No. 2─ GHUMLI PLATES OF BASHKALADEVA, V. S. 1045
D. C. SIRCAR, OOTACAMUND
The inscription under study belongs to the Āyurvedic Museum at Jāmnagar. It was read by
Pandit Navalśaṅkar, the son of Mahāmahōpādhāya Hāthībhāi Śāstrī, but was not published.
The late Mr. H. R. Mankad, for sometime Superintendent of Archæology, Government of
Saurashtra, Rajkot, is known to have prepared an article on the record, although this also
remains unpublished. We owe to Mr. Mankad a few informations about the discovery of the
record and the location of some of the villages mentioned in it. It is said that the epigraph
was found in the course of digging operations at Ghūmlī in the former Navanagar State ; but
nothing more is known. Ghūmlī is situated amidst hills in the northern valley of the Abhāparā, a summit of the Baradā range, about 3 miles south of Bhāṇavaḍ in the Hālār District of
The inscription is written on the inner sides of two thin copper plates strung on two copper
rings with loose ends. Each plate measures 8¾″ by 8″. The thickness of a rings is ½″ and its circumference 3½″. The edges of the plates were slightly raised with a view to protecting the writing
from being damaged by rubbing. There are thirteen lines of writing on each of the plates. The
script is old Nāgarī and the language Sanskrit. Some of the letters have been written in the
cursive style (cf. ś in śrēshṭa and śrī in line 4 with the same letter in Śailajā in line 2) while many
of them are carelessly engraved (cf. a passage in line 6, the intended reading of which is Vikrama-saṁvat 1045 varshē Vaiśākha-śudi 15). The letters often exhibit additional marks of the engraver’s tool. The letter b has been used only in a few cases ; it has usually been indicated by the
sign for v. There are many orthographical errors in the text of the record. The sign of
avagraha has been used thrice (lines 7, 22 and 24), but wrongly in one of these cases.
The date of the charter is given in line 6. It is V. S. 1045, Vaiśākha-śu. 15, Monday. The
date corresponds to the 22nd April, 989 A. D.
The inscription begins with a variety of the Siddham symbol which is followed by the maṅgala :
“ May there be well-being, victory and prosperity !” Next follow three stanzas in the Anushṭubh metre, the first of which is in adoration of the god Vyōmakēśa (Śiva) while the following two
give the genealogy of the king who issued the charter under study. It is said that there was a
person named Hiraṇyamukha whose son was the mahī-pati or ruling chief named Jālē (or possibly
Jyāla or Jāla). The son of Jālē was the powerful Śūra who was the father of the nṛipa or ruler
Bāshkala, the issuer of the charter. Whether Hiraṇyamukha and Śūra were also rulers like Jālē
and Bāshkala is not possible to determine from the language of the verses.
The object of the inscription is to record the grant of a village made by Rāṇaka Bāshkaladēva
surnamed Kuṁkumalōla, for the merit of his parents, in favour of a Brāhmaṇa. Bāshkala, whose
capital was at Bhūtāmbilī within the Mahādurga adhikaraṇa in Jyēshṭu(shṭhu)ka-dēśa,
is stated to have made the grant after taking a bath in the Yajñavaṭa-tīrtha at a holy place
called Piṇḍatāraka. The word adhikaraṇa seems to be used here in the sense of an administrative unit probably lying around the durga or fortress at Bhutāmbilī where Bāshkala resided. The
name of the gift village was Karalī which was situated in Jyēshṭu(shṭhu)ka-dēśa within the Nava-Surāshṭrā maṇḍala. The name Nava-Surāshṭrā seems to be a mistake for Nava-Surāshṭra,
although the same form of the name Surāshṭra also occurs several times in the Ghūmlī copper-plate
inscriptions of the Saindhava kings of the Jayadratha-vaṁśa. The donee was Dāmōdara, son
 Above, Vol. XXVI, pp. 185 ff.