INSCRIPTIONS OF THE PARAMARAS OF MALWA
No. 11 ; PLATE XIII
BĀṄSWĀḌĀ COPPER-PLATE INSCRIPTION OF BHŌJADĒVA
[Vikrama] Year 1076
...THE plates on which this inscription is incised are stated to have been found some time in
the third quarter of the last century, by the late Pandit Gauri Shankar H. Ojha, who was
then the Superintendent of the Rājputānā Museum, Ajmer, in the possession of the widow of
a ṭhaṭhērā (copper-smith), living at Bāṅswāḍa, the headquarters of District of the same name in
Rājastān. Ojha briefly noticed the inscription in the Annual Report of the Museum, for 1910-11,
pp. 1-2, and the record was edited by D.R. Bhandarkar in the Indian Antiquary, Volume XLI (for
1872), pp. 201 f. From an inked impression prepared by Ojha and transmitted to him by the
Government Epigraphist, the inscription was again edited by E. Hultzsch, in the Epigraphai Indica, Volume XI (for 1911-12),-pp. 181 ff., with the text in the Nāgarī script (pp. 182-83) and facsimile
reproductions. It is edited here from a set of excellent inked impressions supplied to me by the
Chief Epigraphist, and from a set of fresh photographs prepared and sent to me, at my request,
by the Director of Archaeology and Museums in Rājasthān. The plates are now exhibited in the
Rājputānā Museum, Ajmer.
...It is a set of two substantial plates of copper, each measuring 13¼” (33 . 65 cms.) in breadth
and 9¾” (24 . 76 cms.) in height. Their rims are raised to protect the writing, which is in an
excellent state of preservation. Both the plates were originally held together, as is generally the
case, by two rings, passing through holes of the diameter of 1 . 5 cms. each and boared in the
lower margin of the first and the upper margin of the second, separated by an intervening space
of 14 cms. But the rings are not now forthcoming. Both the plates bear writing on the inner
side only, the first showing fifteen lines which cover a space measuring 27 cms. broad by 19 cms.
high, while the second bears seventeen lines measuring 27 . 5 cms. broad by 20 cms. high The last
line on the first of the plates measures only 7 . 5 cms. in length and it is wholly devoted to the signmanual of the king ; whereas on the second, the last five lines are shorter than the others by 7
cms., as their initial space is occupied by the representation of a flying Garuḍa, with the body of
a man but the head of a bird, with a cobra in the proper left hand and the right being raised
above, as if to strike it. This device is noticed on most of the plates issued by the rulers belonging
to the Paramāra house of Mālwā ; and the area occupied by it measures 8 cms. broad by 6 cms.
high. The plates are well preserved, and being thick, do not show the marks of the engraving on
the reverse. The letters in the first seven lines are slightly bigger than in the rest and the height of an individual letter varies from . 8 to 1 cm.
The alphabet in which the inscription is written is Nāgarī of the eleventh century, as prevalent in Mālwā and Rājasthān, and bears a close resemblance to that employed in the Gaonrī
grant of Vāklati-Muñja, of V.S. 1043. Some of the palaeographical peculiarities exhibited in the
present inscription, however, may be noted here. The vowel a appears in two forms which are
slightly different from each other ; cf. adṛishṭa, 1. 19 and asmat, 1. 26. The initial ē is triangular
in shape, with its arms slightly bent and with a tail below ; see aindavīṁ, 1. 1. The consonant
k has two different forms ; the ordinary form, e.g. in paralōka, in 1. 13, and the other one in which
the loop is joined to the vertical with a horizontal stroke, as in chakrāgra in the same line. Still
another form of this letter is noticed inkṛitiṁ, 1.2. The lower part of the left limb of kh, g and
s is formed of a loop which is somewhat angular, cf., e. g., lēkhāṁ, sarggāya and śirasā, all in 1.1.
The tail of the left limb of t and s, that of h and the loop of n are occasionally not developed ; cf.
vrāhmaṇōttarān-prati, 1. 9 and mahārājā-, 1. 3. Th shows two unopened loops vertically placed,
as in yathā, 1. 10. There is little distinction between dh and v ; the first of these is devoid of the
top-stroke, and the vertical of dhā are joined in the middle by a horizontal stroke ; cf . vasudhā
1.24 and vudhvā, 1.31. Among conjunct consonants, the subscript forms of chh and th are
alike ; see Chhinchhā-sthāna, 1. 18 ; ṇ as a subscript appears as l, as inarkkārṇṇava, 1. 19, and the
subscript r is written in its full-fledged form added below the first consonant, as in vātābhra, 1. 11.
In my visit to the Museum at Ajmer I also examined the plates and supplemented my writing wherever
necessary, particularly scrutinizing the names of places mentioned in 1. 8.