Inscriptions of The Vijayanagara Rulers (1466 A.D-1587 A.D) is the second of three volumes of Kannada Inscriptions of the Vijayanagara Rulers, prepared under the Inscriptions Programme planned by the ICHR. Under this Programme, a Committee for the compilation of the Vijayanagara Inscriptions was formed with Dr. Shrinivas Ritti as the Convener and the work of compiling the Kannada Inscriptions was assigned jointly to Dr. Ritti and Dr. B.R. Gopal. They completed the task with devotion and submitted the three volumes to the ICHR some time back. The Ist Volume was published in March 2004.
The present Volume contains the texts of as many as 913 inscriptions along with their summaries and an Introduction highlighting the information culled out from the inscriptions. Most of the inscriptions are in Kannada language and script, while some of them, particularly, copper plates, are in Nagari script and partly in Sanskrit and partly in Kannada languages. Region-wise, most of them come from the whole of the Kannada area. Some of them come from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu States.
It is well known that Indian historiography, particularly for the early part of it, rests almost entirely on epigraphy, augmented, only to a small extent, by literature. The history of Vijayanagara is no exception.
Many of the inscriptions published here, have been utilized by earlier scholars working on different aspects of Vijayanagara history. Nevertheless, their value is not diminished. It is the experience of every epigraphist that with every fresh reading of an inscription, new ideas and new interpretations are suggested. These inscriptions provide a variety of rich material and open up new avenues of study. It is hoped that scholars and researchers engaged in Indological studies exploit this material to the fullest extent.
Dr. Shrinivas Ritti (b-1929) started his career in the Govt. Epigraphist’s Office at Ootacamund (1955-64) and then worked in the Karnatak Univerity, Dharwad, as Lecturer and later as Professor and Head of the Dept. of Ancient Indian History and Epigraphy (1964-89). He also served as a member of the ICHR.
His major works include The Seunas (Yadavas of Devagiri) and Volumes of Inscriptions from Nanded, Solapur and Kolhapur Districts. He has also edited A Descriptive Glossary of Administrative Terms in Ancient Karnataka.
Dr. Ritti is presently the Chairman of the Epigraphical Society of India. He presided over of the 18th Annual congress of the Society. He was also honoured with a Copper Plate Charter by the Society in recognition of his services to the field of Indian Epigraphy.
Dr. B.R. Gopal (1930-97) also joined Govt. Epigraphist’s Office in 1955. He then joined the Karnatak University, Dharwad (1964) along with Dr. Ritti. Here, both worked on two projects of writing of a comprehensive History of Karnataka and A History of Ancient India. Dr. Gopal also published 3 volumes of karnatak Inscriptions. He then joined the Mysore University in 1972 to head the project of revising the volumes of Epigraphia Carnatica and brought out 9 massive volumes in quick succession. In 1986 he joined the Shri Krishnadevaraya University at Anantpur (A.P) as Professor and Head of the Dept. of History, where he brought out a volume of History of Andhra. His book The Chalukyas of kalyana and The Kalachuris was published by the Karnatak University, Dharwad.
Dr. Gopal presided over the 15th Annual Congress of the Epigraphical Society of India held at Anantpur. He was also honoured with the Society’s Copper Plate Charter in recognition of his services to the field of Indian Epigraphy.
The ICHR launched upon the Inscriptions Programme in order to make available in one place to the scholars and researchers the large number of inscriptions scattered in several publications. Under this Programme it was intended to compile and publish volumes of inscriptions with proper annotations and summaries arranged in chronological and dynastic order. I am happy to note that the Programme is making steady progress. So far, the ICHR has brought out the following volumes of inscriptions:
Inscriptions of the Western Gangas (Dr. K.V. Ramesh), Inscriptions of the Suryavamsi Gajapatis of Orissa (Dr. R. Subramanyam), Inscriptions of the Pallavas (Dr. T.V. Mahalingam), Inscriptions of the Maukharis, Later Guptas, Pushyabhutis and Yashovarman of Kanauj (Dr. K.K. Thaplyal), Inscriptions of the Sarabhapuriyas, Panduvarmsins, and Somavarmsins (Dr. Ajay Mitra Shastri), Inscriptions of Orissa, 2 Vols. (Dr. Snigdha Tripathi), Inscriptions of the Early Kadambas (Dr. G.S. Gai), Inscriptions of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Kashmir and adjoining Hilly Tracts (Dr. J.N. Agarwal) and Inscriptions of the Early Pandyas (Shri K.G. Krishnan).
Publication of the volumes of Inscriptions of the Vijayanagara Rulers is a separate project in this Programme. In this project, which incorporates the inscriptions in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Sanskrit languages, Kannada inscriptions cover three volumes and inscriptions in other three languages occupy one volume each.
Volume I in the series of Kannada inscriptions of the Vijayanagara rulers containing the texts and summaries of as many as 828 inscriptions was published in March 2004 and I am happy that the second volume is now being released. I understand that the third volume is to follow soon. The Volume of the Telugu inscriptions of the Vijayanagara rulers being edited by Dr. P.V. Parabrahma Shastry is now fast getting ready. I hope it will also be published in the course of this year. Volumes of Tamil and Sanskrit inscriptions are under way. I congratulate Dr. Shrinivas Ritti, the convener of the project who is sparing no pains in successfully completing the project.
I am happy to place before the world of scholars this second Volume of the Inscriptions of the Vijayanagara Rulers. The first one in the Series was published in March 2004. The present Volume contains 913 Kannada inscriptions covering the period from 1466 A.D. to 1587 A.D. This period saw the height of the glory of the empire and witnessed its downfall also. These inscriptions provide rich material for the study of different aspects of history and culture of this most important phase in the Vijayanagara history.
As mentioned in the Preface to the first volume, these Volumes are prepared under the Inscriptions Programme launched by the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi. Considering the large number of inscriptions pertaining to the Vijayanagara Rulers a separate Committee was formed for the compilation of these inscriptions and I was nominated the Convener of the Committee. I undertook Jointly with my friend and collegue Dr. B.R. Gopal the compilation of Kannada inscriptions, which cover three volumes. I am glad that the second volume is now being published and the third volume is expected to be published soon. This work could be accomplished because of the keen interest evinced by the former Chairman of the council Dr. D.N. Tripathi, the present Chairman Prof. Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, the Member Secretary Dr. Y. Chinna Rao, and the former Member Secretary Dr. P.K. Shukla. Dr. B.K. Pandeya, Coordinator, who is associated with this Project since its inception has been very kind in taking personal interest in seeing this volume through the press. I am highly indebted to them all. I place here on record my deep appreciation of the extraordinary efforts put in by Dr. S.K. Aruni, Asst. Director, Southern Regional Centre, ICHR, in the printing and publication of this Volume.
The inscriptions complied here have been published over the last several years in reputed publications like the volumes of South Indian Inscriptions, Epigraphia Indica and Epigraphia Carnatica (both original and revised). A few other publications brought out by such agencies as the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Kannada Research Institute, Dharwad, have also been taken note of. In the course of these two years Kannada University at Hampi (Bellary District, Karnataka) has brought out some epigraphical publications, which contain many new inscriptions pertaining to Vijayanagara. All these inscriptions have been incorporated in this Volume. Efforts have been made to collect as many inscriptions as possible published in different journals and periodicals. Still it is not unlikely that a few inscriptions have escaped my notice due, mainly, to non-availability of stray publications.
A good number of scholars have worked on different aspects of Vijayanagara history over the last several years and they have necessarily utilized these inscriptions published in different volumes. Nevertheless, the value of these inscriptions is not diminished. It is the experience of every epigraphist that every fresh reading of an inscription gives scope to new ideas and new interpretations, thus, throwing fresh light on different aspects of study. Further, all along, inscriptions have been best exploited by our scholars for the study of political history and to a small extent only, for the study of economy, society and religion. There are so many other aspects of study offered by epigraphs such as culture, literary and linguistic studies and such other aspects. Study of historical geography, art and architecture and so on. Thanks to the ICHR these inscriptions scattered in several publications are made available in one place in handy Volumes. I hope the younger scholars will make best use of this rich variety of material and open up for themselves new avenues of study and research.
I remember with gratitude the help and co-operation which I have received from Dr. B.R. Gopal in the preparation of these volumes. It is unfortunate that he is not here amidst us to see the fruits of his labour in form of these volumes. I pay my homage to this friend, colleague and co-worker and remember him with gratitude for his valuable contributions.
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend