ancient indian history

Basim Plate Inscription

Basim Plate Inscription of Vindhyasakti 2
Vindhyasakti name is derived from the name of the goddess vindhyavasini. Nothing much is known about Vindhyashakti. In one of the Cave 16 inscription of Ajanta, he has been described as the banner of the Vakataka family and a Dvija.
Vindhyashakti 1, whose reign extended from 250 – 270 CE, was the founder of the Vakataka dynasty and he probably ruled from Purika. Understand that he revived the practice of Brahmanical rituals and carried out a number of Vedic sacrifices.He is described as a Dvija on the Ajanta inscriptions of the time of Harisena and is praised for his military accomplishments.

However the Basim Plate Inscription belonged Vindhyasakti 2, whose reign was from 355 – 400 CE)
The kingdom of Vindhyasakti 2, included the Marathwada region (southern part of Vidarbha), the northern part of Hyderabad and some other adjoining territories. He ruled for about four decades. During his rule, he had a few military accomplishments. He had defeated the Kadambas of Banavasi who ruled over Kuntala (North Karnataka). His son and successor, Pravarasena 2, was the ablest and great ruler of the Vatsagulma branch. Pravarasena 2, was an efficient administrator, & effectively ruled for about fifteen years.
Pravarasena 2, was succeeded by Devasena, who was more of a pleasure-seeking ruler but was lucky enough to have a capable minister in his kingdom – Hasthibhoja.

The Vakatakas of Vatsagulma,
Inscription number 13.
Basim Plate Inscription of Vindhyasakti 2. — Regnal year 37.
Provenance: Basim, Akola District, Maharashtra.
1. Sanskrit begins to appear in official epigraphs, also presumably, as the language of administration, Just before the beginning of the Christian era. The earliest Sanskrit epigraphs are those of Sarvatata and Dhanadeva, both of sunga dynasty. Then the Saka
Kshatrapas of Western India adopted it. But the main credit for spreading its use in the entire North goes to the Guptas. Vakatakas in the south,
too adopted it apparently under the Gupta in influence.
The present record represents the transitional stage. Soon we find Sanskrit completely taking over the
the place of various Prakrits in the entire country.
Script: Box-headed variety of Late Brahmi of the Southern class of the 4th century AD.
Language: first five lines with the exception of the last two words Sanskrit. The remaining part
Prakrit influenced by Sanskrit.
References: D.C. Sircar, IHQ.. XVI, pp.182 ff. pp.110 ff. Sel.Inss, I, pp.430-35, Y.K Deshpande and D.B. Mahajan Proc. Ind. Hist. Cong. Calcutta, pp.1939,
pp349 ff. V.V. Mirashi and D.B. Mahajan,
Ep.Ind, XVI, pp.137 ff.
First plate.
Foot note 2.

I have accepted here the contention of D.C. Sircar, that the record belongs to Vindhyasakti 2, not
Vindhyasakti 1 (2nd half of the 3rd century A.D.) as some other scholars believe. (see Sel.Ins. I, p.p. 430, n 3, and I.H.Q. XVI, No.1, March 1940, pp 182-86).
2. From the plates in Proc. Ind.Hist.Congress 1939, and facsimile in Ep.Ind XXVI.
3. Both the words are in left margin, C
and against 1.1 and against 1.2.

4. Vatsagulma is modern Basim in Akola district, Maharashtra.It was the capital of this collateral
branch of the Vakataka family.


1. For the sacrifices, see note on Chammak grant of Pravarasena 2,year 18, supra Vol III,. No.4, L2, n.).
2. विष्णु वृद्ध In other records of the dynasty or हारीती
3. Incidentally, the Kadamba ruler, Santivarman (455-70 A.D.) claims descent from a
Harit putra, Manava-gotraja, dyijakula. Here hariti is the personal name of the mother ofVindhyasakti or perhaps of Pravarasena, in which case the reading should be प्रवरसेनव्य पुत्रस्य
4. The title is used in their records by the Pallava, Kadamiba and Western Ganga rulers.
5. Henceforward is the record is in Prakrit.
6. Nandikata is probably identical with modern Nander in Maharashtra. Sircar suggests its location in the valley of the Nandi river (mod. Manyad)
7. उ is incised over the letter दा that was originally engraved.
Second plate second side
1. In the margin centre.
2. अभ्यास = अभ्याश = vicinity, neighbourhood. Sircar
Sel.Inss. pp.481, n.12, suggests, अभ्यास like पाश्र्व in Paharpur grant of the year 159, may be a territorial term.
3. पद्र = village. CE. modern padar = common land, i.e. land adjacent to a village, left uncultivated.
4. Ie. belonging to us. Pali सन्तक (from अस + शतृ +क ) = belonging to

5. आयोग = नियोग
6. In other Vakataka records the phrase used is आज्ञा सञ्चारि कुलपुत्रा सञ्चरन्त = spy.
सेसाय = pali. सेसक = skt शेषक = the remaining ones, others.
7. न्त looks like त्त and त्त looks like
न्त in the plate.
8. Most of these crescent like half-stops are superfluous.
Third plate First side
9. सि is often the loc. sing. termination of a ste. in Ardha-magadhi. Here the locative is being used in the sense of dative.
A. In the centre of left margin.
B. Possibly णं or णियं was intended.
Fourth plate


1. In the left margin Centre.
2. Possibly a mistake for वा or तु

3. i.e in the village group called Akasapadra, in the
neighbourhood of Bhaka, laksha, and Upraka situated in the northern part of the District called Nandikata. For मग्गे in the sense of ‘part or sector cf. 1.2 in the Nasik cave Inscription of Vasishthiputra Pulumavi – Year 22, (supra vol. I, no 165)
Footnote 2.

1. here appears to be used in the sense of a section of village,and cf. Punjabi
It appears the half village here, consisted of three patas or sections of farm land, out of which two are assigned collectively to the first group of nine brahmanas. Of the remaining third plate, three fourth is assigned to the second group of four brahmanas and one fourth to the single brahmanas, Revatyarya.

2. After this sircar takes: पटै: एकै: as understood and explains.
च एकैकस्मै पट मात्रम् इति क्रमेण

English Translation of the inscription

Left margin: Seen. Success !
L 1. From Vatsagulma.
L1.1-7: At the command of the pious Great King Sri Vindhyasakti 2, of the Vaka-taka family, who is the son of the pious Maharaja Sarva -sena, who
(sarva-sena) was the grandson of the Emperor, the pious Maharaja Sri Pravarasena 1, who had performed agnishtoma, aptoryama, vajapeya, Jyotishtoma, brihaspatisava, sadyaskra and four asvamedhas,
who was of Vishnuvriddha gotra, who was the son of Hariti. All the Officers belonging to us and appointed to all sorts of assignments, (and soldiers under (our) comand, (and)rest of touring members of nobility in the village-group (called) Akasapadra in the neighbour hood of Bhaka, Laksha and
upraka, (and) situated in the northern part of the district Nandikata, be told.
L1.7-19: We have just now granted as a new gift (to be enjoyed) for as long as the moon and the sun last.
a half of this village, in religious endowment as a harbinger of victory and increaser of longevity. (and)
announcer of wellbeing and peace in this world and the next for us, to (the Brahmanas of Atharvanika
charana, two patas or sections (i.e 2/3rd of half village) to sitvarya of Bhalandayana gotra, Rudrarya of Kapinjala gotra, Bhartridevarya of
Sravishthayana gotra, Desvarya of Kausika gotra, Vishavarya of Kausika gotra, Vidhyarya of Kausika gotra,
Pitrayya of Paippalada gotra, chandrarya of Bhalandayana
gotra, (and) Jyeshtharya of Kausika gotra, (and) three

quarter-parts (of the remaining third pata or sections of the half village) to these (following Brahmanass (namely) to Buddharya of Bhalandayana
gotra, Bhadrilarya of Kausika gotra, Sivarya of Kausika gotra, (and) Hiranyarya of Kausika gotra
(and) to Revatyarya of Kausika gotra, the remaining one quarter-part
(of the third pata ot section )
L1.19-24 And we grant for this land exemptions which are
in accordance with the customs followed in granting villages to Brahmanas, versed in the four vedas, and which have been approved of by former kings. They are not to be administered as other parts of the
kingdom, no boring (of trees like the palmyra) for salt and moist Commodities (liquor etc.) no money or
foodgrains to be carried and paid (to the royal treasury) no lower and milk to be taken on behalf of the king, no customary supply (to royal officers)
of cows (for milk) and (draft bullocks; no obligation, to render (state) duties in turn no obligation to supply hides or seats, saddles etc. and charcoal
no entry for police-men no obligation to supply cots, stoves and perishable comodities to touring officers,
no taxes to be pald to the king: no obligation to carry loads, free of charge with the right of enjoying hidden treasures and deposits with fences made for the de-markation of boundaries and with raised platforms (for official use and official records and
big tools (the grants) exempted by all kinds of exemptions.
L1.2428 For this reason, in obedience to the authority stated in the above-written charter, (you should)
protect and cause to be protected, exempt and cause to be exempted, this gift. And he, who causes obstruction,
or allows (obstruction) to be made, him we shall arrest
and punish, on being reported by these above listed Brahmanas.
Brahman as.
L1.28-29: The year thirty seven, 37. the first fortnight of the cold season (hemanta, consisting of Agrahayana or
Margasirsha and Pausha or from middle of november to
middle of January) the fifth, 5th, day.
L1.29-30 Order from the king’ s Own mouth.
This charter has
been written by Central Vishnu. May there be success.
1. Suggested by sircar.
2. For English translation of this sentence, sircar,
Sel.Inss., I, pp.434 n.1. For discussion on the pariharas, see sircar, Successors of the Satavahanas,
pp.186 ff. and 192 ff; Mirashi, Nagpur University Journal,
Dec. 1937, pp.22 ff.

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