What Is India News Service
Saturday, September 29, 2012


North Indian Inscriptions






BY J. F. FLEET, I.C.S., PH.D., C.I.E.

......THE existence of this inscription appears to have been first made known by Dr. Burgess in his reports of the Archæological Survey of Western India, Vol. I. p. 32 (published in 1874). Its contents were first brought to notice in 1881, by myself, in the Indian Antiquary, Vol. X. p. 168 ; the estampages that I had then made, however, did not enable me to read it with any completeness beyond line 11. In March, 1882, I received some ink-impressions from Mr. H. Cousens : but they, again, did not enable me to deal with the record fully. I edit it now from some better ink-impressions and some estampages, which were made under my own direction in March, 1891.

......Paṭṭadakal is a village about eight miles to the east by north of Bâdâmi, the chief town of the Bâdâmi Tâlukâ or subdivision in the Bijâpur District, Bombay Presidency. And the inscription is on a monolith pillar, apparently of red sandstone, which stands in the house of Parappa Pûjârî, on the north of the enclosure of the temple that is now known by the name of Virûpâksha. The pillar is called Lakshmî-kambha, or ‘the pillar of (the goddess) Lakshmî,’— a name which betrays total ignorance of its real character and origin ; and it is worshipped as a god.

......The upper part of the pillar is octagonal ; and this part contains the inscription which I edit, and which is presented in two copies. One copy of it is in twenty-five lines, in the local characters of the period to which the record refers itself, lying on the north-west, west, south-west, and south faces : here, the writing covers a space of about 2’ 8’’ broad by 3’ 10’’ high ; and the size of the letters, which are very well formed and boldly engraved, varies from about ¾’’ to 1⅝’’. The other copy is in twenty-eight lines, in Nâgarî characters, lying on the east, north-east, and north faces :1 here the writing covers a space of about 2’ 0’’ broad by 3’ 10’’ high ; and the size of the letters varies from about ¾’’ to 1⅛’’. These Nâgarî characters are intermediate in type between those the Bôdh-Gayâ inscription of Mahânâman of A.D. 517 or 588 (Gupta Inscriptions, p. 276, Plate xli.), and those of the Sâmângaḍ copper-plate grant of Khaḍgâvalôka-Dantidurga of A.D. 753-54 (Ind. Ant. Vol. XI. p. 110, Plate) ; but they

......1 The south-east face is blank, except where it was utilised, near the bottom, to insert a passage that had been carelessly omitted in the N‚garÓ text (see page 6 below, note 2).


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