ancient indian history

Kumaragupta Inscriptions

Kumaragupta ruled his empire through his governors (Uparikas), who bore the title Maharaja (“great king”), and administered the provinces under his empire. The districts (vishayas) of the provinces were administered by district magistrates (Vishyapatis), who were supported by an advisory council comprising the town president or mayor (Nagara-Shreshtin) the representative of the merchant guild (Sarthavaha)
the chief of the artisan guild (Prathama-Kulika) the chief of the guild of writers or scribes (Prathama-Kayastha) Ghatotkacha-gupta (not to be confused with his ancestor Ghatotkacha) governed the Eran region during Kumaragupta’s reign. His c. 435-436 inscription suggests that he was a member of the Gupta royal family, probably a son or younger brother of Kumaragupta. He is most probably same as the Ghatotkacha-gupta mentioned in a seal found at Vaishali, and the Ghatotkacha-gupta who is known to have issued a gold coin.

Inscription number 16. Dhanaidaha Copper-plate Inscription of the time of
Kumaragupta, Gupta Year – 113 ( 432-33 A.D.)
Provenance: Dhanaidaha, Rajehahi District, Bangla Desh.
Script: Late Brahmi, Northern Class.
Language: Sanskrit.
Metres: Verses l-3
References: RD. Banerji. J.A.S.B, V.
pp.459-61, R.G. Basak,
Ep.Ind, XVI, pp.345-48, D. C. Sircar. Sel.Inss, I, pp.287-89.
Footnote 1
1. Fron the facsimile in Ep.Ind, XVII. The record is fragmentary. Only the right half with 21 to 26
Aksharas have survived, except that 11.1-5 and 16-17 are further damaged.
Even of the surviving portion of the plate the, left side is so worn out that deep concentration is
required to decipher the writing. That the total number of syllables in each complete line were about 40, can
be guessed from 1l.16-17 which being in well-known
Mahabharata verses, can be fully restored. According
to Banerji, the fragments of the upper left corner, which was broken in the exhibition ground in 1906-7,
contained the letters and evidently forming part of Kumaragupta’s name. This record and the next two
are sale deeds at concessional rates to Brahmanas for religious activities. The lanas appear to have been rent-free.
2. Sircar conjecturally restores the initial words as चतुरूदधि – सलिलास्वादित – यशसो महाराजधिराज श्री कुमार गुप्तस्य सम्वत्तसर
3. Here follow the year in figures the month and the tithi.
4. = An agricultural family.
5. Basak suggests महत्तर
as the likely full word.
Footnote 2

1. The name may be शिव or भव or ध्रुवकीर्त्ति
2. = Office of the village Ashtakula. The
अष्टकुल appears to be an organ of local government, like the पन्चमंडली or पंचायत
. and may have consisted of heads
of eight prominent families.
अधिकरण =Court of
justice or office of administration.
3. Banerji महाखुषापार
4. i.e. अक्षपेण नीविधर्मेपा

5. मम = महयम्
6. Probably कम्र्मकर
Basak suggests क्षेत्रकर
Footnote 3

1. अप विञ्छय = separating = measuring out
2. Kulya = 8, Dronas = 32 adhakas (1 Drona = 4 Adhakas).
According to the Bengal school of Smriti writers, a drona of paddy = 1 maund and 24 seers or 2 mds. Thus 1
Kulya = 12 mds, 32 seers or 16 mds.
Kulyavapa is the land requiring one Kulya of seed grains of the main crop
which in the case of Bengal would be paddy. Here possibly, seedlings are meant. At present 1 kulya, i.e. 16 maunds of seedlings require 125 to 160 bighas ( 41+2/3 to 53+ 1/2 acres) 1 acre being 3 bighas). Thus 1 Kulyavapa = about 50 acres. If dry seed is meant. the Kulyavapa = about
45 bighas = 15 acres, at the rate of 1 maund paddy seed for
3 bighas. The terms arha (arhavapa). don (dronavapa) and
Kulvay (kulyavapa) are still in use in Bengal though their values have changed over the years.
The old Bengals word Kuroba = mod. Bigha (80 x 80 6400 cubits = 1600
sq. yarfs.) is also derived from the word kulyavapa. See Sircar Sel.Inss I, pp. 288 n.9.
3. Read स्वामिने
4. Sircar Select.Inss, I, pp.289 n.9. suggests the restoration
भवदिभ सर्वैरेवानुमोधानुपालनीयम्

Footnote 4
1. Read दत्ता वा
2. Basak reads सु श्री भद्रेन Sircar op.cit
pp.289, n 3. suggests the restoration लिखिता पटिटके यममात्य – भद्रेण
He finds traces of before d
3. Read स्तम्भे
English Translation of the inscription

Ll.1-7 In the year one hundred exceeded by thirteen, Year (100 + 10 + 3)
-On this aforesaid day, during the rule of the supreme Divinity,
Parama Bhattaraka Maharajadairaja Sri Kumaragupta – – the ryots (of the village)

The Brahmanas, (nemly) Shivasharman, Nagsharman, Maha ttaras – –
( Bha) vakirti,
Kshemadatta, Goshthaka, Vargapala, Pingala, Shunkaka, Kala, Vishnu Devasharman, Vishnu-Bhadra, Khasaka, Ramaka, Gopala –bhadra, Samapala, Rama and othere and the village
administrative board of eight families. were infomed by — Vishnu.
L1.A 7- 8. In this vishaya of Khada, according to the established custom (regarding the sale of cultivated land)
prevalent (farmland is avalable for the purpose of permanent endowment (at the rate- . So deign, to grant me this day through this very procedure —
L9. Having established ( the factual position of) everything from the working families of the neighbourhood who were assembled and told–
Ll.10-11 whereas it was so detemined and whereas this determination was accepted by the statement be it so”
– one kulyavapa of farm-land was given
(to him after having it demarkated with the measuring rods of eight-and-nine calibration.
Ll.11-12 Then (the same land was given to the Samavedi Brahmana Varahasvamin, a resident of Bhratri kataka the Ayuktaka (Officer)

Ll.13-14 This gift should be preserved considering the merit and demerit respectively of making a gift and
its confiscation and
the abiding instability of the
(human) body and gold.
And it has been stated by the
venerable Dvaipayana (vyasa)
Ll.15-17:( here follow three of the customary verses).
L 17 This plate has been written by – Bhadra and engraved
by sthambhe/varadasa.
Inscription number 17
Mathura Jaina Inscription of the time of Kamaragupta 1, Gupta Year-113.
Provenance: Kankali Tila, Mathura.
Script: Brahmi.
Language: Sanskrit & Prakrit mixed
References: G. Buhler. Ep.Ind,. II, pp-210f.
English Translation of the inscription

Success ! in the year 113, in the Victorious reign of the Supreme lord and Supreme King of Kings, the illustrious Kumaragupta, on the 20th day of the winter month Karttika
on that (date speaified as) above an image was set up by Syamadhya, daughter of Bhattibhava (and) wife of the ferryman Grahamitrapalita, who (i.e. Syamadhya) had received the
Command (to make the dedication) from Dattilacharya of the
kottiya gana (and) the Vidyadhari Sakha.

Inscription number 18

Tumain Fragmentary Inscription of the time of Kumara-gupta 1 and Ghatotkachagupta– upto Gupta Year 116 (435-36 A.D.)
Provenance : Tumain, Guna district M.P.
Script: Late Northern Brahmi.
Language: Sanskrit.
References: M. B. Garde, Ep.Ind. XXVI, pp.117, Sircar, Sel.Inss. I, pp. 297-99.
Footnote 1
1. From the facsimile in Ep-Ind XXV I, For meters see footnote below.
2. Sircar suggests मुरारिय्र्यस्य
3. Read कमलमन्त्यं
4. Metre मालिनी

Footnote 2

1. Metre सग्धरा
2. Note the use of perfect even within the lifetime of the subject.
3. Metre उप जाति इन्द्र वज्रा उपे न्द्रवज्रा
4. Metres D.C. Sircar thinks that this
Ghatotkacha may have been Kumaragupta’s son or brother
working as his Viceroy in East Malva.
5. only one stop required.
6. Metre उपेन्द्रवज्रा (or may be उपजाति
7. Metre उपजाति
8. Metre: उपेन्द्रवज्रा or perhaps उपजाति Vatodaka has
been identified with the modem village Badoh in Vidisa district, MP.

English Translation of the inscription

L1 Obeisance to the enemy of Mura whose feat are worshipped at the
end of the three worlds as the last resort by Groups of the siddhas. There was the Raja Sri Chandragupta.
Aftar him, he, who, conquers the earth upto the sea coast
L2 Kumara-gupta, the Mahendra – like son of Sri Chandregupta protects the
entire earth embracing it with ardour of his prowess as if it were his chaste wife.
L.3. that moon called, Ghatotkachagupta shining white from the womb rose on the fermament of the earth surrounded by the cluster of
rays in the form of excellent quallties. Renowned for abiding strength, he having attained the fame of his
ancestors, which he had won by his own arm.
L.4. In a hundred years added by sixteen, the emperors
of the Gupta dynasty, while the king Kumaragupta is blazing on the earth like the sun in the autumn, in
Vatodaka, the abode of virtuous men.
L5. being Srideva, this bright name. His elder, brother is Harideva by name. The brother next to him (i.e. to Srideva) is Dhanyadeva. And the next younger one is Bhadradeva. And the next younger one is Sanghadeva.
L.6. attached minds having simillar wealth. features ideas and
wisdom, lived making their home in Tumbavana.
They caused to be constructed (this) temple for the residence of the God, resplendent like the moon and lofty like a mountain peak.

Footnote 3
उप जाति इन्द्र वज्रा उपे न्द्रवज्रा
उप जाति
1. Metre इन्द्र वज्रा
2. Metre उपेन्द्रवज्रा
3. Metre उपेन्द्रवज्रा or perhaps उपजाति
4 It was presumably a Vishnu temple, if Sircar’s restoration मु ,— रारी
in 1.1 is correct.
5. Metre उपेन्द्रवज्रा
or may उप जाति

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