Open main menu

The Yavanarajya inscription, also called the Maghera inscription, was discovered in a village near Mathura, India in 1988.[2] The Sanskrit inscription, carved on a block of red sandstone, is dated to the 1st century BCE, and is currently located at the Mathura Museum in Mathura.[2][3] The inscription notes the donation of a water well and tank to the community in 1st century BCE, built by a Brahmin.[4]

Yavanarajya inscription
Yavanarajya inscription.jpg
Ancient Sanskrit inscription
Mathura GMM 88.150
Materialred sandstone
WritingSanskrit, Brahmi script[1]
Created1st Century BCE
Discovered1988, village outside Mathura
PlaceMathura, Uttar Pradesh
Present locationMathura Museum, India
Mathura is located in India

The inscription was published and analysed by French indologist Gรฉrard Fussman in 1993.[5] The inscription is in Brahmi script, and is significant because it mentions that it was made in Year 116 of the Yavanarajya ("Kingdom of the Yavanas"). It may mean that Mathura was a part of a Yavana dominion, possibly Indo-Greek, at the time the inscription was created.[2]


The Yavanarajya inscription is in Brahmi script and describes a dedication for a well and a tank in Mathura on "The last day of year 116 of Yavana dominion (Brahmi script: ๐‘€ฌ๐‘€ฏ๐‘€ฆ๐‘€ญ๐‘€š๐‘†๐‘€ฌ Yavanarajya)". Although the term "Yavanas" can sometimes mean "westerners" in general, inscriptions made at this early period generally use the term Yavana to refer to the Indo-Greeks, and known inscriptions referring to the Indo-Parthians or Indo-Scythians in Mathura never use the term Yavana.[2] The date mentioned on the stone was the Hindu festival day of Holi, according to the Hindu calendar.[2][6]


The year 116 probably refers to the Yavana era (yonana vasae), thought to begin in 186-185 BCE.[7] The inscription would thus have a date of 70 or 69 BCE.[4][7] Some other authors have also suggested the date is counted in the Maues era (circa 80 BCE) or the Azes era (circa 57 BCE).[2]


The Yavanarajya inscription, written in elegant Sanskrit, reads:[8]

Yavanarajya inscription
(original Brahmi script)
(Sanskrit in the Brahmi script)

On this day, the year one hundred sixteen, 116, of the Yavana kingdom, in the fourth month of winter on the thirtieth day...

[This is] the well and tank of Ahogani, the mother of the merchant Virabala, who was the son of Ghosadatta, a Brahmin of the Maitreya clan (gotra), with [her] son Virabala, daughter-in-law Bhaguri, and grandsons Suradatta, Rsabhadeva, and Viraddata.

May (their) merit increase

โ€”โ€‰Mathura Yavanarajya inscription, Translated by Sonya Rhie Quintanilla[7]

๐‘€ฌ๐‘€ฏ๐‘€ฆ๐‘€ญ๐‘€š๐‘†๐‘€ฌ๐‘€ฒ๐‘†๐‘€ฌ ๐‘€ฑ๐‘„๐‘€Ÿ๐‘€ฐ๐‘„๐‘€ข๐‘†๐‘€ข๐‘€ญ๐‘‚ ๐‘€ฏ๐‘€ญ๐‘†๐‘€ฑ๐‘€ฐ๐‘€ข๐‘‚ ๐‘ค๐‘›๐‘— ๐‘€ณ๐‘‚๐‘€ซ๐‘€ข ๐‘€ซ๐‘€ธ๐‘€ฒ๐‘‚ ๐‘• ๐‘€ค๐‘€ฏ๐‘€ฒ๐‘‚ ๐‘ ๐‘€๐‘€ข๐‘€ฌ๐‘‚ ๐‘€ง๐‘€ผ๐‘€ญ๐‘†๐‘€ฏ๐‘€ฌ๐‘‚
Yavanarajyasya แนฃoแธaล›ottare varแนฃaล›ate 100 10 6 hemata mฤse 4 divase 30 etaye purvaye
๐‘€ฉ๐‘†๐‘€ญ๐‘€ธ๐‘€ณ๐‘†๐‘€ซ๐‘€ก๐‘€ฒ๐‘†๐‘€ฌ ๐‘€ซ๐‘ƒ๐‘€ข๐‘†๐‘€ญ๐‘‚๐‘€ฌ๐‘€ฒ ๐‘€•๐‘„๐‘€ข๐‘†๐‘€ญ๐‘€ฒ๐‘†๐‘€ฌ ๐‘€–๐‘„๐‘€ฑ๐‘€ค๐‘€ข๐‘†๐‘€ข ๐‘€ง๐‘€ผ๐‘€ข๐‘†๐‘€ญ๐‘€ฒ๐‘†๐‘€ฌ ๐‘€ฒ๐‘€ธ๐‘€ฃ๐‘€ฏ๐‘€ธ๐‘€ณ๐‘€ฒ๐‘†๐‘€ฌ ๐‘€ฏ๐‘€ป๐‘€ญ๐‘€ฉ๐‘€ฎ๐‘€ฒ๐‘†๐‘€ฌ ๐‘€ซ๐‘€ธ๐‘€ข๐‘€ผ๐‘€ญ๐‘€ธ๐‘€ณ๐‘„๐‘€•๐‘€ฆ๐‘€บ๐‘€ฌ ๐‘€‰๐‘€ค๐‘€ง๐‘€ธ๐‘€ฆ๐‘€บ
brฤhmaแน‡asya maitreyasa gotrasya ghoแนฃadatta putrasya sฤrthavฤhasya vฤซrabalasya mฤturฤhogaแน‡iya udapฤni
๐‘€ง๐‘€ผ๐‘€ฑ๐‘†๐‘€“๐‘€ญ๐‘€บ๐‘€ฆ๐‘€บ ๐‘€ฒ๐‘€ณ ๐‘€ง๐‘€ผ๐‘€ข๐‘†๐‘€ญ๐‘‚๐‘€ก ๐‘€ฏ๐‘€ป๐‘€ญ๐‘€ฉ๐‘€ฎ๐‘‚๐‘€ฆ ๐‘€ฏ๐‘€ฅ๐‘€ผ๐‘€ฌ๐‘‚ ๐‘€ช๐‘€ธ๐‘€•๐‘€ผ๐‘€ญ๐‘‚๐‘€ฌ๐‘‚ ๐‘€ง๐‘…๐‘€ข๐‘†๐‘€ญ๐‘‚๐‘€ณ๐‘€บ ๐‘€˜ ๐‘€ฐ๐‘€ผ๐‘€ญ๐‘€ค๐‘€ข๐‘†๐‘€ข๐‘‚๐‘€ฆ ๐‘€ญ๐‘†๐‘€ฑ๐‘€ช๐‘€ค๐‘‚๐‘€ฏ๐‘€ฆ ๐‘€ฏ๐‘€บ๐‘€ญ๐‘€ค๐‘€ข๐‘†๐‘€ข๐‘‚๐‘€ฆ ๐‘€˜ ๐‘€ง๐‘€ผ๐‘€ก๐‘†๐‘€ฌ๐‘€ ๐‘€ฏ๐‘€ญ๐‘†๐‘€ฅ๐‘€ข๐‘€ผ
puแนฃkariแน‡i saha putreแน‡a vฤซrabalena vadhuye bhฤgureye pautrehi ca ล›uradattena แน›แนฃabhadevena viradattena ca puแน‡yam vardhatu[7]

Yavanarajya inscription.


The Indo-Greek king Menander I.

The Yavanarajya inscription, states Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, mentions year 116 of the yavana hegemony (yavanarajya), attesting to the 2nd-century and 1st-century BCE Indo-Greek presence. This makes the inscription unique in that it mentions the Indo-Greeks, and it "may confirm" the numismatic and literary evidence which suggests that Mathura was under the ruler of the Indo-Greeks during the period between 185 BCE-85 BCE.[9] It is unclear whether the Indo-Greeks were still present at the time the inscription was engraved, states Quintanilla. She states that the inscription's mention of a family of "Brahmin merchants" is significant as well and the foreign rule must have had a lasting impression on them.[4]

Quintanilla states that the nearly contemporaneous coinage of Menander I (165-135 BCE) and his successors found in the Mathura region, in combination with this inscription, suggests the hypothesis that there was a tributary style relationship between the Indo-Greek suzerains and the Mitra dynasty that ruled that region at the time.[4]


  1. ^ Gerhard Lรผdtke; et al. (2009). Kurschners Deutscher Gelehrten-Kalender 2009, Vols 1-4. W. de Gruyter. p.ย 2766.
  2. ^ a b c d e f History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE - 100 CE, Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, BRILL, 2007 pp. 254-255
  3. ^ "Some Newly Discovered Inscriptions from Mathuraย : The Meghera Well Stone Inscription of Yavanarajya Year 160 Recently a stone inscription was acquired in the Government Museum, Mathura." India's ancient past, Shankar Goyal Book Enclave, 2004, p.189
  4. ^ a b c d History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE - 100 CE, Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, BRILL, 2007, p.8-10 [1]
  5. ^ "Mรฉnandre lโ€™Indo-grec ou Paul Demiรฉville revisitรฉ" Journal Asiatique 1993, 1-2, pages 61โ€“138
  6. ^ Gรฉrard Fussman (1993), "Mรฉnandre lโ€™Indo-grec ou Paul Demiรฉville revisitรฉ", Journal Asiatique, Volume 281, 1-2, pages 113-114
  7. ^ a b c d History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE - 100 CE, Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, BRILL, 2007, p.255-256 [2]
  8. ^ Published in "L'Indo-Grec Menandre ou Paul Demieville revisite," Journal Asiatique 281 (1993) p.113
  9. ^ Quintanilla, Sonya Rhie (2007). History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE - 100 CE. BRILL. p.ย 9. ISBNย 9789004155374.