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File:455–470 CE Talagunda Pillar Sanskrit inscription, Pranavesvara temple ruins, Karnataka.jpg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


This inscription was produced in 5th-century CE, and is now found near a remote village in western Karnataka among Hindu temple ruins. The location was once a major city of a historic Hindu dynasty of South India that ruled for many centuries - the Kadamba dynasty of warrior Brahmins. The Kadambas were contemporaries of Western Ganga dynasty, Pallavas and had close relationship with the Gupta Empire extending through most of the Indian subcontinent.

This inscription is significant for many reasons. It is in excellent Sanskrit, establishing that the language was well established in South India by or long before about 450 CE according to Sanskrit scholars Sheldon Pollock and Richard Solomon. It recites its dynasty members as twice born Brahmins who diligently performed Vedic rituals and recited the Vedas. It mentions the political situation between rulers of Tamil and Kannada speaking regions of South India. The inscription also implies that the Brahmin caste members in early India did not view Kshtraiyas as religiously required by Hindu scriptures as rulers and that Brahmins could be warriors and were not merely priests. The inscription mentions students and scholars going to a Hindu monastery (matha) and a Vedic university in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, thereby suggesting education system in ancient India (see Hartmut Scharfe's discussion on this pillar inscription in Education in Ancient India, Brill).

This image is a photograph of a 2-dimensional ink impression published in Epigraphica Indica Volume 8 published in 1906, edited by E Hultzsch. It was published by Lorenz Franz Kielhorn – also known as F Kielhorn – for the Archaeological Survey of India (personal copy). Thus this is in public domain, and wikimedia commons' PD-Art-100-70 license category applies. Any rights I have as a photographer of this 2-D artwork published in 1906, I herewith donate to public domain and wikimedia commons (per CC0).
Source Epigraphica Indica, Vol 8, pp 24–36 (published in 1906)
Author F Kielhorn (died 1908)


Public domain

This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or fewer.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1926.


Kadamba era pillar inscription of Kakusthavarman found among Shiva temple ruins north of Shivamoga

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