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[Vikrama] Year 1252

THIS inscription was transcribed for the first time by Dr. Hultzsch in Zeitschrift D. Morg. Ges., Vol. XL. (1886), pp. 51-54, and subsequently it was edited by F. Kielhorn in the Epigraphia Indica, Vol. I (1888), pp. 207 ff. But neither of these articles is accompanied by a facsimile, and I have not seen the record illustrated anywhere else. It is edited here from an inked impression supplied to me, at my request, by the Director of the Provincial Museum at Lucknow, where the inscribed slab is at present deposited. It is said to have been found in an ancient mound at Baṭēśvara1 a town in the Agra District of Uttar Pradesh, on the right bank of the Yamunā, about 56 kms. south-east of Agra.

The inscription, which is in a sunken panel of a black stone, contains 24 lines of writing and measuring about 62 cms. broad by 48 to 50 cms. high. It is in a very bad state of preservation. A large crack has cut the stone vertically on the proper left side, destroying one or two aksharas in each of the lines and three in l. 12 where the break is wider. These aksharas, however, are of minor importance and can be made out from the context, except one in l. 16 and two in l. 23 which involve a part of a name. This apart, a portion of the proper left corner, about 12 cms. long, has been broken away and lost, resulting in the loss of 23 aksharas at the end of the first line and 8 at the end of the second. Furthermore, the surface of the stone which was made none too smooth before the letters were engraved on it, as it appears from the impression before me, has also suffered considerably owing to the effect of weather, and several letters which were probably in a somewhat better state of preservation in Kielhorn’s time, have now become worn or indistinct as the engraving is shallow ;2 and consequently I had occasionally to resort to Kielhorn’s readings as I have noted in the subjoined transcript.


The characters are Nāgarī, closely resembling those of the Mahōbā stone inscription of V. S. 1240.3 The size of the letters ranges between 1.2 and 1.5 cms. To note the peculiarities of the individual letters, the loops of the initial i, which are rectangular and placed horizontally, are superscribed by a horizontal stroke, as in iti, l. 2 ; k in a few instances, e.g., in kavalita, l. 9, as in ligature kh, begins with a curve as that in the palatal ś, cf. lilēkha, l. 23 ; ṅ, which is generally without the dot, does not show the upward curve of its lowest extremity, as in rathāṅga-, l. 2 ; ch and v are often alike, e.g., in sachiva-, l. 21 ; and in a few instances the first of these letters is cut as the left limb of g ; cf. –vargga, l. 1. N in rare instances resumes its older form, as in nitya-, l. 19 ; the slightly different forms of bh can be seen in –aśōbhi and śubhra¬-, both in l. 3 ; and finally, r, which has assumed its modern Nāgarī form, is in several cases devoid of its tail and occasionally it resembles v, or has a wedge. The form of this letter as a vertical with a horizontal stroke attached to its left in the middle, is seen in niraṅkuśa-, l. 9.

The language is Sanskrit ; and except for the introductory Siddham ōṁ namō bhagavatē Vāsudēvāya and the concluding Śrīr = astu, the whole record is metrically composed. In all there are 34 verses ; they are not numbered. They are composed in an artistic kāvya style, containing figures of speech like anuprāsa, upamā, rūpaka, utprēkshā and ślēsha, and the style, and the way of description is much similar to those of the Mahōbā stone inscription, from which the author of the present inscription has derived not only ideas but also expressions. As regards orthography,
1 Kielhorn is doubtful about this, for, as he observed, the present inscription appears to be the same as mentioned by Cunningham in A.S.I.R., Vol. XXI, p. 82, No. 52, as found on the bank of a lake at “Baghāri”, which appears to be consistent from the number of lines mentioned in it. The antiquities found at Baṭēśvara are described in Cunningham’s A.S.I.R., Vol. VII (1873-74), pp. 5 ff.
2 For example, in l. 5 both the strokes of the mātrā on –jalaugha have disappeared, and so the sign of anusvāra on chēshṭitaṁ and dvishāṁ in the same line. In both the latter examples the consonant sh is devoid of its slanting stroke distinguishing it from p. It may also be partly due to the shallow engraving that the two impressions taken at the same time show some minor differences, e.g., whereas the word bhagavatē in l. 1 has correctly come out in one of them, the other shows the third letter as ta. This statement was verified also by my examination of the original stone.
3 No. 136, above.

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