INSCRIPTIONS OF THE FEUDATORIES OF THE
No. 19 : PLATE XIX
BAMHANĪ PLATES OF BHARATABALA
...THESE plates were discovered at the village Bamhanī in the Sohāgpur tahsil of the
former Rēwā State. Dr. B. Ch. Chhabra published first a short note on it in the BhārataKaumudī , Part I, pp. 215 ff. and later edited them with facsimiles and a translation in the Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XXVII, pp. 132 ff. I discussed the historical information furnished
by these plates in an article entitled ‘The Pāṇḍava Dynasty of Mēkalā’ , published in the Indica (Indian Historical Research Institute Silver Jubilee Commemoration Volume), pp. 268
f. The plates are edited here from the facsimiles accompanying Dr. Chhabra’s article in the Epigraphia Indica.
...‘The plates are three in number, each measuring roughly 7¾” broad by 4½” high.
They are strung on a copper ring, about ¼” in thickness, passing through a hole, ¾” in diameter cut in the centre of each plate near the margin. The ring must originally have been
circular in shape, but in its present condition it is bent and elongated. Its ends are secured
under a comparatively small seal with a diameter of ¾”. The seal bears no emblem or
legend ; if there was any originally, it has now completely disappeared. The inscription
on the plate is in an excellent state of preservation throughout. The first and third plates
are engraved only on one side, while the second beras writing on both the sides. There are
altogether 49 lines of writing, twelve being inscribed on the first face, thirteen on each side of
the second plate, and eleven on the last. All the plates together with the ring and the seal
weigh 94 tōlas .1
...The characters are of the nail-headed variety of the southern alphabets. They resemble
in some respects those of the Poonā plates of Prabhāvatīguptā, which also are of the same
nail-headed variety, but, unlike the latter, they do not contain any admixture of the
northern letters. The following peculiarities may be noted :− The initial i (short) consists
of an indented curve over two dots placed horizontally ; see iti, line 3 ; in medial ī (long)
the length is indicated in all places by means of a dot in the curve denoting short i as in āsīd-, line 1 ; the forms of initial ē and au which occur in lines 25 and 16 respectively are
noteworthy ; j has a slight notch in its top stroke as in Jayabala, line 3. In the case of m,
we notice a box-head instead of a nail-head; see su-vimala-, line 1. The numerical symbol for 2 is also noteworthy ; for it does not consist of two curves placed one above the other,
but has the same form as in modern Nāgarī. The language is Sanskrit, the record being
partly in prose and partly in verse. As regards orthography, we may notice the use of the anusvāra for final n as in śrīmāṁ, line 2; the reduplication of the consonant preceding and
following r as in putrō, sarvva-, line 3 ; the use of the guttural nasal in place of the anusvāra in vaṅśē, line 41 ; the use of v for b in some places as in –vabhuva, line 8; and the use of ri for the vowel ṛi in vyākrishya, line 22. There are, besides, several mistakes in the writing
of the records which have been corrected in the transcript and the foot-notes appended to it.
1 Ep. Ind., Vol. XXVII, p. 132.