Sources of Ancient Indian History (Part-3) for Tripura PSC Exam 2021

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Sources of Ancient Indian History (Part-III) : Some important inscriptions (Indian History)

Some Important Inscriptions

  • Junagarh Rock Inscription
    • The Junagarh Rock inscription of Rudradaman is considered as an early example of chaste Sanskrit, written in mid-second century AD.
    • It mentions that one of the Chandragupta Maurya՚s governors, Pushyagupta was responsible for building a dam on Sudarshana Lake near Girnar in Kathiawar.
    • From another inscription of Skandagupta, we came to know that this very dam was repaired during his reign, almost 800 years after it was built.

Mehrauli Inscription/Garuda Pillar

  • The Mehrauli Iron Pillar was originally placed on a hill near the Beas and was, later on, brought to Delhi.
  • This pillar credits Chandragupta with the conquest of the Vanga countries by his battling alone against the confederacy of the enemies united against him.
  • It also credits him for the conquest of Vakatkas in a fight.
  • This pillar was established by Chandragupta-II of Gupta dynasty as Vishnupada in the honour of Lord Vishnu.
Image Mehrauli Inscription/Garuda Pillar
Image Mehrauli Inscription/Garuda Pillar

Allahabad Pillar Inscription (Prayag Prasati)

  • This was issued by Samudragupta and was composed by Harisena.
  • It is written in very simple and refined Sanskrit in Champu Kavya style.
  • It lists various achievements of Samudragupta.
  • This inscription is a eulogy of Samudragupta and mainly mentions about the conquests of Samudragupta and boundaries of the Gupta Empire.
  • As mentioned in this inscription, Samudragupta defeated nine kings in north, 12 kings in South.
  • He reduced all the Atavika states to vassalage.
  • According to this inscription more than five states in the frontier states surrendered and accepted the suzerainty of Samudragupta.
  • Samudragupta had close contact with the kingdom of Ceylon and South-East Asian colonies.
  • The eulogy of Harisena describes him as a hero of 100 battles. He performed Ashvamedha Yajna; this had been testified by a seal of Samudragupta bearing a Horse.
Allahabad Pillar Inscription

Nasik Inscription

  • The achievements of Gautamiputra Satkarni were mentioned in Nasik Inscription that was composed by his mother Gautami Balasri.
  • The Nasik Prasasti describes Gautamiputra as the ruler of the Aparanta, Anupa, Saurashtra, Kukura, Akara and Avanti.
  • It describes, Gautamiputra defeated the Saka king Nahapana and restored the prestige of his dynasty.

Nanaghat Inscription

  • The Nasik and Nanaghat inscriptions are the major sources that give detailed information about the Satavahana Empire.
  • The Nasik inscription was issued by Gautami Balasari.
  • The Nanaghat inscription was issued by Naganika.

Hathigumpha Inscription

  • The Hatigumpha inscription of Kharavela is the notable inscriptions which throw much light on ancient Indian history.
  • The Hathigumpha Inscription ( “Elephant Cave” inscription) , from Udayagiri, near Bhubaneswar in Odisha, was inscribed by Kharavela, the then Emperor of Kalinga, during 2nd century BCE.
  • The inscription is dated 13th year of Kharavela՚s reign, which has been dated variously by scholars from the 2nd century BCE to 1st century CE.
  • It is comparable only to the inscriptions of Ashoka and Samudragupta in respect of its historical significance.
  • No other inscription of India presents the details of the year-wise achievements of rulers as does the Hathigumpha Inscription.
Image Hathigumpha Inscription

Aihole Inscription

  • This inscription was written by the Ravikirti, court poet of Chalukya king, Pulakeshi II who reigned from 610 to 642 CE.
  • These poetic verses (Shilalekh) of Ravikirti, which are in praise of the king can be seen in the Meguti temple.
  • This inscription was written in Sanskrit. They are in Kannada script.
  • As per this inscription, Harshavardhana was defeated by Pulikeshin II.
  • And it also mentions about the victory of Chalukyas on Pallavas.
  • This inscription mentions about the shifting of the capital from Aihole to Badami by Pulikeshin.
  • There is also a mention about the poet Kalidasa.
Image Aihole Inscription
  • Poetry on stone at the Meguti temple Aihole

Gwalior Inscription

  • The Gwalior Inscription of Mihirakula is a Sanskrit inscription recording the construction of a Surya temple from stone.

Bhitari Stone Pillar

  • The Bhitari pillar inscription of Skandagupta was discovered in Bhitari, Uttar Pradesh, and dates to the reign of Gupta ruler Skandagupta (c. 455 – c. 467 CE) . It gives a chronology of Gupta rulers. It also mentions the conflict between Skandagupta and the Pushyamitras as well as the Hunas.
Image Bhitari Stone Pillar

Uttaramerur Inscription

  • Cholar Period
    • This temple inscription describes a self-governance system existing around 7th to 9th century CE.
    • Around 25 inscriptions, spanning reigns of around four Pallava kings, have been found at Utharamerur.
    • It mentions about Chola village assemblies. They indicate that Utharamerur had two village assemblies: Sabha and Ur. The Sabha was an exclusively Brahmin (priestly class) assembly, while the Ur was made up of people belonging to all the classes.
    • The earliest surviving inscriptions from Utharamerur date to the reign of the Pallava king Dantivarman (795 - 846 CE) .

Besnagar Inscription

  • It is located near Vidisa (MP) .
  • It mentions Heliodorus, the ambassador of king Antialcidas called himself Bhagvata and erected garudadhvaja in his honour.

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