South Indian Inscriptions
INSCRIPTIONS OF THE MAIN BRANCH
as it does not interfere with or injure it’ 1. On the other hand, the later inscription seems to have been incised after the earlier one was chiselled off to make room for it.
...The object of the earlier inscription was to record the command of some lord (Sāmi) (who is called ‘king’ in line 4), prohibiting the capture and slaughter (evidently of some animals in certain seasons as in Aśōka’s fifth pillar edict, or, maybe, throughout the year) and declaring some punishment for such as dared to disobey it. The third line mentions executive officers (āmachā=amātyāḥ) whose duty may have been to enforce these orders. The last line contains the date 14, denoting probably the regnal year in which the record was incised.
... This edict seems to have been issued by a Dharmamahāmātra in the fourteenth year after the coronation of Aśōka. From the fifth rock edict of the great Buddhist Emperor we learn that these Mahāmātras were first appointed by Aśōka in the thirteenth year after his coronation, i.e., a year prior to the date of this record. One of the duties assigned to them was to prevent the capture and slaughter of animals. It is not unlikely that the Dharmamahā- mātra who was in charge of ancient Vidarbha caused the present record to be incised at Chikamburi mentioned in line 1, which seems to have been then a place of great importance, to proclaim the command of the great Emperor to his subjects living in the neighbourhood.2
... The second inscription which concerns us here is in five lines3, which are inscribed breadthwise, commencing from the narrow end of the slab. Like the earlier inscription, it also has suffered considerable damage. Some letters in the first four lines have either altogether disappeared or become illegible, owing to the wearing away and peeling off of the surface of the slab. Besides, a channel 4” in breadth has been cut right through the middle of the inscription, which has evidently resulted in the further loss of some more letters4.
... Like the Ēraṇ inscription of Samudragupta, the present record is inscribed in the box-headed variety of the southern alphabet of about the fourth century A.C. As regards individual letters, we may note the triangular v in -vaṁśa line 4, the tripartite y in line 3 and the unlooped n in line 5. The size of the letters varies from 1¾” to 7½”. The language is Sanskrit and the whole inscription is in prose.
The object of this inscription is to record the construction of a temple or place of
religious worship (dharma-sthāna)5 by king Rudrasēna at Chikkamburi. It may be noted
in this connection that there is at present a small plain structure of laterite in a dilapidated
condition just where the inscribed slab was noticed. ‘The temple is small, consisting
simply of a cell and its entrance; it may have had a small portico or a maṇḍapa attached,
as the ground in front is covered with cut blocks; but it could not have been large and
indeed the temple is of the kind usually built without a maṇḍapa.6 The existing structure
1 C.A.S.R., Vol. VII, p. 124.