ancient indian history

Davangere Plates of Ravivarman

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


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