The Indian Analyst
 

North Indian Inscriptions

 

 

Contents

Introduction

Contents

Preface

List of Plates

Abbreviations

Additions and Corrections

Images

Introduction

Political History

Administration

Social History

Religious History

Literary History

Gupta Era

Krita Era

Texts and Translations

The Gupta Inscriptions

Index

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

Tiruvarur

Darasuram

Konerirajapuram

Tanjavur

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

Epigraphia
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

Pudukkottai

THE GUPTA INSCRIPTIONS

       The round monolith sandstone column, thirtyfive feet in height, on which this inscription is incised, cannot be later than the third century B.C., as is clear from the famous edicts of Aśōka on it.1 It now stands in a conspicuous position inside the Fort at Allahābād. It is doubtful, however, whether the column was originally erected at this place. As has been suggested by General Cunningham,2 it was first set up at the ancient Kauśāmbī, now represented by the village of Kōsam3 on the left bank of the Yamunā, about twenty-eight miles west by south from Allahābād; and, was still at that place when the present inscription was engraved. He further suggests that it was afterwards moved from there to Allahābād by one of the early Musalmān kings of Delhi, perhaps Fīrōz Shāh, just as the two Aśōka columns now at Delhi are known to have been brought there by him from their original positions at Mēraṭh and in the Śiwālik hills. The point in favour of the former supposition is that the column contains a short Aśōka edict addressed to the Mahāmātras of Kauśāmbī.4 The latter supposition seems unlikely, because, Delhi was the capital of Fīrōz Shāh, not Allahābād, which, on the other hand, was founded, or refounded, two centuries after him by Akbar. It is more likely that this ruler5 removed the pillar from Kōsam to Allahābād,–an inference supported by the records of his favourite Bīrbal and of his son Jahāngīr inscribed on it.

       The writing, which covers a space of about 6'8" broad by 5' 4" high,6 commences on the north of the column, towards the north-east, and in the longest part, line 30, runs all round the column, except for a space of about 1'9".. The bottom line is about 6' 0" above the point where the column starts from its present pedestal. There is a large crack in the column, from above the first word of the first line, and extending down to the beginning of the fourteenth. And the upper part of the inscription has suffered very much, partly from some of the mediaeval inscriptions, which are so abundant on the column, being engraved on and between the original lines here, and partly from the peeling off of the surface of the stone in several places. But nothing of historical nature appears to have been lost; except, perhaps, after the mention of Nagasēna in line 13, and in connection with the mention of Pushapapura in line 14. A few 1etters, again, have been damaged or destroyed by the peeling off of the stone near the beginning of line 23, and in the centre of lines 23, 24, 31, and 32 ; but, except in line 32, the letters can be supplied without any doubt. The really important part of the inscription, the historical and genealogical passages commencing with line 19 and ending in line 30, is fortunately in a state of excellent preservation, and is decipherable without the slightest doubt from beginning to end. The size of the letters, by which is meant, here and throughout, the height of such letters as ch, d, p, m, b, v, etc., which are formed entirely within the limits of so to speak, the lines of writing, without any projections above or below, varies from 17 to ¾”. ..........................................................................................6
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1 It is generally assumed that the pillars on which Aśōka’s edicts are engraved were set up by him. It is, however, doubtful whether they were all so chiselled and put up in his time. Thus Pillar Edict VII ends with the following: “This Dhaṁma-lipi should be inscribed where stone pillars and stone tablets are found, so that it may endure.” (D.R. Bhandarkar, Asoka, 1932, p. 356. See also CII., Vol. I, 1925, p. 137). Similarly about the close of the Rupnath Minor Rock Edict, Aśōka says: “Here and far off where there is any stone column, have it engraved on the stone column.” (D. R. Bhandarkar, Asoka, 1932, p. 370. See also CII., Vol. I, 1925, p. 169). This seems to show that the pillars were already in existence and were well-known before his edicts were ordered to be inscribed on them.
2 CII., Vo.. I, 1877, p. 39.
3 CASIR., Vol. I, pp. 304-05 and Cunningham, Ancient Geography of India, 1975, pp. 330 ff.; Ep. Ind., Vol. XI, pp. 91 and 141; JRAS., 1898, pp. 503 ff., and 1927, pp. 689 ff.; A.R. ASI., 1923-24, p. 123.
4 CII., Vol. I, 1925, pp. 159-60, Plate facing p. 159; see also in continuation of the end of line 10 of the present inscription in the plate which contains part of Aśōka’s edict where the second word Kōsa[m*]biyaṁ is quite clear.
5 Ibid., Introduction, p. xx.
6 [In this Volume, the measurements are given in feet and inches.—Ed.].