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IN03109 Mannar Kacceri Pillar Inscription

Author: S. Paranavitana

The inscription is covers all four sides of a quadrangular stone pillar, which stood in the early twentieth century in a corner of a room in the Kacceri (Government Agent’s Office) at Mannar. It is said to have been found in Māntai or Tirukkētīśvaram (or possibly in the bund of the Giant’s Tank) but the precise circumstances of its discovery are not recorded. The inscription details a grant of immunities to three villages on the northern coast, belonging to the house of meditation (piyangala) named Baha-durusen (Bhadra-sena) in the Mahā Vihāra. The text is dated on the tenth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Mädindina (March–April) in the twelfth year of King Siri Saṅgbo. Since the palaeography belongs to the late ninth or early tenth century A.D., it is likely that the king in question was either Sena II or Kassapa IV, both of whom used the biruda Siri Saṅgbo. Paranavitana (Epigraphia Zeylanica 3, pp. 102–103) favours Kassapa IV on the grounds that the executor of this grant – a minister named Paṇḍirad Dāpuḷu – is also mentioned in the same capacity in the Mäḍirigiriya Pillar Inscription (IN03070), which is dated to the third regnal year of Kassapa IV’s immediate successor, Kassapa V. While the same minister could easily have served both Kassapa IV and his successor, it is highly unlikely that he could have held office from the twelfth year of Sena II’s reign until the third year of Kassapa V’s – a period of more than fifty years.

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 18, 2020
OB03088 Badulla Pillar

Author: S. Paranavitana

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 18, 2020
IN03108 Badulla Pillar Inscription

Author: S. Paranavitana

The inscription covers all four sides of a stone pillar, which was found in 1857 near the Horaboraväva (Horaborawewa or Soraborawewa). Situated about three miles to the north-east of Mahiyaṅgaṇa, this tank is the most important of the ancient irrigation works in the province of Ūda. Writing about the Horaborawewa in 1857, John Bailey, then Assistant Government Agent at Badulla, described the pillar as lying in the midst of a forested area, which he speculated was once a range of paddy fields (Sessional Papers 1857, quoted in Herbert White, Manual of the Province of Uva [Colombo: H. C. Cottle, 1893], p. 33). However, when the tank was restored in 1870, the pillar was removed to Badulla and set up near the junction of the Kandy and Baṇḍāravela roads. It stood in this location for over fifty years without attracting any scholarly or antiquarian attention until H. W. Codrington made an eye-copy and transcript of the inscription in 1920.

 

Containing two hundred and three lines and close to two thousand akṣaras, the text is the longest known pillar inscription in Sri Lanka. The inscription is dated in the second year of Siri Saṅg-bo Udā. Paranavitana identifies this king as Udaya III and, following Hultzsch, dates the start of his reign to 941 A.D., making the date of the inscription about 942 A.D. On palaeographic grounds, the text may be ascribed to the middle decades of the 10th century A.D. The inscription outlines certain rules enacted for the administration of a village named Hopiṭigamy in the Sorabara division. These rules take the form of a charter granted by the king to some mercantile corporations at the place. They enrich our understanding of the lives of peasants and traders in tenth-century Sri Lanka, demonstrating – for instance – that local mercantile corporations were empowered to levy fines, arrest murderers and assist royal officers in the administration of justice.

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 18, 2020
Udaypur उदयपुर (Madhya Pradesh). Arabic and Persian inscription (INAP00005) in a mosque (OBAP00005) near Chatua Darwaza

Author: M. B. Garde

Udaypur, Madhya Pradesh

Arabic and Persian inscription (INAP00005) in a mosque (OBAP00005) near Chatua Darwaza recording the construction of the building by Khān-i ʿĀlam Jangi Khān in the time of Islām Shāh; working reading of the text 02/2020.

Community: Arabic and Persian epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 16, 2020
Udaypur उदयपुर (Madhya Pradesh). Mosque near Chatua Darwaza with an Arabic and Persian inscription (INAP00005)

Author: M. B. Garde

Udaypur, उदयपुर (Madhya Pradesh).

Mosque (OBAP00005) near Chatua Darwaza with an Arabic and Persian inscription (INAP00005) dated 1549 in the time of Islām Shāh of the Sūr dynasty.

Community: Arabic and Persian epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 16, 2020
IN01105 Inscription on a lapis intaglio (OB01105) with the bust of a woman.

Author: H. T. Bakker

Intaglio in lapis (and modern impression) with the bust of a woman and an inscription.

Community: Intaglios, seals and stamps
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 12, 2020
OB01105 Intaglio in lapis with the bust of a woman and an inscription (IN01105).

Author: Anon.

Intaglio in lapis (and modern impression) with the bust of a woman and an inscription.

Community: Intaglios, seals and stamps
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 12, 2020
Votive inscription on a standing figure of Ambikā

Author: Michael WILLIS

Votive inscription on a standing figure of Ambikā

Community: Paramāra epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 10, 2020
Inscription of Bhoja on a standing figure of Ambikā

Author: Michael WILLIS

Standing figure of Ambikā from Dhār.

Community: Paramāra epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 10, 2020
Standing figure of Ambikā with an inscription of Bhoja

Author: H. V. Trivedi

Standing figure of Ambikā from Dhār. Collection of the British Museum, no. 1909,1224.1

Community: Paramāra epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 10, 2020
Madīnat az-Zahrā (مدينة الزهراء). Kufic inscription (INAND0001) on an alabaster arch.

Author: Miguel Asín Palacios

Madīnat az-Zahrā. (مدينة الزهراء). ‎Alabaster arch with Kufic inscription.

 

Community: al-Andalus epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 10, 2020
Madīnat az-Zahrā. (مدينة الزهراء). ‎Alabaster arch (OBAND00001) with Kufic inscription (INAND00001)

Author: Miguel Asín Palacios

Madīnat az-Zahrā. ‎Alabaster arch with Kufic inscription.

Community: al-Andalus epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 10, 2020
OB03087 Oruvaḷa Copper Plate

Author: H. W. Codrington

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 7, 2020
IN03107 Oruvaḷa Sannasa

Author: H. W. Codrington

The sannasa (land grant) is engraved on both sides an oblong copper-plate. There are fifteen lines of text on the observe and a further fifteen lines on the reverse. Writing in the late 1920s, Codrington recorded that the plate “has for many years been in the possession of Mr W. P. Ranasinha, Notary Public”. The latter’s son – A.G. Ranasinha Esq., C.M.G., C.B.E. – lent it to an exhibition organised by the Historical Manuscripts Commission in 1952.

 

The sannasa records a grant of land to two Brahmans – one Potā Ojjhalun and his nephew Avuhaḷa Ojjhalun of the Śān̆ḍiḷya gotra. As the sannasa relates, these Brahmans served as chief purohita “until His Majesty our King Mahā Parākrama Bāhu…had worn the crown fifty-five times” (i.e. had reigned for fifty-five years). Kings of this period wore the state crown every year on the anniversary of their coronation, hence a king who wore the crown fifty-five times must have reigned for fifty-five years. In recognition of their service, the Brahmans received for their maintenance the village of Oruvaḷa in Aturugiri Kōralē. Subsequently another king made this village a perpetual dānakṣetra in favour of the nephew and also granted him another village in the neighbourhood. Avuhaḷa Ojjhalun, not content, applied either to the same king or to one of his successors for a copper-plate charter confirming that the land held by him was permanently declared a dānakṣetra subject to an annual payment of fifteen fanams to the god Vishṇu. In answer to this request, the present sannasa was issued by king Siri San̆gabo Śrī Parākrama Bāhu at Jayavarddhanapura Kōṭṭē in the fourth year of his reign.

 

Codrington identifies Mahā Parākrama Bāhu – the king served by the two Bhamans – as Parākrama Bāhu VI, who reigned from 1412 (or 1415, according to certain historical sources) until 1467 A.D. However, the identity of Siri San̆gabo Śrī Parākrama Bāhu – the king who issued the sannasa – is less certain. Kings Parākrama Bāhu VII, VIII and IX are all possibilities, although it is most likely to have been one of the first two. On palaeographic grounds, Codrington favours Parākrama Bāhu VIII. Oruvaḷa (Oruwala), the village mentioned in the grant, is situated near Aturugiriya, about three miles south-south-west of Nawagamuwa.

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 7, 2020
OB03086 Poḷonnaruva Laṅkātilaka Inscribed Guard-Stone

Author: Don Martino de Zilva Wickremasinghe

Lankatilaka Vihara, Polonnaruwa

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 6, 2020
IN03106 Poḷonnaruva Laṅkātilaka Guard-Stone Inscription of Vijaya-Bāhu IV

Author: Don Martino de Zilva Wickremasinghe

The inscription was discovered on the inner face of the left guard stone of the east entrance to one of the buildings in the Laṅkātilaka Vihāra in Poḷonnaruva. The discovery was noted by H. C. P. Bell in the Annual Report of the Archaeological Survey of Ceylon for 1910–1911. Although bad weathering has rendered the middle lines of the inscription unreadable, the rest of the text is perfectly legible. The inscription consists of seventeen lines in Pāli. The composition is metrical, the whole text being framed in two gāthās. The first half of the first gāthā records that king Parakkama-Bāhu I (r. 1153–1186 A.D.) built the Laṅkātilaka Vihāra; the other half is illegible but seems to deal with some repair works to a wall of the aforementioned temple. The second gāthā tells us that the Laṅkātilaka Vihāra fell into a state of disrepair for one hundred years until king Vijaya-Bāhu IV (r. 1270–1272 A.D.) had it completely rebuilt. The Mahāvaṁsa confirms that the Laṅkātilaka Vihāra was built by Parakkama-Bāhu I. It further notes that, towards the end of the reign of his father Parakkama-Bāhu II (r. 1236–1269 A.D.), the future Vijaya-Bāhu IV made extensive repairs to temples and shrines in Poḷonnaruva. Taking this evidence together with the text of the guard-stone inscription, it is clear that the Laṅkātilaka was one of the structures repaired during this campaign of restoration. However, Wickremasinghe was unable to determine whether Vijaya-Bāhu IV had had the inscription engraved on an existing guard-stone which was already in situ or whether the text had been incised on a new stone added to the temple entrance during the repair works.

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 6, 2020
OB03085 Kantaläi Gal-Āsana Inscription of Kitti Nissaṅka-Malla

Author: Don Martino de Zilva Wickremasinghe

Diagram of the Kantaläi gal-āsana. Published in:  Wickremasinghe, Don Martino de Zilva. (1912-27). ‘No. 42. (Reg. No. 3.) Kantaläi Gal-Āsana Inscription of Kitti Nissaṅka-Malla (1187–1196 A.D.),’ Epigraphia Zeylanica 2, p. 283.

 

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 6, 2020
IN03105 Kantaläi Gal-Āsana Inscription of Kitti Nissaṅka-Malla

Author: Don Martino de Zilva Wickremasinghe

The inscription is engraved around the four sides of a stone seat (galāsana), which was discovered in 1921 in the village of Kantaläi on the Trincomalee Railway and afterwards removed to Anurādhapura. The text identifies the stone seat as the one that king Nissaṅka-Malla, after returning from his Indian campaign, used to occupy whilst witnessing the various diversions such as alms-giving, dancing, singing, etc., in the Pārvatī-satra erected at his request in Caturveda-Brahmapura, ‘the city of the Four-Vedic Brahmans’. By way of an introduction, the inscription also includes a bombastic account of Nissaṅka-Malla’s military achievements and charitable acts. Virtually identical accounts are commonly found in other gal-āsana records of this king. The Kantaläi inscription is not dated but, since it references his tours of inspection and his expedition to India, it was probably composed towards the end of his short but eventful reign, which spanned nine years, beginning in 1187 and terminating in 1196. If Kantaläi was the original site of the seat, then this locality must once have been the town called Caturveda-Brahmapura, which was probably occupied mostly by Brahman families for whose benefit an almshouse called Brāhmaṇa-satra was also established by Nissaṅka-Malla.

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 6, 2020
OB03084 Poḷonnaruva Gal-Vihāra Inscribed Rockface

Author: Don Martino de Zilva Wickremasinghe

File:Polonnaruwa GalViharaya 1927.jpg

Gal Vihara, Polonnaruwa. Photograph by John & Co. Published in: The Buddhist Annual of Ceylon, vol. 3, no. 2 (1928), p. 89.

The inscription is engraved on the smoothed area of sloping rock to the right of the cave entrance.

 

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 5, 2020
IN03104 Poḷonnaruva Gal-Vihāra Rock Inscription of Parakkama-Bāhu I

Author: Don Martino de Zilva Wickremasinghe

The inscription is incised on the sloping granite rockface immediately to the right of the central cave shrine at the rock-cut temple known as Gal-vihāra, which is situated in Polonnaruwa, about one and a half miles north of the Promontory. Famed for its four large rock-relief statues of the Buddha, this temple was originally known as Uttarārāma (North Park). It was built by king Parakkama-Bāhu I, who reigned between 1153 and 1186 A.D. The inscription sets out a code of conduct for the Buddhist clergy. It is divided into two parts, each one terminating in a fish symbol. The first part contains a historical introduction (lines 1–18) and the second part details disciplinary injunctions (lines 18–51).

Community: Sri Lanka epigraphy
Uploaded on November 6, 2017
February 5, 2020