Open main menu
A replica of the original Halmidi inscription at Halmidi village

The Halmidi inscription is the oldest known Kannada language inscription in the Kannada script. While estimates vary slightly, the inscription is often dated to between 450 CE - 500 CE. The inscription was discovered in 1936 by Dr. M. H. Krishna, the Director of Archaeology of the (princely) State of Mysore (present-day Karnataka region of India), in Halmidi, a village in the Hassan district.

The original inscription is kept in the Office of the Director of Archaeology and Museums, Govt. of Karnataka, Mysore,[1] and a fibreglass replica has been installed in Halmidi.

Contents

Discovery and datingEdit

In a report published in a Mysore Archaeological Department Report (MAR) in 1936, Krishna dated the inscription to 450 AD, on paleographical grounds.[1][2] Later scholars have variously dated the inscription to 450 AD,[3] 470 AD,[4] 500 AD,[5] "about 500",[6] and "end of the fifth century A. D. or the beginning of the 6th century A.D."[7] Epigraphist, D. C. Sircar has dated the inscription to "about the end of the 6th century."[8]

Epigraphist, K. V. Ramesh has written about the differing estimates:

And I attribute the origin of this doubt in their minds to the fact that scholars, even the reputed ones, have held differing views, mostly to prop up their preconceived notions, on the palaeographical dating of any given undated or insufficiently dated inscriptions. ... The undated Halmidi (Hassan District, Karnataka) inscription, allegedly written during the reign of Kadamba Kakusthavarman, is taken by some scholars to belong, on palaeographical grounds, to the middle of the 5th century AD, while a few other scholars have held, on the same grounds of palaeography, that it is as late as the second half of the 6th century A.D.

— K. V. Ramesh[9]

He also hypothesized that, compared to possibly contemporaneous Sanksrit inscriptions, "Halmidi inscription has letters which are unsettled and uncultivated, no doubt giving an impression, or rather an illusion, even to the trained eye, that it is, in date, later than the period to which it really belongs, namely the fifth century A.D."[10]

Epigraphist G. S. Gai however disagrees with the view that Halmidi is a record of the Kadamba dynasty identified with King Kadamba Kakusthavarman. According to (Gai 1992), the inscription, which is dedicated to, "Kadambapan Kakustha-Bhaṭṭōran," refers to another ruler, Kakustha of the Bhaṭāri family, who is explicitly identified in line 13, "baṭāri-kuladōn=āḷu-kadamban;" in addition, the inscription does not "include any of the epithets like Mānavya-gōtra, Hāritī-putra, and most important Dharma-maharājā"[11] that are a part of all Kadamba inscriptions.

Textual analysisEdit

 
The replica of the Halmidi inscription mounted on a pedestal

The inscription is in verse form indicating the authors of the inscription had a good sense of the language structure.[12] The inscription is written in pre-old Kannada (Puruvada-hala Kannada), which later evolved into old Kannada, middle Kannada and eventually modern Kannada.[13] The Halmidi inscription is the earliest evidence of the usage of Kannada as an administrative language.[14]

TextEdit

 
The Halmidi inscription transliterated into modern Kannada script
 
The Halmidi inscription translated into modern Kannada language

The pillar on which the inscription was written stands around 4 feet (1.2 m) high. The following lines are carved on the front of the pillar:

1. jayati śri-pariṣvāṅga-śārṅga vyānatir-acytāḥ dānav-akṣṇōr-yugānt-āgniḥ śiṣṭānān=tu sudarśanaḥ
2. namaḥ śrīmat=kadaṁbapan=tyāga-saṁpannan kalabhōranā ari ka-
3. kustha-bhaṭṭōran=āḷe naridāviḷe-nāḍuḷ mṛgēśa-nā-
4. gēndr-ābhiḷar=bhbhaṭahar=appor śrī mṛgēśa-nāgāhvaya-
5. r=irrvar=ā baṭari-kul-āmala-vyōma-tārādhi-nāthann=aḷapa-
6. gaṇa-paśupatiy=ā dakṣiṇāpatha-bahu-śata-havan=ā-
7. havuduḷ paśupradāna-śauryyōdyama-bharitōn=dāna pa-
8. śupatiyendu pogaḷeppoṭṭaṇa paśupati-
9. nāmadhēyan=āsarakk=ella-bhaṭariyā prēmālaya-
10. sutange sēndraka-bāṇ=ōbhayadēśad=ā vīra-puruṣa-samakṣa-
11. de kēkaya-pallavaraṁ kād=eṟidu pettajayan=ā vija
12. arasange bāḷgaḻcu palmaḍiuṁ mūḷivaḷuṁ ko-
13. ṭṭār baṭāri-kuladōn=āḷa-kadamban kaḷadōn mahāpātakan
14. irvvaruṁ saḻbaṅgadar vijārasaruṁ palmaḍige kuṟu-
15. mbiḍi viṭṭār adān aḻivornge mahāpatakam svasti

The following line is carved on the pillar's left face:

16. bhaṭṭarg=ī gaḻde oḍḍali ā pattondi viṭṭārakara

Text in KannadaEdit

ಜಯತಿ ಶ್ರೀ ಪರಿಷ್ವರ್ಙ್ಗ ಶ್ಯಾರ್ಙ್ಗ [ವ್ಯಾ]ನತಿರ್ ಅಚ್ಯುತಃ ದಾನಕ್ಷೆರ್ ಯುಗಾನ್ತಾಗ್ನಿಃ [ಶಿಷ್ಟಾನಾನ್ತು ಸುದರ್ಶನಃ ನಮಃ ಶ್ರೀಮತ್ ಕದಂಬಪನ್ ತ್ಯಾಗ ಸಂಪನ್ನನ್ ಕಲಭೋg[ನಾ] ಅರಿ ಕಕುಸ್ಥಭಟ್ಟೋರನ್ ಆಳೆ ನರಿದಾವಿ[ಳೆ] ನಾಡುಳ್ ಮೃಗೇಶನಾಗೇನ್ದ್ರಾಭೀಳರ್ ಭ್ಭಟಹರಪ್ಪೋರ್ ಶ್ರೀ ಮೃಗೇಶ ನಾಗಾಹ್ವಯರ್ ಇರ್ವ್ವರಾ ಬಟರಿ ಕುಲಾಮಲ ವ್ಯೋಮತಾರಾಧಿನಾಥನ್ ಅಳಪ ಗಣ ಪಶುಪತಿಯಾ ದಕ್ಷಿಣಾಪಥ ಬಹುಶತಹವನಾಹವದು[ಳ್] ಪಶುಪ್ರದಾನ ಶೌರ್ಯ್ಯೋದ್ಯಮ ಭರಿತೋ[ನ್ದಾನ]ಪಶುಪತಿಯೆನ್ದು ಪೊಗೞೆಪ್ಪೊಟ್ಟಣ ಪಶುಪತಿ ನಾಮಧೇಯನ್ ಆಸರಕ್ಕೆಲ್ಲಭಟರಿಯಾ ಪ್ರೇಮಾಲಯಸುತನ್ಗೆ zಸೇನ್ದ್ರಕ ಬಣೋಭಯ ದೇಶದಾ ವೀರಪುರುಷಸಮಕ್ಷದೆ ಕೇಕಯ ಪಲ್ಲವರಂ ಕಾದೆಱದು ಪೆತ್ತಜಯನಾ ವಿಜ ಅರಸಂಗೆ ಬಾಳ್ಗೞ್ಚು ಪಲ್ಮಡಿಉಂ ಮೂೞುವಳ್ಳಿಉಂ ಕೊಟ್ಟಾರ್ ಬಟಾರಿ ಕುಲದೊನಳ ಕದಂಬನ್ ಕೞ್ದೋನ್ ಮಹಾಪಾತಕನ್ ಸ್ವಸ್ತಿ ಭಟ್ಟರ್ಗ್ಗೀಗೞ್ದೆ ಒಡ್ಡಲಿ ಆ ಪತ್ತೊನ್ದಿ ವಿಟ್ಟಾರಕರ

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b Gai 1992, p. 297
  2. ^ M. A. R. 1936, pp. 72–81
  3. ^ Ramesh 1984b, pp. 55–58
  4. ^ Master 1944, pp. 297–307
  5. ^ Mugali 1975, p. 2
  6. ^ Pollock 2006, pp. 331–332
  7. ^ Gai 1992, pp. 300–301
  8. ^ Sircar 1965, p. 48
  9. ^ Ramesh 1984b, p. 55
  10. ^ Ramesh 1984b, p. 58
  11. ^ Gai 1996, p. 26
  12. ^ Datta 1988, p. 1474
  13. ^ M. Chidananda Murthy, Inscriptions (Kannada) in Datta 1988, p. 1717
  14. ^ Sahitya Akademi (1988), p. 1717

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Datta, Amaresh, ed. (1988) [1988], Encyclopaedia of Indian literature - vol 2, Sahitya Akademi, ISBN 81-260-1194-7
  • Datta, Amaresh, ed. (1989) [1988], Encyclopaedia of Indian literature - vol 3, Sahitya Akademi, ISBN 81-260-1194-7
  • Encyclopædia Britannica (2008), Kannada literature, Encyclopædia Britannica Online
  • Gai, Govind Swamirao (1992), Studies in Indian History, Epigraphy, and Culture, Karnataka, India: Shrihari Prakashana. Pp. 346
  • Gai, Govind Swamirao (1996), Inscriptions of the early Kadambas, New Delhi: Indian Council of Historical Research and Pratibha Prakashan. Pp. xv, 170, 88 plates, ISBN 81-85268-47-9
  • Habib, Irfan (2000), "India", in Al-Bhakhit, M. A.; Bazin, L. A.; Cissoko, S. M. (eds.), History of Humanity, Volume IV: from the Seventh to the Sixteenth century, Paris: UNESCO and London: Routledge. Pp. xxiii, 682, 44 maps, 138 plates, pp. 398–410, ISBN 0-415-09308-2
  • Master, Alfred (1944), "Indo-Aryan and Dravidian", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 11 (2), doi:10.1017/s0041977x00072487
  • M. A. R. (1937), Mysore Archaeological Department, Annual Report-1936 (MAR 1936), Bangalore: Government Press, pp. 73–80
  • Mugali, R.S. (1975), History of Kannada literature, Sahitya Akademi, OCLC 2492406
  • Pollock, Sheldon (2003), Literary cultures in history: reconstructions from South Asia, Berkeley: University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-22821-9
  • Pollock, Sheldon (2006), The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India (Philip E. Lilienthal Books), Berkeley: University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-24500-8
  • Pollock, Sheldon (2007), "Literary Culture and Manuscript Culture in Precolonial India" (PDF), in Simon Elliot; et al. (eds.), Literary Cultures and the Material Book, London: British Library, pp. 77–94, ISBN 0-7123-0684-6
  • Ramesh, K. V. (1984b), Indian Epigraphy, Sundeep
  • Sircar, D. C., Indian Epigraphy, Motilal Banarsidass Publications, ISBN 978-8-1208-1166-9
  • Stein, Burton (1980), Peasant State and Society in Medieval South India, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Pp. 550, ISBN 0-19-561065-2
  • Various (1988) [1988], Encyclopaedia of Indian literature – vol 2, Sahitya Akademi, ISBN 81-260-1194-7

External linksEdit