ANNUAL REPORT ON INDIAN EPIGRAPHY
FOR THE YEAR 1950-51
During the year 1950-51, 27 copper-plates were examined and estampages
of 412 stone inscriptions secured from various States.
The earliest is No. 11 which was issued by the Eastern-Gaṅga king Indravarman. The record is, however, fragmentary as half of its first plate and the
third which concludes the document are missing. It registers the gift of the
village Vahēṭaka in Dāhapañchālī as an agrahāra. The date of the record is
lost. The script and the phraseology of the present charter bear a close similarity to those of the Achyutapuram Plates of Indravarman (Ep. Ind., Vol. III,
pp. 127 ff.) and it is possible that this grant also is of the same king.
Nos. 14 and 15 were secured from the Mahant of the Maṭh at Kanās, Puri
District, Orissa. The first belongs to king Lōkavigraha who was apparently a
later member of the ruling family to which king Pṛithivīvigraha of the Sumandala
Plates of G. E. 250 (Ep. Ind., Vol. XXVIII, pp. 79 ff.) belonged. While the
latter king was a feudatory of the Imperial Guptas, Lōkavigraha described
in the present charter of the Gupta year 280 as ruling over Tōsalī and granting
a village in South Tōsalī seems to have been an independent monarch. It looks
as though all vestiges of Gupta suzerainty over Orissa disappeared by year
280 of the Gupta era. The description of Tōsalī in this record as consisting of 18
forest states (Tōsalyāṁ s-āshṭādaś-ā ṭavī-rājyāyām) is interesting inasmuch as
this is the earliest reference to the ‘ eighteen states’ of Orissa. The record
has been published in Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XXVIII, pp. 329 ff.
The other charter (No. 15) belongs to a subordinate ruler named Bhānudatta
who flourished between 619 and 643 A.D. This is the third copper-plate grant
of this ruler so far known, his other two grants being the Soro (Ep. Ind., Vol.
XXIII, p. 203) and Balasore (ibid., Vol. XXVI, pp. 239-40) plates. The chief,
who was a member of the Datta family, held sway over Uttara-Tōsalī and
acknowledged the suzerainty of the kings of Gauḍa. His predecessor Sōmadatta was a feudatory of the Gauḍa king Śaśāṅka (c.600-20 A.D.). The record
has been published in Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XXVIII, pp. 332 ff.
No. 19 received from the Vice-Chancellor of the Utkal University belongs
to king Śubhākara of the Bhauma-Kara dynasty of Orissa and is dated in the
year 100 of an era that seems to have commenced about the year 831 A.D. The
king is described as the son of Śivakara II by Queen Mōhinīdēvī of the
Bhavānavaṁśa. The Hindol ( J. B. O. R. S., Vol. XVI, pp. 69 ff.) and Dharakota (J. A. H. R. S., Vol. IV, pp. 189 ff.) plates, both dated in the year 103, describe
a ruler of the same name as the son of Śāntikara I, younger brother of Śivakara II,
and as born of Queen Tribhuvanamahādēvī of the Nāgōdbhava-kula. This
Śubhākara was hitherto considered to be the second king of the family to have
that name. The present charter shows, however, that Śubhākara of the Hindol
and Dharakota plates was in reality the third king bearing that name. King
Śubhākara II of the present record seems to have succeeded his father’s younger
brother, Śāntikara I who is known to have ruled in the year 93 ( Ep. Ind., Vol.
XIX, p. 263) and was himself succeeded by Śubhākara III, son of Śantikara I.
The record (edited in Ep. Ind., Vol. XXVIII. pp. 211 ff.) throws considerable
new light on the history of the Bhauma-Kara dynasty.
Two more records (Nos. 20 and 21) of the same family belong to Queen
Tribhuvanamahādēvī alias Pṛithvīmahādēvī wife of Kusumahāra. They are
both dated in the year 158 of the Bhauma-Kara era. The existence of the ruling
queen who issued these charters was unknown to scholars hitherto. That Daṇḍabhuktimaṇḍala in the present Midnapore-Balasore region was included in the
territories of the Bhauma-Karas and that this family had matrimonial connections with the Sōmavaṁśīs of Kōsala are new facts gathered from these inscriptions. Both the records have been published in Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XXIX,
pp. 210 ff.