..The present Volume contains all available inscriptions of three out of ten known
branches of the Śilāhāra family. They were ruling over North and South Koṅkaṇ, and over
the region round Kolhāpur. The remaining branches of the family are not so well-known.
When I thought of undertaking this work, several difficulties presented themselves. The
estampages of some of the records had not been published. Some have now been lost. Some
others are in the Kannaḍa language, and I am wholly ignorant of that language. But my
friend Dr. G. S. Gai, Chief Epigraphist for India, rendered me valuable help in overcoming all
these difficulties. He got several records copied by an Officer of his Department, supplied
transcripts and translations of about half a dozen Kannaḍa inscriptions, and rendered me
valuable help in various other ways. I have also received much help from some other friends
like Mr. N. Lakshminarayan Rao, Dr. A. N. Upadhye and Mr. V.S. Balkundi. Unfortunately,
the latter two are not now with us. I am deeply indebted to all these friends. But for their
ungrudging help, this Volume could not have been prepared.
..The first attempt to write the political history of the Śilāhāras of North Koṅkaṇ was
made by Rev. Alexander Kyd Nairne in the Bombay Gazetteer, Vol. I, part ii (1896). In the
same Volume of the Gazetteer Dr. R.G. Bhandarkar gave the history of the Kolhāpur Śilāhāras,
and Dr. Fleet that of all the three branches mentioned above. Next Dr. A. S. Altekar also
dealt with the history of all the three branches in the Indian Culture, Vol. II. But all these
scholars have given only the political history of these branches. The other aspects of their
history have not been touched. Dr. M. G. Dikshit intended to write a comprehensive history
of the Śilāhāras, and had gathered much material for it. It is a matter for regret that he did not
live to complete his work.
..After I submitted my work to the Director General of Archaeology, I thought of publishing a short Marathi version of it as I had done before in the case of my two previous
Volumes in the C.I.I.; for I was not sure of living to see the English Volume published. I was
then in my eightieth year, and had not been keeping good health for some time. I also knew
from past experience that the printing of the English Volume would take some years for
completion. So I prepared an abridged Marathi version of it and, with the permission of the
Director General of Archaeology, offered it to the Vidarbha Saṁshodhan Maṇḍal, Nagpur,
for publication. The Maṇḍal published it three years ago with a subsidy from the Maharashtra
State Board of Literature and Culture. Since then, some more inscriptions of the Śilāhāras
have come to notice. They have been included in an Appendix.
The present Volume contains sixty-four inscriptions of the Śilāhāras of North and South
Koṅkaṇ and the region round Kolhāpur, and one more of the Yādava king Siṅghaṇa, who
annexed the Kolhāpur kingdom. One of these, viz., the aforementioned Ṭhāṇā plates of
Arikēsarin, is known only from its English translation, and another, viz., the Bhoighar plates of
Chhittarāja, was available in a mutilated form as recited from memory by a Vedic scholar.
The Sanskrit texts of these two records have been restored conjecturally with the help of other
Śilāhāra inscriptions from North Koṅkaṇ. All other records have been edited either from
their originals or from their published facsimiles. Besides, the present Volume gives the political
history of the three branches and describes the administration, religious, social and economic
condition, literature, architecture and sculpture of the age. For the account of the Kannaḍa
work, the Nēmināthapurāṇa, given here, I am indebted to my late friend Dr. A. N. Upadhye of
Kolhāpur. For the illustrations of some Śilāhāra sculptures which were first published in the
Bulletin of the Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay, I am thankful to the Director of the Museum,
who kindly supplied their photographs. Prof. V. N. Rajagura of the Polytechnic Institution,
Kolhāpur, has greatly obliged me by supplying the ground-plans of the Śilāhāra temples in
Kolhāpur and Khidrapur.