Ashoka pillar throws light on Samudragupt

Published on Jan 24, 2006 12:46 AM IST

Few know that the Ashoka pillar located in Allahabad Fort serves as an important link for the historians and scholars as far as their knowledge about the ruler Samudragupt is concerned.

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None | ByPadmini Singh, Allahabad

Few know that the Ashoka pillar located in Allahabad Fort serves as an important link for the historians and scholars as far as their knowledge about the ruler Samudragupt is concerned.

The pillar has the engravings in the language Prakrit written in Brahmi script which elaborates the details of victories of Samudragupt. The details are found nowhere except on this pillar, said OPL Srivastav, Registering Officer, Antiquities and Art Treasures, Regional Archives, Allahabad.

"Samudragupt was the grandson of Ghatotkach. He was the son of Chandragupt and Mahadevi Kumaradevi. The details of his lineage are perfectly engraved on the pillar," said Srivastav.

"As far as the details of his victories are concerned, they are found nowhere except on this pillar. According to the Brahmi inscription, the details are as follows- 'Kosalak Mahendra, Mahakantarak Vyaghraraj, Kauralak Mandaraj, Paishthapurak Mahendragiri...' which means he  annexed King Mahendra of Kosal, Vyaghraraj of Mahakantara, Mandaraj of Kaural, Mahendragiri of Paishthapur and other kingdoms belonging to various other rulers," added Srivastav.

There are also the details of republics such as Malaw, Arjunayan, Sankanik and others which had their existence during the reign of Samudragupt.

"There is mention of name of Hari Sen, the judicial officer (mahadandanayak) of Samudragupt, who is responsible for the important engravings," he said.

"Another important fact which is highlighted through the engravings is about Nepal. It didn't had the separate existence during the reign of Ashoka and it was a part of his own Mauryan kingdom," said Srivastav.

The officer revealed yet another important fact that Kaushambi was earlier known as 'Kosabi'. ‘"The mention of Kaushambi as Kosabi is mostly found in coins of 3rd century BC. It has been written in Brahmi script. Kaushambi is perhaps the Sanskrit version of the same name," he said.  

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