Tellapur (Inde) :Engravings dating back to 15th century found

C.R. Gowri Shanker 

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Images 23Epigraphists and archaeologists have recently found interesting engravings on stones in Tellapur in Medak district, Phanigiri in Nalgonda, Taakkellapadu in Guntur district and Venkatagiri in Nellore district.

A Telugu inscription in Tellapur of Medak district dating back to Saka 1340 (1418 AD), engraved on a stone slab kept in between two big pillars outside the village refers to Phirojashah Sultan.

It records the construction of a step-well (nadabavi) with a provision for a water-drawing device (etamu) in the Telumganapura by Nagoju and Layyaloju, descendants of Visvakarmarishi and Vallabhoju, gift of a mango garden situated on the north of a tank by Nagoju and the presentation of a golden chain and a medal to Phirojashah Sultan (Suratrana) by Layyaloju.

The Archaeological Survey of India has compiled the epigraphical discoveries of the respective states archaeology museums and departments in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Those days many events were engraved on stone, copper plates and other metals for permanent record. Telangana state archaeology and museums department has a rich collection of over 3,000 e-stampages (photo copies) of inscriptions,” said Mr P. Nagaraju, assistant director of the department, in charge of Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar.

Brahmi inscriptions were found in Phanigiri in Nalgonda district, on a pillar, in Prakrit language and featuring Brahmi characters of the 2nd-3rd century AD.

It has inscriptions of the installation of a chakra (Dharmachakra) at a monastery called Sadhivihara, gifts in the form of land, cows, etc by Buddhist monks and gift of four kahapana (gold coins) probably for a perpetual lamp by monks (bhikhusamgha).

They also refer to a Mahanavakammika (chief superintendent of works), a Mahadandanayaka and acharya (sculptor).

Similar an Ikshvaku inscription was found in Phanigiri on a pillar in Sanskrit and Prakrit languages and Brahmi characters of the 4th century AD. It belongs to Ikshvaku king Rudrapurushadatta and was issued in his 18th regnal year. The inscription contains four verses in adoration of Lord Buddha.

The discovery of this inscription is important for the history of Ikshvaku dynasty, as the regnal year mentioned in this inscription extends the reigning period of the king by seven years, from 11 to 18. This inscription records the erection of a pillar containing the Dharmachakra by the chief physician (aggrabhishaja) of the king,’’ another official said.

Another fragmentary inscription in Brahmi characters of about the 4th century AD, at Phanigiri records the gift of the pair of foot-prints by Bodhaka, grandson of a venerable person (Bhayanta) whose name is not clear.

In another discovery in Brahmi inscription in Takkellapadu in Guntur mandal engraved on a stone slab in Prakrit language and Brahmi characters of 2nd century AD refers to a vihara (name not clear) and records gift of lands measured in terms of nivartanas and 500 cows, by a ruler.