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OB03097 Kuccavēli Inscribed Boulder

Author: S. Paranavitana

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 21, 2020
IN03120 Kuccavēli Rock Inscription

Author: S. Paranavitana

The inscription is carved on the sloping side of a gneiss boulder, which stands just to the west of a larger cluster of boulders and caverns on the beach at Kuccavēli (Kuchchaveli) – a small fishing-village in Kaḍḍukkuḷam East, twenty-one miles to the north of Trincomalee. To the right of the inscription, an area of the boulder’s surface measuring about four feet (121.92 cm) square has been partitioned into sixteen compartments of equal proportions, into each of which has been carved in low-relief a representation of a stūpa. The inscription is written in Sanskrit and consists of two verses in the Upajāti and Vasantatilakā metres. The palaeography indicates a date later than the fifth century A.D. and earlier than the eighth. From the degree of development in the script, Senarath Paranavitana tentatively ascribes the record to the seventh century A.D., making it one of the earliest Sanskrit inscriptions in Sri Lanka. The contents of the inscription do not furnish any more precise information about the date. It simply states the pious wish of the author that, by the merit he has gained (presumably through making the carvings on the boulder), he may become a Buddha in the future for the deliverance of suffering humanity.

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 21, 2020
IN03119 Mōlāhiṭiyavelēgala Rock Inscription of Mahānāga

Author: S. Paranavitana

Discovered for scholarship by H.C.P. Bell in September 1897, the inscription is cut into the surface of the rock near the crest of a ridge at Mōlāhiṭiyavelēgala, a low reach of rock running East–West in parallel with the Dim̆bulāgala hills, about ten miles to the south-east of Poḷonnaruva. Four inscriptions, including the present record, are engraved at the termination of two long parallel lines in the rock, possibly marking a “procession path”.

 

The present record refers to another inscription, which is incised directly above it. The two inscriptions are surrounded by a decorative frame and it is clear that they are intended to be read together. The upper inscription (IN03118) records that king Abaya donated a canal to the monks residing in the Pilipavata monastery. The lower inscription (i.e. the present record)  records the confirmation of this donation by king Naka. Senarath Paranavitana identified Abaya and Naka – the two kings mentioned in these records – with, respectively, Bhātika Abhaya (r. 20 B.C.–A.D. 9) and his younger brother and successor Mahānāga, surnamed Mahādāṭhika (r. A.D. 9–21).

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 21, 2020
OB03096 Mōlāhiṭiyavelēgala Rocks

Author: S. Paranavitana

Dimbulagala Hills, Sri Lanka

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 21, 2020
IN03118 Mōlāhiṭiyavelēgala Rock Inscription of Bhātika Abhaya

Author: S. Paranavitana

Discovered for scholarship by H.C.P. Bell in September 1897, the inscription is cut into the surface of the rock near the crest of a ridge at Mōlāhiṭiyavelēgala, a low reach of rock running East–West in parallel with the Dim̆bulāgala hills, about ten miles to the south-east of Poḷonnaruva. Four inscriptions, including the present record, are engraved at the termination of two long parallel lines in the rock, possibly marking a “procession path”.

 

The present inscription records that king Abaya donated a canal to the monks residing in the Pilipavata monastery. Directly underneath the inscription, another record is inscribed (IN03119). The two inscriptions are surrounded by a decorative frame and it is clear that they are intended to be read together. The second inscription records the confirmation by king Naka of the donation mentioned in the first inscription. Senarath Paranavitana identified Abaya and Naka – the two kings mentioned in these records – with, respectively, Bhātika Abhaya (r. 20 B.C.–A.D. 9) and his younger brother and successor Mahānāga, surnamed Mahādāṭhika (r. A.D. 9–21).

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 21, 2020
OB03095 Poḷonnaruva Vān-äḷa Fragmentary Pillar-Slab of Niśśaṁka Malla

Author: S. Paranavitana

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 21, 2020
IN03117 Poḷonnaruva Vān-äḷa Fragmentary Pillar-Slab Inscription of Niśśaṁka Malla

Author: S. Paranavitana

The inscription is engraved on a mutilated pillar-slab, which was discovered near the spill (vānäla) of the Tōpāväva in Poḷonnaruva. The slab was subsequently moved to the Archaeological Office in Anuradhapura, where it was seen by Senarath Paranavitana sometime before 1933; Paranavitana then published an edition of the text in the third volume of Epigraphia Zeylanica. The upper part of the pillar-slab is missing and the surviving fragment is irregularly shaped. The inscription states that it was issued by ‘the Kālinga Monarch’ – a reference to king Niśśaṁka Malla, who reigned from 1187 to 1196 A.D. However, unlike other inscriptions of this king, it does not contain any mention of Niśśaṁka Malla’s alleged military achievements, nor does it boast of his greatness. Instead, it is addressed to the officials of the treasury. The opening portion of the inscription is missing but it appears that the text was prefaced with three quatrains containing maxims on political morals. The main part of the inscription records that the king had become suspicious about the integrity of the accountants of the treasury; he exhorts them to inform the authorities before taking anything from the treasury and threatens those who fail to do so with royal disfavour, hinting at dire consequences. It is a sign of the corruption plaguing the kingdom at this time that Niśśaṁka Malla found it necessary to issue an edict of this nature. Although he attempted to introduce salutary reforms, the country was plunged into a period of economic uncertainty and political anarchy after his death. Indeed, his own extravagant expenditure on building projects and displays of power may have contributed to weakening the exchequer.

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 21, 2020
OB03094 Giritaḷē Pillar

Author: S. Paranavitana

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 19, 2020
IN03116 Giritaḷē Pillar Inscription

Author: S. Paranavitana

The inscription is engraved on all four sides of a broken pillar discovered in Giritaḷē, a village seven miles to the north-west of Poḷonnaruva, where it was first recorded by H. C. P. Bell in the Archaeological Survey of Ceylon Annual Report for 1905 (p. 39, no. 8). The pillar was subsequently brought to the premises of the Archaeological Commissioner at Anurādhapura, where it was seen by Senarath Paranavitana sometime before 1933. The lower part of the pillar is missing and the portions of the inscription on the second and fourth sides of the pillar are no longer legible. It is, however, apparent from the surviving parts of the inscription that, like the majority of pillar inscriptions of the tenth century, it is concerned with a grant of immunities to a certain land. The inscription is dated in the first year of King Udā Sirisaṅgbō, who is described as the son of Mahinda, the sub-king (or heir apparent) and who can therefore be identified as Udaya II (r. 952–955 A.D.).

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 19, 2020
IN03115 Anurādharpura Stone Canoe Inscription 3

Author: S. Paranavitana

The inscription is engraved on the outer surface of the east side of a huge, rectangular stone trough or ‘canoe’ associated with the Mahapali alms hall in Anuradhapura. The trough is situated about 200 yards to the east of the ‘Green Path’, at a distance of nearly a mile from the Sacred Bō-Tree and some 300 yards to the south of the ruined brick structure named the Geḍigē. Such troughs are popularly known as kän̆da oru (gruel boats). Nearby are the tall monoliths of a ruined shrine, identified as the Temple of the Tooth, and a partly effaced slab-inscription of Mahinda IV (IN03031). The trough bears three inscriptions: two on the north end (IN03113 and IN03114) and one the east side (the present record). All three inscriptions belong paleographically to the last quarter of the tenth century A.D. but they do not contain any information that enable us to date them more precisely.

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 19, 2020
IN03114 Anurādharpura Stone Canoe Inscription 2

Author: S. Paranavitana

The inscription is engraved on the outer surface of the north end of a huge, rectangular stone trough or ‘canoe’ associated with the Mahapali alms hall in Anuradhapura. The trough is situated about 200 yards to the east of the ‘Green Path’, at a distance of nearly a mile from the Sacred Bō-Tree and some 300 yards to the south of the ruined brick structure named the Geḍigē. Such troughs are popularly known as kän̆da oru (gruel boats). Nearby are the tall monoliths of a ruined shrine, identified as the Temple of the Tooth, and a partly effaced slab-inscription of Mahinda IV (IN03031). The trough bears three inscriptions: two on the north end (IN03113 and the present record) and one the east side (IN03115). All three inscriptions belong paleographically to the last quarter of the tenth century A.D. but they do not contain any information that enable us to date them more precisely.

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 19, 2020
OB03093 Anurādharpura Stone Canoe within the Citadel

Author: S. Paranavitana

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 19, 2020
IN03113 Anurādharpura Stone Canoe Inscription 1

Author: S. Paranavitana

The inscription is engraved on the outer surface of the north end of a huge, rectangular stone trough or ‘canoe’ associated with the Mahapali alms hall in Anuradhapura. The trough is situated about 200 yards to the east of the ‘Green Path’, at a distance of nearly a mile from the Sacred Bō-Tree and some 300 yards to the south of the ruined brick structure named the Geḍigē. Such troughs are popularly known as kän̆da oru (gruel boats). Nearby are the tall monoliths of a ruined shrine, identified as the Temple of the Tooth, and a partly effaced slab-inscription of Mahinda IV (IN03031). The trough bears three inscriptions: two on the north end (the present record and IN03114) and one the east side (IN03115). All three inscriptions belong paleographically to the last quarter of the tenth century A.D. but they do not contain any information that enable us to date them more precisely.

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 19, 2020
OB03092 Anuradhapura Pillar of the Reign of Dappula V

Author: S. Paranavitana

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 19, 2020
IN03112 Anuradhapura Pillar Inscription of the Reign of Dappula V

Author: S. Paranavitana

The inscription is engraved on a quadrangular stone pillar, which was at the Archaeological Museum at Anurādhapura in around 1930, as recorded by S. Paranavitana in Epigraphia Zeylanica (vol. 3, p. 126). Paranavitana also reported that the pillar was said to have been discovered in the jungle to the west of the Jaffna road, not far from the town of Anurādhapura. The pillar is inscribed on all four sides but only one side remains legible, the writing on the other three having been almost completely obliterated. The legible portion of the inscription consists of thirty-eight lines and represents the introductory part of the text. It includes a date in the second year of king Dāpuḷu Abahay, whom H. C. P. Bell identified as Dappula V (r. 940–952 A.D.). As the bulk of the inscription is no longer legible, the purpose of the text is not entirely clear. However, the damaged text on the third side of the pillar appears to mention the boundaries of a certain land, suggesting that – like the majority of pillar inscription of the period – the inscription was probably concerned with a grant of immunities.

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 19, 2020
OB03091 Ruvanvälisǟya Fragmentary Pillar of the Reign of Buddhadāsa

Author: S. Paranavitana

Ruwanwelisaya, Anuradhapura

 

Ruanweli Dagoba, c. 1891. Image from: Ricalton, James, (1891). ‘The City of the Sacred Bo-Tree (Anuradhapura),’ Scribner’s Magazine 10, pp. 319–336, image opposite p. 328.

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 19, 2020
IN03111 Ruvanvälisǟya Pillar Inscription of the Reign of Buddhadāsa

Author: S. Paranavitana

The inscription is engraved on two fragments of a broken pillar, which were found lying amidst a heap of debris on the pavement about midway between the western and southern altars of the Ruvanväli-sǟya in Anuradhapura, a few yards from the stone votive dāgäba. In all probability, the pillar belonged to one of the many small shrines which once stood on the spacious platform where the fragments were found. The inscription records the gift of the pillar by an individual (or individuals) from the town of Mahila. It is dated in the reign of king Buddhadāsa (341–370 A.D.).

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 19, 2020
OB03090 Thūpārāma Slab of Gajabāhu I

Author: S. Paranavitana

Thuparamaya, Anuradhapura

 

 

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 19, 2020
IN03110 Thūpārāma Slab Inscription of Gajabāhu I

Author: S. Paranavitana

The inscription is engraved on a stone slab, which was discovered in October 1926 when the foundation of the western side of the enclosing wall of the Thūpārāma in Anuradhapura was cleared. The slab was set up vertically on the inner face of the foundation such that only about one foot (30.48 cm) of the slab would have been visible above the original ground level. The inscription is a grant issued by king Gajabāhu I (r. c. 113 – c.135 A.D.), who is referred to here by the name of Gamiṇi Abaya, as in many of his other inscriptions. The text tells us that the king granted certain incomes derived from the Goṇagiri-utaviya (a tank or a tract of paddy fields) to the monks of the Raṭaṇa Araba monastery. The royal grant ends after the fourteenth letter of the sixth line where traces of two short vertical strokes used as punctuation marks are seen. The rest of the record is in the nature of a postscript added later – but not far removed in time from the original grant, as there is no appreciable difference in the script – to the effect that the city accountant, whose name is not preserved, gave in exchange the water-revenue of the Nakaravavi tank (Nuwara Wewa).

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 19, 2020
OB03089 Mannar Kacceri Pillar

Author: S. Paranavitana

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 18, 2020