Copper-Plate Inscriptions of Odisha (Orissa)

Copper-Plate Inscriptions of Odisha (Orissa)

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Item Code: NAH342
Author: Subrata Kumar Acharya
Publisher: D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 9788124607541
Pages: 604
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 11.5 inch x 8.5 inch
Weight 1.8 kg

About the Book

 

Odisha is well known for its epigraphical wealth. More than 400 copper-plate grants and 1,000 stone inscriptions ranging from the fourth to the sixteenth century CE have been discovered so far. In this volume, the author has taken extreme care in documenting all the published and unpublished copper-plate grants including the stray plates, spurious charters and the palimpsests.

 

These epigraphs are grouped under different dynasties and the relevant data in each copper- plate inscription have been systematically classified making the volume a descriptive catalogue of the copper-plate inscriptions of Odisha. It, thus, painstakingly furnishes detailed information about the rulers and the beneficiaries, religious persuasion of kings, occasion and purpose of the grants, eras and other astronomical details, officers and persons present at the time of the grants, rights and privileges transferred to the donees, land measures, prevailing currency system of the period, administrative and revenue terms, topographical details, development of language and scripts, and so on. These inscriptions, mostly in Sanskrit, also delineate the system of numeration while specifying the era or days of a month, amount of tax to be paid, land measures, etc.

 

While adopting a comprehensive approach in treating the subject, the book deals with the technique of preparing copper plates for writing the royal deeds; flattening of the metal sheets into rectangular plates, their sizes, positing of the seals, the symbols and legends on the seals, amidst many more pieces of information.

 

This innovative and scholarly work should entice the spirit of students, historians and researchers, especially those who are interested in the history and culture of Odisha. The bibliographical details furnished in the volume will prove to be of immense help to serious scholars working in the field.

 

About the Author

 

Subrata Kumar Acharya teaches History in Ravenshaw University, Cuttack, Odisha. He was a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla (1996-98) and a Senior Fellow of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, New Delhi (2008-10). Besides, he was conferred with the Honorary Fellowship of the Ancient Sciences and Archaeological Society of India, Mysore (2007). He was the General President of the Place Names Society of India (Aurangabad Session, 2010). He has published more than forty research papers in many referred journals of the country. He is the author of Numerals in Orissan Inscriptions (Simla, 2002) and Palaeography of Orissa (New Delhi, 2005).

 

Preface

 

The idea of preparing a descriptive catalogue of all the published copper-plate inscriptions of Odisha was very much in my mind since I finished my doctoral work on the Palaeography of Orissa. But I could not devote sufficient time to prepare that. It was in the year 2008 that I was awarded the Senior Fellowship of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. This enabled me to avail study leave from the Government of Odisha and to devote fully for the preparation of the work. I have made a thorough reading or re-reading of all the published copper-plate inscriptions of Odisha, numbering more than 400, and carefully prepared this volume for the benefit of the scholars working on various aspects of the history and culture of India. All the stray plates, the spurious charters and the palimpsests, which have been noticed so far, have also been incorporated in this volume. The epigraphs have been grouped under different dynasties and the relevant data in each copper-plate grant have been classified under various heads. Extreme care has been taken to furnish the full bibliographical data and the details about the circumstances of the discovery of the plates. Besides, the serious researchers would find the classified data more rewarding in formulating many perspectives of research. However, I am fully conscious of the limitations of the work and also crave the indulgence of scholars and teachers for the omission and commission creeping into the work.

 

At the outset I express my deep sense of gratitude to the authorities of the Ministry of Culture for granting me the Fellowship to undertake this work. The study leave I took from the Government of Odisha helped me to complete the project in time. I am, therefore, indebted to the Principal, Panchayat College, Bargarh; the Regional Director, Department of Higher Education, Sambalpur; and the Commissioner-cum- Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Government of Odisha, Bhubaneswar for their timely help. In the course of this work, I visited many libraries and museums and received ungrudging co-operation from the staff. I accord my sincere thanks to all of them. Besides, I received tremendous encouragement from noted epigraphists like K.V. Ramesh, M.D. Sampath, Snigdha Tripathy, C. Somasundara Rao, T. Ravisankar and K. Muniratnam. My brother A.K. Acharya collected some data relating to the present work from the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Kolkata at my request. T. Suryanarayana of the Oriental Research Institute, Mysore helped me in identifying the metres of some of the verses of a few copper-plate grants, which have been incorporated in the present work. Susanta Kumar Patnaik, Photographer, Odisha State Museum, Bhubaneswer, supplied an excellent photograph of a copper-plate grant for the cover page of this volume at my request. I express my gratitude to all of them.

 

Besides, I am grateful to my wife Geeta for her help by keeping me free from domestic worries and my daughters Sruti and Richa for constantly reminding me to devote to my research work.

 

Finally, I deeply appreciate the keen interest shown by Shri Susheel Kumar Mittal of D.K. Printworld and his highly professionally equipped editorial team in publishing this book.

 

Contents

 

 

Preface

vii

 

Abbreviations

xi

 

List of Copper-Plate Inscriptions Discussed

xiii

 

Introduction

xxxv

 

Key to Transliteration

xliii

1.

Matharas and Their Contemporaries in Kalinga

1

2.

Nalas and Other Unknown Rulers of West and South-West Odisha

24

3.

Sarabhapuriyas

29

4.

Minor Ruling Families of North Odisha

47

5.

Sailodbhavas

66

6.

Panduvamsis

85

7.

Eastern Gangas

110

8.

Some Minor Rulers of South Odisha

160

9.

Svetaka Gangas

172

10.

Bhaumakaras

191

11.

Somavamsis

224

12.

Early Bhanjas

285

13.

Bhanjas of Khinjali-Mandala

291

14.

Later Bhanjas

344

15.

Bhanjas of Khijjinga-Kotta

353

16.

Sulkis and Their Contemporaries

371

17.

Imperial Gangas

424

18.

Suryavamsi Gajapatis

509

 

Select Bibliography

541

 

Index

545

 

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