Saurashtra Inscriptions

Written by Alok Mohan on July 3, 2022. Posted in Uncategorized

Rudradaman is known for his famous Junagarh Rock Inscriptions. These are inscribed on rocks near Girnar hill near Junagadh, Gujarat and are dated 130 to150 AD. These inscription, are written in Brahmi script, & are close to pure Sanskrit.
Rudradaman 1, was a saka ruler from the Western Kshatrapas dynasty. He was instrumental in the decline of the Satavahana Empire. Rudradaman 1, had taken up the title of Mahakshtrapa, after he became the king. The Saka dynasty had introduced this Satrapa system in the administration, which was based on power, authority & influence of kings on the based of geographical boundaries of the kingdom, they were ruling.
According to Puranas, Rudradaman 1 ruled for close to 36 years & thereafter he was succeeded by his grandson Agnimitra Shunga.
Inscription number 136.
Inscription on the silver coins of Rudradaman 1 (C.130-150 D.)
References: Rapson,, BMC Coins of the Andhras etc. London 1908 Plate X.
First side: Bust of King to imitation of Inscription – Greek charactes.
Second side: Symbol of three arches surmounted by crescent;
wavy line beneath crescent to left star to r: border of dots.
Language: Prakrit influenced by legend in Sanskrit in Brahmi characters.
English Translation of the inscription
Coin of king Mahakshatrapa Rudradaman, son of Kshatrapa Jayadaman.
1. राझो क्षत्रपस जयदाम – पुत्रस महाक्षत्रपस
रुद्रदामस स्वामि चष्टन प्रयोत्रस्य राझो क्षत्रयस्य स्वामि जयदाम पौंत्रस्य
2. स्य राझो महाक्षत्रयस्य स्वामि – पुत्रस्य राझो क्षत्रपस्य स्वामि-रुद्र
3. सीहस्य वर्षे त्रि युत्तरशते वै शाख शुद्दे पंचम धन्य तिथो रो हि णि नक्ष
4. त्र मुहूर्त आभी रेण सेनापति रुद्रभूतिना ग्रामे रसो
5. प द्विये वापी खानि ता बंधापितश्च सर्व सत्वानां हित सुखार्थमिति

1. Rapson ibid. States, °From this period onwards the inscription in Greek characters ceases to have any
meaning. It becomes a mere ornament and traces of it thus continue to appear on coins until the end of the dynasty. In imitation of their Greek predecessors
the Skytho-Parthians, the Kushanas used Greek legends on their coins.
The western Kshatrapas of Skythian
lineage being originally feudatory to the Kushanas, continued the practice of inscribing Greek legends
on one side of their coins.
2. Fomerly considered to indicate a Chaitya, but now believed to represent a hill.
3. Supposed to indicate a river. The three arches on a wavy line may indicate a hill-fort on the bank of a river.

Inscription number 137.
Gunda stone Inscription of the time of Rudrasimha 1, Saka Year 103
(= 181 A.D)
Provenance: Gunda, Jamnagar district, saurashtra.
Script: Gupta Brahmi, early Southern variety.
Language: Sanskrit influenced by Prakrit.
References: G. Buhler ind.Ant, X, pp. 157 f: Bhagwanlal Indraji, Mumbai Gaz, I, i, pp.42 Rapson, J.RA.S, 1899 pp.375 B.M.C. Coins of the Andhras etc, P.lxi, Luders List. Number. 963.
D.R. Bhandarkar A.S.I reports W Circle,
1914-15, pp.67, R.D. Banerji and V.S. Sukthankar,
EP. Ind, XVI, PP.233-236; Sircar Select Inss. I, pp.181-82.
सिद्ध र झो मह क्ष त्र प स्य

1. From the facsimile in Ep-Ind XVI, plate facing pp236,
2. सिद्धिरस्तु

English Translation of the inscription
Success! On the auspicious fifth tithi of the bright half of Vaisakha, during the auspicious period of the constellation
Rohini, in the year one hundred and three, 103, (in the reign) of the king the Kshatapa, Lord Rudrasimha, the son of the king, the Mahakshatrapa Lord Rudradaman (and) gandson of the king.
the Kahatrapa Lord Jyadaman (and) great grandson of the king.
the Mahakshatrapa, Lord Chashtana, the step-well was caused to
be dug and enbanked in the vllage Rasopaddya for the benefit and comfort of all creatures by the Abhira General Rudrabhuti,
son of the General Bapaka.

1. Superfluous termination
2. Sanskrit सिंहस्य
3 Read त्र्युत्तर
4. Banerjee and Sukhthankar पंच मि ध त् त्य
Sircar धत्ये ण्य
5. Some read श्रवण
6. Abhiras originally lived near vinasana in Rajasthan. Next they settled in the lower Indus Valley and then in Aparanta.
The influential Position of the Abhiras at Aparanta, at the Saka court apparently helped abhira
Varasena in carving out a Kingdom for himself.
7. Sanskrit: रसोपद्रके The viIlage is still unidentified
Buhler पद्रेर्हदार्थे
Indra ji पद्रेर्हद
8. skt: बंधिता
Inscription number 138.
Wandh Inscription of Rudrasimha 1, Year 105 (=183 A. D)
Provenance: Wandh. Manavi taluk, Kutch district, Saurashtra.
(now in Bhuj museum)
Script: Brahmi
Language: Prakrít
References: P. R. Srinivasan. Ep.ind… XXXVIII, pp-142-44.
English Translation of the inscription
Second (tithi) on the dark fortnight day of Karttika, in the year 105 (in the reign of King Mahakshatrapa, lord
Rudrasimha,, son of King Mahakshatrapa. Lord Rudradaman.
On this (aforesaid) date (the pillar was erected by Ajamitra (=Aryamitra) for his mother’s maidservant (Gochandrika)
of Atimuktaka gotra and belonging to the Kachchna (or Khasa) country.


1. From the Facsimile in Ep-Ind.. XXXVII, facing pp-145
and from Satya Shrava, Sakas in India, Pl. XXVI.
2. Srinivasan and Satya shrava: कात्र्तिक
3. Srinivasan and Satya shrava: गो -र्दकं (ठित)

Text of the inscription
1. राझो महाक्षत्रपत स्वामि रुद्रदाम पुत्र
2. स (रा) झो मह (क्ष त्र ) पस स्वामि रुद्रसिंह
3. स बारिशे कात्र्तिक बहुल दिवसे बितिभा
4. अयं तीथि मात्रि सेविकए गोचंद्रकए अतिमु
5. तक सगो त्रए जश्टि अज मित्रेण उथपित
6. कश दसिकए

Alok Mohan

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