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What Is India News Service
Mondya, July 22, 2013


The Indian Analyst


 

South Indian Inscriptions


 

EPIGRAPHIA INDICA

A LIST OF
INSCRIPTIONS OF SOUTHERN INDIA
FROM ABOUT A.D. 500.
BY PROFESSOR F. KIELHORN, C.I.E. ; GÖTTINGEN.

IN continuation of my List of the Inscriptions of Northern India[1] I now publish a similar list of inscriptions of Southern India, which also was originally compiled solely for my own use. It contains all southern inscriptions from about A.D. 500 which I have found in the various publications accessible to me, excepting, as a rule, those in Dr. Burgess and Pandit Natesa Sastri’s Archæol. Survey of Southern India, Vol. IV., and in Mr. Rice’s Epigraphia Carnatica, Vol. III. ff. The inscriptions of any importance, other than reprints, in the former publication may be expected to be soon republished critically, and those in the Epigraphia Carnatica will, I have no doubt, receive a general index of their own, when all the texts have been published.

While I am writing these lines,[2] my list contains 1,020 numbers which treat of about 1, 100 separate inscriptions. Of this total about 210 are on copper-plates, and 890 on stone. Taken as a whole, the inscriptions of the South in some respects differ essentially from the northern inscriptions. The latter with insignificant exceptions are all in Sanskṛit ; of the 1,100 inscriptions in the present list not more than about 290 are in Sanskṛit only.[3] About 340 are in Tamil, 320 in Kanarese, 10 in Telugu, 90 in Sanskṛit and Kanarese, 30 in Sanskṛit and Telugu, and 20 in Sanskṛit and Tamil ; the language of four is an ancient Prâkṛit, and a few are composed or contain remarks in a dialect which apparently is an old form of Marâṭhî. On the other hand, while the inscriptions of the North are dated in about ten different eras the chief of which is the Vikrama era, Southern India generally uses the Śaka era. Of about 510 of these inscriptions dated according to erads,[4] 450 quote the Śaka and 20 from the southernmost part of India the Kôḷamba (or Kollam) era ; six quite exceptionally use the era of the Kaliyuga (marked Ky.), and 34 are dated according to the Châlukya-Vikrama era (marked Châ. Vi.), i.e., really, in regnal years of the Western Châlukya Vikramâditya VI. The Vikrama era is foreign to the South ; it is quoted only once, in the most modern inscription of this list (of A. D. 1830), which also gives the number of years elapsed since Vardhamâna’s Nirvâṇa. This list, moreover, will show that in large tracts of Southern India it was the custom ─ more rarely observed in Northern India─ to date documents only in the regnal years of the reigning kings. Of the prominent part which the Jovian years play in the dates of southern inscription I have had occasion to speak elsewhere.

Differently from the course followed in the Northern List, I have arranged the inscriptions here given mainly according to the dynasties to which they belong. Dated and undated miscellaneous inscriptions which I cannot assign to any particular dynasty will be given under separate heading at the end of the list. Any inconvenience which my arrangement may cause I hope to

____________________________
[1] See above, Vol. V. Appendix.
[2] Any inscriptions that may be published while this list is being printed will as far as possible be inserted in their proper places.
[3] When the language of an inscription is not stated in this list, it should be understand to be Sanskṛit.
[4] Current years will be denoted in this list by an asterisk placed after the numerals for the year.

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