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Incriptions of The Abhiras

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Annual Reports 1935-1944

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Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Volume 2, Part 2

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Kalachuri-Chedi Era Part 1

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Epigraphica Indica

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Early Gupta Inscriptions

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THESE plates were discovered in November 1898. They were first published, with a translation, but without a facsimile, by Mr. A.M.T. Jackson, I.C.S., in the Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. XX, pp. 211 ff., and subsequently with a translation and photo-lithographs by Prof. Sten Konow in the Epigraphia Indica, Vol. X, pp. 72 ff. I edit the inscription here from the lithographs accompanying Prof. Sten Konow’s article.

The copper-plates are two in number. ‘They were found buried about two feet below the surface of a cart track in the village of Sunev Kulla in the Hansot Mahāl of the Broach District . . . The first plate is entire. The second has suffered damage (I) by the wrenching of the seal, which has destroyed a few aksharas in the first line and (2) by the breaking off of a piece of the left-hand edge, which has destroyed one akshara in line 4, two in line 5, two in line 6 and one in line 7. . . The lower edge of the first plate was formerly attached to the upper edge of the second by two copper rings, one of which remains attached to each of the plates. The seal which was probably carried by the left-hand ring has been wrenched off and is lost. The letters are deeply cut and in many places show through on the back of the plates.’1 Each plate mea- sures 12½″ broad and 6½″ high. The record consist of twenty-five lines, of which twelve are inscribed on the first, and the remaining thirteen on the second plate. The average size of letters is ¼″.

The characters belong to the western variety of the southern alphabets and resemble those of the Traikūtaka grants. There is a triangular wedge at the top of letters except in the case of b, n, ñ and sometimes of l and r. The initial ē which occurs in 1.12 shows a closed hook on the left. The medial ō and au are not clearly distinguished, compare e.g. ō in yaśō-vāptayē 1. II and au in Laukākshi 1.6. L occurs in two forms : (1) with a short vertical as in kulaputraka and kuśala-, 1.3 and (2) with the vertical bent to the left as in Gālava, 1.5 and phalam, 1.21. Th has the same form, whether it is independent or subscript, see e.g., yathā, 1.4 and sthiti-, 1.9. A final consonant is indicated by a short horizontal stroke which takes the place of the wedge at the top; see vasēt, 1.20. The sign of the Jihvāmūlīya occurs in 1.15 and the symbols for 200, 90, 10, 5 and 2 in 1.25.

The language in Sanskrit and except for four benedictive and imprecatory verses in 11. 19-23, the record is in prose throughout. As regards orthography, we may note that the consonant following r is doubled in many cases, see sarvvān, 1.2, Antar-Nnarmadā, 1.4, etc.; so also dh preceding y, see pādānuddhyāto, 1. 1. Samgamasīha for Samgamasimha and karishayatām for karshayatām are evidently due to the influence of the Prakrits.

The plates were issued by the Mahāsāmanta, the illustrious Mahārāja, Sangamasimha from Bharukachcha. The object of the inscription is to record the grant of the village Śonavvā in the Antar-Narmadā vishaya to five Brāhmanas, who were residents of Bharukachchha, on the occasion of the Mahākārttikī, i.e., the full-moon day of Kārttika. The purpose of the grant was to provide for the performance of the five great sacrifices, viz., bali charu, vaiśvadēva, agnihōtra and havana. The grant was written by

1J. B. B. R. A. S., Vol. XX, p. 211. 3


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