No. 9─ SULTANPUR COPPER-PLATE INSCRIPTION
NIRADBANDHU SANYAL, NAVADVIP
This copper plate was handed over to me on behalf of the Varendra Research Society for
decipherment in 1937 by Mr. Rajani Mohan Sanyal of Naogaon in the Rajshahi District. It
was originally preserved in an old wooden box for a very long time as an heirloom in the family
of Namiruddin Khondkar, a Muhammadan priest of Sultanpur in the suburb of Naogaon town.
The family had originally been settled in the village of Kalaikuri, about 8 miles from Naogaon
town, in the Adamdighi Police Station of the Bogra District, whence Namiruddin’s grandfather
came over to Sultanpur about a century ago, having inherited the ancestral property of his maternal
grandfather. It cannot now be definitely ascertained if this plate had been brought to Sultanpur
among other goods and chattels which he obtained by inheritance. The provenance of the plate
cannot thus be exactly determined.
The inscription was published by Dr. D. C. Sircar first in an article in the Bengali monthly
journal Vaṅgaśrī, Vaiśākha, 1350 B. S., and then in English in the Indian Historical Quarterly,
Vol. XIX, March, 1943. He names the record after Kalaikuri. Dr. Sircar, however, had no
opportunity of examining the original plate but had to depend on unsatisfactory impressions.
He therefore could not read some of the letters while some of them were read by him wrongly.
This is a single plate, rectangular in shape, with an oval projection (3¼″ in diameter) at the
top, which shows a triangular hole in the middle. Evidently this was meant to fix the seal, which
is now missing. It measures 9½″ X 5⅜″ and weighs 52 tolas. The writing is well executed and
consists of 34 lines, of which sixteen are engraved on the obverse and eighteen on the reverse.
Owing to corrosion, from which the plate has suffered especially on the right hand side, many
letters on both faces of the plate are either obscure or have completely disappeared. The size of the
letters varies from ⅜″ to ⅛″.
The characters belong to the Northern Class of alphabets of the 5th century A.D. and resemble closely those used in the Dhanaidaha copper-plate inscriptions of the Gupta year 113 and
the Baigram copper-plate inscription of the Gupta year 128. As in the Baigram, Dhanaidaha,
Damodarpur and Paharpur copper plates, medial ā is sometimes indicated by a hook like stroke
at the lower end of the letter to the right ; cf. Brāhmaṇ-ādīn (line 2), ºbhāgāy-āº (line 18),
kulyavāpāḥ, khāta and parikhā (line 21). The form of the medial u in Rudra (line 3) and Prabhu
(line 6) and that of the medial ū in Pūrṇṇa (line 1) and Kumārabhūti (line 5) may be noted. The
sign of b may be seen in Brāhmaṇ-ādin (line 2), etc. The rare letter ḍh is used in Lōḍhaka (line 11).
The forms of the conjuncts kshm, ṅh, hm, ṭṭ, ṇṭ, ṅk, and lm may be observed in Lakshmaṇa (line 3),
siṅha (line 5), Brahma and bhaṭṭa (line 7), Uṇṭa (line 8), Kaṅkuṭi (line 9) and Gulma (line 22)
respectively. Final m is seen as joined with the preceding letter slightly below the top line in
 [Under the circumstances, the inscription may probably be called ‘ the Kalaikuri-Sultanpur Plate’.─ Ed.]
 Above, Vol. XVII, pp. 345-48.
 Ibid., Vol. XXI, pp. 78-83.
 Ibid., Vol. XV, pp. 113-45.
 Ibid., Vol. XX, pp. 59-64.
 See below, p. 63, note 7.─ Ed.]