Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Basavakkulama Pillar Inscription of King Sena II

Basavakkulama Pillar Inscription of King Sena II
Basavakkulama Pillar Inscription is a stone pillar inscription discovered from the bund of Basawakkulama tank (the ancient Abhaya Wewa) situated in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka (Muller, 1984; Ranawella, 2005). Presently, it is on the display at the inscription gallery of Colombo National Museum.

The quadrilateral pillar 3.5 feet tall and only two sides of it are covered by the inscription (Ranawella, 2005). It had been broken into two pieces at the time of its arrival. However, the epigraph had been deciphered by Muller, before it was broken in to two pieces (Muller, 1984; Ranawella, 2005).

The inscription has been written in Sinhala language with scripts belonging to the latter half of the 9th century (Ranawella, 2005).

This inscription mentions its inscribed date as the nineteenth regnal year of King Sirisangboyi Mapurmuka who has been identified as King Sena II [(853-887 A.D.) Ranawella, 2005]. It records a decree that prohibiting illegal fishing in the Abhaya-wewa (presently known as Basawakkulama) and mayor of the city (city of Anuradhapura) was held responsible for it. If he (the mayor) fails to arrest and punish those who engage in illegal fishing in that reservoir, the mayor was ordered to pay a fine of ten "hunas" of gold (Ranawella, 2005). Also, the caretaker of Mahavihara monastery at Anuradhapura had been ordered to send his monastic staff to confiscate the fishing nets of the culprits. In addition to that, the apprehend culprits had to submit themselves to do some manual work free at the reservoir (Ranawella, 2005).

1) Muller, E., 1984. Ancient Inscriptions in Ceylon. Asian Educational Services. New Delhi. pp.55,78.
2) Ranawella, S. (Ed.), 2005. Sinhala inscriptions in the Colombo National Museum: Spolia Zeylanica. Vol 42. (2005). Department of National Museums, Sri Lanka. pp.xi,10-14.

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