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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)

Kahom (कहोम) is a historical village in Deoria district in Uttar Pradesh. Kahāuṃ or Kahaon is the site of Pillar Inscription of Skandagupta.





विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[1] ने लेख किया है ... ककुभग्राम (AS, p.124) उत्तर प्रदेश राज्य के देवरिया ज़िला में स्थित था। ककुभग्राम में गुप्तवंशीय महाराजाधिराज स्कन्दगुप्त के समय (गुप्तसंवत् 141-460 ई.) का एक स्तंभ-लेख प्राप्त हुआ था। यह जैन अभिलेख है जिसे भद्र नामक व्यक्ति ने जैन तीर्थंकरों की मूर्तियों की प्रतिष्ठापना के लिए कुकुभग्राम-वर्तमान कहौम में अंकित करवाया था। ये आदिकर्तृ अथवा तीर्थकरों की प्रतिमाएँ अभिलेख वाले स्तंभ पर उकेरी हुई हैं। स्तंभ के निकट एक ताल है जहाँ सात फुट ऊँची बुद्ध की मूर्ति स्थित थी। (टिपप्णी- ककुभ का पाठ अभिलेख में ककुम भी हो सकता है।)

Visit by Xuanzang in 636 AD

Alexander Cunningham[2] writes that On leaving Kusinagara, Hwen Thsang directed his steps towards Banaras, and after having travelled about 200 li, or 33 miles, to the south-west, he reached a large town where lived a Brahman who was devoted to Buddhism.[3] If we adhere rigidly to the south-west bearing, we must identify this large town with Sahankat, near Rudrapur. But this place has already been identified with Pippalavana, and is not upon the high-road to Banaras. As Hwen Thsang specially mentions the Brahman's hospitality to travellers going and coming, it is certain that the large town must have been on the high-road between Kusinagara and Banaras. Now the high-road could never have passed through Rudrapur, as it would have en-tailed the passage of the Rapti in addition to that of the Ghagra, while Rudrapur itself is not on the direct line to Banaras. It is quite clear that the high-road must have crossed the Ghagra somewhere below the junction of the Rapti. According to the people, the old passage of- the Ghagra was at Mahili, 4 miles to

[p.434]: the south of Kahaon, and 7 miles below the confluence of the two rivers. From Kasia to the Mahili Ghat the route would have passed through the ancient towns of Khuhkundo and Kahaon, both of which still possess many remains of antiquity. But the former is only 28 miles from Kasia, while the latter is 35 miles. Both are undoubtedly Brahmanical ; but while the ruins at Khukhundo are nearly all of middle age, those at Kahaon are at least as old as the time of Skanda Gupta, who lived several centuries before the time of Hwen Thsang. I am inclined, therefore, to prefer the claim of Kahaon as the representative of Hwen Thsang' s ancient city, partly on account of its undoubted antiquity, and partly because its distance from Kasia agrees better with the pilgrim's estimate than that of the larger town of Khukhundo.

Kahāuṃ Pillar Inscription of Skandagupta of G.E. 141 (=AD 460)

It is in eastern brahmi script of Gupta period in sanskrit language. It records the erection of Madra, son of Rudrasoma, of the pillar with five images of Jaina Saints. The Kahaum pillar inscription boasts on Skanda's achievements. He is stated to have slain hundreds of kings and equated to Indra. At zenith of his power, he ruled entire northern Indian from Kathiawar in the west to Bengal in the east, the empire included Saurashtra, Gujarat and Malwa too.

  • Perfection has been attained! In the tranquil reign of Skandagupta, whose hall of audience is shaken by the wind caused by the falling down (in the act of performing obeisance) of the heads of a hundred kings; who is born in the lineage of the Guptas; whose fame is spread far and wide; who excels all others in prosperity; who resembles (the god) Shakra; (and) who is the lord of a hundred kings;-in the one hundredth year, increased by thirty and ten and one; the month Jyêshtha having arrived;-
  • (Line 5.)-In this jewel of a village, which is known by people under the name of Kakubha, (and) which is pure from association with holy men,-(there was) the high-minded Bhattisôma, who (was) the son of Sômila, that receptacle of many good qualities. His son (was) Rudrasôma, of great intellect and fame, who had the other appellation of Vyâghra. His son was Madra, who (was) especially full of affection for Brâhmans and religious preceptors and ascetics.
  • (L. 9.)-He, being alarmed when he observed the whole of this world (to be ever) passing through a succession of changes, acquired for himself a large mass of religious merit. (And by him),-having set up, for the sake of final beatitude (and) for the welfare of (all) existing beings, five excellent (images), made of stone, (of) those who led the way in the path of the Arhats who practise religious observances,-there was then planted in the ground this most beautiful pillar of stone, which resembles the tip of the summit of the best of mountains, (and) which confers fame (upon him).
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 67-68.