The Indian Analyst

North Indian Inscriptions







List of Plates


Additions and Corrections



Political History


Social History

Religious History

Literary History

Gupta Era

Krita Era

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The Gupta Inscriptions


Other South-Indian Inscriptions 

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Vol. 4 - 8

Volume 9

Volume 10

Volume 11

Volume 12

Volume 13

Volume 14

Volume 15

Volume 16

Volume 17

Volume 18

Volume 19

Volume 20

Volume 22
Part 1

Volume 22
Part 2

Volume 23

Volume 24

Volume 26

Volume 27





Annual Reports 1935-1944

Annual Reports 1945- 1947

Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Volume 2, Part 2

Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Volume 7, Part 3

Kalachuri-Chedi Era Part 1

Kalachuri-Chedi Era Part 2

Epigraphica Indica

Epigraphia Indica Volume 3

Indica Volume 4

Epigraphia Indica Volume 6

Epigraphia Indica Volume 7

Epigraphia Indica Volume 8

Epigraphia Indica Volume 27

Epigraphia Indica Volume 29

Epigraphia Indica Volume 30

Epigraphia Indica Volume 31

Epigraphia Indica Volume 32

Paramaras Volume 7, Part 2

Śilāhāras Volume 6, Part 2

Vākāṭakas Volume 5

Early Gupta Inscriptions

Archaeological Links

Archaeological-Survey of India



doubt on this point, her Ṛiddhapur copper-plate inscription1 not only mentions her mother as Kubēra-Nāgā but also describes her as Nāga-kul-ōtpannā, ‘sprung from the Nāga clan.’ It is quite evident from the evidence just set forth that though the ruling families of the Gupta period assumed Brāhmaṇa gōtras, the female members thereof struck to the clan names of their fathers.

       The facts mentioned above give rise to two or three questions which we have now to consider. The first is: how far and where the custom of adopting Brāhmaṇa gōtra was prevalent among the ruling families? The most noteworthy of these is the Śātavāhana family, whose inscriptions have been found in the Nasik, Kārlē and Kaṇhērī caves. The earliest of them was Gautamīputra; his son, Vāsishṭhīputra; and one successor of theirs, Māḍharīputra. These metronymics are doubtless formed out of Brāhmaṇa gōtras. But why should they be found in a ruling family at all? In explanation thereof, it is argued by some that the Śātavāhanas were of the Brāhmaṇa caste.2 This conclusion, they say, is supported by two passages in Nasik cave inscription No. 2.3 The first, which is in line 5, is Khatiya-dapa-māna-madanasa, “of (Gautamīputra), who humbled the pride and arrogance of the Kshatriyas.” From this it is inferred that Gautamīputra was not a Kashatriya. For, if he were a Kshatriya, what is the good of his saying that he put down the pride and conceit of the Kshatriyas ? What was he then by caste ? In reply thereto, they rely on the second passage of the inscription, in line 7, namely ēkabamhaṇasa, which has been translated by Senart as “the unique Brāhmaṇa.”4 But bamhaṇa can stand as much for brahmaṇya as for Brāhmaṇa. In fact, the first equation was suggested by R. G. Bhandarkar long ago, who rendered it by “the only supporter of Brāhmaṇas.”5 The other translation makes Gautamīputra Śātakarṇi “the unique Brāhmaṇa”, implying that in his time there was no Brāhmaṇa in the whole of India who could equal him in the sacred knowledge and duties of the Brāhmaṇa class in spite of the fact that he had already impaired the status of the first order by carrying on fights like a Kshatriya with hostile princes and lowering his family to that of the second or Kshatriya order.
In these circumstances it is inconceivable how he could be styled “the unique Brāhmaṇa.” It is more reasonable to take ēka-Bamhaṇasa as equivalent to ēka-Brāhmaṇasya, “of (Gautamīputra) the unique friend of the Brāhmaṇas.” The expression is not unlike atyanta-(dēva)-Brāhmaṇa-bhakta which we find applied to the mahārāja Hastin in the copper-plate inscriptions6 of the Nṛipati-Parivrājaka family. What then becomes, it may be asked, of Khatiya-dapa-māna-madana which is used with reference to Gautamīputra ? Khatiya of this expression has obviously to be equated with Kshatriya or Kshattri, the name of a tribe mentioned both by foreign writers and in Sanskrit literature. Thus Arrian who wrote an account of Alexander’s invasion of India says that when this Macedonian emperor was in camp on the confluence of the Chenāb and the Indus, he received deputies and presents from Xathroi (=Khatroi), an independent tribe of Indians.7 The same tribe has been referred to as Khatriaioi by Ptolemy.8 Both seem identical with Kshatriya. That there was a tribe of the name of Kshatriya is clear from Kauṭilya’s Arthaśāstra which mentions it along with Kāmbhōjas and Surāshṭras as a corporate tribe (śrēṇi) subsisting both

1 CII., Vol. V, No. 8, pp. 33 ff.
2 K. P. Jayaswal in JBORS., Vol. XVI, pp. 365-66; H.C. Rayachaudhuri’s Political History of Ancient India (3rd edn., 1932), pp. 280-281. This matter has been discussed in Ep. Ind., Vol. XXII, pp. 32 and ff.
3 Ep. Ind., Vol. VIII, p. 60.
4 Ibid., p. 61; Senart practically follows Bühler, who renders it by “of him who alone (was worthy of the name of) a Brāhmaṇa” (ASWI., Vol. IV, p. 110).
5 Trans. Inter. Cong. Ori., London, 1874, pp. 310-11; Coll. Works of Sir R. G. Bhandarkar, Vol. I, p. 236.
6 CII., Vol. III, 1888, Nos. 21, 22 and 23.
7 McCrindle’s Ancient India: Its Invasion by Alexander the Great, p. 156.
8 Ind. Ant., Vol. XIII, p. 360.