No. 16─FRAGMENTARY GRANT OF PARAMARAS OF ABU
SADHU RAM, DELHI
An impression of the present copper-plate inscription was very kindly given to me for editing
by Dr. B. Ch. Chhabra, Deputy Director General of Archaeology in India, New Delhi. The
record is incomplete and the impression relates to the inner side of the first plate of a grant
made by some Paramāra ruler of Arbuda (modern Ābu). It was discovered by the late
Pandit Gaurishankar Hirachand Ojha during his tour in the former Sirohi State. It was then in
the possession of a gardener of the village of Rohera in that State.
From the estampage, the plate seems to have been in a good state of preservation. The
record consists of 18 lines of writing. The characters are Nāgarī of the 12th century A.D. The
letter b is generally indicated by the sign for v. As regards orthography, some consonants are often
reduplicated in conjunction with r. Its language is Sanskrit. There are altogether 11 verses and
a part of what appears to be a passage in prose in line 18. There is one more line at the bottom,
which is inscribed in a different hand and gives no sense. It was probably added later and has
no connection with the original record.
This inscription has been noticed in the Annual Report of the Working of the Rajputana Museum
for the year ending 31st March, 1932, and in G. H. Ojha’s Rājputānēkā Itihās, Vol. 1, 2nd ed., pp.
190ff. The importance of the record lies in the fact that it gives a complete genealogy of the
Paramāra rulers of Ābu from Utpalarāja to Dhārāvarsha.
The Paramāra Rājputs originally ruled over the territory around Ābu, from where they spread
over Mārwār, Sindh, a part of modern Gujarāt, and Mālwā. From their other inscriptions, we find
that the name of their ancestor was Dhūmarāja. The word dhūma forming the first half of the
name means ‘ smoke ’ which arises from fire. The second verse of our record alludes to the birth
of the first Paramāra king from the fire in the sacrificial altar of the sage Vasishṭha. This may be
a poetic way of referring to the name of the progenitor of the family and, at the same time, may
have given rise to the legend of the family having sprung from fire. The story that is told in the
Paramāra inscriptions and a later poem, entitled Navasāhasāṅkacharita by Padmagupta alias
Parimala, says that the cow Nandinī of the sage Vasishṭha was deceitfully carried away by Viśvāmitra, the son of Gādhi. Vasishṭha thereupon got enraged and performed a sacrifice. Out of the
fire of the sacred altar, there sprang a heroic person who defeated the foe and recovered the cow.
The sage gave the name Paramāra (literally, ‘ the destroyer of foes ’) to the hero who afterwards
become the founder of the Paramāra family.
The first verse of the inscription is invocatory, asking for the readers the protection of god
Śiva in his amorous aspect as the lover of the mountain-born Pārvatī, round whose knot of matted
hair the holy river Gaṅgā twines like a jasmine wreath. The second verse describes the birth of
the progenitor of the family from Vasishṭha’s sacrificial fire-alter. It also states that the fire-born
king humbled the pride of Viśvāmitra, the son of Gādhi, and was named Paramāra. In his family
 [This suggestion is based on the tradition about the origin of the Paramāra dynasty. But epigraphic evidence suggests that the early Paramāras were ruling in Gujarat as the feudatories of the Rāshṭrakūṭas of the
Deccan (cf. Ray, DHNI, pp. 841-42). The claim of Paramāra Vākpati I to have descended from the family of
Akālavarsha Kṛishṇa III, however, dose not prove that he was a direct descendant of the Rāshṭrakūṭa king as,
in that case, the reference to the Rāshṭrakūṭa origin would not have been discontinued later. Vākpati’s mother
might have been the daughter or granddaughter of Kṛishṇa III.─ Ed.].