No. 43─KALAHANDI PLATES OF ANANTAVARMAN VAJRAHASTA,
GANGA YEAR 383
P. BANERJEE, NEW DELHI
This set of three copper plates belongs to the Maharaja of Kalahandi in Orissa. The
plates were published by Mr. Satyanarayana Rajaguru in the Journal of the Bihar Research Society,
Vol. XXXV, pp. 10-27. According to Mr. Rajaguru, they were originally found in a village called
Chīpurupalli about sixteen miles to the east of Parlakimedi in the Ganjam District, Orissa.
The plates were received for examination by the Government Epigraphist for India from the
Maharaja of Kalahandi in 1952-53. I edit them from a nice set of inked impressions kindly supplied
to me by the Government Epigraphist for India.
The plates measure 7½″ X 2⅝″ each. They were strung originally on a ring with a seal ; but
the ring had already been cut open before the inscription reached the Government Epigraphist
for India. The seal attached thereto is very much obliterated. Of the three plates, the first and
third are written on their inner side only, while the second contains writing on both the sides.
There are altogether 24 lines of writing in the inscription. The last line contains only three
The characters belong to the Kaliṅga alphabet of about the 9th century A.D. and resemble
those of the Alamanda plates of Anantavarman (Gaṅga year 304), Indian Museum plates of
Dēvēndravarman (Gaṅga year 308), Chicacole plates of Satyavarman (Gaṅga year 351), Tekkali
Plates of Anantavarman (Gaṅga year 358), etc. Some of the letters show varying forms ; cf.. k
in ºkāriṇaḥ in line 1, sakalaº in line 3, and kamalaº in line 4 ; m in Amaraº in line 1, Mahēndrāº in
line 2, Bhūpēndravarmmaº and Anantavarmmaº in line 11, vālmikaº in line 17, and Mahāvagrāma
in line 23 ; r in gurō in line 3, vara and charaṇa in line 7 and taruḥ in line 16, etc. The script is a
curious admixture of northern and southern forms. The letters b and v are denoted throughout
by the same sign. The language of the inscription is corrupt Sanskrit. The whole of it has been
composed in prose. As regards orthography, the anusvāra and visarga have very frequently
been omitted. There are mistakes such as the use of i in the place if ī, of ṛi in the place of ri, of
ś in the place of sh, etc.
The object of the inscription is to record a grant of some land to a Brāhmaṇa called Nārāyaṇa
Jaḍyālākshētra, son of Nārāyaṇa probably belonging to the village of Mahāvagrāma. The
donor was Anantavarman Vajrahasta, son of Bhūpēndravarman of the Eastern Gaṅga dynasty.
The charter is dated in the year 383 of the augmenting and victorious reign of the Gaṅga
dynasty. There is a good deal of controversy regarding the initial year of the Gaṅga era. But
several scholars now hold that the Gaṅga era started sometime between 494 and 498 A.D. If
this view is accepted, the date of the present inscription would fall in the period 877-81 A.D.
No other inscription of Anantavarman Vajrahasta, the donor of the present grant, has come
to light a yet, nor is his name mentioned in any other grants known so far. Regarding his
 Above, Vol. III, pp. 17 ff.
 Ibid., Vol. XXIII, pp. 73 ff.
 Ind. Ant., Vol. XIV, pp. 10 ff.
 Above, Vol. XXVI, pp. 174 ff.
 [See below, p. 322, note 2.─ Ed.]