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Eran (Hindi: ऐरण) is an ancient Indian historical city in Sagar district in Madhya Pradesh state. It can be called to be the oldest historical town of Sagar district in Madhya Pradesh. In earlier coins and inscriptions its name appears as Airikiṇa (Hindi: ऐरिकिण). From an early inscription at Sanchi we know that the residents of Eran had made some gifts to the famous Stupa situated at Sanchi. This city was the capital of Airikina Pradesha or Airkina Vishaya, an administrative division of the Gupta empire.
The ancient name of Eran, Erakina (as mentioned in the Sanchi inscriptions), Airikina (as mentioned in the inscription of Samudragupta) or Erikina (as mentioned in the inscription of Toramana) is derived from Eraka. The word erakā probably refers to a kind of grass, botanical name Typha elephantine, which grows at Eran in abundance. Eraka is also the name of a Nagavanshi King descended from Kauravya mentioned in Mahabharata Adi Parva.
Eran is the site of first reported monument of Sati dated 510 AD in India. The archaeological site nearby Eran has revealed several Gupta inscriptions. The village of Eran has a most interesting collection of archaeological relics. There is a fort in ruins attributed to the Dangis, who formerly dominated over this region. The site had a number of Vishnu shrines but nothing now remains except some of the lower courses of masonry, four standing columns with their architrave and some beams and part of door ways. The Principal statue is a colossal Varaha about 11 feet 5" high. The excavation conducted by the Department of Archeology of the University of Sagar have yielded relics similar to those found at Maheshwar and Tripura showing that Eran formed the Northern most limit of the Chalcolithic culture in Madhya Pradesh. Excavations were carried out at Eran in 1960-61 to 1964-65; and 1987-88. Excavations at Eran have revealed about the earliest fort built by mud ramparts. Prof. K.D. Bajpai has studied coins from Eran excavations and has done a chronological analysis. He has given a note on ‘Svabhoganagara’ in the Eran inscription of Samudragupta. Eran is situated (Latitude 24°.5' North and longitude 78°.10' East) 75 km north-west of Sagar town in Madhya Pradesh. Eran comes under Tehsil Bina of District Sagar. T.S. Bart was the first to discover there a number of antiquities, some being of great historical significance 1838 AD Eran is situated on the bank of river Bina (Ancient Venva), a tributary of river Betwa (Ancient Vetravati). By encircling from their sides it, provides natural protection to Eran. In the fourth unprotected direction, there is a fortified wall and a ditch of Chalcolithic Period3. Eran is approachable by the road from Mandibamora, which passes through Gohar and Dhansara villages. Mandibamora is about 12 km. far from Bina -Bhopal railway (central railway) track. The archaeological excavation was Conducted at Eran during 1960-65 and subsequently during 1987-88 &1998 AD by Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture & archaeology. Sagar University, Sagar (M.P.). The antiquities of Neolithic and Chalcolithic culture has been found from Eran. The Mauryas, the Sungas, the Satvahanas, the Shakas, the Nagas, the Guptas, the Hunas, the Kalchuris, the Chandellas and the Parmaras had their hold over Eran region respectively. The Gupta monarch Samudra Gupta visited Eran which was his 'Swabhog Nagar'. A group of Temples is situated on the south bank of Bina river, just half a km to the west of the Village. In this group Vishnu Temple, Varaha Temple, Nrisingh Temple, Garuda Pillar and other ruined Temples are of architectural importance. The various inscriptions have found from Eran, These are inscription of Budhagupta, inscription of Saka ruler Sridhar Verma, inscription of Huna ruler Tormanh, inscription of Samudragupta and Gopraj Sati Pillar inscriptions. The several Sati Pillars have found from Eran. One of the Earliest Sati Pillars of India has been found from Eran. This was discovered by General Alexander Cunningham in 1874-1875 AD. This inscriptions shows that in Gupta Era 191 (510 AD) Gopraj a warrior of Gupta ruler Bhanugupta came to Eran and lost his life in a great War. His wife became Sati in her husband's pyre. Eran is a site of archaeological importance. Eran can be called to be oldest historical town in Madhya Pradesh. Eran was known as Airikina in ancient time. Inscription and coins its name occurs as Airikina. The word 'eraka' Probably refer to a kind of grass. Which grows at Eran in abundance. Eran was located on an ancient route connecting Pataliputra with Mathura passing through Vidisha. The earliest main route joined Kausambi (Allahabad district) to the south-eastern sea coast via Bharhut, Amarkantak, Sarabhapur (Malhar) and the Dandaka forest. The other main route from Kausambi went in south-western direction passing through Bharhut, Airikina (Eran), Vidisha, Ujjain, Mahishmati (Maheswar) to Bhrigukachchha (Broach) on Arabian Sea coast. This prime location helped the town to acquire a commendable position in those times.Eran was annexed into Gupta empire by Samudra Gupta when he annexed many kingdoms of Aryavarta into Gupta dominion. Before this annexation Airikina was the capital of eastern Malwa for a long time. Tumain inscription mentions Ghatotkachagupta as a governor of Airikina appointed byKumargupta I. It would have acted as a buffer state between the Huns and the Guptas when Huns started extending their kingdom towards east hence marking it as the easternmost boundary for the Huns. Dr.Mohan Lal Chadhar,Eran ki Tamrapashan sasnkriti, Sagar, M.P.2009,pp11 ISBN 81-89740-07-5
One of the earliest Sati Pillars of India was found in Eran. This was discovered by General Alexander Cunningham in 1874- 1875 A.D. This inscriptions shows that it was in the Gupta era 191. In addition to this various Sati Pillars ranging from Early Medieval Period to the Modern Period have been noticed in Eran. The imprints taken of these 10 Sati Pillars, which through the new light about Eran and also on the position of women. The Saka Samvat is used in all Sati Pillars. The prayer to God occurs in the beginning of almost all the inscriptions. After mentioning the Samvat and date, he epigraph gives the name of a dead person and his wife who became Sati along with him.
Ist Sati Pillar
This Pillar inscription is badly affected and contains probably the date 'Samvat' 788 (866 AD) which is probably 'Sak Samvat'. In this inscription 'Erani' is inscribed instead of Eran. It proves the 'Erakanya' of the Pre-Gupta Period 'Erakaina' of the Gupta Period was known as 'Erani' in Early Medieval Period .From 'Erani' the village derived its modern name 'Eran'. The length, width, and thickness of this Pillar are respectively 1.67mts., 40 cms. and 10cms. The inscription is of 4 lines. The Horse and a human couple is engraved in standing position. On the top of the Pillar, the hand is engraved in blessing pose. The Sun, The Moon, Five Stars and Holy Furnace are also engraved. The stone is of hard red color.
IInd Sati Pillar
The term 'Ram- Ram' has been found inscribed for the first time on this Pillar. Pillar inscription is Samvat 1155 (1233 AD). 'Maharajadhiraj Sujitanmah' is inscribed in this Pillar. The Pillar proves that Sujitanmah was the native ruler of Eran in 1233 AD. This Pillar is made up of brown sandstone. The respective length, width and thickness of this Pillar are 1.73 mts., 36cms. and 15cms. A couple is shown holding some pots. On the top of the Pillar blessing hand is shown. The inscription is of about 11 lines. Near this Sati Pillar other Sati Pillars are lying their inscriptions are mutilated .
IIIrd Sati Pillar
This Pillar is dated in Sak Smvat 1314 (1392 AD). Two women worshiping 'Shivalinga' are carved. Both women are having bun-shaped hairdo' the 'Shivalinga' is on a platform. Two women are shown involved the combat. One is on the elephant and another is on the horse. Both are shown holding sword and javelin . A woman is shown between them having. The elephant and horse are adorned by cloths . It seems that after the death of the husband his wife led the army and after getting victory. She went 'Sati' . The length, width and thickness of the Pillar are 2.28 mts, 46cms. and 15cms respectively .
IVth Sati Pillar
Jai Sri Ram is mentioned at the beginning on Pillar. This Sati Pillar is situated on the Northern bank of Bina River. It belongs to 'Sak Samvat' 1335 (1413 AD). A Horse is inscribed on this Pillar. A couple has been shown in standing position holding their hands. Hands are depicted in blessing posture . The Sun, The Moon, Five Stars, Holy Furnace are shown. On the top of this Pillar there is 'Mangalghat' the length, width and thickness of this are 1.68 mts, 46 cms., 9 cms. respectively. This inscription is of 10 lines. The term 'Eran' is inscribed. The another Sati Pillar is close by this Sati Pillar, which was unearthed by the villagers besides illegible inscription two women figures are shown on it worshiping 'Sivalinga' . The husband is shown lying on a Pyre, his wife is shown, shampooing his feet. The length, width and thickness of the Pillar are 91cms, 46cms, 7cms respectively.
Vth Sati Pillar
At beginning the term 'Jai Sri Ram' is mentioned on this Pillar .It is dated in 'Sak Samvat' 1400 (1478 AD). The length, width, and thickness of this Pillar are 2.16 mts, 74 cms. and 18 cms respectively. There are 10 lines in this inscription . Two women are shown worshiping ' Sivalinga'. The husband is lying on Pyre wife is shown shampooing his feet. The Horse is also inscribed. On both the sides of the hands The Sun, The Moon, Five Stars and Holy Furnace are inscribed. Near the Holy Furnace, an ox is depicted.
VIth Sati Pillar
This Sati Pillar is dated in 'Sak Samvat' 1402 (1480 AD). On this Pillar, the husband is lying on the Pyre his wife has been shown holding his feet. Two women are shown, worshiping 'Shivalinga' .On the top of the Pillar there are two blessing hands. The Sun, The Moon, Five Stars are shown on both sides of the hands. The length, width, thickness of the Pillar are 1.37 mts., 63 cms. and 7 cms respectively .There are 4 lines in this inscription which is an illegible.
VIIth Sati Pillar
This Pillar is dated 'Sak Samvat' 1628 (1706 AD). The length, width and thickness of this Pillars are 1.8 mts, 48 cms, and 10 cms respectively. On the top of the Pillar two blessing hands are shown The Sun, The Moon, five stars and holy furnace are inscribed .A couple has been shown in standing position holding the hands of each other.
VIIIth Sati Pillar
In the beginning of the inscription term 'Sri Ganesh Shaya Nama' is mentioned. It is dated in 'Sak Samvat' 1802 (1880 AD). This Sati Pillar belongs to Chaudhary Majoop Singh'. 'Khichi' is inscribed as 'Gotra'. The descendents of 'Chaudhary Majoop Singh' narrate that died in the Battle, his wife went Sati with pillow. They are still living at Eran . The length, width and thickness of the Pillar are 1.73 mts, 53 cms.,10 cms respectively.. The inscription is of 10 lines. The horse is inscribed on the Pillar. A couple has been shown in standing position, holding hands. The riding persons having sword in his waist. On the both sides of the blessing hand The Sun, The Moon, Five Stars and Pillow are inscribed ..
IXth Sati Pillar
The term 'Sri Ram' and 'Sri Ganesh Shaya Nama' are inscribed on this Pillar .The Pillar is dated in 'Sak Samvat' 1831 (1909 AD) . Term 'Sri Dubey Srvani Das' is inscribed on this Pillar. This Sati Pillar belongs to 'Brahamna society'. The length, width and thickness of the Pillar are 1.90 mts, 41cms, 10 cms respectively . A couple has been shown in standing position, holding hands. On the top of the Pillar there are blessing hands. The Sun, The Moon, Five Stars and Holy Furnace are inscribed term 'Eran Battisi' is inscribed instead of village Eran . The inscription is of about 16 lines. The inscription is completely damaged.
Xth Sati Pillar
This Pillar is dated 'Sak Samvat' 1832 (1910 AD). The Length, width and thickness of this Pillar are 1.32 mts., 43 cms.and 10 cms respectively. The inscription starts from the bottom of the Pillar and runs gradually upwards. The figure of the Horse is also depicted upside down. The blessing hand The Sun, The Moon, Five Stars, Holy Furnace are engraved. A couple has been shown in standing position, holding hands 'Eran Battisi' is inscribed instead of Eran.
Besides the above Sati Pillars many Sati Pillars have been found in Eran. The Pillars have been fitted on the platforms and houses by the Natives of Eran. By these Sati Pillars much information is obtained about the conditions of women and Eran village during Medieval Period and Modern Period.
On the basis of the inscription and figures on the Pillar it can be inferred that during the Medieval Period and Modern Period the villagers of Eran were Followers of 'Ganpti Sampradaya', 'Vaisnava Sampradaya', and 'Shaiva Sammradaya'. The inscription exhibits that an addition to the Kshatriyas the Brahamas also followed Sati system. Even after the death of King 'Maharajadhiraj Sujitanmah' his chaste wife become Sati. It shows that the royal families also were involved in the Sati system. The depiction The Sun, The Moon, and Holy Furnace on the Sati Pillar indicates that the natives had the faith on natural powers. The blessing hands have been engraved or these Pillars for global welfare. The above mentioned inscribed Pillars of Eran throw light on social and cultural life of 'Bundelkhand'.
New Discoveries: In 2004 five small inscriptions were discovered and deciphered by Dr. Alok Shrotriya, Asstt.Professor, Deptt. of A.I.H. C. and Archaeology, Dr. Harisingh Gour University, Sagar on the monolithic pillar of Budhgupta. These small inscriptions reveal the name of a Samant Jesh and Kulajgupta. It has also been known from these inscriptions that samant Jesh had written the account of a war. An inscribed clay sealing bearing the name of Mahadandanayak Vattagalli has been discovered by Dr. Mohan Lal chadhar from Eran and deciphered by Dr. Alok Shrotriya.
||Constructs such as ibid., loc. cit. and idem are discouraged by Wikipedia's style guide for footnotes, as they are easily broken. Please improve this article by replacing them with named references (quick guide), or an abbreviated title. (November 2010)|
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- Ibid, p.26-27.
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- "New inscriptions found from Eran", Kala Vaibhav, Journal of Indira Kala and Sangeet University, Khairagarh (C.G.) INDIA, Vol. XIV, 2004–05, pp. 47–51.
- "Newly discovered inscribed clay sealing from Eran", Kala Vaibhav (a Journal of Indira Kala and Sangeet University, Khairagarh (C.G.) INDIA, Vol. XV, 2005–06, pp. 57–58.)
- Characterization of ancient Indian iron from Eran
- Indian Epigraphy By D. C. Sircar
- Gold Coins from the Gupta Dynasty