Samvat 965 And 966 = 12.08.1213 and 06.10.1214
By Hira Lal, B.A., Nagpur.

Source – Epigraphia Indica Vol. IX (1907-08), p.166-168

[p.166]: These are two copper plates which were found in an old well in the Village Tahankapar, 18 miles from Kanker, the capital of the state of the same name in the Chhattisgarh, Division of the Central Provinces. They are now in the possession of the chief of that state and were sent to me by his Divan Pandit Durgaprasad. Ink impressions were kindly taken for me at Nagpur by Mr. T. GK Green, Superintendent of the Government Press, and they are reproduced in the accompanying plate.

There are two different records issued at an interval of a year. Both the plates are 7-7/8" long, but they differ in height and weight, one measuring 3-3/4" and the other 3-1/4" , the bigger one

1 This may be true in the seme that he ruled over so big a population, who, as subjects, could at any time be called out for military service. In Bastar and adjoining tracts almost every man knows the use of the bow and arrow, with which they even kill tiger. The probability, however, if that ' nine lac ' was a conventional term for the highest number. In the Hoṭṭūr inscription (Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, Vol. I, Part II, p. 433) the Chalukya ling Styairaya is stated to have put to flight a Chola king who had collected a force numbering nine lacs, indirectly insinuating that he defeated the biggest army that could be brought in the field. Similarly it has become idiomatic to speak of Bawangarh (52 forts), 700 chelas (disciples), 108 shris, etc.

2 Ind. Ant. xxi. p. 108, and Duff's Chronology of India, p. 213.

[p.167]: weighing 6 oz. and the smaller 6 oz. 10 drs. The former has an oblong hole at the top, measuring 1/8" x 1/16", apparently for stringing it with otter plates. It is uniformly and sufficiently thick, and is in a good state of preservation. The smaller one is thick in the middle but very thin at the ends, so thin indeed that the commencement Om svasti has cut through the plate leaving holes in the engraved portion, and, similarly, at the diagonally opposite end, a portion is exceedingly worn- out leaving irregular holes there. The corners of this plate were rounded off. It has at the end an ornamental figure representing the moon. This was probably the family crest.

The average size of the letters in the bigger plate is 3/16" and in the smaller 1/8". The former appears to be a palimpsest. Both the sides contain minute scratches of letters of almost doable the size, which are altogether illegible.

The characters in both the plates, which were written at an interval of a year only, are Nagari, and the language in both is corrupt Sanskrit prose. Both the plates were engraved by Sethi or Sao Keshava, who apparently lived at Pāḍi (town).

There is very little to note about orthographical peculiarities. The letters dha, ra, ṇa, ksha, bha, jna, and the figures 9 and 5 appear in a somewhat antiquated form, and the usual indifference to the use of s for ṡ is conspicuous. Spelling mistakes there are many ; they have been noticed in the footnotes under the text.

The bigger plate, which is the older of the two and was issued from, the Kākaira residence, is a state document conferring a village with a fixed revenue on the village priest Lakshmidharasharman,. This refers to Jaiparā village, but Chikhali is also incidentally mentioned. The smaller plate records the gift of two villages, Kogara (कौगरा) and Andali (अंडाली), to the same person on the occasion of an eclipse of the sun. These transaction were made by the Mahamandalika Pamparajadeva of the Somavamsha (Lunar race) in the presense of his queen Lakshmidevi, prince Vopadeva and eight Government officials including the minister. In the village document these officials appear as witnesses. The recipient of the villages was himself one of them.

The village document is business-like and contains abbreviations which were no doubt very well understood at that time, but are now difficult to make out. It does not indulge in genealogies. In the gift, however, we are told that Pamparajadeva meditated on the feet of Somarajadeva, who meditated on the feet of Vopadeva. I take this Vopadeva to be identical with that of the Kanker stone inscription of the Saka year 1242 (see above, page 124). I shall discuss this question in another paper on the Sihawa inscription, which also gives a genealogy of this family,

The bigger plate is dated in Samvat 985, in the Bhadrapada month, in the Mriga lunar mansion, on Monday, the 10th of the dark fortnight, and the smaller one in the Ishvara- samvatsara, in the month of Karttika, in the Chitra lunar mansion, on Sunday, at the solar eclipse, the year being given in figures at the end as 966. It is not stated to what era these dates belong, but Professor Kielhorn, who has kindly calculated them for me, has conclusively proved that they refer to the Kalachuri era. The reader is referred to the postscript added by him at the end of my article on the Kanker stone inscription (see above, pp. 128 and ff.), -where he has fully discussed the question. The English equivalents of these dates, as calculated by him, are Monday, the 12th August A.D. 1213, and Sunday, the 6th October A.D. 1214, respectively.

The towns and villages mentioned in the plates are Kakaira, Padi, Kogara, Andali, Jaipara, Chikhali and Vanikotta.

Kakaira is the modern Kanker, where the present chief of the state resides. It is 88 miles from Raipur, the headquarters of the Chhattisgarh Division, in which the Kanker state is included.

Kogara has now been corrupted into Kongera (कोंगेरा). There are two villages of this name in the state, and for distinction one is called Deo Kongera (8 miles

[p.168]: south-east of Kanker), and the other Hat Kongera (6 miles north of Kanker). The former is associated with gods, and the latter with a market, which is held there. In the inscription a Kogara is said to be close to the shrine of Prankeshvara, which has now disappeared, but has apparently left its reminiscence in the suggestive adjunct Deo which Kongera now bears. I therefore, identify our Kogara with Deo Kongera.

Jaipara is the modern Jepra (Indian Ant. quarter sheet 92, N. W., Long. 81 31', Lat. 20 28'), a village 15 miles north of Kanker and

Chikhali is about 21 miles in the same direction just on the borders of the state. It is now included in the Dhamtari tahsil, which formerly formed part of the Kanker state.

Andali is probably represented by the present Andni (Anjni), 10 miles east of [[Kanker.

Padi can not be identified. The same is the case with Vanikotta about which it is doubtful whether it is the name of a village at all.

Note - See Text and translation of Plates-I and II here - Kanker Copper Plates Of Pamparajadeva (Kalachuri) Samvat 965 And 966. pp.169-170

No. 23. Rajapura copper plates of Madhurantakadeva Shaka Samvat 983 (=A.D. 1065).

No. 23. Rajapura copper plates of Madhurantakadeva Shaka Samvat 983 (=A.D. 1065).

By Hira Lal, B.A. Nagpur

Source - Epigraphia Indica Vol. IX (1907-08), p.174-181

[p.174]: The discovery of this first copper plate inscription in the wild Bastar State of the Central Provinces is the result of the zeal with which Rai Bahadur Baijnath, B.A., the Superintendent

[p.175]: of the State, set himself to make a search for the antiquarian remains in that little known and remote quarter, at my request. Mr. Baijnath has been richly rewarded for bis efforts, for, in addition to the present copper plates, he has discovered more than twenty new inscriptions in Sanskrit and Telugu characters, of most of which he has sent me ink estampages and tracings. I have deciphered several of them and they will in due course appear in this Journal. I begin with the copper plates, as this is perhaps the most ancient Sanskrit inscription yet found in Bastar. Mr. Baijnath found the plates in the possession of a Brahman named Gangadhar Pārhi of Kawadgaon close to Rajapura. Gangādhar received them from his sister-in-law, who found them buried in a field at Naharni, sixteen miles from Rajapura.

There are three copper plates, held together by a ring, soldered into what was apparently the lower portion of a seal, which had been broken off. Each plate is about 10-1/2" x 5-1/4" and they weigh 29-1/2. 30 and 35 tolas, respectively, the weight of the ring being 26 tolas. The plates are smooth, sufficiently thick, and in an excellent state of preservation. They are inscribed on both sides, except the first one, which is inscribed on one side only. Mr. T. G. Green, Superintendent of the Secretariat Press, Nagpur, kindly took for me impressions, which arc reproduced in the accompanying plate. The plates are numbered 1, 2, 3, on the margin, which was apparently left to prevent the ring holes from coming in between the written lines. The word sri has been engraved in the upper margin of the first plate, over the figure 1.

The second side of the third plate is inscribed with benedictive and imprecatory figures, viz., 12 hands in a row at the top, beneath which there is to the proper left a cow with a bell attached to her neck, and a dagger and a shield beside her feet, a florated linga in the form of a srastika in the middle, and a woman pursued by a donkey to the proper right, with the figure of the sun and the moon over it. My interpretation of these figures is as follows : The hands are uplifted, apparently as an expression of benediction on the donor, and they are twelve, probably because there were 12 patras or donees referred to in the inscription. The cow is apparently drawn to remind us that whosoever appropriates the gifted land, will have to reap the same consequences which a cow's curse can produce, or will fall into the same calamity as & cow is in when deprived of her calf. Siva is shown ag the protector against aggression on the spiritual side, and the ruling king's dagger and shield on the temporal. The sun and the moon indicate that the grant is to last as long as these luminaries endure. Lastly the obscene figure of an ass associating with a woman is a vulgar imprecation implying that the transgressor of a gift should be so low-born.1

The inscription is in the Nāgari character. The average size of the letters is 6/16". They are well formed and clearly written.

The language is corrupt Sanskrit, and except the benedictive and imprecatory verses, which are inserted in a somewhat disconnected manner, the remainder of the inscription is prose. In fact, the whole composition is disjointed, and there are several grammatical slips and spelling mistakes.

The most noteworthy orthographical peculiarities are the representation of the initial i with two dots and a stroke underneath, resembling the Nāgari figure 2 (11. 13, 16, 23 and 30). The anusvāra is put at the side of the letter and is represented by a dot with a hala, underneath (11. 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26 and 27), but in several instances it is also represented in the ordinary way by a dot on the top of the letter (11. 1, 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 14, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, 31 and 32). One top stroke representative of the mātrās

1 Compute my remarks, above, p. 164,

[p.176]: of ẻ, ai, ỏ and au is exhibited by a vertical stroke placed before the letter to which it is attached a practice which is still followed in the Bengali and Oriya writing, but exceptions may be found side by side, where it is placed on the top of the letter according to the practice now followed in writing. Thus, in line 12, the dẻ of Madhurāntakadeva has a top, while the very next de of Kanharadeva has a vertical stroke preceding the letter da. The latter form, however, predominates, the exceptions being found as regards e in 11. 2, 4, 10, 11, 12, 21, 26, 29 and 31 and of o in 11. 1, 19, 31, and 32. Ai has been used only once, in line 8, and au twice, in, lines 11 and 26, and in each case one of the top mātrās has been represented by a vertical stroke preceding the letter to which it is attached. The letters bha, dha, ra and ksha, invariably appear in their antiquated forms. The letter v is used throughout for b, and s for ś, except in the solitary instances of daśa, in 1.3 and o śri in 11. 12 and 29. Ja is used for ya (11. 20, 24, and 27), ŗi is used for the vowel ri in 1.8, and na for ņa in 1. 6. In line 8 kaṁvala 1 for kamala is a spelling which occurs in other inscriptions. It represents the actual pronunciation of the vernacular word a pronunciation still kept up in the Chhattisgarh division, of which Bastar forms part.

The object of the inscription is to record the grant of Rajapura village, situated in the Bhramarakoṭya mandala, to one Meḍipota or a Chhurikara Medipota and his descendants, together with 70 gadyāṇaka2 gold. The grant was made by the king Madhurāntakadeva, who belonged to the Chhindaka family of the Naga (Cobra) race. The inscription is dated in the [Saka] year 887, in the Parābhava samvatsara, on Wednesday o the bright fortnight of Karttika month. Although the tithi has not been given, there is a most minute description of the moment of the grant, the nakshatra being stated to be Anuradhā, the yoga to be Saubhāgya and the karana, to be Gara. From these data the exact date has been kindly calculated for me by Professor Kielhorn who says :

" The date for Saka 987 expired corresponds to Wednesday, the 5th October A.D. 1065.

On this day the third tithi of the bright half of Karttika ended 9 hours 17 minutes after mean, sunrise, and the nakshatra, was Anuradha and the yoga Saubhagya. The second half of the tithi was the Karana Grara. But the Jupiter's year is not quite correct. By the southern system. It should have been Vishvavasu and by the northern luni-solar system Plavanga and by the northern mean sign system Kilaka. The mistake is the same as in the first Kanker3 plates."

The purpose for which the grant was made is somewhat obscure. I take it to be a compensation for supplying a victim for human sacrifice. Before proceeding to show how I arrive at this conclusion, it may he stated that in Bastar and the adjoining tracts human sacrifices were rampant about seventy years ago. It is notorious that human victims were offered to the goddess Dantesvari, enshrined at Dantewara in the Bastar State. Colonel Macpherson of the Madras Army, who was appointed agent for the suppression of Meriah sacrifices and female infanticide in the hill tracts of Orissa, which Bastar adjoins, says4 : " In the worship of Tari Pennu or Earth Goddess the chief rite is human sacrifice. It is celebrated as a public oblation by tribes both at social festivals held periodically and when occasions demand extraordinary propitiation, such as the occurrence of an extraordinary number of deaths by disease or by tigers, or should very many die in child-birth, or should the flocks or herds suffer largely from disease or from wild beasts, or should the greater crops threaten to fail, or the occurrence of any marked calamity to the families of the tribal chiefs. Victims are called Meriah and are acceptable only when they have been acquired by purchase or were born as such, that is, of a victim father. Victims are generally supplied to the Khonds by men of the two races called Panwā and Gahingā, who are attached in small numbers to almost every Khond village for the discharge of this and other peculiar offices. The Panwās purchase the victims without difficulty or kidnap

1. Compare Dr Grierson in J. R. A. S. 1907, p. 1057.
2. Gaḍydyṇaka is a weight = 32 gunja. See Yājnavalkya iii. 258.
3. Above p. 129.
4. J. R. A. S. Vol. XIII. (1852), p. 248 et seq.

[p.177]: them from the poorer classes of Hindus, procuring them either to the order of the Khonds or on speculation, and they moreover constantly sell as victims their own children and children of whom as relatives they are the guardians. Khonds when in distress, as in times of famine, also frequently sell their children for victims considering the "beatification of their souls certain and for death for the benefit of mankind, the most honourable possible. The Meriah grove, a clump of deep and shadowy forest trees, usually stands at a short distance from the village by a rivulet which is called the Meriah stream. It is kept sacred from the axe and is avoided by the Khonds as flaunted ground." Bearing these remarks in mind, I now proceed to examine in how far they can throw light on our inscription. The italics in the above extract are mine, and they should be borne especially in mind, while considering what follows. In 11. 26 to 28 it is stated that !t no body enters the chhuriprabandha. There is no place for the preceptor of yoginis. For this purpose this village is taken with a view to do good to all living beings." From this it is plain that the grant was not made for any spiritual purpose such as the increasing of the religious merit of the king and his ancestors, but with a practical earthly aim, viz., in order to secure the welfare of the general public including cattle and other animals. The grant was not made to a Brahmana but to a Medipota (11. 12 to 14) who is styled "Patra 12," and to whom 70 gadyānaka gold were given in addition to the village, with the mutual consent 1 of the king, the queen, the prince and officers of State as stated in the grant, evidently in order to make the transaction an out-and-out purchase. Had the donee been a Brahmana, we should have expected a mention of his parentage, gotra and caste, but no such information is forthcoming in this grant. In L. 25 Medipota is called chhurikāra, which is probably used in a technical sense having reference to the chhuriprabandha referred to above, and not in the ordinary sense of a knife-maker (black-smith) I am unable to say what chhuriprabandha 2 really means, but from the context it appears to stand for something like narabaliprabandha, apparently on account of the great importance of the chhuri or knife in the sacrifice.

With regard to the epithet " 12 patra " I am inclined to believe that Medipota, whether this word is a proper name or the name of an office, was the head of the 12 persons employed in the work of procuring victims. So late as 1884 A.D., when an investigation was made in Bastar in connection with kidnapping persons for sacrifice, it was believed that there were 12 villages given rent-free to kidnappers of 12 families, with whom the stipulation was that in case they could not procure victims from elsewhere, they must supply them from their own family in consideration of the free grant they enjoyed. Of course the existence of a grant for such a purpose could not be proved, as the sacrifices had been stopped long before the institution of the investigation. But the tradition of 12 families of melliahs or kidnappers of victims is significant and points to a practice which evidently existed in the days of these sacrifices.3 I am further inclined to think that Medipota was an office, Medi being the same as Meli or Melli vulgo Melliah or Malia,4 the word pota, which in Telugu means a sacrificial victim, being dropped for

1. The Kāilika Purana says : If a human sacrifice is performed without the consent of the prince, the performer incurs sin (see Rudhirādhyāya in the Asiatic Researches, Vol V. p. 383).
2. [The text has chhuripravadham, which might perhaps be translated " killing with a chhuri." S. K.]
3. [The passage in question (L. 14) can also be translated, " Receivers 12 Medipotas, in their hand property was received," The Chhurikara, of L. 25 would then he a special Medipota. S. K,]
4 Capt. Mac Vicar says : "The Meriah offering, whether so called Toki Poojah or Noroboli (Narabali), is essentially the same in object as the boli (bali) of the Doorga Poojah, and to this day the ritual of the Khond is annually celebrated by the Borisoloo or Maliah Pater (Pātra) at Pooramari, the capital of Chinna Kimedi, on the conclusion of the Dasserah, festival a goat now being substituted for the more precious victim."

Mark the italics, which are mine. (See Report by Capt. MacVicar, 1851, in the History of operations for the suppression of human sacrifice in the hill tracts of Orissa, 1854). It would appear that Melliah (the procurer) and Meriah (the victim) were identical terms, the procurers being regarded in

[p.178]: the sake of brevity. It will now appear that the grant gives sufficient indications pointing to the procuring of a human victim. The village is secured as the residence of the preceptor of the joginis, who of course dwell in a haunted place, which is naturally avoided by others. The victim is obtained by purchase, with the mutual consent of the king and his subjects, the grant is made to non-Brahmanas, the likely persons to take part in such a ceremony, and all this is done for the purpose of dayā and dharma to all living creatures. Having referred to these main points, I pass over the minor ones which lead to the same conclusion, that this grant was made in favour of procurers of victims for human sacrifices. If therefore the purpose of the grant is really what it appears to be, then I fancy this is a unique record and no similar inscription has hitherto been discovered.

Some remarks about the dynasty of the king mentioned in this grant will be found above on pp, 161 and ff, where I have dealt with the inscriptions of the Nagavanshi kings found in Bastar, most of, which are not yet published and which I propose to edit in due course as intimated before. The dynasty is clearly related to the Sinda family of Yelburga. Though styled "Lord of Bhogavati, the best of cities," Madhurantakadeva appears to have been a Mandalika (feudatory chief), as the verse in LL. 24-25 shows that his rāj was limited to Bhramarakotya, which is described as a mandala in L. 15. He belonged to the Chhindaka family, one of the 36 Agnikulas 1 mentioned by Chand Bardai, the court poet of Prithviraja.

With regard to the localities mentioned in the record, Rajapura is identical with the present village of the same name, 22 miles north-west of Jagdalpur (the capital of Bastar), on the bank of the Indravati River. There are ruins of a fort there, and it is believed that it was once a royal capital. The present Raja family also dwelt there for some time. Chakrakotya is, I feel little doubt, the town mentioned by the Kashmirian poet Bilhana in his Vikramānkadevacharita (विक्रमांकदेवचरित), in which he records that Vikrama as yuvaraja set out on a series of warlike expeditions, with the permission of his father. He repeatedly defeated the Cholas and plundered Kanchi. He assisted the king of Malava in regaining his kingdom and carried his arms as far north as Gauda and Kamarupa. He attacked also the king of Simhala or Ceylon, destroyed the sandal wood forests of Malaya Hills and slew the lord of Kerala. He finally conquered Gangakunda (गंगकुंड) (IV 21) Vengi (IV. 29) and Chakrakota (IV. 30). After haying accomplished these brilliant exploits Vikrama turned homewards, and, on coming as far as the Krishna", he was suddenly disquieted by the news of his father's death. Dr. Buhler2 remarks that " Bilhana's rhapsodic treatment of this portion of Vikrama's career makes it impossible to determine the chronological order of these wars. Only so much may be considered certain that his last exploits were performed in the south as he came on his homeward march to the Krishna." There can be no doubt about these exploits of Vikrama. They were, as related above, the conquest of Gangakunda, Vengi and Chakrakota, and at least these seem to have been conquered in the order in which they have been mentioned. Gangakunda was the Chola capital, situated in the north-east corner of the Trichinopoly district,3 whence Vikrama proceeded north to Vengi, the country between the Krishna,

the same light as the victims, as they had themselves to become victims in the absence of a procured one. The sacrifices paid the Melliahs, who thus became purchased victims, and they did not care whence the victim were procured so long as one was supplied to them when wanted. Thus to the sacrifices, the procurer and the victim would mean the same thing, but the terms came to be differentiated when a class of procurers grew up and the real victim happened to be a substitute for themselves. A parallel instance of such differentiation in the same word may be found in Kotwal and Kotwar in the Saugor district, where in spite of the officials regarding them as identical, a social distinction is made out. The Kotwal is generally of a higher caste than the Kotwar and considers himself the proper village watchman, other menial duties being taken as the proper function of the Kotwar.
1. Prithviraj Raso, Canto 1, page 54 (Nagari Pracharini Granthamala series).
2. Ind. Ant. Vol. V, p. 319 footnote.
3 Ind. Ant. Vol. XIX. p. 339.

[p. 179]: and the Gadavari. He apparently crossed the latter and raided the country of Chakrakota and then wended his way homewards. This occurred just a few years after the present grant was made (1065 A.D.), in. as much as Vikrama became king in 1076 A.D. Many a southern king 1 like-wise raided this somewhat weak power, which must accordingly have been situated near to their kingdoms. Therefore Chakrakota was not near Dhara, as some scholars have supposed, but was contiguous to Vengi, being situated in the present Bastar state. I think the confusion with Dhara is due to the fact that Chakrakotya had a king named Dharavarsha (which has been apparently wrongly interpreted to mean 'king of Dhara' 2 ). In an unpublished inscription found at Kuruspal, a place close to Rajapura, there occurs Chakrakutādhīshvarāṇām kulam=alaṁkarishṇuḥ.... samabhavad Dharāvarshanāmo nareshvaraḥ (चक्रकूटाधीश्वराणाम् कुलम्=अलंकरिष्णु:...समभवद् धरावर्शनामो नरेश्वर:). The Nararayanpala inscription also mentions Dhāravarsha (धारावर्ष), whose widow Gunda-mahadevi (गुण्ड महादेवी ) gave away-the Narayanapura village in her grandson's reign in the year 1111 A.D. 3 The name Chakrakotya (चक्रकोट्य) probably survives in the present Chitrakuta or Chitrakota, 8 miles from Rajapura. Bhramarakotya (भ्रमरकोट्य) was possibly an alternative name of Chakrakotya, which seems to survive in Ghumara, a name given to the fall of the Indravati at Chitrakota.

1. The first raid so far as is known appears to have been made by Vijayaditya III of the Eastern Chalukya line, who ruled between 844 and 888 A.D. He burnt Chakrakota (above, Vol. IV. p. 226). Then the Chola Rajendra-Chola I. (A.D. 1011-33) took Sakkara-kottam (South. Ind. Inscr. Vol. II. p. 108), while one of his successors, king Virarajendra I., claims to have crossed the Godavari, passed through Kalinga, and advanced against Chakrakota (ibid. Vol. III. p. 70). Next the Chola king Kulottunga, while yet a youth, won his first laurels in battle by storming Chakrakota. This happened prior to 1070 A.D. and is mentioned in the Tamil poem Kalingattu Parani (X 24), and also in inscriptions (see e.g. Ind. Ant. Vol. XXI. p. 286), Vikrama was probably the fifth raider, the sixth being Vishnuvardhana Hoysala in the 12th century (Kielhom's Southern list,No. 396).

2. I would therefore, instead of ' Rajakesarivarman (i.e. Kulottunga Chola I.) conquered the king of Dhara (varsha) at Chakrakotta ' (see Kielhorn's Southern list No.756)

3 See above, page 161.

Translation of No. 23. Rajapura copper plates of Madhurantakadeva Shaka Samvat 983 (=A.D. 1065).

[p.181]: Om ! Hail ! (In tlie reign of the king) born of the race of the Naga (Cobra), which is resplendent with the mass of rays (proceeding from) the jewels in (its) thousand hoods ; who is lord of Bhogavati, the best of cities ; while the space "between the ten quarters is resounding with the deep sound from the shrill drums (proclaiming bis) brilliant victories ; whose crest is a bow and a tiger ; who is (as it were) the sun to the lotus (-like) crest jewel of the Chhindaka family ; who resembles a bee which is rendered yellow "by the mass of the pollen served to the lotus feet of the great Maheshvara ; whose circle of enemies is terrified by the sound of the dundubhi (drum) and fury a (musical horn.) won from Indra ; who is endued with victories gained since a long time ; whose banner is the lotus and plantain, (leaf) supported on (the hack) of Airavata (white elephant) ; and who is hailed by the sound of conches only ; in the year of the (Saka) king 987 expired, in the month of Karttika, during the Currency of the Parāabhava-samvatsara, in the bright fortnight, on Wednesday, in the Anuradha lunar mansion, in the Saubhagya yoga and Gara karana, in all these auspicious moments, the illustrious Madhurantakadeva, Prince Kanharadeva, Queen Nagala Mahadevi, Prince Nayaka, Nayaka Sudraka, Prince Tungaraja and Sreshthin Puliama, having unanimously agreed, the village Rajapura (situated) in the Bhramarakotya mandala is granted, after washing the feet and (accompanied) with pouring streams (of water), (and) 70 gaḍyādṇaka gold are received in the hand of (by) Medipota, (who is the head) of the twelve pdtras (persons worthy of receiving gifts). The gift is declared as Shivanirmdlya (as sacred as a gift offered to Siva and therefore inviolable), as long as the moon, the stars, etc., endure. If any one from time "to time says: "I take it, " the result for him also (will be the same as in the case of) breaking a thousand lingas in Banaras, breaking a thousand tanks, and killing a thousand Brahmans and a thousand cows.

" He who resumes land given by himself or given by another becomes a worm in ordure for sixty thousand years."

" Common is this religious bridge to princes, and it should be guarded by you from age to age. Thus does Ei&machandra again and again conjure all future lords of the earth."

The produce from the heavens, deposits (in the earth) and (wild) elephants 1 are given, but other things outside the village are the State property. So long as the sun and the moon and the earth and the royal race of Bhramarakotya endure, so long (must this charter be observed).

This charter is to be respected in the case of Chaurikara Medipota's sons and grandsons.

Nobody enters the chhuriprabandha' at the village sacrifice. There is no place for the preceptor of the resident (local) joginis. For this purpose this village is taken, for the benefit of all creatures, for the purpose of (showing) kindness and (performing) virtue. In the Chakrakotya mandala the witnesses are : - Nāyaka Shri Dhāreshvara, Mudhaseli, Nāgahasti, (and) Karana Daria. Written, by Dhanuka Kayastha.

The pen (engraving stylus) (was) touched by Kumara Tungaraja, Dhāmadeva, Govardhana, Danārdana, Patra Gāgirā (and) Sadhu Saharanga (Saharasu ?). This is in Maṇavridhi's hand (writing) (which) sets np (expresses) the (general) opinion.

1. In Blochman's Ain-i-Aklari, Vol. I. page 122, the following occurs : "Elephants are chiefly found in the Subah of Agra, in the forests of Bayāwān and Narwar as far as Berar, in the Subah of Allahabad, in the counties of Pattah and Ghoraghāt and Ratanpur, Nandanpur, Sargachh and Bastar."

Inscriptions from Epigraphia Indica Vol. X

Source : Epigraphia Indica & Record of the Archaeological Survey of India, Vol.X, 1909-10, pp.25-43

No. 4 Kuruspal Stone Inscription of Somesvaradeva.

Kuruspal Stone Inscription of Somesvaradeva.p.28.jpg
Kuruspal Stone Inscription of Somesvaradeva.p.29.jpg
Kuruspal Stone Inscription of Somesvaradeva.p.30.jpg
Kuruspal Stone Inscription of Somesvaradeva.p.31.jpg

No. 4 Kuruspal Stone Inscription of Somesvaradeva.

By Rai Bahadur Hira Lal, B.A; Nagpur.

Source : Epigraphia Indica & Record of the Archaeological Survey of India, Vol.X, 1909-10, pp.25-28

[p.25]: The subjoined inscription was found at Kuruspal, a village in the Bastar State, by Rai Bahadur Diwan Baijnath, who kindly sent me impressions of it together with a transcript from the original stone. I, however, waited for better impressions from the Archeological Department and these I received in due course, but as the writing is illegible owing to the roughness and bad state of the stone, it has not been possible to secure very satisfactory copies. Under the circumstances I have not been able to decipher the record satisfactorily and the difficulty has been aggravated by the fact that almost the whole of the left side of the stone is broken off carrying away about 5 or 6 letters of many lines; and some letters on the right side also are gone. It seems almost impossible to restore the lost portion and it is unfortunate that some letters belonging to proper names have disappeared, However, there is still enough left to invest the record with some importance. I have, therefore, endeavoured to elicit this portion without paying much attention to the unimportant passages, such, for instance, as those enumerating the names of the inhabitants or castes which I have mostly allowed to remain as read by Mr. Baijnath from the original stone, from line 24 to the bottom. The record contains altogether 39 lines covering a space 5' 8" x 2' 4" on the stone, which in its present mutilated form measures 5' 3" x 2' 4". These are the greatest lengths and breadths which are not uniform throughout, because the stone is broken on all aides. The characters are bold averaging about 1", but many of them are worn out. They belong to the Nagari alphabet, those appearing in the antiquated form being i, ē, cha, ņ dha, bha, ra, śa, and sa. The language is Sanskrit, partly prose and partly verse, the composition not being being free from grammatical or spelling mistakes. The birudas or family titles from the commencement to line 6 are in prose, the composition being in a style somewhat characteristic of the southern records ; compare, for instance, the Nadagam plates of Vajrahasta (above, Vol. IV. p. 189). From line 21 there is again prose dealing with the business portion of the record, which ends with the usual imprecatory verses and the engraver's name, etc., in prose. Underneath the record are carved the figures of a cow, a linga, a dagger, a shield and the sun, the signification of which as imprecatory symbols has been elsewhere explained.1

The inscription- records the grant by king Somesvaradeva of a village whose name cannot be made out, but from the boundaries it appears that to its south was the Indranadi and to its east a village named Aranga (आरंग) and to the west Kapalika (कपालिक). The name of the village to the north is also not clear. The birudas of the family to which Somesvaradeva belonged correspond to those mentioned in the Narayanpal 3 (नरायनपाल) inscription with a few additions and variations. They state that the king belonged to the Nagavamsa (नागवंश) and to the Kasyapa gotra. He had a tiger crest and snake banner and acquired sovereignty of Chakrakuta through the favour of the goddess Vindhyavasini. In connection with the last biruda I have already referred to this inscription (above, Vol. IX. p. 179) where I have shown that Chakrakuta lay somewhere near the present capital of Bastar. The personal eulogy of the king who is styled Maharajadhiraja Paramabhattaraka Parmesvara, informs us that Somesvara was the son of Dharavarsha (धारावर्ष), whose grandson was Kanharadeva (कन्हरदेव). The latter was only heir-apparent at the time our inscription was engraved. There is nothing new in this genealogy as we already

1. Above, Vol. IX. p. 161,

2. ibid p.311

3. [This statement refers evidently to the Kanharadeva mentioned in L.7 of the text. It is, however, open to question if this Dharavarsha is identical with his namesake mentioned in L.11, in view of the fact that a king named Nagatideva (नागतिदेव) is introduced in L.9. Again, there is no necessity to mention the grandson o{ Dharavarsha in L. 7, as the record belongs to the time of his son Somesvara. But as the inscription is considerably damaged, the question must be left to be decided by future researches, - Ed,]

[p.26]....(?) inscription.1 The subjoined record, however, refers to certain contemporary kings, and had the whole of this portion been capable of being deciphered or restored, it would probably have solved some important historical problems. Most of these kings are mentioned here by the names of their countries or capitals, those quite clear being Uḍra, Lanji, Ratnapura, Lemṇa, Vengi, Bhadrapattana and Vajra. Owing to the mutilated state of the record it is not certain whether Somesvara claimed to have conquered them, but one implication is, plain, viz, that they were his rivals. In verse 8 it is stated that, having killed the powerful king Madhurantaka in battle and having put other kings to trouble, he became, as it were, a junior Narayana by imitating the latter's action in having killed Madhura and a host of other demons. The next two verses speak of the burning of Vengi and subjugation of Bhadrapattana and Vajra, his greatest exploit apparently being the killing of Madhurantaka. From his Rajapura plates 3 the latter appears to have occupied Chakrakuta, of which Somesvara claimed to be the hereditary ruler. The burning of capital towns seems to have been a favourite form of annoyance to unfriendly rulers and was perhaps regarded as a great achievement. Our hero boasts of having 'burnt Vengi like the great Arjuna who fired the Khandava forest.' This was at the most a tit for tat, as we find Chakrakuta itself burnt several times by the Kings of the countries on the other aide of the Godavari (see above, Vol. IX. p. 179). Vengi was the country between the Godavari and the Krishna, 3 and our inscription mentions the name of Virachoda (वीरछोड़), who, as we know from other sources, was the viceroy 4 of this country appointed by his father. Somesvara seems to have added another laurel to his fame by burning the forests of the Vajra country. The acme of exaggeration is reached in the vainglorious boast contained in the llth verse in which it is stated that Somesvara took 6 lakhs and 96 villages of the Kosala country. Of course Kosala here refers to Maha-Kosala or Dakshina-Kosala which extended from the confines of Berar to Orissa and from Amarakantaka to his own territory in Bastar. It is doubtful whether even this extensive area ever contained as many as 6 lakhs of villages, but even supposing that it did, there is absolutely nothing to justify the boast that Somesvara ever became king of that country. It is possible that he may have raided a part of Kosala and may have held it in his possession until driven out again. This surmise seems to be supported by Jajalladeva's 5 inscription dated 1114 AD, Jajalladeva was king of Dakshina-Kosala ruling at Ratanpur, and in his eulogy referred to above, he is stated to have 'seized in battle Somesvara, having slain an immense army. No details are given as to who Somesvara was, but from synchronistic allusions it is apparent that he was identical with the donor of our inscription. The Narayanpal 6 epigraph, which is dated 1111 A.D., explicitly mentions that Kanharadeva became king on the death of Someshvara, and we know from the Barsur7 inscription that he was living in 1108 A.D. The Ratanpur epigraph was engraved in 1114 and these dates are so close to each other as to leave little doubt in the matter.

Returning to the list of countries, we know Udra to be the old name of Orissa, Lanji, 8 a well-known tract in the district of Balaghat, Ratnapura, the capital of the Haihayas in Dakasina Kosala, and Vengi, the country between the Godavari and Krishna, Lemṇa may be Lavana, the eastern tract of the Raipur district. So far, the inscription does not give us any new information, but the remaining two names, viz. Vajra and Bhadrapattana, are interesting. Vajra or Vayiragaram is mentioned in Tamil literature and inscriptions. 9 The earliest reference to Vajra is perhaps in the Tamil poem Shilappadigāram10 which is believed to have between 110 and 140 A.D. It is stated in this poem that the Chola king Karikāla

1. Above Vol. I. p, 315. f.

2. Ibid p.174

3. See Ind. Ant. Vol VI P.63, and above Vol. IV, p.36,

4. South Ind Inscr Vol.I,p.51

5. Above, Vol I, p.38

6. Above Vol IX,p.161 et seq

7. Ibid p.162 f

8. Lanjika is mentioned along with Vairagara in the Ratnapur inscription of Jajjaladeva among the provinces which paid tribute to him (Above Vol I, p.38). Ed.

9. See South Ind Inscr Vol.III, pp.132 and 140 , Vol II. p. 235.

10. The Tamils 1800 year ago p. 208

[p.27]: was on terms of friendship with the kings of Vajra, Magadha, and Avanti. How Vajra fared in later times there are no materials at present to elicit, but during the 10th and llth centuries it was apparently not so important or strong as in the early ages. A noteworthy fact is that in Tamil inscriptions it is always mentioned in conjunction with Chakrakota or Ṡakkarakkoṭṭṭam (शक्करकोट्टम), and since I have localised the latter in Bastar, it will now be easy to see why Vayiragaram must be Wairagarh (वैरागढ़) which adjoins the Bastar State and is situated not very far away from the place where the old Chakrakuta lay. This inscription itself confirms the identification of Chakrakuta with Bastar, as it calls Someshvaradeva the lord of Chakrakuta, and the happy quibble which the composer of our inscription has introduced in regard to the name Vajra 1 referring to diamonds and its conqueror as a ' diamond piercer,' to my mind definitely settles the question of the identification which does not appear to have been suggested or attempted before. Wairagarh was a well known diamond mine in olden days and it continued to be famous even in the times of Akbar to which the following quotation from the Ain-i-Aknari2 testifies : 'Kallam 3 is an ancient city of considerable importance ; it is noted for its buffaloes. In the vicinity is a zamindar named Babjeo of the Gond tribe, more generally known as Chanda ; a force of 1,000 horse and 40,000 foot is under his command. Biragarh (बीरागढ़) which, has a diamond mine and where figured cloths and other stuffs are woven, is under his authority. It is but a short time since that, he wrested it from another chief. Wild elephants abound.' The final note of Abul Fazl about wild elephants incidentally enables us to see how it was that Rajendra-Chola (Kulottunga I.) carried off many herds of elephants from Vayiragaram mentioned in the Tiruvorriyur inscription. 4 This is a further confirmation of the identity of the place. Should additional evidence be required as to Wairagarh having been a capital of ruling kings, it is furnished by its ancient remains 5 and the strong local tradition 6 according to which a line of Mānā kings held sway for some time. Mana or Mani is a semi-aboriginal caste, whose origin is obscure. They say that they came from Manikgarh in the Nizam's Dominions and my belief is that they were a branch of the Nagavamsi kings who worshipped Durga under the name of Manikyadevi. 7

1. It may be noted that the correct name of Wairagarh is Vajrakara (वज्राकर), which means ' diamond mine ' and has nothing to do with garh or fort. The real meaning having been forgotten, folk-etymology stepped in a varring that the name meant the ' fort of Waira, a contraction of Vairāba, a ubiquitous king, whose capitals are found spread over numerous parts of India. The story spun out, while it tickled the pride of the loftal people, brought conviction home in view of the fact that a fort existed there. This fort is, however, a modern one (See Cunningham]]'s Reports, Vol. VII. p. 127).

2. Jarrett's Edition, Vol. II. pp. 229 and 280. Even prior to this, the Musalmans knew of the Wairagarh diamond mines. In the Burhān-i Ma, āsir from which Major J. S. King has compiled a history of the Bahmani dynasty, it is stated that in the year 879 (A.D. 1474) Sultan Muhammad Shah II, sat in state on the throne and gave a public audience to the amirs and nobility and in elegant language explained as follows:-" The announcers of news, have informed me that the district of Wairagadh which is in the possession of Jatak Raya, the ungrateful, is a mine of diamonds; and I am resolved that that district also, like all the others, shall be brought into the possession of the servants of this court ; and that in those districts the rights of Islam shall be introduced aud the symbols of infidelity and darkness be obliterated." It is stated that one 'Adil Khan was sent on this mission. He laid siege to the fortress at Wairagarh, whereupon Jatak Raya surrendered (Ind. Ant. Vol. XXVIII. p. 286).

3. Now in the Yeotmal district of Berar. It is quite close to Chanda.

4. South-Ind. Inscr. Vol. III pp. 183-4

5. Cunningham's Reports, Vol. VII. p. 127.

6 Col. Luis Smith's Settlement Report of Chāndā (चांदा) district (1869), p. 61. The dates given in this report are conjectural, because the Colonel thought that the Gonds conquered the country about 870 A.D., and therefore the Mānās being their predecessors must have ruled before this. In the Chanda District Gazetteer (1309) it has been, however, clearly shown why the Gauds could not have come into possession of Chāndā until the 13th or 14th century A.D.

7 See for instance above, Vol. III. p. 318, where Somesvara is called ' a worshipper of the heavenly and holy lotus feet of the blessed Manikyadevi,' See also Elliott's Report on the Dependency of Bastar (1861), page 13, where he says that the present family of Bastar Rajas were worshipping the goddess ' Mānkeshwarea ' before they came to Bastar and that on their coming here she assumed the name of ' Danteshwaree' under which appellation she is still worshipped. My own belief is that with the change of the dynasty the old name of the goddess was changed and the Manikyadevi of the Nagavamsis became the Dantesvari of the present family.

[p.28]: The goddess, apparently, gave her name to the fort and to her worshippers, who, on being ousted mixed with the local Gonds and deteriorated so as to be regarded as a branch of the Gond tribe. Apart from all these considerations, there is epigraphical evidence of the existence of a family of chiefs at Wairagarh who are mentioned in the Ratanpar inscription of Jājalladeva 1 (dated 1114 AD) as paying tribute to the Haihayas of Dakshina-Kosala. The reference to Bhadrapattana, which is merely a variant of Bhadravati for metrical purposes, is again a point of great importance, because while on the one hand it affords still another proof of Wairagarh's identity, on the ether hand it confirms what I have elsewhere endeavoured to prove, viz. that the present Bhandak is the old Bhadravati. 2 Our inscription mentions Bhadrapattana in conjunction with the Vajra country, which shows that it was quite close to Vajra, Vajra heing Wairagarh, there is no place in its vicinity answering to Bhadrapattana except Bhandak, which is only about 70 miles from Wairagarh. There can be no doubt as to the antiquity of the place, and local tradition strongly supports its identification with Bhadravati. It once enjoyed the celebrity of being the capital of Maha-Kosala and it was this place which Hiuen Tssang visited.

With regard to the geographical names occurring in the grant portion of the inscription, the villages Aranga and Kapalika I am unable to trace, but Indranadi is the present Indravati, about a mile from Kuruspal which flowed through Chakrakuta. The modern representative of Chakrakuta is probably Chitrakuta which may be a corruption of the older name.

1. Above Vol.I,p.33. Note that the spelling of the name is Vairāgara and not Wairagarh. 2. Ind. Ant. 1908,p.208, footnote-19

No.5. Two Kuruspal Inscriptions of Dharana-Mahadevi.

No.5. Two Kuruspal Inscriptions of Dharana-Mahadevi Of the Time of Somesvaradeva
By Rai Bahadur Hira Lal, B.A; Nagpur.

Source: Epigraphia Indica & Record of the Archaeological Survey of India, Vol.X, 1909-10, pp.31-34

Kuruspal Stone Inscription of Somesvaradeva.p.32.jpg
Kuruspal Stone Inscription of Somesvaradeva.p.33.jpg
Kuruspal Stone Inscription of Somesvaradeva.p.34.jpg

[p.31]: Kuruspal is a village about a mile off from Narayanpal 1 and 22 miles from Jagdalpur, the capital of the Bastar State. The name is probably a corruption of Krishnapura as Narayanpal is of Narayanapura. The place contains numerous ruins, among which there is a tank called Rani Tarai (रानी तरई). The first of the subjoined inscriptions had been built upside down in one of the steps of this tank and was found by Bai Bahadur Diwan Baijnath who supplied me with 3 impressions together with one of another fragmentary stone found in a field.2 The tank slab probably belonged to a temple built in the middle of the tank, and dedicated apparently to the god Kameshvara (Siva) referred to in the inscription. Both these inscriptions record the grant of land near Kalamba (now untraceable), and the gift was made in both cases by queen Dharana-Mahadevi (धारण महादेवी), who was apparently the consort 3 of Somesvaradeva. This Dharana-Mahadevi is also mentioned in the Narayanpal inscription, apparently as a transferer of the land granted by Gunda-Mahadevi. It is worthy of note that some names of the recipients mentioned

1. See above, Vol. IX. page 161.

2. The text was subsequently compared with fresh impressions supplied by the Government Epigraphist for India.

3. It may be noted that there is nothing definite to show that she was his wife, For aught one knows, she might have been his mother.

[p.32]: there (for instance Mahāṇaka Devadasa) also figure in the tank slab. The latter also mentions certain tenants who are stated to be residents of Narayanapura and Ṭemarā (टेमरा), both of which are close to Kuruspal. The subjoined inscriptions appear to be older than the Narayanpal record of Saka 1033. Both say that they were issued during the reign of Maharajadhiraja Somesvaradeva, who had of course died prior to Saka-Samvat 1033. Neither of them is dated, but on the tank slab I have read the name of the samvatsara as Saumya, which prior to S. 1033 fell in S-991. It therefore appears that they were issued about the year 1069 A.D. Somesvaradeva is stated to be born of the Naga race and has all the birudas attached to his name as in the Narayanpal inscription. The subjoined records afford no new historical information, but would perhaps be of some use when finally fixing the periods of reign of the Bastar branch of Sinda kings.

As farther inscriptions have been found in Kuruspal which will appear later on, it seems necessary to add here the distinguishing features of the slabs under notice. The tank slab measures 6' 10" X 2' 2" and the writing consisting of 26 lines covers 3' 4"x 2' 1". On the top is a linga in the middle with the sun and the moon to the left and 5 circles in a row to the right, probably representing the remaining 5 planets which give their names to the week days and indicating that the grant is to last aa long as they endure. At the bottom are engraved a cow, a dagger and shield and a donkey associating- with a pig which is an obscene imprecation explained in the test.

The fragmentary slab is 49" long and 15" or 16" broad. There are 16 lines of writing on it, most of which are incomplete. The first 3 lines together with portions of the fourth, and fifth are on a piece altogether broken off from the main slab. The greatest length of the space covered by the writing is 27" and breadth 15". The slab has no figures on the top, but at the bottom there are the same figures as on the tank slab.

The tank slab was engraved by one Damodara Sūtradhāra. The average size of the letters which are Nagari is l-1/4". The language is bad Sanskrit with the exception of the stereotyped birudavali. The noticeable orthographical peculiarity is that in some, places ja is used for ya as in line 11. The fragmentary inscription does not give, the name of its' engraver. The average size of its letters is 1-1/2".

Translation of A - Tank Slab

[p.33]: Om ! Hail ! In the [Saumya-samvatsara], during the auspicious (and) victorious reign of His Majesty the prosperous Rajabhushana Maharajadhiraja, the glorious Somesvaradeva, who was born of the race of the Naga (cobra), who is resplendent with the mass of rays (proceeding from) the jewels on (his) thousand hoods; who is the lord of Bhogavati, the best of cities, whose crest is a tiger together with a calf, who belongs to the Kasyapa- Gotra, whose shout of victory is (universally) known, who is the protector of the worlds, who is the great worshipper of Mahesvara (Siva), who is the supreme lord, who resembles a bee, which is rendered yellow by the mass of the pollen of the lotus feet of the great Mahesvara :-

Hail! [Somala]-Mahadevi (सोमल महादेवी), the peerless mother of the world, who was wholly sanctified by having bathed in the water of the- Ganges ; the second (queen ?) (was) Dharana-Mahadevi ; her gift; the land situated near Kalamba was given to the god [Ka]mesvara free of taxes and all 'encumbrances, (By?) Pandi[ta] Taṭṭakatala-Mahaṇaka, the land having been made a devadāya, was bestowed on the god.


Translation of B Fragmentary Stone

In the Glorious and victorious reign of his majesty, the prosperous Rajabhushana Maharajadhiraja, the glorious Somesvaradeva, the queen Dharana- Mahadevi, the peerless mother of the world, who has bathed in the water of Ganges(and) whi is clever in (giving) charity, gave land situated near Kalemva free of all encumbrances and taxes, to the God Kameshvara. ....If any one does otherwise, his father (is) an ass (and his) mother a pig.

No.6. Sunarpal Stone Inscription Of Jayasimhadeva

No.6. Sunarpal Stone Inscription Of Jayasimhadeva
By Rai Bahadur Hira Lal, B.A; Nagpur.

Source - Epigraphia Indica & Record of the Archaeological Survey of India, Vol.X, 1909-10, pp.35-36

Sunarpal Stone Inscription Of Jayasimhadeva.p.35.jpg
Sunarpal Stone Inscription Of Jayasimhadeva.p.36.jpg

[p.35]: Sunarpal is a village about 10 miles from Narayanpal 1 in the Bastar State. I think the name is a corruption of Suvarnapura (सुवर्णपुर), which was probably prevalent during the rule of the Nagavamsi kings of Bastar. A fragmentary inscription of that dynasty was found here by Rai Bahadur Diwan Baijnath who kindly sent me 4 impressions from which I edit it.2 The slab on which it is inscribed measures 4"xl'5-1/2" and the writing covers 4'xl'5" including the imprecatory figures at the bottom which occupy 6". These figures are a cow and a calf, a dagger and shield, a linga and the sun and the moon as found in other Nagavansi inscriptions. The upper layer of a portion of the left comer at the top has gone off damaging the first 5 lines which deal with the birudas of the king, but they can be restored from other allied records. The writing is bold, but weather-worn. The characters are Nagari. The average size of the letters is 1". The inscription seems to have been composed by a person who knew very little of Sanskrit, if at all. He had no doubt committed to memory the birudas of the ruling king, but where long samāsas were involved, he remembered only portions of them and wrote them down without caring whether they conveyed any meaning or not. For instance, in lines 6 and 7 we find.......(?) His imprecatory verses at the end are similarly amusing. He seems to have been a native of the United Provinces which may be inferred from the vernacular word dinha (gave) of which apparently he did not know the Sanskrit equivalent. He has, however, endeavoured his best to give his composition a Sanskrit look and we may therefore allow that the language is Sanskrit and pass on without referring to orthographical peculiarities, as they are merely blunders.

The inscription is of no importance excepting that it furnishes the name of a new Nagavamsi king which will be useful in making out a dynastic list. It gives no date, nor does it mention the name of the place where the grant was made. It does not even say what was granted, but from the imprecations it may be inferred that it was some land. Perhaps Ádhakaḍa was the name of the village granted. The gift was apparently made by the queens of Jayasimhadeva of the Naga race, who belonged to the Kasyapa-gotra and was the supreme lord of Bhogavati, having the tiger with, a calf as his crest. He is called Rajadhiraja Maharaja sri-Jayasimhadeva. The names of witnesses before whom the grant was made are recorded as usual.

In line 11, the panchapradhan[āh'], i.e. the five ministers, seem to be mentioned. Four of them are enumerated. But the fifth is not mentioned as such. In Eastern Chalukya copper-plate grants, the king generally makes gifts in the presence of the matrin (councilor), purohita (family priest), senapati (commander of the army), yuvaraja (heir-apparent) and the davvarika (door-keeper). The executors of the Chellur plates of Vira-Choda (वीरछोड़) and of the Pithapuram plates of the same king are said to be the pancha-pradhanah, i,e. the five ministers.

1. See above, Vol. IX, p. 161,

2 The text has been subsequently compared with a fresh impression taken by Mr. Yenkoba Rao at the instance of the Government Epigraphist for India.

3. No. 265 of the Madras Epigraphical Collection for 1908.

4. Supply Savasti sahasra phaṇam°,

5. Supply °ṇa-nikar-āvabhā°

6. Supply cṡu bhat bhoga

Abridged Translation

[p.36]: L1. 1-17. His Majesty Maharajadhiraja Maharaja, the glorious Jayasimhadeva of the Naga race, the lord of Bhogavati, the best of cities, having the tiger with a calf as his crest and belonging to the Kasyapa-gotra, whose shout of victory is (universally) known and who resembles a bee which is rendered yellow by the mass of the pollen of lotus flower Jayasimhadeva gave the village of Ádhakaḍa (आधकाड़) (in the presence of ?) his queen Lokamahadevi and the great queen Ṡāsanadevi (शासनदेवी ) (or Somaladevi) and the five ministers (pancha pradhana), (viz.) the chief Minister, secondly, the grand warden (? paḍivala), thirdly, the prince in charge of the whisk (? chavari-kumara) , fourthly, the lord of the intelligence department ( sarvavadi Nayaka) (and) Dādesari-pātra Chavakā. Amvāvali Nayaka (is) a witness and -file second witness (is) Naḍayā Brahmana.

L1. 17-23. .....a cow-killer and also an ungrateful person may be a purified. The purification of the sin of killing a Brahmana or soiling the preceptor's 23 bed has not 24 been seen (heard of) ; (similarly) a confiscator of land cannot be purified. Resumers of previous gifts are born (again) as black serpents lying in the arid hollows of waterless deserts. Rama ! (This) was caused to be written by Palyama Nayaka.

No.7. Kuruspal Stone Inscription Of Somesvradeva Saka Samvat 1019 (=1097 A.D.)

No.7. Kuruspal Stone Inscription Of Somesvradeva- Saka Samvat 1019
By Rai Bahadur Hira Lal, B.A; Nagpur.

Source - Epigraphia Indica & Record of the Archaeological Survey of India, Vol.X, 1909-10, pp.37-38

Kuruspal Stone Inscription Of Somesvradeva.p.38.jpg

[p.37]: If the remoteness and inaccessibility of Kuruspal in the Bastar State of the Central Provinces have prevented the antiquarian from witnessing its ancient remains, temples, tanks, wells and gardens, the publication of inscriptions from that place have at least made him familiar with its antiquity and the importance it once enjoyed about a thousand years ago.

Local tradition avers that there were in that quondam town Sāt ūpar sāt fron baoli or 147 step-wells and as many tanks, and Rai Bahadur Baijnath, Diwan of Bastar, assures me that the story has a great deal of truth in it. Among the ruins on the bank of a tank known as Choryā-tarāi was found the present record, which like its three predecessors refers to the reign of the Nagavamsi king Somesvaradeva. There is, however, an agreeable departure in that it is dated. This is a point which renders its publication imperative in spite of the mutilated and extremely bad condition of the stone on which it is inscribed. The stone in fact is not in whole. It is broken into two pieces, and erosion has had its ample share in obliterating the letters. The stone with both the pieces put together measures 5' 0-1/2"x 2 ; 1-1/2, the length of the inscribed portion being 3' 1" with 24 lines, each about 2' 1" long. The average size of the letters, which belong to the Nagari alphabet, is about 1", The language is Sanskrit prose and there are no peculiar features in orthography other than those found and noticed in other inscriptions from Kuruspal.

The object of the inscription is apparently to record a dedication of a lamp to the god Lokesvara by the inhabitants of a village not named. It appears that a subscription of 11 gadyānakas (coins) was raised by them. The dedication was made 'in the Saka year 1019 during the victorious reign of the illustrious Somesvaradeva, who belonged to the Naga family, who was the lord of Bhogavati, the best of cities ; the space between the ten quarters was resounding with the deep sound from the shrill drums proclaiming whose brilliant victories ; whose crest was a cow and tiger; who was, as it were, the sun to the lotus of the Chhinda family; who resembled a bee which was rendered yellow by the mass of the pollen on the lotus, i.e. the feet of the great (god) Mahesvara, who was the store-house of statesmanship ; who was the shelter of the whole world ; -who was like Arjuna in using the bow ; who was the lord of kings ; who was by birth as beautiful as the god of love ; who was terrible to his opponents (Pratigaṇḍabhairava) ; who was like Pururavas among kings ; who resembled the demi-gods in enjoyments ; who was brave like Narayana, glorious like Indra, true like Harishchandra, and in subduing passion, like Mahadeva, and who had acquired his kingdom by the force of his own arms.' In this birudavali, some of the titles are noteworthy as they wero also borne by Madhurantakadeva of the Rajapura plates,1 whom Somesvaradeva is stated to have killed in battle in the long inscription found at Kuruspal. 3 This would mean that both belonged to the same family, and that Somesvara killed his relative and himself became a king, ....not, however, appear necessary to discuss this point before the Telugu inscriptions of ....are published.

Returning to the date, it is to hi regretted that all the original details are not available due to the stone having broken off. The only thing that can be gleaned with certainty is .......(?) nakshatra Svati, the day which looks like Sanaischara or Saturday, ..... having become obliterated or lost. The figures of the year in the ....(?) indistinct, but Rai Bahadur Baijnath has satisfied himself from the original ... (?) 1019. Luckily, the cyclic year Isvara-samvatsara is also given. From

1. Above, p. 181. 2. Above, p, 26.

[p.38]: these insufficient data Mr. Gokul Praaad, Tahsildar of Dhamtari, has, however, calculated its English equivalent to be Saturday, the 18th July 1097 A.D. He states that the Isvarasamvatsara occurred in the Saka year 1020, so the year referred to in the inscription must be the one which had expired 1 and that in these two years, there was only one saptami combined with a Saturday and the Svati nakshatra, and this tithi belonged to the bright fortnight of the Sravana month in Saka 1020 current.

No.8. Temara Stone Inscription of Saka Samvat 1246

No.8. Temara Stone Inscription Of Saka Samvat 1246
By Rai Bahadur Hira Lal, B.A; Nagpur.

Source - Epigraphia Indica & Record of the Archaeological Survey of India, Vol.X, 1909-10, pp.39-40

Temara Stone Inscription Of Saka Samvat 1246.p.39.jpg

[p.39]: Temara is a small village adjoining Kuruspal in the Bastar State of the Central Provinces. The place contains some ancient remains from which the sati stone under notice was some-how removed to Kuruspal, where it was found by Rai Bahadur Baijnath among the ruins of a temple. The stone has been, however, so long there that it has got entangled amidst the roots of a Tendu (Diospyrus tomentosa) tree. Some portion of the stone is underground, hut the visible portion measures 6' 5" x 1' 7" and contains 14 lines of writing in Nagari characters covering a space 2' 4" x 1' 7".

The letters are bold averaging 1-1/2", but, owing to the roughness of the stone, some of them are not clear. The language of the inscription is Sanskrit prose. It records the immolation of the illustrious Manikyadevi3 after the death of her husband at Temara-sthana of Sairaharaja-rajya, a district of Chakrakota-rashtra, during the reign of king Harischandra, in the Saka year 1246.

In this record the place and date are important. It has been, I thinnk, conclusively proved that Chakrakuta was situated in Bastar and the fact of Temara being included in it is a further confirmation of what has been proved before. 1 The date Saka- Samvat 1246 corresponding to 1324 A.D., is the latest yet found of the period when the interior of the Bastar country went by the name of Chakrakuta. The record being necessarily brief does not give any clue as to what family king Harischandra belonged, and until otherwise proved, it does not seem unreasonable to suppose that he was of the same dynasty as the kings of Chakrakuta of the llth and 12th centuries, viz. the Chhinda (छिंद) or Sinda family of the Naga race. This record would, in that case, supply an additional historical name to the list of five kings known from other inscriptions and would show that the Nagavamsi rule at least continued to about the middle of the 14th century A.D.


Hail! At Ṫemarā-sthāna (village) of the Sairaharaja-rajya in the Chakrakota province (rashtra), during the reign of the illustrious Harischandradeva, who spoke the truth and who

1. Abore, Vol. IX. p. 178.

2. From impressions taken by Mr. Venkoba Rao of the Madras Epigraphical Department (No. 259 of the collection for 1908).

3. Read rajya

[p.40]: was (as it were) the preceptor in truth (-speaking), through the favour (?) of inglorious (god ? ) Kalamkam Narayana, 1 residing at Mahagoshtha,-(in this village) in the Saka year 1246 the Raktāksha-samvatsara, on Saturday, the[12]th tithi of the bright half of Chaitra,- Amuna, an executive officer (? ādeshakārin) of the glorious Harischandradeva, having gone to heaven (svarga), his companion (and) chaste wife Manikya[devi] [entered] eternity by entering

No.9. Two Inscription of the time of the Nagavamsi King Narasimhadeva

No.9. Two Inscription of the time of the Nagavamsi King Narasimhadeva
By Rai Bahadur Hira Lal, B.A; Nagpur.

Source - Epigraphia Indica & Record of the Archaeological Survey of India, Vol.X, 1909-10, pp.40-43

Two Inscription of the time of the Nagavamsi King Narasimhadeva.p.41.jpg
Two Inscription of the time of the Nagavamsi King Narasimhadeva.p.41a.jpg
Two Inscription of the time of the Nagavamsi King Narasimhadeva.p.42.jpg

[p.40]: When I visited the shrine of Dantesvari at Dantewara in the Bastar State in 1897, I saw a smail stone pillar covered with Telugu writing (on all sides, viz. the four faces and the top) fixed at the place where goats were sacrificed. It was then being used as a yūpa2 and the priests of the temple did not know what was written on it. My friend Rai Bahadur Baijnath sent me impressions from which the text was deciphered and a brief notice appeared in Vol. IX (p.163) of this Journal. Fresh impressions were subsequently taken by Mr. Venkoba Rao, and I am indebted to Rai Bahadur V. Venkayya for kindly revising the test after comparing it with the fresh impressions. The slab on which it is inscribed is 2' 6" high, the breadth of each of the 4 faces being about 7-1/2" and the top is consequently 7-1/2" square. As stated above, the whole was covered with writing, but a portion has peeled off carrying away the final portions of almost all the lines of the third face and the beginnings of those of the fourth. Almost everything of the record on these 2 faces is lost. The engraving on the top is also much damaged and in the impressions almost the whole of it is illegible. It appears that there were altogether 43 lines on the 4 faces, and the top which appears to contain the end had 7 lines, making a total of 50. On the top of the first face, there are figures of the sun and the moon. Dantewara being south of the Indravati which, as I have said elsewhere, formed the boundary between the Nagari and Telugu scripts, this record is in Telugu characters. The letters are bold and well formed with an average size of 1-1/4". Ṡa, ka and ra appear in a somewhat antiquated form. The language is Telugu. The object of the inscription, was apparently to record a gift,3 which was made on the lOth day of the dark fortnight of Jyeshtha in the Saka year 1147,4 during the reign of Jagadekabhushana-Maharaja Narasimhadeva, The date corresponds to 13th June 1234 A.D.5 as calculated by Mr Gokul Prasad, Tahsildar of Dhamtari. It is not clear whether the grant was made by the King himself or by some one of his subjects, but the phrase srimana=Narasimhadeva-Maharaja-rajya etc, (LL. 6 to 11), " the reign of the illustrious Maharaja Narasimhadeva " seems to show that it was some person other than the Maharaja who made a reference in this wise.

The other inscription was found at Jatanpal, 40 miles from Dantewara. It is situated to the north of the Indravati and is inscribed in the Nagati character on a slab measuring 4'x 1'4-1/2",

1.This probably refers to the last incanaation of the god Viahnu,

2. I.e. a sacrificial post.

3. Line 46 speaks of i dharmaran - 'this charity' and line 23 has devi, while in line 35 we have a portion āchandrārakka suggesting that either a village or some land was given till the sun and moon endured to the temple of devi.

4. I originally read the date as 1140 (above Vol.IX, p.163, the last figure of the year is partially broken and in that impression it looked like zero, but in the fresh one it appears to be 7

5. If the year 1147 is an expired one, the date would correspond to 2nd June 1225 AD

[p.41]: almost the whole of which is covered with big letters averaging 2". There are altogether 18 lines. Between lines 16 and 17 the imprecatory figures of a pig followed by an ass are inserted.

On the top of the inscription there are the figures of the sun and the moon together with 7 small circles in a row apparently representing the remaining 7 planets. The meaning of these is clear. The top figures denote that the grant is to last as long as the navagrahas or the 9 planets endure, while the bottom figures represent a curse on the transgressor of the gift declaring his father an ass and the mother a pig. The language is corrupt Sanskrit prose. The object is to record a grant of land made by one Kāmā Nayaka to one Rāhila Pānde. Kama Nayaka appears to be a subordinate of a chief named Somaraja under Maharaja Narasimhadeva. The mention of the mother Gangadevi after the king's name is not clear. The date given is the Saka year 1140 without specifying any other details. It corresponds to 1218 A.D. In this year there was an eclipse of the sun and the month of Jyeshtha was intercalary. So it was doubly meritorious to make a gift in that year.

Narasimhadeva apparently belonged to the Nagavamsa dynasty. Some other longer inscriptions of this king have also been found in the Bastar State. Before these are published it will be premature to mate any remarks about him.


[p.42]: (L. 1-19.) Hail! In the reign of the illustrious Jagadekabhushana Maharaja alias the prosperous Narasimhadeva, possessing all pre-eminences, which is augmenting and prosperous (and stable) as long as the sun and moon endure in the Saka year 1147, in the month of Jyeshtha, on the 10th of the dark fortnight.


LL. 1-10.) Hail! (while) the illustrious Maharaja Narasimhadeva-rava (is ruling) (and) Gangadevi (i) the mother (and) Somaraja (is) the mandalika, Kama Nayaka gave land, the recipient being Rahil Pande, Madani Pande, Deva Nayaka, Jamu Sahu, Ghika Sethi (and) Somal - three are the protectors13 (of this grant).

[p.43]: LL. 11-15. The killing of a Brahmana, [the killing] of a cow, parricide, the killing of children these are the sins of which [one] who resumes his land shall be guilty. He who resumes the grant given by himself or another is born a worm in hell and (grovels there) for sixty thousand years.

L. 16. The Saka (year) 1140 in figures.

LL. 17-18. He 1 who despoils the land has an ass for (his) father (and) a pig for (his) mother.

See also


  1. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Chapter III, p.242
  2. Sant Kanha Ram: Shri Veer Tejaji Ka Itihas Evam Jiwan Charitra (Shodh Granth), Published by Veer Tejaji Shodh Sansthan Sursura, Ajmer, 2015. pp.157-158