Important Inscriptions of Ancient India

Important Inscriptions of Ancient India

Here are some important notes on different inscriptions of ancient India giving us relevant information about ancient Indian history, for UPSC, SSC CGL, MTS, CHSL, CPO, RAILWAY etc.

1. Ashokan Inscriptions

► Ashoka (273-236 BC) was one of the most successful and powerful kings whose large number of edicts came into light from in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

► Inscribed on the rocks and the pillars they talk about the reforms in Ashoka’s policies and his advice to his subjects.

► In the ‘Bhabru Edict’ he declared his faith in the Three Jewels’ of Buddhism.

► The Ashoka’s edicts have been discovered at Kalsi. Sopara, Girnar, Dhauli, Jaugada, Maski and Yeraguddi in India and at Shahbaz Garha and Mansehra in the NWFP.

► The rock inscriptions reveal the propagation of Ashoka’s “Law of Piety”.

2. 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 Chandragupta Maurya’s governors, Pushyagupta, was responsible for building a dam on Sudarshana Lake near Girnar in Kathiawar.

► From another inscription of Skandgupta we came to know that this very dam was repaired during his reign, almost 800 years after it was built

3. Mahrauli Inscription / Garuda Pillar

► The Mahrauli Iron Pillar was originally placed on a hill near the Beas and was brought to Delhi by a King of Delhi.

► This pillar credits Chandragupta with conquest of the Vanga Countries by his battling alone against the confederacy of the enemies united against him.

► It also credits him for conquest of Vakatkas in a fight that ran across seven mouths of Sindhu.

► This pillar was established by Chandragupta-II of Gupta dynasty as Vishnupada in the honor of Lord Vishnu.

4. Allahabad Pillar Inscription (Prayag Prasasti)

► 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 achievements of Samudragupta.

5. Nasik Inscription

► The achievements of Gutamiputra Satkarni were mentioned in Nasik Inscription that were composed by his mother Gautami Balasri.

► The Nasik Prasasti describes Gautamiputra as the ruler.

► It describes, Gautamiputra defeated the Saka King Nahapana and restored the prestige of his dynasty.

6. Nanaghat Inscription

► The Nasik and Nanaghat inscriptions are the major sources that gives detailed information about the Satavahana empire.

► The Nasik inscription was made by Gautami Balasari and Nanaghat inscription was issued by Naganika.

7. Mandsaur Inscription

► It was by Kumaragupta and was written by Vattasbhatta.

8. Hathigumpha Inscription

► The Hatigumpha Inscription of Kharavela is one of the few notable inscriptions which throw much light on ancient Indian history.

► It is comparable only to the inscriptions of Asoka and Samudragupta in respect of its historical significance.

► No other inscription of India presents the details of the year-wise achievements of a ruler as does the Hathigumpha Inscription.

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