ancient indian history


Around sixth and seventh centuries AD, there were three powerful rulers of Bengal.
1. Gopachandra,
2. Dharmaditya
3. Samachardev.
Each of these rulers assumed the title Maharajadhiraja.
Bengal witnessed monarchical administrative setup during Gupta era. They were the earliest to issue a regular series of court documents related to land transactions in North Bengal between 432 and 543 C.E.
During the period immediately following the Gupta rule in Bengal saw re-establishment of monarchical structure. The three Rulers, namely Dharmaditya, Gopacanda and Samacaradeva, are known to have issued a few land grants in Faridpur.
There are three inscriptions discovered around Kotalipara in the district of Faridpur in Bangladesh and one in Burdwan district of West Bengal, which refer to various grants issued by these three kings.
Inscription number 70.
Faridpur Copper-plate Inscription of the time of Dharmaditya.
Provenance: Faridpur District, Bangla Desh.
Script: Late Brahmi of the Northern class of the middle of the 6th century A.D.
Language: Sanskrit.
Metre Vv.1-2 श्लोक (अनुष्टुभ)
References: F. E. Pargiter, Ind.Ant, XXXIX, pp.200 f.
Bhandarkar’s List, No. 1723 (for other
references;) D.C. Sircar, sel.Inss, I,
pp. 367-69.
Footnote 1.
1. From the facsimile in Ind.Ant, XXXIX, Plates.I and IV, The text is full of mistakes, mainly caused by the
ignorance as well as Incompetence of the engraver.
The second (i.e, back) side is so poorly engraved that much of deciphering both by Pargita and Sircar
is conjectural, matras in particular have to be supplied to suit the context.
2. Read: ल्लब्धास्पदस्य
3. नव्यावकाशिका literally means a city with a new canal or channel.
अवकाश = Opening so. अवकाशिका could be a canal. Bhattasali (Ep.Ind. XVIII pp.85)
identifies it with sabhar in Dacca district, where the ruins of the old town are surrounded by an artificial
water course, But Sircar is inclined to connect it with Kasiani in the Gopal ganj sub division of the Faridpur
4. व्यापार – कारण्डय = one who regulates trade (Pargiter).
But sircar amends the reading to कारण्डीय and takes it in the sense of incharge of the boxes of documents relating to administation
कारण्ड = box.
Footnote 2.
1. Same as प्रथम – कायस्थ
2. Read. भवतां प्रसादेन
3. Read भवदभ्य एव क्षेत्र – खण्डल क्रीत्वा
4. Kanva = Belonging to Kanva sakha, Vajasaneyi charana and Lauhitya gotra.
One group of Visvamitra’s descendants was named Lohitas or Lauhitas (see, Harivamsa, XXVII,1465,
xxii, 1771, Brahma Purana, x, 62).
5. Pargiters तदर्हत्यस्सद्विज्ञाप वसान्यान्मांसम्वितकुम्वि
and suggests the amendation वशा न्यानमांसं विभक्तुमिति
Sircar further amends it to अस्मद्विज्ञाप्यवशाधथान्यायेन प्रसादं कर्त्तुमिति
Footnote 3.
1. Pargiter has left the phrase undeciphered. Sircar reads सत्त्वात्प्राप्यर्थ
2. The dimensions of a Pravartavapa are not known. Here it appears to be a fraction of a kulyavapa and hence
much smaller than pravarti (= 5kharis or 10 kulyas) or the uriya pauti
( = 10 maunds).
3. Sircar suggests the intended expression to be: षडगण्डकाधिक त्रिरुपकान्यपि गृहीतानि
4. Pargiter and Sircar खण्डलकातसनी
Sircar proposes the restoration खण्डलकान्दीयतामिति
or alternatively खण्डलकान्तार्मशासनीकृत्य
5. Pargiter पूत्र्तेद्दुनिवद – पुतत ( = प्रतीत )
Sircar restores पट्टेषु निबद्धम or ताम्रपटट धर्मेण
6. Pargiter and also Sircar: स्थप (ट्टू ) कि स्थपुटित = bent or hunchback. पर्कटी is common shady evergreen tree
with roundish leaves and no fruit. It is called पाकड़ी or पाकड़ in Hindi.
English Translation of the inscription.

Seal: The seal of the administrative board of the district of Varakamandala.
L1.1-5 (May there be) well-being of the people. In the kingdom of the supreme King of Great Kings, Dharmaditya, the emperor, who is a matchless warrior on the earth (and) who is equal to Nriga,
Nahusha, Yayati and Ambarisha in steadfastness, and during the rule in Navyavakasika of the uparika
Nagadeva, the Chief warden of the gate, who gained his dignity through his (Dharmaditya’s) favour Gopalasvamin
is the executive Procedure officer appointed by the same (Nagadeva) in the province of Varaka-mandala.
L1.6-8. Whereas, while he (Gopalasvami)is administering affairs,
vasudevasvamin respectfully approached and petitioned
both the Board of Administration, headed by the senior most Kayastha, Nayasena, and the mahattaras of the
districts, foremost of whom is the mahattara somaghosha.
L1.9-12. I wish through your honour’s favour to buy at the proper price, a piece of farmland from your very self,
and to bestow it on the virtuous bramana somasvamin
belonging to Kanva sakha and vajasaneya charana (and) of the lineage (gotra) of Lohita, for the increase of religious merit of my parents and myself. Therefore,
do ye deign to honour or accept my petition and confirm it.

L1,12-23: Because, with reference to this very petition (It has
been found) that there is an established rule observed
in earlier sales that farms are beng sold at the rate of four dinaras per kulyavapa therefore, for
the acquisition of the fallow farmland after collecting two dinaras and as per evaluation, further three rupakas increased by six gandakas for half a kulyavapa added by a pravartavapa, (of land at a site) away from
the piece of farmland belonging to the respected Mahattara,
Thoda (and) after check up and determination by the
record-keeper Janmabhuti, it has been registered today in the charter. After demarcating (the land) with ashtaka
and navaka, measuring rods through the agency of virtuous Sivachandra, it has been sold to the brahmana
Vasudeva and he, too has purchased it. And the boundary marks in this respect are: On the east is the boundary
of Sogas – copper-plate (land.) On the south) the old bent parkati tree forms the boundary. On the west
the boundary is marked by the bullock-cart track and
transverse boat channel in or across the channel extending from the pond of sakritprabha. On the north the boundary of Gargasvamin’s copper-plate (land).
L1.24-27: Here apply verses of the Dhama-Shastras
(Here two customary verses are quoted)
1. (since नौदण्ड = नौ -पथ or boat-channel,,तटाक – दण्ड in this context must be a channel extending from the tank.)
2. Sircar suggests restoration:-
पश्चिमायां गोरथ्य सकृत्यप्रभ तटाकस्थ दण्डो स्मिन्दण्डे
तिर्यग्नौदण्डक – सीमा , नौ-दण्ड = नौपथ
(See I.H.Q, XXIII, pp-237-37)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top