No. 34─ DASGOBA PLATES OF RAJARAJA III, SAKA 1120
D.C. SIRCAR, OOTACAMUND, AND SADASIVA RATHA SARMA, PURI
The copper-plate inscription published below was recovered from the house of Sri Kshetra-mohan Das in the village of Dāsgōbā within the Chandanpur Police Station in the Puri District
The set consists of five thick plates held together by a ring with a seal soldered to it. Each of
the plates measures about 13¾″ X 8½″. The ring, which is of considerable thickness, passes through
the hole made about the middle of the left margin of each plate. The diameter of the hole in
the first, third and fourth plates is 1″ while it is ·9″ in the second and fifth plates. The seal (about
4″ in diameter) has the form of an expanded lotus and has in the centre an embossed figure of a
seated bull caparisoned and bedecked with ornaments, facing front and having raised neck and
head. To the proper right of the bull, there are the emblems of a conch, the crescent moon, a battle-axe, a flywhisk, a ḍamaru and an indefinite object, and to its left are similarly an aṅkuśa and a
daṇḍa or gadā. The borders of the plates are slightly raised. The first plate has writing only
on the inner side, the others being engraved on both the sides. There are altogether 155 lines of
writing in the following order : IB─18, IIA─19, IIB──20, IIIA─19, IIIB─20, IVA─ 19, IVB─
19, VA─19, VB─2. The five plates together weigh 537 tolas while the weight of the ring
with the seal is 154 tolas.
The charter was issued by king Rājarāja III (c. 1198-1211 A.D.) of the imperial branch of the
Eastern Gaṅga family of Orissa and closely resembles the recently published Nagarī plates,
issued by his son Anaṅgabhīma III in 1230-31 A.D., in respect of palaeography, orthography
and style. The date of our grant is Śaka 1120 corresponding to 1198-99 A.D. It was therefore issued about 32 years before the Nagarī plates. Rājarāja III was the son of Anaṅgabhīma
II (c. 1190-96 A.D.) and grandson of the great Anantavarman Chōḍagaṅga (1078-1147 A.D.).
The importance of the inscription lies in the fact that it is the only copper-plate charter of the
king so far discovered. It is specially interesting in view of the fact that as yet we have copper-plate grants of none of the four sons of Anantavarman Chōḍagaṅga, viz. Kāmārṇava III
(1147-56 A.D.), Rāghava (c. 1156-70 A.D.), Rājarāja II (c. 1170-90 A.D.), and Anaṅgabhīma II
who was the father and predecessor of the issuer of the present charter.
The introductory part of the record contains seventy verses with a string of personal names
between verses 6 and 7 lines 12-16. This part was copied in the Nagarī plates with slight modifications and with the omission of only one stanza (verse 63) in the description of Anaṅgabhīma II.
The importance of this portion has already been discussed in our article on the Nagarī plates.
It has to be noted that verse 37 quotes the correct date of Kāmārṇava’s accession to the throne
as nand-artu-vyōma-chandra-pramita-Śaka-samā-vyāpta-kālē dinēśē chāpasthē. This refers to the
solar month of Dhanus (Pausha) in the Śaka year 1069 corresponding to 1147 A.D. While editing
the Nagarī plates, verse 8was taken to speak of Sarapura as the original name of Kōlāhala,
capital of the mythical prince Kōlāhala Anantavarman. But the correct reading of the
passage Sarapurañ=cha tadīyam seems to be sa cha purañ=cha tadīyam. This says that both
 Above, Vol. XXVIII, pp. 235 ff.
 Some of the mistakes that crept into the transcript of the Nagarī plates published above may be corrected
with the help of the transcript of the present epigraph.