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Epigraphy

Introduction:-Writing is one .of the main aspects of culture which clearly distinguishes mankind from the animal world and the study of ancient inscriptions thus plays an important role for the study of human civilization. To a student of history a thorough acquaintance with various alphabets in use through ages is of great importance. A good deal of information which we now possess are derived through the study of inscriptions. They provide us with several important details relating to literary, religious, political, economic and cultural history of the land.
The early history of Odisha is one of the most glorious chapters of ancient Indian History and the contribution of ancient Odisha to Indian civilisation is considerably remarkable.

The earliest epigraphic records discovered in Odisha are those belonging to the time of Maurya Emperor Asoka. Numerous inscriptions on rocks, stone slabs, stone and metal images, temple walls, seals and copper plates, etc., belonging to the period from the middle of the 3rd century B.C. up to the 18th century A.D. have been found in different parts of Orissa. It must however, be pointed out that as the history of Odisha is often intimately associated with those other parts of India many inscriptions discovered outside the limits of the present State of Odisha also throw welcome light on some important problem of her history and culture.

The present Epigraphy gallery of the Odisha State Museum has been organised with a view to acquainting the scholars and common visitors with the earlier pattern of writings on different media following different dialects and languages. The copper plate grants in original a few stone inscriptions and a good number of plaster cast impressions and estampages of the originals find place along with other things. A broad chart show¬ing the development of Oriya scripts through ages has been displayed in the gallery for information of visitors. The section at present possesses as many as 87 Copper plate grants, 22 stone inscriptions and a large number of plaster cast impressions and estampages of original inscriptions including the famous Chandrika Devi inscription of Bhubaneswar. The inscriptions broadly throw light on the ruling families of the Eastern Gangas, Matharas, Nagavamsis, Sailodbhavas, Bhaumakaras Somavamsis, Imperial Gangas, Suryavamsi, Gajapatis and on a number of minor dynasties such as Sulkis, Tungas, Nandodbhavas, Bhanjas etc.

Ananta Vasudev temple inscription of Chandrika Devi

Ananta Vasudev temple inscription of Chandrika Devi

The original slab containing the inscription of Chandrika Devi daughter of Aniyankabhima Deva III of the Ganga dynasty, has since been removed to London, Late Padmasri Paramananda Acharya brought a plaster cast of this inscription which is now under display in the Odisha State Museum. The... Read More

Chateswar temple inscription

Chateswar temple inscription

The original inscription belonging to the time of Ananga Bhima Deva Ill, is found at present preserved in the Chateswar temple of Salepur area. We have collected a plaster cast of the inscription only. The language of the inscription is Sanskrit and composition in verses of various metres. The style is highly ornate. The... Read More

Copper plate grants of the Bhaumakara period

Copper plate grants of the Bhaumakara period

The gallery possesses a number of copper plate grants of the Bhaumakara rulers. Among them the Copper plate grants of Sivakara Deva, Santikaradeva, Dharma Mahadevi, Dandi Mahadevi appear to be very important from epigraphical point of view. The copper plate grant of Sivakaradeva recovered from the village... Read More

Buddhist Dharani inscription

Buddhist Dharani inscription

Dharnai inscription written for the glorification of Bodhi¬Satva-Avalokitsvara who with Tara formed the chief deities of worship in Buddhist pantheon is believed to have protected the reciters from Naga (snakes), Yaksha kings, punishments, ferocious animals, fire, theft diseases sins, etc. The utterances: of Dharanis on... Read More

Copper Plate Grants

Copper plate grant of the time of Gopa-chandra

This copper plate recovered from the village Jayarampur in Balasore district is an important acquisition of the Section. The prasasti reveals the glorious achievement of one Gopachandra in whose reign the grant was issued by Mahasamanta Maharaj Achyuta. It contains important geographical data including... Read More

Inscription of the time of Prithvi Vigraha Bhattarika (Gupta year-250)

Inscription of the time of Prithvi Vigraha Bhattarika (Gupta year-250)

The inscription records the grant of a village called Ardhaka¬manduka together with another locality called Chandan Vataka in the Parakkala marga visaya of Maharaja Dharmaraja who was ruling at Padmakholi as a feudatory of Prithivi Vigraha Bhattarika, Governor of Kalingarastra,... Read More

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