ancient indian history

Gangdhar stone Inscription

Inscription number 30.
Gangdhar stone Inscription of Visvavarman.—Malava ( Vikrama) year 480 (= 423 A.D.).
This Inscription is an epigraphic record documenting the construction of a temple and an accompanying shrine for the mother goddesses or Matrkas  by a king’s minister named Mayuraksaka.
Provenance: Gangdhar, Jhalawar District, Rajasthan. The town occupies an old fortified and moated site on the banks of the Kali Sindh river.
This Inscription also points out about the existence of feudal system during this period.
Script: Brahmi of the Southern Class.
Language: Sanskrit.
Metres: vv. 1-18,21 वसन्त तिलका 19-20, 22-24: शार्दूलविक्रीडित vv. 23,25. मन्दाक्रांन्ता
References: Fleet, C.I.I, III No.17, pp.72 ff, Bhandarkar’s List No.4, D.C. Sircar, Sel.Inss, I, pp.399- 405.
He was the son of Naravarman of
Mandasor and Bihar-kotra stone Inscriptions of Malava years, 461, and 474 respectively and the father of
Banduvarman (of Mandasor stone Inscription of Kumaragupta 1 and Bandhvarman (Supra Il, 23,pp 14-15)
1. From the facsimile in C.I.I. III, Pl.X,.opp. p:76
2. Fleet and sircar , Meghaduta I, 14:
दिडजागानां पथि परिहरन् स्थूल हस्तावलेपान
3. i.e. famous.
4. Only one danda is required.
1. is also possible.
2. Fleet and Sircar:
3. The end of each verse is indicated by the punctuation mark:
4. व्यर्भ = वि + अभ्र. व्यर्भोदय = rise unshadowed by cloud. Only one danda is required.
1. Only one danda is required.
2. Vowel in has been shortened to suit the metre. cf. the saying
माषमपि मषं कुर्याच्छन्दोभडन्गं विर्व जयेत्
3. = Pillar or wooden post for tying an animal. Fleet translates into the ‘lances’
4. मृग – द्विज = Beast and birds.
Footnote- 5.
1. Made very uneven. Fleet reads: यस्योन्नत
2. Reflected. Thrown forth or cast.
3. Only one danda is required.
1. Only one danda is required.
2. Bandhuka is a shrub bearing red flowers, Bot. names Pentapetes phoenicea or Terminalia tomentosa. Bana is ‘the blue flowering Barleria’.
अरूण – रेणु = brown pollen from the stamens
of blue-petalled lotuses.
2. i.e. in the autumn season (शरत्काल),
which covers the months of Asvina and Karttika (middle of Sept. to the middle of November).
Vishnu wakes up in this season from his four month long sleep during
the rainy season, from Ashadha Sukla to Karttika sukla 11.

1. .उदपान well or cistern सुर सदम = A temple सभा = hall or a shelter, सडन्क्रम = bridge
2. Fleet सेष्टा –
3. Gargara is believed to be an ancient name of the Kali sindh a tributary of the chambal. गग्र्गरा – तट – पुर
(mod. Gangdhar) may have been a provincial head quarter,
Visvavarman’s capital was Dasapura Mandasor)
4. The visarga is dropped under the Varttika, खर्परे शरि वा विसर्ग – लोपो वकतव्य:
on Panini. 8-3.36 वा शरि
5. व्यवहार – हीने = discarding the common behaviour. हीने from हा त्यागे to abandon, discard, renounce.
Fleet takes व्यवहार here in the sense of litigation or dispute.
6. Only one danda is required.

1. No punctuation mark is required.
2. Fleet: ग्या = श्या But ध्याम = dark black) is clear. ध्याम in the sense of dark is also used in 1.9 of the Mandasor Inscription of Yasodharman/
Vishnuvardhana of the year 589 see below III, 32.
3. No punctuation mark ie required.
4. only one danda is required.
1. Since Mayurakshaka is credited with only two sons in the preceding line, plural is used only to meet the
requirements of the meter.
2. For the visarga-lopa, under the varthika.
3. यां = आकृति
4. Possibly पृष्ठां is is meant.
5. Fleet suggests amendation संकुच्या, which is unnecessary.
1. No punctuation mark is required.
2. तन्त्र = spell
3. Only one vertical stroke is required.
4. Erection of a temple of the Divine Mothers shows an early influence of the Tantra cult. See also Deogarh
inscription (Ep.Ind., XVIII, pp.126 f.), and chhoti sadri inscription (Ep.Ind., XXX, pp.120 ff,also Supra, II, 79).
5. Better read कस्य !! इति !!
English Translation of the inscription.

—–having proud resemblance to the trunk of the elephant of (Indra) the lord of gods, the arm of Vishnu of Vast strides ——
L.2-5 Born in the lineage of overlords of the rulers of the earth, whose prowers and renown were widespread,
whose fame was heard far and wide in the world- there was the beautiful
and illustrious king Naraavarman the famous one –who pleased the gods with sacrifices, the saints
with lofty (for noble) penance —–
(his) servants with honour that was matchless in the world, and the entire world with good deeds —-
who—- the appliances of elephants and
horses —– on battle fronts resplandant with the rays of (his) swords paralyzed with fear on seeing his face,
his enemies meet destruction.
(An allusion to Vishnu’s three vast steps, whereby
he covered, as Vamana incarnation, the entire universe, including the body of king Bali, to cash in the boon, the latter had offered.

L.5-19: Possessing qualities of sharp valour, his son, the great soul, equal to Brihaspati in intellect, possessed
of a countenance like the full moon, comparable, as it were, to Rama and Bhagiratha — on the earth (was) Vishvavarman – who surpassed (the
mountain) Meru in firmness, Vainya in nobility. the moon by rising effulgence, Vishnu in strength, and the most unendurable fire of dissolution of the universe in brilliance, and (Indra), the lord of the gods, in prowess who, when he grasps (his) weapons, cannot
be gazed upon even for a moment by (his) enemies, whose eyes are blinded by fear, just like the sun, which,
diverted from its course, has an unendurable form and a
a brilliant and terrible lustre that is heightened by rising in a cloudless sky — to whom obeisance is
performed by the lotuses, which are the faces of the lovely women of (his) enemies, alarmed before hand by the
heat of (his) power, (and no) destitute of ornaments, with cheeks moist with clinging tears, (and) having strikingly lost their lustre as a result of discarding
ornaments— whose forces are saluted even by the oceans the palmyra-trees on whose shores are variously coloured
(by the lustre of swept-up jewels )
/with all (their) hands in the form of waves, raised by strong winds with lines of foam over them,
broken by terrified sharks and marine monsters- at the time of the advance of his armies, with thickets emptied of the beasts and birds which are frightened
away as a consequence of uprooted trees and shaking pillar-like mountains, and) with highways made very
uneven and depressed, the earth sinks down as it were (under the tread of his troops) whose fame is saluted to with reverence in the sky by the Vidyadharas, bound in the fatters of the arms of (their) beloved ladies, (and) blinded by the radiance cast by the rays
of the jewels in (his) diadem and by the nails (of his feet) (and) with fore-cheeks variegated because of (the
shadow cast by) their upraised joined hands— and who, even when he was still in early youth, nourished
(his) pure intellect by following the sacred writings, and now effects the protection of the world, like Bharata,
pointing out, as it were, the path of the true religion to other kings. while he, the bravest among kings, is governing the earth, just as (Indra) the lord of the
gods. of unmeasured majesty (governs) the heavens,
there is never anyone (among mankind) who delights in wickedness, or is beset with misfortune, or is destitute of happiness.

1.19: And when four hundred fully-complete auspicious years,
together with eightieth (year) in Krita era had here gone by, on the bright thirteenth day of the month Karttika,
which brings happiness to the hearts of all mankind–the season which abounds th waters that are of reddish-brown colour with the pollen that is discharged from the brownish stamens of blue lotuses, when the outskirts of
the forests, are radiant with the flowers of bandhuka and bana trees when it is time for awakening from
sleep of (the god) Vishnus (and) when the stars are clear and the beds of water- lilies in full bloom.
1.22-28: He who has adorned (this) city on the banks of the Gargara with step-wells, tanks, temples, halls,
cisterns of drinking-water for public use, and pleasure gardens of various kinds, bridges and oblong pools,
Just as if (he were adorning his own) cultured wife with various kinds of ornaments; he who is, as it

were the third eye of the king who is of generous disposition, who is devoted to gods, Brahmanas, preceptors, relatives and holy men and who, not free
from partiality (.e. being partial to this particular virtue, always placed his thoughts to courteous behaviour, commended in the sacred books, discarding the common practice (of overbearing conduct towards
subordinate persons, – he who, having reflected that the life of all is transient and devoid of substance and that prosperity is as unstable as a swing is
displaying by means of (his) lawfally acquired riches, the most extreme devotion towards (the god vishnu) who
bears discus and a clubs– he who has (two) handsome arms that are muscular, long, round and pendulous who is marked with the wounds of swords, whose eyes stretch to the tips of (his) ears; who has a clear darkish complexion who destroys enemies when they display their strength out of arrogance, the strong man who is the tamer of rogue horses and who
because of devotion behaves like a relation (even) towards unfriendly persons who is high in pursuit of
religious duty, wealth and pleasure.
1.28-31 He, the illustrious Mayurakshaka, -who is sprung
from a family, possessed of wisdom and prowess, whose heroism is renowned in every region who holds himself

under control (and) who has accomplished, in his son Vishnubhata, and also Haribhata, the duty of
(continuing his) lineage, caused to be built by his sons, the favourites of great good fortune, this shrine of divine Vishnu.
L1.31-33: Seeing the aspect of which, resembling the lofty peak of Mount Kailasa, the Vidyadharas, accompanied
by their sweethearts, passed along gazing into it with happy lotus- like faces, as if it were the very
lustrous surface of a mirror.
L1,33-35: Seeing which (aspect of the temple), whose surface is polished smooth like the palms of the hands of the devine beauties, the sun being praised in chorus by the saints possessed of wisdom and power resulting from religious merit reigns in for a moment his horses with tossing manes, which are alarmed (from their
reflection) that they are returning (towards themselves);
bows his head in awe with palms joined together into a bud and proceeds (in his course) in the sky.
L1.3537: Also for the sake of religious merit, the counsellor of the king caused to be built this very lofty abode,
with female ghouls
dispersed around, of divine Mothers, who roar very loudly out of joy (and who stir up the (very) oceans
with the mighty wind rising from their magic rites.
L.37-39 And the illustrious Mayurakshaka, the treasure-
house of good qualities, caused to be made this deep well rivalling the milky ocean, adorned with a light of steps, full of cool, sweet, clear and plentyful water, (and) protected by —- enjoying themselves in lower regions, (and)
resembling serpents.
L.39: As long as the oceans are
of Jewels, as long as the earth, with it’s mountains, abounds with many thickets and trees and woods and
as long as the moon lights up the sky that is inlaid with the host of planets, so long let the fame of the illustrious Mayurakshaka remain abundant !
Let there be success.
Sircar takes the word आगर
in the sense of अमावस्या
In fact, the word is obscure.
Monier Williams, Bohtlingk
and Roth in their respective dictionaries refer to this word as occurring in the Atharva Veda, IV.36.3 with अमावास्ये,
and accept it in the sense of आगार
or home.
The ful mantra is य आग रे मृगयंन्ते प्रतिर्कोशे मावास्ये !
र्कव्यादो अन्यान्दिप्सत: सर्वास्तान्त सहामहे !!
Sayana in hs commentary translates it as युधरंग

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