What Is India News Service
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Indian Analyst


South Indian Inscriptions






List of Plates

Additions and Corrections



A. S. Altekar

P. Banerjee

Late Dr. N. K. Bhattasali

Late Dr. N. P. Chakravarti

B. CH. Chhabra

A. H. Dani

P. B. Desai

M. G. Dikshit

R. N. Gurav

S. L. Katare

V. V., Mirashi

K. V. Subrahmanya Aiyar

R. Subrahmanyam

T. N. Subramaniam and K. A. Nilakanta Sastri

M. Venkataramayya

Akshaya Keerty Vyas

D. C. Sircar

H. K. Narasimhaswami

Sant Lal Katare



Other South-Indian Inscriptions 

Volume I

Volume II

Volume III

Vol. IV - VIII

Volume IX

Volume X

Volume XI

Volume XII

Volume XIII

Volume XIV

Volume XV

Volume XVI

Volume XVII

Volume XVIII

Volume XIX

Volume XX

Volume XXII_Part I

Volume XXII_Part II



Volume XXIII

Volume XXIV

Archaeological Links

Archaeological-Survey of India



(1 Plate)


A. Sāmantasār Plate of Harivarman

Nagendra Nath Vasu published a rather defective transcript of the reverse of the present plate with a small and blurred half-tone reproduction and translation in Bengali and stated that Harivarman was a king of Vaṅga and had his capital at Vikramapura.[1] The plate was originally in the possession of the late Pandit Kāśīchandra Vidyāvāgīśa of the village of Sāmantasār, District Faridpur, where it was seriously damaged by fire. Sāmantasār is a stronghold of the Brāhmaṇas of the Vaidika class. The Vaidikas believe that their progenitors came to Bengal during the reign of Sāmalavarman, king of Vaṅga. Vidyāvāgīśa fondly believed that the copper plate he possessed was a grant of Sāmalavarman. But, as he could not decipher it himself, he gave it for decipherment to Pandit Gurucharaṇa Vidyābhūshaṇa of the village, who took it to Calcutta and handed it over to the Mahāmahōpādhyāya Haraprasād Śāstrī. Śāstrī in his turn made over this fire-licked plate to N. N. Vasu who published it as narrated above.

The publication of the Belāva plate[2] of Bhōjavarman of the same line of kings has now made the correction of some obvious mistakes in Vasu’s reading possible. The most serious of his errors is that he took the inscription to be dated in the 42nd regnal year of king Harivarman although in fact it does not bear any date. But, for a long time, nothing could be done to check Vasu’s reading as Vidyābhūshaṇa, to whom Vasu had handed back the plate after decipherment, had passed away and all trace of the plate was lost. In 1920 I went to Sāmantasār and learnt that the plate had not come back. However, in 1937 I succeeded in recovering it at Bālī near Calcutta from the son of Vidyābhūsaṇa, who had given up his residence at Sāmantasār and made Bālī his home. The plate has now been presented to the Dacca Museum.

The actual findplace of the plate is unknown. While at Sāmantasār in 1920, I learnt that three copper-plate records had been found inside an earthen pot somewhere near Sāmantasār, on the bank of the Meghnā, within the Zamindari of the Tagores of Calcutta in the Idilpur Pargana, The Idilpur plate of Kēśavasēna, first published by Prinsep in JASB, 1838, was one of these records. A plate of Śrīchandra noticed in my article on the Kēdārpur plate[3] was another. The third is the present plate of Harivarmadēva. The Vaidikas of Sāmantasār secured from the finder and passed it on to Vidyāvāgīśa. Unfortunately, the thatched house in which the plate was preserved, accidentally caught fire and damaged the plate seriously. The seal of the plate got detached from it and was lost, and the obverse became practically unreadable.

The plate is a single sheet of copper measuring 93/16 inches by 10¼ inches. The obverse contains 28 lines of writing while the reverse has 23 lines and a half. It had been licked by fire to such an extent that not one out of the 28 lines of writing on the obverse can be made out with precision. The metrical part ends in line 27, from the end of which the prose portion begins. From this place onwards we are on surer grounds, but the name of Harivarman’s father still remains doubtful. It is almost obliterated and can be read as Jāta on close examination. The 23 line of writing on the reverse, however, can be made out fairly accurately with the help of the Belāva plate of Bhōjavarman.


[1] Vaṅger Jātīya Itihāsa. Vol. II, introduction, p. 111 ; cf. pp. 215-18.
[2] The inscription was first published by myself with the help of my teacher, the late Prof. B. B. Gōsvāmī, in the Dacca Review, Vol. II, 1912. See also R. G. Basāk, Sāhitya, 1319 B.S., pp. 282-99, and above Vol. XII, pp. 37 ff. ; R. D. Banerji, JASB, 1914, pp. 121-29 ; N. G. Majumdar, Inscriptions of Bengal, Vol. III, pp. 14 ff.
[3] Above, Vol. XVII, pp. 189-90.

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