Monday, March 26, 2018

Panakaduwa Copper Plate Grant

Panakaduwa Copper Plate Grant, Colombo Museum, Sri LankaPanakaduwa Copper Plate Grant (also known as Panakaduwa Thamba Sannasa) is a copper inscription discovered in the village of Panakaduwa in the Morawak Korale of Matara District, Sri Lanka. It consists of three copper plates and has been written on both sides of the plates. This inscription is significant as it is the earliest copper plate grant made by a Sri Lankan king (Fernando, 1975). The plates are now exhibited in the National Museum of  Colombo.

The inscription was discovered in 1948 by a farmer of Panakaduwa, S. Carolis Appuhami, while digging in a crown land for some turf for his field (Fernando, 1990). He found that the plates are not gold and put them aside. Later when he began to fall ill too often, Appuhami thought that it was due to some kind of misfortune of these plates. He handed over them to one of his relatives, a Buddhist monk and about one year later the plates were reached to the hands of Senarath Paranavitana (Fernando, 1990).

Panakaduwa Copper Grant 

Period         : 12 Century AC
Language   : Sinhalese
Number of plates : 3 Copper plates
Length & Width     : 38 cm & 7 cm
Discovered : 1948
From a paddy field of Panakaduwa village.
Discovered by       : S. Carolis Appuhami

Reference  : National Museum of Colombo
The inscription records about a special grant pronounced by King Vijayabahu I [(1055-1110 A.D.) Fernando, 1975] in council from the palace at the Anuradhapura. The grant had been made to the chieftain  Budal of Sitnaru-bim, Dandanayake (constable) of Ruhuna for the protection afforded to the king, his father and the other members of the royal family when they were in hiding during the Cola invasion (Paranavitana, 1955; Prematilaka & Hewage, 2018).

1) Fernando, M., 1990. [Wijesekara, N. (Editor in chief)] Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative Series (Vol. I). History of the Department of Archaeology: Commissioner of Archaeology, pp.87-88.
2) Fernando, P.E., 1975. A Note on the Panakaduva Copper-Plate Charter of Vijayabahu I. The Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities (Vol. 1) no. 1. pp.57-60.
3) Paranavitana, S., 1955. Epigraphia Zeylanica: being lithic and other inscription of Ceylon (Vol. 5, Part I). Government Press, Ceylon, for the Archaeological Department. pp.1-34.
4) Prematilaka, L., Hewage, R., 2018. A guide to the National Museum, Colombo: Department of National Museum. ISBN: 978-955-578-035-3. p.23.

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This page was last updated on 15 September 2019


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