No. 5.- TAXILA PLATE OF PATIKA.
BY G. BÜHLER, PH.D., LL.D., C.I.E.
I here re-edit the so-called Taxila copper-plate, published first by Professor Dowson,
and again in Mr. Rapson’s edition of Dr. Bhagvanlal’s paper on the Northern Kshatrapas,
according to a photograph, taken by Mr. Griggs for Dr. Fleet, which I have carefully compared
with the original.
The plate, which, according to Sir A. Cunningham, was found in the village of Thupkia
in the middle of the ruins of Sir-Sukh, north-east of Shâh-Dhêrî or Taxila, is preserved in the
library of the Royal Asiatic Society. It measures fourteen inches by three, and weighs 3½ ounces.
It is broken into three pieces, two large ones, right and left, and a small one fitting in between
them. Some portions of the central piece, which is half eaten by verdigris, have been lost.
Besides, the left-hand upper and lower corners of the plate are broken off, as well as a small bit
of the lower portion of the large right-hand piece.
The letters, the outlines of which are represented by rows of small dots, are in the first four
lines on the obverse mostly half an inch long, and in line 5 about one-third of the size of the
others. They show the type of the Kharôsṭhî of the Śaka period and closely resemble those
on the Mathurâ lion capital. The only differences are that ta and sa occasionally have small
loops to the left of the tops instead of curves, and that the i-stroke of mi in Rohiṇimitreṇa, l. 5,
has been joined to the right end of the consonant, whereby the sign gains the appearance of a
The language is the North-Western or Gandhârian Prâkṛit, described in my introduction
to Dr. Bhagvanlal’s interpretation of the Mathurâ lion capital inscriptions. Peculiar are, however, the distinction between the dental and lingual nasals and the use of the anusvâra, which
both are absent in the Mathurâ inscription, as well as the substitution of u for o in the termination of the nominative singular of the masculine, of prachu, i.e. * prâchu for prâchô, l. 2, and
jau for jao, i.e. jayô. The syntactic construction is very primitive and occasionally faulty ; see
the remarks on the translation.
The object of the inscription is to record the solemn deposition of a relic of Śâkyamuni
and the erection of a saṁghârâma or monastery at a place called Chhêma (Kshêma) to the
north-east of Takhaśila, i.e. Takkhaśila or Taxila, which Sir A. Cunningham (loc. cit.) has
shown to be identical with the modern Sir-Sukh, a site covered with Buddhist ruins. Dr.
Bhagvanlal has been the first to recognise that the donor is not, as Professor Dowson thought,
 Journ. R. As. Soc. Vol. XX. p. 221 ff.; see also Journ. Bengal As. Soc. Vol. XXXII. p. 421.
 Journ. R. As. Soc. 1894, p. 551 ff.
 Reports, Vol. II. p. 134, note 1 ; Vol. V. p. 67.
 Journ. R. As. Soc. 1894, p. 528 ff.