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THIS was one of the two copper-plates obtained by Dr. D.R. Bhandarkar from Pandit Vamanasastri Islampurkar of Indore1. Dr. Bhandarkar handed them over to Dr. R.C. Majumdar, who edited them together in the Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XV, pp. 286 f. and plates . Their contents and dates were discussed by me in an article entitled ‘An Ancient Dynasty of Khandesh’ published in the Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Vol. XXV, pp. 159 f. The inscription on the present plate is edited here from the facsimile accompanying Dr. Majumdar’s article.

The inscription is incised on one side only of a single copper-plate measuring 7.6” broad and 4.1” high. It has no ring-hole and shows no sign of a seal having ever been attached to it. The plate has nine lines of writing, of which the last, containing the sign-manual of the reigning king, is incised in the margin on the left. The writing is in an excellent state or preservation. The size of the letters varies from .2” to .4”.

The characters belong to the western variety of the southern alphabets, with knobs at the top. They show considerable development over those of the Nasik cave inscription of Īśvarasēna,2 which was incised only about sixty years before. The letters a, k, ñ and r, for instance, have developed curves at the lower end of their verticals, distinctive of the southern alphabet; th is shown by a curling curve open to the right; see-pathakē, 1.3; n has developed a loop, while the vertical of / curves to the left; seepād-ānuddhyātō, 1.1 and Sāndilya-, 1.3; the subscript y has assumed a bipartite form; see Āryya-, 1. 4. As regards medial vowels, i now forms a complete curve; its long form is indicated by a curling curve turned to the left; the mātrās for ā, ē, ai and ō appear in some cases above the line; and the medial au is bipartite in-pautra-, 1.5. The symbols for 60, 7 and 5 occur in 1.8.

The language is Sanskrit. There is now little admixture of Prakrit forms, the only cases occurring in this epigraph being santaka, 1.2 and krishāpayatah, 1.7, which however persisted for a long time. As regards orthography, the only peculiarity which calls for notice is the reduplication of the consonant before y and after r; see pād-ānuddbhyātō, 1. 1 and sarvvān=,1. 2.

The inscription refers itself to the reign of Mahārāja Svāmidāsa. The object of it is to record confirmation,3 by Svāmidāsa, of the gift of a field in the village Dakshina Valmika-tallavātaka (South Valmika-tallavātaka) which was situated in the territorial subdivision Nagarikā-pathaka. The plate was issued from Valkha, which was evidently then the royal capital. The Dūtaka was Nannabhatti The record is dated on the 5th tithi of the bright fortnight of Jyēshtha in the year 67 (expressed by numerical symbols) of an unspecified era. It may be noted that the year in this case is introduced with the

1See Ep. Ind., Vols. XV, p. 286 and XXIV, p. 52. The other copper-plate was issued by Bhulunda. See below, No. 3.
2Above, No. 1.
3The use of the words samanujānīyō (mō) in 11. 2-3 and krit-ānjujñasya in 1. 6 as well as the absence of any statement that it was a royal grant indicate that Mahārāja Svāmidāsa only confirmed the gift. Who the donor was is not known. The plate of Bhulunda (No. 3, below), which bears close resemblance to the present record, mentions a person named Āshādhanandin at whose request the gift was confirmed.


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