INSCRIPTIONS OF THE PARAMARAS OF MALWA
No. 15 ; PLATES XVI-B & XVII
TILAKWĀḌĀ COPPER-PLATE INSCRIPTION OF THE TIME OF BHōJADĒVA
[ Vikrama] Year 1103
THE plates bearing this inscription are stated to have been discovered in May, 1917, and
the record was first brought to light by the late J. S. Kudalkar, then the Curator of the
Baroda State Libraries, by reading an article on it at the First Oriental Conference held in
Poona, in November 1919. This article was published in the Proceedings of the Conference, in
Volume II, pages 219 ff., with his reading of the text, in Nagari (pp. 324-25) and a translation, but
not accompanied by a facsimile ; and it was again printed in his own Journal (now extinct),
called Libray Miscelleny, Volume VI. Later on, in 1931, the late D. B. Diskalkar contributed
a note on the historical bearings of the record, in the Epigraphia Indica, Volume XXI, pp. 157-59.
The plates are now preserved in the Oriental Section of the Baroda Central Library, and the
inscription is edited here from my reading of the text from a set of inked impressions kindly
supplied to me by the Chief Epigraphist at Mysore.
...It is a set of two copper-plates found at Tilakwāḍā, the headquarters of a small parganā of
the same name, which is a minor part of the other contiguous parganā of Sānkhēḍa in the former
Baroda territory in Gujarāt and situated on the Narmadā at its confluence with the river Manā,
Menā or Menī, as it is called. As observed by Kudalkar himself, the plates were found “in the
bed of the river Narmadā at the spot called ‘Nānā Owārā’ (smaller bathing ghāṭ) near Dhōbī shālā
(washerman’s depot)……while swimming and diving in the waters of the Nārmadā.’’
...The plates which were discovered formed the last two of the (apparently) there plates which
made up a complete grant. The first of the extant plates measures, as stated by Kudalkar, 83/4’’
(i.e., 22.22 cms.) by 5½’’ (i.e., 13.97 cms.) and the second 9” (i.e.,22.86 cms.) by 5¼’’ (i.e., 13.33 cms.)
and both together weigh about 2 Ibs. (i.e.,0.91 kgs.). The first plate is missing, and it is also
stated that all efforts to find it out at or about the spot have failed. The first of the plates
which are obtained is engraved on both the sides, showing twelve lines of writing on its obverse
and ten on the reverse, and the second bears the inscription only on the inner side, consisting of
seven lines. Probably the lost plate was engraved only on the inner side, like the third one and
as we can surmise from the matter of the inscription as a whole. Both the plates have a hole
bored through the centre of the upper margin, showing that originally they (along with the first
plate which is not forthcoming) were held together by a ring which too is lost, along with the
seal, if any.
...The writing which covers a space of about 19 cms. by 11 cms. on both the sides of the first
(in fact second) plate and about 19 cms. by 8 cms. on the third, has suffered an injury from water
and sand, especially on the obverse of the second plate. The average size of the letters is about
.5 cms. The engraver has fared very slovenly in his task and the expected shapes of the letters
are often altogether transformed, a number of them also receiving the arbitrary touch of his chisel.
For example, the ninth letter in 1.2, which was intended to be ttru, appears as kra, due to the
joining of the forelimb at the very beginning. The initial vertical stroke of ma, the sixth syllable
in 1. 1, is left in carving and thus it appears as na. It may also be noted here that the writing is
more sparse on the last two sides than on the first.
...The characters are Nāgarī of the eleventh century to which the record belongs. The initial
a shows two forms, one as in anumatiṁ, 1.8, and the other, as in āchchhēttā, 1. 23. The initial i is constituted of three dots, two above and one below ;cf. iti, 1. 2 ; the sign for the medial u.
when short, resembles r in the subscript from and when long, the sign for medial ṛi, both being
noticed in bhūbhujāṁ, 1.5 ; and the initial ē is almost a triangle with the vertical point below,
cf. ēvaṁ, 1.5. Of the consonants, k occasionally assumes its full-fledged from, as in upakārāya, 1.15, but more often the two other forms, viz., one in which the lower extremity of its vertical is
taken up to form the loop e.g. in chakāra, 1. 3, and the other in which the loop is only a dot
joined to the vertical by a horizontal stroke, as in kṛitvā, 1. 11, are also to be found. The con-
Kudalkar, P.T.O.C., Poona, p. 319.