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Annual Reports 1935-1944

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Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Volume 2, Part 2

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Archaeological-Survey of India



Rama[1] No. 118 ; PLATE CIX
[ Vikrama ] Year 1190

THE copper-plate which bears this inscription was found in the Augāsī[1] parganā of the Bāndā District in Uttar Pradesh and was presented to the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta, by A. Cadell, then Assistant Magistrate at Bāndā, some time in the eighth decade of the last century. No information is available regarding its original find-spot and of the circumstances in which it was obtained. The inscription engraved on it was brought to notice, in 1878, by the late Babu Rajendralal Mitra, by published transcript of it in Nāgarī characters, followed by a translation by Durga Prasad Basu, in the Journal of the same Society, Vol. LXVII, Pt. I, pp. 73 ff., and a facsimile facing p. 78 (Pl. VI). In 1887 it was critically edited in the Indian Antiquary, Vol. XVI, pp. 202 ff., by F. Kielhorn, who gave his own reading of the text from an inked impression supplied to him by J. Fleet, and who also stated that his own reading of the record ‘will be found to differ considerably.’ His article is accompanied by a fresh translation and also by an illustration. Some time subsequently, the plate was transferred to the Indian Museum, but as I am informed, it is not traceable there ; and also failing to obtain its impression, I edit the record here from the facsimile accompanying Kielhorn’s article in the Ind. Ant.

It is a single copper-plate, inscribed on one side only, and measuring about 41∙3 cms. broad by 26∙8 cms. high. It is smooth, and all round it there is a flat rim about 1∙27 cms. broad and -64 cms. thick, fastened on very tightly by twenty-one rivets. The plate is not very thick but the letters, being shallow, do not show through on the other side of it.[2] There are nineteen lines of writing, covering a space 37∙5 cms. by 23∙3 cms. In the middle of the last line is a round hole, 1∙2 cms. in diametre, apparently intended for a ring, which, with a seal, if attached to it at all, was never found. In the first four lines the continuity of the writing is disturbed by a rude representation of the four-armed goddess Lakshmī with an elephant on either side, pouring water over her head, with raised truck. The whole device is enclosed in a rectangular border 5∙5 cms. broad and 5 cms. high.


The writing is well preserved. The mechanical execution, however, is crude as the letters are not well formed and some of them are out of recognition, rendering it somewhat difficult to be certain about the personal and geographical names occurring therein. The lines too do not run straight, for, after about one-third portion from the beginning, they tend to creep upwards and again come down towards the end, showing a sort of hump in the middle. In the first seven lines the letters are rather slightly bigger and sparsely written.

The characters are Nāgarī of the twelfth century A.C. As regards the formation of individual letters, the initial i appears with two small circles placed side by side with curved or hooked ends turned in opposite directions ; see ivō-, l. 1 ; the initial ē e.g., in ēsha-, l. 5, completely resembles p ; and the conjunct consonant gg in –vinirggata- l. 12, looks, like gn, and ṇṇ as ll ; cf. -pūrṇṇimā-, l. 11. The letters ch, dh and v are often almost alike in form and can be distinguished only by the sense required ; cf., e.g., ch in chatur-, l. 9, and v in virōdhi-, l. 2 where dh shows no horn on its left limb but is endowed with a top-stroke. The same letter appears also with a horn on its left limb, as in vidhivat, l. 11, and in rare instances as in dhṛita-, l. 1, it resembles a taurine. Sometimes no distinction is observed between t and n, both of which are in their antique and advanced forms ─ the former with a straight vertical above and a curve below, and the latter as a vertical suddenly ending in a loop with a tail ; cf. respectively –nirmmalī-, l. 6 and likhita- in l. 19. The subscript th, as in sthāvara, l. 9, is laid flat and the letter ḍ is generally engraved as ḍ, as in yadā and tadā, both in l. 19, though it appears in its graceful tail as in -dēva, l. 4. T as a superscript is engraved only as a horizontal stroke, as in hutvā and snātvā, both in l. 12. Y is occasionally engraved as p as in punyāya, l. 12, but often like s, as in

[1] The Augasi of the maps, Lat. 25.24 N.; Long. 80.23 E. The name is also written as Augāsī. It lies on the southern bank of the Jumnā at its confluence with the stream Garara.
[2] These remarks are based on Kielhorn’s writing as the original could not be had for study.

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