Barwani Inscription of Maharaja Subandhu

Written by Alok Mohan on October 18, 2022. Posted in Uncategorized

Inscription number 34.
Barwani copper-plate Inscription of Maharaja Subandhu
– (Gupta ) Year 167 (= 486 A.D.)
Provenance: Barwani, Western Madhya Pradesh.
Script: Box-headed Brahmi of the Southern class of the 5th century AD.
Language: Sanskrit.
This Copper-plate was found in the Barwani District in Madhya Pradesh. It was found in Barwani. The record is incised on a single copper-plate and on one side of it.
This inscription records a grant, by Maharaja Subandhu, of a field earlier owned by an individual namely Sati in the village (padraka) Sohajana which was included in the pathaka of Udumbaragarta. The donee was a Brahmana Shashthisvamin of the Bharadvaja gotra. The order was issued from the city of Mahishmati, the royal capital. As per a few historians, Maharaja Subandhu was a subordinate of the Gupta Emperor Budhagupta. But this may not be true. Had he been a
a feudatory of the Guptas, the fact would definitely have been mentioned in his grants. As a matter of fact, Gupta suzerainty seems to have received a setback in Central India.
Bhulunda’s inscriptions are dated between years 38-59 (358-379 CE, i.e during Gupta era, some historians
identified Subandhu as the prince Vishruta. According to his theory, Subandhu or Vishruta was a Gupta prince, who established the dynasty that later came to be known as Kalachuri.
Maharaja Subandhu, had provided money ‘for repairing the broken portions of the Bagh caves, a group of nine rock-cut monuments, situated among the southern slopes of the vindhyas in bagh town of Dhar district, Madhya Pradesh.
An inscription of Subandhu, the king of Mahishmati was picked up at Bagh caves. The name of this vihar was Kalyan, built by Dattrakat. Maharaja Subandhu donated the villages Dasilak Patti, for the upkeep of vihar and maintenance of its inmates, the Buddhist monks.

References: R. R. Halder, Ep.Ind., XIX, pp.261-62.
1. Possibly like Surasmi-chandra (see Fleet, Gupta Inscriptions, pp.89), he was a subordinate of
Budhagupta. With his capital at the important city of Mahishmati, he must have been a ruler of consequence.
2. Reproduced from Ep.Ind. XIX, as no facsimile is provided, The original plate is, most probably, in Rajputana Museum, Ajmer.
3. Expressed by a symbol.
English Translation of the inscription.
Om Hail ! From the city of Mahishmati, Maharaja Subandhu, being in good health Commands his ayuktakas and
others in the village (padraka) sohajana, within the district
(pathaka) Udumbaragarta that the farm over here, earlier enjoyed by Sati, that has been granted by me as a Brahmadeya, to this Brahmana, Shashthi. Svamin of Bharadvaja gotra and a student of vajasaneya sakha to be enjoyed by his sons grandsons and further progeny for as long as the moon, the sun and the oceans endure for increase of religious merit of
my other, father and of myself. Knowing (this), from today onwards no obstruction be caused to them while duly enjoying according to the concessions applicable to the gifts to
Brahmanas. (Brahmadeya.) The year 167, on the seventh day of the
bright fortnight of Bhadrapada.
Guhadasa is the dutaka of sri subandhu.
According to the vishnu Purana, Vol.IV, pp.54 (H,H. Wilsons translation) this city was founded by the Haihaya king Mahishmat. It has been identified with
modern Mahesvara. However, Pargiter (J.R.A.S, 1910, pp.445-46) identified it with Mandhata on the Narmada.

Alok Mohan

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