Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Ancient and Medieval History [Paper-I]: Art, culture, literature and Architecutre
- Epigraphy Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India has discovered the earliest epigraphic evidence so far for the Saptamatrika cult.
- It was discovered in Chebrolu village in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh.
Who are Saptamatrikas?
- Saptamatrikas are a group of seven female deities worshipped in Hinduism as personifying the energy of their respective consorts.
- They are Brahmani (wife of Brahma), Maheshvari (wife of Shiva), Kaumari (wife of Kumara), Vaishnavi (wife of Vishnu), Varahi (wife of Varaha, or the boar, an avatar [incarnation] of Vishnu), Indrani (wife of Indra), and Chamunda, or Yami (wife of Yama).
Earliest Sanskrit Inscription
- The found inscription records the construction of a Prasada (temple), a mandapa and consecration of images by a person named Kartika at the temple of Goddess Saptamatrika at Tambrape.
- Tambrape is the ancient name of Chebrolou, Andhra Pradesh.
- The verification of all the available records proved that the Chebrolu inscription of Satavahana king Vijaya issued in his 5th regnal year – 207 A.D. — is also the earliest datable Sanskrit inscription from South India.
- The inscription is in Sanskrit and in Brahmi characters.
- According to Matsya Purana, Vijaya is the 28th king of the Satavahana dynasty and ruled for 6 years.
- So far the Nagarjunakonda inscription of Ikshavaku King Ehavala Chantamula issued in his 11th regnal year corresponding to the 4th century A.D. was considered the earliest Sanskrit inscription in South India.
[Source: The Hindu]