What Is India News Service
Monday, December 02, 2013

The Indian Analyst


South Indian Inscriptions






List of Plates

Additions and Corrections



P. Acharya

A. M. Annigeri

P. Banerjee

Dr. N. P. Chakravarti

P. D. Chaudhury

M. G. Dikshit

M. G. Dikshit & D. C. Sircar

A. S. Gadre

B. C. Jain

S. L. Katare

B. V. Krishna Rao

A. N. Lahiri

T. V. Mahalingam

R. C. Majumdar

H. K. Narasimhaswami

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

K. A. Nilakanta Sastri

V. Rangacharya

Sadasiva Ratha Sarma

Nirad Bandhu Sanyal

M. Somasekhara Sarma

K. N. Sastri

D. C. Sircar

D. C. Sircar & P. Acharya

D. C. Sircar & P. D. Chaudhury

D. C. Sircar & Sadasiva Ratha Sarma

R. Subrahmanyam

T. N. Subramaniam

Akshaya Keerty Vyas


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)


Śālihuṇḍam is a famous Buddhist site in the Srikakulam District of the Andhra State, about 12 miles by road from Srikakulam, the District headquarters. It is on the banks of the Vaṁśadharā which joins the Bay of Bengal some five miles further down. The hills of this place have yielded many Buddhist structures and antiquities which have been briefly described in this journal.[1] Earlier excavations at the place have been fully described in the Annual Report of the Archaeological Survey of India for the year 1919-20.[2] When I visited the place in October 1953, I came across an inscribed casing slab of stone.

The slab bearing the inscription formed part of the top frieze of stones on the exterior surface of the Mahāchaitya. That it is a fragmentary record can be recognized from the fact that traces of letters preceding and following this inscription, can be seen on the inscribed stone itself.[3]

The inscription reads :─

Dhaṁma() Raño Asokasirino[4]

This fragmentary record refers to the religious edicts (dhaṁmā) of the illustrious Aśoka. According to the Āryamañjuśrīmūlakalpa,[5] Dharmāśoka, i.e. the Maurya emperor Aśoka, set up stone pillars (śilā-yashṭi) at Chaityas as human memorials. Aśoka himself is said to have visited the sites. Very probably the Mahāchaitya at Śālihuṇḍam is a creation of the Mauryan times. It would therefore be no wonder if a reference is made to Aśoka’s religious records in this inscription incised at a later date by devotees.[6] An inscribed pot, discovered at this place, has been assigned by Sri T. N. Ramachandran on paleographic grounds to the first century A. D. at the latest. This obviously is the date of the pot and not of the structure which must have preceded it. As our stone forms part of the Mahāchaitya, it is apparently of an earlier date.

Some scholars are inclined to read the first two words in the inscription as Dhaṁmaraño (Sanskrit Dharmarājasya) and take it to be the epithet of Aśoka.[7] In support of this reading attention is drawn to certain inscriptions referring to kings as Dharmarāja,. Dharmamahārāja, etc. I differ on this point. According to Buddhist literature the epithet Dharmarāja was applied


[1] Above, Vol. XXVIII, pp. 133 ff.
[2] Op. cit., pp. 34-38.
[3] [The record does not appear to be fragmentary. On the stone slab on which the space occupied by the writing is 22″ by 2″ (an akshara bring 1½″ in height), there is no space for letters before the record in ten aksharas while there is what looks like a damaged punctuation mark after it (cf. the symbol at the end of the Musanagar brick inscription, above, Vol. XXX p. 120, n. 5). ─Ed.]
[4] Macron over e and o has not been used in this article.
[5] K. P. Jayaswal, An Imperial History of India (1934). p. 12 ; Sanskrit Text, p. 27, vv. 370-374.
[6] It is likely that the slabs of the entire top frieze of the stūpa or of a part of it were inscribed and the inscription went round the drum of the stūpa in one line. All these slabs are, however unfortunately missing barring the one under review, [See note 3. Above.─Ed.] [7] Cf. A. Ghosh, Indian Archaeology 1953-54, p. 13.

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