INSCRIPTIONS OF THE PARAMARAS OF MALWA
No. 6 ; PLATES V-VI
GAONRI COPPER-PLATE INSCRIPTION OF VAKPATIRAJADEVA
...THIS inscription, which is on three plates of copper, was first brought to light by M. B.
Garde, the Director of Archaeology of the former Gwalior State, in the Annual Report of the
Department, for V.S. 1987 (1930-31 A.C.), pages 10-11, where he summarised its contents,
About five years subsequently, the record was edited by K. N. Dikshit, in the Epigraphia Indica, Volume XXIII (for 1935-36), pages 101 ff., with his reading of the text in Nāgarī characters
(pp. 108-11) and facsimiles facing pp. 108, 109 and 111. It is edited here from the same facsimiles.
...As stated above, it is a set of three plates which are stated to have been discovered, on 20th
June 1931, in course of cutting a channel of a tank at Gaonrī, or Gonry, situated about 5 kms.
to the north-east of Narwal, a jāgīr-village lying 18 kms. to the south-east of Ujjain, on UjjainDew ās metalled road, in Madhya Pradesh. The plates reached the hands of the jāgīrdār of the
village, who sent them to K.N. Dikshit who was then in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, where they
were cleaned ; and it was found that the outer side of the first plate was a palimpset containing an
earlier record of the Rāshṭrakūṭa king Suvarṇavarsha (Govind IV), dated Śaka 851, which preceded the grant by 52 years . This is indeed a rare and interesting feature .
...The size of the plates varies from 38.10 to 39.37 cms. in length and from 26.03 to 26.67 cms.
in breadth. Each of them is about 3 mms. in thickness and their rims have been raised to protect
the writing. The lower side of the first and the upper side of the rest two are pierced with two
holes 1.2 cms. in diameter and with an intervening space of about 15 cms., for rings to pass
through and hold them together. On the first two of the plates the holes disturb the continuity
of writing in two of the lines. The rings are missing ; and the plates without the rings weigh
6.43 kgms. On the proper right side of the bottom of the third plates is incised a representation
of the flying Garuḍa in human form, but with the nose of a bird, wearing a crown and holding
a snake in the left hand, with the right hand raised as if to strike it. The figure, which bears a
close resemblance to that as to seen on the Dharampurī grant of Vākpatirāja, is 8 cms. broad by
11 cms. high and occupies a space at the beginning of the last four lines of the writing.
...Each of the plates is inscribed on one side only, excepting the first which bears an older
record on the outer side, as stated above. The writing consists of 53 lines, of which 23 lines are
inscribed on the first plate, 20 on the second, and the remaning 10 lines on the third
plates. The script belongs to the tenth century, and bears a general resemblance to that of the
Dharampurī grant of Vākpatirāja. But it is more cursive. To note the peculiarities of the writing,
the initial a is formed by the sign of the initial u joined to a vertical stroke with a horizontal ;
see atīta-, 1. 9 ; the initial i is represented by two circles subscribed by the mātrā of u, as in iti,
1.12 ; the consonant ṅ has not developed the dot ; e.g. śaśāṅka, 1. 1 ; and ch, dh and v are almost
alike in form ; cf. Vahṛicha, 1. 15, where the first letter cannot be distinguished from the third,
and the formation of all these letters is similar in vindu, dharmma and chakra, all in 1. 11. The
letters kh, g, j, n, bh and ś continue their old forms ; see sukhita, 1. 2, vinirggata, 1. 24, Girijā, 1.1,
na, 1. 2, nābhi, 1. 3, and śrī, 1. 2. respectively. The letter ñ is similar to ṇ, as in uktañ=cha-1. 45.
...The language of the record is Sanskrit ; and with the exception of two verses in the beginning. two in the middle in 11. 10-12, by way of a parenthesis, and 5 imprecatory stanzas in the end,
the record is composed in prose. Orthographical peculiarities are almost the same as those of
the age ; viz. (1) the use of the sign for v to denote b as well, as in brāhmaṇa-, 1.8 ; (2) the
Citing instances, the editor of the Ep. Ind. concludes that “what necessitated the obliteration of the original grant is not known” (Vol. XXIII. p. 101. n.). But how the plates could travel from the distant
the region of Mālwā cannot ascertained unless we hold with Dikshit who conjectured that it is
that in his invasion of the Rāshṭrakūṭa capital which took place in about 973 A.C., the Paramāra
Sïyaka snatched it either from the Rāshṭrakūṭa treasury or from the owner and brought it with him
with the other booty and that later on it was used for engraving a fresh inscription by Vākpati.