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What Is India News Service
Mondya, April 22, 2013


The Indian Analyst


 

North Indian Inscriptions


 

INSCRIPTIONS OF THE YAJVAPALAS OF NARWAR

No. 159 ; PLATE CXXXXVI
BHĪMPUR STONE INSCRIPTION OF THE TIME OF ĀSALLADĒVA
[Vikrama] Year 1319

THE stone which bears this inscription was found in a ruined Jaina temple in the village Bhīmpur which lies about 5 kms. almost due south of Narwar in the Karērā parganā of the Sīprī (Shivpurī) District of Madhya Pradesh. It was discovered in the early years of the present century by M. B. Garde, the Superintendent of Archaeology in the former State of Gwālior, and was noticed by him in the Annual Report of the department for V.S. 1971 (1914 A.C.,),[1] and again referred to in his note on “the Yajvapālas or Jajapēllas of Narwar” in the Indian Antiquary, Vol. XLVII (1918), pp. 241-244, pointing out for the first time that the name of the house was really Jajapēlla, which was Sanskritised as Yajvapāla and was also associated with a mythical progenitor named Jayapāla. The inscription was also included by D. R. Bhandarkar in his List of Inscriptions of Northern India, as No. 562. It is edited here for the first time from my transcript, prepared from the original stone which is now preserved in the Archaeological Museum at Gwalior.

   The inscription is engraved on a rectangular sunken panel surrounded by a plain border of a massive stone, which measures 109∙5 cms. broad and 94 cms. high. It consists of 40 lines, each of which is 87∙5 cms. long, except the last one which is about three-fourth of the others in length. The size of the letters, which varies from 1∙5 to 1∙8 cms. in the first fourteen lines, gradually decreases till it is about 1 cm. in the last 10 or 11 lines. The writing is well preserved, except that a letter here and another there have wholly or partially disappeared due to the effects of weather. The letters are not systematically formed ; and both in writing and engraving, there are mistakes of subsequent corrections, erasing or scratching off their parts, as noted in the transcript that follows. What is particularly to be noted in this respect is that three letters in l. 30 and an equal number of them in l. 34 are left unengraved, keeping a blank space of 3∙5 cms. in the former and 4∙3 cms. in the latter, so as to accommodate them.

   The characters belong to the Nāgarī alphabet. The slightly varying forms of some of them show that they were then in a transitional stage, e.g., the two varying forms of the vowel i, one in iti, ll. 4 and 22, and other in –Ajaïṇi- in l. 19 ; those of the conjunct ṇṇ, the subscript of which is marked by a slanting stroke across the letter, as in –arṇṇava, l. 25, whereas in the same word in l. 4, it appears as l ; those of bh appearing side by side in bhābhāti in l. 8 ; and those of ś, the varying forms of which are to be seen in the word śṛiṅgāra, appearing twice in l. 17. R which is written mostly in its modern Nāgarī form as in pūrusha, l. 12, is wedged in –rujvala- in the same line, and it is occasionally also denoted by a vertical marked by a horizontal stroke on the left of its middle, e.g., in guru, l. 25. The subscript form of this letter is often drawn complete with its superscript marked half, cf. –atra, l. 25. The vowel ē has a form similar to that of pa, a triangle with the base above and a tail below, e.g., in ēsha, l. 9, and p often resembles y ; see parama-, l. 5 ; the conjunct gg figure as gn ; cf, svargga-, l. 7 ; dh, which has developed a horn on its left limb, is devoid of the top-stroke, and the verticals of dhā are joined in the middle by a horizontal bar, e.g., in dhāma, l. 17. And lastly, the superscript forms of t and n are occasionally denoted by a horizontal stroke ; e.g., in kīrtti- in ll. 4 and 5, and in -indu- in l. 26 but not in kīrtti, in l. 26 and in panantu, in l. 4.

   The language is Sanskrit, with a few grammatical errors appearing here and there, which are all pointed out and corrected in the text given below. And except for the word svasti in the beginning, itaś = cha in l. 4, atha cha in l. 10 and the portion giving the date in the end, the
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[1] This report was not printed and my reference to it is from H. N. Dvivedi’s Gwālior Rājya-kē Abhilēkha (Hindi). It is No. 122.

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