ancient indian history

Samudragupta Inscriptions

Inscription no 4
Kacha Type of Samudragupta
References:- J. Allan, B.M.C, Gupta Coins, pp-15 ff.
King standing to left, nimbate wearing close.fitting cap coat and trousers ear-rings and
necklace holding standard surmounted by a wheel in left hand and sprinkling insense on alter with right hand Brahmi (Late Northern) legend beneath 1. arm and underneath it
circular legend on the margin.
1. The typical adjective, सर्वराजोच्छेत्तु
of Samudragupta as found in some of his coins and in the genealogical
prologues of the inscriptions of his Successors (see infra Volume II, 30, 32 & 34, Bhitari Inscription of Skandagupta, Bihar Pillar Inscription of Puru-gupta, Bhitari Seal of Kumara-gupta 2) used here with Kacha leave no room for doubt at the two are
identical. This is now generally accepted by scholars.
Bhandarkar however identified Kacha with Ramagupta of the
play, Devi-Chandraguptam and copper coins ( Brown Copper Coins of India) pp97, Ep.Ind, XXXIII, pp 95-96, J.I.H
XXXIX, pp 169) Kacha may have been alias of Samudra-gupta, as Chandragupta we know had Deva-gupta. or it may have been his precoronation name, and continued
to be used on his early issues, just as Precoronation names. Salim, Khuram and Muazzam were used on the early
coins of the Moghul kings Jahangir, shahjhan and
Shah Alam, respectively.
काचो गामवजित्य दिवं कर्म भिसंत मैर्जयति
Lakshmi standing left,. wearing loose robe; holding flower in right hand and cornucopia in left on right brahmi (Late Northern) legend.

5. Prayagraj Pillar inscription of Samudragupta (C. 335-76 AD)
Provenance: The Prayagraj Fort U.P.
Script: Late Brahmi of northern class.
Language: Sanskrit.
Meters: vv. 3.5.8
vv4 7 v.6
References: J.F. Fleet, C.l.I. III, pp.1-77 & Troyer J.A.S.B- III, pp.118 ff. Princep, ib, pp.257 ff, Vol. VI, pp.969 ff; Bhau Daji, J.B. B.R. A.S, IX
pp cxcvi f;f. D.C. Sircar, Select Inss Pt.I,
pp 262-68.
1. The half stanza is in आर्या उपगीति or उदगीति
2. Two Asokan ediets, namely, queen ‘s Edict and Kausambi Edicts are also engraved on this pillar.
3. The nama Brahmi applies to all forms of the ancient Indian script that was written from left to right. We find it constantly changing from its earliest known form, called Asokan Brahmi. By the Kushana period it had assumed a remarkably different form, which we call Middle Brahmi. The fom found in Gupta and subsequent inscriptions
of the ancient period is called Later Brahmi. we find numorous regional variations in Later Brānmi, divided into
two major classes, Northern and Southern.
From the facsimile in C.l.I. III, Pl- I, p-8, The record was engraved late in Samudragupta reign. His Asvamedha not mentioned here evidently followed the conquests recorded here.
2. Fleet. स्फुटोद्रव सित Sircar. स्फुटोद्ध
means boisterous laughter. It is
presumably applied here to the king’s
1. Sircar suggests restoration as णपत्यादी ननृपान् संगरे
2. The city named Pushpa, i.e. Pushpapura was Pataliputra,
which is known to have been the capital of the Guptas,
at least during the reign of his successor, Chandragupta 2,
Vikramaditya, of Uayagiri Cave Inscription,(infra II ii) wherein
his minister. virasena saba, claims to hail from Pataliputra, and the records of Guttas in Dharawar District. A.P. describe Chandragupta 2 as पाटलिपुरवरा – धीश्वर
Magadha is believed to have been acquired by Samudragupta’s father. Pataliputra must have been within
his empire and most probably, as his capital. Thus the line would mean Samudra-gupta got the king of Kota
family, captured by his armies, while himself remaining at play in Pataliputra.

The phrase within brackets is being deciphered for the first time. Fleet. C.I.I, III, pp.6 reads:
प्रशम कु य् क मु त् तात्र्थम
Sircar has reproduced almost the same text. But is clear and is engraved exactly as in l.17. Compare also शु with पिशुनै in 1.7. The other words to the right are
decipherable.A vertical groove before seems to be an erased syllable, possibly an unsuccessful attempt to

Kosala = South Kosala, comprising Raipur and Bilaspur districts of Madhya Pradesh and Sambalpur district of
Orissa. It’s capital was Sripura, 64 kilometre north-east of Raipur.
Mahakantara, meaning. ‘Great Jungle’. should be located adjacent to South Kosala. Bhandakar List No. 1194-95, identifies Vyaghraraja of Mahakantara with the Maharaja Vyaghra of Uchchakalpa family mentioned in 1.4 in
the first of the Khoh copper-plates of Sarvanatha-Year 1936(Infra Vol III, No 42) Sircar Select Inss, Pt.I, pp. 391, n.1, rejects this contention as also his identification with vyaghradeva, a
feudatory of Vakataka Prithvishena 2, of the Nachna and Ganj inscriptions. ( See Ganj Inscriptions Vol III, No 12) Kaurala is the country around
Kollair Lake near Ellore in west Godavari district. A.P.
Kottura may be modern Kothoor near Mahendragiri in Ganjam
district, Orissa. Pishtapura = mod. Pithapuram in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. Erandapalla may be located in the Ganjam and visakhapatnam districts. vishnugopa
of Kanchi was a Pallava king and Hastivarman a salenkayana,
king of Vengi. Palakka may be the modern Palakkada in
Nellore region of Andhra Pradesh.
Devarashtra = Yellamanchili region in visakhapatanam district.
Kusthalapura may be the same as mod.
Kuttalur in N, Arcot district.
Dakshinapatha signified the entire Indian peninsula south
of the vindhyas or of the Namada- river.

All the land between the Himalayas, the vindhyas and the eastern and western seas was called Aryavarta, according to
Manu. II, 22,
आसमुद्रात्तु वै पूर्वाद आसमुद्रात्तु तु पश्चिमात
तयो रेबा ( हिमवद्धीन्ययोरेवा) न्तरं मिर्योर आर्यावर्त विधुर्बुधा
Rudradeva can not be identified with Rudrasena 1, Vakataka, who ruled south of the vindhyas. We may identify
him with Rudrasena 3, (3468- 78 AD). with a break between (352-63 AD) the Saka Kshatrapa of western India. Nagadatta may be an ancestor of the viceregal Dattas of Pundravardhana
(cf. Proceed. L.H. .. 1945. pp.78-81). Matila may be the same as Mattila of a seal from Bulandshahr district. U.P.
Chandravarman may be the king of the Susunia Inscription
(see infra, Vol III, No. 68).Ganapatinaga and Nagasena appear to
be Naga rulers. The former’s coins are found at Padam-Pawaya, the ancient Padmavati. His death at Padmavati is
refered to in the harshcharita.
If Ganapatinaga, too, belonged to Padmavati he may have been subdued by Samudragupta in a second expedition. Achyuta may bave been
ruling in ancient Ahichchhatra (mod. Ramnagar in Bareli district of U. P.) Where his coins bearing the legend
Achyu have been found. or he may have been identified with Maharaja achyutavarman of a Rajghat (varanasi) seal (JNSI, XXIII, pp.412) Sicar Sel.Inss .pp-265, n.2, also suggests the
possibility of Acayutanandi being the name of a single person.
2. Kanas plate of Lokavigraha, Ep.Ind XXXVIII, pp. 331, mentions 18 forest kingdoms (तोसल्या साष्टादशाटवी – राजयायां)
So does Khoh Copper Plate of Samkshobha of the year 209
(see infra, Vok III, No 42 )
1. Sematata = S.E.Bengal, with Karmnta (mod. Bad-Kanta near Comilla in Tipperah district) as capital. Davaka = modern Dboka in Naogang district. Assam. Devaka country,
Corresponding to the valleys of Kapili, yamuna and Kolang rivers (see K.L. Barua, History of Kamarupa. (pp-42 n.).
Kamarupa corresponds to the Gauhati district of Assam.
Kartripur is identified with modern Kartarpar in Jalandhar
district Panjab)or with Katuria or Katyar of Kmaon, Garhwal.
Ancient Malavas of the Panjab were now possibly settled in south west Rajasthan and west Malwa. Their numerous coins have been discovered in Nagar. Tonk district coins of Arjunayanas have been found in Mathura region ( Smith Catalogue P160) The Yaudheyas had by this time settled in the Bijaygarh region, Bharatpur, after having been pushed
by Greek, Saka, Parthian and Kushana pressure from their earlier home in Johiabar along the lower sutlej and Haryana state.
The Madrakas were earlier living in the Madra country around sakala (mod sialkot in west Punjab). Their
exact location at this time uncertain. The Abhiras possibly lived in Aparanta ( Northem Konkan) The Prarjunas
also mentioned in the Arthasastra are usually connected with the Narsinghpur distict. M. P.
The Sanakanika lived in East malwa. Where an inscription of a Sanakanika maharaja, whose name is lost is found (see infra,II, ii,1) Vakas may have lived around Sanchi (near Bhopal) which was known as Kakanadabota in those times, ( See Sanchi Inscription of Chandragupta-2, Gupta year 92, infra Vol II, No 12, l,1) Kharaparikas are not
otherwise known.


1. दैवपुत्र षाहि षाहानुषाहि Were the titles of Kushana Kings
ruling over the North-west of India including Afghanistan.
From this inscription it is clear that their dominion had shrunk to Sindh. Surashtra and the territory to the east
of Sialkot. where the Madrakas ruled. Murunda is a Saka word meaning. ‘Lord’. Saka lords, were earlier subordinates to the Kushanas, had now assumed independence. Simhala =
Other dvipas may include the islands of Indonesia, such as Java, Sumatra etc.

was the official soal of the Guptas, and is found attached to their charters and also on their standards represented on their coins. The phrase indicates that these autonoumas rulers
were subordinate to Samudragupta, and had to seek his sanction under his seal to succeed to the Throne
2. Read पृथिव्या
3. This is an echo of the Gita, IV 8: परित्राय साधूना विनाशाय च दुष्कृताय
This and the next phrase comparing Samudragupta with the gods, Vishnu, Kubera, Varuna and Yamaraja in performance. sets hindu standard of Kingship.
The first in sattra has been misread by some scholars as due to slight erosion.

1. Ayukta (Yukta of Asokan inscriptions) were high officers, like those of present day IAS. and are known to have sometimes occupied governorship of provinces
2. Tumbura = a Gandharva.
Narada. a divine Rishi inventor
of the vina. None of Samudragupta’s poetic compositions
seen to have survived. The fragmentary work, Krishna-Charita, published from, Gondal, Kathiawar in 1941, with
the colophon श्री विक्रमाड़न्क महाराजाधिराज परम भागवत श्री
समुद्रगुप्त कृतौ कृष्णचरिते
etc is considered to be a
recent forgery The gold coin, giving Samudragupta the
title श्री विकर्म is also regarded a forgery
(See JNSI, V, pp.136)
3. Read उत्पन्नस्य


Full stop is redundant. The following verse refers to the spread of Samudragupta’s fame to heaven, not to his death as Fleet believed.
The present kavya is of the variety known as Champa in books of rhetorics.
Sircar Sel.Inss, I, pp 268, n.1, considers
meaningless and introduces before making the phrase खाध्यपाकिक
खाद्य कूट पाकिकस्य
and explains the
officer was apparently the head of the Superintendents of royal Kitchen. महादंडनायक
A military officer
often functioning as an administrator कुमारामात्य =
possibly a high executive officer of the rank of a Kumara or prince.

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