What Is India News Service
Monday, December 02, 2013

The Indian Analyst


South Indian Inscriptions






These plates were discovered at Śoraikkâvûr near Kuttâlam, a station on the South Indian Railway in the Tanjore district. Mr. O. N. Appasvami Ayyar of Tanjore was kind enough to obtain for me the original plates themselves, and I have copied the inscription direct therefrom.

The inscription is engraved on three copper-plates, held together by a ring which had already been cut when it came into my hands. The plates are about 6¾″ long, 4″ broad, and 1/32″ thick. The ring is 1″ in diameter, and the whole set weighs 16⅞ ozs. with the ring, which alone weighs ⅜ oz. The rims of the plates are neither raised nor shaped thicker. The plates are numbered in Tamil numerals engraved at the top of the front side of each. The writing is deep and distinct, and barring slight damage to the front side of the first plate and the second side of the last one─ the two exposed sides─ the inscription is in proper preservation ; nor is there much difficulty in supplying the lost portions.

The inscription consists of twelve Sanskṛit verses which give the genealogy of prince Virûpâksha, a passage in Tamil prose (lines 39-150) detailing the apportionment of the shares of land granted among the donees, and the customary benedictory and imprecatory verses in Sanskṛit. Following the above, and at the very end, there appears a solitary verse in Sanskṛit, once again mentioning the name and the parentage of the donor.

With the exception of the colophon, which consists of the name of the god Śrî-Harihara and is in Kanarese characters, the alphabet of the Sanskṛit verses is Grantha. The prose passage is in Tamil characters occasionally interspersed with Grantha ones. It deserves to be mentioned that, as in other Tamil inscriptions of the age to which the plates belong, there is little difference between r and the secondary form of â ; the secondary â, e, o, ai and au are very frequently broken up, the first symbol of them standing at the end of a line and the rest at the beginning of the next line, or again the first symbol and the consonant being placed at the end of a line and the second symbol beginning a new line, and so on ; e.g. syâ in line 23, bhâ in line 115, hyâ in line 116, in line 132, in line 138, in line 146; in line 15, ṇê in line 28 ; ko in line 129 ; rai in line 53, kai in line 128 ; dhau in line 18, dau in line 164. In line 70 the lu of padinâlukku is engraved below the line ; in line 57 the letter ku is corrected into the symbol of the secondary â ; and in line 26 vâsarê is written as pâsarê. The Grantha letter is used for the Tamil in the words uṭpaṭa and Âṭi occurring in lines 68, 121 and 138.

The inscription belongs to the time of Virûpâksha (v. 5) or Vîra-Viruppaṇṇa-Uḍaiyar (l. 43 f.), the son of Harihara (II.) (v. 4) or Vîra-Harihararâya (l. 42) of the first Vijayanagara dynasty, and records the grant of the village of Śiraikkâvûr (v. 10, ll. 53 f. and 60 f.) together with 10¾ veils[1] of land adjoining it, under the name of Vijayasudarśanapuram, to

[1] In the Tamil portion this is given as 10⅝ veils (ll. 52 f and 67 f.).

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