Minor Inscriptions of Kharavela

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Extent of Kharavela (ଖାରବେଳ) Kalingan Empire: 2nd century BCE[citation needed]
Khandagiri caves

Besides the celebrated Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela, there are several minor Brahmi inscriptions in the twin hills of Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, which were deciphered earlier by Prof. R. D Banerjee during the years 1915–16 (Epigraphic Indica – XIII) and B. M Barua (Indian Historical Quarterly-XIV). These minor inscriptions throw light on the reign and kingdom of Kharavela. Sadananda Agrawal, historian, has given further clarifications about them, which are produced as under:

Inscriptions[edit]

I- Mancapuri cave inscription (Upper storey)[edit]

This inscription is engraved on the raised space between the second and third doorways of the cave at Mancapuri. The text in Devanagari script is as under:

L.1- अरहंत पसादाय कलिंगानं समनानं लेनं कारितं राजिनो ललाकस

L.2- हथिसिहस पपोतस धुतुना कलिंग चकवतिनो सिरिखारवेलस

L.3- अगमहिसिना कारितं

Translation: By the blessings of Arihants (Tirthankar), the chief queen of Kharavela, the Chakravarti monarch of Kalinga, the great granddaughter of Hathisiha (Hasti Simha) and the daughter of Lalāka or Lalārka, caused to be constructed the caves for the sramanas of Kalinga.

II- Mancapuri cave inscription (Upper storey)-A[edit]

This inscription is incised on a raised bend between the 3rd and 4th doorways from the left and contains single line. The text in Devanagari script is as under:

ऐरस महाराजस कलिंगाधिपतिना महामेघवाहनस कुदेपसिरिनो लेणं

Translation: This is the cave of Aira Mahameghavahana Maharaja Kudepasiri, the overlord of Kalinga, where, Kudepasiri is considered to be the immediate successor of Kharavela.

III-Manchapuri cave inscription 'B' (Lower storey)[edit]

This inscription has been engraved on the right wall of veranda, to the right of the entrance to the right-hand side chamber of the main wing, consisting of one line.
The text in Devanagari script is as under:

कुमारो वडुखस लेणं (IAST: kumāro vadukhas lenam)

Translation: (This is) the cave of Prince Vaḍukha.

Note: On paleographic grounds, Prof. R. D. Banerjee considered this inscription to pre-date the inscription of King Kudepasiri. According to Sadananda Agrawal, Prince Badukha stands an obscure figure in history, but Badukha seems to be the son or brother of Kudepasiri.

IV- Inscriptions in the Sarpagumpha[edit]

This inscription consisting of one line, is incised over the doorway of the Sarpagumpha. The text in Devanagari script is as under:

चूलकमस कोठाजेया च (IAST: cūlakamas koţhājeyā ca)

Translation: The chamber and veranda/or side chamber of cūlakama. However, Dr. Sahu has interpreted Ajeya being united by a Sandhi qualifying Koṭha there by denoting invincible.

V- Inscription in the Sarpagumpha[edit]

The text of the engravings at the left of the doorway in Devanagari script is as under:

L.1- कंमस हलखि

L.2- णय च पसादो

Translation: [The pavilion is the] gift of Kamma and Halakhina.

It has been claimed that Halakhina was the wife of Kamma. Chūlakamma – found in the inscription No. IV and Kamma of this record indicate official designations rather than the proper names. Kamma may be taken as minister of works (Karma sachiva) and Cūlakamma appears to be a junior cadre of minister in the Department of works.

VI- Haridas Cave inscription[edit]

This inscription contains one line has been incised over one of the three entrances to the main chamber of the cave from the veranda. The text in Devanagari script is as under:
चूलकमस पसातो कोठाजेया च (IAST: cūlakamas pasāto koţhājeyā ca)
Translation: The chamber and veranda (or side chamber) are the gift of cūlakama.

VII- Vyāghragumphā Inscription[edit]

The record is incised on the outer wall of the inner chamber. The text in Devanagari script is as under:

L.1- नगर अखंदस

L.2- स भूतिनो लेणं

Translation: This is the cave of Bhūti, the city judge.

VIII- Jambesavara cave inscription[edit]

This inscription has been engraved over the entrances to the inner chamber of the cave. The text in Devanagari script is as under:

महादस बरयाय नकियस लेनं

Translation: The cave of Mahamāda Nākiya and Bāriyā.

X- Tatowāgumphā inscription (Cave No −1)[edit]

The record of this inscription is incised over one of the entrances to the inner chamber. The text in Sanskrit reads as:

पादमुलिकस कुसुमस लेणं x [।।] (IAST: pādamulikas kusumas lenam x)

Translation: The cave of Kusuma, the padamulika.
There is a syllable after the word lenam, which may be read as ni or phi,. padamulika literally means, one who serves at the feet [of king]. According to Kishori Lal Faujdar (Page No. 6, Supra), Kusuma seems to be related with Kaswan clan of Jats. He refers to an article named ‘Hathi Gumpha and Three other Inscriptions’ (page 24) in Devanagari as under:

कुसवानाम् क्षत्रियानां च सहाय्यतावतां प्राप्त मसिक नगरम्

Kusawānāṃ kshatriyānāṃ ca Sahāyyatāvatāṃ prāpt masika nagaraṃ.

Translation: The city of 'Masikanagara' was attained with the help of 'Kuswan' Kshatriyas.

Sadananda Agrawal has interpreted Masikanagara as Asikanagara and identified it with the city Adam (Present Nagpur District of Maharashtra). In view of the evidence of a highly prosperous city unearthed at Adam, Prof. A. M. Shastri is of the opinion that Adam itself represents the Asikanagara of Hathigumpha inscription. It is worth noting in the present context that terracotta seal having a legend has been discovered from Adam situated on the right bank of the river Wainganga, which reads Asakajanapadasa (Devanagari: असकजनपदस).

XI- Ananta Gumpha inscription (A)[edit]

The record is incised on the architrave between the left ante and the fifth pillar. The text in Devanagari script is as under:

दोहद समणनं लेणं

Translation: The cave of the Dohada Śramanas.

References[edit]

  • Agrawal, Sadananda: Śrī Khāravela, (2000) Sri Digambar Jain Samaj, Cuttack.
  • Shashi Kant (2000): The Hathigumpha Inscription of Kharavela and the Bhabru Edict of Ashoka, D K Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
  • Mahajan, Dr. Malati (2003): Orissa : From Place Names in Inscriptions C. 260 BC – 1200 AD (Cultural and Historical Geography), Sundeep Prakashan.