Aihole in Karnataka state, India, is known as Cradle of Indian architecture. It was the first capital of Chalukyas where they built numerous temples dating back to the 6th century CE. Many inscriptions found at Aihole, but the inscription which found at Meguti Temple popularly known as Aihole inscription, which has the significance in the history of India, witnessed for the many historical events of Chalukyas. The inscription is written in Sanskrit language and uses old Kannada script. There is a mention about the defeat of Harshavardhana by Pulakesin II and also about the victory of Chalukyas on Pallavas. There is also a reference to shifting of the capital from Aihole to Badami by Pulakesin II. There is mention about the poet Kalidasa. The Aihole inscription was written by the Ravikirti, court poet of Chalukya King, Pulakesin II who reigned from 610 to 642 CE.
Below are the pictures of translation of this inscription –
General Remarks –
This extremely valuable inscription is engraved on a stone slab of the Jain temple built on the Meguti hill at Aihole in the Hungund taluka of the Bagalkot district in North Katnataka. It was twice edited by Dr. Fleet in Indian Antiquary V. 67 and VIII. 237. Its revised edition was published by Dr. Kielhorn in Epigraphica Indica Vol. VI. The inscription contains 19 lines of writing.
The content of the inscription can be divided into the following sections –
1. Mangala addressed to Jinendra, the presiding deity of the temple. v.1.
2. Description of the Chalukya family in which the patron of the temple builder was born. v.2.
3. That of king Satyasraya born in that family, who was the patron of the temple builder. v.3.
4. In the Chalukya family a king named Jayasimha Vallabha was born after many generations. v.4-5.
5. His son was Rranaraga. v.6.
6. His son was Pulakesin, who made Vatapi his capital. v. 7-8.
7. His son was Kirtivarman, who conquered Nalas, Mauryas and Kadambas. v. 9-10.
8. His younger brother was Mangalesha, who conquered the Kalachuris and seized the island named Revatidvipa. v. 11-13.
9. Long description of his nephew Pulakesin II. v. 14-31.
- He forcibly seized the throne.
- He defeated Appayika and persuaded Govinda to turn to his side, when they had invaded the country north of Bhaimarathi.
- He besieged Vanavasi surrounded by the river Varada.
- He defeated Gangas and Alupas.
- He defeted Mauryas in the Konkana.
- He beseiged the toen of Puri on the sea.
- He forced the countries of Lata, Malava and Gurjara to seek his protection.
- He checked the further march of Harshavardhana.
- He kept a strong force on the banks of the Narmada near the Vindhya mountains.
- He conquered the three countries known by the name of Maharashtra and 99000 villages.
- He subdued the Kalingas and the Kosalas.
- He took the fortress of Pistapura.
- He subdued the island of Kunala.
- He defeated the Pallavas of Kanchi.
- The Cholas near the Pandyas were won over from the side of the Pallavas to his side.
10. While Satyasraya (another name of Pulakesin II) was ruling at Vatapi (v.32) in the year 3735 of the Bharata war (v.33) and in the year 556 of the Saka era (v.34) the temple of Jinendra was built by Ravikirti (v.35).
11. The prashasti was composed by Ravikirti himself, the builder of the temple.
12. Wish for the success of Ravikirti who was equal to Kalidasa and Bharavi in glory.
Historical Value of the Inscription
This inscription is chiefly devoted to furnish a eulogistic account of the Chalukya faily.