ancient indian history

Inscriptions of Dhruvasena 1

Inscription number 60.

Kathhiawad Plate of Dhruvasena 1, (Gupta-Valalhi) Year 206 ( 525-26 A.D.)
Provenance: Some unrecorded place in Kathiawad, Gujrat.Kathiawad means the land of the kathis a Kshatriya caste, who migrated to the region in the 8th century and controlled the southwestern peninsula of contemporary Gujarat.
Kathis were spread out in the entire region and dominated central saurashtra for many centuries.
Main area of Kathiawar now covers 10 districts: Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Surendranagar, Porbandar, Amreli, Junagadh, Botad, Morbi, Gir-Somnath.
Script: Brahmi, Western variety of southern class.
Language: Sanskrit.
References: V.S Sukthankar, Ep.Ind, XVII, , pp.109-10.
Footnote 1
1 From the facsimile in Ep.Ind, XVII,, facing pp-109.
2. This is only the second plate, bearing the concluding half portion of the charter containing the first half of the grant was not found along with this plate.
3. Presumably the same as the modern sihor, on Bhavnagar-wadhwar railway, not far from Vala, ancient
Valabhi, and located in the east of the Kathiawar peninsula,
4. The two strokes of the media in मो converge on the top right of म.
English Translation of the inscription (Second Plate)
(First Plate is missing)
1. I have granted as a Brahmadaya to the Brahmana,
Rotghamitra, who is a resident of Simhapura, of Vrajagana gotra (and) a student of the chhandoga sakha,
of the samaveda (the village) to endure
for the same time as the existence of the oceans, the earth, the rivers, and the mountains, to be enjoyed by his sons, grandsons and their descendants for the performance of the bali, charu, Vaisvadeva and other rituals
2. Accordingly, nobody should question him or cause even a small obstruction to him, while enjoying, cultivating.
assigning and getting it tilled, according to the appropriate established law applicable to the Brahmaddeya.
3. By those born in our lineage and by future Kings, observing the sovereignty to be impermanent, human life
unstable and considering the reward for land-gift, as common, should confirm this grant of ours.
4. And he, who cuts off (this grant) or supports the cancellation, shall be guilty of the five great sins,
together with minor sins.

(ie. ‘A gift to brahmanas’. The phrase is used in the sense of agrahara)
5. Further, there are in this context, two verses sung by Vyasa,
(Here follow two of the customary verses.)
6. This is the sign-manual of me, the Maharaja Dhruvasena, The Dutaka is Pratihara Mammaka, written by Kikkaka, The year 206, Asvayaja, bright
fortnight (the luner day)

Lit on hand’. Occasionally an actual
representation of the sign-manual is given e.g at the end of the grant of Siladitya VII, C.I.I. III,
No-39, Pl ,o
XXV and at the end of Baroda grant of Dhruva II of Saka-Samvat 757 (Ind.Ant. XIV,, pp.198 f. and Plate)

Inscription number 61.
Mota Machiala Plates Dhruvasena 1, -(Gupta) Year 206 (525 AD.)
Provenance: Mota Machiala, District Amreli, Gujrat. Motamachiliya is prehistoric site in Halar region of Saurashtra, Gujarat. Some Archaeologists think that the place was connected with a culture belonging to Babylonia.

Two Valabhi grants of Maitraka king were found from Mota Machiala, a village near Amreli district in Gujara
Script: Brahmi Westen variety of the Southern class.
Language: Sanskrit.
References: A. S. Gadre, Ep.Ind. XXXI, pp-299-301.
1. From the facsimile in Ep-Ind XXXI, between pp-300 and 301.
2. Gadre मौल but compared मो in मोदति in 1.23 below
3. From the latest grant of his predecessor, Dronasimha,
and the earliest known grant of his successor, Dharapatta, a reign of 30 years is attributed to Dhruvasena 1. These three brothers ascended
the throne one after the other.
4. H,G. Sastri, Maitraka-kalina Gujrat, Pt- II, Appendix 5, pp 33, has identified sinabarataka with simarana, 11 kilometres, north of Kandala in Saurashtra. Sthali seems to have
been the designation of a small territorial division, like a modern thana.
5. दान – करण =
Legal instrument of the grant i.e the copper plate.

6. Gadre amends the reading to aprakashapaniya, which is
free from interference from our side.
7. Kasahrada is identified with modern Kasandra, 19 kms, North-west of Ahmedabad.
English Translation of the inscription.

Lines L1.1 to 12 and 11.19 to 22 are exact copies of the text of 11,1 to 15 and 11.22 to 26 respectively of the
Palitana Plates, of the year 206 of Dhruvasena 1, translated
above. Palitana is the world’s only mountain that has more than 900 temples. The Palitana temples and whole mountain are considered the most sacred pilgrimage place (tirtha) by the Jain community, and is the world’s largest Temple Complex.
L1.23-25 are customary verses attributed to Vyasa and translated in foregoing pages)
In line L1-12 ,Maharaja Dhruvasena, who is loyal to his Supreme Majesty the emperor, commands his officers listed herein:-
L1-12-18, Be it known to you that, a
piece of cultivated land,. known as Themtakakolika, on the eastern boundary of the village, suvarnakia, included in the Sinabarataka thana, measuring hundred padavarttas
together th uparikara, have been granted by me together with (this) instrument of the given grant,
along with other stated and unstated recoveries (and) free from interference from all of our officials.
a pious gift (i.e as an agarhara) according to maxim of the earth
and the hole (bhumi-chidra nyay) to the brahmanas, Gangasarman, Gangedeva and chundhaka, who are residents
of Kasahrada, (and) are of sandliya gotra (and) are scholars of the Vajasanaya school (of the Tajurveda)
for the performance of bali, charu, vaisvadeva and other rituals, to be enjoyed by the succession of
their sons, grandsons etc. for as long as the moon, the sun, the oceans, the earth, the rivers and the mountains endure for the purpose of increasing the religious merit of my mother and father, and for acquition of desired award for myself in this world
and the next.
L.26: own hand of me Maharaja Dhruvasena
L.27: year 206, on the 5tg of the bright fortnight of the month Asvina.

1. Or known after Themtaka of Kolika community.
2. स्थली appears to have been a small territorial devision, like modern thana.

Inscription number 62.
Palitana Copper-plates of Dhruvasena 1, (Gupta-Valabhi) year 207 (526-27 A.D.)
Provenance: From the bottom of a small tank outside the
Satrunjaya Gate, at Palitana, Saurashtra, Gujrat.
See also sten Konow Ep.Ind.XI, pp.104 ff, or other Copper-plates of this king, discovered from a small
under ground chamber, adjoining this very tank.
Script: Brahmi Western variety of the southern class.
Language: Sanskrit.
References: V.S. Sukhthankar Ep.Ind, XVII, pp-105 – 8.

From the facsimile in Ep.Ind., XVII Pls.Ai, and Aii, facing pp.108. Since the text of first nine lines is
practicably identical with Palitana Plates of Dhruvasena 1,
year 206 (Ep.Ind, XI, pp-105 ff, Supra II, 59, Sukthankar left out these from his published text.
2. Expressed by a symbol.
3. The upper stroke of the matra for ai in maitrakanam is touching the matra for final a in the preceding word,
So that the matras appear as a single continuous mark.
Valabgi has been identifed with Vala, situated in 21 deg.52 min
and 71 deg .57 min East.
Footnote 2
There is a superfluous horizontal stroke after .
It is presumably intended to indicate continuity of the text or just to fill up the small space left at the end of the line. Hastvapra is modern Hathab,
located, 10 km south of Gogha in former Bhavnagar state. It is probably the same as Ptolemys Astakampra.
2. Between va and vya enough space is left out for sta, though this syllable is not actually engraved.

Footnote 3
Another कं is faintly visible after
It appears something as engraved earlier and then in the erased space
where the phrase, पूर्व्व – भुज्य – मानक appears.
The dimly legible कं touching मा in माता was the last syllable of the erased phrase.
English Translation of the inscription

For the translation of L1.1-11 see above, Palitana Charter of the year 206 of Dhruvasena 1.

Ll,12-17 Be it known to you, or the purpose of increasing the
religious merit of (my mother and father and for the sake of attainment of desired reward for myself in this world and the next I have granted as a Brahma-deva with libation
of water, one hundred sixty padavartas of land on the northern boundary of the village Jyeshthanaka, included
in the Akshasaraka pravesya, in the Hastavapra shareni.
Which had previously been and are still being enjoyed by bragmna Madhava to (the Brahmanas of) sunaka gotra,
who are the residents of the same village and are the students of the Chhandoga school (of the samaveda), to endure as long as the moon the sun, the oceans, the earth, the rivers and the mountains last, to be enjoyed by
the sons grandsons and their descendants, with the rights to duck-weed, together with cash cess, (and also) cleared in respect of income from winds and elements.

(The text of 11,17-20, is identical with that of 11.3 to 7 of the second plate, of the Kathiawad charter of the
Year 206 of Dhruvasena 1, translated above).
L1,20-23 And also there are in this context verses sung by Vyasas
Here follow three of the customary verses.
L 23. The dutaka is the Pratihara mammaka, (Dated), the year
207, (month) Vaisakha the 5th day of the dark fortnight.
L24. This is the sign manual of me, Maharaja Dhruvasana written by Kikkaka.

Footnote 4

1. About 1+1/4 inches space is let blank before लिखित
2. The territorial division, aharani, is apparently related to ahara. (district.) Both are derived from आ + हरी . originally they were jagirs, like bhukti and bhoga for the maintenance of princes and high officers अक्षतरक – प्रावेश्य
corresponds to अक्षतरक-प्रापीय
Occuring in the third Valabhi grant
viz the Ganesgad (Baroda) plates of Dhruvasena, dated the year 207 (see Hultzsch Ep.Ind. III, pp-320 and
Plate (Infra, II, 63) Literal meaning of प्रावेश्य (प्र + विश) is enterable’ and that of प्रापीय From( प्र + आप ) approachable.
In either context the requirement is to
pinpoint the location hence the words must stand for a territorial division smaller then aharani. For further
discussion on the subject, see sukthankar Ep.Ind.. XVII, pp-106.

Footnote 5

Sukthankar considers Madhava to be the donee, and of Snaka gotra. But all the adjectives of the donees
including शुनक – सगोत्राणां
are plural whereas Madhava
forms part of the compound in accusative singular qualifying पादावर्त्त – शत
i.e a hundred padavartas of land. The names of the donees are left Out, either
through oversight or because they were all of sunaka gotra and formed a well known school of Samaveda,
1,0 a hundred padavartass
Brahmanas established in the villages.
शैबर = शैबल or शैबाल ब and ल
are replaced by the well-known maxim
वबोरभेद: डलोरलोस्तथा ! शैबर
Presumably refers to vegetable produce from natural pools in the donated land. स -भूत- वात -प्रत्याय – विशुद्ध
phrase is obscure. Bhuta may stand for three of the five elements (भूमि, जल, वायू, अग्नि and आकाश )

since water pools and winds are separately accounted.
Inscription number 63.
Ganesagad Copper Plate inscription of Dhruvasena 1.
Gupta) year 207 ( 527 A.D.)
Provanance: Ganesagad, Damnagar, taluka, Formar Baroda state. Damnagar has many temples. Kumbhnath and Vaijnath Temples in Damnagar are very famous and frequently visited.Damangar has a large, spacious swaminarayan temple
Script: Brahmi. Western variety of the southern Class.
Language: Sanskrit except for two Prakrit words, e.g. the
Proper name Bhatakka (for Bhatarka) on the seal and in 1.3 and the adjecive jamala (for yamala) in 1.14.
Meters: vv.1,2 श्लोक अनुष्टुभ and v3; उपजाति (इन्द्रवर्जा + उपेन्द्रवर्जा)
References: E Hultzsch, Ep.Ind, III, pp-318-23.
1. From the facsimile in Ep-Ind III.
2. Represented by a symbol
In other early Valabhi grants, this word was misread as sapanna (see Ind.Ant, V, pp-205 of Dhruvasena 1,
and ibid. VI, pp.68 and 72, VIII, pp-302 and Gupta Inss, Pl, XXIV of of Dharasena 2, because the
editors had in mind the reading sampanna, which actually
occurs in later Valabhi grants and which itself seems a clerical error of the scribes.
Foot note 2

1. Or Hastakavapraharani or Hastavaprahara is mentioned
in three other Valabhi grants (see Ind.Ant,I, pp-45,V, pp-204 and VI, pp-10. It is identified with moden
Hathab, 9 kms South of Gogha in the former Bhavnagar state and with the Astakapra of Ptolemy and of the
Peripius ( Ind.Ant V, pp-314, VII, pp-53 f, VIII, pp-141, XIII, pp358 col wattson”s Statistical Account of Bhavnagar, pp-106).
2. Not identified.
3. A single symbol is used for the numeral 300 Padavartas, is explained by the commentator on
Katyayanas srautasutra as a sq. foot, according to Bohtlingik and Roth’s Sanskrit worterbuch.
But a square foot is too small a unit to fit into the context of agriculture land gifts. Possibly पादावर्त्त is a synonym of निवर्त्तन used in Abhona plates of sankaragana year 347, Supra II, 57, l 19 and elsewhere equal in area, to a kulyavapa, in Gupta plates.
Footnote 3

1. Hultzsch TT (-at).
2. According to Hultzsch, Vittolakka is probably the same as the Sanskrit vishti, the telugu vetti and the
Kannares bitti.
The designation of the lowest village
servant, vattivada in Telugu and vettigan in Tamil is derived from this word.
English Translation of the inscription.

L1.1 to 11 and 19 to 22 are virtually the same respectively as the 11.1 to 15 and 22 to 26 of the Palitana Plates of the
year 206 of Dhruvasena 1, translated above, L1.23 to 27, containing five customary verses, too, have already been translated above)
L1.10-19 Parama- Bhattaraka-padanuddyata Maharaja Dhruvasena being in good health issues (the following command to
all the Ayuktakas, Viniyuktakas, Drangikas. Mahattaras
Dhruvas, Sthanadhikaranikas, Dandapasikas, irregular and
regular soldiers, and so forth:-

Be it known to you that in order to increase the religious merit of my mother and father, and in order
to obtain for myself, the desired reward in this and the next world I, have granted with libation of water
as an agrahara,to last for as long a time
as the moon, the sun, the ocean, the earth, the rivers and mountains endure, to be enjoyed by the donees,
sons grandsons and further progeny, free of taxes in the shape of gifts and taxes (in the shape) of forced
labour, according to the maxim of bhumichchhidra.
In the village of Heriyanaka, which belongs to Akshasarakaprapa, (a subdivision) of the Hastavapraharani
district, four pieces of cultivated land at the north-westem boundary (and) four pieces of cultivated land at the north-eastern boundary and this eight pieces of cultivated land in all. wherein (are contained) three
hundred padavartas (in figures) per annum – 300, (and) at
the north western boundary of the same village, a double step well, forty padavartas in area, (and) a second step-well, twenty padavartas in area, thus in the same (village)
altogether three hundred and sixty padavartas, to the Brahmana Dhammila who resides in the same (village),
belongs to the Darbha gotra, (and) is a student of the Vajasaneya (sakha).
L1.26 And with reference to this there are the verses sung by Vyasa:
(Here follow five customary verses).
(This is) the own signature of me, the Mahasamnta and Maharaja Dhruvasena,
The Dutaka (is) the Pratihara
Mammaka. (This edict was) written by Kikkaka, The year 200 (+) 7 (the month) Vaisakha, the dark (fortnight)
(the tithi) 10 + (5).


1. U.N. Ghoshal, the hindu Revenue System, Calcutta, 1972,
pp-395, explains it as the maxim of barren land or the maxim of covering up the hole in the land, i.e with
such rights of ownership, as are acquired by a man making barren land, cultivable for the first time, free
from liability to pay rent for it.
He bases his interpretation on such terms as भूमिच्छिर्द – विधान
(AS II.2). भूमिच्छिर्द विधान न्याय
and Ep.Ind XXIV). भूमिच्छिर्द विधान न्याय
He further clarifies, in later periods, it denoted lands granted in perpetuity with heritable rights irrespective
of uncultivable or cultivable lands including even settled villages as is the case here, but we find that wherever the maxim is used, the right of inheritance in perpetuity and exemption from taxes is separately recorded
in clear terms.In Chapter 2 of adhikarana of the Kautilya
Arthasastra entitled भूमिच्छिर्द विधानं
(Disposal of non-agricultural Land) Kautilyaa speaks of forests, wherein state provided protection to
Human, animal and vegetable life.
प्र दिष्टाभय स्थावर जडन्गमामि
by various means, such as digging of trenches around and by clipping the nails and teeth of the beasts of prey
खात-गुप्तं and भग्न – नख – दष्र्ट – व्यालं
One of the ways of disposal is given as the grant of such forests to ascetics, as Brahma-somaranyas for
the purpose of Vedic study and some-sacrifice) It appears भूमिच्छिर्द
Originally stood for a Piece of uncultivated land protected by state, particularly by digging
trenches all round. Later all Land protected for all life by the state, was defined as such.

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