No. 13─ JAIN INSCRIPTION FROM SHERGARH, V. S. 1191
D. C. SIRCAR, OOTACAMUND
Shēr Shāh Sūr, the celebrated Afghan emperor of Delhi (1539-45 A.D.), is accused by Badāūnī
and other Muslim historians of wanton callousness in destroying old cities for founding new ones
on their ruins after his own name. On this point Nūr-ul-Haqq says in his Zubdat-ut-Tawārīkh :
“Shēr Khān founded many cities after his own name, as Shēr-garh, Shēr-kōṭ ….” There are
numerous places bearing such names in different parts of Northern India even to this day, one of
them being Shērgarh representing a fort in ruins and a town (now almost deserted) standing
on the river Parwān (a feeder of the Kālī-Sindh which is a tributary of the Chambal), about ninety
miles to the south-east of Kōṭah in the District of that name in Rājasthān. On the 16th of January
1953, I visited Shērgarh from my camp at Kōṭah in search of inscriptions in the company of Mr.
P. N. Kaul, then Commissioner of the Kōṭah Division of Rājasthān, and Mr. R. N. Hawā, then Collector of the Kōṭah District. I take this opportunity of thanking both the officers for their kindness
shown to me and the interest they exhibited in my work. My thanks are also due to Mr. P. K.
Majumdār of the Herbert College, Kōṭah, who accompanied me to Shērgarh and helped me in
On a careful examination of the inscriptions at Shērgarh, it was found that three of them had
been previously published. One of these three is a Buddhist inscription supposed to be dated in
V. S. 847 (790 A.D.). This is incised on a slab of stone built into a recess under a flight of stairs
to the proper left of the gate of the deserted town and is a praśasti (eulogy) recording the construction of a Buddhist temple (mandira) and a monastery (vihāra) to the east of Mount (giri)
Kōśavardhana by a Sāmanta (feudal chief) named Dēvadatta.
The second published inscription from Shērgarh, which bears dates in V. S. 1074 (1017 A. D.),
1075 (1018 A.D.) and 1084 (1027 A.D.), is built into a front line pillar of the local Lakshmī-Nārāyaṇa
temple, although there is no doubt that it originally belonged to a different religious establishment.
The inscription actually consists of three distinct documents. The first of these records a daily
grant of one karsha of ghee as unguent to the feet of Bhaṭṭāraka-śrī-Nagnaka while the other two
speak of several grants in favour of the god Sōmanāthadēva. The late Dr. D. R. Bhandarkar was
inclined to identify Bhaṭṭāraka-śrī-Nagnaka of this record with the Śiva-bhakta-Śaiva called Nagnabhaṭṭāraka, mentioned in the Dhanop (old Shāhpurā State, now a part of the Udaipur Division of
Rājasthān) inscription of V. S. 1063, although there is also a view that ‘ since the gift is made to
last as long as the sun and the moon exist, it would be better to take Bhaṭṭāraka-Nagnaka as
referring to an image and not to a person ’. It seems to us that Bhaṭṭāraka-śrī-Nagnaka was a
 Cf. Badāūnī’s Muntakhab-, Tawārīkh, English translation (Bib. Ind.), Calcutta, Vol. I, 1898, p. 472 ; K. R.
Qanungo, Sher Shah, 1921, p. 404.
 Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its Own Historians, Vol. VI, p. 189.
Bhandarkar, List, No. 21. The record was edited by Hultzsch first in ZDMG, Vol. XXXVII, pp. 547 ff.,
and afterwards in Ind. Ant., Vol. XIV, pp. 45 ff. For the date of the inscription, see also Ind. Ant., Vol. XIV,
p. 351, and Vol. XXVI, p. 152.
 Bhandarkar, op. cit., Nos. 104, 105 and 115. The inscription was first edited by Bhandarkar in Ind. Ant.,
Vol. XL, p. 176, and afterwards by Altekar in the pages of this journal, above, Vol. XXIII, pp. 137-41.
 Ind. Ant., Vol. XL, p. 175
 Above, Vol. XXIII, p. 138 note.