No. 11.- NILGUND INSCRIPTION OF THE TIME OF AMOGHAVARSHA I. ;
BY. J. E. FLEET, I.C.S. (RETD.), PH.D. C.I.E.
This inscription is now brought to notice for the first time. And I edited it from an ink-impression obtained by me in 1887. I edit it, partly because it is interesting in itself, and
partly because it is closely connected with the Sirûr inscription, of the same date, of which a
version has been given by me in the Ind. Ant. Vol. XII. p. 215 ff. A revised version of the
latter record will be given shortly, in the course of some papers which will illustrate the
development of the alphabets of the Kanarese country during the ninth century A.D. And it
is convenient to publish the Nîlgund record first, because, as far as the words Annigereyoḷ=ire in line 22, it was based on the same draft on which was based the same part of the Sirûr record,
and, though on the one hand parts of it could hardly have been deciphered without the help of
the Sirûr record, on the other hand it supplies a few aksharas which are illegible in the Sirûr
record and could not be supplied from any other source.
Nîlgund is a village about twelve miles S. W. ½ W. from Gadag, the head-quarters of the
Gadag tâluka of the Dhârwâr district. it is shewn in the Indian Atlas sheet No. 41 (1852)
as ‘ Neelgoond.’ The modern form of the name is carried back to A.D. 1376 by the Ḍambaḷ
grant of that year, which mentions the place, in Nâgarî characters and in a Sanskṛit verse, as Nilagunda. The present record gives its name in the older form of Nîrgunda ; the purport
of it places Nîrgunda in a circle of villages known as the Muḷgunda twelve, which again, it
places in the Beḷvola three-hundred district ; and Muḷgunda, from which the circle took its
name, is, of course, the modern Muḷgund, about two miles on the south-east of Nîlgund. The inscription is on a stone tablet which was found standing in front of the house of Aṅgaḍi-Râchappa, in the village of Nîlgund.
At the top of the stone there are sculptures, of which the principal ones are the goddess
Lakshmî, squatting and facing full-front, with an elephant, on each side, standing towards
her : the tips of the trunks of the elephants, which are uplifted, meet above her head, and each
of them holds something which may be either a flower or a water-pot or some sacred symbol ;
and above them, and perhaps supported by them, there is a smaller image, representing probably
Vishṇu, squatting and facing full-front. Below the figure of Lakshmî, there is a svastika. On
the proper right of the latter, there are a cow and a calf ; and on the proper left, two objects
which, in the sketch submitted to me, look like a thick-set bush and a flowering plant, each in
a tub or stand.─ The writing covers an area about 3′ 4½″ broad by 5′ 11½″ high. Lines 1 to
15 are in a state of fairly good preservation. Lines 16 to 25 have suffered a great deal of
damage ; and there are many syllables here, in addition to those which I have placed in square
brackets, which could hardly have been deciphered with any certainty, if at all, without the help
of the Sirûr inscription. Line 26 to 35, also, are considerably damaged, but not to the same
extent.─ The characters are Kanarese, boldly formed and well executed. They are of a good
antique square and upright style, presenting an appearance much older than that of the
characters of the Sirûr inscription, of the same date, of which a collotype will be published
hereafter. And the size of them ranges from about ¾″ in the ya of traya, line 12, to about 1½″
 See a remarks made on page 74 above.
 Jour. Bo. Br. R. As. Soc. Vol. XII. p. 357, text line 129.
 The dental nd can be recognised clearly in the impression, both in Nîrggundada, line 26, and in Muḷgunda,
line 2 ; and it is, of course, exactly what we should expect. The Nîlgund inscription of A. D. 982, however, for
some reason or other gives the name as Nîrguṇḍa, with the lingual ṇḍ (above, Vol. IV. p. 206, text line 20).