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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.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Ancient Eran
- 3 Sati Inscriptions
- 3.1 Ist Sati Pillar
- 3.2 IInd Sati Pillar
- 3.3 IIIrd Sati Pillar
- 3.4 IVth Sati Pillar
- 3.5 Vth Sati Pillar
- 3.6 VIth Sati Pillar
- 3.7 VIIth Sati Pillar
- 3.8 VIIIth Sati Pillar
- 3.9 IXth Sati Pillar
- 3.10 Xth Sati Pillar
- 3.11 New Discoveries
- 3.12 Archaeological Important Antiquity of Eran
- 3.13 Coins of Eran
- 3.14 Important Inscription of Eran
- 3.15 Important Temple of Eran
- 3.16 Important Sculpture of Eran
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
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.
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, the 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 Saka Samvat 1314 (1392 AD). Two women worshiping 'Shivalinga' are carved. Both women have bun-shaped hairdos. The 'Shivalinga' is on a platform. Two women are shown involved in combat; one is on an elephant and another is on a horse. Both are shown holding a sword and a javelin . A woman is shown between them. 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'.
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.
Archaeological Important Antiquity of Eran
Excavated antiquity, Coins, Inscription, Temple, Sculpture etc.
Coins of Eran
1. Punchmarked Coins
- Discovered by Eran Excavation 1960-61.
2. Satvahana Coins
- Discovered by Eran Excavations 1960-61, 1962–63,1987–88
3. Naga Coins
- Discovered by Eran Excavation & Exploration
4. Saka-Kshatrap Coins
- Discovered by Eran Excavation & Exploration 
5. Gupta Coins
- Discovered by Eran Excavation & Exploration
Important Inscription of Eran
1. Eran Inscription of Samudragupta
Eran Inscription of Samudragupta Presently store in Kolkata National Museum.
(Lines 1 to 6, containing the whole of the first verse and the first half of the second, are entirely broken away and lost.) (Line 7.)— ....................................in giving gold ...................................... [by whom] Prithu and Râghava and other kings [were outshone.] (L. 9.)— . . . . . . . . . there was Samudragupta, equal to (the gods) Dhanada and Antaka in (respectively) pleasure and anger; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by policy; (and) [by whom] the whole tribe of kings upon the earth was [overthrown] and reduced to the loss of the wealth of their sovereignty;— (L. 13.)— [Who], by . . . . . . . . . satisfied by devotion and policy and valour,—by the glories, consisting of the consecration by besprinkling, &c., that belong to the title of 'king,'— (and) by . . . . . . . . . . . combined with supreme satisfaction, — .................. (was) a king whose vigour could not be resisted;— (L. 17.)— [By whom] there was married a virtuous and faithful wife, whose dower was provided by (his) manliness and prowess; who was possessed of an abundance of [elephants] and horses and money and grain; who delighted in the houses of .............; (and) who went about in the company of many sons and sons' sons;— (L. 21.)— Whose deeds in battle (are) kindled with prowess; (whose) . . . . . . very mighty fame is always circling round about; and whose enemies are terrified, when they think, even in the intervals of dreaming, of (his). . . . . . . that are vigorous in war; — (L. 25.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in a place in Airikina, the city of his own enjoyment. . . . . . . . . . . . . has been set up, for the sake of augmenting his own fame. (L. 27.) — . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . when the king said . . . . . . . (The rest of the inscription is entirely broken away and lost.)
2. Eran Inscription of Budhagupta (484-485 CE)
Victorious is the lord, the four-armed (god Vishnu)— whose couch is the broad waters of the four oceans; who is the cause of the continuance, the production, and the destruction, &c., of the universe; (and) whose ensign is Garuda! (Line 2.)— In a century of years, increased by sixty-five; and while Budhagupta (is) king; on the twelfth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month Âshâdha; on the day of Suraguru; (or in figures) the year 100 (and) 60 (and) 5:— (L. 3.)— And while Surashmichandra is governing, with the qualities of a regent of one of the quarters of the world, (the country that lies) between the (rivers) Kâlindi and Narmadâ, (and) is enjoying in the world the glory of (being) a Mahârâja;— (L. 4.)— On this (lunar day), (specified) as above by the year and month and day; — by the Mahârâja Mâtrivishnu, who is excessively devoted to the Divine One; who, by the will of (the god) Vidhâtri, was approached (in marriage-choice) by the goddess of sovereignty, as if by a maiden choosing (him) of her own accord (to be hey husband); whose fame extends up to the borders of the four oceans; who is possessed of unimpaired honour and wealth; (and) who has been victorious in battle against many enemies;—who is the son of the son's son of Indravishnu, who was attentive to his duties; who celebrated sacrifices; who practised private study (of the scriptures); who was a Brâhman saint; (and) who was the most excellent (of the followers) of the Maitrâyanîya (sâkhâ);— who is the son's son of Varunavishnu, who imitated the virtuous qualities of (his) father;— (and) who is the son of Harivishnu, who was the counterpart of (his) father in meritorious qualities, (and) was the cause of the advancement of his race;— (L. 8.)— (By him) and by his younger brother Dhanyavishnu, who is obedient to him, (and) has been accepted with favour by him,— this flag-staff of the divine (god) Janârdana, the troubler of the demons, has been erected, for the purpose of increasing the religious merit of (their) parents. (L. 9.)— Let prosperity attend all the subjects, headed by the cows and the Brâhmans! 
3. Eran Inscription of Toramana
Inscription on the neck of the boar – written in 8 lines in Sanskrit in Brahmi script – dated in the first reign of Toramana – The object of the inscription is to record the building of the temple in which the current Varaha image stands, by Dhanyavishnu, the younger brother of the deceased Maharaja Matrivishnu, same person who erected the above pillar.
4. Eran Inscription of Bhanugupta (GE 191),(510CE)
Ôm! In a century of years, increased by ninety-one; on the seventh lunar day of the dark fortnight of (the month) Srâvana; (or in figures) the year 100 (and) 90 (and) 1; (the month) Srâvana; the dark fortnight; the day 7: — (Line 2.)—(There was) a king, renowned under the name of . . . . râja, sprung from the . . laksha (?) lineage; and his son (was) that very valorous king (who was known) by the name (of) Mâdhava. (L. 3.)— His son was the illustrious Gôparâja, renowned for manliness; the daughter's son of the Sarabha king; who is (even) now (?) the ornament of (his) lineage. (L. 5.) — (There is) the glorious Bhanugupta, the bravest man on the earth, a mighty king, equal to Pârtha, exceedingly heroic; and, along with him, Gôparâja followed . . . . . . . . . . (his) friends (and came) here. [And] having fought a very famous battle, he, [who was but little short of being equal to] the celestial [king (Indra)], (died and) went to heaven; and (his) devoted, attached, beloved, and beauteous wife, in close companionship, accompanied (him) onto the funeral pyre.
5.Eran Inscription of Shridharvarman
6.Inscription on a small boar statue –
Descriptive List of Inscriptions in The Central Provinces and Berar – written in Sanskrit – undated, dated to 5th century CE on paleographic studies – mentions two names, Varahadatta and Maheshadatta, apparently two brothers who caused the statue to be made.
Important Temple of Eran
1. Vishnu Temple 
- Early Gupta Era Style Temple, About 350 AD.
2. Varah Temple
- Early Gupta Era Style Temple, About 480 AD.
3. Narsingh Temple
- Early Gupta Era Style Temple, About 412 AD.
4.Old Temple of Lord Hanuman
- Nagri Style Temple, About 750 AD.
5. Garuda Pillar about 48 fit
- Early Gupta Era Style Pillar, About 465 AD.
Important Sculpture of Eran
1. Lord Vishnu
2. Lord Varah
3. Lord Narsingh
||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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- Madhya Pradesh - Sagar
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- J.F. Fleet. Corpus Inscriptionum Idicarum, Vol.3,p.88-90
- General A. Cunningham, Report of tours in Malwa and Bundelkhand, varansi,1966,p,46
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- Ibid, p.26-27.
- Jha, V.D., "Recent excavation at Eran", Archaeological studies, Journal of Esuri. University of Sagar ,vol. 4,p,8
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- Corpus Inscriptionum Idicarum, Vol.3,91-93
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- Dr.Mohan Lal Chadhar,Eran ki Tamrapashan sasnkriti, Sagar, M.P.2009,pp11 ISBN 81-89740-07-5
- Dr. Mohan Lal Chadhar. "Sati Pillars of Eran" research journal of Sodha Samveta Kaveri Shotha Shashthan Ujjain (M.P.) pp.5-8, 2005.
- Krishnadutta Bajpai : Sagar through the ages, Sagar, 1954, P. 35.
- Epigraphiya Indica : Vol.(2), P. 87.
- "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.)
- Dr. Mohan Lal Chadhar,'Coins of Eran' Mekal Insights, Journal of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Amarkantak, Vol. II No.01,January 2010. P,94
- Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, pp 20-21.
- Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888,pp 90.
- Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum (Fleet’s edition) Vol III
- Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, pp 93.
- Dubey, Nagesh, Eran Ki Kala, Sagar,1997,pp, 11