Buddhist Inscription from Ghantasala

Written by Alok Mohan on December 19, 2022. Posted in Uncategorized

Ghantasala is among one of the most famous ancient Buddhist temples, in Andhra Pradesh.
The place is also known for a famous port city.
The ruins of a Buddhist stupa found here, as well as ancient Inscriptions and coins, highlight the glorious history of Ghantasala Divisima. Most importantly, Ghantasala was a famous trading center, inhabited by merchants, sailors, ships, workers, and others.
This buddhist Inscription was discovered in Ghantasala. These Inscriptions describe remodeling/renovation of a Budhist temple. According to expert in Buddhist studies, these  were

pedestals used to hold a ‘chatra’ (umbrella) for a sculpture.

Inscription number 19.
Buddhist Inscriptions from Ghantasala.
Provenance: Ghantasala village, Krishna district, about 21 kms from Masulipatam, Andhra Pradesh.
Script: Of the 5 inscriptions, designated A B C D and E, the first four are written in very ornamental brahmi characters very similar to the script enployed in the Jaggayyapeta and
Nagarjunikonda inscriptions of kings of the Iksvaku dynasty. Jaggogyapeta inscriptions were assigned by Buhler to the 3rd century A.D. The inscription E, Written in a much earlier form of Brahmi.
Language: Prakrit.
References: J. Ph. Vogel, Ep.Ind. XXVII, pp.1 to 4.
Footnote 1.
1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind., XXVII, facing pp.2.
2. Dharmavanija literally means a pious merchant. But here, it seems, it is the personal name of the father of Buddhisri.
3. Vogel does not explain Gandhakuti. But in his translation, he treats gandhakuti, vetika or Vedika and torana as three distinct architectural items. Dictionary meaning of Gandhakuti is a kind of fragrance. Here it seems
to have been used either in the sense of aloe (aguru or agara) or of increase in general. The claim, in my
view, pertains to the construction of the mandapa along with the incense Platform inside it and it’s portal.
Footnote 2.
The pillar bearing the epigraph is split from top to botttom with the result that of the six lines of writing, only the initial five to seven aksharas have been
preserved. It’s exact purpose, there fore, cannot be stated.
Footnote 3.
1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind., XXVII, facing pp. 3.
2. Vogel:  स-पतिकाय But the letters पुत
are quite clear.
3. Vowel marks in this inscription are mostly indistinct.
Footnote 2.
1. Kantakasola is most probably represented by the small village Ghantasala, the find-spot of the five
epigraphs. It is also mentioned in a votive inscription from amaravati (Jas. Burgess Buddhist stupas of
Amaravati and Jaggayyapeta, A.S. S.I., I, pp.106, Pl, LXI, No.54, Luders, List of Brahmi Inscriptions, No.1303)
and an apsidal of virapurushadatta- year 14, at Nagarjunikonda.
Ep.Ind, XX,  pp.22. text 1-3;. Supra, I, 179, L3)  Ptolemy (VII, 1.15)
mentions the emporium of Kantakossyla, Immediately
after mentioning the mouths of the Maisolos, i.e. the Krishna river.
According to Vogel, however, Ukhasirivardhamanaa,
may be the ancient name of Ghantasala, while Kantakasola
was some other village from where, the donor hailed.
The present epigraphs do not make the relationship between the two clear. It is, however, clear that the
mandapa was erected at Ukhasrivardhamana, which either
represents Ghantasala, the find-spot, or was the sacred construction site within the town of Ghantasala. I favour the latter conclusion.
English Translation of the inscription.
Success ! At ukhasrivardhamana, this stone temple (mandapa) together with an incense platform (gandhakuti
vedika) and the portal was caused to be made by the householder Buddhisri, the son of Dharmavanijaa resident of
Belonging to the chapel (temple) of the householder Buddhisri at Ukhasrivardhamana.
This entrance (ayaka) pillar is the pious gift of the housewife Uttaradatta siddharthamitra, the wife of the master mariner sivaka, the son of the householder savara,
together with her sons, daughters friends and advisors.
This reminds us of another ancient Maha-navika, Buddhagupta, who is mentioned in a Sanskrit inscription
discovered near a ruined Buddhist temple in the province wellesley of Malaya. The slab bearing the inscription
was presented to the Asiatic society of Bengal. It must now be in the Indian Museum, calcutta.  See J.A.S.B.
(New series), I (1935), pp.17. Also the father of Kannaki, the heroin of the Tamil classic, the silappadikaram (circa
200 AD.) was a manaikan, i.e. a Maha-navika, i.e. a sea-captain.

Alok Mohan

The admin, Alok Mohan, is a graduate mechanical engineer & possess following post graduate specializations:- M Tech Mechanical Engineering Production Engineering Marine engineering Aeronautical Engineering Computer Sciences Software Engineering Specialization He has authored several articles/papers, which are published in various websites & books. Studium Press India Ltd has published one of his latest contributions “Standardization of Education” as a senior author in a book along with many other famous writers of international repute. Alok Mohan has held important positions in both Govt & Private organisations as a Senior professional & as an Engineer & possess close to four decades accomplished experience. As an aeronautical engineer, he ensured accident incident free flying. As leader of indian team during early 1990s, he had successfully ensured smooth induction of Chukar III PTA with Indian navy as well as conduct of operational training. As an aeronautical engineer, he was instrumental in establishing major aircraft maintenance & repair facilities. He is a QMS, EMS & HSE consultant. He provides consultancy to business organisations for implimentation of the requirements of ISO 45001 OH & S, ISO 14001 EMS & ISO 9001 QMS, AS 9100, AS9120 Aero Space Standards. He is a qualified ISO 9001 QMS, ISO 14001 EMS, ISO 45001 OH & S Lead Auditor (CQI/IRCA recognised certification courses) & HSE Consultant. He is a qualified Zed Master Trainer & Zed Assessor. He has thorough knowledge of six sigma quality concepts & has also been awarded industry 4, certificate from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation Knowledge Hub Training Platform  He is a Trainer, a Counselor, an Advisor and a Competent professional of cross functional exposures. He has successfully implimented requirements of various international management system standards in several organizations. He is a dedicated technocrat with expertise in Quality Assurance & Quality Control, Facility Management, General Administration, Marketing, Security, Training, Administration etc. He is a graduate mechanical engineer with specialization in aeronautical engineering. He is always eager to be involved in imparting training, implementing new ideas and improving existing processes by utilizing his vast experience.