No. 12.-TWO PILLAR INSCRIPTIONS OF THE TIME OF
KRISHNARAYA OF VIJAYANAGARA.
BY H. LÜDERS, PH. D. ; GÖTTINGEN.
Inked estampages of these two inscriptions were sent to me by Dr. Hultzsch through
Prof. Kielhorn. The first is engraved on the four faces of a pillar lying on the ground near
the steps leading to the temple on the hill at Maṅgalagiri, 12 miles north-east of Guṇṭûr in the
It contains 257 lines of writing.─ The average size of the letters is ¾ʺ. At the top of the
fourth face is a representation of the sun and the moon.─ The alphabet is Telugu. The chief
points in which it differs from the modern script are the following. The talakaṭṭu is a flattened
semi-circle. The dîrghamu goes right down to the bottom of the line, except in ṭâ, ṇâ and hâ
where it is represented by the curve above the line which in the modern alphabet appears in
hâ only. The guḍi is like the upper half of a circle, and to denote î, the tip is sometimes
slightly curved inwards ; see e.g. sî in l. 241. But in most cases it is absolutely impossible to
distinguish between the long and the short vowel, except in mî, which appears in the modern
form (l. 25). Medial ê has the form of a sickle or a semi-circle open to the left.
In mau (ll. 54,
107), yau (l. 63), and ryau (l. 224) the diphthong is expressed by attaching the ordinary sign
for au to the right of the letter and the sign for ê to the middle bar or to the r. Initial a, ê, ga,
gha, chha, ṭa, ṇa, da, pa, pha, ma, va, śa, sha, and ha show still the ancient forms. In the case
of sha this is all the more remarkable as already in the Vânapalli plates of Anna-Vêma, date in
Śaka-Saṁvat 1300, occasionally a form of sha appears which on account of the division of the
middle horizontal line comes nearer to the modern form (see e.g. ll. 2, 18, 30). Ka, on the other
hand, shows, except in ka in ll. 22, 177 and kê in l. 23, an advanced form which in its
characteristic lines already resembles the modern form. Ḷa has a peculiar form, differing from
the sign used e.g. in the Biṭraguṇṭa grant of Saṁgama II. (Śaka-Saṁvat 1278) and the
Vânapalli plates as well as from the modern sign. The ottu, the small vertical stroke underneath
the letter, which in the modern alphabet is the sign of aspiration, is never found in kha, chha
and tha, but, as a rule, it is used in gha, ḍha, dha, pha and bha, when no other sign stands below
 No. 257 of the Government Epigraphist’s collection for the year 1892.
 Above, Vol. III. p. 59 ff., Plates.
 Above, Vo. III. p. 21 ff., Plates.