ancient indian history

Ponnuturu Plates of Samantavarman (Ganga) year 64.

Inscription number 42.

Ponnuturu Plates of Samantavarman (Ganga) year 64.

Next king in the Ganga dynasty lineage, who issued this grant was Samantavarman,  in the year 64 (562 CE) Samantvarman, like his predecessor, assumed the title of


The Eastern Ganga kings ruled over Kalinga  and maintained a firm grip on Kalinga and established an era of their own, which was used in their official charters for over five centuries, however their rule was restricted on  the south by the Eastern Chalukyas and on the north by the


king Harshadeva defeated the Gangas during eighth century CE. Nagabhata, the Pratihara king, conquered Kalinga

and Andhra in the early ninth century CE.

 Around the middle of the ninth

century, the Eastern Gangas were briefly ruled by the Bhaurna Karas, and in the second half of that century, the Eastern Chalukyas claimed supremacy over Kalinga. 

The Eastern Gangas were briefly ruled by the Somavamsis in the late

tenth century CE, and Indraratha served as governor of Kalinga before being

crowned king at Yayatinagara around 1000 CE Vajrahasta V, who ascended to

the throne of Kalinga in 1038 CE and established that territory as an

independent and powerful entity, brought an end to the Somavamsi supremacy

over the Eastern Gangas. Despite their fortunes fluctuating,  Vajrahasta V

abolished the Ganga era and instituted the Soka era, which wos adopted by all

subsequent Ganga kings.


Provenance: Ponnuturu village on the northern bank of the river vamsadhara, Patapatnam taluk Vishakhapatanam

district, Andhra Pradesh.

Script: Early southern type of Brahmi, known as the Kalinga variety of Telugu-Kannada alphabet.

Language: Sanskrit.

References:- M. Somasekhara sarma, Ep.Ind. XXVII, pp.216-20.

Footnote 1.

1. After the Jir-jingi plate of Indra-varman (supra,IV,41)

these are the earliest known Ganga dynasty grants. Kings Prasasti developed gradually till it attained

a standardised form in the plates of Hastivarman.

After him, his model was followed by his successors.

2. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind, XXVII, between pp. 218 and pp.219.

3. Expressed by a symbol.

4. Normally, the word जय  or विजय is prefixed to the name of the capital city and hence it would appear that

this charter was issued from the Victorious city of Srinivasa. However, I have accepted sarma’s view that

Saumyavana was the name of the city because a saumyapura, known from Kondedda grant of Dharma-Rajadeva of sailodbhava family (Ep.Ind,. XIX, pp.269,

text 1,42) But I doubt that the saumuavana of Pandava vanavasa in mahabharata, can be identified with the present one.

Footnote 2.

1. Gokarna is the name of a place of pilgrimage in the south, sacred to siva.

2. It may be noted that except Indravarman of the Jirjingi

plates (Supra,IV, 41) and Samantavarman of the present one, no other early Ganga king, claims the title, Trikalingadhipati.

3. The exact location of Daghapanchali vishaya is not known. In Ganga records some other vishaya-names ending in panchali are found, e.g. Koroshodaka-panchali (Ep.,Ind.XXI, pp.24. Supra,IV, 16, L2)

Devanna-panchali (Ind.Ant, XXVI, pp.134,)  Pushyagiri-panchali Ep.Ind,. XXVI.  pp.63) and chikhali-panchali

J.A.H.R.S, X. pp.165).

4. Somasekhara sarma ventures the suggestion that Pratishtha-pura may be a sanskritised form of a desi name like

Peruru, the Word Peru being equivalent to the sanskrit word Pratishtha.

The tendency of sanskritisation of ordinary village names prevailing in early times in Kalinga is proved by the Brihattproshtha grant of Umavarman

(Ep Ind, XII, pp.4 ff. and plate)

English Translation of the inscription


By constant obeisance and service and the like to the Lord of Gokarna (i.e. Siva) who lives on the excellent peak of the Mahendra mountain, is the cause of the existence, creation and the dissolution of the world, bears incomplete (i.e,a single digit of the) moon as his crest and is the father of the animate and inanimate world, commands the aggregate of

all the householders residing in Pratishthapura in the district

of Daghapanchali. Be it known to you that on being advised by (our) maternal uncle, Adityaraja, we have on the occasion of the vernal equinox (uttarayana) granted with libation of water, this Village (of Pratishthapura), exempt of all taxes and making into an agrahara for as long as the duration of the moon, the

sun and the stars, for the increase of religious merit of mother, father and myself, to Yajnasarman, Gaurisarman,

Agnisarman and Omasarman. All of the Vatsa gotra and students

of the Vajasaneya sakha (of the white Yajurveda). On learning

this, you should present him the appropriate share and benefits.

And of the future kings, he (samantavarman) orders his own

descendants and advises, others in the matter of protecting this righteous gift that having obtained the earth

through righteousness, heritage or valour, the kings should

preserve this lawful gift.


O Kings, be not apprehensive of missing the Fruit (i.e.

reward for this meritorious deed) because of it being another’s

gift. As compared to one own gift, the reward for preserving another’s gift is eternal.

Further, there are verses sung by Vyasa (in support of the above contention)

Here follow three of the customary verses).*

This is the thirteenth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Pausha of the flourishing and victorious sixty fourth

Year of the dynastic reign. The deliverer (i.e. executor) of

the King’ s order was Adityavarman And this (charter) was recorded and engraved by vinayachandra, the son of Bhanuchandra.

This is an order of illustrious samantavarman, who is

the autumnal (i.e. bright) moon in the firmament of the Ganga

Dynasty, is the chastisor of enemies, and possesses radiating

lustre. The year 64. the 28th day of Pausha.

Footnote 3.

Note that the 13th day of the bright fortnight, is identical with the 28th day of the month of Pausha.

The luner month was reckoned Purnimanta in this as well

as the other early Ganga records cf. the Urlam plates of the eighth tithi of the dark fortnight

of Karttika is equated with the eighth tithi of the same month) and the Tekkali plates of Devendravarman (where the luner eclipse is recorded on the 30th of Maghas see

I.H.Q. X pp,8. 300 ff)

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