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Annual Reports 1935-1944

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Early Gupta Inscriptions

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Archaeological-Survey of India




No. 14 : PLATE XIV

...THESE plates are said to have been found in 1942 when the old house of one Kadu Patil was being demolished at Ṭīgaon, a village six miles North by West from Pāṇḍhurṇā on the Iṭārsi-Nāgpur line of the Central Railway, in the Chhindwārā District of Madhya Pradesh. Later, they reached the hands of Mr. M.G. Karnik, I.A.S., while he was Deputy Commissioner at Chhindwārā. They were brought to my notice in October 1957 by Mr. V. P. Rode, who had seen and deciphered them partially at Mr. Karnik’s residence. At my request Mr. Karnik very kindly allowed Mr. Krishna Dev, Superintendent, Archaeological Department, to take their estampages, from which I first deciphered the record. Later, Dr. B. Ch. Chhabra, Government Epigraphist, kindly supplied me with a set of ink impressions which are reproduced here. I have received some help in the decipherment and interpretation of this grant from Mr. N. L. Rao. I am grateful to all these friends who have helped me in one way or another. I edit the record here from the impressions received from Mr. Krishna Deva and Dr. B. Ch. Chhabra.

...The copper-plates are five in number, each measuring 7.5” by 3.7”. The first and the last plate are inscribed on one side only and the remaining three on both the sides. The plates have a hole, .5” in diameter, for the ring which strung them together, but neither the ring nor the seal which it must have carried has been found. All the plates are in a good state of preservation. Their weight is 195tolas.

...The record consists of 55 lines, which are unevenly distributed on the eight sides of the five plates, some having six and others seven of eight lines inscribed on them. The first two and the last two plates are neatly engraved. The letters on the third plate are, however, carelessly incised. In some places they are imperfectly formed or run into one another. The language of this portion of the record is very faulty and contains some Prakrit words and affixes. This clearly indicates that this plate is spurious. It seems to have been substituted for the original third plate of the grant.

...The characters are of the box-headed variety. The following peculiarities may be noted : The medial ī (long) is shown either by a dot in a curve as in -kālīya, line 42, or by two curves, one inside the other, as in śrī-Pravarasēnasya in line 4; the medial an is dipartite as in dauhitrasya, line 8; t and n are sometimes confused as in āchchhēntā, lines 51-52; the letter l has generally a short vertical on the right, but sometimes it sharply curves to the left; see Lēkhapallikā- in line 26; the sign of jihvāmūliya occurs in line 43 and the numerical symbols for 20, 9, 7 and 5 in lines 27, 28, 30, 31 and 53.

... The language is Sanskrit, and except for two benedictive and imprecatory verses at the end, the whole record is in prose. The portion on the third plate, which, as shown above, is probably spurious, is very carelessly drafted and contains some Prakrit words such as vatthavva or vātthavva ( for vāstavya) in lines 28 and 31, and pāṇuvisā (for pañchaviṁśati) in lines 26 and 29. Some of the expressions used in this portion are, again, very obscure; see, e.g., padannarāti in line 28 and nijuttīnarāti in line 31. In other parts the present record does not present any difficulties of interpretation. As regards orthography, we may note that a nasal is used for anusvāra as in ansa-, line 5 and triṅśe, line 53; li is used for the vowel ḷi in sa-klipt-ōpaklipta in line 41 and the consonant following r is reduplicated as in abhivarddhamāna-, line 13.

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