preparing notes, references, etc. but his work was also interrupted due to several reasons like
his transfers from Ootacamund to Delhi first as Deputy Director General of Archaeology and
again as Joint Director General of Archaeology from which post he retired in 1965 and
joined the Panjab University, Chandigarh, as Professor of Ancient Indian Culture and
Archaeology. Ater his assignment at Chandigarh was over and after he came to settle down
at Ootacamund, Dr. Chhabra resumed his work on the revision of the Gupta volume in
1972. In the meanwhile, the Epigraphical Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India was
shifted from Ootacamund to Mysore in June 1966 when Dr. G. S. Gai was its Head as
Government Epigraphist for India (which designation has been subsequently changed as
Chief Epigraphist). So Dr. Chhabra was required to visit Mysore from Ootacamund in
connection with his work on Gupta volume.
In order to expedite this work, Dr. Chhabra suggested, in 1975, to Shri M. N. Deshpande,
the then Director General of Archaeology, to associate Dr. Gai as Co-Editor to which the
Director General readily agreed. Dr. Gai also retired from service in March 1976 but as he
settled down in Mysore only where the Office of the Chief Epigraphist is located, he could
take up and concentrate on this work earnestly. He worked continuously for over eight months
and filled up the references, gaps, etc. in Dr. Bhandarkar’s draft, dressed up and prepared
the press-copy by re-arranging and getting the entire matter re-typed under his personal
supervision. Dr. Gai also edited and included in the volume four newly discovered inscriptions
of the rulers of the Imperial Gupta dynasty, viz. Nos. 5, 23, 32 and 37.
It will be noticed that Dr. Bhandarkar has largely followed Fleet in the introductory
portion of each inscription and also in giving the texts of the inscriptions, though he has
given his own readings and interpretations wherever he differed from Fleet. But he has
thoroughly revised the translations of the texts. And the Historical chapters written by him
and forming his original contribution undoubtedly bear the stamp of his great scholarship
and erudition. The editors have restricted their comments to the barest minimum in order
to retain and make available Dr. Bhandarkar’s views and comments on various topics in
their original to the scholars. The work of consolidation of the different and latest views
and comments of various scholars on many topics has not been attempted here, as originally
intended, and has been left to a future date.
The manuscript of the press-copy was sent to the Sree Saraswaty Press Ltd., Calcutta,
towards the end of 1976 but, due to some unavoidable difficulties in the press, the printing
of the volume was delayed. And, at last, after a chequered career extending over a period
of about fifty years (thirty years after the death of Dr. Bhandarkar), this long awaited revised
volume of the Inscriptions of the Early Gupta Kings has now been printed and placed in the
hands of the scholars. There is a saying in Sanskrit-śrēyāṁsi bahu vighnāni which means
“there are many obstacles in good undertaking” which fits very well in the case of this volume.
And, as a token of our great regard for that veteran scholar Dr. D. R. Bhandarkar, who
toiled hard in the preparation of this volume till the end of his life, we dedicate this revised
volume to his revered memory.
We are grateful to Shri M. N. Deshpande, former Director General of Archaeology,
for seeing that suitable accommodation and other necessary facilities were provided in the
office of the Chief Epigraphist to Dr. Gai which enabled him to carry on the work relating
to this volume and also for arranging for its publication in the Sree Saraswaty Press Ltd.,
Calcutta. We are also thankful to the present Director General of Archaeology, Shri B. K.
Thapar, for evincing keen interest in the expeditious printing of the volume. Our thanks
are also due to Dr. K. V. Ramesh, Superintending Epigraphist, who rendered much assistance
to Dr. Gai in the initial stages and to Dr. S. S. Iyer, Senior Epigraphical Assistant, who has