ancient indian history

Baigram Copper Plate Inscription 

Inscription number 76. 
Baigram Copper Plate Inscription of the Gupta Year 128. (=448 A.D.)
Provenance: Baigram, Bogra, Bagura district, Bangla Desh.
Script: Northern Brahmi of 5th century A.D.
Language: Sanskrit.
This copper plate was, discovered, while excavating a tank at Baigram. The Baigram copper plate inscription refers to the reign of Kumaragupta 1. however the name of the king does not appear in this copper plate. Baigram Charter year G.E.128 was issued from two district offices, Vishayadhikarana, located at town called Panchanagati & was issued by  the district officer  namely Kulavriddhi whose title was Kumaramatya. 
Metres : Vv-1-3 श्लोक (अनुष्टुभ)
References: R.G. Basak, Ep.Ind.. XXI, pp.8 f. D.C. Sircar, Sel.Inss, I, pp.355-59.
First Side.
Footnote 1.
1. From the facsimile in Ep-Ind, xxi, compare the text with that of the Nandapur copper plate inscription,
Ep.Ind, XXIII,. pp-54f.
2. Apparently the headquarters of Kumaramatya Kulavriddhi’s
Vishaya. Through the Process of phonetic evolution, the name changed into पञ्चनअरी then into पंचनारी.
Under Muslim influence, nari was translated into persian,
bibi and the town is now namad as Panchbibi. It is located in the Bogra district. It is probably identical
with Ptolemy’ s Pentapolis.
3.  Allegiance is expressed without naming the sovereign, who in the year 128 of G.E. of this record was Kumaragupta 1.
4. Vayigram = the same as modern  Baigram. Trivrita and
Srigohali belonged to the administrative circle of Vayigrama.
5. Agricultural householders. संव्यवहारिन = Administrators (Particularly judicial.) Apparently the reference here
is to the head of the village jury (of 8 or more members)
Called   अष्टकुलाधिकरण.
Footnote 2.
1. Read देवकुलम तददोल्पवृत्तिकम् 
2.  समुदय-बाहय  = not yielding income in crops. आद्यस्तम्ब = Land covered with original shrub, i.e. fallow. अकिञ्चित्प्रतिकर =  yielding little (i.e. no) tax to state.
प्रति कर  = कर   = tax
3. Total area sold for 6 dinaras and 8 rupakas was 3 kulyavapas and 2 dronavapas (or 3+1/4 kulyavapas) at the rate of 2 dinaras a kulyavapa, or 6+ 1/2 dinaras= 6 dinaras & 8 rupakas.That means 2 dinara 8 rupakas. Thus 1 dinara (i.e. Gupta Gold) = 16 rupakas (i.e silver.)
4. Presumably an alternative form of the name was भोयिल, which appears to be a Prakritisation. This form is used below in 1.14.

Footnote 3.
1.    तलवाटक  = तलभूमि = तलवृत्ती  etc. i.e the land granted to a religious establishment at the time of its
consecration. In some cases तलवाटक
has been explained as a class of persons serving in temples, see C.I.I,. III, pp 216-17.
2. स्थलवास्तु =  homestead land.
3. Thus the duty of the Pusta-pala (Record-keeper) was to
determine, whether, near about the donees place, there was
unproductive waste land belonging to the state, which could be sold rent free, without any loss to the state.
The reclamation of the waste land was a gain to the state, in as much as it led to expansion of economic
activity and the king got religious merit as a result.
Second side.
Footnote 4.
1. Read नीव्या  ताम्र.
2. Prakritisation of sanskrit 1   निम्न = निम्न- भूमि: कुल्यवाप and  द्रोणवाप 
are used in masculine as well as neuter
3. In places where there is no conflict with your own agricultural work i.e. 
in places, which do not belong to any of the villagers.
4.  Seems to be the designation of the official who actually measured out the land or the entire phrase दर्वी – कर्म-हस्त 
may stand for a cubit of specific length. In Faridpur plate of year 3 and another undated one of Dharmaditya (See supra, III, 69,70) and also faridpur plate of Gopachandra (see supra, III, 72)
the word हस्तेन is preceded by the names of persons indicating that दर्वी  कर्म  may have been the designation of the measuring Officer or may be, the technical term for the measure itself.
Footnote 5.

1. The Dharma-Shastras recognise various types of markings for delimiting lands. According to Manu, VIII, 250-51,
अश्मनोस्थीनि गोबाला सितुषान्  भस्म कपालिका: !
करीष मिष्ट काडन्गारा-ञ्छर्करा वालु कास्तया !!
यानि चैवंप्रकाराणि कालादभूमिर्न भक्षयेत ! 
तानि सन्धिषु  सीमायामप्रकाशानि कारयेत !!  According to Brihaspati.,प्रक्षिप्य कुम्भेष्वेतानि सीमान्तेषु निधापयेत !
Yajnvakya व्यवहाराध्याय, 150-151 ordains an examination of these marks whenever a land dispute is referred to a court. सी म्नो विवादे क्षेत्रस्य  सामन्ता: स्थ विरादय:  ! गोपा: सीमा कृषाणाश्च सर्वे च वन गोचरा: !! नयेयुरेते सीमानं स्थलाड़न्गार तुष दुमै: !
सेतु वल्मीक निम्नास्थि चैत्याधैरूपलक्षिताम !!
Narada speaks of the following kinds of
boundaries 1) ध्वजिनी (marked by ags) 2) मत्स्यिनी (marked by fish, i.e by watercourses supporting fish)
3) नैधानी (marked by buried objects like charcoal)
4).  भय वर्जिता    (free from fear of boundary disputes, i.e well-settled by the parties and 
5) राज शासन नीता ( fixed by government order.) For latter opinions see
Kulluka on Mamu and Vjnanesvara on Yajnavalkya.
2. Basak:  भगवद्वेद
English Translation of the inscription.

L1.1-31.  Peace ! From Panchanagari, Kumaramatya Kulavriddhi
who meditates on the feet of His Majesty (the Emperor)
and the Administrative Board of the vishaya, after mentioning their good health, inform the agricultaral
householders, headed by senior Brahmanas and officers
(of the adhikarana) of (the two localities named)
Trivrita and Srigohali, belonging to vayigrama.

L1.3-6: Two householders Bhoyila and Bhaskara, residing in this very localiity have petitioned to the affect:-
The temple of Lord Govindasvamin, erected by Sivanandin,
the father of both of us, is poorly endowed. In this vishaya prevails the practice of sale of fallow fields
covered the primeval shrub, which yield neither income in crops/ any revenue (to the state) at the rate of
two dinaras for each kulyavapa, in accordance with the principle of perpetual endowment, to be enjoyed for all time to come, as long as the moon, the sun end the stars endure.
L1.6-1O:  So deign to make a grant to (me) Bhogila of three kulyavapas of khila i.e waste) land in Trivrita
for the purpose of repairs of damages and breakages  and for introducing perfumery incense, lamp and
lowers in the temple of Lord, Govindasvamin and one
dronavapa of vastu, i.e. (home stead) land for use as a residential enclosure in sri gohali and to (me) Bhaskara
also, one dronavapa of homestead lands after (duly) receiving from the two of us, six dinaras and eight
rupakas (i.e silver coins.)
L1.10-13 Wherefore, we inform you that as determined by the
record-keepers, Durgadatta and Arkkadasa there exists  in this vishaya the practice of sale at the rate of

two dinaras for each kulyavapa of production-less, fallow primeval shrub-land, which can be (allowed to be) enjoyed in perpetuity as long as the moon the sun, and the stars endure and there is no conflict with
the interests of the state (lit. king), rather there is gain in the sale of such khila lands, yielding no taxes, and (further) there is gain to His Majesty of
one-sixth share of reward for the pious act. Hence, the land be granted.
L1.13-18: After collecting into revenue account six dinaras and eight (silver) rupakas from the two, Bhoyila and
Bhaskara, three kulyavapas of waste-land in Trivrita or the temple of Lord Govindsvamin and a dronavapa
of home stead land in srigohali for residential enclosure, have been granted to Bhoyila and a dronavapa of home-stead land in this very locality to Bhaskaras, this three kulyavapas of waste-land) and two dronavapas of
homestead land have been granted in perpetuity by (this) copper-plate charter, as below: kulyavapas 3,
house-site dronavapas 2.
L1.18-21: (so ) you shall hand over (possession of land) by fixing their boundaries on (all) the four sides
with long-lasting marks of chaff and charcoal, after

getting it measured out with reeds graded in both eight fold an nine fold Calibration, through the agency.of the Darvikarman, in places which have no conflict, with your own agricultural work and shall nourish it for all time to come under the laws applicable to
perpetual endowment. The Present and future administrators and others should also preserve it, out of regard for dharma.
L1. 21-25 And the great soul venerable Veda vyasa has
(Here follows three of the customary verses)
L25 The year 128, the 19th day of Magha.

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