Mudhal Plates of Pugavarman

Written by Alok Mohan on February 4, 2023. Posted in Uncategorized

Inscription number 64.
Mudhal Plates of Pugavarman.
Provenance: An unnamed village in Mudhol taluk, Bijapur district, Karnataka.
Footnote 1.
1. Pugavarman, the eldest son of Prithivivallabha Maharaja,
never seems to have come to the throne, It is not difficult to identify Prithivivallabha Maharaja
Vallabha, Srivallabha, Prithivivallabha etc. are typical western chalukya appellations. And the title Maharaja
signifying an independent status, is almost invariably and for the first time applied to Pulakesin 1, in all the
formal charters of the family. His other regal title was Rana Vikranta.
(puissant in war)
He was a son of the Chalukya king Pulakeshin 1.  Pulakeshin’s wife Durlabha-devi was his step-mother.

Mangalesha succeeded his elder brother Kirtivarman 1, who was his half-brother.  As Kirttivarman’s son was a minor he took upon himself the burden of administration.
He was a vaishnavite and a devotee of vishnu. He constructed Lanjishvara or Maha-Vishnu-Griha cave temple dedicated to vishnu

It is also known from the numerous records of the family that Pulakesin 1 performed all the sacrifices mentioned in this record. His reign has been fixed from 535 A D. to 567 A D. (see Classical Age, pp 231).
Pulakesin 1 was succeeded by his sons, first Kirttivarman I, and then Mangalesha. Pugavarman, a Chalukya prince.
Script: Southern class of Brahmi with  archaic traits, many letters with small box-head s.
Language: Sanskrit
Metres: vv.1-2 अनुष्टुब
References: R. S. Panchamukhi, Progress of Kannada Research in
Bombay Province, 1941-46, pp.12 and 69 ff, and Plare.IV,  P. B. Desai, Ep.Ind, XXXII, pp.293-98.
Footnote 1.
From the facsimile in Ep-Ind XXII, pp.297.
Footnote 2.
1. He may have gained fame in battles fought for his father.
2. Round about way of referring to Varaha avatara. Literally,
the god husband of the wife of Varaha. Varaha is one of the seven Mother goddesses.
3. Malaketa is modern Malkhed in Gulbarga district, Karnataka ,
It became the capital of the Rashtrakutas, in the  succeeding
centuries and is mentioned in their records in the sanskritised form, Manyakheta. In still later inscriptions
found in Malkhed and the neighbouring villages, the place is called Manyakheda, Malikeda and Maleyakheda.
4.   मान्यं =  vow  from मन to agree.
English Translation of the inscription.
Peace ! Victorious is the glorious lotus like step (i.e foot) of
Brahma (the Creator), which is worthy of worship by the righteous,
which glows like heated gold, and is the cause of existence of good and evil of the three worlds.
By the illustrious Pugavarman, better known as Battle, who is victorious only next to it (i.e. Brahma’s step)
stepping lotus) and who is the foremost son of the illustrious
Maharaja Prithivivallabha.who had purified his body by ritual baths following the performance of agnishtoma, agnichayana,
vajapeya , hiranyagarbha (and) a series of asvamedha sacrifices
a gift in fulfilment of second vow was given with libation of water for the lord Varaha. (Lit., the god the lord of Varahi)
in the village Malaketaka, desiring (the consequential reward in this world and the next. Thirtythree are the sharers.
It has been said:
(Here follows one of the usual benedictory verses) 

Godachi Plates of Katti-Arasa

Written by Alok Mohan on February 3, 2023. Posted in Uncategorized

Inscription number 63.
Godachi Plates of Katti-Arasa ( Kirttivarman 1) A.D. 566-598, Regnal Year 12 (578 A.D.)
Kirttivarman 1 was an emperor of the chalukya dynasty. He had  ruled parts of Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
He was son of Pulakesin 1, the first sovereign ruler of the dynasty.
He defeated Nalas, the Mauryas Kadambas, and the Gangas.
Some Inscriptions credit him victories over several other kingdoms. 
According to Aihole inscription of Pulakeshin 2, Kirttivarman was “the night of doom” for Nalas, the Mauryas, and the kadambas.
Provenance: Godachi village, Torgal Taluk, Maharashtra.
Script: Southern Brahmi of the 6th century A.D.
Language: Sanskrit, influenced by Kannada.
References: Dr Nandimath, “Journal of the University of bombay” History, Economics and sociology series,
Vol. V. pp.165 ff, “Prabuddha Karnataka”, Vol. XXIII,
No.1, pp. 25 ff, P. B. Desai, Ep.Ind., XXVIII, pp. 59-62.
Footnote 1.
1. Katti-Arasa introduces himself as the favourite son of, Western chalukya, Rana-vikrama Dharma-Maharaja, i.e.
Pulakesin 1, and hence can easily be recognised as the latter’s son Kirttivarman 1, who is frequently referred to by several other names or titles, such as Kirtiraja
(Bombay Gazzet, I, Pt.II, pp.345), Puru-Ranaparakrama
(Ind.Ant., XIX, pp.14), and Srivikrama (Ibid., XXVII, pp.37) the Badami Vaishnava cave Inscription (Ibid. X,
pp.57) of Kirtivarman 1, mentions the same details of the date as recorded in the present inscription, with the addition of the saka year 500 (578 A.D.)which there fore is the
date of the present inscription.
2. From tne facsimile in Ep.Ind, XXVIII, facing  pp.62.
Footnote 2.
1. The anusvara is wrongly engraved over kta.
2. The mark of puncuation is not required here.
3. Better read
4. This appears to be a cursive form of na.
Footnote 3.
1. The initial ma looks like va. The meaning of the word
marunannam is not known. It appears along with another word unchhamanna in the records of a slightly later period (Ind.Ant, XI,  pp. 66, J.B,B.R.A.S, XVI,  pp.244 etc.)
R S. Panchamukhi’s suggestion that -manna here may be equated with man meaning land and that marunanna
waste land, is not plausible, since here it qualifies a cultivable farm.
2. The mark of punctuation is superfluous.
3.  Expressed by the usual spiral symbol.
English Translation of the inscription.
Peace! The favourite son of the pious (dharma) Maharaja Ranavikrama, whose body had been purified by ritual
baths taken on the occasion of Agnishtoma, Agnichayana, Vaja-peya, Bahusuvarna, Paundarika and Asvamedha Sacrifices, (and)
who was (a scion) of the Hariti-putra Chalukyas of Manavya lineage, anointed through their devotion to Lord Karttikeya and the group of (His) Mothers named Katti Arasa, whose intellect is adept in understanding, memorising and absorbing the depth
and expanse of the meaning of all the sastras who has uprooted all the (rival) kinsmen (dayadah) by his wisdom, diplomacy and prowess, who has earned the love of all his subjects by protecting the (four) varnas and (four) asramas justly has, in the twelfth
Year of his reign, on the full moon day of (the month of) Karttika granted a farm (measuring) twenty five nivarttanas, according to the standard royal measurement, in Nulgala village
inclusive of marumanna, of all the
produce, along with garden
cultivation (sa-tottam) along with cummin seed (cultivation)
(sa. jirakam) along with water resources, along wi th housing property (sa-nivesa to Krishnasvamin of Kaundinya gotra, who
has fully mastered the Vedas and the Vedangas (and) who maintains
the two (sacred) fires, on the recommendation of the great brahmana, Vyaghrasvamin, who bears the responsibility of all the assets
of the empire, who is the past-master of the Vedas and the Vedangas, who is an expert in the discipline of politics, (and) who possesses an uncommon power of exposition on the Puranas
music, itihasa, drama, poetry, logic and grammar together with
word analysis and therefore is the modern brihaspati. He who
revoked it, will join with the five great sins. He who protects it will share the fruit of the religious merit.
(Here follows one of the usual imprecatory verses)

Footnote 4.
1. The western chalukyas who succeeded the Kadambas to the
sovereignty of Karnataka appear to have adopted in the beginning much of their prasasti, including the title
Dharma-Maharaja. This title was not used again in their inscriptions. It was borne by many of the earlier rulers of the western Ganga, Kadamba and Pallava dynasties.
The distinct conventional chalukya prasasti seems to have evolved into final shape in the Hyderabad grant of
Pulakesin 2.
2. Desai thinks Ep.Ind, XXVIII, pp.61) that jiraka here includes all the crops of cummin family.
Footnote 5.
1.  has to be analysed as T
along with two atithis.  Atithi, in the Vedic context, means fire.  Agni is frequently addressed as atithi in the vedic hymns. see Macdonell Vedic Mythology, pp.95)
The two fires are the srauta – agni and the smarta – agni, which every house-holder is expected to maintain,
according to the injunctions of Vedic ritualism.
2. It appears, he was the Prime Minister.
3. i.e. the bath taken at he end of a sacrifice.

Badami Rock Inscription of Vallabhesvara 

Written by Alok Mohan on February 2, 2023. Posted in Uncategorized

Inscription number 62.
Badami Rock Inscription of Vallabhesvara (Pulakesin 1)
Saka Year 465 (543 A.D.)
8).The Badami rock inscription of Pulakesin I is dated in the Saka year 465.  Vikrama Samvat 601. Early Chalukyas ruled many parts of Southern and Central India. Earliest dynasty, known as the “Badami Chalukyas”, ruled from Vatapi, from the middle of the 6th century. Badami’ which is known in ancient times as ‘Vatapi’ is a town located in the Bijapur district of Karnataka and is famous for its rock-cut temples constructed by the Chalukyas. These are mainly Jain temples.

Badami Chalukyas declared their independence from Kadambas consequent to decline of kadamba   kingdom of Banavasi. They rapidly gained strength especially during the reign of Pulakesin 2.
After the death of Pulakeshin 2, the eastern chalukyas became an independent kingdom in the eastern Deccan.
 They ruled from vengi until about the 11th century. In the western Deccan, the rise of rashtrakutas, led to decline of the  in Chalukyas empire which was subsequently revived by their descendants, the western chalukyas, in the late 10th century. The Western Chalukyas ruled from Kalyani (Basava Kalyan) until the end of the 12th century.Provenance: On a rock at the back of the Batterappa temple in
the northern fort at Badami, Bijapur district, Karnataka.
Script: Late Brahmi of the Southern Class of the 6th century A.D.
Language: Sanskrit
Metres vv.1-2:-  अनुष्टुब (श्लोक)
References:- R. S. Panchamukhi, Ep.Ind, XXVII, pp.4-9, D.C. Sircar, select Inss. I, pp. 482.
Footnote 1.
1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind, XXVII.
This is the earliest authentic reference to the use of saka era, al thou the Digambara Jain author, Simhasuri,
Lokavibhaga  claims to have completed
his work, in saka 380.
संवत्सरे तु द्वाविंशे का ञ् चीशे सिंह वम्र्णे !
अशीत्यग्रे श्काब्दानां सिद्ध मेतत्छत – अये !!
English Translation of the inscription.
Peace In the saka year, four hundred and sixty five, the chalikya king vallabhesvara, performer of the Aavamedha and other sacrifices according to the srauta rites, and one
born of Hiranyagarbha (mahadana) made vatapi on the best of
hills, into this fortress unconquerable from the top as well as from the bottom for the prosperity of the earth.Footnote 1.
1. Better known as Chalukya or chalukya. For the Hiranyagarbha mahadana, See Sircar, Successors of the satavahanas. pp. 50 ff.
2. Pulakesin 1, made vatapi (modern Badami) his capital.
But his son Kirtivarman 1, seems to have had a major share in the construction of the city and the fort
since the chiplun plates refer to him as the founder of vatapi.
3. From the date and the distinguishing epithet, asvamedha-yajva, as well as the alias Vallabhesvara, it is easy to
recognise him as Pulikesin 1, father of Kirtivarman 1.
In the Aihole inscription of Pulikesin 1, (Ep.Ind,, VI, pp.4) Pulikesin 1, is described as (11.7-8) श्रितेंन्दुकान्तिरपि श्रीवल्लभो प्ययासीद वातापि पुरी वधू  वरतां
“भूश्च येन हय – मेध – याजिना प्र पितावभृष मज्जना बभौं”
He was the first chalukya king to perform horse sacrifice,
which indicates his independent status but he could not lay claim to paramount status. The Apastamba-srauta-sutra (x) permits both a paramount king as well as one not of paramount status to perform horse-sacrifices.
राजा  सार्वभौंमो श्वमेधेन यजेताप्यसार्व भौम: !

Ajjibal Plates of Krishna-varman

Written by Alok Mohan on February 2, 2023. Posted in Uncategorized

Inscription number 61.

Ajjibal Sirsi Plates of Krishna-varman 2. Regnal Year 19.

Provenance: Ajjibal, Sirsi taluk, North Kanara, district, Karnataka.

Script: Southern variety of Brahmi.

Language: Sanskrit.

Kadambas were major power of north Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra. 

While Gangas of Manavyasa gotra ruled over Gungavadi, South Karnataka, 

 They were Brahmins, & belonged to the lineage of Sharman, a young Brahmin scholar from Talagunda. According to Gudnapur record  Mayura’s father was Bandhushena. The first ruler of the Kadamba dynasty, Mayura Sharman, was well versed in all Vedas.

He had gone to Kanchi, the

capital of the Pallavas, which was a  centre of higher learning. 

The Pallavas ruled parts of Karnataka, 

Talagunda in Shimoga district.

 The home of Mayura, haf become a part of the Pallava kingdom.

 Mayura was humiliated

by the Pallavas.

Mayur had taken offence of this insult & discontinued his studies.

He left Kanchi and take to the life of a warrior. He established his kingdom in the forest of Sriparvata region, after defeating the Pallavas. Pallavas failed to control him and had no choice but to recognise him as a king of the region. His kingdom stretched from the Western ocean to the river Prehara, identifed as the Malaprabha,

Mayura Sharman (c 325 A. D.-345 A. D.) was succeeded by

his son Kanga Varman in c 345 A. D. He is described as receiving

obeissance from a number of chiefs and had to face terrible wars.

Krishna Varman 2, was the second son of Kakustha Varman and had founded the Triparvata branch of kadamba Dynasty in c 430. He had performed an ashwamedha sacrifice. He killed Hari Varman, in a battle. Hari Varman was the last prince in the line of

Shanti Varman.

Krishna Varman was succeeded by his son Vishnu Varman in c 460. Vishnu Varman’s Hebbatta record informs us that he had come to the throne with

the help of the Pallavas.

He had a younger brother, Deva Varman. Vishnu Varman was

killed by Ravi Varman of Banavasi and was succeeded by Simha

Varman, his son, in c 490. Simba Varman’s son, Krishna Varman,

who succeeded him.

 captured Banavasi by killing Hari Varman. During 530 C.E. Pulakesin 1 of Badami, who was a subordinate of Kadambas, over-powered him and the

sovereign rule of the Kadambas thereafter ended. 

A few Inscriptions found from the region describe about  Aja-varman

and Bhog-varman, son and grandson of

Krishna Varman.

But they ruled only as subordinate of the Chalukyas of Badami. 

References: V. S. Sukthankar, Ep.Ind. XVI,  pp 268-72.

Footnote 1.

1. Of the two Krishna-varman’s known from the Kadamba records, the issuer of the present plates has been identified on palaeographical grounds, with the second king of this name,

whose Bannahalli (now Halebid) grant dated 7th year of his reign was published in Ep.Ind,.VI, pp.18, although the title, Dharma-maharaja invariabl y applied to the earlier Krishnavarman and is not found applied to the 2nd Krishnavarman in any record. But it should be noted that the present

Grant does not credit the king with the performance of an asvamedha, something which all other records do.

Further, the characters resemble, those of some later Kadamba records. They represent a palaeographic phase,

later than that of Ravivarman’s copper plates.

1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind,, XVI, facing pp.271.

Footnote 2.

1. Halanta is written below the line.

2. L in samalkavani is not properly formed. Malkava, like hiranya must be a technical revenue term. It also occurs,

spelt as malkavu, in the Nilambur plates of Ravivarman (1.8) ( See supra, IV, 56, l.8) Girigada village has been

Identified with the existing village named Girigadde near sirsi, and Karvvannadga with modern village, Karur, formerly the headquarters of a magane (=  thana) of

of Karur taluk.

English Translation of the inscription 

Peace At Valjayanti, the city of victory the Dharma-Maharaja, of the family of the Kadambas, who meditated on Lord Mahasena, Karttikeya and the group Holy Mothers and had been anointed at Asvamedha sacrifices, who

were of Manavya gotra and descendant sof Hariti, who regularly

busied themselves in the study and discussion of the sacred books, who were like mothers to the dependent people:- the glorious Krishnavarman, who had earned in numerous (previous)

births an immense pile of religious merit, who has gained fame

and the fortunes of royalty as a result of victories in numerous wars, has given with libation of water, Kamakapalli (hamlet), together with all the immuniti es, together with

malkava and together with cash revenue, in the village of

Girigada, in the district Karvvannadga for the religious merit of his mother and father to the soma-sacrificer somasvamin, who belongs to Varahi gotra, is a past master of the Rigveda

and follows the moral and ethical laws known as the yama and

niyama, in the nineteenth year of his prosperous reign of victory, on the full-moon day of Karttika. whosoever is its protector shall share the Fruit of this meritorious deed.

And whosoever is the confiscator shall join to (i, e. be guilty of) the five great sins. And it has been spoken:-

(Here follow two of the customary admonitory verses).

Sangoli Plates of Harivarman

Written by Alok Mohan on January 31, 2023. Posted in Uncategorized

Inscription number 60.

Sangoli Plates of Harivarman. Regnal year 8. 545 A.D.

The inscription was issued from Vaijayanti, and records the grant of village Tedava to twenty-three Brahmaṇas of eight different gotras, all well versed in the Atharva Veda, by the Kadamba king Harivarman, on the Amavasya in the month of Asvina during his eighth regnal year. Some of the gotra names of the Brahmaṇas are Kaimabala, Kalasa, Sravistha, Valandata, Cauliya. Harivarman founded maukhari dynasty and was the first ruler to be named in the known Maukhari records.  He was succeeded by his son Adityavarman. Consequent to the fall of Gupta Empire, he occupied kannauj and bore the title of Maha-raja. His fame had stretched out all over the world and was compared with lord Chakradhara, in employing his sovereignty for regulating different castes as well as religious activities of his empire.

Provenance: Sangoli on the river Malaprabha, Sampgaum taluk,

Belgaum district, Karnataka.

Script: Southern Brahmi closely resembling the script of the other Kadamba grants.

Language: Sanskrit.


vv.1-3: श्लोक (अनुष्टुब)

References: K.N. Dikshit, Ep.Ind, XIV, pp.163-68.

Footnote 1.

1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind, XIV..

2. On left margin on line with 1.2

3. Sandhi rules are often ignored.

4. प्रतिकृत स्वाद्वयाय चर्चापाराणां = प्रतिदिन कृत स्वाध्याय चर्चापराणाम 

English Translation of the inscription.

Success ! Victorious is (the god) sambhu, lord of all the worlds, with his crown of matted hair permanently

adorned the young moon and who has neither beginning nor end. In the victorious city of vaijayanti of the family, of the Kadambas, who were anointed as a result of meditation

upon the Lord Karttikeya and the group of his six mothers who belong to the Manavya lineage and are descendants

of Hariti, who were regular in study and discussion of the sacred texts, who are the seat i.e. base of wealth, and who are famed to have stored an immense pile of religious merit through the succession of many previous births; the

illustrious Harivarman, who is Lord Dharma incarnate as it were, whose spotless fame has risen in all the various quarters, who is initiated into the vow of protecting the subjects,

whose body has been sanctified by means of learning and modesty,

who is intent on the service of the Brahmanas, and who is a

great devotee of Mahesvara (i.e. Siva), in the eighth year of his flourishing reign, on the new moon day of Asvina on the autumnal equinox  gave for the prosperity of his dynasty, the village Tedava, with all its eighteen divisions, along with dakshina with libation of water to Sivasarman, Prajapatisarman, Dhatrisarman, Nandisarman and

Dharmasarman, all of the Kaimbala gotra, Vaikunthasarman,

Vasusarman, Nagasarman, Mandanasarman, all of the Kalasa

gotra, Vishnusarman, Prajapatisarman and Pitrisarman of the Garga gotra, Kumarasarman, Tvashtrisarman, Skandasarman and

Varunasarman of the Kautsa gotra Yasasasarman, Ayasarman,

Pasupati sarman and Mitrasarman of the Sravishtha gotra,

Vanasarman of chauliya gotra Prajapatisarman of Valandata gotra,

and Kumarasarman of Kasyapa gotra, the brahmanas, who are the

masters of the Atharvaveda, and who are devoted to their religious duties and rites. He who revokes this grant shall be guilty of five deadly sins.

And he who protects will share the fruit arising from the religious merit of this

donation. And it has been said:

(Here follow two of the traditional imprecatory verses).

May there be success ! Obeisance to the trinity of gods, Vishnu, Siva and Brahma. May there be well-being of the



1. Vishupa in Asvin would be an autumnal equinox (Tula Sankranti), which occurred in the years 507, 526 and 545 A.D. in the first half of the 6th century A.D. when Harivarman, perhaps the last Kadamba ruler can be

placed, since they were ousted by the chalukyas before 570 AD. If we accept Harivarman as the last, or last

but one Kadamba ruler, before the advent of the Chalukyas about 570 A.D. the year 545 A.D. will have to be accepted as the likely year of this record.

2. A cash gift necessarily accompanying other gifts to

Brahmanas at the end of a religious rlte.


1. The god of death and also of righteousness.

Also a name of Yudhishthira and of the Buddha.

Ajjibal Sirsi Plates of Ravivarman

Written by Alok Mohan on January 30, 2023. Posted in Uncategorized

Inscription number 59.
Ajjibal Sirsi Plates of Ravivarman –Regnal Year 35.
Provenance: Not known. It was family heirloom of S. N. Hegde of
Hegde of Ajjibal, Sirsi taluk, North Kanara distt, Karnataka.
 Ajjibal is a village in Sirsi taluk, south Karnataka.  Famous ancient temples Prabhu Devasthana and  shambhulinga are located in this region.
Shambhulinga temple is a huge shiva temple from the 11th century which was built by Western Chalukyas. It is built with highly polished stones, which are dovetailed into one another. The carvings and images on the pillars are well beautified. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvati.
The exterior part of the temple is well decorated with lotus and kirtimukha faces as well as hundreds of Brahmanical images.
Unfortunately, this temple also became a victim of islamic invaders. Understand that though the temple was renovated but could achieve it’s original shape.

Script: Southern variety of Brahmi, resembling the writing of the Halsi and Nilambur plates of Ravivarman.
Language: Sanskrit.
References: V. S. Sukthankar, Ep.Ind, XVI, pp. 264-68.
Footnote 1.
1. Ep.Ind, VI, pp. 25 ff.
2. Ibid, VIII, pp.147; Also Supra, IV, 56.
3. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind, XVI, facing pp. 270.
3. The following mark of punctuation is not needed.
Footnote 2.
1. Kielhorn (Ep.Ind., V, pp.15, n.3) and Sukthankar take प्रतिकृति  in the sense of requital of actions. But the intended sense seems to be प्रतिकृत or  प्रति दिन कृत Means “regularly performing”
2. Sukthankar amends it to अन (पा) यानुपूव्र्या
and translates ‘uninterrupted succession, This is unnecessary.
English Translation of the inscription.
Peace ! At the city, of victory, the glorious Vaijayanti, the pious king of the family of the Kadambas,
who were anointed after meditating on the feet of Lord Karttikeya and the group of Holy Mothers, who were of Manavya gotra and descendants of Hariti, who busied themselves in study
and discussion of the sacred texts, glorious, the Ravivarman, to whose valour all the nobles had submitted,
the author of the sastras (religio-philosophic works) and sciences, famous among the Aryas ( the noble people), like Karttikeya
Mahasena of the Kadambas, One whose (present) body had
been achieved by enormous religious merit earned in numerous
previous births, well-versed in statesmanship and decorum,
very pious, deeply devoted to his parents, granted on the
figth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Karttika in
the thirty-fifth regnal year, which is increasing his life
and sovereignty because of this aforementioned series of
meritorious deeds, four nivarttanas, according to the royal measure, in the farm-land of (or known as) Bandupukroli, located
below the Dasa tank and above the Bambare tank in the village named, sara to the temple of Mahadeva of his dear physician named Nilakantha, the Regional secretary. Two parts of that
land have been given, for the purpose of sustenance, to the Brahmanas, named Aryasvamin and Pasupata of Kasyapa gotra and Bharadvaja gotra respectively, who live in the temple
premises. He, who protects it will share the fruit of this meritorious deed. And it has been said:
(Here follow two of the imprecatory verses)

Footnote 3.
1. The first ञ्च is irregularly incised and appears like ञ्य 
with the right slanting tail of भ्  put above it.
Footnote 4.
1. cf. the epithet,   कदम्ब सेनानी बृहदन्वय व्योम चन्द्रमा: 
applied to another Kadamba king Kakutsthavarman in his Talagunda Pillar inscriptiion (Ep.Ind., VII, pp.31; and infra IV, 54, L1) But it is more probable that महासेनापति, (Karttikeya) is used here in the sense of महासेन
the supreme Commander of the gods, in which case, the meaning would be, among the Kadambas an equal of
2. cf. the existing surnames, Deshmukh, Deshpande.
The exact duties and powers of the Desamatya, it is not possible to define with our present knowledge.

Davangere Plates of Ravivarman

Written by Alok Mohan on January 30, 2023. Posted in Uncategorized

Inscription number 58. 

Davangere Plates of Ravivarman (Regnal) year 34.

Provenance: Davangere, Chitaldrug (chitradurga) district, Karnataka.

Davanagere is a famous city in Karnataka, Due to it’s inherent legacy, Davanagere has started reemerging into an another educational hub similar to ancient Kashi. The city is famous for Harihareshwara temple. This temple is a classic example of Hoysala style architecture and houses Lord Harihareshwara. A fusion of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva in one body.

The image of the deity is a fusion of the right vertical half of Shiva and left vertical half of Vishnu. The image holds in its right hand, the attributes of Shiva and in the left hand, those of Vishnu.

The left half of the idol is Lord Vishnu holding Sudarshana and the Right half is Lord Shiva with his “Jate” and holding Dhamaru.

This temple was built in CE 1223–1224 by Polalva, a commander and minister of the Hoysala empire. King Vira Narsimha 2. During  1268 CE, Soma, a commander of King Narasimha 3, of the same dynasty made some alterations & additions.

The temple has 60 pillars placed symmetrically. This beautiful temple bears witness to some scars & disfigurations during the Mughal invaders, who had ruthlessly tried to destroy most advanced civilization of 

this planet.

Alongside this temple there is a temple of Lakshmi and several inscriptions excavated from the beds of Tungabhadra, which give us evidences of the riches of the natives.

Script: Southern Brahmi of 5th-6th centuries A.D.

Language:  Sanskrit.

Metre: v.1: प्रहर्षिणी    

vv. 2-19 and 21-23: अनुष्टुब

v.20: वसन्ततिलका

References: Annual Report of the Mysore Archaeological Department.

for the year 1933, pp.109-16 (Abbr, M.A.R)

D.C. Sircar, Ep.Ind, XXXII,  pp.87-92.

Footnote 1.

1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind, XXXIII, opp. pp.90.

2. Sarvajna and Lokanatha are alternate names of the Buddha.

3. The Correct form of the name Kakutstha.

Footnote 2.

1. There is metrical defect here.

2. The city of Vaijayanti.

Footnote 3.

1. Neither the failure of Raghu, an early Kadamba king, nor the success of Ravivarman in capturing Kundagigiri, presumably a hill fort, is mentioned in any other records of the famly.

Kundagiri may be identical with the moden Kudgere in the Shimoga district.

2. The auspicious day of the spring season referred to here, may be the Vasanta-pancham day.

3. The adoratory first stanza and the stated objective of the grant namely the growth of the samgha, shows that

the siddhayatana in this context is a Buddhst institution, not a Jaina one, as the editor of the M. A. R. stipulates.

The Kadambas themselves were of Pauranik fai th.

4. M.A.R. कोरमंगाश्रितां

English Translation of the inscription.



1. Victory to the Buddha, the lord of all the worlds,

whose lotus-like foot, washed by the glow of the crown-jewels of the gods, always bears the lustre of lotuses washed by sunlight. There was the king Raghu who pervaded the directions through his fame. Comparable to Kakutstha was his younger brother, king Kalkutstha.

2.  His son was the illustrious king santivarman. His son was Mrigesa, of the lion’s prowess.

3. Ravi rose to be the crest of the mountain, that was the pure Kadamba lineage, like the sun with flaming

rays, the crest-swell of the Udaya mountain. 

4. Was it vishnu, the crusher of the demons, himself in royal garb, with his

wheel decorated with golden streaks in motion, manifestly discarded.

5.The tormentor of enemies is not intoxicated, even though in Imperial power. This royal fortune, even

when swallowed in a small quantity, intoxicates others like wine.

6. The land extending to the Narmada rejoices with love in taking refuge under him, as does goddess Lakshmi,

on taking refuge, on Vishnu’s chest dyed red with the lustre of Kaustubha. 7. In the reign of Ravivarman, this city of Vaijayanti, with fluttering colourful banners, glitters, surprising the city of Indra in splendour.

8. Bhe Lakshmi did not become as happy even on the chest of vishnu, as she became pleased in mind with sandle-paste transferred to her

body duing, embrace, from the bracelets on Ravivarman’s arms.

9. The entire earth solicits aid from the lord Ravivarman, the shrewd statesman as does the heaven from Indra, whose bracelet is reddened like flower buds, by the irradiation of the firy


10. On whose head the Goddess of Royal Fortune, Lakshmi, herself Sprinkled annointment to kingship with waters, malt-coloured with lotuses, Poured from the interior of gold pitchers.

 11. The Kundagiri withstood the sword,

 welded by Raghu. Today the same mountain, bears like a garland, the command of Ravi.

 12. When Haridatta requested

this king for a religious donation, he acceded with words bathed in the glow of smiles.

13. When the year was the

thirty fourth prosperous year of the expanding empire, the month was Madhu (i.e. chaitra) the day, an auspicious one, the fortnight was the bright one and the nakshatra, Rohini.

14. At that time the suppressor of enemies, the long-armed and never-defeated king, granted, for worship at the siddha temple and for the prosperity of the sangha, at Asandi, land commanded by the stone embankment  and located at (or along the) koravega together wth an addltional area measuring another


15 & 16. Further, to the south of Asandi,

a field measuring one nivarttana, according to the royal measure,

in the area under water (kedara) adjoining this said embankment.

17. And one nivarttana of land at the extremity of the embankment, that, too according to the royal measure, and

three nivarttanas of land at Vedirkoda.18. The illustrious Maharaja gave him (i.e. to Haridatta) in the presence of all

the chiefs, the land together with the royal granary (samadhi) and exempted from unchha and other taxes. 

19. Knowing that great merit, accrues to the protector, and the sinfulness in equal measure, mitasya of the one that causes, cancellation of the same. Let the lords of the earth (i.e., kings) be the

judges towards protecting this gift & checking the failings of the

Varnas and the asramas engaged with undivided attention.

20. vv.22 and 24. These customary verses have been translated

in these pages above.

v.23.  Gifts made wi th libation of water, eaten with three fingers, protection extended by the virtuous and

the acts of past kings.

These are not reversible.


Footnote 4.

1. cf. उञ्छ – कर – भरादि विवर्जित  is used in the Halsi plates

of Ravivarman, (Ind.Ant, VI, pp.28).

Footnote 5.

1. Sircar (Ep.Ind, pp.89) thinks that Haridatta was the real donor, who only sought confirmation from the king.

But since no other donee is mentioned in the inscription, v.15 mentioning only the purpose for which the grant was

to be utilised, it is clear that the donee referred to in V.19 by the pronown tam is Haridatta himself, who sought the grant.

2. The exact dimensions of a nivartana varied from time to time and area to area. Asandi has been identified with modern Asandi, near Ajjampur, in Kadur district. Koravega appear to be

the name of the river, against which, presumably, the embankment stood. Sircar takes it and Vedirkoda, in the sense of localities, within the area of


Kuntagani Plates

Written by Alok Mohan on January 26, 2023. Posted in Uncategorized

Inscription number 57.
Kuntagani Plates of Kadamba Ravi-varman, Year 12.
The Kadambas were earliest known native kingdoms of Karnataka. They were contemporaries of the western Ganga Dynasty and together they formed the alliance to rule the land with autonomy.
From the mid-6th century the dynasty continued to rule as a vassal of larger Kannada empires, the chalukyas and the Rashtrakuta empires for close to five centuries. Prior to kadamba era Karnataka was ruled by mauryas and Satavahanas, who were not natives of this region. Kadambas were indigenous dynasty.
The Kadamba era provides important religious & cultural details of the region.
Provenance: Kuntagani Village, 80 km, North West of Banavasi.
Ankola taluk, North Kanara district, Karnataka.
Script: Brahmi of the Southern class
Language: Sanskrit.
These plates were found at Kuṇṭagaṇi, a village about 50 miles north-west of Banavasi in the Sirsi Taluk of North Kanara District in Mysore State.
The set comprises three copper-plates, each measuring 6.4 inches by 1.9 inches. There is a hole, about 5 inch in diameter, on the left side of each plate, through which passes the ring with the seal. The ring is about 2 inches in diameter, while the seal which is oval in shape, measures 1.2 inches by 1 inch. The first and the third plates are inscribed on the inner side only while the second plate has writing on both sides. The first and the second plates contain 3 lines of writing each and the third plate has 4 lines. Each line contains about 20 aksharas, except the last line of the third plate which has about 12 aksharas. As some portions of the plates have flaked off, the letters are damaged in these portions. The plates, together with the ring and the seal, weigh 45 tolas.

References: H. D. Sankalia, New Ind.Ant, IV, (1941-42), pp.178-81,
G.S. Gai, Ep.Ind, XXXII, pp.217-19.
Footnote 1.
1. Eight of his plates are known. His Ajjibal Sirsi plates (Infra IV, 59) were
issued in his 35th regnal year showing that he ruled for at least 35 years.
R sathianathaier, Classical
Age, pp.273, fixes his reign from 497 to 537 A.D., while Nilakanta Sastri, Vakataka-Gupta Age ( Ed. R.C.
Majumdar) pp. 238, puts him about 500 538 A.D.
2. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind, XXXII, between pp. 218 and 219.
3. Identified by Gai, with modern Hangal in Dharwar district of Karnataka. In later records, spelt as Pantipura or Panthipura. It changed to Panumgala and Hangal. It is
distinct from Vaijayanti (modern Vanavasi in North Kanara district), the capital of this Kadamba dynasty.
All (other known plates of Ravi-varman, were issued either from Vaijayanti or from Palasika, identified with
modern Halsi in the Khanapur Taluk of Belgaum district.
Footnote 2.
1. As in other kadamba plates, the correct reading should be:
अभिषिक्तानां मानव्य – सगोत्राणां हारीती पुत्राणां
2. वरियका may be modern Bargi, about 22 kms, South West of Kuntagani.

English Translation of the inscription.

Peace! In (i.e. from) the Panktipura, the city of victory.
The great king Sri Ravivarman; of the family of the Kadambas, who are regular in study and discussion of sacred books, who are the sons of Hariti and are of Manavya gotra, and who were anointed after contemplation on Lord Mahasena, Karttikeya and the group of his mothers:-
having caused a tank-bund to be constructed in the village of
Variyaka, granted on it’s bunds, both sides, according to the procedure of perpetual gifts and the tradition of earlier kings, on the request of many persons, a pukkoli farm named
Karppatesvara, measuring twenty four nivarttanas to Bhavasvamin of Dhaumya gotra and a past-master of the Vedas for his own noble merit, in his increasingly victorious year
twelve, on the full moon day of the month of sravana. He who confiscates it becomes joined with the great sins.
And, he who is the protector becomes, sharer of the fruit of this meritorious deed. And it has been said:
(Here follow two of the imprecatory and
benedictory verses)
A house site and a nivartana land are also granted in the village.

Nilambur Copper-plates

Written by Alok Mohan on January 25, 2023. Posted in Uncategorized

Inscription number 56.

Nilambur Copper-plates of Ravi-varman (497-537 A.D.)

Regnal year 5.

The Inscriptions of Ravi-varman, present well documented records of  donative, religious, and agrarian practices of the kadambas. The inscriptions especially Guḍnapur Pillar Inscription of Ravivarman, highlights details of religious and political performance of the Kadamba empire and it’s policy of donation of lands to promote irrigation activities.  Nilambur copper plates, is a proof for Kadambas ruling over Kerala. Perhaps these Nagas had settled in Kerala  & mixed with the natives. 

Nagapada thali was the most important jewelry worn by  Nair women during ancient times. As the name indicates it is associated with Nagas identity of Nair women. Along with Sarpa Kavu, it would hint at Naga heritage of many Nair clans.

Provenance: Banks of chaliyar stream at the spot called Gramani Kadavu, near Nilambur, Eranadu taluka,

Malabar district. Kerala.

Script: Brahmi

Language: Sanskrit.

Metre: v.1 श्लोक अनुष्टुब 

Footnote 1.


1. similar to that the Kudgere plates of Vijaya-Siva-Mandhatrivarman, Ep.Ind, VI, pp.12), of the plates of

Vijaya-Siva-Mrigesavarman (Ind.Ant, VII, pp.37) and the Halsi plates of the reigns of Ravivarman and Harivarman

(Ind.Ant, VI, pp.25-32.)

References: T. A Gopinatha Rao and G. Venkoba Rao, Ep.Ind.,

VIII, p.146-49.

Footnote 2.

1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind, VIII, Plate between pp148 and pp.149.

2. Dravidian r: Kirupasani is unknown. Mogalura is perhaps identical with either Mugur or Mullur both

near Talakad.

3. Dravidian, Multagi is mentioned in the Kongani plates

of Kongani-Mahadhiraja (Rice, Mysore Inscriptions pp.233)

as forming the eastern boundary of the village Badaneguppe, granted to Sri-Vijaya-Jinalaya of Talavananagara, which latter is identical with the modern Talkad on the Kaveri, and Badaneguppe is about 9 km. south of Talkad on the

other side of the river.

4. Between 11.7 and 8, starting from the middle of the line,

is a later inscription  पश्चिम न (न्द) र ( स )

i.e. to the west is Nandarasa village).

Footnote 3.

1. This epithet, in one form or the other is invariably adopted in their grants by all the Kadamba kings, cf, Santivarman’s grant (Supra IV, 54 and Ep.Ind. VIII, pp.32, 1.8, v.22) षडानन: यमभिषिकतवाननुध्यात सेनापति मातृ भिस्सह 

The number of divine mothers is variously given as six

seven, eight or even sixteen. They attend upon Karttikeya (or some times even siva). That is why Karttikeya is

also called shanmaturah.They are listed as: ब्राहमी माहेश्वरी चैव वाराही चामुण्डा सप्त मातर: !

 ब्राहमी माहेश्वरी चण्डी वाराही वैष्णवी तथा !!

कौमारी  चैव चामुण्डा चर्चिकेत्यष्ट मातर:

See Apte’s Sanskrit- English, Dictionary under मालृ.

Footnote 4.

This phrase is variously translated, e.g. Kielhorn (Ep.Ind, VI, pp.15): studying the requital (of good or evil) as their sacred text’ and T. A Gopinatha Rao

and Venkoba Rao (ib, VIII. pp.146), who were well-versed in repeating the sacred writings one by one.

Scholars have failed to note the intended emphasis on the fact that each member of the dynasty was well-educated.

The construction of the phrase, however, is odd and confusing.


English Translation of the inscription.

Hail The pious king Sri Ravivarman of the family of the kadambas, who were anointed after meditating on the

Lord Mahasena and the group of the mothers, who belonged to the lineage of the Manavyas, who were the sons of Hariti, everyone of whom had attained mastery of studies and discussion, who were sinless on account of being purified by the bath at the conclusion of horse-sacrifices, and who

were like mothers to their dependent people, at the prosperous and victorious city of Vaijayanti, on the full

moon tithi of  the month of Karttika in his increasingly victorious fifth year, gave to Govindasvamin, belonging to the lineage of Kasyapa, and well-versed in the Yajurveda, the hamlet named Multagi along with Malkavu, situated on the eastern side of the village named Kirupasani in the Mogalur

district, with all exemptions, the libation (lit. by pouring) of water, and with a present of gold, towards the increase

of his own merit Considering this, he who, whether belonging

to the Kadamba family, or an alien, influenced by passion,

hatred, greed etc., takes away (this grant) may be soiled with the five great sins. He who protects it, shares the reward of this merit. And it has baen stated,The earth has been

enjoyed by many kings commencing with sagara to whomsoever, at any time, the earth belongs, to him for the time being belongs the reward, May blessings be fall on the cows and

the Brahmanas and well-being come to the subjects!


Inscription of Mrigesavarman

Written by Alok Mohan on January 24, 2023. Posted in Uncategorized

Inscription number 55.

Copper Plate Inscription of Mrigesavarman. (Regnal) year 2.

(450 to 475 A.D. )

Mrigesavarman was the eldest son and successor of santivarman

and the grand son of Kakustha-varman.

who was born to King Bhageerath, the third ruler of the Kadamba dynasty. 

Consequent to  his death, the Kadamba kingdom was divided between his progeny. One of Kakusthavarma’s sons, Santivarman, succeeded his father at Banavasi and ruled over the northern part of the Kadamba realm.


Santivarman was a great conqueror.

He had to face the hostilitied of the Pallavas. His kingdom was divided into two consequent to the death of his father and the southern districts came under the rule of his younger brother Krishnavarma.

This Krishnavarma, however, fought the Pallavas, and was defeated and killed in battle and his son Vishnuvarman became a subordinate ally of the Pallavas. Mrigesavarman, the son of Santivarman tried his best to turn the tables on the Pallavas but could not, however his son Ravivarman was more successful than his immediate predecessor and he brought about the re-unification of the Kadamba kingdom.

Provenance: Former Mysore state, Karnataka.

Exact find spot not known.

Script: Box-headed variety of Southern Brahmi.

Language: Sanskrit.

References: G. S. Gai,  Ep.Ind, XXXV,


Footnote 1.

1. From the facsimile in Ep-Ind XXXV.

 2.    चर्चा =  repetition of a word (Particular in reciting the Veda)

English Translation of the inscription.



In the victorious city of Vaijayanta.

The tenth tithi of fourth fortnight of Hemanta (autumn) of the

ever victorious year two of the pious Maharaja, the illustrious

Vijaya Siva Mrigesvarman of the family of the Kadambas, who

regularly recites the vedic verses, who is the son of Hariti and is of Manavya lineage and who was anointed as a

result of contemplation of Lord Mahasena, Kartkikeya and

the group (his six) mothers. On this aforesaid date, the

pious Maharaja Mrigesvarman, who is extremely religious, who is ever engaged making multifarious charities, who descended from very pure paternal and matern al lineages, and

who acquired virtuous qualities in numerous previous births, gave, for his own well-being and prosperity, with all immunities and according to the laws applicable to gifts to Brahmanas, in the Antarmalaya state a pukkolli field upto the water channel on the boundaries of the hamlets, Koguli and Poguya and another pukkolli field on the boundaries of Velpalli and Pottara also

upto the water-channel, to the two Brahmanas of Bhargava gotra,

namely Rudrarya and Nandyarya, who are possessed of the virtues of their own class.whosoever protects (this gift) he shares the fruit of this virtuous deed whosoever confiscates, he joins the great sins.

(Here follows one of the usual benedictory verses)