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Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Indian Analyst


South Indian Inscriptions





Piṭhâpuram, the residence of a Zamîndâr in the Gôdâvarî district, contains a Vaishṇava temple, named Kunti-Mâdhava. At the eastern entrance of this temple, in front of the shrine itself, stands a quadrangular stone pillar which bears four inscriptions of different dates. The three first of these are specially interesting on account of their references to the Eastern Châlukya dynasty. In his Lists of Antiquities (Vol. I. p. 24), Mr. Sewell has briefly noticed these three inscriptions ; and Dr. Fleet has given occasional extracts from them according to a written copy which had been prepared for the late Sir Walter Elliot.[8]

The earliest of the four inscriptions is engraved on the whole of the west face and on the upper portion of the south face of the Piṭhâpuram pillar. It is in a state of fair preservation almost throughout. The alphabet is Telugu. As in other inscriptions from the Telugu country, no perceptible difference is maintained between the secondary forms of i and î ; th is rarely distinguished from dh ; and consonants are frequently doubled after an anusvâra. The languages of the inscription are Sanskṛit and Telugu. It opens with 66 Sanskṛit verses, interrupted by two short clauses in Sanskṛit prose (lines 18 f. and 30 f.). Lines 139 ff. are in Telugu prose ; lines 145 ff. in Sanskṛit prose ; lines 155 ff. in a mixture of Sanskṛit and Telugu prose ; and lines 159 ff. again in Telugu prose. The Sanskṛit verses 67 to 70 are interrupted by two short sentences in Sanskṛit prose (ll. 164 f. and 166 f.) The whole ends with a short sentence in a mixture of Telugu and Sanskṛit prose (l. 168 f.) and a three-fold repetition of the auspicious monosyllable śrî.

[8] Ind. Ant. Vol. XIX. p. 427, and Vol. XX. passim.

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