No. 3─KALEGAON PLATES OF YADAVA MAHADEVA
D. G. KOPARKAR, AHMEDNAGAR
Kālēgāon where the grant was discovered is situated on the southern bank of the Gōdāvarī
about sixteen miles east of Nēvāsā in the Ahmednagar District, Bombay State. The following
account of Kālēgāon is found in the Gautamī-māhātmya section of the Brahma Purāṇa. Saramā,
the divine bitch, had two pups whom Yama fondled. She used to guard the sacrificial cows of
the gods. The demons once enticed her with sweet words and bribes and stole away the cattle of
the gods. Bṛihaspati came to know Saramā’s disloyal behavior and informed Indra about it.
The latter in anger kicked her and she vomitted milk, a direct evidence of her faithlessness. Indra
cursed her to go to the mortal earth. The two pups of Saramā approached Yama, their master,
for help and he sought the advice of his father, the Sun, in the matter of getting the curse lifted.
The Sun directed him to go to the Daṇḍaka forest, bathe in the Gautamī (Gōdāvarī) and worship
Brahman, Vishṇu, Sūrya and Śiva. Yama with the dogs did as directed and Saramā recovered
from the effect of the curse. The place where Yama performed penance is called Yamatīrtha and
Śiva is said to be present there under the name Yamēśvara. It is believed to be a holy place having
power to relieve men of all sins committed by themselves and their forefathers. Yamēśvara is
now known as Kālēśvara. The village seems to have been originally called Kālagrāma, then
Kālugāṁva and lastly Kālēgāon.
Kālēgāon was granted as an Inām to Rāvajī Mahādēva Vyāsa by the Pēshwā Bālājī Bājīrāva
in 1756 A.D. In recognition of his integrity in submitting true accounts of the possessions of
even those who lost their lives in the struggle, Rāvajī received a big prize. Out of it, he built the
holy Kuśāvarta at Tryambakēśvara. Kālēgāon continued as a hereditary Inām till August 1955
with 181·5 acres of unarable and 2854·17 of arable land and a total assessment of Rs. 3,004.
Among the old sites in the village are the Wāḍā of the Jahagirdar, the Kālēśvara temple (said
to have been built by Shri Panse, a former Jahagirdar of Tuljāpur), the dilapidated Gaḍhī of the
Panses and a bastion and an extensive plinth of a building built after the Hēmāḍpanta style. This
last site is locally known as maḍh, from Sanskrit maṭha, ‘monastery, school’. Between the remains
of the Gaḍhī on the one hand and the bastion on the other goes the trodden path which at this point
is inclined. Heavy monsoon showers washed away the earth on the path and there was exposed
to view, on the 22nd September 1955, a nicely chiselled slab of stone. The villagers dug out the
slab and were surprised to hear a metallic sound from its interior when it was turned upside down.
On examination they found that the huge slab consisted of two pieces firmly joined together to form
something like a safe. It was opened in the presence of the Pañchas and three massive copper
plates, strung on a stout copper ring bearing seal, were discovered inside the stone covers.3 The
upper stone measures 1′ 10″ 1′ 3·5″X7″ and has a hollow (4·5″ in depth) carved in it, while the
lower measures 2′X1′ 4·5″X7″ with a similar hollow 1·5″ deep. The plates measure 1′ 3″X 11″
X·25″ each and the three of them weigh 4¾, 4⅛ and 49/16 seers respectively. They are made thicker
 Even now the villagers point out one deep pool in the river-bed known a Kāḷyā ḍōha or Kājaḷī ḍōha where
Kāla or Yama is believed to have bathed.
 Brahma Purāṇa, Ānandāśrama ed., 131, 50-51.
 An official report on this discovery was made by the village Patel to the Mamlatdar of Nēvāsā and the
finds were first taken to Nēvāsā and then transferred to the Collector’s Office. [The plates are now in the office
of the Director of Archives, Government of Bombay.─Ed.]