KALACHURI CHEDI - ERA
ALTHOUGH some of the inscriptions dated in the Kalachuri-Chēdi era were discovered
in the early decades of the nineteenth century, it was not suspected till about half a
century later that their dates must be referred to an era different from the Vikrama and
Śaka eras which were then current in different parts of India, or from the Gupta era which
had become known from inscriptions. For instance, the date of the Banaras plates of
Karna discovered in 1801, which was evidently misread by Captain Wilford, was taken
by him to correspond to 192 A. C.1 The date Samvat 932 of the Kumbhī plates published
in 18392 was referred by the editors of the grant to the Vikrama Samvat and taken to be
equivalent to 876 A. C.3 The Kanhēri plate was discovered by Dr. Bird in 1839, but
the earliest attempt to date it approximately was that of Pandit Bhagvanlal Indraji, who,
on considerations of palæography, referred the inscription to about the sixth century A. C.4 But he then made no conjecture about the era to which its date 245 should be referred,
beyond stating that it could not be the same as that employed by the Kshatrapas, as the
characters on their coins are of a much earlier type, and that it could not be the Gupta era
in the absence of such expressions as Gupta-kāla, Guptasya kāla, Gupta-nripa-rājya-bbukti or
Sam. Dr. Burgess, however, in a note on Bhagvanlal’s article observed as follows: “From
the form of the characters, I incline to think that this inscription may be dated in the Gupta
era; the Trikūtakas, like the Valabhī Sēnāpatis, may have continued to use the Gupta era on
assuming independence; or it may have been adopted from Gujarat.”5 The first and approximately correct conjecture about the epoch of the era was made in 1859 by Prof. Fitz-Edward
Hall in his article on the Bhērā-Ghāt inscription of Alhanadēvī, dated Samvat 907, and the
Tewar inscription of Jayasimhadēva, dated Samvat 928.6 Finding that Alhanadēvi was
mentioned in the former inscription as the grand-daughter of Udayāditya, Dr. Hall conjectured that she might have been born about 1100 A. C., as her grandfather Udayāditya, who
reigned between Bhōja (circa 1050 A. C.) and Naravarman (1104 A. C.), might have
flourished about 1075 A. C. Now, Alhanadēvī’s sons, Narasimha and Jayasimha, were
reigning in the years 907 and 928 respectively, and her great-grandson wad a minor7 in the year 932 of an unspecified era. Dr. Hall, therefore, thought that her birth might
have taken place about the year 850 of the era to which the aforementioned dates
1 A. R., Vol. IX, p. 108. On this General Cunningham remarked, “I suspect that the date was read
by Wilford as 193; and that he afterwards forgot that he had obtained it from the plate, as he states, ‘the
grant is dated in the second year of his new era, and also of his reign, answering to the Christian year 192’.”
C. A. S. I. R. Vol. IX, p. 82.
2 J. A. S. B., Vol. VIII, pp. 481 ff.
3 Ibid., p. 482.
4 I. C. T. W. I. ( A. S. W. I., No. 10), p. 59.
5 Ibid., p. 59, n. 2.
6 J. A. O. S., Vol. VI (1860), p. 501. The article was presented to the Society on October 26, 1859.
7 The Kumbhī plates, dated K. 932 (Appendix, No. 4), record a grant made by Gōsaladēvī, mother of
Vijayasimha, not his wife as Hall wrongly stated. Again, the grant was made by Gōsaladēvī during the
reign of her son Vijayasimha and with his consent as explicitly stated therein. It was not made by her for
her minor son Ajayasimha as Hall thought. Among the persons to whom the royal order is addressed is
mentioned Mahākumāra Ajayasimha. He had not ascended the throne then, but there is nothing to show
that he was a minor at the time.