INCRIPTIONS OF THE KALACHURIS OF TRIPURI
No. 35; PLATE XXIX A
SAUGOR STONE INCRIPTION OF SANKARGANA I
THIS inscription, though listed in the first edition of R.B Hiralal’s Inscriptions in C.P. and Berar, published in 1916, was very briefly noticed only in the second edition of
that work, published in 1931. It is edited here for the first time from the original
stone which I examined in situ and from inked estampages kindly supplied by the
Superintendent, Archaeological Survey, Central Circle, Patna.1
At Saugor, the chief town of the Saugor District in the State of Madhya Pradesh, a
number of sculptures were collected from the neighbouring places many years ago2 and
built up into small imitation kiosks in the four corners of the garden of a military messhouse. The inscription is incised on a slab of red sand-stone fixed on the top of a panel
of the same kind of stone which is built into one of those kiosks. In the panel below, the
principal figures are those of a man who who has folded his hands in salutation and a woman,
probably his wife, who has placed her right on the head of a small female figure,
evidently their daughter, who also stands with folded heads. Behind the male figure
appears a horse and behind the latter, another male figure, apparently a groom, holding
the reins of the horse.3
The record has been very much worn away by exposure to weather. It consists of five
lines, of which the last one commences in the centre. Several aksharas in the last three
lines have become more or less indistinct. The average size of letters is I’’. The
characters are of the proto-Nagari alphabet resembling those of the stone inscription at
Chhoti Deori.4 The form of the initial i is, however, different , since the curve below the
two dots is here open at the top; t has not yet developed a vertical at the top; in its subscript form, the letter is laid on its side, see-bhattaraka-in i.2 ; j still retains its three horizontal bars, see-Máhárájadhiraja, 1. I; p is open at the top while v, which resembles its upper
portion, is closed,see-pravarddhamana-,1.2; the lower end of the wedge of r is in some cases
very much elongated, see Paramesvara-, 1.3. These palaeographic peculiarities indicate
that the record probably belongs to the middle of the eighth century A.C.5 The
language is Sanskrit and the record is in prose throughout. The orthography does
not call for any special notice.
The inscription opens with an obeisance to Siva. It refers itself to the reign of the
Paramobhattaraka, Maharajadhiraja, Paramesvara the illustrious Sánkaraganadeva, who
meditated on the feet of the Paramabháttaraka, Maharajadhiraja, Paramesvara, the illustrious
Vamarajadeva.6 This is the oldest record in which the name of Vamarajadeva is mentioned
1This inscription has since been edited by me in the Ep.ind., Vol.XXVII, pp.163 f.
2Saugor District Gazetteer,p.257.
3For a photograph of this panel, see the plate facing p.154 in A Volume of Eastern and Indian
5Hiralal also called this inscription the oldest Kalachuri record (in Madhya Pradesh), But he
reffered it to the fourth quarter of the ninth century A.C., as he thought that the king sankaragana
mentioned in it was indentical with the homonymous prince who was the son of Kokalladeva [i]. See
his Inscription in C.P. and Berar (second ed.), p. 49.
6Hiralal doubtfully read this name as Vágharajádeva, ibid., My personal examination of
the record in situ has convinced me that the name is undoubtedly Vámorájadeva.