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No. 111 ; PLATE CIII


[Vikrama] Year 1154

THIS inscription was found by Sir A. Cunningham who published a rough transcript of it, accompanied by a photozincograph, in his Archaeological Survey of India Reports, Vol. X (for 1874-75 & 1876-77), pp. 103 ff. and Plate xxxiii-3. Cunningham’s transcript was corrected by Hultzsch, who also translated the text into English in the Indian Antiquary, Vol. XI, pp. 311. ff. Subsequently, the record was edited by Kielhorn, showing some differences between his own and Hultzsch’s readings and also attempting a fresh translation, in the same Journal, Vol. XVIII, pp. 237 ff. but without a facsimile. The inscription is edited here from an excellent impression which I owe to the Chief Epigraphist of the Archeological Survey of India.

The inscription is incised on a rock near the river gate of the fort of the town of Dēogaḍh,1 situated at the western end of the Lalitpur range of hills immediately overhanging the river Bētwā in the Lalitpur division of the Jhānsī District of Uttar Pradesh. The record contains eight lines of writing which cover a space about 66∙04 cms. broad by 35 cms. high; and the letters are beautifully formed, showing angles at their bends and joints. The size of the individual letters is between 3 and 3∙5 cms.; but in the first three lines they are slightly longer in size and are sparsely written. The characters belong to the Nāgarī alphabet of the eleventh century A.C. and they are peculiar in showing a crescent incised under the straight line forming the topstroke.2 The inscription is in a good state of preservation.


As regards individual letters, attention may be drawn to the form of the initial ē with the tail of its left limb joined to the vertical on the right so as to bear resemblance to p, as in ētē, l. 5 (for comparison, see prasanna which follows it immediately). Ṇ as the second member of a conjunct consonant appears as l, e.g., in Vishṇu-, l. 3; the subscript th is laid flat on its side; see -asthairya-,, l. 4; dh is devoid of the top-stroke and thus resembles v; cf. vidyādhar-, l. 2; and the letter b, which appears in three certain instances in all, is put by its own sign, which resembles p only with the difference that it is almost a rectangle with the horizontal stroke slightly less drawn; see babhūva in ll. 1 and 6 and –adbhi-, l. 4. Bh which is generally indicated by a wedge joined to a vertical by means of a horizontal or oblique stroke, as in babhūva, ll. 1 and 6, resembles the modern t in one case, viz., -bhavat, l. 3; and r appears with a wedged loop as in nara-, l. 2, but in one instance viz., ravau, l. 8, we see a sudden bend in its lowest extremity; the subscript r is shown by a serif attached to the lowest extremity of the vertical of the preceding consonant, as in prakara, l. 5; and the slightly varying form of this subscript can clearly be seen in śrī- in ll. 4 and 6; and occasionally as in nṛipēndra, l. 2 and tēn =ātra, l. 8, the serif assumes the form of a curved stroke.

The language of the record is Sanskrit ; and with the exception of the customary obeisance in the beginning and the portion containing the date in the end, it is metrically composed. It contains seven verses composed in the usual kāvya style, the first six of which are numbered. It language is correct. Metrical irregularity occurs in the last quarter of verse 5, which, though anushṭubh, obstructs against the metre ślōkā. As regards orthography, we may note that (1) b is denoted by the sign for v except in the three instances noted above; (2) a class-consonant following r is usually doubled, as in dharmma-, l. 2, of the exception of which we have probably only one instance in ¬-vinirgata-, ll. 5-6; Chaittra is spelt with the double t in l. 8 (3) ś occasionally figures as s; e.g., in –subhra-, l. 3 but not in viśāla in l. 1; (4) the medial ē and ō have both been denoted by the pṛishṭha-mātrā or the mātrā above, cf. for the latter, ētē, l. 5 and rājō-, l. 4 respectively; in one case, in –sthairya-, l. 4, we have both the mātrās above the letter; and finally, the word aṅghri in l. 1 is spelt as aṁhri, probably because of the influence of the local pronunciation of the word.

1 Situated at Long. 78̊º18’ E. and Lat. 24º 32’ N. The antiquities of this place are described by Cunningham in his A. S. I. R., Vol. X, pp. 100 ff.
2 Cunningham, and following him, Kielhorn call the head-strokes ‘saucer-shaped’.

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