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Thursday, October 17, 2013


The Indian Analyst


 

South Indian Inscriptions


 

EPIGRAPHIA INDICA

No. 42.─ BAI HARIR’S INSCRIPTION AT AHMADABAD ; A.D. 1499.

BY. REV. J. E. ABBOTT.

This inscription was first edited by the late Mr. H. B. Blochmann, M.A., in the Indian Antiquary, Vol. IV. p. 367, from an impression taken by Dr. Burgess. It was translated by Mr. Hari Vaman Limaya, B.A. ; but the text was in many places wrongly read, and needs revision. I edit it now from an inked estampage taken by myself, and I have verified my readings by a careful examination of the original.

The inscription is found at Asârva, a suburb of Aḥmadâbâd, in a well, known as Dâdâ Ḥarîr’s Well.[1] It is clearly cut on a marble slab, placed in a niche in the south wall of the first gallery leading down to the water. The slab measures 2′ by 1′ 3″. The alphabet is Nâgarî. The language is Sanskṛit, both prose and verse.

The date of this inscription is in [Vikrama-]Saṁvat 1556, and in the current Śâka year 1421, on Monday, the 13th tithi of the bright fortnight of Pausha (l. 12 f.). This corresponds to the 25th December 1499 (new style), or the 16th December 1499 (old style).[2] It has to be noted that this date does not agree with that of the Arabic inscription on the opposite wall, the date of which is thus translated by Mr. Blochmann in the Indian Antiquary, Vol. IV. p. 367 :─ “ On the 8th Jumâda I. of the 26th year, 896 [19th March 1490].” As Maḥmûd began to reign in A.H. 863, the 26th year would be A.H. 888 or A.H. 889, and not A.H. 896. The Hijrî year corresponding to Saṁvat 1556 is A.H. 905, so that there is a confusion in dates which I am unable to explain. Professor Kielhorn kindly contributes the following note. “ The date is incorrect. In Vikrama-Saṁvat 1556 expired = Śaka-Saṁvat 1421 expired,[3] the 13th tithi of the bright half of Pausha ended on Sunday, the 15th December A.D. 1499, 12 h. 15 m. after mean sunrise. For the dark half of the same month the date would regularly correspond to Monday, the 30th December A.D. 1499, when the 13th tithi of the dark half ended 11 h. 41 m. after mean sunrise.”

The places mentioned are Aḥmadâbâd (l. 7) and its suburb Harîrpur (l. 10). The persons mentioned are Sultân Maḥmûd I. (Baiqara) (ll. 8 and 18), who reigned from A.H.
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[1] For a description of this well see the Bombay Gazetteer of Ahmadabad, p. 282.
[2] For the corresponding Christian dates I am indebted to the calculations of Mr. N. V. Nene, of the Colaba Observatory, Bombay.
[3]Pravartamânê is also used with expired years.”

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