What Is India News Service
Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Indian Analyst


South Indian Inscriptions




THESE plates were obtained by the late Sir Walter Elliot from a Deputy Sheristadar of Chingleput in the Madras Presidency, and they are now in the British Museum. I edit the inscription which they contain from two of Sir W. Elliot’s own impressions, one of which was received by Dr. Hultzsch from Dr. Burgess, and the other from Dr. Fleet.

These are seven copper-plates, the first and last of which are engraved on the inner face only, while the others are so on both faces. They are shaped like the Ûnamâñjêri plates of Achyutarâya, of which photo-lithographs have been published above, Vol. III. p. 152 ff., and like those plates, they are numbered, on the first inscribed side[1] of each plate, with the Telugu-Kanarese numerals. Each plate is about 6⅞″ broad and, including the arch at the top, 9⅞″ high ; and the writing runs across the breadth of the plates. The plates have raised rims, and the writing, in consequence, is in an excellent state of preservation throughout. They are held together by a ring, on which is a seal which contains the figure of a boar and representations of the sun and moon.[2]─ The characters are Nandinâgari, excepting the word śrî- Virûpâksha in line 299, which is in large Kanarese characters ; they include the sign for the rough r, in the words mûru, l. 105, Amarûr, l. 212, and Âravîṭi, l. 242. The size of the letters is between 3/16″ and ¼″. The language is Sanskṛit, and excepting the words śrî-Gaṇâdhipatayê namaḥ at the beginning and śrî || śrî-Virûpâksha at the end, th whole inscription is in verse. The orthography calls for few remarks. Of the three sibilants, the palatal is nine times employed for the dental, the dental seven times for the palatal and three times for the lingual (in śusyad-, l. 43, śaṁsôsya for śaṁsôsya, l. 57, and nisphalaṁ, l. 293), and the lingual twice for the palatal (in –darshaḥ, l. 254, and shôbhî, l. 259). The sign of visarga is occasionally wrongly omitted, three times before the word śrî. A. superfluous anusvâra we find in sâṁmrâjya, ll. 81 and 273, kaṁnyâ, l. 244, and tâṁmra, ll. 287 and 290 ; and the sign of anusvâra has been several times wrongly employed, generally instead of the dental and once instead of the guttural nasal (e.g. in –âdîṁ nîchayan for –âdîn=nîchayan, l. 72, and prâṁ-nadyâ

[1] The fifth plate shows the numeral 5 also on the second side, but it has apparently been struck cut.
[2] I owe this information to Prof. Bendall.

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